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Broadway’s Revival of “Spamalot” Empties Out Every Laugh One Could Possibly Have Inside, and Maybe More

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He’s not dead yet,” they sing, and (obviously) dance, naturally, about a plague that is rampaging across the country. One can’t help but wonder if they might also be singing about this musical from 2005 that received 14 Tony Award nominations, winning in three categories, including Best Musical. If that is the case, they most certainly would be right about that, because, as I sit and watch the whole crowd start automatically head-bob from one joyous side to another in happy unison when Patsy (Christopher Fitgerald) starts singing “Always look on the bright side of life“, there really is no other way to look at the whole wonderful thing.

Somewhere, deep inside Broadway‘s ridiculously riotous revival of Monty Python’s Spamalot, that’s the keeper-line of the evening and what they sing so enthusiastically about to and for all of us. The revival is still, absolutely and most hilariously, deliciously good fun, while also being gloriously scandalous, as any Monty Python engagement should ultimately be. Filled with stellar comedic performances riding in most delightfully to the sound of coconut shells banging together with determination by those that follow, the musical never fails to plant the biggest of smiles on all our face from beginning to end.

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (center) and the cast of Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

Purposefully directed and choreographed with a sharp clever focus by Josh Rhodes (NYCC Encores’ Mack & Mabel), the quest for extreme merriment is “steady and over we go” in abundance inside the St. James Theatre, Broadway, as it is achieved wholeheartedly at every turn of phrase. And that is something no “doubting Dennis” can or will argue about. And within minutes, after our surprisingly silly side trip to Finland, if you had any hesitations that this revival wasn’t needed or might not be as funny this time around, well, those ideas are simply and entirely washed away by the utter skillful hilarity of all involved.

Now that we find ourselves (correctly) in dreary dark England, with penitent monks bashing themselves on the head to the beat of some drum, King Arthur hooves his way before us with his trusted sound man behind him, mimicking him to perfection. How do we know he’s the King? Well, “he hasn’t got shit all over him” is about the best response one could have. Ripped expertly off from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail“, this stunningly funny revival of the Broadway musical, finds its grail time and time again, delivering forth joke after silly joke with an expertise that is golden and holy. With a score by John Du Prez (“A Fish Called Wanda“) and Eric Idle (“Monty Python’s Life of Brian“), and lyrics and book by Idle, this superb parody of epic proportions is completely entertaining and non-stop irreverent, in the best of all possible ways.

Christopher Fitzgerald and James Monrow Iglehart in Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023

Playing parody with Arthurian legend, Spamalot saunters itself in at the instruction of the bespeckled Historian, played to perfection by the always fantastic Ethan Slater (Broadway’s SpongeBob..) who outdoes himself time and time again playing a plethora of parts, all excellently. The musical is all about the tale of King Arthur, hilariously well portrayed by James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway’s Genie in Disney’s Aladdin), all alone with his trusting right-hand coconut-wielding sound man, Patsy, awesomely embodied by Christopher Fitzgerald (Broadway’s Company), by his side. “I’m All Alone“, he sings, with Patsy and the cast of Spamalot standing ridiculously close by, on an expedition, searching for and trying to recruit a knightly army of men to serve and follow him. That is once we get our location settings all in order.

Slowly but surely, they gather together this band of merry ridiculous men; Sir Robin, portrayed with song and dance in his heart by the impeccably funny Michael Urie (2ST/Broadway’s Torch Song); Sir Lancelot, played tremendously well by Taran Killam (NYCC Encores’ Little Shop of Horrors); Sir Bedevere, cagedly portrayed with glee by Jimmy Smagula (Broadway’s Billy Elliot); and Sir Dennis Galahad, beautifully embodied by the very funny Nik Walker (Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud…) striking gallant poses every chance they get. Even if Dennis’s politically radical mother, Mrs. Galahad (Smagula) is against it all from the get-go. She states, most wisely, that they all must deny any king who has not been elected by the people, and therefore, Arthur has no legitimate right to rule over them. Well said. But it doesn’t really matter in the end. Just ask that fabulous ‘Lady of the Lake‘, played magnificently by the oh-so-talented musical goddess Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Broadway’s Something Rotten!; Off-Broadway’s Robber Bridegroom), who I can’t stop myself from listening to over and over again in the cast recording of Broadway’s Beetlejuice. She is the ultimate performer, for this and pretty much any part that requires amazing comic timing, acting chops, and a killer voice. She brings to mind a powerhouse Carol Burnett with killer vocals, and she looks pretty gosh darn good bringing the house down in a Cher-esque sequin pantsuit.

Nik Walker and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer in

Playing parody with Arthurian legend, Spamalot saunters itself in at the instruction of the bespeckled Historian, played to perfection by the always fantastic Ethan Slater (Broadway’s SpongeBob..) who outdoes himself time and time again playing a plethora of parts, all excellently. The musical is all about the tale of King Arthur, hilariously well portrayed by James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway’s Genie in Disney’s Aladdin), all alone with his trusting right-hand coconut-wielding sound man, Patsy, awesomely embodied by Christopher Fitzgerald (Broadway’s Company), by his side. “I’m All Alone“, he sings, with Patsy and the cast of Spamalot standing ridiculously close by, on an expedition, searching for and trying to recruit a knightly army of men to serve and follow him. That is once we get our location settings all in order.

Slowly but surely, they gather together this band of merry ridiculous men; Sir Robin, portrayed with song and dance in his heart by the impeccably funny Michael Urie (2ST/Broadway’s Torch Song); Sir Lancelot, played tremendously well by Taran Killam (NYCC Encores’ Little Shop of Horrors); Sir Bedevere, cagedly portrayed with glee by Jimmy Smagula (Broadway’s Billy Elliot); and Sir Dennis Galahad, beautifully embodied by the very funny Nik Walker (Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud…) striking gallant poses every chance they get. Even if Dennis’s politically radical mother, Mrs. Galahad (Smagula) is against it all from the get-go. She states, most wisely, that they all must deny any king who has not been elected by the people, and therefore, Arthur has no legitimate right to rule over them. Well said. But it doesn’t really matter in the end. Just ask that fabulous ‘Lady of the Lake‘, played magnificently by the oh-so-talented musical goddess Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Broadway’s Something Rotten!; Off-Broadway’s Robber Bridegroom), who I can’t stop myself from listening to over and over again in the cast recording of Broadway’s Beetlejuice. She is the ultimate performer, for this and pretty much any part that requires amazing comic timing, acting chops, and a killer voice. She brings to mind a powerhouse Carol Burnett with killer vocals, and she looks pretty gosh darn good bringing the house down in a Cher-esque sequin pantsuit.

Nik Walker and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer in Spamalot Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

But first, Sir Robin and Sir Lancelot need to navigate past the “Not Dead Fred” (yet again played magnificently by Ethan Slater – the male version of Kritzer in this show, looking pretty gosh darn good in a pair of tighty whities holding a puppet in his right hand) and his lively riotous number, “I Am Not Dead Yet.” Gloriously grand; stunning like a shovel to the head. But it’s Sir Galahad (and his mother) who needs to be convinced by the mighty charms and voice of the ‘Lady of the Lake‘ who has to prove to them that the story of Excalibur is real and true. Pom-pommed on by the “Laker Girls Cheer“, she turns Dennis into the dashingly handsome Sir Galahad and together, they sing the most spectacularly generic (and wonderfully long) Broadway love song, “The Song That Goes Like This“, complete with a dramatic key change and a boat ride in order to win out the day. With a grand fling of his long dreadlocks, he happily joins Sir Robin and Sir Lancelot, and together with cagey Sir Bedevere and the “aptly named” Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Show (Daniel Beeman), they all set off for Camelot and the adventurous quest that leads them through this ridiculously funny, skit-filled show.

If it isn’t some sentries debating whether or not one or two swallows are needed to successfully carry a coconut to this non-tropical land, or being taunted by a few lewd French soldiers high up on a wall that even an empty wooden rabbit won’t remedy, It’s the singing and dancing that keeps bouncing ball delivering the laughs time and time again. Along with the Knights (that say) Ni (Killam and others), the show barely gives us a chance to relax our laughing muscles. It’s brilliantly funny, and the superbly choreographed (Rhodes) talented ensemble never let up. It gives and it gives in abundance, just like Slater (CSC’s Assassins) who keeps reappearing, and Kritzer (PMP’s The Honeymooners) who doesn’t appear enough, if you ask me (or her) to remind us all of their glory. “Whatever Happened to My Part?” is her question of the night, and I couldn’t agree more because every time she steps on that stage, she enlivens the moment with her wit, voice, and comedic timing. (Sweet aside, I was lucky enough to be in the Broadway audience for the first show after the 2005 Tony Awards and joined in with the standing ovation for Sara Ramirez, who just two nights prior had won the Tony Award for her portrayal of the ‘Lady of the Lake‘. It was a glorious moment, one that I won’t forget. And one I think Kritzer might also reprise.)

The Knights of Ni, Christopher Fitzgerald, and James Monroe Iglehart in Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

This “All for One” mentality wins big on a stage perfectly constructed by designer Paul Tate Depoo III (Broadway’s The Cottage) who also is credited with the spot-on, absolutely perfect projections, with solid lighting by Cory Pattak (PMP’s The Great Gatsby), dynamic and glittery costuming by Jen Caprio (Broadway’s Falsettos), and exacting sound by Kai Harada (Broadway’s Kimberly Akimbo). It shifts, shuffles, and presents found shrubbery with pizzazz, presenting some pretty magnificently funny and entertaining numbers, courtesy of music director/supervisor John Bell (Broadway’s Into the Woods), that zing and sing with exacting precision. There are some truly fantastic Broadway moments, but one of the funniest bits revolves around Sir Lancelot who receives a stabbing letter from what he assumes to be a young damsel in distress. But it turns out, luckily, that the damsel is actually an effeminate young man by the name of Prince Herbert, wonderfully portrayed, again by the impossibly good Ethan Slater (“Fosse/Verdon“) whose brutish father, the King of Swamp Castle (Walker), is forcing him into an arranged marriage that he (obviously) doesn’t want. Yet, even more horribly, his father refuses to let the boy sing and dance to his heart’s content.

As any great knight would do, Lancelot rescues the young man, and then delivers a heartfelt speech about honoring his son’s gentle sensitivity. In return, Lancelot is outed as a homosexual knight, and in joyous adoration, the cast gyrates forward with a big wild disco dance number in celebration and acceptance of it all, and the fun we all are having. “His Name Is Lancelot” is the Pride Month anthem of the show, and setting the killer rabbit aside, this number, and Monty Python’s Spamalot as a whole, plays proud and hilarious from beginning to end, thanks to its ridiculous roots, spectacular cast, and its perfect placement.

After pondering the final stoney clue, with Arthur admitting that they’re all “a bit stumped“, God (voiced by Steve Martin) points it all out, rewarding the holder with a small trophy and a Polaroid photo. The grail has been found, finally, and the marriage party can begin. We all rise in celebration, and join in with the welcomed repeat of the gloriously great “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” feeling completely and most wonderfully entertained, overjoyed, and emptied of every laugh one could possibly have had inside their happy head.

The cast of Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

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

Broadway

The Heart of Rock and Roll Meets The Press And Huey Lewis Sings For Me

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Yesterday morning The Heart of Rock and Roll, the new musical based on the soundtrack of Heuy Lewis’s mega hits, met the press corp. In the opening address’s I learned that Heuy Lewis, is now deaf.  In learning that, I wanted to know what soundtrack was now playing in his head. In getting to interview Mr. Lewis I was allowed one question and when I asked, not only did I learned the answer, I was sung to. 

For this video, we started off with that interaction and segue into what happened earlier. With director Gordon Greenberg, introducing John Dossett, McKenzie Kurtz and the cast Josh Breckenridge, F. Michael Haynie, Zoe Jensen, Tamika Lawrence, Raymond J. Lee, John-Michael Lyles, Orville Mendoza, Billy Harrigan Tighe, Mike Baerga, Tommy Bracco, TyNia René Brandon, Olivia Cece, Taylor Marie Daniel, Lindsay Joan, Ross Lekites, Robin Masella, Kara Menendez, Joe Moeller, Jennifer Noble, Fredric Rodriguez Odgaard, Michael Olaribigbe, Kevin Pariseau, Robert Pendilla and Leah Read singing the title song The Heart of Rock and Roll. 

The music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Brian Usifer, musical direction by Will Van Dyke, and the innovative choreography by Lorin Latarro really stood out.

We then in this video interview director Gordon Greenberg, to learn more about what looks to be one fabulous show.

More tomorrow with Corey Cott and the cast and creatives.

The Heart of Rock and Roll, the new musical inspired by the iconic songs of Huey Lewis and The News, will open on Broadway at The James Earl Jones Theatre (138 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036) on Monday, April 22, 2024.

Video and picture by Magda Katz

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Maria Friedman Wow’d in Legacy For Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS

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Last night was a night to remember, when three-time Olivier-winning actor Maria Friedman, gave a one-night-only benefit concert at the Hudson Theatre. The concert served as a benefit for Broadway Cares, The Stephen Sondheim Foundation, and The Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards. Friedman is currently represented at that theatre as the director of the current revival of Merrily We Roll Along.

This was the kind of night you pray about. It was an exquisite pleasure watching someone who understands lyric, musicality and how to keep an audience in the palm of their hand. The performance, titled Legacy: An Evening With Maria Friedman and Friends, focused on the works of Stephen Sondheim, Marvin Hamlisch, and Michel Legrand, as Ms Friedman personally and professional had close relationships with all three artists. Craig Horsley will be writing a review of this outstanding musical night of nirvana.

As I watch enrapt in this performance I remembered six years ago I interviewed Ms. Friedman and saw her sing the definitive “Losing My Mind” from Follies, prior to last night, so I went in search of this. We discussed her show which was about to play at 54 Below, which had played a sold-out London run earlier that year. The show explored the work of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim and composer Leonard Bernstein. We also talked about her staging of the U.S. premiere of her acclaimed 2012 London revival of Merrily We Roll Along which was currently at the Huntington in Boston, MA starring Eden Espinoza, Damian Humbley and Mark Umbers and a production of Bernstein’s Mass which she had hoped was coming soon.

Friedman made her Broadway debut in 2005 starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White, but she’s spent the majority of her stage career in London’s West End. Among her major roles there was Dot in the first London Sunday in the Park With George, Mary in Merrily We Roll Along, Fosca in Passion (Olivier Award), Sukie in The Witches of Eastwick, Roxie in Chicago, Mother in Ragtime (Olivier Award), Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. She also played the Narrator in the screen version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Mother Abbess in the U.K.’s The Sound of Music Live!

Thank-you Ms Friedman for a night that will long stand in my memory.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sarah Paulson in Appropriate

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Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate not only got a second extension, but transferred  theatre. Slated to close March 3 at the Hayes Theater, Appropriate will now play a 13-week engagement at the Belasco Theatre, with performances beginning March 25. The strictly limited run will continue through June 23. The reason for the transfer was Paula Vogel’s Mother Play, was already slated to perform.

To read T2C’s review of Appropriate  click here and here.

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Broadway To Honor Hinton Battle

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Broadway will honor the memory of Hinton Battle, the three-time Tony Award-winning singer/ actor/ phenomenal dancer who was trailblazing. Mr. Battle passed away on January 30, 2024, at the age of 67. On March 12, 2024, the Committee of Theatre Owners will dim all the lights of all the Broadway theatres in New York for one minute at exactly 6:45pm, in his honor.Hinton Battle won three Tony’s and made his Broadway debut at 18,  playing the original Scarecrow in The Wiz.

You can see our tribute here. He was one of the great ones.

 

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Theatre News: Here We Are, Water For Elephants, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey, FIVE: The Parody Musical, Forbidden Broadway

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Producers Tom Kirdahy, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, and The Stephen Sondheim Trust announced today that the critically acclaimed world premiere production of Here We Are, the new musical from David Ives and Stephen Sondheim that debuted at The Shed’s Griffin Theater in 2023, was filmed by the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and added to its collection. The complete show was filmed by TOFT in December of 2023 and is now available and free to view by anyone with a library card.

 Here We Are is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, and features Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce, and Jeremy Shamos.

The musical features a book by Tony Award nominee David Ives, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and is inspired by two films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel.

Here We Are opened on October 22, 2023 at The Shed and performed its final show on January 21, 2024.

Water For Elephants is announcing their Tent Talkback Series with members of the creative team following selected Saturday matinees between March 2 through April 6, at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street).  Creative team members will include book writer Rick Elice and composers and lyricists PigPen Theatre Co.  The Water For Elephants Tent Talkback Series will be a moderated 15-minute discussion about the creative process and development of the show and commence at the conclusion of selected Saturday matinee performances.

Tent Talkback Series Schedule

Saturday, March 2, matinee performance

Saturday, March 9, matinee performance

Saturday, March 30, matinee performance

Saturday, April 6, matinee performance

Water For Elephants is based on the critically acclaimed and New York Times Bestselling novel by Sara Gruen. The new musical has a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher), a soaring score by the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. (The Tale of Despereaux) and is directed by Tony Award nominee Jessica Stone (Kimberly Akimbo).

The cast stars Grant Gustin (“The Flash”, “Glee”) in his Broadway debut, Isabelle McCalla (The Prom, Shucked), four-time Tony Award nominee Gregg Edelman (City of Angels), Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominee Paul Alexander Nolan (Slave Play), Stan Brown (“Homicide: Life in the Streets”), Joe De Paul (Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion), Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Wade McCollum(Wicked) and features Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Rachael Boyd, Paul Castree, Ken Wulf Clark, Taylor Colleton, Gabriel Olivera de Paula Costa, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Samantha Gershman, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Harley Ross Beckwith McLeish, Michael Mendez, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Asa Somers, Charles South, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar and Michelle West.

After losing what matters most, a young man jumps a moving train unsure of where the road will take him and finds a new home with the remarkable crew of a traveling circus, and a life—and love—beyond his wildest dreams. Seen through the eyes of his older self, his adventure becomes a poignant reminder that if you choose the ride, life can begin again at any age.

The award-winning Sea Dog Theater’s production of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, based on the book by Albom, directed by Erwin Maas (NY Times Critic’s Pick for Poison and A Kid Like Rishi), starring Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd original cast, CBS’s “Blue Bloods”) and three-time NYIT “Best Actor” nominee Chris Domig.Tuesdays with Morrie runs March 1 – 23 in a limited engagement at St. George’s Episcopal Church (209 East 16 St.) Opening night is March 7.Two post-show talkbacks are scheduled during the run. On Monday, March 4, Len Cariou and Judy Kaye will discuss working with Stephen Sondheim. On Monday, March 18, Len and Abigail Hawk will discuss working on CBS’s “Blue Bloods.”Tuesdays with Morrie is the humorous and poignant story of career-obsessed journalist Mitch Albom, who sixteen years after graduation serendipitously learns that his former sociology professor Morrie is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. What starts as a simple visit, turns into a weekly pilgrimage and the last class in the meaning of life.Featuring vocalist Sally Shaw. Original music written and performed on piano by Chris Domig.

The Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC, Executive Director Khady Kamara Nunez and Artistic Director Bill Rauch) announces complete casting and creative team for An American Soldier at the new performing arts center at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.  An American Soldier will premiere in New York during AANHPI Heritage Month with performances starting May 12 through May 19, 2024.

An American Soldier will feature principal cast members Hannah Cho, Alex DeSocio, Nina Yoshida Nelsen and Brian Vu. Ensemble members include Ben Brady, Cierra Byrd, James C. Harris, Shelén Hughes, Joshua Sanders, Christian Simmons and understudies, Misoon Ghim, Luke Harnish and Angela Yam. Photos of the company are available here.

An American Soldier features scenic design by Daniel Ostling, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Jeanette Yew and multi-media design by Nick Hussong, joining the previously announced creative team members Huang Ruo (composer), David Henry Hwang (libretto), Carolyn Kuan (conductor), and Chay Yew (director).

On October 3, 2011, Chinese-American Army Pvt. Danny Chen was found dead in a guard tower at his base in Afghanistan. Based on his story and the ensuing courts-martial of Chen’s fellow soldiers, this New York City premiere opera tells the powerful true story of a young soldier from Manhattan’s Chinatown who sought to serve his country, only to find his biggest threat was the very people who swore to protect him.

Told through the multidimensional music of Huang Ruo (M. Butterfly, Book of Mountains and Seas) with libretto by Tony and Grammy winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Soft Power), and directed by Obie Award winner Chay Yew (Cambodian Rock Band, Sweatshop Overlord), An American Soldier is a powerful and unforgettable experience.

Due to popular demand, Knock at the Gate producers Joseph Discher and Sean Hudock announced a two-week extension of their audio immersive streaming production of The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey, now available to stream virtually through Saturday, March 16.

Tickets for the stream are $9.99 and are available for purchase at KnockattheGate.com. The broadcast is available worldwide on all internet connected devices with a dimmable screen and a pair of headphones. Audiences will receive a link and password to access the listening portal prior to the broadcast.

The cast includes Hale Appleman (SyFy’s “The Magicians,” FX’s “American Horror Story”) as ‘Ariel,’ Tony® and Grammy® Award nominee Emily Skeggs (Broadway’s Fun Home) as ‘Miranda,’ Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle) as ‘Prospero,’ and Derek Wilson (Amazon’s “Gen V,” Hulu’s “Future Man”) as ‘Caliban.’ Rounding out the cast are Michael Daly, Sean Hudock, Greg Jackson, Maurice Jones, Raphael Nash Thomspon, Shane Taylor, Patrick Toon.

Due to popular demand, producers of FIVE: The Parody Musical have put a new block of tickets on sale through April 21. The world-premiere production, initially announced as a limited four-week engagement, will now play an additional 6 weeks Off-Broadway at Theater 555 (555 W 42nd St, NYC). For tickets and further information, visit www.FiveTheMusical.com.

Look out SIX, here comes FIVE: The Parody Musical. Henry VIII and his six wives had nothing on Donald, the 45th, and these five ladies. Poised to make America laugh again, FIVE is an 80-minute, irreverent musical comedy revue starring some of the women in the life of America’s past President. Ivana, Marla, and Melania are joined by crowd favorite Stormy and daddy’s girl Ivanka as they each take the spotlight and sing their hearts out for your vote.

Presented by Five Musical LLC, FIVE: The Parody Musical features a book and lyrics by Shimmy Braun & Moshiel Newman Daphna, music and lyrics by Billy Recce (A Musical About Star Wars, Little Black Book), and direction and choreography by Jen Wineman (Dog Man: The Musical, F#%king Up Everything).

FIVE: The Parody Musical features Anyae Anasia as Ivana, Gabriella Joy Rodriguez (The Color Purple Tour) as Marla, Jaime Lyn Beatty (Stranger Sings! The Parody Musical, Starkid Founding Member) as Melania, Gabi Garcia as Stormy, and Hannah Bonnett (Legally Blonde National Tour) as Ivanka, with a special appearance by drag legend Jasmine Rice LaBeija as Hillary Clinton.

Forbidden Broadway will open on Broadway titled Forbidden Broadway on Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song. It will begin previews on July 29 and open August 15 at the Hayes Theater. Creator Gerard Alessandrini, a Tony honoree for the musical’s Off-Broadway stagings, will direct the Broadway production and it will play a limited run through November 1.The musical revue will feature a five-person cast, who will be joined weekly by guest stars. The production will parody Back to the Future, Company, The Great Gatsby, Hell’s Kitchen, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, The Notebook, Sweeney Todd and Water for Elephants. Forbidden Broadway on Broadway is produced by Broadway & Beyond Theatricals (Ryan Bogner, Victoria Lang and Tracey Stroock McFarland) in association with John Freedson and Harriet Yellin.”

 

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