New Adventures in Live Theater: ‘A Dozen Dreams’
In spite of all the promising news about Broadway reopening in the fall, current opportunities for attending live theater remain extremely few and far between at the moment.
One interesting new show is “A Dozen Dreams,” an hour-long, environmental-style, socially-distanced theatrical installation that is being presented for free by En Garde Arts at Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan.
“A Dozen Dreams” is similar to “Blindness,” which recently opened Off-Broadway and also has no live actors and requires spectators to listen via headphones to prerecorded audio. However, whereas audience members at “Blindness” sit in scattered pods, spectators at “A Dozen Dreams” stand and travel alone or in pairs to immersive, carefully-constructed spaces that depict the dreamscapes of a dozen surreal monologues by a dozen female playwrights including Emily Mann, Martyna Majok, Ellen McLaughlin and Lucy Thurber.
It is not unlike visiting the various rooms of a carnival fun house, but one where the hall of mirrors is really a mirror into the soul and the angst and pain experienced by so many over the past year.
“A Dozen Dreams” runs through May 30. For reservation info visit bfplny.com/adozendreams.
Drama Book Shop to reopen
The 104-year-old Drama Book Shop, which closed down and was then purchased by the “Hamilton” duo of Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Thomas Kail prior to the pandemic, will finally reopen to the public on June 10 at its new location at 266 West 39th Street in Midtown. “For me, The Drama Book Shop has always been the heart and soul of the New York City theater community,” Miranda said in a statement. “I sat and read plays there in high school. I discovered incredible artists and new works through staff recommendations. I wrote so many songs from ‘In the Heights’ in the basement there.”
‘Moulin Rouge’ confirms Broadway return
Over the past week, additional Broadway reopening dates were announced by “Moulin Rouge!” (Sept. 24), “Diana” (Nov. 2, followed by an official opening night on Nov. 17) and “Dear Evan Hansen” (Dec. 11). “Moulin Rouge!” also announced that leading actors Aaron Tveit and Danny Burstein will return to the cast. Karen Olivo, who was playing Satine at the time of the shutdown, dramatically announced a few weeks ago that she was leaving the show in order to protest the perceived indifference on the part of the theater industry to the Scott Rudin scandal.
Feinstein’s/54 Below to reopen in June
Even if Broadway itself will not be back until September, the cabaret/supper club hotspot Feinstein’s/54 Below will reopen for live performance on June 17, which means there will be a place in Midtown with Broadway musical-style entertainment. The venue is set to host performances by many artists including Michael Feinstein, André De Shields, Joe Iconis and married couple Andy Karl and Orfeh. Tickets will be sold in two, three and four-person pods.
Paper Mill confirms new season
New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse will present five shows next season including Jason Robert Brown’s contemporary song cycle “Songs for a New World”; “A Jolly Holiday,” a revue celebrating Disney’s stage musicals; the new murder mystery “Clue”; “The Wanderer,” based on the life and songs of 1950s singer-songwriter Dion DiMucci; and the musical comedy “Sister Act.” “The way the season has been designed is to start small, both in terms of the shows onstage and in terms of how we deal with audience members…We want to start in a very sensible way and grow from there,” managing director Mike Stotts said on Zoom while making the season announcement. The theater’s current season of digital programming will conclude next month with the all-female 1960s pop hits revue “Beehive.”
This week’s streaming recommendations…
“Miscast21” (MCC Theater presents a virtual edition of its annual fundraiser where musical theater stars perform songs written for the opposite gender), through Thurs, mcctheater.org…“La Sonnambula” (the Met’s curated week of operas with “unhinged mad scenes” continues with Natalie Dessay as a sleepwalking soprano), Thurs at 7:30 pm, metopera.org.