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A Year In Review: A look back at theatre 2010

A YEAR IN REVIEW:  BONEAU/BRYAN-BROWN  LOOKS BACK ON 2010  

Boneau/Bryan-Brown takes this opportunity to celebrate the New Year by looking back at the first half of the 2010-2011 Season, and celebrating some long-running productions.

 

THE 39 STEPS

THE 39 STEPS was a sponsor of the 2010 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer New York and has been donating $5 from every ticket sold through this partnership to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to support breast cancer research and awareness efforts.

 

THE 39 STEPS became the first successful Broadway play to make the leap to Off-Broadway after its Rialto run, re-opening at New World Stages on April 15, 2010.

 

THE 39 STEPS reached 1000 performances in New York City on September 20, 2010.  

 

ARENA STAGE

ARENA STAGE (Molly Smith, Artistic Director) began the 60th season filled with award –winning artists and projects to celebrate the grand opening of Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theatre.  The 2010/11 inaugural season marked Arena Stage becoming a national center for production, presentation, development and study of American Theatre.

 

Molly Smith’s critically acclaimed production of RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S OKLAHOMA! opened in the company’s renovated, iconic Fichandler Stage.

 

The critically praised world premiere of Marcus Gardley’s play EVERY TONGUE CONFESS, directed by Kenny Leon with a cast including Phylicia Rashad opened in the brand new 200-seat Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle.

 

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY broke ground this summer on a multi-million dollar renovation of its main stage home at the Linda Gross Theater, aiming for completion in Fall 2011. 

 

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY kicked off its 25th Anniversary season with the world premiere production of Atlantic alum Lucy Thurber’s BOTTOM OF THE WORLD at Stage 2, the company’s state-of-the-art black box theatre.

 

ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY’S much-lauded double-bill THE COLLECTION & A KIND OF ALASKA: TWO PLAYS BY HAROLD PINTER, directed by founding Atlantic Company member Karen Kohlhaas, opened to rave reviews and extended its limited engagement.

 

BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS

BC/EFA’s 20th annual Broadway Bares, BROADWAY BARES XX: “STRIP-OPOLY” made history by raising $1,015,985.

 

BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola received a 2010 Tony honor.

 

THE DIVINE SISTER

THE DIVINE SISTER’s sold out its developmental run at Theater for the New City in a production starring playwright Charles Busch, Alison Fraser, Alison Fraser, Amy Rutberg, Jennifer Van Dyck, Jonathan Walker, and Julie Halston with direction by Carl Andress.

 

THE DIVINE SISTER opened its Off-Broadway run at the SoHo Playhouse to unanimous rave reviews from critics.

 

THE DIVINE SISTER announced a new block of tickets on sale, extending the show through to Sunday, February 27.

 

THE FLYING KARAMAZOV BROTHERS

THE FLYING KARAMAZOV BROTHERS returned to New York’s Minetta Lane Theatre this July and received rave reviews.   Between the members of the eclectic group, they have played piano with Bo Diddley, sung with The Grateful Dead, and received an offer to teach juggling in space from astronaut Cady Coleman; they now await word from NASA.

 

GUTHRIE THEATER

GUTHRIE THEATER director Joe Dowling has extended his contract with the theatre for an additional five years.

 

THE GUTHRIE celebrated its 50th Shakespeare production with a staging of Macbeth

 

Prior to Broadway, the acclaimed The Scottsboro Boys proved a summer hit at the theatre, playing to nightly standing ovations

 

THE GUTHRIE/BERKELEY REP co-production of Tiny Kushner proved a critical hit at London’s Tricycle Theatre

 

JERSEY BOYS

JERSEY BOYS, the Tony, Olivier and Grammy Award-winning Best Musical, celebrated its 5th triumphant anniversary on Broadway November 6.

 

The Broadway company of JERSEY BOYS, raised $43,521 to benefit New York Public Schools through the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.  

 

JERSEY BOYS became the longest running show in the history of Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre, the theatre owned by Jujamcyn Theatres that opened over 85 years ago on April 13, 1925 as the Guild Theatre, on Wednesday, October 13 at 8:00 p.m. after 2037 performances.

 

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES

The new Broadway production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES opened on April 18 to rave reviews praising the performances of stars Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge and director Terry Johnson’s heartwarming and fresh take on the classic musical.

 

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES made Tony Awards history this year as the first show to ever win the Tony Award three times for best production.   The classic musical comedy by Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein originally won six Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Musical.  A Broadway revival won two 2005 Tony Awards including the Best Revival of a Musical prize.  This year, LA CAGE won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, as well as Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical (Douglas Hodge) and Best Director of a Musical (Terry Johnson). 

 

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES will welcome two new stars in February 2011. Four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein is returning to Broadway, starring as Albin opposite six-time Emmy Award nominee Jeffrey Tambor as Georges.  Fierstein won the 1984 Tony Award for writing LA CAGE, but this will be his first time appearing in the show.  Tambor is making his Broadway musical debut. The new stars begin performances Tuesday, February 15 at the Longacre Theatre.

 

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

The first Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC continues at the Walter Kerr Theatre for a limited time only – now through January 9, 2011.

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones, who thrilled audiences as Desirée Armfeldt, won 2010 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Musical for her Broadway debut. She and co-star Angela Lansbury played their final performance on Sunday, June 20, 2010.

 

On July 13, 2010, performances resumed with Bernadette Peters as Desirée Armfeldt and Elaine Stritch as Madame Armfeldt. When the show re-opened in August, Charles Isherwood of the New York Times hailed it as “the best new show in town” and “an indelible moment in the history of musical theater.”

 

LOMBARDI

LOMBARDI marks The National Football League’s first foray onto Broadway, as special producing partner along with co-producers Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser.

 

LOMBARDI hosts an installation of Vince Lombardi and Green Bay Packers memorabilia in the lobby of the Circle in the Square Theatre.  Items include signed footballs from the 1965 World Championship and Super Bowl I, jerseys worn by Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke and Bart Starr, and a bench from the Ice Bowl, Lombardi’s last game at Lambeau Field.  The Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy has also made several appearances in the lobby.

 

The Broadway Opening Night celebration of LOMBARDI on October 21, 2010 attracted a starry crowd of sports legends, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy, sportscaster Bob Costas, New York Giants Co-Owners John Mara and Jonathan Tisch, Minnesota Vikings Owner Zigi Wylf, former New York Yankee Lee Mazzilli, former New York Giants Stephen Baker and Erich Block, and former Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung, Dave Robinson, Jim Taylor, Jerry Kramer and Chuck Mercein.

 

MAMMA MIA!

MAMMA MIA! celebrated its ninth birthday and officially kicked off a year-long celebration leading up to its 10th Broadway Anniversary on October 18, 2011 by unveiling brand new disco balls that now spin underneath the Winter Garden Theatre marquee.

 

MAMMA MIA! welcomed new stars Lisa Brescia as “Donna Sheridan,” Liana Hunt as “Sophie Sheridan,”  Corey Greenan as “Sky,” and Clarke Thorell as “Harry Bright” for their first performance on October 22, 2010.

 

MAMMA MIA! stage and film producer Judy Craymer was honored with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s® (BCRF)  2010 Humanitarian Award on October 27, 2010 in New York City for her longstanding commitment to raising breast cancer awareness around the world and raising funds for research.

 

Manhattan Theatre Club’s THE PITMEN PAINTERS

The renowned cast from the National Production of THE PITMEN PAINTERS arrives in New York for the American premiere at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

 

Tony Winner Lee Hall’s THE PITMEN PAINTERS opened on September 30th to glowing reviews from critics.

 

Manhattan Theatre Club’s SPIRIT CONTROL

The world premiere of Beau Willimon’s SPIRIT CONTROL opened at MTC at New York City Center on October 26, 2010.

 

To prepare for the role of air traffic controller Adam Wyatt, star Jeremy Sisto travelled to Spirit of St. Louis Airport with director Henry Wishcamper and playwright Beau Willimon.

 

MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN LAKE

MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN LAKE, the modern re-interpretation of the legendary ballet that won three 1999 Tony Awards, returned to New York this Fall for a strictly limited run at New York City Center.

Upon arrival in New York, a flock of Matthew Bourne’s bare-chested, virile male Swans assembled in formation in the middle of Times Square to pronounce the production’s return to the city.

Life imitated art at the Opening Night of MATTHEW BOURNE’S SWAN LAKE, when the original stars of Broadway’s Billy Elliot took in the opening night performance at New York City Center. At the end of the film Billy Elliot, the adult Billy is seen waiting in the wings of a production of Bourne’s modern re-interpretation of the classic ballet, preparing to make his entrance and fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a professional dancer. Two of the three Tony-winning Billys, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish (they shared the award with David Alvarez), got a chance see the show and meet Bourne and the company.

 

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (Levi Kreis) and received a Tony nomination for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical (Colin Escott & Floyd Mutrux).

 

On September 10th, Rock & Roll icon Jerry Lee Lewis, the last surviving member of the real ‘Million Dollar Quartet’, joined the cast of the Broadway musical on stage for an encore performance.

 

A UK production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET will open in the West End on February 28th, 2011. A North American tour will also launch in 2011.

 

NAKED ANGELS

This spring, the NAKED ANGELS production of Artistic Director Geoffrey Nauffts’ new American play Next Fall transferred to Broadway. The play was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Best New Play, and Geoffrey Nauffts received the 2010 Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award for his writing achievement.

 

In May, NAKED ANGELS presented the American premiere of Chloe Moss’ heart-wrenching play This Wide Night starring Edie Falco and Alison Pill giving performances Ben Brantley of The New York Times described as “two actresses at the top of their game.” The production played a sold-out, extended run and broke every box office record previously held by a NAKED ANGELS production.

 

This Fall NAKED ANGELS announced a full 2011 season celebrating its 25th Anniversary as one of the most innovative theatre companies in New York. The 25th Anniversary season will include an extravagant 25th Anniversary Gala, the return of NAKED ANGELS’ signature Issues Project and two world premieres of new plays by Bekah Brunstetter and Zayd Dohrn.

 

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE

THE NATIONAL THEATRE announced an ambitious line up for the second season of National Theatre Live broadcasts with titles including: Hamlet, Frankenstein, Fela!, King Lear, The Cherry Orchard and A Disappearing Number.

 

On September 23, NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE kicked off its second season with a special encore broadcast of Phedre starring Helen Mirren. 

 

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL

This Fall, PRISCILLA made its North American premiere in Toronto at the Princess of Whales Theatre, starring Tony Sheldon, Will Swenson, and Nick Adams in a production hailed by Richard Ouzounian of The Toronto Star as a “grand, glorious and gorgeous piece of musical theatre that will fill the heart of anyone who has ever loved — or wanted to be loved.”

 

While wowing audiences in Toronto, Broadway-bound PRISCILLA found her Palace and her Queen in New York. “The Divine Miss M” Bette Midler joined the production as producer, saying “A new star is on Broadway and her name is PRISCILLA!! So much fun, it’s practically illegal!!  In fact, it IS illegal in four states!!” One place it’s not illegal is Broadway’s glorious Palace Theatre, where PRISCILLA will find its New York home this Winter.

 

Roundabout Theatre Company’s BRIEF ENCOUNTER

BRIEF ENCOUNTER, the critically acclaimed production made it to Broadway after a journey that included Kneehigh, West End, Guthrie, St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.

BRIEF ENCOUNTER opened to high acclaim with The New York Times’ Ben Brantley raving NY Times “By the show’s end I felt enlivened, enlightened and seriously moved.”

 

The cast of BRIEF ENCOUNTER will spend their 2nd Christmas in New York this year since the acclaimed production was extended 4-weeks at Roundabout Theatre Company.

 

Roundabout Theatre Company’s MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION 

This fall Broadway was treated to the return of stage favorite Cherry Jones playing the title role in MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION.

 

MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION marked the first time Doug Hughes & his leading lady Cherry Jones teamed up since they both won Tony Awards for Doubt.

 

While Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins was making her Broadway debut this fall, she was also premiering THREE acclaimed feature films – Made in Dagenham, Submarine & Never Let Me Go.

 

Roundabout Theatre Company’s TIGERS BE STILL 

TIGERS BE STILL was a sold out hit at Roundabout Underground.

 

The celebrated Director of TIGERS BE STILL, Sam Gold, joined Roundabout Theatre Company as an Associate Artists in November.

 

Playwright Kimberly Rosenstock finished her Master’s degree at Yale just a few weeks before her hit play TIGERS BE STILL started rehearsals for the fall.

 

Roundabout Theatre Company’s THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE 

THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE’s playwright Julia Cho won the 2010 Susan Blackburn Prize awarded to an outstanding new English-language play by a woman.

 

Roundabout Theatre Company celebrated their first commissioned play this fall with Julia Cho’s THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE.

 

Director Mark Brokaw returned to Roundabout’s Laura Pels theatre after his production of Suddenly Last Summer.

 

ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

On November 24, 2010 the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres reopened on time and on budget following a three and a half year £112.8m transformation at the company home in Stratford-upon-Avon.

 

THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY announced their 44-member ensemble will perform in repertory in a full scale replica of its transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre, specially created in the Park Avenue Armory’s soaring Wade Thompson Drill Hall as part of Lincoln Center Festival 2011.

 

THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS

Following sold-out runs at The Vineyard Theater downtown and The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS opened on Broadway on October 31, marking the final collaboration of musical theater legends John Kander and Fred Ebb.

 

The production also celebrated the 50th anniversary of veteran actor John Cullum’s Broadway debut.

 

THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS performed two special matinees for New York City high school students, courtesy of the Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit group that runs Broadway’s TKTS discount booth and several arts education programs. Both performances were followed by talkbacks between the students and the company.

 

SIGNATURE THEATRE COMPANY

SIGNATURE THEATRE COMPANY’S 20th season is dedicated to Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tony Kushner who was honored at their Gala in November.

 

ANGELS IN AMERICA which kicked off SIGNATURE THEATRE COMPANY’S season is the first New York revival since the original Broadway run.

ANGELS IN AMERICA has become a sold out run at the Peter Norton Space and has been extended three times through March 27, 2010.

 

STOMP

In March 2010, STOMP appeared on The Emeril Lagasse Show in a segment in which they performed with everything – AND the kitchen sink.  Four of them in fact.

STOMP made an appearance at a Knicks halftime show at Madison Square Garden in April 2010.

A proud member of the New York community and a fixture on the New York theatrescape, STOMP performed this June at the Central Park Zoo for an event celebrating New York’s LGBT community and made a video for the campaign to get LeBron James to New York.

TIME STANDS STILL

After a successful run at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman theatre which earned the show a 2010 Tony nomination for Best Play, TIME STANDS STILL re-opened at the Cort Theatre on October 7, 2010 starring Laura Linney, Brian d’Arcy James, Eric Bogosian and Christina Ricci.

Laura Linney received a 2010 Tony Award nomination for her role as Sarah Goodwin, a photographer with a passion for documenting the realities of war.

 

TIME STANDS STILL hosted a series of informational talkbacks that included notable guests Bob & Lee Woodruff and panels of real journalists and photographers from such publications as The Associated Press, Getty Images, WNYC Radio and More Magazine

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