This Week on Broadway for September 22, 2019: Derren Brown: Secret

Jena Tesse Fox, Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Jan Simpson talk about Derren Brown: Secret, Wives @ Playwrights Horizons, Make Believe @ Second Stage, Boynton Beach Club @ Surflight Theatre, Fern Hill @ 59e59, Only Yesterday @ 59e59, and New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Exhibition: In the Company of Harold Prince



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Jena Tesse Fox | [email protected] | Twitter
Jena is a theater writer and reviewer whose articles have appeared online at,, and She also has has her own podcast, Spotlight on the BroadwayRadio network.

Peter Filichia | [email protected] | Facebook
PETER FILICHIA is a playwright, journalist, and historian with a number of books. His columns appear at MTIMasterworks BroadwayBroadway Select and many other places.

James Marino | [email protected] | Twitter | Facebook

Jan Simpson | [email protected]Facebook | Twitter
Broadway & Me
JAN SIMPSON is the Director of the Arts and Culture Journalism Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, and also writes for TDF Stages, American Theater and has her own blog at Broadway & Me. She sits on the executive board of the Outer Critics Circle and is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.


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JM + PF: Derren Brown: Secret @ Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street, through January 4, 2020

Derren Brown: Secret. From stage to screen, two-time Olivier Award winner Derren Brown has mesmerized millions worldwide with his unique brand of mind reading, persuasion, and psychological illusion. Now, after a sold-out critically acclaimed run off-Broadway, Derren Brown: Secret returns with a spellbinding experience that dares us — in the most jaw-dropping way — to take a closer look at the stories and beliefs that guide our lives. Derren Brown: Secret is written by Andy Nyman, Derren Brown and Andrew O’Connor and is directed by Andrew O’Connor and Andy Nyman.

The production had its world premiere in 2017, where the acclaimed British performer and author played to sold-out houses at Atlantic Theater Company, and went on to win the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience. In the UK, Derren Brown’s critically acclaimed shows have played sold out runs in the West End and have been awarded two Olivier Awards.

Derren Brown: Secret is produced by J.J. Abrams, Thomas Kail, and Jeffrey Seller


JS: Wives @ Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 416 West 42 Street, through October 6, 2019
Written by Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Margot Bordelon
You’re the queen, bitch. There isn’t any king around. This is your world.
From the brawny castles of 16th Century France, to the rugged plains of 1960s Idaho, to the strapping fortresses of 1920s India, all hail the remarkable stories of Great Men! — and their whiny, witchy, vapid, vengeful, jealous wives. In this kaleidoscopic, time-hopping comedy, Jaclyn Backhaus pushes past patriarchal cliché to reach an ecstatic breakthrough, untethering stories and history — and language itself — from the visions made by men.

Aadya Bedi — Wife 3
Purva Bedi — Wife 1
Sathya Sridharan — Man
Adina Verson — Wife 2

Scenic Design: Reid Thompson
Costume Design: Valérie Thérèse Bart
Lighting Design: Amith Chandrashaker
Sound Design and Original Music: Kate Marvin
Hair and Wig Design: J. Jared Janas
Production Stage Manager: Erin Gioia Albrecht
Assistant Stage Manager: Lissette Velez-Cross


JF: Make Believe @ Second Stage, Tony Kiser Theater, 305 West 43rd Street, through September 22, 2019
Written by Bess Wohl and directed by Michael Greif. MAKE BELIEVE features Kim Fischer, Susannah Flood, Ryan Foust, Harrison Fox, Maren Heary, Brad Heberlee, Casey Hilton and Samantha Mathis.
When does real life collide with make believe? For the four Conlee kids, ages 5 to 10, playing house is no longer a game when their parents inexplicably disappear. Thirty-two years later, their search for answers continues. Bess Wohl returns to Second Stage after her funny and poignant play, American Hero, with a look inside the minds of children, their parents and the mysteries of childhood that haunt us forever.


PF: Boynton Beach Club @ Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, NJ
Starring Andrea McArdle
September 12, 15, 17, 19, 22 at 2:00pm
September 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21 at 8:00pm
A World Premiere Musical. Based on the film Boynton Beach Club. Book by Susan Seidelman; Music by Ned Ginsburg; Lyrics by Michael Colby and Cornelia Ravenal. Explores our amazing capacity to rebound and fall in love again at any age. It’s the story of aging South Florida Baby Boomers whose lives intersect at a local Bereavement Club, where some have gone to find emotional support and companionship after the loss of a loved one. Soon they find themselves back in the “dating game” after decades of married life, only to discover that all the rules have changed. Come see this hilarious Musical Comedy BEFORE it heads to Broadway.


JS: Fern Hill @ 59e59, through October 20, 2019
By Michael Tucker
Directed by Nadia Tass

With Mark Blum, Jill Eikenberry, John Glover, Mark Linn-Baker, Jodi Long, and Ellen Parker

Three couples in their golden years, thick as thieves, are gathered at Sunny and Jer’s farmhouse to celebrate milestone birthdays that span three decades. The foundation of their long friendship is honesty and support – as well as a commitment to the enjoyment of food, wine and laughter. They’re so close that Sunny suggests that they all move in together—to live and work and assist one another as they grow older.

Their companionship is put to the test, however, when a marital betrayal is discovered. The bonds of loyalty and truth are explored in this mature comedy.


JS: Only Yesterday @ 59e59, through September 29, 2019
By Bob Stevens
Directed by Carol Dunne
With Tommy Crawford, Christopher Sears, Christopher Flockton, and Olivia Swayze

Paul McCartney and John Lennon together again for one night only. This intimate play by Hollywood writer Bob Stevens (The Wonder Years, Murphy Brown, Malcolm in the Middle) brings to life a little-known night when John and Paul were becoming the most famous men on earth.

After months of performing for arenas of fans, John and Paul find themselves stranded in a cheap motel room in Key West. They do what many young men do when they’re bored—get drunk and have some laughs. But as their talk turns serious, they bond over the revelation of childhood events and find inspiration for the music that changed our lives.


JF + PF: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Exhibition: In the Company of Harold Prince (@ 40 Lincoln Center Plaza) through March 31, 2020

No one did more to define the American musical today than Harold “Hal” Prince. His resume included some of the most important titles of the past century: West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera. In the Company of Hal Prince will explore Prince’s reinvention of musical theatre from the script- and score-based model created by Rodgers and Hammerstein and George Abbott to a more visual, almost cinematic art form in which the director is auteur. Prince acknowledged that fruitful collaboration is the foundation of theatrical genius, and this exhibition will illuminate the team of designers, stage managers, press agents, composers, and writers Prince assembled to create so many history-making shows.

In addition to displaying original costumes, set models, and archival video, this exhibition borrows from the aesthetic of immersive theatre and invites visitors to pick up, examine, and interact with reproductions of documents and objects from the Library’s unparallelled collections. Facsimiles of the paperwork for The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees will be scattered over a recreation of Prince’s desk. Digital replicas of stage manager Ruth Mitchell’s scripts will be linked to thousands of never-before-seen photographs from the Library’s collections. An open cabaret stage will allow visitors to perform pieces from his shows or record their own stories about their experience with Prince’s theatrical work.



Who is the villain in Hamilton? @justmusicalpoll







Post Script:

Michael’s Music Moment:


Coming Soon: 

Explicit: No


All the Wasted Time from Parade written by Jason Robert Brown

Old Red Hill of Home from Parade written by Jason Robert Brown

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