Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: March 20, 2005
By: Laura Deni


George Segal
Peter Falk
Retirement, a comic road movie that publicity material describes as a cross between Grumpy Old Men and Road Trip, bears the subtitle: "Who says you have to grow up?"

That also appears to be an apt description of the cast.

Originally, the flick starred Peter Falk, George Segal, Rip Torn and Ossie Davis. The unexpected death of Davis, which occurred on location in Florida as he was filming the movie, left a void. Stepping into the part is actor Bill Cobbs.

Retirement is largely dependent on the interactions and chemistry between the four comic actors, some of whom it is reported displayed their potential for cinematic hijinks even before the movie began to shoot. As is always required, all of the stars had to pass a physical exam.

Falk and Segal went together for their preproduction medical listen, tap, grope and poke.

Falk and Segal came out okay. The results for the physician are still pending. For the rest of his career the doc may never again be able to keep a straight face when he tells a patient to "cough." Hilarious and mostly unprintable rumors continue to circulate about what the doctor had to go through. Bed rest for the medic may be appropriate.

In Retirement the veteran actors play four curmudgeonly, old Florida retirees who decide to embark on a road trip to Las Vegas, stopping in New Orleans en route. The plot follows the four codgers who head to Vegas in order to stop the marriage of Falk's daughter - played by newcomer Nancy Young - to a guy they don't like. With them is Falk's daughter's ex played by Billy Burke, who is scheming to win her back.

Coolio, the Grammy, American Music and three-time MTV music award-winning rapper, composed two songs for the film. He also appears in the movie cast as big-time rapper, Master Flow, the nephew to Cobbs' character, "Marvin."

Coolio performs both songs in the film. One performance is on stage, at a concert that takes place in New Orleans, where Coolio's character meets up with the four old men and joins them in their journey.

Last Monday and Tuesday the production was headquartered at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas and included a cameo appearance by Rio headliners The Scintas.

While scenes have been shot in south Florida and Las Vegas, most of the picture is set in New Orleans.

As with most things celluloid nothing is as it appears. Many of the scenes passing for Las Vegas were filmed in New Orleans. However, scenes of the famous Jackson Square in New Orleans were shot in Florida, since the production couldn't get permission to lens in the real Jackson Square.

With a budget in the $8 million to $10 million range, Retirement is written by Jon Warner and Michael Pietrzak and is directed by Charles Picerni, a veteran stunt man, television director and assistant feature film director with more than 100 film credits in his career.


Stephen Sondheim's 75th birthday will be celebrated by the Broadway community with a gala benefit concert featuring a parade of theater stars.

The evening is called Children and Art, the title of a song from Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George. The show will benefit Young Playwrights Inc., an organization the composer helped found in 1981.

Among the performers expected to appear at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 21, the day before Sondheim's 75th birthday, are Bernadette Peters, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Patti LuPone, Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin, Chita Rivera, Harvey Fierstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Audra McDonald, David Hyde Pierce, Dame Edna Everage and more.

Also appearing will be original cast members of several Sondheim shows including Company, Follies and Merrily We Roll Along, as well as a 35-piece orchestra, a 100-voice choir and the Young People's Chorus of New York.

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.


Directed, staged readings of four original full-length plays will be presented by the Long Beach Playhouse at its 15th Annual New Works Festival. The admission-free readings will be held at the Playhouse, the last Saturday of March, April, May and June. Seating is on a first-come-first-seated basis.

The Festival is designed to help Playwrights develop new plays for the theatre. The Festival's four winning plays were selected from 230 plays submitted nationwide. To date, 14 New Works Festival winners have evolved from staged readings into full productions at the Playhouse; the most recent being last season's Hattie by William Blinn which is currently up for multiple NAACP Awards for Best Production, Best Actress, and Costume and Scenic Designs.

Post-reading discussions follow, and the Playwrights receive written critiques by drama critics, a videotape of the reading, an honorarium and consideration for a full production. The readings are scheduled as follows:

THE QUALITY OF LIGHT by Richard Martin Hirsch Saturday, March 26. In the south of France, two lovers; an older woman and a younger man meet by chance, and for two days the mismatched pair share an intensely physical, emotional and sometimes comical time together, which then leads to revelations that have potentially lethal consequences.

HIGH TEA/ WITH HIS EXCELLENCY by Robert Joseph Ahola on Saturday, April 30. A highly-amusing adult comedy wherein one man's obsession with the truth collides with the hidden fantasies of a room full of not-so-repressed women.

OUT OF YOUR MIND by Arthur Kraft on Saturday, May 28. An American fireman on vacation in Italy is in a car collision with a young Italian lingerie saleslady. Both are injured and a neurosurgeon downloads their brain information into a computer while he operates, then restores them - to the wrong bodies. Husky, 40-year-old Joe returns to California looking very much like a petite, 25-year-old Italian woman. The result---a series of hilarious farcical situations.

THE QUALITY OF LIGHT by Richard Martin Hirsch Saturday, March 26. In the south of France, two lovers; an older woman and a younger man meet by chance, and for two days the mismatched pair share an intensely physical, emotional and sometimes comical time together, which then leads to revelations that have potentially lethal consequences.

HIGH TEA WITH HIS EXCELLENCY by Robert Joseph Ahola on Saturday, April 30. A highly-amusing adult comedy wherein one man's obsession with the truth collides with the hidden fantasies of a room full of not-so-repressed women.

OUT OF YOUR MIND by Arthur Kraft on Saturday, May 28. An American fireman on vacation in Italy is in a car collision with a young Italian lingerie saleslady. Both are injured and a neurosurgeon downloads their brain information into a computer while he operates, then restores them---to the wrong bodies. Husky, 40-year-old Joe returns to California looking very much like a petite, 25-year-old Italian woman. The result---a series of hilarious farcical situations.

SCENES FROM MY LIFE By Tom Sharkey on Saturday, June 25. A romantic comedy involving two drama school graduates who have wildly different experiences revealed through three ten-year reunions. As they mature their lives become entwined with the silver screen, unrequited love, heartbreak, death, Shakespeare, Sheridan and Shaw.


David Farneth
by David Farneth with Elmar Juchem and Dave Stein.

The Threepenny Opera, Lady in Dark, Lost in the Stars - Kurt Weill was one of the most prolific and creative composers of the 20th century.

A lively colloquy on his career from Weimar, Germany to post-World War II America, relationships with Brecht and Lotte Lenya, and crusade to erase boundaries between "high" and "low" art.

Part of Manhattan Theatre Club's Writers in Performance Series.

March 28 at New York City Center Stage I.

THE GOAT OR WHO IS SILVIA will be emotionally dissected on Sunday, March 27, following the matinee performance at Arena Stages in Washington, D.C. In cooperation with the Washington Psychoanalytic Foundation, Arena Stage presents a series of post-show discussions which examine the psychological aspects of select productions.

Speaker: David Scharff, M.D. The brief discussion is followed by a question and answer period with the audience. The program is approximately 45 minutes in length.


a special one-night-only benefit extravaganza, at The Music Box Theatre, featuring performances from "an all-star dramatic company" including and many Surprise Guests! Brent Barrett, Rebecca Luker, Mario Cantone, Phyllis Newman, Bruce Vilanch, Ruth Williamson and Theresa Aceves, Larry Bullock, Matthew Cusick, Jamie deRoy, Andy Halliday, Arnie Kolodner, Timony Bish, Joey Dudding, James Kinney, Keither Kuhl, Bobby Pestka, Jody Reynard, Chuck Saculla and Jason Patrick Sands.

Together On Broadway will be an outrageous evening of hilarious songs and sketches, plus a complete twentieth anniversary production of Busch's legendary camp classic Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which opened on June 19, 1985 at the Provincetown Playhouse in New York City and ran for five years. It was originally produced and directed by Kenneth Elliott.

Musical Direction by Choreographed by Special Material by Jesse Vargas. Denis Jones. Marc Shaiman & Seth Rudetsky. Directed by Carl Andress.

Together On Broadway Benefit Committee includes; Doug Cramer, Jamie deRoy, Scott Durkin, Valerie Harper, Carol Shorenstein Hays, Thomas Keegan, Jeffry Melnick, Niclas Nagler, Phyllis Newman, Rosie O’Donnell, Isabel Rose, Robin Strasser, Randall L. Wreghitt.

Tickets are $50/$100/$250/$1000. The event takes place Monday, March 28, At Broadway’s Music Box Theatre.


The 2005 festival marks the 93rd celebration of the original gift of the 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, DC in 1912.

Opening ceremonies take place Saturday, March 28 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The evening's program features welcoming remarks from dignitaries, Japanese and American entertainment and the introduction of Festival Goodwill Ambassadors. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Sakura Matsuri will be on Saturday, April 9.

Don't think you can bring a bucket and go picking. The cherry blossom trees given to us as a gift from Japan in 1912 are not fruit-bearing trees. They only produce the beautiful pink, white and combinations thereof blossoms that are such a joy to see.

No cherries on the trees doesn't stop Washington, DC’s top chefs from joining in the National Cherry Blossom Festival tradition by serving up cherry-infused recipes inspired by the city’s famous spring blooms.

From sumptuous entrees to decadent desserts, Cherry Picks show off the creativity of Washington, DC’s leading culinary talents.

Virtually every restaurant and bar has something cherry.

There is also an cherry flavored afternoon tea at The Willard InterContinental, featuring Executive Chef Guénaël Le Berre’s three-course lunch and four-course dinner of Asian delights. Their Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea, features cherry scones with clotted cream, cherry tea cake, chilled cherry soup, cherry cheesecake, and more, will be served Wednesday through Sunday in Peacock Alley. The Willard's lobby and Peacock Alley promenade will be decked with live cherry blossom floral displays throughout the festival period.

Got a blooming cherry tree is your own back yard? Join in the festivities and imbibe a concoction that popular Washington, D.C. bars will feature as they join in the celebration with their special themed cocktails designed for the festival:

Bangkok Joe’s Frozen Cherry Bellini (Champagne, Bing cherries, Cream Sherry, and lime juice).

Ceiba’s Brazilian Sunrise (Stoli Vanilla, Grenadine, mixed with the Brazilian cherry soda Guarana).

Cloud Dining Lounge’s Cherry Margarita.

DC Coast’s Cherry Fizz (Stoli Strawberry, Grenadine, and Sprite).

The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown’s Degrees Bar’s Cherry Blosso-tini (Bacardi Razz, Cherry Liquor, White CrPme de Cacao, and toasted almonds).

The Helix Lounge’s Cherry Gin Blossom (Wet Gin, Splash of Cassis, Splash of Sour Mix, shaken and poured into a chilled martini glass topped with Ginger Ale).

La Tasca’s Cherry Blossom Sangria.

McCormick & Schmick’s Cherry Blossom Punch (Cherry pucker, cherry vodka, pineapple juice, Sierra Mist, grenadine, and a twist of lemon).

Mie N Yu’s Effen Cherry Pom Martini (Effen Black Cherry Vodka and fresh pomegranate juice).

The Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Bar’s Knotted Cherry Stem (Cherry brandy, Tanqueray gin, sweet and sour mix, 7-Up, and cranberry juice).

the stage adaptation will have its world premiere at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto beginning February 2, 2006.

With what is promised to be a thrilling score, a spectacular design and an ensemble of over 65 actors, singers and musicians, the stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, costing $27,000,000, is the biggest and most ambitious theatrical production ever staged.

An acclaimed international creative team has combined all the books of the trilogy into one theatrical event. Directed by Matthew Warchus, with books and lyrics by Shaun McKenna and Matthew Warchus. Music for the production is composed by A.R. Rahman and the contemporary Finnish group Värttinä, collaborating with Christopher Nightingale. Set and costume designs are by Rob Howell, with a creative team including Christopher Nightingale (musical supervisor), Peter Darling (choreographer), Simon Baker (sound designer) and Paul Kieve (illusions director).

"What we have is a beautiful and spectacular adaptation of Tolkien's epic that in word, music, design and performance honors the original trilogy in its imagination, scale and insight. The Lord of the Rings is one of the great stories of the last century and, not surprisingly, it will take us three hours of stage time to perform our version of all three books - three unforgettable extraordinary hours in Middle-earth for audiences of all ages," says producer Kevin Wallace.

"We will be presenting a hybrid of Text, Physical Theatre, Music and Spectacle never previously seen on this scale," says director Matthew Warchus.

"To read the novel is to experience the events of Middle-earth in the mind's eye; to watch the films is to view Middle-earth as though through a giant window. Only in the theatre are we actually plunged into the events as they happen. The environment surrounds us. We participate. We are in Middle-earth."

THE PHILADELPHIA STORY first performed on Broadway in 1939 is set to open at the Old Vic in London starring Jennifer Ehle as Tracy Lord and Kevin Spacey as CK Dexter Haven.

Four time Tony winner Jerry Zaks will direct the cast that includes; Oliver Cotton, Nicholas LePrevost, Richard Lintern, Julia McKenzie, Damian Matthews, Talulah Riley and Lauren Ward.

Opens May 3 at the Old Vic in London.

LOBBY HERO by Kenneth Lonergan Directed by T.R. Martin.

Jeff slacks on his graveyard shift as a security guard in a Manhattan high-rise by joking and cajoling his way through the night. When he becomes entangled in a murder investigation and falls awkwardly for a rookie cop, she pushes him to do the right thing. He just can't quite figure out what "the right thing" is.

March 23–April 10 Studio Production of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

is a cabaret musical written and narrated by songwriter Kathy King Wouk. Starring Lisa Asher, Allison Briner, Barbara Brussell.

Directed by Lisa Asher. Music director is Jeff Waxman.

A semi-autobiographical song cycle that examines head-on what a woman looks like when she's emotionally undressed. The performances begin March 20 - April 21 at The Duplex in NYC.

"A song becomes a musical photograph when it's lyrics and music produce an image that allows us to view the world, to see into the nature of things," stated Kathy King Wouk. "For twenty years, I have been taking musical photographs of women whose stories uncover the truth of their emotions. It as been a "great physical and intellectual joy" for me and an experience of self-discovery. Being a musical photographer has brought me the words of the French writer Annie Emaux, "Closer to the worl."

ORSON'S SHADOW by Austin Pendleton. Set in 1960, it concerns director Orson Welles and his endeavor to direct a West End production of Ionesco's Rhinoceros - a satire about fascism - starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright. Complicating matters are the romance between Olivier and Plowright and Olivier's mentally unstable wife, actress Vivien Leigh. The play, which is labeled as fiction, never-the-less is a depiction of actual events, with the author imagining the circumstances behind the staging of this absurdist masterpiece and revealing the human frailty of these larger-than-life personalities.

David Cromer directs the cast which stars John Judd as Olivier, Lee Roy Rogers as Janet Leigh, Jeff Still as Welles with Susan Bennett, Tracy Letts, and Ian Westerfer.

Sets by Takeshi Kata, Lighting by Tyler Micoleau. Costumes by Theresa Squire. Sound by Jonah Lawrence.

Opened March 13 at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City.

BOSTON MARRIAGE An Oscar Wilde style period comedy written by a contemporary playwright. It is a droll comedy of errors set in a Victorian parlor. "Boston marriage" is a 19th Century term used for households where two women lived together independent of any male support. Here live Anna and Claire who are two bantering women of fashion. Anna has just become the mistress of a wealthy man. She has accepted an enormous jeweled necklace and a large income to match in order to maintain a comfortable home for herself and Claire. Claire has become infatuated with a young lady. When the young lady pays a visit and sees her mother’s necklace around Anna’s neck, it sets off a crisis that puts the valuable jewel and the women’s futures at risk. March 25 - April 16 at Carpenter Square Theatre in Oklahoma City.

THE GLASS MENAGERIE Tennessee Williams' 1944 classic gets a brilliant Broadway revival, starring Jessica Lange as Amanda. The play is directed by David Leveaux and also stars Christian Slater, Sarah Paulson, and Josh Lucas. Officially opens March 22 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in Manhattan.

THE PILLOWMAN a new work from playwright Martin McDonagh stars Billy Crudup and Jeff Goldblum. Billed as both unsettling and exhilarating this new comedy-drama is about a fiction writer in a totalitarian prison who is interrogated about the similarities between his short stories and several bizarre child-murders in the town. Opens March 21 at the Booth Theatre in NYC.

STEEL MAGNOLIAS by Robert Harling which made it's debut in 1987. This revival is directed by Jason Moore and stars Delta Burke, Christine Ebersole, Marsha Mason, and Frances Sternhagen. At the Lyceum Theatre in NYC.


DURAN DURAN who haven't been on a major tour in two decades perform Tuesday, March 22 at the Excel Engery Center in Saint Paul MN. On Wednesday they are on stage at the Mark of the Quad Cities in Moline, IL. Thursday they can be enjoyed at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn, MI and on Saturday they are in the spotlight at the Cincinnati Music Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio.

PETER CINCOTTI center stage Tuesday, March 22 at the St. Cecilia Music Society in Grand Rapids, MI. On Wednesday the show is at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.

THE TEN TENORS and their unmistakable Australian charm have captured the hearts of countless fans worldwide with their blend of a classical tenor repertoire, ballads of the Neapolitan crooners and rock classics. Two performances March 26 at the Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT.

THE BOB DYLAN SHOW featuring Bob Dylan and his band, Merle Haggard and the Strangers, and Amos Lee on Monday, March 21 start a five night engagement at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.

BILLY JOEL back in rehab, thus his March 26 show at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas has been cancelled.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY in a two nighter Thursday and Friday at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO.

SARAH McLACHLAN on tour in Australia performs Monday at the Sydney Opera House. Thursday finds her at the Royal Theatre in Canberra and on Saturday she is center stage at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle.

THE BEACH BOYS bring their surf sounds to the Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT on Thursday. On Friday the guys star at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY and on Saturday they'll be playing their hits is at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, N.J.

DAVID SPADE telling funny stories March 25-26 in the Danny Gans Theatre of the Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas.

JULIO IGLESIAS singing love songs March 26 at Buffalo Bills in Primm, Nevada.

ELTON JOHN returns to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for performances March 29-April 10.

LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS entertain Friday at the Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN. On Saturday the guys will be starring at the Prairie Knights Casino in Fort Yates, N.D.

Next Column: March 27, 2005
Copyright: March 20 2005. 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/credit.
Link to Main Page

Laura Deni