Theater

Louis Armstrong Musical ‘A Wonderful World’ Set for Broadway

“A Wonderful World,” a new musical about Louis Armstrong, will have a run on Broadway starting in the fall. The musical, which has previously been staged in Miami, New Orleans and Chicago, will star James Monroe Iglehart, who a decade ago won a Tony Award for originating the role of the Genie in “Aladdin,” and who is now starring as …

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In Justin Peck’s ‘Illinoise,’ Dance On and Feel It

Justin Peck was around 17 when he first heard the Sufjan Stevens album “Illinois,” an epic paean to the state, nearly two dozen tracks brimming with orchestral indie rock, dense, lyrical wistfulness and sometimes obscure local history. This listening experience came long before Peck wanted to make dances, before he was even a professional dancer. But “Illinois” urged him to …

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Review: Fiasco Theater’s ‘Pericles,’ the Cruise of a Lifetime

“Pericles” is a bit of a mess. Spanning decades and traversing the ancient Mediterranean like some deeply misbegotten Carnival Cruise, this Shakespeare play mingles comedy, tragedy and Christian allegory. There are two assassination plots, two shipwrecks, a brothel, a riddle, a tournament and some very convenient pirates. Deliberately anachronistic, it was described by Ben Jonson, a rival playwright, as a …

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Review: Cynthia Nixon Is Nowhere and Everywhere in ‘Seven Year Disappear’

The problem with writing a play about absence: How to fill the void? When a performance artist known as Miriam (Cynthia Nixon) vanishes in “The Seven Year Disappear,” a two-hander by Jordan Seavey that opened Monday at the Signature Center, we know only that she is a narcissist who steals the air from any room she enters. “The Whitney is …

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John Patrick Shanley on ‘Doubt’ Revival and ‘Brooklyn Laundry’

In a life of feeling things incredibly deeply, John Patrick Shanley has experienced some thrilling highs: the rapturous audience response in 1984 to “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” his first success as a playwright; accepting an Academy Award in 1988 for best screenplay for “Moonstruck.” Add to that list the thrill of discovering the luxury of drop-off laundry. “I …

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‘Water for Elephants’ Brings the Circus to Broadway

And it has produced an unusual camaraderie among the cast, a product of the interdependence that circus requires. (You can’t really fly through the air unless you trust the people on the ground to catch you.) “In circus, we’re a bit lawless,” Carroll said. “But we’re also really collaborative.” There is joy in seeing a performer arc out over the …

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Reviving ‘The Wiz’ Through ‘the Blackest of Black Lenses’

Schele Williams first saw “The Wiz” when a tour of the original Broadway production came through Dayton, Ohio. She was 7 years old, and recalled it being the most “beautiful reflection of Blackness that I had never seen.” Years later, she was cast as Dorothy in a high school production of “The Wiz,” and the thrill of that experience led …

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Second Stage to Leave Its Rem Koolhaas-Designed Off Broadway Theater

Second Stage Theater, a leading nonprofit that presents work by living American writers both on and off Broadway, is giving up its Rem Koolhaas-designed Off Broadway home in a former bank near Times Square, saying its rent was too high and its lease had unfavorable terms. The theater company, which has nurtured multiple Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning shows over …

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‘Jelly’s Last Jam’ Review: A Musical Paradise, Even in Purgatory

That painful history can be alchemized into thrilling entertainment is both the central idea and the takeaway experience of “Jelly’s Last Jam,” the jaw-dropping Encores! revival that opened on Wednesday at City Center. Especially in its first act, as it tells the intertwined stories of Jelly Roll Morton and the early years of jazz, it offers up wonder after wonder, …

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Robert Macbeth, Founder of Harlem’s New Lafayette Theater, Dies at 89

Robert Macbeth, a rising Black actor in the New York theater scene, was sitting in a Greenwich Village bar in September 1963, getting a drink before going onstage for an Off Broadway improv show. The evening news played in the background. “I happened to look up and there was a flash, and the flash was about the four little girls …

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