Monday, October 31, 2005

UPDATED: It's like this blogger is psychic

UPDATED: In keeping with Halloween somehow this entire post, which I swear I wrote and published, has disappeared.

Basically, if I remember my own pithiness properly, I was pointing you, once again to the blog Something Old, Something New, where blogger Jaime incudes some lyrics from a Do I Hear a Waltz?, and adds some commentary on them.

Since Jaime also mentioned The Golden Apple a couple of weeks ago, that's mentioning 2 of our next 4 shows within a mere couple of weeks.

Like I said, psychic.


Some corrections and some hints from Greg

Got a cryptic little email from Greg last night.

First he rightly clarified that Miss Liberty's official Opening Night was Saturday the 29th, and Friday the 28th (Statue of LIberty Day) was actually the final preview.

"Unfortunately, we didn't open on "Liberty Day." Art's right, the Statue of Liberty was unveiled on October 28th, 1886 -- but we opened on Saturday, October 29th, one day later than the 119th anniversary. We were indeed performing on Friday the 28th (to our second wildly enthusiastic audience in a row, I might add, immodestly), but alas, it was just a regular preview. But the confluence of dates was entirely coincidental. I had of course read about the opening, but the date didn't even "stick" in regards to our production until Art's email."

Then he questioned my attribution of a Southern drawl to him:

"And by my "slight Southern drawl," I assume you mean Southern California drawl? The closest I have ever gotten to the official "South" is a one-hour stopover at the Atlanta Airport in 1981. (Well, I was born in Houston -- which is the Southwest, not South -- but having left there at the tender age of 10 months, I don't think I acquired much of an accent before departing for SoCal -- only enough to pronounce mirror as "mirr-uh.""

Color my face red, but I swear sometimes he sounds a little Southern! Am I smoking crack...does anyone else out there agree with me?? (Hey, Greg-are your parents Southern? Cause maybe you picked up a little something from 'em. My mom was raised in NY, and even though I'm a born and raised Northern California people often think I'm from New York.)

But moving on from all of this correction and clarification, let's get right to the hints:

"There is a real possibility of more exciting guest star news (besides Klea in Do I Hear a Waltz?) for next season, as well as a probable return to George and Ira Gershwin (missing from our stage since 2000's Funny Face). And one possible show might be a real drag.

Have I said too much? There's nothing more I can think of to say to you... (no, that's not a hint).

OK, well if that's not a hint, then that leaves out Evita, hardly a rarely-produced production.

Hmmm. Drag. Well, La Cage doesn't qualify as rarely-performed either, but I imagine Sugar might. (Musical version of Some Like It Hot.)

Any other guesses?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Did you know we opened "Miss Liberty" on Statue of Liberty Day?

According to one of the 42nd St. Moon Board Memebers, Art Ferranti:

"A coincidental piece of trivia for you. Our official opening night" of Miss Liberty is Statue of Liberty day! Oct 28, 1883 was the official opening and dedication.

Check out this site for details.

I am pretty sure there is no way that was planned...just a fun little coincidence. Along with this trivia Art could not resist offering his own (again, totally unbiased, just like Annette) review:

"I attended the final, full rehearsal of the show Wednesday night (going again Sunday). It is a wonderful, touching, funny show with great songs and a decent plot. In case you didn't know, it is loosely based on an actual incident, a poor peasant girl gets mistaken as the model for the Statue of Liberty just prior to the monument's unveiling. 'Complications', as they say, 'ensue.'

The cast is incredible -- one of the best we've had -- their voices are amazing and the choreography/dancing is superb. There's a nice love story, a few political barbs from the time that hold up even today, and, in the end, there is an understated, gentle patriotism to what America should really embody that kind of catches you in your throat. You definitely will leave smiling. It is a wonderful show to follow RH&B because it is so different.

I think Art has a 2nd career as a theatre critic, that was a very lovely and evocative review!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Irving Berlin is everywhere has a feature on SF Mayor Gavin Newsom declaring the week of November 7th "Irving Berlin Week" in San Francisco, which of course mentions our production of Miss Liberty.

The article also mentions the next big event that is part of the SF Perforaming Arts Library & Museum's Berlin celebration, the Irving Berlin sing-along on Monday november 14th, which features performances by the cast of Miss Liberty, and Greg participating in a panel discussion.

But only intrepid Annette can fill you in that:

"There is a full-page ad about this event running in the MISS LIBERTY program that offers a
discount, but if they want the discount, they'll have to come see the show and use the ad in the program!!

More motivation to see Miss Liberty!

Greg thinks I'm very silly indeed... think that he was responsible for the lovely pictures he sent me. As he puts it:

"Honey, I barely have the talent to pull off the crappy little Kodak-throwaway-camera rehearsal shots I send you -- I could never come up with the kind of professional, artistically done performance shots that David Allen does. And -- hello! -- I have other things to do (like watch the show and take notes) during dress rehearsal. I never intended to represent those shots as being mine -- they're done for press/archival purposes, and I was just sending along some of the best."

If you've never met Greg, let me fill you in: I am sure that was said with his slight Southern drawl and a rueful grin :)

And he sent me another wonderful David Allen shot, as Greg calls it: the "titular shot" from Miss Liberty:

Featuring Nina Josephs and Mark Messersmith

Friday, October 28, 2005

Thanks to David Allen

I assumed that Greg was the photographer behind yesterday's gallery of dress rehearsal shots, but a little bird (which is always intrepid Annette) informs me that the photographer was actually David Allen.

Thanks David!

As is often the case, Annette provides our very first (completely unbiased) review of Miss Liberty:

"Nina Josephs is luminous, David Curley is great as always, Lisa Peers is wonderful as Maisie Dell... and Mike Figueira has made the stage look great and Amy Cole has once again done great work with the costumes... it's a very different show from RED HOT, but a lovely story and score."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miss Liberty starts performances tonight...check out some dress rehearsal photos

Have you gotten your tickets yet? With the 20% blog readers discount, but of course!

Well performances start tonight, and Greg was kind enough to send me some shots from their dress rehearsals:

Here's the lovely and winsome Nina Josephs, our ingenue, greeted by the cast of "Miss Liberty."

Here are the perky and spunky David Curley and Lisa Peers, singing "I'd Like my Picture Took."

Here's the regal Christine Macomber having a diva moment:

And here's our charming couple, Nina Josephs and David Curley:

Now, doesn't that look like charming, wholesome entertainment designed to leave you with a smile on your face?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Klea to the rescue!

Thanks to Moonie Russ Lorenson for sending me this link. Seems that Klea is jumping in to replace a Broadway leading lady in a new Off-Broadway show. That's show biz folks!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Big news on 2006-2007 Season from Greg!

A ha! I guessed right about why The Light in the Piazza had a connection to next season, although not actually for the reason Greg was thinking. I went for the obvious, but bcause he is much more of a theatre scholar, he was thinking of an even more obscure connection.

But here, I'll let him tell you:

"Because it is now "official," I can give you the full story on the opening show of our next (2006-07, our 14th!) season. Klea Blackhurst will be coming back to star in Do I Hear a Waltz? for us, opening in July. Of course, we're thrilled that Klea is going to be with us again, and in such a very different (from Red Hot and Blue!) show.

As to how Light in the Piazza is pertinent to Waltz, there is the surface resemblance, certainly -- Piazza set in Florence in the 1950s, Waltz set in Venice in the 1960s. It's certainly possible to see a certain vague similarity -- both musically and dramatically -- in the way the shows tell their very different stories.

[Editor's note: yes, thanks Greg, I certainly am "surface" and "vague" ;)]

"What's really interesting, though, is that [Piazza composer] Adam Guettel's mother was pregnant with him during the period that his grandfather, Richard Rodgers, was creating Do I Hear a Waltz?. (Waltz opened on Broadway shortly after Guettel was born). More than one article on Adam Guettel has commented on this fact, and Guettel himself notes that it is an intriguing thought: 'There are those who theorize that music heard neo-natally penetrates the womb, but I'll leave this discussion to the theoreticians.'

In any event, if I were forced at gunpoint to choose a favorite -- just one! -- among the nearly eighty shows we've done so far, Do I Hear a Waltz? would probably be it; I know it's one of Stephanie's favorites as well. It will be eight years since we did it originally, and we felt the time was right to bring it back in an all-new production, especially with such a luminous guest star leading the cast.

As for the rest of our 06-07 season -- more to come! There is likely to be one other repeat from long ago (my second all-time favorite show!) and a couple of what we like to call "wild card" choices, shows that are really unexpected, even from us.

Intrigued? I am. But how exciting to know that Klea, who got such rave reviews this month (including from me) is already signed on for next year!

Blogger waxes rhapsodic over The Golden Apple

The last thing I expected was to see any other blogger out there mentioning The Golden Apple, our Spring Season opener, and a very rare bird indeed.

But Something Old, Something New does write often about culture from decades past, obscure and non-obscure.

This time blogger Jaime quotes the lyrics from one of the Golden Apple songs, Whereever we went, they loved us.

Getting political for a moment, don't this song's lyrics seem eerily reminiscent of the whole "greeted with flowers" vs. vicious insrugency disconnect in Iraq?

That's what I love about the "classic" (and some would say old-fashioned) works that 42nd St. Moon focuses on. They're often timeless and timely.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A hint on next season already?

When Greg was urging me to see The Light in the Piazza, he made the following comment:

"Besides the fact that it's a fabulous show, it's rather pertinent in a certain way to a show we're doing next season -- and yes, you can quote me on that."

Now, if we assume "next season" means 2006-2007, then let the guessing begin.

As I recall there is a show set in Italy, where a woman goes and falls for an Italian gentleman. 42nd St. Moon has done it before, and it starred Marsha Mercant, but I can't say I'm sure which show it was...could it have been Do I Hear a Waltz?

Any other guesses?

My review of the national tour of "Little Women"

Is here.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

David also sent rehearsal pics

Also from David yesterday...

"Mark and I recently bought a digital camera. We had been meaning to bring it to rehearsals but kept forgetting. Finally we remembered yesterday, and we both snapped some shots. Some of them are blurry…we tried to not use the flash so we wouldn’t disturb the rehearsal."

Here are a few to whet your appetite for the show:

Obviously the show is fun and romantic, as you can tell from this shot of rehearsals for a number entitled Me & My Bundle:

Sorry, David, but all I can think when I see this shot is..."jazzzz hands!!!"

Is that so wrong?

Last, for now, here's a shot of the lovely and talented Chris Macomber, looking every inch the Countess:

Stay tuned for more...

With Liberty's Opening only days away...

A nice report from Miss Liberty's leading man, David Curley:

"I have been meaning and intending to write something about MISS LIBERTY for the blog since the first day of rehearsal…but having just come off a show at San Jose Rep the day before we started, and trying to keep my parents entertained who were visiting from Michigan…not to mention trying to learn a whole bunch of harmonies that are much more complex than I would have imagined for Irving Berlin…well…umm…well here I am now…

I’m so happy to be part of this show and part of the larger Irving Berlin celebration. I was one of those people who thought he only liked contemporary musical theatre…never really giving these older shows a chance. Working at 42nd Street Moon has changed that forever. It’s always a plus to rid oneself of ignorance.

I love the economy of MISS LIBERTY. It doesn’t wear out its welcome. The first act is shorter than most musicals…and the 2nd act flies by. As a theatre-goer I sometimes just want the show to be done…and I’m really glad to be part of a show that probably won’t affect anyone like that (even overly-critical ME, if I was in the audience).

It’s also great to do a show again with my partner Mark Messersmith. We met almost 4 years ago doing SHE LOVES ME at Foothill…and then did FIDDLER ON THE ROOF together at SDG…but nothing after that...and since we’re both Equity now, it’s even more impossible to hope to do something together. So this is a rare treat. 42nd Street Moon has become a familial part of my life, and I love that Mark is now included in that part of my life as well.

I know exactly what David means about "economy." My back isn't always the best, so often sitting in a theatre seat, in one position, gets uncomfortable. I can always judge the quality of a work by how many times I check my watch. If an entire act can fly by without my checking, it means either the act was really really good, or really really short. Sounds like Miss Liberty will do me and my back a favor and be both!!

Advice for actors

Joshua James has written a very long and very funny post advising actors on how not to be a jerk, no-talent, annoying actor that never gets work because the word spreads.

I cannot do it justice, you simply must read it.

Now granted, actors at 42nd St. Moon are not going to be working with the playwrights. But I think much of Joshua's advice is more universal than that. I would also like to add something building on what one of Joshua's commenters said. Joshue makes a point of noting how one should respect the protocol of who gives who advice and notes.

As one of his commenters points out: actors should never give other actors notes, critiques, ine readings, suggestions.

I cannot agree more. It is so not our job. And, in fact, it is against Equity rules to do so. So next time some pompous, know-it-all actor takes it upon him or herself to tell you how to do your job, tell them to back off!

Oh, and if an actor is perverting either the lines or the staging in such a way that it is interfering with you doing your job and you feel something really must be said, take it up with the director if you are in rehearsals or alternatively, with the stage manager if you are already in performance.

I have done this, and it may seem like tattling, but it's not. It's the proper way to handle it.

Hat tip to SpearBearer Down Left for the link to Joshua's piece.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My "Light in the Piazza" review

Is up at my personal blog.

Enjoy. (I certainly did.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

OK OK I heard you!

Your advice was loud and clear. So, yes, I saw "The Light in the Piazza" yesterday.

Full review will have to wait until my return, but I will say this: it was lovely to hear legitimate singing and real songs.

Thanks everyone.

These words brought to you by Ogo. Find out more at

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Off to NYC...1 show to see...what should it be?

OK, the purpose of this post is two-fold:

1. I'm off to NYC for five days, so there will be minimal blogging, if at all untl Thursday. Yes, I could try that new-fnagled moblogging thing. And I will be at a blogging conference, so I should probably try it and be one of the cool kids. But I'm not promising anything.

2. My only free time time to see a show is the Sunday matinee tomorrow. So, the all-important question is: what do you suggest?

Friday, October 14, 2005

A peek at Klea's Concert, and what's next for Klea

Klea's concert last Tuesday was a rousing success, complete with standing ovation.

This pic gives you a feel for the festive atmosphere, which the Trader Vic mai-tais may have contributed to:

And here's the woman of the hour, with musical director Michael Rice, and longtim Moon friend Bob Grimes, who has thelargest sheet music collection on earth, and gave Klea so much help with the Vernon Duke album thatit's dedicated to him!

Up next for Klea is the 16th Annual New York Cabaret Convention, this year moved uptown to Lincoln Center. The Convention actually starts a mere day after Red Hot and Blue! closes, but luckily Klea isn't on until the closing concert on Sunday the 23rd.

Sounds fabu, and I'm actually in NY next week, but unfortunately on business, not pleasure.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

It's not all glamor, people!

Some backstage shots from the soon-to-close Red Hot and Blue! illustrate that it's not all glamor.

It's a co-ed backstage, and it's where all the magic happens, from harmless primping...

To tooth brushing...

To script-studying...

To, well, I have no idea what this is...

Is it everything you dreamed it would be?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Good for you, Liz Phair!

The intrepid Annette noticed recently that indie rock diva Liz Phair is included in the Gap's recent "Favorites" campaign. That's the one where current stars name their favorite songs.

I like the ads because they all happen to pick songs I really like by artists I really like.

So far only in print, not TV, you can find Liz Phair picking the sole American Standard in the campaign, and it's...drum roll please...Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin.

Beach Boys, Seal, Bob Marley, Elvis Costello...and Irving Berlin.

You go, Liz!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yet another rave RH&B review

Tom W. Kelly of the San Francisco Bay Times appreciates Red Hot and Blue!'s frothy charms in this glowing review of the show and just about everyone in it.Key excerpt:

"Lighter than air… no, lighter than hydrogen, Red Hot & Blue! still manages to please audiences with its silly naivete and a few sweet songs. Throw in a talented cast with this production by 42nd Street Moon and enjoy a light-hearted good time, nostalgic for a world that never really existed."

The blog gets profiled

Every month the Diva Marketer herself, Toby Bloomberg, posts a profile of a business blog...exploring why and how the business blogs.

Well, this month I am proud to say that 42nd St. Moon has become the first arts organization featured in Toby's monthly Biz Blog Profile series.

Toby clearly not only relied on email exchanges with me, but reviewed both this blog and the 42nd St. Moon web site to gather info on the theatre and the blog. She did a great job.

Toby is a real blogging guru, so consider yourselves famous, blog readers and participants!

Thanks, Toby!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Greg always answers my blog questions...

After reading the Talkin Broadway RH&B review I wondered aloud if it had really been a year since Steve Rhyne had graced the stage.

No, Greg tells me...make that two years:

"Re: Richard Connema's comment -- which you quoted -- about Steve Rhyne being gone for a year, actually it's been exactly two years since Steve last graced our stage (as the star of "Oh, Captain!") -- though he did appear in this year's Gala. The reason for his absence is that he had a new job at the time that required lots of travel, so he took a break from performing."

I know that story. Only for me it's been 6 years!

The Fall Season so far...and who wants to name our next promotion code?

In case you've lost track, here's where we are with the 42nd St. Moon fall season:

The current hot hit Red Hot and Blue! has one more weekend to go and is a definite not-to-miss. Get 20% off by using the code REDHOT.

RHB star Klea Blackhurst is performing tomorrow night at the Eureka in a benefit for 42nd St. Moon. After seeing (and hearing her) this past weekend in RHB I can vouch for this being another not-to-miss event.

The 2nd show of the Fall Season is Irving Berlin's Miss Liberty. It's in rehearsal, and it starts preview on October 27th, a mere 11 days after RHB closes. You can also get 20% off on Miss Liberty by using the code MISSLIB.

Those show discount codes are only good via phone at 415-978-2787 or by walking up to the Yerba Buena Center box office window. (And they exclude Sunday matinees.)

The third show of the Fall Season is The Roar of the Greasepaint..., and here's an idea: how about one of you come up with a more creative promotion code for us? I know REDHOT and MISSLIB aren't exactly molto creativo, and if left to me I'll probably name the code for The Roar of the Greasepaint...wait for it...ROAR. I'm open to something more obscure, more esoteric, more punny.

Any brilliant ideas?

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Yes, it's here...My Review

Yes, I have heard the clamor ;)

OK. I got one email asking where my review of Red Hot and Blue! was. That's a clamor in my book.

So here it is


Theatre blogging catching on!

Hey, maybe theatre blogging is catching on. You'll notice I've added a few more to the side bar, namely:

Mirror Up To Nature, by a Boston-based theatre person; Spearbearer Down Left, by a San Diego-based theatre person and Theatre Ideas by a North Carolina-based theatre person.

These bloggers are way more philosophical than I am, and I look forward to subscribing to them all...and hopefully joining in on the conversation when I get a chance.

You should too.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Some tix still left for Klea's Benefit Concert

If you've been dilly-dallying, now is the time to get your tix for Klea Blackhurst's one-night-only benefit concert for 42nd St. Moon:

WHEN: Tuesday October 11th (yes, this Tuesday)
WHERE: Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street (betw. Battery & Front), SF
TIME: 6:30 - appetizers & cocktails served by Trader Vic's; 8:00 PM show
HOW MUCH: $75 each ($50 is tax deductible)

All the details are here.

Excellent RH&B Review on Talkin' Broadway

Yes, yes, I know I have not yet seen or reviewed Red Hot and Blue!. I'm going tonight, OK?!

In the meantime, read Richard Connema's rave on Talkin' Broadway.

Key excerpt:

"Klea Blackhurst stars in the flashy Ethel Merman role. Her powerhouse voice matches the great Merman as the rich widow "Nails" O'Reilly Duquesne. She brings down the house in "It's DeLovely," "You're a Bad Influence on Me" and "Red Hot and Blue!". Her "Down in the Depths on the 90th Floor" is soulfully rendered. She is delightful on the acting track with her wonderful malapropisms."

"Steve Rhyne, who has been absent from the stage for almost a year, is a welcome addition playing the romantic interest Bob Hale, Nail's lawyer. Bob Hope played the role in the original and Steve has that young Bob Hope quality about him. The chemistry between Klea and Steve is right on the mark. Steve has great vocal chops on the little known "You've Got Something" and his duet with Klea in "It's DeLovely" is pleasurable. Kalon Thibodeaux (Harpo in Minnie's Boys and Dromio in The Boys from Syracuse) returns to the Eureka Stage in the Durante role, Policy Pinkle. He is the king of puns; he must have over 100 puns during the two and a half hour production, and some of them are real groaners. This talented young man is becoming more and more like a young Lonny Price and is a great comedy asset to the production."

Steve, has it really been a year?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Moonie in the World: Anil's in Baby Taj

TheatreWorks' new hit, Baby Taj, features Moon regular Anil Margsahayam

Check him out:

New Blog in Blog Roll: Carl's Stuff To Do

Who is Carl? No idea. But he seems to go to a lot of theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he seems to be looking for friends to go with him.

Now maybe he just intends this blog to be a social planning tool for his friends? But then he shouldn't have made it public!

Visit Carl and say Hello

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

One more message from our touring Moonie

Moonie Milissa Carey was happy to share her "texodus" story, but she also wanted to mention that her company of Evita was in Cincinnati for the 2 weeks prior to heading down to Texas, and the company collected 30K there to donate to the Red Cross.

Every month when I get my Equity Newsletter there are photos of casts around the country mentioning how much they collected for charity. Usually it's for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, but I would imagine quite a few did some Hurricane Relief work over the last month.

Monday, October 03, 2005

UPDATED: "Miss Liberty" discount code ready to go!

Yes, Red Hot and Blue! is still running, but we're ready to start taking that bog reader's promotion code for Miss Liberty.

Here are the deets:

20% off all ticket levels
All performances, excluding Sunday matinees
Promotion Code: MISSLIB
Good for phone orders or walk-ups to the Yerba Buena Center box office window only

The show starts previews on Thursday October 27th, opens on Saturday October 29th and closes on November 13th. This one is a 3-week run only.

And again there will only be limited availability of the discounted tickets per performance. (Irving Berlin is nearly as big a draw as Cole Porter, plus there's lots of cross-promotion with the Berlin events at the SFPALM.

UPDATED: If you want a more colorful look at the details (and complete performance listing) go here. But don't forget to order via phone or walk-up to the YBC window using the code MISSLIB to get your 20% off.


Hot news: Miss Liberty casting complete!

Phew! Well, once and for all, we have a Countess confirmed and settled. From Greg:

"The Countess is "set"! Chris Macomber will be playing the part. Chris is perfect, and it gives us another major legit voice in the ensemble of this super-heavy harmony show."

You may remember Chris from last season's Minnie's Boys, as the put-upon landlady. She was a hoot!

So, the full cast starts rehearsal tonight, complete with Countess!

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