Theater-Music Talk

The popular concert series Broadway Sings doubled the roster of their virtual platform Broadway Sings PARTY! since launching last month. PARTY! allows fans and theater lovers to throw a Broadway-themed event for any special occasion and choose Broadway guests to perform live at the virtual event. The rest of the hour is filled with Broadway games, trivia, dancing, and Q&As.

Newly added to the star-studded roster are Roman Banks (Dear Evan Hansen), Kennedy Caughell (Beautiful), Hannah Cruz (Hamilton), Mariah Rose Faith (Mean Girls), Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hansen), Keri René Fuller (Jagged Little Pill), Alysha Deslorieux (Hamilton), Laurel Harris (Wicked), Sasha Hutchings (Hamilton), JJ Niemann (Book of Mormon), Noah J. Ricketts (Frozen), John Riddle (Frozen), Jonalyn Saxer (Mean Girls), Betsy Struxness (Hamilton), Ryan Vasquez (Hamilton), andTeal Wicks (The Cher Show).

The roster also includes Krystina Alabado (Mean Girls), Caroline Bowman (Frozen), Jackie Burns (Wicked), Matt DeAngelis (Waitress), Christine Dwyer (Waitress), Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), J Harrison Ghee (Kinky Boots), Jason Gotay (Bring it On), Brittney Johnson (Wicked), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Phantom of the Opera), Taylor Iman Jones (Head Over Heels), Corey Mach (Godspell), Lesli Margherita (Matilda), Isabelle McCalla (The Prom), Ginna Claire Mason (Wicked), Mary Kate Morrissey (Mean Girls), Jennifer Noble (King Kong), Desi Oakley (Waitress), Solea Pfeiffer (Evita), Dee Roscioli (Wicked), Stark Sands (Kinky Boots), andAlysha Umphress (On the Town). www.broadwaysingsconcert.com/party

Join in to Save Birdland: A Celebration of Music, History and Community that will stream for free at 7 pm on Sun. January 24, a virtual benefit concert . . . www.birdland.com – So many have signed up and come to the aid of Birdland and Gianni Valenti it’s owner. Expect to see performances by these stars including: Wynton Marsalis, Elvis Costello, Chita Rivera, Leslie Odom, Jr., Mandy Patinkin, Jeff Daniels, Clive Davis, Matthew Broderick, Ken Burns, Peter Cincotti, Giancarlo Esposito, Melissa Leo, Norm Lewis, Manhattan Transfer, Bebe Neuwirth, John Pizzarelli, Martha Plimpton, Randy Rainbow, Mercedes Ruehl, Catherine Russell, Billy Stritch and Veronica Swift. 

Keen Company Announces Keen on New Work: A Discussion with The 2020 Playwrights Lab Writers Featuring Excerpts of New Work from Karen Hartman, Lisa Ramirez, Carolos Murillo, Vickie Ramirez, Harrison David Rivers and Ken Urban Tuesday January 26th at 4pm – Reserve Now!

Little Wars

Little Wars and Falling Stars, two new works from the UK, will stream on Broadway On Demand, the theatre-focused streaming platform, beginning February 1, 2021.   Multi-award-winning stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly, Deeply, Royal Court’s Death and the Maiden) leads an all-star female cast in this streamed production of Steven Carl McCasland’s dinner party drama, Little Wars.  Joining Stevenson are Linda Bassett (Call the Midwife and the NY productions of Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money and Escaped Alone) Debbie Chazen, Natasha Karp, Catherine Russell, Sarah Solemani and Olivier-recipient Sophie Thompson (Present Laughter, Donmar Warehouse’s Company). Bringing together six exceptional women, Little Wars unites literary lionesses Gertrude Stein (Bassett), her girlfriend Alice B. Toklas (Russell), Dorothy Parker (Chazen), Lillian Hellman     (Stevenson) and Agatha Christie (Thompson) with anti-fascist freedom fighter Muriel Gardiner (Solemani), in the most-fantastical, what-if dinner party imaginable. 

Falling Stars, a celebration of the golden era, is conceived and written by Peter Polycarpou, who is joined by Sally Ann Triplett (Finding Neverland, Broadway) in this new musical.  www.BroadwayOnDemand.com

Johnnie Ray

Celebrate Everything Old is New Again with David Kenney: Johnnie Ray, New Orleans High Society, Barbara Cook Sundays 10 pm-Midnight on WBAI 99.5 FM and Wednesdays 9-11 pm on The Penthouse at www.thepenthouse.fm www.wbai.org/listen-live

Episode 31 of 4Wall Entertainment’s Sunday Roundtable features Production Managers, Technical Supervisors, and Producing Directors from Broadway, Lincoln Center, Disney, and Regional Theatre. Sam Ellis (Broadway), Elisabeth Farwell-Moreland (Seattle Rep), Paul Smithyman (Lincoln Center Theatre, Broadway), and David S. Stewart (Disney Parks Live) join hosts Drew Quinones and Jeff Croiter to talk about their career paths, how they’re managing during the shutdown, their thoughts on restarting, and the current state of the industry.
Episode 31 will be available to stream on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 7:00 pm EST on 4Wall’s Facebook Live and YouTube pages, and will remain available afterwards.
Facebook: http://bit.ly/4Wall-Sunday-Roundtable-Ep-31-FB
YouTube: http://bit.ly/4Wall-Sunday-Roundtable-Ep-31-YT

Abrons Arts Center (www.henrystreet.org) offers up programs featuring artists on the front lines of social discourse including a radio play, gallery exhibition, new music releases and special Lunar New Year calendar celebrating the Year of the Metal Ox.

Theater in Quarantine, a pandemic performance laboratory from writer, director, and performer Joshua William Gelb and choreographer Katie Rose McLaughlin, is proud to present the world premiere of Blood Meal, a new play written by Obie Award-winner Scott R. Sheppard (Underground Railroad GameThe Appointment). In this satirical thriller, remote performers Gelb and Lee Minora come together from separate closets across the East Village to build a portrait of intimacy and infestation. Set to premiere on February 1 at 7 and 9 pm on YouTube, this 35-minute work features direction by Gelb along with movement direction and costumes by McLaughlin. In Blood Meal, the lovely home of a young couple is overtaken by blood-sucking insects. While terrifying, the true horrors of this infestation are the paranoid nightmares lurking beneath the couple’s façade.

Broadway Records has released Kyle Taylor Parker’s new solo album “Broadway Soul, Vol 2.” The album will be available everywhere digital music is sold on February 12th, with a physical CD to follow on February 26th. Pre-orders are now available at all major retailers (with iTunes offering an instant download of “What I Did For Love” with each pre-order of the album)

Following up his highly successful debut album “Broadway Soul, Vol. 1” (hailed by Talkin’ Broadway as “a formidable and fascinating dissection and resurrection”), Kyle Taylor Parker returns with a new collection of Broadway classics reimagined. Created as a full musical, and featuring Jackie Cox (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Shoshana Bean (Waitress), Blaine Alden Krauss (Hamilton) and Natalie Joy Johnson (Kinky Boots), the album features an eclectic array of songs from musicals as diverse as Hedwig and the Angry Inch, South Pacific, A Chorus Line, The Wiz, Follies, The Music Man and more, all filtered through the sound of a queer artist of color. www.BroadwayRecords.com

Every single performer in Scott Siegel’s NIGHTCLUB NEW YORK — more than sixty of them, so far — has received payment for their work. With the help of a growing and excited subscriber base, the intention is both  to increase the number of performers in the club and increase the thousands of dollars in performance fees that they will receive in the months ahead. Click NIGHTCLUB NEW YORK for the win (and the win)! http://nightclubnewyork.vhx.tv

Tony Award-nominee Melissa Errico and Billboard Chart-topping pianist Lara Downes have come together to collaborate on a new recording of the Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg classic: “Happiness Is Just A Thing Called Joe.” The new recording and accompanying music video, filmed remotely in both California and New York, marks the first collaboration between one of America’s most beloved singer/actors in Errico and one of its most admired and protean pianists in Downes. Now available on for digital download and streaming on all platforms via this link: https://levelmusic.lnk.to/HappinessIsJust

The New Ohio Theatre will co-present The Cherry Artists’ Collective’s English-language Premiere of Hotel Good Luck, a play with music by celebrated Mexican playwright, Alejandro Ricaño, translated by Jacqueline Bixler and directed by Samuel Buggeln. The play will be live-streamed from the historic State Theater in Ithaca, NY on Friday, February 12 at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 13 at 7:30pm, Thursday, February 18 at 7:30pm, Friday, February 19 at 7:30pm, and Saturday, February 20 at 7:30pm. Tickets ($15 minimum; $25 suggested; $45 supporter) are available for advance purchase at www.thecherry.org. The performance will run approximately 60 minutes, with no intermission.  Hotel Good Luck tells the moving and dizzying story of Bobby, a late-night radio DJ who is confronted with an upsetting event which plunges him into a rabbit hole of parallel universes in an attempt to regain what he has lost. 

Ann Harada

The New York City Gay Men’s Chorus/Youth Pride Chorus/Tonewall’s Annual Valentine Day Benefit Concert features Ann Harada, Frenchie Davis, Nick Adams, John Tartaglia, Jessica Hendy and others February 13 at 8 pm part of Stars in the House supporting The Actors Fund. Info HERE.

Cheyenne Jackson

Broadway Smashes Covid with Renee Fleming, Heather Headley, Cheyenne Jackson, Adam Pascal, John Lloyd Young, Alisan Porter and others takes place Thurs. February 25 at 7 pm Register HERE.

101 Dalmatians Musical Cancels Spring Premiere in Regent’s Park (London) Open Air Season The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of the new musical 101 Dalmatians, which was scheduled to begin performances May 15 at the outdoor venue, will no longer be part of the 2021 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Felicity Kendall and Gary Wilmot have joined London’s Anything Goes cast coming to Barbican Center in the Summer of 2021.

Donna Lynn Hilton

Women are beginning to achieve leadership positions in major regional Connecticut theater when only two years ago there were hardly any! Now they seem to be taking over as evidenced by the recent role Donna Lynn Hilton has taken on as Artistic Director of Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam. In September, Tiffani Gavin became Executive Director of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford. Onward!

New awareness for Broadway when Ratatouille the Tik Tok Musical, based on the Pixar film about a rodent, came up a winner under the clever reins of Greg Nobile (Seaview). He was able to develop it in 31 days for $200K. The new streaming theater platform can save a lot of dollars when engineered as brilliantly as this where all the songs were written by different people from different countries (all paid an honorarium) because the ultimate goal was to stream as a benefit for The Actors Fund which raised a record $2Million. Food for future business model thought! (see Forbes 1/21/21 article by Lee Seymour-Hollywood & Entertainment)

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