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Theatre News: The Music Man, Harmony, Take Me Out, Charitybuzz and Birthday Candles

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photo by Julieta Cervantas

The producers of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man are proud to announce that a limited number of standing room tickets will be available for every performance beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, May 17. Starring two-time Tony Award®, Grammy Award®, and Emmy Award®-winning star Hugh Jackman as Professor Harold Hill and two-time Tony Award winner Sutton Foster as Marian Paroo, The Music Man is directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle.

A limited number of tickets will be available for same-day purchase, subject to availability, beginning 2 hours before performances at the box office of the Winter Garden Theatre for $76 each. Limit 2 tickets per customer.

Barry Manilow and Cast – Photo courtesy of DKC O&M

Bruce Sussman and Cast – Photo courtesy of DKC O&M

Last night, Off-Broadway saw the closing night of the new musical Harmony at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene (NYTF). Joining the cast on stage at the curtain call were the creators, Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, along with the director/choreographer Warren Carlyle. The evening also celebrated the announcement of the original cast recording, which was recorded this past weekend. Surprising the audience, Manilow appeared on stage with his co-creators and said, “I’m Barry Manilow…the Composer,” and the house went wild. Cheers also erupted when mentions were made of the show transferring to a larger Broadway stage by a team of commercial producers led by Ken Davenport, with Sussman saying, “I’d like to think of today as only the end of the beginning!”

The Tony-nominated Best Revival, Take Me Out, will host a special post-show talkback on Tuesday, May 17 featuring members of the cast; Billy Bean, one of only two Major League Baseball players to come out as gay; as well as sports journalists Howard Bryant and Kat O’Brien.  The panel, moderated by Ken Davidoff, will explore themes of the play, real world experiences, and what has –or hasn’t — changed since the premiere production in 2002. All ticket holders for that evening’s performance are welcome to stay for the free discussion.

This May, ahead of the 75th Annual Tony Awards, Charitybuzz, the leading impact marketplace for people to live out their wildest dreams while supporting great causes, has announced their biggest live theater initiatives yet, theBroadway Curtain Up Auction, full of once in a lifetime Broadway experiences, and the Broadway’s Biggest Fan Giveaway, which grants one lucky winner the ultimate Broadway getaway.

The Broadway: Curtain Up Auction and Sweepstakes support the remarkable revitalization of Broadway as it continues its triumphant return, engaging the Charitybuzz community of philanthropic supporters in this massive effort to benefit important causes, performing artists, and theatrical organizations and celebrates the positive social activism efforts of the community at large with auction lots of all sizes and types.

The Broadway Curtain Up Auction shines a spotlight on how powerful we are when we come together: stars and shows donating their time, fans and supporters bidding high, and Charitybuzz providing unforgettable experiences for everyone involved.

Broadway’s Biggest Fan Giveaway grants one lucky winner the ultimate Broadway experience: 1 week, 8 shows, plus once-in-a-lifetime bonus events like dinner at a trendy Times Square restaurant (where you’re bound to bump into theater people), a meet and greet with a star, autographed merchandise, and sit-downs with theater makers and more, complete with travel and accommodations.

This sweepstakes is all to support one of the organization’s that continues to support so many of the theater industry’s members: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. BC/EFA is the philanthropic heart of Broadway, helping ensure those affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other life-threatening illnesses nationwide receive medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance; awarding annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

 “Broadway was drastically affected by the pandemic, and our non-profit partners have been the ones unrelenting, creative and consistent in their support of the people who bring these shows to life,” said Charitybuzz CEO Ben Erwin. “As excitement builds for the return of Broadway and other live events, we’re seizing on the opportunity to raise funds for these organizations that have done so much for the community. This campaign will bring fans the memorable experiences they’ve been waiting for and bring charities the ever-important funding they need to drive impact.”

Debra Messing in Roundabout Theatre Company’s BIRTHDAY CANDLES. Photo by Joan Marcus, 2022

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) will conclude the New York premiere of Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle, starring Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, directed by Vivienne Benesch on Sunday, May 29.

Birthday Candles stars Debra Messing as “Ernestine,” Enrico Colantoni as “Kenneth,” Tony Award nominee John Earl Jelks as “Matt/William” with Crystal Finn as “Joan/Alex/Beth,” Susannah Flood as “Alice/Madeline/Ernie,” and Christopher Livingston as “Billy/John.”

At the time of closing, Birthday Candles will have played 27 preview performances and 56 regular performances. Previews began March 18, 2022 and opened officially on April 10, 2022 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).

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

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Richard M. Sherman Songwriter for Mary Poppins and Jungle Book Passes On

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Richard M. Sherman, was a nine-time Academy Award nominee along with his brother Robert. The Sherman Brothers wrote more than 200 songs for some 27 films and 24 television productions. Their film credits include Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, Summer Magic tv, The Sword in the Stone, That Darn Cat!, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, The Happiest Millionaire, The Aristocats, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

The won two Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, taking home the trophies for Best Score – Substantially Original and Best Original Song (for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”). They won three Grammy awards and received 24 gold and platinum albums and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the US National Medal of the Arts in 2008.

They also wrote the score on Broadway for Over Here.

The brothers were portrayed in the 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks, which told the story behind the making of Mary Poppins.

Sherman died of age-related illness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills. His brother Robert died in 2012.

 

 

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 2

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Yesterday we gave you part 1 of The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts 111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

In this part Steve Guttenberg gives the award to Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: Jay O. Sanders – Primary Trust


Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical:
 Andrew Durand  Dead Outlaw

Current President David Gordon introduced Andrea Martin who gave away the awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Jessica Stone – Water for Elephants

A special award was given to Harry Haun longtime OCC member who served on the board as well.

Outstanding Choreography (Broadway or Off-Broadway):Justin Peck —Illinoise

And the tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play: William Jackson Harper, Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play: Primary Trust

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical: Dead Outlaw

Kelechi Watson presented the awards for Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kecia Lewis  Hell’s Kitchen

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Daniel Aukin – Stereophonic

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Musical: Kelli O’Hara  Days of Wine and Roses


Outstanding New Broadway Play:
 Stereophonic

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Outstanding New Broadway Musical: Suffs

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

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The Stars Showed Up Michael Greif at The New Dramatists Luncheon

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The New Dramatists Annual Spring Luncheon at the New York Marriott Marquis honored Michael Greif, the acclaimed director of not one but three shows playing on Broadway, Days of Wine and Roses, The Notebook and Hell’s Kitchen. Tony Award-winning producers Kevin McCollum and Stacey Mindich served as honorary co-chairs.

Michael Greif

Michael Greif

Christie Brown, Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James and Emily Morse

Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James

Michael Greif, Brian d’Arcy James

New Dramatists also presented the inagural Konecky Award, named for New Dramatists’ beloved Board President Isobel Konecky and her husband, renowned entertainment attorney Ron Konecky, recognizes those in the theatre and entertainment industry, who serve the field with passion, dedication, excellence, and leadership. The inaugural Konecky Award will be presented to Concord Theatricals.

Attending were:

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Joy Woods

Jordan Tyson

John Cardoza

Betsy Aidem

Will Brill

Rick Elice

Brian d’Arcy James

Michael Greif, Hannah Greif and David Greif

Adam Pascal, Michael Greif and Daphne Rubin-Vega

Members and Creatives of Hell’s Kitchen that includes-Susan Oliveras, Lily Ling, Tom Kitt, Camille A. Brown, Michael Greif, Kecia Lewis, Desmond Sean Ellington, Badia Farha, Kristoffer Diaz, Aaron Nicholas Patterson and Oscar Whitney Jr.

Ryan Vasquez

Kecia Lewis

Camille A. Brown

Kristoffer Diaz

Schele Williams, John Cardoza, Victoria Navarro, Geoffrey Ko, Dorian Harewood, Michael Greif, Maryann Plunkett, Jordan Tyson, Bekah Brunstetter, Katie Spelman and Kurt Deutsch

Schele Williams and Michael Greif

Priscilla Lopez

Jennifer Whyte, Steven Skybell, Tom Scutt, Rebecca Frecknall, Julia Cheng and Henry Gottfried

Priscilla Lopez and Michael Greif

Henry Gottfried

Tom Scuttt

Christine Ebersole and Michael Greif

Francis Benhamou

Steven Skybell

Jennifer Whyte

Julia Cheng

Michael Greif, Christine Ebersole, Priscilla Lopez and Doug Wright

Rebecca Frecknall

Eli Gelb

David Adjmi

Corey Stoll

Alison Luff

Isabelle McCalla

Amy Ryan

Amanda Green

Eden Espinosa

Sarah Pidgeon

Shoshana Bean

Quincy Tyler Bernstine

Michael Greif and Shoshana Bean

Justin Peck

Paula Vogel and Celia Keenan-Bolger

Juliana Margulies

Daryl Roth and Juliana Margulies

Jim Dale and Daryl Roth

Jim Dale, Daryl Roth and Juliana Margulies

Brody Grant

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga

Sarah Paulson

Leslie Kritzer

Shaina Taub and Leigh Silverman

Amber Iman

Nikki M. James

John Weidner

Jessica Hecht

Andrew R. Butler

Casey Likes

Grant Gustin

Sean Patrick Flahaven

Doug Wright

Bradley King

Jamie deRoy

New Dramatists

 

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC) Awards And You Are There Part 1

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The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), awards ceremony for the winners was held on Thursday, May 23, 2024, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center’s New York Public Library for The Performing Arts (111 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC).

Current President David Gordon and  Vice President Richard Ridge welcomed everyone. There were celebrity presenters and Tony Danza proved why he is a comedy star. The first award given out was to Outstanding Video/Projections: Peter Nigrini – The Who’s Tommy.

Danza also gave out the awards to Outstanding Orchestrations Marco Paguia – Buena Vista Social Club.

Outstanding Costume Design: Linda Cho – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Broadway Play: Jessica Lange – Mother Play

Receiving the John Gassner Award for New American Play (preferably by a new playwright): Oh, Mary! and a tie for Outstanding Lead Performer in an Off-Broadway Play (tie): Cole Escola left a video message.


Next to present was Montego Glover who gave Outstanding Featured Performer in an Off-Broadway Musical (tie) Judy Kuhn – I Can Get It For You Wholesale

and to Thom Sesma – Dead Outlaw

Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Score Shaina Taub – Suffs

Outstanding Scenic Design (tie): Paul Tate dePoo III – The Great Gatsby

Outstanding Lighting Design: Brian MacDevitt  The Outsiders

Outstanding Featured Performer in a Broadway Play: Kara Young – Purlie Victorious

Next up Steve Gutenberg gave awards to Outstanding Revival of a Play: Appropriate

Outstanding Sound DesignRyan Rumery – Stereophonic

Outstanding Solo Performance: Patrick Page – All the Devils are Here

Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current President David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Richard Ridge, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Cynthia Allen, Harry Haun, Dan Rubins, Janice Simpson and Doug Strassler. Simon Saltzman is President Emeritus & Board Member (Non-nominating) and Stanley L. Cohen serves as Financial Consultant & Board Member (Non-nominating). Lauren Yarger serves as the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony executive producer.

Tomorrow Part 2.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: On The Town For Fleet Week

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Fleet Week is upon us, so, attached is a drawing I did of Channing Tatum a few years ago for The Los Angeles Times. This was done for Hail Caesar! choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.

Hail Caesar!  is by Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, Fargo), starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.

Here is a video with Channing and the rest of the cast. Talk about a great Happy Memorial Day!

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