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Donmar Warehouse (London, )
(Covent Garden) Earlham Street
London,

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From the play Merrily We Roll Along by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart

Merrily We Roll Along - 2000 West End Page 78


Jason Alexander Guest Stars on 200th Episode of TWO AND A HALF MEN Tonight, 5/7Jason Alexander Guest Stars on 200th Episode of TWO AND A HALF MEN Tonight, 5/7
by BWW News Desk - May 7, 2012

Broadway vet Jason Alexander guest stars as Alan's cardiologist, Dr. Goodman on the 200th episode of the CBS comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN tonight, May 7. In the episode entitled "The Straw In My Donut Hole", Alan is showered with love and affection upon returning from the hospital after suffering a minor heart attack. The episode airs 9:00-9:31 PM, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. (more...)

XANADU Closes Signature's 22nd Season, Running Now thru 7/1XANADU Closes Signature's 22nd Season, Running Now thru 7/1
by BWW News Desk - May 6, 2012

Signature Theatre closes out its 2011/12 season sporting funky legwarmers and wielding neon glow sticks with the Washington premiere of the musical comedy hit Xanadu. Beginning performances tonight, May 6th, Xanadu will be transforming Signature's MAX Theatre into one big disco-ball heaven - complete with satin shorts and roller skates! Nominated for four Tony Awards® (including "Best Musical"), the musical features a Book by Douglas Carter Beane, with Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Xanadu will play at Signature from tonight, May 6, 2012 through July 1, 2012. Tickets are now on sale. (more...)

The Music Theatre Company Presents PIPPIN, 3/22-5/6The Music Theatre Company Presents PIPPIN, 3/22-5/6
by BWW News Desk - May 5, 2012

The Music Theatre Company, Highland Park's Equity theatre, announced its spring production of Pippin by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson, directed and choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Jessica Redish. The production will run March 22 - May 6, 2012 at The Music Theatre Company located in the Karger Center, 1850 Green Bay Road in Highland Park. (more...)

Photo Flash: Lauren Kennedy, Danielle Ferland, et al. in Westport Country Playhouse's INTO THE WOODSPhoto Flash: Lauren Kennedy, Danielle Ferland, et al. in Westport Country Playhouse's INTO THE WOODS
by BWW News Desk - May 4, 2012

A 25th anniversary production of the imaginative, fractured-fairy tale musical 'Into the Woods' by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim will be staged at the theater where Sondheim was an apprentice in 1950, Westport Country Playhouse, in Westport, CT, through May 26. Directed by Mark Lamos, The Playhouse's artistic director, the musical will open the historic theater's 82nd season. It is co-produced with Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. (more...)

Everyman Theatre Opens YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, 5/16Everyman Theatre Opens YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, 5/16
by BWW News Desk - May 3, 2012

Meet the Sycamores - the delightfully eccentric family at the center of the action in the madcap comedy classic, You Can't Take It With You. They revel in day-to-day occurrences such as collecting snakes, making fireworks in the basement, and practicing ballet steps in the parlor. When their daughter Alice, decides to invite her conservative boyfriend's family to dinner, they promise to be on their best behavior. However...! Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and adapted into an Academy Award winning film, this beloved comedy has been a perennial favorite to theatre-goers for more than 70 years. (more...)

SOUND OFF: GLEE Chokes, But Shakes It OutSOUND OFF: GLEE Chokes, But Shakes It Out
by Pat Cerasaro - May 2, 2012

Rachel doesn't seem likely to be headed to New York and NYADA - nope, not this time. Mucking up her major shot at Broadway glory - at least as far as high school auditions go - by messing up the words to "Don't Rain On My Parade" from FUNNY GIRL, her anthem, no less - the focus on GLEE's appropriately titled "Choke" episode brought to mind a lyric from Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, a musical about the sacrifices we make to get what we thought we wanted - "still with dreams, / just reshaping them. / Growing up…." And that is Season Three of GLEE in a nutshell - the senior members of New Directions learning to let go of childhood and move ahead into the unknown world of maturity; whether the future may bring college, career or pool-cleaning. With more musical theatre references per minute than any episode of the twenty so far in GLEE S3, "Choke" was filled with the stylized storytelling and absurd, although always appreciable surprises along the way that makes GLEE consistently, near-constantly compelling. No, no, no - GLEE has not flagged in the least sixty-odd episodes into the series so far, although the rating may have slightly. Last night's GLEE was a good example of the shifting focus and repeated reinvention that keeps the series fresh - and the comedy is as fearless and biting as ever. (more...)

Nominee Reactions: Danny Burstein '6am in LA but Damn Good!'Nominee Reactions: Danny Burstein '6am in LA but Damn Good!'
by BWW - May 1, 2012

'I feel pretty damn good! I'm exhausted because it's six in the morning here in LA, but it still feels pretty damn good! My phone started buzzing and I ran to my computer because I wasn't sure. People were texting me and saying 'I'm crossing my fingers to you' and stuff like that. So, I ran to my computer and because we're in this housing, first you have to enter your log in information and I couldn't get it to work. I'm like 'Why now?!' I finally got it to work and it was only after a friend sent me a text saying 'CONGRATULATIONS' that I thought 'Thank God!' I'm in tech right now so I'll spend the rest of the day in tech until midnight, but for this I'll do it!' (more...)

Nominee Reactions: Celia Keenan-Bolger for STARCATCHER 'It's All Been a Real Gift'Nominee Reactions: Celia Keenan-Bolger for STARCATCHER 'It's All Been a Real Gift'
by BWW - May 1, 2012

Celia Keenan-Bolger, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play for PETER AND THE STARCATCHER 'I'm really excited! I woke up with my husband and weeks ago I said we'd have a staycation so we're in a hotel that of course didn't have NY1- which I think is hysterical. So, we had to watch it on my phone. This is so great, I care about the show so so much and I've worked on it for so long. These past 3 years have been so special and we weren't sure it would even come to Broadway. It's all been a real gift. I'm sure I'll be on the phone all day. I'm so excited to do the show tonight!' (more...)

Bob Dishy, Zach Grenier, Tonya Pinkins to Star in STOREFRONT CHURCHBob Dishy, Zach Grenier, Tonya Pinkins to Star in STOREFRONT CHURCH
by BWW News Desk - Mar 30, 2012

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) presents the world premiere of STOREFRONT CHURCH, written and directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner John Patrick Shanley and starring Bob Dishy, Giancarlo Esposito, Zach Grenier, Ron Cephas Jones and Tonya Pinkins. STOREFRONT CHURCH will begin previews Wednesday, May 16; officially open Monday, June 11; and play a limited engagement through Sunday, June 24 Off-Broadway as the first production to return to Atlantic's main stage Linda Gross Theater in Chelsea following completion of a historic $8.3M renovation. (more...)

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Comes To Cincinnati Playhouse in the ParkMERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Comes To Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
by BWW News Desk - Mar 30, 2012

A new revival of Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth will continue the Marx Theatre season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. (more...)

John Doyle's MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Opens in Cincinnati John Doyle's MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Opens in Cincinnati
by BWW News Desk - Mar 30, 2012

Tony Award-winning director John Doyle, who has previously staged Broadway revivals of Stephen Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD and COMPANY directs the composer-lyricist's musical Merrily We Roll Along at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park which opens tonight. The production will run through March 31. (more...)

By Popular Demand - The CALLAWAY SISTERS Return To The Annenberg Theater 4/7By Popular Demand - The CALLAWAY SISTERS Return To The Annenberg Theater 4/7
by BWW News Desk - Apr 7, 2012

The Annenberg Theater at the Palm Springs Art Museum presents the return engagement of one of today's most celebrated sibling acts, the Tony-nominated actresses Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway, who will reprise last season's sold out engagement for one night only, April 7 at 8:00 pm. The concert will feature highlights form their critically acclaimed shows "Sibling Rivalry", "Relative Harmony" and their newest show "Boom". (more...)

FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME With Lin-Manuel Miranda Plays at the Gramercy Tonight FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME With Lin-Manuel Miranda Plays at the Gramercy Tonight
by BWW News Desk - Apr 7, 2012

Lin-Manuel Miranda and his hip-hop/rap group, Freestyle Love Supreme, will perform at New York's Gramercy Theatre at 7:30 pm tonight, April 7. Miranda founded the group at Wesleyan University along with Bill Sherman, Anthony Veneziale, and Thomas Kail; others joined the group in New York. In performance, Freestyle Love Supreme uses words supplied by the audience in order to create new rap songs. (more...)

Photo Coverage: Betsy Wolfe, Tony DeSare and More at BROADWAY BALLYHOO at Feinstein's at Loews RegencyPhoto Coverage: Betsy Wolfe, Tony DeSare and More at BROADWAY BALLYHOO at Feinstein's at Loews Regency
by Stephen Sorokoff - Apr 6, 2012

Last night's performance of The Broadway Ballyhoo at Feinstein's (Park & 61st Street) marked the fifth month of this critically acclaimed and popular musical revue series. Betsy Wolfe (Merrily, We Roll Along), Tony DeSare (Nightclub Star), Scott Coulter (The Stephen Schwartz Show) and Mark Aaron James (Guitarist - Singer/Songwriter) starred. (more...)

Hugh Panaro to be Honored at Walnut Theatre's 203rd Anniversary GalaHugh Panaro to be Honored at Walnut Theatre's 203rd Anniversary Gala
by BWW News Desk - Apr 6, 2012

Walnut Street Theatre today annonuced that it will celebrate multiple honorees this year with the 2012 Edwin Forrest Award at its landmark 203rd Anniversary Gala. (more...)

Betsy Wolfe and Co. Set for BROADWAY BALLYHOO TonightBetsy Wolfe and Co. Set for BROADWAY BALLYHOO Tonight
by BWW News Desk - Apr 5, 2012

The creator/producer of The Broadway Ballyhoo, Scott Siegel, announced today that this evening's performance of The Broadway Ballyhoo at Feinstein's (Park & 61st Street) will begin the FIFTH MONTH of this critically acclaimed and popular musical revue series. The show starts at 11pm. (more...)

Julian Ovenden to Star in FINDING NEVERLAND Musical in UKJulian Ovenden to Star in FINDING NEVERLAND Musical in UK
by BWW News Desk - Apr 5, 2012

The Daily Mail UK reports that Julian Ovenden will star in a musical version of the film Finding Neverland, which starred Johhny Depp and Kate Winslet and followed the the story of J.M. Barrie's inspiration for his famous children's book, Peter Pan. (more...)

Drury Lane Theatre Presents HAIRSPRAY, 4/12-6/17Drury Lane Theatre Presents HAIRSPRAY, 4/12-6/17
by BWW News Desk - Apr 5, 2012

HAIRSPRAY, the Tony Award-winning musical, will be presented at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, previewing April 12, opening April 19, and running through June 17, 2012. (more...)

Bernadette Peters Plays the Jorgensen Stage, 4/13-14Bernadette Peters Plays the Jorgensen Stage, 4/13-14
by BWW News Desk - Apr 4, 2012

Bernadette Peters is set to perform at Jorgensen's Cabaret on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, at 8 p.m. Fresh from wowing audiences in the Broadway revival of "Follies" and coming to Storrs on her first East Coast stop of her national tour, Peters will perform selections from a rich stock of musicals and popular tunes by Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others. (more...)

SpeakEasy Stage Company Presents XANADU, 5/11-6/9SpeakEasy Stage Company Presents XANADU, 5/11-6/9
by BWW News Desk - Apr 30, 2012

Beginning May 11, SpeakEasy Stage presents the Boston Premiere of the hit Broadway musical comedy XANADU. This acclaimed show will be the company's 100th production and opens May 11. (more...)

INTO THE WOODS Opens Westport County Playhouse's 2012 SeasonINTO THE WOODS Opens Westport County Playhouse's 2012 Season
by BWW News Desk - Apr 3, 2012

A 25th anniversary production of the imaginative, fractured-fairy tale musical "Into the Woods" by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim will be staged at the theater where Sondheim was an apprentice in 1950, Westport Country Playhouse, in Westport, CT, May 1 through May 26. Directed by Mark Lamos, the Playhouse's artistic director, the musical will open the historic theater's 82nd season. It is co-produced with Baltimore's CENTERSTAGE. (more...)

Actors Fund to Honor Jason Alexander at Tony Awards Party, 6/10Actors Fund to Honor Jason Alexander at Tony Awards Party, 6/10
by BWW News Desk - Apr 3, 2012

Sunday, June 10th, The Actors Fund will honor TONY® Award winner Jason Alexander at their 16th Annual Tony Awards® Party with the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement. The gala, which will be held at Skirball Center (2701 North Sepulveda Blvd, LA, 90049), features the only approved live feed of the Tony Awards as they happen in New York. The evening's host and presenter to be announced. (more...)

SECOND CITY 2: LESS RUDE...MORE PORK Closes Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's 52nd Season, Opening 4/29SECOND CITY 2: LESS RUDE...MORE PORK Closes Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's 52nd Season, Opening 4/29
by BWW News Desk - Apr 29, 2012

Today Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern announced his 20th - and final - season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The Playhouse' s 52nd season includes two world premieres and three regional premiere productions, as well as the return of one of the most popular musicals in its history. (more...)

Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite for 'When Everything Was Possible' Concert Tonight, 4/29Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite for 'When Everything Was Possible' Concert Tonight, 4/29
by BWW News Desk - Apr 29, 2012

James William Productions and Stephenie Skyllas present Kurt Peterson and Victoria Mallory in When Everything Was Possible, A Concert (with comments), for one night only tonight, April 29th (7:30pm) at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues), as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. They are joined by a thirteen-piece band (Michael Rafter, Music Director), playing new orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Larry Moss directs, with musical staging by Joshua Bergasse ("Smash"). Carolyn Wong provides lighting design, with sound design by Leon Rothenberg and projection design by Telegraphicmedia. (more...)

Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite in WHEN EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE Concert, 4/29Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite in WHEN EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE Concert, 4/29
by BWW News Desk - Apr 29, 2012

James William Productions and Stephenie Skyllas will present Kurt Peterson and Victoria Mallory in 'When Everything Was Possible, A Concert (with comments),' for one night only, Sunday April 29th (7:30pm) at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues), as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. They will be joined by a thirteen-piece band (Michael Rafter, Music Director), playing new orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Larry Moss directs, with musical staging by Joshua Bergasse ("Smash"). Carolyn Wong will provide lighting design, with sound design by Leon Rothenberg and projection design by Telegraphicmedia. (more...)

InDepth InterView: Marin Mazzie Talks NY Pops JOURNEY ON Gala, RAGTIME, CARRIE, Sondheim & MoreInDepth InterView: Marin Mazzie Talks NY Pops JOURNEY ON Gala, RAGTIME, CARRIE, Sondheim & More
by Pat Cerasaro - Apr 27, 2012

Today we are talking to a Broadway superstar beloved from the time of her breakthrough performance in the original cast of Stephen Sondheim's PASSION nearly twenty years ago all the way to two tremendous revivals in the early 00s - KISS ME, KATE and MAN OF LA MANCHA - to her most recent trio of roles on Broadway, first appearing in the straight drama ENRON, then as the troubled lead character of Diana in the Pulitzer Prize-winning NEXT TO NORMAL, and, most recently, as the tortured Margaret White in the long-awaited New York return of CARRIE - the one and only Marin Mazzie. Recalling many memories of working on the original productions of such seminal musicals as INTO THE WOODS, PASSION, RAGTIME, SPAMALOT and NEXT TO NORMAL with some of Broadway's best and brightest talents, Mazzie expresses her sincere appreciation for the unforgettable shows she has been associated with and opens up about her experiences as both an originator of a role, as in the cases of PASSION and RAGTIME, and also as a replacement star and the challenges that that position poses for a performer. Additionally, Mazzie shares her enthusiasm for the words and music of the Tony Award-winning RAGTIME creators Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, whom she will be saluting alongside a starry assortment of notables on Monday at the NY Pops JOURNEY ON Gala at Carnegie Hall. Plus, Mazzie clues us in on all aspects of her journey with the recent New York reworking and reappraisal of CARRIE and gives us first news on recording the cast album, which is set for a Fall release, as well as news on her second duets album with husband, Jason Danieley and solo album thoughts. All of that and much, much more! (more...)

STAGE TUBE: Behind the Scenes at Drury Lane's HAIRSPRAY Opening NightSTAGE TUBE: Behind the Scenes at Drury Lane's HAIRSPRAY Opening Night
by Stage Tube - Apr 27, 2012

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the actors after their opening night, April 19, performance of HAIRSPRAY, which recently opened at the Drury Lane Theatre in Chicago. Check out the video below! (more...)

Darius de Haas, Adam Jacobs, Saycon Sengbloh, et al. Join Paper Mill Playhouse's ONCE ON THIS ISLAND; Full Cast Announced!Darius de Haas, Adam Jacobs, Saycon Sengbloh, et al. Join Paper Mill Playhouse's ONCE ON THIS ISLAND; Full Cast Announced!
by BWW News Desk - Apr 27, 2012

Paper Mill Playhouse just announced full casting for the Millburn, New Jersey, theater's production of Once On This Island (book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty). More than 20 years after its premiere, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens are re-inventing their first musical with Tony-nominated director Thomas Kail (In the Heights, Lombardi, Magic/Bird), choreographer Bradley Rapier (So You Think You Can Dance, Jesus Christ Superstar) and new orchestrations by music director Lynne Shankel (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Altar Boyz). Once On This Island begins performances on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, and runs through Sunday, June 24, 2012. Once On This Island is proudly sponsored by Bank of America. The official press opening is scheduled for Sunday, June 3, 2012. (more...)

Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite in WHEN EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE Concert, 4/29Kurt Peterson & Victoria Mallory Reunite in WHEN EVERYTHING WAS POSSIBLE Concert, 4/29
by BWW News Desk - Apr 25, 2012

James William Productions and Stephenie Skyllas will present Kurt Peterson and Victoria Mallory in 'When Everything Was Possible, A Concert (with comments),' for one night only, Sunday April 29th (7:30pm) at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues), as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. They will be joined by a thirteen-piece band (Michael Rafter, Music Director), playing new orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick. Larry Moss directs, with musical staging by Joshua Bergasse ("Smash"). Carolyn Wong will provide lighting design, with sound design by Leon Rothenberg and projection design by Telegraphicmedia. (more...)

Photo Flash: Opening Night of Drury Lane's HAIRSPRAY!Photo Flash: Opening Night of Drury Lane's HAIRSPRAY!
by BWW News Desk - Apr 24, 2012

HAIRSPRAY, the Tony Award-winning musical, is presented at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, opening April 19 and running through June 17, 2012. (more...)

InDepth InterView: Laura Osnes On THE SOUND OF MUSIC At Carnegie Hall, ANYTHING GOES, PIPE DREAM, CINDERELLA & MoreInDepth InterView: Laura Osnes On THE SOUND OF MUSIC At Carnegie Hall, ANYTHING GOES, PIPE DREAM, CINDERELLA & More
by Pat Cerasaro - Apr 23, 2012

Today we are completing our extensive three-part look at THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Carnegie Hall with an career-spanning chat with one of Broadway biggest rising stars, the amiable and accomplished Laura Osnes. Since her Broadway debut in GREASE - coming after the reality casting competition TV series, YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I WANT - in 2007, Osnes has found great success with lead roles in three more Broadway musicals, spelling for Kelli O'Hara in SOUTH PACIFIC at Lincoln Center as Nellie Forbush, as well as taking on the title role in Frank Wildhorn's BONNIE & CLYDE with Jeremy Jordan and playing Hope Harcourt in the Roundabout revival of ANYTHING GOES alongside Sutton Foster and Joel Grey. In addition to outlining her experiences in those shows and her reflections on her time spent on Broadway thus far, Osnes also opens up about her recent essaying of three Rodgers & Hammerstein roles, having just starred with Will Chase in PIPE DREAM at Encores!, her just-confirmed casting in a new Broadway-bound stage adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA that has recently had a workshop production (and will have another in July, again co-starring Santino Fontana) as well as all about the star-studded Carnegie Hall concert presentation of THE SOUND OF MUSIC co-starring Tony Goldwyn and Brooke Shields which she headlines on April 24. Plus, she recounts her experiences participating in the recent Kennedy Center Honors salute to Barbara Cook alongside a dizzying roster of divas and tackling FOLLIES in the spectacular SONDHEIM! THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT presentation now available on DVD - and she also clues us in on her favorite shows, acting influences, plans for the future and much, much more! (more...)

70 GIRL, 70! Birdland Concert Features Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand Tonight70 GIRL, 70! Birdland Concert Features Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand Tonight
by BWW News Desk - Apr 23, 2012

The Broadway at Birdland concert series presents Steven Brinberg as SIMPLY BARBRA in 70 GIRL, 70! - A Birthday Celebration Concert tonight, April 23 at 7pm. Special musical guests will be Corey Mach, from the cast of Godspell, Karl Warden from How To Succeed and Merrily We Roll Along, and the cabaret showstopper Marilyn Maye. (more...)

BWW TV Exclusive: Seth's Broadway Chatterbox With David Garrison!BWW TV Exclusive: Seth's Broadway Chatterbox With David Garrison!
by Seth's Broadway Chatterbox - Apr 22, 2012

We're pleased to bring you Seth's latest candid chat with Broadway favorite David Garrison. In this edition, Garrison tells stories about his time in A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHT IN UKRAINE, playing Hannibal Lecter in SILENCE! THE MUSICAL, his many WICKED co-stars, and more! (more...)

THUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR Premieres at Cincinnati Playhouse in the ParkTHUNDER KNOCKING ON THE DOOR Premieres at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
by BWW News Desk - Apr 20, 2012

Today Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern announced his 20th - and final - season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The Playhouse' s 52nd season includes two world premieres and three regional premiere productions, as well as the return of one of the most popular musicals in its history. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Highland Park "Pippin" Is Very Well Danced and Sung, Pretty Well ActedBWW Reviews: Highland Park "Pippin" Is Very Well Danced and Sung, Pretty Well Acted
by Paul W. Thompson - Apr 2, 2012

The 1972 Bob Fosse dance spectacle and play-within-a-play "Pippin" (which produced a legendary Motown Records cast album, no less) opened in Lakeview this past October, courtesy of the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. And now we have a "Pippin" for the north lakeshore, as The Music Theatre Company of Highland Park has mounted an enjoyable revival of its own, opening last weekend and running through May 6, 2012.Stephen Schwartz, one of the most popular Broadway composer-lyricists of the last 40 years, is riding high these days, with the continued mega-success of "Wicked," a late-career surprise for a guy who made his first big impact when he was just out of college in the very early 1970s. There's a revival of his "Godspell" playing on Broadway right now, directly adjacent to where "Wicked" is still selling out after 8 years, and two rival revivals of "Pippin" have been vying for Main Stem viability in recent months. Here in Chicago, we had a re-working of "Working" last spring, in a major production at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, and a Schwartz career retrospective revue called "Snapshots" premiered at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie last fall. Schwartz himself was in town for both productions, rumored to be in love with our Chicago acting scene. The 1972 Bob Fosse dance spectacle and play-within-a-play "Pippin" (which produced a legendary Motown Records cast album, no less) opened in Lakeview this past October, courtesy of the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble. And now we have a "Pippin" for the north lakeshore, as The Music Theatre Company of Highland Park has mounted an enjoyable revival of its own, opening last weekend and running through May 6, 2012. Directed and choreographed by the company's founder and artistic director, Jessica Redish (how many hats IS that?), and music-directed by her "Merrily We Roll Along" partner, Ian Weinberger (their production of that problematic Stephen Sondheim show was very well received last year), this production utilizes Equity leads and a non-Equity ensemble, to interesting advantage. Many of the dance sequences look great, especially the opening number, "Magic To Do," the "Glory" sequence, the thrilling "Morning Glow" and several opportunities where Fosse trios are utilized (a lead dancer in front, flanked by a supporting dancer on each side). The women of the ensemble (Sasha Kostyrko, Kristin O'Connell, Emily Rogers and Lucy Zukaitis) are especially sexy, and the men (Brian M. Duncan, Tommy Rivera-Vega and Jeremy Sonkin) dance their socks off and carry out their small acting bits with verve. And the leading characters are played by actors with formidable singing chops, made all the more impressive by the fact that the cast is entirely unamplified. Leading Player Joey Stone has an extremely impressive, beautiful and flexible R&B voice, all runs and trills and idiomatic inflections that are very satisfying throughout (he's worked all over town since landing here five years ago, and it's easy to hear why). His stage presence is unmistakable, and you need to hear him sing these songs. You really do. The titular hero of the piece is embodied by the elfin, vaguely quirky-looking Andrew Keltz, who looks to be about 15 until you spy a little chest hair poking its way out of his shirt collar. His is not the most resonant vocal instrument, but he sounds entirely conversation and convincing every time he sings, and he too works all over the place. And he is not a conventional juvenile lead, but he plays them constantly, gifted with the innate ability to convey a searching, restless contemporary spirit, adrift in a society he doesn't understand. James Rank is the Charlemagne here, enacting all the hoary bluster and inner struggle of a man who is admittedly not a brain type of guy. His singing is a combination of exemplary Gilbert and Sullivan patter and baritonal bravado. However, he is saddled with the thankless number, "Welcome Home," which seems to always drag down the action with tons of exposition and not enough flash, so that all "Pippin" productions struggle in the early going. Thankfully, his prayer scene was remarkably nuanced. The veteran Peggy Roeder, playing Berthe until April 13 (she will be replaced by Cindy Gold, faculty member at Northwestern University and recently in "Show Boat" at Lyric Opera of Chicago), is hilarious and sings like the character actress she is, every note and word perfectly produced. And Angie Stemberg (Fastrada) and Jess Godwin (Catherine) are providing a school for contemporary musical theater singing in this production, with personalized stylings couched within perfectly placed belt techiques. If Zach Zube is not the ideal physical type for the character of Lewis, he nonetheless brings energy, focus and excitement to the role. However, young Theo is here portrayed by the pleasant commitment of young Isabelle Roberts, in a fascinating bit of pre-pubescent gender-bent casting. The orchestra of five, conducted by Weinberger and playing his orchestral reduction of the score, plays as softly as one could imagine a pop-rock score could be played, to their credit and the credit of sound designer Christopher Kriz. In addition to the songs I've already mentioned, I loved "On the Right Track," for its perfect blend of choreography, acting moments, use of the playing space and the singing of the two male leads, the lovely and still "Love Song" by Keltz and Godwin, and, especially, Roeder and Company's delivery of "No Time At All," complete with audience sing-along and hitting all the right showbiz mastery this number requires. Can I discuss the ending of the show for a bit? I know this show's coup de theatre ending is supposed to be a secret surprise, but it's over 40 years old, and fairly well known to the readers of BroadwayWorld. So, here I go. When the Leading Player proposed to Pippin that he should end his life in a glorious blazing bonfire and Pippin refuses, prompting the Leading Player to order the removal of all "theatrical" elements (lights, costumes, music) from Pippin and Catherine, I'm never quite sure that it ever truly works. First of all, is Pippin the character rebelling, or is the unnamed actor playing him in the Leading Player's troupe rebelling? And why does the L.P. get so upset? This is not set up very well by bookwriter Roger O. Hirson (was it Fosse's idea?), nor is it really explained--this oversized, childish reaction to an actor (or character) refusing to follow the script. If you don't know it's coming, it's shocking and unique and interesting. But once you think about it, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It makes a point, but it isn't as perfect an ending as I wish it were. Oh, well. Small quibble. That being said, this particular production handles it pretty well. The lights and flashiness of the show do indeed reach their peak just before the unforeseen turn of events, and the final image of Pippin, Catherine and Theo in their underwear does carry the meaning it is intended to convey. Actually, the lighting for this show (by Charles Cooper) is one of its best aspects. The lights change constantly, directing the eye and conveying the mood and creating the time and place. I was extremely impressed. I don't think the workable scenic design (Stephen M. Carmody), properties design (Nick Heggestad) or costume design (Jessica Snyder) of this production would come off near as well, were the lighting not so perfect. So, kudos to Reddish and TMTC for a fun, meaningful and stylistically appropriate "Pippin," with moments of real creativity. The level of vocal excellence here is not always heard in other small, intimate theaters, and speaks to the priorities of this still-young company. If you love that legendary cast album, you'll enjoy this production, even with a small orchestra. And the show's theme of staying true to oneself, while looking for love and finding joy and meaning in the simple things of life, is a timeless one, well worth revisiting. Applause for the company of "Pippin!" The Music Theatre Company's production of "Pippin," by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson, plays March 22-May 6, 2012 at the Karger Center, 1850 Green Bay Road in Highland Park, directed and choreographed by Founding Artistic Director Jessica Reddish. Tickets are available by calling 847.579.4900 or by visiting www.themusictheatrecompany.org. PHOTOS: (top) Andrew Keltz as Pippin with (L to R) Emily Rogers, Lucy Zukaitis and Sasha Kostyrko in "Pippin" at The Music Theatre Company; (bottom) Joey Stone as the Leading Player with cast members of "Pippin" at The Music Theatre Company PHOTO CREDIT: www.jonathansportraits.com (more...)

BWW Reviews: SONGS IN THE KEY OF STEPHEN - A Feast for Fans of Sondheim and SchwartzBWW Reviews: SONGS IN THE KEY OF STEPHEN - A Feast for Fans of Sondheim and Schwartz
by Mark Andrew Lawrence - Apr 2, 2012

A dazzling revue of songs by the two Stephens - Sondheim and Schwartz - performed by an enthusiastic cast. (more...)

Photo Flash: Drury Lane's HAIRSPRAY Plays in ChicagoPhoto Flash: Drury Lane's HAIRSPRAY Plays in Chicago
by BWW News Desk - Apr 19, 2012

HAIRSPRAY, the Tony Award-winning musical, opens tonight at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, and runs through June 17, 2012. Check out production photos of the cast below! (more...)

Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico Set to Lead PASSION at Classic Stage Company in 2013Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico Set to Lead PASSION at Classic Stage Company in 2013
by BWW News Desk - Apr 19, 2012

Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Brian Kulick and Executive Director Greg Reiner announced today that acclaimed/awarding winning actresses Judy Kuhn and Melissa Errico will star as Fosca and Clara in the company's new production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Tony Award-winning musical PASSION, to be directed by John Doyle (the Tony Award-winning revivals of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Company). PASSION is slated to begin performances in February, 2013. Additional casting will be announced in the coming weeks and months, as well as full creative team. PASSION opened on Broadway in May of 1994 and received the Tony Award that year for Best Musical. (more...)

Jason Alexander to Guest Star on 200th Episode of TWO AND A HALF MEN, 5/7Jason Alexander to Guest Star on 200th Episode of TWO AND A HALF MEN, 5/7
by BWW News Desk - Apr 18, 2012

Broadway vet Jason Alexander will guest star as Alan's cardiologist, Dr. Goodman on the 200th episode of the CBS comedy TWO AND A HALF MEN. (more...)

Geva Theatre Center Presents COMPANY, 5/9-6/10Geva Theatre Center Presents COMPANY, 5/9-6/10
by BWW News Desk - Apr 17, 2012

Geva Theatre Center's 2011-2012 Wilson Mainstage Season concludes with Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's musical Company, which begins performances on May 9 and runs in the Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage through June 10. (more...)

STAGE TUBE: Colin Donnell Featured in Norah Jones Music Video!STAGE TUBE: Colin Donnell Featured in Norah Jones Music Video!
by Stage Tube - Apr 16, 2012

Broadway favorite Colin Donnell, who currently plays Billy Crocker in ANYTHING GOES, plays a different role in Norah Jones' new music video for 'Happy Pills.' Check out Donnell in action below! (more...)

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Ends Run of TIGERS BE STILLCincinnati Playhouse in the Park Ends Run of TIGERS BE STILL
by BWW News Desk - Apr 15, 2012

Producing Artistic Director Edward Stern's 20th - and final - season at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park closes its run of recent Off-Broadway hit TIGERS BE STILL by Kim Rosenstock tonight, April 15. (more...)

Bernadette Peters Plays the Jorgensen Stage, 4/13-14Bernadette Peters Plays the Jorgensen Stage, 4/13-14
by BWW News Desk - Apr 13, 2012

Bernadette Peters is set to perform at Jorgensen's Cabaret on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, at 8 p.m. Fresh from wowing audiences in the Broadway revival of "Follies" and coming to Storrs on her first East Coast stop of her national tour, Peters will perform selections from a rich stock of musicals and popular tunes by Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others. (more...)

Bernadette Peters Plays the Jorgensen Stage, 4/13-14Bernadette Peters Plays the Jorgensen Stage, 4/13-14
by BWW News Desk - Apr 12, 2012

Bernadette Peters is set to perform at Jorgensen's Cabaret on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, at 8 p.m. Fresh from wowing audiences in the Broadway revival of "Follies" and coming to Storrs on her first East Coast stop of her national tour, Peters will perform selections from a rich stock of musicals and popular tunes by Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others. (more...)

70 GIRL, 70! Birdland Concert to Feature Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand, 4/2370 GIRL, 70! Birdland Concert to Feature Steven Brinberg as Barbra Streisand, 4/23
by BWW News Desk - Apr 12, 2012

The Broadway at Birdland concert series presents Steven Brinberg as SIMPLY BARBRA in 70 GIRL, 70! - A Birthday Celebration Concert on Monday, April 23 at 7pm. Special musical guests will be Corey Mach, from the cast of Godspell, Karl Warden from How To Succeed and Merrily We Roll Along, and the cabaret showstopper Marilyn Maye. (more...)

XANADU to Close Signature's 22nd Season, 5/6-7/1XANADU to Close Signature's 22nd Season, 5/6-7/1
by BWW News Desk - Apr 12, 2012

Signature Theatre closes out its 2011/12 season sporting funky legwarmers and wielding neon glow sticks with the Washington premiere of the musical comedy hit Xanadu. Beginning performances on May 6th, Xanadu will be transforming Signature's MAX Theatre into one big disco-ball heaven - complete with satin shorts and roller skates! Nominated for four Tony Awards® (including "Best Musical"), the musical features a Book by Douglas Carter Beane, with Music and Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar. Xanadu will play at Signature from May 6, 2012 through July 1, 2012. Tickets are now on sale. (more...)

Rachel York, Aaron Lazar and More Join Megan Hilty in Encores! GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDESRachel York, Aaron Lazar and More Join Megan Hilty in Encores! GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES
by BWW News Desk - Apr 12, 2012

Rachel York will join Megan Hilty in the Encores! production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, opening May 9 at New York City Center. York will play the brunette, Dorothy Shaw, best friend of Lorelei, the diamond-loving blonde played by Hilty. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be directed by John Rando with music direction by Rob Berman and choreography by Randy Skinner and will play for seven performances, May 9 - 13, at New York City Center, 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. (more...)

Drury Lane Theatre Presents HAIRSPRAY, 4/12-6/17Drury Lane Theatre Presents HAIRSPRAY, 4/12-6/17
by BWW News Desk - Apr 11, 2012

HAIRSPRAY, the Tony Award-winning musical, will be presented at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, previewing April 12, opening April 19, and running through June 17, 2012. (more...)

Kerry Ellis Urges Olympic-Goers to See a West End ShowKerry Ellis Urges Olympic-Goers to See a West End Show
by BWW News Desk - Apr 10, 2012

West End star Kerry Ellis recently wrote article for the Huffington Pst, in which she urges tourists to see a show while in London for the 2012 Olympics. Ellis writes: 'Theatre is part of the city's lifeblood and I know I'm not alone when I say that the Olympic Games this summer is a wonderful opportunity to introduce many of the fantastic shows currently being performed in the capital to the thousands of people visiting the city in July, most for the first time.' (more...)

Twitter Watch: Lin-Manuel Miranda Records MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Album with Stephen Sondheim!Twitter Watch: Lin-Manuel Miranda Records MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Album with Stephen Sondheim!
by BWW - Apr 10, 2012

On Twitter Watch, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote 'Maestro.' (more...)

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