What To See on Broadway If You’ve Never Been. Tweets 84

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Shows are opening regularly now on Broadway — see my review below of “Seminar” with Allan Rickman — and four new shows were at least tentatively announced during this week in New York theater as heading to The Great White Way. But the start of the holiday season is a time when even seasoned theatergoers have a chance to catch up on shows they have missed, and bring newcomers along. What currently running is a good show for somebody who has never seen a show on a New York stage before? And have you ever brought a first-timer to a show that permanently turned off from the theater? Scroll down to see answers from theater tweeters.

Monday, November 13, 2011
Lindsay Mendez (@LindsayMendez): SO stoke to record cast album with my Godspell family – Stephen Schwartz Sh-K Boom records. Bless the Lord my vocal chords

Kim Cattrall feels she’s “following giant footsteps in my grubby sneakers” by taking on Noel Coward’s Private Lives

Nina Raine’s “Tribes” opens March 6 at Barrow Street Theater. It’s directed by David Cromer (Our Town), about a deaf man in a dysfunctional hearing family who meets a deaf woman. A review in the UK described it as lively and provocative with precious insights

Tuesday, November 14, 1011
The Paper Mill production of Newsies is coming to Broadway for a limited run, March 15 to June 10, 2012. The cast is not set.
Paper Mill (@Paper_Mill): Newsies cast performing at the Macy’s Thanksigving Day Parade!

The British hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors (@1Man2Guvnors) is coming to Broadway, set to open at the Music Box Theatre April 18, 2012. It is a wild comedy: Confused Henshall agrees to work for a local gangster and fugitive, but must keep them apart.

The director and producer of “The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” have gotten rid of the happy ending but clearly not the resentment towards Stephen Sondheim for his letter criticizing them.

“Leap of Faith,” based on the 1992 Steve Martin film about an evangelical con man, aims for Broadway in Fall 2012, with Raul Esparza, and five new songs added to the production that was originally done in L.A.

Getting fired from Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was a “complete shock,” Julie Taymor says. “…By the end, it was really working.”

Why is the Empire State Building blue tonight? Because Mary Poppins opened five years ago tomorrow, says NewYorkology. But why blue?
Alejandro Melendez @A_lay_HAHN_dro because England was a sad place before she showed up?
Brett Rigby (@BrettDRigby) Why wasn’t Empire State Building a spider web when Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark turned 1?
Jonathan Mandell: Spider-Man hasn’t turned one yet.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, playing at Broadway’s Booth Theater, has been extended through March 25.

More life for The Normal Heart, first at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. June 6-July 29, 2012, then on a national tour. It is not yet clear who will be in the cast.

“The Total Bent” by Passing Strange’s Stew an Heidi Rodewald: Black gospel prodigy meets UK white producer. February 14 to March at the Public Theater.

Backers’ audition went well for Jason Brown’s “Honeymoon in Vegas” which is aiming toward Broadway.

Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along opened today in 1981. And closed 12 days later. It is getting a second life at New York City Center’s Encores in February.
Elizabeth Stanley (Company) will be in Encores’ Merrily: “A lot of great art is ahead of its time”

MacArthur genius Lee Breuer directs Susan Eve Haar’s “Sex in a Coma,” his first time directing a “living American playwright”at Here Arts, December 1-11

Kelly Ripa finds something “perversely sexy about watching my husband” Mark Conseulos kiss Craig Bierko in “Standing on Ceremony”
Craig Bierko (@MrCraigBerko): I watch her watch us.
Jonathan Mandell: How long will you be in @gaymarriageplay
Craig Berko (@MrCraigBierko): Until @gaydivorceplay?

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Michael Cumpsty (42nd St etc) is among those joining cast of Judy Garland play End of the Rainbow, opening April 2 at Belasco

“The Mountaintop” has been extended through January 22 (an extra week). There will be a performance now on January 15, Martin Luther King’s Birthday.

Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory” and “The Normal Heart”) reportedly may return to Broadway in “Harvey,” about a man friendly with an invisible 6′ rabbit. Harvey was made into film with James Stewart, and then revived on Broadway in 1970, with Stewart and Helen Hayes in her final Broadway show

“I’m not a particularly dark person,” John Malkovich says. But he’s playing a serial killer in “The Infernal Comedy” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
How he prepares for a role: Like a surfer, he goes out and gets ready for the wave. “Many actors mistake themselves for the wave. The wave is created by the collision between the material and the public”

Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick grabbed Imperial when Funny Girl fell. But many shows can’t get a Broadway theater:: A Streetcar Named Desire, Clybourne Park, Once, Little Miss Sunshine, Peter and The Starcatcher, Magic/Bird

Friday, November 18, 2011
What to See With A First-Time Broadway Theatergoer
Frank DiLella (@fdilella):
My cousin just informed me that he’s never been to a Broadway show. I’m appalled. Things will change.
Jonathan Mandell: So what show are you going to take him to as an introduction to Broadway?
Frank DiLella: Not sure yet, thinking
What show currently playing in NYC would you take somebody to see who’s never seen a NYC stage play or musical? And why?
Allison Green (@AllisonJGreen) Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. It’s a show all about having fun, yet it still has a good story line. It’s a blow-you-away type of musical.
Also Anything Goes: It’s SO funny and has a kick-ass cast!
Walter Free (@WalterFree) Wicked. I just think everything from the story, to the music, costumes, and the set, are phenomenal.
Robert Carreon (@ahrmi) First impression is the lasting one. You want to blow them away. My choice for musical, The Lion King. My choice for play, War Horse.
Emily (@Stagemaven): First musical would be Mary Poppins. Hands Down. It has spectacle: amazing dancing, magnificent costumes, brilliant set!
Billy Flood (@Bflood28): I would take them to Chicago, to show them a great show doesn’t depend on production values. I’m concerned with people needing to be “blown away.” Sounds like they depend on spectacle as most important. This is why musicals cost so much and new work isn’t really produced as much — too much emphasis on spectacle
Jason Capilli (@TheNYGalavant) Jersey Boys. It’s a crowd-pleaser and is comprised of cultural pop songs with a story structure that has mainstream appeal.
Taylor Reynolds (@taykreynolds): Rent, because it would show them it’s not all “singing and dancing”, it’s people with passion telling a story.
Lisa Waldrop (@lisawaldrop) Play? Other Desert Cities- that cast is amazing..
Haleh Roshan (@halehroshan) War Horse, or Cymbeline at Barrow Street. They’re opposite, but both stunning, enchanting examples of the magic of theater.
Chandra Thomas (@truechandra) Right now? Stick Fly. Linear, strong, relatable story.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Have you ever bombed in bringing somebody to a show to share your love of theater?
Jason Capilli: My siblings took conservative aunt, uncle and cousin to Ave Q thinking everyone enjoys musical with puppets. They were wrong.
Emily (@Stagemaven): I took a non-theater friend who loves history and punk rock to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. She didn’t love it.
Broadway Spotted: I had to apologize after taking someone to see Spamalot’s closing cast on Broadway.
@gabyguhu: I took my aunt and uncle to see Addams Family/ I apologized but they enjoyed it
Edward Wright (@EJWrightNY): My partner & I saw The Addams Family a few weeks ago & enjoyed it as well. Brooke was good!
Lara Morton (@laraemorton): Urinetown- thought date would dig it. Big, huge fail. Huge, pissy fail.
Cesar Alvarez (@musicisfreenow): Went to a performance of Corey Dargel’s “Removable Parts” about voluntary amputation for a first date. And she has since married me.
Jonathan Mandell: Do you go to a lot of shows together?
César Alvarez I’m still trying to really get her as psyched about the theater as I am.

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Twets84Seminar
My review of Seminar
In “Seminar,” Alan Rickman, though no longer Severus Snape (his role in all eight Harry Potter films), plays a character with striking similarities: Leonard starts off evil, ends up complicated. He even teaches one of the dark arts: writing.
Are the best writing teachers the most abusive? That is what Theresa Rebeck seems to be trying to figure out in her new comedy, her second Broadway show (her first was “Mauritius” in 2007), which has now opened at the Golden. “Seminar” is clearly inspired by such larger-than-life instructors of the written word as Gordon Lish and Robert McKee — and the lesser-known David Milch, who was Rebeck’s boss on the TV series “NYPD Blue” (and happened to have been one of my writing teachers, after which I swore off writing for good.) But is the play criticizing, parodying, or paying homage to them? It seems to be trying to do a combination of the three.
Full review


The week in New York Theater Tweets is a selection and enhancement of Jonathan Mandell’s Twitter feed, and is posted every week, usually on Monday.
For up-to-the-minute theater news, views and reviews, follow Jonathan Mandell on his Twitter feed at @NewYorkTheater
Broadway World has designated @NewYorkTheater as one of the top theater Twitter feeds: “Talk about a tweeter who knows his Broadway stuff! From news to conversation-starters to commentary, he’s got it all.”
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Jonathan Mandell, who tweets as New York Theater, is a native New Yorker and third-generation journalist with diverse experience on newspapers, magazines and websites.He has written for a wide varie ...read more

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