TODAY’S THEATRE TALK

 

“‘Godspell’ in 2020: Masks, Partitions and a Contactless Crucifixion” by The New York Times’ Michael Paulson – “The two productions here in Pittsfield — “Godspell” at Berkshire Theater Group, and the one-person play “Harry Clarke” at Barrington Stage Company — are de facto public health experiments. If they succeed, they could be a model for professional theater during this period of peril. But if actors or audience get sick, that would be a serious setback.
“The whole industry needs this,” said Kate Shindle, the president of Actors’ Equity Association … Shindle … video called the musical’s actors on their first day of rehearsal with a message of encouragement, and of caution. “Not to put any pressure on you, but the entire American theater is depending on you to be really smart,” she said. “People are going to look to you to know that theater can happen without anybody getting sick.”” http://bway.ly/akjj0o

 

Broadway Records announced today the release of the original cast recording of A Killer PartyA Murder Mystery Musical will be available digitally on Friday, August 21st. With music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Nathan Tysen, the album includes all songs from the new hilarious, remotely-recorded musical with an all-star cast of Broadway’s best. Produced by Howland and Billy Jay Stein, both Grammy Award-winners for their work on Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, the album will be available everywhere digital music is sold, to coincide with the final episodes of the series.

The first three episodes of A Killer Party premiered August 5, 2020 and the fully-produced (from home!) 9-episode musical is now available for purchase for a one-time price of $12.99 via AKillerPartyMusical.com. The full cast of A Killer Party includes theater favorites Jessica Keenan WynnMichael James ScottKrystina AlabadoCarolee CarmelloDrew GehlingJackie BurnsLaura OsnesJarrod SpectorAlex NewellMiguel Cervantes, and Jeremy Jordan.

 

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is proud to announce several online events taking place in August that speak to the organization’s mission to provoke conversations that lead to positive social change. Rattlestick is aware it is the responsibility of cultural institutions to create structures that defy, subvert, and dismantle biased traditions and practices. It is working to overturn these trends and build anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices into the foundation of its work

On Monday, August 10 at 5pm, Rattlestick will host “Witnessing Whiteness,” a community conversation that will lead participants to a collective understanding of Whiteness, acknowledge the history of white supremacy, and work to identify how this construct operates systemically, institutionally, and individually. The conversation will be hosted by Racial Equity Consultant Samuel Morreale.

On Tuesday, August 11, at 3pm, Rattlestick will host a virtual salon, “Spotlight on Critics of Color,” with panelists Jose Solís (theater critic, co-creator and co-host of Token Theatre Friends) David John Chávez (Bay Area critic for the Mercury News)Juan Michael Porter II (dance and theater critic for Broadway World and The Observer), and Diep Tran (NYC culture critic and editor). In-depth conversation on approaches to criticism and the panel’s response to the state of the theater now and in the future.

On Wednesday, August 12, at 5pm, Rattlestick will host a free online reading of In the Southern Breeze, a new play by Jiréh Breon Holder (Too Heavy For Your Pocket) and directed by Christopher D. Betts. When a runaway slave gets lost in a mysterious forest, an absurdist drama ensues. In the Southern Breeze offers a challenging look at how our society has treated and continues to treat African American men. The cast includes Curt Morlaye (Lockdown), Terrence RigginsJustin Sams (When We Rise), Tanisha Thompson, and Travis Turner (Some Assembly Required). A post-show discussion on the themes of the play will be facilitated by Robert Pollock. Online reservations are encouraged. Please visit rattlestick.org for more information.

Howard Ashman

‘Howard’ Review: A Lyricist’s Life Cut Short” by The New York Times’ Jeannette Catsoulis – “Howard Ashman, the lyricist behind Disney classics like “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast,” [was] just 40 when he died of AIDS in 1991 … “Howard” [is] Don Hahn’s warm yet poignant documentary about this prodigiously talented man. … “Howard” is a film intimately aware that no celebration of a life can be uncoupled from the emptiness left in its wake. … Charmingly buoyant sequences … slide smoothly into more ruminative moments, as Ashman sickens without revealing his diagnosis. … by the end of “Howard,” it’s the songs we’ll never hear that may haunt us most.” http://bway.ly/tuqk0k

READINGS: “Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Presents HVSF2 New Play Reading Series” by BroadwayWorld – “The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will present the plays for their annual HVSF2 Reading Series: Seize the King, Paradise Lost, and Untitled Agatha Project, an HVSF-commissioned adaptation.” http://bway.ly/rxxm62

WORKSHOP: The W*rk Lab is a seven month workshop supporting the development of three new musicals by women, transgender, and gender non-conforming composers, lyricists, and book writers. Workshops will be held in April, either virtually or in-person, depending on the state of COVID-19. Applications open August 7, 2020 at thesapphoproject.com.

DOCUMENTARY: “HBO to Premiere Siempre, Luis in the Second Half of 2020” by BroadwayWorld – “HBO has confirmed … Siempre Luis, a portrait of Luis A. Miranda Jr. following his mission to bring his son Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning production of Hamilton to his home island of Puerto Rico.” http://bway.ly/xt5j97

TV: “Paul Rudnick’s Coastal Elites, Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Paulson, Issa Rae, More, Sets September Release” by Playbill’s Andrew Gans – ” … will air on HBO September 12.” http://bway.ly/f8p1so

 

Daveed Diggs – Company of Hamilton (photo Joan Marcus)

FOR GOOD: “Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, Ariana DeBose, Ephraim Sykes Set for 2nd #Ham4Change” by Playbill’s Dan Meyer – “… August 9 at 1 PM ET.” http://bway.ly/1yvvgk

ONLINE:
“Productions on ‘HOLD,’ a Web Home Designed to Look Back and Forward” 
by American Theatre’s Allison Considine – “Enter HOLD: Design for Empty Rooms, a website that showcases halted productions with a soup-to-nuts peek at the design process. From audio files to costume renderings, from color palettes to pre-production photos, the website offers a glimpse at the directions some of the 2020 spring productions were headed.” http://bway.ly/exmgny

“The Homebound Project concludes with one last star-studded anthology of shorts” by TimeOut’s Adam Feldman – “The theme of the Homebound Project’s final edition is “homemade.” Janelle Monáe makes a special appearance on the program, and the excellent cast of actors includes Laurie MetcalfBrian CoxAmanda SeyfriedKelli O’HaraAustin Pendleton and Ryan J. Haddad.” http://bway.ly/8c8uwh

 

Jason Gotay

— “Birdland Jazz Club Brings Concert Series To BroadwayWorld Events: Max Von Essen, Jessica Vosk, Kate Rockwell, Telly Leung, & More Announced” by BroadwayWorld – http://bway.ly/sc2jc4
— “Jason Gotay, Michael Hartung, Ann Harada and More Join Episode 4 of The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live” by BroadwayWorld – http://bway.ly/3y3pqy

BACKSTAGE: “The Rise of Open-Air Theatre – and How to Get Started” by Backstage’s Eleanor Ross – ” … with the brakes being put on the reopening of indoor theatre, it makes sense that companies who have never considered outdoor theatre are starting to eye up the great outdoors. … It’s a different beast from what many actors are used to, but with the right information and experience, it can be manageable – and fun, even for those who haven’t acted, directed, or produced outside before.” http://bway.ly/nb4ogj

IN MEMORIAM: “Eric Bentley, Critic Who Provoked Lovers of Broadway, Dies at 103” by The New York Times’ Christopher Lehmann-Haupt – “Eric Bentley, an influential theater critic — as well as a scholar, author and playwright — who was an early champion of modern European drama and an unsparing antagonist of Broadway, died on Wednesday at his home in Manhattan.” http://bway.ly/ssd24s

 

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