T2C Says Good-Bye To Charles Kimbrough
Charles Kimbrough was best known for his role as the straight-faced anchorman Jim Dial on Murphy Brown. In 1990, his performance in the role earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series”. I knew him from the original cast of Company and from the film Marci X when I was upgraded from background, to his trophy girlfriend.
Kimbrough married his fellow Company cast mate Beth Howland.
Kimbrough studied theater and drama at Indiana University Bloomington, and earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Yale University’s School of Drama. He and his first wife Mary Jane were part of Milwaukee Repertory Theatre where they appeared in Cat Among the Pigeons, and The White House Murder Case. In 1971, he was nominated for a Tony for best featured actor in a musical as Harry in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Around 1976–1977, he appeared in a Chef Boyardee Spaghetti & Meatballs commercial. In 1984, he performed in the original Broadway cast of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George. He starred in the original Off-Broadway production of A.R. Gurney’s comedy Sylvia in 1985.
In 1988, Kimbrough was cast as Jim Dial, on the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown. The series ran for 247 episodes over ten seasons, scoring 17 Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes.
To younger audiences, he is probably best known for supplying the voice of Victor, the most mature gargoyle in Disney’s 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame, a role he reprised in its direct-to-video sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
Kimbrough was part of the cast of the Roundabout Theater Company’s 2012 Broadway revival of Pulitzer prize-winning play Harvey playing William R. Chumley, M.D., with Jim Parsons.
The 2018 revival of Murphy Brown had Kimbrough return playing a retired Jim Dial.
Kimbrough died in Culver City, California, on January 11, 2023, at the age of 86. Kimbrough is survived by his son John, granddaughter Cody, sister Linda, nephew Colin and stepdaughter Holly.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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