Friday, April 3, 2020

Marie's Crisis Cafe Is Closed, but Franca Vercelloni Is Still Taking Requests by Bob Morris

With a piano and a camera, Franca Vercelloni of Marie’s Crisis Cafe continues to play for the bar’s show-tune singalongs on social media.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Gerald Freedman, Prolific Director, Is Dead at 92 by Neil Genzlinger

Among his credits were Broadway shows, operas and the original production of “Hair.” He also influenced numerous actors’ careers as an educator.

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Missing the Theater? Trade Playbills for These Novels by Alexis Soloski and Laura Collins-Hughes

Two theater critics suggest some of their favorite books about the theater, giving us portals to a world that is now forbidden.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 11:54AM

David Tennant Craves Old English Dinners and Cigarettes After Sex by Kathryn Shattuck

The band, that is. Tennant, whose mini-series “Deadwater Fell” arrives April 6, also puts Tim Minchin and “Succession” on his list of essentials.

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Dancing With Myself: How Artists Stay in Shape Without a Stage by Nancy Coleman

With the coronavirus pandemic putting live shows on hold, performers are adapting how they practice.

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As Stages Go Dark, Companies Stumble by Laura Cappelle

Several French theater companies, closed in the coronavirus outbreak, have rushed to put content online. Much of it is underwhelming.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 06:06AM
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Making Art During a Pandemic: Theaters Seek and Share Mini-Plays by Michael Paulson

Nonprofits around the country plan to commission works of no longer than 10 minutes in length that can be read or performed by people sheltering in place.

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Edinburgh Festivals Canceled as Coronavirus Effects Stretch Into Summer by Alex Marshall

This August’s Edinburgh International Festival and its Fringe, two of theater and comedy’s most important events, are no more.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 09:12AM
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Who Says You Can’t Give Tony Awards in an Abbreviated Season? by Jesse Green and Ben Brantley

Our chief theater critics have no nickel-plated medallions to hand out, but they find plenty to celebrate among shut-down Broadway offerings.

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Has Your Dystopian Play Come in Handy? by Alexis Soloski

These nine playwrights spent years dreaming up cataclysms and plagues. Did that prepare them for the current crisis? Sometimes.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 10:24AM
Monday, March 30, 2020

As Theaters Stare Down Uncertainty, Ars Nova Buys Itself Time by Laura Collins-Hughes

In committing to paying its people during a three-month shutdown, the theater gives itself breathing room to prepare for when it can open again.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:36PM

David Schramm, Blustery Comic Foil in ‘Wings,’ Dies at 73 by Neil Genzlinger

Though known from his TV role, he did much of his work on the stage, starting as an original Acting Company member.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:32PM
Sunday, March 29, 2020

What Shakespeare Teaches Us About Living With Pandemics by Emma Smith

Plague erased social, gender and personal differences. Shakespeare responded by emphasizing people’s unique and inerasable difference. His work is a narrative vaccine.

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Friday, March 27, 2020

Stuart Gordon, Whose Films Reanimated Horror, Dies at 72 by Daniel E. Slotnik

His low-budget movies, notably the cult favorite “Re-Animator,” combined grisly body horror with a mordant sense of humor.

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Turn the Living Room into a Stage: Read Plays Out Loud by Ben Brantley

It’s a tradition this drama critic would highly recommend to those looking for ways to find magic in empty hours.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 05:42PM

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Gets New Director by Jennifer Schuessler

Jennifer Schantz, an executive at the New-York Historical Society, will lead the library, which is home to more than 8 million items relating to music, theater and dance.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:03PM

Mark Blum, a Familiar Face Off Broadway, Is Dead at 69 by Anita Gates

Mr. Blum, who died of coronavirus complications, was also seen on Broadway; in “Crocodile Dundee” and other movies; and on numerous television shows.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:03PM

Spring Culture Fell to Virus. In Oregon, Summer Theater Now Succumbs. by Michael Paulson

As nonprofits around the country cancel all spring programs, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival says it must go further, and will lay off 80 percent of its staff.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 12:18PM
Thursday, March 26, 2020

One Work of Dance, Theater and More to Experience This Weekend

Our writers are usually busy covering performances. Coronavirus changed that. Here are their suggestions for what to watch, read or listen to while we’re housebound.

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The Fourth Wall Is My Laptop Screen by Laura Collins-Hughes

When theaters closed by the pandemic stream their shuttered plays online, watching sharpens the longing for the real thing.

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‘I Never Knew Anyone Less Jaded’: Admiring Terrence McNally by Elisabeth Vincentelli

Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Joe Mantello on a versatile collaborator who came to know “he didn’t have to repeat himself.’

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Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night Auditions Go Digital by Devi Lockwood

The coronavirus has made in-person auditions impossible, so contestants can submit videos up to five minutes in length for the chance to compete for $20,000.

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Online, the Show Goes On. But It’s Just Not the Same. by A.j. Goldmann

The recorded performances that theaters in Germany have put online while they are closed don’t live up to the real thing, our critic says.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 06:36AM
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tony Awards Postponed Amid Coronavirus Crisis by Julia Jacobs

The 74th annual ceremony and television broadcast won’t happen until Broadway reopens. How shows will be eligible remains to be determined.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 04:18PM

Julia Miles, 90, Dies; Pushed for Gender Parity in the Theater by Daniel E. Slotnik

Concerned that female directors and playwrights were underrepresented in New York theaters, she founded Women’s Project in 1978 to cultivate their work.

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Broadway Is Shuttered but Its Buildings Sing: A Virtual Tour by Michael Kimmelman

David Rockwell, the architect and Tony-winning show designer, talks about the stories and history behind his favorite theaters.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Terrence McNally in the Pages of The New York Times by The New York Times

Furious, despairing, yet inescapably entertaining, often in the very same show, featuring Chita Rivera, Nathan Lane and Zoe Caldwell, to name a few.

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Terrence McNally, Tony-Winning Playwright of Gay Life, Dies at 81 by Jesse Green and Neil Genzlinger

Mr. McNally, who died of coronavirus complications, introduced audiences to characters and situations that most mainstream theater had previously shunted into comic asides.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 03:42PM
Monday, March 23, 2020

To Help Performers in Need, Funky Videos at Your Fingertips by Jennifer Schuessler

The performer Taylor Mac and the playwright Suzan-Lori Parks have signed on to a video-sharing subscription service to raise money for New York colleagues in crisis.

Linked From The New York Times Subscription at 06:54PM

From the Basement to the Bathtub, With Time to Sing and Schmooze by Elisabeth Vincentelli

For over three hours online Sunday night, Rosie O’Donnell praised, kibitzed and made room for Broadway stars to check in with their fans and share music.

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At a Murder Mystery Weekend, Whodunit? Everyone by Alexis Soloski

A critic disguised as an actress who is also a suspect in the death of the Great Merlini. Her team didn’t use “Cats” to break the case, though.

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