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Theatre News: Transport Group, AI Joins The Phantom of the Opera, Kelli O’Hara Sings for a Cause, Roundabout Theatre Company and Cyndi Lauper Celebrate and The DirectorFest Starts

Theatre News: Transport Group, AI Joins The Phantom of the Opera, Kelli O’Hara Sings for a Cause, Roundabout Theatre Company and Cyndi Lauper Celebrate and The DirectorFest Starts

Transport Group has announced that its annual A Toast to the Artist gala will honor former Transport Group executive director Lori Fineman and Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall with the Transporting American Theatre Award. The evening takes place Monday, April 6 at 6:30pm at Current, Pier 59 @ Chelsea Piers, and includes a cocktail party, seated dinner, performances, dessert reception, and silent and live auctions. The Transporting American Theatre Award recognizes significant contributions to the American Theatre. Past recipients of the Transporting American Theatre Award include Carmel Dean, Michael Starobin, Dick Scanlan, Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Michael John LaChiusa, Gretchen Shugart, Barbara Whitman, Beth Williams, Sue Frost, Christian Borle, Paul Huntley, Douglas Carter Beane, Lewis Flinn, A.R. Gurney, Liz Smith, Barbara Frietag, Terrence McNally, and Joe Mantello among others. Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased at transportgroup.org.

Broadw.ai, the leading AI platform solution for Broadway shows, announced today that The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running musical in Broadway history, has launched a new skill for Amazon Alexa, providing fans a new, voice-forward way to engage with the Broadway production. For the first time, through an integration with Amazon Pay and Telecharge, customers can search for and purchase tickets entirely by voice.

“We have always prioritized new ways of engaging fans and selling tickets,” said David Andrews, Senior Vice President, Shubert Ticketing. “Working with Amazon and Broadw.ai, we’ve launched a completely new sales channel for our millions of Broadway fans.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with The Phantom of the Opera to help create engaging, seamless experiences for their fans,” said Micah Hollingworth, Co-Founder and CEO of Broadw.ai. “In today’s fast-paced world, it is crucial for shows to have a way to converge and engage with guests instantaneously across multiple communications channels.”

Young (SAY.org) is thrilled to announce that legendary Broadway star Kelli O’Hara will be returning to Irvington, NY, for an enchanting solo concert to benefit SAY.  The concert will take place on  Thursday, January 16th, 2020 at the Irvington Theater (85 Main Street, Irvington, NY), in Westchester County, a short train ride from New York City. 

The benefit performance will feature Ms. O’Hara, one of Broadway’s greatest leading ladies, in a special, intimate evening of song and celebration, featuring Broadway favorites, standards, new musical theater selections, and more! Kelli is an avid supporter of SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young (www.say.org), hosting their Annual Benefit Gala each spring, sharing the stage with the kids of SAY often, and always going above and beyond to advocate for these inspiring young people. Proceeds from this special benefit concert will support families-in-need, and help SAY underwrite over $1,500,000 in Programming Costs and Financial Assistance this year.

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) announces Tony, Grammy & Emmy Award winner Cyndi Lauper will join the 2020 Gala evening celebrating Tony Award winner and longtime friend Alan Cumming with The Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre, and Michael Kors & Lance Le Pere with The Ovation Award for Excellence in Philanthropy. This year’s gala “The Life of the Party” is set for Monday, March 2 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. Lauper will perform a unique concert created exclusively for the special occasion.

Roundabout is thrilled to welcome back Cyndi Lauper, following her acclaimed run in The Threepenny Opera at Studio 54 in 2006, alongside Alan Cumming. With a career spanning more than 40 years, Lauper has released eleven studio albums, sold more than 50 million albums and 20 million singles. Her album She’s So Unusual (1983) was the first debut album by a female artist to achieve four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and she was the first woman to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score for Kinky Boots. She has won awards at the Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, MTV Video Music Awards, Billboard Awards, and American Music Awards, and is an inductee into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She has been celebrated for her humanitarian work, particularly as an advocate for LGBT rights in the United States.

Alan Cumming has been a treasured member of the Roundabout family since 1998 when he exploded on to the New York theatre scene with his unforgettable Tony Award-winning performance in Cabaret. Michael Kors & Lance Le Pere have been incredible friends to Roundabout for over a decade and have provided generous financial support that has paved the way for more than a dozen musicals to be produced on Roundabout stages.

Caryl Churchill’s Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, directed by Tara Elliott and dramaturged by Laura, opens this weekend at the New Ohio Theatre!

The Drama League (Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks, Executive Director Bevin Ross) announced today the acting company for the 36th annual DirectorFest, the only festival in the United States dedicated to the art of contemporary stage directing. Directorfest will take place January 10 – February 4, 2020 at various locations around NYC: The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street), The Drama League Theater Center (32 Avenue of the Americas), LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (31-10 Thomson Avenue), and Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street). For festival details and tickets, visit directorfest.org or call (212) 244-9494 x102. Industry/Theatre Professionals may request tickets by emailingDirectorFest@dramaleague.org.

For its 36th year, the festival will include 27 actors in six fully-staged productions and a concert of a new docu-play with music. Taking place over five weeks in venues across Manhattan, highlights of the festival include all-new stagings of works by Michael John LaChiusa (Hello Again) and Harold Pinter (The Lover), revivals of rarely-seen works by Tina Howe (Appearances) and Marcus Gardley (The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones), and Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic (The Drowning Girls), a concert of songs from the new docu-play with music byMatthew Dean Marsh and Oscar Lopez (Riot Song), and the North American premiere of a new theatrical immersive experience created by Belgian director Christian Bakalov (Pure).

Chosen last spring from over 400 applicants, the directors leading the festival’s new productions this year — NJ Agwuna, Chika Ike, Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly, Lindsey Hope Pearlman, Ben Randle, Hannah Ryan, and Mr. Bakalov — recently completed their development programs as part of The Drama League Directors Project.

The festival also includes conversations with 2017 Tony Award Winner Rebecca Taichman(Indecent), 2014 Tony Award Winner and 2010 Drama League Founders Award for Excellence in Directing Kenny Leon (A Soldier’s Play), and Intimacy Director Claire Warden (HBO’s “Mrs. Fletcher”).

The creative team for Directorfest is: Gabriel Stelian- Shanks (Artistic Director), Bevin Ross(Executive Director), Ali Skye Bennet (Artistic Line Producer), Nilan (Associate Artistic Director), Patrick Surillo (Artistic Coordinator), Kate Holland (Production Manager), Cate McCrea (Scenic Designer), Amanda Gladu (Costume Designer), Lois Gordon (Lighting Designer), DJ Potts (Sound Designer), Calvin Stara (Technical Director), Stephen DeAngelis (Casting Director, Hello Again, and Appearances), Gama Valle/Harriet Bass Casting (Casting Director, The Drowning Girls), Erica A. Hart (Casting Director, The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones and The Lover), Justin Ellington(Music Director, The Sporting Life of Icarus Jones), Jesse Kissel (Music Director, Hello Again),Melanie Aponte (Stage Manager, The Lover), Arielle Goldstein (Stage Manager, Appearances), Karen Schleifer (Production Stage Manager, Hello Again), and Evangeline Whitlock (Stage Manager, Pure).

During Directorfest, the featured directors will join the ranks of the illustrious 350+ alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, including Tony® Award winners Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), Diane Paulus (Jagged Little Pill), Michael Mayer (Little Shop of Horrors), Sam Gold (Fun Home), Pam MacKinnon (The Parisian Woman), John Rando (On The Town), Tony Award nominees Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!), Lila Neugebauer (The Waverly Gallery), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Bernhardt/Hamlet), and Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg), to name only a few. Many of the nation’s prominent theaters are led by Drama League alumni directors including Ms. MacKinnon at San Francisco’s A.C.T., Mr. Ashley at La Jolla Play House in San Diego, Ms. Paulus at Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, James Bundy of Yale Repertory Theatre, Kevin Moriarty of Dallas Theater Center, Laura Kepley at Cleveland Play House, and many more.

Broadway

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 and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. Currently she has a screenplay in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She was the Broadway Informer on the all access cable TV Show “The New Yorkers,” soon to be “The Tourist Channel.” email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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