The New York Premiere of AMERICAN SEXY by Trista Baldwin, a brutally honest depiction of four young adults coming to grips with their sexual values, opened Downstairs @ The Flea on Saturday January 29, 2011. The play, which features four actors, Satomi Blair (Lexi), Scott Morse (Andy), Nicky Schmidlein (Jessica) and Ron Washington (Darren), from The Flea’s resident acting company, The Bats, takes a scorching look at sexuality in the digital age and marks the directorial debut of Mia Walker.
Pamela Rose with Wild Women of Song – Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era
By: Linda Amiel Burns
Pamela Rose brought a terrific show to Feinstein’s at The Regency Hotel on January 7, 2011 for one night only! She and her band are from San Francisco really rocked the room. Her musicians were superb with Tammy Hall on piano, Ruth Davies on bass, Kent Bryson on drums and Kristen Strom on Sax. The theme was about the women of the Jazz era who wrote great songs and have not been given the credit or recognition they deserve.
By: Patrick Christiano From audience reaction the new musical The Addams Family, based on the beloved cartoon characters created by Charles Addams for the “New Yorker” magazine in 1938, is destined to be a long running smash hit. With the opening strains of the overture we hear the spectators clapping and snapping along with Vic Mizzy’s familiar theme song from the cult classic television show.
By Ellis Nassour Songs My Mother Taught Me, at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency through Sunday, is Lorna Luft’s tribute to mom Judy Garland. It’s a magical trip down the yellow brick road. Luft early on says that mom JG kidded her about preferring "the loud songs." Evidently, mama knew this gal was a belter. The show, penned by TV variety sketch veterans Ken and Mitzi Welch [Carol Burnette shows, a Streisand TV special], opens on a poignant note: JG on her TV variety series singing to her young daughter a song specially written for her by Johnny Mercer, "Lorna."
The music of the rock band Green Day has made the scene on Broadway in what many may consider the best musical of the 2009/2010 season.And credit goes to director Michael Mayer, who has fashioned Green Day’s smash 2004 concept album into an arrestingly fresh stage adaptation. Mayer along with Billie Joe Armstrong, the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist share credit for the book of the 90 minute rock opera, whose score also includes songs from the band’s subsequent Grammy winning release, “21st Century Breakdown,” which passionately captures the frustrations of the post September 11 generation.
RICHARD SKIPPER AS CAROL CHANNING IN CONCERT opened Thursday January 13, 2011 at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, on restaurant row. Skipper’s glowing tribute to the theatrical legend directed by Mark Robert Gordon celebrated Channing’s marvelous career and her unique persona with loving panache. Accompanied by a three -piece band Skipper performed Channing’s standards along with some witty original material while never slipping out of character. His spontaneous interactions with his audience was always poised and charming as he delighted the opening night audience with stories and songs that captured the legend’s essence perfectly. A portion of the proceeds benefitted The Dr. Carol Channing & Harry Kullijuan Foundation for the Arts. PC Photography: Barry Gordin
FRANK AND TONY AND PEGGY AND ME Making music with the Great Singers –
Celebrating Bucky Pizzarelli’s 85th Birthday! By Linda Amiel Burns The weekend of January 8-10 was another sold out weekend at the 92nd Street Y for the first show of the 2011 season of the Lyrics & Lyricists Series celebrating the 85th birthday of Bucky Pizzarelli. It was a family affair with son John Pizzarelli as the charming host who also led the six-piece band of incredible musicians, which included brother Martin Pizzarelli on bass and daughter in law Jessica Molaskey on vocals. She also helped put the concert together and surprisingly shares the January 9th with her famous father-in-law.
Acclaimed soprano Sondra Radvanovsky made quite a splash last night at the Met as Floria in Puccini’s drama-filled, romantic Tosca., It was a glorious, passionate occasion – a much more celebrated occasion than her Leonora in Il Trovatore. The night had more of its share of the unexpected.
By Ellis Nassour A Must-See Earnest, and Not Just for the Cast
Roundabout’s revival of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is evidence that classics can weather the test of time. Starring and directed by Brian Bedford [based on his 2009 acclaimed production at Canada’s Stratford Skakespeare Festival] and an excellent ensemble, it’s as ROTF funny as when it prem’d on the West End in 1895 [at the time Wilde was embroiled in all manner of tawdry proceedings, legal and otherwise, and became a huge hit at a time when he was despeately in need of pounds].
Jackie Hoffman’s Back and Joe’s [Pub] Got Her By Ellis Nassour For a number of occasions, Jackie Hoffman’s home-away-from-home has been Joe’s Pub. Only to be slightly outdone by Sondheim 80th celebrations, The Hoff’s back there again Monday and January 17 with Jackie Five-Oh! her blisteringly funny, often F-word-filled non-family hollercast celebrating her 50th birthday.
She’s out for blood! Hoffman muses on her own show biz decay and the fact that she’s seems only to play ‘bit’ parts onstage [of course, not true] or land on the cutting room floor in her occasional bouts with Tinsel Town – or get fired before she even starts working.
A little show with a big heart, “Fay Lane’s Beauty Shop Stories” is an irresistible treat. Her tale, told mostly in song, is about growing up– a lonely, fat kid in small town Texas. Lane tells us about her one true friend – an imaginary one, Jesus. “For some reason,” she recalls, “Jesus smelled like hot buttered popcorn.”It’s not the kind of story a New York audience expects to hear, but Lane has such presence it becomes endearing.
Pee-wee Herman, a late 1980s television icon for kids, is making his Broadway debut, where the now mature adults, who were fans of the show, have turned out in force to revisit childhood memories. Even if the evening is little more than a recreation of his original show with the same cast of television characters, played by the actors who created their roles, rest assured Pee-wee does not disappoint.
Obie award winning downtown playwright Adam Rapp’s first full length play, Ghosts in the Cottonwoods,which premiered in Chicago 12 years ago, has been reworked as a gritty showcase for the brave downtown theatre company known as The Amoralists. Rapp is a prolific playwright/novelist and a runner up for the Pulitzer Prize for his play Red Light Winter. Together The Amoralists and Rapp make for a combustible evening of theater. Under Rapp’s guidance the actors of this little company have taken on added modulations missing from their earlier one dimensional over wrought style.Here in Rapp’s black comedy about a debauched family the actors are very good indeed without sacrificing their customary intensity.
"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"… By Isa Goldberg The announcement of a Broadway musical with a cast of A list Broadway actors (Sherie Rene Scott, Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti, de’Adre Aziza, Mary Beth Peil, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Danny Burstein) and one American Idol (Justin Guarini), brings high expectations to the screen-to-stage adaptation of Almodovar’s 1988 film, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” It’s the film that brought him an international reputation.
Another Star Turn for Cherry Jones By Isa Goldberg There are pleasures to savor – along with some disappointments – in this revival of George Bernard Shaw’s sentimental parlor comedy. Some of the most delectable moments arrive early in the first act when we are introduced to the principal characters.