Every other week, the editors of American Theatre curate a free-ranging discussion about the lively arts in our Offscript podcast.
This week, editors Rob Weinert-Kendt and Russ Dembin are joined by Frank Rizzo, longtime theatre critic for the Hartford Courant and Variety to discuss how American Theatre put our mammoth October 2017 issue together and get some inside detail on Frank’s Q&A with Yale Rep artistic director/Yale Drama School dean James Bundy. Plus, they look ahead and discuss the trends of the upcoming season, what shows seem to be gaining traction around the country and what that means, and which theatres’ seasons they’re looking forward to.
Russ will be at the Alley Theatre this weekend to check out Describe the Night by Rajiv Joseph, a new play about the interconnected stories of seven strangers spanning nearly a century, which miraculously managed to open on time despite Hurricane Harvey. It runs at an off-site location at the University of Houston through Oct. 15, and will next be seen at the Atlantic Theatre in New York City, Nov. 10-Dec. 24.
Frank is looking forward to a “revisal” of Rags, a musical by Joseph Stein, Charles Strouse, and Stephen Schwartz, which flopped when it first premiered but is reemerging at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., with a new book by David Thompson. The musical is about immigrants in early 20th-century New York.
If you feel like you’re not getting enough Shakespeare in your life, Rob recommends the BBC television series “Upstart Crow,” a sitcom about a young Shakespeare trying to become famous. Rob ranks David Mitchell his “favorite fictional Shakespeare.” He’s also looking forward to Luis Alfaro’s Oedipus el Rey at the Public Theater, the first of the L.A.-based writer’s Chicano-style rethinks of Greek tragedies to make it to New York.