amBroadway: Emma Thompson joins ‘Matilda’ film cast, St. Luke’s Theatre dismantled and more

MatildaSam S. Shubert Theatre
Photo: Joan Marcus

Off-Broadway’s St. Luke’s Theatre is dismantled 

Producer Edmund Gaynes, who operated St. Luke’s Theatre for 15 years, announced last week that the Midtown Off-Broadway venue (located under St. Luke’s Lutheran Church) had permanently closed and had even been physically dismantled. In response, the Rev. Dr. Arden C. Strasser of St. Luke’s told BroadwayWorld that the church ended its association with Mr. Gaynes as a result of the pandemic and is currently in the process of renovating the theater. Saint Luke’s remains committed to the arts and the community, and we plan to be open when theater returns to NYC. We will be looking for artists and companies who may want to rent our space,” Dr. Strasser said. Shows that played St. Luke’s in recent years included “Ruthless,” “Disaster!,” “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” and “My Big Gay Italian Funeral.”

‘Hamilton’ video compares ‘A Winter’s Ball’ and ‘Satisfied’

“Hamilton” fans received a surprise gift from the show last week in the form of a carefully edited side-by-side video which compares the songs “A Winter’s Ball” and “Satisfied” (which are performed back-to-back by Schuyler sisters Eliza and Angelica respectively about their initial reactions and attraction to Alexander Hamilton). In the video, as “Satisfied” is being performed, “A Winter’s Ball” rewinds, fast-forwards and pauses in order to show how both songs are staged identically at various points. 

Thompson to play Miss Trunchbull in ‘Matilda’ film

In the 2013 Broadway musical “Matilda,” the villainous Miss Trunchbull was always played by a man in drag, such as Bertie Carvel, Christopher Sieber and Bryce Ryness. However, in the musical’s upcoming film adaptation for Netflix, Trunchbull will be played by Oscar-winner Emma Thompson, who joins 11-year-old Alisha Weir as Matilda and Lashana Lynch as Miss Honey. It was previously rumored that Ralph Fiennes would play Trunchbull.  

Irish Rep. presents nine show digital theater festival

During the summer and fall, Off Broadway’s Irish Repertory Theatre became one of the most consistent and lauded providers of free, newly-produced digital theater programming. Now, the company will bring back all nine of its newly-recorded productions as part of a month-long Theatre @ Home Winter Festival beginning Jan. 26. The featured shows include Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney,” Conor McPherson’s “The Weir,” Eugene O’Neill’s “A Touch of the Poet”, Bill Irwin’s “On Beckett/In Screen” and the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

This week’s streaming recommendations…

“You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman” (intimate revue produced by CA’s Pasadena Playhouse and conceived by Broadway conductor Andy Einhorn), through Feb. 7, playhouselive.org …”Shaw! Shaw! Shaw!” (the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ presents three one acts by Bernard Shaw as part of its Pandemic Playhouse Entertainment initiative), through Jan. 29, shakespearenj.org…”Save Birdland” (starry benefit concert to raise funds to save Midtown’s Birdland Jazz Club), Sun. at 7 p.m., savebirdland.com. 

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