INHERITANCE raves, EVITA reviews, Weekly Show Schedule, Olivo and Tveit on Late Night, IN THE HEIGHTS Puerto Rico production announced
“Today on Broadway” is a daily, Monday through Friday, podcast hitting the top theatre headlines of the day.
1. THE INHERITANCE Opens on Broadway
We had our next big Broadway opening of the season with the West End transfer of the Olivier Award-winning THE INHERITANCE, which opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Sunday night.
The play, written by Matthew Lopez and directed by Stephen Daldry stars Kyle Soller, Andrew Burnap, Samuel H. Levine, Paul Hilton, John Benjamin Hickey, Lois Smith, and more. The two-parter is based on the novel Howard’s End and examines love between gay men in contemporary New York a generation after the AIDS epidemic.
Adam Feldman at Time Out New York calls the play “a searching and moving exploration of gay male life in NYC,” writing: A certain amount of imperfection is built into ambition on this scale. The Inheritance is longer than it needs to be, yet the discussion of modern issues sometimes feels thin; the second part, which departs more freely from the Howard’s End template, is less assured than the first (despite a welcome late cameo by the formidable Lois Smith), and its framing devices are overfamiliar, especially toward the finale. But at its best, as in the unforgettable sequence that concludes the first half, it taps into a profound sense of loss and a yearning for connection. If progress has come at a cost, THE INHERITANCE is a play about remembering and honoring one’s debts. As such, it feels—to quote one of its characters—like a necessary haunting.”
And Marilyn Stasio at Variety writes: “The Inheritance” is bound to be compared with that other two-parter about gay life, “Angels in America.” That’s unsurprising, but beside the point. “Angels” was literally timeless in nature, a lament for all the living and all the dead from time immemorial. Once seen, “Angels” was never forgotten. “The Inheritance” is not as embracing of all humanity, living and dead: Its characters are too shallow, too narcissistic, too selfish, too grounded in time and space. Nonetheless, “The Inheritance” will not easily be forgotten, either. The play is a remarkable slice of life in a time of war and a beautiful remembrance, “a haunting, a necessary haunting” of both the victims and the survivors of that war.
2. EVITA City Center Reviews
One of this season’s most highly anticipated productions opened last week as New York City Center’s gala presentation of EVITA officially began performances on November 13th.
Solea Pfeiffer, Maia Reficco, Jason Gotay, Enrique Acevedo, Philip Hernández, and Marie Cristina Slye star. The production, directed by Sammi Cannold, will run through November 24th at New York City Center.
Jesse Green at The New York Times calls it a “smart yet unpersuasive production,” writing: “Evita” is already overloaded with symbols. Most of its characters are abstractions, and so are most of its conflicts. Eva’s chief antagonist isn’t her husband, the quasi-fascist Juan Perón, but Che, a generalized man of the people and freelance cynic. The plot unrolls like a military campaign seen from above on a strategy map, with the ensemble divided into armies representing the haughty rich, the cutthroat military and the impoverished descamisados. Cannold’s production, with its additional symbolic superstructure and shaky use of the stage, is often too fragmented to produce the effects the show’s creators intended. I am not really endorsing those effects; deliberately or not, they give moral status to characters who don’t deserve it, just by letting them sing. Cannold undercuts that, forcing us to confront our complicity in enjoying them as entertainment. But of course, in the process they become less entertaining.
Both Melissa Rose Bernardo and Elysa Gardner at New York Stage Review gave it four stars, with Gardner writing: “Any 2019 staging of the show poses risks: Can its portrait of a poor but ambitious young woman who essentially slept her way to the top, thought by some to be sexist or simplistic even 40 years ago, fly in our post-#MeToo era? To quote from one of librettist/lyricist Tim Rice’s refrains, the answer is yes—at least, in the hands of a director who gets the nuances that Lloyd Webber and Rice, neither of whom are generally known for nuance, insert into their account of Eva’s rise and fall, and her relationship with military leader-turned-president Juan Perón. The new production of Evita at New York City Center has such a guide in Sammi Cannold, a young director who has cast two vibrantly gifted young women in the title role.”
3. This Week’s Show Schedule
Previews: HARRY TOWNSEND’S LAST STAND
Previews: ONE IN TWO
Opening: A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY
Opening: THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE
Opening: EINSTEIN’S DREAMS
Opening: CONFIDENCE (AND THE SPEECH)
Opening: THE UNDERLYING CHRIS
Previews: THE FOUR SEASONS
Opening: THE CRUCIBLE
Previews: EVERYTHING IS SUPER GREAT
Previews: THE THIN PLACE
Opening: THE FOUR SEASONS
Closing: DR. RIDE’S AMERICAN BEACH HOUSE
Opening: THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA
Opening: FEFU AND HER FRIENDS
Closing: THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM
Closing: FOR ALL THE WOMEN WHO THOUGHT THEY WERE MAD
Closing: IS THIS A ROOM
Closing: ONE DISCORDANT VIOLIN
Closing: THE WRONG MAN
Audible Announces a World Premiere Production from America’s Most-Produced Living Playwright Lauren Gunderson
THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE
Starring Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
Previews begin Tuesday, November 12
Opening Tuesday, November 19
at the Minetta Lane Theatre
Watch Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit Perform ‘Your Song’ From Moulin Rouge!
5. In Other News…
IN THE HEIGHTS to Play Puerto Rico Starring Ektor Rivera
Ahead of the 2020 cinematic release of the highly anticipated IN THE HEIGHTS, Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that a brand-new Puerto Rican production of the musical will play the Centro de Bella Artes in Santurce starting May 7th, 2020.
Miranda recorded a video in Spanish that was released on the BAS Entertainment Twitter account and announced ON YOUR FEET! Star Ektor Rivera will play Usnavi in the production. Further details and casting will be announced in the near future. Tickets are on sale now as of Friday.