Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: October 23, 2016
By: Laura Deni


"How would you describe your arias to a bar full of people who have never heard opera before?"

That's one of the audition questions singers are being asked during auditions being held today and on Wednesday as Opera On Tap pops the cork in Las Vegas.

Skeptics might think it sounds a bit off key to want to perform arias before a group of:

1) drunks
2) people drinking to forget
3) people trying to pick up an eternal soul mate (yeah, sure - think sex)
4) trying to wind down after a stressful day
5) a meet-you-for-a-drink-later colleague
6) going to a bar thinking they'll watch sports on a large screen television
Not your typical audience for trained opera professionals.

Au contraire. ·

Opera on Tap is a nonprofit organization that aims to make the highbrow genre more accessible by bringing it to non-typical venues. It's also the largest network of operatic performing artists in the country. They take a local, grassroots and a "very fun approach to community outreach in the name of our art form.

"We want to find those people out there, that have never heard an opera, never sat inside of a concert hall, are intimidated by the mere mention of opera, think it's only for rich white people- and then we want to sing for them and blow their minds."

Hoping to show Las Vegas bar patrons that opera is a vibrant and enjoyable art form, Opera on Tap is combining ale and arias in Sin City bars.

The Las Vegas chapter is headed by Co-Managing Divas Emily Stephenson and Michelle Latour.

"Our administrative team includes myself, Dr. Michelle Latour, and Stephanie Redman. We're in the process of building our roster via auditions, and nailing down our performance specifics," Stephenson told Broadway To Vegas. She's no stranger to Opera On Tap having worked with the Colorado and Twin Cities chapters as both a Co-Managing Diva and regular soloist.

A trio of formidable Divas - as all OOT chapter heads are called.

Dr. Michelle Latour is a co-managing Diva of the Las Vegas chapter.
Dr. Michelle Latour is an award winning coloratura soprano with an international reputation. She has performed throughout Europe, including Italy, Greece, England, Austria, and Germany, and is equally comfortable teaching and performing classical and contemporary commercial music styles. She has been teaching voice for over 25 years including a period when she served on the full-time voice faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Latour also serves on the voice faculty for the International Opera Performing Experience, an intense, four-week opera skills training program that takes place in the Marche region of Italy each summer.

Her operatic roles consist of Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte. Equally comfortable with Contemporary Commercial Music styles and crossover singing, Latour has also performed the roles of Magnolia in Showboat and Daisy Mae in Li'l Abner.

Latour received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California, where she was a graduate assistant in the Vocal Arts Department and a USC Scholarship recipient. She received her Masters of Music from Boston University and her Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fresno.

Soprano Emily Kurcan Stephenson recently relocated to the Las Vegas area. Since her arrival in Las Vegas, she has appeared with Sin City Opera as Panatellas in La Périchole, and as a chorister in Opera Las Vegas’s Carmen.

Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Stephenson maintained an active performance schedule in Minnesota and Colorado.

She holds an MM in Vocal Performance and an MA in Musicology from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Her BM in Vocal Performance is from Baldwin-Wallace.

Stephanie Redman is also a UNLV graduate where she received her B.A. in Music Education and her M.M. in Vocal Performance. While at UNLV Redman was a frequent performer in UNLV’s opera theater performing principle roles in such productions as The Magic Flute, Carmen, Old Maid and the Thief, The Telephone, L’enfant de Sortilèges, Suor Angelica, Ariadne auf Naxos, and most recently she covered the role of La Contessa di Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Don't let the high brow titles dissuade you from a bar jaunt.

"Our OOT-LV audience will be comprised of opera lovers and opera newbie’s alike," stresses the organization.

Their performances are - as their souvenir t-shirts proclaim - Opera Stirred.

As one of their chapters explained: Local singers let their hair down and brews up what feels like an after hours back stage party, singing some of opera’s best known and little known pieces in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere for little to no cost.

Opera on Tap (OOT) was born in 2005 at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom in Brooklyn and incorporated in 2007 to promote opera as a viable, living and progressive art form and to support the developing artists who continue to keep the art form alive. What began as a small monthly gathering of ambitious, classically trained singers looking for more performance opportunities has grown into a producing organization that has gained a loyal audience base and national recognition as an innovative force on the classical music scene. Through its Chapter program OOT has created a large network of performers, creators, and supporters.

In addition to the new Las Vegas chapter, branches are found in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, North Texas, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Toledo, Twin Cities, Washington, DC as well as Hamburg and Berlin Germany and Montreal Canada.

OOT also offers several programs which think outside the keg. They include:

New Brew - A collective of OOT performers that presents original, irreverent, curated concerts of new music, with a focus on local composers. New Brewers are often joined by an instrumental ensemble. Past concerts have included a program showcasing female composers, an irreverent response to Valentine's day, and a program of opera tunes rearranged as jazz standards. The program is currently active in NYC and Seattle.

Home Brewed Opera - A series that showcases young professional singers in a laid-back atmosphere and explores how we as artists can make opera tangible and appealing to people who may not know anything about it. These concerts are entertaining (for example, each director has to work a drinking game into the program), innovative, and immersive (we are big fans of audience participation). Each concert is curated by a young director at Freddy's bar in Brooklyn, and is followed by Liveband karaoke.

The Playground Operas - is a school day program that immerses students in the creation, production and performance of an opera. With the guidance of professionals working in the field today, students explore the operatic experience from the first moment of an opera's creation to the exciting culmination of its performance. The stage? Their own schoolyard playground.

The Roadworks Series - An annual commissioning series which produces modern, immersive, and affecting new operas and supports up and coming local composers. Each production is intended to be presented in the kind of intimate alternative spaces that OOT frequents. Operas are premiered in New York and then tour to various OOT chapters across the country.

Recent commissions have included:

An OOT performance of The Inner Circle. Photo by: Jody Christopherson.
The Inner Circle "an opera about sex. Human sex." Music by Daniel Felsenfeld and a libretto by Kate Gale. Based on the novel The Inner Circle by T.C. Boyle The Inner Circle "is a sexually blunt new opera that tells the story of a group of researchers in the 1940s, led by the charismatic visionary Professor Kinsey, whose lives are entangled in his quest to embark on a revolutionary scientific program of capturing and studying human sexual behavior in a way never before attempted."

The Parksville Murders billed as the World's First Virtual Reality Episodic Horror Opera featuring music by Kamala Sankaram and libretto by Jerre Dye.

"Inspired by the genre-bending horror classics from Cronenberg, Lynch and others, The Parksville Murders places viewers in a dimly-lit kill room in the Catskills, NY, standing amidst a group of mysterious, hooded "watchers" as they gaze upon two terrified young women, one paralyzed, lying in a bathtub full of dead leaves."

The episode will be released in late January 2017, and is produced by the project's director Shim Sham, Opera On Tap's Anne Hiatt and former Blue Man Group creative director Todd Perlmutter, in collaboration with leading virtual reality production company Light Sail VR - made possible with the support of OPERA America's Building Opera Audiences grant program supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

Smashed The Opera aka The Carrie Nation Story with music by James Barry and libretto by Timothy Braun which is explained as: "a beer-soaked, absurdly comic opera loosely based on the hatchet-wielding temperance leader Carrie Nation."

The program note states: Tonight’s leading lady is arrested at one point for “portraying a historical figure in an exaggerated fictionalization.” Truth, however, is stranger than fiction and Carrie Amelia Nation’s life is no exception. “Six feet tall, with the biceps of a stevedore, the face of a prison warden and the persistence of a toothache,” Nation (1846-1911) bulldozed her way into American History thanks in large part to her exaggerated persona. She was impossible to ignore, with her imposing physique and penchant for haranguing sinners - bartenders and politicians alike - with Bible and hatchet in hand. Even her name marked her out for fame. She genuinely believed her mission was to Carry A. Nation to prohibition and, as if to leave no room for doubt, registered her name as a trademarked slogan in 1903.

That's typical of the quirky performances staged by OOT.

So, belly up to the bar, and knock back an aria or two.

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Jacques Doucet, garment designer (French, 1853–1929); Marie Crozet, hat designer; Limoges/Sèvres, form, Ball Costume 1801 (back, detail). Wax composition doll, 1917. H. approx. 24 in. Toledo Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. Edward Drummond Libbey, 1917.655
In 1917, their sale was hailed as the “greatest single purchase made at the Allied Bazaar,” a World War I-era fundraiser in New York.

The 78 fashion figures, known then as the Doucet Dolls, were made using couture-quality fabrics and surplus mold-making materials from France’s premiere factories at Limoges and Sèvres.

The winning bidder? Toledo Museum of Art founder Edward Drummond Libbey, who purchased the collection for $30,000 (the equivalent of about $680,000 today), beating out newspaper giant M. H. de Young, among others, and contributing to the war relief fund in the process.

The collection was renamed the Libbey Dolls and put on display at the Museum from 1917 until 1972, when the figures were pulled from permanent view.

Now, they return to the Toledo Museum of Art galleries October 28, 2016-February 12, 2017 in Libbey Dolls: Fashioning the Story, an exhibition exploring the story of the collection while showcasing the dolls’ relationship to fashion and the art world.

The Libbey Dolls were a product of the World War I aid effort, when the porcelain factories at Limoges and Sèvres attempted to recover by putting wounded soldiers, out-of-work artisans and young men back to work making French novelties. The dolls were then shipped off to the United States to become part of a traveling exhibition marketing the talents and history of the French.

“They weren’t really considered dolls, at least not in our modern sense of the term,” said Marissa Stevenson, the art conservation intern tasked with researching the objects for the exhibition. “They are representative fashion figures, depicting French style from A.D. 493 to 1915. No detail was spared making them.”

Inspiration for the figures came from works of art by great French artists such as Nicolas Lancret and Louis-Léopold Boilly, drawn from an 1864 publication by engravers Hippolyte Louis Émile Pauquet and Polydore Jean Charles Pauquet called Modes et Costume Historiques The dolls also represent dress from historical fashion publications, among them Costume Parisien, and contemporary stage actresses of the day, such as Gabrielle Dorziat, further highlighting French culture.

Using surplus porcelain mold materials, the faces, arms and legs were fabricated in wax and plaster and painted in the likeness of the characters they represent. The figures were dressed using fabric remnants by prominent French couturier of the late 19th and early 20th centuries Jacques Doucet (1853–1929). By the height of the Belle Époque at the turn of the century, the House of Doucet was highly sought after for its elegant garments.

“Doucet could be considered one of the grandfathers of haute couture,” Stevenson said. “He was the epitome of what we consider a fashion designer today.”

Each Doucet-clothed doll was meticulously and individually crafted down to the smallest detail. The elaborate costumes exhibit the same high degree of detail and finesse as Doucet’s full-scale garments. The ornate hats were fashioned by Marie Crozet, a coveted milliner of women’s hats and Doucet’s store neighbor.

“Doucet really pioneered the connection between fashion and the arts as we see it today - he had strong relationships with artists, writers and other creatives of the time,” Stevenson said. “The dolls are really a fascinating window into his work and influences.”

October 28, 2016-February 12, 2017 at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio.

in London will celebrate the darker side of their collections at their Halloween Late on October 28.

The Gallery will be spooky with live music, special events, and themed food and drinks. You can even carve your own pumpkin to light up the Portico Terrace or listen to macabre folk music with a modern twist. Some of the other events include DJ Liz O'Sullivan will be spinning exotica and electric boogaloo beats. Storytelling events will disclose tales of darkness inspired by paintings in the collection. Of course, there will be fortune telling where patrons can take a glimpse into their future through the art of divination. Or, join makeup artists from London Beauty School and decorate your face with sinister shades. Then step into a Caravaggio painting and strike a pose with London Drawing.

Paul Storr tureen. Photo: Koopman Rate Art
organized by The European Fine Art Foundation, are known for their high quality art and antiques has opened its doors for the first time in New York on display through Wednesday October 26, 2016 at the Park Avenue Armory. 94 exhibitors featuring fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920 have come from around the world to participate. They include Koopman Rare Art, leading London silver dealer.

Among the many highlights is an exceptional pair of silver-gilt wine coolers in the Egyptian style. Bearing the maker's mark of Digby Scott & Benjamin Smith, hallmarked London, 1805 the design is based on an original drawing by Jean-Jacques Boileau.

Of vase shape, supported on four magnificent winged sphinxes and with handles formed as serpents, the wine coolers reflect the French Empire style promoted by Napoleon's Egyptian campaign and later popularized by publications such as Vivant Denon's Voyages dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte of 1802 and its English translations Travels in Egypt, 1803.

The pair was commissioned by Thomas 3rd Baron Foley (1780-1833), as either part of John Nash's major reconstruction of the family seat, Witley Court, Worcestershire or to celebrate Foley’s marriage on 18th August 1806, to Celia.

Olivia Fitzgerald, the daughter of William Fitzgerald, 2nd Duke of Leinster. Foley, whose family crest is emblazoned on the wine coolers, served as Master of the Quorn Hunt, was Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, from 1830 until his death in 1833, as well as being a member of the Privy Council from 1830 and Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire between 1831 and 1833. (POA).


HARRY CONNICK, JR will perform at a benefit for The Inner-City Foundation for Charity & Education in Greenwich, Connecticut. on November 1st. The annual benefit provides critical funding for programs serving the neediest residents of Fairfield County.. This year marks the charity's 25th annual benefit dinner, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenwich, CT. Dave Price of NBC 4 New York will be Master of Ceremonies.

The Inner-City Foundation expects that Harry's name will render their benefit a hot ticket this fall, and that it will be a boon to their 25th year fundraising effort to raise $2.5 million this year - more than twice what they typically raise in a year. Founded in 1992, The Inner-City Foundation supports organizations providing food, clothing, shelter, education and counseling to at-risk and needy children and adults of Fairfield County.

CALL MY PUBLICIST! THE STARRY EDUCATION OF A BROADWAY PRESS AGENT “An Insider’s View of the Theatre’s Glamour and Folly.” The autobiographical play with music is written and performed by Joshua Ellis, with direction by Gretchen Cryer, with musical direction and arrangements by Mark York.

Call My Publicist! is a personal, first-hand, insider's view of the glamorous and sometimes maddening world of Broadway from a vantage point the public rarely sees. Former press agent Josh Ellis worked with an amazing array of larger-than-life personalities on The Great White Way who taught him the tricks of the publicity trade. They include stars Yul Brynner, Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Lena Horne, Sandy Duncan, Eartha Kitt, composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and producer David Merrick - all of whom Ellis brings to life. "At its core, Call My Publicist! is about a love affair with the New York theatre, the hits and the flops, and like all romances, it has its share of joys and heartbreaks."

All proceeds benefit The Ziegfeld Society of New York City, a not-for-profit organization that aspires to enlighten, entertain and educate current and future generations of theatergoers and young artists about the legendary performers, songwriters and creators of our vast musical theater heritage. Monthly performances feature Broadway stalwarts performing alongside young up-and-coming artists as well as presentations by authors and screenings of lost film and television musicals.

Saturday, October 29, 2016 at Hunter College, New York City.

THE TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART is conducting a Canned Food Drive. Museum visitors are encouraged to donate canned food for local families in need through October 30. Collection boxes are located at Museum entrances and information desks.

A MASKED GALA the annual fundraiser for the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May, New Jersey takes place October 31 at Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May. Since the date is Halloween, costumes are encouraged, and domino masks will be distributed to those not in costume.

ELTC is celebrating its 36th Season and during the event will announce the plans for 2017.

The entertainment includes short scenes from horror and mystery plays and films, performed by James Rana, who is also the host for the evening, artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, and technical director Lee O’Connor. Live music is provided by Chris Sooy and Lew London, and there will be a trivia contest.

All proceeds go to the not-for-profit East Lynne Theater Company to support the production season and educational outreach.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family (center) with the cast of Matilda. Photo Credit: Tom Sandler
at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre. On Saturday, October 8, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family attended a performance.

It was the second time the family has visited the Ed Mirvish Theatre. In 2012, they attended a performance of The Wizard of Oz..

It was the first time the Trudeau children - Xavier and Ella-Grace (their younger brother Hadrian was born in 2014) - had attended a live theatrical show. They were captivated and enchanted with Trudeau's office declaring that "a love for the theatre was begun."

Before the performance the family posed for photographs with the 30 member cast.

BROADWAY STARS SING three-time Tony Award-nominated director Michael Greif brought the groundbreaking musicals Rent and Next to Normal to Broadway, and now he’s leading the upcoming Broadway premiere of the award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen.

New York Times theater editor Scott Heller brings together the director for musical performances celebrating 20 years of his hits, featuring award-winning actors of stage and screen Ben Platt, Rachel Bay Jones, Aaron Tveit, Jennifer Damiano and Adam Chanler-Berat, accompanied by Alex Lacamoire, who won the 2016 Tony for his work on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.

Friday, October 28 at The Times Center in New York City.

CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL is coming to the stage. The world’s favorite storyteller, with more than 250 books in print, is bringing a select group of its 20,000-plus stories to life through live theater for audiences of all ages. Chicken Soup for the Soul has teamed up with Stellation Entertainment to adapt a wide variety of diverse stories to be performed for live audiences. These shows will be distributed worldwide by theatrical licensing agent, R&H Theatricals, a division of Rodgers & Hammerstein, An Imagem Company, for performances by schoolchildren, amateurs and professional performers.

The stories will be adapted into innovative one-act musicals ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes in length. These mini-musicals can be presented alone or grouped together to create an event around a life lesson, age group or theme. Schools will be able to choose shows with a variety of social themes and casting options, creating a customized production to fit their specific needs.

The first round of shows will be released worldwide by R&H Theatricals in 2017.

A STAGED READING AT GUILD HALL in East Hampton, New York on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

Deep Down in Brooklyn: An American Story a new solo play by Ed German who is a legend on radio WPPB where listeners have listened to him on weeknights for the past 15 years and know he is a consummate storyteller.

Presented in workshop form, this reading is based on his memoir of the same name, offering "a riveting ride through his life and times: growing up in a four-room, cellar flat in 1950s Brooklyn, the “first black kids on the block” in an environment of “hustling, gambling and drinking.” Enlisting in the Marine Corps and serving in Vietnam during the bloodiest years of that conflict. His return to the States wounded, a Purple Heart Veteran, totally unprepared for what was in store…all set to the soundtrack of Ed’s life from the 1950s to the 1970s. An incredible collection of classic rock, soul and jazz: the songs Ed knows so well and that help tell his story."

MAGIC CITY SLAM FEST Alabama A&M University v. Alabama State University in a poetry battle. Friday, October 29 at the Carver Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama.

COSTUMES DESIGNER WILLIAM IVEY LONG who never misses a stitch, has designed for productions other than Broadway including the live television version of Grease which aired on FOX; The Merry Widow starring Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara which was his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2014 and was taped, airing on PBS, and for the re-imagination of Rocky Horror which aired on FOX television last week. One of the most interesting parts of these airings are the segments in which the 6-time Tony Award winner explains how he creates costumes. Only humans wear blue in Rocky Horror and in Cabaret the girls are all wearing at least two layers of underwear - so that they don't have to worry about any "wardrobe malfunctions."

TONY AWARD WINNING SET DESIGNER BEOWULF BORITT doing television commercials for Microsoft Windows 10 Spectre x360 by demonstrating how he created set designs for A Bronx Tale.

DENNIS RODMAN appearing at a paid ticket event October 30, 2016 at the Boulevard Mall in Las Vegas, NV. No word on whether he'll be wearing his previously worn wedding gown, a Halloween costume or come garbed to show off his tattoos.

EARLY VOTING began in Nevada yesterday, Saturday, October 22, 2016. As a general rule I vote on the first day, arriving about five minutes before the polls open. I'm usually the first to vote. This year I arrived on schedule - only to discover a long line of voters waiting for the polls to open. Wearing high heels and a very nice suit, I stood in line outside for an hour to reach the head of the line. Voting went off without a hitch. In leaving, I noticed the line was still long. I don't know if my voting location was an anomaly or typical of other Las Vegas polling places.

Early long lines can signify that people are so fed up with this unconventional and vicious election that citizens just want to get it over. Or, there is a new found, energized group of voters who are anxious to state their opinions. Or - because passage of a ballot question would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Nevada, a higher than normal voter turnout might not be a reflection on the turnout for other states. The marijuana ballot issue count is expected to be close.

OCTOBER 24 is National Bologna Day. October 25 celebrates National Greasy Foods Day. October 26 is Mince Meat Pie Day while October 27 is American Beer Day. October 30 is both National Candy Corn Day and Buy a Doughnut Day.


while standing in line to vote (see above) an adorable little Cub Scout (appeared to be about age 7) in his uniform and displaying excellent manners, approached everyone in line asking if they'd like to buy some popcorn. The man ahead of me asked the price and was told "five, ten and twenty-five." I opened my mouth and inquired if that was cents or dollars.


For five dollars one purchased a three set package of microwave popcorn. $10 got a small size bag of the already popped version and $25 entitled the buyer to a box of some kind of popcorn.

An apparent national partnership, the actual popcorn bags had a cellophane cover that indicated over 70 percent of the funds would be returned to local scouting groups.

The only person who bought anything in the long line was the man ahead of me, who gave the boy $5, but told the child he didn't want the popcorn - the Cub Scout should keep the popcorn for himself.

As a child I remember high school band students trying to earn travel money by selling chocolate bars for $1. Parents hearing the price would gasp. They could get a candy bar at the store for 25 cents.

The point being - food items sold for charity are always more expensive than what can be purchased in a store.

Those favorably responding to being solicited at a grocery store, or standing in line to vote, are supporting the organization; not buying anything they really want or need.

If groups are going to hustle the unsuspecting public for sales in October, why not team up with a Halloween candy manufacturer to have them individually wrap their candy with a wrapper that says - company name supports whatever national youth organization. Then keep the price only slightly above the price of regular Halloween candy and actually sell the product to people who were going to shell out money for Halloween candy anyway; but might not have been otherwise inclined to support that organization. The wrapper would be good pr for both the candy company and the youth group.

Jacking up the price of a bag of Halloween candy and adding a promotional strip saying for each sack purchased, so much is being donated towards a specific charity, won't significantly increase sales; being physically approached by a polite child selling Halloween candy for a purpose - should.

And, as a thought, is it really appropriate to have any group approach a captive audience of people trying to vote and attempt to sell them anything?

Actually, from high end to bargain basement stores, I've had my fill of constantly being asked at checkout if I'd like to contribute $1.00 or $5.00 to a charity. My answer will always be - 'Not today.' I just want to pay, get my purchase and leave.

UPDATE Broadway To Vegas has learned that in 2012 the Nestle corporation teamed up with the Girl Scouts to offer the widely popular - and affordable - limited edition Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bars for Halloween. The award winning individually wrapped bars are inspired by the three most popular flavors of Girl Scout Cookies; Thin Mints, Caramel & Coconut and Peanut Butter Creme.

Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bars are produced under license from Girl Scouts of the USA.

“Consumers love Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bars, and they love that they raise awareness about the great work of Girl Scouts,” said spokesperson Tricia Bowles, Nestlé USA in a 2014 press release.

THE ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY in New York City has received a $1.5 million donation from fashion guru Michael Kors and his husband, Lance LePere.

The gift to the nonprofit, which operates three Broadway and two off-Broadway theaters, will finance a new VIP Patron’s Lounge at the group’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre, currently home to the hit musical Beautiful.

“We are deeply grateful for Michael and Lance’s commitment to Roundabout’s 50th Anniversary Campaign,” Roundabout artistic director and CEO Todd Haimes said in announcing the bequest. “They have been generous supporters of Roundabout over the last decade, and I am so honored that Michael and Lance have made this incredible gift. It will ensure that Roundabout can remain at the forefront of American theater.” “We are lifelong theater enthusiasts and we are enormous fans of the amazing work produced by Roundabout Theatre Company,” Kors and LePere declared in a joint statement.

THE FRONT PAGE by Ben Hect and Charles MacArthur.

Directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien.

The press room of Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building is buzzing with reporters covering the story of an escaped prisoner. When star reporter Hildy Johnson (John Slattery) accidentally discovers the runaway convict, he and his editor Walter Burns (Nathan Lane) conspire to hide the man from the other reporters, while they chase the biggest scoop of their careers.

Often cited as the greatest play ever written about the newspaper business, The Front Page has also been a hit on screen. A 1931 film version starred Adolphe Menjou as Walter Burns and Pat O’Brien as Hildy Johnson. The 1940 film adaptation, His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant as Walter Burns and Rosalind Russell as a now-female Hildy Johnson, is considered one of the classics of the screwball comedy genre, and in 1993 was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The Front Page is led by an all-star cast that includes Nathan Lane, John Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, Sherie Rene Scott, Holland Taylor, and Robert Morse, along with Dylan Baker, Patricia Conolly, Halley Feiffer, Dann Florek, John Magaro, Danny Mastrogiorgio, Christopher McDonald, David Pittu, Joey Slotnick, Lewis J. Stadlen, Micah Stock, and Clarke Thorell.

The Front Page features set design by Douglas W. Schmidt, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

Performances at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre in New York City.

KING LEAR by William Shakespeare.

Directed by Deborah Warner.

A quarter of a century after she gave up acting for politics, double Academy Award winner Glenda Jackson returns to play King Lear in Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, alongside an outstanding star company.

Joining Jackson in the production are : Fehinti Balogun, Fiston Barek, Bessie Carter, William Chubb, Morfydd Clark, Jonathan Coote, George Eggay, Matt Gavan, Jane Horrocks, Joanne Howarth, Rhys Ifans, Celia Imrie, Karl Johnson, Stephen Kennedy, Simon Manyonda, Harry Melling, Clifford Rose, Mark Rose, Gary Sefton, James Staddon, Danny Webb, Sargon Yelda.

Jean Kalman Lighting Designer - Mel Mercier Composer and Sound Designer - Justin Nardella Associate Set Designer - Zeb Lalljee Costume Designer - 59 Productions Video Designer- Mike Gunning Associate Lighting Designer - Jamie Manton Assistant Director - Jessica Ronane CDG Casting - Patsy Rodenburg Voice Coach - Joyce Henderson Company Movement- Lizzie Frankl Props Supervisor - Sian Harris Costume Supervisor - Charlotte Henery Design Assistant.

At The Old Vic in London from previews beginning October 25 with an official opening taking place November 4, 2016. The mounting runs through May 27, 2017.

KISS ME by Richard Bean.

Directed by Anna Ledwich.

A desperate woman. A man with an unusual job. And a forbidden kiss that changes everything. A beautiful and unorthodox love story about two people struggling to escape the guilt and ghosts of the past, set against the shifting world of London post-World War I.

October 27 - December 3, 2016 Downstairs at the Hampstead Theatre in London.

music by Burton Lane. Book by E.Y. Harburg & Fred Saidy. Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

Adapted & directed by Charlotte Moore

Music Director: John Bell.

Starring Tony nominee Melissa Errico as Sharon.

Irish Rep's most loved musical returns to the Irish Rep stage this fall, twelve years after it was first revived to great acclaim. Tony-nominee Melissa Errico will reprise her role as Sharon.

The groundbreaking 1947 musical follows an Irishman who steals a feisty leprechaun’s pot of gold and escapes with his daughter, Sharon, to Missitucky, a mythical region in the United States that is part of the Jim Crow South. The daughter and the sprite each find romance with others, but also encounter bigotry, economic disparity and cultural injustice.

In addition to Errico the cast features: William Bellamy: Gospeleer - Kimberly Doreen Burns: Lily Mae - Dewey Caddell: Senator Rawkins - Peyton Crim: Sheriff - Mark Evans: Og - Matt Gibson: Buzz Collins - Angela Grovey: Sally Ann - Ken Jennings: Finian - Ramone Owens: Gospeleer - Kyle Taylor Parker: Gospeleer - Ryan Silverman: Woody - Lyrica Woodruff: Susan the Silent.

Orchestrations: Josh Clayton. Set Design: James Morgan. Costume Design: David Toser. Lighting Design: Mary Jo Dondlinger. Dialect Coach: Stephen Gabis. Stage Manager: Pamela Brusoski. Assistant Stage Manger: Rebecca C. Monroe.

October 26 – December 18, 2016 at Irish Rep in New York City.

CAROUSEL Music by Richard Rodgers Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on Ferenc Molnar's play Liliom. as adapted by Benjamin F. Glazer.

Directed by Molly Smith.

Choreographed by Parker Esse. Original dances by Agnes de Mille.

Music direction by Paul Sportelli

Directed by Molly Smith.

Dazzling lights, swinging songs and a bad boy to melt your heart. When Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan fall in love, little do they realize that his rebellious ways will lead to tragedy. Given a chance to make good, will a lucky star save Billy and those he loves? This epic production bursts with classic songs like June Is Bustin' Out all Over and You'll Never Walk Alone.

The 27 member cast stars Nicholas Rodriguez as Billy Bigelow, Betsy Morgan making her Arena Stage debut as Julie Jordan, alongside Kate Rockwell portraying Julie’s gal pal Carrie Pipperidge.

Other featured performers are E. Faye Butler who is cast as Mrs. Mullin and Ann Arvia is Nettie Fowler. In the roles of the Starkeeper and Heavenly Friend, the company features two young local actors - 13-year-old Nicole Wildy of Howard County, Maryland and 15-year-old Joshua Otten of Fauquier County, Virginia.

Todd Rosenthal (Set Designer) - Ilona Somogyi (Costume Designer) - Keith Parham (Lighting Designer) - Joshua Horvath (Sound Designer) - Ray Nardelli (Sound Designer) - Anne Nesmit (Wig Designer) - David Leong (Fight Choreography & Mime) - Lynn Watson (Dialect Coach) - Anita Maynard-Losh (Associate & Text Director) - William Yanesh (Associate Music Director) - Tony Neidenbach (Assistant Choreographer) - Susan R. White (Stage Manager).

October 28 - December 24, 2016 on the Fichandler Stage on Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

BUTOH BEETHOVEN: ECLIPSE (ADMIRING TATSUMI HIJIKATA New York Butoh star Vangeline conjures the ghosts of two passionate giants - Tatsumi Hijikata, founder of Butoh, and composer Ludwig van Beethoven in what is called "hypnotic, electrifying and award-winning solo performance."

The word "Eclipse" is derived from the ancient Greek noun meaning "abandonment," "downfall," or "the darkening of a heavenly body" which in turn stems from the verb ekleíp? which means "to abandon," "to darken," or "to cease to exist. "Butoh is likewise the Dance of Darkness where performers first appear human, then as ghosts.

This solo piece that illuminates the darkness of Butoh with the addition of cutting edge lighting technologies such as the futuristic creations of European designer Tilen Sepi? and fiber optic costume by the French company LumiGram.

Presented by Vangeline Theater which has fused the post-apocalyptic vision of Butoh (the Japanese dance form that developed after Hiroshima) with the near-cinematic aesthetic of 21st Century science-fiction noir.

Celebrate Halloween week with the haunting art form of Butoh and come dressed in your own costume to any performance.

October 26-31, 2016 at The Producer's Club, Royal Theater, New York City.


ADELE appears in two, two nighters this week. She opens the first one on Tuesday, October 25, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. On Friday, October 28, she begins a stand at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.

JUSTIN BIEBER performs at the Genting Arena in Birmingham, England on Monday, October 24. On Wednesday his tour stops at the Arena in Sheffield, England. On Thursday he begins a split three night gig at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. Other shows at the Hydro are on Saturday, and next Sunday, October 30.

TONY BENNETT sings his hits Friday, October 28, at Overture Hall in Madison, WI and on Saturday he can be enjoyed at the Honeywell Center in Wabash, IN.

JIMMY HEATH AT 90 The Kennedy Center celebrates the 90th birthday of legendary saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath with a stellar lineup, including appearances by Herbie Hancock, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, and more. Next Sunday, October 30, at Concert Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

SLIM MAN AND MARC ANTOINE in concert at the Shops at La Cantera in San Antonio, TX, on Wednesday, October 26th.

RICHARD THOMPSON AND THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA perform Friday, October 28, at Sunset Center in Carmel-by-the-Sea in Carmel CA.

ALONG CAME A SPIDER this candle-lit, spooky concert focusing on curative melodies created for victims of venomous spider bites comes just in time for Halloween. Expect pieces by 16th and 17th Century musicians from the recorder quartet, Palisander. Friday, October 28, at Handel & Hendrix in London.

ANA GASTEYER performs a range of covers and re-imagined classics from her jazz album, I’m Hip October 25-November 5 at Café Carlyle in New York City.

LAINIE KAZAN a Tony and Golden Globe nominee brings her cabaret show to Las Vegas for performances October 28-29, 2016, in the Cabaret Jazz Room of The Smith Center.

JOHNNY MATHIS brings his 60th Anniversary Concert Tour to Las Vegas performing a variety of his greatest hits and personal favorites, including Chances Are, Misty and It’s Not For Me to Say, alongside his tour band whose members have performed with Mathis for decades. Saturday, October 29, 2016 at The Smith Center.

AN EVENING WITH HASSAN KHAN In a rare New York appearance, Cairo-based artist, musician, and writer Hassan Khan presents a solo concert featuring live improvisation with pre-recorded compositions that draw from a range of sonic traditions, including classical Arabic music, Minimalism, electronica, and noise. A conversation with the artist follows the performance. Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.


PHIL CHESS a Polish American record producer and company executive, the co-founder with his brother of Chess Records, a rhythm and blues label, died October 19, 2016. He was 95.

Phil Chess retired to Arizona in 1972. Phil and Leonard Chess were both inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame as non-performers in 1995. In February 2013, Phil Chess attended the ceremony to receive one of The Recording Academy's Trustees Awards for non-performers presented to him and his brother.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "A 2013 recipient of The Recording Academy Trustees Award, Phil Chess was a pioneering music industry executive who helped make Chicago the Blues Capital of the World. With his brother Leonard, he co-founded the legendary Chess Records, and signed historically significant artists including Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Muddy Waters, and many more. In addition to their executive roles at the label, the Chess brothers often served as producers for their artists' recordings. Today we celebrate Phil’s multi-faceted talents and his many contributions to the music community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and creative collaborators."

RICHARD NICOLL famed British-Australian fashion designer died suddenly of a heart attack in Sydney, Australia on October 21, 2016. He was 39.

He was widely respected and well liked, working with brands including Jack Wills and Topshop.

He was famous for his distinctive, Modernist approach, candy-colored palettes and sculptured designs.

Nicoll was awarded three Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode (ANDAM) prizes in 2008 and was named Best Young Designer at the Elle Style Awards during London Fashion Week 2009, along with twice being a BFC Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.

Celebrities who have worn his designs include; Kylie Minogue, Kate Bosworth, Julianne Moore, Diane Kruger, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sienna Miller, Emma Stone, Florence Welch and Keira Knightley.

KEVIN MEANEY veteran standup comedian and actor was found in his Forestburgh, N.Y., home on Friday, October 21, 2016. H was 60.

A cause of death wasn't immediately determined.

Meaney was slated to perform Saturday, October 22, 2016 in Rhode island followed by a string of other performances.

A Twitter user, he last posted two political entries on October 19.

In the 2000s, Meaney performed for seven years on Broadway in the musical Hairspray. He released a comedy album in 2004 titled That's Not Right. When he was 39 years old, he married a woman he had just met in Las Vegas. The marriage was annulled shortly afterwards. He later married television executive Mary Ann Halford and they had one daughter.

On XM Radio's Stand Up Sit Down on May 5, 2008, Meaney stated publicly that he was gay. He explained that his time on Broadway was where he gained the courage to accept his homosexuality. Soon after, he and his wife divorced.

He is survived by his daughter.

Next Column: October 30, 2016
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Laura Deni

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