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:
Six - Opens: 3.12.20 The Minutes - Opens: 3.15.20 Company - Opens: 3.22.20 Diana - Opens: 3.26.20 The Lehman Trilogy - Opens: 3.31.20 Mrs. Doubtfire - Opens 4.5.20 Plaza Suite - Previews: 3.13.20, Opens: 4.13.20 American Buffalo - Previews: 3.24.20, Opens: 4.14.20 Sing Street - Previews: 3.26.20, Opens: 4.19.20 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 MJ: The Musical - Previews: 7.6.20, Opens: 8.13.20 American Utopia - Opens 9.18.20

THIS WEEK ON THE SITE: 3/30: Broadway Heat: Company Edition: The Finals! - 3/31: TBA - 4/1: Mr. Broadway April 2020 - 4/2: Musical of the Month:The Drowsy Chaperone - 4/3: The Friday 5

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

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Friday 5: 5 Classic Original Casts I Wish I'd Seen

A lot of theater fans say they wish they had seen the original cast of The Glass Menagerie, including the legendary performance of Laurette Taylor. I could go for that myself. Truth is, I've had the great privilege of seeing many an original cast over the years. Still, there are several I wish I had seen. Here are 5 such classics:





The Friday 5:
5 Classic Original Casts
I Wish I'd Seen
All 5 of the shows on this list are among my all-time favorites. So why did these make the cut?



Fiddler on the Roof
I would have loved to be among the first to hear my favorite opening number, "Tradition." And to witness the legendary Zero Mostel's epic Tevye would be a dream come true. Or how about his duet with Maria Karnilova, "Do You Love Me?"



Guys and Dolls
One of my favorite scores! Man, I would have loved to have seen Vivian Blaine do "Adelaide's Lament!" And is it me, or is Robert Alda's voice intoxicating?



Man of La Mancha
Okay, maybe this is on here because it was the first show I ever did. But seriously, I would love to have seen the original environmental production. And then there's the great Richard Kiley belting out "The Impossible Dream (The Quest)." Sigh.



My Fair Lady
I can't imagine the thrill of being among the first to see this Golden Age show. The full orchestra, the lavish production values. But Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, right?



West Side Story
Speaking of thrills, I can't imagine how exciting it must have been to hear that score fresh before having memorized every single note. Would I have loved it from the start? And the chance to see Larry Kert as Tony in person...those black and white clips from The Ed Sullivan Show are great and all, but the real thing live in front of me??!

#2306

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Musical of the Month: The Drowsy Chaperone

Next up in our Musical of the Month series is the hysterical, whimsical parody musical from 2006, The Drowsy Chaperone. Finding more than a few similarities between myself and the lead male character, Man in Chair, I feel a special connection to this show. Oddly enough, I only saw it once, and neither of my theater "besties" saw it at all. (This is a frequent joke with the three of us.) Though it was neither the big award-winner, nor longest-running show from the 05-06 season, it was definitely my favorite new musical. Given the current state of things, it is nice to look back on such a sweet, funny jewel. I guess most of us now have a lot in common with Man in Chair...

Musical of the Month:
The Drowsy Chaperone
Background, Stats and Plot

Background
Like another unlikely musical, Urinetown, the show, as we know it, got its start at a fringe festival. But before that its origins are surely unique. It all began as a risque sketch by friends (and collaborators) Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison (music and lyrics) and Don McKellar (book) written for the bachelor party celebrating the impending nuptials of Bob Martin and Janet Van De Graaff. Eventually, Martin came aboard, helped write the book (and creating his character, Man in Chair), and in 1998, it premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival. The team worked on it for several years, and the show opened at a legit theater this time, also in Toronto. Fast forward to 2005, and the show, helmed by Casey Nicholaw, had a pre-Broadway run in Los Angeles. 


Stats
  • The show began the first of its 32 previews on April 3, 2006 at the Marquis Theatre, where it opened on May 1, 2006.
  • Chaperone was a 14 time Drama Desk Award nominee. It won 7, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score - Music and Lyrics.
  • The Tony Awards committee nominated the show for 13 awards, including Best Musical. It went on to win 5, including Best Book, Best Score, and a Featured Actress award for Beth Leavel.
  • Bob Martin was honored with a Theatre World Award for his efforts.
  • The Broadway production closed on December 30, 2007, following 674 performances.


The Plot
As is generally the case with shows of this type, the plot is hilariously complicated. But, in general terms, the show is what happens when the original social distancer, Man in Chair sits alone in his apartment listening to vintage original cast recordings. His favorite, he tells us, is The Drowsy Chaperone. Such is the intensity of his adoration, that the show comes to life before us in his one room studio. All of the roaring 20's stock characters are there, including an egotistical leading lady (a dazzling Sutton Foster), a self-absorbed Latin Lothario (a riotous Danny Burstein), a female aviatrix (a sassy Kecia Lewis-Evans), and the titular chaperone (a boozy delight, Beth Leavel). The darling of the evening was the late, great Georgia Engel, bringing her ditzy trademark voice and sweet charm to new, delightful heights.

NEXT WEEK: The Creative Team

#2305

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Mr. Broadway March 2020: Diana's Zach Adkins

This month, we thought we'd highlight a relative newcomer to the theater scene. Including his current role, he's only been in two Broadway shows. But his rise to the male leading role in his first show proved a popular choice with fans, and Zach Adkins has many of them. Over the years, he has appeared in major regional productions and co-starred in a national tour. He may be new to the big leagues, but we have every reason to believe he has a long stage career ahead of him. Our expectations are always high for any Mr. Broadway!

Mr. Broadway March 2020:
Diana's Zach Adkins






A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ZACH ADKINS
Birth Date: January 4
Birthplace: Ohio
Education: Baldwin Wallace University
Theater Credits: Broadway: Anastasia (Ensemble, Dmitry), Diana (Andrew Parker Bowles); National Tour: Kinky Boots; Regional: West Side Story (Tony - NC Theatre), Grease (Danny - Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera), Sweeney Todd (Anthony - Great Lakes), Murder Ballad (Tom - Baldwin Wallace), Dogfight (Boland - Beck Center), Spring Awakening (Melchior - Beck Arts)

REGIONAL
West Side Story

Grease

Sweeney Todd

Dogfight

Murder Ballad

Spring Awakening
BROADWAY







#2304

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Light the Lights: A Broadway Marquee Game

Time for some fun! I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see a Broadway show. You know, walking down 45th Street, the marquees all aglow... Anyway, here's a little something to whet your appetite for that day to come.

Here are 5 Broadway marquees. Can you name the show on each one?




Light the Lights!
A Broadway Marquee Game

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

P.S.: Don't forget to vote in this week's Broadway Heat Poll! HERE

#2303


Monday, March 30, 2020

Broadway Heat: The Company Edition: The Finals!!

Okay, theater fans! Let's think fun, happy thoughts, even for just a few minutes. We insist! So, last week, your Broadway Heat votes eliminated HALF the cast of Company! Now your votes will determine which single (like Bobbie?) cast member will represent the show at the end of the season when, together, we will find the HOTTEST BROADWAY MUSICAL CAST MEMBER OF THE 2019-2020 SEASON! You may choose up to 3 cast members!

The poll starts after the instructions!

🔥🔥BROADWAY HEAT🔥🔥
Company Edition: The Finals!


REMEMBER:
  • You may vote for UP TO 3 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! (Clicking just 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!
HOT on Broadway (adj.) - fierce, talented, has potential; has "buzz," has the "it factor."

Create your own user feedback survey


#2302

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Friday 5: 5 Broadway Things We've Done to Pass the Time

Empty 44th Street
Sigh. Here we all are. It's a nightmare if you think about it too much, really. But, and I'm not surprised, whenever there's a crisis, who can we turn to? The Broadway community! This time around, it's a little more difficult since Broadway is shut down for the foreseeable future. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we are forced to be even more creative!

In our corner of the world, we are coping in several ways and reaping the benefits of the community's ingenuity. None of this week's Friday 5 is revolutionary, and you probably are already doing most of these, or you've at least heard about them. Mostly, we want the therapy writing all of this down will provide.

Finally, we would love to hear what "Broadway stuff" is getting you through. Please Tweet or email (see above on the title bar).



The Friday 5:
5 Broadway Things We've Done to Pass the Time

In no particular order...


Reliving fond memories of Broadway through my Playbill Collection.
Regular readers know about my obsession with all things Playbill. Well, this is the perfect time to go through them! I have nearly 600 of them, which I found out when I cataloged them in my new Playbill collection spreadsheet. In the process, I've had the chance to look at them closely. I've discovered some great things - people I miss seeing in shows, people who were in the ensemble years ago who are now award-winning Broadway celebrities. Each one has holds a special memory, and it has been a nice way to balance the horror of reality.


Dusting off original cast recordings.
I have hundreds of these, too. And I am reacquainting myself with shows I haven't even thought of in ages. Recent re-discoveries include Floyd Collins, The Wild Party, the Debbie Allen Sweet Charity (man I love that version of the title tune, sung by Tony-winner Michael Rupert) and Barnum. Soon, I'll be delving into flops and super oldies. I've got my eye on Henry, Sweet Henry and The Canterbury Tales.



Seeing Broadway stars in their homes!
Thank you, Seth Rudetsky and Rosie O'Donnell! Bringing us awesome content and doing fundraising for The Actor's Fund. Listening to Ragtime stories straight from Audra and Stokes, listening to Audra, Kelli and Darren sing... and if you haven't had the chance you must check out Patti LuPone's basement series! She'a a little crazy, totally candid, and funny as hell! Then there is the Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber/Lin-Manuel Miranda dueling piano thing. What joy they bring with their talent and their warm humor. Did any of you see Betty Buckley's road trip home to Texas from New York? Fantastic!


Recreating the theater experience through video.
So far, I've enjoyed the Jesus Christ Superstar video from 2000 and the "ladies in red" sequence from the Sondheim Birthday Celebration. I'm thinking of combining the cast recording, video recording and book experience for each Sondheim show. Can't think of a better way to celebrate the great man's 90th birthday!


Theater books!
As many of you probably do, I have a pretty decent sized collection of Broadway books gathering dust. And so, I've begun (actually, re-begun) the two Sondheim books, Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat. Here's my plan: read the chapter about each show, play the CDs, and, if there is one, watch the video. That should hold me over until I finally get to see the Company revival, right?


Also, I recently bought a copy of Anastasia's Mark MacKillop's Room XIV, a collection of artistic NSFW photos from his world travels (underwear, mostly), including a personalized inscription, and a nice forward by Billy Porter. He sells them himself, supplementing his income - which he really needs now. To order, contact him via Twitter @mark_mackillop . He accepts Venmo and PayPal. It is a really wonderful book.

#2301

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Musical of the Month: Curtains: The Cast

Curtains was a unabashed old-fashioned Broadway musical. Big sets, lots of costumes, splashy production numbers and a large cast. The book boasted an impressive twelve principal roles and a sizable ensemble. Full of up and comers, staples in the ensemble world of the early 21st century, and a cornucopia of Broadway stars. So what has the cast been up to in the nearly twelve years since it closed? Let's find out!

Musical of the Month:
Curtains
The Cast



THE PRINCIPAL CAST
David Hyde Pierce (Lt. Frank Cioffi): Since winning the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for Curtains, he's been in a couple of plays, directed a new musical (It Shoulda Been You), and has been Tony-nominated twice more, for Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, and for the mega-hit revival of Hello, Dolly! In 2010, he was the recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award.




Debra Monk (Carmen Bernstein): After she won a Drama Desk Award for this show (and a Best Actress Tony nod), she's returned to Broadway only once. She co-starred as Big Mama in the 2013 Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. My favorite thing I've seen her in recently was the Amazon Prime series Mozart in the Jungle, as a salty oboist. 





John Bolton (Daryl Grady): Bolton has kept busy over the past dozen years, including A Christmas Story: The Musical (Drama Desk nominee) on Broadway, and two national tours of the same! Also on Broadway, he has appeared in Dames at Sea and Anastasia. Most recently, he wrapped up the national tour of Hello, Dolly!, opposite Carolee Carmello.


Jason Danieley (Aaron Fox): In 2010, Jason starred opposite his wife, the late, great Marin Mazzie in Next to Normal. After that, he co-starred in Kander and Ebb's The Visit, and most recently, in Pretty Woman: The Musical.








Edward Hibbert (Christopher Belling): Hibbert returns regularly to the stage, and since his days in Curtains, he's been in Mrs. Warren's Profession, It Shoulda Been You and Something Rotten.








Michael X. Martin (Johnny Harmon): One of Broadway's great utility players, Martin has appeared in 9 Broadway shows since Curtains closed! Maybe you saw him in 9 to 5, Ragtime, Catch Me If You Can, Nice Work If You Can Get it, The Bridges of Madison County, It Shoulda Been You, Bright Star, The Front Page or My Fair Lady?


Michael McCormick (Oscar Shapiro): Another terrific character actor, he's been on Broadway just three times since 2008 - in Elf, Chaplin and Hello, Dolly!









Jill Paice (Niki Harris): We loved her as Miss Honey in Matilda, and she was wonderful in An American in Paris. Somehow, we missed her in The 39 Steps.









Noah Racey (Bobby Pepper): Here's a guy we'd like to see on stage again. Since the show closed, he's been active regionally, and not just as a performer, but as a choreographer His sole post-Curtains Broadway credit was as movement director for The Terms of My Surrender.


Ernie Sabella (Sidney Bernstein): Mr. Sabella's most recent credit was Curtains.










Megan Sikora (Bambi Bernet): Sikora is one of the performers who is so amazing in everything she does, I am mystified as to why she's not a household name! She's toured in Guys and Dolls and Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Her subsequent Broadway credits include Promises, Promises, How to Succeed..., The Nance and Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical.





Karen Ziemba (Georgia Hendricks): A Tony nominee for Curtains, this Broadway legend has since appeared on Broadway two times: in Bullets Over Broadway and, most recently, in Prince of Broadway.








NEXT WEEK! A new Musical of the Month... The Drowsy Chaperone!

#2300
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