HERE'S WHAT'S NEW ON THE SITE:

CHECK OUT THE TABS ABOVE FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES, INCLUDING STANDING @ ZERO, ONE THAT GOT AWAY, #TBT, THE FRIDAY 5! CHECK IT OUT!
AND DON'T FORGET TO SCROLL DOWN THE WHOLE PAGE FOR LINKS TO FEATURED ARTICLES, REVIEWS, SHOW SITES, AND THEATER-RELATED STUFF!

COMING UP ON BROADWAY:
West Side Story - Opens: 2.20.20 Girl From the North Country - Previews: 2.7.20, Opens: 3.5.20 Six - Previews: 2.13.20, Opens: 3.12.20 The Minutes - Previews: 2.25.20, Opens: 3.15.20 Hangmen - Previews: 2.28.20, Opens: 3.19.20 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 Mrs. Doubtfire - Previews 3.9.20, Opens 4.5.20 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Previews: 3.3.20, Opens: 4.9.20 Plaza Suite - Previews: 3.13.20, Opens: 4.13.20 American Buffalo - Previews: 3.24.20, Opens: 4.14.20 Flying Over Sunset - Previews: 3.12.20, Opens: 4.16.20 Sing Street - Previews: 3.26.20, Opens: 4.19.20 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 Tony Awards Cut Off - 4.23.20 Tony Awards Nominations - 4.28.20 Tony Awards - 6.7.20 MJ: The Musical - Previews: 7.6.20, Opens: 8.13.20

COMING UP ON THE SITE: 1/24: The Friday 5 Quiz - 1/27: TBA - 1/28: REVIEW: Jagged Little Pill - 1/29: REVIEW: The Inheritance - 1/30: Musical of the Month: Applause: The Creatives - 1/31: The Friday 5 - 2/3: Broadway Eats

CONTACT US: (Email) jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Twitter) @jkstheatrescene (Instagram) jkstheatrescene

Thursday, January 23, 2020

MUSICAL OF THE MONTH: Applause: The Cast

This week, let's take a look at the people who were in the Musical of the Month - the multiple Tony nominated company of Applause. Among them are once and future TV and movie stars, legends of the Broadway stage, and even an original cast member of Sesame Street!

Musical of the Month:
Applause
The Cast







The Principals
There was plenty of star power in the main cast of the show, that is for sure!

Lauren Bacall in Applause

Lauren Bacall (Margo Channing): Wife of both Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards, Jr., Bacall was a Hollywood legend. But she was no stranger to the stage, either. In addition to her Tony-winning turn in Applause, she won another for Woman of the Year - both for Lead Actress in a Musical.

Len Cariou in Sweeney Todd

Len Cariou (Bill Sampson): The future Sweeney Todd made his Broadway musical debut in Applause, for which he was Tony nominated. His decades long career includes the original company of A Little Night Music, and the short-lived Teddy & Alice. For the past ten years, he's been featured on CBS's Blue Bloods.

Bonnie Franklin (left) in One Day at a Time

Bonnie Franklin (Bonnie): Franklin became a household name when she starred in the classic TV series One Day at a Time. Applause was her one and only Broadway role, and it earned her a Theatre World Award and a Tony Award nomination.

Penny Fuller (left)

Penny Fuller (Eve Harrington): She was Tony nominated for her portrayal of bad girl Eve, a role she got when she replaced the original actress out of town. She's been a Broadway baby for decades including a stint as Sally Bowles in the original production of Cabaret, the most recent revival of Sunday in the Park with George, and most recently as the Dowager Empress in Anastasia.

Brandon Maggart (left) in Sesame Street

Brandon Maggart (Buzz Richards): Applause brought him a Tony nod for Featured Actor in a Musical. With dozens of film, television and stage credits, he is definitely a working career actor. Fun fact #1: he was in the original cast of Sesame Street. Fun Fact #2: he is the father of Fiona Apple.

Robert Mandan (right) in Soap

Robert Mandan (Howard Benedict): Though he had five Broadway credits, he was best known for his TV role as Chester Tate in Soap, and later as Jack Tripper's father-in-law in Three's a Crowd.

Lee Roy Reams in 42nd Street
Lee Roy Reams (Duane Fox): After Applause, Reams went on to play Cornelius in the 1978 revival of Hello, Dolly!, a show he would later direct and choreograph (Carol Channing's final Broadway Dolly). He also created the role of Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street, and took over roles in such shows as Beauty and the Beast and The Producers.

Ann Williams (left) in Applause

Ann Williams (Karen Richards): Williams only appeared on Broadway twice, first in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963) and in Applause (1970).




The Ensemble:
Notable members of the 30 member ensemble included:

Alan King in The Golden Girls

Alan King (Tony Host): He had 9 Broadway credits, including two stints in the Judy Garland show. He was perhaps even better known for various television and film appearances, including playing Blanche's on-again off-again lover, Mel Bushman on The Golden Girls.

Patti D'Beck

Patti D'Beck (Dancer): Applause marked her Broadway debut. She has gone on to be an associate choreographer for Tommy Tune and his protege, Jeff Calhoun. Credits include Grease!, My One and Only, The Will Rogers Follies, and the Bernadette Peters revival of Annie Get Your Gun.

Renee Baughman (center) in A Chorus Line
Renee Baughman (Dancer): Applause marked her Broadway debut. She originated the role of Kristine ("Sing!") in A Chorus Line.

Nicholas Dante (far right) with the
creative team of A Chorus Line

Nicholas Dante (Dancer): He co-wrote the book for A Chorus Line.

Sammy Williams (right) in
A Chorus Line

Sammy Williams (Dancer): A Tony winner for A Chorus Line, it is said that his role of Paul was based on the life of Nicholas Dante.

#2257

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

LOGOS: Jagged Little Pill

It prominently features an open palm. Open palms facing out symbolize honesty and openness. In this case, given that the content of Alanis Morissette's album is the basis of Jagged Little Pill, I'm pretty sure that honesty will be brutal. This is just one major aspect of this logo that I love. In short, the logo is pretty brilliant.

In terms of eye-catching advertising, this logo is aces. A vibrant light blue background behind a practically ember-glowing orange hand certainly grabs one's attention. And, depending on which iteration of the logo you are looking at, the hand has either the title of the show or other lyrics written on it, as if done in haste by sharpie. Edgy and interesting.

And just to confirm it all for fans of the album, the title and tagline are in that same typewriter font found on the cover of Ms. Morissette's magnum opus. Speaking of the tagline - "Our New Musical" - I love the play on the traditional "a new musical."  But even more so, I like the implication. "Our" implies a community, a family. Well, I haven't seen the show yet, but I do know that Pill is about a family. And "our" also implies the inclusion of everyone - the audience, the world. We are all one family, perhaps.


The final element of the logo that impresses me is the halo of lyrics from the album behind the open hand. Not only does it signal for fans what is included, but they are also carefully selected so as to provoke thought. They are hitting you with themes and ideas before you even enter the building.


Is this the next step in the evolution of the jukebox musical? I'll let you know after I see it, but this logo certainly has me open to the possibility.

Grade: A+

#2257

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Standing @ Zero: West Side Story's Jarred Manista

Happy New Year, Ensemblist fans everywhere! We are so thrilled by your overwhelming response to these pictorial tributes to the men who stand at 0 every night when they bring their hard work (and stellar dance moves) to the musicals we love. Hard to believe this monthly feature is starting its second year already!

Standing @ Zero
West Side Story's
Jarred Manista

We start off 2020 with our youngest honoree to date, who is a swing in the first musical to open this year, West Side Story. A recent high school graduate, Jarred Manista is making his Broadway debut, but he's no stranger to the spotlight. In school, he played leading roles in such shows as Big Fish and Newsies (what a cool drama program, his alma mater must have). Most recently, he played Fender in Hairspray at the Skylight Music Theatre and Baby John in West Side Story at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is also an accomplished dancer, belonging to several companies.


     

     

Newsies

Big Fish

West Side Story - Lyric Opera of Chicago (right)

West Side Story - Lyric Opera of Chicago (right)

West Side Story - Lyric Opera of Chicago (center)

     
Congratulations on your Broadway debut, Jarred!





#2256

Monday, January 20, 2020

Broadway Heat: West Side Story Edition: The Finals


There's no doubting that West Side Story has been one of the buzziest shows of the season. Between script and cast changes, injuries and controversial staging choices, it is no wonder everyone is talking! Last week, your votes eliminated half of the cast. Now it is really up to you! That's right, you will vote for up to 6 cast members that you think are deserving of the title of THE HOTTEST BROADWAY MUSICAL CAST MEMBER OF 2019-2020! Will it be a lead? Or how about a featured cast member? An ensemblist? A Swing? Vote today! The person with the most votes wins!

The poll starts after the instructions!



🔥🔥BROADWAY HEAT🔥🔥
West Side Story Edition: 
The Finals!

HOT on Broadway (adj): fierce, talented, big potential; 
has "buzz"; has "it" factor.

REMEMBER:
  • You may vote for UP TO 6 cast members in this round. There is a photo and check box for each person. You may tap or click to make each selection.
  • You will need to scroll down the ballot box to see all of them.
  • When you have made all of your selections, scroll to the bottom of the ballot and tap/click the "CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT" button. You MUST tap/click this button or your vote WILL NOT count! (The little "OK" button does NOT complete your ballot.)
  • Your vote/device information is completely anonymous. The ballot is secure and is NOT collecting any data other than votes.
  • You may vote more than once!

Create your own user feedback survey

🔥🔥THIS POLL WILL CLOSE AT 5 PM ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 24!🔥🔥

#2255

Friday, January 17, 2020

The Friday 5: 5 Broadway "Rain" Songs



I was rifling through some things the other day, and came across a flyer for Ghost: The Musical and saw this picture. It reminded me of that show's song "Rain" and how much I enjoyed Caissie Levy's performance in that show.

As you probably figured, it got me to thinking about other "rain" songs I like from Broadway shows. My mind wanders a lot...anyway... in no particular order, here's this week's Friday 5.




THE FRIDAY 5:
5 Broadway "Rain" Songs


1. "The Rain in Spain" from My Fair Lady
In high school, I played Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, and I always looked forward to that number. One of my best friends played Eliza, and I had a serious crush on the guy who played Higgins...



2. "A Little Fall of Rain" from Les Miserables
Oh, to die in the arms of the one you love... In all seriousness, this is a tender moment that always gets me.



3. "River in the Rain" from Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
I think this is one of the most beautiful show tunes of the 80's, if not all time. A quiet moment of reflection with plenty to think about...



4. "Rain" from Once On This Island
So much happens in this epic number! The perfect mix of song and plot, power and danger...



5. "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl
Catchy, brassy... the song must have roared right off the stage and exploded right out onto Broadway. Ah, Barbra!

*****     *****     *****
THE ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK'S FRIDAY 5 Quiz!

3 Roles - 1 Actor

 1.
Alex Brightman
Zacky Price - Big Fish     Dewey - School of Rock     Beetlejuice - Beetlejuice

2.
Angela Lansbury
Mame Dennis - Mame     Countess Aurelia - Dear World     Mrs. Lovett - Sweeney Todd

3.
Karen Olivo
Vanessa - In the Heights     Anita - West Side Story     Satine - Moulin Rouge!

4.
Celia Keenan-Bolger
Olive Ostrovsky - The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Eponine - Les Miserables (2006 Revival)     Molly - Peter and the Star Catcher

5.
Gideon Glick
Ernst - Spring Awakening     Jimmy 6 - Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Dill Harris - To Kill a Mockingbird


#2254
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