$15 billion Save Our Stages Act survives negotiations
The Save Our Stages Act, a bipartisan measure providing $15 billion in financial relief to theaters and other entertainment venues and cultural institutions, has survived the lengthy political negotiation process and is part of the $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus bill that was passed by Congress on Monday. According to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), 2.1 million emails were sent to elected officials in support of the act. In an interview with Variety on the bill’s passage, U.S. Senator Amy Kolbuchar (D-MN), who co-sponsored the bill with U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), said “We had red and blue states, people from country music to rap, from Pitbull to Lady Gaga, and it made a difference…And one more thing I learned: when you work with a group of creative people who have been forced out of work, they’re going to produce!”
‘Ratatouille’ streaming musical gets Broadway cast, director and orchestra
More details have been revealed about “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical,” the one-time streaming musical event inspired the recent social media phenomenon of people imagining how they could bring the 2007 Pixar film about a rat who loves to cook to life. Premiering on New Year’s Day and available for only 72 hours, it will feature digital content from TikTok’s #RatatouilleMusical Community, Broadway performers, the 20-piece Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra and direction by Lucy Moss (“Six the Musical”).
Theater community rallies to save West Bank Café
The theater community is rallying behind an effort to save the West Bank Café, a Times Square restaurant and theater industry hangout that is also home to the Laurie Beechman Theater, a popular cabaret establishment. A livestream performance marathon to raise support will be held on Christmas Day beginning at noon. Participating artists will include Betty Buckley, Debra Messing, Martha Plimpton, Dylan Banker, Joe Iconis, Iain Armitage, Perez Hilton, Isaac Mizrahi and Lewis Black.
Theatre World Awards postponed for now
The 76th Annual Theatre World Awards (which recognize outstanding stage debuts) have been postponed until the return of live theater in New York. The next ceremony will recognize debuts from both the truncated 2019-2020 season and the next theater season – whenever that happens. Theater organizations that bestow annual awards have adopted different approaches in light of the shutdown. For instance, the nominations for the 2019-2020 Tony Awards were unveiled in November but it remains unclear how and when the awards will be presented, creating an awkward spectacle.
This week’s streaming recommendations…
“Old Vic: In Camera – A Christmas Carol” (among the many online versions of the Dickens classic, this is being performed live from an empty theater in London’s West End with a large cast and full production values), through Thurs., oldvictheatre.com…”Sondheim Unplugged” (long-running cabaret show celebrating the work of Stephen Sondheim), Sat. at 8 p.m., 54below.com…”The Nutcracker at Wethersfield” (live immersive production filmed at a historical site), through Sat., nutcrackeratwethersfield.com.