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Broadway and Theatre News: The King and I, Beautiful and Dancing with the Stars, Gettin’ The Band Back Together, Bebe Winans and Parity Productions

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The multiple Tony award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’sThe King And I – currently enjoying huge West End success – is to be released in cinemas around the world this autumn by Trafalgar Releasing. TThe King And I : From The Palladium, filmed on stage at the iconicLondon Palladium, will open in cinemas for two nights only on Thursday, November 29, 2018 and Tuesday, December 4, 2018.  Tickets are now on sale.

This unmissable majestic production, directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, first opened on Broadway in 2015 for a critically acclaimed 16 month run at The Lincoln Center Theater, this was followed by an unprecedented record-breaking sold out USA tour.  The show then transferred to the London Palladium in June this year, with the three original Broadway lead actors reprising their starring roles – Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical forThe King and I) Kelli O’Hara, Tony and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe and Tony Award-winner (Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for The King and I) Ruthie Ann Miles.  The London production continues to draw huge critical acclaim, smash box office records – including the biggest grossing week in the London Palladium’s history, taking £1,058,317.50 for an eight performance week, play to packed houses and receive nightly standing ovations.

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Beautiful The Carole King Musical

The Tony®, Olivier®, and Grammy® Award-winning smash hit Beautiful – The Carole King Musical will perform live on Monday’s episode of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The cast of Beautiful lead by North American tour star Sarah Bockel will perform “Natural Woman” for contestants Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber as part of “Dancing with the Stars.” The wild popular program airs locally on WABC-7 at 8 PM ET.

With a book by Tony and Academy Award® nominee Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni, and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.

For five years, Beautiful, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical, has thrilled Broadway with the inspiring true story of one woman’s remarkable journey from teenage songwriter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

From the string of pop classics Ms. King wrote for the biggest acts in music to her own life-changing, chart-busting success with Tapestry, Beautiful takes you back to where it all began – and takes you on the ride of a lifetime.

Featuring over two dozen pop classics, including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “One Fine Day,” “Up on the Roof,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman,” this crowd pleasing international phenomenon is filled with the songs you remember – and a story you’ll never forget.

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Gettin’ The Band Back Together 

Gettin’ The Band Back Together

SH-K-BOOM RECORDS has announced that Gettin’ The Band Back Together — Original Broadway Cast Recording has been released in digital and streaming formats today, Friday, September 28. The new musical comedy  which recently ran at The Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street), was directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey. The album is available at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or wherever digital music is sold and streamed. Order the album at http://ghostlightrecords.com/gettin-the-band-back-together-original-broadway-cast-recording.html

When Gettin’ The Band Back Together opened this summer, Variety exclaimed, “It feels so good to laugh real laughs on Broadway.” According to Deadline, “with high-spirited laughs and an exuberant cast, this playful musical is infectious.” WCBS-FM Radio raved “It’s rockin’, sexy and flat-out funny.” 

Gettin’ The Band Back Together has original music and lyrics by Mark Allen and a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino and Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting. Orchestrations are by Doug Katsaros and Sonny Paladino. The album was produced by Sonny Paladino, Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Diego Kolankowsky, Rob Kolson, and Mark Allen.

The cast of Gettin’ The Band Back Together features Mitchell Jarvis (Mitch Papadopoulos), Jay Klaitz (Bart Vickers), Manu Narayan (Dr. Rummesh “Robbie” Patel), Paul Whitty (Michael “Sully” Sullivan), Sawyer Nunes (Ricky “Bling” Goldstein), Marilu Henner (“Mitch’s Mom,” aka Sharon Papadopoulos), Kelli Barrett (Dani), Becca Kötte (Tawney), Garth Kravits (Ritchie), Tamika Lawrence (Roxanne Velasco), Noa Solorio (Billie), and  Brandon Williams (Tygen Billows). The cast also includes Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson. 

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Born For This

Born For This

The producers of the Broadway-bound musical Born For This, today announced that Gospel and R&B music legend Bebe Winans will host a one-night-only concert previewing the music from his original musical Born For This on Monday, November 5 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 W. 54 St). For tickets please visit https://54below.com/events/born-for-this/

Sharing the Feinstein’s/54 Below stage with Mr. Winans will be director Charles Randolph-Wright (Motown) and members of the cast from last summer’s pre-Broadway tryout in Boston including Donald Webber Jr. (Hamilton), Loren Lott (Once on this Island), Kristen Wyatt (Annie), Nita Whitaker (Ragtime), Liisi LaFontaine (Dreamgirls) and Maddie Shea Baldwin (Bright Star). The evening will introduce the Born For This story and some of the original songs from the Broadway aimed musical, which also played regional engagements in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

Born For This is a universal story for anyone who has ever yearned to find his or her own purpose in life. It follows BeBe, a talented young man from a tight-knit musical family as he grapples with the struggle between his faith and his desire for fame. As teenagers BeBe and his sister CeCe, experience genuine culture shock when they leave the comfort of their home and family in Detroit to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s “Praise the Lord” network in North Carolina. When the duo rocket to fame, the seductive lure of celebrity comes knocking. Ultimately, Bebe must reconcile the temptations of stardom and fortune with the things he values most in life.

Born For This features original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award winner BeBe Winans, with a book written by Charles Randolph-Wright, BeBe Winans, and Lisa D’Amour. The show is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, with choreography by Warren Adams and produced by Ron Gillyard and My Destiny Productions.

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Theatre production company Parity Productions, a producer of new work that ensures they fill at least 50% of the creative positions (playwrights, directors, and designers) on their productions with cis women and/or trans and gender nonconforming (TCNG) artists, has awarded two commissions to Liz Kerinfor Stop-Motion and Azure Osborne-Leefor Mirrors. The ceremony took place on Wednesday, September 26 at the Second Annual Parity Gala at Gotham Comedy Club.

The awards were presented by last year’s Parity Productions commission-winning playwrights, Mêlisa Annis and Else C. Went. Parity Productions also announced the next phase of their partnership with Show-Score, the largest online fan community for theater lovers, to provide an increased level of comprehensive marketing and promotional support for Parity’s Qualifying Productions.

Parity Productions awards two commissions annually to one cis woman playwright and one TGNC playwright who have demonstrated a singular talent for storytelling. Liz Kerinand Azure Osborne-Leewill receive $2,500 each and developmental support for their plays with an option for production.

The submission period for Parity’s Third Annual Playwriting Commissionis October 1st — October 31st, 2018. Click here to learn more about the submission process.

Liz Kerin(she/her) is a graduate of the Dramatic Writing Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Liz has a background in screenwriting as well as live theatre. Last year, her full-length play Stop-Motionwas selected for the Botanicum Seedlings development workshop at Theatricum Botanicum and was also shortlisted as a semi-finalist at Premiere Stages. In 2018, the play was selected for The Road Theatre’s annual playwright’s festival, where it received a reading. Her work has been seen onstage at New York University, FringeNYC, 440 Studios, The Producer’s Club, and with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. On the film and television side, Liz was featured on the Tracking Board’s Young and Hungry List, which names the top up-and-coming screenwriters in Hollywood, and her feature script PYONGYANG HOME VIDEO made the 2016 Hit List. She’s currently developing a television series and adapting a YA novel to screen. Liz is also an author, and her debut novel The Phantom Forest will be released by Inkshares in early 2019. For more, please follow along on Twitter: @Liz_Kerin.

Azure D. Osborne-Lee (he/him, they/them) is a current member of Trans Lab, which is supported by The Public Theater and WP Theater. Azure’s work has been produced and/or developed by Trans Lab, The Tank, The Syndicate, The Flea Theater, BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BAM, JACK, Rising Circle Theater Collective, The Fire This Time Festival, Horse Trade Theater Group, The Castillo Theatre, The New Ohio Theatre, National Black Theatre, Freedom Train Productions, Downtown Urban Arts Festival, Lambda Literary, The Helix Queer Performance Group, and regionally. Winner of Downtown Urban Arts Festival’s 2018 Best Play Award and the 2015 Mario Fratti-Fred Newman Political Play Contest. http://azureosbornelee.com

Parity Productionsis a formidable producer of new work that ensures that they fill at least 50% of the creative positions (playwrights, directors, and designers) on their productions with cis women and/or TGNC artists. In addition to producing their own work, they actively promote other theatre companies that follow their 50% hiring standard. Artistically, they develop and produce compelling new plays that give voice to individuals who rebel against their marginalized place in society. Parity Productions is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit theatre company formed in 2016 by international award-winning director Ludovica Villar-Hauserwith its roots in two other previous not-for-profits founded by Villar-Hauser: VH Theatrical Development FoundationandWorks by Women.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

Stephen Schwartz To Be Inducted into The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame

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Legendary Award Winning Broadway and Movie Music Composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) will be inducted into the Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (LIMEHOF) on Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 at 7pm.

There will also be concert emceed by Musician Paul Shaffer (from the David Letterman Show) who worked with Schwartz early in his career.

Schwartz has won 4 Grammys and 3 Oscars among other awards in his career that spans over 50 years both on Broadway and on the silver screen. Additionally, Schwartz has contributed music and lyrics to several movies such as “Pocahontas” (1995), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996), “The Prince of Egypt” (1998), and “Enchanted” (2007).He was also involved with the upcoming feature film adaptation of Wicked to be released in the fall.

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Broadway

Ani DiFranco and Lola Tung Join Hadestown

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The Tony and Grammy Award®-winning Best Musical Hadestown is currently stars Grammy Award winner Ani DiFranco as Persephone singing “Our Lady Of The Underground”.

 Lola Tung (“The Summer I Turned Pretty”) as Eurydice, Jordan Fisher (Dear Evan Hansen, Grease: Live,) as Orpheus here singing “All I’ve Ever Known”.

Grammy Award nominee Phillip Boykin as Hades, and Tony Award winner Lillias White as Hermes.

They are joined by Belén Moyano, Kay Trinidad, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihuoma, Alex Puette, and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo, and Tanner Ray Wilson.

Hadestown originated as Anaïs Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Rachel Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

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Broadway

Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents Goes Live With Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane

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Photo of Bonnie Comley, Stewart F. Lane and Suzanna Bowling

“Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that is filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. We will run the video on our site every Thursday and then it moves onto the podcast networks.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Broadway royalty and longtime married couple Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane. We talk about the Palace Theatre, Broadway HD and so much more.

We were also so excited because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Bonnie and Stewart for joining me. 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 Edison Hotel for their kindness and hospitality.

We hope to see you there on February 21st for our guests the creator of Times Square and Hampton Fashion Week Dee Rivera, Celebrity hairstylist Samantha Smoker and Fashion Designer Shani Grosz.

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Book Reviews

Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley

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I am so pleased to announce our guests for Valentine’s Day are Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, the founders of BroadwayHD.com, an online streaming service on a mission to promote and preserve live theatre, extending the reach of Broadway and Broadway-caliber shows to anyone, anywhere. BroadwayHD currently has a catalog of over 300 full-length stage plays and musicals available for streaming on demand, so when you can’t get to Broadway, go to BroadwayHD on your tv, phone, or tablet!

Mr. Lane and Ms. Comley have collectively produced over 40 films and 45 Broadway shows, garnering nine Tony Awards and another 14 Tony nominations. They have also won Olivier Awards, Drama Desk, Drama
League, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for their stage productions. Lane has co-owned Broadway’s famous Palace Theater for almost 40 years.

The theater community has honored the couple for their philanthropic work, including The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons, and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award. The stage at Boston University’s new theater center is named in their honor, as is the Music Theater Program. The Musical Theater Society Room bears their name at Emerson College, and the 500-seat theater at the University
of Massachusetts Lowell is known as the Comley Lane Theater. Lane is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award at Boston University, and Comley is Distinguished Alumni of both Emerson College and UMass Lowell.

Mr. Lane is a theater historian and playwright and has written the critically acclaimed “Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way” (Square One Publishers), “Jews on Broadway” (McFarland Publishers), “Let’s Put on a Show” (Working Arts Library), and the plays “In The Wings (published in spring 2008 by Hal Leonard), “If It Was Easy” (published by Performing Books and nominated for Best New Play by the American Theatre Critics Association), and the musical “Back Home Again” (with music
and lyrics by John Denver) which he was awarded The 2011 John Denver Spirit Award for his work.

“Live From The Edison Hotel Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is a new show that will be filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here.

Originally our guest was Maury Yeston, but he had to reschedule. He will be our guest at a later date, however Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley, our guests for Valentine’s Day could not be more perfect. They are the epitome or Love and Broadway.

See you at The Edison Hotel.

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Broadway

Chita Will Be Honored As Lights Dim

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Broadway will dim its marquee lights to honor the two-time Tony-winning star of the original West Side Story Chita Rivera. This iconic star died January 30 at the age of 91.

The dimming of Broadway marquees will occur for the traditional one minute on Saturday, February 17 at 7:45 p.m./ET.

“Chita Rivera was Broadway royalty, and we will miss her with all our hearts,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League. “For nearly seven decades she enthralled generations of audiences with her spellbinding performances and iconic roles. The triple threat actor, singer, and dancer leaves behind an incredible legacy of work for which she was honored with a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement.”

Rivera’s Broadway career began in 1950 with Guys and Dolls. Her signature role came in 1957 when she played the original “Anita” in West Side Story. Other Broadway credits include Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, The Visit and The Rink. She was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning for The Rink in 1984 and Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993. She received the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2018.

We give you the talented Ken Fallin’s drawing of Chita in The Visit.

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