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Arts/Culture

Theater Talk: Economic impact of live theater to benefit Buffalo; NYC looking rough after COVID

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Anthony went to see the movie IN THE HEIGHTS based on Lin-Manuel Miranda's  musical and recommends the Jimmy Fallon/Miranda promotional https://youtu.be/Bx8RKOSLIyI re "Broadway's Back!" Shea's held a press conference to say the same and promoted the economic benefits of multi-week "Tech Rehearsals."

In the six minute video first seen as part of Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show" four actors from the movie IN THE HEIGHTS - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jimmy Smits, Olga Merediz (photo), and Christopher Jackson (who played George Washington on Broadway in HAMILTON!) are joined by Kristin Chenowith, Phylicia Rashad, and Laura Benanti for a glittery production number.

Anthony says if you go to the movie, stay through the credits for a bit of fun at the end with Miranda (who plays Piragüero, the ice man) and Jackson (who plays his nemesis, the Mr. Softee truck driver), in real life two old friends who played the characters Hamilton and Washington in HAMILTON!

On Monday, Shea's Performing Arts Center held a press conference to absolutely nail down that they are back.  The speakers included Michael G. Murphy, President of Shea's Performing Arts Center; Albert Nocciolino, Shea's Broadway Presenting Partner; New York State Senator Tim Kennedy; New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes; Bufflao Mayor Byron Brown; Patrick Kaler, President and CEO of Visit Bufalo Niagara, and Michael Schmand, Executive Director of Buffalo Place.

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Three shows will tech at Shea's including Aaron Sorkin's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (based on Harper Lee's novel) starring Richard Thomas (photo) as Atticus Finch. Teching in Buffalo in March 2022.

Two musicals - Disney's FROZEN as well as TOOTSIE - and one straight play TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - will tech in Buffalo at Shea's. The economic impact of all this will be $25 Million for Buffalo, including thousands of meals and hotel stays, not to mention employment for many, including members of I.A.T.S.E. (say "I at see") which is "The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists, and Allied Crafts." It's a win-win.

Anthony had occasion last week to visit New York City in a non-theatrical capacity and reported that when Broadway is shuttered, so are many businesses in and around the Broadway/Hell's Kitchen area.  He reported that we often take for granted the shopkeepers who sweep and hose down the sidewalk in front of their establishments.  With no owners present, the streets are becoming littered and dog-walkers are forgetting to clean up after. 

On a happier note, Javier Bustillos has published his second STAGEFRIGHT column and it's filled with even more juicy gossip (and great photos) than last week.  You can access it through Anthony's blog www.theatertalkbuffalo.com or by clicking here.

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