photo’s of Megan Hilty are by Genevieve Rafter Keddy
10:30am: Other Than We Columbia University Earth Institute The reading of a play written and directed by Karen Malpede about life after the “Deluge,” when the privileged live in a hermetically sealed Dome, and a quartet of rebels engage in “an unlikely plot to create a new, post-Homo sapiens species.”
2pm: In These Uncertain Times a digitally-devised theatre performance, made specifically for its medium. It is a new dramaturgy defined by dystopia, and it is a love letter to the art of theatre. Stemming from a group of artists wondering if COVID-19 is the death of theatre as we know it, a tragicomic, Chekhovian Zoom performance. From drinking competitions, sad Chekhov monologues, and corona-virus meme collages, grieving for the past.
The piece was created by Source Material collective, the members of which are currently quarantined all over the country.
Director Samantha Shay had the cast give her virtual tours of their homes, to figure out how to best utilize their shared resources. They also plan to utilize different aspects of the Zoom platform itself, including the chat box. I have yet to see anything that addresses this moment in this way, and I think this piece is an innovative addition to the ongoing question of what theatre is and what theatre could be in the future.
2pm: Plays In The House Teen Edition: A Simpler Time by various artists. The reading benefits Philadelphia Young Playwrights
4pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar scheduled pianists are Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1) and Dan Daly (@DanDalyMusic).
6pm: Shakespeare in Vegas, Starring Karen Ziemba and Patrick Page By TheatreWorks. Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (Contact, Curtains, Prince of Broadway) and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page (Hadestown) will head up a dynamic cast when TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents a benefit online reading of Shakespeare in Vegas, a rollicking comedy by Suzanne Bradbeer.
Presented by TheatreWorks’s New Works from Home program in partnership with Vegas Theatre Company, this comedy shines a spotlight on an unlikely pairing, as a wiseguy producer with a dream and a despondent New York actor join forces in their attempt to bring the Bard of Avon to Sin City.
Helmed by Las Vegas native and TheatreWorks’s Artistic Associate and Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli, Shakespeare in Vegas will be offered via video streaming from 6pm (PT), Thursday, July 23, 2020 until 6pm (PT), Monday, July 27, 2020.
A link to stream the show will be available at TheatreWorks.org for no charge, although donations are encouraged to support the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony-winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, which like theatres across America has been forced to cancel in-theatre performances to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.
6pm: Pieces of the Moon mark the 51st anniversary of the U.S. landing on the moon July 20 when Hammer Theatre Center and One Year Lease Theater Company (OYL) partner for a special presentation, a timely and compelling new play by Nick Flint adapted for radio, making its world premiere via live stream.
This theatrical jazz riff explores the rise of the Black Arts Movement alongside the Apollo 11 mission which landed the first person on the moon, told from the perspective of “godfather of rap” Gil Scott-Heron.
Directed by OYL Co-Artistic Director Ianthe Demos. Streaming is free, but registration is required.
7pm: The Little Foxes Live Reading by Quarantine Theatre Company. Austin Pendleton, Morgana Shaw, Liam Mitchell, Barbara Bleier, Tom Smith, Tammy Faye Starlight, and Ian Christiansen. Pendleton acted in the 1967 Broadway revival of the play and directed the 1980 revival, starring Elizabeth Taylor.
Shaw plays the lead role of Southern vixen Regina Giddens, memorably played by Bette Davis in the classic 1941 film. Shaw played Davis in the one woman play, All About Bette.
7pm: Your Blues Aint Sweet Like Mine Two River Theater Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs a Zoom reading of one-act play, which explores America’s racial divide through the relationship between Zeke, “a walking outburst,” and Judith, “a seeker of truth.” Some of the original 2015 world premiere cast reunites for the reading, including Brandon J. Dirden, Andrew Hovelson, Merritt Janson, and Rosalyn Ruff, with Glynn Turman coming on to play the role of Zebedee.
7pm: Pouf She NYC Theater Festival Lou Clyde’s comedy about an unfulfilled housewife in 1958 who secretly sets up an in-home salon.
7:30: Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West Though less familiar than Puccini’s greatest hits, this action-packed tribute to the American Wild West, which received its world premiere at the Met in 1910, is every bit as compelling. Its sweeping, evocative score deftly captures the feel of a Gold Rush–era mining camp—the perfect place for a sweet-talkin’ bandit to fall for a gun-totin’ bar owner with an enormous soprano voice and a heart of gold.
8pm: Cabaret Games Four Chicago-based theatre companies have joined forces to create a virtual singing competition featuring Broadway favorites. This episode it is Jason Robert Brown week.
The Highland Park Players, Big Noise Theatre, Big Deal Productions, and Music on Stage will each form their own team to go head-to-head in a weekly episode in which fans can choose which songs are performed.
7pm: The Seth Concert Series: Megan Hilty performs highlights from some of her biggest roles.
Hilty made her Broadway debut as Glinda in Wicked joining the production in 2005. She would return to the Great White Way in 2009, starring in 9 to 5 as Doralee Rhodes. Hilty was last on the Broadway stage Noises Off as Brooke Ashton, in a performance that earned her a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
In addition to her stage career, Hilty is known for her work in screen including her performance as Ivy Lynn in Smash, Patsy Cline in Patsy & Loretta, and more.
The Seth Concert Series is hosted by Sirius XM host and Playbill contributor Seth Rudetsky. While normally held in Provincetown, Massachusetts, under the Broadway @ Art House banner, the erformances will be held indoors from the stars’ homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
8pm: Under 30 Lab: Catholic All Girls School By IAMA An overachieving high schooler at Miami’s most prestigious Catholic all girls school has the perfect plan to get into her dream college, until an attractive, young, ex-priest is hired as her new ethics teacher and begins to dismantle all she knows about right and wrong and falling in love.
Catholic All Girls School, written by Adriana Santos and directed by Kate Sullivan, is part of IAMA’s Under 30 Playwrights Lab Series.
8pm: Rule of 7×7: Summer Edition By The Tank This an ongoing series that premieres 7 brand-new 10 minute plays by 7 different writers. For each show, every playwright comes up with one rule, then the 7 playwrights create new plays using all 7 rules. Some past rules have been: “Bright sunshine.” and “Somewhere on page one: a back-handed compliment, followed by ten seconds of silence.” and “‘This reminds me of the time I (an action) with (a person).’”
The New Ohio Theatre will live stream its entire 27th annual Ice Factory Festival. Broadcast online over four weeks, the Obie-winning festival will feature four new works.
Kicking off the festival programming will be Beginning Days of True Jubilation. Written by Mona Mansour (The Vagrant Trilogy) and directed by Scott Illingworth, the new piece is conceived by Society, the newly launched ensemble-based company that uses a method of rigorous research, improvisation, and discussion to make theatre.
Adapted for Zoom, Beginning Days of True Jubilation is a satirical journey through the cult-like, group-think of winner-take-all capitalism, from the early euphoria of a new start-up through its epic crash and burn. Performances will be July 24–26.
A star-studded cast includes Hana Chamoun (Hulu’s Ramy), Hiram Delgado (Take Me Out), Christy Escobar (NBC’s Blindspot), Annie Fox (Lobby Hero), Rebecca Frank (Fox’s Prodigal Son), Leslie Fray (HBO’s Plot Against America), Meredith Garretson (Syfy’s Resident Alien), Rosa Gilmore (Amazon’s The Expanse), Caroline Grogan (The Crucible at Bedlam), Keren Lugo (Privacy at The Public), Kario Marcel (Troilus and Cressida at Shakespeare in the Park), Tim Nicolai (The Glass Menagerie), and Simone Recasner (Fox’s The Big Leap).
8pm: You and Me and the Space Between / Are You Still? is written by Jack Spagnola and directed by Ryan Dobrin. Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains, The West Wing) and Michaela Watkins (Big Mouth, SNL) play a couple meeting on a blind date.
The piece is presented as part of Playdate Theater Company’s Playdate’s first virtual play festival and fundraiser Find A Way Or Make One.
Tickets also include a performance of Are You Still? by Lauren D’Errico, directed by Britt Berke and Miles Shebar.
The play follows Em, stuck at home during pandemic times, as she resists the ever-present siren call from The Internet to keep scrolling, watching, and browsing through all of her waking hours.
Liza Lapira (Unbelievable), Parveen Kaur (NBC’s Manifest), Melinda Page Hamilton (Mad Men), Shane Johnson (Power), Lily Du (College Humor), and Luca Bella Facinelli (Your Family or Your Life) bring web pages to life in a wild take on quarantine fatigue.
Cabaret, Talks and Concerts For March
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Moonlight and Love Songs
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!
My View: Carole J. Bufford…”You Don’t Know Me”. ( Now We Do)
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.
Sex and the City’s Candace Bushnell Returns to Café Carlyle
Iconic author and creator of “Sex and the City” returns to Café Carlyle with her new one-woman show titled “True Tales of Sex, Success and “Sex and the City”, April 23 – 27. Across five performances, the original Carrie Bradshaw takes us on a whirlwind tour of New York City, from Studio 54 to “Sex and the City” to “Lipstick Jungle” and beyond, sharing her remarkable philosophy through stories of fashion, literature, and sex while pouring Cosmos in Manolos.
Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed, international best-selling author of ten books, including Is There Still Sex in the City, Sex and the City, Summer and the City, The Carrie Diaries, One Fifth Avenue, Lipstick Jungle, Trading Up, Killing Monica and Four Blondes. With each book, she has deepened her range, but with a light touch that makes her complex literary accomplishments look easy. In August of 2021, Sex and the City, published in 1996, celebrated its 25th anniversary. The book was the basis for the HBO hit series and two subsequent blockbuster movies. Lipstick Jungle became a popular television series on NBC, as did The Carrie Diarieson the CW.
Through her books and television series, Bushnell’s work has influenced and defined more than two generations of women. She is the winner of the 2006 Matrix Award for books (other winners include Joan Didion and Amy Tan), and a recipient of the Albert Einstein Spirit of Achievement Award. Bushnell’s work has famously appeared in Vogue, Esquire, The New York Observer and many other publications.
Her successful one-woman show premiered at the legendary Bucks County Playhouse then moved to off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theater in 2021 to rave reviews. Bushnell’s show success has taken her to the UK, before returning to where it all began in New York City.
Notably characterized by First Night Magazine as “an evening of pure joy and entertainment” and “a celebration of Candance Bushnell’s career and the importance and beauty of being a modern, independent woman” by Theatre & Tonic, Candance Bushnell’s “True Tales of Sex, Success and Sex and the City” is a chance to see the woman who started it all in the flesh.
Tickets are available online via Tock— General Seating $150 per person / Premium Seating $200 / Bar Seating $110.
Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (35 East 76th Street, at Madison Avenue).
For more information and updates on these exciting events, follow Café Carlyle on Instagram @cafecarlyle and Facebook.
Amber Gray, Tony Yazbeck, Robert Klein, Julie Gold and More Win The Bistro Awards
Bistro and MAC Award-winning artist Steve Hayes serves as host for the evening. He is a comedian-actor-writer and the host—for 15 years—of YouTube’s hit show Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies.
Writer and critic Gerry Geddes, longtime Bistro Award Committee member and senior contributor, as well as an award-winning director, is set to helm the Bistro Awards for the third time.
Truly a comedian’s comedian, Robert Klein will be presented with the Bistro Award’s top honor, the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, for his six decade-plus career as an innovative and influential stand-up comedian—a career augmented with his extensive work as an actor in theatre, film, and television. He has been a source of inspiration for such talents as Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, and Jay Leno, among many others.
Julie Gold will be honored with a special award asIconic Singer-Songwriter-Raconteur. She has been a fixture in New York City’s cabaret community for over three decades. Gold seamlessly blends her melodies with incisive lyrics—then presents her songs to her listeners with grace and nuance.
The committee celebrates Amber Gray with an award for Creative Artistry in a Cabaret Debut. Brimming with talent, wisdom, and emotion, her show Gray Matter was a uniquely personal introduction to the cabaret world.
Tony Yazbeck is receiving an award as Song & Dance Performer. His shows at 54 Below showcased his ability to adapt the energy, heart, and artistry of Broadway performance to an intimate space. Yazbeck’s charisma and versatility made for an extraordinary evening.
In 2023, Karen Mack put her considerable performance and songwriting talent on full display in an array of venues and shows—in solo presentations, in her ongoing jazz/swing series with Elliot Roth, and as part of the vocal group Those Girls. Whatever the occasion, she was a constant delight. The committee honors her for her excellence in a Variety of Cabaret Performances.
A Bistro goes to two singers who created shows paying tribute to legendary songwriters. Wendy Scherl receives her award for Tribute Show. In The Sweetness and the Sorrow: The Songs of Marvin Hamlisch, sheexplored the late composer’s biography with great heart, complementing it with stories from her own life. She performed some of Hamlisch’s most beloved songs as well as some of his lesser-known titles. Jason Henderson receives recognition as Musical Comedy Performer. He impressively harnessed his singing and comedic talents for his show Getting to Noël You—effectively using the songbook of Noël Coward to help tell his own story ofmaking ends meet while pursuing his dream of becoming a performer.
In the Vocalist category, Margaret Curry garners an award for her outstanding artistry. She brought her admirable singing and acting skills to her show The Space In-Between. Drawing the audience into her sphere, she shared a deeper look at life through her carefully selected, beautifully and uniquely arranged songs.
The committee will honor two shows that took an autobiographical approach. Roberto Araujo receives the Autobiographical Show honor for his exuberant show I Just Wanted You to Know. He treated audiences to a sparkling, multimedia-style
Lisa Vroman’s show Ingénue…Ingé-Not-So-New delivered a constantly surprising and engaging collection of songs, acted and sung with passion, humor, finesse, and top-tier musicality. She will receive an award for Theatrical Cabaret.
David Dean Bottrell will
With her recording Permanent Moonlight: Songs of Richard Rodney Bennett, Maud Hixson pays tribute to an icon of the music industry. Showcasing her impeccable vocal talents and her sensitive interpretation of lyrics, the album earns Hixson an awardfor her excellence in Recording.
Linda Kahn likewise receives an honor for Recording, for her outstanding album Wait ’Til You See What’s Next. This collection not only demonstrates her stunning singing talent, but it also shines a light on some of New York’s finest songwriters and musicians.
The evening’s musicians include the award show’s resident maestro, Musical Director Daryl Kojak (piano), along with longtime Bistro Awards musicians Ritt Henn (bass) and Rex Benincasa (drums).
Sherry Eaker, formerly the longtime Editor-in Chief of Back Stage, has produced the event since its inception in 1985. Eaker heads up the BistroAwards.com roster of writers and critics. Mark Dundas Wood, who has been part of the Bistro Awards committee since 2012 and who writes regularly for BistroAwards.com,serves as an associate producer of the show for the third time. Mary Lahti, who has been production assistant on the show for the past four years, is assistant producer.
The gala event will be held on Monday, April 1, at 7:00 pm, at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd Street, in Manhattan. Tickets range from $75.00 to $275.00. Ticket buyers in all categories are invited to the Bistro After Party as guests of the Bistro Awards. For details about the various ticket categories and early-purchase prices, visit www.BistroAwards.com.
Following is a complete list of artists whom, we believe, attained Outstanding Achievement during 2023 and/or for their body of work:
Robert Klein / Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
Julie Gold / Iconic Singer-Songwriter-Raconteur
Amber Gray / Creative Artistry in a Cabaret Debut (Gray Matter)
Tony Yazbeck / Song & Dance Performer
Karen Mack / Variety of Cabaret Appearances
Margaret Curry / Vocalist (The Space In-Between)
Wendy Scherl / Tribute Show (The Sweetness and the Sorrow: The Songs of Marvin Hamlisch)
Elvira Tortora / Musical Memoir (The Bookmaker’s Daughter)
Roberto Araujo / Autobiographical Show (I Just Wanted You to Know)
Lisa Vroman / Theatrical Cabaret (Ingénue…Ingé-Not-So-New)
David Dean Bottrell / Storyteller
Jason Henderson / Musical Comedy Performer (Getting to Noël You)
Maud Hixson / Recording (Permanent Moonlight: Songs of Richard Rodney Bennett)
Linda Kahn / Recording (Wait ’Til You See What’s Next)
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