Connect with us

Off Broadway

GOREY: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey Misses The Mark

Published

on

GOREY: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey
Phil Gillen, Aidan Sank

Phil Gillen, Aidan Sank

I was a huge fan of Edward Gorey in my early teens. I can recite most of “The Gashlycrumb Tinies,” by heart. Because of that book, I created my own book of demented carols, much to my schools and parents dismay. It was with glee that I headed to the Sheen Center to catch GOREY: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey. Three actors simultaneously play Gorey at various stages of his life and sometimes all at once. We have Phil Gillen in his mid 20s, Aidan Sank in his mid 30s and Andrew Dawson as Gorey at 75. In this production Gorey comes off as closeted, he was not. Rebuffed for being a gay man and a shut-in. Gone is his working in the Art Department of Doubleday illustrating Bram Stroker’s Dracula, The War of the Worlds or Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Not talked about is his Tony Award winning efforts for Dracula on Broadway. What about his work on PBS’s Mystery? 

Phil Gillen, Andrew Dawson, Aidan Sank

Phil Gillen, Andrew Dawson, Aidan Sank

Though it is true he lived up in Cape Cod, he was hardly a recluse. He was known for his papier-mache puppet shows known as Le Theatricule Stoique. Gorey was a huge lover of the ballet and he religiously attended all performances of the New York City Ballet in fur coats and tennis shoes. It wasn’t until 1995 to his death in April 2000 that Gorey became a recluse. I state all this because the show does not.

Andrew Dawson

Andrew Dawson

Written and directed by Travis Russ, the artistic director of the Life Jacket Theatre Company we are lead to believe this is a fantasy, yet the play is almost entirely biographical. Gorey did go to Harvard where he shared a room with Frank O’Hara. He did get rejected by The New Yorker. He did love George Balanchine choreography for the New York City Ballet, but did they have an affair because this show makes the audience believe they did. They make his recluse days seem forever, when in fact they were only five years. It is more of an outing to get Edward out of the closet, but as Edward stated: “I’m neither one thing nor the other particularly. I am fortunate in that I am apparently reasonably undersexed or something … I’ve never said that I was gay and I’ve never said that I wasn’t … what I’m trying to say is that I am a person before I am anything else …”

The performances are riveting, but the story highly confusing. Especially when the youngest Gorey states: “Did something happen to me? When was it?” Both my guest and I took it that meant Gorey had been abused, but that subject is dropped.

I found myself not interested in this man I have admired for so long and my guest who did not know Gorey’s work was just as unknowledgeable.

GOREY: The Secret Lives of Edward Gorey: Life Jacket Theatre Company, The Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker St.through January 14.

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

Off Broadway

Let’s Talk to Lindsay Heather Pearce and Jordan Donica Guest Stars of The New Rock Musical, Exorcistic

Published

on

The new rock musical, Exorcistic will premier in NYC just in time for Halloween. The show will come to NYC for its limited viewing on October 8th through October 23rd at The Box. The unauthorized parody of The Exorcist was brought back by popular demand after their sold-out run at The Three Clubs in Los Angeles.

Lindsay Heather Pearce (Wicked and Titanique,) will be featured in the opening cast. Each night there will be a different special guest performer who will be played by: Marissa Rosen (For the Girls, Water for Elephants, Modern Love) Nick Cearly (The Skivvies, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown) Jillian Schiralli (CATS, now that’s what i call 90s) Gerard Canonico (Almost Famous, The Dude Ranch) Jordan Donica (Camelot, Rent, Hamilton) Jamie Cepero (SMASH, The Function) and more!
The musical parody brings about horror, hilarity, and the most powerhouse rock tunes you’ll see in a theater this year! The production brings to roaring life with iconic imagery and an explosive live band, with book, lyrics, and music by two-time Ovation Award winner Michael Shaw Fisher. This is the story of a movie star whose daughter becomes possessed and is helped by priests who try to save her.
The show stars Emma Hunton (Freeform’s Good Trouble, Wicked, and Rent) reprises her role from the LA production, The Summer Set’s frontman Brian Logan Dales, Leigh Wolf (Exorcistic 2013), Jesse Merlin (For Love of the Glove, Re-Animator the Musical), Nick Bredosky (UMPO 10 Things I Hate About You) Kim Dalton (Cluelesque, Toil & Trouble) Mitchell Gerrard Johnson (A New Brain) Gabby Sanalitro (That 90’s Show) and Tyler Olshanksky.
The Box is located at 189 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002.  The show will start promptly at 7:30 pm with the doors opening at 6:30 pm. Tickets are now available and can be purchased here
To listen to the cast album of EXORCISTIC: The Rock Musical, click here
Video by Magda Katz
Continue Reading

Off Broadway

Opening Night of Golden Rainbow

Published

on

Last night the York Theatre Company presented their production of Golden Rainbow, with book by Ernest Kinoy and music and lyrics by Walter Marks, the third offering of the Fall 2023 “Musicals in Mufti” series. Performances continue through Sunday, October 1, 2023.

Jonathan Brody

The show stars Max Von Essen (York’s Tenderloin)

Benjamin Pajak

Benjamin Pajak (Broadway’s The Music Man)

Mara Davi

Mara Davi (Broadway’s Dames at Sea)

Robert Cuccioli

Robert Cuccioli

Robert Cuccioli (York’s Rothschild & Sons)

Danielle Lee Greaves

Danielle Lee Greaves (Broadway’s Parade)

Felipe Barbosa Bombonato

Felipe Barbosa Bombonato (Les Misérables)

Jonathan Brody

Jonathan Brody (The Sorceress)

Nick Cearley

Nick Cearley (The Skivvies),

Jillian Louis

Jillian Louis (York’s The Game of Love),

Gina Milo

Gina Milo (York’s Subways Are for Sleeping)

Maria Wirries

Jillian Louis, Gina Milo, Maria Wirries

and Maria Wirries (York’s Penelope: or How The Odyssey Was Really Written).

Golden Rainbow is directed by Stuart Ross (York’s Enter Laughing), with music direction by David Hancock Turner (York’s Cheek to Cheek and Desperate Measures). The production team includes Lighting Designer Garett Pembrook, Projections/Sound Designer Peter Brucker, Production Manager Aaron Simms, Production Coordinator Noah Glaister, Production Stage Manager Hailey Delaney, Assistant Stage Manager Carson Ferguson, and Company Manager Tori Calderon-Caswell.

Jim Morgan, Producing Artistic Director

Walter Marks and Producer Riki Kane Larimer

The Golden Rainbow cast

Jim Morgan, Walter Marks, Director Stuart Ross

Walter Marks, Benjamin Pajak

Director Stuart Ross, Benjamin Pajak

the Golden Rainbow Cast

Robert Cuccioli

The band

Robert Cuccioli, Benjamin Pajak, Max Von Essen

Robert Cuccioli, Max Von Essen

Walter Marks, Benjamin Pajak, Producer Riki Kane Larimer, Director Stuart Ross

Jim Morgan, Walter Marks, Benjamin PajakProducer Riki Kane Larimer, Director Stuart Ross

Lee Roy Reams, Lorna Dallas, Max Von Essen

Jim Morgan, Lee Roy Reams, Lorna Dallas, Max Von Essen, Jamie deRoy

Jillian Louis, Max Von Essen, Gina Milo, Maria Wirries, Robert Cuccioli

Gina Milo, Jillian Louis, Nick Cearley, Maria Wirries

Jim Caruso, Max Von Essen, Nicholas King

Jim Morgan, Joan Ross Sorkin, Producer Riki Kane Larimer and the York board

 

Continue Reading

Off Broadway

Golden Rainbow…indeed! 

Published

on

By

By Jacqueline Parker 

Nature’s reward for enduring a spate of rain and gloomy weather is a rainbow. The York has delivered just that in their latest production in their Mufti series, Golden Rainbow. This musical from the late 60s is always mentioned among aficionados of this art form with wistful smiles and fond remembrances. The York has brought it back to life in a version that features some new lyrics by original composer/lyricist Walter Marks that carry the storyline into this century.   

Robert Cuccioli , Max Von Essen
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

From the opening notes of the Jule Styne-esque overture to the rousing finale, the audience was toe-and-finger tapping along to the sounds so evocative of the time when most of us were very young. The story itself is touching—a single father of a boy on the brink of teenhood must wrestle with the choice of saving his livelihood or letting his son move to the other side of the country with his aunt. The connection between father and son is made clear through several songs delivered touchingly by dad Max Von Essen and son Benjamin Pajak. 

Mari Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

The arrival under a false pretense of Mara Davi as Aunt Judy sets the plot spinning and allows Robert Cuccioli as mobster Carmine Malatesta and Danielle Lee Greaves as Jill to play their part in the resolution with songs hilarious and touching.   

Max Von Essen and Mara Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

If the story seems familiar it’s because it is taken from the film “A Hole in the Head,” based on the same source material, that starred Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges singing the Oscar-winning song High Hopes. Golden Rainbow opened in 1968 starring Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme in the leads. They were household names at the time, based on their talent and popularity from television appearances and cabaret performances.   

Max Von Essen and Benjamin Pajak
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Perhaps most impressive in this production was Von Essen’s version of the hit song “I Gotta Be Me.” It was haunting as it built in intensity and left the audience almost breathless at the end of Act 1. 

Benjamin Pajak
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Pajak, familiar to all from his recent appearances in Oliver! and The Music Man was astounding in his ability to project the at times heartbreaking and lovingly joyous emotions of his character.

Mari Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Mara Davi’s character has her own roller coaster ride of emotions, which she transmits with style and conviction.

Robert Cuccioli Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

Robert Cuccioli was hilarious as a mobster singing Taste,

Danielle Lee Greaves Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

and Danielle Lee Greaves delivered two of the new songs, making me hope for a new recording of this terrific show soon.   

Max Von Essen and Benjamin Pajak
Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

The clock is ticking on this gem of a show – it closes Sunday, October 1st.  Get your tickets at yorktheatre.org and find your own pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. 

Max Von Essen and Mara Davis Photo Credit: Rider R. Foster

 

Continue Reading

Broadway

Theatre News: Here We Are, Some Like It Hot, A Beautiful Noise, All The Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain and The Laramie Project

Published

on

The curtain rose last tonight on the first performance of the final Stephen Sondheim musical. Here We Are, the new musical from David Ives and Sondheim, is on stage at The Shed’s Griffin Theater (545 W. 30th Street), with an Opening Night on Sunday, October 22, for 15 weeks only.

Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, the cast of Here We Are will feature 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 understudies for Here We Are are Adante Carter, Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Bradley Dean, Mehry Eslaminia, Adam Harrington, and Bligh Voth.

Here We Are is inspired by two films, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel.

Here We Are will include choreography by Sam Pinkleton, set design and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Tom Gibbons, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision and additional arrangements by Alexander Gemignani, hair & make-up design by Wigmaker Associates, and casting by The Telsey Office.

Tickets are on sale on TheShed.org.

For each performance, a limited number of $25 tickets will be available via a weekly lottery, which will open for entries on the TodayTix app each Sunday at 12:01 AM for the coming week’s performances and will close at 12:00 PM on the day before each performance. Winners will be notified by push notification and email between 1 – 4 PM on the day before their selected show, and will have 30 minutes to claim their tickets in the app. Entrants may request 1 or 2 tickets, and entry is free and open to all.

Via TodayTix’s mobile rush program, a limited number of $40 same-day rush tickets will be available for that day’s performance of Here We Are at 9:00 AM each day on a first-come, first-served basis. Users can download the app and “unlock” rush tickets by sharing the program on social media ahead of their desired performance day.  

The most award-winning musical of the 2022-2023 season, Some Like It Hot, will play for 13 more weeks through Saturday, December 30, 2023, at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street) before launching a national tour and West End production.

Awarded Best Musical by The Drama League, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle, Some Like It Hot received over 20+ major awards throughout the 2022-2023 season, including four Tony Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Musical (J. Harrison Ghee), Best Choreography (Casey Nicholaw), Best Orchestrations (Charlie Rosen & Bryan Carter) and Best Costumes in a Musical (Gregg Barnes). J. Harrison Ghee made history as the first non-binary performer to take home the Tony Award in their category.

A national tour will launch in September 2024 and a West End production will follow in 2025, produced by The Shubert Organization and Neil Meron in partnership with Ambassador Theatre Group.

At the time of the final performance, the production will have played the Shubert Theatre for over a year, for a total of 483 performances.

Will Swenson and the cast. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Will Swenson, who is electrifying audiences with his star turn in A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical, will play his final performance as ‘Neil Diamond – Then’ at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street) on Sunday, October 29. Casting for the role of ‘Neil Diamond – Then’ will be announced at a future date.

The unofficial commencement of “spooky season” takes place this Friday, September 29, when Tony Award® Nominee and Grammy Award® Winner Patrick Page returns to the New York stage in All The Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain, a new work created and performed by Mr. Page, based on the villains of William Shakespeare. Directed by Simon Godwin, the solo show will play the DR2 Theatre (103 E 15th Street) beginning Friday, September 29, with an Opening Night set for Monday, October 16, for 14 weeks only.

Tickets are now available at allthedevilsplay.com, Telecharge  or by visiting the DR2 Theatre box office (103 E 15th Street).

Julie White

Julie White and Brandon Uranowitz will join Ato Blankson-Wood in a staged benefit reading of The Laramie Project. Moises Kaufman and the Members of Tectonic Theatre Project’s The Laramie Projectwill bedirected by Dustin Wills (Wolf Play, Wet Brain). The event, which will raise funds to support the work of The Trevor Project, will take place on Monday, October 16th at 7:00 PM at Peter Norton Symphony Space, and is being produced by District Productions. Additional casting is soon to be announced. For tickets and more information, visit https://www.symphonyspace.org/events/vp-the-laramie-project-a-benefit-staged-reading

Continue Reading

Off Broadway

Meet Michel Wallerstein and Spencer Aste of Chasing Happy

Published

on

Pulse Theatre will be presenting Chasing Happy a new comedy by Michel Wallerstein (Flight, Five Women Waiting, Off Hand). Directed by Pulse Theatre co-Founder Alexa Kelly (Strings Attached).

Video by Magda Katz

The company of Chasing Happy features Spencer Aste (Wake Up, Axis Theatre), Jenny Bennett (City of Ladies, Pulse Theatre), Schyler Conaway in his Off-Broadway debut, Christopher James Murray (The Falling Season, Theatre Row), and Elizabeth Shepherd (Relatively Speaking and Conduct Unbecoming on Broadway; War and Peace and Inherit the Wind in London’s West End).

T2C talked to Michel Wallerstein and Spencer Aste to learn more.

Chasing Happy is a modern comedy about personal identity, love, acceptance …and the elusive pursuit of happiness. Nick is in love with another man’s boyfriend. (Oops.) Nick’s mother says George Clooney wants to date her (Really?). Nick’s ex-wife says she has to have surgery.( Now?) …It’s a laugh a minute on an unexpected merry-go-round when you’re chasing happy.

The limited engagement will play a five-week limited engagement, October 11 through November 11, at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, NYC). Opening night is Thursday, October 19 at 7PM. Tickets are now on sale at TheatreRow.org or by calling the box office, 212-714-2442 ext. 45.

For more information visit www.ChasingHappyOffBroadway.com.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles