Michael McGrath

Michael McGrath Gets Political at George Street Playhouse

By: Iris Wiener
   

Michael McGrath

  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.

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Scott Wise

Tony Winning Dancer Extraordinaire Returns to Broadway in Allegiance

           By: Ellis Nassour

Scott Wise, three-time nominee and 1989 Tony winner as Featured Actor, Musical, two-time Drama Desk nominee, and winner of a coveted Astaire Award, had been absent from Broadway for nine years. He’s back and playing a featured role and in the ensemble of Allegiance. Following a recent Saturday matinee, he instinctively knows what the first question will be: "What took so long?"

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Constantine Maroulis

           An Intoxicating Reunion                    By: Iris Wiener

Constantine Maroulis previews upcoming Toxic Avenger concert at 54 Below.
      
In a special one-night-only concert on June 8th at 54 Below, Constantine Maroulis is joining his Alley Theatre castmates in a freak-tastic reunion of epic

Constantine Maroulis

proportions. The Toxic Avenger is a comical love story and the winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best off-Broadway Musical, which ran at New World Stages, Alley Theatre, and George Street Playhouse in a few different incarnations. In an attempt to clean up New Jersey’s most polluted town, protagonist Melvin is dumped into a vat of radioactive toxic waste, only to reemerge as the The Toxic Avenger.

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Elizabeth Ashley Part 2

Tony-winner Elizabeth Ashley, Co-starring in You Can’t Take It with You: A Life Not Always Well-Lived but She Wouldn’t Change a Thing – Part 2

           By: Ellis Nassour

Elizabeth Ashley, one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, came on the New York scene from the deep South and found herself destined for great things – in theater, in film, and on TV. She had a seductive beauty, gorgeous legs, an aura of mystique, and a unique rapid-fire voice dripping with Southern Comfort and mint juleps infused with magnolias. She dazzled with a new kind of spunk.

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Elizabeth Ashley Part 1

Tony-winner Elizabeth Ashley, Co-starring in You Can’t Take It with You: A Life Not Always Well-Lived but She Wouldn’t Change a Thing – Part 1

               By: Ellis Nassour

Elizabeth Ashley is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation. Born in Florida, but raised in the deep South of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Once she made the decision to come to New York, with her dazzling-some-have-said-seductive beauty, gorgeous legs, an aura of mystique, and a unique rapid-fire voice dripping with Southern Comfort and mint juleps infused with magnolias, she was quickly noticed and cast in major roles.

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Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth Returns to Her Roots for Hometown Concert on CD and a Thanksgiving Special on PBS November 28

           By: Ellis Nasso

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Tony and Emmy winner and "the li’l darling of Broadway" Kristin Chenoweth brings her myriad talents to a new CD, Coming Home [Concord Records] and this weekend [November 28 at 8 P.M.] in a Thanksgiving special on PBS, Kristin Chenoweth: Coming Home, directed by Kenny Ortega.

Said to have "one of the most captivating voices ever to grace a Broadway stage," Chenoweth returned home to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where she was raised – adopted as an infant with Southern and Midwestern family values. She grew up singing in her church choir.

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Scott Schwartz

         "Hunchback" at La Jolla
                 By: T.E. McMorrow

After four years of work by an artistic team headed by director Scott Schwartz, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," which goes into previews at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, Cal., Oct. 26, is anything but your child’s cartoon version of the Victor Hugo classic.

Still produced by Disney, and using many musical elements from both the 1996 animated film, as well as the 1999 stage production which had a book by James Lapine, and played for three years in Berlin, this is, none the less, a re-conception of the piece. "This version is completely different," Schwartz said on the phone last week during a break from tech rehearsal. "It is a whole new take."

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Marian Seldes

Remembering Marian Seldes: An excerpt from an August 2005 Interview:
Marian Seldes: First Lady of American Theater?

                                          By: Ellis Nassour
‘‘Darling, it hasn’t always been fun," Miss Seldes said in her famous stage whisper as we met to reminisce over her career.

Marian Seldes

In a 2004 Vanity Fair interview, Miss Seldes spoke of how long it took her to establish a leading lady career; and of 1974, which she considered "the most terrible time in my whole career. " She was in her 40s when cast in Peter Shaffer’s Equus. "I wasn’t prepared for the public humiliation [British director] John Dexter subjected me to," when during a rehearsal, he yelled, "Watch those Jewish hands, Seldes!"

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Scott Siegel

Scott Siegel, Still Going at 103, Celebrates Broadway Ballyhoo Birthday

        By: Ellis Nassour

Impresario Scott Siegel will celebrate his 103rd birthday on September 25 at 54 Below at 9:30 P.M. under the guise of his monthly late-night cabaret Broadway Ballyhoo, where the line-up includes artists we’re familiar with and many with whom we’re not.

The entertainment roster is still growing, but those already committed are Tony and Drama Desk nominee Barbara Walsh, Drama Desk nominee Karen Mason, Drama Desk nominee John Bolton, singer Carole J. Bufford, actress/singer Jillian Louis, and Nightlife Award winners Scott Coulter and Carolyn Montgomery-Forant. The evening will also feature international cabaret artist Maxine Linehan and the release of her CD, An American Journey.

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Wallem / Atkinson

Stephen Wallem & Ashlie Atkinson Offer Bedroom Secrets at the Fringe Festival
                                  By Iris Wiener

Intimacy, humor and realism set the framework for Bedroom Secrets, one of Fringe Festival’s most intriguing pieces this year. Through allowing their audience to witness the exchanges between a psychotherapist and her patients, Fringe Festival’s 2013 Audience Favorite winners Thomas and Judy Heath’s dramatic comedy offers a peephole into the human psyche in all matters of sex and communication. Stage and screen talent Stephen Wallem (Nurse Jackie) portrays five vastly different clients of the critically lauded Ashlie Atkinson (Fat Pig) in the role of the therapist.

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Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher’s Fairytale Life
It’s a voice that can speak for itself, but there’s a real person there, too, and a fine actor. Our Tracy Smith caught up with Fran Drescher of "The Nanny" on Broadway:
 VIDEO:CBS

Even on a jam-packed day at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, one unique voice can be heard above the clatter: "I want to show you in here because this room is dedicated to Picasso."

In a world of artistic copycats, Fran Drescher has built a career on her very distinctive voice, and one very distinctive role.

For the millions who watched the series on CBS, Drescher was, and is, "The Nanny." Thanks to syndication, the show hasn’t been off the air in 20 years.

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Terence Stamp

Terence Stamp: A Fascinating Life and Career, Albeit One Filled with Insecurities
                              
                              By: Ellis Nassour

As much as any young English actor, Terence Stamp not only thrived in the swinging ’60s but also defined the period. He was hot. Stamp, co-starring in the well-received Unfinished Song [which opened Friday, opposite Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton], in the 60s with his piercing eyes, striking face, and run-your-fingers-through hair, was considered one of the most desirable men in the world. It led to affairs with many women, but also to a huge ego problem and a long journey of spiritual renewal and self-discovery.

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Terence Stamp Part Two

Terence Stamp: A Fascinating Life and Career, Albeit One Filled with Insecurities


           By: Ellis Nassour

Terence Stamp not only thrived in the swinging ’60s but also defined the period. He was not only talented, though often he didn’t believe it, but was also considered one of the most desirable men in the world. He had affairs with many women who were most every man’s dream. However, there were problems that almost ended his career.

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Lee Daniels Oprah Winfrey

Chatting with The Butler’s Director Lee Daniels, Forest Whittaker, and Oprah Winfrey
                                             By: Ellis Nassour
                         
                          Part Two: Lee Daniels and Oprah Winfrey


Even on a shoestring budget and what amounts to a cast of hundreds that included a roster of A-List screen and stage names, Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, shot The Butler last summer in New Orleans, more often than not in his PJs, where he completed photography in an amazing 41 days – somewhat of a miracle in the annals of Hollywood films.

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Lee Daniels Forest Whittaker

Chatting with The Butler’s Director Lee Daniels, Forest Whittaker,  and Oprah Winfrey

                      By: Ellis Nassour

       Part One: Lee Daniels and Forest Whitaker

Even with a shoestring budget and what amounts to a cast of hundreds, including a long list of top screen and stage names, Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels, shooting The Butler last summer in New Orleans, more often than not in his PJs, where he either had sets built or shot on location, completed photography in an amazing 41 days.

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