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REVIEWS INTERVIEWS COMMENTARY NEWS
WAYNE BRADY IN KINKY BOOTS - - AL PACINO IN CHINA DOLL
- - THE GREAT ART ESCAPE - - JASON ROBERT BROWN CONDUCTS THE BRIDGES
OF MADISON COUNTY - -
BIG APPLE CIRCUS - - BRITISH EQUITY TAKES A STAND ON SCHOOL CURRICULUM - -
PRE RELEASE SCREENINGS AND LIVE STREAM EVENTS
- - EMMET OTTER'S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS IN CONCERT - - DONATE . . . Scroll Down
Copyright: December 13, 2015
By: Laura Deni
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BIG NAMES CAN DELIVER ON BROADWAY - OR NOT
Wayne Brady as Lola in Kinky Boots. Production images by Matthew Murphy
Bold faced names are frequently brought to Broadway in the hopes of selling tickets. Ardent fans with discretionary income are a performer's life blood.
Whether that performer can deliver the goods on stage can be a different matter. Live theatre is the most
demanding and heartless of all the performing arts. There is no 'take two' and actors can hear the audience breathe and mumble - and vise versa.
Currently on Broadway are two performers who are bankable with enormous followings. Both generated ticket sales.
On stage one delivers and one doesn't.
Kinky Boots a delightful six-time Tony Award winning musical had big high heeled red boots
to fill when Tony award winning Billy Porter
left the cast.
In a comfortable, easy fit as Lola/Simon is the Emmy award winning, Grammy nominated, adorable Wayne Brady. It's not
his first turn
on The Great White Way, having made his debut playing lawyer Billy Flynn in 2004 in the musical Chicago.
His extensive resume includes hosting Let's Make a Deal, a show in which Brady sets the gold standard for
corralling a group of hyper, over-the-top-attired prize seekers - offering them the opportunity to possibly
win something, while never glossing over that they could go home with nothing. Someday Brady should enter the
Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most hugs as a game show host.
Brady exhibited another of his multi-talented sides when he donned a wig, a gown and those red high heeled boots
and stepped onto the Al Hirschfeld Theatre stage on November 21.
The hit, with music and lyrics by Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein, has been a rousing delight since it opened. Still is.
For anyone with a Swiss cheese memory, Kinky Boots was inspired by true events, the musical tells the story of Charlie Price, who inherits a shoe factory from his father. To save the business, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen, Lola. With Lola's help, Charlie develops a plan to produce a line of high-heeled boots. In the process, he and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.
This is an upbeat, fun, totally entertaining musical. Sometimes stars are brought in to sell tickets.
In the case of the bankable Brady, he was brought in to also entertain. He's a hoot. Wayne Brady will be in Kinky Boots
through March 27, 2016.
Al Pacino in China Doll. Photo by Jeremy Daniel
China Doll in performances at the e Gerald Schoenfeld Theater, should request mercy, not reviews.
It stars Al Pacino who is a living legend.
With a career spanning more than fifty years, many consider him one of the greatest actors of all time. He has
an extensive theatre background. He is a two-time Tony Award winner, in 1969 and 1977,
for his performances in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? even though the show closed after 39 performances
and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, which few people remember.
Somewhere along the way his stage performances began to falter.
I remember seeing him in Salome which he insisted be pronounced Sal 0 May. With rouged cheeks and affected speech he delivered what wasn't his best performance. His fans love him.
China Doll, which was written specifically for Pacino by David Mamet, has been touted for months with promotional flyers placed in last spring's Playbills.
This production is for those who idolize all things Pacino and want to be able to say they were in the same room with him. That they saw him perform 'live.' It's bar conversation in trying to one up a fellow Pacino fan.
China Doll is set to run for only 87 performances, although each performance can cause a patron to feel a lifetime has passed before them. Many walk out, deciding that absolutely anything else is better than sitting through this play.
Numerous performers utilize some form of script help. However, if you take away Pacino's ear piece, you close the show.
One way phone conversations via Bluetooth dominate the confusing, senseless and boring production.
There is no clarity in either the writing or Pacino's almost non-stop mottled delivery.
The storyline - if you want to call it that - has something to do with billionaire
Mickey Ross (Pacino) not wanting to pay sales tax on his $60 million-dollar private jet.
At some point Ross has made political
contributions enabling a man to become governor, which means Ross feels he pulls the governor's strings and
is entitled to payback. But the dialogue is rambling, childish and trite. There is even a
speech about nutmeg. Why?
In this two person play, co-star Christopher Denham, who plays Carson the personal assistant to take-no-prisoners Ross,
deserves an award for demonstrating how tenacity and being focused can overcome the most difficult of performance problems - being on stage with somebody who shouldn't be there. Denham is excellent.
Hampered by the script and Pacino no longer being the Pacino he once was, although he still uses his tried and true
mannerisms - a sad case of Pacino impersonating Pacino - the production is almost directed by Pam Mackinnon.
Modern lighting by Russeell H. Champa, ultra cool set design by Derek McLane which is more for a high-end office than the living abode of a tycoon who wears velvet house slippers with attire by Jess Goldstein.
Pacino has what all producers pray for - a critics be damned, this guy sells tickets performer. That benefits investor bank accounts and keeps employed those directly connected to the production. China Doll has no other credibility.
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ART AND ABOUT
THE GREAT ART ESCAPE
continue their holiday tradition December 26 - January 3 at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Bring family and friends for free live performances, art activities and more.
Inspired by the current special exhibitions Degas and the Dance
and The Rise of Sneaker Culture.
The Great Art Escape will feature a series of live performances of ballet, swing,
Mexican folk, Irish and Indian dancing in the galleries and in the Peristyle.
BIG APPLE CIRCUS hosted its annual Holiday Season Family Benefit,
a special event that raises funds for the nonprofit performing arts institution's community programs,
on Saturday, November 21, 2015 under the Big Top in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center,
and featured comedian Jim Gaffigan as Guest Ringmaster.
The event was attended by 1,100 audience members and raised more than $420,000 to support the company's community programs.
Proceeds from the Family Benefit support Big Apple Circus artistry in the ring and the nonprofit's exceptional
community programs in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, in NYC and across America.
This year, The Grand Tour
will reach more than 300,000 under the Big Top, and community programs will serve more than 250,000 pediatric
patients, nursing home residents, and physically, cognitively, or economically challenged children, families,
SPREADING THE WORD
THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY ARTS COMMISSION has announced that two-time Grammy Award-winning salsa and Latin jazz band Spanish Harlem Orchestra will be this year’s special guest at the L.A. County Holiday Celebration, opening the Emmy Award-winning, 56th annual free 3-hour seasonal spectacular at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at The Music Center on Thursday, December 24.
The event is free.
Other highlights of this year’s Holiday Celebration, which will feature 20 music ensembles, choirs and dance
companies, include choral music ensemble Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers performing Negro spirituals
a cappella; Invertigo Dance Theatre with a remixed version of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies,
the 40-member choral group Colburn Children’s Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble singing Eatnemen Vuelie
(made famous as the opening song from Frozen); Pacifico Dance Company, performing
a folklorico piece from the Chihuahua region of Mexico; Korean-American indie folk-rock band Run River North;
Grammy-nominated all-female ensemble Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles; MôForró, which will perform a medley
of holiday songs in the style of Brazilian forró; and klezmer revival band Mostly Kosher,
marking their first appearance on the program.
TUCK EVERLASTING a new musical based on the 1975 story made popular
in the best-selling, award-winning novel by Natalie Babbitt. Book by Claudia Shear and Tim Federle.
Music by Chris Miller. Lyrics by Nathan Tysen.
Previews begin March 31, 2016 and the cast and creatives are now in place.
Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw.
Starring Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Terrence Mann, Carolee Carmello, Michael Park, Fred Applegate,
Robert Lenzi, Michael Wartella, Valerie Wright and introducing Sarah Charles Lewis.
When Winnie Foster sets out in search of excitement, she discovers the Tucks - a remarkable family with an
extraordinary secret - and they invite her to come along with them. "Her decision sparks an adventure that will
change her life - and yours - forever."
REMEMBERING FRANK SINATRA the best documentary program
on Sinatra, who would have turned 100 yesterday, is called Frank Sinatra The Voice of Our Time hosted
by Mel Torme.
The program focuses on Sinatra's career from the 1940s through the 1960s, using archival footage and clips
of Sinatra in newsreels, television programs, and films, interspersed with comments by
Torme and excerpts from interviews with lyricist Sammy Cahn, singer/television personality Dinah
Shore, film critic Leonard Maltin, and music critic John Rockwell. Touching briefly on his personal
life, the program chronicles Sinatra's rise in the music world, his acting career,
and his involvement in politics and fundraising.
Songs performed include It Was A Very Good Year, Fly Me To The Moon, Ol' Man River, Stardust, Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week, You Make Me Feel So Young, I've Got The World On A String, Come Rain Or Come Shine, Come Fly With Me, One For My Baby and many more. The program airs on PBS.
WATCHING THE ACTION
Live streaming and pre-release screenings are popular. Two such events take place this week.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens be among the first to see it
when the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center presents an exclusive private screening of the movie on Thursday, December 17, 2015 - a day before the official opening.
First, celebrate with a pre-screening party at the Fleet. Meet R2-D2, hang with Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion
and enjoy free drinks and food from local restaurants, distilleries and breweries. You'll have an
opportunity to discuss light speed travel and the possibility of visiting exoplanets with local
scientists, and witness a demonstration on how hover transportation could work. You'll also enjoy fun,
themed science activities such as making your own lightsaber and using mind control to play a video game.
Come in costume for a chance to win fabulous prizes. By 9:45 p.m. you'll be riding in style
to the film thanks to our private motor coaches. We'll take you right to the AMC Mission Valley IMAX theater for this very special screening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film begins at 10:30 p.m.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: Divas of the Silver Screen
take a break from shopping and join in for this casual and intimate evening on Friday, December 18, at Sunset Center's Studio 105 in Carmel, California. Admission is free, but refreshments will be available for purchase.
Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Rosemary Clooney are honored in Jazz at Lincoln Center's opening Singers Over Manhattan performance. Groundbreaking artists who overcame enormous barriers, their sacrifices are as significant as their talents. Their enormous contributions to stage and screen are heralded by an array of talented performers led by Tony Award-winning actress and vocalist Adriane Lenox, who can currently be seen on NBC's The Blacklist and was met with critical acclaim for her role in the Broadway hit After Midnight.
The concert also features fresh new voices Martina DaSilva, Tatiana Eva-Marie, and Shenel Johns, with music direction by pianist Chris Pattishall.
A protégé of piano giants Mulgrew Miller and Marcus Roberts, Pattishall has become a Jazz at Lincoln Center mainstay. He will lead a group of today's finest New York jazz musicians, and together they will explore classics such as Stormy Weather and Taking a Chance on Love. Tap dancers Michela Marino Lerman and Joseph C. Wiggan add a rare spin to the show with the added element of dance routines from iconic scenes in the golden era of stage and screen.
BRITISH EQUITY TAKES A STAND ON SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Equity is the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners. Equity members form a cultural
community that is of major importance to the UK in artistic, social and economic terms and Equity works to support
them by negotiating their terms and conditions including fee structures with all kinds of employers and employer’s
Officially, "Equity is a campaigning and organising union with a long track record of taking the things that matter
to artists working in the entertainment industry, to parliament and other centres of influence. Equity lobbies
governments, employers and others on issues such as funding, agency regulation, National Insurance status of artists,
entertainment licensing, venue closures, BBC licence fee, tax structure for film-makers, credits on television,
intellectual property rights and many other subjects that affect our members and in the industry as a whole."
In what may surprise some, the trade union issued a blistering condemnation of proposed school curriculum
"The government is planning to make a narrow range of subjects called the English Baccalaureate, or ‘EBacc,’ compulsory.
These subjects are maths, English, sciences, languages and humanities. This leaves little room for creative
subjects and the arts.
"The ‘EBacc’ has harmed creative subjects in schools. Since the Government first tried to introduce the EBacc,
the number of students having access to, or taking creative/arts subjects at GCSE has dropped.
"Creative subjects are vital to the success of the UK. The creative industries are growing faster than the rest
of the economy, and creative arts have a huge impact on society and culture. The public recognise this, with 77%
of adults thinking that arts should be available at GCSE level.
"The EBacc lacks support and evidence. There is no evidence behind the choice of subjects included in the EBacc,
and researchers, parliamentary committees, businesses and higher education bodies have repeatedly condemned the
narrow list of subjects included.
"We must have a broad and balanced curriculum – the EBacc isn’t it. The creative industries, education sector,
trade bodies, professional bodies, unions and businesses have come together to challenge this
proposal from the Department for Education and demand a broad and balanced curriculum."
THE ALABAMA JAZZ HALL OF FAME inducted new members last night at
the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Museum in Birmingham.
The event featured cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with a concert by Grammy-nominee Joey Anderson and trio. Anderson is the 12-year-old
who improvises, Thelonious Monk. Joey just received two 2016 Grammy Nominations: Best Improvised Jazz Solo & Best Instrumental Jazz Album (My Favorite Things). He is the youngest Grammy Nominee in a jazz category.
The newly minted members of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame are:
Mart Avant, Rick Bell, Daniel Jose Carr, Marion Evans, John Hayden, Robert Horton, Don Jones,
Hal Kemp, Al Killian, Jean Kittrell, Jack Marshall, Gary Motley,
Phelton Simmons, Eb Swingle, Ward Swingle,
George Washington, and Fred Wesley, Jr.
Besides their music, what they have in common is that "each and every one of them are homegrown: born, raised, or educated in the State of Alabama."
THE GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS include many that are of particular
interest to Broadway To Vegas readers:
BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM
An American In Paris
Leanne Cope, Max Von Essen, Robert Fairchild, Jill Paice & Brandon Uranowitz, principal soloists; Rob Fisher & Scott Lehrer, producers (George Gershwin, composer; Ira Gershwin, lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)
Label: Masterworks Broadway
Fun Home Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas, Beth Malone & Emily Skeggs, principal soloists; Philip Chaffin & Tommy Krasker, producers (Jeanine Tesori, composer; Lisa Kron, lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast) Label: PS Classics
Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos & Phillipa Soo, principal soloists; Alex Lacamoire, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bill Sherman, Ahmir Thompson & Tarik Trotter, producers; Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer & lyricist (Original Broadway Cast) Label: Atlantic
The King and I Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O'Hara, Ashley Park, Conrad Ricamora & Ken Watanabe, principal soloists; David Caddick, David Lai & Ted Sperling, producers (Richard Rodgers, composer; Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist) (2015 Broadway Cast) Label: Universal Music Classics
Heidi Blickenstaff, Christian Borle, John Cariani, Brian d'Arcy James, Brad Oscar & Kate Reinders, principal soloists; Kurt Deutsch, Karey Kirkpatrick, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Lawrence Manchester, Kevin McCollum & Phil Reno, producers; Karey Kirkpatrick & Wayne Kirkpatrick, composers/lyricists (Originial Broadway Cast) Label: Ghostlight
BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern
Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap
[RPM Records/Columbia Records]
Shadows In The Night Bob Dylan [Columbia]
Josh Groban [Reprise]
No One Ever Tells You
Seth MacFarlane [Republic]
My Dream Duets
Barry Manilow (& Various Artists) [Verve Music Group]
BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling)
Blood On Snow (Jo Nesbø) Patti Smith - [Random House Audio]
Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, And Assorted Hijinks Dick Cavett - [Macmillan Audio]
A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety Jimmy Carter
[Simon & Schuster Audio]
Patience And Sarah (Isabel Miller) Janis Ian & Jean Smart
Yes Please Amy Poehler (& Various Artists) [HarperAudio]
The awards will be handed out February 15, 2016, at the 58th Grammy Awards.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
Andrew Samonsky and Elizabeth Stanley in the Tony Award-winning The Bridges of Madison County. The Broadway Musical at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre, through January 17, 2016. Photo by Matthew Murphy
based on the novel by Robert James Waller. Book by Marsha Norman. Music & lyrics by Jason Robert Brown.
Jason Robert Brown, who won Tony Awards for Original Score and for Orchestrations, will be conducting the Los Angeles presentation of The Bridges of Madison County..
Starring Elizabeth Stanley and Andrew Samonsky as the star-crossed lovers Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid.
One of the most romantic stories ever written, this stunning new production features gorgeous, soulful music by Tony
Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown. The Bridges of Madison County is the unforgettable story of two
people caught between decision and desire, as a chance encounter becomes a second chance at so much more.
The cast includes:
Cullen R. Titmas, Mary Callanan, David Hess, Dave Thomas Brown, Caitlin Houlahan, Katie Klaus, Cole Burden, Caitlyn Caughell, Brad Greer, Lucy Horton, Amy Linden, Trista Moldovan, Jessica Sheridan, Matt Stokes, Tom Treadwell, and Bryan Welnicki.
Movement by Danny Mefford. Arrangement & Orchestrations by Jason Robert Brown. Scenic Design Michael Yeargan. Costume Design Catherine Zuber. Lighting Design Donald Holder. Sound Design Jon Weston. Hair & Wig Design David Brian Brown. Music Director Tom Murray. Casting Telsey + Company/Cesar Rocha, RSA.
Performances through January 17, 2016 at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles.
ANNIE featuring book and score by Tony Award-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin.
Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin (for the 19th time) and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of Annie will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic Tony Award-winning original.
Playing a strictly limited 8-performance engagement at Brooklyn’s newly restored Kings Theatre, this production, featuring a 25 member company, marks the first major theatrical event in the history of the former movie house, which re-opened earlier this year after a $95 million restoration.
The renovation expanded the original theatre’s footprint from approximately 83,000 square feet to 93,000 square feet, including an enlarged and modernized stage house, dressing rooms and loading areas, and upgraded theatrical lighting and acoustic accommodations. All of this combined has made it possible for the theatre to now accommodate and produce full-scale theatrical productions in Central Brooklyn.
Annie includes such unforgettable songs as It’s the Hard Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You, plus the eternal anthem of optimism, Tomorrow.
December 15-20 at the Kings Thetre in Brooklyn.
GUYS AND DOLLS
Based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon. Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser.
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.
Directed by Jerry Whiddon. Music Director Timothy Splain.
Choreographer Michael J. Bobbit.
Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy, and featuring great musical theatre classics like Luck Be A Lady, A Bushel and a Peck, and Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.
Guys and Dolls weaves a tale of old-time gangsters, hot-box girls, and gambling. Join Nathan, Adelaide, Sky, and Sarah in one of America’s best-loved musicals.
Starring Jessica Lauren Ball, Paul Binotto, Matt Faucher, Lauren Weinberg. Featuring Tobias Young, Evan Casey, Leo Erickson, MaryLee Adams, Jocelyn Isaac, Julia Klavans, Nurney, Ben Cunis, Ron Heneghan, Amanda Kaplan, David Landstrom, Richard Pelzman, Andre Hinds, Ethan Kasnett, Valerie Leonard, Tony Thomas.
Scenic Designer Dan Conway. Lighting Designer Colin K. Bills. Sound Designer Jeffrey Dorfman. Dialect Coach Nancy Krebs.
Costume Designerr Rosemary Pardee. Fight Choreographer Ben Cunis. Production Stage Manager Josiane M. Lemieux. Director of Production
Dennis A. Blackledge. Associate Artistic Director/Musical Supervision/Orchestration Christopher Youstra.
Orchestra: Piano/Conductor Doug Lawler. Trumpet/Flugelhorn Tony Neenan and Frank Gorecki. Trombone N. Jay Ellis.
Alto Sax, Flute, Clarinet Patrick Plunk.Tenor Sax, Flute, Clarinet Chris Reardon. Bass Frank Higgins. Percussion Alex Aucoin.
The production has been extended through January 3, 2016 at the Olney Theatre in Olney, MD.
EMMET OTTER'S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS IN CONCERT presents an evening
with Paul Williams, Lisa Howard, Cass Morgan, Steven Booth, Lesli Margherita, Kate Wetherhead,
Robb Sapp, Daniel Torres, Stephen Bienskie, Kevin Covert, Leo Daignault, Kevin Zak, Jeff Hiller
and Sheri Sanders as well as muppeteers Tyler Bunch, Anney Ozar, David Stephens, Matthew Furtado,
Kristin Feeney and James Silson on December 15, 2015 at Feinstein's 54 Below in New York City.
The evening is directed by Christopher Gattelli and produced by Timothy Allen McDonald with music direction by
Based on the book "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" by Russell and Lillian Hoban and the all-muppet HBO special
of the same name produced and directed by the late Jim Henson. The score features Williams’ songs
from the television feature as well as new pieces written for the theatrical adaptation.
Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas received its world-premiere at Goodspeed Opera House in 2008, marking
the first time Goodspeed had created a show specifically for the holiday season.
As Christmas approaches in the world of Frogtown Hollow, Emmet Otter and his Ma can only dream of buying each other gifts.
So when a Christmas Eve talent contest is announced, both secretly enter, hoping to win the prize money.
In a heartwarming twist on The Gift of the Magi, Emmet and Ma risk all they have and end up with
the greatest grand prize of all.
THE UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN - 30 PLUCKING YEARS
Eight ukuleles, sixteen hands, thirty two strings, sixteen million minutes, one billion seconds, thirty years, In June 2015 the Orchestra clocked up sixteen million minutes of ukulele action. By September 2016 the Orchestra will have been active for one billion seconds. Performances December 14, 2015 at Symphony Hall in Birmingham and on December 17 at Royal Hall in Harrogate, UK.
MADONNA brings her show to the Arena in Manchester, UK on Monday, December 14, 2015. On Wednesday she's on stage at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, UK and next Sunday, December 20, 2015 her tour stops at the SSE Hydro at Glasgow, Scotland.
JUSTIN BIEBER appears as part of the Power 96.1Jingle Ball on Thursday, December 17 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.
WYONNA performs Friday, December 18, at the IP Casino in Biloxi, MS.
JENNIFER NETTLES entertains tonight, Sunday, December 13, at the Pechanga Resort in Temecula, CA.
THE TENORS are onstage Tuesday, December 15, at the W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre in Louisville, KY. On Friday they perform at Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville, IL. Saturday finds them at the Treasure Island Resort in Welch, MN.
PINK MARTINI brings their blend to the Tower Theatre in Bend, OR on Monday, December 14.
JOHN PIZZARELLI stars at the Towne Crier Cafe in Beacon, NY on Friday, December 18. On Saturday he can be enjoyed at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA. Next Sunday, December 20, the show is at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA.
MARTIN E. BROOKS Tony nominated actor best known for playing scientist Dr. Rudy Wells in the television series The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off, The Bionic Woman, died December 7, 2015 at his home in Studio City, CA. He was 90.
Brooks was born Martin Baum in The Bronx. When he was 10, he moved with his family to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. After high school, he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army, became a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division and was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries received during World War II. He attended Penn State University and enrolled at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research in New York City. He won the off-Broadway best actor award for his performance in Outside the Door and changed his name to Martin Brooks, upon producer Richard Rodgers' suggestion.
His Broadway credits include Arthur Miller's adaptation of Enemy of the People, with Frederic March.
He received the Theatre World Award and the Donaldson Award for John Steinbeck's Burning Bright.
He also appeared in John Van Druten's I Am A Camera for which he received a
Tony nomination. In his bio he said he "had the extreme privilege of
working with some of the greatest First Ladies of the Broadway Theatre - Katherine Cornell, Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, Ruth Gordon, Geraldine Page, Marian Seldes & Uta Hagen."
He also wrote songs and books.
According to film producer Jon Landau, Brooks was the "soul mate" of Landau's mother, Edie, for over 20 years. They were friends as children and reconnected in 1993 after her husband died.
FFOLLIOTT "FLUFF" LeCOQUE
dancer who rose through the ranks to become company manager for Donn Arden's Las Vegas production shows Hallelujah Hollywood and Jubilee!, died Thursday, December 10, 2015. She was 92 and has suffered from respiratory illness.
She was in charge of the 100-plus cast members of Hallelujah Hollywood at the original MGM Grand, now Bally's, auditioning thousands of dancers and showgirls during her career.
She was a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in theater.
She moved to Las Vegas in 1947, making $35 a week to dance in Liberace’s show at the Riviera.
Next Column: December 20, 2015
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