Ben Rimalower

Ben Rimalower

BEN RIMALOWER is the author and star of the long-running solo plays Bad with Money (The Advocate’s #1 of 2014) and Patti Issues (New York Time Critics Pick, M.A.C. and Bistro Awards, Official Selection: Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Summer Conference), both of which he continues to perform around the world, while simultaneous productions pop up with other actors “playing” Ben Rimalower, including two-time Tony nominee Robin De Jesus in New York. Ben’s double audiobook recording of Patti Issues and Bad with Money is a Roven Records bestseller on iTunes, Audible and Amazon. His “Do You Have Patti Issues?” PSA with Alan Cumming and Patti LuPone was a homepage selection on FunnyOrDie. He is a regular contributor to Vulture, Playbill, Out and Decider, and his short story, “Little Old Sam,” was included in the book My Dog, My Friend. 

A sought after Master of Ceremonies, Ben has made frequent appearances on nearly every nightclub, cabaret and comedy stage in New York. As an actor, he has been seen as both Patti LuPone and Elaine Stritch in You Like Me and as a literally flaming Jack Nicholson in The Witches of East Village at the Gramercy Theatre opposite Miss Coco Peru and Chad Michaels. Television appearances include Bravo's “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “Watch What Happens Live,” ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” and Billy Eichner and Rachel Dratch’s “Halloween Adventure.”

Ben directed and produced the Off-Broadway plays Joy (Actors Playhouse) and The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero (Daryl Roth/DR2 Theatre), as well as numerous off Off-Broadway plays, readings, benefits and concerts. He earned the title the “Midas of Cabaret” (The Advocate) helming a slew of solo shows for artists ranging from Our Lady J and Cole Escola to the Countess Luann de Lesseps. Ben conceived and directed Leslie Kritzer is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches (Time Out New York Award) and subsequently produced Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records’ long- awaited recording, “Patti LuPone at Les Mouches.” Additionally, he produced and directed audiobooks of David Gregory’s How’s Your Faith, Isaac Oliver’s Intimacy Idiot, Ryan O’Connell’s I’m Special, Sam Harris’s Ham, Carole Bayer Sager’s They’re Playing My Song Jennifer Weiner’s  Hungry Heart and Caroline Kepnes’s You—now a hit Lifetime/Netflix series.

Follow @benrimalower on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and visit benrimalower.com.




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BroadwayWorld Announces Podcast Launch - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up AboutPodcast - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up About
Posted: Sep. 23, 2019


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BroadwayWorld Announces Podcast Launch - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up AboutPodcast - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up About
Posted: Sep. 23, 2019


BWW Exclusive: Ben Rimalower's Broken Records with Special Guest, Santino Fontana!
October 14, 2019

In this episode, Ben and Daniel talk to Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz about Judy Collins' 1967 album 'Wildflowers.' They also discuss Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, The Supremes, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf,' Motown, 'Bye Bye Birdie,' and Leonard Cohen. Stephen talks about the conception and creation of a number of his works, including 'Wicked,' 'Godspell,' 'Pippin,' 'The Baker's Wife,' 'Working,' 'Rags,' and 'The Prince of Egypt.' He tells stories about working with artists such as Howard Ashman, Charles Strouse, Steven Spielberg, and Whitney Houston, and talks about collaborating with Alan Menken, with whom he wrote the songs for the hit Disney films 'Pocahontas,' 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' and 'Enchanted.'

BWW Interview: Adam Fleming of THE DARE PROJECT Opens Up About HAIRSPRAY, TOE PICK, WICKED, BARE and DARE!
October 9, 2019

Actor-singer-dancer-choreographer Adam Fleming became a part of Broadway history originating the roles of Sketch in Hairspray and Lucas in Bare. In 2005, he starred in David Brind and Adam Salky's acclaimed short film, Dare, about two teenage boys' tense, spark-filled encounter in a pool following high school play practice. Dare gained a cult following as part of Strand Releasing's 'Boys Life' series and ultimately achieved worldwide popularity via more than 12 Million views on Youtube. The fan fervor (and fan fiction!) eventually inspired a sequel, ten years later. The original and the sequel are now being presented together as The Dare Project and attracting new legions of fans.

BWW Exclusive: Ben Rimalower's Broken Records with Special Guest, Stephen Schwartz!
October 7, 2019

In this episode, Ben and Daniel talk to Tony, Grammy, and Academy Award-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz about Judy Collins' 1967 album 'Wildflowers.' They also discuss Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, The Supremes, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf,' Motown, 'Bye Bye Birdie,' and Leonard Cohen. Stephen talks about the conception and creation of a number of his works, including 'Wicked,' 'Godspell,' 'Pippin,' 'The Baker's Wife,' 'Working,' 'Rags,' and 'The Prince of Egypt.' He tells stories about working with artists such as Howard Ashman, Charles Strouse, Steven Spielberg, and Whitney Houston, and talks about collaborating with Alan Menken, with whom he wrote the songs for the hit Disney films 'Pocahontas,' 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame,' and 'Enchanted.'

BWW Exclusive: Ben Rimalower's Broken Records with Special Guest, Cole Escola!
September 30, 2019

In this episode, Ben and Daniel talk to actor and comedian Cole Escola about Judy Garland's beloved 1961 Grammy-winning live album Judy at Carnegie Hall. They also discuss Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli, Barbara Cook, and Marin Mazzie. Cole talks about how he discovered each of these legendary performers and how live albums and concert patter have helped inform his own career. Cole currently writes for and stars in Amy Sedaris's Emmy-nominated show At Home with Amy Sedaris on truTV.

BroadwayWorld Announces Podcast Launch - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up About
September 23, 2019

BroadwayWorld is excited to announce the official launch of the site's first self-produced podcast - Ben Rimalower's Broken Records, The Albums You Wouldn't Shut Up About. On each weekly episode Rimalower and co-host Daniel Nolen chat with guests about one album that they were obsessed with, how they discovered it, what it led them to, where they were in life when it impacted them and how it's stayed with them since.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: CABARET
May 10, 2019

Cabaret is one of the most successful, popular and influential musicals ever written. You can call it's Kander and Ebb's masterpiece or a defining triumph for Hal Prince or Bob Fosse and in any case, you'll be right on the money. So it's no wonder I have so many damn recordings of the score. The good news is they are all available for streaming on various platforms and so I can throw out all these CDs without having to do any uploading.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
May 3, 2019

I can remember so well senior year of college when my friend Claudio came back from a trip to New York all abuzz over little drag rock show he'd seen Off-Broadway called Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I was grilling him for details on Audra and Marin in Ragtime and whether there was anything we could steal from Sam Mendes for our off-campus production of Cabaret, but Claudio only wanted to talk about Hedwig. The clincher for me was when he mentioned the star--and author--was John Cameron Mitchell. I was obsessed with John on the original cast albums of The Secret Garden and Hello Again. 'Okay, okay,' I agreed. I would see this Hedwig when I moved to New York four months later.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: SONG & DANCE
April 26, 2019

The West End and Broadway musical Song & Dance has taken up a lot of space in my CD collection. In addition to the Original London Cast Recording starring Marti Webb (recorded live at the Palace Theatre in 1982), the 1984 British television broadcast from the stage of recently closed production at the Palace starring Sarah Brightman and the Original Broadway Cast Recording (of just the songs half, no dance music...) starring Bernadette Peters, I'm also including the original 1979 'Tell Me on a Sunday' album starring Marti Webb in her first stab at the material, from which the sung portion of Song & Dance was derived, as well as its 2003 London production starring Denise Van Outen.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS
April 19, 2019

Nothing quite got me going like hearing Alice Whitfield and the cast of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris braggadociously belting about 'the time when Brussels was king.'

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: SWEET CHARITY
April 12, 2019

Like the rest of you, I've spent this week obsessing over 'Fosse Verdon' on FX and especially Gwen Verdon, played brilliantly on the series by Michelle Williams, in a performance that makes you want to reinvestigate what made Gwen so great. Sweet Charity is the perfect place to start. Gwen became a star and won her first Tony in a featured role in Can Can and she gained worldwide acclaim (and number 2 in a total of four Tonys) as Lola in Damn Yankees on stage and screen and of course there were many other shows and movies and TV appearances, but Sweet Charity was the show Bob Fosse (and Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon) created just for her. She may have lost the Tony to Angela Lansbury in Mame, but Gwen got that iconic poster and all those songs.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: LES MISERABLES
April 5, 2019

Oh my god, I have literally nothing to say about Les Miz. Well, maybe not nothing... not literally! It's not gonna be hard to throw these out, I'll tell you that much. I have so many freaking Les Miz CDs and they all take up so much space at two--even three--discs a pop. The only one I ever really listened to in its entirety more than a couple of times was the Original London cast anyway.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: GYPSY
March 29, 2019

As I'm going through all my Gypsy CDs (yes, to ensure I have them all either on my hard drive or accessible in the cloud, before throwing them out), I'm finding myself weirdly most drawn to Tyne Daly's recording, from her Tony-winning performance in the 1989 revival. The thing is I know Tyne Daly, I mean I know her work. She's been a familiar and distinctive presence on stage and screen for as long as I can remember and I even have a few musical theater recordings featuring her singing, but hers is not a singing voice I live with on a LITERALLY daily basis like, say, Ethel Merman's, Angela Lansbury's, Bette Midler's, Bernadette Peters's or Patti LuPone's. So to me, Tyne Daly's Rose is a unique sound that I can only identify with Tyne Daly's Rose and, therefore, a character. For today, that's the Gypsy I most feel like listening to.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: CHESS
March 22, 2019

Well, the next step in my decluttering/digitizing journey is throwing out my Chess CDs, not that they take up much space. I only have the Original Concept Recording and the Broadway cast. I'm going to download the freaking 2008 Royal Albert Hall concert version (with Idina Menzel, Josh Groban and Adam Pascal) to try to keep this column hip. But let's all just remember two things: 1.) I am not hip; and, 2.) I'm just downloading the concert for this column, so it doesn't really count as part of my digitizing.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: OKLAHOMA!
March 15, 2019

In 10th Grade, I was in the chorus of a production of Oklahoma! in the auditorium of my synagogue and it was the best theatrical experience I've ever had. I remember getting home from the closing night cast party and crying myself to sleep. I could cry now putting on the movie or listening to 'The Farmer and the Cowman,' or maybe most of all, if I sing a little bit of the introduction to the title song.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: ANNIE
March 8, 2019

I thought throwing out my Annie CDs would be easy--I thought I only had one! Obviously that would be the indispensable Original Broadway Cast Recording with Dorothy Loudon and Andrea McArdle. How wrong I was! I knew that, as a kid, I had the tape of the 1982 movie soundtrack with Carol Burnett and Aileen Quinn (and an all-star supporting cast!), but I didn't remember buying it on CD. And when the hell did I get the CD of the 1999 TV version (with Kathy Bates and an all-star cast)? And, oh yeah... I forgot about this studio album from the 90s with studio cast queen Kim Criswell--I think I bought back in the day somehow convincing myself Ruthie Henshall was playing Annie. (Spoiler alert: She plays Grace.) Oh, and I do remember this '30thAnniversary' deluxe production with Chicago area diva (and original star of the sequel, Annie Warbucks) Alene Robertson as Miss Hannigan plus a lot of bonus material. To add insult to injury, I also have a Blu-Ray of the recent Hollywood remake with Cameron Diaz. I don't even have a Blu-Ray player! This thing is definitely going into the trash along with all the audio, but I will listen to a few tracks online for my edification.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: FALSETTOS
March 1, 2019

Okay, this week, I only have to throw out two CDs, but it hurts! I'll never forget May 31, 1992--the 46th Annual Tony Awards. I had just turned 16 and was eagerly tuning in to absorb the Broadway of it all. I didn't really know much about any of the shows, other than that friends and family in New York had flipped for Guys And Dolls and that my parents had loved an earlier incarnation of Jelly's Last Jam when it played the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Glenn Close was hosting and Patti LuPone was presenting and I was not moving from my seat on the couch until I had a ranked list of the shows I wanted to see when I got to New York to visit my grandparents for Thanksgiving.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: EVITA
February 22, 2019

Woof. This week is the biggest decluttering task I've attempted yet-throwing out my Evita CDs. I got 99 problems and Evita CDs are all of them. And that's not including the vinyl and the bootlegs on audio cassette. And the strange flash drives people handed me in dark bars muttering something about Elaine Paige and 'A New Argentina.'

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: THE WIZ
February 15, 2019

This week's decluttering is only freeing up a tiny bit of space in my collection, but it represents an enormous place in my heart. The only version of The Wiz I have on CD is the AMAZING/IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT, YOU'RE NOT A REAL BROADWAY FAN original cast album starring Stephanie Mills. I do have the movie soundtrack in my iTunes and the soundtrack of 'The Wiz Live!' is on Apple Music, so let's dive in.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: INTO THE WOODS
February 8, 2019

Well, my little piggies and wolves, the next CDs I'm eliminating from my apartment are all the recordings of all the versions of Into The Woods. I'm talking London cast, movie version, Broadway revival and ouch, the one that's gonna leave a gaping hole in my heart, that beautiful Original Broadway Cast Recording starring Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Tom Aldredge, Robert Westenberg and above them all as the Witch (receiving the deal-breaking top billing the producers previously refused Patti LuPone when they offered her the role) Bernadette Peters.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: GUYS AND DOLLS
February 1, 2019

Well, next up in decluttering my apartment is clearing out the big, tall stack of different Guys and Dolls CDs I've spent a few decades collecting. I think I could hack this particular task without any tears (or maybe like you know without having to blog about it) were it not for that gorgeous black square with the orange and yellow title letters thrown into the air alongside perfect pair of cartoon dice. 1992 Grammy Award-winning New Broadway Cast Recording, it's gonna be hard to leave you, baby.



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