Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: January 8, 2017
By: Laura Deni


When the heart inspires, memorable happens.

So it is with the releases by Broadway Records of From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando as both a DVD and a 2-disc CD.

Broadway To Vegas will first address the DVD version.

Both the CD and the DVD have their individual merits. If you can afford it, purchase both as either will make you want to play it on a regular basis. If the pocketbook isn't deep enough for both, pick one. The DVD offers a video which makes you feel as though you were in the room.

The quality belies the fact that this production was put together in a hurry.

The DVD wasn't captured with a one or two person crew holding cameras on their shoulders hoping to learn the trade. Low bows to camera operators Lake Baum, Paul Sauline, Khaled Tabbara, Matt Stevens, Brian Hirten, Tricia Connelly, Buddy Pittman, and Mark Greenwald. The direction/camera work is excellent - including shots of not only the singers but of orchestra members, and when appropriate the audience, all under the helm of director Kenny Howard.

This benefit concert could have looked slapped together. Instead, the attention to detail is impressive. The entire process, which involved expert editing, including what appears to be some repeat rotation shots, is spectacular.

The filmed show is worthy of being shown on PBS.

It's Howard who is a puzzlement.

His background is that of a Broadway producer, which doesn't involve calling any camera shots. In 2012 Howard received a Tony Award - not for directing anything, but as one of the producers of the musical Porgy and Bess which won the Best Revival of a Musical award.

Before that he was a Premier Cruise Line Karaoke and Pool Olympics Host - which also doesn't involve camera angles. He's directed Fringe Festival productions and numerous Florida stage productions. No camera crew needed. He's based in Orlando when he does duty as artistic director of The Abbey. When the multi-functional venue isn't used as a church on Sundays, there's more of a nightclub feel. Currently, he's the Education Director of the Florida Theatrical Association, a respected non-profit presenter of Broadway shows in Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.

Where he learned how to direct for television is a mystery. The bottom line is - doesn't matter - he knows the craft.

Howard is credited as the 'director'. If he didn't delegate calling the shots to somebody else, then he is the brightest directorial light ever hidden under a bushel barrel and the industry shouldn't waste his talents.

If anyone ever wants to know "just how good is Howard at directing? - check out this video.

This benefit performance has music under the direction of Tony nominee Michael J. Moritz, Jr. The patter was penned by Michael Wanzio. The lighting and sound leaves nothing to be desired.

No credit is given for who did the hair, make-up or coordinated what the performers wore. All of those individuals deserved billing.

Following the tragic events that took place June 12, 2016 at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were murdered and another 53 injured, Seth Rudetsky, his husband James Wesley and Kenny Howard with Howard and Wesley credited as the Talent Booking Liaison, hit up the Broadway and Orlando theatre communities to perform at what was billed as “a healing night of music and dance to honor the 49 victims.”

Top A-listers didn't need a lot of arm twisting to agree to perform. Never-the-less to get this massive undertaking not just mounted but polished is a credit to all involved.

The From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando, held in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, was recorded and filmed live July 25, 2016.

The production had the dignity which should be associated with such a benefit - yet managed to be standing ovation, rip roaring entertaining - all in a totally high class way.

Performers included; two-time Tony Award winner, Norbert Leo Butz, Liz Callaway, Lilla Crawford, Darren Criss of Glee fame, William Cruz, Tony award nominated Carmen Cusack, Josh Henry, LaRue Howard, Anika Larsen, Michelle Lindahl, Tony Award winner Pricilla Lopez, Justin Lore, Carrie Manolakos, Andrea McArdle, Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony award nominee Michael Moritz, Jr., Tony Award winner Jessica Mueller, two-time Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara, Christine Pedi, EGOT Chita Rivera, Emmy nominated Seth Rudetsky, Keala Settle, Justin Matthew Sargent, Jonah Verson, James Wesley, and Tony Award winner Lillias White and the Orlando Voices United Choir.

Voces Latinas composed of; Alina Alcantara, Juan Cantu, Wilson Cruz, Crystal Lizardo, Virginia Roebuck.

Dance group VarieTease members are; Blue Star, Tymisha Harris. Megan Boetto, Michelina Wingerter, Lola Selsky, Jack Kreeger, Ivan Alejandro.

Menage artists; Steve Brooks, Dennis Dunham, Eddie Hanson, Thom Meaders, TJ Padilla, Dwight Shropshire.

SiriusXM Broadway's Seth Rudetsky and Christine Pedi served as hosts.

There are 23 well selected songs performed and every number is a stand out. The program begins with LaRue Howard, who has the voice of an angel, performing a Capella Take My Hand, Precious Lord. Considering the reason for the evening, it's a powerful, yet poignant statement without being a downer.

That is immediately followed by piano notes leading into the orchestra and then chorus offering a lush Jonathan Barr arrangement and Ed Gaston orchestration of Great Dream of Heaven. With an arrangement by Steve Sidwell, Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller sings the invigorating Beautiful from Beautiful: The Carol King Musical.

The lyrics to all three songs are meaningful, uplifting and totally appropriate for the evening.

What The World Needs Now is the introduction for Emmy nominated Seth Rudetsky who, on vocal speed dial, explains how the benefit was put together.

Wilson Cruz tells the crowd that "making a world where everyone is safe begins with our own hearts." Backed by the Voces Latino he then performs Over The Rainbow/For Good - the first from The Wizard of Oz and the latter from Wicked. Very effective.

Take Me or Leave Me from Rent is a knock out sung by Anika Larsen and Keala Settle. The audience roared. Rudetsky who brings on many of the performers with a pertinent intro, leads out Priscilla Lopez who captivates with Nothing from Rent.

The famous Rhapsody In Blue by George Gershwin is performed by the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra with Rudetsky, who has a degree is piano, doing the important solo. All the while there is a scene stealing interpretative dance being performed by the outrageous burlesque VarieTease, whose costumes are a hoot. With arrangements and orchestrations by Jack Everly, the beautiful memory piece Once Upon a December/Journey Into The Past from Anastasia is effectively performed by Liz Callaway, who received a standing ovation. The anthem I Will Survive is musically declared through several quick-change, female impersonations by Christine Pedi.

Two other appropriate declarations are delivered in Don't Rain on My Parade performed by Lillias White and The Impossible Dream executed by Brian Stokes-Mitchell.

The mood changes a bit with Chita Rivera leaving no doubt that she is not only ageless, but deserves to be an EGOT, knocking an energizing and defiant All That Jazz from Chicago - and then an encore. Another standing ovation. The same tone continues with Puttin' On The Ritz a rip roaring ditty offering the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra their solo moment in the spotlight. Excellent camera work actually provides close ups of the solo musicians, as well as section shots, which is class. Sun Is Gonna Shine from Bright Star is brought to the stage by the star of the musical Carmen Cusack with Michelle Lindahl and Justin Lore.

The Wizard and I from Wicked showcases the powerful voice of Carrie Manolakos. She is followed by Justin Matthew Sargent who sings the whailin' Don't Stop Believin' from Rock of Ages - even the audience joins in.

Putting on a straw cowboy hat, Kelli O’Hara changes the mood a tad, performing the clever They Don’t Let You In The Opera if You’re A Country Star. Next on stage is the group Menage who offers up What a Wonderful World. Joshua Henry has a slick and smooth offering in the sassy Slide Some Oil To Me from The Wiz.

Not all numbers are from Broadway musicals. Norbert Leo Butz, with LIz Callaway, Darren Criss, and Justin Matthew Sargent perform Sing a Song written by Maurice White and Al McKay. Criss remains on stage, picks up a guitar and perform the spunky Sugar Daddy from Hedwig and the Angry Itch. The original Annie, Andrea McArdle, sings the signature number Tomorrow.

The show closes with What a Wonderful World and the entire cast singing What The World Needs Now.

As for the 2-disc CD.

Not so much a cautionary note, as an informative one, regarding the CD. While Seth Rudetsky comes across quite well on the DVD, his speaking vocal register is tenor and he tends to talk fast. On the CD it sounds as though he is on warp speed and it's extremely difficult to understand anything he says. Don't let that stop you from listening to the CD.

Obviously with the CD it's not possible to realize that Chita Rivera, in that sexy red dress, really appears ageless - or the burlesque group, VarieTease with their mix of burlesque and artistry is hilarious and delightful. Darren Criss tap dancing - and doing a cartwheel - after he performed Sugar Daddy from Hedwig and the Angry Inch was special. Likewise, the gestures and facial movements Christine Pedi utilizes in performing I Will Survive, as done by several famous women, is a visual.

All well and good. A DVD is always going to be more inclusive than a CD. However, a CD offers more opportunities to give a listen.

Again, if you can afford to buy both versions - do so. If not, purchase the one which best fits your lifestyle.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the performers and donated their performance as one of the sponsors for the evening.

Michael J. Moritz, Jr. conductor. Dan Weiner - Drums; Dave Cuinquegrana - guitar; Natalie Tennenbaum - Piano/Keyboards; Seth Rudetsky - piano; Adam DeAscentis - Bass.

First violins: Rimma Bergeron Langious, Joni Hanza-Bjella and Shelley Mathews. Second violins: Victor Ferroni, Sacha Phelps, and Dina Fedosenko. Violas: Melissa Swedberg, and Doug Pritchard. Cellos: Jonathan Stilwell and Maureen May. Alto Saxophones: John Orsiniand Eddie Marshall. Tenor Saxophones: David MacKenzie and George Weremchuk. Baritone Saxophone Dave Weaver. Oboe/English Horn Jamie Strefeler. Clarinet Patrick Graham. French Horn Mark Fischer , Kathleen Thomas. Trumpets: Thomas Macklin, Lyman Brodie, Neal Webb. Trombones: Jeffrey Thomas, Joseph Vascik. Bass Trombone Harold VanSchaik, Timpani Carl Pendek. Percussion John Patton.

Tech director Gary Graham. Tech Director DRC: Don Teer. Lighting Design Susan Rose. Additional orchestrations Larry Blank, Ed Gaston and David Mallamud, Cameron Moncur. Music preparation Donald Oliver and Paul Holdebaum/Chelsea Music. Supervising Orchestrator Kim Scharnberg.

Audio Mastered by Greg Reirson at Rare Form Mastering. Edited by Khaled Tabbara. Director of photography Khaif Tabbara and Paul Saulive. Recordist Brandon Loewit, Billy Laguardia. Video editing and producing Yvette Kojic. Live Event Mixer Billy Languardia. Audio mixed by Brandon Loewit. Monitor mixer Garry Garrison. Post production and Layback by Kontinuous Jams.

The 32-page color booklet is filled with lovely photographs of live on stage shots and additional info about the performers and the songs. There is also a brief commentary from co-producer and director Kenny Howard.

Buy and enjoy. Also feel good that the net profits go to a worthwhile cause. Broadway Records will donate 100% of the profits from the DVD and CD to the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, Hope and Help Center of Central of Central Florida and Zebra Coalition.

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Thank you for your interest.


The Flintstones voice recording. Photo: The Norman Rockwell Museum
Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such as The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day.

“We are thrilled to present the first museum exhibition on the work of Hanna-Barbera,” notes Jesse Kowalski, the Museum’s Curator of Exhibitions. “This show will provide a comprehensive look into the animation team that collaborated for more than 60 years. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with a group of the most gifted animators and writers in the business, created thousands of memorable characters over the years. They brought animation from the movie theater into the home, forever changing the landscape of American television and popular culture.”

“This exhibition continues our look at visual storytelling in its many forms,” adds Museum Chief Curator Stephanie Haboush Plunkett. “Illustration and cartoons are the people’s art, and we look forward to further exploring their creatively-rich history.”

Jayne Barbera, daughter of Joseph Barbera and long-time producer at Hanna-Barbera, notes, “I worked for Hanna-Barbera Productions for thirty years alongside these two gentlemen. To be in a room with both of them at the same time was to experience an extraordinary genius. We were able to create happiness, adventure, and joy in the process of entertaining children.”

Hanna Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning focuses primarily on the golden years of the studio - from the premiere of their first cartoon, The Ruff and Reddy Show, in 1957 and The Huckleberry Hound Show in 1958 to the debut of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969. Hanna and Barbera’s early work on Tom and Jerry is explored, in addition to the scores of TV and film animation and live-action projects created by the studio between 1970 and 2001.

Included within the exhibition are original animation art, sketches, model sheets, photographs, and archival materials that detail the process of bringing the studio’s creations to life. Also included in the exhibition, Hanna-Barbera-related toys and other commercial products, and an interactive installation that will draw from the vast library of sound effects created by the studio.

An exhibition video, produced by Norman Rockwell Museum, will include commentary from original Hanna-Barbera animators Tony Benedict, Jerry Eisenberg, Willie Ito, and Bob Singer. An exhibition catalogue includes a foreword by Jayne Barbera, daughter of studio founder Joe Barbera, and essays by animation historians Jerry Beck and Michael Mallory.

Hanna Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning was developed in partnership with Warner Bros. The Norman Rockwell Museum is paying tribute to the art of the award-winning studio with this exhibition which runs through May 29, 2017.

On January 14, 2017 Cartoon Conversations takes place. Step back in time to explore the Golden Age of the animated Saturday morning cartoon with Curator of Exhibitions, Jesse Kowalski. This insightful conversations will illuminate aspects of the current exhibition, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning, including: Full Animation VS. Limited Animation: How Are They Different?

Child’s tunic, 20th century, Uzbekistan, Central Asia, Turkmen, Tekke tribe. Silk, cotton; warp-resist-dyed (ikat) plain-weave lining, printed edging, applied fringe, embroidery (chain, laid and couched, fishbone, rope, and whipped stem stitches). Museum purchase, Mrs. V. Volkmann Bosche Tribute Fund and Carol Dunker Tribute Fund, 2003.75 Photo deYoung Museum.
presents a selection of embroidered costumes and accessories from around the world to explore their distinguished craftsmanship and unique social and cultural connotations.

Embroidery - the stitching of patterns in cloth with a needle and thread - has embellished costumes and textiles for centuries. While embroidery stitches may be purely decorative, they may also aid in a textile or garment’s construction, such as to outline a pattern or design or to reinforce a fabric or edge.

Embroidered designs and their distinctive stitches, threads, patterns, and colors also often reflect the unique identity of their maker or wearer as well as the culture’s shared - and sometimes shifting - mores and traditions.

Embroidery stitches, of which there are many different kinds, derive from three basic types: flat, knotted, and linked and looped.

Flat stitches, such as running and satin stitches, are individual stitches that lie atop a fabric’s surface and are made without crossing or looping the thread. Knotted stitches, where the thread is knotted upon itself, are used to create raised patterns and textures. Linked and looped stitches, such as chain, are formed by securing a stitch with the following one and are used to create bands of embroidery.

Through August 31, 2017 at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco, CA.


THE BROADWAY@THE NOURSE CONCERT SERIES kicked off last night, Saturday, January 7, 2017 with two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole performing, with accompaniment by Seth Rudetsky who also served as host.

The evening raised funds for San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Project Open Hand, and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

The event took place at The Nourse Theater in San Francisco, CA.


Composer Alma Deutscher also played the violin in the production. She currently plays on a violin by Carlo Bergonzi lent to her by the Beare’s International Violin Society. Photo: Alex Nightingale Smith.

Her take on Cinderella opened to rave reviews and standing ovations in Vienna, Austria. Alma Deutscher is a British composer who is 11 - that's right - eleven years old.

Her work re-imagines the Cinderella fairy-tale as set in an opera house ruled by a wicked stepmother, where Cinderella is a composer, according to You Tube. The prince is a poet, and Cinderella chances upon a captivating love poem, which unbeknownst to her was written by the prince. She is inspired by the poem and sets it to her own music. Her melody is then stolen by her step-sisters and sung at a singing competition during the ball; however, finally Cinderella sings her melody to the prince, unaware that he wrote words to it. Similarly, the prince is unaware that the singer composed the enchanting music to which he composed his lyrics.

After Cinderella flees from the ball at midnight, the prince searches for Cinderella not using a glass slipper, as in the traditional fairy-tale, but using a melody. Eventually, the pair is united: "In the end, they find each other like lyrics find melody".

Alma is being hailed as a "modern Mozart."

Prior to that she was simply referred to as a genius of a child prodigy, having penned her first piano sonata when she was six. At age seven, she completed her first major composition, the opera The Sweeper of Dreams. Aged nine, she wrote a concerto for violin and orchestra, which she premiered in a 2015 performance.

Her Cinderella opera, which was performed in German at the Casino Baumgarten theatre, is two-and-a-half hours long with a musical score of 237 pages, all penned by the "Wunderkind".

The opera was presented under the patronage of conductor Zubin Mehta.

She had a 10-minute standing ovation from the audience, which her PR manager Judy Graham told the BBC left her "thrilled".

Born in the UK to British/Israeli parents, her mother Janie Steen is an organ scholar at Oxford and her father is an Israeli linguist Guy Deutsche who is an amateur flautist. The family lives in Dorking, Surrey, England. The bundle of talent who is home schooled told BBC Radio 4 that she finds her inspiration while skipping rope taking her rope with her to rehearsals and skips during the breaks.

Conductor Simon Rattle publicly declared that he was “absolutely bowled over” and Stephen Fry voiced the opinion that she was this generation’s Mozart.

In fact, Fry is credited with discovering her. According to Fry's Twitter feed;

Deutscher's initial media exposure can be traced to writer and comedian Stephen Fry publicizing her YouTube channel when she was seven. Guy Deutscher and Fry knew each other through a shared interest in linguistics. Deutscher's channel originally was produced for the private viewing of her relatives. Her father said: "Then Stephen Fry saw [her family videos] and tweeted on Twitter, and that's how it became known to his millions of followers. And from there very quickly reporters were onto it and it snowballed."

Fry wrote: "Simply mind-blowing: Alma Deutscher playing her own compositions. A new Mozart?", with a link to one of Deutscher's videos. Television crews arrived at the family home the next day.


You've seen wine paired with food, but how about wine paired with texts?

Join LABA Fellows, ancient text scholar Reuben Namdar and sommelier Ronald Jordan. A four course exploration of the relationship between wine and other through teachings, tastings and performances.

Can wine be divine? Can wine be demonic? Performances range from Israeli folk dance to a film on relationships, to the inner monologue of Noah's wife, to drunken identities investigating gender. DRUNK takes the audience member through an immersive experience as they taste wine, watch performances, and learn the text that inspired the evening.

There will be nudity in this performance.

Examples of the evening include:

Gil Sperling uncovered - A video performance inspired by a talmudic text that touches on castration fear and the troubled sexual relation between sons and their fathers.

Michael Leibenluft I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours - Before there was sex, we were seduced by intimacy, privacy, and secrecy. Reaching back into our earliest memories to find the origins of shame, desire, and difference.

Franny Silverman - That's What She Said - Brief musings on Noah's complicated relationship with leadership, family, and adult beverages from the woman who was there through it all.

Keren Moscovitch Too Drunk to Man Up - This film explores gender, performance and intimacy in an age of deconstruction. A drunken text, devised by drunken identities and read through drunken bodies. We will investigate excess, confusion and carnal hermeneutics. Elena Greenfield There is Wine, and There is Wine (The "Other Side") - Before Babel we lived in a linguistic Eden; utterance, synergy, potency. After Babel we drink and lip sync. With Lizzie Olesker and Eric Borlaug.

LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a program of the 14th Street Y that uses classic Jewish texts to inspire the creation of art, dialogue and study.

January 12, 2017 at 92Y in New York City.

THE OLD GLOBE IN SAN DIEGO presents the fourth annual New Voices Festival - with a new moniker: the Powers New Voices Festival, a weekend of readings of new American plays by professional playwrights, playing January 13 – 15, 2017.

The Festival will kick off Friday, January 13 with one of two plays commissioned by the Globe, Arranged by Anna Ziegler, called "a funny, insightful, and mysterious new drama that explores the hidden connections between seemingly disparate people, illuminating the surprising forces that bind strangers together", directed by Matt M. Morrow.

The Festival weekend will continue on Saturday, January 14 with Fade by Tanya Saracho, "a provocative behind-the-scenes look at the lengths we go to get ahead and whom we’re willing to leave behind," directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.

Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías follows. Called "an uproarious and topical culture clash with friendly neighbors turning into feuding enemies", directed by James Vásquez.

The festival concludes on Sunday, January 15 . with the second Globe commission, JC Lee’s What You Are, an up-to-the-minute look at a fractured nation desperately trying to reconnect, directed by Edward Torres.

The Powers New Voices Festival will take place in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets to all four readings are free but require reservations.

Paula and Brian Powers have provided a sustaining gift to The Old Globe of $1 million over five years. The New Voices Festival is being renamed the Powers New Voices Festival through 2021 in recognition of this most significant gift to the Globe and the Powers’ belief in the importance of new works for theatre. Paula currently is on the Board of Directors of The Old Globe and serves as the organization’s Secretary.

AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER in partnership with MasterVoices presents InsightALT: The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing. Music by Justine F. Chen; Libretto by David Simpatico.

This opera is a historical-fantasia inspired by the life of the groundbreaking computer scientist, Alan Turing. Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya.

Featuring Jonathan Michie as Alan Turing, with Keely Futterer, Elise Quagliata, Andrew Bidlack, Javier Abreu,Joseph Beutel and Thomas Shivone, with members of MasterVoices.

The InsightALT series provides an insider's look at how new operas are made. Each event features a concert reading of a new opera in development at American Lyric Theater, with guest singers from the world's leading opera houses, followed by a discussion with the composer and librettist of each work. InsightALT: The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing, will feature a concert reading of the opera-in-progress, followed by a discussion between Chen, Simpatico and Edelson, including an exploration of the challenges of adapting historical subject matter for the opera stage.

January 12, 2017 at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, New York City.

GOOD NEWS At the beginning of 2017 China announced that they are banning all ivory trade. That can save elephants from becoming extinct.

JANUARY 11 is National Hot Toddy Day. January 12 is National Glazed Doughnut Day and January 14 is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day.

PERFORMANCE SPACE 122 has appointed Jenny Schlenzka, a respected curator of performance at MoMA PS1, as its next Executive Artistic Director, Board President Enrico Ciotti has announced.

Schlenzka, 38, will become PS122’s first female artistic leader. She will bring over a decade of curatorial experience, primarily in live performance and media art, to PS122 as the iconic arts organization prepares to return to its beloved East Village home.

On February 1, Schlenzka will join PS122 as its third artistic leader. Her programming will begin in early 2018.

DEENA ROSENBERG HARBURG has succeeded Ernie Harburg, son of the legendary lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, as President of the Yip Harburg Foundation. Deena Rosenberg Harburg is Yip's daughter-in-law, who is presently the foundation's Artistic Director. She is Founder and Chairperson Emeritus of the unique NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program and author of Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin and The Music Makers. She is also co-author with Ernie of two forthcoming books about Yip's selected lyrics and the creation of the song Over the Rainbow, to be available in 2019 which is he 80th anniversary of the film The Wizard of Oz.

The Yip Harburg Foundation was created after the lyricist's death to carry on his legacy and to promote educational opportunity, social/economic justice and world peace. E.Y. Harburg, the master lyricist, was "Broadway's Social Conscience." His classic songs included Brother, Can you Spare a Dime? and Over the Rainbow. Yip fought for social and economic justice for all people throughout his life.

ELLIOT GROFFMAN a partner at Carroll, Guido & Groffman LLP, will be the recipient of the 2017 ELI Service Award, presented during the 19th Annual Entertainment Law Initiative Luncheon & Scholarship Presentation taking place during Grammy Week, February 10, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

The honor is awarded to an attorney who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing and supporting the music community through service.

The event will feature a keynote address by Marc Geiger, head of music/partner at William Morris Endeavor. Other program participants include Henry Root, ELI Executive Committee Chair; Ken Abdo, ELI Program Chair and top music industry attorney Lommen Abdo; and Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation.

Academy Award nominated actor Burt Young will star in The Last Vig.
a new comedy written and directed by David Varriale.

Original music composed and recorded by Jeff Babko.

Starring Academy Award nominated actor Burt Young as an aging mob boss.

Young is joined onstage by Ben Adams, Clint Jung, Bruce Nozick, and Gareth Williams.

In The Last Vig, times are changing. Big Joe is old. But is he out? Can he stay in the game with the help of his young, hip-hip loving assistant, Bocce, and his old friend, Jimmy “The Fixer” D? Or will the juice on the $100K he owes be his last vig?

Set design by Joel Daavid; lighting design by Kelley Finn; sound design by Will Mahood; costume design by Mylette Nora; props designer is Phi Tran; original music is composed and recorded by Jeff Babko; graphic design is by Kiff Scholl, AfK Design; casting through Russell Boast, CSA; and Racquel Lehrman,

The world premiere of The Last Vig will open January 14 and continues through February 19 at the Zephyr Theatre, Los Angeles.

THE PRESENT Andrew Upton’s new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov.

Directed by John Crowley.

Starring Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh.

Variously known as Platonov, Wild Honey, Fatherlessness and The Disinherited, Anton Chekhov’s first play was not discovered until 1920, some 16 years after the playwright’s death. Andrew Upton’s adaptation is set post-Perestroika in the mid-1990s at an old country house where friends gather to celebrate the birthday of the independent but compromised widow Anna Petrovna (Blanchett). At the center is the acerbic and witty Platonov (Roxburgh) with his wife, his former students and friends and their partners. They may appear comfortable, but boiling away inside is a mess of unfinished, unresolved relationships, fueled by twenty years of denial, regret and thwarted desire.

The Present features the Sydney Theatre Company cast including Cate Blanchett (Anna) and Richard Roxburgh (Mikhail), as well as Anna Bamford (Maria), Andrew Buchanan (Osip), David Downer (Yegor), Eamon Farren (Kirill), Martin Jacobs (Alexei), Brandon McClelland (Dimitri), Jacqueline McKenzie (Sophia), Marshall Napier (Ivan), Susan Prior (Sasha), Chris Ryan (Sergei) and Toby Schmitz (Nikolai).

Set and costume design is by Alice Babidge, with lighting design by Nick Schlieper. Stefan Gregory is Sound Designer and Composer.

Opens on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at the Barrymore Theatre, New York City, for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 19, 2017.

SOMETHING ROTTEN the ten-time Tony-Award nominated musical comedy with music and lyrics by Grammy Award winner Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O'Farrell.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw.

"Welcome to the ‘90s - the 1590s - long before the dawn of premium tickets, star casting and reminders to turn off your cell phones. Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. But amidst the scandalous excitement of Opening Night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self... and all that jazz."

Three of the Broadway principals will be reprising their roles on tour: Rob McClure as Nick Bottom, Adam Pascal as Shakespeare and Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom.

The touring cast also features Maggie Lakis as Bea, Blake Hammond as Nostradamus, Autumn Hurlbert as Portia, Scott Cote as Brother Jeremiah and Jeff Brooks as Shylock.

Rounding out the ensemble are Lucy Anders, Kyle Nicholas Anderson, Kate Bailey, Daniel Beeman, Brandon Bieber, Mandie Black, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Ian Campayno, Pierce Cassedy, Eric Coles, Drew Franklin, Juliane Godfrey, Leah Hofmann, Kristie Kerwin, Ralph Meitzler, Patrick John Moran, Joel Newsome, Con O'Shea-Creal and Tonya Thompson.

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music direction / conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and casting by Telsey + Company/Bethany Knox, CSA.

The national tour begins preview performances January 10-15, 2017 at Proctors in Schenectady, NY.


ALL NIGHT LONG - THE MUSIC OF THE 80S the NAC Orchestra goes back to the decade that brought us Ronald Reagan, Boomboxes, Michael Jackson’s white glove and the Miracle on Ice. Singers Nicole Parker and Aaron Finley, along with the NAC Orchestra, perform the best tracks of the decade, including Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want To Have Fun and Lionel Richie’s All Night Long. And everyone is invited to dress up in their favorite 80s outfit! A conversation with Stuart Chafetz & NACO violinist Marjolaine Lambert precedes the performance. January 12-14, 2-17 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada.

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS on stage Tuesday, January 10, at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Thursday's show is at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN. Saturday finds them at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK. Next Sunday, January 15, they are in the spotlight at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, KS.

ANDREA BOCELLI is starring at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland next Sunday, January 15, 2017.

THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA presents the UK premiere of the orchestral work Tower of Meaning, led by two of the composer’s long-term collaborators, Bill Ruyle and Peter Zummo. Saturday, January 14, 2017 at Kings Place, London.

ALL NIGHT LONG: THE MUSIC OF THE 80'S singers Nicole Parker and Aaron Finley, along with the NAC Orchestra conducted by Stuart Chefetz bring back the best of an era. January 12-14, 2017 at the NAC in Ottawa, Ontario, CA.

KINGS OF LEON perform Thursday, January 12, 2017, at Harbor in National Harbor, MD. On Friday they are on stage at the TD Garden in Boston.

Next Column: January 15, 2017
Copyright: January 8, 2017 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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Laura Deni

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