The World Premiere of the new musical, The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers is now taking place at Cap Rep in Albany. In the show, Daughter Junie inherits the job of taking over the family dry cleaning business, tending to Dad --who’s having a hard time remembering things -- and keeping an eye on younger sister Lashley – who’s fresh from rehab.
Junie’s dream of being a country singer takes a hiatus until the town Pastor asks the sisters to write and perform personal send-offs for the dearly departed.
The musical comedy is from country singer-songwriter Lori Fischer - who also teaches playwriting at NYU. She teamed up with ASCAP Award-winning Nashville composer Don Chaffer. Both appear onstage, with Fischer starring as Junie. We welcome Lori Fischer, Carter Calvert (who plays Lashley Lee), and director Martha Banta who was an Assistant Director for Rent and is now Resident Director for Mamma Mia! on Broadway.
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein – the original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943.
Featuring timeless songs such as "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin,'" "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," “I Cain't Say No," "People Will Say We're in Love," and of course "Oklahoma!," this landmark, Pulitzer Prize winning musical is currently enjoying the Berkshire Theatre Group treatment on stage at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA.
Eric Hill directs this American classic and he joins to tell us more.
One of the greatest musicals in theater history, Cole Porter’s first-class musical comedy comes here following a triumphant run on Broadway where The New York Times called it “Musical-comedy joe" and USA Today hailed it as "Glorious and exhuberant!"
In addition to the title song, the show includes the Porter classics “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “De-Lovely,” “You’re the Top,” “Friendship,” “Easy To Love” and more!
Fred Applegate plays Moonface Martin in the show and joins us this morning. Fred has starred in London and on Broadway as Max Bialystock in The Producers. His Broadway credits include Sister Act, La Cage aux Folles, Young Frankenstein, and The Sound of Music.
It has already been an exciting summer at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont - and the action continues with two productions opening soon. The Resident Producing Director of Weston, Steve Stettler, joins us along with actors Etai BenShlomo and Lauren Mufson.
Etai plays the role of Henry in the Pulitzer Prize winning musical, Next To Normal. He comes from a long run on Broadway in Wicked. With a Tony-winning rock score, Next to Normal peels back the facade of a suburban family dealing with mental illness and other contemporary American struggles.
Lauren plays Lena in the new musical Loving Leo, a musical exploration of what it means to be a family.Lauren, played Donna on Broadway in Mamma Mia!
The original production of this iconic American musical ran from April 1977 to January 1983. The show is, of course, based on the comic strip created by Harold Gray (which was based on a poem by James Whitcomb Riley). This is the second Broadway revival and it’s directed by James Lapine.
Brynn O’Malley plays Grace Farrell, Oliver Warbucks tireless assistant. Brynn's Broadway credits include Wicked, Sunday In the Park with George, Hairspray, and Beauty & the Beast. Regionally, Brynn has starred in Avenue Q and numerous other 1st national and regional productions. She joins us to talk about working with kids and dogs, working with James Lapine, and doing Avenue Q in Las Vegas.
In the seven years since her last album, Audra McDonald has kept busy…including singing the hook for Neil Patrick Harris' rap at the conclusion of Sunday’s Tony Awards. She spent several years in Hollywood, filming the television series Private Practice. She's gotten divorced and remarried, absorbed the shock of losing her father in a plane crash and watched her daughter, grow up from a kindergartener to a middle-schooler.
Last year, McDonald returned to New York, starred in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and won a fifth Tony Award. All the ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies are reflected on her new album, Go Back Home. She will be performing at The Colonial in Pittsfield, MA tomorrow night at 8pm.
Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA is kicking off their 19th season with On the Town - the show that introduced the genius talents of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green to Broadway audiences.
Set in 1944, On the Town is the story of three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City. Squeezed for time, they somehow manage to find love and incredible adventures in the Big Apple.
Barrington Stage’s production - which runs through July 13th - is directed by Tony Award winner, John Rando - who directed Guys and Dolls at BSC in 2011. The musical director is Darren Cohen. These two talented men join us along with cast members Tony Yazbeck, Clyde Alves, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Elizabeth Stanley, and Alysha Umphress.
Motown: The Musicalis the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown founder Berry Gordy's incredible journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and so many more.
Featuring all the classics you love, the show tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack that changed America.
Chet Walker has been the Director of Jacob's Pillow's Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance program for the past 14 seasons. The choreographer has worked on Broadway for 40 years - starting at the age of sixteen when he appeared in the first revival of On the Town. He was in the original Broadway production of Pippin and this year returns to that show as choreographer for the multi-nominated Diane Paulus directed revival - the show's first since its original run closed in 1977 (after 1,944 performances).
Judy Kuhn is a three time Tony nominee for her work in the Broadway musicals: Les Miserables, Chess, and She Loves Me. She was also the singing voice of Pocahantas in the 1995 animated Disney film of the same name, which means she sang the Academy Award winning song, “Colors of the Wind” in that movie.
In All This Happiness she weaves together tunes from the pop songwriters and musical theatre composers that have had the most influence on her.