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What To Watch June 24th To Take Away The Blues

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Vanessa Williams

1pm: The Broadway Q&A Series: Lorin Latarro: The Broadway choreographer will answer questions about working on Mrs. DoubtfireWaitress, and more.  

2pm: Stars in the House with Seth Rudetsky. TBD. At 8pm: Vanessa Williams joined by LDF’s Associate Director-Counsel Janai Nelson

2pm: Learn with Carnegie Hall with Musical Connections. Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections is a program of the Weill Music Institute (WMI) in which men who are incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility work alongside visiting artists to compose and perform original music through workshops and performances, both during incarceration and after they return home. As part of this episode, Musical Connections artists share their vision of a path forward through music. 

3pm: The Show Must Go Online: Henry IV, Part 1 performed by actors via Zoom and live streamed on YouTube—that works through Shakespeare’s plays in the order they were written. Andy McLeod, plays Henry.

3pmLinda Lavin with Billy Stritch Billy Stritch, at Lavin’s piano. 

Linda Lavin

3pm: The Early Night Show with Joshua Turchin is available across all social media platforms with full videos on YouTube, Facebook Watch and www.theearlynightshow.com released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3pm EST. 

4pm: Lincoln Center at Home – Concerts For Kids

4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Drew Wutke (@DrewWutke) and Kenney Green (@KenneyGreenMusic).

5pm: Watch Me Work: Suzan Lori Parks this is a performance piece, a meditation on the artistic process, and an actual work session, featuring Suzan-Lori Parks working on her newest writing project. RSVP

A scene from Act II of Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel” with Alice Coote as Hansel and Christine Schäfer as Gretel. Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

5pm: Metropolitan Opera: Don Pasquale Donizetti’s timeless comedy Don Pasquale featuring clever scheming, an old curmudgeon, fits of temper, mistaken identities and all kinds of comic confusion. Javier Camarena, Eleonora Buratto, Ambrogio Maestri, and Levente Molnár opera singer official star. 

5:30: MCC Theatre Live Labs: When A reading of C.A. Johnson’s (All the Natalie Portmans) play will feature Kecia Lewis and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, under the direction of Taylor Reynold. Maribel, who loves costume dramas, and her daughter Jessie, who loves her. Maribel really wants to fix her daughter’s love life, and despite her mother’s many diversions, Jessie wants her mother to face the real music: the world is changing, and they could both use a little fresh air.

6:30: Here at Home: Soundstage Rob Roth’s Soundstage, featuring Rebecca Hall, is an audio and visual performance poem. Using the language of cinema, the piece reflects and refracts a ‘meditation on the muse’ and her remedy for loneliness. Through a queer lens, the piece focuses on alternative realities blending and dissolving in a metaphysical and alchemic journey where sound, time, gender, and fantasy transform.

6:30: Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and New York Theatre Salon present Global Forms Theater Festival opening night with a virtual potluck. Prepare your favorite dish and sign onto the Zoom party to meet all the artists who will be participating in our week long festival. We are so excited to kick things off with stories, food, and a live Zoom DJ.

7pm: Babbling By The Brook Paper Mill Playhouse’s Mark S. Hoebee’s conversations with a star-studded roster of performers, writers, directors, and more theatrical denizens.

7pm: New York Theatre Barn to Live Stream Excerpts From New Musicals By Jill Abramovitz, Aron Acurso, Leah Napolin and Adam Wachter The Dogs of Pripyat and Tarrytown. Based on the play by the late Leah Napolin, The Dogs of Pripyat has a book by Leah Napolin (Yentl) and Jill Abramovitz (Bread and Roses, It Shoulda Been You), music by Aron Accurso, and  lyrics by Jill Abramovitz. Ukraine, 1986: In the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, citizens of nearby Pripyat are forced to evacuate, leaving behind their homes, their lives, and their beloved pets. The Dogs of Pripyat is the story of these pets, and one in particular: Boychik, a gentle lap dog that learns to survive without his masters in this harsh new world. It’s a story of hope when it seems least possible and the deep need inside all of us to create family in the most unimaginable of circumstances. The writers will present two songs from the show performed remotely by Zachary Noah Piser (Dear Evan Hansen, Sweeney Todd), Adam Rothenberg (Company, Miss Saigon), Rachel Griffin (We Have Apples), and co-writer Aron Accurso. Abramovitz most recently appeared on Broadway in Beetlejuice, and Accurso is the associate music director of the Broadway production of Aladdin. The Dogs of Pripyat has been developed in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, the Dramatists Guild Fellowship program, Weston Playhouse/Ghostlight and Sh-K-Boom Records, NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals, Goodspeed Musicals, City Center, University of Miami, and is and is the recipient of the Jerry Bock Award.

Loosely based on Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown is a contemporary new musical with book, music and lyrics by Adam Wachter. Set in present day Tarrytown, New York, the musical tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a gay music teacher who, after being fired from a private school in Manhattan, moves to Tarrytown for a job at the local public high school. There he meets the principal’s secretary Katrina. The small-town-girl is enthralled with Ichabod’s former big-city life, while he is equally infatuated with her gorgeous and flirtatious husband Brom. The musical culminates on Halloween, when a ghost story Brom tells about a headless horseman sparks an explosive chain of events for the three characters, changing their lives forever. Wachter will present two songs from the show performed remotely by Rachel Cahoon and Jaye Alexander. Wachter is a music director recently featured on six episodes of the Disney+ series Encore!Tarrytown has been developed by Diversionary Theatre where it won the San Diego Theatre Critics’ Circle Craig Noel Award for Best New Musical, Backyard Renaissance, MCC Theatre, and has a studio cast recording now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, or wherever music streams to benefit The Actors Fund’s COVID-19 assistance programs.

7:30pm: Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila The biblical story of Samson and Delilah has resonated throughout the ages because it is universal—a tale of desire and passion, violence and revenge. In his operatic adaptation, Saint-Saëns intensifies these elemental human experiences with music of unsurpassed sensuality, music that caresses the ear and sets the heart pounding. Much is required of the title pair, a mezzo-soprano who must be both seductive and scathing, and a tenor who must transform from implacable to broken to reborn. When everything comes together, it is as exhilarating an opera as they come.

7:30: Obsessions Of An Art Student by Carrie Robbins a group of actors, several of which were part of the original Ridiculous Theatre (created by Charles Ludlum), present an original short piece. Everett Quinton (Ridiculous Theatre), Shane Baker (yiddish translator/consult on Joel Grey’s Yiddish “Fiddler”), & Daniel Neiden (singer, oftime translator of Sholom Aleicham) & other talented folks are involved. Turn on your computer a bit before 7:30 and please join us via the link below:           https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88653181319

8pm: The Oedipus Project starring Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. The Oedipus Project is an innovative new digital initiative by Theater of War Productions using scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, healing online conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon diverse communities throughout the United States.

8pm: Much to be Done: A Live Stonewall Panel Discussion Liz Bouk, mezzo-soprano; Lisa Chavez- mezzo-soprano; Jessica Fishenfeld, soprano; Brian James Myer, baritone; and Jordan Weatherston Pitts, tenor and the creative team (Carolyn Kuan, conductor and moderator; Mark Campbell, lyricist; and a special message from composer Iain Bell) of the New York City Opera world premiere production of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s groundbreaking Stonewall for a reunion panel and discussion on the occasion of the one year anniversary of the premiere.

9:30pm: Voice of Women Artists During the Pandemic. Excerpted from Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, a luminous work which will soon find its home. Nzadi’s recent book is Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the life of Anna Murray Douglass (Whirlwind Press), a finalist for the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Poetry Prize from the Quarterly Black Book Review. St Pauls College of Bengaluru, India, in an international webinar. AROHO Panelists Darlene Chandler Bassett, Karina Puente, and Sun Cooper will be participating live with Moderator Saranya Francis, with a special video message from Bhanu Kapil. Participant fees benefit St Pauls Department of Humanities and AROHO.

8pm: The Producers Prospective with Mandy Gonzalez

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

Jumaane Smith Plays To Sold Out Crowd at Birdland

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This past week Jumaane Smith and his quartet performed for a full house at Birdland in New York City. Jumaane is one of the greatest trumpeter performing today. Like Louis Armstrong he is strong on both trumpet and vocals, playful on stage.

Jumaane has collaborated with Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder, andperformed with Michael Buble for 17 years. and Harry Connick Jr. Smith is stepping onto center stage with the release of his new album “Come On Home” on August 16. This deeply emotional and predominantly original work traverses the rich landscapes of jazz, blues, and contemporary soul, echoing the timeless influence of classic albums from these genres. Known for his exceptional talent and versatility, the LP and his performance encapsulates themes of love, loss, overcoming challenges, redemption, and joy.
A highlight if the night was”I Know,” about finding your soulmate—the one person who stands by you against the world, the person you long to see at the end of the day.
Smith was backed by outstanding musicians Chris Lewis – Saxophone, Al Street – Guitar, Carmen Intorre Jr – drums, Will Gorman – organ.
It’s always a treat to be in the audience enjoying an evening with Jamaane Smith and his incredible music
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Cabaret

My View: Norm Lewis…. “SUMMERTIME” at 54 Below… Spike Lee & Celebs Attend

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In all my years of going to shows, whether theatre, concerts, clubs, cabaret, etc., I have never done what I did this past week and I’m not sure I can even explain. I went to see Norm Lewis at 54 Below on June 6th and didn’t just love it, I was somehow hypnotized by the man and the material. That night, Miss Melba Moore was his Special Guest and invited to share the stage and something magical happened. The program was all showtunes and treasure from Broadway-current, past and even a little in between, with one brilliant piece of Off-Broadway gold, TRY TO REMEMBER, dedicated to the memory of the late, great Jerry Orbach. Then, upon finding out the Guest List for the entire 7 shows, we just decided we wanted to be there and it was the right decision. Night after night, added and/or subtracted songs to adapt to the desired length of the show. Every night, Norm’s longtime friend and trusted Director, Richard Jay-Alexander, on the scene, along with Musical Director/Arranger Joseph Joubert on keys, Perry Cavari on drums and percussion and a very cool Dylan Shamat on both electric and acoustic bass. Each night a different kind of magic and, lucky me, living so nearby, I was able to capture all the Award Winning Guests and high=profile friends. So, here for Norm Lewis, who brought summer early to all of us at 54 Below, is a scrapbook of his seven nights and special guests, both on stage and off. Now that the run is over, what will Eda and I do tonight??? Bravo!

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL & NORM LEWIS

54 BELOW

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NORM LEWIS

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & WALTER MARKS

PASTOR BOBBY LEWIS & NORM LEWIS

MARC SHAIMAN

MARC SHAIMAN & NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS (Sweeney Todd)

NORM LEWIS

LEN CARIOU

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS & ALICE RIPLEY

ALICE RIPLEY & NORM LEWIS

WILL SWENSON & NORM LEWIS

WILL SWENSON

WILL SWENSON

BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL & NORM LEWIS

BRIAN STOKES MITHCELL & NORM LEWIS

NOVA PAYTON & NORM LEWIS

NOVA PAYTON & NORM LEWIS

OLIVIA ELEASE  HARDY

OLIVIA ELEASE HARDY & NORM LEWIS

OLIVIA HARDY

THE DRINKWATER BROTHERS

THE DRINKWATER BROTHERS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

SPIKE LEE & NORM LEWIS

SPIKE LEE & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & SPIKE LEE

LEN CARIOU

MARC SHAIMAN

SPIKE LEE

MARILYN MAYE

MELISSA ERRICO

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL

JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, SPIKE LEE, TONY DANZA

LEN CARIOU, NORM LEWIS, MARC SHAIMAN

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

54 BELOW

CARLOS CLEMENZ

NORM LEWIS

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Cabaret

Norm Lewis, Stephen Schwartz Made For a Fabulous Summertime at 54 Below

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Norm Lewis is presenting “SUMMERTIME (Special Tony Edition)” from June 6-13, 2024 at 54 Below.

Stephen Schwartz

The night of June 7, Mr. Lewis was joined on stage by composer Stephen Schwartz and Bobby Lewis ( Mr. Lewis’ cousin). The show was directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, musical direction and piano Joseph Joubert, drums – Perry Cavari and on Bass -Dylan Shamat.

Norm began the evening by entering through the audience greeting the enthusiastic crowd singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Julie Stone/Bob Merrill).’

Norm Lewis

At one point While he left the stage for wardrobe change his special guest Stephen Schwartz took to the piano to sing “The Hardest Part of Love” from his musical Children of Eden.

Norm and Bobby Lewis

Mr. Lewis left the stage one more time to give the moment to Bobby Lewis singing ”One Song Glory ” from Rent (music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson.

Lee Roy Reams, Marilyn Maye

Before leaving the stage Mr Lewis joined  his cousin Bobby Lewis in a duet singing “For Good” from Wicked (music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Each night of the run will feature surprise guest .
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Cabaret

My View: SUMMERTIME Starring Norm Lewis Just Keeps Getting HOTTER!

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I don’t usually post multiple photo essays of the same show/event, but, in this case, I simply must or I wouldn’t be doing my job of “reporting” here in Times Square Chronicles. The fact of the matter is that my wife, Eda, and I have been to Norm Lewis’s new show SUMMERTIME (Special Tony Edition) 3 times now and it has been “delivering” on a nightly basis more thrills and excitement than any other run of a show we have previously witnessed. The show is beautifully directed by the gifted Richard Jay-Alexander, with musical direction and arrangements from the equally gifted Joseph Joubert. What Norm and his artistic posse have put together is so satisfying that you get drawn in and forget you’ve already seen it. Add to this unexplainable phenomenon the array of Broadway Guests and each night has been a delight for so many different reasons. Because I live conveniently close, I am able to capture historic pairings of creative giants and I had to put this together so you could witness the kind of history that has already been made each of these nights at 54 Below. Norm has 4 more shows and many more Special Guests on June 10, 11, 12 and 13 and I can only heartily recommend you go see this man who is so comfortable in his stardom, that he easily seduces you into his world of music and Broadway. You will not be disappointed. I must also note that there has been as much star power in his audiences as there are on stage, adding extra excitement to every night.

( I couldn’t catch all the celebs in the audience but here are a few photo highlights)

NORM LEWIS & LEN CARIOU

NORM LEWIS (Sweeny Todd)

LEN CARIOU

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & WALTER MARKS

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ & NORM LEWIS

MARC SHAIMAN & NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS & MARC SHAIMAN

LEN CARIOU, NORM LEWIS, MARC SHAIMAN

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MALBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MARILYN MAYE & NORM LEWIS

MARILYN MAYE

LEE ROY REAMS & MARILYN MAYE

WALTER MARKS, JENNIFER HALLIE DIAMOND, ROBERT DIAMOND, founder/owner BROADWAYWORLD, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

NORM LEWIS, ROBERT DIAMOND, JENNIFER HALLIE DIAMOND

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, music director/conductor The New York Pops, ERIC GABBARD

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

LORNA DALLAS BROWN, LEE ROY REAMS, MARILYN MAYE

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

PASTOR BOBBY LEWIS (Norm’s cousin) & NORM LEWIS

JOSEPH JOUBERT, music director

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NORM LEWIS, CATHERINE ADLER

JENNIFER ASHLEY TEPPER & RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER

MARK SENDROFF, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, RICHARD SKIPPER

54 BELOW

MACON PRICKETT

CARLOS CLEMENZ & MARC SHAIMAN

NORM LEWIS

EDA SOROKOFF & CATHERINE ADLER

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Cabaret

My View: Norm Lewis Brings On The Summer Heat at 54 Below

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“The Heat is On” at 54 Below with a new show Norm Lewis is performing, called SUMMERTIME (Special TONY Edition). From his dazzling entrance to his beautiful “goodnight” the evening is wall-to wall Broadway treasure. Yes, summer arrived early ,last night, and whatever the kinship and connection between the star, his musical director Joseph Joubert and his director Richard Jay-Alexander, is, it bathed us in magic with stunning music, beautiful arrangements, humor, glamour, stories and vocals that are, quite honestly, beyond just having a powerful skill set. Norm is a sublime actor who happens to possess a magnificent voice and he uses every dimension of it.

During the run he will have special guests who are both friends and Broadway royalty. Last night, he “blew up” this concept by introducing us to the legendary TONY winner, Melba Moore. I don’t usually write about specific material, but when your brain can’t comprehend that Miss Moore tore into “Aquarius” and “Let The Sunshine In” from HAIR with Mr. Lewis, hearts were jumping and joy exploded in the room. Only to be followed by Melba singing “I Got Love” from PURLIE (wait for it) in the original key! The 3 piece band, led by Joubert, also consisted of Perry Cavari on drums and percussion and Dylan Shamat on both acoustic and electric bass. The sounds they made all night were as versatile as could be accomplished and have become a trademark, of sorts, for Norm. Don’t hesitate to get to 54 Below and start your summer early. This man brings the heat with him onto the stage. 

Norm Lewis

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE

MELBA MOORE

54 BELOW

54 BELOW

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NORM LEWIS

NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award

JOSEPH JOUBERT

54 BELOW

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

MELBA MOORE & NORM LEWIS

HUGH PANARO, EDA SOROKOFF, STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD

STEVEN REINEKE, ERIC GABBARD, NORM LEWIS

RICHARD SKIPPER, RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER, NORM LEWIS, MARK SENDROFF

CARLOS CLEMENZ & NORM LEWIS

RICHARD JAY-ALEXANDER & NORM LEWIS

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