This Week on Broadway for September 29, 2019: The Height of the Storm

Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk about The Height of the Storm, Henry IV, Part 1 @ Folger Theatre, Washington DC, Porgy and Bess @ Metropolitan Opera, Antigone @ Park Avenue Armory, The Full Monty @ Argyle Theatre, Caesar and Cleopatra @ Theater Row, Everybody Rise: A Resistance Cabaret @ Birdland Theater, and The 2019 Idea Awards @ New Dramatists.



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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

Michael Portantiere | [email protected] | Facebook
MICHAEL PORTANTIERE is a theater reviewer and essayist. He is also a theatrical photographer whose photos have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications. You can see his photography work at


Notes and links for the podcast.


MP: How was Italy?

PF: How was the Broadway Cares Flea Market?

PF: Save the Date! The Theatre World Awards Board of Directors, Dale Badway, President, has announced, today, the 76th Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will take place on Monday evening, June 1, 2020 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Circle in the Square Theatre (1633 Broadway).


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PF + MP: The Height of the Storm @ Manhattan Theatre Club, Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, through November 24, 2019
Two legendary actors come together in one unforgettable story of a shared life and all of its complexities.

Two-time Olivier and Tony Award® winner Jonathan Pryce (“Game of Thrones”, “The Two Popes”, “The Wife”, Miss Saigon) joins three-time Olivier Award winner Eileen Atkins (“The Crown”, Doubt, The Retreat from Moscow, Indiscretions) to bring the acclaimed West End sensation by Florian Zeller, and translated by Christopher Hampton (MTC’s The Father), to Broadway.

For 50 years the lives of André and Madeleine have been filled with the everyday pleasures and unfathomable mysteries of an enduring marriage, until suddenly their life together begins to unravel, and this loving relationship is faced with the inevitability of change. Jonathan Kent (Long Day’s Journey into Night) directs this thrilling production The Times of London declares “a deeply moving new play that takes us to the edge of what it is to love.”

PF: Henry IV, Part 1 @ Folger Theatre, Washington DC, through October 13, 2019
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Rosa Joshi
Four-time Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Edward Gero returns to the Folger as the irrepressible, larger-than-life Sir John Falstaff. The production also features Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (last season’s King John at Folger Theatre; Round House Theatre’s Oslo) as Blunt and Mortimer; Naomi Jacobson (Folger Theatre’s Richard III) as the Percy family leader Worcester; Kate Eastwood Norris (Macbeth and Mary Stuart at the Folger) as the bawdy Mistress Quickly; and Avery Whitted, making his DC theater debut as Prince Hal.

MP: Porgy and Bess @ Metropolitan Opera, through February 1, 2020
By George Gershwin, Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.

Original Porgy and Bess film shown recently

Princess Bride remake rumors — should Porgy and Bess be remade instead?

TV production directed by Trevor Nunn

City Opera production filmed, but audio does not match.

This Week on Broadway for January 23, 2012: Porgy Knows Bess (contains Michael’s review of the 2012 Broadway production with Audra MacDonald and Norm Lewis)

PF: Antigone @ Park Avenue Armory, Wade Thompson Drill Hall, 643 Park Avenue, through October 6, 2019
North American Premiere
By Sophocles, Translation by Shigetake Yaginuma

A Production of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
Adapted by Park Avenue Armory and Presented in Collaboration with The Japan Foundation

Satoshi Miyagi, Director
Hiroko Tanakawa, Composer
Junpei Kiz, Space Designer
Kayo Takahashi, Costume Designer
Koji Osako, Lighting Designer
Kyoko Kajita, Hair and Makeup

MP: The Full Monty @ Argyle Theatre in Babylon Village (Long Island, NY), through October 20, 2019
The Full Monty with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Terrence McNally, based on the 1997 film of the same name, at The Argyle Theatre (34 West Main Street, Babylon, Long Island).

Directed by Evan Pappas, with choreography by Eugenio Contenti and music direction by Ethan Andersen, the cast features Eddie Egan as Jerry Lukowski, with principal cast members David Borum as Buddy “Keno” Walsh, Brayden Bratti as Nathan Lukowski, Hunter Brown as Ethan Girard, John Hickok as Harold Nichols, Hannah M. James as Pam Lukowski, Jacob Karp alternating in the role of Nathan Lukowski, Kyra Leeds as Vicki Nichols, Pat Moran as Malcolm MacGregor, Milton Craig Nealy as Noah “Horse” T. Simmons, Max Wilcox as Dave Bukatinsky, Kristine Zbornik as Jennette Burmeister, and Nicole Zelka as Georgia Bukatinsky. They are joined by ensemble members Sean Cullen Carroll, Luke Dombroski, Emily Durand, Katherine Fletcher, Malcolm Franklin, Kaisha Huguley, Michelle Rubino, and James Schultz.

PF: Caesar and Cleopatra @ Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street, through October 12, 2019
By Bernard Shaw
Directed by David Staller
Caesar … Robert Cuccioli
Cleopatra … Teresa Avia Lim
Ftatateeta … Brenda Braxton
Rufio … Jeff Applegate
Britannus … Jonathan Hadley
Pothinus … Rajesh Bose
Apollodorus … Dan Domingues

MP: Everybody Rise: A Resistance Cabaret @ Birdland Theater, 315 West 44th Street, through October 1, 2019
Due to popular demand, Birdland Theater is proud to announce more performances of “Everybody Rise! A Resistance Cabaret.” This evening of classic show tunes, all lethally revised for the age of Trump, stars an impressive array of musical theater dynamos, including Taylor Crousore, Daisy Hobbs, Michael Kostroff, Christine Pedi, Dylan Thompson and Nick Wyman under the musical direction of Matthew Martin Ward. They’ll be joined at each performance by two Special Guest Stars, among them Bryan Batt, Liz Callaway, Jason Robert Brown, Katie Finneran, Ann Harada, Brad Oscar and Chip Zien. (Check Birdland’s website closer to dates for exact appearance schedule.)

“Everybody Rise!” springs from the fiendish mind of Joe Keenan, an Emmy, Kleban, and Thurber-Award winning novelist (Blue Heaven, My Lucky Star), lyricist, playwright, and TV writer (Frasier). As the fateful 2020 election approaches, Keenan’s brilliantly funny songs are both the call to arms and the hilarious antidote to despair we need to survive today’s news and change tomorrow’s.

PF: The 2019 Idea Awards @ New Dramatists
The Bret Adams & Paul Reisch Foundation

The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of their 2019 Idea Awards for Theatre; three grants awarded to adventurous new voices in playwriting and musical theatre, as well the visionary playwrights who have inspired and blazed trails before them.

The two inaugural 2019 Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Awards will be presented to Tina Howe (Painting Churches, Coastal Disturbances) and Adrienne Kennedy (Funnyhouse of a Negro, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White). Honoring accomplished playwrights who have created significant, idea-driven works throughout their career, the Tooth of Time Distinguished Career Award is given with a $20,000 prize for each recipient.

Dave Harris is the recipient of this year’s Ollie New Play Award. The 2019 Vivace Musical Theatre Award will be awarded to the composer/lyricist team, Kit Yan and Melissa Li. Recognizing emerging talent and original work with ambitious theatrical ideas, both awards are bestowed with a $30,000 prize.

Each of the five artists will also receive a unique hand-carved marble statuette.

The 2019 Idea Awards for Theatre will be presented on Monday, September 23, 2019, in a private ceremony (by invitation only) hosted at New Dramatists.

Theatrical Agent Bret Adams and his partner Dr. Paul Reisch loved the theatre with great passion. As a theatrical agent, Bret shepherded the careers of many actors, writers and directors and designers, including Phylicia Rashad, Judy Kaye, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Sherman Helmsley, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Eve Arden, Christine Ebersole, Kathleen Marshall, Jayne Wyman, Andre DeShields, Kathy Bates, Susan H. Schulman, Jack Heifner, Philip McKinley and Robert Harling, among many others. After Bret and Paul’s passing, in 2006 and 2015 respectively, their eponymous foundation was created at their bequest. The Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation champions visionary playwrights in their creation of expansive, illuminating, and idea-driven theatre. Embracing diversity in all its forms, The Foundation encourages artists with fresh perspectives – particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds – to create idea-driven new plays and musicals reflecting on multivalent themes including science, history, philosophy, gender, race, politics, sexual orientation, technology, religion, money, global warming, and medicine, among others. Nominations for all threeawards are accepted exclusively from The Foundation’s Board of Artistic Advisors. For more information, visit








Post Script:

Michael’s Music Moment:


Coming Soon: 

Explicit: No


19. Porgy And Bess: Act III, Scene 3: Oh Lawd, I’m on my way (Porgy, Chorus)

1. Porgy And Bess: Act I, Scene 1: Introduction, Jasbo Brown solo, chorus (Jasbro Brown, Chorus)

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