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Diana Oh Is a Fierce Feminist Who Rocks Out in Her Underwear

There are a few things Diana Oh doesn’t have time for these days. Notably: assholes and subtlety. A few days ago, I saw Oh — a multitalented dynamo of a performer — in full command of the neon-lit, confetti-covered stage at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, where she and a team of formidable collaborators are staging a show that’s equal parts theater, punk rock concert, protest, confessional, and celebration until October 28. It’s Oh’s brainchild, and its title is as multifaceted as its content. It’s called: {my lingerie play} 2017: THE CONCERT AND CALL TO ARMS!!!!!!!!! The Final Installation. Now we’re drinking tea together at a minimalist place in Hell’s Kitchen.


  • Posted 10/19/17 at 10:54 PM

Theater Review: Does Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Still Give Off Heat?

Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, now receiving its first full revival in 35 years at Second Stage Theater under the direction of Moisés Kaufman, has undergone a makeover. The play is in fact three plays, originally presented singly at LaMaMa in 1978 and 1979, then grouped together as Torch Song Trilogy for a 1983 Broadway transfer that won Fierstein the Best Play and Best Actor Tony awards. It also established his status as a fiercely funny, hyperarticulate theater artist who was kicking down closet doors in stiletto heels years before the country had even made it to not asking and not telling. Broadway wouldn’t see Tony Kushner’s Angels in America until a decade after Torch Song Trilogy’s premiere.


Lee Pace Will Play Joe Pitt in Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield’s Angels in America

The Broadway-bound London production of Angels in America has found its new American Joe Pitt. Lee Pace, best known for The Hobbit, Pushing Daisies, and Halt and Catch Fire (which you should go watch), will play the closeted Mormon character, replacing Looking’s Russell Tovey, who played the role in at the National Theatre London. The production of the landmark Tony Kushner drama stars Nathan Lane and Andrew Garfield and is directed by Marianne Elliott. Performances begin February 23, with an opening set for March 25. The play marks Pace’s second Broadway production, after he appeared in The Normal Heart in 2011, because when Lee Pace does Broadway, he wants to make you really angry and sad.

  • Posted 10/18/17 at 4:02 PM

Springsteen Reportedly to Extend Broadway Run, Giving You More Chances to Miss Out on Tickets

Christmas is rapidly approaching, which means the Dad in your life will soon be in need of a gift. New Jersey’s patron saint Bruce Springsteen is here to lend a hand, as Variety reports that the Boss’s one-man show, Springsteen on Broadway, will have its run extended from the original end date of February 3 to an unknown later in the spring. (It may even run as late as June.) Vulture’s Craig Jenkins praised the show, calling Springsteen on Broadway  “a poignant reminder that in spite of the myth and legend, Bruce Springsteen is made of the same blood, muscle, and bone, and motivated by the same fears and desires, as the rest of us.” This would be the second extension of Springsteen’s shows at the Walter Kerr Theatre; the first run of shows sold out in just one day. At least the illusion of being able to score tickets will live on.

Theater Review: Burning Doors Is a Fiery Anti-Torture, Anti-Putin Scream

Here are some names you might not know: Oleg Sentsov. Petr Pavlensky. Maria Alyokhina. Here’s one you probably do know: Pussy Riot.


Evans Hansen Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, and Taylor Trensch Made a Whole Disco Video Thing

Like the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future descending upon Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, stars of Dear Evan Hansen present, future, and the future after that Ben Platt, Noah Galvin, and Taylor Trensch have banded together to dance to Earth, Wind & Fire in a YouTube video. Maybe it will make you think about death and the meaning of Christmas and how to be a better person, maybe not. The point is, these Evan Hansens really committed to their 1970s looks and Noah Galvin is really trying to grow out a mustache. This has been video larks from Broadway stars, thank you for your time.

In the Heights Book Writer Asks the Weinstein Company to Release Film Rights

Quiara Alegría Hudes, co-author with Lin-Manuel Miranda of the musical In the Heights, which is currently being developed for film with the Weinstein Company, no longer wants to work with the studio after numerous women came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and rape. “I hope the Weinstein Company has enough grace, in the wake of these revelations, to respect my stand as a woman, and to allow us to extricate In the Heights from them,” she said on Twitter. “In the Heights deserves a fresh start in a studio where I’ll feel safe (as will my actors and collaborators).”


Theater Review: ERS’s Measure for Measure Plays a Losing Game

In the program for Measure for Measure, now playing at the Public Theater, John Collins, artistic director of Elevator Repair Service — the downtown theater company known for its exhilarating de- and re-constructions of classic novels, including the epic and acclaimed Gatz — says, “A few years ago, I conceded it was time for my experimental ensemble to meet William Shakespeare.”


Theater Review: Eternal Return Feels Old in Time and the Conways

While watching the Roundabout Theatre Company production of J.B. Priestley’s drawing-room dramedy Time and the Conways, directed by Rebecca Taichman at the American Airlines Theatre, I thought about a lot of things. Chekhov, the Dying Aristocracy Play, how much I hate the Broadway tradition of celebrity entrance applause, how Gabriel Ebert is just a damn fine actor, how I’ve seen several plays recently that surround a white central family or figure with tertiary characters played by non-white actors (as if we won’t notice who’s at the center), how American actors speaking in British accents tend to chew through the language with un-British exaggeration and deliberateness, perhaps out of fear we won’t understand them … Chekhov again.


The Grey’s Anatomy Firefighter Spinoff Just Cast Some of Your Broadway Faves

Shondaland shows are full of actors who can sing — consider Audra McDonald in Private Practice, or Sara Ramirez in Grey’s Anatomy — and her latest project is keeping the grand tradition alive. Deadline reports that the latest Shondaland project, a Grey’s spinoff set in a Seattle firehouse, has cast Grey Damon, Okieriete Onaodowan, Danielle Savre, and Barrett Doss alongside Jaina Lee Ortiz and Jason George. Two of those actors are pretty big Broadway names, as Onaodowan was in Hamilton — and, briefly, The Great Comet of 1812, before being replaced with Mandy Patinkin — and Doss starred in Groundhog Day (where she sang one of the best songs of the season). Make the firefighters sing, Shonda!

Theater Review: Too Heavy for Your Pocket, Carried Off With Grace

Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket — now under the brisk, elegant direction of Margot Bordelon at the Roundabout’s Black Box Theatre — takes place during the summer of 1961 in Nashville, Tennessee, but it made me think of my hometown.


Lauren Ambrose — and, Oh My God, Also Diana Rigg — Will Be in Broadway’s My Fair Lady Revival

Yadda yadda yadda Lauren Ambrose will star as Eliza Doolittle in the upcoming revival of My Fair Lady directed by Bartlett Sher. Yadda yadda yadda Ambrose is famous for Six Feet Under, but has also worked with Sher before in 2006’s Awake and Sing! and in a production of Funny Girl that got scrapped in 2011 before coming to Broadway. Yadda yadda yadda British stage vet Harry Hadden-Paton will play the upper-class Henry Higgins, and Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the Catch Me If You Can musical) will play Alfred P. Doolittle. But wait, oh my God, Diana Rigg, the famed British stage actress and Game of Thrones’ late Olenna Tyrell, will play Henry’s mother, Mrs. Higgins. Rigg has played Mrs. Higgins, and also Eliza, before in West End productions of Pygmalion, also she won a Tony in 1994 for Medea, also she’s Diana Rigg.

Theater Review: Tiny Beautiful Things Won Me Over Against My Will

In the spirit of “Dear Sugar,” an honest confession: Up till now, I’ve steered clear of the work of Cheryl Strayed. I’m skeptical of Passion Planners, and I make a sharp turn in Barnes & Noble when I encounter the table displaying Eat, Pray, Love and The Desire Map. Really, it’s not the authors of these books I’m avoiding — it’s the warm, fuzzy cult of #selfcare that tends to cocoon around them. I don’t have many allergies, just shellfish and advice.


  • Posted 10/2/17 at 9:00 AM

Nia Vardalos and Cheryl Strayed Want to Give You Uncomfortable Advice

At the first preview of the Public Theater’s encore staging of Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed sat in the audience watching herself reveal some of her most personal experiences onstage. The Cheryl onstage is played by Nia Vardalos, who adapted the series of advice columns collected in Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things, into a play. Or rather, it’s better to say that Vardalos is playing Sugar, the persona behind those columns, an unconventional advice-giver who offered up a view of her own wounds — memories of lost family members, addiction, and sexual abuse — and the lessons she learned as they healed.


The Cher Show Will Strut Into Broadway in Fall 2018

You might have heard the rumors, or seen Cher’s tweets about it, but finally, everything is confirmed: The Cher Show, a musical about Cher featuring the music of Cher starring three different versions of Cher, is officially coming to Broadway in fall 2018. The show’s producers Flody Suarez and Jeffrey Seller announced that the musical will have an out-of-town run in Chicago starting June 12, 2018, before transferring to New York’s Neil Simon Theatre that fall. Rick Elice is writing the book for the jukebox musical, while Jason Moore is directing, Christopher Gattelli is choreographing, and Daryl Waters will provide arrangements and musical supervision. According to the New York Times, The Cher Show is less a straightforward biography, and more structured as a variety show, with three different actresses playing the Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy winner — who’ll likely be in the race for a Tony, depending on how the show’s credits work out — at different ages (think Three Tall Women, but they’re all five-foot-nine and covered in sequins). Our only demand is that the show’s playbills be written entirely in emoji.

Guess What the Last Broadway Show Bruce Springsteen Saw Was

Bruce Springsteen is a Jersey Boy at heart, but is he also a Broadway Baby? Apparently! Starting October 3 through February, Bruce Springsteen will be the titular Springsteen in Springsteen on Broadway. The show will feature Springsteen reading excerpts from his memoir Born to Run, and singing songs about cars and the American hearts that drive them. Considering this, it makes sense that the New York Times would ask Mr. Boss if he’s a fan of Broadway. He is! So what was the last show he saw?


Theater Review: The Treasurer, an Invaluable New Play

Max Posner’s The Treasurer, now playing at Playwrights Horizons under the assured and gentle direction of David Cromer, is a quiet revelation. At a moment when the theatrical landscape is dense with new plays that haven’t quite figured out why they’re not TV — when we struggle to dramatize the realities of our lives without trapping ourselves inside stiflingly realistic dioramas — The Treasurer arrives as an antidote. It makes boundaries porous, creates a space that blends the mundane and the mystic, that slips between the life of the moment and the life of the mind, even obscures the border between life and whatever comes after.


Pretty Woman Is the Latest Movie Turned Musical to Head to Broadway

Pretty Woman, that classic romantic comedy about prostitution and investment banking, is becoming a musical. Samantha Barks, best known as the Les Misérables movie’s Éponine, will star in the Julia Roberts role as Vivian, with Once Tony winner Steve Kazee as Edward, the part played by Richard Gere. Bryan Adams and his songwriting partner Jim Vallance are writing the music and lyrics for the show (though, of course, they could just repurpose the songs from My Fair Lady, which is being revived this spring anyway), which will have a book by the late Garry Marshall and the film’s screenwriter J.F. Lawton, and be directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (La Cage aux Folles and Kinky Boots). The show’s planning a five-week out-of-town tryout at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre starting in March 2018, before premiering on Broadway that fall. Congrats to whomever gets cast in musical theater’s most important salesgirl role since Legally Blonde gave the world salesgirl No. 2.

Theater: An Ultra-Male, Female-Directed Clockwork Orange

How do we look at the Other who seems monstrous? Well, sometimes a story pins our eyes open and won’t let us blink. By now, the world knows the wily, vicious Alex DeLarge quite well, be it through Anthony Burgess’s novel or through the can’t-unsee-it performance of Malcolm McDowell in Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film (which, at the time of its release, joined Midnight Cowboy as the second movie in history to receive a Best Picture nomination despite its X rating).


  • Posted 9/22/17 at 10:00 PM

Theater Review: KPOP Is Gangnam Style With Substance Beneath

When my grandmother Jong Gung Hong was a young girl, her father piled the family into a small boat, covered the children with a tarp, and left their home near Pyongyang. She grew up in what we now call South Korea and eventually moved to Japan with dreams of becoming an actress and singer. Instead, while performing in a USO show in Tokyo, she met a young American Air Force officer, married him, moved to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, and raised two children who never learned Korean or Japanese. (She was fluent in both, though her English was heavily accented as long as I knew her.)



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