Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
 
Jaime Cepero, Desi Oakley, Brandon Ellis, And More Set For UNFINISHED: THE MUSIC OF STEPHANIE NASH, 11/19
by Patrick Nugent - Nov 15, 2012

CEG Presents announces a night of original music by singer/songwriter Stephanie Nash on November 19th at the music venue, DROM. UNFINISHED: THE MUSIC OF STEPHANIE NASH - A FOLK 'N ROCK CABARET, the 10 pm concert will feature a set list of songs selected from Nash?s catalog of music written over the past five years.

Sen. Rubio, Portman Among Guests on NBC's MEET THE PRESS
by TV News Desk - Oct 22, 2012

Yesterday's MEET THE PRESS on NBC featured interviews with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Obama senior political strategist David Axelrod, and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). Below is a transcript of the broadcast.

Gov. Bob McDonnell Among Guests on NBC's MEET THE PRESS
by TV News Desk - Oct 15, 2012

Yesterday's MEET THE PRESS WITH DAVID GREGORY featured a roundtable discussion with Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA); Mayor Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta); Fmr. Gov Jennifer Granholm (D-MI); GOP strategist Alex Castellanos; and NBC's Tom Brokaw. Below are highlights from the broadcast.

VIDEO: Lt. Col. Andrew Wood Speaks to CBS THIS MORNING
by - Oct 8, 2012

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson sat down with Lt. Col. Andrew Wood to discuss the State Department's failure to heed warnings of security issues in Libya that could have prevented the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Watch the interview below!

Gov. Chris Christie Visits NBC's MEET THE PRESS
by TV News Desk - Oct 1, 2012

Yesterday's MEET THE PRESS WITH DAVID GREGORY on NBC featured interviews with Romney supporter Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and White House senior adviser David Plouffe; a roundtable conversation with conservative activist and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition Ralph Reed, Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA), the BBC's Katty Kay, NBC News political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd; and the latest live from Afghanistan with NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel.

Interview: MEET THE PRESS' David Gregory Talks With Israeli P.M. Netanyahu
by TV News Desk - Sep 17, 2012

Yesterday's MEET THE PRESS WITH DAVID GREGORY featured a network exclusive interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; an interview with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. Read excerpts of the program below.

President Obama Chats With Telemundo's Jose Diaz Balart
by TV News Desk - Sep 13, 2012

Telemundo's Jose Diaz Balart met with President Barack Obama yesterday. The following is a transcript of their conversation.

BWW Reviews: There's Something About CATS at the Cadillac Palace Theatre
by Paul W. Thompson - May 2, 2012

Forget "Rock Of Ages." That 21st century musical about the 1980s has nothing on the real thing. "Cats," the show that set much of the look and tone of musical theater for the next decade or so when it opened in London in 1981 and in New York in 1982 (and began continuous touring in 1984, a record unmatched in theater history) is on display for this week only (sorry, "Now And Forever") at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. Forget "Rock Of Ages." That 21st century musical about the 1980s has nothing on the real thing. "Cats," the show that set much of the look and tone of musical theater for the next decade or so when it opened in London in 1981 and in New York in 1982 (and began continuous touring in 1984, a record unmatched in theater history) is on display for this week only (sorry, "Now And Forever") at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. And I, who saw the original Broadway production twice during that heady decade and have not seen the show in any form since then, was eager to go and see what the fuss was, and is, all about. So I went, Tuesday night. If you've never seen this show, if you kids have never seen it, or if you want to experience the magic of this unique theatrical masterpiece one more time, then this is a great opportunity to do so, as this is the only remaining North American production to (somewhat) accurately replicate the award-winning, record-setting British musical that took America and the world by storm thirty years ago. This tour of non-Equity performers, with its usual orchestra of five beefed up to eight for a weeklong stand (May 1-6) in a major theatrical market, has enough going for it that I highly recommend it. It's a little like entering a time machine, and there's a lot of sleight of hand, but it works. Let me explain. What is "Cats?" Much maligned by insiders, derided as dated by visual artists, underrated by dance teachers and ignored by voice teachers (save for its megahit song, "Memory," which is heard twice, but never in the sheet music version everything has heard and claims to know), it is in many ways a dichotomy. It's a dance show (choreography by Gillian Lynne) written by a singer's songwriter (Andrew Lloyd Webber), as well as a British song cycle based on poems written by a St. Louis-born English poet (T. S. Eliot) who never intended his work ("Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats," and other snippets) to be either musicalized or staged. Its plot, slight though it is, is also the subject of much derision, but to this observer is very reminiscent of "A Chorus Line," a universally revered work that does include dialogue and more depth of character, but also honors unity of time and place. However, there are indeed works that dispense with plot entirely, and which people unabashedly love (you know, revues--"Ain't Misbehavin'" comes to mind), and even shows like "Forever Plaid" and Lloyd Webber's "Starlight Express" feature heaven-going as a climax that is not entirely a surprise. So, enough complaining about there being no dramatic tension, already. But the spectacle! Is it a rock concert with dance, a dance concert with character, a makeup and hair extravaganza with arena-style lighting (still thrilling, the work of David Hersey, as recreated by Rick Belzer), a radio-friendly cast album with a decidedly British keyboard-rock spin, an intellectual set of inscrutable poems with earworm melodies, an environmental theater piece that's fun for all ages (an unmistakeable set and costume design by the remarkable John Napier)--what exactly is going on? The answer, of course, is all of the above. Oh, and it owes a lot to the English music hall tradition and to contemporary classical music, too, not to mention Puccini. Name another show that encompasses so much. Not to mention that original marketing campaign. Aside from his immature works (the children's show "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and others), Lloyd Webber's previous shows written with Tim Rice (the two nominated for the Best Revival of a Musical Tony Award this year, "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita,") were both introduced to the world via record albums and marketing campaigns that featured a logo rather than a star name and image. But "Cats" seemed to take that even further, dispensing with the concept album and zeroing in on the show AS the star. Indeed, this show has no leading roles. Really. But who can forget that moon/cats' eyes/dancer silhouette logo, and the letters of the title in color-coordinated graffiti (echoing the oversized junkyard scene design). It was exciting and revolutionary at the time, and the only shows that have done it better since then (Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom Of The Opera" and director Trevor Nunn's "Les Miserables," all three produced by wunderkind Cameron Mackintosh) are the only ones that have run longer in London and New York, due to the lessons they learned from the feline juggernaut before us now. It was "the birth of the musical spectacular," as Broadway In Chicago's promotional materials tell us. This particular edition of the endless "Cats" tour, directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford and featuring mostly young, recent graduates of top U.S. musical theater and dance schools, is indeed "cut down" from the total makeover that the Winter Garden Theatre in New York displayed for the 18 years it played there (1982-2000). But the "Christmas lights" that once ringed the audience do indeed extend past the proscenium arch, and the cast makes several trips out into the aisles, a nice touch. The back wall of the set does not swing down to reveal the ship's set needed for the "Growltiger's Last Stand" sequence--they use drops and a false proscenium downstage center here, and I almost liked it better. The set as a whole is not as detailed and certainly not as deep as it once was, but if you haven't seen the video of the London production, or the show as it played in the early '80s, you would be none the wiser. Sound-wise, I have to give credit to sound designer Duncan Robert Edwards, musical supervisor Kristen Blodgette and music director J. Michael Duff. I swear the show sounds better than ever, even with a smaller orchestra than originally employed. And I could understand the lyrics! The costumes and makeup design look simplified to me, though, but again, a newcomer to the proceedings wouldn't know. And do I care of part of the set is inflatable, as rumor would have it? I don't care how they get it from city to city, or how quickly they do it, but somebody does care, and they figured out a way to make it work! The floating tire and the thing that comes down from the fly space (spoiler alert?) look great, absolutely. Absolutely. The cast is led by Melissa Grohowski as Grizabella, the role made famous by Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley and carrying with it, shall we say, a certain expectation of a certain money note. Boy, does Ms. Grohowski deliver! Three people stood during the applause for the number. Bravo to Clemmons/Dewing Casting, I say! The two singing roles for the men, Old Deuteronomy and Gus/Growltiger/Bustopher Jones, are essayed here by Nathan Morgan and Christopher E. Sidori, who both acquitted themselves well and were very effective theatrically, whatever their actual ages. Among the dance roles, Daniel J. Self as the narrator Munkustrap, Chris Stevens as Rum Tum Tugger and especially Chaz Wolcott as Mistoffelees were crowd pleasers: Self with his movement detailing, Stevens with his Elvis impersonation and Wolcott with his amazing fouette turns. The cast of two dozen or so performers dances uniformly well, and sings very well, too, save for a few minor quibbles with single lines here. And there or some missing low notes that older performers would probably have no trouble with. But these are easily forgiven. Who cares if the leading lights of Broadway (Harry Groener, Terrence Mann, Anna McNeely and of course Ken Page) have been replaced in these roles by recent graduates of Wright State, SUNY-Purchase and Oklahoma City University? These energetic, disciplined performers are working their tails off (pun intended), singing like people who can't dance a lick and are basking in the glow of theater history with every city they visit. Yes, the show has moments that seem a little longwinded, and sure, it doesn't challenge your intellect as much as it challenges your wallet and your caffeine intake (it takes place at night, and everybody is dressed like a cat!). But I challenge you to remain unmoved when Grizabella begs for physical contact, when old Gus relives his moment of youthful theatrical triumph, when assorted junk becomes the train that Skimbleshanks loves, and when the sopranos of the ensemble soar on the words, "'Round the cathedral rang 'Vivat!" Come on! It's "Cats." It's eye and ear candy galore. I don't even like cats, but I do like "Cats." Very much. "Cats" plays this week only, Tuesday night through Sunday night, with additional matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday, at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph Street in Chicago. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago box offices, the Ticket Kiosk at Water Tower Place, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, by phone (800.775.2000) and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. Photos: Melissa Grohowski; The Cast

BWW Reviews: CATS at Broadway San Jose - Still Has Staying Power
by Linda Hodges - Dec 29, 2011

Frolicking felines took the stage last night in all their graceful glory, bringing the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic CATS to life once again - this time at Broadway San Jose. The fantastical, magical world of London's Jellicle cats, who are gathered together for their yearly Jellicle Ball, still has the power to transfix and delight even now, thirty years after it first opened on Broadway.

New Candlelight Theatre Presents DAMN YANKEES, Opens 9/16
by BWW News Desk - Oct 22, 2011

This Fall New Candlelight Theatre (NCT) will present the 7 time TONY Award winning musical, including Best Musical, Damn Yankees.

New Candlelight Theatre Presents DAMN YANKEES, Opens 9/16
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2011

This Fall New Candlelight Theatre (NCT) will present the 7 time TONY Award winning musical, including Best Musical, Damn Yankees.

New Candlelight Theatre Presents DAMN YANKEES, Opens 9/16
by BWW News Desk - Sep 1, 2011

This Fall New Candlelight Theatre (NCT) will present the 7 time TONY Award winning musical, including Best Musical, Damn Yankees.

Family Friendly Robin Hood Closes at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 8/7
by BWW News Desk - Aug 7, 2010

With a sense of humor equal to their sense of adventure, Robin Hood and his Merry Men pursue villains and victories in the Sherwood Forest in a lively new adaptation on stage at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival June 4 through August 7.

Penn Shakes. Fest Closes THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, 7/3
by BWW News Desk - Jul 3, 2010

The Irish play that led to riots in the streets of Dublin when it debuted 103 years ago and became a comic masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World, opens the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 19th season. With previews June 16 and 17, the play opens June 18 in the Schubert Theatre and continues through July 3.

Penn Shakes. Fest Opens Season With THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD 6/16
by BWW News Desk - Jun 16, 2010

The Irish play that led to riots in the streets of Dublin when it debuted 103 years ago and became a comic masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World, opens the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 19th season. With previews June 16 and 17, the play opens June 18 in the Schubert Theatre and continues through July 3.

Family Friendly Robin Hood Opens at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 6/4-8/7
by BWW News Desk - Jun 4, 2010

With a sense of humor equal to their sense of adventure, Robin Hood and his Merry Men pursue villains and victories in the Sherwood Forest in a lively new adaptation on stage at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival June 4 through August 7.

Family Friendly Robin Hood Opens at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival 6/4-8/7
by BWW News Desk - May 18, 2010

With a sense of humor equal to their sense of adventure, Robin Hood and his Merry Men pursue villains and victories in the Sherwood Forest in a lively new adaptation on stage at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival June 4 through August 7.

Penn Shakes. Fest Opens Season With THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD 6/16
by BWW News Desk - May 13, 2010

The Irish play that led to riots in the streets of Dublin when it debuted 103 years ago and became a comic masterpiece, The Playboy of the Western World, opens the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's 19th season. With previews June 16 and 17, the play opens June 18 in the Schubert Theatre and continues through July 3.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Presents 'Midsummer Night's Dream' 7/8 - 8/2
by BWW News Desk - Jul 8, 2009

The course of true love never did run smooth, Lysander tells his distraught lover Hermia at the beginning of A Midsummer Night?s Dream. Mischief, mayhem, moonbeams, and magic potions abound as four young Athenian lovers encounter more than they imagined possible in one of Shakespeare?s best known romantic comedies.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Presents 'Midsummer Night's Dream' 7/8 - 8/2
by BWW News Desk - Jun 22, 2009

The course of true love never did run smooth, Lysander tells his distraught lover Hermia at the beginning of A Midsummer Night?s Dream. Mischief, mayhem, moonbeams, and magic potions abound as four young Athenian lovers encounter more than they imagined possible in one of Shakespeare?s best known romantic comedies.

         5