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Posts Tagged ‘broadway’

Broadway Dims Lights for Ruby Dee

June 13th, 2014 Comments off
Ruby Dee (photo: Playbill Vault/Joseph Marzullo/WENN via The Broadway Blog.)

Ruby Dee (photo: Playbill Vault/Joseph Marzullo/WENN via The Broadway Blog.)

The Broadway community mourns the loss of celebrated stage and screen actress Ruby Dee, who passed away on Wednesday at age 91. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, Friday, June 13, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

Ruby Dee was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist whose seven-decade career spanned stage, radio, television and film. Broadway credits include:Checkmates, Purlie Victorious, A Raisin in the Sun, The Smile of the World, A Long Way From Home, Jeb, Anna Lucasta, and South Pacific.

“Ruby Dee inspired so many people both on stage and off. At the Tony Awards last Sunday, both Audra McDonald and Kenny Leon paid tribute to Ruby Dee during their acceptance speeches,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. “I’ve long admired Ruby Dee’s talent as a performer and her tireless activism for civil rights. Our thoughts are with her family and she will be deeply missed.”

Keep reading over at our sister site The Broadway Blog… 

Review: ‘Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding’ Renews its Vows

May 27th, 2014 Comments off
Marilia Angeline and Joe Ferraro in "Tony n' Tina's Wedding" (photo: Michel Delsol) via The Broadway Blog.

Marilia Angeline and Joe Ferraro in “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” (photo: Michel Delsol) via The Broadway Blog.

Summer is nearly here and it’s that time of the year when more couples take their vows and enter into marital bliss. So what better time to revisit the icon of interactive theater, the revival of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding?

Inspired by the creative musings of Mark Nassar and Nancy Cassaro while they were undergraduates at Hofstra University in the late 1970s, the show eventually evolved into a commercial production that opened in February 1988 and ran for 11 years.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Fox and ‘Grease’ Go Together like ‘Ramma Lamma Lamma ka Dinga da Dinga Dong’

April 30th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Paramont via E!

Image via Paramont via E!

After the wild success of NBC’s live staging of Sound of Music Live!, Fox is hoping to get a piece of the live musical pie by announcing a three-hour broadcast of Grease. As Fox revisits the songs and characters from Rydell High School, the network also hopes to “reimagine some of the most memorable T-Bird and Pink Lady characters.” according to E! Online. It will be some long summer nights before we get to see the special, Fox President Kevin Reilly said that it won’t air until 2015.

“From Broadway to film, and across generations, Grease is one of the most beloved musical stories ever told – and we can’t wait to bring it to our air in a spectacular live event,” Fox’s senior vice president of event series Shana C. Waterman said in a statement. “Its iconic characters and addictive songs make it the perfect fit for Fox, and we’re going to give it the kind of star power and production quality to make every Sandy, Danny, Rizzo and Kenickie out there want to get up and sing along.”

We’re just hoping that John Travolta makes a live TV appearance again, hopefully he’ll remember Sandy’s name.

Review: ‘Casa Valentina,’ Harvey Fierstein’s Heartbreaking House of Cards

April 24th, 2014 Comments off

Broadway Blog editor Matthew Wexler reviews the latest work by Harvey Fierstein.

Patrick Page in Casa Valentina (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

Patrick Page in Casa Valentina (photo: Matthew Murphy) via The Broadway Blog.

“When you make the two one… and when you make the MALE AND THE
FEMALE INTO A SINGLE ONE—then shall you enter the Kingdom.”
- The gospel of Thomas, Transvestia Magazine

Casa Valentina, a new play by Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein that opened tonight on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, is not perfect. But as the audience learns by going down the rabbit hole with a little-known group of men ensconced in a bungalow colony in the Catskills circa 1962, life is not perfect. It does not always look the way we want it to. And those who have the fortitude (some may call it courage while others may view it as cowardly) can discover an alternate life… a cryptic duality that exists in fantasy but is realized through a crinoline skirt or a padded bra. This is the world of The Chevalier d’Eon—a secluded enclave operated by husband and wife proprietors George, otherwise known as Valentina (Patrick Page), and Rita (Mare Winningham).

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Three to See in April: Broadway’s Must-See Spring Plays

April 8th, 2014 Comments off
The cast of “Casa Valentina,” a new play by Harvey Fierstein (photo: Henry Leutwyler) via The Broadway Blog.

The cast of “Casa Valentina,” a new play by Harvey Fierstein
(photo: Henry Leutwyler) via The Broadway Blog.

From The Broadway Blog’s editor Matthew WexlerApril showers bring a super storm of Broadway heavyweights hitting the boards this month. From a hilarious musical romp to the latest play from heart-tugger Harvey Fierstein, the season is in full swing as Tony-eligible productions must open before the April 24 cut-off date. Head below 14th Street for an immersive theatrical experience following the trials and tribulations of Imelda Marcos. Shoes not included.

Find out what three plays Wexler included in his round up over at The Broadway Blog.

 

Cocktail Music: Billy Porter

April 4th, 2014 Comments off
Image via FlyLife.

Image via FlyLife.

It’s been almost a decade since the Pittsburgh-born Billy Porter released a solo album, and since then much has changed for the award-winning artist, who grew up singing in the Pentecostal church. Perhaps best known for his Tony Award–winning role as ‘Lola’ in the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Porter’s musical background is based in gospel, soul, and R&B. He released his first solo album, Untitled, on A&M Records, and a second album, At The Corner of Broadway + Soul, on Sh-K-Boom Records. On April 15, 2014, Porter releases his debut on Concord Records, Billy’s Back on Broadway. The album’s title is a nod to Sammy Davis, Jr.’s recording Sammy’s Back on Broadway. “The canon of great Broadway songs is so vast and I have so many favorites that the only way I could narrow them down was to choose a theme,” Porter says. “Once I settled on what I wanted to say and the journey I wanted the listener to take, the songs made their presence known rather quickly.”

Check some of them out after the jump…

Read more…

Review: What’s Your Damage? ‘Heathers: The Musical’ Opens Off-Broadway

April 4th, 2014 Comments off

“What’s your damage, Heather?” Contributor Lindsay B. Davis finds out at Heathers: The Musical.

The cast of "Heathers: The Musical" (photo: Chad Batka) via The Broadway Blog.

The cast of “Heathers: The Musical” (photo: Chad Batka) via The Broadway Blog.

The Daniel Waters film Heathers hit theaters in 1989 starring Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer, a newly indoctrinated fourth wheel member of a high school clique of three Alpha girls named Heather. With her fresh-faced innocence, quirky tomboy beauty and wry take on high school life informed by her outsider-turned-insider status, she is the perfect love interest for Christian Slater’s J.D., a sexy rebel with a murderous cause capable of seduction with a glance, raise of the eyebrow or simple “Greetings and Salutations.”

J.D. melts any target in his path and the chemistry between the couple motors a Bonnie and Clyde-like take down Westerburg High School’s popular crowd by way of murders successfully disguised as suicides. Heathers exposes the darker sides of 1980s high school life—from bullying and bulimia to scrunchies and shoulder pads—with a tone that feels part teen dramedy and part horror film camp. It was very ahead of its time. “How very?” Heathers deservedly found cult classic status, introduced such unforgettably delicious one-liners as “Lick it up, baby” and “F—me gently with a chainsaw”—into the cultural lexicon. Twenty-five years later, it is the inspiration for a dynamic off-Broadway musical at New World Stages with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe (Legally Blonde) and Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness). Andy Fickman (also of Reefer Madness) directs a terrifically talented ensemble cast and the show’s seamless choreography is by Marguerite Derricks (Fame, Charlie’s Angels, Austin Powers films).

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Win Free Tickets to the Best of Off-Broadway

March 31st, 2014 Comments off

How do you satisfy your theater fix without breaking the bank? The Broadway Blog has the perfect solution… enter to win free tickets to one of these hot shows:

Christopher J. Hanke in "Buyer and Celler" (photo:buyerandcellar.com) via The Broadway Blog.

Christopher J. Hanke in “Buyer and Celler” (photo:buyerandcellar.com) via The Broadway Blog.

Buyer and Cellar
Alex More has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., Alex takes a job working in the Malibu basement of a beloved megastar. One day, the Lady Herself (aka Barbra Streisand) comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? Buyer & Cellar is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs. Now starring Christopher J. Hanke.

Jonathan Tolins’s plays include The Twilight of the Golds (Booth Theater), If Memory Serves (Promenade Theater), The Last Sunday in June (Rattlestick and Century Center), and Secrets of the Trade (Primary Stages).  Jon co-wrote the films The Twilight of the Golds and Martian Child.  He was a consulting producer on the recent CBS comedy Partners and was a co-producer on the first season of Queer As Folk on Showtime.  He has written for the Academy Awards and the Tony Awards, and co-wrote Bette Midler’sDivine Miss Millennium Tour and The Showgirl Must Go On in Las Vegas.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog and find out how to win!

THEATER BUFF: Steven Wenslawski of ‘Nothing But Trash’

March 13th, 2014 Comments off
Steven Wenslawski. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia for Next.

Steven Wenslawski. Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia for Next.

Name: Steven Wenslawski

Hometown: Clayton, CA

Current Show/Role: Nothing But Trashroles - Johnny/Falcon

The best part of the show I’m in now is: The fun cast I get to work with!

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: Probably my pre-equity apprenticeship at the Barn Theater in Augusta, Michigan. A typical hour of the day would find you rehearsing for a show, mowing a lawn, and cleaning a toilet. All between frequent applications of bug spray.

If I wasn’t a performer, I would be: In the orchestra pit, pounding the keys.

Places, intermission or curtain call? Curtain call. The sense of well-being that warms you after a performance free of mishaps.

The best pre-show dinner and post-shot cocktail in town are at: Best pre-show dinner for me is Chez Steven, because I do enjoy my own cooking. Post show I may take a nip at places like Industry or Flaming Saddles.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Debra Monk’s B-Day Celebration Raises $140k for BC/EFA!

February 27th, 2014 Comments off

Tony Award winner Debra Monk turned her 65th birthday into an all-star party with her closest friends on Monday, February 24, 2014, delivering a non-stop evening of rock, pop and laughter produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The concert, billed as “Totally Hot and a Little Dirty,” raised $140,355.

Debra Monk (photo: Monica Simoes) via The Broadway Blog.

Debra Monk (photo: Monica Simoes) via The Broadway Blog.

Debra Monk Birthday Bash (#debrabday) featured the beloved stage and screen star singing, dancing and even playing drums on a musical journey that included everything from Van Morrison to Prince and Elton John, as well as two encores by the legendary Broadway songwriting team of Kander and Ebb. The one-night-only performance lived up to its promise with an exciting mix of rock ‘n’ roll, country and even gospel, interspersed with a stream of Monk’s favorite dirty jokes.

Joining Monk for the special evening were her close friends Charlotte d’Amboise, Brandon Victor Dixon,Scott Ellis, Victor Garber, Andrea Martin, Jim Newman and Ron Rifkin, with a surprise appearance by David Hyde Pierce.

Monk conceived and wrote the 90-minute show, especially for the night. “I wanted to make my 65th birthday something truly special and a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS was the perfect answer,” Monk said. “By singing some great songs, sharing a few jokes and having fun with my closest friends, I hope I at least helped make a small difference for an organization so near and dear to my heart.”

Keep  reading over at The Broadway Blog…