Among the range of current theater-based online offerings are a new interpretation of a familiar song from a hit Broadway musical, an exhibition of a legendary artist’s drawings of an iconic American play, and a filmed Off-Broadway adaptation of a classic Greek tragedy.
“She Used to Be Mine” – Written by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles for Waitress, the intimate ballad of a young woman changed from her former self by an abusive marriage has been reimagined in a new single by Mexico City-born New York City-based powerhouse vocalist Florencia Cuenca. The recent release of the Spanish-infused version of the emotive female-centric lyrics follows her bilingual cover and video of Hamilton’s “Burn” last summer, as part of a projected album entitled Broadway en Spanglish.
As with the previous recording, the song is set to the Latin beat of mariachi and son jarocho (the regional folk music style of Veracruz), with arrangements by Cuenca’s mega-talented real-life husband Jaime Lozano. And once again, the musical mix of their two cultures gives a resonant voice, increased visibility, and greater empowerment to Latino artists, women, and immigrants struggling with a new language and a new land, by making popular Broadway songs more accessible and relatable to all. This impactful work is available on YouTube (as above), Spotify, and other popular streaming platforms.
It Goes So Fast: Our Town by Hirschfeld – The latest digital exhibition from the Al Hirschfeld Foundation displays the eponymous artist’s pen drawings of performers, scenes, and characters from four Broadway productions of Thornton Wilder’s landmark American drama, presented from 1938-2002. Guest curated by writer and theater administrator Howard Sherman, the virtual exhibit – the first by the foundation to focus on a single play – is offered in conjunction with the release of his new book Another Day’s Begun: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town in the 21st Century, published by Methuen Drama.
Live now through May 15, the exhibition features Hirschfeld’s signature interpretations of actors Frances Conroy, Henry Fonda, Spalding Gray, Helen Hayes, Penelope Ann Miller, Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Frank Sinatra, Eric Stoltz, and more, all supplemented with Sherman’s explanatory labels. If you’d like to explore the work further, you can watch a video of the 99-year-old Hirschfeld creating his drawing of Newman, or listen to a special episode of The Hirschfeld Century Podcast featuring Sherman, which will be available beginning on April 5.
Prometheus Bound – Through the prism of racial and gender injustice, Howard Rubenstein’s visionary adaptation of Aeschylus’s ancient Greek tragedy of the punishment of the titular Titan for the theft of fire from the gods to give to humans is a protest against the discrepancy between what’s legal and what’s right, and oppression veiled as order, set against a backdrop of the tumultuous American socio-political climate. For our pandemic times, the world-premiere film project, directed by Ran Xia and presented by CyberTank Productions in association with Iris Media Works, was fully designed and staged “for an audience of no one” in The Tank’s 98-seat Off-Broadway theater as a cinematic experience.
The cast includes Sophia Aranda, Juan Arturo, Olivia Rose Barresi, Chloe Simone Crawford, Brenda Crawley, Iván Hernandez, Macy Lanceta, Alice Marcondes, and Kaila Wooten, with choreography by Chanon Judson, dramaturgy by Aurelia Clunie, costume design by Anna Jekel, lighting design by Yang Yu, production and set design by Izmir Ickbal, and music by Mike Cassedy and Ran Xia. Timed streams of the film run through Sunday, April 11; for tickets, with options priced from $25-100 (the top tier including a bound copy of the script and a snack box delivered to your door, which must be reserved at least six business days in advance), go online.