Bidding adieu to those who took final bows in 2020

Posted on December 29, 2020 by

Happy New Year! 

  As we leave 2020 in the dust, let’s remember those who are no longer with us in a time-honored New Year’s tradition. And this year, it seems, the theatre community has lost more than its share of pros from playwrights and performers to directors and producers.

Lowell native Rosalind Elias passed away in 2020.

   Some passed before their time, including Nick Cordero, the star of “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Waitress,” and “A Bronx Tale,” who lost a long battle with Covid-19 in July at age 41. Others, including Kirk Douglas, Orson Bean, Marge Champion and Jerry Stiller, were past their prime but left an indelible mark on Broadway and in Hollywood.

   One with Lowell roots was Metropolitan Opera star Rosalind Elias, who made her Broadway debut at the age of 81, appearing as Heidi in a 2012 revival of “Follies.” Ninety when she passed away in May, Elias visited Lowell frequently in her heyday, often appearing with the Lowell Opera Company. 

  I had the pleasure of seeing two of the dearly departed perform and interviewed them, too, when they played Boston on national tours. 

  Brian Dennehy’s performances in “Translations” and “Death of a Salesman” in the Theatre District and as “Trumbo” at the Huntington were memorable, and he was a charming interview — forthright, funny and down to earth. He passed away in April at age 81. 

Brian Dennehy

  Ann Reinking, a protegee and one-time paramour of dance whiz/choreographer/showman Bob Fosse, was incredible in the early 1990s national tour of “Bye-Bye Birdie” and the late 1990’s national tour of “Chicago,” for which she’d won Tony and Olivier Awards for her choreography work. An engaging, witty interview, Reinking died earlier this month at age 71. 

Ann Reinking

  Playbill.com pays tribute to all those who passed away in 2020 at https://www.playbill.com/article/in-memoriam-a-look-at-the-theatre-artists-we-lost-in-2020.  

In the wings

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?: Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet? The annual practice seems more important this year, for some reason, since we’re all still hunkering down, isolating, wearing masks and waiting our turn to get the vaccine. My list includes “learning something new” — and that’s especially important as winter wears on. It’s a fact that being creative is good for the brain and boosts the psyche. And with Zooming a “new normal,” it’s easier than ever to learn something new from the comfort and safety of home. Indian Hill Music School in Littleton welcomes all to listen, learn, connect and play with a lively on-line group class. “Connect with our outstanding faculty and other student musicians and music lovers. There’s something for all ages, interests and abilities,” notes the IHM email. Whether you’re a player, a listener, or both, you’ll find lectures, discussions, lessons and more to help you learn and strengthen your musical foundation. Need ideas? Early childhood classes include drumming and fun. Elementary kids can try online beginner classes in guitar, piano, violin, ukulele, drums and recorder. Teens can play in virtual ensembles like Teen Rock Band, while adult learners have lectures, lessons stress-busting fun like Ukulele 

Club jams and more. Scholarships available. Visit www.indianhillmusic.org/musicschool or call 978-486-9524 for info.

ONLINE AT HANOVER: Performance lessons are available in acting, dance, singing and design at the Hanover Theatre Conservatory for the Performing Arts in Worcester. A limited number of in-person lessons are available by appointment, and private online lessons will be conducted through Zoom. Visit www.thehanovertheatre.org/conservatory for details.

NEW YEAR’S ENTERTAINMENT:  While Times Square won’t be packed with millions of people tonight, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2021” concert will still take place there at the “crossroads of the world” before the midnight ball drop to usher in 2021. Jennifer Lopez, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Nelly, Miley Cyrus, and others will perform the concert on ABC television, Ryan Seacrest returning as host. Watch live starting at 8 p.m. and running through 2 a.m. for live performances and a look at New Year’s celebrations around the globe at https://abc.com/shows/new-years-rockin-eve/video/most-recent/vdka21472992…Other holiday options include Acting Out Productions recorded performance of “First Night,” Jack Neary’s delightful New Year’s Eve romantic comedy. It’s online tonight at 8 and 10 p.m., with the later show ending at 11:45 p.m., precisely when the play ends onstage. Tickets $10, individual; $25, family at https://www.actingoutproductions.com/first-night-by-jack-neary/…”A Christmas Carol Reimagined” video on demand, an inventive, filmed theatrical production of the classic, directed and adapted by Hanover Theatre’s CEO and president Troy Siebels, is available through tonight at www.thehanovertheatre.org/accreimagined for various prices, starting at $5… See Boston Ballet’s acclaimed “The Nutcracker” for free through January 2 at www.bostonballet.org, then follow the prompts…You can see the Boston Pops 2020 Holiday Pops virtual performances through January 9. Visit www.bso.org/brands/pops.features/2020-holiday-pops.aspx for details.

“A Christmas Carol Reimagined” on-line through tonight at Worcester’s Hanover Theatre

Nancye Tuttle’s email address is nancyedt@verizon.net

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