Theater News: When Broadway is Back, 1993, The Spirit of Ireland Gala and Robert Creighton

Theater News: When Broadway is Back, 1993, The Spirit of Ireland Gala and Robert Creighton

Concerned about their colleagues who have been out of work since March and will likely not return to work until at least the summer of 2021, musical theatre collaborators Barbara Bellman and Emiliano Messiez wrote and produced a new anthem of hope this holiday season. Entitled “When Broadway Is Back”, the newly released song and its vibrant music video energize audiences with a vision of a post-pandemic moment when bright lights and in-person audiences return to Broadway. Those inspired by the vision are encouraged to donate to The Actors Fund and/or Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, as a way to help performers, writers, musicians, technicians, and other theater industry workers remain out of work through at least Summer 2021 due to Covid-19.

“When Broadway is Back” is a fully-orchestrated song and video with a big band sound, performed by Broadway performers Syndee Winters (Hamilton, Lion King), Carmen Ruby Floyd (Chicago, Hello Dolly) Dana Aber (Baggage at the Door, The Bet) and Dale Sampson (Sam’s Room, Rodeo Clowns).

Donations to The Actors Fund: www.actorsfund.org/donate

Contributions to Broadway Cares: https://donate.broadwaycares.org/give/140654/#!/donation/checkout

Philadelphia-based Bellman and New York-based Messiez launched the project as a way of conjuring the excitement of a theatre community longing for its return. “We took a break from working on our own musical to look at the big picture – the whole community that is holding out hope for the return of live theatre, all of the professionals who have had the ‘pause button’ hit on their life’s work,” Bellman said. “This project is a labor of love, and we’re urging anyone who cherishes the magic of live theater to help support the community which is really struggling right now.”

The track features legends of the New York music scene: Diego Urcola (trumpets), Conrad Herwig (trombones), Scott Robinson(reeds), Emiliano Messiez (piano), Luis Bacqué (bass), Ignacio Rivas Bixio (drums), Juan “Pollo” Raffo (horns arrangement).  The song was recorded, mixed and mastered by Luis Bacqué, who also served as videographer.

Barbara Bellman (www.barbarabellman.com) is a graduate of the Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and a member of BMI Librettists. Emiliano Messiez (www.emilianomessiez.com) is a composer / arranger and sought-after pianist, founder of the Típica Messiez, a 10-piece Argentine tango orchestra. The two are the creators of BORDELLO a new historical musical set in 1920s Buenos Aires. 

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services. Visit https://actorsfund.org/

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) is an American nonprofit organization that raises funds for AIDS-related causes across the United States, headquartered in New York City. It is the theatre community’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Visit https://broadwaycares.org/.

Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein presents the the first offering of HEAR/NOW, Keen’s season of audio theater: 1993 is an immersive audio drama with original songs set in Alphabet City written, performed, scored and designed by theatremaker finkle. A series of interconnected episodes that utilize true events from 1993, refracted events from finkle’s own life and a liberal dash of pulp fiction, 1993 creates a queer kaleidoscopic journey that examines the power of one’s voice to reclaim the past and speak out.

“We’re now at the halfway point of releasing 1993 – or, as I like to say, Act Two. It has been an utter joy to find new ways of creating during the pandemic and I am continually grateful for my collaboration with finkle, 1993’s creator. Patrons have been overwhelmingly positive about our new venture and I look forward to continuing to connect with our patrons in new ways,” said Silverstein.

A dynamic playwright and musician, finkle was part of the second year of the Keen Playwrights Lab spanning from 2014-2015. During that time, he created 1993 which Keen has continued to develop through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Keen is thrilled to finally release 1993 to the public, one episode a week for eight weeks beginning now.  All voices, music, sound, noise, and silence created and compiled by finkle. Sound engineered by Garrett Shultz. “Warning Bells” music by finkle, lyrics and melody by finkle and Jennifer McKenna. Please note: 1993 contains strong language and adult themes; it may not be suitable for all audiences.

NEW Episodes air every Friday through December 18th. You can catch up on all episodes anytime by visiting Keen Company on the web at http://www.keencompany.org/1993-byfinkle.

finkle’s theatrical work includes a visual play with music and puppets called Touch (originally commissioned by Dallas Theatre Center, 2018) and his graphic novel musical for intimate audiences entitled U R ★ (You Are Star), which was developed by the Orchard Project and produced at the American Repertory Theatre (2016) and presented at Ars Nova (2017) as well as a multitude of people’s living rooms. His plays, written under Kenny Finkle, have been produced both nationally and internationally including Indoor/Outdoor, Alive and Well and Transatlantica all of which are published by Broadway Play Publishing. finkle participated in the second year of the Keen Playwrights Lab, developing work with the company from 2014-2015.

Keen Company’s 21st year will reimagine the classic radio drama with a season of five world premiere audio plays from a multifaceted group of modern playwrights. Hear/Now continues Keen’s mission to be an Off-Broadway home for new work. Hear/Now welcomes patrons into a theater of their imagination and digital programming that will allow for continued conversations and connection.

Hear/Now will continue through June 2021, featuring the world premiere of five new audio plays by Pearl Cleage, Kate Cortesi, James Anthony Tyler, and musical team Melissa Li and Kit Yan, in addition to finkle. Keen patrons will recognize all of these playwrights not just as celebrated and prolific writers but also as alumni of our mainstage, Playwrights Lab, and Keen Teens programs.

All audio plays will be released completely FREE for patrons on Keen Company’s website as well as through popular podcast platforms. Those who chose to support Keen Company can purchase a season membership and receive early access to all episodes as well as exclusive perks. Membership options start at just $1 a month and bonus content, including talkbacks with playwrights and artists, panels with experts, behind the scenes interviews, digital programs, opening night premiere parties, and more.

Look for Hear/Now on popular podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn. Full transcripts will also be available for deaf and hard of hearing patrons. More information on membership packages as well as an audio season teaser are available at www.keencompany.org.

Keen Company’s 2020-’21 Season will also feature a series of all-star benefit broadcasts, including the upcoming Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher which was once called “the greatest single radio script ever written.” Sorry, Wrong Number will star four-time Academy Award nominee Marsha Mason. Further benefit broadcast casting will be announced. Sorry, Wrong Number will feature a starry cast performing the audio piece live, followed by a talkback with artists. Tickets to these fundraiser events will support Keen Company’s Hear/Now audio theater season, as well as our Keen Playwrights Lab for mid-career writers and Keen Teens which serves students in all five boroughs of NYC. Hear/Now season members will receive a special discount to all benefit broadcasts as well as early access to tickets.

Keen Company is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater creating story-driven work that provokes identification, reflection, and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, the company tells stories about the decisive moments that change us. Keen also runs a developmental new work initiative for mid-career playwrights and a unique educational outreach program for teens in all five boroughs of NYC.

For more information, visit KeenCompany.org.

On Thursday, December 10th at 7pm EST, featuring performances by
Elvis Costello, Loah, Joanie Madden & Cherish the Ladies, Aedín Moloney, Arturo O’Farrill Quartet, Declan O’Rourke, Camille O’Sullivan
and, Sting. Guests artists Gabriel Byrne, Roma Downey, Colum McCann, Paul Muldoon and Liam Neeson. There will also be surprise special guests. Honoring Joe Moglia former CEO & Chairman of TD Ameritrade, Chairman, Coastal Carolina Athletics Division, Chairman, Fundamental Global & Capital Wealth Advisors

The Spirit of Ireland Gala will be available to all registered attendees for 48 hours after its premiere.


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

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