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Irish Repertory Theater Celebrates 33 years and Harold Prince



On Monday, June 13th, stars once again came to Town Hall after two years to celebrate the Irish Repertory Theater and the Musicals of Harold Prince. The audience was excited to see what Charlotte Moore, the long time Artistic Director, and Ciaran O’Reilly, Producing Director had in store for them and by the end of the night no one was disappointed.

As this was a celebration of the theater company, their supporters and creative team, the evening started with presentations of awards and honors. Artistic Honorees were two wonderful wardrobe designers who have been creating costumes for the theater’s productions for thirty years, Linda Fisher and David Toser. A video of a collage of their widely diversified costumes showed decades of creativity and artistry that demonstrate that the quality of their work, despite the budgets of a not for profit, can rival any multimillion-dollar budget on Broadway.

The Visionary Leadership Award was presented to Loretta Brennan Glucksman, whose philanthropy, activism and diplomacy have bettered the lives on both sides of the Atlantic. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania to a father who was  a life long US postal worker, it is inspirational to see how she has been able to deliver her own messages of kindness and generosity.

After the speeches and presentations, it was on with the show and an amazing tribute to the genius of Hal Prince. Joel Grey, who informs us was ready to give up acting after some early career disappointments, fortunately changed his mind when a young Mr. Prince called to offer him a role as the emcee in a Kander and Ebb musical, Cabaret. We can only wonder how many other struggling actors’ lives took a different trajectory thanks to a call from Mr. Prince.

Interspersed throughout the evening were video interviews of The Prince of Broadway introducing the songs that were wonderfully sung by a talented cast of performers. The music director and conductor, John Bell, led an incredible orchestra and a chorus of singers whose voices filled the Town Hall.

Individual performers of the evening included Mark Evans who started the evening singing Company which was part of an overture celebrating Sondheim musicals Forum, Company and Merrily. He returned later in the evening joined by DeLaney Westfall and the chorus to sing Make Our Garden Grow from the musical Candide. Their harmonies were incredible and beautiful.

Max von Essen and Amanda Jane Cooper showed us why Mr. Prince chose to direct the musical, She Loves Me, back in 1963, only the second show he directed. Singing the revelatory songs of this couple’s love, Vanilla Ice Cream and She Loves Me, Amanda and Max, respectively, brought wit and emotion to these wonderful tunes.

After many productions with the likes of Kander and Ebb and of course Stephen Sondheim; Mr Prince’s first director experience with Andrew Lloyd Weber was Evita and Donna Kane, in a glittering dress that could very well have been designed for the real Ms. Perone, sang its signature song Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, reaching the high notes that are so essential to the music. Later in the evening his other ALW collaboration came to life as Ciaran Sheehan and Kaley Ann Vorhees dueted beautifully with Music of the Night and All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera.

Among these wonderful ballads and love songs the fun and lively Heart from Damn Yankees brought lightness to the evening as sung by William Ballamy, Jonathan Hadley, Jay Aubrey Jones, Ashley Robinson, the chorus and the appreciative audience.

Glenn Close was scheduled to appear in person on stage but she was unable to attend so she was able to send a video of her singing a heartfelt Send in the Clowns. She was not the only Tony winning performer and Broadway legend that wowed the audience that evening. Howard McGillen, who has been the Phantom on Broadway for 2.544 performances, was able to sing unmasked Not a Day Goes By from Merrily We Roll Along. It was a pleasure to hear him sing the song that in the musical is sung by the character, Beth, giving a male voice to the tune.

All these performers were top notch; but, there were three wows in the evening when originators of the roles they created on Broadway came out on stage to audience ovations. Michel Bell, who played Joe in the 1994 production of Showboat, proved that his baritone was still as strong as it was 25 years ago when he sang Ol’ Man River in that Tony Award winning production.

Len Cariou, fresh from presenting a Lifetime Achievement Tony Award to his Sweeny Todd costar Angela Lansbury brought that main character back to life with a medley of Sweeny Todd and Pretty Women. It was thrilling to see him recreate this character for which he won a Tony.

Chita Rivera, WOW, CHITA!, the original Anita from West Side Story sang a medley from that show, starting with the iconic lyric, “A boy like that who’d kill your brother.” Well, she killed it herself as she sang and did some dance steps to America. She continues to prove what a Broadway legend is.

The entire evening was a fantastic tribute to The Irish Repertory Theater and a reminder of why this company has been such an important artistic asset to New York City since Charlotte Moore and Ciaran O’Reilly opened its doors in 1988.


Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sarah Paulson



Broadway’s newest show Appropriate starring Sarah Paulson, at Second Stage’s Hayes Theatre nearly sold out their first week. The play, written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and co-starring Elle Fanning and Corey Stoll, opens December 18th.

Paulson has received an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Awards in her three-decade career. She made her Broadway debut in 1994 as an understudy in Wendy Wasserstein’s The Sisters Rosensweig. She later took on the role of Tess Goode in the production. She returned to the stage in two other Broadway productions: 2005’s The Glass Menagerie (as Amanda Wingfield) and 2010’s Collected Stories (originating the role of Lisa Morrison). She also appeared in six Off-Broadway productions between 1994 and 2013, including Crimes of the Heart, Still Life,Colder Than Hereat the Lucille Lortel Theatre, Killer Joeat SoHo Playhouse, Talking Picturesat Signature Theatre andthe Pulitzer-nominated Talley’s Folly with Roundabout Theatre Company.

Paulson is perhaps best known for starring in nine seasons of Murphy’s American Horror Story, first appearing on the show in 2011. Her performances collectively earned nine Emmy Award nominations.

In 2023, after 10 years away from the New York stage, Paulson returns to Broadway as Toni in Appropriate, the Broadway-debut play of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

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Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer



As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:

  • Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
  • KT Sullivan Cabaret:  December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
  • Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
  • The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists

A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.

Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection


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Book Reviews

Countdown to Christmas: For The Dancer and Theatre Lover Chita Rivera



2o days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.

Chita & Patrick Pacheco at Drama Book Shop event May 15, 2023 Photo by Merle Frimark

There are a lot of books out there this year but we highly recommend Chita: A Memoir , the critically-acclaimed book is written by the legendary Broadway icon Chita Rivera with arts journalist Patrick Pacheco. Chita takes fans behind-the-scenes of all her shows and cabaret acts, she shares candid stories of her many colleagues, friends, and lovers. She speaks with empathy and hindsight of her deep associations with complicated geniuses like Fosse and Robbins, as well as with the mega-talent Liza Minnelli, with whom she co-starred in The Rink. She openly discusses her affair with Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as her marriage to Tony Mordente and her subsequent off-the-radar relationships. Chita revisits the terrible car accident that threatened to end her career as a dancer forever. Center stage to Chita’s story are John Kander and Fred Ebb, the songwriters and dear friends indelibly tied to her career through some of her most enduring work: Chicago, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit.

Chita’s love of performing began as a child in Washington, D.C., when her mother enrolled her in a local ballet school to channel her boundless energy. Still a teenager, she moved to New York to attend the School of American Ballet after an audition for George Balanchine himself and winning a scholarship. But Broadway beckoned, and by twenty she was appearing in the choruses of Golden Age shows like Guys and Dolls and Can-Can. In the latter, she received special encouragement from its star Gwen Verdon, forging a personal and professional friendship that would help shape her career. The groundbreaking West Side Story brought her into the orbit of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, and Stephen Sondheim.  After Bye Bye Birdie further burnished her rising star, she reunited with Verdon and her then-husband Bob Fosse to work on the film version of Sweet Charity and the celebrated original Broadway production of Chicago.

Chita: A Memoir was published in English and Spanish and the English audio version of the Memoir was recorded by Chita.  A Spanish audio version is also available. 

“Chita Rivera blazed a trail where none existed so the rest of us could see a path forward. She has been part of some of the greatest musicals in the history of the form, from Anita in the trailblazing West Side Story through Claire Zachanassian in the underrated masterpiece The Visit, over 60 years later. She is a Puerto Rican Broadway icon and the original ‘triple threat.’ We’re so lucky to be alive in the same timeline as Chita Rivera.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“A frank and fascinating memoir from one of the truly great artists of the American Theater. Lots of stories … Lots of insight … and quite a few caustic statements from Chita’s alter ego, Dolores. An illuminating history and a guaranteed pleasure!” John Kander

Broadway legend and national treasure Chita Rivera, multi-Tony Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – has taken no prisoners on stage or screen for seven decades. From her trailblazing performance as the original Anita in West Side Story—for which she tapped her own Puerto Rican roots—to her haunting 2015 star turn in The Visit. Chita has proven to be much more than just a captivating dancer, singer, and actress beloved by audiences and casts alike. In her equally captivating and one-of-a-kind memoir, Written with Patrick Pacheco, the woman born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero shares an incomparable life, both on stage and behind the curtain.

By the way this Memoir has won a Gold Medal for “Best Autobiography – English” at the 2023 International Latino Book Awards.

Click here to buy your copy.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Spamalot



Here is the amazing cast of Spamalot. Christopher Fitzgerald as Patsy, James Monroe Iglehart as King Arthur, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as The Lady of the Lake, Ethan Slater as The Historian/Prince Herbert, Jimmy Smagula as Sir Bedevere, Michael Urie as Sir Robin, Nik Walker as Sir Galahad andTaran Killam as Lancelot.

I was so inspired I drew the whole cast.

To read T2C’s review click here.

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Ahead of the Broadway Opening of Lempicka The Longacre Theatre Is Showcasing Art Work By Tamara de Lempicka



The Longacre Theatre (220 W 48th St.), soon-to-be home of the sweeping new musical, Lempicka, is showcasing a curated selection of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka’s most famous works. Eschewing traditional theatrical front-of-house advertising, the Longacre’s façade now boasts prints, creating a museum-quality exhibition right in the heart of Times Square. The musical opens on Broadway on April 14, 2024 at the same venue.

The Longacre’s outdoor exhibition includes works of Self Portrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti) (1929), Young Girl in Green (1927), Nu Adossé I (1925), The Red Tunic (1927), The Blue Scarf (1930), The Green Turban (1930), Portrait of Marjorie Ferry (1932), Portrait of Ira P. (1930), Portrait of Romana de la Salle (1928), and Adam and Eve (1932).

Starring Eden Espinosa and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, Lempicka features book, lyrics, and original concept by Carson Kreitzer, book and music by Matt Gould, and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.

Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.

Young Girl in Green painted by Tamara de Lempicka (1927). Oil on plywood.