Boy•Friends: A parade of Broadway stars go back to college a new webseries Boy•Friends, including Jay Armstrong Johnson, Andy Mientus, Kathryn Gallagher, Jennifer Damiano, and Julia Murney.
The comedy series, based on My Gay Roommate created by Austin Bening and Noam Ash (who stars opposite Johnson), follows two college roommates: one gay and one straight. Directed by Darren Stein (Jawbreaker, GBF).
Boy•Friends also features Mike Heslin, Isaiah Frizzelle, and Nicolas Wilson. The show flips social paradigms where being gay is not an issue, the jocks are the underdogs, the a cappella singers are the popular kids, and the women are always in charge.
Boy•Friends is produced by Ish Entertainment, Keshet Digital Studios, and Well-Versed Entertainment.
2pm: Commercial Break and Come On Food for Thought Productions
The company presents its monthly theater that’s both live, in-person at 80 Theater and also via Zoom. (Live is free and a limited audience; Zoom is $25.) Jodie Markel, Rex Reed and Stephen Schnetzer star in Commercial Break by Peter Stone and Come On by Susan Charlotte. Tony Roberts will also read excerpts from his memoir “Do You Know Me?”
4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are James Merillat (@James-Merillat-2) and Franca Vercelloni (@Franca-Vercelloni).
4pm: CyberTank Variety Show The CyberTank Weekly Variety Show is a remote, multidisciplinary variety arts gathering open to everyone. The arts community has been presented with a challenge to re-examine theatricality, and The Tank has reframed this as the gift of an opportunity to grow and choose community over despair. Each weekly installment is centered around a specific question and features guest artists who will perform and facilitate conversation.
5pm: Music and Mind Live with Renée Fleming launched in 2016 under Fleming’s leadership with Dr. Francis Collins. The program is a partnership between the Kennedy Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.
5:30: The VT Show: Lessons In Survival Memberships, all-access passes, and single tickets to Lessons In Survival are now available at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling the box office at 212-353-0303.”The VT Show” programming is free and open to the public, and can be accessed by visiting Vineyard’s Theatre’s YouTube page or Facebook page. Recordings of the “The VT Show” will also be available on both platforms for later viewing, as well as on The Vineyard’s website, www.vineyardtheatre.org.
Fueled by the urgency of our present moment, The Commissary, a multigenerational collective of more than 40 theatre artists, have come together to reinvestigate the words of trailblazing artists and activists who survived and created in times of revolution in our country. Baldwin. Giovanni. Davis. Lorde. Hansberry. Rustin. Hamer. In Lessons In Survival, a cohort of actors channel historic conversations, interviews and speeches, listening to original broadcasts on an in-ear feed and speaking exactly what they hear. In bringing these words to new life in the present, they ask what these voices can teach us about our country now and the opportunity for true change that stands before us. How might they propel us to look courageously at the effects of systemic racism, to imagine ourselves outside of its prescriptions, and to create, together, a shared future of collective liberation?
5:30: Atlantic Theater Company: Technique Tuesdays: A series of free hour-long acting workshops led by renowned Atlantic Acting School Faculty. The Atlantic Technique, Practical Aesthetics, provides a disciplined approach to script analysis, working truthfully moment-to-moment, and bringing these competencies together in performance of selected material. No prior acting experience is necessary.
Intro to the Atlantic Technique, Practical Aesthetics (September 29)
Atlantic Acting School Faculty member Sam Gonzalez will take you through the building blocks of Practical Aesthetics, the Atlantic Technique, as outlined in A Practical Handbook for The Actor. In this introductory workshop, you’ll develop basic technique, learning to articulate your understanding of text through compelling, playable actions.
6pm: The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues New monologues made in 24 hours in quarantine.
6:30: The Bechdel Group: The First Sister Trip by Shoshannah Boray By The TankThree sisters are stuck on a long flight with their mother’s ashes in an urn. They’ve been changing alliances, keeping secrets and trading insults among the three of them for more than 50 years. The First Sister Trip by Shoshannah Boray is about the ways we love and understand one another, and asks if it is possible to put aside our assumptions, and our differences, in order to care for one another.
7pm: Times Square Alliance: Broadway Buskers baby chemist’s Katie Lee Hill and Travis Artz (New Amsterdam, SpongeBob LIVE), and Taylor Iman Jones (Head Over Heels, Hamilton).
While the concerts are FREE to stream, we encourage audiences to donate to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which provides resources and emergency financial assistance to those within the entertainment community who have been impacted by the pandemic, and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, in support of their ongoing efforts to help Broadway heal, listen and become an anti-racist and equitable community.
7pm: But Don’t Believe Them: Exclusive Viewing Concert with Mark G. Meadows By Signature Theatre
Mark G. Meadows (Jelly’s Last Jam, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and artistic associate for Signature Cabarets) hosts an exclusive screening, along with the film’s award-winning director Michael Ivan Schwartz, of their new docu-concert But Don’t Believe Them.
Through interviews and musical performances, the short film delves into Mark’s experience with the Black Lives Matter movement as both an artist and a Black man. In addition to the viewing, also enjoy a live, intimate mini-concert from Mark and an interactive discussion with Mark and Michael.
7pm: Comedy Variety Hour with Jonathan Burns Comedian Jonathan Burns, as seen on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, America’s Got Talent, and several late night talk shows, is bringing his brand of humor and magic to a new live stream project on Tuesday, September 29th.
Burns has curated a new at-home version of his acclaimed comedy variety hour, a live showcase that features a cast of circus and vaudeville stars including world champion juggler Thom Wall and magician Lucy Darling, plus a special appearance by Mario the Maker Magician and Puddles Pity Party.
Produced in collaboration with BigNightIn and helping to bring this experience to the world is Spinach Pie Productions. Additionally, the upcoming live stream is partnering with the non-profit organization, Blessings in a Backpack, a nation wide charity that mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food for elementary school children who might otherwise go hungry.
A portion of every reservation from September’s show will be donated.
7:15: Piano Bar Live! Scott Barbarino hosts Kaye Allyn, Christina Bianco, Brian Michael Henry, Adrienne Danrich O’Neill and Bill Zeffiro, plus Mystery Guests and MORE!
7:30pm: Mozart’s Così fan tutte The last of its composer’s legendary collaborations with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, this exuberant comedy of manners and morals tracks an ill-conceived bet about women’s fidelity and the darkly hilarious fall-out it produces. Mozart fills his score with one sublime musical number after another, and ultimately manages to communicate universal truths about both women and men, and the nature of attraction and love, even as the laughs keep coming.
8pm: Hedgepig Ensemble Theater: Do This Play: Expand the Canon Virtual Reading Series How many classic plays by women do you know? We’re guessing not many. How many classical plays by women have you seen? We’re guessing even less.
SURPRISE READING #1: It’s a big, bold surprise!
8pm: New York City Ballet: Full Ballets and Excerpts from Balanchine he NYCB season kicks off with footage from the company’s repertory September 29 at 8 PM ET with George Balanchine-choreographed works, including Tchaikovsky’s pas de deux, “The Unanswered Question” from Ivesiana, and excerpts from Symphony in C, Liebeslieder Walzer, Episodes, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto.
8pm: BPN Town Hall: E-Ticket to Broadway with members of the Original Broadway Cast of NEWSIES! By Broadway Podcast Network Now is the time to seize the day! Join for a special Newsies Edition of this “Extra Magic Hour” of “E-Ticket to Broadway” as part of the Broadway Podcast Network’s Special Live events on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 8:00pm EST. Hosted by David Alpert, original Broadway Cast Members of Newsies Aaron Albano, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Tommy Bracco, Garett Hawe, Kara Lindsay, & Thayne Jasperson join this live event, and will chat Disney Parks, share memories, and play games. The event also serves as a fundraiser for Gilana’s Fund. See ya real soon
8:30pm: The Poet’s Tree Kicking off the fall season of The Old Globe’s free digital arts-engagement offerings is The Poet’s Tree, hosted by Old Globe Teaching Artist and spoken word poet Gill Sotu.
This new program takes a deep dive into the world of modern poetry and how artists tell compelling stories using only the power of the spoken word.
10pm: Latino Theater Company: Just Like Us ased 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.
My View: Carole J. Bufford…”You Don’t Know Me”. ( Now We Do)
Her show is titled “You Don’t Know 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)
My View: Direct From Florida..The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble Heats Up 54 Below
Spectacular, awe-inspiring, and sensational were all words being uttered by the audience after The King’s Academy Jazz Ensemble’s high-energy, horn-powered, Big Apple style weekend performance at the iconic 54 Below Club. In that intimate and elegant room, these students matched the part with their classy black suits and stunning stylish dresses. Their debut show in New York City called “Students of the Songbook” gifted listeners with a youthful and reimagined spin on many jazz favorites. TKA Jazz performed with a level of confidence and excellence often reserved for season veterans.
Band Leader Wes Lowe hosted the night of jazz. Due to the limited space on the stage, Mr. Lowe introduced the songs and players stage right. He would then step off stage allowing his band of twenty high school and middle school students to masterfully make their instruments sing as he trusted them to navigate the night musically under their own direction.
Between lead trombonist Julia Basile who wowed the audience with her rendition of Black Orpheus, Julia Drahos on lead trumpet, and Stephen Boylan on lead alto sax, the lead horns kept a tight energetic performance all night. The rhythm section of drummer Ashton Horne, bassist Hadiya Stewart, and pianist Breck Dorow played in the pocket behind the horns in absolute perfection. Early on I noticed how young middle school trumpeter William Smith phrased like Louis Armstrong, letting his solo melodies breathe as they also swung. Soon however, I realized that they all did this as well. This young band of instrumentalists and soloists play well beyond their years.
Changing up the mood, Wes Lowe called upon several beautiful and talented ladies to add their vocal talents to the night. Ella Garcia, although new to the group, sang classics such as “It Had to Be You” with a soulful tone. Current Young Artist Award Winner from the Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook, Maddie Begin, sang show-stopping numbers such as “Feeling Good” and “But The World Goes Round.” She is a name to remember with a powerhouse voice you won’t forget. And making a surprise appearance, TKA Jazz alumni Annie Matot graced the stage singing the classic “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” These young women took the audience from sing-along moments to complete moments of absolute awe.
In addition to TKA Director of Instrumental Arts and Band Leader Wes Lowe entertaining skillfully as the host, his colleague, Associate Director of Instrumental Arts, Mickey Smith Jr. also played the hottest solo of the night with his rendition of the Bill Wither’s classic “Just the Two of Us” on the alto sax. With that being said, everyone’s solos packed melodic invention in a confident swagger. Even more fun were the breathtaking syncopated conversations when the horns all played full force. The energy in the room was palpable for the entire evening. This was a hot performance on a cold night in New York City at 54 Below that was above and beyond anything anyone could have expected.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: André De Shields and Marc Shaiman
In 1984, André De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne opened on Broadway at the Latin Quarter. Now, 78-year-old showstopper De Shields is back at 54 Below February 20 – 24, 2024 with a celebration of his eponymous Broadway musical from four decades ago. Expect roof-raising recreations of the beloved music from the show, never-before-heard stories, and even a reunion or two, as well as the wit, elegance and charm that the master entertainer has become known for.
When asked about his “Bad Boy” image while doing press for Haarlem Nocturne in 1984, De Shields said, “People are under the impression that artists aren’t supposed to think or be plugged into the bloodline of the country, the world- socially, politically, or otherwise. I take exception to that. We are not dummies and as for me, my work has to reflect more than just the obvious singing and dancing. I must take chances. Without risk there is no reason to do it. And when those risks result in opening doors, I like to leave them open so others can walk through.”
After decades filled with taking risks and opening doors, De Shields reflects on a peak career moment with this very special anniversary concert.
In an illustrious career that has spanned more than half a century, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an actor, director, and educator. His notable theatrical appearances include roles in the original Broadway productions of The Full Monty (Tony Award® nomination), Play On! (Tony Award® nomination), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award) and the title role in The Wiz. De Shields was the triple-crown winner of the 2019 award season, garnering Tony, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Awards for his universally praised role as the messenger to the gods, Hermes, in Hadestown.
In 2020, he received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, an Honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement and the 2020 Red Bull Theater Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. 2019 honors include The Actors’ Equity Foundation Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year, the Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, and The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, among others. He was also inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
André De Shields is being accompanied by Original Musical Director and Cast Member Marc Shaiman.
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