Among The Mainstays Of 2020 Claimed By The Pandemic: Spring

first_imgPhoto: USAF / Chad C. StrohmeyerNEW YORK – By the time spring arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, the pandemic had the world firmly in its grip.The vernal equinox arrived March 19, the day California handed down the first statewide stay-at-home order in the United States. Most of the country would soon follow suit. In the coming weeks, vast swaths of humanity would be largely confined to their homes.Now, midway through spring, people are already fretting about summer. The spring of 2020 — for human beings, at least — has become the season that isn’t.Long considered a time of renewal and rebirth, spring is ever more precious in a world beset by climate change. After dark winters, spring arrives and the earth turns green again. The word itself is shorthand for revolutionary movements — the Springtime of Nations (1848), the Prague Spring (1968), the Arab Spring (2010-2012). Igor Stravinsky chose “The Rite of Spring” in 1913 to chart new musical frontiers. April lies at the heart of the poetic spring. Shakespeare takes a jaunty view of it in his “Sonnet 98,” personifying it as a month that “hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” In “The Waste Land,” when T.S. Eliot famously castigates “the cruellest month” of April as a time of “mixing memory and desire,” he might as well have described the entire season in the strange days of 2020.“Right now, when we’re cooped up in our apartments … we kind of get a glimpse of how we experienced spring last year, when we experienced all the people coming out into the streets and the rebirth of life,” says Matthew Mersky, who teaches a course on modern literature and the environment at Boston College.“And we experience it now negatively,” he says, “through memory or its absence.”May isn’t looking that great, either. As the weather warms, sort of, many public pools and beaches are still inaccessible. Baseball stadiums remain empty; schoolchildren remain home. College students still shuffling from class to class in parkas were sent home before spring semesters could really live up to their name.Spring’s gifts aren’t completely out of reach, particularly as stay-at-home orders expire. But in hard-hit New York City, densely populated with millions who often have no backyards, residents are left to catch spring’s sunshine by awkwardly angling from fire escapes and small balconies — or risk walks.Samali Nangalama, 23, has lived in New York for six years and recently moved within walking distance of Harlem Hospital, where she awakens and falls asleep to the sound of sirens. As the virus ravages vulnerable black and brown communities, she describes a “paralyzing fear” that has kept her in her apartment this spring, a stark adjustment for a season she usually views as “a time ripe with opportunity and optimism.”“I know it is assumed that Generation Z spends their life glued to screens, but there is no replacement for face-to-face contact,” says Nangalama, a junior studying global public health at New York University. “I miss this precious contact and this spring, I will feel more alone than ever.”Beyond sunshine and milestones missed, spring is intertwined with culture and religion. Easter is quite literally about renewal. Sikhs commemorate the formalization of the faith on Vaisakhi, a holiday that shares its name with Punjab’s spring harvest festival. May 1 marked Beltane, a fire festival of Celtic origin and a mid-spring sabbath celebrated by witches and pagans.Haley Murphy, 32, the owner and operator of ATL Craft in Atlanta, has been working in occult practices for 14 years. For her, Beltane is a significant rite in which communing with the Earth through planting is a centerpiece. She says it’s about “what needs to be planted, but also looking at each other and seeing us come out of our hermit shells of winter, watching each other bloom and get the sun on our faces and the freckles on our faces.”But with social distancing mandates, her coven couldn’t come together for Beltane, which she conducted in solitude this year. Amid the pandemic, she’s taken to sending members packages for other rituals, which are then conducted over FaceTime.“We have to change with the times,” she says, “and we have to adapt.”Spring is also a time to sow what can’t be reaped for months. But uncertainty is all that’s taken root for others whose future livelihoods depend on the metaphorical seeds typically planted during this time.Katie Lloyd doesn’t even like spring. She thrives in winter, growing up in Buffalo, New York, and spending years partaking in mountain sports in Colorado. She now lives in Alaska, where she and her husband co-own the Alaska Dogstead Mushing Company with Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit.Fresh off her own rookie season as a dogsledding musher, Lloyd says Alaskans call spring “breakup season” — not for relationships, but for the melting ice that creates “one big sloppy mess for a month or so” as snow becomes rain. It’s an important time, an opportunity to prepare for the summer tourist season that’s vital to Alaska’s economy.“It’s normally the excitement for the summer adventures and the excitement for the tourists coming here,” she says. “Now everything is either paused indefinitely or a giant question mark.”That sense of uncertainty is pervasive, with so much unclear. Some countries and U.S. states have loosened restrictions, but experts fear that might cause a resurgence of infections that could, as the season progresses, produce months even crueler than April.Absence is inherently intangible. That can make losses harder to measure. But many people will be delivered straight into the furnace of summer, emerging from the coronavirus months with losses that fundamentally alter their lives. Those voids are there to ponder while running down the clock on the spring that never was. 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Weekend Poll: Which Song MUST Idina Menzel Sing at Radio City?

first_img Idina Menzel View Comments Related Shows If/Then Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 Star Files Guys, it’s actually happening: Idina Menzel is coming to Radio City Music Hall! For one night only, the If/Then star is trading Elizabeth’s cardigans for a gorgeous gown—and we’re hoping she sings hits from the new musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey as well as well as old favorites from Rent, Aida, Wicked and of course, Frozen. Idina Menzel: Live at Radio City is sure to have a stellar setlist, but let’s suspend our imaginations for a second. If you could only choose one song for Idina Menzel to sing on June 16, what would it be? The Oscar-winning earworm “Let It Go”? The not-so-family-friendly gem “What the F*ck” from If/Then? Or what about “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent? We know it’s impossible to choose just one, but too bad, we’re making you do it. Which song must Idina Menzel sing live at Radio City Music Hall? Cast your vote below!last_img read more

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Los Monologos de La Vagina Begins Off-Broadway

first_img Kate del Castillo and Angélica Vale will appear in the show May 6 through June 1. They will be joined May 6 through May 11 by Miriam Colón. From May 14, Vale’s mother, Angélica María, will board the production. Further casting will be announced at a later date. Based on interviews with a diverse group of women—from a Long Island antique dealer to a Bosnian refugee—The Vagina Monologues brazenly explores the humor, power, pain, wisdom, outrage, mystery and excitement hidden in vaginas. The original production played over 1300 performances from 1999 to 2003 at the Westside Theatre. Los Monólogos de la Vagina will be modeled after the current Mexico City production, now in its 14th year. Los Monólogos de la Vagina, a Spanish version of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, begins performances on May 6 at the Westside Theatre, the show’s original off-Broadway home. Opening night is set for May 18. The production is directed by Jaime Matarredona. Los Monologos de la Vagina View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on June 15, 2014 Related Showslast_img read more

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Hal Prince, Bebe Neuwirth & More Will Present at 2014 Astaire Awards

first_img Bebe Neuwirth Star Files Among this year’s nominees are Neil Patrick Harris, James Monroe Iglehart, Andy Karl and Susan Stroman. Choreographer Pat Birch will receive the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award, and dancer and instructor Luigi will take home the Outstanding Achievement in the Preservation of Musical Theatre Award. Legendary director Hal Prince and Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth are among the names who will serve as presenters at the 32nd annual Fred & Adele Astaire Awards. The ceremony will take place on June 2 at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.center_img In addition to Prince and Neuwirth, presenters set to make appearances include Emmy winner Valerie Harper, Scandal star Joe Morton, Tony and Emmy nominee Sandy Duncan and Dancing with the Stars’ Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The Astaire Awards is the only awards show to honor excellence in dance and choreography on Broadway and in film and were first started in 1982 by the late Fred Astaire and the late Douglas Watt. View Commentslast_img read more

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Rose Byrne & Annaleigh Ashford Join Cast of You Can’t Take It With You on B’way

first_img Related Shows You Can’t Take It With You Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 22, 2015 View Comments Rose Byrne and Annaleigh Ashford will join the previously announced James Earl Jones and Kristine Nielsen in Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You. Byrne, who is making her Broadway debut, will be playing Alice Sycamore and Ashford will play her sister, Essie Sycamore. You Can’t Take It With You introduces audiences to the freethinking Sycamore family and the mayhem that ensues when their daughter’s fiancé brings his conservative, straight-laced parents to dinner on the wrong night. The show debuted at the Booth Theatre in 1936 and was last revived on Broadway in 1983. Directed by Scott Ellis, performances of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama will begin on August 26. Opening night is set for September 28 at the Longacre Theatre.center_img Star Files Two-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Byrne’s screen credits include Damages, Bridesmaids and Neighbors. Ashford received a Tony nod for Kinky Boots and has also appeared on Broadway in Wicked and in TV’s Masters of Sex. The cast will additionally feature Mark Linn-Baker (A Funny Thing…), Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park), Julie Halston (Anything Goes), Marc Damon Johnson (Lucky Guy), Patrick Kerr (Stage Kiss) and Tony nominee Reg Rogers (Holiday).  Additional casting will be announced later. Set design will be by David Rockwell, costume design by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Donald Holder, hair and wig design by Tom Watson and sound design by Jon Weston. Jason Robert Brown will write original music for the production. Annaleigh Ashfordlast_img read more

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Paul Chahidi on Hugh Jackman’s Hands & Falling for London’s Shakespeare in Love

first_img The thing about Henslowe is that he does keep going. Very much so. I think he realizes as all of us who work in the theater do that the creation of any work of art in the end remains a mystery. There’s a point at which something will either work or it won’t and when it does, there’s a strange alchemy that comes from a piece resonating with an audience’s imagination. Is Hugh a good high-fiver? He has very large, very soft hands. It must be nice given how special your New York experience was that you have been so busy since returning home to London. An actor’s fear is always that they will never work again—even Judi Dench has said she feels that! My particular worry was that New York had been an extraordinary time and that maybe no one in the U.K. would remember who I was and I would have to kind of remind them. Do you have a favorite moment amid the recent whirligig that has been your life? I did love the way in New York I kept being called a “fresh face”—at age 44! I wish people would call me a fresh face more often! Some people have assumed—wrongly—that your play is a musical. I know, and we have live music on stage and do sing at various points, but this is very much a play, though one with a cast of 28 working alongside the genius of [playwright] Lee Hall, who is a theater animal par excellence and understands how the theater works. He in turn, of course, has a brilliant screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman to work with, though our play is very much its own thing. Not to take anything away from the film, which I adored, but this is not something being shoehorned into live performance; it sits very well in the theater. We have all the elements people loved from the film—plus more. Did you find that with the pairing of Shakespeare plays that brought you and the company from the Globe to Broadway last season? What was extraordinary there was that I was very hesitant at first about doing Twelfth Night in New York, if only because I had first done it 10 years ago in London and that has been such a defining moment and I thought, “I don’t want to ruin this perfect experience.” Little did I know that I would end up having another perfect experience. Welcome back to the West End, this time in a play not by Shakespeare but about Shakespeare. It’s great to be here, especially in a play that is both a love story and almost a love letter to the theater—there’s the love story between Shakespeare [played on stage by Tom Bateman] and Viola [Lucy Briggs-Owen in the Gwyneth Paltrow role] and then around it are numerous stories about the transforming powers of theater and the degree to which people fall in love with the theater sometimes to their own surprise. You play Shakespeare’s producer, Philip Henslowe. Have you modeled your performance on any real-life producers—Sonia Friedman, with whom you worked on both Twelfth Night and on this, perhaps? [Laughs.] For a start, Sonia doesn’t have a beard and a bald head, before we go any further! I also think Sonia is far more relaxed and calm and composed than Henslowe in the play ever is. Basically, Henslowe is teetering on the edge of the abyss every time you see him, as if something awful is about to happen every time. That said, some of the biggest laughs we’ve had from Sonia have had to do with Henslowe: clearly she understands the producer’s lot!center_img Paul Chahidi stole the spotlight on both sides of the Atlantic with his sublimely funny and commanding turn as Maria in Twelfth Night, the all-male production of Shakespeare’s comedy that stormed Broadway last season, netting the Englishman a Tony nomination in the process. Since that play—and its companion piece, Richard III—closed on Broadway in February, Chahidi has by no means been sitting idle. He returned home to London to appear in James Graham’s dazzling play Privacy and he is now in previews at the Noel Coward Theatre as the comically beleaguered producer Henslowe in Lee Hall’s stage adaptation of Shakespeare in Love—the same part that garnered Geoffrey Rush an Oscar nomination. You interrupted your Shakespeare in Love rehearsals to fly to New York for the Tony Awards. What was that like? I’ve never encountered anything like it in my life. I flew out with my wife on the Saturday morning and went straight out to a party and then dinner with our cast. The next day, we walked through the busy streets of Manhattan to Radio City Music Hall, which even under the awning on the red carpet must have been about 95 degrees. We then went through into the auditorium itself, where I had never been, and it felt like the Colosseum—that’s probably what people in the far-flung Roman Empire felt when they went to the Colosseum. Had you been expecting your nomination? The funny thing is that I was Privacy at the Donmar during all that time, so in my head, I had kind of moved on, and then I started getting emails telling me about the Outer Critics Circle and the Theatre World Award and by the time the Tony nomination came, my phone nearly melted. The truth is that my expectations were so low that it made it all the sweeter when [the nomination] did happen. What are your memories of the ceremony itself? I can die happy because I high-fived Hugh Jackman! I don’t need anything else now; my life is complete. If you had to lose, it must have been nice to do so to a colleague from the same play [three-time Tony-winner Mark Rylance]. Absolutely, yes, and Mark mentioned me and Sam [Barnett] and Stephen [Fry], which was a lovely thing to do. He was delighted for us and kept telling us to just enjoy it. And it really was wonderful to see the way in which he has put Shakespeare’s Globe back internationally on the map; in fact, he’s very keen to maybe come back to Manhattan and do some more classical plays—to do this all again some time. View Commentslast_img read more

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Ripcord Delays First Preview Off-Broadway

first_img Holland Taylor Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 6, 2015 Related Shows Star Files The off-Broadway production of Ripcord, starring Holland Taylor, Marylouise Burke and more, has pushed back its first preview date to allow additional technical rehearsals. Directed by David Hyde Pierce, the new comedy by David Lindsay-Abaire will now begin performances on October 1 instead of September 29. Opening night remains scheduled for October 20 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s New York City Center—Stage I.A sunny room on an upper floor is prime real estate in the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility so when the cantankerous Abby (Taylor) is forced to share her quarters with new-arrival Marilyn (Burke), she has no choice but to get rid of the infuriatingly chipper woman by any means necessary. A seemingly harmless bet between the old women quickly escalates into a dangerous game of one-upmanship that reveals not just the tenacity of these worthy opponents, but also deeper truths that each would rather remain hidden.The cast will also include Rachel Dratch, Glenn Fitzgerald, Holland Taylor, Daoud Heidami and Nate Miller.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. View Comments Ripcordlast_img read more

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The Fans Have Spoken! Your Top 10 Aaron Tveit Roles Revealed

first_imgLink Larkin, Hairspray William “Tripp” van der Bilt III, Gossip Girl Roger Davis, Rent Gabe, Next to Normal Aaron Tveit(Photos: USA,Universal Pictures and Michael Becker/FOX) You watched Grease: Live, you squealed at “Greased Lightning,” you told your friends at your Grease viewing party (you did have a Grease viewing party, didn’t you?!) that you totally knew Aaron Tveit way back when. Because you did. You really did. But then just as you were rolling on the high of “You’re the One That I Want,” we asked you to rank your favorite Aaron Tveit roles on Culturalist.com. And it was hard. And the night was not young. And you hunkered down and did it. Are we sorry? No, we are not. Below are your top 10 roles for our Broadway boyfriend. Read it and then get some rest. You deserve it. Enjolras, Les Miserables Fiyero, Wicked Star Files Mike Warren, Graceland Danny Zuko, Grease: Live John Wilkes Booth, Assassins View Comments Frank Abagnale Jr., Catch Me If You Can Aaron Tveitlast_img read more

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Alan Cumming Sets a Date for White Rabbit Red Rabbit

first_imgAlan Cumming(Photo by Bruce Glikas) Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 19, 2016 We now have a date for Tony winner Alan Cumming’s star turn in the New York premiere of White Rabbit Red Rabbit off-Broadway. Nassim Soleimanpour’s show is playing Monday nights at off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre; Cumming will perform on April 25.No rehearsal. No director. No set. No spoilers. A different performer each night is handed the script for the first time as they step onto the stage. The rotating cast will each perform the play once.Nathan Lane appeared on March 7, followed by Whoopi Goldberg on March 14. Other stars with dates set in the calendar include: Patrick Wilson on March 21, Brian Dennehy on March 28, Wayne Brady on April 4, Cynthia Nixon on April 18, Mike Birbiglia on April 11 and Martin Short on May 2.Forbidden to leave his country, young Iranian playwright Soleimanpour found a way for his voice to get out when he physically could not—distilling the experience of his isolation in a non-traditional new play. The show had its world premiere in 2011 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has since been translated into fifteen different languages and performed over 200 times worldwide. A portion of the play’s profits will go to PEN International, the world’s leading association of writers working to promote literature and defend freedom of expression around the world.center_img White Rabbit Red Rabbit View Commentslast_img read more

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Take a Study Break & Check Out Broadway.com’s A+ Playlist

first_img View Comments The season of flip flops, ice cream cones and Shakespeare in the Park is so close, but before wearing out cast albums by the pool and reading Hamiltome on the beach, theater fans in school will have to drop some serious knowledge. Don’t despair as you churn out those last papers and study for those final exams (all right, and occasionally procrastinate by watching vlogs)! We’ll help you make the grade with Broadway.com’s A+ Playlist! Need an anthem for acing the test? Want a song to get you focused on that final paragraph? Craving a quick dance break? We’ve got you covered so that the tail end of the school year doesn’t seem like a total nightmare. Don’t throw away your shot because you’ve got this! (Photos: Matthew Murphy & Joan Marcus)last_img read more

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