Joseph F. Panarello

Joseph F. Panarello Joe Panarello is one of those people who have most certainly been born with theater in their blood. As an actor, Joe has played such varied roles as Harry Roat in Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, Jimmy Smith in No, No Nanette and Lazer Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof a vehicle he's performed in several times and designed the sets for on one occasion. He's also directed productions of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park and Henrich Ibsen's Peer Gynt. Joe is a respected author who has written over 100 articles for BWW. Although his latest work, The Authoritative History of Corduroy won't be published until this summer, it is already being translated into several different languages by a group of polyglot nuns in Tormento, Italy.. The proceeds from their labors will go to the restoration of the nearby Cathedral of Gorgonzola.



Tristan MacManus and the Boston PopsTristan MacManus and the Boston Pops
Posted: Jun. 2, 2018

BWW Interview: Up Close and Personal with TORCH SONG's Michael UrieBWW Interview: Up Close and Personal with TORCH SONG's Michael Urie
Posted: Nov. 2, 2018

BWW Interview: Keith Lockhart Discusses 2018 Season of the Boston PopsBWW Interview: Keith Lockhart Discusses 2018 Season of the Boston Pops
Posted: May. 10, 2018

BWW Features: Atlanta Presents a New Staging of PORGY AND BESS
February 14, 2011

It's not unusual for music lovers to ponder what the Great American Opera is. A good portion will argue persuasively in favor of Stephen Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD. Others will present strong reasons for George Gershwin's PORGY AND BESS. It's quite possible that THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES by John Corigliano has its coterie of supporters, too.

BWW Exclusive Interview: Happy 90th Carol Channing!
January 31, 2011

The year 1921 was a busy one. Albert Einstein was lecturing in New York about his new Theory of Relativity, Charlie Chaplin's movie The Kid was released, Babe Ruth became the all time HR champ with #120, New York's Walter Kerr Theater opened, Turkey made peace with Armenia, President Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery, Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie received its premiere on the Great White Way and on January 31st in California, Broadway legend Carol Channing was born. That's right. This inimical Broadway personality is celebrating her 90th birthday these days!

BWW Interviews: Maestro Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops
December 1, 2010

When one thinks of the Boston Pops, recollections of a grand orchestral sound come to mind, along with memories of brilliant conducting by Maestro Keith Lockhart, incredibly fine arrangements and a long list of Broadway guest stars. These have included Christine Ebersole, Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane, Victoria Clarke, Jason Danieley, Marin Mazzie, John Barrowman, Faith Prince and a host of others. In the coming weeks, the name of R&B singer Melinda Doolitle can be added to the list. Ms Doolittle, who made such a vivid impression on viewers of 'American Idol' during its sixth season, will be joining the orchestra on their annual holiday tour. During these wonderful and spirited concerts, Ms Doolittle (no relation to Eliza!) will show off her powerful and soulful voice in such holiday favorites as 'Joy to the World' and 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' in what promises to be a series of memorable concerts.

BWW Interviews: WSS's Matthew Hydzik
October 6, 2010

The role of Tony in WEST SIDE STORY may be the most difficult role to cast in musical theatre. It requires a young performer who can sing a tenor role, dance Jerome Robbins' iconic choreography, and act convincingly enough to make the audience believe that love-at-first-sight is a true possibility in the real world. Not every production of the show is successful in getting someone who scores in all these departments.

BWW Interviews: Carson Kressley Talks 'Runway,' 'CHAPERONE' and More
September 24, 2010

Most people will remember Carson Kressley from television's 'Queer Eye For The Straight Guy'. He was the more outrageous of the so-called Fab Five and was the show's fashion guru. Talking to him on the phone proved that he's not exactly like that. At least not nowadays. He proved to be genial, intelligent and much more of a sweetheart than anyone would expect from his television image. He was eager to chat about his background, his stage acting and his participation in 'Broadway Takes The Runway' which takes place on October 4th.

BWW Interviews: The Best of Times is Now for Jerry Herman
September 20, 2010

Little did composer/lyricist Jerry Herman know that when he wrote that lyric for LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, he was actually predicting his own future. The original production of LA CAGE opened to enormous critical acclaim in 1983 and is currently receiving its second revival on Broadway in The Menier Chocolate Factory's brilliantly scaled-down version. The second act showstopper in every version is 'The Best of Times' which inevitably has the audience singing along when it's performed during the final bows. It's also the song that seems to be going through Herman's head ever since August 13th when he learned he'd been named to receive one of this year's Kennedy Center Honors.

BWW Interviews: Andre De Shields
August 18, 2010

The production of DAMN YANKEES playing at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport (LI), New York is a solid one. There are fine performances, inventive staging, colorful costumes and a jaunty score. However something very magical takes place half way through the second act: it is at this point that Broadway veteran Andr De Shields, who plays Mr. Applegate, sits in a chair, crosses his legs and launches into the song 'Those Were The Good Old Days'. It is the moment when the show is elevated into something extremely grand and memorable.

BWW Interviews: VERITAS' Sam Underwood
August 16, 2010

The last time Sam Underwood appeared on stage he was completely naked. He was playing Alan Strang in the much lauded production of Peter Schaffer's EQUUS at East Hampton (NY)'s John Drew Theatre. Those who are familiar with the play know that it culminates in a 20 minute nude scene for the actor playing the tormented young Strang. How then would the actor be recognized when he walked into a restaurant in New York City fully clothed?

BWW Interviews: PROMISES' Sean Martin Hingston
July 23, 2010

In the year 2000, the face of Sean Martin Hingston became quite familiar to New Yorkers; not just theatergoers, but the average Joes and Janes who traversed the city via public transportation. Susan Stroman's innovative CONTACT was playing at Lincoln Center and its ads were blazoned on every bus, taxi, and subway billboard. The artwork featured the ravishing Deborah Yates as 'The Girl In The Yellow Dress being pursued by the forlorn-looking Boyd Gaines. Looking on was the menacing presence of Sean Martin Hingston. The image remains in the memories of almost everyone who saw it.

BWW Interviews: Boyd Gaines in THE GRAND MANNER
July 16, 2010

A.R. Gurney's play THE GRAND MANNER is filled with memorable scenes. The fictional account of the playwright's youthful encounter with legendary actress Katharine Cornell brims with nostalgic references, brilliant characterizations, witty aphorisms and touchingly human scenes. However, the June 6th matinee featured an extra, unscripted, delight.

BWW Special Feature: EQUUS' Baldwin, Schaffer & Underwood in Conversation
June 1, 2010

It's sad, but many times when the topic of Peter Schaffer's Tony Award Winning play Equus enters the conversation at cocktail parties, someone invariably remarks, 'Isn't that the show about the naked English kid and the horses?' Well, on the surface, that's true, but the play is so rich in ideas and subtexts that it would take a blue ribbon panel to discuss the play and its content-to say nothing about its interpretations.

BWW Interviews: Jerry Herman Praises LA CAGE, Talks New MAME & More
May 24, 2010

Broadway legend Carol Channing is fond of telling the story about a group of Russian diplomats who came to see the original production of Hello, Dolly! in 1964. Although they spoke virtually no English, they sat through the show and visited with the star in her dressing room afterwards. Talking through an interpreter, they told her that they loved the musical because it was filled with so much optimism. Although they couldn't understand the lyrics, the ebullience of Jerry Herman's music allowed them to experience and enjoy what producer David Merrick touted as 'the world's happiest musical'.

BWW Interviews: Reichen Lehmkuhl Talks GAY ITALIAN WEDDING
May 17, 2010

It's hard to believe that Reichen Lehmkuhl was ever thought to be ugly. In his autobiography, Here's What We'll Say, he writes of a note that a girl left in his middle school locker: 'She went on to tell me I was ugly, disgusting, and to top it off, a total geek.' He then discusses how he was considered unattractive even as he entered the United States Air Force Academy.

Christian Campbell Discusses MAGNETIC NORTH
May 8, 2010

Meeting Christian Campbell at a mid-town diner finds him to be friendly and articulate. He's just spent the day rehearsing a new play called MAGNETIC NORTH and is brimming over with excitement about it.

BWW Interviews: Boston Pop's Keith Lockhart
May 3, 2010

In the past 125 years, plenty of things have come and gone in our society. Horse and buggy rides used to be a common mode of transportation but are now relegated to being novelties that tourists indulge in. Women no longer lace themselves into corsets, and men no longer Brilliantine their hair. Black vinyl records now exist solely on the shelves of collectors, and if one were to order a strawberry phosphate at the local luncheonette, he or she would be greeted by a look of utter confusion on the other side of the counter. However, the Boston Pops Orchestra, founded in 1885 is still performing on tour and in Boston's beautiful Symphony Hall. According to some mavens, it's an orchestra that has truly improved with age.

BWW Interviews: CAVEMAN's Paul Perroni
April 1, 2010

There's nothing like the sound of laughter. There's the sound of children's laughter and the raucous laughter of friends having a good time. There's the laughter of a good prank, as well as the laugher of a shared secret. Yet one of the most special kinds of laughter is that of an audience who are wholeheartedly enjoying themselves at a live theatrical performance. Such is the case at the Theatre on 46th Street, where Rob Becker's DEFENDING THE CAVEMAN is playing to packed houses that are laughing profusely and having a rollicking good time. The original 1995 production starred its author, who was followed by television actor Michael Chiklis, as the sole performer on stage. It ran for two and a half years and earned a place in theatrical record books as the longest running solo play in Broadway's history. The current production is in the exceptionally capable hands of Paul Perroni, who guides the audience through astute observations of the on-going battle between the sexes.

BWW Interviews: PRESENT LAUGHTER's Harriet Harris
February 22, 2010

Coffee. Hot chocolate. Cozy fireplaces. Hot buttered rum. Snuggies. All of these are excellent ways to warm oneself on a cold and snowy New York day. Another very effective manner to beat the winter chills is to receive a phone call from Harriet Harris, the Tony Award winning actress who starred in such Broadway shows as OLD ACQUAINTANCE, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, CRY-BABY and THOUROUGHLY MODERN MILLE, for which she received her coveted Tony. Currently co-starring with Victor Garber and Brooks Ashmanskas in the Roundabout Theatre's production of Noel Coward's comedy PRESENT LAUGHTER, Miss Harris took time out between matinee and evening performances for a conversation in the midst of a severe snowstorm. She was an excellent conversationalist and displayed great perception about theatre, human behavior and the production she is currently appearing in. Additionally, there's a warmth to her voice that made it easy to forget the inclement weather outside the window.

BWW Interviews: Florence Henderson
February 5, 2010

It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when Florence Henderson became a household name. It was certainly through the media of television, but was it her numerous appearances on the then-popular variety shows? Perhaps it was because of the proliferation of commercials she did for Polident and Wesson Oil; the latter in which she helped coin the phrase 'Wessonality'. Obviously her long stint as Mrs. Carol Brady in 'The Brady Bunch' played a major role in her becoming not only a name people easily recognized, but a talent that has genuinely been appreciated by different generations down through the years.

BWW Interviews: FANNY's James Snyder
February 1, 2010

Original cast albums are wonderful things. They preserve the music, lyrics and orchestrations of shows for other generations and allow today's teens to enjoy the craftsmanship of Rodgers and Hart and Vincent Youman. They also allow someone who was only six years old when the original production of FANNY played on Broadway to fall in love with Harold Rome's remarkable score on black vinyl and later on CD. This is music that is filled with gems, but the special moment that most aficionados tend to recall is William Tabbert's soaring rendition of the title tune. His singing of the plaintive lyric, 'Here's a boy with no heart to give Fanny... Not worth the tears you'll cry, Fanny, oh Fanny, goodbye' is so stellar that it remains in peoples' minds more than half a century later. The production ran for almost 900 performances but most people who remember Tabbert's singing never saw the show. It's the cast album that echoes in their ears and resonates in their hearts.

December 9, 2009

Theater message boards became very busy places on September 10, 2009. The curtain had hardly wrung down when theatergoers reached for their blackberries to post their opinions about the first preview of BYE BYE BIRDIE. In fact, there were a few who posted their comments during intermission. Everyone and their grandparents wanted to express their opinions about the 39 year old musical that was being revived by The Roundabout Theatre. At times the chatter became quite acrimonious and the discussions went on for days. It seems that these people forgot that the show had just given its first preview and the house was filled with an audience that had stood on line during one of the hottest days in the summer to get ten dollar tickets for this one performance. Perhaps that's why they felt they had a right to be so vocal about their opinions.