Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk about Little Shop of Horrors, Linda Vista, Soft Power, Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation, Is this a Room @ Vineyard, Mrs. Stern Wanders Through A Prussian Library @ Luna Stage in West Orange NJ, Jeremy Jordan with NY Pops, Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton in Conversation with Annette Insdorf @ 92Y
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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.
Notes and links for the podcast.
Derren Brown’s Secret is now on Broadway for a Strictly Limited Engagement! Audiences and Critics are Blown Away by This Master of Psychological Illusion. The New York Times says you’ll be “Brainwashed Into Joy” Deadline calls it “Stunning. Captivating. Thoroughly Entertaining from Start to Finish.” And the Daily Beast says “You’ll be Flummoxed, Amazed, Floored, Fascinated, Freaked Out, Charmed, and Wonderstruck.” Experience Derren Brown’s Secret for Yourself — now at the Cort Theater Through January 4. Get Tickets at DerrenBrownSecret.com.
Slave Play is the new American play everyone is talking about, and due to phenomenal demand, this satirical look at race, sex, and power has been extended through January 19th. Written by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Robert O’Hara, Jesse Green of The New York Times calls it “one of the best and most provocative new works to show up on Broadway in years,” and Aisha Harris adds that Slave Play “reimagines the possibilities of what theater can give us.” Don’t miss the theatrical event of the year: Visit SlavePlayBroadway.com for tickets.
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PF: Little Shop of Horrors @ Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street, through January 19, 2020
Howard Ashman & Alan Menken’s landmark musical returns to New York under the direction of Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Spring Awakening), with preview performances beginning Tuesday, September 17, ahead of an official opening night on Thursday, October 17, 2019. The production stars two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (“Seymour”), Emmy Award winner Tammy Blanchard (“Audrey”) and two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle (“Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.”) alongside Tom Alan Robbins (“Mushnik”), Kingsley Leggs (“The Voice of Audrey II”), Ari Groover (“Ronnette”), Salome Smith (“Crystal”), Joy Woods (“Chiffon”), Eric Wright, Teddy Yudain, Kris Roberts, Chelsea Turbin, Chris Dwan, and Stephen Berger.
MP: Linda Vista @ the Hayes Theater, 240 West 44th Street, through November 10, 2019
LINDA VISTA by Tracy Letts. Directed by Dexter Bullard, LINDA VISTA stars Ian Barford, Sally Murphy, Caroline Neff, Chantal Thuy, Jim True-Frost, Cora Vander Broek and Troy West at Second Stage’s Broadway home, The Hayes Theater.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) returns to Second Stage (Mary Page Marlowe, Man from Nebraska) with a brutally comedic look at Wheeler, a 50-year-old divorcee in the throes of a mid-life spiral. Just out of his ex-wife’s garage and into a place of his own, Wheeler starts on a path toward self-discovery — navigating blind dates, old friends, and new love. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be.
PF: Soft Power @ The Public’s Newman Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, through November 10, 2019
SOFT POWER, with play and lyrics by David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Sam Pinkleton, and direction by Leigh Silverman.
Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, SOFT POWER is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all—why do we love democracy? And should we?
The complete cast of SOFT POWER includes Billy Bustamante (Xūe Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Tony Manero/Chief Justice/Hāli Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jing/Lî Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Lóng Lín Kūn//Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xūe Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).
MP: Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation @ the Triad Theatre, 158 West 72nd Street, through November 30, 2019
Gerard Alessandrini’s FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, one of NYC’s best-loved and highly anticipated productions, which happily returns to New York after a five-year absence. FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: THE NEXT GENERATION will run September 18th through November 30th at the Triad Theatre (158 West 72nd Street). The official opening is set for Wednesday, October 16th. Featured in the cast are Immanuel Houston (debut) Aline Mayagoitia (starring regional roles in Evita, Kinky Boots, In The Heights) Chris Collins-Pisano (Elf, Friends, The Musical), Jenny Lee Stern (Rocky, A Christmas Story, Jersey Boys) and Joshua Turchin (A Christmas Story, The Pill), join Fred Barton on Piano. Feeling “completely inspired” by the latest crop of Broadway musicals, Alessandrini will lampoon The Great White Way’s biggest shows and stars in this edition, which he is directing. Gerry McIntyre (Spamilton) is the choreographer. The musical is produced by John Freedson, Harriet Yellin, Peter Brash and David Zippel and Gerard Alessandrini, in association with Tzili Charney. www.forbiddenbroadway.com
Alessandrini has been feverishly completing up-to-the- moment spoofs include Hadestown, Moulin Rouge, this season’s Oklahoma! revival, The Ferryman, Tootsie, Beetlejuice, Frozen, the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof,, Dear Evan Hansen, What the Constitution Means to Me, and the new generation of Broadway stars including Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Santino Fontana, Karen Olivio, Alex Brightman and exciting turns by Bette Midler, Andre de Shields, Bernadette Peters, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and several surprises.
FORBIDDEN BROADWAY has been a theatrical institution since 1982, when Gerard Alessandrini created the first edition that lampooned the Broadway shows and stars of the day who often stop by to laugh at themselves alongside the public. FORBIDDEN BROADWAY has garnered international acclaim and awards that include 7 Drama Desks Awards, an Obie, a Drama League Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards and a Special Tony Award along the way.
PF: Is this a Room @ Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street, through November 10, 2019
IS THIS A ROOM, conceived and directed by Tina Satter will feature a cast that includes Emily C. Davis (Seagull (Thinking of you)) as Reality Winner, Becca Blackwell (“High Maintenance”) as Unknown Male, Pete Simpson (The Vineyard’s Middletown) as Agent Garrick, and TL Thompson (Straight White Men) as Agent Taylor.
A true story, still unfolding. June 3, 2017. A 25-year-old former Air Force linguist named Reality Winner (Davis) is surprised at her home by the FBI, interrogated, and then charged with leaking evidence of Russian interference in U.S elections. Reality remains in jail with a record-breaking sentence. The FBI transcript of her interrogation is the heart of Is This A Room, conceived as a play and directed by Obie Award-winner Tina Satter, in which an extraordinary human drama unfolds between the complex and witty Reality, and the agents who question her. As Reality’s autonomy shrinks before her eyes, a simmering real-life thriller emerges, asking what it is to have honor in this American moment, and how the personal can reverberate globally.
The design team includes scenic design by Parker Lutz (Ghost Rings), costume design by Enver Chakartash (Since I Can Remember), lighting design by Thomas Dunn (The Undertaking), sound design by Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, original music by Sanae Yamada (Moon Duo, Vive la Void), and puppetry design by Amanda Villalobos (In The Green).
PF: Mrs. Stern Wanders Through A Prussian Library @ Luna Stage in West Orange, NJ, through November 10, 2019
Written by Jenny Lyn Bader. Directed by Ari Laura Kreith. Starring Giuliana Carr, Karl Kenzler and Brett Temple
Johanna Stern will become one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. But at the moment, no one has heard of her, or even of the name she writes under, Hannah Arendt. She is merely a graduate student with one book under her belt. Karl Frick is a young officer, recently promoted from the criminal police force to the political police force, a new division in 1933 Berlin. His first interrogation in this new job promises to be his most challenging one. A fantastical drama about one of our deepest thinkers, inspired by real events.
MP: One Night Only: Jeremy Jordan @ The New York Pops
Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:00 PM
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor
Jeremy Jordan, Guest Artist
MP: Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton in Conversation with Annette Insdorf @ 92nd Street Y, Saturday October 19, 2019, Kaufmann Concert Hall
Moderator Annette Insdorf will interview the legendary and Oscar-winning star, Julie Andrews.
Her films include Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, The Americanization of Emily, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Star, and Victor/Victoria (from which clips will be shown), among many others. Her career also encompasses the Broadway and London stages, television shows, album releases, concert tours, directing assignments, and the world of children’s publishing. In 2000, the title of Dame Commander of the British Empire was bestowed upon her by Queen Elizabeth II for lifetime achievements in the arts and humanities.
She is also a bestselling author; together with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton (who will join us onstage for part of the discussion), she has written over 30 books. Ms. Andrews’ bestselling biography, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, was the first installment of a trilogy. The second part, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, is published this October. It explores Andrews’ arrival in Hollywood, tracing her rise to celebrity as well as her eventual marriage to the director Blake Edwards. Initial reviews of the book include, from TIME Magazine, “Frank and fascinating … Andrews comes across as plainspoken, guilelessly charming, resoundingly tough.”
Michael’s Music Moment:
Jeremy Jordan – Santa Fe
Julie Andrews – I Could Have Danced All Night
Email addresses: see above in bios
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