Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: March 19, 2017
By: Laura Deni


Tony Award winner Ken Ludwig and Murder of the Orient Express playwright has authored some of my personal favorites, such as Lend Me a Tenor, and Crazy for You, to name only two. His work has been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages.
Every March for the past twenty years The Stages Festival has been offering free and discounted performances, workshops, play readings, and behind-the-scenes events for all ages.

Events are presented by professional Equity theatres; some take place at their theatres, and some take place in venues such as libraries, community centers, performing arts houses, and senior centers.

It's the state's largest celebration of live theatre.

A spot check of the numerous and varied events include:

Today, Sunday, March 17, there will be a Murder on the Orient Express dialogue on drama with playwright Ken Ludwig at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey. In this post-performance discussion, Ludwig will talk about what drew him to adapt the “jewel in the crown” of the Christie Estate, and the honor of being the first playwright permitted to bring Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, in his greatest story, to the stage.

Victorian Magic will be presented by the Frank Guaracini, Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center in Vineland, NJ. Actor/magician Robert Aberdeen delights audiences of all ages with his sleight-of-hand. Performances include audience participation. On March 25 the show takes place in Point Pleasant. Next Sunday, March 26 magic show is in Wyckoff, while Monday's performance is in Tuckerton..

On Tuesday, March 21, the New Jersey Theatre Alliance will present a staged reading of A Year in the Trenches at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum in Morristown.

This new play written by James Rana and developed with Gayle Stahlhuth, artistic director of East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May, was commissioned by the New Jersey Historical Commission and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

The play is based on Sgt. Charles Edward Dilkes’ Remembering World War I: An Engineer's Diary of the War, as well as other historical sources. The staged reading and Q&A are free and open to the public.

A Year in the Trenches will have additional readings at the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library on April 28 and at McGuire Air Force Base on July 18. East Lynne Theater Company will give the play a full production in the fall of 2017.

"The World War I Centennial offers us an opportunity to reexamine a period of history that seems absolutely relevant to today," said Sara R. Cureton, Executive Director, New Jersey Historical Commission. “Questions regarding how the U.S. should engage with the rest of the world, the role of women in society, the treatment of immigrants, the nature of modern warfare, and the meaning of patriotism challenged citizens of 1917, just as they bedevil us now. A Year in the Trenches shines a spotlight on how some New Jerseyans confronted these issues and brings us greater understanding of both the past and present. The Historical Commission is delighted to join with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts in exploring this pivotal period of our history through this engaging new play.”

Charles Edward Dilkes, who was born in Philadelphia but spent the rest of his life in New Jersey, appears in the play alongside a medley of contemporaries: poet Joyce Kilmer, pilot Kenneth Russell Unger, nurse Amabel Scharff Roberts, “Hello Girl” (switchboard operator) Grace Banker, and other New Jerseyans who went to Europe in 1917, when the United States entered World War I.

This free reading is directed by Eric Hafen, Artistic Director of the Bickford Theatre.

On March 22 New Plays NJ-Women's History Month-A reading of Vita Morales' Diagonal Trilogy, a WWII play that takes place in the shadow of The Pulaski Skyway will be presented in partnership with the New Jersey Theatre Center and Jersey City's Speranza Theatre Company.

The Women's History Month Plays focus on women writers. JCTC’s mission is to present innovative and progressive performing and visual arts as well as educational art programs.

Founded in 2008, Speranza Theatre Company is a women’s theatre company based in Jersey City, whose mission is to create thought-provoking collaborative theatre centered on women’s issues, providing an opportunity for artists, particularly females, to share their voices through challenging and entertaining theatre based in honesty and truth.

The performance takes place at JCTC at Merseles Studios in Jersey City, NJ.

At Ninety-Three is an adaptation of the poetry of Jan Slepian.
At Ninty-Three is a new adaptation of the poetry of Jan Slepian, who at 95 is still publishing her writing. Her latest books of poetry, Jellybeans in Space and The Other Shoe, are shaped into a theatrical experience performed by a cast of three veteran actresses. This is a rare and vivid peek into the colorful life of an elder artist who has a lot to say about the experience of looking back, looking forward, and looking around her.

The Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre is a professional ensemble of actors who build community with the audience by sharing life-affirming stories in an intimate environment. Located in Summit, New Jersey they will present this event at the Cranford Senior Housing in Cranford, NJ.

On Saturday, May 25, it's The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir which is an audition based, exhibition Show Choir that stems from Paper Mill Playhouse’s award-winning Arts Education and Outreach programs. The choir consists of 60 singer/dancers between the ages of 15 and 22. The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir act as ambassadors to Paper Mill Playhouse with an array of performance opportunities throughout the community and beyond.

Performances at the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library in Lavallette, NJ.

Also on May 25 are Plays by People. Premiere Stages at Kean University, in partnership with the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, presents Plays by People, an evening of original works by the talented playwrights of Matheny's Arts Access Program in Peapack, NJ. The free event features staged readings of short plays written by Arts Access playwrights and performed by professional actors. The playwrights - all adults with medically complex developmental disabilities - are an integral part of the staging process, offer direct feedback to the actors on how to best present their written work, and in some cases appear in the plays themselves.

Two River Theater in Red Bank presents a Family Day and" Our Salute to Our Military Men and Women. Event activities include: writing letters to our military women and men, patriotic arts and crafts, face painting, and theater games. Food will be provided by Urban Coalhouse.

Million Dollar Quartet the smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ’n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time begins Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. The musical features a score of hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, and Folsom Prison Blues.

Equal Access presented by the Luna Stage Company in West Orange, NJ on Friday, March 31, 2017 is an exclusive showcase of "hot off the press works-in-progress by promising new playwrights. Each of the playwrights are artists with disabilities and will share a view of the world from their perspective."

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.


Jaune Quick-To-See Smith
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith is one of the U.S.’s finest indigenous talents. Born in St. Ignatius,] a small town on the Flathead Reservation on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Indian Reservation, Montana, Jaune Quick–to–See Smith is an internationally renowned painter, printmaker and artist. ]Her first name comes from the French word for "yellow" (jaune), from her French-Cree ancestry. Her middle name "Quick-to-See" was given by her Shoshone grandmother as a sign of her ability to grasp things readily.

She came of age when Abstract Expressionism with its white male tenor dominated, Smith pushed back and developed a strong personal vision forged from belonging to two marginalized groups by birth (female, Native American) and one by choice (non-urban).

This timely and exciting exhibition is the first solo exhibition of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s work in her native state of Montana in over a generation. In keeping with the YAM’s Montana Masters series goals, Smith is a mature, late-career artist with extraordinary aesthetic, intellectual, and curatorial achievements to her credit. She mines her crossculturalexperience and Salish-Kootenai identity, and spans cultures with powerful, idiosyncratic results of high aesthetic caliber.

The evolution of her lifelong investigations is a cornerstone of this exhibition. Smith has an international reputation with a strong, clear body of work; she has earned her leading standing among women artists and Native American artists while simultaneously aligning both of these often still marginalized groups more closely with the mainstream art world.

The YAM’s exhibition examines themes that perennially recur in her work, including conflict, compassion, peace, the cycle of life, irony, and identity.

"Her work is cross-cultural, exhibiting a marked preference for working in the grey zones. Smith’s visual language is vivid, layered, and symbolic, both questioning and creating American art history. Forms, colors, motifs, and texts spill across her surfaces like language on a page or a musical score for a culture’s epic story. The work demonstrates an eclectic, generous acceptance of influences from many sources," according to the YAM.

Her work is held in the collections of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

March 23, 2017 - July 16, 2017 at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana.

is an exhibition highlighting the historic and longtime rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. The exhibit will span 150 years, highlighting the teams’ famous broadcasters, championships, trades and home runs.

The exhibit was developed with the help of both teams and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It will feature rare artifacts and photographs and span players from Mordecai Brown and Rogers Hornsby to recent stars like Jake Arrieta and Yadier Molina.

Items on display include the second-base bag stolen by the Cardinals’ Lou Brock to break the modern record for steals in a season, and the cap worn by Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood when he struck out 20 batters.

Visitors will be able to interact with the exhibit and share their own rivalry memories, answer trivia questions and play a home run derby.

Opens March 24 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL.

A series of special events will include a talk from an expert on Civil War-era baseball, a screening of the movie Field of Dreams, in which Ben Affleck and Matt Damon appear as extras in the scene at Fenway Park, and an Evening with the Creators of Cubs vs. Cardinals: The Rivalry takes place May 11, 2017. Those attending will get a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to present one of the biggest, most unusual exhibits in ALPLM history.

THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY IN LONDON will stage their annual gala on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 which takes place at the Gallery.

In attendance in her role as Patron will be Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

During the event, Her Royal Highness will have the opportunity to view the newest exhibitions including Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends, and Gillian Wearing and Claude Cahun: Behind the mask, another mask. The mother of two will be joined by the artist, Gillian Wearing, who will be on hand to explain the significance of the featured works and answer any questions she may have.

The wife of Prince William will also have the opportunity to view two special collections commissioned in honor of the Gala. The first is ten unique masks designed by noted figures including Dame Vivienne Westwood and couture milliner Philip Treacy. The second is 100 postcard-sized works of art that will be part of a Mystery Portrait Postcard Sale to help raise funds for the Gallery.

Following a tour of the exhibitions, the Duchess will meet a number of guests, donors and friends of the National Portrait Gallery before attending the Gala dinner.

The Duchess of Cambridge has been Patron of the National Portrait Gallery since 2012, and this will be the second Gala she has attended. As in previous years, funds raised during the course of the evening’s events will go directly towards supporting the National Portrait Gallery’s work in offering unique learning opportunities and to facilitate the continued delivery of inspirational exhibitions and displays. It will also help the Gallery to continue to undertake world-class research.


Bob and Suzanne Wright
founded the Suzanne Wright Foundation in honor of his wife who died of pancreatic cancer in 2016 at the age of 69, nine months after she first experienced some stomach pain.

In his 2016 memoir, The Wright Stuff, Wright called Suzanne, his wife of 49 years - and the mother to three, grandmother to six - his “Chief Passion Officer” who approached every task with heart and was integral to his professional success.

Among her many activities Suzanne served on the board of the Tony Randall Theatrical Fund.

Less than 9 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive.

Wright is a former NBC head honcho, having served as president and CEO, succeeding Grant Tinker in 1986 and remaining in that position until 2001, serving as chairman and CEO from 2001 until he retired in 2007.

When Wright took over as head of NBC David Letterman on his NBC late night talk show got snarky, telling the audience that the onetime head of GE's small-appliances division would "push for a miniseries about the development of the toaster oven."

Wright has been credited with overseeing NBC's expansion into a media conglomerate and leading the company to record earnings in the 1990s.

Wright, who will turn 74 on April 23, has seen substantial success in various charitable activities. In 2005 he and his wife learned that their grandson Christian was autistic, motivating the Wrights to create Autism Speaks, a New York-based nonprofit that has raised tens of millions of dollars.

Autism Speaks helped persuade the U.S. government to invest billions in autism research; as of 2014, Congress had dedicated more than $3 billion for autism research and monitoring.

It is Wright who launched CodePurple, a national awareness and advocacy campaign to fight pancreatic cancer by championing a new paradigm for federal funding, research, and regulatory review built on accountability and results.

Broadway To Vegas wondered if the same strategy Autism Speaks has found so successful would be utilized by the Suzanne Wright Foundation.

"The Suzanne Wright Foundation as of now does not plan to have as large/extensive events as Autism Speaks does," Broadway To Vegas was told. "Given the different nature of the pancreatic cancer community, most events we have will be much smaller and more intimate, which fits in to our current work: most of our focus revolves around policy and awareness initiatives in D.C."

As to awareness and prevention:

"Having a family member with pancreatic cancer does elevate your risk level. There is work being done on studying this and other risks, causes, and prevention methods for pancreatic cancer but they have gotten very little support from the government & wider community," the organization emphasized to Broadway To Vegas. "Our mission is to bring urgency and attention to these initiatives to give them the support they deserve."

Wright is the man who negotiated the contract with Donald Trump for The Apprentice and, along with Trump, was half owner of the Miss Universe contest, and eventually Miss Universe. Wright has met with Trump since he became President, and - in a social environment - used the opportunity to explain the necessity to devote more effort towards pancreatic cancer.

Wright emphasizes that over the past half-century, researchers and doctors have made no progress in detecting and treating pancreatic cancer. "If any other business delivered the same failing results for four decades, we would shut it down and start over."

For the 50,000 Americans who are diagnosed with the disease every year, pancreatic cancer amounts to a death sentence.

Some of the celebrities who have succumbed to pancreatic cancer include:

Jack Benny - performer
Joan Crawford - actress
Dizzy Gillespie - jazz icon. The Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund and the Dizzy Gillespie Cancer Institute were formed in his name
Steve Jobs who co-founded and was chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.
Michael Landon - actor
Luciano Pavarotti - opera star
Donna Reed - actress, who died of pancreatic cancer within six weeks of her diagnosis
Alan Rickman - Tony nominated English actor who was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company
Sally Ride - American physicist and astronaut.
Dave Somerville - songwriter and lead singer of The Diamonds and member of The Four Preps; a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Doo Wop Music Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Doo Wop Hall of Fame of America and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Patrick Swayze actor/dancer

THE ELTON JOHN AIDS FOUNDATION and the Hammer Museum at UCLA will present a special celebration honoring Elton’s 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his songwriting collaboration with Bernie Taupin. The event is also a special fundraising benefit to support EJAF’s lifesaving work and cultural programs at the Hammer Museum.

Held at the Hammer Museum at UCLA on Saturday, March 25, 2017, and hosted by actor Rob Lowe, the event will feature a special performance by Lady Gaga and other surprise guests.

The celebration is chaired by David Bohnett, Richard Buckley and Tom Ford, Sir Lucian and Lady Caroline Grainge, Diana Jenkins, Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Jay Marciano. The gala dinner will be designed by Craig’s Los Angeles.

THE MOUNTBATTEN FESTIVAL OF MUSIC featuring the Massed Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines perform over three nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London with proceeds going to The Royal Marines Charity and CLIC Sargent.

These concerts display the outstanding versatility of some of the world’s finest military musicians and are given the “West End” treatment with spectacular lighting effects.

The Festival sees the Royal Marines showcase their incredible musicianship and pageantry and features a wide range of musical styles, including music from the big screen and superb solo items, as well as the traditional marches and overtures that have proved such a hit with audiences over the years. For 2017 only, the world famous Royal Marines Band will be supported by Switzerland’s Top Secret Drum Corps.

Presented by The Royal Marines Charity performances take place March 23-27, 2017 at Royal Albert Hall in London. Prince Philip, Captain General, Royal Marines, will attend on March 25.

TEENAGE CANCER TRUST to raise money to help young people facing the chaos of cancer takes place March 27 - April 2, 2017 at Royal Albert Hall in London.

This year's line-up includes Paul Weller, Olly Murs, Pet Shop Boys with special guest Johnny Marr, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Who: Tommy and more, and an evening of comedy with Romesh Ranganathan and special guests.


records American premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Jefferson’s Garden for radio broadcast and online download March 23-26 at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater, Los Angeles.

Gregory Harrison stars as Thomas Jefferson.

Joining Harrison are: Rosalind Ayres, Ellis Greer, Lovensky Jean-Baptiste, Ifan Meredith, Darren Richardson, Emily Swallow, and Inger Tudor.

This gripping, powerful and timely play by internationally acclaimed playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker brings a fresh slant and theatrical inventiveness to the story of the American Revolution. Martin Jarvis, OBE directs five performances of Wertenbaker’s stirring, action-packed tale about the elusive nature of freedom that was a smash hit at England’s Watford Palace Theatre.

Each of the five performances at UCLA’s state-of-the-art James Bridges Theater will be recorded live in front of an audience for future radio broadcast, distribution on CD, digital download and online streaming. L.A. Theatre Works' syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S, can be heard daily in China and around the world on the Radio Beijing Network, and can be streamed on demand a L..A. Theatre Works.

HENRY ROLLINS is known as LA’s punk legend, Renaissance man and outspoken human rights activist. Channel your righteous anger into smart conversation and attend this event on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

You’ve heard his voice, read his prose and listened to the records; now learn how this former Black Flag front man deals with it all. It promises to be a rollicking good time.

The ticketed talk will be followed by a free reception where signed copies of his book will be raffled to benefit the Phoenix Pride Scholarship Fund.

At the Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona. Presented by Out @ SMoCA in partnership with the City of Scottsdale Office of Diversity, Scottsdale Human Relations Committee and media partner Echo Magazine.

3RD ANNUAL BROOKHAVEN CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL takes place March 25-26 in Blackburn Park in Atlanta, GA. Festival attendees enjoy an Arts & Crafts Market, a Pet Parade, Children’s Village, Stunt Dog Shows and delicious food from Atlanta’s most popular Food Trucks, but they will be entertained by live performances throughout the weekend. Admission to the festival is free. From Classic Rock and Funk, to Latin and Ragtime, performers include Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project, named after the drink that is a cultural trademark of the south. The band includes bassist Brian Bisky and Christopher Alan Yates (who also plays banjo and trumpet), guitarist Jesse Tripplet and drummer Mike Rizzi. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Wesley Cook’s music ranges from pop and folk, to rock while Blair Crimmins has a fierce determination to bring Ragtime and 1920’s style Dixieland Jazz to new audiences.

Best known for their high-octane live show, Atlanta’s Gurufish has a provocative blend of pop, funk and soul. The Breeze Kings formed in 1997 out of a mutual love for 50’s era Chicago blues. Today, the band performs over 200 shows a year all over the US and has completed four European tours. Featuring complex guitar parts, explosive harmonica, soulful vocals and groovy rhythms, The Breeze Kings are: Carlos “Breeze” Capote – vocals & harmonica, Jim Ransone – guitar, Gregg Shapiro – bass and Trevor Roberts – drums.

In 2010 Willie Ziavino formed the C.O.T. Band with Juan Bonini. The resulting sound is the fusion of musical influences from each band member with a mix of Trova Cubana, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Jazz, Caribbean and Brazilian rhythms. Members of the band are: Willie Ziavino - guitar & vocals (Ecuador), Juan Bonini - percussion & vocals (Panamá), Kevin Hyde - trombone & vocals (USA), Jose "Bambam" Ramirez – drums & vocals (Puerto Rico) and Hector Mancia - keyboard (El Salvador).

PREMIERE STAGES the professional theatre company in residence at Kean University, New Jersey recently completed two play-writing residencies in the Rahway School District, funded by The Northfield Bank Foundation.

Over the course of seven weeks, students in Ms. Kristyn Suckow’s 7th Grade English & Language Arts class at Rahway Academy and Ms. Jennifer Cirillo’s 6th Grade Language Arts & Social Studies class at Roosevelt Elementary School learned the basics of play-writing and collaborated to write original short plays for the stage. Both residencies culminated in school-wide assemblies of the student-written work performed by professional actors.

OATMEAL COOKIE DAY is today, Sunday, March 19. Tomorrow is Ravioli Day. March 23 is National Chips and Dip Day. On Saturday it's National International Waffle Day.


ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY New York Governor Cuomo announced a $2 million grant to support the expansion of the Irish Arts Center into a new, state-of-the-art facility and performance space in New York City.

The new building will serve as a national home for Irish and Irish American arts and heritage, offering educational, cultural, and community programming and providing a global platform for new and established artists to showcase their work. The Center has now raised more than $56 million for this new facility; construction is expected to begin by the end of 2017.

"The story of New York is the story of immigrants and the contributions of the Irish are woven into the very fabric of this great state," Governor Cuomo said. “The New Irish Arts Center will allow New Yorkers and visitors alike to appreciate the rich legacy of the Irish in America, learn more about a people and culture that have changed the course of a country and continue to do so today, and attract new visitors and economic activity to the region.”

In 2016, the New Irish Arts Center project was awarded $2 million through Round VI of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative; with the announcement of this week’s approved incentive proposal, the new facility will create 56 new permanent jobs, retain 16 jobs, and generate more than 150 construction jobs. The new LEED Silver building will connect with the existing Irish Arts Center which will be renovated to preserve the existing Irish Arts Center.

The New Irish Arts Center will feature:
A state of the art, flexible contemporary performance space for theatre, dance, live music, installations, interdisciplinary work, residencies, and special events

A second, more intimate performance space – the historic Irish Arts Center Theatre – optimized for live music, literature, film, talks, large classes and special events

Industry-standard back of house and support facilities to allow artists to achieve their vision

Classrooms and studio space for community education programs in Irish music, dance, language, history, and the humanities, and for master classes and workshops by visiting and resident artists

Technology capability to project Irish Arts Center performances and education programs on the digital platform through podcasts, online classes, event streaming and other emerging forms of interactive learning.

LADY GAGA is the face and image for the Tiffany & Co. HardWear line of jewelry. Described as: "Elegantly subversive, the new Tiffany HardWear collection embodies the power and edge of the city and the energy of its streets. inspired by a unisex design from 1971, the new collection pays tribute to the strength and spirit of the modern woman."

LAUREN YEE has been awarded the 2016 Francesca Primus Prize for her play, in a word. Jointly sponsored by American Theater Critics Association (ATCA) and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize honors the late writer, critic, performer, dramaturg, and cherished ATCA member and is given annually to an emerging woman playwright. Yee will receive the $10,000 award check immediately and be officially congratulated at an upcoming ATCA conference.

"How do you find the words to express grief and loss, especially when they are tinged with guilt? That is the conundrum at the heart of Yee’s in a word. Fiona and Guy’s seven-year-old adopted son, Tristan, disappeared two years earlier, apparently kidnapped. Tristan was a very bright but difficult child. The passage of time seems to have intensified Fiona’s inability to cope with what has happened. Words elude her or change meaning even as she says them, and objects take on a life of their own. Her chronic distraction and fixation on Tristan’s disappearance are also creating what may become an irreparable rift in her relationship with Guy."

in a word evolved through a series of readings from 2010 to 2014 at theaters as eclectic as the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, Lincoln Center’s LCT3 in New York City, and the Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena. It received its debut production at the San Francisco Playhouse in 2015 as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere with subsequent productions at the Cleveland Public Theatre, Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego, and Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago. The play has been published by Samuel French.

Yee was selected from 26 Primus Prize applicants by a nationwide committee of critics.

ATCA is the nationwide organization of theater critics and an affiliate of the International Association of Theatre Critics. In addition to the Primus Prize, it administers the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award. ATCA members also recommend a regional theater for the annual Tony Award and vote on induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL written by Joe Tracz and Rob Rokicki. Based on the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Rick Riordan.

Directed by Stephen Brackett.

Percy Jackson has newly discovered powers he can’t control, monsters on his trail, and he is on a quest to find Zeus’s lightning bolt and prevent a war between the Greek gods. Normal is a myth when you’re a demigod.

Starring Carrie Compere in the role of Sally. Chris McCarrell as Percy Jackson, Jelani Alladin as Luke, Sarah Beth Pfeifer as Clarisse, Jonathan Raviv as Brunner, George Salazar as Grover, and Kristin Stokes as Annabeth.

Choreography by Patrick McCollum with musical direction by Wiley DeWeese, orchestrations by Wiley DeWeese & Rob Rokicki, and fight direction by Rod Kinter. The creative team also includes Lee Savage (Set Design), Sydney Maresca (Costume Design), Ryan Rumery (Sound Design), David Lander (Lighting Design), Jason Blitman & Greg Uliasz (Casting).

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical was introduced to NYC by Theatreworks USA in 2014 as part of its FREE theatre series, a one hour version with a smaller cast that has successfully toured the country. This is a brand-new production with a new score, an updated, expanded script including a second act, a larger cast and will feature a live band.

Performances March 23 - May 6, 2017. Opening night is Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York City.

JACK CHARLES V THE CROWN Co-written by Jack Charles and John Romeril.

Directed by Rachael Maza.

Performed by Jack Charles.

This production is the U.S. debut of award-winning indigenous Australian actor, musician, and activist Jack Charles. Known as “the grandfather of Indigenous theatre,” Charles spent a significant portion of his 72 years homeless, an addict, a thief and a regular throughout the Australian prison system.

"Jack Charles V The Crown tells the true story of a life lived to its utmost - from film sets to prisons to 1970’s Koori theater to the Stolen Generation of Australia’s indigenous children. Charles’ unswerving optimism transforms a tale of addiction, crime and prison time into the story of a vagabond’s progress. It is a map of the traps of dispossession, and a guide to reaching the age of grey-haired wisdom."

Performances at New York Live Arts in New York City March 22-24, 2017. After this U.S. premier, Jack Charles V The Crown will run March 29-April 8 at Canada Stage in Toronto.

THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COMEDY (ABRIDGED) written by Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin who "was a clown with Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus where he spent two years frightening children and smelling of elephants."

Directed by Jerry Kernion.

Starring Zehra Fazal, Marc Ginsburg, and Mark Jacobson.

From the high-brow to the low, this fast-paced ride covers comedy through the ages, from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, Moliere to Vaudeville, Charlie Chaplin to The Daily Show. Find answers to the age-old questions, “Who’s on first?” and “Why did the chicken cross the road?” No joke is left untold as the talented trio deconstructs and puts back together the entire history of comedy.

"Warning: The side effects of this play may include groan-worthy humor, uncontrollable laughter, and painful running-gags," according to the official release.

Performances run March 22 – April 23 at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, CA.

HOW TO TRANSCEND A HAPPY MARRIAGE a new play by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Rebecca Taichman.

Featuring Lena Hall, Brian Hutchison, David McElwee, Omar Metwally, Naian González Norvind, Austin Smith, Marisa Tomei, and Robin Weigert.

At a dinner party in the wilds of New Jersey, two married couples (played by Marisa Tomei & Omar Metwally and Robin Weigert & Brian Hutchison) discuss a younger acquaintance - a polyamorous woman who also hunts her own meat (Lena Hall). Fascinated, they invite this mysterious woman and her two live-in boyfriends to a New Year’s Eve party, which alters the course of their lives. How to Transcend a Happy Marriage asks: how much love can a twosome contain? What are the limits of friendship, and what happens when parents who have forgotten their own wildness have a wild rumpus all their own?

Sets by David Zinn, costumes by Susan Hilferty, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski, sound by Matt Hubbs, and original music by Todd Almond.

Opens on Monday, March 20, at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York City.

RED VELVET by Lolita Chakrabarti.

Directed by Stafford Arima.

Red Velvet is a stirring drama that transports audiences to the turbulent backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in the early 1800s. Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, can’t go on tonight as Othello, and his company is in disarray. A young American actor named Ira Aldridge arrives to step into the role - but no black man has ever played Othello on the English stage. His groundbreaking performance upends stage tradition and changes the lives of everyone involved. Lolita Chakrabarti’s multi-award-winning play uncovers the fascinating true story of a pivotal figure in theatre history.

Albert Jones leads the cast as Ira Aldridge. Joining him are Michael Aurelio as Casimir and Henry Forrester; Sean Dugan as Pierre Laporte; Monique Gaffney as Connie; John Lavelle as Charles Kean; Allison Mack as Ellen Tree; Amelia Pedlow as Halina Wozniak, Betty Lovell, and Margaret Aldridge; and Mark Pinter as Terence and Bernard Warde.

The creative team includes Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design), David Israel Reynoso (Costume Design), Jason Lyons (Lighting Design), Jonathan Deans (Sound Design), Lynne Shankel (Original Music), Jenn Rapp (Movement, Associate Director), David Huber (Vocal Coach), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), and Jess Slocum (Production Stage Manager).

Performances Run March 25 – April 30, 2017 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage of the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center in San Diego, CA.


THE BOSTON POPS ESPLANADE ORCHESTRA and conductor Keith Lockhart will showcase the music of George Gershwin including a new arrangement of the overture from the George and Ira Gershwin musical Nice Work If You Can Get It. The program will also feature the Paul Whiteman version of George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. Also on the program, Fascinating Rhythm and the Rhapsody in Blue and I Got Rhythm variations, which will showcase the talents of longtime Pops collaborator, pianist Michael Chertock. After intermission, vocalists will entertain with such Gershwin standards as Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off and a medley ’S Wonderful, ’S Marvelous, ’S Gershwin. Chertock, and two young singers, Justin Hopkins and Erica Spyres, will be the featured guest artists for concerts this coming week with performances Friday, March 24, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO, Saturday, March 25 at the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City, Iowa, and next Sunday, March 26, at the Lied Center for the Performing Arts in Lincoln, NE.

BONEYARDS & BLUESTOCKINGS soprano Elin Harries is joined by harpsichordist Yeo Yat-Soon with a program of early English classical songs with words by the pre-Gothic English poets. The concert includes music by the likes of Haydn, Salomon and Galuppi. ‘Boneyard Boys’ refers to a group of poets considered a precursor of the Gothic movement. The ‘Bluestockings’, led by Elizabeth Montague, were a group of intellectual elites who fought for the civil rights of women and social justice. Despite their differences, their writing has undisputed similarities. Thursday, March 23, in the Music Room of the Handel & Hendrix Museum in London.

SPEKTRAL QUARTET Grammy nominated, Chicago-based Spektral Quartet performs one of the most famous, yet rarely-performed works of modern music, Morton Feldman’s String Quartet No. 2 from 1983. A feat of endurance for players as well as audience, the quartet consists of a single, unbroken movement more than six hours in length. March 25, 2017 at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio.

BON JOVI is on stage Wednesday, March 22, at the Bakers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. Next Sunday, March 26, he can be enjoyed at the United Center in Chicago, IL.

THE TEN TENORS on stage Thursday, March 23, at the Youkey Theatre in Lakeland, FL. Friday's gig is at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. On Saturday they star at Flagler Auditorium in Palm Coast, FL.

COLLABRO Jamie, Matt, Michael and Tom, winners of Britain’s Got Talent return to the United States to promote their latest album Home! beginning a tour Thursday, March 23, is in Thomasville, GA at the Center for the Arts. Saturday show is in Spring, TX at the The Centrum

CHRIS ROCK getting laughs at the Concert Hall at the KJCC in Birmingham, AL on March 24. On Saturday he opens a two nigh gig at the Baenger Theatre in New Orleans, LA.

WEEKND a two time Grammy winner appears at Festival Estereo Picnic on Thursday, March 23, at Parque Deportivo in Bogota, Colombia. Next Sunday, March 26 he takes place in Lollapalooza Brazil in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

IDINA MENZEL a Tony Award winner, performs Tuesday, March 21, 2017 at Sunset Center in Carmel, CA.

JOHN PIZZARELLI QUARTET performs Thursday, March 23 in Santa Barbara, CA at the Lobero Theatre. They open a two night gig March 24 at the Smith Center in Las Vegas. Next Sunday, March 26 they can be enjoyed in San Francisco, CA at the The Fairmont Hotel.

STEVE TYRELL the Grammy-winning vocalist performs March 24 at EJ Thomas Hall in Akron, OH. On Saturday he's on stage at the McCallum Theater in Palm Desert, CA.

GUCCI MANE hip hop singer who helped pioneer the hip hop subgenre trap music, performs in Barton Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on Sunday, March 26, 2017.


CHUCK BERRY a rock -n- roll visionary died on March 18, 2017 at his home in St. Charles County, Missouri,. He was 90.

Berry had six Top 10 hits from 1955 through 1964. His recordings became pillars of the rock canon including: Roll Over Beethoven, Maybellene, Johnny B. Goode, Rock & Roll Music, School Day, Johnny B. Goode, and Sweet Little Sixteen.

He created the duck walk, in which he crouched low and scooted across the stage with one leg extended and his guitar held high.

Berry was part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s inaugural induction class in 1986. He received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984, was named to the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 and received Sweden’s prestigious Polar music prize in 2014. A recording of Johnny B. Goode was included among the cultural artifacts installed on the two Voyager space probes launched in 1977.

He also had some serious encounters with the law. He served time for armed robbery when he was a teenager, a violation of the Mann Act in 1962, and income tax evasion in 1979.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Chuck Berry was arguably the founding father of rock and roll. Not just because he was one of its greatest songwriters and established some of the electric guitar's earliest and most memorable riffs, but also because he was one of music's most palpably exciting entertainers and biggest personalities. His influence on the giants that followed him, such as the Beatles, Beach Boys and many others, is well documented. Chuck received a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy in 1984, our formal acknowledgment of his immeasurable contributions to American culture. He will be greatly missed, but the gift of his music will live on forever."

TOMMY LiPUMA music producer with 33 Grammy nominations and 5 Grammy wins, died March 13, 2017 in New York City. He was 80.

LiPuma served in executive positions at virtually every major recording company, and led Verve Music Group as chairman from 1998 to 2004.

He served as chairman emeritus at Verge from 2004 through 2011 and in 2014 joined Universal Music Publishing Group as a creative consultant.

LiPuma’s final production was his collaboration with Diana Krall on her 13th studio album, Turn Up the Quiet, engineered by Al Schmitt and set for release May 5 on Verve Records.

Outside of music, LiPuma collected 20th Century American Modern art. Works from his collection, featuring pieces from artists Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Arthur Dove and Alfred Maurer, have been exhibited at various galleries and museums throughout the United States.

On March 26, 2012, Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio, named their new arts studies center the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts.

LiPuma is survived by his wife, Gill, daughters Jen Monti and Danielle Wiener, and grandchildren Matty, Julia, Chloe and Ava.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Tommy LiPuma was an industry giant whose name became synonymous with sophisticated pop and jazz. His productions resulted in a Record Of The Year Grammy with George Benson for This Masquerade, an Album Of The Year trophy for Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable With Love, as well as Grammys with Diana Krall and Paul McCartney. He also established or had significant leadership roles at labels such as Blue Thumb, A&M, Warner Bros., GRP, and Verve. Our deepest condolences go out to Tommy's family, friends, and creative counterparts."

JAMES COTTON blues harmonica star died March 16, 2017 at a medical center in Austin, Texas from pneumonia. He was 81.

Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings in Memphis for Sun Records, under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band. Cotton became Waters' bandleader and stayed with the group until 1965. In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with Waters' band.

After leaving Waters's band in 1966, Cotton toured with Janis Joplin while pursuing a solo career. He formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967.

In 2006, Cotton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony conducted by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. He has won or shared ten Blues Music Awards.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "James Cotton’s talent as a blues harmonica player was unmatched. While the Mississippi native was best known for his collaborations with Muddy Waters, he was also an accomplished singer/songwriter and fronted his own group called the James Cotton Blues Band. A 10-time Grammy nominee, he earned the Best Traditional Blues Album Grammy for 1996 for his album Deep In The Blues. He was later inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006. Our deepest condolences go out to James' family, friends, and creative collaborators."

CHARLOT MALIN San Francisco art patron, real estate executive and interior designer whose projects included George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch Sound Studios, and Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort in Utah, died Monday, March 13, 2017 after a sudden illness. She was 48.

She was chief operating officer and director of design for Troon Pacific Inc., an international development company that she ran with her husband, Gregory Malin.

Since 1994, she was active with the San Francisco Opera and held leadership positions at the organization including Opera Ball co-chair and Opera Guild president from 2014 to 2016.

The San Francisco Opera has created a fund to honor her memory.

"Charlot was passionate about the Guild’s education programs and was a tireless fundraiser in support of them," the Opera Guild stated in a release. "It was her goal to make music, and specifically opera, part of everyone’s lives. She believed that San Francisco Opera Guild was important as a producer of excellent opera and classical music education programs for Bay Area students and teachers. She was committed to these mission-critical goals as well as to producing exceptional fundraising events to support those programs. As a native of Norway, where culture is considered a birthright, her first experience with Opera was at age 7, when her father’s aunt and cousin sang in Aida at the Oslo Opera. Aida inspired her to love opera, but igniting in children an interest in music was what inspired her to work so tirelessly to share this opportunity with students in the San Francisco community.

"The Charlot D. Malin San Francisco Opera Guild Education Fund will be used to continue Charlot’s vision for the future of the Guild and the many students who benefit from our programs."

She was also active at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art serving as an ex-officio trustee from 2012 to 2015 of the Curators’ Circle.

“Her dedication to SFMOMA was passionate and impactful,” Neal Benezra, director of SFMOMA, said in a statement. “In addition to sharing her expertise and leadership, her relationships with cultural organizations in her homeland of Norway helped to support our upcoming exhibition on Edvard Munch.”

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her twin sons, Benjamin and Sebastian; parents, Turid and Tore Diskerud of Arizona; and brother, Paal Diskerud of Norway.

AMY KRAUSE ROSENTHAL the Chicago bestselling children's author who wrote the moving tribute to her husband Jason in You May Want To Marry My Husband which was published on line March 3 and in the NY Times on March 5, 2017, died March 13, 2017 of the ovarian cancer she wrote about. She was 51.

In addition to her husband, a Chicago attorney, she is survived by her children, Justin, Miles and Paris; her parents Ann and Paul Krouse; sisters Katie Froelich and Beth Kaufmann, and brother Joe Krouse.

Next Column: March 26, 2017
Copyright: March 19, 2017 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
Link to Main Page

Laura Deni

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