Night of a Thousand Judys Returns

Night of a Thousand Judys 2015The Skivvies, Cyrille Aimee, Adam Kantor, Julie Hill, Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson will join the previously announced headliners Melissa Errico, Liz Callaway, Michael McElroy, Lauren Worsham, Rachel  York, Randy Graff, Kim David Smith and Danielle Grabianowski for the fifth annual “Night Of A Thousand Judys” – presented by The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre – on Monday, June 1.

The Pride concert to benefit The Ali Forney Center will take place at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center (129 West 67th Street in Manhattan). Called “a rambunctious, uproarious, unpredictable all-star concert” by The Wall Street Journal, “Night Of A Thousand Judys” will honor the iconic Judy Garland with special skits, tributes and songs from her legendary career as movie star, recording artist and stage performer. There will be a pre-show VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. and the performance at 8:00 p.m.

The show is written and hosted by Justin Sayre  and directed by Peter James Cook. Lance Horne is the event’s music supervisor, with Steven Jamail serving as music director. Adam Fleming is the evening’s choreographer. “Night Of A Thousand Judys” is produced by Dan Fortune and Adam J. Rosen, with Dan Fortune serving as executive producer. Additional special guests will be announced.

A special new episode of Sparkle & Circulate with Justin Sayre – the official podcast of the International Order of Sodomites – features an in-depth interview with Carl Siciliano, founder of the Ali Forney Center, that explores the history and mission of the organization. It’s available on iTunes here, along with previous conversations withRandy Harrison, Michael Musto, Frank DeCaro, Jeffery Self, Kim David Smith and R&B legend Sarah Dash.

“Night Of A Thousand Judys” is a special presentation of The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre, the acclaimed comedy/variety show known for a signature blend of outrageous comedy, politics, culture and everything in between. The Meeting* is currently enjoying a successful monthly run at Joe’s Pub, which hosted of the first “Night of a Thousand Judys” in 2011. The Meeting* – which enjoyed  successful runs at the Broadway nightclub 54 Below in New York and the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles – recently made its Bay Area debut at Oasis in San Francisco.

The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth. AFC’s goal is to provide them with the support and services they need to escape the streets and begin to live healthy and independent lives. For more information on The Ali Forney Center, visit www.aliforneycenter.org

“Just like Judy we always come back,” says Justin. “Every year, the love we have for this show and the tremendous work of The Ali Forney Center only gets deeper and deeper. It’s the privilege of my whole year to work with our Judy’s Family which every year gets bigger and bigger. For 2015, expect a lot of great music brought to you by some of the most exciting performers in New York and the world, all paying homage to the great lady herself, but also giving their time and talents to the brave young people at AFC. There’s No Place Like Home, and we want that to be true for everyone. We work with the AFC to make that a reality.”

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Categories: The Buzz

Theater Buff: Julius Anthony Rubio of “Finding Neverland”

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Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Michael Charles via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Michael Charles via The Broadway Blog.)

Every third Wednesday of the month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s nosey little questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month we visit Julius Anthony Rubio, currently appearing in Finding Neverland, the charming new musical about the inspiration for J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Name:
Julius Anthony Rubio

Hometown:
Miami, Florida

If you could fly like Peter Pan, where would your first destination be and why?
Since Peter Pan originated in London, I think Big Ben would be my first stop. I could literally hang out on the hands of the clock as it’s in motion—taking in that view and feel of the city. I have a huge obsession with that town, let alone that monument, and still have never been. It’d be a dream to visit—flying or not!

Who would you want to bring with you to Neverland? And would it look like a five-star resort, a camping site, or something in between?
If only I could have the magical power of reuniting the most important and influential people in my life. I’d bring my family (my two sisters, brother and mother) to a place that would include a beach, crystal blue waters, and gorgeous forested Spanish-style houses. So like Fiji and Miami together, is that even possible?

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call?
I definitely have to say curtain call. If you could only see the audiences’ faces and tears from being so touched by the show, especially with how emotional the show ends. It’s the best and most rewarding payoff.

The best post-show cocktail in New York City is at:
I’m going say Industry, primarily because my incredible boyfriend works there and I love visiting him. I mean c’mon!

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

After you’ve hit all the traditional sites of New York City, you should totally go to:
Diamond Horseshoe’s Queen Of The Night at the Paramount Hotel. It’s by far one of the most gorgeous and sexiest venues, and one of the most exhilarating subversive dinner theater experiences I’ve ever had. There’s nothing like it and the food and entertainment is beyond.

My workout “secret” is:
Eight shows a week and daily weight training conditioning definitely helps but I’d say my secret is swimming. I figured since that’s how I got to this country I’d keep doing it… totally kidding!

When I’m looking for a date, nothing attracts me more than:
A silly sense of humor and “swag” (aka confidence). I can barely take myself seriously but will charm you just the way my momma taught me. That combination is golden.

My favorite website to visit that you may not have heard of is:
The YouTube page belonging to my collaborative performance and nightlife group called “The JamFam,” which features New York-based recording artist Mila Jam.

People would be surprised to learn that…
My siblings’ and my mother’s names are Julien, Julie, Julia and I’m Julius.

When I was 10, I wanted to be just like:
Ricky Martin. I still do, though. Is that bad?

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
Owning, directing and choreographing my own Broadway shows and commercial tours/events, along with a family to call my own. One day!

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

Julius Anthony Rubio (photo: Rex Lot via The Broadway Blog.)

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Categories: Theater Buff

Review: ‘The Flick’ at Barrow Street Theatre

Aaron Clifton Moten, Louisa Krause, and Matthew Maher in "The Flick" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Aaron Clifton Moten, Louisa Krause, and Matthew Maher in “The Flick” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

There is a powerful character that you won’t see in The Flick—the script. Set in Worcester, Massachusetts, Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, three-person play (with a few brief appearances from a fourth) follows a motley group of movie theater employees as they interact on the job. Her 124-page exercise in hyperrealism reads like a movie script, with extensive stage directions, pauses, sentence interruptions, and so on. Of course, as a reviewer, I had the privilege of asking for it to try to make sense of Baker’s subtle exercise in humanity, but the average audience member must simply settle in for the three-plus hours and trust that he or she will be carried on an emotional journey worth the investment. Most will feel the pay-off from Sam Gold’s delicate direction and supreme performances by the cast—all of who return to the production after its original run last year at Playwrights Horizons.

Avery (Aaron Clifton Moten), a 20-year-old African American, arrives at the run-down film house for his first day on the job. He’s trained by Sam (Matthew Maher), a beleaguered 35-year-old stuck in a dead-end job with minor ambitions to hopefully run the projector, currently overseen by Rose (Louisa Krause)—a sexually magnetic 20-something who dresses in black and dyes the tips of her hair green. Sam and Rose are Caucasian, and that racial divide will come into play as a well-placed plot point later in the action. But this isn’t an obvious morality play as much as three exceptionally well honed character studies.

Avery is an avid movie buff with a keen ability to connect any combination of actors via six degrees (or less) of separation. It sparks an interesting comparison to those familiar with John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation, the 1990 play that also examined race, class, and relationships. Sam repeatedly challenges Avery’s film knowledge as the two become friends over time… or are they just work buddies? It’s hard to tell and anyone who has had a survival job can attest to the fleeting relationships one forms simply to stay connected to the outside world while muddling through mundane tasks that pay the bills.

Louisa Krause and Matthew Maher in "The Flick" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Louisa Krause and Matthew Maher in “The Flick” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

It is Rose’s wavering moral compass that stirs the pot, first to set a precedent for deception, then to point fingers at those who suffer the consequences. She is the subject of Sam’s unrequited affection, and the instigator of something a bit tawdrier with Avery. So the trio goes about their business for months on end, and though the script may skip calendar chunks, the onstage action unfolds in real time with such detailed specificity that I occasionally wanted to scream, “Can you just sweep that popcorn a bit faster?” The answer, of course, is yes, but the revelation is that these three are lost souls, caught in life’s repetitive rotation without much of a clue as to how to set a different course.

Spouting a speech impediment and referencing a worsening rash as the play wears on, Mr. Maher as Sam is an unconventional leading man. Yet the character’s lovability quotient holds steady despite unlovable actions (or inactions), and it is this unbecoming but recognizable mediocrity that makes him that much more believable. Mr. Moten captures Avery’s lost boy soul with haunting accuracy, and if you’ve ever been around someone overmedicated for depression you might see some frighteningly truthful resemblances. Ms. Krause delivers perhaps the most dynamic shifts as a young woman discovering the power and potential abuse of her own sexuality. At times androgynous and at others wildly feminine, she casts a palpable, flippant energy that can shift on a dime.

Director Sam Gold keeps things grounded with the help of an appropriately dingy set by David Zinn and sensorial elements by Jane Cox (lighting design) and Bray Poor (sound design.) But this is Annie Baker’s story to tell. And that she does, one deliberate word and stage direction at a time.

The Flick
Barrow Street Theatre
27 Barrow Street
Through August 30

Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at roodeloo

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Review: What I Did Last Summer

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by Samuel L. Leiter

Juliet Brett, Noah Galvin, and Pico Alexander in "What I Did Last Summer" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Juliet Brett, Noah Galvin, and Pico Alexander in “What I Did Last Summer” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

In the popular, semiautobiographical 1971 movie, Summer of ’42, Hermie, an innocent 15-year-old boy vacationing with his family on Nantucket Island, has a romantic relationship with a beautiful young woman whose husband has gone off to war. I couldn’t help remembering this while watching A.R. Gurney’s semiautobiographical 1983 play, What I Did Last Summer, in which Charlie, an innocent 14-year-old vacationing with his family on Lake Erie in the summer of 1945, while his father is off at war, has a nonromantic relationship with an unusual middle-aged woman. In both instances, when the summer ends, so does the relationship between boy and woman, although the memory and influence of that wartime summer never fade.

Gurney’s comedy, originally produced by the Circle Repertory Company, and now in revival at the Pershing Square Signature Theatre, where the 84-year-old dramatist is in residency, is a frequently appealing but dramatically slight piece of nostalgia for a time long gone, when you were warned not to go in the water for an hour after eating, and when the music in the air was likely to be “Swinging on a Star” or “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.”

Kristine Nielsen in "What I Did Last Summer" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Kristine Nielsen in “What I Did Last Summer” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Charlie (Noah Galvin), son of the well-to-do, properly conservative—if secretly adulterous—Grace (Carolyn McCormick), and brother of the pesky 19-year-old Elsie (Kate McGonigle), is friends with a 16-year-old Canadian boy named Ted (Pico Alexander), and a cute 14-year-old girl named Bonny (Juliet Brett). Needing pocket money, Charlie convinces the local eccentric, a talented art teacher of part-Amerindian descent named Anna Trumbull (Kristine Nielsen), to give him odd jobs. Known as the Pig Woman because her house used to be a pigsty, her father was a railroad executive but she fell on hard times after being the mistress of a wealthy doctor; Anna now holds cynical views toward the privileged class in which she was raised and to which Charlie’s WASP parents belong. Charlie becomes her art student, falls under her free-spirited influence, rebels against his upbringing, clashes with his mother, and wants to remain with Anna rather than go to the exclusive boarding school his mother has arranged for him. Grace visits Anna, once her own teacher, inciting the play’s most dramatic confrontation, before the situation resolves itself and the summer comes to its bittersweet end.

Although the dialogue is often amusing and there’s sentimental interest in the period, little in the two-act play (which runs around two hours) is more than skin deep, even if, at the end, a tear wells up in your eye when Charlie and his muse must come to their inevitable parting. The second act conflict between Grace and Anna over what’s best for the boy strikes sparks but seems stylistically out of keeping with what precedes and follows it.

What makes this revival work is Jim Simpson’s imaginatively stylized direction, which takes its cue from Gurney’s own playful fourth-wall smashing, not only when characters speak directly to the audience but also when they wonder who and what the play’s about. Here’s Elsie at one point: “Oh boy. I’ll tell you one thing this play is not about. It’s not about me. It’s not about how it feels to grow up during a war when all the boys your age are away.” Later, when a crisis gives her something important to do, she declares: “Good God! Maybe this play is about me, after all.”

Simpson’s almost dance-like staging uses a practically bare stage (designed by Michael Yeargan and perfectly lit by Brian Aldous) of light-toned wood, set against a neutral colored backdrop, angled like a sail, with only a bench and a couple of low stools to represent furniture or a car; most props are mimed. Shown on the backdrop are John Narun’s clever projections, composed largely of typewriter letters sometimes arranged in pointillist images. The projections occasionally type out Gurney’s stage directions as we watch—like the one that says, “throughout this play, we should be aware of things in the process of being fabricated or made”—and the actors even sometimes see and react to them.

Equally effective is the use of an onstage percussionist (Dan Weiner) who accompanies much of the action with a wide assortment of sound effects punctuating the business, like the closing of car doors or the shelling of peas. Again, the actors now and then respond with a glance or gesture to acknowledge their reaction to a particular sound, or even its absence.

Simpson’s work is like a shiny veneer painted over a flimsy product that might not quite be all it seems if you could see beneath the surface. The actors fit Simpson’s brighter-than-life vision well, but Kristine Nielsen, while too broadly comic to be convincing as Anna, nonetheless steals the show with her unique quirkiness, and is quite touching at the end. She gives What I Did Last Summer that extra touch that makes it a pleasant way to spend a mid-spring evening.

What I Did Last Summer
The Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street, NYC
Through June 7

Samuel L. Leiter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Theater) of Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has written and/or edited 27 books on Japanese theater, New York theater, Shakespeare, and the great stage directors. For more of his reviews, visit Theatre’s Leiter Side (www.slleiter.blogspot.com).

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Drama League Award Winners Presented!

"You Can't Take It With You" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

“You Can’t Take It With You” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Award season is upon us and The Drama League presented the winners of its 81st annual awards today at the Marriott Marquis. We love that the theater is so “distinguished!”

Distinguished Musical
An American in Paris

Distinguished Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Distinguished Revival of a Musical
The King and I

Distinguished Revival of a Play
You Can’t Take It With You

Distinguished Performance Award
Chita Rivera

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Categories: Show Folk, The Buzz

What a Deal! FREE Broadway and Off-Broadway Tickets

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We’re here to help! True… Broadway (and now Off Broadway) tickets have soared into the triple digits, but leave it to your friends at The Broadway Blog to offer you the chance to see a hit show for absolutely free. Just “like” us on Facebook and you’ll automatically be entered to win tickets to Broadway’s new musical comedy, It Shoulda Been You, or the hilarious Off Broadway comedy 39 StepsSee you at the theater!

CLICK HERE to enter!

Curious about the shows? Take a sneak peek…

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Categories: The Buzz, VIP Access

Broadway By The Year, Take 3

by Samuel L. Leiter

Jenny Powers (photo: Maryann Lopinto via The Broadway Blog.)

Jenny Powers (photo: Maryann Lopinto via The Broadway Blog.)

The Broadway musical has had its golden ages and its graveyard eras, but even the dreariest seasons usually have provided at least one significant contribution, even if only in a standout song buried in a second-rate show. For those who want a live, if necessarily limited, birds-eye view of how this plays out in practice, there’s no better place to be than at one of Scott Siegel’s Broadway by the Year concerts, now in their 15th year at the Town Hall.

The current four-concert series (one performance each) is devoted to programs that cover 25 years of Broadway history. On May 11, the joint was jumping with joyous theater lovers listening to and learning about (from Siegel’s crisp commentary) Broadway musicals from 1966 to 1990. Although several shows from this period have become classics, these years reveal more tarnish than gold. During this time, musicals struggled to keep pace with the rapid changes in society, theatergoing costs skyrocketed, younger audiences dropped out, escalating production costs influenced artistic methods, melodically memorable songs grew rarer, and fewer and fewer shows displayed creative genius and popular appeal. Among other things both positive and problematic, directorial stars created “conceptual musicals,” rock musicals made their entrance, black artists made the Great White Way more racially diverse, jukebox musicals grew popular by settling for the familiar over the original, and there was a British invasion of powerhouse musicals.

Much of this was encapsulated in the 25 numbers in Broadway by the Year 1966-1990, which began with Jenny Powers (her slinky black dress proudly showing a baby bump) singing “Where Am I Going?” from Sweet Charity (1966). It ended with Danny Gardner, Sean Harkness, and the rest of the large company joining in on “Oh, Boy!” from Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (1990), with the audience adding its own responses.

Bobby Steggert (photo: Maryann Lopinto via The Broadway Blog.)

Bobby Steggert (photo: Maryann Lopinto via The Broadway Blog.)

Performed against a simple curtained background, with a three-piece band directed by Ross Patterson, the nearly two and a half hour show moved briskly, with a sterling lineup of New York’s up and coming as well as established cabaret and musical theater performers showing their stuff. Most theatergoers would quickly recognize Patrick Page, who did “Cyrano’s Nose” from Cyrano (1973), or Bobby Steggert, who sang “Not a Day Goes By” from Merrily We Roll Along (1981), while promising new faces included Christopher Johnstone singing “Love Can’t Happen” from Grand Hotel (1989).

Most of the songs were performed as solos in solid stand and deliver style, the exceptions being “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now” from Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978), featuring Gabrielle Stravelli and Noah Racey, and “Nice Work if You Can Get It” from My One and Only (1983), with Danny Gardner, Brent McBeth, and Drew Humphrey, both of which included tap dance routines; the band’s instrumental of “Stop in the Name of Love” from Uptown . . . It’s Hot (1986); and Jessica Hendy’s “Nobody’s Side” from Chess (1988) backed by the seven-member Broadway by the Year Chorus.

Several appearances had a sentimental value, like that of Lorraine Serabian, who reprised her vigorous “Life Is,” which she’d introduced 47 years ago in Zorba (1968). Then there was ninth-grader Mercer Patterson, music director Patterson’s son, who—in honor of Mother’s Day—offered “Mama, a Rainbow” from Minnie’s Boys (1970), and seemed charmingly awkward about how to accept the audience’s applause when he finished.

It’s unlikely that several shows mentioned here would be on anyone’s list of favorite Broadway musicals, and as Siegel’s remarks made clear, a number were flops. At the same time, while songs most casual Broadway fans would recognize were present, like “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables (1987), sung by Bob Stillman, or “There Are Worse Things I Can Do” from Grease (1972), performed by Carole J. Bufford, a couple of iconic shows weren’t included.

Siegel, who creates, writes, and directs these shows, must base his decisions on many factors, including what shows were represented in his other recent concerts, what singers are best suited to the available material (which he says is the biggest problem), the need for balance in terms of the kinds of songs that follow one another, and so on. Add to this the dropouts because of illness (there were several) and the difficulties of putting on a show like this become readily apparent (“Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera had to be cut for this reason). As Siegel told me, “it becomes a bit of a Chinese puzzle putting the show together.”

Which reminds me: Chu Chem (1989) anybody?

Samuel L. Leiter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Theater) of Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has written and/or edited 27 books on Japanese theater, New York theater, Shakespeare, and the great stage directors. For more of his reviews, visit Theatre’s Leiter Side (www.slleiter.blogspot.com).

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Categories: The Buzz

The Broadway League Awards

header_corporateThe actors, if they’re lucky, get all the glory. Who wouldn’t want to share the stage with Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth at this year’s ceremony? But it takes a lot of dedicated theater lovers to support an industry that stretches far beyond the Great white Way. The annual Broadway League Awards, honoring excellence and achievement for Touring Broadway, were announced this week during the Broadway League’s 2015 Spring Road Conference. First presented in 1992, the Broadway League Awards recognize the contributions of those who have displayed exemplary service to the Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft.

Chita Rivera in "The Visit" (photo: Thom Kaine via The Broadway Blog.)

Chita Rivera in “The Visit” (photo: Thom Kaine via The Broadway Blog.)

DISTINGUISHED LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD
JOHN KANDER, the multiple Tony Awardâ-winning and often nominated composer, writer, lyricist, arranger, and musical director was bestowed with the Broadway League’s Distinguished Lifetime Service Award. Mr. Kander is the composer half of the legendary songwriting team Kander and Ebb, with the late lyricist Fred Ebb.

For nearly five decades, Kander and Ebb have been one of Broadway’s preeminent songwriting teams, and the shows of Kander and Ebb have toured around the world, bringing happiness to so many with their breathtaking scores, brilliant lyrics and challenging subjects. In addition to The Visit, now playing at the Lyceum and nominated for five 2015 Tony Awards, Chicago is currently playing on Broadway and on tour, and Cabaret is about to go on tour again.

“John Kander is a celebrated composer who has created award-winning work for theater, film, and television,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. “Currently a 2015 Tony Award nominee for The Visit, Mr. Kander has given the world some of the great creations of the American musical stage, many of which have toured the country and the world.”

THE AWARDS
“Broadway is a vital national industry in so many ways. League members worked tirelessly this season to bring Broadway shows to over 200 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Touring Broadway contributes $3.2 billion to local economies across the U.S.  Coupled with the nearly $12 billion dollar economic impact for New York City, it is clear that Broadway and Touring Broadway Series create real value to our country’s economy,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. “We couldn’t do it without the enormous support that our awardees, the donors and volunteers—both corporate and private—give to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.”

Wharton Center for the Performing Arts (photo: whartoncenter.com)

Wharton Center for the Performing Arts (photo: whartoncenter.com)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN PRESENTER MANAGEMENT
Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award
MIKE BRAND, Executive Director of Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan, supervises a dedicated staff and oversees planning a diverse season of entertainment in four venues: the Cobb Great Hall, Pasant Theatre, MSU Concert Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre. The Samuel J. L’Hommedieu Award was given to Michael Brand for demonstrating excellence in management and leadership.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN ROAD MARKETING
PAULETTE HOPKINS, the Director of Marketing at Dallas Summer Musicals, received the Outstanding Achievement in Road Marketing. Under her leadership, Dallas Summer Musicals, which has been entertaining North Texas audiences with live, musical theater entertainment since 1941, continues its long history of successful marketing initiatives. Hopkins is an energetic leader who strategizes unique concepts for each show and works to attract new audiences. Hopkins welcomes and embraces joint marketing efforts and is open to new ideas. Her collaborative spirit has proven beneficial to many organizations, and a new era of collaboration now exists in Dallas-Fort Worth.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT
DANA BRAZIL, Director of Education of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, is the recipient of the award for Outstanding Achievement in Education and Engagement. She has been instrumental in the successful launch of The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts with her far-reaching education and engagement programs. Not only is she pioneering related programming at a new venue, but she is also teaching others and has continued to be a leading force in League engagement activities and initiatives.

GEORGE MACPHERSON ROAD AWARD
TEMAH HIGGINS, Executive Vice President, Broadway Booking Office NYC, was honored with the George MacPherson Road Award. The BBO team provides booking, marketing, logistical and revenue management oversight for multiple theatrical productions. Higgins has been an active member of the League’s Spring Road Conference for many years and her enthusiastic support and commitment is unprecedented and appreciated.

STAR OF TOURING BROADWAY AWARDS
The Star of Touring Broadway Awards were created to honor board members, government officials, donors and volunteers who have given support to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.

PROCTER & GAMBLE – Procter & Gamble’s support of Walton Arts Center’s Broadway Series has contributed to the ability for the theater to grow and develop into a presenter that is participating in Broadway at the national level. Together, Procter & Gamble and Walton Arts Center successfully partnered to create a new market that was non-existent twenty years ago and brought highly popular and Tony Award-winning plays to Northwest Arkansas.

Dallas Summer Musicals celebrates its 75th anniversary this June.

Dallas Summer Musicals celebrates its 75th anniversary this June.

HOLLY REEVES – Long-time dedicated member of the board and a diligent fundraiser, Holly Reeves is a proactive and strong supporter of Dallas Summer Musicals, its touring shows and is a vital part of the DSM nonprofit organization. Her crucial and sustaining work has benefited Dallas Summer Musicals in literally all aspects of development, community outreach and marketing.

GREG AND REBECCA REID – The Reids’ Vincent Legacy Foundation has awarded 22 Vincent Legacy Scholarships to date. The Reids created the scholarship endowment in order to provide youth who demonstrate performing arts promise, strong academic achievement and good citizenship the opportunity to further refine and improve their creative skills through professional instruction.

A program initiated in partnerships with Kansas City Starlight Theatre, the winners have used their scholarship dollars for all types of performance training – from improv classes at Kansas City Young Audiences to master classes at the Coterie, professional voice lessons, hip-hop classes at Kristi’s Academy of Dance, Team Shakespeare courses, and six-week Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive Program in New York City.

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Categories: The Buzz

Three to See: May

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You didn’t think we forgot about our monthly theater hotlist, did you? After more than a dozen productions opening last month, we had to catch our breath—but fear not. More curtains are rising this month. Here are the Broadway’s Blog’s picks:

An Act of GodAn Act of God
Not to be confused with Hand to God, this spring, God takes another form, this time starring four-time Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).The one-act comedy follows the Almighty and His devoted angels as they answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. He’s finally arrived to set the record straight… and He’s not holding back. Based on the critically acclaimed book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, this new play was written by 13-time Emmy Award winner David Javerbaum (“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”) and is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked)

Studio 54
254 West 54th Street
Opening night: May 28
Through August 2

 

FLK_99r1_200Wx200HpxThe Flick
Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play is set in a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, where three underpaid employees mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35-millimeter film projectors in the state. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles, becoming more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on screen. With keen insight and a finely tuned comic eye, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.

Barrow Street Theatre
27 Barrow Street
Opening night: May 28
Through August 30

 

EverAfter2_Homepage_940x432_1
Ever After

Who didn’t love the charming film by the same name starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston? Three-time Tony winner Kathleen Marshall puts her creative spin on this musical adapatation and it’s no fairy tale. Ever After sets the record straight on the fable of Cinderella. It was never about fairy godmothers, talking mice, or magic pumpkins. Her name was Danielle and it was always about her wit, her smarts, her strength, and her good friend Leonardo da Vinci. She makes her own dreams come true. Warm and romantic, funny and smart, this is the musical you’ve been waiting for. Starring Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens), Charles Shaughnessy (The Nanny) and Margot Seibert (ROCKY).

Paper Mill Playhouse
22 Brookside Drive
Opening night: May 31
Through June 26

Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at roodeloo

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Categories: The Buzz, Three to See

Out Critics Circle Award Winners!

Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators for media covering New York theater announced today its award winners for the 2014-15 season in 24 categories.

Broadway’s Michael Cerveris, Nick Cordero, Raúl Esparza, Katie Finneran,  Montego Glover, William Ivey Long and Jefferson Mays will serve as gala award presenters at the upcoming 65th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony on May 21st (4PM) at the legendary Sardis Restaurant. In addition to being acclaimed stage performers, the stars are also former recipients of the esteemed Outer Critics Circle Award.

Celebrating its 65th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theatre, the Outer Critics Circle, is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, web sites, radio and television stations, and theatre publications in America and abroad.

'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
An American in Paris 

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Between Riverside and Crazy

Daveed Diggs (center), Anthony Ramos, Carleigh Bettiol, and Thayne Jasperson in "Hamilton" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Daveed Diggs (center), Anthony Ramos, Carleigh Bettiol, and Thayne Jasperson in “Hamilton” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Hamilton 

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Hamilton 

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Hamilton 

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
You Can’t Take It With You

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
The King and I 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Marianne Elliott
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris 

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Christopher Wheeldon
An American in Paris 

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
Bunny Christie
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Catherine Zuber
The King and I

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Paule Constable
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Alex Sharp
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 

Helen Mirren in "The Audience" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

Helen Mirren in “The Audience” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog).

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Helen Mirren
The Audience 

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Robert Fairchild
An American in Paris

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kristin Chenoweth
On the Twentieth Century 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Richard McCabe
The Audience 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Annaleigh Ashford
You Can’t Take It With You 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Andy Karl
On the Twentieth Century 

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Ruthie Ann Miles
The King and I   

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Jim Dale
Just Jim Dale

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
Ayad Akhtar
The Invisible Hand

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Categories: The Buzz