Al Jolson News

Date of Birth: May 26, 1886
Date of Death: October 23, 1950 (64)
Birth Place: Srednick, LITHUANIA
Gender: Male
BWW Reviews: Musical Theatre West Revisits the Glorious Feeling of SINGIN' IN THE RAINBWW Reviews: Musical Theatre West Revisits the Glorious Feeling of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
by Michael L. Quintos - Jul 24, 2015

As the cliche goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That is perhaps partly the philosophy behind the rather faithful stage adaptation of the gloriously wonderful movie musical SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, now once again charmingly replicated in a smile-inducing local production at Musical Theatre West that continues through July 26 at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center in Long Beach. An almost scene-by-scene, note-for-note recreation of the superb cinematic masterpiece, the musical theater iteration of SINGIN' IN THE RAIN smartly and painstakingly reenacts every key moment and memorable musical happenstance from the 1952 movie that many have since heralded as one of the best movie musicals of all time. With MTW's latest revival specifically, director/choreographer Jon Engstrom has helmed a joyful production worth experiencing, whether it's your first or hundredth time. And, yes, it rains on stage... and it's a sight to behold! (more...)

19th Annual Long Island AL JOLSON Festival Featuring Singer TONY BABINO Set For 8/1519th Annual Long Island AL JOLSON Festival Featuring Singer TONY BABINO Set For 8/15
by Stephen Hanks - Jul 14, 2015

When Al Jolson died in October 1950 at the age of 64, the world lost the man who was arguably the first pop superstar of the 20th century and the Broadway musical theater actor and singing sensation who had been acknowledged as "The World's Greatest Entertainer." A few months before Jolson died, a passionate Jolson fan named Dolores Kontowicz from Wisconsin founded the "Al Jolson Society." Sixty-five years later, the 1,000-plus member "International Al Jolson Society" is not only still going strong, the organization holds an annual May "Festival" at various venues around America and the world. In addition, the Society's current President Jan Hernstat has for the past 18 years produced a "Mini" Jolson Festival in Long Island, which attracts Society members and local residents who want to revel in the memory of The Great Jolson. This year's 19th Annual event will be held on August 15, 9:30-4:00 pm, in Oceanside, New York (see complete info at end of this story).  (more...)

BWW Reviews: HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN:  A NEW MUSICAL PLAYBWW Reviews: HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN: A NEW MUSICAL PLAY
by Nancy Grossman - Jul 12, 2015

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents the East Coast Premiere of HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN: A NEW MUSICAL PLAY at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre. Performances have been extended through August 2nd for this feel-good evening of just over two dozen selections from Berlin's vast catalogue. The program includes unknown gems, lovely ballads, patriotic tunes, and favorites that everyone can sing along with, but Felder's artistry also evokes the man behind the music. Irving Berlin is a delight for any and all who appreciate hearing an array of standards from the great American song book. (more...)

MARK NADLER Set As First Performer in New Monthly Series NEW YORK CABARET'S GREATEST HITS at Metropolitan Room, 8/26MARK NADLER Set As First Performer in New Monthly Series NEW YORK CABARET'S GREATEST HITS at Metropolitan Room, 8/26
by BWW News Desk - Jul 11, 2015

For diehard cabaret fans and lovers of live music, there's nothing like experiencing a classic show once again or seeing an award winning 'blast from the past' for the first time. That's how cabaret show producer and publicist Stephen Hanks felt and so through his new company, Cabaret Life Productions, he's launching a new monthly series at New York's Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street) titled New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits. Hanks wanted the cream of the New York cabaret crop to open the series and tapped veteran cabaret star Mark Nadler, who the New York Times critic Stephen Holden has called 'Mr. Show Business' and 'an immensely talented latter-day Al Jolson.' On August 26 (7-8:30 pm), Nadler will perform his critically acclaimed show Tschaikowsky (And Other Russians), which won a 2003 Bistro Award for 'Raising Standards of Cabaret Performance,' and received MAC and Nightlife Award Nominations for 'Outstanding Performance in a Major Engagement.' (more...)

A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN Original London Cast Recording Out Next WeekA SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN Original London Cast Recording Out Next Week
by BWW News Desk - Jul 9, 2015

On Monday 13th July 2015 SimG Records is to release the Original London Cast Recording of A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN - the critically acclaimed cabaret revue that celebrates 90 years and 3 generations of Sherman family songwriting. (more...)

BWW Reviews: GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE at The Alley Is Pimped Out Piano PerfectionBWW Reviews: GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE at The Alley Is Pimped Out Piano Perfection
by Bryan-Keyth Wilson - Jun 23, 2015

Growing up listening to a vast array of music, my ear fell in love with the classics and one particular song entitled 'Summertime' touched my heart and ears. The Gershwin's music is a staple in the history of American Music, and I was ecstatic to see The Alley Theatre's production of GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE. (more...)

BWW Feature: Singers, Musicians, and Fans, Oh My! For One June Weekend, CabaretFest 2015 Turns Provincetown Into a Cabaret OzBWW Feature: Singers, Musicians, and Fans, Oh My! For One June Weekend, CabaretFest 2015 Turns Provincetown Into a Cabaret Oz
by Billie Roe - Jun 22, 2015

When BroadwayWorld.com Cabaret Reviewer Billie Roe was invited to the CabaretFest 2015 Provincetown scheduled for June 4-7, it was to attend as a performer, not necessarily as a reviewer. But we couldn't resist the opportunity to have Billie at least report on some aspects of the long, event-filled weekend and record some of her impressions in something akin to a diary. Based on Billie's descriptive account here, this year's Cabaret Festival in Provincetown, MA, sounds like one of the cabaret highlights of the year. (more...)

BARNUM to Play Marlowe Theatre, CanterburyBARNUM to Play Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
by BWW News Desk - Jun 4, 2015

BRIAN Conley stars in Barnum, at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, later this month (June). (more...)

STAGE TUBE: On This Day for 5/26/15- Al JolsonSTAGE TUBE: On This Day for 5/26/15- Al Jolson
by Stage Tube - May 26, 2015

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...)

David Engel, Jason Graae and More Set for Rubicon's RODGERS & HART & HAMMERSTEIN This WeekendDavid Engel, Jason Graae and More Set for Rubicon's RODGERS & HART & HAMMERSTEIN This Weekend
by BWW News Desk - May 11, 2015

The Janet and Mark L. Goldenson Broadway Musical Concert Series at Rubicon Theatre Company continues with three concerts celebrating the genius of two of the most prolific and most important writing teams in musical theatre history in a show entitled RODGERS & HART & HAMMERSTEIN. (more...)

Amanda Cohen Premieres New CD 'A New Standard' on The Jazz NetworkAmanda Cohen Premieres New CD 'A New Standard' on The Jazz Network
by BWW News Desk - May 4, 2015

Amanda Cohen is not a newcomer to the bright lights of worldwide concert stages. Her new CD "A New Standard" is a cross-over project that she has dreamt about for years and its unveiling is an exciting musical adventure. (more...)

Patti LuPone, Nellie McKay & More Set for 54 Below This WeekPatti LuPone, Nellie McKay & More Set for 54 Below This Week
by BWW News Desk - Apr 13, 2015

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...)

Patti LuPone, Marilyn Maye, Nellie McKay, Goodspeed Writers Colony and More Set for 54 Below This SpringPatti LuPone, Marilyn Maye, Nellie McKay, Goodspeed Writers Colony and More Set for 54 Below This Spring
by BWW News Desk - Mar 31, 2015

This April and May, 54 BELOW presents an exciting lineup of the brightest talent from Broadway and beyond. Located just below the legendary Studio 54 at 254 West 54th Street. (more...)

BARNUM Coming to Lyceum TheatreBARNUM Coming to Lyceum Theatre
by BWW News Desk - Mar 24, 2015

Multi award-winning circus spectacular Barnum rolls into town from Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 April at the Lyceum Theatre, starring stage and television favourite, Brian Conley and West End leading lady Linzi Hateley. (more...)

Tony Yazbeck, Melissa Manchester & More Set for 54 Below This WeekTony Yazbeck, Melissa Manchester & More Set for 54 Below This Week
by BWW News Desk - Mar 23, 2015

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: LAUREN STANFORD Attempts Channeling the Legendary Helen Morgan at 54 BelowBWW Reviews: LAUREN STANFORD Attempts Channeling the Legendary Helen Morgan at 54 Below
by Alix Cohen - Mar 22, 2015

Lauren Stanford (who won the MetroStar Singing Competition at the Metropolitan Room in 2013) has convincingly done herself up to look like the legendary Helen Morgan in her new show, More Than You Know, which she introduced at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in late October and brought to 54 Below this past Friday night. Stanford's presentation is 2/3 singing and 1/3 biography. Research is evident; specific adds color. The use of framed photographs and several conjectured telephone calls is effective (the actress listens). Vocals don't emulate Morgan's controlled vibrato, but Stanford has sufficient musical feel for the period to make mimicry unnecessary. Her uneven contralto can add feeling to a song rather than diminishing it. There are, however, other issues. (more...)

Audra McDonald, George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover Team for New Musical 'SHUFFLE ALONG'; Coming to Broadway Next Spring!Audra McDonald, George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover Team for New Musical 'SHUFFLE ALONG'; Coming to Broadway Next Spring!
by BWW News Desk - Mar 12, 2015

Next spring, Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, George C. Wolfe, and Savion Glover will team up to collaborate on SHUFFLE ALONG, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, a musical about the events that led to the creation of the groundbreaking Eubie Blake-Noble Sissle musical Shuffle Along. Starring Audra McDonald as the 1920's star Lottie Gee, directed by George C. Wolfe -- with a book written by Wolfe -- and choreographed by Savion Glover, the musical marks the first time that the writer/director and choreographer will have worked together since their 1996 hit Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. Previews will begin Monday, March 14, 2016. Opening night is Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street). (more...)

Cast of SIDE SHOW, Maureen McGovern & More Set for 54 Below This WeekCast of SIDE SHOW, Maureen McGovern & More Set for 54 Below This Week
by BWW News Desk - Mar 9, 2015

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...)

Casts of THE LAST SHIP and SIDE SHOW, Ben Vereen, Melissa Manchester & More Set for 54 Below Next MonthCasts of THE LAST SHIP and SIDE SHOW, Ben Vereen, Melissa Manchester & More Set for 54 Below Next Month
by BWW News Desk - Feb 26, 2015

This March, 54 BELOW presents an exciting lineup of the brightest talent from Broadway and beyond. Located just below the legendary Studio 54 at 254 West 54th Street. Below, find the schedule for upcoming events over the next month. (more...)

BWW Reviews: MARK NADLER's 'Addicted To The Spotlight' at 54 Below Showcases Abundant Talent, Cleverly FramedBWW Reviews: MARK NADLER's 'Addicted To The Spotlight' at 54 Below Showcases Abundant Talent, Cleverly Framed
by Alix Cohen - Feb 19, 2015

When Mark Nadler, singing the iconic Irving Berlin song and Al Jolson standard 'Let Me Sing and I'm Happy,' strolls from the back of 54 Below to his rightful place center stage (accompanied by Nick Russo on banjo), he seems, in all respects, a jaunty, debonair thespian. The song is light, unembellished, infectious. What you're watching in truth is a state of the art ballistic missile unerringly headed for its target. 'My name is Mark and I'm a spotlightaholic.' Tonight Nadler celebrates two 'out of control' spotlightaholics--Danny Kaye and Al Jolson--both of whom put themselves (and kept themselves) in front of audiences every available moment. (The artist designates himself as a 'functional' sufferer of the compulsion.) Memorable anecdotes enlighten and entertain. 'In the spirit of Kaye and Jolson, however, this show is all about ME.' Four decades in, Nadler calls show business his religion. Judging by ensuing narrative, his zealous devotion is, in context, worthy of sainthood. (more...)

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