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Theater Buff: Pilobolus Dance Theater’s Antoine Banks Sullivan

November 16th, 2016 Comments off

Every month, a fabulous actor/singer/dancer fills out editor Matthew Wexler’s questionnaire and offers a glimpse of what he looks like from a bit closer than the mezzanine. This month, Theater Buff chassés off The Great White Way and chats with Pilobolus Dance Theater’s Antoine Banks Sullivan.

Renowned for its unique, diverse collaborations that ignore preconceived barriers between creative disciplines, Pilobolus reaches more than 300,000 audiences members each year. Pilobolus Dance Theater plays two programs in repertory at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from November 16 through December 4.

(Photo provided by Antoine Banks Sullivan.)

(Photo provided by Antoine Banks Sullivan.)

Name:
Antoine Banks Sullivan

Hometown:
Chicago, IL – born and raised!

"Shadowland 2" in rehearsal. (Photo provided by Pilobolus via The Broadway Blog.)

“Shadowland 2” in rehearsal. (Photo provided by Pilobolus via The Broadway Blog.)

How would you personally describe Pilobolus Dance Theater?
Four guys at Dartmouth College founded Pilobolus in 1971. They were non-dancers enrolled in a dance composition class taught by Alison Becker Chase. Over the years it’s grown into the company we are today. Pilobolus doesn’t look for one specific type of mover. My background is in contemporary and ballet, but others come from martial arts, gymnastics, and hip-hop. You end up with different opinions in the room. All the dancers get choreographic credit for the pieces we work on.

Of the pieces that you’ll performing this month at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, which ones resonates with you most and why?
“Rushes” is the closing piece for Program A. It was created in 2007, and when I saw the company perform it some years ago I was blown away. It’s theatrically beautiful—nothing like you’ve ever seen before, balances theater with dance and movement. It’s a peculiar story that I won’t reveal because I want the audience to have an open mind. But I will say that the story was relevant 10 years ago and still relevant today.

“On the Nature of Things” is also a treat to dance. It features three dancers dancing on a two-foot-wide platform above the stage. It’s statuesque, bold and beautiful with heartfelt emotions. It transcends every walk of life. For me as a dancer, it’s also an exercise in living in the moment and staying tuned in—if nothing else than to stay on that platform!

"Day Two," Pilobolus Dance Theater. (Photo: Grant Halverson via The Broadway Blog.)

“Day Two,” Pilobolus Dance Theater. (Photo: Grant Halverson via The Broadway Blog.)

What is the company’s reference point as “theater”?
We want audiences to feel something. A reach in dance—what does it mean? Is it for something or someone? We have to tell stories with our bodies through movement. It’s personal and very special to me. Yet we don’t provide program notes because we want audiences to discover the personal meaning in a piece of work.

(Photo provided by Antoine Banks Sullivan.)

(Photo provided by Antoine Banks Sullivan.)

In addition to being a dancer, you’ve been described as an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights. In what ways have you brought attention to LGBT issues and causes?
So much has happened in the past week and so much has been on my mind. When I came out I was fortunate to have a strong support system. Not every LGBTQ youth has that. I worked with the LGBTQ Task Force in Chicago to get youth off the street, along with HIV awareness and testing, and I had a great mentor there.

As I’ve gotten older, I see how we can reach the masses through social media. This was particularly important to me after the tragedy in Orlando. My first job was at Disney World and we would often go to Pulse Nightclub. I have so many memories and felt the loss quite personally from this senseless act of violence. Through social media, I dedicated each performance to every one of 49 victims of the massacre. Every performance needed to be my best for those who are no longer with us.

I have volunteered with the Human Rights Campaign in my hometown of Las Vegas. It’s important to push through and keep these issues at the forefront. We become so desensitized… one thing happens and it’s in the media for a week then it’s gone. Even the election will be old news in a few months, but its affects on minorities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community will be felt long after. This is a country for everyone and something that we need to continue to fight for.

Antoine Banks Sullivan (Photo: Pilobolus via the Broadway Blog.)

Antoine Banks Sullivan (Photo: Pilobolus via the Broadway Blog.)

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be:
I’d love to be a travel blogger. Or a stay-at-home dad!

One of my favorite spots in the U.S. is Savannah, Georgia, which is so quaint and full of old-school American culture. Internationally, my husband and I love Thailand—just chilling by the beach and drinking fun cocktails. I also love Hamburg, Germany. I was there on tour this summer and one of those cities that I just immediately fell in love with.

Places, Intermission or Curtain Call? 
Places! I live to be onstage. I live to go in front of the audience. That’s my calling.

Where’s the best place for a cocktail in Vegas?
Being a local, I avoid the Strip. I’d head to Fremont Street, which is going through a great resurgence.

My workout “secret” is:
I lift men for a living! Our work makes us strong, but I also practice Bikram yoga or Pilates.

Ten years from now I’d like to be:
I’d love to have a B&B somewhere near Mt. Charleston, enjoying my family and traveling the world with my children… living the dream!

Pilobolus Dance Theater
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place, NYC
November 16 – December 4

 

Broadway Line-Up for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 14th, 2016 Comments off

Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeA dazzling lineup of Broadway’s best will take part in the milestone 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, broadcast live on NBC.

On Thursday, Nov. 24, (9 a.m.-noon in all time zones), Broadway shows will head to the streets of New York for special performances on the telecast of the annual holiday extravaganza, hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today.”

Performances from “Cats,” “Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical,” “Paramour,” and “Waitress” will highlight this year’s landmark 90th Parade.

In addition, viewers will get a sneak preview performance from NBC’s “Hairspray Live!,” which premieres Wednesday, Dec. 7 (8 p.m. ET/PT).  The world-famous Radio City Rockettes will also lend their star power to kick off the holiday season.

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Don’t Miss: ‘Gypsy’ Telecast on THIRTEEN

November 10th, 2016 Comments off
Imelda Staunton in 'Gypsy.' (Photo: Johan Persson via The Broadway Blog.)

Imelda Staunton in ‘Gypsy.’ (Photo: Johan Persson via The Broadway Blog.)

Jonathan Kent’s award-winning production of the classic musical Gypsy—a record-breaking sellout during its acclaimed London run—comes toTHIRTEEN’s Great Performances, Friday, November 11 at 9 p.m. on PBS on the PBS Arts Fall Festival. (Check local listings.)

The first London production to be seen for 40 years, the musical opened at England’s Chichester Festival Theatre before moving to the West End’s Savoy Theatre. This critically acclaimed West End production featuresImelda Staunton as Rose, as well as acclaimed turns by Lara Pulver as Louise and Peter Davison as Herbie.

Critics were unanimous in their praise of Staunton and the production. “Every facet of the character is caught by Imelda Staunton who gives one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen in musical theatre,” raved The Guardian. And The Times enthused, “If you like musical theatre, I urge you to see this stunning revival of one of the greatest Broadway musicals. If you don’t like musical theatre, see it anyway.”

With a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the show was suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. The score features songs that have since become show standards, and helped launch the career of Sondheim. “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” “Some People,” “Let Me Entertain You,” “Together, Wherever We Go” and of course “Rose’s Turn” are among the musical highlights.

Imelda Staunton and Lara Pulver in 'Gypsy.' (Photo: Johan Persson via The Broadway Blog.)

Imelda Staunton and Lara Pulver in ‘Gypsy.’ (Photo: Johan Persson via The Broadway Blog.)

The London production was honored with five Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival, Best Actress in a Musical (Imelda Staunton), Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical (Lara Pulver).

The role of Rose is often called the ‘King Lear’ of the musical theatre canon. The show continues to be produced by regional theatre companies around much of the U.S. A London production had not been seen in the West End since 1973.

Imelda Staunton, OBE, is an Academy Award-nominated English actress best known for her performances in the films “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (as Dolores Umbridge) and “Vera Drake.” For the latter, she drew widespread critical acclaim, earning a number of awards including the BAFTA and Venice Film Festival Awards.

She has twice before received an Olivier Award for roles in two 1985 productions: “A Chorus of Disapproval” and “The Corn Is Green” and for the 1991 “Into the Woods.” Films include “Peter’s Friends” (1992), “Much Ado About Nothing” (1993), “Sense and Sensibility” (1995), “Twelfth Night” (1996), “Bright Young Things” (2003), “Shakespeare in Love” (2004) and “Freedom Writers” (2007).

The production was filmed by Emmy Award-winner Lonny Price for Ellen M. Krass Productions with Serpent Productions and Shout! Factory, in association with the BBC.

For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its more than 40-year history on public television,Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming.

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Tonight: Unpacking White Dominance in Musical Theater

November 9th, 2016 Comments off

musical theatre factoryIn an effort to move the theater industry toward greater inclusion both on and off stage, Musical Theatre Factory presents PULL TOGETHER, a community salon that will open up the Black Lives Matter conversation. The salon aims to unpack white dominance in the industry in an honest and non-threatening way in order to change the paradigm of representation in musical theater. The salon will take place tonight, November 9, 2016 at the PIT Underground, 123 East 24th St.

“This event is based upon (and titled after) the concept of harambee—an African tradition of cooperative self-help forums that promote unity and constructive ways to solve problems,” says Aaron Salley, MTF’s Outreach Coordinator. “Although PULL TOGETHER is specifically in reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement, we are hoping this will be the start of a series of open discussions on equality in musical theater of all kinds.”

The three-hour structured event is a mix between open mic and town hall and is intended to:

  • Promote systemic change in the theatre industry.
  • Change whose stories are being told—who’s getting access, support, appropriate attention.
  • Expose racism in our community and offer constructive, proactive solutions.
  • Share current events effects on our lives and artistry; how do we feel in the interim between shooting events?
  • Generate ideas how can the larger musical theater community be more supportive.

Tickets for PULL TOGETHER are $10 and can be purchased online at http://mtf.nyc/events/november-factory-salon/

 

‘Neil Simon’s Memoirs’ Hits Shelves Today

November 8th, 2016 Comments off

Neil Simon's MemoirsThe complete memoirs of playwright Neil Simon hit the bookshelves today, featuring a new introduction by Nathan Lane and afterword by Simon’s wife, Elaine Joyce.

The aptly titled Neil Simon’s Memoirs combines Neil Simon’s two bestselling memoirs, Rewrites and The Play Goes On, into one volume that spans his extraordinary five-decade career in theater, TV and film. Rewrites takes Simon through his first love, his first play and his first brush with failure.

There is the humor of growing up in Washington Heights (which inspired his play Brighton Beach Memoirs) where, despite his parents’ rocky marriage and many separations, he learned to see the funny side of family drama as when his mother screamed thinking she saw a body on the floor in their apartment. (It turned out to be the clothes his father discarded in the hallway after a night of carousing.) He describes his marriage to his beloved wife Joan, and writes lucidly about the pain of losing her to cancer. The Play Goes On continues his life’s story, as he wins the Pulitzer Prize and reflects with humor and insight on his tumultuous life and meteoric career.

Now, with the whole story in one place, Neil Simon’s Memoirs traces the history of modern entertainment over the last 50 years through the eyes of a man who started life as the son of a garment salesman and became the greatest, and most successful, American playwright of all time.

Neil Simon has written more than 30 Broadway plays and musicals including Barefoot in the Park; The Odd Couple, Promises, Promises; Sweet Charity; Brighton Beach Memoirs; Plaza Suite; They’re Playing Our Song; Chapter Two; Lost in Yonkers; The Sunshine Boys; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Broadway Bound; and Biloxi Blues, along with such films as The Goodbye Girl, Murder by Death and The Out-of-Towners. He has won three Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Kennedy Center Honor, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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Don’t Miss: ‘She Loves Me’ Fathom Event 12/1

November 4th, 2016 Comments off
Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti in 'She Loves Me.' (Photo: Joan Marcus the The Broadway Blog.)

Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti in ‘She Loves Me.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus the The Broadway Blog.)

Fathom Events is partnering with theatre streaming service, BroadwayHD, to bring select live and captured-live theatre performances to U.S. movie theaters. The critically-acclaimed Roundabout Theatre Company production of She Loves Me will be the first title offered in cinemas nationwide on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7 p.m. local time. In addition to the performance, this one-night cinema event will include exclusive interviews with the cast (Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski) and creative team.

Fathom Events and BroadwayHD will partner to bring select domestic (Broadway/Off-Broadway) and international (London’s West End) theatre performances to U.S. cinemas. The partnership is expected to bring a diverse lineup of productions to cinemas each year, giving moviegoers an up-close and personal front-row experience.

She Loves Me was the first Broadway musical to stream live during a performance at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Studio 54, as part of Roundabout’s 50th Anniversary Season. In the musical, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti and Tony Award-nominee Zachary Levi star as Amalia and Georg, two parfumerie clerks who aren’t quite the best of friends.

Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can’t seem to find common ground. But little do they know, the anonymous romantic pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other. Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?

Gavin Creel and Jane Krakowski in 'She Loves Me.' (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Gavin Creel and Jane Krakowski in ‘She Loves Me.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

This performance of She Loves Me was produced and captured by BroadwayHD in June, in association with Ellen M. Krass Productions, Inc. and Thirteen Productions LLC. It was directed for the screen by David Horn. The acclaimed Broadway production was directed by Tony Award-nominee Scott Ellis. In addition to Benanti and Levi, She Loves Me also starred Tony Award-winner Jane Krakowski and Tony Award-nominee Gavin Creel, alongsideByron Jennings, Tom McGowan, Peter Bartlett and Nicholas Barasch.

“We are proud to share this production with audiences nationwide, after making Broadway history with the live stream of She Loves Me, the show that launched Roundabout’s Musical Theatre Program in 1993. As a nonprofit institution, this is an incredible opportunity for us to share Scott Ellis’s new Broadway production beyond our subscribers, donors and students from our limited run at Studio 54,” said Todd Haimes, Roundabout Theatre Company’s Artistic Director / CEO.

“The best part about seeing theatre performances in cinemas is the ability to watch with an audience of fans and experience the energy of the community in the auditorium. The 2016 multi-Tony Award-nominated She Loves Me is the perfect title to debut this big screen experience for Broadway lovers nationwide,” said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh. “Now anyone can see amazing Broadway talent in their local movie theater.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Fathom Events to bring She Loves Me to audiences nationwide,” said BroadwayHD co-founders Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley. “Once again, we are working to preserve and extend the reach of live theatre. Many fans couldn’t make it to NYC before this exhilarating Broadway production shut its doors. We captured ‘She Loves Me’ in June so we could share it with theatre lovers everywhere. This partnership allows us to take it one step further and bring the Broadway stage to cinemas in hometowns across the country.”

Tickets for She Loves Me can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 500 select movie theaters. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

15 Minutes with Erich Bergen

November 2nd, 2016 Comments off

by Jim Gladstone

(Photo courtesy Erich Bergen via The Broadway Blog.)

(Photo courtesy Erich Bergen via The Broadway Blog.)

On a November night ten years ago, 20-year-old recent college drop-out Erich Bergen flew to San Francisco from his home in New York to start the job he now describes as having “shot me out of a cannon.”

Cast as Bob Gaudio—spring-chicken of the Four Seasons—in the first national tour of the colossally successful Jersey Boys, Bergen spent over six and a half months rehearsing and performing at the Curran Theater in the City by the Bay.

He returns this weekend, bringing his latest cabaret act to Feinstein’s at the Nikko.

“The city has such a mystique for me now,” he said in a recent phone call from Manhattan. “I have amazing, intense memories associated with San Francisco. It seems like the way some friends who traveled around Europe after college feel about Paris. Whenever I go back it’s like this really important time of my life, the people, the music all coming rushing back.”

Once a child-actor—“My parents used to have me imitate all the singers on We Are The World as a party trick”—Bergen made his national debut at 11, playing Dana Carvey’s son on the comedian’s short-lived ABC variety show.

Bergen is only half-joking when he says, “San Francisco is the city where I became a man.”

“My birthday is New Year’s eve. I literally turned 21 there. I remember we had a cast party at a bar around the corner from the theater. I felt so good, like I’d really done something with my life. And I was doing exactly what I wanted to do.”

(Photo courtesy Erich Bergen via The Broadway Blog.)

(Photo courtesy Erich Bergen via The Broadway Blog.)

Playing one of the Four Seasons in Jersey Boys puts a male lead in a slightly perilous situation: The adulation of the band by its fans is mimicked by baby boomer audiences out for a night on the town. It’s not hard for actors who play the roles to feel a bit like rock stars themselves.

“I had a lead role in one of the biggest shows of all time,” recalled Bergen. “I was on the road with it for a year and then opened the resident production in Las Vegas.” As a young, handsome star of that hit production—which went on to become the longest-running Broadway-to-Vegas show ever—Bergen was the toast (or at least one slice of the toast) of the town, buttered up by LA producers and casting agents who caught his act and beckoned him westward.

Not immune to charms and flattery, Bergen missed a few too many Jersey Boys performances for go-sees and screen tests. After two years, he was fired from the Vegas company.

“It was like coming off a big high,” he remembers. “I moved to LA and did that thing that all actors do. Going to audition after audition. Money drying up to the point where you wonder if you’re going to be able to fill the car with gas.”

Bergen picked up occasional small parts on shows in television series including Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives and also flew back to New York with some frequency, participating in workshops and auditions for Ghost, Wicked and The Book of Mormon, but never landing a lead.

In his Los Angeles downtime, Bergen began to focus on his songwriting, eventually recording a pair of EPs consisting primarily of his original tunes—along with an almost downbeat cover of Madonna’s Open Your Heart.

“In the songs I write and the songs I love, the beat doesn’t come first,” says Bergen, who points to Billy Joel and James Taylor as writing influences. “Melody always wins with me. In twenty years, you’re not going to sit around a campfire and hum a beat. It’s called ‘Name That Tune’ not ‘Name That Beat.’”

The melodies of the great American songbook were attractive enough to Bergen that, in 2012, he did a spell on the road as tap-dancing Billy Crocker in the national tour of Anything Goes. “Bob in Jersey Boys was such a perfect part for me. This didn’t match my strengths as well. And frankly, it didn’t pay as well. I didn’t feel like it was what I should be doing.”

During the Anything Goes tour, Bergen returned to San Francisco, and was delighted to be booked to do his cabaret act on a dark night. Within days of his performance the club abruptly shut down, leaving Bergen with the worst of his San Francisco memories.

Returning to LA from the road and beginning to feel that his career was in a serious downturn, Bergen’s next big break echoed his first: A call from Clint Eastwood, asking him to reprise the role of Bob Gaudio in the movie adaptation of Jersey Boys.

While the film was generally viewed as a flop, the individual performers had a chance to show some star quality. “That film restarted everything for me,” says Bergen.

Erich Bergen plays Blake Moran on 'Madam Secretary' (Courtesy: CBS Broadcasting Inc. via The Broadway Blog)

Erich Bergen plays Blake Moran on ‘Madam Secretary’ (Courtesy: CBS Broadcasting Inc. via The Broadway Blog)

In short order, Bergen won the part of Blake Moran, openly gay assistant to Tea Leoni’s Madam Secretary on the CBS political drama. Rather unexpectedly, the showrunners for the program—which also includes recent Feinstein’s headliner Patina Miller in its cast—have (via karaoke, talent competitions, and the like) come up with opportunities for Bergen to show off his singing chops.

“I did ‘For the Longest Time”’and ‘Fire and Rain,’” he recalls, “And in the Thanksgiving week episode this month I do three separate numbers.”

Bergen’s return to San Francisco takes place during the series’ mid-season hiatus, and he looks forward to visiting some of his local landmarks.

“There’s a little 24-hour diner up the street from the Curran called Café Mason,” he recalls fondly. “It’s a nothing place, but almost every night after Jersey Boys, I went there and had a turkey and avocado sandwich. It was the best sandwich. I’ve never been able to match the joy of it.”

Erich Bergen
Feinstein’s at the Nikko
222 Mason Street, San Francisco
Saturday, November 5, 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 6, 3 p.m.

Read: ‘The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 3’

October 13th, 2016 Comments off

The Untold Stories of BroadwayDress Circle Publishing will release The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 3, the latest in a series by acclaimed historian and producer Jennifer Ashley Tepper on Tuesday, November 15.

Have you ever wanted to spend time with Stephen Sondheim in the lobby during one of his shows? Did you know that Patti LuPone once had a Broadway ghostly encounter? Have you wondered what it was like to be in the landmark Broadway premiere of Angels in America?

From opening nights to closing nights. From secret passageways to ghostly encounters. From Broadway debuts to landmark productions. Score a front row seat to read hundreds of stories about the most important stages in the world, seen through the eyes of the producers, actors, stagehands, writers, musicians, company managers, dressers, designers, directors, ushers, and door men who bring The Great White Way to life each night. You’ll never look at Broadway the same way again.

Author Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Photo provided by Fortune Creative via The Broadway Blog.)

Author Jennifer Ashley Tepper (Photo provided by Fortune Creative via The Broadway Blog.)

This is the third book in a series that will tell the stories of all of the Broadway theaters. Volume 3 includes the Broadhurst, the Belasco, the Edison, the Lyric, the Majestic, the Schoenfeld, the St. James and the Walter Kerr: eight Broadway theaters that light up New York City.

The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 3 is a multi-volume series that will examine 40 legendary Broadway theaters in total. Tepper, who is also a producer in her own right, interviewed over 200 theater professionals—actors, directors, producers, stagehands, designers, ushers, and others—to elicit their funniest and most compelling backstage experiences on The Great White Way.

The first two volumes have been lauded by the New York theater press. “I’m enjoying every chapter” said Michael Riedel in The New York Post. NBC New York named it among its “Must-Reads for any Broadway fan” and raved “the book is filled with juicy anecdotes and inspiring tales.” According to Broadway World, the books “are must-haves for anyone who loves the rich history of musical theatre. Each chapter bursts with information, nostalgia, and good old-fashioned cheesy Broadway love.”

To pre-order the book,  visit www.dresscirclepublishing.com.

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Stream the Best of Off-Broadway on BroadwayHD

September 26th, 2016 Comments off

Sometimes a trip to New York City isn’t in the cards for theater fans. Fortunately, BroadwayHD brings the best of live theater right into your living room. These three titles have been added to BroadwayHD’s on-demand library:

(l to r) Will Gallagher, James Ortiz, and Eliza Martin Simpson in 'The Woodsman .' (Photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Will Gallagher, James Ortiz, and Eliza Martin Simpson in ‘The Woodsman .’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy via The Broadway Blog.)

The Woodsman (2016) BroadwayHD captured a live performance of Off-Broadway’s The Woodsman on May 28, 2016. Based on the beloved writings of L. Frank Baum, The Woodsman, is an imaginative retelling of the origins of Oz’s Tin Man, the woman he loved, and the witch that would stop at nothing to keep them apart. Through spectacular life-size puppetry and original music, the ensemble of Strangemen & Co. presents an inventive take on one of America’s original fairy tales. The Woodsman stars creator, director, designer, and  puppeteer James Ortiz as Nick Chopper, the Woodsman.


(l to r) Paul Sparks, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan in 'Buried Child.' (Photo: Monique Carboni via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Paul Sparks, Ed Harris and Amy Madigan in ‘Buried Child.’ (Photo: Monique Carboni via The Broadway Blog.)

Buried Child (2016) BroadwayHD streamed Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child live on March 30, 2016 from Off-Broadway’s The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center. This critically-acclaimed theatrical production is directed by Scott Elliott and stars Taissa Farmiga, Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Larry Pine, Rich Sommer, Paul Sparks and Nat Wolff. This wildly poetic and cuttingly funny take on the American family drama gleefully pulls apart the threadbare deluded visions of our families and our homes.    


(l to r) Bill Irwin, Shaina Taub, and David Shiner in 'Old Hats." (Photo: Thomas Garcia via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Bill Irwin, Shaina Taub, and David Shiner in ‘Old Hats.” (Photo: Thomas Garcia via The Broadway Blog.)

Old Hats (2016) BroadwayHD presented a live stream of Signature Theatre’s Old Hats, on April 2, 2016, at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Old Hats is created and performed by Bill Irwin and David Shiner. Music and lyrics by and featuring Shaina Taub.

Don’t Miss: Chita Rivera at Carnegie Hall

September 23rd, 2016 Comments off

Chita Rivera at Carnegie HallJavier Muoz and Brandon Victor Dixon, the new stars of Hamilton on Broadway, and New York City Gay Men’s Chorus have joined the list of special guests at Chita Rivera’s landmark concert Chita: Nowadays at Carnegie Hall on Monday, November 7, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

Presented by Daniel Nardicio, this event marks the first time the Broadway legend will headline the iconic venue. The two-time Tony Award winner will also welcome previously-announced guests Alan Cumming and Andy Karl, with others to be announced soon. Tickets are now on sale at www.ChitaInConcert.com.

Chita: Nowadayswhich features signature favorites, new selections and special collaborations with her guests, plus a very unique version of the West Side Story classic “America,” will be directed by Graciela Daniele with music director Michael Croiter leading a 15-piece band. Ms. Rivera commented, “Im absolutely thrilled to play one of the most prestigious venues in the world, Carnegie Hall. We’re going to have a ball!”

Chita Rivera, an accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway (2015), following the acclaimed production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 2014.

Rivera starred in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam.

Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful.

Rivera was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009. She received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002 and was the first Hispanic woman chosen to receive this award. In 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective on her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Chita’s current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.