The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wedding Belles

The DOLLY wedding that we never see in the show
And just in time for some, it would appear!
While others are left waiting at the church

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Backstage Babble

Ashley Brown meets another Broadway leading lady, Lucie Arnaz, backstage after a performance of DOLLY!, watched by Klea Blackhurst and lyricist Chuck Steffan. It wasn't until after she left that I remembered Ms. Arnaz had been a replacement in DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS on Broadway.
Gosh darn it!


Harvey Evans is Broadway royalty. From his debut in 1957 as a Fosse dancer in NEW GIRL IN TOWN and first replacement as Tulsa in GYPSY to playing a Jet in the movie of WEST SIDE STORY, creating the role of Young Buddy in FOLLIES and starring in National Tours of BARNUM and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, Harvey has worked with everyone from the Golden Age of musical theatre.
He has been a dear friend and, I'm thrilled to say, an avid fan ever since I arrived in New York but I confess I was a little apprehensive about his seeing DOLLY! as he played Barnaby Tucker opposite Carol Channing, Betty Grable, Bibi Osterwald and Eve Arden, and later played Horace Vandergelder with Pamela Myers regionally.
Happily, he was his usual enthusiastic self, claiming we have made things work in this production that never worked before!
One of the most adored people in the business.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Driving Miss Dolly

It would take something pretty special to get the DOLLY cast outdoors in their glad rags. Perhaps a commemorative video clip as a souvenir of our happy season..?
I was not scheduled for today's shoot...I believe I am called later in the week. So I was free to spend a few short minutes with my adored friend Adam Shonkwiler who played Mordred in CAMELOT with me in Houston and who has appeared in two shows here at Goodspeed.
 He leaves next week for San Jose where will be performing in the play NEXT FALL.

Talkin' Broadway review

Regional Reviews by Zander Opper Hello, Dolly!
Goodspeed Opera House  

Hello, Dolly! at the Goodspeed Opera House is as grand and joyous a production as one could find nowadays of this classic 1964 musical. As directed by Daniel Goldstein, this Dolly! is so overflowing with cheer, that it quite literally spills out into the audience and nearly raises the rafters. Headed by the brash, clarion-voiced Klea Blackhurst in the title role and a supporting company that is wholly magnificent, this current production reminds you why Hello, Dolly! is and will always be a sure-fire blockbuster of a musical. Jerry Herman's score (nicely orchestrated here by Dan DeLange) is a joy forever and Michael Stewart's book is as intelligent, funny, and touching as any book ever written for a Golden Age musical. Although Carol Channing appeared in a Broadway revival, which recreated Gower Champion's original staging and choreography, as recently as 1995, the Goodspeed Opera House's production of Hello, Dolly! is so fresh that even those who have seen Dolly! before are still likely to find this current revival a revelation.
I was lucky enough to see that Carol Channing Broadway revival, and it will always remain one of the most moving and glorious theatrical experiences of my life. Even though the stage of the Goodspeed Opera House is quite small and could, therefore, never begin to approximate how vast and stunning a number like "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" was in Gower Champion's original staging, director Daniel Goldstein and his endlessly inventive choreographer Kelli Barclay consistently bring zest and old-fashioned verve to the Goodspeed production. Of course, any Hello, Dolly! will rise or fall on the actress chosen to play the title character, and this production is extremely lucky to have Klea Blackhurst in the lead. Watching her take on this star part, the memories of Channing (and of Barbra Streisand from the film version) were quickly pushed to the back of my mind as Blackhurst made the character completely her own. She is well known for her Ethel Merman tribute show, Everything the Traffic Will Allow, and, indeed, she brings a lot of the brashness and powerhouse singing that Merman was famous for to the title role (and it should be mentioned here that Merman was the final actress to play Hello, Dolly! in the original production). However, throughout the show, Blackhurst also shows some of the lovable, rowdy traits and comedic gifts of another Broadway star, Kaye Ballard. Still, it must be stated that Klea Blackhurst is clearly her own woman and she is quite simply glorious. Tony Sheldon is a nicely subdued and extremely funny Horace Vandergelder and partners Blackhurst perfectly. In the secondary female role of Irene Malloy, Ashley Brown (who originated the title role of Mary Poppins on Broadway) brings a lot of star power to the show and her gorgeous "Ribbons Down My Back" solo is a highlight. In the role of Cornelius Hackl, the lanky, charming Spencer Moses might remind one of a young Jimmy Stewart and he shines in the second act ballad, "It Only Takes a Moment." Jeremy Morse is a fine Barnaby and Catherine Blades an adorable Minnie Fay, and Brooke Shapiro steals scenes as the ever-crying Ermengarde. When Blackhurst appears at the top of the stairs of Adrian W. Jones's versatile set, wearing the requisite red dress (designed by the talented costume designer Wade Laboissonniere) for the all-out, raise-the-roof title song, all is right with the world and the number is the requisite showstopper it must be, complete with dancing waiters and repeated choruses. What more can I say? The Goodspeed Opera House production of Hello, Dolly! is simply thrilling and deliriously enjoyable from beginning to end and is therefore a must for any theatergoer. Hello, Dolly! continues at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut, through September 14th, 2013. For tickets, visit or call (860) 873-8668 .
Photo: Diane Sobolewski


A sweet coastal town that appears to be closed on Mondays.

Fortunately, we did find somewhere to have lunch 

On the way home Branch took me through Old Saybrook to catch a glimpse of Katherine Hepburn's
family home

We felt quite naughty even though the surrounding area is now a public golf course which Branch tells me is new since he was last here. 
He also tells me the house is no longer in the family. So commoners now live there. 
Thank you, Branch, for a splendid day off!