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What to Watch in The New Year: April 8

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John Cullum: An Accidental Star Two-time Tony winner stars in a streaming production of his new solo show that features songs and stories from his six-decade career. Audiences can watch the production through April 22.

Please Welcome Our Guest MTC’s virtual Snapshot Series continues with Please Welcome Our Guest, a personality test/performance piece, written and facilitated by Liza Birkenmeier and directed by Trish Harnetiaux.

In Please Welcome Our Guest, Liza Birkenmeier, a playwright without a personality, gives you a personality assessment. With the help of a surprise guest star and an experimental survey, maybe she’ll guide you toward a better understanding of your unique self.

Not sure when you want to attend? Consider letting your personality type guide you!

 Thursday, April 8 @ 7:30pm ET – for the go-getters

**Friday, April 9 @ 4:00pm ET – for quiet people

**Friday, April 9 @ 6:00pm ET – for loud and medium-loud people

Saturday, April 10 @ 8:00am ET – for morning people

**Saturday, April 10 @ 12:30pm ET – for lunch is the worst meal

Saturday, April 10 @ 11:00pm ET – for night owls

Sunday, April 11 @ 11:00am ET – for water signs

**Sunday, April 11 @ 12:00pm ET – for air signs

Sunday, April 11 @ 1:00pm ET – for fire signs

Sunday, April 11 @ 2:00pm ET – for earth signs

**These performances will include English Open Captions.

Row Grace McLean (above), John Ellison Conlee, Tamika Lawrence, John McGinty and more star in the world premiere of this musical. With a book by Daniel Goldstein and music and lyrics by Dawn Landes, Row is inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure and is part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater.

12pm and 4pm: Anna Deavere Smith Kicks Off Lincoln Center Series  Acclaimed performer, playwright, author and professor Anna Deavere Smith begins a three-part series with a conversation with Dr. Christopher Emdin. Set to run through April 10, Smith also delivers a keynote talk with a Q&A to follow as well as a performance of her piece By One Route, and By Another.
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6pm: “The Women” by L Morgan Lee and raja feather kelly featuring work by Kirsten Childs, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Christine Toy Johnson, Bianca Leigh, Carmen LoBue, and Nia Witherspoon, is presented by Ars Nova. 

What does it mean to be a woman? What are the societal and gender expectations put on women? What are the obstacles? What are the beauty standards? Why is it so commonly through the eyes of men that women are defined? What does sisterhood look like? What happens when you allow women to tell their own stories? show their own truth? share their own light?

Actress L Morgan Lee and raja feather kelly ask a group of writers from a variety of backgrounds, identities, and experiences to ponder on this. This is a look in at a rehearsal of the first step in the development of a play, based around these conversations.

6pm: Classic Conversations: Jon Batiste By Classic Stage Company Classic Stage Company continues its free, online version of their discussion series Classic Conversations, hosted by Artistic Director John Doyle.

6pm: Reverb Theatre Arts Festival through May 20th. Reverb Theatre Arts Festival presents the voices of artists with disabilities on the virtual stage. Artists from around the country submitted their works of original theatre—monologue, spoken word, dance, or music—based on creative prompts on the theme of Connection. The work is the result of twenty-four collaborations between Participating Artists and Collaborating Artists.

7pm: Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene Cabaret superstar Ute Lemper revives her acclaimed show Rendezvous with Marlene virtually after its debut in London in 2019. Based on the true story of a phone call Ute received by the film legend 35 years ago in France.

Directed by Daniel Nardicio, Rendezvous with Marlene includes some of Marlene’s most beautiful songs and telling some captivating secrets of her life shared during the three hour-plus call. 

7:30pm: Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini The music of early–20th-century Italian composer Francesco Zandonai has largely been forgotten—with the exception of this expansive 1914 opera based on an episode from Dante’s Inferno. The melodramatic plot concerns an affair between the title character and the handsome brother of a cruel and disfigured warlord, to whom she is betrothed. Their dalliance leads to the predictable violent and tragic end, but not before Zandonai makes his case for increased recognition with a surfeit of sumptuous, luxuriously orchestrated music.

Judy Kuhn
Judy Kuhn

8pm: Stars in the House Nancy Rudetsky’s Birthday Celebration!!  We are celebrating Seth’s sister with guests Mandy Gonzalez, Judy Kuhn, Jack Plotnick, Randy Rainbow, Marc Shaiman and Miranda Sings.  

8pm: Glee Remembers Naya Rivera at GLAAD Media Awards The virtual presentation of the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards and will feature a reunion of stars of the musical comedy series Glee.

The appearance marks the tenth anniversary of the character Santana Lopez’s coming out on the series. The tribute will spotlight the character, played by the late Naya Rivera, including her impact on LGBTQIA+ teens and Latinx LGBTQIA+ representation on television.

Demi Lovato, who played Santana’s girlfriend on the show, will introduce the special tribute featuring cast members Jacob Artist, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Vanessa Lengies, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Alex Newell, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Becca Tobin, and Jenna Ushkowitz.

Neicy Nash hosts the ceremony, which will also include appearances from Broadway alums Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Colman Domingo, Anthony Rapp, and Robin de Jesús. 

8pm: Angry Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous Sister duo Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad will star in an upcoming virtual reading of Pearl Cleage’s Angry Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous as part of Spotlight on Play’s spring lineup. Tony-nominated choreographer Camille A. Brown will direct, with Heather Alicia Simms and Alicia Stith co-starring.

8pm: PEN America Literary Awards Off-Broadway favorite Kara Young (Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, All the Natalie PortmansThe New Englanders) will host the 57th annual PEN America Literary Awards ceremony.

Award recipients were previously announced, with George C. Wolfe and Daniel Alexander Jones both earning honors for dramatic writing.

Kristin Chenoweth
Kristin Chenoweth

9pm: Fostering Futures Kristin Chenoweth and Lindsay Heather Pearce appear at the Boys & Girls Aid’s 5th annual Fostering Futures fundraising event to support foster care children.

9pm: 5 Questions with James and JAM Obie Award winners James Jackson, Jr. and John-Andrew Morrison from Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning off-Broadway musical A Strange Loop are hosting a new virtual talk show, 5 Questions with James and JAM, streamed through their website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. 

Amour, Starring Derrick Baskin, Adam Pascal, Christiani Pitts, More Be a part of our Playbill Opening Night Celebration for the virtual revival of Amour. Join host Felicia Fitzpatrick who will take us to the “red carpet” to talk to the stars of the show and hear from behind the scenes how this special event was inspired and came together. Beyond the show, enjoy the party with tips on cooking your own French meal and learn a bit about wine.

Ailey All Access: Blues Suite Ailey All Access releases a recorded performance of Blues Suite from 1985 PBS Great Performances. 

“Blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, come to life in Blues Suite, which launched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 and defined Alvin Ailey’s choreographic genius of presenting real people on the concert dance stage. With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of his Texas childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night. 

Ailey’s classic is set to songs of lost love, despair, and protest, expressing the sorrow, humor, and humanity of the blues, the heartfelt music that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.” 

Home Sweet Homeland, a one-act play by presents Joanna Rush Amas Musical Theatre  

Trapped in a building across the street from the World Trade Center on 9/11, Home Sweet Homeland is the story of a family and the Angel of Stand-Up Comedy who watches over them. Based on Joanna Rush’s own experience, they work to take control of their lives and find a way back to the new normal.

Directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, the cast features Jonathan Brody (A Bronx Tale, Amazing Grace), Robert Cuccioli (Jekylll & Hyde, Les Miserables), James Rana (The Band’s Visit, The Government Inspector), Laila Robins (The Herbal Bed, The Apple Family Plays), Joanna Rush (KICK!, Accidental Mummies), Chuja Seo, Sophia Stzougros and Mia Mei Williamson (Once on This Island). The stage manager is Brian Lawton. The assistant stage manager Benjamin A. Vigil. Casting by Carol Hanzel.

Registration is free, but required. 

Manahatta This 2018 world premiere by playwright, activist, and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle illuminates the consequences of commercial exploits, including the removal of the Lenape people and the attempted eradication of their culture that gave rise to the America we know today.

This Oregon Shakespeare Festival production is directed by Laurie Woolery.

Lilies, or The Revival of a Romantic Drama The Drama Company NYC presents a revival of Lilies, or The Revival of a Romantic Drama by Michel Marc Bouchrd with English translation by Linda Gaboriau, and direction by Andrew Benvenuti.

Lilies will be seen in New York City for the first time in nearly twenty years—staged outdoors and recorded live to be streamed on demand.

Set against a backdrop of revenge, obsession, and love, Lilies tells the story of Simon Doucet, recently released from prison after serving a 30-year sentence for a crime he did not commit. He arranges a private meeting with his former school friend, Jean Bilodeau, now a powerful Bishop. Simon and his friends, all former prison inmates, revisit the harrowing events that occurred during their final year at St. Sebastian’s school for boys.

The cast of Lilies features an all-male ensemble with Michael Walls as Simon 1952/Timothee Ducet; Andreas Pilitsakis as Bishop Bilodeau; Jason Schlaman as Simon Ducet 1912; Florimond Le Goupil-Maier as Count Vallier De Tilly; Dylan C. Wack as Jean Bilodeau; Bill Morton as Countess Marie-Laure de Tilly; J.P. Ross as Lydie Anne De Rozier; Drew Paton as Father St. Michael and Baron De Hue; and Grant Hale as Baroness De Hue.

The Thanksgiving Play Spotlight on Plays returns with Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Leigh Silverman. The cast features Tony nominees Heidi Schreck and Bobby Cannavale, along with Keanu Reeves and Alia Shawkat.

Whiterock Cliff Goode Productions presents a streaming production of Ryan McCurdy’s one-man Off-Broadway musical Whiterock Cliff will be performed live at New York’s Funkadelic Studios for a five-week virtual run.

The show features a book by Ryan McCurdy and Ellie Pyle, music and lyrics by McCurdy, and directed by Mary Chieffo.

Whiterock Cliff weaves together memory, music, mental health, the creative process, the stories we tell ourselves, and the ones we tell to each other.

This act is performed live each night with the permission of Actors’ Equity from a Times Square studio with one performer, three cameras, and eight musical instruments.

Prometheus Bound By The Tank Through the prism of racial and gender injustice, Prometheus Bound is a protest against the discrepancy between what’s legal and what’s right, against oppression veiled as order.

Director Ran Xia sets Howard Rubenstein’s adaptation of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound against a backdrop of the tumultuous American socio-political climate. Prometheus Bound is fully designed and staged for an audience of no one in The Tank’s 98-seat theater. Instead, it is captured for the screen by Iris Media Works as a purely cinematic experience, with masks, original music and deeply compelling performances of the late Rubenstein’s visionary text.

The cast for Prometheus Bound includes Sophia Aranda, Juan Arturo, Olivia Rose Barresi, Chloe Simone Crawford, Brenda Crawley, Iván 

Wish You Were Here: The world premiere of Sanaz Toossi’s new work releases as part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater. Nikki Massoud, Marjan Neshat, Nazanin Nour, Artemis Pebdani, and Roxanna Hope Radja star in the podcast production directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

Breaking the Waves LA Opera and Opera Philadelphia co-present an online stream ofBreaking the Waves, an opera by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek that was previously scheduled to open on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage this month. Available through April 12.

The opera is a faithful adaption of Lars von Trier’s extraordinary 1996 film, in which a devout young woman deciphers the meaning of fidelity, facing the condemnation of her church as she puts herself through a series of dangerous sexual encounters. With its intense subject matter, violence, language and nudity, the production is recommended for mature audiences only.

Breaking the Waves was filmed during its world premiere production at Opera Philadelphia in 2016. For the 2021 stream, director James Darrah, who staged that production, presents a remastered release of that recording, featuring color correction by cinematographer and colorist Michael Thomas, remastered sound from George Blood Audio, and a new edit from Active Image Media.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Lincoln Center offers a streamed recording of Christopher Durang’s Tony-winning play, which stars Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Billy Magnussen and Shalita Grant. The comedy transports characters and themes from Chekhov’s work to present day Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where siblings receive a visit from their sister and her 20-something boy toy Spike.

Gutenberg! The Musical! A newly filmed presentation of Gutenberg! The Musical!, starring Bobby Conte Thornton and Alex Prakken, will stream as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The performance, recorded by Pierre Marais at Open Jar Studios, features piano accompaniment by Andrew Callahan and choreography by Kaitlyn Frank.

The musical follows two aspiring playwrights, Bud and Doug, as they attempt to secure producers for their new musical about printing press inventor Johann Gutenberg. The pair sing all the songs and play all the parts in the hope of a Broadway contract.

The Sound Inside Mary-Louise Parker and Will Hochman reprise their roles in this audio production of Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, which earned six Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, for its 2019 Broadway run.

Romeo y Julieta Lupita Nyong’o and Juan Castano star in this free bilingual audioplay of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, presented by the Public Theater and WNYC Studios.

Lights on the Radio Tower Originally developed at the Adirondack Theatre Festival and Bloomington Playwrights Project, this thrilling two-hander rock musical tells the story of Molly and Jesse, a brother and sister who, after eighteen years apart, reunite at their decaying childhood home following the death of their father. The estranged rock duo’s competing recollections of their childhood, their last night together, and their final gig force them to face the painful truth of their past.

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.

The New York Pops Up Festival a thousand in-person performances throughout the state from now through June. Most events associated with NY PopsUp will be unannounced (and unticketed) and will be designed so that New Yorkers happen upon them in their everyday lives. (Since we can’t have large gatherings right now, we want to bring a lot of small things to the public where they are) NY PopsUp is a surprise that you happen upon, rather than an event or concert you are alerted to via a notification or a schedule.

Julius Caesar, Starring Patrick Page By Shakespeare@ Tony nominee Patrick Page (Hadestown) stars in the title role with Jordan Barbour (The Inheritance) as Brutus and Keith Hamilton Cobb (American Moor) as Cassius. West End Harry Potter and the Cursed Child performers Jamie Ballard and James Howard co-star as Mark Antony and Metellus Cimber, respectively. 

The production is also be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher.

Produced by Jersey City’s Shakespeare@, this audio production is the third installment of the season, produced and adapted by Artistic Director Sean Hagerty.

Hagerty has crafted the production into four weekly parts and partnered with the Emmy-winning team at Sonic Designs to capture the lost art and thrill of radio drama all without leaving the confines of quarantine.

Julius Caesar features original music composed by Joan Melton with sound design by the Emmy-winning team of Dan Gerhard and Ellen Fitton of Sonic Designs. Justin Goldner is the music producer and supervisor, and casting is by Robin Carus. Sydney Steele serves as the associate producer. 

Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera In the award-winning documentary, Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera, opera’s hallowed traditions and America’s cowboy culture converge to celebrate the collaborative power of art. The documentary details the creative process of all artists involved in live theatre onstage and backstage.

Zane Grey is read by Peter Coyote, with performances by shining young opera stars, Karin Wolverton, Morgan Smith, Laura Wilde, Joshua Dennis, Joshua Jeremiah, Keith Phares, and Kristopher Irmiter. 

Paradise Blue Dominique Morisseau’s play premieres as part of the partnership between Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Theater. Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paradise Bluestars André Holland (above), Kristolyn Lloyd, Simone Missick, Keith Randolph Smith and 2020 Tony nominee Blair Underwood.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice By Southwark Playhouse The Sorcerer’s Apprentice gets an encore on-demand run. The pay-per-view stream will be available until April 11.

Assassins Reunion: Original Off-Broadway Cast The original cast and creative team of the 1991 Off-Broadway debut of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Tony-winning Assassins will reunite virtually to celebrate the musical’s 30th anniversary.

The free online event is part of the Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy series and will feature Studio Tenn Artistic Director Cassidy as well as other original cast members Victor Garber, Greg Germann, Annie Golden, Lyn Greene, Jonathan Hadary, Eddie Korbich, Terrence Mann, Debra Monk, William Parry, and Lee Wilkof plus Sondheim and Weidman, director Jerry Zaks, musical director Paul Gemignani, and orchestrator Michael Starobin.

SuperYou Musical the new musical that last year pivoted from its traditional opening to a drive-in concert in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, is now heading online. A filmed version of the drive-in presentation will stream on Broadway On Demand 

The musical, penned by Lourds Lane, tells the story of a woman and her superheroine creations that suddenly come to life, reminding her of the power of her own voice.

Prior to the 8 PM stream, Playbill will host a virtual red carpet event, with interviews with the cast and creative team. A digital afterparty will also take place at 9 PM.

An Iliad (Streaming) Court Theater. A film of the site-specific production at Chicago’s Oriental Institute by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare.

The Things Are Against Us Susan Soon He Stanton’s The Things Are Against Us will be the next production in MCC’s LiveLab one-act digital reading series. Ellie Heyman directs the cast, which includes Juan Castano, Emily Davis, Susannah Flood, Babak Tafti, and Danny Wolohan, in tthe play set in a mysterious house with a mind of its own. 

John Lithgow, Daniel Breaker, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 2) By MasterVoices The central project of MasterVoices’ 2020-2021 season will be a virtual rollout of award-winning composer Adam Guettel’s theatrical song cycle, Myths and Hymns, in an online staging conceived by Ted Sperling. 

SoHo Playhouse Presents Typical Soho Theatre and Nouveau Riche present the world premiere of Typical, the film version of the stage play, released exclusively on Soho Theatre On Demand 

Written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour, Typical uncovers the man and the humanity behind the tragic true-life events of Black British ex-serviceman Christopher Alder and the injustice that still remains twenty years since his story emerged. 

Fully Committed Stage and screen star Maulik Pancholy stars in George Street Playhouse’s production of Becky Mode’s solo comedy, which is available to watch through April 11.

The Manic Monologues Current Slave Play Tony nominee Ato Blankson-Wood, Rent Tony winner Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Accidentally Brave playwright Maddie Corman, and more stage favorites will explore mental health this winter in a new digital production from the McCarter Theatre Center.

The Manic Monologues debuts February 18 with 21 true-life monologues that users can explore at their own pace and through an interactive element virtually respond to.

Simply Sondheim Signature Theater of Arlington. Available through April 16. Thirty Sondheim songs performed by a 16-piece orchestra and a dozen singers, including Norm Lewis, Emily Skinner, Solea Pfeiffer and Conrad Ricamora

Directed by Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason, Napoleon in Exile stars Emmy nominee Jane Kaczmarek and Will Dagger as mother and son. After the performance, the artists join host Claudia Catania to discuss writing for actors and bringing theater chops to the world of sitcom TV.

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

Food and Drink

Blu On The Hudson The Destination For a Perfect Dinning Experience

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I first wrote about Blu On The Hudson 8 months ago. This perfect mini vacation, is one stop on the 158 bus or a ferry ride away. Located on the Hudson River, at 1200 Harbor Boulevard, in Weehawken, you will find breath taking views, a calming atmosphere and food that rivals  the best 4 – 5 star restaurants in Manhattan.This is the spot where Arron Burr shot Hamilton.

Blu on the Hudson is spacious with over 30,000 square foot, so far, but they are creating a space that I was lucky enough to see. This glass enclosed and outdoor upstairs will rival every wedding, event space within a 2 hour drive.  I am letting you know, now is the time to book your event before it is booked out.

Blu Hospitality Group, truly wants to impress you and goes out of their way to do so. You are greated by a specious luxurious space and a large fireplace.

Beautiful walls, several dining room with views, alcoves for a intimate dinning moments and bar that you will want everyone to know your name, awaits. High ceilings and modern decor makes everyone who enters forget their stress and just relax. You can feel your body ease.

From moment one, you are made to feel like Blu’s welcomed and invited guests.

Sarah

My server Sarah was a prime example of this.

Starting off the experience, my guest, writer and friend Craig and I decided to indulge with cocktails. I had the Oil On The Skin ($16) made with Aperol, Strawberry, Grapefruit and Prosecco. This was refreshing and the perfect summer drink. Craig, who was excited by the amount of Tuffle inspired food and drink choices ordered the Blu Seasonal Black Truffle Bloody Mary ($18) and was thrilled. Spicy, with garnishes that made this drink an appetizer in itself had sure this brunch was already a hit.

When looking at the menu I knew we had to try the Ricotta Stuffed Pancakes ($21). Topped with a Blueberry Compote and served with organic Maple Syrup, these surpassed my expectations. The ricotta had a lemon zest, the pancakes fluffy with crispy edges. I was already imitating Sally in the film “When Harry Met Sally” after my first bite. I will definitely be coming back, for this alone.

Already on a bacon kick thanks to David Burke, I also wanted to try the Thick Cut Wagyu “Bacon” ($26), that is slow cooked in a soy caramel glaze. This is only served at dinner, but luckily I got to try this. With a savory salty crunch, this was the perfect compliment to the pancakes. Sweet, then savory, crunchy, then tender, what Blu offers the dinning experience is a sensual layered, all senses dive, into carnal pleasures.

I now needed the perfect Iced Coffee and again the simplest of needs had a taste sensation.

For entree’s more truffles for Craig with the Truffled Mushroom Omelette ($22) filled with White Cheddar, egg whites and one yolk served with a side salad. Craig was in heaven with his light as a feather, but flavorful dish.

 

Craig also ordered the Parmesan Truffle Fries ($12), and I am so glad he did. These were bite fulls of erotic delights.Loving artichokes, I ordered Eggs on Artichoke ($24), which consisted of poached eggs, pecorino, roasted tomatoes in a light béarnaise sauce. The piece de resistance of this dish, were the lightly fried artichokes that added texture, then melted into your mouth with a pop of flavor. Even the roasted tomatoes added an arousing impact to the tongue. When food is done well, sex definitely comes second.
The fabulous warm and inviting manager Andrew, wanted us to try his favorite dish, the Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and Shrimp Cobb Salad ($29). Topped with Deviled Eggs, Bacon, Tomatoes, Corn and Avocado, this was served over Market Greens and a feast to behold. The crabmeat was tender and the shrimp succulent, but the surprise here was the corn, which added so much to the dish. This is great luncheon entree when you want to indulge and also stay healthy.

Now I was so full, I was not going to do desserts, but feast or famine and feast it was. The adorable Sarah made sure we were given these beautiful dishes to indulge.

First up the Tiramisu ($14), which is one of the best I have ever had. Extra creamy and not overly sweet. An added layer of thin chocolate added to the decadence. This dessert also puts on a show.

The most luxurious, extravagant haven of food for the senses has to be the Chocolate S’Mores ($14). Served with a gluten free graham cracker crust, Chocolate Mouse and Marshmallow. Tiny chunks of sea salt make this decadent and sweet, with pops of indulgence.

A coffee ($6) ended our foray of culinary ecstasy. To quote myself from my last experience at Blu “Food and sex have always gone hand in hand and eating at Blu On The Hudson, will make all your senses take flight. This restaurant potions of food, drinks and presentation justify and make the whole experience worth the trip and the cost.”

To Executive Chef Juan Carols Ortega, you make my body sing with your creations. This is definitely one of my favorite places to eat. Blu is exquisite perfection.

You can follow Blu on The Hudson at @bluonthehudson.

 

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Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

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G.H. Harding

TRUMAN’S SWANS — I only know Ryan Murphy by reputation. He’s been the flavor-of-Hollywood for quite some time now; yet a devil-may-care attitude persists in his CV. I loved his Nip/Tuck which just defied expectations on every level; terrific acting from Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon, and just the wildest plots I’ve ever seen.

From there Hollywood started throwing money at him left and right; American Horror Story and Hollywood (with Jim Parsons) followed. Also, the anthology series-Feud which began with the “feud” between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis and was succinctly thrilling.

Now, Feud is chronicling Truman Capote and his “feud” with his Swans; featuring mainly a terrific performance by Noami Watts as Babe Paley. Calista Flockhart; a devilish-Diane Lane and Chloe Sevigny are also there as the other swans. Director Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy) directed several episodes and it is, without a doubt, the best thing Murphy has done and I’ve seen in quote some time.

One episode is entirely shot in black-and-white, a risky-gamble for anyone … but, it pays off handsomely.

Tom Hollander as Capote is simply off the charts and is, I believe, one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.As a young writer, there were two writers I was absolutely captivated with: Dominick Dunne and Capote. Dunne I met and he was everything I hoped him to be, Capote, never. The Swans is a long, long story and I urge you to look further into it. Capote, truly self-destructive, became an appendage of them all and they all told him everything, some of which he wrote about is Esquire (La Cote Basqu”-1965) exposing their innermost secrets and thereby severing the relationship.

Just a brilliant, brilliant series, Murphy’s crowning touch.

Sanford Townsend Band

SHORT TAKES — In my final few weeks working from home, I finally dialed up ROKU’s Yacht Rock station after initially being somewhat repelled by the term. Turns out, it really means soft rock and I’ve heard everything from Hall & Oates to the Sanford Townsend Band (big favorite) and lots of Steve Winwood; Eagles; Al Stewart; and Chicago.

Not bad actually. Guess I really am old … Micky Dolenz does an interview with NPR’s Lillian Galvez today and BreakfastWith The Beatles’ Chris Carter on March 31 before his show at LA’s Troubadour on April 5 … The Rascals people Got To Be Free tour at the Patchogue Theater on April 26; Keswick Theater on April 27; and SONY Hall in NYC on May 17 …

James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy movie has been re-named Superman; and has cast Wendell Pierce (The Wire; Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) as Perry White. And remember, Rachel Brosnahan is Lois Lane! … Keith Richards singing Lou Reed’s immortal classic “I’m Waiting For The Man” is so excellent. Take a look: https://variety.com/2024/music/news/keith-richards-covers-waiting-for-the-man-lou-reed-tribute-1235927738/

Lou Reed

The track appears on a Lou Reed tribute album that also features Angel Olsen, Lucinda Williams, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Rufus Wainwright, Rickie Lee Jones, Rosanne Cash and others. It arrives April 19 — with a special Record Store Day edition arriving the following day — on Seattle’s indie Light in the Attic Records (which was chosen by the late artist’s estate to handle his reissues and got a Grammy nomination for the “Words & Music: May, 1965” album). Booklet features liner notes by compilation producer & former Lou Reed publicist Bill Bentley, featuring photos by Mick Rock and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. Said Richards: “To me, Lou stood out. The real deal! Something important to American music and to ALL MUSIC! I miss him and his dog” …

Micky Dolenz and Chris Carter

SIGHTING: Micky Dolenz and Alison Martino at the Catalina Jazz Club watching Jimmy Webb … And, we watched the awesome Jeffrey Wright in American Fiction and loved it until the end. It’s almost as if writer/director Cord Jefferson couldn’t figure the right ending, so he portrayed three. Pretty weird for sure, but a staggeringly excellent performance by Wright, Erika Anderson and Sterling K. Brown.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Nancy Jeffries; George Michael; Helene Blue; Monica Lynch; Thomas Silverman; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Alexa Blake; Joe Bonadonna; Andrew Sandoval; Race Taylor; Scott Shannon; Dan Ingram; Bruce Morrow; Wolfman Jack; William Schill; Ed Steinberg; Chris Carter; and CHIP!

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Off Broadway

Friedlich’s Downtown “JOB” Standoff Soars Sharply with Great Aim

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On a very sharply defined theatrical space, downtown at the Connelly Theater on E4th St., a psychological standoff is what immediately snaps us deep into the emotionally volatile and fascinating world of JOB, the thrilling, critically acclaimed play by Max Wolf Friedlich (SleepOver) that is getting an encore engagement after playing a sold-out, twice extended off-Broadway run last fall at the Soho Playhouse. Working this through in real-time, the play is a tense, tight, and tumultuous zooming in on mental health and the workplace, when one young tech worker, played to frayed perfection by Sydney Lemmon (“TÁR“, “Succession”) is mandated to seek the services of a crisis therapist, fascinatingly well-played by Peter Friedman (PH’s The Treasurer; “Succession”).

Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmon in JOB at SoHo Playhouse. Photo by Emilio Madrid.

Directed with clarity and cleverness by Michael Herwitz (MV Playhouse’s The Campaign That Failed), the setup and startup of this armed and well-aimed play grab hold quickly and miraculously, digging us sharply into the space, designed to claustrophobic perfection by Scott Penner (Coal Mine’s Dion: A Rock Opera), with exacting costuming by Michelle Li (Comedy Central’s “Awkwafina is Nora from Queens”). The play puts us off balance, making us lean in to try to understand what is bringing these two together; Lemmon’s Jane and Friedman’s Loyd, in this room with such overwhelming anxiety. It’s wisdom and shame connecting and colliding, setting up a chaotic and life-threatening game of chess, using paradigms and conflictual standings between generations, genders, and political viewpoints.

Peter Friedman and Sydney Lemmon in JOB at SoHo Playhouse. Photo by Emilio Madrid.

Something has sent this young female big tech employee over the edge, causing a viral unhinged meltdown that we only secondhand hear about, but it is clearly a scream into the internal void about something overwhelming and disturbing. We assume, like the therapist, that Jane’s job, the one she has been put on leave from and the one she is desperate to get back to, is the cause, and the more we hear and learn, the more we understand, or at least, we think we do.

It’s a sizzlingly tight psychological dive into trauma and destruction, beautifully enhanced by the strong and jarring lighting design by Mextly Couzin (MCC’s Which Way to the Stage) and the clever intrusive sound design created miraculously by Jessie Char and Maxwell Neely-Cohen (Fake Friends’ Invasive Species). The sharpness to examine our vantage points is alarmingly pulling, forcing us to try to make sense of all the voices and sounds rattling around in the red light pulsations that become red siren flags and weapons used against our senses, aiding our discomfort but forcing us to lean in more to the frantic essence of a person overwhelmed.

Sydney Lemmon and Peter Friedman in JOB at SoHo Playhouse. Photo by Emilio Madrid.

As a psychotherapist myself (in my real world), the play connected deeply to so many difficult dilemmas and challenges that step into the shared space of the therapy room. The passionate counterarguments and denials of need are well-known engagements, and I couldn’t help but find fascination and connectivity to their standoff, even as they both lean in and away from one another from one minute to the next. The two actors are spectacularly detailed in their stance, both physically and mentally, moving around the “all-time therapy classic” square with precision and expertise.

Returning and wrapping themselves around one another to points made, the twist and dig into the darkness of the web and the idea around an obligation to help, on both sides, become increasingly life-or-death, as the armed walls of JOB keep crumbling and rising with a vengeance. The doctor/patient paradigm is a forever shifting perspective in this captivatingly killer of a play, registering completely under the climax, which doesn’t feel fully formed in its finale. With screams into the dark making more sense with each reveal and wrap-around, Max Wolf Friedlich’s JOB leaves us electrically off balance, wondering and wanting maybe a bit more reversal of fortune in those last few moments, but most assuredly satisfied in the leaving of that room at the end of this complex and captivating ‘session’.

The provocative dark comedy, JOB will play from January 19 through March 23, 2024, at the Connelly Theater (220 East 4th Street). https://jobtheplay.com/

For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Sarah Paulson in Appropriate

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Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate not only got a second extension, but transferred  theatre. Slated to close March 3 at the Hayes Theater, Appropriate will now play a 13-week engagement at the Belasco Theatre, with performances beginning March 25. The strictly limited run will continue through June 23. The reason for the transfer was Paula Vogel’s Mother Play, was already slated to perform.

To read T2C’s review of Appropriate  click here and here.

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Off Broadway

Brooklyn Laundry a Touching and Comedic New York Love Story

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John Patrick Shanley’s Brooklyn Laundry is heartbreaking, soul searching and will hit home, especially if your life has not always been a bed of roses. This imperfect love story, is touching as we meet a hardened disillusioned Fran (Cecily Strong), as she enters her local laundromat and meets upbeat owner Owen (David Zayas). The two seem an unlikely match, but opposites attract and these two both desperately need and want love. Owen asks Fran out and she says yes, but first she has to deal with some horrifying problems that are weighing her down.

David Zaya, Cecily Strong photo by Jeremy Daniel

First up her older sister Trish (Florencia Lozano) is dying. The father of her two children is a dead beat dad, so Fran gives of her own life to routinely goes upstate to help out.

When Fran and Owen do go on their date, it takes chocolate magic mushrooms to break the ice. They both have unrealistic versions of their wants and expectations. Fear over sexual performance, commitment and finances in raising children plague Owen. The two hit it off and are looking forward to their next encounter, except Fran’s other sister, Susie (Andrea Syglowski), whose loveless marriage and disable child, are about to make Fran’s burden even heavier. Fran can not catch a break. Even when she stands up for herself she is saddled with responsibility and familial tasks.

Can this connection win over insurmountable odds?

Shanley, also directs. I found this play so real, where you laugh, because if not, tears will come streaming down your face. Right now it seems as if most of our lives are out of control and how you cope, becomes the question of the day.

Each of these actors infuses warmth, humanity and longing for what should, could or will be, that we are right there with them. Zayas and Strong’ have such a palatable chemistry, that you root for the happy ending that may seem more of a miracle.

Santo Loquasto’s revolving set is rather spectacular involving a realistic laundromat, two homes and a beautifully lit  restaurant by Brian MacDevitt.

It seems this is the year of Shanley, with the Off-Broadway revival of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and the Broadway revival of Doubt, but if they are all like this, count me in for this absorbing 80 minutes fable of love.

Brooklyn Laundry: Manhattan Theatre Club at City Center, 131 West 55th Street through April 14.

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