On Tuesday December 3 sublime singer Spider Saloff appeared at Rockwell Table and Stage for an evening of Cool Yule accompanied by electric jazz pianist Richard Eames. I say sublime, as there are a rare few like Saloff who can really sing, wrapping their heart around the lyrics of a song and then delivering it as if they had never told the story before. It takes an actress to sing well, and Saloff has everything it takes. Like Garland, she's one of the best. (more...)
The echoes of Kurt Weill's dark footsteps on the Santa Monica Pier will soon be heard on the historic seaside structure. Tony Award-winning actor/director Paul Sand is creating a limited-run show at what will be called the West End Theatre, transforming an enclosed observation deck at the end of the Santa Monica Pier into what will be a cabaret-style performing space. Inaugurating the theatre will be 'Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel' - a performance of a collection of the famed German composer's songs - that will open Friday, Dec. 6. BroadwayWorld has a sneak peek at the cast onstage below! (more...)
Bucks County Playhouse (BCP) presents the 2013 holiday show Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, set in a similar fashion as last year's Bucks County holiday show It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, both adapted by Joe Landry. Scroll down for shots of the cast riding into New Hope, PA in a victorian trolly! (more...)
SiriusXM today announced that legendary entertainer Regis Philbin, host of FOX Sports' 'Crowd Goes Wild,' will return as the host of SiriusXM's 'Bing Crosby Christmas Radio,' a limited-run 24/7 holiday channel devoted to the American entertainment icon synonymous with classic holiday entertainment. (more...)
The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre - the acclaimed comedy/variety show hailed as 'rambunctious, uproarious and unpredictable' by The Wall Street Journal, 'delicious and delightfully droll' by The New York Post, and 'hilarious and sardonic' by The Village Voice - has moved to 54 BELOW for a six month run after four sell-out seasons in New York's West Village. The next show will be on Wednesday, December 18 at 9:30 PM. Justin Sayre and The Meeting*, known for a signature blend of outrageous comedy, politics, culture and everything in between, were named one of the Top 10 nightclub shows of 2011 by Time Out New York, received the 2012 Bistro Award for 'Comedy Artistry' and a 2011 MAC Award nomination for Best Male Comedy Performance. (more...)
Garber is set to take on the role of Ichabod's father in at least one episode. As of now, there's no word on whether the Emmy nominee's deal includes the option to up to series regular or a recurring role in the future. (more...)
Toronto – Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, today released details of the company's new opera commission, Hadrian, composed by internationally acclaimed Canadian-American singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright with libretto by award-winning Canadian actor, director and playwright Daniel MacIvor. Inspired by the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his love for Antinous, Hadrian is currently in development and is scheduled to open the COC's 2018/2019 mainstage season. (more...)
The American Foundation For Arts Education presented its annual National Arts Star Awards on November 20 in a Star-Studded Gala at The Helene Galen Performing Arts Center in Rancho Mirage. Among the honorees, James Nederlander was presented with The Legacy Award for creating The National High School Musical Theatre Awards and his ongoing commitment to arts education. The awards were presented by actor/writer Laurence Luckinbill. The National Arts Star Awards are presented to individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact on Arts Education in America's public schools. The AFAE, originally founded by Carol Channing and her late husband Harry Kullijian, works to restore the arts to our nation's public schools and insure an arts education for every child in America through advocacy and partnering with schools and communities to create specialized arts instructional opportunities for children. (more...)
With our apologies to Lea Michele, there truly is only ONE Barbra Streisand and on PBS tonight the legendary star 'sings them all' from FUNNY GIRL to GYPSY as only she can. For musical theatre fans of all ages, and lovers of great music, it's a can't miss television event. (more...)
Bucks County Playhouse (BCP) presents the 2013 holiday show Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play, set in a similar fashion as last year's Bucks County holiday show It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, both adapted by Joe Landry. Scroll down for a sneak peek at the cast in rehearsal! (more...)
The latest in unauthorized gossip and buzz from the heart of Chicago's showtune video bars, and musical theater news from Chicago to Broadway. 'Wicked' at Sidetrack, three more versions of 'A Christmas Carol,' four radio productions of 'It's A Wonderful Life,' BET's original 'dancesical,' Davenport's, the 'Black Nativity' and sing-a-long 'Grease' films, the Bar Show and more! (more...)
Lizann Warner rings, swings and sings in the New Year here at Vicky's of Santa Fe (Highway 111 & Club Drive, Indian Wells) on New Year's Eve, Tuesday, December 31, 2013. Reservations 760-345-9770. (more...)
SINDROME DA MUSICAL, lo spettacolo con protagonista Manuel Frattini, reduce dal successo della scorsa stagione, ha debuttato per la prima volta nella Capitale - il 21 novembre, al Teatro Parioli - e tornera a grande richiesta al Teatro della Luna di Milano l'1 dicembre per poi proseguire il suo tour in altre citta della penisola. Lo spettacolo, un one man show scritto da Lena Biolcati e diretto da Alfonso Lambo, ruota intorno alla figura di Frattini (nel ruolo di se stesso) che - posseduto dai 'suoi' personaggi - decide su consiglio dei colleghi/amici di rivolgersi ad una psicologa per trovare una cura alla diagnosticata 'sindrome da musical.' Grazie a questa introspezione piscologica ripercorriamo i punti salienti della carriera di Manuel: dal debutto televisivo, al debutto teatrale in 'A Chorus Line' e cosi via fino all'ultimo spettacolo (Sindrome da Musical, appunto). La terapia fa effetto, ma proprio mentre il grigio della quotidianita sta per prendere il sopravvento sul protagonista, anche i suoi compagni - insieme con la dottoressa - vengono 'infettati' dalla sindrome… non grave ma molto, molto contagiosa!
Il testo di Lena Biolcati - divertente e 'leggero' - e il pre-testo per mettere insieme le musiche che hanno fatto da colonna sonora alla vita di Frattini e - pur risultando forzato in determinati punti (non tutti i passaggi da parlato a cantato avvengono con naturalezza) - ha il pregio di essere politically correct e confezionato con buon gusto. Lo stesso dicasi della regia di Alfonso Lambo, accurata ma non sempre scorrevole (il primo atto fa fatica a decollare; gli interventi video, seppur spassosi, a lungo andare rallentano e smorzano l'attenzione del pubblico). (more...)
Champions of American music for more than a decade, Opus Two violin-piano duo presents a multi-media program of the inimitable works of George Gershwin (1898-1937), one of Americas most popular and iconic composers. Violinist William Terwilliger and pianist Andrew Cooperstock will explore Gershwin's many musical styles, from the jazz influenced An American in Paris to the quintessential folk opera Porgy and Bess. They will also perform I Got Rhythm, Embraceable You, and But Not for Me…. in colorful and virtuosic transcriptions by legendary violinist Jascha Heifetz along with brand-new Opus Two commissions by esteemed Broadway music director Eric Stern. Projected images by African-American period photographer Richard Samuel Roberts and entertaining video clips of Judy Garland and Gene Kelly will round out the program. The concert will be held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium onSaturday, December 28 at 2:30pm. (more...)
When the legendary performer Lena Horne told Maurice Hines to 'Love them [the audience], make it real' you can tell he took that advice to heart when conceiving Tappin' Thru Life currently playing at Arena Stage. For Tappin' Thru Life seems determined not only to love the audience, but to entertain them, and it succeeds at doing just that! While Tappin' Thru Life does have some flaws, it's hard to find anyone who isn't won over by Hines showmanship, humor, timing and above all else, talent. (more...)
Bucks County Playhouse (BCP) has announced that this December, before every evening performance for Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play (December 4th -December 29th), the Playhouse will light its permanently planted holiday tree in the Playhouse's courtyard. (more...)
The old sayings, 'You've got to see it to believe it,' and 'You either get 'IT'or you don't,' are certainly sayings that could be (and probably are) applied to WICKED.
With its 10th anniversary this year, and nine current productions performing around the globe, I must say I was completely surprised during intermission. A gentleman sitting in front of me struck up a conversation and nonchalantly stated he had bought the ticket on a whim while in town for business ~ with no clue what the show was about. He had no idea it was in reference to Wizard of Oz and had no anticipation. He was simply ready to enjoy a live theater production and that was what caught his eye online.
The winner of more than 50 major awards including the Grammy Award and three Tony Awards, was unknown to this gentleman. Naturally, I reflected back to my first time of seeing it in Chicago, and the subsequent reviews of 'Wicked' I have written ~ each one a totally different experience and finding different aspects most notable.
At my first experience, I was blown away ~ as almost everyone is. The second, I noticed the nods to the book, film and characters. At my third, I noticed, and wrote about, the symbolism transportation played ~ in this review (REVIEW: WICKED 2010).
After seeing any show several times, the viewer naturally compares the actors and have those they feel most closely fit the bill, the ones they believe most talented, etc.
This production stars Jennifer DiNoia as Elphaba and Hayley Podschun as Glinda. If you are a fan of Kristin Chenoweth and, frankly, who isn't? ~ then, you will absolutely adore Podschun. She practically radiates on stage during 'Popular,' drawing ecstatic applause from the engaged audience.
Naturally, DiNoia's rendition of the power ballad won thunderous applause. It is definitely one of DiNoia's finer moments in the performance. Her other being the duet, 'What is this Feeling?' with Podschun as the two opposing witches realize how much they loathe each other.
The main issue with anyone stepping into the sparkly shoes of Glinda or the work boots of Elphaba in the musical loosely based on Gregory Maguire's novel, is they are attempting to fill seriously talented footsteps. Even those who have not (gasp) seen the musical, have more than likely heard of the Broadway originators of the roles ~ Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel (read review of her solo performance here).
And therein lies the problem. Can anyone ever make the role truly their own, while compared to the greats at every turn?
At least not for another 10 years.
It would be equivalent to performing a role so well the audience forgets Judy Garland (The Wizard of Oz), Michael Crawford (Phantom of the Opera), or Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean). Whether a stage or screen production, some performers become the standard for all others after them. A tough act.
With that said, it's like being in the top 10 percent of your graduating class. No, you aren't No. 1 or 2, but you're still in the top percentile. Nothing to be upset over.
Bottom Line: Whether this is your first, or 15th time, Wicked is a must-see anytime it is in town.
There is no performance on Thanksgiving Day,Thursday, November 28.
November 13-17: Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm, Thursday matinee at 2:00 pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm, Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm, Sunday matinee at 1:00 pm and Sunday evening at 6:30 pm; November 19-24: Tuesday -Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm, Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm, Sunday matinee at 1:00 pm and Sunday evening at 6:30 pm; November 26 - December 1: Monday - Wednesday evenings at 7:30 pm, Friday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday matinee at 1:00 pm.
Click here for information on $25 ticket lottery for Wicked in Indianapolis.
Images: provided by BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com; Joan Marcus
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy's Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook. (more...)