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Off Broadway

Tammany Hall The New Immersive Theatre Piece Where a Knowledge of History Helps



Martin Dockery as Mayor James Walker, and Christopher Romero Wilson as Rep. Fiorello LaGuardia in Tammany Hall
(© Maria Baranova)

Do you know who JJ Walker was? I only knew who he was because of “Gangs of New York.” He was not the mayor in that movie. Jimmy Walker was NYV mayor in the 1920s I knew about Fiorello LaGuardia, because of the musical written about him and the only thing I really knew about Tammany Hall was that it was corrupt.

Tammany Hall, was founded in 1786 and was the political machine of the Democratic Party. It played a major role in controlling New York City and New York State politics. They helped immigrants, most notably the Irish, rise in American politics from the 1790s to the 1960s. Tammany Hall also served as an engine for political corruption.

Tammany’s influence waned from 1930 to 1945 when it engaged in a losing battle with Franklin D. Roosevelt, the state’s governor (1929–1932) and later U.S. President (1933–1945). In 1932, Mayor Jimmy Walker was forced from office when his bribery was exposed. Roosevelt stripped Tammany of federal patronage and Republican Fiorello La Guardia was elected mayor on a Fusion ticket and became the first anti-Tammany mayor to be re-elected.

Martin Dockery
(© Maria Baranova)

Tammany Hall at the Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, takes place during that election. You enter on election night, November 2, 1929. While awaiting the results of the night’s big mayoral race. Jimmy Walker (JJ) (Martin Dockery), Fiorello LaGuardia (Christopher Romero) are introduced to us, as we are invited upstairs to Tammany’s club room. There you can buy drinks at an illegal Prohibition-era bar as you are coerced to vote for Walker by his Tammany Hall cronies Boss George Washington Olvany (Andrew Broaddus) and his deputy John Curry (Shahzeb Hussain). The politicians spar in boxing ring as we are asked to question the candidates. This is clearly JJ’s domain.

In the 1920s the Soho Playhouse was part of Tammany’s stronghold known as The Huron Club. There are a total of 15 different performance spaces, on my visit I only saw 5, so your experience and plot depends on who snags you.

You are led by a different characters each time and in my case for the most part, it was Kiki (Chloe Kekovic), who cast my friend and I in a backer’s audition for the new musical, Violet, a vehicle used for money laundering. The pianist Smarty (Sami Petrucci), led us to the Mayor’s Office and a secret room where we met Valentine (Natasa Babic), who we were told we couldn’t see, then backstage we overheard star Betty Compton (Marie Anello), the mayor’s girlfriend, cry over some kind of trouble, but what, we don’t know. We are also were asked to cast our vote for mayor, performed in Violet and had law informant agent Kressel (a fabulous Jesse Castellano) tell us how women were being exploited and entrapped.

Nathaniel J. Ryan
(© Maria Baranova)

When I got together with friends they had a totally different experience and had no idea about the crimes against the women. They were however fans of Legs Diamond (Nathaniel J. Ryan), who I saw nothing of and went to the top of the building.

Every experience is different, depending on which character you’ve chosen to follow who chooses you at each stop along the way.

Set designer Dan Daly and Grace Jeon’s costumes put us directly into the era and are well done. though I would have loved pieces of the history on the walls or in playbills, as unless you know about this time frame and these characters, you miss a lot. Emily Emily Clarkson lit the different areas to perfection.

Created and directed by Darren Lee Cole (Fleabag, Killer Joe) and Alexander Wright (The Great Gatsby, the UK’s longest running immersive show) it would have been nice to have more background and a storyline that was coherent to each playgoer. Though Tammany Hall is a lot of fun, I just wanted more information about the characters and plot.

Tammany Hall: SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, until Sunday, January 9th.

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:


Dead Outlaw Leads The Outer Critics Circle Nominations



Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez, announced the 73rd Annual Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations, today. All three hosts were nominees last season for their roles in the hit revival of Merrily We Roll Along, with Groff and Mendez taking home the 2023 OCC Awards for Lead Performer and Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical.

David Gordon, Jonathan Groff, Lindsay Mendez, Daniel Radcliffe

The winners of the 73rd Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2023-2024 Broadway and Off-Broadway season, will be announced on Monday, May 13, followed by an awards ceremony held on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Outstanding New Broadway Play
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, Jocelyn Bioh
Mother Play: A Play in Five Evictions, Paula Vogel
Patriots, Peter Morgan
Stereophonic, David Adjmi
The Shark Is Broken, Joseph Nixon and Ian Shaw

Outstanding New Broadway Musical
Days of Wine and Roses
The Great Gatsby
The Outsiders
Water for Elephants

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Buena Vista Social Club
Dead Outlaw
The Connector

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Dig, Theresa Rebeck
King of the Jews, Leslie Epstein
King James, Rajiv Joseph
Primary Trust, Eboni Booth
Swing State, Rebecca Gilman

John Gassner Award (new American play preferably by a new playwright)
Job. Max Wolf Friedlich
Manahatta, Mary Kathryn Nagle
Oh, Mary!, Cole Escola
The Apiary, Kate Douglas
Wet Brain, John J. Caswell Jr.

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Here Lies Love
I Can Get It for You Wholesale
Monty Python’s Spamalot
The Who’s Tommy

Outstanding Revival of a Play
An Enemy of the People
Doubt: A Parable
Mary Jane
Philadelphia, Here I Come!
Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play
Jessica Lange, Mother Play
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane
Sarah Paulson, Appropriate
Jeremy Strong, An Enemy of the People
Michael Stuhlbarg, Patriots

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play
Billy Eugene Jones, Purlie Victorious
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Mother Play
Alex Moffat, The Cottage
Jim Parsons, Mother Play
Sarah Pidgeon, Stereophonic
Kara Young, Purlie Victorious

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical
Ali Louis Bourzgui, The Who’s Tommy
Brian d’Arcy James, Days of Wine and Roses
Casey Likes, Back to the Future
Kelli O’Hara, Days of Wine and Roses
Maryann Plunkett, The Notebook

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical
Roger Bart, Back to the Future
Justin Guarini, Once Upon a One More Time
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Spamalot
Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen
Bebe Neuwirth, Cabaret

Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical
Jeb Brown, Dead Outlaw
Andrew Durand, Dead Outlaw
Alyse Alan Louis, Teeth
Ben Levi Ross, The Connector
Ricky Ubeda, Illinoise

Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical
Ben Cook, Illinoise
Hannah Cruz, The Connector
Julia Knitel, Dead Outlaw
Judy Kuhn, I Can Get It For You Wholesale
Jessica Molaskey, The Connector
Thom Sesma, Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play
Cole Escola, Oh, Mary!
Mary Beth Fisher, Swing State
William Jackson Harper, Primary Trust
Marie Mullen, The Saviour
Paul Sparks, Waiting for Godot

Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Play
Gus Birney, Our Class
April Matthis, Primary Trust
Conrad Ricamora, Oh, Mary!
Jay O. Sanders, Primary Trust
Bubba Weiler, Swing State

Outstanding Solo Performance
Eddie Izzard, Hamlet
Patrick Page, All the Devils are Here
Mona Pirnot, I Love You So Much I Could Die
Robert Montano, Small
John Rubenstein, Eisenhower: This Piece of Ground

Outstanding Book of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury, Illinoise
Anna K. Jacobs and Michael R. Jackson, Teeth
Itamar Moses, Dead Outlaw
Jonathan Marc Sherman, The Connector
Shaina Taub, Suffs

Outstanding Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Jason Robert Brown, The Connector
Will Butler, Stereophonic
Adam Guettel, Days of Wine and Roses
David Yazbek and Erik Della Penna, Dead Outlaw
Shaina Taub, Suffs

Outstanding Orchestrations (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Timo Andres, Illinoise
Adam Guettel and Jamie Lawrence, Days of Wine and Roses
Marco Paguia, Buena Vista Social Club
Michael Starobin, Suffs
Erik Della Penna, Dean Sharenow, and David Yazbek; Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Direction of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
David Cromer, Dead Outlaw
Michael Greif, Days of Wine and Roses
Daisy Prince, The Connector
Leigh Silverman, Suffs
Jessica Stone, Water for Elephants

Outstanding Direction of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Knud Adams, Primary Trust
Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic
Robert Falls, Swing State
Kenny Leon, Purlie Victorious
Lila Neugebauer, Appropriate

Outstanding Choreography (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, Water for Elephants
Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman, The Outsiders
Lorin Latarro, The Who’s Tommy
Patricia Delgado and Justin Peck, Buena Vista Social Club
Justin Peck, Illinoise

Outstanding Scenic Design (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Paul Tate dePoo III, The Cottage
Paul Tate dePoo III, The Great Gatsby
Dots, Appropriate
David Korins, Here Lies Love
David Zinn, Stereophonic

Outstanding Costume Design (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Dede Ayite, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Enver Chakartash, Stereophonic
Enver Chakartash, Teeth
Linda Cho, The Great Gatsby
Sydney Maresca, The Cottage

Outstanding Lighting Design (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Bradley King, Water for Elephants
Brian MacDevitt, The Outsiders
Justin Townsend, Here Lies Love
Tim Lutkin and Hugh Vanstone, Back to the Future
Amanda Zieve, The Who’s Tommy

Outstanding Sound Design (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Tom Gibbons, Grey House
Gareth Owen, Back to the Future
Gareth Owen, The Who’s Tommy
Ryan Rumery, Stereophonic
M.L. Dogg and Cody Spencer, Here Lies Love

Outstanding Video/Projections (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
David Bengali, Water for Elephants
Paul Tate dePoo III, The Great Gatsby
Peter Nigrini, The Who’s Tommy
Finn Ross, Back to the Future
Ash J. Woodward, Patriots

The Outer Critics Circle’s membership includes writers working for more than 90 newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations worldwide. David Gordon leads the group as president, with a board of directors that also includes Richard Ridge, Joseph Cervelli, Patrick Hoffman, David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson, and Doug Strassler.

Not considered for these nominations were Off-Broadway’s Here We AreDanny and the Deep Blue Sea, and Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice, none of which invited nominators to performances. Suffs was deemed eligible in Broadway categories after it was ruled at least 50% different from its earlier Off-Broadway staging, and Illinoise was considered for Off-Broadway categories due to the timing of its (still upcoming) Broadway debut.

Productions With Multiple Nominations:
Dead Outlaw – 9
The Connector – 7
Stereophonic – 7
Days of Wine and Roses – 6
Illinoise – 6
The Who’s Tommy – 6
Back to the Future – 5
Suffs – 5
Primary Trust – 5
Water for Elephants – 5
Appropriate – 4
The Great Gatsby – 4
Here Lies Love – 4
Mother Play – 4
Purlie Victorious – 4
Swing Stage – 4
Teeth – 4
Buena Vista Social Club – 3
Oh, Mary! – 3
Patriots – 3
The Cottage – 3
The Outsiders – 3
Cabaret – 2
An Enemy of the People – 2
I Can Get It For You Wholesale – 2
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding – 2
Mary Jane – 2
Monty Python’s Spamalot – 2

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Off Broadway

STILL at DR2 Compelling Theater Can Still be Found Off Broadway



Two strong and vulnerable characters portrayed by two flawless actors, a script with wit, sentiment and realistic conflict, seamless well-paced directing in a set that is surprising for an Off Broadway production proves that great theater is STILL achievable in New York. STILL, a new play by Lia Romeo, opened April 18th at DR2, currently running through May 18th is a show that is worthy of a longer run.

The question raised in the first few minutes of the play paraphrased here, ‘as you keep replacing parts of a boat when does the boat become a new boat?’, also applies to a person or a relationship, as a person grows in life with various new ideas and experiences when is that person no longer the same?

Tim Daly and Jayne Atkinson Photo by Joey Moro

Two old friends/lovers, Helen and Mark effortlessly and naturally played by Jayne Atkinson and Tim Daly, meet in a hotel bar after 20 years. The conversation is one that brings them and us, as audience members, up to date on their lives. Both successful in their own professions and at a crossroads where a renewed spark is possible, they have humorous banter that leads to flirtation, despite each of them humbly admitting to the other and themselves that they are in their 60’s. The set, designed by Alexander Woodward, adds to the intimacy of the meeting and as the conversation was leading to a more amorous setting, I was wondering how on the DR2 stage where could these flirtations lead figuratively and literally. Mr Woodward answers this question and does not disappoint with his scenic design.

As polite conversation leads to the ultimate kiss and more we root for the two to find their lost love and are rewarded when they do have their night together. The conflict that arises after their lovemaking is one that all of us are experiencing in today’s world. The rewriting of our own histories, the different feelings people have while experiencing the same event and the divergent beliefs we develop after separate lives are lived all contribute to us not connecting. The question is – will these two overcome all these obstacles to finally be together – soulmates meeting again after decades?

While tempers flare and some attacks by the two protagonists could be classified as hitting below the belt, Ms Romeo throws in a few funny lines, as well as an avocado, to make those punches palatable so that we still like them both and despite our own personal views can relate to each.

Jayne Atkinson and Tim Daly Photo by Joey Moro

Neither the wonderful dialogue nor the compelling acting could have been actualized so well without the direction of Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The movement of the actors whether casually sipping wine, blissfully lying in bed or violently tossing items Is choreographed like a dance. Ms Campbell-Holt is an award winning director, a recipient of the Lucille Lortel Visionary Director Award and is the Artistic Director of the theater company Colt Coeur, which brought this show to stage. Her direction is well paced and thoughtful and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.

With relatable dialogue, spoken by two seasoned pros, directed seamlessly in an impressive set STILL is a proof that theater can still bring out our emotions and make us think about ourselves and those around us.

STILL: DR2, 103 E 15th Street until May 18th.

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Vanessa Williams & Bebe Neuwirth Announce the 2024 Drama League Award Nominees



This morning Vanessa Williams and Bebe Neuwirth announced the Drama League announced their  2024 award nominations honoring Broadway and off-Broadway productions for Outstanding Production of a Play, Outstanding Revival of a Play, Outstanding Production of a Musical, Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Outstanding Direction of a Play, Outstanding Direction of a Musical, and the much-coveted Distinguished Performance Award. Honoring Broadway and Off-Broadway achievements,

Bonnie Comely

President Bonnie Comely was on hand to introduce the two presenters at the official announcement held at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, which was streamed live online by

And the nominees are:

Outstanding Production of a Play
The Comeuppance
Grief Hotel
The Hunt
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Mother Play
Oh, Mary!
Prayer for the French Republic
Wet Brain

Outstanding Revival of a Play
An Enemy of the People
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
Doubt: A Parable
The Effect
Mary Jane
Our Class
Purlie Victorious
Uncle Vanya
The White Chip

Outstanding Production of a Musical
Buena Vista Social Club
Dead Outlaw
The Heart of Rock and Roll
Hell’s Kitchen
The Notebook
The Outsiders
Water for Elephants

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Gutenberg! The Musical
Here Lies Love
I Can Get It For You Wholesale
Merrily We Roll Along
Monty Python’s Spamalot
The Who’s Tommy
The Wiz

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Tara Ahmadinejad, Grief Hotel
Daniel Aukin, Stereophonic
Sam Gold, An Enemy of The People
Rupert Goold, The Hunt
Rupert Goold, Patriots
Jamie Lloyd, The Effect
Lila Neugebauer, Appropriate
Lila Neugebauer, Uncle Vanya
Sam Pinkleton, Oh, Mary!
Eric Ting, The Comeuppance
Whitney White, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Saheem Ali, Buena Vista Social Club
Sarah Benson, Teeth
David Cromer, Dead Outlaw
Rebecca Frecknall, Cabaret
Maria Friedman, Merrily We Roll Along
Des McAnuff, The Who’s Tommy
Leigh Silverman, Suffs
Alex Timbers, Gutenberg! The Musical!
Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love

Distinguished Performance
Betsy Aidem, Prayer for the French Republic
Shoshana Bean, Hell’s Kitchen
Gabby Beans, Jonah
Joshua Boone, The Outsiders
Ali Louis Bourzgui, The Who’s Tommy
Steve Carell, Uncle Vanya
Jenn Colella, Suffs
Danny DeVito, I Need That
Caleb Eberhardt, The Comeuppance and An Enemy of the People
Alex Edelman, Just for Us
Cole Escola, Oh, Mary!
Eden Espinosa, The Gardens of Anuncia and Lempicka
Paapa Essiedu, The Effect
Melissa Etheridge, Melissa Etheridge: My Window
Laurence Fishburne, Like They Do in the Movies
Josh Gad, Gutenberg! The Musical!
Eli Gelb, Stereophonic
Brody Grant, The Outsiders
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along
Dorian Harewood, The Notebook
Willam Jackson Harper, Primary Trust and Uncle Vanya
Amber Iman, Lempicka
Eddie Izzard, Hamlet
Nikki M. James, Suffs
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Spamalot
Jessica Lange, Mother Play
Kecia Lewis, Hell’s Kitchen
Nichelle Lewis, The Wiz
Maribel Martinez, Bees and Honey
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane
Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along
Tobias Menzies, The Hunt
Cynthia Nixon, The Seven Year Disappear
Eva Noblezada, The Great Gatsby
Kelli O’Hara, Days of Wine and Roses
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious, A Non-Confederate Romp Through The Cotton Patch
Patrick Page, All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented The Villain
Nicole Ari Parker, The Refuge Plays
Jim Parsons, Mother Play
Sarah Paulson, Appropriate
Sarah Pidgeon, Stereophonic
Aubrey Plaza, Danny and The Deep Blue Sea
Maryann Plunkett, The Notebook
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along
Gayle Rankin, Cabaret
Andrew Rannells, Gutenberg! The Musical!
Eddie Redmayne, Cabaret
Conrad Ricamora, Here Lies Love and Oh, Mary!
Corey Stoll, Appropriate
Michael Stuhlbarg, Patriots
Jeremy Strong, An Enemy of the People
Zenzi Williams, Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Kara Young, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through The Cotton Patch
Jehan O. Young, The Cotillion

Special Awards
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater – Jonathan Groff
Founders Award for Excellence in Directing – Schele Williams
Contribution to the Theater – Jessica Lange
Gratitude Award – Kandi Burruss

The nominations announcement begins a month of celebrations leading up to the 90th Annual Drama League Awards, which will be held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom (141 West 54th Street, New York City) on Friday, May 17, 2023 at 12:00PM. Tickets and tables to the star-studded luncheon are available for purchase at or by calling The Drama League event office at 212.625.1025.

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Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Pat Addiss and Dan Lauria



I am so pleased to announce our guests for next Wednesday’s show on April 24th are Producer Pat Addiss and Dan Lauria.

Pat Flicker Addiss has been a producer on the following shows: Little Women​, Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life, Bridge & Tunnel, Spring Awakening, Passing Strange, 39 Steps, Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike, Promises, Promises, Gigi, Love Letters, Eclipsed, War Horse, A Christmas Story ​and Harmony on Broadway. Off-Broadway she produced Jane Anger and Buyer and Cellar starring Michael Urieher show, Dinner With The Boys with Dan Lauria and Desperate Measures, is currently playing around the country. A native New Yorker, Pat was a child model and actress. Went to Finch College where she majored and graduated in honors in Costume Design and Merchandising. She started her own Company Pat Addiss Enterprises which designed and manufactured all items and widgets with Corporate names and logos. For her work she was honored by the LPTW Oral History that was filmed for the archives of Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. She was also given the Woman of Purpose Award by the “Three Tomatoes.”. With colleague, Magda Katz, she has initiated a formula to connect women through YaYa lunches, dinners and now the addition of upscale tea. She loves to speak to women over 50 “How to Reinvent Yourself.”

Dan Lauria is best known for playing the dad Jack Arnold on the TV series The Wonder Years. He also played NASA Administrator James Webb in the 1998 TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and Commanding Officer, USA in 1996’s Independence Day. More recently he has appeared as Police Commissioner Eustace Dolan in The Spirit. He appeared as Coach Hamstrung in The Three Stooges N.Y.U.K. on AMC in 2000. Lauria appeared on stage in New York in the summer of 2006 in an off-Broadway production of A Stone Carver by William Mastrosimone with Jim Iorio and Elizabeth Rossa. Lauria also had a small role in a season two episode of Army Wives, as well as a season one episode of The Mentalist. In 2009, Lauria has appeared as General Lee Whitworth, M.D. in Criminal Minds season 4. He has also appeared in an episode of Boy Meets World. In late 2009, Lauria returned to the off-Broadway stage, appearing as Jimmy Hoffa in Brian Lee Franklin’s Good Bobby, a fictionalized account of Robert F. Kennedy’s rise.

Dan is also a very familiar face to the off-off, off and regional theatre scene having performed, written or directed over 50 professional stage productions.  He has appeared as a guest star in over seventy television episodic programs and more than twenty ‘Movie Of The Week’ productions plus a score of motion picture credits.  

In 2010-11 Dan was seen on Broadway in the long running production of Lombardi as the legendary coach Vince Lombardi with the beautiful and talented Judith Light, directed by Thomas Kail of Hamilton fame and returned again in the 2013-14 productions of the Tony nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical, directed by John Rando. 

Dan and dear friend, the lovely and talented Ms. Wendie Malick have performed the play The Guys by Anne Nelson (about our first responders) for numerous theatre and fire departments, around the country. Wendie and Dan also perform Love Letters as a fundraiser for regional theatres, for the development of new plays.  

Dan has now wrote and starred in the off Broadway production of Dinner With The Boys produced by the one and only Pat Addiss and the NJ Rep. This was followed by a off Broadway production of The Stone Witch  and the upcoming Regional production of Lee Blessings new play; Tea With The Boss with Gwenn and Wendie Malick.  

He is about to star in Just Another Day written by Lauria. The show will run May 3-June 30 at Theater555 and also stars Patty McCormack (The Bad Seed). Between them, Lauria and McCormack have over 100 years of live theatrical experience, as well as over 150 television shows and films.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a new show filmed in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode here, six episode here, seventh episode here, eight episode here and ninth episode here.

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Off Broadway

Gun & Powder is a Powerful Piece of Musical Theatre



Over at Paper Mill Playhouse there is a new powerhouse musical that opened last night. Gun & Powder is the true story of Mary and Martha Clarke, African American twin sisters who, pass as white to settle their mother’s sharecropper debt. In the meantime they learn to love who they are, celebrate their history and bloodline.

The direction of this show by Stevie Walker-Webb features a superb cast, a compelling story, and possibly one of the best new scores to come along in awhile, sung to perfection.

Liisi LaFontaine Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Set in 1893 Texas the show is centered on the book writer and the lyricists Angelica Chéri great- great aunts Mary and Martha Clarke (the incomparable Ciara Rene and Liisi LaFontaine who sing and act these roles flawlessly). Born into slavery, their mother Tallulah Clarke (Jeannette Bayardelle) had the girls with a Caucasian man so they are light skinned. When they are penalized for not reaching their quota of cotton, they will lose everything unless they come up with $400. Mary and Martha decide to leave posing for white. Martha is given a gun by her mother and when she finds the power that gun affords her, the two ended up robbing to get ahead. They ended up in a saloon owned by Jesse (Hunter Parrish) and Mary falls in love and ends up marrying him, but that is when the real action begins.

Sonya Love and Aurelia Williams Photo by Jeremy Daniel

There are also the two housemaids of the Salon, Flo and Sissy (Sonya Love and Aurelia Williams) who almost steal the show with their attitude and killer vocals in “Dirty Shame”. Also standing out are Aaron James McKenzie as Elijah a black servant who falls in love with Martha and sings “Invisible”. His duet with LaFontaine “Under a Different Sun” is in a word, gorgeous. The fabulous Katie Thompson, plays Fannie Porter a white saloon singer who sings “Frenchman Father” and makes you really listen.

Katie Thompson Photo by Jeremy Daniel

The star of this show is Chéri’s lyrics and composer Ross Baum’s music. From Jazz, to Gospel, to Spirituals to blues, to Broadway, this score soars. It is like going to musical theatre church. From the “Prologue”, to “Wide Open Plains” until “All of Me,” this score captures you heart, mind and soul. The orchestrations by John Clancy, just enhance the whole experience.

Hunter Parrish Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Tiffany Rea-Fisher’s choreography keeps the show in a profound transformation.

The scenic design by Beowulf Boritt is simple yet effective. The lighting design by Adam Honor really makes the set come to life and the costume design by Emilio Sosa keeps us in the period.

Gun & Powder and Chéri and Baum are a show and a team of writers to keep your eye on. I predict big things for both.

This musical is fresh and exciting and if it doesn’t make it to Broadway next year I would be surprised.

Make sure you get your tickets. You will not be disappointed.

Gun & Powder: Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Dr, Millburn, NJ until May 5th.

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