Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 14, 2010
By: Laura Deni


Jerry Seinfeld
It's the social event of the year in Philadelphia. This week-end's grand opening celebration for the National Museum of American Jewish History. Events included a $5,000 per person black-tie Saturday night gala, beginning with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Museum, followed by a formal dinner on Independence Mall then performances by Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld, and today's dedication with Vice President Joe Biden as keynote speaker.

Stealing the spotlight from all of that was a piano - which is being treated like a diva. Of course, not every piano is the one where Irving Berlin penned I Love a Piano and Alexander’s Ragtime Band.

Nor, is every piano a transponder, which is a type of piano that permits the user to play in multiple keys without learning how to read or write music.

Irving Berlin purchased the piano in 1909 for $100.

A self taught musician who was capable of working only in one key - F-sharp. Thus, he needed the expensive transponder do the technical note playing for him.

Irving Berlin's transponder piano
The star 88er came to Philadelphia from ASCAP’s Manhattan headquarters, opposite Lincoln Center, where the 100-year-old Berlin piano has resided for 15 years.

The NMAJH will have it on display for the next 14 months, part of the Only In America exhibition.

The new museum is billed as the only museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to telling the story of Jews in America. With an estimated $150-million price tag, the museum's new building is designed by architect James Stewart Polshek and features 100,000 square feet of space located steps from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, the museum's original home was a 15,000-square-foot facility in Philadelphia that it has occupied since 1976.

On the first floor, an Only in America gallery uses video, audio testimonials and personal belongings to examine the contributions of 18 Jewish Americans - chosen by a public vote with more than 209,000 votes being cast from 56 countries on the museum's Only in America website.

Barbra Streisand
Costume from the film Yentl, contributed to the museum by its author, director and star, Barbra Streisand
They are: Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Louis Brandeis, Albert Einstein, Mordecai Kaplan, Sandy Koufax, Esteé Lauder, Emma Lazarus, Isaac Leeser, Golda Meir, Jonas Salk, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Rose Schneiderman, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Henrietta Szold and Isaac Mayer Wise.

The second, third and fourth floors use films, interactive displays and artifacts to trace the history of the Jewish experience from the arrival of the first Jews to North America in 1654 to the present, while the top floor will host rotating exhibitions and events.

Josh Perelman, museum deputy director of programming and historian, is the chief curator for the core exhibition.

Beginning last Friday and wrapping up tonight, the sold out Gala events attracted founding members from across the country who have played an important role in the creation of the museum.

The Museum’s Grand Opening Weekend began Friday with a symposium featuring two panel discussions. Snapshots From the American Past and Present was Co-Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University.

Oskar Schindler's typewriter as used in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List
Steven Spielberg photo courtesy of Spielberg's The Righteous Persons Foundation which donated $1 million to the Museum.
This panel, moderated by Dr. Deborah Dash Moore, Director of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies and Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of History at the University of Michigan, addressed how the meaning and rhetoric of freedom have changed for Jews throughout their history in America.

The panel featured the museum’s consultant team of historians: Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and the museum’s chief historian; Dr. Michael Berenbaum, Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute at the American Jewish University; Dr. Pamela S. Nadell, the Patrick Clendenen Chair in Women’s and Gender History, Professor of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University; and Dr. Beth S.Wenger, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Murray Friedman Memorial Roundtable, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, featured five prominent architects who have worked on civic and monumental projects in Philadelphia. They addressed how public space is designed in America.

Paul Goldberger, the Pulitzer Prizewinning architecture critic for The New Yorker, served as moderator, and was joined by panelists Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (N.Y.), Bernard Cywinski of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (Philadelphia), Laurie Olin of Olin (Philadelphia), James S. Polshek of Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership) (N.Y.) and Billie Tsien of TodWilliams Billie Tsien Architects (N.Y.).

"This landmark event is a signal achievement for the American Jewish community and all Americans," said Michael Rosenzweig, the museum’s president and CEO. "With the help of generous supporters across the entire country, we have brought to life one of the nation’s finest and most important museums, a place for all Americans to explore, offering a highly engaging and thought-provoking look at one ethnic group’s experience with freedom."

"The American Jewish experience is enormously important to the grand sweep of Jewish history," continued Rosenzweig, "It has not been well told, and we exist to fill that void."

A series of special access days for museum members and funders are scheduled over the next two weeks before the facility opens to the general public on November 26.

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Aftershock by Shona Davies and Dave Monoghan
a unique art event in presented by London's Old Vic theatre and Submit2gravity in London's The Old Vic Tunnels the week-end of November 21-22.

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?" Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

One in a series of innovative and surprising arts events taking place throughout 2010 at the Old Vic Tunnels. The Curiouser and Curiouser event brings together an extraordinary, innovative and diverse range of art forms with dramatic and surprising results. Kinetic sculptures, interactive installation, visual and sound pieces and theatre groups will all interact within this unique setting to create a strange wonderland of curiosities.

Organizers promise that "the Old Vic Tunnels act like a tardis as they open out into a labyrinth of unexpected tunnels, corridors and huge vaults, that will entice you further and further into a surreal and dreamlike world that becomes 'curiouser and curiouser'."

Heavenly Chorus by Dan Knight
Submit2gravity offers artists opportunities to exhibit in alternative spaces in addition to the conventional venues. Previous exhibitions have given artists the unique chance of working within the prison cells of a Castle, in raw and atmospheric warehouse space, and in contrast, the clean crisp space of a commercial galleries.

The venue this time - The Old Vic Tunnels located near The Old Vic Theatre where Noel Coward's Design For Living is playing through November 27.

Featured Artists:

Genetic Moo, Balint Bolygo, David Theobald, Darren Harvey Regan, Shona Davies and Dave Monaghan, Jocket Liess, Cheryl Field, Christian Kerrigan, Lesley Bunch, Isaac Cordal, Marianne Walker, Jonathan Wright, Kaz, Phoebe Boswell, Rosie Leventon, Heena Kim, Jennifer Ross, Kelly Jackson, Gordon Flemons, Helena Ohman McCardle, Giancarlo Scagnolan, Cristina Marignoli, Dan Knight, Guglielmo Alfarone, Rodrigo Pires, Michele Drascek, John Routledge, Stathis Dimitriadis, Thomas Brandt, Alba Zapater and Barbara Fuch, Nathaska L. Swingler.

Theatre companies offering presentations are the Filskit Theatre and Dreckly Productions.


is the latest CD from a member of a mega-star Australian singing dynasty. Although Campbell has performed on Broadway, his name isn't necessarily recognized in bread basket America. One of the few singers capable of snagging a recording contract with a major label - Masterworks Broadway - his latest CD On Broadway should solve any listener identification issues.

His vocal delivery wears well. The lyrical voiced Campbell is not a fad, limited listener appeal performer. This easy listening CD deserves to be a crowd pleaser.

Campbell is one of Australia's most popular entertainers - a multi-platinum selling recording artist.

Cambell was born and raised in Adelaide by the maternal side of his family and didn't know until he was 11 that he was the son of a rock legend; that the woman he thought was his mother was really his grandmother, and that his “sister” was his real mother.

The ADHD kid was always drawn to music and credits taking a Barbara Cook master class with stearing him on the right path.

Despite the traumatic mindfields, becoming a professional singer was basically joining the paternal side of the family business.

His uncle is rock singer John Swan, known as Swanee. His father is Jimmy Barnes, a Scottish-born Australian rock singer-songwriter, inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association's Hall of Fame. His career as both a solo performer and as the lead vocalist with the rock band Cold Chisel has made him one of the most popular and best-selling Australian music artists of all time. The combination of 14 Australian Top 40 albums for Cold Chisel and 13 charting solo albums, including nine No. 1s, gives Barnes the highest number of hit albums of any Australian artist.

In November 2008 father and son released a duet which was a cover of the Righteous Brothers You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling that was featured on Campbell's album Good Lovin.

David starred in a major revival of Les Miserables in Sydney. Shortly after this, Campbell moved to New York, where - thanks to a favorable Time Out review - his downtown cabaret act became such a success that Campbell was able to transfer it to the iconic Rainbow & Stars, becoming the youngest performer ever to headline the venue.

Stephen Sondheim cast him in the New York premiere of his musical Saturday Night, and he played leading roles in shows like Babes In Arms at the Lincoln Center, and South Pacific.

In 2001, he returned to Australia to star as Johnny O'Keefe, in the musical Shout! Campbell went on to star in Australian productions of classic musicals Carousel and Company, new works at the MTC and STC, and in Pirates of Penzance for Opera Australia.

His albums The Swing Sessions (2006), The Swing Sessions 2 (2007), and Good Lovin' (2008) all hit the Top Ten and achieved platinum sales.

He also accepted the appointment as Artistic Director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which is the largest cabaret festival in the world.

Thus, it should be no surprise that On Broadway is a top-of-the-line, classy production.

The CD has what most other singers only fantasize about - a 40-piece live orchestra.

On Broadway has Campbell interpreting a host of songs from hit shows in which he has starred (Les Miserables, Company, Guys & Dolls, Carousel) with songs from other hit musicals (Oklahoma!, Hello, Dolly!, Chicago, On The Town), and even a world premiere recording from a the forthcoming show Catch Me If You Can by Hairspray writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

Recorded at EastWest Studios, Hollywood, CA; Your Place Or Mine Recording, Glendale, CA. Arrangements by Bill Elliott with the exception of Proud Lady, which is through the courtesy of Stephen Schwartz.


Paul Viapiano (guitar); Amy Wilkins (harp); John Wittenberg, Cameron Patrick, Carolyn Osborn, Songa Lee, Erika Walczak, Sharon Jackson, Kathleen Robertson, Gina Kronstadt, Norm Hughes, Mark Robertson, Judy Yoo, Julie Rogers, Christine Frank, Peter Kent, Susan Chatman (violin); Jessica van Velzen, Andrew Picken, Scott Hosfeld, Maria Newman, Briana Bandy (viola); Rudy Stein, Elizabeth Wright, John Krovosa, Andrew Shulman, Cameron Stone (cello); Geri Rotella (flute); Gary Gray (clarinet); Phil Feather, Jay Mason, Dan Higgins, Jeff Driskill (woodwinds, saxophone); Willie Murillo, Darrel Gardner, Don Clarke, Wayne Bergeron (trumpet); Dave Ryan, Charlie Morillas, Bob McChesney, Craig Ware (trombone); Alan Broadbent (piano); Ray Brinker, Bernie Dresel (drums). Audio Mixers: Charlie Paakkari; Mark Linet.


1. Overture
2. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein - Oklahoma!)
3. When I Get My Name In Lights (Peter Allen - Legs Diamond / The Boy From Oz)
4. Hey There (Richard Adler, Jerry Ross - Pajama Game)
5. Hello, Dolly! (Jerry Herman - Hello, Dolly!)
6. Bring Him Home (Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer - Les Miserables)
7. Being Alive (Stephen Sondheim - Company)
8. All I Care About (John Kander, Fred Ebb - Chicago)
9. You'll Never Walk Alone (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein - Carousel)
10. Proud Lady (Stephen Schwartz - The Baker's Wife)
11. Luck Be a Lady (Frank Loesser - Guys and Dolls)
12. What Kind of Fool Am I? (Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley - Stop the World - I Want To Get Off)
13. Goodbye (Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman - Catch Me If You Can)
14. Some Other Time (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden & Adolph Green - On the Town

Campbell will perform material from the new recording in a series of concerts in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Nov. 23 – 24 Catalina Jazz Club, Los Angeles
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4 Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, New York City
Dec. 5 The Rrazz Room, San Francisco

His father's Rage & Run tour has Australian performance next week on November 21 in Perth, November 26 in Canberra and November 27 in Sydney.


The Boston University College of Fine Arts will celebrate Professor Roman Totenberg’s 100th birthday and worldwide influence on classical music at Symphony Hall on Sunday, November 21.

Still an active teacher, Totenberg joined the BU School of Music as Professor of Music in 1961. His extraordinary talent as a solo violinist has paralleled his passion for teaching and mentoring countless musicians.

Roman Totenberg
The concert will feature the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, conductor David Hoose, and violinist Peter Zazofsky, and will include performances of Beethoven’s Prometheus Overture, Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 in A-flat.

National political commentator Cokie Roberts will host a special tribute to Totenberg.

A longtime resident of Newton, MA, Totenberg was born in Poland on January 1, 1911 and was a child prodigy. He had an illustrious concert career, making his debut with the Warsaw Philharmonic at age 11 and going on to win the Wieniawski and Ysaye Medals of Poland and Belgium, the Mendelssohn Prize (Berlin Academy), BU’s prestigious Metcalf Cup and Prize in 1996, and being named Artist Teacher of the Year in 1981 by the American String Teachers Association.

Totenberg has been a constant and inspiring presence in classical music over the last century, having worked closely with composers including Samuel Barber, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, and Darius Milhaud, and musicians and conductors including Fritz Kreisler, Artur Rubinstein, Leopold Stokowski, and Pierre Monteux.

Totenberg is featured on hundreds of recordings, has appeared with most of the renowned orchestras of the world, and has performed in recital at Carnegie Hall, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, the Library of Congress, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

The father of award winning National Public Radio foreign affairs journalist Nina Totenberg, the birthday boy will be in attendance at the concert and will be joined by family, friends, and former students, many of whom are today’s leading concert artists.

Sunday, November 21, 2010 at Boston’s historic Symphony Hall.


19th OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN AWARD for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, presented by the York Theatre company will honor Tony Award-winning librettist Thomas Meehan. The Gala takes place Monday, November 22. 2010. The evening will be directed by Tony-winning director/lyricist/librettist Richard Maltby and the award will be presented by Alice Hammerstein Mathias, daughter of Oscar Hammerstein II.

Scheduled to appear are: Josh Grisetti, Matthew Gumley, Tony winner Shuler Hensley, Tony winner George S. Irving, Carly Jibson, Tony winner Beth Leavel, Tony nominee Andrea McArdle, Robert McClure, Tony winner Mark O'Donnell, Tony nominee Brad Oscar, Jill Paice, Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams, Conrad John Schuck, Tony nominee Christopher Sieber, Don Stephenson, 6?time Emmy nominee George Wendt, Tony winner Maury Yeston and Rosie’s Theater Kids. David Krane will serve as music director.

The concert celebration honoring the legendary librettist will be held at The Racquet & Tennis Club in NYC.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award was created by York’s founder, the late Janet Hayes Walker, and is named in honor of the legendary lyricist who helped shape the American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. The Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala is the major fundraising event of the York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family. Past recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Harold Prince, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, Arthur Laurents, Jerry Herman, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Stone, David Merrick, John Kander & Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Cameron Mackintosh, Carol Channing, Tony Walton, Joseph Stein, George S. Irving and Jerry Bock & Sheldon Harnick. The York Theatre Company is the only theater in New York City – and one of very few in the world – dedicated to developing and fully producing new musicals and preserving neglected, notable shows from the past.

OLNEY THEATRE in Olney, MD is a drop off center for Toys for Tots. Through December 16, new toys for children of all ages - including teens and tweets - can be delivered to the drop off boxes located adjacent to the box office in the Historic Theatre lobby.

THE PRINCE'S TRUST ROCK GALA Phil Collins, Mike & the Mechanics and Alison Moyet along with Tom Chaplin and Paloma Faith, will join Eric Clapton, Jamie Cullum, Tom Jones, Jools Holland, Mark King, Brian May, Paolo Nutini, Status Quo, Roger Taylor and Midge Ure for this special fundraising concert on Wednesday, November 17, at Royal Albert Hall in London.

The evening will be hosted by multi-award winning actor and comedian Rob Brydon and Barry Humphries as his hilarious alter-ego Dame Edna Everage.

The funds raised from this concert will go towards helping change the lives of thousands of disadvantaged young people across the UK.

THE ACTING COMPANY'S MASQUERADE GALA which takes place November 22, at The Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, will honor Bernard Gersten and Tom Viola. Headlining the evening are performances by Tony winner Patti LuPone and Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer.

Angela Lansbury, Marian Seldes, Elizabeth Wilson, Campbell Scott, Dana Ivey, Shubert Organization's Philip Smith and Robert Wankel, Jujamcyn Theater's Paul Libin, Equity's Nick Wyman, The Actors Fund's Joe Benecasa and The Broadway League's Charlotte St. Martin will also be part of the tribute evening.

Gersten, executive producer of Lincoln Center Theater, will receive the John Houseman Award for his work at Lincoln Center and as Joseph Papp's associate producer of The New York Shakespeare Festival.

Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will be presented with the Joan Warburg Humanitarian Award for his leadership and advocacy in the fight against AIDS. Actor/director Campbell Scott, son of the late actress and former president of Actors Equity Colleen Dewhurst and George C. Scott will present the Warburg Award to Viola along with Joan Warburg, president of the Acting Company and life-long friend of Ms. Dewhurst. LuPone will present the award to Gersten.

Founded by Oscar winner John Houseman and current Producing Artistic Director Margot Harley in 1972, The Acting Company is America's leading and most honored touring repertory theater having reached 3.5 million people in 48 states and 10 foreign countries with 135 classic and new works.


Jeff Scowron and the cast of The Grinch sing a Christmas Carol at the 2009 Tree Lighting. Photo - The Old Globe.
will take place in San Diego on Sunday, November 21 on the Globe’s Copley Plaza.

The ceremony will kick off the holiday season in conjunction with the presentation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Designed by Grinch scenic designer John Lee Beatty, the unique tree will be located in the center of the Globe Plaza and remain for the run of the show.

This fun family event will feature a special live performance by members of the Grinch and Plaid Tidings casts and a delightful holiday snowfall on the Globe's Copley Plaza.

Tickets to this free event are limited.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has performances November 20-December 26 at the Old Globe Theatre.

Plaid Tidings - A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid will be staged in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre November 27-December 26.

BEHIND THE MUSIC-AL: FIRST SONGS is a behind-the-scenes look at the next generation of musical theater composers. Learn how songwriting teams collaborate, hear exclusive new songs performed by some of Broadway's hottest young stars and get the back-story on your favorite musical numbers. Moderator Jesse Oxfeld asks three writing teams about their first songs written in collaboration and finds out which tunes have laid the groundwork for the completion of their musicals. With Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, Bradford Proctor and Michael I. Walker.

Monday, November 22, at the 92YTribeca, NYC.

Bette Midler in The Showgirl Must Go On
Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On, will make its television debut on HBO New Year's Eve.

The 70-minute special, Midler's first on the network since 1997, was taped at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Midler's production show at Caesars played more than 200 performances and was seen by over a half-million people in two years.

The show feature some of Midler's colorful characters and her entourage of talented performers, including;

The staggering Harlettes, her dazzling dancers, The Caesar Salad Girls, and a 13-piece band, which includes a six-person horn section from the Las Vegas band The Fat City Horns.

During her more than forty-year career, The Divine Miss M has been nominated for two Academy Award; and won four Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and a special Tony Award. She has also sold over 30 million records as an artist.

VERBAL ACUMEN the first public reading - with a discussion to follow - of a new play by Ray Proctor and Olivia Dawson. Directed by Sheri Williams Pannell.

Featuring Ray Proctor, Olivia Dawson, & Bear Bellinger.

acumen (noun) the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain

Verbal Acumen negotiates the terrains of pretense, race, and friendship. It talks about expectations and what happens when those expectations are not met. It interrogates the complexities of being black in a world that is not. It looks for ways to be black and gay - to exist - on stage and in the world without being a caricature or a stereotype. Mostly, though, it's about two people who learn to love each other, in spite of themselves.

November 19th & 20th at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center in Milwaukee, WI.

KATE MULGREW AND ALEC BLADWIN are Gertrude and Claudius in a November 19th staged reading of Shakespeare's Hamlet to help raise funds for the Fundamental Theater Project to participate in their first international endeavor, the Edinburgh Fringe 2011.

Fundamental Theater Project was founded by actors Sam Underwood and Nicola Murphy. Underwood will play the Melancholy Dane. Hamlet will also feature Emmy Award winner Baldwin's 30 Rock co-star Scott Adsit (Grave Digger), Hair's co-creator James Rado (The Ghost), NYSCA's theatre program director Robert Zukerman (Polonius) and Zosia Mamet from Mad Men.. The reading will take place at The Irish Arts Center, New York City.

L.A. THEATRE WORKS will record all performances of A Raisin in the Sun to air on L.A. Theatre Works' syndicated radio theater series, which broadcasts weekly on public radio stations nationwide and can be streamed on demand.

A Raisin in the Sun is the gripping and explosive tale of one family living together on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s, A Raisin in the Sun was the first authentic voice of an African American playwright to hit the Broadway stage. In this award-winning drama, the Younger family searches for a way to grab their piece of the dream, even in the face of prejudice and discrimination.

Directed by Lou Bellamy, the production will bring John Houseman Award-winning actor Corey Antonio Hawkins to L.A. to reprise the role of Walter Younger that he just played at Julliard. Hawkins joins Judyann Elder (Lena “Mama” Younger), James Gleason (Karl Lindner), Noah Gray-Cabey (Travis Younger), Deidrie Henry (Ruth Younger), Terrell Tilford (George Murchison), Rutina Wesley (Beneatha Younger) and Mirron Willis (Joseph Asagi/Bobo).

November 17-21 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Botanicum Seedlings Fall (short) Playreading Festival - a fresh crop of short plays written for this Festival from emerging and award-winning playwrights who have been nourished by Theatricum's new play program: Tiffany Antone, Mary F. Casey, Damon Chua, Shannon Lee Clair, EM Lewis, Ella Martin, Tira Palmquist & Michael Premsrirat.

The plays composing Backyard Fruit are:

Night by Ella Martin - Bathed in moonlight, a garden is full of possibilities. Especially to a young, impressionable radish.

Apple Season by EM Lewis - Lissie has no problem selling the family farm she's inherited. But Billy hadn't bargained on her asking price.

The Fruits of Their Labor by Michael Premsriart - Not everyone in Russia is ready to turn their piece of the motherland over to an American real estate speculator.

Trick Ride by Mary F. Casey - Life is like a rodeo. The saddle gets harder, the competition gets younger and your memory starts to play tricks on you. But what a ride.

The Ladder by Damon Chua - A married couple deals with the loss of gravity, and the gravity of loss, all in their own backyard.

Community Property by Tira Palmquist - Even in the perfect neighborhood, a good fence doesn't make for good neighbors when a property dispute turns sour.

A Strawberry for Your Thoughts by Shannon Lee Clair - A tender look at young love and what flavors the future may hold on the eve of a backyard wedding.

Sour Fruit by Tiffany Antone - A play about politics, double standards and the cost of getting elected - particularly if the candidate is a woman who's got a choice to make.

November 20-21 at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Topanga, CA.


Michael Jackson
topped Michael Jackson's ticket sales record. Last Saturday Brooks set a Tennessee sales record by selling more than 140,000 concert tickets to benefit victims of the Nashville flood. According to a news release, Jackson only sold 72,000 tickets for his Knoxville stadium show.

Jackson who was at the height of his popularity performed three evening week-end concerts - Aug. 10-12, 1984 - at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. Those performances weren't a benefit and the tickets were $30 for the show which included Jackson's brothers

According to a business report written by Chattanooga Times entertainment writer Randy Arnold "Nearly 50,000 people could fit into the stadium and . . . . almost that many tickets were sold each night."

Ticket sale bragging rights determined by the number of tickets sold in one day and now Brooks has grabbed onto that accolade.

Sale of Brooks' tickets are expected to raise $3.5 million for ongoing flood relief efforts. Brooks said 100% of the ticket revenue will be donated to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to help those who are still rebuilding after the flooding that hit the area in May.

Garth Brooks
The demand to see Brooks, who hasn't performed in Nashville in 12 years, inspired the singer to add addition shows - taking the benefit from one performance to nine from December 16-22. Tickets were $25 apiece.

The #1 selling solo artist in U. S. history, Brooks returns to Wynn Las Vegas for sold out performances November 19, 20 and 21.

Last Tuesday it was announced that tickets prices for Brooks' Las Vegas shows have been increased by $100 - from $125 to $225 before taxes and fees.

Steve Wynn issued the following statement regarding the increase in ticket prices:

"My decision to raise the ticket price was a simple one. The demand for Garth was so overwhelming that it caught us by surprise. We could fill a theater many times the size of this, twice a night.

"The most important thing for our company is to give people value for their entertainment dollar. The contact with Garth Brooks in the Encore Theater is the equivalent of being in his living room. When the greatest live performer of our time appears in such an intimate theater, the seats should be priced at least competitively with other great Las Vegas entertainers. In terms of value, I believe that Garth Brooks is still under-priced and represents the greatest entertainment value in modern Las Vegas."

Upcoming concerts dates for Brooks at Wynn Las Vegas are: December 3, 4, 5 - January 21, 22, 23 - February 11, 12, 13 and February 25, 26, 27.

based on the 3D-animated family holiday special, which first aired December 2, 2005 on the NBC television network, which was based on Grammy-winner Harry Connick, Jr's original song, The Happy Elf. The stage show features music and lyrics by Connick, and a book by Lauren Gunderson and Andrew Fishman.

Tony Award winner John Rando directs a cast that stars Tony winner Michael Rupert in the role of Norbert, the angry and scheming Elf foreman who runs Santa's toy shop. Clint Johnson is Eubie.

This new musical follows Eubie, a North Pole elf who always wears a smile, when he decides to bring Christmas joy to the sad town of Bluesville, which has fallen into a state of permanent blues. A coveted spot on Santa's sleigh team awaits Eubie if he can fix Bluesville. A heart-warming new holiday musical that captures the joy of the season.

The company also includes Elliot Dash as Santa, Nova Payton as Gurt, Zack Colonna as Curtis, Valerie Issembert as Molly, Tina Ghandchilar as Gilda, Jobari Parker-Namdar as Hamm, Carolyn Caton as Candy Elf/Ensemble, David Weiner as Reindeer Elf/Ensemble, with ensemble members Ally Barrale, Melanie Kurstin, Neel Madan, Noah Mitchell, Madeleine Schinosi, Carl Williams, Hunter Kieserman, Jonathan Miot and Grace Sicard. The creative team includes music director/orchestrator Darius Smith, choreographer Mark Minnick, scenic designer Beowulf Borrit, costume designer Peter Zakutansky, lighting designer Andrew Cissna, sound designer Veronika Vorel, properties designer Scott Hengen, stage manager Roy Gross, scenic artist Marisa (Za) Johns.

Connick has been in attendance as he was when this holiday children's musical was staged as a workshop production in Kansas City at the Coterie Theatre in 2007 and at First Stage Children's Theater in Milwaukee in 2008.

Michael Bobbitt’s Adventure Theatre, the Washington, DC-area children's theatre, and Montgomery College are co-producing the show. This is considered another step towards wider regional mountings.

Montgomery College was brought on board by Bobbitt because Bobbitt's own adaptation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was already slated for the Adventure stage in Glen Echo Park, MD. Performances of The Happy Elf are through November 28 at Montgomery College's Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center in Rockville, MD

END OF THE RAINBOW based on the later life of Judy Garland written by Peter Quilter and directed by Terry Johnson.

It's December 1968 and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback... again. In a London hotel suite with her young new fiancé at her side, Garland battles with a tornado of drugs and alcohol as she undertakes an exhausting series of concerts at the Talk of the Town to try and reclaim her crown as the greatest talent of her generation. Despite a series of failed marriages and a wrecked Hollywood career, Judy remains a tough, compelling, remarkable woman always armed to the teeth with her legendary razor-sharp wit.

Starring Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett as. July Garland The cast also includes Hilton McRae as Anthony, Garland's devoted Scottish pianist and musical director; Stephen Hagan as about-to-be-husband number five Mickey Deanes; Robin Browne as Radio Interviewer, Porter and Stage Manager.
A six piece onstage band is under the musical direction of Gareth Valentine. Musical numbers include The Man That Got Away, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

The production is designed by William Dudley with sound design by Gareth Owen and lighting by Simon Corder.

The West End London premiere at the Trafalgar Studios, begins November 16 with the official opening set for November 22.

OLD WICKED SONGS by Jon Marans whose work received a nomination for the 1996 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Marans also directs.

Old Wicked Songs is the story of Stephen Hoffman, a brilliant American piano prodigy desperate to regain his waning creative spark. He travels to Vienna, where he studies under the forced tutelage of an old and eccentric vocal professor. The two could not be more different - one is European, the other American; one passionate; the other technical; and one an anti-Semite and the other, a Jew. What follows is a game of trading challenges, tirades, and insults revealing both the sinister and the noble sides of each man. The music of Robert Schumann, whose song cycle the Dichterliebe (the Poet's Love) is woven throughout the play, leads the characters in incredible musical storytelling.

The two character play stars Keith Baker as the vocal professor and David Kenner as Stephen Hoffman.

Opens November 16 at the Bristol Riverside Theater in Bristol, PA.

UPTOWN DOWNTOWN directed and conceived by Michael Bush. Musical direction by Don Rebic.

Starring Tony and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Uggams Billed as "a dazzling musical evening with the legendary Leslie Uggams. In stories and song, Leslie recreates her extraordinary journey from uptown to downtown. From Mitch Miller to Roots. From the Apollo Theater to Broadway.

Previews begin November 16, with the press opening on November 19 with performances through December 12 at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA.

Joyce DeWitt
written and directed by Kaine Riggan.

Starring Joyce DeWitt.

This locally popular musical comedy is set in a Waffle House as an unlikely mix of characters are becoming snowed in on Christmas Eve. Our narrator, a waitress named Rita (DeWitt), introduces us to her ''regulars'' and the colorful third shift staff.

We discover late in ACT 1 that Rita and all of her regulars are dead and unseen by the rest of the third shift. The Waffle House, with its 24-7 schedule is where the spirits go to get their ''assignments'' of deeds they have to do to even the score with the next level.

Rita's last assignment is to fix her widower and the father of her school-age children up with a lonely middle-age customer in the restaurant that night.

The production incorporates some 15 songs drawn from the catalogs of accomplished songwriters such as Randy Travis (Reasons I Cheat), T. Graham Brown (Wine Into Water), Bob McDill (All the Good Ones Are Gone) and Paul Overstreet (How Do I Wrap My Heart Up for Christmas?). Debbie Mathis contributes the show's signature tune, Waffle House Waitress.

The cast includes: Cinda McCain, Lloyd Mullens, Greg Grimsley, Danny Proctor, Vance Nichols, Christina Fentress, Kat Bowser, Memory Strong, Jordan Tudor, Hannah Mullens, Ed Human, Rusti Rae, John Kennerly, Shari Arnold, Janet Belsky, Kathy Jean Williams, and Jerry Ashley.

Music Director - Rollie Mains; Technical Director - Bill Hood; Stage Manager - Clay Ellison; Scenic Designer - Vance Nichols.

Musicians include keyboardist Rollie Mains and drummer Casey. Riggan and composer Mains plan to publish and package the musical comedy following this run at Nashville Dinner Theatre.

Dinner is served one hour prior to show time.

This production inaugurates The Nashville Dinner Theatre, a newly-renovated, three story, 11,000 square foot building. It has a grand lobby with a red carpeted spiral staircase, a two tiered piano bar, and the main theatre with a proscenium/thrust stage, two balconies and an orchestra pit above the stage.

November 12-December 19 at the Nashville Dinner Theater in Nashville, TN.

LES MISERABLES Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, with glorious new staging and spectacular reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.

The U.S. national tour, directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, makes its U.S. premiere at the Millburn, NJ Paper Mill Playhouse, November 19-December 30.

The production will star Lawrence Clayton as Jean Valjean, Andrew Varela as Javert, Michael Kostroff as Thénardier, Shawna Hamic as Madame Thénardier, Betsy Morgan as Fantine, Jeremy Hays as Enjolras, Chasten Harmon as Eponine, Justin Scott Brown as Marius, and Jenny Latimer as Cosette. Katherine Forrester and Anastasia Danielle Korbal alternate in the role of Young Cosette. Lewis Grosso and Josh Caggiano alternate in the role of Gavroche. At certain performances, Ron Sharpe will play the role of Jean Valjean.

The ensemble will include Richard Todd Adams, Richard Barth, Cathryn Basile, Julie Benko, Cole Burden, Briana Carlson-Goodman, Casey Erin Clark, Jon Fletcher, Jason Forbach, Lucia Giannetta, Ian Patrick Gibb, Cooper Grodin, Ben Gunderson, Cornelia Luna, Benjamin Magnuson, Jason Ostrowski, John Rapson, Rachel Rincione, Heather Jane Rolff, Sarah Shahinian, Alan Shaw, Joseph Spieldenner, Joe Tokarz, Aliya Victoriya and Natalie Weiss.

BELLS ARE RINGING the City Center Encores! production will be directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall with music direction by Rob Berman.

The principal cast will include Kelli O'Hara (Ella Peterson), Will Chase (Jeffrey Moss), Dylan Baker (Inspector Barnes), Bobby Cannavale (Blake Barton), Judy Kaye (Sue Summers), Brad Oscar (Dr. Kitchell), David Pittu (Sandor Pratz), Danny Rutigliano (Francis), Jeffrey Schecter (Carl), and John C. Vennema (Larry Hastings). The ensemble includes Clyde Alves, Meggie Cansler, Andrew Cao, Niffer Clarke, Rachel Coloff, Jack Doyle, Leah Edwards, Kimberly Fauré, Marya Grandy, Michael Halling, Max Kumangai, Alyse Alan Louis, Michael Marcotte, Shina Ann Morris, Kevin Munhall, William Ryall, Jennifer Savelli, Anthony Wayne, J.D. Webster and Anna Aimee White.

November 18-21 at City Center in NYC.

PETER PAN based on the play by James M. Barrie Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh. Music by Mark Charlap. Additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

The biggest selling show in the history of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Peter Pan the Musical, .will return in all of its high flying glory as part of ASF’s Silver Anniversary season, November 19-December 24. Producing Artistic Director Geoffrey Sherman will once again direct the spectacle. Peter Pan the Musical broke all box office records when it was produced at ASF in 2007.

Starring Sarah Litzsinger in the title role. Rodney Clark returns as Captain Hook with Emily Kinney as Wendy.

The cast will also feature Kevin Callaghan, Kevin Curtis, Lenny Daniel, Richard Gatta, Erik Gullberg, Tara L. Herwig, Tyler Jakes, Eleni Kanalos, Caitlin McGee, Anthony Napoletano, Adam Pelligrene, Seth D. Rabinowitz, Roy San Filipo, Lynna Schmidt, Billy Sharpe, Roger Preston Smith, Eric Shorey, Maria Totten, Corey Triplett, Brett Warnke, and Kent Zimmerman.

In addition to Sherman, the artistic team includes choreographer Karen Azenberg - fight choreographer John Manfredi - sets by John Iacovelli - costumes by Patrick Holt - lighting by Paul Wonsek and sound by Richelle Thompson. Tanya Searle will stage manage the musical. Alabama Shakespeare Festival November 19-December 24 in Montgomery, Alabama.

UTOPIA, LIMITED, OR THE FLOWERS OF PROGRESS kicks off the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players new fall, winter and spring season.

Utopia, Limited is a rarely performed G&S satire concerning the attempts of an island paradise to clone the ways of Victorian England. The score is full of arching melodies, sprightly tunes, and rousing choruses while timely objects of Gilbert's wit include political correctness and governmental gridlock.

All performances during the season will feature the full score and dialogue with NYGASP’s cast and orchestra, with the orchestra on stage for all performances including the unique G&S Sing-Along.

Under the artistic and music direction of Albert Bergeret, the company has presented over 2,600 performances throughout the United States, Canada, and England. Incorporating a 25-piece orchestra, its productions feature contemporary energy while retaining a traditional respect for each of the G&S masterpieces. New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players is considered by many to be the nation’s “leading custodian of the G&S classics.” Sunday, November 21 at Peter Norton Symphony Space, NYC.

MONTANA a new work by Brooklyn-based playwright Alan Magill. Directed by Joseph Russo.

Montana is described by John Lant the Producing Artistic Director at Write Act Rep in LA and on the east coast at Write Act Easide as; "a socially conscious tragedy about a woman, Susan, haunted by the memories of her past, who flees the streets of Chicago for the fields of Montana. Trapped by her insecurities, she forms a bond with a local neighbor, Erma, who empathetically starts to helps her overcome her problems and establish clarity. Their relationship is ultimately tested when a poet, Brett, from Susan's past comes to Montana raising doubts for what is truly right for her - which may or may not include a disappointed Erma."

The cast includes Gina DiPeppe. Eve Sorel, Cedrick M Terrell and features Athos Cakiades and Hayden Allen Todd Moore.

Montana premieres at Write Act Eastside @ the Richmond Shepard Theatre, NYC with performances from Monday November 15th through Tuesday November 30th, 2010.

by Fiona Sprott. Directed by Shane Anthony.

Featuring - Jo Thomas, Sam Clark and live music performed by James Dobinson.

Dating in the 21st century is complicated. With so many possible avenues to meet Mr Right, how many disastrous speed dates, mobile games and online fabrications do we have to endure? Jezebel, a career focused and ‘unlucky-in-love’ woman has tried almost anything in her endless quest for love. Sex and the City meets Bridget Jones’s Diary in this madcap cabaret that takes a hilariously honest look at the ups and downs of single life. Often I Find that I am Naked is a comedy for anyone who has ever dreamt of perfect love but woken up, hung over and naked in a stranger’s bed… or bathtub.

Designer - Josh McIntosh: Lighting Designer - Andrew Meadows.

Performances through November 28 at Darlinghurst Theatre in Potts Point New South Wales, Australia.


JOAN COLLINS brings her one-woman show One Night with Joan to Feinstein's at Loews Regency in NYC for a gig lasting more than just one night. Performances are November 16-27.

METROPOLITAN OPERA TENOR Adam Klein will perform Franz Schubert’s Winterreise (‘Winter’s Journey’) with operamission’s Jennifer Peterson at the piano for three evenings, Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, 2010, and Saturday, December 4, 2010, at the Gershwin Hotel, NYC. The work will be performed from the autograph manuscript in Schubert’s original keys, as conceived for the tenor voice.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN performs Wednesday, November 17, at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. On Friday he's on stage at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA.

THE CANADIAN TENORS will be harmonizing Saturday, November 20 at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

SIR JAMES GALWAY in the spotlight, Friday, November 19, at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne, Australia.

IDINA MENZEL performs Friday, November 19, at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

JUSTIN BIEBER performs Tuesday, November 16 at TD Garden in Boston. On Wednesday he'll be getting screams at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ. Friday's show is at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

HARMONY HIT PARADE Rockland's own close-harmony women's chorus, stages its annual Fall Concert, under the direction of Bob Harris. In addition to Harmony's songs through the years in barbershop styling and the amazing Richard Skipper as Carol Channing (with Christine Talbot-Sutton on piano), special guests will also include Just4, the award-winning Sweet Adelines female quartet. November 21 at The Nyack Center in Nyack, NY.

USHER on stage Wednesday, November 17, at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. Thursday's show is at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. On Friday he performs at the Arena in Glendale, AZ.

OZZY OSBOURNE brings his tour to Canada this week with a show at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, on Tuesday, November 16. On Thursday the theatrics take place at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta and on Saturday he can be enjoyed at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

MICHAEL BOLTON who has sold more than 53 million records, performs Tuesday, November 23, at Royal Albert Hall in London. He will be joined by Mica Paris, who is known as "the UK's Soul Queen."


IN MEMORY OF JILL CLAYBURGH the Broadway community mourned the loss of the actress, who passed away November 5th at age 66. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York were dimmed in her memory on, November 9, at exactly 7:00 p.m. for one minute.

Next Column: November 21, 2010
Copyright: November 14, 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

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