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Broadway Remembers: In Memoriam Video Honors Stars Lost This Year



New York Arts and Entertainment Venues Re-Open Today at 33% Capacity

Venues beginning performances today include Blindness, The Shed and The Green Room 42.

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To our readers:

With the theater season ostensibly dead the rapid succession of the demise of its icons, (Roger Berlind, Cicely Tyson, Hal Holbrook, Ann Reinking, Rebecca Luker, et al), each representing a vivid slice of theater history, reminds us of Theater‘s greatness and so we thank them once again for their magnificent contributions.

Meanwhile ever-growing creative contributions on line fill the vacuum with extraordinary talent.  Our writers review morsels from this cornucopia of creativity.

The resurfacing of the Tony Awards almost a year to the day when live theater died heralds the hope of its rebirth. Indeed, the vision of the vaccines inflames the dream of its return as we curse the darkness and bless the scientists that make it possible. Let us dream together of a bright new theatrical world while we enjoy the samples of its potential greatness on the Internet:  from grand opera to intimate solos, from lavish movie musicals to poignant private performances.

We at Theaterscene attempt to bring it all to you. Thank you for joining us on that journey.

The new year, the new president and the new vaccines combine to bring that hope alive.

Happy New Year

                                                       Jeanne Lieberman

                                                Publisher, Editor

Eyeing a Fall Theatre Reopening, NYC to Create Dedicated COVID-19 Vaccination Site, Mobile Unit, More for Industry


MAR 25, 2021


Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the city’s commitment to having Broadway welcome back audiences by fall.

Times Square_Theatre District_Coronavirus Closing_2020_HRBroadway Playbill Staff

In a March 25 press conference, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio affirmed that the city is committed to having Broadway back up and running by fall, announcing several in-the-works programs and initiatives that will lay the groundwork for such a reopening.

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Over the next four weeks, the city will open a COVID-19 vaccination site in the theatre district, staffed in part by theatre workers, specifically for members of the industry. A mobile unit will also serve Off-Broadway theatres. Additionally, the city will implement pop-up testing sites around performance venues.

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio Shutterstock

This is not to say that the city will be able to deem all theatre workers eligible for the vaccine—such determinations on who can receive the vaccine are made on the state level. However, the dedicated sites would serve as an access point for those who are eligible. President Joe Biden has called on all states to make the vaccine eligible to all adults by May 1—per de Blasio's timeline, these sites will be in operation by then.

Looking ahead, de Blasio said that the city is developing plans in collaboration with theatre owners to manage crowds before and after performances.

"The number one factor that kept being emphasized to us was time. That is not like some of the other reopenings we’ve seen, where there was a relatively quick ramp-up," the mayor said. "The Broadway community, once they commit to a show, the amount of technical work that needs to be done, rehearsals, [requires] months and months of preparation. That’s why it’s so important to lock these things down right now."

In terms of additional protocols that may become the norm in a post-pandemic theatre landscape, the mayor again cited a need for clarity from the state government, calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to “issue clear guidance for theatre workers in terms of mask usage, how we use proof of vaccination or proof of negative testing to help ensure everyone can work and that crowds can come back in the fall.”

Currently, Broadway productions are to remain dark through May 30; per the assessments discussed by the Broadway League, theatrical unions, Doctor Anthony Fauci, and now the City government, an official extension of the shutdown seems imminent. But some theatrical offerings will take place between now and then, including pop-up performances (one even slated for a Broadway theatre) and programming at venues that can accommodate flexible, socially distanced seating.

READ: Select Broadway Venues, Flex Spaces to Welcome Back Audiences for Special Events Beginning in April

Also on hand during the conference to emphasize the cultural significance of Broadway, which contributes $15 billion to the New York economy and supports employment for roughly 97,000 people, were performers André de Shields and Telly Leung.

"I think it’s time for all of us to heal from the trauma of what happened to us a city and as a country and as a world, and that is where artists come in," Leung (Aladdin, Allegiance) said. "We help heal the soul… Artists will be essential in how we heal from this."

And the performers are eagerly waiting in the wings, according to de Shields (a Tony winner for his work in Hadestown). "We’ve been absent, but we haven't been too far away. We’ve been doing our best to stay ready.

"All we need is a stage."


The State of Broadway: February 2021

Get the scoop on the Tony Awards, which shows are expected to re-open, which shows are not returning, and more!

 It's no secret that the state of the world has had a major impact on the theatre industry over the past year. Broadway, which usually brings in $14 billion to New York City's yearly revenue, has been shuttered since last March, leaving the futures of many artists and shows in limbo. While many of those productions move forward with plans to reopen when Broadway officially returns, some have already announced that they will not open again.

We've rounded up all of the latest news on the current state of Broadway for February 2021:

What is the latest on the Tony Awards?

As BroadwayWorld reported last week, the much-delayed Tony Awards (originally set to take place last June) will go on... eventually. The Broadway League and the American Theater Wing revealed that the delayed Tony Awards ceremony will be scheduled in coordination with the reopening of Broadway, and that the voting will take place from March 1 to March 15.

Around 784 voters will be able to cast their votes for the season that began in April 2019 and ended, prematurely, in February 2020. Broadway theaters had been shut down mid-March due to the pandemic, but Tony administrators decided that only shows which opened by Feb. 19 would be eligible for awards because not enough voters had seen the shows that opened later.

Which Broadway shows are not coming back?

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The latest closing announcement came last month with Mean Girls, which will not reopen as a result of the continued shut down. The production's final performance was Wednesday evening March 11, 2020, having played 805 performances and 29 previews in a record-setting run at the August Wilson Theatre. The show joined other previously announced closures, including Frozen, as well as Hangmen and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf- both of which never officially opened.

A Soldier's Play, Beetlejuice and The Inheritance have also played their final performances, as all three had previously announced closing dates for late Spring 2020.

Which Broadway shows are expected to return?

Roundabout Theatre Company still plans to open Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner's Caroline, Or Change at Studio 54, As well as Alice Childress's Trouble in the Mind, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, at the American Airlines Theatre. Coming to Broadway in Spring 2022 will be 1776, directed by Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus. Plans for Noah Haidle's Birthday Candles, starring Debra Messing, are still to be determined.

In the winter of 2022, Manhattan Theatre Club will present the Broadway premiere of Skeleton Crew, written by Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau and directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. MTC's planned 2021-2022 season also includes the Broadway premiere of Lackawanna Blues, written, performed, and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson with original music by Bill Sims Jr. in Fall 2021 and the Broadway premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive, written by Paula Vogel and directed by Mark Brokaw in Spring 2022 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Lincoln Center Theater has also announced that the new musical Flying Over Sunset will open at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in the fall of 2021.

David Byrne's American Utopia plans to return to Broadway on September 17, 2021.

Tracy Letts' The Minutes has been rescheduled to open on March 15, 2022.

As of June 2020, The Lehman Trilogy was still hoping to open on Broadway, but in a different theatre.

As of August 2020, Sing Street will now begin performances between Winter 2021 and 2022 at a Shubert theater to be announced.

As of October 2020, the premiere of MJ The Musical has been postponed until Fall 2021.

The Music Man has announced that previews will begin December 20, 2021 and will open on February 10, 2022.

Tickets are on sale for Jagged Little Pill starting June 1, 2021.

Tickets are on sale for Mrs. Doubtfire starting June 1, 2021.

Many shows are expected to return, but have not yet made official announcements, including: Ain't Too Proud, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, Chicago, Come From Away, Company, Dear Evan Hansen, Diana, Girl from the North Country, Hadestown, Hamilton, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Lion King, Moulin Rouge!, The Phantom of the Opera, Plaza Suite, Six, Take Me Out, Tina, To Kill a Mockingbird, West Side Story, and Wicked.

Which Broadway theatres are vacant?

August Wilson Theatre (former home of Mean Girls)
Barrymore Theatre (former home of The Inheritance)
Booth Theatre (former home of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Cort Theatre (planned renovations)
Golden Theatre (former home of Hangmen)
Lyceum Theatre (former home of Sing Street)
Nederlander Theatre (former home of The Lehman Trilogy)
Palace Theatre (planned renovations)
St. James Theatre (former home of Frozen)



Tony and Oscar Winner Christopher Plummer, Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Dies at 91

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FEB 05, 2021


The Canadian-born Shakespearean actor won Tony Awards for his performances in Cyrano and Barrymore.

Academy Award and two-time Tony winner Christopher Plummer, most recently on Broadway in a Tony-nominated turn in the 2007 revival of Inherit the Wind, passed away February 5 at his home in Connecticut following complications from a fall. He was 91.

Born December 13, 1929, in Toronto, Mr. Plummer was raised in Montreal and started acting while in high school. "My mother took me to every play that came to town, and ballet, and music," he told Playbill in 2012. An early influence was seeing Laurence Olivier in the 1944 film of Henry V. "I was still at school and went to see the film and thought...this was terrific stuff. And glamorous."

Christopher Plummer in <i>Cyrano</i>
Christopher Plummer in Cyrano 
Carl Byoir & Associates

The young actor spent time learning his craft in repertory companies. "That's the way you should start," he said, "playing hundreds of different roles." Mr. Plummer later made his Broadway debut in 1954 in Diana Morgan's The Starcross Story, which also featured Eva Le Gallienne but only lasted one performance. "I thought it was the end of my career," he admitted, "but at least I'd got there. And soon afterward I was working again. I never looked back."

He would go on to win two Tony Awards, for his work in a musical version of Cyrano (1974) and a tour-de-force performance in the title role of Barrymore (1997), William Luce's play based on the life of John Barrymore. (A film version, also called Barrymore and starring Plummer, premiered in 2012.) The famed actor was also Tony-nominated for his work in the aforementioned Inherit the Wind as well as King Lear (2004), No Man's Land (1994), Othello (1982), and J. B. (1959), while his other Broadway credits included Home Is the Hero, The Dark Is Light Enough, The Lark, Night of the Auk, Arturo Ui, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, The Good Doctor, and Macbeth.

On the London stage, he was a member of both the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor in Becket; he also led Canada’s Stratford Festival under Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham.

Although Mr. Plummer won the Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his work in Beginners, he is perhaps best remembered for his performance opposite Julie Andrews in the 1965 film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music, playing Captain Von Trapp.

Among his numerous other film credits included Oscar-nominated turns in The Last Station (2009) and All the Money in the World (2017, replacing Kevin Spacey after initial production) plus roles in Knives Out, Danny Collins, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Tempest, Beginners, The Last Station, Caesar and Cleopatra, Man in the Chair, The New World, National Treasure, Nicholas Nickleby, A Beautiful Mind, Lucky Break, Blackheart, The Clown at Midnight, 12 Monkeys, Malcolm X, Impolite, Liar's Age, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Souvenir, Shadow Dancing, Dreamscape, Ordeal by Innocence, The Amateur, Eyewitness, Murder by Decree, The Silent Partner, International Velvet, The Disappearance, The Assignment, The Man Who Would Be King, Conduct Unbecoming, The Return of the Pink Panther, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Oedipus the King, Triple Cross, and The Fall of the Roman Empire.


A LIFE IN THE THEATRE: Christopher Plummer, From Stratford to The Sound of Music to Barrymore

Mr. Plummer worked his magic in several solo shows, including Shakespeare with Music, created by Plummer and Michael Lankester, where he performed excerpts from four Shakespeare classics—Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, and The Tempest—while the music of Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Walton, and Lankester played; and A Word or Two. The latter, written and arranged by Plummer and directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff, offered his personal take on such literary giants as Ben Jonson, George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Lord Byron, Dylan Thomas, W.H. Auden, and Stephen Leacock.

Mr. Plummer was the first artist to receive the Jason Robards Award, in memory of his late friend. He was also honored with the Edwin Booth Award and the Sir John Gielgud Quill Award. In 1968 he was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, an honorary knighthood. In 1986 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre, and in 2011, he was presented with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's first Lifetime Achievement Award. (A recording of the Stratford Festival production of The Tempest, starring Plummer, was screened in movie theatres in 2014.)

Mr. Plummer was 82 when he won the Oscar. He told Playbill at the time, "It kind of rejuvenates your career, makes you feel very young," adding, "I've won all sorts of awards, which I'm just as grateful for. Particularly in the theatre."

Mr. Plummer is survived by third wife, Taylor, and a daughter with his first wife Tammy Grimes, Amanda Plummer.

From Fast Eddy Rubin NYC




Christopher Plummer accepting an Oscar for best supporting actor at the 2012 Academy Awards. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)


Christopher Plummer, dashing grandee of stage and film, dies at 91



Adrian Higgins

Feb. 5, 2021 at 1:27 p.m. EST


Christopher Plummer, the acclaimed stage and film star, brought both charm and an air of menace to a vast range of roles from King Lear to a Klingon villain. At 82, he added an Oscar win to a shelf of trophies that already included two Tony Awards. But Mr. Plummer will always be remembered for the one part that he professed to hate but that made him a household name: the von Trapp patriarch in “The Sound of Music.”

Mr. Plummer, who was 91, died Feb. 5 at his home in Weston, Conn. The death was confirmed in a statement from his manager, Lou Pitt. The cause was not disclosed.


Since coming of age in his native Canada, Mr. Plummer saw his career propelled by his dashing matinee idol looks and his forceful characterizations of Shakespearean and other classical roles.


A major stage draw for half a century, he returned through the years to the boards of Broadway, London’s West End and the two Stratfords — England and Ontario — and shifted with ease between parts created by such disparate writers as Neil Simon and Harold Pinter.


He made a dazzling impression as Iago to James Earl Jones’s moor in “Othello” in a 1982 Broadway staging of the Shakespeare tragedy. Writing in the New York Times, theater critic Walter Kerr called Mr. Plummer’s portrayal “quite possibly the best single Shakespearean performance to have originated on this continent in our time.”


The actor conveyed the extraordinarily nimble mind of the schemer Iago with a darting physicality. “The fatigue of the man is translated into the incessant activity of the man; when the repose is impossible, one must race forward to ruin,” Kerr added. “The concept is brilliant, the execution of it perfect.”


He won a Tony in the title role in a 1973 musical version of Edmond Rostand’s play “Cyrano de Bergerac.” His second Tony came in 1997 when he played his lifelong stage hero, John Barrymore, the once-great Shakespearean stage actor who drank himself to death.


Actor Christopher Plummer in 2017. (Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)


Mr. Plummer’s dramatic gift was to imbue his performances with a measure of peril, said Antoni Cimolino, artistic director of the Stratford Festival theater in Ontario. “There is a sense of unpredictability which is the heart of theater,” he said. “And that sense of danger gave him so much power, both as a villain and also as a leading man.”


For all his stage renown — he earned seven Tony nominations — it was his casting in “The Sound of Music” that launched him to stardom. He had taken the role, he later said, because he wanted to try his hand at a musical.


“I thought that was gonna be it – it’s a little film that might enjoy a certain success,” he told London’s Daily Telegraph. “And then it would go away and I would know how to sing.”

The 1965 Hollywood adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical co-starred Julie Andrews as the ingenue governess of the seven warbling von Trapp children. Mr. Plummer played the brood’s stern and widowed father, a retired Austrian naval officer named Captain Georg von Trapp.


The film won five Academy Awards, including best picture, and remains one of the most popular movies ever made, a television evergreen in nearly every corner of the world. To Mr. Plummer, it was “so awful, and sentimental and gooey,” and he winced every time he recalled crooning “Edelweiss” as a single tear ran down his cheek.


His disdain for the movie — which he variously liked to call “S&M” or “The Sound of Mucus” — was widely shared by critics for its banality amid the Nazi rise. For Mr. Plummer, the film paved the way for a screen stature that would support a lavish lifestyle and a freedom to take stage roles he wanted.


In all, he appeared in more than 200 movies and TV dramas, some artistic, some wildly popular, and some eminently forgettable.


Among his more memorable performances, he was a cunning and ambitious archbishop in “The Thorn Birds” (1983), the ABC ratings smash. He was a young Rudyard Kipling in “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975) and adroitly captured the mannerisms and nuances of “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace in “The Insider” (1999), about a tobacco company whistleblower (played by Russell Crowe). In the Oscar-winning “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), he was a psychiatrist who treats the schizophrenia of future Nobel laureate John F. Nash Jr. (also played by Crowe).


In the 1991 movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” he played the Klingon general Chang, a nefarious character who enjoys spouting Shakespeare. He later had roles in films such as “Wolf” (1994), “12 Monkeys” (1995), “Syriana” (2005), “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (2009) and the animated “Up” (2009). He was nominated for an Emmy for playing a supporting part as Boston’s Cardinal Bernard Law, mired in scandal, in the TV film “Our Fathers” (2005).


He received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role as Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station” (2009) and an Academy Award win for his supporting role in a romantic comedy, “Beginners” (2010), playing a terminally ill paterfamilias who announces he is gay.


Accepting his Oscar, the octogenarian turned to the statuette and declaimed, “Where have you been all my life?” The prize made him the oldest actor to win an Oscar, but his career was by no means over.


In 2018, at the age of 88, he received another Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his portrayal of the oil tycoon J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.” Mr. Plummer became the oldest actor ever nominated. The circumstances surrounding his role gripped Hollywood. Just six weeks before the film’s scheduled release, sexual abuse allegations against Kevin Spacey, who had originally shot the part, prompted Scott to expunge Spacey from the movie and replace him with Mr. Plummer.


Mr. Plummer told an interviewer that in “about three days I had to say yes to the script, pack, get to London and do the stuff immediately.” His performance as the tight-fisted grandfather of the kidnapped John Paul Getty III also gained him a best supporting actor nomination for the Golden Globe and Bafta awards.


“The nice part about awards and being nominated is the fact it wakes everybody up again, and makes them realize you’re alive and kicking and available,” he told the Times.


A love of literature

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born in Toronto on Dec. 13, 1929. An only child, he was a toddler when his parents divorced, and it would not be until his late teens that he saw his father again. Meanwhile, Mr. Plummer moved with his mother to live with his grandfather and maiden aunts in Montreal.


His mother’s family was of patrician and cultured stock — a forebear was John Abbott, a former railroad president and Canada’s first native-born prime minister. His upbringing in an atmosphere of faded grandeur proved formative to Mr. Plummer’s life and career.


“Several nights a week we would indulge in that quaint but delightful Victorian diversion — we read aloud to each other after dinner,” he wrote in his 2008 memoir, “In Spite of Myself.” The reciting helped instill in him a love of literature and language that became the hallmark of his theatrical work.


After learning the ropes and much of the stage canon in radio drama and theater repertory, he was plucked for major dramatic roles while still in his mid-20s opposite such formidable actresses as Eva Le Gallienne, Katharine Cornell and Judith Anderson.


His first appearance at Ontario’s Stratford Festival, which would become a theatrical home over his career, was as Henry V in 1956. He won praise from New York Times theater critic Brooks Atkinson, who wrote that Mr. Plummer “plays Henry magnificently not only because he has the voice, skill and range, but also because he has the grace not to exploit a heroic role.”


In his dozen later seasons at the festival, he played the title roles in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” “King Lear,” “Antony and Cleopatra” and “Macbeth.”


Mr. Plummer said he grew cocky fast, turning down prestige movie work offered by the Hollywood mogul David O. Selznick in the late 1950s in favor of an offer to play Hamlet in Ontario “for 25 bucks a week. But at least it was Hamlet.” He added in his memoir that he “still harbored the old-fashioned stage actor’s snobbism toward moviemaking.”


As it happened, Mr. Plummer’s initial forays into film were less than auspicious. He debuted in director Sidney Lumet’s “Stage Struck” (1958) and that same year appeared in a drama called “Wind Across the Everglades” that quickly sank into obscurity. Six years passed before his next screen part, as the emperor Commodus in the all-star epic “The Fall of the Roman Empire.” That was quickly followed by “The Sound of Music.”


Having already rejected the allure of a studio contract for stage work, Mr. Plummer moved to England in the early 1960s to take roles in the heady, formative years of the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Richard III, Benedick in “Much Ado About Nothing” and King Henry in Jean Anouilh’s “Becket.”


His demanding career and frequent all-night carousing with Peter O’TooleRichard Harris and other legendarily bibulous actors took a costly toll on his personal life.


“I was a lousy husband and an even worse father,” he wrote, singling out his absenteeism from his first wife, singer and actress Tammy Grimes, and their daughter, Amanda Plummer, who became a Tony-winning actress.


Mr. Plummer found the party scene of the Swinging Sixties a good fit, where he also discovered romance in the form one of the scene’s professional participants: Patricia Lewis, a showbiz columnist for a London newspaper.


One evening, sufficiently lubricated, they left their regular night spot with Lewis at the wheel. She crashed the convertible near Buckingham Palace in a smash that left Mr. Plummer unscathed but Lewis in a life-threatening coma. After her recovery, they wed in 1962 and divorced almost five years later.


Mr. Plummer found the anchor for his personal life in 1968, ironically, while shooting a period sex-comedy called “Lock Up Your Daughters!”


The film bombed but one of the cast members, Elaine Taylor, would become his abiding partner, consenting to marry but only if he cleaned up his act. He agreed to give up the hard liquor and settle down. “I was just about to go down with the ship when, to the rescue came ... a graceful angel,” he wrote in his memoir.


Survivors include his wife and daughter.


Mr. Plummer long ago abandoned his near-exclusive devotion to the stage for the richer pickings of New York and Hollywood, but he returned periodically to his acting roots to remind critics of his lacerating power in taxing roles such as Iago or Lear.


In his 60s, Mr. Plummer developed a one-man show of readings from the literature that shaped his life and work. “A Word or Two” took from sources such as the Old Testament and “Winnie the Pooh,” though Shakespeare loomed large as well.


A life spent mostly in the theater, he wrote, “taught me above all that there is no such thing as perfection — that in the arts there are no rules, no restrictions, no limits — only infinity.”

Editor's note: He disdained his role as Capt. Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (which he variously called “S&M” or “The Sound of Mucus” ) — as one the most boring characters in the movie. However he appreciated it for providing enough money to continue his distinguished career in theater.

Jeanne Lieberman, publisher


Tony Winner Hal Holbrook Dies at 95


FEB 02, 2021



The Mark Twain Tonight! creator was known for his wide-ranging work on stage and screen.

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Hal Holbrook 
Photo by Joan Marcus


Hal Holbrook, the distinguished performer who toured tirelessly off and on for five decades as American wit Mark Twain, winning a Tony Award for the role in 1966, died January 23, 2021. He was 95. His death was confirmed by his assistant, Joyce Cohen.

Mr. Holbrook parlayed his aristocratic good looks into a series of roles as men of principle grappling with the conflicts of the real world. Amid hundreds of stage, film, and TV credits, Mr. Holbrook played many senators, presidents, business leaders, and literary lions.

On Broadway, Mr. Holbrook appeared in dramas, comedies, and musicals. He created roles in original productions of plays by Arthur Miller (Incident at Vichy and After the Fall), Robert Anderson (I Never Sang for My Father), and Wendy Wasserstein (An American Daughter, playing a U.S. senator). He was also a replacement in the title role of the musical Man of La Mancha during its lengthy original run, and replaced Alan Alda in the Bock and Harnick musical The Apple Tree.

He earned critical acclaim in 1954 for his solo stage show about author Mark Twain that he started developing as his senior honors project while still a student at Denison University. Though he made his Broadway debut in the short-lived two-hander Do You Know the Milky Way? in 1961 and worked steadily in all media forms afterward, he often returned to playing the author of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn in the show eventually titled Mark Twain Tonight! and brought it to Broadway three times: in 1966, 1977, and 2005. He toured with the role to theatres and colleges across the U.S., and was dispatched by the State Department on a European tour that took him behind the Iron Curtain at the peak of the Cold War.

In 2011, Mr. Holbrook published Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain, recounting his youth and how it influenced his time creating and touring Theatre of Great Personalities with his first wife Ruby Johnson, the show’s eventual transformation into Mark Twain Tonight!, and its premiere Off-Broadway. In 2019, a documentary Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey was released following his career on the stage.

photo Joan Marcus

INTERVIEW: Tony Winner Hal Holbrook Shares the Pain That Led to Mark Twain

The thespian made his mark on film as well, playing Deep Throat, Woodward and Bernstein’s secret source of information on the crimes of President Richard Nixon, in All the President's Men. Other film work included Julia, The Fog, The Firm, and Men of Honor. His performance in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild as an Army veteran who has lost his family earned him both Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award nominations.

On TV, he earned 11 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including one for his performance as President Abraham Lincoln in the 1976 miniseries Lincoln, based on Carl Sandburg’s biography. He again played the 16th president in the 1985 miniseries North and South, and was featured as Francis Preston Blair in Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln. Throughout his career, Mr. Holbrook took home five Primetime Emmys, including a special Actor of the Year trophy in 1974. In his later years, he played the recurring character Nate Madock on the TV series Sons of Anarchy, and made guest appearances on shows like Grey’s Anatomy and the Hawaii Five-0 reboot in 2017, which turned out to be his final performance on screen.

Mr. Holbrook officially retired from the stage in 2017. He was married three times, first to Ms. Holbrook (neé Johnson) in 1945, second to Carol Rossen in 1966, and lastly to Dixie Carter in 1984. They remained wed until her death in 2010. Mr. Holbrook is survived by his children, Victoria, David, and Eve; as well as two stepdaughters, Ginna Carter and Mary Dixie Carter; two grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren

Editor's note: In person he exuded a gentle elegance which was quite captivating. So uncanny was his control of the title character that one had to research the original afterward.
Jeanne Lieberman, publisher


Cicely Tyson Dies at Age 96

By Tanay Hudson

cicely tyson

Getty PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 16 (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

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Cicely Tyson, an iconic Black actress whose career spans over six decades, has died at the age of 96.

“I have managed Miss Tyson’s career for over 40 years, and each year was a privilege and blessing,” her manager, Larry Thompson, said in a statement to Variety. “Cicely thought of her new memoir as a Christmas tree decorated with all the ornaments of her personal and professional life. Today she placed the last ornament, a Star, on top of the tree.”

Tyson had one daughter, who she referred to as Joan in her memoir, Just As I Am. She was married twice, including to musician Miles Davis for seven years.

Tyson was born December 19, 1924 and was raised in the Harlem section of New York city.. At the age of 18-years-old she began modeling and then entered the world of acting in 1956. She became the first African-American to star in television drama on East Side/West Side in 1963. She was the the first African American actress to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Television Movie for her performance in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.  Tyson is one of the 11 Black actresses to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.

During her career, she received many accolades, nominations and honors. Tyson became a member of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977. She was also been honored by the Congress of Racial Equality and by the National Council of Negro Women. And in 2010, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People presented Tyson with its 95th Spingarn Medal — an award given to African Americans who have reached outstanding levels of achievement. In 2016, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.

She also received a Tony Award, for 2013’s The Trip to Bountiful, and a honorary Oscar in 2018. She has been nominated for an Emmy five times and received a Kennedy Center honor in 2015.

Tyson has starred in movies and television shows including Sounder, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Roots, Just An Sweet Old Song, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Why Did I Get Married Too?, How to Get Away With Murder, A Fall From Grace, Mission Impossible, House of Cards, Idlewild, Alex Cross, Madea’s Family Reunion and many more.

“The story in Sounder is a part of our history, a testimony to the strength of humankind,” Tyson told The New York Times in 1972. “Our whole Black heritage is that of struggle, pride and dignity. The Black woman has never been shown on the screen this way before.”

In 2015, Tyson opened up a bit about her marriage to the late Miles Davis. Despite allegations of abuse, she said spoke graciously of him during an interview on CBS This Morning With Gayle King.

During a chat with New York Times Magazine, she discussed the one time Davis physically assaulted her.

In a recent interview with NPR, she still spoke highly of Davis. “I wish people knew the Miles Davis that I knew,” she said. “Not only was he brilliantly talented, he was brilliantly sensitive. And that is the Miles Davis that people… don’t know that he was trying to protect.”

Social media is getting filled posts of people sharing their shock and sadness about Tyson’s death as well as recognizing how much of an icon she was.

“So many great stories about Cicely Tyson! Whew: that lady was amazing. While shooting a doc on her in Spanish Harlem—people kept stopping their cars! In the street! To hop out and say hi! Old people. Teenagers. Middle aged fans. “Ciss-el-lee” they’d chant as she’d walk by!”

"Whatever good I have accomplished as an actress I believe came in direct proportion to my efforts to portray Black women who have made positive contributions to my heritage."



Broadway star Rebecca Luker dead at 59 after battle with ALS

by Staff • Dec 23, 2020 

Rebecca Luker
(Photo by Emilio Madrid for

(see more)

Rebecca Luker, a celebrated actress who lent her crystal-clear soprano to a variety of roles on Broadway, has died, according to The New York Times. Luker revealed in February 2020 that she had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease. The three-time Tony nominee was 59.

Born in Helena, Alabama on April 17, 1961, Luker attended University of Montevallo, receiving a B.A. in music, taking a year off to perform as Johanna in a 1984 production of Sweeney Todd (alongside Judy Kaye as Mrs. Lovett) at Michigan Opera Theatre. Soon after, Luker made her Broadway debut as part of the original cast of The Phantom of the Opera (1988), understudying Christine and later taking over the role from original star Sarah Brightman and alternate Patti Cohenour.

Luker went on to originate the role of Lily in the Broadway musical adaptation of The Secret Garden (1991). This followed a showstopping turn as Magnolia in a revival of Show Boat (1994), which earned Luker her first Tony nomination as Best Leading Actress in a Musical.

Next, Luker took on the iconic role of Maria Rainer in a new staging of The Sound of Music (1998) alongside Cohenour as The Mother Abbess and Michael Siberry as Captain von Trapp. At the start of the millenium, Luker was seen in another legendary soprano role, as Marian Paroo in a revival of The Music Man (2000), opposite Craig Bierko as Harold Hill. The performance earned Luker her second Leading Actress Tony nomination.

Her next role was in a Broadway revival of Nine (2003), replacing original cast member Laura Benanti as Claudia. A few years later, Luker played Winifred Banks in the Broadway premiere of Disney's Mary Poppins (2006), earning her third Tony nomination, this time as Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

Off-Broadway, Luker took the stage in the The Vagina Monologues (1999), Indian Blood (2006) and as Duchess Stephanie Lamberti in Death Takes a Holiday (2011), the latter performance earning her an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination as Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical. Luker recorded the role of Clara on the cast album of the 2013 off-Broadway revival of Passion, filling in for cast member Melissa Errico, who was unable to take part in the album due to illness.

Luker later appeared on Broadway replacing as Marie in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (2013) and Helen in Fun Home (2016), succeeding Judy Kuhn, also of Passion. Luker was seen the Kennedy Center in 2014, headlining the world premiere musical Little Dancer. More recently, she returned to that Washington, D.C. venue as Vi Moore (also alongside Kuhn) in a starry production of Footloose (2019), which marked her final stage credit. Her new album, All the Girls, which features duets with Sally Wilfert (recorded in 2019) is due to be available digitally on December 25 with a CD released on January 15, 2021 on PS Classics.

Married to actor Gregory Jbara from 1995-1997, Luker became friends with Danny Burstein in 1996 while rehearsing together for the musical Time and Again at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre. The pair reconnected in New York following Luker's divorce and nearing the end of Burstein's marriage to his first wife. A romance blossomed between Luker and Burstein, who began dating and were married in 2000. Luker is survived by Burstein as well as stepsons Zachary and Alexander. 

Editor's notes:  Rebecca's unique blend of sweetness plus her soaring soprano voice graced many Broadway leading roles. Together with her husband Danny Burstein they formed one of Broadway's favorite couples. Aware of her terrible illness hearts were with her and the community mourns her deeply.

                                         Jeanne Lieberman, Publisher



ANN REINKING, Tony Award Winning dancer, choreographer, actress, director, dead at 71.

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NEW YORK — Ann Reinking, the Tony Award-winning choreographer, actress and Bob Fosse collaborator who helped spread a cool, muscular hybrid of jazz and burlesque movement to Broadway and beyond, has died. She was 71.

Reinking died Saturday while visiting family in Seattle, said her manager, Lee Gross. No cause of death was disclosed.

Tributes poured in from the Broadway community, including from Tony Yazbeck, who called her “an absolute inspiration,” and Leslie Odom, Jr., who thanked Reinking for being a mentor: “She honored the calling for real. RIP to a legend.” Bernadette Peters took to Twitter to say her heart was broken and Billy Eichner said she was “one of the most mesmerizing people I’ve ever seen on stage. A singular genius. RIP.”

with Chita Rivera

“I’m beyond words to hear of the sudden and untimely passing of my dear friend Ann Reinking. The world has lost such a beautiful soul and talent,” said Chita Rivera. “I loved sharing the stage with her whenever we could. Her spirit and razzle-dazzle will be with me forever.”

Kristin Chenoweth described Reinking as "an inspiration (to) all of us in the Broadway community." "May we remember her at her happiest: dancing," she added. "Rest In Peace, Ann. Thank you for always being so kind and supportive of me."

Lin-Manuel Miranda was among those praising her talent. “A singular talent has left us,” he wrote on Twitter. Jason Alexander added: “She was a pure joy — fun and funny and endlessly kind and talented. Heaven’s chorus line just got a star."

Reinking’s career began in Seattle, where she grew up. In the beginning, she wanted to be a ballet dancer, “like all girls,” she said. As a student, she won a scholarship in San Francisco with the Joffrey Ballet, but at many of the students’ after-hours improvisations, she would just sing and not dance.

Robert Joffrey said that with her outgoing personality and other abilities, she should pursue musical theater. “I waited tables to save up enough money to get here,” she said of New York City, where she arrived with a round-trip ticket back to Seattle and $500. She didn’t need the return trip.

Reinking’s break was strung out over several shows. She was in the ensemble for Broadway’s “Coco,” which starred Katharine Hepburn as Coco Chanel, in 1969, and was in the chorus of “Pippin” in 1972, picked by its director and choreographer, Fosse. The ensemble was so small — there were only eight — that the dancers were really seen.

Choreographer Pat Birch was one who noticed, and in 1974 put her in “Over Here,” a World War II musical starring two of the three Andrews Sisters and featuring an another unknown, John Travolta. It led to a starring role in “Goodtime Charley,” a musical about Joan of Arc, opposite Joel Grey. The musical was not a success, but it did make theatergoers look at Reinking as a principal performer and not just a member of the chorus.

Her other big break, she said, was in “Dancin’” in 1978, “because I realized you had to be in an original part and that show has to be a hit.” The music-and-dance revue directed and choreographed by Fosse was, running more than three years and earned her a 1978 Tony nomination.

And she embarked on an eclectic film career — from playing Roy Scheider’s lover in Fosse’s 1979 semi-autobiographical film “All That Jazz,” to the screen version of “Annie” to Blake Edwards’ “Micki and Maude.”

In 1998, she co-directed “Fosse,” a salute to the man who had the largest influence, both professionally and personally, on her life. He once called her “one of the finest dancers in the jazz-modern idiom.”



Editor's note: As a former dancer, Ann was an idol.

We all wanted to be either Gwen Verdon or her.

I am glad she eventually came out from behind Gwen's shadow into her own well deserved spotlight.

Jeanne Lieberman, publisher



Bill Wolf

Former Drama Desk President William Wolf Passes Away
Saturday March 28

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Broadway World is saddened to report that William Wolf, former President of the Drama Desk, passed away from virus complications on Saturday, March 28. He is survived by his wife, Lillian Kramer Wolf.

Photos by Ed Rubin

William Wolf, critic, author, educator and lecturer, served two years as Chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle and was a member of the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Online, the Online Film Critics Society, P. E. N., the American Theatre Critics Association, the International Association of Theatre Critics, and the American Association of University Professors.

He served as President of the Drama Desk, an organization of critics and writers on the theater, and previously served for two years on its nominating committee for the Drama Desk Awards and is on the Drama Desk Executive Board.


In 1998 he founded and began publishing the Wolf Entertainment Guide on the Internet

At New York University, he was an Adjunct Professor and taught Film as Literature in the English Department and Cinema and Literature in the French Department.

Wolf was for many years film critic and film editor for Cue Magazine (1964-1980), and when Cue was merged into New York Magazine, he became a critic and contributing editor, writing the magazine's On Film column (1980-1983).

He subsequently became the syndicated film critic and columnist for the Gannett newspaper chain (1984-1988).


Wolf's articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States, publications abroad, and various national and international magazines and prestigious annuals.

Wolf is the author of Landmark Films: The Cinema and Our Century , which he wrote in collaboration with his wife, Lillian Kramer Wolf, and of The Marx Brothers. He has contributed chapters on "Easy Rider" and "Duck Soup" to "The A List: 100 Essential Films" a collection of reviews by members of the National Society of Film Critics, and "The Eroticism of Words" and "Kinsey" chapters in the National Society's sequel, "The X List."

As yet, no funeral or memorial plans are being announced, and Bill’s family hasn’t designated a preferred recipient or recipients of memorial gifts.


Editor's note: Wherever a Drama Desk function or on press nights I always shared time with Bill and Lillian, They were inseparable and my heart goes out to Lillian. I used to call Bill "Mr. President". He was the ultimate nice guy, clever caring and coherent.
I am deeply shocked and saddened at the sudden loss.
He shall be greatly missed.

Jeanne Lieberman, Publisher



Tony Awards Set For Broadway’s Reopening; Voting Begins In March


Tony Awards


Click to see more including list of nominees

Tony Awards Set For Broadway’s Reopening; Voting Begins In March

By Greg Evans

Greg Evans Associate Editor/Broadway Critic


The curtain’s inching up on the Tony Awards: A ceremony will be held on an as-yet-undetermined date in coordination with Broadway’s eventual reopening, but voters will finally be able to make their selections beginning March 1

Nominees for the 74th Annual Tony Awards were announced last October, with the 18 eligible productions reflecting the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season (the count usually numbers in the 30s). The 2020 Tony ceremony and CBS broadcast had originally been set for June 7 at New York’s Radio City Musical Hall, but of course was scuttled due to the Covid shutdown.

The voting period will run from March 1 to March 15. Although Broadway remains officially closed until June, most insiders don’t expect any stagings before fall at the earliest, with timing contingent on widespread Covid-19 vaccinations.

The March 12 theater closure preceded the official end of the Broadway season and the traditional late-April/early-May announcement of nominees, leaving open the question of whether the 18 productions that opened pre-pandemic would get their own awards ceremony or be melded into the following season’s nominations. In October, the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing announced the standalone roster of 2019-20 nominations (see the complete list below).

Nominated for Best Play are Slave Play, Sea Wall/A Life, Grand Horizons, The Inheritance and The Sound Inside, with Moulin Rouge!, Jagged Little Pill and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical up for Best Musical. In the Best Revival of a Play category, Betrayal will compete with Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and A Soldier’s Play.

The abbreviated season also resulted in one of the odder nominations in Tony history: Aaron Tveit of Moulin Rouge! The Musical  is the sole entry in the Leading Actor in a Musical category.

When theaters went dark, three productions – the musicals Six, West Side Story and Girl from the North Country – had already begun performances but were not around long enough to accommodate the required number of Tony voters.

Among the scheduled productions that had not officially opened prior to the shutdown, and so are not eligible this year, were Tracy Letts’ The Minutes; the musical adaptation of Mrs. Doubtfire; director Sam Mendes’ The Lehman Trilogy; the Princess Di musical DianaCompany, the gender-switched revival of the classic Sondheim musical starring Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone; Plaza Suite starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker; How I Learned To Drive, the Paula Vogel play starring Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse; David Mamet’s American Buffalo starring Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss; the Off Broadway transfer of New York Theatre Workshop’s musical Sing Street; the revival of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jesse Williams and Patrick J. Adams; the revival of the Jeanine Tesori-Tony Kushner musical Caroline, or Change; Birthday Candles, the Noah Haidle play starring Debra Messing; Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Laurie Metcalf and Rupert Everett.

Some of the scuttled shows were subsequently postponed, some canceled and some remain up in the air.

Two of the season’s most popular productions, Freestyle Love Supreme and David Byrne’s American Utopia, chose not to invite Tony voters, though both could be eligible for special awards.

The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Nominations for the 2020 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards:

Best Play

Grand Horizons
Author: Bess Wohl
Producers: Second Stage Theater, Carole Rothman, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Mandy Greenfield

The Inheritance
Author: Matthew López

Sea Wall/A Life
Author: Simon Stephens & Nick Payne

Slave Play
Author: Jeremy O. Harris

The Sound Inside
Author: Adam Rapp

Best Musical

Jagged Little Pill

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Revival of a Play


Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Author: Terrence McNally

A Soldier’s Play
Author: Charles Fuller

Best Book of a Musical

Jagged Little Pill
Diablo Cody

Moulin Rouge! The Musical
John Logan

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
Katori Hall, Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

A Christmas Carol
Music: Christopher Nightingale

The Inheritance
Music: Paul Englishby

The Rose Tattoo
Music: Fitz Patton and Jason Michael Webb

Slave Play
Music: Lindsay Jones

The Sound Inside
Music: Daniel Kluger

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Ian Barford, Linda Vista
Andrew Burnap, The Inheritance
Jake Gyllenhaal, Sea Wall/A Life
Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal
Tom Sturridge, Sea Wall/A Life
Blair Underwood, A Soldier’s Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton
Audra McDonald, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Ato Blankson-Wood, Slave Play
James Cusati-Moyer, Slave Play
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Jane Alexander, Grand Horizons
Chalia La Tour, Slave Play
Annie McNamara, Slave Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Cora Vander Broek, Linda Vista

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Derek Klena, Jagged Little Pill
Sean Allan Krill, Jagged Little Pill
Sahr Ngaujah, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Daniel J. Watts, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill
Celia Rose Gooding, Jagged Little Pill
Robyn Hurder, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Myra Lucretia Taylor, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Bob Crowley, The Inheritance
Soutra Gilmour, Betrayal
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Derek McLane, A Soldier’s Play
Clint Ramos, Slave Play

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Riccardo Hernández and Lucy Mackinnon, Jagged Little Pill
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Mark Thompson and Jeff Sugg, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Costume Design of a Play

Dede Ayite, Slave Play
Dede Ayite, A Soldier’s Play
Bob Crowley, The Inheritance
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Clint Ramos, The Rose Tattoo

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Emily Rebholz, Jagged Little Pill
Mark Thompson, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Jiyoun Chang, Slave Play
Jon Clark, The Inheritance
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Allen Lee Hughes, A Soldier’s Play
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Bruno Poet, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
Justin Townsend, Jagged Little Pill
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play

Paul Arditti & Christopher Reid, The Inheritance
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Lindsay Jones, Slave Play
Daniel Kluger, Sea Wall/A Life
Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Jonathan Deans, Jagged Little Pill
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Nevin Steinberg, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Direction of a Play

David Cromer, The Sound Inside
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play
Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal
Robert O’Hara, Slave Play

Best Direction of a Musical

Phyllida Lloyd, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical
Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Choreography

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Jagged Little Pill
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Anthony Van Laast, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Orchestrations

Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine and Justin Levine, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Ethan Popp, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Photo by Keo Oran via unsplash.

American Theatre Critics Association’s 2020 Conference: The Next Normal

What good is sitting alone in your room — when through the magic of Zoom, you can join fellow arts journalists from around the country for a weekend of education, inspiration and commiseration?

ATCA’s first virtual conference will be held Friday-Sunday, Nov. 13-15, 2020! Our theme is “The Next Normal,” and we’ve asked theater leaders from around the country to join us.

You’ll meet some of the top names in the industry, including Oskar Eustis (The Public Theater) interviewed by Pulitzer-nominated critic Soraya Nadia McDonald. You'll hear from playwright/author Richard Wesley (“The Mighty Gents”), “A Strange Loop” creator Michael R. Jackson, and the musical theater duo of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime,” "Anastasia"). Maya Phillips, the New York Times' inaugural arts critic fellow, is set to give our 2020 Perspectives in Criticism address.

In a series of panels and one-on-one conversations, regional artistic directors will discuss the challenges of 2020 and producers will share how their shows are faring while stages are dark. We’ll hear from award-winning playwrights, talk about mental health care for writers and explore what inclusive theater could look like on the other side of COVID-19. We even have some live performances and cabaret-drag trivia in the mix.

Stay tuned to this page and the weekly ATCA UPDATE newsletter for the latest developments


Click here to view full Agenda

(note all times Eastern Standard Time)


1:00 PM WELCOME to ATCA 2020: The Next Normal

ATCA chair Martha Wade Steketee and conference committee co-chair Lou Harry

SESSION: Conversation with Oskar Eustis and Soraya Nadia McDonald 

2:30 PM SESSION: Arts & Activism: Covering Social Justice Theater 

Kelundra Smith in conversation with:

Murielle Borst-Tarrant, Kuna/ Rappahannock Nations; author and activist.

Snehal Desai, artistic director, East West Players

Rohan Preston, theater critic at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Diany Rodriguez, co-founder of IDEA ATL

Kinan Valdez, producing artistic director, El Teatro Campesino

4:00 PM SESSION: Musicals Reinventing Form

Michael R. Jackson, playwright, composer, lyricist, "A Strange Loop" with Jiles King

5:00 PM PERSPECTIVES IN CRITICISM: Maya Phillips, arts critic fellow, The New York Times

7:00 PM SCREENING: Horton Foote: The Road to Home

2020 documentary screening followed by director Anne Rapp, daughters Hallie Foote and Daisy Foote, and friend and colleague Michael Wilson in conversation with Michael Barnes. View the trailer here.

LATE NIGHT: post-show chat



ATCA Chair Martha Wade Steketee and ATCA leaders welcome old and new members, and report on 2020 member survey, the new website, professional issues, and ATCA future plans.

1:30 PM SESSION: Meeting the Moment: Regional theaters rethink work amid pandemic and push for equity

Elizabeth Kramer in conversation with:

Robert Barry Fleming, artistic director, Actors Theatre of Louisville

Jacob G. Padrón, artistic director, Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Conn.

Stephanie Ybarra, artistic director, Baltimore Center Stage 

3:00 PM SESSION: The Future of Broadway: Producers on what's next for shuttered shows

Frank Rizzo in conversation with: 

Mara Isaacs, producer, "Hadestown"

Brian Moreland, producer, "The Lifespan of a Fact," "Blue" at the Apollo Theater

Jeffrey Seller, producer, "RENT," "Hamilton" 

4:30 PM SESSION: Prize-winning playwrights

Kerry Reid in conversation with:

Lee Edward Colston II, “The First Deep Breath”

Chandler Hubbard, “Animal Control”

E.M. Lewis, “How the Light Gets In”

Dan McCabe, “The Purists”

Stephanie Alison Walker, “The Madres”

6:00 PM DINNER BREAK: Conference Cocktails with Brian Bartels and Lindsay Christians

7:00 PM Theater Trivia with Beneva Fruitville


12:00 PM SESSION: Animals on Stage with Bill Berloni and Frank Rizzo

1:00 PM Q&A: Self-care for Journalists with Laura DeSantis, licensed psychotherapist

2:00 PM SESSION: Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens 

Jay Handelman talks with composers of “Ragtime” and “Anastasia” about openings overseas, working through the pandemic and the state of theater 

3:15 PM SESSION: New Book Hour

Misha Berson in conversation with:

Michael Reidel, "Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway"

Howard Sherman, "Another Day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the 21st Century"

Richard Wesley, "It's Always Loud in the Balcony: A Life in Black Theater, From Harlem to Hollywood and Back"

4:30 PM FAREWELL to ATCA 2020: The Next Normal

Lou Harry hosts special guest [to be announced]

* All sessions conducted via Zoom. Subject to change and availability of invited guests.



Editor’s Notes:

Broadway Announces Extension Of Closure To May 2021 Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
Broadway Hails 'Save Our Stages Act,' Included in Stimulus Deal


Editor’s Notes:

ImageTony Awards Voting Starts Now. And It’s Going to Be Weird.
By Michael PaulsonMarch 1, 2021

No shows are playing, and no one knows when they will come back. Here are answers to six questions about a process even more idiosyncratic than usual.


Editor’s Notes:

ImageTony Nominations, Finally!!!
By Jeannie Lieberman


Editor’s Notes: Grappling with the virus, “social distancing” has become a buzzword of these strange times

ImageThe fashionable history of social distancing
By Einav Rabinovitch-Fox
Visiting Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University

Editor’s Notes: Pandemic!!!
Greek Tales
Plagues follow bad leadership in ancient Greek tales

by Joel Christensen, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Brandeis University

Editor’s Notes: April 16: Social Injustice
North Carolina "bathroom" law inspires the entertainment community to protest.

Once again the arts have proved to be first responders to social injustice.

By Jeanne Lieberman on Apr. 29

Editor’s Notes: Immigration:
Broadway Sings while the world Debates

By Jeanne Lieberman on Nov. 23


John Cullum: An Accidental Star
by Marc Miller April 13, 2021

The Broadway actor-singer has some swell stories to tell about his 60-years-plus career, but maybe he should have gone easier on the vocalizing.

Katie Roche
by Marc Miller March 05, 2021

Teresa Deevy’s little-remembered comedy-drama is a reminder of why the Mint Theater is indispensable.

The Melancholy Soul of ‘Tchaikovsky’: A Cinematic Journey
by Edward Rubin February 23, 2021

Canadian born Hershey Felder, writer, actor, playwright, composer, and musician is known for creating historically accurate, and exquisitely nuanced portrayals of world-famous composers.

Little Wars
by Deirdre Donovan February 11, 2021

An imaginative dinner party with six exceptional women in the French Alps at the brink of World War II.

Have an Online Mint
by Marc Miller January 28, 2021

Till we’re all in theaters again, the Mint is helping us cross the desert with a string of compelling past productions.

Meet Me in St. Louis
by Deirdre Donovan January 6, 2021

The Irish Repertory Theatre helped theatergoers shed their pandemic holiday blues with a virtual production, deftly adapted and directed by the company’s Artistic Director and Co-founder Charlotte Moore

A Zoom Chat with New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ Executive Producer David Wannen and Creative Producer David Macaluso about their New Musical Film Cox and Box.

by Deirdre Donovan January 3, 2021

Virtual Impossibilities

Eric Walton is supposed to be a mentalist, but perhaps he really is a wizard.

by R. Pikser December 23, 2020

Metropolitan Opera delivers death blow to hopes for theater return 20/21 season

SEP 23, 2020


Broadway's June 7 Reopening Postponed
Broadway openings possibly not till September

by Jeanne Lieberman

plus more entertainment links

Confinement, from Sophocles to Sartre
Dramatists have long focused on the agonies and irritations of self-imposed or enforced isolation

By Michael Billington on April 08, 2020

All is Calm
By Jeanne Lieberman on December 18, 2018

“For one day, no man's land became everyman's land.”
This should be a perennial for Christmas, Easter and/or anytime your faith in humanity needs healing

Nai-Ni Chen’s Unbroken Thread
       by R. Pikser on December 8th, 2020

This very focused presentation is a most appropriate piece for this time when we are all especially aware of our mortality.

Bette Davis Ain't For Sissies
       by Ed Rubin on December 6th, 2020

Jessica Sheer's wildly exciting, action-packed recounting of Bette Davis' life as a young aspiring actress.

Hershey Felder, as Claude Debussy, A Paris Love Story
       by Deirdre Donovan on November, 20nd, 2020

Maestro Felder does triple duty as playwright, performer, and pianist as he brilliantly brings to life the Impressionist composer. One Performance Only, Sunday November 22nd, 2020

(Plus one additional week of On-Demand viewing)

Broadway - Musicals

West Side Story
by Fern Siegel on March, 08, 2020

Director Ivo van Hove has re-imagined West Side Story for a 2020 audience. Tribalism is gone, but the electric score remains.

Jagged Little Pill
by Eugene Paul on December, 19, 2019


The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical
by Rachel Pacelli on November, 08, 2019

Lightning doesn’t strike twice in this musical adaptation of a beloved series.

Moulin Rouge!
by Eugene Paul on August, 22, 2019

An outrageously overstuffed feast of spectacle and song.

by Marc Miller on May, 07, 2019

A big, funny old-new musical comedy, with a breakout turn by Santino Fontana and a loose thread or two.

by David Schultz on May, 03, 2019

Wildly inventive, overly caffeinated reboot is strictly for the fanbase.

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations
by Deirdre Donovan on April, 18, 2019

Literally puts the soul back into the jukebox genre, and that’s no easy accomplishment, in telling the story of a Motown group who beat a path to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Frozen: The Broadway Musical
By Julia Polinsky on April 09, 2018
Take a kid, and see the magic through a child's eyes. Disney Does Fun. Let it go, and let 'em.

by Marc Miller On May. 01 2017

Far the most extravagantly beautiful physical production you'll ever see. Not a masterpiece but breathtakingly competent.

Come From Away
by Eugene Paul On Mar. 21 2017

Its rousing, inspiring book, music and lyrics and a soaring concept is something of a miracle.

Dear Evan Hansen
By Rachel Goddard On Dec. 23, 2016

An exposed look at what life is really like for an anxious teenager in the midst of tragedy

by David Schultz On May.4, 2016

A tart treat mixed with gobs of sweetness, meld together into perfection.

by Michall Jeffers On Jan.13, 2016

Handily combines history and hip hop

Honeymoon In Vegas
by joel Benjamin on Jan. 27

A totally delightful escapist old-fashioned musical with a witty book, funny songs and an energetic cast of oddball characters.

Side Show
by Eugene Paul on Nov. 28

You’ll be happy you saw the show and better yet, you’ll be happier you’re you.

After Midnight!
By Jeanne Lieberman on May. 1, 2014
The performances are a series of gems that shine brightly alone but blaze in unison until your heartbeat echoes the music’s rhythm, cardiologists take note! Artistic director Wynton Marsalis, and his Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, launch you on a magical musical carpet ride that will eventually carry you on out to the street

by Jeannie Lieberman on Mar. 26, 2016
A true Disney magic carpet ride of opulent costumes, dazzling sets, creative choreography, savvy showbiz shtick and a Genie for all time.

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
by Jeannie Lieberman on Jan. 29, 2014
A feel good evening of special delight to her fans and all those who just want a slick, nostalgic, music-packed evening.

Broadway - Plays

Coastal Elites
        by Edward Rubin on November 09, 2020

HBO's riveting COVID19 offering, written and directed by Paul Rudnick, is peppered with condemnation of Trump and the current administration intriguingly told through five diverse monologues. Bette's best!

Grand Horizons
        by Eugene Paul on February 25, 2020

One of the brightest delights in town, hilarious, shocking, touching.

A Soldier's Play
        by Eugene Paul on February 25, 2020

Top notch performances, top notch production, riveting and relevant.

My Name Is Lucy Barton
        by Fern Siegel on January 20, 2020

The adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s acclaimed novel explores the practicality of suffering in a mesmerizing way.

The Great Society
        by Deirdre Donovan on December 16, 2019

Robert Schenkkan’s companion piece to All the Way settles in with a star-studded cast and a ton of testosterone.

The Inheritance
        by David Schultz on December 08, 2019

A modern gay intergenerational riff on Howard’s End, operatic in scope.

The Rose Tattoo
        by Fern Siegel on October 24, 2019

Set in 1950 along the Gulf Coast, tells the story of Serafina Delle Rose, a bereft but lusty Sicilian woman.

Linda Vista
        by Eugene Paul on October 22, 2019

Playwright Tracy Letts and the Steppenwolf Company at their scathing best.

The Height Of The Storm
        by Ron Cohen on October 03, 2019

Majestic performances illuminate the interplay of love, death and memory.

        by Ron Cohen on September 12, 2019

A trio of terrific actors and little else make for potent Pinter.

Sea Wall/A Life
        by Fern Siegel on August 15, 2019

A searing look at life and death.

Frankie & Johnny In The Clair De Lune
        by Eugene Paul on June 13, 2019

Audra McDonald. Michael Shannon. Terrence McNally. Arin Arbus. Pure gold.

To Kill a Mockingbird
        by Ron Cohen on January 23, 2019

Harper Lee can rest peacefully, knowing that her Mockingbird sings beautifully on Broadway.

The Ferryman
By Eugene Paul on November 14, 2018

One of the outstanding bounties of this or any other season.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2
By Julia Polinsky on May 4, 2018

Enough theater magic to fill the eyes, story to satisfy the mind, and character to touch the heart.

The Play that Goes Wrong
By Eugene Paul on Apr. 20, 2017
Sometimes you just plain need a mad, crude, hysterically funny whirlwind to blow away the cobwebs. This is it.

by Joel Benjamin on Jan. 20

The exquisitely detailed performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson cannot hide the dearth of material.

Off-Broadway - Musicals

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
by Eugene Paul on March 12, 2020

Beth Malone is the wonderful warm heart at the center of Molly Brown’s saga, bumpkin to grande dame.

City Center Encores! Mack & Mabel
by Jeanne Lieberman and David Schultz on March 04, 2020

Back in town after 46 years, this time it very well may become the fully-fledged classic that eluded Jerry Herman in his lifetime.

E.Y. “Yip” Harburg: Follow the Fellow Who Follows a Dream
By Deirdre Donovan on Feruary 03, 2020

The 92nd Street Y’s “Lyrics & Lyricists” honors a lyricist whose iconic songs still make us laugh, cry, and think.

Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation!
By Julia Polinsky on January 22, 2020

There’s too much terrific to list, so just go see it. It’s among the best 90 minutes/no intermission in town.

Evita New York City Center Annual Gala Presentation
By Deirdre Donovan on November 27, 2019

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1979 rock-opera about politics, passion, and glamour gives new psychological depths to the eponymous character.

Cyrano - A New Group Musical Starring Peter Dinklage
By Arney Rosenblat on November 19, 2019

A worthwhile addition to the cache of Cyrano de Bergerac adaptations.

Little Shop of Horrors
By David Schultz on November 11, 2019

Returning to its roots, this joyfully demented revival thrills.

Fifty Million Frenchmen
By Rachel Pacelli on October 14, 2019

A showcase of Cole Porter’s hits - is as light and frothy as a French meringue

Love, Noel: The Songs and Letters of Noel Coward
By Deirdre Donovan on September 03, 2019

A portrait of Coward with his feet up and wit intact

Bat Out of Hell
By Arney Rosenblat on August 22, 2019

"If you don't go over the top, how are you going to see what's on the other side?"

The Secret Life of Bees
By Fern Siegel on July 17, 2019

The musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel is beautifully realized, championing female empowerment.

Working: The Musical
By Deirdre Donovan on July 10, 2019

Encores! Off-Center 's poignant and sensitive update of Studs Terkel’s 1974 classic becomes a timely homage to immigrants and New York City Center itself.

An Evening with Gavin Creel
By Deirdre Donovan on June 28, 2019

An emigree from the Buckeye State regales an audience at the 92nd Street Y with classics from the American Songbook and backstage stories from Broadway.

Enter Laughing
By Deirdre Donovan on June 20, 2019

The York Theatre Company looks into their past and excavates a musical theater gem for their 50th anniversary year.

Encores! High Button Shoes
By David Schultz & Jeanne Lieberman on June 13, 2019

Few experiences can generate the pure unadulterated joy of this 1947 musical. That 10 minute ballet is sheer musical nirvana.

Sondheim: Wordplay
By Deirdre Donovan on April 12, 2019

The 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists series takes a closer look at Sondheim’s preternatural gift for wordplay.

I Married an Angel
Encores! At New York City Center

By Julia Polinsky on March 29, 2019

Encores! Does a terrific job, the dancing is magnificent, but the story falls short, in Rodgers and Hart’s I Married an Angel at City Center.

The Other Josh Cohen
By Julia Polinsky on March 26, 2019

Fun songs, frenetic pacing, and a terrific cast tell the tale of a pathetic-but-charming shlub who wins out in the end.

Yes I Can: The Sammy Davis, Jr. Songbook
By Deirdre Donovan on March 05, 2019

The 92nd Street Y’s “Lyrics & Lyricists” series celebrates Black History Month with the genius of Sammy Davis, Jr.

Clueless, The Musical
By Edward Rubin on January 07, 2019

Clueless is back, this time as a two and a half hour, acrobatically dance-heavy, in-your-face, over the top, teenage hormonal-exploding, fun-filled, six-piece band-backed musical.

All is Calm
By Jeanne Lieberman on December 18, 2018

“For one day, no man's land became everyman's land.”
This should be a perennial for Christmas, Easter and/or anytime your faith in humanity needs healing

Midnight at the Never Get
by Deirdre Donovan on October 22, 2018

The new musical at the York Theatre about a young gay couple in the 60s has some good moments but lacks magic.

Smokey Joe's Café
by Jeanne Lieberman on August 03, 2018

Is it alright to enjoy a musical without message? Yes!!!

The Sting
by Jeannie Lieberman on April 20, 2018

Brace yourself Broadway! A Big Brawny Musical may be heading your way led by Harry Connick, Jr. and a tireless troupe of terpsichorean tap dancers.

Lady, Be Good!
New York City Center Encores!
by Joel Benjamin on Feb. 16

Encores! has taken a silly period piece and turned it into an entertaining, if slight, confection. Tommy Tune a plus!

Off-Broadway - Plays



        by Eugene Paul on March 12 2020

Stanley Townsend is magnificent in Sam Yate’s vivid production surrounding the great Paul Muldoon’s famous elegy.


Cambodian Rock Band

        by Eugene Paul on March 09 2020

A surging, horribly funny, flintly beautiful, expertly performed dive into the carefully forgotten Far East cauldron.


The Hot Wing King

        by Julia Polinsky on March 09 2020

Those tears in your eyes might be from the heat of some Suicide Flats, or from the heart of this tale of ambition, love, family, and Pili-Pili powder.


Blues for an Alabama Sky

        by Julia Polinsky on March 04 2020

A knockout performance from Alfie Fuller is the best thing about Keen Company’s presentation.

Bob_Carol Ted Alice

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

        by Eugene Paul on February 28 2020

The issue is: what do two hetero couples do in one bed? Make a fun show?


Look Back in Anger

        by R. Pikser on February 26 2020

Still relevant and provocative and should be performed and thought about more often.


Chekhov/Tolstoy: Love Stories 

        by Arney Rosenblat on February 19 2020

an interesting tug of war between social reformer and artist historic in lesser known works of two of the world's greatest writers.


Paradise Lost

        by Eugene Paul on February 19 2020


The Journey

        by Eugene Paul on February 13 2020

A shaggy dog story, rambling, episodic, somewhat like an ayahuascan experience, its central theme.


Woman in Black

        by David Schultz on February 11 2020

Aughhh! Eek!! Hohum...

Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven


        by David Schultz on February 10 2020

A clinical modern reboot of Euripides Greek Tragedy softens the horror.

Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven

The Confession of Lily Dare

        by Marc Miller on February 04 2020

Charles Busch’s mockup of a distinct pre-Code genre is a wall-to-wall smile, but the better you know the genre, the more you’ll smile.

Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven

Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven

        by David Schultz on January 22 2020

Pulitzer Prize Winner Stephen Adly Guirgis creates a harrowing theatrical experience in his inimitable style once again.

Young Man From Atlanta

London Assurance

        by Eugene Paul on January 03 2020

A treat for the holidays, buoyant, infectious, in fact a treat for any time.

Young Man From Atlanta

One in Two

        by Ron Cohen on December 31 2019

Urgent, courageous and meaningful theatre.

Young Man From Atlanta

Judgment Day

        by Arney Rosenblat on December 29, 2019

A stark parable on guilt and the dangers of mob mentality set in a time when the concept of truth is under assault.

Young Man From Atlanta

Is This A Room

        by Julia Polinsky on December 28, 2019

A brilliant, soul-scouring performance by Emily Davis makes Is This A Room deeply rewarding -- and challenging -- to watch.

Young Man From Atlanta

Young Man From Atlanta

        by Fern Siegel on December 23, 2019

Deception and defeat dog the grieving Kidder family.

Greater Clements

        by Marc Miller on December 19, 2019

Anomie in the hinterlands, and so drawn out that we’re made to feel it too. But a blazing turn by Edmund Donovan.

The Thin Place

        by Eugene Paul on December 16, 2019

Don’t you just love a good spooky story? What’s your spook tolerance?

Harry Townsend’s Last Stand

        by Ron Cohen on December 13, 2019

Fine performances yield laughs and some tears as father and son debate aging with naturalistic craftsmanship and genuine sentiments.


        by Julia Polinsky on December 11, 2019

Deals with men, women, power, and rape. A terrible subject that this play somehow has made tedious..


        by Arney Rosenblat on December 03, 2019

There's a sizeable sizzle for both Foodies and non-Foodies to enjoy in the new Theresa Rebeck play.

The Sound Inside

        by Eugene Paul on November 27, 2019

One of the brightest gems of the season, a strong awards contender.

Einstein’s Dreams

        by Eugene Paul on November 27, 2019

In many ways, a beauty.

Bella Bella

        by Julia Polinsky on November 19, 2019

Harvey Fierstein’s magnificent presence, impeccable timing, simmering anger delivers pithy commentary and harsh humor.


        by Ron Cohen on November 14, 2019

The hurly-burly boils over thoughtfully, moodily and briskly in this production of one of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies.

Dublin Carol

        by Barry Bassis on November 04, 2019

Tears in the Whiskey.

The Hope Hypothesis

        by Julia Polinsky on November 04, 2019

Asks more questions than it answers, including: what’s the solution? Horrifying? Humorous? It may be both.

Fern Hill

        by Barry Bassis on October 24, 2019

A Commune for Aging Baby Boomers.

(A)loft Modulation

        by Barry Bassis on October 22, 2019

All that jazz is the best part.

How I Found an Affordable Apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan without Really Trying

        by Deirdre Donovan on October 18, 2019

Charles Gross’ new one-man play, delicious as a fresh bagel with a schmear of laughter, wit, and romance

Caesar and Cleopatra

        by Ron Cohen on September 25, 2019

A Shaw classic get a classy revival.

Only Yesterday

        by Ron Cohen on September 16, 2019

The music is missing but the spirit is there in this tale of two Beatles waiting out a storm in a Florida motel room.


        by Arney Rosenblat on August 15, 2019

In these unsettling political times an exploration of democracy slipping off the rails has become increasingly relevant.

Rinse, Repeat

        by Ron Cohen on August 13, 2019

A young woman’s battle with anorexia compelling explored through the lens of a family drama.

Little Gem

        by Ron Cohen on August 13, 2019

Resilience and ribaldry as a trio of Dublin women have their say about life and love.

Summer Shorts: A Festival of New American Plays
HERE I LIE by Courtney Baron; directed by Maria Mileaf
INTERIOR by Nick Payne, based on the Maurice Maeterlinck play; directed by Rory McGregor
THE BRIDGE PLAY by Danielle Trzcinski; directed by Sarah Cronk

        by Julia Polinsky on July 29, 2019

The three plays of Series A look at death from outside (Interior), inside (Here I Lie), and almost as an aside (Bridge Play).

Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow
        by Ron Cohen on July 25, 2019

The language is coarse but the humanity compelling in this Chekhov adaptation.

The Rolling Stone
        by Fern Siegel on July 23, 2019

Sex and religion meet on a deadly playing field in Uganda.

Toni Stone
        by Ron Cohen on June 25, 2019

You won’t need peanuts and Crackerjack. This show is a vivifying as a hit-filled day at the ballpark.

The Mountains Look Different
        by Marc Miller on June 25, 2019

The Mint does its usual splendid work resurrecting a forgotten play, and a darn solid one at that, by the unsung Micheal mac Liammoir.

Much Ado About Nothing
        by Barry Bassis on June 24, 2019

Black and Beautiful, a strong directorial debut for Kenny Leon at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park.

        by Eugene Paul on June 13, 2019

Possibly the most brilliant theatrical work of the year.

Long Lost
        by Ron Cohen on June 11, 2019

A well-crafted if somewhat muted drama examines the strains and strengths of familial ties and obligation.

        by Arney Rosenblat on June 03, 2019

Brilliant prescient play question the strengths and weaknesses inherent in democratic rule .

Hans Christian Andersen: Tales Real & Imagined
        by Arney Rosenblat on May 29, 2019

The saddest fairy tale of all, the life that Andersen lived.

Postings To The Moon
        by Fern Siegel on May 22, 2019

A portrait of a bygone era and an enduring love story.

Electronic City
        by R. Pikser on April 29, 2019

An intriguingly stylized critique of what our lives have become, carried to extremes .

Juno and the Paycock
        by Fern Siegel on April 22, 2019

Revolution — political and familial — is in the air as the Boyle family battles economic and social unrest.

The Lehman Trilogy
        by Arney Rosenblat on April 16, 2019

A mesmerizing odyssey of how an American Dream can devolve into an American Debacle

Do You Feel Anger?
        by Fern Siegel on April 12, 2019

Harassing women is an issue that should be confronted on stage. But the template is drama, not a sexist swing at absurdity.

Nantucket Sleigh Ride
        by Eugene Paul on April 10, 2019

Quite beyond being amused, Guare’s tour de force wrapped in director Zaks’s showbiz trappings is a feast become fast food.

The Cradle Will Rock
        by Eugene Paul on April 10, 2019

The Cool, attractive, more an homage than a fiery presentation of Blitzstein’s original fury.

The Mother
        by David Schultz on April 08, 2019

Acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert is the reason, and Only reason to see this overwrought drama.

Smart Blonde
        by Ron Cohen on March 29, 2019

A brisk, sympathetic and cluttered journey through the life of a memorable star, Judy Holliday.

        by Julia Polinsky on March 28, 2019

The huge, terrible story of the 1930s mass execution of 80,000 Jewish residents, pregnant with horror and rage, somehow does not deliver the drama.

Surely Goodness and Mercy
        by Ron Cohen on March 18, 2019

A play of such buoyant spirit, it may well move you deeply and happily.

“Daddy” A Melodrama
        by David Schultz on March 15, 2019

This phantasmagoric treatise on fame, art, daddy issues, sex, and desire is a heady mix. More a mashup

Seawall/A Life
        by Arney Rosenblat on March 15, 2019

Tom Sturridge and Jake Gyllennhaal in two haunting visual memories explore life, death and their often random intersection

The Cake
        by Ron Cohen on March 11, 2019

The frosting is piled high on this mix of problem play and heart-warming comedy.

        by R. Pikser on March 08, 2019

This tribute to the late Imamu Amiri Baraka, Black theater icon, poses problems that all thinking people must confront.

Waiting for Godot in Yiddish
        by Julia Polinsky on January 10, 2019

the most likable Waiting for Godot imaginable

Life X 3
By Eugene Paul on November 27, 2018

Handsomely mounted, directed, acted, insightfully clever, incitefully mean.

By Jeannie Lieberman on November 20, 2018

One of a kind immersive dinner/theater experience.

Fashions for Men
by Joel Benjamin on Mar. 4

A lovingly staged period piece about honor, romance and haberdashery.

John & Jen
by Joel Benjamin on Mar. 3

A small show with big emotions, illuminated through the writing of Lippa and Greenwald and given life by Conor Ryan and Kate Baldwin.

Between Riverside and Crazy
by Joel Benjamin on Feb. 25

A complex, riveting, if oddly constructed, comedy-drama from a brilliant young playwright.

Solo Performance

The Miracle of Long Johns
By Edward Rubin on December 4, 2017

A dizzying array of dance, song, double-entendres, and vaudevillian-type jokes from every conceivable angle, political, social, cultural, sexual, and otherwise.


Confinement, from Sophocles to Sartre
Dramatists have long focused on the agonies and irritations of self-imposed or
enforced isolation

By Michael Billington on April 08, 2020

Interview with Ted Sperling, Artistic Director, conductor, orchestrator
The Gershwin’s Let ‘Em Eat Cake At Carnegie Hall
By Rachel Pacelli on November 19, 2019

"Don’t wait for the next production of Let ‘Em Eat’s been 30 years, it might be another 30 before it comes back."

Eddie Izzard: Wunderbar
By David Schultz on May 21, 2019

Run don’t walk, to see Eddie before he enters the political arena. Might be your last chance for the foreseeable future.

Cirque Du Soleil’s Luzia
By Eugene Paul on March 15, 2019

One of the best of the Cirque du Soleil offerings.

Come From Away: A Broadway 2nd Anniversary Celebration
By Deirdre Donovan on March 08, 2019

A rare opportunity at the 92Y to get up-close and personal with the creators and performers of this award winning musical.

Funny Girl: Trafalgar's Preview Screening of West End production
By Deirdre Donovan on October 22, 2018

Michael Mayer's new West End production released in cinemas on October 24th coincides with the 50th anniversary of the film that catapulted Barbra Streisand to stardom.

Big Apple Circus

By Edward Medina on November 09, 2017

Our circus has returned in glorious fashion.

Edward Albee'an interview

By David Schultz on Sept. 30,2016

Everything was bad until I wrote "The Zoo Story".

Ira Biloiwt

on Sept. 22, 2016

Everybody Rise! A celebration of Elaine Stritch

By Jeanne Lieberman on Nov. 24

Not the tender hearted, tear inspiring tribute of most memorials, the event was like its subject: over the top, irreverent and raucous.

John Lahr and Tony Kushner on Tennessee Williams
by Joel Benjamin on Oct. 8

Lahr's biography Mad Pilgrimage focuses on the interdependence of Williams’ mental and emotional health and the quality of his writing.


92Y Lyrics & Lyricists: Jerry Herman, You I Like
By Deirdre Donovan on March 04, 2020
An aural feast celebrating a legendary lyricist-composer who was an eternal optimist in spite of our troubled times.

Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall
By Barry Bassis on November 07, 2019
Opera Stars Come Out for this prestigious annual concert.

Trio da Paz

By Barry Bassis on August 29, 2019
Brazilian Jazz comes to Dizzy’s Club.

The Django Reinhardt NY Festival Makes a Triumphant Return to Birdland

By Barry Bassis on July 29, 2019
Gypsy jazz will put a smile on your face.

John Bayless – One Hand One Heart – My Life and My Music

By Mary L Smith on May 07, 2019
This unique theatrical experience will inspire everyone to fulfill their destiny whatever it may be.


By Barry Bassis on May 06, 2019
What’s the Duke of Mantua doing in Las Vegas in the Metropolitan Opera’s production? Chasing chicks.

92 Street Y: Lenny's Lyricists/Bernstein & Song

By Deirdre Donovan on March 05, 2018
A celebration the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein birth with a musical montage of his beloved theater works.

Our Time: Sullivan & Harnar Sing Sondheim
54 Below

By Joel Benjamin on Feb. 12

Two cabaret greats at the top of their game.

A Good Thing Going: The Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince Collaboration
Lyrics & Lyricists , 92Y

By Joel Benjamin on Jan. 20

An evening of Sondheim songs, personal memories and great singing, what more do you need?

A Maestro’s Memoirs
by Deirdre Donovan on May. 22
Musician Donald Pippin time-travels back through star-dusted moments in his long-and-winding career.

David Ostwald and his Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland
by Jeanne Lieberman on May. 1
David Ostwald, who sets the pace and chooses the songs as he goes, leads a magic meld of multigenerational music meisters that varies slightly from week to week.


Nederlands Dans Theater
By R. Pikser on March 10, 2020

Three choreographers offer critiques of the modern world in ultra-theatrical settings.

Women in Motion: Gilbey Dance Theater
By R. Pikser on February 19, 2020

Gibney Dance is doing extremely supportive work for the dance community and this program is an example of that support.

The Dancing Crane company
By R. Pikser on November 19, 2019

Remind us why people dance and why people go to see dance as they maintaining song and dance of Georgia in its new land.

Kathryn Posin Dance
By R. Pikser on September 19, 2019

Posin continues to exploit her admirable intelligence and to experiment with it.

Lori Belilove
The Isadora Duncan Dance Company

By R. Pikser on April 12, 2019

A warm and inspiring exposure to one of the great dance revolutionaries of the 20th century.

Ballet Contemporáneo de Camagüey
By R. Pikser on March 18, 2019

Excellent technique and easy execution of demanding choreography mark this Cuban company which should be welcomed to the U.S.

Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company: Intersections
By R. Pikser on March 05, 2019

A retrospective that offered some imaginative moments and an opportunity for an experienced and a younger dancer to move us profoundly.

Asase Yaa
Drum Love

By R. Pikser on February 13, 2019

A living reminder of the vitality of music, dance, and the power of community.

Ballet Inc. THE SERIES: Vol. 1
By Roberta Pikser on Aug. 27

Two evening samplers, comprising 34 choreographers, demonstrate the necessity for clarity in organization and in creativity and performance.

Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
By Julia Polinsky on Dec. 11

Big, bold, spectacle wrapped around a simple storyline in Michael Flatley’s fabulous flambuoyant farewell tour

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
By Joel Benjamin on Dec. 30

Three new works expand the techniques and expressive power of this exciting troupe’s dancers.


Unmasked: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
By David Schultz on March 13, 2020

A musical cornucopia of new interpretations of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s massive catalog.

By Edward Lieberman on February 14, 2020

an ode to the music of famed composer and saxophonist Louis Jordan, whose up tempo rhythm and blues creations are widely considered to be forerunners of rock ‘n roll and rap.

Lend Me A Tenor At the Westchester Broadway Theatre
By Eugene Paul on January 22, 2020

No subtleties, no holding back, just bright, brash, hilarious farce. Pure entertainment.

Chasing Rainbows The Road To Oz
By David Schultz on October 14, 2019

Wistful Tuner delves into the early years of Frances Gumm AKA Judy Garland

On Your Feet
By Edward Lieberman on June 30, 2019

For its summer production WBT is cranking up the heat!

By Edward Lieberman on May 12, 2019

An exuberant and energetic re-telling of a true story that will inspire, entertain and educate a youthful audience at the same time!

The Bodyguard: The Musical
By Edward Lieberman on May 09, 2019

Benny & Joon
By David Schultz on April 18, 2019

This film to musical incarnation is infused with whimsy, heartfelt emotion and a graceful warmth. Going crazy never looked so good.

The Producers
By Karen Wahlberg and Denise Gibson on March 26, 2019

Opening Night in Babylon’s new Argyle theater was a non-stop laugh-fest.

Menopause The Musical
by Edward Lieberman on March 18, 2019

BEWARE THE CHANGE! That’s the message of the current production at the Westchester Broadway Theatre

The Foreigner
by Edward and Jeanne Lieberman on December 06, 2018

The Armonk Players' current production of The Foreigner features an outstanding cast in a madcap comedy that is arguably more timely today than when it was first written in 1984.

Holiday Inn
by David Schultz on November 29, 2018

The holidays are gloriously brought back to life with the invigorating revival at The Paper Mill Playhouse

Anything Goes
by Edward Lieberman on July 26, 2018

Fascination with opulence and celebrity provides a welcome diversion from the news of today, as it did when it opened during the depths of the Depression!

Clever Little Lies
by Eugene Paul on July 03, 2018

Playwright Joe Di Pietro's frothy summer lite comedy has a kicker. Watch out.

by David Schultz on June 20, 2018

Hip-hop dancing seniors move to center court in this Broadway Bound tuner.

Will Rogers Follies: Goodspeed Opera House
by Edward Lieberman on June 15, 2018

Goodspeed theatergoers are fortunate to have the great Will portrayed by the equally great David M. Lutken, well worth the price of admission all by himself!

The Sting
by Jeannie Lieberman on April, 20, 2018

Brace yourself Broadway! A Big Brawny Musical may be heading your way led by Harry Connick, Jr. and a tireless troupe of terpsichorean tap dancers.

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kismet update



Plethora of Pulchritudinous Pumpkins
At Jakes Carving Contest
Kismet’s got Talent

80 years later, vivid memories of historic Long Island Express hurricane

By Patricia Kitchen @patriciakitchen Updated September 21, 2018 10:34 AM

First Annual Kismet Surf Casting Contest

by Mark Ketcham

KISMET UPDATE: Life Goes On.......

Kismet Coastal Clean up

Notes from organizer Sam Wood


By Jeanne Lieberman



photos AZ
text Jeannie






Grace's design melding Grateful Dead with KFD Logos

Memorial Day
Cherry Grove
May 25, 2020


photos by Dennis & Wendy

Fire Island dredging halted for ‘emergency’ beach project near Mar-a-Lago

by Jon Levine

Bill Poindexter tribute

by Jeannie


by Marija Beqaj, Pat Hackett

Appeals court upholds plan to cull white-tailed deer population on Fire Island

by Vera Chinese

Kismet Historical Society Fundraiser

by Cheryl Dunbar Kahlke

Nat Halpern, Susan Welt         

Though separated by time, gender, and circumstance, what unites both Susan and Nat is that everyone loved them and they always left good feelings in their wake.


International Coastal Clean up: Keep Kismet Clean Day

We were the first community on the west end of FI to participate in this international coastal clean up         

Lydon & Kai's great adventure         



        by Laura Schmidt (FIN) - August 17, 2019

East Lighthouse Walk Annual Luau

East Lighthouse and guests had a good showing and many people stayed well into the night socializing and playing corn hole by cell phone light!!


Suzanne Westenhoefer

"Fearless, Bold, Unapologetic—and Freaking Hilarious"

        by Jeannie


This is but a taste of what Mooney nights are about
 Two more chances to experience them
        at the INN Aug 22 and AUG 29th

Comedy Night
Turns Firehouse into a Naughty Nightclub
by Jeannie

Laughter filled the street during the hilarious show and smiles lasted long afterward


by Tom Licari

Fifty years later we still fondly look back at the Woodstock experience
... the most memorable time of my life.

Maggie Fischer Memorial Cross Bay Swim

pictures and text by Wendy Schou

Kismet Festival Results

thrives in the heat!!!

Recently Sam Woods was featured in a TV Ad

Now Tim Mooney is on the cover of a trade publication

LICA Road Warriors Magazine

who's next for stardom?

Invasion 19

           by Jeannie

KLAW Digs for the Dough!

The often beleaguered Kismet Animal Welfare organization once again tantalized and delighted customers with incredible bargains, from cookware to chotchke's. One person's discards are another's interior design.
At supremely bargain prices everyone walks away happy - if not you'll see it for sale next year!

          pix by Jeannie


Early on a Friday morning the combined fire departments of Kismet
and Saltaire met at the old firehouse for their annual
Mutual Aid drill, where they practiced search and rescue, ladder drills,
EMS and radio coordination.
Pictures by Ken show it is potentially grueling. We thank them all.

Piro Propels Paws Applause
in stunning return to Cherry Grove Stage

pix & text by Jeannie on June 08, 2019

Kismet Homeowners Meeting June '19
Pedi Cabs, Port o Potties & Puddles

Busy schedule includes lots of cabaret divas,
a show about sex, and ends with a Stonewall Riot!!
(take a look)


Carol Thomas, citizen of Kismet

a “tough cookie”
the end came with surprising and merciful swiftness
A shock to us all

Study says going to the beach is good for your mental well-being
By POSITIVE OUTLOOKS on April 25, 2019

The Producers
By Karen Wahlberg and Denise Gibson on March 26, 2019

Opening Night in Babylon’s new Argyle theater was a non-stop laugh-fest.

Kismet Halloween, '18
A hallowed Halloween tradition hampered by a storm
Pix by Wendy on November 21, 2018

Kismet Community Association Fall Meeting
September 30 '18
By Jeannie Lieberman on October 09, 2018

On a beautiful Fall morning many Kismet citizens demonstrated their loyalty by convening in the Firehouse for the semi annual Fall homeowners' meeting.

53rd Miss Fire Island Pageant
A truly eclectic, extravagant, elegant event!
By Jeannie Lieberman on September 17, 2018

Remembering Joel
December 19, 1944 - September 8, 2012

Taste of Kismet ‘18
Pix by Bradlee & Wendy on September 12, 2018

Merry Musicmakers Keep Kismet Kickin'
By Jeannie on September 07, 2018

Drag Queens Conquer the Out
Titillating Trio returns for most $successful $how ever

By Jeannie on August 24, 2018

East Lighthouse Annual Luau Moves Indoors
By Ginny Butler on August 24, 2018

Judy Gold's Smashing Grove Debut!
By Jeanne Lieberman on August 23, 2018

The packed Community House rocked with laughter

A New Tick Is Here'but just how dangerous is it?
USA TODAY NETWORK Jim Hook, Scott Fallon, Nick Muscavage and Joseph Spector, USA TODAY NETWORK Published on August 07, 2018

Health officials sound alarm as invasive tick, new to US, spreads

Pine Walk Block Party-Saturday, July 28th
Text and pictures by Wendy Schou post, on August 02, 2018

Pine Walk did it up!

by Jeannie on July 26, 2018

It was a grand event truly, and I believe everyone in the community who attended or participated was tired but happy? specially the winners.

All About the Monarchs

by Jeanne Lieberman
By Joshua Jelly-Schapito
by Trish Minogue Collins on October 11,2017

Introduced by Alan Cumming at the Community House July 8
by Jeannie on July 12, 2018

'We are now the most unequal state in the entire country, with both incredible wealth and extreme poverty'


by Jeannie on July 12, 2018


by Jeannie on July 12, 2018


by Jeannie on July 12, 2018


by Jeannie on July 10, 2018

Started by Jean Wood 54 years ago son Sam continues the tradition with tributes to our service men: current and past


by Jeannie on June 29, 2018


by Jeannie on June 22, 2018


'She was truly a child of Fire Island'

by Jeannie on June 21, 2018


The KCA returned to its time honored fundraising tradition.

by Jeannie on June 21, 2018

Kismet's Annual KLAW Auction & Flea market

proved some 'fleas' are good

by Jeannie on June 21, 2018

Annual Spring KCA (Kismet Community Association) Meeting

by Jeannie on June 06, 2018

Meeting was entirely amicable. Homeowners obviously enjoying each other's company.


Photos by Wendy Schou, Gary Leone, Bradlee on June 06, 2018

If money and love will speed his recovery we will all benefit.


New Jersey Governor signs bill preventing Offshore Drilling
Cuomo lags behind

by Reuters Staff on April 25, 2018

Remains of old Tappan Zee Bridge will be made into reef

by Shari Logan & Max Jaeger on April 19, 2018

Kismet Halloween17

by Jeanne Lieberman on March 07, 2018

Kismet Kandids - A look back Summer 17

by Jeanne Lieberman on March 07, 2018

Fed plan to drill for oil off LI draws bipartisan protest

Posted on March 03, 2018


Posted on February 08, 2018


Posted on February 08, 2018

Memorial for Kismet's "Mayor" Brian Crawford

Memorial for Fred "Dutch" Rosenberg

Press Release

Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society
Aug. 22, 2019



Sunday 1 Art Workshop
11 am – 3 pm with artist David Adams
Collage on fabric and paper with abstracts.
Sunday 8 Grandparents Day
Spend the day with your grandchildren at the Lighthouse.  Grandparents climb the Tower for free.  Children must be 42” tall to climb.
Saturday 14 Light Keepers Behind the Scenes Tour
9 am – Follow one of our present day Lighthouse Keepers on his rounds.  This bottom to top tour takes you from the auxiliary generator and the Light Keepers workshop in the basement of the Keeper’s Quarters to the beacon in the lantern room of the lighthouse tower. Learn how Lighthouse Keepers in the 1860’s to 2019 maintained the light.  Includes a tour of the Lens Building, which houses our original first order Fresnel Lens, and the Boat House.  Tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours.    $15 for FILPS Members/$20 for non-members – Reservations required. Limit 12 people.
Saturday 14 Evening Tower Tour
6:30 pm- Experience the sunset from a new perspective.  View the sunset and the Strawberry Moon from the top of the Lighthouse.  Bring a flashlight for your walk back to the parking field. - $15 for FILPS members/$20 for non-members. Reservations Required.  Sunset 7:06 pm.
Saturday 12 Light Keepers Behind the Scenes Tour
9 am – Follow one of our present day Lighthouse Keepers on his rounds.  This bottom to top tour takes you from the auxiliary generator and the Light Keepers workshop in the basement of the Keeper’s Quarters to the beacon in the lantern room of the lighthouse tower. Learn how Lighthouse Keepers in the 1860’s to 2019 maintained the light.  Includes a tour of the Lens Building, which houses our original first order Fresnel Lens, and the Boat House.  Tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours.    $15 for FILPS Members/$20 for non-members – Reservations required. Limit 12 people.
Saturday 12 Lantern Light Tour- “Path through History”
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm (tours leave at 15 minute intervals)-Meet in Field #5 RMSP.  Enjoy an escorted lantern light walk along the beach & through the swale as stationed interpreters unfold the stories of the United States Life Saving Service & Fire Island Light Station.  $10 per person – Reservations required.  Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight for your walk back to the parking field.  The Tower will remain open until 9 pm at regular fees.
Sunday 13 Evening Tower Tour
5:45 pm- Experience the sunset from a new perspective.  View the sunset and the Hunters Moon from the top of the Lighthouse.  Bring a flashlight for your walk back to the parking field. - $15 for FILPS members/$20 for non-members. Reservations Required.  Sunset 6:18 pm.
Monday 11 Thank you to all our United States Veterans!
Free Tower Tours during regular operating hours to all veterans who served in the military.
Tuesday 12 Evening Tower Tour
4 pm- Experience the sunset from a new perspective.  View the sunset and the Beaver Moon from the top of the Lighthouse.  Bring a flashlight for your walk back to the parking field. - $15 for FILPS members/$20 for non-members. Reservations Required.  Sunset 4:39 pm.
Saturday 30 Tree Trimming Event
10 am – 3 pm.  Kick off the holiday season by helping us decorate our holiday tree.  Bring a handmade ornament relating to the sea, nature or the Lighthouse to hang on our tree.  Free hot chocolate and cookies.
Saturday 30 Thanksgiving Weekend Evening Tower Tour
4 pm - Experience the Lighthouse at night while working off some of those holiday calories. Bring a flashlight for your walk back to the parking field.  $15 for FILPS Members/$20 for non-members – Reservations Required.  Sunset 4:27 pm.

Call (631) 661-4876 to make all reservations


The Lighthouse and museum is open all year round.  Winter hours are 10am - 4pm daily until December 15-then 10 am to 4pm weekdays and 11am to 4pm weekends.  All parking is in Field #5 of the Robert Moses State Park. Tower tours are $7 adults, $4 seniors & Children under 12 (children must be 42" tall to climb).  Foot ware is required to climb. Call for tower availability.

The Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society

4640 Captree Island, Captree Island, New York 11702  (631) 661-4876     
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

**Programs and times are subject to change.  Please visit our web site for updated information.**



We are Kismet's # 1 Real Estate Broker for sales, rentals, and service.
Check out our current listings for sales and rentals at Island Beach Realty com.
Or call 631 583 9500 and ask for Sam or Rusty.

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429 Brooklyn Blvd
Brightwaters, NY 11718

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