Saturday, September 13, 2014

I am Staying Home to Watch an Off Broadway Play

Today, I am marking my calendar as a reminder to check out PBS' Theater Close-Up, a weekly show hosted by Sigourney Weaver, featuring amazing Off Broadway plays. Plays air on Thursday evenings at 10PM with the exception of the premiere which airs at 9PM. Here is the line up.

October 2nd
Mint Theater - John Van Druten’s London Wall

A 1931 workplace drama that follows four single women working as typists at a law firm and navigating the rocky road of romance...

October 9th
Abingdon Theatre - Brian Richard Mori’s Hellman v. McCarthy

The greatest literary feud in modern American history began on January 25, 1980 when literary critic Mary McCarthy appeared as a guest on "The Dick Cavett Show" and declared that "every word [playwright Lillian Hellman] writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.'" Hellman went ballistic and sued McCarthy for libel, sparking a law suit that spanned more than four years. HELLMAN v. McCARTHY is a roller coaster ride filled with comedy and pathos.

October 16th
Public Theater - Richard Nelson's The Hopey Changey Thing (part of the The Apple Family Plays)

The Apple Family plays is a politically anchored four-play series about a liberal American family. In The Hopey Changey Thing, the Apples reflect on the state of their family and discuss memory, manners and politics as polls close on mid-term election night 2010 and a groundswell of conservative sentiment flips Congress on its head. 

October 23rd
Public Theater - Richard Nelson's Sweet and Sad (part of the The Apple Family Plays)

The Apple Family plays is a politically anchored four-play series about a liberal American family. In Sweet and Sada family brunch on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 stirs up discussions of loss, remembrance and a decade of change.

October 30th
Public Theater - Richard Nelson's Sorry (part of the The Apple Family Plays)

The Apple Family plays is a politically anchored four-play series about a liberal American family. In Sorry, the family sorts through personal and political feelings of loss and confusion on the morning of the day the country will choose the next President.

November 6th
Public Theater - Richard Nelson's Regular Singing (part of the The Apple Family Plays)

The Apple Family plays is a politically anchored four-play series about a liberal American family. In Regular Singingthe family gathers around the dining table to discuss, among other things, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

November 13th
Flea Theater - Hamish Linklater's The Vandal

Set on a freezing night in Kingston, NY, a woman meets a boy at a bus stop. This dark comedy deals with how we live and the stories we tell ourselves when we're haunted by the people we've loved and lost.

November 20th 
New York Theater Workshop - An Illiad 

One-man-show adaptation of Homer's epic poem about the Trojan War, the actor on stage plays both narrator — here called the Poet — and everyone else in the sprawling war story...

November 27th 
Flea Theater - Steven Bank's Looking at Christmas

Christmas Eve. New York City. A failed writer and a struggling actress meet while looking at the famous holiday windows and the windows come to life and look back at them! Including a lecherous elf with eyes for Mrs. Claus, an alien Scrooge arguing with an android Tiny Tim about reinterpreting classic Christmas stories, a pissed off Little Match Girl, Jim from The Gift of The Magi enjoying the fact that his newly shorn wife resembles a boy, a vapid Russian model trying to hook up with a snowman and a jealous Joseph The Carpenter, step-father of you-know-who … The Bats star in this sweet, smart and slightly twisted romantic comedy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

"The Lion King" Cast Performs on the NYC Subway

Ever try to read a book or magazine during a ride on the A train and then just plain give up due to the cast of characters parading through the cars??

You've seen them. The kid selling candy so that he doesn't have to rob people. The zealot determined to save your soul. That guy who sells pirated DVDs. The panhandling "deaf" girl who leaves a card dangling precariously off your kneecap (now what are you suppose to do when it falls on the filthy subway ground?). What about that guy who carries around a duffel bag literally screaming whether anyone wants a sandwich as he solicits for the homeless. And finally, those break-dancing kids with their sneakers inches from your head as they flip through the car and twirl around the poles. The joys of riding the NYC subway...

But wait, I think that I found a performance that I wouldn't have mind seeing! 

Recently, Broadway cast members from The Lion King (my favorite Disney film of all time) thrilled strap-hangers when out of the blue they burst into a performance of "Circle of Life" on the NYC subway.  

Oh, why couldn't I have been there? Finally a performance that I would have gladly put away my book for...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quote From Noel Coward's "Fumed Oak"

Henry in Noël Coward's Fumed Oak:
Elsie, you've got a chance, it's a slim one, I grant you, but still it's a chance. If you learn to work and be independent and, when the time comes, give what you have to give freely and without demanding lifelong payment for it, there's just a bit of hope that you'll turn into a decent human being.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Newport Jazz Festival - 60th Anniversary

As I stroll through the city this weekend, I briefly lament that the weather was not this beautiful last Saturday at the 60th Anniversary Newport Jazz Festival. But then I recall the wonderful performances of Gregory Porter and Cécile McLorin Salvant and then I smile...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Playbill's Top 10 Summer Showtunes

What am I doing as I wind down on this humid Sunday evening...why, checking out's It's Too Darn Hot! The Top 10 Summer Showtunes by Ben Rimalower...

10. Blame It On The Summer Night by Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz from Rags

09. Summertime Love by Frank Loesser from Greenwillow

08. The Girls Of Summer by Stephen Sondheim from Girls of Summer

07. June Is Bustin' Out All Over by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II from Carousel

06. A Summer in Ohio by Jason Robert Brown from The Last Five Years

05. Ribbons Down My Back by Jerry Herman from Hello, Dolly!

04. Summer Nights by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey from Grease

03. Summertime by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin from Porgy and Bess

02. Too Darn Hot by Cole Porter from Kiss Me, Kate

01. Manhattan by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart from Garrick Gaieties

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quote from John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"

Crooks in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men:
A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he with you. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Friday, May 9, 2014

Audra McDonald's Stunning as Billie Holiday

Thanks to same day rush tickets, I saw a recent matinee of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill for the incredible price of $40. What was more unbelievable and transporting though was Audra McDonald's stunning rendition of Billie Holiday. Sorry Dee Dee Bridgewater, Audra's Billie has your Lady Day beat.

Check out Audra McDonald's performance on The Colbert Report

Exclusive - Audra McDonald - "God Bless the Child": Audra McDonald channels Billie Holiday in a performance of "God Bless the Child."

And here is clip a number from the show on Youtube. Not sure how long it will be there. So enjoy while you can.

Dee Dee Bridgewater's Lady Day (closed Off Broadway on January 5th).