Molina Wins Drama League

Alfred Molina
Michael Urie, Vanessa Williams

By Patrick Christiano
The Drama League honored film and theater star Alfred Molina with their coveted Distinguished Performance Award for his “dazzling portrayal of the artist Mark Rothko” in the acclaimed Broadway production of RED.  Molina’s work was selected over 60 outstanding performances nominated from the 2009/2010 season.  Accepting his award at the 76th annual luncheon from past recipient Liev Schreiber Molina said, “This is so fantastic I can’t tell you. I’m Italian, I’m going to cry.” He followed with a story in a very proper English accent about his wife reading the list of illustrious nominees and telling him if he wins ‘Don’t go English’ and suddenly pumped his arm with a clinched fist and said “YES!”

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The American Musical Updated

Broadway: The American Musical Updated
                    By Ellis Nassour

The lavishly illustrated Broadway: The American Musical [Applause Books; 498 pages, Updated edition; softbound,  Show chronology; Bibliography; Theatre Districk maps 1928/2010; Index; Foreword by Julie Andrews; SRP $35], co-authored by Michael Kantor and NYU professor/theater historian Laurence Maslon and based on Kantor’s 2004 documentary [originally a companion to the six-part PBS series] is the first comprehensive history of the musical, from its early 20th Century roots and into the new millennium.

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South Pacific

Paulo Szot, Kelli O’Hara

                        South Pacific ~
Last Weeks Onstage, Telecast,  Movie, & New Book

                        By Eiils Nassour

On August  18, four days before the final performance of its nearly two-and-a-half-year run, Lincoln Center Theatre’s Tony and Drama Desk-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammer’s South Pacific will be presented in a live three-hour telecast from the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center. The musical’s Tony and DD-winning director Bartlett Sher will helm with the show’s choreographer Christopher Gattelli assisting on the musical staging.

 

 

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NYC Summer Theater Sizzles

NYC theater scene sizzles in summer…
                    By: Isa Goldberg

During the summer, the theater scene in New York City is a swarm of theater festivals all of them promising Dionysian abandon and many conjuring classical themes as conceived by emerging artists. Audiences will have their choice of everything from the “Clubbed Thumb”(Clubbed Thumb.org) to “Planet Connections” (planetconnectionsfestivity.com), both of which return this year along with the “Ice Factory” turning up the heat while SPF (Short Play Festival) takes a hiatus.

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Cirque du Soleil

     Cirque du Soleil’s OVO…
Deborah Colker…Banana Spheel

            By Ellis Nassour


Cirque du Soleil has returned to New York and has pitched its trademark 2,500-seat blue-and-yellow grand chapiteau again at Randall’s Island, where it’s scheduled to play through June 6. 
Things are a bit different with this edition, titled OVO. It’s about time. For one thing, at its helm is a woman director for the first time in Cirque’s quarter century of shows, acclaimed Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker. Her much-honored contemporary dance troupe tours the world. And the show has a new beat, very Brazilian.


 

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A Starry Starry Season!

            By: Ellis Nassour
An economic downturn, rampant unemployment, home mortagemania, terrorist plots, and a drop in tourism must have happened in a Dallas-type dream. It certainly hasn’t affected theater attendance with Bway and Off Bway boasting their best season yet.
The fact that ticket prices are through the roof hasn’t hurt to make box offices boffo. It’s something everyone complains about but which they keep ignoring. Natives and visitors alike flock to the unique TKTS booth in Times Square, and not just to perch themselves in the dark at the top for the red stairs. What would theater attendance be without TKTS [the booths and their mailings offering steep ticket discounts]?

 

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Enron’s Kunken & Prebble

The Art of Greed: Enron’s Stephen Kunken
              By Ellis Nassour

The acclaimed London production of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, a docudrama using song, movement, projections, and raptor costumes, tells the story of the collapse of the once fabled energy giant in a most unconventional way.

While still running on the West End, the play opened here with an American cast: Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz, Tony nom Gregory Itzin [The Kentucky Cycle; President Logan, TV’s 24, The Mentalist], Stephen Kunken [Our Town, Rock ‘n Roll, Frost/Nixon, Festen] and Tony/Olivier nom Marin Mazzie [Kiss Me Kate, Ragtime, Passion] play wrongdoers at the top of the Enron foodchain. Rupert Goold [Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart], whose Headlong Theatre commissioned the work, continues as director.

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Sondheim on Sondheim

Euan Morton

Euan Morton SIngs the Praises of Sondheim and the Sondheim on Sondheim Cast
                           By Eiils Nassour

Roundabout at Studio 54’s Sondheim on Sondheim not only brings the master composer back to Bway and is his [sort of] onstage Bway debut but also marks the return of a list of long-time favs.

 Welcome back Tony winner Barbara Cook, after an absence of 37 years*; Tony nom Vanessa Williams; and Euan Morton, returning after an absence of some three and a half years. Of course, it’s always good to have Tom Wopat, Norm Lewis, and Leslie Kritzer back. Even though they’ve not been missing that long, welcome back Erin Mackey and Matthew Scott.


 

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Anyone Can Whistle

         City Center Encores! Anyone Can Whistle
                           By Ellis Nassour
Get thee to the City Center box office. Don’t walk, run! Encores! season finale of the eagerly awaited concert of Sondheim and Laurents’ unconventional musical satire, Anyone Can Whistle, with only five performances April 8 – 11, appears to be a hit before it opens. Already there’s talk of a Bway transfer. Ticket sales have been brisk. Buzz is international. There’ve been ticket requests from as far as the U.K., Germany, and France!

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Lupone to Host Drama Desk

              Broadway’s Beloved Patti LuPone to Host the 55th Annual
                                 Drama Desk Awards May 23

                 By Ellis Nassour
Tony and Drama Desk multiple award winner Patti LuPone, will host the 55th Annual Drama Desk Awards on Sunday, May 23, at 9 P.M.. Robert R. Blume, exec producer of the Awards, and William Wolf, DD prez, made the announcement. The Awards will take place at the Concert Hall of the LaGuadia High School for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

 

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Leslie Uggams In Concert

Leslie Uggams: In Concert for American Songbook
                         By Ellis Nassour
Last Saturday, in the American Songbook series, Tony and Emmy winner, Golden Globe nom, and hometown gal Leslie Uggams gave her first New York concert in 18 years. It was flawless and, as far as the timbre of her voice, as if time had stopped. Where had that voice been? Well, here and there.

 

 

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The Boys In The Band

        Over 40 Years Later, Mart Crowley Revisits
                        The Boys in the Band


                            By Ellis Nassour
In 1967, when "starving" writer Mart Crowley "on the brink of destitution" but sitting in the lap of luxury finished his play The Boys in the Band, he says he intended it to be controversial. But, having distanced himself from gay politics, he didn’t set out to be an rights activist. "I probably didn’t even know what that meant," he laughs.

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Marilyn Maye @ Feinstein’s

 

Marilyn Maye Photography: Barry Gordin

       
Marilyn Maye’s in Love in Feinstein’s Debut
                            By Ellis Nassour
Grammy nom, legendary RCA recording artist, and the artist dubbed "Super Singer" by Johnny Carson [in her 75 + appearances on the Tonight Show] Marilyn Maye continues her conquering of the New York music scene at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, where she opens on March 2 with a new show, In Love Again, through March 13.

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Drama League Fetes Angela Lansbury

   

Angela Lansbury, Stewart Lane, Bonnie Comley, Jano Herbsch

           By: Ellis Nassour
A galaxy of stars honored theater legend and five-time Tony winner Angela Lansbury at the Drama League benefit gala, A Musical Celebration of Broadway, Monday, February 8, at the Pierre Hotel.

Performing and paying tribute were James Barbour, Charles Busch, Ann Hampton Callaway, Len Cariou, Will Chase, Edie Falco, Beth Fowler, Victor Garber, Alexander Gemignani, Malcolm Gets, Dee Hoty, Cheyenne Jackson, Chad Kimball, Donna Murphy, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Sieber, Will Swenson, and, among others, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

 

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