amBroadway: Public Theater turns into art, ‘Cinderella’ to premiere in London and more

Photo by Peter Cooper

Public Theater façade turned into art

While it will probably be some time until live shows are produced again at the Public Theater, the façade of the historic East Village venue is now being used as a canvas for two digital art installations that are running in repertory every evening through early December: “Say Their Names,” which is dedicated to over 2,200 black men and women who lost their lives to acts of brutality and violence, and “The Seed Project,” which is built around responses from community members to the prompt of “Today, I am planting a seed…” 

ALW premieres ‘Cinderella’ song

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of “Cinderella” is slated to open in London’s West End in the spring. In the meantime, a cast album has been recorded, and the song “Bad Cinderella” is now available on YouTube. “50 years ago I couldn’t get ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ on stage as nobody wanted to produce it so it appeared on record first. It’s so strange to find history repeating itself half a century later…,” Lloyd Webber said in a statement. 

Elvis Costello prepping ‘A Face in the Crowd’

In an interview with Variety, Elvis Costello confirmed that he writing the score of a new stage musical adaptation of the 1957 film drama “A Face in the Crowd,” which follows a drifter who unexpectedly becomes a television star. It will have a book by playwright Sarah Ruhl (“In the Next Room”). In recent years, Costello has performed songs from the musical in concert. One of the songs, “The Whirlwind,” is featured on his new album “Hey Clockface.”

London shutting down theaters again

Just when it looked as if the London theater scene was on the verge of rebirth, the English government has ordered theaters (some of which had recently reopened for limited capacity audiences) to shut down again from Nov. 5 to at least Dec. 2. This may serve as a lesson for theater producers in New York. Even once live theater is permitted again, many will probably be wary of investing money and time in restarting shows if there is a realistic possibility of another shutdown. 

Audra to headline City Center gala

In recent years, City Center’s annual gala has been built around an elaborate new production of a classic musical such as “Brigadoon,” “A Chorus Line” and “Evita.” This year, it will consist of a concert by Broadway diva Audra McDonald, which will be filmed at the theater and then streamed for a week beginning Dec. 16..

This week’s streaming recommendations…

“Crave” (enigmatic collage of voices/tone poem by the late Sarah Ruhl, which is currently being performed live in London), through Nov. 4, cft.org.uk…”Aunt Dan and Lemon (reunion reading of Wallace Shawn’s political drama with the cast of the New Group’s 2003 production), through Nov. 29, thenewgroup.org… “Sundogs” (Armie Hammer leads virtual performance of new play about an army sergeant facing chaos), Sun. at 7:30 p.m., play-perview.com.