Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 6, 2005
By: Laura Deni


Jule Styne
Marking the beginning of a year long celebration of Jule Styne's centennial year is a special one-night concert with performances by Carol Channing, Barbara Cook, Tyne Daly, Sandy Duncan, Angela Lansbury, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, Leslie Uggams, Patrick Wilson and many more.

He was born in London on December 31, 1905 and went on to become a legendary composer and songwriter in Hollywood and on Broadway. He passed away September 20, 1994.

In 1947 Styne wrote his first score for a Broadway musical, High Button Shoes with Sammy Cahn, and over the next several decades wrote the scores for many Broadway shows, most notably Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, Do Re Mi, Funny Girl, Sugar, and the Tony-winning Hallelujah Baby!

His collaborators included Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Stephen Sondheim, and Bob Marrill, and among the songs in those shows composed by Styne are I Still Get Jealous, Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, Just In Time, The Party's Over, Make Someone Happy, Everything's Coming Up Roses, Let Me Entertain You, and People.

Styne’s songs have been sung by some of the most successful recording artists of our time, from Frank Sinatra to Barbra Streisand. His scores have accompanied dozens of feature films including Funny Girl, Gypsy,Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Three Coins in the Fountain.

In 1990, Styne received the Kennedy Center Award for Artistic Achievement and he is an inductee in The Songwriters' Hall of Fame and the Theater Hall of Fame. He is also the recipient of two Grammy Awards, a Tony Award, an Oscar, an Emmy, the Donaldson Award and The Drama Critics Circle.

Presented by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on Tuesday, November 8 at The Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center, NYC.


Prince Albert presenting Mikhail Baryshnikov with the inaugural Prince Rainier III Award. Photo courtesy Princess Grace Awards
A star studded SRO crowd attended the Prince Grace Foundation awards to see Mikhail Baryshnikov receive the inaugural Prince Rainier III Award presented to him by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, the Foundation’s Vice Chairman, who together with other notables from the artistic world presided over the Awards Gala.

Held at Manhattan’s Cipriani the black tie event featured a dinner of lamb chops, asparagus, and mushroom risotto. Hosted by Larry King the gala featured a special performance by Natalie Merchant former lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs.

Additional presenters include Alan Cumming, Edie Falco, Liza Minnelli and Bebe Neuwirth.

The Awards for Theater, Dance and Film, first instituted in 1984, are named in honor of Princess Grace of Monaco, who helped aspiring artists pursue their goals throughout Her lifetime.

“Establishing an ongoing commemoration to Prince Rainier III of Monaco was an important charge based on one overriding principal: to support and enhance the work Prince Rainier started to honor his wife,” said John Lehman chairman of the Board of Trustees.

He added that “Mikhail Baryshnikov’s dedication to nurturing talent is exemplary; his commitment to artistic excellence, unsurpassed. We are happy to honor to his efforts and support the creation of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.”

Liza Minnelli and Prince Albert applaud Mikhail Baryshnikov as Larry King presents him to the audience. Photo courtesy Princess Grace Awards
The Foundation, a public charity formed after the death of Princess Grace in 1982, awards grants, scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships to assist artists with their training. Playwright Tony Kushner and SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg were previous Award winners.

This year also marked the addition of a new Choreography Fellowship to recognize the nation’s most promising young choreographers. “The primary intention of this new grant,” noted the Foundation’s Executive Director Toby E. Boshak, “is to identify and support the emerging, practicing choreographer who is poised at the next step toward important creative and artistic advancement.”

Bonnie Oda Homsey, Chair of the Princess Grace Awards Dance panel presented the idea to fill a gap in the Dance Awards. “We expect that such a fellowship will encourage our professional dance companies to present new work,” Homsey noted.

The 2005 winners represent 24 artists and 23 awards. They attend 19 colleges, universities, and professional performing and training institutions. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $4 million to more than 400 individuals nationwide in the areas of theater, dance, and film.

For a list of winner and additional pictures click here

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TALKBACKS AT THE NORMA TERRIS THEATRE Participate in the process of creating a new musical, The Girl in the Frame by discussing the show with the creative team immediately following the performances on Thursday evenings November 10 & 17 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.

RICHARD'S RAMPAGE For one day only, 100 students will be invited to take over The Old Vic in London – rampaging around the building, working with directors, actors, fight specialists and voice coaches to get a real understanding of Richard II and how a production gets from page to stage. The day includes lunch, resource packs and free matinee tickets. Age range 14–16 years. Wednesday, November 9.

TAKE A TOUR OF THE WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE November 7th at 11am. Tours meet at the Box Office and last approximately 1 hour. Children are welcome with a parent. Children must walk or be carried; no strollers. No reservation required.

GLORIA STEINEM WOMAN OF VISION The inspiring women's rights leader talks with the author of America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. Interviewed by Gail Collins, editorial page editor of The New York Times. November 16 at the Tishman Auditorium, The New School, New York City.

FREE PUBLIC DISCUSSION HISTORY OF CIVIL LIBERTIES prior to the performance of The Crucible. Actors Theatre and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky will host a public discussion on the history of civil liberties in the United States led by community leaders November 15, Actors Theatre in Louisville, KY.


BROADWAY MEETS COUNTRY in an unprecedented event during this year’s Country Music Association Awards celebration. Star-Studded Charity Performance, featuring Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Andrea McArdle, Patrick Wilson, Trace Adkins, Raul Malo, Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood, Jamie O'Neal, Julie Roberts, Jason Danieley, Marin Mazzie, Donna Murphy and James Naughton is A Fundraiser For The Actors' Fund of America and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Highlights of the evening will include Glen Campbell performing You'll Never Walk Alone from Carousel, Carrie Underwood and Patrick Wilson dueting on Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors, Trisha Yearwood and Idina Menzel teaming for For Good from Wicked and Ben Vereen performing King of the Road.

As part of a weeklong series of events during Country Takes New York City, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. and the Country Music Association are collaborating on a unique and unprecedented event - Broadway Meets Country - which will celebrate the universality and crossover appeal of these two popular genres and their performers.

On the evening of Saturday, November 12, superstars from the worlds of Country Music and Broadway will join together in a cabaret-like setting, performing classic Country and Broadway selections. This unforgettable evening will be held at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

“It is truly history in the making that the Country Music world is coming to New York, and joining with Broadway for such a wonderful, unusual and entertaining event, ” commented Jed Bernstein, President of The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. “This special concert, performed by some of the superstars from both worlds, will not only highlight the similarities and universality of these two seemingly different genres, but also help expand the audience for each style of music.”

“In fact, the two genres aren’t as different as you may think,” said CMA Executive Director Ed Benson. “Storytelling is at the heart of what we do. We both strive to capture and reflect the full range of human emotion, whether it is on a stage or in a song. ”

In the 1950’s, the first full length, all Country Music motion picture called Country Music on Broadway was filmed starring Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones and Lester Flatt.

Since then, Country continues to be at home on the Great White Way. In 2001, Country Music great, Reba McEntire, starred as Annie Oakley in the Marquis theatre production of Annie Get Your Gun. Other Country celebrities that have taken their turn on stage are Pam Tillis in Smokey Joe’s Café; Mac Davis and Larry Gatlin in The Will Rogers Follies; and Gary Morris in Les Miserables. Recently, Dolly Parton announced she is writing the score for a Broadway musical based on the motion picture Nine to Five, in which she starred.

Broadway musicals including Oklahoma, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Shenandoah, and Big River, are among the musicals that have introduced Broadway fans to Country storylines, settings and music.

HOORAY FOR LOVE a celebration of the music of Harold Arlen. A one-night-only benefit for Actors' Fund of America.

Saturday, November 12th at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex Campus of Cal State University Los Angeles.

Musical Director John McDaniel. Directed by David Galligan.


the $15 million Broadway show will close at a complete loss on Dec. 31.

Directed by Adrian Noble, the show, with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman and a book by Jeremy Sams derived from the Roald Dahl screenplay of the novel, will have played 34 preview performances and 285 regular performances since March 27, 2005.

Last Wednesday, the night before the curtain was to go up for the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the Radio City's music hall's 35-piece orchestra officially walked out of contract negotiations. The union, Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, says it decided to strike because Cablevision, which operates Radio City, is refusing to pay overtime. The orchestra's five-year contract expired in May.

According to the union, the musicians earn a base rate for 12 shows a week, but during the holiday season they play as many as six shows a day. Radio City said in a statement that the Christmas Spectacular will go on with a recorded musical score. However, two pre-season performances on Wednesday were canceled. On Thursday the Christmas Spectacular resumed with recorded music.

"Martha Stewart"
"George W. Bush Condelezza Rice and Dick Chaney"
that San Francisco entertainment institution, will have Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, in the audience this evening, November 6th.

This is the only theatrical event the royal couple will attend during their six day American tour, which began last Tuesday in New York, followed by a White House luncheon and dinner on Wednesday and a Thursday tour of New Orleans.

Prince Charles attending Beach Blanket Babylon may be the result of good word of mouth. His mother, Queen Elizabeth, attended the show in 1983. Charles and Camilla will view a specially produced production in an audience of invited dignitaries.

Beach Blanket Babylon is the longest running, hit musical revue in theatre history. The show premiered at the Savoy Tivoli in San Francisco's North Beach, June, 1974.

The zany musical spoof of pop culture with extravagant costumes and outrageously huge hats currently has hilarious parodies on Arnold Schwarzenegger, John and Teresa Kerry, George W, Bush, Condelezza Rice and Dick Chaney, Paris Hilton, Desperate Housewives, Mr Peanut & iPod, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Oprah, Glinda the Good Witch, Demi Moore & Aston Kushner, Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, Bjork, The Pineapple Princess and Kirstie Alley as "Fat Actress".

Beach Blanket Babylon is staged at Club Fugazi in San Francisco.

with a book by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, with music and lyrics by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, choreography by Sergio Trujillo, and direction by Des McAnuff.

John Lloyd Young stars as Frankie Valli. Also starring are Christian Hoff, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer. The production features; Tituss Burgess, Steve Gouveia, Peter Gregus, Donnie Kehr, Michael Longoria, Mark Lotito, Jennifer Naimo, Dominic Nolfi, Erica Piccininni, Sara Schmidt

The Four Seasons - a New Jersey quartet, fronted by Frankie Valli and his soaring falsetto. Their success nearly matched the Beatles hit for hit during the mid-1960s. This new musical tells their story, giving each member of the band a chance to recount his take on the band's rise and fall. It's the story of how four blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became the one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty. They scored 13 top 10 hits between 1962-67. Jersey Boys features their hit songs, including Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Rag Doll, Can't Take My Eyes Off of You, and Oh What a Night.

Sets by Klara Zieglerova. Lighting by Howell Binkley. Costumes by Jess Goldstein. Sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy. Music director is Ron Melrose. Fight director Steve Rankin. Projections by Michael Clark. Wigs and hair by Charles LaPointe. Orchestrations by Steve Orich. Dialect coach is Steven Gabis.

Officially opens at The August Wilson Theatre on November 6th.

THE OTHER SIDE by Ariel Dorfman. Directed by Blanka Zizka. Starring Rosemary Harris as Levana Julakand and John Cullum ( See Broadway To Vegas column of August 8, 2004 ) as Atom Roma.

This unexpectedly comic work is set in a war torn country where a man and a woman wait. They pass their days identifying the casualties. When peace and a border guard arrive, their bleakly predictable world unravels. Beings previews off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club November 10 for an official opening on Dec. 6.

700 SUNDAYS the Tony award winning one man show by Billy Crystal opens November 8 in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. The hit show plays through November 20.

While many consider puppets to be child's play, this decidedly adult experience features the Salzburg Marionettes performing full-length productions of Mozart's operas set to classic recordings.

Just as Don Giovanni hovers between comedy and tragedy, and The Magic Flute between comic opera and the art of fairy tale, these feathery-light puppets trick our imaginations, leading us to believe that they must indeed be real.

The Magic Flute Tuesday, November 8 and Don Giovanni Wednesday, November 9. Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C.

SAFE IN HELL By Amy Freed. Directed by Mark Wing-Davey.

It's 1691, and Salem has a problem. So the town turns to the most powerful clergyman in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Reverend Increase Mather, for help. But when a bad back prevents him from presiding over the Witch Trials, he sends his son Cotton to defend the colonists from the subtleties of Hell. Burning to prove himself worthy of the family name, Cotton marches into battle, only to discover that the Devil wears many disguises.

Amy Freed's contemporary satire casts a refreshing light on a dark era in American history, when famous sons strove for power and fundamentalism was a part of everyday life.

November 11-December 3 at the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT.

Damian Lewis and Lesley Manville. Photo by Hugo Glendinning
by Henrik Ibsen, in a new version by Samuel Adamson.

Directed by Marianne Elliott.

Calamity strikes when Bernick’s business prowess and pristine reputation are threatened by the revelation of a long-buried secret. Desperate to dodge exposure in the kowtowing local community, Bernick devises a pitiless plan which, by a shocking twist of fate, risks the one life he holds dear.

The National Theatre marks the centenary of Ibsen’s death with a vital new version of this rarely performed thriller, set amid a society struggling against the rush of capitalism, the lure of America and the passionate beginnings of the fight for female emancipation.

The cast includes' Geraldine Alexander David Baron, Cornelius Booth, Brid Brennan, Ita O'Brien, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gould, Annabel Leventon, Damian Lewis, Lesley Manville, Tom Marshall, Pamela Merrick, Joseph Millson, Simon Molloy, Paul Moriarty, Nathan Rimell, Justin Salinger, Jennifer Scott-Malden, Jack Stanley, Una Stubbs, Michael Thomas, Kirsty Wood and Hugh Wyld.

Set design by Rae Smith Lighting Designer is Chris Davey. Sound Design by Ian Dickinson.

Performances through February 4 at the National Theatre in London.

Pillars of the Community runs concurrently with the exhibition of Edvard Munch by Himself - at the Royal Academy of Arts until December 11. The Royal Academy of Arts' exhibition comprises of 150 paintings, drawings, etchings and sketchbooks, as well as rarely seen photographic self-portraits.

based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Music by Rachel Portman. Libretto by Nicholas Wright. Production by Francesca Zambello.

Academy Award-winning composer Rachel Portman's The Little Prince brings one of the world's most cherished stories to life at New York City Opera beginning November 12. Best known for her captivating film scores to Emma, Chocolat, and Cider House Rules, Portman turns Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's extraordinary novel into a magical music theater adventure full of surprises. Director Francesca Zambello's production, based on the book's original artwork, makes its NYC premiere after achieving astounding success throughout the world. Perfect for both adults and children, The Little Prince confronts profound themes that speak to the child in us all.

Portman's enchanting masterpiece tells the timeless tale of a pilot who meets a mysterious Little Prince while stranded in the Sahara Desert. The Little Prince recounts his strange history, including space travels and encounters with wondrous characters, such as a talking fox, a beloved rose, and frightening baobab trees. As the pilot's friendship with the Little Prince develops, he learns what is truly important in life.

Illustration by Marc Burckhardt
This world-premiere play with music based on Craig Marberry’s new book bares the soul of the African-American barber shop, a community whose denizens are the storytellers of their time.

Written and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright.

"The cop's gonna come The preacher's gonna come. The gangsta's gonna come. The barber's shop the one place where you can put all the wrong people at the same time." Reginald Attucks, barber shop owner.

A lovingly crafted collection, gathered by Craig Marberry, of personal history, national news, superstition and community lore.

The stories of Cuttin' Up are told through three African-American barbers who span three generations in age - Rudy is young, Andre is middle-aged and Howard is older and wiser. Randolph-Wright's play breathes life into the wise and often humorous true stories originally told by barbers such as Vernon Winfrey (Oprah's father) and Emmett Till's cousin, Wheeler Parker.

The cast features seven men and one woman ensemble Peter Jay Fernandez, Marva Hicks, Ed Wheeler, Psalmayene 24, Duane Boutt, Carl Cofield, Bill Grimette and Marc Damon Johnson.

Enter a world still known as “the black man’s country club”. Barbershops make up the core of African American business enterprises of much of the 20th century - along with barbecue joints, funeral homes and beauty parlors.

The creative team includes set designer Shaun L. Motley, costume designer Emilio Sosa, lighting designer Michael Gilliam, sound designer Timothy M. Thompson.

Performances through January lst. Arena Stages in Washington, D.C.


Thomas Hampson
dubbed the Ambassador of American Song, the renowned baritone has joined forces with The Library of Congress to celebrate the history of creativity in America. A champion of the American song, Hampson's collaboration with the Library materializes as an eleven-city concert tour across the United States, highlighting the Library's unparalleled collections of songs through concerts, recordings, and cybercasts. Hampson's repertoire spans the gamut of the American song, from the 1700s to the present day, and emphasizes its context in society, ranging from Psalm settings and hymns, folksongs and cowboy songs, to war songs and African American spirituals.

The 12-city concert tour kicks off November 12, at Carlsen Center/ Yardley Hall in Overland Park, Kansas. November 15, at Bass Hall/ Founders Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas. The tour will focus on songwriting and include exhibitions of scores and documents. Staff members of The Library of Congress will travel to the tour cities to train teachers. The enterprise is part of a wider effort by the library to make its archives on various art forms better known. Performance cities include Philadelphia, St. Paul, New York City, Detroit, West Palm Beach, Oxford , MS, Chicago, Omaha and San Jose, CA.

ANDREA MARCOVICCI opens the 92nd Street Y's 36th season of its legendary Lyrics & Lyricists series, which celebrates the words and music of the American Songbook.

Marcovicci hosts an evening of tender and funny songs created when German immigrant composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) teamed up with great American lyricists and poets like Alan Jay Lerner, Ira Gershwin, Ogden Nash and Langston Hughes. The songs that Weill wrote with these collaborators ranged from sweeping romantic melodies to jaunty comic tunes to stately anthems. Among the many songs on the program are It Never Was You and September Song, from Knickerbocker Holiday with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, and My Ship from Lady in the Dark with lyrics by Ira Gershwin.

Shelly Markham, Music Director & Piano. Anna Bergman, Klea Blackhurst, Barbara Brussell, Mark Coffin, Michael McElroy, Jeff Harnar and Maude Maggart, Vocals. November 12-14 at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

PAUL McCARTNEY has a week with two, two night gigs. The first is Monday and Tuesday at the HP Pavilion at San Jose in San Jose, CA., and the second begins Friday, November 11 at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim,CA.

CAPATHIA JENKINS AND LOUIS ROSEN: IN CONCERT Vocalist Capathia Kenkins whose Broadway credits include Caroline, Or Change and The Civil War and award-winning composer/lyricist Louis Rosen showcase work specifically written by Rosen for Jenkins, including the premiere of his latest work, the twelve-song suite, South Side Stories. The show also includes new selections from Rosen’s song cycles Dream Suite, on poems by Langston Hughes, and Twelve Songs On Poems By Maya Angelou, which had its New York premiere this past March in two sold-out concerts at Joe's Pub. Pianist David Loud joins Jenkins and Rosen in the performance November 13 which returns for a repeat performance on Nov 17 at Makor in New York City.

MICHAEL BUBLE has a busy keep in the UK. Today, Sunday, November 6, he is performing at Hallam FM Arena in Sheffeld. Monday the show is at the Edinburgh Playhouse in Edinburgh. Tuesday finds him on stage at the S.E.C.C. in Glasgow. On Thursday he'll entertain at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. Saturday the show is at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham and next Sunday he can be enjoyed at the Brighton Centre in Brighton, UK.

ELTON JOHN on Tuesday, November 8, stars at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. On Thursday he performs at the Toyota Center in Houston. On Friday he can be enjoyed at the Reunion Arena in Dallas.

BLACK EYED PEAS WITH GWEN STEFANI on stage Tuesday, November 8, at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. On Thursday the show is at the Toyota Center in Houston. On Friday they are center stage at the Reunion Arena in Dallas.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY get the place swinging Tuesday, November 8, at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA.

COLDPLAY perform Monday, November 7 at Stockholm Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. On Wednesday they can be enjoyed at the Leipzip Arena in Leipzig, Germany. Thursday finds the guys at Maimarkthalle in Mannheim, Germany. On Saturday the show is at Hallenstadion Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland.

THE ROLLING STONES in the spotlight Friday, November 11 at PETCO Park in San Diego, CA. Next Sunday the place to be is SBC Park in San Francisco.

BONNIE RAITT in the spotlight Monday, November 7 at the Orpheum Theatre in Omaha, NE. Tuesday finds her at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver. On Friday she performs at the Arlene Schnitzer Hall in Portland, OR. On Saturday she can be enjoyed at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle.

LISA MARIE PRESLEY performs at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 13.

STEVE TYRELL performing at the Cafe Carlyle in NY through December 31. He's crooning standards like The Very Thought of You and Isn't It Romantic, as well as selections like I Get a Kick Out of You and Witchcraft from his forthcoming recording, Songs of Sinatra.

RONAN TYNAN Hitting The High Notes: Living Life To The Fullest. A celebrated tenor, a physician and champion disabled athlete, Tynan inspires audiences with his personal story of triumph in the face of adversity. His message and life story are delivered through lecture, storytelling, humor, and song with piano accompaniment. Thursday, November 10, 2005, at the : State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK The women who comprise Sweet Honey are more than entertainers. They are a quintet of artists dedicated to preserving and celebrating African American culture and singing traditions. Performance at Issac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall in NYC on Saturday, November 12.


Lord Mayor Michael Berry Savory
The Lord Mayor's show has to be one of London's longest running events. This year's event takes place on Saturday, November 12.

There has been a Lord Mayor every year since 1189 - The first Lord Mayor's Show was held in 1215 when King John's Charter stipulated that the new Lord Mayor must swear an oath of allegiance to the King and also to literally show himself to the people. Since then only major events such as the Black Death - and in 1852, the funeral of the Duke of Wellington - have stopped the show.

People line the streets to watch the huge variety of floats, acrobatics, fancy dress and military displays in a procession stretching three miles long. The parade follows the Lord Mayor to the Royal Courts of Justice, where he must swear his allegiance to the crown.

After the procession there will be walking tours around the City and then the fireworks start. One of the largest displays in London, the rockets are launched off a barge.

Over time the procession has become longer and more colorful. From 1422 and for centuries after, it floated down the River Thames (hence the term floats), and for some years the Lord Mayor rode on horseback. Since 1757 however, following an incident where the Lord Mayor was unseated by a drunken flowergirl, they have traveled in the famous ceremonial gold coach.

Oscar Goodman
former mafia lawyer and current spokesman for a gin company delights in saying - "I drink with both fists. I gamble with both fists. I party with both fists. Life is short." He makes no apologies for his outspoken opinions and canny ability to generate bold type headlines.

His latest attention getter is a suggestion that "those who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television. You put them on TV and cut off a thumb. That may be the right thing to do." He also advocates canning and whipping "because some of these people don't learn and you have to teach them a lesson."

Cutting off digits is nothing new to this gambling town. The late Benny Binion, who help create Las Vegas and elevated poker to a serious casino game, used to take those caught cheating into the back room where burly security guards would hack away. Body parts that remained in place usually needed a cast.

Next Column: November 13, 2005
Copyright: November 6, 2005. 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