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As hurricane Florence threatens to take out the Carolina’s, Prospect Theater Company presented a concert production of Peter Mills and Cara Reichel’s new original musical The Flood. Inspired by the historic 1993 flooding of the Mississippi River, this special evening, which was held on September 8th was to benefit hurricane-affected communities in Puerto Rico (visit www.ProspectTheater.org to donate). A cast of Broadway and Prospect stars were joined by a chorus of more than 30 singers from Monroe County, Illinois — the community which survived the devastation of the Great Flood of ’93 and whose stories inspired the musical. The evening was heartbreaking watching these survivors sing along to the terrific score with tears streaming down their faces. Though that flood happened 25 years ago, it still has an emotional toll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The play is based on what happened in the summer of 1993, in the town of Valmeyer, Illinois. The town was devastated when the levees broke and the Mississippi river overtook the town. The Flood fictionalizes this tale, naming the town of Meyerville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We first meet the River (Simone Zamore) who sings a haunting serenade to a 15 year-old named Rosemary (Aline Mayagoitia). The two have a special bond. As the town comes into play we meet Susan (Victoria Huston-Elem) the school teacher, her students and young lovers Raleigh (Ben Fankhauser) and Alice (Mia Pinero), her pastor father Ezekial (Aaron Ramey) and his father the Mayor (Scott Wakefield) and Susan’s longtime boyfriend Curtis (Graham Stevens). Rosemary is Alice’s sister. As summer begins, the town has received a record rainfall and the Mississippi River is bulging at the seams. Raleigh is desperate to escape small town life, the pastor thinks God is about to throw down his wrath, Alice doesn’t want to commit to Curtis and Susan is trying to figure out her relationship with Raleigh. She thinks he is saving to buy her a ring, when in truth he wants to buy a car to escape. When the flood does happen, lives are lost, the town has to rebuild on higher ground and no-one will be the same again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simone Zamore as the river, brought sorrow, longing, and a gracefulness as she embodied the mighty Mississippi. Ben Fankhauser’s made the wonderfully written “Highway Miles” a distinct want song, that was universal to anyone who wants more, than a small town life. Aaron Ramey’s rich bass made the preachers songs “Pass it On” and “One Man With a Shovel” stand out. I really liked Graham Stevens’s gentleness. Victoria Huston-Elem, had a nice tone, but didn’t quite deliver my favorite song from the piece, the poetic and lyrical “It’s Amazing The Things That Float” and unfortunately made us not care for her character, but maybe that is a flaw in the show. Who wow’d us was the incredible Mia Pinero, who not only brought a wonderful voice to the stage, but could act and clearly had the “it” factor. I expect big things for this talented youngster.

The music and lyrics are lyrical, clever and dynamic, they sweep you away with their melodies. The sound is a blend of country, jazz, blues and musical theatre all blended together. A stand out was the lively “Hell, We’re Americans.”Where the show needs work, is in the book, but I wish these two would work on this as the show is timely and could help heal those who have gone through this kind of hell.

Reichal’s direction kept the show moving. The lighting and the costumes were simple, but effective.

The Flood, was moving, profound and unfortunately timely. As the members of Valmeyer, Illinois shed tears, I couldn’t help but think how many will soon know this devastation and will they be able to cope as well as this town and it’s inhabitants did? I sent up prayers.

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

Events

TODAY Show Celebrates 30 Years With Its 2024 Citi Concert Series

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The TODAY Show is celebrating 30 years so its 2024 Citi Concert Series lineup is pretty spectacular. Rockefeller Plaza will have country music with Wallows kicking things off. Chris Stapleton, Lainey Wilson and Thomas Rhett, as well as fan favorites Meghan Trainor, LL COOL J and Chance the Rapper.

Mark Your calendars:

May

Friday, May 24 — Wallows *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, May 31 — Anitta *Register for a Fan Pass

June

Friday, June 7 — Meghan Trainor *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, June 21 — Kehlani *Register for a Fan Pass

Tuesday, June 25 — Lainey Wilson *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, June 28 — Gracie Abrams *Register for a Fan Pass

July

Thursday, July 4 — Bleachers *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, July 12 — Rauw Alejandro *Register for a Fan Pass

August

Friday, Aug. 9 — Maggie Rogers *Register for a Fan Pass

Monday, Aug. 12 — Little Big Town and Sugarland *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, Aug. 16 — Chance the Rapper *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, Aug. 23 — Thomas Rhett *Register for a Fan Pass

September

Friday, Sept. 27 — Chris Stapleton *Register for a Fan Pass

Date to be announced 

LL COOL J *Check back for Fan Passes

TODAY concerts are free and open to the public. The shows take place on the TODAY Plaza in Rockefeller Center, located at 48th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, in New York City.

The closest subway stop to our TODAY Plaza concerts is the 47th — 50th Streets — Rockefeller Center station on the B, D, F, M trains. 24/7 parking is also available nearby at the Rockefeller Center Parking Garage at 53 West 48th Street. The garage is operated 24/7 and accepts reservations in advance. Hourly and daily parking rates apply.

Fan Passes are limited and available by advance request. Guests who receive them will be notified by email before the scheduled concert date.

Guests who do not obtain a Fan Pass can still attend the General Admission line the morning of the concert, and those fans will be let in if space allows. Other answers to commonly asked questions about the series can be found here.

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Events

Memorial Day Weekend Sips That Sizzle

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Summer, summer time is here!

Get ready for days in the sun that sizzle this Memorial Day Weekend with these amazing sips. Mix a cocktail or have it easy, breezy and straight from the can or bottle. All of these options will bring joy and delight to your picnic on the beach to your backyard BBQ!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

For Tea Lovers with a Twist – Lipton Hard Iced Tea

 Lipton Hard Iced Tea is the tangy twist on a classic that you will love. Crafted from a triple-filtered, premium malt base and real brewed Lipton tea, it’s a perfect way to enjoy the best tea with a level of sweetness that will dazzle your senses. Whether you’re firing up the grill, hitting the beach, or simply enjoying some outdoor fun, Lipton Hard Iced Tea has you covered. With flavors like Lemon, Peach, Strawberry, Citrus Green Tea and Half & Half, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

For Wine Lovers Who Love Sophistication – Miraval

Miraval Rosé is a perfect summer day in a glass. With blend of fruits aromas and freshness, made on an exceptional terroirs in Provence.

Attractive bright and translucent colour,  its divine aromatic bouquet combines fresh fruit, freshly cut currants and roses, seasoned with a zest of lemon. A glass can be perfectly enjoyed with a luxurious meal with friends as the sun sets.

For the Traditional Lovers – Jefferson’s Bourbon

Cover art by Lucas Sankey on Unsplash

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Events

In the News

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May has been a busy month with so many busy things. Here are some of our favorite highlights.

2024 SI Rookie + Founder of Mama Mantra, Sharina Gutierrez graced the red carpet of the “Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit 60th Anniversary Celebration at Hard Rock Hotel in New York.  She wore a Marc Jacobs dress, Alexis Bittar jewelry and Saint Laurent shoes.

(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Sonya Sklaroff is a contemporary American painter born and raised in New York City, she holds a true understanding of New York City and its essence. This May she has teamed up with the NoHo Business Improvement District to display 76 pieces of her artwork in 19 different NoHo business’s.

 

 

 

 

Her latest collection is called “Outside In” featuring paintings that capture the city at dusk, with architecture silhouetted against a vibrant evening sky and colorful windows. Within the scenes, viewers glimpse intimate moments of everyday life – a women prepping for bed, a couple sharing a quiet moment, friends dining together, etc. Until May 28th viewers can immerse themselves in Sklaroff’s captivating paintings as they explore the diverse businesses that define the NoHo neighborhood or better known as Sonya Sklaroff’s new art gallery.

 

 

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Events

The Abbot of Athos and The Consulate Midtown A Tale of How Food Can Bring Peace

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Greece and Macedonia, have had decades of tension, but yesterday at The Consulate Midtown, 44 West 56th Street The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos and Kiril Mihajlov, showed how great food and conversation can give way to peace.

The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos, Kiril Mihajlov

I met the Abbott in Greece last summer and he graciously agreed to have lunch with me and some guests I invited, before he returned to Greece.

Margarita Parlionas, Captain John Woodall

Margarita Parlionas is a business owner, who brought with her Captain John Woodall who runs Camp4Heroes, a place where Vets can get some much needed help.

Suzanna Bowling, The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos, Kiril Mihajlov and George Tower

George Tower, is contributing writer for the, T2C, and speaks fluent Greek.

The Abbot, Margarita and Captain Woodall all supped on the Hangover Burger ($28) 8oz grilled patty, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, topped with a fried egg on a brioche bun, which they all claimed was the best burger they had ever had.

George had the Salmon Eggs Benedict ($26) poached eggs, smoked salmon, toasted brioche, espelette hollandaise sauce and was completely happy.

T2C’s Suzanna Bowling had her favorite Avocado Toast with Bacon ($24) scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon and mixed greens. If you want sensational food with a elegant atmosphere, I highly recommend The Consulate Midtown.

The Abbot gifted a book about his life written in both Greek and English to the guests.

The Abbott has been in America since April visiting Boston, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Queens and NYC. His message is of gratitude, love and healing. He has been raising funds to expand and offer more to men who want a spiritual retreat, which is what Mount Athos does.

T2C’s Suzanna Bowling and The Holy Father, Geron Nektarios, Abbot of the Kalyve of Holy Cross in Skete of Saint Anne in Mount Athos

If you wish to know more you can go to Athonite Foundation.

 

 

 

 

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

RASCALS AT SONY HALL — The Rascals long-awaited return to NYC proved to be a sensational evening of music. Their 16-song set, backed up by a terrific band -including bassist John Billings from Micky Dolenz’s band- was rocking from the start with their “Do You Feel It” and “”Beautiful Morning.” Felix Cavaliere’s vibrant vocals were just a joy. Face it, for people of a certain age, we grew up with this voice … just magical.

Micky Dolenz

Their cover of the Jackie Wilson-chestnut “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) High” set the SRO crowd afire.

Felix then brought his daughter Aria out for two selections. Clearly, she’s inherited by father’s dynamic vocal prowess. She was just terrific and a nice surprise.

Cavaliere then brought out guitarist Gene Cornish who was just wonderful. Gene has had some health issues, but his presence brought the show to a magnificent high-point.

Oddly, there was no mention of the rumored “My Hawaii” from Cavaliere with vocals from Dolly Parton. He mentioned it in a recent interview with Medium, but was mum about it on last Monday’s WOR-interview with Len Berman and Michael Riedel. I hear that the release has been held up several times. Sad … can’t wait to hear it.

The show ended with their signature classics “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long,” “How Can I Be Sure,” “People Got To Be Free” and Good Lovin’.” The Rascals’ music is ingrained and it was a joy to hear it once again. Truth be told, it sounded better than ever!

Seated in a corner booth by the stage was none other than Bill Murray – a huge fan. Great night sensational set. Also, there were Rascals-PR man David Salidor; Dan Zelinski; Billy Amendola; Magda Katz from Times Square Chronicles; and Susan Nuzzi Russo. Thanks to SONY Hall’s Peter Abraham for his assistance.

David Sanborn

DAVID SANBORN — We don’t usually re-print tributes, but this, from David Sanborn’s wife Alice Soyer was so heartfelt.  Take a read:

Dave, my love, my warrior, my soulmate, my unique bird, my everything. I cannot believe what I’m writing right now but what I know is that you changed my life, because of you I know what true love is, I had and have it all. I have it all. Although I’m going to miss you every single minute of my life, I know that the pain you were enduring was not right, those pains are now released and you are completely free. You are and will be in every note, in every breath, in every sound that touches the soul, in every sun beam, in every cloud, in every beat of my heart. Dave you are an inspiration. Your courage to be yourself, to reveal this true voice screaming from inside, oh my love you are a true warrior, a pure artist, an extraordinary being.I will honor you every step on the way, I will represent you, us. I love you madly.

Dave forever

Don Grolnick

SHORT TAKES — First off, I left off one very important member when I referenced The Brecker Brothers last time: keyboardist-genius Don Grolnick: terrifically talented and much-missed …

George Harrison

One of the best parts of watching Let It Be(again!) was seeing John & Yoko dancing to George Harrison’s stunningly-beautiful “I Me Mine.” Awesome…  From Roger Friedman’s SHOWBIZ 411:Barbra Streisand just released a new a beautiful new single called “Love Will Survive,” for the closing credits of the upcoming series “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” It’s maybe Streisand’s best new vocal in years thanks to producers Walter Afanasieff (Mariah Carey’s classics) and Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor classics). So now I’m told Streisand has booked the producing duo for her next album of duets. Barbra has a couple of these under her belt over her six decade career. But this one sounds like a powerhouse … Great interview with Micky Dolenz in advance of his Surf Ballroom show Friday in Clear Lake, Iowa: https://littlevillagemag.com/monkee-micky-dolenz-surf-ballroom/?fbclid=IwAR2jXAYYYCJ_19ovY4yT8DU8OfdaTU-GYdYhXahF-rvYj3yERRW_K5MmgrI

Francis Ford Coppola

With this year’s Cannes  Film Festival underway, the first big movie screened was Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and it generated some of the craziest reviews I’ve ever seen.

Mostly positive. Coppola’s a genius, so you know to expect the unexpected. I think my favorite was from the UK’s Daily Telegraph which gave the movie four stars, saying, “Coppola’s latest is like Succession crossed with Batman Forever and a lava lamp… Aubrey Plaza is fantastic in this full-body sensory bath movie which follows a struggle for power among the elites of New Rome.” Me? I can’t wait to see it. The guy’s a bloody genius … 17-year-old wunderkind Kjersti Long -co writer of Vanessa Williams’ current return to music “Legs (Keep Dancing)”- heads to NYC for the Tribeca Festival in 2 weeks … And Apple TV’s Sugar -with Colin Farrell- ended its run. The first few episodes were great; very LA Confidential, but then, it turned into a sci-fi adventure. Odd? You bet. The ending left room for a second season, but I highly doubt it. Farell was great, but the topsy-turvy plot twist was brutal.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — August Darnell; Coati Mundi; Jeff Vogel; Kent Kotal; Bruce Grakal; Ringo Starr; Danny Fried; China Club; Tony King; Peter Brown; Mark Bego; Kent & Laura Denmark Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Peter Abraham; Peter Lubin; Steve Plotnicki; Profile Records; Joe Cocker; Lush Ice; Anthony Pomes; Terry Jastrow; and BELLA!

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