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What To Watch March 31st To Take Away The Blues, Plus MAC Award Winners

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Santino Fontana

OnSeth Rudetsky fabulous series Stars in the House the show that has two performances everyday. At 2pm: Bobby Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Santino Fontana, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff and at 8pm ET: Show Reunion: This Is Us Chris Sullivan, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore, Susan Kelechi Watson, Ken Olin, plus Taylor Goldsmith

4:00 PM:  LIVESTREAM  Broadway Teachers Workshop: John Cariani@ Facebook

8:00 PM:  LIVESTREAM  The Producers Perspective Live with Jennifer Tepper @ Facebook 

The Barricade Boys with Special Guests Alfie Boe, Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo, John Owen-Jones, Lee Honey-Jones, Fra Fee & more sing “BRING HIM HOME” from Les Misérables in Support of the Stay At Home initiative, supporting Healthcare workers around the world with an Introduction by UK stars Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. 

Follow The Barricade Boys on Facebook and Twitter @Barricadeboys and Instagram @BarricadeboysUK.

The new podcast musical Little Did I know from The Audio Drama Initiative, based on the novel by Mitchell Maxwell, will release its first three episodes on Apple Podcasts on Tuesday, March 31. After the 31st, each of the remaining six episodes will be released every Tuesday through Tuesday, May 12. A digital podcast soundtrack recording, produced by Broadway Records, and featuring the podcast’s original twenty-two songs, will also be available everywhere music is sold on Tuesday, March 31. 

Little Did I know tells the story of a group of friends – recent college graduates – who bring a broken-down summer theatre back to life in 1976. The summer will be different from anything they expected, and what they experience will resonate throughout their lives. At turns funny, romantic, stirring, and poignant, this is an unforgettable coming- of-age story. Told over nine episodes, approximately thirty minutes each, Little Did I know includes twenty-two original songs.

Little Did I know features music by three-time Tony Award Winner Doug Besterman (The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie), lyrics by Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe award winner Dean Pitchford(Flashdance, Footloose) and Marcy Heisler (Ever After), book by New York Times best-selling author Lou Aronica and is produced by award-winning producer Mitchell Maxwell (Stomp!, Damn Yankees), along with Aronica. 

The cast includes Tony Award Nominee Richard Kind, Tony Award Nominee Patrick Page, Olivier Award Winner Lesli Margherita, Kurt Hugo Schneider, Laura Marano, Sam Tsui, Alex Blue and Alexander Chaplin.

Folksbiene! LIVE – an online celebration of Yiddish culture featuring livestreamed theater, American Jewish performers, workshops, and other events – including a talkback with the cast of the award-winning Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish – to entertain audiences young and old.

The LIVE series and previous episodes appear on NYTF’s website. LIVE episodes can also be viewed on NYTF’s Facebook page. View on Facebook

 Tina Scariano (Christina), Christina Crawford, Charlie Levy (Christopher)
Photographer: Kevin Alvey

New York Theatre Barn will host another live streaming of a New Works Series presentation on April 7, 2020 at 7PM EDT. The show will go on with pre-premieres of the new musicals Mommie Dearest and I Don’t Want to Talk About It. This installment will be free of charge.

When it was released in 1978, Christina Crawford’s Mommie Dearest made an indelible impression on America’s cultural landscape: it enjoyed 42 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, spawned a cult film classic based on the book, and placed the issue of family violence in the national spotlight. Issues of family violence brought to light then have yet to be resolved today and the book still stands as a catalyst for change. 

Now: Mommie Dearest is a new musical with a book by Christina Crawford, music by David Nehls (The Great American Trailer Park Musical), and lyrics by Crawford and Nehls. Told primarily from the coming-of-age point of view of a brother-sister pair as they grow up, struggle with adversity and try to remain family even as they are forced down different paths, the musical explores three decades of American culture. The writers will present two songs from the show led by director Joe Barros and performed live by Tina Scariano and Charlie Levy who play Christina and Christopher Crawford.

Ben Caplan’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It takes a deep dive into the complex world of mental health as told by a troupe of mercurial performers to an unnamed protagonist. Through fourth-wall breaking sketch and song, the protagonist explores the subjects and stigmas of this taboo topic alongside the audience. But as the show goes on, the fourth wall begins to close, and the narrator realizes that the troupe isn’t here for the audience: they’re here for him. Through humor, empathy, and brutal honesty, this rock musical pushes the boundaries of how society discusses mental health. Caplan, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, will present two songs from the show performed live by Phil Sloves (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Brynn Williams (Charlie and the Chocolate FactorySpongeBob SquarePants).

The 30-minute live stream presentation will begin at 7PM EDT on New York Theatre Barn’s YouTube channel: NY Theatre Barn. Now in its 13th season, New York Theatre Barn’s New Works Series presents exclusive pre-premieres of new musicals in the early stages of development. For more information, visit New York Theatre Barn’s website: www.nytheatrebarn.org. The New Works Series is produced by Jen Sandler, Sam Strum and Joe Barros.

Also check out

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra , Wynton Marsalis
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

On March 30, beginning at 9:00p.m. EDT, Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis will host “Skain’s Domain: An Intimate Weekly Conversation,” a live Zoom video chat open to the public.

Tonight, Monday, March 30, 2020, Wynton will be joined by guests Paquito D’Rivera, Jeff Hamilton, Christian McBride, and Veronica Swift.

Wynton will host “Skain’s Domain: An Intimate Weekly Conversation” every Monday at 9:00p.m. EDT through June 1, 2020.

Skain’s Domain: An Intimate Weekly Conversation” is open and free to the public. Guests are required to register by visiting https://a.jazz.org/skainsdomain.

MAC Awards

The 34th MAC Awards was simultaneous streamed from an apartment in Hell’s Kitchen with host Lennie Watts (President of MAC) and from an apartment in Washington Heights with co-hosts Amy Wolk (Board Member) and Lorinda Lisitza. The winners were:

FEMALE VOCALIST: Lisa Viggiano From Lady Day to The Boss Pangea, Don’t Tell Mama

MALE VOCALIST: Bob Diamond The Game of Life Don’t Tell Mama

MAJOR ARTIST – FEMALE: Gretchen Reinhagen Take It With Me Laurie Beechman Theatre, Pangea

MAJOR ARTIST – MALE: Jeff Harnar Carried Away: Jeff Harnar Sings Comden & Green; On the East Side of Heaven; Too Marvelous for Words: 1930s Songs; Because of You: Fifties Gold; Jeff Harnar Sings Cole Porter
Birdland Theater, The Beach Cafe, Laurie Beechman Theatre; BJ Ryan’s Magnolia Room

NEW YORK DEBUT – FEMALE: Regina Zona Becoming the Queen 2.0 The Triad, BJ Ryan’s Magnolia Room, SOTA

NEW YORK DEBUT – MALE: Sean Patrick Murtagh
Mario! A Salute to The Great Lanza The Green Room 42

CELEBRITY ARTIST: Natalie Douglas Tributes series: Roberta Flack, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Nancy Wilson, Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell Birdland, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, The Pheasantry (London)

IMPERSONATION/CHARACTERIZATION/DRAG ARTIST: Doris Dear More Gurl Talk; Doris Dear Christmas Special
Don’t Tell Mama, Music Theater of CT, Cherry Grove Community House Theater, The Triad

MAJOR IMPERSONATION/CHARACTERIZATION/DRAG ARTIST: Jinkx Monsoon The Ginger SnappedJoe’s Pub

MUSICAL COMEDY PERFORMER – FEMALE: LYNDA RODOLITZ Animal Magnetism Don’t Tell Mama

MUSICAL COMEDY PERFORMER – MALE: Michael Kirk Lane Just Because Don’t Tell Mama

DUO/GROUP: THOSE GIRLS (Eve Eaton, Rachel Hanser, Karen Mack, Wendy A. Russell) Those Girls Sing The Boys; An Evening with Those Girls; Those Girls Sing The Boys Volume 1.2 Unplugged Laurie Beechman Theatre, BJ Ryan’s Magnolia Room, Pangea

MAJOR DUO/GROUP: Sean Harkness, Marcus Simeone, Lina Koutrakos Clearly Now Season 2 Don’t Tell Mama, Urban Stages

PIANO BAR INSTRUMENTALIST: William TN Hall Don’t Tell Mama, Brandy’s, The Duplex

PIANO BAR/RESTAURANT SINGING ENTERTAINER FEMALE: Alison Nusbaum Don’t Tell Mama

PIANO BAR/RESTAURANT SINGING ENTERTAINER MALE: Bobby Belfry Brandy’s

RESTAURANT/HOTEL LOUNGE/HAPPY HOUR ENTERTAINER: Ricky Ritzel Don’t Tell Mama

ENSEMBLE INSTRUMENTALIST: Sean Harkness, guitar
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 25th Anniversary Show (Feinstein’s/54 Below), Lucille Carr-Kaffashan/How the Light Gets In (Don’t Tell Mama), Kathleen Turner/Finding My Voice (Arena Stage), Vocalmania (Birdland Theater, Zinc Bar), Ronny Whyte Quartet (Jazz at Kitano)

RECURRING SERIES: Ricky Ritzel’S BROADWAY Created and produced by Ricky Ritzel, staging and choreography by Jay Rogers and Aaron Morishita Don’t Tell Mama

SPECIAL PRODUCTION: Meg Flather SONGS: A CABARET SISTERHOOD Written and produced by Meg Flather, directed by Lennie Watts, musical direction by Tracy Stark Don’t Tell Mama

EMCEE: Amy Wolk I Only Have Lies for You Laurie Beechman Theatre

DIRECTOR: Lennie Watts Those Girls/Those Girls Sing The Boys (Laurie Beechman Theatre), Lynda Rodolitz/Animal Magnetism (Don’t Tell Mama), Meg Flather/Outbound Plane (Don’t Tell Mama, Urban Stages), Meg Flather Songs; A Cabaret Sisterhood (Don’t Tell Mama)

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Alex Rybeck Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway/Broadway the Calla-Way (Feinstein’s/54 Below), Joanne Halev/Like a Perfumed Woman (Birdland Theater), Ann Kittredge/Fancy Meeting You Here: An Evening of Ahrens & Flaherty (Feinstein’s/54 Below, Urban Stages, Feinstein’s at Vitello’s), Karen Akers/Sing the Shadows Away (Urban Stages, The Beach Cafe), Ari Axelrod, Celia Berk, Kevin Dozier, Karen Oberlin/Four for the Holidays (The Beach Cafe)

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Jean-Pierre Perreaux – The Laurie Beechman Theatre Mark Nadler/The Old Razzle Dazzle, Jennifer Barnhart/It’s About Time, Eric Michael Gillett/Stop This Train, KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar/Sullivan and Harnar sing Harnick and Strouse, Dawn Derow/The House That Built Me

SONG: LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE IN LOVE Music by Alex Rybeck, lyrics by Bob Levy

COMEDY/NOVELTY SONG: STRAIGHT GIRL IN THE GAY BAR Music and lyrics by Billy Recce

RECORDING (LaMott Friedman Award): WENDY SCHERL You’ll See

MAJOR RECORDING: Gretchen Reinhagen Take It With Me

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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