Well, here we are at month 5 of our home confinement sentences. Feels like forever, doesn’t it? In my last article, I mentioned a few of the ways to bring the theatre to you, since you can’t go to live theatre because, wait for it……There Isn’t Any!
Well, they don’t call Theatre a creative art for no reason. Playwrights, Directors, Theatre Companies and even the actors themselves have been wrestling with the problem of bringing theatre to the audience at home. The methods are as varied as the type of material being presented. These are new form of theatre, some more successful (and interesting) than others. It’s still not the same as being in a Broadway theatre with 500 or a thousand or even more of your fellow theatre-goers and feeling that electricity and excitement all around you when the right cast is in the right production of the right play. For me it creates a sense of exhilaration unlike any other experience. Still there have been several broadcasts that have come close and there are more, I am sure, on the way. But for now, here are some of the theatrical events currently or soon to be streamed into your home.
The biggest news comes from what is probably the biggest show ever to hit Broadway. Disney+, Disney’s new streaming service has decided to push up the release of its filmed version of HAMILTON by a couple of years and is now available for viewing. HAMILTON is one of the rare shows that actually, at least for me, lived up to its hype. The score is a total mélange of sounds; everything from Broadway ‘show tunes’ to Rap and yet it totally works. Combined with an almost minimalist set whose main feature is a pair of concentric turntables, spot on costumes, the lushest lighting I have seen in years, and a totally awesome cast deserving of all the awards won, HAMILTON is a must-see. If there were live performances, one ticket could easily be $500 or more, so the fact that it is included with the Streaming service at a cost of $6.99/month makes it the bargain of the year.
You no doubt have seen Edie Falco on TV in one of several successful shows like THE SOPRANOS or NURSE JACKIE. Well now you can see her onstage, albeit still on your TV, in her acclaimed role in THE TRUE. She plays a behind the scenes force in the 1970’s Democratic Party in New York State complete with whispered about scandals and political intrigue. The New Group is bringing back the original casts in readings of several of their successful shows as a fund raiser to help get the company through these days of shuttered theatres. Tickets are $10 for the first 100 people and $25 after that. The show starts at 7PM EDT and runs thru Sunday. On July 30 through Aug. 2, also at 7PM EDT, Jesse Eisenberg stars in his own play THE SPOILS, playing a thoroughly obnoxious film maker. Go to THENEWGROUP.ORG to get a ticket or for more information.
Every year Dixon Place holds the Hot Festival described as a “celebration of queer culture. This year, the show must go on and indeed it will with SPANKING MACHINE written by the uber-theatrical Marga Gomez. Performances run through July 25 and cost $10-$40. Go to WWW.DIXONPLACE.ORG to order tickets or for further information
On Sundays, Seth Rudetsky is presenting a Sunday concert series featuring some of Broadway’s favorite stars. This Sunday his guest is Norm Lewis (PORGY AND BESS, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, LES MISÉRABLES). On July 26, it’s Megan Hilty (WICKED, 9 TO 5, TV’s SMASH) and on Aug. 2 it’s the very hunky Cheyenne Jackson (AMERICAN
That should keep you busy for a few days so I’m going to sign off and order some tickets myself. I’ll be back soon with more performance listings to keep my fellow theatre buffs satisfied.