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Al Jolson News

Date Of Birth:
May 26, 1886
Date Of Death:
October 23, 1950 (64)
Birth Place:
Srednick, LITHUANIA
Gender:
Male
Al Jolson News Feeds
CABARET LIFE NYC: It's So Long, Farewell, Au Wiedersehen Reviewing For Me, But Meet & Greet BWW's New Team of Cabaret CriticsCABARET LIFE NYC: It's So Long, Farewell, Au Wiedersehen Reviewing For Me, But Meet & Greet BWW's New Team of Cabaret Critics
by Stephen Hanks - Dec 7, 2014

After four years reviewing cabaret shows, more than two for BroadwayWorld, our lead New York cabaret critic Stephen Hanks will be giving up reviewing shows to be the BWW Cabaret section's Editor and lead feature writer. Here's how he became a cabaret reviewer, why he's giving it up, and who he's brought on board to make up BWW's new cabaret reviewing team. (more...)

Photo Coverage: SONG OF SOLOMON Presented at The Actors' TemplePhoto Coverage: SONG OF SOLOMON Presented at The Actors' Temple
by Stephen Sorokoff - Nov 18, 2014

Where else to present a concert version of a new, original Broadway musical titled "Song Of Solomon than at the Actors' Temple. The historic building, constructed in 1923, has been designated a national landmark and the synagogue has been home to many of the greats in show business. Some of it's members and congregants were Al Jolson, Edward G. Robinson, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Henny Youngman, Eddie Cantor and countless other lesser-known actors, comedians, singers, playwrights, composers, musicians, writers, dancers and theatrical agents. Academy Award winner Shelley Winters kept the High Holy Days in the Actors Temple. as well as The Three Stooges, and Harpo Marx who attended services. Ed Sullivan, whose wife Sylvia Weinstein was Jewish, was also a member. (more...)

'IRVING BERLIN RAGTIME REVUE to Record Cast Album'IRVING BERLIN RAGTIME REVUE to Record Cast Album
by BWW News Desk - Nov 17, 2014

ASCAP Award-winning writer/director Chip Deffaa's 'The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue'-currently playing at the 13th Street Theater in repertory with Deffaa's long-running 'One Night with Fanny Brice'--is to receive a cast recording. The cast album will feature all of the singing actors currently appearing in the show: Rayna Hirt, Ken Adams, Michael Cyzz, Maite Uzal, Michael Kasper, Jonah Barricklo, Emily Bordonaro, Missy Dreier, K.W. Andersson; Andrew Lanctot, Ann Marie Calabro, Brandon Pollinger, and Timmy Thompson, with musical direction by Richard Danley. Deffaa will produce the album; Slau Halatyn will be the recording engineer; with production to begin later this month at Be-Sharp Studios in Astoria. The album will be released in the United States on the Original Cast Records label. It will be the sixth show of Deffaa's to get a cast album. (more...)

BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's THE UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY, VOLUME 2 - The Shubert TheatreBWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's THE UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY, VOLUME 2 - The Shubert Theatre
by Jennifer Ashley Tepper - Nov 14, 2014

To celebrate the publication of The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 2 on November 18 by Dress Circle Publishing, Jennifer Ashley Tepper will be sharing three short excerpts about each of the Broadway theaters featured in the book-countdown style! Today: The Shubert Theatre! (more...)

13th Street Rep to Welcome Special Guests for Talkbacks13th Street Rep to Welcome Special Guests for Talkbacks
by BWW News Desk - Nov 4, 2014

ASCAP Award-winning writer/director Chip Deffaa will be joined by special guests, including noted showbiz biographer Herb Goldman, writer/entertainer Brian Gari, and actor Michael Townsend Wright, for special audience 'talkback' sessions, following select performances of Deffaa's shows 'One Night with Fanny Brice' and 'The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,' which are playing in repertory this fall at the 13th Street Theater (50 W. 13th Street, NYC). (more...)

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie Team Up on December Day: Willie's Stash Vol. 1, a New Collection of Studio Recordings, Coming December 2Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie Team Up on December Day: Willie's Stash Vol. 1, a New Collection of Studio Recordings, Coming December 2
by BWW News Desk - Oct 22, 2014

NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ Legacy Recordings will release Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie's December Day, the first installment of the Willie's Stash archival recordings series, on Tuesday, December 2. (more...)

Ziegfeld Society to Present Walter Willison in JOLSON, MY DAD & ME, 9/27Ziegfeld Society to Present Walter Willison in JOLSON, MY DAD & ME, 9/27
by BWW News Desk - Sep 22, 2014

The Ziegfeld Society will present Tony Award nominee and Theatre World Award winner Walter Willison in JOLSON, MY DAD & ME on Saturday, September 27th. The multi-media musical weaves together the songs of Al Jolson to tell the story of his father as a young man, growing up in the early part of the 20th Century, through Prohibition, The Great Depression, WWII, and into the present day, and of his own personal encounters with such iconic Jolson associates as Ruby Keeler, Patsy Kelly, Judy Garland, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin and others. Featuring such all-time American Songbook classics as 'Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody', 'Swanee', 'You Made Ne Love You' and many more. (more...)

Rufus Wainwright to Play Ridgefield Playhouse, 10/19Rufus Wainwright to Play Ridgefield Playhouse, 10/19
by BWW News Desk - Sep 19, 2014

Grammy nominee Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. In his Best of Rufus Wainwright concert at The Ridgefield Playhouse on Sunday, October 19, at 8 p.m., he'll bring together a variety of genres including, pop, opera, baroque, rock, classical and ragtime into his own unique style. (more...)

Prima Donnettes, 'NEVER MARRY A GIRL WITH COLD FEET' and More Set for FST's 2014-15 Cabaret SeasonPrima Donnettes, 'NEVER MARRY A GIRL WITH COLD FEET' and More Set for FST's 2014-15 Cabaret Season
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2014

Florida Studio Theatre announces its 2014-2015 Cabaret season. Starting off the season are the full-bodied vocal stylings in Dancing in the Street with the Prima Donnettes. Next up is the heartfelt and unforgettable music of American Pie. Concluding the season is the entertaining and honest Never Marry a Girl With Cold Feet: And Other Life Lessons from Vaudeville. (more...)

BWW Reviews: GCT Brings On Splashy, Roaring THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIEBWW Reviews: GCT Brings On Splashy, Roaring THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
by Don Grigware - Aug 31, 2014

The 1920s were not called the roaring twenties for nothing, and when 'modern' girls came from small towns across America to New York to seek a job, a husband and money, they were an overabundant lot. Take Millie Dillmount (Allyson Spiegelman) for example, who, like many others, sets her eyes, but hardly her heart, on dreamy boss Trevor Graydon (Kelby Thwaits), who also has eyes for Miss Dorothy Brown (Deanna Bakker). Add Jimmy Smith (Jason Webb), who literally ran into Millie on the streets and then pops back into the picture, attempting to win her over romantically. Welcome to modern big city living: take a number, stand in line. And there's even more discouragement. Apart from New York's degrading social life led by Muzzy Van Hossmere (Julia Marie Rodriguez), Millie is living in a den of iniquity the Priscilla Hotel where hostess Mrs.Meers (Alison England) has a side job selling orphan girls into white slavery. However, despite all these calamities, big and small, there's an air of the ridiculous surrounding them. Based on the 1967 film which starred Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing, TMM is an ode to madcap senselessness, and go no further than to Glendale and GCT for a nifty revival now onstage through October 4. (more...)

Ben Platt, Tony Yazbeck, NYC Cabaret Festival & More Set for 54 Below this WeekBen Platt, Tony Yazbeck, NYC Cabaret Festival & More Set for 54 Below this Week
by BWW News Desk - Aug 18, 2014

Coming up this week, 54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, presents some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz and beyond. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.54Below.com or call (646) 476-3551. (more...)

BWW Reviews: STEVE ROSS and KAREN OBERLIN Ooze Charm, Class, and Chemistry In Tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at 54 BelowBWW Reviews: STEVE ROSS and KAREN OBERLIN Ooze Charm, Class, and Chemistry In Tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at 54 Below
by Stephen Hanks - Jul 20, 2014

Steve Ross and Karen Oberlin's recent duo effort at 54 Below, Cheek to Cheek, was a show oozing charm, class, charisma, and chemistry, but most of all they conveyed their love for these legendary performers and the classic tunes associated with them. (more...)

CABARET LIFE NYC: On the Eve of the 18th Annual Long Island Al Jolson Festival - The Confessions of a Jolson FanaticCABARET LIFE NYC: On the Eve of the 18th Annual Long Island Al Jolson Festival - The Confessions of a Jolson Fanatic
by Stephen Hanks - Jul 12, 2014

The 18th Long Island Al Jolson Festival coming up on August 16 is a whole-day affair featuring film presentations, lectures, memorabilia displays and sales, and a performance--'The Heart of Al Jolson'--by singer and Staten Island native Tony Babino (photo below), who can sing Jolson songs like, well, you ain't heard nothin' yet. The other day, like clockwork, I received my yearly invitation to attend from Oceanside, LI resident Jan Hernstat, who for the past 10 years has been the President of the 62-year-old International Al Jolson Society (which was formed in early 1950, a few months before Jolson died), an organization with a worldwide membership hovering around 1,000. I am proud to say that for 30 years, I've been one of them. I'm even prouder to say that I've been an Al Jolson fanatic for much longer. Here's my story about how it happened. (more...)

IRVING BERLIN'S AMERICA to Offer Talkbacks at 13th Street Rep, Now thru 7/10IRVING BERLIN'S AMERICA to Offer Talkbacks at 13th Street Rep, Now thru 7/10
by BWW News Desk - Jun 22, 2014

The 13th Street Repertory Theater will offer audience talkbacks after the following performances of Chip Deffaa's new musical play 'Irving Berlin's America': Sunday, June 22nd at 8 p.m.; Thursday, June 26th at 8 p.m.; Sunday, June 29th at 8 p.m.; Monday, June 30th at 8 p.m.; Sunday, July 6th at 8 p.m.; and Thursday, July 10th at 8 p.m. (more...)

STAGE TUBE: On This Day 5/26- Al JolsonSTAGE TUBE: On This Day 5/26- Al Jolson
by Stage Tube - May 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Al Jolson! Between 1911 and 1928, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours. Although he's best remembered today as the star in the first (full length) talking movie, The Jazz Singer in 1927, he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s. After a period of inactivity, his stardom returned with the 1946 Oscar-winning biographical film, The Jolson Story. His Broadway credits include: Hold on to Your Hats, The Wonder Bar, Big Boy, Artists and Models, Bombo, and many more. (more...)

CABARET LIFE NYC: The Power of the 'Pan' and Catch-Up Show Reviews from a Long Cabaret WinterCABARET LIFE NYC: The Power of the 'Pan' and Catch-Up Show Reviews from a Long Cabaret Winter
by Stephen Hanks - May 12, 2014

If you are even a semi-regular reader of this column of reviews, you know that about every three or four months, I post a compilation of observations of shows from the previous quarter of the year. This cabaret critiquing mash up happens for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I admittedly see too many cabaret shows for the amount of time I have to promptly review them (and then, of course, the usual writer's procrastination sets in). So I have to prioritize the timeliness of the reviews based on the prestige of the performer, the length of a show run, the strength (or lack thereof) of the performance, etc. The quality of the shows in these compilations—which can range from a half dozen to a dozen reviews in one shot—are usually a mixed bag of outright raves, qualified positives, and constructive pans (I'm not a fan of the word “negative” in the reviewer lexicon). With that in mind here are a collection of cabaret show reviews going back to the start of a very harsh winter. (more...)

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces Cast of ANYTHING GOES: IN CONCERT, 5/9-10Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces Cast of ANYTHING GOES: IN CONCERT, 5/9-10
by BWW News Desk - May 8, 2014

Since its highly successful Broadway debut 80 years ago, Anything Goes has been revived multiple times and now receives a world premiere symphonic version with Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) and an all-star Broadway cast, Today, May 9 and Saturday, May 10, as part of the ISO's Printing Partners Pops Series at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. (more...)

BroadwayWorld's 2013-14 Season Wrap-Up!BroadwayWorld's 2013-14 Season Wrap-Up!
by BWW Special Coverage - Apr 28, 2014

Tomorrow is one of the most exciting mornings of the year for any theatre fan. The 2014 Tony Award Nominations will be announced from The Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel. The Tony Nominations can be viewed LIVE (8:30am ET) on BroadwayWorld.com. Be sure to follow us throughout the day for reactions from the nominees, analysis and much more. With only hours left until the big moment, catch up on all of this year's eligible shows and how they fared with the critics (including BroadwayWorld's own Michael Dale) in BroadwayWorld's Season Wrap-Up! (more...)

BWW Reviews:  Hyper-Gender Glam Rock Goes Family Friendly in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCHBWW Reviews: Hyper-Gender Glam Rock Goes Family Friendly in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
by Michael Dale - Apr 24, 2014

With the exception of Bertolt Brecht plays and Robert Mapplethorpe photographs, there's not a subversive work of art that doesn't eventually get accepted as nostalgic family friendly fun. (more...)

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces Cast of ANYTHING GOES: IN CONCERT, 5/9-10Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Announces Cast of ANYTHING GOES: IN CONCERT, 5/9-10
by BWW News Desk - Mar 21, 2014

Since its highly successful Broadway debut 80 years ago, Anything Goes has been revived multiple times and now receives a world premiere symphonic version with Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) and an all-star Broadway cast, Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10, as part of the ISO's Printing Partners Pops Series at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. (more...)

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