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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Though all the season’s headliners haven’t been announced, look at the star power coming in: Two-time Tony and three-time DD-winner John Lithgow, making his frequent transition from screen to stage roles, this season co-starring at Second Stage in Douglas Carter Beane’s Mr. and Mrs. Fitch; Two-time Oscar-winner Denzel Washington, returning five years after his Brutus in Julius Caesar, in the Fences revival; and Kelsey Grammar is back after 10 years and roles in Shakespeare classics for a total change of pace as Georges in the La Cage revival.
SIZZLIN’ BALLROOM: BURN THE FLOOR’S CREATIVE FORCE: JASON GILKISON By: ELLIS NASSOUR
NYTimes critic Charles Isherwood termed Burn the Floor, the ballroom dancing spectacular now at the Longacre, "every bit as flashy and tacky as you would expect." WOW! Those two qualities, both of which are so alien to Broadway!, are perhaps what’s making the Aussie production such a hit. That and the fact that thanks to smash TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars the world seems dance crazy.
Best Play: God Of Carnage Yasmina Reza’s shallow dissection of contemporary social hypocrisy will win in a weak year, where the best new plays were seen Off- Broadway. Note: the Pulitzer Prize winning Ruined by Lynn Nottage is still playing at MTC.
Best Musical: Billy Elliot The musical based on the movie of the same name is perfection and recently won 10 Drama Desk Awards. Billy will dance away with multiple Tonys as well.
On Sunday, June 7, the Broadway community gathers at Radio City Music Hall for the American Theatre Wing’s 63rd annual Tony Awards. The show will be carried as a live, three-hour special on CBS, beginning at 8 P. M. At Wednesday morning’s reception for the nominees, who were announced only the day before, several interesting facts about the Awards came to light.
Drama Desk Nominees Feted; Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton Reunite; Fonda and Channing Among Presenters for May 17 Awards to be Hosted by Harvey Fierstein by Ellis Nassour
Timing is everything in theater. And at Friday’s cocktail reception for the 54th Annual Drama Desk Awards nominees the timing couldn’t be better for 9 to 5: the movie co-stars Dolly Parton, in a luminous black and white outfit and making her Broadway debut as composer of 9 to 5: the musical; and Jane Fonda, back on Broadway after a longgggggg absence in 33 Variations, carrying her precious dog Tulia.
The eternally youthful multi-talented singer, dancer, cabaret entertainer has left us. Renowned as the self proclaimed "sex kitten" in a career that spanned five decades, the actress was active as recently as last September where she performed at Cafe Carlyle. Her accomplishments cover every facet of the entertainment industry, but she may be best know to millions as the Cat Woman of the long running "Batman" television series. Orson Wells called her "the most exciting woman in the world." And the world will be a little less exciting now that she’s gone.
The Noble prize winning British playwright Harold Pinter, acclaimed for his dark menacing stories of bleak lives, passed away at 78 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He won the Noble Prize for literature in 2005 and his acceptance speech at the time was most profound. Just this past season, Pinter was represented on Broadway with a star studded revival of his classic The Homecoming.