Carousel ***1/2

By: Paulanne Simmons

April 23, 2018 As Carousel is my second favorite musical of the 20th century (Showboat comes first), there’s pretty much nothing anyone could do to make me dislike a Carousel revival. And the current one, directed by Jack O’Brien, certainly has much to be commended.

By: Paulanne Simmons

April 23, 2018 As Carousel is my second favorite musical of the 20th century (Showboat comes first), there’s pretty much nothing anyone could do to make me dislike a Carousel revival. And the current one, directed by Jack O’Brien, certainly has much to be commended.

First and foremost there’s the triumvirate of Joshua Henry (Billy Bigelow), Jessie Mueller (Julie Jordan) and Renée Fleming (Nettie Fowler), whose glorious voices bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s equally glorious score to life.Then there’s Santo Loquasto’s sumptuous set that returns us naturally and elegantly to the turn of the last century. Finally, there’s Justin Peck’s choreography that so effectively mixes romance, lust and power.

With all that said, there’s the big elephant in the room, which is the absolute miscasting of Joshua Henry and the subsequent misdirection.

Sure, Billy Bigelow is not exactly a nice guy. He’s vain. He’s narcissistic. He has an aversion to work. And worst of all, he beats his wife. But Carousel, no matter how dark it becomes, is a love story, and in order to make a love story believable we need to understand what the young lady sees in the young man.

Henry’s Billy is so unloving, so distant, so brutal – and all this from the very beginning – there is no way we can understand what Julie is attracted to, much less what keeps her by Billy’s side. One gets the feeling Mueller may have no more insight than we do. The chemistry between Billy and Julie couldn’t set a bundle of hay on fire after a drought.

Fortunately, the supporting actors often pick up the slack. Lindsay Mendez is an ebullient Carrie, and Alexander Gemignani has the perfect measure of self-satisfied rectitude as her betrothed, Enoch Snow. Together they make one of most deliciously mismatched couples in musical theater.

And of course Fleming’s spine-tingling “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is worth the price of the ticket in and of itself.

When a musical is over half a century old, it’s easy to see why a director would want to give it a facelift. But Carousel is a delicate bit of genius. Weighing it down with 21st century socio-political messages is like putting a halter on a butterfly and expecting it to fly.

Carousel ***1/2
Imperial Theatre, 249 W 45th St
http://carouselbroadway.com/
Photography:  Julieta Cervantes

Joshua Henry

Sara Bareilles & Josh Groban to Host Tony’s

BROADWAY STARS SARA BAREILLES AND JOSH GROBAN TO HOST THE 72ND ANNUAL TONY AWARDS®

Tony Awards to Broadcast Live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 10th 

 April 18, 2018 – The Tony Awards announced today that singer, songwriter and Tony nominee Sara Bareilles and Tony Award nominated actor, singer and songwriter Josh Groban will host together the 72nd Annual Tony Awards® live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 10th (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. This will be both Bareilles and Groban’s first time hosting the show. Both starred in Broadway shows last year – Bareilles in the hit show “Waitress,” which she also composed the music and lyrics for, earning her first Tony Award nomination.  Groban starred in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.   Click Here for Our Tony Awards Hosts’ Video Announcement

BROADWAY STARS SARA BAREILLES AND JOSH GROBAN TO HOST THE 72ND ANNUAL TONY AWARDS®

Tony Awards to Broadcast Live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 10th 

 April 18, 2018 – The Tony Awards announced today that singer, songwriter and Tony nominee Sara Bareilles and Tony Award nominated actor, singer and songwriter Josh Groban will host together the 72nd Annual Tony Awards® live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 10th (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. This will be both Bareilles and Groban’s first time hosting the show. Both starred in Broadway shows last year – Bareilles in the hit show “Waitress,” which she also composed the music and lyrics for, earning her first Tony Award nomination.  Groban starred in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.   Click Here for Our Tony Awards Hosts’ Video Announcement

 “The Theater has completely transformed my life in every way possible. I have never felt more embraced and encouraged by a professional community, and I am so grateful for that,” said Sara Bareilles. “I feel incredibly lucky to get to spend an evening celebrating and applauding this outstanding collective of artists, friends, collaborators, and creatives. It is my great honor to join my friend Josh Groban in hosting the Tonys this year, and use the opportunity to simply say a heartfelt ‘thank you’  to this wonderful community…in high heels, with jokes.”

“I am humbled and ecstatic to be co-hosting the Tony Awards this year with such a brilliant artist and wonderful friend, Sara Bareilles. The dedication and inspiration surrounding live theatre gave me my life path as a young kid and the warmth and support of the Broadway community has been the highlight of my career,” said Josh Groban.  “So to be at the helm of a night celebrating the best of that theatre with a person I just laugh way too much with, is beyond words.   But I will have words on Tony night!  The best words!   I look forward to flailing about in front of my peers.  It will be with all the love and respect in the world for the room we’re lucky enough to be in.” 

“Sara and Josh have been taking the music industry by storm for years.  Then just last year, they both made their Broadway debuts, bringing audiences to their feet, night-after-night.   And now, we can’t wait to see what they will do, together, on Sunday, June 10th, when they take the stage at Radio City Music Hall to host the Tony Awards!” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing.

 “Love that these two good friends, musicians, actors, singers, songwriters, Tony nominees and just all around nice humans agreed to host the Tonys,” said Executive Producers Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner.

 “Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban both electrified and inspired audiences last year when they brought their incredible talents to Broadway,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President for Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “These two have great chemistry together and we can’t wait to see what they have in store as hosts for this year’s Tony Awards.”

Sara Bareilles first achieved mainstream critical praise in 2007 with her widely successful hit “Love Song,” which reached No. 1 in 22 countries around the world from her debut album “Little Voice.” Since then, Sara has gone on to receive six Grammy® nominations throughout her career, which include Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Love Song” and one Album of the Year for her highly acclaimed third studio album, “The Blessed Unrest.” Her book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, was released in the fall of 2015 by Simon & Schuster and is a NY Times best seller. Making her Broadway debut, Sara composed the music and lyrics for “Waitress,” for which she received her first Tony® Award nomination for Best Score and a 2017 Grammy® Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. She also made her Broadway acting debut by stepping into the lead role in “Waitress”. “What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress,” her most recent solo studio album, is out on Epic Records. Bareilles was most recently seen playing the iconic role of Mary Magdalene alongside John Legend in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” LIVE on April 1, 2018. For more information, please visit www.sarabmusic.com.  

Possessing one of the most outstanding and instantly recognizable voices in music, GRAMMY nominated singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban has entertained fans across the globe with his multi-platinum albums and DVDs (over 30 million sold worldwide), electrifying live performances, and comedic film and television appearances. The 36-year-old Los Angeles native is the only artist who has had two albums appear on the Top 20 Best-Selling Albums list of the past decade, according to Billboard. He has appeared in the feature films Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hollars, Coffee Town, and Muppets Most Wanted, as well as on NBC’s The Office, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and CBS’ The Crazy Ones. Groban has released seven studio albums, his 2001 self-titled 5x-platinum debut, 2003’s 6x-platinum Closer, 2006’s double-platinum Awake, 2007’s 6x platinum Grammy-nominated Noel, 2010’s gold-certified Illuminations, and 2013’s gold-certified All That Echoes, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, giving Groban his first No. 1 debut and third chart-topper. In 2017, Groban concluded his Broadway run in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which Time Out New York called, “one of the best musicals of the decade”. He also released his first coffee table book, Stage to Stage: My Journey to Broadway. which documented the past two years of his life on Broadway. Groban remains an active arts education philanthropist and advocate as a member of Americans for the Arts Artists Committee and Groban’s Find Your Light Foundation helps enrich the lives of young people through arts, education, and cultural awareness. Currently, Groban is filming for the new Netfilx series, The Good Cop, starring opposite Tony Danza, and working on his eighth studio album due out later this year.

 Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers of the Tony Awards. Weiss will also serve as director for the 19th consecutive year. 

 The American Theatre Wing’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 10, 2018 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The official eligibility cut-off date will be Thursday, April 26, 2018, for all Broadway productions opening in the 2017-2018 season. Productions which meet all other eligibility requirements and open on or before the eligibility date are considered eligible for 2018 Tony Award nominations. 

 The Nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards will be announced live, by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Katharine McPhee on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, from the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced (@TheTonyAwards). The entire announcement will also be available on TonyAwards.com after the event.

About the Tony Awards

The American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Thomas Schumacher is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President. At the American Theatre Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chair and Heather A. Hitchens is President & CEO. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the Executive Producers of the 2018 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as Director of the 2018 Tony Awards.

Sponsors for the 2018 Tony Awards include: IBM – develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards digital experience anchored by TonyAwards.com; Carnegie Mellon University – the first-ever, exclusive higher education partner; Grant Thornton LLP – official accounting services partner; City National – official bank of the Tony Awards and presenting sponsor of the Creative Arts Awards; Nordstrom – official sponsor of the Red Carpet; Sofitel New York – the official hotel of the Tony Awards; Rainbow Room – official partner of the Tony Nominee Luncheon; United Airlines – the official airline of the Tony Awards for the last 18 years and People/Entertainment Weekly – official magazine partners of the Tony Awards.

Paulanne Simmons Unscripted

By: Paulanne Simmons

Let’s Talk About Intermissions

April 22, 2018 – Most of the time when the intermission is over, the house lights go off and the play resumes. But a while ago something unusual happened. Although the orchestra began playing, the lights stayed on as people filed back and found their seats.

By: Paulanne Simmons

Let’s Talk About Intermissions

April 22, 2018 – Most of the time when the intermission is over, the house lights go off and the play resumes. But a while ago something unusual happened. Although the orchestra began playing, the lights stayed on as people filed back and found their seats.

My guest continued with our conversation until a woman in the row in front of us turned and expressed her annoyance. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch what she was saying, as too many other people around us were talking. 

So who was right, the disgruntled woman or all those others theatergoers chatting over the music?

It’s not clear why the orchestra began playing before the house lights were turned down.  But one thing’s for sure. The line to the ladies’ (and men’s) restrooms ran through the hall and down the steps. In such cases a ten or fifteen minute intermission is obviously not sufficient. 

Perhaps there was poor communication between the stage manager and the house manager. Or maybe the lights stayed on so all those people could find their way back. It’s even possible someone decided a bit of music might make those stragglers hurry up.

Between activity at the bar, concession stand and bathrooms, intermission can be a hectic time at the theater. One often wonders whether a traffic cop would be more effective than the overworked ushers.

Some productions solve the problem by eliminating the intermission entirely. This can be tough on the bladder. It also makes life difficult for all those people who suffer anxiety during lengthy periods of time away from their cell phones.

I certainly appreciate a few minutes to digest act one before going on to act two.

So I say let’s keep the intermission, enlarge the bathrooms and have patience with our fellow theatergoers, as long as they keep quiet after the lights dim. 

Benjamin Scheuer

April 19, 2018 – Acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and playwright Benjamin Scheuer will release a limited edition 7-inch single featuring two new songs, “Hello Jemima” and “Silent Giants,” on April 20.

April 19, 2018 – Acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and playwright Benjamin Scheuer will release a limited edition 7-inch single featuring two new songs, “Hello Jemima” and “Silent Giants,” on April 20.

The tracks were produced by Geoff Kraley and, in addition to Scheuer on vocals and guitar, feature Chris Morrisey (bass), Josh Dion (drums) and Julian Pollock (keyboard). “Hello Jemima” was written after Scheuer’s first meeting with his future wife, British artist Jemima Williams. “I saw her across the room and went over to say hello,” he says. “We spoke for maybe four minutes, and the next day I returned home to New York and looked up Jemima’s work. I fell completely in love. We sent hand-written letters back and forth for months. I wrote the song ‘Hello Jemima’ for her and when I was back across the pond, I played it for her the same day I told her ‘I love you’ for the first time. We got married last summer.”

“Silent Giants” was inspired by a day with Jemima under the redwood trees in California. Scheuer notes, “Jemima and I, newly engaged, visited Muir Woods outside San Francisco, where we were awed by the giant redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens—some of which are more than two thousand years old. We had been on tour together, and were feeling rootless; Jemima was missing the UK, and we were both were struck by the patience required of the trees to grow tall trunks and deep roots. I wrote ‘Silent Giants’ about it that night.”

Following the release of the single, Scheuer is set to perform his award-winning one-man show, THE LION, at The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in New York City on April 30. Proceeds from the special one-night-only performance will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Tickets and info available at sheencenter.org/shows/lion/.

In THE LION, Scheuer and a supporting cast of six guitars tell, sing, and play the turbulent story of Scheuer’s family and his own brush with mortality. The show won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance when it premiered Off-Broadway, where it was named among the best musicals of the year by Playbill, The Huffington Post, and The Stage. The New York Times praised Scheuer’s ability to “get to the heart of the matter” with his “reflective pop-folk songs with catchy choruses and just the occasional burst of angst.” The London production went on to win the 2015 Off West End Award for Best New Musical, where Time Out London raved, “[Scheuer] makes his guitars whisper, laugh or roar alongside the ebbing roll of his singing. The effect is spellbinding—sad and joyful. It will creep under your skin and bring you near to tears.”

Having played more than 500 performances in 13 cities to sold-out theaters and widespread critical acclaim, Scheuer gave the final touring performance of THE LION at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in February 2017. The Sheen Center performance presents a rare opportunity for audiences to revisit the show live.

Scheuer’s debut album, Songs from THE LION, premiered in 2016 in the Top 10 of the Billboard Cast Albums chart. He has performed with Mary Chapin Carpenter and played major venues including New York’s Lincoln Center and London’s Royal Albert Hall.

With photographer Riya Lerner, Scheuer is the creator of the book Between Two Spaces, from which 50% of proceeds go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Photographs from the piece, called “an important work” by the Los Angeles Times, have been exhibited in the Leslie Lohman Gallery’s Prince Street Space in NYC, and at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

With British animator/director Peter Baynton, Scheuer created animated films for the songs “The Lion,” “Cookie-tin Banjo,” “Weather The Storm” and “Cure.” The films have played at festivals on five continents and garnered accolades including Best Commissioned Film at the Annecy Film Festival, Public Choice for Best Music Video at the British Animation Awards and Best Music Video at London’s Encounters Film Festival.

In addition to the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the Off West End Award for Best New Musical, Scheuer is the recipient of a Theatre World Award, the Musical Theatre Network Award for Best Lyrics, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Award for Songwriting. He has been a nominee for two Outer Critics Circle Awards, a Lucile Lortel Award and an additional Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics. He lives in New York City and is currently working on a new album, a new musical and a children’s book with his wife, illustrator Jemima Williams.

www.BenjaminScheuer.com


www.BetweenTwoSpaces.com
@BenjaminScheuer

Drama League Announces Nominees

THE DRAMA LEAGUE ANNOUNCES THE NOMINEES FOR  THE 84TH ANNUAL DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS  CEREMONY SET FOR FRIDAY, MAY 18th  AT THE MARRIOTT MARQUIS TIMES SQUARE

 April 18, 2018 – The Drama League (Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Artistic Director) today announced the 2018 Drama League Awards Nominees for Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award.

THE DRAMA LEAGUE ANNOUNCES THE NOMINEES FOR  THE 84TH ANNUAL DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS  CEREMONY SET FOR FRIDAY, MAY 18th  AT THE MARRIOTT MARQUIS TIMES SQUARE

 April 18, 2018 – The Drama League (Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Artistic Director) today announced the 2018 Drama League Awards Nominees for Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award.  The nominations were announced this morning by Tony® Award winners Harriet Harris, Julie White and Tony® Award nominee Christopher Sieber at the official announcement event at Sardi’s Restaurant, which was streamed live online at BroadwayWorld.com.

The nominations announcement begins the month of celebrations leading up to the 84th Annual Drama League Awards, which will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square (1535 Broadway) on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:30am.  Tickets and tables to the star-studded luncheon are available for purchase at www.dramaleague.org or by calling The Drama League at 212.244.9494; VIP tickets include access to the nominees’ reception.  The event is sponsored by MAC Cosmetics, Official Make-up Partner of The Drama League. The Drama League Awards Event Chair is Bonnie Comley.

 The Drama League previously announced the 2018 Special Recognition Award Recipients, chosen by a separate panel of theatre professionals: Tony® Award winner Idina Menzel will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; director Casey Nicholaw, currently represented on Broadway with Mean Girls, Aladdin, and The Book of Mormon, will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing; and the National Endowment for the Arts (represented by Chairman Jane Chu) will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award. 

 First awarded in 1922 and formalized in 1935, The Drama League Awards are the oldest theatrical honors in America. They are the only major theater awards chosen by a cross-section of the theatre community — specifically, by the industry professionals, producers, artists, audiences, and critics who are Drama League members nationwide. Membership is open to everyone; for more information about membership or the Drama League Awards, please call (212) 244-9494 or visit www.dramaleague.org.

2018 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS NOMINATIONS

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Animal

Written by Clare Lizzimore

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

Atlantic Theater Company

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director)

 Hangmen

Written by Martin McDonagh

Directed by Matthew Dunster

Atlantic Theater Company

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director), Royal Court Theater

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

Written by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany

Directed by John Tiffany

Lyric Theatre

Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions. Executive Director: Diane Benjamin. Executive Producer: Pam Skinner

In the Body of the World

Written by Eve Ensler

Directed By Diane Paulus

Manhattan Theatre Club

Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer), American Repertory Theatre (Diane Quinn, Executive Director)

 Is God Is

Written by Aleshea Harris

Directed by Taibi Magar

Soho Repertory

Produced by Soho Repertory (Sarah Benson, Artistic Director; Cynthia Flower, Executive Director)

Meteor Shower

Written by Steve Martin

Directed by Jerry Zaks

Booth Theatre

Produced by Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Seth A Goldstein, James  L. Nederlander, The John Gore Organization, Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, FG Productions, Jamie deRoy, Sally Horchow, Sharon Karmazin, Barbara Manocherian, JABS Theatricals, Ergo Entertainment, Seth A. Goldstein, Elm City Production, Diana DiMenna, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Jennifer Manocherian, Cricket Jiranek, Catherine Adler & Marc David Levine, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President). Associate Producer: Jillian Robbins.

 Oedipus El Rey

Written by Luis Alfaro

Directed by Chay Yew

The Public Theater

Produced by The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director)

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

Written by Jocelyn Bioh

Directed by Rebecca Taichman

MCC Theater

Produced by MCC Theater (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director)

 Until the Flood

Written by Dael Orlandersmith

Directed by Neel Keller

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

Produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Daniella Topal, Artistic Director; Annie Middleton, Managing Director)

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Angels in America

Written by Tony Kushner

Directed by Marianne Elliott

Neil Simon Theatre

Produced by Tim Levy, National Theatre America, Jordan Roth, Rufus Norris & Lisa Burger, The Royal National Theatre, Elliot & Harper Productions, Kash Bennett, Aged in Wood, The Baruch-Viertel-Routh-Frankel Group, Jane Bergère, Adam Blanshay Productions, CatWenJam Productions, Jean Doumanian, Gilad-Rogowsky, Gold-Ross Productions, The John Gore Organization, Grove Entertainment, Harris Rubin Productions, Hornos-Moellenberg, Brian and Dayna Lee, Benjamin Lowy, Stephanie P. McClelland, David Mirvish, Mark Pigott, Jon B. Platt, E. Price-LD ENT., Daryl Roth, Catherine Schreiber, Barbara Whitman, Jujamcyn Theatres (Jordan Roth: President; Rocco Landesman: President Emeritus; Paul Libin: Executive Vice President Emeritus; Jack Viertel: Senior Vice President), The Nederlander Organization (James L. Nederlander, President), The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith, Chairman; Robert E. Wankel, President). Associate Producer: Franki De La Vega, Red Awning, and Nicole Kastrinos.

 Children of a Lesser God

Written by Mark Medoff

Directed by Kenny Leon

Studio 54

Produced by Hal Luftig, LHC Theatrical Development, Craig Haffner & Sherry Wright, Yasuhiro Kawana, James L Nederlander, Rodney Rigby, Albert Nocciolino/Independent Presenters Network, Blue Fog Productions, Suzanne L Niedland, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith, Chairman; Robert E. Wankel, President), Jhett Tolentino, Steve & Paula Reynolds, Nyle DiMarco, Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director/CEO; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers: General Manager; Steve Dow: Chief Administrative Officer). Associate Producer: Sandy Block. Executive Producer: Tamar Climan.

Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo

Written by Edward Albee

Directed by Lila Neugebauer

Signature Theater

Produced by Signature Theater Company (Paige Evans, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Executive Director)

Hamlet

Written by William Shakespeare

Directed by Sam Gold

The Public Theater

Produced by The Public Theater (Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director; Patrick Willingham, Executive Director)

The Iceman Cometh  

Written by Eugene O’Neill

Directed by George C. Wolfe

Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre

Produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Universal Theatrical Group, Eric Falkenstein, Dan Frishwasser, The John Gore Organization, James L. Nederlander, Peter May, Stephanie P. McClelland, Candy Spelling, Stephen C Byrd & Alia Jones-Harvey, Patty Baker, Diana DiMenna, David Mirvish, Wendy Federman & Heni Koenigsberg, Benjamin Lowy & Adrian Salpeter, and Jason Blum.  Associate Producer: Jillian Robbins and Tom Ishizuka. Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, and John Johnson.

Lobby Hero

Written by Kenneth Lonergan

Directed by Trip Cullman

Hayes Theatre

Produced by Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Founder & Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director; Christopher Burney, Artistic Producer)

Saint Joan

Written by George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Daniel Sullivan

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer) in association with Eddie Marks/Ostar

 Three Tall Women

Written by Edward Albee

Directed by Joe Mantello

John Golden Theatre

Produced by Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, The John Gore Organization, James L. Nederlander, Candy Spelling, Len Blavatnik, Universal Theatrical Group, Rosalind Productions Inc., Eric Falkenstein, Peter May, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Patty Baker, Diana DiMenna, David Mirvish, Wendy Federman & Heni Koenigsberg, Benjamin Lowy & Adrian Salpeter, Jason Blum, Jamie deRoy, Gabrielle Palitz, Ted Snowdon, and Richard Winkler. Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, and John Johnson.

Torch Song

Written by Harvey Fierstein

Directed by Moises Kaufman

Second Stage Theatre

Produced by Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Founder & Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director; Christopher Burney, Artistic Producer)

 Travesties

Written by Tom Stoppard

Directed by Patrick Marber

American Airlines Theatre

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes: Artistic Director/CEO; Julia C. Levy: Executive Director; Sydney Beers: General Manager; Steve Dow: Chief Administrative Officer); Produced in association with Chocolate Factory Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions.  Originally produced by The Menier Chocolate Factory (David Babani, Artistic Director)

 Yerma

Written by Federico García Lorca

Directed by Simon Stone

Park Avenue Armory

Produced by Park Avenue Armory (Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer; Pierre Audi, Marina Kellen French Artistic Director), and the Young Vic (Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director; Sarah Hall, Interim Executive Director)

 OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

 The Band’s Visit

Book by Itamar Moses; Music and Lyrics by David Yazek

Directed by David Cromer

Ethel Barrymore Theatre

Produced by Orin Wolf, StylesFour Productions, Evamere Entertainment, Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director), David F Schwartz, Barbara Broccoli, Frederick Zollo, Grove REG, Lassen Blume Baldwin, Thomas Steven Perakos, Marc Platt, The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith, Chairman; Robert E. Wankel, President), The Baruch/Routh/Frankel/Viertel Group, Robert Cole, DeRoy-Carr-Klausner, Federman-Moellenberg, FilmNation Entertainment, Roy Furman, FVSL Theatricals, Hendel-Karmazin, HoriPro Inc, Intependent Presenters Network, Jam Theatricals, The John Gore Organizations, Koenigsberg-Krauss, David Mirvish, James L. Nederlander, Al Nocciolino, Once Upon a Time Productions, Susan Rose, and Paul Shiverick. Associate Producer: Steven Chaikelson.

Bella: An American Tall Tale

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Kirsten Childs

Directed by Robert O’Hara

Playwrights Horizons

Produced by Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director; Carol Fishman, General Manager)

 Frozen

Book by Jennifer Lee; Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Directed by Michael Grandage

St. James Theatre

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher). Co-Producer: Anne Quart

Hundred Days

Book by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher; Music and Lyrics by The Bengsons

Directed by Anne Kauffman

New York Theatre Workshop

Produced by New York Theatre Workshop (James C. Nicola, Artistic Director; Jeremy Blocker, Managing Director; Linda S. Chapman, Associate Artistic Director). Originally commissioned, developed and produced by Z Space and piece by piece productions.

KPOP

Book by Jason Kim; Music and Lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon

Directed by Teddy Bergman

Ars Nova

Produced by Ars Nova (Jason Eagan, Founding Artistic Director; Renee Blinkwolt, Managing Director), Ma-Yi Theatre Company (Ralph B. Peña, Artistic Director), Woodshed Collective (Teddy Bergman, Artistic Director; Amy C Ashton, Producer), Tim Forbes
Mean Girls

Book by Tina Fey; Music by Jeff Richmond; Lyrics by Nell Benjamin

Directed by Casey Nicholaw

August Wilson Theatre

Produced by Lorne Michaels, Stuart Thompson, Sonia Friedman, Paramount Pictures, Marisa Sechrest, Ars Nova Entertainment, Berlind Productions, Steve Burke, Scott M. Delman, Roy Furman, Robert Greenblatt, Ruth Hendel, Jam Theatricals, The John Gore Organization, The Lowy Salpeter Company, James L. Nederlander, Christine Schwarzman, and Universal Theatrical Group. Associate Producer: Micah Frank and Caroline Maroney. Executive Producer: David Turner.

SpongeBob SquarePants

Book by Kyle Jarrow; Based on the Series by Stephen Hillenburg

Original Songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani and Lil’ C.  Songs by David Bowie, Brian Eno, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley. Additional music by Tom Kitt; Additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton

Conceived and Directed by Tina Landau

Palace Theatre

Produced by Nickelodeon, The Araca Group, Sony Music Masterworks, and Kelp On The Road. Executive Producer: Susan Vargo.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Book by Colman Domingo, Robert Cary and Des McAnuff; Songs by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder and Paul Jabara

Directed by Des McAnuff

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

Produced by Tommy Mottola, The Dodgers, Steven and Alexandra Cohen, Courtney Sachs, Ollawood Productions, Lawrence S. Toppall, Rodney Rigby, Morris Goldfarb, James L. Nederlander, Universal Music Group and The John Gore Organization. World Premiere Produced by La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley: Artistic Director; Michael S. Rosenberg: Managing Director)

Woody Sez: The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie

Devised by David M. Lutken with Nick Corley and Darcie Deaville, Helen Jean Russell and Andy Teirstein

Directed by Nick Corley

Irish Repertory Theatre

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre (Charlotte Moore, Artistic Director; Ciarán O’Reilly, Producing Director)

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

 Carousel

Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II; Music by Richard Rodgers

Directed by Jack O’Brien

Imperial Theatre

Produced by Roy Furman, Scott Rudin, Barry Diller, Edward Walson, Universal Theatrical Group, Benjamin Lowy, Eli Bush, James L. Nederlander, Candy Spelling, The John Gore Organization, Peter May, Ronnie Lee, Sid & Ruth Lapidus, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sandy Robertson, Caiola Productions, Len Blavatnik, Dominion Ventures, SHN Theatres, The Araca Group, Patty Baker, Al Nocciolino, Darlene Marcos Shiley, Julie Boardman & Marc David Levine, Jennifer Fischer & Olympus Theatricals, Candia Fisher & Allen L. Stevens, Jon Jashni & Matthew Baer, Thomas S. Perakos & Jim Fantaci, Wendy Federman & Heni Koenigsberg, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman, and John Thomas. Associate Producer: Jillian Robbins and Tom Ishizuka. Executive Producer: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, and John Johnson.

My Fair Lady

Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; Music by Frederick Loewe

Directed by Barlett Sher

Lincoln Center Theater

Produced by Lincoln Center Theater (André Bishop: Producing Artistic Director; Adam Siegel: Managing Director; Hattie K. Jutagir, Executive Director of Development and Planning).  Produced in association with Nederlander Presentations Inc.  Mindich Chair Musical Theater Associate Producer: Ira Weitzman.

 Once On This Island

Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Music by Stephen Flaherty

Directed by Michael Arden

Circle in the Square Theatre

Produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Sandi Moran, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian/Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix/Una Jackman/Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions/Jeffery Grove/Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris/Michelle Riley/Marie Stevenson, Silva Theatrical Group/Jesse McKendry/Dr. Moigan Fajiram, Conor Bagley/Brendan C. Tetro/Invisible Wall Productions, SilverWalport Productions/Tyler Mount/UshkowitzLatimer Productions, Deitric Johnson/Steven Mulligan/Reilly Hickey, The Harbert Family/Keith Cromwell/Red Mountain Theatre Company, 42nd.club/The Yonnone Family/Island Productions. Associate Producer: Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

 Pacific Overtures

Book by John Weidman; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Directed by John Doyle

Classic Stage Company

Produced by Classic Stage Company (John Doyle, Artistic Director)

NOMINEES FOR THE DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD

 Jelani Alladin, Frozen

Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady

Annaleigh Ashford, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Laura Benanti, Meteor Shower

MaameYaa Boafo, School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play

Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

Juan Castano, Oedipus El Rey

Billy Crudup, Harry Clarke

Eisa Davis, Kings

Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Noma Dumenzweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two

Deanna Dunagan, The Treasurer

Eve Ensler, In The Body of the World

Chris Evans, Lobby Hero

Johnny Flynn, Hangmen

Alfie Fuller, Is God Is

Andrew Garfield, Angels in America

Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady

Rebecca Hall, Animal

Harriet Harris, The Low Road

Brian-Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero

Joshua Henry, Carousel

Tom Hollander, Travesties

Oscar Isaac, Hamlet

Chukwudi Iwuji, The Low Road

Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women

Joshua Jackson, Children of a Lesser God

Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island

LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit

Robert Sean Leonard, Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo

Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls

Elizabeth Marvel, Julius Caesar

James McArdle, Angels in America

Laurie Metcalf, Three Tall Women

Jessie Mueller, Carousel

Patti Murin, Frozen

Alex Newell, Once On This Island

Sahr Ngaujah, Mlima’s Tale

Seth Numrich, Travesties

Deirdre O’Connell, Fulfillment Center

Ashley Park, Mean Girls and KPOP

Billie Piper, Yerma

Karen Pittman, Pipeline

Condola Rashad, Saint Joan

Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God

Roslynn Ruff, X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation

Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower

Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit

Paul Sparks, Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo

Katy Sullivan, Cost of Living

John Douglas Thompson, Julius Caesar

Michael Urie, Torch Song and The Government Inspector

Denzel Washington, The Iceman Cometh

Dianne Wiest, Happy Days

The Drama League also wishes to acknowledge the previous recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award who appeared in Broadway or Off-Broadway productions this season.  As the Award can only be won once in a performer’s lifetime, they are ineligible to be nominated; however, their exemplary work is recognized and applauded.

Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady and The Whirligig

Kathleen Chalfant, For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday

Nathan Lane, Angels in America

John Lithgow, John Lithgow: Stories By Heart

Bernadette Peters, Hello, Dolly!

Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King

SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS

(previously announced)

 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre – Idina Menzel

Founders Award for Excellence in Directing – Casey Nicholaw

Unique Contribution to the Theatre – The National Endowment for the Arts

 

Children of a Lesser God ****

By: Paulanne Simmons

April 17, 2018 – When Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God first landed on Broadway in 1980, the main questions it elicited were about who should speak for the deaf and if American Sign Language should be considered as legitimate a form of communication as spoken language. 

By: Paulanne Simmons

April 17, 2018 – When Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God first landed on Broadway in 1980, the main questions it elicited were about who should speak for the deaf and if American Sign Language should be considered as legitimate a form of communication as spoken language. 

But in the age of #Me Too, the current revival, directed by Kenny Leon, has many people asking far different questions: is a sexual relationship between a former student and a teacher at her school appropriate? And is said teacher abusive in his aggressive pursuit of that very vulnerable young lady (a pursuit which includes climbing a tree and surprising her while she is sleeping)? 

However, both these questions miss the point. And not only because if a man in hot pursuit of a woman is abuse, most of our most cherished pieces of literature are about men who should be behind bars. The real point this drama poses is what side do we choose when both sides have merit.

In this production, the role of Sarah, a 26-year-old former student and custodian at a school for the deaf, is played by Lauren Ridloff. Like Phyllis Frelich, for whom the role was originally created, Ridloff is deaf and communicates with American Sign Language. Joshua Jackson, best known as Pacey Witter in Dawson’s Creek,  is James Leeds, the new teacher who is determined to teach Sarah to speak. 

James tells Sarah that if she wants to be independent, if she wants to be able to work and live in the larger world, she must be able to make herself understood to people who don’t know or want to learn sign language. Sarah believe she looks and sounds ugly when she speak. It is sign language that lets her best express herself.

And they are both right.

What makes us more sympathetic to Sarah is James’s lack of tact. Although he is filled with love and compassion, mixed with a good dose of humor, he simply cannot put himself in the shoes of the woman he so desperately wants to help.

But in this production there is another reason why Sarah gains our sympathy. Jackson does yeoman’s work delivering his lines and translating Sarah’s sign language so the audience will know what’s going on. As a result much of his performance seems more informative than emotional. It also makes the play plod along at a speed somewhat slower than the ice melting on the polar caps.

Ridloff, on the other hand, has one of the most expressive faces we’ve ever seen on Broadway. What’s more, she floats, dances and skips across the stage. She is mischievous, angry, compassionate and sorrowful, all in the space of a few minutes. We fall in love with her even before James does. It is her luminescent performance that carries this production triumphantly to the finish line.

Although a good deal of the second act is devoted to seeking justice for the deaf students, surrounded by hearing people who may or may not speak their language, none of this is as interesting as the fiery young lady who is asked to sign on to the cause. 

Treshelle Edmond as Lydia adds humor as the over-eager rival for James’s affections. And John McGinity makes Orin a passionate advocate for the rights of the deaf. But the heart of this play is the relationship between James and Sarah. And at the end, we certainly hope James will grow up enough to deserve her.

Children of a Lesser God ****
Studio 54
254 West 54 Street, NYC (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
childrenofalessergodbroadway.com

Photos: Mathew Murphy

Lauren Ridloff, Joshua Jackson

Marilyn Maye

April 17, 2108- Marilyn Maye returned to  Feinsteins 54 Below  to celebrate her (latest) milestone birthday with her favorite audiences. Every performance featured a special 90th birthday celebration for this very beloved lady of cabaret. As always, Marilyn carries the torch from her peers who originated tunes of the Great American Songbook to the singers who perform these songs today and will carry them on to future generations.

April 17, 2108- Marilyn Maye returned to  Feinsteins 54 Below  to celebrate her (latest) milestone birthday with her favorite audiences. Every performance featured a special 90th birthday celebration for this very beloved lady of cabaret. As always, Marilyn carries the torch from her peers who originated tunes of the Great American Songbook to the singers who perform these songs today and will carry them on to future generations.

Ms. Maye is an artist for connoisseurs and her powerhouse delivery and chatty rapport with the audience is what holds the evening together and electrifies the proceedings. This will be a night you do not want to miss!

Check out the Video Below prepared by Maryann Lopinto, Sandy Durell and Magda Katz.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARILYN XOXO

Marilyn Maye

Feinstiens 54Below
254 W 54th Street  Cellar, NYC 10019
Tickets and Info: Photography: Maryann Lopinto

Marilyn Maye
Marilyn Maye, Tyne Daly
Liz Callaway. Marilyn Maye, Christine Ebersole, David Hyde Pierce

Jane Krakowski & Tituss Burgess to announce Drama Desk Nominations

April 10, 2018 – Jane Krakowski & Tituss Burgess are set to announce The Drama Desk Nominations for the 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 10:00am at Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 W. 54th Street)

The Drama Desk Awards  will be held on June 3rd  at The Town Hall on Sale now www.DramaDeskAwards.com

April 10, 2018 – Jane Krakowski & Tituss Burgess are set to announce The Drama Desk Nominations for the 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 10:00am at Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 W. 54th Street)

The Drama Desk Awards  will be held on June 3rd  at The Town Hall on Sale now www.DramaDeskAwards.com

Jane Krakowski (She Loves Me, Nine, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“) and Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) will announce the nominations for the 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 10:00am at Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 W. 54th Street), it was announced today by Charles Wright, Drama Desk Presidentand Gretchen Shugart, President of Arts and Culture of AudienceView, parent company of TheaterMania.com.

Tituss Burgess

The nominations announcement news conference and the awards show will be live-streamed on www.TheaterMania.com.

“What an honor to have Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess announce this year’s Drama Desk Nominations,” said Gretchen Shugart. “With their unique theatrical backgrounds, we are so pleased that they will be on hand to celebrate the New York theater community. We invite the industry and public to watch the nominations on Theatermania.com‘s live webcast from Feinstein’s/54 Below.”

The 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Michael Urie, will be held at The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd Street) on Sunday, June 3. Tickets are now on sale at www.DramaDeskAwards.com

 

Michael Urie
Photo: Barry Gordin

The Drama Desk Awards, which are presented annually, honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off Broadway. What sets the Drama Desk Awards apart is that they are voted on and bestowed by theater critics, journalists, editors, publishers, and broadcasters covering theater.

 The 2017-2018 Drama Desk Nominating Committee is composed of: David Barbour, (Lighting&Sound America – Committee Chair), Linda Buchwald (freelance: Theatre is Easy, Playbill, American Theatre, TDF Stages), Peter Filichia (Broadway Select; Broadway Radio; author, most recently, Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks – St. Martin’s Press), Helen Shaw (Time Out NY; Village Voice), Martha Wade Steketee(freelance; Theater Pizzazz; Exeunt; HowlRound), Zachary Stewart (TheaterMania.com), Doug Strassler (Garden State Journal; Center on the Aisle; Back on the Block; TDF Stages), Charles Wright (Drama Desk President), ex officio.

For the seventh consecutive year, TheaterMania will present the awards ceremony and Joey Parnes Productions will produce and manage the show. Shugart is Managing Executive Producer of the Drama Desk Awards. The Awards show will be written by Bill Rosenfield (46 Beacon, True Fans, Sunshine and Shadow),anddirected by Mark Waldrop (Not That Jewish, Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly, Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends).

The 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards will be sponsored by Chase and Hudson Scenic Studio. More sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics’ organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

 In addition to Gretchen Shugart as Managing Executive Producer, Robert R. Blume and David S. Stone are Executive Producers of the Drama Desk Awards.

Tomatoes Got Talent

5th ANNUAL “TOMATOES GOT TALENT” ANNOUNCES WINNERS!

Sheree Sano Wins! Runners Up Are Maggie Determann, Lee Ann Brill, Barbara Malley, and Janice McCune

April 13, 2108 – The 5th Annual “Tomatoes Got Talent” Contest celebrating the talents of women-over-40 who are currently not working pros took place on Monday, April 9th at The Triad Theater on West 72nd Street in NYC.  The contest was hosted by Randie Levine-Miller, who co-produced with Cheryl Benton, the founder and publisher of Thethreetomatoes.com, which sponsored the event. 

5th ANNUAL “TOMATOES GOT TALENT” ANNOUNCES WINNERS!

Sheree Sano Wins! Runners Up Are Maggie Determann, Lee Ann Brill, Barbara Malley, and Janice McCune

April 13, 2108 – The 5th Annual “Tomatoes Got Talent” Contest celebrating the talents of women-over-40 who are currently not working pros took place on Monday, April 9th at The Triad Theater on West 72nd Street in NYC.  The contest was hosted by Randie Levine-Miller, who co-produced with Cheryl Benton, the founder and publisher of Thethreetomatoes.com, which sponsored the event. Jimmy Horan music directed what became a real musical happening!

Randie Levine-Miller
Cheryl Benton

Winner Sheree Sano can be found many nights, tickling the ivories at Don’t Tell Mama. During the day she is a computer technician and graphic artist. Runners Up: Maggie Determann is the membership director for a non-profit; Lee Ann Brill is a paralegal and school administrator; Barbara Malley is a retired teacher and psychologist; and Janice McCune is an insurance annuity contract writer.

Sheree Sano
Barbara Malley

Other finalists who performed included: Nicole Morris, a business development consultant for beauty and wellness brands; Jeanine Robinson who works temp jobs while pursuing her singing dreams;  Candace Leeds is a PR, marketing, development professional; Roe Piccoli is a psychotherapist; Kati Neiheisel is a data collector for a non-profit; Alicia Moss is a former dog daycare owner and jewelry designer; and Renee Katz is an occupational therapist.

Making a special guest appearance was concert vocalist and the four-time Tony nominated educator Corinna Sowers Adler.  Also making special appearances were the contest’s three previous winners — Karen Nason, Susan Vardy, Kathy Waters who performed a show-stopping “I Am Woman”.

Susan Vardy, Kathy Waters, Karen Nason

This year’s judges were playwright, lyricist and actress Gretchen Cryer (“I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road”);  producer, director and actress Jana Robbins (currently in Off-Broadway’s “This One’s for the Girls”); and  celebrated stage, film and TV actress Laila Robins, who currently stars on ABC’s new series Deception.

This year’s winner, Sheree Sano will join previous winners Nason, Vardy, Waters and Fischer on Thursday June 21 at 7pm at The Triad for a special Randie Levine-Miller’s “Tomato Diva Showstoppers” to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Levine-Miller has produced and hosted countless star-studded musical entertainment events — at The Triad, the Metropolitan Room, Feinstein’s, and, for many years, at the Friars Club. Celebrated for their mix of humor and high-octane singing, Levine-Miller’s concerts — which include the “Showstopper Divas” and “Divos”  shows — have been a staple of the New York charity nightclub scene for years. 

Photography: Maryann Lopinto

5thAnnual TomatoesGotTalent Cast
Janice McCune
LeeAnn Brill
Jimmy Horan
CorinnaSowers Adler
Maggie Determann
Sheree Sano

 

Tribute to Jamie deRoy

Friars Club honors Jamie deRoy

April 12, 2018:  The New York Friars Club, 57 West 55th Street, honored show business impresario Jamie DeRoy at a celebration marking her 30th anniversary as one of the Club’s first  female members. Jamie was one of eight women that included Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers, and Brooke Shields.

Friars Club honors Jamie deRoy

April 12, 2018:  The New York Friars Club, 57 West 55th Street, honored show business impresario Jamie DeRoy at a celebration marking her 30th anniversary as one of the Club’s first  female members. Jamie was one of eight women that included Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers, and Brooke Shields.

A stellar cast of Broadway’s finest performed Wednesday at the one-night only event hosted by the multi-award-winning comedian Judy Gold. Festivities included cocktails, and dinner with  special performances by a roster of star-studded Broadway luminaries that included  Chuck Cooper, Jim Dale, Penny Fuller, Larry Gatlin, Julie Gold, Rupert Holmes, FrancesRuffelle, and Benjamin Scheuer.

Barry Kleinbort directed the evening with musical direction by Ron Abel

Photography: Maryann Lopinto

Jamie deRoy
Benjamin Scheuer
Julie Gold, Judy Gold
Chuck Cooper
Frances Ruffelle
Jim Dale
CEO Actors Fund Joseph Benincasa
Judy Gold
Bob Spiotto
Penny Fuller
Rupert Holmes
Jim Dale, Larry Gatlin, Julie Gold, Rupert Holmes, Jamie deRoy, Chuck Cooper, Penny Fuller, Ron Abel, Frances Ruffelle, Judy Gold, Benjamin Scheuer, Bob Spiotto

Photography: Rose Billings

Bill Boggs, Jamie deRoy
Larry Gatlin, Benjamin Scheuer
Jim Dale, Penny Fuller, Judy Gold
Frances Ruffelle, Penny Fuller

 

 

 

2018 Olivier Awards

Hamilton, Angels Score at the 2018 Oliver Awards

By: Ellis Nassour

At the 2018 Olivier Awards, held in massive Royal Albert Hall, it was no surprise that Hamilton and Angels in America scored big. The musical captured seven of its record 13 nominations.

Hamilton, Angels Score at the 2018 Oliver Awards

By: Ellis Nassour

At the 2018 Olivier Awards, held in massive Royal Albert Hall, it was no surprise that Hamilton and Angels in America scored big. The musical captured seven of its record 13 nominations.

Award highlights:

Play: The Ferryman [which captured eight nominations] by Jezz Buterworth (Jerusalem). [Play opens in October at Broadway’s Jacobs Theatre.]

Musical: Hamilton.

Score: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton.

Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton.

Outstanding Achievement in Music: Miranda and orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton.

Director, Play: Sam Mendes, The Ferryman. [The category makes no distinction between Play and Musical.]

Revival, Play: Royal National Theatre’s Angels in America, Parts One and Two, Tony Kushner [now on Broadway with the original stars Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane].

Revival, Musical: Follies, Stephen Sondheim.

 Actor, Play: Brian Cranston, Network , adapted by Lee Hall (Billy Elliott)

Actress, Play: Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman.

Actor, Supporting, Play: Bertie Carve, Ink [by James Graham, about mogul Rupert Murdoch].

Actor, Musical: Giles Terera (Aaron Burr), Hamilton.

Actress, Supporting, Play: Denise Gough (Harper Pitt), Angels In America, Parts One and Two. [She’s now on Broadway.]

Actress, Musical: Shirley Henderson, Girl from the North Country [Conor McPherson’s musical, scheduled to come to Broadway, is based on the work of Bob Dylan; with book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music Henry Krieger, Dreamgirls].

Actor, Supporting, Musical: Michael Jibson (King George III), Hamilton.

Actress, Supporting, Musical: Sheila Atim, Girl from the North Country.

Presenters this year included Cuba Gooding Jr., Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, Michael Sheen, and Juliet Stevenson.

Among U.S. shows nominated were Oslo, An American in Paris, Five Guys Named Moe, 42nd Street,  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Young Frankenstein.

Performances from nominated musicals included: HamiltonEverybody’s Talking About Jamie; Girl from the North Country, Young Frankenstein, Follies and 42nd Street.

Ms. Rivera, Andy Karl (2017 Olivier, Actor, Musical, Groundhog Day), and Adam J. Bernard (2017 Olivier, Actor, Supporting, Dreamgirls) performed West Side Story’s “Somewhere” for the In Memoriam segment.

A special 50th anniversary honor went to Tim Rice and Lloyd Webber’s  Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with past stars including Jason Donovan and Linzi Hateley.

Sheen introduced the In Memoriam segment. Among those remembered and known here were: Hywel Bennett (film/TV actor, Loot, Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, Eastenders, Pennies from Heaven, Shelley), David Cassidy, Barbara Cook, Bruce Forsyth (legendary Brit actor/comedian/singer/dancer),  Peter Hall, Thomas Meehan, Roger Moore, Bernard Pomerrance [playwright, The Elephant Man), Sam Shepard, and Stuart Thompson (six-time Tony-winning producer).

Nanette ****

By: Isa Goldberg

April 12, 2018- Making her American debut with, “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby’s one-woman show the Soho Playhouse crosses the line from stand-up comedienne to feminist satirist, and social critic. Anger, indeed, is the stuff of some of our greatest comedians from Lenny Bruce to Joan Rivers.

By: Isa Goldberg

April 12, 2018- Making her American debut with, “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby’s one-woman show the Soho Playhouse crosses the line from stand-up comedienne to feminist satirist, and social critic. Anger, indeed, is the stuff of some of our greatest comedians from Lenny Bruce to Joan Rivers.

Beginning her tale on an “un-interesting” barista she once met in a “cayfay,” the Tasmanian born and bred comedienne informs her audience how she does not fit in small spaces like her hometown, because she looks “like a lesbian”.

After a hilarious riff on her beloved cursive writing, “where all of the letters are holding hands,” she proceeds to describe her family’s reaction to her coming out 12 years ago. Unlike her brothers, she at least does not think with her dick, “which besides, is made of rubber.”

As she discusses the nature of comedy and its creation of tension, she begins to open up about herself, and suddenly she becomes an everywoman, submerged under self-humiliation, internalized homophobia, and the culture of rape, sold to her, and us as inspirational. Getting even more personal, Gadsby angrily confides her odyssey through molestation, abuse, rape and eventual shame of being lesbian.

Returning to a comedic stance, Gadsby avails herself of metaphor to mock gender roles assigned at birth, and how much she enjoys being mistaken for a boy. Next, the former art major, emotionally turns her gaze to straight white men who smugly enjoy all of the benefits of masculinity and white privilege, by accusing selected victimizers of women: Picasso, Trump, Clinton, Woody Allen, Louis C.K., attributing their violations of women to “men hate what they desire.”

There is nonetheless a note of optimism in Gadsby’s rage for, like her, “a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” women can confront male supremacy, as evidenced by the burgeoning Me Too movement. What started as feminist comedy transforms into an emotional personal diatribe against
the abuse of women.

Women: drag your boyfriends to see “Nanette”. It’s sure to raise their consciousness!

Nanette ****
Soho Playhouse
15 Vandam Street, New York City, NY 10013
(212) 691-1555
March 9th, 2018 – May 13th, 2018

Adam Rapp @ 59E59 Theaters

TUTA Theatre is presenting the NYC premiere of The Edge of Our Bodies with a memorable Off-Broadway staging at 59E59 Theaters. 

April 10, 2018: Carolyn Molloy is Bernadette, in Adam Rapp’s compelling The Edge of Our Bodies, a coming of age tale, which opened last night at 59E59 Theaters. The story is vividly brought to life by the gifted actress in a memorable staging directed by Jacqueline Stone.

TUTA Theatre is presenting the NYC premiere of The Edge of Our Bodies with a memorable Off-Broadway staging at 59E59 Theaters. 

April 10, 2018: Carolyn Molloy is Bernadette, in Adam Rapp’s compelling The Edge of Our Bodies, a coming of age tale, which opened last night at 59E59 Theaters. The story is vividly brought to life by the gifted actress in a memorable staging directed by Jacqueline Stone.

Bernadette is a 16-year-old aspiring short story writer on the verge of becoming an adult.  We follow her as she treks by train from her Connecticut boarding school to New York City with a secret to tell her 19-year old boyfriend, she is pregnant. The gritty tale by the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-finalist is a beautifully written 80- minute look into the life altering events of a lovely young artist as she journeys to maturity and ultimately empowerment.

Robert James Hickey makes a brief appearance as a maintenance man near the end of the evening, otherwise The Edge of Our Bodies is a polished showcase for the lovely Carolyn Molloy, making her Off-Broadway debut.

The design team includes Martin Andrew (scenic design); Keith Parham (lighting design); Branimira Ivanova (costume design); Joe Court (sound design); and Letitia Guillaud (prop design). The Production Stage Manager is Andrew C. Donnelly. Adam Rapp (playwright) is an award-winning playwright and director.

 The performance schedule is Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 PM; Saturday at 2:30PM & 7:30 PM; and Sunday at 2:30 PM. There is an added performance on Sunday,April 6 at 7:30 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison). Single tickets are $25 ($20 for 59E59 Members). Tickets are available by calling Ticket Central at 212 279-4200 or online at www.59e59.org

Carolyn Molloy stars in TUTA Theatre’s production of THE EDGE OF OUR BODIES by Adam Rapp, directed by Jacqueline Stone, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Anthony LaPenna
Carolyn Molloy stars in TUTA Theatre’s production of THE EDGE OF OUR BODIES by Adam Rapp, directed by Jacqueline Stone, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Anthony LaPenna

 The Edge Of Our Bodies
59E59 Theaters (59 East 59
th Street, between Park and Madison). Single tickets are $25 ($20 for 59E59 Members). Tickets are available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or by visiting www.59e59.org

Photography: Barry Gordin

Carolyn Malloy
Director Jacqueline Stone, Carolyn Malloy, Playwright Adam Rapp 

 

 

The Winter’s Tale ***1/2

By: Iris Wiener

April 10, 2018 – Forget winter; when a Shakespearean tale is produced this intelligently, it is ripe for every season. Though the writing itself is long and frustrating at times, it is made fantastically accessible in Polonsky Theatre Center’s intimate setting. Shakespeare’s lesser-known tragicomedy is a tale of jealousy, loss and redemption, while infused with bold notes of humor. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get to the funny, and those are the scenes that make this production unique and memorable.

By: Iris Wiener

April 10, 2018 – Forget winter; when a Shakespearean tale is produced this intelligently, it is ripe for every season. Though the writing itself is long and frustrating at times, it is made fantastically accessible in Polonsky Theatre Center’s intimate setting. Shakespeare’s lesser-known tragicomedy is a tale of jealousy, loss and redemption, while infused with bold notes of humor. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get to the funny, and those are the scenes that make this production unique and memorable.

Director Arin Arbus combines the ever-wordy melancholy of Acts I through III in the first half of this almost three-hour production. Leontes (Anatol Yusef), king of Sicilia, becomes paranoid about the relationship between his queen, Hermione (Kelley Curran), and his friend, King Polixenes (Dion Mucciacito) of Bohemia. Curran’s flummoxed reaction to the inaccuracy of the charge is noticeably integral to the story, while Jack Doulin’s smart casting of an importantly height-challenged, striking Leontes, leaves room for an extra layer of pondering: Does the king deflect what he considers to be his own shortcomings onto his friend and wife?  Does his jealousy stem from his own poor self-image and worth?

The first three acts were written blandly and are difficult to withstand no matter how they are parlayed on a stage. However, a beautiful immersion of the senses including the sound of birds, a small band of organic instrumentals (from talented musicians Zsaz Rutkowski and Titus Tompkins and composer Justin Ellington), lightning and thunder, falling leaves and snow, and the entrances and exits of actors through extensions of the stark-white thrust stage (designed by Riccardo Hernandez), all amount to a genius telling of a nominal, faltering story. Paulina, Hermione’s aide, Mahira Kakkar is phenomenal in her defense of the queen, alternately stern in her affirmations and ballistic in her frenzy to have her voice heard. A mocking dance-chase between the Tale’s infamous bear (Arnie Burton) and Oberon K.A. Adjepong’s Antingonus is both comical in its symbolism and invigorating in its speed (through an audience that so desperately needs a jolt of action).The greatest pleasure before the intermission is in the introduction of more of Doulin’s brilliant cast; the Shepherd, played by John Keating (whose resemblance to Doc in Back to the Future is uncanny and perfect for his role), and Ed Malone, who plays the lanky clown to delightful levels of humor and humility.

Acts IV and V, which occur sixteen years later, belong to the incomparable Arnie Burton, whose penchant for humor and delectable ease with his slimy, sneaky Autolycus, is the first and foremost reason to take in this Winter’s Tale. Through dopey tunes and riffing with the audience (he wins the prize of being the sole character allowed to break from Elizabethan prose), he quite literally steals the show and never looks back. Audiences now contend with spending the rest of the performance with dopes, hillbillies, and pregnant lovers fighting over the same hick. Complete with a dance number featuring fun choreography from Austin McCormick, and use of the word “wither” that you will recall for the rest of your life, the production is undeniably more satisfying in its flow. Emily Rebholz’s costumes are intricate and appropriately emblematic of their worlds- stiff, dark and formal in Sicilia, comical, raunchy and at times, even contemporary, when characters traverse Bohemia.

Shakespeare hoped that his audience would suspend their disbelief with The Winter’s Tale, specifically in the “miracle” that is Hermione’s perfectly aged statue coming to life in the end. Perhaps in 2018 it is more fantastical to wonder why Leontes is forgiven for his sins, or why Camillo (Michael Rogers) is thrust at Paulina as a mate because he also happens to be single and of an older age. If audiences can take a troubled plot at face value, one that is arguably about forgiveness and repentance, and simultaneously turn to appreciate how it has been interpreted and presented, the production should be seen as masterful. The choices made by Arbus and the marvelous ensemble are stunning in their complexity and splendor, and Theatre for a New Audience’s Tale is one that deserves to be experienced.

The Winter’s Tale ***1/2
Polonsky Shakespeare Center
262 Ashland Pl., Brooklyn, NY 11217
(866) 811 – 4111
Running Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes with one intermission.
Photos: Carol Rosegg

Kelley Curran
Arnie Burton
Anatol Yusef, Eli Rayman

 

The Sting @ Paper Mill Playhouse

Broadway-Bound The Sting, Starring Harry Connick Jr.,
Receives Rousing Premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse

By: Ellis Nassour

April 10, 2018 – Is Broadway ready for a high stakes street con? No, not the three-card monte of days gone by, but a rousing singing and dancing one in the era where smoke-filled  gin and jazz joints and sleazy bawdy houses reigned, the house always won, and the crap game dice were loaded. 

Broadway-Bound The Sting, Starring Harry Connick Jr.,
Receives Rousing Premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse

By: Ellis Nassour

April 10, 2018 – Is Broadway ready for a high stakes street con? No, not the three-card monte of days gone by, but a rousing singing and dancing one in the era where smoke-filled  gin and jazz joints and sleazy bawdy houses reigned, the house always won, and the crap game dice were loaded. 

Paper Mill Playhouse’s world premiere engagement through April 29, of John Rando’s production of Greg Kotis, Mark Hollmann, Harry Connick Jr., and Bob Martin’s new musical The Sting, based on the Oscar-winning 1973 Best Film, makes it all-but-certain this show is Broadway-bound. The Playhouse in Millburn, MJ, recipient of a 2016 Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence, has a pretty good launch record: Newsies, Honeymoon in Vegas, Bandstand, and the current cult hit A Bronx Tale.

The musical is a virtual music store of genres: ragtime, Harlem blues, big band swing, stride jazz, and Broadway romantic ballads. The 12-strong orchestra, music directed by Fred Lassen (Prince of Broadway, Bandstand, Once), features members of Connick’s band. In addition to the eclectic lyrics and music by Kotis, Hollmann, and Connick, the score contains 10 compositions by “King of Ragtime” Scott Joplin, including “The Entertainer” and “Rose Leaf Rag.” His music was rediscovered and reaped acclaim upon being featured in the film.

For its sendoff across the Hudson, a quintuple of Tony winners, director John Rando (Urinetown), choreographer Warren Carlyle (After Midnight; current Hello, Dolly!), the composers (Urinetown), book writer Martin – along with

Tony nominee and Grammy- and Emmy-winning Connick – have created an often dazzling, hilarious, and very musical entertainment. This isn’t to say there aren’t some spots that could be trimmed and/or tightened, and a couple of characters that would benefit from further development.

Needless to say everyone’s wild about Harry. The musical was hand-crafted for him.   In the book by Martin (Drowsy Chaperone, co-writer upcoming Half Time at Paper Mill), before Gondorff  segued to con capers, he was a “piano monkey in a whorehouse.” Maybe, in addition to grinding out ragtime, he was also a tap dancer – on his feet while an accomplice was lifting wallets!

Connick, with a possible return to Broadway in his future, went so far as to undergo intense lessons with choreographer Carlyle. “What he’s doing now is just the beginning,” he says. “This man can FLY. Harry’s a director and choreographer’s dream come true. There’s not another on the planet who’s more talented or works harder. It’s not an accident he’s a superstar. His extraordinary musical abilities make him a natural, highly rhythmical tapper.”

Speaking of dance, Rando and Carlyle created one of the most cohesive staging collaborations of recent years. The show has a slew of clever one-liners, a twinge of romance, the crafty –pronged set-up for the revenge sting, and dance, dance, dance: Harlem shuffle to Broadway tap and stylized movement. “I had a lot of Damon Runyon and Guys and Dolls in my head,” says Carlyle. And, it appears, some Agnes DeMille [think her dream ballet for Oklahoma!, only much more scintillating].

Recently, Carlyle said, “The Sting is an elaborate con game and my job was to find a parallel to theater, which, actually is a con. The director and choreographer’s goal is to con audiences into believing what we’re doing is real.”

Audiences familiar with the film may be surprised at the non-traditional casting for the role of Johnny Hooker. However, this is not 1973. And there’s a fascinating  aspect: Martin says, “Doing the adaptation allowed me to explore [screenplay writer] David S. Ward’s original intention to have Hooker be African American. But Robert Redford wanted to do it and it had to be hard to turn down a Paul Newman/Robert Redford pairing on what was his first Hollywood project. David  worked with us, encouraging us to expand some characters and eliminate  others. With this change, Hooker’s journey becomes more challenging, his efforts more heroic.”  Don’t forget that beginning in the 30s, Chicago was the go-to city for blacks in the South facing Jim Crow laws and low-pay employment.  

Sharing top billing and the story line with Connick is J. Harrison Ghee. Though Broadway’s Kinky Boots discovered the 6’4” drag artist with a linebacker’s build as a post-opening mesmerizing Lola, his portrayal of Hooker puts him on the road to stardom. He not only owns the stage when singing and dancing, but, like his Lola, can do a show-stopping split.

For those not familiar with the classic film, which won seven Oscars, a small time grafter, Johnny Hooker, is on the run after a con gone wrong  against racketeer  Doyle Lonnegan, who’s out for big-time revenge. After the death of his partner, Hooker, chased by a “hot-headed crooked flatfoot (cop)” flees to Chicago and joins forces with big time confidence-game hustler Henry Gondorff, possessor of “the fastest hands and feet” in town for a six-pronged attack: The Switch, The Set-Up, The Hook, The Race, The Wire, The Sting  — all introduced in vaudeville fashion by a Follies-type showgirl with title cards. All’s fair in love and war, and it becomes anybody’s game. You’re  never sure who’s conning who until the uproaring climax.

The show opens with snazzy-dressed veteran grafter Luther, the incomparable Kevyn Morrow (The Color Purple revival, Bandstand), accompanied by a lone trombone player (Dion Tucker) who adds punctuation to several scenes, introducing us to his world, “You Can’t Trust Nobody”: “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight you’ll hear a story. It’s a down and dirty chronicle of deception, betrayal, and more … We’re in the Great Depression, which, frankly, ain’t all that great. There’s fear and corruption – the evils depressions create … (and) there’s somethin’ we should get straight: Oh, you can’t trust nobody!”

Hooker follows with the show-stopping “The Thrill of the Con,” “…where we size ‘em up … make our moves … talk our talk, and end up the richest kids on the block.”

Connick is still the smooth king of the crooners. Close your eyes and you’re sure Ole Blue Eyes has been resurrected. He has two showstopping piano “improvisations,” with hands hitting the ivories faster than Superman flies – one, at the top of Act Two and his  big tap blow-out, “This Ain’t No Song and Dance,” standing at a piano moving around the stage. There are a fare share of scene stealers: take Christopher Gurr (Gus in the Cats revival), as J.S. Singleton, who, much to the audience’s delight, calls the races better than any fast-talking announcer; and Peter Benson, the pint-sized mascot of the scams, a.k.a known as The Erie Kid, who wants to be a tough-talking thug.

Also featured in the cast of 25 are Tom Hewitt (Tony nominee, 2002 Rocky Horror Show, Frank ‘n Furter; 2004 Dracula, a Lion King Scar, a 2012 Pontius Pilate) as Lonnegan, an impeccable impersonation of the film’s memorable Robert Shaw; golden-voiced Janet Dacal (Prince of Broadway, Alice in Wonderland) as mysterious Loretta; 1998 Miss America Kate Shindle [president, Actors Equity] is Billie, Gondorff’s love interest; famed character actor Robert Wuhl as the flatfoot; and Richard Kline as conman Kid Twist.   

Tony winner Beowulf Boritt has designed abstract set pieces that are pushed on and off  stage (some that open as leafs in a book) and an authentic bookie joint. Costumes are by Paul Tazewell (Hamilton; NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert). Orchestrations are by Doug Besterman, with dance arrangements by David Chase.

Scott Joplin, “King of Ragtime” – was born in 1868 into a musical family of railroad workers in Texarkana, TX, where he later formed a vocal quartet and taught music. He traveled the South as a musician and absorbed traditional African-American music. At 16, he relocated to Sedalia, MO, where he taught ragtime. He began publishing his music in 1895. His “Maple Leaf Rag” brought him immense popularity beginning in 1899. In 1901, he settled in St. Louis and six years later to New York. He wrote 44 ragtime compositions, a ragtime ballet, and two operas, A Guest of Honor  and Treemonisha, partially staged in 1915 [produced to wide acclaim in 1972]. He died of dementia in 1917, age 48. In 1976, Joplin was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Tickets for The Sting are $34 – $137, and available at the Paper Mill box office, online at www.PaperMill.org, or by calling (973-376-4343. Groups of 10 or more receive up to a 40% discount (973) 315-1680). Students: $23 rush tickets at box office or by phone day of performance.

Mark S. Hoebee is Paper Mill’s producing artistic director and Todd Schmidt is managing director. Major sponsor, The Sting:  J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Season sponsor: Investors Bank. For more information, visit www.papermill.org.

Special events at The Sting

Accessibility Performances: Audio-described performances, Sunday, April 22, at 1:30 P.M. and Saturday, April 28, at1:30; along with free sensory seminars at noon. Sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance: Sunday, April 29, at
7 P.M.

Conversation Club: Thursdays, April 12 and 19, one hour before curtain —informative gathering about the performance.

Q&A with the cast: Following Saturday, April 28 matinee.