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It’s a Wonderful Life (The Radio Play) When I Get to Watch This and A Christmas Story (The Musical) All in One Week

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The Grinch who Stole Christmas
Every Christmas, I like to watch three things on television to get me in the mood for the holidays. Each one brings me one step closer to the spirit of the holidays and each one has been a part of my holidays for as far back as I can remember. There’s my favorite, “A Christmas Story(1983), the one where all that Ralphie wants is an official Red Rider carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time – “poetry, sheer poetry”. Then there’s ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas, not that horrific live action one with Jim Carrey, but the animated one voiced by Boris Karloff, and finally, the 1946 black and white Frank Capra film, It’s a Wonderful Life” starring the wonderfulJimmy Stewart and Donna Reed as good guy, George Bailey and wife, Mary Hatch. I can survive the holidays if I don’t get a chance to see Scrooge, Rudolph, or marvel at The Miracle On 34th Street, but without Ralphie, the Grinch, or Zuzu’s petals, well, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas.
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So far this holiday season I’ve seen two out of the three requirements, but both in ways that I didn’t expect and both wonderfully different. Last weekend I was lucky enough to be at my friend’s home in Princeton who had cable TV (I’m a streamer of television at home). We watched A Christmas Story – The Musical, LIVE on Fox TV, a musical from the boys who brought Dear Evan Hansen to Broadway. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote the music and lyrics,  and Joseph Robinette wrote the book for this film-to-Broadway adaptation years ago (it opened on Broadway in November 2012 at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre and ran for a limited engagement through December). I missed it then, and ever since I’ve always wanted to see it. I even dragged my parents to a production of A Christmas Story at London, Ontario’s Grand Theatre, only to discover during Act One that this was not in fact the musical version, just a stage version of story. Disappointing is all I’ll say on that matter.
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Maya Rudolph, Andy Walken, Tyler Wladis, Chris Diamontopoulos.
But this time around, it was most definitely going to be the musical version, and the cast sounded compelling and appealing. For the live broadcast, it starred Matthew Broderick (The Producers) as the narrator/older Ralphie, the wonderful Chris Diamontopoulos (The Full Monty, Waitress) as the father, the glorious Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids”, “The Way Way Back”) as the mother, the incredible Ana Gasteyer (Broadway’s The Royal Family, Encores’ A New Brain) as Mrs. Schwartz (her number was astounding), and introducing the phenomenal Andy Walken as the glass wearing B.B. gun-focused Ralphie Parker. Sounds good, but it was really Jane Krakowski (She Loves Me) as Miss Shields that tipped this production happily over the edge. So I made a deal with my Princeton hosts, I had to watch ‘A Christmas Story the Musical‘regardless of all else. Not a hard bargain to make, knowing that my good friend is as much of a Broadway junkie as I am (she wrote the recent review of Wicked), and her husband, while being a newbie to the theatre world, is definitely on the way to joining our club (he did ugly cry during Dear Evan Hansen so that pretty much assured membership).
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I’m not going to say too much about the LIVE production beyond everyone was pretty spot on, especially Walken who hit every mark magnificently. He’s such a pro for an 11 year-old, as the pressure must have been huge starring in a live musical Broadcast televised on National TV, and he nailed it beautifully. As did Krakowski. It’s no surprise why they wanted her for the part of the teacher, Miss Shields. Krakowski has the comic chops, the singing voice, those amazing dancer moves, and those long gorgeous dancer legs that are perfect for the show-stopping number, “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out“. It was a pretty amazing production, maybe one of the best LIVE musical broadcasts as of late that I have seen (although I haven’t seen many). Broderick stumbled a bit here and there, but his voice crackled with the same old school quality that this show requires. Overall, I’d give it a B+++ for B.B. gun awesomeness.
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Ian Holcomb, Orlagh Cassidy, Aaron Gaines, Dewey Caddell. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Over at the Irish Repertory Theatre, I checked the second viewing requirement off my list in a manner unlike any other Christmases before.  Adapted by playwright, Anthony E. Palermo (Audie Award winning radio performer, dramatist, and educator), this strong theatrical company is performing the radio play of It’s a Wonderful Life in the same manner as it would have been done when a different adaptation (there have been a number of them) first aired in 1947, on Lux Radio Theater (March 10) and then twice on The Screen Guild Theater (December 1947, March 1951). This play presented as a 1940s radio show is based on the 1946 film and on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story and booklet The Greatest Gift published in 1945. James Stewart and Donna Reed who starred in the classic Christmas film actually reprised their roles for all three of those radio productions. What a treat that must have been. And what a treat this radio play adaptation is as well.
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Haley Bond, Aaron Gaines. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
At the Irish Rep’s studio space, the radio sound stage is set, lovingly designed by James Morgan (IR’s Gaslight), with lighting by Brian Nason (Broadway’s A Month in the Country), period perfect costumes by Barbara A. Bell (Pearl’s Taste of Honey), and inventive live sound design by Zachary Williamson (IR’s Molly Sweeney). Skillfully directed by Charlotte Moore (The Home Place), the actors slowly make their way into the radio theater, arriving for an evening’s work performing this well known story of a good man who has lost his way.  The cast takes their places on the chairs under the “ON AIR” and “APPLAUSE” signs, with two microphones up front. There is an easiness in the air and camaraderie amongst the lot. The SFX artist and pseudo stage manager, played by the very appealing Rory Duffy (IR’s The Shaughraun) has everything all ready to go, and starts the count-down.  The cast; the sweet Haley Bond (Cherry Lane’s Big Mistake) as Mary Hatch Bailey and Mrs. Davis; the wonderful Dewey Caddell (York’s Dear World) as Clarence, Mr. Potter, Pop Bailey, Gower, and Martini; the perfect and funny Orlagh Cassidy (IR’s The Field) as Ma Bailey, Ma Hatch, cousin Tilly, and so many others; the solid Duffy as Officer Bert, Dr. Campbell, Sam Wainwright, Sheriff Randy, and others; the wonderful Aaron Gaines (Peccadillo’s The Show-Off) as George Bailey; and the talented Ian Holcomb (TFANA’s Macbeth) as the Announcer, Superintendent of Angels, Uncle Billy, Harry Bailey, Ernie, Nick, and Mr. Carter; all play their numerous parts with relish and joy, surprising us all with their versatility, energy, and stage presence.  They really do a spectacular job connecting us to the film while keeping us with them in the radio theater.  In particular, Gaines and Caddell sound so similar to the actors, Stewart and Henry Travers (Clarence), that their chemistry on stage is touching and feels very authentic, just close enough to bring a tear to my eye, without sounding like impressions.
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Aaron Gaines, Dewey Caddell, Rory Duffy. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
George Bailey, a man who gave up all of his dreams in order to help others contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve.  He’s in a bind, and struggling to know which way to turn. In the film, one of the prayers that brings about the heavenly intervention pleads, “He never thinks about himself, God, that’s why he’s in trouble” while another says, “George is a good guy, Give him a break, God“. The Superintendent of the Angels hears these prayers and sends Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd class. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born. Somehow, in that small theater at the Irish Repertory, these fine actors, with a solid script, tell us this well-known story, and it sings as well as you could hope for. The end wraps it up a bit too quickly, and doesn’t have the emotional ring to it like the film, but it is amazing how in 70 minutes they accomplish so much. What a lovely Christmas treat they have given us, and I applaud them, with or without that sign telling me to or not.
WLIan Holcomb, Orlagh Cassidy, Aaron Gaines, and Dewey Caddell in Irish Rep's 2017 Production of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - THE 1946 LIVE RADIO PLAY - photo by Carol Rosegg_preview
Ian Holcomb, Orlagh Cassidy, Haley Bond (almost hidden), Aaron Gaines, Dewey Caddell. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Now, all I need to do is watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” over the next few days, and I’ll be all set for the holidays. What’s on your list? Happy Christmas everyone, and just “remember George, no man is a failure who has friends“. Isn’t that right, Mr. Grinch?

 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

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. This particular episode was filmed in two parts at different times due to the weather and extenuating circumstances.

 

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton.
We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

Austin Pendleton, Suzanna Bowling

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

I am so grateful to my guests Pascale Roger-McKeever and Austin Pendleton. for joining me.

Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

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

Austin Pendleton

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever, Craig J Horsley

Suzanna Bowling

Pascale Roger-McKeever will be starring in Fingers and Spoons directed by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton. Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. starting on April 25th.

Roger Sichel, Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

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

We hope to see you there on April 17th. We will be announcing our guests tonight.

All photo’s except for the picture with Roger are by Roger Sichel.

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Broadway

Theatre News: OCC Nominations, Our Town, Hadestown, Romeo and Juliet, Here We Are, Hello Girls and Hell’s Kitchen 

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Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez will announce the 2024 73rd Outer Critics Circle nominations on April 23 at 3:30 p.m. at the Museum of Broadway. The OCC awards ceremony will take place on May 23. Radcliffe, Groff and Mendez were all nominated for the 2022 Off-Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along, with Groff and Mendez winning for Lead Performer and Featured Performer, respectively, in an Off-Broadway Musical.

Now here’s a revival that is star studded. Jim Parsons, Ephraim Sykes, Zoey Deutch, Katie Holmes and more will lead the revival of Our Town. This will star 28 actors of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon will direct the show, which starts first-preview date of September 17 and an opening night of Oct. 10 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Four-time Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons is the Stage Manager, with Tony and Grammy Award nominee Ephraim Sykes as George Gibbs and Zoey Deutch as Emily Webb. The company will also feature Katie Holmes as Mrs. Webb, Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas as Mr. Webb, Tony nominee Michelle Wilson as Mrs. Gibbs, Billy Eugene Jones as Dr. Gibbs, Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient Julie Halston as Mrs. Soames and Donald Webber Jr. as Simon Stimpson. Rounding out the cast will be Ephie Aardema, Heather Ayers, Willa Bost, Bobby Daye, Safiya Kaijya Harris, Doron JéPaul, Shyla Lefner, Anthony Michael Lopez, John McGinty, Bryonha Marie, Kevyn Morrow, Hagan Oliveras, Noah Pyzik, Sky Smith, Bill Timoney, Matthew Elijah Webb and Nimene Sierra Wureh. Two additional actors will be announced at a later date

Hadestown launches singing sweepstakes for their 5th Anniversary celebration! Until  Tuesday, April 9th, fans can upload a video of themselves singing a song from the show for a chance to win a custom Gibson guitar, two tickets to attend Hadestown on the eve of the show’s 5th anniversary, and two tickets to attend an exclusive 5th anniversary celebration with the Hadestown company, past and present, on Tuesday, April 16. Audience Rewards will host a lottery allowing fans to win a chance to attend the one-night-only 5th anniversary celebration in New York City on Tuesday, April 16th.

Tom Holland in Romeo & Juliet, directed by Jamie Lloyd will head to Broadway after its London run. The Spider-man star, starred in Billy Elliot The Musical as a boy sold tickets out in under two hours. Francesca Amewudah-Rivers is Juliet. Amewudah-Rivers previously appeared in two seasons of BBC series Bad Education and three short films. She has stage experience in productions at the Globe and Lyric Hammersmith among other venues and is making her West End debut.

Concord Theatricals Recordings announced today that the original cast recording of Here We Are, David Ives and Stephen Sondheim’s critically-acclaimed new musical, will be released on CD and digital platforms worldwide on Friday, May 17. The album will be available on 2-LP, 180g baby blue vinyl on Friday, September 6.

You can preorder the album on CD and vinyl HERE.

The album will feature the cast of Joe Mantello’s celebrated world premiere production: 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.

Watch a sneak preview from the recording session HERE.

“This show is Steve’s final gift to us all, a brilliant, hilarious and always inventive collaboration with playwright David Ives and director Joe Mantello, performed by an incredible cast and band,” said Flahaven and Rosenfield. ”It was a privilege and genuine pleasure to record it.”

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.

Prospect Theater Company (Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director; Melissa Huber, Managing Director) will present two special concert presentations of their hit musical The Hello Girls: Tony Award Honor recipient Ben Davis (New York, New York; La Bohème), Lisa Helmi Johanson (POTUS), Savy Jackson (Bad Cinderella), Asher Muldoon (Dear Evan Hansen), Laura Jean Spineti (The Oldenburg Suite), Matthew Weatherhead, and Kat Wolff will join the previously announced members of the world premiere actor-musician cast, including Ellie Fishman (Into the Woods) as ‘Grace Banker’, Arlo Hill (The Phantom of the Opera), Chanel Karimkhani (The Goree All Girl String Band), Andrew Mayer (The Great Comet of 1812), Ben Moss (OBIE Award, Oratorio for Living Things), and Lili Thomas (Chicago).

Original company percussionist Elena Bonomo (Six) and bass player Jordyn Davis will join the on stage ensemble of musicians. Fernanda Douglas will serve as Associate Music Director, and Kate Semmens as Assistant Director. Veronica Aglowis the Production Stage Manager, and Hollace Jeffords is the Assistant Stage Manager.

As previously announced, The Hello Girls will play Washington, DC for one night only on Tuesday, May 7th at 7:30pm in the Terrace Theater at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2700 F Street, NW), in a special staged concert presented by the Doughboy Foundation. Tickets, starting at $40, are now on sale and can be purchased at www.kennedy-center.org or www.prospecttheater.org.

The production will also receive a special one night only presentation as part of Prospect’s IGNITE Series in New York City on Sunday, May 12 at 6:30pm at the Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, at 95th Street). Tickets, starting at $30 for students with ID (includes facility fee), are on sale now, and can be purchased at www.symphonyspace.org or www.prospecttheater.org.

The critically-acclaimed musical tells the story of the first women soldiers in the U.S. Army, who served on the front lines during World War I, acting as bi-lingual Signal Corps Telephone Operators. Deployed to France, they connected over 26 million calls and remained to assist during the post-war period, including at the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended the war. Colloquially known as the ‘Hello Girls’, over thirty of the women received individual commendations, including Grace Banker who received the Distinguished Service Medal. Despite their key role in the American combat effort, when they returned home the women learned that the War Department did not consider them military veterans. They fought for their rights valiantly until 1977, when congress finally acknowledged their veterans’ status.

The show features music and lyrics by award-winning composer Peter Mills, with script by Mills and Cara Reichel. Choreography is by Christine O’Grady and music direction is by Ben Moss, and the production is directed by Cara Reichel.

The Broadway premiere of the new musical Hell’s Kitchen, the new musical from 16-time Grammy® Award winner Alicia Keys, is now in performances and will officially open on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street.)

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Cabaret

On Your Mark, Get Ready, and GO!!! 

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Spring is here, and with it comes the inevitable rush of shows opening, but perhaps more importantly, shows that may have slipped by your notice and are closing soon.  Also included are some recommendations for things coming up that you should know.  

Corruption — This power-packed examination of the phone-hacking scandal that rocked the Murdoch empire in the previous decade is a must see for anyone who cares about politics, journalism, and decency and ethical behavior within both. Bartlett Sher has once again masterfully directed a piece that in lesser hands could be boring but clips along in a way that leaves one almost breathless.  The entire cast is splendid, most notably Toby Stephens as one of the pivotal characters.  The set by Michael Yeargan gets the audience revved for what is to follow, and playwright J.T. Rogers, who also wrote Oslo, has once again delivered an important play for our times. Catch it at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center before it closes on April 14. 

Dead Outlaw Photo by Matthew Murphy (2024).

Dead Outlaw – Also closing on April 14 is this musical based on a most unlikely true story.  It was conceived by David Yazbek, who also wrote the music and lyrics with Erik Della Penna and written by Itamar Moses.  The music is of the hillbilly/country variety, and the set and costumes appropriately gel with that.  While this is not–as was said in the Sixties—my thing, I was clearly in the minority.  The audience was loving it to bits, and you probably will as well.  Catch it quick at the Minetta Lane Theatre in the Village. 

Do Re Mi – J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company is presenting this Comden, Green and Styne show from the 1960s from April 19 – 28.  Comden and Green always bring a zaniness to their shows, a lightheartedness that seems out of fashion today, but is just what we need right now.  The winner song from this show is “Make Someone Happy”.  Make yourself happy and get a ticket.  This same company is also doing Lucky Stiff from May 3 – 12, the first musical by Flaherty and Ahrens, the genius team that brought us Ragtime.  It is described as a musical farce, which sounds like a perfect antidote for whatever might be ailing you.  Being presented in tandem with these shows are cabarets will feature an all-star cast and will be presented at 7:30 PM on the second Tuesday during each musical’s run (April 23rd, May 7th).   This company has produced several revivals of beloved musicals in the last few years, and each one was a joy! 

I’ll Leave It To You – Deviating a bit from their mission of promoting George Bernard Shaw, the Gingold Theatrical Group is presenting Noël Coward’s first play on April 29 at Symphony Space.  If you don’t know this company already, you are well served to check them out. 

Wicked Little Letters – Can we ever get enough of Olivia Coleman?  Methinks not.  If you agree, see her latest film before it evaporates from sight, like so many great films do. 

Craig Rubano

Craig Rubano — After selling out the Laurie Beechman Theatre in March with his show “Take the Moment”, Craig has added an extra performance on June 12, in addition to the two already scheduled on April 13 and May 19.  This performance is a perfect Mother’s and Father’s Day treat, or an occasion to share with friends.  As said previously, “Rubano made his return to the stage of the Laurie Beechman slowly, dramatically, and expressively, with the reverence of a cleric. The masterful leadership of Jeff Harnar’s direction enabled Craig Rubano to deliver an exceptional performance.” 

Calling All Porterphiles! — If you love Cole Porter and his music, you should know about these two events.  To celebrate his birthday every year, his hometown of Peru, Indiana has a Festival.  This year it runs from June 6 – 9 and is jampacked with entertainment and education for every fan.  Check it out at www.coleporterfestival.org. 

For the true aficionado, there’s a trip planned for late October, beginning in New York and visiting Porter locations is Venice and Paris.  More details as they develop. 

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Events

The 2024 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced

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Wet Brain, produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater, has the most nominations with 8; followed by Playwrights’ Stereophonic and Atlantic Theater’s Buena Vista Social Club with 7 – the latter being the most nominated musical.

Nominations for the 39th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were announced today by Amber Iman and George Abud, two of the stars of the new Broadway musical, Lempicka. The 2024 Awards will be presented at the annual ceremony which will take place on Sunday, May 5, 2024, at NYU Skirball beginning at 7:00pm. The event will once again be open to the public, with tickets available for purchase beginning April 11 at tickets.nyu.edu or at the NYU Skirball box office Tuesday – Saturday 12pm – 6pm. As always, the Lortel Awards are a benefit for the Entertainment Community Fund, and fans are encouraged to make donations at LortelAwards.org. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and Lucille Lortel Theatre, with additional support provided by TDF.

Alicia Keys earned a Lortel Award nomination for her semi-autobiographical new musical, Hell’s Kitchen, which recently transferred to Broadway. David Adjmi’s Stereophonic – nominated for 7 Lortel Awards – is also currently in performances on Broadway. All in all, for the 2023 – 2024 Off-Broadway season, 39 of the 75 eligible productions earned at least one Lortel Award nomination.

As previously announced, special honorees this year include Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Playwrights’ Sidewalk inductee Dominique Morisseau, and Ars Nova, who will be honored for their Outstanding Body of Work.

2024 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS NOMINATIONS

Julio Monge in Wet Brain. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Outstanding Play

The Comeuppance

Produced by Signature Theatre

Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Plays For The Plague Year

Produced by The Public Theater

Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

Primary Trust

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company

Written by Eboni Booth

Stereophonic

Produced by Playwrights Horizons

Written by David Adjmi

Wet Brain

Produced by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater

Written by John J. Caswell, Jr.

Jared Machado, Kenya Browne, and Olly Sholotan in ATC’s Buena Vista Social Club. Photo by Ahron R. Foster.
Outstanding Musical

(pray)

Produced by Ars Nova and National Black Theatre

Created by nicHi douglas, with music by S T A R R Busby and JJJJJerome Ellis

Buena Vista Social Club

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company

Book by Marco Ramirez, Music by Buena Vista Social Club

Dead Outlaw

Produced by Audible Theater

Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek & Erik Della Penna, Book by Itamar Moses, Conceived by David Yazbek

Hell’s Kitchen

Produced by The Public Theater

Music and Lyrics by Alicia Keys, Book by Kristoffer Diaz

Teeth

Produced by Playwrights Horizons

Book and Music by Anna K. Jacobs, Book and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

Julia Lester (up on the table) and the cast of CSC’s production of I CAN GET IT FOR YOUWHOLESALE. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Outstanding Revival

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Produced by Play Hooky Productions, Seaview, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jayne Baron Sherman, Stella La Rue, Roth-Manella Productions, Sony Music Masterworks, Jillian Robbins, David Binder, Folk Productions, Antonio Marion, Daniel Schwartz, Wessex Grove, Stephanie Choate, Hillary Wyatt

Written by John Patrick Shanley

I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Produced by Classic Stage Company

Book by Jerome Weidman (based on his novel), Music and Lyrics by Harold Rome, Book revisions by John Weidman

Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre Company

Written by Brian Friel

Sunset Baby

Produced by Signature Theatre Company

Written by Dominique Morisseau

Translations

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre

Written by Brian Friel

Patrick Page in All The Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.
Outstanding Solo Show

All The Devils Are Here – How Shakespeare Invented the Villain

Produced by Mara Isaacs, Thomas M. Neff, Willette and Manny Klausner, 42nd.Club, Daryl Roth

Written and Performed by Patrick Page

I Love You So Much I Could Die

Produced by New York Theatre Workshop

Written and Performed by Mona Pirnot

Make Me Gorgeous!

Produced by triangle productions!

Written by Donnie, Additional Material by Wade McCollum

Performed by Wade McCollum

Sorry For Your Loss

Produced by Audible

Written and Performed by Michael Cruz Kayne

Triple Threat

Produced by Brendan Gaul, Brett Henenberg, James T. Lane, and T32 Theatrical

Written and Performed by James T. Lane

Trent Saunders, Andrew Durand, and Eddie Cooper in Audible Theater’s World Premiere of Dead Outlaw at the Minetta Lane Theatre. Photo by Matthew Murphy (2024).
Outstanding Director

Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

David Cromer – Dead Outlaw

nicHi douglas – (pray)

Eric Ting – The Comeuppance

Dustin Wills – Wet Brain

Outstanding Choreographer

Camille A. Brown – Hell’s Kitchen

Graciela Daniele and Alex Sanchez – The Gardens of Anuncia

Patricia Delgado and Justin Peck – Buena Vista Social Club

nicHi douglas – (pray)

Raja Feather Kelly – Teeth

Gabby Beans and Hagan Oliveras in RTC’s Jonah. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play

Christopher Abbott – Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Gabby Beans – Jonah

William Jackson Harper – Primary Trust

Nicole Ari Parker – The Refuge Plays

Josh Radnor – The Ally

A.J. Shively – Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Paco Tolson – The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Play

Arnie Burton – Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors

Eli Gelb – Stereophonic

Carmen M. Herlihy – The Apiary

Florencia Lozano – Wet Brain

Julio Monge – Wet Brain

Bubba Weiler – Swing State

Frank Wood – Toros

Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Jordan Boatman, James Daly, Ellen Harvey, and Arnie Burton in DRACULA, A COMEDY OF TERRORS. photo by Matthew Murphy.
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical

Natalie Venetia Belcon – Buena Vista Social Club

Jeb Brown – Dead Outlaw

Andrew Durand – Dead Outlaw

Santino Fontana – I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Priscilla Lopez – The Gardens of Anuncia

Alyse Alan Louis – Teeth

Maleah Joi Moon – Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical

Shoshana Bean – Hell’s Kitchen

Rodrick Covington – Rock & Roll Man

Kecia Lewis – Hell’s Kitchen

Jessica Molaskey – The Connector

Steven Pasquale – Teeth

Mel Semé – Buena Vista Social Club

Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Steven Pasquale (Center) and the cast in Playwrights Horizons’ Teeth. Photo by Chelcie Parry.
Outstanding Ensemble

(pray)

Ariel Kayla Blackwood, S T A R R Busby, Ashely De La Rosa, Tina Fabrique, Satori Folkes-Stone, Amara Granderson, Taylor Symone Jackson, Ziiomi Louise Law, Aigner Mizzelle, Gayle Turner, Darnell White, D. Woods

The Comeuppance

Brittany Bradford, Caleb Eberhardt, Susannah Flood, Bobby Moreno, Shannon Tyo

Flex

Brittany Bellizeare, Christiana Clark, Eboni Edwards, Renita Lewis, Erica Matthews, Ciara Monique, Tamera Tomakili

Outstanding Scenic Design

Jason Ardizzone-West – shadow/land

Arnulfo Maldonado – Buena Vista Social Club

Arnulfo Maldonado – Dead Outlaw

Kate Noll – Wet Brain

David Zinn – Stereophonic

Patrice Johnson Chevannes in NYTW’s The Half-God of Rainfall. Photo by Joan Marcus.
Outstanding Costume Design

Dede Ayite – Buena Vista Social Club

Enver Chakartash – Stereophonic

Linda Cho – The Half-God of Rainfall

DeShon Elem – (pray)

Lux Haac – Manahatta

Outstanding Lighting Design

Amith Chandrashaker – The Comeuppance

Jiyoun Chang – Stereophonic

Jen Schriever – Spain

Cha See – Wet Brain

John Torres – Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Marin Ireland and Andrew Burnap in 2ST’s SPAIN. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Outstanding Sound Design

Tei Blow & John Gasper – Wet Brain

Jonathan Deans – Buena Vista Social Club

Palmer Hefferan – The Comeuppance

Ryan Rumery – Stereophonic

Mikaal Sulaiman – (pray)

Outstanding Projection Design

59 Productions – Corruption

Nick Hussong – Wet Brain

Jared Mezzocchi – Poor Yella Rednecks

Jared Mezzocchi – Russian Troll Farm

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew – The Connector

D. Woods (center) appears in (pray), directed by nicHi douglas, for Ars Nova at Greenwich House Theater. Photo by Ben Arons.

HONORARY AWARDS

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee

Dominique Morisseau

Outstanding Body of Work

Ars Nova

Mary Beth Fisher and Bubba Weiler in Rebecca Gilman’s Swing State. Photos by Liz Lauren. Taken at the Goodman Theater (2022)

NOMINATIONS BY SHOW

Wet Brain8

Buena Vista Social Club7

Stereophonic7

(pray)6

Dead Outlaw6

Hell’s Kitchen5

The Comeuppance5

Teeth4

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea3

I Can Get It for You Wholesale2

Philadelphia, Here I Come!2

Primary Trust2

The Connector2

The Gardens of Anuncia2

All The Devils Are Here – How Shakespeare Invented the Villain1

Corruption1

Dracula, A Comedy of Terrors1

Flex1

I Love You So Much I Could Die1

Jonah1

Wade McCollum in the triangle productions! of Make Me Gorgeous!. Photo by Maria Baranova.

Make Me Gorgeous!1

Manahatta1

Plays For The Plague Year1

Poor Yella Rednecks1

Rock & Roll Man1

Russian Troll Farm1

shadow/land1

Sorry For Your Loss1

Spain1

Sunset Baby1

Swing State1

The Ally1

Juan Castano in 2ST’s TOROS. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Off-Broadway League’s Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Alana Canty-Samuel, Tisa Chang, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Kenneth Naanep, Ralph Peña, Catherine Russell, Michael Sag, Jonathan Whitton, Casey York, and Jeffrey Shubart, Chair) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, Alana Canty-Samuel, Maura Le Viness, and Karla Liriano) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman directs the Lortel Awards with Terry Berliner as Co-Director. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

ABOUT THE LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS

The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence in Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. Awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Performer in a Play and Musical, Featured Performer in a Play and Musical, Ensemble, Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement Award, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award, and induction onto the Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see www.LortelAwards.org.

ABOUT THE OFF-BROADWAY LEAGUE

The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres (productions in Manhattan in venues with 76-499 seats), to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as a collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals. In recent years the League has grown to represent an average of 150 individual members and theatres and 100 non-for-profit and commercial shows per season.

Josh Radnor in The Ally at The Public Theater. Photo credit: Joan Marcus.

For updates and news visit www.LortelAwards.org.  Follow the Lortel Awards (#LortelAwards) on X (https://twitter.com/Lortel_Theatre), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/lorteltheatre), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LortelTheatre). Subscribe to the Lortel Awards YouTubechannel to watch clips from previous ceremonies.

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton

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I am so pleased to announce our guest for next Wednesday’s show on April 10th are Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton talking about their off Broadway show Fingers & Spoons.

Pascale Roger-McKeever

Playwright and performer Pascale Roger-McKeever is a mid-40s mom accepts her husband’s invitation to an open marriage. Provocative in its exploration of human vulnerability, the play acknowledges and embraces the acute discomfort of living out our inescapable sexuality – a shameless exploration of shame itself, this one-woman play turns many notions of self-empowerment on their head.

Fingers & Spoons is written and performed by Pascale Roger-McKeever and directed by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton. The show begins previews on Thursday, April 25, 2024, and is set to open on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024, at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City.

Pascale Roger-McKeever studied acting in London with the likes of Rosa Cyrota from The Moscow Arts Theatre, and Joachim Tenschert from The Berliner Ensemble before moving to New York City for the American dream. Theater credits include Rosannah in Cindy Lou Johnson’s Brilliant Traces, May in Sam Sheperd’s Fool For Love, lead roles in Tennessee Williams’ This Property Is Condemned, Talk to Me like the Rain and Let Me Listen, I Can’t Imagine Tomorrow. Film credits include Dark Phoenix, Quitters, Deadly Garage Sale, The Last Smile. Directorial credits include Carole Frechette’s The Four Lives of Marie and 7 Days in the Life of Simon Labrosse. Plays written and produced include Family In Church, Love From Behind, and Milk No Sugar. Her screenplay The Way I Am is currently being shopped around in Los Angeles and France.

Austin Pendleton has an extensive career as a film, television, and stage actor, a playwright, theater director, and a teacher of acting. He has worked on and off Broadway and is a Tony Award nominee, recipient of Drama Desk and Obie Awards, Screen Actors Guild award winner, and ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company. He wrote Orson’s Shadow, Uncle Bob, and Booth and the adaptation for A Minister’s Wife. Recent acting work includes the Broadway production of Tracy Letts’s The Minutes. Recent directing credits: Between Riverside and Crazy on Broadway (two Tony Award Nominations for that), Three Sisters, and Uncle Vanya at Classic Stage Company. He has made more than 100 film and television appearances.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a new show filmed in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode here, six episode here and our seventh episode here.

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