Striking Hollywood writers vow not to picket Tony Awards, opening the door to some kind of show
Striking members of the Writers Guild of America have said they will not picket next month’s Tony Award telecast, clearing a thorny issue facing show organizers and opening the door for some sort of Broadway razzle-dazzle.
'A Strange Loop’ makes history at Tonys; ‘Company’ wins 5
“A Strange Loop,” an irreverent, sexually frank work about Blackness and queerness took home the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on Sunday, as voters celebrated Broadway’s most racially diverse season by choosing an envelope-pushing Black voice.
As New York salutes health workers, Missouri fights a surge
New York has thrown a ticker-tape parade for the health care workers and others who helped the city pull through the darkest days of COVID-19, while authorities in Missouri are struggling to beat back a surge blamed on the fast-spreading delta variant and deep resistance to getting vaccinated.
Jacobs’ post-pandemic runway: Parading puffers in patterns
In another unmistakable sign that New York is coming back to life, Marc Jacobs celebrated a long-awaited return to in-person fashion shows when he presented his fall collection Monday evening at the grand Fifth Avenue branch of the New York Public Library.
'Hadestown' jumps ahead of pack to welcome Broadway patrons
“Hadestown,” the brooding musical about the underworld, has set its Broadway reopening date on Sept. 2, jumping ahead of such megahits as “Hamilton” and “Wicked” to position itself as the first show to welcome audiences on Broadway since the pandemic.
New York City launches push to vaccinate theater workers
After the virus descended on New York, the only sounds in the streets were wailing ambulance sirens. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK – New York City is taking steps toward the reopening of the city's theaters, creating vaccination and testing sites for stage workers in a bid to restore a key part of New York's draw. It’ll be staffed by workers from the theater industry. The city also plans for a mobile unit that will serve off-Broadway theaters and pop-up testing sites at or near theaters. “Vaccination and testing sites for theatre workers are a great step towards recovery and bringing Broadway back," said a statement from The Broadway League.
Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker to star in spring plays
Mary-Louise Parker attends the Broadway opening of "After Midnight" on Nov. 3, 2013 in New York, left, and Meryl Streep arrives at the premiere of the film 'The Laundromat' at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival, Venice, Italy, on Sept. 1, 2019. Parker and Streep have signed on to perform in a new virtual play series this spring while Broadway is closed. (AP Photo)NEW YORK – Meryl Streep, Mary-Louise Parker, Audra McDonald, Kevin Klein, Carla Gugino and Keanu Reeves have signed on to perform in a new virtual play series this spring while Broadway is closed. The series kicks off Thursday with “The Thanksgiving Play” by Larissa FastHorse, directed by Leigh Silverman starring Reeves, Bobby Cannavale, Heidi Schreck and Alia Shawkat. The next show — on April 8 — will feature “Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous” by Pearl Cleage directed by Camille A.
Atwood, Grisham among contributors to pandemic novel
Atwood and Grisham are among several authors participating in a novel about the pandemic. The Authors Guild Foundation announced Thursday that it had reached a deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media to publish Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering." (AP Photo)NEW YORK – One of the first novels about the pandemic will be a collaborative effort, with Margaret Atwood, John Grisham and Celeste Ng among the writers. Novelist and Authors Guild President Douglas Preston came up with the idea as a way to raise money for the foundation. Atwood is editing “Fourteen Days” and helped recruit a wide range of contributors, including Dave Eggers, Ishmael Reed, Monique Truong, Hampton Sides, Mary Pope Osborne and Emma Donoghue.
FBI: Nashville bomber driven by conspiracies, paranoia
The FBI statement also said the investigation concluded that Warner's actions were not related to terrorism. Then, inexplicably, the audio switched to a recording of Petula Clark’s 1964 hit “Downtown” shortly before the blast. Investigators conducted more than 250 interviews and combed through more than 2,500 tips, the FBI said. AdNearly three months after the explosion, the blast site still remains closed off to traffic and Nashville’s bustling tourists. ___Associated Press writer Kimberlee Kruesi in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.
Broadway’s quest to reopen after closures due to the pandemic
NEW YORK CITY – Broadway. It’s the lifeblood of New York City, but much of the energy has been drained out of the industry after almost a year of lockdowns. Now, hit shows are on the quest to come back better than ever. The coronavirus pandemic halted the spectacular long-running hit shows like “Wicked” and new productions like “Moulin Rouge,” which recently made its debut. However, indoor gathering limits in the city will increase, but officials say theaters won’t likely open doors unless coronavirus safety rules allow 100% capacity.
2 hard-hit cities, 2 diverging fates in vaccine rollout
People line up for vaccines at a clinic in Central Falls, R.I., Saturday Feb. 20, 2021. Nearly a third of adults in the city have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to state data. Like Central Falls, it’s a tiny former industrial city that is overwhelmingly Latino. But the two cities’ fortunes could not be more different during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. And the vaccine rollout hasn’t been all smooth sailing in Central Falls.
Philip J. Smith, who led Shubert Organization, dies at 89
Smith, who rose from box office treasurer at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway to chairman and co-CEO of the theatrical giant Shubert Organization, has died from complications from COVID-19, according to his daughters. (Jeremy Daniel via AP)NEW YORK – Philip J. Smith, who rose from box office treasurer at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway to chairman and co-CEO of the theatrical giant Shubert Organization, has died from complications from COVID-19, according to his daughters. In a career that spanned 63 years, Smith worked in every department of the Shubert Organization and was named general manager of all Shubert Theatres in 1964. The Shubert Organization owns and operates 17 Broadway theatres and six off-Broadway venues. Smith retired in June 2020 and also stepped down as chairman of The Shubert Foundation, the company’s nonprofit arm.
Sidelined 'Mean Girls' musical won't reopen on Broadway
FILE - The cast of "Mean Girls" performs at the 72nd annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Michael Zorn/Invision/AP, File)NEW YORK – Producers of the Broadway musical “Mean Girls” have decided not to restart when authorities allow theaters to reopen in New York City, the second and likely not last established show to be a casualty of COVID-19 on the Great White Way. “We remain excited to bring this musical to the big screen, relaunch the tour and prepare for a London production,” said “Saturday Night Live” and “Mean Girls” producer Lorne Michaels in a statement. Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, knocking out all shows, including 16 that were still scheduled to open. Late May is the earliest Broadway will reopen, according to the Broadway League.
Tony-winning choreographer, actress Ann Reinking dies at 71
FILE - Ann Reinking holds her Tony Award for best choreography for the musical "Chicago" at the 51st annual Tony Awards on June 1, 1997, in New York. Reinking, the Tony Award-winning choreographer, actress and Bob Fosse collaborator who helped spread a cool, muscular hybrid of jazz and burlesque movement to Broadway and beyond, has died. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)NEW YORK – Ann Reinking, the Tony Award-winning choreographer, actress and Bob Fosse collaborator who helped spread a cool, muscular hybrid of jazz and burlesque movement to Broadway and beyond, has died. Reinking died Saturday while visiting family in Seattle, said her manager, Lee Gross. In the 1996 revival, which is still on Broadway, Reinking kept the part of Hart opposite Gray and Neuwirth.
Theater uses its creativity to defy pandemic and stage shows
Live theater is uniquely tested by the virus, one reason it will be among the last sectors to return to normal. It's not technically live theater, but its soul is theatrical. Play and musical licensor Concord Theatricals says theater companies across the country are looking for flexibility in case of virus restrictions. Launched shortly before the pandemic with 15 podcasts, the theater shutdown initially wiped out its revenue streams, advertising and sponsorship. “It’s not anything that will ever replace live theater, but it’s an extension.
Play 'Thoughts of a Colored Man' to get a Broadway run
NEW YORK – Playwright Keenan Scott II's play “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” a work about the outer and inner lives of Black men, is heading to the bright lights of Broadway. The play will be given a Shubert theater and will open whenever Broadway restarts. The play made its world premiere last year at Syracuse Stage and also was produced at Baltimore Center Stage. While discussions of transferring “Thoughts of a Colored Man” to Broadway predated the protests, Moreland said the show's championing of diversity and inclusion fits perfectly in an era of Black Lives Matter and outcries over young Black deaths. Several theater companies — including The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company and Lincoln Center Theater — have appointed or elevated theater artists of color.
Director Stephen Daldry exits 'Wicked' film adaptation
The long-gestating film adaptation of the Broadway hit “Wicked” has hit another snag. Director Stephen Daldry is exiting the project, a studio representative confirmed Tuesday. The “Billy Elliot” director has been associated with the adaptation for years, going back as far as 2012. Writer Winnie Holzman, who wrote the musical, wrote the script with “Wicked” composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. At one point, the film was supposed to hit theaters in Dec. 2019.
Broadway shutdown due to virus extended again until May 30
NEW YORK – Fans of Broadway will have to wait a little longer for shows to resume — until at least late May. Although an exact date for various performances to resume has yet to be determined, Broadway producers are now offering refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased for shows through May 30. "We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, which represents producers. “Today the Broadway League made the difficult but responsible decision to put the safety and health of their workers and audience first. Producers, citing health and city authorities, previously extended the shutdown to June 7, then again to Sept. 6 and again to Jan. 3.
Tony Award nominations to be announced Oct. 15
NEW YORK – Nominations for this year's Tony Awards have been set for Oct. 15, pitting 18 eligible shows in competition for 26 competitive categories in a coronavirus-shortened season. James Monroe Iglehart will announce the nominations on the Tony Awards' YouTube Channel at noon ET. The Tony Awards Nominating Committee will meet Tuesday to vote on this year’s nominations. That left the following productions eligible for 2020 Tony Award nominations:“Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” “Moulin Rouge! Producers, citing health and city authorities, have three times extended the Broadway shutdown, currently until at least early January.
Online fall Broadway play revivals attract starry casts
NEW YORK – Broadway theaters may be dark, but there will be plenty of new online productions of some of classic plays this fall with some starry self-isolating actors, including Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman, Patti LuPone, Laura Linney and David Alan Grier. Producer Jeffrey Richards on Wednesday unveiled a weekly play run of livestreamed works to benefit The Actors Fund. They will stream on Broadway’s Best Shows and ticket buyers can access the events through TodayTix starting at $5. David Mamet’s ”Race" is up on Oct. 29, starring David Alan Grier and Ed O’Neill. Mamet’s “Boston Marriage” is slated for Nov. 12 with Patti LuPone and Rebecca Pidgeon.
Report finds New York writers, stages remain extremely white
NEW YORK – A new report on racial representation on New York stages has found that little has been changing — there remains an over-representation of white actors, writers and directors. Over 61% of all roles on New York City stages went to white actors, a rate double the population of white people in New York City (32.1% of residents). According to the study, 23.2% of roles went to Black actors, 6.9% to Asian American actors and 6.1% to Latino actors. That represents a slight improvement from the previous season, which had 67% white actors, 18.6% Black actors, 7.3% Asian actors and 5% Latino actors. Overall, nearly 80% of Broadway and off-Broadway shows’ writers were white and 85.5% of directors during the 2017-18 season.
Broadway stars and drag queens to unite for voter drive show
NEW YORK – Broadway and the world of drag will combine later this month for a streaming variety show to promote voter participation that promises plenty of show tunes and a lot of fierce lipstick. “Divas For Democracy: United We Slay” will feature Broadway stars such as Chita Rivera and Stephanie J. Block singing theater songs while their drag counterparts from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” “match their vocal prowess with lip sync passion and style,” according to organizers. There's a minimum $5 donation and all proceeds benefit Drag Out the Vote, a national, nonpartisan voter engagement nonprofit. The divas of drag include stars of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” such as Alaska, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Valentina, Peppermint, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Shuga Cain, Honey Davenport, Brita Filter, Marti Gould Cummings and Pixie Aventura.
The late Nick Cordero to have an album released in his honor
Nick Cordero, the Broadway actor who spent more than 90 days in a hospital fighting for his life after contracting coronavirus, will have an album released posthumously. Broadway Records said Wednesday it will release “Nick Cordero: Live Your Life” on Sept. 17 — what would have been his 42nd birthday. Cordero's album is named after one of his songs and captures his cabaret performance in April 2019 at the Broadway supper club Feinstein’s/54 Below. Cordero was in many stage productions, including “Bullets Over Broadway” in New York, which earned him a Tony Award nomination. His wife, dancer and personal trainer Amanda Kloots, said she’d never seen Cordero work so hard on something as his cabaret show.
5 musicals that should be filmed for a streaming network since Broadway is still closed
Considering Disney+ saw a 72% increase in downloads of its app over the weekend, it’s safe to say that bringing musicals filmed on stage to a mass audience is a pretty good idea. Some will argue that theater is meant to be consumed live, but with so much uncertainty about when Broadway will return, it’s not a bad idea to start filming more Broadway musicals and plays for streaming networks. While it’s still a wildly popular musical, fans have been begging for some sort of movie version for years. Disney’s most popular and long-running show on Broadway is “The Lion King,” and it’s hard to imagine the people wouldn’t love to watch a filmed version of this production. Do you plan to watch “Hamilton?” Are there any musicals you’d like to see from the comfort of your home?
What you need to know before streaming ‘Hamilton’ on Disney+ over the weekend
Since there’s likely to be a good chunk of people who will watch “Hamilton” over the weekend who’ve probably never seen it before, here is a quick rundown of what you need to know before experiencing the phenomenon. The “Hamilton” on Disney+ is a filmed version of the show, not a movie. It’s easy to call the version of “Hamilton” coming out on Disney+ a movie, but technically, it’s the stage version, filmed. An actual movie version of “Hamilton” will probably happen eventually, but this is a great way to really capture the magic of the stage version of the show. And because the people at Disney are incredibly smart, free trials of the streaming service have ended, so if you want to watch, you’re going to have to sign up.