Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: January 15, 2017
By: Laura Deni


Drew Carey will emcee the Heroes/Veterans Inaugural Ball on January 20, 2017.
Performing at a presidential inauguration can be one of the most memorial events in a person's life. Few ever have that opportunity. For the high school and college students marching in the parade, it may be the only opportunity they ever have to visit Washington, DC. For all - a lifetime of memories.

Hundreds of musicians play at various balls. Those are paying gigs.

The balls begin the downbeat on January 17. Most of the balls take place on the 19th. Their themes range from sassy and whimsical to serious and meaningful.

Many salute veterans or promote interests associated with different states.

Salute to Heroes/Veterans Inaugural Ball takes place January 20. American Legion and Veterans Inaugural Committee host a tribute to America's Medal of Honor recipients and Trump. Composed of 15 Congressional chartered veterans service organizations, this is the longest-continuous inaugural event for veterans.

Comedian, actor, author and the host of The Price is Right Drew Carey emcees.

Carey in his U.S. Marine Corps uniform, with rank insignia of a Corporal.
The former Las Vegas resident spent six years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and supports the military, veterans, service members and their families. “I am proud and honored to be a part of such a momentous event,” he said. “I look forward to paying tribute to my fellow veterans and the Medal of Honor recipients.”

American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt applauded Carey for his service and commitment to honoring veterans.

“The American Legion would like to thank Drew Carey for his service to our country and lending his talents to this event,” Schmidt said. “We know with him behind the microphone everyone in attendance will have a fantastic time. It is only fitting that on the night the new commander-in-chief takes office, the opportunity is given to thank the bravest of the brave - our nation’s Medal of Honor recipients - in person and we are proud to provide that opportunity once again.”

President Dwight Eisenhower began the tradition of the Veterans Inaugural Ball in 1953 as a way for the newly sworn in commander in chief to pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients on the night of the inauguration.

The president and/or vice president will attend the ball, as has been the case ever since Eisenhower’s inauguration. Other invited guests include members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, congressional representatives, celebrities, corporate citizens and veterans' group leaders.

The black-tie event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m., dessert and coffee at 9 p.m., and entertainment and dancing at 10 p.m. It will take place at the Renaissance Washington.

Entertainment will be provided by by Rascal Flatts’ vocalist Gary LeVox, who will bring along songwriters Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley.

The Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball on January 19 is sponsored by the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C. Similar to the Veterans Ball, the Black Tie & Boots party has roots in the 1950s during Eisenhower’s inauguration. Randy Rogers will play an acoustic set.

Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball, a non-partisan celebration, takes place at The Hay-Adams in Washington, DC. It's a ball to celebrate the inauguration and to honor the armed forces, put on by the Academy of United States Veterans, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, Military Order of the Purple Heard, Disabled American Veterans, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich performs at the Great American Alliance Gala on January 19, 2017.
The Great America Alliance Gala, officially sponsored by The Republican Party will be entertained by country duo Big & Rich, made up of Big Kenny and John Rich. Collaborator Cowboy Troy is slated to join the duo.

From 1992 to 1998, Rich was a member of the country music band Lonestar, in which he played bass guitar and alternated with Richie McDonald as lead vocalist.

It's no secret that Rich has longstanding ties to the Republican Party. He even wrote John McCain’s campaign song in 2008, Raising McCain. Rich also has a close association to Trump as a former contestant on his reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice. Rich won the eleventh season of the show in 2011.

The Gala will be held the evening of January 19th in Washington, D.C. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, actor Jon Voight, and Sheriff David Clarke are expected to be in attendance.

Another one of the balls being put on this year is the All American Inaugural Ball, This gala will take place the night before the inauguration, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Performers include Beau Davidson, who performed Stand By Me for Trump at Mar-A-Lago earlier this year; The Reagan Years, an ’80s cover band; The Mixx, which features modern songs; DJ Freedom; A Place to be Trio, a group of three singers with disabilities; and The Star Spangled Singers, a group of seven women who perform uplifting and patriotic songs. Buzz Aldrin is slated to be in attendance.

Danny Glover is expected to attend the All American Inaugural Ball on January 19, 2017.
The Peace Ball will take place at the National Museum of African American History. Guests scheduled to attend include Alice Walker, Van Jones, Chef Jose Andrews, Danny Glover, and Angela Davis.

Another ball being held is the Great American Inaugural Ball, which will take place on January 20th. Performers include: Right On Band, a 10-piece band whose singers dress in ’70s costumes; Darryl Worley, country music singer; Disc Jockey Chris Styles; cover band For The Win; Sam Fazio, a jazz vocalist; and Pat Premier, a DJ. Also in attendance will be Max Hodges of TMZ fame.

Sister Cities International Inaugural Gala staged on January 17 showcases citizen diplomats in world peace efforts.

Those with a political theme include the Inaugural Deploraball which is staged January 20, and is geared for alt-right personalities. Editor for Breitbart News Milo Yiannopoulos has been published as guest of honor. This event boasts that it takes its name from Hillary Clinton's claim that half of Trump's supporters are "deplorables". The event promises a lot of snark and sarcasm. The reception begins at 7 p.m. at the Bolger Center in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington, with a silent auction to benefit veterans and event host Gays for Trump.

Balls with a goal of promoting their state are: Bluegrass Ball held January 18 is sponsored by the Kentucky Society of Washington with a focus on promoting Kentucky bourbons. The Garden State Inaugural Gala sponsored by the New Jersey State Society, will feature a Bruce Springsteen tribute band called the B-Street Band. South Carolina Presidential Inaugural Ball, held on January 19, hosted by the South Carolina State Society, is staged at the Smithsonian as part of its mission to link South Carolinians to the nation's capital.

The 2017 Inaugural Heartland Ball will highlight the sights, sounds, and cuisine of Illinois. The Bytes & Books Inaugural Ball is hosted by the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training. The Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball is sponsored by The Creative Coalition, which a non-profit charity. George Washington University Inaugural Ball which has been held since 1992 will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

Native Nations Inaugural Ball, on January 20, uses the event to launch a campaign to build the National Native American Veterans Memorial.

Sounding like a lot of fun is Dardanella: The Great Gatsby Presidential Inaugural Ball, on January 20, at the National Portrait Gallery & Smithsonian American Art Museum which hosts "a non-political political event!" offering a step back in history with an orchestra, vintage paper moon photo sets and more. Inauguration Day at the Newseum, on January 20 as an all-inclusive "Presidential Inauguration Celebration Experience" at the Newseum, located on the inaugural parade route on historic Pennsylvania Avenue.

For the actual swearing in ceremony 16-year-old Jackie Evancho will sing The Star-Spangled Banner to close out the at the U.S. Capitol. Then she races to Tyler, Texas for a show the following day.

Since 2009 Jackie Evancho has issued an EP and six albums, including a platinum and gold album and three Billboard 200 top 10 debuts.
“We’re delighted to have Jackie Evancho performing the National Anthem at the 58th Presidential Inaugural Ceremony,” Inaugural Committee Director of Communications Boris Epshteyn said in a statement. “As the youngest solo artist to ever go platinum, she is a true role model and inspiration for people young and old in our country and around the globe. Jackie represents the best and the brightest of America.”

While this is the classical crossover soprano's first inauguration performance, it will not be her first time performing for a president; in 2010, she sang at the National Christmas Tree lighting and met President Barack Obama.

Also singing at the swearing-in ceremony is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The choir has previously performed at the inauguration of George H.W. Bush, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson. They also sang at an inaugural parade for George W. Bush.

“The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a great tradition of performing at the inaugurals of U. S. presidents,” Ron Jarrett, president of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, said in a statement. “Singing the music of America is one of the things we do best. We are honored to be able to serve our country by providing music for the inauguration of our next president.”

Part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, church members in good standing are invited to audition. Those accepted must be based in Salt Lake City, since there is a rigorous rehearsal and performance schedule. Due to the demands of being in the choir the members are exempt from other required church "volunteer" work. The fame choir consists of 360 singers. It was originally founded in 1847. Ronald Reagan once referred to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as “America’s Choir,”

While one member of the choir defected, refusing to sing before Trump, the Pew Reports stated that while Trump lagged in Utah, 61% of Mormons across America voted for Trump.

Kicking up their long legs at the inauguration will be The Radio City Rockettes. They previously performed at the inauguration of George W. Bush in 2001 and again in 2005.

Also taking part - the Missouri State University Chorale. This choir consists of 50 young men and women, and they have toured the country performing under the direction of Cameron LaBarr.

Those performing in the inauguration parade include:

1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment
1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard
Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team
Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer
Cleveland Police Mounted Unit
Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums
Columbus North High School Band
Culver Academy Equestrian
First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry
Fishburne Military School Army JROTC Caissons Battalion
Frankfort High School Band
Franklin Regional High School Panther Marching Band
Indianapolis Metro Police Motorcycle Drill Team
Lil Wranglers
Marist College Band
Merced County Sheriff’s Posse
Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard
Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team
Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums
North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums
Olivet Nazarene University’s Tiger Marching Band
Palmetto Ridge High School Band
Russellville High School Band
Talladega College Band
Texas State University Strutters
The Citadel Regimental Band & Pipes and Summerall Guards
The Freedom Riders
Tupelo High School Band
University of Tennessee Marching Band
VMI Corps of Cadets
West Monroe High School Marching Band

NOTE The B Street Band announced on Monday, January 16, 2017 that they would not be performing at the Garden State Inaugural Gala sponsored by the New Jersey State Society, citing loyalty to Bruce Springsteen.

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Winnie with HarryColebourn
is January 18. On Saturday, January 21 the World War I Museum in Kansas City presents Story Time: Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. The free program celebrates the real-life bear who cheered on a regiment during the Great War.

Harry D. Colebourn (April 12, 1887–September 24, 1947) was a Canadian veterinarian and soldier with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps best known for donating a bear cub named Winnie to the London Zoo. Winnie later inspired the creation of A. A. Milne's famous children's book character Winnie-the-Pooh.

As he was heading across Canada by train to the training camp at Valcartier, Quebec where he was to embark for overseas duty during World War I, Colebourn came across a hunter in White River, Ontario who had a female black bear cub for sale, having killed the cub's mother. Colebourn purchased the cub for $20, named her "Winnie" after his adopted home town, and took her across the Atlantic with him to Salisbury Plain, where she became an unofficial mascot of the Fort Garry Horse, a militia cavalry regiment. Colebourn himself was a member of the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, attached to the Fort Garry Horse as a veterinarian. While Colebourn served three years in France, attaining the rank of major, he kept Winnie at the London Zoo.

Winnie's eventual destination was to have been the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, but at the end of the War, Colebourn decided to allow Winnie to remain at the London Zoo, where she was much loved for her playfulness and gentleness.

Among her fans was A. A. Milne's son Christopher Robin, who consequently changed the name of his own teddy bear from "Edward Bear" to "Winnie the Pooh", providing the inspiration for his father's stories about Winnie-the-Pooh in the books Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

Milne also included several poems about Winnie-the-Pooh in the children’s poetry books When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard. Winnie remained at the zoo until her death in 1934.

Winnie's skull was kept after her death in the Odontological Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons Hunterian Museumin London, and went on public display for the first time in 2015.

THE GEORGE LUCAS MUSEUM for maybe the third time, has said it's found a home.

This time it seems for keeps - the force is with Los Angeles.

The $1-billion museum, called the George Lucas' Museum of Narrative Art, declaring where the cornerstone will be laid, ends months of L.A.-versus-San Francisco wrangling - not to mention previous speculation about locations in Chicago.

Funding will be by Lucas, 72, the creator of Star Wars. The $1 billion price tag includes construction plus Lucas' impressive art collection, movie memorabilia and works by noted artists, and memorabilia related to his Star Wars franchise. That collection will fill a futuristic new museum in L.A.’s Exposition Park.

Art historian Don Bacigalupi will serve as founding president of the museum.


Princess Diana with her sons William and Harry. 2017 begins a yearlong commemoration of her untimely death 20-years ago.
will honor their mother, the late Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her August 31, 1997 death in an automobile accident by supporting a 2017 year-long program of events celebrating her legacy.

The Diana Award, established in 1999 as part of Britain's official response to her death two years earlier, has announced plans for a series of events designed at promoting the late Princess's qualities of kindness, compassion and service.

Her sons will take part in a number of the events, which will also celebrate her belief in the power of young people to change the world. The program will include a National Kindness Day in March, encouraging others to do something for others.

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Diana, Princess of Wales.

Her brother Earl Spencer will host an exhibition and fundraising gala for the Diana Award in June at his family estate, Althorp. He will also launch the Inaugural Legacy Award which will be presented to 20 exceptional young people from around the world at a special ceremony in May, in recognition of their commitment to transforming the lives of others. The Award is open to 2016-2017 recipients of the Diana Award, aged 9-18, from across the globe.

Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award, said: "What's 2017 all about? It's about celebrating the legacy of Princess Diana, 20 years on. Diana, Princess of Wales was known worldwide for her values of compassion, her values of kindness and her values of service to others."

The charity runs a number of programs, including anti-bullying and mentoring initiatives but its flagship Diana Award recognizes inspirational young people who work to improve their communities and create positive social change.

AUTISM ROCKS will be headlined by Elton John. The event takes place Friday, January 20, 2017 at 117 Live Amphitheatre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


AL GORE will return to the 2017 Sundance Film Festival with an opening night screening of An Inconvenient Sequel, the followup to watershed environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

An Inconvenient Sequel is part of The New Climate, a program dedicated to conversations and films about environmental change and conservation.

A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, An Inconvenient Sequel, is billed as "a riveting look at both the escalation of the crisis and how close we are to a real solution." Directed by Sundance Film Festival alumni Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk.

The Honorable Al Gore, 45th Vice President of the United States, will also join the Festival’s Power of Story panel, a collaboration between Sundance Institute and The Redford Center, with former President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, producer Heather Rae, social entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeff Skoll and environmentalist and scientist Dr. David Suzuki. A conversation between these prominent figures, who bring decades of direct experience with climate change and its effects, will be moderated by Democracy Now! journalist and broadcaster Amy Goodman on January 22, 2017, and live streamed from Park City’s Egyptian Theatre.

The New Climate includes 14 documentaries, short films and virtual reality experiences across the Festival’s categories and marks the first time that Festival programmers have focused efforts to highlight a specific cause.

Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute, said, "I believe that storytelling is the greatest platform for getting people to care and take action on some of the most pressing issues of our time. Amid escalating threats to our environment, independent perspectives are adding the depth and dimension needed for us to find common ground and real solutions."

GET HAPPY: HAROLD ARLEN'S EARLY YEARS presented by 92Y's Lyrics and Lyricists. As they cleverly put it: "January may bring “Stormy Weather” and only a “Paper Moon” but we’ve “Got the World on a String” and are “Over the Rainbow.”

Celebrate the composer of those American Songbook classics, and hundreds more. Robert Kimball, Vince Giordano and Klea Blackhurst focus on Arlen’s early years as the toast of Broadway, Hollywood and the big-band scene. Joining Klea on vocals are Stephen DeRosa, Erin Dilly, Catherine Russell, and Nathaniel Stampley with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks playing swinging vintage charts.

“Esteemed by his peers and by aficionados of the Great American Songbook, composer Harold Arlen has never achieved the name recognition he merits,” comments Robert Kimball. “Nevertheless, his songs - from his first hit, the 1930 Get Happy and Over the Rainbow, beloved by generations, to Blues in the Night and The Man That Got Away – are on everyone’s list of standards. Our show’s survey of highlights from Arlen’s songs of the 1930s represents just one decade of his remarkable contributions."

Saturday, January 21-Monday, January 23, 2017 at 92nd Street Y in New York City.

WORKS & PROCESS AT THE GUGGENHEIM offers a behind-the-scenes look at War Paint, the new musical by librettist Doug Wright, composer Scott Frankel, lyricist Michael Korie, and director Michael Greif in advance of the Broadway opening on April 6, 2017.

Two-time Tony Award winners Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole star as America's first major female entrepreneurs and relentless and legendary rivals, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. LuPone and Ebersole join the creative team for a moderated discussion and performance excerpts with moderator Amy Fine Collins, Vanity Fair special correspondent.

Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Peter B. Lewis Theater, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City.

celebrates its 50th anniversary back where it all started - at La MaMa in New York City on January 21.

Creators and original/revival cast members are set to participate.

The legendary musical HAIR - which began life downtown at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in October, 1967 (prior to its roof-raising debut on Broadway in April, 1968) - will celebrate its 50th anniversary and its East Village roots in this one-time-only special event.

With book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, HAIR is the American Tribal Rock Musical that helped define its generation, and the anti-war movement in the 1960's.

Highlights of the HAIR happening on January 21 include live performances by members of the original 1967 and 1968 casts, as well as members of the recent, enormously successful 2009 Broadway revival including: Shaleah Adkisson, Debbie Andrews, Peppy Castro, Keith Carradine, Andre De Shields, Lauren Elder, Ellen Foley, Annie Golden, Ula Hedwig, Antwayn Hopper, Rev. Marjorie Lipari, Melba Moore, Natalie Mosco, Allan Nicholls, Jill O'Hara, Jim Rado, Robert Rubinsky, Dale Soules, and Jared Weiss.

Songs to be performed include Aquarius, Donna, Where Do I Go, Frank Mills, Air, Black Boys, Let the Sunshine and more.

The musical director and pianist Balint Varga will lead Richard Cohen as Musical Supervisor/Saxophone/Flute/Clarinet, Aaron Drescher on drums, Dave D'Aranjo on bass, and Thayer Naples on Guitar.

The very first demo recording of the title song HAIR (1967), sung by Rado and Ragni with MacDermot on piano will be played. This recording has never before been heard publicly.

HAIR creators James Rado and Galt MacDermot will be on hand to share their personal stories with the audience. Their collaborator Gerome Ragni died in 1991. The event will be attended by special guests, and feature a pre-recorded video from both HAIR producer Michael Butler, and original cast member Walter Michael Harris.

The event will also celebrate creator James Rado’s 85th birthday.

On view will be photographs by the noted lens-woman Dagmar Krajnc, who took rarely seen photos during the early years of HAIR; and photographs from the HAIR private collection provided by producer Michael Butler.

The HAIR Coffeehouse Chronicles is moderated by Chris Kapp. The event is curated and directed by Michal Gamily, Chronicles' director, with educational outreach led by Arthur Adair.

Needless to say, reservation topped out in record time.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN has selected New Jersey' Monmouth University to be home to his archives. Monmouth also has in the works an exhibit featuring Springsteen’s personal collection of written works, photographs and other memorabilia from his career.

Last Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Springsteen, 67, took part in an "intimate conversation" at the West Long Branch campus which was moderated by Grammy Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli.

In the 90 minute interview the New Jersey born rocker discussed being a young bar band singer on the Jersey shore, composing his iconic album Born To Run and the important role music plays in political activism.

FOURTH ANNUAL LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION The prestigious Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company performs an all-new celebration of Chinese arts commemorating the Year of the Rooster, cousin to the mythical Phoenix, whose song awakens the world each morning and whose confidence and loyalty is well regarded. Delightful red lions, golden dragons, and white peacocks frolic and play to the exotic sounds of traditional instruments, while graceful dancers and astounding acrobats showcase the rich culture of one of Brooklyn's most vibrant communities.

Sunday, January 22, 2017 at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts in Brooklyn, NY.

MERYL STREEP'S Golden Globe speech has been critiqued by just about everybody. Broadway To Vegas is commenting upon the sports' aspect of her speech.

Streep's comments were impassioned and heartfelt. Although she is one of the greatest actors of this or any generation, her statements about football and the MMA were ignorant and the last thing Streep is - is ignorant.

The vast majority of television and movie stunt people have a background in martial arts training. Football has been a story-line in many a movie. Mentions of that sport or scenes from a game are regularly included in dialogue in both comedy and television dramas. Both are megabucks ticket sellers. Including pejorative references to sports in her speech didn't make sense.

Fightland Blog by Jack Slack stated that Streep is represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) "the largest rival of WME-IMG, the new owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship." That begs the question as to whether Streep wrote her speech, or was influenced in its content. Were the snarky comments about football and Mixed Martial Arts (MAA) the result of using Streep as a pawn by somebody who favors CAA and wanted get in a couple of digs? CAA has a football division which underwent a major shake-up in 2014.

PICK YOUR RELATIVES WITH CARE Meghan Markle who is in a serious relationship with Prince Harry, is dealing with headlines that her half-brother Thomas Markle, Jr, was arrested at a home Thursday, January 12, in Grants Pass, Oregon and charged with holding a gun to a woman's head after a drunken argument turned violent.

The story was first reported by KAJO News.

The police report states that Public Safety Officers were called to a disturbance at a residence in the 1400-block of Playford Lane around 11:15 p.m. Thursday.

Upon arrival, officers determined that 50-year-old Thomas Wayne Markle and a woman had gotten into an argument and, in his drunken state, Markle grabbed a gun and pressed it to the woman's head in an attempt to get her to leave the home.

Police said the female victim was shaken up, but not injured. She had locked herself in the bathroom after the incident. Thomas Markle was placed into custody at the scene and charged with Menacing, Pointing a Firearm at Another Person and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. After the firearm was seized, he was lodged in the Josephine County Jail.

Markle, who is divorced, called his ex-wife to procure the $1,500 needed for bail.

The Palace doesn't generally comment on personal matters and Meghan's involvement is only by the accident of birth.

JANUARY 17 is National Hot Buttered Rum Day. January 18 is National Gourmet Coffee Day and January 19 is National Popcorn Day.


BIG APPLE CIRCUS TO SELL ASSETS The Big Apple Circus, a New York and national cultural treasure for four decades, is soliciting bids for the sale of all or substantially all of its assets pursuant to bidding procedures approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The assets include all of the Circus' performance equipment and intellectual property, among other items. All interested buyers must submit bids by February 3, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). An auction to consider bulk bids to acquire substantially all of the Circus' assets will be held on February 7, 2017 and managed by Stampler Auctions.

The February 7 auction will be held at the New York offices of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, who are serving pro bono as the Big Apple Circus' legal counsel in the bankruptcy case.

Any assets not purchased as a bulk lot through the February 7 auction will be sold through a subsequent public auction, if necessary.

THE FRONT PAGE revival at the Broadhurst Theatre recouped its $4.8 million production costs after only 14 weeks. Hurry to se it, the production closes January 29, 2017.

THE COLONIAL THEATRE in Boston has been saved from being turned into anything except a performing arts venue thanks to the Ambassador Theatre Group which announced they will invest several million to renovate the 117-year-old theater and reopen it in 2018.

Standing in line to check out at a grocery store the man ahead of me paid for his grocery purchases, which included soda pop and potato chips,  using   a government  entitlement food supplement  card, known as a SNAP card.  Then he purchased two tickets for a concert priced at  $79.00 each  plus taxes and fees. He reached into his pocket and paid for those with cash.

Soft drinks are the Number One purchase made with SNAP cards, according to a study  released by the Food and Nutrition Service. Other buys in the top five were  "bag snacks”  and  “candy-packaged”.  The other two were milk and ground beef.

There were other areas in n which SNAP families ranked high including  a listing of  the Top 25 products that food stamp recipients bought a sub commodity category entitled Solid Fats and Added Sugars.

The same study showed that  milk is the  number one purchase made by people not on food stamps. They also  purchased soft drinks,  just  not at  such a high level.

The statistics  are from data provided by data analysis company  IMPAQ International, LLC in a contract awarded to them through the  Food and Nutrition Service to discover what kind of foods people on foods stamps - and Americans not on foods stamps - were buying.

In the first eleven months of fiscal 2016 (October through August), 21,815,990 households received    $61,110,832,720 in benefits, an increase over previous years.

People on welfare have more junk food  in their diets. Several possible reasons: it's viewed as  free food  - they haven't been taught nutrition  - or  perhaps  not caring if they get sick now or later because  a good percentage of them receive free medical care.

Just curious -  why is it that that food supplement cards will pay for cookies and soft drinks, but not for diapers? Yeah, diapers aren't food, but there is a direct correlation. And,  you can get along perfectly well without surgery, non-nutritional cookies and soft drinks. Somebody should ask welfare moms with kids in diapers if they had to make a choice between cookies, candy, snacks and soda pop or diapers, which would they prefer.


Newly adopted Thunder seems content in the arms Kristin Chenoweth. Photo: Chenoweth Twitter
who has adopted Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth as her pet parent.

Thunder is a too cute for words, cuddly, brandy colored puppy of some lineage.

Chenoweth posted pictures of the happy family as she cuddles Thunder wearing furry comfort gloves used to hold babies.

Saving SPOT! is the adoption agency Chenoweth used.

Chenoweth performs Saturday, January 21, at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA. Next Sunday, January 22, she stars at the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. Who knows, as a show business family member, Thunder just might be in her dressing room.

TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATION PETS belonging to Vice President elect Pence and his family - that would be cats Pickle and Oreo and a rabbit named Marlon Bundo, which flew from Indianapolis to Washington, DC last Monday.

Pickle was reported to have gotten airsick. Purportedly, there is also a family pet snake, Saphira, for which we're not too sure about the proper etiquette for welcoming a snake. At least it hasn't eaten the other pets. No report on what the snake might do to those who oppose anything the Vice President supports


TANYA TUCKER who was hospitalized in Texas after fracturing one of her vertebrae and ribs while on tour. She was also diagnosed with bronchitis. All of that resulted in her being forced to postpone three concerts which had been set for set for. January 12 in Tulsa, Okla., January 13 in Emporia, Kan., and January 14 in Grant, Okla.

According to the official release from her management doctors predict that her recovery will take an extended period of time.

TWO TOWER OF POWER BAND MEMBERS drummer David Garibaldi and bass player Marc van Wageningen who were hit by an Amtrak train Thursday, January 12, 2017 about 7:30 p.m. as they cross railroad tracks at Jack London Square in Oakland, CA to get to Yoshi’s, a jazz and R&B club where the group had been scheduled to play two shows.

They were transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Garibaldi has been with the group since 1970. Van Wageningen was substituting as bass player.

Emilio Castillo, the leader of Tower of Power, posted on the band's Facebook page Friday morning that Garibaldi suffered swelling to his face and head, "but he was lucid and expected to recover." Van Wageningen was taken into surgery and doctors were able to control his internal bleeding, Castillo wrote. Doctors, who are waiting for van Wageningen to stablize before conducting additional tests, are "cautiously optimistic" about the bassist's prognosis.

LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR by Neil Simon, inspired by his time writing for the popular 1950’s variety television program Your Show of Shows.

Directed by Frank Ferrante who also stars as Max Prince, a role inspired Sid Caesar.

Inspired by Neil Simon’s career as a television writer, Laughter on the 23rd Floor is your insider, behind-the-scenes look. Week after week, Americans rush to their television screens to be entertained by comedian Max Prince, one of the funniest and most unpredictable personalities on TV. Max and his co-writers are comedic geniuses, improvising, creating timeless sketches, and wowing audiences every week with their new material. As the networks censors want to move in a new direction, Max’s antics just get wilder and wilder.

January 17 - March 5 at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA.

OLIVER REED: WILD THING by Mike Davis and Rob Crouch.

Directed by Kate Bannister.

A one man play performed by Rob Crouch.

Told from the Maltese bar where Reed died in 1999 while filming Ridley Scott’s Gladiator with fellow hellraiser Russell Crowe, this show is about the rise and fall of artistic genius Oliver Reed, whose wasted his genius. From the boyhood excitement of learning he was a descendant of Peter the Great, through the success of Oliver!, boozy adventures with Keith Moon and disastrous chat show appearances - this was a life well lived.

Performance through January 28 at the King's Head Theatre in London.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL - AMALUNA gravity-defying, gasp-inducing Amaluna returns this week with two new dazzling acts, never before seen in the UK.

Thursday January 12 - Sunday, February 26, 2017 at Royal Albert Hall in London.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL - PARAMOUR is the organization’s first musical created specifically for Broadway. In Cirque Du Soleil Paramour, the search for love, happiness, and fame jumps off the silver screen and unfolds on the Broadway stage. Travel back to the Golden Age of Hollywood where the stars shine brighter, the glitz is glitzier, and zoot suits are somehow fashionable. A director searching for his next big hit, finds it in a small-town actress, and before you know it, a star is airborne! So, hold your breath, because the rise to fame isn’t just a stunt. The first and only Cirque du Soleil musical spectacle.

Currently playing at the Lyric Theatre in New York City through April 16, 2017.


RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS entertains Wednesday, January 18, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. Friday's gig is at the Pinnacle Bank Arena inLincoln, NE. On Saturday they can be found at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: PORTRAITS OF AMERICA With the iconic works of Gershwin, Bernstein, Copland, and John Williams, Music Director Designate Gianandrea Noseda joins pianist Jon Kimura Parker in a National Symphony Orchestra celebration of America's musical landscape. January 19 & 22, 2017, Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC.

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER brings their combined talents to the MSU Riley Center in Meridian, MS on Tuesday, January 17. Wednesday's show is at the Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center in Birmingham, AL. On Thursday they can be enjoyed at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, FL. Friday finds them at the Knight Concert Hall at the Arsht Center in Miami, FL.

PINK MARTINI center-stage Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach, FL.

THE TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by Peter Qundjian accompanied by Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra returns to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for one-night only, January 24, 2017. Experience Dvo?ák’s intimate Symphony No. 7 and Tchaikovsky’s romantic Piano Concerto No. 1.


BUDDY GRECO a best-selling jazz and pop singer and pianist, died in a Las Vegas hospice on January 10, 2017. He was 90.

Jazz legend Benny Goodman hired Greco to sing in his band when he was 16 years old. He toured the world for four years with Goodman’s band, singing, arranging and playing the piano. After leaving Goodman, he headlined clubs and began his recording career. Greco recorded hit songs in a variety of genres including jazz, pop and country music. His biggest song was his version of the standard The Lady Is a Tramp, which sold over one million copies. His other hit songs included Up, Up and Away. He recorded over 60 albums during his career. He played on a bill in the 1960s with the Beatles.

For many years he was a Las Vegas performing regular. Later he relocated to England performing there for several years before returning to Las Vegas.

Divorced four times, Greco was married to performer Lezlie Anders at the time of his passing. In addition to Anders he is survived by three children from his first marriage to Sally Baionno, one child from his third marriage to Margret Kinley and three children from his fourth marriage to Jackie Sabatino.

BUDDY BREGMAN conductor, arranger and composer died Sunday January 8, 2017 in Los Angeles. He was 86 and had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for many years.

He was a nephew of British-born American songwriter Jule Styne.

Bregman worked with many of the greatest musical artists of 20th Century popular music, including: Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr., Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Anita O'Day, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Jerry Lewis, Paul Anka, Buddy Rich, Eddie Fisher, Annie Ross, and Carmen McRae. He became Ethel Merman's personal arranger.

Aged 25, Bregman became head of A&R at Norman Granz's newly established Verve Records.

Learning that Bing Crosby was out of his exclusive contract at Decca Records, in 1956 Bregman conceived, arranged and conducted Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings, which went platinum. That same year, he was the arranger and conductor on Verve Record's The Greatest!! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards.

Following his tenure at Verve Records he became the musical director on NBC's The Eddie Fisher Show,

A few of his other TV and film credits include Five Guns West, Shower of Stars, and General Electric Theater.

On Broadway, he arranged the music for The Pajama Game and Jerry Lewis at the Palace. He later did the orchestration for the movie version of The Pajama Game.

He also wrote Jump Jim Crow - a musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company - and moved into London-based independent TV and film production.

Upon returning to the United States, Bregman worked as a producer and director on numerous television productions, both series and specials.

Bregman was married to actress Suzanne Lloyd from 1961 to 1988; the couple had a daughter, the daytime television soap actress Tracey E. Bregman.

NAT HENTOFF cryptic jazz critic and commentator died January 7, 2017 at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.

the jazz critic for The Village Voice from 1958 to 2009. Following his departure from The Village Voice, Hentoff moved his music column to The Wall Street Journal, which published his work until his death.

Hentoff was awarded his B.A. with the high honors from Northeastern University and did graduate work at Harvard University. In 1950, he was a Fulbright fellow at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Hentoff became a member of the Board of Directors of The Jazz Foundation of America in 2002, and worked with the foundation to help save homes and lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, including musicians who survived Hurricane Katrina.

Hentoff was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1972. He was awarded the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award in 1980 for his columns on law and criminal justice. In 1983, he was awarded the American Library Association's Imroth Award for Intellectual Freedom. In 1985, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by Northeastern University. In 1995, Hentoff was given the National Press Foundation's Award for lifetime distinguished contributions to journalism. In 2004, Hentoff was named one of six NEA Jazz Masters by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, the first non-musician to win this award.

TOMMY ALLSUP famed rockabilly and swing musician died January 11, 2017 in Lubbock, Texas. He was 85.

Allsup was touring with Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson when he lost a fateful coin toss with Valens for a seat on the plane that crashed, killing Valens, Holly, Richardson, and the pilot on February 3, 1959. Allsup moved to Los Angeles, played with local bands, and did session work, including a songwriting credit for The Ventures', Guitar Twist (aka Driving Guitars).

He returned to Odessa, Texas, where he worked with Ronnie Smith, Roy Orbison, and producer Willie Nelson. In 1968, he moved to Nashville, where he did session work and produced Bob Wills', 24 Great Hits by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Tommy Allsup was one of western swing and rockabilly music’s finest. The Oklahoma native and Grammy winner was admired by his peers and fans alike - heralded by Paul McCartney as one of the finest guitar players in the world. Probably best known for working with Buddy Holly, Tommy later went on to produce and work with the likes of Merle Haggard, Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys, and Willie Nelson, earning him a spot in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Our deepest condolences go out to Tommy’s family, friends, and creative collaborators."

DICK GAUTIER the Tony award nominated comedic actor who originated the role of Conrad Birdy in the Broadway musical Bye, Bye Birdie died Friday, January 13, 2017 in at an assisted care facility in Arcadia, CA. after a long illness. He was 85.

Gautier started his career as a night-club comic and a singer for dance orchestras before Bye, Bye, Birdielaunched his acting career. Following his Broadway run he toured with the show, playing the part for several months inLas Vegas.

In addition to guest appearances on sitcoms, he was a frequent game show panelist. Beginning in the 1980s he became involved with voice-over work, playing the part of Rodimus Prime in Transformers and Serpentor in G.I. Joe animated series. Before and throughout his acting career he was also a successful cartoonist, known for celebrity caricatures, and author of several instructional drawing

Married three times, he is survived by his three children from his first marriage.

ANTONY ARMSTRONG-JONES - LORD SNOWDON photographer, film maker and ex-husband of Queen Elizabeth's sister, the late Princess Margaret died January 13, 2017 at his home. He was 86 and had been ill for some time.

Snowdon photographed famous faces including Diana, Princess of Wales, Jack Nicholson and Elizabeth Taylor. During his career he also photographed actors and actresses for theatre publicity shots, including Laurence Olivier and Marlene Dietrich. He was behind the lens for the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh for their 1957 tour of Canada.

Though his work included everything from fashion photography to documentary images of inner city life and the mentally ill, he is best known for his portraits of world notables - the National Portrait Gallery has more than 100 Snowdon portraits in its collection. - His subjects include Barbara Cartland, Laurence Olivier, Anthony Blunt and J. R. R. Tolkien.

He made a documentary film Don't Count the Candles in 1968, for the CBS television show 60 Minutes. On the subject of aging, it won an Emmy award, and featured a number of his famous subjects including Twiggy, Cecil Beaton and Noel Coward.

He created what were believed to be the first photographic poster sets for the English stage, blowups of London for the 1958 West End musical Keep Your Hair On.

While his photography and marriage to Princess Margaret received the most publicity, he had been trained in architecture and designed and - co-created an aviary for the London Zoo He also invented an electric wheelchair, for which he was granted British Patent 1230619 in 1971

Through divorced from Princess Margaret after 18 years of marriage and two children, he maintained "a close contact" with the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth was reported to have been "sadden" when informed of his death.

He was married twice, to Princess Margaret for 18 years and to BBC researcher Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg between 1978 to 2000. From 1976 until 1996, Snowdon's mistress was Ann Hills, a journalist who committed suicide on December 31, 1996.

He is survived by two children from his marriage to Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah Chatto and David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and a daughter from his second marriage Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones and 7 grandchildren. He is also survived by a son Jasper William Oliver Cable-Alexander, from a relationship with Melanie Cable-Alexander, an editor at Country Life magazine and a daughter Polly Fry, born in 1960, in the third week of Lord Snowdon's marriage to Princess Margaret, and brought up as a daughter of Jeremy Fry, inventor and member of the Fry's chocolate family, and his first wife, Camilla. Polly Fry asserted that a DNA test in 2004 proved Snowdon's paternity. Jeremy Fry rejected her claim, and Snowdon denied having taken a DNA test. However, four years later, he admitted it was true.

WILLIAM PETER BLATTY Academy Award winner and bestselling author of The Exorcist died Thursday, January 12, of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. He was 89.

He began his writing career as a ghostwriter for the newspaper advice guru Abigail Van Buren. He ghostwrote her 1959 best-seller, Dear Teenager, offering sage advice under the moniker Dear Abby that earned the advice columnist Mother of the Year praise.

Blatty and Blake Edwards co-wrote the second of the Pink Panther movies, A Shot in the Dark, starring Peter Sellers as the famously bumbling Inspector Clouseau. The pair worked together in several other movies, including the 1970 musical Darling Lili, and Blatty wrote a number of other scripts on his own.

The writer was married four times - getting his marriage to Mary Margaret Rigard annulled in 1950, and getting married to Elizabeth Gilman that same year, tennis player Linda Truru in 1975, and Julie Alice Witbrodt in 1983 who survives him. He is also survived by their son, Paul William Blatty; three daughters, Christine Charles, Mary Joanne Blatty and Jennifer Blatty; and two sons, Michael and William Peter Jr., from earlier marriages; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Another son, Peter Vincent Blatty, died in 2006; his death was the subject of Blatty’s 2015 book, Finding Peter.

MARTHA SWOPE famed photographer of Broadway shows from the 1950s to the 1990s died of Parkinson’s disease on Thursday, January 12, 2017 in New York. She was 88.

Having chronicled over 800 productions, she was awarded a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater in 2004 and a lifetime achievement award from the League of Professional Theater Women in 2007.

In 2010 she donated her life’s work - contact sheets, negatives, prints, slides and digital files - to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. A selection of her photos was exhibited at the library for four months beginning in the fall of 2012.

She is survived by two nieces, a nephew and a great-niece.

Next Column: January 22, 2017
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Laura Deni

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