Numerous Broadway actors and singers will join together on July 22 at the Skirball Center (566 LaGuardia Place) for a benefit concert titled “Broadway Stands Up for Freedom”. Proceeds from the benefit will go to NYCLU’s youth programming, which includes support for LGBT teens, an initiative that educates teens on their right to health care access, and efforts to halt overly aggressive policing and military recruiting at NYC public schools.
The currently-scheduled line-up of Broadway performers includes Anthony Rapp (Rent), Nellie McKay (Old Hats), Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change), Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher), Charl Brown (Motown the Musical), Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Randy Graff (City of Angels), Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages), Broadway composer Andrew Lippa (Big Fish), and many more.
Tickets for “Broadway Stands Up for Freedom” start at $60. Go to NYCLU.org/Bway for more information.
The Tony Award-winning hit musical Kinky Boots, featuring music by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, has changed its rush ticket policy. The Broadway show started out offering a first come, first served rush ticket model, where discounted $37 rush tickets were sold at the box office as soon as it opened. But effective Tuesday, July 9, Kinky Boots is switching to a lottery.
Now these $37 discount tickets will be distributed through a lottery held a few hours before each performance of the show. People wishing to enter the lottery can enter their names into the drawing starting two and a half hours before the performance. The actual drawing will take place two hours before the show. Lottery winners are allowed to purchase up to two tickets.
Based on the British independent film of the same name, Kinky Boots tells the story of a young man who inherits a failing family shoe business and discovers — with the help of a new friend — that he can revitalize the company by designing flashy, high-quality footwear for drag queens.
When the wacky Christopher Durang play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike transferred from Off-Broadway to Broadway earlier this year, it might have seemed like a risky move, considering Durang is renowned for off-beat fare that doesn’t necessarily translate to the mainstream. However, bringing the comedy to Broadway has proved to be a wise choice, as it has just recouped all of its $2.75 million investment.
It isn’t easy for a Broadway show to earn back its investment, but Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike steadily gained steam after opening at the John Golden Theatre in March, going on to capture the Tony Award for Best Play and earning honors from the Drama Desk, the Drama League, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and the Outer Critics Circle as well. After winning the Tony, the show quickly became a very hot ticket.
Starring David Hyde Pierce, Sigourney Weaver, Kristine Nielsen, Billy Magnussen, Shalita Grant, and Liesel Allen-Yeager, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is currently scheduled to play through August 25. As of July 30, Julie White will take over for Sigourney Weaver.
Rather than attempt to compete with the massive fireworks displays that will be filling New York City skies on July 4, nearly every Broadway show (with the lone exception of Cinderella, which has a 7pm performance on Independence Day) will be cancelling its performance that evening. One show, the hit play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, will have a 2pm matinee that day. Otherwise, Broadway fans are out of luck if they want to celebrate Independence Day in a Broadway theater.
To make up for cancelling their Thursday evening performances, most Broadway shows are adding either a Monday night performance to their schedule or a Friday matinee. These added shows give people taking long weekends an opportunity to squeeze one more Broadway play or musical into their show-going schedule.
Normally, there are only about seven Broadway shows that play on the traditionally dark Monday night, but on July 1 there will be 16 shows to choose from. Friday matinees are a rarity, with Annie the only Broadway musical that currently has them on its regular schedule. But on July 5, a total of seven shows will offer 2pm performances.
To view the entire July 4 holiday week schedule, click here.
Best known to Broadway fans and tourists as the half-price ticket booth, TKTS will celebrate its 40 years of selling discounted Broadway tickets in Times Square on June 26 with special festivities starting at 11am.
On Broadway and 47th Street, behind the TKTS booth, a proclamation from the City of New York is going to be presented to the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the organization that runs the booth. Broadway performer and writer Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Newsies) will be there to accept. When the presentation is over, the Forbidden Broadway cast will perform a special TKTS tribute, penned by Forbidden Broadway creator Gerard Alessandrini.
After that, karaoke singers will perform Broadway numbers (all from the past 40 years), while TKTS representatives show off costumes created in the style of shows that have appeared on Broadway during the last 40 years. Actress Julie Halston will introduce the singers and also interview ticket buyers waiting in the TKTS line.
The Broadway play Ann about former Texas governor Ann Richards may be closing on June 30, but in the last couple weeks before the one woman show starring Holland Taylor shutters, it is going to give young people ages 14-18 a special opportunity to get heavily discounted tickets.
The discount Ann tickets are priced at $20 each and are available for every remaining performance of the show, which plays at the Vivian Beamont Theater at Lincoln Center. They start selling the tickets each day when the box office opens, and they can also be purchased in advance for future shows. An I.D. is not required.
“Something in the spirit of Ann, herself, that she would love,” said Holland Taylor, announcing the new youth discount ticket policy. “Parents can come to the box office to buy their own tickets and bring their kids who can buy their own tickets. Groups of kids can come. Kids can come all by their lonesome. This is an unrestricted gift to the generation Ann cared about the most.”
Broadway fans looking to watch the Tony Awards this Sunday, June 9 with fellow theater lovers can cheer for their favorites at “Celebrate the Tonys,” 54 Below’s Tony Awards viewing party. The venue will broadcast the Tony ceremony, which airs from 8:00-11:00pm, live on large screen TVs.
Located at 254 West 54th in the bustling theater district, 54 Below has become “Broadway’s nightclub,” a place where many of the finest and most famous theater singers and musicians love to perform. Given its Broadway-friendly reputation, it seems an ideal venue for theater fans to gather on Broadway’s most celebrated night.
There is no cover charge to attend 54 Below’s Tony viewing party, but there is a $30 food/drink minimum. Reservations are recommended, and can be obtained by calling 646-476-3551. Walk-ins will be allowed in, too, if the event hasn’t filled to capacity. Arrival time is 6:15 to 6:30pm for those who have made reservations, and the festivities start at 7pm. Find more information at www.54below.com.
A limited number of tickets to the Tony Awards ceremony on Sunday, June 9 will be offered to New York metro area students through a lottery being held on June 6 at 12pm. The lottery will be held at the Helen Hayes Theatre (240 W. 44th Street), home of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.
The student rush tickets will be $40 each, cash only. Students can begin submitting their names into the lottery at noon, with the drawing taking place at 12:30pm. Students who are selected will need to present a valid student ID, and they can buy up to two rush tickets.
Justin Matthew Sargent, currently starring in Rock of Ages as Drew, will draw the names. Participants have to be there in person as the names are being drawn to receive tickets.
Glee star — and now also a Broadway star, thanks to her current turn as Miss Hannigan in the Annie revival — Jane Lynch will serve as host for TrevorLIVE New York, taking place on June 17 at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
TrevorLIVE is the annual signature event of The Trevor Project, an organization that LGBTQ youth who are in crisis. Directed by Michael Wilson (The Trip to Bountiful), the event will include performances from Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Sara Bareilles, DJ Kiss, and others.
“I am so thrilled to be hosting TrevorLIVE New York and proud to be part of such a worthwhile cause!” stated Jane Lynch. “The Trevor Project is a beacon of hope for so many through their tireless advocacy and outreach — it’s an honor to help bring attention to all that they do.”
To find out how to to get tickets to TrevorLIVE, go to TheTrevorProject.org/TrevorLiveNY.
Just as The Public Theater’s free-to-the-public Shakespeare in the Park season is getting started at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park next month, the Public will be offering another free Shakespeare-themed event. On June 17 at 8pm, they will be hosting “What Are We Worth? Shakespeare, Money, and Morals,” a Public Forum event that invites attendees to take part in a town hall-style discussion.
Moderated by Harvard professor Michael Sandel (author of What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets), the conversation will be about the ways that the language of money directs our lives. The event, which will feature selected readings from Shakespeare plays, boasts the participation of many former and current Broadway stars, including Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Alda, Liev Schreiber, Raul Esparza, Jesse L. Martin, Lily Rabe, and Hamish Linklater.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the Aspen Institute and the brilliant Michael Sandel to create this lively and passionate evening,” stated Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public. “Shakespeare was writing at the birth of the modern economy, and his searing insights into money and value will be the perfect frame for this exhilarating event.”
“What Are We Worth?” tickets will be distributed for free at the Delacorte Theater at 12pm on June 17 (limit of 2 per person). There will also be some ticket distributed through an online ticket drawing. Visit shakespeareinthepark.org to learn more.