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BROADWAY TO DIM ITS LIGHTS Wednesday, April 1st For Gene Saks


The Broadway community mourns the loss of acclaimed director and performer Gene Saks, who passed away on Saturday at age 93. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, April 1st, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

Image Courtesy of The Hollywood ReporterThe accomplished actor who became one of Broadway’s most prominent directors and won three Tony Awards®in addition to receiving multiple nominations, helmed many Neil Simon plays on Broadway including Biloxi Blues, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Jake’s Women, Rumors, Lost in Yonkers, Broadway Bound, The Odd Couple, and California Suite.

Saks won his first Tony Award® for Best Direction of a Play in 1977 for the Cy Coleman – Michael Stewart musical I Love My Wife, and two more for Neil Simon plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs in 1983 and Biloxi Blues in 1985. He also received nominations for Half a Sixpence (1965)Mame (1966), Same Time, Next Year (1975), andLost in Yonkers (1991).

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League, said, “Gene Saks was a notable presence on Broadway for six decades as an acclaimed performer and celebrated director. His legendary collaboration with Neil Simon contributed unparalleled magic and laughter to Broadway, and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.”

Additional Broadway directing credits include Enter Laughing, Nobody Loves an Albatross, and Rags. His final Broadway production was the bio-play Barrymore, which won a Tony for Christopher Plummer in 1997.

Saks, who was born in Manhattan and grew up in Hackensack, N.J., began his career as an actor. Saks made his acting debut on Broadway in South Pacific in 1949. On stage he also appeared in A Shot in the Dark, The Tenth Man, and his best-known stage role in A Thousand Clowns. He also appeared in the films Nobody's Fool and Deconstructing Harry.

Among Saks’ film directing credits included Simon adaptations of The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and Brighton Beach Memoirs. He also directed the 1969 Cactus Flower, which won Goldie Hawn the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

He is survived by wife Keren, their daughter, Annabelle, and three grandchildren. He is also survived by sons Matthew and Daniel from his marriage to his first wife, actress Bea Arthur.

His full Broadway biography can be found on The Internet Broadway Database at ibdb.com.



Podcasting comes to LocalTheatreNY.com


Well, it's been around now for quite some time, actually. It's just that in the last two years there has been a resurrgence in the popularity of podcasting and this time we did not want to miss out.

Much of the new success in podcasting is due in part to some new hosting platforms, better and easier technology and in truth quite a few radio personalities and thought leaders slowly embracing the format.

So, as not to miss the boat, it can now be found here, at LocalTheatreNY.com. To us, it's all new and exciting. Here's why...

(We need guests...watch the video and learn more)

LocalTheatreNY.com Needs Guests for its NEW PODCASTS from Roger Gonzalez - LocalTheatreNY on Vimeo.


In a recent Forbes article, longtime elder of podcasting, Jordan Harbinger comments on the so called hype and states: "The ‘resurgence of podcasting’ is media hype. The headlines notwithstanding, podcasting hasn’t suddenly emerged from a slumber, Harbinger points out. In fact, it’s been steadily growing year-over-year. He believes it’s the adoption of the channel by traditional radio celebrities like Alex Blumberg that’s fueled a new round of hype. 'There was practically no mention of podcasting from 2008 to 2013,” says Harbinger. 'Why? That’s because it wasn’t new anymore, so nobody was talking about it. But if you look at the statistics…podcasting has been growing steadily, in great numbers.' " You can READ the full article by By Dorie Clark, "Here's The Future Of Podcasting," by CLICKING: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2014/11/19/heres-the-future-of-podcasting/

The article also credits some other obvious reasons: Podcasting is hugely popular for listeners sitting in their car driving.  And as it turns out, almost half of all cars sold by next year will offer internet connectivity. By 2025 that number will hit full satuaration as an estimated 100% of all cars will offer connectivity! Podcasts have hit an alltime peak.

More importantly, we can't ignore how the entire world is changing in terms of our use of portable devices, smart phones, tablets and more! One shocking number, for instance, is that Apple has nearly 800 million iTunes accounts.  In June of 2013, iTunes had about 575 million accounts.  That’s a growth rate of roughly 40 percent in one year on a very mature product, Apple CEO Tim Cook has pointed out.

Last year, Apple said subscriptions of podcasts through iTunes reached 1 billion. ONE BILLION! RawVoice, which tracks 20,000 shows, said the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has tripled to 75 million from 25 million five years ago. (Washington Post)

So with this, we welcome two new regular podcasts to the LocalTheatreNY.com family. Our "LocalTheatreNY.com On The Air" will consist of regular theatre related interviews, reviews and news of events in the NY Theatre scene. Our first interview was with Acting Coach, Jim Bonney talking about his Emotional Preparation work with actors. Our first "Monthly Review" was for February and March. Here it is, as featured in iTunes: 

Below is the link to our new Theatre Marketing Insights Podcast as part of our Theatre Marketing insights Blog on Tumblr

Please help us share our new podcasts and feel free to subscribe and comment. We hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share your comments on iTunes. 





Braata Productions’ Braata Theatre Workshop Presents "The Black That I Am"

Influenced by an original poem of the same name written by Karl O’Brian Williams,The Black That I Am is a piece that explores blackness, and identity from the perspective of a Caribbean immigrant pursuing the American Dream in New York City.

Williams was never more aware or concerned as much with race till he left the island of Jamaica and came to the United States. The poem is a response to this realization, and weaves through the production highlighting issues of inequality, misplaced nationalistic fervor, gender, sexuality, and colorism.

The monologues in the show punctuate these issues, and take the audience on a personal yet political journey that goes back and forth between borders, and barriers, celebrating and questioning the notions of ‘place’ and ‘position’ in society.

The poem was first written in 2002, but the play would not see the light of day till 2005, when drama lecturer Brian Heap of the University of the West Indies selected it for development. It has been staged twice by the University Players in Jamaica, and last year the National Theatre of Scotland selected excerpts for Oran Mor’s lunchtime theatre series ‘A Play, A Pint & A Pie’ in Glasgow, and Galloway.

The Black That I Am will have its US premier for two weekends in New York City: February 25th, 26th, 27th at 8pm, the 28th at 3pm & 8pm, and March 1st at 6pm at The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning 161-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica Queens, and on March 4th, 5th, & 6th 8pm, the 7th at 3pm & 8pm, and on the 8th 6pm at the Roy Arias Stage II Theatre on 43rd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.

Founded by Jamaican-born performer Andrew Clarke. Braata is a Jamaican word meaning something extra, we provide entertainment and education to our patrons, and give voice to our diverse issues, performers, writers and directors. We aim to represent with creative authenticity the folk culture of the Caribbean islands. As a non-profit organization Braata Productions fosters and develops a greater interest in the understanding and appreciation for all things Caribbean by preserving and showcasing its history, lifestyles, traditions and customs through the visual, and performing arts. For more about us please visit: www.braataproductions.org or call 917-668-2209.



The Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One Act Festival Goes Worldwide With On Demand Viewing With Its 27th Anniversary Season’s Lineup Of 27 New One-Acts February 11th thru 22nd

The Riant Theatre under the direction of Artistic Director Van Dirk Fisher, has announced its 27th Anniversary season lineup for the Strawberry One-Act Festival, which consists of 27 new one-acts and 3 full length plays that will run February 11th – February 22nd at the Hudson Guild Theatre at 441 West 26th Street, New York City. On Demand Viewing of the Strawberry One Act Festival begins on February 12th.

The Strawberry One Act Festival can be viewed on Mobile Devices, Computers and TV in HD.

Catch a preview HERE:


The Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival - Winter 2015 - Series A - On Demand - Trailerfrom Van Fisher on Vimeo.

After viewing the plays On Demand, viewers will be given an opportunity to vote for Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor & Best Actress.

The Riant Theatre Company’s Strawberry One-Act Festival began in 1995 as a competition to help one emerging playwright secure a development deal and develop a full-length play. The event, in its entirety, is a competition in which the audience and invited industry judges cast their votes to select the best play of the season. Twice annually, hundreds of plays from across the country are submitted for the competition. Plays move from the 1st Round to the Semi-Finals and then the Finals. The playwright of the winning play receives a $1,500.00 grant and the opportunity to have a full-length play developed by the Riant Theatre Company. Awards are presented for Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. In addition, a Youth Empowerment Scholarship Award is given to an outstanding student enrolled in college.

The Award Ceremony & Performance will be on Sunday, February 22nd at 5:00pm at the Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street, New York City. In addition, some of the plays in the festival will be selected for publication in The Riant Theatre Company's anthology:The Best Plays From The Strawberry One-Act Festival: Volume 9.

SERIES A – February 11th & February 12th at 7pm. See On Demand Viewing.

ELAINE STRITCH: STILL HERE By Jay Malsky. Featuring: Jay Malsky & Keith Rubin. Directed by Zak Sommerfield with Musical Direction by Keith Rubin. A performance celebrating the life, the struggles and the music of Elaine Stritch, Broadway’s Enduring Dame, as she regales you with songs and stories from her life. Starring Jay Malsky as Elaine Stritch in this one-person show.

A NEW HOME by Harvey Huddleston. Directed by Mark Roberts. Featuring Wanda O'Connell and William Hill. Having been removed from her life-long home to an assisted living facility, a ninety one year old woman tries to understand why she had to come here. Her son tries desperately to explain until a 19th century German poet and Hank Williams come to the rescue.

SWINDLED By Nikki Pope. Featuring: Nikki Pope, Reuben Barsky, Natasha Nightingale & Samuel Centrella. When the love has lost its kindle and desire burns like fire – the evil choose to swindle so the game starts to expire!

EXIT INTERVIEW by Tom Delgado. Where does repression go?

SERIES B – February 11th & February 12th at 9pm

ROLE REVERSAL by Rebecca Stahl. If you had the chance to take revenge for a past event, would you take the opportunity?

ACROSS by Michael Swiskay. Explores the connection between two successful, pretentious and self-absorbed twenty-somethings.

THE WORLD’S BEST THERAPIST By Jack Spagnola. What happens if you and your spouse get set-up on a blind date? A new comedy that explores secrets getting pushed to their limits.

To see the full schedule of plays in the competition, visit the Riant's website.

Full Length Plays include: POSTCARDS FROM HOTEL CASSIOPEIA, A Play With Dance & Music by V. Lee with PHC Company. A play with Dance & Music compelling the artist within to seek and find the “beauty of the commonplace,” as inspired by assemblage artist Joseph Cornell. Sunday, February 15th at 2pm; Monday, February 16th at 8pm; Saturday, February 21st at 7pm and Sunday, February 22nd at 1pm.

Viewing the plays On Demand or to purchase tickets to see the plays at the Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street, New York City, can be purchased online at our website or at the box office. Tickets are $25 online and $27 at the Box Office.



John Chatterton's series of theatre festivals are rapidly becoming a fixture in the New York Theatre scene, with offerings year round and an ecclectic array of quality stage works from artists from across the country and the globe. His monthly short play labs create unlimited opportunities for young artists as well as theatergoers; the venerable Midtown International Theatre Festival is a New York tradition; and the now-five-year-old MIDWINTER MADNESS SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL welcomes the new year with a gaggle of brilliant bits under an hour.

The MIDWINTER MADNESS SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL will take place February 9 - March 1, 2015 at Roy Arias Studios, 300 W. 43rd Street, NYC

This year's line-up has an even blend of familiar names and newcomers to the scene. Plots and players forthcoming:

A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS written by Jake Rose and Jamie Thomson

AMELIA AND HER PAPER TIGERS written by Heddy Lahmann-Rosen and Ilanna Saltzman

AMTRAK 284 EMPIRE SERVICE written by Paloma D'Auria

BETRAYED BY THE MIND written by S. Karlan

CANAAN written by Mohammed Saad Ali

COPSE written by Emily Dinova

CRABAPPLE NIGHT written by Amy Drake

DEATH OF A SHOE SALESMAN written by Stephen Spurling

THE DIVVY written by Jeanne Chenault Porter

THE GATE written by Len Goodisman

GHOST LIGHT written by Stacy Karyn


HEAVY LIFTING written by Boris Timanovsky

Go West young man… unless you’re searching for a mail-order bride. In which case, go East!” An American boy meets an American girl – in a fitness room of an Eastern European hotel. She’s in town on a business trip – but what business does he have being there?

DATES: Mon Feb. 23 6pm, Thu Feb 26 7:30pm, Sat Feb 28 1pm

Find us on: Facebook, OvationTix.com



HIGH STAKES SODA MACHINE written by Joshua Young

IN SITU written by Susan Jackson

THE LEGACY written by Victoria I.V. King

LIGHTS written by Ashley Nicole Audette

LOOK ALIVE, STARSHINE written by Sean Jenny

ME YOU written by Barbara Blatner


MASKS written by Trevor Durham - Feb. 24, Feb. 28 & March 1 

A dramedy dealing with what it means to be alive, the reliability of identity, and what it means to suffer. Through each other’s humanity and  mortality, Mr. Prosopon and Joshua learn that life will always change, and you simply have to keep taking the hits. 



MINISKIRT THEORY written by Arthur W. French

MISS BROWN written by Anne W. Manyara

ONE PERCENT written by Lanner Tremont


NELLY written by William Holland

PARADISE GAINED written by Renee McNeil

STALLED written by Christopher Sirota

THEY DRINK written by Ian Campbell

WHAT GHOSTS AROUND written by Larry Hassman


For more information - or to order tickets - log on to www.midtownfestival.org.