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Theatre News: Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti, Vanessa Williams, Primary Stages, Urban Stages, The Phantom of the Opera, Feeding America

Theatre News: Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti, Vanessa Williams, Primary Stages, Urban Stages, The Phantom of the Opera, Feeding America

Mark your calendar for Live from the West Side: Women of Broadway, coming to a living room near you this fall. two-time Tony Award winner Patti LuPone, Tony Award winner Laura Benanti, and critically acclaimed actress and singer Vanessa Williams. Streamed live from New York’s Shubert Virtual Studios, each show will showcase a mix of Broadway showtunes, pop songs, and personal stories from the life of each headliner. You can even submit questions in advance for each artist to answer during the show.

Patti LuPone | October 24 | 7 PM CST
Laura Benanti | November 14 | 7 PM CST
Vanessa Williams | December 5 | 7 PM CST

TICKETS: 3 Shows for $75
Your purchase includes the livestream performance and an additional 72 hours of on-demand viewing. 

Join fellow DSM supporters before the show for Opening Act! Starting at 6:30 p.m., enjoy a social half hour full of pre-concert fun, surprises, and behind-the-scenes insights! Included with your ticket purchase.

Primary Stages Virtual Fall Season
Through October 4, 2020 only!
Written by and starring Charles Busch
Directed by Carl Andress
Expect Busch’s signature blend of quick-witted banter and gender-bending hijinks in a virtual reading of his 2014 Off Broadway hit show. 

November 11 – 15, 2020
Created by and starring Chesney Snow
Commissioned by Primary Stages
Chesney Snow (In Transit), a pioneering figure in American beatbox culture joins Obie-winning composer Diedre Murray for a new choreopoem exploring race, class and American political culture through the mediums of poetry, storytelling, dance, and music.

November 18-22
Written and performed by Charlayne Woodard
Delivered with penetrating grace and candor, Woodard’s luminous one-woman show is a hilarious litany on the joys of children in our lives.

Advance reservations are required. Sales close four hours prior to the event start time.

Urban Stages Artistic Producing Director, Frances Hill, announces Mixing Melodies and Margaritas, a virtual benefit featuring musical performances and appearances by legendary stars along with how-to guides for delicious cocktails/mock-tails so everyone can make a drink, raise a glass and save Urban Stages Theater. From October 22, 2020, starting at 6:30pm through October 26, 6:30 pm, Mixing Melodies and Margaritas; Make a Drink, Raise a Glass, Save the Theater,  will be available on where viewers can show their support for the theater by donating while enjoying a mix of songs, drinks, and lively talk virtually!  

In addition, a month-long online auction will feature cases of wine (Phillips Hill Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), case of tequila (Casamigos Añejo), golf trips to East Hampton and Long Island, virtual magic shows, virtual tequila parties, a lithograph by renowned international artist Edwina Sandys and much more up for grabs. 

The online benefit and auction will continue fundraising efforts for Urban Stages’ programs that develop and spotlight new works by diverse up-and-coming theater artists and make theater, art and education available to all. This 36-year mission has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic forcing the temporary closure of Urban Stages’ Theater at 30th street and the shift of much of Urban Stages’ Off-Broadway and touring programming online; all of which had an unprecedented financial impact on the non-profit organization. 

However, Urban Stages continues to achieve its mission in a number of ways. During lockdown this spring and summer, for instance, Urban Stages held 32 online educational programs in partnership with New York, Brooklyn and Queens Public Libraries, engaging over 17,000 viewers with interactive theater and art. Play performances, concerts, a new interview series and submission opportunities for playwrights are also a part of the theater’s online reach. 

Broadway and Off-Broadway artists who have previously worked with Urban Stages are donating their time and artistic talents to the online benefit.  In many cases, they will share their favorite cocktail/mock-tail recipe for the event. 

WBAI Host and advocate King Downing and theatre critic, writer and broadcaster Michael Riedel will serve as masters of ceremonies.

Performances and appearances by Karen Akers (Singer and Tony nominated actress, Nine, and singer), Aya Aziz (Former Urban Stages’ Summer Camper. Singer, Composer award winning musical), Terence Archie (Broadway: Rocky & Company), Jenny Lyn Bader (Playwright, New Pages)  Trezana Beverley (Tony winning actress, For Colored Girls…), Reed Birney (Tony Winner: The Humans), Bill Bowers (Broadway: Lion King, Scarlet Pimpernel. International Mime), Jim Dale (Tony winning actor, Barnum), Joe Iconis (Broadway composer, writer: Be More Chill), Lori Brown Mirabal (Broadway and Opera star). Sue Matsuki (MAC Winner. Co-Producer Winter Rhythms), David Quinones (Summer Camp Director/Spoken Word Poet), Ilanna Saltzman (Outreach Program Director), George Salazar (Be More Chill), Disnie Sebastien (Urban Stages Intern/Actress), Tom Toce (Board Member, Lyricist, Producer: Winter Rhythms) and Zhu Yi (Playwright: A Deal (2017).

Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt

 Friends of Halletts Point and Stark Production Group will mark the official opening of Radial Park at Hallets Point Play with Broadway’s longest running show, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera tomorrow night, Thursday, October 1, 2020. 

This one of a kind performance will show the 25th Anniversary Gala Performance of The Phantom of the Opera recorded from the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 on the big screen along with live specially interwoven musical numbers from stars Derrick Davis (The Phantom of the OperaThe Lion King) and Ali Ewoldt (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The King and I), who will bring this all-time fan favorite to life alongside a live 11-piece orchestra.

Halletts Point Play, a 50,000 square-foot open-air space in Astoria, Queens, located along the waterfront, with views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline features this first-of-its-kind drive-in that will include a variety of experiences including live performances from Broadway stars, movies on the big screen, movie-style concessions, food trucks and much more.  

The line-up at Radial Park will continue with multiple shows each week. Tickets ($100 – $150 per group) are now on sale and can be purchased online at, where a complete schedule of events can also be found. 

Halletts Point Play is steps away from Citi Bike and NYC Ferry with direct connections from the Upper East Side, Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Roosevelt Island and is just a short walk from the subway. 

Guests will be able to enjoy the interactive, theatrical show from the safety of their own vehicles or via reserved picnic tables, with a retro boombox for audio, spaced appropriately for social distancing, are available for those who prefer biking, walking, or taking the ferry to Halletts Point Play. 

Ice-cold beverages and movie theater snacks will be available for purchase along with multiple food trucks with on-site dining options.

Following the requirements of government and health officials, Radial Park will implement strict health and safety protocols including temperature checks upon arrival via an infrared, touchless thermometer; color-coded wristbands for social distancing; “lifeguards” on duty who will be ready to blow the whistle to enforce strict social distancing; and more.

The Drinkwater Brothers, Matthew and John Drinkwater, will begin on Friday, October 9th at 5:30 pm ET until Saturday, October 10th at 5:30 pm ET – The Drinkwater Brothers “Drink-Wa-Ter-Thon 2020”.  The special 24-Hour Marathon Livestream will Benefit Feeding America The event will be presented on social media @TheDrinkwaterBrothers on Facebook. The 24-Hours will be filled with The Drinkwater Brothers performing eclectic covers from many musical genre, as well as their many originals songs.  Performances will be filled in with other fun activities and guest appearances (tba).  

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 54 million people may face hunger in the U.S. during 2020 — including more than 18 million children. Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including your own. In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it’s almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive. Feeding America works to get nourishing food – from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers – to people in need. At the same time, They also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future. For more than 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in this country. In times of uncertainty, we have not wavered from our mission to end the fight against hunger.         

The Drinkwater Brothers are critically acclaimed identical twins, who have been proclaimed as up and coming “2019 Broadway Rising Stars”.  They are pop/rock singer songwriters, who have performed at beloved night clubs throughout New York City, including Birdland, 54 Below, The Greenroom 42 and Don’t Tell Mama, winning rave reviews. The Drinkwater Brothers’ original songs are taking off on all music platforms and the twin duo were not only both chosen as “Broadway Rising Stars” at NYC’s legendary Town Hall last year, but also nominated by Broadway World as the Best Debut Duo and the MAC Award for Best Duo/Group. They have starred on TV (as young Kray Brothers on Investigation Discovery Channel “Evil Twins – Twin Kings of London episode).  


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:

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