Reviews

A Christmas Carol in Harlem ****

The Cast of “A Christmas Carol”

By: Paulanne Simmons

December 13, 2020: With the pandemic surging, many theater companies are celebrating the holiday season by steaming shows from previous years. So, if you missed The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s 2019 A Christmas Carol in Harlem, you now have the chance to watch a video of the live performance.

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Around The Town

On This Day in New York Theater: December 13 in the 1940’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 19 in the series)

December 13, 2020: December 13 may have provided only four openings in the 1940s, but all of them are worth revisiting. Two were revivals, one of recent vintage, the other a classic. The first was Rachel Crothers’s 1937 hit, Susan and God. The classic was Maurice Evans’s newest rendering of Hamlet. The remaining shows were Norman Krasna’s Dear Ruth, one of biggest hits of the war years, and Wandering Stars,a Yiddish show borrowed from Sholem Aleichem (the source of Fiddler on the Roof).

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Around The Town

The Prom

Ryan Murphy’s Adaptation of The Prom Premieres with Starry Cast on Netflix

By: Ellis Nassour

December 10, 2020: Ryan Murphy brings Chad Beguelin, Matthew Sklar and Bob Martin’s big-hearted, quick-witted, and boisterous 2018 Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Prom to Netflix beginning Friday, December 11. 

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Features

The Actors Fund

Tis the Season to (Try) Be Merry and Give Thanks to The Actors Fund

By Ellis Nassour

December 7, 2020: The not-for-profit Actors Fund of America continues to be a vital resource for all members across the spectrum of the entertainment profession. There’s a vast array of programs, supported by people like you. With other fundraising events stymied by the pandemic, a godsend has been the numerous virtual events by so many talented industry members.

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Around The Town

Holiday Cheer from BroadwayHD


BroadwayHD presents a dazzling line up of holiday classics and the premier of Peter Rothstein’s All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 plus Forever Plaid 20th Anniversary Special.

November 30, 2020 – ‘Tis the season to be jolly! BroadwayHD, the premier streaming service for theater fans, is spreading holiday cheer in December with a dazzling line up of holiday classics, anniversary specials and more. Kicking off on December 1st is Mame starring Lucille Balla musical revolving around the antics of Mame Dennis, a fun-loving, wealthy eccentric with a flair for life and a razor-sharp wit. The film also stars Bea Arthur reprising her Tony Award Winning role of Vera. Shakespeare’s famous pastoral comedy of love and disguise, As You Like It, is reimagined with darker, more somber undertones in this production out on December 3rd. Next, on December 15th is the streaming premiere of Peter Rothstein’s All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, followed by a video capture of Private Lives on December 16th, which will celebrate Noël Coward’s birthday.

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Interviews

John Lloyd Young

Tony/Grammy Winner John Lloyd Young Celebrates the Season 
Friday with Vegas Holiday

By: Ellis Nassour

December 1, 2020: Tony and Grammy Award-winner John Lloyd Young, forever famous to fans of Jersey Boys, will live stream his new 75-minute pay-per-view concert act Vegas Holiday from Mark Shunook’s The Space this Friday, December 4, at 6 P.M. Pacific [9 P.M. Eastern]. This concert will be much more than just songs. 

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Interviews

Michael Riedel

Michael Riedel’s Segue from Rabid Newspaper Columnist to Congenial Early Morning Radio Co-host

By: Ellis Nassour

Monday, November 30, 2020 –Once rabid theater critic/arts reporter Michael Riedel has segued to radio, joining Len Berman, WNBC-TV’s former longtime sports anchor, as sidekick on Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning. Rise and shine at 6 A.M. weekdays to 710 WOR-AM Radio for their freewheeling four-hour conversationathon about anything and everything. Be prepared for quite a bit of mutual razzing. 

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Reviews

Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene *****

By: Paulanne Simmons

November 29, 2020: In 1988, when Ute Lemper received the Molière Award for her performance as Sally Bowles in Cabaret in Paris, she was certainly very happy. But what really amazed and delighted the German-born actress, was when she was compared to the legendary Marlene Dietrich. As Dietrich was also living Paris at the time, Lemper sent her a postcard addressed simply to Dietrich at Avenue Montaigne. Not long afterwards she got a phone call.

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Around The Town

On This Day in New York Theater: November 29th in the 1920’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 18 in the series)

November 29, 2020: For the time being, this column will be settling into the groove of covering only one decade at a time in its description of shows that opened on a particular date during the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s. Those decades, even as their overall numbers slid following the Depression, were unusually active, and only the sparse summer months slowed down enough to allow for coverage here of more than one decade at a time. 

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Around The Town

BroadwayHD Wins

BROADWAYHD WINS TWO GLOBAL BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS

November 20, 2020: BroadwayHD was named winner in the Outstanding Innovation category and the winner of the Outstanding Product/Service category at the 2020 Global Business Excellence Awards.

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Around The Town

Broadway in Limbo

Tonys Delayed and Shows Reschedule

By: David Sheward

November 20, 2020: The lights on Broadway will remain dim for even longer due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the Broadway League announced that all 41 of its member theaters will be shuttered until May 30, 2021. This is the latest in a series of extended closures since the stages closed on March 13. In the wake of this announcement, many shows have had to reshuffle their schedules and the Tony Awards have been pushed back even further. Broadway’s highest honors for the abortive 2019-20 season have been delayed numerous times but the nominations were given out on Oct. 15 with Jagged Little Pill netting the most with 15 and Moulin Rouge garnering 14. Slave Play took 12. It was expected that the awards would be handed out online sometime in late fall. But with Broadway shows not returning until June of next year, Broadway League president Charlotte St. Martin has stated in an interview with Sirius XM host Julie James, “We don’t have  a decision date yet. Since we’re not opening in March, we have more planning time.” 

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Around The Town

The Humane Society “To the Rescue!” Gala

Kitty Block

The Humane Society of the United States raised over 2 million dollars at “To the Rescue!” gala to help save animals . Hosted by Cecily Strong and Audra McDonald hosting the pre-show with a special performance.

November 16, 2020: The Humane Society of the United States hosted its 2020 To the Rescue! gala raising over 2 million dollars to benefit the organization’s animal rescue efforts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually.

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Around The Town

The Drama League Announces First Directors Council

THE NEW INITIATIVE IS COMPRISED OF 20 NATIONALLY-RENOWNED DIRECTORS AND ALUMNI TO ADVISE ON THE ORGANIZATION’S DIRECTOR-FOCUSED PROGRAMMING AND THE FUTURE OF THEATER AS THE INDUSTRY PREPARES FOR REOPENING

November 14, 2020: The Drama League (Artistic Director, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks; Executive Director, Bevin Ross) announces the formation of its first Directors Council, featuring nationally-renowned directors Daniel Banks, Melia Bensussen, Christopher Burris, Jillian Carucci, Jennifer Chang, Desdemona Chiang, R.J. Cutler, Estefanía Fadul, Raz Golden, Brian Eugenio Herrera, Adam Immerwahr, Gwynn MacDonald, Tony Phelan, Lisa Portes, Lisa Rothe, Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Rob Urbinati, Nicole A. Watson, Sharifa Yasmin, and Pirronne Yousefzadeh.

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Around The Town

On This Day in New York Theater: November 13 in the 1930’s

By: Samuel L. Leiter

(No. 17 in the series)

November 13, 2020: As per the last entry in this series, I again confine myself to a single decade—in today’s case, the 1930s—in describing what shows opened on a particular day. The one I’ve chosen, November 13, was not especially prolific or even productive of more than a single memorable work. What most attracted it to me was a play that opened at the very start of the decade, Grand Hotel, which would become the inspiration for one of my all-time favorite movies (Garbo! Barrymore! Crawford!), produced in 1932, and the source for a modestly successful 1989 Broadway musical, each known by the original play’s name.

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