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Donna McKechnie

Donna McKechnie with members of the cast
Photo by Shira Friedman Photography

Jonathan Kaldor and Sebastian Michael’s Icon is a show that is trite, predictable and convoluted all in the same breath. The music by Mr. Kaldor is all over the map, but for the most part it is excels with strands of operetta, Les Miserables, anthems and the musical theatre charm of Kander and Ebb. Set in “The Alpine Principality of Centolucci” a place much like Monaco, we have enter the 1920s and the marriage of Constance (Charlotte Maltby) an American much like Princess Grace to Crown Prince Cedric (Ben McHugh). The naive princess has been conned into marriage, as she learns in “I Wonder.” You see not only is the prince in love with his personal assistant, François (Patrick Connaghan), but he’s not into girls at all, not even for the sake of consummating the marriage. However Constance, determined not to be a failure, enlists the help of  private secretary Gualtieri (Tony Sheldon). When she goes beyond the palace walls to study music, not only does she win the love of her teacher Alvaro Vigna (Sam Simahk), a musician but also the people, which upsets the monarchy. There is a fire and Princess Constance and François die much like Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.

In the meanwhile in 1960 in Venezuela the Grandson of the monarch wants to know why half his inheritance is going to a piano teacher named Miss Vine (Donna McKechnie) living in exile. We see the above played out as she explains. Even in writing this you can figure out the plot. Part of the problem here is in the fact there is a grandson. Who fathered him?

Choreographer Paul Staccato does better with the dancing than the direction as the plot drags. I do wonder why when you have a Tony winner known for her dancing and she dances not at all and sings about 16 bars what happened here? When you have 26 songs there should at least be one song between Miss Vine and Constance. Ms. McKechnie does make her character warm and layered. Thankfully Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) is given a little more to do, but not much. However, Mr. Sheldon can work wonders with nothing. I’ve seen him in action before and he never disappoints.

The cast sings superbly especially Christopher Ramirez, who in a few bars managed to wow the audience and should have been cast as Alvaro, not that Mr. Simahk isn’t good, he is. With a powerful tenor voice, he acts and sings from his soul, but his chemistry with Ms. Maltby is not all that one would wish. Also Ms. Maltaby is tall and statuesque just like the women who her character is modeled after and Mr. Simahk looks diminutive besides her. Who truly excels here is Charlotte Maltby who makes this woman believable, regal, spirited with a gorgeous voice to boot. She is an actress to keep your eyes on as she keeps growing better and better.

The flapper-era costumes by Liene Dobruajaare scrumptious, but for being an iconic show…back to the drawing board.

Icon: The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd St. Closed.

 

 

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

Events

Did You Know Andrea Bocelli and Hauser Performed Live from Times Square

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Combining world-class musical performances with intimate conversations across the awe-inspiring Italian countryside, The Journey: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli is an exploration of the moments that define us, the songs that inspire us, and the relationships that connect us to what matters most. The film hits theaters April 2 – 9 and you can watch it through fantom events.

The Journey is an exploration of the moments that define us, the songs that inspire us, and the relationships that connect us to what matters most. Bocelli and his wife Veronica travel on horseback along Italy’s Via Francigena, an ancient road traveled by pilgrims for centuries in the footsteps of the apostles and saints. Along the way, they are joined by friends Michael W. Smith, Tori Kelly, Tauren Wells, and TAYA for world-class musical performances in some of Italy’s most magnificent venues and majestic locations. Following a blessing from the Pope, Bocelli’s children Matteo and Virginia make appearances in this amazing adventure, as well as musicians and singers Katherine Jenkins, Clara Barbier Serrano, 2Cellos, 40 Fingers, and many others.

To celebrate this release Andrea Bocelli and Hauser performed Melodramma live from Times Square.

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Dance

Wanna Be A Rockette? Open Auditions Are Here!

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Radio City Christmas Spectacular

The Radio City Rockettes are having an open call audition for the 2023 Christmas Spectacular on Thursday, April 20 at Radio City Music Hall, with callbacks on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22, 2023. Audition for male identifying auditions will be held April 26th.

You have to be proficient in jazz, tap and ballet. You must be between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10 1/2  inches tall and You must be at least 18 years of age.

The Radio City Rockettes are a world-renowned dance company known for their athleticism and iconic precision style combining elements of ballet, jazz, and tap, as well as techniques of modern and contemporary dance. In addition to the Christmas Spectacular, the Rockettes perform annually in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting, and have appeared on some of the biggest events in entertainment, including the Tony Awards, the MTV VMAs, the NYC Pride Parade, and “Saturday Night Live.” Most recently, the Rockettes were featured in the Hallmark movie “A Holiday Spectacular” and performed with Mariah Carey in her holiday special filmed at Madison Square Garden, “Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All!”

As a Rockette, dancers have access to excellent benefits, including year-round health insurance, a competitive 401K, and a tuition assistance program for accredited and approved courses, as well as a reimbursement plan for many voice, dance, technique, wellness, and fitness classes.

Audition registration for the Radio City Rockettes, ensemble and more is officially open for the 2023 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes presented by QVC. Audition to be a part of New York City’s favorite holiday tradition and you can register today. Click Here.

Dancers auditioning for the Radio City Rockettes will also be considered for Rockettes Conservatory, the dance company’s invite-only, week-long training intensive, which serves as the main talent pipeline for the line.

Female Identifying Dancers*, Voice Ensemble and Principal Roles will be cast through invited agent calls only – there will be no open call audition for these roles.

*Includes gender expansive identities (trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender queer.)

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Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike Live: The Tour Starts in North Texas for a Limited Engagement

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The global stage sensation Magic Mike Live: The Tour is created and directed by Channing Tatum, Magic Mike Live is bringing its magic to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for a limited engagement for five weeks only starting May 11.

     

The Tour is co-directed and choreographed by film franchise choreographer Alison Faulk with co-choreographer Luke Broadlick and associate choreographers The Bartley Brothers (Anthony and Charles), with original music by Jack Rayner, and production design by Rachel O’Toole.

Producing is Channing Tatum, Steven Soderbergh, Reid Carolin, Greg Jacobs, Peter Kiernan and Nick Wechsler in association with Vincent Marini, Bruce Robert Harris, Jack W. Batman, Julian Stoneman, Louis Hartshorn, Brian Hook, Gavin Kalin, Hunter Arnold, Los Angeles Media Fund, ZKM Media, Richard Winkler, Alan Shorr, Dawn Smalberg, Marlene and Gary Cohen, and Simon Thomas. Emmy and Tony Award-winner Michael Cohl and his partner Tony Smith, principals with Bat Out of Hell Productions, will serve as the lead promoters. The tour

Hot on the heels of the hit film Magic Mike’s Last Dance, the North American touring production will perform 10 shows a week in a custom-built venue located in the center of the action at the vibrant Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, TX. The tour’s North Texas engagement was announced today with an electrifying performance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, giving viewers across the country a sneak peek at the spectacular production. A limited number of tickets starting at $69 are on sale now and going fast at MMLTour.com. 

Thanks to the incredible audience support of Magic Mike’s Last Dance in North Texas, the magic is heading live and in-person to Frisco! Magic Mike Live features professionally trained dancers delivering a thrilling 90-minute show that packs in sexy and daring dance routines, acrobatics, live music, comedy, and more in front of, above, and all around the audience. Equal parts empowering and exhilarating, provides an unforgettably fun night of live entertainment, perfect for date night or the ultimate girls’ night out, that’s guaranteed to leave guests feeling inspired and ready to ignite their inner magic.

“We considered a number of amazing cities to open our first production of Magic Mike Live  after the release of Magic Mike’s Last Dance, but the Dallas-Fort Worth area rose to the top,” said Magic Mike Live Executive Producer Vincent Marini. “North Texas audiences have been visiting our Las Vegas show in huge numbers for years, but this touring production is something new. It’s the culmination of everything we’ve learned about our show and our guests after selling over a million tickets around the world. It’s joyful, it’s sexy, and it’s just a ton of fun. I just know that people will be blown away the minute they walk into the venue!”

Guests will marvel as they enter the multi-story, 600-seat venue which incorporates the best design features from Magic Mike Live productions around the world. Every performance, every fabric, every finish, every detail of the venue has been meticulously curated by Tatum and the Magic Mike Live  creative team.

Guests are invited to come early and stay late to enjoy the indoor-outdoor lounge complete with music, multiple bars, and comfortable seating. The venue’s bars will offer a curated cocktail experience created in collaboration with Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s spirit brand Singani 63, featuring signature beverages inspired by moments in the show.

 Epic experiences await those looking to up the ante on their visit to Magic Mike Live :

  • Ultra Seats – Experience Magic Mike Live  like never before from one of just 12 available Ultra Seats. Priced at $299 per person, each Ultra Seat package includes:
    • Front-row, plush couch seating as close to the action as you can possibly get.
    • Complimentary cocktails paired with special moments throughout the show.
    • Complimentary preferred parking.
    • A commemorative lanyard.
    • A personal concierge, who will provide each party with direct communication before, during and after the show.
    • Dedicated waitstaff during the show.
    • All offerings from Mike’s Exclusive Package, including a post-show meet and greet with members of the cast, cocktail, and live music.
  • Mike’s Exclusive Package: No matter where you sit for the show, upgrade your experience to score access to an intimate meet and greet with select cast members after the show with the purchase of a Mike’s Exclusive Package add-on for $99 per person. With their commemorative lanyard, guests will get to meet and take photos with members of the cast while enjoying live music and a specially curated cocktail. A show ticket is required to purchase the Mike’s Exclusive Package add-on.

To take full advantage of all that the region’s premiere shopping and entertainment destination has to offer, ticket buyers can also pair their experience with an afternoon brunch on Saturday and Sunday at Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fired Pizza & Taproom. Priced at $50 per person, the 2 p.m. brunch seating offers up a three-course menu that includes stuffed cheese bread and your choice of pizza, wood-fired breakfast sandwich, or full salad, and either a delicious apple pie or cinnamon glazed knots for dessert, all topped off with a $20 Tap Wall credit to indulge with your favorite beer, wine or cocktail. A limited number of weekend brunch packages are available to add-on to any 4 p.m. performance ticket purchase on Saturday or Sunday. 

The North American touring production of Magic Mike Live  is led by South Africa-born Kalon Badenhorst, who has performed the titular role of “Mike” in Berlin and Las Vegas, and emcees Crystal Powell and Nikki Lowe. The ensemble features alumni Gianluca Briganti, Clare Billson, Nate Bryan, Kiana De Van der Schueren, Marcquet Hill, Burim Jusufi, Jake Paul Green, Nicholas Phillips, Blake Varga, and Joshua Williams. Additional casting to be announced.

While thrilling more than 1.2 million guests around the world with shows currently running in Las Vegas, London, on tour across North America, and past engagements in Berlin and Australia, Magic Mike Live has earned its place at the center of the zeitgeist with regular appearances on major TV shows including The Kelly Clarkson Show, The Drew Barrymore Show, The Talk, SHERRI, ELLEN, The TODAY Show, The Graham Norton Show, This is Us, Britain’s Got Talent, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and more. MAGIC MIKE LIVE also inspired HBO Max™’s instant-hit unscripted reality series Finding Magic Mike, and continues to fuel popularity for the Magic Mike film franchise, including the latest hit, Magic Mike’s Last Dance.

Starting May 11, MAGIC MIKE LIVE: The Tour will perform a 90-minute show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday with 10 p.m. performances Thursday through Saturday, and a 4 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday; no shows on Monday and Tuesday. For tickets starting at $68, upgrades, and information for groups of 10 or more, visit MMLTour.com or call 833.624.4265.

Connect with the show on social media: @MMLTour on Instagram and Twitter; @MagicMikeLiveTour on TikTok and Facebook / #MMLTOUR.

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