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He Says: NYTW’s Expands the Cycle with a Crowded “runboyrun” & a Solidly Finished “In Old Age”

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I’ve been here before, in this place where playwright Mfoniso Udofia has dropped her fascinating and detailed characters down into, both worlds that are parallel universes of sorts projecting forward into the future through her detailed and dynamic saga, The Ufot Cycle. It encircles within in nine slices, a powerfully spiritual immigrant story of family and trauma told by a wide eyed genius that sees deep inside the souls of her troubled characters. She parcels them out, packing in unhurried details, and than finds the space and patient deliberations to let them run fully around within the framework. In May 2017 on the same New York Theatre Workshop stage, two one-act plays from that cycle, Sojourners and Her Portmanteau premiered to acclaim. They were the first and the fourth part of her nine segment transportational drama. Now NYTW delivers another powerful pairing; part three, runboyrun and part eight, In Old Age, dynamically uncovering layers and layers of trauma, buried under the blankets and floorboards, powerfully coupled for us to delve into and unpack. It’s genius in its huge majestic scope and connective tissue, one that itches and claws at the skin to be released into the cold air of Worcester, Massachusetts.

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Adrianna K. Mitchell and Karl Green in runboyrun. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Set in the Ufot family’s present-day Worcester home with the 1968 Nigeria Biafran Civil War running rampant up and around their exhausted souls, runboyrun and In Old Age breath more life and sorrow into the Ufot family story. It’s a storied tale about finding a pathway forward, even when tragic history keeps haunting the basement down below. In runboyrun, the man of the house, Disciple Ufot, intensely portrayed by Chiké Johnson (Milwaukee Rep’s Our Town) comes home after a disastrous day to find his wife, Abasiama Ufot, dynamically played by the phenomenal Patrice Johnson Chevannes (CSC’s Mies Julie) hiding herself under a mountain of blankets. She’s trying to keep warm in a cold house, but the layering against the chill resonates far beyond the crumbling sofa. It’s a telling reintroduction to the female center piece of the cycle, but in runboyrun she’s the support network, even if she can barely crawl out from under to engage.

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Patrice Johnson Chevannes, Chiké Johnson, Karl Green and Adrianna K. Mitchell in runboyrun. Photo by Joan Marcus.

This is her husband’s sad convoluted story, his PTSD enlivened and spinning into a full break from reality, down in the confines of his own personal hell below. When the spirits come around, bringing the hot air and warfare of Nigeria to the unheated basement, they present themselves as something more than just tormentors, but as simple scared refugees trying to stay alive against all odds. Johnson’s Disciple hears them buzzing in the background, and clutching at his leg, but can’t quite grab hold. He tries to chant the quiet young Disciple, powerfully portrayed by Karl Green (Public’s Socrates) and his caring sister, tenderly played by Adrianna Mitchell (Two River’s Noises Off), away, pleading to be left alone in his discomfort and pain. But they don’t pay him any heed. The memory siblings are kind and warm to each other, filling our hearts with their care, but the spiritual manifestations of his older brother, Benjamin Adesola, strongly portrayed by Osakalumi (Broadway’s Equus) and his mother, played with a powerful combative force by Zenzi Williams (Broadway’s The Crucible) complicate the survival tactics of the young pair, uncovering years of harrowing memories that rip into the sanity of the older Disciple leaving him shaking with terror.

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Chiké Johnson, Karl Green and Adesola Osakalumi in runboyrun. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Tearing him and his marriage apart, the visage of those tragic events keeps Disciple’s heat on down in that cold basement and in his spiraling psyche. As directed with a complex overlapping by Loretta Greco (Public’s Lakawanna Blues), the fracturing takes on a weighty but overly crowded flight. The circling seems out of control, but in those hectic last moments, the piece finally feels like it is not tripping over itself in that small basement space designed by Andrew Boyce (Rattlestick/Barrow St’s Buyer & Cellar). But living out its potential to climb. 

With strong costuming by Karen Perry (PR’s Mothers) and telling lighting by Oona Curley (Vineyard’s Good Grief) the play, in its rotating madness, finally feels blown wide open and not clumsy, even as the parallel universes come cracking and spiraling around us all. The older couple cling to one another, in confusion and desperation, in the same way his mind is pulsating, trying so hard to hold on to reality and his wife. These phantoms are determined to repeat the same painful memory over and over again, flooding his senses, unless, or until they are flushed out into the arms of Disciple’s enlivened worried wife, Abasiama. 

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Ron Canada and Patrice Johnson Chevannes in In Old Age. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The runboyrun tale and the staging is complex and frenetic as somewhat suggested in the play’s subtitle, “Civil War” but the battle is somewhat cluttered at the beginning, with lots of space being left unused while one thin strip of basement is overly crowded with the same air/same feelings of memories long past (it’s also hard to see through the heads of other audience members into that same basement), but In Old Age, as directed with a more centered focus by Awoye Timpo (PR’s The Revolving Cycles…), the new chapter finds a cleaner vision. Abasiama is still hiding underneath a pile of blankets. “This is good for me” she says, and even though the time is far into the future, she is still trying hard to find warmth and safety in that same old house. And then a knock is heard at the door. A real knock. Not the knocking of an angry dead husband downstairs, courtesy of original music composer and sound designer David Van Tieghem (Broadway’s Heisenberg), but a flooring expert by the name of Azell Abernathy, beautifully portrayed by the excellent Ron Canada (Broadway’s Network) who has been sent to salvage the house from disintegrating from under her feet. The reality, though, is that salvation is more for the woman under the blankets than the floorboards beneath her feet.

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Patrice Johnson Chevannes in In Old Age. Photo by Joan Marcus.

This be a gift“, he says, not just to her, but to us all, as In Old Age pulsates with a simple but engaging two handed manner, finding pain and dissociation buried deep within the history of these struggling souls. The loud fervor of anger and hurt from down below reverberates throughout the house, just like it did in runboyrun, but the body-less groans almost carry a more pronounced punch into her ribs. The incessant bangs almost get drowned out by the Christian music blaring from the old television that keeps Abasiama warm and cocooned all day and all night, but not enough to shield her. They still shatter her bones and rattle our brains. They unnerve the old woman at the heart of this cycle, but those sounds are not what disturbs Azell. His history and their engagement do more to unsettle him than any noise ever could.

The two deliver the shiny oak red surfaces with a perfect alignment, balancing  the enactments with one another with powerful precision, as well as ripping up the floorboards of pain below. The play is subtitled, “Purge and Passing”, which feels just about right, as their history and trauma needs to be purged most purposefully from the basement shadows to finally pass away into the night air. The release is given, something Disciple Ufot tried so hard to do in runboyrun. Together these two disconnected characters, and the very fine actors portraying them, come together, giving us a second-to-last chapter in a saga that connects strongly over the jarring bangs of the past. I’m curious what the final chapter, Adia & Clora Snatch Joy, with the subtitle, “Kismet”, will reconcile. And even more curious to see the whole arch played out in succession.

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Ron Canada in In Old Age. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The words that make up the titles and footnotes of her plays are powerful and packed deep with emotions and meaning. ‘Sojourners‘ signifies someone who is on a temporary stay somewhere foreign, runboyrun is a command for surviving trauma raining down from the skies, ‘Portmanteau‘ signifies a bag to carry clothing in while traveling, and In Old Age pulls out an old women buried in the pain of her history so she can finally learn the true nature of love and connection, even when the noise of her past is suffocating the ideal. Crafted with precision by Udofia in order to examine a Nigerian family who find themselves dropped down in 1970’s United States, the interwoven dynamics are bound to be heavy in familial baggage. Stuffed to the breaking point, straining at the latches, desperate to be released, and unpacked before our eyes. It’s a saga that collides and combusts, and must be savored as the long closed PTSD vaults are released to formulate a bridge between two very different worlds.

RUNBOYRUN & In Old AgeNew York Theatre Workshop
Ron Canada and Patrice Johnson Chevannes in In Old Age. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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

Summer Listening: Here We Are, Water for Elephants, Days of Wine and Roses, Harmony, How to Dance in Ohio, The Great Gatsby, Lempicka, The Outsiders, Stereophonic and Suffs  

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Today Concord Theatricals Recordings released the original cast recording of Here We Are, on CD and digital platforms worldwide. The album will be available on 2-LP, 180g baby blue vinyl on Friday, September 6. Here We Are (Original Cast Recording) has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, and music supervision and additional arrangements by Alexander Gemignani, conducting a 14-piece orchestra. The album was recorded and mixed by Ian Kagey and mastered by Oscar Zambrano. The album packaging was designed by Derek Bishop. Complete production credits can be found in the album booklet available for free download HERE.

Stream, download or purchase the album HERE.

The album features the cast of Joe Mantello’s celebrated world premiere production: Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannaval

Ghostlight Records has announced that Water for Elephants: Original Broadway Cast Recording, which preserves the show’s soaring score by the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co., is available in streaming and digital formats today, Friday, May 17. A CD is being planned for this summer. The show has been nominated for seven 2024 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” Produced by Peter Schneider, Jennifer Costello, Grove Entertainment, Frank Marshall, Isaac Robert Hurwitz, and Seth A. Goldstein, Water for Elephants is currently running at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). 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 four-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher) and is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Jessica Stone (Kimberly Akimbo). The album is produced by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Ian Kagey. Stream or download the album at ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/WaterForElephants

Water for Elephants is currently running at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). 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 McLeish, Michael Mendez, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Asa Somers, Charles South, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar, and Michelle West.

Days of Wine and Roses written by Adam Guettel, features powerful songs like “Forgiveness” and “There Go I”, performed by Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James. Stream the Tony Award-nominated score here.

Harmony has a score by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. The cast recording was released last August. You can still stream the cast recording here.

How to Dance in Ohio released an original Broadway cast recording on January 19, 2024. To stream the album, which features “Building Momentum,” click here.

The Great Gatsby has a new score by Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen, they will release a cast album digitally on June 21, 2024. Ahead of the album’s release, hear a sneak preview of tunes “For Her” and “My Green Light”performed by Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada.

Lempicka has songs that were fabulously sung by Eden Espinosa, Amber Iman, Andrew Samonsky, George Abud, Natalie Joy Johnson and Beth Leavel. The new score from Matt Gould and Carson Kreitzer will be available to stream on May 29, 2024.

The Outsiders new score by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay & Zach Chance) and Justin Levine will be available to stream on May 22, 2024. The songs were written by Academy Award nominee and Grammy Award winner Will Butler. You can get a sneak preview of the song “Masquerade” here.


Well Suffs is the show that will win the Tony for Best Musical and Score. The book, composer, lyricist, and star is Broadway darling Shaina Taub. The cast recording, produced by Atlantic Records, will be available to stream on June 14, 2024.

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Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Jana Robbins and Tim Tuttle

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 now in the conference room at the Hotel Edison.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Jana Robbins and Tim Tuttle. Jana Robbins is starring in A Final Toast, which opens at The Chain Theatre, 312 West 36th Street #3rd Floor, this Friday. Her performance this Thursday, which is an invited dress is dedicated to the memory of her beloved mother Edythe Elaine Eisenberg May 16, 1922 – Oct. 24, 2022.

Tim Tuttle, wrote the book, music and lyrics for 44 Lights: The Musical that opened last night at the AMT Theatre, 354 W 45th StreetTuttle worked as a trader on Wall Street, until September 11th, 2001. He turned to music to heal. 44 Lights is a chance for Tim to tell his story, to remember the many who didn’t come home, and find a way to keep their memories alive forever.

We are so proud 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 Jana Robbins and Tim Tuttle.

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

We are so proud and thrilled that Variety Entertainment News just named us one of Summer’s Best Picks in the category of Best Television, Radio, PodcastsThe company we are in, has made us so humbled, grateful and motivated to continue.

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

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Off Broadway

TBTB’s I Ought to Be in Pictures Zings Out One Liners Solidly

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When you think of snappy one-liners or biting comebacks, there is one playwright that comes to mind. That is the one and only Neil Simon who has a writing credit of almost 50 plays. Probably his most well-known is The Odd Couple. It was revived recently on Broadway with an all-star cast. Now one of Simon’s plays that has not been seen on or off Broadway since the early eighties is back. I Ought to Be in Pictures, produced by Theater Breaking Through Barriers, is playing at Theater Row on 42nd Street starring Makenzie Morgan Gomez (Off-Broadway Debut) as Libby, Pamela Sabaugh (Off-Broadway’s Richard III) as Steffy and Chris Thorn (Off-Broadway’s Pride and Prejudice) as Herb.

Makenzie Morgan Gomez and Chris Thorn Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

The play begins as aspiring actress Libby shows up at screenwriter Herb’s door and announces that she is his daughter whom he abandoned 16 years ago and she wants him to help her get into “pictures.” Hair/make-up artist Steffy is Herb’s one-night-a-week girlfriend for the past two years.

Makenzie Morgan Gomez, Pamela Sabaugh, and Chris Thorn Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

Thorn seems to embody Herb, the talented and once successful writer, mired in the lonely world of self-doubt who can’t trust his craft, his ideas, or his ability to keep pushing in the competitive “younger” world of the entertainment business. His anger has turned to resignation as his confidence has faded. Thorn can join in the quick and cutting war of words in the Simon script and still carry that heavy weight of failure that’s dragging him down. As Libby, Gomez is like a haboob that has swirled into Herb’s life. Her rapid-fire delivery gives the daughter the edge keeping anyone from reeling her in or rearranging her plan.

Gomez plays Libby a bit young for someone who has crossed the country traveling with a bus ticket and the rest with her thumb (think the 1970s) to get into the “pictures”, an industry she knows nothing about. But Gomez is up to the task.  Her monologues are spot on even though she can get a bit high-pitched in the excitement and her scenes with Herb ring true. Pamela Sabaugh’s Steffy is right on point. You can see her affection for both Libby and Herb and you can feel her desire to see her relationship with Herb grow. Having Libby meet Herb’s “girlfriend on Tuesdays” at the door gives Steffy some added weight in the plot and Sabaugh takes it in and runs with it.

Directed by Nicholas Vitelli (TBTB’s God of Carnage)I Ought to Be in Pictureshas a real feel for its characters and their environment, moving them around the drab living space of the dad’s small West Hollywood apartment in the late 1970s. Scenic and lighting designer Bert Scott (TBTB’s Brecht on Brecht) gives the tired apartment touches that show how Herb sees himself, tumbling on the way down; old appliances, and smudges around cabinet pulls and light switches emphasize the decline.

Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB) production of  I Ought to Be in Pictures is a funny and touching comedy, hitting all the right notes with a cast that fits together seamlessly. What we have here is vintage Neil Simon giving us his classic verbal sparing that has the audience continually holding their breath waiting for the next one to zing in. TBTB is “dedicated to advancing and celebrating the work of professional artists with disabilities.” The performance included an audio description of the set and characters before the performance began and script text during the play.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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Broadway

The Outer Critics Circle Winners: Stereophonic and Suffs Take The Lead

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), has just announced the winners of the 2024 Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2023-2024 Broadway and Off-Broadway season.

The awards ceremony for the winners will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

Outstanding New Broadway Play: Stereophonic

Outstanding New Broadway Musical: Suffs

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: Dead Outlaw

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: Primary Trust

John Gassner Award for New American Play (preferably by a new playwright): Oh, Mary! 

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play: Jessica Lange – Mother Play

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play: Kara Young – Purlie Victorious

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kelli O’HaraDays of Wine and Roses

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kecia LewisHell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical: Andrew Durand Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical (tie): Judy Kuhn – I Can Get It For You Wholesale and Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play (tie): Cole Escola – Oh, Mary!  and
William Jackson Harper – Primary Trust

Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: Jay O. Sanders – Primary Trust

Outstanding Solo Performance: Patrick Page – All the Devils are Here

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Shaina Taub – Suffs

Outstanding Score Shaina Taub – Suffs

Outstanding Orchestrations Marco Paguia – Buena Vista Social Club

Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Jessica Stone – Water for Elephants

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

Outstanding Choreography (Broadway or Off-Broadway):Justin Peck — IllinoiseOutstanding Scenic Design (tie): David ZinnStereophonic and Paul Tate dePoo III – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Costume Design: Linda Cho – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lighting Design: Brian MacDevitt The Outsiders

Outstanding Sound DesignRyan Rumery – Stereophonic

Outstanding Video/Projections: Peter Nigrini – The Who’s Tommy

Shows with Multiple Award Wins
4: Stereophonic
3: Dead Outlaw, Primary Trust, Suffs
2: The Great Gatsby, I Can Get It For You Wholesale, Oh, Mary!

Broadway Productions Considered in FullGrey House, Once Upon a One More Time, The Cottage, Back to the Future, The Shark Is Broken, Purlie Victorious, Melissa Etheridge: My Window, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, Gutenberg! The Musical!, I Need That, Monty Python’s Spamalot, How to Dance in Ohio, Appropriate, Days of Wine and Roses, Doubt, The Notebook, An Enemy of the People, Water for Elephants, The Who’s Tommy, The Outsiders, Lempicka, The Wiz, Suffs, Stereophonic, Hell’s Kitchen, Cabaret, The Heart of Rock and Roll, Patriots, Uncle Vanya, The Great Gatsby, Mother Play

Only New Elements of the Following Productions Were Considered: Just for Us, Here Lies Love, Merrily We Roll Along, Harmony, Prayer for the French Republic, Mary Jane

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Events

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Jana Robbins and Tim Tuttle

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Our guests this week are Tony and Olivier Award winning Broadway actor and producer Jana Robbins and book, music and lyric writer Tim Tuttle. Join us Wednesday May 8th at 5pm.

Jana Robbins is thrilled to be back on stage with A Final Toast.  As an actor she has appeared in leading roles on Broadway in Good News, I Love My Wife, Crimes of the Heart, Gypsy  – covering Tyne Daly as Mama Rose while playing the “bump it with a trumpet” stripper Mazzeppa – and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife – where she covered both Linda Lavin and Michele Lee and starred opposite Valerie Harper in the National Tour.  Jana has played leading roles across the country in National Tours, as well as many of our well know theaters and repertory companies, including Seattle Rep, The Alliance Theater, Cinncinati Playhouse in the Park, Papermill Playhouse and many more. On TV she has appeared in Cheers, Babylon 5, The Good Wife, Law And Order, SVU, Nurse Jackie and more.  Her favorite film credit was working with Annette Benning and Meg Ryan in The Women. Jana’s Broadway and West End producing credits include Little Women, Ragtime, Company on Broadway and in the West End, (Tony and Olivier Award) and most recently The Shark Is Broken. Off-Broadway, Ms. Robbins was also the lead producer of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish directed by Joel Grey (Drama Desk Award).  As Pinnacle Productions, with producer Haley Swindal, she recently produced Rose at The Ambassadors Theatre (West End), as well as Death Note – The Musical at London’s Palladium and The Lyric Theater.  Just last month, they produced Your Lie In April at The Royal Drury Lane in the West End which transfers to the Harold Pinter Theater in the West End in June. They  also have a Broadway musical revival coming up, to be announced soon.  Jana is a proud recipient of The Jewish National Fund’s “Tree of Life” Award.  www.janarobbinsproductions.com

Her performance is dedicated to the memory of her beloved mother Edythe Elaine Eisenberg May 16, 1922 – Oct. 24, 2022

Tim Tuttle wrote the book, music and lyrics for 44 Lights: The Musical opening Wednesday nightTuttle spent a decade working as a trader on Wall Street, he moved to the world of commodities at the World Trade Center in the mid 90’s. On September 11th, 2001, everything changed. He got away safely that morning from Ground Zero, but he was forever altered by what he witnessed. The evening of 9/11, he wrote his first song. A song that would attempt to express the pain and loss he was suffering in the aftermath of the most tragic day in modern American history. He sang it to his wife Barbie in the darkness of their apartment. He kept writing as the list of friends and neighbors he knew had not returned home. He turned to music to heal. On the first anniversary of September 11th, he perform a memorial concert called “Music from Ground Zero”. 44 LIGHTS is a chance for Tim to tell his story, to remember the many who didn’t come home, and find a way to keep their memories alive forever.

44 Lights: The Musical, will begin Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7pm, for a limited engagement through Saturday, May 25, 2024 at AMT Theater (354 West 45th Street – between 8th & 9th Aves). Visit 44Lights.com for more information.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here and our thirteenth episode here.

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