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Off Broadway

ATC Waits Out the Multi-Layered I’m Revolting to Score Big at the End of the Day

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The room sits modern, sterile, and cold, reflecting out to us a waiting room space that feels as inviting as that vending machine in the back. The walls are mirrored, adding tension and concern as we watch each and every person set out through the spaces between the poles, walking from the hidden doorways to that row of chairs that face boldly out to the audience. It feels like someone is going to hurt themselves, smacking themselves up against a glass wall or something like the days we have walked directly into a glass sliding door or screen door somewhere when we weren’t really paying attention. Or at least that was a concern of mine as I couldn’t quite make out where the glass stopped and where the opening began. But those gaps are just that. Tense openings into that complicated space where waiting takes place, and contemplating, and worrying, and eavesdropping on other people’s stories and problems. Whether we want to or not, like a mute audience really.

Laura Esterman, Patrick Vaill, Glenn Fitzgerald, Emily Cass McDonnell, Peter Gerety, Alicia Pilgrim, and Bartley Booz in Atlantic Theater’s I’m Revolting. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

That feeling on that stage is uncomfortable and authentic, and as directed with a sure-footedness by Knud Adams (ATC’s English), the anxiety is and must be precisely what the Atlantic Theater Company‘s intense production of I’m Revolting set out to create. A feeling of sterile openness yet cold distant concern for the safety of those who pass through that one door. And it succeeds, in ways I wasn’t prepared for. The title suggests something quite outright about beauty and insecurity, yet inside this stark and solid production of this oddly detached yet magnificent new play by Gracie Gardner (Pussy Sludge; Athena; Malvolios), the layers of meaning pile up. The air holds that tense feeling of possible pain and death firmly in its grip, as well as the physical destruction of our very selves that we display securely or insecurely to the world. The play spills forward, offering up examinations of self as it begins to unfold, and some other meanings of that complex title start to sink in. The care and concern are there, in the crevices and under the bandages, but there is something else seated in that row of waiting chairs. Maybe in the offputting and smooth way the doctor, played to cool kind perfection by Patrice Johnson Chevannes (NYTW’s runboyrun & In Old Age), speaks to these patients. She’s almost too level-headed and kind to be taken authentically, but this is a complex difficult situation. Cancer is something to be taken very seriously, as we all know, but her tone doesn’t give way. Where is this play planning on taking us? We have no idea. So we sit, and wait, like those on stage.

We don’t really need to make small talk,” one of the waiting patients almost begs of the person leaning in with questions, but the reality is; it is all small talk, and very large talk, all at the same time. The cast of characters, magnificently embodied, hangs in the bright waiting room under the darkness of cancer, and this is never a pretty subject to unpack, especially when it sits heavy on your actual face. This isn’t Memorial Sloan-Kettering, we are told. “Not the famous one,” as each of the four patients frantically checks the Yelp reviews for the clinic that they all find themselves in, waiting for treatment or a routine check-up. Three stars. Regardless of where, but the air still hangs thick with hesitation and fear. And we understand intuitively.

Their tension is without bounds, as each of the characters files in and takes their seats, spaced out in an attempt to isolate their fear and discomfort from themselves and each other. It proceeds with a strange, strong sense of purpose, on a stage willingly made cool by scenic designer Marsha Ginsberg (ATC’s English), with simple but strong costuming by Enver Chakartash (Broadway’s Is This A Room), intentionally detailed flat lighting by Kate McGee (Rattlestick’s My Lingerie Play) and a solid sound design by Bray Poor (Broadway’s Take Me Out), that never gives us any space to disconnect or look away. Each of the souls in that room sits tight, playing with differing ideas of revolting and disengaging in a surprising flourish of postures and stances. Cancer is a disease that has our own cells “revolting” in a way against its host, while others, particularly the first patient to step into the space, the young Reggie, played to perfection by Alicia Pilgrim (Public’s Cullud Wattah) hang around patiently. Reggie is passive at first, giving herself over to the doctors with unknowing ease; accepting and obedient. Her sister, Anna swings in, twice, determined to be of use while simultaneously being pulled away constantly by work. Magnificently portrayed by Gabby Beans (Broadway’s The Skin of Our Teeth), she brings a brilliantly brutal comic edge to the room, but also a much-required boldness that may be just the thing Reggie needs at this moment. Reggie’s hold on her physical appearance is slipping and might be stripped away at any moment, that is if she follows the doctors’ advice. What would you do?

Laura Esterman and Patrick Vaill in Atlantic Theater’s I’m Revolting. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

Shortly after Reggie’s arrival, sliding into a seat at the far end, and systematically burying his face underneath his jacket is another one waiting for treatment. It’s hard to get a gauge of who this man is, as he seems as separate and distant as one could possibly be. If that chair could have been moved further away from the examining room, he would have. But Toby, played heroically by Patrick Vaill (St. Ann’s/Broadway’s Oklahoma!) does his best to disconnect, only starting to engage with the others when they start to find the space to talk and he can’t hold back. His brooding energy is intensely forgiving, especially when we get a glimpse of the woman, his mother, played terrifically by Laura Esterman (TNG’s Good for Otto) swinging her, and her singing pots into the seat beside him. She is exactly the last person I would want by my side in a cancer clinic waiting room, suggesting quite revoltingly, that he might be the one responsible for his cancer. Yet this is all he has, and we feel for him, especially when the engagement starts to fly off into a holistic debate.

The couple that arrives soon after, sitting down in between these two patients, turns out to be the one that takes this darkly funny, dark play to a whole other level. The tense brittleness is clear from the moment the reluctant Jordan, deftly portrayed by Glenn Fitzgerald (NYTW’s Othello), and his wife, Liane, played engagingly by Emily Cass McDonnell (PH’s The Thin Place), arrive, but it isn’t until the later half of this ninety-minute one-act play when the revolting unhappiness is on full display. It’s a hard task to take in, what happens between the two, but we see and feel the friction immediately, as the last to arrive in the room sits himself down. He is the captivating veteran patient of the clinic, Clyde, played strongly, even with the script in his hands, by Peter Maloney (ATC’s On The Shore of the Wide World), standing in for Peter Gerety. “He’s not going to like your vibe,” Chevannes’s veteran doctor states to the young resident Jonathan, played beautifully by the very good Bartley Booz (Park Ave Armory’s Oresteia), but those fireworks are not as noticeable or as relevant to what happens between these patients and their partners when the doctors are away. Clyde’s place at the proverbial waiting table is essential medicine, stating the obvious as the others whirl around the dynamic.

Glenn Fitzgerald and Emily Cass McDonnell in Atlantic Theater’s I’m Revolting. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

It’s clear that Gardner has set out to make us sit alongside these people as uncomfortably as they are in this moment of uncertainty where fear and hope get tied up with their attachments and support systems in knots that are so tight they can hurt or dislodge. It feels in a way that nothing much happens when compared to other more standardized plays around death and disease, but the current of these characters tells a different story with every shift in those uncomfortable seats. The cast is uniformly amazing, unearthing and winding up their emotional responses in ways that shine and astonish. The fear and mistrust of the medical establishment unfold radically, in both the insane, i.e. Paula’s holistic healing session with her singing bowls, and in the very real way that Beans’ Anna sister act helps the young Reggie stand up for herself. It’s not clear in any sense of the word what is the right thing for Reggie to do. We, as a society, are so used to just accepting the advice of a doctor, or believing outright that the doctor standing before us as we are given some traumatic news, knows what is best for us. But Gardner wants us to examine it all, particularly what happens in this kind of setting, much like her character Clyde does when he expresses skepticism of an outcome that doesn’t really make sense. That tension states it all.

Chevannes’ doctor Denise and Booz’s young resident Jonathan steer the waiting room ship with subtle ease, even when it is in rough seas, though their stance isn’t given much space to grow. That is until that last poignant scene at the end. It feels like a throwaway by the time we get to this place, but there is some clarity here, and a reality check that doctors and their counterparts are not gods. That they can misstep like anyone else, even in, or especially because of the space they inhabit day to day. Gardner’s I’m Revolting cleverly sails around the ideas of dark comedy most assuredly, without ever pretending to be delivering anything beyond the uncomfortably dark space where cancer lives and destroys on the surface, and underneath. It’s a magnificent piece of writing, and it is delivered forth expertly, and without sentimentality. Finally, the day ends in that cold waiting room. Everyone has left, but Atlantic Theater’s I’m Revolting is not letting us off so easily. Tomorrow, you see, is a new day, and it probably will be just as difficult and harrowing. Just ask Jonathan.

Patrick Vaill, Glenn Fitzgerald, Emily Cass McDonnell, Bartley Booz, and Alicia Pilgrim in Atlantic Theater’s I’m Revolting. Photo by Ahron R. Foster

For more go tofrontmezzjunkies.com

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Off Broadway

STILL at DR2 Compelling Theater Can Still be Found Off Broadway

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Two strong and vulnerable characters portrayed by two flawless actors, a script with wit, sentiment and realistic conflict, seamless well-paced directing in a set that is surprising for an Off Broadway production proves that great theater is STILL achievable in New York. STILL, a new play by Lia Romeo, opened April 18th at DR2, currently running through May 18th is a show that is worthy of a longer run.

The question raised in the first few minutes of the play paraphrased here, ‘as you keep replacing parts of a boat when does the boat become a new boat?’, also applies to a person or a relationship, as a person grows in life with various new ideas and experiences when is that person no longer the same?

Tim Daly and Jayne Atkinson Photo by Joey Moro

Two old friends/lovers, Helen and Mark effortlessly and naturally played by Jayne Atkinson and Tim Daly, meet in a hotel bar after 20 years. The conversation is one that brings them and us, as audience members, up to date on their lives. Both successful in their own professions and at a crossroads where a renewed spark is possible, they have humorous banter that leads to flirtation, despite each of them humbly admitting to the other and themselves that they are in their 60’s. The set, designed by Alexander Woodward, adds to the intimacy of the meeting and as the conversation was leading to a more amorous setting, I was wondering how on the DR2 stage where could these flirtations lead figuratively and literally. Mr Woodward answers this question and does not disappoint with his scenic design.

As polite conversation leads to the ultimate kiss and more we root for the two to find their lost love and are rewarded when they do have their night together. The conflict that arises after their lovemaking is one that all of us are experiencing in today’s world. The rewriting of our own histories, the different feelings people have while experiencing the same event and the divergent beliefs we develop after separate lives are lived all contribute to us not connecting. The question is – will these two overcome all these obstacles to finally be together – soulmates meeting again after decades?

While tempers flare and some attacks by the two protagonists could be classified as hitting below the belt, Ms Romeo throws in a few funny lines, as well as an avocado, to make those punches palatable so that we still like them both and despite our own personal views can relate to each.

Jayne Atkinson and Tim Daly Photo by Joey Moro

Neither the wonderful dialogue nor the compelling acting could have been actualized so well without the direction of Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The movement of the actors whether casually sipping wine, blissfully lying in bed or violently tossing items Is choreographed like a dance. Ms Campbell-Holt is an award winning director, a recipient of the Lucille Lortel Visionary Director Award and is the Artistic Director of the theater company Colt Coeur, which brought this show to stage. Her direction is well paced and thoughtful and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.

With relatable dialogue, spoken by two seasoned pros, directed seamlessly in an impressive set STILL is a proof that theater can still bring out our emotions and make us think about ourselves and those around us.

STILL: DR2, 103 E 15th Street until May 18th.

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Broadway

Vanessa Williams & Bebe Neuwirth Announce the 2024 Drama League Award Nominees

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This morning Vanessa Williams and Bebe Neuwirth announced the Drama League announced their  2024 award nominations honoring Broadway and off-Broadway productions for Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Direction of a Play, Outstanding Direction of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award. Honoring Broadway and Off-Broadway achievements,

Bonnie Comely

President Bonnie Comely was on hand to introduce the two presenters at the official announcement held at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which was streamed live online by BroadwayWorld.com.

And the nominees are:

Outstanding Production of a Play
The Comeuppance
Flex
Grief Hotel
The Hunt
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Mother Play
Oh, Mary!
Patriots
Prayer for the French Republic
Stereophonic
Wet Brain

Outstanding Revival of a Play
An Enemy of the People
Appropriate
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Doubt: A Parable
The Effect
Mary Jane
Our Class
Purlie Victorious
Uncle Vanya
The White Chip

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Buena Vista Social Club
Dead Outlaw
Harmony
The Heart of Rock and Roll
Hell’s Kitchen
Illinoise
Lempicka
The Notebook
The Outsiders
Suffs
Teeth
Water for Elephants

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Cabaret
Gutenberg! The Musical
Here Lies Love
I Can Get It For You Wholesale
Merrily We Roll Along
Monty Python’s Spamalot
The Who’s Tommy
The Wiz

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Tara Ahmadinejad, Grief Hotel
Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic
Sam Gold, An Enemy of The People
Rupert Goold, The Hunt
Rupert Goold, Patriots
Jamie Lloyd, The Effect
Lila Neugebauer, Appropriate
Lila Neugebauer, Uncle Vanya
Sam Pinkleton, Oh, Mary!
Eric Ting, The Comeuppance
Whitney White, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Saheem Ali, Buena Vista Social Club
Sarah Benson, Teeth
David Cromer, Dead Outlaw
Rebecca Frecknall, Cabaret
Maria Friedman, Merrily We Roll Along
Des McAnuff, The Who’s Tommy
Leigh Silverman, Suffs
Alex Timbers, Gutenberg! The Musical!
Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love

Distinguished Performance
Betsy Aidem, Prayer for the French Republic
Shoshana Bean, Hell’s Kitchen
Gabby Beans, Jonah
Joshua Boone, The Outsiders
Ali Louis Bourzgui, The Who’s Tommy
Steve Carell, Uncle Vanya
Jenn Colella, Suffs
Danny DeVito, I Need That
Caleb Eberhardt, The Comeuppance and An Enemy of the People
Alex Edelman, Just for Us
Cole Escola, Oh, Mary!
Eden Espinosa, The Gardens of Anuncia and Lempicka
Paapa Essiedu, The Effect
Melissa Etheridge, Melissa Etheridge: My Window
Laurence Fishburne, Like They Do in the Movies
Josh Gad, Gutenberg! The Musical!
Eli Gelb, Stereophonic
Brody Grant, The Outsiders
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along
Dorian Harewood, The Notebook
Willam Jackson Harper, Primary Trust and Uncle Vanya
Amber Iman, Lempicka
Eddie Izzard, Hamlet
Nikki M. James, Suffs
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Spamalot
Jessica Lange, Mother Play
Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen
Nichelle Lewis, The Wiz
Maribel Martinez, Bees and Honey
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane
Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along
Tobias Menzies, The Hunt
Cynthia Nixon, The Seven Year Disappear
Eva Noblezada, The Great Gatsby
Kelli O’Hara, Days of Wine and Roses
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious, A Non-Confederate Romp Through The Cotton Patch
Patrick Page, All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain
Nicole Ari Parker, The Refuge Plays
Jim Parsons, Mother Play
Sarah Paulson, Appropriate
Sarah Pidgeon, Stereophonic
Aubrey Plaza, Danny and The Deep Blue Sea
Maryann Plunkett, The Notebook
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along
Gayle Rankin, Cabaret
Andrew Rannells, Gutenberg! The Musical!
Eddie Redmayne, Cabaret
Conrad Ricamora, Here Lies Love and Oh, Mary!
Corey Stoll, Appropriate
Michael Stuhlbarg, Patriots
Jeremy Strong, An Enemy of the People
Zenzi Williams, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Kara Young, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through The Cotton Patch
Jehan O. Young, The Cotillion

Special Awards
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater – Jonathan Groff
Founders Award for Excellence in Directing – Schele Williams
Contribution to the Theater – Jessica Lange
Gratitude Award – Kandi Burruss

The nominations announcement begins a month of celebrations leading up to the 90th Annual Drama League Awards, which will be held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom (141 West 54th Street, New York City) on Friday, May 17, 2023 at 12:00PM. Tickets and tables to the star-studded luncheon are available for purchase at dramaleague.org/2024-awards or by calling The Drama League event office at 212.625.1025.

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Broadway

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pat Addiss and Dan Lauria

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I am so pleased to announce our guests for next Wednesday’s show on April 24th are Producer Pat Addiss and Dan Lauria.

Pat Flicker Addiss has been a producer on the following shows: Little Women​, Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life, Bridge & Tunnel, Spring Awakening, Passing Strange, 39 Steps, Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike, Promises, Promises, Gigi, Love Letters, Eclipsed, War Horse, A Christmas Story ​and Harmony on Broadway. Off-Broadway she produced Jane Anger and Buyer and Cellar starring Michael Urieher show, Dinner With The Boys with Dan Lauria and Desperate Measures, is currently playing around the country. A native New Yorker, Pat was a child model and actress. Went to Finch College where she majored and graduated in honors in Costume Design and Merchandising. She started her own Company Pat Addiss Enterprises which designed and manufactured all items and widgets with Corporate names and logos. For her work she was honored by the LPTW Oral History that was filmed for the archives of Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. She was also given the Woman of Purpose Award by the “Three Tomatoes.”. With colleague, Magda Katz, she has initiated a formula to connect women through YaYa lunches, dinners and now the addition of upscale tea. She loves to speak to women over 50 “How to Reinvent Yourself.”

Dan Lauria is best known for playing the dad Jack Arnold on the TV series The Wonder Years. He also played NASA Administrator James Webb in the 1998 TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and Commanding Officer, USA in 1996’s Independence Day. More recently he has appeared as Police Commissioner Eustace Dolan in The Spirit. He appeared as Coach Hamstrung in The Three Stooges N.Y.U.K. on AMC in 2000. Lauria appeared on stage in New York in the summer of 2006 in an off-Broadway production of A Stone Carver by William Mastrosimone with Jim Iorio and Elizabeth Rossa. Lauria also had a small role in a season two episode of Army Wives, as well as a season one episode of The Mentalist. In 2009, Lauria has appeared as General Lee Whitworth, M.D. in Criminal Minds season 4. He has also appeared in an episode of Boy Meets World. In late 2009, Lauria returned to the off-Broadway stage, appearing as Jimmy Hoffa in Brian Lee Franklin’s Good Bobby, a fictionalized account of Robert F. Kennedy’s rise.

Dan is also a very familiar face to the off-off, off and regional theatre scene having performed, written or directed over 50 professional stage productions.  He has appeared as a guest star in over seventy television episodic programs and more than twenty ‘Movie Of The Week’ productions plus a score of motion picture credits.  

In 2010-11 Dan was seen on Broadway in the long running production of Lombardi as the legendary coach Vince Lombardi with the beautiful and talented Judith Light, directed by Thomas Kail of Hamilton fame and returned again in the 2013-14 productions of the Tony nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical, directed by John Rando. 

Dan and dear friend, the lovely and talented Ms. Wendie Malick have performed the play The Guys by Anne Nelson (about our first responders) for numerous theatre and fire departments, around the country. Wendie and Dan also perform Love Letters as a fundraiser for regional theatres, for the development of new plays.  

Dan has now wrote and starred in the off Broadway production of Dinner With The Boys produced by the one and only Pat Addiss and the NJ Rep. This was followed by a off Broadway production of The Stone Witch  and the upcoming Regional production of Lee Blessings new play; Tea With The Boss with Gwenn and Wendie Malick.  

He is about to star in Just Another Day written by Lauria. The show will run May 3-June 30 at Theater555 and also stars Patty McCormack (The Bad Seed). Between them, Lauria and McCormack have over 100 years of live theatrical experience, as well as over 150 television shows and films.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a new show filmed in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode here, six episode here, seventh episode here, eight episode here and ninth episode here.

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Off Broadway

Gun & Powder is a Powerful Piece of Musical Theatre

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Over at Paper Mill Playhouse there is a new powerhouse musical that opened last night. Gun & Powder is the true story of Mary and Martha Clarke, African American twin sisters who, pass as white to settle their mother’s sharecropper debt. In the meantime they learn to love who they are, celebrate their history and bloodline.

The direction of this show by Stevie Walker-Webb features a superb cast, a compelling story, and possibly one of the best new scores to come along in awhile, sung to perfection.

Liisi LaFontaine Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Set in 1893 Texas the show is centered on the book writer and the lyricists Angelica Chéri great- great aunts Mary and Martha Clarke (the incomparable Ciara Rene and Liisi LaFontaine who sing and act these roles flawlessly). Born into slavery, their mother Tallulah Clarke (Jeannette Bayardelle) had the girls with a Caucasian man so they are light skinned. When they are penalized for not reaching their quota of cotton, they will lose everything unless they come up with $400. Mary and Martha decide to leave posing for white. Martha is given a gun by her mother and when she finds the power that gun affords her, the two ended up robbing to get ahead. They ended up in a saloon owned by Jesse (Hunter Parrish) and Mary falls in love and ends up marrying him, but that is when the real action begins.

Sonya Love and Aurelia Williams Photo by Jeremy Daniel

There are also the two housemaids of the Salon, Flo and Sissy (Sonya Love and Aurelia Williams) who almost steal the show with their attitude and killer vocals in “Dirty Shame”. Also standing out are Aaron James McKenzie as Elijah a black servant who falls in love with Martha and sings “Invisible”. His duet with LaFontaine “Under a Different Sun” is in a word, gorgeous. The fabulous Katie Thompson, plays Fannie Porter a white saloon singer who sings “Frenchman Father” and makes you really listen.

Katie Thompson Photo by Jeremy Daniel

The star of this show is Chéri’s lyrics and composer Ross Baum’s music. From Jazz, to Gospel, to Spirituals to blues, to Broadway, this score soars. It is like going to musical theatre church. From the “Prologue”, to “Wide Open Plains” until “All of Me,” this score captures you heart, mind and soul. The orchestrations by John Clancy, just enhance the whole experience.

Hunter Parrish Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Tiffany Rea-Fisher’s choreography keeps the show in a profound transformation.

The scenic design by Beowulf Boritt is simple yet effective. The lighting design by Adam Honor really makes the set come to life and the costume design by Emilio Sosa keeps us in the period.

Gun & Powder and Chéri and Baum are a show and a team of writers to keep your eye on. I predict big things for both.

This musical is fresh and exciting and if it doesn’t make it to Broadway next year I would be surprised.

Make sure you get your tickets. You will not be disappointed.

Gun & Powder: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Dr, Millburn, NJ until May 5th.

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Broadway

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. This particular episode was filmed in two parts at different times due to the weather and extenuating circumstances.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton.
We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

Austin Pendleton, Suzanna Bowling

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

I am so grateful to my guests Pascale Roger-McKeever and Austin Pendleton. for joining me.

Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

Austin Pendleton

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever, Craig J Horsley

Suzanna Bowling

Pascale Roger-McKeever will be starring in Fingers and Spoons directed by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton. Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. starting on April 25th.

Roger Sichel, Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

We hope to see you there on April 17th. We will be announcing our guests tonight.

All photo’s except for the picture with Roger are by Roger Sichel.

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