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Cabaret

What To Watch August 25th To Take Away The Blues

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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. 

8pm: Sleep Out: Stage and Screen Virtual Edition. Stars from Broadway, film, and TV will join forces for a virtual edition of Sleep Out: Stage and Screen, the annual event supporting Covenant House and its mission to help young people who are facing homelessness. 

In lieu of the traditional sleep out in New York, participants will take to the floors or yards of their own outdoor spaces due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As in years past, the tradition is not to mimic homelessness, but rather to act in solidarity with the people the organization supports.

Among those set to take part are six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald and Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan (both members of the organization’s Board of Directors), Ariana DeBose and Rachel Zegler (stars of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story), Adrienne Warren, Rachel Zegler, Jason Ralph, Sam Pinkleton, Diana DiMenna, Rachel Sussman, Alison Cimmet, Shereen Pimentel, Kyle Selig, Jessica Phillips, and Judy Kuhn, with more to be revealed later.

4pm: CyberTank Variety Show By The Tank, hosted by Hannah Erdheim The CyberTank Weekly Variety Show is a remote, multidisciplinary variety arts gathering open to everyone. The arts community has been presented with a challenge to re-examine theatricality, and The Tank has reframed this as the gift of an opportunity to grow and choose community over despair. Each weekly installment is centered around a specific question and features guest artists who will perform and facilitate conversation.

4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are James Merillat (@James-Merillat-2) and Franca Vercelloni (@Franca-Vercelloni).

4pm: Global Gabs By Rattlestick Playwrights Theater Rattlestick Playwrights Theater brings back the cross-cultural conversation series Global Gabs August 25 at 8 PM ET. Recently seen at the Global Forms Theater Festival, the next episode will focus on international student policy.

5pmMusic and Mind Live with Renée Fleming launched in 2016 under Fleming’s leadership with Dr. Francis Collins. The program is a partnership between the Kennedy Center and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

5:30pm: Centerstage with Healthcare Heroes: Integrated Health with Jessica Vosk By Playbill. Jessica Vosk (Wicked) hosts a panel where physicians discuss integrated health. The event is part of the Centerstage with Healthcare Heroes series from Weill Cornell Medicine and Playbill. 

Joining Vosk are Alka Gupta, MD (Co-Founder & Co-Director of WCM Integrative Health & Wellbeing Program) and Jackie Herback, LMSW, LMT.

7pm: LAO at Home: Living Room Recital By LA Opera. Soprano Ana María Martínez has planned a program that includes the famous “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka (one of her signature roles), along with a selection of captivating Spanish songs. This program is generously supported by the Tourist Office of Spain.

7pm: Broadway Busker Concerts:  Jaime Jarrett (Wonder BoyQueer Baby Jesus), Jen Sánchez (The Rose TattooSunday in the Park with George) and
Joel Waggoner (Be More ChillSchool of Rock). The Broadway Buskers concert series is curated and hosted by Ben Cameron.

While the concerts are FREE to stream, we encourage audiences to donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides resources and emergency financial assistance to those within the entertainment community who have been impacted by the pandemic, and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, in support of their ongoing efforts to help Broadway heal, listen and become an anti-racist and equitable community.

7pm: Eva Price Tony Award-winning Broadway producer of Oklahoma!, Jagged Little Pill, who was just announced on the inaugural list of Crain’s Notable LGBTQ Leaders & Executives, will launch a new podcast called “My First Show” exclusively on Broadway Podcast Network. The first episode, featuring Emmy nominated TV & Broadway star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family,”...Spelling Bee, Fully Committed), launches tonight. 

7pm: With Dignity The Tank. As part of the theater’s LimeFest, this play by Victoria M. Fragnito focuses on a woman who is faced with the task of telling her Italian-Catholic family during a Sunday dinner that she is taking advantage of her state’s new Death with Dignity law.

7:15: Piano Bar Live! This week  the World Famous Stardusters, with Chrissy Albanese, Shannon Antalan, Michael RJ Campbell, Chris Mauro, Dave Rabinowitz, Kevin Ray, Gabriella Saramago and Cat Yates.

7:30pm: Il Trovatore This turbulent tragedy of four characters caught in a web of family ties, politics, and love features a score as melodic as it is energetic, with infectious tunes that are not easily forgotten. The story of the troubadour of the title, his vengeance-obsessed Gypsy mother, his devoted lover, and her evil aristocratic pursuer, the opera lives in a borderland between madness and reality, not perfectly at home in either realm. For anyone who truly immerses himself in its shadowy world, Il Trovatore provides an experience that is uniquely thrilling, even within the world of Romantic Italian opera.

Terrence Mann and Susan Egan in the original Broadway cast of Beauty and the Beast Photo by Joan Marcus

8pm: Stars in the House: Beauties and a Beast with Andréa Burns, Kerry Butler, Susan Egan and Terrence Mann

8pm: The Producer’s Perspective LIVE! Episode 69: Patrick Page By The Producer’s Podcast. Hadestown, Hunchback on Notre Dame, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Spring Awakening and did you know Patrick has a podcast!? Hit the ‘GET REMINDER’ button below to get notified when we go LIVE! Don’t forget to SHARE this with your Broadway-lovin’ friends.

8pm: Plays for the People: Cell Surface By Black Lives Black Words International Project.

Black Lives Black Words International Project’s Plays for the People series continues with Dominic Taylor’s Cell Surface. Jerrell Henderson directs.

Cell Surface is a play about making a play in Zoom about two amazing African-American scientists,  Dr. E.E. Just and Dr. Roger Young. Ernest Everett Just was the first Black graduate of Dartmouth. His graduate assistant, while he was a professor at Howard University, was Dr. Roger Young. She was the first Black woman to get a Ph.D. in science from U Penn.

8pm: The Letters of Noël Coward, Starring Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason By Bay Street Theater. Broadway alums Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason will reunite for a virtual edition of Bay Street Theater’s The Letters of Noël Coward. The pair starred in the 1977 romantic comedy The Goodbye Girl, for which Dreyfuss won an Oscar.

The pair will read correspondences, curated by director Bob Balaban, between Coward, Graham Greene, and Alec Guinness, who met while working on Our Man in Havana in the late ’50s. Capturing the wit and genius of these three artists, the letters range in topics from Cole Porter to vericose veins.

8:30: Latino Victory Project: Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas Jones, More Celebrate Women’s Suffrage

Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry, Tony nominee Phillipa Soo, and Jasmine Cephas Jones—the trio who originated the Schuyler sisters in Hamilton—will virtually reunite with Lin-Manuel Miranda during a special celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

Moderated by journalist Soledad O’Brien, the event will take place August 25 at 8:30 PM ET on Zoom, open to donors who pledge $10 or more to the Latino Victory Fund. Donations will support the charity’s aim to grow Latinx political power in all levels of government.

The virtual fundraiser will feature Soo, Goldsberry, and Jones discussing the role of women in Hamilton, the rehearsal process, and their perspectives on performing in the show as women of color—who were not allowed to vote until 1965 with the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

10pm: Solitude By The Latino Theater Company. Latino Theater Company continues its virtual seasion with the archival video presentation of Solitude, written by resident company playwright Evelina Fernández and directed by LTC artistic director José Luis Valenzuela.

Inspired by a collection of essays on Mexican thought and identity by Octavio Paz, Solitude explores love, death, destiny and family through a contemporary lens, accompanied by live music from cellist Semyon Kobialka. 

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

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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Cabaret

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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Cabaret

My View: Norm Lewis Brings On The Summer Heat at 54 Below

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“The Heat is On” at 54 Below with a new show Norm Lewis is performing, called SUMMERTIME (Special TONY Edition). From his dazzling entrance to his beautiful “goodnight” the evening is wall-to wall Broadway treasure. Yes, summer arrived early ,last night, and whatever the kinship and connection between the star, his musical director Joseph Joubert and his director Richard Jay-Alexander, is, it bathed us in magic with stunning music, beautiful arrangements, humor, glamour, stories and vocals that are, quite honestly, beyond just having a powerful skill set. Norm is a sublime actor who happens to possess a magnificent voice and he uses every dimension of it.

During the run he will have special guests who are both friends and Broadway royalty. Last night, he “blew up” this concept by introducing us to the legendary TONY winner, Melba Moore. I don’t usually write about specific material, but when your brain can’t comprehend that Miss Moore tore into “Aquarius” and “Let The Sunshine In” from HAIR with Mr. Lewis, hearts were jumping and joy exploded in the room. Only to be followed by Melba singing “I Got Love” from PURLIE (wait for it) in the original key! The 3 piece band, led by Joubert, also consisted of Perry Cavari on drums and percussion and Dylan Shamat on both acoustic and electric bass. The sounds they made all night were as versatile as could be accomplished and have become a trademark, of sorts, for Norm. Don’t hesitate to get to 54 Below and start your summer early. This man brings the heat with him onto the stage. 

Norm Lewis

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

MELBA MOORE

54 BELOW

54 BELOW

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award

JOSEPH JOUBERT

54 BELOW

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD, NORM LEWIS

RICHARD SKIPPER, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NORM LEWIS, MARK SENDROFF

CARLOS CLEMENZ & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

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