Broadway To Vegas
SHOW REVIEWS CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS GOSSIP NEWS
Copyright: November 5, 2000
By: Laura Deni
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All of three major networks and political hotshots agree that the presidential race is too close to
call. Their high-priced polls can't be used because the percentage points are too close. So, we've
scoured about and found a poll being conducted by a Huntsville, Alabama restaurant that - has
some meat to it.
The Fogcutter began polling customers last week to see who they're backing for president. They
vote by ordering either the George W. Bush Burger or the Albert Gore Jr.
Burger, and the tally is updated every day on the restaurant's sign along University
REVEL IN THE JANE EYRE CD
THEN HEAD TO THE BROADWAY MUSICAL
Charlotte Bronte's classic, passionate novel Jane Eyre, has always been considered as a
favorite among English Literature readers. Now the classic page turner comes to Broadway as an
acclaimed new musical that reunites the co-director and the designers of Les
In a brilliant marketing move Sony Classics will release the show's original Broadway cast
recording prior to its December 3 opening at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. The recording will be
in stores on November 21 - one of the rare instances in which a cast recording is released while
the Broadway show itself is still in previews.
This recording is captivating and awesome, deserving of a Grammy nomination.
In many instances an original cast recording of either a Broadway production or a movie
soundtrack is more understood and enjoyable if the listener has first seen the production from
whence it came.
In the case of Jane Eyre listening to this recording only makes one anxious to see the
From the first sentence - A flood of memories washes over me - one is captivated - transfixed by
this powerful, sensitive and glorious creation - wanting to hear more.
The story revolves around the main character - plain Jane Eyre. Author Bronte skillfully used the
pen to bring her sojourns, misfortune and even her stroke of good luck to life.
With the book written by its director John Caird and music composed by Paul Gordon, the
musical invites us to explore the world of Jane Eyre via the viewpoints of not herself as in the
book but through a third person viewpoint as narrated and sang by the different characters in the
musical. The variety in singing voices and intonations of the different actors transport the listener
into the story - the way radio dramas used to literally have entire families sitting in the living
room around a radio staring at a lifeless machine while the skilled radio actors were able to hold
the attention of generations.
Such is the talent and power of this original Broadway cast recording that emotionally moves the
captivated and spellbound listener.
Marla Schaffel portrays the indomitable heroine Jane Eyre, the same role she played in the La
Jolla Playhouse production. Also recreating his performance will be James Barbour as the tough
and strong Edward Rochester and Mary Stout will once again provides the comedy relief in her
role as Mrs. Fairfax.
Mike Berniker produced the original cast recording with brilliant orchestrations by Larry
Hochman and masterful musical direction and voice arrangements by Steve Tyler. These three
gentlemen deserve to bask in their accomplishment.
Spectacular music with intelligent, thoughtful and poignant lyrics are the creation of Paul Gordon,
with additional lyrics by John Caird, who adapted the book for the stage.
thoughtful."Let Me Be Brave" tells of little Jane Eyre as she was made as a prisoner in the red
Many times an adaptation dilutes original concept or heads off into its own subplot.It's entirely
possible to read a book then see an adaptation and barely recognize the written word.
In the case of the music the authors have captured the essence of the words while giving a deeper
aural dimension to the storyline.
Charlotte Bronte would be overjoyed and flattered.
Her book is also benefiting from the recording and the Broadway musical. On November 14,
Modern Library will release the official Broadway tie-in edition of the novel, with an introduction
by Diane Johnson, the National book Award-nominated author of Le Divorce and Le
Marriage. This edition of the classic novel will feature a cover design utilizing art created by
artist Marc Yankus for the new Broadway musical. The book will contain a reading group study
guide, as well as a commentary by Virginia Woolf and Anthony Trollope.
The voices are an amazing collection of perfection. They feel the lyrics and deliver the notes the
way the authors and arranger intended.
Also appearing in Jane Eyre are Nell Balaban, Andrea Bowen, Stephen R. Buntrock,
Elizabeth DeGrazia, Bruce Dow, Gina Ferrall, Marguerite MacIntrye, Lisa Musser, Bill Nolte,
Jayne Paterson, Don Richard, and Lee Zarrett. Members of the ensemble include Sandy Binion,
Bradley Dean, Rita Glynn, Gina Lamparella and Erica Schroeder.
Do yourself a favor and buy the original Broadway cast album of Jane Eyre. Then go see
the production. It's also okay to read the book - a lot of people have.
Steve Allen was a great talent and a wonderful man who will be deeply missed.
See Broadway To Vegas column of December 5, 1999 )
While many well deserved comments have been
written about him, we ask that you also remember his family. I had the pleasure of interviewing
both Steve and his widow, Jane Meadows, numerous times over the last 30 years. Just a few
years ago Jane told me:
Steven Valentine Patrick William
"Steve and I are in tune psychically. One night Steve woke me up to tell me about a nightmare he
just had, but before he could get a word out I told him I had just dreamed that I saw him slipping
out of our apartment window and I was clutching to him to keep him from falling. Then Steve
told me that the nightmare he just had was one where he was leaping out the window of our ninth
floor apartment. Suddenly, in that dream, Steve began to slip out and plunged to his death. I
caught him. Later we went to a psychiatrist friend and discussed this dream and he told us that
such shared dream occur between attuned persons.
"Steve and I have tuned into each other's personalities, so we are together not only while awake
but also while we are asleep. We will also be together in death, because I know that I would not
go on without Steve, and I've seen it in my dreams. I know that will happen, because I've seen
myself crawl into Steve's coffin and die in his arms. Shortly after Steve dies I will also die. And,
that will make me happy, because I couldn't be happy without him."
When you're remembering Steve Allen, please also remember his family. Jayne Meadows is a very
strong woman, but tossing an extra prayer her way wouldn't hurt.
Branson, Mo. hosts America's largest Veterans Day celebration, Branson's Veterans
Homecoming, November 6-12, 2000. This seven-day celebration includes non stop special
events paying tribute to America's heroes, Veterans, active duty personnel and their families. The
high light of the celebration will be the 66th Annual Veterans Day Parade held in historic
downtown Branson, on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.
During Veterans Homecoming, just about every show and attraction in Branson will have special
rates, shows, or activities honoring our Veterans.
A recent addition is the Veterans Memorial Museum composed of five great halls covering the
five wars fought during the 20th Century. Circulation and viewing starts in the World War I Hall,
progressing through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. Each hall features
dramatic and thought provoking exhibits, sculpture, murals, historical artifacts, objects d' art, and
authentic memorabilia honor all branches of the service, major battlefronts, campaigns, and
The walls of each hall have the names of the men and women who gave their lives to defend our
freedoms from each war. Fred Hoppe, renown bronze sculptor, created life-size bronze statues -
modeled after veterans from each of the 50 states.
Many of the exhibits have been contributed and compiled from veterans and their families and
include these veterans' personal stories.
Special points of interest:
Over 12,000 square feet of art & exhibits. Exhibits progress through five wars fought in the 20th
Century; WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, & Desert Storm.
Over 50 life-size bronze sculptures, 100's of exhibits, & murals honor all branches of the military
services, campaigns, major battlefields, industrial defense & the enduring support of the
American people. The exhibits also cover the war on the home front including the woman's role in
Veterans from each of the 50 states were used as models for the life size bronzes. A full size P-51
Mustang fighter serves to landmark this unique national tribute to our Veterans located on West
STRIKE UP THE
James M. Johnson Named Orchestra's New Executive Director John Jacobs, the Chairman of The
New York Pops Board of Directors, announced this morning the selection of James M. Johnson
as the orchestra's new Executive Director.
Orchestra Founder and Music Director Skitch Henderson said that "James brings experience that
will be particularly helpful in expanding the orchestra's touring schedule, recording plans, and
successful education programs. I look forward to working with him."
James Johnson comes to The New York Pops from The Orchestra of St. Luke's in
New York City, where he served as Director of Operations. There he was responsible for the
production of 85 engagements annually, including orchestra and chamber music concerts,
recordings, television appearances, summer festival and opera and dance performances. Prior to
joining The Orchestra of St. Luke's in 1994, Mr. Johnson served as the General Manager
of The Martha Graham Dance Company, where he conceived Music for Martha
Graham for KOCH International Records. He has served as a Programming Assistant for The
New York International Festival of The Arts, and has worked with Pantages Centre For The
Performing Arts in Tacoma (WA). He is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, and earned
his MBA/MA in Arts Administration from Southern Methodist University. He lives on
Manhattan's Upper West Side with his wife Jennifer Katz and their baby daughter
Hannah. Mr. Johnson succeeds Sue Unkenholz, who is leaving the orchestra to work
with her husband, artist/animator Ward Sutton.
The New York Pops is the largest independent symphonic orchestra in the United States that
specializes in the time-honored favorites of popular American music. Skitch Henderson founded
The New York Pops in 1983 in order to share his passion for music with a broad audience
through the more accessible symphonic fare of pops. The New York Pops is nonprofit
organization dedicated to broadening the public's awareness and enjoyment of our rich musical
heritage through concerts and music education programs.
JABBER A LOT
Gwen Verdon and Broadway's The Full Monty are the focus of this week's Theater Talk,
which will air Friday, on WGBH/BOSTON and Tuesday, November 14 on CCIT in
The show pays tribute to legendary performer Gwen Verdon who died recently this month at age
75. Guests Clive Barnes, Drama Critic of the New York Post, and lyricist
Chicago lyricist Fred Ebb join Theater Talk co-hosts Michael Riedel, Broadway
columnist of the New York Post and Susan Haskins to discuss Verdon's style as a
performer, her wit and her complicated relationship with her husband/mentor Bob
Fosse. Also, on that night, critic/editors Robert Simonson of Playbill On-Line and Jason Zinoman
of Time Out assess Broadway's newest musical The Full Monty.
PAUL SIMON who has just returned
from a European tour, is preparing a major musical tribute to that current Yankee legend, Joe
Torre. Paul will be the headliner at next Wednesday's Children's Health Fund gala at the Marriott
Marquis which honors Torre.
CREATIVE COALITION founded by
Christopher Reeve, Alec Baldwin and Ron Silver, presents the Coalition's Spotlight Award to
legendary newsman Walter Cronkite on November 13 at the Manhattan Center. Others being honored
for their contributions to social and political advocacy are singer Michael Bolton, musical
director Paul Shaffer, and Richard Robinson, president and CEO of Scholastic Inc. Harry Shearer
emcees the event. The following night the indefatigable Reeve is again on the dais with his
Christopher Reeve Foundation Dinner.
CHRISTOPHER REEVE FOUNDATION DINNER November 14, at the Waldorf. Chairs are Francine LeFrak and Rick Freidberg
Liam Neeson, a victim of a recent motorbike accident, is guest of honor.
JERRY HERMAN LEGACY SERIES
The famed composer is hosting a fundraiser at his Los Angeles home today to benefit the newly
created ASCAP Foundation Jerry Herman Legacy Series. Herman helped create the series and
plans to be personally involved with the educational initiative to present America's musical
theatre heritage to young audiences.
The timing of Herman's benefit reception coincides with the November 8 concert production of
Herman's Mack and Mabel. Nov. 8 at UCLA's Freud Playhouse.
Herman has long been active in educational endeavors. A theatre is named after him in Florida and
a scholarship named for him at Dixie College in St. George, Utah. Los Angeles Mayor Richard
Riordan proclaimed today, Nov. 5, as "Jerry Herman Day" in Los Angeles. The entertainment
for the reception at Herman's home will feature Jason Graae, Karen Morrow and Herman,
The ASCAP Foundation reports that its Jerry Herman Legacy Series "will kick off at schools in
San Francisco and San Jose, California in March 2001. The series will feature performances,
seminars and master classes with Jerry Herman and notable musical theater
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RED HOT AND BLUE: A SALUTE TO AMERICAN
MUSICALS is being staged at the Goodspeed Opera House. The
production follows the Broadway and Hollywood musical from its immigrant roots in
nineteenth-century vaudeville, through its heyday in mid-century, to its redefined cultural
Red, Hot & Blue which takes its name from Cole Porter's 1936 Broadway musical,
illustrates the words and music for the American dream, is a collective biography. In tandem
with this musical is an incredible exhibit documenting the history of the Broadway
It was the performers, composers, lyricists, impresarios, choreographers, and designers who
infused musical theater and film with their personalities and shaped our vision of the modern
American experience. The culture that emerged at the end of the nineteenth century
urban-oriented and ethnically diverse, staccato-paced and pleasure-seeking demanded a new
voice for the twentieth. Distinctively American musicals emerged.
George M. Cohan's flag-waving anthems at the turn of the century into Ziegfeld's rollicking
revues, while the advent of Hollywood gave Depression America both the backstage grit of Busby
Berkeley and the gossamer glamour of Fred and Ginger.
New Amsterdam Theatre, New York, New York.
Courtesy Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research, Madison. Built in 1903, the New
Amsterdam Theatre was called "The Grandest in the World." It was host to Ziegfeld
Follies, the series of shows from impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. that undisputedly defined the
look and sound of the American musical revue from 1913
Musicals conveyed our national optimism in the forties and fifties, with Garland and Kelly at
M.G.M. Merman and Martin on Broadway, and Rodgers and Hammerstein on stage, screen, and
television. Since the 1960s, the genre has echoed the dissonance in American culture.
like West Side Story and Hair examined social issues, while others like A
Chorus Line explored individual psychological landscapes. Still, revivals such as Hal Prince's
Showboat have shown that, even in millennial America, musicals reflect a common legacy
the echoes of all of our origins, the mix and match of what we have formed together.
& Blue: A Salute to American Musicals will be on display at the Goodspeed Opera House
through December 17.
Developed and organized by the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of American
History, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), the exhibition has
been made possible, in part, through the generous support of Turner Classic Movies, and locally
in part by Comcast Cable and the Connecticut Humanities Council.
Members of Goodspeed's
Board of Trustees celebrated the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's travelling
This exciting exhibit is open to the public one hour prior to each performance of Goodspeed's
production of Cole Porter's 1936 hit Red, Hot and Blue! through December
THE GATHERING a drama by
Arje about three generations of a Jewish family, will open at the Cort Theatre in NYC with Hal
Linden as the star. Linden last appeared in Las Vegas starring in Chicago.
The Gathering is scheduled to start previews April 10 and open April 24, 2001.
Shaw's drama takes place during the Reagan years and concerns family members clashing over
their duties as Americans.
Rebecca Taylor, who has previously directed both Off Broadway and Florida stagings of this play,
will repeat her duties on Broadway. Martin Markinson and Lawrence Toppall are producing
The Gathering, in association with Diaspora Productions.
The Gathering will first tour, playing four cities before coming to the Cort. The
production will kick off at Wilmington, DE's DuPont Theatre January 19-28. From there they
play four weeks at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles February 3- 28 then go a gig at Fort
Lauderdale, FL's Parker Playhouse March 7-18, ending with a stint at the Royal Poinciana in
Palm Beach March 20-April 1.
Designing the show are sets by Andy Stein, Susan M. Posner in charge of costumes and Scott
Clyve handling lighting.
Linden, last Off Broadway in Visiting Mr. Green, won a 1971 Tony Award for playing
patriarch Mayer Rothschild in The Rothschilds. He became a household name thanks to
starring in the TV sitcom Barney Miller. Joining Linden on Broadway will be Colmen
Zeiglen, Adam Rose, Deidre Lovejoy and Sam Guncler.
PROOF by David
Auburn at the Walter Kerr Theater, NYC is getting rave reviews and loud whispered that
Mary-Louise Parker, will be nominated for a Tony Award. She plays Catherine, the daughter of
a dead math genius. Robert, played by soap opera and Broadway veteran Larry Bryggman, has
made an extraordinary contribution to 20th-century mathematics, before declining into mild
dementia before an early death. It was Catherine, his youngest daughter who cared for him,
sacrificing much of her own education to do so.After the old man's death, a young math whiz
named Hal - play by Ben Shankman - comes to look through Robert's notebooks - carefully kept
under lock and key - for anything of research value. Also on the doorstep is Catherine's older
sister Claire played by Johanna Day - who has come for the funeral. The bossy soul has already
made arrangements to sell the house and insists that Catherine to go live with her and her
fiance' in New York.
The play was first produced last season off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theater Club with the
same cast. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, with lighting by Pat Collins.
JINGLE BALL 2000
will once again be held at Madison Square Garden. Z-100's annual holiday concert extravaganza
--- "Jingle Ball 2000" taking place on Thursday, December 14 will include performances by some
of music's biggest superstars --- Ricky Martin, Third Eye Blind, Britney Spears, Baha Men,
Barenaked Ladies, 98 Degrees, Mya and Nine Days, with other special guests still to be
announced. Tickets went on sale Friday.
FEELING SORRY FOR ROMAN POLANSKI A woman drops dead after receiving a singing telegram from a man in a
gorilla costume, a marriage which may be more (or less) than it seems, the tantalizing hint of an
unconfirmed conspiracy and one very angry relative of the deceased. These are the elements
which make up the world of Feeling Sorry for Roman Polanski, Sue Cargill's comedy,
tonight, November 5th at the New York Comedy Club.
Directed by Michael Whitney and produced by Tight and Shiny Productions, Polanski
takes a look at a middle-aged, lower class couple and shines a light onto what make them tick.
There's Myrna, the caring, eternal optimist, who works in a greeting card store and who would
rather talk about other people's real or imagined trials and tribulations instead of her own; and
her husband Bink, who's stuck in a dead-end telemarketing job. Bink's main enjoyment in life
comes from his "fun job," delivering singing telegrams dressed in outlandish costumes.
One day a sweet little old lady suffers a fatal heart attack after seeing Bink in his gorilla suit.
After suffering through grief, remorse and anxiety, and losing his telegram job in the process,
Bink begins to suspect he was actually set up to "knock off" the woman by someone who would
benefit from her abrupt demise. Wanting to prove this - to Myrna as well as himself - he sets
out in search of the truth. After a painful encounter with the person he suspects is responsible for
the tragedy, Bink unwittingly finds the answers that he was really seeking.
Originally staged in Chicago in 1995 at Zebra Crossing, the cast of Feeling Sorry For Roman
Polanski features Robb Patterson, Karla Chandler and Michael Whitney, with Patterson
reprising his role from the 1995 production.
Feeling Sorry for Roman Polanski is the inaugural offering from Tight and Shiny
Productions, whose purpose is to bring exceptional scripts to the New York stage and
provide the opportunity for developing theatre artists to showcase their talents. Scheduled through
THE SHANEEQUA CHRONICLES written and performed by Stephanie Berry, directed by Talvin Wilks,
begins performances November 9 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC. The show is a Black woman's
journey through life in late 20th Century America - of a girl coming to terms with her personal
power and an understanding of the creative means of survival which quietly permeated the Harlem
neighborhood in which she was raised. Through Shaneequa, we come to understand how political
and social dynamics affected the coming of age of a particular American woman of African
Berry is the founder and Executive Director of Blackberry Productions, a professional
community-based theater company in Harlem - affiliated with the Ensemble Studio Theatre since
1984. She will be seen in a supporting role in Gus Van Sant's new feature film Finding
Forrester starring Sean Connery. Under the direction of Reggie Montgomery, she
choreographed George Wolfe's Spunk at the Dallas Theater Center and Hartford Stage
Company. She has also created a featured role in Remembering Aunt Jemima for two
consecutive seasons at the Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA. Berry also had a recurring role on
the daytime drama Loving and has frequently been seen on New York Undercover,
Law & Order, and Another World.
REBA Mc ENTIRE steps into the role
of Annie Oakley in Broadway's Annie Get Your Gun. She will take over the role now
played Cheryl Ladd January 26, 2001 and stay with the show until May 27. In the 1995 television
film, Buffalo Girls, McEntire actually played Annie Oakley.
ELAINE ST GEORGE is performing
her third show,Do Re Mi, Democracy at Judy's Chelsea, NYC mixing songs written
specifically for stage and screen together with campaign songs to come up with a timely show for
this Election Year. Do Re Mi, Democracy features the lyrics of Irving Berlin, Yip
Harburg, and Stephen Sondheim and marks the cabaret debut of Senator Orrin Hatch!
Elaine has invited other cabaret performers to join her on the duet part
of George and Ira Gershwin's If I Became the President from Strike Up The Band.
Including: Deian McBryde, Margaret Dorn, Sidney Myer, Leslie Anderson, James Beaman, and
SARAH BRIGHTMAN performs in
Salt Lake City, UT on November 7. Then she's in Denver, CO. on November 8, followed by an
engagement in Chicago on November 11. Rounding out this week, the talented lady takes center stage
Nov. 14 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Van Andel Arena.
BETTY BUCKLEY performs at the
University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT on November 10-11.
KAREN MASON can be found at
The Plush Room in San Francisco's York Hotel through November 12.
KAREN ZIEMBA will sing the
National Anthem at the Chase Championship Tennis Tournament at Madison Square Garden on
OAK RIDGE BOYS entertain November
in Nashville, IN at the Little Nashville Opry.
JOAN BAEZ this coming Wednesday
at the Salt Lake City, UT University Of Utah. On Friday she's in San Francisco, CA at
The Fillmore and the next night it's Santa Rosa, CA Luther Burbank Center.
LARRY GATLIN is at Harvey's
Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Monday.
LEE ANN WOMACK takes center
stage at the Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. November 9, 10,11.
JACK JONES performs at the
Suncoast Hotel, Las Vegas November 10-12.
THE UKRAINIAN NATIONAL DANCE COMPANY
VERIOVKA Created to combine traditional and contemporary
folk song and dance, this highly acrobatic company of 75 singers, dancers and musicians reveals
the soul of the Ukrainians the rough traditional dancers such as coccack and hopek.
WHITNEY HOUSTON AND BOBBY BROWN perform at the Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas on November 10.
THIS AND THAT
Do you wonder what to put on that coffee table?
In Las Vegas you can rent living statues.
Gorgeous gals with their skin painted silver or gold sit cross-legged on a table MOTIONLESS as
After 45 minutes they disappear, but it is an attention getter.
Mention BROADWAY TO VEGAS for Special Consideration
Call (800) 942-9027
Next Column: November 12, 2000
Copyright: November 5, 2000. All Rights Reserved. Reviews,
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