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Jordan Ahnquist, Lynne Wintersteller, Jeremy Kushnier, Sheer Madness Kate Middleton

Jordan Ahnquist, Lynne Wintersteller, Jeremy Kushnier and Kate Middleton

It took 36 years for Shear Madness to reach New York. This audience-participation murder mystery with franchises all over the country will be a hit with the outer borrows and New Jersey, but New Yorkers may just be a little to hip for this. What they will find fascinating is that Mrs. Shubert played by Lynne Wintersteller (original cast of Closer Than Ever) and Eddie played by Footlose Jeremy Kushnier have roles in this non musical. Pity they don’t sing.

The show takes place at the Shear Madness salon run by owner Tony Whitcomb (Jordan Ahnquist), a gay obnoxious queen and his assistant, Barbara DeMarco (Kate Middleton), a hooker type with brains from Brooklyn, who’s having a secret affair with Eddie (Kushnier). Undercover cops Lieutenant Nick O’Brien (Patrick Noonan) and Mike Thomas (Adam Gerber) are posing as clients among real clients socialite Mrs. Shubert (Wintersteller) and Eddie. When the upstairs owner plays too much piano all hell breaks lose and the concert pianist becomes the victim of murder as you the audience tries to figure it out.

If you weren’t paying attention during the set up, then you might have a problem with the rest of the show. After the intermission in which you can drink, Lieutenant O’Brien questions the audience and it really does become the audience’s choice. This portion becomes total improve on the part of the cast as none of the performers knows which one — will be voted the murderer by the audience. How much you enjoy the show becomes how interactive your audience is. I lucked out as my audience was mostly from Brooklyn and New Jersey and they were totally into it. They were as hysterical as some of the actors on stage.

The 1963 play is by German author Paul Portner and was adapted by director Bruce Jordan, who is also the show’s original producer. As far as murder mysteries go this is one of the better written. I have a chance to perform in several in Philadelphia awhile back, so I know the genre well. The improvisation skill are excellent and the topical quips up to date. Watching the actors try to crack each other up is also enjoyable. What is not up to date is the set by Will Cotton. We are supposed to be in a unisex hairdressing salon, at 50th and Ninth Avenue. Yet the prices are nowhere near what they would be. I know because there is a hair salon on 51st and 9th and I know there prices. This is a salon maybe 20 years stuck in time, yet we have jokes that put the time frame in the present.

Like Girl’s Night Out or Tony and Tina’s Wedding, there is an audience for this who will laugh out loud.

Shear Madness: New World Stages, 340 West 50th.

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

Broadway

The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 1

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony for the winners was held on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

Current President David Gordon and  Vice President Richard Ridge welcomed everyone. There were celebrity presenters and Tony Danza proved why he is a comedy star. The first award given out was to Outstanding Video/Projections: Peter Nigrini – The Who’s Tommy.

Danza also gave out the awards to Outstanding Orchestrations Marco Paguia – Buena Vista Social Club.

Outstanding Costume Design: Linda Cho – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play: Jessica Lange – Mother Play

Receiving the John Gassner Award for New American Play (preferably by a new playwright): Oh, Mary! and a tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play (tie): Cole Escola left a video message.


Next to present was Montego Glover who gave Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical (tie) Judy Kuhn – I Can Get It For You Wholesale

and to Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Score Shaina Taub – Suffs

Outstanding Scenic Design (tie): Paul Tate dePoo III – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lighting Design: Brian MacDevitt  The Outsiders

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play: Kara Young – Purlie Victorious

Next up Steve Gutenberg gave awards to Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate

Outstanding Sound DesignRyan Rumery – Stereophonic

Outstanding Solo Performance: Patrick Page – All the Devils are Here

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

Tomorrow Part 2.

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: On The Town For Fleet Week

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Fleet Week is upon us, so, attached is a drawing I did of Channing Tatum a few years ago for The Los Angeles Times. This was done for Hail Caesar! choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.

Hail Caesar!  is by Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, Fargo), starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

Here is a video with Channing and the rest of the cast. Talk about a great Happy Memorial Day!

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Cabaret

Cabaret and Talks For June

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92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 6/1 – 3: Wonder of Wonders: Celebrating Sheldon Harnick; 6/11: Daddio: Advance Screening and Dakota Johnson in Conversation with MTV’s Josh Horowitz; 6/15: An Evening with Noah Hawley with Special Guest Jon Hamm and 6/20: Dr. Anthony Fauci in Conversation with Lawrence O’Donnell: On Call.

Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 5:30 Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks and 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; 6/1, 8, 15, 22, 29: 6/3: Gabrielle StravellI; 6/3: Gabrielle Stravelli & Billy Stritch “Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other”; 6/10: Susan Mack “No More Blues”; 6/1: Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano: “Sun! Skin! Sin! Sinatra!”; 6/ 18 – 19: Stacey Kent and 6/24: Clint Holmes in “Icons”.

Clint Holmes

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 6/1: Ethan Slater; 6/4 – 8 Rumer Willis and 6/11 -24: Aaron Tveit.

Rumer Willis

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 6/20: FOLLIES in Concert

Norbert Leo Butz, Christine Ebersole, Santino Fontana, Jennifer Holliday, Norm Lewis, Donna Murphy

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 6/14: Randy Edelman.

Randy Edelman Photo by Jeff Smith

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 6/2: Lucille Carr-Kaffashan.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.

Klea Blackhurst

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 6/9: Songbook Sundays Johnny Mercer with Billy Stritch, Klea Blackhurst,Gabrielle Stravelli and more.

54 Below: 254 West 54 St.  6/1: Tony Danza: Standards & Stories; 6/2: Lea DeLaria: Brunch Is Gay; 6/6 – 8 and 10 – 13: Norm Lewis: Summertime (Special Tony Edition; 6/14- 15: Gavin Lee: Steppin’ Out With Fred Astaire; 6/18 and 26: Christine Andreas: Paris to Broadway; 6/21 – 25: Linda Eder and  6/28 – 29: Jackie Evancho: My Story

Linda Eder

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 6/17: Nicholas King; 6/20: Sally Mayes; 6/23: Reeve Carney and 6/29: Corinna Sowers Adler, Marieann Meringolo and Sandra Piller.

Reeve Carney – Photo by Matthew Tammaro

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St. 6/2:Paula Cole; 6/14: Eliane Elias and 6/27: Gino Vannelli.

Eliane Elias

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. Every Saturday and Sunday Lucky Cheng’s Drag Brunch; 6/12: Craig Rubano.

The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 6/19: Timeless Songs from the Silver Screen;

The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 6/3: Let’s Put On A Show! 35 Years Of Irish Rep Musicals! and 6/20 – 21: Samara Joy

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Dance

Events For June

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On going is still  Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature, is at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9.Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. Until 8/11 the Whitney Biennial, this happens every two years.  This year, the theme is “Even Better Than The Real Thing” and features the work of 71 artists and collectives. Also on display is Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission and goes until 10/2. The Rubin Museum, is permanently closing its physical space later this year and is open until October. If you’ve never been time to go. Until 10/27: The New York Botanical Garden is getting in on the Mad Hatter fun with a new, garden-wide exhibition for 2024 titled “Wonderland: Curious Nature.”

6/1 -23: How Long Blues at Little Island. Twyla Tharp featuring live music by T Bone Burnett and David Mansfield.

6/6 – 16: Tribeca Film Festival

6/7 – 9: Governors Ball

6/7 – 24: River to River Festival 50th anniversary has celebrations of dance, music, video, installation, and exhibitions. Featuring 13 projects of live art, performances, and participatory events in public spaces throughout Downtown New York, the 2024 River To River Festival explores themes of resonance, reconsideration, and resistance.  All events are free and open to all. Reservations are requested for some performances and events with limited capacity reserve here.

6/9: National Puerto Rican Day Parade

6/10: Movie nights in Bryant Park Forrest Gump (1994)

6/12: The Tony Awards

6/12: NY Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks

6/12 – 30: Summer for the City The Dream Machine Experience and The Bridge Lincoln Center Presents Time travel through an immersive AR experience across our outdoor spaces led by Cyboracle, the larger-than-life virtual avatar portrayed by Nona Hendryx.

6/12: The third annual Summer for the City festival. Over 200 free or choose-what-you-pay events that span a variety of topics, genres and  locations.

6/13 – 16: Juneteenth New York Festival

6/13: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Black Swan Natalie Portman gives an Oscar-winning turn as a sheltered but driven young dancer with a ballet company in NYC who begins to buckle under pressure

6/17: Movie nights in Bryant Park The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

6/18 and 20: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Leah Hawkins, Mario Chang, Michael Sumuel

6/19 – 30: Black Restaurant Week up to 80 participating venues, including Red Rooster Harlem, Cascade Jerk, Twins BBQ Co., Collective Fare, Tamarind Island, Voila Afrique, Misfits Nutrition, Brooklyn Blend, Negril Village, Lee Lee’s Baked Goods, The Real Mothershuckers and many more.

6/20: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunrise Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) meet on a cross-Europe train. In Vienna, they walk, talk, look around—and fall unexpectedly in love. Damrosch Park

6/21: Summer for the City Social Dance Abaddón Tango. Get swept up in the majesty and beauty of Argentinian tango at this social dance night featuring the Abaddón Tango sextet.

6/21: 125th birthday of the Bronx Zoo 

6/21: Summer for the City The Outdoor Film Series Before Sunset. Nine years after Before Sunrise’s open-ended finale, Before Sunset’s immediate question—did Jesse and Céline reunite in Vienna—soon gets eclipsed.

6/21: Summer for the City Silent Disco. Strut your stuff under the stars as our popular Silent Disco series returns to NYC’s largest outdoor dance floor with a ten-foot disco ball.

6/22: The Coney Island The Mermaid Parade kicks off at 1pm.

6/22: Summer for the City Mykal Kilgore a concert for all ages featuring GRAMMY-nominated performing artist Mykal Kilgore!

6/22: Summer for the City The Wedding: New York’s Biggest Day Ever dreamed of getting married at Lincoln Center? For the third year in a row, we’re inviting hundreds of couples to celebrate love. Come join us!

6/22 -23: SailGP (Sail Grand Prix) will bring 10 international teams to the waters to race turbocharged F50 catamarans at more than 60 miles per hour. Fans can watch the action in stadium-style seats close to shore along Governors Island.

6/23: Summer for the City Rosanne Cash.  one of America’s leading songwriters and creative voices, performs a live set on the 30th anniversary of her classic album, The Wheel.

6/24 and 26: SummerStage The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital featuring Brittany Olivia Logan, Hannah Jones, Matthhew Cairns

6/26: Summer for the City ABT Silent Disco With DJ Remeice and Connor Holloway. Celebrate Pride Week with American Ballet Theatre in a silent disco spun by DJ Remeice and co-

6/24: Movie nights in Bryant Park Boomerang (1992)

6/26-29: Robeson at Little Island.

6/29: SummerStage Pride Disco: DJ Trixie Mattel + Amanda Lepore + Jess King

6/30: Pride Fest, The March

6/30: SummerStage Dreamland: Pride In Central Park With John Summit

 

 

 

 

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Cabaret

My View: Jimmie Herrod….America’s Got Talent!

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Our table of four “judges” at 54 Below (Steven Reineke, Eric Gabbard, Storm Large, Eda Sorokoff) didn’t have a Golden Buzzer to ring for “America’s Got Talent” winner Jimmie Herrod last night, but we all gave this super singer a standing ovation and a thumbs up at the conclusion of his solo Cabaret debut in Broadway’s Supper Club.

Jimmie’s tonal dexterity, vocal chords that have no limits, and imaginative jazz interpretations of Broadway and Pop standards  thrilled a room full of music lovers.

Not everyone in America has talent, but Jimmie Herrod sure has!

From blowing the judges away as a finalist on “America’s Got Talent” to playing Angel in the symphonic version of Rent at The Kennedy Center, and touring the world as a member of Pink Martini, Jimmie shared his favorite songs and stories in an unforgettable intimate and personal show. 

Alex Boniello (Dear Evan Hansen, Deaf West Spring Awakening) was Jimmie’s special guest

About Jimmie Herrod

Jimmie is a vocalist who brings singular power an expressivity to his global career as a singer, songwriter, and entertainer on stage and screen. As a solo artist with a uniquely high vocal range, Jimmie has appeared to critical and audience acclaim multiple times with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center, including on the nationally broadcast “Joni Mitchell Songbook,” and alongside luminaries such as Renee Fleming and Raul Midon.

Recent appearances include solo debuts with the St. Louis, Nashville, and Houston Symphony Orchestras, starring alongside vocalist Storm Large in a weekend of concerts with the Oregon Symphony, and touring the globe as a member of the band Pink Martini.  Herrod first came to worldwide prominence as a finalist on the NBC nationally broadcast television show, “America’s Got Talent,” earning the rare “Golden Buzzer recognition from actress Sofia Vergara and returning the following year on the AGT All-Star series. IN 2024 Jimmie launches his first national tour as a solo artist, in support of his forthcoming full-length album.

JIMMIE HERROD, STEVEN REINEKE, The New York Pops, ERIC GABBARD

JIMMIE HERROD

JIMMIE HERROD

JIMMIE HERROD

JIMMIE HERROD

ALEX BONIELLO

JIMMIE HERROD & ALEX BONIELLO

STANDING OVATION

EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, STORM LARGE, ERIC GABBARD

STORM LARGE & EDA SOROKOFF

STORM LARGE & STEPHEN SOROKOFF

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