Patti, Beanie and leaked wienies: The most epic and dramatic stage moments of 2022

There was a lot of drama on and off stage this year, and theater fans devoured it like an expensive bag of candy from the concession stand. Offbeat stories and talent have found their way to Broadway and beyond, with a few hiccups along the way. querity She was front and center, witnessing our favorite stars and shows that come and go. So without further ado, let’s take a look back at all of 2022’s most epic and dramatic theatrical moments…

Patty quits… thing

Patti LuPone performs at 54 Below in New York City.
Patti LuPone performs at 54 Below in New York City. Photo by Hiroyuki Ito/Getty Images.

After winning a Tony Award for her performance as Joan in the revival company, Patti LuPone turned to Twitter (we all know how that works) to get off Broadway. She gave up her Equity card, noting that Broadway had been transformed into “Disneyland, Circus, and Las Vegas.” (Who doesn’t love Vegas?) She’ll still be able to appear as a guest performer and play a non-union role, like her sold-out show Songs from a hat In the luxurious cabaret venue 54 below.

‘Funny Girl’: Beanie fired, Lea hired, and Julie swung for the stars

Benny Feldstein, Lea Michele, and Julie Benko in Funny Girl on Broadway.
(L to R) Benny Feldstein, Lea Michele, and Julie Benko in Funny Girl on Broadway.

Broadway has not seen a production of funny girl Ever since the star-making role of Barbra Streisand in 1964, all eyes have been on Penny Feldstein, who played comedian-turned-international Fanny Brice.

Deep excitement quickly turned to panic for investors when the revisions came in for the recovery. Beanie was fired from the show (the producers decided to “take the show in a different direction”), and Lea Michele, who had longed for the role ever since, Fun days, it was announced as its replacement. The behavior put in the past put some kinks in the initial backlash, but Michelle prevailed, earning the praises of critics and audiences alike. And through it all, stand-up Julie Benko has made a name for herself, released a new album, and recently starred in Barry Manilow’s Broadway movie. harmony.

“Take Me Out” hits stink with leaked nudes

Take me out on Broadway
(L to R) Michael Oberholzer, Bill Heck and Jesse Williams in Take Me Out. Photo by Jeremy Daniels.

Despite efforts to secure mobile devices by locking them in Yondr bags to perform take me out, a sneaky audience member got hold of the goods, causing an internet uproar when the cast of star Jesse Williams was announced. The play explores the aftermath of a professional baseball player (Williams) leaving.

Co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who portrays the ballplayer’s manager, took to social media saying, “There is no place for anyone to applaud or belittle this behavior in the theatre, which has always been a safe place for performers and audience members.” An infrared system has been installed. Red to prevent further leaks, and the show went on to win two Tony Awards and return for co-encores, through February 5, 2023.

Relentless hits Broadway in A Strange Loop

strange episode
(L to R) Jason Veasey, James Jackson, Jr., Jacquel Spivey, L. Morgan Lee, and Antoine Hooper in A Strange Loop. Photo by Mark J Franklin

Playwright, composer, and poet Michael R. Jackson’s decade-long journey strange episode Life culminated in a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Musical. Described as “big, black, and a great American musical for everyone,” the show offers hope for the future of Broadway, attracting famous producers like RuPaul and Jennifer Hudson.

“I think a lot about what it’s like to really spend your time making a piece of art trying to make it as good as possible,” Jackson said. diverse. “Something that happens right away doesn’t mean it’s good. Something that takes a long time can be worth it. When I watch people react and have emotional reactions to a show, I know that part of what they respond to is that we took our time, whether they know it or not.” No “.

National rush in Sondheim

Broadway Company
The company’s Broadway team. Photo by Matthew Murphy

A nation of musical theater fans mourned the death of Stephen Sondheim in November 2021. But the past year has seen Sondheim productions swell. Reimagined company made it to Broadway with the female Bobby and the Tony Award-winning gay performance of Matt Doyle; San Francisco saw its first ever professional production of the Follies And the Cheerfully we roll along Rolled Off Broadway starring Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe, and Lindsey Mendes. The production sold out immediately, was extended, and then announced to transfer to Broadway in the fall of 2023.

And for those who want to stick to Sondheim’s latest thoughts, The New Yorker Author DT Max The End: Late Conversations with Stephen Sondheim It offers an intimate look at the artist’s life during the last years of his life.

Billy Porter revives “The Life” in his New York debut

Ledsey and Alexandra Gray in The Life.
Ledsey and Alexandra Gray in The Life. Photo by Joanne Marcus.

Multi-hyphenate Billy Porter put on a guiding hat for New York City Center Encores! Biology life, adapting the story about prostitutes in Times Square through a shifting lens. Porter throws empire stars Alexandra Gray as the Queen and Ladyzie as Sonya’s best friend in the 1997 Cy Colman and Ira Glassman musical “Having worked with trans women of color pointing to, then to produce a feature film starring a black trans woman, and now to present a musical at City Center Encores! Starring a black trans woman, Billy really shows us,” Gray said inside.

Quick closure and clapbacks

KPOP and Ain't No Mo' on Broadway
The Broadway cast of “KPOP,” “Left,” and “Ain’t No Mo.” Portraits Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman, and Joan Marcus.

Two Broadway shows failed to catch on with audiences, but the producers and creative teams weren’t about to go down without a fight. KPOP brought the global phenomenon to the stage, but many critics failed to recognize its cultural impact. The producers demanded an apology from The New York Times Critic Jesse Green, asking the question, “Is a Broadway show only valid if it focuses on a white, English-speaking audience?” Plagued by COVID-19 cases and opening delays, the musical ran for 44 previews and 17 performances.

Jordan E Cooper not la mo He sold out his Off-Broadway show at the Public Theatre. However, the Broadway transfer proved difficult despite positive reviews. Submitted by Lee Daniels, creator empireAnd the costlyAnd the ButlerThe play combined sketch comedy, satire, avant-garde theatre, and drag. Cooper launched a grassroots marketing and social media campaign that drew celebrities from Gabrielle Union and Sara Ramirez to RuPaul, and the show was extended for an additional week.

Big Names in Small Spaces: Hollywood is trending off Broadway

Jim Parsons, Maulik Pancholi, and Jonathan Groff in Off-Broadway plays.
(L to R) Jim Parsons, Molik Pancholi and Jonathan Groff. Pictures of Julieta Cervantes and Joan Marcos.

Broadway isn’t the only place producers are looking for name recognition to sell tickets. Off-Broadway also relies on familiar faces to engage audiences. And when it works, it works big. Many film and television actors began their careers on stage and – despite a demanding schedule of eight shows a week – crave the creative outlet and community that comes with life in the theatre.

Jim Parsons appears in the film adaptation Spoiler alert But also drew crowds this fall in the Classic Stage Company’s revival of A man of no importanceAbout a gay man coming to terms with his identity in 1960s Dublin. Maulik Pancholi, who has appeared for six seasons on 30 Rock and, most recently, Only murders in the buildinghe led the cast of a post-pandemic gay drama to my daughters. (He is also the published author, Pancholi Novel for Young Adults Nikhil Out loud It was released this year.) Soon he will appear in the movie M. Night Shyamalan Ring in the cabinJonathan Groff returns to his theatrical roots in a revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth Cheerfully we roll along – not surprisingly, heading to Broadway next year.

Chicago proves that it is not a second city

Best Chicago LGBTQ Theater 2022.
(L to R) “Martha Washington’s Miz’s Most Stunningly Unfortunate Experience,” “A Girlfriend,” and “The Golden Girls: The Missing Episodes – The Mandatory Holiday Special.” Photos by Michael Brosello and Jenny Carroll. Rick Aguilar Studios.

With more than 250 theaters and five Tony Award-winning companies, Chicago theater has long thrived. Queer’s representation continues to take center stage across town. Last year saw James Ijamis The Most Stunningly Unhappy Trial of Miz Martha Washington, removal of the original First Lady as seen through a time-jump scene, in Steppenwolf. (Watch out for Ijames’ Fat Ham on Broadway this spring.) Other notable productions included Girlfriend’90s take on PrideArts’ gay love, and Hell in a Handbag hilarious take on the original Fab Four with The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes – Mandatory Holiday Special.

Broadway Museum Opening – Thanks for the memories

Tilly Leong, Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz at the Broadway Museum
Opening night at the Broadway Museum. Rent alumni (left to right): Telly Leung, Anthony Rapp, and Wilson Cruz. Pictures of Rebecca J. Michelson.

The ethereal nature of live theater is such that it exists until it is not. Each performance—a gathering of audience, cast, and production crew—combines for an experience that is completely unique, and one that will never be repeated. For those who enjoy ephemera, a visit to the newly opened Broadway Museum offers a trip down memory lane and an insight into plays and musicals far beyond the reach of the present day. The multi-level venue is filled with memorabilia, interactive exhibits, photos, costumes, set pieces, and loads of facts and figures, including nods to the artists and shows that helped build Broadway. And who doesn’t want a Grizabella jersey as a souvenir?

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