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Sunday
Apr262015

LONGTIME FANS OF THE FANTASTICKS STEP IN TO RESCUE THE WORLD’S LONGEST RUNNING MUSICAL FROM CLOSING

Producers of THE FANTASTICKS, Catherine Russell and Al Parinello have announced that they will now be able to keep Off Broadway’s longest running musical from closing. Two donors (longtime fans of the show who have asked to remain anonymous) have stepped in and pledged to keep the production running, making the Sunday, May 3rd performance a 55th anniversary celebration of the opening of the show in 1960 – not a farewell.

“Over the past few weeks, two longtime fans of the show called yelling at me for not letting them know the show was closing,” explains Producer Catherine Russell. “Each offered financial help keep the show running in NYC. I initially declined the offers, but after much thought and consideration, I've decided to accept their generous offers that will help keep The Fantasticks alive. I was surprised and moved to see the enormous outpouring of emotion and attention the closing announcement received. People called the box office crying and telling stories about the first time they saw the show. I didn’t realize how many people love the show and feel like it’s an important part of their lives. The Fantasticks truly is a treasured and iconic piece of NYC that should live on.

A modern twist on Romeo and JulietTHE FANTASTICKS (music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones) is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world.  What follows is a hilarious and heartwarming story for all ages.  The score, which includes the hit songs “Try To Remember”, “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” and “They Were You”, is as timeless as the story itself.

Hailed as "A Gem" by The Wall Street Journal, The Fantasticks is not only the "perfect first musical for any child to see" (amNewYork), butThe Fantasticks at The Theater Center is the definitive way to see the show.

The play has become a true New York institution. For many people, seeing The Fantasticks when visiting New York is as important as seeing The Statue of Liberty or The Empire State Building. In fact, Mayor Michael Bloomberg attended the New Year's Eve performance of the show before ringing in 2008 in Times Square. In 1992 The Fantasticks won The Tony Award for Excellence and remains the only Off-Broadway show ever to have won a Tony.

The cast of THE FANTASTICKS features Edward Watts as the Narrator (El Gallo), Daniel Berryman as The Boy (Matt), Samantha Bruce as The Girl (Luisa), Donald Corren as The Boy’s Father (Hucklebee), Joe Dellger as The Girl's Father (Bellomy), MacIntyre Dixon as The Old Actor (Henry), Michael Nostrand as The Man Who Dies (Mortimer) and Drew Siegla as The Mute. The production also features Dave Schoonover, Rita Markova, and Tom Flagg.

Robert Felstein is the Musical Director / Pianist and Maria Banks is the Harpist. Production Stage Manager is Paul Blankenship and the Assistant Stage Manager is Earlye Rhodes.

The performance schedule will remain the same -  on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 8PM, Wednesdays at 2PM, Saturdays at 2PM & 8PM and Sundays at 3PM & 7:30PM.

Tickets to THE FANTASTICKS are priced at $76.50 and can be purchased by calling the box office at (212) 921-7862, by logging ontowww.Ticketmaster.com or by visiting the Snapple Theater Center box office. A limited number of premium front row seats are available for each performance priced at $126.50.

THE FANTASTICKS plays at The Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street at Broadway. The box office phone number is (212) 921-7862. www.SnappleTheater.com

Tuesday
Apr142015

NATHAN LANE RECEIVES EUGENE O’NEILL THEATER CENTER 15TH ANNUAL MONTE CRISTO AWARD

CEREMONY HONORS ACTOR’S CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS, COMMITMENT TO STAGE AND SCREEN WITH HELP FROM FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES

Preston Whiteway, Nathan Lane and Brian DennehyThe Eugene O’Neill Theater Center celebrated the 15th annual Monte Cristo Award ceremony with a presentation of the honor to theater, film, and television actor Nathan Lane last night at the Edison Ballroom. The Monte Cristo Award is presented annually in recognition of the honoree’s outstanding achievements and contributions to the American theater. 

“I realize I must be getting older because in the last few years, I have received a couple of Lifetime Achievement Awards. I guess this is what happens when you’ve been acting on stage this many years. But it is a little disconcerting. It’s not because I’m don’t appreciate the gesture, but as Hilary Clinton might say, ‘I’m not quite done yet.’”

Lane went on to discuss his recent experience working on THE ICEMAN COMETH, one of Eugene O’Neill’s most famous works.

“It was the highpoint of my acting career, and for that, I am forever grateful. O’Neill has got his hooks into me, and he won’t let go. If you want to shake things up for yourself as an actor and find out what you’re made of, I highly recommend (acting in an O’Neill play),” he said.

The Monte Cristo Award was presented to Lane by O’Neill Trustee and actor Brian Dennehy.  Directed by Marc Bruni and hosted by O’Neill Center Executive Director Preston Whiteway, the program featured stage acts by Patrick PageCarson Elrod and Tyler Bunch; a tribute video from Jesse Tyler Ferguson; musical adaptations by Jenni BarberJason Simon, Robert Creighton and Tim Shew; and remarks by Lane’s friends and colleagues, including Susan Stroman and Matthew Broderick, paying homage to one of America’s most iconic stage, television & film stars.

“When you work with Nathan, he gives you 100 percent. He comes in with his lines down because he wants to play; because he wants to take chances; because he wants to be challenged. He’s not afraid to fall on his face,” Stroman said of her time working with Lane on THE PRODUCERS. “As a director and choreographer, you look for these kinds of performers who are fearless. That’s whom you want to surround yourself with. Nathan Lane is really one of a kind. There is nobody like him. He can lift one eyebrow and make you laugh – and life the other eyebrow and make you cry.”

Nathan’s recent co-star Brian Dennehy shared how invested the audiences were in Nathan’s performance as Theodore Hickman in THE ICEMAN COMETH earlier this year.

“I was there for every performance, 20 feet away from him - listening, moved, dazzled – and the audience was, as well,” Dennehy said. “I will always be grateful to have been a part of it; to have been a witness to one of the greatest theatrical experiences and chilling performances I’ve ever been a part of.”

Lane’s long-time colleague and friend Matthew Broderick reflected on his nearly 20-year history working with Lane.

“Even after all this time – a thousand performances or maybe more – I still find stepping onto a stage with Nathan to be absolutely thrilling,” Broderick said. “Anyone in this room who has worked with him will tell you, you start rehearsal, and it’s electric. And Nathan’s laser-like precision and atomic clock timing are exhilarating. And you know this is a precious, rare opportunity to mix it up with a great one – a DiMaggio, a Merman, a Gleason.”

Support for the 15th Annual Monte Cristo Award provided by Bisno Productions & Scott Yagoda, Disney Theatrical Productions, Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas, Roy Furman, Joyce & Seward Johnson Foundation, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Heather Henson, Jujamcyn Theaters, Laurie Connor & Chip Meyrelles, Nederlander Producing Company, The Shubert Organization, Bernie Schilberg - Prime Materials Recovery, Sally Speer, and Pat Daily & Tom Viertel.

The Monte Cristo Award is presented to a prominent theater artist each year in recognition of a distinguished career exemplifying Eugene O’Neill’s “pioneering spirit, unceasing artistic commitment, and excellence.” Past recipients of the Award include Meryl Streep, Christopher Plummer, Michael DouglasJames Earl JonesHarold Prince, Kevin Spacey, Neil Simon, Jason Robards, Jr., Edward Albee, August Wilson, Zoe Caldwell, Brian Dennehy, Karl Malden, Arthur and Barbara Gelb and Wendy Wasserstein.

For more information about the 15th Annual Monte Cristo Awards or the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, visitwww.theoneill.org.

Tuesday
Mar312015

BROADWAY TO DIM ITS LIGHTS Wednesday, April 1st For Gene Saks

IN MEMORY OF CELEBRATED DIRECTOR AND ACTOR GENE SAKS 

The Broadway community mourns the loss of acclaimed director and performer Gene Saks, who passed away on Saturday at age 93. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, April 1st, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

Image Courtesy of The Hollywood ReporterThe accomplished actor who became one of Broadway’s most prominent directors and won three Tony Awards®in addition to receiving multiple nominations, helmed many Neil Simon plays on Broadway including Biloxi Blues, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Jake’s Women, Rumors, Lost in Yonkers, Broadway Bound, The Odd Couple, and California Suite.

Saks won his first Tony Award® for Best Direction of a Play in 1977 for the Cy Coleman – Michael Stewart musical I Love My Wife, and two more for Neil Simon plays, Brighton Beach Memoirs in 1983 and Biloxi Blues in 1985. He also received nominations for Half a Sixpence (1965)Mame (1966), Same Time, Next Year (1975), andLost in Yonkers (1991).

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League, said, “Gene Saks was a notable presence on Broadway for six decades as an acclaimed performer and celebrated director. His legendary collaboration with Neil Simon contributed unparalleled magic and laughter to Broadway, and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.”

Additional Broadway directing credits include Enter Laughing, Nobody Loves an Albatross, and Rags. His final Broadway production was the bio-play Barrymore, which won a Tony for Christopher Plummer in 1997.

Saks, who was born in Manhattan and grew up in Hackensack, N.J., began his career as an actor. Saks made his acting debut on Broadway in South Pacific in 1949. On stage he also appeared in A Shot in the Dark, The Tenth Man, and his best-known stage role in A Thousand Clowns. He also appeared in the films Nobody's Fool and Deconstructing Harry.

Among Saks’ film directing credits included Simon adaptations of The Odd Couple, Barefoot in the Park, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, and Brighton Beach Memoirs. He also directed the 1969 Cactus Flower, which won Goldie Hawn the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

He is survived by wife Keren, their daughter, Annabelle, and three grandchildren. He is also survived by sons Matthew and Daniel from his marriage to his first wife, actress Bea Arthur.

His full Broadway biography can be found on The Internet Broadway Database at ibdb.com.

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Friday
Mar202015

Podcasting comes to LocalTheatreNY.com

PODCASTING IS FINALLY HERE! 

Well, it's been around now for quite some time, actually. It's just that in the last two years there has been a resurrgence in the popularity of podcasting and this time we did not want to miss out.

Much of the new success in podcasting is due in part to some new hosting platforms, better and easier technology and in truth quite a few radio personalities and thought leaders slowly embracing the format.

So, as not to miss the boat, it can now be found here, at LocalTheatreNY.com. To us, it's all new and exciting. Here's why...

(We need guests...watch the video and learn more)

LocalTheatreNY.com Needs Guests for its NEW PODCASTS from Roger Gonzalez - LocalTheatreNY on Vimeo.

 

In a recent Forbes article, longtime elder of podcasting, Jordan Harbinger comments on the so called hype and states: "The ‘resurgence of podcasting’ is media hype. The headlines notwithstanding, podcasting hasn’t suddenly emerged from a slumber, Harbinger points out. In fact, it’s been steadily growing year-over-year. He believes it’s the adoption of the channel by traditional radio celebrities like Alex Blumberg that’s fueled a new round of hype. 'There was practically no mention of podcasting from 2008 to 2013,” says Harbinger. 'Why? That’s because it wasn’t new anymore, so nobody was talking about it. But if you look at the statistics…podcasting has been growing steadily, in great numbers.' " You can READ the full article by By Dorie Clark, "Here's The Future Of Podcasting," by CLICKING: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2014/11/19/heres-the-future-of-podcasting/

The article also credits some other obvious reasons: Podcasting is hugely popular for listeners sitting in their car driving.  And as it turns out, almost half of all cars sold by next year will offer internet connectivity. By 2025 that number will hit full satuaration as an estimated 100% of all cars will offer connectivity! Podcasts have hit an alltime peak.

More importantly, we can't ignore how the entire world is changing in terms of our use of portable devices, smart phones, tablets and more! One shocking number, for instance, is that Apple has nearly 800 million iTunes accounts.  In June of 2013, iTunes had about 575 million accounts.  That’s a growth rate of roughly 40 percent in one year on a very mature product, Apple CEO Tim Cook has pointed out.

Last year, Apple said subscriptions of podcasts through iTunes reached 1 billion. ONE BILLION! RawVoice, which tracks 20,000 shows, said the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has tripled to 75 million from 25 million five years ago. (Washington Post)

So with this, we welcome two new regular podcasts to the LocalTheatreNY.com family. Our "LocalTheatreNY.com On The Air" will consist of regular theatre related interviews, reviews and news of events in the NY Theatre scene. Our first interview was with Acting Coach, Jim Bonney talking about his Emotional Preparation work with actors. Our first "Monthly Review" was for February and March. Here it is, as featured in iTunes: 

Below is the link to our new Theatre Marketing Insights Podcast as part of our Theatre Marketing insights Blog on Tumblr

Please help us share our new podcasts and feel free to subscribe and comment. We hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share your comments on iTunes. 

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Saturday
Feb212015

Braata Productions’ Braata Theatre Workshop Presents "The Black That I Am"

Influenced by an original poem of the same name written by Karl O’Brian Williams,The Black That I Am is a piece that explores blackness, and identity from the perspective of a Caribbean immigrant pursuing the American Dream in New York City.

Williams was never more aware or concerned as much with race till he left the island of Jamaica and came to the United States. The poem is a response to this realization, and weaves through the production highlighting issues of inequality, misplaced nationalistic fervor, gender, sexuality, and colorism.

The monologues in the show punctuate these issues, and take the audience on a personal yet political journey that goes back and forth between borders, and barriers, celebrating and questioning the notions of ‘place’ and ‘position’ in society.

The poem was first written in 2002, but the play would not see the light of day till 2005, when drama lecturer Brian Heap of the University of the West Indies selected it for development. It has been staged twice by the University Players in Jamaica, and last year the National Theatre of Scotland selected excerpts for Oran Mor’s lunchtime theatre series ‘A Play, A Pint & A Pie’ in Glasgow, and Galloway.

The Black That I Am will have its US premier for two weekends in New York City: February 25th, 26th, 27th at 8pm, the 28th at 3pm & 8pm, and March 1st at 6pm at The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning 161-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica Queens, and on March 4th, 5th, & 6th 8pm, the 7th at 3pm & 8pm, and on the 8th 6pm at the Roy Arias Stage II Theatre on 43rd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan.

Founded by Jamaican-born performer Andrew Clarke. Braata is a Jamaican word meaning something extra, we provide entertainment and education to our patrons, and give voice to our diverse issues, performers, writers and directors. We aim to represent with creative authenticity the folk culture of the Caribbean islands. As a non-profit organization Braata Productions fosters and develops a greater interest in the understanding and appreciation for all things Caribbean by preserving and showcasing its history, lifestyles, traditions and customs through the visual, and performing arts. For more about us please visit: www.braataproductions.org or call 917-668-2209.

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