Around The Town

Let’s Put On A Show!

By: Alix Cohen

Let’s Put On A Show! 35 Years of Irish Rep Musicals – Comhghairdeachas!

June 10, 2024: As well produced as anything on Broadway, Irish Repertory’s 35th Annual Gala reflected not only the theater’s history of recognizing and collaborating with extraordinary talent, but a feeling of family repeatedly expressed and filling the hall. The theater’s 200 productions, 800 readings and 30 Gala Concerts bring it to 2024 with bells on.

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Reviews

Home **** What Became Of Us ***

Tory Kittles (Cephus Miles). Brittany Inge (Woman One / Pattie Mae Wells),and Stori Ayers (Woman Two) in “Home”.

By: David Sheward

June 5, 2024: In Home (on Broadway at Roundabout Theater Company’s Todd Haimes Theater) and What Became of Us (Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2), the protagonists serve double duty as narrators. Both plays deal with returning to your roots after journeys of alienation. The plays’ structure could put audiences at a distance since we are being told what happens instead of being shown directly. Such plays usually work better as novels, but thanks to polished performances and insightful direction, the action is immediate and relatable. Home is more effective than What Became of Us, but both works are heart-warming and full of home truths. 

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Around The Town

Broadway Babe

Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison.

Gems form Broadway Babe include No Way to Treat a Lady, My Fair Lady, and Man of La Mancha.

June 9, 2024:  Broadway Babe Randie Levine-Miller has come up with some real gems, including Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison doing excerpts from “My Fair Lady”; from 1965, Richard Kiley star of “Man of La Mancha”, with the original cast performing showstopping excerpts on the Ed Sullivan Show ; Mary Rodgers in an up close and personal interview, courtesy of the Dramatists Guild; and Randie‘s personal favorite, excerpts from Douglas J. Cohen’s musical, “No Way To Treat A Lady”, performed by an All -Star cast at 54 Below six years ago.

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Gordin's View

Bay Street Theater

Director Scott Wittman, Scott Schwartz (Artistic Director Bay Street Theater Talia Balsam, Tracy Mitchell (Executive Director Bay Street Theater).
 Harry Slattery and John Slattery.

Scott Wittman directs Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winning play, The Subject Was Roses, launching Bay Street Theater’s Mainstage 2024 Summer season.

June 3, 2024: Theater legend Scott Wittman, a renowned Broadway director and composer, has staged a lovely production of Frank D. Gilroy’s Pulitzer Prize winning play for Bay Street Theater. The powerful drama opened on Saturday evening making the theater in Sag Harbor the place to be in the Hamptons. Focusing on a family in the Bronx when their only son returns home from WWII, the  seemingly quiet story boils beneath the surface with simmering emotions. The three actors, John Slattery, Talia Balsam, and Harry Slattery, portraying the family  are actually a real-life father, mother, and son, which adds a fascinating dynamic to the evening. The outstanding design elements, a standard at Bay Street, enhance the intimacy of the suffocating setting. John Slattery is best known for his role in the AMC drama Mad Men. 

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Reviews

The Lonely Few ***

Ciara Renée

By: Paulanne Simmons

June 3, 2024: At the entrance to MCC’s Robert W. Wilson Theater Space, where The Lonely Few is making its New York premiere, there’s a small table where audience members will find little packages of earplugs. If you’re sensitive to noise, don’t pass them up.

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Around The Town

Broadway Update: Audra McDonald To Star in Gypsy

Audra McDonald Portraits. CREDIT: Allison Michael Orenstein

By: David Sheward

May 29, 2024: The rumors have been confirmed. Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald will tackle the King Lear of musical theater roles when she plays Mama Rose in the fifth Broadway revival of Gypsy, the musical suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The production will be directed by five-time Tony winner George C. Wolfe (Angels in America, Shuffle Along) and choreographed by four-time Tony nominee Camille A. Brown (Hell’s Kitchen, for colored girls) and begin previews at the re-opened Majestic Theatre on Nov. 21 prior to a Dec. 19 opening. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

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Around The Town

B’way/Off-B’way Update: Job, R&J, Marin Ireland

Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmon in “Job”. Credit: Emilio Madrid

By: David Sheward

May 28, 2024: Job, the hit Off-Broadway two-character play by Max Wolf Friedlich, will make the leap to Broadway this summer. Performances begin July 15 at the Hayes Theater in advance of a July 30 opening for a limited run through Sept. 29. Sydney Lemmon and Peter Friedman will repeat their performances as a recently-fired big tech company employee and her crisis management therapist. 

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Around The Town

Moments from the 2024 NYDCC and OCC Awards

Guy Davis and Hasna Muhammad with their sister Nora Day on the phone accepting the NYDCC award for their father’s play “Purlie Victorious”..

By: David Sheward

May 28, 2024: Two major theater critics’ groups, the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle, handed out their annual awards last week. At both ceremonies, the winners were known in advance, so everyone could relax. The 88th NY Drama Critics Circle Awards ceremony was held at 54 Below on Tues. May 21 with Circle president Adam Feldman of Time Out New York presiding. Jim Walton of the original cast of Merrily We Roll Along presented the special award to Maria Friedman, director of the revival. Walton said he imagined when Stephen Sondheim got to heaven, God said to him, “Steve, I think I know how to fix Merrily.” This is because the show has gone through so many iterations and revivals since its infamous 1981 flop run on Broadway. 

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Photos

OCC Awards 2024

Jessica Lange (Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play – “Mother Play:” a play in Five Evictions).

The 74th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards for the 2023-2024 Theater season were presented to the winners in a ceremony at Lincoln Center.

May 24, 2024: The 74th Outer Critics Circle Awards (OCC) were presented yesterday to the winners for the 2023-2024 Broadway and Off-Broadway Season. The intimate ceremony was produced by Lauren Yarger at Lincoln’s Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium.  The new Broadway play Stereophonic by David Adjmi won 4 awards including Outstanding New Broadway Play and Outstanding Direction of a play by Daniel Aukin. Jessica Langue won Outstanding Lead Performer in a play for her luminous portrayal of Phyliss the character at the center of Mother Play, a new work by Paula Vogel now on Broadway. This was the second year the acting awards were bestowed without gender specifications in all categories. Harry Haun was recognized with a Special Achievement Award for his 50-year career in theater and film journalism.

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HamptonsLife - At the Galleries

White Room Gallery

Opening reception for ON THE EDGE now on view at The White Room Gallery, 3 Railroad Avenue East Hampton, through June 16.

May 27, 2024: Andrea McCafferty & Kat O’Neill, co-owners, and directors of The White Room Gallery, hosted the opening reception for ON THE EDGE. The new exhibition features Fringe, a renowned South African pop artist, painter, and sculptor. The Back Room will feature Seek One, a daring mixed media artist. 

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Reviews

Here There Are Blueberries ****

Nemuna Ceesay, Elizabeth Stahlmann, Kathleen Chalfant and Erika Rose.

By: David Sheward

May 25, 2024: The audience at the New York Theater Workshop is greeted with a camera on a stand positioned before a backdrop with a giant logo for Leica Cameras. Pleasant upbeat music from the 1930s and 40s plays in the background. After the lights have lowered, there is a drumroll, reminiscent of the one heard in the beginning of Cabaret (ominous foreshadowing) and two smiling actors enter to describe the revolution by Leica’s portable, affordable product. In the decades corresponding to the music photography, once the plaything of the elite, was available to the masses and everyday people could memorialize their outings and memorable occasions on celluloid. The actors inform us that Germany was at the forefront of this new, life-changing hobby. The curtains part and a series of black and white photos is projected on a giant screen. We see young people hiking in the woods, canoeing, and generally having a good time. Suddenly, the mood shifts as swatiskas begin appear on the arms of the subjects. And just like that, the horrors of the Holocaust are made ordinary and mundane.

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Reviews

Winesday, The Wine Tasting Musical ***1/2

Amanda Lea LaVergne, Debra Thais Evans, Jennifer Diamond, Shannen Hofheimer, and Dawn Cantwell.

By: Paulanne Simmons

May 23, 2024: When the house opens at The Jerry Orbach Theater these days something unusual happens. Members of the audience are not given a program. They receive a shot of wine and a wine scorecard. In fact throughout the show, the audience enjoys a variety of wines while the actors (we are led to believe) are doing the same onstage.

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Gordin's View

Live Out Loud

Wayne Brady (Pathfinder Award).

23rd Annual Young Trailblazers Gala honored Wayne Brady at The Lighthouse /Chelsea Pier 61. 

May 21, 2024: Live Out Loud held their annual Young Trailblazers Gala celebrating their life-affirming educational programs for LGBT+ youth. The event, emceed by TV celebrity Marti Gould Cummings, awarded $5,000 scholarships to four high school seniors for their outstanding leadership in the LGBTQ+ community and honored advocates in the community who further Live Out Loud’s mission. 

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Around The Town

The Roger Rees Awards

Bonnie Milligan, Ashlee Fucarino, Isaiah Baston, and Rick Elice. Photo: Iris Wiener

By: Iris Wiener

May 20, 2024: Some of Broadway’s most talented artists came out to support the Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance on May 19 at The Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College. It was because of the warm memories they have of Rees and the indelible impression he left on them that host Bonnie Milligan (Kimberly Akimbo) and judges including actor Erich Bergen (Waitress) and choreographer/educator Baayork Lee were on hand to celebrate the talent of young performers.

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Reviews

Here There Are Blueberries ****

Elizabeth Stahlmann

By: Samuel L. Leiter

May 18, 2024: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” asked a classic line from the old radio series, “The Shadow.” The eternal answer, delivered with a macabre laugh: “The Shadow does.”  Well, even the Shadow might have been stumped by many of the happy, everyday people pictured in the World War II-era album at the heart of Here There Are Blueberries, now at Off Broadway’s New York Theatre Workshop. This consistently intriguing, 90-minute docudrama was inspired by the discovery of an album of 116 photos showing the leisure-time activities of the SS officers and staff responsible for the atrocities committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where over 1 million people, mostly Jews, were exterminated. 

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