A special Be More Chill box office event had fans being invited to The Pershing Square Signature Center to buy their tickets and chill out with company members from this summer’s hotly anticipated musical prior to New York premiere production this summer.
Stephen Brackett directs and Chase Brock choreographs this limited 9-week, off-Broadway engagement July 26 – September 23 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, NYC). Based on the cult sensation novel by Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill is the story of Jeremy Heere, your average, nothing-special teenager at Middleborough High in nothing- special New Jersey. That is, until the day he finds out about “The Squip.” Thus begins a journey that pits Jeremy’s desire to be popular against his struggle to remain true to his authentic self. Be More Chill is an honest, edgy, super-hilarious look at coming of age in the digital age, set to some of the most exciting songs in contemporary musical theater. This original musical comedy looks at modern issues like depression, bullying, and anxiety through the lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. Little Shop of Horrors meets The Breakfast Club in this celebration of outcasts, teenaged or otherwise.
Katlyn Carlson (Dirty Dancing, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin) as Chloe, Stephanie Hsu (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Christine,
Lauren Marcus (The Humans at St. Louis Rep, Company at Barrington Stage) as Brooke
George Salazar (tick tick BOOM!, Godspell, The Lightning Thief) as Michael
Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen, The Black Suits) as Jeremy, Jason Tam (NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” KPOP) as The Squip
and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Freaky Friday, Benny and Joon, Bloodsong of Love) as Jeremy’s Dad/Mr. Reyes.
Be More Chill is presented by Gerald Goehring, Michael F. Mitri
Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Marc David Levine, Marlene and Gary Cohen, 42.club, The Baruch Frankel Viertel Group, Jenny Niederhoffer, Fred and Randi Sternfeld, Robert and Joan Rechnitz, Ashlee Latimer and Jenna Ushkowitz, Ben Holtzman and Sammy Lopez, Jenn Maley and Cori Stolbun, Chris Blasting, YesBroadway Productions, and Koenigsberg/Federman/Adler in association with Two River Theater, Red Bank, NJ, whichoriginally commissioned and produced the musical. Be More Chill features scenic design by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt (Come From Away), costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II (Lizzie Borden, Top Girls); lighting design by Tyler Micoleau (Iowa, The World of Extreme Happiness); sound design by Ryan Rumery (Fool For Love); musical direction by Emily Marshall; orchestrations by Charlie Rosen (Prince of Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas).
The Glorious Corner
STRIKE END LOOMS — (Via Showbiz 411/Roger Friedman) All the studio chiefs met Wedneday with the Writers Guild and will continue negotiating tomorrow, according to a WGA post.
The sudden seriousness of the studios is welcomed as the deadline looms for the 2023-24 TV season. If the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes aren’t resolved by early October, my sources say it will be impossible to put on a season.
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Disney’s Bob Iger, Universal’s Donna Langley and Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav were present today for the negotiations, a sure sign that the studios are finally in panic mode.
There are no daytime or nighttime talk shows, no new material on TV, and actors can’t promote the fall and winter movies. The actors have already missed the Telluride, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals. Now the New York Film Festival looms, as does the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
The so-called Fall TV Season has been decimated; the Emmy’s pushed back and just general chaos everywhere. The severity of the strike -142 days in- has hurt almost-every-single below-the-line sector, from caterers to limo drivers to costume houses. It’s reported that it will take up to 10-12 weeks to fully resume everything. That means early-November and let’s not forget come Thanksgiving, the holiday season officially starts. Stay tuned.
LOVE, BURT AT THE CUTTING ROOM — Monday night at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room was the presentation of Love, Burt – celebrating the majesty and memory of Burt Bacharach’s music.
The show really moved me and reminded me of the reason I do what … the music!
The show was just sumptuous – with the assembled group -led by Mike Visceglia- honoring and doing proper justice to a host of Bacharach songs – everything from “Baby, It’s You” to “One Less Bell To Answer,” The Look Of Love” and “Alfie” were all dutifully done. Especially poignant was their rendition of “A House Is Not A Home.”
The fact of the matter is that when these songs were recorded, they were embedded into everyone’s consciousness. These versions were good, but the originals remain standout. You hear a lot about the Great American Songbook, but these songs are the “new” Great American Songbook. Just luscious.
They ended the show was one of my favorite-Bacharach songs, from the 1988 album Burt recorded with Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory. One of the album’s strongest cuts is “God Give Me Strength.” It was simply sensational. Spotted there were Benny Harrison and Maria Milito from Q1043.
The room was packed like never before; what a night!
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz headlines the ACE Theatre Friday night in LA, and was a guest on KTLA Wednesday. Here’s a shot of him on-set with Sam Rubin who interviewed him with the KTLA-gang. Sam’s the second from left. Industry stalwarts at the ACE Theatre show include legendary-LA Times writer Randy Lewis; LA Magazine’sRoy Trakin and Goldmine’s Ken Sharp … Roger Friedman reported Wednesday that the pre-sales of Jann Wenner’s upcoming book Masters have been severely impacted by his New York Times interview. Take a read here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/09/20/jann-wenners-new-book-the-masters-drops-in-pre-sales-run-on-amazon-almost-off-the-top-2000-after-scandal-erupts And just last night his big presentation at NYC’s 92nd Y with Cameron Crowe was shuttered as well … SIGHTING: Alison Martino at NYC’s Algonquin Hotel …
When Apple TV’s The Morning Show debuted years ago (November 2019), created and run by Kerry Ehrin, it was a first-rate series certainly of The Sopranos-like and Mad Men-like caliber. Billy Crudup was astonishingly good as were Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The second season was basically trash. Three episodes in on a third season -with a 4th already guaranteed- it’s kind of a mixed-bag. I did not care for the first two EPs, but the third was bordering on the edge of greatness – and Witherspoon wasn’t even in this one and there was no explanation why. Jon Hamm has joined the cast as sort of an Elon Musk-figure. To me, he’s still Don Draper, just with an updated wardrobe. Most of the production staff has been replaced and it seemed to me, they’re still finding their way. The trouble is, that with these 8 or so episode-runs, it gets really good at episode 6. Go figure …
Rupert Murdoch to retire per CNBC? More on this next column … Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in What Happens Later – looks cute and Ryan directed it – check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqTZqSglhZo … RIP Roger Whitaker
and Happy Bday David McCallum; Curtis Urbina; and Bill Murray!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Glenn Gretlund; Jodi Ritzen; Leonard Nimoy; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon; Zach Martin; Michelle Grant; Art Rutter; Maria Milito; Joe Lynch; Melinda Newman; Mandy Naylor; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rudin; Jim Clash; Terry Jastrow; Randy Alexander; Bob Merlis; Andrew Sandoval; Art Rutter; and CHIP!
Fashion 4 Development Hosts Stylish First Ladies Luncheon
It was a lovely day full of style and compassion.
Fashion 4 Development hosted its 11th Annual First Ladies Luncheon on Tuesday, September 19th during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Evie Evangelou, F4D President and Founder co-hosted with Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who was announced as F4D’s Goodwill Ambassador for Music.
The annual luncheon well-known event where First Ladies and Royals from around the globe, as well as diplomats, philanthropists, fashion VIPs, and other key influencers celebrate the unprecedented cooperation between diplomacy and fashion. This year’s grand affair honored the late Queen Elizabeth II in partnership with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
Over 32 first ladies were in attendance including First Lady of Paraguay, First Lady of Serbia, First Lady of Albania, Princess of Eswatini, First Lady of Ecuador, First Lady of Malta, First Lady of Cabo Verde, First Lady of Israel, First Lady of Colombia and more. Additional notable attendees and honorees included Fern Mallis, Flaviana Matata, June Ambrose, Chaz Dean, Julia Haart, Preeta Sinha, Jennifer Hanks Allaire, Dr. Inez Hernandez, Aneeta Williams, Bonnie Lautenberg, Monica Elias, Sergio Nicolosi, Amy Shiels, Laine Siklos, Janna Bullock and Sofie Mahlkvist.
Kicking the day off with a green carpet and a cocktail reception, guests networked and mingled as exhibitions from couture fashion designer Stewart Parvin and milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan were on display. Evangelou then welcomed all guests and introduced the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange Video showcasing an initiative that launched in Buckingham Palace and then graced the F4D Global Runway in New York City.
The annual luncheon is also dedicated to honoring those who celebrate the unprecedented cooperation between diplomacy and fashion around the world. Honorees included 2023 Franca Sozzani Award winner, Johannesburg-based designer Thebe Magugu. Sara Sozzani Maino introduced Magugu, honoring him for preserving his South African heritage through fashion and design.
Assembly member Rebecca Seawright introduced philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and presented her with the 2023 Philanthropy Award. “We must work together,” Shafiroff said. “Not just in our countries, not just locally, but globally, because sustainability is a global issue. It’s important for all of us to be involved.” She continued, “We want future generations to have the opportunity to live in a good world, it’s our obligation to work on a sustainable future by creating long and short-term goals, incentives and rewards, and a sense of team work together, this is all achievable and doable.”
Speakers throughout the afternoon included remarks by Naila Chowdhury, the Director of Social Impact and Innovation at UC San Diego, who was just announced as F4D’s Goodwill Ambassador. As an advocate for human rights, she said, “We are at the critical juncture where climate, sustainability, gender equity, human rights, dignity, and zero tolerance of any form of violence has become imperative to address.”
F4D Awards created exclusively by Toye, Kenning & Spencer, founded in 1685 and with a Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Toye, Kenning & Spencer is the leading and most diversified craft skills employer in the United Kingdom.
To learn more about F4D, please visit: http://www.fashion4development.com
Photos courtesy Michael Ostuni /PMC
(Cover art features L to R: María De Lourdes Alcivar De Lasso (Ecaudor), Verónica Alcocer García (Colombia), Leticia Ocampos (Paraguay), Evie Evangelou, Débora Katisa Carvalho (Cape Verde), Tamara Vučić (Serbia), Michelle Muscat (Former First Lady of Malta)
A Fun Night at Dave and Buster’s 42nd Street
Thank-you again to Eli Marcus and the staff of Dave and Buster’s, at 234 West 42nd Street.
Eli was sending the concierge’s to the show The Shark Is Broken.
There were lots of new friends to be made such as Carol Mennie, Caroline Rosado from the Hilton, Dinnella Collado from the Washington Square Hotel, Benjamin Maddy from Dave and Buster’s and Michaela Paratore of Benjamin Steakhouse Prime
This destination for sports enthusiasts, foodies, and arcade offers space, fun and some fabulous happy hour deals.
All across the multiple screens were football, basketball, and hockey games from across the sporting world. At the sports bar an impressive selection of drinks, including craft beers, signature cocktails await. I sampled some their tasty bites and was impressed.
To sooth your inner child air hockey and arcade games are waiting to be played.
If you are looking for entertainment they have a legendary Trivia Night with fantastic prizes.
This is actually a great place to throw your holiday parties.
I am so glad the Mayor of Times Square invited me to his event.
Comedy at The Ned
Mike Young‘s Night at The Ned takes place weekly in the members’ Magic Room space, and presented by Akiva. The next show is Sept 27th, and will be weekly thereafter. Past attendees and comedians have included notables like Michael Rapaport, TJ Miller, Jeffrey Ross, Chris Rock, Robin Thicke, and many more.
The comedians who joined the lineup on Friday, Sept 15th, to surprise the room packed with 90 The Ned members/guests (and a bevy of models), included the below. Attendees, inclusive of members, enjoyed custom cocktails, wine, beer and bottle service during the performance, and dined on cuisine from The Ned’s signature menu favorites. The show takes place in The Magic Room, an exclusive feeling lounge complete with a beautiful wooden bar, featuring plush jewel toned velour seating, a red decor aesthetic, and ambient table lamps. It is the perfect setting for an intimate comedy show, complete with a stage, and a grand piano.
Photos Courtesy of Geoffrey Nurse/GN Studios for The Ned
You Gotta Believe “Voices: Stars for Foster Kids” Benefit Concert
You Gotta Believe , a New York City-based, national organization that focuses exclusively on finding permanent parents and families for older kids in foster care, hosted its 9th annual Voices: Stars for Foster Kids benefit concert at Town Hall in NYC, on Monday, September 18th.
Created and hosted by Stars In The House’s Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, the benefit concert featured special performances and appearances by Donna Murphy, Patina Miller, Adam Pascal, Sharon Catherine Brown, Javier Colon, Ta’Nika Gibson, Matt Gould, Norm Lewis, Griffin Matthews, Gracie McGraw, Krysta Rodriguez, Cody Saintgnue, NaTasa Yvette Williams, Bellamy Young, Andrea McArdle and Executive Director of You Gotta Believe Jennifer Pinder. The evening was be directed by Brenda Braxton with music direction by Seth Rudetsky. Other guests in attendance included: Jackie Hoffman, Our Lady Jay, Tom Cavanaugh, Juwan Crawley, Jackson Walker, and others.
Special moments included: Bellamy Young sharing her personal story of being a foster child – and at 8-years-old identifying with the song “Maybe” from the musical ANNIE. After she shared her touching story with the crowd at Town Hall, the original “Annie,” Andrea McArdle surprised Bellamy on-stage and sang “Maybe” to her. Also, actor & model Cody Saintgnue sharing his own story about of being in foster care and later adopted – and what his family means to him. The “Voice” winner Javier Colon came on-stage to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” – a song that reminded him of his childhood, to him.
Today nearly 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States, and every year as many as 22,000 youth will age out of the foster care system. Without the safety net of a forever family to provide the security and comfort most take for granted, these young people are left on their own to face a future filled with hardships — from lack of education to unemployment, higher rates of incarceration, poor health, early parenthood and homelessness. A staggering 20% of youth who age out alone will experience homelessness – that’s 4,000 homeless kids each year.
Due to the transformative work of YGB since 1995, thousands of parents have been trained to make an unconditional commitment to youth in care, over 750 families have been licensed as foster families after receiving training through YGB, and nearly 375 older youth have been adopted into families trained by YGB. YGB offers families perpetual support, including counseling and mental health services, to ensure permanency.
Created by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley in 2015, Voices: Stars for Foster Kids brings together the very best performers from the American stage and screen to raise awareness about the plight of kids in foster care, particularly those aged 10 and older who are in danger of aging out of the foster care system alone. Combining celebrity, music, and everyday people sharing their incredible stories, Voices: Stars for Foster Kids directly benefits YGB’s mission to find permanent families for older kids in foster care. Since its inception in 2015, Voices: Stars for Foster Kids has raised $3,392,300 for YGB.
For more information on You Gotta Believe, VIP tickets, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit YouGottaBelieve.org.
Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson / Getty Images for You Gotta Believe
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