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What To Watch August 21st To Take Away The Blues

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Mercedes Ruehl and Michael Urie photo by Joan Marcus

West Side Stories: Celebrating NYC in the 1970’s Laura Benanti (My Fair Lady), Megan Hilty (TV’s “Smash”), and musical theatre legend Chita Rivera (West Side Story) will be making appearances in this Virtual Fundraiser for the Hudson Guild of Manhattan. The concert will feature the talents of Kate Baldwin (Hello Dolly!), Tony Award® winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Andy Karl (Pretty Woman, Groundhog Day), Kara Lindsey (Newsies, Wicked), Orfeh (Pretty Woman, Legally Blonde), Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill, Fun Home), TV/Broadway actress Martha Plimpton (“Raising Hope,” “The Real O’Neals”), Sabrina Sloan (Hamilton, Motown) and her Schuyler Sisters from the San Francisco production of Hamilton, The Skivvies (Nick Cearley& Lauren Molina), Emmy Award® winner Holland Taylor, comedian Bruce Villanch, cast members of Sing Street the Musical, stars from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the super-charismatic queer a cappella band of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, TONEWALL, and more. West Side Stories: will air via YouTube

8am: The 19th Amendment Project Burning Coal Theatre is pleased to present The 19th Amendment Project, a collection of short plays written by some of the most accomplished women and/or non-binary playwrights working today, writing on the passage of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago and its ongoing impact. 

Each of the 14 plays will be released virtually, one at a time, between August Aug 17 – 30.  Tickets for one viewing of each 10 minute play will be $2 (or buy the whole series for $25) and each will be available from the day each play is released through the end of September, 2020. 

The playwrights expected to participate include Clare Bayley, Hannah Benitez, Susana Cook, Kelly Doyle, Jennifer Natalya Fink, Magdalena Gomez, Tamara Kissane, Carrie Knowles, Deb Margolin, Ruth Margraff, Kate Morris, MJ Perrin, Elaine Romero, Prageeta Sharma and Ariel Zetina.

The producing arts organizations will include Agape Theatre, Bulldog Theatre Ensemble, Burning Coal Theatre, the Gilbert Theatre, the Justice Theatre Project, NC Central University Theatre, the North Carolina Theatre, the North Carolina Opera, Raleigh Little Theatre, Sweet Tea Shakespeare, Theatre in the Park, William Peace University Theatre and the Women’s Theatre Festival.

The League of Women Voters of Wake County serves as production partner. 

12pm: Lang Lang

1pm: HERE: vichitra: englandbashi is an experiment in queer South Asian imagination. Check out Episode 1: An Anthology of Queer Dreams at www.vichitra.media. HERE is excited to present Episode 2: Englandbashi, a contemporary ghost story about taking reincarnation (too?) seriously. Created and directed by Shayok Misha Chowdhury, with art direction and video by Kameron Neal and sound design by Jeremy S. Bloom. 

Following the screening of Englandbashi on August 21 at 1pm, there will be a conversation with creator Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Bangladeshi American poet Tarfia Faizullah. 

Episode 2 will start screening at 1pm, and runs approx 25 minutes (enter the password from your pre-show or confirmation email. Purchase access here.).

Join the post-screening conversation with Misha and Tarfia at 1:30pm, either on this page, or via the Zoom Webinar (PW: 405161).

1pm: College Theatre Auditions: Western Connecticut State University and Shenandoah University By Playbill Faculty from theatre programs at university’s go live to answer your questions about their specialized college theatre experiences, audition tips, and more.

3pm: Whisk You Away To Las Vegas! Join Cirque Du Soleil on this week’s #CirqueConnect special, we take you on a 60-minute tour of some of our longest-running Las Vegas-based shows! Let us whisk you away to the land of Mystère, to the enchanted waters of “O” and to the battlefield of KÀ.

3pm: The Debrief: Michael Urie and Ryan Spahn By Play-PerView. Stage favorites (and real-life couple) Michael Urie and Ryan Spahn drop by Play-PerView’s talk show The Debrief.

3pm: The Early Night Show with Joshua Turchin

Giancarlo Esposito returns as the notorious Breaking Bad drug lord Gus Fring on the AMC prequel series, Better Call Saul.

4pm: Inside The Ensemble: Giancarlo Esposito By Atlantic Theater Company. The company discusses the history of our company, and how their work has evolved since those early days. Featuring legendary actor Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad).

4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Colman Domingo, Jane Monheit and Jessica Vosk guests include writer-performer Colman Domingo, jazz chanteuse Jane Monheit and Broadway vocal powerhouse Jessica Vosk. 

5pm: Julie Halston: Virtual Halston Broadway actress/comedienne Julie Halston is coming to a laptop near you! After ranting and raving on stages and cocktail parties, the comedy queen will launch “Virtual Halston,” a weekly half-hour gab-fest spotlighting her famous friends. This week’s guests Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl, who co stared in the recent Broadway revival of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song.

Peoples Garden
Quince masks

5:30: Quince People’s Garden in Bushwick Yes, this is live, in-person theater.Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez and Ellpetha Tsivicos create an immersive theatrical experience where we invite audiences to enter a not-so-traditional quinceañera, featuring the story of Cynthia, a 14-year-old Mexican American girl confronting her queer identity on the eve of her special day. The theater company known as The Team turns “necessary precautions against the spread of Covid-19 into an integral part of the celebration, including beautiful custom face masks for the audience.”.

6pmBOLD2020 The premiere of a festival of ten-minute plays that’s in response to the systemic silencing of Black womxn’s voices

6:30pm: Kinesis Project dance theater: Breathing with Strangers: Along the Water’s Edge Live Summer on the Hudson presents: LiveStream from Riverside Park South with Sumaya Mulla Carrillo and Jiemin Yang perform Breathing with Strangers as a duet.

7pm: LAO at Home: Living Room Recital By LA Opera Tenor Andrew Owens makes his virtual company debut, joined by pianist Chris Reynolds and flautist Jessica Warren, in a program of Italian romances and songs made famous by Mario Lanza.

7pmVirtual Rule of 7×7: LimeFest Edition an ongoing series that premieres 7 new short plays by 7 different writers. For each round of 7×7, every playwright devises one rule & then each playwright creates a new piece incorporating ALL 7 rules…. And 7×7 is now a NEW YORK TIMES and TIME OUT NEW YORK pick for quality virtual content!

7pm: Play Reading Fridays: In a Dark Dark House Reading of In a Dark Dark House by Neil LaBute benefiting The Actors Fund. Starring Nick Gaswirth, Tim Realbuto, and Laurissa “Lala” Romain

7pm: Newsies The one-night-only streaming of the Tony Award-winning musical, captured live at The Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 2016, with Jeremy Jordan as “Jack Kelly,” Kara Lindsay as “Katherine,” Ben Fankhauser as “Davey” and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as “Crutchie,” and North American Tour stars Steve Blanchard as “Joseph Pulitzer,” Aisha de Haas as “Medda Larkin” and Ethan Steiner as “Les.”

7:30: Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra The title ruler of Simon Boccanegra is one of the repertory’s most compelling characters, a 14th-century Doge of Genoa, beset on all sides, juggling political adversaries bent on murder with his love for his long-lost daughter Amelia. In addition to Boccanegra’s searing internal conflict between public duty and private grief, the story offers cloak-and-dagger intrigue, passionate young love, and noble sacrifice—set to an unfailingly dramatic, enveloping score that only Verdi could have created.

7:30: Great Small Works: Art, Justice, and Pasta: A Benefit for Building StoriesJoin Brooklyn-based theater company Great Small Works for a free, online version of the company’s long-running Spaghetti Dinners which feature art, ideas, and pasta. Over a dozen new activist performances, puppet shows, films, and music (as well as a live cooking show revealing the secrets of Great Small Works’ famed spaghetti recipe) created by performers including: Great Small WorksBoxCutter CollectiveThe People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street,Chinese Theatre Works, the Inanimate Intimists, Nathan Leigh, Raphael Mishler, Marina Tsaplina, Jacqueline Wade, and chef Roberto Rossi.

7:30pm: Theater Breaking Through Barriers: 3 Gods on a Zoom Voices from the Great Experiment 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 Monét Marshall. Directed by Keyanna Alexander. Company: Kalilah Black, Robin Carmon Marshall, AhDream Smith

8pm: Plays for the People: Buttafly Precinct By Black Lives Black Words International Project. Written and directed by Sha Cage. Two young girls struggle to survive on the streets carrying a dark secret and a jar of butterflies across the city of Minneapolis on the eve of George Perry Floyd’s murder. With the backdrop of the historic Uprising and in the blink of an eye, they discover truth, betrayal, and magic while coming of age on the streets that refuse to call them by their true names.

Patina Miller
Patina Miller

8pm: Broadway for Racial Justice’s Amplified Concert By Broadway for Racial Justice Tony nominee Hailey Kilgore, Solea Pfeiffer, Shoshana Bean, Tony winner Jessie Mueller, Skylar Astin, and more will perform at Broadway for Racial Justice’s Amplified concert August 21. The event will spotlight up-and-coming artists within the theatre industry. Rounding out the lineup of both established artists and up-and-comers are Kalen Allen, Brittany Campbell, Kayla Davion, Deon’te Goodman, Sapphire Hart, Morgan James, Andre Malcolm, Arianne Meneses, Joey Rosario, and Empty Royalty. Tony winner Patina Miller and Brandon Michael Nase host.

8pm: meet you at the Galaxy Diner. The Tank (Meghan Finn, Artistic Director) and New Light Theater Project (Sarah Norris, Artistic Director) are proud to present a virtual production of the new play meet you at the Galaxy Diner. by Gina Femia.

Directed by William Steinberger, will be available on demand through August 28. The cast of meet you at the Galaxy Diner. includes Tay Bass as Sandy, Sandra, Mandy, Stef & Alana; Brandon Jones as Adam; Ricki Lynée as AG; Sade Namei as Silver; and Ryan Wesley Stinnett as Bill.

The production features sound design by Carsen Joenk (The Valkyries) and projections by Izmir Ickbal (La Negra). Sarah Zerod (Or, An Astronaut Play) served as Stage Manager.

9pm: The King and I PBS Great Performances The production was recorded during its 2018 run in London’s West End with original Lincoln Center Theater cast members Ken Watanabe as the King and Kelli O’Hara in her Tony-winning performance as Mrs. Anna, along with Ruthie Ann Miles as “head wife” Lady Thiang, who won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a musical.

9pm: BPN Town Hall: E-Ticket to Broadway & Mama’s Talkin’ Loud, with TWO very special guests! By Broadway Podcast Network. Are you ready for some Homemade Family Magic? Join for a special “Extra Magic Hour” of “E-Ticket to Broadway” in special collaboration with “Mamas Talkin’ Loud” as part of the Broadway Podcast Network’s Special Live events on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 9:00pm EST. Hosted by David Alpert, Cara Cooper, and Jessica Rush, special Broadway Stars & parents Tony Award-winner Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, “Masters of Sex’) and Deedee Magno Hall (Wicked, If/Then, “Steven Universe,” “The Mickey Mouse Club”) will chat about family trips to the Disney Parks. Special guest appearances by your favorite DIY Disney Experts on how to bring the magic into your homes! The event also serves as a fundraiser for Gilana’s Fund. See ya real soon! #disney #broadwaypodcastnetwork #broadway

9pm: Hollywood Fringe Festival: Romeo and Juliet; Virtually Theater Asylum and #FringeFromHome presents Romeo & Juliet;Virtually LIVE! (the original #AloneTogether couple) in the most tragic online video party event ever! Fridays and Saturdays, August 21, 22, 28 & 29 only, at 6 pm PDT. Virtual doors open at 5:30 for a pre-show welcome from fair Pomona’s Mayor Escalus.

A live Zoom party? With a modern day Romeo and Juliet? “How does that work?” we hear you thinking. Mom and Pops Capulet are throwing an online bash with fair Pomona’s finest, and you’re welcome to attend, just so long as you’ve no relation to that rotten Montague family. Sure, their kid Romeo is handsome and rich, but he’d better not come virtually anywhere near daughter Juliet.

There are thugs onboard on both sides of these families, so just how wrong could this all possibly go? At least you’re fairly safe partying on from home. Wait! What’s that pounding sound at your front door?

Each performance invites a limited number of revelers, so grab your ticket to reserve your spot for the jeers and tears. A custom link will be emailed directly to you to join in. The fun begins at 5:30 pm PDT for the West Coast (and in earnest at 6:00), 8:30 pm on the US East Coast, and at 10:30 am AEDT on Australia’s East Coast for our Ren-Faire friends down under.

$9 VIP Party Experience – Your ticket link gets you INTO the party, text chatting in real time with the cast and fellow partiers. Do you have some advice for Juliet about this new guy Romeo, or perhaps for Juliet’s BFF Nurse Nan, or for Romeo’s pal Freddie Mercutio? You’ll be in the Zoom where it happens, so let them know! Maybe your emojis and words of wisdom can help these star-crossed lovers get it untwisted. The VIP party experience then continues directly after with a live talkback with the cast.

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

Broadway

Chita Rivera Awards Part 2 The Interviews

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T2C was at the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. We got to interview some of the best in dance and look forward to sharing this with you.

On this video watch Michael-Demby Cain, Joe Lanteri, Bernadette Peters, Debbie Allen, Justin Peck, Norm Lewis, Rick and Jeff Kuperman, Chita’s daughter Lisa Mordente, Kenny Ortega, Serge Trujillo,  winners for Water For Elephants Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, winner Camille A Brown Hell’s Kitchen, Marina Tamayo, Lorin Latarro, David Petersen, Bruce Robert Harris, Ali Louis Bourgzgui, Huey Lewis, Phil LaDuca, Riki Kane Larimer, Grant Plotkin and highlights from the show with Ali Louis Bourgzgui, Kristin ZChenoweth, Norm Lewis, Wayne Brady and more.

This was one spectacular night.

Video by Magda Katz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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Summer Listening: Here We Are, Water for Elephants, Days of Wine and Roses, Harmony, How to Dance in Ohio, The Great Gatsby, Lempicka, The Outsiders, Stereophonic and Suffs  

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Today Concord Theatricals Recordings released the original cast recording of Here We Are, on CD and digital platforms worldwide. The album will be available on 2-LP, 180g baby blue vinyl on Friday, September 6. Here We Are (Original Cast Recording) has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, and music supervision and additional arrangements by Alexander Gemignani, conducting a 14-piece orchestra. The album was recorded and mixed by Ian Kagey and mastered by Oscar Zambrano. The album packaging was designed by Derek Bishop. Complete production credits can be found in the album booklet available for free download HERE.

Stream, download or purchase the album HERE.

The album features the cast of Joe Mantello’s celebrated world premiere production: Francois Battiste, Tracie Bennett, Bobby Cannaval

Ghostlight Records has announced that Water for Elephants: Original Broadway Cast Recording, which preserves the show’s soaring score by the acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co., is available in streaming and digital formats today, Friday, May 17. A CD is being planned for this summer. The show has been nominated for seven 2024 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” Produced by Peter Schneider, Jennifer Costello, Grove Entertainment, Frank Marshall, Isaac Robert Hurwitz, and Seth A. Goldstein, Water for Elephants is currently running at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). Water for Elephants is based on the critically acclaimed and New York Times-bestselling novel by Sara Gruen. The new musical has a book by four-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice (Jersey Boys, Peter and the Starcatcher) and is directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Jessica Stone (Kimberly Akimbo). The album is produced by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Ian Kagey. Stream or download the album at ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/WaterForElephants

Water for Elephants is currently running at the Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street). The cast stars Grant Gustin (“The Flash,” “Glee”) in his Broadway debut, Isabelle McCalla (The Prom, Shucked), four-time Tony Award nominee Gregg Edelman (City of Angels), Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominee Paul Alexander Nolan (Slave Play), Stan Brown (“Homicide: Life in the Streets”), Joe De Paul (Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion), Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), and Wade McCollum (Wicked), and features Brandon Block, Antoine Boissereau, Rachael Boyd, Paul Castree, Ken Wulf Clark, Taylor Colleton, Gabriel Olivera de Paula Costa, Isabella Luisa Diaz, Samantha Gershman, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nicolas Jelmoni, Caroline Kane, Harley McLeish, Michael Mendez, Samuel Renaud, Marissa Rosen, Alexandra Gaelle Royer, Asa Somers, Charles South, Sean Stack, Matthew Varvar, and Michelle West.

Days of Wine and Roses written by Adam Guettel, features powerful songs like “Forgiveness” and “There Go I”, performed by Kelli O’Hara and Brian d’Arcy James. Stream the Tony Award-nominated score here.

Harmony has a score by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. The cast recording was released last August. You can still stream the cast recording here.

How to Dance in Ohio released an original Broadway cast recording on January 19, 2024. To stream the album, which features “Building Momentum,” click here.

The Great Gatsby has a new score by Jason Howland and Nathan Tysen, they will release a cast album digitally on June 21, 2024. Ahead of the album’s release, hear a sneak preview of tunes “For Her” and “My Green Light”performed by Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada.

Lempicka has songs that were fabulously sung by Eden Espinosa, Amber Iman, Andrew Samonsky, George Abud, Natalie Joy Johnson and Beth Leavel. The new score from Matt Gould and Carson Kreitzer will be available to stream on May 29, 2024.

The Outsiders new score by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay & Zach Chance) and Justin Levine will be available to stream on May 22, 2024. The songs were written by Academy Award nominee and Grammy Award winner Will Butler. You can get a sneak preview of the song “Masquerade” here.


Well Suffs is the show that will win the Tony for Best Musical and Score. The book, composer, lyricist, and star is Broadway darling Shaina Taub. The cast recording, produced by Atlantic Records, will be available to stream on June 14, 2024.

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“The Heart of Rock and Roll” Does Exactly What It Needs To Do Joyfully 80s Style on Broadway

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Hey, Bobby!” she calls to snap him out of his constant, adorable daydreaming. But it’s a different Bobby than the one who’s having a birthday over at Company, and it’s a whole different beast of a show, to be honest, as The Heart of Rock and Roll, the new jukebox musical comedy, inspired by the iconic songs of Huey Lewis and The News, drives forward with appealing delight. It’s a feast of fun and frivolity, setting itself up in 1987, as this Bobby, played charmingly by the wonderfully gifted Corey Cott (Broadway’s Bandstand), has his musical mind wandering all over the place about the future. He’s forever daydreaming of a way to climb that corporate ladder and make a name for himself after giving up his nighttime dreams of being a rock and roll star.

The man has traded in his family heirloom, an electric guitar, for a seat at the corporate table. But first, he has to navigate himself off of the conveyor belt line, working for a cardboard box company struggling to make ends meet. Bobby has some big ideas that he wants to deliver to his boss, the “Hip to Be Square” Stone, playing lovingly by John Dossett (Broadway’s War Paint), and his tense corporate daughter, Cassandra, who’s as tightly wound as one could be. Played adoringly by the wonderful and talented McKenzie Kurtz (Broadway’s Wicked; Frozen), Cassandra is one unique creation. She has given up her independent dreams of making it big on her own in the big city to return home after the death of her mother and help out her grieving father and the family business. And to no audience members’ surprise, these two opposites are as blindly attracted to each other as two souls can be, and they can’t seem to fight “The Power of Love.” And we know right from the get-go that we don’t want them to.

Corey Cott, McKenzie Kurtz, and the Company of Broadway’s The Heart of Rock and Roll. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Heart of Rock and Roll is exactly what you would imagine a musical comedy inspired by the songs of Huey Lewis and The News would be. It’s not breaking any new ground here, nor is it reformating or reinventing jukebox musicals. Many have called it the ‘first AI-invented musical’ as it checks all the boxes, moving like a well-timed machine through the framework of a well-intentioned musical. And I get why they say that, but as tenderly directed by Gordon Greenberg (RTC’s Holiday Inn) and inventively choreographed by profoundly good Lorin Latarro (Broadway’s Tommy), the show is definitely a whole lot more fun and enjoyable than many others who have tried and failed in the same format. It has a tender heart and a great comic backbone that never disappoints. The songs are as engagingly head-bopping as you remember, and performed with enthusiasm and love by a cast of pros that never let the piece falter or stall. The story is a rom-com joyride, fulfilling all the requirements of a feel-good jukebox show, but dressed up in the 80s, with costumes designed perfectly by Jen Caprio (Broadway’s Spamalot), a solidly functional set by Derek McLane (Broadway’s Purlie Victorious), well-formated lighting by Japhy Weideman (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen), a solid sound design by John Shivers (Broadway’s Shucked), and layered with a few other popular themes around dreams, fulfillment, and family. That’s what gives it the Heart that they all keep singing about.

It’s a magnificent cardboard dance and ride on a well-tuned conveyor belt that soars into your heart and soul like your favorite soda pop, thanks to the music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Brian Usifer (Broadway’s Book of Mormon) led by musical director Will Van Dyke (Off-Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors). The book and story by Jonathan A. Abrams (“Juror No. 2“) with an assist from producer Tyler Mitchell (“Lucky Number Slevin“) is as charming as it is fun, filled with so many musical moments that make you sit up and take notice, especially when Bobby’s best gal pal, Roz, played to the heavens by the miraculous Tamika Lawrence (TNG’s Black No More), strides onto the stage. She’s one of the best things in this show filled with many best things.

Corey Cott, Raymond J. Lee, John Michael Lyles, and F. Michael Haynie in Broadway’s The Heart of Rock and Roll. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The Heart of Rock and Roll isn’t reinventing any kinda wheel, but there is enough playful energy flying forward from the cast that even though we see the ending pretty early on, we also want to enjoy the ride like that roller coaster we keep going on over and over again. Cause it’s just a whole heap of fun. The side kicks; Bobby’s former band mates: F. Michael Haynie (Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Glenn, Raymond J. Lee (Public’s Soft Power) as JJ, John-Michael Lyles (Broadway’s A Strange Loop) as Eli; and Casandra’s old school friends: Zoe Jensen (Broadway’s Six) as Paige and Josh Breckenridge (Broadway’s Come From Away) as Wyatt, all perform fabulously playing their parts with a wink and smile as they systematically deliver all the goods required. Orville Mendoza (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as businessman Fjord, is a riot and delivers the ridiculous with the biggest Swedish wink you could give, and Billy Harrington Tighe (Broadway’s Pippin) as Tucker does a fantastic job playing the old boyfriend from Cassandra’s past who represents everything we don’t want for her. As written, it’s the perfect balance of sleaze and charm that makes us understand why she would have dated him before when she was at school, but also makes us want her to forget all about him and focus her eyes on Cott’s Bobby, cause that the ending we truly want.

The Heart of Rock and Roll does not disappoint, not in the slightest. It’s warm-hearted, well-played, beautifully performed, fantastically charming, and full of fun, without ever trying to be of a higher frame than it needs to be. I’m not surprised it didn’t garner a ton of nominations this award season. It’s not that kind of show, but don’t be fooled by this. It’s pretty much one of the funniest fun musical rides on Broadway. It doesn’t pretend to be ‘high art’ but doesn’t really need to be for us to laugh and cheer for these two to finally give it all up for Love.

Corey Cott, McKenzie Kurtz, and the Company of Broadway’s The Heart of Rock and Roll. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

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