10am: Ice Factory Festival: Who’s There? The New Ohio Theatre will live stream its entire 27th annual Ice Factory Festival. Broadcast online over four weeks, the Obie-winning festival will feature four new works.
Ice Factory continues August 4–8 with Who’s There?, a cross-cultural encounter involving artists based in Singapore, Malaysia, and the United States. Using Zoom, the show explores the unstable ground between us and “the other.” A Black American influencer accuses a Malaysian bureaucrat of condoning blackface. A Singaporean-Indian teacher launches an Instagram feud calling out racial inequality at home, post-George Floyd. A privileged Singaporean-Chinese activist meets a compassionate White Saviour, and an ethnically ambiguous political YouTuber takes a DNA test for the first time.
Who’s There? is created by The Transit Ensemble, and is co-directed by Sim Yan Ying “YY” and Alvin Tan. The cast is made up of Ghafir Akbar, Sean Devare, Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Neil Redfield, Camille Thomas, and Sim Yan Ying “YY”.
4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Alex Barylski (@Alexander-Barylski) and Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1).
4:30pm: Playbill’s Stream Stealers: Dawnn Lewis By Playbill Most recently seen on Broadway as Tina Turner’s mother Zelma in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Lewis now stars in the CBS All Access animated series Star Trek: Below Decks.
5pm: Watch Me Work: Suzan Lori Parks She’s back. A meditation on the artistic process, and an actual work session, featuring Suzan-Lori Parks working on her newest writing project. Traditionally hosted on the mezzanine of The Public Theater Lobby, this new version will bring the program to your home via Zoom sessions and HowlRound livestreams.
6pm: Classic Conversations: Quincy Taylor Bernstine hosted by Artistic Director John Doyle. The series continues with OBIE and Lortel Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Marys Seacole, Ruined), featured in the 2017 production of As You Like It.
6:30pm: Not Going Back to Normal – Moving Forward By The American Theatre Wing Hosted by ATW Board Member Binta Brown, the Wing’s upcoming Network Meeting will include Amara Brady (Emerging Artist/Creative & SpringboardNYC 2017 Alumni), Marilyn McCormick (Theatre Educator & 2016 Excellence in Theatre Education Award Recipient), Dominique Morisseau (Playwright) and Liesl Tommy (Director & ATW Advisory Committee), as they share their experiences and perspectives on the ways systemic racism has impacted Black members of the theatre community.
7pm: Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo in Concert By Axelrod Performing Arts Center Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo perform a summer concert. Young portrayed Radames in the Axelrod’s production of Tim Rice and Elton John’s Aida last summer. Young and DeGarmo starred opposite each other while performing on Broadway in Hair (and subsequently married). Both artists, currently living in Nashville, have released new albums within the past year.
7pm: Humanities Symposium Series: A Lerner and Loewe Celebration By Paper Mill Playhouse. Join us on the set of the 1995 production of Brigadoon. Hosted by Robert Johanson and Music Director James Coleman, with performances by Johanson, Lee Merrill, Joe Mahowald, and Diane Pennington.
7pm: Quarantine Cabaret and Cocktailsproduced and hosted by entertainer and LML Music founder, Lee Lessack, and actor and frequent SNL regular, Robert Bannon. The duo hosts a star-studded group of performers every week with laughs, music, and stories.
Previous guests include the Broadway cast of Mrs. Doubtfire, Diana DeGarmo & Ace Young, Nick Adams, Mandy Gonzalez, and more.
7pm: TRLive! By Theatre Row TRLive!, Theatre Row’s live virtual concert series continues with Jessie Hooker-Bailey (Waitress, Beautiful) and Gilbert L. Bailey II (Beetlejuice, A Bronx Tale, Book of Mormon).
TRLive! features artists from Theatre Row’s community in intimate live performances direct from their homes to yours
7pm: We’re Still Here: A Virtual Cabaret by Alliance Theater a free variety show featuring Broadway stars Terry Burrell (Ethel) and Courtenay Collins (The Prom).Burrell and Collins will alternate as hostess, as they entertain audiences from home with songs, stories, special cocktails, and maybe a surprise guest or two.
7pm: Beautiful Thing Reading By Stay True an LGBTQ+ Theatre Company will present a virtual reading of Jonathan Harvey’s Beautiful Thing.
The reading will star Ryan Arthur (Equus), Reed Lancaster (Yen), Shiro Kihagi (Waafrika 123), Taylor Brandon (Marvel Day at Sea), and Deshja Driggs-Hall (Appropriate). Jenn Susi directs with Elisa Galindez as assistant airector/A.V. technician.
Beautiful Thing tells the story of shy Jamie and athletic Ste are teen boys who live near each other in the London projects. Neither has an ideal home life: Jamie’s mother Sandra is bitter over her financial situation and her romantic life, but she’s willing to settle for a bloke named Tony and cover up her disappointment with scathing humor. Ste’s father and brother abuse him in the form of escalating domestic squabbles and actual beatings.
Both think they could be gay, and finally explore their feelings when Ste is allowed to stay over at Jamie’s place after an incident with his father. There, the boys grow close and open themselves up to the idea of homosexuality, while Sandra and quirky teen neighbor, Leah offer much needed emotional support.
7:30: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly Anthony Minghella’s exquisite production—an instant classic at the Met since its 2006 premiere—provides an evocative setting for this tragedy about a noble but naive geisha awaiting the return of her American Navy lieutenant. Key to the staging are symbolic visuals that tap into traditional Japanese culture while honoring the searching, timeless beauty of Puccini’s mid-career masterpiece.
7:30: Theater Breaking Through Barriers One of eight new plays from the festival entitled Voices from the Great Experiment, which will be presented on TBTBTheater’s YouTube channel every night at 7:30 through August 10. This one is by Tatiana Rivera. Directed by Everett Quinton. Company: Veronica Cruz, Christopher Imbrosiano, Patrick O’Hare, Estrella Tamez
8pm: The Bathroom Plays Eden Theater Company All three plays take place in a bathroom, in Amy Berryman’s “Pidgeons,” a woman confesses to a priest via Zoom, as she “lurks the bowels of the Internet” after her husband’s death. In E.E. Adams’s “Mary,” a young woman who is sheltering in place alone attempts to befriend the ghost haunting her bathroom. In Brennan Vickery’s “Monogamous Animals,” the characters would’ve never thought being so close could make them feel so lonely. A cigarette, a bathtub and a one-night getaway from quarantine might just break them.
7:30pm: BPN Town Hall: My Broadway Memory with guests Marc Shaiman & Megan Hilty By Broadway Podcast Network, a new live, visual podcast — a celebration of memorable experiences at the theatre with Broadway’s biggest names. During each episode, a guest will choose a Playbill from their collection at random and take a trip down memory lane. In addition to discussing the actual show, Michael, Brian, and guests will discuss the headshots, ads, and other traits that make a Playbill a time capsule of Broadway history. Michael and Brian are calling out to theatre fans everywhere to join in on the fun by creating their own My Broadway Memory videos and sharing them to Instagram or Facebook. Be sure to tag @MyBroadwayMemory and use use the hashtag #MyBroadwayMemory to have a chance at being featured on the Broadway Podcast Network site. For more information please visit http://bpn.fm/mbm
8pm: Playbill Social Selects: All About Evil (From Seize the Show) By Playbill. There’s been a murder on Broadway and it’s up to you to find the killer! Behind every great diva is a humble assistant, but when Broadway’s brightest star goes missing, her timid helper steps onto the Broadway stage and knocks the audience dead! Unfortunately, someone has done the same with the missing star. And now it’s up to YOU to solve the case and catch the killer before the press gets wind of the scandal.
Take a nostalgic tour around the haunts of the golden age of Broadway, questioning five suspects, and solving one of ten possible endings! Your choices and knowledge of Broadway will reveal the clues to solve the murder. It would be crime if you missed out on All About Evil.
Playbill Social Selects offer a new way for Broadway and theatre fans alike to spend time with one another while enjoying fun, interactive activities themed around theatre!
8pm: Stars in the House: Forbidden Broadway By The Actors Fund Stars in the House is the daily live streamed concert series created by Playbill correspondent and SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and producer James Wesley. Immanuel Houston, Aline Mayagoitia, Jenny Lee Stern, Joshua Turchin, Chris Collins-Pisano and Fred Barton.
8:30pm: An Evening with Alan Menken San Francisco’s Walt Disney Family Museum will celebrate Alan Menken earning EGOT status with a virtual fundraiser celebrating the Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid composer’s career, featuring special guest Lin-Manuel Miranda. The pair is currently at work writing new songs for a live-action film version of The Little Mermaid.
An Evening with Alan Menken, set for August 6, will begin with a ticketed VIP chat between Menken and music producer Chris Montan at 8 PM ET, immediately followed by a performance by Menken and Miranda at 8:30 PM ET. Free and open to the public, the performance will showcase some of Menken’s most beloved Disney songs, including “Under the Sea,” “A Whole New World,” and “Be Our Guest.”
Click here for free registration. Tickets for the VIP chat begin at $200.
8:30pm: The Living Room Play Workshop By The Old Globe. The Globe’s coLAB Community Voices program branches out this spring with The Living Room Play Workshop. Tune in every Thursday to learn how to write, develop, design, direct, and present your own “Living Room”-inspired short plays in a final live-streamed site-specific presentation. The Living Room Play Workshop will run every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time from July 2 – August 20,
9pm: Magic Theatre’s 2020 Virtual Gala By Magic Theatre Magic Theatre presents its first-ever Virtual Gala Fundraiser, Springing Forward. The Gala will feature guest appearances from Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, Taylor Mac, Mfonsio Udofia, Lloyd Suh, and many more.
Have You Begun Dreaming of It Yet? (PART I)
What else – White Christmas, of course!
December is jampacked with great entertainment, so I hope you’re caught up on your shopping, because there are lots of treats for you this month. Here’s a stockingful of events that you shouldn’t miss.
If you’re looking for probably the most glamorous gift of the season, drop by Doyle Galleries to at least look at The Ellin and Irving Berlin Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Bidding is estimated to begin at $200,000 at the December 14th auction.
Jason Henderson kicked off the month reprising his highly acclaimed latest venture, Getting to Noël You at Don’t Tell Mama on the 4th. If you missed this evening, don’t worry – he’s back by popular demand—same time, same location—on January 24th and February 11th. It’s quite a curious and fast-paced ride he takes us on, and it’s one not to be missed.
The York Theatre has delivered a mitzvah–just in time for Christmas. Billed as a Musical Comedy of Biblical Proportions, The Jerusalem Syndrome certainly lived up to expectations. You must see it to discover the meaning of the title, which is fact, not fiction.
While this has been in development for several years, the skilled midwifery of the York brought forth a little bundle of joy that had the audience laughing at its humor and touched by its message. Sensitive to the current Middle East conflict, the York bravely went ahead with the project, which affords everyone a chance to marvel and understand the miracle that is Israel.
It’s running through the end of the year—visit the York website https://yorktheatre.org for more info.
Urban Stages has announced its “2023 Winter Rhythms” series, the award-winning music festival at Urban Stages Theater (259 West 30th Street – between 7th & 8th Avenues).
It began with a gala on December 6 entitled “Nights at the Algonquin: A Celebration of The Oak Room Supper Club,” featuring many legendary cabaret performers including Natalie Douglas, Boots Maleson, Steve Ross, and Daryl Sherman. Hosted by Michael Colby (author of The Algonquin Kid), the evening began with a champagne and wine reception followed by the show at 7:30 with a post-show gathering to follow.
On Sunday, December 10 at 3pm “Created at the Algonquin: Songs from Musicals Written at The Algonquin,” featuring performances by Craig Bierko, Shana Farr, Jenn Gambatese, Anita Gillette, Jon Peterson, Steve Ross and others. The program will be directed by Sara Louise Lazarus with Michael Lavine directing the music.
As part of the festivities, Shana Farr will reprise her glorious Barbara Cook tribute on the 16th. Ice Cream,. Anyone?
Everyone’s favorite is Karen Mason, whose show Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! is one night only at Birdland at 7 pm on the 11th.
Stay tuned for Part II for Christmas romance, tradition, and good will!
Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer
As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:
- Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
- KT Sullivan Cabaret: December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
- Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
- The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists
A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.
Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection
My View: IT’S TOUGH TO SWING LIKE FRANK….THIS TOUGH GUY CAN…..ROBERT DAVI
The atmosphere in The Boca Black Box was akin to The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas last night as movie/TV star Robert Davi (140 films and counting) swaggered onto the stage to sing and swing the songs of Frank Sinatra. His show, titled “My Kind Of Town” had all the elements of a Sinatra event thanks to Davi’s personality which radiates the same mystique and musical excitement that ‘Ol Blue Eyes” possessed. Robert Davi’s performance was not a great actor acting a role… this was Robert Davi, a great actor who started his career as a trained singer thrilling an audience singing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, but with Davi’s own magnetism and vocal prowess. I don’t know if Sinatra ever played Boca Raton but Robert Davi turned Boca into ‘his kind of town last night” as he brought the musical substance and charisma of “the chairman of the board” to South Florida.
Davi’s had a long and distinguished career in show business and this Boca Black Box audience got to see a lot of the musical part of it last night. The tough guy movie actor sang the music of Frank swinging it “his way”
About Robert Davi:
Robert Davi, an American actor, singer, writer, and producer has played the roles of main villain and drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill. He was FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Proflier. He played a Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in Die Hard. Davi played the opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The goonies, Hans Zarba in Son of the Pink Panther and Al Torres in Showgirls. His album, Davi Sings Sinatra—On The Road to Romance, hit #6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas.
Adrienne Haan Celebrates Irving Berlin and Christmas at the Triad
This Christmas take a big scoop of classic Irving Berlin songs, have them sung by the ever sparkling Adrienne Haan, sprinkle in the voice of her musical director, Richard Danley and you have a festive feast for your ears. I have seen a number of Ms Haan’s shows at the Triad and each one includes something that makes it a step above a typical cabaret show. The first time I saw her there was an actual tuba on stage; the second a number of costume changes, other shows had duets with guest stars or choreography; this time hearing the singing voice of her long-time accompanist and musical director, Mr Danley. The two have bantered in the past but in this show Richard shows his vocal and comedic side with songs like I Paid My Income Tax Today and How About a Cheer for the Navy.
Of course Adrienne blew her audience away with her renditions of There’s No Business Like Show Business and Blue Skies; but, hearing the usually silent man behind the piano was a surprise to me like Teller taking the stage from Penn and his baritone was as shocking as hearing the bumbling Gomer Pyle turn into the rich voiced singer, Jim Nabors. The two of them created a wonderful celebration of Mr Berlin’s musical catalogue with a combination of solos and duets.
Entering the theater, as the holiday season begins, and a show title of White Christmas at the Triad Theater, one would expect to hear 90 minutes of Christmas songs; but, read the second line on the program and you realize that it is really a celebration of the man who wrote one of the most recognizable holiday songs of all time, White Christmas. Not only will we hear the music of Mr Berlin but we will get some insight into his life as Adreinne celebrates his 130 year anniversary of his arrival in the United States. From Europe to Broadway to Hollywood; in military songs, love songs or holiday classics the trio of Haan, Danley and Berlin take us on a historical journey of a life well lead.
Opening the show in a festive seasonal outfit ready for a New Years Eve celebration with “ice” dangling from her ears and around her wrist Adriene introduces us to some well-known Berlin tunes Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Let Me Sing and I’m Happy. One of the treats of her shows is that she does a lot of research into the music she sings and she has done her homework telling us about the life of Israel Beillin, immigrant from Imperial Russia, the country now known as Belarus. He only spoke Yiddish when he landed on Ellis Island so Ms Haan sings Ofyn Pripetchik in his native tongue and then follows with Berlin’s Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor – a tribute to that wonderful Statue in NY harbor. She finishes this section of the show with Marie from Sunny Italy which gives her the opportunity to show her strong vocal ability with a long strong belt of a song.
Berlin came to America in 1893 at the age of 5 which means he was drafted into the army during World War 1, where he wrote the famous anthem Oh How I Hate to Get up in the Morning and which Ms Haan sang in military uniform. A number of tunes that Berlin wrote for both World Wars followed as the two singers alternated songs and Adrienne gave us some more tidbits about the composer. The song I Paid My Income Tax Today sung by Mr Danley is actually owned by the IRS. (I wonder is THEY have to pay tax on the royalties they earn when it is sung.)
Ms Haan is a proud Luxembourger and as life imitates art, or vice versa, Mr Berlin’s Broadway and film musical, Call Me Madam is based on the life of Perle Mesta who was the Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1949-1953. Haan again showed she’s the singer with the zinger when she sang The Hostess with the Mostes’ on the Ball from that show as well as the tribute to the fictitious country in that show Lichtenburg. As far as art leading to reality it is interesting to note that Mr Berlin’s home, 17 Beekman Place, was purchased by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1990 a year after Berlin’s death.
Berlin wrote over 1,500 songs in his 60 years of composing so to highlight all of the numbers Haan sings is too long a list; but, the jaunty I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning, They Say that Falling in Love is Wonderful, Cheek to Cheek and Blue Skies show her range of interpreting music. The love song Always was a particularly important song to Berlin and Haan did it justice as this song was written to Berlin’s wife, Ellin Mackay, on their wedding day.
Of all the show tunes, patriotic anthems, and love songs performed in this show I have to give a special shout out to the Haan/Danley duet of You’re Just in Love. I have seen it sung by a number of Broadway stars, Merman, Stritch, Donald O’Connor and Larry Blyden, (and for the newer generation, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana) in the past; but I’ve never seen the male singer play the piano at the same time. WOW!
It is the holiday season, remember, so Ms Haan’s third costume change is a beautiful red gown that fits the time and she finished the evening with the traditional songs of the Yuletide spirit, including Happy Holiday, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm and of course White Christmas.
This is not a traditional Christmas carol singing show but Ms Haan never is one to follow the norm. This was a wonderful tribute to Mr Berlin with added surprises featuring the excellent wit and talents of both Adrienne and her musical director and accompanist of 22 years, the unsung (until this show) singer Mr Richard Danley.
A second show is at the Triad on Tuesday, December 5 at 7PM. It will get you smiling and into the holiday spirit.
Events For December
Boop! Leaps To Life In Chicago
Countdown to Christmas Day: Map The Song Of Your Life
Have You Begun Dreaming of It Yet? (PART I)
Romantic and Meaningful Love Quotes For Her To Help Win Her Heart
How to Take Advantage of Virtual Numbers for SMS
Entre Institute Review – Is Jeff Lerner’s Program a Scam?
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