Josh Radnor returns to Broadway in ‘Disgraced’

Josh Radnor returns to Broadway in October.
Josh Radnor is back on Broadway.

“Disgraced,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar, opens Oct. 23 on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St. (it is one of the two oldest surviving Broadway venues.) It’s in in previews now.

“How I Met Your Mother” star Josh Radnor (who made his Broadway debut opposite Kathleen Turner in 2002’s “The Graduate”) will lead the cast, which includes Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman, and Hari Dhillon.

Featured on the Today show — probably mostly because of his 7 seasons on “How I Met Your Mother” more than being on Broadway — Radnor talked about the show and did his Woody Allen imitation. Watch it here.

Learn more about the play here.

Get tickets here.  

Broadway actress Marian Seldes dead at 86

Image of Marian Seldes (left) and Angela Lansbury star in Terrence McNally's "Deuce."/Photo courtesy of Playbill.com.
Marian Seldes (left) and Angela Lansbury starred in Terrence McNally’s “Deuce.”/Photo courtesy of Playbill.com.

Marian Seldes, who has a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for never missing a single performances in her Tony Award-winning performance as the wife in “Deathtrap,” died Monday in Manhattan, the city she loved.

Continue reading Broadway actress Marian Seldes dead at 86

Angelo Del Rossi Memorial Tribute at Paper Mill Oct. 20

Memorial tribute for Paper Mill Playhouse's former executive director Angelo Del Rossi (pictured) is scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Paper Mill, Millburn, NJ
Memorial tribute for Paper Mill Playhouse’s former executive director Angelo Del Rossi (pictured) is scheduled for Oct. 20 at the Paper Mill, Millburn, NJ.

Angelo Del Rossi, Paper Mill Playhouse’s former executive director, will be remembered during a memorial tribute beginning at 1 p.m. Oct.  20th at the theater he led at 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ.

The event will be hosted by Del Rossi’s husband  Per Rasmussen and scheduled performers include Lee Roy Reams, Judy McLane, Leslie Kritzer, Glory Crampton, Richard White, Susan Powell, Janna Robbins and Governor Tom Kean.

Continue reading Angelo Del Rossi Memorial Tribute at Paper Mill Oct. 20

Theater Close-Up brings off-Broadway plays into your home

The Public Theater will contribute four plays to the Theater Close-Up Series, all part of The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country.
The Public Theater will contribute four plays to the Theater Close-Up Series, all part of The Apple Family Plays: Scenes from Life in the Country.

Starting tonight at 9, a new weekly series called Theater Close-Up spotlighting off-Broadway plays hosted by Sigourney Weaver begins on PBS Channel 13 and continues through Nov. 22.

People mostly think Broadway when they think NYC theater. More people will see each one of these scheduled productions in one night than probably saw them for their entire run — not that there’s anything wrong with that. Plenty of Broadway shows were incubated off-Broadway.

The theaters represented here are:  The Public Theater, The Flea Theater, New York Theatre Workshop and Abingdon Theatre Company. Check local listings for times and air dates in your area.

Continue reading Theater Close-Up brings off-Broadway plays into your home

‘School for Wives’ lessons retaught in the 1950s

Scene from "School for Wives" at the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank.
Scene from “School for Wives” at the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank.

Going to see “The School for Wives,” the season opener at the Two River Theater Company in Red Bank tonight. Can’t wait. Why? Having seen traditional productions of the show half a dozen times already, this version offers something new — it’s set in the late 1950s AND the translation is by the brilliant Richard Wilbur. Mark Wing-Davey, multi-nominated best director by Drama Desk members,  helms the show.

“The School for Wives” is a comedy written by  French playwright Molière and considered by many to be his best work. It first was  staged at the Palais Royal theater on Dec. 26, 1662. But, of course, you knew that.

For a photo gallery of the show, click here.

For an NJTV State of the Arts video feature on the show, click here.

The show ends this Sunday.  Get tickets here.

 

 

 

‘Finding Neverland’ lands on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater

Set design of a scene from "Finding Neverland" at  American Repertory Theater.
Set design of a scene from “Finding Neverland” at American Repertory Theater.

Movie Man Harvey Weinstein has a dream and that dream is producing a stage version of his movie “Finding Neverland” on Broadway.

He’s announced he’s booked the major musical-friendly Lunt-Fontanne Theater (where “Motown, the Musical” currently is housed) for his show, which begin previews in March and opens April 8. The phenomenally gifted Diane Paulus will direct. (Saw her “The Donkey Show,” a musical disco-era like interpretation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 1999 in NYC, and was blown away by its creative daring.) Paulus was nominated for the Best Director Tony Award for her revival of “Hair,”  and won the award in 2013 for her revival of “Pippin.”

Continue reading ‘Finding Neverland’ lands on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater

Paul Barry, founder of Shakespeare theater in NJ, dies at 83

Sorry to say, I missed Paul Barry’s obit in the Star Ledger earlier this week. It wasn’t in the NYTimes nor the Asbury Park Press, papers that have written  features and reviews about his theater in the past.

It’s a shame his passing wasn’t noticed more since he co-founded the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, now the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, in 1963 in Cape May and directed all 38 of Shakespeare’s play, many at its current home on the Drew University campus in Madison.

According to the festival at the time of Barry’s departure as artistic director in 1990, he was the first American director to stage the full canon. Not a lot of directors now or during the last 400 years can say they did the same.

His vision and that of co-founder Phil Dorian has lasted a long time and insures there’s a place in New Jersey we, and our children, can be guaranteed each year to see plays by Shakespeare without leaving the state.

Read the complete obit here.

 

 

Lincoln Center ‘Sweeney Todd’ airs on PBS tonight

New TV shows and returning series used to be a big deal every Fall when I was growing up. Not so much any more with cable introducing new shows year-round and Netflix releasing entire series in one day. We can still count on PBS and Lincoln Center to come up with a Fall spectacular and it’s a New York Philharmonic concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s bloody musical “Sweeney Todd” airing 9-11:30 p.m. today (Sept. 26) on Channel 13 in New York. (Check local listings for air dates and times in other locations.)

Continue reading Lincoln Center ‘Sweeney Todd’ airs on PBS tonight

Christopher Walken is Capt. Hook on NBC

NBC has finally announced the rest of the leading players for its Dec. 4 live airing of “Peter Pan.” The producers apparently chose to cast Capt. Hook and Mr. Darling with Christopher Walken and Christian Borle, respectively, instead of the same actor playing both parts.

I think the musical  is much more effective with the dad and the pirate played by the same actor, at least from a Freudian point of view. And isn’t that the point? Mr. Darling loves his children, but is a strict disciplinarian whose limited time with his two sons is not pleasant. Capt. Hook, as we well know, hates the Lost Boys, Peter Pan in particular, and in this dream-like play symbolizes the Darling boys’  fear of their unapproachable dad.

Allison Williams, daughter of NBC news anchor Brian Williams, plays the title role Dec. 4 on the live broadcast of the musical on NBC.
Allison Williams, daughter of NBC news anchor Brian Williams, plays the title role Dec. 4 on the live broadcast of the musical “Peter Pan” on NBC.

But  Walken is a definite “get” and we know he trained as a dancer in music theater at the Washington Dance Studio, before moving on to dramatic roles in theater and then film.   Besides Mr. Darling, Borle plays   Smee, Kelli O’Hara is Mrs. Darling and the previously announced Allison Williams is Peter Pan.  Here’s the NBC announcement.

 

Kathleen Marshall, Emily Mann create cutting-edge theater

Emily Mann writes, directs and runs McCarter Theatre

When McCarter Theatre’s Artistic Director Emily Mann isn’t introducing major new works in Princeton, she’s creating her own. Her new translation, a stage version of Ingmar Bergman’s  six-hour Swedish miniseries “Scenes From a Marriage,” is receiving a very innovative staging at the New York Theater Workshop under the direction of Ivo van Hove.

The theater has essentially been gutted. (Watch video of transformation here.) The proscenium gone. According to an article by Erik Piepenburg in the New York Times, the audience is divided into three groups of about 60 each for three different 30-minute scenes. After an intermission the theater is transformed and the audience sits in the round for the second act.

That sounds so cool and so off-Broadway, where risk is embraced much more so than on Broadway. Click here to read the complete article. Also, Mann directs Rachel Bonds’ new play “Five Mile Lake” at McCarter Theatre from May 1-31. The theater’s website says: …  Bonds paints a moving portrait of a group of young people, yearning to make the right choices—and facing the choices they have already made—as they journey into their thirties in a rapidly transforming world.” Continue reading Kathleen Marshall, Emily Mann create cutting-edge theater

News and views of New Jersey's regional theaters, and bits about Broadway.

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