Who: Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Headley, Rob McClure, Isaac Powell, Robert Fairchild, Joshua Henry, Ingrid Michaelson, Lauren Ridloff, Adrienne Warren, Beanie Feldstein, Leslie Odom Jr., Nicolette Robinson, Phillipa Soo, Jocelyn Bioh, Julianna Margulies, Raúl Esparza, Piper Perabo, Judith Light, Thomas Sadoski, Kenneth Cole, Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Harvey Fierstein, Jenn Gambatese, Jackie Hoffman, Kamilah Marshall, Matthew Morrison, Corey Reynolds, Judine Somerville, Shayna Steele, Marissa Jaret Winokur
What: Virtual edition of MCC Theater’s annual Miscast gala
Where: MCC YouTube channel
When: Sunday, September 13, free (donations accepted), preshow 7:45, show 8:00
Why: We’ve all been there: We’re in a theater watching a show when we realize that it’s just not going to work because of a bad casting decision. MCC Theater has been spoofing on that situation with its annual Miscast fundraising galas, in which they purposely match talented performers with the wrong song. On September 13, Miscast20 will go virtual, adding a geographic dimension to the wrongness. Admission is free, though donations will be accepted, with ten percent going to the Mental Health Coalition, which was founded earlier this year by fashion designer and activist Kenneth Cole; MHC’s mission “is to build a like-minded community who will work together to destigmatize all mental health conditions by changing the way people talk about, and care for, their mental health.”
Performing at the event, which will be broadcast for free on YouTube, are Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Headley, Rob McClure, Isaac Powell, Robert Fairchild, Joshua Henry, Ingrid Michaelson, Lauren Ridloff, Adrienne Warren, Beanie Feldstein, Leslie Odom Jr., Nicolette Robinson, and Phillipa Soo; Jocelyn Bioh, Julianna Margulies, Raúl Esparza, Piper Perabo, Judith Light, Thomas Sadoski, and Cole will serve as presenters. There will also be a special reunion appearance by the cast of Hairspray: Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Harvey Fierstein, Jenn Gambatese, Jackie Hoffman, Kamilah Marshall, Matthew Morrison, Corey Reynolds, Judine Somerville, Shayna Steele, and Marissa Jaret Winokur. In addition, MCC is hosting an online auction where you can bid on such items as an original costume from A Chorus Line, coaching and mentor sessions with professionals, signed Playbills, wine and dinner tastings and getaways, and MCC memberships.
Every September 11, there are many memorial programs held all over the city, paying tribute to those who were lost on that tragic day while also honoring New York’s endless resiliency. One of the most powerful is Buglisi Dance Theatre’s “Table of Silence Project,” a multicultural public performance ritual for peace that annually features one hundred dancers on Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center. But it has to be reconfigured this year because of the pandemic lockdown; it will be shown virtually on Facebook and YouTube, as no audience is permitted on the plaza. On Friday morning from 7:55 to 8:46, the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center, BDT, Lincoln Center, and Dance/NYC will present a new, live prologue featuring two dozen socially distanced dancers from BDT, Ailey II, Alison Cook Beatty Dance, Ballet Hispánico's BHdos, the Juilliard School, Limón Dance Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, and other professional dancers circling Lincoln Center's Revson Fountain, with original music by electric violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain and spoken-word poetry by Marc Bamuthi Joseph (from the Kennedy Center in DC), with BDT cofounder and principal dancer Terese Capucilli serving as bell master; opening remarks by special guests; an excerpt from Buglisi's 2001 Requiem, which was choreographed as an immediate response to the attacks; the world premiere of the three-minute film Études by Nel Shelby Productions, highlighting 150 dancers from around the world who recorded their own “Table of Silence” pieces last month; a video of the full 2019 performance; and a call for peace in honor of the tenth anniversary of the work.
“This reimagining is a powerful message for healing as we struggle with the global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice. We honor all those whose lives are impacted by the crises our country is facing," BDT artistic director Jacqulyn Buglisi said in a statement. “Expressing so much of what makes us human, the project’s message of peace and healing is far-reaching and holds great relevance today, in addition to the 9/11 commemoration. It strives to be a transformative experience that reveals the strength and resilience of our collective society.” This year also includes a meditation variation and live chat that took place on September 6 and can be viewed above. Admission is free but you can donate to the project here.
Who: Bruce Springsteen
What: Livestreamed address to incoming Boston College class of 2024
Where: Boston College YouTube
When: Thursday, September 10, free, 7:00
Why: Bruce Springsteen has been affiliated with Boston College ever since his son Evan went to school there, graduating in 2012, including playing benefit concerts. The Boss is now scheduled to deliver an address to the incoming class of 2024 on September 10 at 7:00, following the traditional torch-lit First Flight Procession, in which first-year students march down Linden Lane, descend the Higgins Stairs, then enter Conte Forum. Each member of the class has received a digital copy of Springsteen’s 2016 memoir, Born to Run, along with a reading guide. “Through his songs, Bruce Springsteen has long been such a conversation partner to his audience, masterfully portraying the American experience through lyrics that inspire reflection about our world, our families, our jobs, our struggles, and our relationships,” Student Formation executive director Michael Sacco said in a statement. “But in his memoir, Bruce reveals the conversation he had with himself as he approached many of his life’s crossroads. In doing so, Bruce shares how attentiveness, contemplation, and authenticity played a key role in his personal growth and honing his immense talents. Each BC student brings a unique set of talents, and reading Bruce’s story will give them an invaluable perspective as they begin their formation at Boston College.” You can watch the livestream of the First Year Academic Convocation on YouTube here.
In explaining why the book was chosen to be distributed to the students at the Jesuit school, the reading guide offers, “In this book, Bruce Springsteen shares his story — the meaningful events and the transformation he has experienced on his journey — and how his reflection on these experiences has impacted his engagement with the world around him. As you read Born to Run it is the hope of the university that it inspires you to reflect on your own story — the meaningful events and the transformation you have experienced and will continue to experience during your time at Boston College — and understand how your own personal narrative enables you to encounter God’s presence in the world. In reading Springsteen’s reflections on truth, identity, and love, you will be invited to consider your own values and encouraged to think about how you respond to life’s questions.” Another of life’s important questions is, Are the rumors of a new E Street Band album releasing October 23, preceded by a single on September 10, real? The truth will be revealed shortly.
Who: Friends, family, and colleagues of Broadway actor Nick Cordero
What: Livestreamed tribute to Nick Cordero
Where: Broadway on Demand
When: Sunday, September 6, free, 7:00
Why: The Broadway community has been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, from the shuttering of theaters to such mainstays as Brian Stokes Mitchell, Sara Bareilles, Aaron Tveit, Laura Bell Bundy, John Benjamin Hickey, Bryan Cranston, Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker, and Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams contracting the virus. It has also claimed the lives of playwright Terrence McNally, beloved character actor Mark Blum, and, most notably, Tony-nominated Canadian star Nick Cordero, who first had to have one of his legs amputated, then passed away on July 5 at the age of forty-one, leaving behind his wife, Amanda Kloots, and their one-year-old son, Elvis. On September 6 at 7:00, Broadway on Demand is hosting a memorial tribute to Cordero, featuring friends, family, and cast members from all of his shows, including A Bronx Tale, Bullets over Broadway, Rock of Ages, The Toxic Avenger, and Waitress. It’s free to tune in, but the audience is encouraged to text CORDERO to 41444 to donate to Save the Music, a nonprofit that “helps students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music.”
Who: Marquis Hill Quartet, Michael Thomas Trio
What: Live outdoor concerts presented by Giant Step Arts
Where: The Mall in Central Park
When: Saturday, September 5, and Sunday, September 6, free, 1:00
Why: As New York City opens up bit by bit, many of us are still starving for live, in-person entertainment. You can check out some hot jazz this weekend in Central Park, where Giant Step Arts continues its “Walk with the Wind” series with a pair of outdoor shows for free, on the Mall in Central Park. On Saturday at 1:00, the Marquis Hill Quartet will be playing, featuring Tivon Pennicott on tenor sax. Russell Hall on bass, Michael Ode on drums, and Chicago star Marquis Hill on trumpet. On Sunday at 1:00, the Michael Thomas Trio takes over, with Edward Perez on bass, E. J. Strickland on drums, and Grammy winner Michael Thomas on sax. Founded by photographers Jimmy and Dena Katz, Giant Step Arts describes itself as “an innovative, artist-focused nonprofit organization [that] presents one of a kind performances by modern jazz masters.” Given the pandemic lockdown and the state of the country right now, these two-set shows certainly qualify as one of a kind.