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Theatre News: Smash, The Lost Boys, A New Musical, The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey, Harmony, Company XIV, The Perfect Game: A Slam Dunk New Musical and The Imaginary Invalid

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Ohhhhh SMASH is coming. On February 8, 12, 15 and 16 there will be “open rehearsal and run-through” of the musical SMASH.  The cast has 25 actors, the orchestra is somewhat “smaller.”

Producers James Carpinello, Marcus Chait and Patrick Wilson announced today they will hold a private industry presentation of The Lost Boys, A New Musical on February 23, 2024.

This presentation will feature Caissie Levy (Frozen) as Lucy Emerson, Nathan Levy (Dear Evan Hansen) as Sam Emerson, and Lorna Courtney (& Juliet) as Star.

The new musical will feature direction by Tony Award winner Michael Arden(Parade), book by David Hornsby (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” writer/EP) & Chris Hoch, music & lyrics by The Rescues (Kyler England, AG, Gabriel Mann), with Tony Award nominee Ethan Popp (Tina, The Tina Turner Musical) serving as Music Supervisor and General Management by Bespoke Theatricals.

Based on the 1987 classic Warner Bros. film, with a story by James Jeremias and Janice Roberta Fischer, The Lost Boys, A New Musical will be produced by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. Mark Kaufman and Lauren Shuler Donner are serving as Creative Consultants for the project.

The Rescues are known for their breathtaking harmonies and unforgettable songs. They released their major label debut “Let Loose The Horses” on Universal Republic in 2010 to critical acclaim and have soundtracked memorable moments in every corner of music, film and television.

The Lost Boys, A New Musical marks the first collaboration of Broadway and film actors Carpinello, Chait and Golden Globe, Emmy & Tony nominee Wilson as producers.

The 1987 American supernatural horror-comedy, directed by Joel Schumacher and produced by Richard Donner, follows two teenage brothers who move with their divorced mother to the fictional town of Santa Carla, California, only to discover that the town is a haven for vampires.  The film won the award for Best Horror Film by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films; spawned a franchise that included two sequels and two comic book series.

A teenage vampire movie that was tawdry, pulpy and sexually charged, The Lost Boys was a critical and commercial success and has since achieved cult classic status by transcending the genre with its unique blend of horror and comedy.  The film defined a new era within pop culture by shifting the depiction of vampires for a younger generation.  The Lost Boys was the last word in the 1980’s as a teen vamp angst coming-of-age story: physical transformation, sexual awakening, and experimentation.  The film appeals to multiple generations and inspired subsequent film and television projects like “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “True Blood” and “Twilight.”

 

“Ope thine ear.” The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey is a brave new hi fi 3D audio experience from immersive audio creators Knock at the Gate, designed for anywhere in the dark on a pair of headphones. Following the company’s critically acclaimed smash hit streaming events Macbeth: A Surround Sound Experiment and Caesar: A Surround Sound Experiment, Knock at the Gate’s third virtual audio-only production immerses listeners deeper than did ever plummet sound into the heart of Shakespeare’s tale of magic and miracles and the mysterious depths and shores of an enchanted island where a vengeful sorcerer is conjuring his final spell.

Today, Knock at the Gate producers Joseph Discherand Sean Hudock announced its third immersive audio experience, The Tempest: A Surround Sound Odyssey, will be available to stream from Friday, February 16 through Friday, March 1 starring Hale Appleman (SyFy’s “The Magicians,” FX’s “American Horror Story”) as ‘Ariel,’ Tony® and Grammy® Award nominee Emily Skeggs (Broadway’s Fun Home) as ‘Miranda,’ Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle) as ‘Prospero,’ and Derek Wilson (Amazon’s “Gen V,” Hulu’s “Future Man”) as ‘Caliban.’

Tickets for the stream are $9.99 and are available for purchase at KnockattheGate.com. The broadcast is available worldwide on all internet connected devices with a dimmable screen and a pair of headphones. Audiences will receive a link and password to access the listening portal prior to the broadcast.

Rounding out the cast are Michael Daly, Sean Hudock, Greg Jackson, Maurice Jones, Raphael Nash Thomspon, Shane Taylor, Patrick Toon.

Soundscape is by Leigh Roberts. Associate Sound Designer is Kristina Tevdoradze. Sound Editor and Associate Sound Designer is Rider Q Stanton. Production Coordinator is Denise Cardarelli. Adapted & Directed by Joseph Discher.

Virtual seating takes place each night of the run February 16 through March 1. Streams begin at 8:00 PM ET and are available for 72 hours following.

Zoom talkbacks led by special guests including journalist and host of the popular Shakespeare’s Shadows podcast Emily Rome will take place throughout the run with further details to be announced on Knock at the Gate’s socials.

Ghostlight Records has announced the release of the cast recording for Harmony – the new Broadway musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman– on CD today, Friday, January 26. The album was released on digital and streaming platforms earlier this season. A special bonus track exclusive to the CD, “Where Does the Time Go?,” performed by Barry Manilow, was written for the first act but didn’t make it into the Broadway production. The CD also includes a full-color booklet with production photos, extensive liner notes and complete lyrics. Harmony is produced by Ken Davenport, Sandi Moran, and Garry Kief, featuring principal cast members Chip Zien as “Rabbi,” Sierra Boggess as “Mary,” Julie Benko as “Ruth,” Allison Semmes as “Josephine Baker,” Andrew O’Shanick as “Standartenfϋhrer,” and the Harmonists: Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, and Steven Telsey. The production will be performed at Broadway’s Barrymore Theatre (243 West 47th Street) through Sunday, February 4. The album is produced by Barry Manilow, with Lawrence Manchester serving as co-producer. To stream or download the album, or order the CD, please visit: barrymanilow.lnk.to/dB43j9DX

The Brooklyn Delicatessen (211 West 43rd Street in Times Square) honored the original Comedian Harmonists with a plaque unveiled by the stars who play the Harmonists in the Barry Manilow/Bruce Sussman musical Harmony, Danny Kornfeld, Sean Bell,  Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Steven Telsey and Blake Roman. They were also joined by other cast members, Stuart Zagnit, Matthew Mucha and Kate Wesler and all sampled the delicatessen’s famous Pastrami Sandwiches after the presentation .  Harmony tells the story of the famous singing group who were the toast of Germany in the late 1920’s and 30’s, with concerts, recordings and movies and their collision course with the Nazi regime which ended their fame.  The musical is playing at the Barrymore Theatre through February 4th.

Company XIV announces special Mardi Gras (February 13th) and Valentine’s Day (February 14th) events and Saturday Matinees at Cocktail Magique, a rarefied spectacle of luminescent libations and revelry such as the world has never seen. Behold a phantasmagoria of miracles of tantalizing charm and splendor at this mixological adventure of unprecedented majesty. The magic is brought to audiences by cast members Marley Armstrong, Onyx Noir, Kyle Rose, Rosebud, Nia Simone, Syrena, Adam Tabellija, Sam Urdang and Lydia Wilts.

Mardi Gras (February 13thStep into a world of enchantment and revelry at the shimmering Mardi Gras performance of Cocktail Magique by Company XIV. Don’t miss this unique soirée where artistry and libations intertwine for a night of unparalleled entertainment and indulgence. Mardi Gras party guests delight in unparalleled marvels with 50% off cocktails all night at the speakeasy bar. Let the magic of Mardi Gras unfold. 50% Off all cocktails.

Valentine’s Day (February 14thIndulge in a night of passion and enchantment steeped in opulence and magic. Discover an extraordinary evening of love and artistry at Company XIV’s Valentine’s Day performance of Cocktail Magique. Magique Luxe Couches at this performance are already sold out! Get tickets for this romantic celebration before it’s too late.

Saturday Matinees (February 24 to April 13, 2024)  Magical libations seamlessly blend with circus and burlesque for the ultimate post-brunch revelry. Elevate your weekend festivities with a 3pm Saturday matinee performance of Cocktail Magique by Company XIV. The perfect afternoon escape is enhanced with tipples and treats, served to all guests, and complement the prestidigitation on stage.

The Perfect Game: A Slam Dunk New Musical is making its Off-Broadway Premiere for a limited engagement at Theater Row, now through January 27, 2024. The Perfect Game features an original book, music and lyrics by John Grissmer, direction by Danny Salles (Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List), choreography by Ashley Marinelli (Stranger Sings), music direction by Matthew Stephens (The Body Politic), and arrangements & music supervision by Russ Kassoff (Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away). Tickets are now on sale at TheatreRow.org. For further information, visit PerfectGameMusical.com.

The Perfect Game: A Slam Dunk New Musical is a new musical comedy that weaves together the historic story of Jim Naismith, a young teacher who invests a new indoor game for the YMCA – basketball – with the modern day story of two basketball coaches, Nancy & Frank, who are struggling with personal and professional issues. Jim and his wife, Maud, enter the modern world to help the two coaches get back on track and rediscover their love of the game as they prepare for the big final match of the season.

Anthony Sagaria (Wicked, Disney’s Frozen) stars as basketball inventor, Jim Naismith, leading a company that includes David Beach (Something Rotten, It’s Only a Play), Tyler Belo (Hamilton Tour), Nick Bernardi (Annie Tour), Milena J. Comeau (The Outsiders), Jesse Lynn Harte (Legally Blonde Tour), Akina Kitazawa (New York, New York), Alec Ludacka (Kinky Boots Pittsburgh CLO), Steve McCoy (Spamalot Tour), Lukas Poost (Unlock’d), Elena Ricardo (Beautiful), Jamal Shuriah (Shout Sister Shout Ford’s Theatre), Danielle J. Summons (Baby), Scott Whipple, and EJ Zimmerman (Les Misérables),

Red Bull Theater (Jesse Berger, Founder and Artistic Director; Martin Giannini, Executive Director) today announced the cast for the next offering of a new season of OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings: The Imaginary Invalid by Molière, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher (The Government Inspector, The Alchemist) and directed by Jesse Berger.This event will premiere live in-person at Florence Gould Hall at FIAF (55 East 59th Street) and simulcast online on Monday February 19th at 7:30pm. The recording will be available On-Demand from Tuesday, February 20th at 7:30 PM ET through Sunday, February 25th at 11:59 PM ET. This reading is produced in partnership with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).To purchase tickets for the in-person presentation, online simulcast or subsequent viewing, go to www.redbulltheater.com/the-imaginary-invalidFeatured in the cast will be Annaleigh Ashford (Sweeney Todd – Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance; You Can’t Take It With You – Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award; Kinky Boots – Tony nomination, Drama Desk nomination, Actors Equity Clarence Derwent Award; “Welcome to Chippendales” – Emmy nomination), Jordan Boatman (most recently seen off-Broadway in Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors; for Red Bull Theater: Volpone, or The Fox; The Niceties for Manhattan Theatre Club/McCarter/Huntington Theatre – Elliot Norton Award: Outstanding Actress), Will Brill (Broadway: Stereophonic – opening in April, Act One, You Can’t Take It with You, Oklahoma!; Off-Broadway: Stereophonic, A Case for the Existence of God — Drama Desk nomination; Tribes – Outer Critics Circle nomination; TV: Roy Cohn in “Fellow Travelers,” Noah Weissman in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Arnie Burton (for Red Bull: The Mystery of Irma Vep – Drama League nomination; The Government Inspector. Most recently: Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors; Broadway: Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps; Off-Broadway: Lewiston/Clarkston – Drama Desk nomination; Timon of Athens – Royal Shakespeare Company/Shakespeare Theatre Company/Theatre for a New Audience); Kelley Curran (for Red Bull: ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore – Actors Equity Joe A. Callaway Award, The Duchess of Malfi; TV: “The Gilded Age;” Broadway: Present Laughter; Off-Broadway: The Half-God of Rainfall – New York Theatre Workshop/American Repertory Theater; The Winter’s Tale – Theatre for a New Audience; Angels in America – Signature Theatre; The Dingdong – Drama League nomination), Mark Linn-Baker (for Red Bull: The School for Scandal;  The Clandestine Marriage, Tonight at 8:30; Broadway: The Music Man opposite Hugh Jackman, On the 20th Century, You Can’t Take It With You, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, A Year With Frog and Toad – Drama League nomination), Lorenzo Pisoni (Broadway: Equus, Henry IV; Humor Abuse – Drama Desk Award, Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award; The Explorers Club, Golden Age – Manhattan Theatre Club), and John Yi (Broadway: KPOP;  Soft Power – Center Theatre Group/Public Theater, Snow In Midsummer – Classic Stage Company).In Molière’s best loved comedy, Monsieur Argan is a notorious hypochondriac whose nonexistent illnesses blind him to the con men and women (his new wife) who prey on his fears to fatten their purses. His plan: marry his daughter to a doctor so he’ll have free round-the-clock on-site healthcare for the rest of his life. Newly translated by Mirabelle Ordinaire and adapted for Red Bull by Jeffrey Hatcher, The Imaginary Invalid  is a brilliant satire of doctors, lawyers, and would-be patients who take self-care to staggering levels of pathological solipsism.  A comic whirlwind of pills, lovers, therapies, disguises, vaccinations, impersonations, masks, mindfulness and miracle cures.

Revelation Readings offer the unique opportunity to hear rarely-produced classic plays, and brand new plays in conversation with the classics, performed by the finest actors in New York. This year’s slate of readings is sure to delight audiences all season long.

 

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

Broadway

Move Over Daisy Jones & The Six Stereophonic Has Taken Up The Gauntlet

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Daisy Jones & the Six is a hit series on Amazon Prime that follows a rock band in the 1970s from their rise in the LA music scene to becoming one of the most famous bands in the world. This was based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book of the same name and was partly inspired by Fleetwood Mac. Stereophonic is like binge watching episodes of this TV series, live on stage for three hours. 


Opening tonight, David Adjmi’s high drama play is set in a recording studio in Sausalito, California in 1976, until the last act when they record in LA. The set by David Zinn, has us inside the control room where we can see inside the sound booth. In the beginning, it is hard to hear the words as everyone is talking over each other. Sex, drugs especially coke, alcohol, cigarettes, joints, infidelity and music are what’s at stake and we are eavesdropping in.

Andrew R. Butler and Eli Gelb Photo by Julieta Cervantes

We first meet Grover (Eli Gelb), an untested producer who has lied to everyone about his credentials and his nerdy assistant Charlie (Andrew R. Butler), who are trying to keep the band who are very much like Fleetwood Mac on track. On lead guitar and vocals, Peter (Tom Pecinka) a control freak, perfectionist, lead songwriter and vocalist who is emotionally abusive. He is in a nine year relationship with Diana (Sarah Pidgeon), also the lead singer who is insecure, neurotic, an up and coming songwriter, who very much like Riley Keough in Daisy Jones & the Six. From England are keyboardist and singer Holly (Juliana Canfield) who is stable, warm and going through a terrible marriage to bassist Reg (Will Brill), who is an addict in every sense of the word. And finally Simon (Chris Stack), a drummer who parties to the hilt, as his marriage falls apart due to the recording of the album going way over the time frame given.

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The question becomes; can this group of talented performers complete this album without killing each other or themselves? In the course of the 3+ hours, we start to really care about the outcome.

Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

In the meantime, we hear fragments and whole songs that are really well done. Tender, yearning ballads of hope and despair written by Will Butler highlight this slice of life. The songs become the feelings that are unexpressed.

Chris Stack and Will Brill Photo by Julieta Cervantes

The cast is incredible, with each one giving us a complete profile. Gelb and Butler give us comedic dazed and confused nerds, whose chemistry is infectious. Gelb’s character is so out of his depth, as he is forced to be the one to keep this gang together despite Pecinka egocentric narcissistic personality. Pidgeon and Pecinka are perfect as lovers tearing each other apart. Stack gives us loss that is heartbreaking. Canfield gives us layers in a role that could be lost but it is Brill who steals the show with his brilliant portrayal as a rock star who lives his life to access.

Juliana Canfield Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Juliana Canfield Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Enver Chakartash’s costumes, Tommy Kurzman’s wigs and hairstyling, Jiyoun Chang’s  lighting, and Ryan Rumery’s multidirectional sound are groovy and out a sight.

Tom Pecinka and Sarah Pidgeon Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Director Daniel Aukin keeps this chaos intact, as the music exacts its reward.

Tom Pecinka, Juliana Canfield and Sarah Pidgeon by Julieta Cervantes

The music is so good that Sony Masterworks Broadway will release an original cast recording produced by Playwrights Horizons where the show originally played and features the original songs by Academy Award® nominee and Grammy Award® winner Will Butler, formerly of Arcade Fire wrote. The digital album arrives May 10, 2024, with the physical CD release set for June 14. The Album is available for preorder now.

Stereophonic: Broadway’s Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th Street.

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Chip Zien Is Honored at Sardi’s and The Original Cast of Falsettos Unite

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The iconic Chip Zien was honored with his portrait at Sardi’s. Sierra Boggess roasted him to the hilt

Zien has spent almost 50 years on Broadway.


Zien was the Baker in the original 1987 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods filmed by the PBS.

The Baker’s Wife Joanna Gleason

In the 90’s he replaced Michael Jeter is Grand Hotel.

Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Alison Fraser, Mary Testa

In 1992 he was Mendel in the groundbreaking William Finn and James Lapine musical Falsettos. He appeared in all of the “Marvin Trilogy” musicals by Finn: In Trousers (1979), March of the Falsettos (1981), Falsettoland (1990) and Falsettos (1992).

Carolee Carmella

Alison Fraser

Gregg Edelman, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien,  Carolee Carmello, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser

Gregg Edelman, Barbara Walsh, Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Carolee Carmella, Mary Testa, Alison Fraser

In 1998 Zien was featured in another Finn musical A New Brain. He received a 1999 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for this role.

Anne Nathan and Mary Testa

He appeared in the Off-Broadway play Isn’t It Romantic by Wendy Wasserstein and was nominated for the 1984 Drama Desk Award, Featured Actor in a Play.

Gregg Edelman, Carolee Carmella, Christine Pedi

In 2005, Zien played the part of Goran in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway.

In 2007, Zien was a replacement in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables in the role of Monsieur Thénardier.

Richard Kind

From April 1 to June 19, 2011, Zien appeared in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The People in the Picture, which played at Studio 54 on Broadway.

Sierra Boggess

Zien appeared in the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Chip signing his portrait

In 1973, Zien made his television debut on an episode of Love, American Style. More guest roles followed. In 1981, he appeared on Ryan’s Hope and began a two-year run in Love, Sidney, then Reggie. He provided the voice of the title character in Marvel Comics’ Howard the Duck. Zien later starred on the short-lived CBS drama Shell Game in 1987.

Carolee Carmello, Joanna Gleason, CHip Zien

In the 1990s, Zien was part of the ensemble cast of the CBS sitcom Almost Perfect and had regular roles in the daytime soaps Guiding Light and All My Children, until 2001.

Stefano Da Frè, Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess

From 1999 to 2000, Zien had a recurring guest role on the CBS primetime drama Now and Again and  appeared repeatedly as Attorney Cromwell on Law & Order.

During the 2002–03 season, Zien was the announcer on daytime’s The Caroline Rhea Show, and in 2006, he appeared in the critically acclaimed film United 93 was in the vampire comedy film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead.

Joy Hermalyn

He was also in Caroline or Change on Broadway.

Bruce Sussman

Sierra Boggess, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld

Blake Roman, Steven Telsey,Sean Bell, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Zal Owen

His last show was Harmony, the musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. His role as the adult Rabbi, the last surviving Harmonist was hailed by the critic’s and audiences alike. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal.

It was so fitting that this prolific performer hang on these hallowed walls. Congregations this was well deserved.

Up Next for Chip Zien is Titanic at City Centers Encore series.

 

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Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman for Hamony at The Museum of Broadway

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On Thursday, April 18th, The Museum of Broadway located at 145 W. 45th Street, just east of Times Square, presented a brief A Cappella performance by The Comedian Harmonists played by Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Sean Bell and Zal Owen, welcoming remarks were made by Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway, Chip Zien the lead in Harmony was in attendance, as were Barry Manilow & Bruce Sussman.

The reason for this event was the unveiling of the Museum of Broadway’s Harmony-inspired window dedicated to The Comedian Harmonists.


In Berlin, 1927, The Comedian Harmonists were six remarkably talented young men form a singing group who become international sensations: They sold millions of records, starred in major motion pictures, and played the biggest theaters around the world. By 1935, they were never heard from again. What happened? That’s the extraordinary true story of Harmony that played on Broadway. Now The Museum of Broadway is keeping their memory alive.

Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

The Comedian Harmonists and Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway

Steven Telsey, Blake Roman, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Sean Bell and Zal Owen, and Chip Zien

 

 

 

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The Wiz Eases Back Onto Broadway

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There is much to love about the Broadway revival of The Wiz, which opened tonight at the Marquis Theatre. This beloved musical originally opened on Broadway in 1975, was made into film in 1978 and is back with a score by Charlie Smalls, that sparkles due to the orchestrations by Joseph Joubert and vocal arrangements by Allen René Louise. I love the Lalo Schifrin sound.

Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts Photo By Jeremy Daniel

Directed by Schele Williams and an updated book by Amber Ruffin, what this revival has is heart, what it is missing is style.

Deborah Cox


Now Dorothy (a terrific Nichelle Lewis, a newcomer making her Broadway debut) has moved to Kansas to live with her Aunt Em (Melody A. Betts, who shines as  the beloved Aunt, but isn’t evil enough as the wicked witch Evillene, due in part to the sound designer Jon Weston and costume designer Sharen Davis). Dorothy has lost her parents and apparently her dog (no Toto), is being bullied, feels lost and alone, until a tornado sends her hurling to Oz. Her house still kills the wicked witch of the East, but Dorothy is introduced to golden glittery Glinda (Deborah Cox), by Addaperle ( a vocal glorious Allyson Kaye Daniel). She is sent to meet the powerful Wizard (a phenomenally grounded Wayne Brady) to get back home. Along the way meets the scarecrow (Avery Wilson) in need of a brain, the tinman (Phillip Johnson Richardson) wanting a heart and a lion (Kyle Ramar Freeman) in need os some courage.

Avery Wilson, Nichelle Lewis, Phillip Johnson Richardson Photo By Jeremy Daniel

All shine in their performances and vocals though the sound design threatens to derails them. Ms. Cox who is gloriously in voice, is not well mic’d, nor is anyone else. I was in the sixth row and it was hard to hear and I really did want to as the vocals were terrific.

Wayne Brady and Emerald City Photo By Jeremy Daniel

The choreography, by JaQuel Knight, is clunky with numbers seeming not to gel with each other. Each number looks like it belongs in a different show. However the individual performances take the movement to levels that work. Mr. Wison’s scarecrow, is all limbs and displays his flexibility and acrobatic tricks to the nth degree. Mr. Richardson gives the tinman a heart with his soulful “What Would I Do If I Could Feel”. Freeman’s lion, is an amusing scaredy cat who breaks though.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Nichelle Lewis, Wayne Brady, Phillip Johnson Richardson, Avery Wilson wanting a heart and a lion Photo By Jeremy Daniel

Wayne Brady is a standout as The Wiz and I was wow’d by him.
Lewis is a find as the teenager trying to find herself. “Home”, is now the final song and she nails it making us fall in love with this revival despite it’s designer flaws.

The Oscar-winning production designer Hannah Beachler and costume’s look like they were designed on acid with no filter and no funding. The color choices and styles all look tacky. I really wanted to rip the tablecloth looking skirt off the lion and still do.

I have such fond memories of this show and I left with them intact. Sometimes things do not have to be perfect in order to shine.

The Wiz: Marquis Theatre, 210 W 46th Street, until April 18th.

 

 

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Barry Manilow, Bruce Sussman and More At The Museum of Broadway As Harmony Is Honored

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On Thursday, April 18th Barry Manilow, Bruce Sussman, The Comedian Harmonists Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman and Steven Telsey, as well as Company members including Chip Zien, Kate Wesler, Kyla Stone, Matthew Mucha, Stuart Zagnit, Zak Edwards, and more TBA will be at The Museum of Broadway to unveil a brand-new window display dedicated to the Broadway musical Harmony. Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman brought the long-forgotten story of The Comedian Harmonists, a German singing group of six young men whose fame was abruptly cut short by the rise of Nazism, to life in the 2023 hit Broadway musical Harmony.

The Museum of Broadway will honor their story with a dedicated window featuring exclusive items donated by Manilow and Sussman, and historical items dating back to the 1920s.

The program will include a special a cappella performance by the OBC Comedian Harmonists.

Harmony, featured an original new score by legendary Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award® winner Barry Manilow with lyrics and book by Drama Desk Award Winner, Bruce Sussman. Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle (The Music Man, Hello Dolly!), this timely and captivating rags-to-riches story lost to history came to dazzling life with a sensational cast of Broadway favorites.

Based on an unbelievable true story, the musical told the tale of the most successful entertainers you’ve never heard of. . . until Harmony. In the 1920s and 30s, The Comedian Harmonists sold millions of records, made dozens of films, and sold-out the biggest theaters around the world. Their heavenly harmonies and musical comedy antics catapulted these six talented young men from singing in the subway tunnels of Berlin to international superstardom.  What happened next was the story of Harmony.

The female-founded award-winning Museum of Broadway is the world’s first-ever permanent museum dedicated to the storied history and legendary artists, creators and stars of Broadway musicals and plays, past and present. Offering unrivaled “backstage” access, the Museum of Broadway goes behind-the-scenes to show guests of all ages how a Broadway show is made from conception to curtain call.  A one-of-its-kind entertaining and educational celebration of Broadway for the theatre enthusiast and insider alike, the Museum of Broadway transports visitors visually through centuries of time.  Experience a stunning, ever-evolving curation from the 1700s-present day one dazzling, unforgettable exhibit, costume, prop, rendering and rarity at a time. Through each piece, the Museum of Broadway honors the legacies of those who paved the way for today’s Broadway and the next generation of theatregoers and creators.

Founded in November 2022, the Museum of Broadway highlights more than 500 showstopping and hidden gem productions across three floors of exhibits.  Open seven days a week and welcoming thousands of guests weekly from all over the world, the museum also offers free educational programming, special events with your favorite Broadway casts and creatives, a membership program, merchandise from your favorite shows, and so much more. A portion of proceeds from every ticket sold is donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Be sure to follow @MuseumofBroadway on all social channels for the latest artifact drops, special offers, events and happenings and visit themuseumofbroadway.com to complete your perfect day on Broadway.

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