Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: March 12, 2017
By: Laura Deni


Ireland has given the world more than potatoes and green beer.

Gerry Hynes, who holds the distinction of being the first woman to win the Tony Award for direction of a play, took homw the Irish Times Best Director Award for helming Waiting for Godot. Photo: Druid Theatre

Last week the Irish Times presented their theatre awards at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The winners are:

Best Production - Swan Lake/Loch na hEala a Michael Keegan-Dolan, Sadler’s Wells Theatre London, Colours International Dance Festival, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Dublin Theatre Festival, and Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg co-production.

Best Director went to Garry Hynes for the Druid productions of Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett and The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by Martin McDonagh. She also won the award last year.

Best New Play was Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland, produced by the Abbey Theatre and Royal Court Theatre.

Best Actor went to Stephen Rea for his role as Eric in the Abbey Theatre and Royal Court Theatre co-production of Cyprus Avenue.

Best Actress to Barbara Brennan for her role as Ellen in the Abbey Theatre production of Town is Dead, by Phillip McMahon, music by Raymond Scannell.

Best Supporting Actor to Rory Nolan for his role as Pozzo in the Druid production of Waiting for Godot.

Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Ali White For her roles in Rough Magic Theatre Company’s production of Northern Star, by Stewart Parker.

Best Set Design was received by Jamie Vartan for work on three productions - the Blue Raincoat Theatre Company production of Shackleton, the Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival production of Arlington (A Love Story), by Enda Walsh and the Wide Open Opera production of The Barber of Seville, by Gioachino Rossini.

Best Lighting Design was awarded to Zia Bergin-Holly for the Pan Pan production of The Importance of Nothing, after Oscar Wilde adapted by the ensemble.

Best Sound Design was presented to Ben Delaney, Raymond Scannell for the Abbey Theatre production of Town Is Dead, by Phillip McMahon, with musical director Cathal Synnott.

Best Costume Design was awarded to Hyemi Shin for multiple productions - the Michael Keegan-Dolan, Sadler’s Wells Theatre London, Colours International Dance Festival, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Dublin Theatre Festival, and Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg co-production of Swan Lake/Loch na hEala.

Best Opera Award went to Gioacchino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville production by the Wide Open Opera.

Judges’ Special Award was received by Anu Productions for sustained imaginative engagement with the commemoration of 1916 throughout the year.

The Audience Choice Award went to These Rooms by Anu Productions and Coisceim Dance Theatre while the Special Tribute Award went to Siobhán Bourke and Jane Daly for their outstanding contribution to Irish theatre, as co-directors of the Irish Theatre Institute (ITI), a resource organization for Irish theatre.

Tony award nominee Fiona Shaw will direct Medea. Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen
It has been announced that Fiona Shaw will direct Medea at Wexford Festival Opera, now in its 66th year, which will take place from October 19th to November 5th.

Shaw has previously played the lead in Medea, for which she was nominated for a Tony award. Shaw will also deliver 2017 Dr Tom Walsh Lecture at the festival on October 21st. Luigi Cherubini’s Medea will be conducted by Stephen Barlow.

The Abbey’s new directors, Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, are hoping to rejuvenate the Abbey Theatre's studio space The Peacock by scheduling 20 productions. The program includes new plays by Owen McCafferty, Stacey Gregg and Dead Centre.

The Saint Patrick's Festival in Dublin, Ireland takes place March 16-19. It's almost unpatriotic not to celebrate the holiday in Ireland. The St. Patrick’s Day period is a cornerstone of this Government’s efforts to promote trade, tourism, inward investment and culture abroad in order to foster increased economic growth and job creation at home. Throughout the month of March last year, as part of that initiative, over 40 events were supported by the Culture Ireland division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht across 18 countries.

A couple of the touring Irish groups this week include Dervish, considered the preeminent band in Ireland’s wild west, being presented the freedom on Sligo, which was first awarded to poet W.B. Yeats.

Founded in 1989 by a group of five musicians (Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes). In 1991, Roscommon, Ireland -born singer Cathy Jordan joined the band, followed by the addition of All-Ireland Champion Shane McAlee.

Irish group Dervish performs this week in America.
The solid rhythm playing of Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes drives the band. The group features the vocals of Jordan and the award-winning instrumentalists of Tom Morrow on fiddle, Liam Kelly on flute, and Shane Mitchell on accordion, Dervish is definitely Irish, having laid its foundation in legendary pub sessions.

Now, more than twenty years since first coming together and with four of the original members still at the helm, Dervish has shared center stage with such names as James Brown, The Buena Vista Social Club, Oasis, Sting, REM, Beck, Sting and Britney Spears in front of a crowd of 250,000 at Brazil’s Rock In Rio music festival, the first Irish band to perform at this event.

This week they perform Tuesday, March 14 at the Heyde Cultural Center in Chippewah Falls, WI. On Wednesday, March 15, they're at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA. Thursday finds them at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA. On St. Patrick's Day they star at the Mondavi Center in Davis, CA. Friday's gig is at the Laxson Auditorium in Chico, CA.

On what has been a sold out tour of the United States is ‘Lights! Camera! Math! sets up shop March 13-17 in Las Vegas at The Smith Center.

The magical Math ‘a’ Magicians replace text books with mind-blowing puzzles, skill and lots of magic and illusions …all with a mathematical twist. The Math ‘a’ Magicians demonstrate the magic of math in this fun, interactive show, as they perform extraordinary feats of mind-reading, misdirection and illusion that will capture the imagination of children and adults alike.

The tour connects with teachers through curriculum connections: Fine Arts: Performance, Film, Magic, Language Arts and Literacy; Mathematics and Numeracy: estimation and calculation, multiplication, division, subtraction, addition, and probability; Character Building: Personal Development, Problem Solving, and Mutual Understanding - whew!.

Every year the New York City Irish Arts Center takes advantage of St. Patrick's Day to highlight the very best of Irish culture. Events this year include the grand Celtic Appalachian Celebration at Symphony Space culminating with the 7th annual, citywide Book Day initiative on March 17.

Their 18th Annual St. Patrick’s Open Day takes place today. The place is abuzz with music and dance performances at their annual showcase of Irish culture. Get a taste of their year-long educational program by learning some words in gaeilge, have your face painted and create art with children’s crafts, or simply grab a cup of tea and watch the activity around you. This event is free and for all ages. Muldoon's Picnic takes place on Monday, March 13. Violinist and vocalist Colm Mac Con Iomaire of Dublin band The Frames joins other special guests Marie Howe, former NY State Poet Laureate and Peter Quinn, novelist and preeminent historian of NYC, for Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon's next words-and-music jamboree.

The 7th Annual Irish Arts Center Book Day is on Friday, March 17 and lasts until the books run out. On St. Patrick’s Day, pay homage to Ireland and Mexico’s rich literary traditions as their annual Book Day expands to celebrate literature by Irish and Irish American authors alongside writers from Mexico and its diaspora. There will be hundreds of (free!) titles to choose from, including children’s books, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and books in translation, at a dozen pop-up stands across the five New York boroughs.

On March 15 the famed Irish flutist Sir James and Lady Galway will be in recital at the Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Irish Rovers perform Thursday in Dayton, OH at the Victoria Theatre. On St. Patrick's Day they're in Windsor, ON at Caesars Windsor while Saturday finds them in Rama, Ontario at the Casino Rama Entertainment Centre.

As for parades, the entire world knows about the annual New York City St. Patrick's Day parade. You know, the one which proudly proclaims that they have been "marching on the streets of New York since 1762."

The Parade has drawn up to 2 million spectators in recent years, so those hoping for a good view should show up as early as possible. Crazy get-ups are considered mandatory.

Then there is the "World's First Ever 14th Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade" which takes place in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas.

People are invited to "come get your green on during this 98-foot parade on world-famous Bridge Street, shortest street in the world in everyday use, according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not."

It should come as no surprise that drinking was involved in the formation of this event. Apparently some Hot Springs residents were enjoying an adult beverage in 2003 when The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade was envisioned. Now it's "grown to an annual magnet for about 30,000 fun-lovers from across America drawn to its international reputation as the place to have fun on this most Irish of days."

Alfonso Ribeiro, star of TV’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, winner of Dancing With the Stars and host of the popular America’s Funniest Home Videos, will serve as the 2017 Celebrity Grand Marshal. He’ll join a list of previous Celebrity Grand Marshals which includes 2016’s Michael & Kevin Bacon, The Bacon Brothers; Bo Derek and John Corbett (both of whom led the parade twice); Jim Belushi; Tim Matheson; George Wendt; Mario Lopez, and others.

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Discover the woman behind the music and beyond the hype in this intimate and moving exhibition about a much loved sister.

Get to know the real Amy Winehouse through her personal belongings, from family photographs to fashion. Items on display reflect Amy's love for her family, London and more.

Amy Winehouse: Family Portrait was co-curated with Winehouse's brother Alex and sister-in-law Riva.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new Amy-themed street art trail which leads to 'Love Is A Losing Game' by renowned street artist Pegasus in the Museum's Welcome Gallery.

March 16 - September 24, 2017 at The Jewish Museum in London.

ADIOS UTOPIA: DREAMS AND DECEPTIONS IN CUBAN ART SINCE 1950 looks at how Cuba’s revolutionary aspirations for social utopia - and subsequent disillusionment - shaped 65 years of Cuban art.

The exhibition brings together more than 100 of the most important works of painting, graphic design, photography, video, installation, and performance created by more than 50 Cuban artists and designers.

Anchored by key moments of 20th- and 21st-century Cuban history, Adiós Utopia is the most comprehensive and significant presentation of modern and contemporary Cuban art shown in the United States since 1944, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented Modern Cuban Painters.

Although many artists have emigrated from Cuba to live and work abroad, Adiós Utopia focuses on the untold narrative of those artists who remained in Cuba or whose careers took off after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. Through a selection of pivotal artworks - created in each of six decades since 1950 - the exhibition explores Cuba’s artistic production through the lens of utopia, both its construction and its deconstruction.

Adiós Utopia introduces U.S. audiences to key events in Cuban history and explores how this history affected individual artists, shaped the character of art produced on the island, and conditioned the reception of Cuban art both in Cuba and abroad.

Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 is a project conceived by the Cisneros Fontanals Fundación Para Las Artes (CIFO Europa) and The Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, CIFO USA. The exhibition is organized in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

On exhibit to May 21, 2017 at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, Texas.

owned by the late American Wall Street historian David Schwartz, who was a long-time contributor to FT Money, was gaveled down last Wednesday by Special Auction Services in Newbury, Berkshire, England.

Schwartz who died in 2013 from cancer at the age of 73, had amassed the posters over a number of years. Shortly after he married his wife Philippa in 1985 they relocated from New York to England and he took the posters with him.

The patriotic posters are full of stirring words and patriotic images of Uncle Sam, the Stars and Stripes and 'our boys' in the trenches and at sea, which inspired Americans back home to buy war bonds and help the war effort in other ways - such as not wasting food.

One poster shows a convoy of food trucks to the front line and says: 'Keep it coming, we must not only feed our soldiers at the front but the millions of women and children behind our lines'.

The war was won not just on the battlefront but also in the fields and farms of America. While Germans starved under a naval blockade American supplies of food, especially wheat, helped to feed the troops and the civilians in Britain and France.

The United States initially pursued an isolationist policy in 1914 when the war broke out between Britain, France, Italy and Russia on one side and Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Turkey on the other.

America eventually joined the war in 1917, after the infamous Zimmerman Telegram, in which Germany secretly tried to encourage Mexico to declare war on the US in a bid to recover territory lost since 1848.

Fighting the war would be expensive for the US government money so a series of war bonds, known as Liberty Loans, were sold and raised $17billion between April 1917 and the end of the war.

Schwartz' widow and two children, Jessica and Fred decided "now would be the perfect time to sell the posters because it is the centenary of the USA entering World War One," according to the auction house. ' The collection was expected to sell for £25,000 ($30,000).

SAN FRANCISCO'S ASIAN ART MUSEUM'S Art & Tech gala took place Thursday, March 2, and was attended by 465 dinner guests at an event which raised $1.65 million to support the Asian Art Museum’s innovative art, educational and community programs.

This dazzling evening commenced with a cocktail reception with interactive tech pop-up stations inside the museum, followed by a formal seated dinner and main performance by violinist Dave Kim and Gregangelo / Velocity Circus Arts in a custom designed tent.

Gala Co-Chairs museum trustee Cori and tech entrepreneau Tony Bates.

Gala Committee: Abby Burban, Akiko Yamazaki, Allison Rose, Choongja Kahng, Christine Lamond, Eliza Cash, Euni Valentine, Gorretti Lui, Helina Au, Jamie Chen, Jill Woodman, John Maa, Karen King, Louisa Tu, Nanci Nishimura, Puja Kaul, Ranjini Malavalli, Rosina Sun, Shashi Deb, and Tim Kahn.

The Gala was also a kick-off to the museum's 51st anniversary year.

The After Party afforded young patrons the opportunity to dance the night away and enjoy a festive evening featuring an open bar, sweet & savory buffet, and a pulsing performance of iLuminate, an LED wireless technology-adorned hip-hop dance troupe founded by a software engineer, which drew a parallel between the 2,000 years between 21st century tech and ancient Han Dynasty artifacts in the museum’s Tomb Treasures exhibition. This party welcomed the next generation to the museum for a glamorous evening with like-minded tech and art enthusiasts. The After-Party also included interactive tech pop-up stations including a special 360 photo-booth and exclusive access to the museum's special exhibition Tomb Treasures.

The After Party Co-Chairs were Camilla Cotchett, Jenny Chiuchiarelli, Hannah Harden, and Lisa Fei.


THE PLAYGROUND OPERAS 2017 GALA takes place March 21, 2017 at Minton's in New York City.

Join Opera on Tap, Minton's of West Harlem and WQXR's Terrance McKnight for an evening of delicious food, drink and live performances. All proceeds support our Playground Operas program at P.S. 129 in West Harlem.

The Playground Operas is a school day residency program that immerses elementary-school-aged students in the production and performance of an opera. With the guidance of professionals working in the field today, students explore the operatic experience from the first conception of an opera's production to the exciting culmination of its performance. The stage? Their own schoolyard playground.

Now in their 3rd year in residence at Harlem's P.S. 129, our 2017 Playground Opera, Elixir of Love, will include the participation of all 3rd Grade classes at the school, including the special education class.

Opera on Tap has been bringing opera to the uninitiated in bars, rock venues, and other alternative spaces since 2005. Born in the backroom of Freddy's Bar in Brooklyn, Opera on Tap has been steadily working on world domination one aria at a time, and now has nineteen national and three international chapters.

Opera on Tap has been working with and performing for children since 2007 through its strong partnerships with such venerable institutions and organizations as the JCC/Manhattan, The Old Stone House in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.

BACKSTAGE AT THE GEFFEN 15th annual fundraiser for the famed Los Angeles theatre is slated for Sunday, March 19, 2017. The event will honor Quincy Jones and Mel Brooks.

"A benefit to bring inspiration, hope & healing through the arts to the most underserved of our community."

The Geffen states: "You never know who will show up on this amazing night! Past Geffen Playhouse artists and friends who came out to support and perform include: Julie Andrews, Christina Applegate, Hank Azaria, Annette Bening, Carol Burnett, Steve Carell, Sarah Chang, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Clint Eastwood, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks, Anna Kendrick, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Lynch, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Rob Reiner, Ray Romano, Martin Short & Dick Van Dyke."

YCC PARTY AT THE GUGGENHEIM took place last Thursday, March 9, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Guests celebrated with artists, curators, collectors, and friends at the Young Collectors (YCC) Party, benefiting the Guggenheim’s contemporary art collection. Over the past 20 years, the YCC has raised critical funds to support the acquisition of more than 140 works by emerging international artists.

Patrons enjoyed drinks, dessert and dancing with a DJ Set by Ryan McNamara with performative interventions by Kim Brandt, Fluct, Sam Roeck and Quenton Stuckey.

YCC Party Co-Chairs:
Sarah Arison, Laura de Gunzburg and Nell Diamond.

YCC Co-Chairs:
Noreen K. Ahmad, Alexandra Economou, Anne Huntington and Tiffany Zabludowicz.

Artist Host Committee:
Julien Bismuth, Lucas Blalock, Sarah Crowner, Sara Cwynar, N. Dash, Julia Dault, Gerard & Kelly, Daniel Gordon, Leslie Hewitt, Jennie C. Jones, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Josh Kline, Agnieszka Kurant, Helen Marten, Josephine Meckseper, Ken Okiishi, Taryn Simon, Ruby Sky Stiler, Naama Tsabar, Jonas Wood and Anicka Yi.

Host Committee:
Paul Arnhold and Wes Gordon, Thalassa Balanis, Vivian Brodie, Giovanna Campagna, Colleen Cash, Dr. Lara Devgan, Emie Diamond, Michael Espiritu, JiaJia Fei, Olivia Fialkow, Adam Fields, Marc Glimcher and Fairfax Dorn, Taymour Grahne, Alexander Hankin, Caroline Hoffman, Sarah Hoover, Michael Xufu Huang, Sims Lansing, Max Levai, Marjorie Mayrock, Dalia Oberlander, Maria Giulia Prezioso Maramotti, Polina Proshkina, David Rothschild, Patti Ruiz-Healy, Sam and Rachel Shikiar, Lily Snyder, Sarah Stein-Sapir, Victoria Stockman, Renna Tisch, Timo Weiland and Christy Williams.


Meghan Markle, with a traditional bindi on middle of her forehead, during a recent charity visit to India through World Vision. Photo: worldvisioncan/Twitter/TheTig
out in public and looking very comfortable with each other, you might be interested in checking out her weekly lifestyle blog The Tig so named because of her appreciation of the wine Tignanello.

The blog's hallmark seems to be positive reinforcement.

A similar type blog goop! originally started by Gwyneth Paltrow caters to the ultra rich who are willing to spend top dollar for just about anything and food wise espouses an organic lifestyle.

The Tig isn't geared towards the wealthy and has interesting information which is useful for a wide variety of people.

Like goop!, Markle's menu is a healthy one, with many of her recipe choices being vegan and the ingredients are affordable. The pleasant positive affirmations' site also includes wellness tips, travel tips and assorted musings.

A reader doesn't have to choose one over the other. Each blog has benefits.

Both goop! and The Tig are well constructed, classy, and have interesting and useful information.

Both Palthrow and Markle know their way around the entertainment industry. Both come from a theatrical background and both are also working actors.

Markle, who seems like an amazing woman, has been seriously involved in international charity work long before she ever met the man who may be her Prince Charming. Likewise, The Tig began prior to her relationship with the 5th in line to the throne.

Interesting is that goop! is described as "a weekly lifestyle publication curated by Gwyneth Paltrow while The Tig is a product of the mega press agent firm The Gersh Agency, which has offices in several cities. The branch listed for The Tig is in Beverly Hills, CA.

The current issue of The Tig is both sensitive and emphasis both the power and inequality of women including an article which was "originally written by Meghan Markle for Time Magazine, March 8th, 2017."

On her twitter account Markle thanked Time for publishing the piece.

The intro states: "It's been a week of empowerment and excitement over here at The Tig! We are so proud to share our EIC's essay on ending the stigma around periods for young girls in India and around the world, an issue that disproportionately impacts women's education. And once you've explored that little global game-changer, kick back and check out our female-powered spring reading guide or even take a peek at some fresh beauty ideas for the new season."

The straight forward Time essays emphasizes how the lack of toilets, access to female hygiene products and lack of education forces girls into a subservient and fearful section of society where many not only drop out of school but believe that the devil monthly enters their bodies. These young girls have no one to talk to, nor any information.

The article resulted from a recent charity visit she made to India on behalf of World Vision. She has previously visited Afghanistan and Rwanda with the same group, which works to improve the lives of children in third-world nations.

Merkle is advocating for girls in developing countries to be given education about their periods, which is currently considered a taboo subject.

"With minimal dialogue about menstrual health hygiene either at school or home due to the taboo nature of the subject, many girls believe their bodies are purging evil spirits, or that they are injured once a month," Meghan wrote in her article.

"This is a shame-filled reality they quietly endure. All of these factors perpetuate the cycle of poverty and stunt a young girl's dream for a more prolific future."

Girls who drop out of school are forced to work and are married off as young teens as the cycle of poverty and ignorance perpetuates itself.

TONY AWARD WINNING A.C.T CELEBRATES 50 YEARS on March 18, 2017 at The Geary Theater in San Francisco with an open house.

Free and open to all, the day includes behind-the-scenes tours, taster classes, short performances, A.C.T. stories, and a special reading of Dylan Thomas' hit radio comedy Under Milk Wood. This heartfelt comedy about the inhabitants of a small fishing town in Wales was a hit when Artistic Director William Ball directed it at The Geary as part of A.C.T.’s first season in San Francisco 50 years ago.

Have a taste of an anniversary ice cream flavor courtesy of Humphry Slocomb. That's the highly creative San Francisco creamery whose ice cream flavors include Elvis (the Fat Years) and Here’s Your Damn Strawberry.

The American Conservatory Theater's open house events will feature A.C.T. company members Michael Learned, René Auberjonois, and Ray Reinhardt; M.F.A. alumni Dan Clegg and Alex Morf; Bay Area favorites Arwen Anderson and Safiya Fredericks; and current M.F.A. actors Lily Narbonne, Micah Peoples, and Beatriz Miranda Torres.

BABY, DREAM YOUR DREAM: DOROTHY FIELDS AND THE WOMEN OF THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK a Lyrics & Lyricists presentation at 92Y in New York City on March 18-20.

“They’d never believe it if my friends could see me now.” — Dorothy Fields

Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood may have been boys’ clubs, but that didn’t stop some bold, brilliant women from breaking through. Led by Dorothy Fields, lyricists and composers like Betty Comden, Carolyn Leigh and Mary Rodgers penned astonishing songs and shows: The Way You Look Tonight, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Witchcraft, On the Town, Once Upon a Mattress and more. Salute this sisterhood with Fields biographer and L&L series artistic director Deborah Grace Winer who serves as host.

Marilyn Maye and Emily Skinner provide the vocals with John Oddo as s Music Director. Mark Waldrop serves as Stage Director.

SHAKESPEARE AND THE RULES OF WAR: FROM ATHENS TO ALEPPO the next chapter of the Shakespeare Theatre Company Bard Association’s signature discussion series: Shakespeare and the Law.

Shakespeare and the Law panels conduct in-depth examinations into the roles of lawyers and legal issues in many Shakespeare plays and classical theatre pieces.

This March’s event will focus on Shakespeare and the ethics of war, specifically the rules and treatment of civilians, exploring works like Henry (IV, V, VI and VIII), Julius Caesar and Titus Andronicus.

In the Lansburgh Theatre, Washington, DC on Monday, March 20, 2017.

OPERA ON TAP returns to Broadway for a night full of dazzling feats of musicality and daring, as five stunning singers compete for your votes in this immersive top-diva competition. Monday, March 13 at Tolstoy's in New York City.

CREATE NYC: A SYMPOSIUM AND TOWN HALL will take place on Wednesday, March 22 in New York City.

The Segal Center is partnering with New York arts and culture organizations to host a day of outreach, engagement, and strategy towards the creation of a new cultural plan for New York.

The all-day symposium features morning breakout sessions around themes and ideas generated from a series of breakfasts and meetings between cultural workers and organizations over many months leading up to this event.

Dedicated to bridging the gap between the professional and academic theatre communities, the Segal Center presents readings, performance, lectures, and artists and academics in conversation.

NATIONAL MILKY WAY DAY is today, March 12. Tuesday is National Potato Chip Day. Wednesday is Peanut Lovers Day and March 17 is - what else! - National Eat Like an Irishman Day. Saturday is National Sloppy Joe Day.


Chance The Rapper
has donated $1 million to Chicago public schools. Last Monday, March 5, he held a press conference at Wescott Elementary school in Northbrook, IL, which was a follow-up to what he had called an unsatisfactory meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner the previous Friday. That meeting concerned the Governor's decision to overturn a ruling that reportedly would have resulted in increased funding for CPS, including a $250 million increase in funding for teachers.

Speaking to the press from a podium in a Wescott Elementary School classroom Chance stated: "Governor Rauner can use his executive power to give Chicago’s children the resources they need to fulfill their God-Given right to learn. " He added, "While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the Governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from continuing to do all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource."

The Chicago native then announced that he'd be donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools through his non-profit organization Social Works, which he launched in September 2016.

"This check is a call to action," he said just before presenting the school's administration with the life-sized check. "I’m challenging major companies in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and to take action. The students have spoken and would like corporations to invest in them as we have invested in their businesses."

Last Thursday, March 9, Chance the Rapper announced that in addition to the $1 million he donated, another nine schools will receive $10,000 each from his foundation, SocialWorks.

Chance The Rapper tweeted that the money is aimed at supporting arts education.

The latest nine donations are part of a promise from SocialWorks that for every $100,000 it takes in, $10,000 would be sent to a specific Chicago school.

Yvette Nicole Brown. Image: IMDB
is one of the funniest, cerebral actors on television. I've enjoyed her in Community and The Odd Couple. Brown currently is in Season 2 of Crackle’s SuperMansion as the voice of Portia Jones.

The comedian, who grew up poor in Cleveland, is a marvelous combination of sweet and sass. In an interview with BET she explained how she lives and offers the best financial advice in the world.

"I know how to manage and I live below my means," Brown disclosed, adding that even after becoming a success she didn't change.

"I’m not buying designer purses and whatever. A little treat every now and again. I don’t live an extravagant life."

A recently released, shocking report indicates that, in an emergency, fifty percent of Americans couldn't write a $500 check.

In the BET interview Brown explained that because of her sensible lifestyle; if she is between jobs she doesn't have to "panic and take a crazy job or quit the business altogether. I can make more educated decisions because I’m responsible with my finances and my life."

adapted from Agatha Christie’s masterpiece by two-time Tony-nominated playwright Ken Ludwig.

Directed by Emily Mann.

The exotic Orient Express is about to go off the rails! With a locomotive full of suspects and an alibi for each one, it’s the perfect mystery for infamous detective Hercule Poirot, n’est-ce pas? Wax your mustache and hold on to your passport - the production promises to take you on a suspenseful, thrilling ride aboard the legendary Orient Express!

Starring Allan Corduner as Hercule Poirot, Veanne Cox as Princess Dragomiro, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh as Michel the Conductor/Head Waiter, Julie Halston as Helen Hubbard, Susannah Hoffman as Mary Debenham; Alexandra Silber as Countess Andrenyi; Juha Sorola as Hector MacQueen; Samantha Steinmetz as Greta Ohlsson; Max von Essen as Colonel Arbuthnot/Samuel Ratchett and Evan Zes as Monsieur Bouc.

Set design - Beowulf Boritt; costume design - William Ivey Long; lighting design - Ken Billington; sound design - Darron L West; dialect coach - Thom Jones; casting director - Telsey + Company / William Cantler, CSA and Karyn Casl, CSA; production stage manager - Cheryl Mintz; stage manager -- Samantha Flint; director of production - David York; resident producer - Debbie Bisno; managing director - Timothy J. Shields.

March 14 - April 2, 2017 at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey.

MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS a musical based on the 2005 film of the same name, tells the story the Windmill Girls.

Taking place in London, 1937. Recently widowed eccentric, Laura Henderson, is looking for a way of spending her time and money when her attention falls on a rundown former cinema in Great Windmill Street. Hiring feisty impresario Vivian Van Damm to look after the newly renovated Windmill Theatre, the improbable duo present a bill of non-stop variety acts. But as war looms something more is required to boost morale and box office... When Mrs Henderson comes up with the idea of The Windmill Girls - glamorous young women posing as nude statues - audiences flock.

The Windmill got around strict censorship laws - summed up by one of the performers as “if it moves it’s rude, if it stands still it’s not” - by ensuring the girls stayed still while naked on stage. Its shows ran for decades, famously never closing throughout the Blitz.

Tracie Bennett stars as Mrs Henderson.

Beginning March 12, 2017 at the newly renovated Royal Alexandra Theatre in Ontario, Canada.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER Written by Oliver Goldsmith.

Directed by Jerrold Scott.

When two young city gentlemen pursue romance in the country they come up against more than they bargained for in this insightful and witty romantic romp. It’s city vs. country, men vs. women, and parents vs. children - with love conquering all - in one of the most popular British comedies of all time.

Starring Lavour Addison as Sir Charles Marlow/Junkeep - Paul Bugallo as Mr. Hardcastle - Mariah Burks as Mrs. Hardcastle - Kyle Cherry as Mr. Lumpkin - Sarah Cuneo as Miss Hardcastle - Randy Dierkes as Mr. Marlow - Peter Hargrave as Mr. Hastings - Megan Medley as Miss Neville. Ensemble members include Derek Green, Samantha Richards and Evan Thompson.

Kevin Frazier Lighting & Sound Designer - Austin Kilpatrick Stage Manager - Cameron Michalak Scenic Designer - Jeffrey Van Curtis Costume Designer - Wigs and Whiskers by Wig Master.

March 15 - 25, 2017, The Hele, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland, Ohio.

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece by Tennessee Williams.

Directed by Cameron Watson.

Utilizing “partner casting,” Harry Groener and Mike McShane share the role of Big Daddy, with Dawn Didawick and Julia Fletcher partnering as Big Mama. Daniel Bess and Ross Philips play younger son Brick, the former golden boy now on a downward spiral, and Rebecca Mozo and Linda Park are daughter-in-law Maggie “the Cat,” passionately fighting to hold onto the love of her alcoholic husband. Brick’s indifference and bitterness give older brother Gooper (Michael Kirby and Patrick Wenk-Wolff) and his wife, Mae (Tamara Krinsky and Jocelyn Towne), every opportunity to outbid Brick and Maggie in the on-going fight for the family fortune. Rounding out the cast are John DeMita and Mitchell Edmonds as Reverend Tooker; Tim Halligan and Robert Pine as Dr. Baugh; and, Henry Greenspan, Eliza LeMoine, Vivienne Belle Sievers and Helen Rose Warshofsky as Gooper and Mae’s young brood of “no-neck monsters.”

Scenic design is by Steven C. Kemp; lighting design is by Jared A. Sayeg; costume design is by Terri A. Lewis; sound design is by Jeff Gardner; props design is by Erin Walley; and the dialect coach is Tracy Winters. The assistant director is Portia Juliette and the production stage manager is Kristin Weber.

Presented by Antaeus Theatre Company March 16- May 7 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, Glendale, CA.


BON JOVI entertains Thursday, March 16, at the FedExForum in Memphis, TN. On Saturday his tour stops at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH. Next Sunday, March 19, he's on stage at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH.

WEEKND a two time Grammy winner, performs Monday, March 13, at Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Tuesday's stop is at First District Arens in Leeds, UK.

ARIANA GRANDE stars Tuesday, March 14, at the United Center in Chicago. Thursday's stop is at the Xcel energy Center in Saint Paul, MN. On Saturday she stars at the Spring Center in Kansas City, MO.

TONY DANZA performs a selection of his favorite standards from the Great American Songbook, as well as selections from the Broadway musical Honeymoon in Vegas, while interweaving stories about his life and personal connection to the music. March 17-18 at Feinstein's/54 Below in New York City.

THE TEN TENORS bring their tour to the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD on Monday, March 13. Next Sunday, March 19 they appear at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center in Athens, GA.

STEVE MARTIN, MARTIN SHORT and the Stone Canyon Band entertain Saturday, March 18, at the Palace Theatre in Louisville, KY. Next Sunday, March 19, they'll be delighting the crowd at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER perform Thursday, March 16, at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.

MATTHEW AND GUNNER NELSON entertain Saturday, March 18, at the Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, CA.

LANG LANG called the ‘hottest artist on the classical music planet’ returns for two dates Monday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 15, at Royal Albert Hall in London, showcasing popular piano suites from Albeniz, Debussy and Liszt.

CHRIS ROCK will be telling funny stories Monday, March 13, at the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, WI. Saturday's gig is at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Too much corned beef. Photo: Laura Deni


MIRIAM COLON Puerto Rican actress featured in Scarface and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City died Friday, March 3, 2017, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from a pulmonary infection. She was 80.

During her long career she did much to create opportunities for fellow Hispanic actors, including co-founding the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City. On film Colon is best remembered by audiences as the mother of Al Pacino’s character Tony Montana in Scarface. She frequently appeared on TV westerns like Gunsmoke and Bonanza during the 1950s and 1960s. She had a role in fellow Actors Studio alumni Marlon Brando’s directorial debut, One-eyed Jacks.

In 1967 she co-founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater Company, which continues to tour and produce bilingual theater for neighborhoods in New York City.

In 1993 she received a lifetime achievement Obie Award for her work in Off-Broadway theater. In 2014 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama for her work as an actress and theater founder.

Colon is survived by her husband of more than 40 years, Fred Valle.

ROBERT OSBORNE the noted film historian died March 6, 2017. He was 84. Osborne was the primary host of Turner Classic Movies and was also a host on The Movie Channel. His death was announced by Turner Classic Movies. The cause of death was not immediately announced.

In 1977, Osborne began his long-standing stint as a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. The following year, he published 50 Golden Years of Oscar, which won the 1979 National Film Book award. Having joined the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, he was elected its president in 1981, a position he would be re-elected to for the next two years. In 1982, Osborne began a five-year stint as the entertainment reporter/critic on KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles. In addition, he began his Rambling Reporter column for The Hollywood Reporter, published five times weekly.

Osborne left the air in early 2016 due to an undisclosed health issue.

KURT MOLL a German bass operatic singer with a five-decade long career died March 5, 2017 in Cologne, Germany. He was 79.

He made his US debut with the San Francisco Opera as Gurnemanz in Wagner's Parsifal in 1974, a role he reprised with the company in 2000. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera on the opening night of the 1977/78 season, appearing as the Landgraf in Wagner's Tannhäuser. He sang there also Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio and Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto.

He made many recordings of opera, sacred music, and lieder with notable conductors and accompanists. He was awarded several prestigious European record awards; he also won a 1990 Grammy Award for his participation in James Levine's 1988 recording of Wagner's Das Rheingold.

He retired from the stage in 2006 but gave a master class in January 2011 at Carnegie Hall.

He is survived by his wife, Ursula.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Kurt Moll was an opera rarity, known for the sonority of his true bass voice and lieder singing. The German native was a dedicated member of the Cologne Opera, and made international debuts in prestigious works such as Wagner's Parsifal, Beethoven's Fidelio, and Verdi's Rigoletto. In 1990, his contribution to James Levine's recording of Wagner's Das Rheingold brought him one of his three Grammy Awards. Our deepest condolences go out to Kurt's friends, family, and creative collaborators.

ALBERTO ZEDDA conductor and leading authority on Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera, died March 6, 2017 in Pesaro, Italy. He was 89.

Zedda conducted at all the important houses in Europe, as well as San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera and New York City Opera. He served as music director of the Festival della Valle D'Itria of Martina Franca and was for many years the director of the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. He stepped down in 2015.

RIC MARLOW an songwriter and actor best known for co-writing the song A Taste of Honey which won a Grammy died February 28, 2017 in Palm Springs, CA.. He was 91.

He was married five times and fathered six children.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of the The Recording Academy stated: "Ric Marlow was a talented songwriter who dedicated his life to many facets of show business. The New York native made his name in music for co-writing the song A Taste of Honey, which won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Theme for 1962. The song would later be recorded by Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass and earn four Grammys for 1965, including Record Of The Year. Scores of others, including the Beatles, Tony Bennett and Barbara Streisand, would also record the song, and it remains a 1960s pop gem. Our condolences go out to Ric's family, friends, and creative collaborators."

DAVE VALENTIN a Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz flutist died on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at the Throggs Neck Rehab & Care Facility, Bronx, New York from complications of a stroke and Parkinson’s disease. He had suffered a stroke in 2012 and a second stroke in 2015 and required full care in an extended care facility. He was 64.

He began his career as a music teacher teaching seventh-, eighth-and ninth-grade music for three years in the South Bronx.

In addition to releasing numerous albums under his own name, he recorded with the singers Patti Austin, Chris Connor and Nnenna Freelon, the guitarist Lee Ritenour, the pianist McCoy Tyner’s Afro-Cuban All-Stars and many others. He also toured with the percussionist Tito Puente and was music director of his Golden Latin Jazz All-Stars.

He is survived by a brother, George.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of the The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Dave Valentin was a dedicated flautist and innovator of crossover jazz. Under the mentorship of Hubert Laws, the New York native developed a signature sound by combining the influences of R&B, pop, and Brazilian music to create a specialized form of Latin jazz. After his recording debut with Ricardo Marrero's group, he went on to collaborate and perform with Tito Puente, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Bill O'Connell, and Dave Samuels, among others. In 2002 he teamed with Samuels for the Caribbean Jazz Project album The Gathering, which won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album. His 2005 album World On A String and 2011 album Pure Imagination each received Latin Grammy nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album. Our thoughts go out to Dave's family, friends, and fellow colleagues. "

Next Column: March 19, 2017
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Laura Deni

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