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Theatre News: The Great Gatsby, Ride the Cyclone, Adventurephile, Annie Live and The Wildness

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A new musical stage adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel The Great Gatsby, A New MusicalThe timeline for a pre-Broadway engagement will be announced shortly.

With lyrics by Grammy Award-nominated international rock star of Florence + the Machine Florence Welch and music by Florence Welch & Oscar and Grammy Award nominee Thomas Bartlett, The Great Gatsby, A New Musical will feature a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok and be directed by Olivier Award nominee Rebecca Frecknall. Jeanie O’Hare serves as Story Consultant.

Hannah Giannoulis and James Orange serve as Executive Producers. The production will be co-produced by Access Entertainment.

The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be one of the most popular and culturally significant books of all time. Published in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel set in the Jazz Age is the ultimate depiction of the American dream.

On of my favorite Off broadway musicals was Ride the Cyclone. Now Ghostlight Records has released in digital and streaming formats this little gem of a show. The show features book, music and lyrics by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell. The album is produced by Brooke Maxwell, who also serves as music director and conductor, and provides arrangements and orchestrations. Kevin McCollum (Six, Mrs. Doubtfire, Rent, Avenue Q, In the Heights, [title of show], The Drowsy Chaperone, Something Rotten!)and Morris Berchard (The Color Purple, Hand to God, Something Rotten!, Ragtime) serve as executive producers. Ride the Cyclone will be coming to theatres around the country. Sign up for news and updates at RideTheCycloneMusical.com. Starting today, customers who pre-order the digital album will immediately receive the track, “What the World Needs.” 

Keen Company Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein today announced the World Premiere of a newly commissioned audio play Adventurephile by Melissa Li and Kit Yan, beginning Friday May 21st at 7pm EST for FREE on your favorite podcasting apps like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more: search “Keen Company Hear/Now” wherever you listen!

Directed by Morgan Green, Adventurephile will feature Stephanie Mieko Cohen, Emiko Dunn, Kennedy Kanagawa and Zachary Noah Piser. Adventurephile will have sound design by Fan Zhang and musical direction by Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh.The audio play will be stage managed by Norman Anthony Small and audio engineered by Garrett Schultz.

Welcome to Adventurephile, the only podcast that takes listeners on unforgettable journeys to unexplored destinations. On this episode, we travel to an uninhabited island off the southern coast of China. This trip is going to be so good, it’s scary.

Annie is back but a live TV versions this Holiday Season. Bob Greenblatt and Neil Meron are producing for NBC.  Alex Rudzinski is the live TV director and executive producer Lear deBessonet will direct the performance. Sergio Trujillo will choreograph the production. Paul Tazewell will design the costumes and Jason Sherwood will handle the scenery.”

Casting has not announced.

In 2016 musical The Wildness premiered at Ars Nova. For one-night-only the cast members will reunite on May 26 at 7pm for a virtual reimagining. The theatrical indie-pop band Sky-Pony, including Tony nominees Lilli Cooper (Tootsie), Lauren Worsham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), and her husband, Kyle Jarrow (SpongeBob SquarePants) will appear. Additional cast members include David Blasher, Jeff Fernandes, Lindsey Ford, Sharone Sayegh, Jamie Mohamdein, and Kevin Wunderlich.

Billed as The (virtual) Wildness, a new event that takes place five years after the events of The Wildness. Sky-Pony’s indomitable Rock Fairy Tale cannot be stopped by social distancing. Their lush sound and cheeky style will surround and seduce you into a world of prophecies and forbidden temptations. Release your inner dragon on a raucous ride exploring faith, doubt and the wild space in between.

The (virtual) Wildness will take place on Zoom, and will welcome audience members to participate — further instruction to come.

For tickets and more information about The (virtual) Wildnessclick here.

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

Cabaret

Music News: Stereophonic, Aaron Tveit, Abby Mueller, Cheyenne Jackson, Lempicka, Reeve Carney, Rodgers & Hammerstein and The New Belters

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After starting previews to an extraordinary standing ovation this week, the season’s most critically acclaimed new play, Stereophonic, has dropped a brand-new music video of the hit song in the show, “Masquerade”, written by Academy Award® nominee and Grammy Award® winner Will Butler.

Direct from its smash hit world premiere engagement at Playwrights Horizons, David Adjmi’s Stereophonic is directed by Daniel Aukin and features songs by Will Butler, formerly of Arcade Fire. The highly anticipated Broadway production is currently in performances at the Golden Theatre (252 W 45th St) for 14 weeks only, and will officially open on Friday, April 19.

The music video was creative directed by Cameron Sczempka (Polymoth Productions). Director of Photographer was Hil Steadman.

Aaron Tveit

After incredibly high demand for his initial announcement, Broadway sensation Aaron Tveit, has extended his debut residency at Café Carlyle. Tveit’s captivating performances, characterized by his impeccable vocal talent and magnetic stage presence, have garnered widespread acclaim. With this extension, audiences will have another opportunity to experience the magic of Tveit’s musical artistry in the intimate setting of Café Carlyle, promising an unforgettable evening. The event will take place June 11 – 29, 2024 (previously June 18 – 29) at Café Carlyle in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (35 East 76th Street, at Madison Avenue).

54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents Abby Mueller on April 26-27, 2024 at 7pm. The performance on April 27 will also be streamed live. After her celebrated reign in Six, Abby Mueller (Broadway’s original Jane Seymour) makes her 54 Below and NYC solo concert debut! Previously seen on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Kinky Boots, this Drama Desk Award winner and Grammy nominee invites you on a musical journey from Carole to Adele, pop to American Songbook classics, and beyond.

She will be reunited with her OG Six “Ladies in Waiting” Kimi Hayes (guitar), Michelle Osbourne (bass) and Elena Bonomo (drums), led by Music Director Sharon Kenny. Special musical guests include Nasia Thomas (Caroline, or Change, Ain’t Too Proud), Yasmeen Sulieman (Shucked, Paradise Square), and Paris Nix (Hamilton, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)

Cheyenne Jackson

54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club and 2022 Tony Awards® Honoree for Excellence in the Theatre, is thrilled to welcome back star of stage and screen Cheyenne Jackson on September 23-29 at 8pm. Each night will feature a Broadway VIP, with Tony Award® winner Matt Doyle on September 23, Cheyenne’s Once Upon A Mattress co-star Nikki Renée Daniels on September 24, Tony Award® winner J. Harrison Ghee on September 25, Company star Claybourne Elder on September 27, Tony Award® winner and Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski on September 28, and Wicked star Jessica Vosk on September 29. The special guest on September 26 will be announced at a later date. Tickets can be purchased at 54below.org/CheyenneJackson. Mr. Jackson’s shows are scheduled at 8pm instead of the usual 7pm and will be the only show of the night to allow for an extended dinner hour and enhanced patron experience. Following the show, the bar will remain open for patrons who wish to linger and continue to enjoy the evening.

Sony Masterworks Broadway, Seaview, and Jenny Niederhoffer announce the forthcoming Original Broadway Cast Recording of Lempicka, the sweeping new musical with leading lady Eden Espinosa, celebrating the gripping true story of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka.  With music and lyrics by Matt Gould and Carson Kreitzer, the digital album arrives May 29, 2024 with the physical CD release set for July 5, and available for preorder now.

The album news follows the release of three tracks “Woman Is,” performed by Eden Espinosa; “Perfection,” with vocals by George Abud; and “Stay” performed by Amber Iman from Lempicka – the Musical (2022 Sessions) – listen here.

The creative team consists of Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (director), Carson Kreitzer (book, lyrics, and original concept), Matt Gould (book and music), and Raja Feather Kelly (choreography).

Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.

The cast of Lempicka is led by leading lady, Eden Espinosa as Tamara de Lempicka, with Amber Iman as Rafaela, Andrew Samonsky as Tadeusz Lempicki, George Abud as Marinetti, Natalie Joy Johnson as Suzy Solidor, Zoe Glick as Kizette, Nathaniel Stampley as the Baron, and Beth Leavel as the Baroness with Mariand Torres, Alex Aquilino, Lauren Blackman, Stephen Brower, Kyle Brown, Holli’ Conway, Abby Matsusaka, Jimin Moon, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Ximone Rose, Nicholas Ward, Veronica Fiaoni, Mary Page Nance, Julio Rey, and Michael Milkanin rounding out the company.

Tickets are now on sale at telecharge.com.

Screenshot

The Green Room 42 – the intimate concert venue dubbed Broadway’s “off-night hotspot” by The New York Times – will present a special two-part evening with Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carney, paying tribute to one of his greatest musical influences in “Reeve Carney Sings The Beatles,” on Monday, May 13 at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM. Performing two completely different sets, Carney will cover era-defining selections ranging from 1963’s “Twist and Shout” to 1970’s “Let It Be,” and everything in between. The recent star of Broadway’s Hadestown, Carney co-starred in Ridley Scott’s hit film House of Gucci, opposite Al Pacino, Lady Gaga, and Adam Driver.

“I love a good challenge,” says Reeve. “And what greater challenge, musically speaking, than to do my best to tackle one of my greatest influences? I grew up on the Beatles. They have always been my parents’ favorite band, and quickly became mine through wearing out cassette tapes from Please Please Me all the way to Let It Be on long car rides. They have served as a seemingly endless source of inspiration for me as a songwriter, as well as a recording engineer. While producing my solo album, Youth Is Wasted, I drew constantly upon them through obsessive auditory deep dive explorations of all of their astonishing records. I also immersed myself in books by both George Martin and Geoff Emerick, both of whom were at the helm of capturing The Beatles’ music. Their unparalleled prolificacy in the modern recorded music world has served as an inspiration to many of my other prominent influences. So it felt only natural for me to pay tribute to them in the way I have done with some of my other inspirations. When I sat down to put this set together, I quickly realized it would be a nearly impossible task to select only 10 or even 15 of my absolute favorites. So I am excited to present this as a two-part evening.”

Concord Theatricals Recordings announced that the 42-track live recording of My Favorite Things: The Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary Concert will be released on double CD and digital platforms worldwide on Friday, May 31. The star-studded new album is now available to preorder on CD HERE.

Celebrating the historic partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the album features iconic songs from The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma! and more, recorded live by stars of the stage and screen at the landmark December 2023 event in London.

In tandem with the album release, a condensed version of the filmed concert will premiere on PBS as a part of their “Great Performances” programming on May 31. Learn more HERE.

The concert was headlined by recent R&H leading lady Joanna Ampil (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific); two-time Olivier Award®  winner Michael Ball; television, film and stage actor Daniel Dae Kim; four-time Olivier Award®  winner Maria Friedman; Emmy®, two-time GRAMMY®  and six-time Tony Award®  winner Audra McDonald; Olivier Award®  nominee Julian Ovenden; West End sensation Lucy St. Louis; Tony Award®  winner Aaron Tveit; two-time Olivier Award®  nominee Marisha Wallace; and two-time Tony®, two-time Golden Globe®  and Emmy Award®  nominee Patrick Wilson. Also featured are Anna-Jane Casey, Lily Kerhoas, Jonny Labey, and Jordan Shaw, among others.

The performance featured the 40-piece Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert Orchestra, conducted by music supervisor Simon Lee, with stage direction by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Christopher Gattelli and associate choreography by Simon Hardwick.

54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents Seth Sikes and Nicolas King in The New Belters Sing MGM on Monday, April 22 at 7:00 PM. Acclaimed jazz pianist Billy Stritch will music direct the evening, a brand-new show celebrating music from the golden age of MGM. This vast and iconic catalog includes songs from the films Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, and many more. Under the musical baton of Stritch, Sikes and King will deliver a powerhouse performance that promises to capture the glitter and magic of the golden age of Hollywood, and bring it into the next generation.

The swinging American Songbook is the specialty of these performers, and the duo has been touring the country with their debut show, The New Belters.

Seth Sikes is one of New York’s popular young nightclub entertainers and a regular at 54 Below. His critically acclaimed tributes to Judy Garland (which have won two BroadwayWorld Awards), Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand and others are a consistent draw for audiences. Sikes was also Associate Director on the multiple Tony Award-winning musical The Band’s Visit and many other productions. During the pandemic he made numerous musical video parodies set on Fire Island that were widely viewed.

Nicolas King is an award-winning artist who’s been belting out tunes since he was 4-years-old, having been seen in dozens of TV commercials, and numerous times on Broadway opposite Tom Selleck, Carol Burnett, Linda Lavin and Andrea McArdle. King was the longest running Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. He toured the country as Liza Minnelli’s opening act, and has performed on stages all over the world from Carnegie Hall to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

The New Belters Sing MGM plays 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Monday, April 22 at 7:00 PM.

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

OJ DOA — Perhaps the Drudge Report (yes, the Drudge Report) had the most fitting headline: Cancer Murders OJ.

Yesterday’s news came as a huge surprise at 11:00 AM. For me, firstly, I couldn’t quite believe it was almost 30 years since that trial. When the verdict came in, I was at The Conservatory restaurant in the long-gone, much missed Mayflower Hotel. It was packed and when the verdict was announced there was a minute or two of dead-silence, then gasps. One of the most surreal moments I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t a huge sports fan -never have been- but I knew a lot about OJ. Face it, he was an icon And when the murders happened; the Bronco-chase; and trial … it was just extraordinary. His rise and fall was an amazing tale. It was also a major story for all the entertainment outlets. Journalists essentially moved to LA for the 9-month trial. It was, to my mind, the first trial of its kind.

CNN showed some of the reactions from then: then audience reaction at the Oprah Winfrey show was a mixed bag. Some cheered as Winfrey stood stone-faced. The reaction of OJ’s lawyers were interesting too; Robert Khardashian looked shell-shocked, while Cochran and Robert Shapiro  hugged OJ.

As Wolf Bltizer just said: these are moments one will never forget.

We think we know what happened … but now, we’ll never know for sure. An american tragedy for sure.

YES Photo by Gottlieb Bros

YES’ PURPLE — (via Ultimate Classic Rock) Deep Purple and Yes will team up for a North American summer tour.

The trek begins on Aug. 14 in Hollywood, Florida, and concludes on Sept. 8 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday.

Deep Purple is in the midst of their 1 More Time tour and simultaneously celebrating 50 years of “Smoke on the Water” (52 years now, to be exact). The band recently released a super deluxe edition of its landmark album Machine Head, which includes classics such as “Smoke on the Water,” “Highway Star” and “Space Truckin’.”

Yes, meanwhile, will deliver a career-spanning set comprising material through their latest album, 2023’s Mirror to the Sky. The prog legends are also releasing an expanded anniversary box set of their 1994 album Talk next month.

52 years of “Smoke On The Water.” A classic if there ever was one. Every time I hear it on the radio, I start singing along. Talk about staying power! I saw Yes years ago and it was quite the show; with Chris Squire too.

There are a slew of legacy artists out for the summer and deservedly so. They may not generate the ink of a Beyonce or Jennifer Lopez, but their impact is still there.

Hubert Laws

SHORT TAKES — CTI Records. Remember them? It was producer Creed Taylor’s boutique label which released some of the most dynamic and interesting jazz-records in the 70’s and 80’s (SONY owns them now). From Airto to Milt Jackson; Deodato; Bob James; Jim Hall and Hubert Laws, the music was just terrific. Originally distributed by Herb Alpert’s A&M Records, they went independent and continued with some of the best jazz recordings ever. Even before you listened to the music, all the albums had a deluxe-cover; with some startling images. Check this piece out about their album covers from Medium: https://medium.com/@slishpogodi/cti-records-the-best-album-covers-cdac2e16c534 … 50 years of People Magazine. Rumors spread last year that the weekly was on its last legs.

Mia Farrow

Their first issue was in 1974 with Mia Farrow on the cover …

David Kramer

Director David Kramer won for ‘Best Documentary’ at last week’s NYFF event for his Jimi Hendrix: The Documentary. Congratulations

Coopstock

Coopstock is this weekend in Mesa, Arizona. Guests include Micky Dolenz; REO’s Kevin Cronin; Orianthi; Patrick Warburton; and of course, Alice Cooper himself … Hard to believe that director Todd Phillips, who directed The Hangover, did the first Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix. It was just startling in every way and now the follow-up is about to come out with Phoenix and Lady Gaga; introduced as Harley Quinn. One trade already termed it a jukebox musical. Stylish for sure it looks just sensational and is one of the best trailers I’ve seen in quite some time. Here’s it is: https://variety.com/2024/film/news/joker-2-trailer-joaquin-phoenix-lady-gaga-1235957692/
… Here’s the trailer of Disney+’s Beach Boys doc.  Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimny – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Rspu3Xoi4 …  And, this week’s New York Magazine cover heralds the history of NYC through its restaurants. I was ready to see Tortilla Flats; La Cote Basque; Schraffts; Mortimers; Trader Vic’s; and Fontana Di Trevi. Turns out, it’s memories from people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who worked at The Coffee Shop and Keith McNally, who shucked oysters at One Fifth. Honestly, I expected a bit more depth. Great idea; lousy execution.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Toni Basil; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mitch Dolan; Barry Nolan; Robert Lamm; Jacqueline Boyd; Wayne Avers; Tyorne Biljan; Michelle Toscas; Fred Zarr; Abbe Rosenfeld; Shep Pettibone; Tony Darrow; Robert Funaro; Angel Mastrogiorgio; Ellen Smith; Howard Bloom; Jane Berk; Jack Cunningham; and CHIP.

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Cabaret

Patti LuPone A Life Well Sung

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Caricature By Ken Fallin

“Music is a gift, and has a power to crystallize a moment. This is my life in music — so far.”

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

Nothing could have been said, that would have been truer for three-time Tony winner Patti LuPone, who returned to Carnegie Hall last night for her fifth solo concert.

“I wrote a memoir 15 years ago, but I kept going, so there’s more story to tell.” Starting off with Leon Russell’s “Song For You.”

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

This was not the concert I was expecting, but was entranced by Ms. LuPone’s skillful storytelling that was immersed in heart and soul. Conceived and directed by Tony winner Scott Wittman, LuPone’s latest act is written by Jeffrey Richman. Act One was filled with teen angst and tragedy, with songs like “Come On-A My House,” Summertime Summertime“ and “Ebb Tide,” brought us back to Patti’s youth, 1958 and Long Island were she was born and grew up.

Like a typical teenager boys and crushes dominated her mind. In We Kiss In A Shadow” from The King and I Patti gives her memories of kissing posters on her wall into the real thing with “Teen Angel,” and “Town Without Pity”

It was lovely to hear Marc Blitzstein’s “I Wish It So” and  “Some People,” from the musical Gypsy. In these sections Patti allows the emotions of her feeling to dominate while release that fabulous belt that is unbeatable. LuPone is backed by music director, music supervisor and pianist Joseph Thalken and the phenomenal string instrumentalist Brad Phillips, who has multiple instruments at his beck and call adding yet another layer.

A tender “Lilac Wine,” “Alfi“ and “Saratoga Song” gave us falling for the wrong men, doing Summerstock and again more men. Patti definitely had a good time, then there was the until heartbreaking “Man That Got Away,” that rivaled Ms. Garland. (I know sacrilege!) A standing ovation, the first of many.

She closed the First Act with “Those Were The Day,” which was a powerful statement with Ms LuPone’s vocal and acting chops at play.

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

The second Act began with “On Broadway.” The line I won’t last too long was made powerful with a growled Ha! Ms. LuPone looked stunning in glittery silver an Oscar de la Renta gown.

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

A riveting  “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” was performed with only Phillips on an acoustic guitar making this sound lush and even more powerful than when she originally sang it. Of course a standing ovation followed. “I Dreamed a Dream,” was plaintive and the heartbreaking earnings yet another standing ovation. LuPone won her third Tony Award in the 2021 revival of Company with “The Ladies Who Lunch” and proved why. I stood up for that. All in all this was a 15-minute masterclass in how to sell a song while making it your own.

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

LuPone has the ability to completely immerse herself in a song and draw you in, as lyrics wash over you. She did this with Janis Ian’s “Stars.”

A moving tribute to those we lost to AIDS mashed up “Anything Goes” and “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.” Cole Porter would have been thrilled to have heard these together.

With Covid Patti started to cherish time, especially that she spent with her husband and son. “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” “Time After Time,” and “Make You Feel My Love,” were dedicated to them.

Bridget Everett and Patti LuPone Photo By Chris Lee

Leiber and Stoller’s “Ready to Begin Again” led to the arrival of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and Somebody Somewhere star Bridget Everett. It was lovely seeing the two stars belting it out and having a blast. How truly kind and generous to give all those young people a chance to sing on the Carnegie Hall stage.  Bob Dylan “Forever Young,” was joyously embodied.

Young People’s Chorus of New York City Bridget Everett and Patti LuPone Photo By Chris Lee

For an encore The Beatle’s “In My Life” and a reprise of “Those Were the Days” had the audience leaving the theatre singing joyously and knowing they had just witnessed a master’s artistry, and a magical New York night.

Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes also featured spectacular lighting design by John Hastings and a clear sound design by Mark Fiore.

You can see Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes in San Francisco, LA, Washingto DC, CT and Australia. To see the dates click here.

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The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

RINGO’S COUNTRY — (Via Forbes) Ringo Starr had a very busy 2023. He released a new EP, toured, and even reunited with Paul McCartney to produce one last Beatles single, “Now and Then.” One might assume that after so much activity, the 83-year-old might take some time off, but according to the musician himself, he’s still hard at work–and trying something new.

In a video he posted to X (formerly Twitter), Starr shared some very exciting news for his fans. It seems that he’s back in the studio working on new music. That would be enough to tantalize his still-massive following, but the kind of music he’s making is what caught the attention of many.

Starr shared in his video that he was “gonna do a country EP, but as things are unfolding, it’s probably going to be like a real CD—ten tracks.” He then laughed a bit to himself, adding, “Can you believe it? I haven’t done one of them in a long time.”

The beloved drummer last released a full-length album of original material in 2019 when What’s My Name arrived. That set was a minor commercial success, peaking at No. 99 in his home country of the U.K. and No. 127 in the U.S., where he remains very popular to this day.

Since his last album, Starr has been on a streak, releasing a number of EPs, or shorter collections. In the five years since What’s My Name, the drummer has dropped four EPs, as well as a number of singles, live collections, and more. He most recently returned with Rewind Forward, which even saw him collaborating with McCartney again.

For the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a timetable for when fans may get to hear Starr’s take on country. While he may be working on the material, there’s no telling what exactly it will sound like or when he’ll decide to release something.

In addition to a country collection, Starr also detailed yet another project he’s working on. The former Beatle and songwriter and producer Linda Perry have collaborated on another EP, titled Crooked Boy. That set seems to be his focus at the moment, and it will likely be released before any country tunes. About his friend and producer, Starr commented, “She wrote the songs for me. She produced them. She’s a beauty, so musical,” and said that she “has a great vibe.”

Jackie Chan

CHAN ALERT — (Via Deadline) Jackie Chan has reassured fans that he is in good health after a picture of him with gray hair and a beard sparked concerns for his well-being.

The Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Tuxedo star turned 70 over the weekend and marked the occasion with a post on Instagram in which he addressed health fears.

“Not so long ago, a lot of friends saw some recent photos of me on the internet, and they were all concerned about my health,” Chan said.

“I want to take this opportunity to let everyone know, don’t worry! It’s just a character appearance for my latest movie. The character requires me to have white hair, white beard and look old.”

The viral photos were from an event where Chan was on stage with a microphone. He was wearing glasses and clutching papers.

Last November, Chan was cast in a new Karate Kid movie. He will play Mr. Han, the kung fu master who helped Jaden Smith fend off bullies in Sony’s 2010 Karate Kid remake.

In his Instagram message, the Hong Kong actor said he has cherished every moment of his 62 years in the entertainment industry. “All I can say is: I love making movies and I love you all,” Chan said.

SHORT TAKES — Last week were several top-secret screenings for the new Francis Ford Coppola movie Megalopolis. Per an article in yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter, many attendees found it impossible to position. I haven’t seen it, but how can you deny the director’s importance? That said, I knew one person who went to one of the screenings and he has yet to render an opinion on it. Check out the Reporter piece: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/megalopolis-francis-ford-coppola-challenges-distribution-1235867556/

Benson Boone

Just caught Benson Boone on Tuesday’s Today Show, performing his song “Beautiful Things.” The 21-year-old reminded me of Tony Manero (Saturday Night Fever) during the short interview with Savannah, Hoda and Carson, but the song was pretty good. He gained prominence through his work on Tik Tok and Dan Reynolds’s acknowledgement – from Imagine Dragons. Check him out here: https://www.bensonboone.com/

Micky Dolenz at the Troubadour

Here’s one more great shot of Micky Dolenz’s from his triumphant show at LA’s Troubadour

People of a certain age will well recall John Hughes’ 1985 masterpiece The Breakfast Club. Certain things age well … others don’t. Check out Molly Ringwald’s take on that movie now from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2024/04/molly-ringwald-the-breakfast-club-elements-havent-aged-well-judd-nelson-character-1235877597/comment-page-2/#comments  … Anybody out there remember Lou O’Neill at the NewYork Post back in the day? …

Savannah Sellers

Can’t see to find Chloe Melas on Today anymore. Sad, but she clearly not the right move.; their Savannah Sellers is a much, much better fit …

Watched the Gershwin Awards honoring Elton John and Bernie Taupin on PBS. Brandi Carlisle performing “Madman Across The Water” is just amazing. Great show. Congratulations … More Sly Stallone news. All I can say is, I am NOT surprised: https://deadline.com/2024/04/tulsa-king-casting-director-quits-sylvester-stallone-accused-criticizing-background-actors-1235878860/ … Here’s the trailer for the biopic on Amy Winehouse from Focus Features. Looks pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYzIOBwyhIU  … Happy Bday Robin Platzer!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Terry Jastrow; Dina Pitenis; Mark Bego; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Roy Trakin; Len Berman; Felix Cavaliere; Jane Blunkell; Pete Bennett; May Pang; Ken Dashow; Craig Newman; Jeffrey Sherman; Stu Fine; Mitch Kanner; Eppy; Al Steckler; Dan Richter; Tony King; Derek Taylor; Tyrone Bijan; Michelle Toscas; and ZIGGY!

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Broadway

Theatre News: OCC Nominations, Our Town, Hadestown, Romeo and Juliet, Here We Are, Hello Girls and Hell’s Kitchen 

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Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff and Lindsay Mendez will announce the 2024 73rd Outer Critics Circle nominations on April 23 at 3:30 p.m. at the Museum of Broadway. The OCC awards ceremony will take place on May 23. Radcliffe, Groff and Mendez were all nominated for the 2022 Off-Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along, with Groff and Mendez winning for Lead Performer and Featured Performer, respectively, in an Off-Broadway Musical.

Now here’s a revival that is star studded. Jim Parsons, Ephraim Sykes, Zoey Deutch, Katie Holmes and more will lead the revival of Our Town. This will star 28 actors of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon will direct the show, which starts first-preview date of September 17 and an opening night of Oct. 10 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Four-time Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons is the Stage Manager, with Tony and Grammy Award nominee Ephraim Sykes as George Gibbs and Zoey Deutch as Emily Webb. The company will also feature Katie Holmes as Mrs. Webb, Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Richard Thomas as Mr. Webb, Tony nominee Michelle Wilson as Mrs. Gibbs, Billy Eugene Jones as Dr. Gibbs, Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient Julie Halston as Mrs. Soames and Donald Webber Jr. as Simon Stimpson. Rounding out the cast will be Ephie Aardema, Heather Ayers, Willa Bost, Bobby Daye, Safiya Kaijya Harris, Doron JéPaul, Shyla Lefner, Anthony Michael Lopez, John McGinty, Bryonha Marie, Kevyn Morrow, Hagan Oliveras, Noah Pyzik, Sky Smith, Bill Timoney, Matthew Elijah Webb and Nimene Sierra Wureh. Two additional actors will be announced at a later date

Hadestown launches singing sweepstakes for their 5th Anniversary celebration! Until  Tuesday, April 9th, fans can upload a video of themselves singing a song from the show for a chance to win a custom Gibson guitar, two tickets to attend Hadestown on the eve of the show’s 5th anniversary, and two tickets to attend an exclusive 5th anniversary celebration with the Hadestown company, past and present, on Tuesday, April 16. Audience Rewards will host a lottery allowing fans to win a chance to attend the one-night-only 5th anniversary celebration in New York City on Tuesday, April 16th.

Tom Holland in Romeo & Juliet, directed by Jamie Lloyd will head to Broadway after its London run. The Spider-man star, starred in Billy Elliot The Musical as a boy sold tickets out in under two hours. Francesca Amewudah-Rivers is Juliet. Amewudah-Rivers previously appeared in two seasons of BBC series Bad Education and three short films. She has stage experience in productions at the Globe and Lyric Hammersmith among other venues and is making her West End debut.

Concord Theatricals Recordings announced today that the original cast recording of Here We Are, David Ives and Stephen Sondheim’s critically-acclaimed new musical, will be released on CD and digital platforms worldwide on Friday, May 17. The album will be available on 2-LP, 180g baby blue vinyl on Friday, September 6.

You can preorder the album on CD and vinyl HERE.

The album will feature the cast of Joe Mantello’s celebrated world premiere production: Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannavale, Micaela Diamond, Amber Gray, Jin Ha, Rachel Bay Jones, Denis O’Hare, Steven Pasquale, David Hyde Pierce and Jeremy Shamos.

Watch a sneak preview from the recording session HERE.

“This show is Steve’s final gift to us all, a brilliant, hilarious and always inventive collaboration with playwright David Ives and director Joe Mantello, performed by an incredible cast and band,” said Flahaven and Rosenfield. ”It was a privilege and genuine pleasure to record it.”

Here We Are (Original Cast Recording) has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, and music supervision and additional arrangements by Alexander Gemignani, conducting a 14-piece orchestra. The album was recorded and mixed by Ian Kagey and mastered by Oscar Zambrano. The album packaging was designed by Derek Bishop.

Prospect Theater Company (Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director; Melissa Huber, Managing Director) will present two special concert presentations of their hit musical The Hello Girls: Tony Award Honor recipient Ben Davis (New York, New York; La Bohème), Lisa Helmi Johanson (POTUS), Savy Jackson (Bad Cinderella), Asher Muldoon (Dear Evan Hansen), Laura Jean Spineti (The Oldenburg Suite), Matthew Weatherhead, and Kat Wolff will join the previously announced members of the world premiere actor-musician cast, including Ellie Fishman (Into the Woods) as ‘Grace Banker’, Arlo Hill (The Phantom of the Opera), Chanel Karimkhani (The Goree All Girl String Band), Andrew Mayer (The Great Comet of 1812), Ben Moss (OBIE Award, Oratorio for Living Things), and Lili Thomas (Chicago).

Original company percussionist Elena Bonomo (Six) and bass player Jordyn Davis will join the on stage ensemble of musicians. Fernanda Douglas will serve as Associate Music Director, and Kate Semmens as Assistant Director. Veronica Aglowis the Production Stage Manager, and Hollace Jeffords is the Assistant Stage Manager.

As previously announced, The Hello Girls will play Washington, DC for one night only on Tuesday, May 7th at 7:30pm in the Terrace Theater at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2700 F Street, NW), in a special staged concert presented by the Doughboy Foundation. Tickets, starting at $40, are now on sale and can be purchased at www.kennedy-center.org or www.prospecttheater.org.

The production will also receive a special one night only presentation as part of Prospect’s IGNITE Series in New York City on Sunday, May 12 at 6:30pm at the Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway, at 95th Street). Tickets, starting at $30 for students with ID (includes facility fee), are on sale now, and can be purchased at www.symphonyspace.org or www.prospecttheater.org.

The critically-acclaimed musical tells the story of the first women soldiers in the U.S. Army, who served on the front lines during World War I, acting as bi-lingual Signal Corps Telephone Operators. Deployed to France, they connected over 26 million calls and remained to assist during the post-war period, including at the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended the war. Colloquially known as the ‘Hello Girls’, over thirty of the women received individual commendations, including Grace Banker who received the Distinguished Service Medal. Despite their key role in the American combat effort, when they returned home the women learned that the War Department did not consider them military veterans. They fought for their rights valiantly until 1977, when congress finally acknowledged their veterans’ status.

The show features music and lyrics by award-winning composer Peter Mills, with script by Mills and Cara Reichel. Choreography is by Christine O’Grady and music direction is by Ben Moss, and the production is directed by Cara Reichel.

The Broadway premiere of the new musical Hell’s Kitchen, the new musical from 16-time Grammy® Award winner Alicia Keys, is now in performances and will officially open on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street.)

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