Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: May 16, 2010
By: Laura Deni


Zhang Yimou being honored at a Hawaiian film festival
A country noted for knock-offs and viewed as having little respect for copyright law - China - has taken to trial one of their own, acclaimed Chinese filmmaker and former cinematographer Zhang Yimou, accusing him of copyright infringement.

Zhang co-directed the 2008 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. He directed an acclaimed version of the Puccini's Turandot, first in Florence in October 2009 then later at the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing with Zubin Mehta as conductor. He has plans to tour this production in Europe, Asia and Australia this year. In 2001, Zhang adapted his 1991 film Raise the Red Lantern to the stage, directing a ballet version. He has helmed the Venice film fest jury and was a runner-up for Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2008.

The precedent setting lawsuit, which took place last week in Beijing, charged Zhang with copyright infringement of Dixi, a type of opera, known for its colorful masks. Dixi originated in the city of Anshun in Southwest China's Guizhou province and is considered a "national intangible cultural heritage opera."

Dixi Opera is one of the oldest operas in the world, tracing its history back to 1382, the 14th year of the Emperor Hongwu during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The word Dixi means ground. The operas are called Dixi because they are staged on a flat piece of ground. In areas such as Tunbu in Anshun, Dixi Opera is the primary form of entertainment.

The size of the piece of land used by the actors depends on the number of performers involved. What makes the opera unique is that the actors do not paint their faces, but wear colorful masks carved of wood.

Dixi Opera performer. Photo: China Tourism
There are five basic types of characters, but the variety of masks used for each type is almost endless. Each opera commonly uses 40 to 100 different masks along with elaborate costumes. The unique Dixi Opera masks are usually carved together with helmets into singular, exaggerated expressions representing stock characters such as soldiers. Dragons decorate the helmets of male generals, and phoenixes adorn female generals' helmets. Anywhere from two to nine pairs of dragons decorate a single helmet. Constellations of stars, magpies, bats, and copper coins may also be used as decoration, depending on the needs of the different characters.

The audience stands around the area where the performance is being held. The opera is accompanied by a drum and a gong, with the tempo set by the drummer. Popular themes for a Dixi Opera are battles, the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and the history of the Sui and Tang Dynasties.

In Caiguan Village, near the Dragon Palace Cave, which is famous for its Dixi Opera performances, there is a Dixi Opera Museum.

On Tuesday, May 11, the Beijing Xicheng District Court heard the case, in which Zhang, together with film producer Zhang Weiping and the film distribution company, were sued by the Anshun city culture authority for not giving the city credit in the movie.

The plaintiff's attorney played the film in court to show that Dixi was the form of opera used in the film. All eight opera performers were selected by Zhang Yimou from Anshun before they traveled to Lijiang in the Yunnan province with the crew to shoot the film. But the film did not mention it was Dixi Opera which, it is claimed, led some audiences to think that the form of opera seen in the film originated in Yunnan.

Zhan Xueyan, one of the opera performers in the film, appeared in court as a witness. He testified that what the singers performed in the film was exactly the same as the original version of the Dixi Opera in lines, costumes and actions.

Zhang Yimou's lawyer said the accusation is without merit, stating that no law in China regulates intangible cultural heritage copyright infringement.

"Film is a fictional art form and it is pointless to define a plot scenario as a real artistic form," he said.

Liu Shuliang, professor of directing and performing at the Communication University of China, called for the creation of a culture heritage protection law. He cited American and European laws. "Western films pay much attention to this and they even give credit to what aired on the TV (if) used in the film," he said.

A verdict has yet to be announced.

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Coal miner greeting John Kennedy. Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images - JFK Library
celebrating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's historic win in the 1960 West Virginia Democratic primary election is now on display at The Museum at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

Considered by many historians to be one of the most significant state primaries in American political history, Kennedy's landslide victory in West Virginia proved that Kennedy was a viable Presidential candidate, winning decisively in a state where Catholics comprised barely 5% of the population.

The exhibition features original documents, photographs, and artifacts from the collections of the Kennedy Presidential Library, the National Archives, and the White House.

Suit worn by Jacqueline Kennedy. Images - JFK Library
A highlight of the exhibit is a series of Kennedy's original handwritten notes-never before displayed-revealing his own doubts about the outcome of the race. Kennedy had written these notes to his long-time friend Charles Bartlett, who later explained, "JFK had lost his voice and we communicated by cards which he pulled from his pocket." The cards are on loan from Charles Bartlett.

Additional items on view include:

Original press release of Senator Kennedy's April 21, 1960 speech to newspaper editors, described by Kennedy advisor Ted Sorensen as "his first full exposition of his views on church and state";

Black-and-white houndstooth suit worn by Jacqueline Kennedy while campaigning with her husband in West Virginia;

Photographs of John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy campaigning in West Virginia;

Crystal glassware purchased by Jacqueline Kennedy. Image - JFK Library
Original Executive Order Providing for an Expanded Program of Food Distribution to Needy Families signed by President Kennedy on January 21, 1961 as his first official act as President, on loan from the National Archives, Washington, DC;

"The President's House" crystal glassware purchased by Jacqueline Kennedy from West Virginia's Morgantown Glassware Guild, to be used for official functions at the White House, including pieces on loan from the White House.

Kennedy's campaign in West Virginia was all-out. For weeks he traveled up and down the state, meeting thousands of voters, many of whom suffered from severe economic hardship. He shone a national spotlight on their plight and detailed a plan for economic recovery. He commended their strength in the face of adversity.

And instead of shying away from the "religion issue," he confronted it head-on. By May 10, 1960, Kennedy had won the West Virginian's votes, and they had won his heart. The people of West Virginia-their kindness and fairness, their grit and determination and patriotism-made their mark on this young candidate and helped to shape the President he would become.

Winning West Virginia-JFK's Primary Campaign will remain open until mid-November 2010.


To fully appreciate this CD the listener needs to understand the storyline. That doesn't mean that this CD is a bunch of insider tracts enjoyed only by those who are the BFF of one of the stars. Rather, it's like looking at a Picasso or Van Gogh. If you know a bit about the artist and the painting, you'll better appreciate the work of art.

The book for City of Angels was penned by the late Larry Gelbart, who was one of the main forces behind the creation of the television series M*A*S*H. Gelbart successful wrote for all mediums.

City of Angels weaves together two plots the "real" world of a writer trying to turn his book into a screenplay, and the "reel" world of the fictional film.

The setting is Hollywood in the late 1940s, with two stories occurring simultaneously: a Hollywood comedy and a detective drama.

The author, Stine (James Naughton), is a novelist adapting his novel, City of Angels into a screenplay for movie mogul Buddy Fidler (Rene Auberjonois).

Buddy, a charismatic and autocratic producer-director, has an immense ego and, although he claims to be a fan of Stine’s work, he continually demands rewrites from the increasingly reluctant Stine.

Rachel York. Photo by Laura Deni
In Stein's novel, Alaura Kingsley (Dee Hoty), a striking socialite, is ushered into detective Stone's (also James Naughton) office by Oolie (Randy Graff), his loyal Girl Friday.

Alaura hires him to find her step-daughter Mallory Kingsley (Rachel York), a beautiful "bad" girl, who will later turn up naked in Stone's own bed. Stone receives a brutal beating from two thugs and is framed for a murder. As the plot thickens, Stone's own past comes to haunt him.

The relatively simple missing daughter case turns tricky and may end up costing Stone his life. It keeps getting more and more complicated, possibly because the author keeps rewriting it.

Complicated? Yes. Funny? Absolutely!

City of Angels took home Tony Awards for:

Best Musical -
Best Original Score -
Best Book of a Musical -
Best Actor in a Musical (James Naughton) -
Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Randy Graff) - and
Best Scenic Design.

The show also garnered Tony nominations for:

Best Actor in a Musical (Gregg Edelman) -
Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Rene Auberjonois) -
Best Costume Design (Florence Klotz) -
Best Lighting Design (Paul Gallo) -
Best Direction of a Musical (Michael Blakemore).

Taking that curly-que storyline and creating songs, which helped propel City of Angels into that rarified Tony Award atmosphere, were Cy Coleman's music and some of best lyrics ever written by David Zippel, who celebrates his 56th birthday on May 17.

James Naughton in City of Angels
The haunting overture is pure 1940s - the kind of grab the listener music that kept people looking at their radios as they listened to mystery shows.

The Tennis Song is one of the sexiest, XXX-rated, double entendre songs ever presented - and in a G-rated show, no less. On the Broadway stage the song could stop the show. On this CD it will cause listeners to drop whatever they're doing and pay attention, not just to the hysterical lyrics, but also to get an inkling of how David Zippel's creative mind works.

One of the most heartbreaking love songs ever written is With Every Breath I Take featuring the mournful trombone of Jim Pugh. The lyrics can pierce your heart.

The reprise - a duet by Stone (James Naughton) and Bobbie (Kay McClelland) - contains additional lyrics, this time from the man's point of view. Zippel again demonstrates his uncanny ability to truly capture human emotions - a crucial but not necessarily evident characteristic in all lyricists.

You Can Count On Me - a fabulous song - is the theme song for every woman who has ever been a man's doormat. Priceless, pity, spot on lyrics coupled with a tinkling piano and a slap happy bass, performed to perfection by Randy Graff as Oolie.

The bouncy You're Nothing Without Me is a cleverly constructed song in which the writer is singing to his screen character and vice versa.

What You Don't Know About Women has Gabby (Kay McClennand) and Oolie (Randy Graff) getting their point across - that successful men can be really dumb when it comes to love.

While Zippel has created bull's-eye songs about love, his ability to capture all situations is evident with his hilarious lyrics in All You Have to Do Is Wait. It's a song with a Salsa beat about an upcoming execution, in which those eager for the event even speculate that the prisoner's last meal might cause gas.

Jimmy Powers (Scott Waara) and Quartet deliver Look Out For Yourself - an upbeat warning to those in the stab 'em in the back show business profession. Funny is powerful!! Sung by Naughton, the lyrics are not just a writer's hue and cry, but on the mark for anyone in the world of competitive business.

Starring James Naughton, Peter Davis, Gary Kahn, Amy Jane London, Jackie Presti, Gregg Edelman, Kay McClelland, Randy Graff, Scott Waara, James Hindman, Rene Auderjonois, Dee Hoty, Rachel York, Shawn Elliott, Alvin Lum and Tom Galantich. Also in the care are Keoth Perry, James Cahill, Herschel Sparber, Raymond Xifo, Doug Tompos, Evan Thompson, Eleanor Glockner, Susan Terry and Jacquey Maltby.

Orchestrations by Billy Byers. Vocal arrangements by Cy Coleman and Yaron Gershovsky.

Orchestra: Gordon Lowet Harrell, conductor. Kathy Sommer, associate conductor. Lee Musiker, Kathy Sommer, keyboards. Dave Ratajczak, drums. Charles Descarfino, percussion. Dave Fink, bass. Bob Rose, guitar. Byron Stripling, Glenn Drewes, Dave Rogers, trumpets. Jim Pugh, Sy Berger, George Flynn, trombones. Peter Gordon, French horn. Mike Migliori, Ed Salkin, Bob Steen, Ken Hitchcock, John Campo, woodwinds. Belinda Whitney-Barrett, concertmistress. Canovia Cummins, Karl Kawahara, violins. Astrid Schween, cello. Mike Miller, synth programmer.

Recorded on January 8 and 15, 1990 at Clinton Recording Studios, NYC with Mike Farrow serving as recording engineer. Digital Editor Gene Curtis. City of Angels opened on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre on December 11, 1989 and closed on January 19, 1992 after 878 performances and 24 previews.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of City of Angels, which has been recently unavailable on CD, has been released in eco-friendly packaging by Masterworks Broadway. If you were one of those who saw the production, this CD is a perfect reminder of a great musical. For those who missed a live version, give this CD a listen and enjoy.


the New Jersey State Theatre Benefit Gala 2010 is touted as "It's Everything Vegas in 90 Minutes - spellbinding cirque acts, sidesplitting standup comedy, enchanting ballroom dancers, a dose of magic, and Las Vegas headliner Lynda Carter."

The Benefit Gala supports the Theatre’s world-class programming and nationally recognized education programs.

The concert is produced and directed by Wes Brustad.

Benefit Gala 2010 Honoree is Dr. Norman Reitman. The Leadership Award in the Arts will be presented to Wesley O. Brustad, Retiring State Theatre President & CEO.

The evening promises "authentic casino experience with a variety of gaming tables, raffles, and opportunities to win several fabulous prizes throughout the evening. Guests will enjoy cocktail style dining, open bar, dancing, and live entertainment."

Cocktail reception followed by Awards Ceremony and Performance capped off by the Casino Night, Dinner, and Dancing.

May 22, 2010 at The Heldrich, New Brunswick, NJ.

BROADWAY AT THE BOAT HOUSE . . . ENCORE hosted by Tony Award winners Cady Huffman and Dick Latessa. The event, presented by Creative Alternatives of New York will feature performances by Promises, Promises stars Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes and Katie Finneran, as well as a special appearance by Broadway veteran and Glee star Matthew Morrison.

Dr. Sandra Bloom will be honored by CANY at the event. She is the creator of The Sanctuary Model for trauma-informed care and Co-Director, Center for Non-Violence & Social Justice, Drexel Univ.

The organization helps children and adults across the New York Metropolitan area whose lives have been fragmented by trauma and mental health challenges by using the art of theater as a therapeutic tool.

Cocktails, buffet and silent auction with guest auctioneer Stephanie Landess, followed by the program and entertainment, capped of by gondola rides.

At the Loeb Central Park Boathouse on Monday, May 17. Festive Spring Attire is requested.


THE POETS’ THEATRE Elizabeth Bishop & Robert Lowell. Sixty-three years after they were supposed to meet the at the 92nd Street Y, star-crossed poets and long-time pen pals Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell get another chance. They are channeled by the Tony-nominated actors Kate Burton and Michael Cumpsty, who read from Bishop and Lowell’s letters and poetry, drawing on the 2008 book, Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell

Monday, May 24, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

CAROLE SHELLEY currently portraying Grandma in Broadway's Billy Elliot, will be interviewed by critic and journalist, Don Shewey, in a conversation about her life and career on Monday, May 17 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. A question and answer period will follow. Part of the Edith Meiser Oral History project.

BARRINGTON STAGE COMPANY'S Musical Theatre Lab, under the mentorship of Tony winning composer/lyricist William Finn, kicks off its fourth season, with a reading of a new musical, Poolside at the Hotel Bel Air featuring music and lyrics by Nikos Tskalakos, with book and lyrics by Janet Allard. Based on Tsakalakos' experience as a pool boy in LA,

A pool boy's summer turns upside down when he's seduced by LA glitz and glam and a sexy older woman. Love and chaos ensue

Directed by Kevin Del Aguila, with music direction by Matt Castle, and Assistant Director Danny Ergberg, Poolside at the Hotel Bel Air stars Nick Blaemire as Nick, Tony nominee Barbara Walsh as Mrs. Duval, Orville Mendoza as the Sultan, Noel Molinelli as April, Robert DuSold as Mr. Lopes, Marcus Neville as Mr. Duval, and Joshua Segarra as Jack.

Performances will take place at BSC's Stage 2 space, in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24.

PUTTING ARCHITECTS CENTER STAGE is at the heart of Resonance Ensemble’s 2010 season entitled Building Characters. This season will feature in rep Ibsen’s classic The Master Builder, directed by Eric Parness and June Finfer’s new play, The Glass House, directed by Evan Bergman.

Resonance Ensemble has invited notables from the architectural and design worlds to be a part of post show discussions with the audiences at The Glass House. Those notables include:

May 18 Architect, Annabelle Selldorf
May 20 MoMA’s Barry Bergdoll
May 25 Ibsen scholar and former President of The Ibsen Society of America, Joan Templeton
May 26 Architectural Critics and Author, Paul Golderger
May 28 Architectural Educator, Dietrich Neumann
June 1 Executive Directors of Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson's Glass House, Christy MacKear and Whitney French
June 3 Architect//Designer and star of TLC’s Trading Spaces and HGTV’s Hidden Potential’s Barry Wood

All post show talk backs will take place at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre in NYC.


plays the hapless tramp Estragon in Waiting For Godot, currently in rehearsals in Melbourne, Australia. According to McKellen tweets, picked up by the Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the 70-year-old actor was wearing his threadbare costume during a break from rehearsing, when, according to his tweets: "During the dress rehearsal of Godot, I crouched by the stage door of the Comedy Theatre, getting some air, my bowler hat at my feet [and] seeing an unkempt old man down on his luck, a passer-by said, 'Need some help, brother?' and put a dollar in my hat.'

Sir Ian added: "I hope the Melbourne audiences will be as generous."

“The dollar coin is now lodged between two drawing pins on the board above my dressing room mirror. My lucky talisman.”

Sir Ian then recreated the experienced for press photographers. Either the famed actor was mistaken for a bum, or this was a clever PR stunt. Regardless, the event has received world wide attention.

After Waiting For Godot finishes its run at the Comedy Theatre, it will continue its Australian tour with stops in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. The production then moves to New Zealand with performances at the St. James Theatre in Wellington June 30-July 3. The tour then has a two night nighter at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch on July 13-14.

BROADWAY SHOWS BRING MONEY INTO NYC during the 2008-2009 season, Broadway as an industry contributed $9.8 billion to the economy of New York City. This amount was comprised of direct spending in three areas: spending by producers to mount and run shows; spending by theatre owners to maintain and renovate venues; and ancillary purchases by non NYC residents who said that Broadway was an important reason in their coming to New York City (“Broadway Tourists”). The money that was directly spent in these areas was then re-spent in multiple subsequent rounds, until the original sums left New York City. The subsequent rounds make the original spending exponentially more valuable. In total, the full contribution of Broadway Tourists amounted to $7.7 billion; shows contributed $2 billion; and theatres $51 million, for a total of $9.8 billion. Broadway supports 84,400 jobs and generates $477.7 million in NYC taxes.

The Broadway League released the 2008-2009 Broadway’s Economic Contribution to New York City report, the seventh biennial report in this series. The report measures the full economic impact of spending by Broadway production companies, theatre operators and those visitors drawn to NYC by Broadway. As the official source for statistical information about Broadway theatre productions in the United States, The Broadway League's report demonstrates that Broadway not only offers entertainment, art and culture, but that it is an industry whose financial contributions nourish the economy of its city and state.

PASADENA PLAYHOUSE the State Theater of California, has announced that it filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Los Angeles. The Playhouse is represented by Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP.

“After a thorough and careful review of Pasadena Playhouse’s financial state and with advice of legal counsel, we have elected to file chapter 11. This is a necessary step in our strategy to reorganize the Playhouse for the benefit of our creditors and the Pasadena Community at large,” said Pasadena Playhouse Executive Director Stephen Eich.

Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917. Recent highlights include s the world premiere of Sister Act the Musical (with the Alliance Theatre, which is now in its eleventh month in the West End), the world premiere of Ray Charles Live! (now titled Unchain My Heart, The Ray Charles Musical, scheduled to open on Broadway in November 2010), and the world premiere of Looped starring Valerie Harper, which opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in March 2010.

PETITION AGAINST PROPOSED DC THEATRE TICKET TAX has been organized by The Helen Hayes Awards.

The petition is being circulated and announcements are being made from the stage at Washington, DC area theatres.

According to their press release "The Helen Hayes Awards, has for the past 26 years supported and promoted live, professional theatre in Greater Washington, today called on the D.C. Council to reject a proposed new tax on theatre tickets. The organization also announced that it has formed a coalition of Washington theatres, other businesses, and theatregoers to vigorously oppose such a tax."

In a letter to the D.C. Council, Helen Hayes Awards President & CEO Linda Levy Grossman, Chairman Victor Shargai, and Vice Chairman Glen Howard, asked the Council either to drop its plans for the tax or, failing that, to hold a hearing at which representatives of the Washington theatre and business communities would be allowed to testify about the adverse economic impact such a tax would have on the District. "Although well-intentioned, such a tax would unfortunately achieve the very opposite of what its proponents intend," states the petition.

"While a tax on theatre tickets might generate some funds for the District government in the short term, it would do enormous, long-term harm to one of the city’s major economic generators: its professional theatres and the businesses dependent on them. Such a tax would negatively affect the city and its theaters in the following ways:"

1. Ticket prices affect attendance. If ticket prices are too high, audiences will decrease significantly.
2. If audiences decline because ticket prices are too high, the irreparable economic damage to District businesses, consumers, and the arts overall would be far, far greater than the minimal amount such a tax could yield to offset the budget deficit.
3. Ultimately, everyone loses:
• people who would otherwise attend live theatre,
• theatres dependent on ticket income,
• theatre employees,
• theatre-related businesses, such as those that sell lumber for sets, fabrics for costumes, concessions, etc.) and
• the many D.C. businesses so importantly supported by theatre audience traffic.

THE OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNERS will be announced Monday, May 17. The cast of the hit production God of Carnage - Dyland Baker, Jeff Daniels, Lucy Liu and Janet McTeer will serve as presenters at the organization's 60th Annual Award ceremony on Thursday, May 27 at Sardi's Restaurant in New York City.

The OCC Awards are presented annually for theatrical achievements both on and Off-Broadway and were begun during the 1949-1950 theater season. The awards are decided upon by theater critics who review for out-of-town newspapers, national publications, and other media outlets outside of New York City. ( See 2010 Outer Critics Circle Nominations and Winners )

a new musical with a book by Richard Nelson, lyrics by Ellen Fitzhugh, music by Johann Strauss II, adapted and arranged by Jonathan Tunick.

Co-directors Harold Prince & Susan Stroman and choreographed by Susan Stroman.

"Based on a true story. The Shah of Persia is feeling low. To lift his spirits, he's off to Vienna with his Eunuch in tow for new adventures. The Shah promptly falls in love with the Empress of the Empire, much to the dismay of her husband, so a resident of the local brothel - who is a double for the Empress - is substituted for a night of passion. But she's in love with a Baron, who's having an affair with the Soap Manufacturer's Wife .…"

Based on the novel The Tale of the 1002nd Night by Joseph Roth.

The world premier features 14 actors, scaled down from 50 that the creators originally envisioned for the production, wearing ornate costumes but performing in a reflective black Plexiglas set.

Starring Shuler Hensley as The Baron; Mandy Patinkin as The Eunuch; Judy Kaye as Frau Matzner; John McMartin as The Shah; Nancy Opel as The Soap Manufacturer's Wife; Kate Baldwin as Mizzi. With George Lee Andrews, Lacyey Kohl, Herndon Lackey, Pamela Winslow Kashani, Amanda Kloots-Larson, Daniel Marchus, Jim Poulos and Martin Van Treuren.

The production begins previews on May 19 and runs to June 26 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

INTO THE WOODS- THE CONCERT James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s homemade fairy tale. Considered to be Sondheim’s crowning achievement, it is as entertaining as it is compelling.

An ambivalent Cinderella? A Witch…who raps? They’re all among the cockeyed characters in this the second presentation of Caldwell’s Broadway Concert Series.

The business casual attire opening night performance will be followed by a reception.

May 21-23 at the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton, FL

THE KID a new musical based on the memoir The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant, features music by Andy Monroe, a book by Michael Zam and lyrics by Jack Lechner. Directed by Scott Elliott.

The Kid tells "the true story of what happened when sex columnist Dan Savage and his boyfriend decided to create a family. "Step one: Convince an adoption agency and homeless teenage mom that two gay men are the perfect parents for her child. Step two: Convince themselves."

Starring Christopher Sieber as sex columnist Dan Savage opposite Jill Eikenberry as Dan's mother, Lucas Steele as Dan's boyfriend Terry, Jeannine Frumess as the birth mother Melissa and Michael Wartella as the birth father Bacchus.

The ensemble also features Susan Blackwell, Ann Harada, Brooke Sunny Moriber, Kevin Anthony, Tyler Maynard and Justin Patterson. Jane Brockman and Zachary Berger serve as understudies. .

The design team features Derek McLane (set), Jeff Mahshie (costume), Howell Binkley (lighting) and Ken Travis (sound). Music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations are by Dominick Amendum. Musical direction is by Boko Suzuki. Musical staging is by Josh Prince. The production features animation by Jeffrey Scher. The Kid received the 2009 BMI Foundation Jerry Bock Award for Best New Musical.

Officially opened Off-Broadway May 10 at Theatre Row's Acorn Theatre with performances through May 29.

THAT FACE by Olivier Award-nominated play by Polly Stenham. Directed by Sarah Benson.

The cast features Christopher Abbott, Maïté Alina, Betty Gilpin, Cristin Milioti, Laila Robins, and Victor Slezak.

Billed as a "powerful and darkly comic look at an affluent family in freefall. Mia (Cristin Milioti) has been suspended from boarding school. Her brother, Henry (Christopher Abbott), has dropped out altogether. And Martha (Laila Robins), their mum, manipulates them all. Money can no longer fix their problems - now it's up to them.

The creative team includes David Zinn (Scenic and Costume Design), Tyler Micoleau (Lighting Design), Matt Tierney (Sound Design), David Brimmer (Fight Director) and Ben Furey (Dialect Coach).

The Manhattan Theatre Club production of That Face began previews Thursday, April 29 and will open Tuesday, May 18, at New York City Center – Stage I.

Claybourne Elder and Bobby Dayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
a new musical with music by Academy Award winner David Shire, lyrics by Tony Award winner Richard Maltby Jr. with a book by Tony Award winner John Weidman.

Directed by Tony Award nominee Sam Buntrock with musical staging by Lisa Shriver.

The show blends fact and fiction to tell the interweaving stories of three pioneers of aeronautics: the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. As their dreams become reality, these aviators discover the real costs of their sky-high ambitions. With style and panache, this lush musical delves to the core of the American experience.

Featuring Carey Rebecca Brown, Jenn Colella, Michael Cumpsty, Bobby Daye, Claybourne Elder, Linda Gabler, Marya Grandy, Todd A. Horman, Stanton Nash, Benjamin Schrader, Price Waldman and William Youmans.

Sets and Costumes by David Farley. Lighting Design by Ken Billington. Sound Design by Ken Travis. Orchestrations by David Shire.

ASL Interpreted Performance on June 5 and Audio Described Performance on June 6.

Take Flight had its world premiere in 2007 at Menier Chocolate Factory in London. The American Premiere is taking place on the Berlind stage of McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, with performances through June 6.

SYCAMORE TREES a world premiere musical by Ricky Ian Gordon. Book by Ricky Ian Gordon and Nina Mankin. Directed by Tina Landau.

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon is the second recipient of the American Musical Voices Project Award to present a new work of musical theater on Signature's stage. Sycamore Trees is described as "the moving story of his family's struggles and their reliance on each other through good and bad."

"When my father came home from World War II in 1945, my family lived in a crowded tenement in the Bronx, poor and with bed bugs. Then my parents got the idea to move to the suburbs where the dream of life flowering in a clean and spacious environment promised to be the answer."

"It wasn't."

This is the story of a family and what happened to them … and music is its heartbeat and inner life." – Ricky Ian Gordon.

The cast features Farah Alvin, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, Jessica Molaskey, Matthew Risch, Diane Sutherland, and Tony Yazbeck. May 18 - June 13, 2010 at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA.

TALES OF THE CITY A world premiere musical based on Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City and More Tales of the City. Libretto by Tony Award winner Jeff Whitty. Music and lyrics by Jake Shears, the front man of Scissor Sisters, and John Garden. Directed by Jason Moore

On the bustling streets of 1970s San Francisco, neon lights pierce through the fog-drenched skies, disco music explodes from crowded nightclubs, and a wide-eyed Midwestern girl finds a new home - and creates a new kind of family - with the characters at 28 Barbary Lane. Three decades after Armistead Maupin mesmerized millions with his daily column in the city's newspapers, detailing the lives and (multiple) loves of Mary Ann, Mouse, Mona, Brian, and their beloved but mysterious landlady Mrs. Madrigal, his iconic San Francisco saga comes home as a new musical. May 17–June 19, 2011 at A.C.T. in San Francisco.


Starring Tony Award winner Michele Pawk who tackles seven characters in the one-woman show.

Everyone has a story about the day that Rhonda, a desperate housewife, loses it at the mall. The unexpected revenge she finds is more than anyone bargained for. Michele Pawk transforms onstage into all seven characters as each new voice reveals more twists to this tale of love and vengeance.

The design team includes Tony Ferrieri (Scenic), Robert C.T. Steele (Costume), Andrew Ostrowski (Lighting), and Jane Shaw (Sound).

The show poster proudly brags that Pawk is a hometown girl. "Butler Native Returns for . . ." has billing above the title.

Born in Butler, Pennsylvania, Pawk attended Allegheny College and the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati before gaining fame on Broadway.

Performance run through May 30 on City Theatre’s Main Stage on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

BAND GEEKS! featuring music by Mark Allen, Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman, and lyrics by Alter and Newman. The book is by Newman and Greenberg. from a concept by Newman. Directed by Gordon Greenberg.

A high-stepping tribute to high school marching bands and misfits everywhere! With just nine members and dwindling funds, the Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers are close to extinction. When a troubled athlete is relegated to their ranks, tuba-playing band captain Elliott and his best friend Laura must find a way to unite the band, embrace their inner geek and save the Marching Beavers.

Jared Gertner plays band captain Elliott.

The cast also includes Katie Klaus, Michael Winther, Jill Abramovitz, Tommar Wilson, F. Michael Haynie, Patti Murin, Ruthie Ann Miles, Nkrumah Gatling, Michael Millan, Jacey Powers and Matt Braver.

Performances begin May 13 at The Norma Terris Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals in Chester, CT. running to June 6.

Talkbacks: Participate in the process of creating a new musical. Join us for a post-show discussion with the creative staff after the Thursday evening performances on May 20 and 27.

Band Geeks Yearbook: Bring a picture of you at your band-geekiest (or any nerdy high school shot) to add to our lobby photo collage - and get $1 off your first drink.

a 20-day public installation in Times Square is a project by Tony Award-nominated set designer Christine Jones in which a four-foot by nine-foot portable construction unit that holds just enough room for one performer and one audience member, will offer performances on a first-come, first-serve basis through May 23 in New York City's Times Square.

The single audience member theatre is fully operational with computer controlled lights and sound, stage and audience doors and solid sliding “curtain” in a proscenium to start and end the performances. A stage manager runs the show while a house manager guides the guests into the red velvet interior which includes an actual peep booth seat. She drew inspiration from peep show booths of Times Square’s past in development of this new type of theatrical space to intensify the audience and performer relationship that is being lost in the new digital Times Square. Collaborating with Jones, Lot-ek Architects utilized the pebbled black walls and steel edged construction of the theatrical roadshow boxes for a new architectural expression. The theater was built for a workshop at Princeton University in 2007.

The artists “will create and perform five-to-ten minute pieces that will be presented in rotation for six hours a day (including breaks), during a ten day residency in Times Square. Each of the days will be devoted to a specific medium: a day of dance, a day of new plays, a day of magic, etc.”

A few of the artists scheduled to be featured in Theatre for One include: Tony winner actor Frank Wood, Dallas Roberts and actor-magician Stephen Cuiffo; musician Phyllis Chen; and playwright Courtney Baron.


MITZI GAYNOR performs May 18-29 at Feinstein's at Lowe's Regency in NYC.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE IGUANA hosted by Dana Lorge and Richard Skipper winners of the 2010 MAC Awards for Variety Production/Recurring Series & Hosts/ Variety Show/Series for Wednesday Night at the Iguana. They'll be Barry Levitt on keyboard & Saadi Zain on bass. Wednesday's guests include: Jack Cosgrove, Babara Gurskey, Bobbie Horowitz, Adrienne Haan, Mary Lahti, Gregory Nalbone. Wednesday, May 19, Iguana VIP LOUNGE, NYC.

JOSH RITTER performs Monday, May 17, at the W. L. Lyons Brown Theatre in Louisville, KY. On Tuesday he's on stage at the Diesel Club Lounge in Pittsburgh. On Wednesday he opens a two nighter at Town Hall in NYC. Friday he's at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. On Saturday the tour stops at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER has a three night engagement at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday through Saturday.

DIANA ROSS has begun her tour with a performance Tuesday, May 18, at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. On Wednesday the show is at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC. On Friday she's in the spotlight at Caesars in Atlantic City.

CELTIC WOMAN on stage Monday, May 17, at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. On Tuesday the show is at the Stampede Corral in Calgary, AB. Thursday the group is in the spotlight at the Performing Arts Center in Spokane. Friday finds them at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts in Boise, ID. On Saturday they'll be making musical harmony at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City.

BLACK EYED PEAS entertain Wednesday, May 19, at Sportpaleis Antwerpen in Merksem, Belgium. On Thursday the show is at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris, France.

JAMIE CULLUM is on tour in the United Kingdom, performing Monday, May 17, at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. On Tuesday the tour stops at Sheffield City Hall in Sheffield. Thursday the show is at Portsmouth Guildhall in Portsmouth. On Friday hr's on stage at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham. Saturday he's in the spotlight at Colston Hall in Bristol.


Lena Horne at the Sands hotel in Las Vegas during the early 50s. Lena was a key piece of that hotel's marketing "class" strategy. The hotel billed her as "the Copa Room's Sophisticated Lady."

the Tony and Emmy Award-winning star died May, 9, 2010 at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. She was 92.

Born June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn. Horne began performing at the Cotton Club in Harlem when she was 16. Her big break came in the early 1940s as the featured vocalist on a NBC's popular jazz series. She recorded her first album in 1941 and went on to star in a string of musicals and TV variety shows.

In 1942, she became the first black performer signed to a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio. Her debut with MGM was in Panama Hattie, A year later in 1943, on loan from MGM, she starred in the 20th Century Fox all-black movie version of the musical, Stormy Weather, and performed the title song of Stormy Weather which became her signature song. She appeared in a number of MGM musicals, most notably Cabin in the Sky (also 1943), but was never featured in a leading role because of her race and the fact that films featuring her had to be re-edited for showing in states where theaters could not show films with black performers

An outspoken civil rights advocate, Horne said she was blacklisted for a time for her views.

Horne starred in her first Broadway musical, Jamaica, in 1957.

In May 1981, The Nederlander Organization booked Horne for a four week Broadway engagement. The one-woman show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. was an instant success and was extended to a full year run, garnering Horne a special Tony award, and two Grammy Awards for the cast recording of her show. The 333 performance Broadway run closed on Horne's 65th birthday, June 30, 1982. Horne still holds the record for the longest-running solo performance in Broadway history.

The Broadway show was videotaped for television broadcast and home video release. She then took the show on tour, beginning at Tanglewood (Massachusetts) during the July 4, 1982 weekend. The Lady and Her Music toured 41 cities in the U.S. and Canada through June 17, 1984. It played in London for a month in August and ended its run in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 1984.

In 2007, Horne was portrayed by Leslie Uggams as the older Lena and Nikki Crawford as the younger Lena in the stage musical Stormy Weather staged at the Pasadena Playhouse in California (January through March 2009).

Horne married Louis Jordan Jones in January 1937 and lived in Pittsburgh. On December 21, 1937 they had a daughter, Gail (later known as Gail Lumet Buckley, a best-selling author), and a son, Edwin Jones (February 1940 - September 12, 1970), who died from kidney disease. Horne and Jones separated in 1940 and divorced in 1944. Horne's second marriage was to Lennie Hayton, a Jewish American and one of the premier musical conductors and arrangers at MGM, in December 1947 in Paris. They separated in the early 1960s, but never divorced; he died in 1971

In her as-told-to autobiography Lena by Richard Schickel, Horne recounts the enormous pressures she and her husband faced as an interracial married couple. She later admitted in an Ebony May, 1980 interview she had married Hayton to advance her career.

Screenwriter Jenny Lumet, known for her award-winning screenplay Rachel Getting Married, Horne's granddaughter, the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet and Horne's daughter, Gail.

Horne is survived by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, granddaughters Jenny and Amy Lumet, Lena Jones, and grandsons, William and Thomas Jones.

The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York were dimmed in her memory on Tuesday, May 11.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, commented, “Lena Horne was a national treasure who broke through racial barriers with the gift of her voice. Her contributions to Broadway were bright, and her legendary talent contributed significantly to the movie musical genre."

DORIS EATON TRAVIS the last known former Ziegfeld Follies dancer died May 11, 2010 at the age of 106. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York were dimmed in her memory on Wednesday, May 12,

Ms. Travis made her Broadway debut in Mother Carey's Chickens in 1917, and her storied career included performing in over 10 Broadway shows. Ms. Travis was one of the youngest and most beautiful of the legendary Ziegfeld Follies Girls, and was the last living Ziegfeld girl. A longtime friend of Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, she made many memorable appearances in their annual Easter Bonnet Competition.

She was thrilled when first invited by Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS to participate in the opening number of the first Easter Bonnet Competition to be produced at the New Amsterdam Theatre where she had appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies over 70 years before, and returned to Broadway to participate in the event for the next 12 years. From 1998 – 2010, she only missed it in 2007. Still feisty, she adored dancing with the young dancers, seeing new shows and feeling the incredible response from the Easter Bonnet audience and Broadway community.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, commented, “Doris Eaton Travis has been performing on the Broadway stage for decades! From entertaining audiences in the 1920's to her recent commitment to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and their Easter Bonnet Competition, she was a fascinating lady who took show business seriously. Her interesting life is one that we can all learn from."

Funeral arrangements were private. A memorial service in West Bloomfield will be announced at a later date.

Next Column: May 23, 2010
Copyright: May 16, 2010. 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.
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Laura Deni

U.S. Postal Address: Post Office Box 60831, Las Vegas, NV 89160