musical theater

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 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.

  Kinky Boots is the smash-hit musical that brought together four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein and Grammy Award winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper - who won a Tony Award-winner for Best Score in 2013. The show took home six 2013 Tony Awards, the most of any show in the season and now the National Touring Company is playing at Proctor’s in Schenectady through Sunday.

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price who is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. You know, Kinky Boots.

Tiffany Engen plays Lauren in the touring company and she joins us.

  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. 


  Michael Mayer is the Tony-Award winning director of plays, musicals, opera, and film and television who helmed the Broadway revival of Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and the original runs of the musicals of Everyday Rapture, American Idiot, Spring Awakening, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He’s also directed revivals of A View From the Bridge, The Lion in Winter, After the Fall, and ‘night Mother. His breakthrough of sorts was Side Man.

 

Side Man had an early production in Poughkeepsie, NY at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater -- it moved to off-Off-Broadway and then to Broadway winning the Tony Award for Best Play in 1999.

 

Michael Mayer has been coming back to Poughkeepsie in the summer for 20 years, working on shows in various stages of development and recently joining the New York Stage and Film board of directors.

He was in the Hudson Valley this summer working on a new musical entitled Head Over Heels which blends Sir Philip Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of seminal 80s girl-group, The Go-Go’s. Jeff Whitty is writing the book and Tom Kitt will provide musical supervision.

  The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice promotes the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace and artistic expression through presenting world class performances in Phoenicia, New York and surrounding areas.

This year’s festival - running August 4th through the 7th – celebrates Shakespeare and the British Isles.

We are joined by world renowned opera singers, Executive Director Maria Todaro and Artistic Director Louis Otey. 

  Poster Boy is a new American musical inspired by actual events surrounding the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, a college student who brought national attention to cyber-bullying, In the show, a community of gay men in an online chat room come together to discover what drove one of their own to take his life.

Directed by Olivier Award-nominee Stafford Arima with movement by Danny Mefford, Poster Boy, is in its world premiere production on the Nikos Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 7th.

Composer and lyricist, Craig Carnelia and bookwriter Joe Tracz join us.

The unmistakable voice filled with raw emotion and tinged with Southern Comfort made Janis Joplin a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock.

A Night with Janis Joplin, now running at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY, is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences.

The show is created, written and directed by Randy Johnson and stars Kelly McIntyre as Janis Joplin. 

  The Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award-winning rock, horror, musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, is open for business at The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, MA!

The Berskhire Theatre Group production is directed by Ethan Heard the celebrated, farcical production has music by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award-winners Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

Stanley Bahorek plays Seymour Krelborn. He and Ethan Heard join us. 


  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.

  Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was founded in 1995. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people.

On their two stages they present new plays and musicals created by the best theatrical minds working today as well as classics.

Julianne Boyd is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Barrington Stage and she joins us now with an overview of the season.

  Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s first Musical Workshop of this Powerhouse season is a brand-new adaptation of The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd. The production involves a commissioned by The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City and is directed by Scott Ellis - responsible for Roundabout’s recent productions of She Loves Me and On the Twentieth Century.

The show will keep its original score by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley -- but replace the duo’s book with a new one by Santino Fontana.

Fontana co-stars as Greg on the CW’s musical television comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was the voice of Hans in that tiny-little Disney movie, Frozen. Broadway and off-Broadway credits include: The Fantasticks, Sunday in the Park with George, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A View from the Bridge, The Importance of Being Earnest, Sons of the Prophet, Act One, and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.

  Vermont's Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is turning 80 and their summer 2016 season boasts a line-up that includes groundbreaking partnerships, collaborations with major stars, and the Vermont Premiere of one of Broadway's longest-running hits.

Producing Artistic Director, Steve Stettler, joins us now to tell us all about it.

Tony Award-winning Fiorello! is a big-hearted look at Mayor La Guardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, the Berkshire Theatre Group production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss. Fiorello! is one of only nine musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Fiorello! through July 23rd on their Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge.

Cast members Katie Birenboim and Austin Lombardi join us now. They play Marie and the title character, Fiorello, respectively. 

  Over the past three decades, Jane’s Ice Cream, founded by sisters Jane and Amy Keller, has grown from their humble beginnings as a street side lunch spot in Phoenicia, NY, into a regional ice cream powerhouse.

Jane’s Ice Cream supplies the Tri-state area, Massachusetts, and some of New York City’s toniest hotels and restaurants, including the New York Palace Hotel and the Carlyle Hotel.

This year they’ve even connected with the only thing currently more popular than ice cream – Hamilton: An American Musical.

Jane’s is run by husband and wife team Amy Keller and Bob Guidubaldi and they join us this morning.

Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert in Presto Change-O at Barrington Stage
Scott Barrow

  Presto Change-O, a new musical with book and lyrics by Eric Price and music by Joel Waggoner, is running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage through June 11th. Directed by Marc Bruni, choreographed by Chris Bailey, the show features a credit not usually seen in your everyday playbill -- illusions by Joseph Waternerchaney.

That’s right - the majority of actors in the piece has to - on top of acting, singing, and dancing - perform parlor and platform magic.

Presto Change-O is a World Premiere from BSC’s acclaimed Musical Theatre Lab and we are joined by actors Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert - both of whom originated roles in the original Broadway run of Falsettos and have numerous other Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and Television and Film credits on their resumes.

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.

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.

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.

Roundabout Theatre Company's The Robber Bridegroom - Leslie Kritzer, center
Joan Marcus

  Based on the short story by Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom is the Southern-fried Robin Hood tale of Jamie Lockhart, a dangerous, handsome, backwoods rogue who’s a gentleman by day and bandit by night. When he falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter, his world and code of ethics are turned upside down.

Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City has a rustic romp of a ‘Robber Bridegroom’ running at The Laura Pels Theatre. Director Alex Timbers brings his incomparable imagination to the show with book by Alfred Uhry and music by Robert Waldman.

The show stars Steven Pasquale, Andrew Durand, Evan Harrington, Greg Hildreth, Ahna O’Reilly, Nadia Quinn, Lance Roberts, Devere Rogers, and , our guest, Leslie Kritzer, as Salome.

Leslie made her Broadway debut in Hairspray, following that she was Serena in Legally Blonde, and then Jane Hurley in A Catered Affair. She was In Sondheim on Sondheim and played Jovie in the stage musical adaptation of Elf. In addition to numerous Off-Broadway and regional credits she received critical acclaim, a TimeOut New York Award, and a Special Achievement MAC Award, for Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, a re-creation of Patti LuPone’s famed nightclub act. She is currently playing Ray Romano’s wife on the HBO show Vinyl.

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.

More than 75 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of the Broadway spectacular – Disney’s The Lion King.

And why not? Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. And, we are happy to report, The Lion King has now taken over Proctors through April 17th.

Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Lion King, brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway. Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor, Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.

This morning we welcome two of the leading actors who play the Lion brothers - Mufasa and Scar. Patrick Brown plays the villainous Scar and Gerald Ramsey plays the King lion – Mufasa.

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.

    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.

  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.

Kaitlyn Davidson
Credit: Robert Mannis

  Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning musical from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music that's delighting audiences with its surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more. The show is at Proctors in Schenectady, NY this week.

The show boasts Rodgers and Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago."

Kaitlyn Davidson plays Ella in the musical on the road with Cinderella where she was also part of the Broadway cast. She also starred in Broadway’s Nice Work If You Can Get It and the national tour of White Christmas.

  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.

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