musical theater

Broadway Cast Of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater
Sara Krulwich / The New York Times


  The new Broadway adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which opening in New York City last April will end its run on January 14.

 

The show is directed by Jack O’Brien and features a book by David Greig, original music Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. Kathy Fitzgerald plays Mrs. Gloop - the mother of Augustus one of the ill-fated golden-ticket holding visitors to Mr. Wonka’s fantastical factory.

 

Fitzgerald’s previous Broadway credits include “Swinging on a Star,” “The Producers,” “Wicked,” and “9 to 5.”

“The Mystery of Edwin Drood” is a musical by Rupert Holmes for which he received Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Original Score in 1986. The show, then called “Drood” also won Best Musical that year.

Based on Charles Dickens’ last, unfinished novel and murder mystery, the show stops just before the murderer is revealed and at each performance the audience decides who “done it.”

Rupert Holmes has adapted the script into a new quick and hilarious 90 minute version. The new version will be presented at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY with a further adjustment by Holmes for the action of the play to be set at Hubbard Hall.

Performances begin tonight and we are joined now by composer/playwright/lyricist Rupert Holmes and Executive & Artistic Director of the Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education David Andrew Snider.

Kate Shindle in Fun Home
Joan Marcus

The musical Fun Home has been called “groundbreaking,” “exquisite” and “unforgettable” - winning five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical and making history along the way. 

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood.

Kate Shindle is a former Miss America, the current President of Actor’s Equity and is now starring as Alison Bechdel in the touring production of Fun Home - now playing at Proctors through November 5th.

Harold Prince
Marc J. Franklin

Harold Prince is the most honored director/producer in the history of the American theater. His new book, Sense of Occasion, gives an insider's recollection of the making of such landmark musicals as West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and Phantom of the Opera.

Prince writes about his mentor George Abbott and his many celebrated collaborators, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, John Kander, Boris Aronson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Angela Lansbury, Zero Mostel, Carol Burnett, and Joel Grey.

In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their series of conversations about quoting, sampling, borrowing in music.


  If you look for it - you can find a lot of pretty swell life advice in musicals. For instance: you gotta get a gimmick, don’t throw away your shot, and whenever you feel afraid - hold your head erect and whistle a happy tune.

 

Tim Federle’s new book, available from Running Press, shares advice he’s learned not from the lyrics in shows - but from performing in musicals on Broadway, around the U.S. and abroad. Life is Like a Musical: How to Live, Love, and Lead Like A Star features chapters entitled “Be a Good Scene Partner,” “Go Where the Love Is,” “Put on a Happy Face,”  and 47 others for a total of 50 tips pulled from years of theater experience.

 

Federle is the best-selling author of cocktail books Tequila Mockingbird and Gone with the Gin and the novels Better Nate Than Ever and The Great American Whatever.

The 2015 revival of The Color Purple – the musical adapted from Alice Walker’s novel, with book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

The Broadway run ended in January of this year and the National Tour is now originating its multi-city run at Proctors in Schenectady, NY.

With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, The Color Purple gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story. Tony Award winning Director, John Doyle, joins us to tell us more.

Doyle’s Broadway credits include, in addition to The Color Purple, Sweeney Todd starring Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris, Company starring Raul Esparza, A Catered Affair starring Harvey Fierstein, and The Visit, starring Chita Rivera.

Erin McKeown
Joanna Chattman


  On September 9th, singer-songwriter, sportsfan, writer, and music producer Erin McKeown is playing at Signature Sounds’ The Parlor Room in Northampton, MA on September 9th with Orchestral synth-rock band, The Cabin Project.

 

Prior to that, on September 4th, McKeown will present her 8th Cabin Fever live-streamed house concert -- for which she and The Cabin Project will play her two recent EPs, Mirrors Break Back and According to Us. The episode is free - donations will be distributed to Houston Food Bank, Black Girls Code, and Border Angels.

  In this week's Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani discuss the classic American song "Ol Man River," written by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern.

This is an encore airing of this segment. 

James Ludwig and Aaron Tveit in Company at Barrington Stage
Daniel Rader

This week, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA announced an extension of its production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company, directed by Julianne Boyd. The show was scheduled to play on The Boyd-Quinson Mainstage through September 2nd, and now Bobby will be side-by-side with his friends, driving his dates crazy, and waiting through the 10th.

Aaron Tveit plays Bobby at Barrington Stage. On Broadway he’s appeared in Hairspray, Wicked, Next to Normal, and Catch Me If You Can. He played Enjolras in the film of Les Miserables starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, television credits include Gossip Girl, Graceland, FOX’s Grease Live - and other programs not starting with "G".


  Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA presents George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award winning 1970 musical Company from through September 2nd on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage.

 

In the play, consummate bachelor, Robert, interacts with - as the song says "those good and crazy people his married friends" as he and tries to commit, to find love, and figure out what "it's really about."

 

The Barrington Stage production of Company is directed by BSC Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. She joined us at The Linda along with the show’s Music Director Dan Pardo and Bobby and his three girlfriends - April, Marta, and Kathy -- respectively played by Aaron Tveit, Mara Davi, Nora Schell, and Rebecca Kuznick.

Sarah LaDuke and Lonny Price
Joe Donahue

The third Main Stage production of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2017 season is A Legendary Romance. Written by Timothy Prager and Geoff Morrow and starring Jeff McCarthy and Lora Lee Gayer, A Legendary Romance is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee, Lonny Price.

Price played Charley in the ill-fated original production of Merrily We Roll Along on Broadway -- an experience which he has lately translated into an acclaimed documentary film The Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (which is now available to stream on Netflix).

He’s an award winning director who helmed the recent Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close. Other directorial credits include Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra McDonald -- which is running in London this summer -- and episodes of the television programs 2 Broke Girls and Desperate Housewives and the screen-via-stage favorites Great Performances and Live from Lincoln Center. He’s also a writer and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2001 for the book of A Class Act. As an actor he has a number of theatrical credits after Merrily and several films, including The Muppets Take Manhattan and Dirty Dancing.

Jeff McCarthy, Sarah LaDuke, Geoff Morrow, Cody Owen Stine
Photo: Joe Donahue / Artwork by Ligature Creative


  The new musical, A Legendary Romance is The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s third and final Main Stage show this season. The show will run in Williamstown August 3rd through the 20th.  

With a book by Timothy Prager and Music and lyrics by Geoff Morrow, A Legendary Romance is directed by Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Lonny Price and stars Jeff McCarthy as Joseph Lindy - a filmmaker blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee and struggling to restore his personal and professional legacy.

For a preview of the production, we were joined at The Linda by Jeff McCarthy who plays Joseph Lindy, Geoff Morrow, and, playing piano, Cody Owen Stine - Associate Music Director for A Legendary Romance and WTF’s Cabaret Director.

Audrey Kupferberg: London Theatre

Jul 28, 2017

A few years ago, the college-aged daughter of friends of mine informed me that she goes to the theater for fun. Nothing more.  I disagreed.  Theater can be fun, but a person should attend theater to become educated, to illuminate aspects of life and clarify our emotional responses to the various worlds in which we live.  In the past month, I have been on a theater spree in London and New York City, seeking out plays and musical shows which range from lovely bits of fluff to full-blown political and humanist statements.  The musical shows offered the kind of fun my young friend craved, but also managed to touch upon more weighty themes. 


  Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals.

 

Berkshire Theatre Group is currently presenting the Tony Award-winning musical at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA through August 6th.

 

Directed by Travis G. Daly with music direction by Mark Gionfriddo, the BTG production of The Music Man features over 100 talented Berkshire youth along with Rylan Morsbach as neck-or-nothing, rip-roarin', every-time-a bull's-eye salesman Harold Hill and Haley Aguero as Marian “Madam Librarian” Paroo.

 

We are joined this morning at The Linda by the aforementioned Rylan Morsbach, Haley Aguero, Mark Gionfriddo, and Travis G. Daly.

Alexandra Silber is an actress and singer who starred most recently as Tzeitel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. She earlier played Hodel in the same show in London’s West End. She has now written – After Anatevka: A Novel Inspired by Fiddler on the Roof - that imagines what happens to the characters of the musical after the curtain falls.

Alexandra Silber picks up where Fiddler left off. Second-eldest daughter Hodel takes center stage as she attempts to join her Socialist-leaning fiancé Perchik to the outer reaches of a Siberian work camp. But before Hodel and Perchik can finally be together, they both face extraordinary hurdles and adversaries—both personal and political—attempting to keep them apart at all costs.

Silber will be talking about and signing her book on Wednesday at 6PM at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck. 

Mamma Mia! At TheRep

Jul 14, 2017

On a small Greek island, Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding — one which includes her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother Donna, the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands.

Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought! Told through the legendary music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.

Mamma Mia! is running at TheRep (Capital Repertory Theatre) in Albany, NY through August 13th. Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill directs.

Kara Mikula plays Rosie (one of the Dynamos) at TheRep and she joins us.

After opening to rave reviews in Dublin, Ireland, Find Your Way Home (An Irish Musical) is making its’ American debut at The Palace Theatre in Albany on July 17th. The show was written by Jeff Strange and Jimmy Kelly two musicians from Albany NY, both who are well known on the Irish music scene in the US and they have been developing the musical over the past eight years. 

Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Find Your Way Home follows an Irish family as they encounter unexpected tragedies and joys in the face of economic hardship. It's set in 1910 in the West of Ireland, post-famine and pre-uprising.

It is a pleasure to welcome James Kelly and Jeff Strange to The Roundtable.

Bobby Conte Thornton
www.ibdb.com

Bobby Conte Thornton plays Calogero in A Bronx Tale: The Musical at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway. Based on Chazz Palminteri’s life and one-man show, the musical is co-directed by Robert De Niro, who directed the original film, and Jerry Zaks, who directed the one man show on Broadway in 2007.

The show features a book by Palminteri and original music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater. The cast album is available from Ghostlight Records. A Bronx Tale is Bobby Conte Thornton’s Broadway debut and we spoke with him about working with the show's creative team and what's it's like when your dreams come true.

Hailed as "a funny, affectionate, and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist," the symphonic Sondheim on Sondheim is a retrospective of the life and work of America's finest contemporary musical theater creator -- told through his own words via film, live performers, and his amazing music.

Directed by Sandra Lapine with ​music direction by David Loud, acclaimed Broadway actors Phillip Boykin, Carmen Cusack, Gabriel Ebert, Ruthie Ann Miles and Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows will join Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops in the ​Koussevitzky Music Shed on Saturday, July 8th at 8pm.

Carolee Carmello as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at The Barrow Street Theatre
Joan Marcus

Fans of Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler, and tonsorial artistry tainted with murder and cannibalism once again have the opportunity to attend the tale of Sweeney Todd in New York City.

In the winter of 2014, The Tooting Arts Club staged the musical masterpiece in London’s oldest pie and mash shop, Harrington’s Pie and Mash. About a year later, for a West End transfer, the show was staged in a recreation of Harrington’s in an old rock club and this past February, it moved to Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theatre - also converted to resemble Harrington’s.

 

With a reduced cast glaring, scaring, and performing incredibly; the audience sits at tables and (for certain seats) one can order a meat or veg pie with their ticket. The pies are prepared by The Perfect Pie, in New York City which is run by former White House baker, Bill Yosses (featured on All Things Considered).

 

Norm Lewis is in the role of the man who calls razors friends and his dotty, daring, focused and frazzled buddy in barber-ous bump-offs, Mrs. Lovett, is being played at Barrow Street by three-time Tony Award nominee, Carolee Carmello.

 

An Albany native, Carmello has appeared in 14 Broadway musicals: Tuck Everlasting, Finding Neverland, Scandalous, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Mamma Mia!, Lestat, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Parade, 1776, Falsettos, and City of Angels.

Corey Cott in Bandstand
Jeremy Daniel


  The Broadway musical Bandstand -- currently running at the Jacobs Theatre in New York City, brings the swing-fueled, against-all-odds story of singer/songwriter Donny Novitski and his band of mismatched fellow vets brilliantly to the stage.

 

Starring Laura Osnes and Corey Cott and directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbeuler -- who won a Tony Award this month for his incredible choreography, Bandstand features music and lyrics by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by the Capital Region’s own Robert Taylor.

 

The original Broadcast cast recording is available today from Broadway Records.

 

We spoke with intensely talented leading man, Corey Cott, in New York a couple of months ago -- right after the show opened and while they were recording the album.  Cott’s previous Broadway roles include Jack in Disney’s Newsies and Gaston in the 2015 revival of Gigi.

 

Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartet follows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis.

The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting Million Dollar Quartet at its Unicorn Theatre through July 15th.

Directed and with music direction by James Barry the musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes,” "Fever,” "Walk the Line,” "Sixteen Tons,” "Who Do You Love?,” "Great Balls of Fire,” "Folsom Prison Blues,” "Hound Dog,” and more.

We are joined by Brycen Katolinsky who plays Elvis Presley; Ben Nordstrom who plays The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll and founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips; and Christy Coco who plays aspiring singer and Elvis’s girlfriend Dayanne.  


  Barrington Stage Company’s first Boyd-Quinson Mainstage musical this season is Ragtime -- which opens in Pittsfield, MA on June 21st and runs through July 15th.

 

Ragtime features a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It is based on a novel by E. L. Doctorow and is directed at Barrington Stage by Joe Calarco. The original Broadway production of Ragtime won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Musical Score.

 

Members of Barrington Stage’s cast join us at The Linda to discuss the show and perform a few songs.

We welcome Elizabeth Stanley (“Mother”); J. Anthony Crane (“Tateh”); Darnell Abraham (“Coalhouse”); Zurin Villanueva ("Sarah”); and musical director - providing piano accompaniment - Darren Cohen.

Barrett Doss in Groundhog Day at The August Wilson Theatre
http://www.groundhogdaymusical.com/

Groundhog Day is something of an American fable - I mean that equally of the February 2nd holiday and the 1993 movie directed by Harold Ramis, written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

What do you get when you combine the film with the British sensibilities of Tim Minchin and Matthew Warchus? You get an Olivier Award Winning and 7-time Tony Award nominated stage musical.

After an incredibly well-received run in London, Groundhog Day - directed by Matthew Warchus, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, is currently running at The August Wilson Theatre on Broadway -- starring Andy Karl as cynical egotistic weatherman, Phil Connors, and Barrett Doss as Rita Hanson.

Doss recently appeared in the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, she’s a recurring character on the Netflix and Marvel series Iron First, and for you comedy TV minutia lovers out there - she played Liz Lemon’s great-granddaughter in the last 20 seconds of the last episode of the NBC series 30 Rock.

Joan Marcus

Innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig And The Angry Inch is the American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask is a genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances which tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage.

Winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hedwig And The Angry Inch played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and now is in Schenectady for performances tonight and tomorrow at Proctors.

Hannah Corneau plays Yitzhak in the production. She is graduate of Shen High School.

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Kander and Ebb’s classic Tony Award winning musical drama, Cabaret, is at Proctors this week. This touring production was directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.

To set the stage:

1930s, Berlin: The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration. The Klub's Master of Ceremonies, or M.C., is joined by the cabaret girls and headliner-of-sorts, Sally Bowles.

In a train station, Cliff Bradshaw arrives, a young American writer coming to Berlin to work on his new novel.

At Proctors this week, Jon Peterson plays the Emcee and Benjamin Eakeley plays Cliff.

Jeremy Daniel

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, the hit Broadway musical Waitress was directed by Diane Paulus and was nominated for 4 Tony Awards last year. The show has a book by Jessie Nelson and the music and lyrics are by Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.

Bareilles is currently making her Broadway debut as Jenna -- a pregnant diner waitress and inventor of pies who needs to stop burying her hope and unhappy marriage in creative ingredients and make a change.

The other half of that unhappy marriage is Earl, the kind of guy who peaked in high school and never got over it. Earl is handsome but gruff, disconsolate, short tempered, beer-soaked -- and currently being played on Broadway by Will Swenson. His last performance at the pie-scented Brooks Atkinson Theatre will be on June 11th. (Sara Bareilles will leave then, too and Betsy Wolfe will begin performances as Jenna on June 13.)

Swenson’s recent Broadway credits include Disaster!, Les Misérables, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Hair -- for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. In the summer of 2015 he played Jamie Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s A Moon for the Misbegotten at the Williamstown Theatre Festival - opposite is wife Audra McDonald; and last summer he served up a boisterous and bodacious Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance at Barrington Stage.

Caroline O'Connor and John Bolton in Anastasia
Joan Marcus

The new Broadway musical Anastasia features a book by celebrated playwright Terrence McNally and a lush, new score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Tony Award-winning director Darko Tresnjak directs a cast that features Christy Altomare, Derek Klena, John Bolton, Ramin Karimloo, Tony Award nominee Mary Beth Piel, and our guest: Caroline O’Connor -- who has been nominated for a Drama League award and an Outer Critic Circle Award for her portrayal of Countess Lily.

This marks O’Connor’s third Broadway show - she’s performed on the West End, at the Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Some of her signature roles include Edith Piaf, Judy Garland, Velma Kelly in Chicago, Anita in West Side Story and Mabel in Mack & Mabel.

She’s well known in certain circles for playing Nini in Baz Luhrman’s 2001 film, Moulin Rouge!

Some People Hear Thunder is a powerful musical love story - an uplifting tale of a young reporter, his true love in America, and Armenians fighting for dignity and survival in the face of brutality. Set between 1914 and 1915, in New York and southern Turkey, in the midst of shocking historical events, Some People Hear Thunder comes to life through song, dance and beautiful storytelling.

The show is running at The Capital Repertory Theater in Albany, NY through May 21.

To tell us more we welcome Gerson Smoger and Kevin McGuire. 

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