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What To Watch December 19th To Take Away The Blues

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The Prom: Netflix An adaption by Ryan Murphy of the Broadway musical. 

It’s a Wonderful Life Mile Square Theater on demand through December $25. A live radio play by Joe Landry, directed by Kevin R. Free, based on the screenplay of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 play starring Jimmy Stewart as a man who gets to see how much he matters. Audio description and closed captions are available.

Kris Kringle The Musical offers 25 Christmas gifts that can be shared with everyone you love! Beginning December 1st, the viewer will be led through a virtual Advent Calendar door to enjoy a different part of the story, with bonus videos, including a Spanish version of one of the show’s most popular songs ‘My North Star.

Christmas Day will share the most wonderful gift of all: a full-length production of Kris Kringle The Musical.

What’s more — all of the videos are free and fun and can be gifted to family, friends, and loved ones!

Discover what happens when an evil toy company CEO crosses paths with a young, jobless toymaker whose family name carries a curse with the power to destroy Christmas. From the top of the world in the North Pole, Kris Kringle (Kyle Sherman) teams up with Santa (Jason Simon) and Mrs. Claus (Kim Crosby), the beautiful Evelyn Noel (Amy Weaver), a band of hilarious apprentices and elves, and magical toys to remind us what Christmas is really all about: love, hope, and finding a family in the most unlikely of places.

The musical features an underlying story, book and additional lyrics by Maria Ciampi, with lyrics and music by Tim Janis and Angelo Natalie. Jaimie Selke directs with musical direction by Randy Glass.

Ham: A Musical Memoir Sam Harris’s sensitive and prodigiously talented boy survives the Bible Belt through talent and moxie, which lead to fame and fortune, but when the rocky road of desperately seeking acceptance finally reaches a dead end, he is forced to confront the internal demons that haunt him.

Encores! Inside the Revival: Tap Dance Kid New York City Center. Directed by Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) dives into the 1983 Tony-nominated musical The Tap Dance Kid, centered around the life of an upper-middle class Black family and a ten-year-old’s dream of being a professional tap dancer despite the challenges posed by his lawyer father and society. Leon, alongside book adapter Lydia Diamond, will give audiences an up-close look at the percussive heart of the story with the help of choreographer Jared Grimes and cast member from the original Broadway production Dulé Hill.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles A new theatrical production streaming online from Original Theatre Company (Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon) debuts.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles by Philip Franks, based on M.R. James’ short story The Experiment, stars Janie Dee, Max Bowden, Stephen Boxer, Jack Archer, Alexandra Guelff, Robert Mountford, Poppy Roe, and Tim Treloar.

In 1918, the recently widowed Alice Bowles is left destitute as she seeks to solve a mystery left by her late husband Francis. Moving to 2020, YouTube urban explorers Matt and Caitlin uncover a mysterious grave in an abandoned churchyard. What starts as harmless entertainment turns darker when their discovery begins to unwrap a mystery which has lain dormant for over a century.

The digital production is co-directed by Philip Franks and Alastair Whatley, designed by Adrian Linford, and edited by Tristan Shepherd, with sound design and original music composed by Max Pappenheim.

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker

The Pack Podcast: Jenny and Mrs. Brown, Starring Sarah Jessica Parker & Eva Marie Saint An online spoken word performance series benefitting The Actors Fund & Feeding America.

The Pack Podcast features star-studded casts performing short comedies by Emmy-nominated & Drama Desk-winner Eugene Pack in the style of classic radio plays.

Trees The Wild Project available an demand through Dec 24 $15
Inspired by the Hidden Life Of Trees ​by Peter Wohlleben, the new musical by the visual and performance artist Mur gives a dystopian future through the voices of the last remaining Trees on Earth. Featuring: Mur, Aisha Karensa, Haley Fortune, Jade Litaker & Nyah Raposo

Peter Pan–A Musical Adventure Chicago Shakespeare Theater will present free, streaming performances of Peter Pan–A Musical Adventure.

The production is available to stream through January 1, 2021.

The newly re-mastered recording of the theatre’s 2018 production—directed and choreographed by Amber Mak—was filmed by multiple cameras in front of a live audience and stars Johnny Shea, Elizabeth Stenholt, Cameron Goode, Carter Graf, James Konicek, Rengin Altay, Sean Patrick Fawcett, Roberta Burke, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Christina Hall, Colin Lawrence, Michael Kurowski, John Marshall Jr., and Travis Austin Wright.

Based on J.M. Barrie’s tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, Peter Pan–A Musical Adventure has a score by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe, and a libretto by Elliot Davis based on the book by Willis Hall. 

8am and 2pm: A Christmas Carol Old Vic available until December 24
This is the adaptation by Jack Thorne and directed by Matthew Warchus and stars Andrew Lincoln as Ebenezer Scrooge.

9:30am: Saturday Morning Live! The National Theatre in D.C. returns with the family favorite series—this time virtually! The performances will offer insights and entertainment especially suited for these times. 

Episodes debut every two weeks on Saturday mornings. Check out the full schedule below. 

Culture, music and theatre collide in bite-sized virtual experiences crafted by world-renowned educator and performer Paige Hernandez. Paige and Friends will feature some of Paige’s favorite artistic collaborators as they discuss collaboration, creativity, self-care and dreams for the future.

Gonzo’s Multiverse is a virtual variety show traveling through the space-time imagination of storyteller David Gonzalez. Touching down in places called Animalation, ToyzRool, and Storeez each episode features a mix of digital and live-action storytelling, interviews with amazing artists, and explorations of miniature marvels in the natural world.

November 21 – U B U: I B ME
December 5 – Eddie’s Shoes
December 19 – Sip-Spit-Repeat

Lillias White

2:30 and 7pm: Broadway’s Great American Songbook: Lillias White until the 19th under Music Director Mathis Picard TONY® & EMMY® Award-winning actress and singer Lillias White will bring in the holiday cheer.

In 1997 she won the TONY® Award for originating the role of Sonja in Cy Coleman’s Broadway musical, The Life. She was nominated for a second TONY® Award for her brilliant work as Funmilayo in Fela! Her other Broadway credits include: Barnum, Dreamgirls, Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Chicago.

In addition to receiving Broadway acclaim, she is internationally recognized for her TV & film work. She received the EMMY® Award as part of the cast of Sesame Street, and she is beloved by audiences around the world for voicing the lead muse Calliope in Disney’s animated feature Hercules. Other notable film & TV credits include Pieces of April (starring Katie Holmes) and Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down.

Lillias has appeared in cabarets and concert halls around the world, including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and at The Sydney Opera House.

She can be heard on several Broadway cast albums, in addition to her acclaimed From Brooklyn to Broadway.

Andrea McArdle
Andrea McArdle Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

3pm and 8pm: Andrea McArdle: A Holiday Concert the original star of Broadway’s Annie, for an intimate holiday concert. She will be accompanied by her musical director, Steve Marzullo. McArdle will perform seasonal and Broadway favorites such as “White Christmas,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “N.Y.C.,” and, of course, “Tomorrow.”

The concert will be streamed from Kean University’s Enlow Recital Hall.

4pm and 8pm: Josh Groban: Holiday Concert Josh Groban, who was Tony-nominated for his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, concludes his virtual concert series for audiences around the world December 19.

The acclaimed vocalist, who launched the series October 3 with a set of Broadway favorites followed by a November 26 celebration of his new album Harmony, now offers his first holiday concert.

Harmony, released November 20 via Reprise Records, features guest stars Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton), performing with Groban on the song “Shape of My Heart”; and Grammy winner Sara Bareilles, performing with him on the Joni Mitchell classic “Both Sides Now.”

6pm: How to Play Dreidel with Judah Maccabee Untitled Theater Company #61 $20 A 20-minute live show between 6pm – 9pm every night of Hanukkah, December 10 – 17, in which an actor from the company (Yael Haskal, Alyssa Simon, or Maxwell Zener).connects with you — via Skype, or Zoom or telephone — and tell you a tale about a kid who travels back through time in order to meet Judah Maccabee (the hero of the Hanukkah story.)

7pm: A Country Christmas Carol “On Air,” The Musical premieres on Audio Stages, WBAI 99.5 FM tonight at 7pm. Just two days before the release of the show’s Studio Cast Album. Tony award winner Hal Linden (The Rothschilds) hosts and three-time Tony nominee, Terrence Mann (CATS, Les Mis, Beauty and the Beast, The Addams Family) narrates. A Country Christmas Carol, On Air, is presented by Tim Jerome (CATS, The Phantom of the Opera, Tarzan) and MainStreet Musicals as a part of the Audio Stages series on WBAI Radio 99.5FM NYC. Visit: www.acountrychristmascarol.com 

7pm: Miracle on 34th Street Chain Theatre Available through Dec 21
$11 A radio play about a single mother raising her daughter in New York City who soon has her world turned upside down by a curious man who claims he is Santa Claus. It will also include appearances by City Council Corey Johnson and State Senator Jose Serrano, both arts advocates.

Liz Callaway

7pm: Home for the Holidays Tony nominee Liz Callaway will offer Home for the Holidays, a concert recorded at New York’s Bedford Playhouse, beginning December 11. The production will be available to stream through December 19, with proceeds going to a variety of regional venues around the country affected by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Audiences can expect a mix of holiday favorites and showtunes, stories about Callaway’s holiday traditions and career, and music from her new album, Comfort and Joy–An Acoustic Christmas (on which she’s accompanied by neighbor and guitarist Peter Calo). 

Purchase tickets here, or directly through any of the beneficiary theatre organizations below. The stream is available to watch through December 19.

Bedford Playhouse in Bedford, New York

Blumenthal Performing Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina

H. Ric Luhrs PAC at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania

Marriott Theatre in Chicago, Illinois

Rochester Civic Theatre in Rochester, Minnesota

11th Hour Theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut

Bushnell Theater in Hartford, Connecticut

AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, Texas

The Smith Center in Las Vegas, Nevada

Temple Theatre in Sanford, North Carolina

Center Theater Group/Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, California

Landmark Theater in Port Washington, New York

South Orange Performing Arts Center in South Orange, New Jersey

City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium in Morganton, North Carolina

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida

The Playhouse in Des Moines, Iowa

Best of Broadway Spokane in Spokane, Washington

Boch Center in Boston, Massachusetts

Straz Center in Tampa, Florida

Koger Center in Columbia, South Carolina

Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee

Artistry in Bloomington, Minnesota

Theatre By The Sea in Wakefield, Rhode Island

Broadway in Detroit in Detroit, MI

Parker Arts in Parker, Colorado

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, Florida

White Plains Performing Arts Center in White Plains, NY

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Buffalo, NY

Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California

7pm: Hip Hop Cinderella – A New Musical Amas Musical Theatre in association with HipHopMusicals.com present Hip Hop Cinderella – A New Musical, a family-friendly intergalactic romp with a cool, hip-hop vibe, laughs, adventure and unforgettable songs.

Click here for tickets. This virtual theatrical experience is available on-demand through December 27, 2020. All proceeds benefit Amas Musical Theatre’s education programs.

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, teenage Cinderella and her rapping robot companion Runka live on planet Zolla. They toil under the thumb of Cinderella’s stepmom, Lady Zurka, and her two social media obsessed stepsisters, Zig and Zag. The galaxy has lost its groove, and the Prince is throwing a Hip Hop Ball and Rap Competition to turn the beat around. Traveling via a quantum time warp, Cinderella transforms into “Ella C” and fights to win the competition. Upon returning to planet Zolla, Ella C is forced into a royal rap battle against Lady Zurka with a surprising result.

Directed by Christopher Scott, with musical direction by Evan Alparone, the cast features alumni students of the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy. They are: Alexis Aguiar, Cassandra Barckett, Jamiel Tako L. Burkhart, Brian Criado, Emily Lang and Lexy Piton. The stage manager is Benjamin A. Vigil and Nikki Wen is assistant stage manager. 

7pm: Meet Me in St. Louis Irish Rep available through January 2
A holiday musical based on the MGM movie. With Shereen Ahmed, William Bellamy, Rufus Collins, Kerry Conte, Melissa Errico, Ali Ewoldt, Kathy Fitzgerald, Ian Holcomb, Austyn Johnson, Jay Aubrey Jones, Kylie Kuioka, Ashley Robinson, and Max Von Essen.

7:30pm: BSC’s Holiday Getaway By Barrington Stage Company A virtual concert starring Alan H. Green, Alysha Umphress, and Joel Waggoner. The concert will be filmed in advance at BSC’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. Through December 23 at 7:30 PM ET. 

BSC’s Holiday Getaway will be a holiday concert unlike any other to commemorate a year unlike any other. Three of Barrington Stage’s favorite performers will join forces to spread some much-needed seasonal cheer–and the relief that 2020 is almost over–with an evening of hilarious new holiday songs as well as traditional favorites.

7:30: Verdi’s Nabucco The breakthrough opera that launched Verdi from all but unknown to one of the most revered composers in history is a four-act biblical epic about an embattled Babylonian king driven mad by his blasphemous belief in his own divinity. The work features a wondrous roster of supporting characters, including a spitfire role for the soprano who portrays his scheming daughter, as well as some of the most stirring choral music ever written for the operatic stage.

Michael James Scott

8pm: Michael James Scott’s A Fierce Christmas

Orlando native and Broadway star Michael James Scott (AladdinThe Book of MormonSomething Rotten) will headline The Dr. Phillips Center’s Front Yard Festival with A Fierce Christmas. Scott will bring his signature brand of joy and light to Florida audiences for a spectacular outdoor concert, featuring tunes from his new album along with selections that capture his diverse musical sensibility spanning Broadway, funk, jazz and gospel. 

Scott will also be joined by fellow Florida-native Ashley Brown (Mary PoppinsBeauty and The Beast). Brown and Scott have been friends since high school and last shared the stage at Disney on Broadway’s presentation at Epcot’s Festival of the Arts in February. 

The Front Yard Festival at The Dr. Phillips Center is a six-month long festival presented by Advent Health, featuring live entertainment in a safe, socially-distanced environment.

Raúl Esparza

8pm: A Christmas Carol, Starring Raúl Esparza By Primary Stages a virtual reading adapted by Theresa Rebeck and Erin Daley. Through December 22. Esparza, recently appeared in Rebeck’s play Seared Off-Broadway. His three co-stars from that production—Krysta Rodriguez, David Mason, and W. Tré Davis—are also among the cast.

Rounding out the company are Mary Bacon, Abadi Bacon Leynse, Kimberly Chatterjee, and Matthew Saldivar. Rebeck directs.

8pm: TheSharedScreen Co.’s TAPE, by Stephen Belber Out of isolation, a new and powerful form of live performing art has emerged—one in which the audience is virtually eye-to-eye with the players. TheSharedScreen Co.’s production of TAPE, by Stephen Belber, is a demonstration of the power and intimacy of this new art form. Following a successful run in September, TAPE has been extended to the first three weekends in December.

The TAPE experience is uniquely intimate. Imagine you have stumbled into a live feed of a video call. You become an invisible witness, unseen and unheard. The play is the call. The production is straightforward: a virtual venue, laptops, cell phones, and webcams. But it is live.

In collaboration with Tony- and Emmy-nominated writer/director Stephen Belber, TheSharedScreen recontextualized and adapted TAPEfrom three players in a motel room to three players in a Zoom call. A woman and two men (a high school love triangle) are forced to confront accusations and denials of rape. The production raises profound questions about coercion, consent, manipulation, and truth. 

8pm: Stars In The House SEUSSICAL Reunion with Kevin Chamberlin, Sharon Wilkins, Anthony Blair Hall, Janine LaMana, Michelle Pawk and Rosie O’Donnell!

8pm: Broadway Princess Holiday Party Feinstein’s/54 Below. Available on demand through December 26 $28.50

A concert featuring host Laura Osnes, Susan Egan, Courtney Reed along with musical director Benjamin Rauhala, Adam J. Levy and Aisha Jackson.

8pm: Home for the Holidays through December 19
The promised lineup: Carolee Carmello, Alan Cumming, André De Shields, Lena Hall, Heather Headley, Ramin Karimloo, Karen Olivo, Jelani Remy, Conrad Ricomora, Jennifer Sanchez and the Grammy Award-winning Broadway Inspirational Voices.

8pm: Who’s Holiday through December 15 Matthew Lombardo’s Off-Broadway comedy Who’s Holiday!, starring Lesli Margherita, will stream to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Filmed during the show’s 2017 run at Off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre, this will mark its first streamed performance.

Who’s Holiday! tells the story of a middle-aged Cindy Lou Who—of Dr. Seuss fame—now residing in a beaten-down trailer in the snowy hills of Mount Crumpit. As she prepares to host a Christmas Eve party for her friends, she recalls her own perspective of that fateful night when she first met the Grinch, and the strange turn of events her life has taken for the past 40 years.

Who’s Holiday! was directed onstage by Carl Andress, with set design by David Gallo, costume design by Jess Goldstein, wig design by Charles G. Lapointe, lighting design by Ken Billington and Jonathan Spencer, and sound design by Bart Fasbender. The Off-Broadway run was originally produced by Whoville Theatrical, Scott and Jenny Beck, Jason Shaw, Ken Fakler, Drew Desky/Dane Levens, and Darren Bagert. The show was filmed by David Kane.

Margherita, an Olivier Award winner for her West End debut in Zorro, made her Broadway debut originating the role of Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda The Musical. After more than 1,000 performances, she crossed the street to The Helen Hayes to star as the diva Mona Kent in the Broadway premiere of Dames at Sea. She has had recurring roles on HomelandInstinctSeven SecondsTransparent, and The Crew and will be seen in the upcoming film The Many Saints of Newark (the prequel to The Sopranos).

Brought to you by the people who brought you Sharon Needle’s Mask it or Casket, and Ute Lemper’s Rendevous with Marlene on Stellar

Patti Murin
Patti Murin

9pm: Lincoln Driven to Give: Patti Murin and Colin Donnell, Matt DeAngelis and Christine Dwyer In the spirit of the holiday season, Playbill is giving back by collaborating with Lincoln Driven to Give on two virtual events to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.

Join real-life Broadway couple Patti Murin & Colin Donnell (Dec. 18) and Matt DeAngelis & Christine Dwyer (Dec. 19) as they take a virtual tour of the new 2020 Lincoln Corsair—and sing a song or two.

Click here to sign up. For every guest who attends* the virtual vehicle tours with Playbill, Lincoln will make a donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.

10pm: Simple Gifts By TheatreWorks TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will ring in the holiday season with Simple Gifts, a joyful, multicultural celebration of beloved holiday songs and traditions from many diverse backgrounds.

Livestreamed December 10-27, 2020, with on-demand streaming available December 28, 2020–January 1, 2021. Live post-show conversations with members of the cast will follow every performance.

TheatreWorks Artistic Director Tim Bond directs his first virtual production with this world premiere work, crafted by Bond and a cast featuring a bounty of Bay Area theatre veterans.

These gifted performers will share beautiful music, meaningful memories, and take audiences on a journey through a variety of winter celebrations, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Noche Buena, Diwali, Las Posadas, Winter Solstice, as well as exploring Christmas traditions from around the world.

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

My View: Happily Ever Laughter at 54 Below……Liz Callaway & Jason Graae

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At first glance they might seem like a musical and personality mismatch, but the chemistry between Liz Callaway and Jason Graae is far from problematic.  It is an enormously entertaining integration of these two artists musicianship, acting, and comedic expertise. Liz Callaway’s once in a lifetime voice and vocal dexterity doesn’t just sing in tune.  It lands in the middle of the middle of a note with a clarity that pierces your soul.  Jason, once he gets his oboe in tune (that’s a double entenndre) also possesses excellent vocal technique, and my camera, no matter how many photos I snap is incapable of capturing his enormously expressive facial movements that glide between comical and the heartfelt with such ease. His rendition of William Finn’s “What More Can I Say” brought tears.  The duets from “BABY” for which Ms Callaway was nominated for a Tony and her two songs from the animated film Anastasia (in which she starred) were highlights.  This evening’s friendship (they’ve been for forty years) was the perfect blendship, together with the masterful Alex Rybeck on the piano at 54 Below last night. The show was very appropriately titled “Happily Ever Laughter” and it has two more performances, July 5 & 6.

Speaking of friendship and blendship, my table of KT Sullivan, Eda, and Debbie Gravitte was pretty special too.

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

LIZ CALLAWAY

JASON GRAAE & LIZ CALLAWAY

54 BELOW

LIZ CALLAWAY & JASON GRAAE

ALEX RYBECK, LIZ CALLAWAY, JASON GRAAE

54 BELOW

JASON GRAAE & RICHARD SKIPPER

KT SULLIVAN, DEBBIE GRAVITTE, EDA SOROKOFF

HAPPILY EVER LAUGHTER

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Cabaret

Gilded Age Music at Cocktail Time 

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A rather serendipitous invitation arrived, was immediately accepted, and next thing I knew I was singing along to delightful music from the beginning of the last century.  A prestigious members-only private club nestled in that small enclave near the Great White Way was the perfect place for such an event. The hosts, George Calderaro, Founding Director of the Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project and everyone’s favorite interpreter of songs from any age, Steve Ross, were ideal as well.  

The purpose of the TPAAP Music Project is to commemorate and continue the legacy of the birthplace of American popular music on West 28th Street, the location of Tin Pan Alley. This group is responsible for having the section of that street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue designated formally as Tin Pan Alley.   

George and Steve worked almost in tandem giving illuminating background on the songs and the composers, most notably Berlin, Gershwin and Kern. The program began with “After the Ball” to which we sang along, without no encouragement needed.  It’s really a sad song, and the lyrics when focused on reveal a heartbreak that is most touching even now. These songs unintentionally spoke of an innocence and naivete that one can yearn for, wistfully perhaps, in this age so far removed from the Gilded One.   

This evening was partially a tutorial, which was most welcome judging by comments heard afterwards.  Who knew, for example, that the man who wrote “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” had never attended a baseball game? As an aside, Steve mentioned that when asked how he could write a song about Paris if he had never been there, Harold Arlen replied “I’ve never been Over the Rainbow” either”! 

The crowd in this august room showered the pair with applause and a standing ovation after we all sang “In Old New York”, where indeed we felt we were, if only for an hour. 

If you google tinpanalley.nyc, you’ll be led to the website of this association. Hope to see you at their next event!  

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Cabaret

Little Island’s The Glade Series, Free-to-the-Public Live Performances

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Little Island announced the line-up for The Glade Series, an array of free-to-the-public live performances, launching July 10. These events will take place Wednesday through Sunday for seven weeks inside the Island’s 200-seat venue. This announcement comes on the heels of the sold-out run of Twyla Tharp, T Bone Burnett, and David Mansfield’s How Long Blues, which opened Little Island’s blockbuster summer season of world premiere events.

From July 10-14, each night of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’s Tell Me More series will thoughtfully pair a musical performance with a conversation between Parks and an expert from a different field. On July 10, for an evening themed “Greens & Blues,” a set by blues legend Ruthie Foster will precede a talk between Parks and Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx. Other guests include designer Daisy Wang, who will also dress Lori-Parks, freestyle MC Corey James Gray, Columbia astronomy professor Jane Huang, harpist Brandee Younger, historian Eric Foner, and Parks’ own Psychedelic Soap Box, a post-bop jazz collective with spoken word. On Saturday July 13, Parks will invite the audience into one of her engaging Watch Me Work sessions, alongside a very special guest, before taking the stage with her band Sula & the Joyful Noise.

Taking the Glade stage from July 17-21 will be “wondrous” (The New York Times) dancer Melissa Toogood, in an intimate epilogue to Pam Tanowitz’s Day for Night, playing concurrently in Little Island’s Amphitheater (The Amph).

Mx Justin Vivian Bond, downtown cabaret legend and recent recipient of the first Judy Icon Award, will play five nights from July 24-28.

The Island will host a one-of-a-kind Oyster Market, July 31-August 4, curated and overseen by New Amsterdam Market founder and culinary world all-star Robert LaValva. Alongside live oyster shucking, the market will feature local vendors selling their unique culinary creations, which pair perfectly with The Oyster Radio Hour playing simultaneously in The Amph.

Then, from August 7-11, Morgan Jay returns to Little Island for his third consecutive summer to host and curate a week of comedy, including acts by Jay Jurden, Neel Gosh, and Sarah Tollemache.

From August 14-18, linguists Ross Perlin and Daniel Kaufman, co-founders of the Endangered Language Alliance, will collaborate with Michael Leibenluft and Gung Ho Projects to create a series of performances about the past, present, and future of the world’s most linguistically diverse city. The series will be led by speakers of endangered, Indigenous, and minority languages, talking about their communities in their own words and in their own languages, alongside poetry, music, and movement, with texts based on Perlin’s Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York. A multilingual soundscape will draw on ELA’s digital language archive, with its recordings in more than one hundred languages, as well as visual elements from ELA’s digital landscape map and creative translanguaging translation strategies.

From August 21-25, Grammy Award-winning artist Cécile McLorin Salvant will lend her curatorial vision to the Glade, programming a set of performances by other musicians at the vanguard of their styles and forms, including jazz vocalist Vanisha Gould, folk artist June McDoom, multi-instrumentalist Lua Noah, pianist Sullivan Fortner, and more.

Closing out summer in the Glade, from August 28-September 1, Gio Escobar will host a series of unique, genre-bending experiences, including a bomba and a salsa night, before taking the stage with his own avant-garde collective, Standing on the Corner.

Tickets to Little Island’s summer season of performances, as well as information on free programs, are available at littleislanditickets.com.

THE GLADE SERIES / FULL PERFORMANCE CALENDAR

JULY 10-14 / SUZAN-LORI PARKS      

“Tell Me More”                                                

A series of performances and conversation curated and hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks. Each evening, conceived around a pair of ideas, will feature a musical act and a conversation between Parks and a cultural luminary.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 7:00 PM

Blues & Greens: Conversation with Suzan-Lori Parks and Majora Carter / Performance by Ruthie Foster

The Glade

Thursday, July 11, 2024, 10:00 PM

The Runway & The Street: Conversation with fashion designer Daisy Wang / Performance by MC Corey James Gray & Freestyle Monday

The Glade

Friday, July 12, 2024, 10:00 PM

Outer Space & Inner Space: Conversation with Columbia Astronomy Professor Jane Huang / Performance by Psychedelic Soap Box /

The Play Ground

Saturday, July 13, 2024, 7:00 PM

Work & Play: Watch Me Work w/ Suzan-Lori Parks & Special Guest / Performance by Suzan-Lori Parks’s Sula & the Joyful Noise

The Glade

Sunday, July 14, 2024, 7:00 PM

Past & Future: Conversation with Suzan-Lori Parks and Eric Foner / Performance by Brandee Younger

The Glade    

JULY 17-21 / MELISSA TOOGOOD

“Epilogue: Pam Tanowitz’s ‘Day For Night’”                                

“Wondrous performer” (New York Times) Melissa Toogood dances an epilogue to choreographer Pam Tanowitz’s Day for Night, playing at 8:30pm each night in The Amph.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Thursday, July 18, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Friday, July 19, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Saturday, July 20, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade

Sunday, July 21, 2024, 9:30 PM

Epilogue: Day for Night

The Glade      

JULY 24-28 / JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND                                                                    

A Week of Cabaret                                                   

Wednesday, July 24, 2024, 6:30 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Thursday, July 25, 2024, 6:30 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Friday, July 26, 2024, 10:00 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Saturday, July 27, 2024, 10:00 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

Sunday, July 28, 2024, 6:30 PM

Justin Vivian Bond

The Glade

July 31-August 4 / NEW AMSTERDAM OYSTER MARKET

A week of food. Curated by Roberta LaValva & the New Amsterdam Market

Food & Beverage available for purchase*

AUGUST 7-11 / MORGAN JAY & FRIENDS                                                                        

A Week of Comedy

Wednesday, August 7, 2024, 7PM

Morgan Jay, Usama Siddique, Isa Medina, Daniel Bridgegadd

The Glade

Thursday, August 8, 2024, 7PM

Morgan Jay, Sean Donnelly, Tatiana Frank, Myq Kaplan

The Glade

Friday, August 9, 2024, 10:00 PM

Morgan Jay, Sahib Singh, Shane Torres, Jordan Jensen

The Glade

Saturday, August 10, 2024, 7:00 PM

Morgan Jay, Jay Jurden, Carmen Lynch, Neel Gosh

The Glade    

Sunday, August 11, 2024, 7:00 PM

Morgan Jay, Sarah Tollemache, Leclerc Andrew, Erin Jackson

The Glade    

AUGUST 14-18 / ENDANGERED LANGUAGE ALLIANCE

“Language City”                                                      

A series of performances about the past, present, and future of the world’s most linguistically diverse city. The series will be led by speakers of endangered, Indigenous, and minority languages speaking about their communities in their own words and in their own languages, alongside poetry, music, and movement, with texts based on Perlin’s Language City: The Fight to Preserve Endangered Mother Tongues in New York. A multilingual soundscape will draw on ELA’s digital language archive, with its recordings in over a hundred languages, as well as visual elements from ELA’s digital landscape map and creative translanguaging translation strategies.

Conceived by Ross Perlin, Daniel Kaufman, Michael Leibenluft, the Endangered Language Alliance, and Gung Ho Projects. Directed by Michael Leibenluft.

Wednesday, August 14, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade

Thursday, August 15, 2024, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade

Friday, August 16, 2024, 10:00 PM

Language City

The Glade

Saturday, August 17, 2024, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade

Sunday, August 18, 2024, 6:30 PM

Language City

The Glade    

AUGUST 21-25 / CURATED BY CECILE MCLORIN SALVANT

A Week of Celebrated Jazz and Folk Artists

Wednesday, August 21, 2024, 8:30PM

Vanisha Gould (ASL Interpreted)

The Glade

Thursday, August 22, 2024, 8:30-9:30PM

June McDoom

The Glade

Friday, August 23, 2024, 10:00 PM

Lua Noah

The Glade

Saturday, August 24, 2024, 8:30PM

Sullivan Fortner

The Glade

Sunday, August 25, 2024, 8:30PM

TBA

The Glade    

AUGUST 28-SEPTEMBER 1 / CURATED BY GIO ESCOBAR        

A Week of Music and Performance Art

Wednesday, August 28, 2024, 7PM

The Glade

Thursday, August 29, 2024, 7PM

The Glade

Friday, August 30, 2024, 10:00 PM

TBD

Saturday, August 31, 202, 7PM

The Glade

Sunday, September 1, 2024, 7PM

The Glade    

After the conclusion of these public performances in September, The Glade will become New York’s newest outdoor cocktail lounge, complete with a bar designed by Green River Project and a menu of beer, wine, cocktails and mocktails that can be consumed in The Glade or enjoyed anywhere on Little Island. This is just one of the multiple food and beverage venues in the park, throughout the summer.

Little Island’s first annual, four-month-long summer season of world premieres, which kicked off on June 1, features a total of nine newly commissioned pieces. Little Island’s new arts program moves towards the future with a commitment to a multi-year roster of original work, all commissioned by and developed at Little Island. Bookended by the premiere of choreographer Twyla Tharp’s newest work How Long Blues and a 90-minute remix of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in which outré opera diva Anthony Roth Costanzo sings every leading role, the season offers premieres of varying scales across all areas of performance – including music, dance, theater, opera, comedy, jazz, pop, and funk, all outdoors and directly sited on the Hudson River at 14th Street in New York City. The Amph, the park’s 700-seat amphitheater, will house larger scale performances at a $25 ticket price, while The Glade, the park’s 200-seat venue, will be home to more intimate works, all of which will be completely free to the public.

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Cabaret

My View: Jamie deRoy & Her Friends….Who’s Like Them….Damm few

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There wasn’t a sign on the door that said “ Private Party…you have to know Jamie deRoy to get in”, but it seemed that way last night as all the tables in Birdland were filled with Jamie’s friends. They came for another edition of her long running (34 years) variety show.  Jamie as usual hosted the evening and presented a talented line up of performer friends which included: Jason Graae, Jason Henderson, Cory Kahaney, MOIPEI, A.J. Shively, and Jim Vallance & Catherine Porter. The evening, which benefited the Entertainment Community Fund, was directed by Barry Kleinbort with musical direction by Ron Abel.

A show tends to be well received when an audience is mainly comprised of friends. However, even an audience of strangers would have become Jamie’s friends after watching this outstanding cast creating a highly enjoyable evening of music and humor.  As the song says.. “ya’ got to have friends”, and to answer the question asked by the many friends who couldn’t snag a ticket…yes, Jamie sang “Jews Don’t Camp”.

Check out the show photos and the Cast Party

JAMIE deROY

A.J.SHIVELY

JASON HENDERSON

CORY KAHANEY

CATHERINE PORTER & JIM VALLANCE

CATHERINE PORTER

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

JASON GRAAE

RON ABEL, music director

RON ABEL

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Cabaret

Tony Award® nominee A.J. Shively Joins Jamie deRoy & friends A Benefit For The Entertainment Community Fund

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Today, producer Jamie deRoy announced that Tony Award® nominee A.J. Shively (Paradise Square) and Jason Henderson have been added to Jamie deRoy & friends on Monday, July 1 at 7:00PM at Birdland (315 W 44th Street, New York City 10036). Other special guests are Jason Graae, Cory Kahaney, MOIPEI, Jim Vallance and Catherine Porter. This performance will be livestreamed HERE.

A frequent presence on the New York cabaret scene, Jamie deRoy has produced Jamie deRoy & friends for more than 34 years. For the last decade, Jamie deRoy & friendshas benefitted the Entertainment Community Fund.

In a statement, Ms. deRoy said, “I initially started the ‘Jamie deRoy & friends Cabaret Initiative’ to advocate for cabaret performers to receive benefits from the Entertainment Community Fund. Producing benefits for the Fund has since been one of the cornerstones of my producing career. I’m thrilled to continue that proud tradition next month with this wonderful line-up of talent.”

The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing.

Jamie deRoy & friends will be directed by Barry Kleinbort with musical direction by Ron Abel and Tom Hubbard on Bass.

Reservations are open at 212-581-3080 or www.BirdlandJazz.com. Tickets are $100 VIP/$50 General Seating. $20 food/drink minimum.

Jamie deRoy started producing theater by accident…which has led to 12 Tony® Awards and credits on 150+ Broadway and Off-Broadway shows including, in recent seasons, Stereophonic, Merrily We Roll Along, The Who’s Tommy, Spamalot, Gutenberg The MusicalParade, Good Night Oscar, Leopoldstadt, and The Play That Goes Wrong. Additional awards include nine MAC® Awards, 12 Drama Desk® Awards, four Audience Choice® Awards, 13 Drama League® Awards, three GLAAD® Awards, four Back Stage Bistro® Awards, numerous Telly® Awards and CaB Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement® Award. She has been honored by Theatre Works/USA, Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement, Primary Stages, the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Award, and The York Theatre Founder’s Award. She was inducted into the MJHI Manhattan Jewish Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Jamie’s television producing credits include “Jamie deRoy & friends,” “CityArts: The Biggest Little Operas in Town” (Emmy® nomination), and “Where Do Musicals Come From?” Films include the documentaries Broadway: The Golden AgeBroadway: Beyond the Golden Age and Left Alone Rhapsody.

A.J. Shively Broadway: Paradise Square (Tony, OCC, Chita Rivera noms.); Bright Star (Drama Desk nom.); La Cage Aux Folles. Nat’l Tour: Bright StarThe Sound of Music. Off-Broadway/New York: Titanic (Encores); Philadelphia, Here I Come (Theatre World Award, Drama Desk, Lortel noms.), Brigadoon (Irish Rep); A Man Of No Importance (Lortel award, OCC nom.; CSC); February House (The Public); The Suitcase Under The Bed (Mint); Unlock’d (Prospect); …Guide To A Successful Marriage (Cherry Lane); Things To Ruin (Second Stage); Little Airplanes Of The Heart (EST); ReWrite (Urban Stages). Regional: Boston Pops; Berkeley Rep; Kennedy Center; CTG; Old Globe; PCLO. TV/Film: “Julia” (HBO Max); “Bull” (CBS); “Hunters” (Amazon Prime); “Homeland” (Showtime); “Madam Secretary” (CBS); “The Blacklist” (NBC); “Younger” (TV Land); Other People’s Bodies(upcoming); Nobody Walks In LAFrom NowhereSyrupHairBrained. Training: University of Michigan; RADA.

Jason Henderson. This season for his cabaret show, ‘Getting To Noël You’ – created together with Director Barry Kleinbort and Musical Director Christopher Denny, cabaret performer Jason Henderson received the 2024 Bistro Award – Musical Comedy Performer and was nominated 2024 Male Vocalist at the MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) Awards. In May the show opened the 2024 Long Beach Cabaret Festival. In New York City, over multiple repeat performances at cabaret institution ‘Don’t Tell Mama’, critics have been unanimous in their praise –  the show was listed in the ‘Top 10 Cabaret Shows of 2023’ by Times Square Chronicles. Jason holds a Master of Music (awarded with distinction) in Contemporary Voice – University of Otago, is a former member of the New Zealand Opera Chorus (2012-2016), and an alumna of five New Zealand Singing Schools, and the St. Louis Cabaret Conference. Jason is proud to be a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre – a member of the extraordinary class of ’23.

Jason Graae has been featured on and Off-Broadway in A Grand Night For Singing, Falsettos, Stardust, Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, Forever Plaid, Snoopy!, Olympus on My Mind, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Drama Desk® Nomination) and more. He played Houdini in the LA company of Ragtime and recently was The Wiz in the National tour of Wicked. With LA, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Michigan, and Washington National Opera companies he has played Njegus in the Merry Widow, Frosch in Die Fledermaus, and Offenbach in The Grand Duchess. His many TV credits include “Rude Awakening”, “6 Feet Under”, “Friends”, “Frasier”, “Dukes of Hazzard”, “Sabrina”, many cartoons and for 5 years was the voice of Lucky for Lucky Charms Cereal. He has recorded over 75 CDs. Thank you and goodnight.

Cory Kahaney has appeared on “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert and David Letterman. Other television appearances include “CONAN”, “This Week at the Comedy Cellar” and “The View”. Cory was a grand finalist in NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and a semifinalist on “America’s Got Talent”. She has had comedy specials on Comedy Central, HBO and her new special premieres on Amazon Prime in August.

MOIPEI (Mary, Maggy and Marta Moipei) are identical triplets from Nairobi, Kenya and currently reside in the U.S. Recent Performances include: The Kennedy Center, 54 Below, Birdland, Merkin Hall, Amarillo Opera, and the Indianapolis Symphony. They have been performing their 2-act multi-media concert, an eclectic mix of their own arrangements of Broadway tunes, jazz hits, spirituals, and Kenyan folk songs at PACs throughout the country. They were voted as “Best Vocal Group” for BroadwayWorld.com 2023 Cabaret Awards. At the age of 12, were appointed Kenya’s first ever UNICEF Child Ambassadors. They were awarded the Head of State Commendation (HSC), by the President of Kenya, in recognition of their outstanding contribution to the Music Industry and the Nation. Their album “In the Land of the Lion,” won the 2011 Best of Africa category, at the prestigious South Africa Broadcasting Corporation Awards® (SABC). “Their enchantment, either as singers or as people will bewitch all who see and hear them.” Stephen Mosher @MOIPEI.

Catherine Porter’s varied career has taken her around the globe. She sang opposite Michael Crawford in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, touring the US, UK, Japan and Australia.  She rocked stadiums world-wide as a member of Queen guitarist Brian May’s band, opening for Guns-N-Roses. She’s starred in numerous shows in London’s West End, most notably Sunset Boulevard, which took her to Australia where she originated the role of Betty Schaefer opposite Hugh Jackman. She has sung with the likes of Chaka Khan, Mel B, Kiki Dee and most recently, Norbert Leo Butz. Catherine made her Broadway debut standing by for the role of Diana in the Tony Award®-winning musical, Next to Normal. She’s a songwriter and, most importantly, mother to Ruby, for whom her 2009 album, Gems for Ruby was created. Instagram: cathporter1.

Jim Vallance saw The Beatles on television at age eleven, it was a life-altering moment. Swept up and inspired by the “British Invasion” he begged his parents for a guitar or a drum kit. He got both! As a musician, producer, and songwriter Jim has collaborated with artists as diverse as Aerosmith, Heart, Tina Turner, Michael Bublé and Ozzy Osbourne, to name a few. Pretty Woman: The Musical, which he co-composed with Bryan Adams, has delighted audiences in New York, London and internationally.

The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. Since 1882, the Fund has sought to ensure stability, encourage resiliency and be a safety net for those who shape our country’s cultural vibrancy. Learn more at entertainmentcommunity.org.

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