Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: August 21, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz returned to Feinsteins/54 Below in a New York gig which ended August 12, 2016. His show Girls, Girls, Girls which was recorded when he performed it two years ago at the venue has been released on Broadway Records.

Impressive. Entertaining. Unique.

So many recordings, especially if done within a cabaret setting, are basically variations on a theme. Girls Girls Girls is not only totally unique, it may be the best thought out, original concept ever performed in a cabaret and captured in a recording.

New agers and people prepping to be on Jeopardy study mythology. Butz did it to get a handle on women as brought to performance heights in this CD, which uses music to illustrate how the treatment of women in classical myth is reflected in contemporary society.

No, it's not boring. Under the music direction of Michael J. Mortiz Jr. who serves as pianist and backup vocalist, the two time Tony Award winner is backed by James Leahey on Guitar and vocals, drummer Billy LaGuardia, bassist Adam DeAscentis and Khaled Tabbara on guitar and vocals.

They rock.

After listening to this CD it's obvious why Butz was called back to reprise the show. Phenomenal concept, brilliantly researched, and masterfully performed.

The songs Butz sings, written or made famous by others have never been performed better.

Butz's ability to rock it is as dynamic as the Rolling Stones and as cool as Rod Stewart. His voice performs all the trappings.

Right from the intro Butz sets the record straight: "I hope you haven't come here to be entertained, because I need to talk," he tongue in cheek contends. "Let me tell you about the evolution . . ." leading into his confession that during a slight argument with his wife she informed him that he didn't know how she thought. He thought about that and decided that was a true statement regarding men and women in general.

"I can look at the trajectory of my life . . . and what keeps coming back to me is "you don't understand how I think."

Using the storyboard of a life surrounded by females: being a father with three daughters, three sisters, nine sister in-laws, an ex-wife, wife, mother-in-law and more, he finds himself at a stage in his life “inundated with the feminine.” He sets out to explore the power of estrogen.

Instead of seeking out a psychiatric couch, Butz headed to the library and looked up Greek and Roman goddesses. Butz uses Greek and Roman goddesses to explain it all. If some books can have the tendency to be staid and boring, Butz takes the histories and explanation of goddesses and puts them forth in his own intelligent, yet conversational and fascinating way.

. Kicking it off with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1 (The Flaming Lips), it's a e high energy, statement making, demanding offering.

The story of Athena - the daughter of Zeus; with a unique birth in that she was not born by a woman. Rather, she leaped from the head of Zeus, already adult, dressed with her armor. Don't mess with this lady as explained in Mrs. Leroy Brown (Loretta Lynn) delivered in a Jerry Lee Lewis slam it style.

This CD is the perfect example that rock doesn't need to blast out your ear drums. Many of the selections are high energy rock with Butz and his musicians play them to the highest level, the sound is perfectly balanced. A listening pleasure.

Abuse and heartache are at the center of In This Heart (Sinead O’Connor), part of Butz' story of Demeter and her virgin daughter, Persephone. who was abducted to the underworld by Hades.

The soft rock/county (based on fact) Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town, penned by Mel Tillis, was turned into a mega hit by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition. Delivered by Butz and his musical gang, the song has never been performed more effectively. Martha by Tom Waits is also soft and gentle as is the beautifully soulful and thoughtful, country infused Townes van Zandt penned Tecumseh Valley.

That leads into an accurate and sexually explicit description of Aphrodite, punctuated with the high energy Sunny Came Home.

Jolene is wistful almost mournful, followed by the up-tempo punctuated David Gray composed Kathleen.

Butz references Carl Jung (pronounced Young) who gave the world personality archetypes: maiden, mother and crone.

Butz informs the crowd that Come on Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners) is his favorite maiden of the Jung genre. Then he deflowers the song, taking ownership, blasting it out. The crowd goes wild. He adds that he "took it down a key and a half from the original, talk about having your balls cut off."

Stacy's Mom continues the hard driving segment on Jung. Then there are the crones, the elderly segment of our population which "terrifies society." Butz is powerful and serious - "once you are postmenopausal as they say in Hollywood 'no longer equitable' what are you to do?". Butz empowers 'crones' with Richard Thompson's moving Galway to Graceland.

Butz hopes that society is leaning towards the day when there is gender equality alternating a rock and soft beat to Wig in a Box (Stephen Tyler). Butz closes out his show by book ending the history of feminism with two versions (1928 Clifford Burwell/ Mitchell Parish and 1996 Patti Griffith) of Sweet Lorraine.

If you are interested in getting a crash course on goddesses, this CD is more informative and certainly more entertaining than Cliff Notes.

if what you are looking for if a CD of soft to hard rock songs flawlessly delivered - this CD is for you.

By the way, while a lot of male singers have a personal image of using women, after listening to this CD you're left with the distinct impression that Butz not only enjoys women, but also likes and respects them.

Album mixed at Kontinuous Jams Studios. Mastered by Greg Reirson, Rare Form Mastering.

Interesting black and white illustrations for both CD and case by Scott Brady, with the cover concept and package design by Van Dean.

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LONG NIGHT OF MUSEUMS takes place August 27, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

Once a year museums in Berlin open their doors and welcome visitors to the Long Night of Museums. Alongside the permanent exhibitions, artistic performances are on display until early in the morning.

At the Long Night of Museums, more than a hundred museums and cultural institutions exhibit their collections at unusual hours. Visitors not only get the opportunity to take a closer look at paintings, sculptures and installations, but also to witness a number of art performances and concerts.

Berlin's art scene also uses the opportunity to display its art in all its diversity. From 6 pm to 2 am, artists, musicians and dancers produce temporary works of art in unique settings to lighten up the night. The artistic program includes highlights suitable for all age groups.

A shuttle bus service connects all participating museums and venues throughout the city and helps visitors reach all destinations comfortably.

WE CALL IT LUDWIG: THE MUSEUM LUDWIG IS TURNING 40! The group exhibition We Call It Ludwig is the high point of the landmark year 2016 at the Museum Ludwig, which marks three anniversaries: In 1946, Josef Haubrich donated his collection of modernist artworks to the city of Cologne and thus laid the foundation for the museum. After being founded in 1976, the museum building was opened in 1986 after Peter and Irene Ludwig agreed to donate 350 works of contemporary art.

The theme of this wide-ranging show is the institution itself. 25 international artists have been invited to develop new works for the exhibition that specifically relate to the Museum Ludwig.

Curators: Stephan Diederich, Yilmaz Dziewior, Barbara Engelbach, Julia Friedrich, Miriam Halwani Curatorial assistant: Leonie Radine.

August 27, 2016–January 8, 2017 at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany.

RAGNER KJARTANSSON an exhibition bringing together live performance, music, film, painting, sculpture and drawing, this long overdue solo presentation is the first in the UK to survey the work of the internationally acclaimed Icelandic artist, Ragnar Kjartansson. who states "I am obsessed with music, I live music constantly.’

Curating a guest playlist for the venue's Spotify, he demonstrates his eclectic music taste picking songs from Kanye West to Fairport Convention, Stormzy to Sinatra.

Born into a family of acting professionals and having grown up backstage at the Reykjavik City Theatre, Kjartansson’s work combines his experience of stage traditions with experiments in repetition and endurance. Clichés and motifs of Western culture, romantic melancholy and even his own conception, provide the personal and often playful subject matter of the artist’s emotionally charged work. Having successfully represented Iceland at the 2009 Venice Biennale and participated in 2013 with standout works, Kjartansson is now at the cutting edge of contemporary performance art. The exhibition centers around the immersive and moving multi-channel video installation The Visitors (2012) and Take Me Here by the Dishwasher: Memorial for a Marriage (2011) a live performance full of romance and humor featuring ten troubadours singing for up to eight hours a day, every day for the duration.

Ragnar Kjartansson will present these spell-binding and multi-sensory experiences among a wide-ranging survey, perfectly-timed to shine a spotlight on one of the contemporary art world’s most exciting and evolving artists.

The Barbican in London through September 4, 2016.

The Exhibition is curated by the Barbican and organized in collaboration with the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., where a version of the exhibition will be shown from October 14, 2016 to January 8, 2017.


"One of the final and most important steps in the foundry process is the application of the patina. A good patina can make all the difference giving the final statue the final color that will define the permanent perception of the work. Carl at the Artworks Foundry is a masterful artist in his own right providing just the right combination of chemicals on the Bennett statue to give it a distinct San Francisco feel. A darker color with hues of copper green, make the statue feel as if its been exposed to the sea air for decades and give it a common lineage to all the great statues throughout the City." Photo: Bruce Wolf.Artworks Foundry Photo Shoot
Tony Bennett, who recently turned 90, is an iconic singer and respected artist. Now he is also a work of art - and a flavor of ice cream.

Last Friday, August 19, Bennett and a large group of dignitaries, including Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, the chief of protocol for San Francisco and the State of California, unveiled an 8-foot bronze sculpture of the singer created with Bennett showing a soft "Mona Liza smile."

The work of art was crafted by San Francisco Bay Area sculptor Bruce Leslie Wolfe, who began creating it a few months ago after Bennett sat for him for three days. During that time, Wolfe stated that they laughed, played music and Bennett sketched his likeness.

Within his forty-year career Wolfe has created sculptures and busts of Barbara Jordan, Margaret Thatcher, former mayor Ilus W. Davis of Kansas City, former Secretary of State George Shultz, Norman Shumway, and former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquis.

Fans enjoy "Duets" ice cream, named in honor of Tony Bennett while waiting for the unveiling of his statue. Photo: Humphry Slocombe
The statue presentation included music, dramatic stage entrance smoke in which a cloud of theatrical smoke worthy of an elaborate stage production lifted to unveil the Bennett statue to a standing room only crowd. It is positioned outside the Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill in the city where Bennett famously left his heart.

Bennett didn't perform. He simply told the crowd: "I can't get over what just happened," said Bennett, "That's the most beautiful statue I have ever seen. It will live in my heart forever. Thank you for being so wonderful to me. I'll never forget this day."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee declared August 19 Tony Bennett Day.

A gala dinner took place on Saturday night. Putting a biscotti on the sundae - literally - is legendary Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop which created an ice cream flavor honoring Bennett. Named "Duet," the confection is vanilla ice cream swirled with limoncello sorbet and fennel biscotti to honor Bennett's Italian heritage.

"Duets" ice cream, named in honor of Tony Bennett features vanilla ice cream swirled with limoncello sorbet and fennel biscotti to honor Bennett's Italian heritage. Photo: Humphry Slocombe.
Humphry Slocombe is noted for its ice cream with attitude. It's offbeat offerings have included Government Cheese, Secret Breakfast Ice Cream, Hibiscus Beef Sorbet, Carrot Mango Sorbet, Elvis (the Fat Years), Toast and Jam, Bourbon and Cornflakes, Mocha Crumble, Cinnamon Brittle and Here's Your Damn Strawberry, to list only a few.

The name of the creamery was inspired by the owners' love of British comedy, especially the 1970s sitcom Are You Being Served, which is currently being rerun on PBS. According to their official statement: "Humphry Slocombe is named after the two lead characters (Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe) from the fabulous 1970’s sitcom Are You Being Served? We keep the official Are You Being Served book in our Mission Shop to show anyone who’s never heard of the show…just ask!"

The creamery recently created special flavors for Virgin American Airlines temping flyers with Butter By Moonlight and Chocolate Gold Rush.

As for Tony Bennett, in addition to a banquet, eating ice cream and looking at his statute, sports fans also gave Bennett his just due. At AT&T Park, the San Francisco Giants honored Bennett in a pregame ceremony and throughout the game.

Bennett who turned 90 on August 3 has received numerous birthday celebrations as he had traveled around the country. A week ago Chicago officially celebrated the milestone at the Ravinia Festival where the legendary crooner was presented with a 100-pound cake.

The massive cake was wheeled out to a standing ovation from the thousands of fans who packed the Highland Park venue for a concert by The Birthday Boy, who has performed at Ravinia nearly every summer for four decades.

Now there is the ice cream to go with the cake.


ROLAND SCAHILL 41, was arrested Friday, August 19, and made his own star appearance in Manhattan Supreme Court charged with felony counts of criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and scheme to defraud seven people - mostly friends - into "investing" over $165,000 - at $15.00 a share - to fund a purported play The KB Project about opera singer Kathleen Battle.

The one-woman show centers on the day Battle was fired by the Metropolitan Opera and was supposed to star Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for the 2013 movie 12 Years a Slave, prosecutor William Furber wrote in court papers.

Pure fiction.

Authorities called Scahill, a Cornell graduate, a conniving theater producer whom they alleged stole thousands of dollars from investors Scahill had claimed he had the rights to tell the singer’s story and had booked the Booth Theatre for the production which would also enjoy Netflix stream, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The scam began in October 2014 with Scahill, who owns the production company RMS2, claimed that Nyong’o would use her appearance on the Tony Awards to announce that she was starring in the play. The scam unraveled when Nyong’o signed on to the Broadway show Eclipsed, court papers disclose.

In he fall of 2015 several investors demanded their money back. Scahill allegedly sent each of them a bad check - then failed to communicate in any way, according to the DA’s office. Scahill had already spent the illicit funds, prosecutors said.

Defense lawyer James DeVita said that Scahill, a former employee of the Gersh talent agency, currently is employed by ABC News as a research assistant, making $123,000 a year, and resides with his mother.

“Mr. Scahill has pled not guilty,” the attorney said. “He is therefore entitled to the ­presumption of innocence.”

Justice Charles Solomon set bail at $100,000 cash. Scahill faces up to 15 years in prison and is due back in court on September 20.


JULIE ANDREWS and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton will take part in an intimate conversation hosted by journalist Jane Hutcheon.

The original production of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, under the direction of legendary Moss Hart, starring Rex Harrison and a very young Julie Andrews, took Broadway by storm 60 years ago. It was Miss Andrews who defined the character of Eliza Doolittle forever more and dazzled audiences in what became the longest theatrical run in the history of music theatre at that time. It also catapulted Miss Andrews' career into some of the most successful and classic movies of all time.

Opera Australia is thrilled to have the opportunity of launching a worldwide revival of this beautiful musical at the Sydney Opera House under the direction of Miss Andrews.

As a lead up to this milestone event, mother and daughter will share fascinating insights into their unique and oft-time converging careers as writers/producers, their philanthropic passions, advocacy for the arts and exciting plans for the future. Audience members will be given the opportunity to submit questions of their own.

This special one-off event on Sunday, August 28, will take place on the very stage where this revival will be performed the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.

the biggest street festival in Europe takes place August 28-29.

One of the most vibrant carnivals in the world, this Caribbean festival is the closest thing to the Brazil carnival you will find this side of the Atlantic.

Elaborate floats and colorful costumed performers wind their way through the streets to the sound of steel bands and calypso music. Watch the carnival parade, join in the fun and visit the tempting food stalls.

Sunday, August 28 begins with the traditional Caribbean carnival opening, Jouvert (from the French “jour ouvert”, meaning day break). Don your finest carnival outfit or fancy dress, follow the procession which starts and ends at Canal Way, Ladbroke Grove, and dance along the streets of Notting Hill.

Grand Finale takes place on Monday with 60 colorful bands. Dance along to the sounds of steel bands and mobile sound systems during the Grand Finale of the Notting Hill Carnival. Discover music and performances on the 38 sound systems along the route and in side streets, and finish at Powis Square, where the World Music Stage’s calypso and soca artists are sure to make you move. Delicious food and drinks are available from the many food stalls in the area.

First held in 1964 as an offshoot of the Trinidad Carnival, the Notting Hill Carnival has remained true to its Caribbean roots, bringing a spirit of diversity to London.

When the Notting Hill Carnival first started, around 500 people attended the Caribbean festival. Today it attracts hundreds of thousands to London, and continues to grow in popularity. You can expect to see some 50,000 performers and more than 30 sound systems. More than 1 million people attend over the 2016 carnival weekend.

ALL-STAR STAGED READING: THE POETS OF AMITYVILLE by Eugene Pack. Starring Patrick Boll, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Chloe Dirksen, Tovah Feldshuh, Geraldine Hughes, Carol Kane, Richard Kind, Treat Williams & Dayle Reyfel!. Hosted by Lorraine Bracco.

Sunday, August 28 at Guild Hall, East Hamptons, New York.

FRINGENYC celebrating its 20th anniversary with a two-week run through August 28 with nearly 200 shows performing in 16 venues in lower Manhattan.

EAT A PEACH DAY is August 22.


EVE PLUMB who played the middle daughter, Jan, for five seasons on The Brady Bunch television series from 1968 to 1974 can thank the financial advisers who handled her money while she was a minor for guaranteeing her a nice retirement Somebody wisely took money she had earned on the series and purchased a house - in her name - when she was 11-year-old. The house was purchased in 1969 for $55,300. Recently Plumb, 58, sold that Malibu beach home for $3.9 million.

In 2010, Plumb originated the title character in the New York production of Miss Abigail's Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage, inspired by a book and website of the same name. The role was her first New York stage role. She was next seen on the New York stage when she starred in Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron's award-winning Love, Loss, and What I Wore, and she co-starred in Same Time, Next Year with Broadway's John Bolton at the Surflight Theater in Beach Haven, New Jersey. July–October 2013, Plumb portrayed Aunt June in the off-Broadway play Unbroken Circle by James Wesley.

Cast of St. Mary's In Exile. Photo: Queensland Theatre Company
by David Burton.

Director: Jason Klarwein.

Cast Includes: Chenoa Deemal, Peter Marshall, Bryan Probets, Luisa Prosser, Kevin Spink, Ben Warren, and Joss McWilliam.

It would be beyond belief if it wasn’t true. In 2009, Brisbane’s Catholic community was rocked when the Catholic Church stepped in to oust beloved priest Father Peter Kennedy from his post at St Mary’s in South Brisbane, Australia.

He led more than 700 devoted parishioners, but the Church’s higher powers doubted his faith. They scorned the statue of Buddha in the foyer and frowned when he blessed same-sex couples, or let women into the pulpit.

So, on a stormy night, after refusing to resign or to fall in line with orthodoxy, an excommunicated Father Peter is packing up to go into exile - when a mysterious young homeless visitor walks out of the rain, wanting to know the story behind this unconventional holy man and what drove him to defy one of the world’s most powerful authorities.

Called "A gripping and inspirational drama," St Mary’s in Exile is the story of a tight-knit community, a poignant reminder that the word “church” refers not to the 123-year-old heritage listed Renaissance building, but the bond between the disparate people who gather there. A bond that endured when Peter handed over the keys amid a media frenzy, and led his flock down the street to the Trades and Labor Council building, where they still worship every weekend.

Designer: Anthony Spinaze. Lighting Designer: Daniel Anderson. Sound Designer/Composer: Justin Harrison. Assistant Director: Helen Cassidy.

August 27- September 25 on the Mainstage of the Queensland Theatre Company, Brisbane, Australia.

NEWSIES based on the 1992 Disney movie musical of the same name has a Tony Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, a book by four- time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein.

Directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun.

Choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his work on the show.

They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines.

Newsies the crowd-pleasing new musical, winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, Newsies is a high-energy explosion of song and dance you just don't want to miss.

The musical is inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers.

The stage version introduces seven brand-new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman, including a song written specifically for the tour called Letter from the Refuge, while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including Carrying the Banner, Seize the Day, King of New York and Santa Fe.

The tour will end its run October 2. Prior to its conclusion, original Broadway cast members Jeremy Lordan who earned a Tony nomination for his role as Jack Kelly and Kara Lindsay as Katherine, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie. Their one-night-only performance will be filmed on September 11 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and is expected to arrive in theaters worldwide in early 2017.

The tour is mounted August 25-28 in Salt Lake City and then August 30 - September 4, 2016 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

AWAKE AND SING written by Clifford Odets.

Directed by Elina de Santos.

Starring Richard Fancy, Marilyn Fox, Jason Huber, Robert Lesser, Dennis Madden, Allan Miller (thru September 18 only), James Morosini, Melissa Paladino, Al Rossi (September 23 thru October 2).

Clifford Odets' gritty, passionate, funny and heartbreaking masterpiece about the hopes and struggles of a lower-middle-class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the Great Depression continues to resonate 81 years after its 1935 premiere.

August 27 – October 2: at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles CA.

based on the original play Bake Off by Sheri Wilner. Book by Sheri Wilner and Julia Jordan. Lyrics by Adam Gwon and Julia Jordan. Music by Adam Gwon.

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

Starring Justin Guarini, Euan Morton, Aidan Lawrence and Michele Ragusa.

At the 50th Annual Millberry Cake Off, the stakes are high - one million dollars for the best homemade sugary delight! Things start to heat up when men decide to compete for the first time. Soon the annual competition becomes a historic battle of the sexes as contestants Paul and Rita don their aprons, strap on their oven mitts and square off.

Though September 10 at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA.

Cake Off premiered at the Signature Theatre in Washington, DC as part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival.


BARBRA STREISAND closes out her current tour on August 23 with a performance at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN AND MARILYN MAYE back together again, the “ambassador of the Great American Songbook” is joined by the recipient of 1st Legend Award from the Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook, for an evening of favorite standards about romance and passion. August 23-September 1 at Feinsteins/54 Below in New York City.

PLACIDO DOMINGO described as the King of Opera, over 4,000 performances have taken him around the globe. This legendary star alongside Grammy Award winning soprano Ana Maria Martínez. will be accompanied by the orchestra of Teatro Lirico “Giuseppe Verdi”, Trieste, conducted by Maestro Eugene Kohn. Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at Dubai Opera in Dubai, UAE.

BONNIE RAITT a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and an American musical institution, is returning to Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia for the first time since 2012 for a sold out show on Saturday, August 27.

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA WITH WYNTON MARSALIS open a tow night gig Thursday, August 25 at the Amphitheater in Chautauqua, NY.

BRIAN WILSON has a busy week. On Monday, August 22, he performs at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, VA. On Tuesday his tour stops at the France Merrick PAC in Baltimore, MD. Thursday finds him at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh. Saturday's gig is at Caesars in Atlantic City and next Sunday, August 28, he'll be delighting the crowds at the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford, NH.

JOSH GROBAN with over 20 million records sold in the US, Josh Groban performs Wednesday, August 24, at the Portland Theatre in Portland, Oregon.

DONOVAN the iconic '60s singer-songwriter perform his psychedelic hits Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, Jennifer Junipe and more. Tuesday, August 30, at Guild Hall, East Hamptons, New York.


FYVUSH FINKEL an Emmy and OBIE award winning mainstay of the Yiddish theatre who crossed over into television died on Sunday, August 14, 2016 at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

Finkel first appeared on the stage at age 9, and acted for almost 35 years in the thriving Yiddish theaters of the Yiddish Theater District of Manhattan's Lower East Side, as well as performing as a standup comic in the Catskill's Borscht Belt.

He made his Broadway theatre debut in the original 1964 production of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, joining the cast as Mordcha, the innkeeper, in 1965. The production ran through July 2, 1972. Finkel then played Lazar Wolf, the butcher, in the limited run 1981 Broadway revival, and eventually played the lead role of Tevye the milkman for years in the national touring company.

Shortly afterward, Finkel succeeded Hy Anzell in the role of Mr. Mushnik in the Off-Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors.] Then in 1988, Finkel's work as "Sam" in the New York Shakespeare Festival revival of the Yiddish classic Cafe Crown earned him an Obie Award.

In 1991 he patched together a merry valentine to Yiddish vaudeville, with himself as the star, called Finkel’s Follies, presented Off Broadway at the John Houseman Theater

His performance in the small role of a lawyer in Sidney Lumet’s crime filmQ&A in 1990 prompted David E. Kelley to cast Finkel as the blustery defense lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on Picket Fences, a series chronicling the quirky events that befell the residents of a small town in Wisconsin, which ran from 1992 to 1996 on CBS. Finkel won an Emmy in 1994 as best supporting actor in a dramatic series. He later played a history teacher on Boston Public.

In 1997, Finkel, then 75, had a star with his name added to the 30 stars on the Yiddish Theater Walk of Fame, on the sidewalk outside the Second Avenue Deli in Manhattan.

His wife, the former Gertrude Lieberman, whom he married in 1947, died in 2008. In addition to his son Ian, a musical arranger and xylophonist, he is survived by another son, Elliot, a concert pianist; a brother, Nat; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Both of Finkel’s sons performed with him in his revues.

JOHN McLAUGHLIN who hosted the weekly political talk show The McLaughlin Group for 34 years, died August 15, 2015 at his home in Virginia. He was 89.

His death came less than two days after he missed the first episode of his show in 34 years.

McLaughlin, who held a Ph.D from Columbia University, created his popular syndicated political commentary show in 1982.

"As a former Jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives," the show’s producers wrote on Facebook.

"For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said 'bye bye' for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered."

Olivier was a basset hound that he lived with at the Watergate apartment complex in Washington D.C. when he worked as a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon.

During a year-end episode of The McLaughlin Group in 2014 he mentioned Olivier saying, "Person of the year: Pope Francis, especially now that he's told that animals can go to heaven. And Oliver is up there waiting for me."

His two marriages ended in divorce.

JAMES WOOLLEY keyboarding for the industrial metal group Nine Inch Nails from died August 17, 2016. He was 50.

He spent four year touring with the group during their most important period, from 1991 to 1994, including their legendary Woodstock '94 gig.

His death was announced by his ex-wife Kate Van Buren.

Her lengthy tribute to him included: "Though our marriage ended, James always stayed close to his children. He loved being a father. Because of significant neck and spine injuries, he wasn’t capable of doing a lot of physical activities with them, but he loved sitting down to paint, or teach piano, or just look at nature. He passed his amazing musical and artistic talents to all three children."

The injuries she mentioned occurred when he fell as he was attempting to move musical recording equipment in his studio.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "We are saddened to learn of the death of former Nine Inch Nails keyboardist James Woolley. A Best Metal Performance Grammy winner with NIN for his work on the live performance track Happiness In Slavery for 1995, James was an active creative collaborator, having worked with other bands such as Die Warzau, Sister Machine Gun, 2wo, and V.O.I.D. We offer our deepest condolences to James’ family, friends, and all those who had the privilege and honor of working with him."

In addition to his ex-wife he is survived by their children Brendan, Mary and Anne and the extended Woolley family.

Next Column: August 28, 2016
Copyright: August 21, 2016 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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