Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: December 18, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Several CD have been released which would make perfect stocking stuffers. They run the gamut from an elaborate television presentation to an intimate cabaret show.

with the original musical score written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, has been released by Masterworks Broadway/Epic records.

Hairspray Live! has an epic cast including: Maddie Baillio, Dove Cameron, Kristin Chenoweth, Garrett Clayton, Harvey Fierstein (recreating his Tony Award-winning performance), Ariana Grande, Derek Hough, Jennifer Hudson, Martin Short, Ephraim Sykes and Shahadi Wright Joseph, with special appearances by Billy Eichner, Sean Hayes, Andrea Martin and Rosie O'Donnell.

On this CD addition vocals are by Kala Baich, Denosh Bennett, Luke Edgemon, Allie Feder, Missi Hale, Stevie Mackey, Baraka May, Tiffany Pamer, Jackie Seiden, Fletcher Sheridan, Melanie Taylor and Brandon Winbush.

Based on the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical, Hairspray Live! takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Plump teenager Tracy Turnblad's dream is to dance on The Corny Collins Show, a local TV program. When against all odds Tracy wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity overnight and meets a colorful array of characters, including the resident dreamboat, Link; the ambitious mean girl, Amber; an African American boy she meets in detention, Seaweed; and his mother, Motormouth Maybelle, the owner of a local record store. Tracy's mother is the indomitable Edna, and she eventually encourages Tracy on her campaign to integrate the all-white Corny Collins Show.

There have been other Hairspray releases; the movie version and the stage production. Each is unique in the musical selections.

For Hairspray fanatics - the Broadway production's second act opening number, The Big Dollhouse, was cut from the live broadcast. However, numbers written specifically for the 2007 musical film that were added to the NBC live broadcast include Ladies’ Choice and Come So Far (Got So Far to Go). Songs that weren't in the 2007 film that were included for the NBC live show are Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now, Velma’s Revenge, Good Morning Baltimore (Reprise), and Cooties.

For all others who aren't hung up on song inclusion/exclusion details - just sit back and enjoy this CD.

The cast and sound quality make this version exceptional.

You won't find a listening flaw in this CD.

Recorded and mixed by Emmy Award winning Frank Wolf who graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston and has worked on the soundtracks of more than 125 films including Cars, Seabiscuit, Breathless, Annie, Big, The Bucket List, Toy Story and The Mambo Kings. Combined with Pro Tools editing by Brett "Snacky" Pierce and Ian Kagey means there isn't a bad note to be heard.

The cast is phenomenal. Newcomer Maddie Baillio is the show's lead. From the original Broadway cast, Harvey Fierstein reprises his Tony-award winning role as Edna Turnblad. His distinctive voice can be heard on numbers such as Welcome to the 60s. Kristin Chenoweth, whose high notes could break glass, is perfect as the nasty and outrageous Velma Von Tussle. Derek Hough establishes that he knows how to sing as well as dance with rendition of The Nicest Kids in Town, Ladies Choice and It's Hairspray.

Martin Short shines in (You're) Timeless to Me, which he begins by tenderly singing to his wife Edna Turnblat, which ends up being an energetic duo with Fierstein. Arianna Grande is Penny. She doesn't have a solo but can be heard on Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now, Without Love, You Can't Stop the Beat and Come So Far. Jennifer Hudson stands out as Motormouth Maybelle. Her powerhouse voice makes her a highlight. Her all stops out Big, Blonde and Beautiful rocks the place. Her rendition of I Know Where I've Been is soul stirring, emotional, and powerful.

Most of the songs are beat driven, toe tapping infectious.

Additional engineering Isaiah Abolin. Assistant engineers Steve Genewick, Chandler Harrod, Nick Rives. Original orchestrations by Harold Wheeler, Brad Dechter , Jerry Hey, Jeff Atmajian, Marc Shaiman. Orchestrations adapted by Dan Higgins, Bruce Coughlin, Brad Dechter, Mark Graham.

Music preparation Joann Kane Music Service. Music contractors Gina Zimmitti & Whitney Martin. Vocal contractor Edie Lehmann Boddicker. Music assistant Tim Hanson. Recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles. Mastered by Gavin Lurssen, Lurssen Mastering Inc. Los Angeles.


Pete Anthony, conductor. Charlie Bisharat, concert master.

Violins: Tammy Hatwan, Songa Lee, Benjamin Powell, Roger Wilkie, Josefina Vergara, Shalini Vijayan, Neel Hammond, Erik Arvinder, Bruce Dukov, Marisa Kuney, Joel Pargman.

Viola: Shawn Mann, Luke Maurer, Ron Brophy.

Cello: Andrew Shulman, Vanessa Freebairn Smith, Toim Loo.

Reeds: Dan Higgins, John Yoakum, Joel Peskin, Chad Smith

Trumpet: Rob Schaer, Dan Rosenboom, Dan Fornero. Trombone: Alex Iles, Steve Holtman, Bill Reichenbach. French horn: Dylan Hart.

Piano: Lon Holt. Keyboards: Jim Cox. Harp: Katie Kirkpatrick.

Guitar: George Doering and Dean Parks. Bass: Mike Valerio. Drums: Clint De Ganon. Percussion: Wade Culbreath.

The CD also features a booklet with scads of glorious color photographs by Brian Bowen Smith/NBC and Andrew Eccles/NBC.

recorded live at Feinstein's/ 54 Below in New York City has been release on Broadway Records.

The purpose of unplugged is to be simple and pure. That means the performers need to be soloist singers. The type of singers who, if the band got caught in traffic and the power went off in the venue, could still stand on the edge of stage and perform.

That is what you have with Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal.

Pascal and Rapp constructed Acoustically Speaking: Celebrating 20 Years of Friendship, to celebrate their personal relationship as well as a tribute to musical Broadway which brought them together.

In this day and age of nobody liking anybody it's of note that they have different lifestyles.

On December 19, 1998, Pascal married Cybele Chivian, the daughter of Eric S. Chivian, M.D., Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and the granddaughter of writer Joseph Jay Deiss. The couple has two sons.

Rapp is openly gay and in numerous printed sources indicates that he prefers to be called "queer."

While their personal lives may take on different dimensions, their professional and personal friendship is genuine and fused.

Adam Pascal is known for his performance as Roger Davis in the original cast of Jonathan Larson's musical Rent on Broadway 1996, the 2005 movie version of the musical, and the Broadway Tour of Rent in 2009. He is also known for originating the role of Radames in Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, for playing the Emcee from the 1998 revival of Cabaret, and for playing Huey Calhoun in the Broadway Company of Memphis. Most recently, he played William Shakespeare in the Tony Award-winning musical Something Rotten!

Anthony Rapp is best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent in 1996 and later for reprising the role in the film version and the Broadway Tour of Rent in 2009. He also performed the role of Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and originated the role of Lucas in the musical If/Then in 2014.

Pascal is a strong vocalist - almost operatic quality - raised in the pop rock era which influences his musical style. He opens the CD. Songs from shows he has been in take a turn when he selects to perform numbers he didn’t sing in the productions. Maybe This Time from Cabaret has a slower tempo than the original hard punch Liza Minnelli delivery. This is a more melancholy presentation. Memories from Cats is pure with a tongue in cheek description that the number is that show’s “one redeeming quality.” The moving Love Will Stand When All Else Fails is from Memphis.

Pascal's mash-up of Jeff Buckley’s Lover, You Should’ve Come Over, and Johanna from Sweeney Todd is effective.

Rapp's turn offers Losing my Religion by REM- an important song to Rapp, as he explains that it was his audition song for Rent. Being in Rent had added significance in that his mother died from cancer during the production. Rapp’s moving renditions of Visits to You, and Without You, from Rent were tributes to Rapp’s mother.

Rapp’s vocal style is passionate folk rock. Rapp is statement making in his powerful rendition of the Stephen Trask song The Origin of Love from Hedwig and the Angry Itch. At the other end of the emotional spectrum is Rapp delivering a tender rendering of Falling Slowly performed with guest vocalist English Bernhardt. But Not For Me is spirited and fun with delightful musical back-up form Daniel A. Weiss on piano and Peter Sachon on cello. That is followed a sweet but vibrant Happiness from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown which is smile inducing.

Closing the recording is a duet of Seasons of Love. Pascal and Rapp are a heavenly combination. It would be difficult to find two more beautifully blending voices.

The only issue with this CD regards the ability to hear the spoken sections. Anecdotes which would be extremely entertaining are a distraction almost to the point of being detrimental because of the inconsistent sound.

From the CD booklet photographs it appears that both performers were in front of microphone stands and could remove and hold the microphones. Some of the spoken segments have a volume which goes in and out. Some sentences can't be heard. Even what had to have been a full house clapping sometimes sounds like only a handful of people. The artist is not only getting off mike, but pointing the microphone away from the audience. To only be able to hear what amounts to every other sentence of some spoken sections is a negative.

For instance, in 1997 Pascal said he did the voice over of a hippopotamus documentary for the History channel. What begins as a very funny story is ruined because he moves the mike and most of his story can't be heard.

However, the musical portions are perfectly sound balanced and you can hear every note and understand every word sung.

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on display through January 8, 2017 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA.

Christmas Around the World includes 26 exquisitely decorated trees representing the 26 countries that President Reagan visited while in office, as well as a White House Tree.

Decorations encompass the bright and festive colors of the Caribbean, the crystals of the Nordic countries and the traditional decorations of England and Europe.

Of particular note is the Vatican tree decorated entirely with white ornaments featuring a life-size white peacock that adorns the tree’s branches.

Another featured tree is an elegant reproduction of President and Mrs. Reagan’s White House tree complete with “Reagan Red” decorations and dozens of hand-blown glass ornaments.

Also on display is a collection of beautiful hand-crafted Menorahs that were given to President Reagan while in the White House.

A MORE PERFECT UNION How Critical Presidential Elections Reshaped the Constitution on display through December 31, 2016 at The Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri.

To mark the Presidential election year and the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, this exhibition examines the evolution of the American government through the Constitutional amendment process, and it highlights some key Presidential elections that pushed that process forward.

Featuring a number of original materials from the Truman Library, the National Archives, and from other institutions, the exhibition is particularly interactive in that it contains multiple participatory activities to engage visitors. The show also includes clips of Presidential campaign commercials, the first televised Presidential debate, and other videos.


THE ALWAYS CHARITABLE DOLLY PARTON whose Dollywood Amusement Park barely escaped the recent Tennessee wildfires has raised $9 million for residents who lost their homes.

Parton headlined a Tuesday, December 13, 2016 telethon. Monies raised will be administrated by the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund. It will provide $1,000 each month for six months to families who lost their primary residence in the fires.

Taylor Swift donated $100,000 to benefit Dolly Parton’s telethon. Kenny Chesney joined forces with the Country Music Association to donate $500,000 for relief efforts, a good portion of which will go to Parton's My People Fund.

The Sevier County fires spread to more than 2,500 structures and killed 14 people.

Not wasting a moment, last Thursday My People Fund began the first round of distributions for those who have qualified.


PRINCE HARRY and girlfriend Meghan Markle had a public theatre date last Wednesday when they attended a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Last Thursday, the official Twitter account for the Curious Incident show posted: 'We were delighted to welcome HRH Prince Harry to last night’s performance at The Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End.'

Reportedly, this wasn't the first time the couple attended a West End production, having previously seen The Lion King musical.

Last Tuesday, the pair held hands as they purchased a Christmas tree in a London park tree stand.

DAUGHTER DAYS takes place at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey where daughters can see the delightful Daddy Long Legs for free.

Buy-One-Get-One Packages for Select Performances on December 20, 22 and 24 include hot chocolate and candy bar at intermission and opportunity for post-show onstage photo.

Weaved throughout the charming musical romance of Daddy Long Legs, currently on stage at New Brunswick, NJ’s George Street Playhouse, are messages promoting the importance of education and the empowerment of young girls and women. So what better way to share those ideals this holiday season then with a special Daughter Days package. Daddy Long Legs is appropriate for daughters ages 10 through 100.

In this award-winning musical, a witty young woman’s wishes are answered when an anonymous young gentleman she nicknames Daddy Long Legs gives her the opportunity to move from her orphanage and attend university. Over the years, Jerusha shares her life with her secret benefactor through letters and songs, and experiences her first budding romance with a young suitor.

Daddy Long Legs, with book by two-time Tony Award winner John Caird and music and lyrics by Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon, stars Ben Michael as Jervis, the titular “Daddy Long Legs” who anonymously sponsors the college education of Elise Vannerson's Jerusha.

The musical, based on Jean Webster's classic novel of the same name, features musical director Darren R. Cohen on piano, Sam Quiggins on cello and Luke McGinnis on guitar. The production is helmed by Michael Mastro, George Street Playhouse's Resident Artistic Director.

Al Pacino will star in God Looked Away. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.
has announced that their first development production, under the theater’s new play development program PlayWorks, will be Dotson Rader’s God Looked Away starring Academy Award- and two-time Tony Award-winner Al Pacino as “Tennessee Williams” and co-starring two-time Tony Award-winner Judith Light as Williams’ close friend “Estelle” and Miles Gaston Villanueva as “Baby.”

Rounding the cast are Garrett Clayton as “Luke,” Andrew Dits as “Zach,” Broadway and TV vet Matt Gottlieb as “Peter,” and Takuma Anzai as “Bellboy.” Robert Allan Ackerman, who directed Pacino on Broadway in Salome, will stage the new work and develop God Looked Away with Rader at The Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA beginning February 8 - March 19, 2017.

The creative staff includes Tim Goodchild (Set Design), Lap Chi Chu (Lighting Design), Dona Granata (Costume Design) and Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski (Sound Design). Casting is by Michael Donovan Casting. Barclay Stiff is the Production Stage Manager. Also in the cast are Alexa Hamilton, Kevin Bailey and Eddy Rioseco.

God Looked Away is billed as "an eye-opening glimpse into a turbulent period in the life and career of one of America’s most mysterious, iconic artists: playwright-screenwriter-novelist Tennessee Williams."

"The Playhouse is about to enter its 100th year, and I can't think of a better way to kick off the celebration than with the expansion of our new works program beginning with this new development production and these extraordinary artists," said Danny Feldman, the Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director. "As a young playwright, Tennessee Williams premiered two new plays at The Playhouse, and it is fitting that our first PlayWorks production features a revealing glimpse into the life of this great American playwright."

HARRY CONNICK, JR isn't afraid to express how he feels about food. His NBC Harry talk show is a refreshing addition to daytime (and in some areas also late late night) television; and, if it isn't sabotaged, should have staying power. No political diatribes, or fueling of celebrity gossip. You get the feeling he'd never intentionally hurt anyone's feelings. It's a lovely cross between the old Dinah Shore and Mike Douglas formats - lots of music, celebrity interviews, pleasant interaction with guests and the audience and - cooking.

Generally shows which have food segments mean the hosts will fawn over the eatables. Not the personable Harry; he gagged and almost threw up - literally. On the show which aired last Thursday, in an segment called Will Harry Eat It?: Holiday Edition, a charming food expert presented traditional ethnic dishes from four countries - Russia, China, United States and Spain - explaining the customs and good luck reason the citizens of each individual country ate that food.

The first dish caused Harry to almost toss his biscuits. His eyes watered. The second dish wasn't much better. The segment was hilarious. Harry wasn't reticent about announcing that the first two offerings were disgusting. He was suffering. For the audience, it was welcome honesty.

CHERYL BURKE AND BRIAN WHITE will host L.A.’s largest Holiday Celebration live at the Music Center at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on December 24, 2016.

This year’s Holiday Celebration features 21 music, dance and choral ensembles - over 500 performers - and reflects the diversity of holiday traditions celebrated in Los Angeles. Some highlights include Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company with a folklórico dance from the region of Tabasco, Mexico; Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, performing classical handbell repertoire that celebrates Christmas and Hanukkah; QVLN (Q-Violin) bringing his “Brazil meets Jimi Hendrix on an electric violin” stylings to the Christmas classic Little Drummer Boy,; Latin jazz band Cuba L.A., performing selections from their Christmas CD, avidad Cubana; Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts with festive dances from the provincial lowland/coastal region of the Philippines; and much more.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has sponsored this admission-free afternoon show every December 24 since 1959.

LAS VEGAS OFFICIALS HAVE ANNOUNCED that 2017 will be ushered in with Grucci staging a one half million dollar, eight minute firework extravaganza with pyrotechnics shooting off from the Aria, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Stratosphere, Treasure Island and The Venetian resorts.

DECEMBER 22 is National Date Nut Bread Day. December 23 is National Pfeffernuesse Day and December 24 is National Egg Nog Day.


GRINCH REPORT Hulk Hogan had Christmas presents stolen from the front door of his Clearwater Beach, Florida home last Thursday. Three women were observed getting out of a car, running up to the porch, retreating, then returning to open the box, removing the contents and then fleeing. They are being sought by police who request that anyone who knows anything about the porch pirates contact the Clearwater Police Department.

The day before the stop and snatch Hogan celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary with his wife, Jennifer.


President Obama and his family will be in Hawaii for Christmas. President-elect Trump and his brood are celebrating in Mar-A-Lago in Florida as he has done for the last twenty years.

Prince William, Catherine and their two children will skip the annual get together at his grandmother's (Queen Elizabeth) and instead will spend the holiday at the home of his in-laws, which would be the Middleton's spacious abode. Many of the younger married royals - such as Princess Anne's daughter Zara Phillips pregnant with her second child, (due in late spring) and her husband Mike Tindall and their daughter - do as many American couples do - alternate spending holidays with each family.

Neil Patrick Harris guesting on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert announcing that he and David Burtka's six-year-old twins have a (literally) large size Christmas list. Son Gideon wants a bouncy castle and a full size space ship while daughter Harper requests a pink karaoke machine and a life size doll house. The family lives in Manhattan where living space is measures in inches.

Liam Neeson will spend Christmas oil frying a turkey for his sons and close friends. Kristin Chenoweth who attended the Broadway revival of Cats last Friday, and someday wants to visit Ireland and Scotland, will be spending Christmas in Oklahoma with her family.

Natalie Portman who is Jewish told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that she is getting her first Christmas tree this year. The Oscar winning actress is married to Benjamin Millepied, who is a Christian. Since the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve coincide this year, Natalie and Ben will celebrate with both families and that includes having a Christmas tree. “It’s kind of every Jew’s secret wish,” she told Fallon.

Simon Cowell, his girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their son spending Christmas in Barbados. Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely Shaye Smith are in Paris. Also in the City of Lights are Scarlett Johansson and Romain Dauriac who have just opened a popcorn shop there called Yummy Pop. Ruby Rose and Jess Origliasso are in Australia.


ARTS GARAGE in Delray Beach, FL has suspended the rest of their season. In part their official statement from Marjorie Waldo, CEO and Chuck Halberg, President, Board of Directors reads:

"After an intensive five week review of the varied programs we offer, it has become apparent that the losses we have suffered during the first two month's of this fiscal year's theater season will not allow for us to continue the season. As such, we have decided to cancel the remaining two productions in this season's theater line up.

"I have every intention, as does the Board of Directors of returning to our theater roots next season; it is a vital part of the Arts Garage line up and one that is very close to my heart.

"We must, however, take a step back to review the model we use here at the Arts Garage to produce theater. Finding ways to produce relevant and engaging performances that our patrons love and our budget can support will be my goal over the next several months."

The third production of the season, Blues in the Night: A Musical, was to open January 21.2017.

THE BAND'S VISIT is a sellout world-premiere at Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater. The production is only mounted through January 1, 2017.

The most enchanting rags-to-riches fairy tale of them all graces the stage of the West End’s most famous theatre this Christmas as pantomime returns to the London Palladium for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Directed by Michael Harrison.

Co-director and choreographer Andrew Wright.

Starring Paul O'Grady as the Wicked Stepmother. Amanda Holden as The Fairy Godmother. Julian Clary as Dandini. Lee Mead as Prince Charming. Paul Zerdin as Buttons. Nigel Havers as Lord Chamberlain. count Arthur Strong as Baron Hardup. Natasha J. Barnes as Cinderella. Wendy Somerville and Suzie Chard as wicked stepsisters.

Featuring: Liz Ewing, Christopher Howell, James Paterson, Carrie Sutton, Vicki Lee Taylor, and Ed Wade.

Set design by Ian Westbrook. Costume design for Paul o'Grady, Julian Clary and Amanda Holden is Hugh Durrant. Specialty costume design by Mike Coltman. Lighting design by Ben Cracknell. Duncan McLean projection designer. Gareth Owen sound designer. Gary Hind musical supervisor and orchestrator. Visual special effects by The Twins FX. Greg Approwsmith musical director. Casting by Onathan Kiley.

At the London Palladium through January 15, 2017.

OTHELLO by William Shakespeare.

Directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold.

The cast features David Wilson Barnes, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Rachel Brosnahan, Daniel Craig, Blake DeLong, Glenn Fitzgerald, Slate Holmgren, Anthony Michael Lopez, Matthew Maher, Nikki Massoud, David Oyelowo, Kyle Vincent Terry, and Finn Wittrock.

Scenic design by Andrew Lieberman, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Bray Poor, and fight direction by Thomas Schall. Andrew Wade serves as voice coach and Michael Sexton serves as dramaturg and text consultant.

Othello is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Performances through January 18, 2017 at New York Theatre Workshop in New York City.

MURDER FOR TWO - HOLIDAY EDITION Featuring book and music by Joe Kinosian, book and lyrics by Kellen Blair.

Directed by Jeremy Lapp.

Everyone is a suspect in this hilarious musical murder mystery with a twist! One actor investigates the crime, the other plays all the suspects...and they both play the piano.

A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap murder mystery, this whodunit is a highly theatrical duet that is loaded with killer laughs. Officer Marcus Moscowicz is a small town policeman with dreams of making it to detective. One fateful night during the holidays - that would be Christmas Eve - shots ring out at a party for Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney and the writer is killed. With the nearest detective an hour away, Marcus has only a short amount of time to find the killer and make his name before the real detective arrives.

Brett Ryback plays Marcus, while all the suspects are played by Joe Kinosian.

Through December 31, 2016 at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA.

THE CHRISTIANS a magnificent play by Lucas Hnath.

Directed by K. Todd Freeman.

Musical Director Jaret Landon.

Pastor Paul has spent 20 years successfully growing his church from a small storefront to a gleaming megachurch, but now he fears that there may be a crack in the theological foundation. As he shares his new belief in the nature of salvation, the message is met with surprise and then growing trepidation from his closest confidantes in the congregation, threatening to create a schism within the church. Hnath’s fascinating new play looks with great complexity and compassion at the relationship between belief and behavior - and its evenhanded, unbiased take on faith in modern America can be appreciated no matter what you believe.

Starring Shannon Cochran, Glenn Davis, Faith Howard, Yando Lopez, Jazelle Morriss, Mary-Margaret Roberts, Charlie Strater, and Jacqueline Williams.

Featured ensemble members are Robert Breuier and Tom Irwin.

Scenic Design Walt Spangler. Costume Design Nan Cibula-Jenkins. Lighting Design Scott Zielinski. Sound Design Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen. Projections Design Joseph A. Burke. Dialect Coach Gigi Buffington. Stage Manager Malcolm Ewen. Assistant Stage Manager Cassie Calderone. Casting Director JC Clementz.

Performances through January 29, 2017 at Steppenwolf in Chicago.


RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS begin a two night stand Tuesday, December 20, at the 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

VINCE GILL closes out his current gig at the Ryman in Nashville with shows on December 20, 21 and 22, 2016.

OAK RIDGE BOYS entertain Monday, December 19, at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA perform at the L2 Church in Denver on Monday, December 19. Tuesday's show is at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, NM. On Thursday their tour stops at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, AZ. On Friday they open a two nighter at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ.

THE TEN TENORS star at the Alberta BairTheater in Billings, MT on Tuesday, December 20. Wednesday's stop is at the Wyo Theatre in Sheridan, WY. Thursday finds them at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley, CO. Friday's stop is at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek, CO. They are on stage Saturday at the Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. Next Sunday they can be enjoyed at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen, CO.


JOE LIGON the dynamic frontman of the Grammy-winning gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy, died Sunday, December 11, 2017 in Georgia. He was 80.

Under Ligon's leadership, the Mighty Clouds of Joy changed the standard gospel lineup from a vocal quartet backed by a sole electric guitar to a full-fledged, R&B-influenced group complete with bass, drums, and keyboards. The resulting sound turned the Mighty Clouds of Joy into the most commercially successful gospel group.

Survivors include his wife Peggy Reece whom he married in 1968.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement" "Joe Ligon was a beloved, groundbreaking artist whose unique singing and performing style made him truly unforgettable. A three-time Grammy winner for his work with gospel group Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Joe remained steadfast in his commitment to musical excellence and the arts for over five decades, carving a path for other contemporary gospel artists. Our creative community has lost a truly gifted and cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to Joe’s family, friends, and all of those who had the pleasure of working with him."

MARY RAY REASONER one of famed newsman Harry Reasoner's seven children committed suicide on Monday, December 12, 2107 by jumping from the third story of the parking garage of Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, CT. She was 60.

Her father who co-founded 60 Minutes, had died of lung cancer at that hospital on August 6, 1991.

Her identity and death were confirmed by the Connecticut Office of the State Medical Examiner last Thursday. The news was first reported by The Hour.

Mary Ray had worked as a customer service employees for 13 years at a Bed, Bath & Beyond store in Norwalk until last year. Her condominium was subject to a January 10, 2015 foreclosure sale.

Next Column: December 25, 2016
Copyright: December 18, 2016 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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Laura Deni

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