Casey York is New Off-Broadway League President

The Off Broadway League today announced the election of Casey York as its new President. The organization also announced two new officers, Evan O’Brient as 2nd VP, and Steven Chaikelson as Treasurer and four new board members: Emily Currie, Toni Davis, Teresa Gozzo, and Kyle Provost. York replaces Terry Byrne who served in the role of President for two years and was on the Board of directors since 1993. The leadership transition at the volunteer-led organization occurs six months into an unprecedented and historic shutdown that has resulted in the suspension or cancellation of countless Off-Broadway productions to date, with

“Democracy Sucks” – Online Free Fringe Fest

Churchill said, among a great many other things, that democracy is the worst for of government except for all the others. Playwright and doctor of political science Monica Bauer appears largely to agree in her new work “Democracy Sucks.” The show is a little over half an hour and is a perfect imitation of a remote-learning college class, poli sci 101. Professor B has reached the end of the semester and his wits (but not quite his wine). He has given the same lecture all semester consisting of Plato's indictment of democracy in “The Republic.” If that sounds a bit

Snowdrops and Chlorine – Theatre and Breast Cancer

Although the pandemic has shuttered our theaters, the work of theatre goes on. Thanks to Zoom, YouTube and other platforms, digital delivery of theatrical works has blossomed. The National Theatre in the UK has given us weekly streaming productions. Disney+ has brought us “Hamilton.” Less commercial theatre, however, appears to be the biggest winner because digital delivery spares shoe-string budgets numerous expenses. Catalina Florina Florescu, the New Play Development Curator and Dramaturg at Jersey City Theater Center, has just started the streaming presentation of her work “Snowdrops and Chlorine.” It is the second part of the “Staging Breast Cancer” trilogy and

Helping Theatre Survive the Current Unpleasantness

Stagebiz.com has been the beneficiary of a lot of support and plain affection from the NY theatre industry in the last few years. From the big Broadway shows to the black-box theatres to the press agents large and small, each has been more than generous to our reviewers and by extension our readers. In order to keep as many afloat as possible, we are going to provide you links that will allow you to give what you can to aid these artists and entrepreneurs during the pandemic. One of my personal favorites is Frigid New York in my old neighborhood -- the

“The Perplexed” at New York City Center Stage I

"The Perplexed" should be one of the events of the theatre this spring. A Richard Greenberg script directed by Lynne Meadow and presented by the Manhattan Theatre Club – what could possibly go wrong? As it turns out, the script leaves this production snake-bit from the beginning. A glorious set and a solid cast can not make up for the fact that the script is overly long and the characters rather unengaging. The action all takes place in the library of the Fifth Avenue apartment among various members of two families. The Resnicks and the Stahls have been involved with one

“Blues for an Alabama Sky” at Theatre Row

Pearl Cleage wrote “Blues for an Alabama Sky” in the mid-1990s, and it is astonishing that it has taken so long for a play set at the cusp of the Harlem Renaissance and the Great Depression to make it to New York. Thanks to the Keen Company, the wait is over, and this production makes the wait worthwhile. Angel (Alfie Fuller) is a singer living with Guy (John-Andrew Morrison), a flamboyant costume designer and unapologetic gay man whose ambition is to design costumes in Paris for Josephine Baker. Across the hall lives Delia (Jasminn Johnson), who campaigns for reproductive rights and

Metamorphosis” at Soho Playhouse, Fringe Encore Series

One of the highlights of this year's edition of the Annual Fringe Encore Series is Sam Chittenden's take on Kafka's novella, "Metamorphosis." While the script is intriguing, the performance of Heather-Rose Andrews in this one-woman show is what makes the production stand out. Kafka's tale is simple enough, Grego Samsa wakes up one morning to discover he has changed into an insect. Chittenden spins this in an interesting way by using Greta Samsa, Gregor's much younger sister, to tell the tale. Her metamorphosis from child to woman takes place against the backdrop of her brother's unlikely and disturbing change. Gregor's change

Dorrance Dance Brings Tap “Nutcracker” to Joyce Theater

I know what you are thinking. Great, yet another version of the Nutcracker at Christmas. Just what we need. Well, this one IS just the one we need. While the more traditional versions are taking up space that would otherwise be used for a retread of “A Christmas Carol,” Michelle Dorrance and her dancers have brought to the Joyce a fun, whimsical version of the Tchaikovsky classic by way of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The result is a dance performance that breathes new life (and fun) into what has become tradition at best and cliché at worst. It is tempting to

The Height of the Storm – Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Back in elementary school, we all learned that a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Apparently, playwright Florian Zeller was absent that day, or perhaps, he merely couldn't be bothered to edit his script. Despite a fine and talented cast led by Eileen Atkins and Jonathan Pryce (two of their generation's finest who are at the top of their game), supported by the finest set design and lighting tricks, Director Jonathan Kent and the Manhattan Theatre Club have a broken production on their hands. They don't have enough duct tape to fix it. The story (defined loosely) involves

“Freddie Falls in Love” at the Joyce Theater

Choreographers have a default line in interviews that is some variant of “I tell stories through dance.” Much of the time, though, I watch their work and wonder what the story might have been about. Mercifully, Al Blackstone has created a story that runs the length of “Freddie Falls in Love” that is actually a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. There are characters who are not just dancers in a pose, and there is conflict and resolution. There just isn't any talking. The term “dansical” is over-used in some quarters, but here it fits like a

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