Troy Frisby is a writer and producer for Zazoom Media Group, producing entertainment and news video content for clients including AOL and MSN. Previously, he served as a digital content manager for Greater Media, writing pop culture web news and reviews for several East Coast radio stations. Troy graduated from Oakland University in Auburn Hills, MI with bachelor's degrees in journalism and English. Follow him on Twitter @troyfrisby.
From just about the moment Alexis Michelle walked into the workroom, the RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE contestant was clocked as a Broadway queen. While performing at Feinstein's/54 Below in IT TAKES A WOMAN with her rich, husky singing voice, that proved to be a well-earned title.
But, as seen on TV, comedy seems to come a bit harder for Michelle. Well, don't blame it entirely on the edit, because that duality took center stage at the May 16 show, her solo debut at the venue.BWW Review: Courtney Act Glitters in THE GIRL FROM OZ at the Laurie Beechman May 15, 2017
Justin Sayre is calling the final editions of THE MEETING* to order.
For eight seasons, over seven-and-a-half years, he has led the International Order of Sodomites---the IOS for short---as the Chairman of the "centuries-old organization promoting the lives and legacies of the LGBTQIA community."
The final two shows of the acclaimed comedy/variety show, set for Sunday, May 14 at 7:00 and 9:30 pm at Joe's Pub, have long sold out. Yet they'll be broadcast online via Joe's Pub Livestream, with Sayre also taking over the Joe's Pub Instagram account that same day.
Before he flew over from Los Angeles for those final shows, we spoke with Justin over the phone about what THE MEETING* has meant to him over the years, why it's time to call it quits, and what's next.BWW Review: Shaina Taub Shows Off Her Perspective and Power in Joe's Pub Residency May 11, 2017
"This is the first time I've ever seen Shaina Taub in anything other than in a play."
This comment, made shortly before Taub (primarily known for her work in the theatre, including TWELFTH NIGHT, AS YOU LIKE IT, and OLD HATS) took the stage to perform original songs, distilled exactly what was so thrilling about the singer/songwriter's show at Joe's Pub on April 28, the latest installment in her year-long residency at the venue.BWW Review: THE GREAT BROADWAY BELT SHOW! at Feinstein's/54 Below is Sugary, Showstopping Goodness May 9, 2017
Between the two of them, drag icons Sherry Vine and Joey Arias have more than 50 years of performing experience combined. Not only that, but their working relationship and enduring friendship began more than 20 years ago. Though they've toured with one another around the world over the years, it's been a few years since they've teamed up for a big show in New York, where they first met.
Thankfully, the legendary divas will reunite onstage in the city for a new show at Feinstein's/54 Below, as part of Garth Schilling's (also known as Miss Vodka Stinger) drag-themed Thursday night series called LATE NIGHT DRAG. The run will also include Cacophony Daniels, Marti Gould Cummings, Varla Jean Merman, Ray DeForest, RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE star Alexis Michelle, and Miss Vodka Stinger herself with the Martha Rayes.
Prior to Vine and Arias' show, the pair pressed pause on their first day of rehearsal to speak with us over the phone about their individual careers, more than two decades of collaboration, and reuniting onstage in the city that brought them together.BWW Review: Latrice Royale Serves Redemption Realness in LIFE GOES ON at the Laurie Beechman April 9, 2017
Lance Horne is developing new music based on acclaimed author Neil Gaiman's love poems to his wife, Amanda Palmer, is working on a top-secret project with Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears and continues to work with his 'musical husband,' Alan Cumming.
And, if all of that weren't enough, the Emmy-winning composer (ONE LIFE TO LIVE), lyricist and performer has also returned to Joe's Pub for the 2016-2017 season. Having performed at the venue since it first opened its doors in 1998, Horne is currently undertaking a four-part residency of new material---aptly titled NEW WORK, NEW WORK---for which he's been joined by many of his famous friends.
Ahead of the residency's penultimate installment, NEW WORK NEW WORK 3, on April 12 at 7pm, we spoke with Horne by phone about his innumerable collaborators, his history with Joe's and the stars he's still working on teaming up with.BWW Review: Lady Rizo Salutes the RED, WHITE AND INDIGO at Joe's Pub April 3, 2017
In her new show, RED, WHITE AND INDIGO, Lady Rizo is all about coming to terms with that "very bad boyfriend" she calls America.
"I think he reads my email," she joked with a wry smile, during her first show of a three-night run at Joe's Pub on March 23. "And I know he's f**king with my birth control."
And while getting into a relationship thinking you can change somebody is never the best idea, she still had to try. Standing tall in front of a room divider paneled with an upside-down American flag, Lady Rizo was dead-set on reclaiming the idea of patriotism.BWW Review: Shows That Never Made It to Broadway Find a Home at Feinstein's/54 Below with BROADWAY BOUND March 29, 2017
'That's really niche.'
Those words from one of the night's emcees, Feinstein's/54 Below Programming Director Jennifer Ashley Tepper, were technically used in reference to Linda Lavin's propensity to play love interests for superheroes. But, really, they could've been used to describe BROADWAY BOUND: THE MUSICALS THAT NEVER CAME TO BROADWAY, which played at the aforementioned venue March 21.BWW Review: Suzanne Vega Burns Bright Singing McCullers Songs at Cafe Carlyle March 23, 2017
Suzanne Vega is not a firecracker; she's a sparkler.
In the first night of her run at Cafe Carlyle on March 15---since the previous day's show was nixed due to a rude winter storm named Stella---Vega was dazzling, but in the smallest, most personal way possible. Getting up onstage, she spoke with the calm, reassuring but controlled tone of a therapist or a meditation coach. While that may not sound like a great recipe for a stage persona, Vega's stripped-down performance bordered on hypnotic.BWW Review: Erin Markey's A RIDE ON THE IRISH CREAM Takes a Victory Lap with Album Release at Joe's Pub March 17, 2017
Like the Criminologist in ROCKY HORROR, Erin Markey is here to take you on a strange journey.
Well, technically, said journey has been going on since 2013. And, after years of working on her original musical, A RIDE ON THE IRISH CREAM, this was more of a victory lap for Markey, in the form of an album release celebration at Joe's Pub. Don't worry, though. It's still plenty strange.BWW Review: Salty Brine Brings DEAN. MAYBE FRANK. MAYBE SAMMY. to Pangea March 6, 2017
Stumbling onstage, Salty Brine was divinely off-kilter as the reincarnation of Dean Martin in DEAN. MAYBE FRANK. MAYBE SAMMY. at Pangea.
Newly returned from Vegas and looking worse for wear in the role, the performer was sporting bandages and a neck brace from a recent car crash, he later explained. For the latest in Brine's LIVING RECORD COLLECTION, in which he covers a full album in its entirety, he selected Radiohead's OK COMPUTER.
Despite channeling Rat Pack vibes in both his patter and his aesthetic, musically, he didn't stray far from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's Gen X nasal whine, with an added boost from Brine's trademark theatricality and a few snippets from Ol' Blue Eyes thrown in here and there. February 9, 2017
Isaac Mizrahi has a simple question to ask: Does this song make me look fat?
Any variation of that prompt is normally a strong cue to walk on eggshells, but making his Cafe Carlyle debut on January 31 with a show named for and based on that query, Mizrahi took a no-holds-barred approach to the human body and just how hilarious and, at times, revolting it can be.
After opening the show with a silky-smooth cover of 'Yes' (Kander & Ebb), the fashion designer-cum-cabaret singer dove in headfirst to his fascination of body horror and the body in general. When an audience member protested over the risque-for-the-room subject of 'vodka tamponing,' Mizrahi brushed it off with a sheepish, 'Oh boy, I have some racy stuff coming.'BWW Review: Marilyn Maye Wows BY REQUEST at the Metropolitan Room January 25, 2017
Outside of an arena, few performers can earn a minutes-long ovation without even opening their mouths. But the inimitable Marilyn Maye is certainly one of those performers. January 11, 2017
A woman of many talents, one of Sandra Bernhard's greatest gifts has been her finely-honed ability to satirize Hollywood from the inside. Luckily, her latest residency at Joe's Pub, the year-ending SANDRA MONICA BLVD: COAST TO COAST, gave her plenty of opportunities to keep sharpening that blade. January 2, 2017
'Not every drag queen can belt that high.'
Throwing out that quip early on in CHRISTMAS MOURNING at the Laurie Beechman Theatre during the December 15 show, Jinkx Monsoon isn't wrong. It's part of what makes the RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE star, otherwise known as Jerick Hoffer, a rare bird: a genuine talent, a winner, and yet someone who seems to be underestimated and underrated at every turn, even nearly four years after their winning run on the show's fifth season.BWW Interview: Justin Vivian Bond Talks THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS, Queer Role Models, and Why the Holidays Are a Nightmare December 16, 2016
Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a force of nature with more than a quarter century onstage under v's (Bond's preferred pronoun) belt.
A singular performer with an endless supply of bon mots, Bond has been celebrated with an Obie Award, a Bessie, a Tony nod, and the Ethyl Eichelberger Award, among other accolades.
Fresh off a year-long career retrospective culminating in September's THE GOLDEN AGE OF JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND, v returns to Joe's Pub on December 12 at 9:30pm with a new holiday show, THE BIPOLAR EXPRESS. Ahead of the first show, we spoke over the phone about the show, v's enduring career, and the holidays themselves.BWW Review: Lance Horne Unveils New Work (With a Little Help From His Friends) in First Show of His Residency at Joe's Pub December 3, 2016
Sitting in my seat watching Lance Horne and his many friends perform at NEW WORK NEW WORK I: EXTRAORDINARY DAYS at Joe's Pub, I couldn't help but feel like I was at a really great dinner party (if I were invited to dinner parties with some of the most talented artists in the city). The seats---and, in this case, the songs---were assigned, but the host didn't try and force conversation, and the whole affair was better for it.
The purpose of the November 21 show, the first in a year-long residency, was for the successful composer and musical director to showcase his recent work, and, for new material, Horne's songs were quite polished.BWW Review: BROADWAY LOVES BRITNEY Does It Again at Feinstein's/54 Below December 1, 2016
Because Britney Spears grew up in the spotlight, we've seen her as a singer, an actress, a girl, a woman, and everything in between. One thing we haven't seen is Britney the Broadway star, but since that seems about as likely as the second coming of Britney and Justin, it's a damn good thing BROADWAY LOVES BRITNEY exists.
On November 16, a group of Broadway performers came together at Feinstein's/54 Below for exactly what the name suggests---a deep dive into Britney's oeuvre---and, as far as Britney homages go, the show hit all quadrants, running the gamut from playful impersonations to cleverly reworked gems.