Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: October 23, 2005
By: Laura Deni


Some performers just don't know when to get off the stage. Many seem to stick around to haunt the place.

Nordica Auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington has 19th century opera singer and Maine native Lilian Nordica who haunts the auditorium named for her. Some claim to have heard her singing. Another Maine haunting is at the Boothbay Opera House in Boothbay Harbor. An unknown spirit is said to inhabit one of the rooms on the second floor. Some say the spirit is none other than Earl Cliff, a piano player who performed there in the early 1900s.

Mysterious noises, ghostly apparitions, and chilly corridors are just some of the hair-raising experiences that have been said to occur at the Mount Baker Theatre in Washington.

The Scera movie theater in Orem, Utah has a deceased employee who still comes to work. Called "Eleanor", she appears to be a middle-aged woman, usually glows green or blue. She usually appears on Wednesdays. Some think she once worked there every Wednesday and died before she came to work one day, and, not knowing she's dead, still comes to work.

It's been reported that laughing ghosts have been seen sitting in the balcony of The Main Theater in Smithfield, Utah.

At The Old Utah Theater in Salt Lake City shadowy figures appear in the costume room. Other ghosts obsessed with costumes materialize at the Opera House in Mantorville, Minnesota. A ghost wearing the same costume as the performer will suddenly appear, mention that she played the same role in the play years earlier, and suddenly disappear.

The famous Guthrie Playhouse in Minneapolis has a resident ghost. The story is that an usher, Richard Miller, who committed suicide as a teenager haunts the theater. Miller had been wearing his Guthrie Theater usher's uniform when he died and within a few weeks of his death, his ghost was back on duty. When the lights in the house are down and there is light shining in from the corridor, he's seen in the aisles of what was his assigned section, Row 18.

Pianos play a co-starring role in eerie sightings.

The Kelsey Theater at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota is said to be haunted by the ghost of Miss Kelsey herself. Her ghost has been seen playing the piano onstage and she's been heard warning an actor who was rehearsing alone late at night that he was about to fall into the orchestra pit.

The Schmits Music Warehouse in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota is haunted by a man who had a heart attack and died in a doorway to the warehouse in the back of the store. While cleaning up after hours, staff have heard the pianos play by themselves, and the drums and other instruments hanging on the walls join in the ghostly concert.

At the Lauderdale in Elgin, Alabama a jazz musician was walking across the Second Creek Bridge when a car struck him.Though dead, still dying to be on stage, wearing his white Zoot suit,he walks up and down the bridge, looking for a ride to his gig. If you stop to pick him up, he says something about his trumpet and disappears.

The UAA Wendy Williamson Theater in Anchorage, Alaska is haunted by several different ghosts, but most distinctly is a lady in white, a poltergeist in the light booth.

In New York City a theatrical haunting is being staged by some of the city's visual artists, theatre directors and designers.

They include Faye Armon, who is the first prop designer to have won an OBIE, scenic designer Timothy Haskell and director Paul Smithyman.

The three "searched long and hard for the 13 most terrifying room ideas so that you can get your adrenaline fix." This year's theme is nightmare and promises to cause a few. No one under 16 admitted without a parent or guardian Not recommended for people with heart, back problems or for pregnant women, those prone to seizures or anyone with an affliction acerbated by anxiety or fear Located on the Lower East Side the nightmare house will remain open through Halloween.


This landmark retrospective is the first major American museum exhibition to present the remarkable art and life of German painter Max Liebermann (1847-1935), the premier artist in Berlin from the mid-1880s until the Nazis seized power in 1933.

More than 70 spectacular paintings and works on paper have been brought together from collections around the world, spanning the stylistic and thematic phases of Liebermann's prolific career - from his renowned Realist interpretations of Dutch peasant life to his singular approach to Impressionism. On display are Liebermann's engrossing depictions of the rural working class, brilliant garden paintings, as well as deeply personal portraits of Liebermann's family and distinguished citizens of his day.

The exhibition also examines the relationship between Liebermann's art and the changing social and political climate in which he lived, illuminating how he leveraged his position in the Berlin art world to promote social change and campaign against intolerance and injustice at a time when Nazism presented grave dangers. Through January 29 at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.


Like most cities, Las Vegas has obligatory street names commemorating local historical and political figures.

Sin City also has an unusual collection of streets named after celebrities. Want to get closer to your idol? Bed down on their name.

The Entertainment Capital of the World boasts Frank Sinatra Drive, Elvis Presley Ct. , Wayne Newton Blvd., Wyatt Earp Ct., (Steve) Wynn Rd., Agatha Christie Ave., Cary Grant Ct., Annie Oakley Dr., Arnold Palmer Way, Avenue of the Hiltons, Issac Newton Way, (Andre) Agassi Ct., Betsy Ross Dr., Betty Davis Ct., Lorne Green Ave., Duke Ellington Way, Debbie Reynolds Drive, Jimmie Durante Blvd., Jean Harlow Ct., Don Quixote St., Don Juan Ct., Friar Tuck Ave., Prince Charming Ct., and Ali Baba Lane leading to what some losers might consider the 40 thieves - aka casinos.

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PRINCESS GRACE FOUNDATION GALA which takes place in New York City on October 26 at Cipriani, will bestow upon Mikhail Baryshnikov the Prince Rainier III Award. Larry King will emcee. This organization helps support emerging artists in theater, dance and film.

with this year's theme Meet me at the Stork Club, recreates the excitement and glamour of New York City's famous nightspot.

Cocktail reception is followed by dinner and dancing and a special performance by Natalie Cole.

Dennis Basso and Robert H. Benmosche will be honored.

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan is the General Chair, Somers Farkas is the Gala Chair, Allen Brill is the Underwriting Chair and Rolex Watch USA, Inc. is the Underwriter.

The Rita Hayworth Galas, held annually in New York City and Chicago, are major fund-raising events for the Alzheimer’s Association. They honor legendary film star Rita Hayworth, who had Alzheimer’s disease, and are hosted by Ms. Hayworth’s daughter, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan who has become a leading campaigner in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. The Chicago event takes place on Mother's Day eve, while the New York gala occurs during the fall.

Since 1985, the Rita Hayworth Galas have raised more than $40 million. One hundred percent of those funds go to the Alzheimer’s Association, the world leader in Alzheimer research and support. The Association galas have been successful year after year in raising funds for Alzheimer research because of the support, commitment and passion of those affected by the disease.

This year the Rita Hayworth Gala in New York City will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Waldorf-Astoria.


MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT the Broadway musical, has recouped its $12 million investment, six and a half months after opening at the Shubert Theater.


MANON LESCAUT This early Puccini work - he was only 34 at the time of its premiere - set the compositional trajectory for the rest of the composer's career. WFMT Radio host, singer, and conductor Carl Grapentine will illuminate this story of the beautiful Manon, which begins in a mirthful scene in France and ends tragically on a Louisiana plain. A feature of the Lyrics Opera of Chicago preview lecture series, Wednesday, October 26, at the UBS Tower in Chicago.

HEROIC WOMEN SPIES WHO ALTERED THE COURSE OF AMERICAN HISTORY presented by the Alexandria Historical Society. Lecture given by S. Eugene Poteat, President of the Association of Former Intelligence October 26 at The Lyceum in Alexandria, Virginia.

JAY LENO ON BEING FUNNY Comedian and Tonight Show host Jay Leno talks about his new children's book, How to Be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (Or Just in Your Class) (Simon & Schuster, October 2005). He explains how important it is that kids find their "funny" and describes how he discovered his own. Leno also shares jokes, puns and wordplay from the book, as well as tips for budding comics - like how to build a routine, what to do when being heckled and how to combat stage fright.

This is an afternoon event for the whole family and Leno's only New York appearance. October 28 from 12:30-2pm at Kaufmann Concert Hall in NYC.

A TALE OF CHARLES DICKENS a world premiere of epic proportions by Janet Dulin Jones and Paul Lazarus. In colorful, chaotic and treacherous 1830s London, a young Charles Dickens uncovers a dark conspiracy of arson and murder. Lazarus directs members of the award-winning The Antaeus Company in five performances October 26 through October 30. This production will be recorded by L.A. Theatre Works All performances of The Play's The Thing take place at The Skirball Cultural Center in Santa Monica, CA.

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG hosting an un-boo-lieavable Halloween fun event. See the cast perform and take home a Toot Sweets trick-or-treat bag of your very own! Toys 'R' Us Times Square on Friday, October 28.

HERMAN MELVILLE'S WORLD With Stanley Crouch, Andrew Delbanco, Maureen Howard and Tony Kushner.

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote of his contemporary Herman Melville, "[He] has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us." On the occasion of the publication of Andrew Delbanco’s Melville: His World and Work, scholars and writers gather to celebrate Melville’s legacy.

Mon, Oct 31 at the Kaufmann Concert Hall in NYC.

THE COLOR PURPLE music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. The libretto is by the Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman.

Directed by Gary Griffin.

Based on the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the 1985 Steven Spielberg film, the musical begins previews at the Broadway Theater on Oct. 25 with the official opening slated for Dec. 1.

The story follows Celie, a young black Southern woman who rises from poverty and abuse to spiritual joy and self-empowerment. Significally re-tooled for Broadway, the show had its premiere last fall at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta.

DR. DOLITTLE The Academy Award - winning song Talk to the Animals comes alive on the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage in the American premiere of the Broadway - sized musical Doctor Dolittle.

From the vision of Michael Curry, one of the creators of The Lion King and Cirque du Soleil, comes world-renowned veterinarian Doctor Dolittle with a host of spectacular puppets, marionettes and sensational flying creatures.

Based on Leslie Bricusse's Oscar-winning movie by the same name, this fun and fanciful tale will entertain all ages with its delightful melodies, impressive special effects and gorgeous sets. October 25-31 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida.

STRING FEVER by Jacquelyn Reingold. Directed by Peg Denithorne.

Starring Melinda Wade, Field Blauvelt, Steve Brady, Lynn Chavis, Conrad Feininger and Gary Sloan. A heady urban comedy, as Lily juggles Life's Big Issues: Turning forty, artificial insemination and the elusive fundamentals of string theory. Searching for ties in a cosmos of disconnection, Lily, a former concert violinist, becomes obsessed with particle vibration, quantum mechanics, and Einstein's Theory of General Relativity as her personal universe collides with an Icelandic comedian in rehab, a wisecracking best buddy languishing in Iowa, a cat-loving physicist, and an ex-boyfriend who carries around a chair. Winner of the Alfred P. 'Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project.

October 27-November 27 at Theater J in Washington, D.C.

by Arthur Miller, Directed by Marc Masterson Powerful talks of lust, intolerance and the politics of fear A gripping, suspenseful drama of witchcraft, mass hysteria and individual courage surrounding the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

Written by one of America's greatest playwrights - as timely today as when it debuted more than 50 years ago.

October 25-November 19 at Actors Theatre of Louisville in Louisville, KY.

Conversation with the Artists - October 30 Sign Interpreted Performance - November 8 Audio Described Performance - November 13.

Written by Gregory Motton. Directed by Simon Usher.

Starring Jane Asher and Michael Feast.

A cottage by the sea. Two old lovers re-unite for a weekend after 30 years. He has an appointment with death, and she has left her husband upstairs. Both think the other has betrayed their love. They fight it out as a storm grows out at sea. Design by Anthony Lamble.

October 28 – November 26 at the Royal Court Theater in London.

THE IMMIGRANT A new American musical with a book by Mark Harelik, lyrics by Sarah Knapp and music by Steven M. Alper. Directed by Tazewell Thompson.

A buoyant musical based on the play of the same name, The Immigrant is the story of a young Jewish man who flees Czarist Russia in 1909 and pushes his banana cart into the tiny Baptist community of Hamilton, Texas. Given shelter by a local couple, he sends for his wife, raises a family and makes this town his home. The Immigrant is a true story of friendship and assimilation, parents and children, newcomers and natives, Christians and Jews – and the realization of the American Dream.

Opens October 27 at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, CT.

by William Shakespeare. Directed by John Dove. An “original practices” production by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love and a search for justice. Featuring an all-male cast and period music and clothing. Starring Mark Rylance, the company's artistic director, as Duke Vincentio.

The cast includes; Edward Hogg Colin Hurley, Liam Brennan, Bill Stewart, John Dougall, Terry McGinity, David Sturzaker, Roger Watkins, Michael Brown, Peter Shorey, Roger McKern, Thomas Padden, and David Hartley.

Design by Jenny Tiramani. Music by Claire van Kampen.

October 27 - November 6, on the thrust stage of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis,

A TALE OF CHARLES DICKENS the world premiere of an exhilarating epic in collaboration with the award-winning The Antaeus Company.

Written by Janet Dulin Jones & Paul Lazarus. Adapted from an original screenplay, Dickens & Crime, by Janet Dulin Jones. Directed by Paul Lazarus.

Performed by John Apicella, Anne Gee Byrd, Josh Clark, Angela Goethals, Bruce Green, Harry Groener, Joy Jacobson, Bill Mendieta, John Prosky, Armin Shimerman, Janellen Steininger and John Sloan as Charles Dickens.

Produced by Susan Albert Loewenberg.

London in the 1830s - the most colorful and chaotic city in the world - and young journalist Charles Dickens is uncovering a dark conspiracy of arson and murder. A fanciful look at the man before he became the iconic author we know today.

All performances are recorded to air on LATW's nationally-syndicated radio theater series, The Play's The Thing, which broadcasts weekly on public and satellite radio.

October 26-30 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

ALL GOD'S CHILLUN GOT WINGS by Eugene O'Neill's. This staged reading will be presented by the Peccadillo Theater Company. A tragic tale about a white woman and a black man who fall in love amid the poverty and racism of the notorious Five Points district in Manhattan.

Directed by Dan Wackerman, the production will be augmented by music from early Tin Pan Alley and blues and spirituals from circa 1905. Friday night at the Skirball Center at New York University.

with book by Philip Glassborow and Nick McIvor, music and lyrics by Philip Glassborow, and arrangements and dance music by David Rhind-Tutt, is a funny and tuneful musical comedy first presented in London in 1992, now seeing its American Premiere at The York.

Directed by David G. Armstrong, Radio Show takes place in 1933, in the Radio Building, New York, and the big Saturday night broadcast is just about to go on the air, live.

It’s the Great Big Radio Show, a weekly variety program starring Gloria Pilbeam. The only trouble is…she can’t be found. Bandleader Blue Woodward has to find a replacement while the show is actually on the air... without letting the sponsor know what is going on, and in spite of some desperate hoodlums in the studio!

Part of the Musicals in Mufi series presented by The York Theatre Company with James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director. Performances October 28, 29 and 30.. Audience discussions follow each matinee. York’s home, Saint Peter’s Theatre in Citigroup Center in NYC.


THE HOLLIES four decades ago they were only just behind The Beatles in single sales. EMI recently released an impressive six CD boxed set titled The Long Road Home. Over the coming months they will be cutting a new album and possibly a DVD in their favorite studio – Abbey Road – the place where the majority of their recordings were produced.

A few examples from their expansive back catalogue are: - Just One Look, I’m Alive, Bus Stop, Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress, The Air That I Breathe and of course, the classic He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

They appear in concert Friday, October 28 at Royal Albert Hall in London.

PAUL McCARTNEY in the spotlight Wednesday, October 26, at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, MN. On Thursday he performs at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Next Sunday he'll be delighting fans at the Qwest Center in Omaha, NE.

RAVI SHANKAR'S FESTIVAL ON INDIA II The legendary Ravi Shankar is featured on the sitar and conducts an ensemble of musicians from India to celebrate the essence of the subcontinent’s classical music. The evening showcases Shankar’s own compositions and blends sitar, Indian violin, folk drums, wind instruments, and traditional vocals.

Performers include; Ravi Shankar, Sitar. Anoushka Shankar, Sitar. Tanmoy Bose, Tabla. Adity Prakash, Vocals. Ravichandra Kulur, Flute. Sanjeev Shankar, Shenai. Swarmina Gusain, Vocals. Neyveli S. Radhakrishna, Violin. Nicki Able, Tanpura. Hari Vrndavn Sivanesan, Veena. Pirashanna Thevarajah, Percussion.

Friday, October 28, Carnegie Hall in NYC.

LUIS MIGUEL has sold more than 50 million records worldwide and is the most popular performer in Latin America. He brings his mix of contemporary pop and traditional Latin styles to Cricket Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on Wednesday.

STEVE & EYDIE bring their wonderful voices and delightful senses of humor to the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas October 26-29. For a couple who claimed to be retired Broadway To Vegas is delighted to see that their 2006 schedule begins with a hectic February tour.

KT SULLIVAN AND MARK NADLER on stage Oct. 26 - Nov. 6 at the Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia.

ELTON JOHN on stage Tuesday, October 25, at the E Center in West Valley, Utah. On Wednesday the show is at the Magness Arena in Denver. Friday finds the performer at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. On Saturday he can be enjoyed at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Aubnurn Hills, MI.

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK For more than three decades, the women of Sweet Honey have inspired audiences with their music of struggle, perseverance, and triumph. They be performing a celebration of life deeply rooted in the African American experience. The Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. on Friday, October 28.

MARY CLEERE HARAN bring her new show, Lullaby of Broadway: The Harry Warren Songbook, to Feinstein's at the Regency from Oct. 25 through Nov. 5.

BLACK EYED PEAS WITH GWEN STEFANI on stage Tuesday, October 25, at the E Center in West Valley City, Utah. On Wednesday they show is at the Magness Arena in Denver. Friday finds them at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL and on Saturday they can be enjoyed at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI.

COLDPLAY kick off a European tour on Wednesday, October 26, at Sportpaleis Antwerpen in Antwerp, Belgium. On Friday they star at Konig-Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany. Next Sunday they perform at the Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

THE ROLLING STONES on stage Friday, October 28, at Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, AB. Next Sunday they'll cut loose at Key Arena at Seattle Center in Seattle, WA.

ANNE MURRAY performs in sold out shows October 29-30 at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Cerritos, CA.

JON STEWART brings his edgy irreverence and razor sharp insight reporting on the political scene and news of the world to the Palace Theatre, Friday, October 28, Stamford Center for the Arts, Stamford, CT.

JACQUES THIBAUD STRING TRIO The trio has performed throughout Europe, Japan and the US. Nearly unique among today's chamber ensembles, these three musicians play from memory. October 25 Center for the Arts in Rock Hill, SC.


MICHAEL YORK was spotted at the October 12 intermission of the matinee performance of Spamalot by Broadway To Vegas reader Brad Binning who E-mailed. "Could he be getting groomed and preparing for the role of the king? If he isn't getting up and running for the role, he should be. He'd be excellent. And like so many cinema situations, York looks so much more imposing in person. He seems mighty when you see him."

Next Column: October 30, 2005
Copyright: October 23, 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/credit.
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Laura Deni