Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: February 26, 2017
By: Laura Deni


Will Eisner Week is an annual worldwide celebration around the week of March 6th, every year. It celebrates “graphic novels, literacy, free speech awareness, and the legacy of Will Eisner.”

Eisner is best known for championing the development of the graphic novel as a literary form, and for creating The Spirit, the iconic 1940s hero that redefined newspaper comics. However, Eisner’s achievements stretch even further.

Portland State University in Oregon and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund are joining forces with a week of special events to celebrate the hundredth birthday of Eisner, whose influence defined the contours and possibilities of American comics in his lifetime and beyond.

In celebration of Eisner’s centennial, Will Eisner Week features a week of thought-provoking events on the PSU campus.

Race, Religion, & Stereotypes in Will Eisner’s Comics takes place Friday, March 3m 2017.

Like Disney, Tezuka, Hergé, and other 20th Century masters, Eisner’s influential body of work is marred by the use of stereotypes in his images and writing, most notably through the Spirit character Ebony White. In his later career, Eisner acknowledged Ebony’s problematic characteristics and created work that fought stereotypes, most especially as applied to Judaism in The Plot.

Join panelists Barry Deutsch, Jemiah Jefferson, and David Walker for a discussion of how to engage with 20th Century images, stereotypes, and storytelling for 21st Century audiences. Moderated by CBLDF Executive Director and Eisner/Miller author Charles Brownstein.

Brownstein has served as the Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund since 2002. During his tenure the organization has achieved numerous legal victories, been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has become the leading source of education and advocacy for combating the rising tide of comics censorship in libraries and schools.

Brownstein is a prolific and sought-out lecturer on the history of comics and censorship who has addressed audiences across the United States, as well as in Canada, Japan, Lebanon, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

Documentary Screening of Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist takes place Tuesday, February 28 at the Smith Memorial Student Union.

This award-winning full-length feature film is the definitive documentary on the life and art of Will Eisner, father of the graphic novel, and includes interviews with Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Chabon, Jules Feiffer, and Frank Miller, among others. The documentary will be followed by a discussion between Marvel Comics best-selling writer Brian Michael Bendis and Eisner’s former Dark Horse editor Diana Schutz.

The Spirit of Rebellion: How Will Eisner’s The Spirit Changed the Art & Commerce of Comics is a panel discussion which takes place Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at Cramer Hall.

Eisner lived a life of constant innovation. At the age of 22, with war on the horizon, he walked away from a lucrative partnership at the Eisner and Iger studio to develop a new kind of comic book - the newspaper comic book supplement - and the first creator-owned business model in comics. In the 1950s and ’60s, when comics were vilified in mass culture, he used the medium to create educational tools for military and industrial clients. In late life, he championed the graphic novel at a time when the idea of serious adult fiction in comics was laughably unlikely.

Panelists Jim Valentino, Diana Schutz, and Dan Schkade are joined by moderator Charles Brownstein to discuss Eisner’s rebellious creativity and consider how his example is relevant today.

Valentino is best known as a founding partner of Image Comics, where he created the series ShadowHawk, served as publisher from 1999-2004, and continues to publish innovative creators under his Shadowline imprint.

Down the coast in San Francisco the Cartoon Museum is staging a joint Centennial Celebration of Will Eisner and Jack Kirby.

Participate in a birthday party celebration at Comix Experience, on Monday, March 6, 2017 for what would have been Will Eisner's 100th birthday. Activities will include making birthday party hats out of comics and birthday games like "Pin the Fedora on The Spirit" or trivia about Will Eisner's works. Plus, enjoy cupcakes and sign a special birthday card to be sent to the Will Eisner Foundation.

On Saturday March 11, 2017 it's Will Eisner & Jack Kirby: A Centennial Celebration. Join Bay Area comic creators Mark Badger (Batman, Julius Caesar), Al Gordon (Legion of Super-Heroes, Justice League), Justin Hall (No Straight Lines), Mario Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Steve Leialoha (X-Men, Fables), Trina Robbins (Wimmen’s Comix) and Judd Winick (Hilo) as they discuss the life and artwork of the legendary comic creators Will Eisner and Jack Kirby who was born August 28, 1917.

This event takes place at Mission: Comics & Art in San Francisco, CA.

Will Eisner Week is an annual series of celebrations that takes place in multiple cities, timed around Will Eisner’s March 6th birthday. Started in 2009, Will Eisner Week is dedicated to promoting graphic novel literacy, free speech awareness, and the legacy of Will Eisner. This year Will Eisner Week is once again a truly international celebration including England, Scotland and Italy.

In a career that spanned nearly eight decades - from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics - Eisner truly was the “Orson Welles of comics” and the “Champion of the Graphic Novel.” He broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others.

One of the comic industry’s most prestigious awards, The Eisner Award, is named after him. Recognized as the “Oscars” of the American comic book business, the Eisners are presented annually before a packed ballroom at Comic-Con International in San Diego, America’s largest comics convention.

Jack Kirby
2017 also marks the centenary of the birth of Jack Kirby, one of Comics’ greatest creators and visionaries and a man whose work, perhaps even more than he was alive, continues to inspire and amaze a worldwide audience, who may not know his name, but who love and are excited by his creations.

He began his professional cartooning career simultaneously with the birth of the use of original material in the newest of popular media; the comic book.

Over Kirby’s 50-plus year career, working at all the major and many of the minor comics publishers, he created many of the comic book icons that continue to compel in print and on the screen; Captain America, the Newsboy Legion, the Fantastic Four, the Mighty Thor, The X-Men, The Avengers, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, The Silver Surfer, Nick Fury and the Agents of SHIELD, The New Gods, Kamandi, Mister Miracle, Captain Victory and legions more.

The Jack Kirby Awards and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame were named in his honor.

On June 19, 2001 Jazz percussionist Gregg Bendian released a single disc 7-track CD, Requiem for Jack Kirby, on the Atavustuc label. Inspired by Kirby's art and storytelling, musicians include: Gregg Bendian (vibraphone and glockenspiel); Nels Cline (guitar and drums); Joel Hamilton (bass). Titles of the instrumental cuts include Kirby's Fourth World, New Gods, The Mother Box, Teaneck in the Marvel Age and Air Above Zenn-La.

A play based on Kirby's life, King Kirby, by New York Innovative Theatre Awards-winner Crystal Skillman and her husband New York Times bestselling comics writer Fred Van Lente, was staged in 2014 at Brooklyn's Brick Theater as part of its annual Comic Book Theater Festival. The play, which starred Steven Rattazzi as Kirby, was a New York Times Critics' Pick selection and was funded by a widely publicized Kickstarter campaign.

The official description of the play reads: "this is a hysterical and heartbreaking story about a man who pours his quintessentially Twentieth Century life into his comics, only to make the fateful mistake that sends him into obscurity while his creations become known to every person on Earth. A real-life "Adventures of Kavalier & Klay", King Kirby asks what happens when an artist doesn't own his own legacy? Can he ever get it back?" The Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, based in Hoboken, New Jersey. The Museum and Research Center was organized exclusively for educational purposes; more specifically, to promote and encourage the study, understanding, preservation and appreciation of the work of Jack Kirby by:
illustrating the scope of Kirby’s multi-faceted career,
communicating the stories, inspirations and influences of Jack Kirby,
celebrating the life of Jack Kirby and his creations, and
building understanding of comic books and comic book creators.

To this end, the Museum sponsors and otherwise supports study, teaching, conferences, discussion groups, exhibitions, displays, publications and cinematic, theatrical or multimedia productions.

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Kara Walker exhibition.
two parallel installations present key works and recent acquisitions from the Boston Museum of Fine Art’s contemporary collection.

Political Intent explores how artists creatively visualize social issues to generate awareness, discourse or action. Scrolling texts composed by Jenny Holzer and performances at Amalia Pica’s Now Speak! (2011) lectern showcases the power of unique voices and viewpoints.

Bold portraits by Andrea Bowers, Zanele Muholi and Patty Chang affirm complex identities, while works by Ana Mendieta and Azra Akšamija show how female presence can transform a site. Kara Walker’s black-and-white cut-paper silhouettes hint that tensions from times of slavery still reverberate today.

This deliberate selection of contemporary artists is paired with historical works that open dialogues around the role of women in political imagery across centuries. In-gallery conversations, as well as prompts on the MFA’s website and social media channels, highlight works from the Museum’s collection and invite visitors to discuss the longstanding influence of politics on creative expression.

Beyond Limits features abstract works that extend beyond traditional edges - stretching imagery, materials and metaphors. Carmen Herrera’s Blanco y Verde (#1) (1962) visually splits the square form, while Eugenio Espinoza’s Untitled (1976/2016) slices a grid to open the rigid composition. Ernesto Neto and Jeffrey Gibson pull weighty surfaces into ethereal-spanning compositions and Mark Bradford creates lined patterns that echo deeper political ideas. Whether optically or physically, works on view activate the surrounding space.

The thematic installations are complemented by provocative pairings of Mona Hatoum’s Grater Divide (2002) and Andy Warhol’s Red Disaster (1963, 1985), as well as recent acquisitions by Wendy Jacob and Yoan Capote.

Each week, a guest author chooses a work from the MFA collection to share personal discoveries and opinions about its political meaning.

In the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery through July 30, 2017 at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA.


Sir Elton John and David Furnish introduced Open Road and Survival Pictures’ new film – The Promise – which tells the story of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey at the outset of World War I. Written by Terry George and Robin Swicord and directed by Terry George, The Promise stars Oscar Issac, Christian Bale, and Charlotte Le Bon.

The Promise team at Survival Pictures has taken the unprecedented step of making the commitment to donate all proceeds from the film to nonprofit organizations including EJAF and other human rights and humanitarian groups. As part of this commitment and to inspire Party guests to give generously, Survival Pictures will match the pledges guests make to EJAF via text and live auction purchases made during EJAF’s Academy Awards Viewing Party with the goal of making this a record-setting evening.

“Such giving has never happened with a film of this scale, and we are incredibly grateful We are honored to announce this generosity, thanks to the late philanthropist and humanitarian Kirk Kerkorian," said EJAF Chairman David Furnish referring to Kerkorian's production company Survival Pictures launching The Promise, a $100-million historical film.

"Not only is The Promise committing to support EJAF’s work, but matching funds will be provided to inspire donors even more throughout the event and live auction,” continued Furnish.

Survival Pictures has also developed a social impact campaign for The Promise to help educate the global public about the genocides and mass atrocities of the 20th and 21st centuries, the debate about the legal definition of genocide, and historical denialism.


has been released on Broadway Records.

Sisters Abigail and Milly Shapiro are show biz veterans. Blue-eyed Angelia "Milly", 15, a soprano who can belt, is best known for originating the role of Matilda Wormwood in Matilda on Broadway alongside Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, and Sophia Gennusa. Milly had to go through nine auditions before she was officially cast.

She shares a Tony award with Sophia Gennusa, Bailey Ryon, and Oona Laurence for their outstanding Broadway debuts in the show. The cast album received a Grammy nomination.

It also might be added that Milly grew out of the part - literally. She got too tall.

That's one of the hazards of being a child star.

Milly most recently played Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown in the York Theater alongside Joshua Robert Colley.

Brown- eyed Abigail, 17, also a soprano who can belt, played Cindy-Lou Who in a production of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Abigail also originated the lead role in Liberty: A Monumental New Musical, a pop-infused musical detailing the story of Lady Liberty's arrival in the United States. The show ran off-Broadway in the summer of 2016. The music was turned into a cast recording. Abigail captured a part originally written for an adult. After hearing her sing, the role was re-written for her.

Together the sisters previous recorded a CD which Broadway To Vegas reviewed. See Broadway To Vegas column of September 14, 2014

Their latest CD Shapiro Sisters Time Reveals is short - five selections - which are mean to perhaps establish to booking agents that their voices have matured as the girls aged.. That's another hazard of being a child singer - frequently the voice, which was appropriate for the child actor, changes and is no longer marketable.

This studio recording features songs by Andrew Lippa, Lourds Lane, Gwen Stafeni and Thomas Dumont, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, Henry Krieger and Bill Russell. Some are hits from Spring Awakening, No Doubt and Side Show.

A first selection on this CD is the stunningly beautiful I Never Dreamed performed by Abigail whose soprano is superstar quality.

The next two cuts Fragmented and Just a Girl performed by Milly are not only a waste, but work to her disadvantage. These tracks do more to showcase the musicians especially the viola and cello. Just a Girl is hard edge, rock. While Milly is singing, it comes across as yelling. No matter how hard she tries, the musicians overpower her.

The 4th track Mama Who Bore Me, also by Milly, is sensitive.

The final selection Who Will Love Me As I Am? is a powerful and emotional duet. In this duet it's difficult to distinguish one voice from the other, since both singers are sopranos. A pure guess is that it's Abigail who uses her crystalline voice to soar in the background.

Skip over the second and third numbers and totally enjoy the other three. These sisters have talent; hopefully longevity and a prosperous and personally fulling future ahead of them.

A more interesting and mature Shapiro sisters photo on back of the CD. Back cover photo image copy by Laura Deni
While the sisters' devotion to one another is both sweet and heartwarming, at some point in the near future these lovely young ladies need to establish their own musical identities. Dressing alike and having similar hairstyles can be cute on youngsters. The we're joined at the hip image becomes disconcerting when the children become adults. Both girls have legitimate credits. Their individual CDs should be in their sites.

The cover and back photographs on their first album Shapiro Sisters are darling. Not so much so on this album, which has a mixed message packaging concept. If the object of this CD is to show the girl's maturity, it becomes counterproductive to have an album cover which makes then appear to be somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10. They have grown into lovely teenagers and aren't going to be auditioning for parts meant for a six-year-old.

The cover photo is also too cutie-pie, little girl; rather than showing intelligent, talented teens. With both girls having similar and beautiful heart shaped faces, noses and eyes, putting them so close together - even removing the neck from one - offers too much of a good thing. The back cover photo is far more attractive and mature. Without altering the size or cover title position, the back photo could have been cropped at the bust line and used as the cover shot.

By the way there are two sopranos named Abigail Shapiro. The one not connected to this CD is currently pursuing a master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music, under the tutelage of Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. She completed a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she studied with Elizabeth Hynes.

Eventually, one of the two Abigail Shapiros needs to add a middle initial or some identifying mark.

Michael J. Moritz, Jr. music director/piano. Andrew Lippa piano on I Never Dreamed Jimmy Leahey on guitar. Adam Deascentis , bass. Billy Laguardia drums. Antoine Silverman violin. Willy Curry viola and Summer Boggess cello.

Mixed at Kontinuous Jams Studios. Mastered by Greg Reierson, Rare form Mastering.


Elvis Presley
Elvis may have left the building on August 16, 1977, but his career and reputation have demanded a plethora of Presley buildings. The newest one is Elvis Presley Memphis, an entertainment center which stages it's official opening March 2-5 at Graceland in Memphis.

The new, $45 million, 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art entertainment complex, now named Elvis Presley’s Memphis, is the resort's largest and most significant expansion since first opening to the public in 1982. The opening four days of Elvis Presley’s Memphis will feature major celebration events each day, including live concerts that will celebrate Elvis’ life and career, and honor Memphis’ rich musical legacy across genres, including Blues, Rockabilly, R&B, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

“For over 30 years, our fans and visitors have loved the Graceland experience, but our facilities haven’t enabled us to share much more than a small piece of the story,” stated Joel Weinshanker, Managing Partner, Graceland Holdings, LLC. “Now with ‘Elvis Presley's Memphis,’ you will be able to truly experience all that Memphis offered Elvis, walk through the streets in his footsteps, see what he saw, feel what he felt, live the life of ‘the king.’ No one lived life bigger than Elvis - now is the opportunity to truly experience it for yourself.”

The cornerstone of the Elvis Presley’s Memphis experience will be Elvis: The Entertainer, a 20,000-square-foot museum celebrating Elvis’ music, movie and live touring career. This museum will feature hundreds of artifacts from the extensive Graceland Archives, from Elvis’ early days in Tupelo, Mississippi, through his first recording session in Memphis, rise to fame, Hollywood career, service in the U.S. Army, life at Graceland, the Las Vegas years and more.

Elvis: The Entertainer will be the largest and most comprehensive Elvis museum in the world.

A new Elvis Presley Automobile Museum called Presley Motors will showcase over 20 of Elvis’ automobiles and motorized vehicles, including Elvis’ iconic Pink Cadillac, and also feature a theater space showcasing Elvis movie clips focused on cars and racing.

A 20,000-square-foot Graceland Soundstage will play host to a variety of live music acts during the Grand Opening Celebration, showcasing the rich music history of Memphis and the best of Memphis music today. The Soundstage will be an extraordinary venue for live music performances, movie screenings and premieres, video productions, with theater seating for up to 1,700 people. It will also be usable for private events, corporate meetings, conferences and trade show exhibitions.

Discovery exhibit spaces will showcase aspects of Elvis’ life, career and interests in greater depth, from the music genres that influenced Elvis from his earliest days – Rhythm & Blues, Southern Gospel, Country & Western -- to today’s music artists who continue to be influenced by Elvis and his body of work.

The new facility will also feature two themed restaurants named for Elvis’ parents, Gladys and Vernon. Gladys’ Diner will feature classic American fare, including Elvis’ favorite - grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Vernon’s Smokehouse will feature authentic Memphis BBQ, smoked in-house. A coffee bar and ice cream shop will also be located within the complex, along with new retail stores offering the most extensive collection of Elvis merchandise found anywhere in the world.

Elvis Presley’s Memphis will also feature Elvis’ two custom airplanes, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, which continue to be a very popular part of the existing Graceland experience. The iconic planes will remain across the street from the Mansion, adjacent to the new venue.

In related Elvis news The Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine has announced that they will produce the world premiere of the Elvis Presley musical Heartbreak Hotel August 30–September 30.

From the Tony-winning creator of Million Dollar Quartet, this brand new tribute to the "King of Rock ‘n’ Roll" is explained as the prequel to Tony-winning, record-setting, smash hit Million Dollar Quartet that became the greatest selling show in Ogunquit Playhouse history.

The official description states: "This tender story follows Elvis Presley in the early years of his bourgeoning career as he and Sam Phillips create the music that will forever change their lives. As Elvis’ career skyrockets, both lifting and shattering the lives of those he loves, a secret love story is revealed, a betrayal is discovered, and “Colonel” Tom Parker changes the course of history, all in just 18 short months.

"This world premiere musical features hit songs from the King himself as well as the legends who influenced his iconic music, with chart-toppers including Blue Suede Shoes, Tutti Frutti, That’s All Right Mamma, Shake Rattle and Roll, and, of course, Heartbreak Hotel. This is where the story begins . . . .so - "take a walk down lonely street."


Hemingway, never shy in expressing the bliss he found at the bottom of a bottle of rum, once wrote that his beloved daiquiri “looks like the sea where the wave falls away from the bow of a ship when she is doing thirty knots.”

Sail away with Denson Liquor Bar as they teach you everything about the classic daiquiri, Hemingway’s influence on it and how you can make it at home. Too good to be put in a blender, this Cuban drink will warm your winter nights.

A Shakespeare Theatre Company event March 9, 2017 at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, DC.

This clever daiquiri class is in conjunction with the The Select (The Sun Also Rises) an adaptation created by Elevator Repair Service, based on the novel The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. Directed by John Collins, performances are through April 2, 2017 at the Lansburgh Theatre.

THE THIRD ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL ON THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE takes place on Thursday, March 2; Friday, March 3; and Monday, March 6 at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, located at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, NYC.

Highlights of the 2017 Festival include:

Rimini Protokoll Home Visit Europe & Remote X (Germany)
Michelle Memran The Rest I Make Up: María Irene Fornés (excerpt, USA)
Chloé Déchery & Chris Eley What Do You See When You Turn Out the Light? (Australia/France)
Brigitte Poupart Over My Dead Body on Dave St-Pierre (Canada)
Guy Davidi Mixed Feelings on Amir Orian (Israel)
Koji Fukada Sayonara (Japan)
Global Arts Group A Snake Gives Birth to a Snake (South Africa)
Penny Arcade & Steve Zehentner The Lower East Side Biography Project (USA)
Marielle Nitoslawska Breaking the Frame on Carolee Schneemann (Canada/USA)

The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance presents experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers from around the world to audiences and industry professionals. The program includes a roster of more than 30 features, shorts, documentaries, advance screenings, meet-the-filmmaker Q&A sessions, and panels with leading international theatre artists from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Slovenia, South Africa, Ukraine, The United Kingdom, and the United States.

Festival Curators: Festival founder Frank Hentschker (Executive Director and Director of Programming at MESTC), Antje Oegel (AO International and Director of Special Projects at MESTC), and Nina Segal (Playwright and Producer), and Soriya Chum (Dramaturg).

All screenings are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.

staged by East Lynne Theater Company, with The Henry Sawyer Inn and Twin Gables Inn, begins March 3 – 4.

Participants can test their crime-solving skills while staying in one of these lovely Bed & Breakfasts. These fun weekends allow guests to portray the detective, murderer, victim, witness, curious bystander, and other crime-related characters, with Frank Smith, an experienced retired Philadelphia police detective, giving just enough information to get sleuthing skills going.

Packages include Friday night appetizers at the Henry Sawyer Inn, dinner at one of Cape May's fine restaurants, breakfasts at the inns, and a dessert reception on Saturday evening – all while guests continue to gather clues to solve the crime.

Other mystery week-ends take place March 10 - 11, March 24 – 25, March 31 - April 1, April 7 – 8, and May 5 - 6 in Cape May, New Jersey.

WORKS & PROCESS at the Guggenheim presents a discussion with Oslo playwright J.T. Rogers and director Bartlett Sher prior to the Broadway premiere. Excerpts from the play will be performed by members of the cast. Monday, March 6, 2017 at the Guggenheim in New York City.

Oslo tells the little-known story of Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul, her husband Terje Rød-Larsen, and a group of Israelis and Palestinians struggling to overcome their fears and mistrust of one another to coordinate secret negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Their efforts culminated in the signing of the Oslo Accords and led to the iconic moment when the two leaders shook hands on the South Lawn of the White House in 1993.

Oslo begins previews on March 23, 2017 and will open on April 13, 2017 at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York City.

UPDATE - THE OSCARS Best Oscar moment - the appearance of Katherine Johnson, 98, one of the NASA mathematicians whose story was brought to the screen in the Oscar nominated Hidden Figures. Her elegance in a blue gown, with perfect hair, make-up and jewelry rivaled every star in attendance. Excellent, high octane opening by Justin Timberlake and host Jimmy Kimmel was perfect. Delicate candy eating by all of the attendees who were caught on camera.

Not such a great idea - having a tour bus with "tourists" (central casting? ) stop under the pretext that they were going to see some movie costumes, only to be let inside into the Oscars, and then watch their reactions. Sort of cheapened the entire program. With all award programs running way too long, why that totally unnecessary and too long bit? Really looked staged.. The "tourists" - who were in close, touchable, proximity to cash cow screen stars without having appeared to have passed through any security - were way too polite, quite and controlled, while the audience was too enthusiastic. Ever actually see a civilian get an up close encounter with a celebrity? You'd better have handy a tranquilizer gun and a butterfly net. Award shows should get to the awards and keep dumb, time wasting segments for late night talk shows.

FEBRUARY 27 is National Chili Day. Wednesday is National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, and Thursday is National Banana Cream Pie Day.


JIMMY FALLON has donated $100,000 to help fund the art program at his old secondary school alma mater, Saugerties High, a portion of the money being earmarked for the school's TV studio.

The host of NBC's Tonight Show is a 1992 graduate of the upstate New York public school.

While a high school student he performed in the school's stage productions and was twice a class social director.

ROE by Lisa Loomer.

Directed by Bill Rauch.

Roe v. Wade—the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion is still fiercely debated, over 40 years later. In her newest play, acclaimed writer Lisa Loomer cuts through the headlines and rhetoric to reveal the divergent personal journeys of lawyer Sarah Weddington and plaintiff Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe”) in the years following the fateful decision. In turns shocking, humorous, and poignant, Roe reflects the polarization in America today while illuminating the heart and passion each person has for their cause.

A Co-production with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stage. A World Premiere production March 3-April 2, 2017 at Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, CA.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS inspired by the Academy Award-winning film and featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin. book by Craig Lucas.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon.

The fabulous, original Broadway stars Robbie Fairchild and Leanne Cope re-create their award-winning roles.

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 Broadway season.

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

London performances begins March 4, 2017 at The Dominion Theatre.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Directed and choreographed in a modern setting by Amy Marie McCleary.

Musical direction by J.P. Meyer.

A timeless, global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years. Borrowing from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the musical tells the story of the last seven days of Jesus Christ’s life through the eyes of Judas. As one of the earliest rock operas by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, it features such songs as I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Superstar, Gesemane and Hosanna.

Featuring: Ilana Gabriella as Mary Magdalene, Taylor Murphy Hale as John, Donovan Hoffer as Simon, Derrick Jacques as James, Chasdan Ross Mike as Judas, Hassan Nazari-Robati as Herod, Benjamin Neumayer as Pilate, Chris Trimboli as Phillip, Christopher Lee Viljoen as Thomas, Christopher Violett as Peter, and Jarrett Jay Yoder as Jesus.

With: T J Bolden, Edgar Cavazos, Londel Collier, Kira Galindo, Pedro Kaawaloa, Alex May, Morgan McGhee, Briana Thomas, Jenna Brooke Scannelli, Eduardo Uribe, Costumes by John P. White. Set designs by Dominic Lau

The large production, which is presented in dinner theater environment, opened February 9 and performances continue through March 18, 2017 at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


BON JOVI entertains Tuesday, February 28, at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA. Wednesday's stop is at the SAP Center in San Diego, CA. On Saturday his tour stops at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ. Next Sunday, March 5, he can be enjoyed at the Viejas Arena in San Diego.

ARIANA GRANDE stars at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC on Monday, February 27. Wednesday's gig is at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. On Friday she can be enjoyed at the TD Garden in Boston. Next Sunday, March 5, she's in the spotlight at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

KRISTIN CHENOWETH on stage Wednesday, March 1 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, IL. Thursday finds her at the Kohler Memorial Theater, Kohler, WI. On Saturday she stars at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN.

STEVE MARTIN, MARTIN SHORT and the Stone Canyon Band perform next Sunday, March 5, at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis, IN.

MELISSA MANCHESTER singing her hits Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at Feinstein's/ 54 Below in New York City.

THE TEN TENORS open a six night stand on Tuesday, February 28, at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA.

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER open a two nighter on Thursday, March 2 at Orchestral Hall in Chicago. Saturday's stop is at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI.

JOHN FOGERTY will perform his hits during several dates at the intimate Encore Theater of The Wynn in Las Vegas including Friday March 3 and Saturday, March 4.

KINGS OF LEON perform Monday, February 27, at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. On Thursday they appear at the Music & Arts Festival at Sunshine Grove in Okeechobee, FL.

CHRIS ROCK he opens a two nighter at the Bellco Theatre in Denver on March 3. Next Sunday, he begins a two night stand at the Altria Theater in Richmond, VA.

NORAH JONES performs Wednesday, March 1, at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Friday's stops is at the Concert Hall at the BJCC in Birmingham, AL. On Saturday she can be enjoyed at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, LA.

AN EVENING WITH MARILYN MAYE DEDICATED TO THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK is a two night stand March 3-4, 2017 at The Smith Center in Las Vegas.


WARREN FROST stage and television actor died February 17, 2017 at his home in Middlebury, Vermont, following a long illness. He was 91.

Frost spent much of his 50 year career in the Twin Cities, appearing in local productions, teaching at the University of Minnesota and serving as artistic director of the Chimera Theater in St. Paul.

His work was mainly in the theatre, but he worked in films and television sporadically from 1958. He is known on television particularly as Doctor Hayward on Twin Peaks, a series co-created by his son Mark Frost.

He also had recurring roles as friend Billy Lewis on Matlock and the father of George Costanza’s fiancée Susan Ross on Seinfeld.

He is survived by his wife Virginia and their children, novelist, television screenwriter and producer Mark Frost, actress Lindsay Frost and writer Scott Frost, and grandson Lucas Giolito, the baseball player.

DARYL EASTON a popular magician based in Las Vegas, was found dead Friday, February 24, 2017 hanging in a closet of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, with a bag over his head. His death was at first ruled by authorities as a suicide and then changed to an accidential hanging. He was 61.

The magician, who was a member of the club's Hall of Fame was known for his card tricks. His show was about to begin. When he wasn't seem, employees went looking for him and found his body shortly before show time. The Magic Castle, a renowned restaurant and private club which also serves as the headquarters for the Academy of Magical Arts, was closed to the public on Friday.

The Magic Castle released a statement that said: "A beloved illusionist, who was performing at the Magic Castle this week, was found dead on the club's premises.

"The magic community mourns the loss of one of our most beloved and talented performers."

He considered one of his career high points was performing at the inauguration celebration of President George W. Bush in 2001.

Daryl spent seven years performing as a headline act at Caesars Magical Empire at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. After Caesars Palace closed the Magical Empire, Easton moved his family to California.

His wife, Alison Easton, who survives him, was the first woman to be inducted into The Magic Circle.

Next Column: March 5, 2017
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Laura Deni

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