Friday, April 21, 2017

OMG! Absolutely Stupendous, Unanimous Praise!



Hello Dolly with Bette Midler opened on Broadway last night and it has taken the town by storm.
Every reviewer has lavished praise on this new production of the classic 1964 musical -- a 53-year-old gem with a 70+ year-old star.
Forget the rap or hip hop (or whatever it is) around the corner or that millennial musical homage to social media, because Dolly is back in town and she's the new toast of Broadway.

Here's a sampling of the reviews:

Ben Brantley - New York Times:
The pinnacle of fine dining in New York these days can’t be found in a Michelin-starred restaurant, though it will probably cost you just as much. No, you’ll have to get yourself and your wide-open wallet to the Shubert Theater, where the savory spectacle of Bette Midler eating turns out to be the culinary event of the year.

Marilyn Stasio - Variety:
The audience claps at the overture and whistles at the set; and when Bette Midler makes her entrance, everyone falls into a dead swoon. “Hello, Dolly!” is back on Broadway, and it looks so fresh, you want to pinch its cheek.

Maya Stanton - Entertainment Weekly:
How to describe a force of nature? A blockbuster success even before the curtain went up on opening night, the new revival of Hello, Dolly! marks legendary performer Bette Midler’s highly anticipated return to Broadway, and thanks to a top-notch cast and an award-laden production team, it more than justifies the hype.

Charles McNulty - LA Times:
Rarely has an exclamation point in a title been earned as thoroughly as the one in the new Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” starring Bette Midler.

Joe Dziemanowicz - NY Daily News:
Hello, blockbuster!
They don’t make ’em like they used to — and that goes double for Broadway’s dazzling revival of “Hello, Dolly!” thanks to the show itself and its above-the-title supernova, Bette Midler.
Frankly, there ought to be another exclamation point.

Robert Kahn, NBC, New York:
Hearing Midler sing “Hello, Dolly!” is such a tingly experience that you eventually sit back down and wonder: Is this what it was like when Carol Channing debuted “Dolly!” on Broadway half a century ago? And, was Midler put on Earth to carry forth that legacy? It sure feels that way. This “Hello, Dolly!” is as blissful an escape as anyone could want.

Linda Winer - Newsday:
If there were such a thing as a happiness meter at the Shubert Theatre these days, where, oh, where would that be placed? The obvious position is in the audience, where fans of “Hello, Dolly!” and fans of Bette Midler — which may well add up to just about everyone — have come together in a palpable bonding festival of hot-ticket excitement, contentment and raucous joy.

Jesse Green - New York magazine:
Suffice it to say that in the long line of memorable Dollys I’ve seen or heard — from the alienoid Carol Channing to the louche Pearl Bailey to the enameled Barbra Streisand — Midler is by far the most natural and inviting.

Chris Jones - Chicago Tribune:
With a grinning Midler coming down the staircase — and Zaks not only gives her a descent to remember but even her own little runway out in front of the orchestra and closer to her fans — that contrived chaos, choreographed throughout with a terrific sense of humor by Warren Carlyle, all makes sense.

David Rooney - The Hollywood Reporter:
I can't recall the last time I felt a crowd so frothed up with excitement at a Broadway show, and certainly in those terms, no production currently playing in New York can touch this perfectly upholstered revival of the indestructible 1964 musical chestnut. What's more astonishing is that the enthusiasm never wanes, sending wave upon wave of love across the footlights for two and a half vigorously entertaining hours. And in a testament to the spirit of the veteran showbiz troupers who are now a vanishing breed, Midler soaks it up like a heat-seeking beacon and then beams it right back out into the house.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Drama League Award Nominations Announced!

The nominees for the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards were announced at Sardi's today by Bebe Neuwirth and Patina Miller. The Drama League Award winners will be announced on Friday May 19th at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway). The ceremony will be hosted by Audra McDonald and Will Swenson.

2017 DRAMA LEAGUE AWARDS NOMINEES
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
A Doll’s House, Part 2 
Caught
Everybody
If I Forget
Indecent
A Life
Oslo
The Play That Goes Wrong
Sweat
Tell Hector I Miss Him
The Wolves

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
A Doll’s House/The Father
The Beauty Queen Of Leenane
Jitney
The Little Foxes
Master Harold And The Boys
Othello
Present Laughter
The Price
Six Degrees Of Separation
Troilus And Cressida

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Amélie, A New Musical
Anastasia
Bandstand                                                                                  
Come From Away 
Dear Evan Hansen
Groundhog Day
Hadestown                                                                                 
Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812
Ride The Cyclone
War Paint

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
NOTE: This season’s revival of Sunday in the Park with George was not considered for awards eligibility, at the producers’ request.

Cats
Falsettos
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon
Sunset Boulevard
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
Sweet Charity

NOMINEES FOR THE DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD
One winner is selected from this category. The recipient can only receive this award once during his or her career.

Note: Due to receiving The Drama League’s 2017 Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award, Bette Midler will not be considered for this year’s Distinguished Performance Award.

Denée Benton, NatashaPierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Reed BirneyMan From Nebraska
Cate BlanchettThe Present
Ato Blankson-WoodThe Total Bent
Christian BorleCharlie and the Chocolate Factory; Falsettos
Leon Addison BrownMaster Harold and the Boys
Kate BurtonPresent Laughter
Daniel Craig, Othello
Johanna Day, Sweat
Marcia DeBonisSmall Mouth Sounds
Danny DeVitoThe Price
Jennifer EhleOslo
Carson Elrod, The Liar
Michael Emerson, Wakey Wakey
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity
Josh GrobanNatasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Gideon Glick, Significant Other
Harriet Harris, The Roads To Home
Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation
Allison Janney, Six Degrees of Separation
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Sarah JonesSell/Buy/Date
Andy KarlGroundhog Day
Kevin KlinePresent Laughter
John Leguizamo, Latin History for Morons
Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta
Judith Light, All The Ways To Say I Love You
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes
Jefferson Mays, Oslo
Simon McBurney, The Encounter
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Joe Morton, Turn Me Loose
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Caroline O’Connor, Anastasia
Laura Osnes, Bandstand
Aisling O’Sullivan, The Beauty Queen of Leenane
David Hyde Pierce, A Life; Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Daniel Radcliffe, Privacy
Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love
Nora Schell, Spamilton
Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Anna Deveare Smith, Notes From The Field
John Douglas Thompson, Jitney; A Doll’s House/The Father
Kate Walsh, If I Forget
Michelle Wilson, Sweat

The Drama League also wishes to acknowledge the previous recipients of the Distinguished Performance Award who appeared in New York productions this season. As the Award can only be won once in a performer’s lifetime, they are ineligible this season. Their exemplary work, however, is recognized and applauded.

Glenn CloseSunset Boulevard
Christine EbersoleWar Paint
Harvey FiersteinGently Down The Stream
Nathan LaneThe Front Page
Patti LuPoneWar Paint
Mary-Louise ParkerHeisenberg
Liev SchreiberLes Liaisons Dangereuses

The Drama League previously announced its 2017 Special Recognition Honorees: the legendary Bette Midler will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; Bill Berloni will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award for his work in animal training for Broadway; and Michael Greif, represented on Broadway this season with both Dear Evan Hansen and War Paint, will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.

 
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre 
Bette Midler


Unique Contribution to the Theatre
Bill Berloni


Founders Award for Excellence in Directing
Michael Greif



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In The Search For That Elusive Smash Hit . . .



Discover shows you'll love, from people you trust, at the right price. Show-Score.com is like "Rotten Tomatoes" for theater! 
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Monday, April 3, 2017

Will YOU Meet YOUR Significant Other?

Significant Other, the new American play by Joshua Harmon is calling for submissions to help a lucky bachelor or bachelorette find their own significant other.

THE DETAILS:
Let’s be honest - dating in New York City sucks. In Significant Other, the character Jordan Berman (played by Gideon Glick) is desperately trying to find a date, but he's not the only one without any luck when it comes to the dating game. We all know at least one person looking for the perfect match. And that’s where the cast of Significant Other will come in. Starting today, Significant Other wants YOU to send us your eligible unattached friend (or yourself!). On Thursday, April 6th, the show will announce a lucky single to be a special guest at Significant Other on Broadway at The Booth Theatre (222 W. 45th) on Thursday, April 13th, for a chance to find love ON STAGE at the show!

But wait – there’s more! On top of selecting a lucky single as our special guest, from April 6th-11th we will be accepting submissions for THREE additional potential suiters to share the stage, April 13th, with our lucky single, where our cast will help make the match! So…who are these significant others? Well - you! If you think you or your friend is a perfect match for our dating game contestant, after April 6th, submit using THE SAME details below and FIND YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER AT SIGNIFICANT OTHER on Broadway!"

Check out our cast announcing this special event! https://youtu.be/1ukgyaY4lrA

How To Enter:
*All Submissions Need Approval From The Person Being Submitted*
Send a photo of yourself (or friend) along with answers to the questions below to DatingGame@SignificantOtherBroadway.com

Name:
Age:
Looking for a Guy or a Girl:
Current Job:
Hometown:
3 Fun Facts About You:

---
SIGNIFICANT OTHER PLAYING SCHEDULE:
Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7:00 PM; Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM; Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 PM; Sundays at 7:00 PM

Significant Other now playing at The Booth Theatre (222 West 45th St.) officially opened Thursday, March 2nd. Tickets are currently available for purchase on-line at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in-person at the box office. Groups can be booked through Broadway Inbound at broadwayinbound.com or by calling 866-302-0995.

The Broadway debut of playwright Joshua Harmon is complemented by the Broadway debut of director Trip Cullman, who guided the play to its successful off-Broadway engagement. The cast includes: Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening), Barbara Barrie (Company). John Behlmann (Journey’s End), Sas Goldberg (Stunning), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot), Lindsay Mendez (Wicked) and Luke Smith (Peter and the Starcatcher Tour)

The creative team includes choreography by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Amélie), scenic design by Mark Wendland (Tony Award nominee, The Merchant of Venice, Next to Normal), costume design by Kaye Voyce (The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses), lighting design by Japhy Weideman (Tony Award nominee, The Visit, Airline Highway, Of Mice and Men) and sound design by Daniel Kluger (The Common Pursuit).

Significant Other began at Roundabout Theatre Company following the professional debut and world premiere of Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in fall 2012. Bad Jews was the first play to transfer to the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre and became the third most produced licensed play last season. Significant Other becomes Roundabout’s second new play to transfer to Broadway following the success of Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play, The Humans.

Significant Other is presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Roundabout Theatre Company, Rebecca Gold, Ronald Frankel, Spencer Ross, Ira Pittelman & Tom Hulce, Patty Baker, CandyWendyJamiePaula Productions, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Caiola Productions, Adam S. Gordon, In Fine Company, Cody Lassen, Aaron Priest, Darren P. DeVerna & Jeremiah J. Harris, Will Trice and The Shubert Organization.

Website: www.significantotherbroadway.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/significantbway
Twitter: www.twitter.com/significantbway
Instagram: www.instagram.com/significantbway

Sunday, April 2, 2017

This Is One Sunday You Don't Wanna Let Go!


Jake Gyllenhaal chats with Seth about his heart chakra and Mandy Patinkin's thoughts on his Broadway performance in Sunday in the Park With George.
When the New York City Center Encores series announced that, as a special event, it would present Hollywood heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role of Stephen Sondheim's iconic musical Sunday in the Park With George the Big Question was: That's quite a coup, but can he sing? Sure, he had appeared on stage before and even in a musical but it was a smaller, novelty outing. The question remained: Does he have what it takes to carry a Big, Serious, Broadway Musical?
Well, Gyllenhaal & Co. are now on Broadway singing "Sunday" and the question's been answered. We'll get to that in a moment. But first, a bit of background.
Written by James Lapine with music and lyrics by Sondheim, Sunday in the Park With George has always seems a bit bifurcated. Like two mini-musicals, the first and second acts appeared to tell different stories. Part one examined the brief life of the tortured pointillist painter George Seurat and his effort to produce the iconic painting that gives the show its name. Part two looks into the modern, somewhat disjointed world of Seurat's presumed great-grandson (also named George and also an artist) who's exploring a 1980s sound and light form of experiential art. The problem isn't just the time gap between the two acts but the device itself. In the original (which we saw on Broadway in 1984) the jump from then to now seemed abrupt and somewhat gimmicky. Also, the music in the much shorter act two never seemed to match the more audacious first act.
This was in no way the fault of the two stars (Mandy Patinkin as George and Bernadette Peters as Dot) who brought both vocal heft and fine acting to their roles. In fact, they seemed so remarkably well-suited to their task that they set a very high bar for the future. No, the problem was that the dazzle of High Art at the start seemed to fizzle in the face of the contrived art (which was mostly left to our imagination) at the finish.
Still, the musical was a landmark work. It not only charted new ground and gave us some of Sondheim's most haunting music and lyrics but it set everyone to thinking about the nature of art itself and it's meaning in our lives, both then and now. Indeed, this daring original work won the Pulitizer Prize, an honor captured by fewer than 10 musicals.
The show remains enveloped with a tapestry of nuanced meaning and lingering irony that puts it right up there with Sondheim's Into The Woods as a sort of musical examination of timeless themes. And the songs (most notably Finishing The Hat, Putting It Together, Move On, Sunday, We Do Not Belong Together and Beautiful) are nothing less than unforgettable. Like the best of Sondheim, these songs never stoop to sentimentality. Though they still touch you deeply, above all, they make you think.
So, how does this new production surmount the leap from 1886 to 1984? Well, it does it in part with yet another device. But this time, it's a device that works. This time, we're treated to a dazzling dash of Broadway LED and laser special effects (with music) in the form of George's latest art installation, Chromolume #7.  What we see now at the Hudson Theatre probably wasn't possible in 1984 and, in its own way, it seems almost as inventive as Seurat's pioneering pointillism. Remember, pointillism foresaw the mosaic of modern photography, television and pixelated computer screens -- all "art forms" that required the viewer to assemble the picture in his or her mind. Now, the digital age has given us a sound and light attraction that combines human imagination and electronic derring-do. And, once again, you're engaged and challenged to "connect the [lighted] dots." In the second act, as the lights descend, ascend and dance all around you, you can almost hear the 1880s George singing: Dot, do, dot, dot . . . dot, dot, dot, dot . . . "
Now, the Big Question: Can Jake Gyllenhaal carry a tune? Indeed he can, thank you.
Not only does he sing beautifully but Gyllenhaal plays the role of George with such tortured intensity (particularly in the first act) that at times he seems to be overtaken by a kind of madness. It's more than an artist's obsessiveness. It's an all-consuming drive that finds itself immersed as much in the shear mechanics of art as the creative process itself. Stooped and disheveled, Gyllenhaal brings a darkness to the role that was not quite so evident in 1984. And, as Dot (Surat's love interest) Annaleigh Ashford is at times coquettish, stubborn, beguiling, childish, ornery and ultimately sensible. You'll see why Ashford is not only one of Broadway's most versatile stars but is also a Tony Award winner. Tony or not, she doesn't play the role as a diva. She gives us a Dot that seems a bit more accessible and somewhat more updated.
Directed by Sarna Lapine, this is a Sunday for the new century. But it's also a journey that remains true to the spirit and intent of the original. At it's core, it remains a study in the art of making art.
It was Picasso who said: "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." Take a needed couple of hours away from the everyday grind and leave the dust of daily life behind as you enter the world of Sunday in the Park With George. It'll be good for your soul. We promise!

BTW: Broadway and Hollywood are two vastly different realms. Not all screen actors can make it on the stage, and visa-versa. It says something about Gyllenhaal that's he's been able to make the transformation seem seamless. Broadway demands a stronger presence, larger body movements and much more emoting. Jake manages not only to pull it off but to do it with appealing believability. Beyond all that, he really seems to enjoy every moment of it. Bravo!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Inside, Backstage: The Way You Imagined?


You won’t have to be waving through a window to hang out behind the scenes at “Dear Evan Hansen.” Cast member Will Roland gives us an inside look at what it’s like to perform in a typical two-show-day of a hit Broadway musical.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

'Madcap,' You Say? Oh, That Would Be An Understatement!



Cole Porter and Jimmy Durante?
What could they possibly have in common?
Porter was all savoir faire while Durante was strictly hardscrabble. Cole was Indiana, Worcester and Yale while Jimmy was the lower east side, vaudeville and the school of hard knocks.
But Porter, a consummate Broadway baby, knew talent when he saw it. And, when it came to knockin 'em dead on stage comically, nobody topped Jimmy.
Of course, even a premiere tunesmith like Porter had to defer to the Schnoz when it came to putting over a song. So, when Durante took a featured role in Porter's 1930 screwball musical The New Yorkers, Durante's songs were written by Jimmy himself and performed with his irrepressible sidekicks Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson.
And Jimmy's big number, The Hot Patata still holds up quite well, thank you. How do we know? Well, because it's just been preformed on stage  by Kevin Chamberlin in homage to Durante as part of the New York City Center Encores production of The New Yorkers featuring an all-star cast and a loving recreation of some of the wildest, most effervescent moments of musical comedy you will ever see.
How clever and carefree is The New Yorkers? Well, when two lovebirds come in out of the rain he asks: "Are you wet?" And she answers: "Wet? Wet? I'm so wet if a breeze came through, I'd ripple!"
The show is full of wiseguys, winks, gangsters, soot-em-ups, molls, pratfalls and double entendres. And any attempt to figure out the plot would elicit nothing more than a robust belly laugh.
It's all been so lovingly reimagined by Encores that you'd hardly know that whole parts of The New Yorkers went missing and that researching the production took the Encores team from UCLA on one coast to Penn State on the other and lots of places in between.
And just because it's madcap doesn't mean it wasn't (or isn't) meaningful.
In fact, Porter broke new ground in this outing with his haunting Love For Sale, sung by a lady of the night and later banned on the radio. Among the other Porter gems beautifully delivered by the Encores ensemble, we enjoyed several that we had never hard before (including Where Have You Been? and The Great Indoors) as well as Let's Fly Away, I Happen To Like New York, Go Into Your Dance, Take Me Back to Manhattan and I'm Getting Myself Ready for You. Many of these songs were later covered by the king and queen of Cafe Society, Mable Mercer and Bobby Short.
Songs inserted in this new production from other Porter musicals include Night and Day, Most Gentleman Don't Like Love, You've Got That Thing and the pre-rap, patter triumph Let's Not Talk About Love, awesomely delivered by Arnie Burton. Of course, jokes and songs about alcohol, and how far people will go to get it, such as Drinking Song and Say It With Gin, reflect the musical's origin from the Prohibition period.
And the whole thing was inspired by those great Peter Arno New Yorker drawings and the magazine itself which was just beginning to emerge in the 1930s.
Are you still interested in the plot? In a nutshell: Wealthy New York socialite Alice Wentworth has a romantic interlude with Al Spanish, a nightclub owner and bootlegger. During their time together, they escape from the police and go to the bootlegging factory, among other adventures. Jimmy Deegan and his buddies Ronald and Oscar aid in their escapades, invent a new alcoholic drink, murder Feet McGeehan (several times!) and assist with the gangland wedding of Al and Alice.
And all of this provided a tear-up-the-stage excuse for the great Encores orchestra and the cast starring Tam Mutu, Scarlett Strallen and Kevin Chamberlin (directed by John Rando) to do their thing with immense affection, high spirits and kudos all around.
If you missed this Encores outing you owe it to yourself to visit City Center Encores pronto and sign up for future productions. You won't be sorry!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

It Was An Unforgettable Time For All . . .



Here's our review from The Bandstand's 2015 debut at Paper Mill Playhouse: 

Musicals about (or set in the period of) World War II?
Well, we suppose the most notable was South Pacific. The now landmark musical debuted in 1949 and vividly depicted the struggles and culture clash faced by those who fought the good fight against the Japanese in the Pacific theater.
South Pacific sort of defined the war musical, if there is such a thing. Because, honestly -- how can you really make a musical about war?
One approach is to incorporate the music of the war era. And certainly, WWII gave us plenty of great music -- music that uplifted our spirits, tugged at our heartstrings, reaffirmed and strengthened our patriotism and helped us to remain optimistic during some very dark days. That's the approach that was taken by Over Here, the Andrews Sisters musical that premiered in 1974 and helped launch the careers of John Travolta, Treat Williams, Ann Reinking and Marilu Henner. Over Here concerned the plight of those who faced the war from the homefront and worked hard to find ways to support the troops.
And then there's the recently-revived On The Town, the Comden and Green musical that tells the story of three American sailors unleashed for their 24-hour shore leave in the Big Apple where they find adventure, love, and frequent occasions to break into catch songs such as "New York, New York." It's like three WWII stories in one, all covered in the course of a single day.
Each of these musicals had their own "hook" -- their own raison d'etre: East vs. West and intolerance; the war years at home and the pathos of an ever-so-brief reprieve from the war.
But what about the real cost of WWII -- the real injuries, trauma, upheaval and nightmarish struggles faced by returning military? What about the aftermath of the war and it's impact on the lives of those who came home and on those that they returned home to? What about that?
The new musical The Bandstand, running now through November 8 at the storied Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn [NJ] asks that question and attempts to tell that story through the plight of six just-back-from-the-front WWII vets and a Gold Star widow. With dashes of irony, relived memories and even humor, we see that these vets have real problems. One is hyperactive, another is probably an alcoholic, still another is hooked on pain killers and yet another is obsessive-compulsive. But somehow they manage to come together via their love of music to form a successful band with the gal (Julia) as the lead balladeer and sometimes songwriter, collaborating with the group leader, a guy named Donny from Cleveland.
At the heart of this new outing are the show's very appealing and rapidly-rising Broadway stars, Corey Cott and Laura Osnes. Osnes gained Tony nominations for her work in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and Bonnie and Clyde while Cott won plaudits for his recent star turn in Gigi and his stint in the long-running Newsies. When Cott and Osnes are combined with the irrepressible Tony award winner Beth Leavel (as Julia's mother) and a fine ensemble cast, we have all the makings of memorable musical magic. Osnes shines in several numbers including Love Will Come and Find Me Again and Welcome Home while Cott burnishes his leading man credentials in Donny Novitski, Right This Way and Give Me A Reason. As for Leavel she's superbly on-point with two incisive numbers, Men Never Like To Talk and Everything Happens. She's a Broadway veteran who knows how to enrich every scene she's in.
In fact, Cott, Osnes and Leveal are the best reasons for seeing this show as all three stars contribute 1000 percent plus to the effort.
And the story (with a strong second-act) is helped by some unexpected twists and turns and a surprise ending that refuses to trivialize or patronize. It helps that the show is held together by a real, plausible narrative even when it may seem to lack a bit of snap.
With music by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Oberacker and Robert Taylor, The Bandstand is a daring attempt at dramatizing and musicalizing the aftermath of a big, messy deadly war without becoming dark or worse yet, moribund. The Paper Mill deserves mucho credit for mounting this show which, for the most part succeeds.
And, after all in the post-Vietnam, post-gulf war era with what we know about PTSD and other maladies of war, shouldn't we be aware enough, mature enough and concerned enough to welcome the examination of such a topic which (save for a film like The Best Years of Our Lives) hasn't really been illuminated?

Miss The Circus? Now, You Don't Have To!





The producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists, have teamed up with the award winning puppeteers from War Horse to present a thrilling turn of the century circus spectacular. Discover this brand new stage show, CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus, as it sets to captivate audiences of all ages this spring! Tickets on sale bit.ly/1903TMSG

Friday, February 17, 2017

Coming: High Theatricality, 'Whimsy And Heart'



CLICK HERE for more information.


If You Haven't Yet Seen It, Here's Your Chance!

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony® Award, is pleased to announce casting for the smash hit musical Million Dollar Quartet with book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, original concept by Mr. Mutrux, inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Directed by Tony Award nominee Hunter Foster and with music direction by James Barry, the 8-member ensemble will feature James Barry as Carl Perkins, James Loughlin as Sam Phillips, Scott Moreau as Johnny Cash, Jake Rowley as Elvis Presley, David Sonneborn as Fluke, Bligh Voth as Dyanne,Sam Weber as Brother Jay, and Nat Zegree as Jerry Lee Lewis. J.P. Morgan is the Major Sponsor ofMillion Dollar Quartet.

Performances are set to begin Wednesday, March 29, 2017, for a limited run through Sunday, April 23, 2017 at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ. Million Dollar Quartet will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $32. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse's 2016-2017 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

The smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ’n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these four musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Featuring a score of hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and more, this thrilling musical brings you inside the recording studio for one unforgettable night.

Original scenic design is by Derek McLane with additional design by Kelly James Tighe, original costume design by Molly Walz with additional design by China Lee, lighting design by Ryan O’Gara, sound design by Randy Hansen and hair & wig design by Leah Loukas. The production stage manager is Frank Lombardi.

James Barry (Carl Perkins/Music Director) returns to Paper Mill, where he appeared in last season’s Pump Boys and Dinettes. No stranger to Million Dollar Quartet, James played Carl Perkins for two years of the first national tour and has been privileged to reprise the role and provide musical direction at several theaters all over the country. Other credits include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public and Broadway), These Paper Bullets (Yale Rep, Geffen, Atlantic), as well as work with Berkshire Theatre Group, Chester Theatre Company, Irish Rep, Arden, and many more. James is a New Neighborhood company member. He was in an episode of Difficult People. He made a record of original rock music called Embrace Yourself Tonight, which is available on iTunes, Spotify, and on pink vinyl through Etsy.

Jason Loughlin (Sam Phillips) is making his Paper Mill debut with Million Dollar Quartet. A native of North Carolina, Jason has a BA in Theatre from UNC–Charlotte. Recent credits include Machinal and The Audience on Broadway; War Horse (first national tour); and favorite roles as Elyot in Private Lives(Riverside Theatre), Beau in Sandy Rustin-Fleischer’s The Cottage (APAC), and Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Boomerang).

Scott Moreau (Johnny Cash). Paper Mill debut. Scott is from Litchfield, Maine, and has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Illinois Wesleyan University. He is pleased to reprise his role from the first national tour, Harrah’s Las Vegas, and the regional premiere at the Ogunquit Playhouse. Selected credits: Johnny Guitar: The Musical (Johnny, Cortland Rep), Ragtime (Willy Conklin, Seaside Music Theatre), Mary Poppins (Mr. Banks, Springer Opera House), HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. His Johnny Cash tribute album was recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis.

Jake Rowley (Elvis Presley) is an actor, musician, singer and songwriter from Nederland, Texas. At just 19 years old, Jake was chosen for a role that he was born to play, that of a young Elvis Presley in the national tour of Million Dollar Quartet. Jake exudes the same raw passion and energy in every performance that drove Elvis himself to the top. The press has even nicknamed Jake "the new Teen King."

David Sonneborn (Fluke). Cincinnati native, longtime NYC musician, and veteran of the Million Dollar Quartet national tour, David currently plays drums or bass in Western Caravan, The San AnTones, Gunsmoke, The Mary Lamount Band, and Teri Joyce and the Tag-alongs. NYMF: God’s Country. Toured nationally in Always,… Patsy Cline.

Bligh Voth (Dyanne). Paper Mill debut. Bligh recently played Dyanne in Million Dollar Quartet at Ogunquit Playhouse, Gateway Playhouse, and on Norwegian Cruise Line. NYC: Readings and workshops at Atlantic Theater Company, Musical Theatre Factory, and Primary Stages. Regional: Signature Theatre: Gone Country, Signature Sings (2005–2009), Ladies Choice; Ford’s Theatre: The Civil War, A Christmas Carol,Parade; Washington Stage Guild: Red Herring; Studio Theatre: Jerry Springer: The Opera, Reefer Madness; Kennedy Center: Blonde Ambish; Totem Pole Playhouse: Steel Magnolias; Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma: Big River. Education: The Boston Conservatory. Bligh hosts the blog/podcast Avocados Are for Rich People.

Sam Weber (Brother Jay) was seen at Paper Mill Playhouse last season in Pump Boys and Dinettes. During that show, his beautiful daughter was born between the closing matinee and final performance! National Tour: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Joe B.). Regional favorites: Pump Boys (Eddie, Paper Mill), Buddy(Joe B., Muny, Gateway, MSMT, Casa Mañana, Ogunquit), Million Dollar Quartet (Brother Jay, Ogunquit, Gateway).

Nat Zegree (Jerry Lee Lewis) was nominated for two BroadwayWorld Awards for his performance as Jerry Lee Lewis in the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Million Dollar Quartet, directed by Hunter Foster, for Best Lead Actor and Best Vocal Performance. Other credits include Dear Evan Hansen at the Arena Stage in Washington DC, he originated the role of Ted in Carner and Gregor's new musical, Island Song, and the role of Truman Burbank in Alex Gemignani's musical adaptation of The Truman Show. He released his debut album, Imagine This Season in January 2016.

Hunter Foster (Director) is an artistic associate at the Bucks County Playhouse, where he has directedCompany, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Buddy Holly Story, National Pastime, The Rocky Horror Show, Summer of ’42, and It’s a Wonderful Life, and later this spring will direct a new musical adaptation of the movie Clue. He also has directed at Cape Playhouse, North Carolina Theatre, and Casa Mañana, as well as Million Dollar Quartet for Ogunquit, Gateway, St. Louis Rep, and Westchester Broadway. He wrote the books to the musicals Jasper in Deadland, Summer of ’42, Clyde and Bonnie: A Folktale, and more. Hunter’s Broadway acting credits include The Bridges of Madison County, Hands on a Hardbody, Million Dollar Quartet (as Sam Phillips), Little Shop of Horrors (Tony nomination), Urinetown, and Footloose, among others, and he appeared at Paper Mill in Children of Eden.

Derek McLane (Original Scenic Design). Selected Broadway credits: The Price, Noises Off, Gigi, Living on Love, Beautiful, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed…, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, 33 Variations, The Threepenny Opera, I Am My Own Wife, Present Laughter. Paper Mill: Ever After. TV: Live broadcasts of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz, and Hairspray, and the Academy Awards (2013–2017). Opera and theater designs in around the globe. Winner of Tony, Emmy, Drama Desk, Hewes, Lortel, Obie awards, and others.

Molly Walz (Original Costume Design) is a New York–based costume designer who hails from Ohio with a degree from Kent State University. Her designs have been seen at Barrington Stage Company, Ogunquit Playhouse, and Orlando Shakespeare Theater, among others.

Randy Hansen (Sound Design). Over a wonderful career, Randy has designed sound for more than 130 musicals and 40 plays. Many memorable moments include working with the opera star Jessye Norman, the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Having just finished opening a national tour of The Little Mermaid that will tour throughout 2017, he is thrilled to be back at Paper Mill for Million Dollar Quartet. In New York City he was the president of Audible Difference, Inc., a sound design company that over the past 30 years has served the fashion industry in New York and Paris.

Telsey + Company (Casting). Broadway/Tours: Anastasia; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Hello, Dolly!; War Paint; Present Laughter; Come from Away; Paramour; Waitress; On Your Feet!; Hamilton;Kinky Boots; Wicked; Something Rotten!; The King and I; An American in Paris; The Sound of Music. Off Broadway: Atlantic, Classic Stage Company, Labyrinth, MCC, Second Stage, Signature. Regional: A.R.T., La Jolla, McCarter, New York Stage and Film, Williamstown. Film: Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Margin Call, Rachel Getting Married, Across the Universe, Camp, Pieces of April. TV: One Day at a Time, Time After Time, Hairspray Live!, Conviction, This Is Us, Grease: Live, The Wiz Live!, Flesh and Bone, Masters of Sex, Smash, The Big C, commercials.

Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for Million Dollar Quartet on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 1:30pm and Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 1:30pm. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

Free Audience Enrichment Activities for Million Dollar Quartet

Conversation Club: Join us Thursday evenings, March 30, April 6, 13, or 20, one hour before curtain for an informal, informative gathering. You'll learn more about the performance you're about to see and perhaps catch a glimpse of the stage being set.

The Director's Viewpoint: One hour before curtain on Wednesday, March 29, we host a pre-show discussion in the Renee Foosaner Art Gallery.

Q&A with the Cast: After the matinee on Saturday, April 22, stick around for a lively Q&A with cast members directly following the performance.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Todd Schmidt (Managing Director) and recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the country's leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

For additional information, please visit www.papermill.org.

$35 For A Broadway Show? WOW, That's Great!

Producers of Significant Other, the new American play by playwright Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews) and directed by Trip Cullman (Yen, Six Degrees of Separation), are pleased to announce a general rush policy! A limited number of $35 rush tickets for Significant Other will now be available for purchase in-person at the Booth Theatre box office (222 West 45th St.) beginning at 10am Monday - Saturday (12pm on Sundays) for that day's performance(s) only. Tickets are limited to two (2) tickets per person and can be purchased with either cash or credit, along with a valid photo ID on a first come first serve basis. Tickets are subject to availability and may not be offered at all performances. Rush seating locations will be determined at the discretion of the box office.

Additionally, Significant Other is now accepting entries for their official Opening Night Contest! Participants who follow the show’s social media handles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can enter Significant Other’s #SignificantBFF Opening Night Contest by sharing a photo of their BFF with the hashtag #SignificantBFF, and why he/she is significant to them.

The grand prizewinner will receive an Opening Night package that includes: Dinner and drinks for two at Becco, two (2) tickets for the Opening Night of Significant Other and passes to the Opening Night party following the show. Three runner-ups will receive a pair of tickets to a performance of Significant Other post opening, and an exclusive Significant Other merchandise package that includes: A limited edition baseball hat, a Who’s Your Significant Other? T-shirt, and an Opening Night Playbill signed by the cast. The contest will remain open until Thursday, February 23rd, and the winners will be announced the following day, Friday, February 24th.

Significant Other began previews at The Booth Theatre (222 West 45th St.) on Tuesday, February 14thand will officially open Thursday, March 2nd. Tickets are currently available for purchase on-line at Telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200 or in-person at the box office. Groups can be booked through Broadway Inbound at broadwayinbound.com or by calling 866-302-0995.
 

The Broadway debut of playwright Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews) will be complemented by the Broadway debut of director Trip Cullman (Yen, Six Degrees of Separation), who guided the play to its successful off-Broadway engagement. The cast includes: Gideon Glick (Spring Awakening), John Behlmann (Journey’s End), Sas Goldberg (Stunning), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot), Lindsay Mendez (Wicked), Luke Smith (Peter and the Starcatcher Tour) and Barbara Barrie (Company).

The creative team includes choreography by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Amélie), scenic design by Mark Wendland (Tony Award nominee, The Merchant of Venice, Next to Normal), costume design by Kaye Voyce (The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses), lighting design by Japhy Weideman (Tony Award nominee, The Visit, Airline Highway, Of Mice and Men) and sound design by Daniel Kluger (The Common Pursuit).

People and relationships change. But what if everyone is changing faster than you? Is finding “The one” the only path to happiness? That’s exactly what’s racing through the mind of Jordan Berman as his best friends all find their significant others. Is separation anxiety from your friends normal? At least his grandma isn’t too busy to take his calls. It’s a show that’s a lot like life – sometimes absurd, always honest and full of humor.

Significant Other was a NY Times Critic’s Pick when it premiered last summer at Roundabout Theatre Company. Charles Isherwood, writing in for The New York Times hailed it as, "an absolutely wonderful new play about a young man yearning for a romantic connection as his best friends are transformed into bridezillas, one by one. As richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring." Time Out (Adam Feldman) agreed, noting “as funny as Harmon’s breakthrough play Bad Jews, Significant Other is a timely, well-observed, sharp but bittersweet New York comedy; the play’s main assets are the keenness of the writing, studded with wry one-liners, and the humanity of the performances.” The New York Observer (Rex Reed) declared: “Significant Other is for everyone looking for a timeshare in the space we all occupy when life moves faster than we do. A wonderful play about unrequited love, offered with warmth and without sentimentality. I doubt if there is anyone who is unable to relate profoundly to the characters in this play and what they go through.” The Hollywood Reporter (David Rooney) summed it up as follows: “A funny-sad, vibrantly contemporary lonely-heart portrait.”

Significant Other began at Roundabout Theatre Company following the professional debut and world premiere of Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews at Roundabout Underground’s Black Box in fall 2012. Bad Jews was the first play to transfer to the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre and became the third most produced licensed play last season. Significant Other becomes Roundabout’s second new play to transfer to Broadway following the success of Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play, The Humans.

Significant Other is presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Roundabout Theatre Company, Rebecca Gold, Ronald Frankel, Spencer Ross, Ira Pittelman & Tom Hulce, Patty Baker, CandyWendyJamiePaula Productions, Gabrielle Palitz, Terry Schnuck, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Caiola Productions, Adam S. Gordon, In Fine Company, Cody Lassen, Aaron Priest, Darren P. DeVerna & Jeremiah J. Harris, Will Trice and The Shubert Organization.
                                                                                                                                                 
Website: www.significantotherbroadway.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/significantbway
Twitter: www.twitter.com/significantbway
Instagram: www.instagram.com/significantbway

Monday, February 13, 2017

The NEXT BIG THING On Broadway . . .


Jake Gyllenhaal is on a crusade to become the most complete performer in the world, or at least that’s how it’s starting to seem. 
The Oscar-nominated actor has an unusually impressive resume, littered with filmmaker-driven and script-driven choices among the occasional misguided blockbuster. He’s undergone tremendous physical changes for films like Nightcrawler and Southpaw. 
He served double duty in dual roles for Denis Villeneuve‘s Enemy. 
And now, he’s apparently fantastic at musical theater, too.
It's Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George in a limited Broadway run.