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Take Me Out Brings Heart, Soul and Intelligence to Broadway



Tony Award winner Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Tony nominee Jesse Williams reprise their roles in this Tony-winning Best Play Revival, returning to Broadway for 14 weeks only! Bill Heck is now playing Kippy and the show runs through February 5, 2023 at the Schoenfeld. In honor of this Tony Award winning show returning we are re-running our review.

“The whole mess started with Darren, I suppose. After all, if he hadn’t done the thing, then the next thing wouldn’t have happened, or all the stuff after, and — but no, that’s not right. How could a “mess” have started with Darren?” Kippy in Take Me Out.

Richard Greenberg’s intelligent, heartbreaking play Take Me Out, is a witty, well written, humane look at all sides of betrayal,  bullying, loss and so much more. I will be thinking and contemplating about this play for weeks. Written over 20 years ago this play which won the Tony Award and the Drama Desk for Best Play in 2003, still holds up and seems even more relevant.

The play is about so many things and by the end of the play, Take Me Out, has so many meanings.

I have written this review in so many ways and I do not want to spoil anyone’s journey, so I am going to try and stay brief in the description, but to write about this show is to disclose its secrets.

Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Williams Photo by Joan Marcus

Take Me Out, is told mainly in narration and flashback. Kippy Sunderstrom (a charming and winning Patrick J. Adams) is trying to figure out how the situation at hand started. He tells us about his teammate and friend Darren Lemmin (a superb Jesse Williams), a biracial star of the Empire’s and of baseball. He can do no wrong in the eyes of the world. As the play starts Darren has announced to the world he is gay and the players feel Darren has violated their sacred space. In a flashback Darren is having drinks with his best friend Davey Battle (Brandon J Dirden), a religious player on a rival team. Davey tells Darren “until you love somebody … Ohh — you’re all sly, all quick-witted and mysterious — this is your aura. Polite but mischievous, that’s your charm. But until you love somebody, do you understand what I’m saying? You’ll never know your true nature that he should want his true nature known to the world.” 

Jessie Tyler Ferguson, Jesse Williams Photo by Joan Marcus

Back to present time Darren meets his new accountant Mason Marzac (a comedic Jessie Tyler Ferguson), a gay man who knows nothing about baseball until Darren came out to the world.

“a couple of weeks earlier I would have barely recognized the name! Then the announcement — that incredible act
of elective heroism — and it was as if I’d known him my whole life” Marzac

Michael Oberholtzer Photo by Joan Marcus

When the Empire’s fall into a slump, they recruit a relief pitcher Shane Mungitt (a haunting Michael Oberholtzer). Shane is quiet, due to the fact he doesn’t really read or write and has been passed around. We learn that as a child, he was raised in orphanages. If that weren’t bad enough he watched as his father killed his mother and then himself in a murder-suicide. With Shane, the team begins winning games again, but they do nothing to include this misfit. Only Kippy shows compassion. When Mungitt expresses racist remarks on TV, he is kicked off the team.

A pretty funny bunch’a’ guys. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind the colored people — the gooks an’ the spics an’ the coons an’ like that. But every night t’have’ta take a shower with a faggot? Do ya know what I’m sayin’? Shane Mungitt

Patrick J. Adams, Jesse Williams Photo by Joan Marcus

Now the team members includes ace pitcher Takeshi Kawabata (Julian Cihi) who doesn’t know a word of English, Toddy (Carl Lundstedt) and Jason Weeks (Tyler Lansing) two unintelligent racists teammates, Martinez and Rodriguez (Hiram Delgado and Eduardo Ramos), who mock their teammates in Spanish. Nobody on this team except Kippy shows kindness to the others. Darren though gifted, is proud, arrogant and is adamant that he wants life to continue as normal despite the homophobia of the locker room. Darren wants his team and the world to fear him and worship him. Nobody here is perfect.

As Shane is banned the team falls back into a slump. When Shane writes an apology letter that is leaked to the press sympathy shifts in his favor, except for Darren. He wants to retire in protest, but Marzac is now gaining baseball fever and stops it. On the day Shane comes back, so does Davey and nothing goes well from there. Secrets are revealed, friendships betrayed, damage from childhood are too embedded and the layers of heartbreak go deep. Only Marzac not only finds the joy of baseball, but in life. Life goes on, but not without scars and riffs.

Scott Ellis does a brilliant job as a director making us feel for all the lost souls of this play.

The set by David Rockwell, is like a shadow play that opens up to showers and the locker rooms of life.

The cast is wonderful and literally strip down to the barest of layers. Michael Oberholtzer is a revelation and so subtle in his portrayal of a man who never stood a chance and is so fatally flawed. Patrick J. Adams allows us to see the goodness in man and how the kindness of deeds can backfire. Jesse Williams gives us a coldness, an aloof persona that warms with acceptance, but it is Jessie Tyler Ferguson who gives us the humor, the hope and the joy of just being.

Take Me Out, will have your phone locked up, but your mind opened to the all flaws within us all.

Take Me Out: Hayes Theatre, 240 W. 44th St. Warning full frontal nudity.

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:


Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Richard M. Sherman Songwriter for Mary Poppins and Jungle Book Passes On



Richard M. Sherman, was a nine-time Academy Award nominee along with his brother Robert. The Sherman Brothers wrote more than 200 songs for some 27 films and 24 television productions. Their film credits include Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, Summer Magic tv, The Sword in the Stone, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Happiest Millionaire, The Aristocats, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, taking home the trophies for Best Score – Substantially Original and Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). They won three Grammy awards and received 24 gold and platinum albums and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the US National Medal of the Arts in 2008.

They also wrote the score on Broadway for Over Here.

The brothers were portrayed in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, which told the story behind the making of Mary Poppins.

Sherman died of age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills. His brother Robert died in 2012.



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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 2



Yesterday we gave you part 1 of The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts 111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

In this part Steve Guttenberg gives the award to Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: Jay O. Sanders – Primary Trust

Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical:
 Andrew Durand  Dead Outlaw

Current President David Gordon introduced Andrea Martin who gave away the awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Jessica Stone – Water for Elephants

A special award was given to Harry Haun longtime OCC member who served on the board as well.

Outstanding Choreography (Broadway or Off-Broadway):Justin Peck —Illinoise

And the tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: William Jackson Harper, Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: Dead Outlaw

Kelechi Watson presented the awards for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kecia Lewis  Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kelli O’Hara  Days of Wine and Roses

Outstanding New Broadway Play:

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Outstanding New Broadway Musical: Suffs

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.

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The Stars Showed Up Michael Greif at The New Dramatists Luncheon



The New Dramatists Annual Spring Luncheon at the New York Marriott Marquis honored Michael Greif, the acclaimed director of not one but three shows playing on Broadway, Days of Wine and Roses, The Notebook and Hell’s Kitchen. Tony Award-winning producers Kevin McCollum and Stacey Mindich served as honorary co-chairs.

Michael Greif

Michael Greif

Christie Brown, Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James and Emily Morse

Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James

Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James

New Dramatists also presented the inagural Konecky Award, named for New Dramatists’ beloved Board President Isobel Konecky and her husband, renowned entertainment attorney Ron Konecky, recognizes those in the theatre and entertainment industry, who serve the field with passion, dedication, excellence, and leadership. The inaugural Konecky Award will be presented to Concord Theatricals.

Attending were:

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Joy Woods

Jordan Tyson

John Cardoza

Betsy Aidem

Will Brill

Rick Elice

Brian d’Arcy James

Michael Greif, Hannah Greif and David Greif

Adam Pascal, Michael Greif and Daphne Rubin-Vega

Members and Creatives of Hell’s Kitchen that includes-Susan Oliveras, Lily Ling, Tom Kitt, Camille A. Brown, Michael Greif, Kecia Lewis, Desmond Sean Ellington, Badia Farha, Kristoffer Diaz, Aaron Nicholas Patterson and Oscar Whitney Jr.

Ryan Vasquez

Kecia Lewis

Camille A. Brown

Kristoffer Diaz

Schele Williams, John Cardoza, Victoria Navarro, Geoffrey Ko, Dorian Harewood, Michael Greif, Maryann Plunkett, Jordan Tyson, Bekah Brunstetter, Katie Spelman and Kurt Deutsch

Schele Williams and Michael Greif

Priscilla Lopez

Jennifer Whyte, Steven Skybell, Tom Scutt, Rebecca Frecknall, Julia Cheng and Henry Gottfried

Priscilla Lopez and Michael Greif

Henry Gottfried

Tom Scuttt

Christine Ebersole and Michael Greif

Francis Benhamou

Steven Skybell

Jennifer Whyte

Julia Cheng

Michael Greif, Christine Ebersole, Priscilla Lopez and Doug Wright

Rebecca Frecknall

Eli Gelb

David Adjmi

Corey Stoll

Alison Luff

Isabelle McCalla

Amy Ryan

Amanda Green

Eden Espinosa

Sarah Pidgeon

Shoshana Bean

Quincy Tyler Bernstine

Michael Greif and Shoshana Bean

Justin Peck

Paula Vogel and Celia Keenan-Bolger

Juliana Margulies

Daryl Roth and Juliana Margulies

Jim Dale and Daryl Roth

Jim Dale, Daryl Roth and Juliana Margulies

Brody Grant

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga

Sarah Paulson

Leslie Kritzer

Shaina Taub and Leigh Silverman

Amber Iman

Nikki M. James

John Weidner

Jessica Hecht

Andrew R. Butler

Casey Likes

Grant Gustin

Sean Patrick Flahaven

Doug Wright

Bradley King

Jamie deRoy

New Dramatists


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



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



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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