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Here's what I've enjoyed seeing or reading so far...hope you enjoy them as well!




Review: Cutting-Edge Composers II

I had the pleasure of attending the "Cutting-Edge Composers II" concert tonight at the Canal Room presented by Josh Young and Laura Pietropinto. It was an evening of joy...listening to both established and up and coming artists perform songs by a new crop of theatrical songwriters. There was a lot of talent in the house tonight including Tituss Burgess (whom I had the pleasure of sitting down with for an interview) singing and belting his soul out to "I'll Be Alright," a song Tituss wrote about getting through the rough times of an ended relationship. Also Brooke Moriber rocked it out to "Live Free or Die" a song written by Creighton Irons & Sean Mahoney. Let me tell you, Brooke has some big pipes! The audience was also enchanted by powerhouse vocalist Katie Thompson (fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant) who sang "No Reason At All," a song by the very talented Jonathan Reid Gealt about a woman wanting to break free of her hardships. The evening ended with the one and only Daphne Rubin-Vega (also a fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant) bringing down the house to "The Goodbye Song" written by Joe Iconis about the ending of relationship that didn't want to end, but still knowing the two partners would always be by each other's side. I have to say the evening was a success and it's refreshing to see that musical theatre will continue on and tonight was just a sampling of who's out there writing the news songs and who's going to be dazzling and continuing to dazzle audiences by performing them. For more information on Cutting Edge Composers, visit them at:


Abingdon Theatre "Marathon '33" Benefit

I attended the Abingdon Theatre's fundraiser "Marathon '33" this past Monday, October 19. The Abingdon Theatre Company is an Off-Broadway non-profit theatre company dedicated to developing and producing plays by American Playwrights exclusively. "Marathon '33" is a play written by the real June Havoc about her many years in Marathon Dance competitions, which she got into after running away from the vaudeville circuit her mother Rose forced her to perform in as a child.

As a special treat to the evening, many of the actresses that played "Baby & Dainty June" were in attendance to watch a special abbreviated performance of "Marathon '33" which featured some of the original costumes from the Broadway production.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lane Bradbury, the original "Baby & Dainty June" in Broadway's "Gypsy" which starred Ethel Merman as "Rose" and Leigh Ann Larkin who played "Dainty June" in the 2008 revival of "Gypsy" starring Patti Lupone as "Rose" (Leigh Ann's interview will be posted at a future date).

Check out everything Abingdon Theatre has to offer, like their current hit show "Inventing Avi" starring Alix Korey.


"Memphis" Review

Hockadoo..."Memphis" is a fantastical fresh new Broadway musical that entices you from the start! A musical that shines it's light brightly on Chad Kimball who plays "Huey," Montego Glover who plays "Felicia," Cass Morgan who plays "Mamma," & Derrick Baskin who plays "Gator." David Bryan (keyboardist & founding member of Bon Jovi) wrote the lyrics and music to some stand-out songs: "The Music of My Soul," "Colored Woman," "Someday," "Say a Prayer," "Love Will Stand When All Else Falls," "Change Don't Come Easy," "Memphis Lives in Me," & "Steal Your Rock 'n' Roll."

Inspired by actual events, "Memphis" tells the story of "Huey" a young white radio disc jockey who shakes things up in an already shaken up time, by playing African-American music on his radio show and teaming up with "Felicia", the African-American girl he's been listening to for years. This ignites not only the Golden Era of early rock-n-roll, but a powerful story about love, passion, and breaking down walls. If you're looking for a fresh new musical, this is the one to see, so get out your dancing shoes, find your soul, and get to the Shubert Theatre on 44th Street in NYC and go see "Memphis!" Click here for tickets!


A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage (c) 1959 Review

I went to see "A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage (c) 1959" at the NYC Fringe Festival, produced by Sean Bradford ("Simba" cover in Broadway's "The Lion King") & Adam Kantor (final "Mark" in Broadway's "Rent") in association with The Present Company. What a fun show...Robert Bastron has written a show that is cleaver, funny, and enjoyable by all. The show takes you on the journey of two couples from their initial meeting to dating to marriage and ultimately their own self-discovery of what a marriage is. The ups and downs that follow are wonderfully acted by this cast. Autumn Hurlbert & Lee Aaron Rosen are marvelous as "Abigail & Mason Lawrence". Whether it's through a gesture, a look, or her inflection, Autumn's impeccable comedic timing is really shown. Lee demonstrates "Mason's" enthusiasm as he falls love with "Abigail" and then his realization that marriage or this relationship might not be for him. Meredith Forlenza & A.J. Shively are perfectly cast as "Ruth Grundly & Daniel Henry", she trailer-trash turned millionaire and he a child prodigy med student. Meredith gets to show off her sultry and independent woman sides with conviction while A.J. get to reveal his innocence, dedication and wisdom with power. The cast is rounded out by Chris Henry Coffey as "The Narrator" who moves the show along with humor and wit. Colin Israel plays "Michael Henry (the brother of Daniel) &  Jeremy (the gay male nurse)"  whose . Miranda Jackel is precious as "Evelyn Henry" the daughter of "Ruth & Daniel".  Adding zingers both on stage and during scene changes are Francis Mercanti-Anthony & Monica West who play "Abigail's" mother & sister "Dorothy Peck" & "Sheryl Howard" as well as Anna Stone who plays "Burnhilde Henry" (mother of "Daniel") & "Ellen" (the nurse). Finally, Rob Sheridan gives a fine performance as "Henry Henry ("Daniel's" father) & "Dr. Osborne".

If this show comes back around (which I hope it does), go enjoy an evening of laughter!

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Review: "Tales From The Tunnel" (NYC Fringe Festival 2009)

Tales from the TunnelI just saw the NYC Fringe Show "Tales From The Tunnel" about our daily scenarios on the NYC subway system. Humorous and touching, this show's topic is easily identifiable. Whether it's the NYC subway, Boston's T, Washington DC's Metro or any other train system you've rode, these are scenarios you can relate to. Tonight's show was unique because unfortunately Wilson Jermaine Heredia was out sick at the last moment, but the whole cast should be applauded for not missing a beat while one of their own, Sam Rosenberg, covered Wilson's parts in addition to his own. If you are thinking of what Fringe show to check out next, "Tales From The Tunnel" should be on your list!

Two of the more humorous scenarios I enjoyed were:

1. A segment of Musical Chairs to see which handicapped/disabled rider gets a seat.

2. A woman is sitting on the subway on a really hot summer day in a dress, the lights go out, and she feels something licking her legs and as she's waiting for the lights to come back on she's imaging it's some crazy guy getting off, but to her delight, it's a seeing eye dog.

Some of the touching scenes that stuck with me were:

1. Recounting a subway ride on September 11, 2006, 5 years after the World Trade Center attack and having the subway conductor remind riders of what they would have seen if they rode the subway 5 years earlier on September 11, 2001.

2. A subway ride that involved a homeless man coming on the subway and saying how "it's so cold, it's so cold, it's so cold" and one compassionate rider giving the homeless man his coat.

3. A homeless guy who had the world at his feet and little by little his life started to fall apart, first by him losing his job, then his girlfriend leaving, and then a falling out with his parents, which left him no where to go but the streets.

Everyone has a "Tale From The Tunnel", come see if yours is lived out!

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