Reviews

The Bedwetter ****

Bebe Neuwirth (Nana) Zoe Glick (Sarah)

By: David Sheward

June 16, 2022: As you might expect, any musical from the pen of the notoriously profane comedienne Sarah Silverman has more than its share of what we used to call dirty jokes. But The Bedwetter (Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater), the new musical based on Silverman’s memoir of her traumatic childhood, is also an insightful and moving depiction of dysfunctional family dynamics, a little girl’s triumph over insecurity and the healing power of comedy. It’s also pretty damn funny.… and dirty.

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Around The Town

Drama Desk 2022 Winners

Winners for the 66th Annual Drama Desk Awards
This year’s Drama Desk Awards will take place at Sardi’s Restaurant (234 W 44th Street) on June 14th from 3:00 – 6:00pm.

June 14, 2022: In keeping with the Drama Desk‘s mission, the nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway between July 2, 2021 and May 1, 2022 for this year’s Awards. Only live performances were eligible – if performances were also available for streaming, 21 or more unique live performances were required. 

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Around The Town

Tony Awards

A Strange Loop wins Best Musical as the Tony Awards return to Radio City Music Hall.

June 12, 2022:  The Tony Awards  returned to Radio City Music Hall for a live celebration of the 75th Annual event, the first since 2019, hosted by Oscar winner Ariana DeBose.

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Around The Town

Broadway Update

A scene from Leopoldstadt Credit: Marc Brenner

Broadway Update: Stoppard, Sesame Street, Good Night Oscar, Lena Horne, etc.

By: David Sheward

June 11, 2022: Lots of theater news to report: Tom Stoppard’s latest play Leopoldstadt has announced a theater and dates for its Broadway transfer after a critically acclaimed London production in 2020. The decade-spanning epic work about multiple generations of a Jewish-Catholic family in Vienna will begin previews at the Longacre Theatre on Sept. 14 in advance of an Oct. 2 opening. This will be Stoppard’s 19th play on Broadway since Rosencrantz and Guilderstern Are Dead opened in 1967. He has won four Best Play Tony Awards (for R & G Are Dead, Travesties, The Real Thing, and The Coast of Utopia.) Leopoldstadt won the Olivier Award for its London run but was stopped short by the COVID shutdown. It’s the first play in which the playwright uses his Jewish background as a source. 

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Around The Town

75th Tony Awards

For the Milestone 75th Annual Presentation, the Tony Awards Return to the New Normal and Are Putting On a Spectacular Four Hour Televised Event; Ariana DeBose is Hosting

By Ellis Nassour

June 10, 2022: For the milestone 75th Annual Presentation, the Tony Awards return to the new normal and are putting on a spectacular four hour televised celebration. The   Tony are back to New York’s legendary Showplace of the Nation Radio City Music Hall on Sunday in a TV event that will telecast live coast to coast for the first time.   

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Reviews

Fat Ham **** Funny Girl **1/2

Billy Eugene Jones and Marcel Spears in “Fat Ham”.

By: David Sheward

June 9, 2022: The premise sounds like a SNL sketch: Hamlet updated and set at a contentious African-American family’s barbecue. But James Ijames’ scintillating rift on Shakespeare’s greatest play doesn’t settle for easy laughs and obvious spoof. Fat Ham used the template of the Melancholy Dane’s tragedy as a jumping-off place for a bizarre, inventive, and complex portrait of parental expectations, youthful angst, toxic masculinity, the legacy of violence, and the quest for true identity. It’s easy to see why this meaty repast of a play won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama after a streamed production from the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia where Ijames is co-artistic director. It’s now enjoying a live Off-Broadway premiere at the Public Theater in a co-production with the National Black Theatre, and man, is it live!

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Around The Town

Antoinette Perry / The Tony Awards

Celebrating 75 Years of the Tony Awards, But Have You Ever Asked “Who’s Tony”?

By: Ellis Nassour

June 9, 2022 – You’re not alone.

Sunday’s Tony Awards mark 75 years of excellence on Broadway and like Ben Vereen, you may have wondered how the Tony Awards got their name. When Vereen was co-starring in Jesus Christ Superstar, he received a letter by messenger. It was from the American Theatre Wing. He asked the stage doorman what that was and the gent had no idea. He opened the letter. “It read: ‘Congratulations, Ben Vereen. You have been nominated as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for your performance.’” It was signed, The Tony Awards. He asked, “Who’s this Tony?”

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Reviews

Snow In Midsummer ***

Teresa Avia Lim, Alex Vinh, Julian Leong, Paul Juhn and Wai Ching Ho.

By: Brian Scott Lipton

June 8, 2022: Buddha. The Goddess of Mercy. An appearance by Ox Head and Horse Face, who decide on reincarnation. Yes, we’re definitely in China during Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s ambitious “Snow in Midsummer, now getting its U.S premiere at Classic Stage Company, but you can be excused if you think you’re watching a lost Shakespeare play or even a modern soap opera. Because there is also an avenging ghost, tons of hidden secrets, and enough plot twists to fuel a month’s worth of “General Hospital.” As a result, you’ll probably never bored, though you might be confused – even when you exit the theater.

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HamptonsLife - Theater

Windfall @ Bay Street Theater

Director Jason Alexander, Dylan S. Wallach, Spencer Garrett, Badia Farha, Talia Thiesfield, Ro Boddie, Abigail Isom, Playwright Scooter Pietsch – Photo: Barry Gordin

Jason Alexander directs the East Coast Premiere of Windfall, an absurd farce, at Bay Street Theater

By: Patrick Christiano

June 7, 2022:  After a three-year hiatus due to COVID, Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor is back with a bang. They launched their 2022 Mainstage Summer Season with the East coast premiere of Windfall, an outrageous farce with a distinctly dark edge, by Scooter Pietsch. Directed by television icon Jason Alexander, who created the role of George Costanza on television’s Seinfeld, the absurd comedy is about the fallout that ensues when five office workers risk their life savings to win a $500 million dollar lottery.

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Around The Town

2022-23 Tony and Drama Desk Predictions

By: David Sheward

June 6, 2022: Once again the Tony and Drama Desk Awards will be very different from each other this year. The Tonys only consider Broadway shows and the DDs include on and Off in all their multiple categories. Thus, The Lehman Trilogy which has an Off-Broadway run in 2019-20 is not eligible for the DDs because it was in the running earlier and Kimberly Akimbo is a DD candidate, but will be up for Tonys next season when it transfers. (The Outer Critics disagreed about Lehman and included it in their awards this year. Maybe because the run Off-Broadway was so short and not many voting members saw it then.)

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Interviews

Warren Carlyle

Music Man and Harmony
Tony-nominated Choreographer-Director Warren Carlyle Has Had a Magical Six Months ~ “Part of a Dream I Never Imagined Coming True”

By:: Ellis Nassour

June 6, 2022: Tony-winning choreographer (After Midnight), 2022 Tony nominee (The Music Man) and now director Warren Carlyle lives to work. When the pandemic hit and he was isolating at home on the Upper West Side, he became bored to the point of going stir-crazy. Two things saved him: his much-beloved dog and Hugh Jackman. 

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Around The Town

I Like Men – Celebrating 102 Years of Miss Peggy Lee

By: Alix Cohen

June 6, 2022: Two years after the planned celebration of Peggy Lee’s 100th birthday, Stacy Sullivan, arguably the artist’s torch bearer, is finally able to present her tribute. An eclectic roster of songs written or made famous by Lee arrive in varied interpretation by way of 11 male vocalists and Sullivan herself in pristine voice. The show runs like silk.

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Around The Town

Broadway Update

The cast of the Almost Famous musical in its premiere at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego in 2019. (Credit: Neal Preston)

Broadway Update: Almost Famous, Thanksgiving Play, Theater for Salesman

By: David Sheward

June 4, 2022: We’re almost at the very end of the 2021-22 Broadway/Off-Broadway season. Now we have three more news items about the upcoming 2022-23 season. On tap are a new musical based on a hit movie, a theater company announces additions to its on and Off-Broadway schedule, and the Death of a Salesman revival has a theater.

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Reviews

…What The End Will Be **

Keith Randolph Smith, Tiffany Villarin, Gerald Caesar, Randy Harrison, and Emerson Brooks

By: David Sheward

June 2, 2022: Late in …what the end will be, Mansa Ra’s combination sitcom and soap opera about three generations of gay black men, Keith Randolph Smith as the patriarch Bart Kennedy delivers an impassioned plea to his stubborn son Max to allow him to take the drastic step of assisted suicide to end his misery from Stage 4 bone cancer. The details are excruciating in their exactness, down to the feeling of pain and ache in every part of his body, even the fingernails. Smith does not overplay the horror, but gives the speech with directness and simplicity. You can feel his pain. The objective is clear and the moment is a riveting one.

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