Category Archives: Events

OPERA STAR BOCELLI TO SING FROM EMPTY DUOMO IN MILAN ·

(From Reuters, 4/7; via the Drudge Report. )

MILAN, April 7 (Reuters) – Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, one of the world’s most famous tenors, will perform from Milan’s empty Duomo cathedral on Easter Sunday in a livestreamed concert intended as a symbol of love, hope and healing amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Bocelli will be accompanied only by the cathedral organist, Emanuele Vianelli, playing one of world’s largest pipe organs and performing a repertoire of sacred works including Pietro Mascagni’s Sancta Maria.

The concert will be streamed on Bocelli’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/andreabocelli at 1700 GMT on April 12.

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PATRICIA BOSWORTH, ACTOR TURNED CELEBRITY BIOGRAPHER, DIES OF CORONAVIRUS ·

(Stacy Perman’s article appeared in the Los Angeles Times, 4/4; photo: Patricia Bosworth, left, with Audrey Hepburn in “The Nun’s Story.” [Patricia Bosworth]).

Patricia Bosworth, known for her role opposite Audrey Hepburn in the 1959 film “The Nun’s Story,” her biographies of Hollywood luminaries and her own celebrated memoirs, died in Manhattan on April 2. She was 86.

Bosworth’s stepdaughter, Fia Hatsav, told the New York Times that the author died of pneumonia brought on by the novel coronavirus.

A member of the Actors Studio during its golden era under Lee Strasberg, Bosworth studied alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Jane Fonda. In the 1950s and ’60s, she appeared in a number of Broadway plays, including “Inherit the Wind,” along with such TV shows as “Naked City” and “The Patty Duke Show” and films.

During the 1960s, Bosworth gave up acting to become a journalist, writing for the New York Times and magazines including New York, Mirabella and Working Woman — largely about the entertainment business and the many luminaries she befriended at the Actors Studio. In 1994, then-editor Tina Brown hired her as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.

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HEAR BOB DYLAN’S ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING NEW SONG ‘MURDER MOST FOUL’ ·

(Brian Hiatt’s article appeared in Rolling Stone, 3/27; Photo: Rolling Stone.)

Bob Dylan, who hasn’t released an original song since 2012’s Tempest, unexpectedly dropped a previously unheard, nearly 17-minute-long new track, “Murder Most Foul,” late Thursday night.

Dylan didn’t say exactly when the song was recorded, but his delicate vocal delivery resembles the way he’s been singing in his live shows in the past couple of years. “Greetings to my fans and followers with gratitude for all your support and loyalty over the years,” Dylan said in a statement. “This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant, and may God be with you.”

This dizzying, utterly extraordinary song — as allusive as it is elusive — starts off seeming like it might be a straightforward recounting of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but expands into an impressionistic, elegiac, increasingly apocalyptic journey through what feels like the entire Sixties (complete with references to the Who’s Tommy, Woodstock, and Altamont) and then perhaps all of 20th-century America, especially its music.

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LIFE SKETCHES (SHORT SCENES AND MONOLOGUES): “AT THE DOG PARK” 4 ·

(Photo of Jasper)

SCENE: A dog park in the Bronx.  Today, it is warmer—and there is sun.  

(MARY JANE, early 70’s, sits on a bench in the dog park. Using a launcher, SHE plays fetch with her spaniel, LANTERN. Today, CHRISTIE (male), late 50’s, is standing at the beginning of the scene, but because of social distancing, he will be sitting on a second bench in this part of the run. JUNO and JASPER are CHRISTIE’s two Jack Russell terriers.)                        

(LANTERN is digging a hole to lie in; JUNO and JASPER are at the far end of the run.)

 

MARY JANE:  What are these dogs eating? Mud?

CHRISTIE:  Jasper you come over here!

MARY JANE:  What are they eating? Lantern was eating mud yesterday.

CHRISTIE:  You come over here, Jasper.  You, too, Junie.

MARY JANE:   I don’t mind if he eats a little mud.

CHRISTIE: (Suspecting Jasper is going to eat poop.)  Jasper, you get away from there.  

MARY JANE:   If he’s eating a lot of it, I care.  Is it poop?

CHRISTIE: I don’t know what it is.

MARY JANE: (Standing.)   I’ve heard about a powder for dogs who eat their own poop—makes it taste bad and they stop. But that wouldn’t help your dogs, because they eat other dogs’ poop.

CHRISTIE: Probably mud. (CHRISTIE kicks the ground where Jasper has been.)

MARY JANE:  (About a small piece of dog poop on the ground.) See, that’s the kind of thing I wouldn’t normally pick up.

(CHRISTIE picks it up anyway.)

(Silence.)

MARY JANE:  Uh-oh.  Lantern’s going. (Lantern is pooping.)

CHRISTIE: (Moving straight into action.) JASPER!

MARY JANE:  Do you have a bag?

CHRISTIE: I have a bag. (Chasing Jasper.) No!

MARY JANE:  Come on, Jasper, you come up here by me.

CHRISTIE: (Yelling at Jasper, running after him, trying to get him away from the poop.) Drop it! You drop that! You drop that! You drop that, Jasper!  Drop that.

(Pause. JASPER does not listen.)

MARY JANE:  Did he get it?

CHRISTIE: I don’t think so.  Junie, you get up there, too.

(Silence.  CHRISTIE cleans up LANTERN’s poop.  JUNO sits by Mary Jane.)

MARY JANE:  Thank you for picking it up.

CHRISTIE: No problem.

MARY JANE:  I don’t think he’ll go again, but you never know–he’s been going a lot lately.

CHRISTIE: (To Jasper.)  No eating.  You know full well you’re not supposed to be eating that!  The last thing I need is a sick little dog.

(LANTERNsettles down with his ball and begins “woofing” seven or eight times.)

MARY JANE:  (About the barking.) Lantern.  Stop being so loud!

(MARY JANE coughs and uses her launcher to play fetch.)

MARY JANE:  I’ve been coughing for four weeks. (since) March 1.  I take my temperature every day—I’ve never had one.  Cuomo says this is going to peak in 21 days—he changed it from 45. 

(Pause.)

CHRISTIE: Prince Charles has Caronavirus. (CHRISTIE is throwing balls to the dogs, as well.)

MARY JANE:  He does?  That must have just happened.  I listen to the news when I’m getting ready in the morning.   

CHRISTIE: Junie, don’t you go down there.  I don’t want you eating mud. 

MARY JANE:  A lot of people around here say they’ve already had Coronavirus. Coughing, headaches, sniffling, diarrhea, they’ve been doing that all winter. They have chapped hands from washing so much.   They need to put hand cream in the bathroom, and use it. If not, they’ll forget. 

(Pause.)

MARY JANE:  This cold I have–I think it saved my life. My friend Jerome tested positive—after waiting two weeks to receive the results. He texted me he’s getting better, but he’s still in quarantine.  If I didn’t have this (cold) Jerome and I would have been going out a few times a week. He has money, doesn’t mind paying. Getting lunch at Smashburger, riding up to Dobbs Ferry for drinks on the water. I would have gotten it. 

(Silence.)

MARY JANE:  Jasper always puts the ball between feet, like croquet.  Lantern learned that from him. Now he does it too.  Is it the game called croquet where they aim the ball through a (she curves her arms and hands.

CHRISTIE:  (Seeing that JASPER has done this to CHRISTIE’s feet.) Yes.  Croquet.

MARY JANE:  (To LANTERN.) Now you want the orange ball.

CHRISTIE:  I don’t know what this is.  Last week everybody wanted the green ball.  Now it has to be orange.

MARY JANE:  (Lantern’s coloring is orange.) An orange ball for an orange dog.

CHRISTIE:  Trends can change at a moment’s notice.  Turn on a dime.  Everyone was fine with the green bacon ball until 11:17 this morning.  Then you couldn’t give it away. They got tired of it. No one will touch it. 

MARY JANE:  More and more I notice Lantern doesn’t like me leaving him.

CHRISTIE:  (Still talking about balls for dogs.) Jasper won’t even pick it up. Look at him. It’s right next to him. 

MARY JANE:  (About LANTERN.) He gets restless at night, can’t make himself comfortable.  Doesn’t want to be petted very long—and only when he’s lying down.  

CHRISTIE:  Lantern never likes to be petted.

(Silence.)

MARY JANE:  He has arthritis of the spine. He’s getting old fast.  He’ll be my last dog. He’s already eleven. 

(Pause.)

MARY JANE:  Uh-oh.

CHRISTIE:  (Yelling at Jasper, running after him, trying to get him away from the poop.) Drop it! You drop that! You drop that! You drop that!

MARY JANE:  Do you have a bag?

CHRISTIE:   (Running to pick up poop.) How long do you say you’ve been doing this?

MARY JANE:  I’ve had dogs since I was sixteen.  That’s when my father felt he could trust me to take care of one–when I wouldn’t mind cleaning up after them and taking them outside.  But I wanted one longer than that—I have the dog gene.

(End)

(c) 2020 by Bob Shuman.  All rights reserved.

GREAT THEATER, DANCE AND CLASSICAL MUSIC TO TUNE INTO WHILE STUCK AT HOME ·

(Published 3/20 in The New York Times; via Marit Shuman.)

If you’re stuck at home and hankering for the fine arts, there’s plenty online. Since the coronavirus pandemic began temporarily shutting down performing arts venues and museums around the world, cultural organizations have been finding ways to share their work digitally. Performances are being live-streamed, archival material is being resurfaced and social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are serving as makeshift stages, concert halls and gallery spaces.

Here’s a list of some of what’s streaming and otherwise available on the Internet. The offerings are increasing by the day, so be sure to check in with your favorite arts institutions to see what they’re providing as things develop. And check back here for updates.

Theater

“The Rosie O’Donnell Show” will return for one night only on Sunday at 7 p.m., in support of the Actors Fund. Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, Stephanie J. Block and other Broadway stars will appear or perform. The broadcast will be on Broadway.com and the site’s YouTube channel.

The Sirius XM host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, James Wesley, are also producing a daily online mini-show called “Stars in the House,” with actors performing from home, to raise money for the Actors Fund.

Tickets to watch a video of Ren Dara Santiago’s “The Siblings Play” at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater are now available.

At Berkeley Repertory Theater, ticket holders for Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Culture Clash (Still) in America” will be able to access a production broadcast of the show through BroadwayHD.

American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco is offering the opportunity for ticket holders to watch Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s “Gloria” and Lydia R. Diamond’s “Toni Stone” from home on BroadwayHD.

Irish Repertory Theater is releasing videos of its actors performing songs, poems and monologues on its social media channels.

Melissa Errico’s concert performance of her “Sondheim Sublime” album will stream on Sunday at 4 p.m. on the Guild Hall’s YouTube channel.

Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater is offering a free series of live-streamed and archival performances on its YouTube channel.

The 24 Hour Plays, a group that brings actors, writers, directors and composers together to produce new work in a single day, released “Viral Monologues,” videos that paired performers like Hugh Dancy and Bobby Moreno with playwrights including Stephen Adly Guirgis and Jenny Rachel Weiner.

HERE Arts Center is hosting weekly watch parties of full-length past productions, as well as collaborative live-streamed creative activities led by HERE artists and staff members.

Dance

New York Live Arts has posted three full-length performances from its back catalog online.

The Paris Opera Ballet will broadcast “Swan Lake” and its “Tribute to Jerome Robbins.”

All Arts, an arts and culture channel from WNET, offers dance videos on its site.

Members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater banded together to perform “I Been ’Buked,” a section of Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, “Revelations,” which is now available on Instagram.

Boston Ballet has posted a collection of clips from canceled productions on YouTube.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Samantha van Wissen shared instructional videos to guide dancers at home through the choreographer’s seminal piece “Rosas danst Rosas.”

Mariana Oliveira posted a video on Vimeo of Carolina Ballet performing her piece “Blue Jay Eyes,” whose run was interrupted.

Bayerisches Staatsballett will offer a streamed performance of “Jewels” by George Balanchine from March 21 at 2:30 p.m. to March 22 at 6:59 p.m.

Classical and Opera

The Metropolitan Opera features “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” which are free encore Live in HD presentations. Tune in on Monday for a week of Wagner.

Berliner Philharmoniker is offering free access to all concerts and films in its “Digital Concert Hall.”

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is regularly releasing online playlists of chamber music concerts and events from its archive.

On Site Opera, a company that performs in site-specific settings, is hosting live-streamed “watch parties” of past productions through mid-April.

The 92nd Street Y’s streaming archives have recordings of classical concerts, and there are upcoming live streams from the likes of the Junction Trio (the violinist Stefan Jackiw, the pianist Conrad Tao and the cellist Jay Campbell) and the pianist Jonathan Biss.

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony’s “Keeping Score” project is streaming on the Symphony’s YouTube channel. Episodes are being released in weekly batches and make a good alternative for those who planned on attending Thomas’s final Carnegie Hall performances as the Symphony’s music director this month, before they were canceled.

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TERRENCE MCNALLY, TONY-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT, DIES OF CORONAVIRUS COMPLICATIONS ·

NEW YORK — JANUARY 31, 2014: Playwright Terrence McNally, works with actors on “Mothers and Sons,” at the Roundabout Theatre Company rehearsal studios on January 31, 2014 in New York City. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL NAGLE

(Richard Natale’s and Brent Lang’s article appeared in Variety, 3/24; via Pam Green.)

Terrence McNally, the playwright behind “Master Class” and “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” has died of complications from coronavirus. He was 81.

The four-time Tony Award winner was a lung cancer survivor who lived with chronic COPD. He died on Tuesday at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida.

McNally’s resume was notable for its range, barrier-breaking depictions of gay life, and interest in subjects such as middle-aged romance and opera considered taboo by the commercial theater. His career moved from farces like “The Ritz” to thought-provoking, award-winning dramas such as “Love! Valor! Compassion!” and “Master Class.” McNally is one of the first major celebrities to die from coronavirus complications. Broadway and New York theaters have been closed for more than a week due to the pandemic — it’s a public health crisis that threatens the institutions where McNally lived, worked, and received great acclaim.

Though his debut on Broadway, “And Things That Go Bump in the Night,” was universally panned, McNally buckled down and slowly developed his reputation through successful one-act productions, eventually triumphing on Broadway and winning four Tonys, two for dramatic works “Love! Valour! Compassion!” and “Master Class,” and two for the musical books of “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Ragtime.”

McNally developed a home at the Manhattan Theater Club, where many of his Broadway productions were developed and refined. And while musical productions “Kiss” and “Ragtime” were bigger hits than any of his plays, he was nonetheless one of the few consistent dramatic voices on a Broadway otherwise dominated by lavish musicals and stage versions of hit movies. He was clearly devoted to the theater and worried about the fate of drama on the commercial stage, authoring numerous articles in which he discussed his fears.

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STARS ON SONDHEIM: DONNA MURPHY REVEALS HER INTENSE PREPARATION FOR A SONDHEIM AUDITION ·

(by Broadway.com Staff,  Mar 22; Photo: The New York Post; via Pam Green.)

March 22 marks Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday. It’s impossible to state the great contribution and influences this titan of the stage has made to musical theater, but we’re taking a stab at it by reaching out to some stars who have appeared in his many shows to share their personal experiences.

Donna Murphy may have received her first Tony Award in 1994 for playing the lovesick Fosca in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical Passion, but the two-time Tony winner auditioned for Sondheim three times before that. Her first time was for Into the Woods in 1987. She went in for the Witch and got a callback. “I was too unsettling, too scary, and they were worried about how thin I was,” she recalled with a laugh. That role went to Bernadette Peters. Years later, in 2012, Murphy did play the Witch in Into the Woods at the Public Theater’s Delacorte Theater in Central Park (which also starred Amy Adams, Denis O’HareJessie Mueller and original Broadway cast member Chip Zien). Here, Murphy discusses the profound impact Sondheim had on her life, and the best note he ever sent her.

Describe your first meeting with Sondheim.
My first meeting with Sondheim would be when I auditioned for the original Broadway production for Into the Woods for the Witch. That was ’87. A year later, I was brought in to audition for the Baker’s Wife. I had a great audition reading with Chip Zien. They came back and said, “We’re not gonna go with Donna. We’re gonna go with somebody that Steve and James has worked with.” I never got to speak with Steve. Then, two-and-a-half years later, I auditioned for a production of Merrily We Roll Along at the Arena Stage [in Washington, D.C.]. They originally called me in for Gussie, and I said, “I want to be seen for Mary, too.” I didn’t get either role but the casting director wrote me and said that Steve had gone on and on about my talent saying, “She should be a theater star. I hope the theater doesn’t lose her to television.” I remember what that note meant to me, mostly in terms of him seeing me because I felt like he got what I was doing. My choices, my efforts—that note made it all worth it.  The first time I spoke with Steve was when I auditioned for the workshop of Passion. I remember after I sang, “I Read,” he said, “Well that was very nice.” I had really gone for it. I’d been basically Fosca at home for about three days—not washing my hair, not showering, just trying to immerse myself in what I imagined this woman’s life to be like. I remember my husband saying, “Honey, you do not have the job yet. Do I really have to have breakfast with Fosca?” After that, it became a more personal collaboration with Steve during Passion.

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OBERAMMERGAU PASSION PLAY CANCELED AS CORONAVIRUS LOCKS DOWN GERMANY ·

(The post Oberammergau Passion Play Canceled as Coronavirus Locks Down Germany appeared first in The New York Times; Photo: The New York Times; via Pam Green.)

Over 400 years ago, villagers swore to stage the play every decade, as long as God spared them from the plague.

In 1633, as the plague swept Europe, the villagers of Oberammergau prayed to God. They promised to perform the story of Jesus’s Passion — his life, death and resurrection — every 10 years, as long as God spared them from the horrors of the disease.

Since then, the people of Oberammergau, in what is now Germany, have largely kept up their end of the bargain.

But, on Thursday, the organizers of the play — which has a cast of some 2,500 and can feature 900 people onstage at once — announced they were canceling this year’s edition of the Passion Play, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first of the 103 daylong performances had been scheduled for May 16. The production will be delayed until 2022, the organizers said in a statement.

Germany is on lockdown because of the virus, with large gatherings banned. On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel used a rare televised address to plead with people to obey restrictions and self-isolate.

“This is serious,” Ms. Merkel said. “Take it seriously. Since German reunification — no, since World War II — our country has never faced a challenge where we depended so much on our collective actions and solidarity.”

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FILM ACADEMY MIGHT CHANGE OSCAR RULES DUE TO CORONAVIRUS ·

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 04: Oscar statue at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater on February 04, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

(Brandon Katz’s article appeared in the Observer, 3/20;  via Pam Green.)

We’re such Oscar fanatics that mere days after this year’s ceremony we began predicting the nominees and winners of the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards. But with major theater chains closing its doors for weeks on end due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s unclear how the 2021 Oscars will proceed. Films both major and independent are cancelling or delaying their debuts left and right. To compete in the prestigious ceremony, a movie actually needs to be, you know, released.

In response to the Hollywood downturn, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is considering rule changes for qualification. Typically, a film must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles theater to qualify for the Oscars. But with hordes of films being re-routed to video-on-demand and other at-home platforms, that may need to change temporarily.

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