New York has seen another exciting week in the film and theatre worlds as 2017 comes to a close and sights are set on the upcoming 2018 season!
To round out 2017, the Clive Barnes Foundation Awards nominees and 45th Chaplin Award recipient have been announced this week.
Each year, the Clive Barnes Foundation gives an annual award to two talented young professionals in the artistic fields of dance and theatre. Nominees for the theatre award are Evan Ruggiero and Elena Wang, the two stars of the Off-Broadway musical Bastard Jones, and Grace Van Patten from Hamish Linklater’s play The Whirligig. The dance award, which has already been decided, will go to Gemma Bond, an American Ballet Theater dancer and choreographer. Each winner will be awarded a cash prize of $5,000 during a ceremony on January 8 at the Walter Reade Theatre, Lincoln Center.
Oscar winner Helen Mirren will receive this year’s Chaplin Award presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. “It is an honor and a pleasure for us to present Helen Mirren with our 45th Chaplin Award,” said Ann Tenenbaum, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Board Chairman. “From housemaid to Queen and everything in between, Ms. Mirren has delivered masterful performances of complex characters, upending stereotype after stereotype along the way.” The Film Society’s Annual Gala began in 1972 when it honored Charlie Chaplin, who returned to the U.S. from exile to accept the commendation, after which the award was renamed for him. The 45th Chaplin Award Gala will take place on April 30, 2018 at the Film Society.
As we change our calendars, we’re also making a note of announcements coming out about the 2018 theatre season.
Classic Stage Company’s production of Terrence McNally’s new play about the Ballets Russes, Fire and Air, has found its cast. James Cusati-Moyer will play Nijinsky, with Douglas Hodge as Diaghilev. John Glover, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Marsha Mason and Marin Mazzie will join them. Directed by CSC a.d. John Doyle, the world premiere production begins previews January 1 ahead of a February 1 opening. Performances will run through February 25.
Additionally, 59E59 Theaters has set its season for 2018. Starting January 11th is the Civilians’ The Undertaking, a dark but humorous play by Steve Cosson that was part of the BAM Next Wave Festival last year, explores issues of death and mortality. Balls, by Kevin Armento and Bryony Lavery, offers another take on the King-Riggs Battle of the Sexes matchup from January 16 through February 25. Two-hander Some Old Black Man by James Anthony Tyler centers on the relationship between a worldly college professor and his ailing, blue-collar father and plays February 8 through March 4. The season also includes Max Baker’s Hal & Bee starring John Glover and running March 10 through 31, and Adam Rapp’s The Edge of Our Bodies, running April 4 through 22.
Abingdon Theatre Company has also announced two productions as part of its 25th anniversary season. Up first is the world premiere of Dave Solomon’s new play, Margaret and Craig, about the sometimes-tempestuous relationship between writer Margaret Gibson and female impersonator Craig Russel, to be played by Mario Cantone. Directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller, the show runs February and March at The Gym at Judson. The Abingdon’s second mainstage production is Eve Ensler’s The Fruit Trilogy, described as a “triptych of short plays giving a voice to defiant, ordinary women.” Directed by Mark Rosenblatt, the show will run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in June 2018. Casting and creative team will be announced at a later date.
Though not an official announcement for the upcoming season, during a recent interview on “The Howard Stern Show” Alec Baldwin said that he is considering his infamous impersonation of President Trump to Broadway in a show based on his and Kurt Anderson’s satirical book about the commander-in-chief, “You Can’t Spell America Without Me”. Baldwin said his solo Broadway show would take a similar approach to actor Will Ferrell’s Tony-award winning show, “You’re Welcome, America. A Final Night with George W. Bush.” The Emmy-winning actor says he would recruit “Saturday Night Live” honcho Lorne Michaels to produce the show.