Motown The Musical Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 18, 2015 View Comments Reach out I’ll be there! Motown: The Musical heard through the grapevine, or rather The Today Show’s “Wishing Well” series, about mom and Motown fan Lysanias Taylor’s touching tale. Taylor’s daughters had bought her a single ticket to the Broadway show and posted a video online of their mom crying tears of joy as she accepted the gift. The catch? The family couldn’t afford the airfare to the Big Apple. As soon as the story was featured on Today, viewers stepped in and helped bring the women to New York. On February 6 they stopped by the studio at 30 Rock, where they were serenaded by the Motown cast and there was also a surprise appearance with a special delivery from none other than Berry Gordy himself. Check out the heart-warming video below.
Star Files View Comments Tony winner Patti LuPone is back on Broadway for one night only! The legendary leading lady appeared in a benefit concert of The Cradle Will Rock on May 19, and she invited her family to join in the fun. LuPone reprised her Olivier-winning performance in Marc Blitzstein’s musical, with her son Joshua Johnston and cousin Johann Carlo rounding out the cast alongside a group of Broadway vets. The concert, which benefited LuPone’s theater organization The Acting Company, was helmed by Lady Day director Lonny Price. After the show at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Price, LuPone and her family headed to Bond 45 for a celebration. Check out these snapshots of the festivities! Patti LuPone
View Comments Born on October 27, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, Dee was known best for her searing portrayal of Ruth Younger both in the original Broadway production of the groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun in 1959 and the subsequent film version in 1961. Her other notable stage credits include the central role in Athol Fugard’s 1970 play Boesman and Lena as well as roles (often opposite her late husband Ossie Davis) on Broadway in Checkmates, Purlie Victorious, The Smile of the World, A Long Way from Home, Anna Lucasta and South Pacific. Though she had a long and illustrious stage and screen career, Dee was also known as a poet, playwright, screenwriter and activist. As a civil rights activist, Dee was a member of the Congress of Racial Equality, the NAACP and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Both she and Davis were friends of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. In 2005, Dee and her late husband were awarded the Lifetime Achievement Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum. On June 8, Audra McDonald paid tribute to Dee in her Tony Awards acceptance speech by thanking her as one of the courageous women who have helped pave the way for her. Her many accolades include a Grammy (in 2007 for With Ossie And Ruby: In This Life Together), Emmy (in 1991 for Decoration Day), Academy Award nomination (in 2008 for American Gangster), the National Medal of Arts in 1995 (with Davis) and the Kennedy Center Honors (with Davis) in 2004. She received an Honorary Degree from Princeton University in 2009. Dee is survived by three children: Nora, Hasna and Guy, and seven grandchildren. Stage and screen icon and civil rights stalwart, Ruby Dee has died. The actress died of natural causes in her home in New Rochelle, New York on June 11, according to CNN. She was 91.
The off-Broadway premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink officially opens at the Laura Pels Theatre on September 30. The Roundabout production stars Tony and Emmy winner Rosemary Harris and U.K. stage and screen favorite Romola Garai. Indian Ink, directed by Carey Perloff, will play a limited engagement through November 30. View Comments In addition to Harris and Garai, the cast features Firdous Bamji, Bill Buell, Nick Choksi, Neal Huff, Caroline Lagerfelt, Omar Maskati, Tim McGeever, Brenda Meaney, Philip Mills, Ajay Naidu, Bhavesh Patel, Lee Aaron Rosen and Rajeev Varma. Related Shows Set on two different continents and in two different eras, Indian Ink follows free-spirited English poet Flora Crewe on her travels through India in the 1930s, where her intricate relationship with an Indian artist unfurls against the backdrop of a country seeking its independence. Fifty years later, in 1980s England, her younger sister Eleanor tries to preserve the legacy of Flora’s controversial career. Indian Ink Show Closed This production ended its run on Nov. 30, 2014
Got nothing to do this weekend but eat pumpkin spice cookies and binge on Golden Girls reruns? We’ve got you covered. There’s a gaggle of Broadway ladies performing with a great singer-songwriter, the star-studded return of A Delicate Balance, and Hugh Jackman (enough said). You’re welcome. Here are this week’s picks! View Comments Get Jazzed Up For Ladies’ Night October 20 at Birdland Usually, if you’re referring to hanging with “the ladies,” it’s a crew featuring someone you can barely stand from HR and your Aunt Connie. And they’re your all-stars! If you’re songwriter-performer Lance Horne, it’s different. In Lance & the Ladies, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Julia Murney and more fabulous performers join Horne to sing songs from his CD First Things Last, and his opera The Night Before My Wedding. Click for tickets! Move In with Glenn Close & John Lithgow Begins October 20 at the John Golden Theatre The revival of Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama A Delicate Balance stars Glenn Close and John Lithgow as a husband and wife whose marriage faces a strain over a weekend that features visitors from friends and family. This includes their 36-year-old daughter (Martha Plimpton), who is fresh from her fourth divorce. Expect terrific performances—Tony winner Lindsay Duncan is also here, folks—and acerbic insight from one of America’s greatest living playwrights. Click for tickets! Bid Two Tony-Nominated Favorites Adieu October 26 at the Walter Kerr Theatre & Helen Hayes Theatre You’re always saying, “Oh, I’ll see [insert name of talented performer] in [insert Broadway show] after I [insert pointless, mundane activity]”? Well, it’s the last time to see Lauren Worsham in Gentleman’s Guide and Constantine Maroulis in Rock of Ages. After that, it’s job hunting on Monster.com. Just kidding—they’re Tony nominees! They should be back on the Great White Way soon. Click here and here for tickets! Do a Sondheim/Lloyd Webber Double-Header October 26 at 54 Below Sunday night is for more than dreading Monday, so stay up late for two musical tributes to the men who have ruled Broadway before most of us were born. (Don’t worry, you can sleep during Daylight Savings.) First, there’s Sondheim Unplugged featuring Broadway and cabaret vets, accompanied by piano, performing songs from the Company man’s brilliant career. That’s followed by Christina Bianco, Lennie Watts and more in Aspects of Andrew: Lloyd Webber @ 54. Click here and here for tickets! Get Up with Kelly & Michael…and Hugh! October 22, check local listings On Live with Kelly and Michael, Hugh Jackman joins America’s perpetually cheerful odd couple to talk about his upcoming performance in The River, which begins previews October 31. Since this is morning TV, anything can happen. Perhaps Hugh will demonstrate chest exercises by bench-pressing Kelly or belt songs from The Boy from Oz. Since it’s close to Halloween, maybe he’ll come out dressed as Wolverine. Oh, the suspense!
Broadway.com has confirmed that Michael Cerveris, who starred in the 2013 off-Broadway hit Fun Home, will move with the property to the Great White Way. The Tony winner will play Bruce Bechdel in Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s new musical. As previously announced, the Pulitzer finalist will begin previews on April 4, 2015 at Circle in the Square Theater. Directed by Sam Gold, opening night is set for April 22. Further casting will be announced later. The off-Broadway company also included Judy Kuhn as Helen, Griffin Birney as John Bechdel, Roberta Colindrez as Joan, Noah Hinsdale as Christian Bechdel, Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Beth Malone as Alison, Joel Perez as Roy and Emily Skeggs as Medium Alison. Related Shows Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home charts a girl’s quest to come to terms with her father’s unexpected death. As she moves between past and present, Alison dives into the story of her volatile, brilliant father and relives her unique childhood at her family’s funeral home. View Comments Fun Home Cerveris took home a Tony Award in 2004 for his performance as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins. He was also nominated for his 1993 Broadway debut in Tommy, Sweeney Todd, Lovemusik and his most recent stint on the Great White Way: Evita. His additional stage credits include Titanic, Cymbeline, Hedda Gabler and In the Next Room. On screen, he has appeared in The Good Wife, Fringe and The Mexican. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 10, 2016
COSETTE (LES MISERABLES) ROXIE HART (CHICAGO) GLINDA (WICKED) LAUREN (KINKY BOOTS) SALLY BOWLES (CABARET) Grammy winner Taylor Swift has been popping up backstage at quite a few Broadway shows this season—most recently, she saw the hit musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and rubbed elbows backstage with the show’s headliner, Jessie Mueller. So just for fun, we asked you guys to rank the roles you’d like to see Taylor Swift play on Broadway—check out the results below! View Comments EPONINE (LES MISERABLES) SIBELLA (GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE) BETSY (HONEYMOON IN VEGAS) SOPHIE SHERIDAN (MAMMA MIA!) CAROLE KING (BEAUTIFUL)
Hey, you, bawling that you couldn’t get a ticket for the Bombshell reunion concert. There’s no need to get upset. Trust us, you’re so not alone. Besides, you always have your Smash fan fiction—and a ton of fun things to do this week. We have Jason Alexander’s debut in Fish in the Dark, a Spring Awakening reunion, and Cheyenne Jackson performing in your backyard. Dry your eyes and get ready for this week’s picks! See Jason Alexander’s Broadway ReturnBegins June 9 at the Cort TheatreJason Alexander cannot escape Larry David, not that we’re complaining. Seinfeld, where Alexander became a star, was co-created by David. Alexander’s character, George Costanza, was based on David. Now, 25 years after his last performance on the Great White Way, Alexander returns—to a Larry David-written play! Alexander takes over (for David, of course) in Fish in the Dark. Glenne Headly, whose career is not tangled with America’s favorite neurotic, joins him. Click for tickets! Fall for a Spring Awakening ReunionJune 9 at 54 BelowFamily reunions? Lame. High-school reunions? Mega-lame. Reunion featuring cast members from Spring Awakening’s Broadway and touring productions? Amazing. Join Jenna Ushkowitz, Phoebe Strole, Lilli Cooper and more as they belt out tunes and share backstage anecdotes. Three disclaimers: This isn’t a presentation of the musical or its songs. The first show features performers from the first national tour; the second and third shows feature Broadway cast members. Either way, it sounds like fun. Click for tickets! Go on the Town with Cheyenne JacksonJune 12 at Town HallIt’s Friday, so it’s time to celebrate. No, that doesn’t mean burnt microwavable popcorn and the latest Netflix documentary. We can top that. Head to Town Hall, where the super-talented Cheyenne Jackson is performing a new show backed by his band. And if that isn’t enough of a treat, guess who his guest star is? Laura Benanti! Why would you deprive your life of joy? Get going! Click for tickets! Take Vanessa Hudgens & More HomeAvailable June 9The headline is a joke, of course. That’d be weird and probably illegal. (Plus, you haven’t vacuumed in ages.) But you can take Hudgens’ work on the cast recording of Gigi home. And if you’re looking for variety, get the cast recording of the revival of The King & I and Finding Neverland: The Album, a companion concept album to the hit show featuring performances by Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, and the musical’s headliner Matthew Morrison. Get Smash-ed with Katharine McPheeJune 11, check local listingsUnless you were one of the lucky few, you missed McPhee in the Bombshell reunion concert, so catch up with the singer-actress on Live with Kelly & Michael, where she just might perform a number or two from Bombshell. And maybe this will be the encouragement you need to stop dressing in black and subsisting on a diet of peanut butter cups and start living! McPhee, Megan Hilty, and everyone else in the Smash family want that too. Find your light. View Comments
Christopher Hampton is an award-winning writer, screenwriter, director and producer. He is perhaps most famous for his play Les Liaisons Dangereuses (based on the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos), which won an Olivier Award in 1986. He adapted the play for film and won an Oscar for the screenplay. In addition to Les Liaisons Dangereuses, his many plays include The Talking Cure, White Chameleon, Tales from Hollywood, Treats, Savages and Total Eclipse. Hampton won two Tony Awards for the book and score (he co-wrote the lyrics with Don Black) for Sunset Boulevard, winning Tony Awards in both categories. He has translated a wide range of works including classics by Chekhov, Ibsen and Moliere as well as contemporary plays by Yasmina Reza (Art, God of Carnage) and Florian Zeller (The Father). His long list of screenplays includes The Quiet American, Mary Reilly, Carrington, The Secret Agent and Atonement. As the newest Broadway revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses readies for its opening night, Hampton took a break from rehearsals to welcome Broadway.com to his hotel, where he chatted about being prolific and his writing process.What time of day do you get your best work done?I usually work in the afternoons, which I think is unusual. I spend the morning looking at yesterday’s work and correcting it and dealing with whatever I have to deal with. Then I generally settle down to write between two and three in the afternoon. I write for four or five hours. Where do you like to write?I can write anywhere. I used to for many years write a lot of my work in hotel rooms, which I found congenial to the process of isolation which you need. But I have various [places]: I have an office with a room where I write; I have a room at home where I can write, and I have a place in the country, which is at the moment proving the most efficient place of all to write. What piece of writing changed your life?What obsesses you as a writer?I don’t know if there is any one thing that you find obsessional as a writer. You need to be obsessional, but I’m generally just obsessional about the particular piece of work that I’m doing at the moment. Maybe that’s significant because one of the things I’ve tried to do all my writing life is to choose a very wide variety of subjects, so I’m not really going down a groove or writing or perfecting the same themes over and over again. I’m looking for something completely different every time I start again. Each time you have to become involved in a different world in a different universe of those characters, so that’s what you get obsessed with. You’ve written such a wide array of mediums and genres, what do you find most gratifying of theater in particular?I think what I love about the theater is that it’s new every night. With movies— when it’s done, it’s an object. Like a book, there’s nothing you can do to it. Whereas plays relate to their time in different ways every time that it’s done. Different actors and discover different facets of the piece. So, it’s always really exciting to go back into the theater with an old play because this lot of actors and this director are going to find something new in it—something that relates to the world that’s now rather than 30 years ago when I wrote the play.Going back in time, what made you decide that Les Liaisons Dangereuses would be something you would adapt for the stage?I loved the book [by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos] when I first read it. I used to reread it; I thought it was just tremendously psychologically acute and informative about sex as well as the society in which those people lived. It’s difficult to write a play from this book because the two characters never meet: they write letters to one another, so I had to really reconfigure the book and reimagine it before I could write it. The difficulty of that process discouraged a lot of theaters. In the end, I wrote the play for the Royal Shakespeare Company because they gave me a blind commission and said I could write what I liked.Which writers have inspired you?What’s the secret to being so prolific? Sitting down every day and writing is the secret to being prolific. There isn’t a secret. Actually, my work rate has increased exponentially as I’ve gotten older. When I started in my twenties, I would write a play and then spend a lot of time thinking about what the next play was going to be and then write that. I would produce a play every couple of years. Now I regularly take on three or four things at once. I find each thing that you’re doing either refreshes or contrasts with whatever else you’re doing. I don’t work on two things at once in the same day, but I can work on something for a day or two and work on something else for a day or two. I find that a very invigorating process. What’s something aspiring playwrights should know, do or see?What I think playwrights should know before they go into the theater is they have to be flexible. You cannot have too rigid an idea how your play is going to be. Good actors will bring to the piece elements that you didn’t even imagine yourself and deepen the whole thing in that way. If you’re too defensive during the rehearsal process, which is a process of experimentation, or if you’re too fixated on what you originally thought, you will lose one of the great treasures of the theater, which is collaborative discovery. I think often young writers have such a vivid idea of what it is they want on the stage, they’re not very open to the interaction of others. On the other hand, in my view, there’s much too much workshopping of plays and bullying of playwrights to follow various templates of success, and that should be resisted.So stick to your vision but don’t insist on the detail until you’ve seen what the actors and directors can do with it. What’s your favorite line in Les Liaisons Dangereuses? Les Liaisons Dangereuses View Comments Related Shows Christopher Hampton (Photo: Caitlin McNaney) Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 8, 2017
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of Georgia Program result of a trip northIn the fall of 1979, Ferree began promoting the program in theMetro-Atlanta area. Under the leadership of Dekalb Countyhorticultural agent Newton Hogg, three urban county agents inDekalb and Fulton counties organized and conducted the firstGeorgia Master Gardener training program. The first classgraduated 140 Master Gardener volunteers. “We graduated over 100 people per year for the first 15 years,”Fonseca said. “Then the program began to explode. Over the pastfew years, we’ve graduated 400 volunteers each year.”The first Master Gardeners’ training manual was a three-ringbinder filled with 10 chapters of UGA horticulture trainingmaterials. The handbook has since evolved into a 25 chapter,600-page manual. “Our Master Gardener graduates are thoroughly trained by UGAexperts,” Fonseca said. “But the true essence of the program isthe work and dedication of the volunteers. They are committed toserving their communities through projects that promote theirlove of gardening and teach others to protect and preserve theenvironment.”Presenting classes, answering phonesIn 2004, Master Gardeners in Georgia volunteered more than150,000 hours of their time. Their projects ranged from gardendemonstrations to “lunch and learn” lectures and plant-doctorclinics. They also answered hundreds of consumer phone calls.The newest part of the Master Gardener program is a trainingdesigned especially for school teachers. The Teacher MasterGardener Program is a condensed program offered during thesummer. Teachers are taught how to develop lesson plans centeredaround horticulture.”The teachers then go back and coordinate the installation ofschool gardens that are used as teaching tools,” Fonseca said.”We’ve had 150 teachers participate so far.”The traditional Master Gardener program classes are currentlyon-going. Teachers who are interested in the summer program foreducators should contact Krissy Slagle, Georgia Master Gardenerprogram assistant, at (770) 229-3368 or email her at(email@example.com). Over the past 25 years, more than 3,500 people across the statehave worked for the University of Georgia and never received apaycheck.As graduates of the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences Master Gardener Program, they all volunteered their timeto assist county Extension Service agents. People who sign up for the program get 40 hours of training fromUGA Extension Service faculty. After at least 50 hours of servicethrough their local Georgia Extension office, they’re certifiedas Master Gardeners.After the training, they use their new expertise to help withcommunity education projects. 25-year celebrationThe program recently celebrated its 25thanniversary. Acelebration held January 14 at the New Perry Hotel in Perry, Ga.,brought together past graduates and county Extension agenttrainers. Georgia’s Master Gardener program first began in the spring of1979 when Butch Ferree, then head of the UGA Department ofHorticulture, traveled to Washington state to learn about apopular new urban extension outreach program, said Marco Fonseca,coordinator of the Georgia Master Gardener Program. “The program was created by urban extension agents in Washingtonstate who, inundated by homeowner requests for horticulturalinformation, developed the idea of a training volunteers to helpthem,” Fonseca said. By doing this, costs were kept to a minimum, he said, but thereturns were invaluable by providing a service the communityneeded.