billy magnussen & others

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’s Billy Magnussen, Genevieve Angelson, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Durang (playwright), David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Shalita Grant (Photo by Walter McBride)

*After a sold-out run at Lincoln Center, Christopher Durang’s award-winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike play moved to Broadway for a 17-week strictly limited engagement at the Golden Theater (252 West 45th Street, NYC).  The Broadway run opened on Thursday, March 14, 2013 and once again the hysterically funny play met with resounding hilarity and enormous success resulting in its being extended twice moving its closing date to August 25, 2013.  At the height of all of this is hype is a Tony Award win.

Durang’s play about a dysfunctional family walked off with the Tony Award for Best Play beating out “The Assembled Parties,” “Lucky Guy” and “The Testament of Mary” at the 67th Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.  More good news coming out of that camp is that the play has recouped its $2.5 million investment!

Directed by Nicholas Martin, the comedy is based on characters and themes from Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, and stars Sigourney Weaver, Kristine Nielsen and David Hyde Pierce with Shalita Grant, Billy Magnussen and Liesel Allen-Yeager.  The non-stop, laugh out loud engagement takes place in Pennsylvania at the countryside where the  laughs are supersized.

Weaver, whose final performance will take place on July 28 when she will be replaced by Julie White, is a successful movie star who pays a visit to her family and brings along her boy toy.  What unfolds is a persistent problem the siblings have about growing old gracefully.  Adding to the  unbridled hilarity is Grant who plays the misguided psychic maid Cassandra which she plays to infinite perfection.

Broadway critics also felt that Grant had nailed her role and she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.  And although the Tony eluded her this time around, this will be just the first of many nominations to come because she has that “it” thing that theatergoers love.  Grant did however receive Theatre World Award for Best Debut Performance.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’s creative team features David Korins (scenic design), Emily Rebholz (costume design), Justin Townsend (lighting design) and Mark Bennett (original music and sound design).

In addition to the Tony Award win, the play has won Best Play awards from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, the Drama Desk, the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle.

The Broadway run is produced by Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschhorn, Joan Raffe/Jhett Tolentino, Martin Platt & David Elliott, Pat Flicker Addiss, Catherine Adler, John O’Boyle, Joshua Goodman, Jamie DeRoy/Richard Winkler, Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Radio Mouse Entertainment, Shadowcatcher Entertainment, Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian, Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade, Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons, S.D. Wagner, and John Johnson, in association with The McCarter Theatre Center and Lincoln Center Theater.


Judy Light stars in and wins a Tony Award for The Assembled Parties

lynne meadow and others

The Assembled Parties’ Director and MTC’s award winning Artistic Director Lynne Meadow is pictured with cast Judith Light, Jeremy Shamos, Jessica Hecht, and Playwright Richard Greenberg (Photo courtesy

*Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg‘s new play The Assembled Parties, directed by MTC’s award winning Artistic Director Lynne Meadow which opened on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 for a limited engagement has extended its run at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street, NYC) for the third time to Sunday, July 28, 2013 because of a renewed box office rush resulting from Judith Light’s Tony Award win for Featured Actress in a Play for her critically acclaimed portrayal of “Faye” in MTC’s presentation of The Assembled Parties also starring Jessica Hecht, Jeremy Shamos, Mark Blum, Lauren Blumenfeld, Alex Dreier, Jake Silbermann and Jonathan Walker.

The Assembled Parties finds us at the sprawling Central Park West apartment of former movie star Julie Bascov (Hecht) and her sister-in-law Faye (Light) and at a traditional holiday dinner attended by both of their families.  The dinner is interrupted by a house guest (Shamos) who wheedles himself into the family dynamics.  Fast forward some twenty years later, the family is fighting for survival and trying to fit in.  You can just imagine the side-splitting laughs and the nuances of Jewish humor.  You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy this well staged production, but it helps!

The Assembled Parties boasts a creative team composed of Santo Loquasto (scenic design), Jane Greenwood (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Obadiah Eaves (original music and sound design), Tom Watson (hair & wig design), Barclay Stiff (production stage manager) and Nancy Piccione (casting).


The Trip To Bountiful extended through October 9, 2013

cicely tyson (a trip to bountiful)

Cicely Tyson in ‘A Trip to Bountiful’

*The critically acclaimed revival of Horton Foote’s American masterpiece, The Trip To Bountiful, has been extended again, adding five weeks to its already extended engagement, and will now play through Wednesday, October 9,  2013 giving audiences just a few more chances to see celebrated actress Cicely Tyson in her Tony Award-winning performance of a lifetime.

The legendary thespian, who has been praised with an Academy Award nomination for Sounder and won two Emmy Awards for her iconic portrayal in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, has returned to Broadway for the first time in over 30 years in The Trip To Bountiful. Taking the stage by storm, Tyson has received every major theatre award of the season for her performance as Mother Carrie Watts, a role that rivals any iconic character she has ever performed. Tyson’s Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award – winning performance is one not to be missed.

One of the most distinguished productions on Broadway, The Trip To Bountiful also stars Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr., Emmy and Tony Award nominee and recording star Vanessa Williams, Tony nominee Condola Rashad, and Tony Award nominee Tom Wopat.

The inspiring American classic, The Trip To Bountiful, tells the story of Carrie Watts, an elderly woman forced to live with her overprotective son and domineering daughter-in-law, who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, TX one last time. Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope and faith.
Directed by Michael Wilson, The Trip To Bountiful is playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 W 43rd St) on the following schedule: Tuesday – Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, Sunday at 3pm. Starting the week of August 20, 2013 the schedule will change to: Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are available at the box office, or by calling 212-239-6200.

The Trip To Bountiful also features Devon Abner, Curtis Billings, Pat Bowie, Leon Addison Brown, Arthur French, Susan Heyward, Bill Kux, Linda Powell, and Charles Turner.

Go N’Syde ‘Joy’ is the official beverage of The Trip To Bountiful. Go N’Syde Beverages are the first and only tea-based formulations designed to access the essence of today’s favorite Icons through refreshing interactive experiences. More than one-of-a-kind flavors; Go N’Syde connects the joy and passion of being a true fan with next-gen satisfaction in every sip.

The Trip To Bountiful is produced by Nelle Nugent, Kevin Liles, Paula Marie Black, David R. Weinreb, Stephen C. Byrd, Alia M. Jones, Kenneth Teaton, Carole L. Haber, Philip Geier, Wendy Federman, Carl Moellenberg, Ricardo Hornos, Fifty Church Street Productions, Hallie Foote, Tyson and Kimberly Chandler in association with Joseph Sirola, Howard and Janet Kagan, Charles Salameno, Sharon A. Carr, Patricia R. Klausner, Raymond Gaspard, Andrea M. Price, Willette Murphy Klausner and Reginald M. Browne and associate producers Francesca Zambello, Faith Gay, Marvet Britto, and Randolph Sturrup.

New York native and award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel exclusively for the Electronic Urban Report.

audrey bernard

Audrey J. Bernard