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RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL'S CARNIVALE - -FLYING BY FOY
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PHYSICS AND FAIRY
The actor flies through the air, levitates, soars, dives, floats. Must be fairy dust.
More likely, it's the Las Vegas based Flying
By Foy - a family owned business that has been hoisting the stars for over a half century, earning
a world-wide reputation for technical excellence and creative artistry.
To seal any deal the contract has to pass over the desk of Jim Hansen, general manager of Flying
By Foy since November of 1997.
He spoke with Broadway
To Vegas about this unique industry.
Flying By Foy technicians testing the equipment for
Hang em high. Carnivale performer being hoisted to the
top of Radio City Music Hall during a Carnivale technical rehearsal
Flying By Foy is an important part of the new Radio City Music Hall spectacular which kicks off
in May of 2003.
The famous high-kicks and precision dancing of the Radio City
Rockettes will be
featured in the spectacular new Carnivale production.
Music by the Grammy
award winning Latin pop music leader and innovator Jon Secada,
by award winning jazz keyboardist John Serry, the performance will celebrate carnival traditions
and springtime rebirth and will be accompanied by a colorful, free outdoor festival in Bryant Park.
"We did nine weeks of rehearsal and built a big load of automated equipment for the
Carnivale production. There is a great deal of flying in that show," Hansen
"We have 18 motorized winches in that show. That is the new Radio City spectacular. It will run
about six weeks out of the year for the next seven years."
Barbra Streisand wrote about Flying By Foy in her
Over the years, Foy has staged tens of thousands of flying scenes. They have harnessed
up the A-list. A small sampling includes; Paula Abdul, Jenny Agutter, Jason Alexander, Julie
Andrews, Jean Arthur, Lucille Ball, David Bowie, Sarah Brightman, Garth Brooks,
Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, Amy Carter, David Cassidy, Maria Conchita Alonzo, Sean
Connery, Coolio, Michael Crawford, Roger Daltrey, Dame Edna, Beverly D'Angelo, Clare Danes,
Ellen DeGeneres, Andy Dick, Phyllis Diller, Tovah Feldshuh, Sally Field, Eddie Fisher, Mitzi
Gaynor, Eydie Gorme, Tom Hanks, Bob Hope, Lena Horne, Bill Irwin, Michael Jordan, Danny
Kaye, Gene Kelly, Alan King, Eartha Kitt, Carol Lawrence, Ute Lemper, David Letterman, Jerry
Lewis, Liberace, Hal Linden, Howie Mandel, Dean Martin, Roddy McDowell, Gavin McLeod,
Mike Myers, Bebe Neuwirth, Leslie Nielsen, Conan O'Brien, Donny Osmond, Penn & Teller,
Donald Pleasance, Jane Powell, Tony Randall, Chita Rivera, Roseanne, Diana Ross, Siegfried &
Roy, Richard Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Elke Sommer, Howard Stern, Barbra Streisand, Sharon
Tate, Shirley Temple, Robert Townsend, Tommy Tune, Christopher Walken, Raquel Welch,
Vanessa Williams, Robin Williams, Michael York, and Debbie Reynolds who was swung while
on The Eddie Fisher Show.
Shows have included Peter Pan, Angels In America, Beauty and the Beast, Beach Blanket
Babylon, EFX, Siegfried & Roy, Superman, Tommy, The Lion King, and
In 1950, a young Englishman named Peter Foy came to New York to fly Mary Martin in the
original stage version of Peter Pan.
Since that time, the company has pioneered
the art of stage flying with technological breakthroughs in floating pulley and track-on-track
systems, invisible harnesses and other clever devices. Foy's inventions and flying techniques are so
unique the company has protected them by copyright. Before working with Foy, clients must sign
agreements pledging not to divulge any of the company's secrets.
Hansen recalled Foy's background. "He worked for the Kirby Flying Ballet. Kirby, at the time,
was the preeminent flying company, having patented some equipment in the 1890s, They were
very much like - when people refer to tissues as Kleenex - they would refer to the flying
equipment as a Kirby rig."
"At that time, flying chiefly consisted of pendulum flying done on drums. When Peter came over,
they began to test the limits of flying. He used a thing called an interrelated pendulum where two
pendulum systems were essentially joined at the suspension point"
"Mary Martin in 1954 really wanted kind of wild flights, which ran outside what Kirby called the
control zone. Kirby was a bit frightened of that and gave Peter his blessing to go out on his
"When he came over in 1950 they essentially had no documentation of having flown anybody in
the United States for 20-35 years," Hansen continued. "Nobody really knew how to do it. In
England, in the holiday season there is a long stand tradition of plays they call pantomime.
Peter Pan is a perennial favorite there. Flying was just always a part of
"From that Peter developed other systems - the floating pulley, what eventually became the track
on track system which is a patented system and then another version of the track on track
as the ultra lift system. Really, in the second half
of the century, Flying By Foy revolutionized stage
"As time went on Peter found that there was a lot of interest in flying for various shows. When he
first began he used war surplus equipment. He'd get a job in Nebraska. He'd get a couple of rigs,
throw them on top of the station wagon and drive to Nebraska and do the show."
"He came to Nevada originally in the late 50s early 60s because they would have these junkets
that would come in from Los Angeles. He fell in love with the place, primarily because it was
lousy with sunlight," related Hansen on a cloudless day when the temperature reached 115
came from England which he found very dreary. To this day when it is raining
he gets very depressed."
"He likes the sun. He likes the openness. He came here first to do the flying effects for a couple of
the shows - The Lido, the old MGM Hallelujah
Hollywood, flying Liberace.
"The first Peter Pan he did over here was a straight show for Boris Karloff. Then in 1952
he did a version with Veronica Lake. A straight version and then the original
musical version which was mounted in 1954 with Mary Martin.
Sandy Duncan in Peter Pan
A favorite is Sandy Duncan. "She was a real a trouper. They loved working with Sandy,"
Not everyone is anxious to get hoisted above terra firma.
"There is a story about Lily Tomlin," divulged Hansen. "They were going to fly her on Broadway
in one of her shows. She was scared to death of it. Peter's wife, Barbara, who had been a singer,
and a great friend of Julie Andrews, had to get in the harness and go up to show Lily that it was
Tomlin went from terrified to feeling terrific.
"One of the things that we pride ourselves on is that people who do fly with us find it exhilarating.
I imagine in people's minds, when they think of flying, they think of being hooked to a rope and
dragged up in the air - and to some extent it is that sort of a thing - but it is a series of pulleys
and automated systems."
Flying By Foy also makes it as safe as possible.
"We have never had a major accident. We occasionally have a thing where Peter Pan will fly
into a flat. That is common."
When Aida was touring, prior to opening on Broadway, an accident took place on stage
which involved the stars. "That was not our equipment," Hansen replied. "We do about a 40
second swimming effect in Aida which is an automated, motorized effect. The accident
with Aida was with a rigging thing - kind of an elevator effect, which we do not do. That
accident was quite frightening, as I understand, but it wasn't our equipment. It wasn't
The company puts safety ahead of all other concerns and doesn't hesitate to turn down a
"We turn down jobs all the time for various reasons. In some cases we have venues that are not
accessible to our riggings. We'll go in and they'll have a finished plaster ceiling and they say we
can't drill through it, so there is nothing for us to hang equipment from."
"In some cases it's a height consideration. We have backed out of a couple of big shows, such as
the Super Bowl, because of the production company's inability or unwillingness to provide us
with necessary information," related Hansen as his voice took on a certain edge of
"Or an American Gladiator kind of thing where they want people to fight in the air. When
we looked at the whole package it just really wasn't our cup of tea. We thought there was a
probability of harm."
While the high profile marquees may be the Broadway shows and the Vegas spectaculars,
important vertebras in the Flying By Foy spine are cruise ships and schools.
No longer do cruise ship shows mean a bad lounge act on a small stage.
"We do the flying effects for four Caribbean ships. The larger ones, the Explorer, the Adventurer
and the Voyager have a couple of venues on each ship. On two of them we do both the ice show
and the straight shows. We work in both of the venues that are on the ships."
It's not always smooth sailing.
"In the venues that are in the forward portion of the ship it can rock and roll. The scenery will be
on tracks to roll in and out. I've heard the technicians say that they'll get back there and be
holding the stuff in place because it is shifting around. The technicians have the power the cancel
a show and they do from time to time if it gets too rough."
Small school and non profit theaters are extremely important to Foy - a surprise since it could be
assumed that this is a budget buster. "We're not terribly expensive," Hansen insisted. "We try to
keep it pretty well within their budget. We can typically do a Peter Pan, with a run of two
weeks, for around $2500-$2600, plus shipping."
"We do a lot of them. We do everything from elementary, middle, high
schools, regional and community theaters. We do a lot of ballets. We do the
Washington Ballet, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Ballet Austin, a ballet in Birmingham. We do a
dozen or 15 Nutcrackers every year."
Deciding to add flight to a production is not a do it yourself operation. A box of pulleys doesn't
arrive in the mail with an instruction sheet.
"When the equipment goes out a technician comes along - always," he emphasized. "We
call them flying directors. We always have them go and supervise the installation of the
equipment, work with the cast and crew to stage the sequence, which is why they are called flying
directors. That is true with Peter Pan, ballet companies, opera - really anything we do we
send a flying director."
Flying Horses scene staged by Foy
"For instance, we do A Christmas Carol every year at Madison Square Garden. So, we
always have a couple of guys there for a week. We've had a very long and pleasant experience
with Madison Square Garden."
Is a flying director a physics major, a tool time guy or a choreographer?
"It's really a mixed bag. It's a subjective thing. Their backgrounds range pretty widely. A
couple of our guys, Joe McGeough and David Hearn, have been doing this for 25
"Obviously there are rigging qualification. But communication skills are high on the
list. A lot of them are on the road 250-300 days a year. We throw a lot at them. Most of them are
young and single, although that is not the case with all of them."
On tour may mean a year on the road with a boy band.
"We did the Backstreet Boys tour. It was interesting. We build five automated riggings that ran
with the show. Joe McGhee actually went out with them because they were automated - really
state of the art when we built them. He was with them for the
entire End of the Millenium tour."
Did the flying director get tired of the screaming prepubescent fans? "I imagine he did. How
could you not?" admitted Hansen emphasizing that "the Backstreet Boys were very
So was the Apollo landing, although Foy was prepared. Remember those rumors that the landing
had been staged on a sound studio and that the space landing had never taken
Flying By Foy's fake Apollo landing
The landing wasn't a fake, but the news and the entertainment departments of the television
networks merged on the coverage of this one. Plans were laid to deliver staged, fake television
pictures conning the viewers into thinking it was the real thing.
On July 20th 1969, the world was glued to its TV sets in anticipation of Man's first landing on
the moon. Flying By Foy was there in the middle of an apprehensive group of designers and
engineers gathered at Grumman Aircraft. They were responsible for building the Lunar Module
which had never been tested successfully in the Earth's atmosphere.
Among those present was Peter Foy. He too was apprehensive. Not that he was in any way
responsible for the success of the mission. His only responsibility was simulating the actions of the
Astronauts in the event the TV feed was lost.
He was in one of the Grumman Aircraft hangars which had been filled with rocks to simulate the
lunar surface. In the middle of all of this was a full scale model of the LEM, an Astronaut (with
wires attached), Foy, an assistant, and of course, a camera.
As we now know, the landing was successful, and there was no break in the coverage. This was
Peter's relief as their lunar landscape looked nothing like the place where they landed on that
Foy recently celebrated his 77th birthday and moved to emeritus company status. That doesn't
mean he's retired. He still stops by the office every day.
Hansen understands explaining, "It's a fascinating business."
ELVIS PRESLEY: SOCIALLY
VALID OR JUST A MONEY MACHINE?
It's been 25 years since the coroner said Elvis left the building. By all the
hoopla you'd never know it. He's returned to the top of Great Britain's singles chart recently with
a remix of a minor 1968 hit, A Little Less Conversation. This means that Elvis has passed
The Beatles with the most No. 1 singles in pop chart's 50-year history.
On Monday, Aug 12, on the front lawn of Graceland Mansion RCA will present the latest round
of new RIAA gold and platinum awards and award upgrades Elvis has earned since the last such
presentation in 1999, plus a special commemoration of the 25th anniversary.
Elvis and Priscilla on their Las Vegas wedding day
On Thursday Priscilla Presley announced that she has sanctioned the development of a musical by
Immortal Entertainment that will focus on the romance between Elvis and his future wife, then the
A nationwide talent search will take place to cast performers to play Elvis and Priscilla.
The production needs to scout for a good hair stylist - apparently Presley was plagued by bad hair
Presley's hairdresser, Larry Geller, has come forward saying that although fans might have
thought the Presley locks were "beautiful and looked cool," in reality Presley had thin and brittle hair. Those
problem tresses required Geller to fix the singer's hair as many as 12 times a day. Then there were the dye
Presley's hair wasn't black but a sandy blond which had turned a shocking shade of
No matter what the color of his hair, The King still lives in the heart of millions of fans. Each
August, Memphis comes alive in
celebration of the legacy of Presley for Elvis Week. For Elvis followers, Elvis Week is a
pilgrimage, like going to Mecca to pay homage to the spirit and memory of the incredible
performer whose spirit lives on 25 years after his death.
Elvis Presley, 42, died on August 16, 1977, having completed 23 years in show business. To
some it is
amazing that, twenty-five years after his untimely passing, his star shines more brightly than ever
and his posthumous career, now longer than the one he enjoyed in life, rivals that of many
successful entertainers working today
Tennessee Governor Don Sundquest heads the parade
The kick-off event is a parade down Beale Street. Parade grand marshals will be
Sam Phillips and Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist. Making its debut for the parade will be
Mobile Graceland, a unique traveling Elvis exhibit sponsored by Harrah's Entertainment and FYE
stores, a collaborative project of BMG and EPE to promote the forthcoming record release
Elvis 30 #1 Hits.
If you think the week is nothing but crass commercialism you can attend a seminar at the
University of Memphis titled Is Elvis History? 2002 and Beyond. Bankrolled by a grant from The
Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation, we're guessing The Fogelman Executive
Center at The University of Memphis' Dr. John Bakke and The University of Memphis will
anoint the dead singer with social relevance.
Participants will include: music critic Greil Marcus; Elvis biographer
Peter Guralnick; Elvis' first record producer, the legendary Sam C. Phillips; veteran recording
industry executive Eddie Ray; U of M history professor and nationally recognized
Tennessee/Delta region historian, Dr. Charles Crawford; Memphis media columnist Jackson
Baker; and WKNO-TV personality Chuck Scruggs.
Also participating will be close
Elvis, including: Memphis Music Commission Executive Director, Jerry Schilling, and former
Shelby County Sheriff/former Shelby County Mayor, Bill Morris. Also on the panel will be
Michael Bertrand and Allison Graham, whose recent respective books, Race, Rock &
Elvis and Framing the South, have shed new light on Elvis as a figure of history and
myth. At the crux of this issue is whether or not Elvis will be seen as a positive force contributing
to the diversity and freedom of American culture or at best a transitional figure.
Or, study The Tao of Elvis in Hardin Hall at the Memphis Botanic Gardens. Based on Dr. David
H. Rosen's new book The Tao of Elvis, this multimedia presentation focuses on Elvis's
life-long spiritual journey. Several individuals who knew Elvis - and were interviewed for this
book - have been invited to make an appearance at this event. Sponsored by the Memphis Jung
The Conversations on Elvis seminar will feature professional and personal
associates of Elvis share stories and answer questions. Participating guests are T.G. Sheppard,
Julie Parrish, Dick Grob and Patti Parry.
If music is more appealing to your senses than soul searching, there is A Gospel Brunch with
The Jordanaires, but all three seatings are sold out with a waiting list for cancellations.
The 14th Annual Elvis Presley Memorial Dinner Charity Event takes place at the Peabody Hotel.
Notables expected to be present include: The Jordanaires, Sam Phillips, Knox Phillips,
Jerry Schilling, George Klein, Richard Davis, D.J. Fontana, Janelle McComb, Dick Grob and Gordon Stoker.
Viva Tunica is what a lot of Europeans Presley fans will be saying. They'll hop on a bus and
head to the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, MS. The official Elvis Presley Fan
Club of Great Britain, The Elvis My Happiness Fan Club of Paris, France, together with members
of the Dutch It's Elvis Time club, The Flaming Star Elvis Presley Fan Club of Norway, and
Elvis-Today USA will see live cabaret from The Sweet Inspirations, lots of special
Elvis guests, a disco hosted by Steve Christopher and Todd Slaughter with presenters
from Radio Luxembourg. Monies raised during the function will go to charity, and
there is only one stipulation - no jumpsuits!
Darwin Lamm and Elvis International -The Magazine present a group of legendary performers
and musicians who worked with Elvis on stage and on
his recordings. Legends: Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, The Jordanaires, Boots Randolph, Millie
Kirkham, David Briggs, Buddy Harmon and Bob Moore. Guest Vocalists: Lee Rocker of the
Stray Cats, Billy Swan, Stan Perkins.
Jamming with the TCB Band at Elvis Presley's Memphis is a sold out event. Two dinner shows
performed by former Elvis musicians, the legendary TCB Band James Burton, Glen D. Hardin,
Jerry Scheff & Ronnie Tutt with their special guest vocalist Terry Mike Jeffrey.
Need a swim? Head on over to Elvis' former home at 1034 Audubon Drive. Sponsored by D &
N's Elvis Presley Fan Club, for $35.00 you can tour the home and swim in Elvis' first pool.
Then there is Elvis: The 25th Anniversary Concert in The Pyramid arena. The real Elvis
Presley stars via video in this concert event with his original bandmates live on stage. The 2002
show in Memphis will use the same production technology as the touring Elvis-The Concert
show, but promises to be a more elaborate production than anything they've ever done before.
Cast members confirmed so far: Joe Guercio (musical director & conductor); The TCB Band:
James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff, Ronnie Tutt & John Wilkinson; The Sweet
Inspirations: Estelle Brown, Cissy Houston & Myrna Smith; Former Members of J.D. Sumner &
The Stamps: Bill Baize, Tony Brown, Ed Enoch, Ed Hill, Larry Strickland & Donnie Sumner;
The Imperials: Sherman Andrus, Terry Blackwood, Armond Morales, Joe Moscheo, Jim Murray
& Roger Wiles; The Jordanaires: Gordon Stoker & Ray Walker; Tim Baty; David Briggs; D.J.
Fontana; Ron Feuer; Millie Kirkham; Shaun Neilsen and Boots Randolph.
Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley will attend the concert and each will be making a special
greeting to the fans from the stage during the event.
Just about everyone participates in the Candlelight Vigil & Vigilcast which begins with a brief
opening ceremony at the gates of the Graceland Mansion property. Then fans are invited to walk
up the driveway to Elvis' gravesite and back down carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. Gates
remain open until all who wish to take part in the procession have done so, which usually takes
until the early morning hours of August 16, the actual anniversary of Elvis' death.
Elvis - The Concert performs at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas on August 24.
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STOP SIGN THIEF!
Actors are a superstitious bunch.
Since 1883 actors have eased their fears by passing
under the black metal Stage Door sign that swung above the Lyceum Theatre in Scotland's
backstage entrance on Cornwall street.
Stars who have had stage fright eased on arrival at the theatre by the sign's warm, friendly glow
against the dramatic backdrop of the Castle include Marlene Dietrich, Burt Bacharach, Bram
Stoker, Rikki Fulton, Robert Carlyle, Tom Conti, Miriam Margolyes, Elaine C Smith, Martin
Clunes, Richard Wilson, Gregor Fisher, Bill Paterson, Brian Cox and Sean Connery.
Now some blackheart has pinched the 119-year-old sign.
The bloodhounds have been called out and the search is on. Anyone who may have a clue as to
the sign's whereabouts should call 0131 248 4800.
THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS will
salute performers Chita Rivera, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul McCartney, Earl Jones and conductor James
President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush will receive the honorees at the White House
on December 8, before attending a gala performance and supper dance at the Kennedy Center.
Secretary of State Colin Powell will present the honors at a dinner for them the night before.
"The honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through
the performing arts," the Kennedy Center said in a statement.
The 25th annual Kennedy Center Honors will be presented in a gala ceremony on December 8 and
the event will be telecast by CBS later that month.
ACTORS FUND BENEFIT featuring
the six time Tony Award winning Thoroughly Modern Millie takes place next Sunday,
August 11 at The Marquis Theatre, NYC.
starring Ray Romano will raise money for a study examining laughter's
effect on ailing children. Kevin James and Wendy Liebman have already joined the lineup for the
September 27 event.
The study, Rx Laughter, is testing whether laughter can help children and adolescents deal with
the pain of treating life-threatening illnesses including cancer.
The five-year study, lead by Drs. Margaret Stuber and Lonnie Zeltzer, began in February 2000
with a $75,000 seed grant from Comedy Central.
RED BEANS AND RICELY YOURS, SATCHMO
Satchmo Summerfest is a music festival celebrating Louis Armstrong, who would have turned
101 today. The city of his birth, New Orleans, has been celebrating since last Thursday with four days and
nights of concerts, seminars, children's activities, a club crawl, second-line parade, a Roman Catholic Mass
and food including local restaurants offering red bean dishes. Festival organizers chose a red bean
theme because Armstrong signed his letters "Red Beans and Ricely Yours."
Some restaurants have created "Sizzlin' Satchmo Specials" that will only be offered this weekend.
Last year's Satchmo SummerFest, planned as a one-time event, was so popular organizers decided
to do it annually in honor of the musicians who passed away in 1971.
"This was an opportunity to really concentrate on jazz. It was something that was missing," said
Sandra Dartus, executive director of French Quarter Festivals, the agency producing the
The festivities end today with a jazz Mass at St. Augustine Church.
JABBER, JABBER, JABBER
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts stages another of their popular
Meet the Artist Series,
Sunday, August 11, in The Stage Theatre.
Ray Roderick, director of Denver Center Attractions' productions of I Love a Piano,
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and the national tour of The Music
Man, will participate in The Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Meet the Artist
series. Roderick is becoming a Denver favorite. He is the director and choreographer
of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, which celebrated its two-year
anniversary at the Garner Galleria Theatre in June. Additionally, he is the Associate
Director of the recent Broadway revival of The Music Man, which plays The
Buell Theatre August 6-18. And he is the director and choreographer of the Denver
Center Attractions production of I Love a Piano, which plays The Auditorium
Theatre August 8-September 1.
I Love a Piano is a musical and cultural journey that follows a piano through the 20th
century, as it is bought and sold, abandoned and found again.
The show is co-conceived, co-written with Michael Berkeley, who also handles musical
arrangements. The cast includes Carrie Allyn, Stephanie J. Block, Jeffry Denman,
Michael E. Gold, Ellie Mooney, Alex Ryer, Chris Starkey and Shonn Wiley.
Designers are Larry Gruber (set), Thomas Craft (sound), Sam Fleming (costumes) and
Ed McCarthy (lighting). John Glaudini will musical direct.
With this production
Roderick will have three shows running concurrently in the Denver complex.
This is the DCPA's 13th Meet the Artist event. Previous guests have included August
Wilson, Edward Albee, Alfred Uhry, Terrence McNally, Lloyd Richards, Moises
Kaufman, Tony Church, Sir Peter Hall with Edward Hall, Margaret Edson, Eartha Kitt,
Frank Rich and Julie Taymor.
RESURRECTION BLUES Arthur Miller's most recent play, is having its world premiere at the
Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Previews began August 3.
In over 50 years of writing Resurrection
Blues is his first satire.
Long years of political and economic turmoil have ravaged an unnamed country, now under the
control of a repressive military regime. A charismatic young revolutionary, lionized by his devoted followers
and demonized by supporters of the totalitarian government, creates a national stir, further threatening
the country's stability. Once captured, the chief of state sells exclusive broadcast rights to the young
man's execution - by crucifixion - to an American television network.
Miller, 86, uses his pen to satirizes misguided global politics and the predatory nature of a
media-saturated culture. At once genuinely poetic, humorous and thought-provoking, the play confirms Arthur
Miller's reputation as an insightful writer who does not shy away from dramatizing controversial ethical
John Bedford Lloyd, Jeff Weiss and Laila Robins star in the
David Esbjornson directed production. The cast includes Emil Herrera, Peter Thoemke, and
Officially opens August 9 with a run through September 8.
CABARET welcomes the return of Molly
Sally Bowles in Broadway's long-running revival. Ringwald previously played the part Dec. 18,
28. She returns to the show on Aug. 6.
WHEN GRACE COMES IN by
Heather McDonald is having its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse. This drama concerns the
life-changing journey of a senator's wife who attempts to recapture her past. Directed by Seattle
Rep's Sharon Ott, this compelling and poignant story explores the world of dreams and memory.
Patrons are warned that the play contains "adult content and language."
Sharon Ott directs
Jane Beard who stars as Margaret Grace Braxton. Also in the cast are Mark Chamblerin,
Stephanie Berry, Anne Gee Byrd, Mark Alan Gordon, Shannon Fitzpatrick, Mary Frances
McClay, and Tommy Fleming. Opened July 30 with performances through September 1.
San Diego's La Jolla Playhouse Theatre, California.
THE TALE OF THE ALLERGIST'S
WIFE by Charles Busch will have its regional premiere at the Cape
Playhouse in Dennis. Mass. August 12-24. The production will star Paula Prentiss, David Hedison
and Marj Dusay. In related news, the New York production will close on September 15.
WITHOUT WALLS by Alfred
Uhry stars Joe Morton and Kelly Karbacz, directed by Christopher Ashley. Williamstown Theatre
Festival, August 7-18.
SING ALONG ABBA the Swedish super-group's greatest hips performed
live with subtitles so everyone can join in! Warble to Waterloo, croon to Chiquitita. Be your very
own Dancing Queen.
The producers of the sold-out sensation Sing-a-long Sound of Music present
Sing-A-Long-A ABBA - the Swedish supergroup's greatest hits performed live in concert by the
Sing-A-Long-A ABBA band, backed by a huge screen with subtitles so everyone can sing
Relive your disco days -- don't miss the best theatrical karaoke event this
summer! Playing at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Ontario,
Canada. August 14th-August 17th.
written by Sutton Vane in 1923 is staged at the Westport Country Playhouse (Joanne Woodward
Artistic Director) opening August 7. The story tells of a group of people aboard a ship embarked for an
unknown destination. The strange passage leads the characters to reflect upon the lives they've lived. The
production stars Pamela Payton-Wright, Edward Hibbert, Patricia Connolly, T. Scott Cunningham, Garret
Dillahunt, Danis Holmes, Jefferson Mays, Tari Signor and Henry Strozier.
Doug Hughes directs the mounting which runs through August 24.
This is not the first time Westport Country Playhouse has produced this script. The comedy was
staged in 1939, in a production which starred Laurette Taylor, the famous actress in honor of whom Tony
and Heather Randall named their daughter.
BLAST the drum and bugle corps
extravaganza is on the road again after a Broadway run. Performances Aug. 6-18 at the Oriental Theatre in
SOUTH PACIFIC starring Las
Vegas resident Robert Goulet, singing about that enchanted evening at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco
through August 18.
42nd STREET begins its national
tour at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO. Catherine Wreford stars as Peggy Sawyer.
The cast includes Patrick Ryan Sullivan, Patti Mariano, Frank Root, Robert Spring, Paul Ainsley,
Darren Kelly, Alana Salvatore, Dexter Jones, Tom Judson, Michael Fitzpatrick, SuEllen Estey,
Christopher Nilsson, Dennis Kenny, Jimmy Groh, Shane Braddock, Brad Hampton, Graham
Bowen, James Gray,Gavin Lodge, Shane Dickson, Kevin Worley, Michael Crowley, Jason
Marquette, Kristen Gaetz, Angela Kahle, Cara Cooper, Vanessa E. Sonon, Heather Ginther,
Jennifer Ierardi, Stephanie Cadman, Jennifer Tangjerd, Josette Wiggin, Amy Frankel, Beth
Johnson, Sally Wong, Amber Owens, Allison Marburg, Jennifer Read, Melissa Fagan, Deana
Villei, Tatiana Cardenas, Rosie North, Jennifer Leigh Schwerer, Hilary Rushford, Kristyn Smith,
Amanda Kloots, Tony Palomino, Ashley Ayer, Abbie Cooper and Jeremy Benton.
begin this evening, August 4, running through August 10.
THE GUYS is about to open in
London and heavy demand for tickets has persuaded Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon to add an
extra date to their Fringe run of The Guys by Anne Nelson. Tickets were snapped up
immediately for the August 14 and August 15 performances of the play, based on a true story
arising from the September 11 attacks on New York City, that a third date, Friday 16, was
Robbins and Sarandon will appear in a staged reading of Nelson's play at the Royal Lyceum
Theatre as part of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Guys is based on a true story about how the writer, Anne Nelson, helped a grieving
fire captain compose eulogies for four colleagues killed when the twin towers collapsed.
It was first seen in New York at the Flea Theater in December, starring Sigourney Weaver and
Bill Murray, just a short distance from the scene of the attacks on 11 September.
Since then, both Sarandon and Robbins have taken turns on the New York stage, where
discounted seats were reserved for emergency workers from ground zero.
Robbins has just performed The Guys at The Actors' Gang theatre in Los Angeles with
Helen Hunt. The New York production has just welcomed Marlo Thomas to the cast. She plays
opposite Stephen Lang in The Bat Theatre Company's production. Thomas appears in the play
through August 28.
Plans are also under way to transform The Guys into a major motion
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN in the
spotlight August 7 in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Continental Airlines Arena. On August
10 the eagerly awaited performance is at the MCI Arena in Washington, D.C.
wraps up his MGM-Grand Las Vegas engagement Aug 6 and then performs Aug 9 in
Chautauqua, New York.
PETER, PAUL AND MARY entertain Thursday in Bethlehem, PA at River Place.
TONY BENNETT on stage
Wednesday at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS
performs tomorrow in Verona, New York at Turning Stone Casino. On Wednesday the show
takes place in Guilford, New Hampshire at the Meadowbrook Farm Musical Arts Center. On
Thursday they begin a two nighter in Cohasset, MA at the South Shore Music Circus.
THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER
Since their debut album in 1975, The Manhattan Transfer has developed a cult following that
out rivals all others. They have won numerous Grammy Awards in both pop and jazz categories,
and have released more than 20 albums. Their vocals are famous the world over, and for two
nights only they join the San Diego Symphony for invigorating and classy performances of their
greatest hits! August 9 and 10. Supper Pops at Navy Pier
MELISSA ETHERIDGE August 8 at
the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Kansas City.
August 10 at Harvey's Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada.
NATALIE COLE tonight completes
her Paris Hotel, Las Vegas engagement then opens Thursday in Vienna, Virginia at Wolf Trap
Filene Center. she closes out the week, Saturday, in Atlanta, Georgia at the Chastain Park
NEIL SEDAKA performs Saturday at
the Westbury Music Fair in Westbury, New York.
CHERYL CROW center stage
Wednesday in Antioch, Tenn at the AmSouth Amphitheatre. On Thursday the show is in
Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center. On Friday the performance takes place
in Burgettstown, PA at the Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star
Lake. Cheryl closes out the week,
Saturday, in Clarkston, MI at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.
MARY J. BLIDGE in the spotlight
this evening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Marcus Amphitheatre. On Tuesday she entertains at
the Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. On Wednesday the show is in
Wantagh, New York at Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theatre and on Friday she can be found
guesting on The Today Show.
CHRIS ISAAK in the spotlight
Thursday in Bend,
Oregon at the Les Schwab Amphitheater. On Friday he opens a two nighter in Seattle,
Summer Nights At The Pier. Next Sunday the show moves to Portland, Oregon for a
performance at the
LYLE LOVETT THE IRISH TENORS entertain
tonight in Vienna, Virginia at Wolf Trap Filene Center. On Saturday they can be enjoyed in
Gildford, New Hampshire at Meadowbrook Farm Musical Arts Center.
MARCEL MARCEAU the Emmy
award winning performer, considered the world's greatest mime, has returned to Los Angeles with a three-week
engagement at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The show opened July 30 with performances
through August 18.
CHER AND CYNDI LAUPER
perform August 9-10 at the MGM-Grand's Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
JACKIE MASON August 7-14 in the
Hollywood Theatre of the MGM-Grand Hotel, Las Vegas.
THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE
live performance Saturday on NBC's
Weekend Today Show was a live television nightmare - also a perfect example of how bad
can destroy a show, verify the necessity for a sound check - and why singing along to a
be in the best interest of ticket selling.
When the costumed Erin Dilly, Lauren Mitchell and Toni DiBuono attempted to perform Oh,
Diogenes! the sound feed to the television audience was nothing but a crackling mess. Half
through the song the singers were given hand held mikes and carried on like the troopers they
Everyone involved did a yeoman's job in trying to smoothly carry on in the best show business
tradition. It was explained that the fault was with the Weekend Today Show, not the fault of the
By the time the segment progressed to This Can't Be Love with Dilly and Jonathan
Dokuchitz the sound was a bit better, but faltered when the pair attempted to move. The promo ended on a high
point with Mitchell singing Falling in Love with Love, giving an excellent rendition, which was sound
level perfect. Conversation centered on Toni DiBuono's bandaged ankle, something she acquired when she
almost fell into the orchestra pit during a preview performance. As Mitchell quipped - come and see and
show and watch her fall into the pit
Or, listen to a live at Rockefeller Plaza segment when there are technical problems and learn the
pitfalls of live television.
The Boys From Syracuse, the Roundabout Theatre Company Broadway revival of the
Rodgers and Hart musical is now in previews at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre.
Next Column: August 11, 2002
Copyright: August 4, 2002. All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary,
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