Thursday, June 30, 2005

Single tickets for 2005-2006

Now, you know that buying a 42nd St. Moon subscription is the best way to reserve the best seats for every show and save a little in the process.

Still and all, if you're a theatre commitment-phobe, then you might be interested to know that single ticket sales for the 2005-2006 season start tomorrow.

Single tix are available from the Yerba Buena Center Box Office at (415) 978-2787.

But if you're feeling like taking it to the next level...season subscriptions are still available too.

Come on now, you've been dating 42nd St. Moon for a while now...aren't you ready to take it to the next level :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

San Francisco Theatre Festival needs volunteers

As we've mentioned here before 42nd St. Moon is participating in this year's San Francisco Theatre Festival at the Yerba Buena Gardens on July 24th from 11AM-5PM.

42nd St. Moon will have a table and will be performing in the afternoon.

Apparently the festival, in general, is in DIRE need of some good volunteers! If you'd like to spend a Sunday afternoon at this event - helping get the word out about how fantastic our local theatre scene is, the please do contact Associate Producer Alana Lowe. Her email address is: alana.sftheaterfestival@gmail.com.

And if you can't volunteer, but know friends that would like to, please forward this email and information to them!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Big BIG news!!!

I've introduced you before to 42nd St. Moon Managing Director Lauren Hewitt and mentioned her hard work on submitting a full proposal to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for an arts grant.

Well Lauren delivered some great news the other day, and I'm going to relay it to you in her very own words:

"It took three years of cultivating, long-range planning, proposal writing, and financial scrutiny, but we finally did it; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation have at last funded us.

Remember several months ago I told you that we had been invited by the Hewlett Foundation to submit for funding - a very competitive and involved process? Back then; we were one of only two performing arts groups invited to apply for the 2005-06 year.

Foundation funding for the arts remains competitive these days. For our company to be chosen out of probably hundreds of letters of intent to be invited to submit a full proposal was quite an exploit! So, over the last few months we have submitted a lengthy and involved proposal based on what The Foundation calls a "Causal Model." A core group of individuals, including Greg, Stephanie, board member Art Ferranti, and I met with Program Officer John McGuirk at the Foundation's Offices in Menlo Park. After that, we made sure to keep John aware of all our accomplishments, sent him reviews, etc.

Two days ago John gave me a call to let me know that the Hewlett Foundation's board of directors had voted to include 42nd Street Moon in there portfolio of arts organizations that they will fund for 2005-06.

For a San Francisco Bay Area performing arts organization, funding from Hewlett signifies a "step-up" to organizational maturity and in most cases results in multiple year funding based on the size of the company's operating budget. That's not always the case, but this foundation is known for long-term support of worthy performing arts organizations. We'll have to work hard this year to increase our organization capacity and to implement utmost care in our business practices, but really this is a significant transition for us, and we welcome the challenge.

In retrospect, I don't think that we could have actually applied the causal model structure to our proposal had we not gone through an in earnest long-range planning process with our staff and board of directors last year. When I wrote the Hewlett proposal I based the causal model on our long-range plan, which made writing the proposal a much more fluid process than most.

Other people are "nutty" for performing, or sports, or whatever their passion may be. Me? I'm so totally passionate over Organizational Development that this development with The Hewlett Foundation has me on cloud nine. I'm trying NOT to be puffed-up with pride, but dang! This is really, really big for us and I'm so happy and proud of 42nd Street Moon, our board, staff and artists that I could just pop!

Our little company has a heck of a lot of heart. We deserve this nod from a major arts funder, and I thought our blog readership would want to know about it as well.
"

Lauren told me to edit as I saw fit for the blog, and despite its length I decided I didn't need to edit it at all.

After 10 years this is a theatre company that's still growing and stretching and aiming high! Congratulations to Lauren and the entire 42nd St. Moon team that made this happen.

Station break...mmmm...Chris Cooper

I interrupt these usual 42nd St. Moon musings to bring you a special alert.

Chris Cooper will be workshopping the new play from John Patrick Shanley (of the Tony and Pulitzer-prize winning Doubt.) Shanley is hot, hot, hot after the success of Doubt, and Chris Cooper is, well, hot, hot, hot too.

Chris Cooper is dreamy in a stoic manly Sam Shepard-y, Ed Harris-y way. But damn, he is unphotogenic! I couldn't find a shot from either Matewan or Lone Star. So, here is the best picture of him I could find, and it just doesn't do him justice.

Those Vassar girls have all the luck!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Moon Mattress Transported

Well, not every aspect of our production of Once Upon a Mattress trasnferred over to the recently opened Music Theatre of Wichits production of the show.

In fact only two elements made the trip, director Wayne Bryan and our silent King, Don Cima!

And it looks like they're a hit.

Check out the review in the Wichita Eagle.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Moonie out in the world: Lisa Houston

Lisa Houston, last seen in last year's Season Opener The Cabaret Girl is giving a concert, and I've got the deets:

Friday July 15th, 8:00 PM
St. Joseph's
Berkeley, CA
w/Guest Artist Baritone Leland Morine
Daniel Lockert accompanying

Sounds like a lovely summer evening.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A nice little unsolicited plug for 42nd St. Moon

There's a new blog in town, one that covers the world around the San Francisco Civic Center...now that's focusing on a beat!

Michael Strickland is the blogger, and he is a regular reader of (and sometime commenter on) this blog.

He went and saw a performance I had actually been considering seeing myself, the double bill of Of Thee I Sing and Let 'em Eat Cake at the SF Symphony.

One of the stars was Marin Mazzie, and I am the world's laziest stalker and do like to go see her when she is my neck of the woods. But time escaped me, as it so often does.

Michael actually wasn't too fond of the show, and one of his complaints was that most Broadway theatres are quite petite compared to the Symphony House, and it just didn't work with a 100-person chorus and all the large-scale required to put the show into that space.

Michael would much rather, it turns out, see 42nd St. Moon tackle these shows!

Check out his post, accompanied by several pretty pictures.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

More scoop

Greg appreciated my disappointment at being scooped by Russ, so he gave me some scoop of my own:

First of all, Russ didn't reveal his role, so I will. He’s playing a flamboyant decorator named Reynaldo Descanso, who has a very funny scene where he is hired to re-do Pinkle’s jail cell.

Scoop #2: Pinkle is the Jimmy Durante role, and it's being played for us by Kalon Thibodeaux, who was Harpo in Minnie's Boys and one of the Dromios in Syracuse.

Scoop #3: More casting for Red, Hot & Blue: Deidre O’Neil, who played Marty in the last Broadway revival of Grease, is playing Peaches LaFleur, an ex-con who is currently working as a maid for Nails O’Reilly Duquesne (Klea Blackhurst in the Merman role). Peaches has a "thing" for Nails’ lawyer, Bob Hale (Steve Rhyne in the Bob Hope role). Also: Michael Patrick Gaffney is playing "Fingers," another ex-con who is hired as Mrs. Duquesne’s butler. He has an affair with New York’s most "perennial" debutante, Miss Vivian Schuyler (still uncast.)

And Big Scoop #4: Craig Jessup will be doing double-duty for us, playing newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett in Miss Liberty and then moving on to the star role of "Sir" in Roar of the Greasepaint.

Ha! Hand is once again mine! (as in "upper"...as in that Seinfeld episode? Anyone still with me?)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Speaking of Russ...

He's singing as part of a master class on Cabaret singing at a new cabaret space in the City at the Hotel Majestic. It's right in the Union Square area, very convenient. And it's only $5 to see 12 Bay Area cabaret artists test out the new space.

Deets:
Cabfab! A Confabulation for Singers
Saturday August 6th
7:30PM
Cafe Majestic
1500 Sutter Street
415-441-1100
$5 cover
Full bar available

This reminds me of a story...one that I'm not sure Russ will appreciate being associated with this particular evening, but nonetheless, here goes: When I lived in NY I went to mucho cabaret since I was an aspiring cabaret artist myself. (Yes, I keep thinking I should return to it...perhaps if they open a beautiful cabaret space like the Majestic somewhere in the South Bay I will finally get off my butt and do so.) Anyway, I had a friend perform in an evening such as Cabfab! And she was one of the last ones, and it was also a full bar situation, and I drank many vodka tonics and ate many salty disgusting bar snacks...and then rode a very bumpy, swaying subway home for 40 minutes to Queens.

Um. Not a good result, let's just say that.

I was younger and stupider then, so let me just advise you all: 12 singers, full bar...pace yourselves!!!

But go. Russ will appreciate having some friendly Moonie faces in the crowd.

Are you going to be the one who says "no" to this friendly face?


A Moonie with a site...he needs to blog I think!

Moonie Russ Lorenson (Minnie's Boys) has his own web site where he breaks the news that he's been cast in our season opener, Red, Hot & Blue.

I've been scooped!!!

I guess it's OK when it's by the actual horse's mouth.

Anyway all these (well, OK, two so far) Moonies with sites ought to leap into the blogging fray, don't you think?

Anyway, congrats to Russ. I'm sure more casting will begin trickling my way as we get closer to the start of work in earnest on the new season.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Klea's rockin' it with AC/DC!

OK, well not exactly, but close enough.

Klea's latest project was last week: a performance of a new musical Helen of Troy for one night only. And Brian Johnson from AC/DC is one of the composers and worked with the cast all week as they prepared for the performance. Eden Espinosa, Alice Ripley and Bruce Vilanch as Zeus starred.


According to Klea the evening was a "triumph." Composer Jerry Herman was in the house. Klea loved working with this group and the opportunity to sing "rock." If you saw her sing at the Gala and heard that big voice of hers, I'm sure you don't doubt she blew 'em away!

Here is a Broadway World article about the event from a few days before.

Pretty hip and cool!

Some local theatre reviews

From your favorite reviewer...moi :)

I have seen two rather prominent local productions in the last 8 days, Bebe Neuwirth in Here Lies Jenny, still running through this coming Sunday and AMT SJ's production of the Joel/Tharp collaboration, Movin' Out.

Reviews are posted at my Personal Blog.

Enjoy. (I know I did!)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A little bit of casting news

You already know Klea Blackhurst and Steve Rhyne are the romantic leads in Red, Hot and Blu. I can also now tell you who the romantic leads in Miss Liberty will be: David Curley and Lisa Peers are set for the leading roles
of Horace and Maisie.

Congrats guys!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Report from the Audition Trenches

Oh, I didn't mean to tease you by bringing up auditions and then not telling you any stories. So here are a few from Greg:

"We start callbacks today - so far, from the general auditions, to my surprise there are no "interesting" stories to tell. Some VERY good auditions, I would say a higher percentage of good auditions this time, which is great - and also, a lot of people who are on the money for roles in the two shows (RED HOT & LIBERTY) that we are casting.

The one thing I noted - and this is a constant, we've talked about this before - is the number of people who really did not have a lot of audition material prepared. We ask for a ballad and a character/comedy song (as opposed to ballad and uptempo) and we ask that it be "Golden Age" Broadway, but we specify that that can include Kander and Ebb, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman, Ragtime, Titanic - just not Lloyd Webber, Les Mis, Miss Saigon, that kind of thing.

Now, that would seem to be to be pretty wide parameters. Still, there are a lot of people who came in with just two ballads (not even the standard uptempo!) - and that was IT, I mean, they didn't have anything else they could do. Crazy - as I've said before, the best thing that can happen to you at an audition is that they like you and want to see more - why would you not be prepared to give them as much as possible?

One very smart young lady had just graduated from the Boston Conservatory. It was a requirement there that they prepare a binder that had around 20 different songs in it, in all sorts of categories - ballad, uptempo, comedy, contemporary, dramatic - I think she had 7 or 8 different categories, and four or five songs in each (some songs fit two or three categories, of course). And she was prepared to sing any of them! (We asked her for three I think). Now THAT'S someone who is prepared!
"

This story reminded me of my days in NY. As I told Greg I still have all my binders still from back then. I had a standard Broadway binder (actually two) with songs alphabetized. Then I had my more contemporary styled songs in a different binder, alphabetized.

I also, get this, had an index card box. Every theatre/group I auditioned for I would record the date, what I wore, who saw me, what I performed and the result. If they liked what I did, I tried to wear similar clothing the next time, In fact often if I was called back I tried to wear the same clothes! I mean most of these were people seeing hundreds of auditioners a day, so anything to remind them you were that girl they liked.

I guess today it would be easier to track on a computer :)

Innovative version of Sweeney Todd returns to Broadway

Cross-posted from the Foothill Music Theatre blog (since we were talking about Moonies singing Sondheim and all.)

BlogwayBaby alerts me to the return of Sweeney Todd to the Broadway stage, this time in the acclaimed London version that featured a cast of nine who played all the instruments themselves!

I know folks who saw this production in London and loved it.

Of course the Broadway version has a couple of Broadway stars at the helm: Patti LuPone as Mrs. Lovett and Michael Cerveris as Sweeney. Having seen them both in Passion on TV recently I can say that LuPone as Lovett should be fantastic...she is still a powerhouse. I'm having a teensy bit of trouble seeing Cerveris as Sweeney myself. That may be because the only time I've seen him live on stage he was playing Tommy in Tommy 12 years ago.

I wonder if the Lovett & Sweeney actually played instruments in the London version?

And if so, I wonder if LuPone and Cerveris will...or if the remaining 7 cast members will be carrying even more of the orchestral load!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

No rest for the wicked

Well, the gala was May 23rd, and I knew auditions for the 2005-06 season started about 2 weeks later, so I asked Greg what he did in this "vacation" period between the two events.

Heh heh, vacation! That's a good one. Here's what Greg did during his Spring vacation:

"We had about two weeks between the gala and auditions. The time was spent preparing for auditions - deciding exactly what we needed for the two shows in question (RED HOT & LIBERTY), deciding which scenes we wanted to use as sides, etc, if there were any songs we needed to specifically hear, etc."

Maybe he'll get a break after the first two shows are cast?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

SF goes Berlin

I think I've mentioned before that 42nd St. Moon is doing Miss Liberty as part of an Irving Berlin celebration being hosted by the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum starting in July and extending through December.

Here's the SFPALM web page on the exhibition; the grand opening is July 26th. Check it out.

UDPATED: Moonies singing Sondheim to be delayed

UPDATE: I received a note from the producer of this event that their venue has fallen through, so they are looking for another venue, and will likely move the date. You can still contact them via to get more info at the email below.

Here was the original post about what the show was going to entail. Again, if you want to be kept in the loop, email the producers:

ORIGINAL POST:
===============================
Unless Greg & Stephanie decide to mount Anyone Can Whistle it's doubtful 42nd St Moon will be tackling Sondheim any time soon. (Oh, BTW: Greg...I played Fay 7 years ago, and I think you could do wonders with Whistle!)

You can, however, see Moonies singing Sondheim at a special benefit for Women4Women:

Simply Sondheim

Musical Direction is by our own fabulous Dave Dobrusky

And the Moonies involved include: Amy Dondy, Cindy Goldfield, Kelly Ground, Scrumbly Koldewyn, Stephanie Rhoads and Steve Rhyne. NOt only that, Andrea Marcovicci is a gues star.

Tickets go on sale on June 7th and range from $60-$150

If you'd like more information email: a-jproductions@sbcglobal.net
===============================

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Moonie Nancy Dobbs Owen in a Benefit Performance

Don't miss Moonie Nancy Dobbs Owen and Jennifer Fagundes in a benefit performance for Theatre Bay Area's Lemonade Fund.

It's Monday June 27th at 8PM. (Why are benefits always on Monday night? I guess because theatres are dark then.)
It plays at the Playhouse at 536 Sutter Street in San Francisco.

it's a teeny-tiny $25 suggested donation.

If you're interested, and who isn't, then call: 415-298-3433 or email: reserve@nancydobbsowen.com

Oh, and Nancy's cool jewelry will be on sale in the lobby at 30% off, with all proceeds also benefitting the Lemonade Fund.

Not the jewelry she owns, silly, the jewelry she designs!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

42nd St. Moon to perform at the SF Theatre Festival

For one day (July 24th) the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco will be overtaken by...gasp, run hide!...theatre people!

Lock up your nubile daughters, padlock your pantries, thoe disreputable theatre folk are on the loose.

Oh, sorry...I was back in medieval times there for a moment.

The San Francisco Theatre Festival will feature over 60 theatre groups, including 42nd St. Moon over the course of the day.

Here's their site. Updates will be regular throughout the next month, I'm sure.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Get notified when Klea's new CD comes out

At the Ghostlight Records site.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wow, a little A.C.T. controversy

Although San Francisco has a thriving theatre community, featuring theatres large and small, traditional and experimental, heavy on the drama and focused on Classic Musicals, we don't really get news like this very often:

ACT's planned production of King Lear starring James Cromwell ("That'll do"-man from Babe and recently going bonkers on Six Feet Under) has been cancelled due to "artistic differences."

That must be a blow to them. He's worked there before, and as artistic director Carey Perloff said, she and Cromwell have been discussing the production for two years, but suddenly discovered their visions had taken them in divergent directions.

I'm betting ACT is really, really wishing that discovery had taken place a teensy bit earlier...like before the season was announced with fanfare, and the brochures printed and distributed.
File this under Things That Make You Go Hmmmm....

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

So why the season schedule change?

So I feel like I've blogged about this before, but couldn't find the post, so here's the explanation:

42nd St. Moon used to do more of a year-long season, rather than the Fall through Spring season they've now adopted.

But as a non-profit who relies heavily on foundation and donation support, 42nd St. Moon was finding that the year-long season schedule didn't mesh well with Foundations' funding schedule. And for most non-profits making it through a year is very reliant on smart budgeting and planning. This lack of synchronization between funding needs and funding opportunities was making it tougher to budget and plan.

So we've migrated, and last year was the transitional year.

There, don't you feel like you just got a little window into what goes on beyond all the sequins and glamor on the 42nd St. Moon stage?

Monday, June 06, 2005

My take on the Tony Awards

Oh, not on the shows and whether those who deserved to win, won. I haven't seen a single nominated show.

No, just my take on the actual awards show...that's over at my Personal Blog.

Stephanie stars in new opera workshop

This one sounds fascinating...and definitely gives you a shot to see Stephanie in something different than 42nd St. Moon fare.

Juana is a workshop production of the recently completed libretto by Carla Lucero and Alicia Gaspar de Alba.

Based on the life of Mexico’s (in)famous poet, proto-feminist and philosopher, 17th Century lesbian nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Juana is a lyrical and tragic opera on the destruction of a genius at the hands of the Spanish inquisition.

The libretto includes Sor Juana’s original romantic love poetry written to another woman. This reading is a great opportunity to hear the text in English before its translated into Spanish and is set to music.

Juana stars Stephanie Rhoads and Adelina Anthony and is performing for one afternoon only as follows:
at SomArts
Sunday, June 19, 2 p.m.
Tickets $10, $5-students, seniors, or disabled.
Tickets: www.queerculturalcenter.org

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Speaking of "Pippin"

Pippin doesn't exactly qualify as a "Lost" musical, but it's not done on a hyper-regular schedule either. So I do find it kind of coincidental that no less than a week after I mention (and post a photo of) original Fastrada Leland Palmer, now Linda Posner, in the blog, Playbill.com announces a summer production of Pippin on Long Island. The kicker is the cast: B.D. Wong playing the Leading Player and Karen Ziemba playing Fastrada!

Karen Ziemba as Fastrada seems like a V8 moment...of course! She'd be perfect.

Wong as Leading Player? That's some interesting casting.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I've been corrected by many on pictures on the home page

So when I reminded people to check out the new pictures on the home page, I said that one of the shots looked like it was not from this past season.

Believe me Moonies know their theatre. I got emailed by at least three people (not all of whom were Greg) telling me that, no, actually last season was a weird extended season that did not start in the fall like I thought, but earlier in the year.

So all the photos were indeed from last season.

It's a whole other story to tell you why 42nd St Moon changed season schedules. I'll save that for another time.

But as I said to one emailer:

"What? You mean 42nd St Moon even existed before I, their blogger, came on board??? Shocking!"

Another Blog Scoop: 1st look at Red, Hot & Blue

Here are a couple of the publicity shots from Red, Hot & Blue. As Greg pointed out to me, I am the first to get my grubby hands on these...they're not even up on our web site yet.

Here's Klea, Steve Rhyne and Kalon (in what is obviously a comic relief role, no?)



And here's Klea...or given this shot I think I should say, "Heeeeeeeere's KLEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Moonie out in the world: Tielle Baker

Our lovely Luciana from The Boys from Syracuse is already opening her next show...tomorrow!

She'll be in a production of Baby at Playhouse West.

I must admit to having a soft spot for this show. There are just a ton of great songs in a light Broadway pop style. This show was Liz Calloway's break-through, and I still can't understand how she didn't go on to be a regular Broadway presence.

Anyway, I think Baby is a charming show with a fun score, and unlike many a show out there I don't mind seeing it eveyr time I have a buddy in it! (As opposed to, say, The Music Man which I will apologize in advance for saying: I never need to see again!)

Check it out.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Duly noted...

So I have been informed that Reba McEntire can act.

Let me just freely admit I was being unfairly biased against Reba's "golly, gee" country singer persona, and the truth is I've never seen her act in anything, not her TV show, not Annie Get Your Gun...nothing.

So sorry, Reba fans, I will lay off and make no more dismissive comments :)

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