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Book Review: “The Actor Uncovered: A Life in Acting” by Michael Howard

March 10, 2017

Mr. Howard is eminently qualified to hold forth on the subject, having been a prominent New York City acting teacher for over 60 years. Concurrently with an active theatrical career, he studied with Sanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse, and with Lee Strasberg as a member of the Actor’s Studio. In 1953, he founded The Michael Howard Studios. [more]

“Misty Copeland” by Gregg Delman

October 6, 2016

"Misty Copeland" is not just the celebration of Misty Copeland the feisty, young classical ballet dancer, but of Misty Copeland the young, nubile, well-proportioned young woman. She looks great wearing next to nothing, her exposed skin gleaming under Mr. Delman’s expertly subtle lighting. She is able to achieve all sorts of hyper-stretched positions on all sorts of furniture, her expressions ranging from distracted to come hither. [more]

Las Vegas Supports Performing Arts

August 24, 2016

Vegas still maintains its status as a hotspot for Broadway musicals, theatrical plays, and live entertainment. Although Performing Arts doesn’t appeal as largely to today’s youth in relation to other forms of entertainment, the city hopes to draw in more young performers to the arts by creating public and supporting personal programs [more]

2016 Tony Awards Bestow Much Love on “Hamilton”

June 13, 2016

Although "Hamilton" had been nominated for 16 awards in 13 categories, it failed to break the record of Mel Brooks’ "The Producers" which remains the all-time winner with a total of 12. Hamilton took all of the top musical awards including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical (Thomas Kail, previously nominated for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights) except for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical which went to British actress Cynthia Erivo. (Making her Broadway debut, Erivo was reprising her role as Celie Harris in "The Color Purple" from the 2013 Menier Chocolate Factory production re-envisioned by John Doyle.) Star Miranda won his second and third Tonys with his awards for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater and Best Book of a Musical. He previously won for Best Score with his 2008 Broadway musical, In the Heights. [more]

The Critics Say…57 Theater Reviewers in New York and Beyond Discuss Their Craft and Its Future

May 26, 2016

The book is an in-depth exploration of the lives, mentalities, and views of notable writers about theater criticism in the present. It’s really only for those readers fascinated by an insiders take on the subject. Finding out what makes New York Times critics Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood or many of the others tick can be less then riveting. It also serves as a vivid document of the changing terrain of media coverage of the arts by preserving the thoughts of these “dinosaurs,” as several of them refer to themselves. [more]

Webcam

April 24, 2016

The simple staging also gave emphasis to this unique push and pull relationship between these two young men and the overall tone of the play. The story as well as Jake’s continuous pretentious commentary made me identify that there was a specific reason behind Jake’s intentions to be seen as this cool and confident man, while Noah is made out by Jake to be this hopeless, “more than likely” to be positive “fag”, when in reality Jake is actually the one who is hopeless and insecure. [more]

Midtown Int’l Theatre Festival Spring: March 7 – 27, 2016

February 7, 2016

Powerful and unique themes pervade this series of works including spirituality and "the other side;" sexuality and relationships and its burgeoning diversity; the power of - and within - women; the casualty of war - and the casual way we look at it; fine art; the church; crippling illness from the point of the crippled; redemption; and myriad more are explored in under two hours! [more]

The Hope of Christmas (Holiday CD)

November 4, 2015

On Union Street” with music by Wesley Whatley is the lively and wistful opening track of the delightful jazz based recording, The Hope of Christmas. It is performed by the acclaimed vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway and is one of the twelve songs on it she magnificently sings. Lyricist William Schermerhorn has crafted eleven wonderful original songs for this work that range from sentimental to inspirational to the warmly comic that perfectly capture the spirit of the holiday. His fine words are matched by the gorgeous melodies of accomplished composers. [more]

The Tour NYC

June 19, 2015

"The Tour" follows in the success of the same company’s "The Ride" that is an audience participation theatrical version of a New York City bus tour. CEO/COO Richard Humphrey has conceived, produced, directed and co-written it. His grand achievement is that of an immersive overview of New York City through a fast-paced city tour with novel elements. Touted as the tallest allowed vehicle by federal law, the motor coach used for this is awesome. With a capacity of 49 people arranged in rows of stadium seating facing out the length of the bus along on its side. The panoramic views are from huge clear windows as well as from the windowed ceiling. It is extremely comfortable on all levels and it was cool seeing a rainstorm from inside. [more]

The Victory Dance Project: First Anniversary Celebration

June 8, 2015

To celebrate The Victory Dance Project’s first anniversary, an inspiring and spirited program was presented at The Ailey Citigroup Theater. There was a selection of the company’s dazzling dances and their First Annual Artist for Peace award was presented to Renee Robinson. The personable and entertaining comedian Grant Cooper hosted the event. Mr. Cooper did a funny routine about an imaginary audition for The Alvin Ailey Company with clunky movements. Though humorous, as befitting the occasion he was often serious. [more]

Handel and Haydn Society Bicentennial in Boston: A Distinguished Past Inspires a Bold Future

April 14, 2015

The Handel and Haydn Society – sometimes called the H + H Society, for contemporaneity's sake – is celebrating its Bicentennial with a number of special short-term and long-term events and programs. One of these, most recently, was the sponsorship of a Music Critics Association of North America Institute, a two-day long immersion for eleven MCANA members in the current life of the H + H Society. The informative, intelligent and extremely well-organized Institute was conceived primarily by Marie-Helene Bernard, H + H's Executive Director since 2007, and administered with graceful, quietly effective attention to detail by Matthew Erikson, H + H's Public Relations and Communications Manager. The MCANA Institute provided opportunities for learning and robust exchanges of insights and ideas; it was an affirmation of the H + H Society's place in the contemporary world of classical music. Though the purposes of the MCANA Institute were primarily musical, it also provided access to information about the Society's positive, effective engagement in the cultural life of Boston as a whole. [more]

The 30th Annual Bistro Awards

March 9, 2015

Beaming Broadway musical comedy veteran, Lee Roy Reams presented the final honor, the ASCAP Major Engagement Award to Lillias White. “My grandmother’s table was my cabaret,” she recalled about the beginning of her long and successful career. In a full-out performance, she then recreated her Tony Award-winning role as an aging prostitute, from the 1997 Broadway musical The Life, with her signature song, “The Oldest Profession.” It was a commanding and fitting finale to this exuberant event. [more]

Reflections on New York Festival of Song’s “Harlem Renaissance” Concert: Ferguson, Staten Island and What the Songs Teach

December 19, 2014

The enduring power of the Harlem Renaissance songs comes from their truth telling and historical testimony. Their accessibility and quality of invitation, their universality of human experiences of love, family, hope and loss, and their indomitability all make us adore these songs, and forget that they were initially the products of a devalued and segregated community. [more]

Everybody, Rise! A Celebration of Elaine Stritch

November 18, 2014

Elaine Stritch died at the age of 89, in her hometown of Birmingham, Michigan, on July 17th, 2014, after retiring there a year earlier from New York City. Seventeen of her friends, family, and show business colleagues shared their often-emotional memories of her during this packed two-hour memorial tribute. [more]

O’Neill Center: 50 Years of Creating American Theater

September 10, 2014

Founded in 1964 by George C. White, and located in New London, Connecticut, The O'Neill was created to develop new plays and musicals through a workshop and public reading process. "It decentralized theater from New York City, leading to the regional theater movement in The United States," said Ms. Goldberg. It also inspired the creation of similar workshop festivals such as The Sundance Institute. [more]

Mickey Rooney .. An Appreciation

April 2, 2014

Mickey Rooney was always a treat, whether playing an Average Joe, a gangster, George M. Cohan, or Pinocchio.... I always loved seeing him, on screen or in person. And I liked talking with him. (One conversation we had, late in his life, was a little sad. He noted that for several years he had been MGM's biggest-money maker; in his heyday, his fans had packed movie theaters from coast to coast; no matter what films he was in. But now, his personal appearances tended to draw modest crowds. Where were his fans, he asked aloud, muttering that audiences were fickle. I didn't no how to respond. Audiences weren't necessarily fickle; he'd simply outlived most of his original fans.) [more]

Elaine Stritch and Chiemi Karasawa with Michael Musto: Conversation and Clips (February 17th, 2014)

February 28, 2014

Throughout, clips from the film were shown. These included her commenting on posters and photographs from her career, "A Delicate Balance, one of the best things I ever did." "At Liberty, my favorite poster from a of show of mine." She was shown at an eye doctor's visit comically undergoing an exam. Performing her nightclub act at The Carlyle with her singing "The Road You Didn't Take" from Follies and forgetting lyrics. "Fuck it!" There were affectionate interviews with Cherry Jones, Nathan Lane, George C. Wolfe and Tina Fey. From the front row, it was fascinating watching Ms. Stritch watch herself in the clips. Her facial expressions ranged from stern to grinning to intense. [more]

A Chat with Bob Avian

July 12, 2007

The creative forces with whom he has worked are a who’s who of the Broadway musical. They include Steve Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Cy Coleman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Claude-Michel Schoenberg, Neil Simon, Hal Prince, Tommy Tune and Cameron Mackintosh. And performers such as Mary Martin, Betty Grable, Barbara Streisand, Katherine Hepburn, Elaine Stritch, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Rigg, Eartha Kitt, Patti Lupone, Glenn Close, Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett, just to name a few. [more]

BROADWAY’S 2006 Fall/Winter Season

January 27, 2007

The White Way barely had time to recover from last season’s exciting Tony race when Martin Short roused the sleeping giant with his manic ode to himself, Fame Becomes Me. [more]