amBroadway: ‘Hamilton’ lighting designer dies at 64, Bryan Cranston expresses interest in doing a musical and more

Hamilton1499rR Lin-Manuel Miranda and the company of Hamilton
Photo by Joan Marcus

‘Hamilton’ lighting designer dies

Howell Binkley, the Tony-winning lighting designer of “Hamilton,” died last week at age 64 following a battle with lung cancer. “Thank you for Hamilton’s hurricane and Burr’s self-made walls,” Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for sculpting in light and dedicating every moment you touched. Where will I hide now if not at your tech table? I miss your smile and kindness already. Rest easy pal.” Binkley’s extensive Broadway credits also included the lighting designs of “Ain’t Too Proud,” “Jersey Boys,” “In the Heights” and “Come From Away.”

Immersive play to be staged outdoors in Bushwick

“Quince,” an immersive play about a 14-year-old Mexican-American girl, will be produced by The Team, a 15-year-old Brooklyn theater company, for four socially-distant performances for free at the People’s Garden in Bushwick on Aug. 21 and 22. Audience members will receive custom face masks. “We feel so lucky and privileged to be able to showcase a queer, Latinx story involving questions of life, death and identity at this challenging moment in time, and we hope the play can serve as a cathartic release to help us work through our collective trauma together,” playwright Camilo-Quiroz-Vazquez said in a statement. For more info visit theteamplays.org.

Bryan Cranston wants to do a musical

Bryan Cranston, who has appeared on Broadway in “Network” and “All the Way,” revealed that he is open to doing a musical during an appearance on “The Late Late Show” with James Corden. “I have a secret desire to do a musical. But I don’t consider myself a singer…I need to go get confidence first,” Cranston said. He may want to consider a non-vocally-challenging role in a classic musical comedy such as the Devil in “Damn Yankees” or Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls.”

Broadway launches pro-Biden group

The Broadway community has launched a grassroots political advocacy group to support Joe Biden in his run for the U.S. presidency. Titled Broadway for Biden, the group will organize phone banking, college campus initiatives, town halls and virtual performance-based fundraisers. Broadway performers who have already become involved in the group’s activities include Ali Stroker, Elizabeth Stanley, Adrienne Warren, Rob McClure and Alex Brightman.

Empire State Building to go red in support of the arts

1,500 buildings across the country, including the Empire State Building, will be lit red on Thursday, Aug. 27 in an effort to spur Congress to pass financial support legislation for the ailing live events industry, including the professional theater community. A similar event took place in London on Aug. 11. 

Weekly streaming recommendations:

  1. Theater for One: Here We Are (digital experience combining one actor and one audience member featuring eight new microplays), launches Thurs. Aug. 20., bfplny.com/theatre.
  2. Newsies (filmed performance of Disney stage musical starring Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly), Fri. Aug. 21 at 7 p.m., playbill.com.
  3. Judgment Day (starry reading of new comedy, with Jason Alexander as a morally bankrupt lawyer and Patti LuPone as an angel threatening eternal damnation), Sat. Aug. 22 at 7:30 p.m., barringtonstageco.org.

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