Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: December 31, 2006
By: Laura Deni


So you're nursing a hangover and trying to forget those resolutions that are never going to be kept.

The British Medical Journal has opined; "No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any complementary or conventional intervention is effective for treating or preventing alcohol hangover."

For those wishing a second opinion - here are a few:

1. Cabbage - may not be as bad as it sounds. Reputedly the ancient Greeks thought it was a potent cure. Cabbage is thought to help the body clear out Congeners. Do What?

Congeners are toxic byproducts of the fermentation and distillation processes. Chemical impurities responsible for giving each drink its individual taste, aroma and a color which is good. However, congeners do add to the strength of your hangover - which is bad. Some drink manufacturers may even add artificial colorings and flavorings to enhance their brands. There is some speculative evidence to suggest these may increase the drinks toxicity - and help make a hangover even worse.

2. Water. Several glasses just before you go to sleep - although if drunk enough you might wet the bed or wake up in the night needing a bathroom. Never-the-less enough water in your tissues will probably avoid the dehydration hangover which is billed as the most common. A dry mouth in the morning is a big clue to dehydration.

3. Coffee. The proverbial strong black kind - well tested but apparently scientifically bogus. The caffeine may dim the ache but it'll just dehydrate you more too. You'll just be a wide-awake head holder. Water is infinitely a better, read healthier, option.

4. Voodoo. The Haitian suggestion is to stick thirteen pins in the cork of the offending bottle. If you can focus long enough it might feel a little like revenge.

5. Herb lore. In the dark ages it was suggested to try drinking a concoction which was predominantly Soot. Probably going to empty your stomach fairly quickly. Charcoal is thought to help clear out the congeners from your system. So clean out the chimney or off to the drug store for charcoal tablets and down the hatch.

6. The hair of the dog. Don't gather the hairs from big dogs unknown to you, else it might be not 'the hair of the dog that bit you' but 'the hair of bit dog.' Seriously, alcohol to cure a hangover has both factual and fictional element. A little might help you feel better, as you will be suffering from a mild form of withdrawal and a drink may feed the need. But the drink won't help the hangover, in reality you will just be extending the time it takes to get better.

7. Be true to the one. Different drinks have different ingredients, congeners, additives. By drinking a variety of drinks you will greatly increase the variety of toxins and additives going into your system. As the toxicity levels rise your system goes into overload dealing with all what the body sees as poisons. Your liver works overtime trying to flush the system. If you're not drinking the water the liver needs to do its job - you'll be dehydrating bringing on a much worse hangover.


WRESTLING WITH ANGELS - TONY KUSHNER IN PERSON In this entertaining portrait of Pulitzer- and Tony-winning playwright Tony Kushner, filmmaker Freida Lee Mock journeys through his life and times, from his Jewish boyhood in small-town Louisiana to his development as a writer, politically active gay man and sharp-witted advocate of a more literate and compassionate society.

Post-screening discussion with Tony Kushner, moderated by Daniel Gallant, director of the Makor Theater program. Sponsored by the 92nd Street Y on Jan 4 at the Steinhardt Building in NYC.

Ramsey Lewis
is the highest honor that our nation bestows upon a jazz musician.

Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.

The seven new NEA Jazz Masters - class of 2007 - will officially receive their awards at a ceremony and concert held in New York City on January 12, 2007, as a highlight of the annual conference of the International Association for Jazz Education.

The new inductees include;

Big-band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi, who was discovered in 1952 by Oscar Peterson while he was on a Jazz at the Philharmonic tour of Japan; pianist Ramsey Lewis; vocalist Jimmy Scott; hard-bop trombonist Curtis Fuller; the tenor saxophonist and influential flutist Frank Wess;
Toshiko Akiyoshi
the alto saxophonist Phil Woods, who was honored in the composer-arranger category; and Dan Morgenstern, director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, who was chosen in the jazz advocacy category.

For the NEA Jazz Masters, the selection criteria are the excellence and significance of the nominees' contributions to the development and performance of jazz.

The Arts Endowment honors musicians who represent a range of styles and instruments. Those are categorical awards , e.g., a rhythm instrumentalist, pianist, solo instrumentalist, vocalist, and an arranger or composer.

In addition, one fellowship - the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy - is given to an individual who has made major contributions to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the American jazz art form. Each award is $25,000.

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER AND DAVID IAN the two men behind the reality TV casting in How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, have been named 2006's most influential figures in British theatre.

Over eight million people tuned in to watch Connie Fisher selected as the lead in Lloyd Webber's new West End production of The Sound of Music. Although Equity complained that amateurs were auditioning for a professional show - the formula will be repeated in 2007.

Lloyd Webber will take part in Any Dream Will Do, an attempt to find a new lead for Joseph that will be shown once more on the BBC. In America Ian will be featured in You're the One that I Want, centered on casting the lead for a new Broadway production of Grease.

Rod Stewart
Queen Elizabeth has included several performers on her 2007 New Year's Day Honors List.

Rocker Rod Stewart has been made a Commander Of The British Empire (CBE). He said he was "overjoyed" at the award when he received the news at his home in Palm Springs, California. He said, "It's a great honor. Although I'm living in California, I'm very proud to be British." The awards are decided months in advance of public announcement, making it unlikely that the 61-year-old Do Ya Think I'm Sexy singer's announcement that he finds Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall sexy had anything to do with his nomination. Stewart has 200 million in record sales and six topping the charts at Number One. He is also a avid supporter of The Princes Trust.

Other music stars on the royal list include deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who becomes a Dame, and blind jazz pianist George Shearing, who receives a knighthood. House star Hugh Laurie is also celebrating - he was awarded an Order Of The British Empire (OBE) for his glittering acting career. Director Peter Greenway picks up a CBE.

U2 singer Bono is to be awarded an honorary knighthood for his services to the music industry and his humanitarian work.

Although most recipients enjoy a visit to Buckingham Palace or one of the other royal residences, Bono - whose real name is Paul Hewson - will be knighted by the British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, David Reddaway, during a service in Dublin in the early part of the New Year.

As an Irish, rather than British, citizen, Bono — as with Bob Geldof before him — won't be able to use his title of Sir. An American resident on the list is a chemistry professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who has been selected for knighthood. Fraser Stoddart, a world-renowned expert in molecular nanotechnology, said the honor would allow him "to be more influential, perhaps, in speaking on behalf of the importance of chemistry to science and the importance of nanotechnology."

Stoddart, who has been at UCLA since 1997, said he prefers that no one in the United States address him as "Sir." "I embrace the informality of American, and particularly California, culture," said Stoddart, 64, who is a native of Scotland.

Stoddart is director of the California NanoSystems Institute, which is opening a building at UCLA next year.

Nanotechnology is research and development at the atomic level that seeks to create smaller and more powerful devices and systems. Part of Stoddart's work in tiny nanovalves - smaller than living cells and capable of crossing cell membranes - is being adapted for the delivery of cancer drugs.

Stoddart, who lives in Santa Monica, said Friday he didn't know whether he would travel to Britain for one of the queen's investiture ceremonies next year or attend a ceremony in Washington. It is considered rare for an academic working outside Britain to be knighted.

Not having to travel far to receive her award is Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter. Bloodlines aside, Phillips is an expert horsewoman, who was nominated for the honor by the UK's sporting honors sub-committee. Phillips won gold at the World Equestrian Games in August (06) and was named BBC Sports Personality Of The Year in December.

The avid horsewoman is also the first member of the British royal family to appear in an advertisement - starring as the face of 4x4 giant Land Rover in a poster campaign. Wearing a white, mud splattered Roberto Cavalli dress and high heels, the beauty reclines on a luxurious seat, beneath the caption Beautifully Poised.

Phillips agreed to appear in the commercial as part of her Land Rover sponsorship deal. A company spokesperson says, "We've been supporting her for some time now." Phillips' mother is Princess Anne, also an active horsewoman, who represented Britain in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

A woman already a Dame - Helen Mirren - has been invited to Buckingham Palace along with the rest of the cast from the critically acclaimed movie The Queen. That invite is seen as the royal seal of approval from Queen Elizabeth who has seen the movie. The cast was asked to set aside a date for lunch by the queens private secretary Robin Janvin. Director Stephen Frears, writer Peter Morgan, producer Andy Harries and star Dame Helen Mirren are clearing their calendars.

You don't have to be a name grabbing hot shot to get your just rewards. A lifetime of hard work can pay off. Hundreds of ordinary people are on the list. These include a former milkman, an airlines shoe shiner and a lady who's devoted much of her life to the sport of baton-twirling.

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The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle has announced that they will partner with the Seattle Police Department on an exciting new project in conjunction with the theatre's 50th anniversary production of West Side Story.

This classic musical about feuding New York street gangs and the young lovers caught in the crossfire provides the perfect forum to discuss at-risk youth, their hopes, dreams and challenges, cultural differences, and the relationships between youth and the police.

This project will include:

Participation of nearly 200 local high school students representing the city's diverse ethnic and minority communities.

Discussion of themes portrayed in the show with fellow youth, Seattle Police officers and 5th Avenue staff.

The opportunity to attend a fully-staged production of West Side Story at The 5th Avenue Theatre and participate in a “talk back” with actors.

Other community-wide dialogues will take place with the general public, the Seattle Police Department, the media and participating students.

West Side Story will open in May at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle.

Paul Magid as Cidi and Peter Van Norden as Don Quixote. Photo by Ken Jacques
by Paul Magid, based on the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Directed by San Diego Rep Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse.

Don Quixote will feature the masters of juggling and hilarity, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, who have added two new members to the troupe due to the performance demands of dancing, singing, acting - and juggling. Peter Van Norden will play the illustrious gentleman from La Mancha, with Willie G as Sancho Panza, Magid as Cidi, Jennifer Miller, Jasper Patterson, Suzy Hernandez Peredo and Michael Preston.

This picaresque road story of idealism gone awry follows the trials and tribulations of beloved dreamer Don Quixote, the famous character in the greatest modern European novel in all of literature. The gentleman from La Mancha, obsessed with the chivalrous ideals in books he has read, decides to take up a lance and a sword to defend the helpless and destroy the wicked. Magid’s completely new view of this timeless tale covers the gamut from comedy to tragedy to political satire ~ and walks the gauntlet of insanity in creating new ways of bringing theatre alive through superb juggling, at-the-edge dancing, gotcha musical numbers, giant puppets, and never-before-seen theatrical effects. The seven actors and two musicians play 40 roles.

The creative team includes Gregg Moore (Musical Director), Nick Fouch (Scenic Design), Jennifer Setlow (Lighting Design), Jennifer Brawn Gittings (Costume Design), M. Scott Grabau (Sound Design), Javier Velasco (Dance Choreography), Jamie Newcomb & Stephen Morgan-MacKay (Fight Directors).

Performance schedule, January 6 - February 4 on the Lyceum Stage of the San Diego Rep in San Diego, CA.

ISRAEL HOROVITZ'S NEW SHORTS; NINE ACTORS, NINE NEW PLAYS directed by Horovitz and Michael LoPorto with special choreography by Yvonne Marceau.

This production is the second of three events leading up to the launch of Horovitz’s new theatre company New York Playwrights Lab slated to present the NY premiere of Horovitz’s The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath at the Kirk Theatre in Manhattan beginning February 13, 2007.

Israel Horovitz’s New Shorts: ine actors, nine new plays is an collection of nine brilliantly theatrical, original short plays ranging from hilarious to harrowing. Some of the titles include Affection in Time, Cat Lady, Dance Play, Fat Guy Gets Girl, Inconsolable, Race Play, The Hotel Play and Beirut Rocks.

Performances begin Wednesday, January 3rd, opening Thursday, January 11 through January 21st, at the Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row in Manhattan.

THE MIDTOWN INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL which showcases more than 40 different productions over a three-week period every summer, is expanding its reach with the Next Step MITF Development Series, presenting six works by MITF Alumni, and running from January 15th - June 28 in New York City.

The subject matter ranges from musicals about dieting and marriage (gay and straight) to a backstage comedy and an adaptation of Nosferatu.

Curated and coordinated by MITF co-artistic director Glory Sims Bowen, each show in the Developmental Series will run between 2 and 4 weeks and be performed at John Chatterton's Where Eagles Dare Theatre. All productions in the series will be done as Equity Showcases.

CHICAGO on December 31 welcomes the return of Bebe Neuwirth to the production. Neuwirth originally created the role of Velma Kelly. This time out she takes on the part of the other murderer - Roxie Hart. She remains in the role through March 25, 2007. Also joining the cast on December 31 are Brenda Braxton as Velma and Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart. The musical plays at the Ambassador Theatre in Manhattan.

Robin Bartunek and Keith Jurosko star in The Mikado. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
announces its 33rd Anniversary season, which will feature fully staged productions of The Yeomen of the Guard, The Mikado, and a one night special performance of The Rose of Persia as part of its New York season scheduled January 5th-14th on the stage of New York’s historic City Center.

Incorporating a 25-piece orchestra, the NYGASP productions are performed under the baton of Albert Bergeret, who also serves as stage director. A sampling of the season’s casting includes NYGASP veteran actors in the following roles: The Yeomen of the Guard - Stephen Quint as Jack Point, Keith Jurosko as The Lieutenant, Richard Holmes as Sgt. Meryll, and Angela Smith as Dame Carruthers; The Mikado - Keith Jurosko as The Mikado, Laurelyn Watson as Yum-Yum, Michael Scott Harris as Nanki-Poo, Stephen Quint as Ko-Ko and Louis Dall’Ava as Pooh-Bah: The Rose of Persia - David Wannen as The Sultan, Laurelyn Watson as Rose-In-Bloom, Michael Scott Harris as Yussuf the Storyteller, and Kimberly Bennett as Heart’s Desire.

The Yeoman of the Guard features Michael Harris, Laurelyn Watson and Stephen Quint. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
The NYGASP productions will have costumes designed by Gail J. Wofford; lights designed by Sally Small, and scenery by Mr. Bergeret.

Audiences of all ages will enjoy the NYGASP Family Overture series of entertaining and informative pre-show musical introductions and plot summaries. Hosted by Artistic Director Albert Bergeret, these interactive and fun-filled presentations are offered on Saturday Jan. 6th prior to the matinee of The Mikado and Sunday Jan. 7th prior to the matinee of The Yeomen of the Guard. A matinee admission is also the only ticket needed for Family Overture.

Set in the Tower of London during the turbulent reign of King Henry the Eighth, The Yeomen of the Guard, or The Merryman and His Maid is the story of a gallant prisoner falsely accused, two girls who love him, and an out of work itinerant jester. A comic jailer and a busy body old lady provide comic relief from the multiple tales of intrigue as the heroic prisoner narrowly escapes execution, woos the woman to whom he is already secretly wed, and dashes the hopes of the jilted jester in the process. The most operatic of the Gilbert & Sullivan masterpieces, the score is full of grand and intimate moments - delicate, dramatic, and sincerely moving by degrees. The only G&S collaboration set in an actual historic time and place, it nevertheless contains the wit and satire of human nature which define their art.

In The Mikado, or The Town of Titipu, the location is a fictitious Japanese town full of colorful characters - 3 little maids from school, a wandering minstrel, a hilariously corrupt public official, and a Lord High Executioner who may have a list of potential victims but is too tenderhearted to actually perform his duties. Beautiful school girl Yum-Yum loves the romantic minstrel Nanki-Poo but is engaged to Ko-Ko the executioner. This romantic triangle takes the usual course of thwarted romance, until the arrival first of the fearsome Katisha, claiming Nanki-Poo as her “perjured lover,” and later of the emperor, or Mikado, himself - with his own list of punishments to fit the crime.
The Rose of Persia stars David Wannen and Angela Smith. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
In order to resolve the ensuing complications, Ko-Ko must use his wits to convince the most unattractive Katisha to marry him - in record time.

The Rose of Persia was inspired by a tale from The Arabian Nights, flavored with musical spices from the Middle East, The Rose of Persia, Sullivan's last completed opera (1899) and librettist Basil Hood's first for the Savoy, is a lively mix of elements familiar from Sullivan's work with Gilbert, and later influences looking toward the emerging genre of musical comedy.

The Rose of Persia, or The Story-Teller and the Slave takes place in a less complicated middle east where slave girls and the Sultana herself, Rose-In-Bloom, seek escape from the boredom of the harem by concealing themselves in the home of a wealthy philanthropist named Hassan who shuns the society of the Sultan’s court.

Hassan has only 25 wives, but is constantly trying to escape their whining complaints, especially those of his domineering first wife, Dancing Sunbeam.

Performances January 6 through 15.


SERGIO MENDES rings in 2007 by ending a 28-year absence from the Brazilian stage when he joins the hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas and the vocalist John Legend as part of the Nokia New Year's Eve party. That party takes place in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Berlin, Rio and New York. Mendes will take part in the free concert on the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, More than two million revelers are expected to cram the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches and the adjacent Atlantica Avenue to celebrate the New Year and watch fireworks. The free concert, including the drum corps of a Carnival samba school, will be a main attraction.

Each of the five cities will host artists of both local and international appeal. New York performers include Rihanna, Ludacris, and KT Tunstall. In Hong Kong, Atomic Kitten and Hacken Lee will play. Mumbai will have Nelly Furtado; Berlin will have The Scissor Sisters.

The full shows from each of the five cities will be available online through the partnership with MSN.

JOHNNY MATHIS AND THE RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO kick off the New Year with shows Thursday, January 4 at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. On Saturday the show is at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, TX.

FRANK SINATRA JR opens a two night stand this evening at the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, WA.

ART GARFUNKEL in the spotlight Saturday, January 5, at the Cerritos Center in Cerritos, CA.

CHRIS BOTTI on stage next Sunday, January 7, at the Chapman Music Hall in Tulsa, OK.

CHERYL WHEELER on stage Friday, January 5 at the Kirkland Arts Center in Clinton, NY. On Saturday the show is at Circle of Friends in Franklin, MA.

BLUES TRAVELER in the spotlight Friday, January 5, at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, in Cerritos, CA.

JIM GAFFIGAN stars Friday, January 5 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. On Saturday, January 6, the venue is the same but Gaffigan is joined by Gregg Allman and Friends. On Saturday the line-up features Gaffigan and Ricky Skaggs.


Jimmy Buffet Live on The Today Show, The Blue Man Group, EFX Show At The MGM Grand, Las Vegas, 3rd Eye Blind, Back Street Boys, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Lance Burton, Diana Ross, ZZ Top, Garth Brooks, Kiss, Paul Mc Cartney, Whitney Houston, David Copperfield, Alice Cooper, Boston, Leonardo Decaprio, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Julliard School of Music, George W Bush Campaign, Al Gore Campaign, Bill Clinton Campaign, John McCain 2000, Bob Dole Campaign are just some of the performers and events that have thrown around the confetti - all manufactured by Confetti King John Jaworski, who owns one of the largest confetti and streamer production companies in the world.

If you plan to toss a bunch around Jaworski recommends "the slow-falling, rectangle tissue confetti that floats in the air for the longest time - and looks the prettiest."

Tim Tompkins, co-producer of New years Eve Times Square even stages a confetti throwing rehearsal billed as an "air worthiness test." of the confetti used for celebration in Times Square on New Year's Eve

As for Jaworski, he's proud that confetti is safe and reports his confetti has never caused an injury.

Next Column: January 7, 2007
Copyright: December 31, 2006. 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