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15 Minutes with LaChanze

February 26th, 2017 No comments
LaChanze (Dirty Sugar Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

LaChanze (Dirty Sugar Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

One of Broadway’s biggest voices will be rolling into the Highline Ballroom on Monday, February 27, but don’t expect show tunes. LaChanze will be celebrating the launch of her new EP, Feeling Good.

The inspiration came from a cabaret set that the Tony Award-winning actress (The Color Purple) has been performing, coupled with work on her memoir. Together, she felt there were stories to tell that would showcase the music with key moments of her life.

LaChanze (Dirty Sugar Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

LaChanze (Dirty Sugar Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

“All of the moments are very specific — from my childhood through adolescence, adulthood and midlife,” says the actress, who, after several ensemble roles on Broadway, captured the hearts of audiences and critics alike in Once on This Island. The show, directed by Tamara Tunie, also touches upon some of the challenges she’s faced and the people who were influential in getting her back into her life after a personal tragedy.

One of LaChanze favorite moments, which she describes as “pure joy,” is from a specific moment from her childhood, expressed through Dianne Reeves’ radiant song, “Nine.” The multi-talented artist also showcases her own songwriting skills with “You’re Free.”

LaChanze is thrilled to be back at the Hammerstein Ballroom, where she played a Valentine’s Day concert in 2009 and fell in love with the space. In the heart of Chelsea and tucked under the historic High Line elevated park, the venue’s size sits comfortable between a cabaret and concert venue.

“The stage size is huge and equipped with terrific lighting. I love the venue. It’s open, expansive and easily transformed,” says LaChanze of the artistic hub that has welcomed such artists as Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Carlos Santana and more.

LaChanze’s impetus to produce the concert and tour the show later this year (visit www.mslachanze.com for future dates) is multi-faceted. Creatively, it is a celebration of her professional and personal life through song, but it is also an opportunity to stay engaged and relevant in a notoriously fickle industry.

LaChanze (Dirty Sugar Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

LaChanze (Dirty Sugar Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

“For women in general, and not just women of color, when you become a certain age opportunities narrow. We’re viewed differently than men,” observes LaChanze. “Men have full careers in film and television. Women are often relegated to specific roles — the mom or the girlfriend. This happens across the board and even more for African American women.”

“One of the reasons I’m doing this show is because I don’t want to sit around and wait for the phone to ring,” she continues. “And we’re not a monolith. It’s a wide net that’s cast for a few roles, so I’m telling my own story.” LaChanze brought on director Tamara Tunie

In spite of the challenges, LaChanze continues to be in demand and has been working in television, film and voiceover. Broadway audiences will have to wait until at least 2018 for her return to the Great White Way until her daughter graduates from high school before the seasoned actress is ready to commit again to eight shows a week.

But for now, we’re feeling good knowing that LaChanze

LaChanze – “Feeling Good”
Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
February 27
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Showtime 8 p.m.

Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on social media at @roodeloo

 

Florence Henderson Tribute Scheduled for 2/21

February 17th, 2017 Comments off
Florence Henderson (Photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock, Inc.)

Florence Henderson (Photo: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock, Inc.)

Friends and family of Florence Henderson will come together on Tuesday, February 21, at 1:30 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street) to celebrate the treasured star. Alan Cumming, Michael Feinstein, Judy Gold, Whoopi Goldberg, Isabel Leonard, Chita Rivera, James Snyder, Bruce Vilanch and Barry Williams will share their memories and talent to honor Florence. Presented by Rich Aronstein, Kayla Pressman and Glen Roven, this memorial event is open to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis with doors opening to the public at 1:20 p.m.

Florence Henderson was one of the most beloved American entertainers of the last six decades.  Florence arrived in New York at the age of 17 to attend the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Within a year of attending the Academy, Broadway beckoned with roles in Oklahoma, Fanny, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, and The King and I, among others.

The emerging medium of television piqued her interest and Florence accepted the job as the “Today Show” Girl alongside pioneering broadcaster Dave Garroway. Florence was also a mainstay on live performance shows like “Ed Sullivan,” the “Bell Television Hour” and others. That was all a warm up for mega-popular “The Brady Bunch,” the television series that has remarkably not left the airwaves in syndication since it ceased production in 1974 after 117 episodes. It still airs in over 122 countries. Carol Brady became one of the most popular mothers in television history.

In the aftermath of “The Brady Bunch,” Florence Henderson continued to star in major theatrical productions, headline in Las Vegas and perform live at major venues around the country, including in her autobiographical one-woman show All the Lives of Me.

In 2011, Florence released her memoir Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to Lovely Lady and Beyond (Center Street/Hachette Book Group). The autobiography spent time on the New York Times Bestsellers List. In 2003, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Florence’s enthusiasm, professionalism, commitment to quality and artistry has made her one of the most respected and endearing performers of our time.Florence is survived by her four children, five grandchildren, one brother and two sisters.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Celebrates 4 Shows on Broadway

February 10th, 2017 Comments off
The casts of Andrew Lloyd Webber's current shows on Broadway. (Photo: Nathan Johnson via The Broadway Blog.)

The casts of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s current shows on Broadway. (Photo: Nathan Johnson via The Broadway Blog.)

Moments before the curtain went up on the Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard, starring Glenn Close, the stars of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s productions came together to celebrate the legendary composer’s historic achievement of having four musicals running simultaneously on Broadway with a commemorative photo.

Lloyd Webber posed backstage at Broadway’s Palace Theatre with cast members from Sunset Boulevard (Glenn Close, Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon, Fred Johanson), School of Rock – The Musical (Eric Petersen, Jersey Sullivan, Rachel Katzke), CATS (Jessica Hendy, Harris Milgrim, Tanner Ray Wilson), and The Phantom of the Opera (James Barbour, Kaley Ann Voorhees).

The Meeting* You Won’t Want to Miss: Justin Sayre

January 28th, 2017 Comments off

by Jon L. Jensen

Justin Sayre (Photo: Ricardo Nelson via The Broadway Blog.)

Justin Sayre (Photo: Ricardo Nelson via The Broadway Blog.)

Justin Sayre’s The Meeting* of the International Order of Sodomites convened again on January 22 at Joe’s Pub. The performance marked the beginning of the final season of Sayre’s hit comedy/variety show, at a time when performances like it could not feel more essential.

Sayre is big in every sense of the word. His bearish looks are matched by a giant wit and intelligence. While many gay performers and icons prize cattiness and cynicism, Sayre is big-hearted, warm and generous. He took the stage at Joe’s Pub two days after the inauguration and a day after the International Women’s March.

“We’re coming in hot,” said Sayre, adjusting his giant amethyst ring, attired in a flowing sweater ensemble, red-sequined pumps and a pink “pussy” cap.

His show featured tributes to two deceased gay icons, George Michael and Debbie Reynolds, but Sayre spent much of the evening processing contemporary events—especially the Women’s March.

Sayre called on the members of his “International Order of Sodomites” to be active participants in a resistance that reaches far beyond the concerns of the LGBTQIA community. Inspired by his participation in the Women’s March, Sayre argued that gays should unite with women, men, people of color and children against America’s new nationalist/isolationist leadership. “We have to come together because it’s too important,” he said.

The Meeting* paid tribute to George Michael who passed away on Christmas Day. Nadia Quinn, channeling a Christian camp counselor circa 1983, sang “Faith.” Julian Fleischer crooned “Kissing a Fool.” And Drew Brody called on the audience to sing back-up for “Father Figure.”

George Michael (Slavko Sereda : Shutterstock, Inc.)

George Michael (Slavko Sereda : Shutterstock, Inc.)

Of all the musical performances, none was as rousing (or envelope-pushing) as Bridget Barkan. The singer came out in an Obama mask and began an electric rendition of Michael’s “Freedom 90.” Soon she stripped of the blackface mask, to reveal a bad comb-over wig and began to sing the song as the new orange-faced POTUS. For the final verse, she stripped off her tuxedo and released her own long, auburn hair—her breasts taped with black gaffer’s tape, the word FREEDOM emblazoned across her chest.

Although the evening would have benefited from more music, Sayre remained the star of the show. He talked warmly of Debbie Reynolds, clued the audience in on this YouTube gem, and sang Reynolds’ “Tammy.”

One of the most poignant moments of the evening, however, came as he teared up recounting his interaction with a small child and her mother at the March. The moment epitomized what makes Sayre such a treasure. Here is a comedian who is not afraid of appearing earnest and vulnerable. According to him, children cannot tear their eyes off of him. “I don’t know if they’re drawn to me out of fascination,” he said, “or an intense fear that they might become me.”

The Gay Agenda - Album Cover (1)I cannot speak for the children, but I share in their fascination with Sayre. This reviewer ended up kicking myself that I showed up to the Meeting* seven years too late.

If you are like me, a little behind the times, do not miss your chance to catch The Meeting*’s final performances at Joe’s Pub. The final shows will tribute:

Michael Bennett (February 19)
The Velvet Underground (March 19)
Patti LuPone (April 23)

The final celebration will be held with two performances on Sunday, May 14 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. You can also download Sayre’s comedy album, The Gay Agenda, on iTunes here , or subscribe to his podcast “Sparkle & Circulate” here.

Jon L. Jensen is a poet and educator. His forthcoming novel-in-verse attempts to give his native Wyoming an epic makeover.

 

 

 

‘Sunday in the Park with George’ Announces Full Cast

January 24th, 2017 Comments off

sunday in the park with george

Ambassador Theatre Group (Mark Cornell, CEO; Adam Speers, Executive Producer) has announced the complete casting and creative team for the Broadway revival of New York City Center’s production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George.

Sondheim and Lapine’s masterpiece follows painter Georges Seurat (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Consumed by his need to “finish the hat,” Seurat alienates the French bourgeoisie, spurns his fellow artists, and neglects his lover Dot (Annaleigh Ashford), not realizing that his actions will reverberate over the next 100 years.

Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (in his Broadway musical debut) and Tony Award winner  Annaleigh Ashford will be joined by Tony Award nominee Brooks Ashmanskas, Jenni Barber,Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin, Mattea Marie Conforti, Erin Davie, Claybourne Elder, Tony Award nominee Penny Fuller,Jordan Gelber, Tony Award winner Robert Sean Leonard, Liz McCartney, Tony Award winner Ruthie Ann Miles, Ashley Park, Jennifer Sanchez, David Turner, Max Chernin, MaryAnn Hu, Tony Award nominee Michael McElroy, Jaime Rosenstein, Julie Foldesi, and Andrew Kober.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Photo: Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com)

Jake Gyllenhaal (Photo: Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com)

As previously announced, Sunday in the Park with George will re-open the historic Hudson Theatre (139-141 West 44th Street) on Broadway this winter for a strictly limited 10-week engagement.  Directed by Sarna Lapine, performances are set to begin Saturday, February 11, 2017, with an opening scheduled for February 23 and performances through April 23.

The creative team for Sunday in the Park with George features set design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt, projection design byTal Yarden, costume design by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada, co-projection design by Christopher Ash, hair and wig design by Cookie Jordan, make-up design by Joe Dulude II, music coordination by Tony Honor recipient Seymour Red Press, orchestrations by 2-time Tony Award winner Michael Starobin, production supervision by Tony honor recipient Peter Lawrence, casting by Carrie Gardner/Stephen Kopel, technical supervision by Hudson Theatrical Associates, general management by 101 Productions, Ltd., musical staging by Ann Yee, and music direction by Chris Fenwick.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.TheHudsonBroadway.com, by calling 855-801-5876, or in person at the Hudson Theatre Box Office.

 

Don’t Miss: ‘Falsettos’ Cast Album Release Event on 1/27

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off

falsettosGhostlight Records will celebrate the cast album of the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of William Finn and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning musical Falsettos with a special in-store performance and CD signing at Barnes & Noble on Friday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m.

The date also marks the album’s worldwide digital release, with physical copies also available and two-disc set available online and in stores. Barnes & Noble will welcome cast members Stephanie J. Block, Anthony Rosenthal, Tracie Thoms, Brandon Uranowitz and Betsy Wolfe, in addition to the show’s composer/lyricist William Finn as special guest. The store is located at 150 East 86th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues on the Upper East Side. Fans who purchase the CD at the store will be offered priority seating. Call (212) 369-2180 for details.

'Falsettos' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

‘Falsettos’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

The first-ever full cast album of the musical includes a 60-page full-color booklet with complete lyrics, production photos, and an essay from Lincoln Center Theater’s Producing Artistic Director, André Bishop and Musical Theater Associate Producer Ira Weitzman. The cast album was produced by Kurt Deutsch with Lawrence Manchester serving as co-producer.

William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking, Tony Award-winning musical Falsettos (Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Scorerecently returned to Broadway in an all-new production from Lincoln Center Theater. Lapine returned to direct an extraordinary cast featuring Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Tony nom.), Christian Borle (Something Rotten!, Tony Award), Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Tony nom.), Anthony Rosenthal, Tracie Thoms, Brandon Uranowitz(An American in Paris, Tony nom.) and Betsy Wolfe.

Christian Borle and Andrew Rannells in 'Falsettos.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Christian Borle and Andrew Rannells in ‘Falsettos.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

“Growing up with Falsettos was a game changer musical for me. With its gorgeous score and trailblazing takes on love, life and crisis, Falsettos is one of our great musicals and we’re honored to preserve the new Broadway cast album on Ghostlight Records,” says the label’s founder Kurt Deutsch. “Having released Finn’s wonderful 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, we’re thrilled to add this recording to our catalog, especially featuring such an unbelievable cast breathing such magnificent life into this ‘tight-knit family.’”

According to The New York Times, “There’s hardly a moment in the exhilarating, devastating revival of the musical Falsettos that doesn’t approach, or even achieve, perfection. It feels as fresh and startling as it did back in 1992.”

Time Out New York raved, “few musicals have the range, idiosyncrasy and emotional punch of this profoundly unconventional and personal work.” Newsday called the show “brave and hilarious, a charming and deeply moving treasure” and added “Finn matches his jaunty and vaudevillian, then haunting, music to enormously quotable, conversational lyrics that catch in the throat as often as they stick in the mind.”

The Chicago Tribune heralded the show as “a musical that throbs with passion and compassion, a masterwork.  It is a unequivocal pleasure to let Finn’s music and lyrics return to your consciousness.”

Falsettos was directed by James Lapine, with choreography by Spencer Liff, sets by David Rockwell, costumes by Jennifer Caprio, lighting by Jeff Croiter, sound by Dan Moses Schreier, and musical direction by Vadim Feichtner, conducting Michael Starobin’s original orchestrations.

 

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Don’t Miss: Justin Sayre’s Final Season of The Meeting* at Joe’s Pub

January 22nd, 2017 Comments off
Justin Sayre (Photo: Ricardo Nelson via The Broadway Blog.)

Justin Sayre (Photo: Ricardo Nelson via The Broadway Blog.)

The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre — the monthly gathering of the International Order of Sodomites, the centuries-old organization which sets the mythic Gay Agenda — has announced the themes of the Winter/Spring 2017 season.

Each month, the I.O.S gathers to honor an artist or a cultural work that is iconic to the gay community. Justin Sayre, the show’s creator, writer and host, serves as the Chairman of the Board of the International Order of Sodomites and brings his singular wit to essential business of the day through such regular features such as ”Letters to the Chairman” and “New Rulings from the Board.”

After seven years of audacious humor, trailblazing political discourse and button-pushing cultural exploration, the acclaimed comedy/variety show is being presented for the eighth and final season at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, which concludes its run in May 2017. The Winter/Spring 2017 shows are Sunday nights at 9:30 PM and will feature tributes to:

George Michael (January 22)
Michael Bennett (February 19)
The Velvet Underground (March 19)
Patti LuPone (April 23)

The final celebration will be held with two performances on Sunday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tracy Stark serves as the season’s music director. Special guests will be announced for each show.

The Meeting* has been called “delicious and delightfully droll” by The New York Post and “hilarious and sardonic” by The Village Voice. After originally opening at the historic Duplex in the West Village, The Meeting* has also enjoyed successful runs at the Broadway nightclub 54 Below in New York, the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles and  Oasis in San Francisco. Sparkle & Circulate with Justin Sayre, the official podcast of the International Order of Sodomites, was recently named among “10 Comedy Podcasts You Should Listen To” by Backstage.

Justin Sayre and The Meeting* – known for a signature blend of outrageous comedy, politics, culture and everything in between – were named among the Top nightclub shows of 2013 by Time Out New York, and received the 2012 Bistro Award for “Comedy Artistry” and a 2011 MAC Award nomination for Best Male Comedy Performance.

James Monroe Iglehart to Join ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway

January 17th, 2017 Comments off
James Monroe Iglehart (Photo provided by James Monroe Iglehart.)

James Monroe Iglehart (Photo provided by James Monroe Iglehart.)

Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart will join the Broadway cast of Hamilton in the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson starting in mid April (date TBD), it has been announced by producer Jeffrey Seller.

James Monroe Iglehart made his Broadway debut in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Iglehart then originated the role of Bobby in Memphis on Broadway before landing the role of Genie in Aladdin. For his work as the Genie, James won both the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

James made his sold-out solo debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below in a show entitled “How the Heck Did I Get Here?” James has played concert venues across the country. James recurred on Netflix’s original series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Coriolanus Burt, the rival of male protagonist Titus Andromedon played by Tituss Burgess. James also guest starred on the Fox television show Gotham. He recently filmed his feature debut opposite Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage and Juilianna Marguilles in the upcoming The Three Christs of Ypsilanti. He is a native of the San Francisco Bay area.

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, music direction/orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.  The musical won eleven 2016 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Score, Book of a Musical, Direction of a Musical, Choreography and Orchestrations.  Mr. Miranda received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Hamilton.

15 Minutes With ‘In Transit”s Rick Hip-Flores

January 13th, 2017 Comments off

by Ryan Leeds

'In Transit' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

‘In Transit’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Rick Hip-Flores is a seasoned musical director, having worked on several projects both on and off Broadway. Yet he, along with the cast of In Transit, is currently exploring unprecedented territory by being the first completely a cappella Broadway show.

The harmonic tuner is currently enjoying an open ended run at Circle in the Square and explores the daily grind for a diverse bunch of New Yorkers—complete with joy, frustration, dreams, and reality.

Photo provided by Rick Hip-Flores.

Photo provided by Rick Hip-Flores.

Hip-Flores recently spoke with the Broadway Blog to discuss the unique aspects of rehearsing and conducting what he considers a “tough beast to tame.”

A cappella singing used to have old-fashioned appeal with glee clubs and barbershop quartets. In the last few years, it’s become quite hip, thanks to groups like Rockapella, Straight No Chaser, Pentatonix and the Pitch Perfect movie franchise. What is it about this style that people find so appealing?

Immediately, I think people react to the human voice. The creative spirit of a cappella is that you don’t need to be classically trained to create music. A group of people can get together, create an arrangement and make it sound great. Mainly, there is an automatic connection when you hear the human voice. Instruments only emulate it.

With “cantata” (musically accompanied singing), it’s somewhat easier to blend singers who possess a variety of vocal skills and techniques, but with a cappella, there has to be a collective synchronicity. You clearly found the right blend with In Transit. What was the audition process like and how you were able to find the right talent?

These actors went through the hardest vetting process of any show I’ve been a part of. They had to sight read, sing in groups, and possess music theory knowledge. In terms of blending with the cast, we listened to their placement of vowels, how much vibrato they used, and other factors that aren’t considered as solo performers. On top of all this, they had to come across as engaging performers. There are many hats that have to be worn for In Transit.

Erin Mackey in 'In Transit.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Erin Mackey in ‘In Transit.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

How is the cast able to stay on pitch from the beginning of each show through the end?

In talking to people after the show, they are always blown away by the cast’s ability to do that, but I have to say that pitch is not the hardest part for them. The most difficult components are staying perfectly in sync rhythmically, keeping the same tempos, and finding the right volume and blend.

Did the cast come into rehearsals knowing the music or was that taught to them?

They all came in completely cold. A few of them had done prior workshops of the show, so they knew a little bit, but all of the parts had been rewritten anyway, so it was all new. The creative team told me that the first ten days would be spent solely on learning the score. In a typical rehearsal process, only three days would be spent on music. At first, I wondered how the cast would sit still for 80 straight hours of music rehearsal. To my surprise, they were extremely intent on learning it and getting it right and I think it shows in the final product.

Margot Seibert and James Snyder in 'In Transit.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Margot Seibert and James Snyder in ‘In Transit.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

I certainly don’t mean to imply that any of the performances in this show are akin to a lip-synced Mariah Carey performance but due to the amount of sounds coming from such a small ensemble, are any of the parts pre-recorded?

(Joking) Well, I wouldn’t tell you if they were. No. Nothing is pre-recorded. Even offstage singing is live. Sometimes, the cast may be changing a costume, moving a set piece, and singing their part at the same time. So the audience will hear the smooth sounds but have no idea what mayhem is going on behind the scenes.

Is this the first time you’ve worked at length in the a cappella arena?

It is. I worked on some arrangements in college, but this is the first time I’ve worked on it in this capacity. It has a whole series of challenges but I will take what I’ve learned from In Transit and apply it both to music that is not a cappella and instrumental music.

Besides the obvious addition of instrumentation, what are some of the challenges and differences between this show and other musical theater projects?

The biggest challenge is from the audience’s point of view. If you think about the energy that a band creates, you can turn up the volume and have the band providing the foundation for that energy. With a cappella, you don’t have the same dynamic variety and range and you have to create it all with the voice. Musically, it’s tough to create a varied evening through a cappella, but I think that the composers achieved it very well.

In Transit
Circle in the Square
235 West 50th Street, NYC

Ryan Leeds is a freelance theatre journalist who lives in Manhattan. He is the Chief Theater Critic for Manhattan Digest and a frequent contributor to Dramatics Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Ry_Runner or on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyne Daly Joins York Theatre Company’s ‘Dear World’

January 12th, 2017 Comments off

Tyne Daly (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock, Inc)

Tyne Daly (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock, Inc)

The York Theatre Company, dedicated to the development of new musicals and the preservation of musical gems from the past, has announced 6-time Emmy Award-winner and Tony Award-winner Tyne Daly will star in the 1969 musical Dear World, when she joins the company in celebrating Broadway composers, Jerry Herman and Kurt Weill, with the Winter 2017 Musicals in Mufti Series, January 28 – March 5, 2017.

In conjunction with the series, The York will present Hello, Jerry, a multimedia presentation by renowned musical theater historian Charles Troy for one-night only Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 7:30pm.

The 3-show Musicals in Mufti series launches with Milk and Honey, book by Don Appel, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Marking the Broadway debut of the incomparable Jerry Herman, Milk and Honey centers on the romance between two Americans in Israel—a lonely widow on tour and an unhappily married man visiting his daughter. Set against the backdrop of Israel’s struggle for recognition as an independent nation, Milk and Honey is a tale of love, optimism, and second chances.

With his first Broadway score, Mr. Herman showed the promise of the wealth of hummable, memorable songs he would compose in the future. Milk and Honey will be directed by York’s Associate Artistic Director Michael Unger, with music direction by Jeffrey Saver. Performances are set to begin Saturday, January 28, 2017 for a limited engagement through February 5, 2017.

It is followed by Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage, music by Kurt Weill, text and format by Gene Lerner, lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, Marc Blitzstein, Bertolt Brecht, Jacques Deval, Michael Feingold, Ira Gershwin, Paul Green, Langston Hughes, Alan Jay Lerner, Ogden Nash, George Tabori, and Arnold Weinstein. Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage is a joyous and moving celebration of Kurt Weill, a cantor’s son and one of the most extraordinary composers of the twentieth century.

Weill’s greatest theatre songs are presented in a fluid blend of music and story, spanning twenty eventful years, from Von Hindenburg and Hitler in Germany to Roosevelt and Truman in the U.S.  Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage will be directed by Pamela Hunt, with music direction by Eric Svejcar. Performances begin Saturday, February 11, 2017 for a limited engagement through February 19, 2017.

The Winter 2017 Series concludes with Dear World, book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, new version by David Thompson (based on an adaptation by Maurice Valency of the play The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux), music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, starring 6-time Emmy Award and Tony Award-winner Tyne Daly as the Countess Aurelia, the Madwoman of Chaillot.

When a group of businessmen scheme to drill for oil in Paris, there is only one force in the world that can stop them: Countess Aurelia, the Madwoman of Chaillot. With the help of idealism, love, and poetry—not to mention two other madwomen, a local sewerman, and a pair of young lovers—the Countess fights to save Paris and the world from greed.

With Dear World‘s opening on Broadway in 1969, Mr. Herman became the first composer-lyricist to have three productions simultaneously running on Broadway, and for her performance 2015 Oscar Hammerstein Honoree Angela Lansbury received the second of her five Tony Awards.  Michael Montel directs, with music direction by Christopher McGovern.  Performances begin Saturday, February 25, 2017 for a limited engagement through March 5, 2017.