Tony Awards Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
By CYNTHIA LITTLETON and BRENT LANG
Awards are the latest industry event to be postponed because of
the coronavirus pandemic.
American Theatre Wing, which backs the show, announced on Wednesday that the
74th edition of the annual celebration of the best of theater will be pushed
back indefinitely. The ceremony was originally scheduled to air live on CBS,
from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on June 7. However, Broadway has
been closed since March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with
producers tentatively setting April 12 as the date that theaters will reopen.
That may have been optimistic given that the number of COVID-19 cases continues
to grow and New York City is at the epicenter of the public health crisis.
and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans is of the utmost
importance to us,” the American Theatre Wing said in a statement. “We will
announce new dates and additional information once Broadway opens again. We are
looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do
THE NEW SEASON??? MAYBE!
Barely under a week ago I was preparing Theaterscene's annual Spring Season
edition, excitedly announcing the 27 new Broadway shows that will make their
debut between now and the Tony deadline .
that is. No word from the Broadway League yet)
the season started off quite impressively with the new, tradition shattering Westside
Story, while last year‘s major hit To Kill a Mockingbird made
theater history by performing at Madison Square Garden for 18,000 students.
looking up. A Soldier's Play was great, Company was coming in
with a female lead in the traditional male role, coinciding with creator
Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday.
must go on ...not!
And then the
indescribable and unimaginable happened. Shut down! Anathema to any theater
production. It was shocking, sudden and surgically precise, catching everyone
unaware. There was mass confusion in the lobby of the West 43rd street building
which houses many performers as they were sent home. The effects are
incalculable, from producers to performers to part time ushers (theater's first
victims). Press agents prematurely proclaimed a re-opening date, April 12, 13th
(now mid May?)
Off Broadway's re-opening date: Never!
lies an even greater tragedy as little shows struggled to get a foot in the
door only to have it slammed shut.
wait it out, most will vanish without a trace.
wander around avoiding each other, (the ban on congregation went from under
500, to 250, now to 10 in less than a week),
concept of theater as we knew it, of thousands from all over the country, the
world, sitting side-by-side, strangers to each other, united in a common goal -
sharing an experience - has become as alien as smoking there.
ban comes at a time when the very purpose of theater is most needed.
A cautiously optimistic forecast of the new season as we would hope it to be
and condolences for the many shows that may not survive:
Six, The Minutes, Hangmen, Company, The Lehman Trilogy, Diana,
Mrs. Doubtfire, Caroline, or Change,
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Michael
the musical, Flying Over Sunset, Plaza Suite, American Buffalo, How I Learned to Drive, Take
at the theater.............I hope
this just in...........
the Annual Theaterworld Awards ceremony
has been re-scheduled from June 1 until Fall 2020
(do you think the others will fall in line?)
Former Drama Desk President William Wolf
by Broadway World News Desk (3/31/2020)
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
He subsequently became the
syndicated film critic and columnist for the Gannett newspaper chain
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
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.
Playwright Terrence McNally, 81,
dies of coronavirus-related complications
By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times 3/24/2020
Terrence McNally, whose long,
varied and prolific career as a playwright, musical librettist and screenwriter
earned him four Tony Awards and an Emmy, died Tuesday. He was 81.
© BILL HOGAN/Chicago
March 24, 2020 - In 2001 McNally is quoted as saying: 'I don't waste a lot of
time... waiting for inspiration. I sit down, and a week or so later I have a
draft.' McNally, 81, has died of coronavirus-related complications.
McNally, once referred to as “the quintessential man of the theater” by
actress Zoe Caldwell, died from complications related to the coronavirus,
according to his publicist Matt Polk. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2001
and twice underwent surgery.
While most playwrights since World War II have arrived like comets, creating
their signature scripts early in their careers, the arc of McNally’s writing
life testified to the riches — especially insight, empathy, and a hesitance to
judge flawed people too harshly — that came with maturity. He earned his first
Broadway writing credit at age 23, and continued steadily from there into his
30s, establishing a reputation as an edgy and talented satiric playwright and
farceur who consistently challenged and mocked authority during the Vietnam War
era. But McNally’s streak of signature plays — the ones that won him awards and
brought him to the front rank of American playwriting — didn’t begin until
1987, the year he turned 48.
“Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune” (1987), “The Lisbon Traviata”
(1989), “Lips Together, Teeth Apart,” (1991) “A Perfect Ganesh” (1993), “Love!
Valour! Compassion!” (1994) and “Master Class” (1995) may not qualify as
landmarks with near-universal recognition and acclaim among theater lovers — as
has been the case with the best works of some of McNally’s more famed
contemporaries, such as Edward Albee, August Wilson, Tony Kushner, David Mamet
and Sam Shepard. But the plays he wrote during his extended creative high tide
were funny, warm, poignant, life-affirming and popular.
In the shadow of the AIDS epidemic, McNally, who was openly gay and in 2000
lost his longtime partner, Gary Bonasorte, to the disease, met the demands of
that critical time with a warmer, more embracing vision than he’d shown in his
first quarter-century of work. He won best-play Tonys in 1995 and 1996. The
first was for “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” in which eight gay men spending
holiday weekends together one summer under the shadow of AIDS have their bonds
tested and affirmed. He won again with “Master Class,” a loving but hardly
fawning portrayal of opera diva Maria Callas, which became a meditation on the
extreme commitment and sacrifice exacted from those compelled to reach for the
greatest artistic heights.
“When I’m writing, I try not to think in terms of themes,” McNally told the
New York Times in 2004. “But I think I write about the difficulty of people
connecting as they’re trying to find hope, trying to find their way to real
love and commitment.”
McNally disliked being described as a gay playwright — dismissing it as a
reductive label, especially since his subject matter was hardly limited to gay
life. Still, it was a subject he took on from early in his career, and
approached with both anger and tenderness during his peak creative period
starting in the late 1980s. “I think I wanted to write about what it’s like to
be a gay man at this particular moment in our history,” he wrote in a preface
to the published text of “Love! Valour! Compassion!”
“I think I wanted to tell my friends how much they’ve meant to me. I think I
wanted to tell everyone else who we are when they aren’t around. I think I
wanted to reach out and let more people into those places in my heart where I
don’t ordinarily welcome strangers.”
The main writer of this obituary, longtime L.A. Times critic and reporter
Mike Boehm, died in May 2019.