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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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Posted: Feb. 1, 2021


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.

Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: THE RINK
January 25, 2019

Ben Rimalower revisits favorite musical theater recordings as he digitizes and declutters his collection. This week's spotlight is on the Original Broadway Cast CD of The Rink starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Terrence McNally.



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