Dance From The Heart BC/EFA

Dance from the Heart Benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
                    By Ellis Nassour
Principal dancers

from premiere dance companies will headline Dance from the Heart on January 28 and 29 at Cedar Lake Theatre (547 W. 26th Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues) with two shows nightly (6:30 and 8:30) with different programs each night. The shows are presented by Dancers Responding to AIDS, founded in 1991by members of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and benefits the programs of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. More than a dozen dance companies will participate.

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SMASH

                   SMASH, Season 1,
       Arrives on DVD to Welcome NBC’s Premiere of SMASH, Season 2     
                    By Ellis Nas
sour
Anyone who loves New York and theater surely had a blast with Season One of SMASH, in spite of some of its time-bending and asinine aspects, and will treasure the DV

D set (NBC/Universal Studios Home Entertainment; four discs; widescreen; 650 minutes; SRP $45). The musical series, supposedly reality-based, celebrates the thrill and heartbreak of Broadway by following a motley group of dreamers and schemers and great talent, working in a matter of weeks, creating a bio musical on Marilyn Monroe. All 15 episodes, from the pilot (January 2012) and "The Callback" through "Previews" and "Bombshell," are included.

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Silence! The Musical

      Can’t Silence Sile

nce! The Musical,
Now Starring Stage and TV’s Sean McDermott
                       By
Ellis Nassour

Since its premiere at Theatre 80 in 2011, Silence! The Musical hasn’t been able to remain silent Off Broadway at the Elektra Theatre (669 Eighth Avenue at 42nd Street) or in its first regional production in Los Angeles and first foreign production in London. In fact, since December 30th, it’s shattered it previous smash Off Broadway box office record.

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Penny Fuller in 13 Things ***1/2

Barry Kleinbort, Penny Fuller

The Emmy Award Winning and Tony nominated actress Penny Fuller turned in a masterful performance in 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti , the new Barry Kleinbort musical based on a play, Three Viewings by Jeffrey Hatcher, which was a trilogy reflecting on love and loss that was presented Off-Broadway in the 1950s. Kleinbort’s smart musical has made an impressive New York City debut at 59E59 Theaters where the cabaret style show filled the house with celebrities nightly from December 4th through December 30. The old chestnut of a story is now supported elegantly by Kleinbort’s lovely music and clever lyrics covering several genres in style.

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Downtown Abbey

PBS Rings in 2013 with Downton Abbey, Season 3
                    By Ellis Nassour

The Great War – WWI, the war to end all wars – is over and Mary and Matthew’s much anticipated and much-long-awaited engagement is announced. Lady Grantham’s mother, Martha Levinson, arrives from New York. Season Three of by Julian Fellowes Downton Abbey, winner of 11 BAFTA Award nominations [with two creative wins], six Emmys, and seven Golden Globe nominations and winner of Best Mini-Series, unreels, on PBS on January 6 at 9 P.M. Howeveer, it appears all is far from tranquil with more social changes at the magnificent country estate. Romantic intrigues, clashing egos, and personal crises will wrenchingly grip fans.

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Hepburn: Dressed to Kill

       Katharine Hepburn: Dressed to Kill      
                  By Ellis Nassour
If she had her way, Katharine Hepburn would have simply lived in khakis, her favorite mode of "fashion." She was also fond of what she called "rebel chic," and, though it wasn’t her goal, she set fashion trends. After all, she was a movie star!
Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen, organized by the Kent State University Museum and running in the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center through January 12, it becomes abundantly clear she knew what worked for her.

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Theatre World Awards

The 68th annual THEATRE WORLD AWARDS will be held Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 at a theatre TBA.  The 2 pm by-invitation-only ceremony will also include a presentation of the 4th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence.
Peter Filichia will host; Barry Keating will direct, and Mary K. Botosan and Erin Oestreich are the event’s producers.

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Cabaret Cares

Christine Pedi
Valerie Smaldone

Cabaret Cares/Help Is On The Way Today has added the incredible and hilarious Christine Pedi (Newsical the Musical, to the talent lineup for their Sixth Annual Gala Fundraiser to be held on May 20, 2012 at the Laurie Beechman Theater. Robert Creighton, the award winning actor/writer now appearing in the Tony Award Winning revival of ANYTHING GOES, will be the auctioneer for a group of items which includes: An Evening of Wining, Dining and Dancing for Four at the elegant Edison Ballroom, a $500.00 gift certificate from Tori Burch and many other generously donated items.

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Broadway Festival

Elaine Stritch

      Seventh Annual Broadway Cabaret Festival
                        October 16, 21, 28   
         Original Stars of Broadway Musicals.
                Legendary Elaine Stritch
       A Tribute to Judy Garland & Gene Kelly
                      By Ellis Nassour

Town Hall’s Seventh Annual Broadway Cabaret Festival is October 16, 21 and 28 – three consecutive weekend nights as opposed to previous festivals, which took place three consecutive days. The lineup is the always eagerly anticipated Broadway Originals! on Oct.16 at 3 P.M.; the centerpiece, always a solo celebrity-driven show, this year showcasing Tony and Drama Desk winning legend Elaine Stritch on Oct. 22 at 8 P.M.; and A Tribute to Judy Garland and Gene Kelly on Oct.28. 


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The Normal Heart

       By Ellis Nassour
The ultimate casting coup of the season is the cast of the acclaimed, very limited run revival [through July 10] of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe have assembled pure magic onstage.
There are blistering moments from Ellen Barkin, building slowly into a performance possibly only her mother thought she could achieve; the always reliable John Benjamin Hickey topping anything he’s done before; Joe Mantello, whom you must beg the question, "Why in the world did you ever leave acting to direct?"; and handsome drink-of-water Lee Pace pulling something out of his psyche that maybe even he didn’t know was there.

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Donna Murphy

Donna Murphy: The People in Her Pictures
               By Ellis Nassour

Tony and Drama Desk winner Donna Murphy, not unexpectedly, is giving one of the most acclaimed performances of the season in Roundabout’s Iris Rainer Dart/Mike Stoller/Artie Butler’s musical The People in the Picture.
 

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Nina Arianda

Sultry Blonde Nina Arianda Wasn’t Born Yesterday
                      By Ellis Nassour

Few theatrical performances the last couple of years generated the kind of buzz that accompanied Nina Arianda’s performance March, 2010, as Vanda, the very extroverted but seemingly flighty actress arriving past late to audition as a dominatrix, in Classic Stage Company’s acclaimed production of David Ives’ Venus in Fur. Now, in a season where there have been so many standout performances, Arianda is delivering one herself in her much-anticipated Bway debut as the very extroverted but seemingly scatter-brained mistress Billie Dawn in Tony-winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) revival of Garson Kanin’s  Born Yesterday. Seemingly, being the optium word.

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Current Season

Connecting Theater Degrees of Separation and Association
             in the Current Season                                 By Ellis Nassour

Tony and Drama Desk nom Christian Borle [Legally Blonde, Spamalot], prior to opening as Black Stache in the NYTW’s Lortel-nominated Outstanding Play Peter and the Starcatcher [Outstanding Actor nom] portrayed Prior Walter in the acclaimed Signature Theatre revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. 

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to current six degrees of separation and associations this season.

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Ackerman & Serabian Return

Veteran Actresses Loni Ackerman and Lorraine Serabian Return
"with a Vengeance" – and in Repertory                By: Ellis Nassour

 

For their inaugural season, Lenny Leibowitz and Amy Estes’ Marvell Rep took a giant leap by becoming NY’s only professional theater company producing new and classic plays in rotating repertory. Joining a double bill already "in progress" at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex [312 West 36th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues] are Lorca’s rarely performed Blood Wedding, beginning performances tomorrow [through April 2]; and the NY prem of Joseph Landis’ translation of Ansky’s The Dybbuk, beginning performances Sunday [through April 3].

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Oscars

The Red Carpet Rolls Out for Oscar

         By: Ellis Nassour
The 83nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor 10 nominated "best" from 2010 on Sunday 8 P.M. [with red carpet arrivals], telecast on ABC from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. As last year, special and honorary award winners will be saluted, but their trophies were handed out two weeks ago [no doubt to make room for highlights from the 10 nominated films].

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