One of the highlights of the Berkshire summer theater season, The Barrington Stage Company Gala 2023 was held last night at The Stationery Factory in Dalton, MA. It was an especially spectacular sold out event honoring Patron of the Arts and BSC Board Member Rhoda Levitt and was hosted by Taylor Mac a MacArthur Genius-Award-winning playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist (drama).
Gala 2023 titled “ A Night At The Kit Kat Club” transported attendees to the pre-war Berlin Kit Kat Club and featured a cabaret lineup of Broadway stars, plus, burlesque artists Gypsy Layne and a dance party with music by Brownskin Band.
Barrington Stage’s Gala was sponsored by Carole and Daniel Burack & Violet and Chris Eagan.
Gala 2023: A Night at the Kit Kat Club celebrates BSC’s Education Fund, in particular the Playwright Mentoring Project, which received the Coming up Taller Award – the highest recognition bestowed by the White House for an after-school program.
Barrington Stage Company has ushered in an exciting new era under the leadership of Artistic Director Alan Paul and Managing Director Meredith Lynsey Schade. The 2023 season will include a wide range of productions from iconic musicals, powerful plays, star-studded cabaret performances and much more. BSC’s upcoming season will delight and inspire audiences of all ages. For more information on the upcoming season, please visit barringtonstageco.org.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Dracula: A Comedy Of Terrors
Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors, is now playing at New World Stage, 340 West 50th Street, until January 7, 2024 or beyond.
In this caricature you will find James Daly’s Dracula and clockwise: Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Arnie Burton, Ellen Harvey and Jordan Boatman who make up this amazingly talented cast.
You can read T2C’s mouth watering review here.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: “Leading Lady; the Memoir of a Most Unusual Boy”…NEW autobiography of Charles Busch
Tony Award-nominated writer of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and the long-running hit Off-Broadway play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, and a Sundance Festival award winner, Charles Busch has created a unique place in the entertainment world as a playwright, LGBT icon, drag actor, director, and cabaret performer, with his extraordinary gift for both connecting with and channeling the leading ladies of show business.
In wonderfully readable chapters, by turns comic and moving, Charles writes how ever since his mother’s death when he was seven, he has sought out surrogate mothers in his life. In his teens, Charles moved to Park Avenue in Manhattan to live with his Auntie Mame-like Aunt Lil, who encouraged and nourished Charles’ talents and dreams, and eventually he discovered his gifts for writing plays and performing as a male actress.
Busch also shares his colorful and sometimes outlandish interactions with film and theatrical luminaries including the hilarious comedian Joan Rivers (who became a mother figure to Charles after Aunt Lil’s death), Angela Lansbury (who attended her first Passover seder with Charles), Rosie O’Donnell, Claudette Colbert, Valerie Harper, Kim Novak, and many others.
Full of both humor and heart and featuring rare photos, Leading Lady is for readers of entertainment books as well as anyone who enjoys real-life stories of artists who break the mold, ditch the boundaries, and find their own unique way to sparkle.
Theatre News: Michael McGrath, Harmony, NY Forever, Spain, The People Versus Lenny Bruce and Golden Rainbow
T2c is saddened by the passing away of Tony Award winning Michael McGrath. He was 65. McGrath was best known for his starring roles in over 14 Broadway shows including Plaza Suite, Tootsie, Spamalot (Tony nominated), Memphis, My Favorite Year, Swinging on a Star, Little Me and Nice Work if You Can Get It, which earned him a Tony award. He was a twice nominated for a Tony award, three-time Drama Desk Award nominee, Outer Critics Circle nominee and Theatre World Award winner. McGrath also the sidekick-announcer to Martin Short on “The Martin Short Show.” His roles on the big screen included “Changing Lanes,” and “The Interpreter.” He also was a voice in multiple animated features including “The Secret of Kells” and “Wolfwalkers.”
McGrath is survived by his wife of 30 years, actress Toni Di Buono and daughter, actress Katie Claire McGrath. He and Di Buono are reputed to have met on the set of the Boston production of “Forbidden Broadway.”
Ringing in the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah on Thursday, September 14th at 1:30 pm cast members, playwright and lyricist, Bruce Sussman and Rabbi Jill Hausman from The Actor’s Temple gave a blessing and a traditional nosh of apples, honey and rugelach. Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s musical Harmony with direction and choreography by Warren Carlyle will begin previews on Wednesday, October 18, ahead of a Monday, November 13 official opening night.8
For the second consecutive year, NY Forever, in partnership with City National Bank and the New York City Department of Transportation will present Broadway Forever, a series of free, star-studded, pop-up concerts and community service activations, empowering New Yorkers across the city to build a better city for all.
At both event dates, fans will have the opportunity to sign up for future community service opportunities in these neighborhoods, which will be coordinated by New York Cares and their partner organizations.
NY Forever is a non-profit organization working to recapture faith and pride in New York by organizing and motivating New Yorkers from every borough and generation to participate in the city’s civic rebirth. It aims to support the well-being of our city by encouraging and facilitating New Yorkers to participate in gestures big and small. NY Forever is calling all New Yorkers to take the pledge and commit to New York’s future.
Performing are Broadway Forever creators Erich Bergen and Richard Mumby, Amber Ardolino (Broadway: Back To The Future), Casey Cott (Broadway: Moulin Rouge! The Musical), Charity Angél Dawson (Broadway: Waitress), Olivia Holt (Broadway: Chicago), Cheyenne Jackson (Broadway: Into The Woods), Christopher Jackson (Broadway: Hamilton), Alexis Michelle (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Jelani Remy (Broadway: Back To The Future), as well as current cast members from Moulin Rouge! The Musical(Jacqueline B. Arnold, Heather Makalani, David Merino and Kelsey Orem), and Some Like It Hot! (Kayla Pecchioni).
Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Lisa Lawer Post, Interim Executive Director) today announced complete casting for Spainby Jen Silverman anddirected by Tyne Rafaeli. Tony Award winner Andrew Burnap (Camelot, The Inheritance) and Danny Wolohan (Camelot, Macbeth)join the previously announced Tony Award nominee Marin Ireland, Zachary James, and Erik Lochtefeld.
This limited engagement will begin previews on Wednesday, November 8, 2023 and will officially open Thursday, November 30, 2023 at the Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street).
Step into a sophisticated, slippery world where the line between truth and fiction is all in the packaging. It’s 1936, and a pair of passionate filmmakers have landed their next big project: a sweeping Spanish Civil War film with the potential to change American hearts and minds. It just happens to be bankrolled by the KGB. This seductive and funny new play about the art of propaganda and the dangerous ongoing Disinformation Age explores how art can change the world—for better and worse.
Food For Thought Productions, now in its 22nd year, continues celebrating the oft-neglected one-act play and theatre at its best with Award-winning actors, writers and directors, with a unique series set for its 2023 Season. Zach Grenier, Larry Pine, Penny Fuller, Bob Dishy, Michael Citriniti and special guest Martin Garbus
The People Versus Lenny Bruce is the third segment of “All The Court’s A Stage,” a series of one-act plays that are based on seven of Martin Garbus‘ cases and directed by Antony Marsellis. Martin Garbus, who has been called “One of the world’s finest trial lawyers”, has represented: Lenny Bruce, Philip Roth, Samuel Beckett, Igor Stravinsky, John Cheever, Daniel Ellsberg, Al Pacino, and Susan Sontag, to name a few! He also smuggled letters from Andrei Sakharov to Jimmy Carter.
In April 1964, Lenny Bruce appeared twice at the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village, with undercover police detectives in the audience. He was arrested along with club owners Howard and Elly Solomon, who were arrested for allowing an obscene performance. On both occasions, Bruce was arrested after leaving the stage. A three-judge panel presided over his widely publicized six-month trial, prosecuted by Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Richard Kuh, with Ephraim London and Martin Garbus as the defense attorneys. Bruce and Howard Solomon were found guilty of obscenity on November 4, 1964. The conviction was announced despite positive testimony and petitions of support from—among other artists, writers and educators—Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Jules Feiffer, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, William Styron, and James Baldwin, and Manhattan journalist and television personality Dorothy Kilgallen and sociologist Herbert Gans. Bruce was sentenced to four months in a workhouse; he was set free on bail during the appeals process and died before the appeal was decided. Solomon, the owner of the club where Lenny was arrested, later saw Bruce’s conviction overturned
The October 3rd, 2:00pm performance (Preceded by luncheon), directed by Antony Marsellis, will be available live via Streaming as well as in-theatre audience. A Q&A will follow the performance with the cast, Playwright/FFTP Founder Susan Charlotte, Directror Antony Marsellis and Martin Garbus himself! The FFT series is presented at 3 West Club. Tickets for the ‘live’ performance are $65, and with discounted code ‘FFTP’ tickets are $45. For additional information and zoom tickets please contact FFTP at: 646-366-9340 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The York Theatre Company, announced today the cast and creative team for its production of Golden Rainbow, with book by Ernest Kinoy and music and lyrics by Walter Marks, the third offering of the Fall 2023 “Musicals in Mufti” series.
The cast features Felipe Barbosa Bombonato (Les Misérables), Jonathan Brody (The Sorceress), Nick Cearley (The Skivvies), Robert Cuccioli (York’s Rothschild & Sons), Mara Davi (Dames at Sea), Max Von Essen (York’s Tenderloin), Danielle Lee Greaves (Parade), Jillian Louis (York’s The Game of Love), Gina Milo (York’s Subways Are for Sleeping), Benjamin Pajak (The Music Man), and Maria Wirries (York’s Penelope: or How The Odyssey Was Really Written).
Golden Rainbow is directed by Stuart Ross (York’s Enter Laughing), with music direction by David Hancock Turner (York’s Cheek to Cheek and Desperate Measures).
Golden Rainbow (based on Arnold Schulman’s play A Hole in the Head) is the jazzy, heartfelt story of a single dad trying to achieve success in Las Vegas while raising his extremely bright and savvy son. His late wife’s sister arrives and tries to bring stability to the boy’s life, but unintentionally falls in love with her brother-in-law. The musical originally opened on Broadway on February 4, 1968 and ran nearly a year. It starred the married couple of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, major stars from their extensive work in the recording, television, and concert industries. The musical introduced the enduring standard “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” recorded by Sammy Davis, Tony Bennett, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Klea Blackhurst, and many others.
Golden Rainbow will play the following 11-performance schedule— First Week: Saturday at 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2:30 & 7:00 p.m. Second Week: Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. (Opening Night), Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Talkbacks follow all matinee performances.
Linda Purl Had The Room In Her Hand at The Green Room 42
You know Linda Purl, for her work on Movies of the Week, Happy Days, The Bold and the Beautiful, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, The Office and more. Recently she released her fourth album of standards, This Could Be the Start, and she celebrated its debut with a special concert Monday, September 11th at The Green Room 42.
Standards such as “This Could Be The Start,” I’ve Gotta Lot of Living,””Shall We Dance,” “Caravan,“Blue Moon,” “Let’s Get Lost,” “Taking a Chance on Love,” “Here’s To Life” and more were given a sultry, laid back, come hither approach. You can tell Ms. Purl is an actress first, as these song, all told stories that wrapped you in their spell. The lyrics become front and center, but are thrown away with a knowing that surpasses time. Part of the magic is the alternating rhythms to the originals that make these versions stand out and draw you in.
Part of this intoxication is her musical director Ted Firth, who is a musical genius. Purl has been working with him for 15 years. When ever I fall in love with an arrangement, inevitably it is always Ted Firth at the helm. Firth was on piano with David Finck on bass and Ray Marchica on drums. Purl smartly uses the best of the best.
During Ms. Purl’s patter we learned about her love of hiking, she hails from Colorado, her partner, Patrick Duffy, and their sourdough starter company, as well as painting old trees with paint and glitter.
Purl knows how to keep her audience in the palm of her hand and wanting more. She is warm, engaging and a song stylist, that will keep you coming back for more.
All photo’s and video are Magda Katz
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Harmony and Barry Manilow
As rehearsals are under way for Harmony, the new, original musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman with direction and choreography by Warren Carlyle, I thought to honor the legendary showman.
Many of the members of the company are making their Broadway debuts, including 5 of the 6 actors playing the Harmonists.
Ghostlight Records released the full digital cast recording of the upcoming Broadway production on Thursday, August 31. The album is produced by Barry Manilow, with Lawrence Manchester serving as co-producer.
Principal cast members include Chip Zien; Sierra Boggess; Julie Benko; the Comedian Harmonists Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey; Allison Semmes and Andrew O’Shanick. The complete cast includes Zak Edwards, Dan Hoy, Bruce Landry, RhonniRose Mantilla, Daniel Z. Miller, Benjamin H. Moore, Matthew Mucha, Constantine Pappas, Kayleen Seidl, Kyla Stone, Bronwyn Tarboton, Kate Wesler, Stuart Zagnit, and Lee Zarrett.
The creative team for Harmony includes Beowulf Boritt (scenic design), Linda Cho & Ricky Lurie (costume design), Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting design), Dan Moses Schreier (sound design), batwin + robin productions (media design), Tom Watson (wig & hair design), Jamibeth Margolis, CSA (casting), Sara Edwards (associate director/choreographer), John O’Neill (music director), Michael Aarons (music coordinator), Doug Walter (orchestrations) and Scott Taylor Rollison (production stage manager).
Based on an unbelievable true story, Harmony tells the tale of the most successful entertainers you’ve never heard of. . . until now. In the 1920s and 30s, The Comedian Harmonists sold millions of records, made dozens of films, and sold-out the biggest theaters around the world. Their heavenly harmonies and musical comedy antics catapulted these six talented young men from singing in the subway tunnels of Berlin to international superstardom.
Harmony begins preview Wednesday, October 18, ahead of a Monday, November 13 official opening night.
This is one show I can not wait to see.
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