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.
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 writinghis 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.”
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.
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.
The name Megan Cavanagh is synonymous with Marla Hooch, the wide-eyed, scene-stealing second base-woman in A League of Their Own. However, Cavanagh also has an excellent pitch- as a singer, that is, and she has been sharing it with the world for the past thirteen years as Earth Mother in Menopause the Musical, which comes to The Gateway at Patchogue Theatre on Sunday, October 8th at 2pm and 7pm. Menopause is a celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “the change,” featuring a story told through musical parody of hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s. In between raising funds for the International Women’s Baseball Center (IWBC) and speaking on League Q&A panels celebrating the 25th anniversary of the film, Cavanagh spoke with Theaterlife.com about what she has been up to since Penny Marshall’s iconic 1992 hit, her Broadway ambitions, and returning to the Long Island theatrical mainstay.
The Broadway musical, War Paint, chronicles the story of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, ferocious rivals played respectively by Patti LuPone and Christine Ebsersole. The two women reinvented the 20th Century beauty industry, and the musical centers on their challenges as women and adversaries in transforming how the world saw women.in the business. Their tale is complemented, and enhanced, by Angel Reda, a member of one of the hardest working ensembles in the theatre today. Angel is a Kansas native best known for covering every role in Broadway’s Chicago and one of Hugh Jackman’s dancers in Hugh Jackman in Performance.In War Paint, she dons many heals and shades of lipstick as Ms. Arden’s solicitor, Miss Smythe, and plays a number of other roles as well. Angel spoke with Theaterlife.com about the challenges and privileges of working on a new musical, along with her desire to play Shakespeare.
Award-winning comedian returns to Bay Street Theater Thursday, September 22.
By: Patrick Christiano
Paula Poundstone legendary for her spontaneous wit and spot on humor is returning to Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor for another of her unscripted evenings of laughter on Thursday, September 22 at 8pm. I enjoyed a brief telephone chat with the popular comedian in hopes of uncovering what makes her tick and came away realizing there is no formula for just being yourself and enjoying life’s outrageous dichotomies.
Soap Star Peter Reckell Returns to The Fantasticks After 35 Years
By: Iris Wiener
Performing in soap operas, television series’ and theater have filled the days of Peter Reckell’s life, though it has been quite some time since he took to the New York stage to share his singing voice. In fact, it was thirty-five years ago that he was featured in the Greenwich Village production of The Fantasticks, the long-running, modern, musical twist on Romeo and Juliet, to which he will be returning on September 5th, this time with career defining experience under his belt.
Alan Mingo Jr. Steps Into Broadway’s Kinky Boots
By: Iris Wiener
The saying goes that until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you won’t be able to understand him or her. Until Alan Mingo Jr. first donned the iconic heels for Toronto’s Kinky Boots, he had no idea what he was getting himself into, nor did he even remotely imagine how Lola, a character made famous by Tony Award winner Billy Porter, would change his life.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT/JOY BEHAR brings ME MY MOUTH AND I to Guild Hall.
BREAKING NEWS: Behar is returning to The View as part of a shake up for the 19th season, reportetedly at Barbara Walters request. When we spoke on Friday she only hinted they had asked her back, but that they didn’t offer what she wanted. Well I guess things have changed. She will be one the show’s rotating co-hosts. And the live taping that will now happen five days a week will give an added jolt of energy
Michael McGrath Gets Political at George Street Playhouse
By: Iris Wiener
No one knows better than Michael McGrath that performing is Nice Work if You Can Get It, seeing as how he won a Tony Award for playing the role of Cookie McGee in the 2012 production of said musical. However, he is having no problem getting nice work these days, whether it’s in portraying the personal secretary for the president of the United States, singing show tunes in a Broadway revival, or bringing comedy to a stage adaptation of a television classic. McGrath, who is also known for bringing his talent to Broadway’s Memphis and Spamalot (for which he was also nominated for a Tony), is currently stepping into his third role in a play written by Joe DiPietro with The Second Mrs. Wilson at George Street Playhouse.