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Andrew Garfield from Angels In America

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Broadway

Patti LuPone Returns to Broadway and The Big Screen

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Three-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, who gave up her Equity card in 2022, will star opposite Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play, The Roommate. The production will be directed by Jack O’Brien and will begin previews at the Booth Theatre in August ahead of a September opening.

The Roommate tells the story of Sharon, in her mid-fifties, who is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

The Roommate premiered at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville in March 2015, and has had several regional productions including at Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2017.

Ms. LuPone will star in the upcoming Marvel series, WandaVision spinoff series Agatha: Coven of Chaos. She’s in a coven of witches, playing Lilia Calderu, who is hot, with a great body and hair. Calderu, first appeared in Marvel comics in 1973 as a 450-year-old Sicilian witch whose power is divination and whose trial is tarot. The other witches are Kathryn Hahn, Aubrey Plaza, and a familiar who is played by Joe Locke. Locke, is currently on Broadway in Sweeney Todd.

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Out of Town

Tarragon’s El Terremoto Rises and Faulters Inside its Cracks

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The Latin music and the birds chirping draw us into the scene, that is, before the tremor sounds blow their nose all around us. We feel the vibrations throughout our bodies as we sit up and take notice of Tarragon Theatre‘s compelling but ultimately disconnecting El Terremoto, written with an earnest determination to engage by playwright Christine Quintana (Someone Like You; As Above). “Why do you get so tense?“, one caring neighbor asks the oldest of three sisters, Luz, portrayed by Mariló Núñez (Aluna’s La Communion), as she busies herself preparing for a sweet birthday party that no one really seems to want to be at, beyond a few outsiders. And it’s no wonder, with the energy that exists at the core of this half-interesting, half-disjointed play that is trying to tell us a lot of things, without having a stable foundation to stand on.

Rosalba Martinni, Monica Garrido Huerta & Juan Carlos Velis in El Terremoto – Tarragon Theatre 2024 – Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Directed with an unfocused vision of constant movement by Guillermo Verdecchia  (Tarragon’s The Jungle), the fault lines appear way before the foundations of this familial home are shaken to its ghostly roots. A grandmother, Abuela, played with heart and nuance by Rosalba Martinni (Nightwood/Aluna’s The Solitudes) stands before us, paying dear homage to the lost parents of these three Jurado sisters who will come together like a different kind of terremoto. The set-up sizzles with possibility, but somewhere along the road to reconciliation, which is clearly the desired outcome in this messy play, too many inauthentic cracks and travels take place for one to fully engage with these three. Based on the way these sisters argue and attack one another, the faultlines that become visible from the onset make me care more for those poor souls who hang around hoping for some breadcrumbs of love and affection. A connection that is in short honest supply in this family’s East Vancouver home.

 Margarita Valderrama, Caolán Kelly, Miranda Calderon, Michael Scholar Jr., Rosalba Martinni & Mariló Núñez in El Terremoto – Tarragon Theatre 2024 – Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

It’s been twenty years since the parents of these three died suddenly in an automobile accident, but rather than bringing them together, the crash has only made them more fractured and distant. Núñez’s Luz tries with all her anxious might to hold and keep the family unit working, even as she forgets to care for her own self along the way. She needles and micromanages those who have come together, pushing them away and reaching out for them like a desperate yoyo. The middle sister, Rosa, portrayed conflictually by Miranda Calderon (Stratford’s Birds of a Kind), is clearly the mess of the family, lashing out relentlessly at almost everyone who looks her way, including the man who got away (maybe luckily), Henry, dutifully portrayed by an engaging Michael Scholar Jr. (Alameda’s The Refugee Hotel). Like a lot of this play, the relationships are clear from the very beginning, leaving little to fully understand except maybe why one would travel across town, and kayak across dangerous waters to see, only to be told to go home with a wave of a messed up wrist. And leave without question. That exit didn’t make any emotional sense, like a lot of the comings and goings in their home.

Shooting back shots that taste like lost youth, the birthday party of the late arriving youngest sibling, Lina, played with an air of disconnected desperation by Margarita Valderrama (Roseneath’s Meet Cute), along with her well-meaning and lovestruck partner, Tash, engagingly well played by Caolán Kelly (Stratford’s Hamlet-911), pull us into the dynamics of the family, and because of Tash’s openness to the engagement, we can’t help but notice that the structural ideals of the play make us want to lean in and hold on for support through their trauma. Yet somewhere along the road, past a failed and ignored proposal to Luz by the family’s neighbor, Omar, played compassionately by Sam Khalilieh (Studio180’s Stuff Happens), this dramatic comedy tries with an almost too diligent force to throw us off balance. It shows us its complicated value while never feeling completely true, all before the interval earthquake envelopes us. It’s a tremor of epic proportions, felt by all, that nearly destroys the city of Vancouver, taking down bridges and buildings in an almost unimaginable way, and leaving us wondering how this will throw them off their destructive combative course.

Caolán Kelly & Margarita Valderrama in El Terremoto – Tarragon Theatre 2024 – Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

On a well-crafted set, designed by Shannon Lea Doyle (Soulpepper’s Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train), with distinct costuming by Fernando Maya Meneses (NAC’sNigamon/Tunai), strong lighting by Michelle Ramsay (Theatre Rusticle’s The Tempest), a sometimes clever projection design by Samay Arcentales Cajas (Native Earth’s Where the Blood Mixes), and an environmentally powerful sound design by Alejandra Nuñez (Two Birds/Common Boots’s Apocalypse Play), El Terremotomoves with frantic supernatural (and unnatural) movement forward, delivering the message that nothing really matters, “so everything matters.” So when the doors fly forward and the aftershock releases the parental visuals by Monica Garrido Huerta (lemonTree Creations’s Private Eyes) and Juan Carlos Velis (Alameda’s The Refugee Hotel), we work hard at staying connected to this dysfunctional family. Because we want to see understanding and reconciliation, even with all the acts of inconsistency.

Their urgency in their manic movements, decision-making, and sparring never feel organic or honest, even as the actors work hard to find honest connections with one another. But only in the outsiders do we find the much-needed thread of connectivity. Kelly’s Tash, a beautiful creation that could have easily been a stock figure, finds the formula of play that unpacks the complications of feeling love with a wide-eyed honest observance. They register, that even with the strong feelings attached, this family is too much. The work to find stable connection that feels honest is elusive and probably not possible. I wanted them to find unity and some sort of authentic understanding, but the aftershock of the play El Terremoto at Tarragon Theatre was of sad disbelief.

https://tarragontheatre.com/

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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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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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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