Category Archives: Events

OFF-oFF THE (4th) WALL:  NEW SHOWS ANNOUNCED, 4/2–4/8, 2024 ·

Discovering the vibrant landscape of Off and Off-Off Broadway reveals a tapestry of diverse narratives and artistic innovations that defy conventional norms. Here’s a glimpse into the upcoming performances that promise to captivate audiences with their unique storytelling and creative prowess.

Off and Off-Off Broadway Shows

  1. Mary Jane (Drama): Captivating story of a single mother facing challenges with humor and the support of the women around her. Opens April 21st at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway (261 West 47th Street, New York, NY). Stars Rachel McAdams.–Michelle Farabaugh
  2. Fat Ham (Comic Tragedy): A modern, award-winning, hilarious take on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with a Black protagonist. Runs April 17th to May 12th at TheatreSquared’s West Theatre (477 W. Spring Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas)Andrea Newby
  3. Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis/ Phoenix Theater ensemble (Immersive, Absurdist): An interactive and strange experience based on Kafka’s novella, combining physical theatre and audio tech. Plays May 7th-12th at STUDIO EXHIBIT | 62 ORCHARD ST (62 Orchard St, New York, NY).—Elise Stone, Craig Smith
  4. The Bread And Roses Gala (Staged Reading, Drama): A staged reading of a play about a wrongly accused rape victim, followed by a tribute to legendary lawyer Martin Garbus, the iconic folk singer and songwriter Judy Collins, and former NYPD Deputy Chief Special Victim’s Unit Mike Osgood. Held on April 21st at Adler Hall at The New York Society for Ethical Culture (64th Street and CPW, New York, NY).–Gary Springer
  5. GRENFELL at St. Ann’s Warehouse (Drama): A powerful story based on verbatim interviews and public inquiries, following the Grenfell community in London before, during, and after a deadly fire. Presented by St. Ann’s Warehouse. Special offer: Use code GFPUBLIC at checkout for $39 tickets to all performances through April 20th.—Blake Zidell
  6. Rosie’s Theater Kids: Passing It On Gala (Musical Theater): An evening celebrating 21 years of mentorship, honoring writer, director, and producer Charles Randolph-Wright. Featuring performances by Rosie’s Theater Kids and professional artists and mentors. Held on Monday, April 15th, at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, with a dinner to follow hosted by Judy Gold.–Shane Marshall Brown
  7. Constellations (Romantic Drama): The Company We Keep (TCWK) Theater Company presents a Latinx take on Nick Payne’s play exploring love, destiny, and infinite possibilities. Performances are April 18-28 at Chain Theatre (312 W. 36th Street, 3rd Floor).—Jonathan Slaff
  8. In Scena! Award Ceremony (Award Ceremony): IndieSpace’s Executive Director Randi Berry is awarded the 2024 In Scena! Award for her dedication to supporting indie theater. Playwright Rossella Fava receives the 2024 Hystrio Scritture di Scena Mentorship with her play M(o)thers. www.inscenany.com –Emily Owens

Be part of Off and Off-off’s vibrant landscape!

(Gemini, Perplexity, and Chat GPT provided writing for this article.)

SPEAK FOR THEM: ARTISTS THEY CAME FOR (March 25th, 2024 – April 8th, 2024) ·

Since our last report, the silencing of artistic voices continues around the world. Here are some of those targeted in the past two weeks:

  1. Tsang Ka-Ying (Hong Kong): A renowned cartoonist known for his political satire, Tsang was summoned by Hong Kong National Security authorities on March 30th for questioning about his recent comic strip depicting the erosion of press freedom in the territory. He was released the same day but faces potential charges under the National Security Law for “inciting subversion.” (Enforced by: Hong Kong National Security Agency)
  2. Darya Zlatopolskaya (Belarus): A young singer-songwriter known for her protest music, Zlatopolskaya was arrested on April 2nd at a peaceful demonstration against the ongoing war in Ukraine. She is being held on charges of “participating in an unauthorized mass gathering.” Her detention has sparked international outrage, with calls for her release. (Enforced by: Belarusian government)
  3. Erfan Veiszadeh (Iran): A prominent filmmaker known for his critical documentaries, Veiszadeh’s home was raided by Iranian security forces on April 5th. He was detained alongside his wife, reportedly for “activities against national security.” Their current whereabouts and the specific charges against them remain unclear. (Enforced by: Iranian security forces)
  4. Nita Farid (Afghanistan): A celebrated female singer, Farid was forced to cancel all upcoming performances following a Taliban decree on April 1st banning women from singing in public. This is yet another blow to artistic expression under the Taliban regime. (Enforced by: Taliban government)
  5. Mohamed Doukali (Morocco): A rapper known for his socially conscious lyrics, Doukali was sentenced to three months in prison on March 28th for “defamation” and “harming public morals.” The charges stemmed from a song criticizing government corruption. Doukali is currently appealing the verdict. (Enforced by: Moroccan court)

What can you do?

  • Stay informed about human rights abuses against artists worldwide.
  • Share information about these cases on social media.
  • Contact your elected officials and urge them to speak out against the suppression of artistic expression.
  • Support organizations working to defend the rights of artists and writers.

Remember, silence is complicity. Lend your voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.

First they came for the artists, and I did not speak out—because I was not an artist. Then they came for the journalists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a journalist. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

— Martin Niemöller

Art by Luba Lukova

Sources:

  • South China Morning Post
  • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  • Committee to Protect Journalists
  • The Guardian
  • Freedom House

Disclaimer: This information is based on publicly available reports and may not be complete or entirely accurate. For the latest updates and details, please consult reputable human rights organizations.

By Gemini and Perplexity

‘OPENING NIGHT’ REVIEW – SHERIDAN SMITH’S BOOZY MELTDOWN SHAKES UP MUSICAL THEATRE ·

(Arifa Akbar’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/26; Photo: Sheridan Smith in Opening Night.  Photograph: Jan Versweyveld.)

Gielgud Theatre, London
Smith plays a Broadway star in the midst of a mental crisis in Ivo van Hove and Rufus Wainwright’s glittering and extravagantly original musical adaptation of the Cassavetes film

John Cassavetes’ 1977 film about a Broadway star in crisis might seem a natural fit for a stage adaptation. Then again, there is the risk of theatrical navel-gazing, and with its melange of gothicism, midlife angst and thespy drama, an odd narrative arc to navigate.

To throw songs into the mix – composed by Rufus Wainwright in his first foray into musical theatre – and swap the glacial queenliness of Gena Rowlands, who played troubled superstar Myrtle in the film, for the insuppressibly likable Sheridan Smith, might have been a step too far. Even for a writer-director with as much appetite for high-wire risk as Ivo van Hove.

Yet Opening Night is an extravagantly original production, every bit as eccentric as the film but also its own alchemical creation, more vivacious in this musical incarnation.

The trope of the brittle older woman in crisis is well worn, and Myrtle – an ageing alcoholic actor in meltdown over playing an even more ageing actor on stage – sits squarely alongside Blanche DuBois and Norma Desmond. We follow her as she is stalked by the ghost of a dead young fan, Nancy (Shira Haas), and contends with the desolations of stardom as well as the controlling men around her: Manny (Hadley Fraser), the play-within-the-play’s director who goes from charmer to bully in seconds; producer David (John Marquez); and former lover Maurice (Benjamin Walker).

But there is counterintuitive casting in Smith, who does not strive for Rowlands’ unreachability or dangerous magnetism. Instead her Myrtle has an earthbound glamour and a celebrity honed from hard graft, it seems, with a Brooklyn accent combined with a touch of Elizabeth Taylor. Smith brings vulnerability, even flecks of comedy, and makes Myrtle’s crisis modern, relatable – that of a woman wanting to age on her own terms.

There is compassionate treatment of the drama’s other midlife women too, from scriptwriter Sarah (Nicola Hughes, absolutely arresting) to Manny’s longsuffering wife Dorothy (Amy Lennox), who ruminate marital disappointment or menopausal hot flushes with disgruntled strength.

A film crew follow the fictive play’s rehearsals in a Broadway theatre, and a back screen gestures towards their captured footage. Jan Versweyveld’s set has a central sheer red curtain that captures the razzle of the theatre but also implicates our culture of celebrity voyeurism. There are many moving parts on stage, yet none of it feels like a churn.

The screen magnifies characters so we see their bloodshot eyes and tears. When Myrtle turns up drunk at the stage door on opening night, the screen shows her staggering at the back of the Gielgud theatre itself, a thrilling coup de hi-tech theatre which resembles the walk-about in Jamie Lloyd’s recent Sunset Boulevard but services the story better here. (Smith has said it attracts the passing crowd every night.)

The warmth of the production is counterintuitive too. Its tone is almost upbeat, but without clashing against Myrtle’s core anguish. Much of that is down to Wainwright’s slowly gorgeous music. The early songs have a springy, Chorus Line sound while later ones are full-bodied and tender with an edge of the operatic, bringing heat and intimacy to the drama.

Songs such as Meet Me at the Start, in which Myrtle confesses her love to Maurice, open up the show’s heart, while the soaring Ready for Battle, marking Myrtle’s comeback, turns her from a woman falling apart to one soldiering on, and raises hairs.

(Read more)

THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, ON STAGE VOICES: SUNDAY TO SUNDAY, 4/1/2024 – 4/7/2024 ·

The past week’s international stage highlights, brought to you via the world’s foremost journalism.  Gemini  and Perplexity, provided information, insights, and materials for this article (facilitated by Bob Shuman).

  1. UKRAINE IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Source: The Guardian, April 3, 2024, by Sarah Hemmings

The Story: The National Theatre in London stages a benefit reading of “Whirlwinds of Revolution,” a powerful Ukrainian play written by playwright Oleksandr Dovzhenko. The play explores the country’s fight for independence. Proceeds go towards humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Where: The National Theatre, London.  Playing until April, 10, 2024.

  1. NATIVE AMERICAN VOICES RISE

Source: Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2024, by Chris Jones

The Story: Chicago’s Goodman Theatre premieres “The Council of Elders,” a new play by acclaimed Native American playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle. The production tackles themes of cultural identity and self-determination, with lead actors delivering powerful performances. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune praises the play’s insightful writing, saying “Nagle’s work is a vital addition to the American theatrical landscape.”

Where: Goodman Theatre, Chicago.  Playing until April 28, 2024.

  1. PARIS GETS EXPERIMENTAL

Source: Le Monde, April 4, 2024, by Ariane Bérard

The Story: Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris wows audiences with “Echoes,” a multimedia performance piece in which the the production blends dance, music, and visual projections, exploring themes of memory and loss in a hauntingly beautiful way. Ariane Bérard of Le Monde calls it “a truly immersive experience that stays with you long after the curtain falls.”

Where: Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.  Playing until May 5, 2024.

  1. DRAMATEN UPDATE

Source: Expressen, April 6, 2024, by Maja-Stina Svensson

The Story: Dramaten, Stockholm’s prestigious theatre, continues its successful run of Henrik Ibsen’s classic, “A Doll’s House.” Lead actress, Sofia Helin, receives high marks for her portrayal of Nora, the play’s iconic protagonist. Maja-Stina Svensson of Expressen says “Helin’s performance is nuanced and powerful, capturing both Nora’s desperation and her strength.”

Where: Dramaten, Stockholm.  Playing until June 24, 2024.

  1. BERLINER ENSEMBLE ANNOUNCEMENT

Source: Berliner Zeitung, April 4, 2024, by Andreas Berger

The Story: The renowned Berliner Ensemble announces its upcoming production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children,”  the anti-war masterpiece.

Where: Berliner Ensemble, Berlin. Opening Night: April 15th, 2024.

  1. CONTROVERSY IN DUBLIN

Source: The Irish Times, April 2, 2024, by Peter Crawley

The Story: The Abbey Theatre in Dublin faces criticism for its casting choices in a new production of “Hamlet.” Director opts for a gender-blind interpretation, sparking debate about tradition versus innovation.

Where: The Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Playing until May 31, 2024.

  1. YOUTH THEATRE DELIGHTS

Source: Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2024, by Charles McNulty

The Story: “The Secret Garden,” a charming adaptation of the classic children’s novel, opens at LA’s renowned Mark Taper Forum. This production is lauded for its vibrant set design and engaging performances, perfect for introducing young audiences to the magic of theatre. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times calls it “a delightful production that will capture the hearts of children and adults alike.”

Where: Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles.  Playing until June 30, 2024.

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the international theatre scene. Keep exploring and discovering new voices that will inspire and challenge you!

 

NOW ON BROADWAY: NEW SHOWS ROUNDUP (MARCH 21ST – APRIL 6TH, 2024) ·

The recent arrival of a powerful new production:

On Broadway:

The Who’s Tommy (Rock Musical):  Opened Thursday, March 28th, 2024 at the Nederlander Theatre. This new production of the iconic rock opera by The Who, with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and book by Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff, tells the story of a deaf, blind, and mute young man named Tommy who overcomes his limitations and becomes a pinball champion. Directed by Des McAnuff.

Reception of The Who’s Tommy, from critics:

  • “The new staging by Des McAnuff is a marvel of theatrical invention, bursting with color, energy, and sheer rock-and-roll exhilaration.” – The New York Times
  • “While the story itself might feel a tad dated, the power of The Who’s music and the show’s undeniable theatricality make this a thrilling night out.” – Variety

Looking Ahead (April 7th – June 6th, 2024)

Eight exciting productions are on the horizon for the next two months! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming to Broadway and Off-Broadway:

Broadway:

  • The Outsiders (Musical):Opens Thursday, April 11th at the Shubert Theatre. This highly anticipated stage adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s classic coming-of-age novel, with music and lyrics by Justin Paul and Pasek F. Benj and book by Idris Elba and Johan Larson, follows the rivalry between the Greasers and the Socs, two teenage gangs in 1960s Tulsa, Oklahoma. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.
  • Lempicka (Play):Opens Sunday, April 14th at the Golden Theatre. This captivating play by Elaine May explores the life and art of Tamara de Lempicka, a Polish Art Deco painter known for her bold portraits and flamboyant lifestyle. Directed by Michael Blakemore.

Off-Broadway:

  • Agreement (Drama):Opens Thursday, April 11th at Irish Arts Center. A timely drama by Vanessa Garcia about a married couple navigating the complexities of international adoption. Directed by Jaime Castañeda.
  • King Lear (Play):Opens Wednesday, April 17th at The Public Theater. Shakespeare’s classic tragedy about an aging king who divides his kingdom amongst his daughters with disastrous results. This new production stars Oscar nominee Ruth Negga as King Lear. Directed by Oskar Eustis.
  • Mad Hatter Musical (Musical):Opens Tuesday, April 30th at New York Theatre Workshop. A world premiere musical based on the life of Lewis Carroll and the fantastical world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Featuring music by Rachel Carvin and book and lyrics by Melissa James Gibson. Directed by Moisés Kaufman.

Plus, three more shows to tantalize your theatrical taste buds!

  • Soft Power (Comedy):Opens Friday, May 3rd at Playwrights Horizons (Peter Jay Sharp Theater). A hilarious new satire by Tanya Saracho about a struggling American theater company that attempts to win back international funding with a controversial play. Directed by Mark Wing-Davey.
  • Cry, Wolf (Drama):Opens Monday, May 13th at MCC Theater (The Newman Theater). A powerful drama by Rajiv Joseph that explores themes of race, privilege, and the complexities of friendship on a college campus. Directed by Kimberly Gee.
  • Facsimile (Play):Opens Tuesday, May 28th at The Atlantic Theater Company (The Linda Gross Theater). A thought-provoking play by Deborah Zoe Laufer that examines the ethics of artificial intelligence and the nature of human connection. Directed by Trip Cullman.

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the vibrant theater scene that awaits! Stay tuned for more updates on exciting new shows and don’t forget to check your local listings for the latest information.

(Article written with Gemini and Perplexity.)

RALPH FIENNES’ ‘MACBETH’ ON-SCREEN–2 DAYS ONLY IN AREA CINEMAS (MAY 2 AND MAY 5) ·

 

   

A rare cinematic event is coming to New York theatres for only two days: Ralph Fiennes in Macbeth.

The Daily Telegraph calls the film, “full-voltage visceral,” while The Times of London raves it is, “Succession in a war zone.” Reflecting a contemporary resonance, the film intensifies the play’s exploration of ambition, manipulation, and the destructive allure of power.

Currently riveting audiences in Washington D.C., after a sold-out UK run, Macbeth is played by Tony and BAFTA Award-winner Fiennes (Antony & Cleopatra, Schindler’s List, Coriolanus) and Olivier Award-winner Indira Varma (Present Laughter, Obi Wan Kenobi, Luther). This production of the epic Shakespeare drama, designed for a custom-built space, brings, as  The I says, “Shakespeare’s tragedy pulsing into the present day.”

Directed by Simon Godwin (Antony & Cleopatra, Romeo & Juliet, Hansard­) with set and costume design by Frankie Bradshaw (Jerusalem, Blues for an Alabama Sky),  Macbeth is unmissable on the big screen. The sold-out Washington, D.C. production, staged by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, runs from April 9 to May 5. In London and following seasons in Liverpool and Edinburgh, Macbeth will have played to sell out audiences of over 100,000 people at 110 performances.

Given Godwin’s proven directorial skills and the undeniable talents of Fiennes and Varma, this limited release is an event not to be missed by serious theatre enthusiasts and Shakespeare aficionados alike.

For tickets and a full list of participating cinemas, please visit MacbethInCinemas.com

NYC area theaters where Macbeth will be playing:

Barrymore Film Center: 153 Main Street, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024

Regal New Roc & IMAX: 33 LeCourt Place, New Rochelle, NY 10801

Regal UA Kaufman Astoria: 35-30 38th Street, Long Island City, NY 11101

Regal Times Square: 247 W. 42nd Street, NY., NY. 10036

Macbeth is presented by Trafalgar Releasing. To secure your tickets and witness this must-see event, visit MacbethInCinemas.com.

About Trafalgar Releasing

Trafalgar Releasing, the global leader in event cinema distribution, harnesses the power of cinema to bring fans together in more than 15,000 cinemas across 132 countries.  A subsidiary of Trafalgar Entertainment, Trafalgar Releasing’s operations include production, acquisition, marketing, and distribution of live or pre-recorded content to cinemas worldwide led by an international team based in the UK, US and Germany. Featuring live concerts, music documentaries, award-winning theatre, world-class opera and ballet, and more from leading names in entertainment such as Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, BTS, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, the Royal Opera House, Concord Originals, Hasbro and others, Trafalgar Releasing has repeatedly shattered event cinema box office records, most recently with international distribution for TAYLOR SWIFT | THE ERAS TOUR, the highest-grossing concert film of all time. Information about Trafalgar Releasing can be found at www.trafalgar-releasing.com.

(Photo credit:  © Marc Brenner; via John Singh)

THE RUB: THEATRE CONFRONTED, MARCH 29 – APRIL 5, 2024 ·

A look at current issues, challenges, and controversies spilling beyond the proscenium. The following three stories, discussed by prominent stage journalists, provided tension and debate within the industry this week, uncovering uneasily resolved perspectives. Gemini and Perplexity  provided information, insights, and materials for this article (facilitated by Bob Shuman).  Photo from Les Miserables: OnstageBlog.

  1. Deaf Actor in Leading Role: Tokenism or Triumph?

The Story: “Deaf Casting in ‘Streetcar’ Stirs Debate on Inclusivity” by Michael Brown, March 31, 2024, The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/ *Author: Michael Brown

The casting of Nadia Jones, a deaf actress, in the lead role of Blanche DuBois in a major revival of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” has ignited a firestorm of controversy. The production, slated to open at the esteemed Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in June, has some hailing it as a long-overdue step towards inclusivity, while others view it with skepticism. Jones’ performance, alongside hearing actors, will utilize American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters positioned throughout the stage. But is this enough? Deaf advocates argue for a more comprehensive approach. “While including ASL interpreters is a start,” says Aaron Berg, spokesperson for the National Association of the Deaf, “it can feel like an afterthought. True inclusivity would involve actors who are deaf or hard of hearing integrated throughout the production, with sign language woven into the scenic design itself.”

What This Means: This casting decision is a stark reminder of the ongoing fight for genuine representation on stage. It exposes a theatre industry that often pays lip service to inclusivity but struggles to implement meaningful change. The question remains: is this a cynical attempt to capitalize on a social justice trend, or a genuine step towards a more equitable artistic space?

  1. Director’s Exit: Creative Differences or Power Struggle?

The Story: “Director Abandons Production, Leaving Cast in Chaos” by Sarah Parker, April 2, 2024, The Stage: https://www.thestage.co.uk/ *Author: Sarah Parker

The abrupt departure of renowned director, Daniel Lawson, from a highly anticipated off-West End production of Harold Pinter’s “The Birthday Party” has plunged the project into crisis. Lawson, known for his provocative reinterpretations, is reported to have walked out during rehearsals at the intimate Finborough Theatre in London, citing “irreconcilable creative differences” with the production team. The specifics remain shrouded in secrecy, leaving the cast and crew scrambling to find a replacement director just weeks before opening night.

What This Means: Lawson’s exit exposes the brutal reality of power dynamics within the rehearsal room. While artistic disagreements are inevitable, the public nature of this incident raises serious questions about transparency and leadership. The production team’s ability to navigate this chaos will determine not only the fate of the show, but also the morale and careers of those involved.

  1. NEA Funding Cuts: A Crippling Blow to Artistic Innovation?

The Story: “Proposed NEA Cuts Threaten Theatre’s Lifeblood” by David Lee, April 4, 2024, American Theatre Magazine: https://www.americantheatre.org/ *Author: David Lee

News that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) faces significant funding cuts in the upcoming fiscal year has sent shockwaves through the theatre community. The NEA has long been a lifeline for smaller and experimental companies, providing crucial funding for new play development, educational programs, and productions across the country. A funding reduction could have a devastating ripple effect, potentially forcing companies to close their doors and silencing diverse voices.

“The NEA is not just about funding plays,” says Joan Wallace, a spokesperson for the NEA. “It’s about investing in the cultural fabric of America. It’s about nurturing creativity, sparking conversations, and ensuring that everyone has access to the transformative power of live theatre.”

However, opposition to the NEA funding remains strong. Senator Charles Foster, a leading proponent of the cuts, argues that the arts should be funded by the private sector, not by taxpayers. “The government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers in the art world,” Senator Foster said in a recent interview. “Let the free market decide what kind of theatre thrives.”

What This Means: The potential crippling of the NEA is a stark reminder of the constant struggle for financial security within the theatre industry. Without this essential support system, artistic innovation is placed at risk. With NEA funding potentially drying up, the future of American theatre, particularly the future of smaller and more experimental companies, becomes increasingly uncertain.

Share your views and leave a reply. Thank you.

Stage Voices

VINNIE NARDIELLO: ‘RUBBER’–AS SEEN ON CBS NEWS (APRIL 4-21 AT TNC) ·

Delve into the challenges faced by educators in ‘Rubber,’ a gripping drama by Vinnie Nardiello. Set in a “rubber room” where teachers await uncertain futures, this production at Theater for the New City (151 First Ave., New York, NY) explores themes of resilience and the complexities of the education system.

Experience ‘Rubber’ from April 4 to 21, with special discounted rates available for educators.

From Vinnie Nardiello, Playwright:

I was inspired to write ‘Rubber’ following my own experiences working as a writing teacher at a performing arts academy, while simultaneously serving as vice-president of my local teachers’ union. The action of this story is centered in a rubber room, a purgatory for teachers awaiting disciplinary hearings, some of whom are stuck waiting for years. It is, I believe, a nuanced and compelling portrayal of the human experience via the lens of the contemporary education system that has great potential beyond our three week run. ‘Rubber’ explores themes in education, the modern culture of online shaming, and this particular production is unique in our inclusion of currently employed educators on our production team and in our cast, including myself, my director, Kerri Ann Murphy, and our lead, Chelsea Lee Walker.

We believe that ‘Rubber’ will resonate deeply with audiences and spark important conversations about the very public nature of personal identity as well as the state of the American education system.

 

UNVEILING THE BRILLIANCE OF ‘SAY, DARLING’ (A DAY IN THEATRE) ·

On April 3, 1958, the ANTA Theater in New York City set the stage aglow with the debut of “Say, Darling,” a comedic tour de force that provided an intimate glimpse into the whirlwind world of Broadway. This production, while not earning major awards, garnered critical acclaim and earned nominations for its exceptional contributions.

Co-written by Abe Burrows, Richard Bissell, and Marian Bissell, “Say, Darling” featured a stellar cast including David Wayne, Vivian Blaine, and Robert Morse. The play’s exploration of the trials and triumphs of show business was heightened by its memorable songs, composed by the legendary team of Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne.

Critics lauded the play for its sharp wit and insightful commentary on the theater industry. Walter Kerr of the New York Herald Tribune wrote, ” ‘Say, Darling’ is a delightful romp through the trials and tribulations of show business, punctuated by memorable tunes that enhance its storytelling.” The New York Times’ Brooks Atkinson noted, “The musical numbers add depth and charm to an already captivating narrative, showcasing the talents of Comden, Green, and Styne.”

While “Say, Darling” did not win any major awards, it received nominations that underscored its impact. David Wayne earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Play for his standout performance. The production also received nominations for Best Direction and Best Scenic Design, highlighting its overall excellence.

“Say, Darling” illuminated the backstage antics and creative fervor of Broadway, delighting audiences with its humor and heart. Its incorporation of memorable songs by Comden, Green, and Styne added a layer of musical brilliance to an already stellar production, solidifying its place as a beloved theatrical masterpiece.

Sources:

“Say, Darling (Play),” On This Day (onthisday.com)

“Say, Darling,” Playbill Vault (playbill.com)

Reviews from Walter Kerr (New York Herald Tribune) and Brooks Atkinson (The New York Times);

Written by ChatGPT

NAVALNY TRIAL TAKES CENTER STAGE IN SWEDISH ROYAL THEATER ·

(Austin Malloy’s article appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 30, 2024.

Navalny: The Trial by the Royal Drama Theater in Stockholm brings the late Russian opposition leader’s battle against Russian President Vladimir Putin to the stage. The play is based on what is widely seen as a politically motivated court case against Aleksei Navalny, who had returned to Russia in 2021 after surviving a poison attack that he blamed on Kremlin agents. The trial ended with Navalny being sent to prison, where he died in February in suspicious circumstances.