By Patrick Christiano Ben Andron’s clever new comedy White’s Lies starring Broadway diva and Tony winner Betty Buckley opened at New World Stages on Thursday May 6th. TheaterLife.com was on the isle opening night and at the festive after party at the Time Hotel.
By Patrick Christiano The Drama League honored film and theater star Alfred Molina with their coveted Distinguished Performance Award for his “dazzling portrayal of the artist Mark Rothko” in the acclaimed Broadway production of RED. Molina’s work was selected over 60 outstanding performances nominated from the 2009/2010 season. Accepting his award at the 76th annual luncheon from past recipient Liev Schreiber Molina said, “This is so fantastic I can’t tell you. I’m Italian, I’m going to cry.” He followed with a story in a very proper English accent about his wife reading the list of illustrious nominees and telling him if he wins ‘Don’t go English’ and suddenly pumped his arm with a clinched fist and said “YES!”
Goose Stepping through Song and History By Isa Goldberg She was the siren of the Western World and he was her lover. In “Dietrich and Chevalier,” Jerry Mayer’s cabaret style musical, the two strike up a romance from their adjoining dressing rooms on a Paramount lot. The year was 1932. Dietrich was filming “Shanghai Express” while Chevalier was suffering through another childish movie musical. It’s fascinating biography and as told primarily through song, it makes for some endearing moments. Set against the ravages of World War II, it even has the makings of a cathartic love story.
The Drama Desk nominated musical for children of all ages, Dear Edwina, produced by Daryl Roth Productions came to Guild Hall in East Hampton for a brief visit this past weekend August 5th-7th. The fast paced comedy about Edwina Spoonapple, who joyously sings out advice with her quirky friends, was revived at the DR2 in Union Square this past winter. And this weekend the delightful musical about children putting on their own show made its East Hampton debut on the stage of the John Drew Theater. A lovely party in the garden followed the final performance on Saturday afternoon. PC
Photo: Katy Vaughn, Nicholas Park, Zina Goldrich, Martin Landry, Marcy Heisler, Doug Thompson, Ephie Aardema, Robin Lai, Jessica Kaufman, Daryl Roth, Liam Quealy
Jerry Herman’s dazzling musical La Cage Aux Folles is back on Broadway starring five-time Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer making his Broadway musical debut as Georges opposite the acclaimed British actor Douglas Hodge reprising his Olivier Award winning role as the drag queen Albin. The two make a nice match as the gay owners of a nightclub on the French Riviera, where Albin performs as Zaza in the glitzy drag revue, which goes on nightly in their downstairs club. The intimate heartfelt production directed by Terry Johnson with bold style began life at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London in late 2007 winning rave reviews before moving to the West End. Now La Cage is a New York treat worth savoring.
Broadway: The American Musical Updated By Ellis Nassour The lavishly illustrated Broadway: The American Musical [Applause Books; 498 pages, Updated edition; softbound, Show chronology; Bibliography; Theatre Districk maps 1928/2010; Index; Foreword by Julie Andrews; SRP $35], co-authored by Michael Kantor and NYU professor/theater historian Laurence Maslon and based on Kantor’s 2004 documentary [originally a companion to the six-part PBS series] is the first comprehensive history of the musical, from its early 20th Century roots and into the new millennium.
South Pacific ~ Last Weeks Onstage, Telecast, Movie, & New Book By Eiils Nassour On August 18, four days before the final performance of its nearly two-and-a-half-year run, Lincoln Center Theatre’s Tony and Drama Desk-winning revival of Rodgers and Hammer’s South Pacific will be presented in a live three-hour telecast from the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center. The musical’s Tony and DD-winning director Bartlett Sher will helm with the show’s choreographer Christopher Gattelli assisting on the musical staging.
Hot on the heels of her recent Café Carlyle appearance, Tony Award winning Broadway star Christine Ebersole charmed an appreciative audience on the John Drew Stage at Guild Hall in East Hampton Saturday July 31, 2010. Beginning the evening with “IT"S TOO DARN HOT,” her enchanting interpretations of songs from the American songbook covered every imaginable style and even evoked the memorable spirit of Eartha Kitt before culminating in a marvelous new version of “Another Winter in a Summer Town,” from Grey Gardens, which she performed in East Hampton for the first time marking an ironic post script to her award winning performance from that show.
Recipe for Life Cause Célèbre’s third Off-Broadway production featured several one-act plays by award-winning writers. The wonderful production took place at the Acorn Theatre, where the honoree was TINA’S WISH, a nonprofit organization supporting research to create an early and effective test for ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment. Photo: Jake Robards, Len Cariou, Penny Fuller, Andy Brozman, Tasha Lawrence, Susan Charlotte, Michael Citriniti, Elaine Stritch, Marian Seldes
The Watermill Annual Summer Benefit is one of the most exciting events of the summer season on the East end bringing together the worlds of theater, art, fashion, design and society. On Saturday July 19, 2010 artists and residents from over 25 different countries interpreted this year’s theme PARADISO, with art installations and performances on six acres of Robert Wilson’s renowned Watermill Center. The evening began with a silent auction and cocktails before the dinner with live auctioneer Simon de Pury, who performed his duties in collaboration with the international film star Sharon Stone.
Guild Hall presented an extraordinary evening with two multi talented performers Florence Henderson and Bruce Vilanch. The renowned stars combined their gifts for a unique experience called "A Bipolar Evening With Friends: Florence Henderson and Bruce Vilanch," a riotous musical evening of candid story telling. PC
The Bay Street Theatre Summer Gala, ROCK THE DOCK, sizzled on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor Saturday night July 17. The festive Benefit Bash hosted by Mario Contone featured dinner and dancing to DJ Tom Finn along with a live auction by guest Richard Kind.
A smart revival of Fifth of July by Sag Harbor’s own Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lanford Wilson opened on the Bay Street Stage Saturday July 3. Terry Kinney, a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, directed a top notch ensemble in Wilson’s poignantly witty drama that takes place at the Talley Farm over the course of a 4th of July weekend. The tale reunites a group of friends, former activists, who make terms with the disillusionment of what has become of their lives in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. PC
Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor is presenting a revival of playwright Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July, the prequel to his Pulitzer Prize winning Talley’s Folly. That Wilson is a resident of Sag Harbor since 1970 adds a touch of irony to the evening directed by Terry Kinny, which will run July 6 through August 1. The playwright’s themes often echo a struggle to preserve the past while moving on, which is reflected in the historic fishing village he calls home.