The Height of the Storm - Opens: 9.24.19 The Great Society - Opens 10.1.19
Freestyle Love Supreme - Opens: 10.2.19 Slave Play - Opens: 10.6.19 Linda Vista - Previews: 9.19.19, Opens: 10.10.19 The Rose Tattoo - Previews: 9.19.19, Opens: 10.15.19 The Lightning Thief - Previews: 9.20.19, Opens 10.16.19 The Sound Inside - Opens: 10.17.19 American Utopia - Previews: 10.4.19, Opens: 10.20.19 Tina - Previews: 10.12.19, Opens: 11.7.19 Slava's Snowshow on Broadway - Previews: 11.11.19, Opens: 11.13.19 The Inheritance - Previews: 9.27.19, Opens: 11.17.19 A Christmas Carol - Previews: 11.7.19, Opens: 11.20.19 Jagged Little Pill - Previews: 11.3.19, Opens: 12.5.19 A Soldier's Play - Previews: 12.27.19, Opens: 1.21.20 Grand Horizons - Previews: 12.20.19, Opens: 1.23.20 My Name is Lucy Barton - Previews: 1.6.20, Opens: 1.15.20 West Side Story - Previews: 12.10.19, Opens: 2.6.20 Girl From the North Country - Previews: 2.7.20, Opens: 3.5.20 Six - Previews: 2.13.20, Opens: 3.12.20 Company - Previews: 3.2.20, Opens: 3.22.20 Diana - Previews: 3.2.20, Opens: 3.26.20 The Lehman Trilogy - Previews: 3.7.20, Opens: 3.31.20 Caroline, or Change - Previews: 3.13.20, Opens: 4.4.20 Plaza Suite - Previews: 3.13.20, Opens: 4.13.20 Flying Over Sunset - Previews: 3.12.20, Opens: 4.16.20 Birthday Candles - Previews: 4.2.20, Opens: 4.21.20 How I Learned To Drive - Previews: 3.27.20, Opens: 4.22.20 Take Me Out - Previews: 3.31.20, Opens: 4.23.20

COMING UP ON THE SITE: 9/16: Where Are They Now? Ms. Broadway Update: Krysta Rodriguez - 9/17: Theater Can Be Anywhere: My Trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - 9/18: LOGOS: The Lightning Thief - 9/19: #TBT - 9/20: The Friday 5: 5 BC/EFA Flea Market Things

CONTACT US: (Email) (Twitter) @jkstheatrescene (Instagram) jkstheatrescene

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Friday 5: 5 Broadway 'One' Songs

Numbers. Numbers. Everywhere numbers! Palindrome week... For theater fans it might be, "a 5...6...7...8" or it might be the list of musical numbers in a musical's Playbill. This week's Friday 5 is about a very specific Broadway number. It's been called a "singular sensation." Here is a countdown of my 5 favorite "One" songs:

The Friday 5:
5 Broadway
"One" Songs

5. "One Brick at a Time" from Barnum (from the London cast taping, starring Michael Crawford)

4. "One Last Kiss" from Bye Bye Birdie (from the studio recording of the film soundtrack. This version is not in the film - only a "rehearsal" snippet is in the movie.)

3. "One Day More" from Les Miserables (from the 10th Anniversary Concert. It's probably my favorite version of this gorgeous song.)

2. "One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story (from the 2009 Broadway revival - that's Matt Cavenaugh, not Jeremy Jordon)

1. "One (Finale)" from A Chorus Line (from the 2006 Broadway revival. Check out the sass on Jason Tam's face at the very beginning! For my money, still the greatest Broadway finale ever.)

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****


Thursday, September 12, 2019

#TBT: Playbill: Me and My Girl: May 1987

During the 1986-1987 season, my favorite new musical wasn't everyone else's favorite new musical. Actually, my favorite new musical wasn't really a new musical at all. While everyone was weeping and wailing over Les Miserables, I was crying tears over joy over the British import of a 50 year old musical, Me and My Girl. Truth be told, the show was a huge hit, critical darling, and award-winner (13 Tony nods, 3 wins - including Best Actor (Robert Lindsay) and Best Actress (Maryann Plunkett). It was also featured one of my favorite character actresses, Jane Connell. The show was old-fashioned in all the best ways - it was funny, glamorous, tuneful and full of big production numbers. It knew it was old school, and played it huge! The scenery was also amazing - I recall a town car made out of suitcases, and a rolling backdrop that played behind it as it "drove" through the English countryside. There was also a full-scale mansion, complete with dancing suits of armor and portraits that came to life (way before Harry Potter!). Then there was the signature song and dance number, "The Lambeth Walk." Once you heard it, it took weeks to get it out of your head.

After more than three years, and long after the original cast left, Me and My Girl closed, but never lost its charm and finesse. It was the first full-scale show to play the Marquis Theatre, and to this day, it still holds the record for the longest running show to play there.

May 1987

Me and My Girl
Marquis Theatre
11 previews, 1,420 performances
May 1987 Cast: Robert Lindsay, Maryann Plunkett, Jane Connell, George S. Irving, and Jane Summerhayes
Book by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber. Book revised by Stephen Fry and Mike Ockrent. Music by Noel Gay. Lyrics by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber.

It was a good time for variety on Broadway, new Neil Simon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, genuine classics like The Mikado, Blithe Spirit and Pygmalion, and a huge number of big name actors! There were TV stars galore - Hal Linden, Mary Tyler Moore, Peter Marshall, Linda Lavin; stage and screen stars from here and London - Peter O'Toole, Amanda Plummer, John Mills, Lynn Redgrave. And that month, you could have seen Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader live on stage.


Robert Lindsay and George S. Irving

Jane Connell and George S. Irving

Jane Summerhayes and Robert Lindsay

The Company at the 1987 Tony Awards


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Standing @ Zero: Beautiful's Ryan Vona

Baseball has utility players. So does Broadway. Right now, one such utility player on Broadway is this month's Standing @ Zero guy. Over his growing career, he's replaced a supporting character, opened a new musical as a male lead, and now he plays three roles and understudies a principal role. As Beautiful continues in its final weeks, we celebrate ensemblist Ryan Vona.

Standing @ Zero:
Ryan Vona

In addition to his current stint in Beautiful, Ryan has also appeared in Once and Cirque du Soleil's Paramour. He has also appeared regionally as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.

In case you had any doubts, cute guys can play Seymour!


with a new fan!


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

One That Got Away: Nick and Nora

My direct knowledge of the 1991 flop musical Nick and Nora starts and ends with the Original Broadway Cast Recording. As all of this was happening well before the social media revolution, the as-it-was-happening first-hand reports were virtually non-existent, those of us who weren't in the biz had to rely on blips and blurbs in the New York papers, which were very spare with information. Of course, after the fact, a good bit of tea was spilled after the show closed.

It was a flop of epic proportions - it had been heralded as the must-see, most highly-anticipated musical of the season! (Do those phrases ever seem to work out well for those similarly anointed shows?) The legend of Arthur Laurents! Annie's Charles Strause! Tony-winner Joanna Gleason's triumphant return! The re-affirmation of Barry Bostwick as a Broadway musical star! A nation-wide search for "Asta"! These days, nothing compares to the preview period of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, but back then, a 71 preview performance run was historic. Turns out those previews were roughly eight times as many as actual performances!

So, you must be thinking, "Why is this 'One That Got Away' for Jeff?" Well, part of it is that I have a special affection for flop shows. Another part is all of those reasons why Nick and Nora was supposed to be a huge hit, still running today. But most of it is that cast recording, which has many wonderful songs.

Nick & Nora had one of the best taglines ever:
"A Marriage. A Murder. A Musical."

Christine Baranski, Joanna Gleason and Barry Bostwick 

Asta (Riley), Nick (Barry Bostwick) and Nora (Joanna Gleason)

I mean come on, is there any song that speaks to us theater geeks more than "Everybody Wants To Do a Musical"? (And Christine Baranski sings it??!!) And there are fabulous company numbers like "May the Best Man Win," "Detectiveland," and my personal favorite, "A Busy Night at Lorraine's." But what intrigues me the most is how, apparently, a lot of the recording was cobbled together into actual songs. Seems that in performance, many of the songs were really snippets that start and stopped between bits of dialogue. It all sounds so fascinating. So, yes, this is definitely one that got away. I really, really wish I had seen this show!

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