Tag: Theater

Phyllis Newman, Tony Award-Winning Broadway Star, Dead at 86

Phyllis Newman, the Tony Award-winning Broadway star who began her acting career as a young child and, driven by her own later struggles with breast cancer, raised millions of dollars to help women in entertainment deal with serious health problems, died Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 86. Her death was confirmed by […]

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After a Renovation, a Storied Theater Hopes to Entice Paris

PARIS — The workmen were everywhere. Backstage and onstage, they were hammering, banging, gluing, carrying, laying tarpaulin, shimmying up ladders and shouting, “Attention!” In the auditorium, a team checked the red velvet seats, making sure that each was in the correct position. On the stage, performers rehearsed, apparently oblivious to the controlled chaos all around. […]

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How a Summer Festival Is Shaping New York’s Theatrical Winter

The spit-and-plywood sets we built when I was a general assistant at the Williamstown Theater Festival were designed to last only as long as the two-week productions. Doing Tennessee Williams wasn’t, in those days, an opportunity to show off world-class décor or prepare for a splashy New York transfer; at most it was an acting […]

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Is Broadway Ready for ‘Slave Play’?

The first day of rehearsal on Broadway usually goes like this: Circle up. Make introductions. Offer thanks, express optimism, maybe crack a joke. Clear the room of onlookers, and off you go. But Robert O’Hara had a more pointed agenda in mind when he found himself in a ring of 75 actors and designers and […]

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Can Derren Brown Be Fooled? Yes. Often.

“Will you take a picture of my severed head?” Derren Brown asked, dropping to his knees and angling himself behind a couple of trick mirrors that vanished him from the neck down. It was a recent sunny Saturday, and Mr. Brown had been wandering through the Museum of Illusions, an Instagram-friendly gallery housed in a […]

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What’s Broadway Got to Do With It? More Pop Musicals

Put the blame on Abba. Does the wall-to-wall lineup of jukebox musicals dominating New York stages this season make you feel like cursing? Direct your angry thoughts toward the creators of “Mamma Mia!,” that goofy Broadway show from 2001 about a Greek island wedding, with a score consisting entirely of recycled Abba hits. Sure, there […]

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Review: Tom Hiddleston in a Love Triangle Undone by ‘Betrayal’

How can a naked space seem so full? Feelings furnish the stage in the resplendently spare new production of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal,” which opened on Thursday night at the Bernard Jacobs Theater, and they shimmer, bend and change color like light streaming through a prism. Directed by Jamie Lloyd — and acted with surgical precision […]

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A Murdered Spy’s Widow Relives Her Loss Onstage

LONDON — In November 2006, Marina Litvinenko watched her husband, Alexander, die in a London hospital. The Russian spy-turned-whistle-blower — whom she called Sasha — had drunk green tea laced with the radioactive element polonium. President Vladimir V. Putin probably approved the murder, a public inquiry in Britain later said. Last Friday, Ms. Litvinenko went […]

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Harry Potter Brought Him to Broadway. Now His Work is Everywhere.

LONDON — Jack Thorne has no shortage of ways to characterize his own eccentricity. “I’m a slightly deranged adult.” “I’m not very good with other people.” “I’m mental.” He points out a Ralph Steadman poster on the wall of his book-lined home office, an image grotesque enough to prompt objections from his 3-year-old son. “I […]

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Retreating for the Summer, but Not Heading Backward

Image Charly Evon Simpson National Playwrights Conference, O’Neill Theater Center I went to the O’Neill having had two readings of “it’s not a trip it’s a journey,” but without having had the opportunity to really workshop the play. The process at the O’Neill starts with what they call a dream design — when designers discuss […]

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This Labor Day, We Salute the (Arts) Workers

Before you start loading up your fall culture calendar, take a moment this Labor Day Weekend to reflect on those people who make sure that the city’s cultural events — concerts, Broadway shows and art exhibitions — go off without a hitch. In a culture center like New York, that means there are thousands of […]

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How This Television Actor and Nonprofit Leader Spends His Sundays

Ty Jones, who plays a special agent in charge on the Starz television series, “Power,” is also in charge of the Classical Theater of Harlem. As its producing artistic director, he oversees productions of classic plays retold from the African-American perspective. The theater, celebrating its 20th anniversary, has plenty to celebrate. A decade ago, it […]

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Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Indigenous Australian Actress, Dies

Ningali Lawford-Wolf, an Indigenous Australian actress who brought the world of her people to the stage and, most notably, to the screen in the film “Rabbit-Proof Fence,” died on Aug. 11 in Edinburgh, where she was touring with the Sydney Theater Company. She was believed to be 52. Her death, from complications of an asthma […]

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The Cell, the Spell and the Mystery of ‘Sea Wall/A Life’

I didn’t go back to the Broadway double bill “Sea Wall/A Life” to re-review it. I went back, twice, to try to figure out what was real. That’s not the usual task with theater, a species of choreographed make-believe. But when a moment in Simon Stephens’s “Sea Wall” morphed into a tiny, persistent mystery, it […]

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Discount Me In: How I Saw 30 Shows on a Student Budget

My boss at The New York Times suggested two shows I had to see this summer: “The Ferryman” and “My Fair Lady.” I saw 30. In 10 weeks as an editing intern, I mainlined more plays, musicals, ballets and cabaret performances than many people see in their entire lives. In between fine-tuning stories for the […]

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The Mystery of This Dusty Book, Signed by Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt

The trunk had sat in the library of a Midtown Manhattan acting school for decades. No one seems to have ever fully rifled through its contents, save for a researcher here and there, said Whit Waterbury, an archivist and librarian at the Neighborhood Playhouse, the conservatory where Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum and Allison Janney trained. […]

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How Do You Stage Disney’s ‘Hercules’? Invite Everyone

When Alan Menken — the songwriting virtuoso behind Disney’s late 20th century animation renaissance — was brought in to score an adaptation of “Hercules,” he assumed a classic story would call for some classic music to match. Instead, the directors of the 1997 film wanted gospel. “I said, ‘Really? Explain this to me, please,’” Mr. […]

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