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Tom DeTrinis is Angry, and Doesn’t Like NYC, But I Still Live For Him Making Friends

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Tom DeTrinis in Making Friends. Filmed at LA’s Pico Playhouse. Photo by Jeff Hammerton.

Filmed in the empty LA Pico Playhouse to rows and rows of nonreactive seats, Tom DeTrinis (Die, Mommie, Die!) gives us, in full display, his attention-seeking, “look at me” party-self. Demanding so much from us, he stands there and engages in a tongue-battle of epic proportions, and we can’t help but lean in. We know that side of humanity, as we see this side within ourselves. It’s that self that opens up his Making Friends one-man show, whether we like it or not. That persona is excited and a lot to take in, but we recognize it. It is that part that hides inside the proverbial favorite shirt, the one that we think makes us look good or handsome or sexy or skinny or tall or smart as humanly possible. But we also know its a guise. It covers up the self that lurks just underneath the fabric of society, and here, inside that opening bit of Making Friends with Tom, he tells us that he wants to fling that part aside. To take it off and showcase the anger that awaits underneath; that desires, most desperately, to jump forth from behind the laughter curtain of his outsized faggotry, and say “hello, hi“, for take two. 

Tom DeTrinis in Making Friends. Filmed at LA’s Pico Playhouse. Photo by Jeff Hammerton.

Seething in anger and rage, Tom wants to tell us all that needs to be said by this hidden, now visible self. Thankfully we can all solidly relate, as that other party self becomes almost instantly annoying and I for one was glad to say goodbye to him. This more authentic Tom is much more enticing and electric. In a way, it’s the anger of all our lives, bubbling up into and because of our interactions, our entanglements, and most assuredly, the year 2020. That is how we find our way into this dynamic piece, as it is an emotional raw space that pretty much everyone can understand and dig into.

In this one-man show DeTrinis explores his angry sex-crazed brain for us all to breath in and digest. It’s that kind of attention that isn’t good for a self-described worry wart, but makes for great compelling theatre, even in an empty space without the needed reactions of a live audience. The monologue unearths what lies beneath the historic and the immediate. He submerges down into the depths of that rage through wit and self analyzations, giving us a different view of the whole iceberg, not just the tip. His clearly defined impressions of bartenders and landlords to different fantastical versions of his unknown gay uncle find truth against the standards of the world around him. He proclaims quite strongly and confidently that this “weird as fuck guy“, surprisingly, doesn’t have the easiest time Making Friends, and for that, we all take the note. In his raw self diagnosing fury, he has found a way to craft a version of the tale that makes for delicious unique theatre, one that I would love to have the opportunity to take in live one day, and eat it all up, like cheese on a stick at a party made for passionate creatives. It would be heaven, at least for the ones who like cheese. 

Tom DeTrinis in Making Friends. Filmed at LA’s Pico Playhouse. Photo by Jeff Hammerton.

DeTrinis, who wrote and is starring in this IAMA Theatre Company production, finds truth and authenticity is his compelling demands, taking us through his mind like a pinball wizard racking up the points with the loud clangs of excited performative energy. With the assist by the well-tuned direction of Drew Droege (Bright Colors, Bold Patterns), the one act piece of theatrical exploration pulls and pushes us back and forward with expert pace and focus. Filing it under that “time with the roaches“, DeTrinis has little problem unveiling and alienating the audience, especially the ones (like me, specifically) who love and miss NYC with a passion (especially as I ride out the pandemic in Canada), and who don’t really enjoy the world of L.A., with feisty aplomb, as he does it from the vantage point of clearly defined observations that can’t be denied. His skill resides in those moments, because we can happily agree, while disagreeing without the need to defend and retreat. We embrace and enjoy, cause, really, as he (and I) can most wisely state, “I saw Rent. I know things.” 

Making Friends delivers with a gusto too impossible to ignore. He gets the laughs while also digs into the angry truth without ever losing focus on the need to engage. It’s vulnerable while being aggressive, and somewhere in its authenticity, we can hold hands happily with the alienation and the addiction to connection. The historics pull us in, but it’s his empathy and energy that hold us to the life-embracing, dance-worthy end. Making Friends is a show I completely want to make friends with fully. Even if the man doesn’t like NYC. 

Making Friends will be available for streaming starting on December 17th through January 11, 2021 with digital tickets starting at $15 by IAMA Theatre Company. Tickets will be sold in weekly blocks and include access to a variety of supporting live events. The creative team for Making Friends includes “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” choreographer Kathryn Burns, lighting designer Donny Jackson and stage manager Estey DeMerchant. Donna Simone Johnson and Melissa Stephens co-produce for IAMA Theatre Company. For more information on ticketing, streaming and satellite events, go to www.iamatheatre.com.

Click here for tickets and info.

For more from Ross click here

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Broadway

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents at Addiss and Dan Lauria

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I am so pleased to announce our guests for next Wednesday’s show on April 24th are Producer Pat Addiss and Dan Lauria.

Pat Flicker Addiss has been a producer on the following shows: Little Women​, Chita Rivera: A Dancer’s Life, Bridge & Tunnel, Spring Awakening, Passing Strange, 39 Steps, Vanya, Sonia, Masha & Spike, Promises, Promises, Gigi, Love Letters, Eclipsed, War Horse, A Christmas Story ​and Harmony on Broadway. Off-Broadway she produced Jane Anger and Buyer and Cellar starring Michael Urieher show, Dinner With The Boys with Dan Lauria and Desperate Measures, is currently playing around the country. A native New Yorker. She was a child model and actress. Went to Finch College where she majored and graduated in honors in Costume Design and Merchandising. She started her own Company Pat Addiss Enterprises which designed and manufactured all items and widgets with Corporate names and logos. For her work she was honored by the LPTW Oral History that was filmed for the archives of Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library. She was also given the Woman of Purpose Award by the “Three Tomatoes.”. With colleague, Magda Katz, she has initiated a formula to connect women through YaYa lunches, dinners and now the addition of upscale tea. She loves to speak to women over 50 “How to Reinvent Yourself.”

Dan Lauria is best known for playing the dad Jack Arnold on the TV series The Wonder Years. He also played NASA Administrator James Webb in the 1998 TV miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and Commanding Officer, USA in 1996’s Independence Day. More recently he has appeared as Police Commissioner Eustace Dolan in The Spirit. He appeared as Coach Hamstrung in The Three Stooges N.Y.U.K. on AMC in 2000. Lauria appeared on stage in New York in the summer of 2006 in an off-Broadway production of A Stone Carver by William Mastrosimone with Jim Iorio and Elizabeth Rossa. Lauria also had a small role in a season two episode of Army Wives, as well as a season one episode of The Mentalist. In 2009, Lauria has appeared as General Lee Whitworth, M.D. in Criminal Minds season 4. He has also appeared in an episode of Boy Meets World. In late 2009, Lauria returned to the off-Broadway stage, appearing as Jimmy Hoffa in Brian Lee Franklin’s Good Bobby, a fictionalized account of Robert F. Kennedy’s rise.

Dan is also a very familiar face to the off-off, off and regional theatre scene having performed, written or directed over 50 professional stage productions.  He has appeared as a guest star in over seventy television episodic programs and more than twenty ‘Movie Of The Week’ productions plus a score of motion picture credits.  

In 2010-11 Dan was seen on Broadway in the long running production of Lombardi as the legendary coach Vince Lombardi with the beautiful and talented Judith Light, directed by Thomas Kail of Hamilton fame and returned again in the 2013-14 productions of the Tony nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical, directed by John Rando. 

Dan and dear friend, the lovely and talented Ms. Wendie Malick have performed the play The Guys by Anne Nelson (about our first responders) for numerous theatre and fire departments, around the country. Wendie and Dan also perform Love Letters as a fundraiser for regional theatres, for the development of new plays.  

Dan has now wrote and starred in the off Broadway production of Dinner With The Boys produced by the one and only Pat Addis and the NJ Rep. This was followed by a off Broadway production of The Stone Witch  and the upcoming Regional production of Lee Blessings new play; Tea With The Boss with Gwenn and Wendie Malick.  

He is about to star inJust Another Day written by Lauria. The show will run May 3-June 30 at Theater555 and also stars Patty McCormack (The Bad Seed). Between them, Lauria and McCormack have over 100 years of live theatrical experience, as well as over 150 television shows and films.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a new show filmed in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our first episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode here, six episode here, seventh episode here, eight episode here and ninth episode here.

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Events

Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Kicks Off Summer Events

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Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation hosted a special Cocktail Party on Monday, April 15th, 2024, at Versa in New York City to kickoff two vital SWCRF fundraising events: the 20th Annual Hamptons Happening and the Step Up To Turn Off Cancer endurance event.

Events such as these have allowed SWCRF to invest more than $120 million towards collaborative cancer research programs, supporting hundreds of investigators around the world. SWCRF-funded scientists have made many breakthrough discoveries in the fight against cancer.

Notable attendees included: Dr. Samuel Waxman, SWCRF CEO and Founder, this year’s Hamptons Happening honorees Arthur F. Backal, CEO Backal Hospitality Group and Cheri Kaufman, CEO C iGive and Founding Partner, Kaufman Studios, Stephen Kliegerman, President Development Marketing Brown Harris Stevens, Marion Waxman, Randi Schatz, event chairs Mark D. Friedman and Jamie Koff, Hamptons Happening hosts, Kenneth & Maria Fishel, and special guests Dina Lohan, Chris Arlotta, Elena Gibbs, Nicole Noonan and Steven Knobel.

This year’s Hamptons Happenings, one of the most anticipated events of the year on the Hampton’s summer schedule, will be held on Saturday, July 6th, 2024, at the Bridgehampton Estate of Kenneth and Maria Fishel. Attendees will enjoy a night of delicious tastings from dozens of chefs, restaurants, and beverage companies all while raising critical funds for cancer research. For more information please visit:
www.waxmancancer.org/events/hamptons.

The Step Up To Turn Cancer Off is a week-long campaign to encourage participants to increase their daily physical activity while also raising funds for crucial cancer research initiatives. New this year will be a live, 3-mile run/walk at MetLife Stadium on Saturday June 22nd. Step Up Ambassadors: NFL Hall of Famers Harry Carson (NY Giants) and Joe Klecko (NY Jets) along with Ottis Anderson (NY Giants) will lead the event and inspire participants to get more active and help fight cancer. Step Up To Turn Cancer Off runs from June 17th  – 23rd, 2024. Learn more and register at: www.waxmancancer.org/events/stepup.

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Broadway

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

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

Zien has spent almost 50 years on Broadway.


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

The Baker’s Wife Joanna Gleason

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

Stephen Bogardus, Chip Zien, Alison Fraser, Mary Testa

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

Carolee Carmella

Alison Fraser

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

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

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

Anne Nathan and Mary Testa

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

Gregg Edelman, Carolee Carmella, Christine Pedi

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

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

Richard Kind

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

Sierra Boggess

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

Chip signing his portrait

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

Carolee Carmello, Joanna Gleason, CHip Zien

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

Stefano Da Frè, Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess

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

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

Joy Hermalyn

He was also in Caroline or Change on Broadway.

Bruce Sussman

Sierra Boggess, Chip Zien, Danny Kornfeld

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

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

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

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

 

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Broadway

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

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

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


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

Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow

The Comedian Harmonists and Bruce Sussman and Barry Manilow

Julie Boardman, Co-Founder Museum of Broadway

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

 

 

 

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Entertainment

Tribeca Festival Announces TV Lineup

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The 2024 Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, today announced its lineup of television and original indie episodic series. The Festival, which takes place June 5-16, showcases highly anticipated world premieres of new and returning programs from networks and streamers at the forefront of groundbreaking storytelling including Apple TV+, AMC, HBO, Hulu, Paramount+, and more.

This year’s TV lineup features 11 series premieres and two first looks at returning classics. World premieres include Hulu’s Mastermind: To Think Like A Killer, executive produced by Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, an in-depth exploration of Dr. Anne Burgess’ career and her successful journey to closing some of America’s most infamous criminal cases; Hollywood Black, executive produced by Justin Simien, an examination of the Black experience in Hollywood featuring conversations with Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Ryan Coogler, and Ava DuVernay; and Apple TV+’s Presumed Innocent, a legal thriller starring and executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal, hailing from David E. Kelley and executive producer J.J. Abrams, also with Ruth Negga and Peter Sarsgaard.

The program also spotlights docuseries from ESPN’s In the Arena: Serena Williams, a masterclass in professional sports excellence, exploring the most pivotal and intimate moments of Serena Williams’ life and career; MSNBC’s The Turning Point: To Be Destroyed follows Dave Eggers in a fiery investigation of a local school district’s banning of his novel; and Paramount+’s Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken, an impactful two-part special about Melissa Etheridge’s bond with incarcerated women at the Topeka Correctional Facility and the power of music as a conduit of empathy and healing. Etheridge will perform a short acoustic set at the Beacon Theatre following the world premiere, presented by City National Bank.

Fan favorite shows include a return to The Walking Dead universe with season two of AMC’s The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol, which follows Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in a post-apocalyptic France and Carol Peletier’s (Melissa McBride) journey to find him, and the final season of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend finds Elena (Alba Rohrwacher) and Lila (Irene Maiorino) entangled, once again, amid the political violence and social unrest of the late 80’s in Italy.

“The episodic realm is rich in phenomenal storytelling, and Tribeca’s 2024 TV and NOW program delivers the very best of narrative and documentary series. Audiences can look forward to diving into the testimonies of brilliant visionaries like Serena Williams, Melissa Etheridge, and the original subjects of the Stanford Prison Experiment, all of whom will be joining us at the Festival to present their stories,” said Tribeca Senior Programmer Liza Domnitz. “We’re also thrilled to present international adaptations of beloved books from award-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo with Mr. Loverman and the farewell season premiere of Elena Ferrante’s stunning My Brilliant Friend.”

Tribeca Festival’s NOW program continues to uncover compelling independent episodic work, including short and long-form pilots and series. The 2024 NOW showcase focuses on seven standout titles, including a special Untitled Tim Burton Docuseries, a journey of Tim Burton’s excellence in melding the ominous and the frightful with a sense of whimsy created by Tara Wood; Yanqui, a story of love and life’s unexpected outcomes directed by award-winning filmmaker Kyle Hausmann-Stokes; and Juice, Mawaan Rizwan’s hilariously surreal BAFTA TV nominated series, co-starring Russell Tovey (Feud).

Over the years, Tribeca’s TV program has world-premiered numerous award-winning series, including season one of FX’s The Bear with Jeremy Allen White, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, and Ayo Edebiri; HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale starring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel; HBO’s Chernobyl with Jared Harris, Emily Watson, and Stellan Skarsgård; and more.

The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Shorts Programming Ben Thompson; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz, Faridah Gbadamosi, Jarod Neece, José F. Rodriguez; Programmers Casey Baron, Jason Gutierrez, Jonathan Penner, and Madison Egan; VP of Games and Immersive Casey Baltes and Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska; EVP of Artist Relations Nancy Lefkowitz and VP of Artist Relations Meredith Mohr; Curator of Audio Storytelling Davy Gardner; Music Programmer Vincent Cassous; along with a team of associate programmers; supported and inspired by the legendary Paula Weinstein.

The full TV and NOW lineups are detailed below. For more updates on programming follow @Tribeca and #Tribeca2024 on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and to purchase passes and ticket packages for the 2024 Tribeca Festival, go to tribecafilm.com/festival.

 

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