As we speed through the first month of the year, New York is both celebrating great achievements and looking forward to promising performances and events in the theatre world.
First, a look at achievements: Alan Shmuckler and Amanda Yesnowitz have been awarded this year’s Kleban Prize in Musical Theater for the most promising lyricists, while Christian Duhamel Is this year’s Librettist Award recipient. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $100,000 paid out over the course of two years. Committee members Marin Mazzie, composer and lyricist Dave Malloy and musical theater scholar Laurence Maslon chose this year’s winners.
Of course, there’s much to look forward to in the coming year. Tony winner Alan Cumming has booked two evenings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for next month. On February 13 at 7pm, he will perform a dramatic reading of The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, a collaboration with author and scholar Katherine Bucknell that hopes to bring to life the tender and emotional correspondence between these two extraordinary men. The following night at 7pm, Mr. Cumming will celebrate Valentine’s Day by bringing a bit of his downtown Club Cumming vibe to the Met by hosting an evening of amour-themed songs and spoken word entitled Many Fathoms Deep: A Valentine from Alan Cumming. Cumming’s musical director and longtime collaborator Lance Horne, along with some surprise guests, will also participate in this bawdy tribute to St. Valentine.
The Chekhov Dreams, John McKinney’s dark, romantic comedy about the nature of death, loss and literature, will have its world premiere at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row this month. Directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby, the cast features Dana Watkins, Elizabeth Inghram, Charlotte Stoiber, Christian Ryan and Rik Walter. The show begins previews January 26 ahead of an official opening on February 3, with a run currently scheduled through February 17.
BroadwayHD will broadcast an uncensored director’s cut of Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel’s Indecent when the offering becomes available on the streaming site this week. The Great Performances airing of the play on PBS in December deleted certain material that was considered too provocative for network audiences, ironic in view of the fact that the plot of Indecent centers on a play with a history of censorship. The BroadwayHD version will show the play uncut as directed by Rebecca Taichman, just as it was seen during its celebrated run at Broadway’s Cort Theatre.
Billed as a “parable about the true cost of inequality,” Bruce Norris’ new play, The Low Road, will have its American premiere at the Public Theater next month. The epic drama, which examines the beginning of capitalism in America, features a cast of 17 playing a total of 50 roles, including Tony winner Harriet Harris, Tony nominee Kevin Chamberlin, as well as Chris Perfetti in the role of a young, 18th century American seeking a path to riches at any cost. Directed by Michael Greif, the production will begin performances February 13, with an official opening set for March 7.