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P DITTY'S SWEATY UNDERWEAR - - THE FEUDING NEIL AND DANNY SIMON
- - ANDRE AGASSI'S PARTY OF
THE YEAR - -
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG - -CLINT EASTWOOD IS A
GROUPIE - -
CARNIVALE IS NO PARTY - -
THE NEW YORKER FESTIVAL - - GRETA GARBO PANNED - - DONATE . . . Scroll Down
Copyright: September 22, 2002
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By: Laura Deni
SIMON BLOOD FEUD SPANS
Someday some talented writer will probably pen a bittersweet script about two talented writing
That "someday" will no doubt be after both Neil Simon, 75, and his brother, Danny, 83, have
departed this world.
Their blood feud, which rarely was on the back burner, has reportedly had the heat turned
Apparently little has changed since Danny Simon was in Las Vegas in June, 1988 and discussed
with reporters, including this one, his convoluted feelings about Neil.
Now Neil has sent Danny what has been termed a "kiss off letter" - a letter which is being
discussed in and around the theatre district.
"It's hard for me to converse with you, so I won't," Neil wrote. "Don't bother answering this
letter. I won't read it. I have just so much time in the day to be aggravated. I don't understand you or how you live
your life or think but I have no interest to investigate that."
Danny Simon an accomplished theater director, was one of the premier writers during TV's
Golden Age, writing for Sid Caesar and bringing his younger brother, Neil, on board. Woody Allen is often
quoted as saying, "Danny Simon taught me how to be funny."
Neil Simon, of course, is considered the world's most successful playwright. He has had dozens of
plays and nearly as many major motion pictures produced. He has been showered with more Academy and Tony
nominations than any other writer, and is the only playwright to have four Broadway productions running
Danny and Neil started out as a comedy writing team. At Camp Tamiment in the Poconos they helped
put together the half hour weekly reviews that were one of the resort's drawing cards.
It is there that Neil met his first wife, Joan. Their love was so intense, their private circle so small
that even her mother claimed she felt like an outsider. So did Danny.
Insiders say that it is no secret that Danny played a major role in Neil's
writing. Danny brought Simon into the
business and had shown him the ropes.
In fact, it was Danny who provided the
inspiration for one of Simon's most enduring hits. After his divorce, Danny moved in with another divorced man, and this situation
became the set-up for The Odd Couple. Though Danny had begun writing the story himself, he reached
a block and eventually handed it off to Neil who soon made it a smash in 1966 on Broadway, at the Eugene O'Neill
Theatre starring Eddie Bracken and Mike Kellin.
The 1968 film starring Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau was equally successful and prompted a
popular television series.
Danny felt he was never given the proper credit - on that or on several other projects.
Lost in Yonkers started out as Louie the Gangster - a play about a young boy who
was left by his father to live with his grandmother and his renegade uncle, who belonged to the Mafia. It was to be
about the influence that the uncle begins to wield over the little boy. A member of Simon's own family was supposed to
have been a bookkeeper to the mob. "My brother told me about him," Neil Simon told New York
magazine. "About how he knew too much and was rubbed out and mysteriously disappeared."
Simon wrote the first draft in three months. By the time it was polished into Lost in
Yonkers the gangster character was still there, but the focus had shifted to the mother and the daughter she had
The play became a Tony award winner.
Danny does receive credit with Neil on Only
When I Laugh also known as It Hurts Only When I Laugh; based on the play The Gingerbread
Lady, Columbia, 1981.
Danny is also the author of The Convertible Girl about a nice, gentile girl, who happens to
be in love with Ron Goldberg, who in turn claims that the only reason why he cannot marry her is because she is not
Jewish. The solution being obvious, Christina decides to convert, and finds more than she bargained for in her
At a Comedy Convention, held at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas in June, 1988, Danny was the
featured speaker. He told the comics that he had started writing in 1947, scripting five minute spoofs for
other comics. Danny, who went on to teach comedy, instructed the young comics to first, become a
good writer and then stressed not only not to sell without an agent, but they needed a good
agent. He also advised them to "write your own material until you hit superstardom, but when writing for others
you must know not only the character but the craft thoroughly."
He repeatedly cautioned the comics to "get the credit you deserve" and "not give away ideas - not
to friends not to family," adding that talking too much can be "a knife in the back."
Danny complained that he had spent years being referred to only as Neil Simon's brother when
what he had been was a key player.
Emotions and bonds bleed to death in blood feuds. The one between the talented Simon brothers
has been going on for decades.
Starting last Friday, it's been three days of nonstop jazz entertainment, performed by over 500
artists on seven stages. On hand is Clint Eastwood, who admits that he is a jazz groupie. Eastwood came to
the festival to hang out with Dave Brubeck and host one of the events.
The Jazz Festival was stared in 1958 thanks to a $6,700 donation. Today it is the longest
running jazz festival in the world.
The Dave Brubeck Quarter. Dave has had a long and distinguished career. He served
War II under General George Patton This year the Monterey Jazz Festival Grounds Entertainment featured
Redman with Brian Blade & Sam Yahel
Don Byron, Etta James & the Roots Band,
Big Time Sarah with the Steve Freund Blues Band, The Heath Brothers., Kenny Barron
and Rodney Green. Grammy award winner saxophonist Michael Brecker joined bassist
Charlie Haden for a special performance. The Mingus Big Band performed at the Festival's
celebration of Charles Mingus' 80th birthday.
With Clint Eastwood getting into the act by serving as the personal host, performers
included Nancy Wilson & Ramsey Lewis, The Dave Brubeck Quartet
with special guests Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride and Lizz Wright.
Etta James beat a long time heroin habit and has a new CD
Also hitting the right notes were
Randy Weston Sextet featuring Billy Harper,
Paula West, Rene Marie, Lizz Wright, Roberta Gambarini, Orestes Vilato, John Santos,
Michael Spiro, Michael Wolff & Impure Thoughts, Mingus Amungus, Taylor Eigsti, Zubot
& Dawson, Anthony Wonsey, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers.
Keeping the beat going were Rhoda Scott,
Houston Person, Reuben Wilson, Michael Bluestein, Sylvia Cuenca, Dave Stryker, Steve
Slagle, Willem Brueker Kollektief, Lady Bianca, Weber Iago, ESP Trio, Trevor Watts'
Moire Music Trio, Commander's Jazz Ensemble, Top Student Music Groups From U. S.,
Australia and Cuba.
THE NEW YORKER
Writers, poets, and cartoonists will be on hand this coming weekend - September 27-29 - to
sign books and say hello. Stephen King, Martin Amis, Steve Martin, Sam Shepard and Jonathan
Franzen will read fiction around town, followed by
a party editor Bill Buford's Gramercy Park abode. West Wing producer Aaron Sorkin and
co-creator Trey Parker will host a talk on TV censorship while Salma Hayek and Jennifer Jason
Leigh head a
discussion about movies.
On Sept. 29 Jeffrey Toobin will serve as tour guide of New York City's crime lab. Calvin Trillin
leads an eating tour
Some of the other wordsmiths participating include; Adam Gopnik, Anthony Lane, Haruki
Murakami, Annie Proulx, Edwidge Danticat,
Jonathan Safran Foer, Lorrie Moore, Paul Auster, Jorie Graham, Andrea Lee, Amy Tan, Richard
Avedon, Roz Chast,
Bob Mankoff, John Lahr, Edna O'Brien, Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky,
Jeffrey Eugenides and
ROY DUSTY ROGERS, JR & REX ALLEN, JR will be performing at the Gene Autry Oklahoma Film & Music Festival
Gene Autry, OK. which is about 12 miles northeast of Ardmore, midway between Oklahoma City
and Dallas-Fort Worth. The festival takes places September 26 - 29 with Rogers and Allen
performing on September 28th. They will also be taking part in a question and answer panel
The Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum will be moving to Branson, MO.
will remain open in Victorville, CA. through February 2003 "business as usual". They will be
moving in March for an April - May grand opening in Branson. (See Broadway To Vegas column
of July 21, 2002)
THE GREAT AMERICAN COWBOY IN CONCERT
takes place at Carnegie Hall in the
Isaac Stern Auditorium next May 30.
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P DITTY'S SWEATY UNDERWEAR
can be yours. According to the website of Minneapolis radio station KDWB, they "found these
in Diddy's dressing room right after Diddy left. They were still sweaty, but clean otherwise! We
keep them in a Zip-Loc bag so they stay that way. Winning bidder receives: Diddy's
Sean Jean XL Men's Briefs in a Zip-Loc bag OR we'll wash them for you before shipping if you
They started the bidding out at $1.00 and when last checked the offers were up to $150.00.
The station tried to sell the item on E bay, but were stopped since E bay won't sell used
of statements as to how the station really obtained the undies. Their website says P Diddy left the
drawers. But in an interview the station said they "broke into his dressing room" and confiscated
the item. P Diddy was a good sport about the theft, permitted the station to keep them and even
autographed a huge (11 x 14") card which Diddy signed it right after the concert.
All proceeds benefit the station's Family Center.
GRAND SLAM FOR CHILDREN
Andre Agassi and some of his "kids"
was started by tennis great - and all around nice person - Andre
In a city already known for big-name entertainment, the Grand Slam for
Children takes center stage in Las Vegas by presenting a star-studded evening at the
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. In past concerts entertainers performing have included Elton
John, Robin Williams, Celine Dion, Seal, Jay Leno, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Kenneth "Babyface"
Edmonds, Gloria Estefan, LeAnn Rimes, Luther Vandross, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Wynonna, David Foster, Dennis
Miller, and Don Henley. It has become the largest single fund-raising event
ever held in Las Vegas.
To date, the AACF has raised more than $18 million through innovative
fundraising efforts such as the annual Grand Slam for Children concert
benefit. All of the Foundation's administrative and overhead costs are
funded through contributions made by either Andre Agassi or Agassi
Enterprises, Inc. Therefore, every penny raised at the event goes to assist
underprivileged, abused or at-risk children in Las Vegas.
In addition to being a worthwhile cause, this benefit - unlike some that can
bore to distraction - is always a ton of fun.
This year's gala takes place Saturday, September 28. Babyface, Sir Elton John, Martina McBride,
Dennis Miller, Carlos Santana, and Robin Williams are scheduled to perform.
The live auction is always an entertaining pre-concert event. This year will
be no exception. In addition to fancy trips, jewelry, and a Mercedes, some of
the packages to be gaveled down have something for every interest. If food
is your thing there is dinner with Robin and Marsha Williams.
Or, Chef Emeril Lagasse flying his staff to your home anywhere in the United States to
prepare and serve a customed designed meal for 12 people. Wine
There is a child's party of a lifetime. Your child and up to 11 of his/her friends will stay
overnight in the newly opened FAO @ The Grove in Los Angeles. This magical package
includes a favorite children's bedtime story read by Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles
Lakers. After Shaquille leaves, there will be games, tons of food and the best darn
scavenger hunt FAO Schwarz has to offer.
Sir Elton John with Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, vice-president of Chopard,
the title sponsor for The White Tie & Tiara ball considered London's party of the year
Then there is a party for the adults. Attend Elton John's private White Tie and Tiara
Ball which he hosts at his house in Windsor, England, considered one of the social events
of the year. In case you don't know what to wear, the package includes an exquisitely
designed one-of-a-kind Badgley Mischka platinum grey crepe gown (size 6) with beaded
bodice and matching beaded shawl. To complement the gown, an important pearl and
diamond necklace by Fred Leighton, boasting approximately 6.82 carats of extremely fine
quality diamonds, and accented in front by a double row of lustrous cultured pearls with
A romantic evening spent at the famous Vienna Opera Ball in
Vienna, Austria is also up for grabs. Don't worry if your waltz is a little rusty. The first
class week in Vienna includes a brush up session at one of Vienna's traditional dancing
It should come as no surprise that many packages up for auction
Win a trip for two to Shanghai to witness the Tennis Masters Cup while
another auction package has you and a guest attending the semi-finals
and championship matches
for both men and women of all four ATP Grand Slam Tournaments:
The Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, in January 2003
The French Open in Paris, France, in June 2003 Wimbledon in London, England, in July 2003
The U.S. Open in New York City, in September 2003.
A different tennis package offers a private tennis clinic with Andre
Agassi and Stefanie Graf.
Then there is that tennis package to watch the ultimate Grand Slam
tennis championship at Wimbledon.
Tennis isn't the only sport represented.
One high bidder will receive
an hour lesson in how to play football with Joe Montana, the guy who led the 49ers to nine
winning seasons in 10 years and a total of three Super Bowl championships.
If you want to get your face in front of a camera bid on the C.S.I.: Crime
Scene Investigation package. The winner gets a non speaking walk on
role on location in Los Angeles, with a close-up view of the taping, and
interaction with cast members who are being filmed that day.
If you'd like to attend the silver $5,000 and gold $12,500 table levels are
sold out. However, there are two other table levels available for
purchase: Platinum - $30,000 and Diamond - $75,000. Concert tickets
range from $40 to $85.
MERRILY WE ROLL
ALONG rolls out the song sheets to benefit Musical Theatre Works. The
cast from the 1981 Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical, which closed on Broadway after 16
performances, will re-create their roles. That includes the talented Jason Alexander, Lonny
Price, Tonya Pinkins and Liz
The musical centers around three best friends whose friendship unravels over time.
The action travels in reverse from 1980 to 1957, when the friends are fresh out of high
school and full of ideals.
The original concert version, with that first cast, has Paul Gemignani conducting a 20-piece
attendance will be both Sondheim and Hal Prince, who directed the original. At the La
Guardia High School
for the Performing Arts. New York City. September 30.
Musical Theatre Works is an after-school academy and performance company for students
in grades K-12.
MTW's programs provide students an opportunity to learn about and experience all
aspects of Musical
Theatre by producing two full-scale Broadway Musicals each year and offering classes in
Voice and Stagecraft.
LARK THEATRE COMPANY BENEFIT will feature the
new musical Earth Girls Are Easy based on the 1989 Geena Davis, Julie Brown, Jim
Brown will reprise her role on stage. The event takes place September 30.
NEW YORK CHILDREN'S
FOUNDATION benefits from a reading for Reflections - Post 9/11 Through Children's
nine short plays written by children ages 11 to 17 who put their emotions on paper, explaining
how they were affected by the events of September 11.
Conceived by Teresa Jusino, Reflections began with a two-week workshop that was directed by
52nd Street Project's Daniel Judah Sklar and Joe White.
This reading will feature Kate Burton, Robert Sean Leonard and David Straithairn. Thursday,
Sept. 26 at New York's Public Theater's Newman Stage.
LEONARD SLATKIN music
director of the Washington based National Symphony Orchestra, has been inducted into the
American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Slatkin, 58, previously was music director of the St. Louis Symphony.
MUSIC HALL in Oklahoma
has been newly renovated meeting or exceeded the expectations of The Oklahoma City
Philharmonic, Canterbury Choral
Society, Ballet Oklahoma, Celebrity Attractions and Lyric Theatre, all of whom call the 2,500 seat
Music Hall home.
First reported in The Daily Oklahoman a run down on opinions included:
Joel Levine, artistic director of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic who stated; "When the
shaper - an adjustable stage ceiling used for concert performances - is in place, the acoustics are
extremely flattering for the orchestra. And when it's removed, you have a completely open grid and fly space
for theater productions. It's kind of like having your cake and eating it, too."
Celebrity Attractions and Lyric Theatre now have plans to import or product musicals that
make use of much larger sets and casts.
"With more wing space and fly space, we'll be able to bring in larger shows much sooner,"
Celebrity Attractions President Larry Payton said. "We never could have offered a show like The
Phantom of the Opera in the old hall."
The Civic Center renovations have made it possible for Ballet Oklahoma artistic director
Bryan Pitts to feature the premiere of a ballet version of Sir James M. Barrie's Peter Pan in the
"I don't think I ever would have considered something like that before," Pitts said.
"There's quite a bit more
flying than in any other production we've done. We'll be able to feature works that can
take full advantage
of the new hall."
executive director of Lyric Theatre: "In terms of the size of the stage and what we can do with sound
and lighting, it's all state-of-the-art."
"The move opened up new possibilities for shows we never could do before," added Nick
artistic director. "We could never have done something like The Wizard of Oz
(which is on Lyric's 2003 season) because of technical limitations. We're now talking about shows such as
Ragtime, Miss Saigon and he Scarlet Pimpernel for future seasons."
Levine said, "I suspect the Civic Center will become the model for performing arts halls all
over the country. There's not much doubt that this will be considered one of the country's best
ORPHEUM THEATRE in Omaha, Nebraska, the town's main venue for the symphony, opera and ballet, has been given a $10 million face
lift by the Omaha Performing Arts Society.
Leaders of local arts groups say that the renovations to the theater, which first opened in
1927, should make the Orpheum a better experience for both performers and audiences.
One of the improvements is new storage space being built into the 4,752-square-foot rear
The new loading dock, which is part of the extension, will help stage hands work more
comfortably with the large sets.
Canadian Brass, Michael Feinstein and Doc Severinsen are among the stars who are
scheduled to appear
with the Omaha Symphony.
GARBO THE MUSICAL
about the life of the late screen idol, Greta Garbo, composed by Michael Reed and Jim Steinman,
book by Britain's Warner Brown, has been panned in the star's home country of
the critics called it mediocre although some of the music, the choreography and the cast were
The problem is in the plot. Critics reviewing the opening night described it as sterile and failing to
add anything to the mystery surrounding her life.
The musical is directed by Scott Faris, known for helming the hit-musical Chicago.
First written in English with lyrics by Warner Brown Garbo The Musical was then
into Swedish by Py Backman.
Choreographed by Adam Cooper with assistant Greg
The show covers her life from poor shop-girl, forced to work in the barber shop at the age
of 14, to star of the silver screen, appearing in 10 silent and 14 sound films including
Anna Karenina and Grand Hotel. She moved to the America in 1923,
became a citizen, stunned Hollywood by quitting showbusiness at the age of 36, and lived for
almost 50 years as a near-recluse in a luxury apartment in Manhattan's East Side.
She passed away at age 84 in 1990, and her ashes are buried in Stockholm.
Garbo The Musical begins on a Hollywood set complete with Gladiators in plastic
body armor and ladies in Roman togas. Fredrik Lycke stars as director Irving Thalberg. He sets
the storyline with a soft shoe routine complete with twirling cane to Two Tales.
Irving G. Thalberg became head of production at the Universal Film Manufacturing Co.
at the age of 20 and three years later vice president and head of production for Louis B.
Mayer, personally supervising the studio's top productions. Thalberg was given full
authority to choose scripts, revise them, and have final cut on any film. Thalberg is
largely credited for establishing MGM as the literary studio, and supported the studio
system that kept a stable of actors, directors, writers, and producers working together to
produce films. Thalberg died of pneumonia in 1936 at the age of 37.
Garbo being manipulated by the Hollywood studio system is staged in
Garbo The Musical as a living chess match. With the cast dressed as chess pieces
in Power Play the conflict between Garbo, played by Gunilla Backman, and
studio mogul Louis B. Mayer, portrayed by Fred Johanson, are plotted, moved and
Garbo had many affairs including those with John Gilbert, Mauritz Stiller, Leopold Stokowsky
director Rouben Mamoulien, but she never married.
She was always torn between loyalty to her friends, ambition and a desire for privacy. When
Garbo decided to quit Hollywood her writer friend Mercedes de Acosta, acted by Petra
Nielson, attempted to convince her to remain, while the photographer
Cecil Beaton, portrayed by Daniel Engman, offers to marry her promising to take her
away from her troubles.
This is brought to life on stage in The Wild Side. The ladies representing Garbo
are matador drama costumed in beaded bolero waistcoats and black pants. The men
representing Beaton are in white suits button holed with pink carnations.
The world premier of Garbo The Musical began September 18th in
Oscarsteatern in Stockholm.
This Swedish production had little momentum going in and perhaps would have been better
mounted in English in another country. While Garbo was idolized as an actress in Sweden she was
also resented as a person. She constantly criticized the Swedish press, and once she moved to
American only returned to Sweden as cremated remains.
Producer Mikael Hellqvist and his group hope to take their production to London's West End and
then to Broadway.
CARNIVALE SPECTACULAR ( See Broadway To Vegas column of August 4,
won't have the music playing on forever. Radio City
Music Hall has put a cork in the party bottle. The big bucks extravagant production was to have been an
annual spring offering, featuring samba and other Latin, jazz and funk tinged music with street carnival
influenced choreography, costumes, aerialists and giant puppets. Rehearsals had been underway for several weeks
when the project was suddenly suspended last week and the crew kicked to the curb. The production was to
have opened in May.
ROSIE O'DONNELL no
longer involved with her talk show or the magazine that carried her name, will have more time to concentrate on
being a Broadway producer. Towards the top of Rosie's personal short list of things to do is
producing Boy George's new musical, Taboo, which garnered rave reviews in London.
one brilliantly witty Cole Porter after another marks this fabulous musical comedy first
presented in 1934. A jubilant tale taking place aboard the S.S. American bound for Europe, it includes
stowaways, nightclub sirens, shipboard romance, mistaken identity, a gangster and nonstop fun.
The music? You're the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, Blow, Gabriel, Blow, It's
Delovely, All Through the Night, Friendship, Easy to Love and of course, the title song.
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter. Original Book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton And
Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse. New Book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman. Originally produced by
Lincoln Center Theatre, New York City. Directed by Glenn Casale. Music Direction By Gerald
Sternbaach. Choreographed by Dan Mojica.
The stellar cast includes Rachel York, Anastasia Barzee, Sally Struthers, Larry Cedar, Fred
Willard, Brent Barrett, Jason Graae, Delee Lively, Colin Kim, Glenn Shiroma, Brendan Ford, Austin
Miller, Christa Jackson, Kim Arnett, Carmen Parks, Natalie Nucci, David Brouwer and Joe
Assorted Passengers & Ship Crew: include Barbara
Chiofalo, Julie Kenyon, Biff
Ingenthorn, David Brouwer
and Red Savage.
Members of the orchestra who will be playing all of that fabulous Porter music include;
Conductor Gerald Sternbach, Contractor Joe Soldo, Asst. Cond./Piano Tom Griep, Alto
Sax/Woodwinds Greg Huckins, Alto Sax/Woodwinds Lee Callet,Tenor
Sax/Oboe Phil Feather Bari Sax/Bassoon John Mitchell, Trumpet Darrel Gardner, Trumpet Larry
McGuire, Trombone Chauncey Welsch, Trombone Bill Elton, Violin Liane Mautner, Bass Chuck Berghofer and
Drums/Percussion Bob Leatherbarrow. Performances through September 29
Macgowan Hall Freud Playhouse Los Angeles, CA.
FLOWER DRUM SONG had its first preview at the Virginia Theatre,
NYC on September 23. Robert Longbottom directs a cast headed up by the newly engaged Lea
Salonga, and Jose Llana. Officially opens on October 17. This Rodgers and Hammerstein
musical revival features an extensively revised book by David Henry Hwang.
COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (ABRIDGED) from September 27 to October 13 at The Theatre Barn, New Lebanon, New
William Shakespeare's timeless
tale of betrayal, treachery and the perils of growing old is told in a all-new setting.
This production takes a giant leap backward from Shakespeare's
time - to the Bronze Age (circa 500 BC). Set amidst Celtic ritual and
superstition - and accompanied by Celtic music.
With age is supposed to come wisdom, but sometime things don't work out that
way. After winning a major war and according to the gods, King Lear decides to
divide his vast estates among his three daughters and abdicate his throne,
assuming his children will take care of him in his retirement.
first insists that his children swear undying love to him above all else. Easier said than
done. For a morality lesson about expecting too much and not seeing the
truths right before your eyes, King Lear teaches just "how sharper than a
serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child
Founded in 1993, the Oberon Theatre Ensemble is a
New York based, not-for-profit theatre group committed to cultivating and
invigorating a diverse theatre community by confronting contemporary issues
through classic and original works and by employing non-traditional casting
and supporting the process of developing original material.
Donovan Johnson' directs a cast that includes Chet Carlin (Lear) and Gordon Stanley
(Gloucester). Others in the production include Mac Brydon, Josephine Cashman, Philip Emeott, John C. Fitzmaurice,
Brad Fryman, Michael Hagins, Jennifer Miranda Holmes, Jennifer Marie Lambert,
Laura Siner, Karen Sternberg, Sarah Sutel, and AJ Tesler.
Oberon Theatre Ensemble, New York City. September 27th - Sunday October
HAMLET a new
production of the classic Shakespeare play - only set in Louisiana in the 1940s. The Producers Club II. Shows
begin September 23.
UNDER THE BLUE SKY
by David Eldridge, directed by Gilbert Cates is having its West
premiere at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles.
Three interconnected plays reveal the after hours liaisons of teachers dealing with love and
sexuality. Billed as for mature audiences this play was written by one of Great Britain's
hottest young playwrights. Eldridge was 28-years-old when he penned this piece about teachers
trying to guide students and yet are as confused as anybody. Under The Blue Sky enjoyed a
successful run the Royal Court Theatre in London.
This Geffen offering stars Willie Garson, Sharon Lawrence, McCaleb Burnett, Margaret
Welsh, Judy Geeson and John Carroll Lynch.
Though October 10. Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles.
THE PRODUCERS have begun their national tour setting up shop in Pittsburgh
through September 30.
The $7 million touring production stars Lewis J. Stadlen and Don Stephenson in the roles
created by Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick: slimy theater impresario Max Bialystock and nerdy
accountant Leo Bloom.
Brenda Braxton stars as Sugar Lou
by Langton Hughes
a Harlem Jassical.
In 1936, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing. Nattily dressed street hustlers keep time to
the sharp popping of shoeshine rags while hard-working locals relax by dancing and listening to the
music of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.
Small time numbers games allow people to dream of
luxuries beyond the
reach of The Great Depression.
When the downtown mob threatens to take over
numbers game, they find the perfect ally in Hamlet Hitchcock Jones also known as Little Ham.
Ham is a smooth operator with fast feet and a quick wit. Coerced by Louie 'The Nail' Mahoney and the lure
of big money, Ham goes to work for the mob. Assigned the duty of shaking down Tiny Lee's Beauty
Shop, Ham must find a way to double cross the mob or risk betraying the girl he loves and abandoning his
Harlem roots forever.
Eric Krebs fell under the spell of Langston Hughes' magical and uplifting expression of the historical Harlem. He
teamed up with composer Judd Woldin to stage the first production at the award winning
George Street Playhouse in 1987 where Krebs was serving as head honcho.
In this production Andre Garner struts as Hamilton Hitchock Jones.
Brenda Braxton plays Sugar Lou. Castmates include Adrian Bailey, Cheryl Alexander, Monica
Patton, D'Ambrose Boyd, Venida Evans, Jerry Gallagher, Julia Lema, Joy Styles, Lee Summers,
Richard Vida, and Joe Wilson, Jr.
Eric Riley directs the show, which has a book by Dan Owens, music by Judd Woldin and
lyrics by Woldin and Richard Engquist.
Musical direction is by David Alan Bunn, choreography is by Leslie Dockery, and
arrangements are by Luther Henderson. Set designer is Edward T. Gianfrancesco. Bernard
Grenier costumes and Richard Latta lighting.
Little Ham's opens at the John Houseman Theatre, NYC on September. 26.
PAUL McCARTNEY center stage tomorrow at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul,
Minnesota. On Tuesday
the performance is at the United Center in Chicago. Friday finds Paul and the gang at the
Center in Hartford, Conn. He closes out the week, Saturday, at the Atlantic City
Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic
City, New Jersey.
THE ROLLING STONES rock
it tonight at the
Tower Theatre at Upper Darby, PA. On Thursday they take to the Madison Square
Garden stage in New
York City and on Saturday they're in the spotlight at the Giants Stadium in East
Rutherford, New Jersey.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN on
stage tonight September 22 in Denver, CO at the Pepsi Arena. On September 24 the show moves to
Kansas City, MO at the Kemper Arena. September 25 finds the Boss in
Chicago, IL at the United Center. September 27 they'll rock Milwaukee, WI at the
Bradley Center. On September 29 the place to be is
Fargo, ND at the Fargodome
ELVIS COSTELLO has a busy week. Tonight the performance is at the Paramount
Theatre in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Tomorrow the show is in Seattle, Washington at the Paramount.
On Tuesday he's center stage Portland, Oregon at the Arlene Schnitzer Hall. On Wednesday
he'll be in the spotlight at the McDonald Theatre in Eugene Oregon. Friday finds the performer on
stage at the Warfield in San Francisco.
On Saturday the action takes place at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California.
NEIL DIAMOND singing
tomorrow at the
Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. On Wednesday the
songwriter/singer performs in Canada at the Corel Center in Ottawa. On Thursday Neil can be enjoyed at
the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
RUSH in their Vapor Trails Tour
which is their first tour in five years. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart
plus a special guest. Monday, September 23 Staples Center, Los Angeles.
HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS
open Thursday, September 26 at the Historic Mountain Winery
in Saratoga, California for a four
BOB NEWHART telling funny
stories Friday, September 27, in Decatur, Illinois at the Kirkland Arts Center. On Saturday he'll be
making the crowds laugh in University Park, Illinois at the Center for the Performing
JOHNNY MATHIS two night
stand Sunday-Monday, September 29-30, in Pittsburgh, PA at Heinz Hall.
BERNADETTE PETERS in concert
at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, WI on September 28.
MAUREEN McGOVERN September 26 -
29 with the North Carolina Symphony at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh, NC.
ALAN KING brings his wit and
wisdom to Texas Station, Las Vegas Sept3mber 27.
DEBBIE REYNOLDS is
enjoying a new legion of
fans thanks to her starring in the Disney movie Halloweentown, where Debbie plays
a witch. Debbie's
10-year-old granddaughter, Billie, compliments of daughter Carrie Fisher, proudly
grandmother to her young friends as the witch in Halloweentown.
Billie calls her
grandmother Abba Dabba, in
honor of Debbie's hit record Abba Dabba Honeymoon. For the next two months
Debbie is on the
road. While Debbie is packing and unpacking, son Todd Fisher has just signed the final
contract papers for
the Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Memorabilia Museum, which will open each next year
near the Mann Chinese Theatre.
isn't the only activity
going on around Buffalo, New York. Calling it patriot theater in selecting George M! to open the
season at the Lancaster Opera House, the cast includes narrator John F. Schaller. He is the
former assistant chief of police in Cheektowaga. The two-hour musical chronicles the life of George
Michael Cohan, the opinionated showman who took Broadway by storm in the early 1900s, writing
more than 40
plays, penning more than 500 songs. Besides Schaller the show Philip A. Jarosz and Emily Kathryn Feldman. The
production at the Lancaster Opera House, Lancaster, New York closes this
Next Column: September 29, 2002
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