Theater Beat: 'White' heats up; Goldfinger wins Yale prize; 'Dirty Dancing'

UArts Tony-nom trio

University of the Arts alum Lucas Steele is up for a Tony for best featured actor in a musical for Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812, which last week attracted the most nominations (12) of any Broadway play for this year's awards. Two other UArts alums are involved in Miss Saigon, nominated for best revival of a musical: actor Billy Bustamonte and prop designer Tony Giruzzi.

20170509_inq_dm1theabeat09Z-a
Jacqueline Goldfinger, author of "The Arsonists," now at the Drake, has won the Yale Drama Series Award for "Bottle Fly."

Midas touch

Take a bow, Philly playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger. You just won the mountainous Yale Drama Series Prize, for Bottle Fly. Goldfinger gets $10,000, and her play, not yet produced, gets published by the Yale University Press and a reading at London's National Theatre. It was selected from more than 1,000 entries.

When the phone call came from Yale, Goldfinger says, "It took me a minute to register it. I was completely silent. They were like, 'Are you there?' and I said, 'No, I'm here! Please, don't give it to someone else.' I was elated, overwhelmed.' "

A Philly resident since 2008, Goldfinger grew up in rural north Florida and was raised on Southern storytelling. Bottle Fly is set in the Everglades, in an old sugar-cane barn converted to a bar.

"The Everglades is often a place people run away to, to be off the grid, to be outsiders. This tries to tell some of their stories."

Will we get to see it? Nothing nailed down yet, Goldfinger says, "but I'm hoping for some kind of presentation of it here in the next couple of months and a full production in the near future."

Crazy-busy times for Goldfinger. Her much-praised play The Arsonists runs through May 21 at the Azuka Theatre Company. She is educational director at PlayPenn, the local play development workshop with the big national reputation.

Love 'Dirty Dancing'?

The musical, the thing, both? We're about to get a snootful. The national tour comes to the Merriam Theater May 16-21. Then the ABC film remake airs on 6ABC on May 24. If all that's not enough . . . out in the streaming cosmos, there's also the 1987 Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey original. You can buy it from iTunes, rent it from Amazon, and stream it on Xfinity, among other options.

'White' hot

Gene Bishop of Mount Airy writes to say she saw White at Theatre Horizon in preview: "Very funny, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Addresses race the way it comes up in everyday life." The people are coming. Even before opening night, the theater extended the run to May 28.

Have your own recommendations? Comments? Email me. Put "Theater Beat" in the subject field.

Can't Wait to See:

An Evening Without the Brits, May 15-16. 1812 Productions, Plays & Players Theater. A tribute to Monty Pyton, The Goon Show, etc.

jt@phillynews.com

215-854-4406 @jtimpane