Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: October 8, 2017
By: Laura Deni


For decades I've been a fan of John Kander and his late partner Fred Ebb. Together they produced some of the most interesting, intriguing and entertaining Broadway musicals as well as Las Vegas shows. After the untimely dead of Ebb in 2006, Kander teamed with the talented Greg Pierce. Kid Victory which recently enjoyed an off-Broadway run at the Vinyard features a story by John Kander and Greg Pierce, music by Kander, and book and lyrics by Pierce.

The original cast album was recorded March 20, 2017, the day after the final performance, and has been released on Broadway Records.

The recording features excellent singers: Ann Arvia as Gail, Joel Blum as Franklin/Detective, Laura Darrell as Suze/Mara, Jeffry Denman as Michael, Brandon Flynn as Luke, Daniel Jenkins as Joseph, Dee Roscioli as Emily, Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba as Eileen, and Blake Zolfo as Andrew.

To understand and fully appreciate this interesting recording, you need to be aware of the complicated, dark subject matter.

The story follows teenager Luke who uses the name Kid Victory when playing an internet boat racing game called Regatta 500. It’s there that he meets his future captor, Michael (Jeffry Denman), a deranged former history teacher. In a slow grooming process lasting several months, Michael, discovering that Luke lives close by, suggests that they meet in person with promises that he'll show Luke his dingy.

Luke is drugged with an opiate-laced root beer. He physically survives almost a year of drugged captivity, handcuffed to a basement wall with only a single mattress on the floor.
Brandon Flynn and Karen Ziemba in Kid Victory. Photo: Carol Rosegg
The musical begins after Luke has been rescued and has returned to a small Kansas town where he lives with his devout, religiously fundamentalist mother Eileen (Karen Ziemba); reticent father Joseph (Daniel Jenkins); and his old girlfriend Suze (Laura Darrell). None understand why he doesn't act like his old self. He’s also forced to deal with a suspicious Detective Marks (Joel Blum).

Luke returns home to an overjoyed but baffled congregation. He's reluctant to attend a welcome home party his mother has worked hard to arrange. Instead of returning to school he gets a job.

Let the music on this CD tell the story.

The importance of the gorgeous orchestration by Michael Starobin can't be over emphasized.

From the first reflective, mourning reed sounds you know the score is going to be intriguing, rich, and moving. It is. Haunting, reflective music which implies abuse - hidden, recessed but always bubbling just under the surface of emotional frailty.

With a rare exception, this isn't a musical with songs constructed to be sung as a standalone composition. Rather, spoken dialogue is backed by instrumental music or a chorus. There is also an effective integration of words which are both spoken and sung. It's a melancholy play - a chamber musical.

The first Lord, Carry Me Home performed by Eileen (Tony winner Ziemba) and company, is inspiring and hopeful. In times of stress or crisis good natured people around the victim who don't know what to say or how to act, behave as though, once a crisis is over, everything should instantly snap back to normal. Easier said than done. And, so it is with the characters in the musical Kid Victory

Eileen also delivers the second song A Single Tear in which she emotionally and sincerely explains the importance of her religious faith.

Another Ziemba standout is the touching ballad There Was a Boy in which the character of Eileen mourns the loss of the child she bore and raised, recalling youthful joyous moments.

The accusatory, toe-tapping Not Quite True from Detective Marks (Joel Bloom) exposes his doubts about the abduction and thinks Luke's version of the kidnapping "isn't quite true."

Luke finds a certain peace working at a financially struggling garden supply store run by free spirit Emily (Dee Roscioli) who doesn't share the town's religious structured zeal.

Her renditions of I'll Marry the Man, followed by People Like Us, with Luke injecting dialogue explaining that he'd had some good experiences while being held captive; "until he's get weird again," and the wailin' Dear Mara in which she responds to having been called a 'bad mother', shows the eccentric determination, resentment and resignation of not quite fitting in when one lives in a narrow focused, regimented town.

Daniel Jenkins, Laura Darnel, Karen Ziemba, Brandon Flynn, Joel Blum, Dee Roscioli, Blake Zolfo, and Ann Arvia in Kid Victory. Photo: Carol Rosegg
I’d Rather Wait than turning her back of him. Luke's friend and perhaps love interest Andrew (Blake Zolfo) delivers the ruefully clever and jazzy What's The Point “of living if your hand is always steady?”

That is followed by the resigned You, if Anyone sung by Michael (Jeffrey Denman) leading to the final selection, performed by Luke’s father Joseph, played by Daniel Jenkins. He knows Luke is pulling away and tries to keep communicating with his son. It's the only spoken segment not backed by music. When Jenkins as Joseph finishes the dialogue he sings the soulful Where You Are building to the musical's dramatic musical conclusion.

An interesting aspect of this recording is that the lead Brandon Flynn is the only one of nine principles who never sings a note. His presence is heard in several numbers such as Vinland and Regatta 500, but his lines are spoken.

The downside of the CD is that none of the musicians used on the recording are credited.

Sound design by Tony Award nominee Peter Hylenski. David Loud serves as music supervisor. Music Direction by 1st keyboardist Jesse Kissel. Orchestrations by Michael Starobin.

Produced, edited and mixed by Michael Croiter. Recording engineer Andy Manganello. Editing Assistant Matthias Winter. Assistant engineers: Nate Odden, Luke Klingensmith and Brandon Pirrone. Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper. Production manager Jill Dell'Abate. Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC. Mixed at Yellow Sound Lab, NYC. Mastered at Turtle Tone Mastering.

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Thank you for your interest.


Art and China exhibition at the Guggenheim. Photo: Guggenheim
a major exhibition of contemporary art from China spanning 1989 to 2008, arguably the most transformative period of modern Chinese and recent world history. The largest show of this subject ever mounted in North America, it offers an interpretative survey of Chinese experimental art framed by the geopolitical dynamics attending the end of the Cold War, the spread of globalization, and the rise of China.

The arc of this international history, beginning with the crushed utopianism of the nationwide democracy movement and culminating in the conflicted euphoria surrounding the Beijing Olympics, provides the framework for the Guggenheim’s show.

Art and China after 1989 examines how Chinese artists have been both agents and skeptics of China’s arrival as a global presence, and seeks to reposition a Sinocentric art history in a way that sees China as integral to the emergence of the global contemporary. The exhibition is divided into six chronological and thematic sections and includes contributions by more than 70 artists and collectives, and features some 150 iconic and lesser-known works on loan from private and public collections around the world.

These works employ a vast range of experimental mediums, including film and video, ink, installation, Land art, performance, as well as painting and photography. The show also presents documentary footage of important avant-garde exhibitions together with other archival materials highlighting key moments and movements in this contested history.

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World is organized by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, and Senior Advisor, Global Arts, at the Guggenheim, with guest cocurators Philip Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, and Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of MAXXI, National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome. At the Guggenheim, Xiaorui Zhu-Nowell, Curatorial Assistant, Asian Art, and Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, have provided research and organizational support. Archival research has been developed in collaboration with Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. The curators are working with an international advisory committee that has met under the auspices of the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou.

Opened October 6, 2017 and is on display through January 7, 2018 at the Guggenheim in New York City.

ART BASEL has announced that they will remain in Miami Beach for at least five more years after the city fulfilled the fair’s request to pay for a $2.8 million elevator and escalator in the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The fair will lease the facility for five years beginning in 2019, with a five-year renewal option. The art fair, known for attracting well-heeled collectors and celebrities, next takes place in the convention center December 7-10, 2017.

"In our American show, leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa show significant work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging stars. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality are on display in the main exhibition hall. Ambitious large?scale artworks, films and performances become part of the city's outdoor landscape at nearby Collins Park and SoundScape Park."

In a statement, Art Basel leadership noted Miami Beach’s willingness to support Art Basel since its first fair in 2002.

“We are delighted to extend our longstanding relationship with the city of Miami Beach and look forward to hosting Art Basel in the newly renovated, state-of-the art Convention Center for many years to come,” said Noah Horowitz, director of the Americas for Art Basel. “Since our inaugural edition in 2002, the city’s unwavering support has helped make our show in Miami Beach what it is today: a global event and the leading art fair of the Americas, attracting an international audience of 77,000 from across the world each year.”


FUND FOR LAS VEGAS SHOOTING VICTIMS was established last Monday, October 2, 2017 by Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak and Sheriff Joe Lombardo with an original goal of $500,000. Sisolak donated the first $10,000. Within two hours the original goal was surpassed. By Friday it had raised nearly $9.8 million from roughly 80,000 donors.

Unfortunately, there are always some who will try to take advantage or scam. The fund is not to replace backpacks and shoes that might have been damaged by those purporting to have attended the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival, but rather to help pay the substantial funeral costs and medical bills of the victims. Some of the injured will require multiple surgeries and need months to recover. On Saturday, 89 were still hospitalized and 38 remained in critical condition.

There have been substantial individual and corporate donations. A few of the donation include: Las Vegas resident Celine Dion donated the proceeds from her Tuesday, October 3, 2017 Las Vegas Caesars Palace show. Wayne Newton and his wife Kathleen have donated $100,000. Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson donated $10,000. Cirque du Soleil announced a $1 million contribution consisting of $500,000 to the shooting victims fund and 5,000 tickets to the eight Cirque shows in Las Vegas for first responders. Through October 14, Human Nature stars from Australia will donate proceeds from their Venetian shows to the Victims Fund. Founder and chairman of Diamond Resorts International Stephen Cloobeck added $400,000. The Oakland Raiders donated $50,000 to the fund. Sheldon Adelson $4 million. The Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Foley Family Charitable Foundation, Chicago Wolves and NHL combined to donate $500,000. MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren announced a $3 million donation. The company owns the Mandalay Bay, where the gunman used a suite on the 32nd floor as his base for terror.

It isn't possible to anoint Sisolack, Lombardo and the individuals who work with them with enough accolades. The same holds true for the FBI and all of the medical personnel. They have set the gold standard for disaster response.

The Route 91 Harvest Festival County Music mass shooting is now known officially as simply 1 October. While ISIS continues to claim responsibility, METRO emphasizes that there is no known nexus to ISIS.

True tips and leads - factual information - are sought by Clark County METRO and the FBI. They can be reached at 1-800-CALL FBI.

Concertgoers left thousands of pieces of property on the outdoor field, which is still considered a crime scene. Every item left must be collected and catalogued by authorities before it can be returned to the owner. As of Friday, October 6, it was estimated that would be a minimum of another 4 days, which would be Tuesday, October 10.

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA the Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winning creator of Hamilton has released a new original song to raise money for Puerto Rican hurricane relief.

Almost Like Praying features Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, John Leguizamo and Rita Moreno, among many others. All proceeds from the download and stream go to The Hispanic Federation’s disaster relief fund.

2017 HARMAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS 10th ANNIVERSARY GALA benefiting the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Arts Education and Community Engagement Programs takes place Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C.

The event honors Laura Linney, The Honorable Anthony Williams, Councilmember Jack Evans and and Dr. Natwar Gandhi.

The black-tie evening begins with an assemblage of world-class multidisciplinary performances in Sidney Harman Hall. Following this exclusive production, guests will enjoy the stunning atmosphere of the National Building Museum, one of DC’s premier event spaces, mingle with the stars of the evening and enjoy a gourmet dinner and dancing.

Honorary Patron: His Excellency the British Ambassador and Lady Darroch. Honorary Co-Chairs: The Honorable Jane Harman and Barbara Harman. Gala Chair: Landon and Carol Butler.

Gala Committee: Nick and Marla Allard | Stephen Allis | Bendure Communications | Diamond Schmitt Architects | Gloria Story Dittus | Debbie Driesman and Frank F. Islam | Stefanie Erkiletian | Carolyn and Robert Falb | John and Meg Hauge | Jerry and Isabel Jasinowski | Abbe David Lowell and Molly A. Meegan | Timothy Lowery and Michael Zingali | Melissa Moss and Jonathan Silver | Craig Pascal and Victor Shargai | Stephen and Lisa Ryan | Pauline A. Schneider | Karen and Joe Wawrzaszek | Michele Williams | Suzanne and Glenn Youngkin.

SPIRIT OF IRELAND GALA in support of the Irish Arts Center takes place Friday, October 13, 2017 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The evening will honor Emmy, Grammy, and Academy Award-Winner Steve Martin, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Paul Muldoon and Sharon Patrick the Co-Founder and Former CEO, Martha Stewart Living who serves as the Vice Chair, American Ballet Theatre.

Special Guests are Liam Neeson, Senator George Mitchell, and Amy Schumer.

The annual Spirit of Ireland Gala is considered one of the irish Arts Center's most important events.

Gala co-chairs are: Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Cindy and Rob McCann, Julia and Declan Kelly and Eileen K. Murray.

LAST THURSDAY'S LA CAGE AUX FOLLES preview performance at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse in Palm Beach, Florida was a benefit show with proceeds going to the Metropolitan Community Church of the Palm Beaches in Palm Beach Gardens, which serves the LGBTQ community. The church will dedicate half its share to its denomination’s disaster relief fund to help victims of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico.

Jerry Herman’s and Harvey Fierstein’s hit musical about Albin, a flamboyant drag queen, and his longtime partner Georges runs through October 22, 2017.


WATCH ON THE RHINE TO BE RECORDED FOR L.A. THEATRE WORKS Susan Sullivan, Adam Wylie, will be joined onstage by Jonathan Cake, Susannah Fielding, Matthew Wolf, Edita Brychta, Heidi Dippold, Lovensky Jean-Baptiste, Taj Jegaraj and Patrick Wenk-Wolff when L.A. Theatre Works records Watch on the Rhine October 12-15, 2017.

Written by Lillian Hellman and directed by Rosalind Ayres, Watch on the Rhine is set in Washington, D.C. on the brink of U.S. involvement in World War II, Lillian Hellman's suspenseful drama is a timely reminder to keep our eyes open, to remain vigilant and involved. As the clouds of war gather in Europe in the late 1930s, a leader in the German resistance arrives in Washington DC, accompanied by his American wife, Sarah and their children. The Müllers stay at the home of Sarah’s wealthy mother, Fanny Farrelly (Susan Sullivan), who, like most Americans at that time, is unaware of the storm brewing in Europe.

Each of the five performances at UCLA’s state-of-the-art James Bridges Theater at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in Los Angeles will be recorded live in front of an audience for future radio broadcast, distribution on CD, digital download and online streaming.

T.S. MONK: MONK ON MONK the Thelonious Monk Centennial Celebration takes place Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Scottsdale Performing Arts Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. In celebration of what would have been famed jazz composer-pianist Thelonious Monk’s 100th birthday, his son T.S. Monk carries on his father’s legacy with the groundbreaking “Monk On Monk” 10-piece configuration. The band features the instrumentation Thelonious himself employed in his legendary Town Hall concert.

T.S. Monk is an acclaimed drummer, composer, record company founder, band leader and vocalist. His tribute to his iconic father, who was known as the “High Priest of Bebop” and the “Father of Modern Jazz,” has garnered numerous awards, critical praise and fan acclaim. Whether newly discovered compositions by his father or the legendary songs such as Round Midnight, the music is overpowering, swinging and timeless.

HERSHEY FELDER’S SING-ALONG takes place October 16 one-night-only at Temple Eman-El Streicker Center in NYC.

Felder is currently appearing on the London stage through October 22 in his most recent acclaimed solo show, Our Great Tchkaikovsky. He'll tally up the frequent flyer miles and prove that he isn't susceptible to jet lag when he returns to the states for a one-night-only performance in New York City on Monday, October 16 and then returns to London for the final performances of his acclaimed run at The Other Palace Theatre in his in-depth look at the professional and personal life of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

His Hershey Felder-(Jewish) SingAlong, will feature the music of some of America’s greatest Jewish composers of the 20th century: George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Rodgers and Hammerstein and others.

The show is described as “a musical trip through 100 years of the yiddishe bochers who wrote Broadway’s songbook, a soundtrack of American written by American Jews.”

The audience is invited to to sing-along to beloved classics from such shows as Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, South Pacific, Oklahoma, West Side Story, and Porgy & Bess

HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE JUDGED BY TIM GUNN takes place Friday, October 13, 2017, at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at the New York Public Library, so come dressed to impress. Show off your best literary getup inspired by your favorite book or author and have the chance to win in a costume contest judged by Project Runway co-host and mentor Tim Gunn.

Check out scary short films, ghoulish photographs, and spooky art in the collections displays and film room, or craft the night away dressing up skeleton paper dolls in their own costumes. The evening will also include music and dancing. Food and drinks available for purchase. Must be 21+ years of age to attend.

starring Metropolitan opera star Nathan Gunn, and Jessica Rivera, this hour-long, space-inspired cantata features music by composer Paola Prestini, libretto by Royce Vavrek and Eliza McNitt's virtual reality film, Fistful of Stars, will have its West Coast premiere Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in Los Angeles presented by The Ford Theatres, in association with LA Opera.

Conducted by Julian Wachner, the event is billed as an "unprecedented live experience that pushes the boundaries of art and science. An astrophysicist searches for his wife in the stars. As the cosmos unfolds before him, the birth, life and death of a star echo the couples' loss of their child. With stunning images from the Hubble Space telescope, the space-inspired cantata culminates in a five-minute virtual reality film that launches the audience into an immersive voyage through the Universe.

Through his narration, New York Times best-selling author and eminent astrophysicist Dr. Mario Livio places the characters’ story within the grand scheme of the cosmos. Music directed by Julian Wachner. Gunn and Rivera are joined in performance by members of the LA Opera Orchestra and LA Opera Chorus, along with the Los Angeles Children's Chorus.

"For the virtual reality portion of the performance, cardboard headsets will be provided, expertly created by The Endless Collective, a leading VR FX firm, with a 360-degree soundscape developed by Arup, called the global leaders in acoustics and sound design. This mesmerizing live experience, co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and VisionIntoArt/National Sawdust in association with Arup, reflects Livio’s poignant themes and the powerful realization that humans discovered, explored and continue to expand the understanding of the Universe, and man’s place in it."

TOBIN'S RUN ON 51 A Tribute to Riverside Records takes place Thursday, October 12 at the Irish Arts Center in New York City.

The artist-curated jazz series, Tobin’s Run on 51, returns with a special tribute to Riverside Records, the American jazz record company that previously inhabited Irish Arts Center's building.

Founded by Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer, the label played an important role in the jazz record industry and represented jazz and blues legends such as Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Byrd, and more.

The evening will feature award-winning Irish vocalist, songwriter and composer Christine Tobin and jazz guitarist Phil Robson bringing together some of New York’s best Irish and international musicians: ?Peter Brendler, upright bass - Charles Goold, drums - Craig Handy, saxophone - Fintan O’Neill, piano - Phil Robson, guitar - Christine Tobin, vocals.

TONY-NOMINATED DANCER/CHOREOGRAPHER TED LOUIS LEVY of Jelly’s Last Jam fame, who has not performed on Broadway since 2002, returns for a rare New York performance on Friday, October 13 as the special guest of acclaimed tapper Kazu Kumagai. Kazu’s program – Hear/Here - repeats on Saturday, October 14 with tap legend Brenda Bufalino as special guest. Both nights also include live music featuring Alex Blake, bass and Masa Shimizu on guitar and poetry by Sabrina Clery.

October 13-14 at 92Y in New York City.

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE'S 2017/2018 CINEMA SERIES has announced United States and Canada for screenings of 12 titles. The series from London’s iconic Covent Garden theatre includes some of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet’s much-loved classical repertory, as well as four brand new productions. The season is distributed to cinemas in collaboration with Trafalgar Releasing.

The Royal Opera titles are Mozart’s The Magic Flute, conducted by Julia Jones; a new production of Puccini’s La bohème, directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Antonio Pappano; Verdi’s Rigoletto, directed by David McVicar.

American tenor Michael Fabiano is featured as Rodolfo in La bohème, and as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto.

Also from The Royal Opera are Puccini’s Tosca, directed by Jonathan Kent; Bizet’s Carmen, in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed, unconventional production from Frankfurt; and Verdi’s Macbeth, conducted by Antonio Pappano, with Anna Netrebko taking on the role of Lady Macbeth for the first time at Covent Garden.

The Royal Ballet titles include Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with Zenaida Yanowsky returning to the role of The Red Queen; ­­the holiday classic The Nutcracker, returning after reaching more than 130,000 cinemagoers worldwide last year; Christopher Wheeldon’s Olivier Award-winning ballet based on Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, with a score by Joby Talbot; a triple bill celebrating the centenary of American composer Leonard Bernstein, featuring the premiere of two new works by associate choreographers of The Royal Ballet Wayne McGregor, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, and Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate, and Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett’s Age of Anxiety, set to Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 completing the bill; a Kenneth MacMillan Celebration, with the epic Manon, featuring the score by Jules Massenet; and the eagerly anticipated new production of Swan Lake, by Liam Scarlett.

Screening began yesterday, October 7, 2017 with The Magic Flute, showing through November 1. The screening season runs through August 3, 2018.

JDT LAB: ONE NIGHT IN MANOA BY MARIANNA LEVINE staged reading taking place Tuesday, October 17, at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY.

One Night in Manoa is play that questions whether luck in love and life is about random chance or a matter of fate. When the two Gardiner sisters return to Hawaii after 20 years to bury their mother’s ashes they find that their childhood garden, the place where their mother wished to be buried, has been destroyed. While the Gardiners wait at the Manoa Valley Inn for their father to arrive with the ashes, they are surprised to discover that an old friend of theirs, now a well-known TV star, is also staying at the Inn for one night only with his father, a former University of Hawaii professor and colleague of their father’s. Like the Gardiners’ recently deceased mother, their friend’s father is a holocaust survivor who once had a close relationship with their mother that revolved around their love of gardening. What ensues is a multi-generational discussion on surviving the vagaries of life, and the final realization that what one really needs is often right before one’s eyes.

Marianna Levine is now in her second year as administrator of Guild Hall’s Artist in Residence program.

NATIONAL FLUFFERMUTTER DAY is today, October 8. Monday is (honest) National Moldy-Cheese Day, National Pizza and Beer Day and National Hoagy Day. Tuesday is National Tic Tac Day and National Angel Food Cake Day. October 11 is National Sausage Pizza Day. October 12 is another National Pumpkin Pie Day. October 13 is Yorkshire Pudding Day and National M&M Day. October 14 is National Dessert Day.


YOGURT BRAND DANNON has cut ties with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton over sexist comments he made in a press conference on Wednesday, October 4, 2017.

Newton became the Dannon spokesperson in January 2015, taking over the Oikos brand from actor John Stamos.

The scathing statement from Dannon states: "We are shocked and disheartened at the behavior and comments of Cam Newton towards Jourdan Rodrigue, which we perceive as sexist and disparaging to all women. It is entirely inconsistent with our commitment to fostering equality and inclusion in every workplace. It’s simply not OK to belittle anyone based on gender. We have shared our concerns with Cam and will no longer work with him.”

During a press conference early last week Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked the quarterback about wide receiver Devin Funchess embracing “the physicality of his routes,” which according to the official definition refers to "a pattern or path that a receiver in American football and Canadian football runs to get open for a forward pass. Routes are usually run by wide receivers, running backs and tight ends."

Newton reacted by smirking and then replied that, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

THE 2017/2018 INAUGURAL SEASON of the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank, CA will present a fundraising series of one-night only master classes, featuring six of the most iconic interdisciplinary figures in the arts.

The series will kick of with television legend Norman Lear who will discuss his career and give insight into the ever-changing landscape of television, welcoming audience questions and participation.

A wine and cheese reception will follow. October 18, 2017 at the Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank, CA.


Al Franken posted this photo on his Facebook page, saying it was taken in 1971, which would have made them each 20. They both look 13.
and his wife Franni who celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on October 2, 2017.

On his Facebook account the former comedian/writer posted: "We've been together since 1969. I met her at a college mixer during our freshman year. (She was enrolled at Simmons College and he had just started at neighboring Harvard). I saw her across the room as she was organizing a group of girls to leave. I liked how she was taking charge. And I thought she was beautiful. So I asked her to dance, and we had a dance. Then I bought her a ginger ale and asked her out. We had our first date walking the Freedom Trail in Boston. We got married in 1975 and raised two beautiful children, Thomasin and Joe, and now have three grandchildren - Joe and Avery (Thomasin and her husband Brody's kids) and Jacob (Joe and his wife Stephanie's son) Happy Anniversary, Franni. I love you and it's been a pleasure to have you by my side."

In her own right Franni Franken, who celebrates her 66th birthday on October 8, has been an advocate for alcoholism treatment. She's been open about her own struggles, giving a lot of credit to her husband. "When I was struggling with my recovery, Al stood right by my side and he stood up for me. After what we went through, Al wrote two beautiful movies. And he wrote them because he wanted to help people, and they’re used in rehabs all over the country.”

One of those movies is the Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan drama When a Man Loves a Woman, about a husband helping his wife overcome alcoholism.

According to a profile article in The New Yorker, "Her father, a Second World War veteran, died in a car accident when she was seventeen months old, and her mother brought up Franni and her four siblings on Social Security survivor-benefit checks, supplemented by a job at a grocery store." The experience made Franni "a passionate defender of social programs for the poor."

Beautiful baby Wren Ivy sleeps in her mother's arms while beaming parents Helen George and Jack Ashton cut a teddy-bear shaped baby shower cake. Photo: Helen George
actress Helen George, 33, and co-star Jack Ashton, who plays the Rev. Tom Hereward on the BBC show about a 1960s group of midwives, which airs in American on PBS, have announced the real life birth of their baby girl.

The healthy baby was born Monday, October 2, 2017, approximately six weeks before her due date and thus attended her own baby shower with her proud parents who have named her Wren Ivy.

An interesting on and off camera romance - at one point in Call The Midwife George's character Beatrix "Trixie" Franklin was engaged to Rev. Hereward. Trixi's alcoholism and subsequent treatment caused them to split and Rev. Hereward married Trixi's best friend, midwife Barbara Gilbert played by Charlotte Ritchie.

George is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Birmingham School of Acting. Also a singer, she sang backup for Elton John during a tour, in which her sister Victoria Ingle also sang. They performed at venues including both Wembley Arena and the Royal Albert Hall.

George and Ashton's working friendship turned romantic after they went to Africa where Call The Midwife filmed several episodes including a Christmas special.

KAZUO ISHIGURO 62, is the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature for uncovering the abyss. Born in Nagasaki, Japan and raised in England, Ishiguro is best known for the novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.

ABA: LABORATORY FOR JEWISH CULTURE has announced their 2017-2018 Fellows: a group of ten culture-makers, a mix of visual artists, writers, musicians, playwrights and directors who are brought together to study classic Jewish texts in a non-religious, open-minded setting centered on a chosen theme; this year's theme is War + Peace. The 2017-2018 Fellows are Tal Beery, Tal Gur, Amy Handelsman, Jess Honovich, Ishai Shapira Kalter, Zohar Tirosh-Polk, Jacob Siegel, Yael Sloma, Jon Adam Ross, and Brandon Woolf.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the ground-breaking series by LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture, which pushes the boundaries of what Jewish art can be and what Jewish texts can teach.

THE SECOND ANNUAL SAMUEL FRENCH AWARDS will be presented October 16 in New York City.

Playwrights Ken Ludwig and Dominique Morisseau, the songwriting team of Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen will be honored.

The writers, all of whom are represented by the licensing and publishing company, will be recognized for “the great work and unparalleled passion of theatre … [and] their significant contributions to the industry.”

McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director Emily Mann will present the Ludwig with the Sustained Excellence in American Theatre, which is “bestowed upon a Samuel French playwright, composer, or lyricist whose body of work has been successfully produced across the nation, at both amateur and professional levels.”

In addition to the award, a donation will be made to the McCarter Theatre on behalf of Mr. Ludwig.

Morisseau will be presented with the Award for Impact & Activism in the Theatre Community, “given to an individual or creative team who has significantly impacted the theatre community over the past year through their activism.” Kamilah Forbes, executive producer of the Apollo Theater, will present the honor.

In addition to the award, a donation will be made to the Detroit Public Theatre on behalf of Ms. Morisseau.

Miller and Tysen will receive the Next Step Award, which supports “a playwright, composer, or lyricist working toward the next step of their career. Honorees have demonstrated a strong energy and talent in their career thus far.” Tony-winning Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori will do the presentation honors.

Miller and Tysen’s award includes a monetary prize that supports a current or unfinished project.

TIME AND THE CONWAYS by J. B. Priestley.

Directed by 2017 Tony Award-winning director Rebecca Taichman.

Time and the Conways stars Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern as Mrs. Conway, Steven Boyer as Ernest, Anna Camp as Hazel, Gabriel Ebert as Alan, Charlotte Parry as Kay, and Matthew James Thomas as Robin, with Anna Baryshnikov as Carol, Brooke Bloom as Madge, Alfredo Narciso as Gerald, and Cara Ricketts as Joan.

In 1919 Britain, Mrs. Conway is full of optimism during her daughter’s lavish twenty-first birthday celebration. The Great War is over, wealth is in the air, and the family’s dreams bubble over like champagne. Jump nineteen years into the future, though, and the Conways’ lives have transformed unimaginably. This time-jumping play takes place at the crossroads of today and tomorrow - challenging our notions of choice, chance and destiny.

Time and the Conways officially opens on October 10, 2017 at the American Airlines Theatre in New York City and runs through November 26, 2017.

BRIGHT STAR music, book and story by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.

Directed by Walter Bobbie.

Choreographed by Josh Rhodes.

Inspired by a real event, this uplifting, original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances.

Starring Carmen Cusack reprising her Tony nominated role as Alice Murphy. Also featuring . Stephen Lee Anderson, David Atkinson, Jeff Austin, Maddie Shea Baldwin, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Allison Briner-Dardenne, Patrick Cummings, Kaitlyn Davidson, A.J. Shively.

With Devin Archer, Kelly Baker, Audrey Cardwell, Max Chernin, Robin De Lano, Richard Gatta, David Kirk Grant, Donna Louden, Kevin McMahon, Alessa Neeck, Robert Pieranunzi, and Michael Starr.

The creative team includes Tony and Emmy Award winner Eugene Lee (scenic design), Tony Award winner Jane Greenwood (costume design), Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman (lighting design), Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg (sound design), Tom Watson (hair and wig design), Grammy Award winner Peter Asher (music supervision), Rob Berman (supervising music director and vocal arrangements) and Tony Award nominee August Eriksmoen (orchestrations).

October 11-November 19 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

JERSEY BOYS the amazing Tony Award winning musical with music by Bob Gaudio, lyrics by Bob Crewe, and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.

The electrifying story of how four regular guys from New Jersey transformed into one of the most successful bands of all time: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. The cast will be led by Luke Street, and Jonathan Vickers, as alternate Frankie Valli; John Addison, as Tommy Devito; Matt Blaker as Bob Gaudio and Nick Martland as Nick Massi.

Featuring the hits: December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Bye Bye Baby, Big Girls Don’t Cry and many more. You know the songs. Now discover their story.

The Dubai premiere of this acclaimed musical takes place October 11-14, 2917 at Dubai Opera in Dubai, UAE.

The tour them moves on to stops in China’s Shanghai Daning Theatre, The Jiangsu Centre For The Performing Arts, Guangzhou Opera House and Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre.

THE LADY FROM THE SEA by Henrik Ibsen in a new version by Elinor Cook.

Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Ellida, the lighthouse-keeper's daughter, is trapped in her marriage and longs for the sea. When a former lover returns from years of absence, she is forced to decide between freedom and the new life she has made for herself. Ibsen's moving play about duty and self-determination.

BAFTA nominated Nikki Amuka-Bird stars as Ellida. Featuring Ellie Bamber, Jake Fairbrother, Jim Findley, Jonny Holden, Finbar Lynch, Tom McKay, and Helena Wilson.

Designer Tom Scutt. Lighting Designer Lee Curran. Sound Designer Emma Laxton. Composer Michael Bruce.

October 12, 2017 - December 2, 2017 at the Donmar Warehouse in London.


U2 have a week of sold out concerts. On Tuesday, October 10, they continue their gig at the Estadio El Campin in Buenos Aires, AR with a second show on Wednesday. Saturday's stop is in Santiago CL at the Estadio Nacional.

ANDREA McARDLE in her brand new show that celebrates The Great American Songbook, Broadway, and contemporary music. McArdle rocketed to stardom as Broadway’s original “Annie,” for which she was the youngest performer ever nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, winning both the Theatre World and Outer Critics’ Circle Awards for her performance. On Broadway she originated the roles of Ashley in Starlight Express and Margy in State Fair and was seen as Belle in Beauty and the Beast and as Fantine in Les Misérables. She performs October 10-14 at Feinstein's 54 Below in New York City.

RENEE FLEMING AND CHRISTIAN McBRIDE a stunning singer pairs her radiant vocals with the iconic jazz sounds of four-time Grammy Award-winning bassist for a performance October 13, 2017 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

ETHAN BORTNICK continues his tour stops in Nebraska this week with a show October 10 at The Tassel Theatre in Holdrege followed by a show October 12 at the Midwest Theater in Scottsbluff.

MATTHEW AND GUNNAR NELSON performing their Ricky Nelson Remembered show Friday, October 13, at the American Music Theater in Lancaster, PA.

PHAROAH SANDERS QUARTET featuring William Henderson, Nat Reeves and Joe Farnsworth perform at the Atlanta Jazz Festival on Saturday, October 14 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.


TOM PETTY whose famously nasal voice was behind some of rock’s greatest hits, died Monday, October 1, 2017 after going into cardiac arrest in his Malibu, California home where he was found unconscious and not breathing. He was taken to the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, where he was taken off life support. He was 66.

He was ead singer and guitarist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. After the release of their self-titled debut in 1976, the band quickly achieved fame. Their most recent effort, 2014’s Hypnotic Eye, charted as a No. 1 album.

Petty also helped create the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. The legendary lineup included Petty, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison, all assuming different aliases under the last name “Wilbury.” The band – in which Petty was “Charlie T. Wilbury Jr” - released two albums to massive critical acclaim and commercial success.

Petty had three Grammy wins and 18 nominations, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Dana York, whom he married in 2001, and two daughters.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of the Recording Academy issued the following statement: "We are extremely saddened by the passing of three-time Grammy Award winner Tom Petty. Tom was a true rock and roll purist, both in his music and his defiant spirit. With the Heartbreakers, his infectious riffs, rebellious personality, and inventive songwriting brought a new urgency to rock traditions and fueled a now legendary career and some of the most memorable music of the last four decades. In retrospect, we were so fortunate and privileged to pay tribute to Tom as the Recording Academy’s 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year, and honor his significant creative achievements, philanthropic efforts, and passion for defending musicians’ rights. Tom will be remembered as much for his humanity as his music. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues as they look to find comfort during this difficult time."

RALPHIE MAY stand-up comedian and actor died in a private residence in Las Vegas on Friday, October 6, 2017 of cardiac arrest after battling pneumonia for several weeks. He was 45.

In the 2003 first season of Last Comic Standing, the brash and obese comic finished in second place.

May had a long term contract with Harrah's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and had performed there Thursday night, October 6, after canceling performances to recover from pneumonia.

May and his wife Lahna Turner had filed for divorce in October 2015. He is also survived by their two children, daughter April June May and son August James May; his mother, Sue Ann May; two sisters, Camilia and Melanie; and a brother, Winston.

Next Column: October 15, 2017
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