Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: August 5, 2012
By: Laura Deni


Costume designer Stephen Adnitt who has been making Dame Edna's outfits since the 1980s, worked with Dame Edna's creator, Barry Humphries, incorporating such elements as buildings, eyes on stalks and other outlandish and eccentric showstoppers - including baked beans, fried eggs and potatoes and silverware. Photo: V&A Museum.
What do Elton John, Pete Townsend's broken guitar, Punch and Judy sock puppets, costumes from the Springtime for Hitler number from The Producers and Dame Edna's breakfast dress have in common?

They are all showcased at the Victoria & Album Museum in London, in what is probably the world's largest collection of theatrical costumes.

Among the Theatre and Performance collections there are over 3,500 stage costumes and accessories - ranging from complete outfits to individual headdresses.

The collections were founded in the 1920s when a private collector, Gabrielle Enthoven, donated her extensive collection of theatrical designs, memorabilia, books and photographs to the Museum. She continued to add to her collection and worked on it as a museum volunteer until her death in 1950. Since that period the collection has continued to grow and has provided a home for many other significant objects and archives.


All areas of the live performing arts are represented in the collections. The role of the department is to document both current practice and the history of the performing arts in the UK, which inevitably includes appearances by artists and companies visiting from overseas.

Designed by Bill Whitten, this costume was known as 'Bicycle John' and Elton John wore it on his 1974 American tour. The lurex fabric is decorated with a bicycle bell, mudguards, reflectors, and handlebar covers and the platform soles and four inch heels of the boots are covered with multi-colored glass rhinestones. A matching bicycle was also created, covered in rhinestones corresponding with those of the platform soles. Photo: V&A Museum
All are a tribute to the creativity and skills of designers and costume makers from the mid 18th century to today, in every kind of live performance - drama, opera, dance, musicals, pantomime, rock and pop, music hall, cabaret, circus.

Oh, don't forget that glue gun, an apparatus which made constructing costumes a lot easier.

A much-repeated cliché is that theatre costumes are badly made, tawdry, unfinished and don’t bear close inspection. Yet only in close-up can the inventiveness and resourcefulness of designer and maker be really appreciated. What at first glance seems crude is actually boldness, as a costume has to ‘read’ as well from the back of the auditorium as close up to the stage. Colors which seem garish in daylight soften under strong stage light.

Costumes also have to be extremely well constructed to survive the strains of performance and many costumes bear the scars of a long life. Fashionable clothes may only be worn a few times, but in a successful stage production a costume is worn every night for months or years.

The clothes must stand up to robust handling, quick changes, theatre grime and the sweat generated by nerves and the incredible heat of the stage light.

Pristine costumes are therefore likely to come from productions that failed, though they can still be superb examples of a designer and maker’s art.

Some designs are a representation of real clothes and the drawings are straightforward, without styliztion or special presentation.

Other designers are more impressionistic, evoking rather than depicting the finished costume, often working closely with the makers. Leading costumiers Carl Bonn and Colin Mackenzie found the vaguest designs most satisfying to work on.

Then there are those who costume performers such as Dame Edna where costume designer Stephen Adnitt made a dress combining diamante with baked beans.

Elton John, Adam Ant, Mick Jagger, The Lion King, The Magic Flute, The Visit and Henry V are represented. Margot Fonteyn's black swan costume from Swan Lake is exhibited across the corridor from a life-size, exact replica of Kylie Minogue's Wembley dressing room from her 2007 tour.

Costumes help define a character and augment the plot.

To achieve a specific effect, textiles can be dyed, screen printed, stenciled, block printed or free-hand painted; bleach can take out color. A cheap fabric can be made to look like brocade or leather, and silver-painted knitted string made to look like chain mail.

Springtime for Hitler costume from The Producers. This costume representing the concept of Valkyrie was worn by a gloriously exaggerated Germanic showgirl. This was one of four similarly outrageous showgirl costumes on Germanic themes designed by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, the others representing the German sausage, German beer and the pretzel. Materials and Techniques: Stockinette, organza, chiffon, lamé, diamanté, artificial jewels, beads, plastic, hair, ostrich feathers, foil, leather, paint and fibreglass. Artist/Maker: Barrow, Amanda (maker) Mar, Kam Chu (maker) Adams, Martin (helmet, maker) Mawby, Richard (wig, maker) Sparks, Ann (maker) Wall, Keith (maker) Academy Costumes Ltd (theatrical costumiers). Photo: V&A Museum.

Once completed, costumes may be broken down or distressed to give the impression of age and wear by tearing, burning, painting or even using a cheese grater to simulate abrasions or dirt.

A costume can even be made to look like a natural organic growth, rather than man-made.

This costume for one of the foolish Princes, in Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Le Coq d'Or, is stiffly padded and inflexible, reflecting the bullish stupidity of the character. The main fabric is canvas with felt decorations, again stiff and unyielding fabrics.

Designers also have to consider the technical elements of their costumes.

For example, designing for partially-clad showgirls poses special problems, including which parts of the body to highlight and how, and which to conceal, for how long and when.

At their best, many of these costumes have a wit and gleeful charm, far from most people's imaginings of seedy nightclubs and cabaret.

Roland Cobb designed for Eve, a nightclub in a basement on Regent Street, London. The show's themes were often surprising - like Shakespeare and Van Gogh.

Or the girls illustrated various songs, like Cole Porter's Miss Otis Regrets or Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind.

Decoration on a costume can range from the extravagantly expensive, like Chaliapin's costume for the Coronation scene of Boris Godunov, to ingenious ways of suggesting opulence with inexpensive materials or the unexpected use of, say, industrial substances.

Oliver Messel famously used colored candy wrappers, raffia, pipe cleaners and chandelier crystals, while Lila de Nobili mixed antique braids from period dresses with contemporary cheaper trims.

Others saw the potential of DIY or technological introductions, as maker Ralph Dyer recalled about Desmond Heeley and the glue gun in the 1970s:

Costume Closet at the Victoria & Albert Museum where children have a marvelous experience trying on stage costumes. Photo: Laura Deni
"He used to dribble it out onto a piece of lace, trace around and embellish the lace pattern and then leave it. It came out cream or honey gold. And all those puffings on the costumes, instead of being one long strip and all caught by hand, we made an individual one and then glue gunned it on."

Nicolas Georgiadis used materials of different types and qualities appliquéd to the base fabric to create rich and sumptuous surface texture.

His sumptuous costumes for Les Troyens and Aida at Covent Garden exploited this technique to the full. Philip Prowse, too, created richly extravagant costumes, building up layers of fabrics and braids.

For textile painter John Cowell, 'The more processes something goes through, the more interesting it becomes. We dye a velvet and print it with something that takes the color out, then overdye it, paint into it and maybe overprint again and those textures become multilayered - it's like digging a hole in the earth, like stratas almost. We use screens, stencils, blocks, sponges - things that we pick up off the floor if they'll give the right effect.'

An exhibit not to be missed, it's free to the public and includes a wonderful collection of costumes which children may try on.

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American Greetings


Julie Child demonstrating what to do with a chicken's cavity. Photo: Child Archives
The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC invites visitors to join us in celebrating Julia Child's 100th birthday on August 15 with a day-long celebration and a special birthday surprise.

Her legendary kitchen will be on display for a limited time: August 15 through September 3.

In 2009 writer and director Nora Ephron donated several objects from the her Columbia Pictures' release Julie & Julia to the National Museum of American History.

The film is based on the true stories of Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams)-a woman who cooked her way through Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and blogged about it.

The objects are preserved in the museum's collection of music, sports and entertainment history and include a costume Streep wore in her leading role as Child, an annotated script and photographs taken on-set, among other items.

Julia Child's kitchen. Photo: National Museum of American History
The collection tracks how entertainment reflects and propels everyday American life, and the objects from the set allow the museum to show an image of Child as portrayed by one of America's greatest actresses.

This motion picture represents the meeting of three influential women: Child, Ephron and Streep. "Julia Child is larger than life, transcending the kitchen to become a popular culture icon, as evidenced by the Saturday Night Live skit and now this movie," said Dwight Blocker Bowers, curator at the museum. "Ephron's script and directing shows how fact is translated into fiction for the big screen."

The museum preserves and displays Childs's original kitchen from her Cambridge, Mass., home. The 14-by-20-foot kitchen was the testing site of numerous recipes and doubled as the set for three of her cooking series on PBS. Child donated the kitchen in 2001 when she decided to move back to California where she grew up. Curators and historic restoration experts carefully disassembled and then reassembled the cabinets and appliances for the museum's exhibition, which includes the original cabinets, counters, cookbooks, Garland commercial range and hundreds of utensils and gadgets.


NATIONAL MUSEUM OF DANCE & HALL OF FAME GALA takes place Saturday, August 11, 2012 in Saratoga, New York.

Ben Vereen will be inducted as the 48th inductee into the Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame that evening.

He will be performing an exclusive unforgettable show for us on this special night. Also, The New York Song and Dance Company will be dazzling with their show stopping performance.

The National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame was established in 1986 and is the only museum in the nation dedicated entirely to dance. Located in the former Washington Bath House - a spacious, airy 1918 Arts and Crafts-style building - in the Saratoga Spa State Park, the museum houses a growing collection of photographs, videos, artifacts, costumes, biographies and archives comprising a contemporary and retrospective examination of influential contributions to dance available to the general public.

One of the museum's permanent exhibitions is the C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame. In 1987, the Museum recognized Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Katherine Dunham, Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Lincoln Kirstein and Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, among others, as founders and innovators of American professional dance. To date more than forty dancers, choreographers, teachers, designers, critics and patrons have been recognized for their influence on our dance heritage.

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A truck whose company specializes in restoring wooden floors sits outside the St. James Theatre. Photo: Laura Deni
When the old Westminster Theatre in London was demolished after a fire in 2002 left it badly damaged, many thought that was the end to it.

Some were even glad.

Built as Charlotte Chapel in 1766, the building was altered to be used as a cinema in 1924 and was converted into a theatre in 1931.

For many years it was owned by the Moral Re-Armament movement, the base for Furndel Productions, run by actor Alan Badel and producer William Anthony Furness, who used it to present shows with a moral or spiritual message.

Not any more.

The soon-to-open St James theatre on Palace Street is within walking distance to Buckingham Palace as well as the venues staging Wicked and Billy Eliott.

It is described as the first newly-built theatre complex in central London in 30 years, St James includes a 312-seat main house and a studio space capable of accommodating up to 150 people.

The outside is clean and new while the inside is a gutted workspace bustling with workers intent upon making it spit and polish perfect for the upcoming opening.

A workman's truck proudly proclaims they specialize in restoring wood floors.

The new eight-storey building – designed by Foster Wilson Architects – has a facade of Portland Stone and a sculptured staircase leading to a “destination brasserie”.

The theatre will be fitted with multi-media broadcast facilities that will be used to show performances on the venue’s own BSkyB satellite channel.

The venue is actively seeking television production companies to rent the St. James.

"The St. James Theatre has been designed to accommodate the demands of Broadcasters at every level from interfacing with an Outside Broadcast Truck to the use of the in house Gallery. Both Venues are fully cabled and prepared for live event use and can be considered to be one of the most cost effective seated Broadcast Studios to accommodate live audience shows."

"The in-house facility makes use of the HD robotic as well as manned cameras and the Video Gallery is fully equipped to support multi-camera operation. Direct Connectivity to a number of playout centers has been installed, including Encompass in Stephen Street, and BBC Television Centre, with switching to BT Tower available on booking."

"For Corporate Webcasts and Product Launches, fibre connectivity with direct peering to the major content delivery networks (Akamai, Limelight etc) makes this one of the most versatile installations of recent years."

When not catering to the small screen crowd, the St. James will do what its was built to do - stage performances.

"We are thrilled to announce the opening season of the new St. James Theatre. The first four shows embody what we hope will be the trademark philosophy of the St. James; an exciting mix of the highest quality theatre embracing drama, comedy and musical theatre, new work and classic revivals," posted Artistic Director David Gilmore.

Anthony Andrews, best-known for his role as the charming but fatally flawed Sebastian Flyte in the hugely successful TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, portrayed Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in hit film The King’s Speech and, on stage, Anthony Eden. In Bully Boy he plays the Major, with the role of Eddie taken by Joshua Miles.
Featured first on the program is the London premiere of Bully Boy, opening September 18.

Comedian Sandi Toksvig’s powerful British army drama. Major Oscar Hadley is investigating allegations of gross misconduct within a self-styled ‘Bully Boy’ unit of the British army. When young squaddie, Eddie Clark, from Burnley is interrogated, Oscar begins to discover that ‘truth’ in a modern insurgency can be a point of view rather than a fact. Bully Boy tackles the challenging moral issues of contemporary military occupation and its effect on the mental health of serving soldiers.

David Gilmore will direct a cast led by Anthony Andrews.

Following that, a new musical romance from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning co-director of Les Misérables. John Caird’s 1900s-era romance musical Daddy Long Legs (31 Oct – 8 Dec) will have its UK debut. Caird will direct the production which will see Broadway actress Megan McGinnis recreating her award-winning performance in the role of orphan Jerusha Abbott, romanced by her anonymous benefactor played by Robert Adelman Hancock.

An alternative ‘physical theatre’ take on the Cinderella story will play over Christmas December 12-January 26, 2013.

When a rich man’s wife dies, his daughter Ella mourns her beloved mother with a grief as deep as the snow on her grave. Before the spring sun has time to melt it, her father takes a second wife and their peaceful life is taken over by a host of new and unpleasant relations. Her only friends are the woodland birds who roost in the tree that grows over the grave, but they are no ordinary birds…

With their quirky visual style, crystal-clear storytelling, original live music and pitch-perfect ensemble acting, director Sally Cookson and team bring this classic tale of fortunes reversed startlingly and imaginatively to life.

The season will then close with a revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s 1988 play Our Country’s Good. The prison set drama and play-within-a-play, the storyline centers on a colony of deported cons endeavoring to re-create Farquhar’s Restoration Comedy, The Recruiting Officer.

Our Country’s Good – directed by Max Stafford-Clark, its original director – comes to the St James for a run January 30-March 9, 2013 following a two-month UK tour.


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Tanya is one of London's Tourist Information people. Photo: Laura Deni
Road signs and banners greet and somewhat direct London Olympic goers to their proper destination.

While helpful, those signs are rigid and don't answer questions.

Filing an important void in the - I don't know how to get to ... travel scenario are real people, employees of what is known as Tourist Information.

Wearing very clever black morning coats, black bowler hats with a green band and green neckties, they stand on tourist heavy street corners and at strategic locations in the London Underground Tube System.

They keep a wary eye out for people with puzzled expressions.

Tanya helped me.

London Olympic street signs can't answer questions. Photo: Laura Deni
I was standing on a street corner by Victoria Station, totally engrossed in fighting with a map, when I heard a nice voice ask: "Do you need directions?'

She saw me. I didn't see her.

The helpful service, which ought to be considered by more tourist oriented cities, hires both women and men who dress in the same snappy, vintage style Charlie Chaplin costume.

They wear a Tourist Information tag, a name tag and an Olympic pin, although Tanya stressed to me that the Tourist Information service wasn't created for the Olympics.

She's been employed with them for over two years.

Easily understood, which is a major plus, she was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

A major asset for the busy London tourist scene, in which strangers are in a daze trying to find their way around.

Employing the informed helpers isn't free, but for a tourist community or a location hosting a major tourist heavy event, the money can be well spent.


MEMPHIS the Tony Award winning musical which began previews Sept. 23, 2009, and officially opened on Broadway Oct. 19, 2009 recouped its $12 million investment when it ended its run August 5 at the Shubert Theatre.

The production played 30 previews and 1,166 performances. A London production is planned.

THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA has officially emerged from bankruptcy, after becoming the first major US orchestra to file for protective Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2011.

A reorganization plan, including the loss of ten musicians and a 15% pay cut for the remaining 95, was approved by a US Bankruptcy Court judge in June.

A statement from the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, and its subsidiary, the Academy of Music, said they had reached a settlement of $5.49m.

Through its financial reorganization, the Association addressed more than $100 million in claims, debts, and liabilities with a settlement of $5.49 million. Of that total, $4.25 million will be paid as of the effective date. The remainder of the Association's settlement payments will be distributed based upon previously agreed upon multi-year schedules.

"We are deeply grateful to all who have championed and supported our Orchestra during this difficult yet necessary process," said CEO and association president Allison Vulgamore.

The POA has also received a rent break from the Kimmel Center and will make changes to its pension plans. Officials stated the health plan had been bolstered by a new labor agreement covering musicians and a shift away from defined benefit pension plans.


A CONVERSATION WITH DAVID CRONENBERG AND ROBERT PATTINSON (yes, that Robert Pattinson) might take place August 13. The in the headlines star hasn't yet cancelled.

Director-writer-producer David Cronenberg and actor Robert Pattinson are slated to discuss their new film Cosmopolis, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and opens in New York on August 17. This sold out conversation is a TheatreTalk event sponsored by The New York Times in NYC.

FORMER CABINET MINISTER LORD CHARLES FALCONER has been appointed the new chairman of Shakespeare's Globe in London.

He succeeds Roger Parry who is stepping down after seven years.

Falconer is a politician and lawyer, who served as lord chancellor under Tony Blair. He'll assume the Globe position next year.

He will helm the plans to construct an indoor Jacobean theatre on the Southbank site which will seat around 320 people and is view as a more fitting setting for plays such as The Tempest, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale.

The theatre was opened in 1997 thanks to years of campaigning by late American actor and director Sam Wanamaker.

Lord Falconer said: "Shakespeare's Globe is a brilliant success story. Sam Wanamaker's dream is now the focus for the performance and understanding of Shakespeare.

"I am so proud to have been asked to be the chair of the Globe. The next steps are the development and opening of the indoor Jacobean theatre. I am utterly committed to ensuring the next phase for the Globe will be as successful as the last."

Retiring chairman Roger Parry said: "I am delighted by the appointment of Charlie Falconer. He has all the experience and energy to take the Globe to the next phase of its development.

"I have been working on this project for nearly 30 years and have been chairman of the board for the past seven; I felt this was an ideal time to hand over as we will have completed a hugely successful Olympic season and have now started work on the new indoor theatre to open in 2013 which was always a key element of founder, Sam Wanamaker's original vision."

Neil Constable, the Globe's chief executive, added: "I know the Globe staff and volunteers will welcome him warmly to the Globe family and he is very well placed to build on our current strong foundations and help us realize our exciting ambitions for the future."

AN APPLICATION FOR A POLITICAL POSITION has been posted on line by a Nevada political party. Recently brought to my attention, the 3 page application, signed and dated, May 18, 2012 is from a person whose name was thrown up to me at a legal deposition. ( See comment from previous column ). Entirely too much time was spent disproving the lies that had purportedly originated or been repeated from that person. Shortly thereafter the person left a telephone message which included the self-serving; Why, I never would have said those things had I not believed they were true - and ended with the manipulative - We all know that you are too big of a person to ever stoop so low as to retaliate against anybody who lied about you.

The applicant has traits political parties seek out; intelligence, well connected, and knows how to spin words to achieve the desired intent. A successful quest for that party position, in part, the application asks: "Please state why you are seeking to run for this office" - the person included: "In 2010 I worked as a political/social consultant to the candidates under the umbrella 'Dave Thomas' --- the net results were 9 out of our 11 runners are now judges!"

We've chosen not to link to that application because it lists personal and contact information about relatives and a significant other.

Point being: I need to be on record that none of those judges who sought 'political/social' advice from a person who actively engaged in spreading lies about me, should ever be allowed to be involved in my life or property - whether I be alive, dead or any state in between. They would need to recuse.

We don't know if 'Dave Thomas' is a pseudonym or a company. This posting refers only to a specific person.

Pittman & Davis

Caetano Veloso at Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy
an eight-time Latin Grammy winner and two-time Grammy winner, will be celebrated as the 2012 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year on Wednesday, November 14 in Las Vegas.

Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy announced that songs from Veloso's catalog will be performed by an impressive array of notable artists and friends of the honoree. A portion of the net proceeds from the gala will benefit Veloso's chosen charity, Fundación Viva Cazuza in Brazil - a not-for-profit HIV prevention and treatment organization for children and young people - as well as The Latin Recording Academy's outreach and education programs.

The celebration will precede the XIII Annual Latin Grammy Awards, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be broadcast live on the Univision Network on Thursday, November 15.

A musician, producer, arranger, writer, painter, and political activist, Veloso is considered one of the most influential Brazilians since the '60s. He first became known for his participation in the Brazilian music movement Tropicalia, which signaled a new generation of politically outspoken artists who recreated the face of popular Brazilian music. Veloso was forced into exile in London from 1968-1972, and during this time he developed great musical sensitivity reaching unimaginable heights. It was then that Veloso became a citizen of the world. The '80s gave Veloso his largest audience and recognition as he began touring internationally.

As the 2012 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, Veloso joins a list of past recipients that includes Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Carlos Santana, and Shakira among many others.

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS (NEA) has awarded the William Inge Center for the Arts, producer of the annual William Inge Theatre Festival, an Our Town grant of $150,000.00. With this grant, the Inge Center will launch a summer arts festival debuting in 2014 which will focus on the arts of rural America.

The multidisciplinary festival will present performances, arts workshops, exhibitions, and concerts in both traditional and nontraditional places. The festival's centerpiece will be a rotating, four-show repertory of plays that are evocative of rural American themes, both past and present.

The NEA granted 80 awards, totaling $4.995 million and reaching 44 states and the District of Columbia. The Inge Center is one of only four awardees to receive the maximum grant of $150,000.00, and the only top recipient that is primarily a theatre organization.

Through the “Our Town” program, the NEA supports projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The projects will improve quality of life, encourage creative activity, create community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies.

Independence, Kansas, is the hometown of the renowned playwright William Inge. Independence is located in rural southeast Kansas, 90 miles north of Tulsa, Okla., and 120 miles south of Kansas City, Mo. The William Inge Center for the Arts is best known as sponsor of the annual William Inge Theatre Festival, which is the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas. The 32nd annual Inge Festival takes place May 1-4, celebrating the 100th birthday of its namesake William Inge.

Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer's solo show officially opened August 2 at the Stratford Festival in Canada.

Artistic director and Tony Award winner Des McAnuff directs.

The personal play, which is written and performed by Plummer, is about the actor's love of literature and how books shaped him.

Staged at the festival's Avon Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, the Tony and Oscar Award winning actor discusses his love of literature - A.A. Milne, the Bible, Shaw, Wilde, Coleridge, Marlowe, W.H. Auden, Nabokov, Rostand, MacLeish, Shakespeare, Byron, Nash and Leacock - and more.

Set design by Robert Brill, lighting designer Michael Walton, composer Michael Roth, video designer Sean Nieuwenhuis, sound designer Peter McBoyle and costume consultant Paul Tazewell.

Performances at the Avon run in rep to August 26.

BIG MAYBELLE: SOUL OF THE BLUES written and directed by Paul Levine.

A brand new musical about legendary blues singer Maybelle Smith. A big woman with even bigger talent, she took on all the challenges 1950's America had to give.

The sensational Tony Award-winning Lillias White will blow the roof off as she brings Big Maybelle to incandescent life.

The World Premiere takes place August 7-September 2 at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY.

THE BIKINIS A new Musical Beach Party created and written by Ray Roderick and James Hindman. Music Arrangements by Joseph Baker. Additional Music and Lyrics by Joseph Baker and Ray Roderick. Directed and Choreographed by Ray Roderick.

"Back together again! The sixties girl group that everyone loves is bringing back the sun, fun and all the great songs they sang on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore...all to raise money to save Sandy Shores Mobile Home Beach Resort. These Jersey Girls relive their heyday in a non-stop celebration of song with over 30 hits like It’s In His Kiss, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Heat Wave, and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. The Bikinis are irresistible!"

August 9-September 2 at Goodspeed Musical The Norma Terris Theatre in East Haddam, CT.

THE GREAT GATSBY MUSICAL a musical adaptation, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel, adapted by Joe Evans and Linnie Reedman who also directs.

Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach... Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. Soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel. Set in sizzling heat of 1920s New York, discover the glitzy world of speakeasys, glamour and jazz - the Charleston, American tango, waltz, ragtime - in this brand new musical.

A world premiere presented by Ruby in the Dust with performances beginning August 7 at Kings Head Theatre in London.

REBECCA the new musical based on the classic novel by Daphne du Maurier novel has found its male and female leads: Jill Paice will play the role of "I" and Ryan Silverman the role of "Maxim de Winter." Rebecca will open on Broadway Sunday, November 18 at The Broadhurst Theatre in New York City.

DRIVING MISS DAISY has officially confirmed the worst kept secret within the theatrical community - that the production starring Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones will play Australia. In particular, Brisbane's Playhouse Theatre at Queensland Performing Arts Center beginning February 5, 2013.

SPIDERMAN TURN OFF THE DARK has welcomed a new Green Goblin. Robert Cuccioli has taken on the role of the villain (and his alter ego, Norman Osborn) replacing Patrick Page, who departed the production at the Foxwoods Theatre in NYC on August 5. The Tony-nominated swings into the part August 7.

THE NUTTY PROFESSOR a re-imagined stage version by Las Vegas resident Jerry Lewis and Bill Richmond, of the popular movie, directed by Lewis, officially opened at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville receiving over-the-top rave reviews.

Score by Marvin Hamlisch and book/lyrics by Rupert Holmes.

Michael Andrew stars in the title roles of Julius Kelp and Buddy Love. Marissa McGowan is Stella Purdy. Mark Jacoby plays Dr. Warfield, along with Murray the tailor, Maury the exercise guru, and Mikey the bartender. Klea Blackhurst who as one reviewer put it "nearly steals the show as Miss Lemon - the long-suffering secretary to stuffy university president, Dr. Warfield."

Scenic design by David Gallo, lights by David Weiner and sound by John Shivers and David Patridge. Ann Hould-Ward's costumes and Tom Watson in charge of hair/wig design.

JoAnn M. Hunter is the choreographer. Stephen Kummer conducts the orchestra.

If this production is only half a good as the reviews, then those venues which turned this show down could be feeling rejection remorse. Broadway can look forward to a wonderful new comedic musical and Nashville steps up as a place to springboard onto Broadway. Oh, then there's Jerry Lewis. He's 86. Becoming a successful stage director has been in his bucket list. Most people thought his bucket had a crack in it. He gets the last laugh.

ALLEGIANCE - A NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL an epic story of family, love and patriotism set during the Japanese American internment of World War II. Directed by Stafford Arima, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, the production features choreography by Andrew Palermo and music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Lynne Shankel.

On the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, a meeting with a young journalist forces WWII veteran Sam Kimura to remember his family’s relocation from their California farm to the Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming. As they struggle to adjust to their new home, Young Sam and his sister Kei find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country. With its moving score, Allegiance – A New American Musical takes audiences on a journey into our nation’s history through the eyes of one American family.

The production has announced the complete cast: television and film icon George Takei, Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga and Broadway favorite Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban.

The cast also features Michael K. Lee, Paul Nakauchi and Allie Trimm. There are 12 ensemble member with Jennifer Hubilla and Conrad Ricamora serving as swings.

Allegiance – A New American Musical will run on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in San Diego beginning September 7.

A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY by Ivan Turgenev. Translated by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky Directed by Richard Nelson.

One week before her 30th birthday, the simple life of dutiful wife and mother Natalya is upended when the arrival of her son's charming new tutor unleashes a whirlwind of love, lust, and jealousy. Both psychologically compelling and emotionally raw, Turgenev's masterpiece reveals the disruptive nature of passion, intermixed with genuine loss and heartbreak, as Natalya and those around her are torn between moral responsibility and uncontrollable desire.

Jessica Collins stars as Natalya.

According to Williamstown Theatre Festival; "In a bold move to create a sense of intimacy and bridge the divide between audience and actors, the first four rows of the theater have been removed, placing the stage in the middle of the audience. Utilizing cutting-edge sound technology, this playing space is covered with a ceiling of tiny microphones, allowing the actors to speak naturally, immersing the audience almost cinematically in the action."

A world premiere on the Festival stage with performances through August 19.

On Friday, August 10 at before the production, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, considered the world's foremost contemporary translators of classic Russian literature including the best-selling Oprah's Book Club selection, Anna Karenina will talk about this first collaboration on a Russian drama.

HEARTLESS a world premiere from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sam Shepard.

Sally lives with her mysterious family in a cavernous home overlooking Los Angeles. When a visitor arrives, Sally's dark secrets - and the secrets of those around her - threaten to come into the light.

Appearing as: Lucy - Jenny Bacon; Roscoe - Gary Cole; Elizabeth- Betty Gilpin; Sally- Julianne Nicholson; Mable- Lois Smith.

The Creative Team includes - Scenic Design: Eugene Lee. Costume Design: Kate Voyce. Lighting Design: Tyler Micoleau. Sound Design: Eric Shimelonis. Hair and Makeup: Ashley Ryan. Movement Specialist: J. David Brimmer. Production Stage Manager: Donald Fried.

August 7- September 16, 2012 at the Signature Theatre Company in New York City.

the wonderfully family friendly musical featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and spectacular stage-craft.

Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. Book by Julian Fellowes. New Songs and Additional Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Co-direction and Choreography by Matthew Bourne. Directed by Richard Eyre.

With Marissa Ackerman, Benn Atkin, Danielle Benton, Elizabeth Ann Berg, Lindsey Bliven, Elizabeth Broadhurst, Ian Campayno, Ben Cherry, Keyy Conte, Emily Cramer, Sean Patrick Doyle, Nicolas Dromard, Elizabeth Earley, Andrew Eckert, Billy Griffin, Jordan Grubb, Ryan Hilliard, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Zachary Mackiewicz, Michael Dean Morgan, Cherish Myers, James Patterson, Annie Petersmeyer, Stephen Roberts, Blake Segal, Tregoney Shepherd, Q. Smith, Zach Timson, Tonya Thompson, James Tolbert, Paige Williams, Rachel Wallace and Minami Yusui.

Music Supervisor David Caddick, Music Director Daniel Bowling, Orchestrations by William David Brohn, Sound Design Paul Groothuis, Dance and Vocal Arrangements George Stiles, Co-choreographer Stephen Mear, Lighting Design Natasha Katz, Tour Director Anthony Lyn, Associate Choreographer Geoffrey Garrett, Scenic and Costume Design by Bob Crowley.

Performances start August 8 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.


DIANA KRALL stars at the Vilar PAC in Beaver Creek, CO on Sunday, August 5. Wednesday finds her at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. Friday's show is at the Starlight Theatre in Pala, CA.

NEIL DIAMOND on stage Tuesday, August 7, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA. On Saturday he performs at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

TERENCE BLANCHARD one of the most critically recognized players in jazz music today. A twelve-time Grammy nominee and five-time recipient, he performs Sunday, August 12, on the Main Stage of the San Jose Jazz Fest in San Jose, CA.

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS AND JENNIFER LOPEZ have a two night stand August 11-12 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

WILLIE NELSON brings his distinctive style to the TD Bank Arts Centre in Sewell, NJ for a performance on Wednesday, August 8. On Friday, August 10 he can be enjoyed at the Classic Center in Athens, GA. Saturday finds him singing his hits at the Wind Creek Casino in Atmore, AL.

GLADYS KNIGHT entertains Saturday, August 11, at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, NV.

ROBERT KLEIN the Grammy and Tony award nominee will be entertaining audience Monday, August 13, in the Comedy Club of the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY.


TONY MARTIN died of natural causes at his Los Angeles home on Friday, July 27, 2012. He was 98.

The debonair singer was known as the "butterscotch baritone" for his silky smooth voice.

He was best known for such romantic 1950s ballads as There's No Tomorrow, Stranger in Paradise, Walk Hand in Hand, and To Each His Own.

Martin was featured in 25 films, most of them made during the heyday of Hollywood musicals. His first singing role came in the 1936 film Sing Baby Sing, which starred Alice Faye - one of the Fox studio's biggest stars and Martin's future first wife .

Martin divorced Faye after two years before meeting rising dance star Charisse, whom he married in 1948. He and Charisse, who partnered Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly during her career, were together until her death in 2008.

Martin often made singing tours of Europe and had a yearly contract at the London Palladium.

Martin first performed in Las Vegas in 1947 at the Flamingo Hotel. His final Vegas gig was in 1988 at Vegas World (now the Stratosphere). He continued performing into his nineties.

Martin and Cyd Charisse had one son together, Tony Martin, Jr. (August 28, 1950 - April 10, 2011), who predeceased his father. Martin adopted Charisse's son, Nicky, from her first marriage.

GORE VIDAL died on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at his home in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles. He was 86. The cause was complications of pneumonia.

Vidal authored 25 novels, two memoirs and several volumes of stylish, magisterial essays. He also wrote plays, television dramas and screenplays.

His classic play The Best Man is currently running on Broadway.

The Broadway community mourns the loss of celebrated writer Gore Vidal, and on Friday, August 3, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York were dimmed in his memory.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said, "For over six decades, Gore Vidal never stopped writing novels, memoirs, plays, essays and screenplays, and was a ubiquitous cultural commentator. His plays were timely and timeless, as evidenced by the current production of The Best Man now playing on Broadway. Our thoughts go out to his friends, family, and fans."

His best known Broadway plays were Visit to a Small Planet in 1957 and The Best Man in 1960. In The Best Man, about two contenders for the presidential nomination, Mr. Vidal exercised his lifelong fascination with politics. (He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1960.) It has proved among his most enduring works. It ran for 520 performances on Broadway before becoming a successful film, in 1964, with a cast headed by Henry Fonda and a screenplay by Mr. Vidal. It was revived on Broadway in 2000 and is now being revived again at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre as Gore Vidal's The Best Man. It was nominated for a 1960 Tony Award for Best Play and nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Other plays include Romulus (1962), based on one of his books, Weekend (1968) and the politically charged An Evening With Richard Nixon and. (1972).

He wrote for most of the television programs that presented hour-long original dramas in the 1950s, including Studio One, Philco Television Playhouse and Goodyear Playhouse. He was a contract writer for MGM, and also wrote the screenplay for the movie adaptation of his friend Tennessee Williams's play Suddenly, Last Summer.

Mr. Vidal was an occasional actor, appearing in animated form on The Simpsons and Family Guy, in the movie version of his own play The Best Man, and in the Tim Robbins movie Bob Roberts, in which he played a version of himself. He was a more than occasional guest on TV talk shows.

JOAN STEIN a Tony Award winning theatre and television producer died august 3, 2012 from appendceal cancer, a family spokesperson announced. She was 59.

She graduated in 1974 with a B.A. in Theater and English at the State University of New York at Albany. After graduating, she began her illustrious theatre career producing and/or general managing over 80 plays and musicals.

In 1980, she began producing Off-Broadway with James Lapine’s Table Settings (1980), The Middle Ages (1983), The Miss Firecracker Contest (1984) and Tent Meeting (1987).

Joan Stein made her Broadway debut as a producer with Larry Shue’s The Nerd in 1987. Additional Broadway productions include: Catch Me If You Can, Legally Blonde, Butley, Nine to Five.

In 1982, she began a five-year tenure as the Managing Director of the historic Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where she partnered with Artistic Director Josie Abady. In 1990, she moved to Los Angeles, where she became the Executive Director of The Canon Theatre, producing and general managing productions that included Love Letters, Forever Plaid, Ruthless The Musical, Bermuda Avenue Triangle, Last Night At Ballyhoo and Nude, Nude Totally Nude starring Andrea Martin. Ms. Stein was also the theatre producer of the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen.

In 1994, Ms. Stein partnered with producer Stephen Eich to present the Los Angeles premiere of Steve Martin’s Award-winning Picasso at the Lapin Agile at the Westwood Playhouse. The production later moved to Off Broadway’s Promenade Theatre and received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Production. Picasso then moved to San Francisco’s Theatre on the Square and continued to play both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Stein also produced Warren Leight’s Sideman on Broadway in 1998 and in 1999 she received the Tony Award for Best Play.

She partnered in 2002 with Steve Martin and created Martin/Stein Productions, a television company that developed and produced scripted and reality television programming for all broadcast networks, HBO and Showtime. Martin/Stein was a division of Carsey-Werner Productions.

Other television producing credits include: My Brother’ Wife starring John Ritter and Mel Harris for ABC and Crazy in Love starring Holly Hunter, Gena Rowlands and Bill Pullman for TNT.

Joan Stein’s most recent projects include Motherhood Out Loud with Susan Rose (Co-Conceivers/Producers), which opened at Primary Stages in New York City in September 2011; Standing On Ceremony - The Gay Marriage Plays; Mad Hot Ballroom, a new musical based on the Award winning documentary; and Baby It’s You!

In addition to producing, she created and manages two theatrical investment funds, was a co-founder and served on the Board of Directors of New York Theatre Workshop, and Women in Film, helped launch Broadway Cares and was a member of The Broadway League for 22 years.

Joan Stein is survived numerous family members including her adoring husband of 35 years, director and landscape architect Ted Weiant.

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Next Column: August 12, 2012
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