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Showing posts from August, 2015

Week in Review 7.28.15

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Forest Whitaker to Make Broadway Debut
Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) will make his Broadway debut this spring in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie. Exact dates, a theatre and a co-star for the two-hander have yet to be announced, but we do know the production will be directed by Michael Grandage (Red, The Cripple of Inishmaan). As mentioned on Theater Mania, Hughie takes place in a hotel lobby, and focuses on Erie (Whitaker), a hustler mourning the death of the hotel's old clerk (the titular Hughie) as he talks with the new clerk, Charlie. Additional details will be announced in the coming months.

Drama League "Up Close" Series
Guests for the Drama League's "Up Close" series, in which artists are interviewed by their collaborators, have been announced. (I went to an Up Close event last year in which Steven Pasquale interviewed his The Bridges of Madison County collaborator, Jason Robert Brown.) The fall slate inc…

Whorl Inside a Loop

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"Theatricalizing the personal narrative" is written on the chalkboard. It's something Sherie Rene Scott and Dick Scanlan have done successfully (see Everyday Rapture), and something, mostly on a lark, they ended up teaching to a group of incarcerated men.

In Whorl Inside a Loop (the title refers to your fingerprint), an actress volunteers at a men's prison, and teaches the men, all of whom have been convicted of murder, to express themselves, rehabilitating them through the arts. (Though Scott and Scanlan did teach in a prison, and many of the stories come from actual prisoners, the play is, ultimately, a true work of fiction.)

In doing so, the men express that they are not the worst thing they've done. Indeed, these men—all people, in fact—can be the perfect peacock eye whorl, so much good and so much bad in one person. (As a guard says of Sunnyside (a cunningly charismatic Derrick Baskin), "He's committed the most violent, most unforgivable crime you co…

John

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We start slowly and quietly, with the audience simply taking in the scene. This is an Annie Baker hallmark, and she, with the assistance of her frequent, Tony-winning collaborator, director Sam Gold (The Flick, Fun Home), uses it to good effect. Over the course of three acts, Baker (The FlickThe Aliens) introduces us to four characters, inviting us to ponder forgiveness and the obstacles to healing.

John takes place over the course of a late November weekend at a bed and breakfast in Gettysburg, PA. The innkeeper, Mertis Katherine Graven (Georgia Engel), is a sweet older woman who has filled her home with tchotchkes and Christmas ornaments of all sorts. She likes to have instrumental music playing in the background, and part of her daily routine includes writing in her journal about the sunset. Mertis always lingers just a little too long with her guests, trying to make conversation and be what she probably thinks is a gracious hostess.

Her guests this weekend are Elias Schreiber-Hof…

Week in Review 8.21.15

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Dave Grohl Talks Sonic Highways and Emmys
Dave Grohl has been talking about the Emmy-nominated docuseries, Sonic Highways, which found Grohl and his Foo Fighters band mates traveling to eight US cities to tap into the local musical roots. (The resulting album features a song inspired by each city.) Visit Deadline to read an interview the musician gave, and watch below as he talks with two Gold Derby staffers. Foo Fighters continue to tour the US in support of Sonic Highways, and have some international dates coming up, as well. Check foofighters.com for info.


Casting News
Saycon Sengbloh (Hair, Holler If Ya Hear Me), Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia and Zainab Jah round out the cast of Eclipsed, joining the previously announced Lupita Nyong'o. The Public Theater production begins previews September 29, with opening night set for October 14. Broadway.com has more.

Russell Tovey (The History Boys, Looking) and Richard Hansell have joined the cast of the upcoming revival of Arthur Miller'…

Week in Review 8.14.15

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Shuffle Along... Adds Leading Men
Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald is set to star in Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed in the spring, and it was announced this week that she'll be joined by a quartet of terrific actors. Shuffling along will be Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Women on the Verge...), who will reunite with his Ragtime co-star; Tony winnerBilly Porter (Kinky Boots, scroll down to learn about Porter's Kinky Boots replacement); Tony nomineeJoshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet); and Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Motown, The Wild Party). Shuffle Along is set to play the Music Box Theatre, with previews beginning March 14, 2016. Opening night is scheduled for April 21. Broadway.com has more.

Spring Awakening Completes Its Cast
The upcoming revival of Spring Awakening is adding Camryn Manheim, Russell Harvard (a deaf actor who was in the acclaimed Tribes) and Patrick Page (Casa Valentina) to its cas…

Week in Review 8.7.15

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New York City Ballet Season On Sale
Individual tickets for New York City Ballet's 2015-2016 season are now on sale. The season includes seven world premiere ballets, including two from the Company's resident choreographer and soloist, Justin Peck (Everywhere We Go, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes). There will also be a new Christopher Wheeldon (After the Rain, An American in Paris) ballet, as well as another collaboration between choreographers and fashion designers. (Read this Week in Review from June for more about that.) In addition, the promotional artwork for the season (like the NY Export: Opus Jazz drawing at right) marks a collaboration between NYCB and artist Jamie Lee Reardin. The trailer below shows the art in motion. Visit nycballet.com for more information and to purchase tickets.


PBS Fall Arts Festival
This fall, PBS will broadcast several recorded shows, concerts and other specials as part of its annual Fall Arts Festival. Highlights include the October 16 Live from L…