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What To Watch April 1st To Take Away The Blues

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On Seth Rudetsky fabulous series Stars in the House the show that has two performances everyday. At 2pm: PLAYS IN THE HOUSE: The Heidi Chronicles with Joan Allen, Peter Friedman, Boyd Gaines, Ellen Parker, Joanne Camp, Anne Lange, Drew McVety, and Cynthia Nixon and at 8pm ET: TV Show Reunion: Frasier Kelsey Grammer, Peri Gilpin, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Dan Butler

6:30 PM:  LIVESTREAM  54 Below At Home: Melissa Errico: Funny, I’m a Woman with Children @ YouTube

8:00 PM:  LIVESTREAM  The Producers Perspective Live with Alan Cumming @ Facebook 

Josh Lamon’s Josh Swallows Broadway returns as a bi-weekly stay at home live stream event! Today the cast of Company on Broadway cast members Christopher Seiber, Jennifer Simard and Claybourne Elder will join Josh live at 9 PM EST.

The Actors Fund has teamed up with “Schitt’s Creek” star, award-winning actress and Screen Actors Guild® Nominee Emily Hampshire for a new weekly live-streamed talk-show “Humpday With Hampshire” and is proud to announce the guest stars for the first show of this series. Appearing with Emily on Wednesday, April 1st will be: Bobby Berk(Lifestyle & Design Expert, Star in Netflix’s Emmy-Award Winning “Queer Eye)actress and activist Sophia Bush (“One Tree Hill”, “Chicago PD”), Emily’s “Schitt’s Creek” co-star Annie Murphy, and 2018 Olympic Bronze medalist Adam Rippon.

The program debuts this Wednesday, April 1st at 2:00 PM PDT / 5:00 PM EDT on The Actors Fund YouTube channel here and will feature virtual interviews with celebrities in their natural habitats—be it their bedrooms, kitchens, garages or closets. They’ll share advice on how to get through this unprecedented time with humor, kindness—and your sanity intact.

Produced by The Actors Fund, the innovative, genre-busting series will raise money for emergency financial assistance and other services for entertainment and performing arts professionals who have been impacted by COVID-19. The show will live-stream weekly until film, tv and theater productions are back up and running.

“Humpday with Hampshire” will also feature quarantine-themed games including “Show Us Your Junk (Drawer)”, “What is your quarROUTINE”, and “Phone a Friend Roulette.”

Upcoming celebrity guests will include some of Emily’s famous friends and co-stars from TV, film, sports and social media.

All proceeds from viewer donations will go directly to The Actors Fund, the national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency and serves as a safety net to everyone in performing arts and entertainment.

“I couldn’t ask for a better creative distraction than hosting a show that not only helps raise money for an important cause, but also lets me connect with a dream team roster of guests without having to leave my apartment or even put on pants!” says Hampshire. “There’s such an insane amount of stress in the world right now, and if we can do something a little fun for all the stir-crazy people out there and help the industry, that means everything to me.”

Hampshire can currently be seen starring as “Stevie Budd” in the sixth and final season of the Emmy nominated series ”Schitt’s Creek.” She will next star opposite Adrien Brody in “Chapelwaite,” Epix’s drama series based on Stephen King’s short story Jerusalem’s Lot. Hampshire also recently wrapped production on the thriller feature Home, which she also executive produced and will be seen next month in “50 States of Fright” series produced by Sam Raimi for Quibi. She is repped by Atlas Artists, Paradigm, Creative Drive Artists, K. L. Benzakein Talent, Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson and Jazo PR.

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.  

On Tuesdays, Composer/Producer Neil Berg and collaborator DJ Salisbury will be releasing free downloads from the Original Concept Cast Recording of The Man Who Would Be King, featuring Brian d’Arcy James and Marc Kudisch performing.

The cast includes Brian d’Arcy James(Titanic, Something Rotten, Spotlight), Marc Kudisch (Girl From the North Country, Assassin’s ), Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, In the Heights, Wicked), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia), along with Don Richard (Jane Eyre, Wicked) and Paul Schoefler (Rock of Ages, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast).

Based on the Rudyard Kipling novel, which was also an Academy Award nominated film starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine. They are hoping for a future production in 2021/22.

Visit tinyurl.com/uptheredownload to hear the song in your browser or to download the track to play anywhere.

The fully orchestrated concept album is orchestrated by Tony Award Winner Larry Hochman (Spamalot, The Addams Family) and conducted/music directed by Wendy Bobbitt Cavett (conductor for Broadway’s Come From Away) and is available in full on iTunes and CDbaby.com.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Bob Marley: Legacy mini-documentary series continues with episode two: ‘Women Rising’ The moving and empowering short premiered today on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel and features interviews with Rita Marley, also known as Bob Marley’s wife and the matriarch of the Marley Family, whose strength and character is an inspiration for people around the world. Rita was an integral part of the Wailers musical development, as well as a constant presence and influence in Bob Marley’s life, guardian of his legacy, and a member of the Iconic Reggae Group I-Threes.  Mrs. Marley is also the founder of the Rita Marley Foundation, which works to eradicate poverty and hunger while empowering communities in Ghana and Jamaica. Her life’s work epitomizes integrity and grace. 

Bob Marley: Legacy Episode 2 – ‘Women Rising’ also features Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt of the I-Threes, Mystic Marley, Donisha Prendergast,  academic and writer Isis Semaj-Hall, former activist, campaigner and former councilor Seyi Akiwowo and Stella Dadzie writer & historian, Kim Walker, photographer, and more championing women and the messages in Bob Marley’s music. Watch ‘Women Rising’ HERE

Last month’s episode, Bob Marley: Legacy Episode 1 75 Years A Legend,’ a refreshing and cinematic journey through the life, legacy, and relevance that Bob Marlestill holds in this present day is also available now on Bob Marley’s official YouTube channel.

The documentary follows the EP release of Keep On Moving, which features an extended and radio mix and an exclusive mix from Sly & Robbie. Listen to Keep On Moving EP HERE.

Based on the success of last week’s launch of its new series of free live streamed theatrical performances, Show Shepherd, a theatrical consulting group that works with writers, independent producers, and theater companies to develop new work, continues The At-Home Theater Series with additional performances this Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3.

In 2019, Show Shepherd launched its Digital Services for promoting new stage works and with the The At-Home Theater Series, it expands its online presence to include livestreamed performances. 

“For 10 years Show Shepherd has worked directly with writers and other industry pros to strategically advance their projects in creative and exciting ways, most recently through Digital Services designed to help them reach decision makers in the field and audiences through online video content. So we’re very proud to take the next step and present these exciting artists and their beautiful, very personal work as part of The At-Home Theater Series during this time when closures and social distancing have focused us even more online,” said Matt Schicker, founder and president of Show Shepherd.

These solo performances, developed for a theatrical setting, will be performed by the artists in their own homes for the first time. All of the shows will be completely free, and filmed LIVE. For the full lineup and schedule of show and links to each livestream, please go to ShowShepherd.com/Live.

Current artists set to perform in the The At-Home Theater Series are:

Jessica Sherr – Bette Davis Ain’t For Sissies 

Actress and playwright Jessica Sherr powerfully channels Bette Davis’ fight against the male-dominated studio system. On the night of the 1939 Oscars, Bette Davis returns home knowing she’s to lose Best Actress to Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara, because the press has leaked the winners. Miss Davis takes us on the bumpy ride of her tumultuous rise, as the tenacious actress fights her way through the studio system to the top. Witness Bette triumph over misogyny to win roles and compensation on par with her male counterparts. See what happens when someone who always wins…loses.

Ben Clark – Quarantunes

It’s time to relax, sit the appropriate distance apart from each other, wash our hands, and dig some new musical theater pieces with Ben Clark, composer/lyricist of the musicals The Circus in Winter, Skin & Bones, andBruno and the Gospel of Infinity (and leader of the rock outfit Ben Clark and the Long Shadows) and special guest. 

Vivian Nesbitt – The Bark & The Tree 

Alcoholism. Depression. Suicide. Not the family footsteps Vivian wanted to follow so when they threatened to be the ones she was destined for, she took action. Setting sail for Ireland in search of a different legacy Vivian traces her lineage back five generations, to find one filled with poetry, song, and loyalty. The past, the present and the “Born & Breds” collide as the play bends time and space until Vivian divines a future and a truth all her own. Discovery and surrender, juxtaposed with the comedy of human nature fill the play with pathos, humor and adventure.

Led by Matt Schicker and Blair Russell, Show Shepherd has advanced more than 40 new musicals and plays, working with writers, producers, and theater companies to strategically develop their work. The company was launched in 2011 in response to the growing need for writers and producers to get advice as they navigate this often complex industry. Show Shepherd team members have non-profit and commercial producing experience, which is shared with clients through services that are practical, valuable, personal, and educational at every step. Show Shepherd provides Digital Services, dramaturgy, submissions strategy, collaborator matchmaking, scouting, and more. www.showshepherd.com

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club presents a performance of Pananadem (Remembering) by Kinding Sindaw now available via live-stream on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network.

The New York Premiere of Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage’s Pananadem (Remembering) took place on March 12, 2020 at 7pm at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th Street (2nd Floor), NYC. The performance run was cut short due to COVID-19.

Conceived & Directed by Potri Ranka Manis Pananadem means “remembering” in the language of the Meranao people.  It is a way of looking back across time, to gain inspiration and perspective from one’s ancestors. In this tale, old and new align as a young group of refugees whose quest for inspiration leads them to a transformative encounter with displaced tradition-bearers who recall the legends of Derangen, the Meranao epic.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Cabaret

Can First Graders Mount a Broadway Musical And Raise Money for Charity?  Yes, They Can For Marin Mazzie

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New York City’s Midtown West School/PS 212’s First Grade Theatre Study program continues their tradition of creativity, collaboration, and philanthropy, this year benefiting the Cancer Support Community in memory of Tony winner and American Theater Hall of Fame inductee Marin Mazzie.

This astonishing group of first graders from Midtown West School/PS 212 and their teachers Bryan Andes and Rowena Hurst who, this year, produced an original musical version of The Little Mermaid with a score made up of Flaherty/Ahrens songs while raising funds to honor the memory of beloved Broadway legend Marin Mazzie, who died of ovarian cancer in 2018.

Developed by Andes in 2005, the First Grade Theatre Study (the Study) was created as a way to help students develop a deeper understanding of how people work together to create theater. Using a social studies lens, the two-year program looks at the entire process of how a show comes together – from the creation of a script to the running of a live musical, and every step in between.

The Study begins in kindergarten with an immersive study of fairy tales. Students learn about tales from around the world and how different cultures retell these stories in distinctive ways. Then, beginning in first grade, students engage in the research process. They meet with directors, designers, stagehands, front-of-house workers, wardrobe workers, advertising executives, and actors to gather information about each theater job.

In the winter, the students start writing an original fairy tale script, curating a score, designing advertisements and playbill covers, and deciding which job they will carry out for the production. The students go on to build set models, design costumes, sell tickets, choreograph dances, rehearse their lines, and more.

“Given our location near the heart of the theater district, the Study is also about connecting our school community with the theater community,” Andes said. “Since so many members of the theater community, across all areas of the profession, donate their time to visit our school or host us at the theater to teach us about their jobs, fundraising for a charity with links to Broadway is our way of giving back and saying thank you.”

The beneficiary for the 2024 production is the Cancer Support Community (CSC), a global nonprofit that uplifts and strengthens people impacted by cancer by providing support, fostering compassionate communities, and breaking down barriers to care. CSC’s services and resources are available at nearly 200 Cancer Support Community, Gilda’s Club, and healthcare partner locations as well as online and over the phone. Mazzie was a fierce supporter of CSC and actively advanced its mission to support people living with cancer and their loved ones. Her husband, Broadway star Jason Danieley, continues to be a champion for CSC and a resolute advocate for cancer patients and caregivers.

Members of CSC’s senior leadership, including Karen Costello, MSS, LSW, OSW-C, a licensed social worker and the Senior Director of CSC’s Cancer Support Helpline, spoke to the students this spring about the organization’s mission, answered their questions about cancer, shared how Mazzie advocated for patients, and told them how their fundraising will help people, including children, impacted by or coping with a cancer diagnosis.

Giving back is an important component of the First Grade Theatre Study program, with prior beneficiaries including The Actor’s Fund, Broadway Barks, BCEFA (Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS), and Covenant House. This year, in addition to raising money through ticket sales, the students are creating a vertical garden of sunflowers, Mazzie’s favorite flower. Handmade by the students, the 400 flowers, priced at $5 each, have already sold out. Their generosity and creativity do not end there. The students are also writing positive messages that will be placed in an affirmation jar to encourage patients, caregivers, and other participants at CSC’s nearby network partner, Cancer Support Community Greater New York and Connecticut.

On June 25, the first graders will present their original musical in a special afternoon event that includes both a museum and film documenting the journey and the live performance (complete with an 13-piece orchestra made up of Local 802 musicians, parent volunteers, and teachers).

“We are simply overwhelmed by the effort and generosity of this group of children,” CSC CEO Sally Werner commented. “The creativity, attention to detail, and curiosity they have shown in putting together this musical and fundraiser are outstanding. They are fortunate to have Bryan Andes and Rowena Hurst as their teachers whose dedication to creating a positive, life-changing experience and commitment to “paying it forward” by including a philanthropic and service component are stellar. We are honored to have been selected as their 2024 beneficiary.”

To support the students’ fundraising effort, go to:  https://bit.ly/2024mazziefundraiser

The Cancer Support Community is a global nonprofit that uplifts and strengthens people impacted by cancer. We are dedicated to fostering a community where people find connection, compassion, and knowledge. We provide professionally led support and navigation services, along with social connections and award-winning education — when, where, and how impacted individuals prefer throughout their cancer experience. These resources are available at nearly 200 Cancer Support Community, Gilda’s Club, and healthcare partner locations as well as online and over the phone — all at no cost. We amplify the voices of those impacted by cancer through research and advocacy and create solutions that break down barriers to care and close the healthcare gap for communities whose members are disproportionately affected by cancer.

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Cabaret

Jumaane Smith Plays To Sold Out Crowd at Birdland

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This past week Jumaane Smith and his quartet performed for a full house at Birdland in New York City. Jumaane is one of the greatest trumpeter performing today. Like Louis Armstrong he is strong on both trumpet and vocals, playful on stage.

Jumaane has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder, andperformed with Michael Buble for 17 years. and Harry Connick Jr. Smith is stepping onto center stage with the release of his new album “Come On Home” on August 16. This deeply emotional and predominantly original work traverses the rich landscapes of jazz, blues, and contemporary soul, echoing the timeless influence of classic albums from these genres. Known for his exceptional talent and versatility, the LP and his performance encapsulates themes of love, loss, overcoming challenges, redemption, and joy.
A highlight if the night was”I Know,” about finding your soulmate—the one person who stands by you against the world, the person you long to see at the end of the day.
Smith was backed by outstanding musicians Chris Lewis – Saxophone, Al Street – Guitar, Carmen Intorre Jr – drums, Will Gorman – organ.
It’s always a treat to be in the audience enjoying an evening with Jamaane Smith and his incredible music
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Cabaret

My View: Norm Lewis…. “SUMMERTIME” at 54 Below… Spike Lee & Celebs Attend

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In all my years of going to shows, whether theatre, concerts, clubs, cabaret, etc., I have never done what I did this past week and I’m not sure I can even explain. I went to see Norm Lewis at 54 Below on June 6th and didn’t just love it, I was somehow hypnotized by the man and the material. That night, Miss Melba Moore was his Special Guest and invited to share the stage and something magical happened. The program was all showtunes and treasure from Broadway-current, past and even a little in between, with one brilliant piece of Off-Broadway gold, TRY TO REMEMBER, dedicated to the memory of the late, great Jerry Orbach. Then, upon finding out the Guest List for the entire 7 shows, we just decided we wanted to be there and it was the right decision. Night after night, added and/or subtracted songs to adapt to the desired length of the show. Every night, Norm’s longtime friend and trusted Director, Richard Jay-Alexander, on the scene, along with Musical Director/Arranger Joseph Joubert on keys, Perry Cavari on drums and percussion and a very cool Dylan Shamat on both electric and acoustic bass. Each night a different kind of magic and, lucky me, living so nearby, I was able to capture all the Award Winning Guests and high=profile friends. So, here for Norm Lewis, who brought summer early to all of us at 54 Below, is a scrapbook of his seven nights and special guests, both on stage and off. Now that the run is over, what will Eda and I do tonight??? Bravo!

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL & NORM LEWIS

54 BELOW

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NORM LEWIS

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & WALTER MARKS

PASTOR BOBBY LEWIS & NORM LEWIS

MARC SHAIMAN

MARC SHAIMAN & NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS (Sweeney Todd)

NORM LEWIS

LEN CARIOU

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS & ALICE RIPLEY

ALICE RIPLEY & NORM LEWIS

WILL SWENSON & NORM LEWIS

WILL SWENSON

WILL SWENSON

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL & NORM LEWIS

BRIAN STOKES MITHCELL & NORM LEWIS

NOVA PAYTON & NORM LEWIS

NOVA PAYTON & NORM LEWIS

OLIVIA ELEASE  HARDY

OLIVIA ELEASE HARDY & NORM LEWIS

OLIVIA HARDY

THE DRINKWATER BROTHERS

THE DRINKWATER BROTHERS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

SPIKE LEE & NORM LEWIS

SPIKE LEE & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & SPIKE LEE

LEN CARIOU

MARC SHAIMAN

SPIKE LEE

MARILYN MAYE

MELISSA ERRICO

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL

JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, SPIKE LEE, TONY DANZA

LEN CARIOU, NORM LEWIS, MARC SHAIMAN

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

54 BELOW

CARLOS CLEMENZ

NORM LEWIS

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Norm Lewis, Stephen Schwartz Made For a Fabulous Summertime at 54 Below

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Norm Lewis is presenting “SUMMERTIME (Special Tony Edition)” from June 6-13, 2024 at 54 Below.

Stephen Schwartz

The night of June 7, Mr. Lewis was joined on stage by composer Stephen Schwartz and Bobby Lewis ( Mr. Lewis’ cousin). The show was directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, musical direction and piano Joseph Joubert, drums – Perry Cavari and on Bass -Dylan Shamat.

Norm began the evening by entering through the audience greeting the enthusiastic crowd singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Julie Stone/Bob Merrill).’

Norm Lewis

At one point While he left the stage for wardrobe change his special guest Stephen Schwartz took to the piano to sing “The Hardest Part of Love” from his musical Children of Eden.

Norm and Bobby Lewis

Mr. Lewis left the stage one more time to give the moment to Bobby Lewis singing ”One Song Glory ” from Rent (music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson.

Lee Roy Reams, Marilyn Maye

Before leaving the stage Mr Lewis joined  his cousin Bobby Lewis in a duet singing “For Good” from Wicked (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Each night of the run will feature surprise guest .
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Cabaret

My View: SUMMERTIME Starring Norm Lewis Just Keeps Getting HOTTER!

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I don’t usually post multiple photo essays of the same show/event, but, in this case, I simply must or I wouldn’t be doing my job of “reporting” here in Times Square Chronicles. The fact of the matter is that my wife, Eda, and I have been to Norm Lewis’s new show SUMMERTIME (Special Tony Edition) 3 times now and it has been “delivering” on a nightly basis more thrills and excitement than any other run of a show we have previously witnessed. The show is beautifully directed by the gifted Richard Jay-Alexander, with musical direction and arrangements from the equally gifted Joseph Joubert. What Norm and his artistic posse have put together is so satisfying that you get drawn in and forget you’ve already seen it. Add to this unexplainable phenomenon the array of Broadway Guests and each night has been a delight for so many different reasons. Because I live conveniently close, I am able to capture historic pairings of creative giants and I had to put this together so you could witness the kind of history that has already been made each of these nights at 54 Below. Norm has 4 more shows and many more Special Guests on June 10, 11, 12 and 13 and I can only heartily recommend you go see this man who is so comfortable in his stardom, that he easily seduces you into his world of music and Broadway. You will not be disappointed. I must also note that there has been as much star power in his audiences as there are on stage, adding extra excitement to every night.

( I couldn’t catch all the celebs in the audience but here are a few photo highlights)

NORM LEWIS & LEN CARIOU

NORM LEWIS (Sweeny Todd)

LEN CARIOU

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & WALTER MARKS

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NORM LEWIS

MARC SHAIMAN & NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS & MARC SHAIMAN

LEN CARIOU, NORM LEWIS, MARC SHAIMAN

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MALBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MARILYN MAYE & NORM LEWIS

MARILYN MAYE

LEE ROY REAMS & MARILYN MAYE

WALTER MARKS, JENNIFER HALLIE DIAMOND, ROBERT DIAMOND, founder/owner BROADWAYWORLD, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

NORM LEWIS, ROBERT DIAMOND, JENNIFER HALLIE DIAMOND

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, music director/conductor The New York Pops, ERIC GABBARD

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

LORNA DALLAS BROWN, LEE ROY REAMS, MARILYN MAYE

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

PASTOR BOBBY LEWIS (Norm’s cousin) & NORM LEWIS

JOSEPH JOUBERT, music director

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NORM LEWIS, CATHERINE ADLER

JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER & RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

MARK SENDROFF, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, RICHARD SKIPPER

54 BELOW

MACON PRICKETT

CARLOS CLEMENZ & MARC SHAIMAN

NORM LEWIS

EDA SOROKOFF & CATHERINE ADLER

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