Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: November 8, 2015
By: Laura Deni


Melissa Errico stepped onto the Broadway stage as Princess Kitty Scherbatssky in Anna Karenina. When she starred as Eliza Doolittle opposite Richard Chamberlain's Henry Higgins at Broadway's Virginia Theatre in My Fair Lady, the production called for her to jump up and down on a trampoline. She did it with flair.

She starred as Tracy Lord in High Society. Many didn't like the production, comparing it to the famed movie. I thought Melissa more than held her own against the Grace Kelly image. Her own prince is Patrick McEnroe. They were married in 1998 and are parents to three daughters; a 9-year old and twins who celebrate their 7th birthday on November 19.

Other Broadway roles include Amour and Dracula - The Musical. In 2009 she was cast as Betty Haynes in White Christmas. Some of the productions lasted longer than others. What showed staying power was Melissa's ability to sing. She possesses a beautiful soprano voice.

Her vitality, sense of humor and voice are shown off in her latest CD What About Today released by Broadway Records.

She begins the show at 54 Below in New York City by asking the rhetorical question "Why are actors so nuts?" That segment signals that this is going to be an upbeat, fun listening experience.

In a performance conceived and directed by Richard Jay-Alexander at this recorded 54 Below gig, she is accompanied by Piano/ musical direction Tedd Firth on piano who also serves as musical director. David Finck is on bass and Mark McLean handles the drums. They serve her well.

The CD kicks off with a full throttle What About Today by David Shire. With the exception of one number - Gentle Child - all of the selections are from either the movies or Broadway musicals, including three in which Errico starred - Show Me from My Fair Lady, The Heart is Slow to Learn by Frank Wildhorn and Don Black from Dracula The Musical, and the CD closer How Are Things in Glocca Morra? by Burton Lane and E. Y. Harburg from Finian's Rainbow. She starred in the off-Broadway production.

As for Gentle Child, that is a beautiful number which Errico wrote for her first daughter when the baby was a few months old. The melody was inspired by Chucho Valdez' Berceuse a Jesse while the lyrics speak to the feelings of all parents.

Her delivery of It's An Art about being a waitress from the Broadway musical Working is double shot espresso, with a side order of exuberance.

The Summer Knows by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrande is soft and tender as is the Burt Bacharach/Hal David penned The April Fools, from the Jack Lemmon movie of the same name. Meadowlark from The Baker's Wife is explosive while the poignant Small Word from Gypsy has jazzy piano undertones.

Her execution of Getting Married Today shows off her clear soprano as well as her ability to shogun clearly enunciated lyrics - a rare feat. I don't know if the audience gave her a standing ovation or not; she deserved one.

His Eyes, Her Eyes from the movie The Thomas Crown Affair is all over the emotional scale, arranged to be as fascinating as the movie.

Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim is represented with No More. She recites some of the lyrics before slowly and powerfully delivering the philosophical lines. Her ability to convey the meaning of the lyrics are worth studying.

The disco era is represented by Last Dance by Paul Jabara which was heard of the Thank God It's Friday movie soundtrack.

Melissa pays homage to her idol the late, great Eydie Gorme. She explains how: "I am really bananas about Eydie Gorme," before delivering her own tempo and arrangement of Gorme's mega hit What Did I Have That I Don't Have?

A wonderful performance by Melissa Errico perfectly captured on this CD.

Recorded April 2014. Front of the House mix and Recording Engineer was Amanda Raymond. Mixed at Kontinuous Jams Studios Mastered by Greg Reierson Rare Form Mastering Booklet photography by Jim Da Silva. Package Design by Robbie Rozelle.

Melissa Errico appears in concert November 18-19 at Joe's Pub in New York City.

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Attributed to Henri Jules Jean Geoffroy, 1853–1924; born Marennes, France; died Paris, France; Ça fait tout de mème drole de n’avoir plus qu’une patte! (All the same, it’s funny not to have more than one foot!); From the series Pro Patria, 1915; lithograph, pochoir
is a new exhibit which has opened at the World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

Nursing played a crucial role during the First World War. Emergency medical practices evolved enormously during the war years (1914–1918) and thousands more medical workers were involved than in previous wars. New and innovative practices included blood transfusions, the use of antiseptics, local anesthetics, and painkillers.

During the course of the War, membership in the American Red Cross grew from 17,000 to more than 20 million, and 20,000 registered nurses were recruited for military service. In the United Kingdom, 38,000 members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) served in hospitals or worked as ambulance drivers and cooks.

Modern medical nursing finds its origins in the remarkable career of Florence Nightingale, the “ministering angel” and “lady with the lamp” who served day and night during the Crimean War (1853–1856). Her understanding of the importance of hygiene saved countless lives and set the stage for nursing as we know it today.

Nightingale’s model was followed and greatly expanded upon during the First World War by remarkable women such as Edith Cavell, who saved many lives from both sides of the conflict but ended up before a German firing squad; and the subversive motorbike-riding team of Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker, who left their military medical stations to set up their own clinic closer to the front lines where they could save lives rather than simply provide transportation to the morgue.

Similarly, novelist Mary Borden founded a field station that she called “the second battlefield” close to the front lines.

The works exhibited align with the quasi-myths of wartime nursing as described by author Christine Hallett: the courageous voluntary aid detachment, the romantic nurse, and the “nurse-as-heroine.” We only know the identity of one of the nurses seen here, Olga Bing, who set down her experiences in drawings that were then reproduced as a portfolio. Although nothing is known of Bing beyond this portfolio, it is a wonderful testament to the care and dedication of nurses during the First World War.

This exhibition is drawn primarily from a highly significant gift of more than 3,000, predominantly French WWI works donated to the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, in 2014 by Professor Eric Gustav Carlson and is on loan to the National World War I Museum and Memorial from the Spencer Museum of Art.

On display through March 6, 2016.

WYETH: ANDREW AND JAMIE IN THE STUDIO The Denver Art Museum presents a groundbreaking exhibition exploring the art of Andrew Wyeth and his son Jamie. Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio is organized by the Denver Art Museum and will feature more than 100 works created in a variety of media, including pen and ink, graphite, chalk, watercolor, dry brush, tempera, oil, and mixed media.

This exhibition explores the connection between two American artists who shared artistic habits of mind while maintaining their own unique artistic voices.

Never before has an exhibition displayed Andrew Wyeth's and Jamie Wyeth’s work on this scale and in the shared context of their autobiographies, studio practices, and imaginations.

Whether you are new to the work of Andrew and Jamie Wyeth or are familiar with it, this exhibition will allow you to see their art converge and diverge over the years. The common thread that runs through their works as well as the distinctive practices of each will be apparent.

Opens today, Sunday, November 8, 2015 at the Denver Art Museum. On exhibit through February 7, 2016. Wyeth travels to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain, following its presentation at the DAM.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973). Bull. Cannes, c. 1958. Plywood, tree branch, nails, and screws, 46 1/8 x 56 3/4 x 4 1/8? (117.2 x 144.1 x 10.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Jacqueline Picasso in honor of the Museum’s continuous commitment to Pablo Picasso’s art. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
is a sweeping survey of Pablo Picasso’s innovative and influential work in three dimensions. This is the first such museum exhibition in the United States in nearly half a century.

Over the course of his long career, Picasso devoted himself to sculpture wholeheartedly, if episodically, using both traditional and unconventional materials and techniques. Unlike painting, in which he was formally trained and through which he made his living, sculpture occupied a uniquely personal and experimental status for Picasso. He approached the medium with the freedom of a self-taught artist, ready to break all the rules.

This attitude led him to develop a deep fondness for his sculptures, to which the many photographs of his studios and homes bear witness. Treating them almost as members of his household, he cherished the sculptures' company and enjoyed re-creating them in a variety of materials and situations.

Picasso kept the majority in his private possession during his lifetime. It was only in 1966, through the large Paris retrospective Hommage à Picasso, that the public became fully aware of this side of his work. Following that exhibition, in 1967 The Museum of Modern Art organized The Sculpture of Picasso, which until now was the first and only exhibition on this continent to display a large number of the artist’s sculptures.

Picasso Sculpture focuses on the artist’s lifelong work with sculpture, with a particular focus on his use of materials and processes. The exhibition, which features more than 100 sculptures, complemented by selected works on paper and photographs, aims to advance the understanding of what sculpture was for Picasso, and of how he revolutionized its history through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention. The exhibition is organized in chapters corresponding to the distinct periods during which Picasso devoted himself to sculpture, each time exploring with fresh intensity the modern possibilities of this ancient art form.

Organized by The Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso – Paris. Organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art; with Virginie Perdrisot, Curator of Sculptures and Ceramics at the Musée national Picasso – Paris. The exhibition at MoMA runs through February 7, 2016.


STEPHEN COLBERT AND WILLIE GEIST will headline the Ninth Annual Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America IAVA Heroes Gala, to be held the day after Veteran’s Day on November 12, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

MSNBC Morning Joe co-anchor and Today Show” host, Willie Geist, will return to host the gala honoring Polaris CEO Scott Wine with the Civilian Leadership Award and Army Ranger and NFL talent Daniel Rodriguez with the Veteran Leadeship Award.

Colbert, an IAVA Heroes Gala 2011 honoree will speak. Those listening with include J.R. Martinez, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald and other honored guests.


WORLD BUSINESS FORUM takes place November 12-13 at Lincoln Center in New York City. The conference will "present two days of powerful stories; of individuals who face shocks - both personal and organizational - and who use those shocks to achieve the extraordinary. Each story will have its own unique characteristics; its own particular energy; its "aha" moments; its moments of tension; its moments of stimulation; its moments of reflection; its moments of learning."

Speakers include: Tony and Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey, Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson, Walter Isaacson, Herminia Ibarra, Adam Grant, Steve Bock, Stephen Ritz, Oscar Farinetti, Mark Bertolini, Facebook's Carolyn Everson, Tastemade founder Steven Kydd and George Kohlrieser whose book Hostage at the Table won Best Business Book of the Year in 2007.

ANDY HAMMMERSTEIN the grandson of Oscar has more irons in the fire than a blacksmith. According to a lengthy article by Diane Clehane for Fishbowl NY, one of his many projects is "to bring Shakespeare to the desert!" Andy who goes by his middle name - he's more formally known as Oscar Andy Hammerstein III - said that every year he and his brother Simon attend the Burning Man Festival staged in Black Rock City, Nevada year and they'd like to build an amphitheater in Black Rock City.

The next Burning Man Festival will be held August 28 - September 5, 2016.

In a related event - on November 15-16, 2015 the Artumnal Gathering takes place in San Francisco.

At that time patrons are invited to join "Burning Man Arts in celebrating our community’s artists and instigators, in Black Rock City and around the world! Indulge in a wondrous abundance of sights and sounds, while supporting Burning Man Arts’ many inspiring projects and programs. This year we explore what it takes to inspire a global creative renaissance as our community of artists, makers, inventors, philosophers, patrons, planners, and doers of all kinds grows across national and international boundaries. Prepare for a grand and glorious Modern Renaissance Ball – whatever that means to you!"

The Burning Man Arts fundraiser has a "Main Event featuring live and roving performances, silent auction and gallery and Dj’s and dancing."

As for Andy he "lecture(s) frequently at universities, institutes, and theatrical and civic organizations on my family's pivotal role in shaping the development of musical theatre and popular entertainment in this country from the 1860's to the present. In 1997, I co-wrote/curated the exhibit, Direct From Broadway, A 200-Year History of New York City Theatre, for the Paine-Weber Gallery space in New York City. I am currently on hiatus from teaching graduate level NYC theatre history and Musical Theatre history as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

"I have recently written a book about my theatrical family, entitled, The Hammersteins - A Musical Theatre Family, (Black Dog & Leventhal, Publisher.)"

PREMIERE STAGES AT KEAN UNIVERSITY presents a free interactive reading of My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort, November 13th through 15th in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre at Kean University in Union, New Jersey.

Kel Haney directs.

Based on actual events, My Lord, What a Night provides an account of the night legendary African American singer Marian Anderson gave a concert in Princeton and was later refused a room at the Nassau Inn. Ms. Brevoort’s thought-provoking new play begins when civil rights supporter Albert Einstein invites Anderson to stay at his home, an event that threatens to divide the community, but ultimately forges a lifetime bond between two of the Garden State's most fascinating people of the 20th century.

A unique partnership between Premiere Stages and the Liberty Hall Museum, Liberty Live celebrates New Jersey history with professional theatrical productions, museum tours, interactive displays, workshops for children, and talk-backs with local historians.

Every two years, Premiere Stages commissions a New Jersey playwright to create a new play about an event or events that helped to shape history in the Garden State.

Producing artistic director John J. Wooten and resident dramaturg Christine Scarfuto will moderate an intimate discussion with the playwright after each reading. “Patrons will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback, an important step in the development process as we continue to work with Deborah to ready the play for a full production in October of 2016,” stated Mr. Wooten.

Free tours of Liberty Hall Museum will be available for up to 30 patrons (reservations required) following the Saturday and Sunday presentations.

BLAKE SHELTON will headline Summerfest on Friday, July 1, 2016.

MUSIC ICON T BONE BURNETT has ridden to the rescue of a planned Broadway musical about Roy Rogers and Dale Evans the late, famed cowboy couple of movie and television fame.

The official statement says the Burnett replaces "Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, who were unable to continue on Happy Trails due to a scheduling conflict."

The book is being penned by Academy Award-winner Marshall Brickman with direction by two-time Tony Award-winner Des McAnuff.


THE AMERICAN THEATRE CRITICS ASSOCIATION is incensed that a Seattle theater critic for The Huffington Post has offered for sale on Craigslist his second free ticket to events that he was covering.

“To be very clear, the writer is not a member of our organization," said Wm. F. Hirschman, chairman of ATCA’s executive committee in a statement. "But, nonetheless, we want to stress that our code of conduct specifically forbids taking advantage of the generosity of theaters’ decades-old practice of providing a second ticket to reviewers.

"The code governing our membership requires: “I will respect the intent of complimentary items (tickets, merchandise) given to me in the course of my job and not use them for financial gain.” Chairman of ATCA’s Committee on Ethical Standards Victor Gluck wrote, “The ultimate problem with reviewers selling their complimentary tickets is that it casts an ethical pall over the entire the critical community.”

Gluck wrote, “It is standard practice that if a critic cannot use one or more of his or her tickets, the press agent will be notified and the tickets returned to box office or reassigned to another critic who was not fortunate enough to have been provided with tickets. As critics’ tickets represent a loss of revenue to the theater, selling the tickets is in effect stealing from the event.”

In fact, reports of such behavior are quite rare. In New York City, an offending critic has been summarily dropped from the press list and barred from future events. In addition, such prestigious critics’ organizations as The Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle have expelled members proved to be selling their complimentary tickets.

ATCA is concerned that the public confidence in criticism is endangered when anyone can claim to be an arts journalist, regardless of their knowledge of theater and professional experience. ATCA is in the process of exploring the ethical challenges that have arisen in the past few years and we are fine-tuning what we hope will be suggested industry-wide standards for professionals to consider in developing their own code of ethics. One benefit of ATCA membership is access to colleagues to discuss standards of practice and hopefully avoiding such episodes.

ATCA was founded in 1974 and works to raise critical standards and public awareness of critics’ functions and responsibilities. The only national association of professional theater critics, with members working for newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and websites, ATCA is affiliated with the International Association of Theatre Critics, a UNESCO-affiliated organization that sponsors seminars and congresses worldwide. ATCA administers the Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Award; the Francesca Primus Prize honoring outstanding contributions to the American theater by female artists; recommends a nominee for the Regional Theater Tony and votes on inductions into the Theater Hall of Fame.

THE LATIN RECORDING ACADEMY'S ceremony to honor recipients of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Award takes place November 18, 2015 at the KÀ Theatre at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Gato Barbieri, Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel, Angela Carrasco, Djavan, El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico, and Pablo Milanés will be in attendance as well as recipients of the prestigious Trustees Award, Federico Britos, Humberto Gatica and Chelique Sarabia. The Latin Recording Academy President/CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. and President/CEO of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow will also be in attendance.

The Ceremony will include the presentation of the 2015 Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, which is determined by a vote of The Latin Recording Academy's Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significant to the field of recording. The Latin Recording Academy's Trustees Award is presented by vote to individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.

music by Philip Glass. Libretto by Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton.

New Production and World Premiere of Revised Version commemorating 50 years since the Voting Rights Act and 150 years since the end of the Civil War. Staged by the Washington National Opera.

Directed by Tazewell Thompson.

Conducted by Dante Santiago Anzolini.

Featuring Tom Fox as Abraham Lincoln / Lyndon B. Johnson; Soloman Haward as Frederick Douglass / Martin Luther King Jr.; David Pittsinger as Robert E. Lee / Edgar Ray Killen; Richard Paul Fink as Ulysses S Grant / Nicholas Katzenbach; Melody Moore as Julia Grant / Viola Liuzzo; Robert Brubaker as Wilmer McLean / J. Edgar Hoover; Frederick Ballentine as T. Morris Chester / John Lewis; Anne-Carolyn Bird as Mary Todd Lincoln / Lady Bird Johnson; Chrystal E. Williams as Elizabeth Keckley / Coretta Scott King; Keriann Otaño as Mary Custis Lee / Secretary; Timothy J. Bruno as General Howell Cobb / James Fowler; Robert Baker as Edward Alexander / Cartha DeLoach; Aleksey Bogdanov as John Aaron Rawlins / George Wallace; Leah Hawkins as Mrs. Dorsey / Amelia Boynton; Dane Suarez as Col. Ely S. Parker.

Set Designer - Donald Eastman; Costume Designer - Merrily Murray-Walsh; Lighting Designer - Robert Wierzel.

This new production of the opera masterfully explores the struggle to end racial inequality in America at two key crossroads a century apart: General Ulysses S. Grant's dramatic war-ending deliberations with General Robert E. Lee at a Virginia courthouse - and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s passionate debates with President Lyndon B. Johnson as civil rights protesters rallied in Alabama.

In English with Projected English Titles.

November 14-27, 2015 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

WHITE CHRISTMAS THE MUSICAL book by David Ives and Paul Blake. Music by Irving Berlin.

Two Broadway veterans have been announced to star in the December 9 to 20th mounting at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Jeffry Denman will reprise his role as Phil Davis and Joey Sorge will play Bob Wallace in this heartwarming musical adaptation that features seventeen Irving Berlin songs including Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, How Deep Is the Ocean and the perennial favorite, White Christmas. The story follows the two World War II veterans whose successful song-and-dance act finds them following two beautiful singing sisters to Vermont in search of romance and to put on a Christmas show – but, will there be snow?

Jeffry Denman played Phil Davis in the world premiere, cast recording and original Broadway (Astaire Award nomination) casts of White Christmas and won an IRNE Award in 2007 for the Boston production.

Starring as Bob Wallace is Joey Sorge who recently played the lead in the Ogunquit production of Nice Work If You Can Get It and was part of its original Broadway cast with Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara.

LADIES IN BLACK book by Carolyn Burns. Music and lyrics by Tim Finn. Based on Madeleine St John's heart-warming novel, The Women in Black.

Directed by Simon Phillips.

The first new musical the Queensland Theatre Company has staged in many years and one of the few to be developed in Queensland.

The all-star cast of 11 featuring Andrew Broadbent, Kate Cole, Carita Farrer Spencer, Bobby Fox, Kathryn McIntyre, Lucy Maunder, Sarah Morrison, Christen O'Leary, Naomi Price, Deidre Rubenstein and Greg Stone are ready to transport you back in time and through the doors of F.G. Goode's department store.

With a dash of delicate comedy, Ladies in Black is a magical modern-day fairytale set in a city on the cusp of becoming cosmopolitan. Sydney is crossing the threshold between the stuffy repression of the 1950s and the glorious liberation of the 1960s. Bright-eyed bookish school leaver Lisa is to join the sales staff in the city’s most prestigious department store. In that summer of innocence, a world of possibilities opens up as she befriends the colorful denizens of the women’s frocks department - including her new mentor, the exotic European Magda, mysterious mistress of the gowns.

November 14 - December 6, 2015 Playhouse, QPAC in Brisbane, Australia.

Book and lyrics are by Joel Paley with music by Marvin Laird.

Directed by Joel Paley who also directed the original production of Ruthless! as well as productions in Los Angeles, South Beach and the record-breaking concert event starring Bernadette Peters.

Marvin Laird serves as music supervisor.

When The Bad Seed meets Gypsy, it’s fun for the whole dysfunctional family. Tina Denmark is a pretty, charming and diabolical eight-year-old who "was born to entertain." With the encouragement of slick and overbearing potential agent Sylvia St. Croix, Tina will do anything to play the lead in her school play. The question is, where does such remarkable talent and unstoppable ambition come from? The answer is shocking in this award-winning Stage Mother of all musicals.

Ruthless! first appeared Off-Broadway 23 years ago at the Players Theatre, winning both the Drama Desk Award for Best Lyrics and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Most notably, the production featured a few young girls in the role of Tina including Britney Spears, Natalie Portman and Laura Bell Bundy. The show continues to be a favorite among regional theaters and productions are continually being staged around the globe.

Thisnew revival stresses that it is "no mere revival, but a newly imagined meditation on narcissism, talented tykes and stage mothers in a world that has since been introduced to such gems as Toddlers & Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo.

Featured in the cast are Kim Maresca, Paul Pecorino, Rita McKenzie, Andrea McCullough, Jennifer Diamond, and introducing Tori Murray.

Ruthless! The Musical has been extended through January 30, 2015 at St. Luke’s Theatre, NYC.


KATHY GRIFFIN will perform at Carnegie Hall on November 12, the only New York City stop on her 80-city Like a Boss tour, as part of the New York Comedy Festival.

HOLLYWOOD THE EPICS Jack Everly, conductor Ottawa Choral Society, Ottawa Festival Chorus, Laurence Ewashko, chorus master performing music from Gone with the Wind, Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Ben-Hur, and Star Wars. November 12-14 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada.

HYDROGEN JUKEBOX will be at Noah Liff Center in Nashville, TN November 13 through November 15, 2015. An intimate voyage through the cultural landscape of America from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Delving into such topics as life, death, the atomic bomb and potential annihilation, Eastern philosophy, sex, drugs, rock and roll, war, and significant political events. "This electrifying opera - featuring a haunting, dynamic score by Philip Glass and the prophetic poetry of Allen Ginsberg - promises to overwhelm your senses with a poignant experience that is at once passionately nostalgic and strikingly relevant. Sung in English with easy-to-read projected supertitles.

DIANA ROSS has returned to Las Vegas with shows at the Venetian through November 21. Most people call Ross a superstar. Somebody who calls her 'mother' is Tracee Ellis Ross, star of the hit ABC series Blackish.


RAUL REKOW an integral part of the Santana Band has died. His death was announced on November 4, 2015 by his brother. He was 61. Neither the date nor the cause of death was disclosed.

Rekow played congas with Carlos Santana since 1976, participating in the groundbreaking melding of Latin, rock and funk styles that characterizes the band.

"We mourn the loss of my brother, Raul Rekow," Santana said, via Facebook. "He was an integral member of Santana for 34 years and the heartbeat of the band. His presence on the stage was one of power, grace, collaboration and joy. He redefined what it means to be a conga player."

Santana's most recent solo album, 2014's Corazon.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "An eight-time Grammy winner with the legendary band Santana, Raul Rekow was a top percussionist whose passion for his craft was unmatched. In addition to his remarkable work with Santana, Raul showcased his immense talents performing with artists including Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, and many more. Our music community has lost a uniquely gifted talent, and our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and all those who had the privilege and honor of working with him."

PRINCE C. SPENCER a tap dance legend with The Four Step Brothers died October 29, 2015 in Las Vegas. He had celebrated his 98th birthday on October 3rd.

Spencer tap-danced his way across color barriers as a member of the Four Step Brothers, the tap-dancing Eight Feet of Rhythm were the first black act to play Radio City Music Hall, and the first play Copa City in segregated Miami Beach.

The group became known for their complex dance routines, in which they frequently danced without musical accompaniment.

In 1988, the Four Step Brothers were given a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame. The group was alternately known as the Three Step Brothers or simply the Step Brothers at various times over the years, dated back to 1925. Prince joined the group in 1941 and danced with them during the nine years in which they toured as an opening act for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The Step Brothers appeared on the big screen alongside Bob Hope in 1953’s Here Come the Girls and Lewis in 1964’s The Patsy. Spencer later had a role in Eddie Murphy’s 1989 gangster comedy Harlem Nights.

He stayed with the group until 1964, when he bowed out after performing at the Sands with Jerry Lewis. Prince went on to spend 19 years as the manager for comedian Redd Foxx.

On his Facebook page, special condolences were posted from "The LA Dance Community." A memorial service will be held November 14, 2015 at the Second Baptist Church in Las Vegas.

Next Column: November 15, 2015
Copyright: November 8, 2015 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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