Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: May 29, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Jennifer Foote, Gavin Creel, Gina Ferrall (on step), Jane Krakowski, Zachary Levi, Nicholas Barasch (on balcony) and Byron Jennings. Photo: Joan Marcus
Broadway To Vegas continues reviewing or revisiting Broadway shows which are nominated for Tony Awards, which will be passed out on June 12.

The revival of She Loves Me has received eight Tony nominations: Best Revival of a Musical, actors Zachary Levi, Laura Benanti and Jane Krakowski; David Rockwell for scenic design; Jeff Mahshie for costume design; Scott Ellis for direction and Larry Hochman for orchestrations.

She Loves Me has a book by Joe Masteroff; lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock.

I first went totally goofy for this musical during its Roundabout Theatre Company produced Broadway revival, directed by Scott Ellis which opened on June 10, 1993 at the Criterion Center Stage Right and transferred on September 28, 1993 to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, closing on June 19, 1994, after a total of 354 performances and 42 previews.

It earned a forever place in my heart.

This scrumptious revival is a joyous addition.

If those suffering from depression were required to see this show, that gloomy condition would be wiped out.

The distressing fact is that this show was mounted at Studio 54 for only a short run. Although the closing date has been extended to July 10, 2016, that date is right around the corner. If you haven't seen the show you need to drop everything and find a ticket somewhere. Even put it ahead of Hamilton on your gotta see list. Hamilton will be around for years.

The musical is the third adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László. There were two films The Shop Around the Corner and In the Good Old Summertime neither of which overwhelmed me. In 1998 the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan feature You've Got Mail captured my heart. That's a movie I could sit through again and again. The stage version of She Loves Me is in that same category.

This revival is a slightly scaled down model from the 1993 version, but the quality is the same. Perfect casting boasts performers with credits and recognitions as long as your arm.

It's the 1930s at a Budapest parfumerie owned by Mr. Maraczek (Byron Jennings). The plot revolves around shop employees Georg Nowack (Zachary Levi) and Amalia Balash(Laura Benanti) who, despite being consistently at odds with each other at work, are unaware that each is the others secret pen pal having met through lonely-hearts ads.

A business is a business and not everything always runs smoothly. Maraczek takes out his frustrations on his long term second-in-command, Georg who is also having difficulty always being on the same page with Amalia, the shop’s newest employee. They get on each other's nerves.

Both appear to be strong willed and professionally ambitious. They need their jobs. Personally, they also need emotional fulfillment. Each in their own way has a sensitive, romantic side, which they are determined to keep out of their place of employment. They look for personal understanding through correspondence in a lonely hearts club, corresponding to a "Dear Friend."

The pen pals agree to meet, but Georg discovers his secret friend is really Amalia, leading to complications.

There are seven principle characters who don't upstage each other, yet each is an important, distinctive cog in the musical wheel. For the most part the parfumerie staff exhibits a professional courtesy towards each other. The British television show Are You Being Served has a title taken from the greeting every employee was to extend to a customer at Grace Brothers Department Store. The customers at the parfumerie not only receive a greeting but a harmonic farewell: “Thank you, madam, please call again. Do call again, madam.”

Gavin Creel and Jane Krakowski. Photo: Joan Marcus
David Rockwell's set for this revival should be framed and displayed as a genius of an art creation, or mounted in gold and worn as a priceless jewel. As he did in 1993, Tony winner Scott Ellis directs to perfection an ideal cast composed of Tony winner Laura Benanti as Amalia; Zachary Levi as Georg, Byron Jennings as Maraczek, Tony nominated Gavin Creel as Kodaly, Tony winner Jane Krakowski as Ilona, Michael McGrath (Tom McGowan took over the role on May 10) as Sipos, Nicholas Barasch as Arpad and Peter Bartlett as Head Waiter; Also Cameron Adams, Alison Cimmet, Justin Bowen, Preston Truman Boyd, Benjamin Eakeley, Sara Edwards, Michael Fatica, Gina Ferrall, Jenifer Foote, Andrew Kober, Laura Shoop and Jim Walton.

The entire show is a perfect confection. There is no possible way to even nitpicking critique anything. Since vanilla ice cream plays a role in the production - Georg brings Amalia vanilla ice cream when she is ill, resulting in her triple scoop rendition of Vanilla Ice Cream - the production deserves every sugary sweet topping that could be found in the most elaborate of ice cream emporiums. Whipped cream, cherries, nuts - the works. This show is a cherry on the top of feel good musicals.

Tony winner Harnick is one of a handful of individuals who truly are lyricists. They don't just throw down words to music, they craft. The meanings can have subtle subcultures; be profound, pity - or both. Songs about the pedestrian subject of vanilla ice cream or the realization by a guy that a girl loves him takes the showgoer to an emotional pleasure zone.

Musical sounds are as crucial to this musical as the enticing aromatic fragrances would be to the shoppe. Emmy and Tony winner Larry Hochman provided the orchestrations with dance arrangements and incidental music by David Krane. The exquisite new arrangements provide the carpet upon which this musical floats. Paul Gemignani directs the skilled musicians.

The shoppe employees include Michael McGrath, as a clerk who survives by staying under the radar, and Nicholas Barasch, as a delivery boy with dreams of success. Tony winner Jane Krakowski plays Ilona Ritter. She's the diva of the bunch, perhaps a facade to cover that she's been hurt in love, but comes back for more. She's having an affair with the self absorbed Steven Kodaly (Gavin Creel) who uses the affair to his advantage. She is under his spell. All he has to do is look at her and she succumbs to his spell. When they dance, they put the seduction in the rumba and make the finals of Dancing With the Stars look like amateur night. Krakowski's legs seemingly go on forever and she makes doing a split appear effortless.

When a butter fingers of a waiter (Michael Fatica) leads a virtuoso tango with his clientele, the urge is to get up on stage and join them.

Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi. Photo: Joan Marcus
Warren Carlyle has never presented cookie cutter choreography. Rather, he passionately choreographs for the character. That permits every performer to enjoy a stand out segment.

You understand and have empathy for the characters. You want them to be happy.

The vibrant and colorful costumes are by Jeff Mahshie.

Effective lighting by Tony winner Donald Holder; perfect sound by Jon Weston; hair and wig design by David Brian Brown and makeup design by Christian McCulloch are parts of a production which occasionally get mentioned but are essential to a quality mounting. In this case they exceed the highest expectations.

This show is impossible not to love. If you were in a miserable mood when you entered the theatre, seeing She Loves Me you'll be happy as a clam when you leave. Just hope for a full moon and a love to come along. Vanilla ice cream could be in your future.

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Stuart Davis, Owh! in San Paő, 1951. Oil on canvas, 52 1/4 × 41 3/4 in. (132.7 × 106 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase 52.2. Art © Estate of Stuart Davis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
staged in the Whitney's fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, this will be the first major Davis exhibition to consistently hang later works side by side with the earlier ones that inspired them. With approximately 100 works, from the paintings of tobacco packages and household objects of the early 1920s to the work left on his easel at his death in 1964, In Full Swing will highlight Davis’s unique ability to assimilate the imagery of popular culture, the aesthetics of advertising, the lessons of Cubism, and the sounds and rhythms of jazz into works that hum with intelligence and energy.

Davis (1892–1964) ranks as a preeminent figure in American modernism. With a long career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the postwar era, he brought a distinctively American accent to international modernism.

Davis’s work feels especially vital today in its blurring of distinctions between text and image, high and low culture, and abstraction and figuration. This exhibition departs from previous efforts in its organization.

From 1940 on, Davis rarely painted a work that did not make careful reference, however hidden, to one or more of his earlier compositions. Such appropriation is a distinctive aspect of Davis’s method.

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing is co-organized by Barbara Haskell, Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Harry Cooper, Curator and Head of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; with Sarah Humphreville, Curatorial Assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

On exhibit June 10–Sept 25, 2016 at The Whitney in New York City.


2016 KENNEDY CENTER SPRING GALA takes place June 5, 2016 in the Concert Hall of The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

In one of D.C.'s most exciting cultural events of the year - hosted this season by Whoopi Goldberg - the Kennedy Center pays tribute to America's immortal Motown hit-maker, the late singer Marvin Gaye. The gala includes an all-star list of special guest performers.

The evening also recognizes the inaugural recipients of the new Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit, philanthropist Wallis Annenberg and installation artist and sculptor Theaster Gates.

The co-chairs of the 2016 Spring Gala are Mr. Dale LeFebvre and Mr. and Mrs. Mark D. Ein.


formerly F#%king Up Everything original off-Broadway cast recording has been released by Broadway Records. Music & Lyrics by David Eric Davis. Book by Sam Forman & David Eric Davis.

The musical stars Max Crumm, Katherine Cozumel, Lisa Birnbaum, Dawn Cantwell, Jason Gotay, George Salazar and Douglas Widick.

This is a high-octane, vibrant, irreverent contemporary rock musical which was originally mounted by the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival with the support of Charlie Fink's New Music Foundation and The Theatre League's Fund for New Musicals.

This is a review of the CD, not the stage production. The tunes are vibrant and some are catchy. There is a clever use of the ukulele. The arrangements show that a lot can be done with four musicians in the band which calls itself Ironic Maiden - no doubt a play on the famous English heavy metal band, Iron Maiden, formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975.

Ironic Maiden members are: Matt Hinkley on keyboard, guitar and ukulele, Adam Stoler on guitar, Justic Goldner on bass and drummer Joe Choroszewski. Background vocalists are Matt Hinkley, George Salazar, Adam Stoler, and Douglas Widick.

The big question: Who is the target audience for this musical?

Listening to the CD and looking at the accompanying booklet resulted in confusion.

Based solely upon listening to the CD and looking at the cover photo the musical is totally vulgar and drug infused.

However, the subject matter, according to the official release, is: "an old fashioned boy-meets-girl love story. When these Brooklyn hipsters aren't true to who they are, they ruin everything. Especially children's puppeteer Christian Schwartzelberg (Max Crumm) when he meets the girl of his dreams, singer -songwriter Juliana."

Being true to yourself is an important concept. Many of the songs have lyrics which pertain to how you would chance for the love of your life - or how you would expect that person to change for you.

Girls, especially, love under the false premise that the guy will change once they are married. The gal uses sex as the motivational tool. More unhappy marriages endure (or dissolve) because it's an uphill fight to change people to fit your mold after marriage.

If this musical was pre-teen/ high school/ youth friendly there would be a serious possibility of being a runaway hit - produced in high schools and youth theatres all over the country.

Unfortunately, the simple lyrics can be extremely vulgar - so profanity filled that every song is labeled explicit.

The cover photo is a "screw you" picture if there ever was one. That is relatable to people who generally might go for a free download or steal a CD, but don't normally buy them. Nor do they pay to see off-Broadway or Broadway shows. Their spending money goes for drugs, tattoos and making bail.

In continuation of a mixed message presentation, the inside booklet graphics indicate a youthful naiveté and sweetness. This production needs to make up its mind.

The music lends itself to youthful and even amateur presentations. The sounds convey that singers with less than a one octave musical range can sing this score. That's a real plus if it's being staged in schools, church and community centers.

If what you're after is the customer who coughs up good money for off-Broadway and Broadway tickets, then this won't have a long performance life. Older people don't want a moral lesson about what they already know - simplistically delivered to them by a bunch of street teens.

What the CD shows is that the creators and performers on this CD have talent. They need direction on how to decide what is the target market and why, and then deliver what that target market expects and will pay to experience.

Recorded and mixed at Yellow Sound Lab, NYC, the high octane score is beautifully transferring to this CD, which was recorded and edited by Michael Croiter. Mixed by Matthas Winter and mastered by Michael Fossenkemper. Every word is easily understood with sound design by Mike Tracey.

An issue is that the creators mash up generations. They appear to have deliberately thrown in a few words and titles to appeal to everyone from a wide birth of generations - which in effect confuses and alienates everyone.

The creators seem to think that if they gunshot in a bunch of vulgar words they'll capture the teen market, and if they make references to people or titles of what was popular in the 70s, they'll also capture the parents. Wrong on both counts.

The first three numbers are run away psychedelic rock. Tract # 4 Something I Just Like About You is cute, pop romantic with a softer beat backed by an arrangement emphasizing the ukulele, keyboards and drums. Me and My Bong is an ode to a druggie lifestyle. Names like Cheech and Chong are even included. While Cheech Marin (69) has been in the news the past couple of weeks promoting his high octane (46 percent alcohol) mezcal Tres Papalote, and the duo stars at Treasure Island in Las Vegas on June 24, a very few people under the age of 30 immediately know the stoner comedy duo. Those who experience a light going off at the sound of the names have to think a second.

In Me and My Bong Acid Queen is also mentioned. That was a key player in the rock megahit Tommy. If you're aiming for the young teen market, get real as to who and what are part of their universe. Me and My Bong does point out that the user will never have any money and is living only for today.

Just because the music is psychedelic rock and there is a puppet in the show doesn't classify it as either Hair, or Avenue Q.

The sixth number Sticking Around returns the score to a psychedelic beat which is followed by Please You.

If You Were Mine is also beat driven, but less hallucinogenic. The storyline is that of love and longing and in this number the character of Ivy promises that she would be true.

Songs like Be My Bro - "Be My Bro/I'll never let you fall/You'll always be my bro," - is typical of the saccharin side, followed by F#%king List as it is spelled on public printings, which in the booklet is correctly spelled out and of course sung as such.

Take Me As I Am is powerful and statement making. It's just a shame it's vulgar.

Producers of this CD and the production ought to take a hint of their show's message - be true to yourself. Brooklyn Crush has talent, a lot to offer, but can turnoff potential customers and offends. It boxes itself in by blocking out the very people who would enjoy and learn from the storyline and music.

An important theme is presented in an entertaining manner, then self strangled by vulgar lyrics and drug hype. It's hard to figure out the mindset of the creators. An excellent concept - don't let other people change you to conform to their needs, nor attempt to change anyone else to satisfy yourself.

To take an important lesson with massive universal appeal and destroy the fan base by turning it into a vulgar presentation that could only be staged in the most liberal of adult locations is baffling.


Jerry Lanning who was Patrick and Angelia Lansbry who played the title role pose during the anniversary festivities. Photo: Michael Portantiere
Light the candles. Roll the rug up. It's today!

50 years ago Mame starring Angela Lansbury opened on Broadway.

On Thursday, May 26th members of that company gathered for a 50th Anniversary Celebration at Sardi’s in New york City. Mame's associate producer John Bowab and dancer Diana Baffa Brill coordinated this special reunion. John and Diana have directed and choreographed numerous productions of Mame throughout the world.

25 company members plus their guests attended this special event. Leading the fun filled special evening was Angela Lansbury (Mame), who was joined by Jerry Lanning (Older Patrick), Sab Shimono (Ito), Susan Walther (Gloria Upson), Randy Kirby (original Jr Babcock), Don Pippen (musical director), Diane Blair (dancer), Eileen Casey (dancer), Diane Coupe (dancer, Pegeen),Bob Fitch (dancer), Hilda Harris (singer), Tom Karaty (dancer, Jr Babcock), Michele Karaty-Bowen (dancer), Ross Miles (dancer), Carole Richards (singer Gloria Upson), Bella Shalom (dancer), Bill Stanton (dancer), Jo Tract (singer), Jodie Williams (singer), Kathy Wilson (dancer), Ron Young (dancer), Mary Zahn (dancer), and Rosh Lowe (1983 revival: Younger Patrick). There were remembrances, special songs, reading of notes and letters, and recalling those company members who have passed away and the dedications of the song My Best Girl.

The hit musical which is as fresh and funny today as it was a half century ago, has a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. It is based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and a 1956 Broadway play, by Lawrence and Lee, which starred Rosalind Russell. The classic musical starred Angela Lansbury as Mame, and the cast included Bea Arthur as Vera Charles, Frankie Michaels as young Patrick, Jane Connell as Agnes Gooch, Charles Braswell as Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, Jerry Lanning as older Patrick, Sab Shimono as Ito, and Willard Waterman as Dwight Babcock.

Angela Lansbury and Donald Pippin who served as Musical Direction at the Sardi's event. Photo: Michael Portantiere
Boasting a cast of 41, Mame opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on May 24, 1966. Three years later, it transferred to the Broadway Theatre, where it remained until closing on January 3, 1970. It ran a total of 1,508 performances and five previews.

Directed by Gene Saks, and Choreographed by Onna White. The Scenic Design was by William and Jean Eckart, Costume Design by Robert Mackintosh, Lighting Design by Tharon Musser. The Orchestrations were by Philip J. Lang and the Musical Director and Vocal Arrangements were by Donald Pippin, with Dance Arrangements by Roger Adams. Hair Design was by Ronald De Mann and the Assistant choreographer was Tom Panko. The Production Stage Manager was Terence Little; Stage Manager: Ralph Linn and Delman Hendricks; and Assistant Stage Managers Stan Page and Nancy Lynch.

Tony Awards were won by Angela Lansbury, Beatrice Arthur, Frankie Michaels and the show received Tony nominations for Gene Saks, Onna White, Jerry Herman, Jerome Lawrence & Robert Lee and William & Jean Eckart. Outer Critic Circle Awards were won by Lansbury and Arthur. Theatre World Awards went to Jerry Lanning and Sheila Smith.

When Angela left the Broadway run to headline a special tour, she was followed by stage veteran Janis Paige, then Jane Morgan, and finally Ann Miller for the almost four year Broadway engagement. The West End production starred Ginger Rogers at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane with a special performance for Queen Elizabeth II. Celeste Holm led the 1st National Company. Susan Hayward appeared in the Las Vegas production, while such stars as Juliet Prowse, Janet Blair, Elaine Stritch, Edie Adams, Patrice Munsel, Carol Lawrence, Ann Sothern and Sheila Smith have appeared in stock, regional or touring productions.

Mame continues to be popular, being mounted at such diverse locations as the Riverside in Fredericksburg, VA which wrapped up a production in January; from March 10-April 2 an elaborate production was presented by the Renaissance Music Theatre Company in Philadelphia; also last March there was a staging at the Sandler in Virginia; to an upcoming October 2016 production at the Epsom Playhouse by The Epsom Light Opera Company in the UK .


IT'S DeLOVELY: A 125TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION OF COLE PORTER presented The Mabel Mercer Foundation, takes place June 7, 2016 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Porter, composer of Kiss Me, Kate; Anything Goes; Silk Stockings; Can-Can; and many other Broadway musicals, was born June 9, 1891.

The star filled evening will have performances by Matt Baker, Spencer Day, Dawn Derow, Marcus Goldhaber, Kim Grogg, Jeff Harnar, Lindsey Holloway, Annie Hughes, Martha Lorin, Kristoffer Lowe, Tammy McCann, Beckie Menzie, Tom Michael, Carolyn Montgomery-Forant, Molly Pope, Julie Reyburn, Steve Ross, Josephine Sanges, Jacob Storms, Ronny Whyte, and Amra Faye-Wright.

FULLY COMMITTED which Broadway To Vegas enjoyed See Broadway To Vegas column of May 1, 2016 starring five time Emmy award nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson has been extended by one week, now closing July 31 at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre.

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: DOING TIME IN EDUCATION Created, written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith.

For one night only, MacArthur award-winner Anna Deavere Smith will come to San Diego with her compelling new project examining one of our country’s most pressing issues. In Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, Smith turns her attention to “the school-to-prison pipeline” and performs striking portraits culled from interviews she conducted with more than 200 individuals across the nation affected by the pipeline’s devastating policies - capturing the dynamics of a rapidly shifting social issue through her trademark performance technique. The performance is a part of The Anna Deavere Smith Pipeline Project.

A 30 minute panel-led discussion will follow the performance.

Co-hosted by the National Conflict Resolution Center and The Old Globe in San Diego, CA. One night only – June 6, 2016 at The Old Globe on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, part of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.

THE BIG BANG THEORY AND STEPHEN HAWKING would have been a terrific cross-promotion. If you missed Genius by Stephen Hawking, two new episodes which aired on the PBS last week, catch them on re-run.

The programs feature renowned scientist Stephen Hawking as he presents ordinary people with a series of physical and mental challenges through entertaining games and challenges. From those who hate science, or even never heard of Hawking, to fans who idolize him, or whose favorite program is The Big Bang Theory, all will be enthralled with this show.

Just wish the cast of The Big Bang Theory would have been part of the volunteers who carried out the games and experiments featuring racing cars, ice-skaters, balloons, running tracks, being shot by paint balls and getting an olive to gently fall into a martini glass using a Miley Cyrus type wrecking ball.

The volunteers attempt to work out why they exist at all as Hawking takes them down a rabbit hole of profound realizations, helping them think like philosophers as much as scientists. Professor Hawking then challenges three new people to work out where the universe came from.

A cross promotion by this series and The Big Bang Theory would have been a hoot for the viewers and I refuse to believe that The Big Bang Theory actors wouldn't have enjoyed the experience - especially Mayim Bialik who plays physicist Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, who is the girlfriend of Dr. Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) in the top rated program. In her private life she answers to Dr. Mayim Bialik since she holds a PhD in neuroscience. Her dissertation being an investigation of hypothalamic activity in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome, titled "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome."

The PBS shows were fascinating entertainment.

MAY 30 is National Mint Julep Day.


Free Shakespeare-related programs for children, adults, and families surround the First Folio Exhibition in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's Death June 4-July 7 in San Diego, CA.

The Old Globe and the San Diego Public Library were selected last year to co-host the only stop in California for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

When it arrives in San Diego, the First Folio will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare and one of the most quoted lines in the world: Hamlet’s “To be or not to be.” Accompanying the rare book will be a multi-panel exhibition exploring the significance of Shakespeare then and now, as well as the importance of the First Folio. A supplemental exhibition will showcase original props, costumes, photographs, and ephemera from The Old Globe’s 80-year archive, with a focus on the productions of Shakespeare that have made the Globe one of the most important Shakespeare theatres in North America. The exhibition will be located at the San Diego Central Library - Joan Irwin Jacobs Common in the Art Gallery.

Visitors to the library will also have the opportunity to see rare and exquisite editions of works by and about Shakespeare from the San Diego Public Library’s collection on display in the Hervey Family Rare Book Room adjacent to the Art Gallery.

The opening event, Shakespeare in America, on Saturday, June 4, officially kicks off the celebrations surrounding the First Folio exhibition. Beloved actors from The Old Globe’s history and other celebrities will read selections from Shakespeare and other material from eminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro’s Library of America book, Shakespeare in America, which explores the long, deep relationship between the Bard and our country. Shapiro will host the event, along with journalist Jeremy McCarter and Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.


and Memorial’s “Call to Duty” Centennial Capital Campaign announced that more than $12.5 million was raised to construct a new exhibition gallery, renovating existing outdoor space and the J.C. Nichols Auditorium, expanding education and community programs, and increasing the Museum’s endowment.

Retired four-star general and former Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers was national honorary campaign chair. Honorary Co-Chairs: Henry Bloch, William H. Dunn, Sr., Ollie Gates and Jeanette Nichols. Campaign Co-Chairs: Thomas and Mary Beth Butch, Sandy and Christine Kemper.

“We are humbled by the tremendous generosity of the philanthropic community that will enable the National World War I Museum and Memorial to do more to remember those who served, and to expand our role as America’s leading institution dedicated to interpreting, understanding and remembering the Great War and its enduring impact,” said Dr. Matthew Naylor, President and CEO of the National World War Museum and Memorial. “Because of their exceptional support, the Museum will break ground on a new gallery that will give us the capacity to bring special exhibitions to Kansas City that would otherwise not come here, with rare objects never seen before in the United States. The Museum will also be able to expand our educational and community programs while increasing our international footprint with digital educational programming and global partnerships.”

Gen. Myers delivered the Memorial Day keynote at Museum’s public ceremony. He served in the United States Air Force and as the 15th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001-2005). As chairman, Gen. Myers was the highest-ranking uniformed officer of the United States' military forces. The Kansas City native is a 1965 graduate of Kansas State University. Since his retirement from the military, he has served as a professor of military history and leadership at Kansas State University, and in April, he was named interim president of Kansas State University.

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war.


AMERICAN PSYCHO commits suicide on June 5, having played 27 previews and 54 regular performances at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

TUCK EVERLASTING won't live on forever, closing today, May 29, after 28 previews and 39 regular performances at the Broadhurst Theatre.

HEDDA GABLER by Henrik Ibsen, the second most produced playwright in the world, after Shakespeare.

Translated by Anne-Charlotte Harvey.

Directed by David Ellenstein.

Arguably one of the most complex and intriguing female characters ever written, Hedda Gabler weaves a mesmerizing tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage who is driven by a need for power and freedom. Working from a freshly translated script by Anne-Charlotte Harvey that removes stilted language while staying true to Ibsen’s voice, the actors have put their personal touches on their characters to create a piece that speaks to contemporary audiences. The production promises that "Lovers of classic theatre will not want to miss this gripping world premiere translation."

David Ellenstein directs in order of appearance: Cristina Soria (Aunt Julia), Rhona Gold (Berte), Bruce Turk (Jörgen Tesman), Mhari Sandoval (Hedda Gabler), Mel House (Mrs. Elvsted), Ray Chambers (Judge Brack), Richard Baird (Eilert Lovborg) and Aaron Rumley (Stage Manager).

The design team includes Marty Burnett (Scenic Design), Matthew Novotny (Lighting), Melanie Chen (Sound), Eliza Benzoni (Costumes), Andrea Gutierrez (Props) and Peter Herman (Wig & Hair). Aaron Rumley is the Stage Manager.

Previews begin Wednesday, June 1. Opening Night on Saturday, June 4, includes a post-show reception. There will be a special talkback on Friday, June 10, with the cast and artistic director. It will play through June 26, 2016 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, CA.

THE FORGOTTEN WOMAN by Jonathan Tolins.

Directed by Noah Himmelstein.

Co-starring Darren Goldstein.

Margaret Meier is a gifted soprano on the verge of a major operatic career. And she's terrified. When a handsome reporter shows up at her Chicago hotel room, this anything-but-diva-like diva is forced to grapple with every aspect of her life: her less-than-passionate marriage, her child, her ambition, her weight, and the price she must pay in this most demanding and irrational art form. Will Margaret succeed in mastering her career, men, and her own self doubt to release the star within?

May 31 - June 19 at Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW by William Shakespeare.

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd.

This summer, the Tony nominated director Phyllida Lloyd turns Shakespeare’s zany comedy of the sexes The Taming of the Shrew on its head, with an all-female cast and a bold new take. Lovely Bianca is the prize to be won by all the men looking to land themselves a wealthy wife. But the competitors will first have to marry off Bianca’s clever, fiery older sister, Katherina played by Olivier nominee Cush Jumbo, who may just outsmart them all. Tony and Olivier winner Janet McTeer plays Petruchio, the wild outsider Katherina must outwit, in Shakespeare’s original screwball comedy showing the lengths men will go to for their legacy, what women will do to break free and the outrageous things we all do for the human heart.

The complete cast features Candy Buckley (Vincentio); Donna Lynne Champlin (Hortensio); Morgan Everitt; Rosa Gilmore (Lucentio); Judy Gold (Gremio); LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Baptista); Cush Jumbo (Katherina); Teresa Avia Lim (Biondello); Janet McTeer (Petruchio); Adrienne C. Moore (Tranio); Anne L. Nathan (Pedant); Gayle Rankin (Bianca); Pearl Rhein (Ensemble); Leenya Rideout (Ensemble); Jackie Sanders (Ensemble); Stacey Sargeant (Grumio) and Natalie Woolams – Torres.

The Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park series. Performances at the at the Delacorte Theatre through June 25, 2016.

THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT - THE SMELL OF THE CROWD book, music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

Directed by Don Stephenson

Music Direction by Adam Souza.

In a world turned upside down, a rag-tag group relies on humor, song and dance to try to build a new life. But can show tunes and music hall merriment revive the human spirit? On the highway of life, hope is just around the bend in this arresting reinvention of the vivacious Broadway hit. Their world may have ended, but songs like Who Can I Turn To?, The Joker, Feeling Good and A Wonderful Day Like Today echo on, welcoming new love and another dawn.

Scenic Design by Walt Spangler. Costume Design by Jess Goldstein. Lighting Design by Stephen Terry. Sound Design by Jay Hilton. Wig & Makeup Design by Leah Loukas. Music Supervision by Michael O'Flaherty. Choreographed by Liza Gennaro.

Performances through June 26 at the Goodspeed Opera House production on stage at The Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.


COLDPLAY bring their tour to the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkrchen, Germany on Wednesday, June 1. Saturday's stop is at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, UK.

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III performs songs from his latest album, a genre-bounding set dealing with varied subject matter including depression, drinking, senior citizenship, gun control, heartbreak, pet ownership and more. Saturday, June 4, 2016 The Dock, Ithaca, NY.

IL DIVO are in the spotlight Monday, May 30, at the 02 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. Tuesday's show is at the Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland. Wednesday's performance is at the Tips Arena in Linz, Austria. On Friday they musically blend at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland. Next Sunday, June 5, they are on stage at the Auditorio Forum in Barcelona, Spain.

SELENA GOMEZ stars at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on Wednesday, June 1. Thursday's gig is at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Saturday's gig is at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. Next Sunday, June 5, she can be found at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH.

BARENAKED LADIES in support of the band’s new album, BNL Rocks Red Rocks, was recorded at Barenaked Ladies’ June 2015 performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado - star at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO on June 4, 2016.

CYNDI LAUPER AND BOY GEORGE perform June 1 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E STREET BAND on stage Wednesday, June 1, at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. On Friday they show is at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK and next Sunday, June 6, they can be enjoyed at Wembley Stadium in London.

HERB ALPERT & LANI HALL singing their hits May 31 through June 11 at Cafe Carlyle in New York City.


BETH HOWLAND actress who gained widespread famed as a waitress on television series Alice died of lung cancer on December 31, 2015 although her death was not reported to the media until May 20, 2016. She was 74.

Howland made her Broadway debut in 1959 as Lady Beth in the Carol Burnett musical Once Upon a Mattress. She went on to have roles in the musicals Bye Bye Birdie, High Spirits, Drat! The Cat!, and Darling of the Day.

She can be seen dancing and singing in the chorus of Li'l Abner (1959) as a Dogpatch wife, alongside future television star Valerie Harper. She is especially visible in the number Put 'Em Back the Way They Was.

Howland also originated the role of Amy in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Company, in which she introduced the patter song Getting Married Today.

From November 6, 1961, to 1969, she was married to character actor Michael J. Pollard, with whom she had a daughter named Holly. She was married to actor Charles Kimbrough, an actor of Broadway and Murphy Brown fame, until her death. Kimbrough and Howland appeared together in Company.

Next Column: June 5, 2016
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Laura Deni

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