Putting together a stage show for a New York audience must be a wonderful, exhilarating experience, right? But if that's the case, why is it so often described as a horrible torture? Panels of theatre professionals will attempt to answer that question this spring in a new series at the 92nd St. Y, "Broadway Talks."
The series should be instructive, not only to audience members, but also to dramatists, directors, producers, performers, and other professionals who want to separate the realities of "life upon the wicked stage" from the rumors. Under the aegis of the Y, veterans of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions will analyze five successful shows—the drama "Proof," the musical revivals "Kiss Me, Kate" and "The Rocky Horror Show," and the comedies "Crimes of the Heart" and "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife"—and share their insights about what has made each popular. Afterwards, they will answer questions posed by audience members.
The program will begin Sun., Jan. 28, when "Allergist's Wife" playwright Charles Busch will be joined by the show's director, Lynne Meadow, and cast members Linda Lavin, Michele Lee, and Tony Roberts. Talk show host-comic Joy Behar will host the event and keep the reminiscences coming.
Tickets to that event are $20 each, but theatre junkies may be more interested in subscribing to the whole five-show package for $85.
And, for the first time, the 92nd St. Y will offer professional discounts that will let members of Equity, SAG, AFTRA, IATSE, and the United Federation of Musicians attend for half the regular price.
On Feb. 28, longtime theatre critic Martin Gottfried will host "Kiss Me, Kate" choreographer Kathleen Marshall and performers Michael Mulheren, Michael McCormack, and Amy Spanger. WNYC's "New York & Company" host Leonard Lopate will moderate two panels—"Proof" cast members Mary-Louise Parker, Johanna Day, and Ben Shenkman with playwright David Auburn on March 19, and "Crimes of the Heart" playwright Beth Henley and director of the Second Stage production, Garry Hynes, March 29. Finally, New York Times book website editor Bill Goldstein will host "Rocky Horror" performers Dick Cavett and Tom Hewitt and director Christopher Ashley on April 2.
The panels will begin at 7:30 pm. In keeping with the series' theatrical theme, latecomers should be prepared to wait for seating at the discretion of management.
Dance fans will also be interested in the 92nd St. Y Harkness Dance Center's winter/spring season of "Fridays @ Noon." The program, which began Fri., Jan. 5, presents informal performances of works and works-in-progress by established and emerging choreographers. Future performances include works by Belinda James, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Satoshi Haga, Candace Hundley, and Ellis Wood. A relaxed discussion with the artists follows each performance in Buttenweiser Hall, on the second floor. The performances and discussions are free to the public.