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Posts Tagged ‘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…

Interview: Leslie Jordan—Melodramatic and Highly Pragmatic

February 4th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Jordan

Image via Jordan

“What amazes me,” says Leslie Jordan, who will spin bawdy biographical yarns in Fruit Fly at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco this Friday night. “Is that there are gay kids now who don’t remember Will & Grace.”

“I met a boy on a plane last summer, 16 years old, gay as a goose. He said ‘I think my mom watched that’. I thought ‘Whaaaaaat?!!’ But it’s true, I won my Emmy for that in 2006, so he was only nine years old then.”

Jordan, 58, who will spin bawdy biographical yarns in Fruit Fly at Feinstein’s at the Nikko this Friday night, admits that he once hoped his sitcom fame from playing Will & Grace’s Beverley Leslie would assure him a steady stream of lucrative television and movie roles.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Big Lies in Murky Waters: ‘Big Fish’ and ‘Lies My Father Told Me’ Reviewed

December 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Kate Baldwin and Norbert Leo Butz in “Big Fish.” Photo via Paul Kolnik.

An unusual theme appears on the New York stage this fall as two musicals, each in its own way, tackles the subjects of fatherhood and deception. Big Fish, a new musical based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and subsequent film, is a splashy hodgepodge of forgettable music by Andrew Lippa set against the backdrop of a fantastical world created by scenic designer Julian Crouch and costume designer William Ivey Long (with some blurry projections by 59 Productions). The story brings to life the bigger-than-life tales of Edward Bloom as recounted to his son. Downtown, you can catch Lies My Father Told Me (based on the works of Ted Allan and film by the same name), a memory play with music that follows the musings of lead character David as he recalls his tender relationship with his grandfather and the volatile verbal abuses of his father. Neither show manages to find its emotional core, despite moments of honest theatricality that occasionally bubble to the surface.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

Theater Buff: Matthew Montelongo of ‘One Night’

November 20th, 2013 Comments off
Matthew Montelongo. Image via Matthew Montelongo.

Matthew Montelongo. Image via Matthew Montelongo.

Name: Matthew Montelongo

Hometown: I was born and raised in Independence, MO.

Current Show/Role: I’m currently performing numerous roles (they all have mustaches and they’re all kind of jerks) in One Night at The Cherry Lane Theatre.

The best part of the show I’m working on now is:  The best part of being an actor in One Night at The Cherry Lane is that I finally am working at a stop on the Sex and the City Tour. I kid! Kind of. Seriously though, working at such a storied theatre on what might be the most beautiful block in Manhattan makes going to work every night just a little bit more thrilling.

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was:  I was in a production of a play called God’s Ear a few years back in which I had to wear six inch stilleto heels (actually, they were probably more like four inch pumps, but heck, who doesn’t lie about size?). I learned two things whilst doing that play: I have very pretty legs and no sense of balance.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

The Broadway’s Blog’s Look at The Great White Way’s New Divas

September 3rd, 2013 Comments off

Meow Meow (photo credit: Karl Giant)

Barbra. Bernadette. Diana. Ask someone his or her favorite diva and you will often get a single, one name answer that carries the majesty and aura of a goddess. Purists know the word ‘diva’ has early roots in the opera world and believe a girl’s gotta be able to siiiiing to earn the title. Others feel a diva’s performance ability and theatricality is as important as the voice when it comes to firmly affixing oneself amongst the diva ranks. The association between ‘diva’ and ‘prima donna’ —  see Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Prima Donna’ for entertaining context — also explains why divas are known to be a bit, shall we say, fussy.

Who better to talk to about divas than Newsical The Musical’s Christina Bianco, whose Diva Impressions ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ YouTube video went viral a few weeks ago and as of August 30th is approaching 3.9 million views. Bianco’s parade of the most iconic divas (and a few additions like Zooey Deschanel thrown in for comedic effect) captures each female star’s essential quality, from Adele’s guttural alto to Christina Aguilera’s runaway melismata.

 

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

FringeNYC Round-Up and ‘Suicide Math’ Review

August 28th, 2013 Comments off
Image via Facebook

Image via Facebook

The 2013 FringeNYC festival drew to a close on August 25th and upon its completion, my appreciation for indie theater artists reached epic heights. It takes major artistic mojo to perform a new or relatively unknown work before New York audiences in a venue you didn’t choose, stretch a low budget (most of which you probably crowdsourced) to the max and deal with minimal sets you are required to strike shortly after the show ends, often in haste if another production is starting in 15 minutes. Add to that the challenge of generating buzz and leveraging said buzz into ticket sales within a day or two of opening during the lazy, hazy August days of summer and you get the picture. Whether packing the house or suffering the effects of a painfully early or late time slot, earning a nomination and award or going home empty handed, every one of the approximately 2000 artists from 185 plays who participated in the Fringe deserves a hearty bravo.

Keep reading The Broadway Blog’s wonderful review of this year’s festival.

THEATER BUFF: Jim Newman of ‘Murder Ballad’

July 12th, 2013 Comments off
Jim Newman. Photo by Rob Lang.

Jim Newman. Photo by Rob Lang.

Name: Jim Newman

Hometown: Center Point, Alabama

Current Show/Role: Tom in Murder Ballad

The best part of the show I’m in now is: The score is fantastic. Love singing this music and our band is kick ass!

The most challenging job in show business I ever had was: Curtains. Emotionally it was tough because I was back on a chorus contract after 12 years of Principal contracts and I was really focusing on being grateful and knowing that I’m a grown-up and have bills to pay but the ego is a little devil on your shoulder and it has a lot of influence.

If I wasn’t an actor, I would be: Really frustrated that I wanted to be an actor and was doing something else.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

 

 

Review: ‘I’m a Stranger Here Myself’

May 8th, 2013 Comments off

Screen-shot-2013-05-05-at-4.27.19-PM

Guest contributor Jason Mitchell reviews I’m a Stranger Here Myself. 

When the curtain speech finished with “All Aboard the S.S. Weimar” and the lights rose on an interesting set outlined in art of the era, I was excited to be transported to the Weimar Republic. This is a time period that gifted performer Mark Nadler is clearly passionate about and has chosen to write and perform about his new musical I’m a Stranger Here Myself. Unfortunately we’re never taken very far from our seats at the York Theatre Company, as the format of the show feels much more like a lecture Nadler would give on the subject at a university rather than a theatrical journey to the Weimar and beyond.

Keep reading over at The Broadway Blog…

 

Feinstein’s at the Nikko Opens, Featuring Tony Winner Sutton Foster

May 6th, 2013 Comments off
Michael Feinstein (photo: Karl Simone)

Michael Feinstein (photo: Karl Simone)

From The Broadway Blog’s Editor Matthew Wexler:

I’ve had a crush on Michael Feinstein for 25 years. While most guys my age were listening to Sonic Youth and R.E.M. (it was the 80s after all), I was sequestered in my room — obsessing over his rendition of “I Won’t Send Roses/Time Heals Everything.”

Perhaps I was an odd teenager, but since the release of his first album, Live at the Algonquin, Feinstein has been wowing listeners with his tributes to the American songbook. He has breathed new life into the works of George and Ira Gershwin, Burton Lane, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman and countless others. Feinstein has also performed live around the world, including such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl as well as the White House and Buckingham Palace.

Keep reading about the new play over at The Broadway Blog… 

‘Kinky Boots’ Leads With 13 Tony Nominations; Tom Hanks Nominated for ‘Lucky Guy’

April 30th, 2013 Comments off
Left: Billy Porter in “Kinky Boots.” (photo: Matthew Murphy) / Right: Bailey Ryon, Milly Shapiro, Sophia Gennusa and Oona Laurence, who share the title role in “Matilda The Musical.” (photo: Joan Marcus)

Left: Billy Porter in “Kinky Boots.” (photo: Matthew Murphy) / Right: Bailey Ryon, Milly Shapiro, Sophia Gennusa and Oona Laurence, who share the title role in “Matilda The Musical.” (photo: Joan Marcus)

What’s it gonna be, Broadway? This season’s Tony Award nominations are all about girl power. Kinky Boots sweeps with 13 nominations while Matilda The Musical is on her very high heels with 12. Will the American Theatre Wing go for a little girl with a big imagination or a big girl with even bigger dreams? Tune in on June 9 to find out.

Best Play
The Assembled Parties
Lucky Guy
The Testament of Mary
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Best Musical
Bring It On: The Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Kinky Boots
Matilda The Musical

Find out all the nominations over at The Broadway Blog.