amBroadway: Four musicals join Thanksgiving parade, Under the Radar Festival moves online and more

A scene from A Thousand Ways, running December 21-January 17 as part of The Public Theater’s 17th Annual Under the Radar Festival.
Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Thanksgiving Day Parade to feature four musicals

With Broadway shut down for the foreseeable future, having it featured as part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has taken on heightened significance. The parade will feature pre-filmed performances from four hit musicals: “Mean Girls,” “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “Hamilton” and “Jagged Little Pill.” As per Time Out New York, the songs will include “The Schuyler Sisters” from “Hamilton,” “My Girl and “Get Ready” from “Ain’t Too Proud,” “You Learn” from “Jagged Little Pill” and “Someone Gets Hurt” from “Mean Girls.” The Radio City Rockettes, Big Apple Circus and New York City Ballet will also make appearances during the parade. 

Equity and SAG-AFTRA reach agreement over streaming

Following a rancorous battle, Actors’ Equity Association (“the union for professional stage actors) and SAG-AFTRA (the union for professional screen actors) have reached an agreement over which union has jurisdiction over digital theater programming during the pandemic.  Under the agreement (which runs through the end of 2021), Equity may reach agreements with theaters to cover digital performances under limited circumstances. For instance, if a theater produces a digital program that is closer in nature to a work of film or television than live performance, it would not fall under Equity’s jurisdiction. Both unions also agreed that streaming content would ordinarily fall under SAG-AFTRA’s jurisdiction. 

It is unclear how theater companies will react to this development and how it will affect the growth of digital programming. Many companies have been bypassing the jurisdictional issue by presenting their programming under the auspices of the Theatre Authority, an organization recognized by both unions that allows actors to participate (without pay) in digital programs that serve as fundraisers for nonprofit groups such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Under the Radar Festival moving online

The Public Theater’s annual Under the Radar Festival, which presents experimental and multidisciplinary theater from artists across the U.S. and abroad each January, will go forward this year with free virtual performances. “The artists in this year’s Under the Radar Festival answer the unprecedented challenges of this time with fearlessness and heart…We have created a festival where presence is necessary – the elusive communal magic that is theater will come through even if you are facing a screen, on the phone or in your room,” festival director Mark Russell said in a statement. 

City Center adds ‘Into the Woods’ to Encores! lineup

City Center will stage Stephen Sondheim’s popular fairy tale musical “Into the Woods” as part of its Encores! series once it is up and running again. The theater also announced that going forward, Encores! (which in the past has focused primarily on rarely-seen musicals) will expand its mission to present “hidden gems from the Broadway canon, productions where artists reclaim work through own personal lens and celebrations that look at the ways classic musicals connect us.” Other upcoming Encores! productions will include “The Life” and “The Tap Dance Kid.” 

This week’s streaming recommendations…

“Rodgers, Rodgers and Guettel: Statues and Stories” (exploring the songs of Richard Rodgers, his daughter Mary Rodgers and his grandson Adam Guettel), through Dec. 22, 92Y.org…”A Christmas Carol” (one-man adaptation with Jefferson Mays playing over 50 characters), Nov. 28-Jan. 3, achristmascarollive.com.

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