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Michael Lee Brown, Mallory Bechtel, Catlin Houlahan, and Jelani Remy Join High School Musical Trilogy Concert

Additional talent has been announced for the November 3 concert 54 Sings The High School Musical Trilogy at Feinstein’s/54 Below. Showtime is 11:30 PM.

New additions to the lineup include Mallory Bechtel (Dear Evan Hansen), Catlin Houlahan (The Girl From The North Country, Waitress), Michael Lee Brown (Dear Evan Hansen), Jelani Remy (Smokey Joe’s Café, The Lion King), Phoenix Best (Dear Evan Hansen), Amber Ardolino (Head Over Heels, Hamilton), Chris Rice (Book of Mormon), Robby Clater (Pretty Woman), Dan Macke (Dear Evan Hansen), Diamond Essence White (Dear Evan Hansen), and Gabriel Sidney Brown (Les Miserables).

They join the previously announced Damon J. Gillespie (Rise), Celia Gooding (Jagged Little Pill), Taylor Iman Jones (Head Over Heels, Groundhog Day), Krystina Alabado (This Ain’t No Disco, American Psycho), Antonio Cipriano (Jagged Little Pill), Catherine Ricafort (Spongebob Squarepants), Anthony Sagaria (Wicked),Samantha Pollino (Head Over Heels), Natalie Walker (Puffs), Cameron Anika Hill, Jacob Haren (Book of Mormon), and Tyler Conroy.

The concert is produced and directed by Aviva Sokolow, with assistance from Spencer Gualdoni. Music direction by Jacob Fjeldheim.

There is a $25 cover charge and a two drink minimum. Tickets and information are available at 54Below.com.


Getting Into Character With Frozen’s Caissie Levy

Caissie Levy, who originated the role of Queen Elsa in Disney’s Frozen, takes us inside her pre-show routine as she prepares to step into world of Arendelle on the St. James Theatre stage.

Flip through photos of the pre-show process below:

Based on Disney’s 2013 Oscar-winning film, Frozen opened on Broadway March 22. Directed by Michael Grandage, the musical features music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, a book by Jennifer Lee, and choreography by Rob Ashford.

Watch the Trailer for London’s The King and I Before It Arrives in Movie Theatres

Before the West End revival of The King and I arrives in movie theatres around the world, take a look at the trailer for the cinema release above.

The London production, a transfer of Bartlett Sher’s Tony-winning 2015 Lincoln Center Theater staging, concludes its run at the London Palladium September 29. As previously announced, the filmed presentation will premiere in movie theatres globally via Trafalgar Releasing November 29, with an encore presentation exclusively in the U.S. December 4.

The production stars Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe as Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam, respectively, with Tony winner Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang; the three reprise their roles after appearing in the Broadway production. The London cast of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical also includes Dean John-Wilson as Lun Tha, Na-Young Jeon as Tuptim, and Takao Osawa as Kralahome.


“The response from the theatre audiences on Broadway, throughout America on tour and now in London at the Palladium has been phenomenal,” Sher said in an earlier statement. “They have really taken this show into their hearts. I’m delighted that the worldwide cinema release will now give a greater number of people the opportunity to enjoy this production of which we are all so proud.”

For tickets and more information, visit KingandIMusicalCinema.com.

Christian Borle and James Lapine Will Be Part of Falsettos Screening

The live film of the Tony-nominated 2016 Broadway revival of Falsettos will return to the big screen for one-night-only October 28 at 6 PM at The Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, NY.

The Actors Fund and The Jacob Burns Film Center are partnering on the special event that features a post-screening Q&A with Falsettos star Christian Borle and the show’s Tony-winning librettist and director James Lapine. Tony Award-winning producer and documentary filmmaker Dori Berinstein will moderate the talkback.

Composer-lyricist William Finn and Lapine’s Tony-winning musical about a “tight-knit” New York City family who redefine what family means at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic, returned to Broadway for a limited engagement in late 2016 with original director Lapine at the helm.

Christian Borle and Andrew Rannells Joan Marcus


The production starred two-time Tony Award winner Borle as Marvin, Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block as Trina, Tony nominee Andrew Rannells, as Whizzer, Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz as Mendel, Tracie Thoms as Dr. Charlotte, Betsy Wolfe as Cordelia, and Anthony Rosenthal as Jason.

Filmed ahead of its final performance in January 2017, Falsettos was broadcast in cinemas nationwide and on PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center.

Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for non-members and can be purchased by visiting burnsfilmcenter.org.

Take a Look at Bedlam’s Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet Off-Broadway

Performances began September 14 for Bedlam’s Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet, a mash-up of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. The play, directed by Bedlam Artistic Director Eric Tucker, features a cast of five actors in numerous roles.

Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet is playing a seven-week run in the Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York Theatres Off-Broadway, where it officially opens September 25. Tucker, who also performs, directs a cast completed by Edmund Lewis, Susannah Millonzi, Randolph Curtis Rand, and Zuzanna Szadkowski.

The play features an adaptation of Uncle Vanya by Kimberly Pau. The show pairs Shakespeare’s well-known tragedy about two star-crossed lovers with Anton Chekhov’s celebrated play about a retired professor’s return to his estate with his new, young wife. Bedlam’s acclaimed adaptations include last season’s Peter Pan, Sense and Sensibility, Saint Joan, and, most recently, Pygmalion. Visit Bedlam.org for more information.

Flip through photos of the production below:

Metropolitan Opera’s 2018–2019 Season Opens September 24 With Samson et Dalila, Directed by Darko Tresnjak

The Metropolitan Opera kicks off its new season September 24 with a new staging of Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. The production, directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak (Anastasia, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) in his Met debut, stars Roberto Alagna and Elīna Garanča in the title roles, under the baton of conductor Mark Elder.

Darko Tresnjak
Darko Tresnjak Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tresnjak’s production reunites him with several familiar collaborators, including costume designer Linda Cho, set designer Alexander Dodge, and lighting designer Donald Holder. Austin McCormick serves as choreographer.

Rounding out the principal company are Elchin Azizov as Abimélech, Laurent Naouri as High Priest, and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the Old Hebrew.

The new presentation of the biblical epic which weaves contemporary and ancient components. The aesthetic, was, in part, inspired by an iconic portrait of Gloria Swanson behind a veil. “The face behind the netting is both seductive and dangerous,” explains Tresnjak,” “so we looked for those ideas in architecture. What’s on the other side is sometimes deductive, it’s sometimes dangerous.”

The 2018–2019 season, which marks the first with Yannick Nézet-Séguin in his full-time position as music director, also includes two new production from Tony winner Michael Mayer: Verdi’s La Traviata and the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, as well as a new staging of Adriana Lecouvrer (with Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala) and the return of Wagner’s four-part Ring Cycle.


Fall performances of Samson et Dalila continue through October 20; the production returns in March 2019 with a new cast led by Aleksandrs Antonenko and Anita Rachvelishvili.

Elīna Garanča and Roberto Alagna Vincent Peters/Met Opera

Check Out the Costume Sketches From the Original Broadway Production of Fiddler on the Roof

Songwriting team Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick collaborated with librettist Joseph Stein to write a musical based on stories by Sholom Aleichem. The result was Fiddler on the Roof, which told the story of Tevye, a Jewish milkman in early 1900s Russia (and father of five daughters) who struggles to honor tradition while dealing with the growing anti-Jewish sentiment in his country.

Directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, the production starred Zero Mostel as Tevye and featured Maria Karnilova as Golde, Bea Arthur as Yente, Austin Pendleton as Motel, Bert Convy as Perchik, Joanna Merlin as Tzeitel, and Julia Migenes as Hodel.

The musical, which opened September 22, 1964, was a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won nine, including Best Musical, and awards for Mostel and featured actress Karnilova.

The production went on to play a record-setting 3,242 performances and received a special Tony in 1972 for becoming the longest-running musical in Broadway history. It remains the 16th longest-running show in Broadway history. The beloved musical has enjoyed five Broadway revivals (in 1976, 1981, 1990, 2004, and 2015) and a 1971 film adaptation starring Chaim Topol.

The show is currently playing at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, which just announced the third extension of its Yiddish-language production. The musical will now play through November 18 with a special performance on November 10.

Flip through photos of the original costume sketches by costume designer Patricia Zipprodt below:

Track-by-Track Breakdown: Jim Vallance Walks Readers Through the Pretty Woman Score.

Songwriter Jim Vallance takes readers through his and Bryan Adams’ score for the musical adaptation of the classic movie. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the show is currently running at the Nederlander Theatre and the cast album is available for download now.

Bryan and I met director Jerry Mitchell in London in August 2015 to discuss the possibility of collaborating on Pretty Woman: The Musical. We spent an hour in a little pizza restaurant in London’s West End, getting acquainted and discussing the project. Looking back, Jerry was taking a huge gamble to consider us as composers. We were new to this, we’d never written a musical before, we were well outside our comfort zone … but perhaps that’s what appealed to him?

To get a sense of things, we asked Jerry to “walk us through” the opening number, including a description of characters, set design, choreography—everything as he envisioned it. Jerry’s a very animated and articulate fellow. He virtually “performed” the scene for us, right there in the restaurant booth. By the end of our conversation we could almost picture the moment on stage: the Happy Man character walking down the street, greeting strangers, welcoming everyone to Hollywood.

Song inspiration didn’t strike immediately, but a week or two later, back in Canada, an idea occurred … just a few bars of lyric and melody to begin with, the key phrase being, “Welcome To Hollywood”. I recorded a demo track and I sent it to Bryan in London. He liked it, and we began sending emails back and forth, each of us contributing lyrics and melody until the song was completed.

On November 1, 2015, we met Jerry again, this time at his apartment in New York along with producer Paula Wagner and book-writer J. F. Lawton. We played them our demo for “Welcome to Hollywood,”, and another demo for “Long Way Home”. The short version of the story is: They liked what they heard and we were more-or-less hired on the spot.

As newcomers to Broadway, Bryan and I were on a steep learning curve. Among other things, we were alerted to the importance of the “I Want” song, which traditionally appears early in Act I. This is where the lead character reveals her/his motivating desire, setting the emotional parameters for the rest of the show.

Writing an appropriate “I Want” song for Pretty Woman presented a significant challenge. Over a two year period we wrote three different songs for this scene before arriving at “Anywhere But Here.”

I quite liked our second attempt and I was disappointed when Jerry asked us to write something to replace it. But in the end, Jerry was right. We ended up writing a better song.

This is Edward’s first song of the show. Vivian exits the stage with his car keys, and a flummoxed Edward sings, “What the hell just happened? …”, which always gets a laugh from the audience. This is also where the Happy Man morphs into Mr. Thompson, the manager of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Our first draft of “Something About Her” was based on Edward’s quizzical observation of Vivian in the hotel room, after they’d agreed to the initial payment of $300 for one night: “Look at her: She’s happy, she’s pretty and she’s fun.” That lyric remained in place for a year or more, until Jerry decided the song should be more about how Edward feels, rather than a mere observation. Hence the new opening lyric, “I don’t know how I got here, she took me by surprise…”

This is where Vivian expresses her joy and disbelief at successfully negotiating a $3,000 deal to stay with Edward for the rest of the week.

This was the last song we wrote for the project, towards the end of the “out-of-town previews” in Chicago. The previous song to occupy this spot (“Look At Me Now”) was an up-tempo number in the style of “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes. But despite serving the scene for nearly two years, Jerry eventually decided the song wasn’t right. I agree. “Look At Me Now” never quite settled in. It was the one song that didn’t seem to fit.

It was a real challenge coming up with a better song, but we finally hit upon the idea of writing something in a gospel style … I mean, how better to express joy and exuberance than gospel music?

This is a straight-out rock ‘n’ roll number that highlights Orfeh’s vocal chops! Rodeo Drive, baby!

This is the scene where the snooty sales girls ask Vivian to leave the clothing store. This spot was originally occupied by a short reprise of “Look At Me Now.” But with that song gone, we crafted a reprise from our “I Want” song.

As a composer on this project I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to write in a variety of music styles, from rock to jazz to gospel. This particular song is a tango. It includes an extended dance sequence orchestrated by Will, choreography by Jerry, and brilliantly performed (in our 2018 Chicago and New York productions) by Eric Anderson and Tommy Bracco. I’ve watched this sequence a hundred times, and I never grow tired of it.

Speaking of divergent styles, this number harkens back to the Big Band “swing” era of the 1940s. The song has a repeating “verse-bridge” structure with an extended dance break in the middle, orchestrated by Will and choreographed by Jerry. Scarlett, the Voltaire restaurant’s vocalist, pointedly reminds Edward that “the view from the top ain’t what it’s all cracked up to be.”

Similar to Vivian’s epiphany above, this is the moment that Edward decides to reconsider his life choices and make some changes.

This song remained more-or-less “as written” for a year or two. The main changes involved additional “bridge” sections that were written, then removed, then added again, then removed again—all in pursuit of a perfect closing number for Act I.

This is the opening number for Act II—another critical song-placement moment for Broadway.

This particular scene is staged at a polo match in the Hamptons, populated with snobby, snooty people, the antithesis of who Vivian is. Edward’s lawyer, Philip Stuckey, makes a feature appearance here, soliciting (in song) questionable donations for a mildly fraudulent charitable fund on behalf of the Senator from Hawaii.

This is Stuckey’s only song in the musical, Jerry having decided to delete a previous scene with a song titled “Money Makes the Man.” It was a fun song, arranged in a Barbershop Quartet style. The lyric humorously referenced Stuckey’s greed and avarice without making him completely unlikable. Personally, I miss that song in the musical, but perhaps it’ll resurface at some point in the future.

For this scene, the original directorial request called for a country song (Vivian grew up in rural Georgia). In fact, we wrote two different country songs for this spot, approximately a year part, one titled “Why Me” and the other titled, “It Never Works Out That Way.” I liked both songs, but Jerry encouraged us to write yet another song. And he was right—we wrote a better one.

This song includes my personal favorite lyric in the show: “Kick me out in the cold, I’ll make it / Squeeze me into a mold, I’ll break it / If there’s a fork in the road, I’ll take it … never give up on a dream.”

For this scene, director Jerry Mitchell asked us to write a love song without using the word “love.” “You And I” is sung by Edward during the opera scene, where he first begins to “see the wonders of the world” through Vivian’s eyes. The song weaves in and out of Verdi’s La Traviatta, transitioning to a gala dance scene before ending back at Edward’s Beverly Wilshire Hotel suite … brilliantly staged and choreographed by Jerry.

This is the moment when Vivian decides to leave Hollywood Boulevard behind, regardless what the future might hold. She’s seen a better life and she’s determined to move in that direction and never “go back.” The music is driven by a pulsing synthesizer, but the song also works as a traditional rock arrangement, as proven when Samantha sang “I Can’t Go Back” with Bryan and his band at London’s O2 arena.

A short transition piece that comes after Edward’s revised business arrangement with Mr. Morse.

This is one of the first songs we presented to the director and producers in 2015. Except for a word or two, it’s remained unchanged since that time.

This is the closing number. As songwriters, the plan was to send the audience home humming a melody and singing lyrics they could remember. “Together Forever” never fails to get the audience clapping, and on their feet for the bows and outro.