GRACE NOTES: Thursday, October 30, 2014

Today’s Highlights:

Roundabout‘s The Real Thing, by Tom Stoppard, directed by Sam Gold, featuring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon, Josh Hamilton, Alex Breaux, Madeline Weinstein and Ronan Raftery, opens at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre.

* Queen Coal, by Bryony Lavery, directed by Robert Shaw Cameron, featuring Kate Anthony, Julia Ford and David Hounslow, opens at the U.K.’s Sheffield Theatres Studio.

* Richard III, directed by Dave Demke, featuring Dan McCleary, Rachel Brun, MaConnia Chesser, Johnny Lee Davenport, Paul Kiernan, Caley Milliken, Crash Buist and Craig Wesley, opens at Tennessee Shakespeare Company.

* Camelot, directed by Alan Souza, featuring Ken Clark (King Arthur), Christy Altomare (Guenevere), Travis Taylor (Lancelot), Jonathan Weir (Merlyn/Pellinore), Patrick Rooney (Mordred) and Gabriel Stern (Tom of Warwick), with Alec Barbour, Michael Brown, Don Denton, Devin DeSantis, J. Michael Finley, Nathan Gardner, Travis A. Knight, Philip Lacey, Megan Long, Henry McGinniss, Keewa Nurullah, Erin Oechsel, Tony Pellegrino, Allison Sill, Andrea Louise Soule and Glenn Stanton, begins previews at Chicago’s Drury Lane Theatre.

* ’night, Mother, by Marsha Norman, directed by Aliah Whitmomre, featuring Sylva Kelegian and Lisa Richards, begins previews at LA’s Lost Studio.

* Sarah Litzinger & Kate ReindersTASTiSKANK concert, at 11:30 PM at 54 Below.

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Reviews Reviews for Lips Together, Teeth Apart at Off-Broadway’s 2econd Stage Theatre:

NY Times (Charles Isherwood): “Unfortunately, the middling revival that opened on Wednesday night at the Second Stage Theater doesn’t fully excavate the rich seams of feeling in this, one of Mr. McNally’s finest plays — and one that hasn’t dated, despite its apparently topical subject matter. (It’s infinitely better than his cough-and-you’ve-missed-a-dropped-name comedy It’s Only a Play, Broadway’s toughest ticket.) While the cast features four talented young actors, including America Ferrera (of ‘Ugly Betty’) and the versatile Tracee Chimo (Bad Jews), their performances, under the direction of Peter DuBois, tend to Jet Ski along the crests of the writing… All four actors hit the emotional notes squarely and without unnecessary fireworks. But beneath the chatter about kite flying and burger grilling, we should register a sense of emotional isolation that bedevils all the characters, who have reached the age when losses have begun to pile up and life’s ultimate horizon is on view. (It probably doesn’t help that the actors may all be a bit young for their roles).”

NY Post (Elisabeth Vincentelli): “The revival that just opened at Second Stage has its problems, but at least it’s actually a play… The new troupe could well end up with similarly rich careers — they’re all excellent actors, even if some are miscast in Peter DuBois’ otherwise elegant revival… Once again, McNally lays it on thick — the drowning swimmer is one Grim Reaper signpost too many. Yet for all its flaws, the play captures a time and place with despairing bite and palpable anger.”

NY Daily News (Joe Dziemianowicz): “There’s grist for a good story about paralyzing anxiety and the need to connect. Unfortunately, to tell his tale, McNally requires 2¾ hours, three acts, endless allusions to death (of bugs, snakes, brothers) and inner monologues. An expertly tuned production can help compensate for the script’s longwindedness and lack of subtlety. Directed by Peter DuBois, this credible but uneven version is the first in New York in 23 years… As the spouses stew and argue and reveal their bigoted and racist streaks, they observe nearby gay men dancing, singing, reveling and having noisy, passionate sex. That’s life. That’s living.”

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Barbara Anselmi, Brian Hargive, Jill Abramovitz, Carla Rose Fisher, Michael Cooper, Ernie Lijoi & Will Randall’s It Shoulda Been You will begin previews Mar. 17 and open Apr. 14 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre, directed by David Hyde Pierce.

Cast: Returning George Street Playhouse original cast members Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Lisa Howard, Edward Hibbert and Steve Rosen, with new cast members  Sierra Boggess and David Burtka.

“It’s a culture clash for the ages when two families from wildly different backgrounds come together to celebrate a wedding. As if the union wasn’t complicated enough, the bride’s ex-boyfriend arrives, bringing the wedding to a screeching halt and throwing both families into hysterical chaos. Plots are hatched, promises broken, secrets exposed – and the bride’s resourceful sister is left to turn an unmitigated disaster into happily ever after.”

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Best in Shows, a benefit cabaret for the Humane Society of New York, will take place Sun. Nov. 9 at 7:30 PM at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages, with musical direction by Seth Rudetsky.

Performers 1: Sutton Foster, Laura Osnes, Christian Borle, Hugh Panaro, Taylor Richardson, John Bolton and Julia Murney.

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American Dance Machine will present ADM21 New York City Debut, to run Nov. 11-16 at Off-Broadway’s Joyce Theatre, directed by Margo Sappington, with musical direction by Eugene Gwozdz.

* (will not be performed Friday & Saturday evenings)

“Popularity” from George M!
Original Choreography: Joe Layton
Staged by: Lars Rosager, coached by Karin Baker, Patricia Mariano
Music: George M. Cohan
Performed by: Peter Chursin and Company

“Pick Yourself Up” from Never Gonna Dance
Original Choreography: Jerry Mitchell
Staged by: Greg Graham
Music: Jerome Kern; Lyrics: Dorothy Fields
Performed by: Deanna Doyle & Kevin Worley

“Charleston” from Billion Dollar Baby
Original Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Staged by: Robert La Fosse
Music and Dance Arrangement: Morton Gould
Performed by: Company

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” from Thoroughly Modern Millie
Original Choreography: Rob Ashford
Staged by: Christopher Bailey
Music: Jeanine Tesori; Lyrics: Dick Scanlan
Performed by: Jessica Lea Patty and Company

“Simply Irresistible” from Contact
Original Choreography: Susan Stroman
Staged by: Tome’ Cousin
Music and Lyrics: Robert Allen Palmer
Performed by: Naomi Kakuk, Fletcher McTaggart, Peter Gregus and Company

“Music And The Mirror” from A Chorus Line
Original Choreography: Michael Bennett
Staged by: Donna McKechnie
Music: Marvin Hamlisch; Lyrics: Edward Kleban
Performed by: Jessica Lee Goldyn, Peter Gregus and Georgina Pazcoguin (Nov. 15-16 matinee)

“The Rhythm Man” from Black And Blue
Original Choreography: Henry Le Tang
Staged by: Shea Sullivan, coached by Diane Walker
Music: Fats Waller
Performed by: Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derrick Grant and Company

* “Audition” from 42nd Street
Original Choreography: Gower Champion
Staged by: Randy Skinner
Music: Harry Warren
Performed by: Company

“Beale St. Blues” from “The Sid Caesar Comedy Hour”
Original Choreography: Jack Cole
Staged by: Matt Rivera
Music and Lyrics: W. C. Handy
Performed by: Rosie Lani Fieldelman and Matt Rivera with Netanel Bellaishe,
Enrique Brown, Nick Palmquist, Tommy Scrivens, Noah Aberlin

“City Lights” from The Act
Original Choreography: Ron Lewis
Staged by: Albert Stephenson and Lars Rosager
Music: John Kander; Lyrics: Fred Ebb
Performed by: Amra-Faye Wright with Erin Moore, Khori Petinaud, Dani Spieler,
Netanel Bellaishe, Peter Chursin, Tommy Scrivens, Kevin Worley

* “Moon Faced, Starry Eyed” from Street Scene
Original Choreography: Patricia Birch
Staged by: Dan Levans
Music: Kurt Weill; Lyrics: Langston Hughes
Performed by: Alison Solomon and Netanel Bellaishe

* “Someone To Watch Over Me” from Three for the Show
Original Choreography: Jack Cole
Staged by: Margo Sappington, coached by Marge Champion
Music: George Gershwin; Lyrics: Ira Gershwin
Performed by: Deanna Doyle and Nick Palmquist

“The Club” from In the Heights
Original Choreography: Andy Blankenbuehler
Staged by: Stephanie Klemons and Luis Salgado
Music and Lyrics by: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Performed by: Stephanie Klemons, Jessica Lea Patty, Dani Spieler, Netanel Bellaishe, Luis Salgado, Kevin Worley and Company

“Mr. Monotony” from Jerome Robbins’ Broadway
Original Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Staged by: Robert La Fosse
Music and Lyrics: Irving Berlin
Performed by: Amra Faye Wright, Georgina Pazcoguin, Amar Ramasar, Daniel Ulbricht, Deanna Doyle (Nov. 14-15 at 8 PM)

“Turkey Lurkey Time” from Promises, Promises
Original Choreography: Michael Bennett
Staged by: Margo Sappington, coached by Donna McKechnie and Baayork Lee
Music: Burt Bacharach; Lyrics: Hal David
Performed by: Rosie Lani Fiedelman, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Khori Petinaud and Company

Friday and Saturday Evenings Only:

“Doin’ the Production Code” from A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine
Original Choreography: Tommy Tune
Staged by: Albert Stephenson
Performed by: Deanna Doyle, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Erin Moore, Peter Gregus, Tommy Scrivens, Kevin Worley

“One On One” from Oh! Calcutta!
Original Choreography: Margo Sappington
Staged by: Margo Sappington
Music and Lyrics: Stanley Walden
Performed by: Georgina Pazcoguin and Craig Hall

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Extended Scary Musical The Musical, by Richard Hochberg & Michael Paternostro, has extended its run through Nov. 23 at North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts Center.

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The Actors Fund presents a benefit presentation of Jule Styne & Bob Merrill’s Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol Mon. Dec. 15 at 7:30 PM at NYC’s John Jay College, directed by Peter Flynn, with musical direction by John McDaniel and choreography by Marcos Santana. The evening will also feature the original orchestrations — heard live for the first time — with a full orchestra.

Cast: Jeff Blumenkrantz, John Bolton, Jennifer Cody, Don Darryl Rivera, Matthew Scott, Christopher Sieber and Betsy Wolfe.

Factoid: Originally airing in December 1962, “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” was the first animated holiday special ever produced specifically for television.

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The Goodman Theatre’s production of Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale will run Nov. 23 – Dec. 21 (opening Dec. 2) at LA’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, directed by Robert Falls.

Cast: The complete original cast – Jordan Baker, Reyna de Courcy, Melissa Duprey, Mary Beth Fisher, Erik Hellman, Colin Sphar and Richard Thieriot.

“A veteran social worker, Caroline, thinks she has a typical case on her hands when she meets Peter and Karlie, two teenage drug addicts accused of neglecting their baby, Luna Gale. But when Caroline places their daughter in the care of Karlie’s very religious mother, she sparks a family conflict that exposes a shadowy past and forces her to make a risky decision with potentially life-altering consequences.”

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Win a trip to London!

Roundabout Theatre Company has launched the Desert Island Disc Challenge in celebration of the Broadway revival of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, starring Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“In Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, playwright Henry (Ewan McGregor) struggles to name the songs he’d take if he were stranded on a desert island. Should he admit to his guiltiest pop pleasures, or stick to more conventional choices? Now it’s your turn to decide! Submit a song to include on your Desert Island Disc by Sun. Nov. 2, then check by on Mon. Nov. 3 to see if your song has advanced to the voting round.”

One winner with the most votes will receive a trip to London, including roundtrip airfare for two on American Airlines and four nights accommodations at Baglioni Hotel London. The runner-up will receive an autographed merchandise package from the cast of The Real Thing.

Winners will be announced Nov. 11 through Roundabout Theatre Company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Click here for submission guidelines.
Click here to enter the contest.

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Sad News The organization that occupies the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia, PA, has terminated its lease with the owners of the building.

Following the death of board chairman Herb Lotman, the Prince was seeking another organization to take over and continue the building’s use as a theatre. Having received no offers — only three expressions of interest that never came to fruition — the organization has decided to close its doors. as of Nov. 30.

Click here for the complete event schedule.

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Shrek leads Dramatics magazine’s list of the most-produced musicals in U.S. high schools, unseating the six-year run held by Beauty and the Beast.

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Extended You Can’t Take It With You has extended its run at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, now through Feb. 22.

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Rumor Rumor: After a recent industry reading of Lissa Levin, Ron Abel & Chuck Steffan’s musical Hazel, directed by Lucie Arnaz, there’s some serious buzz that the show is Broadway bound.

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Sick Justin Matthew Sargent will step in for Constantine Maroulis in Broadway’s Rock of Ages while Maroulis recovers from a muscle tear. He is expected to return Nov. 9.

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Extended Prior to its first preview on Nov. 9, Prospect Theater Company‘s production of Peter Mills & Cara Reichel’s The Underclassman has extended its run through Nov. 30 at Off-Broadway’s Duke on 42nd Street, directed by Reichel.

Cast: Matt Dengler (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Jessica Grové (Ginevra King), Piper Goodeve  (Marie Hersey), Alex Wyse (John Peale Bishop), Billy Hepfinger (Edmund Wilson) and Jeremy Morse, with Jordan Bondurant, Elizabeth Burton, Jason Edward Cook, Holland Grossman, C.J. Pawlikowski, Davey Rosenberg, and Michael Ruocco, Matt Gibson, Christopher Herr, Adam Machart, Liz Shivener and Whitney Winfield.

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Lyric Opera of Chicago will present a new production of Carousel Apr. 10 – May 3, directed & choreographed by Rob Ashford.

Cast: Steven Pasquale (Billy Bigelow) and Denyce Graves (Nettie Fowler).

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Free Labrynth Theater Company has announced its Fall FREE Barn reading series, to take place at Off-Broadway’s Bank Street Theatre:

* Empanada Loca (Nov. 4), written & directed by Aaron Mark. Cast: Daphne Rubin-Vega. “Inspired by true events and the legend of Sweeney Todd, Empanada Loca is a Grand Guignolesque thriller about the indomitable Dolores. Now living deep under Manhattan in an abandoned subway tunnel, Dolores recounts her early years selling drugs, her return to Washington Heights after thirteen years in prison, and her reunion with a cannibalistic old friend who lets her give massages under his empanada shop.”

* Prisoner (Nov. 6), written & directed by Lyle Kessler, Cast: Felix Solis and Florencia Lozano. “Things are not what they seem in this a modern day fable. A man and a woman meet in unusual circumstances in this dark comedy about life on the edge.”

* Nora Gets a Boyfriend (Nov. 9), by Megan Mostyn Brown, directed by Mia Rovegno. Cast: Jeff Biehl, Dylan Dawson, Greg Keller, Jamie Klassel, Annie McNamara, David Ross, and Leigh Wade. “It’s impossible to find a perfect boyfriend in NYC. But what if you could build one? When the unlucky-in-love Nora meets a brilliant but lonely scientist working on artificial humanoids, she finally has the chance to construct the man of her dreams. But what happens when perfection turns out to be less than perfect? A romantic comedy about love, loss and getting over your fear of Queens.”

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Season: Ontario’s Shaw Festival Theatre has announced its 2015 season:

* Peter and the Starcatcher (Apr. 8 – Nov. 1), directed by Jackie Maxwell, with musical direction by Ryan deSouza

* Sweet Charity (Apr. 17 – Oct. 31), directed by Morris Panych, with musical direction by Paul Sportelli and choreography by Parker Esse

* You Never Can Tell (Apr. 26 – Oct. 25), directed by Jim Mezon

* The Lady from the Sea (Apr. 30 – Sept. 13), by Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Erin Shields, directed by Meg Rose

* Top Girls (May 23 – Sept. 12), directed by Vikki Anderson

* Pygmalian (May 31 – Oct. 24), directed by Peter Hinton

* The Twelve-Pound Look (June 11 – Sept. 12), by J.M. Barrie, directed by Lezlie Wade 

* Light Up the Sky (June 25 – Oct. 11), directed by Blair Williams

* The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt (July 5 – Oct. 11), by Michael Marc Bouchard, directed by Jackie Maxwell

* The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (July 11 – Oct. 10), by Tony Kushner, directed by Eda Holmes. 

* The Next Whiskey Bar – A Kurt Weill Cabaret (Aug. 21 – Sept. 5), directed by Jay Turvey

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LA Theatre Works presents a live radio recorded presentation of David Hare’s Racing Demon Nov. 13-16 at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater, directed by Rosalind Ayres. Use code HARRIS for $25 tickets (offer expires Oct. 31 at midnight).

Cast: Jared Harris, Jason Hughes, Martin Jarvis, Christopher Neame, Lesley Nicol, Alan Shearman, Simon Templeman, and Matthew Wolf.

“David Hare’s stirring drama reveals the struggles of four clergymen desperately seeking to make sense of their mission, while being torn in all directions by the
Church of England.”

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