Broadway comes home (and on electronic devises, of course)

‘Broadway’s Best’ with THIRTEEN’s ‘Great Performances November Fridays

Broadcast premiere/streaming of  “An American in Paris The Musical,” the U.K. live production of “The Sound of Music” and new documentaries about John Leguizamo’s Tony-nominated play “Latin History for Morons” and Broadway icon Harold Prince

 

Returning for a second year, this fall’s lineup includes Broadway’s  “An American in Paris The Musical” and the U.K. live “The Sound of Music,” as well as documentaries about the making of John Leguizamo’s Tony-nominated play “Latin History for Morons” and 21-time Tony-winning director and producer Harold Prince. Continue reading Broadway comes home (and on electronic devises, of course)

Sadly, ‘Theatre Talk’ ends its run this weekend after more than 26 years

This weekend’s encore TV presentation of theater lovers’ Theater Talk  will be its last. At least it’s going out in style with a repeat of featuring “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” creatives director John Tiffany,  movement director Steven Hoggett,  playwright Jack Thorne and author J.K. Rowling discussing the blockbuster show.

Long-time host Susan Haskins-Doloff is joined by co-host Gordon Cox of Variety. the half-hour show  featured actors, playwrights, designers, directors, lyricists, book writers, choreographers and more talking about putting on a show.

It lasted more than 26 years and there is nothing else like it. Quickie interviews on network talk shows don’t come anywhere near the quality of questions, in-depth discussions and often the crazy things we sometimes heard and saw.

Continue reading Sadly, ‘Theatre Talk’ ends its run this weekend after more than 26 years

Paper Mill’s ‘Color Purple’ marks GLAAD SpiritDay

 

Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the  Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2016, is currently showing The Color Purple, directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle. The Color Purple is a Tony Award-winning revival based upon the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment motion picture with a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray.

Cast members from the 2015 Broadway revival lead the Paper Mill Playhouse company, including Adrianna Hicks (Aladdin, Sister Act – Germany) as Celie, Carla R. Stewart (Ghost – National Tour, Rent – Regional) as Shug Avery and Carrie Compere (Holler If You Hear Me, Shrek the Musical – National Tour) as Sofia. The Color Purple runs through October 21, 2018.

Tickets available at www.PaperMill.org.

 

Michael Tucker’s comedy ‘Fern Hill’ explores aging friends and their foibles

Jill Eikenberry and John Glover in a scene from "Fern Hill." (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)
Jill Eikenberry and John Glover in a scene from “Fern Hill.” (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

An amazing display of top notch acting by six very talented theater pros is on display in the world premiere of “Fern Hill” at the New Jersey Repertory Theater in Long Branch, N.J., through Sept. 9.

These are the kind of actors we see on TV (“Law and Order,” “Elementary,” “The Sinner,” “Veep”),   in movies (“The Birdcage,” “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “Flags of our Fathers”),  perhaps in a featured or recurring role, who take these gigs so they can support their theater habit. 

The two-hour play features Tony Award-winner John Glover (“Love! Valour! Compassion!); three-time Tony nominee for best actress in a musical Dee Hoty (“Footloose,” “The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public,” “The Will Rogers Follies”); Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Feature Actress in a Musical Jill Eikenberry (plus five Emmy Award nominations for “L.A. Law”); Tony nominee Tom McGowan (“La Bête”); David Rasche (seven Broadway shows) and Jodi Long (five Broadway shows). Continue reading Michael Tucker’s comedy ‘Fern Hill’ explores aging friends and their foibles

‘Pamela’s First Musical’ announces cast for its world premiere

Pamela's First Musical logoWe knew the world premiere of “Pamela’s First Musical” would open the 25th anniversary season of the Two River Theater Company in September. Now we know who’s in the cast and the creative team.

They have more than 25 Tony Awards nominations — and seven wins — among them.

Wendy Wasserstein (“The Heidi Chronicles) adapted her 1996 children’s book for the stage with “City of Angels” composer Cy Coleman and lyricist David Zippel —all Tony Award-winners. 

Christopher Durang, another Tony winner for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” also is involved in the project that has been under development by Two River Theater for several years. Continue reading ‘Pamela’s First Musical’ announces cast for its world premiere

Two River Theater expanding its footprint and booking as it turns 25

Mike Birbiglia's one-man show "The New One" is being performed at Two River Theater in Red Bank and the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village this month.
Mike Birbiglia’s one-man show “The New One” is being performed at Two River Theater in Red Bank and the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village this month.

Two River Theater Company, a regional non-profit theater in New Jersey with a national reputation for staging excellent productions, appears to be expanding its offerings with booking a comic and a film festival in the “off-season.”

Mike Birbiglia‘s one-man show “The New One” that begins tonight at the Two River Theater, 21 Bridge Ave., Red Bank.

Continue reading Two River Theater expanding its footprint and booking as it turns 25

‘Songbird’ soars for fans of boot-stomping, honky-tonk version of ‘Seagull’

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A new honky-tonk musical based on an Anton Chekhov play is stomping the stage at the Two River Theater through July 1. 

Set in a small Nashville bar where whisky is a food group, music on the out-of-tune piano is more rhythm than melody and dead keys a must, plus the ability to dance the two-step is required, 10 real good friends and relatives are trying to sort out their lives — badly.  Continue reading ‘Songbird’ soars for fans of boot-stomping, honky-tonk version of ‘Seagull’

List of winners for the 2018 Tony Awards

Tony Shalhoub as Tewfiq and Katrina Lenk as Dina in "The Band's Visit." (PHOTO: Matthew Murphy)
Tony Shalhoub as Tewfiq and Katrina Lenk as Dina in “The Band’s Visit.” (PHOTO: Matthew Murphy)

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards were held June 10, 2018, to recognize achievement in Broadway productions during the 2017–18 season. The ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and was broadcast live by CBS.

The musical “The Band’s Visit” swept the awards show, with 10 wins, while hot-ticket play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” picked up six awards.

Bruce Springsteen and John Leguizamo each were awarded a special Tony for their solo Broadway shows
Bruce Springsteen and John Leguizamo each were awarded a special Tony for their solo shows.

Bruce Springsteen and John Leguizamo each were awarded a special Tony for their performances on Broadway this season.. Each told a  story about their American experiences growing up

The Grammy-winning rock legend’s sold-out solo show,  “Springsteen on Broadway,” according to New York Times critic Jesse Green, “…  is a painful if thrilling summing-up at (age) 68: a major statement about a life’s work, but also a major revision of it. As music acts go, it thus has more in common with Lena Horne’s revelatory “The Lady and Her Music” from 1981 than with a greatest-hits concert by the likes of Barry Manilow.

Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons” marked his sixth solo venture, following his success on Broadway with “Ghetto Klown,” “Sexaholix…A Love Story” and “Freak (he earned Tony nominations for writing and starring in the latter).

Also, Chita Rivera and Andrew Lloyd Webber were awarded special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

The winners are noted in bold face.

Best Musical

The Band’s Visit

Frozen

Mean Girls

Spongebob Squarepants: The Musical

 

A scene from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Photograph: Manuel Harlan
A scene from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. (Photograph: Manuel Harlan)

Best Play

The Children

Farinelli and the King

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Junk

Latin History for Morons

Best Revival of a Musical

Carousel

My Fair Lady

Once on This Island

 

Best Revival of a Play

Angels in America

The Iceman Cometh

Lobby Hero

Three Tall Women

Travesties Continue reading List of winners for the 2018 Tony Awards

Edna Ferber festival features 5 new one-acts, ‘Selina Peake’ reading

Why have so few people heard of Edna Ferber?

Before Lois Lane was a ground-breaking female reporter at the Daily Planet, Edna Ferber worked at the Appleton Daily Crescent and the Milwaukee Journal, had published her first novel, and covered both the 1920 Republican and Democratic National Conventions for the United Press Association.
Before ballet choreographer Agnes de Mille created dances that advanced plot and developed character in “Oklahoma!” (1943)

and before Betty Comden, with writing partner Adolph Green, provided lyrics, libretti, and screenplays to some of the most beloved Broadway shows (such as “On the Town, 1944), Edna Ferber’s novel “Show Boat” was made into a ground-breaking Broadway musical  (1926).

It’s recognized as the first “modern” American musical.

Continue reading Edna Ferber festival features 5 new one-acts, ‘Selina Peake’ reading

Comedian Mike Birbiglia books six performances at Two River Theater

Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, actor and filmmaker, who also can be heard on Public Radio's  "This American Life" and "The Moth." He also has  released several comedy albums and television specials. (PHOTO: Courtesy Two River Theater Company)
Mike Birbiglia is a comedian, actor and filmmaker, who also can be heard on Public Radio’s “This American Life” and “The Moth.” (PHOTO: Courtesy Two River Theater Company)

Two River Theater Company has announced a special July event featuring comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia in six performances of “The New One” prior to its New York premiere.

Tickets go on sale beginning 10 a.m. tomorrow (May 16) for Two River subscribers and donors, and to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday (May 18.) Tickets are $35 and available at tworivertheater.org or at 732-345-1400.

Birbiglia  has performed in venues around the world, including  the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall. Recent shows include, “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” and “Thank God for Jokes,” which were filmed for Netflix. Continue reading Comedian Mike Birbiglia books six performances at Two River Theater

News and views of New Jersey's regional theaters, and bits about Broadway.

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