Time Stands Still Ends Its Broadway Run

Time Stands Still Broadway ShowThe acclaimed Manhattan Theatre Club production of Donald Margulies’ new drama Time Stands Still concluded its Broadway run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre today. Due to positive reviews and high ticket sales, the production extended its limited engagement an extra week. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, Time Stands Still starred Laura Linney as a war photographer forced to return with her partner (a journalist who she met on the job) to a conventional life back in the United States following an injury sustained while working in a dangerous land. The next Manhattan Theatre Club production to open at the Friedman Theatre will be another Donald Margulies play, Collected Stories. Starring Linda Lavin and Sarah Paulson, that production will begin performances on April 9.

You Can Still Reach for the Brass Ring: Trump Saves the Day

Central Park CarouselNew York’s Central Park Carousel, one of the most iconic and best-loved children’s attractions in the city, will continue to twirl for the foreseeable future: Donald Trump has stepped in to save the famous ride.
New York One LLC was recently forced out as the operator by the Parks Department when they couldn’t resolve maintenance issues; Trump stepped in and will pay the fee of $7,500 a month for the next six months to keep the carousel in motion. (Trump already oversees some of the city’s ice skating rinks; keep your eye on anything else that can be tied down, folks.)
The carousel, located near the middle of Central Park around 64th Street, hosts almost 250,000 riders every year.
Believe it or not, in its original incarnation, in 1871, a mule and horse walking on a sort of treadmill in an underground pit powered it.
No, thankfully, they’re not still there. The carousel was replaced around the beginning of the century by a steam-powered model, which burned down in 1924, as did the next model in the 1950s (Um…fire safety prevention, anyone?)
The current carousel is the fourth one to exist on this site. It features 58 whimsical, hand-carved horses and two chariots, which were made by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in 1908.
It’s still one of the best bargains in the city: $2 for a 3½ minute ride. The carousel opens daily for the season starting in April; until then, visitors can head over on weekends, weather permitting.
Fun fact: Visitors should examine the iron fence that surrounds the open sides of the carousel; a band of small, bright horses decorates it.

Bee Season: Welcome the Bees and Their Hives Back to New York

BeesGet your buzz on: Bees are making a re-entry into New York City.
Last week, the Board of Health in New York voted to once again make beekeeping legal in the city. (Whoo hoo! And for the record, who knew it wasn’t?)
Why, you may ask, were the bees not previously free to show their stripes in our fair city? Well, laws defined honeybees as–are you ready? Dangerous wild animals.
Yes, bees and rampaging grizzles, joining forces once again.
The fine for operating a hive in the city was as much as $2,000. Despite it, many beekeepers (and, don’t tell, one or two restaurants) still raised bees here. (Estimates put the number of beekeepers in New York at about 600, but it’s hard to really know.)
Cities including Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago already allow hives in their cities.
Now, beekeepers will have to register with the city, but they will not have to be licensed.
The new ruling is good news not just for the beekeepers, but also for the bees: Since 2006, a largely unidentified problem has been destroying bee colonies in North America. This collapse has caused a chain reaction that has affected honey production; and, in turn, foods that are made or sweetened with honey.
And, oh yes, if beekeeping has now piqued your interest and you’re looking for the names of famous beekeepers, look no further than the White House: The Obamas have a colony in the organic garden there.

Lips Together, Teeth Apart Now Postponed

The Roundabout Theatre Company announced today that, due to Megan Mullally’s sudden departure yesterday, the upcoming production of Terrence McNally’s play Lips Together, Teeth Apart has now been postponed. Said Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes: “We could not find a way to maintain the production schedule under these circumstances. We are now exploring options to produce a show for our subscribers as soon as possible.” Theater wags can only speculate on exactly what happened, as rumors have alternately suggested that director Joe Mantello was too demanding and that Megan Mullally was being too difficult (possibly wanting to replace one of her co-stars – most likely Broadway newcomer Patton Oswalt). Although it is difficult to replace an actor two weeks into the rehearsal process, it could have been done as long as Roundabout delayed the production schedule, which is what they stated they would do yesterday after Mullally dropped out. The fact that they changed their tune today most likely means that either Mullally’s leaving was just a symptom of bigger problems already happening with the show, or else it probably means that losing such a big star was simply too detrimental to ticket sales. Current ticket holders for Lips Together, Teeth Apart can rest assured that their refunds will be automatically processed, or else they will be contacted by Roundabout.

Children Of All Ages…Yes, It’s That Time of Year Again

A Circus ElephantNo matter what you see when you actually get there, few taglines have the ability to thrill as much as “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus opens today, which means that spring is here and controlled mayhem reigns at Madison Square Garden. The circus has set up shop through April 4, under the name “Barnum’s Funundrum.” The spectacle features 130 performers from six continents, and celebrates the 200th anniversary of P.T. Barnum’s birth.
Among the wonders: The Flying Caceres, trapeze artists who will attempt (and, we hope, succeed) to master a quadruple somersault on the flying trapeze; the Puyang Troupe from China, who take on a two-level trampoline; and ridiculously flexible body benders–watch as three of them fit into a cube the size of a milk crate! (Or don’t watch and just peep through your fingers.)
What else is on the bill? A married couple where the wife is the heavy lifter; the Sky High Ice Gliders, who take to the high wire; and the Torres family, who zoom around the sides of a steel globe 16 feet in diameter. (Seven motorcycles; 65 miles an hour; you do the math.)
But wait! you say. What about the animals? you ask. And animals there are. Asian elephants, Pygmy and Nubian goats, ponies, tigers and even a rare walrus. Whew.
To buy tickets, go to their website (ringling.com) or the Madison Square Garden website (thegarden.com) or call 201 507-8900. Madison Square Garden is at 4 Penn Plaza and 34th Street.
Ladies and gentlemen, step right up…

Next Fall Broadway Show Review

Next Fall Broadway ShowShow Summary
This new play about faith, love, and commitment examines the five-year relationship between Adam, an atheist, and Luke, a fundamentalist Christian.

Broadway Review
A mix between a family drama and a romantic comedy, Geoffrey Nauffts’ time-shifting play examines the evolution of an unlikely gay couple’s relationship. Next Fall deals with some big themes, from euthanasia to the effect that an extreme difference of religion can have on a couple, and it does so in a way that is powerful but not too heady. Although it is not exactly groundbreaking, Next Fall is a smart and funny original play that is ultimately, simply, about the transformative power of love.

Megan Mullally Drops Out of Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Megan MullallyRoundabout Theatre Company has just released a statement saying that Megan Mullally, one of the stars of the upcoming Roundabout revival of Terrence McNally’s four-hander Lips Together, Teeth Apart, has dropped out of the production. Statements from Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes and from McNally indicate surprise and upset at Mullally’s exit, which is happening two full weeks into the production’s rehearsal, but word on the street is that Mullally has been clashing with director Joe Mantello, who has a reputation for being hard on actors. With this loss, Lips Together, Teeth Apart will have to delay its first preview (originally scheduled for April 9). A replacement is due to be announced shortly. Mullally herself has yet to make a statement about the cause of her departure.

Promises, Promises

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An Odd Couple, Indeed: The Grateful Dead and a New York Institution

A Grateful Dead PosterOK, Deadheads, this one’s for you: The New York Historical Society is presenting “Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society.”
The New York Historical Society? You read it right.
The material has been taken in large part from the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California Santa Cruz; it’s the first large-scale exhibition featuring materials from that source.
The exhibition includes posters, album art, marionettes, fan mail, stage props, and banners. It looks at the band’s beginnings in northern California in the 1960s, and follows their surprisingly strong business savvy as well as their influences from the cultures of the 1960s.
The exhibition highlights the main parts of the band’s identity and their success: Their huge connection with their fans, and their emphasis on live performance. The band often performed in New York (ah, now we know why the exhibition is at the Historical Society…), with performances at venues ranging from Village coffeehouses to Central Park to the 46th Street Rock Palace in Brooklyn in the 1970s, culminating in gigantic stadiums like Giants Stadium and Madison Square Garden.
The exhibit will also look at the group’s incredible longevity, as well as their foray into the, um, drug years.
The New York Historical Society is at 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Streets. For more information, call (212) 873-3400.
By the way, you can file this under the since-you’re-already-there category: For a complete change of pace, it’s also your last chance to catch the exhibition “Lincoln and New York” which closes tomorrow.

Stephen Sondheim To Have Broadway Theater Named After Him

Stephen SondheimComposer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday may have been on Monday, March 22, but even before that day and since, the New York City theater crowd has been in full celebration mode, with concerts dedicated to the living musical theater legend and other tributes. One of the most lasting of these tributes was announced following the Monday night performance of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s new production Sondheim on Sondheim, when it was revealed that Roundabout’s recently renovated Henry Miller’s Theatre is to be re-named the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. A small group of Sondheim’s most dedicated (and presumably most wealthy) fans sponsored the re-dubbing of the theater by contributing to Roundabout’s Musical Production Fund. The re-naming ceremony is expected to take place this summer when All About Me completes its run at the theater.