broadway

  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.

Laura Benanti in She Loves Me
Joan Marcus

  As part of its 50th Anniversary season, Roundabout Theatre Company is currently presenting a revival of She Loves Me. The musical, with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock, was the first musical Roundabout ever produced. That production opened in 1993 and was directed by Scott Ellis who returns to helm the show currently sparkling in jewel tones at Studio 54.

The musical is an adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo. The films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail boast the same source material. The cast includes Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, Gavin Creel and, our guest, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti who plays Amalia Balash.

Laura Benanti won a Tony for her performance as Louise in Gypsy (with Patti LuPone as Rose); and she was nominated for Swing, Into the Woods, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Her television credits include Supergirl, Nashville, Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, Law & Order: SVU, and Go On.

  Critics have called Garth Fagan “a true original,” “a genuine leader,” and “one of the great reformers of modern dance.” Fagan is the founder and artistic director of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance.

A Tony and Olivier award winner, Fagan continually renews his own distinctive dance vocabulary, which draws on many sources: sense of weight in modern dance, torso-centered movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, speed and precision of ballet, and the rule breaking experimentation of the post-moderns.

Leanne Cope and Robbie Fairchild in An American in Paris
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

  The Broadway musical, An American in Paris, has been running at The Palace Theatre in New York City since March of last year. Based on the Academy Award winning film of the same name and and featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin, the production is directed and choreographed Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon.

Leanne Cope plays - and dances - the role of Lise. She’s been with the show from its workshop stage to it’s out-of-town run in Paris and for the last year, on Broadway - earning a Tony Nomination for her work and having to take a leave of absence from London’s Royal Ballet to pursue the project.

Chris McGarry and Timothee Chalamet in "Prodigal Son" at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Joan Marcus

  Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley’s latest play, Prodigal Son, ends its run at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City tomorrow.  

Written and directed by Shanley, the autobiographical play features a 17-year-old boy from The Bronx who finds himself in a private school in New Hampshire. He’s violent and gifted, with a passion for writing and an intense desire to understand and control the world and his life. Two faculty members, played by Robert Sean Leonard and Chris McGarry wrestle with the dilemma: Is the kid a star or a disaster?

Chris McGarry has worked with John Patrick Shanley a number of times. Here, we speak with McGarry about what working with Shanley has meant to him.


  Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Dancers’ Resource and the Stage Managers’ Project.

Their Spring appeal is happening in Broadway houses and across the country right now. The 2016 Easter Bonnet Competition takes place April 25 & April 26 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York City.

Our guest, Tom Viola is the Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

    This Friday night the new Broadway musical, Waitress, will begin previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City.

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, Waitress is the first Broadway musical in history where the traditional four person creative team of book writer, composer, choreographer and director have all been women. Diane Paulus directs, Lorin Latarro choreographs, the music and lyrics are by five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, and the book is by our guest, Jessie Nelson.

Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller plays Jenna, a pregnant waitress in an abusive marriage. She takes (and makes) comfort by baking inventive pies and pursuing a romance with an unlikely newcomer to her town.

Bookwriter, Jessie Nelson, is the screenwriter of Stepmom, and I am Sam. She wrote, directed, and produced Corinna Corinna starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ray Liotta.

  Johnny Gallagher has had an illustrious acting career. He won a Tony Award at the age of 22 for his performance in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. He then went on to star in Green Day's American Idiot and then on the HBO series, Newsroom - created and written by Aaron Sorkin. He will appear on Broadway again this Spring in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night.

His debut solo LP, Six Day Hurricane was released in January on Rockwood Music Hall Recordings.

  The Proctors' Key Private Bank Broadway Series has been unveiled. The season includes An American in Paris, The Sound of Music and Cabaret among six touring musicals. Capital Rep's slate of original productions will consist of five shows, from a tribute to Janis Joplin to an adaptation of Homer's Iliad.

In another first, an offering on Capital Rep's season, Beautiful — The Carole King Musical, will be presented at Proctors and will be a touring show, not an original production mounted by Capital Rep. Subscribers to either theater will have the option of adding tickets to the touring production of Wicked, returning to Proctors for two weeks in March 2017.

There is a lot going on and we welcome CEO Philip Morris to tell us more.

  Michael Riedel has been a theater columnist for the New York Post since 1998. He worked at the Daily News for five years before returning to the Post, he is the cohost of Theater Talk with PBS.

In his first book, Razzle Dazzle, he pulls back the curtain on Broadway's stars, producers, and mega-hits to reveal all the shocking drama, intrigue, and power plays that happened off stage.

Razzle Dazzle is a provocative, no-holds-barred narrative account of the people and the money and the power that re-invented an iconic quarter of New York City, turning its gritty back alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, dazzling Great White Way—and bringing a crippled New York from the brink of bankruptcy to its glittering glory.

  The timeless tale of joy and goodwill, White Christmas, filled with classic Irving Berlin songs and glorious dancing and lots of snow is now at Proctors in Schenectady through Sunday. We meet two of the stars of the show - Conrad John Schuck & Pamela Myers – this morning.

Conrad John Schuck plays General Waverly. He played Daddy Warbucks on Broadway and was in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick. His film work includes: M*A*S*H, Star Trek IV & VI, and Woody Allen’s Curse of the Jade Scorpion. On TV he was Sgt. Enright in McMillan and Wife with Rock Hudson and he starred in one of my favorites – Holmes and Yoyo.

Pamela Myers plays Martha Watson in White Christmas. Her Broadway credits include: Company (where she was nominated for a Tony) and Into The Woods. She also had the pleasure of working with Charles Schulz creating the role of Peppermint Patty in Snoopy. Her TV credits include Happy Days, Alice, Major Dad, and she starred in and was the announcer for Sha Na Na.

  Since it first opened on Broadway in September, 1964, Fiddler on the Roof has constantly been onstage somewhere. The new Broadway revival starring Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht opens at The Broadway Theatre in New York City on Sunday.

Published in celebration of Fiddler's 50th anniversary, Tradition!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World's Most Beloved Musical, is a book by Barbara Isenberg -- for which she interviewed the men and women behind the original production, the film and significant revivals to produce a lively, popular chronicle of the making of Fiddler.

  Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is an unforgettable story of enduring love and triumph over adversity.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel and the Warner Bros. / Amblin Entertainment motion picture, the musical version of The Color Purple is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

The John Doyle directed Broadway revival of The Color Purple opens tomorrow night after a month of previews and boasts a fresh, joyous score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues. The cast includes Cynthia Erivo as Celie, Jennifer Hudson as Shug Avery, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, and our guest, Isaiah Johnson as Mister.

  Whether we’re ready or not -- the holiday season is upon us. Time for family visits, parties with friends and co-workers, and attempts at general merriment. These are also the weeks and months when the best films of the year start showing up on movie theater screens.

Tim Federle’s newest mixology book combines those two interests: cocktails and movies. Gone with the Gin: Cocktails with a Hollywood Twist follows Federle’s Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist.

Federle is also the author of the best-selling Better Nate Than Ever and Five Six Seven Nate. His kids book is called Tommy Can’t Stop. Before he was an author he was a dancer, performing on Broadway in Gypsy, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid, and Billy Elliot: The Musical.

  Following a near-fatal car accident, a world-famous novelist finds himself in a strange house being nursed back to health by his doting, self-proclaimed Number One Fan. But as her love for his work turns to dangerous obsession, he realizes he must plot his greatest story yet: how to escape with his life.

Stephen King’s novel, Misery, was adapted for the screen in 1990 directed by Rob Reiner and starring James Caan as Paul Sheldon and Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in an Academy Award and Golden Globe hobbling -- ahem, winning -- performance.

Misery is back in a new Broadway adaptation written by two-time Academy Award winner William Goldman with action film star Bruce Willis making his Broadway debut as Paul Sheldon and Laurie Metcalf picking up Annie Wilke’s bottles of Novril ... and sledgehammer.

Will Frears directs the production which is running at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City through February 14th.

  Roundabout Theatre Company is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and today we wrap up a week-long series of interviews with Roundabout artists discussing this special season.

Next month, The American Airlines Theatre will become home to a host of backstage antics and slamming doors in Michael Frayn’s superb farce, Noises Off.

Jeremy Herrin directs a cast featuring Andrea Martin, Campbell Scott, Tracee Chimo, Daniel Davis, David Furr, Kate Jennings Grant,Rob McClure, Jeremy Shamos, and Megan Hilty.

Megan Hilty played Glinda in Wicked (on tour and on Broadway) and originated the role of Doralee Rhodes in the musical adaptation of 9 to 5. She has a great and growing concert career and portrayed Ivy Lynn, the upcoming diva that viewers loved to loathe on NBC’s Broadway musical series, Smash. She wil play Brooke Ashton in Noises Off.

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