Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
SEARCH FOR NEW COMEDIANS - -
CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARTY AT THE PALACE - - THOROUGHLY MODERN
MILLIE HAS A CD - -
AWARDS AND PARTIES - -
LIAM NEESON GOES FISHING - - JERRY LEWIS ANGRY - -
SHARON OSBOURNE HOSTS VH-1 SHOW - - STEVE ALLEN PIONEER AWARD - - MORE GLITZ FOR LIBERACE . . . Scroll Down
Copyright: June 2, 2002
By: Laura Deni
CLICK HERE FOR COMMENT SECTION
TO HONOR STEVE ALLEN AND OFFER SPRINGBOARD FOR LAUGH
Comedians got serious last Wednesday when a Stardust Hotel press conference was staged
to announce a four day Las Vegas Comedy Festival.
The talent search kicks off Thursday in Los
Angeles, the first in a 10 city quest for new comedians. The winner in each of the seven
categories of the 10 cities will be invited to Las Vegas. One final
winner from each category of the Laugh Across America Contest will be crowned the category
champion and invited to perform in the Stardust's Wayne Newton Theater. That's no
"After the convention, the winners will go out on tour
and perform around the country," emphasized festival organizer Steve Caito.
The September 4-8 Comedy Festival will not only serve as a comedic launching pad but offer
seminars ranging from How To Do A Late Night Talk Show to The History of
"The Las Vegas Comedy Festival will be doing showcases, starting in Los Angeles at the
Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory," said Caito."We will also be doing that at the Merv Griffin
Hotel. The auditions are for people who have always dreamed about being comedians -
doctors, waitresses, politicians."
"The cities - Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, New York City, Chicago,
Minneapolis, Denver, Seattle and San Francisco - are generally within a one day
drive of other major cities. It would be impossible for us to make it to 20-30 cities in
short time span that we had. We hope to add more cities each year."
"We're also going to find some of the top talent in the country that has not yet been discovered
doing our showcases and our comedy clubs and let the industry know that Las Vegas is a
powerhouse for comedy," stressed Caito.
Wayne Newton's comment to showing up at
11 a.m. was "My Gawd!" Photo By: Laura Deni
At the press conference Wayne Newton was lauded as an inspiration for young
performers. "It's not just singing that
makes a great singer or comedy that makes a great comic. It is over all performance," said
you talk about Wayne Newton or a Steve Lawrence you wonder if they really realizes how
much of an impact they have had on the industry - on younger performers,"
Quipped Newton, "Let me give you the definition of a comic - the guy who asked me
here at eleven-o-clock in the morning. My Gawd!!" Then Newton got serious. "On behalf of
the Stardust and on behalf of our city and certainly on behalf of the Wayne Newton Theatre,
let me tell you how thrilled we are that the festival is going to be part of our town. Please
give it all of the support that you can possibly muster because there in lies the future stars of
tomorrow. And, when you think of the kind of happiness that comics bring into our lives it
would be a sad world without them."
Caito discussed the establishment and presentation of a Steve Allen Pioneer Achievement
Award for Comedy. "Talk show hosts work so hard to make the guest look good. Steve Allen
was the pioneer of that," said Caito as he brought Steve Lawrence to the
An ageless Steve Lawrence has natural
timing Photo By: Laura Deni
"I am very happy to be here today representing Steve Allen who was
my boss on television - literally gave me my break and introduced me to a national audience
the early 50s," said Lawrence who resides in Las Vegas with his wife and professional partner,
"Jayne Meadows - Mrs. Allen - was suppose to be here, but she's not feeling well,
so I am very happy to represent her," continued Lawrence about a lady who got her
start on Broadway. At the age of 17 she made her Broadway debut in the comedy Spring
Again, playing the granddaughter of British star, Sir C. Aubrey Smith. Kirk Douglas had
one line in the play and also served as stage manager. Jayne went on to star in six more Broadway
shows. However, it was the Broadway hit The Gazebo opposite Walter Sleazak that
established Jayne as a top comedienne.
Meadows is expected to attend the Awards Banquet when the honor named after her late husband
is presented to a comedian who has made a significant contribution to the industry.
"You couldn't name this award after a better guy," continued Lawrence. "He introduced more
comedians who ended up being some of our great names today - everybody from Woody Allen
to Steve Martin - made their original debut with Allen. Lenny Bruce was on The Steve
Allen Show. Steve was a great supporter of not only
comics but singers as well. I am delighted that there will be an award named in his honor.
I'm delighted that this Festival will encourage young people to get into comedy. I'm sure their
comedy will help straighten out this messy world."
Norm Crosby and veteran Las Vegas hotel pr
man Jim Seagrave, VP of publicity and advertising for the Stardust. Photo By: Laura Deni
Veteran monologist Norm Crosby, looking fit after a recent illness, also offered support of
the Festival. "This is an idea that has been overdue. Las Vegas has always been billed as the
Entertainment Capital of the World and so it is fitting and proper that the Comedy Festival should be here."
"Some of the greatest comedians in the world appeared in this town. Long before the
advent of comedy clubs and comedy channels we had lounges that were a breeding ground
for young comedians. Some of the greatest names in comedy worked here."
"I am pleased to note that in the search for new talent and faces, that the old faces are going
to be involved. Because the old faces are the guys who made this town The Entertainment
Capital of the World," said Crosby making an important observation.
A veteran comic being utilized is Shelley Berman, who will teach a seminar in The History of
One of the original Compass Players, founders of the Second City, Berman holds the
distinction of being the first stand-up comic ever to play Carnegie Hall. He has had several million
selling comedy albums and for the last 16 years has lectured in the Professional Writing Program
at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
A growth area in comedy is one that combines stand up comedy and magic. Part of this new
breed is Steve Wyrick, currently starring at the Las Vegas Sahara Hotel.
Wyrick praised the upcoming Festival explaining; "Every night I get E-mails and letters
asking - How do I get started in magic? How can I become a comedy magician? How can I end up in Las Vegas? I try
to answer each one of those E-mails and letters personally, but it is a tough thing because
there are so many comic/magicians on different levels. I always thought there should be
something that could get everybody involved in a competition
or in demonstrating their talents. So, when I heard about this I thought - what a fantastic
Officials of the four day event stress the Festival is not only for aspiring comedians, but also for
anyone who'd like to infuse humor into their communication skills - auctioneer, teacher,
executive, politician, etc.
Industry insiders from a variety of comic genres, including comedic actors, improvisationalists and today's biggest stars will discuss their craft,
answer questions, and interact with attendees throughout the Festival.
Workshops to be
Learn the Basics of Stand-Up Comedy: writing, structure, technique, how to lose your fear
of performing as well as how to get work as a comic. Showmanship: including overcoming stage fright, delivery, non-verbal communication,
presentation and more. The Business of Comedy: how to choose an agent, how to protect your work, industry
protocol and more. Marketing Yourself: how to market yourself, create media kits, secure bookings, talk with
club owners, website marketing and promotion, preparation for stage and more.
Chatting with Pete Barbutti at the dessert
Photo By: Laura Deni
"One of the most popular seminars is How to Do A Late Night Talk Show. We're going to
late night set and people like Pete Barbutti, who was on The Tonight Show 70 or
80 times. Experienced, seasoned professionals will be the coaches and the instructors
throughout this entire Festival. We're surrounded ourselves with the best in the industry," said Caito.
"We have theatrical agencies and managers from Hollywood to teach these new comics the
business of being in show business, which is very important," he stressed.
world renowned public relations firm of Warren Cowan & Associations represents both Laugh
Across American and The Las Vegas Comedy Festival.
The Festival will also include a trade show with over 100 industry booths promising "anything that a performer might need - from head shots to people teaching
you how to use the internet."
"This is not limited just to people who want to be stand up comedians. If you are am
auctioneer, a clergyman, a school teacher, a politician, an after dinner speaker. Anyone who gets up in front
of an audience will find it valuable to come here and improve their skills. That will be one of the
biggest drawing cards of this festival," repeated the officials.
Comedian/actor Rodney Dangerfield, who owns
Dangerfield's Comedy Club in New York City, has recorded I Spent My Birthday In Las Vegas, a tune he wrote with Billy Tragesser. A CD of that ditty was passed out and is the official song of the Las Vegas
Jay Mohr, a member of the Advisory Board, was working and appeared via an entertaining
"We will teach them the etiquette, the proper way to become a comedian and what that
takes," added Caito. " A lot of comics, even those who have been working five or ten years,
don't know why they are not succeeding. We hope by educating the young comics and explain to
them how important it is to learn about comedy that we are providing a service to them and
to the industry as a whole."
With hopes that this a will be an annual event the talent search divisions include; 6-12 years of
age, 7-13 , 18-65 and 75 and older.
Steve Caito introducing Adam Deyro Photo By:
As an example of the 7-13 year old category, a well groomed and poised Adam Deyro was
brought on stage. He gave his age as "eight the hard way" and with perfect comedy timing
explained growing up in Las Vegas. "It's not easy being a kid in Las Vegas. We don't get lunch
money. We get comps."
Deyro is Steve Caito's son. Broadway To Vegas discussed with Caito the perils of youngsters
getting into showbusiness. Caito is adamant that parents shouldn't push their children into a show
business career or attempt to turn the kid into the family breadwinner. "Wayne Newton told me
that he was pushed into performing and was the family breadwinner by the time he was ten," said
Caito, who emphasized, "We don't want that. That is wrong."
Helping a child develop poise, self confidence and feel comfortable speaking in front of a crowd doesn't have a downside as long as parents don't get
blinded by their offspring's spotlight.
As for young Deyro, whose Godfather is Jay Mohr, he entertains at school functions. He was
offered a paying gig but it conflicted with his karate class. The young man told his parents he'd
rather go to karate - and did. Except the teacher didn't show up, so the class was canceled. Deyro
returned home saying - "I should have taken the comedy gig."
THE TONY AWARDS
Bernadette Peters Photo By: Laura Deni
The Tony Awards, the most coveted trophy on Broadway, takes place tonight - televised on PBS
and CBS. Tony winners Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines host.
Among the stars slated to participate are; Natasha Richardson, Jerry Orbach, Mary Tyler Moore,
Marvin Hamlisch, Michele Lee, Harry Connick Jr., Mos Def, Doris Roberts, Whoopi
Goldberg, Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, Lea Salonga, Donna Murphy, Savion Glover, Paul
Rudd, Edie Falco, Jason Biggs, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone, Calista Flockhart, Ralph
Fiennes, John Raitt, Anne Heche, Joanna Gleason, Peter Gallagher, Elaine Stritch, Cynthia Nixon,
Gina Gershon, Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, Bill Pullman, and Stanley Tucci.
As soon as the winners are announced and we find our way to a computer and the fingers locate
the computer keys, we will indicate the lucky people who take home the prize. That could be
when the sun rises - assuming we have. Our ESP is on the fritz. Therefore, we aren't
going to know who takes home the prize until the world at large is informed. We hope you will
attend the Tony Awards in person, watch the Tony Awards on television at home or at one of the many Tony Award Parties throughout the country -
such as the one the Actors' Fund hosts in Los Angeles.
Carol Channing will
receive the Actors' Fund Julie Harris Award at the group's 6th Annual Tony Party. Legendary TV
anchorman Walter Cronkite will present the honor, given for lifetime achievement in theatre. Channing is synonymous with the role of Dolly
Levi in Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly, a part she played three times on Broadway, first in the
original cast in 1964, in 1978 and then again in 1995. Both times she made recordings of the score
and, for Dolly's debut, won a Tony Award for Best Actress.
Past winners of Julie Harris
Award include; Charles Durning, Tyne Daly, Gwen Verdon and Lauren Bacall, who will be seated next to her
Tony nominated son, Sam Robards at tonight's Tony Awards . Five-time Tony
winner Harris, set to receive her sixth for Lifetime Achievement in 2002, was given her own Julie
Harris Award in 1997.
The evening at the Jim Henson Studios includes cocktails and dinner and a live
telecast of the Tony Awards.
FOR A PEEK AT THE
NOMINATIONS AND WHO WON CLICK HERE
ROCKIN' AT THE
A cosmos of stars will be celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee tomorrow night - but
Aretha Franklin has not been able to conquer her fear of flying and had to bow out.
( See Broadway To Vegas column of April 7,
The Queen of Soul didn't want to be tranquilized and instead had undertaken a rigorous behavior
modification program, including taking classes provided by the airline and even being trained in a
When the Palace invitation was issued, she indicated she was determined to be there commenting:
"You just don't get that many invitations to sing for the Queen of England. I'm going to go the
extra mile to be there.''
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne. She'll host the
VH-1 coverage. He'll perform.
Committed to being on stage is Prince Charles, flanked by his sons Princes William and Harry. He
is slated to deliver moving tribute to his "mummy" before millions of TV viewers at the royal pop concert.
Forty-seven members of the Royal Family were among the 12,500 watching the classical event,
Prom At The Palace, including Camilla Parker-Bowles seated near Prince Charles in the Royal
Tomorrow night The Queen is expected to join Charles and some of the biggest pop stars
including - Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Tony Bennett, Irish pop band The Corrs, rocker Ozzy Osbourne and Pop Idol winner
Will Young - on stage after they have sung the Beatles' classic All You Need Is
This is the first time the Queen has opened up her gardens at Buckingham Palace to the public.
People camped out all night and some stores were selling items at 1952 prices.
last night's event were presented with a free picnic basket containing a half-bottle of champagne,
salmon roulade, Jubilee chicken with pasta salad - a dish tasted and approved by the Queen - and
strawberries and cream. In addition to a bottle of mineral water, there were also vouchers for two
glasses of beer. At times the line to the bathrooms meant an hour wait.
It is highly unlikely that anyone alive today will ever again experience another Royal Golden
Jubilee celebration. In keeping with that fact the three-hour concert tomorrow night will be
broadcast live around the world on BBC radio and television.VH-1 will cover with Sharon
Osbourne as host. Many PBS stations carried the Prom At The Palace.
Master of ceremonies, broadcaster Michael Parkinson, introduced the star-studded classical cast,
including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and said the televised concert
would be seen in more than 40 countries.
Julian Bliss turns 13 tomorrow
Coming close to stealing the show was Julian Bliss, a clarinetist with a phenomenal talent, who
will celebrate his 13th birthday tomorrow. With a face that appears to have a mischievous
personality, incredible fingerwork producing pure tones, the soon to be teen-ager was recently
awarded first prize in the Philadelphia-based Concerto Soloists Young Artists Competition
performing Weber Clarinet Concerto No 2.
A favorite of the Royal Family, performing
several times at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, Julian was born in 1989 in St Albans
England but lives in America. He is currently studying for a Post-Graduate Artist Diploma at
Indiana University, Bloomington under Professor Howard Klug.
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.
KIRK DOUGLAS receives the
first Triumph of Spirit award on behalf of the Jerusalem Fund for Aish Hatorah. Proceeds of the
dinner will aid families of victims of the suicide bombings in Israel as well as the Douglas Family
Theater, nearing completion opposite the Western Wall in Old Jerusalem. Jack Valenti makes the
presentation on June 4 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
SIR CAMERON MACKINTOSH
honored with the 12th annual Hammerstein Award. The York Theatre Company, which
is located in the sanctuary of Saint Peter's Church in the Citicorp Center, NYC will
present the producer with the 12th annual Oscar Hammerstein Award at a June
3 benefit aptly titled To Sir With Love.
The award commemorates lifetime achievement in the musical theatre and was created in 1988 by
York's founding artistic director Janet Hays Walker. David Merrick, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen
Schwartz, Harold Prince, Jerry Herman and Cy Coleman are past recipients. Last year's award was given to the
songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb.
Mackintosh, who is the producer of the current revival of Oklahoma!, will be feted by an
array of Broadway and Off-Broadway performers including Liz Callaway, Faith Prince, Rebecca Luker, Marla
Schaffel, Karen Ziemba, Erin Dilly, Christine Ebersole, Debbie Gravitte, Norm Lewis,
Howard McGillin, Jim Dale, Brad Oscar and Kevin Gray.
The producer of such international hits as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Miss
Saigon, Mackintosh was knighted in the 1996 New Year's Honours for his services to the
British theatre. The 56-year-old U.K. native owns seven West End theatres including The Prince Edward, Prince
of Wales, Gielgud, Queens, Wyndhams, Albery and the Strand.
will receive the prestigious Parks and Presentation Award from New York Gov. George Pataki
at a gala benefiting her N.Y. Restoration Project. Previous recipients include Laurance and David Rockefeller. The event is
June 6 at Fort Washington Park. Expected to attend are Nora Ephron, Susan Sarandon, Mica and
Ahmet Ertegun, Michael Fuchs, William Goldman, John and Susan Hess. Ticket buyers are encouraged
wear picnic attire. Tickets start at $1,000.
CARNEGIE HALL BENEFIT presents
the glorious Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical Carousel. Hugh Jackman is Billy Bigelow. Audra
McDonald is Julie Jordan. The blue ribbon list cast includes Blythe Danner, Judy Kaye, Philip Bosco, Jason
Danieley, Lauren Ward, Norbert Leo Butz and special guest John Raitt - the original Billy Bigelow - will
entertain. Leonard Slatkin conducts this star-studded concert and gala benefit for Carnegie Hall. Thursday
THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE
which no doubt will pick up Tony Awards this evening, has a thoroughly marvelous cast album,
on RCA Victor, set for release next week.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a delightful confection.
From the overture to the final bows the Broadway Cast CD is an uplifting, happy
The original soundtrack album on Decca starring Julie Andrew, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol
Channing, James Fox, John Gavin, and Beatrice Lillie had music by Elmer Bernstein, Andre‚ Previn, Jay Thompson
& James Van Heusen with a musical score by Bernstein, and musical numbers scored by Andre
Previn. That is a hard act to follow.
It's not an easy fete to take an
established property, make changes and neither lose die-hard fans of the original, insult the
composers or totally botch the job. Dick Scanlan and
Jeanine Tesori, who is also the vocal music arranger, have accomplished what could be the
impossible - keeping the fans of the original Millie while introducing a new generation to a
thoroughly modern version.
If you've seen the Broadway production you'll delight in reliving the show with this original cast
CD. To the credit of the composers - even if you haven't seen the production - you'll still enjoy
the music and find the CD entertaining.
Of the 18 songs only two - the title song and Jimmy - are from the 1967 film with new
orchestrations and arrangements. Don't worry the toe-tapping title song is in tact.
There is also a number based on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Victor Herbert is also
included and the music to Mammy.
A unique aspect of this recording is the billing which states: And Introducing Sutton Foster as
Millie. That will make this a collector's item, since this is a talent who will one day have her name
above the title.
Orchestrations by Doug Besterman and Ralph Burns. Music conducted by John Miller.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is a charmer. The CD captures the Broadway production while standing on its own as a wonderful
addition to a musical library.
FUNNYMAN JERRY LEWIS GETS SERIOUS ABOUT NO
Jerry Lewis' opinion of nuclear waste in
Nevada. Photo By: Laura Deni
Las Vegas resident Jerry Lewis has recently gotten out of the hospital, but the prospects of
nuclear waste in Nevada is enough to cause the entertainer's blood pressure to boil. The 20-year
resident of Sin City thinks it's a sin for the government to turn Yucca Mountain into this country's
nuclear garbage can.
While most Las Vegas residents can't afford to move elsewhere, Lewis has a few pennies stashed
away and is threatening to move his family to San Diego if nuclear waste in stored in
The performer, who has been sidelined with both pneumonia and pain, is back in fighting form.
had a surgically implanted device that hopefully will block the chronic back pain he has suffered,
thanks to years of no-holds-barred pratfalls. Lewis promises to put some painful pressure on
elected officials regarding the nuclear waste storage issue - which was probably a done deal the
second they started to build the facility. Undaunted, Lewis is asking that other celebrities join him
in the battle against Yucca Mountain.
The 76-year-old entertainer, who last worked on stage in Las Vegas in April 2001, is set to
New York City. Expect his Aug. 1 Learning Annex class, Laughter and Healing, to be
He hopes to open at The Orleans in Las Vegas in October. In the meantime he is penning a book
about working with comedian and partner Dean Martin.
a musical in which young slum dweller Akaash dreams of becoming a movie star. His fateful
encounter with strong willed Priya and her father, powerful but corrupt movie mogul Madan, seals his destiny.
Akaash can achieve his dream of stardom but at a price.
Music by A R Rahman, lyrics by Don
Black, book by Meera Syal, based on an original idea conceived by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Shekhar
The musical, with choreography by Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan, has sets/costumes
by Mark Thompson, is essentially a love story set in Bombay, drawing its inspiration from India's colorful,
magical and hugely prolific film industry. But while romantic fantasy lives on in Bollywood, as it is called,
outside the studios lie the harsh realities of the city. Composer A R Rahman adds to his long list of
credentials, which includes over 50 Bollywood movies, with his soundtrack for the film Bombay selling over
50 million copies, while novelist Meera Syal provides the book. Heading the cast are Raza Jaffrey and
Preeya Kalidas, along with Ramon Tikaram and Raad Rawi.
Steven Pimlott directs a cast that includes; Raza Jaffrey, Preeya Kalidas, Dalip Tahil, Ramon
Tikaram, Raad Rawi, Raj Ghatak, Ayesha Dharker, Shelley King, Marina Abdeen, Stephen Berkeley-White,
Ralph Birtwell, Lara Costa, Chris Cocker, Sharon Gomez, Rebecca Grant, Sopiya Haque, Floyd
Hendricks, Stephen Hughes, Melissa Hunte, Irvine Iqbal, Rashid Karapiet, Daniel Lindquist, Anjali Mehra,
Ash Mukherjee, Zehra Naqvi, Sylvia Neira, Natalie Ngyutin, David Olton, Kella Panay, Davina Perera,
Wayne Perrey, Bhasker Patel, Tania Pieri, Andrew Playfoot, Adlyn Ross, Douglas Scott Franklin,
Praveen Sond, Antonio Sussini, Paul Tilley and Royce Ullah.
The much-anticipated Andrew Lloyd Webber produced $7 million production began 3 weeks of
previews May 31 before officially opening on Jun 19. The West End's Apollo Victoria Theatre.
THE LITTLE FOXES stars
Elizabeth Ashley as Regina, in The Shakespeare Theatre's revival of Lillian Hellman's classic. The
cast includes Jonathan Hadary, Keir Dullea, Nancy Robinette, David Sabin, Jewell Robinson,
Matthew Schneck, Nicole Lowrance, Ted Pejovich, William Marshall, and Joseph Lane.
Designers are Hugh Lanwehr (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Robert Wierzel (lighting), with a
score by composer Louis Rosen.
The Shakespeare Theatre Doug Hughes, former artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre,
directs. The Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C. June 4-July 28. Opening night is June
SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
opens Tuesday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville. Richard Blake, a member of the original
Broadway cast plays Tony. Through June 9.
the stage musical based on John Waters' 1988 cult
the same name, stars Jessica Jaret Winokur as Tracy and Harvey Fierstein as her mother Edna.
The musical co-stars Kerry Butler, Dick Latessa, Matthew Morrison and Clarke Thorell.
Also in the cast are Laura Bell Bundy, Mary Bond Davis, Corey Reynolds, and Danelle Wilson.
The ensemble includes Eric Anthony, Shoshana Bean, Joshua Bergasse, Eric Dysart, Adam
Fleming, Jennifer Gambatese, Greg Graham, Danielle Lee Greaves, David Greenspan, Katy
Grengell, Linda Hart, Jackie Hoffman, Hollie Howard, Katherine Leonard, Kamilah Martin,
Matthew Morrison, Rashad Naylor, Judine Richard, Peter Matthew Smith, Todd Michael Smith,
Shayna Steele, Brooke Tansley and Joel Vig.
The show's brand-new, but the year's '62-and Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad is going to do
whatever it takes to dance her way onto TV's most popular show. Can a big girl with big
dreams-and even bigger hair-turn the whole town around? The musical comedy has music by five
time Oscar nominee Marc Shaiman with lyrics by Scott Wittman.
Directed by Jack O'Brien with choreography by Jerry Mitchell. Book by Mark O'Donnell and
Thomas Meehan. John
Waters serves as Creative Consultant.
The production began previews May 30, officially opening June 12, at Seattle's 5th Avenue
Theater in Seattle, Washington. It starts Broadway previews on July 18 at the Neil Simon and
opens there on August 15.
GEORGE GERSHWIN ALONE
Hershey Felder's one-man show about the legendary composer opens at the American Repertory Theatre's
Loeb Drama Center for a special engagement June 16-July 7.
This is a show that was thoroughly enjoyed when viewed on Broadway (see Broadway To Vegas
column of April 22,2001 )
Music directed by Joel Zwick features the playwright-performer Felder as Gershwin.
Felder is the first person since George Gershwin's death in 1937 to be allowed to play the
composer in a
major stage production. After doing five years of research on Gershwin, Felder received the
rights from the late composer's estate to develop a solo show. A workshop was held at which the
Gershwin heirs were present and gave the actor the go-ahead to perform.
In an unusual situation the show, which opens June 16, will be dark the next night, June
because of a previous commitment. Felder and James Barbour will perform their Back From
Broadway...A Musical Experience featuring selections from wonderful musicals such as
Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Man of La Mancha and Camelot. The one night only
performance at Lincoln Center in New York will benefit The Actors Fund.
Zwick also directs Back to Broadway, which enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and
in December and January.
by Daniel Stern,
directed by David Warren has John Pankow and Julie White starring as married neighbors
Jerry Siff, an unemployed actor and former television star, grapples with the paparazzi covering
his extremely famous neighbor's wedding to James Brolin. As the scrutiny around the nuptials
increases, Jerry finds his own marriage in the spotlight, with his wife Molly struggling to be supportive. In this
domestic comedy by actor-turned-playwright Daniel Stern, the pursuit of happiness finds itself at increasing
odds with the pursuit of fame.
Designers are Neil Patel (set), David Woolard (costumes) and Donald Holder and Traci Klainer
(co-lighting) and Fitz Patton (sound).
Philadelphia Theatre Company, now in its 26th season, is Philadelphia's only non-profit
professional theatre dedicated to producing regional and world premieres of works by contemporary American
playwrights. Sara Garonzik is artistic director.
Barbra's Wedding officially opens June 5.
Performances run Tuesday through Sunday until June 30. Recommended for audience members ages 16 and
THE UCLA SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM &
TELEVISION is having their annual weeklong celebration of
student talent, running June 7-15. The school has tapped six graduate screenwriting students as
winners of the 2002 Screenwriting Showcase. Winners are Marc Antony Arneson, for La
Commedia dell'Arte; Lorraine Chisholm for Go Figure; Carmine Gaeta for Sonny
Boy; David Gross for Switchback; Kellen Hertz for Masque; and Evan
Laughlin for Personal Service.
FIREBUGS by Swiss playwright Max Frisch starring Laurence
Luckinbill runs June 5-29 at the Neighborhood Playhouse, NYC.
Joe Grifasi directs a cast that includes Ruby Holbrook, Herbert Rubens and Don Amendolia, with
Shannon Emerick, Michael Lipton and Emily Mitchell.
The Colleagues Theatre Company was founded in 1996 by Catherine Wolf to commission and
produce plays that celebrate the richness of the mature life experience; to provide performance
opportunities for seasoned artists, and to create a two-year technical training program in theatrical
craftsmanship for gifted high school graduates from underserved communities. In keeping with
the mission of The Colleagues Theatre Company, 8 of the 13 cast members in The
Firebugs are over the age of 50. Andrew Donovan, Hollis Huston, Robert Ierardi, Peter James Kelsch, Nate
Lombardi and John Mishalski play The Firemen.
Designers for The Firebugs are Jeff Fontaine (lighting), Rachel Chancey (sound), Cyrus E.
(set) and Karin Beatty (costumes).
One preview on June 5 before the June 6 benefit opening.
COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY
a musical produced by Pamela Koslow, was
scheduled to have its New York debut in Harlem at the Schomberg Center June 3-15. That engagement has
been canceled with the facility offering no explanation.
The production had its New Jersey premiere in January and February receiving rave
Written and directed by Marion Caffey the musical stars Ann Duquesnay as the black legend
Alberta Hunter, who started singing in a Chicago bordello at 16. With a voice that whose extraordinary
voice bridged gaps between classic blues, hot jazz and cabaret-flavored pop, she became a sensation in the Paris
of the 1920s, toured the world with the USO in the '40s, and gave it all up to become a nurse in the
After retiring from the nursing profession in 1977, at 82, she started up her career once again,
holding court at Barney Josephson's Manhattan nightclub, The Cookery where she sang songs like Handy
Man, My Castle's Rockin', Sweet Georgia Brown. and her signature song, which she wrote,
The production co-starred Debra Walton.
BERNADETTE PETERS who co
hosts the Tony Awards this evening performs June 7 at the Ravinia Pavillion in Highland Park, IL.
center stage June 5-9 and June 12-16 at the Kennedy Center's
Terrace Theatre in Washington, DC.
BARRY MANILOW opens a three
night engagement Thursday at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
TOM WOPAT entertains June 4-8 at
the Plush Room in San Francisco,CA.
ELLEN DeGENERES has a two
nighter, Tuesday and Wednesday, in San Francisco at the Davies Symphony Hall. On Thursday she'll be telling
stories at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo,CA.
JERRY SEINFELD will continue with
the laughs at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco on Friday and Saturday.
PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS
perform June 3 at the Fillmore in San Francisco,CA.
GEORGE HAMILTON returns to the
Broadway company of Chicago as lawyer Billy Flynn on June 4.
THE EAGLES Don Henley, guitarist/vocalist Glenn Frey,
bassist/vocalist Timothy B. Schmit and guitarist/vocalist Joe Walsh make a return trip to Salt Lake City's Delta Center on
Thursday, June 6.
CHAKA KHAN performs the music of
Motown legend Stevie Wonder in Signed, Sealed, Delivered at the Venetian hotel in Las
DIAHANN CARROLL too long
absent from Las Vegas stars June 21-23 at the Suncoast Hotel.
ANDREA BOCELLI center stage
Friday at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. On Saturday he can be enjoyed at the Xcel Energy Center
in St. Paul. Minnesota.
ROGER WILLIAMS tonight closes a sold
out engagement at the Suncoast Hotel in Las Vegas jogs three miles a day and says he "hates it all
except the last step."
LIAM NEESON has plans when he leaves The Crucible. He'll head to Ireland on a fishing trip.
LIBERACE'S MUSEUM RENOVATED AND REOPENED in Las Vegas this past week with illusionists Siegfried & Roy, holding a
7-week-old white Siberian male tiger, arrived to cut a rhinestone-encrusted ribbon. Their mode of
transportation was Liberace's pink "Volks Royce," a 1971 Volkswagon kit car with a Rolls Royce front, that
Liberace drove when he officially opened his museum in 1979. The event ended when one of the Flying Elvi,
dressed as Liberace, sky dived into the parking lot. The Museum attracts over 100,000 visitors a year.
Liberace died at the age of 67 in 1987.
Next Column: June 9, 2002
Copyright: June 2, 2002. All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary,
Graphics or Photographs from any
Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast,
utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission,
Link to Main Page
U.S. Postal Address: Post Office Box 60538, Las Vegas, NV 89160
CLICK HERE FOR COMMENT SECTION