Harley Newman, Professional Lunatic

Harley Newman

By: Alix Cohen

April 21, 2024, on Coney Island, performing artist Harley Newman will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Sideshow Hootenannyduring a weekend long celebration.

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Why Like They Do in the Movies Doesn’t Live Up to Its Name.

By: Iris Wiener

March 23, 2024: Laurence Fishburne’s career is a formidable resume filled with as many powerful projects as there are playful programs. The Tony winner, Emmy winner, and Oscar nominee reveals new layers of his multi-faceted talents in Like They Do in the Movies, a one-man show for which he is the playwright and star. Though Fishburne’s stellar performance is a force with which to be reckoned, the play-now open at the new Perelman Performing Arts Center-is not entirely worth the journey. Here are five reasons why:

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Broadway Update

The cast of “Illinoise” which will transfer to the St. James in time for the Tonys. Credit: Stephanie Berger

Illinoise, Ben Platt, Stranger Things

By: David Sheward

March 21, 2024: As if this Broadway season couldn’t get any more crowded or crazy, we have a last-minute entry in time for the Tony Awards. Illinoise, the dance-theater adaptation of Sufjan Stevens’ concept album Illinois, will transfer from its run at the Park Avenue Armory to the St. James Theater, on April 24–just before the Tony cut-off of April 25. The show will open the same night as Lincoln Center Theater’s all-star revival of Uncle Vanya. The St. James became available when Monty Python’s Spamalot ended its limited run earlier than expected. Illinoise will play a limited engagement through Aug. 10.

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Broadway Babe

Celebrating Sondheim

Fun Gems from Babe include Sondheim, Michael Feinstein, Jerry Herman, and More.

March 11, 2024: Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller has some more gems to share with us including: a Sondheim concert with the New York Philharmonic; A variety show/fundraiser with some of Broadway’s best for PBS TV in Southern California; Michael Feinstein, singing a fabulous Broadway medley; and a BBC TV Jerry Herman themed broadcast. All of these picks are upbeat and fun finds!

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Broadway Update

Denzel Washington

Washington and Gyllenhaal to Star in Othello.

By: David Sheward

March 9,, 2024: Get ready for the highest-profile star casting in several years, if not decades. Oscar and Tony winner Denzel Washington (Training Day, Fences) and Tony and Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Sea Wall/A Life, Brokeback Mountain) will co-star in a revival of Shakespeare’s Othello, set to open in Spring 2025. To add to the marquee value, the play will be directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) who will also be staging a new production of Our Town during the same 2024-25 season. Leon directed Washington in The Iceman Cometh, Raisin, and Fences. Further casting is to be announced.

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Melba Moore @ 54 Below

Melba Moore

Tony Winner, MELBA MOORE: FROM BROADWAY, WITH LOVE @ 54 Below March 15 & 16. 

March 4, 2024:  Melba Moore returns to Broadway’s Living Room, 54 Below, with From Broadway, With Love – journeying through her notably remarkable career in music and beyond. Raised in NYC with professional musicians as parents, Ms. Moore stepped into the industry singing Background Vocals for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin which led to her Broadway debut succeeding Diane Keaton in the musical Hair. Moore went on to play recurring roles in several hit Broadway productions, including her celebrated portrayal of Lutiebelle in the musical Purlie.

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The Adventures of Curious Ganz

By: Alix Cohen

March 4, 2024: This imaginative puppet piece is based on “the true life of 16th-century copper smelter Joachim Ganz with a little leap to Ada Lovelace, Galileo, Al-Buzanji, Brunelleschi…A response to the closing of borders and narrowing of minds.”

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Pescador (Fisherman)

By: Alix Cohen

March 4, 2024: An old fisherman (puppet) grey, frayed, pulpy, has lived his life married to the sea. The relationship is powerful, symbiotic. Sometimes she gives, sometimes she takes. He grows old and infirm, but never thinks of drawing away. This is his last challenge. A lighthouse beam fans out.

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Broadway Update

The cast of the London edition of “Forbidden Broadway”. Photo: Alistair Muir

Forbidden Broadway, Louis Armstrong Musical to Open

By: David Sheward

March 1, 2024: Forbidden Broadway is finally making it to Broadway. The latest iteration of the long-running parody series–Forbidden Broadway on Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song will begin previews at the Hayes Theater on July 29 with an opening set for Aug. 15. The limited engagement will play through Nov. 1. The five-person cast (including an onstage pianist) will be announced at a later date. There will also be special weekly guest stars appearing throughout the run.

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Awards Update: Lortels, Bistros, Macs Set Dates.

By: David Sheward

February 24, 2024: The 39th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards—honoring excellence in the Off-Broadway theater—will be handed out in the annual ceremony on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at 7PM at NYU Skirball. Special Award recipients for 2024 have also been announced. The Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, with additional support provided by TDF.

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Sally Mayes

Sally Mayes

Now and Then/Jazz Standard Time

By: Alix Cohen

February 23, 2024: Sally Mayes erupts on stage in full clarion voice, all cylinders firing. “Cloudburst” (Hendricks/Kirkand/Harris) is gladiatorial in its rhythmic dexterity. The artist enunciates every tongue-twisting phrase while imbuing lyrics with vivid expression. A glass mountain for most vocalists, the song tells us with whom we’re dealing. She’s fearless.

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Broadway Babe

Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke.

Four Notable Nostalgic picks from Broadway Babe include Chita Rivera & Dick Van Dyke, together in 2006.

February 21, 2024:  Broadway Babe, Randie Levine-Miller, has four notable nostalgic finds from yesteryear to share this week including: The original “Bye Bye Birdie” stars, Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke performing songs they did decades earlier; a show stopping event for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS saluting the 50th anniversary of “West Side Story”; the American Film Institute salute to Fred Astaire; and Ethel Merman and Dinah Shore performing together. This is a perfect group of videos to watch while staying indoors during the wintry weather.

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Christine Jorgensen

Mark Nadler and Jesse James Keitel.

By: Alix Cohen

Background: Who Was Christine Jorgensen?
“We didn’t start the sexual revolution, but I think we gave it a good kick in the pants!” Christine Jorgensen

February 15, 2024: George W. Jorgensen, Jr., aka Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989), was assigned male at birth, but self identified as a female. In her late 20s, she became aware of medical sex reassignment, began taking estrogen, then followed up with hormone replacement therapy in Denmark. Her parents were Danish. It was easy to mask the trip as a family visit. Operations in Scandinavia and the United States completed transition. “Remember the shy, miserable person who left America? Well, that person is no more,” she wrote friends. “You have lost a son, but gained somebody new,” she told her parents. The Jorgensens were supportive.

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Broadway Update

Michael Esper, Corey Stoll and Sarah Paulsen in “Appropriate”. Credit: Joan Marcus

Appropriate Moves; News of Kristin Chenoweth, Amy Ryan, etc.

By: David Sheward

February 13, 2024: The Second Stage revival of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate will be moving from the Hayes Theater (to make room for Paula Vogel’s Mother Play) to a limited run at the now-vacant Belasco Theater (after How to Dance in Ohio closed) from March 25 to June 23. The entire company will repeating their roles, except for Elle Fanning who has a scheduling conflict. Her replacement for the role of River will be announced in the coming weeks. The transfer will increase the play’s chances at the Tony Awards. There still has not been a ruling if the production is a revival or a new play since the work was previously seen Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater in 2014 where it won an Obie Award. The Tonys only consider Broadway shows.

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Broadway Update

Drama Desks and Theater World Awards on the Same Day

By: David Sheward

February 13, 2024: Two major NY theater awards will be held on the same date. It was announced the 78th annual Theater World Awards will be held on Mon. June 10. The day before, the Drama Desk Awards had announced the same date for their 69th annual accolades. However, the Theater Worlds which are given for outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway debut performances, listed 7PM as their start time. Last year and the year before, the DDs were held in the afternoon, so things may work out for winners who wish to attend both ceremonies. Neither event has listed a venue. Hopefully they will be close to each other so double attendees will have a short trip and time for a bite to eat.

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