Theatre News: Harmony, Chita Rivera and Danny Burstein, Space Dogs, Irish Rep and Out Of Time
Harmony: A New Musical by Barry Manilow & Bruce Sussman tells the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, six talented young men, Jewish and gentile, who came together in 1920s Germany and took the world by storm with their signature blend of sophisticated close harmonies and uproarious stage antics.
Directing and choreographing Harmony will be Tony Award winner and Emmy-nominated Director Warren Carlyle.Carlyle won a 2014 Tony Award for his choreography for After Midnight, for which he was also Tony Award-nominated as Best Director. Upcoming: choreographing the Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster.
“I’m thrilled to be directing Harmony and helping bring this show to New York. It’s an important message and it could not have found a better home to start a New York run than the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust,” Warren Carlyle said.
The show runs 7 weeks only starting March 23rd.
Chita Rivera and Danny Burstein Honored by Encompass New Opera Theatre on Sunday, March 20, 2022. Sheldon Harnick and Maury Yeston will pay tribute with a star-studded musical salute. The elegant evening – hosted by Midge Woolsey of Thirteen/WNET and WQXR Radio – will feature recollections and tributes by well-known Musical Theatre and Opera personalities and friends from the Music Theatre and Opera world including John Doyle, George Dvorsky, Sheldon Harnick, Maury Yeston, and Karen Ziemba. Dazzling musical entertainment will feature stars of stage and screen. Beth Ertz is the Music Director/Arranger/Pianist; Richard Pearson Thomas, Associate Music Director. Michael A. Kerker of ASCAP and Nancy Rhodes of Encompass will co-produce and direct. The 2022 Gala Chairs are Daniel J. De Siena and Deborah Surdi.
Ghostlught Records will release the original cast album of the new musical Space Dogs on Friday, February 11. The show features music and lyrics by Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire, who also perform the show. Space Dogs is currently in previews at New York’s MCC Theater, directed by Ellie Heyman, opening on February 13 and running through March 6. Starting today, customers who pre-order the digital album will immediately receive the album’s new single “If I Start a Race.” The album is produced by Van Hughes and Nick Blaemire, with Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producer. Pre-order now at ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/SpaceDogs
Space Dogs is an epic new musical that tells the mind-blowing true story of Laika and the Chief Designer – a stray dog and the top-secret Russian scientist who sent her to space during the Cold War. The show is a sweeping, kaleidoscopic tale of invention, betrayal, international political intrigue, and the immortal friendship that exists between man and dog, as they journey together to the stars.
The Same: U.S. Premiere of The Corcadorca Production from February 16–March 6. From the Tony-winning playwright Enda Walsh (Once the musical, Medicine at St. Ann’s Warehouse) comes the “riveting, superbly realised” drama named best new play and best actress (Eileen Walsh, Catherine Walsh) at the 2017 Irish Times Theatre Awards.
The Same marks a dual homecoming for Enda—returning to 726 11th Avenue five years after the staging of his sold-out installation Rooms, in what was then still Cybert Tire, the site of the new Irish Arts Center, and to Corcadorca, the Cork City theatre company that produced Walsh’s 1996 breakthrough work, Disco Pigs. For tickets click here.
Actor, artist, and photographer Billy Bustamante (Soft Power at The Public) captured the cast of Out Of Time — the first all-Asian American cast over the age of sixty — in a series of new portraits.
Beginning on February 15, Out Of Time is a theatrical tapestry exploring age, memory, parenthood, and identity in a collection of five moving new works.
Visit publictheater.org to view the full portraits by Billy Bustamante and to access tickets.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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