The Adventure Continues

TT in the Blue Mountains and Sheldy in New York.

Culture Shock.

Monday, December 28, 2015


We're in our second week at La Mirada, California rehearsing the musical about the Empire State Building.
We have a splendid cast of young singer dancers playing construction workers et al so our company comes from such exotic climes as Brazil, Spain and Mexico.
We had our "Secret Santa" during the lunch break on Christmas Eve. Above center is our brilliant director/choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge.
Tommy Bracco ("Newsies") was particularly excited

Joe Hart plays the construction site foreman so he got a Captain's cap. Joe toured the U.S. in PRISCILLA playing Bob the mechanic.
Cooper Stanton is a breathtaking gymnast and acrobat which will come in handy on the Empire State's high beams!
Charlotte Maltby (daughter of Broadway legend Richard Maltby, Jr.) scored the champagne.
Caleb Shaw who plays Irish worker Ethan O'Dowd patiently waits for Santa
Assistant choreographer Michael Baxter
Katherine McDonough, who plays Emily O'Dowd, got my gift which included a tiny grand piano tree ornament which played Ella Fitzgerald singing "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire". Katie looks suitably bemused.
Justin Wilcox plays De Caprio
Mike Starr plays Duryeavich.
Leading lady Stephanie Gibson plays Frankie who oversees the building of the Empire State. She scored a tailor made t-shirt from Ricky Bulda.
My favorite moment: Juan Caballer (watched by Rodrigo Varandas) receiving his Secret santa gift
Then it was back to work

We don't get into the theatre for another two weeks. I'm told it's huuuuuge.

Monday, December 21, 2015


La Mirada Theatre to Present EMPIRE

December 21

La Mirada Theatre to Present EMPIRE
LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS & MC COY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT (2014 Ovation Award Nominee for Best Season!), in association with Sue Vaccaro, Ricky Stevens & The Rivet Gang announce the third show of their 2015-2016 season, the pre-Broadway engagement of EMPIRE, book, music & lyrics by Caroline Sherman and Robert Hull, musical direction by Sariva Goetz, and directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime). EMPIRE will preview on Friday, January 22, 2016 (with a press opening on Saturday, January 23) and run through Sunday, February 14, 2016 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.
EMPIRE is an original musical about those who bravely embodied the American spirit during the dark days of the Great Depression by building what was then the tallest structure in the world, the Empire State Building! When the roaring 20's collapsed into the reeling 30's, these industrialists, laborers and their families mortgaged all that was safe and reasonable for the dream of leaving their mark on New York City and the world. EMPIRE is a celebration of the American spirit with big dance numbers, pop-driven melodies, and captivating spectacle. EMPIRE puts a contemporary spin on the classic musicals of the '40s and '50s!

MARCIA MILGROM DODGE (Director & Choreographer) Her award-winning work has been seen throughout the United States, Canada, England, Denmark, Asia and the Middle East. Dodge's celebrated Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime moved to Broadway after playing a sold-out run in Washington, D.C. (2010 Tony®Nomination.) Her new production of Ragtime is touring the United States for Phoenix Entertainment. Dodge has worked in such acclaimed theatres as the New York City Opera, The Public, Center Stage, The Muny, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Glimmerglass Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public, St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Huntington Theatre, Bay Street, Maltz Jupiter, Goodspeed, Reprise, Music Circus, The Alley, Flat Rock Playhouse and abroad at the Nanta Theatre (Seoul, S. Korea); Fredericia Teater (Denmark); Royal Opera House (Muskat, Oman) and the Wintergardens Theatre (Blackpool, England). Dodge is a teacher, a wife, a mother, a proud executive board member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society and a published and produced playwright. Upcoming projects include 110 In The Shade (Ford's Theatre) and the American premiere of Frank Wildhorn's The Count of Monte Cristo (Pioneer Theatre.)

SARIVA GOETZ (Music Director) Broadway - Les Miserables (10 years as assistant conductor/keyboardist, original Broadway), Aladdin, Mystery of Edwin Drood, Sister Act, Mamma Mia, Little Mermaid, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Bombay Dreams, Beauty and the Beast, Guys & Dolls, Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, City of Angels, Once On This Island, Sweeney Todd, Romance Romance, Starlight Express, Roza, Merlin. Off-Broadway - American Princess, My Old Friends, Goblin Market, Middle of Nowhere, Splendora, Jerusalem Syndrome. Tours - Scrooge in Concert,Theatreworks USA: Curious George. Regional - Cincinnati Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage: Secret Garden, Bucks County: Really Rosie, George St.: Fields of Ambrosia, Williamstown: Tonight at 8:30, Goodspeed: Bloomer Girl. Concerts - Long Island Philharmonic and Broadway Pops International: "Boheme to Broadway," Avery Fisher Hall: "A Celebration of the Life of Lee Strasberg," Richard Rodgers Theatre: "Nothin' Like a Dame". Teaching - American University, New Jersey City University. Education - MA: New York University, BMusic: University of Arizona.

SUE VACCARO (Producer) has been active in every aspect of show business for many years. She spent ten years working as a producer on several projects with her mentor Emmy Award winning actress Rue McClanahan, of the classic TV show Golden Girls, including her final stage production of a new musical titled My First Five Husbands. She was involved with the Gold Remi & CINE Golden Eagle Award winning film Archaeology of a Woman, written and directed by Sharon Greytak, starring Golden Globe winner Sally Kirkland and Tony Award winner Victoria Clark. Sue was Executive Producer of the 2014 New York City International Film Festival winner for Best Feature Comedy Ron & Laura Take Back America. Her stage producing credits include winning a Tony Award for the Pulitzer Prize/Olivier Award/Tony Award winning play Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris and the highly acclaimed London revival of Smokey Joes Cafe. Sue sits on the boards of major nonprofits including Women, Fashion and Film.

RICKY STEVENS (Producer). Ricky has spent his entire life working in the entertainment industry. Ricky is a multiple Tony Award nominated and Tony Award winning Producer on Broadway. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with emphasis in Arts Administration and directing and is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute (CTI) Intensive Program. Broadway credits include the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award and Olivier Award winning play Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, A Catered Affair by Harvey Fierstein and John Bucchino (Three Tony Award nominations), Is He Deadby Mark Twain (One Tony Award nomination), and Radio Golf by August Wilson (Four Tony Award nominations). London, West End credits include Marguerite by Legrand, Boubil, Schoenerg, Kretzmer, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

THE RIVET GANG (Producer). Led by co-producers Katy Kinney Harris, Joanna Jung, and Lynne Walder, Esq, and instigator Geoff Bland, this group of doers have pooled their hard earned pennies and shared their kind hearts to back a dream. The Empire team is very grateful to all of them, especially the first to put in her nickel: Suzanne "Hello Mrs." Propp, who represents all of the great elementary school music teachers who seed the skills and desires that make musical theater possible.

The Cast for EMPIRE features (in alphabetical order): Michael Baxter, Chassey Bennett, Tommy Bracco, Ricky Bulda, Juan Caballer, Caitlyn Calfas, Kevin Earley, Fatima El-Bashir, Tory Freeth, Stephanie Gibson, Joe Hart, Charlotte Maltby, Tony Sheldon, Michael McCormick, Katharine McDonough, Gabriel Navarro, Rachel Osting, Caleb Shaw, Cooper Stanton, Michael Starr, Christine Tucker, Rodrigo Varandas, Josh Walden and Justin Michael Wilcox.

The Design Team for EMPIRE is as follows: Scenic and Projection Design by David Gallo; Lighting Design by Jared Sayeg; Sound Design by Phil Allen; Costume Design by Leon Wiebers; Flying Sequences Choreographed by Paul Rubin; Co- Projection Design by Brad Peterson; Hair/Make-Up/Wig Design by Rick Geyer; and Props Design by Terry Hanrahan. Casting is by Julia Flores, and the Production Stage Manager is Jill Gold.

Coming Soon

In La Mirada, California!

Opening January 23rd!

BUD Music...A new phone app

Corey Cott, Tony Sheldon and More Bring Broadway Spin to Carols for Bud Music

December 21
5:45 PM2015
Corey Cott, Tony Sheldon and More Bring Broadway Spin to Carols for Bud Music
A carol a day from the Great White Way!
BroadwayWorld has learned that the Bud Music App is releasing a new Christmas carol each day until December 25th, recorded by Broadway's best.
So far, Corey Cott, Tony Sheldon, Apollo Link, Grace McLean and Krystina Alabado have all contributed holiday hits.

Check out each of the recordings below, and check Budd Music's Facebook page for more this week!

Corey Cott: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

Tony Sheldon: "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

Apollo Link: "The First Noel"

Krystina Alabado: "Run Run Rudolph"

Corey Mach: "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Grace McLean: "Christmas Time Is Here"

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DO40 Legacy Awards

Winner Janice Herbert, Old Fogey with his presenter Harvey Evans, winner Donna McKechnie with her presenter Paul Tenaglia, presenter Patti Mariano (for James Dybas) and presenter Christopher Herbert (Janice's grandson)
with Harvey & Donna
My beloved Harvey
Fellow honoree Gene Gavin's nephew on the left. Tragically, Gene died in an accident weeks before the ceremony. James Dybas is second from left.
Harvey introduces me.

Donna accepts her award.
With Danny Gardner from the Broadway cast of DAMES AT SEA who paid tribute to James Dybas with a ten minute version of 42nd STREET. The whole show!!!!
Two "gender illusionists" closed the evening miming to a medley of all our shows. This performer did Arnold's opening monologue from TORCH SONG TRILOGY and mimed to me singing "Don't Leave Me This Way".
While the lady on the left did all of Donna's showstoppers including "Music & The Mirror" with the original choreography!!!!!!