Tuesday, May 1, 2012


* Bill English begins his run as Billy Crocker in Broadway’s Anything Goes.

* A Grand Night for Singing opens at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre.

* Emily Bergl’s NY I Love You opens at NYC’s Cafe Carlyle.

* Into the Woods, featuring Danielle Ferland, Lauren Kennedy, Jeffrey Denman, Cheryl Stern and Alma Cuervo, begins performances at CT’s Westport Country Playhouse.

* Musicals Tonight!‘s Something for the Boys, featuring Dan Debenport, Roger Rifkin and Lauren Elaine Taylor, begins performances at Off-Broadway’s Lion Theatre.

* My Children! My Africa! begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre.

* Old Jews Telling Jokes, starring Bill Army, Marilyn Sokol, Todd Susman, Audrey Lynn Weston and Lenny Wolpe, begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre.

* Cock, featuring Cory Michael Smith, Jason Butler Harner, Amanda Quaid and Cotter Smith, begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Duke on 42nd Street.

* The Mystery of Irma Vep, starring Mark Chambers and Brad DePlanche, begins previews at Ft. Myers’ Florida Rep.

* The Festival of New American Musicals kicks off its 5th season in Southern California.

* Theodore Mann memorial tribute, open to the public, at 1 PM at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre.

* Ethel Waters: Blues, Broadway, and Jazz concert, directed and hosted by Michael Feinstein, featuring Tracie Thoms, Catherine Russell and Adriane Lenox, at 7:30 PM at Lincoln Center‘s Allen Room (also May 2).

* Rogelio Douglas Jr. One Night Only concert, with special guest Brenna Whitaker, at 8 PM at LA’s Show at Barre.

* “Smash” soundtrack released. Order the CD here.  See track listings, Target offer, and more in the article below.


2012 Tony nominations:

Best Play
Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris
Other Desert Cities, Jon Robin Baitz
Peter and the Starcatcher, Rick Elice
Venus in Fur, David Ives

Best Musical
Leap of Faith
Nice Work If You Can Get It

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Master Class

Best Revival of a Musical
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Leading Actor in a Play
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones, The Best Man
Frank Langella, Man and Boy
John Lithgow, The Columnist

Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Cynthia Nixon, Wit

Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Follies
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies
Steve Kazee, Once
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Ron Raines, Follies

Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Jan Maxwell, Follies
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti, Once
Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Laura Osnes, Bonnie & Clyde

Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Michael Cumpsty, End of the Rainbow
Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Jeremy Shamos, Clybourne Park

Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Linda Emond, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Spencer Kayden, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Condola Rashad, Stick Fly

Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael Cerveris, Evita
David Alan Grier, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Elizabeth A. Davis, Once
Jayne Houdyshell, Follies
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Jessie Mueller, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ghost the Musical

Best Direction of a Play
Nicholas Hytner, One Man, Two Guvnors
Pam MacKinnon, Clybourne Park
Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Direction of a Musical
Jeff Calhoun, Newsies
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Diane Paulus, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
John Tiffany, Once

Best Book of a Musical
Lysistrata Jones, Douglas Carter Beane
Newsies, Harvey Fierstein
Nice Work If You Can Get It, Joe DiPietro
Once, Enda Walsh

Best Score
Wayne Barker and Rick Elice, Peter and the Starcatcher
Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, Newsies
Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors
Don Black and Frank Wildhorn, Bonnie & Clyde

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, Evita
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Steven Hoggett, Once
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Best Orchestrations
William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Martin Lowe, Once
Danny Troob, Newsies

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Other Desert Cities
Daniel Ostling, Clybourne Park
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley, Once
Rob Howell and Jon Driscoll, Ghost the Musical
Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel, Newsies
George Tsypin, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark

Best Costume Design of a Play
William Ivey Long, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Paul Tazewell, A Streetcar Named Desire
Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Eiko Ishioka, Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
Peter Kaczorowski, The Road to Mecca
Brian MacDevitt, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Other Desert Cities

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Christopher Akerlind, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Natasha Katz, Follies
Natasha Katz, Once
Hugh Vanstone, Ghost the Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti, One Man, Two Guvnors
Scott Lehrer, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Gareth Owen, End of the Rainbow
Darron L. West, Peter and the Starcatcher

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Brian Ronan, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Emanuel Azenberg

Regional Theatre Award
The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C.

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Bernadette Peters

Special Tony Award
Actors’ Equity Association
Hugh Jackman

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
Freddie Gershon
Artie Siccardi
TDF Open Doors

Tony Nominations by Production
Once – 11
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess – 10
Nice Work If You Can Get It – 10
Peter and the Starcatcher – 9
Follies – 8
Newsies – 8
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman – 7
One Man, Two Guvnors – 7
Other Desert Cities – 5
Clybourne Park – 4
End of the Rainbow – 3
Evita – 3
Ghost the Musical – 3
Bonnie & Clyde – 2
Don’t Dress for Dinner – 2
Gore Vidal’s The Best Man – 2
Jesus Christ Superstar – 2
Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark – 2
Venus in Fur – 2
Wit – 2
The Columnist – 1
Leap of Faith – 1
The Lyons – 1
Lysistrata Jones – 1
Man and Boy – 1
Master Class – 1
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever – 1
The Road to Mecca – 1
Stick Fly – 1
A Streetcar Named Desire – 1


After members of the New York theatre community voiced their discontent that the Drama Desk Awards had eliminated the Outstanding Orchestrations category this year, the board announced April 30 that the category has been reinstated.

“The Drama Desk prides itself on celebrating New York’s rich theatrical community,” said Drama Desk president Isa Goldberg in a statement. “Our executive board appreciates the forthright and passionate response to our nominations announcement and have taken your comments to heart. The executive board is very happy to reinstate the Outstanding Orchestrations category and honor the dedication and hard work of this season’s talented orchestrators.”

The nominees for Outstanding Orchestrations:

Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Larry Hochman, Death Takes a Holiday
Martin Lowe, Once
John McDaniel, Bonnie & Clyde
Michael Starobin, Queen of the Mist
Danny Troob, Newsies


Broadway Grosses for the week ending April 29:

Frontrunners (by Gross)
1. The Lion King ($1,761,855)
2. Wicked ($1,742,571)
3. The Book of Mormon ($1,603,228)
4. Evita ($1,515,746)
5. Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark ($1,371,737)

Underdogs (by Gross)
5. Leap of Faith ($224,539) *
4. Magic/Bird ($211,639)
3. The Lyons ($198,432)
2. Don’t Dress For Dinner ($177,606) *
1. Seminar ($134,207)

Frontrunners (by Capacity)
1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%)
2. Death of a Salesman (99.39%) **
3. The Lion King (99.13%)
4. The Best Man (98.47%)
5. Newsies (97.97%)

Underdogs (by Capacity)
5. Porgy and Bess (58.40%)
4. Venus in Fur (57.66)
3. Seminar (56.84%)
2. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (52.89%)
1. Magic Bird (52.77%)

*  Number based on five preview and three regular performances
**  Number based on seven regular performances
Data Provided by the Broadway League.


At the June 10 Tony Awards Ceremony, Bernadette Peters will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award and Special Tony Awards will be presented to Actors’ Equity Association and Hugh Jackman.


Full casting has been announced for the London revival of Torch Song Trilogy, which runs May 30 – Aug. 12 (opening June 12) at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory.

The cast will feature David Bedella, Sara Kestelman, Joe McFadden, Tom Harries, Perry Millward and Laura Pyper.


Fingerlickin’ Fierce, a one-night-only event with Michael James Scott and Asmeret Ghebremichael, will take place Mon. May 14 at 8 PM at NYC’s Canal Room (285 West Broadway).


The Project Shaw series will continue May 21 at 7 PM with a reading of In Good King Charles’s Golden Days at NYC’s Players Club.

The cast will feature Sean Dugan, Cady Huffman, Daniel Jenkins, Bill Kux, Allison Mackie, Christine Pedi, Maryann Plunkett, Amy Rutberg, Jay O. Sanders and Don Stephenson.  David Staller produces and directs.


Off-Broadway’s York Theatre Company will present free developmental lab presentations of the new musical In Love with Jobim May 16 (3 and 7 PM) and May 17 (3 PM).  Reservations are required.

In Love with Jobim features a concept and book by Ernest Chambers and music by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Pamela Hunt will direct the performances with musical direction by Lawrence Yurman.

The cast features Ashley Perez Flanagan, Curt Hansen, Ken Land and Jeff McCarthy.


The Dramatists Guild Fund will honor John Kander at their 50th Anniversary Gala, to be held Sun. June 3 at 6:30 PM at the Mandarin Oriental New York. Jon Cryer will host the event.

Performances and tributes will be given by Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth, Christie Brinkley, Stockard Channing, Joel Grey, Rob Marshall, Susan Stroman, Debra Monk, Karen Ziemba and Joshua Henry.


Red Bull Theater has announced that Patrick Stewart will receive this year’s Matador Award For Excellence In Classical Theater at their 4th Annual Running Of The Red Bulls Benefit on Mon. June 4 at 6 PM at NYC’s Bowery Hotel (335 Bowery at East 3rd Street).

Matador Awards will also be presented to long time Red Bull Theater actor Matthew Rauch for Extraordinary Talent for Classical Theater and to The Shakespeare Society for Extraordinary Service to Classical Theater.

The evening will be hosted by Paige Davis, with special guests Emily Bergl, Richard Easton, Christopher Innvar, Patrick Page, Stephen Spinella,  Michael Urie, Marc Vietor and more to be announced shortly.


Michael Braun, Roe Hartrampf, James McMenamin, Tobias Segal and Raviv Ullman will be featured in the world premiere of Alena Smith’s The Bad Guys, about five pals from childhood who reunite one summer at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Uptown, directed by Hal Brooks.

Previews begin May 22, with the opening is set for June 4.


This summer at LA’s Pantages Theatre:

* The Addams Family (June 5-17, opening June 6)

* Million Dollar Quartet (June 19 – July 1, opening June 20)

* La Cage Aux Folles (July 10-22, opening July 11), starring George Hamilton and Christopher Sieber

* Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour (July 28)

* Memphis (July 31 – Aug. 12, opening Aug. 1)

* Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers (Sept. 1)


Željko Ivanek and Sarah Steele will co-star in the world premiere of Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl, which will be the inaugural production at LCT3‘s Claire Tow Theater, which is in the final stages of construction atop the Vivian Beaumont Theater

Anne Kauffman will direct Slowgirl, which begins previews June 4 towards a June 18 opening. Performances are scheduled through July 15.


Glory|struck Productions will present Spring Awakening: In Concert July 20-29 at LA’s Hayworth Theatre. The limited engagement will benefit the Love Is Louder movement.  Kate Sullivan Gibbens will direct with musical direction by Michael Christopher Luebke. Casting TBA.


The company of the first North American tour of Wicked will welcome PJ Benjamin as The Wizard May 8 and Nicole Parker as Elphaba on May 18 in Denver.


Valerie Harper will appear in a special industry reading of Sherri Heller’s new comedy My Mother, My Sister & Me, presented by NYC’s Peccadillo Theater Company, May 14 at 7 PM at the DR2 Theatre, directed by Dan Wackerman.  Additional casting TBA.

My Mother, My Sister & Me is the first installment of Heller’s trilogy of plays that visits the Abrams family from 1969-1980.


NY Stage and Film’s 2012 Powerhouse season:

* Readings of 22 Seconds by Michelle Lowe, Big Sky by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros and Good Bread Alley by April Yvette Thompson (June 22-24)

* Abigail/1702, a new drama by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, which takes a page from The Crucible. David Esbjornson will direct (June 27-July 8).

* Concert reading of The Fortress of Solitude, conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin, with a book by Itamar Moses, a score by Michael Friedman (June 29 – July 1).

* Semi-staged workshop of Fires Are Confusing, by Eva Anderson, Will Berson and Zach Helm (July 13-15).

* Stephen Belber’s The Power of Duff, directed by Peter DuBois (July 18-29).

* Semi-staged workshop of Marcus Gardley’s The House That Will Not Stand, a fresh adaptation of Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba (July 20-22).

* Concert reading of Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash’s Murder Ballad, directed by Trip Cullman (July 27-29).

* Readings of A Separate Peace by Leight and Almond, Jerome by Ron Lagomarsino, The Twenty-Seventh Man by Nathan Englander, The Untitled World’s Fair Play by The Debate Society and Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live (July 27-29).


As previously reported, Columbia Records will release “The Music of ‘Smash’ Season 1 Soundtrack” today.

CDs purchased at Target will feature five bonus tracks:

“September Song” – Anjelica Huston
“Our Day Will Come” – Katharine McPhee
“Everything’s Coming Up Roses” – Bernadette Peters
“Breakaway” – Megan Hilty
“Run” – Katharine McPhee

The “Smash” “Soundtrack” (all copies) includes the following songs:

1)  “Touch Me” featuring Katharine McPhee
2)  “Stand” featuring Katharine McPhee and Leslie Odom
3)  “Who You Are” featuring Megan Hilty
4)  “Crazy Dreams” featuring Megan Hilty
5)  “Beautiful” featuring Katharine McPhee
6)  “Haven’t Met You Yet” featuring Nick Jonas
7)  “Shake It Out” featuring Katharine McPhee
8.)  “Brighter Than the Sun” featuring Katharine McPhee
9)  “Let Me Be Your Star” featuring Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty
10)  “20th Century Fox Mambo” featuring Katharine McPhee
11)  “Mr & Mrs Smith” featuring Megan Hilty and Will Chase
12)  “Let’s Be Bad” featuring Megan Hilty
13)  “History Is Made At Night” featuring Megan Hilty & Will Chase

Order the CD here.


Patti LuPone, John Guare, Bobby McFerrin, James Rosenquist and Bruce Weber will be among the artists featured in the second season of HBO’s series “YoungArts MasterClass.”

The new season will premiere May 28 at 6 PM with a special 30-minute episode featuring opera legend Renee Fleming as she mentors four talented young opera students in her apartment, at New York City’s Juilliard School, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago where she serves as Creative Consultant.


French Stewart will star in Vanessa Claire Stewart’s world premiere play,  Stoneface: The Rise And Fall And Rise of Buster Keaton, to be presented at LA’s Sacred Fools Theater, May 25 – June 30. Jaime Robledo will direct.

The cast will also feature Joe Fria, Scott Leggett, Erin Parks, Tegan Ashton Cohan, Rena Strober, Jake Broder, Conor Duffy, Pat Towne, and Guy Picot.


San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is set to present Unplugged, two nights of a cappella music, June 15 -16 at 8 PM at Calvary Presbyterian Church (2515 Fillmore Street).  Dr. Tim Seelig is artistic director and conductor.

Unplugged will feature music from Broadway to the Beatles with vocal arrangements by Deke Sharon. SFGMC will also perform “Give ‘Em Hope”, composed by Joseph Martin, text from Harvey Milk; arrangements of “True Colors” made famous by Cyndi Lauper; One Republic, and more.


Matt Cavenaugh and Jenny Powers will perform their show, Loving You, June 18 at 8 PM at NYC’s Feinstein’s.


Check out all the amazing items that are available at Off-Broadway’s Transport Group auction.  The deadline for bidding is May 10.

All proceeds from the auction benefit Transport Group and winning bids are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.


Audio:  Listen to Nick Jonas singing “I Believe In You” from How to Succeed….


UnsubstantiatedAngela Lansbury has signed on to star alongside James Earl Jones in an Australian tour of Driving Miss Daisy next winter. Tour dates/venues have not yet been announced.


Off-Broadway’s Ensemble Studio Theatre will honor two of its most distinguished members, the actress Lois Smith and two-time Board chair G.H. “Denny” Denniston, Jr with its 2012 Distinguished Member Award at a “Fun-Raiser” benefit celebration May 14 at 6:45 PM at SIR Stage 37(508 West 37th Street).

Inspired by “The Johnny Carson Show,” the show will be hosted by Peter Maloney, with his sidekick Tyrone played by Steve Boyer, the EST-V house band composed of EST member musicians, with special guests in attendance including Kathryn Erbe, Dominic Chianese, Jerry Zaks, Mary Stuart Masterson, Jeremy Davidson, John Guare, the cast of Amy Herzog’s After the Revolution, Jon Robin Baitz, David Rasche, Carolyn Cantor and others (list subject to change).


According to The Detroit NewsAretha Franklin believes that Audra McDonald would be the perfect actress to portray her in an upcoming biopic about the legendary singer’s life.

Last year, Franklin had reportedly suggested that Halle Berry should portray her in the film, despite the fact that the actresss does not sing.

Franklin has not officially spoken with McDonald about the possibility of her taking on the role of the ‘The Queen of Soul’.


Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage presents Xanadu, which begins previews May 11, opens May 13 and continues to June 9.  Directed by Paul Dagneault, with choreography by David Connolly and musical direction by Nicholas James Connell.

The cast features Cheo Bourne, Patrick Connolly, Shana Dirik, McCaela Donovan, Ryan Overberg, Robert Saoud, Kami Rushell Smith, Kathy St. George, Val Sullivan.


The Group Rep‘s Moon Over Buffalo opens May 11 and continues to June 24 at North Hollywood’s Lonny Chapman Theatre (10900 Burbank Blvd.)

Directed by Drina Durazo, the cast features Kent Butler, Ben Campbell, Allison King, Suzy London, Derek Mehn, Jennifer Ross, Gwen Van Dam and Chris Winfield.


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