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Theater News: National Alliance for Musical Theatre

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National Alliance for Musical Theatre (Betsy King Militello, Executive Director) is thrilled to announce the line-up of new musicals for their 32nd Annual Festival of New Musicals, on Thursday, November 19 and Friday, November 20, 2020. Due to the pandemic, the Festival will be reimagined and shared online through Broadway On Demand. The NAMT Fall events will kick off on Tuesday, November 17, with the Fall Conference, followed by the Festival of New Musicals on November 19 & 20.

Registration for industry members is free and will open soon at www.namt.org/festival. The public can also receive passes to the Festival through a donation to NAMT, which will be available at a later date through Broadway on Demand.

Now in its 32nd year, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals attracts theatre producers from around the world to discover eight new musicals over two days. Production costs are underwritten by NAMT. As a non-profit organization, NAMT funds the Festival entirely through donations and sponsorships. 

The Festival has introduced musical theatre producers to 268 musicals and 512 writers from around the world. As a direct result of the Festival of New Musicals, more than 85% of the musicals presented have gone on to subsequent readings, workshops, productions, tours, been licensed, and/or recorded on cast albums. Some past Festival shows include The Ballad of Klook and Vinette, Benny & Joon, Come From Away, Darling Grenadine, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gun & Powder, Interstate, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Ordinary Days, Striking 12 and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others. 

This year, a committee of 20 theatre professionals selected eight new musicals out of a record-breaking 349 submissions. The musicals they chose for the 32nd Annual Festival are: 

Co-Founders (Book & Lyrics by Beau Lewis, Adesha Adefela & Ryan Nicole; Music by Jodie Ellis, Brian Watters & Budo), Cowboy Bob (Co-Created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips & Annie Tippe; Music & Lyrics by Phillips, Book & Additional Lyrics by Murphy, Additional Music by Alex Thrailkill), The Consoling Mechanism (Book, Music & Lyrics by Josh Franklin), Eastbound (Book & Music by Cheeyang Ng, Book & Lyrics by Khiyon Hursey), Hart Island (Book & Lyrics by Michelle Elliott, Music & Lyrics by Danny Haengil Larsen), Lizard Boy (Book, Music & Lyrics by Justin Huertas), Obeah Opera (Book, Music & Lyrics by Nicole Brooks) and On This Side of the World (Music and Lyrics by Paulo K Tiról, developed with Noam Shapiro). 

In a statement, Betsy King Militello, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, said, “Celebrating new work and emerging voices feels even more significant and vital this year. With a record-breaking year of submissions, we know there are countless stories to be told, reflecting a tremendous breadth of perspectives, ideas and experiences. We are thrilled to share a reimagined Festival digitally—we are shaping our Fall Events to be a place for the field to gather and experience new musicals in ways we never have before. We look forward to welcoming the industry to our full digital Festival programming, and the general public to our online Festival stream.”  

Casting for each musical and further programming details will be announced soon.

Co-Founders Book & Lyrics by Beau Lewis, Adesha Adefela & Ryan Nicole; Music by Jodie Ellis, Brian Watters & Budo

Co-Founders is the story of two unlikely partners chasing impossible entrepreneurial dreams. Esata, a black woman from Oakland, and Conway, a small town college dropout, take on the most competitive startup accelerator in Silicon Valley—where the privileged make a killing while the people across the bridge grind to survive. 

Beau Lewis is an Emmy-winning writer, producer, viral media expert and entrepreneur from Seattle. Lewis’ music videos have over 250-million views online and his work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Fortune and on Good Morning America. He is the CEO of Rhyme Combinator, the media company dedicated to championing positive entrepreneurial culture. He co-founded and sits on the board of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Lewis graduated from Stanford with a BS in Engineering and a focus in international relations from Oxford. 

Ryan Nicole Austin is a Grammy-nominated polymath who finds her most fulfilling experiences at the intersection of art and activism. Her California State Assembly-recognized career in music and media empowers community. Ryan is featured on TEDx San Francisco, ESPN’s NBA at Christmas with Daveed Diggs, and has performed for Google, Sony, LinkedIn, Apple and Barack Obama. Ryan has led workshops, directed and been the playwright-in-residence at New York’s Public Theater (BARS workshop), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, California Shakespeare Theater and American Conservatory Theater. Ryan holds a BA in Sociology and Political Science from San Diego State University. 

Adesha Adefela started acting in musical theater at age five, starring alongside her mother Deltrina Johnson, a Beach Blanket Babylon alum. She continued starring in musicals produced by community theaters in her hometown, Oakland, CA. As a teen, she was to sign with Atlantic records, but in an effort to uphold her personal values, she became an independent artist. That decision led to nominations, sold-out shows in the San Francisco Bay Area, co-starring in a reality TV show produced by Warner Brothers, becoming a Billboard-charted artist, and sharing the stage with famous acts Jazmine Sullivan, Carl Thomas, Ledisi, Goapele and more. 

Cowboy Bob Co-Created by Molly Beach Murphy, Jeanna Phillips & Annie Tippe; Music & Lyrics by Phillips; Book & Additional Lyrics by Murphy; Additional Music by Alex Thrailkill

Directed by Annie Tippe

Music Directed by Alex Thrailkill

You wouldn’t look twice at Peggy Jo. She was a good daughter, always tipped well at restaurants, but disguised as “Cowboy Bob” in a fake beard and a ten-gallon hat, she was the slickest bank robber Texas has ever known. Making her get-away in a sky blue 1975 Pontiac Grand Prix, she was a modern-day bandit stealing thousands and evading detection for more than a decade. With a score that’s equal parts Riot Grrrl rage and Texas two-step twang, this tale of a small-town legend spurs a discontented chain-restaurant waitress to buck routine, take life by the reins and let it ride. 

Molly Beach Murphy’s plays include The Air Got Thick; IKE; Big Ben in the Red Dirt Desert. With core collaborators Annie Tippe and Jeanna Phillips, Molly co-creates experimental musicals such as Cowboy Bob, with two new pieces in early development. Molly’s work has been developed with New York Theatre Workshop, New York Stage & Film, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, the Alley Theatre, Page 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, The Orchard Project, Ucross Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Village Theatre Festival of New Musicals, Pipeline Theatre Company. Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship Semi-finalist; Drama League Beatrice Terry Resident; New Georges Affiliated Artist. Published works in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Hairpin, Santa Ana River Review, and American Theatre Magazine. www.mollybeachmurphy.com

Jeanna Phillips makes and performs music and theatre for folks of all ages. Music for theatre: Cowboy Bob, with Molly Beach Murphy and Annie Tippe (Village Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, NYTW Adelphi Residency, Polyphone Festival); what’s this called, this spirit? with Alex Thrailkill (Ars Nova, Dixon Place); Cooking to me is Poetry with New Saloon (Galapagos Art Space); POE (The Morgan Library). She was selected as a 2019/2020 New Victory Labworks artist and was a member of Fresh Ground Pepper’s 2019/2020 Playground PlayGroup. Her clown-cabaret alter ego Andréa Lloyd Webber has wreaked havoc at Caveat, Ars Nova, La MaMa, Dixon Place, Littlefield, and Liberty Hall at the ACE Hotel. Alumna: The Civilians R&D Group, Yale Institute of Music Theatre. BFA NYU Experimental Theatre Wing. jeannaphillips.com

Annie Tippe is a director and creator of new work, film and music theatre. Recent: Premiere of Dave Malloy’s Octet at the Signature Theatre (Lortel Award for Best Direction, SDC Callaway Award Finalist) and Ghost Quartet (Premiere, The Bushwick Starr, etc…), Leslye Headland’s Cult of Love (Premiere, IAMA Theatre Company), Bess Wohl’s Continuity (Goodman Theatre), Molly Beach Murphy + Jeanna Phillips’ Cowboy Bob (Village Theatre; New York Stage and Film), James + Jerome’s INK (w. Rachel Chavkin, Under the Radar/Met Museum) and The Conversationalists (Bushwick Starr). Former Ars Nova Director-in-Residence, Drama League Directing Fellow, Williamstown Directing Corps. www.annietippe.com

The Consoling Mechanism Book, Music & Lyrics by Josh Franklin

Music Directed by Meg Zervoulis

Can our deepening commitment to technology also strengthen the bonds of human connection? In a world increasingly intertwined with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, The Consoling Mechanism‘s dynamic pop score, and the poignant-yet-humorous book pulls back the curtain on a family struggling to recover from unexpected loss.

Josh Franklin is an accomplished and well-rounded artist. He is the composer/lyricist for Royal Blood, a hip-hop Vampire musical comedy; Jack: A Moral Musical Tale, and is the sole writer of The Consoling Mechanism, a story about a girl struggling with her new reality as a person with disabilities. His acting credits include: Broadway: The Prom, Anything Goes, Ghost, Legally Blonde and Grease; Off Broadway: Cyrano with Peter Dinklage. Tours: Bob Gaudio (Jersey Boys), Danny Zuko (Grease), Chad (All Shook Up) and Billy Crocker (Anything Goes), which garnered him a Helen Hayes Award nomination. Albums: Josh Franklin and Spent.

Eastbound Book & Music by Cheeyang Ng; Book & Lyrics by Khiyon Hursey

Directed by Desdemona Chiang

Music Directed by Nate Hopkins

Eastbound is a new bilingual musical about the unexpected meeting of two brothers from opposite sides of the world, their quests for survival, and the power of choice. The musical is told through the soundscape of a contemporary score amalgamated with traditional Chinese folk music and Mandopop.

Born and raised in Singapore, Cheeyang Ng is an award-winning singer-songwriter who writes at the intersection of queer, Asian and immigrant stories. They have performed around the world and are the first Singaporean to headline a concert at Joe’s Pub and Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center. Creator of The Lunar Collective and podcast East Side Story, they have won multiple vocal awards across Asia. Other works in development include MĀYĀ (Live & In Color, Hypokrit) with Eric Sorrels. Select credits: Eric H Weinberger Librettist Award, Eugene O’Neill National Musical Theater Conference Finalist, ASCAP Foundation Lucille & Jack Yellen Award. www.cheeyang.com. @cheeyangmusic

Khiyon Hursey is a writer and composer based in Los Angeles and New York. He is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Irving Burgie Scholarship, Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship, and the Lucille and Jack Yellen award, a 2016 NAMT Writers Residency Grant, a 2016-2017 Dramatists Guild Musical Theater Fellowship, 2017 Space on Ryder Farm Residency, 2018 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project residency, 2019 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop with Stephen Schwartz, 2019 Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, the 2020 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals and the 2020 Stephen Schwartz Award. 

Hart Island Book & Lyrics by Michelle Elliott; Music & Lyrics by Danny Haengil Larsen

Music Directed by Jason Yarcho

Hart Island is an inspiring tale of an immigrant woman fighting for her child and the unexpected compassion of a disillusioned inmate who is the only person who can help her. This hauntingly beautiful musical observes two people on the edge of society as they change each other’s lives forever.

Michelle Elliott has written seven musicals with collaborator, Danny Haengil Larsen, including Cloaked, for which she was the recipient of the Kleban Prize for Most Promising Librettist. Michelle and Danny also received a Jonathan Larson Award for Cloaked, as well as a Richard Rodgers Development Award for their first musical, The Yellow Wood, which was also featured in NAMT’s 2009 Festival of New Musicals. Michelle is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. www.elliottlarsenmusicals.com. Michelle and Danny are currently working on a new musical, Country Radio, with Emily Saliers, one of the Indigo Girls.

Danny Haengil Larsen is a composer, lyricist, librettist, and orchestrator. His musicals, co-written with Michelle Elliott, include Hart Island, Maiden Voyage, Cloaked, The Yellow Wood, and several musicals for young audiences. Awards include The Jonathan Larson Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, NYMF Best Music Award, the Daryl Roth Award, and the Kleban Prize. Their musical web series The Hinterlands was nominated for 4 IAWTV awards. Danny is currently working on a new semi-autobiographical show, The Pain in My Gay-Mormon, Half-Korean Ass. His orchestrations have been professionally produced. MFA from The Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU. www.elliottlarsenmusicals.com

Lizard Boy Book, Music & Lyrics by Justin Huertas

Directed by Brandon Ivie

Trevor feels like a freak—which is not helped by the green lizard skin he grew after a bizarre childhood accident. When one fateful night sets him on a journey of mythic proportions, Trevor must decide if he’ll become the hero of his own story in this thrillingly original musical.

Justin Huertas is an award-winning playwright, composer-lyricist and actor. His first original musical Lizard Boy world-premiered at Seattle Rep, toured to San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, and had two industry readings in NYC. Justin then wrote The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion (additional music by Steven Tran) for ArtsWest Playhouse & Gallery and Lydia & the Troll (co-created by Ameenah Kaplan) for Seattle Rep. He composed music and lyrics for The Lamplighter (co-authored by Sara Porkalob and Kirsten “Kiki” deLohr Helland) and for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle. Justin is currently under commission at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Obeah Opera Book, Music & Lyrics by Nicole Brooks

Obeah Opera is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, spirit-lifting, magical musical sensation unlike any other opera before. Steeped in Black music, sung entirely a cappella by a powerful all-female cast, Obeah Opera reveals the story of the legendary Salem witch trials from the fascinating perspective of Caribbean slave women. 

In the performing arts world, Nicole Brooks is beyond a triple-threat. Her extensive accomplishments include: filmmaker, director, performer, singer, playwright, composer, curator, teacher and ‘art-ivist.’ Brooks has devoted over 20 years producing innovative content (for the stage and screen), with a focus on narratives that illuminate the peoples of the African Diaspora. In 2012, Brooks officially added playwright to her list of talents. Her debut theatrical work Obeah Opera—which she created, wrote, composed and performs in—has received critical acclaim and several award nominations throughout its various incarnations in Toronto, Canada between 2009 and 2019. 

On This Side of the World Music & Lyrics by Paulo K Tiról

Developed & Directed by Noam Shapiro

Music Directed by Steven Cuevas

Stories of overseas workers, young lovers, and gossipy church ladies. Snapshots of undocumented immigrants, millennial princesses, and first-generation Americans. In On This Side of the World, six actors give voice to Filipino immigrants navigating old lives and new beginnings, as a one-way ticket sends them on a journey 8,000 miles from home.

Paulo K Tiról is a composer, lyricist, and book writer from Manila, Philippines. He is currently a Dramatist Guild Foundation Fellow and was an artist-in-residence at Access Theater with director Noam Shapiro. His projects include music and lyrics for On This Side of the World (NAMT Festival 2020, Prospect Theater Company’s IGNITE series, Access Theater); book, music and lyrics for Called; and orchestrations for Ma-Yi Theater Co.’s Felix Starro. His work has been presented at Joe’s Pub, Barrington Stage and more. Training: Berklee, NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (full-tuition scholarship), BMI. www.paulophonic.com.

Noam Shapiro is a New York-based director and the Producing Artistic Director of Three Hares. He is the SDC Foundation’s 2020 Kurt Weill/Harold Prince Directing Fellow, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a former MTC Directing Fellow, a Drama League First Draft Resident Artist, and a winner of OPERA-America’s Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize. Noam has developed work with the Drama League, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Access Theater, The Lark, New Dramatists and Fresh Ground Pepper. He also has guest directed at Yale, Johns Hopkins and Columbia. BA Yale. www.noamshapiro.com

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre, founded in 1985, is a national service organization dedicated exclusively to musical theatre. Their mission is to be a catalyst for nurturing musical theatre development, production, innovation and collaboration. Their 245 members, located throughout 33 states and abroad, are some of the leading producers of musical theatre in the world and include theatres, presenting organizations, higher education programs and individual producers. Among the 268 musicals launched by NAMT’s annual Festival of New Musicals are The Ballad of Klook and Vinette, Benny & Joon, Come From Away, Darling Grenadine, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gun & Powder, HONK!, Interstate, It Shoulda Been You, Lempicka, Ordinary Days, Striking 12 and Thoroughly Modern Millie, among many others, representing 512 writers.

NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals is the cornerstone of NAMT’s mission to nurture the development and production of new musicals. The Festival presents eight musicals before an audience of over 800 industry professionals. In the short run, the Festival’s goal is to connect producers with writers, so that our shows can extend their development trajectory.  The long-term goal is to expand the musical theatre repertoire and advance the musical theatre art form.

The 32nd Festival of New Musicals is overseen by NAMT New Works Director Ciera Iveson and Festival General Manager Dailey-Monda Management. 

The 2020 Festival Committee is co-chaired by Dana Harrel, formerly of Disney Parks Live Entertainment (CA), and Yuvika Tolani, Associate Producer, The Public Theater (NY). Committee members include: Brannon Bowers, Producing Director, American Music Theatre Project (IL); Taneisha Duggan, Producing Associate, TheaterWorks Hartford (CT); Charles Duke, Musician and Music Director (NY); Rick Edinger, Associate Teaching Professor of Music Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (PA); Kate Galvin, Artistic Director, Cardinal Stage Company (IN); Marguerite Hannah, Associate Producer, Horizon Theatre (GA); Branden Huldeen, Artistic Producer, Barrington Stage Company (MA); Tim Kashani, Co-Founder/CEO, Apples and Oranges Arts (CA); Jonathan McCrory, Artistic Director, National Black Theatre (NY); Dan Murphy, Managing Director, Broadway Rose Theatre Company (OR); Danielle Karliner Naish, General Manager, RCI Theatricals (NY); Olivia O’Connor, Manager of New Work Development, Pittsburgh CLO (PA); Patrick Parker, Associate Artistic Director, Paper Mill Playhouse (NJ); Lisa Rubin, Artistic & Executive Director, Segal Centre for Performing Arts (QC); Phil Santora, Executive Director, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (CA); Alexis Williams, Associate Artistic Director, Playwrights Realm (NY); Pamela Adams, General Manager, Atlantic Theater Co. (NY), Chair Emerita; and Michael Kooman (Alumnus Writer Representative), writer of Dani Girl (Fest ’11) and The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (Fest ’14).

NAMT thanks the following foundations, government agencies and organizations for their ongoing support of our programs: The Alhadeff Family Charitable Foundation, The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York Creative Space Grant, ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, The Austin Community Fund, BMI Foundation, The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, The Hargrove Pierce Foundation, The Hollywood Pantages, Howard Gilman Foundation, The Lucille Lortel Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Noël Coward Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Ted Snowdon Foundation, and Anonymous donors.

Broadway On Demand is the principal industry-led livestream platform housing performance and theatre education programming, and the preferred choice of top Broadway artists, producers, educators and professionals. In addition to a growing list of live-captured Broadway shows that can be viewed on demand, Broadway On Demand is partnering with individual artists, concert series, brick-and-mortar performance venues, and producing entities around the world to be able to continuously offer the widest array of archived and live streaming events, including everything from exclusive performances to backstage access to masterclasses, and much more. Thanks to a unique licensing interface, ShowShareä, approved middle school, high school, college, community and professional theatre productions utilize the platform to stream to their audiences.

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: suzanna@t2conline.com

Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

TRUMPED AT CANNES — What with Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and Kevin Costner’s Horizon garnering most of the pre-Cannes ink, it turns out that The Apprentice; the so-called rise of Donald Trump, has become to must-see attraction there.

Sebastian Stan

Starring Sebastian Stan

Sebastian Stan

and Jeremy Strong -as Roy Cohn-  its received the most attention after its screening this week. Check out this up-to-date spot from The Hollywood Reporter:


The Trump camp has threatened a lawsuit over a somewhat graphic scene between Trump and Ivana in the movie. The filmmaker Ali Abbasi has said that while the lawsuits may fly fast and furious from the Trump-camp, their success rate should be re-examined. A pretty savvy response if you ask me.

MORE TREK — (Via Deadline) Oscar winner  Holly Hunter has been tapped to star in Paramount+’s upcoming series Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Hunter will play the captain and chancellor of Starfleet Academy in the series which will begin production later this summer.

Produced by CBS Studios, the series will follow the adventures of a new class of Starfleet cadets as they come of age in one of the most legendary places in the galaxy.

Per the logline: Star Trek: Starfleet Academy introduces viewers to a young group of cadets who come together to pursue a common dream of hope and optimism. Under the watchful and demanding eyes of their instructors, they discover what it takes to become Starfleet officers as they navigate blossoming friendships, explosive rivalries, first loves and a new enemy that threatens both the Academy and the Federation itself.

As a Treker-from the 60’s, where the hell is the next proper Star Trek-movie with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto? They both were fantastic in my mind. Into Darkness was sensational? Weird for sure.

Michael Jackson and Ron Alexenburg

SHORT TAKES — Record-industry icon Ron Alexenburg is penning his autobiography to be called From The Warehouse To The Penthouse. Alexenburg, when he ran Epic Records, worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Meat Loaf, Boston, The Beach Boys, and Charlie Daniels. Here’s a great interview with him:

Oddly, he doesn’t mention his Infinity Records opus, where I worked with him. The opening night party for the label was at the NY Public Library in NYC. It was an awesome event …

Speaking of books, Dave Mason’s Only You Know and I Know is finally out after a massive delay. I saw a video of him opening the first box. Apparently it is only available through his website. Good luck Dave …

We haven’t seen Kevin Costner’s Horizon yet, but a report from Roger Friedman (Showbiz 411), claims Costner doesn’t even appear in the movie for the first hour. Really? …

Christopher Reeve

Great Hamptons Film Festival exclusive by Roger Friedman. Check it out: https://www.showbiz411.com/2024/05/21/hot-ticket-christopher-reeve-super-man-film-to-get-early-look-hamptons-screening-before-release-at-summerdocs … And, great spot on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show on the new book from Michael McDonald with Paul Reiser (What A Fool Believes/DEY Street):

RIP Fred Roos.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Riley Keough; Edwyn Collins; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tony Seidel; Jason Cooper; Bob Krasnow; Les Schwartz; Pete Sanders; Jeremy Long; Peter Shendell; Randy Alexander; Carson Daly; Pete Best; Cory Robbins; Bill Adler; Roy Trakin; Mark Bego; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Kent and Laura Denmark; and BELLA!

Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Dance

Chita Rivera Awards Part 1 In Pictures

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The wnners for the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards were announced yesterday evening. Presented at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park), the Chita Rivera Awards are produced by Joe Lanteri, Founder and Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation Inc., in conjunction with Patricia Watt.

Joe Lanteri

Michael-Demby Cain

Joe Lanteri and Michael-Demby Cain

The Rockettes

The mission of the Chita Rivera Awards is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence, preserve notable dance history, recognize past, present, and future talents, while promoting high standards in dance education and investing in the next generation.

Bernadette Peters

Bebe Neuwirth and Bernadette Peters

Bebe Neuwirth and Bernadette Peters with Joe Lantern

At this year’s Chita Rivera Awards, Bernadette Peters received the Lifetime Achievement Award

Mayte Natalio

and Mayte Natalio (Suffs) received the Douglas and Ethel Watt Critics’ Choice Award.

Phil LaDuca

Phil LaDuca was also awarded.

Presenters and performers at this year’s Awards included

Corbin Bleu, Debbie Allen

Bebe Neuwirth, Debbie Allen and Norm Nixon

Debbie Allen and Norm Nixon

Debbie Allen

Corbin Bleu and Sasha Clements

Corbin Bleu and Sasha Clements

Corbin Bleu (White Christmas)

Wayne Brady (The Wiz)

Ali Louis Bourgzgui

Ali Louis Bourgzgui (Tommy)

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked)

Anthony Crivello

Anthony Crivello (Kiss of the Spider Woman)

Lorin Latarro and Huey Lewis

Huey Lewis (The Heart of Rock and Roll)

Norm Lewis

Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera; Porgy and Bess)

Joe Morton

Joe Morton (Scandal, ART)

Bebe Neuwirth

Bebe Neuwirth (Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, Chicago)

Chita’s daughter Lisa Mordente and Kenny Ortega

Kenny Ortega (High School Musical)

David Hyde Pierce (Here We Are, Spamalot)

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Old Friends)

Chloe Davis and Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan; The Adams Family)

Ben Vereen (Pippin)

Lorna Luft, Riki Kane Larimer and Grant Plotkin

Lorna Luft, Riki Kane Larimer

Riki Kane Larimer producer and one of the major sponsors of The Chita Awards.

Jack Noseworthy and Sergio Trujillo

Stephanie Pope and Lloyd Culbreath

Marina Tamayo

Bruce Robert Harris

Lorna Luft

Avery Wilson and Phillip Johnson

Tommy Bracco

Tommy Bracco and Ross Lekites

Michael Garnier and Amy Hall Garnier

Leo Moctezuma

Lainie Sakakura and Isa Sanchez

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY IN A BROADWAY SHOW

Bebe Neuwirth, Camille A Brown

Bebe Neuwirth

***Camille A Brown, Hell’s Kitchen (tie)

Julia Cheng

Julia Cheng, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Rick and Jeff Kuperman

Rick and Jeff Kuperman and Tilly Evans-Krueger

Rick and Jeff Kuperman, The Outsiders

Lorin Latarro

Lorin Latarro, The Heart of Rock and Roll / The Who’s Tommy (joint nomination)

Justin Peck

Justin Peck, Illinoise

Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll

***Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, Water for Elephants (tie)

OUTSTANDING DANCER IN A BROADWAY SHOW

***Antoine Boissereau, Water for Elephants

Ben Cook, Illinoise

Chloe Davis

Chloe Davis, Hell’s Kitchen

Gaby Diaz, Illinoise

Tilly Evans-Krueger

***Tilly Evans-Krueger, The Outsiders

Rachel Lockhart, Illinoise

Phillip Johnson Richardson, The Wiz

Byron Tittle, Illinoise

Ricky Ubeda, Illinoise

Avery Wilson, The Wiz

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A BROADWAY SHOW

The Cast of Cabaret that includes- Kayla Jenerson, Corinne Munsch, MiMi Scardulla, Pedro Garzo, Julia Cheng, Rebecca Frecknall, Loren Lester, Hannah Florence, Colin Cunliffe, David Merino, Spencer James Weidie, Sun Kim, Deja McNair, Karl Skyler Urban

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

The Cast of Hells kitchen-
Nyseli Vega, Jackie Leon, Raechelle Manalo, Sarah Parker, Susan Oliveras, Michael Greif, Onyxx Noel, Niki Saludez, Timothy L. Edwards

Hell’s Kitchen

***Illinoise

The Heart of Rock and Roll

From The Cast of The Outsiders-Melody Rose, Sarah Grace Mariani, Tilly Evans-Krueger, Kristen Carcone, Henry Julian Gendron, Milena J. Comeau, Rick Kuperman, Barton Cowperthwaite, Victor Carrillo Tracey, Jordan Chin, RJ Higton, Sean Harrison Jones, Kevin Csolak, Jeff Kuperman

The Outsiders

Water for Elephants

FILM & DOCUMENTARY

 

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY IN A THEATRICAL RELEASE

***Barbie, Choreographer: Jennifer White

Carmen, Choreographer: Benjamin Millepied / Marina Tamayo

Color Purple, Choreographer: Fatima Robinson

Mean Girls, Choreographer: Kyle Hanagami

Wonka, Choreographer: Christopher Gattelli

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A DANCE DOCUMENTARY

Daughters, Directors: Angela Patton / Natalie Rae

Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate, Directors: Benjamin Cantu / Matt Lambert

Diane Byer and David Petersen

***Lift, Director: David Petersen

Marc Saltarelli

Studio One Forever, Director: Marc Saltarelli

Swan Song, Director: Chelsea McMullan

2023-2024 CHITA RIVERA AWARD NOMINATING COMMITTEES

Awarding Committee

Chair: Sylviane Gold, Gary Chryst, Robert LaFosse, Wendy Perron, and Lee Roy Reams

Broadway Nominating Committee

Chair: Wendy Federman, Caitlin Carter, Gary Chryst, Don Correia

Jamie deRoy and Rachel Stange

Jamie deRoy, Sandy Duncan, Peter Filichia, Dr. Louis Galli, Sylviane Gold, Jonathan Herzog, Robert La Fosse, Joe Lanteri, Michael Milton, Mary Beth O’Connor, Wendy Perron, Lee Roy Reams, Andy Sandberg, and Randy Skinner

Film Nominating Committee

Chair: Jonathan C. Herzog, Steven Caras, Wilhelmina Frankfurt, Mary Beth O’Connor, and Andy Sandberg

All proceeds of the Chita Rivera Awards benefit the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation Scholarship Program. The NYCDA Foundation is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance.

This year, all funding and proceeds will support the creation of a new Chita Rivera Training Scholarship.

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Events

Shoshana Bean Joins West End Superstar Bradley Jaden At Sony Hall

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West End Superstar Bradley Jaden will make his US debut on Monday June 3rd at Sony Hall along with the iconic, two time Tony Award and Grammy Award nominee Shoshana Bean, currently starring on Broadway in Alicia Keys hit musical Hell’s Kitchen, which is up for 13 Tony Award nominations.

Jaden, fresh from his acclaimed performance in Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Old Friends, at the Gielgud Theatre, will bring his own show Live In Concert to New York City for his US debut ahead of two sold out dates at Cadogan Hall in London. Later in the year he will embark on the Les Misérables Arena Spectacular World Tour recreating the role of ‘Javert’.

Bradley has starred in some of the West End’s most enduring productions including his unforgettable performance as ‘Javert’ in Les Misérables, Fiyero in Wicked and ‘Raoul’ in a new production of The Phantom of the Opera in Trieste, Italy. Other West End theatre credits include Shrek The Musical, Side Show in Concert and Treason The Musical.

Jaden will be recreating the role of ‘Javert’ in the Les Misérables Arena Spectacular which embarks on a World Tour from this September with a cast and orchestra of over 65. He will share the role with Michael Ball, playing opposite Killian Donnelly’s ‘Jean Valjean’.

He is not only one of musical theatre’s most successful leading men, but he’s also a star of the small screen, having seamlessly transitioned to the world of soap, taking roles in both EastEnders as Sonia Fowler’s flatmate ‘Jed’ and in Emmerdale where he played ‘Ben’.

Shoshana Bean

Shoshana Bean

Shoshana Bean can be seen starring in Alicia Keys’ new musical Hell’s Kitchen, which has received 13 Tony Nominations since opening on Broadway this spring. Her portrayal of ‘Jersey’ earned Shoshana her second Tony Award nomination for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical,” a Drama League

Award nomination in the “Distinguished Performance” category, and a Drama Desk nomination for “Outstanding Featured Performance.” Her performance in the Public Theater’s Hell’s Kitchen earned her a Lucille Lortel Award nomination in the “Outstanding Featured Performer in a Musical” category. In 2022, she received Tony and Grammy nominations for her starring role as Susan Young opposite Billy Crystal in Broadway’s Mr. Saturday Night. She previously starred on Broadway as the first replacement for Elphaba in Wicked and as Jenna in Waitress. Her six independent studio albums and EP’s have landed her on top of the iTunes and Billboard charts, including the peak position of #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart. She has sold out concerts around the globe and lent her voice to countless films and television shows, including Sing, Sing 2, Enchanted, Jersey Boys, Glee and Galavant. Shoshana made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Hairspray, appeared Off-Broadway in the 2000 revival of Godspell, and in Songs for a New World at City Center Encores. She won an IRNE Award for her performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and earned a Jeff Award nomination for her portrayal of CeeCee Bloom in the pre-Broadway musical production of Beaches. She has appeared in Bloodline, Bill and Ted Face The Music, and recently filmed a solo concert special for PBS.

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Book Reviews

Merrily, Gatsby, Mary Jane, and More Win Applause at 2024 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards

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Merrily We Roll Along has continued its award-winning roll, topping the list of winners for the 2024 Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, chosen by Broadway.com readers.

The hit revival won in a total of five categories, including Favorite Musical Revival. They honored all three of its stars: Jonathan Groff was named Favorite Performance of the Year (Musical), while Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez won in featured categories. Groff and Radcliffe also won a second award for the category of Favorite Onstage Pair.

The Great Gatsby won the award for Favorite New Musical, while the musical’s stars Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada won in the leading musical acting categories. Other musical performers who won awards included Spamalot’s Leslie RodriguezKritzer for Favorite Diva Performance, Gutenberg! The Musical! star Josh Gad for Favorite Funny Performance, and Grant Gustin, the lead of Water for Elephants, won for Favorite Breakthrough Performance.

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (center) and the cast of Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

On the play front, David Adjmi’s Stereophonic was named Favorite New Play, and An Enemy of the People won for Favorite Play Revival. Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch star Leslie Odom, Jr. and Mary Jane star Rachel McAdams won in the leading acting categories, with Appropriate‘s Elle Fanning and Alex Brightman from The Shark is Broken named featured acting favorites.

The Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards contains many unique categories. Favorite Replacement awards, honoring actors who stepped into hit shows, were won by Jordan Fisher for Hadestown and Sutton Foster for Sweeney Todd. The composer for The Notebook, Ingrid Michelson won for Favorite New Song for “Carry You Home.

This year’s winners will be honored at a private reception at 48 Lounge on June 6.

A complete list of winners follows.

The cast of Stereophonic on Broadway. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Favorite New Musical
The Great Gatsby (Book by Kait Kerrigan, Music by Jason Howland, Lyrics by Nathan Tysen)

Favorite New Play
Stereophonic (Written by David Adjmi)

Favorite Musical Revival
Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Play Revival
An Enemy of the People

Favorite Long-Running Show
Wicked

Favorite Tour
Beetlejuice

Favorite Performance of the Year (Musical)
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Performance of the Year (Play)
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young in Purlie Victorious – Photo by Marc J. Franklin.

Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical
Jeremy Jordan, The Great Gatsby

Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical
Eva Noblezada, The Great Gatsby

Favorite Leading Actor in a Play
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Favorite Leading Actress in a Play
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane

Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Featured Actor in a Play
Alex Brightman, The Shark is Broken

Favorite Featured Actress in a Play
Elle Fanning, Appropriate


Sarah Paulson and Elle Fanning in 2ST’s Appropriate. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Favorite Diva Performance
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Spamalot

Favorite Funny Performance
Josh Gad, Gutenberg! The Musical!

Favorite Onstage Pair
Jonathan Groff and Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Male)
Grant Gustin, Water for Elephants

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female)
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane

Favorite Replacement (Male)
Jordan Fisher, Hadestown

Favorite Replacement (Female)
Sutton Foster, Sweeney Todd

Favorite New Song
“Carry You Home,” The Notebook (Music and Lyrics by Ingrid Michelson)

Rachel McAdams in MTC’s Mary Jane. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Shows with Multiple Wins
Merrily We Roll Along – 5
The Great Gatsby – 3
Mary Jane – 2
Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – 2

Performers with Multiple Wins
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along – 2
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane – 2
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – 2
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along – 2

Jeremy Jordan, Eva Noblezada, and the cast of The Great Gatsby. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

 

 

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Events

TODAY Show Celebrates 30 Years With Its 2024 Citi Concert Series

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The TODAY Show is celebrating 30 years so its 2024 Citi Concert Series lineup is pretty spectacular. Rockefeller Plaza will have country music with Wallows kicking things off. Chris Stapleton, Lainey Wilson and Thomas Rhett, as well as fan favorites Meghan Trainor, LL COOL J and Chance the Rapper.

Mark Your calendars:

May

Friday, May 24 — Wallows *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, May 31 — Anitta *Register for a Fan Pass

June

Friday, June 7 — Meghan Trainor *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, June 21 — Kehlani *Register for a Fan Pass

Tuesday, June 25 — Lainey Wilson *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, June 28 — Gracie Abrams *Register for a Fan Pass

July

Thursday, July 4 — Bleachers *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, July 12 — Rauw Alejandro *Register for a Fan Pass

August

Friday, Aug. 9 — Maggie Rogers *Register for a Fan Pass

Monday, Aug. 12 — Little Big Town and Sugarland *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, Aug. 16 — Chance the Rapper *Register for a Fan Pass

Friday, Aug. 23 — Thomas Rhett *Register for a Fan Pass

September

Friday, Sept. 27 — Chris Stapleton *Register for a Fan Pass

Date to be announced 

LL COOL J *Check back for Fan Passes

TODAY concerts are free and open to the public. The shows take place on the TODAY Plaza in Rockefeller Center, located at 48th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, in New York City.

The closest subway stop to our TODAY Plaza concerts is the 47th — 50th Streets — Rockefeller Center station on the B, D, F, M trains. 24/7 parking is also available nearby at the Rockefeller Center Parking Garage at 53 West 48th Street. The garage is operated 24/7 and accepts reservations in advance. Hourly and daily parking rates apply.

Fan Passes are limited and available by advance request. Guests who receive them will be notified by email before the scheduled concert date.

Guests who do not obtain a Fan Pass can still attend the General Admission line the morning of the concert, and those fans will be let in if space allows. Other answers to commonly asked questions about the series can be found here.

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