Monday, February 27, 2012



* Hurt Village, starring Tonya Pinkins, opens at Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre.

* Rutherford & Son, starring Robert Hogan, opens at Off-Broadway’s Mint Theatre.

* Broadway’s Future @ Lincoln Center (formerly The Songbook series), free concert featuring Raja Burrows, Christine Danelson, Cicily Daniels, Celina Carvajal, Chris Critelli,Leah Horowitz, Macias, Chelsea Morgan Stock, Jennifer Noth, Ben Roseberry, Bryce Ryness, Brandi Varnell and Jeff Washburn, at 6 PM at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts.

* The New Group‘s gala, Cabaret Soiree, featuring Alan Cumming, Veanne Cox, Melissa Errico, Jay Rogers, Penny Fuller and Leslie Uggams, at 6:30 PM at NYC’s Edison Ballroom.

* Broadway Belts! for PFF benefit concert, featuring Julie Halston, Andrew Rannells, Seth Rudetsky, Darlene Love and Mary Testa, and more, at 7 PM at NYC’s Birdland.

* Doug Katsaros and Donald Brenner’s Merton of the Movies staged reading, starring Michael Lowney and Jenn Colella, at 7 PM at York Theatre.  Reservations:

* Project Shaw‘s Back to Methuselah: Part Two reading, featuring Daniel Davis, Nikki M. James, Chad Kimball, Roberta Maxwell, Charlotte Moore, Fritz Weaver, Michael Riedel, and more, at 7 PM at NYC’s Players Club.

* Celebrity Autobiography reading, featuring Mario Cantone, at 7:30 PM at Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

* Cabaret CaresBC/EFA concert featuring Morgan James, Julia Mattison, Eric Michael Krop and Corey Mach, and more, to help launch, at 9:30 PM at NYC’s Laurie Beechman Theatre.

* Broadway Remembers Whitney benefit, featuring Kacie Sheik, Chester Gregory, Mykal Kilgore, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Carrie Manolakos, Ato Blankson-Wood, Caissie Levy, Uzo Aduba ,Morgan James and Julia Mattison, at 9:30 PM at Joe’s Pub.



Today’s Quiz“Shows Within Shows, by Laura Frankos

Match the “show” (1 – 11) with the musical (A – K) in which you find it either mentioned or performed or rehearsed:

1. Robbin’ Hood of the Old West

2. Pretty Lady

3. Sprintime for Hitler

4. The Parson’s Bride

5. Sneakers

6. Musical Husbands

7. The Passionate Pilgrim

8. Of the People

9. The Red Devil

10. Lee Calhoun’s Follies

11. The Coconut Girl

A. Babes in Arms

B. The Girl Who Came to Supper

C. A Broadway Musical

D. The Producers

E. 42nd Street

F. The Cat and the Fiddle

G. Ain’t Broadway Grand

H. Merrily We Roll Along

I. Show Boat

J. The Girl in Pink Tights

K. Curtains

Scroll down for the answers…


84th Academy Award Winners:

Picture: “The Artist”

Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Actress: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Director: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

Writing (Original Screenplay): Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Alexander Payne And Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, “The Descendants”

Music (Original Score): Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”

Music (Original Song): Bret McKenzie (Music and Lyrics), “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”

Animated Feature Film: “Rango”

Art Direction: Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo, “Hugo”

Cinematography: Robert Richardson, “Hugo”

Costume Design: Mark Bridges, “The Artist”

Documentary (Feature): “Undefeated”

Documentary (Short Subject): “Saving Face”

Foreign Language Film: “A Separation” (Iran)

Short Film (Animated): “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”

Short Film (Live Action): “The Shore”

Click here for a complete list of winners.


If you missed Billy Crystal’s opening song at last night’s Oscar’s, watch it here (starts appx. 1:40).


The previously announced one-week extension of Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre revival of How I Learned to Drive has been canceled. Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict with Norbert Leo Butz, the production will now conclude as originally scheduled on March 11.


Kelli O’Hara will star as a suburban housewife whose life unravels in the new musical Far From Heaven, (music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and book by Richard Greenberg) which will receive a developmental staging this summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival July 19-29. Michael Greif directs.

Following its Williamstown debut, Far From Heaven will arrive Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in spring 2013.


Complete casting has been announced for the Broadway production of Peter and the Starcatcher, featuring Christian Borle and Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Chanler-Berat, Teddy Bergman, Arnie Burton, Matt D’Amico, Kevin Del Aguila, Carson Elrod, Greg Hildreth and David Rossmer, which will begin  previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre March 28.

Newly-added cast members are Isaiah Johnson, Betsy Hogg, Orville Mendoza, Jason Ralph and John Sanders.

*** NOTE: All tickets purchased prior to the start of previews on March 28 – for performances through April 29 – will be available at $99 (orchestra/front mezzanine) and $59 (mezzanine).


Stephanie Rothenberg (understudy for Rose Hemingway) will temporarily star as Rosemary in Broadway’s How to Succeed…. Feb. 28 – April 20, at which point Hemingway will return to the show.

In other news, Sara Jean Ford will succeed original cast member Mary Faber in the role of Smitty, as of Feb. 28.


Video:  Highlights from Love Never Dies, in U.S. movies theatres Feb. 28.


Dan Daily, Kim Martin-Cotten and Andrew May will star in A Moon for the Misbegotten, beginning March 6 at Off-Broadway’s Pearl Theatre Company. The production opens March 18 and continues to April 15.

The cast will also include Kern McFadden and Sean McNall.


NYC’s Players Club will host a conversation with Zoe Caldwell, who will recount a life upon the stage, Feb. 28 at 7 PM.


Casting has been announced for the world premiere of First Date, a new musical about a couple on a blind date, which will debut in a co-production between Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre in March.

Bill Berry will stage First Date, which has a book by Austin Winsberg and music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.

It will run March 10 – May 20 at A Contemporary Theatre, officially opening March 29.

The cast will include Eric Ankrim and Kelly Karbacz, as well as Benjamin Harris, Vicki Noon, Brandon O’Neill, Rich Gray, Greg McCormick Allen and Sonya Meyer.



* Theodore Mann, who, as the co-founder of Circle in the Square Theatre, was one of the foremost figures in the birth of the Off-Broadway theatre movement, died Feb. 24 following a brief illness. He was 87. Funeral services will be private, but a memorial service will be planned for a later date.  Read more about his life here.

* Howard Kissel, a critic who covered New York’s theatre scene for nearly four decades, died Feb. 24. He was 69. For half of Mr. Kissel’s long career, his primary perch was The Daily News, where he worked for 20 years, most of them as the chief theatre critic. During his career, Mr. Kissel served as chairman of both the New York Film Critics Circle and the New York Drama Critics Circle. In 1994, he sat on the drama jury for the Pulitzer Prize. As an author, he was best known for “The Abominable Showman,” an unauthorized biography of the producer David Merrick.

* Donald Schoenbaum, a pioneer in the regional theater movement, has died at his home in Florida. He was 86. Schoenbaum helped start up the Trinity Repertory Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1963. He had a long association with the Guthrie Theater, starting out as its Associate Manager in 1966, and serving as its Managing Director from 1969 to 1986. He served as President of the League of Resident Theaters (LORT) from 1977 to 1981, and throughout his career, also held positions with Theatre Communications Group, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Arts Alliance, and other organizations.

* Swedish actor Erland Josephson, best known for his long collaboration with Ingmar Bergman, has died at age 88.  In addition to performing in numerous Bergman films, Josephson made a notable stage appearance in the U.S. when he played Gaev in Peter Brook’s famed production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, which played BAM in 1988. The production also starred Brian Dennehy, Natasha Parry, and Zeljko Ivanek.


The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will launch its third annual “Lend Us Your Ears” play reading series on Mon. March 12 at 7 PM with David Blixt’s new play Eve of Ides.

The piece, which will be directed by Rick Sordelet and star Grant Aleksander, imagines Caesar, Brutus, and Mark Antony on the night before Caesar’s assassination, debating politics, family, history, and the future. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.


Andrea Marcovicci will offer workshop presentations of her new show,  Smile,  March 15-17 at West Hollywood’s Gardenia. Reservations323-467-7444.

Shelly Markham will serve as musical director and accompanist. Her mother, torch singer Helen Marcovicci, will appear as a special guest.


San Jose Repertory Theatre will present God of Carnage, March 22 – April 15 (opening March 28).  Rick Lombardo will direct.

The cast will include Benajmin Evett, Joey Parsons, Amy Resnick, and Bob Sorenson.


Manhattan Theatre Club has announced the lineup for its “7@7″ Reading Series, which will run at 7 PM on consecutive Mondays, March 12 – April 23. The readings will take place at New York City Center – Stage I.

The series will include Death of the Author by Steven Drukman directed by Lynne Meadow (March 12); Phaedra by Adam Bock directed by Trip Cullman (March 19); Important Hats of the Twentieth Century by Nick Jones directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel (March 26); The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner directed by Kate Whoriskey (April 2); Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George directed by Ken Rus Schmoll (April 9); The Seduction Community by Greg Keller directed by Kip Fagan (April 16); and Donny’s Brain by Rona Munro directed by Dexter Bullard.

Readings are free and open to the public, but space is limited and RSVPs are required.


The second season of “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook” is now available on 2 discs on Blu-ray and DVD.  Order the DVD set here.  Order the Blu-ray set here.


Jenn Gambatese will appear in Predictable Heart: The Music of Justin Rugg at NYC’s Duplex Cabaret Theatre on Thurs. March 1 at 9:30 PM.


LA Theatre Works presents an NTI Live HD screening of Comedy of Errors, staged “in a contemporary world into which walk three prohibited foreigners who see everything for the first time,” on Sun. March 11 at 4 PM at UCLA James Bridge’s Theatre.

Watch the trailer here.


The London cast album (called “The Craze: One Man, Two Guvnors,”) of the inbound Broadway comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, featuring the band The Craze performing original songs by Grant Olding, will be released in the U.S. by DRG Records on April 10.

I’ll post a link for ordering from DRG when it’s available.  If you’d like to buy it from the London site now, click here.


Bobby Cannavale, Mario Cantone, Tony Danza, Gina Gershon, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel, Jennifer Tilly, and Alan Zweibel will appear in Celebrity Autobiography: The Next Chapter, to be held at NYC’s Triad Theater on Mon. March 5 at 7 PM.


The previously announced stage return of Mark Rylance to play the title role in Richard III and Olivia in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe this summer, will be followed immediately by a transfer to the West End’s Apollo Theatre.  Both productions will be directed by Tim Carroll.

The double bill will begin performances in the West End in rep Nov. 2, with a press day for both plays Nov. 17, for a 13-week season that runs through Feb. 3, 2013. They will run at Shakespeare’s Globe first from July 14 – Oct. 14.

Rylance will be joined by the previously announced Stephen Fry (Malvolio in Twelfth Night), with Samuel Barnett (Elizabeth in Richard III and Sebastian in Twelfth Night) and Johnny Flynn (Lady Anne in Richard III and Viola in Twelfth Night). Also in the casts are Liam Brennan (Clarence inRichard III, Orsino in Twelfth Night), Colin Hurley (King Edward in Richard III, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night) and Peter Hamilton Dyer (Feste in Twelfth Night).


Angela Lansbury will host Career Transition for Dancers‘ 27th Anniversary Jubilee, entitled JUMP FOR JOY A Dance Variety Spectacular. The event will be held at New York City Center on Mon. Nov. 5 at 7 PM.


Belfast’s Lyric Theatre won two Irish Times Theatre Awards in its first year in its new building for its production of The Crucible: Conall Morrison won Best Director  and Aoife Duffin won Best Supporting Actress.


David Edgar’s Written on the Heart, which centers on the genesis of the King James Bible, will transfer from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon to the West End’s Duchess Theatre, running April 19 – July 21. Gregory Doran, who staged the piece’s premiere, will once again direct.

The company in Stratford includes Bruce Alexander, Jamie Ballard, Stephen Boxer, Paul Chahidi, Laura Darrall, Oliver Ford Davies, James Hayes, Jim Hooper, Youssef Kerkour, Joseph Kloska, Sam Marks, Annette McLaughlin, Jodie McNee, Ian Midlane, Mark Quartley, Daniel Stewart and Simon Thorp.


Omid Djalili will star as Dr. Rance in What the Butler Saw, to run May 5 – Aug. 25 at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre. Sean Foley will direct the production.


Answers to Today’s Quiz“Shows Within Shows”:

1 – K:  Robbin’ Hood from the West is the Oklahoma! spoof from Curtains.

2 – E:  Director Julian Marsh tries to stage Pretty Lady in 42nd Street.

3 – D:  Leo and Max think Springtime for Hitler is the perfect flop musical in The Producers.

4 – I:  Cap’n Andy’s players perform The Parson’s Bride in Show Boat.

5 – C:  Sneakers is the musical in the short-lived (one-performance!) A Broadway Musical.

6 – H:  Though the name is not mentioned often, Frank and Charley are working on Musical Husbands in Merrily We Roll Along.

7 – F:  The Passionate Pilgrim is an operetta (and a major source of contention) in The Cat and the Fiddle.

8 – G:  Of the People is the show within Ain’t Broadway Grand.

9 – J:  The Red Devil is a thinly disguised version of The Black Crook in The Girl in the Pink Tights.

10 – A:  Those Babes in Arms are trying to put together Lee Calhoun’s Follies.

11 – B:  The Coconut Girl is Florence Henderson’s show from The Girl Who Came to Dinner.

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


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