Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: December 25, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Champagne in the proper glass is a necessity for ringing in the New Year. Champagne is not something which is chug-a-lugged.

The world’s largest champagne glass stands nearly 7-ft tall and holds the equivalent of 22 regular bottles.

There are two types of glasses the coupe and the flute. To truly appreciate the bubbly the best glass to use is the flute, which is tall and thin with lips that curve inward slightly at the top. Flutes concentrate the bubbles and the bouquet, heightening the champagne experience. Coupes encourage the wine to warm and go flat quickly, which brings us to the topless Folies Bergere showgirl.

The topless or barely covered showgirl has never been well endowed, which would cause bouncing when walking and eventually the breasts would sag. To ensure that the ladies with the head dresses would have erect body parts, prospective members of the Folies Bergere dance troupe were subjected to a champagne glass test - a coupe fit over their naked breasts determined who was eligible. Provided the young ladies’ charms remained within the glass, they were still in the running; if their natural wonders overflowed, they were put out to pasture.

It should come as no surprise that more champagne is drunk on New Year's Eve than any other time of the year. Over 400 million glasses of the sparkling stuff will be poured during the season. Over one-fourth of all Champagne bottles sold in the United States during the year will be purchased in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Each bottle will have about 49 million bubbles inside and should be held at a 45-degree angle before popping. The pressure in a Champagne bottle is around 90 pounds per square inch or three times the amount of pressure in an average car tire. Champagne has three times more gas than beer.

The extreme pressure inside a champagne bottle means that a popped cork can reach speeds of 40mph. Because of this, being struck by a popped champagne cork kills more people each year than death from a poisonous spider bite.

Size does matter. A rough rule of thumb is the smaller the bubbles, the higher quality the champagne.

"Sabrage” is a term for opening a champagne bottle with an actual sword. Do not attempt while inebriated or without proper training.

Forget about drinking champagne from a shoe. So non-excessive. Think a tub full.

Marilyn Monroe once took a bath in champagne.
Marilyn Monroe once took a bath in a bathtub filled with 350 bottles of champagne.

Between 1908 and 1965 Sir Winston Churchill drank an estimated 42,000 bottles of champagne.

Moët is the number one selling brand of champagne in the world.

One of the most expensive bottles has a Hollywood connection. The most expensive three are:

1. Dom Pérignon Rose Gold (Mathusalem, 6 Liter) 1996 - $49,000. Only 35 bottles of the 6-liter gold-plated Dom Pérignon Mathusalem were produced. This vintage rosé is said to have "aromas of malt complemented by smoky, peaty accents. To taste, it's strong, tense, radiant, and sharp with a firm finish."

2. Dom Pérignon Rosé by David Lynch (Jeroboam, 3 Liter) 1998 - $11,179.

This Dom Pérignon Rosé comes from the largest Champagne house in France: Moët et Chandon. The bottle is one of 10 designed by Hollywood director David Lynch specifically for Dom Perignon.

This vintage rosé has floral, orange-peel, and dried-fruit aromas and "reveals a fullness of texture coupled with a remarkably balanced structure that is both sophisticated and clear-cut" to the taste."

3. Armand de Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades) (6 Liter) - $6,500.

This Armand de Brignac Brut Gold is the label's 6-liter flagship cuveé, pressed from a perfectly balanced blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier wine.

Surreal film director David Lynch designs labels for champagne bottles.
As for the David Lynch involvement, the director noted for such productions as Twin Peaks once studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and has been in the champagne bottle label design biz for awhile.

The eccentric director first created bespoke designs for 10 DP 2000 Jeroboams and 10 Rosé 1998 Jeroboams. In June 2012 he reinvented his original design introducing the “Dom Pérignon by David Lynch” limited edition called The Power of Creation, which was unveiled at an event in Los Angeles. This “reinvented” Dom Pérignon design took the form of two gift boxes: one for Dom Pérignon Vintage 2003, the other for Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2000.

Noted for his surrealistic approach to projects, he once staged in photo shoot in which he shot the champagne bottles.

According to, Lynch stated that the designs, which follow an ad campaign Lynch created for the company in December 2011, resulted from “a process of tuning in and then through experimentation getting something that expresses the essential nature.”

In a release, Dom Pérignon said the partnership with Lynch was natural because of their commonality, including “mystery, intensity, commitment, time, the constant reinvention of the self, and above all, absolute faith in the power of creation.”

According to The Drinks Business the champagne label design was developed by Lynch, and special effects expert Gary D’Amico.

The men spent two days in a California studio working with torches, smoke machines and light rays to come up with the final design.

Lynch is the second living artist, after photographer and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, to have worked directly alongside the Champagne house.

If you need help sobering up on January 1 after imbibing too much David Lynch Dom Pérignon Rosé, consider his coffee.

Lynch is a coffee drinker and even has his own line of special organic blends available for purchase on his website as well as in Whole Foods. Called David Lynch Signature Cup, which has the tag line "It's all in the beans ... and I'm just full of beans." This is also described as a quote of a line said by Justin Theroux's character in Inland Empire.

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Rene Lalique (French, 1860-1945). Vase Bacchantes (Bacchantes Vase), 1927. Press-molded opal glass. 9 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (24.1 x 22.2 cm). Collection of David Huchthausen. Photo by Lloyd Shugart.
from the collection of artist David Huchthausen Collection is on display to September 2017 at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington.

The exhibition includes early 20th century glass by iconic Art Deco studios such as Rene Lalique, Daum Freres, Pierre d’Avesn, Charles Schneider, Muller Freres, Marius-Ernest Sabino, Steuben Glass Works, and many others.

“We are honored to exhibit a selection of David Huchthausen’s fascinating Art Deco collection,” shares Museum of Glass Artistic Director, Susan Warner. “This is a rare opportunity for the Museum to share with visitors the on- going historic narrative that connects the Art Deco period of glassmaking to the contemporary Studio Glass movement.”

Characterized by smooth lines, geometric shapes, and bright colors, the Art Deco glass movement began, in part, as a reaction against the elaborate and ornate style of Art Nouveau in the late 19th century. Economic austerity generated by World War I launched Art Deco into popularity, with artists, designers, and architects throughout the world adopting the style. Although Art Deco fell out of fashion following World War II, the style regained its popularity in the 1970s.

Huchthausen began actively collecting pieces from the Art Deco period in the early 1970s, starting with powder boxes. In 1973, Huchthausen acquired his first major work of art, a piece from the Le Verre Francais line designed by Charles Schneider, leading to the purchase of 20 more significant Art Deco works in glass over the next four years. Huchthausen’s collection continued to grow during the 1980’s and accelerated following his move to Seattle in 1989.

Art Deco Glass from the Huchthausen Collection includes over 200 pieces from his personal collection, which is now composed of over 300 works of Art Deco glass, much of it by European designers. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by esteemed German scholar Helmut Ricke and independent curator William Warmus.

A BAG OF COAL if that's what you found in your Christmas stocking this morning, blame the Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, Kansas for being Santa's shill. The popular museum encouraged parents and grandparents to purchase the "naughty" stocking stuffer, which they sell in their gift shop.

This season it was a hot seller.

Crawford County Kansas is known for its coal mining heritage and the settlement of many different ethnic groups who came to the United States in search of work in the coal fields. Franklin began as a mining community in the early 1900s. It is located just off Highway 69 Bypass which is a major corridor between Kansas City and Pittsburg, Ks./Joplin, Mo. In 1921, thousands of wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and sweethearts of striking coal miners in Southeast Kansas marched in protest against unfair labor practices in the local coal mines.

Taking advantage of the coal mining history as well as the theory that naughty boys and girls receive a lump of coal from Santa rather than presents, the museum's gift shop sells bags of "authentic Southeast Kansas coal"- which means they can be messy. The cost is $2.00. The coal is in a black bag with attached fun coal poems and authentic Miners Hall Museum tags. The bag reads: "Be certain that kindness is your goal, or all you'll get is a bag of coal."

The coal instead of a present is believed to have begun either as a Sicilia, Holland or English tradition - or all three. Nobody is too sure. The England tradition is tied into economic conditions of the country and the belief that both good and bad come directly from God.

"In the 19th century, most of Europe was powered by coal, and most household furnaces were coal burning. A pan of hot coals would often be kept under the bed to generate heat in the middle of the night. In England, while the children of rich families got candy and toys in their stockings, those who were poor (believed to have been made poor by God, as punishment for their family's bad deeds) would get coal, if they were lucky."

Hopefully, you found candy and toys in your stocking. If not, straighten up.


by Kurt Weill and Franz Werfel; the world premiere recording of the concert adaptation recorded May 6-7, 2015 at Carnegie Hall, New York City has been released on Navona Records.

In one word - exquisite.

This CD defies criticism.

Right from the top - the subject matter is Jewish. Important is that you don't need to be of any particular religion to appreciate and enjoy this magnificent creation. However, Chanukah - by any spelling - has just started. Add another gift to the Menorah pile and get this 2-disc CD ordered. If you are looking at a bunch of Christmas present wrappings, maybe you received some money from Santa. Use that lucre it to buy this CD. If you are not of any faith of all - that's okay - this is an important CD for all to hear. The music is glorious - the language is splendid. The historical story is as important today as it was years ago.

Do yourself a favor and listen to The Road of Promise.

Carefully cast, the featured soloists are: Anthony Dean Griffey, the Rabbi; Mark Delavan, Abraham/Moses; Ron Rifkin, the Adversary; Eli Tokash, the Thirteen-Year-Old Boy; AJ Glueckert, Jacob/Boaz/David/Isaiah/Hananiah; Lauren Michelle, Rachel/Soul of Moses/Naomi; Megan Marino, Miriam/Ruth; Justin Hopkins, the Dark Angel; Philip Cutlip, Joseph/Solomon/Jeremiah; Michael Slattery, the Voice; Sean Fallen, Angel #1; Jose Pietri-Coimbre, Angel #2.

All of the voices are outstanding - tonal quality, breath control, ability to convey the meaning of lyrics. The arrangements add to the intensity of the story line situations. The next best thing to having been at the performance is listening to this CD. Not even a fragment of hair-splitting criticism.

MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale), and Orchestra of St. Luke’s, led by Tony Award winner Ted Sperling.

The Road of Promise represents a concert adaptation of Kurt Weill’s 1937 opera-oratorio The Eternal Road, which premiered in New York City in 1937, and ran for 153 performances. This pseudo-allegorical work was conceived by European Jewish emigrants in the US as an attempt to inform the American public about Adolf Hitler’s persecution of German Jews. The storyline is set in a synagogue on a night of fearful waiting during the “timeless night of Israel’s persecution.” The Rabbi comforts his congregation by recounting for them iconic stories from Jewish scripture. These biblical scenes unfold through spoken dialogue, arias, ensemble pieces, and a chorus, and bounces between the Rabbi’s ‘present day’ conversations with his congregants and dramatizations of different Torahic stories.

The official release states: "A particularly interesting aesthetic facet of The Road of Promise is the use of references to popular music in the dramatizations of these stories. Modern rhythms in At the Mountain from Act 1 and Ruth the Moabite from Act II, demonstrate the seemingly motivated choice by Weill to draw clear parallels between the plight suffered by Jews in biblical times to that endured in Nazi Germany. The work represents one of the few positive, sympathetic portrayals of Jews in opera or oratorio, from the seventeenth century to the present."

This CD is an excellent example that recording perfection can be achieved in a venue with a live audience. Granted, Carnegie Hall has excellent acoustics. That's only a partial help. There is a large orchestra and cast along with a massive audience. Yet, every instrument can be heard. Every word can be both heard and understood. Audience response is appropriate - neither bland nor overpowering. Everything is perfectly balanced.

Ed Harsh, concert adaptation by Ed Harsh. Ludwig Lewisohn, William A. Drake, Charles Alan, and Kelley Rourke, English translations. Additional orchestrations by Noam Sheriff.

Audio director Jeff Leroy. Mastering Shaun Michaud. Production engineer Nate Hunter and Lucas Paquette.


Perhaps scared to death of not being politically correct, too many good folk are putting Kwanzaa in the same revered category as Christmas and Chanukah - both of which are cornerstone celebrations of two major faiths.

Kwanzaa was invented - made up - much the same way Anna Jarvis and then Hallmark Cards is credited with inventing Mother's Day.

In fact, according to historians, Kwanzaa is a protest against, and an alternative to, how Americans celebrate Christmas. Kwanzaa has nothing to do with religion.

As described in several reference books, former black power radical, Ronald McKinley Everett, who changed his name to Maulana Karenga, "was a major figure in the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and co-founded with Hakim Jamal the Black Nationalism and social change organization. He became an African-American professor of Africana studies, activist and author. He's best known as the creator of the pan-African and African-American holiday of Kwanzaa. When the Watts riots broke out Karenga was a year into his doctoral studies in California. Karenga and the Circle of Seven established a community organization in the aftermath called US (meaning "Us black people") The organization joined in several community revival programs and was featured in press reports. Karenga cited Malcolm X's Afro-American Unity program as an influence on the US organization's work."

The History Makers reported: "As racial disturbances spread across the country, Karenga appeared at a series of black power conferences, joining other groups in urging the establishment of a separate political structure for African-Americans. US developed a youth component with para-military aspects called the Simba Wachanga which advocated and practiced community self-defense and service to the masses."

A December 30, 1983 article by Ron Alexander published in The New York Times states: "Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 to be the first pan-African holiday. He said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."

According to the University of Pennsylvania African Studies Center - " This celebration is not a festival originating in any of the 55 African countries nor is it an "African" Christmas celebration. Kwanzaa is an African-Americans celebration of life from 26 December to 1 January.

"Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced the festival in 1966 to the United States as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. Dr. Karenga created this festival for Afro-Americans as a response to the commercialism of Christmas. In fact one might say that Kwanzaa has similarities with Thanksgiving in the United States or the Yam Festival in Ghana and Nigeria. The word "kwanza" is a KiSwahili (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) word meaning "first."

"Five common sets of values are central to the activities of the week: ingathering, reverence, commemoration, recommitment, and celebration. The seven principles (nguzo saba) of Kwanzaa utilize Kiswahili words: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani). Each of the seven candles signify the principles. Like the Jewish Hannakah, candles are used to represent concepts of the holiday.

"The symbols of Kwanzaa includes crops (mzao) which represents the historical roots of African-Americans in agriculture and also the reward for collective labor. The mat (mkeka) lays the foundation for self- actualization. The candle holder (kinara) reminds believers in the ancestral origins in one of 55 African countries. Corn/maize (muhindi) signifies children and the hope associated in the younger generation. Gifts (Zawadi) represent commitments of the parents for the children. The unity cup (Kkimbe cha Umoja) is used to pour libations to the ancestors. Finally, the seven candles (mishumaa saba) remind participants of the seven pinciples and the colors in flags of African liberation movements - 3 red, 1 black, and 3 green.

"Gifts are exchanged. On 31 December participants celebrate with a banquet of food often cuisine from various African countries. Participants greet one another with "Habari gani" which is Kiswahili for "how are you/ how's the news with you?"

As for Karenga's rile against the commercialization of Christmas - once a profit can be shown - commercialization will occur. As it is, objects and elaborate foods to celebrate Kwanzaa are purchased and gifts are given. As recently as 50 years ago the Jewish community was adamant that Chanukah wouldn't be commercialized. That changed with the next generation who wanted decorations and had the money to pay for them. Stars of David, Menorahs, dreidels, wrapping paper and a host of themed ware are in abundance. That also includes ugly Chanukah sweaters.

If you are about to begin celebrating Kwanzaa, please enjoy yourself. But don't try to mislead anybody into thinking it's a religious holiday or deserves the same respect as religious holidays. It isn't and doesn't.


recently broadcast on PBS was a magnificent presentation which deserves to be rebroadcast on a regular basis. Some of the shows PBS keeps re-running during pledge drives are getting slightly moldy.

Shakespeare Live is brilliantly refreshing. Unfortunately, too many school classes teaching Shakespeare are boring - even off-putting - resulting in students neither enjoying nor understanding The Bard. This show traced Shakespeare's history in a most delightful, yet informative way. A simply splendid early Christmas gift to those viewing the show on December 23, 2016.

The star studded, vivid tribute was taped in front of a life audience from The Bard’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. Many iconic characters, speeches and scenes from Shakespeare’s best-known plays were featured, telling the story of Shakespeare’s life and career. Hosted by David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

The cast in alaphabetical order included: Akala, Richard Atwill, Richard Atwill, Simon Russell Beale, Emma Carrington, Emma Carrington, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard David-Caine, Richard David-Caine, Judi Dench, Anne-Marie Duff, Paapa Essiedu, Paapa Essiedu, Joseph Fiennes, Mariah Gale Mariah Gale, Henry Goodman, Jalaal Hartley, Jalaal Hartley, Alex Hassell, Rufus Hound, Dane Hurst Dane Hurst, Natey Jones Natey Jones, Rory Kinnear, John Lithgow, Rhian Lois Rhian Lois, Nicholas Lumley, Nicholas Lumley, Ian McKellen, Tim Minchin, Helen Mirren, Alison Moyet, Alison Moyet, Al Murray, Theo Ogundipe, Duchess Camilla, wife of Prince Charles, who was an audience member foil in a segment from Kiss Me Kate, Gregory Porter, Prince Charles who had a speaking part in a skit, Nitin Sawhney, Nitin Sawhney, Antony Sher, Tom Stourton, David Suchet, Rufus Wainwright, Alex Waldmann, Alex Waldmann, and Harriet Walter.

The production was directed by Bridget Caldwell, Gregory Doran, Robin Mason, and Tim Taggart. Writing Credit goes to Al Smith.

Music departments credited include: Hector Berlioz, Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Sergei Prokofiev, and Roger Quilter. Music by Sianed Jones, Laura Martin, Stephen Sondheim, Rufus Wainwright, and John Woolf.

Film Editing by Andrew Barker and Marc Corrance

Sue Bourne engineering manager. Nigel Catmur lighting director. Paul Freeman camera supervisor. Wayne Ratcliffe camera operator. Hilary Briegel vision mixer. Dicky Everton on-line editor. Peter Lynch colorist. Do yourself a favor. Don't miss watching Shakespeare Live! on a re-run.

A GRINCH OF A CHRISTMAS BUG attacked both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip as well as child cast members of the hit musical Matilda and several cast members of Rent.

Last Wednesday it was announced that Her Majesty and her husband had abruptly canceled taking the train to Sandringham for their annual Christmas getaway. The Palace cited that they were suffering from "sever colds." The day before they felt fine, hosting their annual Christmas lunch for family and extended family members at Buckingham Palace.

Also last Wednesday the matinee performance of Matilda on the West End was suddenly cut short because of "multiple illnesses in the cast" involving "principle child performers and their understudies." The evening performance at the Cambridge Theatre was also cancelled.

The current 20th anniversary production of Rent was forced to cancel its performance Wednesday, December 21, at the St. James Theatre after four cast members were taken ill as well as the musical supervisor. The December 22 performances were staged as concert performances due to a fifth cast member becoming ill.

On Thursday the 24-hour presumed stomach/intestinal attack had run its course. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip left by helicopter for Sandringham and Matilda resumed performances. By Friday Rent was back to normal.

NEW YEAR'S EVE WISHING WELL Through December 29 at Times Square Pedestrian Plazas in New York City.

Write your wish for the new year on a piece of official Times Square New Year's Eve confetti. Whether it's a personal goal or a dream for the future, your wish will be added to over a ton of confetti that will float down at midnight onto the revelers gathered in Times Square. If you're in Times Square before December 29, you can write down your wish in person at our mobile Wishing Wall; if not, you can submit it virtually before December 28 through our online form or by posting on Twitter or Instagram.

NEW YEAR'S EVE AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE in Sydney, Australia is one of the best places in the world to welcome in a new year. New Year's Eve is the night when Sydney puts on the bling, kicks up its heels and shows the world what a gorgeous thing it is, as a festival of fire explodes across the midnight sky.

Choose between two performances: a full performance of Puccini's La Bohème or the entertaining Opera Gala, featuring favorites by Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and more.

Then, with a heart full of song, watch the fireworks the whole world watches. Interval is timed for the 9pm fireworks and the Sydney Opera House stays open well past the midnight fireworks.

DECEMBER 25 is National Pumpkin Pie Day. December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. December 27 is National Fruit Cake.


SOMETHING ROTTEN! nominated for 10 Tony Awards will end its Broadway run at the St. James Theatre on January 1, 2017.

The musical will have played 742 performances. A U.S. national tour will officially launch January 17, 2017, at The Boston Opera House.

Something Rotten! has music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award and Tony Award nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Tony Award nominees Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell.


ZARA TINDALL equestrian champion who lost the baby she was expecting with her husband Mike Tindall on December 24, 2016. Zara, 35, is the daughter of Princess Anne and oldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The Palace spokeswoman said: "Very sadly, Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their baby. At this difficult time, we ask that everyone respects their privacy."

The Tindalls had announced in November they were expecting a baby, saying they were "very, very happy" and looking forward to 2017.

Zara and Mike have a daughter Mia Grace who will turn three in January.

NICK CANNON 36, who is spending Christmas at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles suffering from complications from lupus. In good spirits, he did a video indicating he expects to be back in action after the New Year.

The America's Got Talent host was diagnosed with the disease about five years ago.

INTO THE WOODS the Tony Award - winning musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.

Venture Into The Woods with the acclaimed Fiasco Theater production. Unanimously acclaimed and extended twice at the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre, this musical has been mounted with boundless imagination. This witty and wildly theatrical re-invention promises to be "as you've never seen it before."

The production includes dazzling songs like Children Will Listen and No One Is Alone, this clever new version will caution you to - Mind the wolf, heed the witch, and honor the giant in the sky in this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes - and what really happens after they come true.

Through January 8, 2017 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS book by Craig Lucas; Music by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin; Lyrics by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin; Musical score adapted, arranged, and supervised by Rob Fisher.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon.

David Andrews Rogers Conductor and musical director.

The Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. The magic and romance of Paris in perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season.

Starring Garen Schribner as Gerry Mulligan and Sara Esty as Lise Dassin.

The Cast includes: Etai Benson, Emily Ferranti, Gayton Scott, Nick Spangler, Leigh-Ann Esty, Ryan Steele, Karolina Blonski, Brittany Bohn, Stephen Brower, Randy Castillo, Jessica Cohen, Barton Cowperthwaite, Alexa De Barr, Caitlin Meighan, Don Noble, Alexandra Pernice, David Prottas, Lucas Segovia, Kyle Vaughn, Laurie Wells, Dana Winkle, Erica Wong, and Blake Zelesnikar,

Swings: Jace Coronado, Erika Hebron, Christopher M. Howard, Colby Q. Lindeman, Nathalie Marrable, Tom Mattingly, Alida Michal, Gia Mongell, Sayiga Eugene Peabody and Danielle Santos.

Understudies: Stephen Brower, Jace Coronado, Barton Cowperthwaite, Erika Hebron, Christopher M. Howard, Colby Q. Lindeman, Nathalie Marrable, Tom Mattingly, Caitlin Meighan, Alida Michal, Gia Mongell, Alexandra Pernice, David Prottas, Danielle Santos, Kyle Vaughn , Laurie Wells and Dana Winkle.

Set and costume design by Bob Crowley. Lighting by Natasha Katz. John Weston sound design. Projection Design by 59 Productions. Seymour Red Press music coordinator. Bill Elliott arrangements.

Music orchestrated by Christopher Austin and Bill Elliott; Dance arrangements by Sam Davis; Associate Director: Dontee Kiehn; Associate Choreographer: Sean Maurice Kelly and Dontee Kiehn Company Manager: DeAnn L. Boise.Production Stage Manager: Kenneth J. Davis. Musical Supervisor: Todd Ellison. Casting: Telsey + Company and Rachel Hoffman, CSA; Dance Captain: Christopher M. Howard.

December 27, 2016 - January 1, 2017 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida.

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

Directed by Jason King Jones.

Choreographed by Tara Jeanne Vallee. Music Directed by Timothy Splain.

One of the most beloved tales of all time! It's 1910 and Mr. Banks is looking for a stern nanny for his two wayward children... but fortunately for the family, Mary Poppins comes along, and teaches them all - especially Mr. Banks - some valuable lessons in what family really means. From the magical Chim Chim Cher-ee to the iconic Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, you'll delight to the story of a wizardly, wise nanny, two precious children, and the family she teaches how to love each other.

Starring Patricia Hurley as Mary Poppins.

Extended through January 8, 2017 at the Olney Theatre in Olney, MD.


BRUNO MARS performs Tuesday, December 27, at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD. On Friday he begins a two nighter at the 5,300 seat venue at the Monte Carlo Resort in Las Vegas which includes his welcoming in the New Year with a show on December 31.

ELTON JOHN stars at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas December 28, 29, New Years Eve and January 1, 2017.

THE TEN TENORS open a two night on Tuesday, December 27, at the Fox Theatre in Tucson, AZ.

ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY rings in the New Year Saturday, December 31, 2016 at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, FL which begins a eight night engagement.

PINK MARTINI welcomes 2017 with a show Saturday, December 31, 2016 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.


CARRIE FISHER actress, author and daughter of the late singer Eddie Fisher and performer Debbie Reynolds, and mother to actress Billie Lourd, died December 27, 2016 after suffering a massive heart attack December 23, 2016 while on a plane flying from London to Los Angeles. She was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in critical condition. Fisher had been on a book tour for The Princess Diarist, based on diaries she kept while filming the original Star Wars trilogy in the late 70s and early 80s. She was returning home for Christmas. She was 60.

Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Fisher wrote and performed in her one-woman play Wishful Drinking at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles from November 7, 2006, to January 14, 2007. Her show played at the Berkeley Repertory Theater through April 2008, followed by performances in San Jose, California, in July 2008, Hartford Stage in August 2008 before moving on to the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in September 2008 and Boston.

On October 4, 2009, Wishful Drinking opened on Broadway in New York at Studio 54 and played an extended run until January 17, 2010.

Fisher publicly discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication, including an appearance on ABC's 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry for the BBC.

As a teen-ager Fisher appeared in her mother's Las Vegas act singing Bridge Over Troubled Waters, written by Paul Simon. Lately she would be married to Simon from August 1983 to July 1984. While married to him she had suffered a miscarriage.

Her relationship with Creative Artists Agency principal and talent agent Bryan Lourd ended but produced one child, Bille. She is also survived by her mother Debbie Reynolds, brother Todd of Las Vegas and his wife; paternal half sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Fisher and her beloved dog Gary, who recently appeared with her on The Late Show with Stephn Colbert.
NOTE: Prior to her death a segment on Carrie Fisher was listed in the "Get Well" Section. The obit contains additional information.

ZSA ZSA GABOR the Hungary-born actress and socialite best known for her nine marriages, including to hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, actor George Sanders and Jack Ryan, who is credited for designing the Barbie doll for Mattel, died Sunday, December 18, 2016 after suffering a heart attack at home. She was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was 99 and had been in poor health for years. In January 2011 her right leg was amputated above the knee. She also required a feeding tube.

She was preceded in death by her two sisters, Magda and Eva. The larger than life sisters were as famous for their lavish lifestyles and "celebrity" as for their show-business careers.

In addition to being a "celebrity" Zsa Zsa was noted for her movie roles and television appearances. Decades ago without an act to speak of, she starred in Las Vegas.

She had a daughter, Francesca, with Conrad Hilton, who never believed she was his biological heir. Francesca, who once performed in Las Vegas, died destitute January 6, 2015.

Zsa Zsa is survived by her husband Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, 73, who married her in 1986. They remained married until her death.

DICK LATESSA Tony award winning actor who originated the role of Dick Latessa Wilbur Turnblad in the original Broadway production of Hairspray, died. December 19, 2016. He was 87.

For his performance as Turnbald, he received a Tony Award, for best featured performance by an actor in a musical. At that time he was 74.

He made his Broadway debut in the role of Giovanni Pastora in the 1968 musical, The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N, which was a flop.

He went on to appear opposite Keith Carradine in Tommy Tune’s production of The Will Rogers Follies, and in revivals of such popular musicals as Damn Yankees and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, among many others. He was a replacement for Herr Schultz in the 1998 Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Cabaret which starred Alan Cumming as The Emcee. In the 1970s, Latessa had roles in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies and, later, in Rags. More recently he appeared in the New York City Center Encores! revival of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s Music in the Air, and in a Broadway revival of Promises, Promises with Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes.

Latessa was featured in several Neil Simon plays, including Chapter Two, I Ought to Be in Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound and Proposals. His last show was a 2012 Broadway transfer of the Vineyard Theatre production of Nicky Silver’s The Lyons, with Linda Lavin.

GORDON HUNT award winning director who was the father of Oscar winning actress Helen Hunt, died December 17, 2016 at his home in Sherman Oaks, after a battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 87.

Hunt directed hundreds of cartoons for television as well as sitcoms including Mad About You, which starred his daughter, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Helen Hunt.

For the stage Hunt helmed productions at the Taper; such as the musicals My Fair Lady and Camelot at the Hollywood Bowl; a salute to Noel Coward at Carnegie Hall; and off-Broadway plays like A Little Family Business, starring Angela Lansbury.

He is survived by his wife B. J. Ward, whom he married in 1995, daughters Helen and Colleen; brothers George and Peter; and grandchildren Makena, Emmett and Lizze.

FRANCA SOZZANI journalist and Editor in Chief of Italian Vogue from 1988 to 2016 died December 22, 2016 after a year long illness. She was 66.

The official release credits her with "nurturing a dazzling talent roster of emerging photographers including Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, and Steven Meisel, all of whom were attracted by the unprecedented editorial freedom that she gave them, and her passion for photography."

Memorable issues of her magazine include The Black Issue (an entire issue devoted to celebrate black women's beauty), Makeover (dedicated to the exploding phenomenon of plastic surgery) and most recently L'Uomo Vogue Rebranding Africa, for which she was awarded several international prizes.

In February 2011, she launched Vogue Curvy - an arm of vogue. It staffed by plus-size bloggers who offer fashion tips for the full-figured.

Divorced, she is survived by her only child, Francesco Carrozzini, a photographer and director and two sisters.

WILLA KIM Tony Award winning costume designer died December 23, 2016. She was 99.

She designed for stage, dance, and film.

Her Tony award wins include design of The Will Rogers Follies in 1991, and for Sophisticated Ladies in 1981. . She earned nominations for her work on Goodtime Charley, Dancin’, Song and Dance, and Legs Diamond.

Her last Broadway show was Victor/Victoria starring Julie Andrews in 1995.

She was awarded Patricia Zipprodt Award for Innovative Costume Design by New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 2003 and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Costume Design from the United States Institute for Theatre Technology in 2005. In 2007 she was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

ROBERT TUCKER a Tony nominated choreographer died December 22, 2016.

Tucker began his career as an actor performing on Broadway in Porgy and Bess in 1942. He danced in Call Me Madam, Of Thee I Sing, and Peter Pan starring Mary Martin, where he also served as the assistant to choreographer Jerome Robbins.

Tucker spent several years as Ballet Master to Robbin’s Ballet USA. He made his Broadway choreographic debut as co-choreographer of Nöel Coward’s Sweet Potato in 1968. He went on to work on the dance arrangements and choreography of Lorelai, Gypsy (1974), Shenandoah - earning a Tony nomination - Musical Jubilee, Angel, The American Dance Machine, My Old Friends, and the 1989 revival of Shenandoah.

During his career, Tucker also assisted Robbins and Bob Fosse on Bells are Ringing, assisted Robbins on Gypsy and the 1962 movie which starred Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell; and worked with Fosse on Sweet Charity and New Girl in Town.

He is survived by his children actor Ian Tucker, Tony nominated actress Zan Charisse, and actress Nana Visitor, actress, known for playing Kira Nerys in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Jean Ritter in the television series Wildfire, and eight grandchildren.

Next Column: January 1, 2017
Copyright: December 25, 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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