Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: December 4, 2016
By: Laura Deni


A comedic farce with a bite.

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's classic 1928 comedy, The Front Page, is on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre but only through February 5, 2017. It's the first revival in 30 years, so try to get a ticket.

The Front Page has been adapted for the cinema at least three times, thus most already know the plot.

Never-the-less, the official description is: The play is set in the dingy Press Room of Chicago's Criminal Courts Building, overlooking the gallows behind the Cook County Jail. Reporters from most of the city's newspapers are passing the time with poker and pungent wisecracks about the news of the day. Soon they will witness the hanging of Earl Williams, a white man and supposed Communist revolutionary convicted of killing a black policeman. Hildy Johnson, cocky star reporter for the Examiner, is late. He appears only to say good-bye; he is quitting to get a respectable job and be married. When Hildy accidentally discovers the runaway convict, he and editor Burns conspire to hide the man from the other reporters, while they chase the biggest scoop of their careers.

Tony Award winner Nathan Lane as editor Walter Burns is a performance force which defies description. He is the backbone of the production, although you have to wait awhile for his entrance.

Members of the bold faced type, above the fold cast are:

Emmy Award nominee John Slattery as star reporter Hildy Johnson - Emmy Award winner John Goodman (who recently appeared in the BBC series Dancing on the Edge) as Sheriff Hartman - Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays as germaphobe reporter Bensinger - Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Holland Taylor as Mrs. Grant, the bride-to-be's uptight mother - Tony Award nominee Sherie Rene Scott as prostitute Mollie Malloy, who befriends the accused - Tony and Emmy Awards winner and American Theater Hall of Fame member Robert Morse is cast as messenger Pincus. Halley Feiffer is the the bride-to-be. Feiffer is the daughter of famed satirist and cartoonist Jules Feiffer, and writer, actor, and comedian Jenny Allen.

The reporters are Christopher McDonald as Murphy, Dylan Baker as McCue, Lewis J. Stadlen as Endicott, David Pittu as Schwartz, Joey Slotnick as Wilson, and Clarke Thorell as Kruger.

Patricia Conolly appears Jennie; Dann Florek is the Mayor; John Magaro is Earl; Danny Mastrogiorgio plays Diamond Louie; Micah Stock is the cop “Woodenshoes” Eichorn.

Many of those receive applause just by walking on stage.

I totally enjoyed this revival, although I'm not sure about the specifies as to why. It is dated and brought back memories, not all of which were happy.

Decades ago when I worked for a Nevada newspaper, type was set by hand. Typewriters were manual and had ribbons which needed to be regularly changed, causing ink stained fingertips. Phones had cords attached to a wall and camera film had to be developed in a dark room. If anyone was 'twittering' it meant they had a nervous disorder.

The man whose desk was across from mine kept a liquor bottle in his top right hand desk drawer.

The wire service reporter's desk was to my right. I've never met a quieter or neater person. He would polish the top of his desk each day before going to lunch. Decades later he's be arrested for a DUI in which a person was killed. He went to prison.

I was hired the same day as a man. We had identical qualifications. I worked five-and a half days a week for a gross weekly pay of $60.00. The man only worked five days a week and was paid $10.00 a week more. When I asked the editor 'why?' I was told - "Because he's a man."

Unless you worked in the industry and somewhat understand the territory, you need to keep an open mind about the past, remembering that The Front Page was penned in 1928.

However, much of it remains current - cynicism, political incorrectness, bad language, insults, and the pressure to do anything to get the story first.

Some things never change.

The press can be both powerful and scuzzy.

Women were demeaned on a daily basis, as reflected in The Front Page. The play is a farce but it isn't a burlesque sketch. Men normally joked about women's "bazooms." This comedy wasn't written to send messages about inequality. The comments were the way people spoke. The way things were. The newspaper business was a man's game where the talk was as strong as the liquor.

Nathan Lane in The Front Page Photo by Julieta Cervantes
The Front Page is set during the time when a newspaper was deeply racist, sexist, and anti-gay. The words used to described anyone other than white are no longer printed. Women were defined by descriptions of their body parts and the vocabulary used to describe anybody who was suspected of being gay were anything but.

Carefully crafted cuts have removed a few words and phrases from the original script, which would have emphasized those attitudes. In today's society, if the phrases had been left in, the words would have been inflammatory and taken attention away from the plot.

The opening of The Front Page is a bit slow, but things were slower in 1928. Stay with it.

The seedy sets by Douglas W. Schmidt are realistic as is the roll top desk, crucial during the farce portions of this classic comedy.

This production is set in the time period when men wore suits and ties and women put on dresses. Even a clod of a man would brush his suit and women went to extremes not to get a spot on their clothes. The clean looking, period suits and more fashionable female costumes are by Ann Roth.

Scott Lehrer’s sound design is perfection, since sounds outside the press room are important. The hangman's noose in the courtyard is being tested, readied for the next day's execution.

Brian MacDevitt’s effective period lighting is reflective of the time frame and story line.

Frequently yelling "shut up! " viper of an editor Walter is an equal opportunity abuser. He doesn't know political correctness - in fact PC didn't exist until recently. His conscious meter is self-centered. He has no qualms in sabotaging Hildy's wedding - no purpose except to keep Hildy pounding those typewriter keys.

Other than actors playing Walter and Hildy, how the character development of each role materializes is in the hands of the director, rather than set in stone by the excessively wordy script. That is especially true regarding the roles of the Sherriff and Mayor.

Tony award winner director Jack O'Brien has Goodman play Sheriff Hartman as dimwitted, while the Mayor played by Dann Florek is a greasy manipulator. It's obvious that they are determined to get re-elected no matter the consequences to anyone else.

The Cop with that German accent played by Mich Stock, sees himself as an arm chair psychologist with a fondness for conspiracy theories. Robert Morse as the messenger is a key cog in this comedy and proves there are no small parts. Acting landmark Morse is one of the few who has never given a bad performance in anything - including this show in which he is precious as a law abiding process server from the governor’s office. Both Stock and Morse are scene stealers.

Incredible cast. Go see the show.

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Righteous Revenge will star its author Joe Moore and Pat Sajak. Photo: Pacific Aviation Museum
in Hawaii will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with events through December 9, 2016.

The events will culminate December 9 with a performance of Righteous Revenge. Popular Hawaiian based TV newscaster, actor and playwright Joe Moore will be joined by Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak for a reprisal of Moore’s historical play Righteous Revenge, which tells the story of the incredible Doolittle Raid that flew over Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack. The Doolittle Raid lifted American spirits and helped fuel America’s wartime energy. Event includes reception and photo ops with the stars of the play.

The week-long commemoration began last night, December 3, with the Museum celebrating its 10th anniversary. The annual fundraiser helps support the Museum’s Restoration and Education programs and included cocktails, dinner, entertainment, and an auction. Guests were treated to a first look at newly restored aircraft fresh out of Lt. Ted Shealy’s Restoration Shop.

This afternoon the world premiere of the documentary Remember Pearl Harbor premiered. This one-hour documentary produced and directed by Tim Gray, features interviews with six Pearl Harbor survivors, including Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor. Narrated by actor Tom Selleck. Attendees can meet USS Arizona survivors and Iwo Jima Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams, who are expected to attend the screening.

On December 6 a ceremony honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor will take place. The Blackened Canteen Ceremony hosted by Dr. Hiroya Sugano M.D. takes place aboard the USS Arizona. Dr. Sugano, Director General of the Zero Fighter Admirers’ Club, comes from Japan to conduct this annual commemoration of peace and reconciliation ceremony with a silent prayer and pouring bourbon whisky from a WWII-blackened canteen into the water from the USS Arizona Memorial as an offering to the spirits of the fallen. The public and press are invited on a first come, first served basis.

On December 7, 2016 the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade steps off at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki. The gaily lit and decorated F-104 Starfighter joins the other bands and floats, to parade down Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, to honor and pay respect to the Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, active duty military and their families. The parade takes place on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

THE WORLD WAR I MUSEUM in Kansas City, MO is commemorating the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, by welcoming Doolittle Raider veteran, Lt. Col. Dick Cole, USAF (Ret.), and Dr. Dennis R. Okerstrom, author of the acclaimed book Dick Cole’s War, for an engaging event. Cole and Okerstrom will reflect on the impact of Pearl Harbor and the present day meaning of WWII. The December 7th event is sold out.


original cast recording, with music by Alan Menkin, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the story by Charles Dickens has been released by Masterworks Broadway.

For ten years this version of A Christmas CaroI was staged at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Over the years such luminaries as F. Murray Abraham, Tim Curry, Tony Randall, Roddy McDowell (in his final role), Frank Langella, Tony Roberts, Jim Dale and Roger Daltrey, starred as Scrooge. I was fortunate to see the productions starring Curry, Randall and Daltrey

This CD captures the 1995 staging which starred the powerful voice of Walter Charles as Scrooge.

Other featured players are Nick Corley as Cratchit, Ken Jennings as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Jeff Keller as the Ghost of Jacob Marley, Joseph Kolinski as Mr. Smythe, Michael Mandell as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Robert Westenberg as Fred, Bill Nolte as the Gravedigger, Emily Skinner as Emily and Mary Stout as Mrs. Fezziwig.

The chorus is large, talented and powerful.

The effective music with orchestrations by Michael Starobian and Douglas Besterman captures the staging, guiding the listener in the visualization of the production.

If you've seen any of the productions, this CD is a glorious reminder. For those who haven't had the magnificent opportunity to have seen any of the productions, this CD will bring to life the classic, with songs that are different than those associated with the television or movie versions.

From the moment the dramatic overture begins with the foreboding chime of the clock, ominous chords and maniacal laughter in The Years Are Passing By and Jolly, Rich and Fat, establishes Scrooge's demeanor and the attitude of others towards him. Dramatic, full bodied orchestrations and performances in Nothing To Do With Me in which Scrooge's nephew tries to get him into the Christmas spirit and Scrooge counters that Christmas has nothing do with him, begins as a fast paced number in which each quickly spoken word can be perfectly understood.

The ghosts begin arriving in the spirited, Link By Link with swooshes so realistic that you can hear the wind blowing the curtains. The lock step movement links the listener to those imprisoned by their own earthly actions. The Ghost of Christmas Past offers The Lights of Long Ago in which Scrooge is, at first, reminded of happiness. Then it becomes apparent that a tragic childhood shaped Scrooge into the man he became. A variety of musical styles from soaring to the jazzy and euphoric Abundance and Charity, a feel good, high spirited, kick up your heels dance-to-it, while Christmas Together is to-the-rafters joyful. Mr. Fezziwig's Annual Christmas Ball is romping cheerful, leading into A Place Called Home which will tug at your heart.

The chilling Dancing On Your Grave is statement making both in music and with Ahrens' lyrics. The finale is bring-the-audience-to-their-feet awesome.

Paul Gemignaniia conducts the best of musicians.

This version of A Christmas Carol is told through song, thus this wonderful CD brings to life the traditional story. You don't need the visual. Use your imagination - after all it is Christmas. This CD would be a perfect stocking stuffer.

an all-kid cast revival staged by the York Theatre Company was recorded and released by Broadway Records.

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown features a book, music, and lyrics by Clark Gesner, with additional material by Andrew Lippa and Michael Mayer. The musical made its Broadway debut in 1971 and received a Tony-nominated revival in 1999.

This production is based on a concert that was presented at Feinstein's/54 Below by Van Dean of Broadway Records and Jennifer Ashley Tepper, and is explained as "combining the simplicity of the original 1967 Off-Broadway version with additions from the 1999 Broadway revival.

This revival as heard on the CD stars Broadway vets all ages 9-14: Joshua Colley and Graydon Peter Yosowitz play Charlie Brown, Gregory Diaz as Schroeder, Aidan Gemme as Snoopy, Tony award winner and Grammy nominee Milly Shapiro as Sally, Mavis Simpson-Ernst as Lucy, and Jeremy T. Villas as Linus.

Two things stand out in this CD. First, all the performers are children. Many times children - even those in the profession - can be difficult to understand on a recording. In this case, every, single word spoken or sung by any of the cast is precise. Secondly, the piano background is a crucial part of the show. If there is poor sound design and second rate recording, the results can sound like somebody is banging on the keys. In this case, the sound execution, recording and mixing is the gold standard.

The piano is played by music director Eric Svejcar. He's backed by the talents of bassist Mark Verdino and drummer Adam Wolfe.

If there is anyone who doesn't know Snoopy then they aren't of this solar system. This CD captures it all - a production which included everybody and their respective attitudes. The refrain in T-E-A-M does cause me to think of the "Have an eggroll" musical bars from Mr. Goldstone, I Love You from Gypsy. Of course Happiness is included - next to the closer Suppertime, which is the universally well known Snoopy theme.

The CD contains Bonus Tracks Linus and Lucy and The Kite with Joshus Colley live at 54 Below.

Since this an all youth cast, this CD could be an excellent stocking stuffer for the younger set. A wonderful way to engage them in live theater - or a nice addition to memories of annual television productions.

Music direction by Eric Svejcar. Recording engineered by Todd Whitelock and John Kilgore. Assistant engineer (Avitar) Thom Beemer. Recorded at Avatar Studio, NYC and john Kilgore Studios, NYC. Mixed by Michael Moritz Jr. at Kontinuous Jams Studios. Mastered by Greg Reierson at Rare Rare Form Mastering. Photos by Carol Rosegg.


U.S. Supreme Court takes part in mock trial of Romeo & Juliet. Photo: Shakespeare Theatre Company.
An appellate argument before a panel of judges, presided over by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and based on a scenario from Shakespeare Theatre Company's current production of Romeo & Juliet convenes Monday, December 12, 2016 at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, DC.

Romeo & Juliet: Wrongful Deaths? That's the question which will be decided during the STC Bard Association's winter Mock Trial.

BENCH: Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States, presiding Judge Thomas B. Griffith, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge Robert L. Wilkins, United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

COURT MARSHAL: Marshal Pamela Talkin, Supreme Court of the United States.

ADVOCATES: Counsel for the Appellees, Lord and Lady Montague & Lord and Lady Capulet
Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

Counsel for the Appellant, Friar Laurence
Elizabeth B. Prelogar, Assistant to the Solicitor General.

The argument will be followed by a Decision and then a VIP Reception. Conceived in 1994, the Mock Trial Series explores the connection of classical theatre and modern-day law. Tickets to the event have been known to sell out in minutes due to the prominent law professionals it hosts. The event has been sold out for months.


On Monday, December 12, for one night only, La MaMa in New York City will present An Italian Miracle, an evening of a performance, panel discussion and film screening, to introduce New York to The Integrated Theatre of Emotion, a university-level program for mentally disabled people that has been established by Italian actor/director Dario D'Ambrosi.

D'Ambrosi is founder of the theatrical movement named Pathological Theater (Teatro Patologico). The program academically and professionally prepares people for careers in theater arts who are schizophrenic, catatonic, manic depressive, autistic or born with Downs Syndrome.

The Integrated Theatre of Emotion has been fully operational for almost a year now at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, in one of Rome's outer boroughs, and has been revolutionary in the lives of people with mental disabilities and their families.

The La MaMa evening will feature video clips, exclusive testimonials and presentations of results of scientific studies that demonstrate the accomplishments of the program, presenting it as a model that could be used worldwide to help give back to many marginalized people their deserved dignity. Dario D'Ambrosi asserts, "They are forced to lie restrained in hospital beds or to wear straight jackets in many part of the world, but we offer them to take part to our Integrated Theatre of Emotion University Course. We are already the future."

The evening will begin with excerpts from the play, The Buzzing of the Flies by Dario D'Ambrosi, with Greta Scacchi and Giorgio Colangeli.

In a world without madness, a team of scientists and psychiatrists is working on a new ambitious project: to bring back folly to the earth, in order to fight boredom and depression. They capture the last three crazy people in the world: a failed painter, an absent minded dreamer and a sweet and sensitive piano player. Then things get interesting.

That is followed by the presentation of the Integrated Theatre of Emotion university course and screening of the documentary, An Italian Miracle.

The first ever university-level degree in Integrated Theater of the Emotion was born in Rome in 2016 thanks to the communal effort of Pathological Theater, the University of Rome Tor Vergata and MIUR (the Italian Ministry of University and Research). Its objective is to increase and sustain education for those with mental or physical disabilities. The curriculum includes a compendium of theater-related courses: acting, playwriting, directing, set design, costume design, music therapy, singing and dance. Through these studies, disabled students acquire tools to help them approach the professional world and recover an often denied dignity. Thanks to the success of this course, the Integrated Theater of the Emotion will also open at the University of Camerino in central Italy in 2017.

A Panel Discussion of the scientific results will feature: Dario D'Ambrosi, Laura Coccia (member of Italian Parliament) and Francesco Serra Di Cassano (journalist and writer).

After a cocktail break the evening ends with a screening of the film L'Uomo Gallo (Days of Antonio) by Dario D'Ambrosi with Celeste Moratti, Luca Lionello and Dario D'Ambrosi.

In the 1920s, in a poor rural province outside Milan, a mentally handicapped boy with one leg shorter than the other was forced to grow up in a chicken coop, where he emulated the chickens and considered himself a rooster. Ultimately he was taken to a psychiatric hospital, where he struggled to build a human life. The film reveals his long and difficult ordeal at the institution, where he encountered a strange and desperate universe of characters, most of them funny and marginalized but with an abundance of humanity. In particular, the film spotlights his intense friendship with his room mate, who was manic about order and cleanliness. The two form a special relationship born of silence and small gestures of solidarity.

Celeste Moratti plays Antonio. Director of Photography is Andrea Locatelli. Art direction bys Francesco Frigeri, Winner of the David di Donatello in 1999 for The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean. Costume Designer is Maurizio Millenotti, who was Oscar-nominated twice for the films Othello (1986) and Hamlet (1990), both directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Make-up is by Manlio Rocchetti, an Oscar winner in 1989 for Driving Miss Daisy.

Dario D'Ambrosi is a former professional soccer player, one of Italy's leading performance artists and originator of the theatrical movement called Teatro Patologico. His plays investigate mental illness by grasping its vital artistic and creative aspects with the intention of restoring the "dignity of the fool." In 1994, he received the equivalent of a Tony Award in his country: a prize for lifetime achievement in the theater from the Instituto del Drama Italiano.


While on a tour of the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, England Prince William sampled a cake made Rolls Royce engineer and Great British Baking Show finalist Andrew Smyth. "That's amazing, you should have won," Prince William told the creative engineer. Photo: Kensington Palace.
that would be Andrew Smyth, 25, a finalist on the marvelous Great British Baking Show which airs in America on PBS. A new American version premiered last Thursday on ABC with Mary Berry, and was considerably more charming and interesting than previous American attempts.

As for Smyth, when he isn't creating cakes good enough to present to Prince William, he designs jet engines for Rolls Royce, where his work includes finding ways to assemble engines more safely, and experimenting with thermal paint. He has an engineering degree from Cambridge University, where he completed a research project on deployable structures for the de-orbiting of space satellites.

He used his engineering skills in several of the baking challenges. During the Tutor Challenge Week he constructed a moving set of gear-shaped savory pies, inspired by the designs of Leonardo da Vinci.

Of course, there was the time during Tutor Week when his marzipan knights on horseback complete with caramel jousting poles had a wardrobe malfunction. One of the knight’s jousting pole awkwardly dropped to his crotch - looking like an erect penis. Co-hosts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were left stunned and amused.

Smyth also is a singer. He's a tenor in the Derby Bach Choir, and also performs with the Sitwell Singers, a chamber choir with a repertoire that includes everything from "European sacred music to folk, jazz and Billy Joel," according to their website.

Now all the cute-as-a-button red head needs is an agent.

DON'T MISS WATCHING Hairspray Live! which airs on NBC-TV on December 7, 2016.

The production stars Harvey Fierstein, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Maddie Baillio, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Dove Cameron, Garrett Clayton, Billy Eichner, Derek Hough, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Andrea Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, and Ephraim Sykes.

TRACY LETTS is the only artist ever to win a Pultizer Prize for drama (August: Osage County) and a Tony Award for acting (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) - and he co-stars in HBO's Divorce and the film Christine.

On Monday, December 5, he visits 92Y in New York City to read from his wide-ranging work, followed by a conversation with playwright Will Eno.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES Making Holidays Come Alive - a free event - takes place at the Cleveland Playhouse in Cleveland, Ohio in December 10, 2016. See how A Christmas Story came together.

"The pink-bunny-suit world of A Christmas Story doesn’t just show up in the mailbox like a Little Orphan Annie decoder pin! It takes planning, coordination, and organization – not to mention the immense talents of the CPH Production staff - to work it all out. See how the blockbuster show comes together with CPH Production Stage Manager John Godbout, and our Director of Production Joe Martin. They’ll give us a hands-on introduction on what it takes to keep the CPH theatre magic running this holiday season," states the Playhouse.

IN THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR Kwame Kwei-Armah: Artistic Director, Baltimore Center Stage and director Liesl Tommy.

How do you forge a career in a profession that has no handbook? “In the Director’s Chair” is a new series of one-on-one conversations with some of today’s most successful directors and theater professionals.

Kwei-Armah's credits include Marley, One Night in Miami, Amadeus, dance of the holy ghosts, The Mountaintop, An Enemy of the People. Off-Broadway credits include The Public Theater Mobile Unit: Comedy of Errors; Much Ado About Nothing. Upcoming – The Public Theater Public Works: Twelfth Night; Donmar Warehouse: One Night in Miami.

Liesl Tommy: directed Eclipsed on and Off-Broadway. Other Off-Broadway credits include Appropriate; The Good Negro; The Antigone Project.

Monday, December 12, at 92Y in New York City.

A CONCERT OF A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE presented by the Transport Group on Monday, December 5, at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City. The event will feature Tyne Daly, Jason Danieley, Hannah Elless, Marc Kudisch, Richard Thomas. The concert will also feature D.C. Anderson, Catherine Campbell , Tim Dolan, James Hindman, Joseph Kolinski, Heather MacRae, Jill Paice, Tally Sessions, and Cheryl Stern.

Transport Group celebrates a work by Terrence McNally (book) and Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty (score). A Man of No Importance is the story of an Irish-Catholic bus driver struggling to accept a secret he’s kept hidden his whole life, and finding the power to do so through the words of Oscar Wilde. Jack Cummings III will direct the concert, which features a talkback with the three original creators following the performance.

THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL takes place December 7-14, 2016 in Dubai, UAE.

During the event the outstanding musical career of Oscar winner Gabriel Yared will be recognized by a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Three Gulf directors will vie for the IWC Filmmaker Award. The winner will receive $100,000 to support them in bringing their ideas to fruition on the big screen. The winner will be announced at the IWC gala on December 8, 2016 at the One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai.

The nominees for the fifth IWC Filmmaker Award are Emirati director Nujoom Al Ghanem with Salem, Qatari director Hafiz Ali Ali for the animated film The Search for the Star Pearl and Emirati filmmaker Abdullah Hassan Ahmed with Sunrise.. Each nominee will present their project at the DIFF. An acclaimed jury of industry experts will then determine the potential of each film project and select the winner. “We are enthusiastic about supporting the Gulf’s evolving film industry and contributing to the development of Arab filmmaking,” explains IWC Regional Brand Director Luc Rochereau.

“The IWC Filmmaker Award takes promising local film projects to the next level and reflects all the values that our festival stands for,” adds DIFF Artistic Director Masoud Amralla Al Ali.

THE LETTERS OF SAMUEL BECKETT with Colum McCann, Colm Toibin, Annabel Davis-Goff, Belinda McKeon and The Tesla Quartet.

A words-and-music evening to mark the publication of the fourth and final volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1966-1989, which shows the author struggling to cope with ever-growing international fame (he won the Nobel Prize in 1969), producing some of his finest stage, TV and prose works and turning his attention to his legacy.

Letters will be read alongside a performance of one of Beckett’s favorite chamber pieces, Schubert’s Rosamunde Quartet. Readers include Colum McCann, Colm Toibin, Belinda McKeon and Annabel Davis-Goff.

Monday, December 12, at 92Y in New York City.

DECEMBER 7 is National Cotton Candy Day and December 8 is National Chocolate Brownie Day.


BETTE MIDLER who will headline the upcoming revival of Hello Dolly is a record setter, with premium Broadway tickets going for a whopping $525. That tops Hamilton which has tickets beginning at $449.

First day of Dolly ticket sales chocked up $9,082,497 - a new Broadway record.

Midler and co-star David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder begin Broadway previews March 15, 2017, and open April 20 at the Shubert Theatre.

JERSEY BOYS CREATORS have been found guilty in federal court in Nevada of copyright infringement for unlawfully copying from an unpublished biography, as first reported by Forbes on November 29, 2016.

A jury trial ruled in favor of Donna Corbello, the widow of author Rex Woodard who died from lung cancer in 1991 at the age of 41.

The jury decided that 10 percent of the stage show‘s success is attributable to unlawful infringement of material director Des McAnuff and writers Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice took from an unpublished autobiography, Tommy DeVito – Then and Now by Woodard.

Woodard’s widow brought the case and had originally said 30 percent of the show’s success was owed to her late husband‘s book.

DeVito, one of the founders of the Four Seasons, co-wrote the book with Woodard before he died. DeVito later said he had written the book on his own and it was used in the preparation of the musical.

According to Forbes, “The jurors did not indicate which parts of the autobiography were copied. Yet, Judge Robert C. Jones identified eleven similarities between the manuscript and the musical, including the dialogue surrounding songs, the characterization of individuals, and the description of scenes.”

Corbello first sued in the Eastern District of Texas in December 2007, seeking declaratory judgment, an accounting and damages for breach of contract. The suit has been in Nevada courts for well over a year. Jury selection began on Halloween.

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical is scheduled to end its ten-year run on January 15, 2017.

THE NO MORE FREE PARKING trend in Las Vegas expanded to Caesars Palace which announced the property will join other hotels in charging for parking. The motive is to "bring in serious customers."

At the same time the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore hotels announced that they will begin charging for valet parking.

TELEVISION NEWS SHOWS this past week aired segments regarding trust and fraud problems with car mechanics and repair services, citing a AAA report. It's also that time of year when people are apt to find themselves a victim of a rip off attempt and reminded me that attempted fraud can take place any time of the year.

A granddaughter of an ex something-or-other of mine once attempted to fraudulently charge on my credit card. I'd never met nor spoken to the young lady, who isn't my granddaughter.

She'd driven to Las Vegas from her California residence.

I'd been out of the house. When I returned there were several phone messages. Two calls were from a bank indicating a fraud alert had been placed on my credit cards. Since multiple, rapid attempts had be made to access my account - for my protection - all of my accounts were blocked. I needed to immediately call them. Two other calls were from an automobile service center saying that they had been trying to charge my credit card for car work done on my purported granddaughter's car, which was ready to be picked up.

Credit card fraud law establishes criminal penalties for the deceptive or unauthorized use of another person's credit card account in an attempt to steal money, goods, or services.

I assured the bank that I had not authorized charges of any kind to my account. The car garage conversation was suspicious. I admitted that I knew her grandfather, but she wasn't my granddaughter. Nor was I contacted to authorize payment for anything - nor would I pay for anything - and I didn't find any of this amusing.

The service man was snarky and almost rude. He was sassy - saying my purported granddaughter had told him all about me - that he had tried several variations of the credit number that he on file, and what was the matter with my account that the card wouldn't go through?

This conversation was lengthy. Because of the attitude of the service man I suspected he was a part of a plan. I contacted the manager to complain. I requested to again speak with his employee. He refused, but did verify that the man was a recent hire from out of state. The manager was dumbfounded that the brand new service man knew that over 20-years earlier I had, in fact, had work done on my car from them and paid through a credit card. The new employee had pulled up and opened the ancient file. The manager admitted that he had overheard the girl claiming I was her relative and that she had permission to use my credit card. She had sounded convincing. He again refused to let me speak to his employee. He started to sound uncomfortable and wouldn't disclose what work had been done on the car, the car's license plate number, but did provided somewhat of a car description.

I then had to spend too much of my time with the bank getting my card reactivated with a new number and go through the trouble of verification to unblock all accounts.

No horrific, life threatening situation had taken place with somebody acting in desperation. This was just a stupid stunt meant to cost me money, time and annoyance.

Apparently, the girl called somebody who paid the bill - assuming work had really be done on her car.

The young lady may have numerous positive qualities, I don't know. However, I never received an apology, nor a check to compensate me for my aggravation and time.

Moral - periodically have your credit card numbers changed. Sign up for any fraud notification programs that your bank offers. And, never trust the relatives of an ex anything.

THE GRAMMY HALL OF FAME has added 25 recordings to The Grammy Hall of Fame. All recordings must be at least 25 years old and exhibit qualitative or historical significance.

2017 Grammy Hall Of Fame Inductees
(Songwriters of singles in parentheses)

ABC The Jackson 5 - (Berry Gordy, Alphonzo Mizell, Freddie Perren, Deke Richards, songwriters) - Motown (1970). Single.

Changes David Bowie - (David Bowie, songwriter) - RCA Victor (1972). Single.

The City of New Orleans Arlo Guthrie - (Steve Goodman, songwriter) - Reprise (1972). Single.

(Hep-Hep) The Jumpin' Jive - Cab Calloway And His Orchestra - (Cab Calloway, Frank Froeba, Jack Palmer, songwriters). Vocalion (1939). Single.

"I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt - (Mike Reid, Allen Shamblin, songwriters). Capitol (1991). Single.

I Get Around - The Beach Boys - (Mike Love, Brian Wilson, songwriters). Capitol (1964). Single.

I Got You Babe - Sonny & Cher - (Sonny Bono, songwriter). Atco (1965). Single.

Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley - (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, songwriters). RCA Victor (1957). Single.

Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday. Clef (1956). Album.

Losing My Religion R.E.M. - (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, songwriters) - Warner Bros. (1991). Single.

Maggie May Rod Stewart. (Martin Quittenton, Rod Stewart, songwriters). Mercury (1971). Single.

Mission - Impossible Lalo Schifrin. (Lalo Schifrin, songwriter) - Dot (1967) - Single.

Okie From Muskogee Merle Haggard. Capitol (1969). Album.

Sign "O" The Times Prince. Paisley Park/Warner Bros. (1987) - Album.

Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana. (Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic , songwriters). DCG (1991). Single.

Smoke on the Water Deep Purple. (Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Paice, songwriters). Warner Bros. (1973). Single.

Stack O'Lee Blues Mississippi John Hurt. (Traditional). Okeh (1928). Single.

Statesboro Blues Blind Willie McTell. (Willie McTell, songwriter). Victor (1928). Single.

Straight Outta Compton N.W.A. Ruthless/Priority (1988). Album.

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) - Sly & The Family Stone. (Sly Stone, songwriter). Epic (1969). Single.

Wake up Little Susie The Everly Brothers. (Boudleaux Bryant, Felice Bryant, songwriters). Cadence (1957). Single.

The Wanderer Dion. (Ernie Maresca, songwriter). Laurie (1961). Single.

When the Saints Go Marching In Louis Armstrong And His Orchestra. (Traditional). Decca (1939). Single.

You Always Hurt The One You Love Mills Brothers. (Doris Fisher, Allan Roberts, songwriters). Decca (1944). Single.

You Don't Own Me Lesley Gore. (John Madara, David White, songwriters). Mercury (1963). Single.

ART by Yasmina Reza.

Directed by Matthew Warchus.

Starring Tim Key, Paul Ritter and Rufus Sewell.

Three friends and a white painting.

One of the most acclaimed plays of recent times, Art premiered in London twenty years ago and went on to become a phenomenon, winning the Moliere, Evening Standard, Olivier and Tony Awards. Director Matthew Warchus reunites the entire original creative team to revisit Yasmina Reza’s dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance.

Performances at the Old Vic in London December 10, 2016 – February 18, 2017.

A limited number of Charitable Tickets are available for the final performance on Saturday, February 18, 2017 All profits raised from the sale of these Charitable Tickets will go directly towards the commissioning and development of new work at The Old Vic, a registered charity.

THE FIRST NOEL book, music and lyrics by Lelund Durond Thompson and Jason Michael Webb.

Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III.

Musical director Andrew Lederman.

Choreography by Brian Harlan Brooks.

The musical features original music and reimagined classic carols - ranging from pop to jazz to gospel - and follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by tragedy to tell a universal story of love and belonging.

The company includes Brian D. Coats (as Skeeter), Tina Fabrique (as Grandmother Ethel), Ashley Ware Jenkins (as Noel) , Donald King Jr (as Benny Raindrop), Lizan Mitchell (as Lou), Ken Robinson (as Henry), Soara-Joye Ross (as Deloris), with Nia Caesar and Zariah Singletary as Young Noel. The ensemble features James Alexander, Angela Birchett, Jesse Corbin, Darius Crenshaw, Tamara Jade Fingal, Ayana George, LaTrisa A. Harper, Adam Hyndman, Sarita Amani Nash, Drew Shade, Chawntá Marie Van, Tiffany Webb and Helen White.

The design team is Dan Robinson (scenic design), Rachel Dozier-Ezell (costume design), Alan C. Edwards (lighting design), and Curtis Craig (sound and projection design).

Performances take place December 10-18, 2016 at the Apollo Theater Mainstage,, Harlem, NYC as part of the Holidays at the Apollo family-friendly programming series.

WILD HONEY by multi-award winning writer Michael Frayn, drawn from one of Anton Chekhov’s early plays, Without a Name

Directed by Howard Davies with Jonathan Ken.

Starring Geoffrey Streatfeild as Platonov.

"Are you really such a terrible Don Juan? You look so handsome in the moonlight!"

,A nineteenth century tale of Russian life replete with unruly characters, classic misunderstandings and irrepressible desires.

Village schoolmaster Platonov has it all: wit, intelligence, a comfortable and respectable life in provincial Russia, and the attentions of four beautiful women - one of whom is his devoted wife. As summer arrives and the seasonal festivities commence, the rapidly intensifying heat makes everyone giddy with sunlight, vodka - and passion.

Performances through Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Hampstead Theatre in London.


A HOLIDAY POPS! Warm your spirit with sing-along carols in this NSO Pops tradition led by Steven Reineke - this year featuring Broadway stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana. December 9-10 Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

HUMAN NATURE the marvelous Australian harmony pop singing group can be enjoyed at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas through December 24, 2016. The group returned for New Years Eve followed by more performances.

KELLI O'HARA a Tony Award winner, has a solo concert December 10 at the Staller Center in Stony Brook, NY

THE NELSON BROTHERS that would be Matthew & Gunnar entertain today, December 4, at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, FL. On Saturday they are on stage at the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, IA. Next Sunday, December 11, they are in the spotlight at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport, IA.

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS open a two nighter Monday, December 5, at the 02 in London. Thursday's stop is at the SSE Hydro at Glasgow, Scotland. On Saturday another two night stand opens at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, UK.

THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR performs A Holiday Celebration Thursday, December 8, 2016 at The Flynn Center in Burlington, Vermont.

ANDREA BOCELLI performs in Texas this week with a show Thursday, December 8, at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Saturday's stop is at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Next Sunday, December 11, he's at the Toyota Center in Houston.

THE MUSIC OF STAR WARS May The Force Be With You performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Erik Ochsner. Be transported to a galaxy far, far away with John Williams’s iconic music guided by Canadian funnyman Charles Ross, performer of One Man Star Wars Trilogy, and co-host Émilie Fournier. Not only will there be performances of the best of John Williams, but they will also be performing video game soundtrack excerpts from acclaimed composer Gordy Habb. December 8-10 at the NAC in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

JOE BONAMASSA can be enjoyed at the Singletary Center For The Arts in Lexington, KY on Tuesday, December 6. He stars at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, December 7, in Memphis, TN. Friday's gig is at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, OK. On Saturday he's on stage at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX.

KYLIE MINOGUE opens a two nighter Friday, December 9, at Royal Albert Hall in London.

THE TEN TENORS have a busy week. Tuesday's show is at Templeton-Blackburn Memorial in Athen's OH. On Wednesday they are on stage at the Emens Auditorium in Muncie, IN. On Thursday their tour stops at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond, KY. Friday they are in the spotlight at the Clark State Community College is Springfield, OH. Saturday's gig is at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts in Clinton Township, MI. Next Sunday, December 11, they are in the spotlight at the Union Theater i Madison, WI.

BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA entertain Thursday, December 8, at The Lyric Theatre in Birmingham, AL. On Friday they appear at the Ferst Center for the Arts in Atlanta, GA and their Saturday stop is at the Newberry Opera House in Newberry, SC.

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER has performances Monday, December 5, at The Palladium in Carmel, IN. On Wednesday they perform at Swasey Chapel in Granville, OH. Thursday's stop is at the Keith-Albee Theatre in Huntington, WV.


FRITZ WEAVER Tony Award winning and Emmy nominated character actor died Saturday, November 26, 2016 at his home in Manhattan. He was 90.

Weaver won a Tony in 1970 for his role in Robert Marasco’s drama Child’s Play about the malevolent environment at an exclusive Roman Catholic school for boys.

He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the NBC mini-series Holocaust, playing Dr. Josef Weiss, the patriarch of a Jewish family who is denied his livelihood, is sent to the Warsaw ghetto and then to Auschwitz to die.

In 1954 he made his Off Broadway debut in The Way of the World at the Cherry Lane Theater. Weaver made his Broadway debut in 1955 in The Chalk Garden, for which he received a Tony nomination. He also appeared in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s The Great God Brown (1959) and the Phoenix Theatre’s 1960 staging of Shakespeare’s Henry IV. His other Shakespearean roles included Hamlet, King Lear and Macbeth. His theatrical credits also included the 1979 revival of Arthur Miller’s The Price, Lanford Wilson’s A Tale Told (1981), and Wilson’s Angels Fall (1982).

His first marriage, to Sylvia Short, ended in divorce. He married the actress Rochelle Oliver in 1997. She survives him, as do his daughter, Lydia Weaver; his son, Anthony; and a grandson.

TONY MARTELL record label executive who signed ELO and Joan Jett and founded the T.J. Martell Foundation for leukemia research, died November 27, 2016 at his home in Madison, New Jersey. He was 90.

Martell was a longtime major record label executive and A&R guy from the 1960s until the 1990s. He helped direct the career of The Isley Brothers and The O’Jays in the 1960s. He was the executive producer for albums by such artists as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Patti Austin and George Benson.

In the 1980s, Martell became the head of CBS Associated Records - now Sony Music Entertainment. He signed The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Jett and worked with Ozzy Osbourne during that time.

He is credited as Executive Producer on over 50 albums for artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Isley Brothers, The O'Jays, George Benson, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall, Lalo Schifrin, Bill Withers, Patti Austin, George Duke, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Eumir Deodato, and Stanley Turrentine.

Martell launched the T.J. Martell Foundation in 1975 to as a promise to his 19-year-old son T.J., who died after a two-year battle with leukemia. The foundation became the music industry's largest for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. The foundation has raised over 200 million dollars for research into cures for these diseases.

He is survived by his daughter, his wife Vicky passed away on February 21, 2016.

GRANT TINKER famed television executive, died November 28, 2016 at his home in Los Angeles, CA. He was 90.

Tinker was an American television executive who served as Chairman and CEO of NBC from 1981 to 1986. Additionally, he was the co-founder of MTM Enterprises.

Tinker won a prestigious Peabody Award in 2004, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997

His first marriage to Ruth Prince Byerly produced one daughter and three sons before ending in divorce. His marriage to Mary Tyler Moore also ended in divorce.

Survivors include sons, Emmy winning director Mark Christian Tinker and his wife actress Chandra West, writer John Houghton Tinker and his wife Rhonda Rich, veteran Los Angeles police detective Michael Arthur Tinker who has been a collaborator on police television shows, and daughter Jodi Tinker DeLella.

OLIVIER ROCHETTE from Quebec, Canada, a technician for the Cirque du Soleil show Luzia died after being struck in the head by a telescopic lift during preparation an hour before a performance of Luzia in San Francisco on November 29, 2016. He was 42 and the son of Cirque co-founder Gilles s Ste-Croix.

"I am heartbroken," Cirque du Soleil CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement. "Olivier has always been a member of our tight-knit family and a truly beloved colleague."

ALICE DRUMMOND a Tony nominated actress died November 30, 2016 in The Bronx, New York from complications due to a fall in her home two months earlier. She was 88.

In 1950, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pembroke College, Brown University’s women’s school at the time.

Drummond made her stage debut in a 1959 revival of Lysistrata. Her last stage appearance was a 1989 revival of< i>You Can't Take It With You.

In 1970, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Mrs. Lee in The Chinese by Murray Schisgal.

She had a lengthy career in both television and the movies, and was featured in Awakenings, Doubt, and as the librarian in Ghostbusters.

Drummond was divorced. There are no immediate family survivors.

Next Column: December 11, 2016
Copyright: December 4, 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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