Last year, Manda Leigh Blunt graduated from New York University with a dream many musical theatre writers share: to get their work seen and heard. All it took were inspiring words from another female artist to launch something truly ground breaking, just a few months later.
"My friends and I attended a session with Judith Light, which was incredible," Blunt recounted. "A lot of what I was hearing, especially from the other women who attended, echoed what I had felt and had been hearing in the conversations all around me at NYU. Once you graduate, there seemed to be so few opportunities as a musical theatre writer still in the development process. You can have these big 29-hour readings or productions---if you get that---but there are fewer in-between moments where you can get yourself heard in a supportive environment, where a women-identified writer can say, 'This is where we are in this draft, and we're using this opportunity to move forward.'"
So Blunt decided to do something about it. By that August, she founded Artemis Theatricals, a non-profit company with the mission to empower women storytellers in musical theatre through curated cabarets and additional styles of performance.BWW Review: Theresa Kloos' REASONS TO BE UNSUCCESSFUL at The Metropolitan Room Succeeds with Quirky Comedy and Charm September 14, 2016
In her tour de force, one-woman show REASONS TO BE UNSUCCESSFUL at the Metropolitan Room on September 2, comedian Theresa Kloos used her endearingly quirky sense of humor to bring the audience closer than we ever could have hoped for, in a night of comic showtunes, sassy pop songs, and spunky rock beats.
UNSUCCESSFUL debuted in June as a follow-up to her first show, REASONS TO BE UNPRETTY, which was her first 'exploration of the trials and tribulations of a funny, albeit awkward girl growing up in Cleveland.' This time around, Kloos is back with lessons learned and a powerful message to share--- infused with her humor, of course.BWW Review: Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye Give a Master Class in 'Summertime Swing' at Feinstein's/54 Below September 6, 2016
Summertime brings to mind nighttime fireflies, lemonade that makes your lips pucker, rocking chairs creaking on the front porch, and, like the famous Porgy and Bess tune of the same name, melodies that trickle into the night. Summertime Swing is the latest masterpiece and collaboration at its finest by the legendary Michael Feinstein and Marilyn Maye, evoking a sultry, steamy love letter to the fleeting season and a prime example of craft, art, and passion.
The moment I walked into the dining room at Feinstein's/54 Below, where Summertime Swing played through September 1 a fashionably dressed gentleman greeted me with, 'It's a fantastic show.' The packed house was already alive with thrilling enthusiasm as they eagerly waited for the show to start. When you attend a show headlined by a golden age cabaret great and a prolific 'music revivalist' who happens to have the venue named for him, you come expecting to be no less than entertained. Summertime Swing elevated the art of summer entertainment tenfold--- a tribute to anything we could hope for in the last days of summer.