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What to Watch in The New Year: March 29

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Efflorescence La MaMa and Talking Band present the world premiere of Efflorescence, a seven-episode serial songspiel. A new audio segment will be released daily March 29 – April 4, 2021. On April 6, 2021, La MaMa and Talking Band will premiere the full piece followed by a post-show conversation with the artists.

Efflorescence tells the story of six disparate people who have been living together for a year in an old farm house in the Catskills that has been transformed into a safe haven for Vulnerable Expendables.   

Efflorescence was written and composed by OBIE Award-winner Ellen Maddow. OBIE Award-winner Paul Zimet directs. Sound design is by Tyler Kieffer, with additional musical arrangements by Sam Kulik and Marija Kovacevic.

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.

2:30pm: Shane Richie in Scaramouche Jones or the Seven White Masks Shane Richie will take on the role of the tragic clown in a digital revival of Justin Butcher’s Scaramouche Jones or the Seven White Masks.

The solo show will live stream March 26–April 4 on Stream.Theatre. It will remain available for on demand viewing April 5–11.

Olivier nominee Ian Talbot (The Pirates of Penzance) directs Butcher’s drama, which recounts a life shaped by extraordinary misfortunes, from the shores of Trinidad to England by way of slave ships, Italian royalty, and Croatian concentration camps. A witness to pivotal moments of the 20th century, Scaramouche finds himself at the dawn of a new millennium, marking his own centenary and preparing for death.

1pm: The Art of Creating the One-Woman Show Jessica Lynn Johnson will offer a FREE workshop for performers, The Art of Creating the One-Woman Show, on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The workshop is offered to all artists who are interested in either creating or further developing a solo show. The duration of the workshop is estimated at ninety minutes.

The free workshop is being offered in connection with the 28th Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival (Theme: And Still We Rise).

Ashley Spencer and Husband Jeremy Jordan

3pm: Ashley Spencer! This show features a special guest appearance by Newies’ & Wicked’s Kara Lindsay and her husband Jeremy Jordan.

Ashley Spencer was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. She began taking dance lessons at the age of four and later became a member of the Canton Ballet Company. After graduating high school, Ashley moved to New York City to pursue her dreams as a Broadway actress. Her first job was a touring show called Barbie Live in Fairytopia. She then auditioned for Grease: You’re The One That I Want!, a reality show casting the roles of Sandy and Danny in the Broadway revival of Grease. She went on to star on Broadway as Sandy, as well as Amber in Hairspray, Sherrie in Rock of Ages and one of three Divas in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. She appeared regionally in Les Miserables, The Producers, Curtains and Crazy For You.

7pm: 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. 

7:30pm: Walking With Bubbles Presented as part of the On Women Festival, Broadway alum Jessica Hendy’s play looks at the performer’s seemingly perfect New York City life from the center stage on Broadway until her husband begins to suffer an inexplicable mental decline. Grappling with divorce, guilt, and empathy around her ex’s homelessness and struggles, she is left with her young son, Beckett, to navigate a seemingly impossible new landscape with few resources other than an irrepressible sense of humor and a mother’s unwavering determination to create a new and hopeful beginning.

7:30pm: Bellini’s Norma Bellini’s fiery masterpiece about a strong-willed priestess in love with a Roman soldier is a supreme vehicle for singers with a flair for high drama and seemingly limitless technique. The opera’s standout arias, full of filigreed passagework and florid runs, have put many daring singers to the test, but they also perfectly capture the turbulent psychological states of the main characters as they endeavor to make sense of their conflicted emotions.

8pm: Pajama Cast Party is celebrating it’s one year anniversary and will feature a cast of surprise celebrity guests known only to producer Locknar.  Even Jim Caruso has been kept in the dark, which will no doubt create the “come-what-mayhem” audiences have come to expect. “Pajama Cast Party” can be seen live on the YouTube Cast Party Network every Monday at 8pm ET. 
Jim Caruso, Cast Party and Pajama Cast Party were recently awarded five 2020 BroadwayWorld Awards for excellence in online and live entertainment.

8pm: Stars in the House is doing a co-stream of the Amplify concert featuring Ashley Park, Eva Noblezada, Nikki M. James, Brandon Victor Dixon, Shoshana Bean, and many more. Proceeds from the fundraiser go to Maestra Music, the not-for-profit organization connecting and supporting the women who make the music in the theater industry. For more info, visit maestramusic.org.

Easter Passion Registration is free, but required. 

Fellowship for Performing Arts presents an online experience of Jesus’ last days through scripture and song. 

Joining Max McLean are Broadway artists Nikki Renée Daniels, Alan H. Green, Jeff Kready, Telly Leung, Daniel J. Maldonado, Diane Phelan, Marty Thomas, and Kay Trinidad. 

The virtual event includes nine scenes from Mark’s Gospel presented by McLean with the Broadway veterans singing nine songs to bring the final days of Jesus to life.

Songs include “All Good Gifts” from Godspell, “Gethsemane” from Jesus Christ Superstar, and “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt.

The virtual production is available to stream through April 4.

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.

Angela by Mark Ravenhill  Angela centers on the playwright’s mother, at the age of 84 and suffering with dementia, as she looks back across her life. Cutting between Angela in her old age and in her youth, the play depicts her struggle with depression and the challenges of her own aspirations, set against Mark’s experience of beginning to learn ballet in his fifties.

Airing March 26–28, the presentation is led by Pam Ferris (Matilda) and Matti Houghton (Call the Midwife) as Angela, BAFTA winner Toby Jones (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) as Ted, and Jackson Laing and Joseph Millson as Mark, with Nadia Albina, Dermot Daly, Raj Ghatak, Olivier Huband, Alexandra Mathie, and Kirsty Stuart.

Naked Productions’ Polly Thomas directs. This is the first in the Sound Stage audio series from The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in association with Naked Productions and BBC Radio 3.

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival: Romeo and Juliet New York City Center presents Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival, a digital showcast featuring four New Adventures productions filmed at London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

The series, highlighting Bourne’s twists on ballet classics, continues with Romeo & Juliet, available on demand for 10 days.

Romeo and Juliet stars Cordelia Braithwaite as Juliet, Paris Fitzpatrick as Romeo, Dan Wright as Tybalt, and Ben Brown as Mercutio.

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 

BKLYN Sejal Keshwala, Emma Kingston, Newtion Matthews, Jamie Muscato and Marisha Wallace star in this filmed stage production of the Mark Schoenfeld and Barri McPherson musical. Filmed at London’s Ugly Duck space, the musical follows a troupe of street performers telling stories from their lives. Audiences can watch the performance online through April 4.

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.

Black Matter Giles Terera, who won the Best Actor in a Musical Olivier Award for creating the role of Aaron Burr in the London production of Hamilton, has penned a new song cycle based on his observations of the changing streets of Soho during a summer in lockdown.

Entitled Black Matter and featuring Terera accompanying himself on guitar and piano, the new work will stream globally March 24–31. 

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.

The Picture of Dorian Gray  Fionn Whitehead, Alfred Enoch (above), Joanna Lumley, Russell Tovey, Emma McDonald and Stephen Fry star in Henry Filloux-Bennett’s drama that follows Dorian Gray as he makes a deal for his social star to never fade. Audiences can watch the production through March 31.

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.

Jill Eikenberry

Jericho NNR Premiere. Marsha Mason, directs Jill Eikenberry in Jack Canfora’s play, which serves as New Normal Rep’s inaugural production. The thought-provoking piece explores how people cope with personal and collective catastrophe as a family reunites for Thanksgiving dinner after tragedy

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.

hieroglyph] by San Francisco Playhouse presented as an on-demand video stream through April 3rd, 2021. 

San Francisco Playhouse and Lorraine Hansberry Theatre present a co-production of the new play [hieroglyph] by Erika Dickerson-Despenza.

The cast features Jamella Cross, Safiya Fredericks, Khary L. Moye, and Anna Marie Sharpe. The work is directed by Margo Hall, marking Lorraine Hansberry Theatre’s first staged production since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the first production Hall has directed for the company since taking the helm in September 2020.

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.

Expirer Wilma Theater Dive into a cyberspace underworld through this interactive website. Demons, both classical and contemporary, lurk among the virtual artifacts, waiting to be purged. Part of this Philadelphia theater’s weekly Hothouse Shorts.

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.

Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue Center Theater Group
through April 4. $10 Kemp Powers’ play tells the story of twins, one who dreamt of space, the other who became a successful attorney, who have lived starkly different lives, because one has dark skin and the other passes as white. The action plays out in 1980s New York and a Minnesota courthouse in 2006.

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.

Playdate: A Playing House Reunion By Play-PerView. Stars and co-creators of USA’s comedy series Playing House, Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, will appear for Playdate: A Playing House Reunion. Proceeds for these events will benefit Feeding America.

The Niceties until the 28th Who gets to tell the story of race, history and power in America? In this riveting, provocative play, a black student and her white professor – both brilliant – debate whether the legacy of slavery defines our past, and our present.

The Niceties made its MV Playhouse debut in October as a live virtual reading and is back by popular demand for a virtual two-week run.  Amy Brenneman and Tsilala Brock will reprise their roles as Janine and Zoe.

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

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen

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Karen Mason and Louis Rosen met back in the 70s in Chicago. Karen was a young singer accompanied by a the incomparable pianist-songwriter Brian Lasser. He was close friends with guitarist, pianist-songwriter, Louis Rosen. Mason and Lasser moved to New York and two years later Rosen was there as well. A little over ten years later Lasser died of AIDS. Rosen and Mason have made sure that Lasser’s music is remembered.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Mason and Rosen are back together again celebrating nearly 50 years of collaboration and friendship. The evening is stripped down bare with Rosen on guitar and piano and Mason and Rosen on vocals. Most of the material is Rosen’s songs many from his most recent albums, but added are a few selections by  Lasser, that make you know he died way to soon.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Rosen’s music is what singer/songwriters use to write, full of blues riffs, uplifting swing, folk melodies, jazz cadences and soulful powerful lyrics. It is like an old soul left their words to impart. This night so made me want to hear his newest album “Love and Ashes”. Rosen is a musicians musician.

“A master interpreter… Mason produces a depth of sound and brilliance of color that converge in the work of very few singers!” (Chicago Tribune)

Mason has an authenticity to her voice. She is a storyteller, rich in tone and truly excels on Lasser’s music. She is a belter at heart, but Rosen’s music has her venerable and exposed, which is a new side to her art.

It is always wonderful to watch two artists collaborate,

Luba Mason and Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen: Ages Since the Last Time: Chelsea Table + Stage, 152 West 26th Street.

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Cabaret

My View: Why CAN’T A Woman…? This Woman Can…Lianne Marie Dobbs

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The actor Lianne Marie Dobbs played a 1900’s woman in the HBO series The Gilded Age. You also might have seen her in Law & Order, The Equalizer and F.B.I., but yesterday at Chelsea Tables + Stage she wasn’t just playing the part of a Cabaret singer!  Ms. Dobbs is the real deal, and she captivated an audience of music connoisseurs with her formidable vocal talents and wit in her show titled “Why CAN’T a Woman…? 

Lianne’s cabaret act utilizes Broadway leading men’s songs and sassy standards, served up with a twist of SHE, to celebrate all the hats that women wear, and she answered the shows question authoritatively….This woman sure can!

Lianne Marie Dobbs was named one of the Best Vocalists of the Decade (BroadwayWorld, 2020) and has filled The Green Room 42, 54Below, Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Blue Strawberry in St. Louis, and will be featured in Chicago’s Cabaret Week later in May.  “Why CAN’T a Woman…?” was named one of the best cabaret shows of the year (2022) by BroadwayWorld, and called “an honest to goodness emerging work of art”.  She has appeared in leading roles Off-Broadway, in National Tours, and at renowned theaters such as Denver Center, Repertory of St. Louis, Ogunquit Playhouse, Goodspeed and many more.

Ron Abel is Lianne’s music director and arranger, whose accolades include: LA Critics Circle Award Winner and L.A. Weekly Award Winner for his original compositions and unique arrangements of Broadway hits for orchestras and singers. He has been the music director for acclaimed vocalists such as Lucie Arnaz, Peter Allen, Joely Fisher, Valarie Pettiford, Julia Migenes, Helen Reddy, and John Lloyd Young.

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

STANDING OVATION

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

PAUL KREPPEL, RON ABEL, EDA SOROKOFF, MURPHY CROSS

EDA SOROKOFF & TAKAKO HARKNESS

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Cabaret

My View: The City Was Special Last Night….Melissa Errico at 54 Below

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The evening at 54 Below was advertised as a “ Vinyl Release Celebration Concert” and how apt that VINYL, the unrivaled substance utilized to capture the subtle nuances and breadth of music has now been used to capture the elegant voice of Melissa Errico singing the songs of  “Sondheim in the City” for posterity. 

Caveat: While Vinyl may capture in analog glory the beautiful notes and words of Melissa, one must be in her presence to experience her irrepressible beauty, wit, and intelligence on stage.

Melissa Errico….Sondheim In The City Vinyl Release Celebration at 54 Below May 7,8,9…..

Tedd Firth Music Director, David Finck (Bass), Eric Halvorson (Drums) Bruce Harris (Trumpet)

About the show:

After the critical triumph of her Sondheim Sublime album-called “the finest all Sondheim recording ever made” by the Wall Street Journal, Melissa Errico returned to one of her cabaret homes (54 Below) last night and to her favorite songwriter with an entire new program of Sondheim songs, celebrating her new album (released February 16, 2024 on Concord) and a different side of Steve, praised in The New York Times as “a New York house tour of thrill and heartbreak..from one of Sondheim’s deepest-hearted yet lightest-touch interpreters.”

Sondheim in the City is the Sondheim of smart, sophisticated New York, the Sondheim of the quick, witty, sardonic, love-seeking and sex-driven city that he recorded and worked in through his long life. From the anthem of city busyness “Another Hundred People” to the bittersweet hymns of city marriage, “Sorry, Grateful” and “Good Thing Going,” with time for hardboiled surprises like “Uptown, Downtown” and surprisingly soft-centered ballads like “All That I Need” and “Dawn”

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO & TEDD FIRTH, music director

54 Below, Eda Sorokoff

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Cabaret

Klea Blackhurst Brings The Songbook Of Jerry Herman To Life

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Klea Blackhurst returned to Chelsea Table and Stage last Sunday with another installment of her monthly series “The Box Set”. Each month Klea reprises one of her acclaimed shows. Last  Sunday she performed  One of the Girls: “The Words and Music of Jerry Herman”. Klea sang Herman’s songs that were made famous by the women in his life.

The evening started with Klea descending down the long staircase of the club singing “Just Leave Everything to Me” from the film, “Hello Dolly!” and she was off running. She is  an actress, singer, comedian and Mermanologist. What is a Mermanologist you ask ? Someone who is an expert on Ethel Merman.

Klea relayed some wonderful stories about Jerry Herman. She  got to know the composer well.  You can feel her admiration for him not only as a composer, but as a human being.

Klea was backed up by superb musicians: Michael Rice – piano/arrangements, Aaon Russell on drums and Tom Hubbard on bass. In between Jerry Herman stories Klea sang some of Herman’s great songs: “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello Dolly!, “Open A New Window” and “It’s Today from Mame,  “Time Heals Everything” from Mack &Mabel, “Just Go to The Movies” from A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine and “I Don’t want to Know” from Dear World. Klea knocked it out of the park with her rendition  of “I’m  What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.

Very seldom do I leave a show and feel I that I need to spread the world about a great performer but for Ms. Blackhurst… I do.

Klea is truly one of the greats of this generation of entertainers.

We have to wait till September 15, 2024 for her next show “Dreaming of A Song” The Music of Hoagy Carmichael co-staring Billy Stritch.

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Cabaret

Laura Slutsky Does Cabaret for a Cause

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Laura Slutsky’s and my paths have crossed many times over the years and I have always found her witty, kind and engaging. I just didn’t know how big a heart she had until I saw she was producing cabaret and comedy shows to raise money for various charities. Over the past few months, she has gathered groups of talented performers to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease and the people of Maui after the devastating fires. On April 28th I was able to attend her latest fundraiser at the Triad Theater to support St Jude Children’s Hospital.  Lyzette Dorado, St Jude Marketing Director for New York City, was in attendance and was able to share how the organization helps the young cancer patients and their families.

Laura Slutsky

Lizette Dorado, St Jude Marketing Director shares what their mission

Laura Slutsky Singing Eydie Gorme

Laura and Sue Matsuki Cohosts of the Evening

I met Sue Matsuki a few years ago when she was organizing the Winter Rhythms concerts for Urban Stages. She is an award winning (MAC, Bistro and Julie Wilson Awards) singer and author. She met Laura in January and in those 3 short months they were able to organize this wonderful entertaining afternoon with a list of Grade A talent.

Sue Matsuki Singing Judy Garland

Saundra Silliman Sings Nancy Wilson

Elvira Tortora Sings Babara Cook

Debra Stone Sings Amanda McBroom

Laura’s Shmoozin’ with Slutsky series of special performance events each has a different theme and this one was “Legends that ‘Muse’ Me,” a 90 minute concert with eleven powerhouse performers, each singing a song from one of their favorite influences. Each performer wowed the packed house and as all proceeds benefitted St Jude it showed a true sense of community and caring.

Jacqueline Draper Sings Piaf

Meg Flather sings one of her own compositions

Kati Nieheisel Sings Julie London

Eva Steinberg Sings Peggy Lee

Ms Slutsky, in addition to co-emceeing with her special wit sang Eydie Gorme and Sue honored Judy Garland.  The afternoon was a wonderful variety of singers each with a different style including ballads, jazz, blues a popular tunes. Saundra Silliman sang Nancy Wilson; Elvira Tortora, Babara Cook and Debra Stone, Amanda McBroom. Jacqueline Draper performed Piaf in French and English while Meg Flather sang one of her own compositions. Kati Nieheisel and Eva Steinberg spoke of Julie London and Peggy Lee, respectively, before giving them tribute in song. Margaret Curry and Leslee Warren, influenced by Linda Ronstadt and Ethel Waters, respectively, turned up the temperature with Blue Bayou and Heat Wave. Lina Koutrakis completed the line up with two 2 songs; one from Michele Brourman and one of her own.

Debra Stone and all the ladies are accompanied by the Gregory Toroian Band

Margaret Curry Sings Linda Ronstadt

Leslee Warren Sings Ethel Waters

Lina Koutrakis sang 2 songs; One from Michele Brourman and one of her own

All the women were accompanied by the Gregory Toroian Band with Mr. Toroian on piano, Skip Ward on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums.

If this afternoon was an example of all the Shmoozin with Slutsky shows I am sorry I am late to the party. She knows how to bring out the best talent and showcase them in a gleaming light. What’s even more special is that she does this for the benefit of so many in need. Her next Shmooze will raise money for Prostate Cancer (date to be determined) but in the meantime you can support St. Jude Children’s Hospital https://www.stjude.org for more information.

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