THEATER-FILM-MUSIC TALK

Today’s “Talk” features NY Theatre Barn, TCN, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, Unravelled, Smithtown, Food for Thought Productions, NYC Indie Film Festival, Quarantine Cabaret & Cocktails, NJ Theatre Alliance Stages Festival, Nexus Initiative, Kevin McCollum on Broadway Theater Openings

Theater for the New York (TCN) presents ‘Open ‘Tho Shut’ weekly series FREE. Live walk-by performances staged from 2 to 3 pm in the theater’s set shop, socially distanced for passersby who watch thru an open garage door on E. 10th St. between 1st & 2d Avenues. The shop was renamed ‘The Chop Shop Theater’ for this series. Outfitted with elaborate set by Mark Marcante and Litza Colon, lighting by Alexander Bartenieff with a 4-mic sound system. Much more to see; visit www.theaterforthenewcity.net

New York Theatre Barn will host a free special event live stream of excerpts from the new civil rights musical Freedom Riders on Wednesday, February 24th, 2020 at 7PM EDT. The live 1-hour presentation will also feature a conversation with the writers and a special appearance by one of the last surviving Freedom Riders Charles PersonFreedom Riders: The Civil Rights Musical has book, music and lyrics by Richard Allen and music and lyrics by Taran Gray. www.nytheatrebarn.org

 Baryshnikov Arts Center and Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation co-present an interactive new media experiment, adapted from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, created by Boston’s award-winning Arlekin Players Theatre and their newly-established Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Performance LabThe Cherry Orchard: A New Media Workshop will debut online Friday, February 26, 2021 at 8PM ET as part of Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC)’s Digital Spring 2021 Season. Registration for this free event is required at BACNYC.ORG

Based on true events, UnRavelled explores the fascinating connection between the work of Canadian painter Anne Adams (1940–2007) and French composer Maurice Ravel (1875–1937),both of whom lived with frontotemporal dementia – directed by
Nike Doukas starring:Lucy Davenport Conor Duffy,Melissa Greenspan, Michael Lanahan,Leo Marks,Rob Nagle – Streaming Feb. 25 thru March 31 at www.unravelledplay.com

The Studios of Key West has announced that their virtual production of the powerful and timely new play SMITHTOWN, praised for its “riveting performances” and “piquant, playable dialogue” by The New York Times, has been extended by two weeks due to brisk ticket sales and audience demand. The presentation, originally scheduled through February 27, will now be available through March 13SMITHTOWN – written by Drew Larimore and directed by Stephen Kitsakos, Studios of Key West Artistic Associate – is a series of four interconnected but distinct monologues featuring an ensemble of top Broadway and television actors: Michael Urie (Broadway revival of Torch Song, “Ugly Betty”), Ann Harada (Avenue Q and Cinderella on Broadway), Colby Lewis (Chicago’s Hamilton, “Chicago Med”), and Constance Shulman (“Orange is the New Black” on Netflix, The Rose Tattoo on Broadway). Tickets are available at tskw.org/smithtown-2.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT PRODUCTIONS, now in its 21st year, continues celebrating the oft-neglected one-act play and theatre at its best with Award-winning actors, writers and directors, with a tremendously fun opening on March 8th, 2021. Two comedies: Christopher Durang’s For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls (with Blanche Baker, Nathan Darrow, Jeremy Beck) and Tennessee Williams’ Lifeboat Drill (with Bob Dishy and Judy Graubart). Following the productions there will be at Q & A with casts and exciting special guests. Live at Theatre 80 St. Marks and Zoom. www.foodforthoughtproductions.com

Lee Lessack and Robert Bannon, the hosts of the surprise, weekly, hit online chat show, Quarantine, Cabaret and Cocktails, have launched a new live online series, giving audiences an opportunity to get close to Broadway during this unprecedented moratorium on in-person, live entertainment. In February, the series will feature the casts of Frozen on 2/17and Hadestown on 2/24; on March 10th, The Lion King with Heather Headley; Dear Evan Hanson, March 24th; and April 7th brings a special Jersey Boys: Everyone Remembers It How They Need To featuring Rick Elice, Marshall Brickman and Des McAnuff.

The Broadway Cast Reunion Series, which emerged as a hugely popular feature of Quarantine, Cabaret and Cocktails, their 42 week old Thursday evening show, is now available as a subscription series to venues and to single ticket buyers as well. The series offers online Broadway cast reunions of many major musicals unable to tour this season, providing audiences the chance to stay connected to some of their favorite performers in a unique way. It allows fans to do what they may never have done before: visit “backstage” with the cast and hear personal, hilarious, unscripted stories and gossip – as the casts really let their hair down in the off-the-cuff format. Attendees are able to interact with the cast and ask questions through the chat feature. The shows are tremendous fun and G-rated. www.BroadwayCastReunion.com

 New Jersey Theatre Alliance’s Stages Festival, Hoboken’s Mile Square Theatre presents The Playbill Gallery (a love story), written and performed by MST playwright-in-residence Joseph Gallo. The audio play will debut as a podcast on Friday, March 5 for an open-ended run. This event is part of the Alliance’s Stages Festival, the state’s largest annual theatre festival, which provides free and discounted theatre events for all ages throughout the months of March, April, and May. To receive a free link to this podcast please visit MST’s website starting on March 5. www.milesquaretheatre.org  A full calendar of events is available at www.njtheatrealliance.org/stages.

 The 2021 NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival, produced by New Ohio Theatre (located in Manhattan’s West Village), which will showcase over 30 shorts, features and web series episodes, running March 10 – 14. The festival will celebrate Opening Night of its 2021 edition on Wednesday, March 10 from 7-8pm EST with a free, online interview and Q&A with playwright and screenwriter Qui Nguyen (co-writer Disney film Raya and the Last Dragon, Vietgone at Manhattan Theatre Club, Vampire Cowboys). More info go to https://nycitff2021.eventive.org.

This past weekend Bated Breath Theatre Company presented a special Valentine’s Day edition of its live hit Voyeur: The Windows Of Toulouse-Lautrec on February 13, 2021.  In addition to this acclaimed intimate performance experience, each ticket holder also received a red rose provided by Starbright Floral Design (starbrightnyc.com), a glass of Prosecco, and chocolate truffles.

New York Stage and Film, considered “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country,” has committed $100,000 to their new NEXUS Initiative that brings together 20 multihyphenate artists to explore the question “where does story exist at the intersection of stage and film?” Through this inaugural program, NYSAF will offer direct support to these artists – each participant receives $5,000 and will take part in a series of conversations focused on the needs of new and expanded forms of storytelling that resonate with our time. In order to increase access to the program and respond to the ideas of a broad range of storytellers, these 20 participants were recommended by 14 leading artists of stage and film for their accomplishments in exploring new forms of storytelling. The leading artists selection committee includes Ayad Akhtar, César Alvarez, Luis Castro, Elsie Choi, Marcus Gardley, Zach Helm, Beth Henley, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Patricia McGregor, Lila Neugebauer, Madeline Sayat, Shelby Stone, Regina Taylor, and Chay Yew. www.newyorkstageandfilm.org

The John Gore Organization announced today that the latest episode of “Broadway Profiles Show Spotlight Series,” a special digital series, with Tamsen Fadal, that features nationally touring theatrical productions, will highlight the Tony Award-nominated Best Musical, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations. (Dominique Morrisseau, book – Sergio Trujillo, choreography).This second installment is now available BroadwayProfiles.com.



If we’re to take Broadway producer Kevin McCollum as the final word, he says the “West End will bounce back from pandemic quicker than Broadway.” His hits include Motown the Musical, Rent and the forthcoming Devil Wears Prada. He does not expect the New York theatre district to open until September. It apparently has to do with a mixture of more widespread mask wearing in the UK and the way West End theatres were built that will help London’s famous venues to reopen first, he predicted. … “Your theatres were built with a little more bar space, shall we say, that can maybe help create a little bit more distancing.”

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