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My View: Richard Jay-Alexander Has Left The Building (Miami) On To a New Adventure in The Desert

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Last night was “one for the history books” on Miami Beach.  More specifically, North Beach, at a super trendy neighborhood bar named BOB’S YOUR UNCLE.  If the name sounds familiar, it’s because there’s one in NYC, too.  The occasion was the 69th birthday of Richard Jay-Alexander, a 30 year resident of the area, coupled with a send-off party, as he and his dog Sally head West and make their new home in the California desert Palm Springs area of Rancho Mirage.  The party was thrown and hosted by Danielle Savin ( an owner of the bar) and talented local, David Sexton, longtime friend of Richard.  The place was packed with friends and well known inhabitants of The Magic City and was a night to remember.  I don’t know all the names, but you will recognize many of them, so this is more of a scrapbook of an historic night on the beach, saying Happy Birthday and wishing Happy Trails to someone the town loves and will surely miss.

I did spot Harry Casey (KC & The Sunshine Band), actor Shalim Ortiz, artists Carlos Betancourt and Alberto Latorre, WSVN’s Kevin Ozebek and news anchor Belkys Nerey with her husband Demetri S. Mouratis, the legendary Merle and Danny Weiss, photographer Manny Hernandez, Bibi Andrade, Robin Lipman, Dale Stine, Faiza Liban, Liz Wallace , Steve Rothaus and the list goes on and on.  The BIG suprprise was Richard’s longtime assistant, Nellie Beavers, performing as her Burlesque Persona, HONEY BEAVERS. Simply showstopping!  The speeches were emotional as David Sexton and Jay-Alexander addressed the rapt crowd.  There was even a special award given by the city of Miami Beach.  The bar named specialty drinks were exquisite, as was the catered food by EAT TACOS.  The mood was set for the evening from the minute we entered onto the RED CARPET and the sassy step & repeat.  It seems that no matter what this birthday boy is attached to, it is always FIRST-CLASS!  Last night was no exception.  We look forward to his next chapter.

Richard Jay-Alexander

Eda & I during the course of our lives have met many wonderful, fascinating, brilliant, talented, thoughtful people, but RJA has an extra special place in our hearts.  He’s comparable to the most advanced camera and perfect piano we’ve ever owned.  Richard is able to capture everything with his wide lens, in perfect detail, never missing the smallest subtlety.  His memory card is boundless, and his internal keyboard and heart strings are able to produce incredible beauty and excitement.  Safe travels treasured friend and we’ll see you here, there, and everywhere……

NELLIE BEAVERS & RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

DAVID SEXTON

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & DANIELLE SAVIN

STEPHEN SOROKOFF, EDA SOROKOFF, DAVID SEXTON

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & DAVID SEXTON

NELLIE BEAVERS

NELLIE BEAVERS

RICHARD JAY ALEXANDER & EDA SOROKOFF

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

HAPPY TRAILS

 

HAPPY TRAILS

Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on Broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen Sorokoff@gmail.com

Columns

My View: Opening Night ….BOEING BOEING at Barrington Stage Company

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We were up at Barrington Stage Company last night for the opening night of BOEING BOEING and as Julianne Boyd BSC’s founder and recently retired artistic director had previously stated, “We need so much to laugh together. Each week, laughter becomes more important”. (Julianne Boyd directed the production.)

Well, the laughter from the audience at BSC’s Boyd/Quinson MainStage must have been heard all over Pittsfield MA. as they watched the classic comedy farce by French playwright Marc Camoletti unfold. 

The play came to Broadway in 1965 and was revived in London in 2007 and again on Broadway in 2008.

The cast featured Barrington Stage Company Associate Artists Mark H. Dold, Christopher Ingvar and Debra Jo Rupp, along with Gissela Chips, Stephanie Jean Lane, and Kate Maccluggage.

BOEING BOEING is deservingly getting rave reviews from all the Berkshire critics. It runs through August 3.

Here are some cell phone photos from the opening night festivities.

And…..stay tuned NYC for info on Barrington’s New York City Benefit this fall.

BOYD/QUINSON MAINSTAGE BARRINGTON STAGE CO

ALAN PAUL, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

DEBRA JO RUPP, MARK H. DOLD, CHRISTOPHER INNVAR…….JULIANNE BOYD, director

DEBRA JO RUPP, JULIANNE BOYD, EDA SOROKOFF

JULIANNE BOYD & EDA SOROKOFF

GISELA CHIPE

MARK H. DOLD

CHRISTOPHER INNVAR

STEPHEN SOROKOFF & ALAN PAUL

EDA SOROKOFF & RICHARD SLUTZKY BSC Board President

ALAN PAUL

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Cabaret

My View: Lucie Arnaz Gloriously Finishes Her “Job” at 54 Below

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Lucie Arnaz concluded her “job” at 54 Below last night as she entranced a celebrity filled audience during the final night of her show titled “ I Got The Job”.   From beginning to end she garnered multiple ovations from an audience that included, Norm Lewis, Linda Purl, Murphy Cross, Paul Kreppel, Bill Hutton, Jamie deRoy, Rolanda Watts, Ken Fallin, MOIPEI, and many others.

LUCIE ARNAZ

LUCIE ARNAZ

LUCIE ARNAZ

LUCIE ARNAZ

LUCIE ARNAZ

EDA SOROKOFF, MOIPEI, NORM LEWIS

LUCIE ARNAZ & MARK SENDROFF

LUCIE ARNAZ & NORM LEWIS

RON ABEL & LUCIE ARNAZ

LINDA PURL & EDA SOROKOFF

RON ABEL, LUCIE ARNAZ, TODD McPHERESON

JAMIE deROY & RON ABEL

KEN FALLIN & STANLEY

EDA SOROKOFF, STEPHEN SOROKOFF, NORM LEWIS

RICHARD HILLMAN & ROLANDA WATTS

RON ABEL & TODD McPHERSON

MARK SENDROFF & LUCIE ARNAZ

THE PARTY

NORM LEWIS & EDA SOROKOFF

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes

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Patti Lupone is on a roll. Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes will be released digitally on July 19, and on CD on August 30, from Center Stage Records. Her first new studio album since 2006, the Grammy Award winner’s new double album can be pre-ordered now at Amazon and www.CenterStageRecords.com, and the digital album can be pre-saved at https://orcd.co/lifeinnotes.

Never say never, LuPone also returns to Broadway in The Roommate  this fall. It’s been more than two years since LuPone tweeted “Quite a week on Broadway, seeing my name being bandied about. Gave up my Equity card; no longer part of that circus. Figure it out.”

The three-time Tony Award winner will star opposite none other than Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play “The Roommate,” directed by Jack O’Brien (“Shucked”). The Roommate will begin previews at the Booth Theatre on 45th Street in late August and then open in mid-September.

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Cabaret

My View: Lucie Arnaz…..How Did She Get This Job?

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With apologies to politicians who tout their job creating policies, Lucie Arnaz did not need any assistance to get her current job at 54 Below with a show titled “I Got The Job”.  Lucie got this gig because she is a supremely talented actor/singer/dancer who possesses a distinguished resume and long career of memorable performances on the stages of Broadway, Cabaret, and Concert Halls all over the world… and as I’ve said before about this show….

Lucie Arnaz hit the stage of 54Below with all cylinders on burn and guns ablaze! She performed an evening she calls “I GOT THE JOB” and kept the New York City audience entranced from beginning to end, garnering multiple ovations that seemed as natural as breathing.

For 85 minutes, she owned the stage, dressed to work, in black tights with tuxedo rhinestone striping and a dazzling orange silk blouse with glimmering buttons and cuffs. Basic, simple, perfect. This woman comes with all the equipment to perform, entertain and break your heart. She’s a master storyteller with impeccable timing and the voice shows up for her song after song, from show after show, exhibiting range and colors and nuancing that engage the audience at every turn. The star, of course, is the daughter of showbiz royalty, but she doesn’t rely on that one bit and has her own stories to tell, and they are mesmerizing.

Lucie Arnaz has had an extraordinary life and career and judging by what was on display, last night, I imagine, as Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh wrote, “The Best Is Yet To Come.” Lucie wrote and directed herself in this show, which opened the Birdland Theater years ago, but it has been fully fleshed out and brought to vivid life. Sharing the stage with her is what appears to be a musical soulmate in her Musical Director, Arranger and “Acting Partner,” Ron Abel, whose hands gave Ms. Arnaz her orchestra.

During the evening we were treated to a story of her audition (in a theatre) for THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG. During the audition, Neil Simon walked onto the stage and told her she was a breath of fresh air. She later “got the job.” Last night, she also stole our hearts and, now, we’re helpless and LOVE LUCIE.

LUCIE ARNAZ

LUCIE ARNAZ

RON ABEL

54 BELOW

LUCIE ARNAZ

RON ABEL & LUCIE ARNAZ

54 BELOW

MACRON PRICKETT

54 BELOW

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Cabaret

My View: An Evening With Rex Reed, Will Friedwald, & POLLY BERGEN

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Will Friedwald’s Clip Joint presented the legendary film critic and personality “Rex Reed Remembers Polly Bergen” last night at the TRIAD Theater.  It was a fascinating evening as Rex, who was one of Polly Bergen’s closest friends told fly on the wall show biz stories and personal anecdotes about her remarkable life.  An especially hilarious one occurred at the annual OSCAR NIGHT party that Polly had every year in her New York apartment.  There was Rex, watching the Oscars on a TV in Polly’s bedroom, Lucille Ball on one side of him and Paul Newman on the other .  Milton Berle who had been in another room parades past them wearing one of Polly’s gowns that he snatched from her closet!

Will and Rex reminisced about her amazing career in the movies ( including three classic comedies with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis) but even more so on television.  In fact, her career spans the very history of the small screen medium, starting with appearances on pioneering broadcasts of the late 1940’s right up to a memorable regular role in the hit series DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-although she was probably best known for starring in the legendary 1957 PLAYHOUSE 90 live television biography of HELEN MORGAN.  In other guises, she was an entrepreneur and political activist. 

Will Friedwald brought along his extensive library of film clips of her appearances on The Hollywood Palace, The Andy Williams Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Perry Como Kraft Music Hall, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and appearances with Phil Silvers, George Burns, Red Skelton, Andy Williams and many more. Polly Bergen (1930-2014) had three husbands, and unfortunately became a Doris Day type financial victim because of her last one. And now “here’s the rest of my personal Polly Bergen story”.

Many years ago a firm placed a large order with my factory.  When I checked with our credit insuring agency they advised me that the company did not have enough finances to purchase that amount of goods and consequently the agency would only insure half the order.  Not wanting to reject a sizable order I made an appointment to meet the owner in his garment center office and check out his business for myself.  During the course of the conversation somehow the entertainment business came up (of course it did) and he mentioned that he was married to Polly Bergen.  Being a fan and and having reverence for the famous and talented artists in this world I dropped my usual due diligence guard and the hour was spent talking about show business, I loved it, especially when he invited me over to their apartment to watch the Super Bowl.   Well, I shipped all the merchandise…and you can guess what happened….Years later I met Polly Bergen at one of Rex Reed’s evenings and introduced myself with the opening line “ you cost me a lot of money” and then related the story of how her husband never paid.   Polly put her arm around me and said in her bawdy way, “ honey, you’re lucky it was only that much, he bankrupted me”.

WILL FRIEDWALD

REX REED & WILL FRIEDWALD

POLLY BERGEN

REX REED

POLLY BERGEN & DEAN MARTIN

PERRY COMO & POLLY BERGEN

REX REED & WILL FRIEDWALD

ANDY WILLIAMS & POLLY BERGEN

POLLY BERGEN & SANDLER & YOUNG

REX REED & POLLY BERGEN

REX REED & EDA SOROKOFF

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