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Metropolitan Opera Hosts Barbara Tober and Friends for Tour in Honor of Upcoming Tribute Gala

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This month, General Manager of The Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, welcomed Barbara Tober and over 60 friends — including F. Murray Abraham, Chloe Misseldine, and Marc Rosen — for an incredible behind-the-scenes backstage tour.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: Peter Gelb and Barbara Tober attend Peter Gelb and Barbara Tober Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 25, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/PMC) *** Local Caption *** Peter Gelb;Barbara Tober

“I’ve been coming to the opera since I was 8,” Tober stated as the tour began. “ I remember the old Met building downtown, too.  Life is opera — passions, love and hate, all the emotions. Sometimes it’s Grand Opera.  And truly Grand Opera is this Met theater, which we all love.”

Invited guests during the fantastic occasion had a firsthand look at treasured costumes, props, and backdrops, as well as backstage inner workings.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: Atmosphere at Peter Gelb and Barbara Tober Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 25, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/PMC) *** Local Caption *** Atmosphere

The grand occasion was to celebrate the upcoming On Stage at the Met Gala on May 20, which will honor Barbara’s steadfast and ardent support of the company, and for her towering achievements as a philanthropist and patron of the arts.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: CeCe Cord, Michele Gerber Klein, Susan Gutfreund and Christopher Mason attend Peter Gelb and Barbara Tober Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 25, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/PMC) *** Local Caption *** CeCe Cord;Michele Gerber Klein;Susan Gutfreund;Christopher Mason

“Our audience gets to trade places with our stars by dining on stage with the gold leaf ceiling, red velvet seats, and glimmering Swarovski crystal chandeliers as their backdrop,” said Gelb. “Some of our most popular singers will regale you with some of your favorite arias. Most importantly, we will be honoring Barbara, who recently endowed the historic Lobmeyer chandeliers that we’re standing under. Barbara’s generous gift was in honor of her husband, the late and great Donald Gibbs Tober, who loved The Met so much.”

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: CeCe Cord, Michele Gerber Klein, Susan Gutfreund and Christopher Mason attend Peter Gelb and Barbara Tober Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 25, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/PMC) *** Local Caption *** CeCe Cord;Michele Gerber Klein;Susan Gutfreund;Christopher Mason

Afterwards, guests spent the afternoon having tea with Barbara in the Met’s Belmont Room, including Carrie Barratt, David Beer, Mr. and Mrs. J. Truman Bidwell, Jr., CeCe Cord, Katherine Crockett, Helen Drutt-English, Maria Eugenia and Dr. William A. Haseltine, Helen Fisher and John Tierney, Susan Gutfreund, Alvin D. Hall,  Sharon King Hoge, The Honorable Brenda L. Johnson, Michele Gerber Klein, Helen Little, Christopher Mason,  Liane Pei, Faanya Rose, Frank J. Sciame, Jr., HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Lloyd P. Zuckerberg and many more.

NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 25: John Bratten, Erik Maza and Matthew Bird attend Peter Gelb and Barbara Tober Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera at Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 25, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/PMC) *** Local Caption *** John Bratten;Erik Maza;Matthew Bird

The On Stage at the Met Gala, which takes place on the magnificent stage at the opera house in New York, will feature a black-tie dinner, dancing, and performances by extraordinary Met artists. To join us in celebrating Mrs. Tober on this very special evening, visit www.metopera.org/season/events/

Under the leadership of Peter Gelb, the Met’s Maria Manetti Shrem General Manager, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, the Metropolitan Opera is one of America’s leading performing arts organizations and a vibrant home for the world’s most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers, and dancers. The company presents approximately 200 performances each season of a wide variety of operas, ranging from early masterpieces to contemporary works. In recent years, the Met has launched many initiatives designed to make opera more accessible, most prominently the Live in HD series of cinema transmissions, which dramatically expands the Met audience by allowing select performances to be seen in more than 50 countries around the world.

ElizaBeth Taylor is a journalist for Times Square Chronicles and is a frequent guest at film, fashion and art events throughout New York City and Los Angeles due to her stature as The Sensible Socialite.Passionate about people ElizaBeth spent many years working as a travel reporter and television producer after graduating with high honors from University of Southern California. The work has afforded her the opportunity to explore Europe, Russia, South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East. It has greatly influenced the way in which ElizaBeth sees a story and has created a heightened awareness for the way people around the world live today.

Broadway

Cabaret Celebrated Broadway Legend Joel Grey’s Birthday

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Last night, Eddie Redmayne currently in previews as the ‘Emcee’ in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club celebrated Broadway legend Joel Grey’s 92ndbirthday on stage at the August Wilson Theatre. Grey, who originated the role of the ‘Emcee’ on Broadway in 1966 and went on to star in the beloved film of Cabaret, took the stage as the entire cast, band, and creative team sang “Happy Birthday” while a custom cake, shaped like a giant pineapple, emerged from the stage.

 During his speech honoring Grey, Eddie Redmayne said, “Tonight is an extraordinarily special night for us because we are in the presence of an extraordinary human being without whom none of us would be here.” After thunderous applause, Redmayne continued “Your performance in this part changed my life and it was one of the things that made me want to be an actor.”

Joel Grey, Gayle Rankin, and Eddie Redmayne Photo by Jenny Anderson

The cast and Grey were also joined on stage by Cabaret composer John Kander.

Alongside Joel’s daughter Jennifer Grey and Kander, a star-studded crowd came out to fete the theater icon including Anderson Cooper, Candice Bergen, Jackie Hoffman, Jane Krakowski, Lin-Manuel Miranda, David Rockwell, and more. They were joined by numerous alum of Cabaret spanning the decades including Maude Apatow (Sally Bowles in London, 2023), Madeline Brewer (Sally Bowles in London, 2022), Joely Fisher (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2000), Gina Gershon (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2001), Mason Alexander Park (Emcee in London, 2023), Adam Pascal (Emcee on Broadway, 2003), Molly Ringwald (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2002), Jake Shears (Emcee in London, 2023), and Brooke Shields (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2001).

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is now in previews on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). The production, directed by Olivier Award winner Rebecca Frecknall and designed by Tony Award nominee and Evening Standard Award® winner Tom Scutt, will have decadent twin opening night gala celebrations starting Saturday, April 20 and continuing into the following night, with the official press opening on Sunday, April 21. Tickets are on sale now at www.kitkat.club or via Seat Geek HERE.

In addition to Redmayne, Cabaret also stars Gayle Rankin as the toast of Mayfair ‘Sally Bowles, two-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth as ‘Fraulein Schneider,’ Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood as ‘Clifford Bradshaw,’ Obie Award winner and Drama Desk Award® nominee Steven Skybell as ‘Herr Schultz,’ Henry Gottfried as ‘Ernst Ludwig,’ and three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Natascia Diaz as ‘Fritzie/Kost.’

The cast of Cabaret includes Gabi Campo as ‘Frenchie,’ Ayla Ciccone-Burton as ‘Helga,’ Colin Cunliffe as ‘Hans,’ Marty Lauter as ‘Victor,’ Loren Lester as‘Herman/Max,’ David Merino as ‘Lulu,’ Julian Ramos as ‘Bobby,’ MiMi Scardulla as ‘Texas,’ and Paige Smallwood as ‘Rosie.’ Swings include Hannah Florence, Pedro Garza, Christian Kidd, Corinne Munsch, Chloé Nadon-Enriquez, and Karl Skyler Urban.

The Prologue Company, the dancers and musicians that welcome audiences to the club, feature dancers Alaïa, IRON BRYAN, Will Ervin Jr., Sun Kim, Deja McNair and swings Ida Saki and Spencer James Weidie. The musicians of the Prologue are Brian Russell Carey (piano & bass), Francesca Dawis (violin), Keiji Ishiguri (dedicated substitute), Maeve Stier (accordion), and Michael Winograd (clarinet).

For this thrilling production of Cabaret, the creative team have transformed the August Wilson Theatre into the Kit Kat Club with an in-the-round auditorium and custom spaces which guests will be invited to explore during the Prologue, the production’s pre-show entertainment. After purchasing tickets, guests will receive a “club entry time” to allow them to take in the world of the club before the show starts.

Patrons can upgrade their experience at the Kit Kat Club with exclusive dining or drinks packages that allow them to soak up the pre-show atmosphere. These various upgrades offer unparalleled service and unique experiences in the heart of the Kit Kat Club. Drinks can be enjoyed before and during the show, while food will be cleared shortly before the performance begins, ensuring uninterrupted and unmissable views of Cabaret. For a complete menu and more information on the upgrade packages, please visit www.kitkat.club/upgrade.

The 2021 Original London Cast Recording of Cabaret featuring Eddie Redmayne and recorded during a live performance is available on Decca Records as a CD and to stream on all major platforms. To order the album or stream it, please visit https://cabaret.lnk.to/ListenNow

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American Ballet Theatre Premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works

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The superstar dancers of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) returned to Segerstrom Center for the Arts performing a never-before-seen-program. ABT performed the North American Premiere of Woolf Works.  Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is an ambitious three-act ballet stunningly choreographed by Wayne McGregor, with a luminous original score by Max Richter.

Originally commissioned by The Royal Ballet, Woolf Works debuted in London to outstanding critical acclaim and now premiered for the first time in the United States.This week, leading the performance were Principal Dancers Devon Teuscher and  James Whiteside. Guests in attendance included  Sofia Vassilieva, Fernando Carsa, Damian Terriquez, Luke Lowrey, Queen Noveen and more.

You know it is Spring when the superstar dancers of American Ballet Theatre are home at Segerstrom Center performing a never-before-seen-program. Following in the tradition of such critical and creative successes as Whipped Cream, Of Love and Rage, and Like Water for Chocolate, we are thrilled to announce ABT will be performing the North American premiere of Woolf Works.  Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is an ambitious three-act ballet stunningly choreographed by Wayne McGregor, with a luminous original score by Max Richter.

Widely considered one of the most important 20th century novelists, Virginia Woolf’s works have continued to speak to generations and her themes of social class, female (dis)empowerment, and death have gained even more resonance in recent times.  Her stature in our society, and her influence on other artistic creators, can be seen in so many works throughout popular culture:  In film with Orlando starring Tilda Swinton or The Hours starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore, in plays like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, and, most recently, in opera with The Hours starring Renee Fleming, Kelly O’Hara and Joyce DiDonato.

Woolf also gave inspiration to the award-winning British choreographer and director, Wayne McGregor. Internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance, McGregor’s insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, along with his embrace of technology, have ensured McGregor’s position at the cutting edge of contemporary arts for over twenty-five years.

In Woolf Works, McGregor has recreated the emotions, themes and fluid style of three of Virginia Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Much like her novels, letters, essays and diaries, Wayne McGregor’s ballet triptych moves away from a traditional narrative structure, capturing the spirit of Woolf’s writing while delighting audiences with its sheer beauty. Woolf Works is structured into three acts: ‘I now, I then’, ‘Becomings’ and ‘Tuesday’, each starkly distinct in visual design and choreography.

Originally commissioned by the Royal Ballet, Woolf Works premiered in London to outstanding critical acclaim, going on to win McGregor the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography and the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. The Observer described it as “a compellingly moving experience” and The Independent raved that it “glows with ambition… a brave, thoughtful work.”

Be the first in the United States to experience Woolf Works, only at Segerstrom Center for the Arts!

Next performances are:

Friday, April 12, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 2:20 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Sunday,  April 14, 2024, at 1:00 PM

 

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Broadway

Stephen Sondheim Memorabilia to be Auctioned Off

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Stephen Sondheim

Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers has announced the auction of the Collection of Stephen Sondheim on Tuesday, June 18 at 10am EDT. This landmark auction will offer over 200 lots of memorabilia, furnishings, antique puzzles and more from Mr. Sondheim’s Manhattan townhouse and his country home in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Poster for the 2006 Broadway revival of Company signed by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth

The lyricist of West Side Story and Gypsy and composer/lyricist of Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods, among many others, Stephen Sondheim was the twentieth century’s most brilliant and influential contributor to American musical theater. Fans of Mr. Sondheim’s musicals and collectors alike will delight at the memorabilia within the auction, from his gold record for West Side Story to his custom-embroidered asylum coat from Sweeney Todd.

In addition to professional accomplishments, Mr. Sondheim was a sophisticated collector. He lived among antiques and curiosities of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and assembled an unparalleled collection of early puzzles, games, rebuses, coin-operated machines and ephemera that reflected his endlessly inquisitive mind.

The public is invited to the exhibition on view from June 14 through 17 at Doyle, located at 175 East 87th Street in New York. Select highlights will tour Doyle’s regional galleries during the month of May. The auction catalogue will be available on May 20. Learn more about the auction at Doyle.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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“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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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

OJ DOA — Perhaps the Drudge Report (yes, the Drudge Report) had the most fitting headline: Cancer Murders OJ.

Yesterday’s news came as a huge surprise at 11:00 AM. For me, firstly, I couldn’t quite believe it was almost 30 years since that trial. When the verdict came in, I was at The Conservatory restaurant in the long-gone, much missed Mayflower Hotel. It was packed and when the verdict was announced there was a minute or two of dead-silence, then gasps. One of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t a huge sports fan -never have been- but I knew a lot about OJ. Face it, he was an icon And when the murders happened; the Bronco-chase; and trial … it was just extraordinary. His rise and fall was an amazing tale. It was also a major story for all the entertainment outlets. Journalists essentially moved to LA for the 9-month trial. It was, to my mind, the first trial of its kind.

CNN showed some of the reactions from then: then audience reaction at the Oprah Winfrey show was a mixed bag. Some cheered as Winfrey stood stone-faced. The reaction of OJ’s lawyers were interesting too; Robert Khardashian looked shell-shocked, while Cochran and Robert Shapiro  hugged OJ.

As Wolf Bltizer just said: these are moments one will never forget.

We think we know what happened … but now, we’ll never know for sure. An american tragedy for sure.

YES Photo by Gottlieb Bros

YES’ PURPLE — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Deep Purple and Yes will team up for a North American summer tour.

The trek begins on Aug. 14 in Hollywood, Florida, and concludes on Sept. 8 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Deep Purple is in the midst of their 1 More Time tour and simultaneously celebrating 50 years of “Smoke on the Water” (52 years now, to be exact). The band recently released a super deluxe edition of its landmark album Machine Head, which includes classics such as “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin’.”

Yes, meanwhile, will deliver a career-spanning set comprising material through their latest album, 2023’s Mirror to the Sky. The prog legends are also releasing an expanded anniversary box set of their 1994 album Talk next month.

52 years of “Smoke On The Water.” A classic if there ever was one. Every time I hear it on the radio, I start singing along. Talk about staying power! I saw Yes years ago and it was quite the show; with Chris Squire too.

There are a slew of legacy artists out for the summer and deservedly so. They may not generate the ink of a Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez, but their impact is still there.

Hubert Laws

SHORT TAKES — CTI Records. Remember them? It was producer Creed Taylor’s boutique label which released some of the most dynamic and interesting jazz-records in the 70’s and 80’s (SONY owns them now). From Airto to Milt Jackson; Deodato; Bob James; Jim Hall and Hubert Laws, the music was just terrific. Originally distributed by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records, they went independent and continued with some of the best jazz recordings ever. Even before you listened to the music, all the albums had a deluxe-cover; with some startling images. Check this piece out about their album covers from Medium: https://medium.com/@slishpogodi/cti-records-the-best-album-covers-cdac2e16c534 … 50 years of People Magazine. Rumors spread last year that the weekly was on its last legs.

Mia Farrow

Their first issue was in 1974 with Mia Farrow on the cover …

David Kramer

Director David Kramer won for ‘Best Documentary’ at last week’s NYFF event for his Jimi Hendrix: The Documentary. Congratulations

Coopstock

Coopstock is this weekend in Mesa, Arizona. Guests include Micky Dolenz; REO’s Kevin Cronin; Orianthi; Patrick Warburton; and of course, Alice Cooper himself … Hard to believe that director Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover, did the first Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix. It was just startling in every way and now the follow-up is about to come out with Phoenix and Lady Gaga; introduced as Harley Quinn. One trade already termed it a jukebox musical. Stylish for sure it looks just sensational and is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in quite some time. Here’s it is: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/joker-2-trailer-joaquin-phoenix-lady-gaga-1235957692/
… Here’s the trailer of Disney+’s Beach Boys doc.  Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Rspu3Xoi4 …  And, this week’s New York Magazine cover heralds the history of NYC through its restaurants. I was ready to see Tortilla Flats; La Cote Basque; Schraffts; Mortimers; Trader Vic’s; and Fontana Di Trevi. Turns out, it’s memories from people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who worked at The Coffee Shop and Keith McNally, who shucked oysters at One Fifth. Honestly, I expected a bit more depth. Great idea; lousy execution.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Toni Basil; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mitch Dolan; Barry Nolan; Robert Lamm; Jacqueline Boyd; Wayne Avers; Tyorne Biljan; Michelle Toscas; Fred Zarr; Abbe Rosenfeld; Shep Pettibone; Tony Darrow; Robert Funaro; Angel Mastrogiorgio; Ellen Smith; Howard Bloom; Jane Berk; Jack Cunningham; and CHIP.

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