Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY — An additional $300 in unemployment benefits from the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program will eventually be rolling out to New Yorkers, but the wait for claimants to receive them continues in the state. The states of Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas have started Lost Wages Assistance Program payments. In total, they have 2.6 million claimants. New York State, which has not started the program payments yet, has had about 2.8 million alone.According to NYS DOL spokesperson Deanna Cohen, New York has paid about “19 years’ worth of benefits in just five months” due to the pandemic. In a statement, she says in part, “… Administering the Lost Wages Assistance program is made even more complex by the federal administration’s inability to work with congress and the President’s attempt to cover for this failure with a haphazard executive order…”New York State did not immediately apply for the LWA program until after states were not required to provide funding for it. There’s still no set date for when the LWA payments will start heading out to unemployed New Yorkers, but the Department of Labor says they will “continue to work as quickly as possible to get New Yorkers their benefits.” Nineteen of the 41 states that have been approved for the program do not have set dates for the program payments to start heading out, either. The payments will be retroactive to August 1 when they are made available.At this time, it’s also still unknown how long the LWA payments will go on.
Get up close and personal with Christian Grey! 50 Shades! The Musical – The Original Parody of E.L. James’ erotic bestseller, will begin performances off-Broadway on February 21. Directed by Al Samuels and Rob Lindley, the lampoon musical will officially open March 12 at the Elektra Theatre. Since author E.L. James’ novel was published, more than 70 million copies have been sold worldwide. Universal Studios is scheduled to release the film on February 13, 2015 starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Tony winners Jennifer Ehle and Marcia Gay Harden. Related Shows 50 Shades! features a book by Samuels, Amanda Blake Davis, Emily Dorezas, Jody Shelton, Ashley Ward and Dan Wessels and music and lyrics by Samuels, Davis, Shelton, Ward and Wessels. The musical opens with a ladies book club deciding to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Through their interpretation of the novel, the audience is lead on an amusing ride through Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s kinky relationship. The show features dance numbers and original songs delivered by a live, on-stage band accompanying the cast. The 50 Shades! creative team features set and costume design by John Dunnett, lighting design by Herrick Goldman, and sound design by Matt Kraus. This show is not to be confused with Cuff Me: The Fifty Shades of Grey Musical Parody, which featured parodies of hit songs and is also appearing off-Broadway. View Comments 50 Shades! The Musical Show Closed This production ended its run on April 26, 2015
Warning: too much theatrical greatness in one room! Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews and If/Then star Idina Menzel stopped by the Watch What Happens Live clubhouse with Andy Cohen on May 1, and our theater nerd brains more or less exploded. A lot was revealed during their time on the show, including how Menzel would do the Wicked movie either as “the mother of Elphaba” or if she got some Avatar-esque CGI treatment, who makes Andrews a “bad girl” and yes, their takes on the infamous “Adele Dazeem” flub and the The Sound Of Music Live! broadcast. Take a look at clips from their appearance below, and catch Menzel in her Tony-nominated performance in If/Then and at Radio City Music Hall! View Comments Related Shows If/Then Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 Star Files Idina Menzel
Congrats on making your professional theater debut—why was The Village Bike the play for you? I really love and respect [director] Sam Gold—well, now I love him. Before, I was just a fan. He’s singlehandedly brought me my favorite theater experiences as an audience member. The Annie Baker plays [Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens, The Flick] were hugely important for me, and Fun Home destroyed me for a week. So I felt like I would give my eye teeth to work with him. Then when I started reading the play, it sounds ridiculous to say this, but I knew two pages in that it was really good. Instantly, I could hear it in my head. Well, what about now? Yeah, I’m gonna force someone to dream up some musical for me. [Laughs.] If it was the right musical and I felt like I wasn’t going to do a disservice to it, I would love to do one. But if the right thing never happens, I’m just happy to see them. Your character Becky has a lot of pent-up sexuality. What is it like to unleash this side of yourself in front of an audience? I started wearing a nightie in rehearsal very early, because I knew that I would have a degree of embarrassment about my body and that I had to get over it. I got used to all of the actors seeing me like that, and then the set designers came and the producers came for run-throughs. I wanted to ease myself into feeling comfort with the high degree of emotional exposure but also physical, sexual exposure. For me, it’s terrifying but it also feels like it has its own reckless momentum, and in the second act, there’s a current that I can get into where it almost feels cathartic. What kind of chocolate? If I tell you about it, I’m worried I’m going to make an addict out of you, and it’s expensive. I’ve made the entire cast addicts. It’s called Fine & Raw chocolate and it’s made in Brooklyn, and I like their cacao and coconut bars. I can’t even explain it, it’s like fudge, it’s like butter, it’s so good…but they’re $7 a bar. So we were all joking that our entire paychecks are going to our chocolate addiction. View Comments You initially wanted to major in musical theater in college. Were you a fan of musicals growing up? I didn’t grow up with television, but I could rent VHS tapes from the library. I would watch Gene Kelly musicals and The King and I and Oklahoma! I just love musicals, and I’m a huge Sondheim nerd. The documentary of the cast recording of Company is one of my favorite things ever made. And I was into Floyd Collins and Parade when I was in high school. But the truth is I never had a great enough voice to really go for it, and my mom wasn’t super excited about me pursuing a full-time musical theater career. She wanted me to get a liberal arts education and maybe have the potential to be a lawyer one day. So I gave up my NYU and musical theater dream. Show Closed This production ended its run on July 13, 2014 I’m so sad about How I Met Your Dad not getting picked up. The saddest part about it for me is I loved the people I was making it with—Carter [Bays] and Craig [Thomas], who made How I Met Your Mother and Emily Spivey, who was creating this new show with them. I loved the process of both acting in it but also sitting in the writers’ room and pitching jokes—it made me feel like I was an old-timey joke writer on a Sid Caesar show. I’m bummed out that we can’t have the experience of doing it, but at the same time, you have so little control over these things. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, and if it’s not, it’s not. I think that what gives me the right to call myself a show person, which is all I’ve ever really wanted to call myself. With her delightful ability to be equal parts awkward and charming on screen, Greta Gerwig has taken the indie film world by storm with her stellar performances in Frances Ha, Greenberg and Lola Versus. Aside from school shows, the world premiere of Penelope Skinner’s humorous and haunting new play The Village Bike is the first time the actress/writer/filmmaker has appeared on stage, but Gerwig insists that she’s no theater newbie. Below, the lifelong theater fan chatted with Broadway.com about her Sondheim obsession, the unfortunate demise of How I Met Your Dad and getting comfortable enough to strip down emotionally and physically in the new MCC Theater production of The Village Bike. See Greta Gerwig in The Village Bike at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. You go on a wild ride—how do you unwind after the show? Well, we have a lot of whiskey in the dressing room. [Laughs.] And I have this kind of chocolate I like, so I take off my [prop] wedding ring, I have a shot of whiskey and I eat some chocolate and then I’m ready to go out into the world. Related Shows The Village Bike Do you have a musical theater dream role? Well, I wish I sounded just like Audra McDonald. And this sounds like I’m being tongue-and-cheek, but anything Elaine Stritch played, I could maybe have a shot at doing OK with, because there’s something about her and the way she is that I always felt connected to. That could maybe work out for me. The Sondheim women are the parts that I would love to play. They’re just so complex and not cliché. They’re so dark and spiky and complicated. They make mistakes and they sing about them. That’s what I would wanna do.
Pippin features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Roger O. Hirson and tells the story of a young prince searching for his corner of the sky. In addition to Rubinstein, the current cast includes Kyle Dean Massey as Pippin, Ciara Renee as Leading Player, Priscilla Lopez as Berthe, Charlotte d’Amboise as Fastrada and Rachel Bay Jones as Catherine. Star Files John Dossett is heading to the big top! The Tony nominee will join the cast of the Diane Paulus-helmed revival of Pippin as Charles, Pippin’s father. He will begin performances on August 26 at the Music Box Theatre, taking over for Tony winner John Rubinstein. Rubinstein, who originated the role of Pippin in 1972, will take his final Broadway bow on August 24 before joining the national tour. View Comments Related Shows Pippin Dossett, who can currently be seen as Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, earned a Tony nomination for his performance as Herbie in Gypsy opposite Bernadette Peters. His additional Broadway credits include Mamma Mia!, Ragtime and Fifth of July. John Dossett Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015
In Blackbird, two people who once had a passionate affair meet again fifteen years later. Ray is confronted with his past when Una arrives unannounced at his office, and they are forced to revisit their relationship. Ray has made a new life for himself. Una is looking for answers. What follows in this emotional thriller is an unflinching excavation of damaged love. The consequences are shattering. View Comments Olivier-winning play Blackbird, which was rumored to be heading to the big screen back in 2008, is now in the works once more. Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Ben Mendelsohn (The Place Beyond the Pines) have been tapped for the movie version, which will be adapted by David Harrower from his play of the same name. Directed by Benedict Andrews, shooting will begin in the U.K. next summer.
Hotcha! Chicago, now in its 19th year on Broadway, is celebrating another momentous milestone this weekend—the Tony-winning revival is surpassing Cats to become the second longest-running show in Broadway history! A whole slew of Chicago alums are returning to celebrate on November 23, including original stars Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton and Joel Grey, as well as John O’Hurley, Marilu Henner and Michelle Williams. Tons of celebrities have done stints in Chicago over the years, but isn’t it time a real-life tabloid star stepped into the cellblock? So meta! Cast your vote for your favorite tabloid sensation below. View Comments Chicago Related Shows from $49.50
View Comments It’s perfect weather for Iceman rumors, is it not? The Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Eugene O’Neill’s masterpiece The Iceman Cometh, starring Tony winners Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, has its eyes on a Broadway transfer. Deadline reports that the sold-out production, co-produced by Scott Rudin, has no official plans or a timeline for the move, but talks of one are indeed in place. Rudin confirmed to the site via email that there is “nothing near decided yet.”A five-hour-long, 18-character epic set in 1912 in Harry Hope’s NYC bar, The Iceman Cometh debuted on Broadway in 1946. The play was most recently revived in 1999 in a production starring Kevin Spacey as the garrulous Hickey. (In a hotly contested Best Actor Tony race, Dennehy’s performance in Death of a Salesman bested Spacey’s bravura star turn.)The production is expected to conclude its run at BAM on March 15. In addition to Lane and Dennehy, the cast includes Stephen Ouimette, Larry Neumann Jr., Salvatore Inzerillo, Marc Grapey, John Judd, John Reeger, James Harms, John Douglas Thompson, Lee Wilkof, John Hoogenakker, Patrick Andress, Tara Sissom, Lee Stark and Kate Arrington. Star Files Nathan Lane
Opera and musical theater favorite Anthony Warlow will return to the Great White Way in the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-winning tuner Finding Neverland. He will temporarily assume the role of American producer Charles Frohman, currently played by Kelsey Grammer, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Warlow will begin performances in mid-July (exact date to be confirmed) and play a limited engagement through September 13, when Grammer will return.“It has rekindled my love for musical theater,” Warlow told the Australian talk show Mornings. “It’s a beautiful production, it’s beautifully realized and the performances are extraordinary.” Warlow will play Frohman (and Captain James Hook) for a limited three-month engagement.Warlow made his Broadway debut in 2012 as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks in the revival of Annie; he previously played the role at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre. He recently took on the title role of Don Quixote in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Man of La Mancha in Washington, D.C. His additional musical theater credits include The Phantom of the Opera, Doctor Zhivago, Les Miserables and Guys and Dolls. On the opera stage, he has performed in Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute and The Tales of Hoffman.Directed by Diane Paulus and featuring a score by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham, Finding Neverland follows the story of J.M. Barrie (Matthew Morrison) and his relationship with the family of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Laura Michelle Kelly). Llewelyn Davies’ children eventually became Barrie’s inspiration to write Peter Pan. The cast also includes Carolee Carmello, Teal Wicks, Alex Dreier, Hayden Signoretti, Noah Hinsdale, Hayden Signoretti, Christopher Paul Richards, Sawyer Nunes, Jackson Demott Hill and Aidan Gemme. View Comments Finding Neverland Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 21, 2016 Related Shows
Singin’ in the Rain She Loves Me Shuffle Along New Year’s Eve feels like ages ago (even if it was just days ago), so while you’re sweeping away the pine needles and loading up on carb-free bread (whatever that is), we asked you to look ahead and tell us which Broadway shows you’re most excited to see in 2016. Turns out you’ve got pies, chocolate, yellow brick roads and Josh Groban on the brain. This is why we’re friends, you guys. See below for your picks, compiled on the ranking site Culturalist. Our number one prediction for 2016? It’s going to be an amazing time on Broadway. The Bandstand The Wiz Tuck Everlasting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory American Psycho Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 Waitress View Comments