Derek McLane

Moulin Rouge! Set Designer Derek McLane Knows How to Make Theatergoers Gasp

By: Ellis Nassour

August 2, 2019: One thing that the Hirschfeld Theatre ushers can always count on at Moulin Rouge! when they open the orchestra doors a volley of gasps and exclamations as ticketholders first grasp the set. Smart Phones are out as they roam the aisles capturing snaps of the colorful stage with its depth of heart-shaped portals, the 14.6’ replica of the windmill that sits atop the Moulin Rouge in Paris and that’s mounted in the box at the left, and the 18’ high blue elephant in the box at right.

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Rita Rudner

Comedy Icon Rita Rudner Returns
to the Boards in New Musical, Two’s a Crowd

 

By: Ellis Nassour

July 19, 2019 — Dancer, singer, actress, New York Times best-selling author, Vegas top-draw headliner, TV and film star, playwright, and, above all else, one of our top comedy icon Rita Rudner returns to the New York stage after a much-too-long absence (40 years) in the new musical comedy Two’s a Crowd, which she co-wrote with husband Martin Bergman, who’s directs. 

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Jack DiFalco

The Ferryman/Torch Song: Young Actor on the Rise, Jack DiFalco

By: Ellis Nassour

May 15, 2019: Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman is one of the most acclaimed plays of this or any season. In its London West End debut, the sprawling family drama won numerous awards, including the coveted Olivier for Best Play and director Sam Mendes.

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Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Lives On

By: Iris Wiener

May 14, 2019: There is no stopping Rachel Bloom, the co-creator, writer and star of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend; the energizer bunny of the entertainment business, Bloom is currently touring with the cast of her CW musical comedy, in which they perform the hysterically poignant numbers that made the show a cult-hit for four seasons.

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Stephanie Hsu

Be More Chill’s Stephanie Hsu: A Comedienne on a Journey to Inspire

By: Ellis Nassour

May 3, 2019: Broadway’s newest musical, Be More Chill, had a storied path. The show, at the historic Lyceum Theatre, is adapted from the late Ned Vizzini’s 2004 young adult novel, joins New York’s already-crowded field of tales of teenage angst with huge youth appeal: Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls, and The Prom.Like those musicals, audience members are polling quite young, with a huge sampling of high school to post graduate students.

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James Snyder

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: James Synder Heads the New American Cast

By: Ellis Nassour

April 22, 2019: The two-part epic Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and the first official Potter story to be developed for the stage. Following a blockbuster premiere in London, the show and cast crossed the Atlantic for the U.S. premiere at the totally renovated Lyric Theatre on West 43rd Street, which now has been turned into a Harry Potter fantasy experience.  

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Danny Gardner

By: Iris Wiener

April 5, 2019: Though he had been performing and tap dancing since he was 5 years old, it was working on a high school production of Me and My Girl that changed the path of Danny Gardner’s life. The musical combined physical comedy, singing and tap dancing, all skills the Pennsylvania native would later demonstrate in Broadway’s Dames at Sea and the New York Spectacular at Radio City Musical Hall..

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Christine Lahti

Gloria: A Life: Feminist Activist Christine Lahti Channels Feminist Activist Gloria Steinem 

By: Ellis Nassour

December 10, 2018:  In a superb, don’t miss performance,  stage, TV veteran, and Oscar-winning film star Christine Lahti is starring as her mentor and friend Gloria Steinem in Tony-winning playwright Emily Mann’s Gloria: A Life, an affecting, rich tapestry about one of the most inspiring and remarkable women of our time. For over five decades, Steinem has raised her voice for women’s equality

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Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Approached Working Together As Equal Partners

By: Ellis Nassour

October 8, 2018:  Lady Gaga is as mega as you can get as a rock star and Bradley Cooper knows the best and worst about the movie business. She’s got the vocal chops; he’s got the acting chops. You might wonder in making A Star Is Born if she was putty in his hands or if he just let her loose to run wild.

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Mark Stuart

When Change Comes: A Movement Forward

Mark Stuart discusses the evolution of the dance phenomenon as it sets to premiere on Long Island.

By: Iris Wiener

When Change Comes: A Movement Forward is a poignant dance musical that asks the question: Can the act of “seeing” each other without judgment or fear break the cycle of intolerance? Featuring a cast of world-renowned dancers, singers and musicians, Change takes audiences through a century of music, movement and human connection in the shadow of our nation’s most defining moments. Known as Standard Time throughout its prior Off-Broadway and regional runs, the newly re-worked show will open for audiences on September 7th at Madison Theatre at Molloy College with special Broadway guest stars Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Cinderella) and Dan DeLuca (Newsies national tour), and on September 8th with  Adam Kaplan (A Bronx Tale, Newsies). Change moves to New York Live Arts September 13th through September 16th. Director and co-producer Mark Stuart (Bandstand, ABC’s Dirty Dancing) spoke with Theaterlife about his show’s second life, and how he aims to make an impact with the important piece.

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Ethan Slater

SpongeBob SquarePants’ Ethan Slater: “The Role I Didn’t Know I Was Born to Play”

By Ellis Nassour

June 5, 2018:   “My life changed overnight!” exclaims Ethan Slater in understatement. “I’m still pinching myself because I haven’t had time to absorb it all. I owe Tina Landau the world!” Ms. Landau, quite unexpectedly, feels vice versa.” The musical, Slater, in his Broadway debut, and Landau are ending the season with a bang. SpongeBob SquarePants just captured Drama Desk’s Outstanding Musical honors; Slater won Outstanding Actor; and Landau, Outstanding Director, Musical. The trio is also Tony-nominated.  In all, the show earned 12 Tony nominations and 11 DD nods.

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Mart Crowley

Mart Crowley: After 50 Years He’s Still the Leader of the Band

By: Ellis Nassour

May 31, 2018:   In 1967, when Mart Crowley began writing  his play The Boys in the Band, he was so frustrated with his career as a screenplay writer that he intended, with every breath of each invented character and situation, to be controversial. The themes of the play were self-loathing and self-destruction, the loneliness that envelops you when the crowd disperses. “These were things that fascinated me,” he revealed. “Things I was hung up on much too long. I tried to learn how people become their own worst enemies. Once I came to grips with that realization, I became a happier person.”

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Michael Urie

Michael Urie Photo: Barry Gordin

Michael Urie Talks Succeeding in Business While Hosting Drama Desks

By: Iris Wiener

May 23, 2018:  Who better to host an award show celebrating the best in theatre than an actor who personifies it? Over the past year, two-time Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie garnered rave reviews for his brilliance with physical comedy in The Government Inspector; his moving, sincere performance in Second Stage’s Torch Song; and the titular title character in Shakespeare Theater Company’s Hamlet. In the coming year he shows no signs of slowing down. Immediately after hosting the 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards for the third time on June 3rd, Urie heads to the Kennedy Center to reunite with his Ugly Betty co-star Becki Newton in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. However, if fans can’t make it to D.C. to get a taste of Urie’s talent, they can check out his work on digital platform BroadwayHD. Urie took the director’s seat for the twice-extended Off-Broadway production of Bright Colors and Bold Patterns, which will be streaming this summer.

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John Rando

A Musical with Some Sting: Director John Rando on His 30s Caper 

By: Iris Wiener

You may not know John Rando by name, but if you have experienced intelligent, entertaining theatre in the past few decades, you have certainly taken in some of his work.

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Robert Creighton @ 54 Below

Robert Creighton Gets Holiday Happy at Feinstein’s/54Below

By: Iris Wiener

No one embodies the New York vibe better than Robert Creighton. The multi-talented performer has leant his powerhouse vocals and stunningly quick dance steps to seven Broadway shows (Anything Goes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), and is gearing up for his eighth, Disney’s behemoth Frozen. Fresh off a run in the West Coast premiere of Off-Broadway’s hit Cagney, a musical love letter to the groundbreaking vaudevillian song-and-dance man (Creighton earned Drama Desk and Fred Astaire awards for his performance, as well as a credit for co-writing the piece), he returns to Feinstein’s/54Below on December 14th at 7pm for his third solo show, Holiday Happy! Before debuting his festive set and stepping into the Duke of Weselton’s snow shoes in Arendelle, Creighton treated Theaterlife.com to a chat about his exciting year and what 2018 has in store for him.

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