Thursday, April 19, 2012

 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:

* Clybourne Park opens on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

* Soul Sister, new musical about Tina Turner, starring Emi Wokoma, opens at London’s Hackney Empire.

* The Convert opens at LA’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.

* “The Great American Revue” exhibit opens at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

* In a Forest Dark, and Deep opens at Chicago’s Profile Theatre.

* The Hound of the Baskervilles opens at New Jersey Rep.

* Top Hat, starring Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen, begins previews at West End’s Aldwych Theatre.

* Here, starring Alison Steadman, begins previews at the UK’s Rose Theatre, Kingston.

* The Paul Simon Songbook concert, featuring Paul Simon and Wynton Marsalis, at 8 PM at Jazz at Lincoln Center (also April 20).

* Jonestown free reading, featuring Paul Binotto, Paul Castree, Delius Doherty, Debra Thais Evans, Jessica Fields, Marva Hicks, Brianna Horne, Michael Iannucci and Jesse Merz, at 3 PM at Off-Broadway’s York Theatre.

* L.A. Theatre Works‘  Frost/Nixon presentation, starring James Marsters and Tom Virtue, at 8 PM at UCLA’s James Bridges Theatre (through April 22).

* Food for Thought‘s Ashes to Ashes, benefit reading, starring Penny Fuller and Tony Roberts, at 2 PM at Off-Broadway’s Beckett Theatre.

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ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS reviews:

NY Times (Ben Brantley):  “It’s a rich, slow-spreading smile, like butter melting in a skillet over a low flame. And whenever it creeps across James Corden’s face in the splendidly silly One Man, Two Guvnors, which opened on Wednesday night at the Music Box Theater, you know two things for sure: You’re in for trouble, and you’re already hooked. Struggle as you will, there ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

Associated Press (Mark Kennedy):  “This season, the king of fools on Broadway may well be James Corden. The slapstick farce and British vaudevillian merriment galloping throughout the exuberant music-hall comedy, One Man, Two Guvnors, are a perfect fit for Corden’s range of expressive comedic abilities.The Music Box Theatre rang with repeated shouts of laughter at one preview, so apparently American theater-goers also love the earthy, silly British humor that pervades this hilarious London import, which opened Wednesday night at Broadway’s Music Box theater.”

NY Daily News (Joe Dziemianowicz):  “Can we keep James Corden in New York for good? The young British actor headlining the London import One Man, Two Guvnors at the Music Box is so mad talented, adorable and hilarious that you just want more of him. Hello, Actors Equity?”

NY Post (Elisabeth Vincentelli):  “And mercifully, this production, from London’s National Theatre — brought over with its original cast — doesn’t bother with any underlying message or grand statement. These guys just want one thing, and it’s to make us laugh. They succeed brilliantly.”

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Laura Osnes will play Cinderella and Santino Fontana will play the prince in the upcoming Broadway-bound production of Cinderella.

Mark Brokaw will direct the production, which will feature a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. It aims to arrive on Broadway in the 2012-13 season, although no theater has been announced.

In this re-invention of the classic tale, many original story elements remain intact — including pumpkin, glass slippers, and Fairy Godmother – but in a new twist, it is now Cinderella’s turn to rescue the Prince. The production will feature musical numbers from the original score — including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” — as well as several songs from the Rodgers & Hammerstein  trunk.

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On Mon. April 23 at 8 PM, the 1st National Touring Company of Wicked will host The Wicked Rocky Horror Show, a one-night-only staged concert performance of The Rocky Horror Show.

Held at Denver’s historic Ogden Theatre, the event will feature the company of Wicked. The net proceeds of this event will benefit BC/EFA and Project Angel Heart.

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Hollywood’s Third Street Theatre will present three limited-engagement fundraising gala performances of The Last Five Years May 4-6, directed by Richard Israel, with musical direction by Michael Orland and Matt Smedal.  Every performance will be immediately followed by a catered reception and a hosted wine bar.

Each night will bring audiences a fresh mix of Broadway, film and television talent with hosts Jane Lynch, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, and a cast that includes Tracie Thoms, Shoshana Bean, Lindsay Pearce and Chase Williamson.

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Chicago Shakespeare Theater has announced that in addition to being among the 37 international companies who will come together for an unprecedented 37-play “Globe to Globe” Festival for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad May 5-6,  CST’s commission, The Q Brothers’ Othello: The Remix, will be Chicago Shakespeare’s premiere appearance in Germany’s  Shakespeare im Globe Neuss Festival July 6-7 and return engagement at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Aug. 1-27.

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Video: Sutton Foster runs a dance audition in her new series, “Bunheads.”

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Allyce Beasley and Lynne Wintersteller will co-star in Kari Floren’s  Revisiting Wildfire, which will begin previews June 1 and open June 6 at Off-Broadway’s ArcLight Theatre, 152 West 71st Street.  Directed by Eve Brandstein.

Beasley and Wintersteller play 50-something women who, according to press notes, “have always had a madcap friendship since the early years of punk and the Reagan Administration.  But when three decades of the weekly phone calls stop, a surprise visit finds one of them in chaos, the other in denial and both with secrets.”

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Musical Theatre Guild has announced its 2012-13 season. * Note: For the first time, all shows will be performed both in Glendale and Thousand Oaks:

* Death Takes a Holiday (Mon. Sept. 24 in Glendale, Sun. Sept. 30 in Thousand Oaks)

* Call Me Madame (Mon.s Nov. 19 in Glendale, Sun. Sept. 25 in Thousand Oaks)

* Chess (Mon. Feb. 11 in Glendale, Sun. Feb. 17 in Thousand Oaks)

* A Catered Affair (Mon. April 15 in Glendale, Sun. April 21 in Thousand Oaks)

* Girl Crazy (Mon. June 10 in Glendale, Sun. June 16 in Thousand Oaks)

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North Hollywood’s Road Theatre presents That Good Night, which will run May 26 – July 21, opening June 1.

Directed by Scott Alan Smith, the cast features John Cragen, Keelia Flinn, Chet Grissom, Melissa Kite, Leon Russom, Elizabeth Sampson, Judith Scarpone and Bernie Zilinskas.

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San Francisco’s A.C.T. has announced its 2012-13 season:

Humor Abuse, directed by Erica Schmidt (Aug. 3-19), Elektra, with a new translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker, starring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Carey Perloff (Nov. 1-29), A Christmas Carol, directed by Domenique Lozano (Dec. 6-29), Dead Metaphor world premiere, directed by Irene Lewis (Jan. 17 – Feb. 10), Stuck Elevator world premiere musical, music by Byron Au Yong, libretto by Aaron Jaffries, directed by Chay Yew (April 4-28), A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Mark Rucker (Feb. 28 – March 24)), Black Watch, directed by John Tiffany (May 3 – June 29), Arcadia, directed by Carey Perloff (May 16 – June 9), and one additional production TBA.

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A new song by Robert Lopez will be featured on the April 29 episode of “The Simpsons.”

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New plays by Theresa Rebeck, Laura Jacqmin and Dominic Taylor will be developed this summer at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center‘s National Playwrights Conference. Greg Kotis will be in residence this summer.

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North Shore Music Theatre has announced its upcoming season:

Hello, Dolly!, starring Lorna Luft and Gary Beach (June 12-24),  Annie (July 17-29), All Shook Up!, starring Joyce DeWitt (Aug. 14-26), 9 to 5 The Musical, starring George Dvorsky (Sept. 25-Oct. 7), Guys and Dolls (Oct. 30 – Nov. 11) and A Christmas Carol, starring David Coffee (Dec. 7-23).

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Off Sides Entertainment will join forces with Long Island Crisis Center for a limited run of Falsettos, which will play NYC’s The Theaters at 45 Bleecker Street May 30 – June 15.

The cast will feature Ezra Hernandez, Tanya Wills, Chris Leidenfrost , Dan Pivovar, Matthew Leigh, Lisa Berman and Mary Palermo. Rick Leidenfrost-Wilson directs.

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The leaders of Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, NJ, are reaching out to the local community following an April 8 fire that left a housing unit for visiting personnel uninhabitable. There were no injuries, and the 2012 season will go on.

All donations, financial or otherwise, are tax deductible. To make a donation or to offer any other form of assistance, contact Bill Lawton by phone at (609) 492-9477 ext. 204 or via e-mail at donations@surflight.org.

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Article:  Brooke Shields on The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall, Broadway, Hollywood, and more.

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Additional artists have been announced for Scott Alan‘s fourth recording, “Live.” A fall release is expected.

Newly announced for the disc are Julia Murney, Christiane Noll, Ben Fankhauser and Season 3 winners of “The Sing-Off,” Pentatonix.

They join the previously reported Stephanie J. Block, Sierra Boggess, Liz Callaway, Ann Hampton Callaway, Louise Dearman, Kerry Ellis, Richard Fleeshman, Christopher Jackson, Jeremy Jordan, Mykal Kilgore, Caissie Levy, Jane Monheit, Laura Osnes, Alexander Sage Oyen, Lea Salonga, Melissa van der Schyff, Willemijn Verkaik, Natalie Weiss and Raena White as well as recording artists Marc Broussard and RJ Helton.

A majority of the album, which will be produced by the composer and StylesFour Productions, will be recorded live at Alan’s already sold-out Birdland concert on April 30 at 7 PM. The recording will feature musical direction, arrangements and orchestrations by Jesse Vargas. Due to Monday-night Broadway schedules, some talent will record their tracks prior to the 7 PM concert.

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Chicago’s Goodman Theatre production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, starring Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane, has been extended one week and will now be presented April 21 – June 17. Artistic Director Robert Falls directs.

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The New York Foundation for the Arts will honor Suzan-Lori Parks at its upcoming benefit by inducting her into the NYFA Hall of Fame on April 30 from 6:30 – 9:30 PM at Espace.

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The Lyric Stage Company of Boston will present Avenue Q May 11 – June 9,  directed by Spiro Veloudos.

The cast will include John Ambosino, Elise Arsenault, Harry McEnerny V, Davron S. Monroe, Jenna Lea Scott, Erica Spyres and Phil Tayler.

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Off-Broadway’s TACT will honor Victor Garber at its annual Spring Gala, with special guests Marin Mazzie and Jason Daniely, on May 7at 6:30 PM at NYC’s Loeb Boathouse Central Park (East 72nd Street & Park Drive North). Simon Jones will serve as master of ceremonies.

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Chicago’s Route 66 Theatre Company has announced the lineup for its annual benefit, Mile Markers, that will be held on Mon. May 7 from 6-9 PM at Stage 773.

Mile Markers will be hosted by Elizabeth Ledo and will include a musical entertainment led by Hollis Resnik, Ross Lehman, Rebecca Finnegan, Bob Mason, and Michael Mahler and his band “The Lincoln Squares.”

Other performers include Marya Grandy, Donica Lynn, Diana Lawrence, Brandon Dahlquist, Bethany Thomas, James Earl Jones II and a special reunion of the 2009 Route 66 production of High Fidelity featuring the “HIFI Band” of Michael Mahler, Derek Hasenstab, Jim Barclay and Jonathan Wagner, led by Route 66 Theatre Company’s Founder and Artistic Director, Stef Tovar.

Mile Markers will also include a special performance by George Andrew Wolff and Larry Adams of The Hunchback Variations, which is headed to New York this June after a sold-out run in Chicago.

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University Hospitals Case Medical Center’s Seidman Cancer Center is hosting Imagine: A Celebration of Life, a unique musical ensemble on Mon. May 7 at NYC’s Highline Ballroom at 7 PM.  The event will raise funds for cancer research through the Brian Werbel Memorial Fund at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

Performers includes Adam Pascal, Shoshana Bean, Tituss Burgess, Matt Bogart, Lisa Howard, Richard H. Blake, Jennifer Dinoia, Marty Thomas, Adinah Alexander, Jeremy Kushnier, Katy Pfaffl, Ben Liebert and Betsy Werbel, as well as cast members from Broadway’s Wicked, Memphis, Jesus Christ SuperstarJersey BoysThe Book of Mormon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, War Horse and Mamma Mia.

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Berkeley Rep will conclude its season with another new play, created and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men, which begins previews May 25, opens May 30, and runs through June 24.

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Miranda Sings is making her ninth concert appearance at NYC’s Birdland on May 28 at 7 PM, with special guest Adam Pascal, and Seth Rudetsky at the piano.

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Sally Struthers and Jennifer Cody will emcee Theatre Communications Group‘s 50th Anniversary Gala, to be held at NYC’s Espace (635 West 42nd Street) on Mon. April 23 at 6 PM.

The evening’s entertainment will include excerpts of important new theatrical works by TCG Member Theatres from around the nation, including La Jolla Playhouse’s Hands on a Hardbody, the Dallas Theater Center, Public Theater and Signature Theatre’s co-production of Giant, and the new musical Super Fly.

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George Dvorsky, Sara Jean Ford, Aaron Lazar, Rebecca Luker, and Ron Raines will be among the performers featured on the four CD set of “Victor Herbert: Collected Songs,” to be released by New World Records on May 1.  Pre-order the CD here.

The set will contain over 100 of Herbert’s songs, many of which are being recorded for the first time. Some of the selections on the discs will be songs written for well-known musicals and operettas as well as ones for plays and revues and topical material.

The album will also feature performances by Marnie Breckenridge, Steven LaBrie Jeanne Lehman, Daniel Marcus, Dillon McCartney, Jonathan Michie, Valerian Ruminski, Zachary Stains, Rosalie Sullivan, Korliss Uecker, and Margaret Jane Wray.

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Morgan Karr, Lexi Lawson, and Arielle Jacobs will be among the artists who will participate in Love Letters to LA on Thurs. April 26 at 8:45 PM.

Over a dozen Los Angeles musical acts will gather in the plaza of Hollywood’s historic Egyptian Theatre to pay homage to the city through its memorable hit songs. This eclectic lineup of artists will each perform one classic song of their choosing that means “Los Angeles” to them. Plaza passerbys and the greater public are invited to pause and enjoy this seemingly spontaneous music-making.

This pop-up street performance is made possible by the presence of a piano positioned in the plaza for three weeks. The Egyptian Theatre piano is one of 30 decorated pianos gracing high-traffic LA neighborhoods during this period as part of “Play Me, I’m Yours,” global art installation project, conceived by British artist Luke Jerram and brought to LA by the LA Chamber Orchestra (LACO). LACO’s “Play Me, I’m Yours” encourages Angelenos to play the pianos 24-hours a day in outdoor locations all over the city and engage with random hubs of creativity.  Click here for more information.

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Elmsford’s Westchester Broadway Theatre presents Hairspray May 3 – June 3, opening May 4, directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford.

Starring Erin McCracken and Tad Wilson, the cast also features Bruce Rebold, Kara Dombrowski, Ann Van Cleave, Pat McRoberts, Stacie Gogo, Trip Hampton, Inga Ballard, Elgin Giles and Sydni Beaudoin, along with Tamala Baldwin, Dianna Barger, Sabrina Bradley, Scott Calagno, Fatye, Dana Glaus, Mia Michelle McClain, Joe Moeller, Nick Nelson, Terry Palasz, Paul Sabala, Madison Turner, Kristopher Stanley Ward and Correy West.

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Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theatre will present Ana Gasteyer and Brian d’Arcy James: One Night, Two Voices, Three Cheers on Sat. May 26 at 8 PM.

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Kritzerland Upstairs at Sterling’s presents Broadway Bound – Unsung Songwriters Sun. May 6 at 7 PM at North Hollywood’s Sterling’s at the Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd.  Reservations(818) 754-8700.

Starring Melody Hollis, Damon Kirsche, Jane Noseworthy, Beth Malone, John Massey, and special guest Daisy Eagen, with musical direction by Tom Griep.

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Denver Center Theatre Company has announced the world premiere of Sense & Sensibility the Musical, running April 5 – May 26, 2013, directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge.

Book and Lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow and Music by Neal Hampton.

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A collection of the top writers and lyricists collaborate on a new musical for Escondido, CA’s Welk Resorts Theatre, entitled A-5678, which will run May 24 – June 10.

The musical will feature original songs from nine composers: David Lawrence, Faye Greenberg, Marcy Hiesler, Stuart K. Robinson, Suzanne Buirgy, Zina Goldrich, John Kavanaugh, David Goldsmith and Gerald Sternbach.  Casting TBA.

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Larry Hart’s Praise: An Irreverently Reverent Gospel Experience will be presented April 22 at 6 PM at NYC’s Middle Collegiate Church (112 Second Avenue, near E. Seventh Street).

The new gospel musical will feature Linda Hart, Matt Cavenaugh, Jenny Powers and Angela Grovey.

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