Celebrating The Tony Awards

Celebrating 77 Years of the Tony Awards, But Have You Ever Asked “Who’s Tony”?

By: Ellis Nassour

June 12, 2024 – You’re not alone. Sunday’s Tony Awards mark 77 years of excellence on Broadway and like Ben Vereen, you may have wondered how the Tony Awards got their name. When Vereen was co-starring in Jesus Christ Superstar, he received a letter by messenger. It was from the American Theatre Wing. He asked the stage doorman what that was and the gent had no idea. He opened the letter. “It read: ‘Congratulations, Ben Vereen. You have been nominated as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for your performance.’” It was signed, The Tony Awards. He asked, “Who’s this Tony?”

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“Hello Dolly” Celebration

Jason Graae shares Jerry Herman memories with Richard Skipper.

STILL GOING STRONG:  RICHARD SKIPPER CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF “HELLO DOLLY” AT REVOLUTION STAGE COMPANY IN PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, APRIL 19TH, 2024

By: Joel Vig

May 4, 2024: In early 1964, a musical opened at the St. James Theatre in New York City which would become one of the most beloved shows in Broadway history.  The show was called HELLO DOLLY and starred Carol Channing.  The librettist was Michael Stewart who already had successes on Broadway with BYE BYE BIRDIE and CARNIVAL. 

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Peggy Lee

Wink Martindale, Holly Foster-Wells, Palm Springs Mayor Jeffrey Bernstein, Michael Feinstein. Scott Nevins and Behind them in pink T-shirts the Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus.

https://theaterlife.com/melba-moore-54-below-1-2/

By: Joel Vig

March 16, 2024: For the rest of the world, March 8, 2024, was International Women’s Day.  But Palm Springs, California was celebrating one particular woman and pulling out all the stops.  That woman was the late legendary artist Miss Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 31, 2002.) Born Norma Deloris Engstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, the popular singer, songwriter, composer, and actress would eventually scale the heights in every area of show business. 

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Chita Rivera

Chita Rivera 2018

Legend Synonymous with Broadway … A Tribute

By:  Ellis Nassour

January 31, 2024: Long after many other performers of a certain age had disappeared from the scene, Broadway’s former Queen of the Gypsies, Chita Rivera, a.k.a. Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero, like the Battery Bunny was still going, going, going. In fact, it seemed for the longest time, in spite of great obstacles and huge challenges, she showed no signs of stopping. The indefatigable Chita Rivera was synonymous with Broadway throughout her seven-decade career in show business. She was a gleaming star, a national treasure, and a trailblazer as an Hispanic star on Broadway. 

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Leslie Uggams

The Irresistible Leslie Uggams: Celebrating 75 Years in Show Business, 
Stormy Weather or Not, She Manages to Bring Out the Sun.

By: Ellis Nassour

January 26, 2024:  For an unbelievable 75 years, the indefatigable Leslie Uggams has covered all the bases in the game of show business. She began onstage while in the first grade, segued to becoming one of the most seen and beloved singers on countless TV variety shows – and even had her own, starred and guest starred in countless TV shows. 

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Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus Returns Full of Surprises As It Presents Germany’s’ Beloved Roncalli Circus.

By: Ellis Nassour

November 27, 2023: For its 46th Anniversary season at Lincoln Center (Damrosch Park), the home-grown Big Apple Circus has made a savvy move. In an effort to be fresh and expand their horizons to bring in different types of artists, BAC has joined up with Germany’s beloved Circus-Theater Roncalli, which truly lives up to its name, for Journey to the Rainbow. playing through January 1. 

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Harmony

Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussaman. Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Tony-nominated Director-Choreographer Warren Carlyle Has Had a Magical Time Bringing Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony to Broadway.

By: Ellis Nassour

November 9. 2023: Tony-winning choreographer (After Midnight) and Tony nominee (The Music Man) and now with Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s Harmony, director-choreographer Warren Carlyle is “elated beyond belief” to be bringing this “labor of love” to Broadway after way too long. He certainly isn’t alone.

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Scenic Designer Beowulf Boritt

Beowulf Boritt

The Mind’s Eye

By: Alix Cohen

November 1, 2023: “Cezanne’s famous damning praise, ‘Monet is only an eye, but what an eye!’ had such impact that it killed interest in Monet’s heart or mind.”  (Jackie Wullschlager Monet the Restless Vision).

Great set design addresses more than the visual. “Ultimately what it looks like is important, but getting there you need to know what it means,” Beowulf Boritt tells me. His mind and heart have made themselves known in over 31 Broadway shows the past 15 years and more than 489 across the globe since he began.

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Lee Roy Reams “Wanted To Be An MGM Star”

Lee Roy Reams

By: Alix Cohen

August 16, 2023: Actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, director, and risqué Scheherazade, Lee Roy Reams is the Zelig of musical theater. He seems to have befriended everyone, laughed with most, tamed obstreperous leading ladies and extricated himself from sticky situations with the wily diplomacy of a more graceful Madeleine Albright. Reams has maintained his moral compass and courtly, southern charm, fostered loyalty, and zealously plied his craft.

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What IS A Cabaret Musical Director

By: Alix Cohen

July 11, 2023: The Oxford English Dictionary definition of this invaluable collaborator is, to say the least, simplistic: The person responsible for the musical aspects of a performance, production, or organization, typically the conductor or leader of a music group. I went directly to the source asking several of our best and a couple of their clients to answer the same questions. Whether you’re in the business or just curious, responses are illuminating. In alphabetical order:

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Robin Wagner (1933-2023)

Remembering Robin Wagner (1933-2023): A Career Designed to Impress

By: Ellis Nassour

June 8, 2023: Three-time Tony winning scenic designer and an artist much-beloved in the business Robin Wagner passed away Monday, May 29th following a long illness. He was 89.

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Ken Fallin – A Voyeur of the Soul, Part 1

By: Alix Cohen

April 22, 2023: Ken Fallin is a soft spoken, modest man who smiles easily but prefers his subjects to look serious. His world revolves around the visual, yet unlike husband Stanley, what he wears is to him unimportant. You may have seen his caricatures on the walls of New World Stages, in the pages of The Wall Street Journal, or decorating Playbill covers of Forbidden Broadway. This is a man who sees differently, a man who captures in essential strokes what reviewers and journalists endeavor to describe in paragraphs or what family and friends can’t articulate.

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Ken Fallin, A Voyeur of the Soul, Part 2

By: Alix Cohen

April 22, 2023: Ken and Stanley decided to go back to Boston, keeping the New York apartment. “You could do that then. I knew somebody that knew somebody at The Boston Herald, so I submitted work. They hired me to do a weekly entertainment-based drawing for the magazine.” Sometimes he’d be comped to theater, at others, he worked from photos. The steady job lasted five years. He audibly sighs.

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The 95th Oscars

Jimmy Kimmel Hosts Oscars 95, the 95th Academy Awards, Live
Sunday on ABC. Ten 2022 Films In the Running for Best Picture

By: Ellis Nassour

March 10, 2023: The 2023 Academy Awards will telecast live from Hollywood and the Dolby Theatre this Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT. Hosting is producer and late-night star Jimmy Kimmel, returning to the Oscar stage for his third time.  He claims to be “unslappable and unflappable,” referring to his previous gig when he was caught in the middle when the wrong film was announced at Best Picture and, more recently, when the “shockingly infamous incident” was seen live across the globe.

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Michael Urie – Jane Anger

Michael Urie Co-stars in Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Revival of Talene Monohon’s Jane Anger …

By: Ellis Nassour

December 16, 2022: Are you ready for a bloody good time? It’s 1606 and an egomaniacal Shakespeare is plagued with writer’s block. London’s theatres are closed and the plague, the Black one, has the Bard in quarantine with his sly apprentice, Francis. However, he’s not as sly as the cunning woman known as Jane Anger, who climbs in through a window.

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