Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk about Romeo & Bernadette to transfer, 54 Sings Lovesong @ 54 Below, Spring Awakening @ Round House Theatre, Seesaw @ Theatre Row, Keen Company production of Blues for An Alabama Sky, Emojiland The Musical @ The Duke on 42nd Street, and Hamlet @ St. Ann’s Warehouse
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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 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.
Peter’s Trivia Answer
Michael’s review of Romeo & Bernadette can be found here: This Week on Broadway for January 26, 2020: A Soldier’s Play
New Shows in Development:
PF: 54 Sings Lovesong @ 54 Below, February 11, 2020
In 1972, composer Michael Valenti had the idea to set poetry from such diverse sources as Dorothy Parker and Sir Walter Raleigh in an original song cycle that asked the question – what is love? Lovesong became his first hit show, with long runs in Toronto and New York. Now come see a version updated by the composer himself for 2019 that asks the same question in an ever more complicated world. Join us for 54 Sings Lovesong, a Valentine’s Day treat, and hear what Cue Magazine called “The most melodic, original music heard this side of Richard Rodgers.”
Featuring: Rachel Rhodes-Devey, Gina Naomi Baez, Quentin Garzón, and Forest VanDyke
Produced and directed by Mark Falconer, with musical direction by Will Buck (Oh, Brother! and Doonesbury at Feinstein’s/54 Below.)
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MP: Spring Awakening @ Round House Theatre, Bethesda, MD, through February 23, 2020
Book & Lyrics by Steven Sater
Music By Duncan Sheik
Based on the play by Frank Wedekind
Directed by Alan Paul
The cast includes Tonya Beckman (previously in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Jane Bernhard (The Wolves at Studio Theatre), Katie Rey Bogdan (Three Cheers to Grace at Young Playwright’s Theater), Carson Collins (The Bridges of Madison County at Keegan Theatre), Evan Daves (Nine and Scotland, PA at Roundabout Theatre Company), Michael J. Mainwaring (previously in In the Heights), James Mernin (Cabaret at Olney Theatre Center), Christian Montgomery (Little Shop of Horrors at Constellation Theatre Company), Kalen Robinson (Grease at Toby’s Dinner Theatre), Cristina Sastre (In the Heights at North Carolina Theatre), Bobby Smith (previously in A Year with Frog and Toad), Sean Watkinson (Billy Elliot and Miss Saigon at Signature Theatre), and Chani Wereley (Earthrise at The Kennedy Center and Love’s Labor’s Lost at the Folger Theatre).
The cast is joined by a creative team that includes music director James Cunningham, choreographer Paul McGill, scenic designer Adam Rigg, lighting designer Colin K. Bills, costume designer Sarah Cubbage, sound designer Matthew Nielson, and intimacy director Lorraine Ressegger-Slone.
For a repressed group of teenagers, the road to adulthood is fraught with suffocating confusion in Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Tony-winning adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s prescient 19th-century drama. As the adults in their lives exert control but withhold guidance, Melchior, Wendla, Moritz, Ilse, and their friends navigate blindly through the enigma of their burgeoning sexuality. Both haunting and high-octane, the score bristles with anthems to adolescence like “Mama Who Bore Me” and “The Bitch of Living,” and is infused with a blend of folk, pop, and rock that gives this tale unexpected soul. With generational gaps growing wider than ever, the angst and defiance at the heart of this boundary-pushing musical act as a bridge between our deeply personal yet wholly universal experiences.
MP + PF: Seesaw @ Theatre Row – Theatre Two, 410 West 42nd Street, February 13-23, 2020
MUSIC: CY COLEMAN
LYRICS: DOROTHY FIELDS
BOOK: MICHAEL BENNETT
DIRECTOR: ROBERT W. SCHNEIDER
MUSIC DIRECTOR: GRANT STROM
CHOREOGRAPHER: CAITLIN BELCIK
From the composing team of Sweet Charity, Seesaw tells the story of Jerry Ryan, a reserved lawyer from Omaha, who has fled to New York City looking for a change in his life. There he meets Gittel Mosca, a single, loveable lunatic who lives life to the fullest. Will their love affair be able to survive the big, noisy, dirty island known as Manhattan? Songs include: “It’s Not Where You Start,” It’s Where You Finish,” “Welcome to Holiday Inn,” and “Nobody Does It Like Me.”
Seesaw is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. Based on the play Two For The Seesaw by William Gibson.
PF: Keen Company production of Blues for An Alabama Sky @ Theatre Row – Theatre Five, 410 West 42nd Street, through March 14, 2020
By PEARL CLEAGE
Directed by LA Williams
It’s the summer of 1930 and the promises of the Harlem Renaissance are giving way to the dashed dreams of the Great Depression. Playwright Pearl Cleage (Flyin’ West and Oprah Book Club selection What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day) tells a strikingly modern story about four friends whose lives and passions collide when an innocent newcomer from Alabama arrives in New York.
Having captivating audiences around the world, Keen is proud to bring Blues for An Alabama Sky to New York for the first time since the play premiered in Atlanta 25 years ago.
STARRING: Alfie Fuller, Jasminn Johnson, John-Andrew Morrison, Khiry Walker, and Sheldon Woodley
MP: Emojiland The Musical @ The Duke on 42nd Street in New 42nd Street Studios, 229 West 42nd Street, through March 19, 2020
Emojiland’s book, music and lyrics are written by Keith Harrison & Laura Schein. The musical is directed by Thomas Caruso (Southern Comfort, Matilda, Groundhog Day), with choreography by Kenny Ingram (The Lion King) and musical direction by Lena Gabrielle (Endangered!).
The cast of EMOJILAND features Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Princess, Josh Lamon (The Prom, Groundhog Day) as Prince, Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Pile of Poo, Emmy Winner & Grammy Nominee Felicia Boswell (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE, Shuffle Along, Motown) as Police Officer, Tony Nominee Lucas Steele (Great Comet) as Skull, Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, YouTube’s “Breaking Down the Riffs”) as Construction Worker, Max Crumm (Grease, Disaster) as Man In Business Suit Levitating, Jacob Dickey (Aladdin Broadway as Aladdin) as Smiling Face with Sunglasses, (aka “Sunny”), Dwelvan David (Finding Neverland & The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Tours) as Guardsman, Heather Makalani(Aladdin) as Kissy Face, Tanisha Moore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tour) as Woman Dancing and Jordan Fife Hunt (A Chorus Line First Revival Tour) as Man Dancing, George Abud (The Band’s Visit) as Nerd Face, and Emojiland Co-Writer Laura Schein as Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes (aka “Smize”).
Scenic design is by David Goldstein, costume & make-up design is by Vanessa Leuck, lighting design is by Jamie Roderick, sound design is by Ken Goodwin, hair & wig design is by Bobbie Pinz, and projection design is by Lisa Renkel & Possible Productions. The production is cast by Binder Casting (Chad Murnane, CSA), is Executive Produced & General Managed by Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin / Tim Sulka), and is Production Managed by Tinc Productions. Social Media & Influencer Marketing is by YesBroadway (Sam Maher). Bell Arts Entertainment (Jacquelyn Bell) associate produces.
Originally presented by the New York Musical Festival, Dan Markley, Executive Director & Producer, Emojiland was a Grand Jury Selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival. This current run has garnered critical acclaim from The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Not to be confused with, and very much unlike The Emoji Movie, Emojiland is an electric ensemble piece about a diverse community of archetypes who take one another at face value: a smiling face dealing with depression; a princess who doesn’t want a prince; a skull dying for deletion; a nerd face too smart for his own good; a face with sunglasses who can’t see past his own reflection; and a police officer and construction worker who just want to work together. When a software update threatens to destroy life as they know it, Emojiland faces the most fundamental questions a society – and a heart – can face: Who are we? And who matters?
Performances of EMOJILAND are on Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm, and Sundays at 7pm.
PF: Hamlet @ St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn Bridge Park| 45 Water Street, dumbo BKLYN, through March 8, 2020
St. Ann’s Warehouse presents in association with Kate Pakenham Gate Theatre Dublin HAMLET By William Shakespeare
Directed by Yaël Farber
Featuring Ruth Negga
Academy Award nominee® Ruth Negga makes her “mesmerizing” New York theatrical debut with a passionate, critically acclaimed portrayal, featuring an ensemble of leading Irish actors. Under Yaël Farber’s direction, focus shifts from anguish and identity to the power of resistance.
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