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For The New Year Be A Hero And Get Immersed In A Mythical Fantasy

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Hero is a new immersive experience venue, that has collaborated with several artists, composers, and producers who have combined to create a method of immersive storytelling that is unique within the world. Their goal is to envelop each guest with an experience that is as beautiful as it is mythic, as open-ended as it is dreamlike. Within their walls, you are the Hero, finding your way through a journey that isn’t always obvious or easy.

Off you go past screens, portal into a tunnel of light arches, soothing videos of water, sound-producing kinetic sculptures made of bronze, brass, and iron from Indonesia. Here a drum plays itself and there are a 120 speakers throughout a feast for the senses.

The mission is to leave you, inspired and transformed by the experience. We are all on a Hero’s journey. This space is an invitation to discover your own.

Right now it’s The Winter Forest of the Northern Lights, a dreamscape of forest mythology set under the spectacle of the Northern Lights, play beneath the snow covered birches, warm up with hot chocolate and mulled wine, leading guests to a sense of awe and peace at its end.

The experience takes guests on a poetic journey through seven artistic interpretations of winter, of light, and of the magic of the season. The installations include:

The Winter Wish – A magical introduction video that welcomes guests into our poetic story via a larger-than-life 60 ft wide by 10ft tall LED video installation.

The Northern Forest – Two wishing pools are surrounded by birch trees, an invitation to reflect, and audio inspired by Scandinavian myths of the winter.

The Eastern Forest – Guests are invited to find a comfortable spot to sit and absorb the resonance of handcrafted gongs from Indonesia while gazing upon the inverted tree of light.

The Aurora Borealis – The center installation is a stunning overhead display of the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) in a room filled with starlight and snow for guests to play in.

The Western Forest – The final experience invites our guests to get lost in a winter maze filled with snow and fog, with audio offering another moment for reflection and looking forward.

The Enchanted Cocoa Bar – Presented in partnership with Maison du Chocolate, our guests are invited to partake in artisanal hot chocolate and mystical elixirs to warm hearts and minds during this cold season.
Festive refreshments such as hot chocolate and mulled wine are also available for purchase to warm cold bodies and cast a new light on the family and friends around.

Hero is located on the Rink Level of Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, between 49th and 50th Street and 5th and 6th Avenues.

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

Move Over Daisy Jones & The Six Stereophonic Has Taken Up The Gauntlet

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Daisy Jones & the Six is a hit series on Amazon Prime that follows a rock band in the 1970s from their rise in the LA music scene to becoming one of the most famous bands in the world. This was based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book of the same name and was partly inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Stereophonic is like binge watching episodes of this TV series, live on stage for three hours. 


Opening tonight, David Adjmi’s high drama play is set in a recording studio in Sausalito, California in 1976, until the last act when they record in LA. The set by David Zinn, has us inside the control room where we can see inside the sound booth. In the beginning, it is hard to hear the words as everyone is talking over each other. Sex, drugs especially coke, alcohol, cigarettes, joints, infidelity and music are what’s at stake and we are eavesdropping in.

Andrew R. Butler and Eli Gelb Photo by Julieta Cervantes

We first meet Grover (Eli Gelb), an untested producer who has lied to everyone about his credentials and his nerdy assistant Charlie (Andrew R. Butler), who are trying to keep the band who are very much like Fleetwood Mac on track. On lead guitar and vocals, Peter (Tom Pecinka) a control freak, perfectionist, lead songwriter and vocalist who is emotionally abusive. He is in a nine year relationship with Diana (Sarah Pidgeon), also the lead singer who is insecure, neurotic, an up and coming songwriter, who very much like Riley Keough in Daisy Jones & the Six. From England are keyboardist and singer Holly (Juliana Canfield) who is stable, warm and going through a terrible marriage to bassist Reg (Will Brill), who is an addict in every sense of the word. And finally Simon (Chris Stack), a drummer who parties to the hilt, as his marriage falls apart due to the recording of the album going way over the time frame given.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The question becomes; can this group of talented performers complete this album without killing each other or themselves? In the course of the 3+ hours, we start to really care about the outcome.

Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

In the meantime, we hear fragments and whole songs that are really well done. Tender, yearning ballads of hope and despair written by Will Butler highlight this slice of life. The songs become the feelings that are unexpressed.

Chris Stack and Will Brill Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The cast is incredible, with each one giving us a complete profile. Gelb and Butler give us comedic dazed and confused nerds, whose chemistry is infectious. Gelb’s character is so out of his depth, as he is forced to be the one to keep this gang together despite Pecinka egocentric narcissistic personality. Pidgeon and Pecinka are perfect as lovers tearing each other apart. Stack gives us loss that is heartbreaking. Canfield gives us layers in a role that could be lost but it is Brill who steals the show with his brilliant portrayal as a rock star who lives his life to access.

Juliana Canfield Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Juliana Canfield Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Enver Chakartash’s costumes, Tommy Kurzman’s wigs and hairstyling, Jiyoun Chang’s  lighting, and Ryan Rumery’s multidirectional sound are groovy and out a sight.

Tom Pecinka and Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Director Daniel Aukin keeps this chaos intact, as the music exacts its reward.

Tom Pecinka, Juliana Canfield and Sarah Pidgeon by Julieta Cervantes

The music is so good that Sony Masterworks Broadway will release an original cast recording produced by Playwrights Horizons where the show originally played and features the original songs by Academy Award® nominee and Grammy Award® winner Will Butler, formerly of Arcade Fire wrote. The digital album arrives May 10, 2024, with the physical CD release set for June 14. The Album is available for preorder now.

Stereophonic: Broadway’s Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th Street.

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Broadway

Chip Zien Is Honored at Sardi’s and The Original Cast of Falsettos Unite

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The iconic Chip Zien was honored with his portrait at Sardi’s. Sierra Boggess roasted him to the hilt

Zien has spent almost 50 years on Broadway.


Zien was the Baker in the original 1987 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods filmed by the PBS.

The Baker’s Wife Joanna Gleason

In the 90’s he replaced Michael Jeter is Grand Hotel.

Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Alison Fraser, Mary Testa

In 1992 he was Mendel in the groundbreaking William Finn and James Lapine musical Falsettos. He appeared in all of the “Marvin Trilogy” musicals by Finn: In Trousers (1979), March of the Falsettos (1981), Falsettoland (1990) and Falsettos (1992).

Carolee Carmella

Alison Fraser

Gregg Edelman, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien,  Carolee Carmello, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser

Gregg Edelman, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Carolee Carmella, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser

In 1998 Zien was featured in another Finn musical A New Brain. He received a 1999 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for this role.

Anne Nathan and Mary Testa

He appeared in the Off-Broadway play Isn’t It Romantic by Wendy Wasserstein and was nominated for the 1984 Drama Desk Award, Featured Actor in a Play.

Gregg Edelman, Carolee Carmella, Christine Pedi

In 2005, Zien played the part of Goran in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway.

In 2007, Zien was a replacement in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables in the role of Monsieur Thénardier.

Richard Kind

From April 1 to June 19, 2011, Zien appeared in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The People in the Picture, which played at Studio 54 on Broadway.

Sierra Boggess

Zien appeared in the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Chip signing his portrait

In 1973, Zien made his television debut on an episode of Love, American Style. More guest roles followed. In 1981, he appeared on Ryan’s Hope and began a two-year run in Love, Sidney, then Reggie. He provided the voice of the title character in Marvel Comics’ Howard the Duck. Zien later starred on the short-lived CBS drama Shell Game in 1987.

Carolee Carmello, Joanna Gleason, CHip Zien

In the 1990s, Zien was part of the ensemble cast of the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect and had regular roles in the daytime soaps Guiding Light and All My Children, until 2001.

Stefano Da Frè, Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess

From 1999 to 2000, Zien had a recurring guest role on the CBS primetime drama Now and Again and  appeared repeatedly as Attorney Cromwell on Law & Order.

During the 2002–03 season, Zien was the announcer on daytime’s The Caroline Rhea Show, and in 2006, he appeared in the critically acclaimed film United 93 was in the vampire comedy film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead.

Joy Hermalyn

He was also in Caroline or Change on Broadway.

Bruce Sussman

Sierra Boggess, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld

Blake Roman, Steven Telsey,Sean Bell, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Zal Owen

His last show was Harmony, the musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. His role as the adult Rabbi, the last surviving Harmonist was hailed by the critic’s and audiences alike. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal.

It was so fitting that this prolific performer hang on these hallowed walls. Congregations this was well deserved.

Up Next for Chip Zien is Titanic at City Centers Encore series.

 

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Broadway

Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman for Hamony at The Museum of Broadway

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On Thursday, April 18th, The Museum of Broadway located at 145 W. 45th Street, just east of Times Square, presented a brief A Cappella performance by The Comedian Harmonists played by Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Sean Bell and Zal Owen, welcoming remarks were made by Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway, Chip Zien the lead in Harmony was in attendance, as were Barry Manilow & Bruce Sussman.

The reason for this event was the unveiling of the Museum of Broadway’s Harmony-inspired window dedicated to The Comedian Harmonists.


In Berlin, 1927, The Comedian Harmonists were six remarkably talented young men form a singing group who become international sensations: They sold millions of records, starred in major motion pictures, and played the biggest theaters around the world. By 1935, they were never heard from again. What happened? That’s the extraordinary true story of Harmony that played on Broadway. Now The Museum of Broadway is keeping their memory alive.

Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

The Comedian Harmonists and Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway

Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Sean Bell and Zal Owen, and Chip Zien

 

 

 

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Cabaret

Autumn in New York, in April 

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Have you ever had an acquaintance that you knew for many years, and then one day you realize there’s so much more to this person, and before you know it, you can’t get enough of them?  If this is familiar, you’ll understand the kind of experience we all had at Chelsea Table + Stage Sunday night when Klea Blackhurst left us no choice but to fall in love with Vernon Duke.   

Klea took us on a journey exploring the life and music of this man, who was born Vladimir Dukelsky,  and operated under both names.  He wasn’t a spy, but one of those rare remarkable talents that could have one foot in Tin Pan Alley and the other in Carnegie Hall.  Klea reminded us of others in this category: Leonard Bernstein and Kurt Weill were two.  Even Cole Porter dabbled on the classical side, producing the ballet Within the Quota.  Dukelsky took charge of the classical side of this man, composing symphonies and concertos, and even a ballet for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes.    

Life took a turn for Mr. Dukelsky when he met George Gershwin who told him to “not be scared about going low-brow—that’s where the money is!”.  Gershwin also encouraged him to change his name, and Vernon Duke was born!    

Klea delivered the standards Duke was known for: Taking a Chance on Love, Autumn in New York, April in Paris et al with her usual panache.  But then there were songs I had never heard before, like Not a Care in the World and Poor as a Church Mouse which had a charm that made one hope for more. 

With her characteristic warmth and enthusiasm, Klea peppered this lesson in Vernon Duke with tidbits that those of us who live for this music relish.  Did you know that Duke wrote April in Paris in ten minutes?  No show of Klea’s is complete without a mention of Ethel Merman.  In 1944, Ethel was to star in a new musical by Duke and Deitz entitled Sadie Thompson.  After a brief rehearsal period, Ethel quit over a dispute about the name of a lipstick!   

Finally, did you know that Mary Martin was asked by Rodgers and Hammerstein to be the original Laurey in Oklahoma!?   And after she turned it down, they sent her flowers on every anniversary of the opening.  For details, catch this show next time around.  Or ask Klea yourself—she’ll be back at Chelsea Table+ Stage on May 5 for her Jerry Herman show—One of the Girls.  But wait—there’s more!   On September 15 you can join her for Dreaming of a Song—a salute to Mr. Stardust himself, Hoagy Carmichael.  and on November 20 join in the fun with An Evening with Klea Blackhurst.    

For those unfamiliar with the Blackhurst magic, Klea’s love and enthusiasm for what she does is infectious, and no one leaves one of her performances without catching some of her fire.  If there was ever an antidote to the blues, it’s Klea Blackhurst. 

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Entertainment

Tribeca Festival Announces TV Lineup

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The 2024 Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, today announced its lineup of television and original indie episodic series. The Festival, which takes place June 5-16, showcases highly anticipated world premieres of new and returning programs from networks and streamers at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling including Apple TV+, AMC, HBO, Hulu, Paramount+, and more.

This year’s TV lineup features 11 series premieres and two first looks at returning classics. World premieres include Hulu’s Mastermind: To Think Like A Killer, executive produced by Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, an in-depth exploration of Dr. Anne Burgess’ career and her successful journey to closing some of America’s most infamous criminal cases; Hollywood Black, executive produced by Justin Simien, an examination of the Black experience in Hollywood featuring conversations with Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, and Ava DuVernay; and Apple TV+’s Presumed Innocent, a legal thriller starring and executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal, hailing from David E. Kelley and executive producer J.J. Abrams, also with Ruth Negga and Peter Sarsgaard.

The program also spotlights docuseries from ESPN’s In the Arena: Serena Williams, a masterclass in professional sports excellence, exploring the most pivotal and intimate moments of Serena Williams’ life and career; MSNBC’s The Turning Point: To Be Destroyed follows Dave Eggers in a fiery investigation of a local school district’s banning of his novel; and Paramount+’s Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken, an impactful two-part special about Melissa Etheridge’s bond with incarcerated women at the Topeka Correctional Facility and the power of music as a conduit of empathy and healing. Etheridge will perform a short acoustic set at the Beacon Theatre following the world premiere, presented by City National Bank.

Fan favorite shows include a return to The Walking Dead universe with season two of AMC’s The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol, which follows Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in a post-apocalyptic France and Carol Peletier’s (Melissa McBride) journey to find him, and the final season of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend finds Elena (Alba Rohrwacher) and Lila (Irene Maiorino) entangled, once again, amid the political violence and social unrest of the late 80’s in Italy.

“The episodic realm is rich in phenomenal storytelling, and Tribeca’s 2024 TV and NOW program delivers the very best of narrative and documentary series. Audiences can look forward to diving into the testimonies of brilliant visionaries like Serena Williams, Melissa Etheridge, and the original subjects of the Stanford Prison Experiment, all of whom will be joining us at the Festival to present their stories,” said Tribeca Senior Programmer Liza Domnitz. “We’re also thrilled to present international adaptations of beloved books from award-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo with Mr. Loverman and the farewell season premiere of Elena Ferrante’s stunning My Brilliant Friend.”

Tribeca Festival’s NOW program continues to uncover compelling independent episodic work, including short and long-form pilots and series. The 2024 NOW showcase focuses on seven standout titles, including a special Untitled Tim Burton Docuseries, a journey of Tim Burton’s excellence in melding the ominous and the frightful with a sense of whimsy created by Tara Wood; Yanqui, a story of love and life’s unexpected outcomes directed by award-winning filmmaker Kyle Hausmann-Stokes; and Juice, Mawaan Rizwan’s hilariously surreal BAFTA TV nominated series, co-starring Russell Tovey (Feud).

Over the years, Tribeca’s TV program has world-premiered numerous award-winning series, including season one of FX’s The Bear with Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and Ayo Edebiri; HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale starring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel; HBO’s Chernobyl with Jared Harris, Emily Watson, and Stellan Skarsgård; and more.

The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Shorts Programming Ben Thompson; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz, Faridah Gbadamosi, Jarod Neece, José F. Rodriguez; Programmers Casey Baron, Jason Gutierrez, Jonathan Penner, and Madison Egan; VP of Games and Immersive Casey Baltes and Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska; EVP of Artist Relations Nancy Lefkowitz and VP of Artist Relations Meredith Mohr; Curator of Audio Storytelling Davy Gardner; Music Programmer Vincent Cassous; along with a team of associate programmers; supported and inspired by the legendary Paula Weinstein.

The full TV and NOW lineups are detailed below. For more updates on programming follow @Tribeca and #Tribeca2024 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and to purchase passes and ticket packages for the 2024 Tribeca Festival, go to tribecafilm.com/festival.

 

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