Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: February 28, 2016
By: Laura Deni


The latest revival of The Color Purple the award winning film turned into a Broadway musical is significant in several areas. Fortunately, Broadway Records has released a cast recording of the current revival on stage at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City.

Musically this CD is different from the original Broadway run or the first revival.

The Color Purple billed as "an unforgettable story of enduring love and triumph over adversity. This stirring family chronicle follows the inspirational Celie, as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life."

The storyline has remained the same from original production to this revival. The changes have been with the director John Doyler's interpretation, which is spot on impressive. Sometimes less really is more.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.

To better appreciate the songs it helps to understand the characters of the voices heard on this CD. The official character summery:

"Celie is the main character A poor, uneducated, fourteen-year-old girl living in the American South who has been oppressed by men her whole life. She is raped by her [supposed] father, with whom she has two children during her adolescence, and who he gives away. Her [supposed] father then gives her away to be married to Mister, who is in love with Shug Avery, a blues singer. When Shug comes to recover from an illness with Mister and Celie, it leads to a sexual relationship between Celie and Shug. Shug has a significant influence on the protagonist, who begins to model herself after the independent Shug, leading her ultimately to independence.

Cyntha Erivo as Celie in The color Purple
"Shug influences not only the way that Celie allows Mister to treat her, but also her showing Celie that it is all right to commit actions that others may call 'sin', but still believe in and live for God, thereby broadening Celie's views on religion and ethics. It is also Shug who frees Celie from Mister's bondage, first by loving her, then by helping her to start a custom sewing business.

"From Shug, Celie learns that Mister [now revealed as Albert] has been hiding letters written to her from Africa by her sister Nettie, a missionary. These letters, full of educated, firsthand observation of African life, form a moving counterpoint to Celie's life. They reveal that in Africa, just as in America, women are persistently oppressed by men."

The musical numbers reflect desperation, acceptance and rage.

No elaborate overtures, no sweeping violin section, no dramatically complicated power ballads. No orchestra or even a full band. This revival with reconfigured orchestrations by Joseph Joubert and Catherine Jayes captures the true essence of the character's lives.

With music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray the songs are stripped to their emotional core - like the heartbeats of the story characters whose faith and grit gives them the courage to endure and succeed. The gospel/blues beats and character of the lyrics are the musical spine.

The musicians are:

Danielle Brooks is cast as Sofia
Conductor/Keyboards: Jason Michael Webb. Associate conductor/Keyboards: Alvin Hugh, Jr. Reed I: Jack Bashkow. Reed 2 Jay Branford. Guitar /Harmonica: Sean Driscoll. Bass: Michael Olatuja. Trumpet/Flugelhorn: Brian Pareschi. Drums/Percussion: Jared Schonig.

Another reason to enjoy this CD are the stars:

Cyntha Erivo transferring from the London production, makes her Broadway debut as Celie - the character who transcends from cowed to self-reliant - is the breakout artist of the year. If you've never heard of her before, you will from now on.

The multi-talented Oscar and Grammy winning Jennifer Hudson makes her Broadway debut as Shug Avery, an in-your-face honky-tonk singer, who is Mister’s (Isaiah Johnson) sometime mistress.

Danielle Brooks of Orange is the New Black, is Sofia, a strong willed character who rebels against a man ruling her with his fists.

Gospel, soul, and gut bucket blues. Drum beats to lift you out of your seat and some of the most glorious voices you'll here on stage this season.

They sing about the moon rising like huckleberry pie and declare that "the good Lord works in mysterious ways."

Jennifer Hudson plays Shug.
These are people who survive on faith. Gospel/soul music revved them up, gives them hope and then offers comfort.

When the poor and downtrodden have little else - there is prayer and music.

A mournful horn on Dear God. Celie expreses shock at the idea of a woman bossing a man around and later confessing her love for Shug.

Beginning with a gentle, simple musical backing only emphasizes the powerful voice of Sofia and Celie on the statement making Hell No! in which Sofia encourages Celie not to let a man brutalize her. The desperation and anger builds to an emotional, gospel fervor climax.

The importance of the drum in gospel music is never more apparent than in Push Da Button, performed by Shug and Harpo (Kyle Scatliffe). On stage this is a dance number for Shug.

From a few backup singers to a full blown choir, harmony is a mainstay of the musical genre.

There isn't a substantial mix of musical styles. The lives of the people in The Color Purple are soulful, hardscrabble desperate and in many cases filled with false hope that their lives will break free from suppression, verbal insults and physical pain inflicted by the men in their lives.

Blind faith is their sustenance - even though they are traces of bitterness when God doesn't always answer in the affirmative.

Somebody Gonna Love Ya has a subdued a cappella beginning as sung by Celia who is giving away a baby. She is joined by women's voices and a piano; then a guitar and drum.

Sections of Miss Elie's Pants have a jive dancing beat.

I'm Here an ode from Celia to her sister has a delicate beginning, building to indicate a future of more substance, as the simple piano backing expands to include the other musicians. Too Beautiful for Words is sung by Shug trying to explain herself to Celia. It's sung by Hudson as Shug in a manner in which Shug may be attempting - in some phrases - to almost reluctantly come to terms with herself.

Shug and Celia deliver a show stopper with the duet What About Love. Vocally, their voices sumptuously blend. As characters they are on different personality and emotional rungs on the life's ladder. What About Love is one of the CD high points.

Cast: Cynthia Erivo as Celie, Jennifer Hudson as Shug, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, Isaiah Johnson as Mister, Joaquina Kalukango as Nettie and Kyle Scatliffe as Harpo.

The cast also includes: Phoenix Best, Dwayne Clark, Lawrence Clayton, Carrie Compere, Patrice Covington, Adrianna Hicks, Bre Jackson, Grasan Kingsberry, Kevyn Morrow, Ken Robinson, Antoine L. Smith, Carla R. Stewart, Akron Watson and Rema Webb.

CD Production:

Keyboard Programmer Randy Cohen. Music Coordinators: Michael Keller and Michael Aarons. Recorded and mixed by Frank Filipetti. Additional recording and editing Derik Lee. Pro Tools operator/assistant engineer Tim Marchiafava. Assistant engineers: Tyler Hartman, Nate Odden and Daniel Avila. Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC. Additional recording at Terminus Studios, NYC Additional Vocals produced by Jason Michael Webb.

Mixed at The Living Room in West Nyack, NY. Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, NYC. Associate keyboard programmer Taylor Williams. Assistant keyboard programmer Jeremy King. CK Package layout and design by Van Dean. Production photography Matthew Murphy. Cover photography by Ruven Afanador. Cover artwork by Spotco. Orchestrations by Joseph Joubert. Additional Orchestrations Catherine Jayes. Music coordinators Michael Keller and Michael Aarons.

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Portrait of Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood is on display through October at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Photo: Smithsonian Institute
at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC has gone on public display for viewing through October.

The painting of Kevin Spacey's House Of Cards character is by British artist Jonathan Yeo. A joint project between Yeo and the Smithsonian museum, in the portrait Spacey as Underwood is sitting in a presidential pose in the Oval Office. This is the second time Yeo has painted Spacey. A portrait of Spacey as Shakespeare's Richard III was part of a retrospective of the artist's work at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

With the unveiling the Smithsonian demonstrated it is both politically savvy and has a sense of humor.

The popular Netflix political drama series begins its 4th year on March 4, and the Smithsonian treated the unveiling of the sinister and fictional president as though it were for an actual president.

Spacey attended the public portrait hanging on February 24. On his instagram account he quipped: "It's a shame most of you couldn't be at my hanging tonight."

The National Portrait Gallery houses the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House.

Devious Underwood joins the display. In some cases, the portrait should feel right at home.

William IV silver-gilt ewer by Paul Sturr, 1831
billed as "the world’s leading art and antiques event," takes place at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre (MECC) March 11-20, 2016.

Leading London silver dealer, Koopman Rare Art, is once again showing an outstanding selection of superlative silver masterpieces and exquisite gold boxes at TEFAF Maastrich.

If you don't know what to do with your expected income tax refund or that serious money inheritance from that aunt you can't remember, considered some of these nick-knacks.

Among the highlights presented on the Koopman stand in the show will be a magnificent William IV silver-gilt ewer by one of London’s most famous silversmiths, Paul Storr. The ewer, which stands an impressive 52cms high and is dated 1831, is a perfect example of Storr’s brilliance. Of baluster shape, it is masterfully cast and chased with opulent friezes of sea creatures, mermaids, tritons, dolphins and seahorses and has a flamboyant griffin spout. The ewer is extravagance at its most lavish and exuberant and was previously in the collection of King Farouk I of Egypt and Sudan. It has an asking price of $624,000.

There is also a stunning pair of silver gilt wine coolers dating from 1834. Designed to look like simple woven baskets, the rims cascade with grapes and leaves on the vine. These wine coolers and are the perfect example of the exceptional naturalism that Storr became famous for in the 1830s (asking price $346,000).

Some of the other pieces include a monumental William IV presentation vase engraved with the arms of Lygon for the 4th Earl of Beauchamp (asking price $582.000) and an exceptional Warwick vase on stand, 1819-1821, which was gifted by the legislature of the island of Antigua to James Anthill, who served as the island’s Chief Justice. The vase was also mentioned in Anthill’s will of 1822 (asking price $222,000).

Other great examples of British silver presented by Koopman Rare Art, include a magnificent Pagoda style George III epergne, the term given to a large and ornamental centrepiece, which became fashionable in Europe in the early 1700s. Bearing the makers marks of Thomas Pitts, London 1763, this is a particularly decorative example and features many charming details and motifs such as its crowning pineapple – it has an asking price of $270,000.

There is also a splendid pair of Georgian pilgrim flasks, dating from 1828 ($270,000) and a monumental Centrepiece made by Robert & Sebastian Garrard in 1877 for the Worshipful Company of Grocers, one of the great 12 Livery Companies of the City of London ($264,000).

Among exceptional pieces of European silver are a classic French centrepiece dating from the1890s with the maker’s mark of Veuve Flament & Leon Champenois, Paris ($166,400) and an extremely stylish French 1930s Art Deco tea and coffee service with the maker's mark of Tetard Frères (a paultry $17,300).

Among a choice selection of gold boxes is an extremely rare gold mounted mother-of-pearl snuffbox, dating from circa 1730 and thought to be of South Netherlandish origin. The cover is beautifully carved with a biblical scene of David tending his sheep before his fight with Goliath, while the base represents David espying Bathsheba for the first time bathing ( a mere $37,455).

Aficionados of Handel will be delighted by an early 18th century gold box which opens to reveal a miniature painting of the German composer on the inside lid ($53,400). Another notable gold box, dating from the early 19th century, bears a striking enamelled portrait by the French miniaturist artist Jean-Baptiste Isabey of Napoleon (asking price $62,400).

Award-winning Koopman Rare Art, founded by Jacques and Eddy Koopman in 1952, are the pre-eminent dealers in antique silver. They have traded from their luxurious premises in the City of London since 1969. Over the years they have helped form some of the most celebrated collections of silver in the world, including those of His Excellency Mahdi Mohammed Altajir, the Whiteley Trust and the Australian Kerry Packer, and have sold important silver to major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Portrait of a Young Man by Botticelli.
this innovative exhibition will explore the enduring impact of the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) from the Pre-Raphaelites to today.

Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is recognized as one of the greatest artists of all time. His celebrated images are firmly embedded in public consciousness and his influence permeates art, design, fashion and film. However, although lauded in his lifetime, Botticelli was largely forgotten for more than 300 years until his work was progressively rediscovered in the 19th century.

Telling a story 500 years in the making, Botticelli Reimagined will be the largest Botticelli exhibition in Britain since 1930. Including painting, fashion, film, drawing, photography, tapestry, sculpture and print, the exhibition will explore the ways that artists and designers have reinterpreted Botticelli. It will include over 50 original works by Botticelli, alongside works by artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris, René Magritte, Elsa Schiaparelli, Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman.

The exhibition is organized by the V&A and the Gemäldegalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. On display March 5 - July 3, 2016 at the V&A Museum in London.

ACHIEVEMENT IN ART: THE CHICANO COLLECTION OF CHEECH MARIN an actor, director, comedian, author, and a collector of Chicano Art. His collection has grown to be one of the largest private collections of Chicano art in the country, and has been shown extensively throughout the United States. On exhibit through March 27, 2016 at the Amarillo Museum of Art in Amarillo, Texas.


THEATRE ASPEN'S MAMMA MIA GALA takes place March 5, 2016 at the hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado.

I Will Imbibe Lemonade and Silent Auction followed by a live auction and "delectable dinner" capped off with "disco and swanky sweets."

Attire - Jazzy Jumpsuits and Grecian Bohemian.

Funds raised support Theatre Aspen's professional shows, school and scholarships.

HAMPTON'S GUILD HALL Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards and Dinner takes place Tuesday, March 8, at the Rainbow Room in New York City.

Hosted by Artist Eric Fischl the event will honor:

Sarah Jessica Parker for Performing Arts presented by Eric Fischl

Mary Heilmann for Visual Arts presented by Adam Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum

A.M. Homes for Literary Arts presented by singer, songwriter and author Rosanne Cash

Charlotte Moss & Barry S. Friedberg for Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropic Endeavors presented by philanthropist Howard Milstein

AN EVENING TO BENEFIT HELP MUSICIANS UK takes place Monday March 7, 2016, at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre in London.

The Duke of Gloucester, Patron, the London Chorus, will attend the concert to hear performances by the New London Orchestra, and the Highgate Choral Society featuring soprano Rebecca Evans and baritone Roderick Williams.

Featured will be A Sea Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams plus 4 Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten, and a specially commissioned world premiere by Ronald Corp, for his 65th birthday concert.

The London Chorus (formerly known as The London Choral Society), London's most versatile choir has been performing since 1903.

The 120 members of the choir are amateur singers from all walks for life, but performances are at the highest professional level under the baton of composer and conductor Ronald Corp OBE.

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED ACTOR BRADLEY COOPER has registered as a bone marrow donor and is joining the organization Delete Blood Cancer in its efforts to register more donors, the organization has announced.

“When I lost my father to cancer, I lost my best friend, my hero and my confident. It was devastating for my whole family . . . When I signed up to be a donor, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the process was quick and pain free - a simple swab of my cheek. I hope that I can be a match for someone, and inspire others to register as well.”


Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall tours the Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl Exhibition. Photo: Clarence House.
has launched almost a $2million appeal to save rare books and manuscripts

At an event held In Lambeth Palace's 17th century library the Prince and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall mingled with guests who included singer Bryan Ferry, Nobel Prize-winning author VS Naipaul and Lord Saatchi.

On display were ancient books and manuscripts that had been bought with the help of the Friends of the National Libraries, including a contemporary 1587 copy of Mary, Queen of Scots' execution warrant.

Charles who is patron of Friends of the National Libraries, said: "We simply must, ladies and gentlemen, must protect these treasure houses of our history and of everything that has made our culture and our country great."

Founded in 1931, the FNL supports national and regional libraries and other institutions by giving them grants to buy rare books, manuscripts and archives that might otherwise leave the country.

Charles told the audience how he developed a love of books at an early age: "I am one of those people who have been very lucky in the sense I was able to spend my childhood at Windsor Castle.

"In due course as I got a little bit older I started exploring the library which, as you can imagine, was absolutely fascinating. I ended up getting covered in dust.

"But also as a child going down to see the book binding and conservation department, where I spent hours with gold leaf and marvelous stamps from the days of King Charles I and before then, which are still there."

He added: "Perhaps you can understand I grew up surrounded by books and all the fascination that goes with the books - the smell, the dust, the occasional strange beetles that eat the paper."

Camilla is also called "a keen supporter of literature," having presented the Man Booker prize to writers for a number of years, and she is the patron of a number of literacy organizations including agreeing to be the Patron of Roald Dalh 100, a nationwide year of celebration marking 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl.

Recently she visited The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl at the Imagine Children’s Festival. The Duchess was joined by some of Dahl’s famous characters, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's 'Willy Wonka'. The experience features exclusive archival material from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, and takes visitors on a magical journey through seven immersive worlds that explore Roald Dahl’s life, characters and stories.

Camilla also joined in with a children's reading session, led by 'Miss Honey' from Roald Dahl's Matilda, and read an extract from Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

JDT LAB CONCERT STAGING of Eco a new musical with music and lyrics by Jenna Mate. Book by Bethie Fowler. Musical Director: Bobby Peterson Starring Ava Bianchi, Heather Bithell, J. Kelly Caldwell, Bethany Dellapolla, Valerie diLorenzo, Lily Fryburg, Stephanie Gomerez, Isara Grabel, Morgan Siobhan Green, Erin Haggerty, Alec Kelsey, Haylie Kinsler, Wally Marzano-Lesnevich, Sam Mangiaracina, Susan Stout, and L'aura Vakar.

Eco is a young-adult musical about one girl's journey through post-apocalyptic America. Separated from her parents for much of her childhood, Eco must make her way through a drastically altered future landscape to find them again. But will she even know them by the time she gets there?

Tuesday, March 1, at Guild Hall in The Hamptons, NY.

SHIRLEY MacLAINE the Academy Award-winning actress, dancer and author will share with the audience a montage of memorable film moments film moments and private revelations about her extraordinary life, career and spiritual journey. MacLaine’s five decade career includes 50 feature films, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, six Emmy Awards, the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award and the title of international best-selling author. A longtime outspoken advocate for civil rights and liberties, women’s rights and spiritual understanding, MacLaine remains committed to boldly speaking her truth, unedited and uncensored.

March 7, 2016 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California.

TIM DOLAN'S BROADWAY UP CLOSE WALKING TOUR steps off daily at 11:30 a.m. for a 1 hour and 45 minute walking tour of the Broadway Theater District, further detailing and sharing ghost stories, anecdotes and wonderful stories with the theater masses who journey to New York City to take in a show. Led by Dolan and a staff of 14 theater professionals, who are also licensed tour guides, they also share the inner workings of the life of an actor and other theater professionals.

Dolan was recently seen in the Transport Group's NYC revival of Once Upon A Mattress starring Jackie Hoffman and Lypsinka at Abrams Arts Center. As an actor Tim was featured on Season Two of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Onstage Tim performed as Abraham in the long-running hit musical Altar Boyz. As an arts educator Tim is on faculty at Rosie's Theater Kids, Rosie O'Donnell's arts organization, as well as Dream Makers Performing Arts.

REHEARSALS HAVE BEGUN for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which receives its world premiere at London's Palace Theatre on July 31, 2016.

MARCH 1 is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day.


MANY STUDENTS WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH SCHOOL One of the most unusual - and dangerous - is the temp job picked up by law student Sian Rogers who was paid almost $6,000 to be infected with typhoid.

Rogers is in her third year of studying law at Oxford Brookes, considered one of the UK's leading modern universities and enjoys an international reputation for teaching excellence and innovation.

She drank an infected cocktail of bicarbonate of soda, water and bacteria as part of a clinical trial carried out by the Oxford Vaccine Group. Over the next 12 months she will be used to test out one of three new vaccines for the fever.

Rogers wrote on student website The Tab that she "started feeling woozy" a week after being infected. The following morning she said she "definitely wasn't going to make it to Equity and Trusts", and spent the next seven days in bed "catching up on Netflix and sleep with a cocktail of drugs". Every morning she'd take a taxi to the hospital "so they could make sure I wasn’t dying".

Last year the 22-year-old participated in an anti-Ebola drug test. She was injected with a dead form of the disease. She said it was "actually pretty fun", and that clinical trials were "a really easy way to get money without working too hard". Typhoid symptoms include weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, diarrhea and vomiting.

Legal wags posted that the the symptoms should afford her "a valuable insight into a career in corporate law."

BEIJING overtakes New York as the city with the highest number of billionaires. A total of 100 billionaires are now living in the Chinese capital, compared with 95 in New York City, according to the annual Global Rich List which charts billionaires' wealth in US dollars. The report was conducted by the China-based firm Hurun which tracks wealth.

CAROL CHANNING'S 95th BIRTHDAY: IN CELEBRATION OF A BROADWAY LEGEND takes place at The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA, on March 5, 2916 celebrating Channing's natal day, which was actually January 31.

The sold-out, one-night-only tribute concert will feature the talents of Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Florence Henderson, Cloris Leachman, Gavin MacLeod, Lily Tomlin and many more.

The evening will include live performances and taped tributes from an array of show-business luminaries, as well as video clips of many of Channing’s career milestones.

Musical direction by Steven Baker and choreography by Charlie Williams. The artists will be backed by a 28-piece orchestra.

THE ROBBER BRIDGEROOM first-ever New York revival of Alfred Uhry and Robert Waldman’s musical comedy.

Directed by Alex Timbers.

Music direction by Justin Levine.

Choreography by Connor Gallagher.

The cast includes Andrew Durand, Evan Harrington, Greg Hildreth, Leslie Kritzer, Ahna O’Reilly, Steven Pasquale, Nadia Quinn, Lance Roberts, and Devere Rogers.

Based on the short story by beloved Southern writer Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom transports the audience to the Natchez Trace in Mississippi, a dangerous and mysterious corner of the country teeming with a rogue’s gallery of the most beguiling con men, hucksters, and charlatans you’ll ever meet. Chief among them, Jamie Lockhart (Pasquale) - fair-faced gentleman by day, hard-hearted bandit of the woods by night. When he falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter, his world and code of ethics are turned upside down.

Presented by the roundabout Theatre Company, The Robber Bridegroom officially opens on Sunday, March 13, 2016. This is a limited engagement through May 29, 2016 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center in New York City.

HOLD ON TO ME DARLING by Kenneth Lonergan.

Directed by Neil Pepe.

On learning of his mother’s death, world famous country and western star Strings McCrane begins questioning the meaning of his life and what it all adds up to. Determined to abandon his celebrity and career, he moves back to his hometown in Tennessee. It doesn’t go well.

Hold On To Me Darling will feature Adelaide Clemens, Tony Award nominee Jonathan Hogan, Jenn Lyon, Keith Nobbs, Emmy Award nominee Timothy Olyphant and C.J. Wilson.

Scenic design by Walt Spangler, costume design by Suttirat Larlarb, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt, sound design by David Van Tieghem, dialects by Stephen Gabis and casting by Telsey + Company.

In previews, officially opening Monday, March 14 for a limited engagement through Sunday, April 3, 2016 off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater in New York City.

THE SORCERERS by Belgian playwright Serge Goriely.

Translated and directed by David Willinger.

Goriely turns conventional notions of voodoo on their heads with his Strindbergian play of magic, lies and intolerance, The play is a modernist work about a Caucasian European photojournalist from a liberal family who has gone to Africa in his work and fallen in love with an African woman. He brings her back to Belgium and marries her, not anticipating resistance from his relatives and Belgian society to his very ordinary act. Weirdly, his open-minded, progressive family casts a spell on her.

The play is written in a style that careens between an abstract, telegraphic style, with the characters speaking in eruptions and incomplete sentences, and hyper-realism. The production design promises to be magical and suggestive. The sorcerers are a chorus performing a mix of fable, dream and dark humor. They do not remain as witches, but transform into various other characters including Luc's parents and grandmother. They represent a malignant energy in Europe which wants to destroy the girl and are an encapsulation of all society.

Theater for the New City will present the work's world premiere March 3 to 20, 2016 at the Theater for the New City.

THE ROYALE a new play by Marco Ramirez.

Directed by Rachel Chavkin.

Featuring McKinley Belcher III, Khris Davis, Montego Glover, John Lavelle, and Clarke Peters.

Loosely based on the real-life experiences of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight world champion, The Royale tells, in six rounds, the fictional story of Jay “The Sport” Johnson (Khris Davis), a charismatic Negro Heavyweight Champion. It’s 1905 and as Johnson faces his opponents - and confronts his demons - he exposes the troublesome events in his life that have propelled him into the ring with a burning desire to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

Sets by Nick Vaughan, costumes by Dede Ayite, lights by Austin R. Smith, and sound by Matt Hubbs.

Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The Royale opens on Monday, March 7 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York City.

WIDOWERS’ HOUSES the first play ever written by George Bernard Shaw.

Directed by Gingold Theatrical Group Artistic Director David Staller.

In Shaw’s debut play - written during his time as an arts journalist in response to a dare by a fellow critic - a young man discovers an unsavory truth about his family-to-be, and is faced with choosing between his love and his ideals.

Featuring Jeremy Beck as Dr. Harry Trench, Jonathan Hadley as William De Burgh Cokane, Hanna Cheek as Waitress and Annie, Terry Layman as Sartoius, Talene Monahon as Blanche Sartorius, and John Plumpis as Lickcheese.

Scenic design is by Brian Prather, lighting design by Peter West, costume design by Barbara A. Bell, sound design by Toby Jaguar Algya, and prop design by Lytza Colon. Kelly Burns serves as production stage manager, with Cate DiGirolamo as production manager. Performances begin on Tuesday, March 1, and open Sunday, March 13 at The Beckett Theatre @ Theatre Row in New York City.

THE HONG KONG BALLET presents a mixed bill for the first time at the NAC in Ottawa, Canada

Noted for beauty, precision, and brilliant dancing. Artistic Director Madeleine Onne has assembled a beautiful mixed bill Dancing With the Wind, a free-flowing all-female work choreographed by Li Jun (Principal Dancer with The National Ballet of China), the Western art form of classical ballet is spiced with music, costumes, and an aesthetic that are unmistakably Chinese. Nacho Duato’s all-male Castrati - set to turbulent music by Vivaldi - combines strong movement with a disquieting, distinctive androgynous quality.

Krzysztof Pastor’s In Light and Shadow is a witty tour de force of elegant Baroque courtliness; inspired by the paintings of Rembrandt and Vermeer and the music of J.S. Bach, it’s spiked with unrestrained joie de vivre.

Castrati and In Light and Shadow, one night only on March 1, followed by three performances of the all-time classic The Sleeping Beauty, March 3-5. Their Canadian tour begins at the NAC, the only venue where both the mixed bill and the ballet will be offered.

ECLIPSED by Danai Gurira.

Directed by Liesl Tommy.

Featuring the original cast from its sold-out run at The Public Theater last fall: Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh.

Eclipsed is the story of five extraordinary women brought together by upheaval in their homeland of Liberia. They forge a close-knit community... one that inspires them to feats of increasingly greater strength.

Eclipsed also marks a historic moment on Broadway: the first time the cast, director, and playwright are composed entirely of female artists, fitting for a production that so stunningly chronicles the experiences of a group of very resilient women.

The creative team includes Clint Ramos (Scenic & Costume Design), Jennifer Schriever (Lighting Design), Broken Chord (Original Music and Sound Design), and Cookie Jordan (Hair, Wig and Make-up Design).

Eclipsed officially opens at Broadway’s Golden Theatre on Sunday, March 6, 2016.


THE MOODY BLUES will be singing their hits Thursday, March 3, 2016 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida. On Friday the show is at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, FL. On Saturday they can be enjoyed at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. Next Sunday, March 6, the tour stops at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, FL.

ELLIE GOULDING performs Thursday, March 3, at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Friday's show is at the Telenor Arena in Fomebu, Norway. On Saturday she can be enjoyed at the Forum Copenhagen in Frederiksberg, Denmark.

RITA RUDNER an extremely funny lady, will be telling delightful stories March 3, 17 and 18 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California.

JOHN PIZZARELLI on Tuesday, March 1, opens a five night gig at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

JENNIFER NETTLES performs Tuesday, March 1, at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. On Thursday she's on stage at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, WA. Friday finds her at the Nortern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, WA. On Saturday she stars at the sprint Mountain Casino in Grand Rapids, OR.

IL DIVO take to the stage Monday, February 29, at the Arena Ciudad De Mexico in Mexico City. On Wednesday they musically blend at the Auditorio Telmex in Guadalajara, Mexico. Thursday's show is at the Arena in Monterrey, Mexico.


JOHN CHILTON British jazz trumpeter and writer died February 25, 2016 after a brief illness. He was 83.

Chilton is one of the few European writers to win a Grammy Award for his album notes on Bunny Berigan (1983) In the same year he won the His Who's Who of Jazz was described by the poet Philip Larkin as "one of the essential jazz books". His books on Coleman Hawkins and Louis Jordan have both won for Chilton the prestigious American Association for Recorded Sound Collections' Award for Historical Recorded Sound Research. Jazz magazine Down Beat called him "a master of the craft of research".

Chilton was also a songwriter and composer and one of his songs, Give Her A Little Drop More, was used in the 1985 film St Elmo's Fire, sung by the Hollywood Brat Pack including Demi Moore and Rob Lowe.

In March 2007, Northway Books published his autobiography, Hot Jazz, Warm Feet. Chilton continued to play trumpet with the clarinetist Wally Fawkes in London up until his death. He is survived by three children.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "John Chilton was truly gifted, both as a jazz musician and writer. John authored numerous jazz biographies including those of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and Coleman Hawkins. His Who's Who Of Jazz has been called essential reading for jazz fans around the world. Along with Richard M. Sudhalter, John won the Best Album Notes Grammy Award for 1982 for their work on Bunny Berigan’s Giants Of Jazz. Additionally, John was the musical partner of George Melly, one of Britain’s greatest jazz stars, for more than 40 years. We have lost a cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to John’s family, friends, and collaborators."

IRENE LARSEN co-founder of the famed Magic Castle and Academy of Magical Arts, died unexpectedly on February 25, 2016 at 'Brookledge,' her Los Angles home and performance venue. She was 79.

Her death was announced on the Magic Castle's Facebook page.

Larsen created the Magic Castle with her husband, Bill Larsen, who died in 1993, and her brother-in-law, Milt Larsen. The Larsen brothers were both in television and grew up in a family of magicians. Their father, William W. Larsen Sr., was a performing magician and Los Angeles defense attorney. Their mother, Geraldine, was an early TV pioneer children's entertainer known as The Magic Lady. In 1936 Larsen's parents published Genii, the Conjurors Magazine, which is still in publication. In 1999, Magic magazine selected the Larsen Family as one of the 100 most influential magicians in the 20th century. Irene Larsen served with her husband as a co-editor of Genii.

The former Hollywood mansion opened as The Magic Castle in 1963 and was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1989. There are almost 2,500 members today.

Although the Magic Castle is invitation only, the shows are popular among show folks. Celebrities including Moby, Sofia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Ryan Gosling, Jason Alexander, Christina Hendricks, Matthew Gubler, Randy Newman, Paul Reubens and John Landis have recently attended magic shows at the Castle. Larsen was a frequent figure at the Magic Castle until the end and was known by magicians around the world as “Princess Irene,” a stage name given to her by her first husband.

Irene Larsen was an avid animal lover who championed for animals rights, and according to the Magic Castle's Facebook post, was vigilant in ensuring that all performers who had animal assistants properly cared for them and treated them with both dignity and respect.

She is survived by her daughter, Erika, who is the current president of The Magic Castle as well as the producer of the vaudeville show The Brookledge Follies, which performs out of Brookledge.

GEORGE "NICK" NICKOPOULOS the personal physician to Elvis Presley died February 24, 2016 in Memphis, Tenn. He was 88.

Dr. Nick, as he was known, was accused of over-prescribing drugs to Presley, ultimately causing his death on August 16, 1977 at age 42.

In 1980, Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 counts of over prescribing drugs to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and twelve other patients. The district attorney ruled out murder charges because of the conflicting medical opinions about the cause of Presley's death. In 1977 alone, Nichopoulos had prescribed over 10,000 doses of amphetamines, barbiturates, narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, laxatives, and hormones for Presley. Nichopoulos claimed he had tried in vain to reduce Elvis' dependency, even going so far as to manufacture one thousand placebos for Elvis, but to no avail.

Nichopoulos contended that he was treating Presley for insomnia and was acquitted.

In 1995, Nichopoulos had his license permanently revoked by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, and was branded a "Doctor Feelgood" in the press, after it was revealed that he had been over prescribing to numerous patients for years.

Nichopoulos began treating Presley in 1967 for saddle pain, and took it on as a full-time job in 1970 until Presley's death in 1977. His son Dean Nichopoulos served sometimes as an assistant for Presley, taking care of his wardrobe. Nichopoulos was present the day Elvis died, and attempted to save his life. Nichopoulos was also present at the autopsy and served as a pallbearer at the funeral.

In 1979, the doctor was shot in the chest while watching a football game; he was not seriously injured. No suspect was ever arrested. Nichopolous, in a 1993 interview with Dutch radio host Jorrit van der Kooi, claimed it must have been an angry Elvis fan.

In 1985, he started a solo practice called We Care, Inc. After he was stripped of his credentials in 1995, Nichopoulos worked for a short time as Jerry Lee Lewis' road manager. He later took a job evaluating medical insurance claims by FedEx employees. No longer a doctor and in need of money, Nichopoulos sold many of the items he received from Elvis at auctions, and at one point had a traveling exhibit, showing off his doctor's bag with some of the medications he prescribed for Elvis.

Next Column: March 6, 2016
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Laura Deni

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