THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS NOW ON BROADWAY AT THE RICHARD RODGERS THEATRE

Porgy and Bess New York

All photos by Michael J. Lutch

The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS, which began previews on Saturday, December 17th, opens tonight, Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street, between 8th Avenue and Broadway). Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 877-250-2929 or by clicking the link below

http://www.ticketmaster.com/The-Gershwins-Porgy-and-Bess-tickets/artist/974187

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The cast includes Audra McDonald as Bess, Norm Lewis as Porgy, David Alan Grier as Sporting Life, Phillip Boykin as Crown, Nikki Renée Daniels as Clara, Joshua Henry as Jake, Christopher Innvar as Detective, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena and NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mariah, as well as Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt André Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Alicia Hall Moran, Cedric Neal, Phumzile Sojola, Nathaniel Stampley, Julius Thomas III, J.D. Webster and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson

The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS comes to Broadway in a stunning and stirring new staging, featuring such legendary songs as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing,” plus a remarkable cast led by four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Ragtime, “Private Practice”), Drama Desk nominee Norm Lewis (Les Misérables, Sondheim on Sondheim) and two-time Tony nominee David Alan Grier (Race, “In Living Color”). The classic story by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love storiesPorgy and Bess New York

Our Review Will Be Available Soon.

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EXPERIENCE CLASSICAL MUSIC STARS ONBOARD MS EUROPA’S MUSIC VOYAGES IN 2012

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Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to Offer Guests Established Talent and Young Stars During the Ocean Sun and Stella Maris Classical Music Festivals at Sea 

The highest ranked cruise ship in the world, according to the 2012 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships[1] Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ MS EUROPA is offering guests two world-class music festivals in 2012. The “Ocean Sun Festival,” the only classical music festival on the High Seas, will feature internationally acclaimed classical music stars performing on board, as well as exclusive concerts at historical sites ashore. Additionally, the “Stella Maris“ International Vocal Competition will bring together up-and-coming young singers from the most renowned opera houses in the world to perform and compete on board a Middle East and Africa itinerary. These two music cruises are the highlights of a total of nine music cruises aboard the EUROPA in 2012.

Now in its sixth year, the “Ocean Sun Festival” has been compared to the prestigious Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, California and the Tuscan Sun Festival in Italy. For an added dimension to this musical experience, international music critics will offer lectures along the route. On board, “Ocean Sun Festival” guests will experience the breathtaking violinist Janine Jansen, the aspiring pianist Igor Levit and renowned soprano vocalist Marlis Petersen. This musical voyage continues ashore with the soloists joining the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Bergen, Norway. While the classical music concerts are the highlights of this itinerary, the EUROPA will glide through the picturesque Norway fjords, with stops in the charming and multifaceted cities of Bergen and Oslo. This 12-day itinerary from August 12-24, 2012, starts at $6,670 per person/based on double occupancy for a suite.

In cooperation with the prestigious international opera houses, the EUROPA will also be hosting their fourth annual classical music competition at sea, “Stella Maris.”
Under the direction of Canadian tenor Michael Schade, a jury of famous personalities in the classical music field will judge the top talent represented by international opera houses. The distinguishing feature of “Stella Maris” is that the audience determines the winner of the cash prize worth €15,000. This prize, generous compared to others in the world of classical music, is provided by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The jury will decide on the recipients of the additional prizes, which include: a guest engagement at an international opera house, a concert, and a test recording with Deutsche Grammophon. The competition will occur on board an 18-day Middle Eastern and Africa cruise through the Indian Ocean from November 7-25, 2012, making stops in Dubai, Oman, the Seychelles and Madagascar this November. The itinerary starts at $9,150 per person/based on double occupancy for a suite.

For information on these itineraries visit www.hl-cruises.com or call one of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ sales agencies below.

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ANDREA MARCOVICCI CELEBRATES HER 25THANNIVERSARY

OAK ROOM SEASON NOVEMBER 15-DECEMBER 30

The Queen of Cabaret holds the record for the longest continuous run at the famed Algonquin Oak Room.  Our most sophisticated performer is the only female entertainer ever to reach such a milestone in the history of cabaret.  The New York Times dubbed her “the high priestess of the American Songbook,” falling “under her spell,” while the Wall Street Journal called an evening with Andrea “the most immersive experience you will ever have.”

Everyone looks forward to getting away from it all.  To celebrate Andrea’s unprecedented achievement, her latest show, “No Strings,” does just that!  Andrea takes the audience on a wonderful trip around the world.  It’s a journey about life on the road—a warm, funny, heartfelt and candid tale of Andrea’s travels from city to city and what that bittersweet journey has meant for her as a singer, an actress, a wife and mother.

Marcovicci looks especially dazzling and her voice is more in control than usual. The big this, as always is her sensational acting ability and impeccable timing.  Highlights include “Sunday in New York,” “Two For the Road,” “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?,” “Under Paris Skies” and “A Foggy Day.”  In addition, Andrea recreates her celebrated rendition of “These Foolish Things.”  It’s an odyssey that flows from the romance of Andrea’s favorite places to unexpected bumps in the road producing some pretty wacky and wonderful stories…a fun, sweet and romantic saga as only Andrea can tell it!  A nostalgic look at a quarter century of a singer’s life.   Andrea is skillfully accompanied on piano by Shelly Markham with Jered Egan on bass.

“No Strings” will run November 15 through December 30, with shows Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11:00.  Holiday shows are Thanksgiving at 7:30, Christmas Eve at 7:30 and Monday December 26 (Boxing Day) at 7:30.  There is a $60 cover charge per person Tuesday-Thursday and late Friday-Saturday, and $65 for the 8:30 shows Friday and Saturday, plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or a $60 prix fixe dinner.

Note: The Algonquin  will close Jan. 1 for a four-month, $15 million renovation.

Let us hope the The Oak Room will remain virtually unscathed and that the powers that be will have come to their senses and allowed the fabled hotel to  re-install the latest feline (Matilda lll),  in a beloved chain of ten mascots, dating back to 1933. New York has survived street fairs, bicycles monopolizing our sidewalks and a demoralized Times Square. Let the pussy cats work in peace.

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KAREN AKERS EMBRACES “SONDHEIM” IN THE ALGONQUIN HOTEL’S OAK ROOM SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 29

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Having triumphed these past two years in her Oak Room celebrations of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart, beautiful and beguiling Karen Akers now sets her sights on the leading musical theater composer-lyricist of the last half century.

Among her selections from the Stephen Sondheim Songbook are some less familiar offerings such as “More” (Dick Tracy) with its multiplicity of George Gershwin references and “Live, Laugh, Love” (Follies). More to the point,“Send in the Clowns” (A Little Night Music), “Broadway Baby” (Follies), “You Could Drive a Person Crazy (Company), “The Story of Lucy & Jessie” (Follies) and “Moments in the Woods” (Into the Woods) are not just old friends, but warmly welcomed ones. . The show is subtly directed by Eric Michael Gillett with the admirable Don Rebic as Musical Director.

From September 27th through October 29th, “Live, Laugh, Love—Akers Sings Sondheim” plays Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30 and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and 11 pm. There is a $60 cover charge for all shows except the dinner shows Friday and Saturday, when the cover is $65, plus either a $30 minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner.

Karen Akers, Stephen Sondheim, the incredible Don Rebic all embraced by the magical Oak Room at the world fabled Algonquin Hotel: Need we say more? (Other than to book now).This is a hot ticket.

Reservations: 212-419-9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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SANDY STEWART & BILL CHARLAP RETURN TO THE OAK ROOM NOVEMBER 1-12 IN A LIMITED TWO-WEEK ENGAGEMENT. Not To Be Missed!

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Sandy Stewart, celebrated for her sensual voice and impeccable phrasing, and acclaimed jazz pianist Bill Charlap, join forces at he Oak Room for two weeks only in a new show, “The Best Thing for You.”

The pair—who happen also to be mother and son— provide seasoned New Yorkers, as well as savvy out-of-town guests, with the definitive cabaret experience. While nothing old fashioned need apply, here is one of the few chances to enjoy the golden age of cabaret with two world class performers. Stewart is poised and elegant in  stunning black, embellished with a single  piece of jewelry. Opening with an immaculately phrased version of Rodgers and Hart’s “Where or When,” the audience is under her magnetic spell from that moment on. No need for patter, histrionics and (thankfully)  lessons in history. Her mellow voice travels the road from sultry throatiness to muted chest and gentle head tones with an admirable ease .

Charlap is better than ever, a bit more subtle than usual, and takes command of the room in his expected solo stint, which on our visit included an outstanding rendition of Cole Porter’s “Easy To Love.”

Other Stewart standouts offered  a haunting “I Don’t Stand A Ghost of a Chance,” a heart-wrenching rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Solitude” and the unlikely choice of closing with “When You Wish Upon a Star”, so exquisitely performed that a standing ovation would not have been out of order.” (Bill Charlap’s piano interludes feature different songs each show. )

For those who crave the real thing and will settle for nothing less that a sophisticated evening of “classic cab”, shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11:00.   There is a $60 cover charge per person plus either a $30 minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner. Make Reservations ASAP: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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HOWARD MC GILLIN MAKES OAK ROOM DEBUT IN “ISN’T IT ROMANTIC” WITH CHARM AND CONGENIALITY

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Best known for his record-setting performances as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Howard McGillin has enjoyed a varied career on both Broadway and London stages. Mr. McGillin, has a winning way with his audience and a lovely and cultured tenor voice that has made him the quintessential leading man in theatre.

At his eagerly awaited Oak Room debut, (From September 13-24),  McGillin presented an evening of love songs that aptly answered the question, “Isn’t It Romantic?” Howard offers a program, with appealing patter, that explores a variety of romantic experiences, highlighted by a rendition of “All The Things You Are,” (Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II) that was simple and without embellishments, proving that a great song needs nothing more than to be sung with sensitivity to make its point.

A combined arrangement of “A Foggy Day IN LONDON TOWN” (George and Ira Gershwin) and the lovely “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” (Eric Maschwitz; Manning Sherwin; Jack Strachey)  gives Howard the opportunity to fill us in on his adventures, when living in London, and a neat duo pairing, a rollicking “SHE LOVES ME” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) with a subtle version of “Dear Friend” (Sheldon Harnick; Jerry Bock) from the same show, allows Mr. McGillin to demonstrate his dramatic range and vocal finesse.

The high point of the evening was a stunning rendering of “Putting It Together” (Stephen Sondheim) that was eclipsed by the beyond-beautiful “Good Thing Going” (Stephen Sondheim), demonstrating that some of the best theater songs come from shows that are less than memorable.

“Time” (Barry Kleinbort; Joseph Thalken), offered an appealing contemporary touch, while “Two For The Road” (Henry Mancini; Leslie Bricusse) was the perfect encore.

Beautifully accompanied by Joseph Thalken at the piano and Richard Sarpola on bass, Howard McGillin is easy to like, easy to listen to and brings a thoroughly pleasant evening of entertainment to the Algonquin’s legendary Oak Room.  

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 pm and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11 pm. There is a $50 cover charge plus either a $60 dinner at 7 or $30 food and beverage minimum. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

The New York Musical Theatre Festival and J&B Productions
present Donna Lynne Champlin (“Billy Elliot,” “Sweeney Todd”) in

JANE AUSTEN'S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a musical

JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
A story of "First Impressions" and second chances…
Book, Music, and Lyrics by
Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs
Directed by Igor Goldin (“YANK!”)
Presented as part of the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival
September 29 – October 11
Signature Theatre’s Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd St)

The New York Musical Theatre Festival and J&B Productions present the musical JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a musical – a story of “First Impressions” and second chances – with music, lyrics and book by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs, directed by Igor Goldin (“YANK!”), and starring, in the title role of Jane Austen, Donna Lynne Champlin (“Sweeney Todd,” “Billy Elliot”). JANE AUSTEN’S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, a musical is presented as part of the 2011 New York Musical Theatre Festival and will play at Signature Theatre’s Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street) in Manhattan beginning September 29 – with only 6 performances available.

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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KATHLEEN TURNER Returns to Broadway in HIGH A new play by MATTHEW LOMBARDO Directed by ROB RUGGIERO

HIGH will begin previews on March 25 and open April 19, 2011

at the Booth Theatre on Broadway (222 W. 45th Street)

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Producers Leonard Soloway, Chase Mishkin, Terry Schnuck, Ann Cady Scott, Timothy J. Hampton, James & Catherine Berges, The Shubert Organization and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis announce two-time Golden Globe® winner, Academy Award® & Tony Award® nominee Kathleen Turner will return to Broadway this spring in Matthew Lombardo’s new play HIGH, directed by Rob RuggieroHIGH will begin previews on Friday, March 25 and open officially on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at the Booth Theatre (222 West 45th Street).

The cast includes Kathleen Turner as “Sister Jamison Connelly”, Tony Award® nominee Stephen Kunken (Enron) as “Father Michael Delpapp” and Evan Jonigkeit making his Broadway debut as “Cody Randall”.

The design team for HIGH includes Tony Award® winners David Gallo (Sets) & Jess Goldstein (Costumes), John Lasiter (Lights) and Vincent Olivieri (Sound & Original Compositions).

HIGH explores the universal themes of truth, forgiveness, redemption and human fallibility.  When Sister Jamison Connolly (Turner) agrees to sponsor a 19 year-old drug user in an effort to help him combat his addiction, her own faith is ultimately tested. Struggling between the knowledge she possesses as a rehabilitation counselor and a woman of religious conviction, she begins to question her belief in miracles and whether people can find the courage to change.

Kathleen Turner returns to Broadway following her Tony® nominated performance as “Martha” in the 2005 Tony Award® winning revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

This Broadway premiere follows a noteworthy collaboration of three American regional theaters.  In July 2010, the play premiered at TheaterWorks in Hartford, Connecticut, followed by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in September 2010 and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in October 2010.

TICKETS:

Tickets will be available beginning Monday, January 24 online at Telecharge.com or by phone at (212)239-6200.  The Booth Theatre Box Office (222 W. 45th St) will open on Friday, March 4th.  Ticket prices range from $61.50-$111.50 with a special preview price of $61.50-$91.50 for performances March 25-April 18.

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Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

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