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Jamie deRoy & friends Benefit for The Entertainment Community Fund Includes Robert Klein, Harolyn Blackwell and More

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Show business tour de force and eight-time Tony® Award-winning producer Jamie deRoy brings her acclaimed Jamie deRoy & friends cabaret show back to New York’s famed Birdland, Monday, July 11th, at 7:00 p.m.  

Performers who light up the marquees of cabaret, theatre, music and comedy will join Ms. deRoy. The one-night only show is part of the club’s Broadway at Birdland Concert Series. Birdland is at 315 West 44th Street in New York’s theatre district.

Proceeds from the event, produced by Ms. deRoy, will benefit The Entertainment Community Fund: Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative which assists those in the cabaret industry who have medical needs and concerns. The Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs honored her with a MAC Award for her many shows that have benefited her signature initiative. The Jamie deRoy & friends cabaret series has been attracting New York audiences for over 30 years.

Ms. deRoy will host the show and welcome special guests: 

Harolyn Blackwel

Harolyn Blackwell,one of the brightest stars on stage in the US and abroad, is a charismatic soprano that has been hailed by audiences and critics alike as a “model of agility, spunk, charm and silvery tone.”  Recognized for her expressive and exuberant performances, as well as for her radiant voice, she has a wide and varied career on opera, concert and recital stages of the world. She has performed with many of the most distinguished orchestras across the world, on stage, screen and on recordings including, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival, Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires, San Francisco Opera, Netherlands Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra de Nice, Miami Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and the Ravinia Festival, among others. At the Metropolitan Opera, she has appeared in several productions, including La Fille du Régiment, Un Ballo in Maschera, Le Nozze di Figaro, Manon, Die Fledermaus, and Werther. Additional roles performed to date on other stages have included Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Lakmé (Lakmé), Gilda (Rigoletto), Nannetta (Falstaff), Norina (Don Pasquale), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Zdenka (Arabella), and Constance (Les Dialogues des Carmélites).  Miss Blackwell also starred in the Broadway Revival of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as Cunégonde. 

Ben Jones

Ben Jones is a 2021 Broadway World Cabaret Award winner for work he performed in clubs in New York City during the pandemic. Regional credits include The Pajama Game (Sid), Guys and Dolls (Sky), Show Boat (Ravenal), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Jimmy), The Last Five Years (Jamie), Sweeney Todd (Tobias), Candide (Governor, Vanderdendur), Follies (Buddy), Cats (Munkustrap/Quaxo) and Chicago (Mary Sunshine). Ben has appeared as soloist with such great American symphony orchestras including the San Francisco Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Columbus Symphony and the Oakland East Bay Symphony, 

Daisy Jopling

Daisy Jopling is a world renowned classical/rock violinist who has toured the world with her own band, the “Daisy Jopling Band” and with the creative string trio “Triology.”  She has recorded 9 CDS, 2 with BMG RCA Victor. Her solo work has included playing a concerto at the Royal Albert Hall in London at the age of 14, playing twice before 30,000 people at the opening of the Vienna Festival, touring with her band to 53 stunning concert halls in China, creating “Illuminance” on Bannerman Island, NY which aired on PBS in 2021, and performing her own “Awakening” Concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in 2017.  In 2021 Daisy premiered a new show called “Transcendence”, directed by iconic Olympic Ceremony creator Daniel Flannery, based on African American author Sarah Bracey White’s memoir “Primary Lessons”. As well as touring, Daisy is currently working on a concert with her band at the Great Pyramids in Egypt on November 4, 2022. 

Robert Klein

Robert Klein has entertained audiences and has an acclaimed career in comedy, on Broadway, on television and in film. In 1975, Klein was the first comedian to appear in a live concert on HBO. He has gone on to do nine one-man shows for the network and garnered two Emmy nominations. Among dozens of starring and guest-starring roles, he recently co-starred in two NBC hit series, “Sisters” and “The Mysteries of Laura”. Most recently he appeared as Grace’s father, Martin Adler on “Will and Grace”. Klein has also appeared in many notable films including, “Hooper,” “The Owl and the Pussycat,” “Primary Colors,” “People I Know,” “Two Weeks Notice,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and “The Back-Up Plan” with Jennifer Lopez. He has been nominated for Grammy Awards for “Best Comedy Album of the Year” for his albums “Child of the Fifties” and “Mind Over Matter.” He received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, and won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in the hit Neil Simon musical, “They’re Playing Our Song.” In 1993, Klein won an Obie and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in Wendy Wasserstein’s, “The Sisters Rosensweig.” In the spring of 2017, his documentary “Robert Klein Still Can’t Stop His Leg” aired on STARZ. 

Jason Kravits

Jason Kravits began his career at 13 years old in Washington, DC playing Lolo in the highly acclaimed PBS series, “Powerhouse”. Several years later, after graduating from the University of Maryland, he found a home in the Washington, DC, theater community, where he became a well-known presence in theaters such as the Round House Theater, the Shakespeare Theater, and the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company (of which he is still a member). Alongside fellow writer-performer Joel Jones, he developed the material for “Making Faces,” which would eventually go on to win Best Sketch Show at 1999’s U.S. Comedy Festival in Aspen, Co. Shortly after, he landed a guest-starring role on David Kelley’s The Practice. In addition to TV credits, he has appeared on Broadway in “Relatively Speaking,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and “Sly Fox.” 

Multi-award winning Composer, Book Writer and Lyricist Barry Kleinbort directs Ms. deRoy’s July 11th show with musical direction by award-winning arranger, orchestrator and conductor, Ron Abel and Steve Doyle on Bass. 

Ms. deRoy is an acclaimed producer; cabaret, stage, film and TV performer; recording artist and humanitarian. In addition to Tony Awards, she has won eight MAC Awards, four Back Stage Bistro Awards and 11 Telly Awards for her extensive work on stage and screen. She has appeared on stage with such luminaries as Joan Rivers and has headlined at many New York nightclubs. Ms. deRoy has produced nine CDs in the Jamie deRoy & friends series, all of which are available on Harbinger and PS Classics labels. Her cabaret shows serve as the basis for her award-winning cable television show which spotlights well-known entertainers and newcomers. 

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

Cabaret

Jumaane Smith Plays To Sold Out Crowd at Birdland

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This past week Jumaane Smith and his quartet performed for a full house at Birdland in New York City. Jumaane is one of the greatest trumpeter performing today. Like Louis Armstrong he is strong on both trumpet and vocals, playful on stage.

Jumaane has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder, andperformed with Michael Buble for 17 years. and Harry Connick Jr. Smith is stepping onto center stage with the release of his new album “Come On Home” on August 16. This deeply emotional and predominantly original work traverses the rich landscapes of jazz, blues, and contemporary soul, echoing the timeless influence of classic albums from these genres. Known for his exceptional talent and versatility, the LP and his performance encapsulates themes of love, loss, overcoming challenges, redemption, and joy.
A highlight if the night was”I Know,” about finding your soulmate—the one person who stands by you against the world, the person you long to see at the end of the day.
Smith was backed by outstanding musicians Chris Lewis – Saxophone, Al Street – Guitar, Carmen Intorre Jr – drums, Will Gorman – organ.
It’s always a treat to be in the audience enjoying an evening with Jamaane Smith and his incredible music
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Cabaret

My View: Norm Lewis…. “SUMMERTIME” at 54 Below… Spike Lee & Celebs Attend

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In all my years of going to shows, whether theatre, concerts, clubs, cabaret, etc., I have never done what I did this past week and I’m not sure I can even explain. I went to see Norm Lewis at 54 Below on June 6th and didn’t just love it, I was somehow hypnotized by the man and the material. That night, Miss Melba Moore was his Special Guest and invited to share the stage and something magical happened. The program was all showtunes and treasure from Broadway-current, past and even a little in between, with one brilliant piece of Off-Broadway gold, TRY TO REMEMBER, dedicated to the memory of the late, great Jerry Orbach. Then, upon finding out the Guest List for the entire 7 shows, we just decided we wanted to be there and it was the right decision. Night after night, added and/or subtracted songs to adapt to the desired length of the show. Every night, Norm’s longtime friend and trusted Director, Richard Jay-Alexander, on the scene, along with Musical Director/Arranger Joseph Joubert on keys, Perry Cavari on drums and percussion and a very cool Dylan Shamat on both electric and acoustic bass. Each night a different kind of magic and, lucky me, living so nearby, I was able to capture all the Award Winning Guests and high=profile friends. So, here for Norm Lewis, who brought summer early to all of us at 54 Below, is a scrapbook of his seven nights and special guests, both on stage and off. Now that the run is over, what will Eda and I do tonight??? Bravo!

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL & NORM LEWIS

54 BELOW

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NORM LEWIS

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & WALTER MARKS

PASTOR BOBBY LEWIS & NORM LEWIS

MARC SHAIMAN

MARC SHAIMAN & NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS (Sweeney Todd)

NORM LEWIS

LEN CARIOU

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS & ALICE RIPLEY

ALICE RIPLEY & NORM LEWIS

WILL SWENSON & NORM LEWIS

WILL SWENSON

WILL SWENSON

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL & NORM LEWIS

BRIAN STOKES MITHCELL & NORM LEWIS

NOVA PAYTON & NORM LEWIS

NOVA PAYTON & NORM LEWIS

OLIVIA ELEASE  HARDY

OLIVIA ELEASE HARDY & NORM LEWIS

OLIVIA HARDY

THE DRINKWATER BROTHERS

THE DRINKWATER BROTHERS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

SPIKE LEE & NORM LEWIS

SPIKE LEE & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & SPIKE LEE

LEN CARIOU

MARC SHAIMAN

SPIKE LEE

MARILYN MAYE

MELISSA ERRICO

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL

JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, SPIKE LEE, TONY DANZA

LEN CARIOU, NORM LEWIS, MARC SHAIMAN

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

54 BELOW

CARLOS CLEMENZ

NORM LEWIS

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Cabaret

Norm Lewis, Stephen Schwartz Made For a Fabulous Summertime at 54 Below

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Norm Lewis is presenting “SUMMERTIME (Special Tony Edition)” from June 6-13, 2024 at 54 Below.

Stephen Schwartz

The night of June 7, Mr. Lewis was joined on stage by composer Stephen Schwartz and Bobby Lewis ( Mr. Lewis’ cousin). The show was directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, musical direction and piano Joseph Joubert, drums – Perry Cavari and on Bass -Dylan Shamat.

Norm began the evening by entering through the audience greeting the enthusiastic crowd singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Julie Stone/Bob Merrill).’

Norm Lewis

At one point While he left the stage for wardrobe change his special guest Stephen Schwartz took to the piano to sing “The Hardest Part of Love” from his musical Children of Eden.

Norm and Bobby Lewis

Mr. Lewis left the stage one more time to give the moment to Bobby Lewis singing ”One Song Glory ” from Rent (music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson.

Lee Roy Reams, Marilyn Maye

Before leaving the stage Mr Lewis joined  his cousin Bobby Lewis in a duet singing “For Good” from Wicked (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Each night of the run will feature surprise guest .
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Cabaret

My View: SUMMERTIME Starring Norm Lewis Just Keeps Getting HOTTER!

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I don’t usually post multiple photo essays of the same show/event, but, in this case, I simply must or I wouldn’t be doing my job of “reporting” here in Times Square Chronicles. The fact of the matter is that my wife, Eda, and I have been to Norm Lewis’s new show SUMMERTIME (Special Tony Edition) 3 times now and it has been “delivering” on a nightly basis more thrills and excitement than any other run of a show we have previously witnessed. The show is beautifully directed by the gifted Richard Jay-Alexander, with musical direction and arrangements from the equally gifted Joseph Joubert. What Norm and his artistic posse have put together is so satisfying that you get drawn in and forget you’ve already seen it. Add to this unexplainable phenomenon the array of Broadway Guests and each night has been a delight for so many different reasons. Because I live conveniently close, I am able to capture historic pairings of creative giants and I had to put this together so you could witness the kind of history that has already been made each of these nights at 54 Below. Norm has 4 more shows and many more Special Guests on June 10, 11, 12 and 13 and I can only heartily recommend you go see this man who is so comfortable in his stardom, that he easily seduces you into his world of music and Broadway. You will not be disappointed. I must also note that there has been as much star power in his audiences as there are on stage, adding extra excitement to every night.

( I couldn’t catch all the celebs in the audience but here are a few photo highlights)

NORM LEWIS & LEN CARIOU

NORM LEWIS (Sweeny Todd)

LEN CARIOU

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & WALTER MARKS

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NORM LEWIS

MARC SHAIMAN & NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS & MARC SHAIMAN

LEN CARIOU, NORM LEWIS, MARC SHAIMAN

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MALBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MARILYN MAYE & NORM LEWIS

MARILYN MAYE

LEE ROY REAMS & MARILYN MAYE

WALTER MARKS, JENNIFER HALLIE DIAMOND, ROBERT DIAMOND, founder/owner BROADWAYWORLD, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

NORM LEWIS, ROBERT DIAMOND, JENNIFER HALLIE DIAMOND

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, music director/conductor The New York Pops, ERIC GABBARD

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

LORNA DALLAS BROWN, LEE ROY REAMS, MARILYN MAYE

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

PASTOR BOBBY LEWIS (Norm’s cousin) & NORM LEWIS

JOSEPH JOUBERT, music director

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NORM LEWIS, CATHERINE ADLER

JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER & RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

MARK SENDROFF, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, RICHARD SKIPPER

54 BELOW

MACON PRICKETT

CARLOS CLEMENZ & MARC SHAIMAN

NORM LEWIS

EDA SOROKOFF & CATHERINE ADLER

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Cabaret

My View: Norm Lewis Brings On The Summer Heat at 54 Below

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“The Heat is On” at 54 Below with a new show Norm Lewis is performing, called SUMMERTIME (Special TONY Edition). From his dazzling entrance to his beautiful “goodnight” the evening is wall-to wall Broadway treasure. Yes, summer arrived early ,last night, and whatever the kinship and connection between the star, his musical director Joseph Joubert and his director Richard Jay-Alexander, is, it bathed us in magic with stunning music, beautiful arrangements, humor, glamour, stories and vocals that are, quite honestly, beyond just having a powerful skill set. Norm is a sublime actor who happens to possess a magnificent voice and he uses every dimension of it.

During the run he will have special guests who are both friends and Broadway royalty. Last night, he “blew up” this concept by introducing us to the legendary TONY winner, Melba Moore. I don’t usually write about specific material, but when your brain can’t comprehend that Miss Moore tore into “Aquarius” and “Let The Sunshine In” from HAIR with Mr. Lewis, hearts were jumping and joy exploded in the room. Only to be followed by Melba singing “I Got Love” from PURLIE (wait for it) in the original key! The 3 piece band, led by Joubert, also consisted of Perry Cavari on drums and percussion and Dylan Shamat on both acoustic and electric bass. The sounds they made all night were as versatile as could be accomplished and have become a trademark, of sorts, for Norm. Don’t hesitate to get to 54 Below and start your summer early. This man brings the heat with him onto the stage. 

Norm Lewis

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

MELBA MOORE

54 BELOW

54 BELOW

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award

JOSEPH JOUBERT

54 BELOW

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD, NORM LEWIS

RICHARD SKIPPER, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NORM LEWIS, MARK SENDROFF

CARLOS CLEMENZ & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

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