Hamilton and Other Theater Shows Speak Their Concerns

The 2016 election has left many with divided feelings. Each group is left wondering what they have in common and how things went the way they did. The cast of the Broadway musical Hamilton took to the stage to address Mike Pence directly with concerns they had when he went to see their show on November 18, 2016.


“We are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.” Hamilton actor Brandon Victor Dixon proclaimed to Vice President elect Mike Pence, on that fateful night at the theater.


Mike Pence later made statements praising the Hamilton cast’s use of their freedom of speech. Simultaneously, the president elect lashed out at the Hamilton cast saying it was an attack and that they should apologize.


Hamilton was not the only show voicing their opinion on their stage that night. Only a mere 40 blocks away the production of Party People was also using their freedom of speech to express their concern and frustration post the “election of fake news”.


“Why do you think Donald Trump is the president? This country has never wanted us to be free. After all these years, I live by this: no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, permanent principles.” said the character Amira, who was performed that night by Ramona Keller.


The director of Party People wanted this to be incorporated into their show after the election, because it is important that everyone who feels strongly about the election to stand up for what is right.


The playwright Warren Leight wrote the Union Square Incident after the election. This play is set in a fictional future, where protesters are illegally detained. He said that the play caused a very strong reaction to the audience, who appeared to almost be holding their breaths through the short play. He viewed the play as a warning that we shouldn’t be in denial of what could happen in the future.


George Takei -who is one of the most well-known people to have been in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II- stated to Buzzfeed News that Trump is wrong about the theater being a “safe space” for people to gather without politics being involved. George Takei is currently promoting his play Allegiance, which is based on his real life experiences in the Japanese-American internment camps. His play and other plays are meant to inspire, disturb, and bring the audience into the story even if it is painful. Takei commented that in Ancient Greece theater was a place people often debated about all sorts of political, cultural and other parts of their society.


The stage will continue to be the place it needs to be for the people involved in the show and those in the audience. The theater is not a safe space for us to ignore everything. It is a place of commentary, open expression, and free creative thought and voice.


Golden Globe Takes Center Stage With Diverse Lineup Of Nominations

Over the past ten years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association revitalized the Golden Globes from a third tier wanna be awards ceremony into a top flight event that rivals the Academy Awards. The transformation has taken most of Hollywood by surprise.


With the announcement of film acting nominations, there is no denying that there will be no scenario similar to last year’s Oscar nominations. The Golden Globe-nominated actors spans, white, African-American and other minorities. The Academy came under fierce pressure about virtually 100% all-white actor nominations. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences contends that there were just not enough choices of substance.


The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 85 members will vote for pictures featuring six African-American actors, which includes, Ruth Negga for “Loving,” Denzel Washington and Viola Davis for “Fences,” Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures,” Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali for “Moonlight,” and “Lion’s” Dev Patel, British-born to Indian parents is also a nominee.


The Golden Globes will recognize movie-stories, such as “Florence Foster Jenkins,” a true account of a New York socialite and her valiant attempt to sing, and “20th Century Women,” that addresses an open-minded mother raising her son outside the presumed standards of society.


With all the hub-bub over the Academy’s snub of African-American and minority actors, the question on everybody’s mind is, “Will they follow the Golden Globes lead?” Renowned awards consultant, Tony Angellotti, commenting on possible Oscar choices, “It’s not like voters are going to have to go out of their way to look for worthy names, There are a lot of bona fide candidates, not just fringe people who, if you vote for them, it might look like you’re just responding to the controversy. Every one of these people are great actors delivering strong performances.”


With the outcry over last year’s Oscar nominations, the Academy will play host to its newest members, who were recruited as a result of last year’s faux pas. 683 members make up the nomination block with females accounting for 46% of the membership and 41% are individuals of color. The Academy will announce its nominations on January 24, 2017.


Harry Potter Coming to Broadway

A new play is entering the NYC market from London UK and may have secured its Broadway home. That play is the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and is based on all seven of the books in the Harry Potter series that was written by British author J. K. Rowling.


Harry Potter and the Cursed Fhild will be more than just a retelling of the original tale and is more a sequel or accompaniment to the story. The tale has already gotten rave reviews and is considered to be a potential large hit for Broadway which comes on the heels of another big hit, Hamilton which won many Tony Awards and is dominating the Broadway market.


The Harrry Potter play will likely play at the Lyric theater which is currently showing Cirque De Soleil which is scheduled to end in April 2017. After that, the Lyric was set for major repairs and renovations prt of which will be adapting the theater for the new Harry Potter play. Part of these renovations will be reducing the theater size from 1,900 seats to only 1.500 which is thought to be optimal for the Harry Potter show.


The Lyric is owned by an UK theater company, the Ambassador Theater Group which bought the Lyric in 2013. The Ambassador Theater Group is a large UK company that owns a wide range of British Theater Properties and has also bought the Hudson Theater on Boradway.


Harry Potter is expected to open in late 2017 or early 2018 and will be partly produced by Sonia Friedman who is well known in the industry. She has previously introduced Broadway to the plays Jersualem and the Northern Conquest. Casting and show dates are still pending information and details will likely trickle out as the early reports and confirmed and officiously announced.


Still it is likely that the Harry Potter play will be a much sought after ticket due to the ongoing popularity of the plays as well as the wide acceptance and desirability of the UK tickets. The play has been nominated for and won several of the Evening standard awards in England which are our equivalent of the Tony awards.


While this news is welcome for play goers it was widely anticipated due to the size of the success of Harry Potter in the UK.