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Cabaret

What to Watch in The New Year: March 30

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4pm: CyberTank Variety Show By The Tank A weekly, remote, multidisciplinary, variety arts gathering open to all where we explore theatricality + themes by you.

The CyberTank Weekly Variety Show is a remote, multidisciplinary variety arts gathering open to everyone. The arts community has been presented with a challenge to re-examine theatricality, and The Tank has reframed this as the gift of an opportunity to grow and choose community over despair. Each weekly installment is centered around a specific question and features guest artists who will perform and facilitate conversation.

7pm: 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.” 

7pm: Global Gab: How Safe Do You Feel? By Rattlestick Playwrights Theater America is a country that has afforded immigrants many opportunities. As immigrant artists, we want a future in this place we choose to call home. But what do we do when our physical, psychological, and emotional safety is at stake? When our negative portrayals far outweigh the contributions we are making. Hosts Jody Doo and Salma S. Zohdi want to dig deep with you this month. Let’s gab – as an immigrant, how safe do you feel in America?

7pm: Yeats/Gonne: Echoes Over Time A one-night-only live online discussion about the lives and legacies of William Butler Yeats and Maud Gonne, biographers Kim Bendheim and Joseph Hassett will discuss their new books with Irish Rep company member and Yeats scholar, Rufus Collins.

The authors will explore the relevance of Yeats in the 21st century and the impact of his complex relationship with Irish activist Maud Gonne, who continues to intrigue almost 70 years after her death.

Pertinent poems by Yeats read by Obi Abili, Terry Donnelly, Colin McPhillamy and Sarah Street, directed by Collins and filmed by Rory Duffy, will intertwine the discussion, along with presentations of photographs and artwork that have inspired and informed both books.

7:30pm: Strauss’s Capriccio Subtitled “a conversation piece for music,” Strauss’s final opera is a philosophical drawing-room dramedy about a French countess torn between the elemental forces of music and verse—exuberantly personified by a composer and a poet who jockey for her affection. A burlesque cast of theater types round out the story, which concludes with an elegant final monologue for the leading lady that neatly puts all the artistic negotiation to rest.

8pm: Broadway Backwards presented by Broadway Cares, features gender-reversed and star-studded twists on classic and modern favorites, will be held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus concerns.

On demand through April 3.

Exploring how the isolation of the pandemic has affected the LGBTQIA+ community, the benefit will feature Jay Armstrong Johnson as an isolated New Yorker who dreams a fantastical journey guided by a late-night television host, portrayed by Jenn Colella. Viewers can also expect an opening number with Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox, and Lea Salonga, plus performances and appearances by Matt Bomer, Darren Criss, Ariana DeBose, Robin De Jesús, Cynthia Erivo, Joshua Henry, Cherry Jones, Kelli O’Hara, and Jim Parsons, with more guests to be announced.

(New performances will be mixed in with full numbers from previous editions of Broadway Backwards.)

Brenda Braxton
Brenda Braxton photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

8pm: Stars in the House Women’s History Month with guest host Brenda Braxton, joined by the cast of “Cougar the Musical” who will reunite to discuss their time in the show, and honor B. Smith and her restaurant, where they would all hang out and spend time together.

8pm: The Untold Stories of Broadway: St. James Theatre By Playbill

Join Jennifer Ashley Tepper, author of The Untold Stories of Broadwaybook series, on a virtual adventure through the secret history of our beloved Broadway theaters.

On March 30, explore the thrilling history of Broadway’s St. James Theatre, from landmark musicals like Oklahoma!Hello, Dolly!, and The Producers to ghost stories and hilarious backstage legends.

What ushers who worked at the St. James later became famous? How have 44th Street neighbors like Sardi’s and Angus McIndoe become fascinating parts of the theater’s history? Enjoy behind-the-scenes photos and little-known folklore about the glorious St. James Theatre.

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. 

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World 

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photo credit Conor Weiss

Who comes to mind when you see that phrase—Catherine Zeta-Jones, perhaps, or certainly Grace Kelly?  Most would concede the title belongs to one glorious, gracious and violet-eyed lady – Elizabeth Taylor.   

Elizabeth (ET from hereon in) was known for her films, jewelry and various husbands, but there was much more to that woman. The perfect person to let us in on the side we never saw is Ann Talman, who played her daughter in The Little Foxes on Broadway. Chosen for her uncanny resemblance to ET as a young girl, they remained close friends until ET’s death in 2011. Through song and story, Ann paints a portrait we never would have imagined—the prankster, surrogate mother, the fashion advisor funny-face maker and more. When consulting with her about what to wear to an awards gala, ET arranged for a private fashion show at Saks and then added “Do you want to borrow any of my jewelry?”.  Now that’s a friend to have! 

The evening began with Ann singing “The Shadow of your Smile” from The Sandpiper, a film that starred ET and Richard Burton against a backdrop of ET holding a sandpiper. In the film, the bird is a metaphor for broken-winged people, and Ann shyly admits that she had been a sandpiper. Ann was 22 when they met, and she explained how ET took on the surrogate mother role and gave her the support and counsel she needed. When Ann talks about pajama parties and drinking Soave Bollo, one imagines two sisters sharing secrets and giggling. (I can’t imagine ET in PJs, can you?)  Nevertheless … 

As if the offer of shared baubles was not indication enough of ET’s generous nature, Ann gave a brief history of ET’s involvement with AMFAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) as well as her own foundation.  

This show was powerful, yet delicate, informative without being gossipy, funny while evoking a tear or two. It was lovingly put together with superb direction by Lina Koutrakos with Alex Rybeck as music director. The songs flowed so naturally that it might have been easy to not recognize the skill that went into their selection.   

Ann’s ability to mimic ET’s breathy voice as well as her sincerity, added to the charm and verisimilitude of the event. It was such a loving tribute, with little touches, like purple Mardi Gras beads, a printed program and cupcakes with lavender frosting for all in celebration ET’s birthday this week.   

The evening ended with a reprise of the first song. Thank you, Ann, for giving us a clearer picture of the shadow behind that most alluring smile. 

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Broadway

Betty Buckley Returns to Joe’s Pub

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Tony Award-winning, stage and screen icon Betty Buckley returns to Joe’s Pub in New York City for six live performances on May 16-18, 2024. She is joined by her long-time collaborator and Grammy® nominated pianist/MD Christian Jacob, Tony Marino on bass and Jamey Haddad on drums.

The Joe’s Pub concerts will take place on May 16-18, 2024 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. respectively). Joe’s Pub is located at The Public, 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets now on sale HERE.

Most recently, Ms. Buckley is co-starring in the upcoming horror film Imaginary, set for U.S. release March 8, 2024, presented by Lionsgate and Blumhouse. From Blumhouse, the genre-defining masterminds behind Five Nights at Freddy’s and M3GAN, the film explores the universal idea of imaginary friends and childhood connections to them and what otherworldly realms they may inhabit.

Additionally, Ms. Buckley wrote, narrated and produced The Mayfly, an animated short film that will have its world debut on March 24, 2024 at the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival (AmDoc Film Festival) in Palm Springs, Calif. Tickets are available to the public HEREThe Mayfly is directed by award winning animator, Sue Perrotto, and the music is composed by Christian Jacob. BluBlu Studios in Poland is the animation house.

Ms. Buckley will also perform in a tribute concert A BROADWAY BIRTHDAY: Sondheim, Lloyd Webber, and Friends! in Costa Mesa, Calif. The show takes place at the Segerstrom Concert Hall on Thursday, March 28 at 8 p.m. Joining her in performance are Kerry O’Malley, Liz Callaway, Aaron Lazar and Alex Joseph Grayson. Visit www.scfta.org/events/2024/sondheim-lloyd-webber-and-friends for tickets and more information. Her upcoming calendar includes a Master Class and concert at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA on April 19 and an evening with Christian Jacob at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY on May 11.

Betty Buckley is a legendary, multi-award winning actress/singer whose career spans theater, film, television and concert halls around the world. She is a 2012 Theatre Hall of Fame inductee and the 2017 recipient of the Julie Harris Awards from The Actor’s Fund for Artistic Achievement and received The Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Songbook Association in 2023.

She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS and received her second Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical for her performance as Hesione in Triumph of Love.  She received an Olivier Award nomination for her critically acclaimed interpretation of Norma Desmond in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard, which she repeated to more rave reviews on Broadway.

Ms. Buckley co-stars in the film Imaginary for Blumhouse Productions and to be released by Lionsgate in March 2024.  She co-starred with James McAvoy in the M. Night Shyamalan hit film Split, one of the top international box office hits of 2017.  She received a Saturn Award Nomination for Best Featured Actress for her work in the film.

Her other films include her debut in Brian de Palma’s screen version of Stephen King’s Carrie, Bruce Beresford’s Tender Mercies, Roman Polanski’s Frantic, Woody Allen’s Another Woman, Lawrence Kasden’s Wyatt Earp and M. Night Shyamalan’sThe Happening.

Her other Broadway credits include 1776, Pippin, Song and Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Carrie.  She headlined the first National Tour of the new Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! in 2018/2019.

Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere of Horton Foote’s The Old Friends for which she received a Drama Desk Nomination in 2014, White Lies, Lincoln Center’s Elegies, the original NYSF production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Eros Trilogy, Juno’s Swans and I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road.  Regional credits include The Perfectionist, Gypsy, The Threepenny Opera, Camino Real, Buffalo Gal, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Old Friends at Houston’s Alley Theatre and Grey Gardens at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY and The Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in 2016 for which she received an Ovation Award Nomination.

In London, she starred in Promises, Promises for which she was nominated for An Evening Standard Award and in the 2013 British premiere of Dear World.

On television, Buckley has a recurring role on “Law & Order SVU” for NBC and guest starred on the Fox/Warner Bros. TV show “The Cleaning Lady.”  She co-starred in the third season of AMC’s hit series “Preacher” and has guest starred on The CW hit “Supergirl”, the NBC Series “Chicago Med” and ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars.”  For HBO, she has appeared on “Getting On”, “The Leftovers”, “The Pacific” and for three seasons on OZ.  She starred as Abby Bradford in the hit series “Eight is Enough.” She appeared twice on The Kennedy Center Honors and was a guest star in numerous television series, miniseries and films for television including Evergreen, Roses for the Rich and Without a Trace. She has been nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards® for her work on Taking a Stand, an After School special.

In 2022, she released the compilation recording Betty Buckley Sings Stephen Sondheim as a tribute to the late composer. The recording comprises 24 songs Buckley has recorded of Sondheim’s music over the span of her career.  She has recorded 18 CD’s: including Ghostlight, produced by T Bone Burnett released in 2014, Story Songs in 2017 and Hope in 2018.  Buckley tours in concert worldwide with her ensemble of musicians and in 2015 was featured in the Royal Albert Hall concert of Follies, in celebration of Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday.

She received a Grammy Nomination for Stars and the Moon, Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar. She received her second Grammy Nomination for the audio book The Diaries of Adam and Eve.

For over forty years, Ms. Buckley has been a teacher of scene study and song interpretation, giving workshops in Manhattan and various universities and performing Arts Conservatories around the country.  She has been a faculty member in the theatre department of the University of Texas at Arlington and teaches regularly at the T. Schreiber Studio in New York City, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX and in Los Angeles, Denver and Oklahoma.

In 2009, Ms. Buckley received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Theater and was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in 2007.  In 2015, she was awarded The Stephen Bruton Award by The Lone Star Film Festival for her work in film and music. In 2018, she received the Sarah Siddons Award for outstanding theatrical performance in a Chicago theatrical production. She has two honorary doctorates from The Boston Conservatory and Marymount College and has been honored with three Lifetime Achievement Awards for her contributions to theater from the New England Theater Conference, The Shubert Theater in New Haven and the Terry Schreiber School in NYC.

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Cabaret

Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For March

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Brave the rain and head out to the clubs for they abound in entertainment galore. Here are our top picks.

92 Street Y: 1395 Lexington Ave. 3/ 2 – 4: Soul Picnic: The Songs and Legacy of Laura Nyro; 3/ 11: Cabaret Conversations Sally Mayes and 3/18: The Ally: Josh Radnor and Playwright Itamar Moses in Conversation Co-presented with The Public Theater.

 

Karen Mason

Birdland Jazz: 315 West 44 St. Every Monday at 5:30 Vince Giordano and The Nighthawksand 9:30pm Jim Caruso’s Cast Party; Every Tuesday at 8:30pm The Lineup with Susie Mosher; 3/11: It’s De-Lovely: Jeff Harnar Sings Cole Porter and 3/25: Karen Mason In “Just In Styne: Karen Sings Jule”.

 

Orfeh

Cafe Carlyle: 35 E 76th St. 2/1-3: Through 3/2: Jennifer Holliday; 3/3 – 4: Mallory Portnoy and Nick Blaemire; 3/5 – 20: Hamilton Leithauser and 3/21 -23: Orfeh.

Steven Reineke by Michael Tammaro, Bryan Terrell Clark by Asher Angeles, Valisia LeKae by Antonio Navas

Carnegie Hall: 881 7th Ave at 57th St. 3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown; 3/20: of Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan; 3/23: Meow, Meow and  3/27: Standard Time with Michael Feinstein.

Michael Feinstein

Chelsea Table + Stage: Hilton Fashion District Hotel, 152 W 26th St. 3/10: Klea Blackhurst; 3/11: Mark MacKillop and 3/16: Randy Edelman.

Klea Blackhurst

Don’t Tell Mama: 343 W. 46 St. 3/3: Marcus Simone & Tracy Stark and 3/16: Lucille Carr-Kaffashan.

The DJango: 2 Avenue of the Americas.

Ann Hampton Callaway

Dizzys Club Coca Cola: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street. 3/8 – 10: Ann Hampton Callaway and 3/21; Songbook Sundays Rodgers and Hammerstein.

54 Below: 254 West 54 St. 3/1: The Leading Lady Club: A Celebration of Women on Broadway and Beyond; 3/2 – 3 : Alysha Umphress: 15 Stories; 3/4: Songs From Women At The Table; 3/6: Hugh Panaro: Man Without A Mask; 3/8- 9: Christine Andreas: Paris to Broadway; 3/15 – 16: Melba Moore: From Broadway, With Love; 3/19: 54 Celebrates The Marquis Theatre, feat. Kate Baldwin, John Bolton, & more!; 3/20 – 21 and 23: Leslie Uggams; 3/22: My First Sondheim; 3/24: A Gentleman’s Guide 10th Anniversary Celebration, feat. Lauren Worsham & more!; 3/25: The Wicked Stage: Songs About Show Business, Hosted by Christine Pedi;  3/26 – 27:  Nicole Henry: Decades of Diva; 3/28: Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene and 3/29 – 30: Andrea McArdle: Confessions of a Broadway Baby.

Andrea McArdle

Andrea McArdle Photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy

The Green Room 42: 570 10th Ave. 3/4: Figaro a New Musical; 3/22: An Acoustic Evening with Sondheim & Melissa Melissa Errico; 3/23: Nic and Desi: 3/23: Joshua Turchin Composers In The Green Room 42 and 3/24: Reeve Carney.

Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St.

Theatre at the West Bank Café: 407 West 42 St. 3/2,3, 9,10, 16, 17, 23,24, 30 and 31: Lucky Cheng’s Drag Brunch.The Triad: 158 W. 72 St. 3/16: Stay Golden – The Golden Girls Drag Tribute!The Town Hall: 123 West 43rd Street. 3/4: RuPaul The House Of Hidden Meanings

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Cabaret

Moonlight and Love Songs 

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And so promised Steve Ross in his new show at Birdland, and he delivered both with his customary style, wit, and superb interpretations. This fabled music room takes on the hush of a cathedral when Steve performs there, evidenced by the silent reverence of the audience throughout his performance. Sporting his subtle homage to Cole Porter—a red carnation—Steve began the evening with tunes that described being on the brink of that most coveted of falls, and as the inevitable approached, his carefully curated selections become more tantalizing. Never has “On a Slow Boat to China” been more inviting– sign me up now! A few moon-titled songs followed, including one written by Steve himself. His guest star, Nina Wachenfeld, sang in German and seemed to conjure up Marlene as a bonus.    

Kurt Weill and his haunting melodies were presented next, with appropriate tribute given to that great American wordsmith, Ogden Nash. Another aspect of the topic of the evening was Steve’s review of a few songs about love at first sight. Messrs, Coward and Porter put their two cents in, with the penultimate and heartbreaking “This Nearly Was Mine” putting a twinge in the heart of everyone as only Rodgers & Hammerstein can. Cole then did what he does best: teased and tickled the memory with his thoughts on the matter. 

Steve’s ability to find new ways to make all these songs new for an audience is part of his wonder. He snapped us out of our dreamy reveries with a joke and then the ever-hilarious “Dolphins” and then encouraged everyone to do what we were aching to do—sing along to some classics from the 1940s. He has an uncanny ability to know what an audience wants and needs and switched the dial to drama with Dietz and Schwartz’s haunting “Dancing in the Dark”.  The charming conclusion to this Valentine was the duet of “Married”. I have tried many times to dissect the magic Steve brings to his music and never quite capture it with words. You just must see it for yourself! A performance by Steve Ross is indeed transformative, as his ever-full audiences will attest.   

In between engagements on both sides of the Atlantic, Steve appears regularly at Birdland. Check his website for future appearances, and possibly even a master class! 

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Cabaret

My View: Carole J. Bufford…”You Don’t Know Me”. ( Now We Do)

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Her show is titled “You Don’t Own Me” and if anyone in the Palm Beach audience didn’t know Carole J. Bufford before, they certainly do now after her exciting performance last night at Cafe Centro.

Carole J. Bufford, award-winning cabaret star and powerhouse vocalist, returned to Cafe Centro last night with a tribute to the fearless, fabulous females of the 1960s. With the music made famous by Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, Carole King, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Nancy Sinatra, Cher, and more, Carole and her quartet put their own inimitable spin on those great song classics in her show You Don’t Own Me. Her electrifying  musical tour de force celebrated a time of great change and transition in America and across the pond.

As Carole noted, the musical and cultural landscape was never the same after these bold and daring women planted their flags and ensured their voices were heard.  Well, Carole Bufford’s voice was authoritatively heard in West Palm Beach last night as she took charge of each song and brought the music of the 60’s back to life.  The moveable spot in the club illuminated this dynamic entertainer thrilling each table in a room filled with her Palm Beach fans.

Ms. Bufford’s good friend and co-producer of the evening Sandy Fisher introduced Carole to the enthusiastic Cafe Centro audience.

Next up in the Fisher/Sorokoff Cabaret series is Dawn Derrow on March 12, and on April 24th one of the hottest acts in show business “The New Belters” Seth Sikes & Nicolas King will be bringing their music to  Cafe Centro.

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

HERE’S CAROLE!

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD

CAROLE J. BUFFORD & SANFORD FISHER

STEPHEN SOROKOFF & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

EDA SOROKOFF, GIO MOLLA, RON ABEL, SANFORD FISHER

ROB RUSSELL, CAROLE J. BUFFORD, RON ABEL

DAWN DEROW & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

JEFF LEIBOWITZ & ROB RUSSELL

SANFORD FISHER & ISANNE FISHER

PETER CALO

CAFE CENTRO

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