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Theatre News: Gutenberg! The Musical!, Spamalot, Madwomen Of The West and Hadestown

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Last night, three-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane made a surprise cameo in the role of ‘The Producer’ opposite Tony Award nominees Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells at the star-studded Broadway opening night of Gutenberg! The Musical! at the James Earl Jones Theatre (138 West 48th Street).

Lane, wearing the show’s signature mustard yellow trucker cap emblazoned with the word ‘Producer,’ took the stage and said, “I’m a famous Broadway producer. Perhaps you’ve heard of me. The name is Bialystock…. Max Bialystock,” a nod to Lane’s Tony winning role in the Mel Brooks’ musical The Producers. Lane also exclaimed, “This show is fantastic. I had the same feeling when I saw Cats!”

Lane is the latest star to join Gutenberg! in the role of ‘The Producer.’ During previews Gad and Rannells have also been joined by Cynthia Erivo, Jonathan Groff, JJ Abrams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nikki M. James, F. Murray Abraham, Annaleigh Ashford, and Leslie Odom Jr.

Gutenberg! The Musical! is playing a strictly limited engagement at the Jones Theatre through Sunday, January 28, 2024 only.

Full Principal Cast photo by Matthew Murphy

Pictures were released for the first look at Spamalot. As previously announced, Spamalot features

Christopher Fitzgerald photo by Matthew Murphy

Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Waitress) as Patsy

James Monroe Iglehart photo by Matthew Murphy

Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton) as King Arthur

Taran Killam photo by Matthew Murphy

Taran Killam (“Saturday Night Live”) as Lancelot

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer photo by Matthew Murphy

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (Beetlejuice) as The Lady of the Lake,

Ethan Slater photo by Matthew Murphy

Tony Award nominee Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical) as The Historian/Prince Herbert

Jimmy Smagula photo by Matthew Murphy

Jimmy Smagula (Billy Elliot) as Sir Bedevere

Michael Urie photo by Matthew Murphy

Drama Desk Award winner Michael Urie (“Shrinking,” Torch Song) as Sir Robin

Nik Walker photo by Matthew Murphy

and Nik Walker (Hamilton) as Sir Galahad with David Josefsberg, Graham Stevens, Daniel Beeman, Maria Briggs, Gabriella Enriquez, Michael Fatica, Denis Lambert, Shina Ann Morris, Kaylee Olson, Kristin Piro, Drew Redington, Tyler Roberts, Anju Cloud, Darrell T. Joe, Lily Kaufmann, and Charlie Sutton. Iglehart, Kritzer, Smagula, Urie and Walker will be reprising their roles from the record-breaking sold-out run at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Brooke Adams

Brooke Adams will join Caroline Aaron, Marilu Henner, and Melanie Mayron, under the direction of Thomas Caruso. Ms Adams replaces the previously announced JoBeth Williams who had to withdraw due to a scheduling conflict. Performances will begin Saturday November 11th at Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues). Opening Night is set for Monday December 11th. This limited Off-Broadway engagement will continue through Monday January 1st.

Marilu Henner

Performances will be Saturday at 2pm & 7pm, Sunday at 2pm, and Monday at 7pm. Actors Temple Theatre, located at 339 West 47th Street (between 8th & 9th Avenues), is housed in the historical Actors Temple Synagogue in the heart of New York’s Times Square Theatre District. This theatre has been the home of the long-running production of Black Angels Over Tuskegee, which  played for almost ten years year Off-Broadway, as well as Cowboy, Sistas, Soul Doctor, Zero Hour, Rain Pryor’s Fried Chicken and Latkes,  It’s Just Sex, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, Goldstein, The J.A.P. Show: Jewish-American Princesses of Comedy  and  Paul Mecurio’s Permission To Speak.   Tickets, which are now on sale, range from $39.50 to $119 and are available for purchase online at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212/239-6200, or visit the Actors Temple Theater box office (open one hour prior to showtime). Service fees will apply for online or phone orders

 

Jordan Fisher


Jordan Fisher will join the cast of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown as ‘Orpheus’ on Monday, November 20, 2023. Best known for his roles in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Teen Beach Movie franchises as well as his Broadway turns in Sweeney Todd, Dear Evan Hansen, and Hamilton, Fisher succeeds original cast member Reeve Carney. Carney will play his final performance as ‘Orpheus’ on Sunday, November 19. Carney began playing ‘Orpheus’ in 2017 at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre before transferring with the production to London’s West End and Broadway in 2018 and 2019.

“Reeve helped define both stories at the center of this show — the cosmic love story of a young man who changes the laws of the space time continuum to save his lover, and the political story of a ‘poor boy’ who gets angry enough to question ‘the king,’” said director Rachel Chavkin. “His extraordinary musicianship as guitarist and singer was an endless source of inspiration to both Anaïs and I in the creation of the show, and his elegant leadership as an actor and company member, both onstage and off, will be deeply missed.”

“My gratitude goes out to Anäis Mitchell and all who have touched this show with their divine intention,” said Reeve Carney. “To my fellow cast mates, who have been with me in the trenches, giving of themselves freely and unceasingly, on and off the stage. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And to our incredible audiences here at The Walter Kerr Theater… It has been an honor bringing this story to life for you all night after night over these many years.”

Hadestown currently stars Tony Award winner Lillias White as Hermes, Solea Pfeiffer as Eurydice, Betty Who as Persephone, and Phillip Boykin as Hades. They are joined by Amelia Cormack, Lindsey Hailes, and Brit West as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Chibueze Ihumoa, Alex Puette and Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Brandon Cameron, Tara Jackson, Max Kumangai, Alex Lugo, and Tanner Ray Wilson.

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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The Hotel Edison Opulent and Convenient with History

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George Burns and Gracie Allen lived on the 9th floor of The Edison Hotel. Their friend Jack Benny lived on the 4th floor. Moss Hart lived there after his Once in a Lifetime was a Broadway hit. He then moved his parents there until he found them an apartment. The Edison Hotel is featured in the movies “The Godfather” and “Bullets Over Broadway”, so history abounds.

Located at 228 West 47th Street, you are down the street from Six, Hamilton, Prayer for the French Republic and Sweeney Todd. Across the street is the Barrymore Theatre, but all of Broadway and Times Square is a hop, skip and a jump away. Talk about location, location, location.Built in the late 1920’s, Art Deco abounds from the hotel lobby to the lights and the bed spread in the lush rooms. The hotel is elegant and feels like you stepped back in time. My room was spacious with a king-sized bed that was so comfortable, I wish this was a staycation where I could have spent more time catching up on sleep. I also had a small sitting room with a couch, desk and more windows with views.

The rooms are well designed with great features, such as a Keurig coffee maker and coffee, black-out drapes, windows that opened, and a full-marble bathroom. In the bathroom fluffy towels, designer toiletries and a hair dryer awaited me. The spacious shower also had a relaxing rain shower. In the closet a safe, iron, ironing board and fluffy robes.

There were also two flat-screen high-definition smart TVs, Bluetooth-enabled audio, high-speed Wi-Fi which made my life so much easier, and an alarm clock.

The room was ultra clean and to get to it you need a room key, which you also need for the elevator, so you feel incredibly safe.

Another fun fact…when you arrive you will have a personalized note waiting just for you and some lovely snacks, which were highly appreciated considering I had been running all day and needed a pick me up.

Amenities to the hotel are a gym, two fabulous restaurants, a piano bar, complimentary wine and cheese receptions (Tuesday & Friday), with entertainment, as well as complimentary walking tours of the neighborhood.

You would think for this much pampering and convivence this hotel would be overpriced but it is not. There are rooms are the best offer and prices in town.

If you are looking for history, comfort, boutique, friendliness and luxury, this is the perfect place to stay.

The Edison Hotel: 228 West 47th Street

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Going Down The Rabbit Hole To Discover A Fabulous Unheard Treasure of Linda Eder

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In February one of my favorite singers is coming to 54 Below on the 6, 13, & 17. Linda Eder is forever linked to Broadway history via her Theatre World Award winning performance in Jekyll & Hyde. Her concerts sell out and the reason why is her voice is remarkable.

In 2020 she release an album that somehow slipped through my radar. Retro – volume two is full of Broadway and Standards. There are 17 tracks on the CD. Most are written by Frank Wildhorn with the exception of four tracks. There are two pop tracks, one written by Frank Wildhorn and one written by Jake Wildhorn. She recorded the vocals for four of the tracks at home by herself due to social distancing. This CD is only available at LindaEder.com.

Guest stars on the CD are Will Lee and Michael Lanning. Songs from Bonnie & Clyde, Svengali, Tears of Heaven, Havana andThe Last Five Years are heard here.

I can not believe this slipped through the cracks, but thrilled to find it. Can’t wait to see her at 54 Below.

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Celebrating Love in Times Square

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There’s no better place to say “I love you” than Times Square. On Valentine’s Day 2024, New Yorkers and visitors alike will once again declare their love and celebrate their relationships at the Crossroads of the World through surprise proposals, weddings in the heart of Times Square, and a Vow Renewal Ceremony on Duffy Square’s iconic Red Steps.

Want to participate? Click here for proposals. Click here to get married and click here to renew your vows.

 

 

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Cabaret

Felicia Finley Shines in From Backwoods to Broadway

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As Broadway veteran Felicia Finley proves in her one woman cabaret show, From Backwoods to Broadway, which she showcased at The Green Room 42 in NYC this week, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. And that’s a very good thing!

Ms. Finley chronicles her lifelong journey from her Appalacian roots to the Great White Way in a program of emotionally powerful songs spanning both worlds with vocal mastery and personal passion.

She began her journey as a performer when she started singing at age four. Her first big break came at age nine, when she was cast in the Broadway company of Annie…and her first big heartbreak came when the show closed the very next weekend. Her early career was a roller coaster of promising opportunities and dashed hopes. She might have co-starred in the film of Gypsy opposite Bette Midler had five foot one Ms. Midler not refused to stand on a box to look Ms. Findley in the eye. But that’s show biz.

Finally her talent prevailed. She made her Broadway debut in Smokey Joe’s Café, before going on to play Amnaris in Aida, April in the original cast of The Life, and to create the role of Linda in The Wedding Singer.


Along the way, Ms. Finley has never lost track of her gospel roots, or her love for Patsy Kline. Her rendition of “Sweet Dreams”, one of Patsy’s big hits, was a highlight of the evening, flavored with the smoky sound that makes Ms. Finley’s voice so distinctive. Not surprisingly, Ms. Finley won a “Best Actor” award for portraying Ms. Kline in A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline at the Meadowbrook Theatre in Rochester, NY.

Ms. Finley was ably accompanied for this performance by her talented musical director, Michael McBride.

Under the direction of JoAnne Zielinski, From Backwoods to Broadway is like spending a welcoming evening in the intimate warmth of Ms. Finleys living room.  The next chance you get to see her, dont miss her.

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Sing Your Heart Out at Baby Grand

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In New York City everyone is a singer and or wants to sing. Well, one of the best places to go for karaoke is Baby Grand, located at 29 West 17th Street, With three private rooms, a large event space, a large neon sign to light the way and a main stage, you can have the time of your life. Get ready to show that you have what it takes to make it anywhere.

The hours are Sunday-Wednesday 5 pm – 3 am, Thursday-Saturday 5 pm – 4 am so you can sing into the wee morning. For just $2 a song in the main room you can rent a small room (1-5 people) for $50 a hour  a medium room (6-10 people) $75 an hour or for a $100 hour (11-16 people) a large room to party with all your friends.

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