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One Night Only: ‘Tales of the City’ on Broadway

February 21st, 2017 Comments off

Tales of the City

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has announced the New York City Broadway premiere of the musical, Tales of the City on March 27, 2017 at the Music Box Theatre. The iconic ensemble story of love, identity, and San Francisco will be presented in a one-night-only benefit concert. With a rocking score by the Grammy-nominated Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears and John Garden, and a book by Tony Award-winner Jeff Whitty, this is first time the vibrant new musical will be seen in New York. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and The Trevor Project.

Betsy Wolfe (Photo courtesy of The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.)

Betsy Wolfe (Photo courtesy of The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.)

The concert will feature Betsy Wolfe, Justin Vivian Bond, Armistead Maupin, Jose Llana, Wesley Taylor, Mary Birdsong, Josh Breckenridge, Jeffrey Carlson, Kathleen Monteleone, and Dianne J. Findlay, with additional casting to be announced.

Based on the beloved series of novels by Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City follows a community of friends, lovers, and others who reside at the mythical address of 28 Barbary Lane in 1976 San Francisco. Mary Ann Singleton (Besty Wolfe), a fresh arrival from Ohio, falls into a diverse band of Bohemians and bluebloods, as families are created and rediscovered under the watchful eye of mystical landlady Anna Madrigal (Justin Vivian Bond).

Justin Vivian Bond (Photo courtesy of The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.)

Justin Vivian Bond (Photo courtesy of The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.)

Tales of the City was first developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference in 2009, and had a subsequent run at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco in 2011. The concert will feature many returning cast members from both productions as well as support from the original creative team, including original director Jason Moore and music director/vocal arranger Stephen Oremus. The concert is directed by Travis Greislerand music directed by Cian McCarthy.

“I’m excited to rock the Music Box with this very special show. In 2009, the energy in the O’Neill’s Barn Theater was electric as Tales of the City took its first steps, and we’ll light up New York next month when the musical takes its next step,” stated O’Neill Executive Director Preston Whiteway. “It will be a magical evening, with the words and music of Jeff, Jake, and John, under the watchful guidance of Armistead. I’m grateful to our incredible cast, many of whom are returning to the roles, everyone at Dear Evan Hansen and the Shubert Organization for lending us the theatre, and to the authors and creative team for bringing this piece alive again in support of the O’Neill and The Trevor Project.”

Tickets on sale via Telecharge.com.
Pre-show reception with writers available for premier ticket buyers.  

 

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.

The New York Pops Celebrates Kander and Ebb

February 16th, 2017 Comments off

the scottsboro boys
kiss of the spider woman

chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Pops, led by Music Director Steven Reineke, will continue its 34th season at Carnegie Hall on March 10 by bringing to life the iconic partnership of Fred Ebb and John Kander, who celebrates his 90th birthday this year. The concert will feature highlights from their five-decade partnership, including selections from CabaretKiss of the Spider WomanThe Scottsboro Boys, and Chicago. Guest artists Caissie Levy and Tony Yazbeck will bring these legendary show tunes to life with the 78-piece New York Pops.

Tony Yazbeck (Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock, Inc.)

Tony Yazbeck (Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock, Inc.)

“Caissie Levy and Tony Yazbeck are absolutely terrific triple threats – they are both spectacular actors, dancers, and singers,” said Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke. “I can’t wait for them to join our fantastic New York Pops orchestra in a truly wonderful concert celebrating the 90th birthday of one of Broadway’s biggest heroes. John Kander and Fred Ebb worked together for nearly 50 years, producing some of the best and most enduring music in the musical theatre canon. If their illustrious careers are any indication, this concert is destined to be a hit!”

As the orchestra continues its year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of its flagship education program, Kids in the Balcony, the orchestra has announced that Tony Yazbeck will become a PopsEd Ambassador. Representing some of the brightest performers working today, the PopsEd Ambassadors raise awareness of the incredible programs PopsEd offers to the community.

The New York Pops’ 34th season will conclude with You’ve Got a Friend: A Celebration of Singers and Songwriters on Friday, April 21, featuring Will Chase, Jessie Mueller, and Adrienne Warren. The concert will pay tribute to the soundtrack of a generation, inspired by the music of James Taylor, Carole King, and more.

 

 

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Broadway’s Three to See

February 15th, 2017 Comments off

Broadway and beyond is delivering the goods this month, with star turns from Glenn Close and Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as the latest musical from legendary composer John Kander. Here are our picks of what not to miss.

Glenn Close in 'Sunset Boulevard.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Glenn Close in ‘Sunset Boulevard.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Sunset Boulevard
Glenn Close returns to Broadway in her Tony Award-winning role as the wide-eyed Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s epic Sunset Boulevard. John Napier’s towering sets for the original production have been stripped down to make room for the largest Broadway orchestra in 80 years.

In her mansion on Sunset Boulevard, faded, silent-screen goddess, Norma Desmond, lives in a fantasy world. Impoverished screenwriter, Joe Gillis, on the run from debt collectors, stumbles into her reclusive world. Persuaded to work on Norma’s ‘masterpiece’, a film script that she believes will put her back in front of the cameras, he is seduced by her and her luxurious life-style. Joe becomes entrapped in a claustrophobic world until his love for another woman leads him to try and break free with dramatic consequences.

Ben Brantley described Glenn Close’s Norma Desmond as “One of the great performances of this century.”

Sunset Boulevard
Palace Theatre
1564 Broadway
Through June 25

The cast of 'Kid Victory.' (Photo: Carol Rosegg via The Broadway Blog.)

The cast of ‘Kid Victory.’ (Photo: Carol Rosegg via The Broadway Blog.)

Kid Victory
Kid Victory, a haunting new musical, is the latest collaboration from the creators of Vineyard Theatre’s The Landing, composer John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago, The Scottsboro Boys) and playwright Greg Pierce (Slowgirl, Her Requiem).

Seventeen-year-old Luke returns to his small Kansas town after a wrenching one-year absence. As his friendship grows with the town misfit, Emily, his parents realize that in order to truly find their son, they must confront some unnerving truths about his disappearance. Directed by Liesl Tommy (Broadway’s Eclipse, recipient of The Vineyard’s Susan Stroman Directing Award) and choreographed by Christopher Windom (Pippin, Drama League Fellow Assistant Director) in their Vineyard debuts.

Kid Victory
Vineyard Theatre
108 East 15th Street
Opening night: February 22

 

sunday in the park with george
Sunday in the Park with George

One of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s most celebrated musicals returns (again) for a limited run starring Jake Gyllenhaal making his Broadway debut, and Tony Award winner Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Wicked). With a two-act structure that loosely follows the life of Impressionist painter George Seurat, Sunday in the Park with George has become a cult favorite since its original 1983 Off Broadway premiere at Playwrights Horizons. Past revivals have included the 2008 transfer of Menier Chocolate Factory’s production.

This production is based on the 2016 City Center concert and has a limited run through April 23.

Sunday in the Park with George
Hudson Theatre
139-141 West 44th Street
Opening night: February 23

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

 

 

Cast Recording of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Debuts at #8 on Billboard

February 13th, 2017 Comments off
'Dear Evan Hansen' (Photo: Matthew Murray via The Broadway Blog.)

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (Photo: Matthew Murray via The Broadway Blog.)

Producer Stacey Mindich and Atlantic Records announced today that the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Dear Evan Hansen has made an extraordinary debut on the Billboard 200, entering the chart at #8 – the highest charting debut position for an original cast album since 1961.

In addition, the album debuted at #4 on Billboard’s “Top Album Sales” ranking, and #1 on the “Top Broadway Albums” chart. The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Dear Evan Hansen is available now for streaming and purchase at digital retailers nationwide. Physical editions arrive in stores on Friday, February 24.

One of only four cast albums to reach the top 10 of the “Billboard 200” in the last 50 years, the album’s historic success even outpaced the debut chart position of the Hamilton, which bowed at #12. The other two albums to reach the top 10 in the last half century were Rent and the Original 1969 Cast Recording of Hair.

With a book by Obie Award-winner Steven Levenson, a score by Tony® Award nominees Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, and directed by 3-time Tony® Award nominee Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen officially opened to rave reviews on December 4.

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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).

‘Indecent’ Moves to Broadway With Entire Cast Intact

February 9th, 2017 Comments off

indecent

Daryl Roth, Elizabeth Ireland McCann and Cody Lassen, the producers of Indecent — the newest work by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) — have announced that the entire original Off-Broadway ensemble will travel to Broadway when the production begins previews at the Cort Theatre on April 4, prior to its official opening night on April 18.

The Broadway cast of Indecent has – not unlike the theater troupe depicted in the play itself – been performing the play together for more than two years: during its development with the Sundance Theater Institute and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, followed by productions at Yale Rep, La Jolla Playhouse and the Vineyard Theatre, where Indecent had its New York City debut last summer.

A new play with music, Indecent is inspired by the true story of the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance about a Jewish family that lives above a brothel, hoping to gain respect by having their daughter marry into a prestigious family.

Called “superbly realized and remarkably powerful” by The New York Times and hailed as one of the best plays of the year by critics, Indecent charts the journey of an incendiary drama and the artists who risked their lives to perform it. Created by Vogel and director Rebecca Taichman (Stage Kiss), Indecent is set at a time when waves of immigrants were changing the face of America and offers a riveting look at an explosive moment in theatrical history.

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‘The Great Comet’ Invites Fans to Sing on Cast Recording

February 8th, 2017 Comments off

The Great Comet Broadway

The new Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, invites fans to be a part of the upcoming original Broadway cast recording.

The Great Comet is looking for fans to join creator Dave Malloy and members of the cast to sing group chorus sections and to play the show’s famous egg shakers for the original Broadway cast recording.  This special fan recording session will take place in midtown Manhattan on Monday, February 13 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm EST.  No purchase is necessary – to sign up, and receive the exact location, visit www.greatcometbroadway.com/castrecording

 

Don’t Miss: MCC’s ‘Miscast’ Benefit

February 7th, 2017 Comments off

MCC TheaterMCC Theater has announced the all-star lineup of performers set for their annual Miscast gala (Monday, April 3), celebrating the 30th Anniversary of MCC Theater.

MCC Theater’s annual Miscast gala is one of the most exciting and unique theater events in town. Broadway’s hottest stars perform songs from roles in which they would never be cast.

Performers include: Tony winners Annaleigh Ashford, Norbert Leo Butz, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jennifer Holliday and Kelli O’Hara; Tony nominees Stephanie J. Block, Brian d’Arcy James and Brandon Victor Dixon; plus Dear Evan Hansen breakout Ben Platt and Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez. Additional names will be announced shortly.

Proceeds from Miscast support MCC Theater’s mission to develop and produce exciting work Off-Broadway, as well as its Youth Company and partnerships with New York City public high schools, and MCC’s literary development work with emerging playwrights.

For more than 15 years, MCC Theater’s education and outreach programs have embodied the company’s mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Programs have grown from an eight-member Youth Company ensemble in 1999 to serving over 100 public high school students each year in several branches, including an Acting Lab, a Playwriting Lab, an Ambassadors program, two school campus-based satellite programs, and classroom partnerships. These programs empower students to achieve higher academic success and become more civically engaged. Each year 90 to 100 percent of Youth Company seniors graduate from high school in four years and enroll in college.

Ride the Cyclone (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Ride the Cyclone (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

MCC Theater broke ground on its first permanent home— a two-theater complex on West 52nd Street and 10th Avenue—on March 22, 2016. Set to open in 2018, the space will unite MCC’s diverse roster of programs under one roof for the first time in the company’s three-decade history. The new facility will also allow MCC to expand its programming and establish it as a cultural anchor within the Clinton neighborhood. The $35 million project is funded by a public-private partnership between the Theater and the City of New York, with $30 million raised to-date.

Miscast
The Hammerstein Ballroom
311 West 34th Street
April 3

 

 

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Don’t Miss: ‘Page to Stage’ Seminar with Off Broadway Alliance

February 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Off Broadway AllianceDo you think you may be the next David Merrick? The Off Broadway Alliance, the organization of Off Broadway producers, theaters, general managers, press agents, and marketing firms, will hold the next event in its Seminars series, focused on the Off Broadway Producing Process on Saturday, February 4, 2017. The seminar will discuss various pathways of developing shows from conception towards a production in the Off Broadway arena.

The seminar, “Page to Stage, or How to Get Your Show to Off Broadway,” will feature producer Charlotte Cohn (Church and State, Handle with Care), playwright Matt Cox (Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic), co-author, co-producer and star of Cagney Robert Creightonand literary agent Mark Subias who represents clients that span across film, television and theater. Hugh Hysell (producer of Six Degrees of SeparationVanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) will moderate the discussion curated from questions submitted by attendees.

The cast of 'Cagney.' (Photo: Carol Rosegg via The Broadway Blog.)

The cast of ‘Cagney.’ (Photo: Carol Rosegg via The Broadway Blog.)

“Page to Stage, or How to Get Your Show to Off Broadway” will be held on the 3rd floor of The Theater Center (210 West 50th Street). Doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for complimentary coffee and bagels. The panel discussion will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with additional time allotted afterward for conversation with fellow attendees.

Admission for the seminar is $5 and pre-registration is required. Attendees are encouraged to pre-submit questions for the panelists when they submit their reservations. Questions will be asked live at the seminar.

Register at www.PageToStageSeminar.eventbrite.com

 

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