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Live At The Palace Tony, GRAMMY, and Emmy Award Winner Ben Platt

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Bonnie Comely and Stewart F. Lane told me they had something special planned for the opening of The Palace Theatre and they weren’t kidding.

Tony®, Grammy®, and Emmy® Award winner Ben Platt will play an exclusive concert residency at Broadway’s recently refurbished Palace Theatre (West 47th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues), in celebration of the release of his upcoming third album Honeymind. The residency, directed by Tony Award winner Michael Arden who collaborated with Platt on the 2023 Tony Award-winning revival of Parade which also earned Platt a Tony nomination, will play Tuesday, May 28 through Saturday, June 15 for 18 performances only. Tickets are on sale now via www.broadwaydirect.com.

The Palace is one of Broadway’s most preeminent theatres. “Playing The Palace” has been synonymous with the pinnacle of success since the theatre opened in 1913. The venue has been home to such legendary performers as Josephine Baker, Harry Belafonte, Elvis Presley, Shirley MacLaine, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Liza Minnelli, and perhaps most famously Judy Garland. The venue closed in 2018 for a significant renovation and restoration, including raising the historically landmarked venue 30 feet in the air.

Ben Platt said, “It is far beyond my wildest imagination to play a residency of my own music in a house as storied as the Palace. I feel blessed to be part of the theater community, and to have the opportunity to perform as myself and from my own perspective on a Broadway stage is one of the greatest honors of my life. I can’t wait to introduce my new record on the beautifully revived stage. My hope is to bridge my musical theater roots that I hold so dear with the world of classic Americana songwriting that I’ve fallen so deeply in love with. I mean, Liza! Judy! ‘Dreams come true’ doesn’t even begin to cover it!”

Platt will take the stage of the soon-to-reopen Palace Theatre for 18 performances only to celebrate the release of his upcoming album Honeymind, available Friday, May 31 via Interscope Records and executive produced by Dave Cobb. The evening, the latest chapter of a storied career jam-packed with hits and acclaimed performances in Dear Evan Hanson, Pitch Perfect, and Parade, will showcase Platt’s insightful original lyrics and breathtaking vocals from the new album, selections from Reverie and Sing to Me Instead, as well as a few surprises for fans of the platinum-selling superstar.

“Andrew,” the first single from Honeymind is available now. Watch the Sam Wrench-directed music video HERE and pre-order the album HERE.

Tony, Grammy® and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt made his highly anticipated return to the New York Stage as Leo Frank in Parade at the City Center which transitioned to the Broadway stage. The riveting musical opened to rave reviews and led to Platt’s second Tony Award nomination. Most recently Ben starred in the film Theater Camp, which is co-written by Platt, Molly Gordon, Noah Galvin and Nick Lieberman inspired by their popular 2020 short film by the same name.

An accomplished recording artist, Platt has released two albums previously – 2019’s Sing To Me and 2021’s Reverie.  He completed a hugely successful solo tour following the release of Reverie which saw him headlining sellout crowds at such important venues as The Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden and others.

Platt won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his groundbreaking performance as Evan in Dear Evan Hansen and later went on to reprise his role in the Universal film adaption alongside Julianne Moore and Amy Adams. Ben starred in the highly popular Netflix series by Ryan Murphy, “The Politician” where he served as the executive producer on the series – his performance in Season 1 earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and the show received a nomination for Best Comedy. Additionally, Platt began filming alongside Beanie Feldstein, Merrily We Roll Along which will be shot over a 20-year period, directed by Richard Linklater. Last fall, Platt was seen in the Amazon film, The People We Hate at The Wedding alongside Allison Janney and Kristen Bell. Other film and television highlights include: Pitch Perfect 1 & 2, Ricky & the Flash, “The Premise,” and a guest appearance on “Will & Grace.” 

 Michael Arden (Director) received the 2023 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for his reimagining of Alfred Uhry and Jason Robert Brown’s Paradewhich also won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. In addition, he received Tony nominations for his Broadway revivals of Once One This Island, and Deaf West Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening. Michael wrote and directed a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol starring Jefferson Mays that played the Nederlander Theatre last holiday season. His productions of The Preacher’s Wife and The Queen of Versailles will play Atlanta and Boston this year. Other theatre credits include: Maybe Happy Ending at the Alliance Theatre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Lincoln Center, American Dream Study and ALIEN/NATIONwith his theatre company The Forest of Arden, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Annie at the Hollywood Bowl, and The Pride and Merrily We Roll Along at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Los Angeles. Arden has been named on Variety’s Broadway Impact List and is the winner of an NAACP Award for Best Direction of his revival of Merrily We Roll Along. In addition to directing theater in America and around the globe, he regularly directs “The Connors” on ABC, and has appeared in numerous features and television shows, most notable “Grey’s Anatomy,” Bride WarsAnger ManagementSource Code, and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” On stage, Arden has appeared on Broadway in Big RiverThe Times, They Are A-Changin’; and King Lear; among others. Arden is a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and alumni of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Juilliard School.

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

My View: Julie Wilson Honored By The Mabel Mercer Foundation at The Pierre Hotel

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Cabaret luminaries, supporters, and officers of The Mabel Mercer Foundation gathered at The Pierre Hotel last night to celebrate the100th anniversary of the birth year of cabaret legend Julie Wilson.  Julie’s dominant presence in the cabaret world over the many decades led her to be called “The Queen of Cabaret”. Cabaret’s current guiding light, KT Sullivan, the artistic director of The Mabel Mercer Foundation hosted the evening’s celebration which included a gourmet buffet followed by performances from some of cabaret’s most beloved artists and friends of Julie Wilson.  Entertaining the Gala audience of music connoisseurs and honoring the legacy of Julie Wilson were: Karen Akers, Carole J. Bufford, Melissa Errico, Jeff Harnar, Sue Matsuki, MOIPEI ( Mary, Maggy & Marta), Sidney Myer, Craig Rubano, KT Sullivan and Amra-Faye Wright…. John Weber (piano) and Steve Doyle (Bass).

An especially emotional moment of the evening was actor Holt McCallany (son of Julie Wilson) paying tribute to his mother and singing “I’m Becoming My Mother”.

HOLT McCALLANY (son of Julie Wilson)

KT SULLIVAN, artistic director The Mabel Mercer Foundation

KT SULLIVAN

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

JEFF HARNAR

JEFF HARNAR

SUE MATSUKI

SUE MATSUKI

CRAIG RUBANO

CRAIG RUBANO

KAREN AKERS

KAREN AKERS

SIDNEY MYER

SIDNEY MYER

AMRA-FAYE WRIGHT

AMRA-FAYE WRIGHT

HOLT McCALLANY

HOLT McCALLANY

HOLT McCALLANY (son of Julie Wilson)

MOIPEI

MOIPEI

PATRICK McENROE, KT SULLIVAN,MELISSA ERRICO,MOIPEI

HOLT McCALLANY & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

MOIPEI & HOLT McCALLANY

EDA SOROKOFF & ELIZABETH SULLIVAN (Happy 94th Birthday)

MELISSA ERRICO PATRICK McENROE, KT SULLIVAN

JEFF HARNAR & MOIPEI

HEATHER SULLIVAN, HOWARD MORGAN, Chairman of the board Mabel Mercer Foundation, ELANOR MORGAN

KT SULLIVAN, ELIZABETH SULLIVAN, HEATHER SULLIVAN,Dr. Patrick Sullivan

KT SULLIVAN

KT SULLIVAN, PETER HANSON, Linda Hanson

EDA SOROKOFF & CRHRISTEL IBSEN

MONAH GETTNER,KT SULLIVAN, ALAN GETTNER

BRIAN KALTNER, Board Member Mabel Mercer Foundation & DEBBIE DAMP

HOWARD MORGAN, KT SULLIVAN, CAROLE J. BUFFORD,MOIPEI, MATHEW INGE

PATRICK McENROE & MELISSA ERRICO

KT SULLIVAN & STEPHEN SOROKOFF

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Cabaret

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen

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Karen Mason and Louis Rosen met back in the 70s in Chicago. Karen was a young singer accompanied by a the incomparable pianist-songwriter Brian Lasser. He was close friends with guitarist, pianist-songwriter, Louis Rosen. Mason and Lasser moved to New York and two years later Rosen was there as well. A little over ten years later Lasser died of AIDS. Rosen and Mason have made sure that Lasser’s music is remembered.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Mason and Rosen are back together again celebrating nearly 50 years of collaboration and friendship. The evening is stripped down bare with Rosen on guitar and piano and Mason and Rosen on vocals. Most of the material is Rosen’s songs many from his most recent albums, but added are a few selections by  Lasser, that make you know he died way to soon.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Rosen’s music is what singer/songwriters use to write, full of blues riffs, uplifting swing, folk melodies, jazz cadences and soulful powerful lyrics. It is like an old soul left their words to impart. This night so made me want to hear his newest album “Love and Ashes”. Rosen is a musicians musician.

“A master interpreter… Mason produces a depth of sound and brilliance of color that converge in the work of very few singers!” (Chicago Tribune)

Mason has an authenticity to her voice. She is a storyteller, rich in tone and truly excels on Lasser’s music. She is a belter at heart, but Rosen’s music has her venerable and exposed, which is a new side to her art.

It is always wonderful to watch two artists collaborate,

Luba Mason and Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen: Ages Since the Last Time: Chelsea Table + Stage, 152 West 26th Street.

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Cabaret

My View: Why CAN’T A Woman…? This Woman Can…Lianne Marie Dobbs

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The actor Lianne Marie Dobbs played a 1900’s woman in the HBO series The Gilded Age. You also might have seen her in Law & Order, The Equalizer and F.B.I., but yesterday at Chelsea Tables + Stage she wasn’t just playing the part of a Cabaret singer!  Ms. Dobbs is the real deal, and she captivated an audience of music connoisseurs with her formidable vocal talents and wit in her show titled “Why CAN’T a Woman…? 

Lianne’s cabaret act utilizes Broadway leading men’s songs and sassy standards, served up with a twist of SHE, to celebrate all the hats that women wear, and she answered the shows question authoritatively….This woman sure can!

Lianne Marie Dobbs was named one of the Best Vocalists of the Decade (BroadwayWorld, 2020) and has filled The Green Room 42, 54Below, Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Blue Strawberry in St. Louis, and will be featured in Chicago’s Cabaret Week later in May.  “Why CAN’T a Woman…?” was named one of the best cabaret shows of the year (2022) by BroadwayWorld, and called “an honest to goodness emerging work of art”.  She has appeared in leading roles Off-Broadway, in National Tours, and at renowned theaters such as Denver Center, Repertory of St. Louis, Ogunquit Playhouse, Goodspeed and many more.

Ron Abel is Lianne’s music director and arranger, whose accolades include: LA Critics Circle Award Winner and L.A. Weekly Award Winner for his original compositions and unique arrangements of Broadway hits for orchestras and singers. He has been the music director for acclaimed vocalists such as Lucie Arnaz, Peter Allen, Joely Fisher, Valarie Pettiford, Julia Migenes, Helen Reddy, and John Lloyd Young.

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

STANDING OVATION

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

PAUL KREPPEL, RON ABEL, EDA SOROKOFF, MURPHY CROSS

EDA SOROKOFF & TAKAKO HARKNESS

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Cabaret

My View: The City Was Special Last Night….Melissa Errico at 54 Below

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The evening at 54 Below was advertised as a “ Vinyl Release Celebration Concert” and how apt that VINYL, the unrivaled substance utilized to capture the subtle nuances and breadth of music has now been used to capture the elegant voice of Melissa Errico singing the songs of  “Sondheim in the City” for posterity. 

Caveat: While Vinyl may capture in analog glory the beautiful notes and words of Melissa, one must be in her presence to experience her irrepressible beauty, wit, and intelligence on stage.

Melissa Errico….Sondheim In The City Vinyl Release Celebration at 54 Below May 7,8,9…..

Tedd Firth Music Director, David Finck (Bass), Eric Halvorson (Drums) Bruce Harris (Trumpet)

About the show:

After the critical triumph of her Sondheim Sublime album-called “the finest all Sondheim recording ever made” by the Wall Street Journal, Melissa Errico returned to one of her cabaret homes (54 Below) last night and to her favorite songwriter with an entire new program of Sondheim songs, celebrating her new album (released February 16, 2024 on Concord) and a different side of Steve, praised in The New York Times as “a New York house tour of thrill and heartbreak..from one of Sondheim’s deepest-hearted yet lightest-touch interpreters.”

Sondheim in the City is the Sondheim of smart, sophisticated New York, the Sondheim of the quick, witty, sardonic, love-seeking and sex-driven city that he recorded and worked in through his long life. From the anthem of city busyness “Another Hundred People” to the bittersweet hymns of city marriage, “Sorry, Grateful” and “Good Thing Going,” with time for hardboiled surprises like “Uptown, Downtown” and surprisingly soft-centered ballads like “All That I Need” and “Dawn”

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO & TEDD FIRTH, music director

54 Below, Eda Sorokoff

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Cabaret

Klea Blackhurst Brings The Songbook Of Jerry Herman To Life

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Klea Blackhurst returned to Chelsea Table and Stage last Sunday with another installment of her monthly series “The Box Set”. Each month Klea reprises one of her acclaimed shows. Last  Sunday she performed  One of the Girls: “The Words and Music of Jerry Herman”. Klea sang Herman’s songs that were made famous by the women in his life.

The evening started with Klea descending down the long staircase of the club singing “Just Leave Everything to Me” from the film, “Hello Dolly!” and she was off running. She is  an actress, singer, comedian and Mermanologist. What is a Mermanologist you ask ? Someone who is an expert on Ethel Merman.

Klea relayed some wonderful stories about Jerry Herman. She  got to know the composer well.  You can feel her admiration for him not only as a composer, but as a human being.

Klea was backed up by superb musicians: Michael Rice – piano/arrangements, Aaon Russell on drums and Tom Hubbard on bass. In between Jerry Herman stories Klea sang some of Herman’s great songs: “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello Dolly!, “Open A New Window” and “It’s Today from Mame,  “Time Heals Everything” from Mack &Mabel, “Just Go to The Movies” from A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine and “I Don’t want to Know” from Dear World. Klea knocked it out of the park with her rendition  of “I’m  What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.

Very seldom do I leave a show and feel I that I need to spread the world about a great performer but for Ms. Blackhurst… I do.

Klea is truly one of the greats of this generation of entertainers.

We have to wait till September 15, 2024 for her next show “Dreaming of A Song” The Music of Hoagy Carmichael co-staring Billy Stritch.

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