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Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown

Theater, television and film icon, Shirley Jones, will be inducted into the Bucks County Playhouse Hall of Fame during the Playhouse’s third Oscar Hammerstein Festival, April 22-23, 2017. The induction is a highlight of a benefit concert on April 22 at 8 pm entitled, “Hammerstein in Hollywood,” which features current Broadway talent saluting Oscar Hammerstein’s achievements in film and television.

Max von Essen

Max von Essen

Bucks County Playhouse’s Executive Producer Robyn Goodman, Producing Director Alexander Fraser and Producers Stephen Kocis and Joshua Fiedler announced casting for the Third Oscar Hammerstein Festival’s Benefit concert, “Hammerstein in Hollywood,” at Bucks County Playhouse on Saturday, April 22 at 8:00 pm.

Carmen Cusack

Carmen Cusack

The benefit concert cast features Ashley Brown (“Mary Poppins”), Max von Essen (“An American in Paris”), Malcom Gets (“A New Brain”) and Carmen Cusack (“Bright Star”). It will be hosted by Ted Chapin, President and Chief Creative Officer of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, with Josh Rhodes (“Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”) as director and choreographer and musical direction by David Dabbon (“Disaster”).

Malcom Gets

Malcom Gets

Named in honor of the master writer Oscar Hammerstein II whose countless accomplishments during his illustrious career have included mentoring a young Stephen Sondheim at Hammerstein’s Highland Farm in Bucks County, the Festival is a year-long program that offers expert mentorship to early career composers and lyricists.

Over the course of two days, The Oscar Hammerstein Festival features special events all devoted to musical theatre. The Playhouse offers Festival Passes for attendees to enjoy all events that can be purchased online or at the box office. Single tickets may also be purchased for the “Hammerstein in Hollywood” benefit concert. Tickets for the Benefit Concert and Post-Show Reception are $150. Concert only tickets are $75 for orchestra and $45 for rear orchestra. Passes are also available. Passholders receive admission to all of the weekend events.

Among the other programming scheduled for this year’s festival is a workshop featuring excerpts from “The New World,” an outrageously funny new musical that will debut at the Playhouse this fall. Composer Gary Adler (“Altar Boyz”) and lyricist Phoebe Kreutz (“Awesomer & Awesomer”) will take Festival pass holders into the evolution of their new musical and chat about some of the changes as they ready the musical for production. New York Post theater columnist, Michael Riedel, will also present at the festival — giving insight into the current and past state of Broadway with a talk based on his book, “Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.” Riedel’s book tells the tale of the men whose contentious battle for the Broadway theater district turned 1970s Times Square into today’s mecca for theatergoers and tourists.

Passholders will enjoy these and other seminars featuring artists and experts within the musical theater field. They also will network with other passholders and presenters at an informal farewell brunch on Sunday at the historic home of Bucks County Playhouse Producing Director Alexander Fraser.

Ashley Brown originated the title role in “Mary Poppins” on Broadway and its subsequent national tour. She also appeared on Broadway as Belle in “Beauty and The Beast.” She starred in Jack O’Brien’s national tour of “The Sound of Music” and Disney’s “On The Record.” Brown has starred in Chicago Lyric Opera’s productions of “Oklahoma” and “Showboat.”

Max von Essen earned a Tony nomination for best featured actor for his work in “An American in Paris,” Other Broadway credits include “Evita,” “Les Miserables,” “Dance of the Vampires” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Other New York credits include “Yours Unfaithfully” (The Mint Theater), Maury Yeston’s “Death Takes a Holiday” (Roundabout), Michael John LaChiusa’s “Hello Again,” “Jerry Springer: The Opera” at Carnegie Hall, and “Finian’s Rainbow” (Irish Repertory Theatre).

Malcom Gets received a Tony nomination for “Amour.” Other New York credits include “Steve,” “Allegro,” “Irma La Douce,” “Macbeth,” “The Story of My Life,” “A New Brain,” “The Molière Comedies,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Hello Again,” “Boys and Girls,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Polish Joke,” “Juno,” and Encores! “The Boys From Syracuse” and “The Apple Tree.” He is best known to TV audiences for his role of Richard on NBC’s “Caroline in the City.”

Carmen Cusack received a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in “Bright Star.” Most recently, she performed the one-woman show, “Do This” at Gulfshore Playhouse and appeared in “Sunday in the Park with George” at City Center. She was seen Off-Broadway in “Carrie” and in the national tours of “Wicked” and “South Pacific.” She appeared in “For the Record: Scorsese” (The Wallis), “The First Wives Club” (Oriental Theatre), and “Sunday in the Park with George” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and in London’s West End in “Over the Rainbow,” “Les Misérables,” “The Secret Garden,” “Personals,” “Phantom of the Opera.”

Josh Rhodes (Director) choreographed the Broadway productions of “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” “It Shoulda Been You,” “First Date,” and “Bright Star.” He choreographed City Center Encores!: “Zorba” and “Big River, ” as well as “Company” starring Neil Patrick Harris (PBS) and “Sondheim: The Birthday Concert” (PBS). In London’s West End, he choreographed “Sweeney Todd” starring Emma Thompson.

For more information or to purchase either tickets to the benefit concert or a Weekend Festival Pass, please visit: www.buckscountyplayhouse.org or call 215-862-2121.

 

Magda Katz has been in the entertainment world for most of her life as a child actress, assistant to the head publicist of Avco Embassy Pictures, theatrical print agent. She went on to manage the show business career of her 2 children for over 15 years. For the last five years Magda has been filming and editing video trailers of live performances as well as celebrity interviews. Broadway After Dark was the first website to feature her video trailers. She contributed in creating a star studded 90th birthday party for Mickey Rooney at Feinstein’s at the Regency Hotel. Her video trailers have a large international following. Videos are featured on www.t2conline.com. All of Magda’s videos can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/MagdaCorrespondent

Broadway

Cabaret Celebrated Broadway Legend Joel Grey’s Birthday

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Last night, Eddie Redmayne currently in previews as the ‘Emcee’ in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club celebrated Broadway legend Joel Grey’s 92ndbirthday on stage at the August Wilson Theatre. Grey, who originated the role of the ‘Emcee’ on Broadway in 1966 and went on to star in the beloved film of Cabaret, took the stage as the entire cast, band, and creative team sang “Happy Birthday” while a custom cake, shaped like a giant pineapple, emerged from the stage.

 During his speech honoring Grey, Eddie Redmayne said, “Tonight is an extraordinarily special night for us because we are in the presence of an extraordinary human being without whom none of us would be here.” After thunderous applause, Redmayne continued “Your performance in this part changed my life and it was one of the things that made me want to be an actor.”

Joel Grey, Gayle Rankin, and Eddie Redmayne Photo by Jenny Anderson

The cast and Grey were also joined on stage by Cabaret composer John Kander.

Alongside Joel’s daughter Jennifer Grey and Kander, a star-studded crowd came out to fete the theater icon including Anderson Cooper, Candice Bergen, Jackie Hoffman, Jane Krakowski, Lin-Manuel Miranda, David Rockwell, and more. They were joined by numerous alum of Cabaret spanning the decades including Maude Apatow (Sally Bowles in London, 2023), Madeline Brewer (Sally Bowles in London, 2022), Joely Fisher (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2000), Gina Gershon (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2001), Mason Alexander Park (Emcee in London, 2023), Adam Pascal (Emcee on Broadway, 2003), Molly Ringwald (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2002), Jake Shears (Emcee in London, 2023), and Brooke Shields (Sally Bowles on Broadway, 2001).

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club is now in previews on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). The production, directed by Olivier Award winner Rebecca Frecknall and designed by Tony Award nominee and Evening Standard Award® winner Tom Scutt, will have decadent twin opening night gala celebrations starting Saturday, April 20 and continuing into the following night, with the official press opening on Sunday, April 21. Tickets are on sale now at www.kitkat.club or via Seat Geek HERE.

In addition to Redmayne, Cabaret also stars Gayle Rankin as the toast of Mayfair ‘Sally Bowles, two-time Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth as ‘Fraulein Schneider,’ Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood as ‘Clifford Bradshaw,’ Obie Award winner and Drama Desk Award® nominee Steven Skybell as ‘Herr Schultz,’ Henry Gottfried as ‘Ernst Ludwig,’ and three-time Helen Hayes Award winner Natascia Diaz as ‘Fritzie/Kost.’

The cast of Cabaret includes Gabi Campo as ‘Frenchie,’ Ayla Ciccone-Burton as ‘Helga,’ Colin Cunliffe as ‘Hans,’ Marty Lauter as ‘Victor,’ Loren Lester as‘Herman/Max,’ David Merino as ‘Lulu,’ Julian Ramos as ‘Bobby,’ MiMi Scardulla as ‘Texas,’ and Paige Smallwood as ‘Rosie.’ Swings include Hannah Florence, Pedro Garza, Christian Kidd, Corinne Munsch, Chloé Nadon-Enriquez, and Karl Skyler Urban.

The Prologue Company, the dancers and musicians that welcome audiences to the club, feature dancers Alaïa, IRON BRYAN, Will Ervin Jr., Sun Kim, Deja McNair and swings Ida Saki and Spencer James Weidie. The musicians of the Prologue are Brian Russell Carey (piano & bass), Francesca Dawis (violin), Keiji Ishiguri (dedicated substitute), Maeve Stier (accordion), and Michael Winograd (clarinet).

For this thrilling production of Cabaret, the creative team have transformed the August Wilson Theatre into the Kit Kat Club with an in-the-round auditorium and custom spaces which guests will be invited to explore during the Prologue, the production’s pre-show entertainment. After purchasing tickets, guests will receive a “club entry time” to allow them to take in the world of the club before the show starts.

Patrons can upgrade their experience at the Kit Kat Club with exclusive dining or drinks packages that allow them to soak up the pre-show atmosphere. These various upgrades offer unparalleled service and unique experiences in the heart of the Kit Kat Club. Drinks can be enjoyed before and during the show, while food will be cleared shortly before the performance begins, ensuring uninterrupted and unmissable views of Cabaret. For a complete menu and more information on the upgrade packages, please visit www.kitkat.club/upgrade.

The 2021 Original London Cast Recording of Cabaret featuring Eddie Redmayne and recorded during a live performance is available on Decca Records as a CD and to stream on all major platforms. To order the album or stream it, please visit https://cabaret.lnk.to/ListenNow

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Events

American Ballet Theatre Premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works

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The superstar dancers of American Ballet Theatre (ABT) returned to Segerstrom Center for the Arts performing a never-before-seen-program. ABT performed the North American Premiere of Woolf Works.  Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is an ambitious three-act ballet stunningly choreographed by Wayne McGregor, with a luminous original score by Max Richter.

Originally commissioned by The Royal Ballet, Woolf Works debuted in London to outstanding critical acclaim and now premiered for the first time in the United States.This week, leading the performance were Principal Dancers Devon Teuscher and  James Whiteside. Guests in attendance included  Sofia Vassilieva, Fernando Carsa, Damian Terriquez, Luke Lowrey, Queen Noveen and more.

You know it is Spring when the superstar dancers of American Ballet Theatre are home at Segerstrom Center performing a never-before-seen-program. Following in the tradition of such critical and creative successes as Whipped Cream, Of Love and Rage, and Like Water for Chocolate, we are thrilled to announce ABT will be performing the North American premiere of Woolf Works.  Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, Woolf Works is an ambitious three-act ballet stunningly choreographed by Wayne McGregor, with a luminous original score by Max Richter.

Widely considered one of the most important 20th century novelists, Virginia Woolf’s works have continued to speak to generations and her themes of social class, female (dis)empowerment, and death have gained even more resonance in recent times.  Her stature in our society, and her influence on other artistic creators, can be seen in so many works throughout popular culture:  In film with Orlando starring Tilda Swinton or The Hours starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore, in plays like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, and, most recently, in opera with The Hours starring Renee Fleming, Kelly O’Hara and Joyce DiDonato.

Woolf also gave inspiration to the award-winning British choreographer and director, Wayne McGregor. Internationally renowned for trailblazing innovations in performance that have radically redefined dance, McGregor’s insatiable curiosity about movement and its creative potentials, along with his embrace of technology, have ensured McGregor’s position at the cutting edge of contemporary arts for over twenty-five years.

In Woolf Works, McGregor has recreated the emotions, themes and fluid style of three of Virginia Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Much like her novels, letters, essays and diaries, Wayne McGregor’s ballet triptych moves away from a traditional narrative structure, capturing the spirit of Woolf’s writing while delighting audiences with its sheer beauty. Woolf Works is structured into three acts: ‘I now, I then’, ‘Becomings’ and ‘Tuesday’, each starkly distinct in visual design and choreography.

Originally commissioned by the Royal Ballet, Woolf Works premiered in London to outstanding critical acclaim, going on to win McGregor the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography and the Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. The Observer described it as “a compellingly moving experience” and The Independent raved that it “glows with ambition… a brave, thoughtful work.”

Be the first in the United States to experience Woolf Works, only at Segerstrom Center for the Arts!

Next performances are:

Friday, April 12, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 2:20 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 7:30 PM

Sunday,  April 14, 2024, at 1:00 PM

 

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Broadway

Stephen Sondheim Memorabilia to be Auctioned Off

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Stephen Sondheim

Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers has announced the auction of the Collection of Stephen Sondheim on Tuesday, June 18 at 10am EDT. This landmark auction will offer over 200 lots of memorabilia, furnishings, antique puzzles and more from Mr. Sondheim’s Manhattan townhouse and his country home in Roxbury, Connecticut.

Poster for the 2006 Broadway revival of Company signed by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth

The lyricist of West Side Story and Gypsy and composer/lyricist of Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods, among many others, Stephen Sondheim was the twentieth century’s most brilliant and influential contributor to American musical theater. Fans of Mr. Sondheim’s musicals and collectors alike will delight at the memorabilia within the auction, from his gold record for West Side Story to his custom-embroidered asylum coat from Sweeney Todd.

In addition to professional accomplishments, Mr. Sondheim was a sophisticated collector. He lived among antiques and curiosities of the Victorian and Edwardian eras and assembled an unparalleled collection of early puzzles, games, rebuses, coin-operated machines and ephemera that reflected his endlessly inquisitive mind.

The public is invited to the exhibition on view from June 14 through 17 at Doyle, located at 175 East 87th Street in New York. Select highlights will tour Doyle’s regional galleries during the month of May. The auction catalogue will be available on May 20. Learn more about the auction at Doyle.com

 

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Broadway

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. This particular episode was filmed in two parts at different times due to the weather and extenuating circumstances.

 

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Pascale Roger-McKeever and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton.
We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

Austin Pendleton, Suzanna Bowling

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

I am so grateful to my guests Pascale Roger-McKeever and Austin Pendleton. for joining me.

Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

Austin Pendleton

Suzanna Bowling, Pascale Roger-McKeever, Craig J Horsley

Suzanna Bowling

Pascale Roger-McKeever will be starring in Fingers and Spoons directed by Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton. Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam Street. starting on April 25th.

Roger Sichel, Austin Pendleton, Rommel Gopez, Suzanna Bowling

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

We hope to see you there on April 17th. We will be announcing our guests tonight.

All photo’s except for the picture with Roger are by Roger Sichel.

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

OJ DOA — Perhaps the Drudge Report (yes, the Drudge Report) had the most fitting headline: Cancer Murders OJ.

Yesterday’s news came as a huge surprise at 11:00 AM. For me, firstly, I couldn’t quite believe it was almost 30 years since that trial. When the verdict came in, I was at The Conservatory restaurant in the long-gone, much missed Mayflower Hotel. It was packed and when the verdict was announced there was a minute or two of dead-silence, then gasps. One of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t a huge sports fan -never have been- but I knew a lot about OJ. Face it, he was an icon And when the murders happened; the Bronco-chase; and trial … it was just extraordinary. His rise and fall was an amazing tale. It was also a major story for all the entertainment outlets. Journalists essentially moved to LA for the 9-month trial. It was, to my mind, the first trial of its kind.

CNN showed some of the reactions from then: then audience reaction at the Oprah Winfrey show was a mixed bag. Some cheered as Winfrey stood stone-faced. The reaction of OJ’s lawyers were interesting too; Robert Khardashian looked shell-shocked, while Cochran and Robert Shapiro  hugged OJ.

As Wolf Bltizer just said: these are moments one will never forget.

We think we know what happened … but now, we’ll never know for sure. An american tragedy for sure.

YES Photo by Gottlieb Bros

YES’ PURPLE — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Deep Purple and Yes will team up for a North American summer tour.

The trek begins on Aug. 14 in Hollywood, Florida, and concludes on Sept. 8 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Deep Purple is in the midst of their 1 More Time tour and simultaneously celebrating 50 years of “Smoke on the Water” (52 years now, to be exact). The band recently released a super deluxe edition of its landmark album Machine Head, which includes classics such as “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin’.”

Yes, meanwhile, will deliver a career-spanning set comprising material through their latest album, 2023’s Mirror to the Sky. The prog legends are also releasing an expanded anniversary box set of their 1994 album Talk next month.

52 years of “Smoke On The Water.” A classic if there ever was one. Every time I hear it on the radio, I start singing along. Talk about staying power! I saw Yes years ago and it was quite the show; with Chris Squire too.

There are a slew of legacy artists out for the summer and deservedly so. They may not generate the ink of a Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez, but their impact is still there.

Hubert Laws

SHORT TAKES — CTI Records. Remember them? It was producer Creed Taylor’s boutique label which released some of the most dynamic and interesting jazz-records in the 70’s and 80’s (SONY owns them now). From Airto to Milt Jackson; Deodato; Bob James; Jim Hall and Hubert Laws, the music was just terrific. Originally distributed by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records, they went independent and continued with some of the best jazz recordings ever. Even before you listened to the music, all the albums had a deluxe-cover; with some startling images. Check this piece out about their album covers from Medium: https://medium.com/@slishpogodi/cti-records-the-best-album-covers-cdac2e16c534 … 50 years of People Magazine. Rumors spread last year that the weekly was on its last legs.

Mia Farrow

Their first issue was in 1974 with Mia Farrow on the cover …

David Kramer

Director David Kramer won for ‘Best Documentary’ at last week’s NYFF event for his Jimi Hendrix: The Documentary. Congratulations

Coopstock

Coopstock is this weekend in Mesa, Arizona. Guests include Micky Dolenz; REO’s Kevin Cronin; Orianthi; Patrick Warburton; and of course, Alice Cooper himself … Hard to believe that director Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover, did the first Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix. It was just startling in every way and now the follow-up is about to come out with Phoenix and Lady Gaga; introduced as Harley Quinn. One trade already termed it a jukebox musical. Stylish for sure it looks just sensational and is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in quite some time. Here’s it is: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/joker-2-trailer-joaquin-phoenix-lady-gaga-1235957692/
… Here’s the trailer of Disney+’s Beach Boys doc.  Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Rspu3Xoi4 …  And, this week’s New York Magazine cover heralds the history of NYC through its restaurants. I was ready to see Tortilla Flats; La Cote Basque; Schraffts; Mortimers; Trader Vic’s; and Fontana Di Trevi. Turns out, it’s memories from people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who worked at The Coffee Shop and Keith McNally, who shucked oysters at One Fifth. Honestly, I expected a bit more depth. Great idea; lousy execution.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Toni Basil; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mitch Dolan; Barry Nolan; Robert Lamm; Jacqueline Boyd; Wayne Avers; Tyorne Biljan; Michelle Toscas; Fred Zarr; Abbe Rosenfeld; Shep Pettibone; Tony Darrow; Robert Funaro; Angel Mastrogiorgio; Ellen Smith; Howard Bloom; Jane Berk; Jack Cunningham; and CHIP.

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