What to Watch in The New Year: Jan 18
11am: The 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brooklyn Academy of Music. New York City’s largest public celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, a free virtual program, featuring speeches as well as performances by, among others, PJ Morton, Tarriona “Tank” Ball, Sing Harlem!, poets Timothy DuWhite and Ashley August,.
2:30pm: Leave a Light On By Lambert Jackson Productions Rob Madge
3pm concert: Kelli O’Hara starred most recently in the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. On Broadway, Kelli’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Grammy, Drama League and Outer Critics nominations. She then reprised her Tony Winning role while making her West End debut for which The Times hailed her as “Broadway musical’s undisputed queen” adding “Kelli O’Hara does not just play Anna, she owns the part”. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula, and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons and WTF), King Lear (Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing (City Center Encores), Sunday in the Park with George (Reprise), and My Life With Albertine (Playwright’s Horizons). Kelli received a 2018 Webby nomination for her role in the hit web-series thriller The Accidental Wolf and appears in the second season of Netflix’s series 13 Reasons Why. Other film and television credits include Sex & The City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Showtime’s Master of Sex, CBS All Access’s The Good Fight, Blue Bloods, Alexander Hamilton, N3mbers, and the animated series Car Talk. In 2015, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow. She returned to the opera this past spring as Despina in Così fan tutte. Her concerts have gained international acclaim, spanning from New York’s Carnegie Hall all the way to Tokyo. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Along with two Grammy Award nominations, her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World are available on Ghostlight Records. Kelly recently received her first Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy of Drama Series for her portrayal of Katie Bonner in the hit web series The Accidental Wolf.
3pm: Transatlantic Tales (Origin 1st Irish Theatre Festival) A series of eight original plays written to be performed live on Zoom, each pairing actors in Ireland and the United States, were recorded this summer. Featuring many familiar faces on either side of the Atlantic the project made fast friends across an ocean and provided striking evidence of both the cultural connections and disconnects that have always characterized Irish-American relations.
4pm: Soul to Soul National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene available for four days. The tenth annual concert (this time virtual) celebrating African-American and Jewish music– spiritual, jazz, klezmer, and folk.
7pm: Drum Major Instinct Theater of War. On Sunday, February 4, 1968, Dr. King delivered The Drum Major Instinct at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, exactly two months before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. In it, he prophetically spoke of his own imminent death and laid out a challenge to his congregation, and also the world, to harness an inborn human drive—“the desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first”— and use it to promote justice, righteousness, and peace. A cast of performers and public officials will read and discuss the text, accompanied by original music composed and conducted by Dr. Philip Woodmore performed by a diverse choir of singers from New York and St. Louis. Featuring performances by Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit), and soloists De-Rance Blaylock, Duane Foster, and John Leggette.
7pm: Blue Ridge through January 19. A reunion reading of the play by Abby Rosebrock, featuring Marin Ireland as a progressive high school teacher with a rage problem retaliates against her unscrupulous boss and is sentenced to six months at a church-sponsored halfway house, where she attends to everyone’s recovery but her own. Directed by Taibi Magar
7:30pm: Bizet’s Carmen Metropolitan Opera. The Met’s Week of Opera’s Greatest Heroines begins with the tale of the irresistible and free-spirited Gypsy, whose fatal attraction with the jealous soldier Don José burns too hot for them to control. Anita Rachvelishvili as the title character, with Anita Hartig, Aleksandrs Antonenko and Ildar Abdrazakov
8pm: Pajama Cast Party Broadway performers by Broadway performers Claybourne Elder and Capathia Jenkins, singer/songwriter Susan Werner, and husband and wife operatic team Jessica Fishenfeld and Scott Joiner.
Kelli O’Hara, Renée Fleming, More Sing Adam Guettel’s Myths & Hymns (Episode 1) 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. Inspired by Greek myths and a 19th-Century Presbyterian hymnal, the 1998 cycle is a kaleidoscopic collection of musical genres as it explores the nature of faith and longing in a secular world. New short musical films will illustrate the protagonist’s attempt to seek answers in four ways – through Flight, Work, Love, and Faith. The four chapters of this personal voyage will be released in free digital installments throughout the winter and spring.
Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, More Star in Jerry Herman Tribute From Pasadena Playhouse Pasadena Playhouse will pay tribute to the late composer of Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles with You I Like: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Herman.
Conceived and music directed by Andy Einhorn, the revue will be available to stream January 10. A live virtual opening night will also take place that night, with guests including Bernadette Peters and David Hyde Pierce.
Available to stream through February 7.
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.
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 Marvelous Marilyn Maye Received Twelve Standing Ovations At The New York Pops
Karen Akers, Jim Caruso, Tony Danza, Jamie deRoy, Max von Essen, Melissa Errico, Bob Mackie, Susie Mosher, Sidney Myer, Josh Prince, Lee Roy Reams, Rex Reed, Randy Roberts, Mo Rocca , Mark Sendroff, Lee Roy Reams, Brenda Vaccaro and David Zippel were there to see and honor Cabaret legend and Grammy nominee Marilyn Maye. Maye who turns 95 April 10th, made her at Carnegie Hall solo debut last night with The New York Pops, led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke.
Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator, Grammy nominated recording artist and a musical treasure. Her entire life has been committed to the art of song and performance and it showed with the 12 standing ovations she received.
Maye appeared 76 times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen and had a RCA recording contract, seven albums and 34 singles.
The evening started out with the superlative New York Pops Overture of Mame, which Maye had played the title role.
Next a Cole Porter Medley with “Looking at You,” Concentrate On You,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” It’s Alright With Me,””Just One of Those Things,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “All of You”. This was Marilyn’s second standing ovation. The first was when she stood on that stage for the first time and the audience was rapturous.
A terrific “It’s Today” from Mame with high flying kicks was the third ovation and wow can that woman kick.
A rainbow medley included “Look To The Rainbow” from Finnian’s Rainbow, the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” the jazzy “Make Me Rainbows” and of course “The Rainbow Connection.” And with that another standing ovation.
“Put On A Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie.
Frank Loesser’s Joey, Joey, Joey brought on a fifth standing ovation. This song was a masterclass in acting and vocal nuance. For that matter every song that comes out of Ms. Maye’s mouth is perfection. Part of the brilliance of this night is her musical director, arranger, and pianist Ted Firth. That man is a genius.
Lerner and Loewe’s “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady ended the first act with a sixth standing ovation.
The overture from Hello Dolly! and then Cabaret shows Marilyn Maye also starred in opened the second act. The New York Pops sounded phenomenal as always.
“Your Gonna Hear From Me” from “Inside Daisy Clover was an appropriate starter for this next round as the audience got to its feet.
Maye’s most requested song “Guess Who I Saw Today” from New Faces of 1952 was followed by a show stopping “Fifty Percent” from Ballroom and of course another standing ovation.
Her next song was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be included in its permanent collection of recordings from the 20th century. Her recording of “Too Late Now” is considered by the Smithsonian to be one of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century and Ms. Maye showed us why and again another standing ovation.
A proclamation from The City of New York read by Steven Reineke to Marilyn Maye made this day Marilyn Maye Day. This treasure cried with joy as she sang Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here.” Though she forgot some of the lyric, Ms. Maye proved performing is all on the intent and connecting to the audience. Two more standing ovations were added here.
For encores, I was thrilled to hear James Taylor’s “Circle of Life” and “Here’s To Life,” which is my personal favorite, finally going back into “It’s Today” with those high kicks and a twelfth standing ovation. Bravo Ms. Maye!
If you are a singer and do not catch Ms. Maye live, you really do not care about your craft. Last night Ms. Maye made it clear why she’s been celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz singers for more than 50 years and this was a night I will always remember. Thank-you New York Pops.
Don’t miss the Pop’s 40th Birthday Gala: This One’s For You: The Music Of Barry Manilow on Monday, May 1st. The gala will star Sean Bell, Erich Bergen, Betty Buckley, Charo, Deborah Cox, Danny Kornfeld, Norm Lewis, Melissa Manchester, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, Billy Stritch, Steven Telsey, Max von Essen, Dionne Warwick, and more to be announced. This will be yet another New York Pop’s Night not to miss.
My View: It’s Today! It’s Tonight! Marilyn Maye Rehearses For Her New York Pops Carnegie Hall Debut
Sometimes you have to pinch yourself at the opportunities you are presented with. TODAY would be one of those. Or as Marilyn Maye might sing to you, “It’s Today.”
This afternoon I had the privilege of witnessing the 95 year old star, rehearsing on the stage of Carnegie Hall, under the baton of Maestro Steven Reineke, in front of the mighty New York Pops Orchestra. It all happens tonight and has been a lifetime in the making. As if The New York Times piece, bylined by Melissa Errico, wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for what is sure to be a historic evening, maybe these photos will help get you even more excited. Thank you to all who made this happen for me, to present to you….Humbly Yours, Stephen
THE GREEN ROOM 42 Presents Tony Award-nominee Sharon McNight Celebrating 40 Years of Stories And Songs
THE GREEN ROOM 42 will present Tony Award-nominee Sharon McNight in “Surviving Cabaret,” a storied look back at the last forty years of notable performances, on Thursday, April 13 and Saturday, April 15, both at 7:00 PM. McNight is known for her “no holds barred” approach to performing, which has earned the entertainer multiple honors and two Lifetime Achievement awards. She is famous for making audiences laugh and cry at the same show with her eclectic bag of musical choices, which include blues, country, Broadway, comedy, parody, impressions and accompanying stories. She will be joined by musical director James “Jim Bob” Followell.
Sharon McNight began her career in San Francisco, and made her Broadway debut in 1989 in Starmites, creating the role of Diva. She received a Tony nomination as “Best Leading Actress in a Musical” for her performance, and is the recipient of the Theatre World Award for “Outstanding Broadway Debut” and a Hirschfeld drawing of her character. She has six solo recordings to her credit, and has played from Moose Hall to Carnegie Hall, from Los Angeles to Berlin. In addition to her two Lifetime Achievement awards, she has won the MAC, Bistro, and New York Nightlife Awards, and six San Francisco Cabaret Gold Awards.
Her eclectic repertory ranges from blues to country to good old-fashioned entertainment. She is noted for her movie reenactment of The Wizard of Oz and for being one of the few real women to impersonate Bette Davis. Her television credits include “Seinfeld,” “Silk Stalkings,” and “Hannah Montana.” McNight received her Masters of Arts degree in direction from San Francisco State College and was a master teacher on the faculty of the Cabaret Conference at Yale University. She says the greatest day of her life was the day she quit smoking.
Sharon McNight will perform “Surviving Cabaret”on Thursday, April 13 and Saturday, April 15, both at 7:00 PM, at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel). The cover charge ranges from $30-$50. A livestream option is available for both shows at $20 each. For tickets, please visit www.TheGreenRoom42.com.
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