Joan Marcus / AP

  The Audience is a play written by Peter Morgan, directed by Stephen Daldry, and starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth the II. It opened in the West End in 2013 earning Olivier Awards for Mirren and one of her co-stars, Richard McCabe. McCabe portrays Harold Wilson who was a British Labour Party politician and served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.

In The Audience, Peter Morgan has written imagined conversations between the Queen and her Prime Ministers during their weekly private meetings in Buckingham Palace. The play floats from year to year and decade to decade making use of theatre and costume quick-change magic and, of course, the skill of tremendous performers.

The Audience, now running on Broadway through June 28, is nominated for three Tony Awards - one for Dame Mirren, one for Bob Crowley for his costume design, and one for our guest, Richard McCabe.

Joan Marcus

  Airline Highway, by Lisa D’Amour, is an ode to the outcasts that make life a little more interesting. In the parking lot of The Hummingbird, a once-glamorous motel on New Orleans’ infamous Airline Highway, a group of friends gather. A rag-tag collection of strippers, hustlers and philosophers have come together to celebrate the life of Miss Ruby, an iconic burlesque performer who has requested a funeral before she dies.

Directed by Joe Mantello, Manhattan Theatre Club’s presentation of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production of Airline Highway is running at the Samuel J. Friedman theatre in New York City through June 7th.

The play co-stars K. Todd Freeman as Sissy Nana. Freeman has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago since 1993. The Obie Award winning theatre, television, and film actor has earned a Tony Award nomination - his second - for Best Performance for an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for his performance.

Andrew Eccles

  Last week, God finally came to Studio 54 in New York City as the new comedy An Act of God began previews. For the play, God has take the form or four-time Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, Jim Parsons.

Based on the critically acclaimed book The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, this new play was written by David Javerbaum (who also wrote the book and runs @TheTweetofGod Twitter account) and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. It features God and two of his angels (Michael and Gabriel - in the forms of Christopher Fitzgerald and Tim Kazurinsky).

David Javerbaum is a 13-time Emmy-winning former head writer and executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is also a Tony-nominated lyricist whose collaborations with songwriter Adam Schlesinger include the Broadway musical Cry-Baby and the Grammy-winning songs for Stephen Colbert's Christmas special The Greatest Gift of All. He created the talk show No, You Shut Up! with Henson Studios, hosted by Paul F. Tompkins for Fusion and he is currently a producer for CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden.


    An American in Paris is a new stage musical based on the 1951 film of the same name -- the film, directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, was itself inspired by a 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin.

The new musical, set in the City of Lights just after World War II, features classic songs by George and Ira Gershwin including “I Got Rhythm,” “‘S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” and “They Can’t Take That Away,” and orchestral music from George Gershwin including “Concerto in F,” and “An American in Paris.” The show is currently running at The Palace Theatre on Broadway and is nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Shervin Lainez

  Duncan Sheik will be performing in our region on April 10th at 7pm at the Drury Performing Arts Center at Drury High School in North Adams, MA. The concert was scheduled by students in the Performing Arts Management class at the school.

After breaking through in the late '90s with his Top 20 single "Barely Breathing", Duncan Sheik spent much of the subsequent decade taking a breather from the usual rock singer/songwriter rituals. His focus was on albums that broke with pop music conventions and, additionally, theatrical musicals like Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that won him 2 Tony awards and a Grammy.


  Jim Dale started his professional career as a seventeen year old comedian playing the Music Halls of Britain. A little down the road he became a pop singing star during the early days of rock and roll and appeared in fourteen of the legendary Carry On films for the British cinema.

At the request of Laurence Olivier he joined the British National Theatre. He starred in the first Musical by Cameron Mackintosh, The Card, and played Fagin in Oliver! at the London Palladium. He first appeared on the American stage in 1973 - in 1980 he won the Tony Award for his work in Barnum.

    Tim Federle was a dancer on Broadway until a few years ago. Now he’s an author who has has - so far - released 4 books. (His fifth - a picture book, is due out later this year.) Two of his books, Better Nate Than Ever! and Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, are about Nate Foster - a small-town boy with big Broadway dreams. The books are aimed at middle school theater-geeks trying to find their footing. Better Nate Than Ever! was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Publishers' Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Slate Favorite Book of the Year.

  Federle's other two books are Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist and Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist. The former containing instruction for boozy-bevs with names like Love in the Time of Kahlúa, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita, and Vermouth the Bell Tolls; and the latter sharing shaker-ready recipes for Old MacDonald Had a Flask, Baa, Baa, Black Russian, Jack and Coke (and Jill).

On Thursday, February 5th, the Campaign for the New Hudson Area Library will be hosting Federle at Café Le Perche in Hudson, NY from 6 – 8pm. The restaurant will offer a selection of Federle’s drink recipes for sale to guests and The Spotty Dog Books and Ale, will be selling Federle’s books. 

  Jersey Boys, is the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. It tells the story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30!

Jersey Boys features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night” and “ Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – and many others.

The National Tour of the show is at Proctors in Schenectady tonight through Sunday as part of the Key Private Bank Broadway Series at Proctors and we are joined by Hayden Milanes who plays Frankie Valli and Drew Seeley who plays Bob Gaudio.

  In his new memoir, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend ,Martin Short tells the tale of how a showbiz-obsessed kid from Canada transformed himself into one of Hollywood’s favorite funnymen, known to his famous peers as the “comedian’s comedian.”

Martin Short talks about his early years in Toronto as a member of the improvisational troupe Second City to the all-American comic big time of Saturday Night Live and memorable roles in movies such as ¡Three Amigos! and Father of the Bride.

    The Mahaiwe 2014 Gala on October 12th will honor Jane Iredale and feature a performance by Broadway legend Bernadette Peters.

Star of stage and screen, Peters is likely best known for her film roles in The Jerk and Pennies from Heaven and from the stage for her Tony nominated performances in Sunday in the Park with George, Gypsy, and Follies - and her Tony Award winning turns in Annie Get Your Gun and Song and Dance. She received the 2012 Isabelle Stevenson Award for her work with her charity, Broadway Barks which she co-founded in 1999 with Mary Tyler Moore.