amBroadway: Tony nominations to be announced this week, ‘A Christmas Carol’ to stream in December and more

Campbell Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge and LaChanze as The Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol on Broadway
Campbell Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge and LaChanze as The Ghost of Christmas Present in “A Christmas Carol” on Broadway

Tony nominations to be announced

The Tony Award nominations for the truncated 2019-2020 Broadway season will finally be unveiled on Thursday, Oct. 15 at noon on YouTube by Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart (“Aladdin,” “Hamilton”). The awards will subsequently be presented online in the fall.  “The Girl from the North Country” and “West Side Story,” which both had their opening nights right before Broadway shut down, will not be eligible for nominations, apparently because an insufficient number of Tony nominators and voters got to see them in time. 

Multiple postponements follow shutdown extension

Following last week’s confirmation that Broadway will remain shut down until at least the end of May, the producers of the Michael Jackson bio musical “MJ” and the revival of “The Music Man” starring Hugh Jackman announced that those shows will not begin performances until at least next fall. Likewise, Lincoln Center Theater announced that it will bring back its productions of “Flying Over Sunset” and “Intimate Apparel” (which were about to open when the pandemic hit) one year from now. 

‘Blindness’ looking to play Off-Broadway

“Blindness,” an immersive sound installation/show based on a novel by José Saramago, may become the first major Off-Broadway production to play New York since the pandemic began. Producer Daryl Roth is hoping to bring the show (which previously played London’s Donmar Warehouse) to her Off-Broadway theater in Union Square (which has a flexible design), pending governmental approval of its proposed health and safety guidelines. 

‘A Christmas Carol’ to stream from empty London theater

The Old Vic Theatre’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” which played Broadway last season, will be performed live from an empty theater in London and made available for streaming as part of the Old Vic’s In Camera Initiative from Dec. 12 to 24. The adaptation, written by Jack Thorne (“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”) and directed by Matthew Warchus (“Matilda”), is infused with festive flair and delves deeper into Scrooge’s relationship with his own family. Plans are currently in the works for the show to return to Broadway in 2021.

Unions battle over jurisdiction for streaming theater

A rancorous battle is brewing between Actors’ Equity Association (the union for professional stage actors) and SAG-AFTRA (the union for professional screen actors) as to the question of which union has jurisdiction over digital theater programming. Recently, after SAG-AFTRA announced that it would conduct an investigation into Equity’s conduct on this issue, Equity blasted the investigation as a “sham”. Many theater companies have been able to bypass the jurisdictional question by presenting digital programming under the auspices of the Theatre Authority, an organization recognized by both unions that allows actors to participate without pay in productions that serve as fundraisers. 

This week’s streaming recommendations…

“Kindness: Nurses in Their Own Words” (new documentary drama by Eve Ensler, intended to raise money for Brooklyn Hospital Center’s COVID-19 Fund), Thurs. Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., bam.org…”Shipwreck” (audio play by Anne Washburn about a group of liberal friends, presented by the Public Theater as a four-part podcast), to be released on Fri. Oct. 16 at noon, publictheater.org.

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