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What To Watch December 6th To Take Away The Blues

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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.’https://www.youtube.com/embed/zx5WAUdeZfw

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.

2500 Productions has coordinated a fully remote casting, rehearsal, and recording process. 

Roosevelt: Charge the Bear The Roustabouts Theatre Co. is presenting the world premiere of Roosevelt: Charge the Bear by Marni Freedman and Phil Johnson starring Mr. Johnson in a virtual filmed presentation as part of their fourth season.

The production is available on-demand through December 13. 

Phil Johnson stars in this new one-man show about President Theodore Roosevelt, one of the most fascinating people of the 20th century. In this gripping 90-minute show, the new president grapples with the issues that would define his term: taking on the trusts, trying to get his message across to the people, and his colossal challenge – the coal strike of 1902. Miners and others were killed, tensions were high, and — the biggest threat of all — innocent people were at risk of freezing to death that winter. This American president dealt with these in his own relentless energetic way. He was a great man, a great American, and Johnson brings this multi-faceted character to life in a truly riveting, energetic, and passionate performance. 

Directed by Rosina Reynolds, the design team includes Tony Cucuzzella (Set Design/Props), Matt Lescault-Wood (Sound Design), Joel Britt (Lighting Design), Jordyn Smiley (Costume Design), Ross Stewart (Costume Design Assistant). Jessamyn Foster was the Stage Manager. Michael Brueggemeyer was the Director of Photography/Editor. Rebecca Crigler, General Manager of The Roustabouts, produced the drama, following SAG, Federal, State, and local COVID-19 practices and protocols. 

As with other productions by The Roustabouts, in-depth talkbacks will be featured as part of the online presentation, including looks at Roosevelt’s problematic handling of the Brownsville, TX raid, and Roosevelt’s moment with Booker T. Washington, which will feature local diversity experts. 

La Femme Theatre Productions: The Night of the Iguana The show will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (Netflix’s “Hollywood”) as Reverend Shannon, Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad  (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Maxine, Roberta Maxwell (Broadway’s Summer and Smoke) as Judith Fellowes, Tony nominee, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s Choir Boy) as Nonno, and Jean Lichty (Off-Broadway’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady) as Hannah, with Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Jitney, American Psycho) as Jake, Carmen Berkeley (Off-Broadway’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) as Charlotte, Eliud Kauffman (Roundabout Theatre’s 72 Miles to Go) as Hank, Julio Macias (Netflix’s “On My Block”) as Pancho, Stephanie Schmiderer (No Exit, The Human Voice) as Frau Fahrenkopf, Bradley James Tejeda (Broadway’s The Inheritance) as Pedro, and John Hans Tester (Amazon’s ”Hunters” ) as Herr Fahrenkopf.

12pm: Artist Talk with Battery Dance  Each week, artists from around the world join BatteryDanceTV for a 30-minute talk.

3pm: Theater Mitu: </remnant> </Remnant> is a combination of performance, sound art, and video installation, the work offers a reflection on how loss can scar, shape, and even propel people towards change. The project is conceived and created by Theater Mitu with Rubén Polendo serving as director.

4pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar scheduled pianists are Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1) and Dan Daly (@DanDalyMusic). https://www.youtube.com/embed/S-bH7B5Ol68

6pm: The Book of Job Project Theater of War Productions Bill Murray, Frankie Faison et al read the Hebrew poem as a catalyst for powerful, guided conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon individuals, families, and communities.

6pm Soundcheck and 8pm Concert: Ana Gasteyer and Seth Rudesky is best known for her incomparable work on Saturday Night Live. During her six year stint, she created some of the most famous SNL characters including middle school music teacher Bobbie Moughan-Culp, NPR radio host Margaret Jo, Lilith Fair poetess Cinder Calhoun, as well as spot-on impressions of Martha Stewart, Celine Dion and Hillary Rodham Clinton. She returned to SNL as Margaret Jo in “NPR’S Delicious Dish” and the now infamous “Muffin Top” sketch with Betty White, which Gasteyer created and wrote. More recently she appeared on the star-studded SNL 40 television special with Will Ferrell, where they brought back their hilariously awkward music teachers Marty Culp and Bobbi Mohan-Culp. On stage, Ana Gasteyer made her triumphant Broadway debut as Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show. Since then, Gasteyer earned raves as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway, and originated the role for the Chicago production, earning a Jefferson Award nomination. Other New York theater credits include the Tony-nominated Broadway productions of The Royal Family directed by Doug Hughes, The Threepenney Opera with Alan Cumming and Jim Dale, Eve Ensler’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit The Vagina Monologues, and Manhattan Theatre Club’s hit production of Kimberly Akimbo by celebrated playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. Ana also starred as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. She has starred to rave reviews as Fosca in Gary Griffin’s production of Sondheim’s Passion at The Chicago Shakespeare Theater, earning a Jefferson Award nomination for her performance. She also co-starred in the one-night-only star-studded Actors Fund benefit concerts of Funny Girl, Hair, and A Centennial Celebration of Frank Loesser. Ana can be heard on the Actor’s Fund Recording of Hair and the Reefer Madness Soundtrack. Other theatrical credits include the national tour of The Real Live Brady Bunch, as well as productions of The Odyssey and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, both directed by Mary Zimmerman. Prior to joining SNL, Gasteyer honed her comedy skills at The Groundlings, the famed Los Angeles improv-sketch comedy group.

On film, Ana has been seen in Dare, Mean Girls, The Women, What Women Want, Woman On Top, Dick, and What’s The Worst That Could Happen? Other television credits include The Good Wife, Younger, The Lion Guard, Lady Dynamite, Chuck, Showtime’s Reefer Madness, Frasier, Just Shoot Me, 3rd Rock from the Sun, NYPD Blue, Mad About You, Law & Order, Party of Five, Seinfeld (the “Soup Nazi” episode), as well as guest hosting The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, Live with Regis and The Rosie O’Donnell Show. She has been seen in the Tyler Perry produced film We The Peeples opposite Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier, Melvin Van Peebles and Diahann Carroll, and in HBO’s hit series Curb Your Enthusiasm opposite Larry David. Ana joined Seth Rudetsky for the first-ever live filming of his popular Playbill “Obsessed” video series, along with fellow Broadway stars Megan Hilty and Ramin Karimloo.

Seth Rudetsky’s internationally acclaimed Broadway concert series that first began in Provincetown at The Art House in 2011 will debut as a weekly virtual series entitled The Seth Concert Series. Presented by Mark Cortale the series premiered ten years ago and is currently housed in more than a dozen major venues worldwide. In its new format, the series will continue to offer viewers a seamless mix of behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s insightful, funny and revealing questions – and the music from the artists’ stellar careers.

7pm: Sleep Deprivation Chamber Roundhouse until February $15
This is the second of four plays in a festival of the work of the 89-year-old  pioneering experimental playwright Adrienne Kennedy (best known for Funnyhouse of a Negro), produced in conjunction with McCarter Theater. Teddy is a young Black college student studying theatre, but his senior year becomes a waking nightmare when the officer accuses him of assault. Written by Adrienne Kennedy and her own son, Adam, the semi-autobiographical drama shifts between Teddy’s trial and the unrelenting letters his sleepless mother writes in his defense.

7:30pm: Puccini’s Tosca In his classic potboiler, Puccini stirs together some of humanity’s strongest motivating forces—love and loyalty, fear and cruelty—to create an operatic thriller that sinks its teeth into the listener with the opening chords and never lets go. Taking place in Rome in 1800, the story concerns a fiery yet devoted diva, the painter/revolutionary she loves, and a sadistic police chief determined to crush political rebellion and claim Tosca for himself. All three are among opera’s most indelible characters.

8pm: Brian Nash has been a proud member of the Duplex staff since 2003. Brian works extensively on the Broadway and off-Broadway theater scene, and is the Music Director and Orchestrator of the off-Broadway hit, SILENCE! The Musical. He was a producer on Bare: The Musical for its recent revival off-Broadway and is a resident music director and performer for Atlantis Events worldwide. His cabaret work with Natalie Joy Johnson has earned them recognition from the Village Voice and has been named one of the Top 10 Cabaret Acts by TimeOut New York. Brian has also music directed for Andy Bell of Erasure, Tonya Pinkins, Julia Murney, Rob Evan, Mandy Gonzales, Michael McElroy, Jonathan Hellyer, Trevor Ashley, and many others. His piano playing was recently extensively featured on alternative pop band Boys Like Girls 2012 album, Crazy World (Columbia Records). Other recent theater projects include The Last 5 Years (Asolo Rep) , A Night In Seville (Epic Theater Ensemble), Crossing Brooklyn (Transport Group), Writing Arthur and Something’s Wrong With Amandine at TheatreWorks New Works Festival in Palo Alto, CA, Writing Arthur at NAMT with Kelli O’Hara and Ana Gasteyer, The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds I and II and But I’m A Cheerleader for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and A Broadway Diva Christmas, starring Ellen Greene and Kathy Brier. Other NYC and regional credits include Songs for a New World, The Sexless Years, Red, Lend Me a Tenor, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Rocky Horror Show. Brian has produced albums for singer/songwriters Justin Tranter, Shanna Sharp, and Stacy Allyn Baker, recently performed at Town Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Birdland with Natalie Douglas, and produced and produced Kate Pazakis’ debut album, Unzipped: Live at the Zipper for PS Classics. Brian is in extensive demand as a pianist and singer throughout NYC and has played sold out concerts of the music of Tori Amos; he is also been a featured performer on Rosie and Kelli O’Donnell’s r family vacations cruises. His first songs were written for two recent editions of TheATrainPlays, and were featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Brian holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from Boston Conservatory and studied record production at Berklee College of Music. For more info, please visit BrianJNash.com.

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: Dick Robinson’s Birthday Continues at 54 Below with Marilyn Maye

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Marilyn Maye (96) and Dick Robinson (86), a decade apart in age… both have a youthful exuberance for the music and performance of The Great American Songbook. The Songbook is played on Robinson’s Legends Radio stations worldwide ‘round the clock’ and Marilyn is singing it around the country in nightclubs and concert halls.

The “old jock”, as Dick is affectionately referred to may not be able to do that Marilyn Maye kick when she sings “IT’S TODAY” but he sure was swinging along with the rest of us last night at 54 Below. Dick was celebrating his 86th birthday while watching Marvelous 96 year old Marilyn celebrate her Birthday Month with another phenomenal show.

MARILYN MAYE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DICK ROBINSON

DICK ROBINSON & SALLY ROBINSON

DICK & SALLY ROBINSON, MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

TEDD FIRTH & MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

MARILYN MAYE

JIMMY, MISSY,JILL ROBINSON & ROB RUSSELL

DICK & SALLY ROBINSON

JILL ROBINSON, MISSY ROBINSON, EDA SOROKOFF

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Cabaret

My View: Dick Robinson & Family Celebrate at Cafe Carlyle With Peter Cincotti

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Cafe Carlyle, a preeminent location in the world of Cabaret was visited by a preeminent figure in the world of radio broadcasting last night.  Dick Robinson, founder of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook (SPGAS) and Legends Radio (WLML) was in the house for a performance by Peter Cincotti, who is in the midst of a residency in the historic Woody Allen Monday spot.

Bobby Short began his residency at Cafe Carlyle in 1968, Woody Allen in 1997, and Steve Tyrell in 2005.  Now it’s   Peter Cincotti in the legendary hotel exhibiting the exciting pianistic and vocal style (with his killer band) that have made Cincotti a world famous songwriter and entertainer….. and Dick Robinson was there to enjoy the show with family and friends celebrating “the old jocks” birthday!

Singer, Pianist, Composer, Cincotti was recently awarded SPGAS’s “Legend Award” at their annual Gala held at The Kravis Center For The Performing Arts.

DICK ROBINSON & SALLY ROBINSON

PETER CINCOTTI

Jimmy Robinson, Jill Robinson, Eda Sorokoff, Stephen Sorokoff, Dick Robinson, Sally Robinson, Missy Robinson

ROB RUSSELL, STEPHEN SOROKOFF, PETER CINCOTTI, EDA SOROKOFF, DICK ROBINSON, SALLY ROBINSON, MISSY ROBINSON, JILL ROBINSON, JIMMY ROBINSON

PETER CINCOTTI

PETER CINCOTTI

PETER CINCOTTI

PETER CINCOTTI

CAFE CARLYLE

CAFE CARLYLE

PETER CINCOTTI, SCOTT KREITZER, JOE NERO, TONY GLAUSI, COLE DAVIS

STEPHEN SOROKOFF, EDA SOROKOFF, MISSY ROBINSON, JILL ROBINSON, ROB RUSSELL, JIMMY ROBINSON, DICK ROBINSON, SALLY ROBINSON

MISSY ROBINSON & JILL ROBINSON

MISSY ROBINSON & EDA SOROKOFF

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Cabaret

Music News: Stereophonic, Aaron Tveit, Abby Mueller, Cheyenne Jackson, Lempicka, Reeve Carney, Rodgers & Hammerstein and The New Belters

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After starting previews to an extraordinary standing ovation this week, the season’s most critically acclaimed new play, Stereophonic, has dropped a brand-new music video of the hit song in the show, “Masquerade”, written by Academy Award® nominee and Grammy Award® winner Will Butler.

Direct from its smash hit world premiere engagement at Playwrights Horizons, David Adjmi’s Stereophonic is directed by Daniel Aukin and features songs by Will Butler, formerly of Arcade Fire. The highly anticipated Broadway production is currently in performances at the Golden Theatre (252 W 45th St) for 14 weeks only, and will officially open on Friday, April 19.

The music video was creative directed by Cameron Sczempka (Polymoth Productions). Director of Photographer was Hil Steadman.

Aaron Tveit

After incredibly high demand for his initial announcement, Broadway sensation Aaron Tveit, has extended his debut residency at Café Carlyle. Tveit’s captivating performances, characterized by his impeccable vocal talent and magnetic stage presence, have garnered widespread acclaim. With this extension, audiences will have another opportunity to experience the magic of Tveit’s musical artistry in the intimate setting of Café Carlyle, promising an unforgettable evening. The event will take place June 11 – 29, 2024 (previously June 18 – 29) at Café Carlyle in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (35 East 76th Street, at Madison Avenue).

54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents Abby Mueller on April 26-27, 2024 at 7pm. The performance on April 27 will also be streamed live. After her celebrated reign in Six, Abby Mueller (Broadway’s original Jane Seymour) makes her 54 Below and NYC solo concert debut! Previously seen on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Kinky Boots, this Drama Desk Award winner and Grammy nominee invites you on a musical journey from Carole to Adele, pop to American Songbook classics, and beyond.

She will be reunited with her OG Six “Ladies in Waiting” Kimi Hayes (guitar), Michelle Osbourne (bass) and Elena Bonomo (drums), led by Music Director Sharon Kenny. Special musical guests include Nasia Thomas (Caroline, or Change, Ain’t Too Proud), Yasmeen Sulieman (Shucked, Paradise Square), and Paris Nix (Hamilton, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)

Cheyenne Jackson

54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club and 2022 Tony Awards® Honoree for Excellence in the Theatre, is thrilled to welcome back star of stage and screen Cheyenne Jackson on September 23-29 at 8pm. Each night will feature a Broadway VIP, with Tony Award® winner Matt Doyle on September 23, Cheyenne’s Once Upon A Mattress co-star Nikki Renée Daniels on September 24, Tony Award® winner J. Harrison Ghee on September 25, Company star Claybourne Elder on September 27, Tony Award® winner and Emmy nominee Jane Krakowski on September 28, and Wicked star Jessica Vosk on September 29. The special guest on September 26 will be announced at a later date. Tickets can be purchased at 54below.org/CheyenneJackson. Mr. Jackson’s shows are scheduled at 8pm instead of the usual 7pm and will be the only show of the night to allow for an extended dinner hour and enhanced patron experience. Following the show, the bar will remain open for patrons who wish to linger and continue to enjoy the evening.

Sony Masterworks Broadway, Seaview, and Jenny Niederhoffer announce the forthcoming Original Broadway Cast Recording of Lempicka, the sweeping new musical with leading lady Eden Espinosa, celebrating the gripping true story of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka.  With music and lyrics by Matt Gould and Carson Kreitzer, the digital album arrives May 29, 2024 with the physical CD release set for July 5, and available for preorder now.

The album news follows the release of three tracks “Woman Is,” performed by Eden Espinosa; “Perfection,” with vocals by George Abud; and “Stay” performed by Amber Iman from Lempicka – the Musical (2022 Sessions) – listen here.

The creative team consists of Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (director), Carson Kreitzer (book, lyrics, and original concept), Matt Gould (book and music), and Raja Feather Kelly (choreography).

Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.

The cast of Lempicka is led by leading lady, Eden Espinosa as Tamara de Lempicka, with Amber Iman as Rafaela, Andrew Samonsky as Tadeusz Lempicki, George Abud as Marinetti, Natalie Joy Johnson as Suzy Solidor, Zoe Glick as Kizette, Nathaniel Stampley as the Baron, and Beth Leavel as the Baroness with Mariand Torres, Alex Aquilino, Lauren Blackman, Stephen Brower, Kyle Brown, Holli’ Conway, Abby Matsusaka, Jimin Moon, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Ximone Rose, Nicholas Ward, Veronica Fiaoni, Mary Page Nance, Julio Rey, and Michael Milkanin rounding out the company.

Tickets are now on sale at telecharge.com.

Screenshot

The Green Room 42 – the intimate concert venue dubbed Broadway’s “off-night hotspot” by The New York Times – will present a special two-part evening with Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and actor Reeve Carney, paying tribute to one of his greatest musical influences in “Reeve Carney Sings The Beatles,” on Monday, May 13 at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM. Performing two completely different sets, Carney will cover era-defining selections ranging from 1963’s “Twist and Shout” to 1970’s “Let It Be,” and everything in between. The recent star of Broadway’s Hadestown, Carney co-starred in Ridley Scott’s hit film House of Gucci, opposite Al Pacino, Lady Gaga, and Adam Driver.

“I love a good challenge,” says Reeve. “And what greater challenge, musically speaking, than to do my best to tackle one of my greatest influences? I grew up on the Beatles. They have always been my parents’ favorite band, and quickly became mine through wearing out cassette tapes from Please Please Me all the way to Let It Be on long car rides. They have served as a seemingly endless source of inspiration for me as a songwriter, as well as a recording engineer. While producing my solo album, Youth Is Wasted, I drew constantly upon them through obsessive auditory deep dive explorations of all of their astonishing records. I also immersed myself in books by both George Martin and Geoff Emerick, both of whom were at the helm of capturing The Beatles’ music. Their unparalleled prolificacy in the modern recorded music world has served as an inspiration to many of my other prominent influences. So it felt only natural for me to pay tribute to them in the way I have done with some of my other inspirations. When I sat down to put this set together, I quickly realized it would be a nearly impossible task to select only 10 or even 15 of my absolute favorites. So I am excited to present this as a two-part evening.”

Concord Theatricals Recordings announced that the 42-track live recording of My Favorite Things: The Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary Concert will be released on double CD and digital platforms worldwide on Friday, May 31. The star-studded new album is now available to preorder on CD HERE.

Celebrating the historic partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the album features iconic songs from The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oklahoma! and more, recorded live by stars of the stage and screen at the landmark December 2023 event in London.

In tandem with the album release, a condensed version of the filmed concert will premiere on PBS as a part of their “Great Performances” programming on May 31. Learn more HERE.

The concert was headlined by recent R&H leading lady Joanna Ampil (Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific); two-time Olivier Award®  winner Michael Ball; television, film and stage actor Daniel Dae Kim; four-time Olivier Award®  winner Maria Friedman; Emmy®, two-time GRAMMY®  and six-time Tony Award®  winner Audra McDonald; Olivier Award®  nominee Julian Ovenden; West End sensation Lucy St. Louis; Tony Award®  winner Aaron Tveit; two-time Olivier Award®  nominee Marisha Wallace; and two-time Tony®, two-time Golden Globe®  and Emmy Award®  nominee Patrick Wilson. Also featured are Anna-Jane Casey, Lily Kerhoas, Jonny Labey, and Jordan Shaw, among others.

The performance featured the 40-piece Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert Orchestra, conducted by music supervisor Simon Lee, with stage direction by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Christopher Gattelli and associate choreography by Simon Hardwick.

54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club, presents Seth Sikes and Nicolas King in The New Belters Sing MGM on Monday, April 22 at 7:00 PM. Acclaimed jazz pianist Billy Stritch will music direct the evening, a brand-new show celebrating music from the golden age of MGM. This vast and iconic catalog includes songs from the films Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, and many more. Under the musical baton of Stritch, Sikes and King will deliver a powerhouse performance that promises to capture the glitter and magic of the golden age of Hollywood, and bring it into the next generation.

The swinging American Songbook is the specialty of these performers, and the duo has been touring the country with their debut show, The New Belters.

Seth Sikes is one of New York’s popular young nightclub entertainers and a regular at 54 Below. His critically acclaimed tributes to Judy Garland (which have won two BroadwayWorld Awards), Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand and others are a consistent draw for audiences. Sikes was also Associate Director on the multiple Tony Award-winning musical The Band’s Visit and many other productions. During the pandemic he made numerous musical video parodies set on Fire Island that were widely viewed.

Nicolas King is an award-winning artist who’s been belting out tunes since he was 4-years-old, having been seen in dozens of TV commercials, and numerous times on Broadway opposite Tom Selleck, Carol Burnett, Linda Lavin and Andrea McArdle. King was the longest running Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. He toured the country as Liza Minnelli’s opening act, and has performed on stages all over the world from Carnegie Hall to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

The New Belters Sing MGM plays 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on Monday, April 22 at 7:00 PM.

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Cabaret

Patti LuPone A Life Well Sung

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Caricature By Ken Fallin

“Music is a gift, and has a power to crystallize a moment. This is my life in music — so far.”

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

Nothing could have been said, that would have been truer for three-time Tony winner Patti LuPone, who returned to Carnegie Hall last night for her fifth solo concert.

“I wrote a memoir 15 years ago, but I kept going, so there’s more story to tell.” Starting off with Leon Russell’s “Song For You.”

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

This was not the concert I was expecting, but was entranced by Ms. LuPone’s skillful storytelling that was immersed in heart and soul. Conceived and directed by Tony winner Scott Wittman, LuPone’s latest act is written by Jeffrey Richman. Act One was filled with teen angst and tragedy, with songs like “Come On-A My House,” Summertime Summertime“ and “Ebb Tide,” brought us back to Patti’s youth, 1958 and Long Island were she was born and grew up.

Like a typical teenager boys and crushes dominated her mind. In We Kiss In A Shadow” from The King and I Patti gives her memories of kissing posters on her wall into the real thing with “Teen Angel,” and “Town Without Pity”

It was lovely to hear Marc Blitzstein’s “I Wish It So” and  “Some People,” from the musical Gypsy. In these sections Patti allows the emotions of her feeling to dominate while release that fabulous belt that is unbeatable. LuPone is backed by music director, music supervisor and pianist Joseph Thalken and the phenomenal string instrumentalist Brad Phillips, who has multiple instruments at his beck and call adding yet another layer.

A tender “Lilac Wine,” “Alfi“ and “Saratoga Song” gave us falling for the wrong men, doing Summerstock and again more men. Patti definitely had a good time, then there was the until heartbreaking “Man That Got Away,” that rivaled Ms. Garland. (I know sacrilege!) A standing ovation, the first of many.

She closed the First Act with “Those Were The Day,” which was a powerful statement with Ms LuPone’s vocal and acting chops at play.

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

The second Act began with “On Broadway.” The line I won’t last too long was made powerful with a growled Ha! Ms. LuPone looked stunning in glittery silver an Oscar de la Renta gown.

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

A riveting  “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” was performed with only Phillips on an acoustic guitar making this sound lush and even more powerful than when she originally sang it. Of course a standing ovation followed. “I Dreamed a Dream,” was plaintive and the heartbreaking earnings yet another standing ovation. LuPone won her third Tony Award in the 2021 revival of Company with “The Ladies Who Lunch” and proved why. I stood up for that. All in all this was a 15-minute masterclass in how to sell a song while making it your own.

Patti LuPone: A LIfe in Notes Photo By Chris Lee

LuPone has the ability to completely immerse herself in a song and draw you in, as lyrics wash over you. She did this with Janis Ian’s “Stars.”

A moving tribute to those we lost to AIDS mashed up “Anything Goes” and “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.” Cole Porter would have been thrilled to have heard these together.

With Covid Patti started to cherish time, especially that she spent with her husband and son. “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” “Time After Time,” and “Make You Feel My Love,” were dedicated to them.

Bridget Everett and Patti LuPone Photo By Chris Lee

Leiber and Stoller’s “Ready to Begin Again” led to the arrival of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and Somebody Somewhere star Bridget Everett. It was lovely seeing the two stars belting it out and having a blast. How truly kind and generous to give all those young people a chance to sing on the Carnegie Hall stage.  Bob Dylan “Forever Young,” was joyously embodied.

Young People’s Chorus of New York City Bridget Everett and Patti LuPone Photo By Chris Lee

For an encore The Beatle’s “In My Life” and a reprise of “Those Were the Days” had the audience leaving the theatre singing joyously and knowing they had just witnessed a master’s artistry, and a magical New York night.

Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes also featured spectacular lighting design by John Hastings and a clear sound design by Mark Fiore.

You can see Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes in San Francisco, LA, Washingto DC, CT and Australia. To see the dates click here.

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On Your Mark, Get Ready, and GO!!! 

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Spring is here, and with it comes the inevitable rush of shows opening, but perhaps more importantly, shows that may have slipped by your notice and are closing soon.  Also included are some recommendations for things coming up that you should know.  

Corruption — This power-packed examination of the phone-hacking scandal that rocked the Murdoch empire in the previous decade is a must see for anyone who cares about politics, journalism, and decency and ethical behavior within both. Bartlett Sher has once again masterfully directed a piece that in lesser hands could be boring but clips along in a way that leaves one almost breathless.  The entire cast is splendid, most notably Toby Stephens as one of the pivotal characters.  The set by Michael Yeargan gets the audience revved for what is to follow, and playwright J.T. Rogers, who also wrote Oslo, has once again delivered an important play for our times. Catch it at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center before it closes on April 14. 

Dead Outlaw Photo by Matthew Murphy (2024).

Dead Outlaw – Also closing on April 14 is this musical based on a most unlikely true story.  It was conceived by David Yazbek, who also wrote the music and lyrics with Erik Della Penna and written by Itamar Moses.  The music is of the hillbilly/country variety, and the set and costumes appropriately gel with that.  While this is not–as was said in the Sixties—my thing, I was clearly in the minority.  The audience was loving it to bits, and you probably will as well.  Catch it quick at the Minetta Lane Theatre in the Village. 

Do Re Mi – J2 Spotlight Musical Theater Company is presenting this Comden, Green and Styne show from the 1960s from April 19 – 28.  Comden and Green always bring a zaniness to their shows, a lightheartedness that seems out of fashion today, but is just what we need right now.  The winner song from this show is “Make Someone Happy”.  Make yourself happy and get a ticket.  This same company is also doing Lucky Stiff from May 3 – 12, the first musical by Flaherty and Ahrens, the genius team that brought us Ragtime.  It is described as a musical farce, which sounds like a perfect antidote for whatever might be ailing you.  Being presented in tandem with these shows are cabarets will feature an all-star cast and will be presented at 7:30 PM on the second Tuesday during each musical’s run (April 23rd, May 7th).   This company has produced several revivals of beloved musicals in the last few years, and each one was a joy! 

I’ll Leave It To You – Deviating a bit from their mission of promoting George Bernard Shaw, the Gingold Theatrical Group is presenting Noël Coward’s first play on April 29 at Symphony Space.  If you don’t know this company already, you are well served to check them out. 

Wicked Little Letters – Can we ever get enough of Olivia Coleman?  Methinks not.  If you agree, see her latest film before it evaporates from sight, like so many great films do. 

Craig Rubano

Craig Rubano — After selling out the Laurie Beechman Theatre in March with his show “Take the Moment”, Craig has added an extra performance on June 12, in addition to the two already scheduled on April 13 and May 19.  This performance is a perfect Mother’s and Father’s Day treat, or an occasion to share with friends.  As said previously, “Rubano made his return to the stage of the Laurie Beechman slowly, dramatically, and expressively, with the reverence of a cleric. The masterful leadership of Jeff Harnar’s direction enabled Craig Rubano to deliver an exceptional performance.” 

Calling All Porterphiles! — If you love Cole Porter and his music, you should know about these two events.  To celebrate his birthday every year, his hometown of Peru, Indiana has a Festival.  This year it runs from June 6 – 9 and is jampacked with entertainment and education for every fan.  Check it out at www.coleporterfestival.org. 

For the true aficionado, there’s a trip planned for late October, beginning in New York and visiting Porter locations is Venice and Paris.  More details as they develop. 

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