Here are some random bits of news related to the theater community's reaction to last week's attack on the World Trade Center:
* Urinetown, which was scheduled to officially open its Broadway run at Henry Miller's Theatre last Thursday, will instead open this Thursday, September 20. John Rando, the musical's director, spoke to the audience prior to the show on what was to have been opening night, saying that the hearts of the cast and crew were with the victims of Tuesday's disaster, their families, and those involved in the rescue efforts. He then remarked how the show "can and must go on." Since the opening night had been postponed, a giant cake that had been made for the occasion was shared with the audience.
* The Actors' Fund of America's all-star benefit concert performance of Dreamgirls will go on as scheduled on September 24 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Meanwhile, the Fund is continuing to hold drop-in, social worker-facilitated discussion groups "for anyone in the entertainment community who is in need of support due to the September 11th tragedy." These meetings will be held today (September 17) and Wednesday (September 19) at The Actors' Fund's main office in N.Y.C. at 729 7th Avenue, 11th Floor, from 3 to 4:30pm each day. Those in need of counseling or social service assistance may phone the Fund directly at 212-221-7300 ext. 119. For further information, check the website at www.actorsfund.org.
* One show that will not go on as planned is the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, which has been postponed indefinitely. The authors, in a statement issued via press release, said that "Assassins is a show which asks audiences to think critically about various aspects of the American experience. In light of Tuesday's murderous assault on our nation and on the most fundamental things in which we all believe, we, the Roundabout, and director Joe Mantello believe this is not an appropriate time to present a show which makes such a demand." The musical was to have begun performances at the Music Box Theatre on November 1, and rehearsals were scheduled to begin this week. A replacement production for the Roundabout subscription season will be announced at a later date.
* The Friday evening performance of Blast! had to be canceled because the majority of the cast members could not make it into Manhattan from New Jersey, where they are housed; audience members who showed up at the theater received tickets to other Broadway shows. But Blast! resumed its regular schedule as of its Saturday matinee and a new number was added at the top of the show: "Amber Waves," a rendition of "America the Beautiful." As had been announced before the World Trade Center disaster, Blast! closes this weekend.
* Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has donated $50,000 in memory of the firefighters lost from Battalion #9 at 48th Street and Eighth Avenue, affectionately referred to as "The Broadway Firehouse." This battalion was among the first to report for duty when the World Trade Center was attacked, and 14 of its members died during the rescue efforts. To add your own personal contribution to this donation, phone BC/EFA at 212-840-0770.
* It seems that speeches of inspiration, sorrow, and/or determination were given just prior to or immediately after performances of all New York City shows last week. The following speech was delivered (by Steve Blanchard at Beauty and the Beast, Tony Freeman at The Lion King, and Adam Pascal at Aida) following performances of the Disney organization's three Broadway musicals: "Ladies and gentlemen: Traditionally the theater has been a place where people could go to escape the trials and tribulations of daily life--a place where we could forget our problems, at least for a few hours. We hope that tonight, we have been able in some small way to accomplish this for you. However, we believe that the tragic events of Tuesday, September 11 cannot be easily forgotten and perhaps should never be. Therefore, to honor the victims and their families, we ask you to join us in a moment of silence."
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