March 2020

Theatre in the Time of Corona

Dear theatre friend,

Happy World Theatre Day! Who knew this has been celebrated since 1961? Here's news that will make 2020 a different sort of holiday.

So many have asked whether the National Theatre would be streaming their National Theatre Live broadcasts-- finally, they've said yes. Each week, National Theatre Live At Home will have one of their productions streaming-- free. They're beginning with "family friendly" fare-- this week, "One Man, Two Guvnors" with formerly pudgy James Corden, who won a Tony in 2012 for this frantic comic role.

As part of their annual Brits off Broadway Festival, "The Habit of Art" by Alan Bennett was to be shown at 59e59 theatre. Val Day, their Artistic Director, sent this link to Original Theatre Company, which will broadcast both this and "Croft" by Ali Milles. I found the former as interesting as you'd expect from the brilliant Alan Bennett, in its National Theatre version. Val said it's been rewritten for this tour (which was to include NY) and is even better. "Croft" looks great, too.

The Royal Court Theatre will be streaming from today (to celebrate WTD?) for a month, "Cypres Avenue" fromNorthern Irish Playwright, David Ireland, who also won my Award for "Ulster American." This is decidedly NOT family friendly fare, but with the inimitable Stephen Rea, it is not to be missed!

The award-winning, "red-blooded" (NYTimes) Red Bull Theatre Company's production of John Ford's classic "Tis a Pity She's a Whore" returns live this coming Monday, March 30th, as part of their extraordinary Revelation Readings Monday night series. It will be streamed free, and should be memorable.

If you hear of other plays which will be available online-- please write and let me know.

I had forgotten this story, but my childhood friend Dorothy Lerner reminded me of my coercive tactics-- even then!

"My budding career as a French teacher was withering on the vine when my dear friend arranged for me to meet George Broderick, music director of the touring company for "Jesus Christ Superstar." The rock opera was about to lose its Mary Magdalene, and Carol thought I'd be perfect for the role. Her faith in my vocal ability was unwavering since our school days.

"Lo and behold! George auditioned me and he agreed-- I was the Mary the production was seeking: unadorned, unassuming, unprofessional, and naive. I quit my teaching job and was suddenly thrust upon the stage-- which began quite an unusual life course!"

I'll be forced to think of other tales from my lifelong love affair with theatre and the arts if I don't get more from you-- please, please write a vignette -- help to keep our connection alive for however long it takes.

And, once again, thank you for reading.



Speaking of Theatre Speaking of Theater is a monthly newsletter written by Carol Tambor. Her only objective is to connect New York audiences with excellent Off-Broadway productions, with no commercial interest in any of the shows she recommends.

Carol Tambor Carol Tambor is a portrait artist and long-time lover of theater. To see her paintings, please click here. She established the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation in 2004 and began publishing this newsletter in 2009.

The Best of Edinburgh The Best of Edinburgh is an award given at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is the largest arts festival in the world. The winner of the Award receives a 4 week, all-expense paid run in New York.