This week, an article about Lauren Ambrose, who is currently playing Eliza Doolittle in a musical revival of My Fair Lady, has been making the rounds in the Broadway community, regarding her choice to take the Sunday matinee off. She might be taking it off because her role is extremely difficult musically and she needs to take a vocal rest day. She might be taking it off because she has children and she’d like to spend more time with them. Whatever the reason, the decision had been made and it’s nobody’s business except for Ambrose and the show management. That should have been the beginning and end of the story.
Except, it wasn’t the end of the story. No, what happened next played into our worst instincts and harmful “ideals” of the Broadway community that pit women against one another, generation against generation. And devalue women’s bodies and well-being.
Aliens Coming, a new musical at the Peoples Improv Theater, is a comedic take on low-budget sci-fi movies with a blatant naughty streak. The plot is pulled from some of the best/worst episodes of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 with some modern touches, and it centers on two teenage girls, Brandi and Clementine, who are about to graduate from high school. They have been best friends since they were kids, but Clementine’s interest in art (and the “cool art kids” culture) is pulling them in different directions. When Brandi is abducted, however, Clementine sets out to save Brandi and the world’s genitals from a prudish alien race. Along the way, Clementine finds herself and loses her virginity, and Brandi becomes a YouTube make-up tutorial star. Really, it’s a typical coming-of-age tale of friendship and following your dreams. Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Soot and Spit, playing at the New Ohio Theatre through June 17, is a celebration of artist James Castle. He was born deaf and autistic, and in his lifetime, he developed a distinctive artistic style using found objects, drawing tools he created, and a mix of soot and spit.
The New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award winners were voted on and announced on May 8, and the awards were presented at a private ceremony on May 18 at Feinstein’s/54 Below.
The Tony Award nominees were announced on May 2 by Christopher Jackson and Jane Krakowski, and the awards will be presented at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, hosted by Kevin Spacey.
The Drama Desk Award nominees were announced on April 27 by Laura Benanti and Javier Muñoz, and the awards will be presented at The Town Hall on June 4, hosted by Michael Urie.
Praise Avril Lavigne! Pop Punk High – a musical tribute to pizza, skateboarding, Battle of the Bands, and parents who “just don’t get it” – is getting extended at the PIT Loft.
Pop Punk High opened March 3 at The PIT Loft, located at 154 West 29th Street. General admission tickets are $7 and are available for purchase in advance online here, and student tickets are $1 at the door with valid student ID.
January is possibly the dreariest month of the year. Christmas is over, the New Year has begun, and the first few weeks are full of overly optimistic and newly broken resolutions. However, there is one last chance to recapture that holiday cheer and warm, comforting nostalgia, and that is Recent Cutbacks’ KEVIN!!!!!, an on-stage shot-for-shot re-enactment of Home Alone.
2017 has barely begun, but with the looming threat of a Trump presidency and everything that comes with it, it is difficult for many people in the theatre community to feel optimistic about the New Year. In times like this, theatre can serve as a reflection of a world we can aspire to create, a means to see the world through another person’s eyes, or a way to escape our worries for a few hours. Unfortunately, in the New Year, we are losing five terrific shows that were very popular with audiences and also added to the diversity in Broadway’s leading characters. I wish that all of these shows were sticking around, and so here I am with one last plea. Don’t go. We need all of you now, more than ever.