The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President and CEO) and The Village Voice (Peter Barbey, CEO; Stephen Mooallem, Editor-in-Chief) are pleased to announce that the 63rd Annual Obie Awards will be held on Monday, May 21, 2018, and will move to a new venue, Terminal 5 (610 West 56th Street). Emmy and Obie-winning actor John Leguizamo will host. Tickets to the 2018 Obie Awards can be purchased at www.ObieAwards.com.
“Since his 1991, Obie-winning solo show, Mambo Mouth, John has — with little more than a stage, his singular point of view, and his now legendary acting chops — managed to give voice to countless indelible characters — many from woefully underrepresented communities — and leave audiences absolutely riveted in the process. In other words, he is the living embodiment of everything that is essential about Off Broadway. He’s also one of the funniest men on the planet,” said Heather Hitchens, President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing.
“The Obie I won for my first solo play, Mambo Mouth, was unspeakably encouraging for a young artist just starting out, and still holds a ton of meaning to me. I am thrilled to take part in celebrating this year’s crop of Obie winners. It’s not just a great honor; it brings my career full circle,” said John Leguizamo.
The judges’ panel for the 63rd Annual Obie Awards, chaired as in previous years by longtime Village Voice critic Michael Feingold, includes Entertainment Weekly theater critic Melissa Rose Bernardo, Obie-winning projection designer Wendall K. Harrington, Broadway News theater critic Charles Isherwood, Tony nominee and Obie-winning costume designer Toni-Leslie James, dancer-actress-director Sondra Lee, Tony nominee and Obie-winning actor Arian Moayed, and Obie-winning actress Ching Valdes-Aran. Productions that wish to invite consideration from the judges should fill out the official invitation form at www.ObieAwards.com/about. Please direct questions regarding Obie consideration to ObieInvites@AmericanTheatreWing.org
For more information, visit www.ObieAwards.com.
Emmy Award winner John Leguizamo has appeared in over 100 films and countless television shows while establishing a career that defies categorization. With boundless and visceral creativity, his work in film, theatre, television, and literature covers a variety of genres, continually threatening to create a few of its own. Most recently, Leguizamo was seen in the third and final season of “Bloodline” where he reprised his role as Ozzy Delvecchio. He was also seen in Latin History for Morons at New York’s Public Theater, his one-man show where he delivered his take on 500 years of Latin History spanning the Aztec and Incan Empries, to World War II. Upcoming projects include The Adventures of Drunky, set for release this year; ABC’s TV movie drama “Salamander”; “Nancy,” opposite Andrea Riseborough, Steve Buscemi and Ann Dowd; and “Waco,” a six-part event series set to release in 2018. John garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a sensitive drag queen in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, was the recipient of the 2002 ALMA Special Achievment Award for Entertainer of the Year, and picked up ALMA Award nominations for his roles in Moulin Rouge (Best Supporting Actor) and King of the Jungle (Best Lead Actor). Other film credits for him include ; John Wick: Chapter 2; The Hollow Point; The Infiltrator; Ice Age: Collision Course; The Crash; 11:55; Porzingod; Stealing Cars; Sisters; Meadowland; Experimenter; American Ultra; Cymbeline; Fugly; John Wick; Chef; Ride Along; Underdogs; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; The Counsellor; Kick-Ass-2; Fish N Chips: The Movie; Inocente; The Trip 2; Ice Age: Continental Drift; One for the Money; The Lincoln Lawyer; Vanishing on 7thStreet; Big Balls; Repo Men; The Ministers; Rage; Gamer; Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Nothing Like the Holidays; Miracle at St. Anna; Righteous Kill; The Happening; The Babysitters; The Take; Ice Age: The Meltdown; Land of the Dead; The Honeymooners; Zig Zag; Ice Age; Collatoral Damage; Doctor Dolittle; Romeo + Juliet; The Fan; A Pyromaniac’s Love Story; Super Mario Bros.; Night Owl; Poison; Die Hard 2; and Casualties of War. Leguizamo’s TV work also includes “The Kill Point”; “ER”; “My Name is Earl”; “The Brothers Garcia”; “House of Buggin”’; and “Miami Vice”. In 1991, Leguizamo created his first off-Broadway sensation as the writer and performer of his one-man show Mambo Mouth, in which he portrayed seven different characters. He received Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Vanguardia awards for this specific performance. Leguizamo went on to create his second off-Broadway one-man show Spic-O-Rama, which garnered a Dramatists’ Guild Hull-Warriner Award for Best American Play, the Lucille Lortel Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Broadway Performance, the Theatre World Award for Outstanding New Talent, and the Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance. Leguizamo’s debut to Broadway was his one-man show, Freak, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play. Additional theater credits include, Sexaholix… A Love Story, which received a Tony nomination for Best Special Theatrical Performance; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Puta Vida Trilogy; and American Buffalo. John went on to film special presentations for HBO for his one-man shows including Mambo Mouth; Spic-O-Rama; Freak, for which he won a Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program; Sexaholix… A Love Story; and Ghetto Klown. Leguizamo lengthened his lists of credits with his first literary project in 2006 with his memoir, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: My Life. He also released Ghetto Klown, the graphic novel adaptation of his 2011 Drama Desk award winning one-man Broadway show in 2015. Leguizamo currently resides in New York City with his wife and two children.
The Village Voice created the Obie Awards, at the suggestion of then editor Jerry Tallmer, soon after the publication’s own inception in 1955, to encourage the newly burgeoning Off Broadway theater movement and to acknowledge its achievements. The Obies are structured with informal categories, to recognize artists and productions worthy of distinction in each theatrical year. Over the decades, the Obie Awards have played a major role in the Voice’s long history of championing work of innovative and exceptional quality Off and Off-Off Broadway. The Village Voice put the new downtown theater movement on the map with its in-depth coverage, becoming a forum for conflicting viewpoints which helped generate excitement over new works and new approaches to theater-making. The Obies have become a theatrical tradition, a meaningful way to acknowledge the best artistic achievements of downtown theater. The list of actors, writers, directors, and designers who have received Obies at pivotal moments in their careers is a virtual who’s who of contemporary theater. While the categories of the awards have continued to change almost annually, the creative spirit remains the same. The Obie Awards salute a theatrical movement that’s as important, and as vibrant, today as it was in 1955.
One hundred years ago, on the eve of America’s entry into World War I, seven suffragettes—all women of the theatre—came together to form The Stage Women’s War Relief. A century later, the spirit and vision behind the founding of American Theatre Wing remains a touchstone for all we do. The Wing continues to champion bravery, with a focus on developing the next generation of brave artists. The Wing advances the future of American Theatre by celebrating excellence and nurturing the next generation: on stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. We envision an American Theatre that is as vital, multi-faceted, and diverse as the American people.
The Wing’s programs span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American Theatre. We provide theatre education opportunities for underserved students through the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, develop the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC and Theatre Intern Network programs, incubate innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, foster the song of American Theatre through the Jonathan Larson® Grants, honor the best in New York theatrical design with the Henry Hewes Design Award, and illuminate the creative process through the Emmy-nominated “Working in the Theatre” documentary series. In addition to founding the Tony Awards® which are co-presented with The Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing co-presents the Obie Awards®, Off Broadway’s Highest Honor, with The Village Voice.
Visitors to AmericanTheatreWing.org can gain inspiration and insight into the artistic process through the Wing’s extensive media collection, and learn more about its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences. Follow the Wing on Twitter and Instagram @TheWing, and on Facebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing.
PUBLIC Hotel’s Holiday Bash Warms Up the Season in Style
This past week at PUBLIC Hotel’s holiday celebration warmed up the chilly season in style. The launch of the popular rooftop igloos was the toast of the town.
Guests enjoyed music by Chelsea Leyland and a special performance by Frex, who performed four songs including her upcoming single “used to” featuring Jordan Ward.
Discover your own luxury and style at Ian Schrager’s hotel in the heart of New York City. With a chic and sophisticated vibe, there is nothing as unique and superb as this fabulous location.
Private, heated Igloos are now open. To make a reservation, click here.
Be sure to indicate igloo seating or indoor seating within your request. Each igloo has a capacity of 8-10 people with a 2 person minimum and 2.5 hour time limit when making a reservation.
Photos by @shutherspeed
Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff Hosts ‘Silver and Gold’ Celebration for Fashion Designer Malan Breton
Philanthropist and author, Jean Shafiroff held a special ‘Silver and Gold’ cocktail reception in Manhattan to celebrate fashion designer and goodwill ambassador, Malan Breton.
The reception also raised funds to benefit the Center for Family Services of Palm Beach County, Inc. The Center provides mental health services to individuals and families in Palm Beach County who would otherwise be unable to afford the help they so desperately need. In addition, The Center hosts the Old Bags Luncheon which will take place on Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 at The Breakers Palm Beach. The events boasts an extraordinary silent auction offering a variety of new or gently used authentic designer handbags, a beautiful lunch in one of the Breakers’ oceanfront ballrooms and a celebrity speaker.
Notable attendees included: Jean Shafiroff, Malan Breton, Ray Angry, Flo Anthony, Danny Burstein, Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, Ian Mellencamp, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Elton Ilirjani, Baayork Lee, Angel Pai, Consuelo Vanderbilt, Baayork Lee, Linda Lew Woo, Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Edgar Batista.
Cover Art – Jean Shafiroff, Malan Breton (Photo Credit: PMC / Sylvain Gaboury)
A Day of Enlightenment at Caviar for a Cause with Julia Haart & Batsheva Haart
Julia and Batsheva Haart hosted Caviar for a Cause this weekend to raise awareness and support for Israel. Over $18,000 was raised with all proceeds will be donated to Magen David Adom.
A bevy of international supporters came together on Dec. 3 at Caviar Russe on Madison Avenue to collectively raise their glasses and voices in unison to battle antisemitism.
Julia, who is a self-made businesswoman, designer, and bestselling author also happens to be one of the most influential people in fashion. Knowing the power of the afternoon, she stood before guests at the New York City affair and shared a powerful message.
With a purpose to bring peace to the world she told the crowd with great passion as a changemaker: “We are living in very tumultuous, dangerous times. I was walking around the room, and someone said to me this is all been dormant. Unbelievable. This is what people have been thinking and feeling about the Jewish people behind closed doors. And now they’ve come out of hiding. Now, you see them being openly anti-Semitic……How can we change this tide that has been present for 1000s of years? I may be naive, but I do believe in the goodness of mankind. The way to eradicate Semitism is to talk to be loud, to fight to make noise. We cannot say this too shall Pass. We have to be louder than the hate. We must be stronger than the anger.”
Guests shared the message of hope and harmony throughout the afternoon that was sponsored by Caviar Russe along ALB Vodka. The crowd delighted in delicious hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails as Richie Nuzz put on a grand performance.
Magen David Ado is Israel’s official representative to the International Red Cross. MDA relies on support from donors, including those from the United States, to keep its dispatch systems, training, and equipment the best in the world. When you support Magen David Adom, you are helping save lives, every day.
For more information on how to donate, please visit ttps://www.mdais.org/en/
The Glorious Corner
CHRIS CARTER — (Via Maz Digital) Chris Carter was 7 years old when his mother bought him Rubber Soul, the Beatles’ sixth studio album, at a ShopRite market in Wayne, New Jersey. Fifty-seven years later, he’s the ultimate Beatles expert as host for 22 years of Breakfast With the Beatles, a radio show carried each weekday on SiriusXM’s Beatles channel and Sundays on Los Angeles’ KLOS-FM. The show is celebrating its 40th anniversary, at the same time that music fans are marking the 60th anniversary of Beatlemania.
We talked with Carter about his unique position: He’s a musician too. Carter played bass in alternative rock band Dramarama in the 1980’s and 90’s. “I loved Paul’s bass playing, but I got into wanting to play the bass from listening to Grand Funk Railroad, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper records. That really hooked me in.”He was in the right place when he got the job. Carter follows original host Deirdre O’Donoghue, who died in 2001.
The job offer call came just before he went to a Ringo Starr concert. “I knew once I got the job, I would be there ’til I died. This is one of those long-term things and I’m not going anywhere. “Prep keeps it fresh. “I have to handpick 60 Beatles songs a day, or solo Beatles songs, and have them pertain to that day—say, an anniversary or ‘today in Beatles history.’ There’s always something in Beatles history.” On Wednesdays, he spins a wheel to develop a topic for the show, such as “fifth Beatles” or “violins.” “I have to instantly put a set of songs together that matches that category.”
And news events also play a role. When Robbie Robertson of The Band passed recently, Carter made sure to note that by discussing and playing Ringo Starr’s “Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond),” on which Robertson and other members of The Band played. “It never gets old. If they handed me a playlist, like they do for so many DJs, and said ‘Chris, play them,’ I would have no passion for that.” He was in the right place when he got the job.
Carter loves to provide tidbits about the songs he plays, so that listeners can experience them with fresh ears. “You’re dealing with 50- to 60-year-old music. If it’s not served up properly, you know, how many times can you hear ‘Hey Jude’? But if you put it in context, like this song was No. 1 for nine weeks. It was the first single over seven minutes long. And it was the first release on their own label. Most Beatles fans, they think they know a lot about the Beatles, but when you give them some information they might not know, then they’ll come back to you and listen again.” He broadcasts in front of a crowd. The satellite radio shows are put together in Carter’s home studio. But many of the shows for L.A. radio are broadcast live from one of three area venues. “I find it fun because in radio you never see your audience. Typically, you’re sitting in a room by yourself with a microphone. You could have maybe millions of people listening, but you don’t know who they are.
“The Beatles are fans. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have each called into the show for interviews, but Carter doesn’t have his head in the clouds about it. “They’ve got to sell a solo record. You’re on the radio. They need you for publicity. They know you’re there for them. Even though they’re the gods of the world, they still need you to sell their records.”SHORT TAKES — (Via Deadline) The meteoric political rise of George Santos and the web of fabulist tales it was built on are getting a movie treatment. HBO Films has optioned the rights to Mark Chiusano’s new book The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos, which was published on November 28, 2023. My only comment is, why? If this ever gets made, it will not be a hit. Exploitative? Definitely and not needed at all …
I’ve watched the two episodes of Hulu’s Fargo so far this season and though somehow intriguing, but didn’t I just see this show on Netflix – Who Is Erin Carter? Fargo’s creator Noah Hawley must have been transfixed by Carter. Odd for sure …
Also, just for the record, why was there so much Russian-dialogue in episode 4 of Apple TV+’s For All Mankind without any sub-titles? Clearly this show has suffered some major budget-cuts, but that was a huge error for sure. Ronald D. Moore’s creation started out brilliantly, but has become something like a space-age soap-opera. Sad for sure.
This show was among my favorites … I loved Chuck Lorre’s Big Bang Theory, so I was anxious to see his Bookie on MAX. Sebastian Maniscalco – who I don’t really get at all – left me somewhat underwhelmed. The show’s about a bookie – funny? Somehow it wasn’t. Even a cameo by Charlie Sheen w/o tiger blood was a letdown.
Very disappointed … Joe Cocker-scribe Mark Bego speaks to Zach Martin Wednesday for his NEWHD outpost …
HAPPY BDAY Randy Newman and RIP one of the most adventurous, creative and intriguing women I’ve ever known, Mica Ertegun.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Kent and Laura Denmark; Steve Leeds; Ira Robbins; Richard Branciforte; Eppy; Barry Fisch; Frank Patz; Bobby Bank; Roger Clark; Edmond O’ Brien; Jonathan Clyde; Richard Johnson; James Edstrom; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent Kotal; Bob Kaus; and BELLA!
Music News: Julie Benko, Karen Mason, Debbie Wileman, Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch, KT Sullivan, Jeff Harnar, Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray
CLUB44 RECORDS has released “The Man with the Bag” – the festive and swinging new single from breakout Broadway star Julie Benko. Her full debut holiday EP Christmas with You has also just been released. After skyrocketing to fame as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl on Broadway last season, Julie has returned to the New York stage in Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s wonderful musical Harmony. “The Man with the Bag” is arranged by Jason Yeager. The EP Christmas with You is produced by Julie Benko and Jason Yeager, with arrangements by Jason Yeager.
Birdland Jazz Club will present the return of Broadway, recording and concert star Karen Mason for her annual holiday show “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!” on Monday, December 11 at 7:00 PM. With Karen’s unique interpretations of holiday classics old and new, the holidays will never be the same. Sassy, brassy, and tinged with confessional monologs, this show includes a slinky arrangement of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” a heartfelt “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and more.
Debbie Wileman, the singing sensation who captured world-wide attention during the global pandemic with her uncanny recreation of Judy Garland’s legendary voice, as she makes her return to Carnegie Hall on Sunday, December 10, 2023 as the star of “Judy Garland” We Need a Little Christmas.”
Debbie will be joined by special guests, including the legendary Tony Award-winning Broadway icon Chita Rivera and Academy Award winner Margaret O’Brien, the iconic film, radio, television and stage actress and one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema, with more guests to be announced. (subject to change)
Debbie will be accompanied by a live orchestra, conducted by award-winning musical director and arranger Steve Orich. She will take to the stage to perform Judy’s signature Christmas songs as well as newly arranged holiday hits that Judy may have performed if she were with us today.
Birdland Jazz Club will present the 14th Annual “A Swinging Birdland Christmas” – starring vocalists Klea Blackhurst, Jim Caruso, and Billy Stritch – for five performances from Thursday, December 21to Monday, December 25 at 5:30 PM. The December 22 show will be available as a special livestream, with tickets available HERE. This wildly successful extravaganza has been celebrating the holidays at this historic music room since 2010. In the tradition of beloved seasonal specials, the trio of singers will perform swinging arrangements of “The Christmas Waltz,” Kay Thompson’s “Holiday Season,” “Sleigh Ride,” “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Snow,” and “It Happened in Sun Valley,” among other favorites. The show will also include a musical tribute to Birdland regular Freddy Cole, who was also a holiday tradition. The vocalists will be joined by Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums.
54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents four award-winning New York cabaret favorites KT Sullivan, Jeff Harnar, Stacy Sullivan and Todd Murray with Music Director jazz virtuoso Jon Weber in the New York debut of We Love The Winter Weather Songs of the Holidays on Tuesday December 5th at 7pm, in-person and with a livestream option.
The show is an eclectic and entertaining holiday songbook including songwriters Irving Berlin, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn, Carol Hall, Peter Yarrow, Mel Torme and David Friedman. The seasonal spotlight shines musically on traditional favorites as well as surprises including “Grandma,” Elvis, Peggy Lee and a “Short Attention Span Theater” retelling of the film White Christmas with the quartet donning the roles of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen and Danny Kaye. This show had its debut at The Brownville Concert Hall in Brownville, Nebraska. This quintet of talent will send you out believing “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
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