As part of their series Live from Lincoln Center, PBS has released the air dates for the Stars in Concert series. The series will include special one-hour concert performances from Broadway stars Sutton Foster, Leslie Odom Jr., Stephanie J. Block, and Andrew Rannells.
Production photos giving us a first look at the upcoming Broadway-bound world premiere musical “The Sting,” featuring Harry Connick Jr. at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, were released today. Continue reading World premiere musical ‘The Sting’ releases first production shots
St. Patrick’s Day is in the rearview mirror but two weeks from today Brain Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa,” winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play, begins performances at Two River Theater in Red Bank. Opening night is April 20.
Friel’s play — set in the summer of 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasa — is considered a modern masterpiece about the Mundy sisters, five unmarried women who live together in County Donegal, on the west coast of Ireland. Their brother, Father Jack, has just returned from 25 years as a missionary in Uganda.
The story is based on the memories of the narrator, Michael, the grown-up illegitimate son of one of the sisters. He also speaks the lines of his 7-year-old self about that summer, when everything seemed to be on the brink of change. Continue reading ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ opens in two weeks at Two River Theater
Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ, is swapping out “Ooo-Bla-Dee,” written by Regina Taylor and the last play of the season (June 9-July 1), for “Songbird,” written by Michael Kimmel with music and lyrics by Lauren Pritchards, so that Ruben Santiago-Hudson can make his directorial debut at Shakespeare in the Park with “Othello” in Manhattan.
Well that certainly beats “My dog ate my script” excuse. And congrats Mr. RSH. Hope to snag one of those free tickets this summer
Santiago-Hudson was nominated in 2017 for a Tony for Best Direction of a Play for “Jitney,” which also featured Two River Theater regular Brandon J. Dirden. Continue reading Two River adjusts season so Santiago-Hudson can helm NYC ‘Othello’
McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees have announced the appointment of Michael S. Rosenberg as managing director. A nationally respected arts leader, Rosenberg will work together with McCarter’s artistic director/resident playwright Emily Mann and special programming director William W. Lockwood in leading Princeton’s Tony Award- winning arts institution.
Currently, Rosenberg is the managing director at La Jolla Playhouse in California, will join McCarter Theatre Center this spring. Continue reading Michael S. Rosenberg leaves La Jolla Playhouse for McCarter Theatre
Harry Connick Jr. will play Paul Newman in the world-premiere musical production of “The Sting” at the Paper Mill Playhouse (March 29-April 29). Once again, this Tony Award-winning theater is serving as an out-of-town launch pad for Broadway.
Since the 2004-’05 season, Paper Mill has staged the world premiere of nine productions. Four moved to the Great White Way: Newsies, Honeymoon in Vegas, The Bandstand and A Bronx Tale. These two , “Harold and Maude” and “A Wonderful Life” did not.
Besides “The Sting” (March 29-April 29, 2018), the current season began with the world premiere of “The Honeymooners” (Sept. 28–Oct. 29). Currently running through Sunday is the East Coast premieres of both the hysterical comedy “The Outsider” (Jan. 24-Feb. 18) and the musical “Half Time,” formerly called “Gotta Dance,” (May 31-July 1, 2018). Continue reading Harry Connick Jr signs to perform, co-write ‘Sting’ musical at Paper Mill
Some of Broadway’s and silver screen musicals were preceded by nonmusical movies (and books). Beginning at 8 tonight Turner Classic Movies offers five of them. A few might surprise.
8 p.m., Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
10:30 p.m., Kismet (1944)
12:30 a.m., Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
2 a.m., Auntie Mame (1958)
4:45 a.m., Gigi (1948)
Obviously, Rex Harrison making his Hollywood debut as the King of Siam is casting that wouldn’t happen now. But it was 1946. Better yet, read the memoirs written by Anna Leonowens, the Anglo-Indian, British-born travel writer, educator and social activist (on whom the films and musical were based) whose achievements include co-founding the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Not many Americans are alive today who watched the original broadcast of “The Honeymooners,” the iconic TV show created by Jackie Gleason that has morphed into a limited run world premiere musical (after two previous attempts) that begins performances today (Sept. 28) at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey and probably is Broadway bound.
It’s based on the 1950s CBS television series that featured Gleason as bus driver Ralph Kramden; Audrey Meadows his as faithful but sharp-tongued wife Alice, Art Carney as his best friend Ed Norton, a sewer worker, and his wife Joyce Randolph and best friend to Alice.
Coming full circle, Gleason’s skits about working-class married couples in a gritty Brooklyn apartment originally were broadcast live in front of a theater audience on the DuMont network’s variety series “Cavalcade of Stars,” which Gleason hosted, and subsequently on the CBS network’s “The Jackie Gleason Show” (1951–55).
Sam Shepard’s work spanned over half a century. He wrote 44 plays, several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs.
He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play “Buried Child.” He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in film “The Right Stuff” (1983).
Shepard received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described him as “the greatest American playwright of his generation.
Shepard’s plays are known for their bleak, poetic, often surrealist elements, black humor, and rootless characters living on the outskirts of American society. His style evolved over the years, from the absurdism of his early off-off-Broadway work to the realism of “Buried Child” and “Curse of the Starving Class” (both 1978).
New York Times: Sam Shepard, Pulitzer-Winning Playwright and
Actor, Is Dead at 73
The Washington Post: Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor, dies at 73
The Guardian: Sam Shepard, playwright and actor, dies age 73
Glad I didn’t jump online last night and order tickets when I learned Mandy Patinkin was returning to Broadway after a 17-year absence in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” Because today he’s not.
He pulled out after a social media storm that condemned the producers’ decision to replace black actor Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan with the white Broadway legend in an effort to sell tickets, which had fallen off with the departure of Josh Groban. His final performance was July 2.