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What To Watch September 25th To Take Away The Blues

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Analyze Zoom and Mom and Me Mile Square Theater A double feature last a total of 30 minutes. In the play by Nandita Shenoy, a therapist tells Priyanka ways to get out of her funk. In the play by Cary Gitter, Cam shares big news with his mother via Zoom from their respective quarantines. Until September 27th.

9am: Transformation 2020: Popular Democracy Defined The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and Level Forward are bringing a variety of Broadway creative talent and energy to the three day summit Transformation 2020: Popular Democracy Defined September 24-26. The event aims to get out the vote and focus beyond the ballot.

In addition to performers and performances from plays including Cadillac CrewWhat the Constitution Means to MeSanctuary City, and Slave Play, as well as musicals Oklahoma!Jagged Little Pill1776Jeannette, and Letters to the President talk forward panels and keynotes, and a special session with the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, attendees will also have the opportunity to attend “Creativity In Action” sessions that pair talented guests with issue experts from a variety of organizations. Topics include:

“LGBTQIA+ Identities and Activism” with Lauren Patten, NYC Human Rights Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis, and the organization Craft Your Truth

“Creating a Culture of Consent” with Kathryn Gallagher, Celia Rose Gooding, and Ilse Knecht from the Joyful Heart Foundation

“Mobilizing The Power of Black Expression” with Joaquina Kulakango, Jakeem Dante Powell, and LaTosha Brown from Black Voters Matter

“Human or Nah? Racism and Anti-Blackness in Arts & Real Life” with Laurel Harris, Daniel J. Watts, and Latrina Kelly-James from the Center for Popular Democracy

12pm: Peanut Butter Jams is a half-hour interactive living room concert/music class, designed to entertain and teach kids from the comfort of their own homes. Brought to you by Broadway performers Lilli Wosk and Brad Standley, PBJams is high-quality fun for the whole family.

12pm: Lang Lang

1pm: Q&A with Gelsey Bell + Joseph White By HERE Arts Center. HARP artist Gelsey Bell, and composer Joseph White. Written and narrated by Gelsey and with music by Bell and White Cairns is the sound-walk for Green-Wood Cemetery that you can experience alone or with a friend, in NYC or from away.

Moderated by HERE’s Founding Artist Director, Kristin Marting, and right here on Facebook.

2pm: The Shows Must Go On!: Fame the Musical The definitive 30th anniversary tour of Fame: the Musical, starring Keith Jack and Jorgie Porter with Mica Paris, from the Peacock Theatre in London’s West End. Available for 48 hours Only! Make sure you don’t miss out! Based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film, Fame The Musical is the international smash hit sensation following the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks and the ultimate elation of life.

2:30pm: Bristol Old Vic: Romantics Anonymous Book by and directed by Emma Rice, with music by Michael Kooman and lyrics by Christopher Dimond

Romantics Anonymous was last seen at the Bristol Old Vic in January this year and was about to start a tour of the USA when the pandemic struck. Wise Children are delighted to announce that Romantics Anonymous will perform again, for one week only, streaming live from the Bristol Old Vic. Each night will be a truly one-off experience.

Angélique is a gifted chocolate maker overcome by social anxiety and Jean-René is the boss of a failing chocolate factory. When Angélique takes a job in Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds. Funny, tender and painfully awkward, Romantics Anonymous is a delicious love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy.

The world premiere of Romantics Anonymous was originally produced by Shakespeare’s Globe for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment.

3pm: Best of Hoop From hoop diving to hoop dancing, the sheer balance and core-strength required to master this circus art is undeniable! Learn more about these stunning acts in this week’s Best of Hoop special.

4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar

5pm: Julie Halston: Virtual Halston Broadway actress/comedienne Julie Halston is coming to a laptop near you! After ranting and raving on stages and cocktail parties, the comedy queen will launch “Virtual Halston,” a weekly half-hour gab-fest spotlighting her famous friends. This week’s guests Ann Harada and Barrett Foa.

5pm: OnStageOff Savannah Repertory Theatre has begun a weekly online talkshow called “OnStageOff” to help connect Savannah theatrical artists and projects to the national conversation and to bridge the gap between what’s now and what’s next as the company plans a safe, authorized return to live performance.

Upcoming guests include Tony Award winner Bill Irwin (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Fool Moon), Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris (Fun HomeAssassins), Michael Jacinto (Girls at Yale Rep), and Karla Knudsen with musical guests including Chris Blisset, Stephen Lyons, and Nygel D. Robinson. The show is hosted by Savannah Rep’s Executive Artistic Director Ryan McCurdy. 

6:45, 7:45 and 9pm: Miranda: A Steampunk Opera LUMA, the country’s growing festival for art, tech and storytelling, will leverage its worldwide network of talent to reimagine how musical theater and opera are presented live in the era of COVID-19. 

Debut a fully immersive production of Kamala Sankaram’s dystopian courtroom drama Miranda: A Steampunk Opera streaming live in two distinct formats: through a fully immersive VR theatre app built for Vive/Oculus headsets and via real-time computer animated film streamed live through YouTube. The production is co-created by Tri-Cities Opera and co-presented by Opera Omaha. 

Miranda transports us to a dark American future where growing class disparities have reached epic proportions and the criminal justice system serves only as a parody of what it once represented. A wealthy socialite has died and three suspects’ lives are on the line. They’ll each testify in aria for a chance at freedom. The live audience serves as judge and jury–but can they even accept their own role at face value? Or has the game been rigged from the start? 

Sankaram’s score balances apocalyptic pop beats with the lush lyricism of classic opera, adding a rich texture to a tale that explores themes of class, bureaucracy and self-determination. The work is being directed and adapted from its original 2013 production by Alison Moritz (Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha, Tanglewood Festival), working with lead designer Diego Martinez and Co-Executive Producer Tice Lerner. The production concept was developed by LUMA’s Joshua Bernard and Tri-Cities Opera’s John Rozzoni. 

The show’s leading cast members sing live as their full bodies are motion-captured in real time and mapped onto meticulously crafted digital avatars designed for this groundbreaking production. 

Miranda: A Steampunk Theatre Experience combines the quality of performance and broad accessibility of a large Broadway theatre with the emotional connection that can only be achieved in a small, immersive production. The style of production also creates the possibility for live theatre to incorporate cinema-scale effects typically impossible to replicate on-stage. To present Miranda, Enhance VR and LUMA have developed an original live theater framework application built on industry-standard 3D gaming tools including Unity and Photon. 

7pm: Play Reading Fridays: Next Fall Reading of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts benefiting The Actors Fund. Starring Javier Muñoz, Erin Leddy, Christiane Noll and Brandon Contreras.

7pm: The Silverfish Urban Stages until September 27
Meghan Loughran’s play starring Holly Davis, Nikki M. James, George Salazar and Kate Wetherhead tells the story of a young, broke couple in love thrown a curveball, and come up with a plan. “It might not be a plan that “good people” would go for, but when you’re young and in love and desperate and poor, the word “good” can mean a lot of things.”

7:30: Puccini’s Tosca In his classic potboiler, Puccini stirs together some of humanity’s strongest motivating forces—love and loyalty, fear and cruelty—to create an operatic thriller that sinks its teeth into the listener with the opening chords and never lets go. Taking place in Rome in 1800, the story concerns a fiery yet devoted diva, the painter/revolutionary whom she loves, and a sadistic police chief determined to crush political rebellion and claim Tosca for himself. All three are among opera’s most indelible characters.

7:30pm: Horizon Theatre: Completeness What happens when brain and heart collide? Two grad students might have the answer, if they can look up from their research long enough to find out. By Tony-Award-Winning playwright Itamar Moses (The Band’s Visit)

8pm: Irish Repertory Theatre: Belfast Blues a tapestry of autobiographical stories told from Geraldine Hughes’s perspective as a little girl coming of age in the war-torn Belfast of the 1980s. These stories bear insightful witness to the many faces of “trying to live a normal life” amidst the violence born of the longstanding conflict between Catholics and Protestants.

Hughes staged her final performances of Belfast Blues at The Lyric Theatre in a 2019 co-production presented by herself, Brassneck Theatre Company, and the Lyric Theatre as part of West Belfast’s Féile an Phobail. Irish Repertory Theatre will open its digital fall season with the never-before-seen video captured last year during those final performances of this autobiographical play.

The stage production of Belfast Blues is directed by Emmy winner Carol Kane.

8pm: Jack Was Kind All for One Theater Through October 10
Tracy Thorne wrote and performs this “intimate, confessional play examines long-seated issues of privilege and complicity.” The production will be presented live on Zoom, four times a week, Wednesday-Saturday through October 10 for limited audiences.

8pm: MIT’s Playwrights Lab: Crimson by Jackie Montante ’20. “Draw me like one of your French girls.” Petra is a frustrated artist who meets the mysterious Jet after suffering a great loss, only to find herself getting drawn into Jet’s dangerous world.

Directed by Kareem Fahmy, with Danielle Skraastad, Jack DiFalco, and Dashiell Eaves, and stage managed by Saima Huq.

8pm: Stars in the House: The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee cast reunion Original Broadway Cast Reunion with Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jose Llana, Jay Reiss and Sarah Saltzberg.

8pm: Pig Iron Theatre Company: Zero Cost House We reimagined Toshiki Okada’s Zero Cost House for Zoom for four performances only, September 18-20. 

Zero Cost House charts Toshiki’s physical and ethical journey through that time. And Toshiki’s writing–as deeply interior as Samuel Beckett’s, and with a flair for the super-casual that reminds you of Annie Baker–seems ideally suited to Zoom. Toshiki’s company in Japan is called “chelfitsch”–a play on the English word “selfish.” His characters always have one eye on themselves–which, when you think about it, is what we all are doing on Zoom these days.

The piece is 2 hours long with one 5 minute intermission. The 7 performers will be beaming in LIVE from their homes in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angles. We can guarantee there will be no line at the bathroom. We can’t guarantee the internet won’t be glitchy, on your end or ours–but, well, that’s life in 2020.

9pm: Michael Cavanaugh: The Music of Billy Joel Michael Cavanaugh, star of the hit Broadway musical “Movin’ Out”, is coming to you live from The Space in Las Vegas. 

Michael Cavanaugh was handpicked by Billy Joel to star in the hit Broadway musical Movin’ Out. He received both Tony and Grammy nominations in the lead role. He was called “The New Voice of the American Rock and Roll Songbook” by Billboard and his album “The Way I Hear It” hit #17 on the Billboard HeatSeekers Chart.

9pm: Word Up! Word Up! joins The Old Globe’s online roster of programming. More of a gathering than a show or a class, Word Up! is a digital opportunity for community members to connect with each other.

Every Friday night, join Arts Engagement Programs Manager and host Laura Zablit for a fun, festive word-based collaboration between audience and artist. This Mad Libs–style communal storytelling will feature a new performing artist every week, as well as special community guests from around San Diego.

Together, they will create opportunities for viewers to learn from and participate in their art form, creating accessible art in real time. Art forms on offer may include spoken word, rap, puppetry, singing, and more, often with bilingual and multicultural elements. 

10pm: Latino Theater Company: Just Like Us Based on Helen Thorpe’s bestselling book of the same name, this documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls, two of whom are documented and two who are not, through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls’ opportunities — or lack thereof. 

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

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen

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Karen Mason and Louis Rosen met back in the 70s in Chicago. Karen was a young singer accompanied by a the incomparable pianist-songwriter Brian Lasser. He was close friends with guitarist, pianist-songwriter, Louis Rosen. Mason and Lasser moved to New York and two years later Rosen was there as well. A little over ten years later Lasser died of AIDS. Rosen and Mason have made sure that Lasser’s music is remembered.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Mason and Rosen are back together again celebrating nearly 50 years of collaboration and friendship. The evening is stripped down bare with Rosen on guitar and piano and Mason and Rosen on vocals. Most of the material is Rosen’s songs many from his most recent albums, but added are a few selections by  Lasser, that make you know he died way to soon.

Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Rosen’s music is what singer/songwriters use to write, full of blues riffs, uplifting swing, folk melodies, jazz cadences and soulful powerful lyrics. It is like an old soul left their words to impart. This night so made me want to hear his newest album “Love and Ashes”. Rosen is a musicians musician.

“A master interpreter… Mason produces a depth of sound and brilliance of color that converge in the work of very few singers!” (Chicago Tribune)

Mason has an authenticity to her voice. She is a storyteller, rich in tone and truly excels on Lasser’s music. She is a belter at heart, but Rosen’s music has her venerable and exposed, which is a new side to her art.

It is always wonderful to watch two artists collaborate,

Luba Mason and Karen Mason

Louis Rosen

Karen Mason and Louis Rosen: Ages Since the Last Time: Chelsea Table + Stage, 152 West 26th Street.

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Cabaret

My View: Why CAN’T A Woman…? This Woman Can…Lianne Marie Dobbs

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The actor Lianne Marie Dobbs played a 1900’s woman in the HBO series The Gilded Age. You also might have seen her in Law & Order, The Equalizer and F.B.I., but yesterday at Chelsea Tables + Stage she wasn’t just playing the part of a Cabaret singer!  Ms. Dobbs is the real deal, and she captivated an audience of music connoisseurs with her formidable vocal talents and wit in her show titled “Why CAN’T a Woman…? 

Lianne’s cabaret act utilizes Broadway leading men’s songs and sassy standards, served up with a twist of SHE, to celebrate all the hats that women wear, and she answered the shows question authoritatively….This woman sure can!

Lianne Marie Dobbs was named one of the Best Vocalists of the Decade (BroadwayWorld, 2020) and has filled The Green Room 42, 54Below, Feinstein’s at Hotel Carmichael, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Blue Strawberry in St. Louis, and will be featured in Chicago’s Cabaret Week later in May.  “Why CAN’T a Woman…?” was named one of the best cabaret shows of the year (2022) by BroadwayWorld, and called “an honest to goodness emerging work of art”.  She has appeared in leading roles Off-Broadway, in National Tours, and at renowned theaters such as Denver Center, Repertory of St. Louis, Ogunquit Playhouse, Goodspeed and many more.

Ron Abel is Lianne’s music director and arranger, whose accolades include: LA Critics Circle Award Winner and L.A. Weekly Award Winner for his original compositions and unique arrangements of Broadway hits for orchestras and singers. He has been the music director for acclaimed vocalists such as Lucie Arnaz, Peter Allen, Joely Fisher, Valarie Pettiford, Julia Migenes, Helen Reddy, and John Lloyd Young.

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & RON ABEL

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE

STANDING OVATION

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS

LIANNE MARIE DOBBS & CAROLE J. BUFFORD

PAUL KREPPEL, RON ABEL, EDA SOROKOFF, MURPHY CROSS

EDA SOROKOFF & TAKAKO HARKNESS

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Cabaret

My View: The City Was Special Last Night….Melissa Errico at 54 Below

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The evening at 54 Below was advertised as a “ Vinyl Release Celebration Concert” and how apt that VINYL, the unrivaled substance utilized to capture the subtle nuances and breadth of music has now been used to capture the elegant voice of Melissa Errico singing the songs of  “Sondheim in the City” for posterity. 

Caveat: While Vinyl may capture in analog glory the beautiful notes and words of Melissa, one must be in her presence to experience her irrepressible beauty, wit, and intelligence on stage.

Melissa Errico….Sondheim In The City Vinyl Release Celebration at 54 Below May 7,8,9…..

Tedd Firth Music Director, David Finck (Bass), Eric Halvorson (Drums) Bruce Harris (Trumpet)

About the show:

After the critical triumph of her Sondheim Sublime album-called “the finest all Sondheim recording ever made” by the Wall Street Journal, Melissa Errico returned to one of her cabaret homes (54 Below) last night and to her favorite songwriter with an entire new program of Sondheim songs, celebrating her new album (released February 16, 2024 on Concord) and a different side of Steve, praised in The New York Times as “a New York house tour of thrill and heartbreak..from one of Sondheim’s deepest-hearted yet lightest-touch interpreters.”

Sondheim in the City is the Sondheim of smart, sophisticated New York, the Sondheim of the quick, witty, sardonic, love-seeking and sex-driven city that he recorded and worked in through his long life. From the anthem of city busyness “Another Hundred People” to the bittersweet hymns of city marriage, “Sorry, Grateful” and “Good Thing Going,” with time for hardboiled surprises like “Uptown, Downtown” and surprisingly soft-centered ballads like “All That I Need” and “Dawn”

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO

MELISSA ERRICO & TEDD FIRTH, music director

54 Below, Eda Sorokoff

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Cabaret

Klea Blackhurst Brings The Songbook Of Jerry Herman To Life

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Klea Blackhurst returned to Chelsea Table and Stage last Sunday with another installment of her monthly series “The Box Set”. Each month Klea reprises one of her acclaimed shows. Last  Sunday she performed  One of the Girls: “The Words and Music of Jerry Herman”. Klea sang Herman’s songs that were made famous by the women in his life.

The evening started with Klea descending down the long staircase of the club singing “Just Leave Everything to Me” from the film, “Hello Dolly!” and she was off running. She is  an actress, singer, comedian and Mermanologist. What is a Mermanologist you ask ? Someone who is an expert on Ethel Merman.

Klea relayed some wonderful stories about Jerry Herman. She  got to know the composer well.  You can feel her admiration for him not only as a composer, but as a human being.

Klea was backed up by superb musicians: Michael Rice – piano/arrangements, Aaon Russell on drums and Tom Hubbard on bass. In between Jerry Herman stories Klea sang some of Herman’s great songs: “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello Dolly!, “Open A New Window” and “It’s Today from Mame,  “Time Heals Everything” from Mack &Mabel, “Just Go to The Movies” from A Day in Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine and “I Don’t want to Know” from Dear World. Klea knocked it out of the park with her rendition  of “I’m  What I Am” from La Cage aux Folles.

Very seldom do I leave a show and feel I that I need to spread the world about a great performer but for Ms. Blackhurst… I do.

Klea is truly one of the greats of this generation of entertainers.

We have to wait till September 15, 2024 for her next show “Dreaming of A Song” The Music of Hoagy Carmichael co-staring Billy Stritch.

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Cabaret

Laura Slutsky Does Cabaret for a Cause

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Laura Slutsky’s and my paths have crossed many times over the years and I have always found her witty, kind and engaging. I just didn’t know how big a heart she had until I saw she was producing cabaret and comedy shows to raise money for various charities. Over the past few months, she has gathered groups of talented performers to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease and the people of Maui after the devastating fires. On April 28th I was able to attend her latest fundraiser at the Triad Theater to support St Jude Children’s Hospital.  Lyzette Dorado, St Jude Marketing Director for New York City, was in attendance and was able to share how the organization helps the young cancer patients and their families.

Laura Slutsky

Lizette Dorado, St Jude Marketing Director shares what their mission

Laura Slutsky Singing Eydie Gorme

Laura and Sue Matsuki Cohosts of the Evening

I met Sue Matsuki a few years ago when she was organizing the Winter Rhythms concerts for Urban Stages. She is an award winning (MAC, Bistro and Julie Wilson Awards) singer and author. She met Laura in January and in those 3 short months they were able to organize this wonderful entertaining afternoon with a list of Grade A talent.

Sue Matsuki Singing Judy Garland

Saundra Silliman Sings Nancy Wilson

Elvira Tortora Sings Babara Cook

Debra Stone Sings Amanda McBroom

Laura’s Shmoozin’ with Slutsky series of special performance events each has a different theme and this one was “Legends that ‘Muse’ Me,” a 90 minute concert with eleven powerhouse performers, each singing a song from one of their favorite influences. Each performer wowed the packed house and as all proceeds benefitted St Jude it showed a true sense of community and caring.

Jacqueline Draper Sings Piaf

Meg Flather sings one of her own compositions

Kati Nieheisel Sings Julie London

Eva Steinberg Sings Peggy Lee

Ms Slutsky, in addition to co-emceeing with her special wit sang Eydie Gorme and Sue honored Judy Garland.  The afternoon was a wonderful variety of singers each with a different style including ballads, jazz, blues a popular tunes. Saundra Silliman sang Nancy Wilson; Elvira Tortora, Babara Cook and Debra Stone, Amanda McBroom. Jacqueline Draper performed Piaf in French and English while Meg Flather sang one of her own compositions. Kati Nieheisel and Eva Steinberg spoke of Julie London and Peggy Lee, respectively, before giving them tribute in song. Margaret Curry and Leslee Warren, influenced by Linda Ronstadt and Ethel Waters, respectively, turned up the temperature with Blue Bayou and Heat Wave. Lina Koutrakis completed the line up with two 2 songs; one from Michele Brourman and one of her own.

Debra Stone and all the ladies are accompanied by the Gregory Toroian Band

Margaret Curry Sings Linda Ronstadt

Leslee Warren Sings Ethel Waters

Lina Koutrakis sang 2 songs; One from Michele Brourman and one of her own

All the women were accompanied by the Gregory Toroian Band with Mr. Toroian on piano, Skip Ward on bass and Eric Halvorson on drums.

If this afternoon was an example of all the Shmoozin with Slutsky shows I am sorry I am late to the party. She knows how to bring out the best talent and showcase them in a gleaming light. What’s even more special is that she does this for the benefit of so many in need. Her next Shmooze will raise money for Prostate Cancer (date to be determined) but in the meantime you can support St. Jude Children’s Hospital https://www.stjude.org for more information.

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