Monday, December 19, 2011


* MTC‘s Close Up Space, starring David Hyde Pierce, Michael Chernus and Rosie Perez, opens at NYC Center Stage 1.

*¬†Broadway Sings for Toys concert, featuring Nick Adams , Andrea Burns, Janet Dacal, Jonathan Read Gealt, Megan Hilty, Jeremy Jordan, Patina Miller, Orfeh and Lillias White, at 7 PM at NYC’s Symphony Space.

* Project Shaw‘s reading of The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet and Passion Play, featuring Daphne Rubin-Vega, Andre De Shields, Ty Jones, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Sharon Washington, Time Out New York journalist Adam Feldman, Nick Corley and Cheryl Freeman, at 7 PM at NYC’s Players Club.

*¬†Through the Door free reading, starring Kerry Butler, Darren Ritchie and Paul Anthony Stewart, at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s Roy Arias Theatre. Reservations: (212) 714-7628 or

*¬†Bobby Cronin and Friends concert, at 9:15 PM at NYC’s Don’t Tell Mama.

*¬†A Violent Holiday Extravaganza concert, featuring Godspell cast members, at 11 PM at NYC’s Laurie Beechman Theatre. Reservations: 212-695-6909.

* “VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul” concert, featuring Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Jessie J, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, and more, debuts at 9 PM on VH1.

* The People in the Picture cast album released on CD. Buy the CD here.



Today’s quiz – Stephen Schwartz , by Laura Frankos

1. ¬†In the “Prologue” in¬†Godspell (1971),¬†Schwartz introduces the audience to the philosophical concepts of Western civilization’s greatest thinkers, and how these men viewed God and society. Who is not among them? Jean-Paul Sartre, Socrates, Frederick Nietzsche, Martin Luther, or Karl Marx?

2. ¬†In Pippin (1972), the title character decides he’s “extraordinary,” so he need not fret over commonplace things. ¬†Which of the following is on Pippin’s list of things to ignore? ¬†Paying taxes, meeting the diplomat from the Byzantine Empire, ale that’s gone sour, cleaning the chicken coop, or a leaky moat?

3.  To help promote The Magic Show (1974), who did Doug Henning saw in half on a morning talk show?  J. Fred Muggs, Connie Chung, Liza Minelli, Barbara Walters, or Dinah Shore?

4. ¬†In The Baker’s Wife (1976), what was the name of the baker’s cat, whose amorous prowling plays a role in the story? Asparagus, Meowrice, Pompom, Fluffy, or Minou?

5.  For the opening of Working (1978), Schwartz adapted a poem by a noted American writer.  Who was it?  Abraham Lincoln, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, Ogden Nash, or Groucho Marx?

6. ¬†Rags (1986) ran for only four performances on Broadway. ¬†What did the cast do in an effort to stop the closing? They picketed the NY Times for its bad review, they staged a sit-in, they dismantled the skeletal set and played on a bare stage, they asked Teresa Stratas’ friends in the opera community for help, or they marched down Broadway to Duffy Square in protest?

7. ¬†In Children of Eden (1991), Act I tells of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel; in Act II, the tale of Noah and the flood. ¬†What was God’s name in the show? Father, the Starkeeper, the Dude, Mr. God, or the Storyteller?

8. ¬†Schwartz spent much of the 1990’s writing for animated films and winning Oscars, including penning lyrics to two scores by which fellow theatre veteran? ¬†Charles Strouse, Henry Krieger, Alan Menken, William Finn or Marvin Hamlisch?

9.  In Wicked (2003), Oz is a magical world where animals can talk.  What is Dr. Dillamond? A monkey, a goat, a highly magnified Wogglebug, a pushmi-pullyu, or an elephant?

10. ¬†Captain Louie (2005)¬†is based on a charming book, “The Trip,” by which noted children’s author? ¬†Maurice Sendak, Bernadette Peters, Ezra Jack Keats, John Lithgow, or Julie Andrews?

Scroll down for the answers…


It’s official – Bonnie & Clyde will play its final performance on Broadway at the Schoenfeld Theatre on Dec. 30. The show opened on Dec. 1 and will have played 69 performances.


Complete casting has been announced for the Broadway revival of   Death of a Salesman, directed by Mike Nichols, which will begin performances at the Barrymore Theatre on Feb. 13, with an opening set for March 15.

As previously reported, the production will star Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, Linda Emond as Linda Loman, and Andrew Garfield as Biff Loman, and feature Finn Wittrock as Happy, Fran Kranz as Bernard, Bill Camp as Charley, John Glover as Ben, Glenn Fleshler as Stanley, and Stephanie Janssen as Miss Forsythe.

Newly announced cast members include Remy Auberjonois as Howard Wagner, Kathleen McNenny as Jenny, Elizabeth Morton as Letta, and Molly Price as The Woman.


Terrific offer: Sh-K-Boom and Ghostlight Records are offering 15% off  their entire catalog (75+ albums), to Dec. 25 only.  Use code HOLIDAY11.  Visit the Holiday Store here.


Rumor:¬†Matt Windman of amNY writes,¬†“I’m hearing rumors that the Roundabout Theatre Company‘s next revival will be The Mystery of Edwin Drood.


Videos: New clips, interviews and more from “Smash.” ¬†Video 1 and Video 2 and Video 3.


LA’s¬†Dan Callaway is hosting¬†two workshops this week with two incredible Artistic Directors. ¬†Coach your material in a really safe, professional environment…. or just watch and learn and participate in the Q&A.

* Cabrillo Artistic Director Lewis Wilkenfeld (Tues., Dec. 20, 7-10 PM) at 4922 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood.

* Musical Theatre West Artistic Director Steve Glaudini (Wed., Dec. 21, 7-10 PM), at Dan’s studio, 4922 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood.

Click here for complete information.  To hold your spot or for questions:


Upcoming at Boston’s Reagle Music Theatre:

* Isn’t It Romantic, starring¬†Brent Barrett and Rachel York (Feb. 19).

* Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins, starring Mitzi Gaynor (April 15).


Veanne Cox, Nancy Dussault and Lillias White will join the Off-Broadway production of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, at the Westside Theatre, Jan. 4-29.


Video: ¬†Meryl Streep on last night’s “60 Minutes.”


Alec Baldwin will partner with Singers Forum for the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at the Singers Forum, a program to support playwrights in the development and advancement of original theatrical works.

The fellowship will include professional mentorship, dramaturgy, and an individualized workshop process for each chosen project, culminating in the¬†Fellowship Festival, where each piece is presented in staged backer’s auditions. The goal is to create four pieces ready for production by the Summer of 2013.

Click here for more information.


Thrillpeddlers will revive¬†Vice Palace: The Last Cockettes Musical, to play San Francisco’s Hypnodrome Theatre (575 10th Street) Jan. 27 – March 3.

With a book by Martin Worman and music composed by Scrumbly Koldewyn,¬†Vice Palace was originally performed by The Cockettes during Halloween 1972. Koldewyn’s revival has been revised and contains additional material that originally appeared in past Cockettes productions.


Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, Amy Madigan, Glenne Headly and Bess Rous star in Beth Henley’s¬†The Jacksonian, to run Feb. 7 – March 18 (opening Feb. 15) at the Geffen Playhouse.¬†Robert Falls will direct.

The play, set in the 1960s, centers on a dentist (Harris) with ambiguous morality who makes a new home in a seedy motel in an attempt to bury his secrets.


Article: Best of 2011 in LA Theatre: Charles McNulty (LA Times).


Broadway Belts Out, hosted by Broadway Sings for Pride, will be presented on Dec. 31 at 9 PM at NYC’s Bamboo 52 (344 West 52nd Street). ¬†Reservations:¬†212-315-2777.

The lineup of performers include Daisy Eagan, Anthony Lee Medina, Angelo Luis Rios, Athena Reich, Calvin Grant, Cedric Leiba Jr., John Edwards, LaQuet Sharnell, Rebecca Larkin, Russell Fischer and Tracy McDowell.


Gary DeWitt Marshall and Curtis McClarin will star in Costa Mesa’s ¬†South Coast Rep‘s production of Topdog/Underdog Jan. 8-29. ¬†Seret Scott will direct.


Magicians Dennis Diamond, Daryl Hannah and Louie Magic will star in the Arena Stage presentation of Elephant Room, to perform in The Kogod Cradle, Jan. 20 РFeb. 26. Paul Lazar will direct.


Michael E. Knight¬†and Robin Riker¬†will to star in the LA production of the Blank Theatre‘s¬†The Cost of the Erection by Jon Marans. Daniel Henning will direct the production, which will run Feb. 4 – March18, with an opening on Feb. 11.

In the play, the wife of a Manhattan architect forces her husband to compete against a younger architect to design her new raw-space apartment overlooking the Hudson River.

The cast will also feature Kal Bennett and James Louis Wagner.


Chicago’s Court Theatre has announced casting for its world premiere of¬†Invisible Man, adapted by Oren Jacoby from the Ralph Ellison novel. ¬†Christopher McElroen will direct the production, which will run Jan. 12-Feb. 19, with an opening on Jan. 21.

The cast will include Lance Baker, Kimm Beavers, Tracey N. Bonner, Teagle F. Bougere, Chris Boykin, Kenn E. Head, Bill McGough, Paul Stovall, A.C. Smith and Julia Watt.


Acorn TV, a streaming service specializing in British television, has announced two new additions to its schedule.

Beginning Monday, Dec. 19, it will make available the Shakespearean master class series, Playing Shakespeare, which features Patrick Stewart, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Ben Kingsley, and David Suchet, as well as the 1960s spy series Man in a Suitcase, starring Richard Bradford.

Acorn will continue to stream¬†Above Suspicion, starring Kelly Reilly and Ciar√°n Hinds; the PBS miniseries “The Forsyte Saga,” starring Damian Lewis;¬†Cadafel, starring Derek Jacobi; and¬†The Last Detective, with Peter Davison; as well as the programs¬†Doc Martin,¬†Poldark and¬†Rosemary & Thyme.


Telly Leung, Lea Salonga, and George Takei will star in the world premiere musical Allegiance at The Old Globe Sept. 6 РOct. 20, with an opening on Sept. 16. Stafford Arima will direct the production, with musical direction and arrangements by Lynne Shankel and choreography by Christopher Gattelli.


Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre has announced casting for Agatha Christie’s¬†The Mousetrap, to play Jan. 17 – March 4 at the WST Mainstage. Malcolm Black will direct.

The cast will include Jennie Eisenhower, Dan Hodge, Paul L. Nolan, Laurent Giroux, Eric Bryant, Charlotte Northeast, Harry Smith and Judith Knight Young.


Joan Almedilla, Christina Bianco, and Alice Ripley will star in¬†Broadway Hootenanny, at NYC’s¬†Feinstein’s on Thurs., Dec. 22 at 11 PM.

Among the performers who will be seen in upcoming instalments are Nancy Anderson, Scott Coulter, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Natalie Douglas, Howard Fishman, Christopher Fitzgerald, Anita Gillette, Kerry O’Malley, Tyler Maynard, Colleen McHugh, Jack Noseworthy, Brad Oscar, Patrick Page, Robert Petkoff, Laila Robbins, Clarke Thorell, Max Von Essen, Terri White, and Michael Winther.


RIP: Stage and screen actor Graham Brown has died at age 87 in New Jersey.

Brown appeared frequently on Broadway and Off-Broadway during his long career, including productions of The River Niger, Weekend, The Man in the Glass Booth, Black Picture Dew, The Talented Tenth, Macbeth, and News Mountain Dew, which he also performed in Los Angeles to critical acclaim. He also performed in London and at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.


George Mount has been selected to be the new Artistic Director of the Seattle Shakespeare Company. Mount, who has been serving as Interim Artistic director, will take over the new position immediately.


The lineup of artists who will perform at the 2012 Udderbelly Festival at London’s Southbank Centre has been announced. The event will run April 6 – July 8.

Among the highlights in the festival will be such cabaret offerings as Showstopper! The Improvised Musical and Friday Night Freakshow. In addition, the event will feature performances by such comedians as Nina Conti, Carl Donnelly, Greg Proops, Ian Stone, Michael Winslow, and Gina Yashere.

Udderbelly will close with a concert by Tim Minchin, currently represented in the West End withMatilda the Musical.


Martin Charnin is writing lyrics for a new musical called Skin Deep.

He’s in discussions with a librettist and a composer about the musical comedy, which will “follow the subsequent, untold adventures of Cinderella’s stepmother, and her two unfortunately unattractive and desperate stepsisters, and their search for happiness after Prince Charming whisks Cinderella off to her new life.”

Charnin has been living and working in Seattle in recent years. He and his wife Shelly Burch are moving back to New York City, while maintaining creative ties to Seattle, where they have developed shows and concerts, and where Charnin has directed.


Carol Channing will headline A Carol Channing Christmas, a fully-staged and costumed holiday extravaganza, to be held at 8 PM on Wed., Dec. 21 at the Agua Caliente Resort and Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA.

She will be joined by Jonelle Allen, Eric Kunze, Rich Little, Nicole Parker, Carol Channing’s American Glee Club, and a very special “surprise guest star.”


A free reading (with a suggested $10 donation) of Robert Wuhl’s play¬†Hit List will be presented at the Studio Theatre in Long Island’s Queens Theatre in the Park tonight at 7:30 PM. ¬†The play is described as a screwball comedy set in the publishing world. ¬† Reservations:¬†718-760-0064.


Warner Bros. has settled a legal dispute over the Broadway musical¬†Baby It’s You, according toThe Hollywood Reporter. No terms of the settlement were revealed.

Earlier this year, a complaint was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York seeking damages on behalf of performers Beverly Lee of The Shirelles, Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson, as well as the Estates of Doris Coley Jackson and Addie Harris Jackson, for the unauthorized use of their names and likenesses in connection with the show, which played the Broadhurst Theatre.


RIP: Playwright and former Czech president Vaclav Havel has died after a long illness, at 75.

Havel’s many plays include his Obie Award-winning¬†The Memorandum, The Increased Difficulty of Concentration and¬†A Private View, as well as¬†The Garden Party,¬†Largo Desolato, ¬†Temptation and¬†Leaving.


Sydney Theatre Company’s acclaimed production of Uncle Vanya, adapted by Andrew Upton and directed by Tam√°s Ascher – will come to NY’s City Center from July 19-28, according to The New York Times.

The cast that played the Kennedy Center this August –¬†John Bell,¬†Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving included – are expected to reprise their roles.


Video: Bruce Kimmel’s “Outside the Box,” Ep. 4, starring Alet Taylor and Andy Taylor.


Answers to today’s quiz:

1. ¬†Karl Marx, who said religion was the opium of the masses, is not cited in the “Prologue” from Godspell.

2.  Pippin is not concerned about a leaky moat.

3.  Doug Henning sawed Barbara Walters in half.

4. ¬†Pompom is the name of the baker’s cat.

5. ¬†Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Sing” was adapted for the opening of Working.

6.  The cast of Rags protested its closing by marching down Broadway to Duffy Square.

7. ¬†God is called “Father” in Children of Eden.

8. ¬†Schwartz wrote the lyrics for Alan Menken’s music in the Disney films “Pocahontas” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and the film “Enchanted.” ¬†He won Oscars for “Pocahontas” and his own score for “Prince of Egypt.”

9.  In Wicked, Dr. Dillamond is a goat.

10. ¬†Ezra Jack Keats wrote “The Trip,” the basis for Captain Louie.

Got a quiz you’d like to submit?¬† Send it on over. ¬†Text only, 10 questions or less, please.


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