The Adventure Continues


TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.





Thursday, June 23, 2016

ICON(S)

Donna McKechnie and Tony Sheldon Cast in New Musical Icon

The production is part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

HR - Donna McKechnie.jpg
Donna McKechnie
Tony winner Donna McKechnie ( A Chorus Line) and Tony and Olivier Award nominee Tony Sheldon ( Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) will star in The New York Musical Festival’s upcoming production of Icon, a romantic new musical with book by Sebastian Michael and music and lyrics by Jonathan Kaldor. 
Paul Stancato will direct and choreograph a cast that also includes Patrick Connaghan, Chase Crandell, Chloe Holgate, Charlotte Maltby, Ben McHugh, Kalia Medeiros, Erika Peterson, Chris Ramirez and Sam Simahk. 
Tony Sheldon
Tony Sheldon (Joseph Marzullo/WENN)
Set in 1928, the new musical is described as such: “The world is enthralled as American debutante, Constance Nielsen, marries into one of Europe’s ancient Royal Families. But when an impassioned affair with her music teacher sparks uproar, news of her tragic death turns her from living legend into timeless icon. 40 years later, a young man in search of his grandfather's past finds more than he's bargained for. The Princess. Her lover. And a story that could not be told.”
The production will also have music direction by Jesse Warkentin; lighting design by Isabella Byrd; costume design by Liene Dobraja and media design by Kevan Loney. The casting director is Michael Cassara, CSA. The creative team also includes production stage manager Lily Perlmutter and assistant stage manager Hai Alvarez-Millard with production assistants Samantha Gibbs and Sara Stevens.
A previous production of Icon (starring Susannah York) was presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London, as part of The Works Series of New Musicals, and then went on to a full production at the Landor Theatre.
Performances begin July 20 and continue through July 26 at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street (bet. 7th and 8th Aves.).
Tickets are $27.50 and can be purchased online at nymf.org or by calling (212) 352-3101.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Final Week!

Our time is coming to an end at Goodspeed as GREASEPAINT roars into its final week.
 We had good old fashioned show biz drama when understudy Brittany Bohn was thrown on for the female lead having just closed in ANYTHING GOES the night before. She was fab, of course.
Aussie mate Peter Eyers made the long trip to Goodspeed to see us in GREASEPAINT.
I presented some awards for the Connecticut Critics Circle at Hartford Stage where ANASTASIA is playing and one of the nominees was the sensational Caroline O'Connor so it was wonderful to catch up with her.

New York Musicals Festival

Jennifer Damiano, Victoria Clark, Mandy Gonzalez, Tony Sheldon & More Will Take Part in NYMF 2016

Jennifer Damiano, Victoria Clark, Mandy Gonzalez, Tony Sheldon & More Will Take Part in NYMF 2016
The New York Musical Festival (NYMF), previously known as The New York Musical Theatre Festival, announced today the initial slate of artists participating in NYMF 2016, taking place from July 11 through August 7 in Midtown Manhattan.
Tony Award winner and four-time Tony Nominee Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza) will direct NEWTON'S CRADLE, with book, music, and lyrics by Heath Saunders (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) and Kim Saunders. Evan is determined to marry his girlfriend Charlie, but his father and brother don't want him to. Or his father doesn't think he can. Or his brother doesn't think he will. And his mother won't tell them otherwise. They're all so concerned with what autistic Evan might do, but he knows he is more than just his needs, and he's going to prove it. NEWTON'S CRADLE seamlessly integrates a fast-paced non-linear story with a hypnotic electronic score to create a musical unlike anything you've ever seen before: a melodic picture of a very special brain. NEWTON'S CRADLE begins performances Wednesday, August 3rd at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).
Tony Award nominee Emily Skeggs (Fun Home) will star in REMISSION*, with book, music, and lyrics by Rebekah Allen. Davy is a college junior who dives into storytelling and fantasy to escape a life weighed down by stress, family dysfunction, and a flighty roommate. When blindsided by an unexpected cancer diagnosis, Davy pours herself into the search for connection through the stories of others, leaving her own disease untreated and unknown to everyone around her. Davy must find her own path through life or death decisions, and learn how to tell her own story. REMISSION begins performances Monday, July 11 at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.
Tony Award nominee Jennifer Damiano (American Psycho, Next To Normal) and Meghann Fahy (Next to Normal) will star in A LASTING IMPRESSION*, with a book by Emily Kaczmarek and music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak. Kali and Simone are artists, sisters, and (lately) roommates. They live, work, and navigate their mother's chronic illness in close quarters and relative peace - until they meet Jo, a journalist wrestling with the cost of her recent assignment in Syria. As each sister becomes romantically and creatively entangled with Jo, all 3 women are forced to examine how they relate to their art, the world, and to one another. A LASTING IMPRESSION is a musical about love between artists, love between sisters, and the power of storytelling in all its forms. A LASTING IMPRESSION begins performances Wednesday, July 13 at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.
Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita (Dames at Sea, Matilda) will star in A SCYTHE OF TIME, with a book by Alan Harris and music and lyrics by Mark Alan Swanson. Inspired by two stories from Edgar Allan Poe, A SCYTHE OF TIME takes us to London, 1881, where the public can't get enough of the infamously sensational Blackwood Articles, in which writers take their own lives and, in the process of dying, record their experience with death. On the other side of town, our heroine Signore Zenobia embarks on a quest to unravel the mystery of the articles in an effort to save her own magazine, and finds time pressing down on her as she composes a Blackwood Article of her very own. A bizarre tale of power and love, poetic justice and bloody revenge, A SCYTHE OF TIME shows us just how far one goes for fame and recognition in an absurd world. A SCYTHE OF TIME begins performances Thursday, July 21st at the June HavocTheatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).
Dashiell Eaves (Coram Boy) will star in NICKEL MINES, which will feature lighting design by Tony Award Winner Howell Binkley (Hamilton), sound design by Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg, and musical direction and orchestrations by Lortel Award nominee Or Matias(Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812). With a book by Andrew Palermo (Allegiance) & Shannon Stoeke and Music and Lyrics by Dan Dyer, NICKEL MINES interprets a 2006 Lancaster, PA Amish schoolhouse shooting in which a lone gunman shot 10 girls, 5 fatally, before taking his own life. This unique work fuses movement, music and text to explore multiple viewpoints of what the Amish call 'The Happening'. Making no judgments, imposing no morals, NICKEL MINES is a living memorial to the young girls who lost their lives that day. It is also an entry point to a conversation on how violence, faith, forgiveness and justice speak to and interact with one another. NICKEL MINES begins performances Wednesday, July 27 at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).
Tony Award winner Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) will star in ICON, with a book by Sebastian Michael and music and lyrics by Jonathan Kaldor. 1928. The world is enthralled as American debutante, Constance Nielsen, marries into one of Europe's ancient Royal Families. But when an impassioned affair with her music teacher sparks uproar, news of her tragic death turns her from living legend into timeless icon. 40 years later, a young man in search of his grandfather's past finds more than he's bargained for. ICON begins performances Wednesday, July 20th at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).
Mandy Gonzalez (In The Heights, Wicked), Jon Rua (Hamilton, In The Heights) and Nick Blaemire (Godspell) will star in BREAD AND ROSES*, with book and lyrics by Jill Abramovitz, music by Brad Alexander, and music direction by Alex Gemignani (Assassins). Maya is a 25-year old Mexican woman who illegally crosses the U.S. border to work with her sister Rosa cleaning Office Building 646 in downtown LA. Witnessing firsthand the corruption and abusive working conditions, Maya joins Sam from Justice for Janitors in an attempt to unionize the workers. Alliances are formed, backs are stabbed, and the sisters' relationship is brought to the brink. Inspired by true events, BREAD AND ROSES asks: must the American dream come at the cost of human dignity? BREAD AND ROSES will be presented twice on Friday, July 22nd at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.
FREEDOM RIDERS will feature Brynn Williams (Lazarus at NYTW) and choreography by Jon Rua (Hamilton, In The Heights), book by Richard Allen, and music and lyrics by Richard Allen& Taran Gray. Set in 1961 FREEDOM RIDERS explores the racial tension in a penultimate time. FREEDOM RIDERS is an immersive musical that follows a mixed group of Civil Rights activists as they risk their lives riding interstate buses in the extremely segregated South. The end goal: to bring attention to the injustice of segregation; an action that would bring the world the image of a 'burning bus America' that most Americans wanted to ignore existed. FREEDOM RIDERS is a new musical that proclaims the voice of the American Civil Rights Movement. FREEDOM RIDERS begins performances Wednesday, July 27th at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).
Anneliese Van Der Pol ("That's So Raven") will star in COOKIES*, with book, music, and lyrics by David Christensen and Michael Shapiro. New-Pine-Cone-Scout Katie arrives during Cookie Season with the hopes of continuing her legacy as overachiever and perpetual do-gooder. Chaos ensues under the helm of Troop Leader Q'Diva as Katie, her wide-eyed new best friend Jenny, and the other adorably-sailor-tongued Scouts do whatever it takes to sell the most cookies...Whatever. It. Takes. COOKIES is a side-splitting razor-sharp-witted musical comedy that will make you ask yourself: How far are you willing to go to do what's best - or be the best? COOKIES begins performances Thursday, July 14th at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.
Luca Padovan (School Of Rock) and Tracee Beazer (Something Rotten) will be featured in STILL READY: ROB ROKICKI IN CONCERT. Rob Rokicki, the award-winning composer of the Off-Broadway hit, The Lightning Thief, brings his brand of smart musical theater rock to NYMF for two special concerts only. Featuring special guest artists and Broadway friends, this will be a night to celebrate new works from Rokicki's upcoming album, Monstersongs, as well as old favorites. STILL READY: ROB ROKICKI IN CONCERT will be presented on Sunday, July 31 and Tuesday, August 2nd at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).
Josh Davis (Beautiful The Carole King Musical) will star in THE GOLD, with a book by Philip Yosowitz & Andrea Lepcio, and music and lyrics by Philip Yosowitz. Joseph Cohen, a Jewish-German boxer, finds his 1936 Olympic ambitions crushed as the Nazi's rise to power. He soon learns that his toughest fight lies outside the ring, as he is separated from the woman he loves and their young son. Set against the backdrop of the Holocaust and the creation of Israel, THE GOLD is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the journey of self-discovery that each of us takes as we search for purpose in our lives. THE GOLD begins performances Monday, August 1 at the Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street).
Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer) and MJ Rodriguez (RENT) will star in THE LAST WORD, with book, music, and lyrics by Brett Sullivan and additional lyrics by Ryan Cunningham. East Cleveland, 1976. Jay is a charismatic slacker living above Paradise, the restaurant his father left him. But Jay has accumulated a trail of debt which includes Earlene Floyd, a local parking lot mogul, who wants to bulldoze Paradise and put up a parking lot. Jay enlists his old school gang of misfits with plans to raise cash by hustling across America - one game of Scrabble at a time. But old factions and Earlene's offensive to crush them threaten Paradise forever. Who will have the last word? THE LAST WORD begins performances Friday, July 22nd at the Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues).
Grace McLean (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) will star in MOLLY MURPHY & NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH*. Created & written by Molly Beach Murphy, with music & lyrics by Loren Berí, MOLLY MURPHY AND NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH is part indie lecture series and part musical cabaret. The story follows famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and his biggest fan girl through the Hayden Planetarium in the last 24 hours before the Earth is swallowed by a super-massive black hole. MOLLY MURPHY AND NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH begins performances on Tuesday, July 12 at 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios.
Will Connolly (Once) will star in FOREST BOY, featuring book and lyrics by Scott Gilmour and music by Claire McKenzie. On September 5th, 2011, a boy appeared in Berlin claiming to have lived in the forest with his father for the past five years. He had no memory of his past - only that his name was Ray and he travelled to Berlin following the death of his father in the woods. What followed were nine months of speculation, police inquiry, and a global media frenzy, as the mystery of the Forest Boy slowly unravelled.?Based on an incredible true story, FOREST BOY is a modern-day fairytale of growing up and, above all, imagination. FOREST BOY begins performances on Wednesday, July 27 at the Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street).
Tony Award nominee Elizabeth A. Davis (Once) and Kathryn Gallagher (Deaf West's Spring Awakening) will star in DUST CAN'T KILL ME, with a book by Abigail Carney and music and lyrics by Elliah Heifetz. Drought, desperation, and a prophet's promise of Paradise set a ragtag group of wayward souls on a Dust Bowl journey into the desert. When they arrive, their promised land is unlike anything they ever imagined, or anything they ever desired. Driven by a spirited band of actor-musicians and directed by Spring Awakening's Srda Vasiljevic, the new folk musical DUST CAN'T KILL ME asks what's worth fighting for when all you've got is dust. DUST CAN'T KILL ME begins performances Monday, August 1 at the June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018).
Aneesh Sheth (Southern Comfort) will star in NORMATIVITY, with book, music, and lyrics by Jaime Jarrett. High schooler Taylor's life is changed forever when she meets Emily, a fellow lesbian on a mission to literally rewrite her own story. But the two soon learn the path to a happy ending isn't easy, and it might even mean losing each other. NORMATIVITY begins perfomances Monday, July 18 at the Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street).
Additional casting and creative team for all productions will continue to be announced. Performance schedules for all productions, readings, concerts and events are now available at NYMF.org.
Individual tickets for NYMF 2016 are now on sale, in addition to NYMF Passes. NYMF Passes offer discounted tickets, early ticket booking, and priority seating. Visit nymf.org/tickets for more information on both individual tickets and NYMF Passes.
Please note: asterisks (*) denote readings, which are available only to NYMF Patrons and NYMF Pass Premium & NYMF Pass Plus holders. To purchase a NYMF pass or patronship package visit www.nymf.org/tickets or call the NYMF offices at 212-664-0979 x26 to inquire.
The previously announced lineup of productions, readings, concerts and events for the 2016 NYMF includes BREAKING THE MOON; ILLA!, THE GOLD; SINGLE; CAMP ROLLING HILLS; LUDO'S BROKEN BRIDE; QUICK AND FUNNY MUSICALS; ARTEMIS IN THE PARKING LOT; CRUDE; MOLLY MURPHY & NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON ON OUR LAST DAY ON EARTH; DUST CAN'T KILL ME; FOREST BOY; NEWTON'S CRADLE; NICKEL MINES; NORMATIVITY; LISA AND LEONARDO; THE FIRST CHURCH OF MARY, THE REPENTANT PROSTITUTE'S FIFTH ANNUAL BENEFIT CONCERT, REVIVAL, AND POT LUCK DINNER; THE LAST WORD; TINK!; A SCYTHE OF TIME; CHILDREN OF SALT; ICON; EH DAH? - QUESTIONS FOR MY FATHER; PLAY LIKE A WINNER; COOKIES; REMISSION; TOUCHÉ; BREAD AND ROSES; ULTIMATE MAN!; THE BABY PROJECT; A LASTING IMPRESSION; OUTLIERS; STILL READY: ROB ROKICKI IN CONCERT; FREEDOM RIDERS; MIDNIGHT AT THE NEVER GET; ONE CHILD BORN: THE MUSIC OF LAURA NYRO; and more. For a full list of productions, readings, concerts and events visit NYMF.org.
This year, the Festival will take place July 11 through August 7 at The Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET Project (229 W 42nd Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues); The Pearl Theatre (555 West 42nd Street); 416 West 42nd Street, Playwrights Horizons Rehearsal Studios; June Havoc Theatre (312 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018); 42 West (514 West 42 St); and The Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street).
Dan Markley serves as NYMF Executive Director & Producer. Curation of the 2016 Festival is led by Rachel Sussman, who joins NYMF this year as Director of Programming & Artist Services. A Grand Jury panel of industry experts helped to determine the musical lineup of the Festival.
This year's Grand Jury included Tony Award-winning actor Michael Cerveris, OBIE and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, Two River Theater Literary Manager Anika Chapin, Creative Director, Fox Stage Productions Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Tony Award-winning producer Jane Dubin, Director of Theater Arts Program at The National Black Theater Jonathan McCrory, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated actor and writer Tony Sheldon, playwright, lyricist, and actress Gretchen Cryer, Drama Desk Award-winning actor Santino Fontana, Tony Award Nominated, Drama Desk and OCC Award Winning actress Montego Glover, Broadway director West Hyler, Tony Award-nominated director Leigh Silverman, and Laurence Olivier Award-winning choreographer Sergio Trujillo.
This year, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment will be joining as an Elite Festival Sponsor. Also, for the first time, Show-Score.com, a new website for audiences to discover live theater in New York City, will partner with NYMF to present the Show-Score "Best of Fest" Audience Prize, an award determined by audience vote. Show-Score joins returning award sponsors Play-By-Play and Stage Rights. Returning Elite Festival Sponsors include Fuzzrocket, PRG, TheaterMania and Clear Channel Spectacolor.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Grueling GREASEPAINT

Have I EVER looked more glamorous?
Easily the most physically demanding show the three of us have ever done. Relentless.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Off and Roaring

Now Playing

It's a controversial production to say the least. A radical take on the material.
But we are a close-knit little group and we keep each other afloat. Here with my castmates Michelle Aravena, Caesar Samayoa and Gregory Treco.
Also, our director Don Stephenson and choreographer Liza Gennaro.

Friday, May 13, 2016

An outing

Went to see a new musical at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, a bio of Toulouse-Lautrec called MY PARIS. Great pedigree: music & lyrics by Charles Aznavour adapted by Jason Robert Brown, Book by Alfred Uhry, Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall.
I got to hug some lovely mates in the cast including Darius Barnes, Tim Hughes, Tom Hewitt, Nikka Graff Lanzarone and fellow Aussie Jamie Jackson.
Gorgeous Tom Hewitt and I were a little bemused that we were sporting such similar looks, right down to our grandpa shirts!!!