Online offerings from Keen and LCT, and a virtual ‘In the Heights’ fundraising auction

Among this weekend’s digital selections are a new audio production of a classic radio play, an archival tape of a past hit filmed live on stage, and an online benefit auction of items from a Tony-winning favorite.

Off-Broadway’s award-winning Keen Company concludes its 2020-21 Hear/Now season, revisiting some of the most iconic titles from the Golden Age of Radio, with an all-star benefit broadcast of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar: The Clever Chemist Matter by Jack Johnstone. One of radio’s most successful and longest running serial detective shows (with more than 800 episodes airing for thirteen years, from 1949-62, on CBS Radio), the Johnny Dollar stories of mystery and murder have been celebrated for more than five decades by being rebroadcast, satirized, documented, and adapted, and its final installment has often been cited as the end of an era.

The intriguing case of “The Clever Chemist Matter,” which originally aired on March 17, 1957, investigates the disastrous results of a simple change to an insurance policy, when a scientific genius is killed, his partner is blinded, and the laboratory door is found bolted from the outside. Directed by Keen Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein and starring Tony, Drama Desk, and Obie Award winner Santino Fontana (Tootsie) as the eponymous freelance insurance investigator with the “action packed expense account,” the audio cast will also feature George Abud, Ali Ewoldt, Ted Koch, Susan Malloy, John-Andrew Morrison, Steven Ratazzi, and Jay Russell, with live Foley effects by Nick Abeel, original music by Billy Recce, and audio engineering by Garrett Schultz.

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar is presented as a pay-what-you-can fundraising event in support of the company’s programming, with tickets starting at just $1. Streaming now through Monday, June 14, at 7 pm, on Keen’s website, it will be an audio-only performance, just like the original broadcast, followed by a video talkback with the cast and creative team. For tickets, go online. Patrons will be emailed a private web link and password with their confirmation.

Lincoln Center Theater continues its series of Private Reels: From the LCT Archive – streams of newly edited footage of past shows recorded during an on-stage performance, giving viewers the opportunity to revisit or to discover these LCT shows in full – with Marys Seacole by Jackie Sibblies Drury, weaving a time-traveling story based on the real-life Jamaican-born medical healer (1805-1881). An ambitious woman determined to live a grand life, her adventures take her across oceans and eras, from a Crimean War battlefield to a contemporary nursing home, and many times and places in between, in an exploration of what it means to be a woman who is paid to care.

The Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 production opened at the Claire Tow Theater on February 25, 2019, with a cast that included Gabby Beans, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Marceline Hugot, Karen Kandel, Ismenia Mendes, and Lucy Taylor. It went on to enjoy an extended run, with the playwright and the director Lileana Blain-Cruz winning a Special Citation Obie Award for their work, and Quincy Tyler Bernstine receiving the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play and an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.

Marys Seacole streams for free, now through Sunday, July 4, on Broadway On Demand. To register, click here.

In addition to the shows is an opportunity to bid on a selection of collector’s items from Broadway’s 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Quiara Alegría Hudes (Water By The Spoonful). Applause Shop, the online marketplace that re-homes Broadway merchandise and memorabilia while raising money for arts and social justice non-profits, has launched #HEIGHTStravaganza!, a sale of rare and unique pieces that started at noon today, Friday, June 11, with an hour-long roll-out of live auctions. Bidding will continue for ten days, ending on Monday, June 21.

Lots include: Best Musical marquee sign displayed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre following the 2008 Tony Awards, autographed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and members of the original Broadway company; oversized LP album cover foam-core poster, signed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and members of the original Broadway company; framed limited-edition numbered print by artist Todd DiCiurcio, created for the Broadway cast and crew; Playbill from the 2007 pre-Broadway 37 Arts production, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda on the cover, with promotional fliers from the 37 Arts run; Broadway original cast Playbill and sealed original cast recording LP boxed set; Playbill and dated tickets from the final Broadway performance, with special foil seal; backstage crew pass and framed Broadway production photo from the estate of lighting designer Howell Binkley; opening night cast and crew gift shot glass and keychain; original 14 x 22” window card framed poster; and a “goodie bag” featuring Playbills, collectibles, jewelry, merchandise, and more.

A portion of every sale goes to Fresh Youth Initiatives, a non-profit organization that works with low-income immigrant and first-generation youth in Washington Heights and Inwood, to help children and teens succeed in school, to navigate life transitions, to prepare for college and career, and to give back to the community with compassion and care. For more information and to access the auction, follow this link.


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