National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) announced the line-up of directors for their 30th Annual Festival Of New Musicals, which takes place on Thursday, October 25 and Friday, October 26, 2018 at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues). The Festival events will kick off on Monday, October 22 with Thank You, 30!, a gala event to celebrate the 30th Annual Festival.
Registration for industry members is free and now open at www.namt.org/festival. The public can also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT. There is also a day-of standby line for the general public for free admission (based on availability).
This year’s NAMT Festival features an impressive line-up of established and emerging directors including
Warren Adams (Choreographer: Motown The Musical), Hunter Bird (NY: The Laodamiad. Broadway AD: Our Mother’s Brief Affair), Stephen Brackett (Upcoming Broadway: Be More Chill. NY/ National Tour: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), Gary Griffin (Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas), Anne Kauffman (Broadway: Marvin’s Room), Jenn Thompson (Off Broadway: The Gravedigger’s Lullaby), Charlotte Westenra (Donmar: Kiss of the Spider Woman), Schele Williams (Broadway AD: Motown The Musical); Musical Directors include Ben Cohn (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen), Wiley Deweese (NY: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), Steven Jamail (Upcoming Broadway: Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story),Emily Marshall (Upcoming Broadway: Be More Chill), Julie McBride (Broadway: SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical) and Eli Zoller (Off Broadway: F#%cking Up Everything).
In line with NAMT’s strategic plan, and in celebration of the 30th Annual Festival of New Musicals, NAMT is also thrilled to announce the inaugural class of observers for the Festival Observership for Early-Career Directors. The program is dedicated to providing professional development and networking opportunities to early-career directors, while simultaneously expanding diversity in the musical theatre pipeline by providing these opportunities for underrepresented communities. This year’s observers are Lindsy Bissonnette, Carlton Byrd, Leo Yu-Ning Chang, Amanda Connors, Carsen Joenk, Rhonda Kohl, Nicky Maggio and Tai Thompson.
Now in its 30th year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival Of New Musicals attracts theatre producers from around the world for this industry-only event to discover eight new musicals presented in 45-minute concert presentations over two days. All production costs are underwritten by NAMT, at no cost to the writing teams. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations, sponsorships and contributions.
The Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 252 musicals and 478 writers from around the world. As a direct result of the FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS, more than 85% of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions and tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past Festival shows include Benny & Joon, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Children of Eden, Come From Away, The Drowsy Chaperone, Honk!, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Striking 12, Ordinary Days, Thoroughly Modern Millie and We Live In Cairo among many others.
This year, a committee of 17 theatre professionals selected eight new musicals out of 226 blind submissions. The musicals they chose for the 30th Annual Festival are:
17 Again (book by Marco Pennette, music & lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner), A.D. 16 (book by Bekah Brunstetter, music & lyrics by Cinco Paul), Gun & Powder (book & lyrics by Angelica Chéri, music by Ross Baum), Monstersongs (book, music & lyrics by Rob Rokicki), Row (book by Daniel Goldstein, music & lyrics by Dawn Landes), The River Is Me (book & lyrics by Sukari Jones, music by Troy Anthony), The Wicker Husband (book by Rhys Jennings, music & lyrics by Darren Clark), and XY (book, music & lyrics by Oliver Houser, developed with Hunter Bird).
In a statement, Betsy King Militello, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, said, “Thirty years is a tremendous milestone. For each of those 30 years, our staff and committee have worked tirelessly to encourage, support and nurture the work of musical theatre creators from around the world. This year, from 226 submissions, we’ve assembled a stellar collection of stories, and we are proud to be a catalyst for their development.”
On behalf of the Festival Committee, Co-Chairs Søren Møller, Creative Producer, Fredericia Teater, and Pamela Adams, General Manager, Atlantic Theater Company, stated, “We were inspired by the many musical theatre voices we heard this year in 200-plus exceptional submissions. Selecting only eight was an incredible challenge, but we are thrilled to share these eight new musicals with audiences this fall.”
Casting for each musical and further programming details will be announced soon.
17 Again book by Marco Pennette, music & lyrics by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner
Director: Gary Griffin (Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, The Apple Tree, The Color Purple)
Music Director: Ben Cohn (Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen)
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want, or expect it to. What would happen if you could turn back the clock to a younger version of yourself and start over? 17 Again—a new musical based on the hit 2009 film starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry—tells the story of a married 35-year-old man who fears his best days have passed him by…until he mysteriously wakes up as a seventeen-year-old high school basketball star with the chance to rewrite the future he believes he was meant to have.
While a student at NYU, Marco Pennette interned for Harold Prince and sold his first script to the sitcom Kate & Allie. Pennette soon relocated to Los Angeles where he created the NBC comedy Caroline in the City. He was also a show runner for series such as Ugly Betty (Emmy nominee) and Desperate Housewives. He currently writes for the CBS comedy Mom. His theater credits include the Off Broadway play Motherhood: Out Loud and the revised book for the 2015 Broadway revival of On the 20th Century. He is currently writing stage adaptations of Return of The Living Dead and the Universal film Death Becomes Her.
Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner wrote songs for Broadway’s First Date, which ran at the Longacre Theatre after a sold-out run at Seattle’s 5th Avenue/ACT Theatres. The show can now be seen in productions across the U.S. and around the world. Recently, Zachary and Weiner penned songs for the acclaimed musical episode of Once Upon a Time on ABC. The team wrote the score for a musical adaptation of the film Secondhand Lions (book by Rupert Holmes) which premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Upcoming musical projects include: 17 Again directed by Adam Shankman and 13 Going on 30 directed by Andy Fickman. For Universal Studios, the duo wrote songs with J.K. Rowling for Celestina Warbeck & the Bansheesplaying at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Currently, Zachary and Weiner are developing a TV series with Universal Television starring Kristin Chenoweth and have created shows for ABC, FOX, Disney Channel, Disney Animation and Disney Parks around the globe. Zachary and Weiner are recipients of the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award.
A.D. 16, book by Bekah Brunstetter, music & lyrics by Cinco Paul
Director: Stephen Brackett (Upcoming Broadway: Be More Chill. NY/ National Tour: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical),
Musical Director: Julie McBride (Broadway: SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical)
A.D. 16 tells the story of what happens when teenage Mary Magdalene moves from Magdala to Nazareth with her father and falls in love with the boy next door: teenage Jesus. Featuring an R&B score that evokes the best of TLC, En Vogue, Prince and more, this comedic coming-of-age story asks the question: what if your first crush really WAS perfect?
Bekah Brunstetter’s plays include The Cake (The Echo), Going to a Place Where You Already Are (South Coast Repertory), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage Fall 2016, O’Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe) and Oohrah! (The Atlantic Theater). She is currently a member of the Echo Theater’s Playwright’s group. She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just Want My Pants Back), ABC Family’s Switched at Birth and Starz’ American Gods. She is currently a Producer on NBC’s This is Us. MFA, The New School for Drama.
Cinco Paul, with Ken Daurio, has written the movies Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me 3, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, The Secret Life Of Pets, The Santa Clause 2 and Bubble Boy. He also wrote the lyrics for the six songs in The Lorax, and is the recipient of the ASCAP Sammy Cahn Award for lyric writing and the Harold Arlen Award for the score of Bubble Boy the Musical, the original cast recording of which was recently released on Ghostlight Records. BA in English, Yale University. MFA in Screenwriting, USC.
Gun & Powder, book & lyrics by Angelica Chéri, music by Ross Baum
Director: Warren Adams (Broadway: Motown The Musical, choreographer)
Musical Director: Steven Jamail (Upcoming Broadway: Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story)
Gun & Powder is inspired by the true story of Mary and Martha Clarke: African American twin sisters who passed for White and were outlaws. Set in Post-Emancipation Texas, the musical follows our heroines’ journey of defying racial boundaries and seizing what rightfully belongs to them. They are successful, until a little romance shakes everything up.
Ross Baum is a composer, performer and music arranger. His musical scores include: Gun & Powder (2018 Richard Rodgers Award, Signature Theatre’s SigWorks Musical Theater Lab), Crowndation: I Will Not Lie To David (National Black Theatre), Anne Frank: My Secret Life and A Letter to Auntie Rosa (Diverging Elements Theatre Company). He was selected as winner of NY City Center’s Sondheim Remix contest and Disney/NMI’s 2018 New Voices Project. As founder and music director of RANGE a cappella, he has provided vocal arrangements for Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, Billboard, Playbill, the E! Network and a YouTube channel totaling 30 million views. Education: MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, NYU; BFA, Syracuse; BMI Workshop. www.rossbaum.net
Angelica Chéri is a playwright, bookwriter/lyricist and screenwriter. Her play Berta, Berta premiered at the 2018 Contemporary American Theater Festival. Plays from her trilogy The Prophet’s Cycle include: The Seeds of Abraham (workshop, Pershing Square Signature Center, 2013, mentored by Lynn Nottage; production, Billie Holiday Theatre, 2014), The Sting of White Roses (production, North Carolina Black Repertory Company, 2016) and Crowndation: I Will Not Lie to David (2018 workshop, National Black Theatre, I Am Soul Residence). She and Ross Baum received the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for Gun & Powder. Angelica holds a BA in Theater from UCLA, an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU.
Monstersongs, book, music & lyrics by Rob Rokicki
Director: Jenn Thompson (Off Broadway: The Gravedigger’s Lullaby)
Musical Director: Emily Marshall (Upcoming Broadway: Be More Chill)
Monstersongs is a unique theatrical event that immerses audiences in a synthesized world of graphic novels, rock musicals, live performance and new technology. A portal into the psyches of often misunderstood creatures, Monstersongs flips the switch on the monster narrative, inviting audiences to explore the humanity that binds us all.
Rob Rokicki is a songwriter, performer, music director and educator. He is the composer/lyricist of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (book by Joe Tracz) which was nominated for three Drama Desk Awards, an Off Broadway Alliance Award and a Lortel Award. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actor’s Equity, and is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop. Other projects: Love, NY, Strange Tails, Relativity (with Michael Ruby) and the graphic novel rock album, Monstersongs (art by David O’Neill). Albums are available on Broadway Records and Great White Wax. BFA, BA University of Michigan.
The River Is Me, book & lyrics by Sukari Jones, music by Troy Anthony
Director: Schele Williams (Broadway AD: Motown The Musical)
The River Is Me is a coming-of-age musical theatre adventure, about a little boy who dreams of becoming an underwater superhero to save his mother from the grown-up world of violence. Bo—a funny kid with a big imagination—travels from Chicago to Mississippi in 1955 to win friends with his hijinks. But when he whistles at a white woman, he’s kidnapped, killed and thrown into the Tallahatchie River. Rather than be destroyed in death however, Bo transforms into the water-powered superhero he dreamed of as a living boy, returning to walk the earth to change it forever to save his Ma.
Troy Anthony is a composer, actor and director based in New York City. He and his writing partner Sukari Jones have presented work at Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Prospect Theater Company and the Musical Theatre Factory. Commissions include Atlantic Theater Company, The Civilians and Princeton University. Troy has been seen in the Public Theater’s Twelfth Night and As You Like It, as well as Prospect Theater Company’s Tamar of the River. He leads the Public Theater’s Public Works Community Choir and focuses on the intersection between art and social justice at the DreamYard Art Center. He’s a graduate of Otterbein University.
Sukari Jones is a playwright, screenwriter and lyricist whose work explores the intersection of race and power in the United States, with a particular focus on the Black experience in America and complicated mother-daughter relationships. She received her BA from Vassar College, and her MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. Memberships: Advanced BMI Musical Theatre Workshop; The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group. Sukari’s work has been commissioned/produced at Goodspeed Musicals, Lincoln Center Theater, The Lark Play Development Center, Village Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Joe’s Pub and The Public Theater. Fellowships: W.K. Rose (Vassar College), MacDowell Colony.
Row, book by Daniel Goldstein, music & lyrics by Dawn Landes
Adapted from the book A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure
Director: Anne Kauffman (Broadway: Marvin’s Room)
Musical Director: Wiley Deweese (NY: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical)
In 1998, Tori Murden set out in her homemade rowboat attempting to become the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo. She unknowingly rowed into the heart of Hurricane Danielle. Row tells a heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting story of finding your heart in the middle of the ocean.
Daniel Goldstein is a writer and director based in Brooklyn. He is the winner of the 2016 Kleban Prize for most promising musical theatre librettist. His musical Unknown Soldier, written with the late Michael Friedman, had its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is currently under commission by Roundabout Theatre Company for a play about Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal, called Orange Crush. He is developing a new musical based on the David Lynch film The Straight Story. His work as a director has been seen on and off Broadway and around the world.
Dawn Landes is a singer-songwriter whose thoughtful music you might have heard if you watch Bored to Death, House, Gossip Girl or The Good Wife. Along with releasing six albums since 2005 (and an EP inspired by yé-yé, ’60s French pop music), she’s a frequent collaborator with contemporaries such as Sufjan Stevens, Norah Jones and composer Nico Muhly. She has appeared with the NYC Ballet, TED and Lincoln Center’s prestigious American Songbook Series. Her newest album Meet Me at the River was produced by Country Music Hall of Fame legend Fred Foster and was released in August 2018 on Yep Roc Records.
The Wicker Husband, book by Rhys Jennings, music & lyrics by Darren Clark
Based on the original short story by Ursula Wills-Jones
Director: Charlotte Westenra (Donmar: Kiss of the Spider Woman)
Musical Director: Eli Zoller (Off Broadway: F#%cking Up Everything)
Woven from a blend of folk music, storytelling and puppetry, The Wicker Husband is a magical story of love, redemption and revenge. It tells the timeless tale of the outsider, of the battle for self-acceptance in a society that constantly reminds us what it means to be “Ugly.”
Rhys Jennings trained as an actor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. The Wicker Husband, which won the MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award in 2016, is Rhys’ first professional credit as a bookwriter. Visiting the US in 2005, he wrote and created a large scale community theatre show called The Color Goblins for the town of Burgaw, North Carolina. As an actor, Rhys has worked extensively on stage and radio, and in 2009 he won the BBC Carleton Hobbs Award. His next collaboration with Darren Clark will be Turing, a biographical piece about WWII codebreaker Alan Turing.
Darren Clark’s musical and lyrical commissions have included: Day of the Living (RSC); Fantastic Mr. Fox (lyrics only for Nuffield Theatre, UK Tour 2016); The Scarecrows’ Wedding (Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour, West End for Scamp Theatre 2016); These Trees Are Made of Blood (Arcola Theatre, Southwark Playhouse). Darren is an associate artist with the children’s theatre company Paper Balloon, writing music and lyrics for all their shows. His collaborations with Rhys Jennings include: The Wicker Husband, which won the Inaugural MTI Stiles + Drewe Mentorship Award in 2016, and Turing, a musical exploring the life of codebreaker Alan Turing.
XY, book, music & lyrics by Oliver Houser, developed with Hunter Bird
Director: Hunter Bird (NY: The Laodamiad. Broadway AD: Our Mother’s Brief Affair)
Chris can’t shake Christine. She’s with him everywhere he goes, staring back when Chris looks in the mirror. But when Chris falls in love, the divide between then and now begins to blur. XY is a musical drama about accepting the past and coming home to the most unfamiliar of places: ourselves.
Oliver Houser is a NY-based actor and musical theatre artist. His work has been performed at The Other Palace Theatre in London, The Kennedy Center, The NY Musical Festival, the NY Fringe Festival, The SoHo Playhouse, the Kaufman Center, Feinstein’s/54 Below and other venues across the United States. He has developed work at Goodspeed Musicals, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, the ASCAP and BMI Musical Theatre Workshops and the Ucross Foundation. Oliver is a 2017 Dramatists Guild Fellow and winner of the ASCAP Foundation Sammy Cahn Award for songwriting. He is a proud member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild.
Hunter Bird is Brooklyn-based maker of new plays and musicals. He has directed and developed new work at Ars Nova, Roundabout Theatre Company, The McKittrick Hotel, Signature Theatre with Columbia University, The Getty Villa, 59E59, Lincoln Center Education, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Musical Theatre Factory and Feinstein’s/54 Below. He is currently developing new work with Nikko Benson, Andrea Daly, Kate Douglas, Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, Oliver Houser, Chas LiBretto, Madeline Myers, Angela Sclafani and Zack Zadek. Artistic Producer of The Chase Brock Experience; Line Producer of ANT Fest 2018 at Ars Nova; Colony Coordinator of the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals from 2014-2016. www.hunter-bird.com
The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Their mission is to advance musical theatre by nurturing the creation, development, production and presentation of new musicals, and to provide a forum for musical theatre professionals to share resources and exchange information. Their 209 members, located throughout 29 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers.
NAMT’s Festival Of New Musicals is the cornerstone of NAMT’s mission to nurture the creation, development and production of new musicals. The Festival presents eight musicals in 45-minute presentations before an audience of over 600 industry professionals. In the short run, the Festival’s goal is to connect producers with writers, so that their shows can continue their development trajectory. The long-term goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire, bringing new musical theatre to thousands of audience members around the world.
The 30th Festival Of New Musicals is overseen by NAMT New Works Director Ciera Iveson and Festival General Manager Lisa Dozier Productions and Associate General Manager Dailey-Monda Management.
The 2018 Festival Committee is co-chaired by Søren Møller, Creative Producer, Fredericia Teater (DK) and Pamela Adams, General Manager, Atlantic Theater Co. (NY). Committee members include: Rick Edinger, Associate Professor of Music Theater, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (PA); Lori Fineman, Executive Director, The Transport Group (NY); Dana Harrel, Executive Creative Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment (CA); Donna Lynn Hilton, Producer, Goodspeed Musicals (CT); Tim Kashani, Co-Founder/CEO, Apples and Oranges Arts (CA); Dan Murphy, Managing Director, Broadway Rose Theatre Company (OR); Danielle Karliner Naish, Finance & Operations Manager, 321 Theatrical Management (NY); Patrick Parker, Associate Artistic Director, Paper Mill Playhouse (NJ); Ann-Carol Pence, Co-Founder/Associate Producer, Aurora Theatre (GA); Amy Rogers Schwartzreich, Director of Musical Theatre, Pace New Musicals (NY); Phil Santora, Executive Director, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (CA); Matthew Schneider, Co-Owner/Producer, Creative Endeavor Office (NY); Yuvika Tolani, Line Producer, The Public Theater (NY); Robert Lee, Associate Arts Professor, NYU-TSOA-GMTWP (NY), Chair Emeritus; and Cheryl Davis (Alumna Writer Representative), writer of Barnstormer (Fest ’08).
NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs: The Alhadeff Charitable Foundation, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York Creative Spaces Grant, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, BMI Foundation, The Frederick Loewe Foundation, The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, The Hollywood Pantages, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Ted Snowden Foundation, and Anonymous donors.
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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