Shakespeare in the Park’s The Tempest Opens Tonight

first_imgAbout the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park presentation of The Tempest opens officially on June 16. The Michael Greif-helmed production features stage and screen favorites Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. To commemorate the big night, resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of the cast. It’s a drawing as dreams are made on.In addition to Waterson as Prospero and Ferguson as Trinculo, the portrait features Chris Perfetti as Arel, Louis Cancelmi as Caliban, Francesca Carpanini as Miranda, Rodney Richardson as Ferdinand, Danny Mastrogiorgio as Stephano, Charles Parnell as Alonso, Bernard White as Gonzalo, Cotter Smith as Antonio and Frank Harts as Sebastian.Congratulations to the cast of The Tempest! Stay dry! Or don’t? View Commentslast_img read more

Tonya, Nancy, Clones & More: Eight NYMF Shows that Caught Our Eye

first_img View Comments The twelfth annual New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) kicks off on July 7. Over the course of three weeks, dozens of new shows will show what they’ve got to investors, insiders and those musical theater early adopters. The festival fostered such favorites as Altar Boyz, [title of show], Next to Normal and (just last year) Clinton: The Musical, so here’s your chance to say you saw it first. We perused the list of this year’s entries; here are eight shows with titles, premises, creative and stars that have our attention. For the full lineup and tickets, visit the NYMF website. Tonya and Nancy: The Rock OperaFull production; July 9, 11, 12, 14 & 16It’s a tale we all know too well. Take figure skating’s most infamous brawl, add some glam and turn it into a musical comedy. And that’s just what creator Elizabeth Searle and composer Michael Teoli did. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan’s 1994 Olympics debacle, knee whack and all, heads to the stage with Rent alum Tracy McDowell and Wicked’s Jenna Leigh Green. Having seen an earlier production at the American Repertory Theatre’s workshop space Oberon, we can promise a night of camp, belting and maybe at one point a fantasy boxing sequence.Manuel Versus The Statue of LibertyFull production; July 21, 22, 25, 26 & 27The 2014 Developmental Reading Series Award-winning tuner gets a full staging at this year’s festival. Noemi de la Puente, David Davila and Howard Post’s show inspired by the true story of a Princeton student who came to America as an undocumented child immigrant from the Dominican Republic. He gets the chance to study at Oxford with a Rhodes Scholarship, but can’t leave the country. Cue a boxing match with Lady Liberty herself (played by the electrifying Shakina Nayfack) that bring the fight for immigration reform to the ring.Where All the Rivers Go to SleepConcert; July 18 & 19Cora, a young prostitute, falls in love with a Creole woman named Apolline and introduces her to live in the brothel. When Apolline’s husband returns from the north, love turns to jealousy and desperation as Cora sets out to keep Apolline. An interracial lesbian relationship in New Orleans’ red-light district may not seem like a story crying out for a musical treatment, but what we’ve heard of Jesse Gelber and Kate Manning’s score is captivating. Think Jerome Kern meets Scott Joplin meets Louis Armstrong. Hear it in concert with a 12-piece orchestra.Held MomentarilyFull production; July 20, 23, 25, 26 & 27It’s a horrific pair of words that New Yorkers hear all too often. Trapped on a subway train with five strangers is no fun, and it’s less fun when one of them just went into labor. Oliver Houser brings his show to NYMF after presenting it at the 2014 NY International Fringe Festival. The ensemble cast includes The Voice finalist India Carney. Singing on the train is a faux pas, but after listening to her, we’ll give her a free pass.Song for the FallenFull production; July 21, 24, 25, 26 & 27She’s the famed 19th century Parisian courtesan you know and love. Maybe. Marie Duplessis gets an MTV makeover in a vaudevillian cabaret that serves as her final lavish party before (spoiler) dying of consumption. She’s inspired such characters as La Dame Aux Camelias and La Traviata’s Violetta and Moulin Rouge!’s Satine. Now, she’s telling her own story in a show by the Australian-based Sheridan Harbridge (who also stars as Marie) and Basil Hogios. Remember: She’s not dancing too fast; it’s the violins that play too slowly.The Runaway CloneReading; July 9 & 12It’s the year 2250. Thanks to a mysterious agency, cloning is a very real cure for feeling lonely or missing deceased loved ones. But can memories be cloned, too? It’s a madcap premise, and having attended an earlier reading last year, we can promise you it’s kookier than it sounds. But book writer Pamela Eberhardt brings plenty of heart to human and almost-human relationships, and composer Jonathan Brenner’s melodies are remarkable and—truly—uncloneable.RailsReading; July 17 & 20Tom Kenaston and Tom Paitson Kelly’s musical spans four generations as Maggie, just before moving to a senior home, goes on one last journey through her own life story with her grandson. As we learned from another multigenerational musical about passing on tales, be the hero of your story, and the world will soon be yours, right? A host of Broadway names will take part in the developmental reading, including Joe Cassidy (If/Then), Matthew Hydzik (Side Show), Leah Horowitz (Follies) and Robb Sapp (Wicked).Claudio QuestFull production; July 7, 10, 12, 13 & 14Three things that we’ve always said musical theater needed more of: video game princesses, killer eggplants and platypuses. This new show from Drew Fornarola and Triassic Parq’s Marshall Pailet has all three. Avenue Q Tony nominee John Tartaglia directs the tuner about two brothers on an 8-bit mission. And in true Tartaglia fashion, there are puppets. The cast features a mix of fresh faces and Broadway alums, including Rock of Ages’ Andre Ward and Bring It On’s Lindsey Brett Carothers. Controller sold separately.last_img read more

The Fans Have Spoken! Your Picks for the Top 10 Songs in Spring Awakening

first_img“THE BITCH OF LIVING” “TOUCH ME” “LEFT BEHIND” “MY JUNK” Spring Awakening If you’re like us, you’re: 1. Counting down the days until Spring Awakening’s first performance at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and 2. Walking around with the Tony-winning show’s amazing score jangling around in your head. That’s why we asked you to choose your top 10 favorite songs in the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical on ranking site Culturalist. The results are in, and the forecast says you’ll be singing Spring songs for rest of the week. Check below to see which numbers came out on top! “THE SONG OF PURPLE SUMMER” Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016 “TOTALLY F**KED” “MAMA WHO BORE ME” Related Shows View Comments “MAMA WHO BORE ME (REPRISE)” “THOSE YOU’VE KNOWN” “DON’T DO SADNESS”last_img read more

Will Sara Bareilles Headline Waitress After Jessie Mueller?

first_img Sara Bareilles Star Files View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020 Related Shows Waitress Sara Bareilles has baked up a new credit as Broadway composer with the score for Waitress, which heads from Boston to New York this spring. Though Tony winner Jessie Mueller stars in the show, Bareilles hasn’t ruled out a brave move to center stage at some point.“I hope to get to see those stage lights at some point,” the singer/songwriter recently told Glamour magazine. “I certainly have dreams of being on a Broadway stage someday…whether it’s in this show or something else.”Her acting aspirations are inspired by her tremendous respect for Mueller. “I thought I would have a much harder time relinquishing the role to someone else,” she admitted. “But then getting to work with someone like Jessie Mueller and watching her and how masterful she is at creating a character, I feel like I have a lot to learn before I would be ready to take on something like this.”The five-time Grammy nominee hasn’t abandoned her composing ambitions, however. “I also would be really interested in developing something brand new,” she said. “I think that sounds really exciting. But let’s vote for The Princess Bride. I love it, so let’s do that one.”Bareilles may not hit the Great White Way spotlight for some time, but you can hear her take on her own Waitress tunes on What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress, which is scheduled to drop on November 6. You can read all about her Broadway dreams in her recently released collection of essays Sounds Like Me.Waitress begins performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on March 25.last_img read more

Spend Some Quality Time with Matilda’s Mr. Wormwood!

first_imgIt’s the most magical time of the year! That’s #MatildaSweeps time, in case you were wondering. Yes, the holiday season is here, so instead of shopping, eating or daydreaming, we suggest you spend some quality time with Mr. Wormwood…you might even learn more than you do from telly!Watch Mr. Wormwood tell is like it is below, then CLICK HERE for your chance to change your story and win a trip to see Matilda on Broadway! Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017 Related Shows Matilda View Commentslast_img

Guys and Dolls West End Star Richard Kind on the ‘Loud Smiles’ of British Audiences

first_img View Comments ‘Guys and Dolls’ star Richard Kind (Photo: Paul Coltas) Richard Kind’s stage credits range from The Producers and The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife to a 2013 Tony nomination for the Clifford Odets play The Big Knife, and now the ever-busy actor is making his London stage debut at the Phoenix Theatre as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, opposite two-time Olivier Award winner Samantha Spiro as Miss Adelaide. caught the effervescent Kind for a lively late-morning chat.Welcome to London and Guys and Dolls. How did this come about?It was all very last minute! I knew Gordon Greenberg [the director] and had heard the production was very good, so I had to make a quick decision and it was a no-brainer except for the kids [Kind has three children]. I miss my kids terribly.Well, you’ll be back in New York before long and in the meantime, you’ll have played the West End.Exactly right, which for an American must be like a Londoner dreaming of playing Broadway: it’s another thing you can check off your bucket list. I am not here to further my career—let’s face it, theater doesn’t do that, sorry though I am to say that to But people talk about the glory of the West End and they’re right. I am beholden to these people.Was Guys and Dolls part of your growing up?My mother used to sing “A Bushel and a Peck” to me as a lullaby and now I see it done eight times a week performed by six scantily clad women, which is not the time to start thinking of your mother! Oh, and I used to use “I’ll Know” as my audition song when I was young. I’d seen the movie, of course, which as an idiot child I thought was great, but who knew? Now, I go, “What was I thinking?”You must have been in Guys and Dolls before.I have! I did Jerry Zaks’ production in a summer theater production in Ogunquit, Maine opposite Liz Larsen. That was great but this is very different.Were you keen to return to show?Actually, I hate doing roles twice. I did think, ‘Haven’t I mined everything I want to do with this part?’ But then I thought to myself, ‘It’s Guys and Dolls and it’s the West End.’ How could I say no?How demanding are you finding the part this time around?It isn’t, really, and what’s great is that it’s a lot of fun without being that demanding. I mean, Sam Levene [the original Nathan] couldn’t sing, so Frank Loesser didn’t give him any songs! In the first 20 minutes [of the show], you’re laying the pipe, as they say in TV—that’s to say, setting the groundwork for the entire show: Adelaide, how Sky meets Sarah—it’s all done very compactly in 20 minutes.How does it feel to act opposite a double Olivier-winning Adelaide?Here’s where we get to the meat of the thing. No matter how good you are or could ever be as Nathan, Samantha Spiro is going to steal the show—she is that good. Sure, it helps that Adelaide has got four maybe five songs, one of which is a show-stopping soliloquy [“Adelaide’s Lament”], but she’s great, too. She really is.As the lone American among the principal performers, are you ever tempted to give them accent advice?No way! Believe me, when I tell you how talented these people are—I mean, their accents are perfect, so there’s not a thing I would tell any of these people. If they want, they can listen to me, but they certainly don’t need to do that.Do you miss Broadway audiences?This is how I see it. The British aren’t as effusive during the show and you want to keep going, “C’mon, laugh!” because they’re not big laughers, but let’s put it this way. They are the loudest smiles I have ever come across; their smiles are deafening. They also listen very well, with the result that they’re with you every step of the way.You do a lot of TV and film and then get to dip back into theater—sounds like the perfect career.You know, when you put it like that, I guess it is! What I like is that I can walk the streets without any problem. In New York, people may stop me and say, “I liked you in Curb Your Enthusiasm or whatever.” And of course people loved Inside Out [Kind played Bing Bong] but in that, I was heard and not seen. In London, no one knows me at all, so that’s good, too.Do you keep a bucket list of stage roles you’d like to do?Well, I’ve done Henry Carr in Travesties once already and was asked to do it again at the Alley Theatre last spring: that is a Hamlet kind of role. But you know the part I really want to do if I can just put a word in Tony Kushner’s ear?Let me guess: Roy Cohn in Angels in America, which is actually being revived at the National Theatre next year.You are KIDDING me! Well, let’s just say if they want a different type of actor from Al Pacino or whomever, I really do hope they’ll think of me. That’s a part I’d leave my children for—though it will probably go to Henry Goodman.In fact, Henry Goodman has already played Roy Cohn at the National in London the first time around.Really? Oh my God! Then maybe I have a chance.last_img read more

Mel B Starts Performances in Chicago on Broadway

first_img View Comments Related Shows Star Files The name on everybody’s lips is Scary Spice! Mel B will begin raking in the chips in Broadway’s Chicago on December 28. The America’s Got Talent judge steps in for Dylis Croman at the Ambassador Theatre, where she is set to remain through February 19.A chart-topping music artist, actress, author, TV host and entrepreneur, Mel B is currently starring on hit TV shows on three different continents (talk about a Spiceworld). In the U.S., she is a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent; she also hosts Lip Sync Battle U.K. and is a guest judge on Australia’s The X Factor. She made her Broadway debut in Rent in 2004, when she played Mimi.The long-running revival also currently stars Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Christopher Sieber as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine. Chicagocenter_img from $49.50 Mel B(Photo: Len Prince) Mel Blast_img read more

Broadway Balances America Goes Behind the Scenes with The King and I Tour

first_img View Comments This is precisely your cup of tea! Broadway Balances America, the special six-part series airing on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television, continued its third season on January 17 with a special look at the tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s The King and I. Correspondent Amber Milt chats with the musical’s director Bartlett Sher and stars Laura Michelle Kelly (Anna Leonowens) and Jose Llana (King of Siam), plus you’ll get a closer look at the show’s Tony-winning costumes. Click play! Laura Michelle Kellylast_img

Bot Fly Squirrels

first_imgThose “tumor-looking lumps” on the squirrels are almost certainly the larvaeof Cuterebra emasculator — a bot fly. Photo courtesy University of Florida Sorry, no 200 dpi image available “I live in Midtown (a neighborhood in Atlanta), and some of the squirrels that frequent my bird feeder have big and small lumps on their backs, throats and bellies. I’ve seen both male and female squirrels with these thick, tumor-looking lumps. … It’s disconcerting because there are several like this, and I wonder if they’re breeding and spreading this disease, whatever it might be. Secondarily, I worry about my cats which sit in my windows. Anyway, should I be concerned? I actually like squirrels, and I hate to see the little guys looking so pitiful.”center_img A University of Georgia Extension Service colleagueforwarded this query about a mysterious squirrel disease: Of the array of parasites that squirrels endure, Cuterebra produces the most questions.Usually it’s squirrel hunters who notice these lumps and the stout, black maggots thatinhabit them.The hunters often call them “warbles or wolves.” They ask what they are andwonder if it is OK to eat the meat of such squirrels. (The meat is OK, and when thesquirrel is skinned the parasites come off with the hide.)The Cuterebra has an interesting life cycle. The adult fly lays its eggs on thesquirrel or at a site squirrels frequent. Other Cuterebra species may infest rabbits orother species of rodents.After the maggot, or larva, hatches, it crawls onto the squirrel and enters the flesh,possibly through the nose. Then it burrows to a place, often on the neck or back, where itgrows to a size that can be seen.The feeding end of the larva penetrates into skin, and the rear end is exposed to theoutside. Spiracles in the maggot’s rear end are like portholes. They are the exposed endsof the air tubes through which the maggot breathes.Can these flies infest the cats or humans? It’s extremely unlikely. The regular hostsof Cuterebra emasculator are gray squirrels and chipmunks. It’s pretty hard for aparasite to change its evolutionary genetic program and parasitize something new.However, Curtis Sabrosky, an authority on members of the Cuterebra group, did report inhis 1986 book that a few human infestations have occurred. So what should we do about this “problem”? Mostly nothing, in my view. Justwatch the squirrels and enjoy knowing more about their life and times.Soon, as cold weather approaches, the larvae will mature. When their days as a maggotare done, they will withdraw their mouthparts from the squirrel and worm their way out ofthe little sack the squirrel has grown around them. Then they will drop to the ground topupate. Next year, the adult flies will emerge to repeat the cycle.Are these parasites “bad”? No. Like a lot of things in the natural world,they just are.last_img read more

A New Light.

first_imgThe best time to treat a stressed plant may be just before you can see it’s stressed.The trick is to know when that is. And a University of Georgia scientist may have theanswer.It’s a matter of light, said Chi Thai, a biological and agricultural engineeringscientist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Plants, he said, are trying to tell us when they’re stressed. We just can’t see it.It’s not that we’re not trying. Seeing that plants are stressed earlier than wenormally do could save farmers millions of dollars. We just don’t have the rightequipment.Human Eyes Limited”Human eyes can see only at light wavelengths between 400 and 700nanometers,” Thai said. “For the part of light that gets through the atmosphere,the region of interest to our plant-health research is from ultraviolet wavelengths around200nm to near-infrared wavelengths around 2500nm.”The answer, as Thai saw it, was to improve the equipment. “We’ve built afield-portable spectral imaging system,” he said. “It contains two spectrometerssensitive from 300nm to 1700nm and is equipped with fiber optic inputs and continuouslytunable spectral video imaging capability.”Thai adds some Liquid Crystal Tunable Filters, then a virtual-reality goggle (because acomputer monitor is unwieldy in the field) to see plants in literally a whole new light.Reading Plants’ Chemical Signatures”This equipment allows human users to visualize chemical signatures of a plantwhich usually are beyond unaided human vision,” Thai said. The chemical signals letpeople see the plant’s earliest signs of stress.Thai took the process a step further, with an LCTF alternating between two fixedwavelengths, 692nm and 755nm. By plotting the average of the gray values of the pixelsforming the plant canopy image, he can directly estimate the chlorophyll and biomassamounts in plants.”The plant-health status was related to the degree of brightness of theimage,” Thai said. “A brighter plant is a healthier plant.” With his portable spectral imaging system, Chi Thai is able to see plant health in a whole new light. The black-and-white images resulting from Thai’s research show stark contrasts between the healthy plant on the left and the stressed plant on the right. Images: Chi Thaicenter_img Photo Courtesy of Chi Thai Thai’s initial, encouraging research was on Bahia grass and bush beans. Now he’sstudying peanut plants inoculated with Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus.The biggest trouble so far has been getting the virus to infect the plants. “Forsome reason, what happens naturally very easily in the field has been hard for us to do inthe lab,” he said.Research Could Help GrowersIf the studies work, though, it could greatly help growers of the state’s $400 millionpeanut crop, said Albert Culbreath, a CAES plant pathologist in Tifton, Ga.”It would help first in research,” Culbreath said. “It would be anice tool for evaluating plants in greenhouse and small-plot studies.”Many plants don’t show symptoms right away but turn yellow and wilt late in the season.”Such a tool might enable us to know what’s really going on in those plants,” hesaid.”In epidemiological studies,” he said, “detecting infection beforesymptoms occur might help pinpoint when management actions might be taken to reduce the… disease.”Many Potential BenefitsSpectral imaging could help evaluate varieties and management practices, too. If itcould help farmers assess disease problems faster than they can by seeing symptoms, itcould help even more.”If we could come up with a chemical signal for assessing problems that could bedetected from a few feet above or a mile overhead,” Culbreath said, “it could beof economic value.”It may help farmers boost their yields, he said. And even if it can’t, it may be ableto better predict losses, which would help growers in their marketing.For the time being, all the scientists really know is the potential.”We don’t know what reality can be, or how much benefit,” Culbreath said.”There’s much work to be done, but new tools such as this can be of great importancein the future.”last_img read more