What To Watch November 29th To Take Away The Blues
The Thompsons: Playing on Air. Ah, the holiday season! The wine is flowing. In-laws are gossiping in the kitchen. And the Thompson family is indulging in their most bizarre Thanksgiving ritual: the Turkey Trot. Mischievous and tender, The Thompsons by Andrew Massey (EST’s Youngblood) is a comedy about the families we love, break, and remake.
Arin Arbus (TFANA, Broadway’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune) directs an all-star cast of PoA regulars: William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place,” PoA’s 2B Or Not 2B), Sue Jean Kim (Office Hour, PoA’s 52nd to Bowery…), April Matthis (Toni Stone, PoA’s G.O.A.T.), and Amy Ryan (“The Office,”PoA’s Clean Slate).
12pm: Artist Talk with Battery Dance Each week, artists from around the world join BatteryDanceTV for a 30-minute talk.
2pm: For One Knight Only an evening of conversation with British acting legends Dame Judi Dench, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Ian McKellen, and Dame Maggie Smith, will be presented on Zoom November 29 at 7 PM GMT.
Hosted by Sir Kenneth Branagh, the live Q&A will benefit the theatrical charity Acting for Others, which provides emotional and financial support to theatre workers in times of need through its 14 member charities. This is the latest event from Lockdown Theatre, a quarantine initiative set up to present live table reads with all-star casts, raising money for the organization.
There will be opportunities for audience members to participate throughout the event.
4pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar scheduled pianists are Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1) and Dan Daly (@DanDalyMusic). https://www.youtube.com/embed/S-bH7B5Ol68
5pm Soundcheck and 8pm Concert: Patti Murin and Colin Donnell Patti Murin is best known for originating the role of Princess Anna in Disney’s Frozen on Broadway. Other Broadway/National Tour credits include playing the title character in Lysistrata Jones, flying across the country by bubble as Glinda in Wicked, and roller skating her way to Broadway in Xanadu (Euterpe). Off-Broadway: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park); Fly By Night (Playwrights Horizons); Lady Be Good! (Encores!). Almost Broadway: Nerds (Sally). TV: Hallmark Channel movies “Love On Iceland” and “Holiday For Heroes,” a recurring role on NBC’s “Chicago Med” (Dr. Nina Shore), and “Royal Pains” (Ava).
Colin Donnell is known for his work on Broadway including roles in Violet, Anything Goes, which garnered him Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire noms, and Jersey Boys. He has also been seen elsewhere in NYC in Follies, Merrily We Roll Along, Lady Be Good at the New York City Center and Loves Labours Lost in The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park alongside his now wife Patti Murin. He is known on screen for his work as Dr. Connor Rhodes in NBC’s drama Chicago Med. Donnell can also be seen as Tommy Merlyn in CW’s Arrow. Other appearances include Scott Lockhart in Showtime’s hit series The Affair, Pan Am, Person of Interest and The Mysteries of Laura. His films include Every Secret Thing, which also starred Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks and this past summer’s release Almost Love.
Seth Rudetsky’s internationally acclaimed Broadway concert series that first began in Provincetown at The Art House in 2011 will debut as a weekly virtual series entitled The Seth Concert Series. Presented by Mark Cortale the series premiered ten years ago and is currently housed in more than a dozen major venues worldwide. In its new format, the series will continue to offer viewers a seamless mix of behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s insightful, funny and revealing questions – and the music from the artists’ stellar careers.
7pm: Sleep Deprivation Chamber Roundhouse until February $15
This is the second of four plays in a festival of the work of the 89-year-old pioneering experimental playwright Adrienne Kennedy (best known for Funnyhouse of a Negro), produced in conjunction with McCarter Theater. Teddy is a young Black college student studying theatre, but his senior year becomes a waking nightmare when the officer accuses him of assault. Written by Adrienne Kennedy and her own son, Adam, the semi-autobiographical drama shifts between Teddy’s trial and the unrelenting letters his sleepless mother writes in his defense.
7:30pm: Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra Starring Kiri Te Kanawa, Plácido Domingo, Vladimir Chernov, and Robert Lloyd, conducted by James Levine. From January 26, 1995. The title ruler of Simon Boccanegra is one of the repertory’s most compelling characters, a 14th-century Doge of Genoa, beset on all sides, juggling political adversaries bent on murder with his love for his long-lost daughter Amelia. In addition to Boccanegra’s searing internal conflict between public duty and private grief, the story offers cloak-and-dagger intrigue, passionate young love, and noble sacrifice—set to an unfailingly dramatic, enveloping score that only Verdi could have created.
8pm: Brian Nash has been a proud member of the Duplex staff since 2003. Brian works extensively on the Broadway and off-Broadway theater scene, and is the Music Director and Orchestrator of the off-Broadway hit, SILENCE! The Musical. He was a producer on Bare: The Musical for its recent revival off-Broadway and is a resident music director and performer for Atlantis Events worldwide. His cabaret work with Natalie Joy Johnson has earned them recognition from the Village Voice and has been named one of the Top 10 Cabaret Acts by TimeOut New York. Brian has also music directed for Andy Bell of Erasure, Tonya Pinkins, Julia Murney, Rob Evan, Mandy Gonzales, Michael McElroy, Jonathan Hellyer, Trevor Ashley, and many others. His piano playing was recently extensively featured on alternative pop band Boys Like Girls 2012 album, Crazy World (Columbia Records). Other recent theater projects include The Last 5 Years (Asolo Rep) , A Night In Seville (Epic Theater Ensemble), Crossing Brooklyn (Transport Group), Writing Arthur and Something’s Wrong With Amandine at TheatreWorks New Works Festival in Palo Alto, CA, Writing Arthur at NAMT with Kelli O’Hara and Ana Gasteyer, The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds I and II and But I’m A Cheerleader for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and A Broadway Diva Christmas, starring Ellen Greene and Kathy Brier. Other NYC and regional credits include Songs for a New World, The Sexless Years, Red, Lend Me a Tenor, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Rocky Horror Show. Brian has produced albums for singer/songwriters Justin Tranter, Shanna Sharp, and Stacy Allyn Baker, recently performed at Town Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Birdland with Natalie Douglas, and produced and produced Kate Pazakis’ debut album, Unzipped: Live at the Zipper for PS Classics. Brian is in extensive demand as a pianist and singer throughout NYC and has played sold out concerts of the music of Tori Amos; he is also been a featured performer on Rosie and Kelli O’Donnell’s r family vacations cruises. His first songs were written for two recent editions of TheATrainPlays, and were featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Brian holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree from Boston Conservatory and studied record production at Berklee College of Music. For more info, please visit BrianJNash.com.
My View: Palm Beach This Week…Paul Anka, Rita Rudner, Linda Purl & BIlly Stritch!
If there was any doubt that Cafe Centro was a bona fide Cabaret Venue it was dispelled last night. Billy Stritch was seated at the Cafe’s Grand Piano and Linda Purl was the songstress headlining on the cabaret stage of the South Florida restaurant. The SRO crowd that had managed to snag dinner/show tickets got to hear one of the most skillful performances of the Great American Songbook and Broadway show tunes currently out there in Cabaret world. Linda Purl, an extraordinary actor is also an extremely talented vocalist who makes you fall in love with the song and also with Linda Purl, and I might add she is oh so great to focus on through my camera lens.
Billy Stritch was the music director for this gig and he brought his creative, virtuosic, jazz infused piano playing to accompany her. Billy was an engine of harmony and rhythm that coupled with Linda’s natural swing and romantic ballads perfectly. The overflow crowd loved every note of the performance. Mr. Stritch usually adds his lush voice underneath his stable of super singers to create some fantastic musical symmetry, as he has done for some of show biz’s legendary entertainers (Liza Minnelli, Christine Ebersole, Linda Lavin, Linda Eder, and Marilyn Maye to name a few.) During this show he wowed us all with his keyboard artistry. BTW, BIlly, an extraordinary singer/ entertainer on the cabaret and concert stages worldwide can be seen at the new WICK Museum nightclub on April 1st for a special one night only engagement performing his Cy Coleman show. Not to be missed by music lovers.
Sanford Fisher produced the Linda Purl evening. It brought these two super stars of the Cabaret and Concert stages together for an outstanding evening at Cafe Centro, our local oasis of live music in Palm Beach.
Another great Palm Beach event this week…..the “LADY IN RED” LIFE Gala at The Breakers……Congratulations to Lois Pope, the Board of LIFE and Entertainment Chair Sunny Sessa for creating a fantastic evening……
RITA RUDNER & PAUL ANKA……What a show!
The Marvelous Marilyn Maye Received Twelve Standing Ovations At The New York Pops
Karen Akers, Jim Caruso, Tony Danza, Jamie deRoy, Max von Essen, Melissa Errico, Bob Mackie, Susie Mosher, Sidney Myer, Josh Prince, Lee Roy Reams, Rex Reed, Randy Roberts, Mo Rocca , Mark Sendroff, Lee Roy Reams, Brenda Vaccaro and David Zippel were there to see and honor Cabaret legend and Grammy nominee Marilyn Maye. Maye who turns 95 April 10th, made her at Carnegie Hall solo debut last night with The New York Pops, led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke.
Maye is a highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator, Grammy nominated recording artist and a musical treasure. Her entire life has been committed to the art of song and performance and it showed with the 12 standing ovations she received.
Maye appeared 76 times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen and had a RCA recording contract, seven albums and 34 singles.
The evening started out with the superlative New York Pops Overture of Mame, which Maye had played the title role.
Next a Cole Porter Medley with “Looking at You,” Concentrate On You,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” It’s Alright With Me,””Just One of Those Things,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “All of You”. This was Marilyn’s second standing ovation. The first was when she stood on that stage for the first time and the audience was rapturous.
A terrific “It’s Today” from Mame with high flying kicks was the third ovation and wow can that woman kick.
A rainbow medley included “Look To The Rainbow” from Finnian’s Rainbow, the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” the jazzy “Make Me Rainbows” and of course “The Rainbow Connection.” And with that another standing ovation.
“Put On A Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie.
Frank Loesser’s Joey, Joey, Joey brought on a fifth standing ovation. This song was a masterclass in acting and vocal nuance. For that matter every song that comes out of Ms. Maye’s mouth is perfection. Part of the brilliance of this night is her musical director, arranger, and pianist Ted Firth. That man is a genius.
Lerner and Loewe’s “On The Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady ended the first act with a sixth standing ovation.
The overture from Hello Dolly! and then Cabaret shows Marilyn Maye also starred in opened the second act. The New York Pops sounded phenomenal as always.
“Your Gonna Hear From Me” from “Inside Daisy Clover was an appropriate starter for this next round as the audience got to its feet.
Maye’s most requested song “Guess Who I Saw Today” from New Faces of 1952 was followed by a show stopping “Fifty Percent” from Ballroom and of course another standing ovation.
Her next song was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute to be included in its permanent collection of recordings from the 20th century. Her recording of “Too Late Now” is considered by the Smithsonian to be one of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century and Ms. Maye showed us why and again another standing ovation.
A proclamation from The City of New York read by Steven Reineke to Marilyn Maye made this day Marilyn Maye Day. This treasure cried with joy as she sang Stephen Sondheim’s “I’m Still Here.” Though she forgot some of the lyric, Ms. Maye proved performing is all on the intent and connecting to the audience. Two more standing ovations were added here.
For encores, I was thrilled to hear James Taylor’s “Circle of Life” and “Here’s To Life,” which is my personal favorite, finally going back into “It’s Today” with those high kicks and a twelfth standing ovation. Bravo Ms. Maye!
If you are a singer and do not catch Ms. Maye live, you really do not care about your craft. Last night Ms. Maye made it clear why she’s been celebrated as one of America’s greatest jazz singers for more than 50 years and this was a night I will always remember. Thank-you New York Pops.
Don’t miss the Pop’s 40th Birthday Gala: This One’s For You: The Music Of Barry Manilow on Monday, May 1st. The gala will star Sean Bell, Erich Bergen, Betty Buckley, Charo, Deborah Cox, Danny Kornfeld, Norm Lewis, Melissa Manchester, Zal Owen, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, Billy Stritch, Steven Telsey, Max von Essen, Dionne Warwick, and more to be announced. This will be yet another New York Pop’s Night not to miss.
My View: It’s Today! It’s Tonight! Marilyn Maye Rehearses For Her New York Pops Carnegie Hall Debut
Sometimes you have to pinch yourself at the opportunities you are presented with. TODAY would be one of those. Or as Marilyn Maye might sing to you, “It’s Today.”
This afternoon I had the privilege of witnessing the 95 year old star, rehearsing on the stage of Carnegie Hall, under the baton of Maestro Steven Reineke, in front of the mighty New York Pops Orchestra. It all happens tonight and has been a lifetime in the making. As if The New York Times piece, bylined by Melissa Errico, wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for what is sure to be a historic evening, maybe these photos will help get you even more excited. Thank you to all who made this happen for me, to present to you….Humbly Yours, Stephen
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