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PASADENA PLAYHOUSE PARTNERS WITH COMMUNITY FOR THE ORIGINALIST - -CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION OF AMERICAN ENTRY IN WORLD WAR I
- - THE 79th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LONDON PHILHARMONIC CHOIR
- - THUNDER ROAD MUSIC FESTIVAL - -
GRAMMYS ON THE HILL HONORS KEITH URBAN - - THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION BENEFITS FROM CHRISTIE'S AUCTION - -
SUMMER OF LOVE: ART, FASHION, AND ROCK & ROLL
- - GIACOMO BALLA DESIGNING THE FUTURE - - DONATE . . . Scroll Down
Copyright: April 2, 2017
By: Laura Deni
CLICK HERE FOR COMMENT SECTION
PLAYWRIGHT JOHN STRAND CAPTURES CURRENT EVENTS: PASADENA PLAYHOUSE PARTNERS WITH
What do you get when you take a well educated, overweight, outspoken, opera aficionado who sometimes appeared
on stage as an extra, gun-rights fanatic, white Roman Catholic who fathered nine children with the same woman - his
wife - didn't know any openly gay people, anti abortionist and basically not terribly
supportive of individuals of color - and pare him with a well educated, single, young, thin, gun control
proponent, pro-gay marriage, pro women's rights, black, lesbian?
In the hands of playwright John Strand you are presented with The Originalist, about United States Supreme Court Justice Antonio Scalia and his relationship with his black,
lesbian law clerk. Performances begin April 11, 2017
at the Pasadena Playhouse.
The production couldn't be timelier.
Strand has become a respected social historian by melding fact with presumption.
Strand was named the American Voices New Play Institute Resident Playwright for 2014-2015. That is significant.
A program of the
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, in Washington, DC, the resident playwright position offered
Strand a salary; health benefits; a budget to be used at his discretion to cover collaborator fees, workshop
costs and research expenses to support his new play development process; and a commitment from Arena Stage to
produce a new work in a future season and to continue cultivating an ongoing, long-term relationship. Along with residency guidance from Arena Stage Director of Artistic Programming Robert Barry Fleming, Strand l also received support from Institute Dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke. Clarke is an acclaimed dramaturg and writer, currently a theater advisor to the Arts Council of Ireland and an associate artist with The Civilians.
Other Strand offerings involving a political slant include Lincolnesque, a comedy about
politics and madness in Washington, D.C. which was mounted at The Cleveland Play House, directed by Michael Bloom. Three Nights in Tehran, a farce about the Iran-Contra affair, produced by Signature Theatre; and The Miser set in Reagan-era America, at Arena Stage.
Strand is also the author of the novel, Commieland, about a popular but aging theme park in rural
Pennsylvania that re-creates Communism for Americans with attractions Escape from the Gulag, Battle of Stalingrad Laser
Tag, KGB Interrogation Centre and Gift Shop, The Collective Petting Farm, and The Commieland Musical-Historical Revue,
performed three times daily by Lenin, Trotsky, Rasputin, and Czar Nicholas who reappear from the dead.
Strand is currently in New York City work-shopping a new musical project.
The Originalist was extensively researched, written and first mounted while Scalia was alive.
Molly Smith, the director of the play, invited Scalia to come see it at Arena Stage. His son John came and professed to like it. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Scalia's very dear and very liberal friend, also attended, and made positive comments.
Scalia was described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court's conservative
wing - his reputation becoming the play's title.
Originalism, the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted as perceived at the time of enactment, and of
textualism, the idea that statutes should be interpreted literally, without considering the legislative history and
underlying purpose of the law.
Scalia was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by a vote of 98-0. He
was found dead February 13, 2015 at a Texas ranch. He was 79. News broadcasts broke into programming to
announce the death.
Scalia opposed affirmative action. He was a staunch supported of free speech and filed separate opinions in many
cases and often castigated the Court's majority in his minority opinions using scathing language.
Scalia repeatedly called upon his colleagues to strike down Roe v. Wade. He wasn't understanding of gays and lesbians - never mind transgendered and those who were in a state of questioning their own identity. In 2013 Scalia admitted that he had friends he “very much suspect[s] are homosexual.”
He also compared gay Americans to drug dealers, prostitutes, and animal abusers.
According to published reports, during oral argument before the Court, Scalia asked more questions and made more comments than any other justice - and a 2005 study reported about by Adam Liptak in the New York Times found that he provoked laughter more often than any of his colleagues.
University of Kansas social psychologist Lawrence Wrightsman wrote of Scalia's style, "he communicates a sense of
urgency on the bench, and his style is forever forceful".
His writing style has been described as equal parts anger, confidence, and pageantry. Scalia has a taste for garish
analogies and offbeat allusions - often very funny ones - and he speaks in no uncertain terms. He is highly
accessible and tries not to get bogged down in abstruse legal jargon. But most of all, Scalia's opinions read like
they're about to catch fire for pure outrage. He does not, in short, write like a happy man," penned Conor Clarke
That's a personality that lends itself to become an interesting lead character.
Playwright Strand is noted for his research, his ability to transfer facts into a format that holds the audiences'
attention while being able to incorporate intelligent fictional perception rather than off-the-wall conjecture.
Smith has described the play as historical fiction.
Strand read and listened to everything Scalia, attended Supreme Court sessions and interviewed a few of Scalia's former
law clerks who had positive opinions of their former boss - a man who liked to play the piano at their Christmas parties.
In the opening scene of The Originalist, Scalia mused that half the country lauds him as a hero while the other half vilifies him as a monster. The play builds upon those paradoxes.
Scalia was accused of being friendly to drug companies and voted to uphold a federal ban on medical marijuana.
In speeches, interviews, and opinions alike, Scalia consistently maintained a hard-line anti-gay stance.
Scalia was known to hire liberal clerks, but himself admitted that he didn't knowingly associate with gay people - or, in his words, people who engage in “deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex.”
Printed accounts state that in his gay rights dissents, the justice adamantly refused to admit that homosexuality exists as an identity, referring not to gay people but to people who engage in “homosexual acts.”
The Originalist is billed as "a thought-provoking play that deals head on with the political divide alive in our country today.
"When a bright, liberal law school graduate embarks on a difficult and challenging clerkship with Justice Antonin Scalia, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. As the country waits for Scalia’s seat to be filled, The Originalist looks into the complexities of one of the most polarizing Supreme Court Justices of all times."
Four-time Helen Hayes Award-winner Edward Gero reprises his role as Scalia.
In addition to Gero as Justice Antonin Scalia, The Originalist also features Jade Wheeler as Cat and Brett Mack as Brad.
Danny Feldman. Photo: Jim Cox
For the first time ever The Pasadena Playhouse
will partner with community experts and related organizations to
host conversations after every performance
to encourage civic discourse and open dialogue.
Pasadena Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman said, "As the
State Theater of California, we see this as an opportunity to bring residents from all over the
political spectrum together into a shared space for healthy dialogue and discourse, facilitated by relevant organizations
and experts from our community. Speakers and panelists will share their unique perspectives of various themes
from the play including: objectivity, different approaches to interpreting the U.S. Constitution, pro-choice vs.
pro-life, affordable health care, gun control/rights, equal rights, and more.
"One of the driving issues in the current political dysfunction is the inability of people with
opposing views to come together and have healthy dialogue," added Feldman. “The theater is the perfect setting for us to come together and not only be entertained, but to try to find understanding and respect on all sides. This is a great opportunity to
open a dialogue, focused around a really relevant play."
The play is not a bio play, but generally is considered a fair presentation of Justice Scalia’s legal views.
Stand heavily drew from Joan Biskupic's heralded biography American Original.
Excerpts from the real justice’s dissents, for example, and various rulings and opinions are also incorporated into the play.
Star of the play Gero did extensive research. He went to see an argument at the Supreme Court. Scalia didn't disappoint, reportedly offering "arguments with probing questions laced with sarcasm."
Afterward, they even had lunch in Justice Scalia’s chambers. That, in itself, is astonishing.
At that time Gero told reporters that they avoided talking about anything controversial. Rather, they discussed what
they had in common: both being Italian-Americans, both from New Jersey and both Roman Catholics.
“We talked about the opera,” Gero told the press. “We talked about music and listening and civil discourse and family.
We talked about both growing up doing sentence diagramming.”
Gero used his Supreme Court observations and and meeting with Scalia to hone "mannerisms, cadences and bluster," to his performance.
Props include a perfect replica of Justice Scalia's glasses.
"The play is set in the Supreme Court term that ended in June 2013 with a major victory for gay rights. In the play, Justice Scalia debates that case and others with his liberal law clerk, and their odd-couple relationship, with antagonism shading into paternal affection."
The Originalist aired on PBS on March 13, 2017.
After Scalia's death President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to fill Scalia's seat, but the Senate took no action on the nomination and it expired with the end of the 114th Congress on January 3, 2017. Eleven days after his inauguration, on January 31, 2017, President Donald Trump announced the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, Judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, to succeed Scalia.
Gorsuch's confirmation hearing started on March 20, 2017. As of deadline for this column, a confirmation
vote is slated for Friday, April 7, 2017.
The Originalist is a Co-production between Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, FL and Arena Stage
in Washington, D.C. with performances April 11 - May 7, 2017 with the official press opening on April 13, 2017 at
The Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA.
The creative team includes: Misha
Kachman (Scenic Design), Joseph P. Salasovich (Costume Design), Colin K. Bills (Lighting Design),
Eric Shimelonis (Sound Design), Susan R. White (Original Stage Manager), Hethyr "Red" Verhoef
(Production Stage Manager) and Jessica R. Aguilar (Stage Manager).
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ART AND ABOUT
SUMMER OF LOVE: ART, FASHION, AND ROCK & ROLL
In the mid-1960s, artists, writers, and musicians moved into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district with hopes of
creating a new social paradigm. By 1967, during the highly publicized “Summer of Love,” the neighborhood would
attract as many as 100,000 young people from all over the nation. Local bands such as Jefferson Airplane
and the Grateful Dead provided the soundtrack; the San Francisco Sound found visual counterparts in the creative
industries that sprang up around it.
Through a wide array of iconic rock posters, interactive music and light shows, “out-of-this-world” clothing,
and photographs from the years surrounding this pivotal moment, Summer of Love celebrates the city’s
rebellious and colorful counterculture and explores the visual and material cultures of a generation searching for personal fulfillment through social change. The immersive exhibition includes psychedelic light shows by Bill Ham and Ben Van Meter, rock posters by artists including Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, and Wes Wilson along with examples of the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind garments created by such designers as Brigitta Bjerke, K. Lee Manuel, and Jeanne Rose.
April 8, 2017 – August 20, 2017 at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, CA.
GIACOMO BALLA DESIGNING THE FUTURE
Image: Giacomo Balla, Lines of Force of a Maiolica Landscape, 1917-18, oil and enamel on paper © DACS 2017 Photo: Estorick Collection.
Organized in collaboration with the Biagiotti Cigna Collection, this major exhibition presents a career-spanning retrospective of one of Italian Futurism’s most important and consistently inventive artists.
Encompassing his early Divisionist imagery, iconic Futurist paintings and examples of his distinctive work in the sphere of the applied arts, it will offer a comprehensive survey of Balla’s multifaceted activity between the years 1895 and 1958, including many works rarely seen outside Italy.
Giacomo Balla was an Italian painter, art teacher and poet best known as a key proponent of Futurism. In his painting he depicted light, movement and speed.
He was a signatory of the Futurist Manifesto in 1910, and he began to design Futurist furniture, as well as so-called Futurist "antineutral" clothing. In 1914, Balla began working as a sculptor, creating, in 1915, the well-known work titled Boccioni's Fist.
During World War I, Balla's studio became a meeting place for young artists.
In 1935, he was made a member of Rome's Accademia di San Luca.
He died on March 1,1958.
Giacomo Balla Designing The Future is on exhibit April 4 – June 25, 2017 at the The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London.
THE WESTERN: AN EPIC IN ART AND FILM
is the first major exhibition to examine the Western genre and its evolution from the mid-1800s to the present
through fine art, film, and popular culture.
Featuring 160 works, the exhibition explores gender roles, race relations, and gun violence - offering a visual
journey that is more than cowboys and American Indians, pursuits and duels, or bandits and barroom brawls.
From the romantic, large-scale paintings by Frederic Remington and Albert Bierstadt to the legends of “Buffalo Bill”
Cody and Billy the Kid, the American West materializes: it is synonymous with the Westerns of filmmakers John Ford
and Sergio Leone, and the subject of contemporary artists Ed Ruscha and Kent Monkman. By featuring these and other
artists, authors, filmmakers, and historic figures together, The Western observes how the mythology of the West
spread throughout the world and endures today.
The Western: An Epic in Art and Film is co-organized by the DAM and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA);
co-curated by Thomas Brent Smith, director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at
the DAM, and Mary Dailey Desmarais, Ph.D., curator of International Modern Art at the MMFA.
On exhibit through September 10, 2017 at the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado.
THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION (EJAF)
LEFT: Irving Penn, 1,000 Year Old Eggs (A), New York, 2003, Courtesy of The Irving Penn
Foundation © Condé Nast Publications, Inc. RIGHT: Alison Rossiter, Eastman Kodak Elite, exact expiration date unknown, ca. 1980?s, processed 2016, 2016, Courtesy of the artist and Yossi Milo Gallery, New York has announce that a special collection of 25 photographs donated by renowned photographers, estates, and collectors will be featured as part of Christie’s April 2017 Photography Sale on April 6, 2017. This special sale helps to commemorate the Foundation’s 25th year, and all proceeds from the sale of the 25 photographs will benefit EJAF’s lifesaving work.
This group of photographs includes works by many of the greatest photographers of the early 20th century to present day, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Misrach, Cindy Sherman, and Vik Muniz with estimates ranging from $4,000 to $50,000. Highlights from the collection include Irving Penn’s 1,000 Year Old Eggs (A), New York, 2003 and Alison Rossiter’s Eastman Kodak Elite, exact expiration date unknown, ca. 1980’s, processed 2016. Further details of the sale and catalogue will be available in March.
“EJAF remains steadfastly committed to addressing all of the societal ills that contribute to the spread of HIV,” said EJAF Chairman David Furnish. “We are profoundly grateful to all of the wonderful artists, estates, and collectors who donated their amazing work to this photography sale to help support EJAF’s ongoing work. And we cannot begin to express how fabulous the entire team at Christie’s has been in helping us to organize and implement this special project. They have been just unbelievably helpful and enthusiastic.”
SPREADING THE WORD
OSCAR WINNER CHARLIZE THERONE confessed that she was injured during the shooting of Atomic Blonde. She told attendees at CinemaCon at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas that she was going to the dentist the following day for her fourth root canal, needed to repair injuries she received during the filming of some brutal scenes in the flick.
CinemaCon is part of the National Theaters Owners of American annual convention.
THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
Fully Improvised Plays Using the Language and Themes of William Shakespeare. Created and Directed by Blaine Swen.
Starring: Joey Bland, Ross Bryant, Thomas Middleditch, Blaine Swen and Steve Waltien.
A special one-night-only performance by Chicago’s critically acclaimed improv troupe, The Improvised Shakespeare Company.
Based on one audience suggestion (a title for a play that has yet to be written) The Improvised Shakespeare Company creates a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right before your eyes. Nothing is planned-out, rehearsed, or written. All the dialogue is said for the first time, the characters are created as you watch, and if ever you're wondering where the story is going...so are they! You've never seen the Bard like this before!
Friday, April 7, 2017 at 92Y in New York City.
THUNDER ROAD MUSIC FESTIVAL takes place April 7-9, 29017 in Newport, Tennessee.
"The 2017 Thunder Road Music Festival will boast an impressive artist roster of over 30 National, Regional and local artists on two stages.
"The festival activities will include a custom Truck Show, Up Close and Personal Bonfire Concert event starting at
9pm and going until midnight, Mud Slide Play area (For kids and adults) along with an obstacle course,
inflatable bounce houses for the kids, food vendors, local vendors, zip line rides (above stages and crowd),
monster truck rides, along with a (Over 21) Thunder Road Shiners alley. Shiners Alley will offer free taste testing of
several local and national moonshine products including jams, jellies, food products and more."
CHIMPS ON TRIAL a thought-provoking discussion about politics,
primatology and human rights takes place Tuesday, April, 11, 2017 at the National Museum of Scotland in
According to the Museum: "A charity in America is campaigning to get chimpanzees recognized as ‘persons’, giving
them basic human rights. But with rights come responsibilities, could a chimp ever be guilty of a human crime such
as murder? Join primatologist Lewis Dean to examine what we know about the mental abilities of our closest evolutionary
NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY DAY is today, April 2. Tomorrow is
ational Chocolate Mousse Day. Wednesday is Caramel Day Thursday is National Caramel Popcorn Day. Friday
is National Beer Day.
CENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION OF AMERICAN ENTRY IN WORLD WAR I
US Aisan Marne Cemetary. Photo: World War I Museum
On April 6, 1917 American reluctantly entered World War I. It was called the Great War - the war to end all wars.
The official United States event commemorating the centennial of American entry into World War I takes place April 6 at the official World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City with the the opening of a free, large-scale outdoor photographic exhibition and a preview screening and panel discussion featuring the new PBS American Experience miniseries The Great War..
In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of the U.S. Entry into World War I, which is produced by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission will see dignitaries from countries across the world joining thousands of guests at the Museum for the ceremony, which will be among the largest gatherings of foreign officials in Kansas City since the original ceremony to dedicate the Museum in 1926.
The exhibit Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918, opened March 31 and features the incredible contemporary photographs of Michael St Maur Sheil, depicting the battlefields of the Western Front where the Americans fought. This latest exhibition marks the entry of the U.S. into the war in 1917. Sheil’s previous exhibitions have been seen by more than five million people across the world. Sheil attended the opening. The award-winning photojournalist has been providing complimentary public tours through today, April 2, with guests joining Sheil to hear the stories behind the photographs.
The Piave River in Northern Italy where American troops served alongside the Italian Army in 1918. Photo: World War I Museum
Revolutions! 1917 is a special centennial exhibition opening Friday, April 7. The exhibition showcases the incredible events that occurred worldwide from America’s official entry into the war and Russia’s upheavals from an Imperial state to Bolshevik rule. The stalemated battles on the Western Front and in other theaters and troubles on the home fronts also led to societal changes, mutinies and revolts. The vast majority of items have never been on exhibit previously, while the exhibition also features items on loan from other institutions, including President Wilson’s original proclamation of war from the National Archives and articles of President Wilson’s clothing from The President Woodrow Wilson House.
On Friday, April 7 American Experience, KCPT, and the Museum collaborate for an exclusive conversation and special sneak peek of the new PBS miniseries The Great War. KCPT’s Randy Mason will explore this pivotal event in American history and how it transformed America with director Rob Rapley, historian Nancy Bristow, and authors Robert Laplander and Richard Rubin.
Historian and New York Times bestselling author Andrew Carroll will discuss his latest book, My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War, on Wednesday, April 12 at the Museum. The book draws on a rich trove of both little-known and newly uncovered letters and diaries to create a vivid and moving account of the American experience in World War I.
On Saturday, April 29 the Museum hosts But Who Shall Return Us Our Children? - A Kipling Passion in which composer John Muehleisen explores the costs of war from the point of view of the families left behind in a moving world premiere, scored for soprano, tenor, and bass soloists with choir and chamber orchestra.
In April, the Museum offers several family-friendly activities and programs. Each Saturday, history is brought to life in the Hands-on History program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts. On Sunday, April 9, the Living History Volunteer Corps will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life with a focus on medical aspects of the war. On Saturday, April 15, the Museum’s Story Time program returns with a reading of One Boy’s War.
Other events at the Museum during the month include a Film Friday screening of Sergeant York on Friday, April 14,
the Museum hosts special event radio station WW1USA for 31 consecutive hours from Saturday, April 29, through Sunday, April 30.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war.
LAS VEGAS estimates that new stadium will sell two
million tickets per year to assorted stadium events, thanks to the Raiders moving from Oakland to Las Vegas.
Building the new stadium will also provide thousands of various construction jobs.
THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (RIAA) the trade group
that represents the major labels reported that music sales in the United States generated $7.7 billion in retail revenue in 2016. That figure is up from $6.87 billion in 2015, an 11.4 percent increase. This is the first time since 1998 the U.S. industry has experienced a double-digit increase in overall revenue.
KEITH URBAN a four time Grammy winner will be honored with the
Recording Artists' Coalition Award at the annual Grammys on the Hill Awards in Washington, D.C on April 5, 2017.
"Urban's continued commitment to numerous music education programs has not only served to inspire young musicians, it
has provided thousands of greatly needed musical instruments to underserved programs across the country," according to
the Recording Academy.
"Through music education programs, Keith Urban has encouraged aspiring musicians by giving them the opportunity to
perform and achieve their dreams," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "An engaged member of the music
community and The Recording Academy for many years, Keith is an outstanding music citizen and supporter of the future
of music, so it is our great pleasure to honor and recognize his dedication at Grammys on the Hill."
Uniting the worlds of music and politics, Grammys on the Hill also recognizes legislators who have improved the
environment for music by advocating for music creators' rights. Previously honored legislators include former Vice
President Joe Biden, Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.),
and John McCain (R-Ariz.), and House Leaders Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi.
Martina McBride will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
Performances will include those by by Keith Urban, singer/songwriter John Popper of Blues Traveler,
and Grammy winner Wynonna Judd with special guests, as well as a special presentation by renowned
television composer Jonathan Wolff.
Joined by nearly 50 members of Congress, confirmed attendees include Grammy-winning producer Peter Asher,
Grammy-winning Americana artist William Bell, Grammy-winning producer Steve Berkowitz, rapper Chill Moody,
producer and singer/songwriter Kara DioGuardi, Duke Fakir of Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement
Award recipients the Four Tops, Grammy winner Rory Feek of Joey+Rory, Grammy-winning engineer/mixer Frank Filipetti,
Grammy-nominated contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Natalie Grant.
Also, country music artist Jack Ingram, Grammy and Latin Grammy winners Jesse & Joy, Grammy-winning engineer/producer Dmitriy Lipay, Kirstin Maldonado
of Grammy winners Pentatonix, Grammy-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Mario, Grammy-winning producer Harvey Mason, Jr.,
Lukes Morgan of Grammy-winning reggae band Morgan Heritage, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Grammy-nominated R&B
singer/songwriter Kelly Price, Grammy-winning blues singer Bobby Rush, guitarist Chad Taylor of the band Live,
rapper Uncle Luke of 2 Live Crew, and singer/songwriter VASSY.
The awards take place at the Hamilton Live in Washington D.C.
The following day, April 6, The Recording Academy will host the music community's largest annual Washington, D.C.
gathering, Grammys on the Hill Advocacy Day, which sees hundreds of music professionals from across the country
visiting lawmakers to discuss important issues facing today's music creators.
BANDSTAND a new musical with music by Richard Oberacker, book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker.
Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler.
According to the official release, "Set in the smoke filled, swing fueled night clubs of 1945,
Bandstand brings the against-all-odds story of singer/songwriter Donny Novitski (Cott)
and his band of mismatched fellow WWII veterans to the stage.
"When a national radio contest to find America’s next big swing band offers a chance at instant fame and Hollywood
fortune, Donny must whip his wise-cracking gang of jazzers (Carroll, Ellis, Hopkins, Packard) into fighting shape.
"Teaming up with the beautiful young war widow Julia (Osnes) as their singer, they struggle to
confront the lingering effects and secrets of the battlefield that threaten to tear them apart.
"Playing for every voiceless underdog in a world that has left them behind, they risk everything in the final
live broadcast to redefine the meaning of victory. With an explosive original score and choreography
inspired by the high energy swing rhythms of the era, Bandstand is a truly American story of love,
loss, triumph and the everyday men and women whose personal bravery defined a nation."
The original score is
strongly influenced by authentic 1940s swing music, much of which is played onstage by the characters
and band members.
Bandstand stars Tony nominee Laura Osnes as Julia Trojan and Corey Cott as Donny Novitski
and features Tony Award
winner Beth Leavel as Mrs. Adams, all of whom have been with the production since it was first work shopped
in September 2014 in New York City.
Also tranferring to Broadway from the Papermill production are Joe Carroll as Johnny Simpson,
Brandon J. Ellis as Davy Zlatic,
James Nathan Hopkins as Jimmy Campbell, Geoff Packard as Wayne Wright, and in his Broadway debut, Joey Pero
as Nick Radel.
The cast also includes Mary Callanan, Max Clayton, Patrick Connaghan, Matt Cusack, Andrea Dotto,
Marc A. Heitzman, Ryan Kasprzak, Andrew Leggieri, Erica Mansfield, Morgan Marcell, Drew McVety,
Kevyn Morrow, Jessica Lea Patty, Becca Petersen, Keven Quillon, Jonathan Shew, Ryan VanDenBoom, Jaime Verazin,
Mindy Wallace, and Kevin Worley).
Oberacker and Taylor are based in Las Vegas.
Oberacker is currently the conductor of Cirque Du Soleil’s KA at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He has previously worked for Cirque Du Soleil as the original conductor and orchestrator of Dralion, making him the first American conductor to be hired by the renowned company. He has also served as conductor for the first national tour of Disney’s The Lion King as well as associate conductor for tours of Show BoatCats and Andrew Lloyd Webers' Music of the Night.
As a composer, his musical The Gospel According To Fishman was commissioned by Clear Channel Entertainment and received its premiere at the Signature Theater in the Washington D.C. area under the direction of Eric D. Schaeffer. His musical Dracula - The Game of Love premiered at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and his musical A Little Theater premiered at the Aurelia Theater in Cincinnati. In That Valley, a musical with a book co-written by Steven Minning was presented at the NAMT Festival of New Works in 1999.
Oberecker and Taylor, who served as as music critic for the Albany Times Union and taught music in China, also penned the musicals Ace about a boy, separated from his mother, which was mounted at NAMT, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Old Globe Theatre, Signature Theatre and The Sandman- A Nightmare Musical, based on the disturbed scribbling of E. T.A. Hoffmann with performances at NAMT, and Fredericia Theater of Denmark)..
The design team for Bandstand includes Tony Award nominee David Korins (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Paloma Young (Costume Design), Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter (Lighting Design), Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), Greg Anthony Rassen (Co-Orchestrator, Music Supervisor and Music Arranger), Tony winner Bill Elliott (Co-Orchestrator), Fred Lassen (Musical Director and Conductor), Mark Stuart (Associate Choreographer) and makeup, hair and wig design by J. Jared Janas and Dave Bova.
The original production of Bandstand premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn in October 2015.
Bandstand began previews Friday, March 31 and opens Wednesday, April 26 at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City.
THE ANTIPODES written by Pulizer Prize winner Annie Baker.
Directed by Lila Neugebauer.
A play about people telling stories about telling stories.
The cast includes Obie Award-winner Phillip James Brannon, Emmy Award nominee Josh Charles, Josh Hamilton,
Danny Mastrogiorgio, Danny McCarthy, Emily Cass McDonnell, Brian Miskell, Obie Award-winner Will Patton,
and Nicole Rodenburg.
The creative team includes Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design), Kaye Voyce (Costume Design), Tyler Micoleau (Lighting Design), Bray Poor (Sound Design). Laura Smith is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company.
Presented by Signature Theatre Company. The production runs April 4 through May 28, 2017 with an April 23 opening night in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City.
HERSHEY FELDER A IRVING BERLING lyrics and music by Irving Berlin.
Book by Hershey Felder.
Directed by Trevor Hay.
Internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist Hershey Felder wowed Berkeley Rep audiences in recent seasons with his soaring portraits of composers like Bernstein, Chopin, and Gershwin. Now he’s back with the inspiring story of America’s Composer in a tour-de-force performance. From Czarist Russia to New York’s Lower East Side, Irving Berlin’s story epitomizes the American Dream. Featuring the composer’s most popular and enduring songs, including Blue Skies, God Bless America, Puttin’ on the Ritz, There’s No Business Like Show Business, White Christmas and more, Felder’s signature creation of character and musical performance will make this evening with Irving Berlin an unforgettable journey.
Special Presentation April 4-30, 2017 at Peet’s Theatre of Berkeley rep in Berkeley, CA.
SKELETON CREW by Dominique Morisseau.
Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.
Times are tough in 2008 Detroit, but there’s still one working auto plant. The long hours and demanding shifts have turned the line workers into a family. The firm, compassionate Faye holds them together, and she’s only months away from retiring with her full pension. But when she discovers that management has a new plan, she’s torn between self-preservation and allegiance to her coworkers.
The cast is led by Tonye Patano as Faye and also includes Amari Cheatom as Dez, Brian Marable as Reggie, and Rachel Nicks as Shanita.
The creative team includes Tim Mackabee (Scenic Design), Jennifer Brawn Gittings (Costume Design), Sherrice Mojgani (Lighting Design), Lindsay Jones (Sound Design), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), and Peter Van Dyke (Production Stage Manager).
The Globe is the first regional theatre in the country to mount the play, which was presented there as a reading in
the 2014 Powers New Voices Festival before an Off Broadway run. Skeleton Crew runs April 8 - May 7, 2017
in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA.
THE 79th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LONDON PHILHARMONIC CHOIR will be celebrated April 8, 2017 with a performance of Tallis' Spem in Alium and Mahler's Symphony No. 8 conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. Performers include: sopranos Melanie Diener, Anne Schwanewilms and Sofia Fomina. Mezzo- sopranos
Sarah Connolly and Patricia Bardon. Torsten Kerl tenor, Matthias Goerne baritone, and Matthew Rose bass. They will be backed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Choir, the London Symphony Chorus, the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and the Tiffin Boys’ Choir.
The event will be attended by The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra who are Patrons of the organization.
The event takes place at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.
BON JOVI gives a show Wednesday, April 5, at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA . On Friday he begins a two nighter at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
NEIL DIAMOND begins a tour Friday, April 7, at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA. Next Sunday, April 9, he stars at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT.
JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER perform next Sunday, April 9, at Symphony Hall in Boston.
CHRIS ROCK will be getting laughs Thursday, April 6, at the River Spirit Casino in Tulsa, OK. On Friday he's on stage at WinStar Global Event Center in Thackerville, OK. On Saturday he opens a two nighter at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis, MO.
STEVE MARTIN, MARTIN SHORT and the Stone Canyon Band are on stage Friday, April 7, at the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land, TX. Saturday's stop is at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, TC. Next Sunday, April 9, finds them at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
GARRISON KEILLOR, JUST PASSING THROUGH the storyteller and humorist gives a solo performance sharing hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the American Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon, and “late-life fatherhood.” Saturday, April 8, 2017 at The Smith Center in Las Vegas.
STEVE TYRELL the Grammy-winning vocalist performs
Friday, April 7 & Saturday, April 8, 2017 at The Smith Center in Las Vegas.
NANCY KELLY twice named Best Female Jazz Vocalist in theDown Beat Readers’ Poll, performs Friday, April 7, at Arts Garage in Delray Beach, FL
FROM PARIS TO BROADWAY Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly is back with an amazing new show that takes you on a musical journey with old and new from the French music halls and artists who have inspired the world for decades, to the biggest and brightest Broadway show tunes. Join Canada’s first lady of musical theatre Louise Pitre, alongside vocalist Ron Remke, tap dancers Sean and John Scott and the Ewashko Singers for a night featuring the best of Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier. April 6-8, 2017 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada.
Next Column: April 9, 2017
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