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Aisle Say On The Square: Last Musical Standing

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School of Rock

 

American Psycho

American Psycho

As we’re living through a volatile and crazy political period, we’re likewise experiencing a certain all-bets-are-off period in the American musical theatre, at least with regard to what’s getting produced in New York City’s major venues. The difference is, while there’s lots of spirited debate, there’s no apparent toxicity of spirit among the contenders; just a lot of different viewpoints competing for the patron’s theatrical dollar. All the musicals seem to be by people of good will doing good work—with, just for this paragraph, “good” limited to meaning industrious, professional-minded, well-intended, sharply delivered, respectable and eminently watchable. None of which is to be confused or automatically equated with work that actually works. There, mileage varies. We’ll discuss other qualities in a bit.

But now there’s a falloff. After the crunch of openings and high expectations, some musicals are (for now) left running and looking healthy. Others, not so much.

Now, before I continue, I need to say something unequivocally and emphatically: the development of musical theatre absolutely thrives on experimentation. Shows that are fundamentally (if unwittingly) built not to be commercial hits can prove hugely influential as far as style and technique and how narrative is delivered. (The late Martin Gottfried once posited that Pacific Overtures had more ripple effect upon the craft than the megahit A Chorus Line, which opened the same season. With the hindsight of 40 years, I think he had a point; A Chorus Line could only be a “group therapy” distillation; but Pacific Overtures demonstrated how a cinematic sweep of multiple storylines might be handled. You tell me what’s more useful to have in the tool kit.)

But with that established, there are certain universal verities common to most musicals that enter the repertoire of shows that endure. Among them is having a larger-than-life, pro-active central figure on a quest, like John Adams or Mama Rose; or at the very least, like Tevye, trying to hold to a code forspiritual survival in the face of change that is forcing him to constantly adjust.

Once in a while, a show can effect a variation: in the aforementioned A Chorus Line, the gestalt of the group becomes a collective larger-than-life hero because everybody wants the same thing, which is central to why you get thematic unity and avoid narrative sprawl. But basically it honors the essential parameters.

Another quality that it helps to have in a musical is command of traditional craft. Understanding of song forms, of subtext, of how theatre songs work—of the importance of perfect rhyme. (Aside from all the things perfect rhyme can add to character and tone, there’s this: when it’s absent, the audience subconsciously understands that verbal wit—which I distinguish from clever lines, here and there, and don’t define as only wordplay, but rather as a tool for character revelation and insight—will not be a component of the evening, and they simply stop listening carefully. Because of course, when the edge of the tool is blunted, they don’t have to. 95% of the time, and that’s conservative, when wit is absent, subtext is absent, which means characters just sing baldly about what they’re feeling; there are no deeper levels of human experience, and the audience never gets to engage and discover. Almost always, the song that makes the audience realize as it progresses, is more effective than the song that simply tells. (Traditional song-craft and subtext, however, are the features that can most be removed from the equation. I’ll get back to that.)

You also need to know where the songs go and what they’re doing for a living, in terms of revealing character, amplifying theme and moving story forward. You can’t be rigidly formulaic about this, there’s often much experimentation in process (hence the existence of trunk songs), although craft gives you some guidelines, and experience sharpens your sensitivity. But when all is said and done, the score should reflect the tentpole moments of the journey.

 Finally, there’s breeding. Training. Study. Analysis. Deconstruction. Entering the field knowing the classics, knowing the scores, knowing what came before. Periodically, either because the powers-that-be assemble them, or because writers from other disciplines are inspired to moonlight, shows are produced with scores by writers who have none of this in their command. At best, the score-writers like and admire musicals, but haven’t really “cracked the books” and done the homework. These folks just bring their native talent to the party, and their producers/enablers revel in the glory of new voices that haven’t been culled from the same old watering holes. And—up to a point—fair enough. But if there’s not someone else in a key position on the team, whose experience and authority can take up the slack—say, the librettist or the director—well, I’ll get back to that too.

Okay; let’s tick off the season’s new musicals (I’m not including the Broadway transfer of Hamilton, even though it’ll likely clean up at the Tonys, because that show actually debuted last season at the Public).

Surviving handily:

School of Rock, the slacker’s answer to The Music Man. It hits all the requirements, from the hero to the well-structured story to the songs in exactly the right spots doing exactly the right work. Boom: a hit.

Dear Evan Hansen—through a series of unforeseeable circumstances, a pathologically shy high school kid finds himself in the center of a social media phenomenon; and the deeper he gets, with the best of intentions, the harder it becomes to tell the truth: that the basis for his popularity is a lie. Story beautifully crafted, score right on point with a confluence of theatrical craft and contemporary pop styling appropriate to the narrative, a hero who grows into his larger-than-lifeness. A sellout before it opened on at Second Stage and instantly announced as a Broadway transfer for next season. Boom: a hit.

Bright Star, a southern style family drama. Country songs in a score that makes a simplistic, frontal push-ahead; but the characters seem not to need the extra layering; and there was veteran director Walter Bobbie, telling the songwriter-dramatists what they had to solve, how a later moment had to be prepared for earlier, how to make what they did well hang together in a theatrical context. Main character you care to invest in, check; well-structured story, check. Boom: a hit.

Waitress: To my taste, this one’s “on the bubble” just a bit. It comes with the publicity cache of being the first Broadway musical ever with a completely female creative team, and it musicalizes a chick-flick whose story has a lot of appeal for an audience of women yearning for that kind of story in their musical theatre fare. But the source screenplay is fairly sound, the adaptation is skilled, the songs (although they mostly amplify points of emotional arrival rather than take the story forward) are in the right spots, director Diane Paulus’ track record seems to indicate that she’s a dab hand at structure; another main character with enough drive and uniqueness to carry a musical narrative and give it muscle…Boom. A (probable) hit.

Now let’s examine what’s fallen by the wayside.

I hasten to add here, this has nothing to do with whether or not you may have happened to like these, or even whether or not you were in an audience that seemed highly appreciative. (That can be deceptive in subtle ways that are fodder for a whole other article.) It doesn’t even have to do with reviews; there were enough positive ones. This has to do with the general perspective that forms the premise of this article. Because that perspective informs the general audience “takeaway”—communicated via word of mouth and social media—that either inspires or discourages attendance by others.

American Psycho. Story of an upscale, trendy executive in the late 80s, whose boredom, disaffection and jealousy releases a homicidal rage. Opening moments start out very effectively. We get the tone, the gist, the satirical bent, the theme, it’s all delivered very efficiently, and Benjamin Walker in the title role nails it very efficiently.

And then the show can’t sustain its promise.

The creative team are musical theatre renegades purposefully eschewing the traditional, without quite understanding that the traditional isn’t a chain to the past, it’s a tool kit (perhaps without even understanding what the traditional, literally, is, although not knowing the team, I can only wonder, not assert).

In any event, many of the songs of American Psycho are not in places where they would do the most dramatic good; some are used as commentary and underscoring; and often, popular songs of the period are interpolated, so in addition to an original score that seems randomly applied, there’s a jukebox score helping to dilute whatever the point is, adding only to the intended overview of cynicism…with the result that you’re not only at arm’s length emotionally, but given the sensation of watching something that is less a musical than an ever-expanding music video.

It closed.

Tuck Everlasting is a somewhat sadder case. It’s a sweet adaptation of a sweet, popular fantasy novel; but it doesn’t come off as a purposeful adaptation. Too many main characters have equal weight; the purported main character (an 11 year old girl who discovers an immortal family, and the secret of their longevity, living in the nearby woods) doesn’t sufficiently drive the story; whatever the theme of the evening is, doesn’t get cleanly articulated or implied at the start; and the very magic that we’re told is part of the story seems to be missing. It all feels simultaneously too slight and too earthbound; the score is craftsmanlike and attractive, but doesn’t, on aggregate, seem to be in pursuit of anything. As if nobody made the creative team answer some essential questions at the start, and everybody got used to “pleasant” and “good enough to hold stage.”

It closed.

There’s no way these shows were not going to close early. Shows that miss this many marks always close early, no matter how good the production values and how talented the people involved. What’s frustrating is that this didn’t have to be their fate. Both were eminently transformable, but only before irrevocably committing to their final path; and possibly only at the beginning of development. Those first steps are the crucial ones. How a musical defines the territory it’ll stake out as its own is vitally important. And once you commit to an under-informed path, unless you’re willing (and able, show-budget-wise) to recognize the wall before you hit it, regroup, blow your baby up, and start again from a revised foundation, you’re done. Because in a musical, everything built upon an insecure foundation can only amplify what’s missing.

And I tell you this from the trenches. From having done it terrifically right and horribly wrong (within the idiosyncratic context of my midlist career). And right was always conscientious and considered and focused and thorough, even through debate and disagreement that may have happened along the way (as it always does, and even must, at least a little, as new ideas are proposed and tested); and wrong was always somewhere negligent or victimized by the corrosive influence of dysfunction, political or personal.

For all that Hamilton is being heralded as new and revolutionary, and for all that it gets right, and for all that you can argue about, shall I tell you why it succeeds where the season’s early closers didn’t?

Lin-Manuel Miranda loves musicals. I mean, freaking loves them. And knows them. And has studied them. He has an intimate familiarity with the classic and revered shows in the literature, their scores, the styles of the librettists and songwriters, he honors tradition and he’s a walking repository of the lore. Of the hits and the flops and middlers in-between. When he strays from convention, it’s not random; it’s not without a clear understanding of what he’s doing; nor is it without the willingness and ability to walk-it-back and reconsider. Oh, I’m not saying it’s all clinically thought out and that he’s immune to the muse of inspiration; no one of any value is. But he’s all about the homework.

And yes of course, theatrical history has its fair share of shows by classic, innovative writers that didn’t succeed. And very often, those shows and their teams were about the homework too. But the difference, and it’s a vital difference, is that those experiments happened during a period when the craft was still being codified. Which is why we keep returning to those. In concert, in recordings, in revival, for second, third and fourth looks. Not because the shows can be transformed into hits (rarely happens); but because they better help us understand how the craft gestated into the beautiful, complex, astonishing construct it is; because when the masters go astray, or even deliberately veer into territory and presentation that was destined not to receive populist embrace, they teach us much what’s at the soul of the art that we would never otherwise have learned. And that they would never otherwise have learned.

No form moves ahead without experiments that fail. But for goodness’ sake, what a sad waste to re-make classic mistakes.

 

David Spencer is an award-winning composer-lyricist, lyricist-librettist, author and musical theatre teacher. He has written music and lyrics for the Richard Rodgers Development Award-winning musical The Fabulist, which also contributed to his winning a Kleban lyrics award and several Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation grants. He is also lyricist-librettist for two musicals with composer Alan Menken: Weird Romance (WPA 1992, York 2004) and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, which had its sold out, extended world premiere in Montreal in Summer 2015; cast album release soon. He made his professional debut in 1984 with the English Adaptation of La Bohéme at the Public Theatre; and he has since written music and lyrics for Theatreworks/USA’s all-new, award-winning Young Audience versions of The Phantom of the Opera (1996) and Les Misérables (1999) (book and direction for both by Rob Barron). Currently he is writing book, music and lyrics for a musical based on the iconic Russian novel The Golden Calf. Spencer’s published books are the Alien Nation novel Passing Fancy (Pocket, 1994), The Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide (Heinemann, 2005, a regularly reprinted industry standard) and the script of Weird Romance (Samuel French, 1993). He is on faculty and teaches at the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and has taught at HB Studio, the Workshop Studio Theater and Goldsmith’s College in London. His primary professional affiliations are BMI, The Dramatists Guild and The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.

Broadway

Theatre News: Teeth, Soft Power, Redwood, BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical and Pre-Existing Condition

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Jenna Rose Husli, Wren Rivera, Alyse Alan Louis, Phoenix Best and Helen J Shen in Teeth (Photo: Chelcie Parry)

Teeth is coming back to New World Stages in the fall for an open-ended run. The transfer begins on October 31, Halloween night, as its official opening. While casting for the commercial remount is yet to be announced, the Playwrights Horizons cast featured Alyse Alan Louis, Steven Pasquale, Will Connolly, Jason Gotay, Jared Loftin, Courtney Bassett, Phoenix Best, Jenna Rose Husli, Lexi Rhoades, Wren Riveras and Helen J. Shen.

The off-Broadway cast album for Teeth, written by written by Pop! creator Anna K. Jacobs (book and music) and Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop creator Michael R. Jackson (book and lyrics), is now available to stream on all major music platforms. The physical CD will be released August 30. Teeth opened its off-Broadway world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in March with direction by Sarah Benson and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.

Based on Mitchell Lichtenstein’s screenplay for the cult-classic 2007 horror comedy, Teeth is a tale of revenge and transformation that tears through a culture of shame and repressed desire one delightfully unhinged song at a time. The musical follows Dawn O’Keefe, an evangelical Christian teen struggling to be an exemplar of purity amongst her community of fellow Promise Keeper Girls. As Dawn’s desires become tested and twisted by the men in her life, she discovers a deadly secret not even she understands: when men violate her, her body bites back—literally.

I loved Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang’s SoftPower when it appeared at The Public, now it’s coming to the Signature Theatre in Washington  D.C., newly revised production and directed by Signature Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard. The show opens August 6 and runs until September 15. Could NYC be next? The cast will feature Steven Eng as DHH, Daniel May (Flower Drum Song) as Xue Xing, and Grace Yoo (Hadestown) as Hillary Clinton with Eymard Cabling (Miss Saigon national tour) as Randy Ray and others, Andrew Cristi (A Christmas Story) as Chief Justice and others, Jonny Lee Jr. as Bobby Bob and others, Quynh-My Luu as Waiter and others, Christopher Mueller as VEEP and others, Ashley D. Nguyen as Jīng and others, Chani Wereley as Betsy Ross and others, Nicholas Yenson as Holden Caulfield and others, and Sumié Yotsukura as Flight Attendant and others. Olivia Clavel-Davis, Brian Dauglash, Emily Song Tyler, and Joey Urgino are swings.

After the 2016 election, when a Chinese American playwright is attacked by an unknown assailant, he hallucinates a Golden Age musical comedy about a Chinese theater producer and Hillary Clinton falling in love. Hilarious and biting, this political satire dares to ask: Does American Democracy still work? And is it worth believing in?

An exhilarating ride through political absurdity with a faceoff between Chinese and American exceptionalism, Soft Power makes an electric debut in the nation’s capital.

Idina Menzel, will open at the Nederlander Theatre in Redwood. This new Broadway musical starts previews January 24,  with a February 13 opening. Written and directed by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau, Redwood features music by Kate Diaz and lyrics by Diaz and Landau. The show is conceived by Landau and Menzel, with additional contributions by Menzel. The musical premiered earlier this year at La Jolla Playhouse. “I made my Broadway debut at the Nederlander Theatre in Rent almost 30 years ago, so to be returning there with Redwood is very emotional for me as it feels like a real homecoming. It has been such a gift to collaborate with Tina and Kate on this show, and I’m so proud to bring it to Broadway” stated Menzel. Redwood follows Jesse (Menzel), a successful businesswoman, mother and wife who seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives. Thousands of miles later, she hits the majestic forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever.

BOOP! The Betty Boop Musical has found is set to open at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre on April 5, 2025. Tony Award®-winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell brings the Queen of the Animated Screen to the theater  with celebrated multiple Grammy® Award-winning composer David Foster, Tony Award®-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead and Tony Award®-winning book writer Bob Martin. This score is fabulous and we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Edie Falco Photo by Emilio Madrid

Today, producers O’Henry Productions, The Cohn Sisters, Jessica Chase, Taylor Williams, David Blum, Jesse Eisenberg and Charlie Kaufman announced that Pre-Existing Condition by Tony Award® nominee Marin Ireland will extend for two weeks through August 17 and will star Emmy Award® winner Edie Falco in the rotating role of “A” beginning on August 6

Pre-Existing Condition, directed by Maria Dizzia, is currently playing at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th St.) in the intimate 60-seat Upstairs space. The play was originally set to close on August 3.

Pre-Existing Condition is a play exploring the challenges, shared community, and everyday indignities of learning to move forward after a life-altering, harmful relationship.

About the play, Ms. Falco said, “I am thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of something that moved me so much as a spectator. It involves an intimacy and vulnerability that I’ve sorely missed in the theater. I can’t wait to work with these people who I deeply respect so that hopefully more people can see and feel what I did when I saw the play.”

The role of “A” has rotated throughout the production and is currently played by Tony Award® winner Deirdre O’Connell (Dana H.). Tavi Gevinson (“American Horror Story”) will play the role from July 24-August 3 with Ms. Falco starting August 6-August 17. Previously, the role was played by Emmy Award® winner Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”), Julia Chan (Uncle Vanya) and Tony Award® nominee Maria Dizzia (In the Next Room).

The cast also includes Sarah Steele (“The Good Fight”), Dael Orlandersmith (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Yellowman), Greg Keller (Alliance); with Raquel Chavez (Uncle Vanya) and Gregory Connors (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window), understudies.

Tony Award® nominee Anne Kauffman (Mary Jane) serves as Creative Consultant on the production. In addition to Ms. Kauffman, the creative team includes Louisa Thompson (A Simulacrum), Set Designer; Tony Award® nominee Enver Chakartash (Stereophonic), Costume Designer; Tony Award® nominee Isabella Byrd (Enemy of the People, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club), Lighting Designer; Tony Award® nominee Palmer Hefferan (The Skin of Our Teeth), Sound Designer. Taylor Williams is Casting Director, Ashley-Rose Galligan is Production Stage Manager, Eric Nolan Mattingly is Assistant Stage Manager with Wagner Johnson Productions serving as General Management.  Associate Producer is Joe Meyer. David Manella at Loeb & Loeb LLP serves as Production Counsel.

For information on performance dates, ticketing lottery information please visit preexistingconditionplay.com. Tickets start at $49.

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Hell’s Kitchen And New York Liberty Host Block Party At Block Party

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The new musical Hell’s Kitchen will be the presenting sponsor of the New York Liberty’s game today July 16th. As a celebration of New York culture, Hell’s Kitchen and the New York Liberty will host a free open-to-the-public Block Party for fans on Tuesday, July 16 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on the Ticketmaster Plaza at Barclays Center. The New York Liberty continue to underscore their intentional focus to bring together its passionate community and fanbase.

To emphasize the unique intersection of sport and theater, the Block Party will include a meet and greet with select cast members of Hell’s Kitchen, special performances from the New York Liberty Entertainment team and the Brooklyn Elite Jumpers Double Dutch, exclusive giveaways from Keys Soulcare and American Express, food vendors and more!

The festivities will continue during the New York Liberty’s game against the Connecticut Sun, where the Liberty aim to build upon the historic momentum experienced throughout the 2024 WNBA season. During the game, there will be a special halftime performance choreographed by Hell’s Kitchen’s choreographer Camille A. Brown and associate chorographer Rickey Tripp featuring the New York Liberty mascot, Ellie the Elephant, and dance team, as well as an on-court giveaway where two fans will have the chance to win tickets to an upcoming Hell’s Kitchen performance.

Ali is a 17-year-old girl full of fire – searching for freedom, passion and her place in the world. How she finds them is a New York City coming-of-age story you’ve never felt before – Hell’s Kitchen, a new musical from 16-time Grammy® Award winner Alicia Keys, whose songs and experiences growing up in NY inspire a story made for Broadway.

Rebellious and stifled by an overprotective single mother, Ali is lost until she meets her mentor: a neighbor who opens her heart and mind to the power of the piano. Set to the rhythm of the 90s, Hell’s Kitchen is a love story between a mother and daughter.  It’s about finding yourself, your purpose, and the community that lifts you. Come remember where dreams begin.

The “powerhouse cast” is led by Tony Award® winner Maleah Joi Moon, Shoshana Bean, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tony Award® winner Kecia Lewis and Chris Lee. Hell’s Kitchen is directed by four-time Tony Award® nominee Michael Greif, with choreography by four-time Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown, a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Kristoffer Diaz – and the music of Keys, featuring new songs and her greatest hits.

The Hell’s Kitchen Original Broadway Cast Recording is available now via Alicia Keys Records/Interscope Records on streaming and digital platforms worldwide with a physical release to follow.

Hell’s Kitchen lottery tickets are available through a digital lottery the day before the performance at rush.telecharge.com. The digital lottery opens at rush.telecharge.com at 12AM (ET) one day before the performance with winners announced that same morning at 10AM (ET), with a second announcement of additional winners that afternoon at 3PM (ET). Winners may purchase up to two tickets at $39 each (inclusive of $5 service fee), subject to availability. Seats may be partial view.

A limited number of in-person Hell’s Kitchen rush tickets will be available on the day of each performance for $39 per ticket when the Shubert Theatre box office opens. Maximum of two tickets per person, subject to availability. Seats may be partial view. The box office opens Monday through Saturday at 10AM (ET) and Sunday at 12PM (ET).

Tickets for Hell’s Kitchen are available at HellsKitchen.com and Telecharge.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the Shubert Theatre box office. Ticket prices range from $59-199.

Season ticket memberships and single game tickets for New York Liberty home games at Barclays Center are on sale now via Ticketmaster. To learn more and view additional ticketing options such as group tickets and ticket plans, visit liberty.wnba.com/tickets.

The performance schedule for Hell’s Kitchen is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7PM, Wednesday at 7:30PM, Saturday at 8PM, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2PM, and Sunday at 3PM.

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Broadway in Bryant Park And You Are There With Hell’s Kitchen, Water For Elephants, The Wiz and More

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July 11, 106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park kicked off its 2024 program, bringing the best of Broadway back together for free performances, every Thursday in July.

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker, Charity Arianna , Destiny David, Ailadis Hernandez De Leon, Nyjair Wilkerson and Jackson Bateman

This week’s performances included: a preshow featuring students from AMDA

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte and Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte, Ali Louis Bourzgui and Adam Jacobs

Ali Louis Bourzgui, Bobby Conte,

Lily Kren, Alexandra Matteo, Daniel Quadrino, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Nathan Lucrezio, Reagan Pender, Bobby Conte, Tyler James Eisenreich, Mark Mitrano, Haley Gustafson, Afra Hines, Dee Tomasetta, Adam Jacobs, Ali Louis Bourzgui, David Paul Kidder, Jeremiah Alsop, Andrew Tufano and Ronnie Bowman, Jr.

The Who’s Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui, Adam Jacobs, Bobby Conte, Haley Gustafson and more)

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Isabella McCalla

Water for Elephants (Isabelle McCalla, Ken Wulf Clark, Asa Somers, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul)

Avery Wilson

Kyle Ramar Freeman and Nichelle Lewis

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Melody A. Betts

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Polanco Jones Jr., Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts and Avery Wilson

The Wiz (Avery Wilson, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Melody A. Betts, Nichelle Lewis, Polanco Jones Jr.)

Jelani Remy

JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, Katie Laduca, JJ Niemann and Aaron Alcaraz

Hannah Kevitt and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy and The Cast of Back To The Future that includes Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy, Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Back to the Future (Jelani Remy, JJ Niemann, Evan Alexander Smith)

Gianna Harris and Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino, Gianna Harris, Lamont Walker II, Jade Milan and Jackie Leon and Jackie Leon

and Hell’s Kitchen (Gianna Harris, Vanessa Ferguson, Jackie Leon, Donna Vivino, Lamont Walker II)

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little is joined by Co Host Kyle Ramar Freeman

with host Helen Little and co-host Kyle Ramar Freeman.

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Broadway

Get Ready For Broadway in Bryant Park

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The most popular shows on and off Broadway will perform their biggest hits in the park starting this Thursday the 11th! Head to the the lawn at Bryant Park and enjoy Broadway for lunch. The performances will happen on four summer Thursdays, hosted and presented by LiteFM.

This week from 12:30pm-1:30pm 106.7 LITE FM Host: Helen Little will host. For the pre-show: A special performance by the students of AMDA College of the Performing Arts. Then get ready for performances by Back to the Future, Hell’s Kitchen, The Who’s TOMMY, The Wiz and
Water For Elephants.

In coming weeks look from The Outsiders, SIX: The Musical, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked, Chicago and & Juliet.

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway:​ Happy Birthday Audra McDonald

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On July 3rd, Audra McDonald celebrated her 54th birthday. The 1970 American Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning theatrical and operatic singer, and stage and screen actress (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Sweeney Todd; Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; TV Private Practice, The Good Wife), was born in West Berlin, West Germany (now Berlin, Germany)

As been announced six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall, as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Performances begin Thursday, November 21st, at Broadway’s newly renovated Majestic Theatre. Happy Thanksgiving! The show will open on Thursday, December 19th. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.

The last show to play the Majestic Theatre was The Phantom of the Opera, which concluded its 35 year-run on April 16, 2023.

This upcoming revival will be directed by the legendary five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. The choreography will be by four-time Tony Award nominated Camille A. Brown.  Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date.

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