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Those We Lost in 2022

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Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, his most popular being his 1977 debut record, “Bat Out of Hell.” He won a Grammy Award for his song “I’d Do Anything For Love” and appeared in over 65 movies, including an iconic role in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Hit singles include “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth.” Meatloaf

Kirstie Alley, was best known for her award-winning performance as Rebecca Howe on “Cheers” and her roles in iconic movies like “Look Who’s Talking” and “Drop Dead Gorgeous.” Alley won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work on “Cheers” and earned the same nominations her role as the title character in “Veronica’s Closet.” She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and would see a revitalizing in her fame later in life with appearances on several reality shows including “Dancing with the Stars” twice and “Celebrity Big Brother.” Alley died after a battle with cancer.

Comedian and actor Louie Anderson was best known for his long career as a stand-up comic and for his Emmy-winning role on “Baskets.” Anderson helped create “Life With Louie,” an animated series in which he played a version of his childhood self. He was also host to a revival of the game show “Family Feud.” Anderson died at a hospital in Las Vegas of complications from cancer on Jan. 21. He was 68.

John Aniston, was best known as the character Victor Kiriakis, in the daytime soap-opera, “Days of Our Lives” which earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2017, and a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022. Throughout his career he was featured in dozens of TV shows and films including “Kojak,” “The West Wing” and “Gillmore Girls.“ He died on Nov. 11, his daughter is actress Jennifer Aniston.

Lyricist Marilyn Bergman was teamed up with her composer husband Alan Bergman to write several hit songs. In 1969, the duo won an Academy Award for best song for “The Windmills of Your Mind.” They won again in 1975 for “The Way We Were.” In 1984, they won an Academy Award for best original song score for the movie “Yentl.” They also won two Grammys and four Emmys over their career. They also wrote the theme songs to hit TV shows like “Maude” and “Good Times” and were inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1980.

Director Peter Bogdanovich, started his career as a movie critic and worked at the Museum of Modern Art producing film retrospectives. He worked as an assistant director on the movie “Wild Angels” in 1966. His 1971 breakthrough movie, “The Last Picture Show, garnering eight Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director. He also directed such hits as “What’s Up, Doc?” in 1972 and “Paper Moon” in 1973. He also directed TV movies and episodes of popular shows such as “The Sopranos.”

Stephen “tWitch” Boss (40) worked as a dancer and choreographer, competing on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2008, finishing in second place. In 2010, he worked with Ellen DeGeneres on a dance routine, and was hired as the show’s DJ and frequent guest host in 2014. He also appeared with DeGeneres in the TV show “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which was on the air from 2017 to 2021. Boss appeared in such movies as “Step Up,” “Magic Mike XXL” and “Stomp The Yard 2: Homecoming.”

James Caan’s screen debut was in the 1963 movie “Irma la Douce.” He delivered a heart-breaking performance in the 1971 TV-movie “Brian’s Song,” for which he was nominated for an Emmy. In 1972, he played the role of Santino “Sonny” Corleone in “The Godfather,” which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He reprised the role in “The Godfather: Part II” in 1974. He starred in several movies in the 1970s and 1980s, such as “Rollerball” and “Thief.” He is well known for his roles in the 1990 movie “Misery,” and the 2003 movie “Elf.” 

In the 1970s, Irene Cara acted in television shows such as “Roots: The Next Generations” and “The Electric Company.” Her breakout role was Coco Hernandez in the 1980 movie “Fame,” for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. She also sang the title track on the “Fame” soundtrack, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard dance charts. In 1983, Cara co-wrote and sang the title song “Flashdance…What A Feeling,” for the hit movie “Flashdance.” For this song she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Performance as well as an Academy Award for best original song.
Pat Carroll began her long career as a comedic actress on television, appearing in Sid Caesar’s variety show, for which she won an Emmy, and as Bunny Halper on “The Danny Thomas Show.” She regularly appeared on game shows and as a guest on series such as the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Laverne & Shirley.” A Tony-nominated stage actress for Catch a Star!, she also commissioned a one-woman play for herself about poet Gertrude Stein. She is best known as the stepsister in the CBS Cinderella and  the voice of Ursula, the villain in the animated film “The Little Mermaid.”
Aaron Carter, is the younger brother of Backstreet Boy member Nick Carter, who shot to fame at the young age of nine when he released his first self-titled album in 1997. His triple platinum album release “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” in 2000 was well received. He performed in New York as The Boy in The Fantasticks.
Gallagher, a stand-up comedian, was best known for his comedy routine in which he would use a sledgehammer, which he called his “Sledge-O-Matic,” to smash various food items, most often a watermelon. He had a series of popular comedy specials in the 1980s and continued performing stand-up for decades. He had a farewell tour in 2019 named “The Last Smash.”
Gilbert Gottfried began his decades-long career in comedy when he took to the stage in New York at the age of 15, working as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, he became a cast member on Saturday Night Live for one season. He was perhaps best known for voicing the role of the parrot Iago in Disney’s Aladdin movies. He also voiced the role of another bird, Digit, in PBS’s long-running children’s show, “Cyberchase.” He was a frequent guest on late night TV shows, comedy clubs and celebrity roasts.
Estelle Harris was known for her unforgettable role as overbearing mother Estelle Costanza on the sitcom “Seinfeld.” Harris was a veteran of stage and screen long before her career resurgence during the 1990s. Harris’ signature, high-pitched vocal delivery made her stand out even when performing vocal work for animated movies such as “Toy Story 2.”
Anne Heche appeared in TV, film and on Broadway, winning a Primetime Emmy for the TV movie “Gracie’s Choice” and a Tony Award for the play Twentieth Century. Heche also appeared in the movies “Donnie Brasco,” “Wag the Dog” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Her memoir, “Call Me Crazy,” recounted her painful childhood and surviving abuse, which she told ABC News’ Barbara Walters led her to rely on alcohol and drugs.

Howard Hesseman was best known for playing disc jockey Dr. Johnny Fever on the TV show “WKRP in Cincinnati.” The role earned him two Emmy Award nominations. The show aired from 1978 to 1982. He also starred in the TV show “Head of the Class,” portraying teacher Charlie Moore for four seasons, and was in such movies as “About Schmidt” and “This Is Spinal Tap.”

William Hurt was one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1980s, starring in movies such as “Broadcast News,” “Body Heat” and “The Big Chill.” He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning the best actor Oscar in 1985 for his performance in “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” Hurt appeared in more than 50 theater productions, voiced popular movies and worked constantly in TV and film, with notable appearances in the series “Damages” and several Marvel films.

Olivia Newton-John was best known as a pop singer and actress. Her most famous roles was as Sandy in the movie adaptation of “Grease” alongside John Travolta with whom she frequently collaborated. Her hit song “Physical” cemented her as a superstar in the music video era. Newton-John’s long struggle with breast cancer inspired activism to fight the disease.

 
Leslie Jordan began acting in commercials in the 1980s. He appeared in many TV shows, such as “Ally McBeal,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “American Horror Story.” He is perhaps best known for the role of Beverly Leslie in “Will and Grace.” He appeared on the Los Angeles stage in the 1996 play Sordid Lives and Southern Baptist Sissies in 2000. He also starred in the off-Broadway shows Southern Blindness and Like a Dog on Linoleum.

County singer Naomi Judd scored 20 top-10 hits with her mother-daughter group the Judds, with her daughter Wynonna Judd. The duo won five Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2021.

Sally Kellerman had a career that spanned over five decades. She starred in the TV series “Cheyenne” in 1962 and guest-starred in such shows as “The Twilight Zone,” “Bonanza,” and the original “Star Trek” pilot. Kellerman was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Margaret “Hot Lips” Houlihan in the 1970 movie “MASH.” In 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy for her role in the soap opera “The Young and The Restless.” More recently she starred as Mark Maron’s mother in the series, “Maron.” Kellerman as sang in the Cabaret circuit.

Angela Lansbury, Beauty and the Beast

Angela Lansbury’s acting career began in 1942, in the movie “Gaslight,” for which she earned an Oscar nomination. She appeared in such movies as “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Beauty and the Beast.” She won an honorary Oscar in 2013, and six Golden Globes. Lansbury starred in the TV show “Murder She Wrote,” which ran for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1992. She was nominated for an Emmy Award 18 times. She starred in the Broadway musical, Mame. Throughout her stage career, she won six Tony Awards.

Quentin Oliver Lee worked on Broadway and Off Broadway in Caroline or ChangeOratorio for Living Things, but was widely known for his portrayal of the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. He was part of the team that won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording inThe Prince of Broadway and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Jerry Lee Lewis signed with Sun Records in 1956. His first hit was “Whole Lotta Shakin” in 1957, followed up that same year with another hit, “Great Balls of Fire.” He was known for his wild and rebellious performance style and stage presence. He released a country music song in 1968, “Another Place, Another Time,” and went on to have many Top Ten country singles and albums. He ventured into the pop charts with “Me and Bobby McGee” in 1971 and “Chantilly Lace” in 1972.
Ray Liotta made his acting debut in the daytime soap opera “Another World,” from 1978 to 1981. His breakout role was in the movie “Something Wild” in 1986. In 1990, he won critical praise for his role in “Field of Dreams,” but his most famous role came that year when he played mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas.” Liotta won an Emmy in 2005 for a guest appearance on the TV show “ER.” More recently, he appeared on television in the shows, “Texas Rising,” in 2015 and in “Shades of Blue,” with Jennifer Lopez, in 2016.

Robert LuPone, the brother of Broadway icon Patti LuPone. He was a graduate of Juilliard School, having studied with Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, and Martha Graham. He was Zach in A Chorus Line (1976), and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Together with his former student, Bernie Telsey, LuPone established the Manhattan Class Company in 1986. This eventually became the MCC Theater. As its artistic director, he produced Frozen (2004), Reasons To Be Pretty (2008), and “Hand to God” (2014), all of which were nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play and eventually made their way to Broadway. On television, LuPone appeared in five episodes of The Sopranos as Dr. Bruce Cusamano, next-door neighbor of the titular Soprano family (1999–2007). He appeared on Law & Order: Criminal Intent for two episodes as Nelson Broome (2003–2009), and on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for one episode in 2004. He also appeared on All My Children in the 1980s and Guiding Light in the 1990s. He appeared in the pilot episode of the NBC musical series “Smash as well as the pilot episode of Showtime’s drama “Billions.”

Loretta Lynn rose to fame with her hits “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Fist City” and “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” which would become her first No. 1 country hit in 1966. Her song, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” would also be the title for the 1980 film made about her life, starring Sissy Spacek. Lynn was named the Country Music Association’s first female vocalist of the year in 1967. In 1972, she became the first woman ever to be CMA entertainer of the year. She was a true country music icon.
Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She was a keyboardist, vocalist and songwriter. She wrote such hits as “You Make Loving Fun” and “Don’t Stop.” The Fleetwood Mac album “Rumours,” released in 1977, is one of the bestselling albums of all time. McVie took a hiatus in 1998 but returned to Fleetwood Mac for its “On With The Show” tour in 2014.
Mary Mara, a veteran television and theater actor, starred in popular TV dramas including “Nash Bridges,” “ER” and “Law & Order.” Mara graduated from the Yale School of Drama with a master’s degree in fine arts and her stage performances included Kindertransport, Ivanov and Twelfth Night, where she co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Goldblum and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Mad Men’s Robert Morse

Robert Morse made his Broadway debut in 1955 in the play The Matchmaker. In 1962, he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as J. Pierrepont Finch in the original production of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He reprised the role in the 1967 film adaptation. He won another Tony Award in 1990 for his lead role in the play Tru. In 1992, he won an Emmy Award for the American Playhouse production of “Tru” on PBS. More recently he played the role of Bertram Cooper in the TV series “Mad Men.”

Issey Miyake was a Japanese fashion designer who rose to global fame by defining a unique Japanese vision. He created pleating methods that would allow flexibility of movement for the wearer and ease of care and production; his designs featuring origami-like pleats merged art and fashion. After Steve Job’s idea of uniforms for Apple employees proved unpopular, Jobs opted for one for himself, including Miyake’s black turtleneck sweaters paired with Levi’s 501 jeans and New Balance 991 sneakers.
Manfred Thierry Mugler was a French fashion designer known for his adventurous and theatrical designs, worn by supermodels, Hollywood royalty and fashionistas around the world. In 2019, he was responsible for Kim Kardashian’s “wet look” dress for the Met Gala, and that same year dressed Cardi B in a pink and black “stormy Venus” dress for the Grammy Awards. Mugler created a perfume line and was also an author and artist.
Nichelle Nichols broke through barriers during her decades-spanning career as an actress, singer and dancer. She is best known for her portrayal of Lt. Nyota Uhura on the television and movie series “Star Trek,” in which she shared a landmark interracial kiss with her co-star William Shatner on the small screen.
Pele was a Brazilian professional footballer regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He was among the most successful and popular sports figures of the 20th century. In 1999, he was named Athlete of the Century by the International Olympic Committeeand was included in the Time list of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. In 2000, Pelé was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the Century. His 1,279 goals in 1,363 games, which includes friendlies, is recognised as a Guinness World Record

Pope Benedict who became first to resign in 600 years when he stood down nine years ago. He will lie in state in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

 
Sidney Poitier starred in the movie “No Way Out” in 1950 and in “Blackboard Jungle” in 1955. He earned an Academy Award nomination in 1958 for “The Defiant Ones.” In 1964, Poitier became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award for best actor for his performance in “Lillies of the Field.” In the 1970s, he directed such films as “Uptown Saturday Night” and “Let’s Do It Again.” He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995 and an honorary Academy Award in 2002. In 2009, President Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign is the longest in the history of the British monarchy. She ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25.
Bob Saget began his career as a stand-up comedian and was best known for his role as Danny Tanner in the TV show “Full House,” which ran from 1987 to 1995. In 1996 he directed the TV movie “For Hope” and in 1998 he directed the movie “Dirty Work.” He was featured in the film “The Aristocrats” in 2005 and hosted a documentary series “Strange Days with Bob Saget” in 2010. In 2016, he reprised the role of Danny Tanner for the Netflix series “Fuller House.” He was also the voice of the narrator on the TV show “How I Met Your Mother.”
Tony Sirico’s film debut was in 1974 in the movie “Crazy Joe.” He appeared in several movies directed by Woody Allen such as “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Café Society.” He was best known for playing gangster roles, such as Tony Stacks in “Goodfellas,” and, most notably, he played Paulie Walnuts in the TV show “The Sopranos.” Sirico

Paul Sorvino

Paul Sorvino was best known for his roles as mobster Paulie Cicero in the movie “Goodfellas” and an NYPD sergeant in the TV series “Law & Order.” Born in Brooklyn, he made his Broadway debut in 1964 and film debut in 1970. He became a mainstay in TV and film, in roles from Henry Kissinger in “Nixon” to a communist in “Reds.” Sorvino was also a respected tenor, performing at Lincoln Center in 2006. He had three children with his first wife, including the Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino.

Willie Spence was a contestant on season 19 of American Idol and placed second behind Chayce Beckham and sang hits such as “Georgia on My Mind” and “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

French actor Gaspard Ulliel was best known for his role as a young Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising” and his portrayal of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent in “Saint Laurent.” He won two Cesar awards, France’s highest film honor, one for his role in “The Very Long Engagement” and the other for “It’s Only the End of the World.” Ulliel was a rising talent, set to star in the highly-anticipated Marvel series, “Moon Knight” and was the face of Chanel’s Blue de Chanel fragrance.

Barbara Walters was a broadcast journalist and television personality. Known for her interviewing ability and popularity with viewers, Walters appeared as a host of numerous television programs, including Today, the ABC Evening News, 20/20, and The View. Walters was a working journalist from 1951 until her retirement in 2015. Walters was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1989, and in 2007 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Vivinne Westwood was an English fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream. Westwood opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout Britain and the world, selling an increasingly varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her many political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.

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

Film

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Amy Winehouse

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Back to Black is a biopic based on the life of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, played by Marisa Abela. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and written by Matt Greenhalgh, the film also stars Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan, and Lesley Manville.

After the death of Winehouse in 2011, filmmakers attempted to create a feature biopic with various projects. In October 2018, it was announced that Winehouse’s estate had signed a deal to make a biopic about her life and career. In July 2022, Deadline Hollywood reported that StudioCanal was moving forward with a feature film entitled Back to Black. Sam Taylor-Johnson directed from a script by Matt Greenhalgh. Alison Owen and Debra Hayward produced under their Monumental Pictures banner, alongside Nicky Kentish-Barnes.

The film was released theatrically in Australia in April 2024, and was released in the United Kingdom shortly after. Focus Features released the film in the United States on May 17 2024.

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Broadway

Theatre News: The Drama League, Once Upon A Mattress , Swept Away, Chita Rivera Awards and Moulin Rouge!

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The Drama League announced the winners of the 2024 Drama League Awards. The event hosted by NY1 reporter Frank DiLella, was held at The Ziegfeld Ballroom (141 W 54th St, New York, NY). Sarah Paulson wins Distinguished Performance Award. Hell’s Kitchen wins Outstanding Production of a Musical. Stereophonic wins Outstanding Production of a Play. Merrily We Roll Along wins Outstanding Revival of a Musical. Appropriate wins Outstanding Revival of a Play. In the directing categories, Daniel Aukin took home the Outstanding Direction of a Play award for Stereophonic and Maria Friedman took home Outstanding Direction of a Musical for Merrily We Roll Along.

The competitive awards were presented by Lear DeBessonet, Alfred Molina, Bebe Neuwirth and Ben Platt.  LaTanya Richardson Jackson presented The Gratitude Award to Kandi Burress; Thomas Schumacher presented The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing to Schele Williams; Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez presented The Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award to Jonathan Groff; and Jim Parsons presented the Contribution to Theatre Award to Jessica Lange.

Tony Award-winning producers Seaview and Creative Partners Productions have announced that, on the heels of its record-breaking, sold-out run at New York City Center’s Encores! earlier this year, Once Upon A Mattress will open on Broadway this summer at The Hudson Theatre (141 W 44th St). Tony Award winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, The Music Man) will lead the Broadway cast, reprising her acclaimed performance as Winnifred the Woebegone, hailed by The New York Times as “perfectly goofy, and imprinted with an ebullient, joyful relish in the very act of performance.” The beloved musical returns to Broadway in a new adaptation by Emmy Award winner Amy Sherman-Palladino (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “Gilmore Girls”), directed by Tony Award nominee and Drama League Award winner Lear deBessonet (Into The Woods). Previews begin Wednesday, July 31, 2024, with an Opening Night set for Monday, August 12, 2024, for the limited engagement through November 30, 2024.

Following its Broadway engagement, Foster will headline the production in Los Angeles for a four-week engagement at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre from December 10, 2024 – January 5, 2025.

An uproarious update of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea,” Once Upon A Mattress sets an unapologetic free spirit loose in a repressed kingdom, reveling in Winnifred’s ability to charm and transform with willpower, honesty, and a little bit of help from her friends.  Full of gloriously catchy melodies like “Shy” and “In a Little While,” the musical first premiered in 1959, with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer.

The Broadway production will feature Choreography by Drama Desk Award nominee Lorin Latarro (The Who’s Tommy), Scenic Design by Tony Award winner David Zinn (Fun Home, SpongeBob SquarePants), Lighting Design by Tony Award winner Justin Townsend (Moulin Rouge! The Musical), Costume Design by Andrea Hood (Into the Woods), Sound Design by Tony Award winner Kai Harada (Days of Wine and RosesMerrily We Roll Along), and Hair and Wig Design by J. Jared Janas (Sweeney Todd, &Juliet). General Management is by Wagner Johnson Productions. Casting is by The Telsey Office (Bernard Telsey, CSA; Craig Burns, CSA). Orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza), and Drama Desk Award winner Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Company) will serve as Music Supervisor, Annbritt duChateau as Music Director, and Cody Renard Richard as Production Stage Manager.

A special fan pre-sale will begin on Tuesday, May 28, at 10:00AM ET – sign up atOnceUponAMattress.com for early access to tickets. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00AM ET.

Further casting and creative team will be announced at a later date.

The Avett Brothers announced that their new musical Swept Away will begin previews on Broadway this fall at a Shubert theater to-be-announced. An odyssey of “mythic proportions” (San Francisco Chronicle), Swept Away features a book by Tony Award winner John Logan (Red, Moulin Rouge! The Musical), direction by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) and choreography by Tony Award nominee David Neumann (Hadestown).

After sold out runs from coast to coast, Swept Away storms Broadway this fall.

The Swept Away creative team includes music arranger & orchestrator Chris Miller, music arranger & orchestrator/music supervisor Brian Usifer, music director Will Van Dyke, Tony Award-winning set designer Rachel Hauck, Tony Award-winning costume designer Susan Hilferty, four-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Kevin Adams and Tony Award-winning sound designer John Shivers.For ticketing updates and more information, visit SweptAwayMusical.com.

Jared Grimes (Funny Girl) will host the Chita Rivera Awards, it was announced today. The 2024 Chita Rivera Awards will be presented on May 20 at 7:30pm at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park), and are produced by Joe Lanteri, Founder and Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with Patricia Watt.

Presenters include: Debbie Allen (Fame), Shoshana Bean (Hell’s Kitchen), Corbin Bleu (High School Musical, Little Shop…), Anthony Crivello (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Joel Grey(Cabaret), Huey Lewis (The Heart of Rock and Roll), and Joe Morton (Scandal, ART), Bebe Neuwirth (Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, Chicago), Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), David Hyde Pierce (Here We Are, Spamalot), Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan; The Adams Family), Ben Vereen (Pippin), and more.

The evening will feature performances by: Wayne Brady (The Wiz), Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked), Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera; Porgy and Bess), and Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon; Old Friends).

There will also be performances from the casts of Suffs, The Heart of Rock and Roll, and The Who’s Tommy.

At the May 20 Awards, Bernadette Peters will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Phil LaDuca will receive the Vanguard Award, for his outstanding contribution to the international dance community, and Mayte Natalio (Suffs; How to Dance in Ohio) will receive the Douglas and Ethel Watt Critics’ Choice Award.

The Douglas and Ethel Watt Critics’ Choice Award is bestowed by the journalists of the Chita Rivera Awards’ Broadway judging committee, to recognize outstanding work that falls outside the framework of the original categories. It is named for the longtime Daily News theater critic Douglas Watt and his wife Ethel, an original cast member of Carousel and Kiss Me, Kate who later became a producer.

Tickets to the Chita Rivera Awards are available to the general public atwww.ChitaRiveraAwards.com.

Pop the champagne! The Museum of Broadway will celebrate its newest special exhibit celebrating the 10-time Tony Award®-winning Best Musical Moulin Rouge! The Musical, presented in partnership with Chase Freedom and created exclusively for The Museum of Broadway. The exhibit, Moulin Rouge! The Musical: Spectacular, Spectacular, invites fans to step into the world of Belle Époque Paris and experience the splendor, eye-popping excess, and glittering extravagance of the hit show.

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Broadway

TDF partnership sends 1400 service members to Broadway and Off Broadway during Fleet Week

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For the second year in a row, TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, has partnered with the Community Foundation of New Jersey to help obtain and distribute 1400 tickets to 11 Broadway and two Off-Broadway shows. These tickets will be given at no cost to members of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Blue Star Families, who will be in New York City during this year’s Fleet Week, May 22 to May 28, 2024.

The 13 shows that service members will see for free are Back to the Future: The Musical, The Book of Mormon, The Great Gatsby, Hamilton, Hell’s Kitchen, The Lion King, MJ, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, The Outsiders, The Play That Goes Wrong, SIX, Titanique, and Water for Elephants.

“This is the second year of our partnership with the Community Foundation of New Jersey, and we are honored once again to facilitate tickets to Broadway and Off Broadway for our service members during Fleet Week,” said TDF Executive Director Deeksha Gaur. “We know from our companion program for veterans that attending the theatre can support healing and help build community.  But most of all, we are thrilled that service members will get to experience the magic and joy of New York theatre at no cost to them.”

The Community Foundation of New Jersey serves approximately 1,160 fundholders—individuals, families, and businesses with philanthropic funds, which they use to recommend grants to worthy causes and communities.

“Funds at the Community Foundation of New Jersey may be used to directly improve people’s lives beyond the usual grantmaking, and this is a great example of that,” said Madeline Rivera, Program Officer at the Community Foundation. “Unique philanthropic ideas like these enable us to have broad impact in areas important to our fundholders.”

Those wishing to donate so that service members can attend future performances should contact Madeline Rivera at the Community Foundation of New Jersey atmrivera@cfnj.org or (973) 267-5533.

The Community Foundation of New Jersey creates and scales custom solutions for purpose-driven individuals, families, and businesses. From creative projects that tackle critical societal or policy issues, to scholarship funds, corporate philanthropy, legacy funds, and donor-advised funds, CFNJ manages nearly every kind of giving vehicle and tailors solutions to meet critical needs. CFNJ’s specialists understand the unique contours of communities and manage the scope of CFNJ investment and grantmaking capabilities with precision. With $790 million in assets, the CFNJ grants tens of millions of dollars each year through its more than 1,100 funds. In 2023, CFNJ granted more than $70 million to nonprofits in New Jersey and beyond.

Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a not-for-profit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. We fulfill our mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities, and support the makers of the performing arts.

We are known for our theatregoing programs, including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths (which celebrated 50 years in Times Square in 2023) and the TDF Membership Program; TDF Accessibility Programs (including open captioning, audio description, Autism Friendly Performances and the Veterans Theatregoing Program); Education programs (serving more than 10,000 NYC public school students annually), and Community programs (serving 18,000 people in the tristate area); as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible, and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to tdf.org; Facebook/Instagram/Threads: @tdfnyc.

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Events

Career Bridges Opera Gala: Vibrations on the Air

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Front/sitting: Jane Pontarelli, Jessy Moya
L to R: Cristina Fontanelli, Flora Pllumaj, Cherie Corso, Marcia Minassian, Sara Johnson Kaplan, behind, Jennifer Harrison, Lorraine Silvetz, Chen Wang, Liza Pllumaj and Ella Farro

Written by Lorraine Silvetz

New York’s glitterati and legendary figures in opera and Broadway assembled in force to celebrate the next generation of opera stars, recipients of awards, for the Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges at the beautiful and renowned, Metropolitan Club. It was a night of great elegance, beauty and music marking the 20th anniversary Opera Gala. The Black Tie attired crowd entered the majestic Metropolitan Club and slipped into its palatial marble interior where drinks and hors d’oeuvres were flowing for all to enjoy.

David Schuyler Bender and Barbara Meister Bender

The foundation has been performing a vital service for 20 years now. Career Bridges founded by David Schuyler Bender and Barbara Meister Bender with the mission of providing vital assistance to young opera singers as they transition from training to stage. Attendees receive three years of mentoring, financial support and performance opportunities based on the recommendations of 20-25 member Panel of Experts, comprised of internationally recognized experts in repertory and vocal coaching, conductors, stage directors, artist managers/agents, opera company impresarios, et al. A combination of of expert selection and this assistance has had a remarkable rate of success. Every year, barring the pandemic, Career Bridges spearheads a competition where they award career grants to young artists. Those winners have the opportunity to perform and receive expert critique from a panel of professionals in the business, directors, voice teachers, performers, etc. The singers are then granted a conference with David and Barbara where the critiques are discussed and further helpful suggestions are given. The grant winners have the opportunity to return for 3 more years to “check in” to see if the hard work they have done has been realized for the panel. What incredible mentorship for these fortunate young singers.

CB Award Winners 2024
First Row: Esther Tonea, Shu Li, Michelle Geffner, Lindsey Polcyn
Second Row: Yichen Xue, Trevor Haumschilt-Rocha, Wonjin Choi, Scott Ruben La Marca

This year’s award winners include Wonjin Choi, a Korean tenor, Michelle Geffner, a soprano and graduate of Julliard, Trevor Haumschilt-Rocha, a Mexican-American baritone, Scott Ruben La Marca, tenor, Shu Li, soprano, Lindsey Polcyn, mezzo-soprano, Esther Tonea, a Romanian-American soprano, and Vichen Xue, a baritone. They were all outstanding.

Guiseppe Signorrini, Jane Thorngren, Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Randy Edelman

The sumptuous food and drinks poured through the gorgeous marble room as the many attendees milled about to view the extensive auction items, meeting one another, in some cases, for the first time.

Abe Shainberg, Chen Wang, Lorraine Silvetz, and Nicota Hawkeye

When it was time for the dinner and performance to begin the guests moved to the breathtaking dining room. The Benders, a beautiful and talented couple, opening remarks set the tone for the elegant evening. The Gala was hosted by President of the Rodgers and Hammerstein organization, Theodore S. Chapin who led many Broadway productions including over 20 award-winning Broadway and London revivals. He was also the co-founder of City Center’s “Encores.”

Huguens Noel, David Sexta, Jude Elie (candidate for President of Haiti 2024) and Nicota Hawkeye

There were several honorees including Jason Kwintner, who received the Distinguished Achievement Award for coordinating their events first at the Essex House and then at the Metropolitan Club for the last 18 years. He brings a spirit of warmth, dedication and commitment to bring each event to life.

Lifetime Achievement Winner, Jane Bergere with CB Founders, David Schuyler Bender and Barbara Meister Bender

Another Distinguished Achievement Award was given to Jane Bergere, an Olivier and multi-Tony Award winning producer. Prior to producing on and off Broadway, Jane was the Artistic Director of Connecticut’s Broadway Theatre in Darien, CT, where she produced over 50 musicals. She was recognized by the New York Timies for having brought Broadway to Connecticut and launching the careers of many actors, directors, choreographers, and other industry professionals working on Broadway. She is currently represented on Broadway with “Water for Elephants.” Past productions include Metamorphosis, The Shark is Broken, Funny Girl, Beetlejuice, Kinky Boots, Angels in America and War Horse to name a few.

Cherie Corso, Jennifer Harrison, Sara Johnson Kaplan and Lorraine Silvetz

The Lifetime Humanitarian Award was given to Dr. Joan Taub Ades who is a prominent member of premiere philanthropic circles in New York and throughout the country. Mrs. Ades, along with her late husband, Alan M. Ades, made significant contributions to the arts and education that hav etouched the lives of countless people. She and her husband created and funded the Alan M and Joan Taub Ades Performance Space at Manhattan School of Music, a versatile performance and event space that is outfitted for music, theater, dance, and multimedia events. The Ades Family Foundation established and continues to fund MSM’s prestigious Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition, an annual event that is judged by an esteemed panel of opera professionals and awards significant cash prizes to winning students. She is the creator of Joan’s Closet which his a program exclusive to MSM’s female students which provides them with clothing for auditions and recitals at no charge.

Composer Randy Edelman received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contribution to music. He was introduced by Tribeca Record owner John “Soho Johnny” Pasquale. Edelman is one of Tribeca’s signed artists. Randy is prolific having composed over 100 film and TV soundtracks including: My Cousin Vinny, Billy Madison, While You Were Sleeping, Dragonheart, Gettysburg, Shanghai Noon, Ghostbusters II, The Mask, Twins, Beethoven, The Bruce Lee Story, and the Last of the Mohicans which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. He created the music forDare Mighty Things” for NASA, the series MacGyver, among so many more. His pop songs have been covered by renowned artists including Barry Manilow, Patti LaBelle, Olivia Newton-John, Nelly, Dionne Warwick among many others. The multi-award winning serialist has received some of the most prestigious awards including BMI’s highest honor, the Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Achievement Award, an Emmy for the close of the NBC Olympic Broadcast, and an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati.

Before receiving his award, Randy performed his famous song, “A Weekend in New England” recorded by Barry Manilow. The audience was visibly moved recognizing the famous song. After receiving his award he did an encore performing the last song Bing Crosby performed before his death, “The Woman On My Arm.”

For the finale, the entire ensemble joined in the highly appropriate “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha. For many a career in Opera might seem an impossible dream but Career Bridges co-Artistic Directors, Barbara and David Bender and their team make the dream all the more possible.

In the words of Ludwig van Beethoven: The vibrations on the air are the breath of God speaking to man’s soul. Music is the language of God. We musicians are as close to God as man can be. We hear his voice, we read his lips, we give birth to the children of God, who sing his praises.

Photo credit: Max Flores

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Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents tick, tick…Boom!

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We are so pleased to announce our guests this week are Director Eric Rosen, Andy Mientus and Krystina Alabado about tick, tick…Boom! at The Cape Playhouse this summer. Join us Wednesday May 22nd at 5pm.

Andy Mientus as Jon in Tick, Tick…BOOM! at Bucks County Playhouse.
(© Joan Marcus)

Artistic Director Eric Rosen brings his acclaimed production – hailed as a powerful and bold new interpretation of this show – for his Cape Playhouse debut. Rosen directed the original production of A Christmas Story: The Musical, which opened on Broadway in 2012 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical. He co-wrote and directed Venice at the Public Theatre. He is also known for his reimagining of classic musicals including Sunday in the Park with George, a punk rock production of Pippin, and Hair: Retrospection in collaboration with and starring members of the original Broadway companies of Hair

As a playwright, his work includes the play Dream Boy which won a Chicago Jeff Award for Best New Play and Best Direction.

In 2000, he co-founded About Face Youth Theatre, one of the nation’s foremost arts and advocacy programs for at-risk LGBTQ youth, and the 18 year old program continues to serve thousands of young people in Chicago.

Director Eric Rosen

Andy Mientus toured with the first national touring company of Spring Awakening, appeared in the 2012 Off-Broadway revival of Carrie: The Musical, He made his Broadway debut in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables as Marius Pontmercy. In February 2015, he was cast as journalist Brett Craig in Parade, for a one-night-only concert presentation at the Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. In LA he appeared in the show Bent at the Mark Taper Forum. He also reprised his role as Hänschen in the Deaf West production of Spring Awakening, directed by his partner Michael Arden. The production then transferred to Broadway. In 2013, Mientus was cast in season two of the musical drama television series Smash as series regular Kyle Bishop. Following the cancellation of Smash, Mientus and co-stars Jeremy Jordan and Krysta Rodriguez joined the cast of Hit List, the real-world staging of the fictional rock musicalcreated for season two of Smash

Mientus appeared in several episodes of the ABC Family series Chasing Life as Jackson, the CW series The Flash as the Pied Piper (Hartley Rathaway), having previously auditioned for the lead role of Barry Allen. Mientus made history with this role by playing the first openly gay supervillain ever. He was in GoneGrendel, an eight-episode Netflix series based on Matt Wagner’s Dark Horse comic books.

Andy Mientus

At the age of 18, Krystina Alabado joined the national tour of Spring Awakening and made her Broadway debut in 2011 as a replacement ensemble member and understudy in American Idiotlater reprising her role in the show’s first national tour. In 2013, she joined the national tour of Evita (based on the 2012 Broadway revival) playing Juan Perón’s mistress. In 2016, she appeared in the short-lived Broadway production of American Psycho.  In  2019, Alabado joined the cast of Mean Girls as Gretchen Wieners, replacing Ashley Park. In March 2020, Alabado started a YouTube channel to explain to her followers different aspects of how Broadway works and interview her fellow castmates during the COVID-19 pandemic that temporarily closed Broadway

Krystina Alabado

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed at the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here, thirteenth episode here and fourteenth here

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