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SAMPLE ISSUE:  Thursday, November 7, 2019

Today’s Highlights:

* The New Group‘s Cyrano, written & directed by Erica Schmidt,by, featuring Peter Dinklage (Cyrano), Ritchie Coster (De Guiche), Josh A. Dawson (Le Bret), Hillary Fisher (Orange Girl), Christopher Gurr (Jodelet), Blake Jenner (Christian), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Roxanne), Nehal Joshi (Ragueneau), Grace McLean (Chaperone Marie), and Scott Stangland (Montgomery), with Erika Olson, opens at Off-Broadway’s Daryl Roth Theatre.

* Amas Musical Theatre‘s Mighty Funny Kinda’ Love, by Pamela Baskin-Watson & Nedra Dixon, directed by Elmore James, featuring Tina Fabrique, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Kimberly Harris, Santita Jackson, Zonya Love, Karen Parks, Angel Rose, and Virginia Woodruff, opens at Off-Broadway’s A.R.T. / New York Theatres.

* Melissa Errico: An Even Grander Affair, celebrating the music of Michel Legrand, with music directed by Tedd Firth, opens at 54 Below.

* God of Carnage, directed by Hunter Foster, featuring Jeremy Kushnier (Alan), Jennifer Cody (Annette), Josie DeVincenzo (Veronica), and Sky Seals (Michael), opens at Syracuse’s Redhouse Arts Center.

* Fruition, world premiere by Alexis DeLaRosa, directed by Lauren Smerkanich, featuring Alexis DeLaRosa, Faith Imafidon, Kathleen O’Grady, Trevor H Olsen, and Travis York, opens at Hollywood’s Theatre of NOTE.

* A Christmas Carol, newly adapted by Jack Thorne, directed by Matthew Warchus, featuring Campbell Scott (Ebenezer Scrooge), Andrea Martin (Ghost of Christmas Past), LaChanze (Ghost of Christmas Present / Mrs. Fezziwig), Erica Dorfler (Mrs. Cratchit), Dasheill Eaves (Bob Cratchit), Hannah Elless (Jess), Brandon Gill (Fred), Evan Harrington (Fezziwig), Chris Hoch (Father / Marley), Sarah Hunt (Belle), Matthew Labanca (Nicholas), Alex Nee (Ferdy), Dan Piering (Young Ebenezer / George), Rachel Prather (Little Fan), Sebastian Ortiz & Jai Ram Srinivasan (alternating as Tiny Tim), with Celia Mei Rubin (Mrs. Fezziwig & Mrs. Cratchit standby), begins previews at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre.

* The Young Man From Atlanta, by Horton Foote, directed by Michael Wilson, featuring Kristine Nielsen (Lily), Aidan Quinn (Will), Devon Abner (Ted Cleveland), Dan Bittner (Tom Jackson), Pat Bowie (Etta Doris), Jon Orsini (Carson), Larry Pine (Pete Davenport) and Hariett D. Foy (Miss Lacey), begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre.

* Pumpgirl, by Abbie Spallen, directed by Nicola Murphy, featuring Hamish Allen-Headley (Hammy), Labhaoise Magee (Pumpgirl), and Clare O’Malley (Sinead), begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Irish Rep.

* Steve Ross: I’m in Love with Vienna discussion & concert, featuring Hans Pieter Herman and Jaqueline Milena, at Noon at NYC’s 92Y.


  Complete casting has been announced for Tracy Letts’ The Minutes, to run Feb. 25 – June 14 (opening Mar. 15) at the Cort Theatre, directed by Anna D. Shapiro.

  Tracy Letts, Ian Barford, Blair Brown, Cliff Chamberlain, Armie Hammer, Danny McCarthy, Jessie Mueller, Sally Murphy, Austin Pendleton, and Jeff Still.

A look at the inner-workings of a city council meeting in the small town of Big Cherry, and the hypocrisy, greed, and ambition that follow.


  The world premiere of Christine Read & Rick Briskin’s Hit Her With the Skates will begin performances Mar. 10 at Chicago’s Royal George Theatre (link TBA).  The creative team TBA.

  Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, with more TBA.

The musical follows rock star Jacqueline Miller as she headlines her first national tour. Trouble arises when she agrees to kick off the re-opening of her childhood roller rink, Windy City Skates, forcing her to take a retrospective journey look back at her life growing up.


   Derek Klena in concert will take place Mon. Dec. 16 at 7 PM at Rdigefield, CT’s ACT.


  The 4th Annual Chita Rivera Awards ceremony will take place Sun. May 17, 2020 at the NYU Skirball CPA.

Nominations will be announced Fri. Apr. 24, 2020.


  NY Theatre Workshop‘s 2020 Gala will take place Mon. Feb. 3 at NYC’s Capitale.

  Rachel Chavkin and Jordan Roth.

Performers and additional information TBA.


  Red Bull Theater presents its 2019-20 season of readings, all at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s Lucille Lortel Theatre:

Nov. 18: The Traitor, by James Shirley, directed by Nathan Winkelstein, featuring Oge Alulue, Keith Hamilton Cobb, Christian Coulson, Sarah Herrman, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Daniel Jose Molina, Max Gordon Moore, Nneka Okafor, Anthoinette Robinson, Socorro Santiago, and more TBA.

Dec. 16:  Love Lies A-Bleeding, by Beaumont & Fletcher, directed by Carl Cofield, featuring Zach Appleman, Susan Heyward, Ezra Knight, Howard Overshown, Bhavesh Patel, Cara Ricketts, and more TBA.

Jan. 27: Women Beware Women, by Thomas Middleton, directed by José Zayas, featuring Juliana Canfield, Kathleen Chalfant, Robert Cuccioli, Zachary Fine, Sam Lilja, Julia McDermott, Matthew Rauch, Laila Robins, David Ryan Smith, and more TBA.

Feb. 10: The Scarlet Letter, by Kate Hamill, directed by Sarna Lapine, featuring Kelley Curran, Kate Hamill, Olivia Oguma, and more TBA.

Mar. 16: The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs (Valor, Agravio, y Mujer), by Ana Caro, newly translated & directed by Melia Bensussen, featuring Carson Elrod, Lorenzo Pisoni, Matthew Saldivar, and more TBA.

Apr. 6: Paradise Lost, by John Milton, adapted by Michael Barakiva.  Director and cast TBA.

May 18:  Keene, by Anchuli Felicia King, directed by Ethan McSweeny, featuring Clifton Duncan and more TBA.

June 15: The Claudias, by Lynn Rosen, directed by Meredith McDonough, featuring Ben Chase, Jennifer Mudge, Jeanine Serralles, Danielle Skraastad, and more TBA,.


  Duncan Sheik & Kyle Jarrow’s Whisper House will run Mar. – Apr. 19 (opening Mar. 24) at 59E59 Theaters, directed by Steve Cosson,

Casting TBA.

Young Christopher is sent to live with his aunt Lily, who he’s never met, and Yasuhiro, the Japanese man who works for her, on the remote coast of Maine at the height of World War II. Soon Christopher begins to hear strange music seeping through the walls and wonders whether his imagination is getting the better of him.


  The world premiere of Tim Alderson, Mark Heard, Pat Terry & Randy VanWarmer’s Salvage will run Nov. 15 – Dec. 15 (opening Nov. 16) at Hollywood’s Lounge Theatre, directed by Damian D. Lewis. with music direction by Stephen Terry.

  David Atkinson (Preacher), Christopher Fordinal (Harley), Nina Herzog (Destiny), and Leonard Earl Howze (Johnson).

Harley, a singer-songwriter whose wife is expecting their first child, has decided to hang up his dream before it destroys his family. On his way to pawn his guitar, he stumbles across the bar where his musical hero, Floyd Whitaker died. Upon entering, he finds an inhospitable bartender and a single surly customer who’s strumming the blues on an old guitar. How could he resist and adventure like this?


  Lauren Molina & Nick Cearley’s The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf  has announced its 2019 holiday tour:

Dec. 2  at San Francisco’s Feinstein’s at the Nikko, with special guests Nick Adams, Lauren Zakrin, Ebony Blake, Melinda Campero, and Nick Hyland.

Dec. 3 at NYC’s Joe’s Pub, with special guests Michael Cerveris, Kimberley Kaye, Tom Berklund, Marti Gould Cummings, Jonah Platt, Natalie Joy Johnson, David Perlman, Natalie Weiss, Kevin Zak, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Juson Williams, and The Inspirational Chorus.

Dec. 6 at Cincinatti’s Ludlow Garage, with special guests Matt Doyle and Sara Mackie.

Dec. 7 at Indianapolis’ The Cabaret, with special guest Matt Doyle.

Dec. 8 at St. Louis’ Blue Strawberry (link TBA), with special guest Matt Doyle.

Dec. 13 & 14 at Palm Spring’s Purple Room, with special guests Erik Altemus, Emerson Collins, Blake McIver, Emma Hunton, and Tori Roze.

Dec. 16 & 17 at Laguna Playhouse, with special guests Nick Adams, Erik Altemus, Brett Ryback, Blake McIver, Emerson Collins, Jason Feddy, Spencer Curnutt, and Tori Roze.

Dec. 19 at San Diego’s Martinis Above 4th, with special guests Nick Adams, Erik Altemus, Debbie David, Tori Roze, James Royce Edwards, and Emma Hunton.


    WP Theater has announced that Matthew Saldivar will replace Daniel Duque-Estrada on Nov. 12 in Our Dear Dead Drug Lord at Off-Broadway’s McGinn/Cazale Theater.

The production continues through Jan. 5.


  At the Nov. 4 Dramatist Guild Foundation gala, which celebrated the contributions of writers, Lynn Ahrens, who teaches upcoming writers with her partner Stephen Flaherty, spoke to lessons she has learned from some of the greats:

Stephen Sondheim: “If you’re writing a farce, even the ballads need to be funny.”

Peter Stone: “If you write two jokes in a row and the first one gets the bigger laugh, you cut the second joke.”

Maury Yeston teaches about three-act structure using an image of a plank of wood and three nails and a handful of rubber bands. Said Ahrens, “It works, that all I can say.”

Alfred Uhry:  After hearing a very early draft of Once On This Island, in which Ahrens said they had comedy songs where they were practically tap dancing on Once On This island, and Uhry very simply and quietly said, “You know you should just let the show be what it wants to be.”

Martin Charnin:  Ahrens remembers that “he critiqued us one day and he was in a really bad mood, we learned later he had had a bad day, and he said that we were nothing but Sondheim clones and that our show was undirectable and unproduceable, and that taught us the power of rewrites. We rewrote and rewrote and rewrote and that was our first produced show, Lucky Stiff.”

Terrence McNally:  Remembered Ahrens, “He never mentored us exactly, but when we first did Once On This Island Off-Broadway we thought we each got a separate handwritten note from the this famous playwright named Terrence McNally, who we had never met. And he congratulated us and he said how much he admired our work and then a number of years later we went on to write three shows with him. So it just gives you an idea of the generosity that matters so much to us all as writers.”

But Ahrens and Flaherty have also imparted wisdom…

Justin Paul: “I’ll tell you what you taught us: You told us that our songs didn’t need to go from A to Z… That maybe  let one song go from A to B and the next from B to C, because that’s writing a musical.”


  An updated version of It’s A Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre will run Nov. 22 – Dec. 22 (opening Nov. 26) at Albany’s Capital Rep, with music direction by Josh D. Smith, and choreography by Freddy Ramirez.

  Carl Howell (Lee Wright), Elizabeth Netlerode (Evelyn Reed), Wynn Harmon (Mays), and Laurie Wells (Kitty Dayle), and Josh D. Smith (multiple characters).


   Spring Awakening will begin performances in Jan. 202o (for 13 performances) in Shanghai, directed & choreographed by Spencer Liff, with music supervision by Fiz Shapur.

Casting TBA.

A national tour will follow…


 LA’s LGBT Center will present Big Queer Convo: 50 Years of Queer Theatre on Mon. Nov. 11 at 7 PM, moderated by Jon Imparato.

  Andelina Anthony, Leo Garcia, Alison De La Cruz, and Michael A. Shepperd.

The panel will explore the attitudes, changes, and landmarks in the portrayal in theatre of the LGBT community from the late 1960s through present day.


   London’s Piccadilly Theatre was evacuated yesterday following a partial ceiling collapse. The incident occurred about 30 min. into the evening performance of Death of a Saleman.

The collapse resulted in some minor injuries, according to the City of Westminster Police Department. Roads in the immediate area were cleared and closed following the evacuation.


   Sundance Institute‘s 2019 Theatre Lab will run Nov. 10-24, where it will develop 3 new musicals at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

* The Essentialisn’t, by Eisa Davis.  The piece uses song, electronic sound, movement, and everyday objects to examine the specific expectations around black women and performance — expectations that come from a history of captivity.

* I Hear You Shaking, Grand Mother!, by Lina Abyad. Three sisters arrive hastily in Beirut for a weekend. Despite being brought up in a secular home, they have all, except one, become profoundly religious. As prayers sing through the apartment, the discords within the family are exposed.

* The Suffragists, by Shaina, directed by Leigh Silverman, featuring Phillipa Soo, Nicolette Robinson, Jenn Colella, and Bonnie Milligan.

  Ally Bonino, Colella, Natalie Cortez, Holly Gould , Stephanie Hsu, Courtney Jamison, Jo Lampert, Milligan, Mia Pak, Robinson, Emily Skinner, Soo, Kuhoo Verma, Sylver Wallace, Kate Wetherhead, and Ada Westfall.