Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: January 29, 2017
By: Laura Deni


Tony winner Judd Hirsch stars in the TV series Superior Donuts
Broadway may have been offering entertainment first, but the boob tube has evolved into significantly more than pandering to those with room temperature I.Qs.

Neil Simon has been a stable of both markets for ages. His latest success is the new version of The Odd Couple, which was excellent the first time, and just as delightful this time with Matthew Perry as the slovenly Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as the obsessively-tidy Felix Unger.

On Tuesday, Superior Donuts which stars Tony winner Judd Hirsch and Jermaine Fowler, will debut with a special preview February 2, 2017 on CBS.

The play by Tracy Letts premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 2008. It bowed on Broadway in 2009, starring Michael McKean and John Michael Hill, who earned a Tony nomination for his performance.

The series, according to its promo, Superior Donuts is a comedy about the owner of a small donut shop that’s located in a quickly gentrifying Chicago neighborhood. Arthur is a gruff, to the point Chicagoan who refuses to sell newfangled cronuts and macchiatos or renovate his dated shop that hasn’t changed since it opened in 1969. That all changes when enterprising go-getter Franco fast talks his way into Arthur’s life as his new (and only) employee."

The cast also includes Katey Sagal, David Koechner, Maz Jobrani, Anna Baryshnikov, Darien Sills-Evans, and Rell Battle.

Recently both NBC and Fox have presented live televisions presentations of Broadway hits - The Sound of Music, Grease, Hairspray and Rocky Horror. NBC will air a live version of Bye, Bye Birdie.

Broadway has also been an acting springboard to television stardom.

Hal Linden had a Tony before he conquered television. Photo: The Old Globe
Hal Linden, currently starring in Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile, running February 4 - March 12, 2017 at The Old Globe in San Diego, began his television career after he won a 1971 Best Actor Tony Award for his portrayal of Mayer Rothschild in the musical The Rothschilds. In 1974, he landed his best-known role as the title character in the television comedy series Barney Miller. The role earned him seven Primetime Emmy awards.

Another famous cross over is the late Jerry Orbach, a member of the Theater Hall of Fame, who has always been referred to as the best song and dance man ever on Broadway. He hung up his dance shoes, managing to keep his Broadway fan base while garnering worldwide fame for his starring role as NYPD Detective Lennie Briscoe on the long-running (1992-2004) NBC crime drama Law & Order.

The same can be said for Alan Cumming who won a Tony for his performance in the revival of Cabaret. A bi-sexual he originally enjoyed an American fan base strongly represented by the LGBT community and those who love cabaret. Then Cumming put on a suit and tie and hosted Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.

Mainstream American fell in love with him.

Alan Cumming.
On the small screen he played Eli Gold on the CBS hit drama The Good Wife from 2010–16, for which he was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and three Primetime Emmys.

The Scottish-American actor who celebrated his birthday last Friday, was initially better known across the pond for serious stage work such as Hamlet, the lead in Bent, the National Theatre of Scotland's The Bacchae and the Maniac in Accidental Death of an Anarchist - for which he received an Olivier Award.

A filming of his tremendously entertaining Las Vegas cabaret show, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, aired on PBS stations in November 2016.

Now comes word that Cumming will executive produce and star in Killer Instinct, a new crime drama pilot for CBS. Written by Michael Rauch, based on the upcoming book by best selling author James Patterson, Killer Instinct focuses on a former CIA operative, played by Cumming, now living as a professor and a writer until the NYPD asks him to stop a serial killer.

While citizens are more attuned to Broadway plays and musicals being transferred to larger than life celluloid, a good number of Great White Way productions have found a second home and large audience on the small screen.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is a 1993 play in two parts by American playwright Tony Kushner. The work won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play. The play was made into a 2003 television miniseries, and an opera by Peter Eötvös.

Annie, based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan opened at the Alvin Theatre on April 21, 1977 and starred Andrea McArdle as Annie, Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks, Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan, and Sandy Faison as Grace Farrell. Danielle Brisebois was one of the orphans.

It was nominated for eleven Tony Awards and won seven, including the Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book. The show closed on January 2, 1983, after a total of 2,377 performances, setting a record for the longest running show at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre), until it was surpassed by Hairspray in 2009.

A made-for-TV Wonderful World of Disney movie version, produced by The Walt Disney Company and directed by Rob Marshall, was broadcast November 7, 1999 on ABC, it starred Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks, Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan, Audra McDonald as Grace Farrell, Alan Cumming as Rooster, Kristin Chenoweth as Lily, and newcomer Alicia Morton as Annie.

This version earned two Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award. The program was a smash during its initial airing, with an estimated 26.3 million viewers, making it the second-most watched Disney movie ever to air on ABC behind Cinderella.

Bleacher Bums is a 1977 play written collaboratively by members of Chicago's Organic Theater Company, from an idea by actor Joe Mantegna. Its original Chicago production was directed by Stuart Gordon. A 1979 performance of the play was taped for PBS television, and in 2002 a made-for-TV movie adaptation was produced.

Broadway Bound opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on December 4, 1986 and closed on September 25, 1988 after 756 performances. Broadway Bound was adapted into a television movie in 1992. That was directed by Paul Bogart with the teleplay written by Neil Simon. The cast starred Anne Bancroft (Kate), Jerry Orbach (Jack), Jonathan Silverman (Stan), Corey Parker (Eugene) and Hume Cronyn who won a 1992 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his role as Ben.

Copenhagen is a 2002 British television drama film written and directed by Howard Davies, starring Daniel Craig, Stephen Rea, and Francesca Annis. It is based in Michael Frayn's 1998 Tony Award-winning three-character play of the same name. It was broadcast in the United States on PBS.

The Gin Game is a two-person, two-act play by Donald L. Coburn that premiered at American Theater Arts in Hollywood in September 1976, directed by Kip Niven. It was Coburn's first play, and the theater's first production. The play won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Gin Game opened on Broadway on October 6, 1977 at the John Golden Theatre and closed on December 31, 1978 after 517 performances. The play was directed by Mike Nichols and starred the married couple Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.

Adaptations for a 1981 television versions were made with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore appearing in the televised film which aired on PBS in May 2003.

Bette Midler starred in Gypsy on television. She returns to Broadway this season starring in Hello Dolly!
Gypsy is a 1959 musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents. Gypsy is loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee. The original Broadway production opened on May 21, 1959 at The Broadway Theatre, transferred to the Imperial Theatre, and closed on March 25, 1961 after 702 performances and two previews. The show was produced by David Merrick and directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins. Ethel Merman starred as Rose, with Jack Klugman as Herbie and Sandra Church as Louise.

Gypsy was adapted as 1993 television movie with Bette Midler playing Rose. Cynthia Gibb portrayed Louise and Jennifer Beck portrayed Dainty June. Bette Midler won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV; Michael Rafter won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Direction. This production was a rare example of a film or TV project in which some of the songs are sung live, and not Lip synced to a prerecorded track.

Jake's Women opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater on March 24, 1992 and closed on October 25, 1992 after 245 performances and 14 previews. Directed by Gene Saks the cast featured Alan Alda (Jake), Helen Shaver (Maggie),Brenda Vaccaro (Karen), Kate Burton (Julie), Joyce Van Patten (Edith), Tracy Pollan (Molly at 21), and Talia Balsam(Sheila). The sets and costumes were by Santo Loquasto and the lighting by Tharon Musser. Alan Alda was nominated for the Tony Award, Best Actor in Play.

In 1996, the play was made into a TV movie starring Alan Alda with direction by Glenn Jordan.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor by Neil Simon opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 22, 1993 and closed on August 27, 1994 after 320 performances and 24 previews. Directed by Jerry Zaks the cast featured Nathan Lane (Max), Ron Orbach (Ira), Randy Graff (Carol), Mark Linn-Baker (Val), Bitty Schram (Helen), J. K. Simmons (Brian), and Lewis J. Stadlen (Milt). Stephen Mailer played Simon's young stand-in Lucas. Paul Provenza was originally cast as Ira Stone, but was fired prior to opening.

Nathan Lane repeated his role for the 2001 television movie written by Simon and directed by Richard Benjamin. In addition to Lane the cast included Saul Rubinek, Victor Garber, Peri Gilpin, Mark Linn-Baker and Dan Castellaneta.

The Broadway hit Mister Roberts became a 1984 television film that was originally broadcast live March 19, 1984 on NBC having been adapted from the 1955 play by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan, based on Heggen's novel, and starring Robert Hays as Doug Roberts and Charles Durning as the captain.

The Normal Heart is a 2014 American drama television film directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, based on his own 1985 play of same name. The television version stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, and Julia Roberts.

Paul Newman in Our Town on Broadway. He first appeared in the television version.
Our Town was turned into a 1955 episode of the American series Producers' Showcase directed by Delbert Mann and starred Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint. The episode is a musical adaption of Thornton Wilder's 1938 play Our Town, with songs by Jimmy van Heusen and Sammy Cahn. It was Sinatra's only performance in a dramatic role specifically for television until Contract on Cherry Street in 1977.

Uncommon Women and Others is the first play by noted 20th-century playwright Wendy Wasserstein. It was representative of her time at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and served as her thesis at the Yale School of Drama, falling into the memory play category. In 1978 it became made-for-television film, based upon the play of the same name. Wasserstein also penned the teleplay for the televised production. It was shown in May, 1978 as part of the Great Performances series on PBS. It was directed by Steven Robman and included all of the original cast from the 1977 Off-Broadway debut (with the exception of Glenn Close who was replaced by Meryl Streep.

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Orbit 1 by Dan Dailey. Photo: Toledo Museum of Art
a sculpture by Dan Dailey was a fixture in Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room. Thanks to New York the donation by real estate firm Tishman Speyer Orbit now resides at the Toledo Museum of Art.

The sculpture is located outside TMA’s Little Theater. Orbit is a glowing work of glass with a changing lighting scheme that radiates shades of amber, rose, violet and blue. The muted, ethereal feeling the work evokes contrasts with the images from ancient mythology, space exploration and science fiction that are cast into the glass.

“It’s a pretty significant piece for me,” Dailey said. “When I think about my influences, many are revealed here. This is about a kind of wide-ranging view of things that are significant in the history of art and in the history of design, and the iconography of these things. In retrospect, as big as it is, I realize it was still a really personal object.”

Commissioned in 1986 for the Rainbow Room nightclub, Orbit’s first inspiration was the space’s revolving dance floor and iconic history. In 2014, almost 30 years later, the 15- by 8-foot glass mural was removed from its location behind the bandstand when the Rainbow Room’s owners had it dismantled as part of a major overhaul of the club’s interior. It was saved and donated to its new home in Toledo, Ohio, in 2015 and has now been installed.

Orbit’s scale is one reason it’s quite an impressive glass sculpture,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, the Museum’s director of collections. “But it’s also special because of the level of detail that went into the work, so that it has visual impact both from a distance, as it was installed in New York, as well as close-up. We’re thrilled to acquire this substantial work in glass for TMA’s collection.”

The installation of Orbit is the Museum’s third collaboration with Dailey.

Dailey has built a storied career as an artist, participating in more than 250 exhibitions as well as having a major retrospective at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His work is represented in more than 45 museum collections around the world.

Master of the Saint Lucy Legend, Mary, Queen of Heaven, ca. 1485/1500. Oil on panel, 78 7/16 × W: 63 11/16 in. (199.2 × 161.8 cm), National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection. Photo: The Ringling
a major international loan exhibition that brings together more than 100 works including stained glass, precious metals, ivories, tapestries, paintings, prints and illuminated manuscripts.

The show has been organized by The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, in partnership with The Ringling with objects coming from 25 prestigious public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The exhibition focuses on the late medieval and early Renaissance period in Europe (roughly 1300-1500), a time in which societal changes prompted a new interest in human experience, the enjoyment of nature and the pursuit of pleasure. As a result, the art of this period functioned in a rich sensory world that was integral to its appreciation. These works were not only seen, but also touched, smelled and heard. The exhibition will bring together sacred and secular art to reveal the role of the senses in courtly ritual and religious practice.

A Feast for the Senses seeks to recover the traces of sounds, smell, taste and touch inherent in the materiality of these late medieval objects and give them a voice, bringing them to life for the modern viewer. The oft-held notion of the Middle Ages as a period of sensory deprivation is disproven through the many objects on view that encourage sensory engagement. As visitors move through the exhibition space they will encounter interactive displays including Audio Spotlights, Scent Pop stations, and touchable replicas, all designed to encourage an appreciation of how art was designed to stimulate the senses of the medieval viewer.

“These are objects that were meant to be touched and used, not simply looked at. A Feast for the Senses will evoke the experiences people in this period had with them, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of this time in history,” stated Virginia Brilliant, Ulla R. Searing curator of collections at The Ringling.

On view February 4-April 20, 2017 at The Ringling in Sarasota, FL.


TAYE DIGGS & JENNY PARSINEN will choreograph a benefit workshop production of thoughts of a Colored Man on a day when the sun set too early, written and conceived by Keenan Scott II.

Chris Henry will direct.

Performances take place February 4-6, 2017 at Royal Family Performing Arts Space in New York City.

A special cocktail reception followed by the performance takes place Saturday February 4th where patrons can meet and greet Taye Diggs, Jenny Parsinen, Playwright Keenan Scott II, Artistic Director Chris Henry, and Tony Award nominees Kathleen Chalfant and John Cariani.

"thoughts of a Colored Man on a day when the sun set too early follows the stories of eight young men as they try to find their identity in a world that told them they should conform. With the use of poetry and prose style monologues using vernacular that was birthed from the Hip-Hop generation this play provides a raw view of heart wrenching subjects that plague us all."

This event will showcase the type of work Royal Family Productions produces and will benefit future developmental workshops and productions. Royal Family has produced more than 350 performances and created over 1,700 employment opportunities for performers and theatre professionals.


WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE REPORTS THAT "We were very honored to be able to open our doors on Saturday in support of the Women's March on Washington. A whopping 5,000 people drank 600 cups of coffee, ate 200 apples, used more rolls of toilet paper than we could count, and took solace from each other's company."

THE STORIED CURREN THEATRE IN SAN FRANCISCO reopened last Thursday, January 26, 2017, after a two year renovation.

A champagne reception was held in the Clift San Francisco’s Redwood Room. The opening production was the Tony Award winning musical Fun Home The standing room only group of dignitaries and those lucky enough to procure tickets included California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom who spoke from the stage. The gala crowd included the New York Public Theater’s Oskar Eustis, Pixar/Disney’s John Lasseter, George and Charlotte Shultz, and Dagmar Dolby who were welcomed by Curren owner Carol Shorenstein Hays.

The historic 1,667-seat theater is now sparkling and up-to-date.

Art by young patients of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital can be enjoyed in the upper mezzanine lobby.Murals and paintings by Aaron De La Cruz, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Casey Waits and Steve Powers adorn walls on other levels. The spectacular chandelier has been cleaned and polished. Gilt carvings have been brought back to their original luster. Decades of residue from cigarette smoke have been removed from the radiant sun-ray ceiling.

Fun Home based on the novel by Alison Bechdel has a Book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. Music by Jeanine Tesori. Directed by Sam Gold. Performances at the Curren are through February 19, 2017.

THE AMERICAN THEATRE CRITICS ASSOCIATION (ATCA) has announced the names of the seven finalists for the 2016 Francesca Primus Prize. Jointly sponsored by ATCA and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize, which includes a cash award of $10,000, is given annually to an emerging woman playwright. The winner will be announced later this year.

The seven finalists are Mia Chung for her play You for Me for You, Cheryl Davis for her play Maid’s Door, Laura Jacqmin for her play Look, we are breathing, Martyna Majok for her play Ironbound, Melissa Ross for her play Nice Girl, Stephanie Walker for her play The Art of Disappearing, and Lauren Yee for her play in a word.

THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS' DANCE CONCERT AND POW-WOW presented by Theater for the New City in New York City began Friday and continues through February 5. It features dances, stories and traditional music from the Iroquois and Native Peoples of the Northeast, Southwest and Great Plains regions.

The event has become a New York tradition for celebrating diversity by honoring the culture of our first Americans.

This year, a Hoop Dance will be performed by Marie Ponce (Cherokee) and Michael Taylor (Choctaw) with guitar music (by Rob Mastroiani) as well as drumming. Other highlights will include storytelling by Matoka Eagle (Santo Domingo, Tewa), a Grass Dance and Jingle Dress Dance (from the Northern Plains people), a Stomp Dance (from the Southeastern tribes), a Shawl Dance (from the Oklahoma tribes), a Deer Dance (from the Yaqui Tribes of Southern Arizona), and a Robin Dance and Smoke Dance (from the Iroquois).

As the audience enters the theater, they are serenaded by the Heyna Second Son Singers (various tribes). In the final section of the program, the audience is invited to join in the Round Dance/Friendship Dance (in evening shows) and a Contest Dance (in matinees). After the program, the dancers stay for photographs and to meet the audience.

THE RECORDING ACADEMY has announced that Bruno Mars will join this year's lineup for the 59th Annual Grammy Awards telecast. The four-time Grammy winner and current nominee will return to the stage to perform for the first time since 2013. Mars joins performers Adele, John Legend, Metallica, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Taking place at Staples Center in Los Angeles and hosted by award-winning television personality and performer James Corden, the 59th Annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS, Sunday, February 12, 2017.

FEBRUARY 1 is national Baked Alaska Day. February 2 is National Tater Tot Day. February 3 is National Carrot Cake Day.


Talon David, a teen singer/ songwriter, has been chosen as the winner of the seventh annual Grammy Foundation and MusiCares Teens Make Music Contest for her original interpretation of the importance of living above the influence of drug and alcohol use.

David, a student at Davidson Academy in Nashville, Tenn., submitted Deep Snow, a song that metaphorically compares snow to addiction and focuses on how easily a person can drown in its depths.

Second-place winner Renee Audrey is from Short Hills, N.J., and is a junior at Millburn High School. The lyrics for her song Paralyzed describe the life of an individual struggling with a substance abuse problem.

Third-place winner Jarren Blair, a senior at Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tenn., submitted Out Alive. His song tells the story of someone with a drug or alcohol issue and how difficult that problem can be to overcome.

The Grammy Foundation and MusiCares, the two affiliated nonprofit organizations of The Recording Academy, in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids' Above the Influence campaign, will honor each contest winner with exclusive Grammy experiences and prizes.

The contest asked young musicians, ages 14–18, to compose or create an original song and/or music video that celebrates life above the influence or brings attention to the real-life consequences of substance abuse.


WILLIE NELSON 83, who had to cancel his shows this past week-end - January 28-29 at Las Vegas' Venetian Theatre due to illness. The performances at will not be rescheduled.

As of deadline for Broadway To Vegas, his performances for February 1, 3, and 4 are still set to take place.

THE KINGS OF LEON had to cancel their concerts for last week due to drummer Nathan Followill being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Shows canceled included a January 23 gig at Chicago’s United Center, which has been rescheduled for March 8, and a Sunday night show in Detroit.


Directed by Scott Elliott.

This U.S. premiere production features Matthew Broderick as Robert, Jill Eikenberry as Nellie, John Epperson as Ted, Larry Pine as Tom, Wallace Shawn as Dick, Claudia Shear as Annette, Annapurna Sriram as Jane and Michael Tucker as Bill.

Remember when we felt we could do anything, when there was still nothing to fear? Yes, things have changed a bit, haven't they? And people keep saying there's nothing to be afraid of! In Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, everyone's invited to join the company of Robert (Matthew Broderick)'s under-appreciated masterpiece, Midnight in a Clearing with Moon and Stars, at a get-together to raise a toast on the 10th anniversary of its opening night. To recall that wonderful creative atmosphere, which we all miss so much, Nellie (Jill Eikenberry) will host this celebration at the old haunt, the Talk House (which, despite everything, remains open). Please come. We need each other.

Scenic Design by Derek McLane, Costume Design by Jeff Mahshie and Lighting Design by Jennifer Tipton. Production Supervisor is Production Core. Production Stage Manager is Valerie A. Peterson. Casting is by Judy Henderson, CSA.

Previews for The New Group's production begin January 31 in advance of an Official Opening Night on February 16. The limited Off-Broadway engagement is slated through March 12 at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City.


Directed by Howard Shalwitz.

A small house is besieged by an apocalyptic storm. Great trees crack and splinter, garbage shatters windows, a deer impales the car windshield, and the wind hurls a trampoline into the living room. While their family home collapses all around them, an estranged daughter and her devout relatives try to pray their way to safety.

It's called "a Rorschach test for the faithful and the faithless alike. You’ve never seen a family pray quite like this. But if you enter the eye of the storm with them, you might bear witness to a surreal, harrowing tale of survival and forgiveness."

Featuring company members Kate Eastwood Norris, Sarah Marshall, and Cody Nickell.

January 30- February 26, 2017 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC.

HAND TO GOD by Robert Askins.

Directed by David Ivers.

Be not deceived: The devil is lurking at the Christian Puppet Ministry in Cypress, Texas. And his name is…Tyrone. He may look like an innocent sock puppet, but when he infiltrates the angst-ridden church youth group and takes possession of Jason’s arm, well, all hell breaks loose. Spectacularly foul-mouthed and wickedly scandalous, Tyrone shocks the congregation with his outrageous insinuations, exposing their deepest secrets - and teaching us all about love, grief, and what it means to be human.

West Coast premiere February 3-March 19, 2017 at Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, CA.

FIRST DATE a musical comedy with a book by Austin Winsberg and music and lyrics by Alan Zachary.

First Date is called "a lighthearted musical comedy that chronicles a blind date between Aaron (who has never gone out with a stranger) and serial-dater Casey. A casual drink at a busy restaurant quickly turns into a hilarious, high-stakes dinner. As their First Date unfolds in real time, the couple soon finds they are not alone.

"Your mother shows up - followed by Grandma Ida, your opinionated best friend, your therapist and a bevy of broken-hearted exes. Aaron and Casey’s inner critics take on a life of their own. Restaurant staff transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents who sing and dance the couple through ice breakers, appetizers and conversational land mines. "Can Aaron and Casey turn a potential dating disaster into something special before the check arrives?"

February 3 - March 5, 2017 at the Cohen Community Stage House at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO.

FOR PIANO AND HARPO written by and starring Dan Castellaneta.

Directed by Stephan Novinski.

Oscar Levant, the brilliant, witty, pill-popping concert pianist, wakes up to find himself in the Psych Ward of Mt. Sinai Hospital. His past collides with his present, as he grapples with his demons to save his marriage and his sanity. It’s a nightmarish, and sometimes hilarious journey, from addiction to redemption, as he verbally jousts with Jack Paar, is haunted by the genius of George Gershwin, and moves in with his only friend, Harpo Marx.

Featuring JD Cullum, Deb Lacusta, Gail Matthius, Phil Proctor, and Jonathan Stark.

Music Supervisor David O.

February 1 – March 5, 2017 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, CA.

LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Directed by Jeanie Hackett.

Michael Roth is the composer of original music and soundscape.

Starring Tony nominee Alfred Molina as James Tyrone and Jane Kaczmarek as Mary Cavan Tyrone, Angela Goethals as Cathleen, Stephen Louis Grush as James Tyrone, Jr., and Colin Woodell as Edmund Tyrone.

Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical masterpiece pulls back the curtain on the Connecticut home of the Tyrone family, where deep-seated resentments and bourbon-fueled tirades cause a family to expose their darkest natures. O'Neill paints the powerful and heart-rending portrait of a single day that begins as any other, only to become a night from which they will never recover.

The creative team includes scenic designer Tom Buderwitz, costume designer Denitsa Bliznakova, lighting designer Elizabeth Harper, projection designer Jason H. Thompson, fight director Peter Katona, movement coach Jean-Louis Rodrigue, dramaturg William Davies King, production stage manager Young Ji, assistant stage manager Cate Cundiff, and casting director Phyllis Schuringa, CSA. The production will run January 31 - March 18 in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen in Los Angeles.

EVERYBODY written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

Directed by Lila Neugebauer.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who The New York Times calls “one of this country’s most original and illuminating writers,” comes back to Signature for the second production of his residency with the world premiere of Everybody. This modern riff on the 15th Century morality play Everyman follows Everybody (chosen from among the cast by lottery at each performance) as he or she travels down a road toward life's greatest mystery.

The cast includes Jocelyn Bioh, Obie Award-winner Brooke Bloom, Michael Braun , Obie Award-winner Marylouise Burke, Louis Cancelmi, Lilyana Tiare Cornell, Obie Award-winner David Patrick Kelly, Lakisha Michelle May, Chris Perfetti.

The creative team includes Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design), Gabriel Berry (Costume Design), Matt Frey (Lighting Design), Brandon Wolcott (Sound Design). Amanda Spooner is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company.

The Signature Theatre production runs January 31 through March 12, 2017 with a February 21 opening night in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York City.


Directed by Barry Edelstein.

The cast will include Tony and three-time Emmy Award winner Hal Linden as Gaston; Philippe Bowgen as Pablo Picasso; Donald Faison as Freddy; Kevin Hafso-Koppman as Visitor; Liza Lapira as Suzanne, Female Admirer, and Countess; Justin Long as Albert Einstein; Ron Orbach as Sagot; Marcel Spears as Charles Dabernow Schmendiman; and Luna Vélez as Germaine.

The creative team includes John Lee Beatty (Scenic Design), Katherine Roth (Costume Design), Russell H. Champa (Lighting Design), Lindsay Jones (Original Music and Sound Design), David Huber (Vocal Coach), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), and Anjee Nero (Production Stage Manager).

Performances for this revival run February 4 – March 12, 2017 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA.


Directed by Elijah Moshinsky.

Revival Director Hugh Halliday.

Conducted by Renato Palumbo until March 4 and then Anthony Legge takes the baton.

Verdi's music paints a picture of freedom with flying melodies, makes merry with rousing drinking songs and brings it all to a close with passionate duets between breaking hearts.

Beautiful and carefree, the courtesan Violetta is the life of every party. Violetta wears velvet and lace and drinks the very best champagne from crystal glasses. Her parties are legendary, her company sought after. She's free and free-spirited, living outside society's bounds, and for the courtesan, it seems like the party will never end.

But behind that dazzling smile, she knows that she is dying. Unaware of her troubles, the shy Alfredo is in love. He declares his feelings, and Violetta is torn: is the promise of true love worth giving up her life of freedom?

She takes a chance on a life with Alfredo, and in the country, it seems she could be happy. But while Alfredo is away, his father Germont arrives. He demands the impossible: Violetta leave Alfredo, for the sake of his family's reputation. Devastated, Violetta agrees, and writes Alfredo a letter of farewell, concealing her love. Alfredo is heartbroken and furious, and coming face to face with her at a ball, he delivers the ultimate insult. Will Alfredo learn of Violetta’s undying love before she succumbs to her illness?

Starring Ermonela Jaho as Violetta until February 18 followed by two Australian star sopranos, Lorina Gore and Emma Matthews. Alfredo Germont is played by Ho-Yoon Chung until March 4, followed by Liparit Avetisyan. Giorgio Germont is played by José Carbó. Dominica Matthews is cast as Flora Bervoix. John Longmuir plays Gastone. Adrian Tamburini plays Baron Douphol until March 13 followed by Tom Hamilton. Samel Dundas is cast as Marquis D'Obigny. Gennadi Dubinsky is in the role of Dr. Grenvil. Annina is played by Natalie Aroyan until March 13 followed by Leah Thomas. Jin Tea Kim is Giuseppe. Jonathan McCauley is the messenger and the servant is played by Malcolm Ede.

Set design by Michael Yeargan. Costume design by Peter J Hall. Lighting design by Nigel Levings. Matthew Barclay serves as choreographer. Constantine Costi is the assistant director.

Presented by Opera Australia February 3 - April 1, 2017 at the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.


ELTON JOHN begins another long term stand at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Tuesday, February 7 with shows through February 20, 2017.

KRISTIN CHENOWETH opens a two night gig on Friday, February 3, at the Atwood Concert Hall in Anchorage, AK.

ARIANA GRANDE begins a tour Thursday, February 2, at Talking Stick Resort in Phoenix, AZ. ON Saturday she stars in Las Vegas at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

MATTHEW AND GUNNER NELSON perform February 3 at Cafe Carlyle in New York City. On February 4 they can be enjoyed at the Theatre at Westbury in Westbury, NY.


MARY TYLER MOORE Tony Award winner and seven-time Emmy award winner died Wednesday, January 25, 2017 after being admitted to a Greenwich, Connecticut hospital from cardiopulmonary arrest because of pneumonia. The girl who "turned the world on with her smile" was 80.

In May 2011, Moore underwent elective brain surgery to remove a benign meningioma.

Moore gained fame in the 1960s as wife Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. In the 1970s, she created one of TV’s first career-woman sitcom heroines in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

On television, she played a breast cancer survivor in First You Cry, Mary Todd Lincoln in Gore Vidal’s Lincoln, and the cruel director of an orphanage in Stolen Babies, for which she won her seventh Emmy.

In addition to being a multiple Emmy Award winner, she was nominated for an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of an affluent mother whose son is accidentally killed in “Ordinary People.

Moore appeared in several Broadway plays. She starred as a quadriplegic who wanted to die in Whose Life Is It Anyway with James Naughton, which opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on February 24, 1980, and ran for 96 performances. That resulted in her receiving a special Tony Award “in appreciation of the appearance in live theater of a major television star."

She also appeared in Sweet Sue, which opened at the Music Box Theatre on January 8, 1987, later transferred to the Royale Theatre, and ran for 164 performances. She was the star of a new musical version of Breakfast at Tiffany's in December 1966, but the show, titled Holly Golightly, was a disaster that closed in previews before opening on Broadway.

Moore appeared in previews of the Neil Simon play Rose's Dilemma at the off-Broadway Manhattan Theatre Club in December 2003 but quit the production after receiving a critical letter from Simon instructing her to "learn your lines or get out of my play". Moore had been using an earpiece on stage to feed her lines to the repeatedly rewritten play.

During the 1980s, Moore and her production company produced five plays: Noises Off, The Octette Bridge Club, Joe Egg, Benefactors, and Safe Sex.

Moore was active in charity work and various political causes, particularly the issues of animal rights and diabetes. At the age of 33 she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes early in the run of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She also suffered from alcoholism, which she wrote about in her first of two memoirs.

She was a co-founder of Broadway Barks, an annual animal adopt-a-thon held in New York City and featuring Broadway stars. Moore and friend Bernadette Peters worked to make it a no-kill city and to encourage adopting animals from shelters.

In honor of her father, George Tyler Moore, a lifelong American Civil War enthusiast, in 1995 Moore donated funds to acquire an historic structure in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, for Shepherd College (now Shepherd University) to be used as a center for Civil War studies.

In 1955, at age 18, Moore married Richard Carleton Meeker, who fathered her only child, a son named Richard, Jr. Meeker and Moore divorced in 1961. Moore married Grant Tinker, a CBS executive (later chairman of NBC), in 1962, in Las Vegas. In 1970 they formed the television production company MTM Enterprises which created and produced the company's first television series, The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The couple divorced in 1981. Tinker died November 28, 2016.

On October 14, 1980, at the age of 24, Moore's son Richard died of an accidental gunshot to the head while handling a sawn-off shotgun. The model was later taken off the market because of its “hair trigger”.

Moore married Dr. Robert Levine on November 23, 1983, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. They met when her mother was treated by him in New York City on a weekend house call.

She is survived by her husband.

BUTCH TRUCKS drummer and founding member of the Allman Brothers fatally shot himself to death in front of his wife at his home in West Palm Beach, Florida on January 24, 2017. He was 69.

Trucks helped form The Allman Brothers Band in 1969, along with Duane Allman (guitar), Gregg Allman (vocals and organ), Dickey Betts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass), and fellow drummer Jai Johanny Johanson.

Together, the two drummers developed a rhythmic drive that would prove crucial to the band. Trucks continued to record and perform with the Allman Brothers Band until they disbanded in 2014.

The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

He is survived by his wife, four children and four grandchildren.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Claude “Butch” Trucks was a legend of Southern rock, known as a lifelong founding drummer of the Allman Brothers Band. He played a crucial role in developing the group's signature sound, creating the road map for a brand of rock that was followed by countless other bands. He and the rest of the Allman Brothers Band earned a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance for 1995 and a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Our deepest condolences go out to Butch’s family, friends, and creative collaborators."

SIR JOHN HURT Oscar nominated actor who career spanned six decades died January 27, 2017. He was 77.

On June 16, 2015, Hurt publicly announced that he had been diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer.

He initially came to prominence for his supporting role as Richard Rich in the film A Man for All Seasons (1966). After this, he played leading roles as Quentin Crisp in the film The Naked Civil Servant (1975), John Merrick in David Lynch's biopic The Elephant Man (1980), Winston Smith in the dystopian drama Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), Mr. Braddock in the Stephen Frears drama The Hit (1984), and Stephen Ward in the drama depicting the Profumo affair, Scandal (1989). He is also known for his television roles such as Caligula in I, Claudius (1976), and the War Doctor in Doctor Who.

He received two Academy Award nominations, a Golden Globe Award, and four BAFTA Awards, with the fourth being a Lifetime Achievement recognition for his outstanding contribution to British cinema. He was knighted in 2015 for his services to drama.

Married four times, he is survived by his wife Anwen Rees-Myers and two sons, Alexander "Sasha" John Vincent Hurt and Nicholas "Nick" Hurt from his marriage to American production assistant Joan Dalton.

BOB HOLIDAY best known for playing Clark Kent/ Superman in the 1966 Broadway musical It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman! died at his home in Hawley, Pennsylvania on January 27, 2017. He was 84.

Historically, Holiday was the next "live-action" Superman after George Reeves. Holiday played Superman more than any other actor, having played the role in over 140 performances, as well as several live appearances in character. From 1999 until his death in 2017, he reigned as the eldest surviving, live-action Superman.

After 40 years, he still enjoyed hearing from fans of the show. In 2003, he celebrated his time as Superman at the annual Metropolis Superman Celebration in Illinois.

On March 23, 2013, Holiday attended the New York City Centre Encores! staged concert of the show and met with the cast.

Prior to be cast as Superman, Holiday appeared previously on Broadway in Fiorello! opposite Tom Bosley. He also starred as Sir Lancelot in the 1964 touring company of Camelot opposite Howard Keel.

After leaving show business, Holiday opened Bob Holiday Custom Homes, LLC. He spent 30 years as a successful home builder in the Pocono Mountains, and retired in 2009.

Next Column: February 5, 2017
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Laura Deni

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