EXCLUSIVE: The company producing The Lehman Trilogy on Broadway has been removed from a lawsuit by the advertising agency SpotCo, simplifying the show’s return to New York after the Covid-related industry shutdown.Continue Reading
Actors’ Equity Association says if everyone in a theater company has been vaccinated, a show may go on without adhering to the union’s pricey pandemic protocols.
“Vaccination will be a game changer for all of us,” Actors’ Equity Executive Director Mary McColl wrote to the membership Friday afternoon, while announcing guidelines for theaters and rehearsal spaces in which actors and stage managers are fully vaccinated. “Vaccines will not only add a significant layer of protection for each individual stage manager and actor, but also allow us to loosen some of the safety restrictions required in a pre-vaccine world.”
The rapid rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has increased optimism about indoor theater swiftly reopening in the U.S. Infectious disease specialists Thursday afternoon said Covid 19-testing, enhanced theater ventilation and continued mask-wearing are also key to restarting the industry, which must be done gradually.
“I try to remind people, there’s not going to be one flip-the-switch moment in society,” Andy Slavitt, White House senior advisor on the coronavirus, told an audience of about 500 streaming live. “There will be a moving of the dial, step by step.”Continue Reading
Actors’ Equity Association recently announced far-reaching health protocols that producers complained would prohibitively increase the cost of presenting theater and delay the industry’s restart after a year of being sidelined by Covid-19. This week, some 2,000 actors and stage managers signed a petition calling the procedures impractical and criticized their union’s leadership for inadequately communicating with members.
“Equity’s protocols from just over a week ago seem to be based on science from six months ago,” the actors wrote to Equity President Kate Shindle and Executive Director Mary McColl. “We are hopeful that the issue of realistic and detailed protocols to return to work can be prioritized so that funds can return to our union.”Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: For theater actors, a car and driver is generally a perquisite reserved for bankable stars.
In this pandemic, the labor union Actors’ Equity Association considers private transport a basic necessity.
“Mass-transit will not be used and if needed, dedicated transportation arrangements will be arranged by the employer,” Equity announced last week in a post on its website that details safety protocols for indoor productions with an audience. Equity, which represents actors and stage managers, lists just one “dedicated transportation arrangement” (presumably in addition to walking, biking and operating one’s own vehicle): a private car service with a driver who’s masked and gloved.Continue Reading
When the pandemic gives way to live performance, producer Scott Rudin plans to present an American classic about the gift of being alive.
Rudin is assembling cast and creatives for the first Broadway revival of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in nearly two decades, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. It’s to star Dustin Hoffman, whose last Broadway credit was The Merchant of Venice, in 1989, the same year he won the second of his two Academy Awards, for Rain Man. In 1984, he starred on Broadway as Willy Loman in a revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.Continue Reading
In another sign that Broadway doesn’t see a quick return of theater amid the coronavirus pandemic, the producers of a musical about Michael Jackson postponed performances until next year.Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: A month before previews start on Broadway, the limited run of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite is approaching full occupancy.
The advance sale for the revival with husband-and-wife stars Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker has surpassed $10 million, according to a person familiar with the production. Its tryout at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre ends on Saturday and previews begin on March 13 at the Hudson Theatre.
In response to the strong demand for tickets in Boston and New York, lead producer Ambassador Theatre Group, which operates the Colonial and the Hudson, has already raised prices on Broadway by as much as 150 percent.Continue Reading
Idina Menzel is in talks to play Fanny Brice this fall in the first Broadway revival of Funny Girl, the hit 1964 Jule Styne-Bob Merrill-Isobel Lennart musical that starred Barbra Streisand.
The show would be directed by Michael Mayer and overseen by the U.K. producers Sonia Friedman and David Babani, according to two people familiar with the project. In 2015, Mayer staged a Funny Girl revival at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory (where Babani serves as artistic director) starring Sheridan Smith. The production had a revised book by Harvey Fierstein and transferred to the West End.Continue Reading