‘Fosse/Verdon’ debuts tonite on FX TV with Rockwell/ Williams

If you love musical theater, the man who reinvented  the Broadway musical and his muse, star in the new limited series  “Fosse/Verdon starring Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams beginning tonight at 10 p.m. on FX TV.

Developed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and his “Hamilton ” collaborators, plus a bunch of theater favorites and  Broadway stars. Continue reading ‘Fosse/Verdon’ debuts tonite on FX TV with Rockwell/ Williams

Bette Midler hosts PBS tribute to Hal David

Image of Hal David. (PBS)“Alfie”, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”, “This Guy’s in Love with You”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.”

Sound familiar?

“Do You Know the Way to San Jose”, “Walk On By”, “What the World Needs Now Is Love”, “I Say a Little Prayer.”

Your brain now is accessing memory files from the ’60s and ’70s.

“(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me”, “One Less Bell to Answer” and “Anyone Who Had a Heart”

Admit it. You’re singing to yourself now wondering why they don’t write songs like that anymore. If you remember the lyrics from these major American hits, tune in tonight to “If What The World Needs Now: Words by Hal David” airing on Channel 13 in the NYC metropolitan area (Saturday, April 6 at 10 p.m.)

Continue reading Bette Midler hosts PBS tribute to Hal David

Twists, turns, betrayal help make ‘The Source’ a must-see theater event

From left, Conan McCarty, Eleanor Handley and Andrew Rein in a scene from the world premiere of Jack Canfora's "The Source." (PHOTO: SuzAnne
From left, Conan McCarty, Eleanor Handley and Andrew Rein in a scene from the world premiere of Jack Canfora’s “The Source.”
(PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

In the New Jersey Repertory Company’s excellent, nicely staged, absorbing world premiere “The Source,” a newspaper mogul calls a late-night meeting with two of his top executives to plan a strategy to deal with a serious and potentially illegal issue.

Allegations soon will be leveled that his company hacked into the cell phone of a murdered 14-year-old girl to obtain her voice mail messages. 

Illegal or not says Roland (Conan McCarty), the mogul, the company is  not going to look good to the public whose sympathies will be with the dead girl’s family.

 And that’s not all. Continue reading Twists, turns, betrayal help make ‘The Source’ a must-see theater event

Dear world, ‘Be More Chill’ was launched at Two River Theater Co.

Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, N.J.
Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, N.J.

The “Be More Chill” segment that closed today’s NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt is great publicity for a  musical whose original cast album had 250,000,000 million downloads on social media. Only “Hamilton” had more. 

But couldn’t the reporter have thrown a bone to the non-profit Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ, where the show first was produced and created the album. Instead of naming it she said: “When ‘Be More Chill’ closed its first run at a small New Jersey theater, it seemed like that would be it for the musical.”

Ok.Ok. It only has 349 seats. But the Lyceum Theatre is one of the smaller Broadway theatres in terms of capacity, seating only 922. So there.

Watch the NBC video

It is the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in New York City, and the first Broadway theatre ever to be granted landmark status (1974)
It is the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in New York City, and the first Broadway theatre ever to be granted landmark status (1974)

Wilson’s ‘King Hedley II’ very much in yo’ face at Two River Theater

With Two River Theater’s current staging of August Wilson’s “King Hedley II,” the Red Bank company has reached the halfway mark in  producing the 10-plays that comprise the playwright’s American Century Cycle.

Actor Brandon J. Dirden, whose career includes TV, Broadway and five plays here (two by Wilson), has done an outstanding job once again with a superb cast of six very accomplished actors and a skilled technical team.

Dirden also chose to stage the play in the 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. The actors are in your face and their thoughts, feelings and desperation are visceral. It’s down-and-dirty theater that, at times, takes your breath away. Continue reading Wilson’s ‘King Hedley II’ very much in yo’ face at Two River Theater

Brandon J. Dirden balances acting with directing, for now

Brandon J. Dirden as Martin Luther King, Jr. in “All The Way.” (PHOTO: Evgenia Eliseeva)

For now, Brandon J. Dirden is an actor who also directs plays. But maybe not for long. He might be transitioning into a director who also acts.

Dirden, 39, is the son of actor Willie Dirden, older brother to actor Jason Dirden, is married to actress Crystal Dickinson and they have a 4-year-old son he calls a “theater rat” because he spends so much time in them.

Dirden made his Broadway debut in “Prelude to a Kiss” (2007) and portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. opposite Bryan Cranston in his Broadway debut as Lyndon B. Johnson in “All the Way” (2014). Continue reading Brandon J. Dirden balances acting with directing, for now

‘Be More Chill’ reveals Cyber Monday ticket deal for move to Broadway

Will Connolly (center) stars as Jeremy Heere in the world premiere of "Be More Chill" at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. The company includes, from left: Paul Whitty, Gerard Canonico, Lauren Marcus, Katie Ladner, Stephanie Hsu, Jake Boyd and Katlyn Carlson. (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson Photography)
Will Connolly (center)  as Jeremy Heere in the world premiere of “Be More Chill” at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. From left: Paul Whitty, Gerard Canonico, Lauren Marcus, Katie Ladner, Stephanie Hsu, Jake Boyd and Katlyn Carlson. (PHOTO: T Charles Erickson Photography)

Now that “Be More Chill” is Broadway bound,  the musical about teen angst today revealed new art, released new video and — for three days only —- is selling tickets at off-Broadway prices. Continue reading ‘Be More Chill’ reveals Cyber Monday ticket deal for move to Broadway

Andrea McArdle revisits ‘Annie’ as Miss Hannigan

Andrea McArdle as Miss Hannigan in the Axelrod Performing Arts Center prouction of “Annie.” (PHOTO: Rick Kowalski)

Once the “Law and Order” police procedural franchises began filming in New York City nearly three decades ago, so many Broadway actors booked TV guest appearances and listed them in their Playbill biographies that it became a running joke.

Not so for Andrea McArdle.

“I’m the only actor who has never been on “Law and Order” she said. “I was offered roles like the governor’s wife when what I really wanted to play was the heroine addict.” Continue reading Andrea McArdle revisits ‘Annie’ as Miss Hannigan

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

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

%d bloggers like this: