Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: July 13, 2014
By: Laura Deni


The HandleBards Tom Dixon, Paul Moss, Callum Brodie, Callum Cheatle (lying). Photo: HandleBards
4 actors, 4 bicycles, 62 characters and a 1000+ mile adventure.

Princes William and Harry and Duchess Kate, but no George.

One of the most - if not the most - unusual theatrical touring company is the all-male HandleBards, Paul Moss, Tom Dixon Callum Cheatle and Callum Brodie, a group of four professionals in their 20s who - using just four bicycles - carry all the necessary set, props, costumes and camping equipment, first aid kits, puncture kids - everything - to perform Shakespeare's greatest plays across Europe.

At they put it "needless to say we’ll be (are) knackered after the 926 mile route comes to an end."

After a hugely successful inaugural tour in 2013, the HandleBards are back on their bikes and began cycling the UK in June, on a tour which continues through August 2014, before they ferry over to Amsterdam for a HandleBards tour of the Netherlands and Belgium to spread A Comedy of Errors.

It's proven to be a two-wheeler spectacle not to be missed.

Duchess Kate meets Mark Cavendish at Harewood House while, in the background, Prince William and Prince Harry greet other riders in the 2014 Tour de France. Photo: Clarence House
A week ago they (sort-of) received a welcome from Princes William and Harry and Duchess Kate.

"The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge & Prince Harry are travelling all the way up to Yorkshire, especially to welcome the HandleBards to the Tour de France," emailed the group. Only a slight exaggeration.

"The first is that the HandleBards are performing at the official opening of the Tour de France, at Harewood House in Yorkshire," continued the missive. " We would like to claim that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are all coming up especially for us, but the truth is that we're just part of a cracking program of events organized to see the (much faster) cyclists off in style, and that the royals are actually coming to start the tour as a whole. But really, the only thing on our minds is - will we meet Prince George?"

Nope. The toddler, noted for being a loud mouth charmer, was left at home.

At that point the HandleBards were a month (and 500 miles) into their international tour of Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors.

The peddling performances are as complicated to produce as any road tour.

Founding Artistic Director of Peculius Stage Callum Cheatle, 24, comes from the Young Vic Directors Program. He created Peculius Stage in 2007 and "we now have over sixteen productions under our belt (including internationally) and have won various awards including at the Edinburgh Festival (sell-out laurels), the Durham Drama Festival (best new writing) and the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. We also have a strong outreach program and regularly run school workshops."

He is also the guy who answers emails.

During the performance local bike crews serve as a production team, "performing rapid repairs to the bikes."

During the first tour Paul Moss rode a pink Vindec Highriser while one of the Callums was peddling a second hand bike that he got from "a certain L. Armstrong." His mates comment, "You can get them cheap off of E-Bay."

Tom's bike of choice was a red, white and blue English bicycle with his cohorts chirping "there is nothing wrong with patriotism." When Tom isn't acting, "he can conduct an intelligent conversation about the behavioral habits of salmon during migration since he's spent the past three years studying to be a zoologist," they posted.

Callum is the resident assistant producer at Theatre 503 in London and works as a freelance producer, director and graphic designer. On the first tour he rode an orange bike which carried "the bloody tent as well."

This year the two wheeled troubadours got upgraded to Eastway ST1’s.

"We absolutely love our Eastways," chirps the group."They are lovely to look at, very light weight, come equipped with high quality parts, and, very importantly for us, are incredibly strong. They have no trouble pulling very heavy trailers behind them on a daily basis. To date, we’ve not had a single puncture on them.

The bikes are provided by the groups' merchandise sponsor LUV Handles, The Bike Boutique, along with a whole range of cycling related goodies.

This year the HandleBards have also received funding for the first time, from the Arts Council.

Still, they are dependent upon the kindness of strangers. The gratitude that the HandleBards express towards the various bike stores and clubs is sincere and never ending.

At the end of each show Moss (who has a background in chemistry) talks to the audience to let them know a little about the group. They are saving 50.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide (C02) the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. At some venues patrons are offered discounted tickets provided they cycled to the show. Moss asks for old bicycles: "Have you got an old bicycle part or accessory that you don't want anymore? Get in touch and we'll keep your green conscience squeaky-clean by recycling it for use in our shows." A pitch is also made for any leftovers the patrons may have in their picnic baskets. Bike riding and acting makes a guy hungry. Each HandleBard requires 5,000-6,000 calories a day.

The living accommodations run the gamut.

"Tom, the son of the Lord of Bolton Castle, told us that instead of camping in the castle’s grounds, we were welcome to stay in the castle," posted Brodie. "On our own. The whole of Bolton Castle, with lowered portcullis and wood fire, would for one night be the HandleBards’ castle. We wished we had our own flag to fly from the battlements."

There was Hoghton Tower where one evening it's "Helena and Tom, the daughter and son of Sir Bernard of Hoghton Tower (giving the HandleBards) a tour of the grounds and house. The architecture and design inside the buildings was exquisite, and the history of the house rich. Hoghton Tower was where King James I is said to have knighted a particularly tasty loin of beef during a meal in 1617. This is now why we call it ‘Sirloin Steak’. "

Other times it's "into a rural campsite were we would sleep next to the pet llamas and star gaze whilst drinking fosters in a field surrounded by sheep poo. Oh the glamorous life."

At each stop the HandleBards incorporate local musicians into the production.

The masquerade ball in Romeo and Juliet, and 'If music be the food of love' in Twelfth Night being two examples. Since there are different musicians and different styles of music at each venue, the shows are completely unique.

One of the many high-points was a performance outside the Cycle Hub which "was really successful with the Gladstone Trio providing some fantastic music - our highlight being when we got to perform the masquerade ball to Blondie’s Call Me being performed on a £10,000 ($15,000) Cello."

Problems on the road are what you'd expect from either a road trip or camping.

In Scotland they were plagued by flies and insect bites. Insect repellent of choice?

Avon Skin So Soft, "which we have been assured by every Scotsman we have met is the only thing that will keep away the flies." The group placed an order.

As with any "road trip," mechanical disasters are always a possibility. That's how they lost their biked pulled trailer Tillyvally, a reference to Twelfth Night. Later the trailer would simply be called a battleaxe.

Her clamps kept snapping. There was even the time when they were unable to locate a replacement clip and they used "one of Callum’s shoe laces, some LX tape and a bit of sponge; we cobbled together a “clamp” of sorts that Blue Peter would have been proud of! Amazingly, this managed to get us from Shoreditch to Euston to Glasgow to the Riverside Museum, where we wait(ed) with baited breath for the replacement clamp before we set off for Falkirk," explained the posting.

Then there was Penny which, "over the course of two tours, covered 1000+ miles with us, sadly could not be fixed."

Penny's bearings broke. As they explained, "basically (that) means, for those of you as technically minded as myself, that - if we continue cycling - the friction caused by the wheel rubbing against the axle would result in a fire, and the HandleBards would be responsible for burning down the whole of the UK.

"Needless to say our insurance does not cover this, so until this problem is solved we cannot use Penny. Either we need to think up a solution to this problem very very quickly (ideally before our next show!), or we shall be performing Macbeth and The Comedy Of Errors without half the set!

"This whole trip is one big gamble, and it could go either way. We have no support vehicle. We have no understudies. We have a show pretty much everyday and must cycle the entire route carrying all of the props, set and costumes with us," which amounts to about 132 pounds.

Never fear, the group "managed to source a new trailer! With bigger wheels, more structural support and less rust, she’s a beauty, and we’ve named her Penthesilea."

As far as acting, the group has worked with Vik Sivalingam, former resident director at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) who got the guys to 'brush up your Shakespeare.'

He used "a very rigorous approach to the text, picking up on every word and mote of punctuation, had us really thinking about what Shakespeare says about his characters and themes through his writing alone."

James Farrell
Also offering directorial guidance is James Farrell who helmed the HandleBards 2013 tour of Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night. Assistant Direction was by Emma Sampson with Fight Direction by Andrei Zayats, Movement Direction by Leigh Tredger, Voice and Text by Jacquie Crago & Lara Muthsoe.

Farrell, who recently directed Twelfth Night at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton, is also assistant director on the 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, which is a physical theatre with few actors playing several characters. That helped Farrell who had The HandleBards put bicycle bells on their fingers which they ring every time they change character. Farrell even lent his expertise on "how we can make music using the bikes."

The HandleBards play their roles straight. However, only four actors performing all of the parts with puppetry, music, juggling, acrobatics, not to mention props from bicycle parts, infuses a comedic aura.

Mother Nature also has a say. Light, which is mostly provided by nature, affects the very way the plays are staged.

Farrel, who doesn't travel with the road show, decides who will be on stage when and what parts they will be playing.

It's the computer age that keeps them organized through "wonderful Excel spreadsheets."

HandleBards performing Comedy of Errors. Photo: Stratford-Upon-Avon theatre blogspot.
HandleBards designer Libby Todd scours the charity shops of West London for garments which capture the spirit of the production.

Restricted to working with only what they can carry, bikes are taken apart to power various contraptions, tents double as changing rooms, mosquito nets become dresses and bicycle pumps materialize as swords. The audience loves it.

Among the most unusual performances this tour will be one on HMS Unicorn in Dundee, something akin to a pirate ship. There will also be a performance of Macbeth on Dunsinane Hill, where Shakespeare set the play.

As one might guess, HandleBards doesn't provide a living wage. Consequently, each of the actors has gainful employment. Callum Cheatle and Tom have both worked as tutors, while Callum Brodie has been a parks officer for Lambeth Council. Paul has been working at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, taking on the responsible position of Candlelit Playhouse Technician in the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse behind the Globe itself. That sounds like an odd title expect every show that they put on in there is candlelit, so there are in excess of 200 candles per performance, requiring a technical expert.

Paul is officially the HandleBards tour manager, in charge of booking and visiting venues to make sure everything is in order before the tour starts.

The group also performs charity shows and at schools.

One charity event was at Etal Manor where the group was met by Lady Joicey of Hospice Care Northumberland. They performed Twelfth Night to 300 people "including the local butcher, most of Etal and about 30 French school children, who took quite a shining to us, with music provided by Antic Hay, we helped raise loads of money for Hospice Care Northumberland."

Recently the group performed before 262 school children aged 11-13 at the Elstow Abbey Middle School.

"Whilst our version of Macbeth may have been a new experience for those watching, performing to a school was indeed a learning point for us as we had never done it before and were unsure of what to expect. Would the students be bored? Would they heckle? Would they be too shy to come up on stage? Would our production of Macbeth work inside?

"We also had to think on our feet to cut the two-hour play down to just over an hour, which was the time slot allocated to us. We were not aware of this slot allocation until the night before, so we had fun testing our editing ability on stage and seeing if fellow Bards could keep up with the swift and sudden changes. We are very pleased to say all went well and that we now feel ready to perform this show in any setting, and to any age group.

"The school was positively charming, the students were not only engaged with the show itself, but laughed and applauded each of their teachers who we managed to incorporate into the show!"

The group is dependent upon strangers who feed them, sometimes provide lodging and other considerations. One of the HandleBards' more unusual thank-you notes is:

"We would also like to thank Paul and Claire for letting us use their shower, thereby allowing us to wash the beans off Moss Bard’s shirt and prevent him from being ostracised from normal society due to the smell.

*If you don’t understand the beans comment above, come and see Macbeth; Heinz shall never quite be the same again!"

Broadway To Vegas is supported through advertising and donations. Priority consideration is given to interview suggestions, news, press releases, etc from paid supporters. However, no paid supporters control, alter, edit, or in any way manipulate the content of this site. Your donation is appreciated. We accept PAYPAL.
Thank you for your interest.


Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum
located in what was his childhood home in Thai, Austria, opened three years ago this week this July 30th, to be precise - the day he was born.

Accompanied by his son Patrick, the former Governor of California attended the opening celebration. In the three years it's been open, the Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum has proved to be a popular attraction for those interested in learning all they can about the bodybuilder/actor/politician.

He and his family lived in a modest five-room apartment in the two-story, yellow-stucco house from his birth in 1947 until 1966 when he left to pursue his dreams of winning the Mr. Universe competition.

His home had neither running water nor electricity.

Despite what many would consider hardships, Arnold started pumping up at an early age and his bedroom displays some of his exercise equipment. Visitors learn that his father didn't approve of Arnold's obsession with bodybuilding and would only permit his son to go to the gym three days a week. Arnold worked out at home, while listening to his neighbor practice on the trumpet.

As well as trophies and photographs from his early days of bodybuilding, the museum has some of his first dumb-bells, work-out machine, a pulley with weights attached which hung in a door frame.

The museum exhibit includes the metal bed that he slept on as a youth - which he considers the most important item in the museum - the house's original wooden pit toilet, and a 1950s kitchen, with a washstand and jugs for collecting water.

There is a Harley Davidson motorbike from one of the Terminator films, a sword from Conan the Barbarian, the “Governator” cowboy boots and Austrian style motorcycle jacket which he donated to the museum, and a replica of the polished dark wooden desk he sat behind while California's governor.

Visitors to the museum can pose next to a life-size model of Arnie as the Terminator.

The museum makes no mention of the marital problems between Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver. On display are photos of Schwarzenegger and Shriver in happier times. One photograph shows the row boat in which he proposed marriage to Shriver on a nearby lake.

For those who don't speak Austrian, employees in the museum are fluent in English.

The exit features a large size which declares Schwarzenegger's famous phrase, "I'll be back."


FIRE ISLAND DANCE FESTIVAL returns to Fire Island July 18-20, 2014, for its 20th anniversary edition, featuring some of the most exciting and talked-about dance companies in the industry. The festival, produced by and benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS, is performed outdoors against the backdrop of the Great South Bay.

Critically acclaimed choreographers Larry Keigwin and Jerry Mitchell will host.

Since the summer of 1995, Fire Island Dance Festival has grown to become the cultural and charitable event of the summer in Fire Island Pines, raising more than $3.3 million.

Dance legend Desmond Richardson, most recently seen performing on Broadway in After Midnight returns to the festival. He is also the co-founder and co- artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, which also will perform at this year’s event. Richardson joins the diverse lineup featuring: Ailey II, presenting Wade in the Water from Revelations, BalletCollective, in a new work choreographed by Troy Schumacher, a member of the New York City Ballet, Kristine Bendul, Waldemar Quiñones-Villanueva & Ryan Worsing, performing In the Garden, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, premiering a piece choreographed by Marcelo Gomes with an original score by Ian Ng, Marcelo Gomes, principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, performing the romantic balcony pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet with Luciana Paris, a member of the corps de ballet, Nick Kenkel, premiering an energetic, Afropop-infused group number, Sara Mearns, principal dancer for New York City Ballet, with eight male dancers in a work created by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Josh Bergasse, MOMIX, presenting Man Fan, a male solo using a 22-foot-tall fan in a duet with the wind and Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, with innovative hula choreographer Patrick Makuakane.

Founded by Denise Roberts Hurlin, Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

GUILD HALL SPECIAL EVENING hosted by Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Roy Furman, Bob Balaban and Lynn Grossman and Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley takes place in The Hamptons, NY on Saturday, July 19.

The gala evening begins with cocktails and buffet supper with open seating at the oceanfront East Hampton home of Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley.

Then it's Clever Little Lies, a new comedy in its pre-Broadway run at the John Drew Theater, starring Marlo Thomas.

There will also be a post-performance champagne reception where attendees will join the hosts, lead actress Thomas and the cast, playwright Joe DiPietro, and director David Saint, in the Furman Garden at Guild Hall.

$1,000 per person. The fundraiser supports drama at Guild Hall.

Clever Little Lies starring Greg Mullavey, Jim Stanek, Marlo Thomas, and Kate Wetherhead irected by David Saint has performances at Guild Hall July 16-August 3rd.


American indie rock band The National.
One of Europe most inventive, vibrant and colorful events are the Galways Arts and Theatre Festivals - two separate festivals which are both staged July 14-24 in and around Galway City, Ireland.

The Brooklyn based indie rock band The National were the first headline act announced for Galway Arts Festival. The National are set to take to the Festival Big Top Stage on Wednesday, July 16.

The National is an American indie rock band formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, in 1999, and currently based in Brooklyn. The band's lyrics are written and sung by Matt Berninger, a baritone. The band's music is composed and performed by Aaron Dessner (guitar and keyboard), Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums).

Since the beginning The National involved themselves in politics. They were involved with efforts to both elect and reelect President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. On September 1, 2012 The National opened for the President at a campaign rally in Urbandale, Iowa in front of a crowd in excess of 10,000 people. In October the band traveled to Ohio where they played two free shows and visited university campuses as part of Barack Obama’s GottaVote campaign to encourage young adults to register to vote and to cast their vote for Obama.

Galway Arts Festival is Ireland's largest international arts festival. Founded in 1978 it has grown into an event with a major reputation where, in 2012, there were 163,548 attendances at 160 performances, talks and exhibitions in 27 venues over 14 days.

The Festival showcases a wide variety of international artists alongside the best of Irish talent and includes music (popular, contemporary, jazz, world, classical and traditional), theatre (indoor and outdoor), visual arts, dance, talks, discussions, family events and comedy in its program.

The Festival attracts 27% of its audience from abroad.

Highlights from the program in recent years included, Primal Scream, Philip Glass, New York Dolls, David Gray, David Byrne, Brad Mehldau, Blondie, Kronos Quartet, Brodsky Quartet, Bon Iver, David Hockney, Joni Mitchell, Henri Matisse amongst others.

Visiting international theatre and dance companies have included John Mahoney and Northlight Theatre, The Royal National Theatre, Propeller, The Royal Court, Steppenwolf, Michael Clark Dance Company, Hofesh Shechter Dance Company, The Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre Company and the Bristol Old Vic.

The Festival also present traditional music concerts in large-scale and intimate settings, and large scale street spectacle from Royal de Luxe to the annual Macnas Festival Parade.

Running in parallel with the Galway Arts Festival, the Galway Fringe Festival aims to provide a platform for local artists, writers, playwrights, poets, actors and musicians to perform and showcase new work.


FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA will deliver the keynote address for the Grammy Museum's inaugural Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon which takes place July 16 at t Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE. The event will honor Southern California-based educator Sunshine Cavalluzzi and six-time Grammy nominee Janelle Monáe.

The Jane Ortner Education Award was created by the Grammy Museum in partnership with Charles B. Ortner - prominent entertainment attorney, museum board member and husband to Jane Ortner. Jane Ortner was a devoted and beloved public school teacher who recognized the critical importance of music in the education of students at all levels.

The Jane Ortner Educator Award is unique in that it tasks educators to incorporate music into their core content standard curricula. The Jane Ortner Artist Award recognizes an artist who embodies the Museum's educational mission and shows passion and dedication to education through the arts. Cavalluzzi was chosen to receive the Educator Award based on her innovative Economics lesson plans and Monáe was selected to receive the Artist Award based on her continued commitment to Grammy Museum educational programming.

THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL on Saturday, July 19, 2014 explores In Fine Style as part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, with an introduction by exhibition curator Anna Reynolds and British Designer Gareth Pugh, who shares his contemporary response to the work on show.

Paintings, drawings and rare surviving examples of clothing and accessories explore fashion in the 16th and 17th-centuries. Music chosen to respond to the works on show by DJ Eddy Temple Morris brings a modern perspective to the style of the rich and famous of the Tudor and Stuart periods.

The event takes place at the Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY TANGLEWOOD INSTITUTE (BUTI) launches its 49th season in Lenox, MA with a summer full of talented students, exciting concerts, and renowned guest artists.

Led by Artistic Director Phyllis Hoffman, BUTI is considered one of the most prestigious summer music programs for high school students in the United States. This year’s student body was selected through a rigorous application and audition process, and consists of American and international musicians, including students from as far away as Europe, South America, and Australia. Since BUTI’s founding, scores of its alumni have gone on to illustrious careers in classical music, including dozens that perform in the top orchestras in the country.

The BUTI Young Artists Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Chorus will perform a series of concerts in Ozawa Hall on the Tanglewood estate running through August 9. A notable roster of guest artist conductors will work with these three large ensembles, including: Paul Haas, David J. Martins, Ken-David Masur, Tito Muolds, Ann Howard Jones, and John Williams as well as Vento Chiaro, woodwind quintet, Axiom Brass, brass quintet, and Muir String Quartet. This year’s concert series features masterworks of the past and present:

CATS Andrew Lloyd Webber, Trevor Nunn and Gillian Lynne the original creative team behind record-breaking musical staged a press conference at the Palladium in London to announce a new production of the classic musical based on T.S. Elliot's poems.

The big news is that Cats will contain more modern elements including transforming Rum Tum Tugger into a rapping, street dancing cat as well as a reworked design for the Palladium space. Lloyd Webber will be rewriting two of the songs from the show, including Growltiger's Last Stand, because "it was never my favourite moment of the show".

Guests at the event were welcomed onto the stage of the Palladium and greeted by some of the shows feline stars. They were then treated to a medley of numbers from Cats.

Cats will play at the London Palladium from December 6, 2014 to February 28, 2015.

THE STATE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY Board Chairman Douglas M. Garback, Sr. has announced the hiring of Arts Consulting Group (ACG) to perform the national search for a new President & CEO, after the passing of Mark. W. Jones in May 2014. A Board search committee has been formed, led by Trustee Scott Fergang, to assist ACG in the national search.

Chairman Garback has also announced the appointment of Warren R. Zimmerman of Piscataway, NJ as the State Theatre’s Interim President & CEO. Zimmerman, who has served as the State Theatre’s Board Chairman since 2010 and a Trustee since 2007, assumed his duties on July 7, 2014.

BACKSTAGE WITH PETER LeDONNE is a new hour radio show. Airing Sundays from 12 Noon to 1 PM (EST) on New York radio, AM 970 The Answer. The show features members of the Broadway and theatre community as well as acclaimed performers from New York’s exciting nightlife. Longtime cabaret performer and theatre producer, Jamie deRoy will make regular guest appearances on the show as the Nightlife Correspondent.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA directed by Harold Prince, has again made theater history, reaching the unprecedented milestone of 11,000 performances. A feat achieved by no other Broadway show, the 11,000th performance took place Monday evening, July 7.

The Broadway mounting can be enjoyed at The Majestic Theatre where Norm Lewis is in the title role with Sierra Boggess as Christine and Jeremy Hays as Raoul. The musical co-stars Laird Mackintosh (Monsieur André), Tim Jerome (Monsieur Firmin), Michele McConnell (Carlotta), Cristin J. Hubbard (Madame Giry), Christian Šebek (Piangi) and Polly Baird (Meg Giry). At certain performances, Mary Michael Patterson plays Christine.

DAME HELEN MIRREN according to London's Daily Mail, has confirmed long-term speculations that she will reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth and bring the play The Audience to Broadway.

As stated in the paper, The Audience by Peter Morgan will play a limited run on Broadway this spring. However, the report said the American production would be running through the elections, meaning the 'limited run' would need to extend.

Staged by Stephen Daldry, The Audience centers around Queen Elizabeth's weekly meetings with the 12 Prime Ministers over 50 years of her reign. Pulling the curtain back on these legendary and secretive Buckingham Palace meetings, we get to see Elizabeth’s political and personal views on the world - and her role in it. Morgan is reportedly "considering" expanding the American version to include Tony Blair.

Mirren received an Olivier Award for her role, a demanding one which requires that she appear in every scene of the two hour play.

The actress is to begin rehearsals in mid-January, with previews starting in February for a March opening. No theater or dates were named.

MEL BROOKS, CARL REINER AND FRIENDS SALUTE SID CAESAR When Sid Caesar passed away earlier this year, he left a creative legacy that both shaped and indelibly transformed television comedy. His admirers, whose ranks included Albert Einstein, compared his comic mastery to the genius of his idol Charlie Chaplin. In this special Paley Center evening-filled with clips of Sid's work from the Paley Archive - guests salute the genius who gave them their start, and remember his extraordinary and enduring contributions to the entire comedy world.

Moderated by Eddy Friedfeld, Coauthor (with Sid Caesar), Caesar's Hours: My Life in Comedy, With Love and Laughter.

Wednesday, July 16, at The Paley Center in Los Angeles.

Duke Lafoon plays the randy Bill Clinton.
book by Australian brothers Paul Hodge and Michael Hodge; Music and Lyrics by Paul Hodge.

Directed by Adam Arian.

Nominated for Best New Musical and Best Book at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012, "Clinton is the second musical for which Michael Hodge has worked on the book, having previously been fired by his brother from an earlier collaboration. He is a lawyer but has no assets in the jurisdiction," is the official description of the creators.

It's history. Sort of.

It’s hard enough being president by yourself. Bill Clinton’s problem is that there are two of him. Literally. Clinton follows two Bill Clintons and Hillary on their quest to save their presidency, change America and prove that "politics is show business for ugly people." Nominated for Best New Musical at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and transferred to London’s King’s Head Theatre in 2013.

Starring: Karl Kenzler who played a senator on the US version of House of Cards, has the role of the serious “W.J. Clinton” while Duke Lafoon, who also portrayed Clinton in Monica! The Musical!, a show by Daniel J. Blau, Adam Blau, and Tracie Potochnik, is the naughty “Billy Clinton”. The two Clintons "hinder, help and heckle each other as they attempt to survive the presidency and change America."

Also starring are Natalie Gallo (Monica Lewinsky), John Gregorio (Dick Morris), Kara Guy (Eleanor Roosevelt), Tom Souhrada (Newt Gingrich), Alet Taylor (Hillary Rodham Clinton), and Kevin Zak (Kenneth Starr).

The cast of characters includes Bill, Hillary, Dick Morris, Newt Gingrich, Monica Lewinsky, and former Clinton special prosecutor Kenneth Starr. In the musical, President Clinton is portrayed by two actors: one plays the more serious, presidential side of Clinton, the other plays the party animal, scandal-prone Clinton. (Karl Kenzler, who played a senator on the US version of House of Cards, has the role of the less sleazy “W.J. Clinton”; Duke Lafoon, who also portrayed Clinton in Monica! The Musical!, a show by Daniel J. Blau, Adam Blau, and Tracie Potochnik, is the naughtier “Billy.”) - See more at: The production crew: Emily McNamara (Choreographer/Associate Director/Dance Captain). James Dobinson (Music Director/Conductor). Joe Twist (Orchestrator). David Gallo (Scenic Design). David C. Woolard (Costume Design). Greg Mitchell (Lighting Design). Shannon Slaton (Sound Design). Travis Harty (Stage Manager).

In a project budgeted at $77,000, the lofty ideals and sordid scandal of the eight-year Clinton White House have been rolled into a two-hour, two-act musical satire making its US debut, as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre in New York City July 18-26, 2014. The production is part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE by Christopher Durang. Directed by Joel Sass.

2013 Tony Award winner for Best Play.

On the heels of sold-out, smash hit productions at Lincoln Center Theater and on Broadway, the Guthrie is "thrilled to present our own production of this irresistible, laugh-out-loud new American comedy by Christopher Durang."

Vanya and his stepsister Sonia live a quiet life in a farmhouse in Pennsylvania where they grew up, while their sister Masha travels the world as a movie star. Just as their cleaning woman warns them about terrible events in their future, Masha returns for an unannounced visit with her 20-something boy toy, Spike, and so begins an unforgettable weekend of rivalry, regret and hilarious racket.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike mixes Chekhov sensibilities and themes with modern cringe-worthy flair.

July 19 - August 31, 2014 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage of the Guthrie in Minneapolis.

WE WILL ROCK YOU Created by Ben Elton. Musical Supervisors Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor.

Boom Boom Clap! It’s the thunderous roar of revolution with the blockbuster hits of the legendary Queen driving its epic story. In the future, computer-generated music reigns, live rock is outlawed, and conformity is brutally enforced.

Until a pair of young renegades, Galileo and Scaramouche, dare to break free and search for a long-buried electric guitar. Before Another One Bites the Dust, you can be sure our heroes will find Somebody to Love.

We Will Rock You - in its first national U.S. tour - captures the majestic grandeur and rock and roll spirit of Queen in a lavish production that has been celebrated around the world and is still breaking box office records in London.

July 15–August 24, 2014 at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles.

LIVING ON LOVE by Tony-winning Joe DiPietro, adapted from Garson Kanin's Pecadillo.

Directed by Tony-winning Kathleen Marshall.

World renowned soprano Renee Fleming stars as the "celebrated diva Rachel DeAngelis. When her husband, the fiery and egomaniacal Maestro Vito DeAngelis, becomes enamored with the lovely young lady hired to ghostwrite his long-delayed autobiography, Rachel retaliates by hiring her very own – and very handsome – ghostwriter to chronicle her life as an opera star. As the young writers try to keep themselves out of the story while churning out chapters, the high-energy – and high-maintenance – power duet threatens to fall out of tune for good."

Also featuring Anna Chlumsky, Blake Hammond, Justin Long, Scott Robertson and Douglas Sills.

The creative team includes scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer Michael Krass, lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski, sound designer Scott Lehrer and music coordinator Rob Fisher. Stage manager is Brandon M. Kahn.

World premiere July 16-26 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival July 16-26 in Williamstown, MA.

GLORIA by Elaine Acworth.

Directed by David Bell.

Gloria Clare has led an extraordinary life. With a searing intellect and boundless talent, she ran from small-town Australia to Europe in her reckless youth, became a diva and found love. She’s been chanteuse and composer, rebel and romantic. But these things are dim and distant for her. In her fifties and having recently suffered a stroke, Gloria’s memories are slipping away.

Now, Gloria uses the language of her heart to remember things - she sings. Music is the sextant by which she navigates her stormy memory. Singing reminds her where she put the car keys, reminds her whether she’s fed the dog - and helps her recall the painful episode in her past when, as a young unmarried mother in ’70s Australia, she was shamed, cowed and harassed into giving up her child for adoption.

Before Gloria’s mind deserts her completely, she has one mission: reconnect with Ned, the boy she lost so long ago, get to know his family, and make some kind of amends. But as you’d expect from such a strong-willed, independent woman, she’s going to do it her way, by her rules.

"Gloria is a play about grace and grandchildren, about memory – and for anyone who’s ever stumbled over putting a face to a name, or called an object a ‘thingamy’. It’s a play where music takes centre stage, weaving together Gloria’s rapidly fraying memories."

Starring Christen O’Leary as Gloria.

Designer: Bill Haycock Lighting Designer: David Walters Gloria is a new Australian work, commissioned by Queensland Theatre Company.

July 19-August 16, 2014 on the Mainstage of the Queensland Theatre Company in Queensland, Australia.

SALLE GARNIER, OPERA DE MONTE-CARLO BALLET presents New Sleep by William Forsythe, Petite Mort (Little Death) by Jií Kylián and a new work by Marco Goecke.

Performed by the Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo, July 16-19. 2014, Monaco.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY a book by Jersey Boys authors Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, and music by Andrew Lippa.

Directed by Tony nominee Marcia Milgrom Dodge.

Choreography by Tony Award winner Vince Pesce.

Music direction by Ben Whitley.

Come meet Gomez, Morticia, Lurch and the entire hilariously odd Addams Family. Making its US regional and Muny premiere. Featuring One Normal Night, Let’s Not Talk About Anything Else But Love and Tango de Amor.

July 14-20 at The Muny in St. Louis.

NORA Ingmar Bergman's adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. Translated by Frederick J. Marker & Lisa-Lone Marker.

Directed David Kennedy.

Nora has the perfect life, a happy home, and a healthy marriage. But when a mysterious man from her past appears, her idyllic world is suddenly turned upside down. A story of love, blackmail, and the little lies we tell, Nora is a sexy and stunning adaptation of one of Ibsen's most psychologically penetrating works.

July 15 - August 2, 2014 at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT.

PORGY AND BESS music by George Gershwin, libretto by DuBose Heyward, and lyrics by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin.

Directed by Timothy Sheader. Rufus Bonds Jr and Nicola Hughes will take on the title characters alongside Phillip Boykin and Sharon D Clarke as Crown and Mariah.

Hughes reprises her role as Bess after earning an Olivier Award nomination for her performance in Trevor Nunn’s 2006 production. Boykin returns to the role of Crown following his recent Tony Award nominated performance as Bess’ former lover on Broadway.

The powerful story of love and betrayal about a crippled beggar’s determination to tame Bess in an attempt to save her from a life of ruin will bring the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s season to a close from July 17 to August 23, 2014 in London.

The seating area and stage are completely uncovered. Performances are never cancelled or abandoned before the advertised starting time. If cancellation is unavoidable due to bad weather, ticket holders will be entitled to equivalent seats for any other performance in the main repertoire. Refunds are not given for cancellation as a result of the weather.


Directed by Virginia Rep’s Artistic Director, Bruce Miller.

The roads are flooded, the bridges are washed out, and less generous souls are staying safely indoors, but it takes more than a little rain to keep the ladies of the Charitable Sisterhood from fulfilling their sworn mission. Come sit in on this month's meeting in the basement of Second Trinity Victory Church; our five angels of mercy "will leave you breathless with laughter as they do their best to help the victims of global disaster, spiritual deprivation, and, most of all, each other."

Starring Cathy Shaffner, Jan Guarino, Debra Wagoner, Donna Marie Miller and Louise Keeton.

Scenic Designer Terrie Powers - Costume Designer Marcia Miller Hailey - Lighting Designer B. J. Wilkinson - Stage Manager Skyler Broughman.

World Premiere presented by Virginia Rep at the Hanover Tavern in Richmond, Virginia July 18 – August 24, 2014.

One of the oldest taverns in American, Patrick Henry's father-in-law purchased the tavern in 1750, and Patrick Henry lived at the Tavern for several years. Other memorable visitors include George Washington, Lord Cornwallis, Chief Justice John Marshall, and Edgar Allen Poe. Several slaves from the Tavern took part in Gabriel's Great Slave Rebellion of 1800. In 1953, six actors from New York moved into what had become a historic ruin, and founded Central Virginia’s first professional theatre.


KISS AND DEF LEPPARD perform July 15 in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Riverbend Music Center. On Wednesday they'll rock in Nashville, Tennessee at the Bridgestone Arena. Friday's romp is in Atlanta, Georgia at the Aarons Amphitheater at Lakewood. On Saturday they're in Charlotte, North Carolina's PNC Music Pavilion. Next Sunday, July 20, the show in is Raleigh, North Carolina at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater.

MONTE-CARLO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA conducted by Gianluigi Gelmetti with Marcel Khalifé, oud. On the program: Gioachino Rossini, Marcel Khalifé and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. July 20, 2014 at the Cour d'Honneur, Palais Princier, Monaco.

BRUNO MARS on stage Tuesday, July 15, at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Thursday finds him at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ. On Friday he sings at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH. Next Sunday, July 20, he'll headline the Times Union Center in Albany, NY.

ELVIS COSTELLO is in England with a show July 17 at Bexhill De La Warr PAvilion in Bexhill, England.

LADY GAGA performs Monday, July 14, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. Wedneday' performance takes place at the Toyota Center in Houston. On Thursday she's on stage at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Saturday's gig is at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

MIRANDA LAMBERT appears at the Great Jones Country Fair in Monticello, iowa on Thursday, July 17.

LIONEL RICHIE on stage Monday, July 14, at the Mid Florida Credit Union Amphithatre in Tampa, FL. Tuesday's gig is at the Cruzan Amphitheatre inWest Palm Beachm FL. On Thursday he's on stage at the PNC MusicPavilion in Charlotte, NC. Saturday's performance is at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, NC.

AEROSMITH on stage Wednesday, July 17, at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. On Saturday they take part in the Rock Fest at the Chippewa Valley Festival Ground in Cadott, WI.

BILL COSBY telling funny stories July 18 at the TI in Las Vegas.


TOMMY RAMONE co-founder and original drummer of legendary punk band the Ramones, and last surviving member of the original group, died July 11, 2014 under hospice care at his home in Queens, New York. He was 62 and had suffered from bile duct cancer.

Ramone played on the first three Ramones albums, Ramones (1976), Leave Home (1977) and Rocket to Russia (1977). He also co-produced the latter two albums with Tony Bongiovi and Ed Stasium, respectively. He appeared on and co-produced the 1979 live Ramones' It’s Alive. After leaving the Ramones to concentrate on studio work, he co-produced the band’s 1984 album Too Tough to Die with Stasium.

The Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "A Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, as a member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone was a drummer, songwriter, and producer who would ultimately become a seminal part of rock history. Known as the pioneers of punk rock, the Ramones cut rock & roll down to its basics and injected it with a frenzied tempo, kicking off a rebellious musical movement that would spread to England, Germany and other parts of Europe. The band’s first four albums set the tone for the genre, and the group helped to make CBGB one of music’s most legendary and historical venues. Tommy would later go on to focus on studio work, producing recordings for other artists such as the Replacements and Redd Kross. As the last surviving member of the original Ramones lineup, his sad passing is truly the end of an era — or as the group would say ‘the end of the century.’ However, his and the group’s viable and enduring legacy serves as a potent reminder of why their work still is, and will remain, so influential. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, his friends, and all the musicians and fans who have been galvanized by the revolution he helped incite."

A private funeral service is planned.

CHARLIE HADEN influential jazz bassist and composer died July 11, 2014 in Los Angeles. He had suffered from the degenerative effects of post-polio syndrome, a disease he contracted in his childhood. He was 76.

Haden viewed jazz as the “music of rebellion,” and felt it was his responsibility and mission to challenge the world through music, and through artistic risks that expressed his own individual artistic vision. Haden was known for his warm tone and subtle vibrato on the double bass, in addition to his lyrical playing.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Three-time Grammy winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Charlie Haden was an icon of avant-garde jazz. A bassist and composer, he played with jazz greats Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, John DeJohnette, Keith Jarrett, Art Pepper, Dewey Redman, and countless others, ultimately becoming known as one of the founding fathers of free jazz. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he was never one to settle into a particular style of jazz and was influenced by all kinds of sounds, pushing the boundaries of music and blazing trails that many musicians still follow today. He also was committed to arts education, introducing and teaching jazz studies at California Institute of the Arts, one of the premier programs of its kind. The music world has lost one of its most prolific, creative and fearless players, though his body of work leaves a remarkable legacy that will forever remain engrained in our culture. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his friends, the many musicians who had the distinct privilege of working with him, and all who have been inspired by his improvisations."

He is survived by his wife Ruth Cameron. His son Josh Haden is a bass guitarist and singer. His triplet daughters, Petra, Tanya and Rachel Haden, are all musicians, collectively the Haden Triplets. Tanya is married to actor Jack Black. Survivors also include his brother, Carl Haden Jr., and his sister, Mary Davison; and three grandchildren.

Next Column: July 20, 2014
Copyright: July 13, 2014 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.
Link to Main Page

Laura Deni

For the snail mail address, please E-mail your request.