In the News: Reopenings of Arenas and Large Venues on the Horizon, Plus a New Tina Turner Documentary
Also: The new streaming theatre company New Normal Rep has revealed its inaugural lineup.
Read on for some recent theatre headlines you may have missed in today’s news.
New Normal Rep Announces 4 Titles for Its Inaugural Season
The new streaming theatre company New Normal Rep, under the direction of Artistic Director Jack Canfora and Executive Producer Sally Kilingenstein-Martell, has announced the four plays in its inaugural season: Jericho by Jack Canfora, Two Sisters and a Piano by Nilo Cruz, Lines in the Dust by Nikkole Salter, and F.I.R.E. by Julia Blauvelt. Oscar nominee Marsha Mason directs Jericho with a cast that includes Emmy nominee Jill Eikenberry (LA Law), available for on-demand streaming March 4–April 4. Two Sisters and a Piano, which Pulitzer winner Cruz (Anna in the Tropics) also directs, stars Emmy winner Jimmy Smits (LA Law, Anna in the Tropics), and will be available April 21–May 23. Dates for the remaining two shows will be announced at a later date. All productions will be streamed at NewNormalRep.org.
Tina Turner Documentary Will Debut on HBO
HBO has announced that the new feature documentary Tina will premiere on the network March 27. Tina covers the life and career of Turner with her former husband Ike, through her solo career in Vegas, then her resurgence in the 1980s. The documentary concludes with her bow on opening night of the Broadway musical based on her life. The film will feature interviews with Tina Turner herself, as well as interviews with playwright Katori Hall, who co-wrote the libretto for the Tony-nominated Tina: The Tina Turner Musical; Angela Bassett, who was Oscar-nominated in the role of Turner in the 1993 film What’s Love Got to Do With It; Turner’s husband, producer Erwin Bach; entertainment journalist Kurt Loder; and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
Cuomo Announces Limited-Capacity Reopening of Arena Venues
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that large arena and stadium venues with more than 10,000-person capacity would be allowed to open in late February at 10 percent capacity. All attendees must have received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event. Other restrictions and rules that will apply include mandatory masking, temperature checks, and socially-distanced seating. Inspections for eligible venues are currently underway, with Barclays Center the first approved to host fans for the February 23 Nets game. Although no Broadway house meets the 10,000-seat capacity threshold, Madison Square Garden, which has served as a concert and theatre venue, seats over 20,000 and could open the door for non-sports live entertainment (nothing official yet, though).