One-night-only events from Off-Broadway’s Gingold Theatrical Group and Keen Company

This coming Saturday and Monday, April 23 and 25, two of Off-Broadway’s most noteworthy companies are presenting one-night-only events, one in person and one online, that celebrate classics from two different centuries.

Shakespeare Sonnet Soirée – In honor of Shakespeare’s 458th birthday on Saturday, April 23, Gingold Theatrical Group will be presenting the latest in its series of free live online events, in which viewers are invited to join the GTG family and an all-star company (Brenda Braxton, Alison Frasier, Harriet Harris, David Lee Huynh, Judith Ivey, Jefferson Mays, Charlotte Moore, Thom Sesma, Renee Taylor, Jon Patrick Walker, Karen Ziemba, and more) for a virtual open mic, sharing a sonnet, a quote, a song, or something else based on a sonnet by the Bard, to celebrate him and his iconic work.

“We’re given to believe that William Shakespeare knew how to party with the best of them,” said GTG Artistic Director David Staller, “and who better to celebrate than the person who contributed more than anyone to the world of the theatre? Join us to light the 458 candles on his birthday cake. He wrote more than 150 sonnets and, no, we don’t plan on getting through them all, but here’s an opportunity to speak the speech he prayed you. Sonnet, song, quote, snippets, soliloquies, everything to satisfy your Bardolatry.”

Gingold’s past digital events have attracted a global audience from Ireland, England, France, Brazil, Australia, Shanghai, Japan, Iceland, and across the US. This time, Staller will be hosting the soirée online from Los Angeles, where he’ll be participating in the TCM Film Festival’s evening celebrating his late partner Robert Osborne, as Leonard Maltin is given the annual Robert Osborne Award.

Shakespeare Sonnet Soirée livestreams free of charge on Saturday April 23, beginning at 6 pm, on the GTG Facebook page. Participants must register before 4 pm, on Friday, April 22, and are requested to keep their contributions to under three minutes, so that as many guests as possible can participate. Those who just want to watch, toast, and add good vibes to the room, are also welcome (and are also required to register).

Light Up the Sky – As a fundraiser to support its 22nd season of new work, Keen Playwrights Lab for mid-career writers, and Keen Teens, which serves students in all five boroughs of NYC, the award-winning Keen Company will present a one-night-only reading of the classic 1948 comedy by legendary playwright, director, and producer Moss Hart (1904 -1961). The mid-century self-referencing romp follows a dramatic group of NYC theater artists waiting for the reviews of their new play to come in on the opening-night of its regional tryout in Boston.

Directed by Keen Artistic Director Jonathan Silverman, the benefit event features a cast of luminaries from the stage and screen, and favorite Keen alums, including Tovah Feldshuh, Arnie Burton, Jasminn Johnson, Lauren Molina, Reg Rogers, Ari’el Stachel, Jason Tam, Andrew Dawson, Kelly McAndrew, Matt Servitto, Allan K. Washington, and Kayce Wilson.

The two-hour performance (including a ten-minute intermission) will be presented on Monday, April 25, beginning at 7 pm, at Theatre 3 of Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street. For tickets (beginning at $100, with an additional $2.50 restoration fee on all tickets, plus a $4.00 fee for orders placed online or over the phone), call (212) 714-2442, ext. 45, or go online. Proof of vaccination and a photo ID are required to enter the venue, and masks must be worn at all times.


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