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TIME AND THE CONWAYS BROADWAY REVIEW - -ELTON JOHN HONORED BY HARVARD
- - SPAMILTON MAKES WEST COAST DEBUT - -
LOVE NEVER DIES ON TOUR - -
THE PRINCESS GRACE AWARDS GALA - - MONSTERSONGS WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING CD REVIEW - -
THE DRAMA LEAGUE'S BENEFIT GALA HONORS STEVE MARTIN
- - AMAL CLOONEY'S WEDDING GOWN ON DISPLAY - - DONATE . . . Scroll Down
Copyright: October 29, 2017
By: Laura Deni
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DOWNTON ABBEY'S ELIZABETH McGOVERN IS A PERFECT FIT FOR TIME AND THE
Elizabeth McGovern as Mrs. Conway, Matthew James Thomas as Robin, Cara Ricketts as Joan and Anna Camp
as Hazel in Time and the Conways. Photo© Jeremy Daniel
The world fell in love with Downton Abbey. Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, was the strong pillar that
held the family together. America is fortunate the McGovern has taken time to cross the pond to star in Time and the Conways at American Airlines theatre through November 26, 2017.
(For Downton and McGovern fans, the first-ever fully immersive Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will
make its American debut in New York City on Saturday November 18. Broadway To Vegas will cover that
exhibition in a later column.)
As for Time and the Conways, it's a natural fit for the talented and beautiful actress Elizabeth McGovern who has chosen this production in which to make her return to Broadway after a 25-year absence.
Written by J.B. Priestley and directed by Tony nominee Rebecca Taichman, in addition to McGovern, the cast also includes: Steve Boyer, Anna Camp, Gabriel Ebert, Charlotte Parry, Matthew James Thomas, Anna Baryshnikov, Brooke Bloom, Alfredo Narciso, and Cara Ricketts.
Like Downton Abbey the setting is 1919 Britain.
If you think this is nothing more than McGovern regurgitating Downton Abbey lines, you'd be wrong.
Yes, the script is dated. It does take some time to introduce the characters and set up the story. You need to
stay awake through Act 1 to fully understand author Presley's mind set and the message.
A continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other,
although the extremes are quite distinct.
Time and the Conways is a British play written by J. B. Priestley in 1937. The production is frequently
staged in Britain. However, in America the current mounting is the first Broadway revival since its 1938 premiere.
Anna Baryshnikov as Carol, Charlotte Perry as Kay and Anna Camp as Hazel wearing lollipop colored period costumes
by Paloma Young in Time and the Conways. Photo © Jeremy Daniel
That may be because the play is viewed as a "powerful portrait of the history of Britain between Wars," referred to
World War I and World War II. Priestly had a fascination with J. W. Dunne's An Experiment with Time in which
Dunne takes the position that all time is happening simultaneously; i.e., that past, present, future.
They are one and that linear time is only the way in which human consciousness is able to perceive this.
That theory inspired Priestly to pen his Time Plays, a series of pieces for theatre which played with different
concepts of Time. In addition to Time and the Conways, the other plays include I Have Been Here Before,
Dangerous Corner and An Inspector Calls.
"Priestley shows how through a process of complacency and class arrogance, Britain allowed itself to decline
and collapse between 1919 and 1937, instead of realizing the availability of immense creative and humanistic potential
accessible during the post-war (the Great War) generation. Priestley could clearly see the tide of history
leading towards another major European conflict as he has his character Ernest comment in 1937 that they are coming
to 'the next war'," according to Priestly's biography.
The Conways and their problems represent a political history of England, which may be more easily understood
in the UK and thus account for their numerous revivals.
The First Act introduces us to Mrs. Conway (McGovern) the widowed mother of six grown children - Kay,
Hazel, Madge and Carol and her sons Alan and Robin, the latter being his mother's favorite.
The self absorbed Mrs. Conway is full of optimism. Her daughter Kay (Charlotte Parry), an aspiring novelist,
is celebrating her 21st birthday celebration. The birthday girl, who is given to clairvoyant premonitions,
foretells the future with a casual comment: "There's a great devil in the universe, and we call it Time." Perry
delivers a strong performance throughout the entire play.
Matthew James Thomas as Robin, Gabriel Ebert as Alan, Steven Boyer as Ernest and Charlotte Perry as Kay.
Photo © Jeremy Daniel
Kay's brother Robin (Matthew James Thomas) has just returned from war and is upbeat about his career
prospects, while mentally opaque but beautiful and popular sister Hazel (Anna Camp) is joyous
about her marriage prospects.
Guests at the birthday party include taffy nosed Joan (Cara Ricketts) who has her sights on Robin.
Ernest Beevers (Steven Boyer), is a lower class chap who attends as a friend of Gerald (Alfredo Narciso) the family's
lawyer. Beevers intends to better himself by romancing Hazel, who belittles him.
Another Conway sister, Madge (Brooke Bloom), embraces socialism as the way
to keep prosperity and instill in people loving hearts and minds, while the
youngest, sweetest child Carol (Anna Baryshnikov who delivers a charming Broadway debut)
is exuberant about anything and everything.
(Actress Anna Baryshnikov, by the way, is the daughter of ballet
great Mikhail Baryshnikov. She had her breakout role in the 2016 film Manchester by the Sea. A graduate
of Northwestern University, since February 2017 she has starred as grad student Maya in the sitcom
In the First Act of Time and the Conways the family uses a box of old clothes to play a popular parlor
game of the time - charades. The family thinks life is jolly good.
Set designer Neil Patel understands that sometimes less is more and demonstrates the power of
a time change through the use of a wireless radio. His attention to detail includes accurate appearing 1919 era
beveled glass windows and a rose motif on the sheer curtains, which blend with the floral design wall panels.
Using a receding room and a transparent scrim to merge the past and present is brilliant.
Incorporating the piano and strings of Emmy Award winning composer Dustin O'Halloran's An Ending, A Beginning,
first heard on his 2012 Transcendentalism EP electronic dance release, is perfect for this metaphysical story
Costume designer Paloma Young's use of color and style are becoming and script effective, permitting the actors to wear the gowns, rather than the other way around.
Lighting designer Tony award winning lighting designer Christopher Akerlind has chosen not to get dramatic or divert
attention away from
the actors in his lighting of metaphysical concept. The sound by Matt Hubbs is effective and pleasant.
Act Two jumps almost nineteen years into the future, in the same room of the same house, though the Conways’
lives have transformed unimaginably, challenging notions of choice, chance and destiny. Mrs. Conway has squandered
the family fortune. Her youngest child Carol has died. It's Kay's 40th birthday and all of their hopes and dreams have been dashed. Time hasn't been good to any of them.
It is in Act Two that McGovern unleashes an energy and force which her role on Downton Abbey never permitted.
As Mrs. Conway, all of her pent up resentment, anger, bitterness and blame is spewed forth.
No one is spared. McGovern's performance is riveting.
Alan (Gabriel Ebert) is his mother's quiet emotional opposite. He "never looked right in the Army," according to her.
He returned from undistinguished military service to the pedestrian position of a Town Hall clerk.
He serves as a living example of playwright Priestley’s theories of time.
Act Three then returns to 1919, picking up precisely where Act One left off - later in the evening of Kay's birthday party.
The guests are anticipating a future
that they think they have the ability to control - including socialist Madge (Brooke Bloom)
jumping on the couch to persuade a young solicitor Gerald Thornton (Alfred Narciso) to join her in changing the
The world has changed - Time changes everything - Or, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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ART AND ABOUT
THE GLAMOUR AND ROMANCE OF OSCAR DE LA RENTA
The stunning Oscar de la Renta lace bridal gown Amal wore to wed George Clooney on September 27th, 2014 in
Italy. This was the last wedding gown de la Renta designed before his death on October 20, 2014. Photo: HMFA
influences on de la Renta's work, from Spain to Russia to his Connecticut gardens. Dresses that
have been worn by a host of celebrities and fashion icons are on exclusive loan, including Amal
Clooney's wedding gown.
The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta celebrates the illustrious life and career of the renowned
fashion designer. The exhibition showcases nearly 70 ensembles sourced from de la Renta’s corporate
and personal archives; the archives of French label Pierre Balmain; private lenders; and the
collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Throughout his award-winning career, which spanned more than five decades and two continents, de la Renta who was born in
1932, designed beautiful clothes for every occasion in a woman’s life. The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta highlights recurring themes, including the impact of Spain, Russia, China, Japan, and the garden on his designs. Displayed along with paintings and decorative arts from the MFAH collections, the creations offer a window into de la Renta’s world through a range of looks, from elegant daywear to resplendent evening gowns.
Curated by former Vogue editor-at-large, André Leon Talley, the ensembles are presented in four thematic sections, beginning with one of the most significant influences
on de la Renta’s life: Spain, where he launched his career. The exhibition culminates in a look at gowns once worn by fashion icons, dignitaries, and celebrities, including Beyoncé, Laura Bush, Penelope Cruz, Kirsten Dunst, Karlie Kloss, and Lynn Wyatt.
On display to January 28, 2018 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.
THE DRAMA LEAGUE'S BENEFIT GALA celebrating
Steve Martin takes place at The Plaza in New York City on Monday, November 6.
The incomparable Steve Martin - one of the most prolific diversified performers in the entertainment industry today will be honor for his award-winning three-decade career as a successful author, playwright, producer, actor, screenwriter, and comedian.
At this event, industry professionals, Drama League members, and theater supporters gather for a black-tie celebration of theater and arts advocacy, featuring a cocktail reception, silent auction, an elegant three-course meal, and a one-night- only musical tribute in . Martin’s honor, with performances by stars of both stage and screen.
Past performers at The Drama League’s Benefit Gala have included Liza Minnelli, Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Harry Connick, Jr., Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Angela Lansbury, Tony Bennett, Nick Jonas, and casts of Broadway’s hottest musicals.
The Drama League has been at the forefront of the American theater community since 1916, providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support. It is one of the nation’s oldest continuously-operating, not-for- profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programs, initiatives and events, The Drama League serves over 3,000 artists and 15,000 audience members each season with over 150 events and programs.
THEATER RESOURCES UNLIMITED (TRU) stages it 25th Anniversary
Benefit, 25 Years of TRU Love: Creating Community Through the Arts gala luncheon on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Caroline's on Broadway in New York City.
Bistro Award winner Klea Blackhurst will host, with performances by Tony nominee Bob Cuccioli, 4-time MAC and 2-time Bistro Award winner Julie Reyburn and MAC Award winner Steve Ross. Theater luminaries who are supporting the event in honor of TRU Spirit of Theater Award recipient producer Jana Robbins include Michael Alden, Daniel Beaty, Martin Charnin, R. Erin Craig, Dani Davis, Michele Lee, Eric Krebs, Daryl Roth, Catherine Schreiber, D Tucker Smith and Frank Zuback.
The event will also celebrate 25 years of TRU's service to the theater community, and celebrate past honorees:Pat Addiss, Michael Alden, Patrick Blake, Allan Buchman, Linda Amiel Burns, Ben Cameron, Neil Danoff (in memoriam), Ken Davenport, Van Dean, Teresa Eyring, Michael Feingold, Ted Greenberg, Woodie King Jr., Patricia Klausner, Elysabeth Kleinhans, Daniel Marshall, Jerry Mitchell, Barry Moss (in memoriam), Shakina Nayfack, Edith O'Hara, Michael Presser, Lou Rodgers, Arlene Romoff, Philip Rose (in memoriam), Ron Simons, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Fred Vogel (in memoriam), Cheryl Wiesenfeld and Randall Wreghitt (in memoriam).
This special fundraiser for arts service organization Theater Resources Unlimited feature pre-show cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres followed by a 3-course luncheon and performance and awards.
The proceeds from this event directly benefit the programs of Theater Resources Unlimited, a not-for-profit service
organization that educates people in the business of the arts, with a focus on producers,
emerging theater companies and self-producing artists. Programs include monthly panels, workshops,
a Producer Development and Mentorship Program, a new plays and new musicals reading series and a
community e-blast of jobs, services, resources and theater events.
THE EAST LYNNE THEATRE COMPANY in West Cape May, New Jersey
presents its annual fundraiser on Monday, November 6, hosted by Aleathea's Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May.
This year's theme The Roaring Twenties, in which guests are encouraged to wear costumes from the period.
Scenes and music further embrace the mood, with Mark Edward Lang as the evening's MC, assisted by Rob LeMaire. Live music is provided by Chris Sooy and Lew London on piano and violin, with Jennie Bissell and Jared Noah Aronoff singing favorites from the era.
The gala begins with hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. After dinner is served, the entertainment begins. There is also a silent auction, the raffle, and the recipient of the Historic Jackson Street Neighborhood Association Scholarship Fund will be announced.
All proceeds go to the not-for-profit East Lynne Theater Company to support the production season and educational outreach.
THE MUSIC GOES ROUND AND ROUND
MONSTERSONGS WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING with words and music by Rob Rokicki has been released on Broadway Records.
With Halloween this week it seemed appropriate to review something having to do with 'monsters,
'and gory stuff like brains, blood and things that go bump in the night such as ghosts, mummies and memories.
Monstersongs contains 12 songs accompanying an illustrated novel, with graphics by David O'Neill,
which is presented in the colorful CD booklet.
O'Neill is an award-winning children's book Illustrator and Art Director in NYC. As the O'Neill in Shankman and O'Neill
Children's Books, Dave has nine titles in the library including the bestselling I Met a Moose in Maine One Day,
When a Lobster Buys a Bathrobe and Where's the Bathroom?
The performers on Monstersongs are excellent: Monsters: The Troll - Jelani Alladin (who will play Kristoff in the upcoming Broadway production of Frozen): Medusa: Katrina Rose Dideriksen: Mad Scientist Mother - Cheryl Freeman: Mad Scientist Father - Tyce: Vampire Girlfriend - Molly Hager: The Doppelganger - F. Michael Haynie: The Ghost - Tony and Grammy nominated Megan Hilty (who will play three concerts with the NSO Pops on December 8-9 at the Kennedy Center): The Sasquatch - Joe Iconis: Zombie Girlfriend - Lauren Marcus: Igor - Jeremy Morse: The Witch - Julia Murney: The Dragon - Luca Padovan: The Yeti - Rob Rokicki: The Mummy - Jason Sweettooth Williams.
Monster Choir: Seth Eliser, Ashley Moniz, Mike Rosengarten, Jordan Stanley and Rachel Sussman.
Siren Sisters: Emma Cannon-Salomon, Sami Griffith and Mackenzie Jones.
The story and music demonstrates Rokicki's fascinating way at observing life's issues and the macabre.
Confronting cruelty, heartache, sadness, regrets, wanting to change but as the CD demonstrates, the inability to alter
ones past, present or, perhaps, even the future.
In Monstersongs the monsters emerge from their black hole wanting to explain themselves, wanting to be
understood in what they feel was their misunderstood existence. At anguish with themselves in attempting to come
to terms with the past, they long to change the present only to make things worse, and then retreat into their black hole after causing more chaos.
Is it their fault or are they victims of their upbringings and society in general?
Down And Under illustration by Dave O'Neill. Inside cover shot by Laura Deni
The book portion features a child who "holds an oversized book with strange and terrible images on the cover. The book opens. Slowly emerging from the dark, the Siren Sisters begin chanting, inviting us to bear witness to the songs of monsters."
The CD begins with diabolical sounds, and even bubble noises, perhaps from a cauldron, as the high energy Monsterbaby surfaces.
Mad Scientist Father (Tyce) and Mad Scientist Mother (Freeman) explain the birth: "We made a Monster baby / We made a Monster baby / We didn't give it all / The love we had."
Unravels follows which is performed by Mummy (Williams).
Each of the songs coincides with what might be called a chapter in the book - or moving along the story-line which is
creepy, eerie, and mysterious. Human problems given Monster bodies.
Then the tinkling opening of Say Goodbye, a lighter number sung by Medusa (Dideriksen), although she is
bragging about her ability to take a mountain of a man and reduce him to rubble. Her relationships haven't
been all that fulfilling. "You fall for a man / With eyes like the rising tide / Then envy comes / To take what's
left of your pride." The number gets deeper as she warns a love to leave before she
turns him into stone. "I've always been fine on my own / Let's just skip the lie / And say goodbye." He ignores her
warning and she fulfills her promise and then blames him: "You should have known."
Blood And Brains illustration by Dave O'Neill. Inside cover shot by Laura Deni
An upbeat, jazzy Down and Under performed by Troll (Alladin) who lives under a bridge. A clever word play on
action, conditions and results. He's a Troll who "found the only bridge I hadn't burned and I went under." He also
explains that people build personal bridges from stones others have thrown.
This is also a pick yourself up and determination song even when "no one's waiting by the phone / no one's waiting by
the door." Bitterness is always apparent in the realization of what's been experienced. "False Friends and Lying Lovers / Push 'Em Down / Split and Smash".
Blood and Brains delivered by the Girlfriends (Molly Hagar and Lauren Marcus,) tells the tale of both monsters wanting the same man but for different reasons. One wants his blood and the other admires his brains. Could this be the monster version of one women pretending to love a man for his money and another loving him for who he is?
The Plans sung by Igor (Morse) has a country flavor. It's about Igor crawling out of bed obeying orders of his master and wondering if his role in life is to always be a slave. Remembering the days when they were more equals, and bemoaning that his contribution has been taken for granted.
Right Through You is a poignantly powerful song featuring beautiful violins and the amazing voice of
The Ghost (Hilty) who longs to be acknowledged and appreciated. Musically, the composition touches a lot of bases
and Hilty can handle anything from the melodic to rock. In looking at her past she can see an old love who took
her for granted and sings lines such as: "Are you haunted by your heart? / In the places you won't go?" and;
"There's some unfinished business / which you're trying to deny."
Reluctantly illustration by Dave O'Neill. Inside cover shot by Laura Deni
Reluctantly performed by The Dragon (Padovan) who knows that he doesn't fit in.
"I know what you expect from me / but what you want is something I can't be / so I'll try but I do it reluctantly," turns from sadness into becoming bitter, seeking revenge, and self fulfilling prophecies.
I'm Sorry from the Doppelganger (Haynie) is about a guy trying to stay sober "and then you come in wearing
that dress." Footprints about being rejected at birth performed by Yeti (Rokicki) and Sasquatch (Iconic).
No one believed in them, then they met and gave each other meaning, but "no one needs to know," may be
nod to the LGBTQ community. The music has an enticing beat with a banjo, electric guitar and a harmonica; but
the words are serious and adult, about "blood being your only warmth - being the scourge in another redneck town."
The CD ends with It's Over / Return Of Monsterbaby when they sing they have created a monster and "we have come
from the dark/to the dark we go." They were miserable, unhappy and depressed before, apparently they have returned
to that state. Have they left the world in a worst state? The ending with its funeral dirge drum solo hammers that life's problems are never ending. Mad Scientist Father (Tyce) and Mad Scientist Mother (Freeman) again confess: "We made a Monster baby / We made a Monster baby / We didn't give it all / The love we had."
This CD is a black tinged world of monsters, which is perfect for Halloween parties - this year and for spooky Halloweens to come.
However, Monstersongs and the story (lyrics) that make it what it is, could be so much more - a really important teaching and learning tool. Whether that will be fully appreciated isn't immediately apparent. A lot will depend upon the marketing strategy.
The extremely talented Rokicki deserves that wider following.
Prior to their heinous existences the Monsters were the victims - rejected, abused, and ignored. Issues of not
fitting in. Actions by others and the world in general which left them no other alternative other than to become
Under the proper controlled environment - such as an appropriate classroom or therapy session - Monstersongs has a fresh, unique, entertaining and relevant foundation in which to discuss how young people view life's problems.
The cartoons, many of the musical sounds, and the gory action words appeal to children and young adults.
They'll dig the music. The parts about violence and crushing others will be appealing to that crowd.
They'll love the creepy sounds. The cartoons will grab their interest. The kids will like the loud sounds.
That opens the door to use Monstersongs as a facilitator for improvement, growth and recovery.
While some mental health experts might want to use each song individually and different tracts are appropriate for
different ages, Monstersongs has a use potential not seen in a long time.
What was the problem or issue faced by the Monster? How did the Monster handle the problem? What affect did the
problem have on the Monster? Do Monsters have feelings? What is the feeling that that Monster is experiencing?
Have you ever experienced that problem? Do you know anyone who has experienced that problem?
How did you/they handle the problem? What were the results? Were you feelings hurt? Why did that happen? Who do you blame? What would you like to do?
If the creators want this CD as an annual Halloween listen then Monstersongs is clever, cute, weird and different.
If they want something more - then it's going to come down to marketing in the proper way to the
appropriate practitioners/educators. This CD could have serious importance. Whether that happens will be up
to those in charge of Monstersongs.
Keys, Melodica, Glockenspiel, Acoustic Guitar - Rob Rokicki
Electric Guitar, Banjo, Dulcimer - Micah Burgess
Baritone Guitar - Ian Kagey
Bass - Dennis Michael Keefe
Drums, Percussion - Josh Mark Samuels
Drums on certain numbers: Seth Eliser, Zach Jones
Violin - Steven Cuevas
Harmonica - Satchel Jones
Piano - Joe Iconis
Mixed by Ian Kagey. Edited and engineered by Micah Burgess, Dennis Michael Keefe, Loenzo Wolff. Recorded at Art House Astoria, NYC; Great White Way, NYC; Restoration Sound, NYC; Electracraft Music Works, NYC. Mastered by Oscar Zambrano, Zampol Productions, NYC. Package Design Robbie Rozelle.
SPREADING THE WORD
THE BEATLES in this year marking the 50th anniversary
of the legendary Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, learn from experts and what made the Beatles
and that album so revolutionary from a cultural, political, musical, and fashion standpoint in a course
being offered by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts taking place October 31, 2017 – November 30, 2017.
HARRY CONNICK, JR in addition to hosting his talk show, appearing
on Will & Grace and performing, also has time to (sort of) invent items. He announced his new product via a
Twitter post: "i’m coming out with a hand sanitizer that kills .1% of germs to be used with other hand sanitizers that
kill 99.9%. #YoureWelcome.
On a more serious note Connick's interview with his wife, Jill, on her breast cancer treatment was sensitive and
informative. The segment aired October 26, 2017 on Connick's Harry talk show.
REPERTORIO ESPANOL New York City's leading Spanish language theatre company (offering English translation via simultext) began their s 50th season on October 27 with the announcement of a free reading series - open to the public - of Golden Age plays by five 17th century female, Spanish playwrights.
The reading will feature a host of comedies and dramas that are "astonishing depictions of women who rise and fend for themselves in the male-dominated Spanish society and culture at that time."
Director Leyma Lopez will stage readings of plays which will take place each Tuesday beginning November 7 and running through December 5, 2017.
First to be read will be an imaginative twist on Cupid and Psyche myth titled El Conde Partinuples (Count Partinuples) by Ana Caro Mallen de Soto.
ARE STUDENTS BEING TAUGHT MATH OR HOW TO USE A CALCULATOR? last
Wednesday the London Daily Mail printed a 12-question math quiz, which they credited as having been
created by Playbuzz user Bruce Boyena. It was stated that: "Only one in 10 people can complete the fiendishly
tricky quiz - and you're NOT allowed to use a calculator."
The instructions stressed that you could use a pencil and paper - but no calculator. The rules stated that the test
"begins with relatively straightforward sums, before moving into fiendishly difficult territory. You'll need to
remember how to do long division and multiplication in order to successfully complete the test. So... how many of the
12 questions can you correctly answer?"
I gave it a try, zipped right through it and got all 12 math problems correctly answered. The instructions were
correct - that a knowledge of multiplication and long division was required. You also needed to accurately
read questions 11 and 12.
Everything on that interesting, fun test I learned in 4th grade math when all each student had was lined paper,
a Number 2 pencil and an abacus. Later we were taught how to double check out answers using our fingers. That was in the
era when only boys were supposed to be good at math; amazingly, none of the girls had a problem.
Due to overcrowding, the classroom was really a portable building hastily set
up on a concrete block. There was no heat, no air conditioning and if you needed to use the rest room,
you had to walk across the play ground to the main building.
We all learned and learned well.
The fact that this 12-question math test is called "tricky" and almost everybody flunks it, is scary. It's nothing more
than what used to be 4th and 5th grade math. Are today's educators teaching math, or are they really giving instructions on how
to use a calculator?
THE OXFORD PHILHARMONIC TRUST CONCERT AND DINNER takes
place November 1 at Buckingham Palace in London. Princess Alexandra, Royal Patron, will attend.
One of the UK's leading orchestras, it is the first-ever Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford.
THE DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER who serves as President, Royal Academy of Music, will attend a performance of James Newton Howard: Three Decades of Music for Hollywood at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 3, 2017.
NATIONAL OATMEAL DAY is today, Sunday, October 29. Monday is
National Candy Corn Day and Halloween is National Caramel Apple Day. November 1
is National Bison Day not sure if that means you should eat one or ride one to lunch.
November 2 is National Deviled Egg Day. Friday is National Sandwich Day and Saturday is National Candy
Day. Next Sunday, November 5, is National Doughnut Day.
CAESARS PALACE IN LAS VEGAS will begin charging for self parking at their 7 Las Vegas properties. beginning Thursday, November 2, 2017. The resorts which will want to you pay to park are: Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Bally’s, The Cromwell, Flamingo, The Linq Hotel and Harrah’s.
Guests entering the parking garages will receive a 60-minute grace period. "After an hour all guests, including Nevada residents, will pay for parking," according to the release.
1 to 4 hours: $7.00 - 4 to 24 hours: $10.00 - Over 24 hours: $10 for each additional day or fraction thereof - The LINQ Backlot: An additional $20 fee for oversized vehicles.
ELTON JOHN founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), will receive the Harvard Foundation’s 2017 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony on Monday, November 6, 2017.
This award recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes. Over the past 35 years, Harvard Foundation humanitarian awards have been presented to an array of distinguished individuals, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, United Nations Secretaries General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali and Javier Perez de Quellar; gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai; anti-child-labor spokesman Kailash Satyarthi; Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller, and farmworker rights advocate Delores Huerta, among others.
THE PRINCESS GRACE AWARDS GALA took place last Wednesday, October 25, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. The Foundation was founded by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor the legacy of his screen icon wife, Grace Kelly. The non-profit supports emerging talent in the worlds of theatre, dance and film. Since formation the organization has awarded over 800 scholarships.
The Awards Gala was hosted by Kelly's son Prince Albert and his wife Princess Charlene of Monaco.
Filmmaker James Cameron was this year’s recipient for the Prince Rainier III Award. This award recognizes renowned leaders in the arts who share the passion of Princess Grace in supporting emerging talent. “It is my distinct privilege to present the Prince Rainier III Award to James Cameron," Prince Albert II. "He is one of Hollywood’s most iconic filmmakers and dedicated philanthropists. His revolutionary work has transformed the film industry, and at the same time he has helped explore the deepest parts of the oceans to help advance science and protect our most vital resources. There is no one more fitting to receive this accolade.”
The Prince Rainier III Award includes a grant to the philanthropic organization of the recipient’s choice and a unique sculpture by artist Alex Soldier.
Spongebob Squarepants creator and Princess Grace award recipient Stephen Hillenburg endowed a new special scholarship this year for emerging talented artists working in animation.
This year’s Princess Grace Award winners are:
THEATER AND PLAYWRITING
Mikael Burke/ DePaul University (Theater Scholarship)
Delaney Feener/ DePaul University (Theater Scholarship, Robert and Gloria Hausman Theater Award
James Udom/ Yale School of Drama (Theater Scholarship, Grace Le Vine Theater Award
Camille Hayes/ California Shakespeare Festival (Theater Apprenticeship, Pierre Cardin Award)
Christopher Annas-Lee/ Gala Hispanic Theatre (Theater Fellowship, Fabergé Theater Award)
Kristina Valada-Viers/ Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Theater Fellowship, Gant Gaither Theater Award)
Donja Love/ New Dramatists (Playwriting Fellowship)
DANCE PERFORMANCE & CHOREOGRAPHY
Mikaela Kelly/ The Juilliard School (Dance Scholarship)
Jacquelin Harris/ Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation (Dance Fellowship)
Miriam Miller/ New York City Ballet (Dance Fellowship, Chris Hellman Dance Award)
Gian Carlo Perez/ The Washington Ballet (Dance Fellowship)
Lyvan Verdecia/ Ballet Hispanico of New York (Dance Fellowship)
Bryan Arias/ Charlotte Ballet(Choreography Fellowship)
Gemma Bond/ The Washington Ballet (Choreography Fellowship)
Raja Feather Kelly/ Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company(Choreography Fellowship)
Malik Ford/ Hampshire College (Undergraduate Film Scholarship, John H. Johnson Film Award)
Pamela Guest/ Pacific Northwest College of Art (Undergraduate Film Scholarship)
Daniel Chein/ San Francisco State University (Graduate Film Scholarship)
Huay-Bing Law/ University of Texas at Austin (Graduate Film Scholarship)
Megan Rossman/ Hunter College (Graduate Film Scholarship)
Reed Van Dyk/ UCLA (Graduate Film Scholarship, Cary Grant Award)
FILM HONORARIA Amanda Bonaiuto/ California Institute of the Arts, Emily Drummer/ University of Iowa, Maleny Lopez Alvarez/ School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sadie Schiffman-Eller/ Bard College.
PGF-USA offers continuing grants to past Princess Grace Award winners and Honoraria recipients for uniquely significant projects that advance their artistic development.
This year's winners are:
Chinonye Chukwu, Michael John Garces, Andrea Miller, Iva Radivojevic, Ian Soroka, and Susan Youssef
WORKS IN PROGRESS RESIDENCIES CarlosAlexis Cruz, Sarah Cameron Sunde,
and Dustin Wills.
CHOREOGRAPHY MENTORSHIP CO-CIMMISSION AWARD Zoe Scofield.
2017 STATUS AWARD WINNERS Emmy Award-nominated writer Bridget
Carpenter and Bessie Award-winning tap dancer and choreographer Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.
WAR PAINT starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole as rival cosmetics giants Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, respectively, will drop the curtain November 5 at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City.
The musical was originally scheduled to close December 30; however two-time Tony winner LuPone needs necessary and immediate hip replacement surgery and thus the show moved up its closing date. Upon closing, the musical will have played 33 previews 236 regular performances.
THE GAME'S AFOOT by Ken Ludwig.
Directed by Jacqueline Hubbard.
A murderously funny thriller set in William Gillette’s Connecticut Castle – The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit.
It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears.
Starring two-time Emmy Award winner, eight-time nominee, and former Top 200 Director on HBO’s Project Greenlight Erik Bloomquist as Simon Bright. With Victoria Bundonis (Inspector Goring), Molly Densmore (Aggie Wheeler), Katrina Ferguson (Madge), Michael Iannucci (Felix), Craig MacDonald (William Gillette), Maggie McGlone-Jennings (Martha), and Beverley J Taylor (Daria Chase).
Stage Manager: Laura Lynne Knowles. Scenic Designer: Daniel Nischan. Lighting Designer: Marcus Abbott.
Sound Designer: Tate R. Burmeister. Costume Designer: Kathleen T. Gephart.
Winner of the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards – Best Play has performances November 1-19, 2017
at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT.
THE LITTLE FOXES by Lillian Helman.
Directed by J. Barry Lewis.
The play, set in 1900 in the South, is about a ruthless family battle for control over a lucrative business deal that will bring a cotton mill to town.
Southern belle Regina Giddens and her brothers scheme to outwit Regina's husband Horace, who opposes their attempts to profit from a cotton factory in partnership with a Chicago businessman. Greed corrupts and the power of money destroys has never been better established.
Featuring: Kathy McCafferty, James Anreasi, Rob Donohoe, Taylor Anthony Miller, Caitlin Cohn, Avery Sommers, Frank Converse, Patric Robinson and Dennis Creaghan as Ben, Regina scheming brother. During the 1982 London run which starred Elizabeth Taylor in her stage debut as conniving Regina he appeared as Oscar, Regina's weak, other brother.
Palm Beach Dramaworks’ production at the West Palm Beach Playhouse in West Palm Beach, Florida through November 12,
SPAMILTON created, written and directed by Gerard Alessandrini.
Choreographed by Gerry McIntyre.
Spamilton celebrates and satirizes the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton.
Starring: Glenn Bassett, Susanne Blakeslee, Dedrick A. Bonner, Becca Brown, John Devereaux, Wilkie Ferguson III, William Cooper Howell,
Elijah Reyes, and Zakiya Young.
Music supervision and arrangements by Fred Barton. Music direction by James Lent. Set and prop consultant is Glenn Bassett. Costume design by Dustin Cross. Lighting design by Karyn D. Lawrence. Sound design by Adam Phalen.
The West Coast Premiere takes place November 5 - December 31, 2017 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.
LOVE NEVER DIES with a book by Ben Elton and Frederick Forsyth, lyrics and book by Glenn Slatter, music, book and orchestrations by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Directed by Simon Phillips.
Choreography by Astaire Award winner Graeme Murphy.
A follow up musical to the 1986 love story The Phantom of the Opera set against the spellbinding
backdrop of Coney Island.
The year is 1907. It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris Opera House and the
Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides
and freak-shows of Coney Island. In this new electrically-charged world, he has finally found a place
for his music to soar. All that is missing is his love - Christine Daaé. Now one of the world’s finest sopranos,
Christine is struggling in an ailing marriage to Raoul. So, it is with excitement she accepts
an invitation to travel to New York and perform at a renowned opera house. In
a final bid to win back her love, the Phantom lures Christine, her husband, and their young son Gustave
from Manhattan; to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island - not knowing what is in store for them.
Starring Gardar Thor Cortes as The Phantom; Meghan Picerno as Christine Daaé, Karen Mason as Madame Giry, Sean Thompson as Raoul, Mary Michael Patterson as Meg Giry, and Casey Lyons and Jake Miller sharing the role of Gustave. The Phantom’s henchmen are Katrina Kemp as Fleck, Richard Koons as Squelch, and Stephen Petrovich as Gangle.
The ensemble features Chelsey Arce, Erin Chupinsky, Diana DiMarzio, Tyler Donahue, Yesy Garcia, Alyssa Giannetti, Michael Gillis, Tamar Greene, Natalia Lepore Hagan, Lauren Lukacek, Alyssa McAnany, Rachel Ann Moore, Bronson Norris Murphy, Dave Schoonover, Adam Soniak, Kelly Swint, Lucas John Thompson, Correy West, Arthur Wise, and Borris York.
Set and costume designs by Gabriela Tylesova, lighting design by Nick Schlieper, and sound design by Mick Potter.
The production officially began its North American tour with a successful run at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit which ended on October 29. The production now opens October 31, 2017 at the PAC in Durham, NC for a run through November 5, 2017. Other November tour stops will include Ft. Lauderdale, FL at the Broward Center; and Orlando, FL at the Dr Phillips Center.
JOHNNY CLEGG 64, currently in remission from pancreatic cancer
diagnosed in 2015, will conclude his farewell tour with a performance at the Boulder Theater in Boulder,
Colorado on November 2, 2017.
PAT METHENY a 20 time Grammy winning guitarist performs November 4 at
MOMSport in Budapest, Hungary. Recently inducted into the Downbeat Hall of Fame as its youngest member
and only the fourth guitarist (joining Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery),
Metheny's show will present a range of music from throughout his career.
KANSAS will be performing heir hits
Friday, November 3 at the Dow Event Center, Saginaw, Michigan. On Saturday their tour stops at the Stranahan Theatre, Toledo, Ohio.
TONY BENNETT performing his The Best is Yet To Come show featuring his daughter Antonia Bennett. They're on stage at Wynn Las Vegas November 1-11, 2017.
ROGER DALTREY AND HIS BAND perform Monday, October 30, at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, FL. On November 1 they are on stage at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida. On Friday the tour stops at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL.
THE WEEKND Canadian singer, songwriter and record producer
brings his tour to Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan on Wednesday, November 1.
The Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum selling music artist stars at the United Center in Chicago on Thursday.
GUY DAVIS performs Monday, October 30,
at Hugh's Room in Toronto, Canada. On Wednesday he stars at the Registry Theatrein in Kichenor, Ontario, Canada.
Thursday's gig is at the Aeolian Hall in London, Ontario, Canada. Saturday finds him in Gravenhurst, Ontario at
Peters Players. Next Sunday, November 5, the famed blues guitarist performs at the Midland Cultural Centre in Ontario,
HOWARD CARROLL a lead guitarist for the influential and Grammy Award-winning gospel group the Dixie Hummingbirds died in his sleep at a Mount Airy convalescent home in Philadelphia on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. He was .92.
In addition to playing a lighting fast electric guitar, he sang baritone in the group.
The Hummingbirds received the 2000 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, and they are featured at
the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, CD.
He is survived by his son, Howard Carroll Jr., and a grandson.
Neil Portnow President/CEO of the Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Howard Carroll was a legendary gospel musician, contributing to the success of the Grammy-winning quartet the Dixie Hummingbirds during their peak period starting after World War II. The group earned four Grammy nominations throughout their expansive career, and were awarded the Best Soul Gospel Performance Grammy for their rendition of Paul Simon’s Loves Me Like A Rock at the 16th Annual Grammy Awards. A revered guitarist, Carroll, and the Hummingbirds, exerted a major influence on gospel music as well as on pop and R&B artists such as Jackie Wilson and the Temptations. He will be dearly missed, and our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and collaborators during this difficult time."
FATS DOMINO a rock and roll/blues pioneer died Tuesday, October 24, 2017. He was 89.
Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records, and he had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40.
Domino was also an important influence on the music of the 1960s and 1970s and was acknowledged as
such by some of the top artists of that era. Elvis Presley introduced Fats at one of his Las Vegas
concerts by saying "this gentleman was a huge influence on me when I started out." Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney recorded Domino songs.
I was there when Elvis Presley performed his first concert at then Las Vegas International Hotel (which later
became the Hilton, now the Westgate) on July 31, 1969. Fats Domino was in the audience.
Afterwards there was a press conference, which I attended. When a reporter referred
to Presley as "The King", Presley gestured toward Domino, who was observing the gathering.
"No," Presley said, "that's the real king of rock and roll."
In 1998 President Bill Clinton awarded Domino the National Medal of Arts. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1987.
Neil Portnow President/CEO of the Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Our Recording Academy family is
deeply saddened to hear of the passing of rock and roll visionary Fats Domino. In a career spanning more than five
decades, Domino charmed audiences with his smooth vocals, boogie-woogie piano style, and unwavering humility.
He is widely recognized for influencing artists across all genres, having a number of his hits covered by music
industry giants, including John Lennon, Cheap Trick, and Led Zeppelin. In 1987, Domino received a Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, our formal salute to his remarkable contributions to rock history.
He will be greatly missed, but remembered for paving the way for rock and roll. Our condolences go out to Domino’s
family, friends, and collaborators during this difficult time."
ROBERT GUILLAUME Tony Award nominee and two time Emmy award winner
actor died October 25, 2017 at his home in Los Angeles from prostate cancer. He was 89.
Among Guillaume’s achievements was playing Nathan Detroit in the first all-black version of Guys and Dolls,
earning a Tony nomination in 1977. He became the first African-American to sing the title role of
Phantom of the Opera, appearing with an all-white cast in Los Angeles.
He achieved worldwide fame as the acerbic butler Benson in Soap. ABC spun off his character into a
sitcom Benson, which aired from 1979 to 1986.
In his autobiography, Guillaume: A Life, he wrote that his mother, an alcoholic and a prostitute, rejected him because of his dark skin. He admitted that he was a problem child from a difficult upbringing. He fathered a daughter and abandoned the child and her mother. He also "did the same" to his first wife Marlene Williams whom he married in 1955. They had two sons and divorced in 1984. Then, according to the AP he "did the same with another woman and another daughter."
According to his official obit: "He worked in a department store, the post office and as St. Louis’s first black streetcar motorman. Seeking something better, he enrolled at St. Louis University, excelling in philosophy and Shakespeare, and then at Washington University (St. Louis) where a music professor trained the young man’s superb tenor singing voice.
"After serving as an apprentice at theaters in Aspen, Colorado, and Cleveland, the newly named Guillaume toured with Broadway shows Finian’s Rainbow, Golden Boy, Porgy and Bess and Purlie.” and began appearing on sitcoms.
He won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 1999 for The Lion King Read-Along.
During the time of his greatest television success his 33-year-old son Jacques died of AIDS.
Guillaume’s credited his personal stability to his marriage to television producer Donna Brown in the mid-1980s with whom he fathered a daughter, Rachel who is an actress. He is also survived by son Kevin Guillaume from his first marriage. Kevin Guillaume is a composer and actor, known for Homeboys in Outer Space (1996), The Grind (2014) and The Robert Guillaume Show (1989). His daughters from two relationships are listed as surviving him, but are not named.
Neil Portnow President/CEO of the Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Robert Guillaume was a universally respected stage, television, and voice actor best known for his award-winning portrayal of Benson on the sitcom Soap and its spinoff Benson. The versatile Guillaume earned a Grammy for Best Spoken World Album For Children at the 37th Annual Grammy Awards for his narration of The Lion King Read-Along. His portrayal of a richly textured African-American character was a TV milestone and, added to his impressive screen and stage performances, made a significant impact on our creative community. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, and all who have been impacted by his work."
JACK BANNON a television, stage and film actor, who starred on the TV series Lou Grant, died October 25, 2017 in Coeur d’Alene, Idado. He was 77.
Bannon played assistant city editor Art Donovan on the Emmy-winning TV series Lou Grant from 1977 – 1982.
Bannon’s parents were both actors. His father Jim Bannon starred as the Red Ryder in the last four Red Ryder movies. His mother Bea Benaderet was a fixture on television sitcoms in the 1950s and 1960s. She was a regular on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, starred as Kate Bradley on Petticoat Junction, and was the voice of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones.
In 1983, Bannon married his second wife, actress Ellen Travolta, the elder ister of movie star John Travolta. The couple moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in the 1990s.
Bannon performed as a resident actor in the CDA local theater community, including more than two decades in the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre productions.
According to The Spokesman-Review "he was Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Horace Vandergelder twice in Hello, Dolly, Daddy Warbucks in Annie, and the narrator of Into the Woods. At Spokane Civic Theatre, he portrayed the stage manager in Our Town, and at the former Interplayers he starred in Art, The Fantasticks and Bus Stop, among others.
"His last play was On Shaky Ground, for Ignite Community Theater in 2016, which was written by his stepdaughter, radio host Molly Allen. He and his wife co-starred frequently, doing Love Letters at Lake City Playhouse, Interplayers, CST and the University of Idaho, or in recent years in the holiday show at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.
Spokane-born actor Cheyenne Jackson, star of American Horror Story and United 93, released a statement on his experience working with Bannon in Summer theater.
“I have such fond memories of working with Jack on a few different occasions. He had a wonderful ease and confidence about him. He made you feel comfortable in the world and was the epitome of a gentleman.”
Prior to moving to Idaho he was part of the ensemble that won an L.A. Drama Critic’s Award for Caryl Churchill’s 1983 Cloud Nine, and starred in a 1982 revival of Mr. Roberts in Los Angeles, directed the legendary Joshua Logan.
His first marriage to Kathleen Larkin ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Travolta Bannon; stepchildren Molly Allen and Tom Fridley; sister Maggie Fuller and her husband, Clark Fuller; and two nieces and a nephew.
Next Column: November 5, 2017
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