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Atlantic Theater’s The Bedwetter Shines Above and Beyond its Shame. I Swear. And So Does This Show. A Lot.

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Sarah is one strange duck. She really is, and I’m not talking about the real life Sarah Silverman, who, I must admit is pretty friggin awesome. I’m talking about the one taking center stage off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater. That Sarah, as portrayed most deliciously by the very talented Zoe Glick, (Broadway’s Frozen), had me at hello, basically. The way she just walks out, well, it’s completely captivating, and Glick finds her spotlight as a younger version of that same comedian who wrote the autobiography, “The Bedwetter”, on which this musical is based. Not the adult version we are all accustomed to seeing on the screen in such shows as the Emmy nominated “The Sarah Silverman Project“, or the 2003 film, ‘School of Rock‘ and the 2011 Sarah Polley film, ‘Take This Waltz‘. But a fascinatingly fresh, fictionalized young pre-teen version of Silverman, walking out boldly into the spotlight to introduce herself to her new classmates, and in turn, to us. And we know immediately, we can’t get enough. Swear words, and all.

Ellyn Marie Marsh (Mrs. Dembo, center) with (l-r) Charlotte MacLeod (Abby), Zoe Glick (Sarah), Charlotte Elizabeth Curtis (Ally) and Margot Weintraub (Amy) in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of The Bedwetter. Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster

t’s a telling moment, this opening sequence, not just because it is whip-smart funny and pouty-mouthed all rolled up neatly together, much like this musical in its entirety when I saw it in its final few weeks at the Linda Gross Theater in Chelsea. But because we can sense in that first monologue its inner raw truth buried underneath that awkward forever-trying-to-please smile and laugh. It’s so clear, and honest, she and the show. Both. Shining its smart ass with confidence.

Margot Weintraub (Amy), Charlotte Elizabeth Curtis (Ally), Zoe Glick and Charlotte MacLeod (Abby) in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of The Bedwetter.
Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster

With lyrics by Adam Schlesinger (Cry Baby) and Sarah Silverman, a book by the playwright Joshua Harmon (Admissions) and Silverman, music by Schlesinger, and with David Yazbek (The Band’s Visit) signed on as creative consultant, The Bedwetter confidently plants its sure-footed, yet foulmouth soul in the year 1980, with a young Sarah, an awkwardly optimistic fifth-grader trying hard to find her place inside a new school in a new town, all because of her parents’ complicated divorce.

From the get-go, this young version of Sarah is completely likable and lovable, from the very first naughty word she utters in front of her wildly inappropriate school teacher, Mrs. Dembo, played fantastically by Ellyn Marie Marsh (Broadway’s The Rose Tattoo), who reminded me of a cross between the equally fantastic Jackie Hoffman and Amy Sedaris’s Jerri Blank, her character in “Strangers with Candy“, all rolled up together and given the title, ‘grade school teacher’. Marsh delivers it wonderfully. Equal to that delicious moment of standup delivered by the young Sarah to her new classmates. It tells you everything you need to know about the flavor of this new musical. It’s going to be littered, most magnificently, with foul-mouthed language and inappropriateness at every turn, and we are all going to find connection and understanding within it all, while laughing our heads off watching it.

The Bedwetter sets the stage almost deviously for something wonderfully tender underneath the jokie facade. But it’s there, sneakily, deep down inside the fabric of that young girl’s discomfort and her desperate need for approval. It’s clear that Sarah is an oddball, but one that embraces it in a people-pleasing kinda way, particularly when she sings a song about just how odd and dorky she is to her new classmates, who are trying their hardest to be pint-sized mean girls to the new girl in town. But the way Glick’s Sarah owns who she is, and regardless of how hard they try, these three girls; Amy (Margot Weintraub), Ally (Charlotte Elizabeth Curtis), and Abby (Charlotte MacLeod), can’t help but start to like her, much like us. But there is one part Sarah can’t bringherself to embrace or sing about. It’s the fact that she is also a bedwetter, something that the real Silverman had to struggle and deal with until the age of 16. That part of herself is something that, when it is suggested she stay for an all-girls sleepover with her newfound friends, fills her with the biggest dose of dread and shame that we have witnessed yet in this seemingly bouncy smily young girl. And it is there, in that darkness where we find the true power and the utter likability of The Bedwetter.

Zoe Glick (Sarah) and Emily Zimmerman (Laura) in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of The Bedwetter. Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster

Up until that moment when the conflict presents itself early on in this catchy musical, I think I actually forgot that this is what this musical is about. It had slipped my mind as I playfully ran alongside this charming tale of a young awkward Sarah trying to discover life in her new school. It was just so charming; bumping up against her forever-embarrassed big sister, Laura, beautifully embodied by Emily Zimmerman (Marriott Theatre’s Elf), serving up cocktails to her deliciously Manhattan-guzzling Nana, a part normally played by Bebe Neuwirth, but perfectly performed that week I was there by her understudy, Elizabeth Ward Land (Broadway’s Memphis), and getting her daily dirty joke from her foul-mouthed dad, Donald, played strongly by Darren Goldstein (Broadway’s The Little Foxes). But there it was in the shape of a round wet circle; a sign of capital S-shame, staining her borrowed sleeping bag in front of her new friends, and no escape from it all. She doesn’t get any help either from her depressive bed-ridden mother, Beth Ann, usually portrayed by Caissie Levy, but this week portrayed wonderfully well by Jessica Vosk (Lincoln Center’s 50th anniversary of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) who didn’t think of giving her the exit plan she actually called out for. Boy, can we empathize with that.

As directed with spice and a sure-footedness by Anne Kauffman (PH’s Marjorie Prime), that moment burnes hard and true, and it’s no surprise that she retreats big-time, staying in bed, much like her mother. That is, until finally, after a few odd ball moments of treatment, Sarah is diagnosed with clinical depression. She is prescribed an overwhelmingly large dose of Xanax by a troubled overzealous shrink, played wildly by Rick Crom (Broadway’s Urinetown), who, after a strangely hypnotic dance break, lightly choreographed by Byron Easley (Broadway’s Slave Play), with singing pills and sexy nurses spinning around them all, abandons her in the harshest way possible. It’s hard to believe, but this part is actually true to the real life Sarah. I swear.

The rest of the show plays out with as much heart and compassion as the first part played for laughs. The Bedwetter refuses to pull any punches, but doesn’t become too much either. Schlesinger’s compellingly fun songs drive the piece forward with a balance, in a naturally fun smart way, with stellar moments for all, while never losing its way. There’s plenty of laughs here, but it also latches itself completely onto our heart with compassion and understanding. It never feels like it talks down to us or the problems put forward, but takes them both serious and with a touch of smart-assed-ness, if that is a word. But it should be, as it feels about right for The Bedwetter.

Zoe Glick (Sarah) and Darren Goldstein (Donald) in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of The Bedwetter. Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster

The cast is forever digging up depth and emotional connection, particularly Glick’s Sarah and the young Zimmerman as the older sister – a character which I am told is a melting together of Silverman’s three actual sisters. Her second act song about missing how annoying Sarah’s oddball-ness can be hits just the right amount of honesty and care, just like Ashley Blanchet (Broadway’s Beautiful) does as the helpful and funny Miss New Hampshire, both in the real world and in her wet dreams. In this realm, The Bedwetter never really falters, balancing the two frameworks with a surprising wit and ease. Maybe this has something to do with the very sad knowledge that Schlesinger never got to see this show rise up in full production after New York City went into COVID lockdown in March 2020, causing the show to pause in the middle of rehearsals. Then weeks later, on April 1st, 2020, Adam Schlesinger, the musical’s composer suddenly died from that very thing that closed down the theatres and his rehearsals. Because this musical does find its way to treat the emotional journey of this child with the solid compassion that it truly deserves, as well as almost every other character on that stage. And that is a beautiful legacy.

Yet, on a somewhat clunky set, designed by Laura Jellinek (Broadway’s Oklahoma!), with lighting designed by Japhy Weideman (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen), costumes by Kaye Voyce (Broadway’s True West), and sound designed by Kai Harada (Broadway’s Head Over Heels), The Bedwetter delivers on its f*#king promise, rising up loud and crude while displaying honest heart and a true alignment of character and attachment. I’m not sure it’s going to get the same treatment as the less crass but equally wonderful Kimberly Akimbo, which is transferring soon from that same stage to Broadway in the fall, but I do hope it finds its own very unique road to further success. The show is, very deserving of more as it always knows the joke inside, but also is very aware of the clever heart that beats somewhere just underneath the punchline.

Bebe Neuwirth (Nana) and Zoe Glick (Sarah) in Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of The Bedwetter, a new musical with a book by Drama Desk Award winner Joshua Harmon and Emmy Award winner Sarah Silverman, lyrics by Emmy Award winner Adam Schlesinger and Sarah Silverman, music by Adam Schlesinger, choreography by Byron Easley, and direction by Lucille Lortel Award winner Anne Kauffman. The production opened on June 7, 2022 at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).
Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.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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