Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 6, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Apparently, there is serious entertainment value is watching grown men spit.

At least that's the impression gleaned from watching the World Series. Congratulations to both World Series teams which was won in a 10-inning game by the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians. Even I - who know next to nothing about most sports - watched the last game and found it exciting - and a bit disgusting.

Baseball players spit - nonstop spitting. I don't think I'd want any of them at my dinner table. They chew with their mouths open and spit - and then spit some more. It's gross.

While there were some interesting pitches and swings, it was the spitting that stole the show.

There were some players, aware that they were on camera, who even seemed to be playing their spit action for the camera.

What is their psychological need to keep moving their mouths and then spitting? A need for oral gratification (which includes, among other things, mouth movements and sucking) is seen in recovering alcoholics who frequently are nonstop soda pop drinkers, because of the sucking action through the use of a straw. No straw? They'll suck on candy, chew gum or suck on a pen.

So, why are the highly functioning World Series caliber baseball players and coaches addicted to splitting? For years the Health Protection Agency has warned that spitting in public causes health risks.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smokeless tobacco can cause cancer, oral health problems and nicotine addiction, and stresses it is not a safe alternative to smoking.

Why do baseball players feel compelled to spit?

Players are still fans of chewing tobacco, which must be spat out, not swallowed. A few experts will counter that baseball players no longer chew, but are dipping tobacco. Apparently, there is a difference. It doesn't matter. If you've got a piece of tobacco wedged by your gum, that creates saliva and you need to spit. They all spit. Gross.

Some studies indicate that chewing tobacco on the baseball field dipped in the 1970s but has now resumed.

In 2009 a baseball union labor deal instituted limits, but did not ban the use of smokeless tobacco during games. The same deal was included in the 2011 contract.

Players agreed not to carry tobacco packages and tins in their back pockets or use tobacco during pregame or postgame interviews, and at team functions - but are permitted to use it during games.

Health advocates, including members of Congress, had contended that a ban on chewing tobacco and dip during games was needed to protect impressionable kids watching on TV.

In the non-unionized minor leagues, smokeless tobacco has been banned since 1993.

Contrary to some reports, those on the field do not have mint leaves or sunflower seeds hidden in their pockets. Off the field is a different story. Demonstrating his rodent impersonation Indians' Manager Terry Francona chewed nonstop on what appeared to be sunflower seeds, spitting their shells onto the dugout's concrete floor. Repugnant.

Players spit all over the field. During the temporary rain halt in the final game, a tarp was spread over the spit splattered field. Then human hands removed the spit tainted tarp, which was then put somewhere. Germs all over people and places.

Frequently the close up shots showed players placing something in their mouths. It appeared to be thick and dark - not looking at all like regular chewing gum - or mint leaves. Chewing tobacco is a known carcinogenic. How dumb are baseball players? Being tethered to an IV in a hospital bed will slow down a 90-mph throw.

In 2014 MLB pitcher Curt Schilling blamed chewing tobacco for his oral cancer. Also in 2014, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn succumbed to salivary-gland cancer at age 54. Gwynn, too, attributed his illness to smokeless tobacco use.

Bravo to the one player who blew a pink bubble. In showing a preference for Bazooka - at least he won't end up with half his mouth and jaw cut off because of chewing tobacco induced cancer. A cavity is a different matter. I assume baseball teams provide dental insurance.

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exhibit opened yesterday, November 5, 2016 at the Chinese Historical Society in San Francisco.

With hands-on interactive technology, breathtaking visuals, and detailed curatorial content, this is the most comprehensive exhibition to date on the Chinese American experience. Starting from the late 18th century to the present, the Chinese American story is an integral part of American history. First there was early US and China trade. Then early Chinese immigrants began to settle and work in the United States which led to a rise in xenophobia and debates like the “Chinese Question.” Due to anti-Chinese sentiment, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was passed, suspending Chinese immigration and preventing all Chinese in the country from becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. The repeal of Exclusion in 1943 and re-opening of immigration in 1965 sparked a whole new era for Chinese American families, generations and new.

This exhibition uses important new scholarship and rarely exhibited artifacts to entice the visitors into learning something new about American history. It's a history that has tremendous relevance to our world today.
br> The New-York Historical Society has donated its Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion exhibition materials to San Francisco organization. This outstanding showcase, which had impressive runs at New-York Historical and the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, is the Chinese Historical Society’s largest ever undertaking.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity and an unprecedented gift for us,” said Sue Lee, Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society who orchestrated the acquisition. The exhibition features reproductions from the New-York Historical Society’s holdings, interactive media, evocative re-creations, and CHSA’s own historic Chinatown paintings by Jake Lee. “The curatorial quality, the historical detail, and the hands-on interactive technology of this exhibit are unlike anything we have ever done. Its educational potential really raises the bar for us.”

The Chinese Historical Society of America is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America. CHSA pursues this mission through exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programs in the CHSA Museum and Learning Center, a landmark Julia Morgan-designed building on Clay Street in San Francisco.

200 Years of Social Satire and Humor in Western Art. Throughout history artists have used humor in their works to call attention to social issues or simply to entertain. Works illustrating this in this exhibit span nearly 200 years with famous examples by Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879), France’s first and most important social satirist, to those by Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), 20th Century America’s favorite social commentator.

Honoré Daumier became famous for frequently publishing in Les Charivari over the course of many years as he critiqued French culture, society and politics in his cartoons. In the Histoire Ancienne (Ancient History) series he weighed in on the intense debate in the 1840s between Classicism and Romanticism. Leading proponents of Romantic art, such as Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863), felt that artists should let go of the tired classical ideal and Daumier jumped into the fray by making fun of classical myth.

Here he shows the mighty Hercules reduced to a common stable hand as he mucks out King Augeas’s stables, the fifth labor assigned to him by King Eurystheus. According to the Greek myth, this was a monumental task as the livestock numbered over 3,000 and the stable had not been cleaned in 30 years. Hercules was given only one day to complete the job and Daumier’s super hero looks less than happy with the task ahead.

Opened yesterday November 5, 2016 and runs through January 22, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Take it all off and participate in a Naked Tour. Really. Photo: MCA Sydney.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia is celebrating their 25 birthday with their popular (no kidding) naked tours November 11-12, led by Stuart Ringholt. According to the MCA there are three days of events. "Break out your birthday suit for one of Stuart Ringholt’s always popular nude tours. Artist Stuart Ringholtwill be naked. Those who wish to join the tour must also be naked. Adults only.

"Gain a new perspective on the MCA Collection by viewing it entirely nude. Remove the material barriers between artist and audience (literally) when you join artist Stuart Ringholt’s after-hours tour followed by a nude reception. The work deals with themes of fear and embarrassment and the potentially liberating effects of enjoying art in the nude."

Stuart Ringholt is based in Melbourne and has exhibited nationally and internationally. His work takes many forms, from performance, video and sculpture to collaborative workshops, and is characterized by a resolute sense of art as a social enterprise.

Patrons are also invited to "stick a fork into the most inspired birthday cake you ever did see. It wouldn’t be a birthday party without cake!"

According to the museum they "asked cake extraordinaire Clifford from Cakes by Cliff and Sydney-based artist Nell to concoct a special treat for our birthday. Enjoy a slice of cake on the MCA lawn as we blow out the candles and wish for another 25 fantastic years. First come first served though, there’s a lot to go around but this sweet treat won’t last for long!" The cake event takes place Saturday, November 12.

Artists Hossein Ghaemi, Lauren Brincat & Bree van Reyk, Técha Noble and Jess Olivieri will perform newly commissioned works that throw light on the past 25 years. Young, old and in-between, the MCA's Birthday Weekend November 11-13 offers free and ticketed events for all ages.

HANDEL HOUSE in London celebrates its 15th anniversary of being open to the public on November 8 with a tea party. The public is invited to drink tea, eat birthday cake and meet the team behind this wonderful historic house.

Then on Saturday, November 12, the Handel House Singers, conducted by Laurence Cummings will give a very special performance of Handel’s Messiah in Grosvenor Chapel, a church that Handel attended and performed in throughout his 36 years in London.

On Sunday, November 13, it's The Composer's Kitchen. Dr Sarah Pennell from the University of Greenwich explores food in Georgian London. As a historian of food and the household, Pennell will take visitors on a culinary tour of Handel’s kitchen to tell the stories behind the dishes which graced the composer’s often laden table; and find out what was good to eat in mid-eighteenth century London.


THE 2016 LATIN RECORDING ACADEMY PERSON OF THE YEAR GALA HONORING MARC ANTHONY will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.

Proceeds from the Gala Support the Educational Initiatives of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.

Performances by Gente de Zona, Sergio George, Jesse & Joy, Víctor Manuelle, Laura Pausini, Prince Royce, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Carlos Vives.

The Latin Recording Academy President/CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. and industry VIPs will be in attendance. Dan Warner will serve as the musical director and Gustavo Borner will be the audio/mix supervisor.

MARTINA ARROYO FOUNDATION 12th Annual Fundraising Gala a celebration of Prelude to Performance honoring actress and singer Christine Ebersole, designer Adrienne Landau and composer Jeanine Tesori featuring Special Performances by Christine Ebersole and Paquito D'Rivera and the Young Artists of Prelude to Performance takes place Monday, November 7, 2016 at The Grand Salon of the JW Marriott Essex House, New York City.

Special Guests: Martina Arroyo, actor/comedian Mario Cantone and actor/singer/director Jerry Dixon, and Tony Award-winning actor Ben Vereen. Terrance McKnight will serve as host.

Honorary Gala Chairs of the black tie optional gala are: Donna and Richard Esteves, Andrew Martin-Weber.

Honorary Benefit Committee: Kathy Bates, Harolyn Blackwell, Stephanie Blythe, Tyne Daly, Paquito D'Rivera, Jane Eaglen, Brenda Feliciano, Susan Graham, Reri Grist, Marilyn Horne, Richard Leech, Audra McDonald, Sherrill Milnes, Rita Moreno, Jessye Norman, Eric Owens, Frederica von Stade, Billy Stritch, Ben Vereen, Rufus Wainwright, and Darren Walker.

Young Artists of Prelude to Performance: Seok Jong Baek, Holly Cameron, Dángelo Díaz, Shana Grossman, Maria Natale, Yunnie Park, Jonathan Tetelman, and Hongni Wu, accompanied by Maestro Steven M. Crawford.

The mission of the Martina Arroyo Foundation is to counsel and guide young singers in the preparation of an entire operatic role through a formal educational process that includes character development, the background of the drama, the historical perspective, the psychological motivation of each character, and language proficiency.


world premiere recording has been released on Masterworks Broadway.

Written by Douglas Lyons, Melvin Tunstall, III and Greg Borowsky, Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical is inspired by the true events of the Civil Rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine – nine teenagers who were enrolled at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 following the U.S. Supreme Court decision for desegregation of schools.

Don't think that means this CD has only specialized appeal. And, if you are someone who mounts shows for children, consider this as a possible production. Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical is perfect for children of all races. It has to do with fitting in - which affects everyone.

The World Premiere Recording features performance veterans Shanice Williams, Alex Newell, John Arthur Greene, Lilli Cooper, Katie Thompson, Alysha Deslorieux Talia Thiesfield, Gerard Canonico, Brittney Johnson, Julie Knitel and Sara King.

The musical director is Ted Arthur.

The official description explains: "Polkadots follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot who just moved to the Squares Only small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying, to segregated drinking fountains, Lily's quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship. Polkadots serves as a colorful history lesson for children, reminding them that our differences make us awesome, not outcasts."

The score is full of heart, life lessons and inspiration.

Drum beat driven, high velocity First Day sets the tone. The downside is the high pitched childish vocal tone Talia Thiesfield has been instructed to use can make what she says difficult to understand on this recording. Sticks and Stones is also a hyper beat with a Motown feel, exuberantly delivered by Alex Newell, who was part of the Glee cast. The slower One Pal performed by Shanice Williams is lovely. Williams starred as Dorothy in the recent television production of The Wiz. Square Motto is very short with a marching tempo.

The vocal tone seems to be based on the faulty assumption that all children speak in high pitched, annoying tones and can only understand words spoken or sung in those same high pitched tones. When adults try to mimic a child using an unnatural high pitch the results are slightly sharp.

Not until the sixth track Beautiful sung by John Arthur Greene is a song delivered in a totally, easily understood manner. Green has perfect enunciation; fast paced words easily tripping off his tone. His voice is lovely with a range from powerful to tender.

That is followed by The First sung by Katie Thompson and Alysha Deslorieux which is also intelligent, meaningful, articulate and easily understood. It's a song about not giving up and should have meaning for all - both children and adults. Both Thompson and Deslorieux are excellent singers. This song has an infectious beat and a powerful message. Williams then delivers a short reprise of One Pal.

Cool Kid performed by Lilli Cooper has lyrics which are both hysterically funny and pertinent. Cooper knows how to deliver a punch.

The next three numbers are sung by Thiesfield, Gerard Canonico, Brittney Johnson an Julia Knitel. The first The Squadot has a rap beat which makes the words almost unintelligible. That might not be the case in physically seeing the show, but listening on a CD requires more attention to detail. This is an in studio recording, not recorded live - so care could have been taken to ensure that each and every word could be understood by somebody who has never before heard the songs.

The next - a very short - New Day has Thiesfield performing in her own lovely voice, rather than the annoying one used in the first number. Her versatility includes have just concluded playing the powerful role of Aldonza - Don Quixote’s love object Dulcinea - in the musical Man of La Mancha at The Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut.

New Day is followed by the Finale in which the voices of the three singers blend in a most pleasant delivery with inspiring, uplifting words set to an invigorating beat.

There are two bonus tracks Backed by a piano, Taught is a poignant song performed by Kaite Thompson whose has a rich voice which can deliver sensitive as well as robust.

Polkadot Christmas performed by Brittney Johnson has a faster beat. Johnson is another singer on this CD who has a voice worth noting. Even in this song - included on an album meant for children - you know Johnson can skat, sing jazz and blues with the best of 'em. Last seen on Broadway in Dreamgirls, she's a graduate of New York University majoring in theatre with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


Drums: Sean McDaniel. Electric Bass: Rob Jost. Tenor Saxophone, Flute and Clarinet: Rob Jacoby. Trumpet & flughel: Raul Agraz. Violin: Coco Taguchi. Cello: Alisa Horn. Guitars: Ethan D. Pakchar. Horns: Donald Hayes.

Orchestrations by Ethan D. Pakchar. Additional orchestrations Madeline Smith.

Live Band recorded at SoundOff Studios. Vocals recorded at MonaLisaStudios. Mixed by Greg Borowsky and Ethan D. Pakchar. Mastered by Greg Borowsky. Mixed and mastered at Greg Dean Studios. Engineers: Denise Barbarita, MonaLisa Studios and Benjamin Wollner, Sound Off Studios.

The colorful booklet features illustrations by Salina Giardino ans graphic design by Michelle Dimuzio.


Ambassador Rufus Gifford and his husband Dr. DeVincent all dressed up and ready to hand out Halloween candy. Photo: Ambassador Gifford Twitter.
was a success in Denmark. As has been the case in previous years the place to trick or treat is at the Copenhagen home of the American Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gufford and his husband veterinarian Dr. Steve DeVincent.

The couple always goes all out with Ambassador Gifford posting the Halloween comings and goings on his Twitter account. In 2014 Ambassador Gifford first tweeted "500 trick or treaters at our residence so far. Apparently Halloween has come to Denmark. Amazing." He later updated: "866 people was our final count of trick or treaters tonight. Amazing. And next year is a Saturday." See Broadway To Vegas column of November 2, 2014

The popularity of getting candy at the ambassador's digs has increased each year.

Dressed and armed, the couple knows how to get into the spirit of things.

"Ready to welcome our guests armed with a sword, a shield and 12,000 pieces of candy," Ambassador Gifford posted.

Underneath the elaborate Halloween make-up, this is the same Ambassador Gifford who is enough to make you drool, movie star handsome (Dr. DeVincent isn't bad looking, either) who has his own reality TV series I Am The Ambassador which has not only taken Denmark by storm, but is to be streamed on Netflix in America. Cameras follow the couple both at work and at home.

Prior to becoming ambassador, Gifford served as the Finance Director for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential re-election campaign. From 1998 to 2004 Gifford was a creative executive in Los Angeles for Davis Entertainment, an independent film production company.

PRINCE WILLIAM will attend the 62nd Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Old Vic Theatre in London next Sunday, November 13, to present the Beyond Theatre Award which recognizes excellence away from the traditional platform of live performance. It isn't awarded every year. The last time the award was bestowed was for the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and the Proms.

The prestigious ceremony will be co-hosted by Evening Standard proprietor Evgeny Lebedev and Sir Elton John who will jet in for the occasion.

Oscar-winners Dame Maggie Smith and Mark Rylance, alongside Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki and Tom Hollande, are among the presenters.

BILL MURRAY gifting David Letterman with a handmade, Irish linen Christening outfit for his then four-month-old son Harry, thirteen-and-a-half years ago, was the sweetest story - which Letterman told in honoring Murray when Murray received the 19th annual Mark Twain Prize in Washington, DC on October 23, 2016.

NOVEMBER 8 is National Cappuccino Day and National Harvey Wallbanger Day.


THE OAKLAND RAIDERS are being encouraged to relocate to Las Vegas. Last month Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 1 into law, which will provide $750 million of the $1.2 billion estimated for the proposed 65,000-seat domed stadium in Las Vegas.

According to the Pahrump Valley Times to sweeten the deal, a perk is on the table from famed brothel owner and reality television star Dennis Hof. He promised that his Love Ranch South Brothel, located just outside of Pahrump in Crystal where prostitution is legal, would provide Raiders players and staff 50 percent off sex services providing the team relocates to Las Vegas.

Beth Henley
has been named the 2017 Honoree of William Inge Theatre Festival. The acclaimed playwright and screenwriter will be honored with the William Inge Distinguished Achievement in American Theater Award at the 36th William Inge Theater Festival at Independence Community College, Kansas, April 19-22, 2017.

The Pulitzer Prize was awarded her for Crimes of the Heart, the story of three Southern sisters in the throes of a family crisis, her very first professional production. Nominated for Best Play of the 1981 Tony Awards, Henley also wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the 1986 movie, which starred Jessica Lange, Diane Keaton, and Sissy Spacek.

She followed this prestigious early accomplishment with The Miss Firecracker Contest, which she also adapted into a screenplay in 1989, starring Holly Hunter. Additional plays include The Wake of Jamey Foster, The Debutante Ball, The Lucky Spot, Abundance, Impossible Marriage, and Family Week.

Henley will be in Independence during the entire 2017 William Inge Theatre Festival, April 19-22, 2017. She will be joined by dozens of professional theater makers in a celebration of her achievements and of the art of theater. The four-day Inge Festival features evening performances, a multitude of workshops and topical theater discussions, a Scholar's Conference, and social events.


3-year-old son, Noah, has been diagnosed with cancer, the singer announced Friday via a Facebook statement.

“We are devastated about the recent cancer diagnosis of our oldest son Noah who is currently undergoing treatment in the US. We have always been very vocal about the importance of family and the love we have for our children. Luisana and I have put our careers on hold in order to devote all our time and attention to helping Noah get well,” the Grammy award winning singer posted.

“At this difficult time, we ask only for your prayers and respect for our privacy. We have a long journey in front of us and hope that with the support of family, friends and fans around the world, we will win this battle, God willing.”

Bublé and his wife Luisana Lopilato have been married for five years. She gave birth to Noah in August 2013. The couple welcomed their second son, Elias, in January.

A NAME FOR A GHOST TO MUTTER by Cyndi Williams who has been an actor/writer in Austin, Texas for over 30 years.

Directed by Judson Jones.

A Name for a Ghost to Mutter "follows Lucretia and her three grown children that have come to clean out the home of Lala, her recently deceased cousin and lifelong friend. They instead uncover a mystery. Lucretia and her children journey back to previous generations, visit the ghosts of the past, confront how much they really know about their own family. And ask: “What happens when a woman boldly chooses herself over her duty?” A Chekhovian tale with Horton Foote sensibilities."

The Scenic Design is by Jessie Bonaventure, Lighting Design by Zach Murphy, Costume Design by Sherry Martinez, and Sound Design by John D. Ivy.

Performances begin for the limited engagement on Friday, November 11, 2016 at Urban Stages in New York City.

MASTER HAROLD . . . AND THE BOYS written and directed by Tony Award winner Athol Fugard.

In a small tea shop in South Africa in 1950, two black men and a young white boy joke and dance together, defying the brutalities of apartheid through their joyous love. But festering issues of family, race, and power are not so easy to ignore, and a single phone call can trigger catastrophe. Master Harold... and the boys reveals the profound personal consequences of oppression.

The cast includes Leon Addison Brown as Sam, Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngaujah as Willie and Noah Robbins as Hally.

The design team includes Christopher H. Barreca (Scenic Design), Susan Hilferty (Costume Design), Stephen Strawbridge (Lighting Design), John Gromada (Sound Design), and Barbara Rubin (Dialect Coach). Linda Marvel is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company.

Officially opens November 7 in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center, New York City with performances through November 27, 2016.

TWO GENTLEMEN ON VERONA by William Shakespeare.

Directed by Richard Seer.

Best friends Valentine and Proteus find themselves both madly in love with the same woman. Will their friendship survive? One of Shakespeare’s most delightful comedies, The Two Gentlemen of Verona is an exuberant tale of friendship, young love, and secret identities, featuring a band of outlaws, two bumbling servants, and one unforgettable dog.

The cast features Amara James Aja (Valentine), Samuel Max Avishay (Thurio), Nora Carroll (Outlaw), Renardo Charles Jr. (Antonio), Ajinkya Desai (Speed), Talley Beth Gale (Sylvia), Kevin Hafso-Koppman (Proteus), Daniel Ian Joeck (Duke), Lorenzo Landini (Launce), Jose Martinez (Sir Eglamour), Christina A. Okolo (Lucetta, Outlaw), Suzelle Palacios (Julia), Larica Schnell (Augusta, Outlaw), and Samantha Sutliff (Hostess), with a special appearance by Samson (Crab the Dog).

The creative team includes Robin Sanford Roberts (Scenic Design), Elisa Benzoni (Costume Design), Kimberlee E. Winters (Lighting Design), Melanie Chen (Sound Design), Jan Gist (Voice and Speech Coach), Brian Byrnes (Movement Coach and Fight Director), Amanda Peñaloza-Banks (Choreographer), Abraham Stoll (Dramaturg), and Monica Perfetto (Production Stage Manager).

A joint venture of The Old Globe and the University of San Diego, the master of fine arts program nationally recruits seven students each year to participate in an intensive two-year, year-round course of graduate study in classical theatre.

"The Old Globe and USD Shiley Graduate Theatre Program is one of the jewels in this theatre’s crown, and I’m as proud of the work we do training the next generation of American actors as I am of anything else in this institution’s life," said Old Globe Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.“

The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program presentation of William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, running November 12 – November 20 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre, San Diego, CA.


Directed by Tony Award nominee Lynne Taylor-Corbett.

Starring two-time Emmy Award winner Martha Byrne, Emily Jon Mitchell, Peter Levin, Patricia Randell and Whitney Andrews.

Throughout their childhood, Holly and Fern's parents were wildly unpredictable, endearingly neurotic, and blatantly dysfunctional. Now, in their eighties, they are facing the biggest crises of their lives, and it’s up to Holly and Fern to lend a hand. In the Car with Blossom and Len is called "a smart, biting and poignant comedy about growing up and growing old - not necessarily in that order."

The creative team includes: Bob Phillips, Anna Grigo (Set Design), Jason Kantrowitz (Lighting Design), Dustin Cross (Costume Design), John Salutz (Sound Design). Katie White (Properties Design), Susan Whelan (Production Stage Manager), Stephen DeAngelis (Casting).

Receives its New York Debut at Queens Theatre November 11-20, 2016.


THE NEW YORK POPS commemorates Veterans Day with Concert for Courage, a program that will honor the brave men and women of the nation's armed forces. The orchestra will be joined by The Soldiers' Chorus of The U.S. Army Field Band in performances of patriotic songs and classic Americana for a jubilant celebration of those who are serving and have served the United States of America. Friday, November 11, 2016 in Carnegie Hall, New York City.

LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS that Grammy Award winning group who has never put anything except an exceptional performance, will be performing their hits and holiday favorites as stars of A Country Christmas Dinner Show at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee, November 11- December 25, 2016.

JUDY COLLINS with special guest Ari Hest performs November 10-19, 2016 at Cafe Carlyle, New York City.

PINK MARTINI performs Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at the Keller Auditorium, Portland, OR.

OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN entertains Friday, November 11, at the River Cree Resort in Enoch, AB.

GAVIN DeGRAW AND ANDY GRAMMER perform November 9, 2016 at Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL.

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center For The Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida next Sunday, November 13.

PHIL HALL musical director, arranger and creator of The Philhallmonics presents Legacy Free and open to the public, Legacy will feature songs from Broadway shows. Performers are Philhallmonics favorites Karen Arlington, Linda Moshier, Bruce Rebold, John DiBartolo as well as Gelan Lambert, Mary Lee Marson, Bill Newhall, Erica Penn and Julie Waldman-Stiel. The band: bj Karpen (Oboe), Peter Calo (Guitar), Pete Donovan (Bass) and Chris Marshak (Drums). The Sound Design is by Bob Rendon and the Projectionist is Bob Westerfeld. Free and open to the public. November 10, 2016 at Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts, New York City.


NORMAN BROKAW an influential Hollywood talent agent, died Saturday, October 29, 2016, at home in Beverly Hills, California, after a long illness. He was 89.

Brokaw’s clients included top stars like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, Donna Summer, Warren Beatty, and Bill Cosby. He’s the only agent to receive the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences prestigious Governor’s Award.

One of his biggest successes was creating The Bill Cobsy Show. His three sons - twins David and Sanford (Sandy) and their brother Joel formed the public relations agency The Brokaw Company. According to their website their PR firm "represents the fourth generation of their family to work in the entertainment industry, stretching back more than 120 years to Czarist Russia."

Their website has a long list of prominent clients, many with a proud link to their father. According to their website: "The Cosby Show became the #1 television show in America, The Brokaw Company handled its publicity - as it has for Bill Cosby for more than 20 years, including being the Cosby Family's spokesman during sometimes trying times".

In 1943, at the age of 15, patriarch Norm began working for the William Morris Agency in the mail room. He learned the trade from his maternal uncle, Johnny Hyde, who was the vice president of the William Morris Agency. Brokaw eventually rose to become its CEO in 1989.

He also pioneered the signing of nonactor talents such as sports stars Mark Spitz and Hank Aaron, and public officials like former President Gerald Ford and former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig. He also handled book and TV deals for O.J. Simpson murder trial prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden.

His clients also included former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Israel’s Menachem Begin and he negotiated international deals for President Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.

Brokaw is survived by his wife, Marguerite Longley. In addition to his three sons, he is survived by three daughters and four grandchildren.

TAMMY GRIMES a two-time Tony Award winner died October 30, 2016 in Englewood, New Jersey. She was 82.

Grimes starred in the 1960 comedic play The Unsinkable Molly Brown and won the Tony for best featured actress in a musical. In 1969, she won her second Tony for her role in the play Private Lives.

Grimes made her debut on the New York stage at the Neighborhood Playhouse in May 1955 in Jonah and the Whale. She made her Broadway stage debut as an understudy for Kim Stanley in the starring role in Bus Stop in June 1955. In 1956, she appeared in the off-Broadway production, ,i>The Littlest Revue, and in 1959 had the lead role in the Broadway production of Noël Coward's play Look After Lulu!, after she was discovered in a nightclub by the playwright.

She appeared on many television shows and in movies. She was the voice of the mouse who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus in the holiday animated special Twas the Night before Christmas.

In 1980, she starred in the original Broadway production of 42nd Street. In 2003, Grimes was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. She also appeared in the rotating cast of the Off-Broadway staged reading of Wit & Wisdom.

In December 2003, Grimes was invited by The Noel Coward Society to be the first celebrity to lay flowers on the statue of Sir Noël Coward at The Gershwin Theatre in Manhattan to celebrate the 104th birthday of "The Master". In 2004 she joined the company of Tasting Memories, a "compilation of delicious reveries in poetry, song and prose", with a starry rotating cast including Kitty Carlisle Hart, Rosemary Harris, Philip Bosco, Alvin Epstein, Joy Franz and Kathleen Noone.

Grimes married Christopher Plummer on August 16, 1956, with whom she had a daughter, Tony Award winning actress Amanda Plummer. They divorced in 1960. Her second husband was actor Jeremy Slate, whom she married in 1966 and divorced a year later. Her third husband was composer Richard Bell, whom she married in 1971; the couple remained wed until Bell's death in 2005.

She is survived by her daughter Amanda Plummer and her brother, Nick.

MEL LARSON co-founder of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and former Circus Circus Hotel vice president died November 1, 2017 after a lengthy illness. He was 87.

In 1956, Larson was an active competitor on the NASCAR circuit and also served as the series’ public relations director. Racing brought Larson to Las Vegas in the late 1960s as a competitor in the Mint 400. After racing in that event in 1968 and 1969, he began promoting the popular race. During this time, Larson and Mint Hotel General Manager William Bennett became friends.

In 1974, Bennett bought the Circus Circus Hotel-Casino and persuaded Larson to relocate to Las Vegas as the hotel’s public relations director. By late 1975, Larson had become a vice president at Circus Circus and in 1986 he was promoted to corporate vice president.

After retirement from Circus Circus in 1992, Larson helped Richie Clyne, Ralph Engelstad and Bill Bennett in the conceptualization of Las Vegas Motor Speedway - a facility that is owned by Speedway Motorsports and headed by Larson's friend of 50 years, Bruton Smith.

Larson also developed the heliport for Mercy Air, a helicopter service that transports injured and sick patients. He and his wife, Marilyn, who survives him, spent years supporting animal rights.

KAY STARR a country, pop and jazz singer died at her home in Beverly Hills, CA from complications of Alzheimer's disease on November 3, 2016. She was 94.

Starr was one of the first female artists to perform country western swing music. She enjoyed considerable success in the 1940s and 1950s and introduced two songs that became #1 hits in the 1950s, Wheel of Fortune and The Rock And Roll Waltz.

She had a worldwide reputation and performed in Las Vegas several times.

She recorded a duet with Tony Bennett on his 2001 album Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings the Blues. Her music remained popular long after she retired. A 2015 and a 2016 episode of Call The Midwife featured her singing as did the 2016 productions of The Nice Guys and American Pastoral.

She was married and divorced five times. None of her marriages lasted three years. She is survived by her daughter Katherine Yardley from her first husband Roy E. Davis and a grandson.

RICK STEINER five time Tony Award winning Broadway producer died Thursday, November 3, 2016 at his home in Cincinnati. A cause of death wasn't announced, although he had recently undergone open-heart surgery. He was 69.

Steiner's string of hits included The Producers, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Big River, Into the Woods, The Secret Garden, Smokey Joe’s Cafe and August: Osage County.

At his death, Steiner was developing a musical version of the movie Bull Durham.

An avid professional poker player he won the Las Vegas World Series of Poker seven-card-stud high-low title in 1992, with prize money of $105,000.

Steiner was a part owner of the Cincinnati Reds and several minor-league baseball teams. He was also one of the original investors in the Chi-Chi’s restaurant chain.

His marriage to the former Jan Steele ended in divorce, but the couple continued to live together. She survives him. He is also survived by two sons, Ace and Duke, a daughter, Jacklyn Montgomery and a brother.

JEAN-JACQUES PERREY an early pioneer of electronic music and one of the first musicians to use the Moog Synthesiser, died Friday, November 4, 2016 at his home in Switzerland from complications related to lung cancer. He was 87.

He was a member of the electronic music duo Perrey and Kingsley who composed the Baroque Hoedown, which was used for Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade.

Perrey and Gershon Kingsley collaborated on sound design for radio and television advertising. Perrey returned to France, composing for television, scoring for ballet, and continuing medical research into therapeutic sounds for insomniacs.

Perrey's 1974 Moog track Boys And Girls, on which he collaborated with Gilbert Sigrist, is used for the closing credits music in the Nickelodeon cartoon series, The Mighty B! Perrey co-wrote The Savers, which was used as the intro theme music to the game show The Joker's Wild from 1972–1978. Perrey's song Chicken on the Rocks was used in the TV Series South Park. In 2016 Perrey and Kingsley's song Computers in Love (from their 1966 album) was used on The Simpsons.

He is survived by his daughter Patricia Leroy.

Next Column: November 13, 2016
Copyright: November 6, 2016 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
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Laura Deni

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