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Billy Porter: The Soul of Richard Rodgers

March 15th, 2017 Comments off

Billy Porter Soul of Richard Rodgers Album CoverTony and Grammy Award-Winner Billy Porter’s new studio album, Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers, will be released April 14, 2017 and is now available for pre-order. The album, which features new, soulful takes on classic Richard Rodgers songs, includes solos and duets from the following artists (in addition to Porter himself): Tony and Grammy Award winners Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple), Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton), Tony Award-winner Patina Miller (Pippin), Grammy Award winners Pentatonix and India.Arie, Tony Award nominees Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along), Joshua Henry (Violet), and Christopher Jackson (Hamilton), alongside YouTube sensation and Kinky Boots star Todrick Hall and multiple Grammy Award nominees Deborah Cox and Ledisi.

Billy Porter is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning singer, composer, actor, playwright and director from Pittsburgh, PA. As a recording artist, Porter’s solo albums include his first CD, Untitled, on A&M records, At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE on Sh-K-Boom Records, and Billy’s Back on Broadway, on Concord Records. He originated the role of ‘Lola’ in the Broadway hit Kinky Boots, which won him 2013 Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards.

As a director, Porter’s credits include Topdog/Underdog and The Colored Museum (both for Huntington Theatre Company); Film/TV: “Law & Order: SVU,” “So You Think You Can Dance” (as a guest judge), “The Broken Hearts Club,” “Shake Rattle & Roll,” “The Big C,” The Humbling, starring Al Pacino, Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down.

Porter’s concerts credits include opening act for Rosie O’Donnell and Aretha Franklin, Carnegie Hall, John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Buffalo Philharmonic, Peter Nero and The Philly Pops, soloist for President Bill Clinton and various benefits throughout the United States.

The complete track listing for Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers is as follows:

  1. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (Pentatonix & Billy Porter)
  2. My Romance (Leslie Odom Jr.)
  3. If I Loved You (Renée Elise Goldsberry & Christopher Jackson)
  4. With a Song in My Heart (Brandon Victor Dixon & Joshua Henry)
  5. I Have Dreamed (Patina Miller)
  6. My Funny Valentine (Cynthia Erivo)
  7. I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair (Todrick Hall & Billy Porter)
  8. This Nearly was Mine (Deborah Cox)
  9. Bewitched (Ledisi featuring Zaire Park)
  10. Carefully Taught (India.Arie & Billy Porter)
  11. Lady is a Tramp (Billy Porter featuring Zaire Park)
  12. Edelweiss (Billy Porter)

“I like to think of this as the Richard Rodgers version of the Hamilton Mixtapes,” Porter said.  “These are classic songs that everybody knows and loves, and I’m so excited for people to hear them in a brand new way.”

Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers marks Porter’s fourth studio album, and his first as producer and content curator, with collaborators James Sampliner and Michael “Lofey” Sandlofer.

This month, Porter launches a national tour that kicks off in Bayside, NY on March 19. Full tour schedule below:

March 19 – Queensborough PAC – Bayside, NY
March 29 – Embassy Theater – Fort Wayne, Indiana
March 31 – Ocean Reef Cultural Center – Key Largo, FL
April 2 – Aventura Arts – Aventura, FL
April 3 & 4 – Crest Theater – Delray Beach, FL
April 6 – Nugent-Custer Performance Hall – Columbus, IN
April 7 & 8 – The Columbia Club – Indianapolis, IN
April 21 – Adelphi – Garden City, NY
April 22 – Kean University – Union, NJ
May 5 – Emelin Theater – Westchester, NY
May 14 – Venetian Room – San Francisco, CA
May 20 –Goodman Theatre Gala, Fairmont Hotel – Chicago, IL
June 17 – Playhouse Square Gala –Cleveland, Ohio
July 15 – Willow Valley Communities Cultural Center Theater – Lancaster, PA
August 14 – Bay Street Playhouse – Sag Harbor, NY
August 19 & 20 – Paramount Theater – Provincetown, MA

Curtain Up! All Broadway Shows Will Perform Tonight

March 14th, 2017 Comments off

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

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

All Broadway shows will perform evening performances tonight as scheduled. For questions about exchange policies, theatregoers should contact their point of purchase.

Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said, “The show must go on! For visitors who are staying in hotels and can’t get home, it’s a great time to see a show. Locals can see a hot show in a warm theatre! As always, the safety and security of theatregoers are everyone’s primary concerns, so those who can’t get into the city should contact their point of purchase for questions about exchange policies.”

Check Broadway.org for updates and to link to official show websites. Weekly performance schedule can be found at: http://broadway.org/performance-times

 

 

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The Family Ties That Bind: ‘The Glass Menagerie’

March 10th, 2017 Comments off
Sally Field and Joe Mantello in 'The Glass Menagerie' (Photo: Julieta Cervantes via The Broadway Blog.)

Sally Field and Joe Mantello in ‘The Glass Menagerie’ (Photo: Julieta Cervantes via The Broadway Blog.)

I have no doubt that Sam Gold’s stark, contemporary interpretation of Tennessee Williams’ masterwork, The Glass Menagerie, will polarize audiences and critics alike. The current Broadway revival, which opened last night at the Belasco Theatre, is a muscular, often anachronistic work. “The play is memory,” says the son, Tom (Joe Mantello), “Being a memory play, it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic.” If you believe those words at face value, as I did, you will discover a production that bristles with familial uncomfortability. That pushes your boundaries beyond the suspension of disbelief. And that, ultimately, breaks your heart as the ties that bind unravel before your eyes.

Set in an alley in St. Louis, “Now and in the Past,” The Glass Menagerie reveals the layered dysfunction in the Wingfield household, helmed by matriarch Amanda (Sally Field) and her two children, Tom (Joe Mantello) and Laura (Madison Ferris). A gentleman caller, Jim O’Connor (Finn Wittrock) later appears, but it is the unseen fifth character of the father, “a telephone man who fell in love with long distances,” who looms over the proceedings like an emotional grim reaper.

Madison Ferris, Sally Field, and Joe Mantello in 'The Glass Menagerie.' (Photo: Julieta Cervantes via The Broadway Blog.)

Madison Ferris, Sally Field, and Joe Mantello in ‘The Glass Menagerie.’ (Photo: Julieta Cervantes via The Broadway Blog.)

Williams’ construct is quite simple, really. During the day, Tom is trapped in a warehouse job at Continental Shoemakers while his wanderlust slowly simmers away. At home, his recluse sister plays with her glass menagerie as his mother tries to pine and manipulate her way toward an idealistic vision for a charmed life for herself and her two wayward adult children. When Tom invites his colleague, Jim, home for dinner, Amanda sets a social entrapment in the hopes that the young man will find Laura suitable for the taking. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans…

As narrator and son, Mantello is wiry, perhaps more middle-aged neurotic New Yorker than down-on-his-luck warehouse worker. Putting “type” aside, it makes no difference. Mantello bites into Williams’ language with a ferocity that some might remember from his Tony award-nominated performance in Angels in America. Mantello has no fear of unhinging Tom’s squelched life. And it helps that he has a terrific sparring partner in Sally Field.

Last seen on Broadway in Edward Albee’s 2002 The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, most of Field’s body of the work has been on the screen, both big and small. The two-time Academy Award winner and three-time Emmy Award winning actress as spanned half a century. Once again, the actress delivers a watershed moment, the culmination of more of a decade of yearning to return to the role, which she played at a Tennessee Williams Festival at the Kennedy Center in 2004. Gold guides her through a fluid vacillation between aging southern belle and contemporary matriarch.

Finn Wittrock and Madison Ferris in 'The Glass Menagerie.' (Photo: Julieta Cervantes via The Broadway Blog.)

Finn Wittrock and Madison Ferris in ‘The Glass Menagerie.’ (Photo: Julieta Cervantes via The Broadway Blog.)

Making her Broadway debut, Ferris is tasked with perhaps the play’s most challenging role. Laura, often portrayed as waif-like with a non-discriminant limp or another physical challenge, is lost in the world of her menagerie. Drifting in and out of life’s social demands, it is easy to shroud her as a victim. But Ferris, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in her teens but hasn’t let that stop her from pursuing a theater degree from Muhlenberg College and moving to New York City, often as difficult to navigate as Williams’ masterwork. This conflict of strength and vulnerability sheds new light on Laura, who seems almost flippant at her mother’s eccentric pursuit of a gentleman caller. But Ferris tends to, at times, vacantly drift, nearly consumed by Mantello and Field’s master class.

But when Wittrock arrives as her gentleman caller, Ferris lights up. And who wouldn’t? He embodies an easy, All-American façade, but don’t be fooled by his good looks. Wittrock mines Jim for all he’s worth, clutching to a gem given by the playwright, who pegs Jim as a man in pursuit of upward mobility. Jim is taking a night course in public speaking, and Wittrock joyfully nudges this character detail to the forefront with a bellowing voice.

Stripped down to its bare walls, scenic designer Andrew Lieberman and lighting designer Adam Silverman create a barren theatrical landscape at the Belasco. But there is plenty to feast on in this eighth Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie.

The Glass Menagerie
Belasco Theatre
111 West 44th Street, NYC
Through July 2

Exclusive: ShowTickets.com Interview with Telly Leung

March 8th, 2017 Comments off
Telly Leung (Photo: Leon Le Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

Telly Leung (Photo: Leon Le Photography via The Broadway Blog.)

“There’s no people like show people!” (Or so sang Ethel Merman.) The Broadway Blog is thrilled to announce our partnership with ShowTickets.com, one of the best online resources for choosing, purchasing, and saving on the most popular shows nationwide. We’ve combined creative forces to bring you exclusive interviews with some of Broadway’s biggest stars.

Our first column features Telly Leung, currently starring in In Transit on Broadway. Telly shares with readers about Broadway’s first a cappella musical, his audition experience, backstage insights, and his favorite NYC hot spots.

For the full article click here.

Justin Guarini and Telly Leung in 'In Transit.' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Justin Guarini and Telly Leung in ‘In Transit.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)

15 Minutes with Tony Yazbeck

March 6th, 2017 Comments off
Tony Yazbeck (Photo: Emma Mead via The Broadway Blog.)

Tony Yazbeck (Photo: Emma Mead via The Broadway Blog.)

Mrs. Yazbeck might not have had a dream about her son being on the Orpheum circuit, but she knew that her son, Tony, was meant for a Broadway stage. For two years, she drove the future Tony nominee to and from their home in Bethlehem, PA. to the St. James Theatre to perform as a newsboy in the 1989 revival of Gypsy. The production marked his Broadway debut. Yazbeck would go on to star in the revival of A Chorus Line, On the Town, and the 2014 version of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone.

On Friday, March 10, Tony Yazbeck will join another Broadway baby, Caissie Levy, and The New York Pops for a night of Kander and Ebb.

Recently, the song and dance man chatted over the phone about his new role as a father and Pops Ambassador, as well as his career and what audiences can expect from a night at Carnegie filled with “Razzle Dazzle.”

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

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

BB: I know that new parents love to talk about their children. Tell us about your newborn. 
TY: It’s your entire world now. It opens you up as a person and makes you more vulnerable. You have an instantaneous feeling of ‘I will die for you.’ It settles your mind and heart. It’s constant love. He’s a cool dude and I hope he loves his parents as much as we love him. When they say they grow up in a heartbeat, they aren’t kidding! Leonard Blaise Yazbeck was 4 weeks old on March 1.

BB: Are you getting any sleep? 
TY: Oh! That’s relative. My wife is the real trooper and I’m just trying to be there for her as best as I can.

BB: How did you land your first Broadway show, Gypsy, at the tender age of 11? 
TY: I was living in Bethlehem, PA, at the time, religiously taking dance classes. My mom saw an ad that they were casting newsboys. We went to the call at the stage of the St. James theatre and had to sing, dance, and play the clarinet. Before the day was done, the casting director, Stuart Howard, brought my parents and me downstairs and offered me the part right away. I started work two days later with three days of rehearsal and was put into the show on the fourth day.

BB: That version starred Tyne Daly. You were probably wondering who she was. 
TY: I learned from the older actors who everyone was and they told me that she’s an incredible actress. I thought, ‘well, I guess I have to watch her!’ Every night, I would watch her sing “Some People” from the wings. Watching her affect an audience like that was amazing.

BB: Did your career continue after Gypsy or did you take a break? 
TY: I was 13 years old when it closed and it was at a point when a boy goes through puberty. I auditioned for The Will Rogers Follies and they told me that I was too big. It was rather disparaging to think that I was no longer a kid in the business. So, I went back to school. I ended up graduating high school at a performing arts school in Florida, then went to school in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, moved to New York City, and continued my goal of reaching Broadway again.

BB: Is this your Carnegie Hall debut? 
TY: As a solo performer? For sure. I was in the concert version of South Pacific with Reba McIntyre and Brian Stokes Mitchell. To this day, Mitchell’s version of “This Nearly Was Mine” is one of my favorites.

BB: You’ll be singing songs from the legendary team of Kander and Ebb. What is it about their body of work that people find so appealing? 
TY: They write for the underdog. I’ve been looking at a lot of their lyrics that I haven’t seen since college. They are so clever! It’s amazing to see that the words they wrote years ago still pertain to today. It’s neat to see songwriters like this that are so timeless.

BB: Can you share some of the songs that you’ll be singing? 
TY: I’ll be doing “City Lights,” “And the World Goes Round.” Also, Caissie Levy and I are doing “New York, New York” and many others.

BB: You are an ambassador for NY Pops as well. What do you do in that capacity? 
TY: I just started that role. I’ve always been interested in youth education programs. It’s about constantly increasing awareness, which is so important. I’ll be going into schools and teaching the importance of music and the arts. It just heightens our awareness as people and our society.

BB: Is there anything in the pipeline for you? 
TY: I’m on a few episodes of Billions on Showtime right now and I’ll probably be doing a Broadway show later this year that will be announced soon!

Life is a Cabaret: The Songs of Kander and Ebb
Featuring The New York Pops with Tony Yazbeck and Caissie Levy
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium
881 Seventh Avenue
March 10, 8 p.m.

Ryan Leeds is a freelance theater 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.

 

 

Cupid’s Fleeting Arrow: ‘Significant Other’

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

by Ryan Leeds

Gideon Glick, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Sas Goldberg and Lindsay Mendez in 'Significant Other.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Gideon Glick, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Sas Goldberg and Lindsay Mendez in ‘Significant Other.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

You might, as Rihanna sings, “find love in a hopeless place,” but you won’t find anything particularly worth the hefty price of an orchestra seat at the Booth Theatre, where playwright Joshua Harmon’s moderately appealing comedy, Significant Other, currently resides. Harmon’s play has made the leap from a successful run Off-Broadway at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre to Broadway, leaving seasoned theatergoers to ask themselves, “Is this really necessary?”

Harmon’s play begins in the present day, where Jordan Berman (Gideon Glick) is at a night club, dancing to the aforementioned song with reckless abandon alongside his closest lady friends Kiki (Sas Goldberg), Vanessa (Rebecca Naomi Jones) and Laura (Lindsay Mendez). Berman, a 20-something, gay, pie-eyed optimist is lucky to have such great friends around him, but is missing one key element: love. One by one, he watches as his closest confidantes find the men of their dreams.

Gideon Glick in 'Significant Other.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Gideon Glick in ‘Significant Other.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Berman is stuck. Though he’s cute and charming, he can never quite seem to land a date, much less a committed relationship. His feeble attempt at wooing an elusive co-worker ends in disaster. Berman spends a great deal of time thinking about Will (John Behlemann), a colleague who Berman pines for but whose sexual preference and reciprocated romantic interest is opaque. The pair goes on an awkward “date” to watch a film documentary on the Franco-Prussian war. Berman becomes obsessed with his post-movie follow-up and, in one of the few laugh out loud moments in the show, vacillates on whether he should send Will the email he’s drafted.

Stage and screen star Barbara Barrie rounds out the cast as Berman’s grandmother, a somewhat solemn widow whose friends have all died. She’s reached a point in her life when she feels useless, but still manages to muster sage advice to her lovelorn grandson. “You’re just going through a rough chapter,” she says, “but it’s a very long book.”

Glick is excellent and extremely likable, causing the audience to root for him. We want him to get the boy. However, there is also a strong sentiment of annoyance at his lack of trying. Anyone who is—or has ever been—single in New York knows that the attempt at finding true love can be more difficult than hosting a legitimate news outlet at a White House press conference.  We complain about the apps, social media, and online dating but most of us know that they are necessary evils. Cupid can’t shoot his arrow if we’re not even picking up the bow.

Barbara Barrie in 'Significant Other.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Barbara Barrie in ‘Significant Other.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Perhaps it is out of fear and deep insecurity that causes Berman to lounge on the sidelines of love. Harmon delves into this psychology and also paints the typical relationships that gay men have with their closest female friends. It is  a tough reality that many face when, as Ira Gershwin famously wrote, “They’re playing songs of love, but not for me.” Still, the only new aspect of this often told plot line is that it is viewed through the lens of a gay man. Ultimately, it’s just not enough.

Director Trip Cullman, who makes his Broadway directorial debut, directs the work with an able hand. He also directed the Off-Broadway incarnation and is able to pull great performances from his cast. Significant Other is the type of the show that would be perfectly fine in the confines of an Off-Broadway theatre, but it just seems ill fitted in a cavernous Broadway house.

Mark Wendland’s set looks sharp and offers great flexibility as a club, office, and apartment. Significant Other translates simply to a good date: It’s attractive, it has some wit and a decent personality, but there’s just not enough substance for a full-fledged commitment of time or money.

Significant Other
Booth Theatre
222 West 45th Street, NYC
Through July 2

Ryan Leeds is a freelance theater 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.

 

 

‘Miss Saigon’ Returns to Broadway

February 28th, 2017 Comments off
Eva Noblezada in the London production of 'Miss Saigon.' (Photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Eva Noblezada in the London production of ‘Miss Saigon.’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Previews begin Wednesday, March 1 at 8 pm for Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical Miss Saigon, at The Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway). The original production ofMiss Saigon opened at the same theatre on April 11, 1991 and played through January 28, 2001.

Directed by Laurence Connor (the recent hit revival of Les Misérables, School of Rock), the Broadway return ofMiss Saigon will feature four of its London stars: Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi. The cast also includes Katie Rose Clarke as Ellen, Nicholas Christopher as John, Devin Ilaw as Thuy. Lianah Sta. Ana will play the role of Kim at certain performances.Miss Saigon has its official opening Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 pm.Miss Saigon will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018 before launching a North American tour.

The London production of 'Miss Saigon.' (Photo: Michael Le Poer Trench and Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

The London production of ‘Miss Saigon.’ (Photo: Michael Le Poer Trench and Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

Miss Saigon has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt. Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; sound design by Mick Potter; and projections by Luke Halls.  Orchestrations are by William David Brohn; musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Moore.  Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting / Merri Sugarman CSA.

Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, when 17-year-old Kim (Eva Noblezada) is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer (Jon Jon Briones).  There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris (Alistair Brammer) but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.  For three years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he has fathered a son.

The new production of Miss Saigon opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim. Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This thrilling new production spills out beyond the theater and speaks directly to the times we live in.  Not only one of the most innovative shows of the last quarter century, but one of the most profound and lasting great musicals of the 20th century.  There is something in the air which meansMiss Saigon is not only right to come back, but it is urgent and necessary that it comes back now.”

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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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