The 5th AnnualBroadway Unpluggedconcert at Town Hall produced, written and hosted by Scott Siegel featured more than a dozen Broadway and Cabaret stars headed by perenial "unplugged" favorite Marc Kudisch, along with Aaron Lazar(Tale of Two Cities) and Broadway’s Mary Poppins, Ashley Brown.
Mary Jo (Hallie Foote) looks like she has spent her life sucking on lemons with the pucker that’s formed around her lips just begging for a do over. Actually what she arrives begging for in “Dividing the Estate”, Horton Foote’s comedy about a Southern family, is her anticipated inheritance.
Andrea Marcovicci has returned to the Oak Room of The Algonquin Hotel for an unprecedented 22nd season and will be performing her outstanding show called “Marcovicci Sings Movies 11” until December 27th. Her long-time Musical Director, Shelly Markham was on piano, with Jared Egan on bass. This show brings us back to the romantic era of the movies with songs that serve as a “catalyst in recalling our memories.” Andrea entered the Oak Room in an obviously good mood, as she had just celebrated her 60th birthday the day before. She was wrapped in a shawl for the first song and then removed it to reveal a dazzling antique gown worthy of any movie star in an MGM musical.
Men in pink are taking over. With duo Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow, from Alberta Canada performing their show, “Bash’d”, a gay rap opera at the Zipper Theater, pink is the color du jour, but the act is anything but flaming. And even though Nathan Cuckow does a mean Cher impersonation, neither he nor his partner are drag queens nor do they act like them. In fact, the show is done entirely in rap, spoken word and poetry.
Director Matthew Warchus and his outrageous cast have turned the revival of the slight Boulevard farce "Boeing-Boeing" into a hilarious highlight of the season. Warchus expertly guides his gifted ensemble to fits of inspired lunacy lifting the 1960’s vehicle a mile high with a bold physical production that is a laugh out loud riot.
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING, the title of Mike Daisey’s new monologue which he performs at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, is all about a bomb. The one he describes so vividly that he actually makes you see it.
Tony Award winning Broadway couple Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley co-chaired the 2008 Theatre Museum Awards, at The Players Club in Gramercy Park, where entertainment legends, songstress Barbara Cook and comedian Pat Cooper presented awards to Rick McKay and Joe Franklin hosted by Broadway’s Boy George, Euan Morton.
Michael Weller dissects a volatile modern day marriage in his new drama FiftyWords, which takes a harrowing look at the challenges of an upper middle class couple struggling with their careers and a troubled son approaching his teen years. Norbert Leo Butz and Elizabeth Marvel portray Adam and Jan, the battling pair going through a major “rough patch,” with a passionate physical style that makes George and Martha from Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf appear tame.
"The Return of the Playwright," a stimulating panel discussion featuring Tina Howe, Leslie Lee, Adam Rapp, Joseph Stein, and Michael Weller was presented at Sardi’s by the Outer Critics Circle in partnership with Samuel French, Inc.
Grease, the 1972 hit musical that ran for years playing over 3,388 performances on Broadway went on to become even a better 1978 film blockbuster boasting two charismatic star turns by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in the leading roles of Danny and Sandy. There was another revival in 1994, but the little musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey is back again this time with a smart marketing scheme geared to luring television’s young audience into the theater.
Yasmin Aga Khan, a Southampton summer resident since the early 1960’s, is a real princess, but her life is not the stuff of fairytales. Real life rarely is and nothing is quite what it seems. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland Yasmin is a modern day Princess, the second child of the American film icon Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Khan of Pakistan, a United Nations ambassador from that country. Her father, once the Vice President of the UN general assembly, died in an automobile accident when Yasmin was just 11.
Broadway Diva Patti LuPone taking her turn as Mama Rose, the mother of all stage mothers, commands the stage like no other in the Arthur Laurents’ revival of the great American masterpiece “Gypsy,” which began life last summer as part of City Center’s Encores! Series. The musical boasts a legendary score by Jule Styne with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim that includes such classic songs as “Some People,” “Small World,” ‘You’ll Never Get Away From Me,” Everything’sComing Up Roses,” and “Rose’s Turn. Add to that the first rate book by Mr. Laurents and you have what is considered to be the definitive back stage musical.
The first big musical of the new season A Tale of Two Cities based on the classic 1859 Charles Dickens novel opened at the Al Hirshfeld Theatre. The rousing pop opera, inventively designed by Tony Walton, makes a handsome showcase for some of the most gifted voices on Broadway. The staging of the compelling love story, told against the backdrop of the gritty French Revolution, is a bold attempt to recreate the heart stirring emotions of Les Miserables. If the musical is not always successful at recapturing the sweeping thrill of Les Miserables, the creators and cast have tapped into the universal appeal of the well read Dickens’ story that has sold over 200 million copies around the world.