Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk about The Great Society, Slave Play, A Musical About Star Wars, Sunset Boulevard at North Shore Music Theatre, and Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
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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 MTI, Masterworks Broadway, Broadway Select and many other places.
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 FollowSpotPhoto.com.
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Don’t Call Me Young Lady
Her name is Carolyn Meyer and at 84 she hates being called “young lady.” On October 27th at the United Solo Festival she will tell you why. Don’t Call Me Young Lady is her raucous, raunchy and emotionally engaging story of how she became who she is. Get your tickets today at www.unitedsolo.org. That’s United Solo.org.
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MP + JM + PF: The Great Society @ the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, through November 30, 2019
From the producers, writer, and director of the Tony Award®-winning Broadway production All The Way comes a thrilling new play about the LBJ legacy: The Great Society. Presented at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, this striking production features a brilliant cast portraying over 50 characters, including Emmy® and Olivier Award winner Brian Cox (“Succession,” King Lear with the Royal Shakespeare Company) as LBJ, introducing Grantham Coleman (Much Ado About Nothing at The Public) as Martin Luther King Jr., Emmy winner and Tony nominee Gordon Clapp (Glengarry Glen Ross) as J. Edgar Hoover, Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (“Billions,” A Minister’s Wife at LCT) as Richard J. Daley, Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) as Robert F. Kennedy, Tony winner Frank Wood (Side Man) as Everett Dirksen, and Tony nominee Richard Thomas (The Little Foxes) as Hubert Humphrey.
Capturing Johnson’s passionate and aggressive attempts to build a just society for all, The Great Society follows his epic triumph in a landslide election to the agonizing decision not to run for re-election just three years later. It was an era that would define history forever: the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, the escalation of the Vietnam War, and the creation of some of the greatest social programs America has ever known—and one man was at the center of it all: LBJ.
PF: Slave Play @ Golden Theatre, 252 West 45th Street, through January 5, 2020
— This Week on Broadway for December 9, 2018: Network, Cher (Peter and Michael review Slave Play @ New York Theatre Workshop)
Slave Play is written by Jeremy O. Harris and the production is directed by Robert O’Hara.
Slave Play stars Ato Blankson-Wood, James Cusati-Moyer, Sullivan Jones, Joaquina Kalukango, Chalia La Tour, Irene Sofia Lucio, Annie McNamara, and Paul Alexander Nolan. The cast is being understudied by Eboni Flowers, Thomas Keegan, Jakeem Dante Powell, and Elizabeth Stahlmann.
The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation — in the breeze, in the cotton fields…and in the crack of the whip. It’s an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master’s House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip’s fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary’s big, black boot in the barn. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.
The creative team for the production includes Tony Award® winner Clint Ramos (scenic design), four-time Drama Desk Award nominee Dede Ayite (costume design), Drama Desk Award nominee Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), three-time Drama Desk Award nominee Lindsay Jones (sound design and original music), Amauta Marston-Firmino (dramaturg), Byron Easley (movement), Drama Desk Award winner Claire Warden (intimacy and fight director), Doug Nevin (production counsel), and Taylor Williams (casting director).
MP: A Musical About Star Wars @ St Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, through January 5, 2020
PF: WP Theater and Second Stage Theater’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord @ McGinn/Cazale Theater, 2162 Broadway, through October 27, 2019
OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD, written by Alexis Scheer and directed by Whitney White. OUR DEAR DEAD DRUG LORD features Carmen Berkeley, Daniel Duque-Estrada, Alyssa May Gold, Rebecca Jimenez, Michaela Perez and Malika Samuel.
In this fierce and feverish world premiere comedy from WP Theater and Second Stage, a gang of teenage girls gathers in an abandoned treehouse to summon the ghost of Pablo Escobar. Are they messing with the actual spirit of the infamous cartel kingpin? Or are they really just messing with each other? A rollercoaster ride through the danger and damage of girlhood – the teenage wasteland has never been so much twisted fun.
PF: Sunset Boulevard at North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA with Alice Ripley, closing today (October 6, 2019)
September 24 – October 6, 2019
SUNSET BOULEVARD is the magnificent tale of Norma Desmond (played by Tony® Award-winner Alice Ripley) , a faded silent-screen goddess living in her Sunset Boulevard mansion clinging to a fantasy that audiences still long for her, but in reality, they hardly remember her. When an impoverished screenwriter, Joe Gillis, stumbles into her reclusive domain she persuades him to help her work on her film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras again. Seduced by her and her luxurious lifestyle he agrees. Entrapped in a claustrophobic existence, his love for another woman leads him to try and break free of Norma’s web, but with dramatic consequences. Based on the film by Billy Wilder, SUNSET BOULEVARD, features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton. The Tony® Award-winning masterwork is packed with lush and swelling songs including “With One Look,” “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and “Perfect Year.”
MP: 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.
Diahann Carroll, Actress Who Broke Barriers With ‘Julia,’ Dies at 84
In addition to being a sitcom pioneer, she sang on television, in nightclubs, on recordings and on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award.
Michael’s Music Moment:
SUNSET BLVD. Toronto Press Reel—Diahann Carroll