The play surprised many by winning the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Now, this week, it was named Best Play by the New York Drama Critics Circle. (The Broadway-bound hip hop musical Hamilton was named Best Musical by the NYDCC.)
The play is about Walter "Pops" Washington, an ex-cop and widower and his recently paroled son Junior, and their struggle to hold on to one of the last great rent stabilized apartments on Riverside Drive.
The show was first staged at Atlantic Theater Company in summer 2014. It then had a second staging at Second Stage earlier this year. Given all the honors, expect it to return to the New York stage in some form.
*** The Broadway premiere of the new musical Doctor Zhivago, starring Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt and Paul Nolan, was shut out by the Tony nominators last week. So this week it decided to shut up altogether. The show will play its final performance May 10 at the Broadway Theatre.
Based on the 1958 novel by Russian author Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago began previews March 27 and opened to chilly reviews from critics April 21. At the time of closing, it will have played 26 previews and 23 regular performances.
With the Tony nominations out and the Tony Awards a few weeks off, this week seemed to producers to be a good time to announce their touring plans.
Idina Menzel will launch the national tour of If/Then, reprising her critically acclaimed performance in seven cities, producers announced May 7.
Following these seven stops with Menzel — which kicks off Oct. 13 at the Buell Theatre in Denver, CO — the national tour will then continue across North America.
The tour route, to include cities throughout North America, is currently being finalized. An opening city has been set and will be announced at a later date. The Broadway production recouped its entire investment in just over three months at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
Finally, the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, which received glowing reviews from critics, has extended its Broadway run indefinitely, while plans are also underway to take the production across the U.S.
Times Square without big, garish billboards? Say it isn’t so.
Across the rest of the county, the aesthetically minded decry billboards as eyesores that blight the landscape. But that standard is stood on its head in midtown Manhattan, where huge shiny pieces of advertising hung off the buildings that surround Times Squares are beloved by critics and preservationists as cultural icons. And so it was alarming when news spread that the federal government was reportedly seeking to use regulations to force their reduction or removal.
CBS-TV reported that the feds are threatening to withhold $90 million in federal highway aid — 10 percent of New York's total — if the signs are not removed or drastically reduced in size. A 2012 law reportedly puts the "Crossroads of the World" under the aegis of the 1965 Highway Beautification Act that limits signs to 1,200 square feet, or about 35 by 35 feet. Many signs in the Times Square, including ones that advertise Broadway shows, are several times that size.
But it was all a silly mistake. The Federal Highway Administration has now issued a statement countering CBS-TV report: "FHWA has been working with the New York State DOT and the New York City DOT for nearly a year to correct this unintentional consequence of extending the National Highway System (NHS). At no time has FHWA asked NYCDOT to remove the billboards from Times Square or threatened to withhold federal funds. FHWA and NYSDOT have discussed the possibility of removing the NHS designation from specific roadways, and FHWA stands ready to act if we receive that request from the state."
So, rest easy, tourists. That three-story-tall, digitized M&M guy will continue to benignly watch over you.