! > Broadway To Vegas September 17, 2017

Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: September 17, 2017
By: Laura Deni


Broadway has something for everyone. That isn't an idle phrase.  This season the mountings range from horrifically violent to fluffy musical tidbits. Broadway to Vegas offers reviews of both examples.

he may not have a HRH before his name, but Harold Prince has definitely ruled over Broadway. His professional career is being celebrated in a musical revue Prince of Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater through October 22, 2017.

Prince is neither a composer nor a lyricist. Nor is he an arranger. He's a producer and a director. So, why is there a musical revue celebrating the music he neither wrote, arranged nor performed?

The answer may be - why not?

It's a musical tribute which has been attempting to get the beat going for several years. The pre-Broadway mounting was in Japan.

It's directed by Prince himself - age 89 - with co-direction and choreography by Susan Stroman and music arrangement by songwriter Jason Robert Brown whose own statement making musical Parade was helmed by Prince who has amassed 21 Tony Awards as producer and director.

Because Prince's body of work is so extensive it's impossible for this show to please everyone - which is a compliment - because each person will want some of the snippets to have been longer or wish a favorite number had been included.

The Prince of Broadway cast. Production photo by Matthew Murphy.
Prince of Broadway features 32 songs from 16 of his shows - although it's difficult to keep track because the snippets can speed by. There is also biographical chatter by cast members "impersonating" Prince by appearing on stage wearing glasses perched on their foreheads which is where Prince frequently wear his specs, although the DMV probably requires him to rest them on his nose when he is driving.

However, the shallow chatter imparts no information as to what Prince experienced in molding his productions.

The Prince canvas is vast and varied. Composers such as Sondheim, Bernstein, Kander & Ebb and many others have enjoyed the Prince polish. Deciding which numbers to include, how many bars, who'll perform them and in what order in this fast paced production must have been a daunting challenge.

There is no specific order to the show, or a formula for showcasing specific composers or productions. It's simply enjoying the musical numbers that were featured in shows which - had it not been for the genius of Prince - probably wouldn't have been successes; perhaps not even mounted.

In a career which spans over 60 years not every production is represented, which will irritate patrons who find their favorite is missing.

The amazingly talented, ensemble cast includes 1997 Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper; Drama Desk Award winner Janet Dacal; Bryonha Marie Parham who has a BFA in Music Theatre and was last seen on Broadway in The Book of Mormon; Tony nominated Emily Skinner; two time Tony nominated Brandon Uranowitz; Kaley Ann Voorhees who made her Broadway debut as Christine in Phantom of the Opera - the youngest Christine in the show's history; Michael Xavier a two-time Laurence Olivier Award nominated English actor/singer; Tony nominated Tony Yazbeck and Tony winner Karen Ziemba.

It's a joy to experience so much talent on the same stage.

Karen Ziemba, Emily Skinner, Chuck Cooper and Tony Yazbeck in Prince of Broadway. Production photo by Matthew Murphy.
The 16-piece orchestra is excellent. Conducted by Fred Lassen; Associate Conductor: James Sampliner; Piano: James Sampliner; Drums/Percussion: Jamie Eblen; Bass: Randy Landau; Guitar: Hidayat Honari; Reed 1: Dustyn Richardson; Reed 2: Neil Johnson; Reed 3: Alex Hamlin; Trumpet 1: Dylan Schwab; Trumpet 2: Shawn Edmonds; Trombone: Karl Lyden; French Horn: Judy Yin-Chi Lee; Concertmaster: Hiroko Taguchi; Violin: Katherine Livolsi-Landau; Violin/Viola: Jason Mellow; Cello: Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf; Keyboard Programmer: Randy Cohen; Associate Keyboard Programmer: Taylor Williams.

Brown’s well thought out overture is entertaining and a perfect way to open the show.

Consisting of one or more song segments from a show being spotlighted, thanks to minimalist, attention to detail scenery by Beowulf Boritt, effective costumes by William Ivey Long - two creators who never disappoint - the results evoke Prince’s original productions and stars.

Credit also is due Paul Huntley for his hair and wig design and Angelina Avallone's make-up design.

The show begins with 1954’s The Pajama Game.

The revue doesn't white wash or attempt to be politically correct - the most controversial being Cabaret, the 1966 show which was based on Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories. Brandon Uranowitz, made up as a Joel Grey look alike (with the evil white clown face and stark black accents) is show stopping as the Emcee singing Willkommen and the chilling If You Could See Her. In the later he dances with Karen Ziemba who is wearing a full gorilla costume, to whom he is declaring his devotion. The final lines has the Emcee singing that if we could see the gorilla “through my eyes” - dramatic pause followed by a diabolic whisper coupled with a devlish expression - “she wouldn’t look Jewish at all.”

I remember when Joel Grey used to perform that song during his nightclub act at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. When he got to that line people in the audience responded with a rueful laugh. During Prince of Broadway the reaction is one of shock.

Ziemba just doesn't take cover as a gorilla. She is commanding, delivering the bitterly resigned yet defiant So What? from Cabaret. She is also the pie maker in Sweeney Todd. Ziemba and Emily Skinner as aging former showgirls being reminded of how it once was are so effective that one wishes the Follies would again be revived.

Skinner is always a bright spot and sparkles as Desirée in A Little Night Music as well as Joanne in Company, delivering such an electrifying and individual take on Elaine Stritch's trademark The Ladies Who Lunch that Stritch, who was noted for being acerbic, would have approved.

Now You Know, a difficult song to sing from Merrily, is well handled by Skinner. Her delivery of Send in the Clowns is heart wrenching.

Tony Yazbeck and Kaley Ann Voorhees appear as Tony and Maria singing selections from West Side Story. Yasbeck also performs as Buddy in Follies and Leo in Parade, and Che in Evita. Yasbeck also had the major dance number, a lengthy, vibrant, exuberant and exhaustive tapper The Right Girl from Follies.

Janet Dacal delivers an ardent and convincing Evita segment. Michael Xavier’s opened throat Being Alive from Company could probably have been heard in the next building. Xavier is also the masked Phantom.

Bryonha Marie Parham and Kaley Ann Voorhees. Production photo by Matthew Murphy
Bryonha Marie Parham's frenetic energy as Sally Bowles from Cabaret brought back visions of Liza Minnelli.

Smooth, skilled baritone Chuck Cooper is charming as Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof explaining If I Were a Rich Man, and his rendition of Ol’ Man River from Showboat is powerful, although why the original lyrics also included different lyrics sung by Paul Robeson in a later concert, remains puzzling and confusing, since the lyrics weren't penned by Prince. He also takes a turn as Sweeney Todd.

Can't Help Lovin' That Man from Showboat is performed by Bryonha Marie Parham and Kaley Ann Voorhees.

With all of the performers cast in several parts, not every role is a perfect match. Since the segments are short and the stars so talented, a slight hiccup doesn't really matter.

More of an extremely elaborate and expensive cabaret show than a Broadway musical it's a lovely way to spend some time. You leave wishing there had been more.

The cast of 1984. Production photos by Julieta Cervantes.
a stage adaptation of the famed book by George Orwell should conclude its run at the Hudson Theatre as one of the most powerful plays presented on Broadway this season. The stars are really Chloe Lamford’s scenic design, Tom Gibbons’ sounds, Natasha Chivers’ lighting, and Tim Reid’s video design.

That doesn't mean the live cast leaves anything to be desired - they don't. Tom Sturridge, Olivia Wilde in her Broadway debut holds her own against seasoned veterans and over the top scenic and sound theatrics. Also on board are Tony Award winner Reed Birney, Wayne Duvall, Carl Hendrick Louis, Nick Mills, Obie Award winner Michael Potts, and Cara Seymour, with Sami Bray and Willow McCarthy - all talented and brilliant.

However, the realistic results from the creatives makes this production a decimal away from ear drum bleeding and definitely stomach churning. Suggestions to future audience members: bring along industrial strength ear plugs and neither eat immediately before nor plan to nosh immediately after the show. Your body will need a little time to calm down.

Long before Kellyanne Conway informed American that "alternative facts" were a part of the new administration and expressed surprise that the public was having a problem wrapping their thought process around that - George Orwell traumatized the world with the publication of his book 1984. Written in 1944, it spent decades as required reading in high schools. This is the tome that gave us the phrase and concept Big Brother Is Watching.

Orwell's dystopian classic also gave us The Principles of Newspeak, a falsehood disguised as fact - the process the government called Oceania uses in the book, and “doublethink” which is conditioning people to accept contradictory facts - keeping two opposing thoughts in one's mind, while genuinely believing both.

The cast of 1984. Production photos by Julieta Cervantes.
Popular phrases of their lifestyle included: "War is Peace," "Freedom Is Slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength".

This British adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 has enjoyed several productions since beginning on the West End in 2013; followed by successful runs in Boston, Los Angeles and Washington. Duncan Macmillan wrote and directed the show with Robert Icke. Their stage show was inspired by the book's predominately ignored scholarly appendix, rather than turning the book into a chapter by chapter production.

It helps if you've read the novel. If you haven't - you might want to keep that to yourself. One of the bestselling books of all time 1984 has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 65 languages. If you're part of the handful of humans who didn't know the book existed, you might want to pick up a Cliff's Notes before seeing the show.

The production's backbone is Orwell’s appendix to his book. It's the era of 2050 and some people have gathered to muse about the diary which exposes a totalitarian regime. Was it truth or a piece of fiction? The illegal diary was surreptitiously kept by Winston Smith (Sturridge) a low level media worker who was responsible for creating what is, essentially, deceptive propaganda. His job description also included vaporizing thoughts. If that isn't successful - then he vaporized the people, if he is so ordered.

Smith has secret fantasies of rebellion, encouraged by an illicit love affair. He's corralled back into party line through several torture techniques taking place in notorious torture Room 101, included being beaten and electrocuted, though it's the prospect of rats clawing his face that brings him to the breaking point. He is tortured into a non person; a blank writer board upon which others can create.

It's a generation where children are rewarded for snitching on their parents.

The setting of 1984 is Oceania, a giant country comprised of the Americas; the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles; Australia; and the southern portion of Africa. Oceania's mainland is called Air Strip One, formerly England. The story itself takes place in London.

The government in Oceania is Totalitarian - unwilling to tolerate any ideas outside of their own. They control the freedom, will, and even the thoughts of the people by means of fear and manipulation. Big Brother is an omniscient, god-like figure who serves as the leader and face of The Party. While his existence is uncertain, his power over the people is unquestionable.

Spies are everywhere and torture is a government staple. When 1984 was written American and Great Britain still had numerous mental hospitals which had wards housing "punishment patients" - committed individuals who were scheduled to be tortured (many for no particular reason) on a regular basis - perhaps anywhere from once a week to once every three months - depending upon circumstances and the number of patients. Punishments were carried out by other patients who had been lobotomized or drugged and were handpicked by administrators, because they would obey orders without questioning. They were dressed in white, as nurses and orderlies.

The methods they used included pulling out teeth, fingernails, sometimes a tongue, gouging out one eye (because if you totally blinded the person they would need 24 hour care) electric shock through the use of a car battery and jumper cables, being beaten with either a hand wrapped in a towel, a paddle or a whip; and quickly jamming a spike in and out of a person's palm - which was thought to help cure depression. If the torture caused a person's death their body was chopped up and fed to hospital guard dogs.

Much of Orwell's torture in 1984 seems to have been inspired by what regularly took place in American and European mental hospitals' punishment rooms. In America that practice didn't stop until the early 1960s.

The torture and how people were treated is also Orwell's speculation of the future as a creative extension of how the masses were treated under Franco, Hitler, and Stalin.

In 1984 the entire world is at war.

Oceania's political structure is divided into three segments: the Inner Party, the ultimate ruling class, consisting of less than 2 percent of the population; the Outer Party, the educated workers, numbering around 18 to 19 percent of the population; and the Proles, or the proletariat, the working class.

Sturridge's performance is compelling, scary and hypnotic. During the torture scenes you want to turn away, but can't.

Tony Award winner Reed Birney and Tom Sturridge in a scene from 1984. Production photos by Julieta Cervantes.
Loud noise is frequent - beginning even before the show starts. It isn't noise for the sake of noise; but the use of precise sounds to trigger specific emotions from the audience. Jackhammer sounds and strobe lighting signal impending torture. Torturers dressed in hazmat-suits carry out punishment instructions.
Special words indicate what has transpired -

There is also an issue of rats. For Smith, even the thought is worse than the reality of other options.

The audience sees and emotionally feels the results. Chloe Lamford’s scenic design, Tom Gibbons’ sounds, Natasha Chivers’ lighting, and Tim Reid’s video design showing graphic depictions and images of torture, only emphasize the importance of sound, lighting and video in theatre.

In Smith coming forward to narrate, he has much to expose, including that he's had an affair with Julia (Olivia Wilde) known as being a pure member of the Junior Anti-Sex League. She secretly rebels by sleeping around with Party members. Her affair with Smith is more than a one night stand of rebellion. An elderly antiques' dealer, Charrington (Michael Potts) has offered them use of his antique store, which he insists has no modern touches causing Broadway To Vegas to first suspect that was meant as a subtle message that eons before - people fell in love and emotions were encouraged.

The other scenario is that nothing is what it seems. Charrington is a member of the Thought Police and is monitoring the lover's trysts. The audience is a voyeur watching on a widescreen video wall.

Neither the book nor the play provides answers. That's the point.

This is a play which shouldn't be overly explained. It needs to be experienced.

Broadway To Vegas is supported through advertising and donations. Priority consideration is given to interview suggestions, news, press releases, etc from paid supporters. However, no paid supporters control, alter, edit, or in any way manipulate the content of this site. Your donation is appreciated. We accept PAYPAL.
Thank you for your interest.


a rare opportunity to see stunning paintings, pastels, and drawings by leading French Impressionist Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas.

The Burrell Collection holds one of the greatest collections of Degas’s works in the world. Rarely seen in public, this exhibition marks the first time the group of 20 pastels has been shown outside of Scotland, since they were acquired.

One of the greatest artistic innovators of his age, Degas found new ways of depicting modern Parisian life; pursuing a vision distinct from that of his fellow Impressionists. He also relentlessly experimented with materials, particularly pastel that he came to prefer over oil paint.

Coinciding with the centenary of Degas’s death, and including complementary works from the National Gallery Collection, the exhibition offers unique insight into the practices and preoccupations of a complex and intensely private artist. Exhibition organized by the National Gallery in collaboration with the Burrell Collection, Glasgow.

September 20, 2017 – May 7, 2018 at The National Gallery in London.

ART MONACO SPECIAL 8TH EDITION the international art show - excellence in the French Riviera - Where Art Meets Glamour - Because life is also an art!

Attracting art galleries, cultural institutions, art critics and collectors, Art Monaco has exceeded expectations and impressed those in attendance since its debut event in 2008. Offering over 4,000 art pieces on display for exhibition and sale, this is a prime opportunity to immerse oneself into a rich collection of global art either as admirer or as purchaser.

Called innovative and vibrant Art Monaco is held September 21-24.

A black tie ticketed gala dinner followed by a patron preview takes place September 21.

THE RINGLING in Sarasota, Florida reopens today, Sunday, September 17. "This could not have happened without the dedicated support of many people and organizations within our community. To extend our gratitude, all of The Ringling’s venues will be free on Sunday," the venue announced.

"The Ringling was fortunate in that it suffered no major damage during Hurricane Irma. As widely experienced during this hurricane, there were downed trees and debris across the 66-acre property. Museum staff is working diligently to return the grounds to their pristine condition.

"Florida State University and The Florida State University Foundation and the Ringling Museum Art Foundation have been instrumental in The Ringling’s recovery. University of South Florida, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, New College, Midco Fuel and Detweiler’s Gas also provided assistance throughout the process.


HARRY CONNICK, JR stars in Songs for Students, a concert benefiting The Catholic School Region of Manhattan on Monday, September 25, 2017 at The Apollo Theater in New York.

SAN JOSE (CA) JAZZ NEEDS YOUR INSTRUMENTS "Did you play in the band in elementary, middle or high school? Do you believe participation in music has had a positive, lasting impact on you as an individual? Looking for a wonderful place to donate an unused instrument sitting in a storage closet or garage collecting dust?

"Why not donate your used instrument to San Jose Jazz’s pioneering youth development program, Progressions, so that every child in the program has access to an instrument for the 2017-18 school year."

San Jose Jazz is currently looking for the following instruments, in any condition:

Bass Clarinets
French Horns (in F)
3/4 size Baritones
Full Size Baritones
Tubas Bell Kits
Orff Instruments (Xylophones, Glockenspiels, Marimbas)

Instrument donations are tax-deductible.


Larry Kirk as Tony and Carol Laurence as Maria in the original Broadway production of West Side Story.
Sixty years ago this month West Side Story opened on Broadway to become one of the best-loved musicals of all time. To celebrate this historic event, Dancers Over 40 will assemble a spectacular “once-in-a-lifetime” panel of original cast members nearly to the day of their 1957 debut. Cool!

The 60th Anniversary and Reunion Event takes place Wednesday, September 27, at St. Luke's Theater in New York City.

Eleven of the original actor-singer-dancers of West Side Story will share their stories and what it was like to work with Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Peter Gennaro, particularly in the days leading up to opening night at the Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 1957.

Taking the stage will be Martin Charnin (Big Deal), who will moderate the panel, Grover Dale (Snowboy), Marilyn D’Honau (Clarice), Carol Lawrence (Maria), Ronnie Lee (Nibbles), George Marcy (Pepe/Bernardo), Liane Plane (Marguerita), Tony Mordente (A-Rab), Chita Rivera (Anita), Jaime Sanchez (Chino) and David Winters (Baby John).

Chita Rivera as Anita and Carol Laurence as Maria in the original Broadway production of West Side Story.
The cast’s insights, their recollections, thoughts and experiences will be videotaped and donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

Hosted by Matt Rodin the event will feature live performances by Drama Desk winner Jay Armstrong Johnson as well as surprise guests, plus video and plenty of photos on display. Special music arrangements are by Ross Baum with music direction by Curtis Reynolds.

Broadway and film producer, former dancer and Tony Award winner Dennis Grimaldi and Award-winning producer and actor Joey Dedio are currently working on a documentary on the making of West Side story with the 21 remaining original cast members and creators. Emmy and Tony Award-winner and original cast member Martin Charnin will direct.

Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera have been long-time Advisory Board members of Dancers Over 40 which was created in 1994 as a not-for-profit organization to provide a community of support in response to the needs of mature dancers, choreographers and related artists. Their goals include seeking educational opportunities, presenting seminar and panel discussions and social events geared to topics relevant to mature dancers, whose present-day concerns are focused on their ability to continue to live and work in a creative environment, and continue that legacy to the younger generation about to begin their journey.


U2 performing in August 2017 on their Joshua Tree Tour - from left to right: Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge; Bono; Adam Clayton
Superstars U2 abruptly canceled a show set for last night, Saturday, September 16, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri following protests after the acquittal of a former white police officer Jason Stockley, who had been charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 fatal shooting of a black man, 24-year-old Lamar Smith.

According to ABC News, 32 people were arrested in the protests and 10 officers were injured.

Live Nation and U2 offered the following statement:

"We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size.

Ed Sheeran
"We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity.

"In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans' safety by proceeding with tonight's concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment."

U2 is on tour performing its 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. The canceled St. Louis concert was set to take place at the 70,000-capacity The Dome at America's Center.

The St. Louis Symphony also canceled their sold-out performances of Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets — In Concert, citing safety concerns.

English singer Ed Sheeran also canceled his sold-out set for tonight, Sunday, September 17, at the Scottrade Center after police indicated they couldn't guarantee the necessary level of security as the city faces continued protests.

Sheeran opens a two nighter on Tuesday, September 19, at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.


Robot YuMi conducting the Lucca Italian Philharmonic Orchestra
a robot is after your job. Last week, a robot named YuMi raised a baton and conducted famed tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Lucca Italian Philharmonic Orchestra in Pisa playing Verdi’s La Donna e' Mobile.

Not to be considered a one song wonder, that showoff YuMi conducted three musical selections.

YuMi, a two-armed robot developed by Swiss firm ABB, took to the podium to open the first International Festival of Robotics in Pisa.

Guests attending the by invitation only event were only told to "expect a 'robotic' surprise!"

Like his human counterpart, YuMi had to practice, practice, practice - learning the movements of conductor Andrea Colombini, who isn't too worried about his job. Although he conceded to the press that the robot had replicated his conducting movements to an "unthinkable" degree, with a strong "fluidity of gesture" and "incredible softness of touch," the maestro was quick to add. "Yumi is good when it comes to technique but is ultimately not gifted with human sensitivity. The robot uses its arms, but the soul, the spirit, always come from a human."

YuMi also eschewed traditional attire. Instead of a tuxedo he appeared in his metal underwear.

The International Festival of Robotics in Pisa wasn't all music and cocktails. A significant portion of the conference concerned the use of surgical robots. Other seminars were on Robotics and Emotions and Robot and Gender: Are They Masculine or Feminine? However, robots as musical conductors are slowly taking mechanical steps towards becoming a growth industry. In 2008 Honda's robot Asimo led the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a performance of The Impossible Dream from Man Of La Mancha.

A month ago robot Pepper conducted a Buddhist burial ceremony.

THE POMPANO BEACH CULTURAL CENTER reported that last Wednesday, September 13, power was restored to the Pompano Beach Cultural Center and Amphitheater and both venues reopened for business. Last night, Saturday, September 16, Clint Black performed with opening Act The Shane Duncan Band.

L. A. THEATRE WORKS CELEBRATES THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE kicking off its 2017-18 season in an event honoring famed attorney E. Randol Schoenberg, who successfully litigated the return of five Gustav Klimt paintings from the Austrian government to the rightful heirs, as featured in the film Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren.

The evening, hosted by Hector Elizondo, will include a performance of LATW’s 2016-17 acclaimed national touring production of Judgment at Nuremberg by Abby Mann, directed by Brian Kite and featuring Ron Bottitta, Josh Clark, Jeff Gardner, Kip Gilman, Shannon Holt, Dylan Jones, Matthew Floyd Miller and John Vickery.

That will be followed by a discussion about the challenges of the pursuit of justice then and now with Mr. Schoenberg and Geoffrey Cowan who is Chair of USC Annenberg School's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

The evening will begin with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and conclude with a dessert reception.

Wednesday, September 27 at The Wallis in Beverly Hills, CA.

ANNIE has welcomed Craig Revel Horwood who has replaced Miranda Hart as Miss Hannigan from September 18 for ten weeks. The Strictly Come Dancing judge originally performed in Nikolai Foster's production of Annie in the 2015 tour. His previous credits include starring as Munkustrap in Cats, Harry in Crazy for You and he was dance captain for Miss Saigon.

Due to Strictly commitments, Revel Horwood will not be performing on Saturdays.

Annie is the classic musical created by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin's about the little girl Annie, who manages to escape the orphanage she lives in and make friends with a billionaire.

Annie runs at the Piccadilly Theatre on London's West End until February 18, 2018.

THE MENIER CHOCOLATE FACTORY in London has announced that medical reasons have forced James Dreyfus to withdrawn from the upcoming production of Florian Zeller's The Lie. Dreyfus has been replaced by Alexander Hanson, husband to actress Samantha Bond, who also stars in the production.

The English language world première of The Lie in a translation by Christopher Hampton is still set to open at the Menier Chocolate Factory on September 27 with performances to November 18, 2017.

In the production "Alice (Samantha Bond) spots her friend’s husband with another woman. Should she tell her friend the truth…or lie? Her husband Paul (Alexander Hanson) is convinced that it is better to lie. But in doing so, who is being protected and who suffers? Both find out that in matters of the heart, the line between the truth and a lie can be a dangerous one to cross."

PYGMALION THE MUSICAL not to be confused with My Fair Lady was adapted from the classic play Pygmalion written by George Bernard Shaw, with the addition of some local twists by by Hong Kong theatre group Spring-Time Experimental Theatre

The Chinese language production was presented in The Parisian Theatre in Macao last night and tonight, Sunday, September 17, 2017.

In this version : "A linguistics professor meets Eliza, a young country woman selling flowers on the street while he is carrying out research, and is so intrigued by both her beauty and rough speech that he offers to teach her to talk like an educated, classy lady. They fall in love, but separate because of their class differences. Meanwhile one of the professor’s other students also falls for Eliza and vows to marry her. How will this linguistic love triangle play out?"

Spring-Time Experimental Theatre has produced "a fascinating and entertaining local take on this compelling tale which examines issues of class, education, romance and gender, with a light and humorous touch." Starring Perry Chiu, Kevin Lee, Chung Yat Ming, Angus Chan, Charles Teo, Vannizza Chan, Ada Wong, Connie Wong, Paris Wong and Yola Li.

Founded in 1999, Spring-Time Experimental Theatre is a non-profit organization that has produced stage works across different genres. The company aims to discover and nurture young talents who will go on to become the next generation of directors, screenwriters, actors, stage designers and managers, while supporting and encouraging original local work. Spring-Time Experimental Theatre also adapts overseas productions and re-stages them, incorporating new and unusual artistic elements. The company seeks to cultivate youth audiences, promote stage art education and expand local stage play culture.

takes place September 21-24, 2017 in London, Kentucky.

"Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, is one of the most highly recognized figures in the world. Laurel County, Kentucky, located in the heart of the beautiful Daniel Boone National Forest, is proud to be the home of the Colonel’s first and original restaurant established in the 1940’s. Lee Cummings, co-founder of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, also began his career in 1952 with his uncle, Colonel Sanders, in Laurel County. The Annual World Chicken Festival is a tribute to this heritage.

"All the “egg-citement” and entertainment for four fun filled day makes this one of Kentucky’s largest festivals," states the London-Laurel County Tourism Commission.

Attractions include the World's Largest Stainless Steel Skillet. The skillet is operated by World Chicken Festival volunteers and has served more than 120,000 fried chicken dinners since its inauguration in 1992.

The Skillet is 10 feet, 6 inches in diameter; 8 inches deep; 8 foot handle; and weighs 700 pounds total. It requires 300 gallons of cooking oil to fill and can cook 600 quarters of chicken at one time.

Cooking 7000 pieces requires about 375 pounds of flour, 75 pounds of salt, 30 pounds of pepper, 30 pounds of paprika, and the World Chicken Festival’s special ingredients.

About 60 gallons of Natural gas (more than an average family would use in a year) are required to cook 7000 pieces of chicken at temperatures between 325 and 350 degrees.

Located next to that frying pan is The Stage of Stars which will host entertainment including the festivals most popular musical performances, Hot Wing Eating and Col. Sanders Look Alike contests.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, National Cheeseburger Day. Tuesday is National Butterscotch Pudding Day while Friday is National Ice Cream Cone Day. Saturday is National White Chocolate Day.


BOOK GARTH BROOKS and you bank the benefits. It's been 20 years since Brooks performed in Sioux Fall, South Dakota. He's got nine shows scheduled this week-end and next, September 15-17, and September 22-24, at the Sanford Premier Center.

Hyperventilating over the gravy train that accompanies him are hotels, restaurants and bars which see increased revenue from the additional spending by concert goers. The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated the local economic impact of Garth Brooks' performances during the next two weekends at $12.5 million.

Speaking of a gravy train - Brooks is married to three time Grammy Award winner Trisha Yearwood who knows how to make gravy and a lot of other good eats. She's written three cookbooks. Since April 2012, Yearwood has hosted a culinary series on Food Network titled Trisha's Southern Kitchen, for which she has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Culinary Program

THE JUPITER THEATRE in Jupiter, Florida has e-mailed that "luckily, we fared well. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre received only minimal damage to our facility and our box office has reopened for business."

THEATER HALL OF FAME has announced its 2017 inductees: Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie, and Matthew Broderick (actors), Arthur Kopit and Tina Howe (playwrights), Oskar Eustis (director), Daryl Roth (producer), and, posthumously, theatre critic for the shuttered Philadelphia Bulletin, director of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, and ATCA co-founder Ernie Schier.

The invitation-only dinner and induction ceremony will be held at the Gershwin Theatre, whose lobby hosts the Hall of Fame, on November 13, 2017.

Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman will be the Mistress of Ceremonies.

THE RECORDING ACADEMY has welcomed nationally-recognized songwriter Sue Ennis and three-time Grammy winner and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Booker T. Jones to the Academy’s National Advocacy Committee. The Committee, comprised of leading performers, producers, songwriters, and studio engineers, works to determine specific policy positions of the Recording Academy and advance the interests of the music creators the Academy represents.

Sue Ennis will co-chair the Committee with record producer Rodney Jerkins. Ennis is a nationally-recognized songwriter, best known for her work with the Seattle rock band Heart. She has co-written more than 70 songs with Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, with more than 35 million records sold.

Best known as the leader of the instrumental group Booker T. & The MG's, the house band at Stax Records, Jones’ role in the evolution of R&B and soul music is incalculable. He received the Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and has been inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame.

Ennis and Jones will join existing Committee members, all working music makers, Rodney Jerkins, KEM, Ann Mincieli, John Poppo, and Nile Rodgers. Ennis and Jones join the Committee as the Academy kicks-off its District Advocate program, which calls upon thousands of music creators in every city across the country to take part in the Academy’s largest grassroots initiative. On District Advocate day, October 18, 2017, thousands of music creators will meet with their local member of Congress in their hometowns to discuss important legislative matters affecting music creators.


Directed by Kimberly Senior.

From Scott Carter, Executive Producer of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, billed as "this timely New York Premiere finds three of history’s most famous men, all of whom wrote their own version of the gospels, debating everything from religion to literature to marriage in this new play.

Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence), Charles Dickens (the man who brought us A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist) and Count Leo Tolstoy (the epic Russian novelist of War & Peace fame) are trapped in a limbo where each believes their path to salvation depends on convincing the other two that they are wrong.

Presented by Primary Stages September 19 - October 22, 2017 on the Mainstage of the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.

MACK AND MABEL with words and music by Jerry Herman.

Directed by Shaun Kerrison.

Choreographed by Anthony Whiteman.

The 32-piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra in full swing conducted by Freddie Tapner.

The concert stars David Bedella as Mack, Natasha J Barnes as Mabel and Tiffany Graves as Lottie.

Mack and Mabel is based on the real-life story of Mack Sennett, the legendary director of the golden age of the Hollywood silent film and King Of Comedy, who finds himself bankrupt, alone and obsolete. Forced to sell his studio, he reminisces about the glory days, from the chaos of the Keystone Kops and the splendor of Charlie Chaplin, to his turbulent love affair with rising star Mabel Norman. A world where heroes wore capes, girls were tied to the railway tracks and it all ended with a pie in the face.

Mack and Mabel features an expansive and toe-tapping score by Jerry Herman and is widely adored for its classic Broadway hits including I Won’t Send Roses, Time Heals Everything and Tap Your Troubles Away. The album of the musical exploded in popularity when Torvill & Dean famously danced to the Overture in a routine to win Gold at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

On a personal note, a happy memory for me is when, during a telephone conversation with Robert Goulet (on October 30, 2017 it will be ten years since he died) I told the Grammy, Tony and Emmy award winner how much I enjoyed his recording of I Won't Send Roses. Immediately I heard his marvelous voice coming through the phone wires singing the song to me.

The London Musical Theatre Orchestra makes its East London debut with Jerry Herman’s hit show Mack and Mabel. September 23, 2017 at The Hackney Empire in London.

TERROR written by Ferdinand von Schirach.

Translated by David Tushingham.

Directed by Lyric’s Artistic Director Sean Holmes.

Terror is billed as "a thrilling courtroom drama that has been stirring debate across the globe.

"A hijacked plane is heading towards a packed football stadium. Ignoring orders, a fighter pilot shoots the plane down, killing the 164 people on board in order to save the 70,000.

"Put on trial and charged with murder, the fate of the pilot is in the audience’s hands.

"You are the jury, so how will you vote?"

Designed by Olivier Award-winner Anna Fleischle.

Direct from London and exclusive to Brisbane Festival, September 19 - 23 at the QPAC - Playhouse in Brisbane, Australia.


DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES performance on Sunday, September 24, at the Smart Financial Centre in Sugar Land, Texas has partnered with Theater District Houston to Raise Funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey. The devastation from Hurricane Harvey was felt throughout the Greater Houston area and unfortunately Houston's Theater District was not spared, with damages sustained by the Alley Theatre, Wortham Center, Houston Dance Center, and Jones Hall. A portion of some tickets sold will be donated to the recovery effort.

PAUL McCARTNEY stars Barclays Center in Brooklyn on September 19. On Saturday he can be enjoyed in Syracuse, NY at the Carrier Dome.

IL DIVO will perform six shows beginning September 20 at Venetian Theater in Las Vegas.

TIM McGRAW & FAITH HILL star at the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas on Thursday, September 21, 2017

BRUCE COCKBURN 12-time JUNO winner and Canadian musical legend returns to the NAC in Ottawa, Canada on September 22. For this appearance the Ottawa born artist will be bringing some new material as well as his band and well-loved songs from his back-catalogue. He’ll also be bringing with him as a special guest the incredible blues rocker Terra Lightfoot.

MARIA FRIEDMAN SINGS SONDHEIM AND BERNSTEIN in her Feinstein's/54 Below solo debut with New York City performances September 19-23. The three-time Olivier Award winner explores the work of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim in her critically acclaimed show Lenny & Steve, comparing and contrasting songs from their separate catalogues, as well as their joint masterpiece West Side Story.


JOHN MICHAEL FRIEDMAN a celebrated composer and lyricist for work off and on Broadway, died Saturday, September 9, 2017 from complications of HIV.AIDS in Manhattan. He was 41.

He was best known as a co-creator of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a sharp, sexy and satirical musical, about this nation's seventh president, drawing on contemporary emo music, which ran Off Broadway at the Public, and then had a critically praised run on Broadway beginning in 2010.

He was a founding associate artist of The Civilians. He received a 2007 Obie award for sustained excellence. He was the dramaturg for the 2004 Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Kenny Leon.

He had served as artistic director of Encores! Off-Center, an annual summer program at New York City Center that presents staged concert performances of Off Broadway musicals.

He worked with Itamar Moses on The Fortress of Solitude, an adaption based on the Jonathan Lethem book of the same name. It opened September 30, 2014 at The Public Theater. In 2015 he was a research resident at the Stanford Arts Institute, working on three new musicals: American Pop, a commissioned work from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival about the history of American Pop Music; Pretty Filthy, a musical about the adult film industry that opened at The Civilians Theatre in New York; and Unknown Soldier, a musical about World War I.

He is survived by his parents and sister.

SIR PETER HALL eminent English theatre, opera and film director died September 11, 2017. He was 86.

In 1955 he introduced London audiences to the work of Samuel Beckett with the UK premiere of Waiting for Godot. Hall founded the Royal Shakespeare Company (1960–68) and went on to build an international reputation in theatre, opera, film and television. He was director of the National Theatre (1973–88) and artistic director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera (1984–1990). He formed the Peter Hall Company (1998–2011) and became founding director of the Rose Theatre, Kingston in 2003. Throughout his career, he was a vociferous champion of public funding for the arts.

Hall was also an internationally celebrated opera director, having worked at many of the world's leading houses including the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Bayreuth Festival where he, with conductor Georg Solti, directed Wagner's Ring Cycle (Der Ring Des Nibelungen) in 1983 to honor the centenary of the composer's death.

He was awarded the CBE in 1963 and knighted in 1977 for his services to the theatre. He was awarded the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1965), received the Hamburg University Shakespeare Prize (1967) and was elected Member of the Athens Academy for Services to Greek Drama (2004). His professional awards and nominations included two Tony Awards for The Homecoming and Amadeus. In 2005 Hall was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Hall was married four times. His first wife was French actress Leslie Caron, with whom he had a son, Christopher, and a daughter, Jennifer. . With his second wife, Jacqueline Taylor, he had a son, Edward, and a daughter, Lucy. Hall married American opera singer Maria Ewing in 1982 with whom he had one daughter, Rebecca. They were divorced in 1990. In That same year he married to Nicki Frei; the couple had one daughter, Emma.

In addition to his wife Nicki, he is survived by six children and nine grandchildren.

Next Column: September 24, 2017
Copyright: September 17, 2017 All Rights Reserved. Reviews, Interviews, Commentary, Photographs or Graphics from any Broadway To Vegas (TM) columns may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, utilized as leads, or used in any manner without permission, compensation and/or credit.
Link to Main Page

Laura Deni

For the snail mail address, please E-mail your request.