Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 27, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Corbin Bleu, Lora Lee Gayer and Bryce Pinkham, in Holiday Inn. Photo by: Joan Marcus
Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical based on the 1942 film of the same name, which starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire and featured a dozen songs by Berlin is a festive addition to this holiday season. This old fashioned, feel good stage musical was adapted by Chad Hodge and Gordon Greenberg who also directs.

Irving Berlin won a 1942 Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for White Christmas used in Holiday Inn.. He also received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Story Holiday Inn.

In 2013, Universal Stage Productions, the live theater division of Universal Pictures, invited Goodspeed Musicals to develop a stage adaptation of the film. The musical premiered at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut on September 19, 2014.

Currently mounted at Studio 54 in New York City through January 15, 2017, the production stars Bryce Pinkham as Jim Hardy, Corbin Bleu as Ted Hanover, Megan Skora as Lila Dixon and Lora Lee Gayer as Linda. Comic relief is in the form of wisecracking Louise played by Megan Lawrence, and Danny Rutigliano as agent Danny.

No hidden messages or social commentary. Just a wonderful, non threatening nostalgic pick me up musical.

Holiday Inn tells the story of Jim Hardy (Pinkham) whose life isn’t the same without a bit of song and dance. However, Jim is tired of the old song and dance and wants to marry Lila and retire with her to a farm in Connecticut. At the last minute, Lila decides she is not ready to stop performing, and that she has fallen in love with Ted. While heartbroken, Jim follows through with his plan and bids their act farewell.

However, farm life proves to be hard and financially unrewarding. Then Jim connects with Linda (soprano Lora Lee Gayer), a schoolteacher with talent to spare, having once held out hope that she could become a performer. She has an attachment to the farmhouse. Her family used to own the place and the sale forced Linda to move into an apartment. Thus, she teams with Jim and together they turn the farmhouse into a fabulous inn with dazzling performances to celebrate each holiday, from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. But when Ted Hanover tries to lure Linda away to be his new dance partner in Hollywood, tensions arise. Will Jim be able to salvage his latest chance at love?

The music is Berlin - nothing better than that. The songs are representative of the holidays the inn is celebrating. The tunes from the film are there as are others such as Blue Skies, Heat Wave, It’s A Lovely Day Today and Cheek To Cheek.

The score is first rate jazz infused, classy orchestrations by Larry Blank. The cast is also top drawer. They can sing, dance and should brighten up the attitude of anyone in the audience.

They'll have you 'shakin' the blues away' with classic songs, vibrant dancing and nostalgic costumes from the 1930-40s In addition to the expected singing and dancing they jump rope in a way that will lasso your heart.

The dance choreography by Denis Jones is true to the time period in which the musical is set - meaning a lot of snazzy tap.

Since the premise of the show is an inn which offers an entertainment production build around holiday scenes, set designer Anna Louizos may have set a record for the number of scenic changes in a production. Effective lighting by Jeff Croiter. Lovely sound thanks to sound designer Keith Caggiano.

The delightful costumes by Alejo Vietti hearken back to an era when men didn't wear baseball caps backwards and have their slacks hanging below their giblets. Women looked classy in skirts and dresses and females could keep their clothes on and still look alluring and sexy.

The cast has an infectious exuberance. Tony nominee Pinkham can deliver notes to the back row of a balcony. Corbin Bleu puts tap dance into a high art form.

The talented and energetic ensemble includes: Malik Akil, Will Burton, Barry Busby, Darien Crago, Caley Crawford, Jenifer Foote, Morgan Gao, Matt Meigs, Shina Ann Morris, Catherine Ricafort, Drew Redington, Amanda Rose, Jonalyn Saxer, Parker Slaybaugh, Samantha Sturm, Amy Van Norstrand, Travis Ward-Osborne, Paige Williams, Victor Wisehart, Kevin Worley, Borris York.

The creatives include: Charles Lapointe Hair & Wig Designer. Joe Dulude II Make-up Designer. Andy Einhorn Music Supervisor/Music Director/Conductor. Sam Davis Vocal and Dance Arrangements. Bruce Pomahac Additional Dance and Vocal Arrangements. Julie Sandy Production Props. Andy Senor, Jr. Associate Director. Michael J. Passaro Production Stage Manager. Pat Sosnow Assistant Stage Manager.

Logo by Really Useful Group
a revival of the record breaking Andrew Lloyd Webber mega hit is as strong as it was in its first of its nine lives.

Based the T.S. Eliot’s 1939 collection of poems, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, this 1983 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and direction by Trevor Nunn..

The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" taking place during the Jellicle Ball when Old Deuteronomy will select the cat to go to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn to a new Jellicle life. Over the course of the evening, the cats of the tribe step forward to introduce themselves and audition for the chance to be selected.

If your age skews young and you've never seen this show, don't let old puns scare you away. Give this revival a chance. You don't have to be a cat person Even those who are allergic to cats will be captivated by these felines.

Because cast members wears a cat costume and sneak around garbage cans as those creatures, the musical was an easy shot for parody and cheap jokes. The music has always been glorious - a production in which the standard Memory was introduced. A showstopper then and now.

This revival offers viewers the opportunity to appreciate the creative genius required of Tony award winner costumer and scenic designer John Napier to construct a wide breed of believable cat costumes which allow the performers to navigate around the larger than life garbage dump. The moves aren't awkward, toddler crawling, but carefully choreographed dance moves by Andy Blankenbuehler which are faithful to the original choreography by Gillian Lynne. Moves which are both energetic and graceful. The make up designs are crucial to transforming humans into the performing fur balls.

Original lighting design by Natasha Katz is exquisitely junky and heavenly, while the sound by Mick Potter makes the sounds of alley cats anything but annoying.

The cast features: Grizabella played by Mamie Parris who jokes on her twitter account: "playing a cat 6 days a week. Don't tell my dog." She came to this production from working as an understudy in another Lloyd Webber production, School of Rock. I must have seen her in a couple of Broadway shows Ragtime and On the Twentieth Century to name two, because she is listed as an ensemble member. of those productions. You can't miss her in this show. She's a stand out star in Cats. Her rendition of Memory is a show stopper. She delivers and ranks right up there with the other stars who have stolen the show with this number.

No pun intended, but there isn't a bad cat in the group. Rum Tum Tugger is played by Tyler Hanes. Mistoffelees is Ricky Ubeda. Old Deuteronomy is played by Quentin Earl Darrington. Jennyanydots is played by Eloise Kropp. Skimbleshanks is Jeremy Davis. Gus/Bustopher Jones is Christopher Gurr and Munkustrap is played by Andy Huntington Jones.

As their promo line reads - "Let the Memories Live Again."

At the Neill Simon Theatre in New York City.

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Francis Picabia. La Source (The Spring)was among the paintings that marked the arrival of abstraction in Paris. 1912. Oil on canvas, 8? 2 1/4? × 8? 2 1/8? (249.6 × 249.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Collection
is a comprehensive survey of Picabia’s audacious, irreverent, and profoundly influential work across mediums. A luminary of the Dada movement and an audacious artist who always questioned the purpose of art, Francis Picabia remains one of the most entertaining, and elusive, figures in modern art. This major new retrospective of his work is the first in the U.S. in almost 50 years.

Among the great modern artists of the past century, Francis Picabia (French, 1879–1953) also remains one of the most elusive. He vigorously avoided any singular style, and his work encompassed painting, poetry, publishing, performance and film. Though he is best known as one of the leaders of the Dada movement, his career ranged widely - and wildly - from Impressionism to radical abstraction, from Dadaist provocation to pseudo-classicism, and from photo-based realism to art informel. Picabia’s consistent inconsistencies, his appropriative strategies, and his stylistic eclecticism, along with his skeptical attitude, make him especially relevant for contemporary artists, and his career as a whole challenges familiar narratives of the avant-garde.

Francis Picabia features over 200 works, including some 125 paintings, key works on paper, periodicals and printed matter, illustrated letters, and one film. The exhibition aims to advance the understanding of Picabia’s relentless shape-shifting, and how his persistent questioning of the meaning and purpose of art ensured his iconoclastic legacy’s lasting influence.

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Kunsthaus Zürich. Organized by Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, and Cathérine Hug, Curator, Kunsthaus Zürich; with Talia Kwartler, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

Through March 19, 2017 at MoMA in New York City.

FLAPPER STYLE: 1920S FASHION The flapper is widely seen as the epitome of 1920s glamor and decadence. The term refers to the generation of young women who came to age just as World War I ended and shocked the older generation with their short hair and short skirts, their drinking, smoking, and swearing. Flappers faced a world strikingly different from the one their mothers knew and their clothing reflected this dramatic break with the past.

The "Roaring Twenties" were renowned for their exuberant parties and jazz music, which were reflected in the glittering fringe fashion that women wore. However, this exhibition looks beyond the quintessential beaded dress to explore the range of influences on fashion from sportswear to artistic movements such as Bauhaus and Art Deco. Standards of beauty in the 1920s shifted to celebrate youth with a fashionable silhouette that was slim and boyish.

The exhibition includes more than forty pieces including undergarments, evening wraps, sportswear, menswear and footwear from Kent State University Art Museum, which contains one of the country's most important couture collections.

Opening December 3, 2016 through January 22, 2017 at the Edward E. and Jane B. Ford Gallery Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, FL.


One of the posters up for auction. Photo: Paddle 8
the Hollywood director and producer has opened up his legendary Hollywood home to offer 133 objects up for bid from his personal collection.

Proceeds to benefit the Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance.

Ratner is known for directing the Rush Hour film series.

Contemporary greats like Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Malick Sidibé, and Rashid Johnson headline this auction, which puts the spotlight on Pan-African art.

The excitement of live shows is captured in this sale, which features rare concert posters and one-of-a kind finds like a handwritten poem by Jim Morrison and a U2 set-list.

The auction is staged by on line auction house Paddle 8.

ARTrageous BENEFIT GALA starring Michael Feinstein takes place Saturday, December 3 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in Scottsdale, AZ.

Patrons are invited to step back into the Jazz Age through an inspired experience laced with the allure of the era that ushered in a purely American style of creativity.

During the evening attendees will enjoy delectable culinary offerings prepared by Santa Barbara Catering, a silent auction and raffle with one-of-a-kind experiences, a fabulous performance by the incomparable “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” Michael Feinstein, and for the grand finale, The Speakeasy After-Party featuring music, dancing, divine edibles and surprises, hosted by The Avant-Garde on Second Street (AG2), the young professionals of Scottsdale Arts.

The ARTrageous Benefit Gala celebrates and supports all of Scottsdale Arts’ programs, including its Education & Outreach initiatives that reach more than 40,000 participants each year.


Spoon River Anthology the original Broadway Cast recording has been released on Masterworks Broadway.

Poetry is emotion which must be felt. On this CD are actors who not only understand that, but have the ability to vocally communicate. Just as decades ago citizens sat around a radio staring at it, as they listened to dramatic programs, you'll be tempted to sit and intently listen to this CD.

There are fascinating characters brought to life in poetry with occasional music. Based on Edgar Lee Master’s “collection of short free-form poems, this Broadway production now released on a CD is mostly spoken word. Words which are given a soul by Betty Garrett, Joyce VanPatton, Robert Elston, and Charles Aidman who produced both the show and the original Columbia album.

If you are not familiar with Spoon River Anthology you need to understand the premise.

Spoon River Anthology (1915), by Edgar Lee Masters, is a collection of short free-form poems that collectively narrates the epitaphs of the residents of Spoon River, a fictional small town named after the real Spoon River that ran near Masters' home town. The aim of the poems is to demystify the rural, small town American life. The collection includes two hundred and twelve separate characters, all providing two-hundred forty-four accounts of their lives and losses. The poems were originally published in the magazine Reedy's Mirror.

"Each poem is an epitaph of a dead citizen, delivered by the dead themselves. They speak about the sorts of things one might expect: some recite their histories and turning points, others make observations of life from the outside, and petty ones complain of the treatment of their graves, while few tell how they really died. Speaking without reason to lie or fear the consequences, they construct a picture of life in their town that is shorn of façades. The interplay of various villagers - e.g. a bright and successful man crediting his parents for all he's accomplished, and an old woman weeping because he is secretly her illegitimate child - forms a gripping, if not pretty, whole."

One passed in a fever,
One was burned in a mine,
One was killed in a brawl,
One died in a jail,
One fell from a bridge toiling for children and wife,
One died in shameful child-birth,
One of a thwarted love,
One at the hands of a brute in a brothel,
One of a broken pride, in the search for heart’s desire;
One after life in far-away London and Paris.

"The work features such characters as Tom Merritt, Amos Sibley, Carl Hamblin, Fiddler Jones and A.D. Blood. Many of the characters who make appearances in Spoon River Anthology were based on real people that Masters knew or heard of in the two towns in which he grew up, Petersburg and Lewistown, Illinois. Most notable is Ann Rutledge, regarded in local legend to be Abraham Lincoln's early love interest though there is no actual proof of such a relationship. Rutledge's grave can still be found in a Petersburg cemetery, and a tour of graveyards in both towns, especially Oak Hill Cemetery, reveals most of the surnames that Masters applied to his characters." Her characterization is brought to life on this CD by Joyce Van Patten in the closing segment.

In 1963, Charles Aidman adapted Spoon River Anthology into a theater production that is still performed today.

The production, from which this CD was recorded, was created and produced by actor Charles Aidman. This show recording features both new ("Spoon River") tunes written for the production as well as traditional ("The Water is Wide") folk songs. The original songs by Naomi Caryl Hirshorn and Charles Aidman.

Most of the musical selections are sung by Naomi Caryl Hirshhorn,

The poems are immensely moving, sad, and potent. Dulcet tones elevate the depth of the dead.

The performers offer an intimate connection to the deceased - of a wife who perished of a broken heart with pneumonia finishing off her husband who is the narrator. The death of a man who had broken a law - human and divine. A battered wife theorizing that "I am avenged" by her husband's death. A soldier who died in battle laments of "days of loathing and nights of fear" explaining that " now there is a flag over me in Spoon River."

Exquisite capturing of each spoken or sung word on this CD gives the illusion that the performers are in the room with you.

There are 28 sections. The musical additions range from under a minute to two-and-a-half minutes - each leading into a recitation. The opening number He's Gone Away is one of the longest songs. Performed by Naomi Caryl Hirshorn, it sets the graveyard atmosphere.

Heel stomping and a violin offer a few bars of Skip To My Lou, while Paper Of Pins leads into a story about a marriage that could only be dissolved by death - a wife who ignored her husband's infidelity recited by Charles Aidman and Betty Garrett as Roscoe and Mrs. Purkapile.

Freedom song by Hal Lynch is beautiful. The vibrant 45 second Illinois performed by Hirshorn and Lynch is backed by a guitar. Sometimes humming is the only accompaniment.

Melancholy, poignant, heartfelt.

Spoon River Anthology brings life to death. Released by Masterworks Broadway Spoon River Anthology is a memorable CD.


Winter Rhythms 2016 marks the eighth year that Urban Stages has brought noted musical artists to its stage during the holiday period. The mission of Winter Rhythms is to bring the talents of known and unknown singers, musicians, lyricists and composers to the attention of the New York theater community while performing at Urban Stages Theater. Winter Rhythms benefits Urban Stages’ acclaimed Outreach Program, which brings over 200 free “arts in education” presentations to libraries and schools throughout the five boroughs.

This year’s benefit series - December 1 – 11, 2016 at Urban Stages in New York City - will present a record-breaking 23 shows, many of them created especially for Winter Rhythms, all of them with sound design by Douglas Mills and lighting design by Deborah Constantine. Krystle Henninger is Production Manager. The entire series is produced and programmed for the sixth consecutive year by award-winning producer/writer/director Peter Napolitano.

Highlights of the twenty-three-show schedule includes the opening night with cabaret and musical theatre star KT Sullivan in Cabaret Noel: Come the Wild, Wild, Weather, an all Noel Coward program, with a champagne reception following the performance; Tony nominee Karen Akers returns to one of her first loves, the French Chanson, in Vive La Chanson!, celebrating the melodic charms and heartfelt emotions of music made famous by Piaf, Aznavour and more.

The Ghostess with the Mostest - A Tribute to Marni Nixon with Tony winner Donna McKechnie, Anita Gillette, Stephen Cole, Sarah Rice, and Janice Hall; a double bill of Rita Gardner in Much More: A Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt Songbook and Jeff Harnar sings Cole Porter; A Night at the Bistros: Award-winning Songwriters and Singers; The World According to Kurt Weill; a concert presentation of the musical comedy The Lady in Penthouse B starring Klea Blackhurst.

Will Friedwald presents Gordon Jenkins’s Manhattan Tower: A 70th Anniversary Celebration with Carole J. Bufford, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Gabrielle Stravelli and Bill Boggs as narrator; Tom Toce presents A Bull Dog Christmas Carol: A Night With the Ghosts of Yale Musical Theatre’s Past, Present and Future, Stephen Hanks presents New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits with Mark Nadler, Karen Oberlin, Julie Reyburn, etc.; and Drama Desk Award winner Jim Brochu in his new solo show, Merman and Me.

Winter Rhythms will close on December 11th with From All of Us To All of You: Seasonal Songs and Disney, Too! This has become the traditional holiday closing concert and a favorite of audiences, mixing holiday standards with songs from Disney movies. Hosted by Adam B. Shapiro with Tony winner Trezana Beverley, cabaret legend Steve Ross, Jim Brochu, Dawn Derow, Eve Eaton, Kathleen France, Rob Langeder, Stacie Perlman-Langeder, Beverly Leslie Sills, and Rev. Yolanda.


BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE in New Hope PA has opened a Holiday Shop which not only offers the usual type of objects for sale - but also some uniquely theatrical. They include a walk on role in Guys and Dolls for $1,500 and a walk on part in Buddy for $1,000.

JAMES CORDEN the Emmy- and Tony Award-winning multi-faceted host of CBS' The Late Late Show With James Corden, will host the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, marking his first year as master of ceremonies.

"Thanks to Carpool Karaoke, we've all been on some incredible rides with James, and The Recording Academy couldn't be more excited to welcome his passion and enthusiasm for music, both as an entertainer and a fan, to the GRAMMY® stage on Feb. 12," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow.

The Grammy Awards will take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and broadcast live on CBS Sunday, February 12, 2017.

ISAAC MIZRAHI narrates Sergei Prokofiev’s charming children’s classic Peter and the Wolf as Brad Lubman conducts Ensemble Signal, and a cast performs choreography by John Heginbotham, bringing the 30-minute story to life for the young and young at heart.

December 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11, 2016 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

THE ITALIAN PLAYWRIGHTS PROJECT presents Something About the Lehmans, a conversation with playwright Stefano Massini about his work as well as the role of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano and contemporary theatre in Europe. At the artist talk, moderated by Dr. Frank Hentschker who is The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Executive Director and Director of Programs, Massini will be joined by Valeria Orani the Umanism founder and director, and Giorgio Van Straten, Director of the Italian Cultural Institute of New York.

The event will also feature a reading of an excerpt from Something about the Lehmans, translated by Allison Eikerenkoetter, directed by Marco Calvani, and performed by actor Robert Funaro.

Open to the public, the event takes place Monday, December 5, 2016 at The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, NYC.

MY FAIR LADY directed by Julie Andrews was such a major hit at Opera Australia in Sydney that it will be remounted beginning August 24, 2017 with shows through September 9, 2017 at the Capitol Theatre.

Julie Andrews directs this glorious production of My Fair Lady, teaming up with the Tony Award-winning Christopher Gattelli and associates of the musical's original designers, Cecil Beaton and Oliver Smith. A stellar cast of Australian theatre royalty and emerging talent will be showcased in this truly momentous production.

The production team includes: Scenic Supervision Rosaria Sinisi - Costume Recreation John David Ridge - Lighting Designer Richard Pilbrow - Sound Designer Michael Waters - Hair and Wig Designer John Isaacs - Make-up Designer Rick Sharp - Musical Director Guy Simpson Associate Scenic Supervisor Naomi Berger - Associate Lighting Designer Michael Gottlieb - Associate Choreographer Step.

NOVEMBER 28 is National French Toast Day and November 29 is Chocolates Day.


Betsy DeVos has a history of supporting the arts.
has been selected by President-elect Trump to become Secretary of Education. Her husband, David, is the son of billionaire founder and former CEO of Amway Rich DeVos.

The Michigan couple has a history of being lauded for their support of the homeless, arts and sports. They also have a track recording of supporting conservative Christian values, which some fear could impact the LGBT communities. The DeVos family has donated to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay marriage group.

The DeVos’ have a charity "that reportedly is focused on providing funds to religious groups and organizations that encourage free-market economies," as printed in NY Times July 12, 2012 and reprinted by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation on July 23, 2012 ArtPrize was founded by Rick DeVos and sponsored by Amway and the Dick & Betty DeVos Family Foundation.

According to Forbes the Family Foundation has made $1.6 billion in lifetime giving. According to the publication, "the DeVoses donated $90.9 million in 2013, with 48 percent going to education, 27 percent to health and community services, 13 percent to churches or faith-based organizations, and 12 percent to arts and culture.

Betsy DeVos served a six-year term on the Kennedy Center board in Washington, D.C., after President George W. Bush appointed her in 2004.

Betsy and husband, Dick DeVos, are supportive of teaching management practices to professional arts administrators. In 2010, they donated $22.5 million for Arts Management at University of Maryland. The organization performs work in 82 countries, and mentors local arts organizations, including the Grand Rapids Symphony and Grand Rapids Ballet.

In 2009, DeVos and her family founded ArtPrize, an international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Their one time tiptoe onto Broadway had more to do with their strong friendship with the popular, born-again Christian Kathie Lee Gifford than any obsession to see their names above a title. The couple was the lead producer of Scandalous. The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, in 2012. Gifford was the musical's librettist and lyricist. Broadway musical are tough to successfully mount. Most close with some type of a loss. Scandalous closed as a total loss.

Betsy's sister-in-law Pamella DeVos, the force behind Pamella Roland fashion designs which - "channels her artistic appreciation and creativity into all of her collections" - sits on the board of the Whitney Museum of American Art, which resulted in the Manhattan museum loaning Robert Rauschenberg’s Synapsis Shuffle to the Grand Rapids Art Museum in 2012. The art filled home Pamella shares with her sports executive husband Dan has been featured on NBC-TV affiliate LXTV.

THE BIG APPLE CIRCUS a New York and national cultural treasure for nearly four decades, has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving pro bono as Big Apple Circus' legal counsel in the bankruptcy case.

During the bankruptcy case, the Big Apple Circus intends to continue operating some of its community programs, which may be transitioned to other suitable nonprofit organizations, and to sell certain of its assets. In the meantime, the bankruptcy filing preserves the opportunity to restart the Big Apple Circus' one-ring show, either with new financial support or through a sale of the circus to a buyer interested in doing so.

LAYOFFS have struck the University of California, San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance. As first reported by NBC San Diego on November 9, all 21 productions employees got their closing notice.

As of January they will be in the unemployment line although the official release indicated that laid off staff will be given the opportunity to apply for positions dedicated to either UCSD or the La Jolla Playhouse. The official release states in part:

"The plan, which takes effect in January 2017, involves the reorganization of UC San Diego’s production staff to ensure that both organizations are provided with dedicated staff to achieve organizational goals. UC San Diego staff currently sharing time with both UC San Diego and the La Jolla Playhouse will have the opportunity to be hired to positions dedicated to either institution. The campus and the La Jolla Playhouse remain committed to UC San Diego student residencies and continuing most production work at theaters in the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Theatre District on the university’s campus."

The website for the La Jolla Playhouse indicates that in the production department job applications are being accepted for: technical director, assistant technical director, and properties master.

Being staged through December 4, 2016 is a world-premiere musical Miss You Like Hell with a book and lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes, music and lyrics by Erin McKeown. Commissioned by the La Jolla Playhouse the production is directed by Lear deBessonet and choreographed by Danny Mefford.

Explained as: "Bill as When a whip-smart, deeply imaginative teenager agrees to take a road trip with her free-spirited Latina mother, neither can imagine where it will take them. Chance encounters with a medley of characters along the way brings them closer to understanding what sets them apart - and what connects them forever. Featuring compelling original songs that are every bit as diverse and eclectic as America, Miss You Like Hell is a new musical that exudes the joy, love and frustration of being a family in a changing country."

book by Craig Lucas. Music by Daniel Messé. Lyrics by Nathan Tysen and Daniel Messé.

Directed by Pam MacKinnon.

Choreography by Sam Pinkleton.

Amélie captured hearts in the five-time Oscar-nominated film. Now she comes to the stage in a magical new musical.

Embark on a mesmerizing journey with inquisitive and charmingly shy Amélie as she turns the streets of Montmartre into a world of her own imagining, while secretly orchestrating moments of joy for those around her.

Phillipa Soo stars.

The World premiere took place at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Center Theatre Group’s pre-Broadway production has performances December 4, 2016 - January 15, 2017 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

LITTLE DRUMMER BOWIE by the Troubadour Theater Company.

Troubadour Theater Company Artistic Director and founder, Matt Walker co-directs the musical parody with Joseph Lee Bwari.

Paying tribute to the late, great David Bowie in a fully reimagined production of their infamous theatrical mash-up, Little Drummer Bowie. The company, known for marrying classic source material with legendary music will spoof the 1960’s television special, The Little Drummer Boy, and Bowie’s iconic glam rock sound, offering a theatrical event which is billed to "dazzle all and surprise even the most knowing Troubie’ fan. Laugh-out-loud musical parody finds our “Heroes” in a heartwarming tale of family, forgiveness and “Changes,” resulting in the ultimate discovery for all seasons: Modern Love lives inside."

Starring Rick Batalla, Lisa Valenzuela, Beth Kennedy and Joseph Leo Bwarie. The cast also includes: Riccardo Berdini, Katie DeShan, Katie Kitani, Niles Rivers and Cloie Wyatt Taylor with choreography by Jordana Toback and musical direction & arrangements by Eric Heinly.

The design team includes Christopher Scott Murillo, scenic design; Sharon McGunigle, costume design; JM Montecalvo, lighting design; Daniel Tator, sound design; Bobbie Zlotnik, wig design; John Stapleton for MAC cosmetics, makeup design and Sandi Logan, casting.

Previews begin November 30 with Press Opening Night December 9, and runs through January 15, 2017 at the Falcon Theatre, Burbank.

Through December 23, 2016, audience members are invited and encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to the Falcon Theatre Lobby for the Spark of Love Toy Drive by the Southern California Firefighters.

A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES based on the classic story by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and adapted for the stage by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell.

Directed by Joseph Discher.

Robert Long serves as musical director. The production features traditional music from the British Isles.

Based on Thomas’ classic story about his childhood holidays in Wales in the early 1900s, this beautiful piece about a time gone by rejoices in the simple joys of childhood, the spirit of goodness, the comfort of family, and the magic that music and imagination bring to us all.

The festive show is being revived for the first time since it last appeared on the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) stage in 2003, and features Greg Jackson in the role of Dylan Thomas. Joining Jackson are Andy Paterson in the role of Glyn. John Ahlin portrays Gwyn. Clemmie Evans is Nellie. Peter Simon Hilton portrays Dylan’s Father. Seamus Mulcahy plays Tom/Murgatroyd. Tina Stafford is cast as Dylan’s Mother. Patrick Toon plays Uncle Tudyr/Smoky. Carey Van Driest is in the role of Elieri. Alison Weller is Hannah. Rounding out the cast are Tess Ammerman, Cassandra Cushman, Thomas Daniels, Julian Blake Gordon, and Alycia Kunkle.

The visual landscape for this production of A Child’s Christmas in Wales has been conceived by set designer Jonathan Wentz, lighting designer Rachel Gibney, sound designer Steven Beckel, and costume designer Tristan Raines. The dialect coach is Stephen Gabis. Denise Cardarelli serves as the Production Stage Manager.

Performances begin November 30, 2016 and run through January 1, 2017 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison, New Jersey.

WILD HONEY by Michael Frayn, adapted from the play Without a Name by Anton Chekhov.

Directed by Howard Davies with Jonathan Kent.

"Are you really such a terrible Don Juan? You look so handsome in the moonlight!"

Village schoolmaster Platonov has it all: wit, intelligence, a comfortable and respectable life in provincial Russia, and the attentions of four beautiful women - one of whom is his devoted wife… As summer arrives and the seasonal festivities commence, the rapidly intensifying heat makes everyone giddy with sunlight, vodka - and passion.

Geoffrey Streatfeild makes his Hampstead debut in the role of Platonov. Also featuring Bruce Alexander, Joe Bannister, Gunnar Cauthery, Simon Chandler, Kammy Darweish, Joe Evans, Matthew Flynn, Jo Herbert, and Rebecca Humphries.

Designed by Rob Howell. Lighting by Peter Mumford. Sound by Mike Walker. Music composed by Dominic Muldowney.

Casting by Juliet Horsley.

December 2, 2016 - January 14, 2017 at the Hampstead Theatre in London.

BAKERSFIELD MIST written and directed by Stephen Sachs.

Starring Jenny O’Hara and Nick Ullett reprising the roles they created in a revival of Stephen Sachs’ comedy that premiered at the Fountain, then went on to see productions around the world including London’s West End.

Maude Gutman, an unemployed, chain-smoking ex-bartender living in a rundown California trailer park, believes the painting she bought in a thrift store for $3 is really an undiscovered masterpiece worth millions. When stuffy New York art expert Lionel Percy arrives to evaluate the work, the result is a fiery and often hilarious debate over class, truth, value and the meaning of art. Inspired by true events.

Set design is by Jeffrey McLaughlin; sound design is by Peter Bayne; props and set dressing are by Terri Roberts; and the fight director is Edgar Landa. The production stage manager is Emily Lehrer.

Presented by The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles through December 12, 2016.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS book by Craig Lucas; Music by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin; Lyrics by Ira Gershwin and George Gershwin; Musical score adapted, arranged, and supervised by Rob Fisher.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon.

David Andrews Rogers Conductor and musical director.

The Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. The magic and romance of Paris in perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season.

Starring Garen Schribner as Gerry Mulligan and Sara Esty as Lise Dassin.

The cast includes: Etai Benson, Emily Ferranti, Gayton Scott, Nick Spangler, Leigh-Ann Esty, Ryan Steele, Karolina Blonski, Brittany Bohn, Stephen Brower, Randy Castillo, Jessica Cohen, Barton Cowperthwaite, Alexa De Barr, Caitlin Meighan, Don Noble, Alexandra Pernice, David Prottas, Lucas Segovia, Kyle Vaughn, Laurie Wells, Dana Winkle, Erica Wong, and Blake Zelesnikar,

Swings: Jace Coronado, Erika Hebron, Christopher M. Howard, Colby Q. Lindeman, Nathalie Marrable, Tom Mattingly, Alida Michal, Gia Mongell, Sayiga Eugene Peabody and Danielle Santos.

Understudies: Stephen Brower, Jace Coronado, Barton Cowperthwaite, Erika Hebron, Christopher M. Howard, Colby Q. Lindeman , Nathalie Marrable, Tom Mattingly, Caitlin Meighan, Alida Michal, Gia Mongell, Alexandra Pernice, David Prottas, Danielle Santos, Kyle Vaughn , Laurie Wells and Dana Winkle.

Set and costume design by Bob Crowley. Lighting by Natasha Katz. John Weston sound design. Projection Design by 59 Productions. Seymour Red Press music coordinator. Bill Elliott arrangements.

Music orchestrated by Christopher Austin and Bill Elliott; Dance arrangements by Sam Davis; Associate Director: Dontee Kiehn; Associate Choreographer: Sean Maurice Kelly and Dontee Kiehn Company Manager: DeAnn L. Boise.Production Stage Manager: Kenneth J. Davis. Musical Supervisor: Todd Ellison. Casting: Telsey + Company and Rachel Hoffman, CSA; Dance Captain: Christopher M. Howard.

November 29 - December 4, 2016 at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC.

KING CHARLES III the Tony Award-nominated, powerful political thriller by by Mike Bartlett.

Directed by David Muse.

“The Queen is dead, long live The King!” After a lifetime of waiting, Prince Charles finally ascends to the throne, flanked by wife Camilla, sons William and Harry, and daughter-in-law Kate. The Prime Minister proposes legislation designed to restrict the freedom of the press, which the newly crowned sovereign opposes, subverting the understood rules of British democracy. Written in blank verse, this smash Broadway and West End hit and the 2015 Olivier Award winner for Best New Play presents a modern take on the future of the British Royal Family.

Starring Robert Joy as King Charles III, Jeanne Paulsen as Camilla, Christopher McLinden as Prince William. Allison Jean White as Kate, Harry Smith as Prince Harry.

With Dan Hiatt, Ian Merrill Peakes, Rafael Jordan, Jefferson Farber, Michelle Beck, Bradford Farwell, Chiara Motley, Ayo Tushinde, Martyn Krouse, and Rudy Roushdi.

Scenic Designer Daniel Ostling. Costume Designer Jennifer Moeller. Lighting Designer Lap Chi Chu. Stage Manager Jessica C. Bomball. Assistant Stage Manager TK. Sound Designer/Composer Mark Bennett. Movement Director Lisa Townsend. Associate Director Sivan Battat. Associate Sound Designer Charles Coes.

In the Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Rep in Seattle, Washington through December 18, 2016.


DIANA ROSS All the Best of Times. Legendary entertainer and Kennedy Center Honoree Diana Ross returns to the Kennedy Center for a unique performance of favorites from her catalogue of hits with the NSO Pops conducted by Emil de Cou. December 1-3 at the Concert Hall, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

RICHARD MALAVET New York jazz-pop stylist brings his brand new show Midnight Moods into the Metropolitan Room in New York City for a performance on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Multiple Grammy nominee John di Martino will serve as musical director with Ed Howard on Bass.

TONY BENNETT opens a two night stand Monday, November 28 at the Schermerhorn Center in Nashville.

JOHNNY MATHIS in the spotlight Friday, December 2, at the Warnors Theatre in Fresno, CA. Next Sunday, December 4, he's on stage at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, CA.

ANDREA BOCELLI stars at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday, December 3, 2016. Next Sunday, December 4, he can be enjoyed at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.

ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY stars at Chris' Jazz Club in Philadelphia on Saturday, December 3.

106.1 KISS JINGLE BALL takes place Tuesday, November 29 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles featuring Backstreet Boys, Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, The Chainsmokers, Charlie Puth, Alessia Cara, Daya, Lukas Graham and Hailee Steinfeld.


WILLIAM TRAVEOR prolific Irish writer died November 20, 2016 in Devon, South West England. He was 88.

He won the Whitbread Prize three times and was nominated five times for the Booker Prize, the last for his novel Love and Summer (2009), which was also shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2011. His name was also mentioned in relation to the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Since 2002, when non-American authors became eligible to compete for the O. Henry Award, Trevor won the award four times, for his stories Sacred Statues (2002), The Dressmaker's Child (2006), The Room (2007), a juror favorite of that year, and Folie à Deux (2008).

Trevor was a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and Aosdána. He was awarded an honorary CBE in 1977 for "services to literature", and was made a Companion of Literature in 1994. In 2002 he received an honorary knighthood in recognition of his services to literature..

JOE ESPOSITO best known as road manager for Elvis Presley, died November 23, 2016 after a year of declining health.

Esposito became Elvis's road manager and bodyguard beginning in 1960. Esposito served as co-best man, with Marty Lacker at Elvis's wedding while Esposito's wife, Joan, served as the matron of honor. After Elvis' death in 1977 Esposito went to work for Jerry Weintraub becoming the road manager for greats including Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees, Karen Carpenter and John Denver.

Esposito, Col. Tom Parker and Jerry Schilling served as principal consultants in the movie This Is Elvis.

He was also an author and publisher, along with his long-time business partner Daniel Lombardy.

Esposito is survived by his three children, Debbie and Cindy from his first marriage to Joan (Roberts) and Anthony from his second marriage to Martha Gallub. Martha Gallub Esposito died on March 19, 2012, after a long fight with cancer.

FLORENCE HENDERSON an American actress and singer with a career spanning six decades died November 24, 2016 at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from heart failure. She was 82.

She was best known for her starring role as matriarch Carol Brady on the ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974.

Henderson was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2010. On November 21, 2016, three days before her death, she appeared again on Dancing with the Stars giving moral support to contestant Maureen McCormick, who played the eldest Brady daughter, the popular Marcia.

Henderson began her career as a stage actress.

After high school she moved to New York, where she enrolled in a two-year program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her studies financed by a theatrical couple who had been impressed by her singing when they saw her perform in high school. She dropped out of the program after one year, when, as a 19-year-old drama student, she landed a one-line role in the Broadway play Wish You Were Here. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were so impressed they made her the female lead in a 1952 road tour of Oklahoma! When the show returned to Broadway for a revival in 1954, she continued in the role.

She r starred on Broadway in the long-running 1954 musical, Fanny in which she originated the title role. She also played Maria in a road production of The Sound of Music, was Nellie Forbush in a revival of South Pacific and was back on Broadway with Jose Ferrer in The Girl Who Came to Supper in 1963.

She made her movie debut in 1970 in Song of Norway, based on the 1944 operetta with music by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Her career nearly came to an end in 1965 when she suddenly lost her hearing while appearing in The King and I in Los Angeles. She was diagnosed with a condition linked to heredity. Corrective surgery restored her hearing.

She was also a regular Las Vegas performer. In 2014 she was named Nevada Ballet Theatre’s Woman of the Year honoree.

Henderson married theater executive Ira Bernstein and the couple had four children before the union ended in divorce after 29 years. Her second husband, John Kappas, died in 2002. She is survived by her children, Barbara, Joseph, Robert and Lizzie, their spouses, 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

CLIFF BARROWS long time musical director for the Rev. Billy Graham, died November 15, 2016 in Pineville, NC. He was 93.

For more than 70 years Barrows was host of Graham's weekly Hour of Decision radio program, and the song leader and choir director for Graham’s global Christian evangelistic crusades.

In 1944 he graduated from Bob Jones College in Tennessee (now Bob Jones University in South Carolina) with a bachelor of arts degree in sacred music and Shakespearean drama.

He appeared in the 1970 film His Land with British pop singer Cliff Richard. The film reviews Biblical events as both men took a pilgrimage to Israel. The movie was produced by Graham's production company, World Wide Pictures.

Barrows was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1988.

His first wife, the former Wilma Newell, died in 1994. He is survived by his second wife, the former Ann Prince; five children from his first marriage, Bonnie Thomas, Betty Seera and Robert, Clifford and William Barrows; two stepchildren, Tal Prince and Dana Shillington; 19 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

Next Column: December 4, 2016
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Laura Deni

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