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.
Orchestra conductors develop distinctive styles as they shape and mold the sounds that their orchestras produce. Such is the case with Keith Lockhart. As the conductor of the famed Boston Pops orchestra, he has upheld what is affectionately known as 'The Pops Sound' and audiences expect it when they visit Symphony Hall. However, there was no doubt that Lockhart was in the orchestra pit wielding the baton during the Boston Lyric Opera's recent production of Georges Bizet's CARMEN at Beantown's theatre district.FANTASY FOOTBALL:THE MUSICAL? October 9, 2009
There's a good reason for the question mark that is included in the title of FANTASY FOOTBALL: THE MUSICAL? which was part of the New York Musical Theater Festival. It's a 90 minute show that meanders for a good half hour before it decides on what it wants to be-and even then it isn't quite certain.BWW INTERVIEWS: Lewis Cleale: THE FANTASTICKS' 'Man In Black' July 7, 2009
Color symbolism is a literary device that is hammered home by high school English teachers around the country. Students are encouraged to ponder why Jay Gatsby reaches out to the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan's dock and what Robert Frost meant when he wrote about two roads diverging in a yellow wood. Why did these authors choose the colors green and yellow? What did they mean?Victoria Clark: Singing Richard Rodgers With The Boston Pops June 13, 2009
New York City is filled with lovely parks. There's a particularly charming one tucked into a triangle on 106th Street and Broadway. It's planted with daylilies, impatiens, lacecap hydrangeas and dogwoods. One end of this peaceful oasis is dominated by a recumbent bronze sculpture which sits atop a flowing fountain. The park is dedicated to the memory of Isidore and Ida Strauss, the loving couple who perished together on the Titanic in 1912. Therefore it's appropriate to meet Victoria Clark for an interview at a caf only a short distance from Strauss Park. After all, Ms Clark originated the role of Alice Beane in Maury Yeston's Tony Award winning musical TITANIC and sang Adam Guettel's 'Statues and Stories' in LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, which won her the 2005 Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical. This fine lady is never really far from statues, stories and the Titanic.BWW INTERVIEWS: THE PHILANTHROPIST's Steven Weber June 9, 2009
There's something special about hearing the natural sound of human voices in the theater. They become a symphony of verbosity akin to a chamber ensemble performing in a first rate concert hall. There are nuances and colors that are to be detected without the aid of amplification. Such is the case with the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of THE PHILANTHROPIST which is currently on stage at the American Airlines Theatre.TONYS 2009: Celebrating a Lifetime of Achievement with Jerry Herman May 29, 2009
Mr. Herman composed the scores for such Broadway musicals as Hello, Dolly!, Mame and La Cage aux Folles. He is a five-time Tony Award nominee and two time Tony Award winner, for La Cage aux Folles and Hello, Dolly!A Grand Slam for Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops May 5, 2009
Summertime. To many people it means that the fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high. To others it means plenty of sun, surf and sand. Yet to another faction of the world's population, summertime means participation in America's favorite pastime: baseball, where peanuts and Crackerjacks reign supreme and the crack of a bat sends shivers of excitement down even the most jaded spine. Keith Lockhart, the conductor of the world renowned Boston Pops Orchestra, falls into the latter category. The handsome maestro is an avid baseball fan and has been since his youth.Talking Beethoven With 33 VARIATIONS' Zach Grenier April 13, 2009
It's a known fact that actors like to talk. Stereotypically, they like to talk about themselves: about their latest endeavors, about their past performances and about their upcoming projects. Zach Grenier is a different kind of actor. He likes to talk about Ludwig Van Beethoven. The fact that he's currently playing the composer in Moiss Kaufman's brilliant play entitled 33 VARIATIONS has him talking about the play, too. It's a very special production and it's brought Jane Fonda back to Broadway after 43 years in film, television and activism. Still it is obvious that Grenier is in love with the art of acting and enjoys discussing his current project and the musical giant he portrays in it.Doug Kreeger: Entering 'ROOMS' March 21, 2009
The works of Henrik Ibsen provide unique challenges for modern theater companies. This may be because of the complexities of his characters or the difficulties of getting an appealing translation of the playwright's original Norwegian prose. Happily the Roundabout Theater has faced both of these challenges and is currently presenting a compelling production of HEDDA GABLER at their elegant American Airlines Theater. Audiences realize they are about to witness something special when they see Hildegard Bechtler's atmospheric set bathed in the subtle and effective lighting of Natasha Katz. However, it is when Michael Cerveris makes his initial entrance that the audience realizes what an exceptional evening this HEDDA GABLER will be. Playing the intellectual writer Jorgen Tesman, Cerveris eschews a dour portrayal of an academic in favor of a character who is robust and certainly in love with his new bride, Hedda, who is stunningly portrayed in this version by Mary-Louise Parker. Cerveris' personal energy is immediately sensed by the audience and throughout the performance they could be detected sitting up or leaning forward whenever he was on stage. It is a masterful performance in every way and is met point-for-point by Ms. Parker. When these two actors are together on stage, the electricity is almost palpable.The 'Fantastick' Nick Spangler And His 'AMAZING' Win December 20, 2008
When a writer has done the number of celebrity interviews that I have, he realizes that there are a handful of celebrities he would never want to meet again. Most, however, are genuinely nice people and enjoyable to work with. There are others who become friends-true and genuine friends. Such is the relationship that has developed between me and Nick Spangler who is currently starring as Matt in the lovely revival of The Fantasticks which is enjoying a healthy run Off Broadway. Christmas Music with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops November 20, 2008
One would think that the man who conducts the Boston Pops, the Utah Symphony and is the Artistic Advisor of the Summer Institute and Music Festival of the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina to be pretty apathetic about Christmas music by the time fruitcake season rolls along, but that's not true with Keith Lockhart. An Interview With Robert Emmet Lunney October 27, 2008
When the first act of Warren Manzi's PERFECT CRIME ends, the audience sits in stone cold silence. The silence lasts for a few moments after the houselights are brought up and when the audience does finally react, they are abuzz about the convolutions of the plot that is unraveling before them. According to actor Robert Emmet Lunney it's 'hopefully because the audience is thinking; maybe even perplexed.'The Razzle Dazzle of Mitzi Gaynor October 11, 2008
There's a great pleasure in talking to veteran performers. They've been through it all and have many great stories to tell. Such was the case recently in a conversation with dancer/ singer/ actress/comedienne Mitzi Gaynor. This great lady starred in such Hollywood successes as THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS with Ethel Merman, THE JOKER IS WILD with Frank Sinatra, the re-make of ANYTHING GOES with Bing Cosby and Donald O'Connor, LES GIRLS with Gene Kelly and SOUTH PACIFIC with Rossano Brazzi. She also wowed television audiences in the 60's and 70's with a series of specials that captivated America and had schoolboys rushing home from sporting events to watch them. Without a doubt, Mitzi Gaynor was a show business phenomenon and she remains one today as she prepares for the public television airing of her new documentary called 'Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years.'NYMF's 'Play it Cool' October 7, 2008
The New York Musical Theater Festival may be spawning something extraordinarily special with their production of PLAY IT COOL. The show, with a book by Martin Casella and Larry Dean Harris, features music by Philip Swan and lyrics by Mark Winkler. Is set in a 1920's Hollywood jazz club catering to a gay clientele and is owned my Mary (Sally Mayes), who has put all her life's savings into it. Nick Spangler & Starr Spangler on The Amazing Race: Week One October 2, 2008
Nick Spangler currently starring as Matt in the Off Broadway revival of The Fantasticks, will be a contestant on the latest edition of The Amazing Race. Spangler will compete against the other 'Amazing Racers' with his sister and teammate, Starr Spangler, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Starting at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the 13th season of the Emmy-winning reality competition will follow the teams as they travel over 30,000 miles in 23 days to countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Russia, India and Kazakhstan. September 26, 2008
Nick Spangler currently starring as Matt in the Off Broadway revival of The Fantasticks, will be a contestant on the latest edition of The Amazing Race. Spangler will compete against the other 'Amazing Racers' with his sister and teammate, Starr Spangler, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Starting at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the 13th season of the Emmy-winning reality competition will follow the teams as they travel over 30,000 miles in 23 days to countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, Russia, India and Kazakhstan.Josh Davis: The Beast Graduates August 21, 2008
There are those cherished moments in the theater when a performer grips the audience in such a manner that the evening not only becomes the talk of the town, but remains locked forever in the minds of the audiences who were fortunate enough to witness it. Such was the case recently when The Gateway Playhouse in Bellport, NY presented their version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Without exaggeration, the production became the buzz of the community. Not only were people enormously impressed with the stunning sets and costumes, but they were also bowled over by the brilliant performance of Josh Davis as the Beast.Bellport's Gateway Playhouse Keeps Rolling Along July 7, 2008
Gateway Playhouse in Bellport remains and is so popular that local residents know better than to drive along South Country Road at certain hours lest they become entangled in traffic either entering or exiting the theater.
The Gateway Playhouse is located on the site of the former Mott Estate on the eastern-most tip of Bellport , New York . Rumors are rife about the ghost of Lucretia Mott still haunting one of the buildings on the premises but she seems to be benign and hasn't caused any significant problems in the past few decades.
Mary Louise Wilson: Doing It With Finesse June 23, 2008
Mature theater-goers proudly recall seeing musical comedy greats perform. It's easy to remember seeing Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Alfred Drake or Joel Grey because these stars contributed exemplary work in leading roles. However, a book could be written about actors who create vivid impressions in our minds while playing supporting roles in memorable shows. There is no greater example of such an actor than Mary Louise Wilson.