In the News: Tonya Pinkins to Be Honored, Spike Lee Will Direct Musical Film With Songs From Passing Strange Duo, More | Playbill

Awards In the News: Tonya Pinkins to Be Honored, Spike Lee Will Direct Musical Film With Songs From Passing Strange Duo, More Plus, watch the new music video from Pretty Woman's Brennin Hunt.
Tonya Pinkins

Read on for some recent theatre headlines you may have missed in today's news.

Tony Winner Tonya Pinkins Will Be Honored by League of Professional Theatre Women
The League of Professional Theatre Women, which advocates for opportunity and visibility in professional theatre nationally and internationally, will bestow the 2020 LPTW Rachel Crothers Leadership Award to Tony winner Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change; Jelly's Last Jam) next month. The award—given to a woman of high achievement who has distinguished herself in exemplary service and sacrifice for a common cause while simultaneously making significant contributions to the American theatre—will be presented to actor-author-activist Pinkins December 7 in a streaming event beginning at 7 PM on Zoom. Tony winner Chuck Cooper will host the evening, which will feature the talents of Drama Desk nominee Luba Mason and Obie winner Darius de Haas. To purchase tickets or to make a donation click here.

Jacob Pillow’s Venue Suffers Fire in Massachusetts
The Doris Duke Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, was completely destroyed in a fire November 17, according to The New York Times. No cause of the fire has been determined. The venue, which was able to accommodate approximately 230 patrons, included a sliding wall that opened up to reveal views of the Berkshire Mountains. A larger venue, the Ted Shawn Theatre, also at the popular summertime dance complex, was not impacted.

Spike Lee Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Spike Lee Will Direct Musical Film Based on Launch of Viagra
Oscar winner Spike Lee, who recently brought David Byrne’s American Utopia to HBO Max, will direct a currently untitled musical film based on the launch of the Pfizer drug Viagra, according to Deadline. The film, featuring a screenplay by Lee and Kwame Kwei-Armah, will have songs by Passing Strange's Stew and Heidi Rodewald. Based on the David Kushner Esquire article All Rise: The Untold Story of The Guys Who Launched Viagra, the film will be produced by Matt Jackson’s Jackson Pictures and Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.

Split Britches Adapts Last Gasp for Live Stream Production
La MaMa will present the live stream premiere of Last Gasp WFH November 20 at 7 PM ET, followed by a discussion with the artists. Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver of Split Britches, the work is a series of verbal and physical essays that explores ways one might catch their breath in times of global uncertainty. In the wake of canceled performances, Last Gasp (originally scheduled to debut in the U.S. earlier this year) was adapted to a site-specific Zoom format, using a quarantine home as a structural visual anchor. Experimenting with new ways of making and finding joy in a pandemic, Split Britches collaborated with lighting and video designer and editor Nao Nagai, sound designer and composer Vivian Stoll, and choreographer Morgan Thorson. Click here for tickets.

Watch New Music Video From Pretty Woman's Brennin Hunt
Brennin Hunt, who starred in the TV production of Rent and made his Broadway debut in Pretty Woman, has released the music video for his new song Heaven’s on the Way, inspired by a friend who had been struggling with depression. Hunt has partnered with Hope for the Day, a non-profit movement that empowers the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education. Watch the new video below.


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