Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday's Bits and Pieces for 09.11.09

Another Friday, though, of course, this one feels just a bit heavier than most others, what with the 8th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Hard to believe it was that long ago; sometimes it feels like just yesterday.


I hope I don't have to start each Friday with a piece about the death of another theatre star. Sadly, this afternoon, the passing of Tony winner Larry Gelbart was announced. He is probably best known to most of the world for writing M*A*S*H, but for theatre fans his contributions to the musical comedy canon will be felt for decades to come. The man knew how to keep good company, and how to pick excellent projects - he worked with Stephen Sondheim on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and with the late, great Cy Coleman on City of Angels. Both shows won Tonys for Best Musical, and both won Gelbart well-deserved Tonys. Forum is pretty much a staple, but don't miss it - it is a riot of the bawdy, clever kind; Angels is rarely produced, probably because it would be tricky to pull off budget and score-wise (it is sharp jazz through and through), but if it ever plays nearby, GO SEE IT! It is smart, witty and hilarious. And, arguably, one of the best Best Books of a Musical ever.

People ask me what I listen to on my iPod at work. They always scrunch up their noses in distaste, but always smile after because they can tell I love it so much. If they asked me this week, I'd say:


(meaning I listen to the whole thing through, time permitting):
  1. next to normal

  2. West Side Story - The New Broadway Cast Recording

  3. Billy Elliot


(meaning I listen to these tracks over and over):

  1. "Superboy and the Invisible Girl" from next to normal

  2. "Around Here" from 9 to 5: The Musical

  3. "Will-a-Mania" from The Will Rogers Follies

  4. "Dance at the Gym" from West Side Story

  5. "Who's Crazy?/My Psychopharmacologist and I" from next to normal

My co-workers can always tell when the last one is on... apparently, I sing the backup vocals aloud...loudly...


Mark this on your calendars: When: Sunday, September 27th Where: Shubert Alley and 44th Street What: The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Broadway Flea Market

If you've never been to this event, you really need to go - this year will be my third. It is a chance to mingle with real theatre fans for impromptu discussions on everything from the Best/Worst Elphaba to why In My Life is the BEST MUSICAL EVER! Then there are the events themselves, all for a good cause. Lots of money? Try the silent auction for really awesome items - past years have included autographed theatre advertisements that actually hung outside a theatre, like the one from Deuce signed by Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes, to walk on parts in Phantom, and seriously one of a kind props, like Whoopi Goldberg's roller costume and Kerry Butler's skates from Xanadu. Expensive, but priceless and all charitable! Not a lot to throw away this year, but still want the good stuff? Pay to walk through the autograph line and get as many autographs from the stars that are there. I think there are three sets of stars this year, including Broadway stars from current shows, Broadway legends and even some super nice soap stars (Van Hansis from As the World Turns is on my list this year!). Still only a few dollars to spend or maybe some saved up allowance? The flea market is the place to shop! Merchandise from closed shows for SUPER CHEAP, old Playbills for sale, costume pieces and props (last year they had shirts from Jersey Boys, prop hairspray cans from Hairspray, naturally), and great bargains... last year for a grand total of $8.00, I got a Beauty and the Beast farewell poster ($2.00), a Tarzan Christmas ornament ($3.00), a Grey Gardens note pad (2 for $1.00), and 10 that's TEN soda cups with lids from The Times They Are A-Changin' - I sold 1 on e-Bay for $15.00... (10 for $1.00) and my best purchase - a Lion King sweatshirt from the tour for $1.00!!!

It is a fun event, especially getting to chat with the stars of your favorite shows as they sell you cupcakes and fun show stuff. The entire cast of [title of show] couldn't be nicer, John Tartaglia is the most kind gentleman, and Tyne Daly is a HOOT! I can't wait to see who's here this year! For details go to

Drop me a line if you go! I'd love to hear about the treasures you find and cool folks you meet!


I just know that announcement I talked about previously is coming... they are probably handling the billing as we speak, and probably finding a Disney Channel star to be the title man! Meanwhile, the "semi-on-hold" production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark announced that the opening date hasn't changed (I bet it will...) BUT that tickets will officially go on sale October 31st. Shows that aren't happening aren't usually in the news weekly. They have one hell of a publicist!


(Photos: Larry Gelbart by Ryan Miller of Playbill Online and Flea Market Poster from the BCEFA website.)

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