broadway


  Bandstand is a new musical at the Jacobs Theatre on Broadway tomorrow night.

Starring Laura Osnes and Corey Cott and directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbeuler, Bandstand features book, music, and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by former Capital Region habitant and arts participant, Robert Taylor.

Set just after World War II, musician Donny Novitski -- a veteran recently returned home to Ohio -- has to figure out where he fits now that the fighting is done. When a national contest to find America’s next music sensation offers a chance at fame and Hollywood fortune, he assembles a swing-band of fellow veterans and a young war widow and throws everything he has at winning.

Sharon Wheatley, Rodney Hicks, Geno Carr and Come From Away cast
Matthew Murphy

On September 11, 2001, the air-space over the United States was closed after two planes flew into the the Twin Towers in New York City, another into The Pentagon, and a fourth (headed for D. C.) into a field near near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Thirty-eight planes were diverted from their original paths and forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. The airport at Gander is larger than makes sense in terms of the size and population of Gander. It’s a relic from the pre-jetplane era -- when flying to or from Europe commercial and private flights stopped there to refuel.

The 38 planes that landed on 9/11 carried passengers from all over the world. Scared, confused, and all-but cut off from their loved-ones, the accidental visitors - or “come-from-aways” as the Newfoundlanders call them - nearly doubled the population of the region for the better part of a week. The locals opened their doors, pantries, hearts, and minds until the airspace was reopened.

Those friendships - formed in upsetting and stressful circumstances - are the heart at the center of Come From Away - a new musical now running on Broadway The Schoenfeld Theatre.

The book, music, and lyrics are by married Canadian writing team Irene Sankoff and David Hein - who created the show by interviewing the real people involved in the events of that day and week. The show is directed by Christopher Ashley with musical staging by Kelly Devine. The cast of 12 plays both - and various - Gander-ites and Plane people.

Cast member Sharon Wheatley joins us now. Her previous Broadway credits include Avenue Q, Les Misérables, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera. She is the author of the memoir, Til The Fat Girl Sings: From an Overweight Nobody to a Broadway Somebody.

Tony Sheldon and Phillipa Soo in Amélie
broadwayworld.com


  Amélie is a new musical that follows the quest of an inquisitive and introverted young French woman, played by Phillipa Soo, who morphs the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining - while quietly creating moments of joy for the people she works with and lives near.

 

Directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon, Amélie has a book by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas, music by Daniel Messé and lyrics by Messé and Nathan Tysen.

The musical is based on the 2001 French film of the same name by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant and in 2015 had its critically acclaimed world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. It opens tonight at The Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway.

Tony Sheldon plays Dufayel - Amélie’s brittle-boned neighbor who paints Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party over and over again for years. Sheldon also plays Collignon - the mean-spirited local grocer. In the vibrant production, all of the actors provide an ensemble of bright spirits who inspire and achieve what Amelie sees in her imagination.

Tony Sheldon is an award winning Australian actor who has worked frequently in his homeland, on London’s West End, and Off-Broadway. He was previously seen on Broadway in Priscilla Queen of the Dessert - for which he earned a Tony Award nomination.

Over the past few years, Proctors has become an important destination for Broadway shows readying for the road. The 2017–2018 Key Private Bank Broadway Series at Proctors will continue that tradition with the Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple, which will tech in Schenectady before traveling the rest of the country.

Proctors announced their upcoming season with shows including, the 2015 Tony Award winning Best Musical Fun Home, Finding Neverland, The Bodyguard, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I and On Your Feet! Plus, much, much more. We learn more about that from Peter Hughes; Heidi Nathanielsz and Michael Eck. 

The Manhattan Theatre Club's current Broadway production of August Wilson's Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, is the only work from the late two-time Pulitzer Prize winner's American Century Cycle that had never previously been seen on Broadway. The play has received rave reviews and plays at the Samuel Friedman Theatre through March 12th.

Set in the early 1970s, the play follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss' son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together start to come undone.

We welcome this morning - three-time Tony Award-winning producer and actor Ron Simons, to discuss his role in producing the Broadway debut of August Wilson's Jitney.

Ron Simons is a leading Broadway producer with a list of credits that include the Tony-award winning revival of Porgy and Bess, the all-black Broadway production of A Street Car Named Desire starring Blair Underwood, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won the Tony award for "Best New Play."

Encore: Proctors At 90

Jan 23, 2017

When Proctors opened its doors in Schenectady, N.Y., in December 1926, it was the jewel in a chain of 50 vaudeville houses spanning the East Coast from Delaware to Maine; the greatest of gilded movie palaces in a bustling, industrial city packed with nearly two-dozen theatres. Within a half-century, it was the last hall standing, nearly derelict, presiding over a deserted downtown, another symbol of American blight.

The new book Encore: Proctors at 90 presents photographs and essays to construct a narrative of renewal and rebirth, a tale of a city and a theatre taking turns saving each other. Rescued by a hardy group of citizens, and nurtured by smart leaders, Proctors began its true resurrection at the turn of this century to become much more than a playhouse.

The commerative book Encore: Proctors at 90 is now out and we welcome the authors Michael Eck and Richard Louvrich to The Roundtable.

The critically acclaimed musical comedy Something Rotten!, directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw, ended its Broadway run on New Year’s Day at the St. James Theatre. It had been nominated for 10 Tony Awards and played 742 performances.

The show now is going on the road and the first stop is Schenectady and Proctor’s Theatre. It opened their last night and will run through Sunday.

Set in 1595, Something Rotten tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. The man who plays that soothsayer joins us this morning.

Blake Hammond plays Nostradamus. He has been seen on Broadway in Living on Love, First Date, Sister Act, Elf, Billy Elliot, Hairspray, The Lion King and The Music Man.


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines -- for the first time - Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a production currently running at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young actress named Indigo who is forced to choose between success and true love.

Ruby Lewis made her Broadway debut in Paramour when it opened in May.

Simon McBurney in The Encounter
Robbie Jack

The Encounter - conceived of, directed by, and starring, Simon McBurney is currently running at the Golden Theater in New York City. McBurney is a multi-Olivier Award-winning, Tony and SAG Award-nominated actor, writer, director and one of Europe’s most original theater makers. He is co-founder and artistic director of Complicite.

The one-man play tells the true story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre in 1969 - lost in Brazil as he encounters the Mayoruna - a remote people whose ancient traditions are uninfluenced by the western world. In The Encounter, McBurney also shares the story of the creation of this unique piece of theater.

Molding and stretching the classic artform of storytelling, McBurney and The Encounter team use specific and immersive binaural audio technology and sound design. Each member of the audience wears headphones which create an experience that uses their ears to trick their brain into telling their body and comprehension that events are happening that - in reality - aren’t; a voice from over your shoulder, a mosquito in your face, a fire nearby, a warm breath a little too nearby.

Alton Brown is the author of the James Beard award winning, I’m Just Here for the Food, and the New York Times bestselling sequence, Good Eats, and host of TV’s Cutthroat Kitchen, Camp Cutthroat, Iron Chef America and Good Eats on Food Network.

His new live show Eat Your Science is a follow-up to the smash Edible Inevitable tour. Brown is adding a slew of fresh ingredients including new puppets, songs and bigger and potentially more dangerous experiments.

The show will be at UPAC in Kingston, NY on Thursday, November 17 at 8:00 pm before it plays Broadway's Barrymore Theatre November 22-27.

A Bronx Tale: The Musical begins previews on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre tomorrow night. The new musical features a book by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri, music by Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award winner Alan Menken, and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Oscar and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater. The show is co-directed by two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo.

Based on the one-man show written and performed by Chazz Palminteri that inspired the now classic film, this streetwise musical will takes the audience to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s—where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Featuring an original doo-wop score, this is a tale about respect, loyalty, love, and above all else: family.

The musical premiered at the Tony Award-winning Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ to critical and popular acclaim earlier this year and officially opens on Broadway on December 1st.

Alan Menken joins us.

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is a new initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, along with WAMC to converse with artists of national and international prominence about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers, and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. 

Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and considered “the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes.” At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, which earned seven Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the age of 15, he received a Tony nomination for his role in Black and Blue and, three years later, a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Jelly’s Last Jam.

He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, for which he received the Tony for choreography. In 2016, he earned another Tony nomination for choreography for Shuffle Along. He also performed the live capture dance moves for “Mumble,” the penguin in the Disney film Happy Feet and its sequel. 

This interview was recorded at Page Hall at UAlbany on October 16th. .  Later that night, Glover premiered his latest work New Soundz, at The Egg in Albany. 

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, writer, activist, and photographer.

In his new book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, he shares real life stories of late-night parties; backstage anecdotes; cross-country road-trips with his dog, Honey; and poignant memories of his life, loves, family, fellow actors, and friends. 

The award-winning, dance-filled Gershwin musical An American in Paris ended its critically acclaimed Broadway run on Sunday at the Palace Theatre - having played 623 performances.

The musical's national tour will open at Proctor’s Theatre in Schenectady on Friday, starring Garen Scribner and Sara Esty.

The new stage incarnation of the classic Gershwin film arrived on Broadway after a Paris world premiere. The new musical, inspired by the Oscar-winning film of the same name, features a score by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by Craig Lucas.

 

An American in Paris received 12 Tony nominations, winning awards for Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations, Best Set Design and Best Lighting Design.

 

We are thrilled to have Stuart Oken with us this morning. He leads Elephant Eye Theatrical whose projects have included The Addams Family, Saved and Venice. As Executive VP at Disney Theatrical, he produced The Lion King and Aida. He produced the motion pictures About Last Night, Impromptu, and Queens Logic.

  Nora Ephron was a phenomenal personality, journalist, essayist, novelist, playwright, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and movie director (Sleepless in SeattleYou’ve Got MailWhen Harry Met SallyHeartburnJulie & Julia). She wrote a slew of bestsellers (I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman; I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections; Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media; Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women). She was celebrated by Hollywood, embraced by literary New York, and adored by legions of fans throughout the world.

Award-winning journalist Richard Cohen, writes about about his friend in his “third-person memoir,” She Made Me Laugh.

  Mary Martin was one of the greatest stars of her day. Growing up in Texas, she was married early to Benjamin Hagman and gave birth to her first child, Larry Hagman. She was divorced even more quickly. Martin left little Larry with her parents and took off for Hollywood. She didn't make a dent in the movie industry and was lured to New York where she found herself auditioning for Cole Porter. Six years later, she became the Toast of Broadway when she starred in South Pacific. After that, she flew as Peter Pan, yodeled in The Sound of Music, took Hello, Dolly! on the road and shared a four-poster with Robert Preston in I Do! I Do!.

Her personal life was just as interesting and it's all covered in David Kaufman's book, Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin.

  What does a ''producer'' actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway?

John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre. 

Chase Brock’s "The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty" - lighting by Kevin Adams
Rosalie O'Connor


  The Chase Brock Experience is the Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company led by choreographer Chase Brock. They will perform at PS21 as part of the Chatham Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

Chase Brock is an acclaimed choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television and video games. He joins us now along with Obie and 4-time Tony Award winning lighting designer, Kevin Adams. Adams has worked extensively on Broadway winning his Tony Awards for The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Kevin Adams has designed the lighting for Chase Brock’s The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty -- one of 4 pieces being performed at PS21 this week.


  Friend of the show and acclaimed stage actor and singer, Jason Danieley is back in the Berkshires for the summer after playing Billy Flynn in Kander and Ebb’s Chicago on Broadway earlier this year. He is playing Timber Tucker in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter, running on the mainstage in Williamstown through August 21st.

Tonight he will perform in Pittsfield at Barrington Stage Company with his wife, Marin Mazzie in a concert entitled Broadway and Beyond: Reprise Edition.


  Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance will swashbuckle and sing their way onto Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield, MA July 15th through August 13th.

 

The production is directed by John Rando, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse  and stars David Garrison as Major General Stanley, Kyle Dean Massey as Frederic, Scarlett Strallen as Mabel, and Will Swenson as The Pirate King.

These talented and lauded performers joined us at The Linda along with Musical Director Darren Cohen and Barrington Stage Company’s Artistic Director, Julianne Boyd to talk about the show and perform a few songs.

John Cariani is the heart at the center of the hit Broadway’s musical comedy Something Rotten!. The Tony-nominated actor stars as Nigel Bottom, a sensitive, aspiring playwright in 1595 who worships Shakespeare and begins a forbidden love affair with a Puritan beauty by the name of Portia.

But, Cariani is also a playwright – having written Almost, Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas.

Cariani's third play, Last Gas is now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville. It is its Hudson Valley premiere and runs through June 19th.

www.cirquedusoleil.com/paramour


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a brand new production that opened this week at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art.

Ryan Vona - who was most recently seen on Broadway in Once - plays Joey - in Paramour. We spoke with him a few weeks ago - before the show began previews.

  Donna McKechnie, The Tony Award-winning star of A Chorus Line returns to Barrington Stage Company in her concert, Same Place: Another Time, a musical déjà vu celebrating the scintillating 70’s in New York City. She takes a personal spin on the “ingénue” coming to NY, finding love and success and losing her innocence, perhaps, but never her spirit.

Same Place: Another Time will kick of this summer’s spectacular line-up at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret at BSC. She’ll perform the show at 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 22nd and Monday May 23rd.

  The Ne’imah Jewish Community Chorus’ 24th annual concert will take place at The Linda in Albany, NY this Sunday, May 22nd, at 7:30 p.m. This year’s program is entitled “Jewish Musical Gems: Old, New and Different” and their special guests will be Cantor Elias Rosemberg and his accompanist, David Sparr.

The Cantor at Temple Emmanuel of Newton, Massachusets, Rosemberg personifies the theme of the concert, singing from a varied and unique repertoire that includes Opera, Israeli, Cantorial, Yiddish, Ladino and Broadway selections, including a Yiddish Tango – an homage to his Argentinian roots.

Once at Proctors

May 11, 2016

  The National Tour of the musical Once is now playing at Proctors in Schenectady. Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2013 Grammy Award for “Best Musical Theater Album.” 

Based on the movie of the same name, Once is an original Broadway experience, featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage. Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs.

Sam Cieri (Guy) and Mackenzie Lesser-Roy (Girl) join us at The Linda for a live interview and performance this morning.

  Derek McLane is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning production designer for stage and screen. He designed the last four consecutive Academy Awards telecasts and all three of NBC’s recent LIVE musical events: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz. He was the production designer for the HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols and the European tour, Hans Zimmer Revealed.

McLane’s most recent design to open on Broadway is for Fully Committed written by Becky Mode, directed by Jason Moore, and starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. A selection of previous Broadway show’s on his resume are: Noises Off, Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and 33 Variations -- for which he won his Tony Award in 2009.

In our region he’s worked at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and is designing Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab World Premiere of Presto Change-o, which opens later this month in Pittsfield. He’s a busy guy - that list includes less than half of what he’s done and we didn’t even mention everything he’s working on this week.

Becky Mode, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jason Moore
Walter McBride / Getty Images

  Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson opens tonight at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.

The play, written by Becky Mode, follows a day in the life of Sam. His job is to man the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan's number-one restaurant. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (best known for his Emmy nominated work as Mitchell on ABC’s Modern Family) plays all 40 characters, acting out the coercion, threats, bribes, and histrionics of both the would-be patrons and the staff at the very chic eatery.

Jason Moore directs this production which is scheduled for a limited run through July 24th. Moore directed the films Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Pitch Perfect. For Broadway he's directed Shrek The Musical and the Tony Award winning production of Avenue Q.

  Pam MacKinnon is one of America’s most acclaimed theatre directors. In 2013, MacKinnon earned both the Tony Award for Best Direction and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In 2010, she won an Obie Award, and was nominated for Tony and Lortel Awards, as the director of Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, which received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.

She is an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, as well as an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theater Company, executive board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and board chair of Clubbed Thumb, a New York City downtown theatre company dedicated to new American plays.

She will deliver the 20th annual Burian Lecture at the University at Albany on Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m., MacKinnon will hold an informal seminar, which will also be held in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the UAlbany uptown campus.

Frank Langella and Hannah Cabell in the American premiere of The Father at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Joan Marcus

    Now 80 years old, André was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter Anne and her husband Antoine. Or was he an engineer whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pajamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

Manhattan Theatre Club  presents The Father, a play by Florian Zeller that The Guardian called “an astonishingly unguarded play about the cruelties of love and the limits of patience.” Christopher Hampton’s translation is directed for MTC by Doug Hughes and stars 3-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella as André. The show opens Thursday, April 15th.

Hannah Cabell plays Laura. She worked with Hughes and Langella previously on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of A Man for All Seasons. Her Off-Broadway credits inclue Men on Boats, Major Barbara, Grounded, Collapse, 3C, Compulsion, Zero Hour, Pumpgirl, Jane Eyre, Gentleman Caller, and Mark Smith.

Jason Danieley
Justin Patterson

  This coming fall, Chicago, Kander and Ebb’s merry-murderess musical, will have been running on Broadway for 20 years.

To celebrate, six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long will be revising some of his Tony-nominated designs for the show, there will be a special SummerStage concert in Central Park in August, and Takarazuka, the all-female Japanese musical revue troupe, will celebrate the centennial of their founding with its first appearance in New York in over 25 years with "Takarazuka Chicago," marking the first time ever that two identical productions in two different languages will be running at the same time in NYC. That’s happening in July.

Right now, the role of Billy Flynn, the silver-tongued solicitor and suave defender of Roxy Hart, is being played by Jason Danieley. On Broadway, Jason played Candide in the 1997 revival of Candide, Malcolm MacGregor in The Full Monty, Aaron Fox in Curtains, and Frederich Kuhn in The Visit.

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