An all-star concert, a classic reading, and an Off-Broadway gala number among the latest events streaming from NYC this week.
Starting tonight, a star-studded line-up performs eponymous show tunes from Broadway’s most memorable hits in Show of Titles. The rousing evening celebration includes the title songs of more than two dozen Broadway musicals spanning nine decades, from “Lady Be Good” to “The Light in the Piazza,” while wondering if the tradition, which has become a rarity, is disappearing?
Directed by Lonny Price, with music direction by Jason Howland, the virtual concert features performances by Annaleigh Ashford, Glenn Close, Len Cariou, Darren Criss, Santino Fontana, Kelsey Grammar, David Alan Grier, Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Henry, Isabelle Huppert, Norm Lewis, Patti LuPone, Rob McClure, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Melba Moore, Jessie Mueller, Eva Noblezada, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, Steven Pasquale, Michael Rupert, Ernie Sabella, Lea Salonga, Phillipa Soo, Will Swenson, Aaron Tveit, Leslie Uggams, Vanessa Williams, and Patrick Wilson. The stream will also include special appearances by Broadway Inspirational Voices, Candice Bergen, Danny Burstein, Bryan Cranston, Sheldon Harnick, John Kander, Angela Lansbury, John Lithgow, Lindsay Mendez, Phylicia Rashad, Ben Vereen, BD Wong, and Florian Zeller.
Show of Titles streams on Sunday, June 13, at 7 pm, on Stellar. For tickets, priced at $49 (which include on demand viewing through 4 pm, Thursday, June 17), go online. Proceeds benefit The Actors Fund.
Since its debut in 2003, Red Bull Theater has brought rarely seen classic plays to dynamic new life for contemporary audiences, uniting a respect for tradition with a modern sensibility. The latest offering from its classical canon is a benefit reading of English playwright Ben Jonson’s 1606 comedy Volpone, or The Fox, directed by Red Bull Founder and Artistic Director Jesse Berger. First produced by the company in 2012, this new version, performed live, with nothing pre-recorded, is adapted by Berger and playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (The Government Inspector).
Berger said, “It’s an absolute pleasure to return to Volpone, as the penultimate of our season of online benefit readings this year – especially with the inimitable André De Shields in the title role. Human greed and con artists appear to be timeless parts of human nature – damnable in life, but hilarious on stage!” He also noted, “We had so much fun with this delicious satire in our 2012 production at the Lortel (with a totally different and equally fabulous cast) and I am excited to share the material again in this new way with a wholly new stellar cast of great comic actors. Plus there’ll be fun new nips, tucks and comic wrinkles by the brilliant Jeffrey Hatcher . . . and some design surprises and delights from our terrific creative team.”
Set in Renaissance Venice, the rich old magnifico Volpone, whose ingenious schemes and farcical scams dupe his wealthy friends into showering him with gold, is a merciless satire that delightfully skewers the selfish manipulations of hypocrites, without excusing the greed and gullibility of their victims. Along with multiple award winner André De Shields (Hadestown), the reading will feature Jordan Boatman, Sofia Cheyenne, Clifton Duncan, Amy Jo Jackson, Peter Francis James, Hamish Linklater, Roberta Maxwell, Sam Morales, Kristine Nielsen, and Mary Testa, with visual design by John Arnone, costumes by Rodrigo Muñoz from original designs by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos, original music and sound by Scott Killian, and props by Faye Armon-Troncoso.
Volpone, or The Fox will debut on Monday, June 14, at 7:30 pm, as a benefit for Red Bull Theater. Tickets are free; advance reservations are recommended, and pay-what-you-can tax-deductible donations are welcome, to support the company and its programming. A recording of the livestream will be available until 7 pm, on Friday, June 18. A Bull Session – a free interactive discussion with Berger, scholar Jean E. Howard, and members of the company – will livestream on Thursday, June 17.
On Monday, June 14, Irish Repertory Theatre will come together online for an evening of music and songs celebrating 32 years of bringing the best Irish and Irish American stories to the stage and digital screen. Featuring Irish Rep favorites and Broadway stars Michael Cerveris, Len Cariou, Kerry Conte, Jay Aubrey Jones, Melissa Errico, Donna Kane, Kylie Kuioka, Leenya Rideout, Ciaran Sheehan, and Max Von Essen, the 2021 Gala: The Indomitable Irishry (whose title is taken from W.B. Yeats’s poem “Under Ben Bulben”) is directed and arranged by Charlotte Moore, and produced by Ciarán O’Reilly, with music direction by John Bell.
The special one-night-only event will also honor the acclaimed Tony-winning master-clown Bill Irwin (a dear friend of Irish Rep), along with presenting the Champions of the Arts Award to best-selling author Mary Lou Quinlan, and Joe Quinlan, former president of Time Inc. Television and senior producer of the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, for their never-ending dedication to the company.
Reservations are free, but required to access the online celebration; RSVP here. Donations are suggested for those who can afford to give; proceeds will help Irish Rep continue to employ actors and theater artists and to produce works by Irish and Irish-American playwrights.