Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shots from Roar's Opening Night!

Got some great shots post-Opening Night on Saturday:

First, my interviewees Annie and Krisotpher, along with Craig Jessup ("Sir):

There is another younger actor in the show with Annie, and here she is with Caleb:

And finally 4 other folks in the show (note how the character names are so descriptive!)

Brandy Collazo ("The Girl), K.S. Haddock ("Urchin"), Brian Yates Sharber ("The Black Man") and Molly Anne Coogan ("Urchin")

Moonie in the world: Elsa Carmona

Not too many details at this time, but we hear that Elsa Carmona (Delila LaRue in Hooray for What!) has been cast in the production of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee to be opening at the Post Street Theatre in February.

Tickets are already on sale, and I, for one, won't miss it. It looked really fun at the Tony Awards last year. And part of the team who helped Groovelily with Striking 12 worked on this (and won Tony's for it!)

Now, what I'm thining is that this is the beginning of a National Tour, so Elsa joins Milissa and Anil as Moonies on National Tours, but I'm not positive.

Anyone else know more? (hint, hint.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Heading to DC? Have I got the theatre blog for you!

Wish I had found this blog before I headed off on my DC vacation.

DC Theatre Reviews features all thing theatre DC, which from the looks of it has a more thriving theatre community than I knew.

Anyway, they have been so kind as to add this blog to their blog roll, so I am going to do the same. If you're ever off to our nation's capital, this is the site to check out for local theatre info.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Oakland Trib on Kristopher McDowell

Nice piece on "Cocky" (aka Kristopher McDowell) by Chad Jones in the Oakland Trib.

It's half about the show and half about Kris' yoga practice and teaching work.

Congrats Kristopher!

Meet "The Kid": Annie Donahey

Despite what WC Fields might think we're working with a great kid in The Roar of the Greasepaint, Annie Donahey as "The Kid."

I got a chance to ask Annie some questions about her experience as a younger actor in a 42nd St. Moon production, and got some great responses from her. She's clearly already a pro:

"I have been performing for three years, since I was 9 years old. I saw "Phantom" on Broadway in August 2001. It was my first Broadway musical, and I was dazzled by it. I auditioned for "Annie" at Peninsula Youth Theatre, and I got the role of Mollie. Being on stage was such a thrill, I knew I had to keep doing it. I definitely want to pursue theatre as a career.

This is my second show for 42nd Street Moon. I was Honeylou in "Finian’s Rainbow." Being around professional actors was both exciting and inspiring. The adults were so inclusive, and I really enjoyed working with Greg MacKellan, the choreographer (and now Director of "Roar") Cindy Goldfield, and the director, Bonnie Hellman. I learned so much! I have done both children’s theatre (six plays) and adult theatre (four plays). I enjoy both, but I think I learn more from the adults.

I was a little curious, though, about where Annie lived and how her parents felt about her working with an adult theatre group, in San Francisco, no less. Given that Annie is younger than driving age, it's almost like there are two people with this time commitment, after all:

"I live in Los Altos, about an hour away. It is very stressful; if I can’t finish my homework before time to go to rehearsal, I have to do it in the car on the way up. Since I want to learn as much as I can, if they want me to stay late, I do. Some days I don’t get home until almost midnight. The next day I am really tired. My mom and dad definitely support me, but they are very concerned about how it takes time away from homework and school. But they are very proud of me when I do theatre and when I get good grades. So as long as I can get good grades while doing theatre, then they support me 100%."

That was my parents' condition when I did theatre in high school too. Bring home reasonable grades, and we will let you do what you want. Of course, they didn't have to drive my for 45 minutes to do so; I stayed pretty close to home. I think when you applaud Annie at the end of a Roar performance, perhaps a little of that applause goes to her parents!

Annie has a favorite Roar moment for you to look out for:

"My favorite "Roar" moment, and I am not in it, is in the song, “Where Would I Be?” with Sir and Cocky, where they finish each other’s sentences and not in the nicest way!"

Thanks for the interview sound wise beyond your years!

Friday, November 25, 2005

More details on Anil's National tour gig

Looks like we'll have to drive to Sacto to see Anil shake his booty in Bombay Dreams.

Here's the scoop from the horse's mouth:

"The closest I'm coming to San Francisco is Sacramento. I will definitely let you know. Maybe i can rent a bus and bus
people to Sac. hehe.

We hit a bunch of cities on the tour: Tucson, Costa Mesa, Columbus, Cleveland, St. Louis, Clearwater, Houston, maybe L.A., Dallas, Denver, Charlotte, Pittsburg, Atlanta, Toronto and Seattle. It is soo amazing.

We rehearse in NYC starting Jan 30th, preview in Tucson on Feb 18th and open the 21st in Costa Mesa. I'm so thrilled. The audition process was amazing and the role is to be determined. The Broadway people have to make their decisions first
before anything else happens. So I'm just waiting for role assignment. (BTW: The producers are actually Theatre under the Stars
of Atlanta.)

Sounds like a whirlwind!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cross-post from FMT-in case you're a Moon fan and a Renthead

Like Sweeney Todd, Rent is a show that 42nd St Moon will probably never perform (maybe in the year 2105?) But I'm figuring some of you are like me and interested in musicals both "classic" and modern:

As always the NY Times wins the award for most beautifully written review.

And Entertainment Weekly has done us the favor of compiling links to reviews from around the country, including the Merc's unfavorable one.

The most personal review: My brother and sister-in-law got to go to the movie premiere in New York last week. Their kids go to the same school as director Chris Columbus' kids, and every year he donates some movie-oriented prize to the annual school benefit. My sis-in-law bid on and won the package to go to the premiere (and the after-party.)

Their comments:

Bro: "I've never seen the show, but I would say the movie was very well done, around half the songs (mostly those that didn't rock out) are very good to great, and the plot was a bit meandering and didn't move me to anywhere near the extent rentheads generally seem to be moved. On the whole cast/age thing, I would say idina had the biggest "too old" issue. I'm hopeful that the collins/angel relationship may actually be palatable for middle america."

Sis-in-law: "I think the Tom/Angel relationship didn't ring true to me at all. At the beginning, it seemed satirical, as if they were making fun of it. I agree with the rest of your brother's comments."

But perhaps the most telling review of all: My sister-in-law has loaded a newly minted picture of herself with Jesse L. Martin at the after-party as her cell phone's new wallpaper!

Moonies in the World: Meg & Billy

If you're looking for somethin to do this long weekend, we just may have something:

Here's a note from Meg husband and musical partner, Billy Philadelphia:

"Meg and I are doing the West Coast Live radio program this Saturday, November 26, from 10 AM to 12 Noon on
KALW, 91.7 FM. (I think the show is also available on the web, but I'm not sure how that whole thing works. I can barely use email.)

If you'd like to be in the studio audience, you can reserve tickets at 415-664-9500 or at The show is broadcast from The Freight & Salvage Coffee House, 1111 Addison Street in Berkeley.

We'll be doing about 12-15 minutes of talk and tunes by Cole Porter, since our appearance on the air is to promote our new show, "A Little Cole in Your Stocking," at Aurora Theatre in Berkeley, December 21-23 and 28-30 (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday). The perfect holiday gift.

Hope you can listen this Saturday to 91.7 FM at 10AM.

A "Roar" Coinky-dink

Intrepid Annette informs me of this little coincidence:

Retro singer Michael Buble's new album, It's Time opens with none other than a Roar of the Greasepaint song. The song is "Feelin' Good", and in the show it's sung by Brian Yates Sharber.

There's a clip of it on the page for the album, so check it out. It is swingin'!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Review of a Moonie in the world: Russ Lorenson

Intrepid Annette went to see Russ' cabaret show last night and brings back this brief review:

"Just a quick note to say that you would have been so proud of Russ last night. His show at Kelly's in Alameda was great fun! A wonderful selection of songs and some pretty funny stories/banter, too. Laura Lutz, Michael Austin, Amy Cole, Shawn Ferreyra, Chris Macomber, and the Levaggi's were all in the house and having a great time!

I think my favorite song was "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," which Russ says "his music director made him sing," but he did a great job with it.

He's recording his CD in two weeks and if all goes as planned, it'll be released in March! And you can still go and catch the show next month, he'll be performing there December 6th and 13th.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Meet "Cocky": Kristopher McDowell

The Roar of the Greasepaint focuses on the exploits of a dynamic duo, "Sir" (representing the upper classes) and "Cocky", representing the not-so-upper classes. I got a chance to ask Kristopher McDowell, our "Cocky" some questions about how he came to 42nd St. Moon, and how the show is going:

Kristopher has never worked with the Moon before, but he had been told about Moon's strong reputation for quality programming from reputable friends and colleagues in San Francisco and New York City. He also liked that they were an Equity affiliated theatre group. Kristopher wasn't familiar with the show, and it sounds like he had no idea what he was getting himself into!

"When Greg MacKellen approached me with the offer to do this role, I truly had no idea about the enormous undertaking in store for me, what with over about a dozen feature songs, dancing plus loads of dialogue performed with a cockney accent. This show is amazing and a treat to be a part of. I consider this job a true gift, but certainly challenging on many levels."

With so much to do in the show, it's not surprising Kristopher couldn't name just one favorite moment in the show. He has two (so far):

"I have two favorite moments, while it is very hard to say all the songs aren't a pleasure. My favorite part of act one, is when "Sir" (Craig Jessup) allows my character "Cocky" to be King temporarily as part of a grand joke. In this scene I get to share a lovely love song with the beautiful and talented "The Girl" (Brandy Collazo) before being kicked-off my ladder again.
The second act includes yet another well written song that finally inspires my character to make a change. The song is called "Feelin' Good" and is performed by the fabulous Brain Yates Sharber.

My Significant Other always teases me that I know every Broadway performer, and their entire resume, by heart. So I was quite intrigued when Kristopher shared how he was familiar with Anthony Newley before doing this show:

"I am somewhat friendly with Alison Frasier who is a veteram Broadway actress and friend of the late, great Anthony Newley. I have heard many stories about him and am intrigued by his his stage career and marriage to Joan Collins. Unfortunately, I never saw him perform live."

OK, I love Alison Fraser. I have seen her on Broadway three times. She went into The Mystery of Edwin Drood as a replacement. I believe I saw her play Helena. But more notably I saw her in Romance, Romance (opposite Barry williams aka Greg Brady, if you can believe it) and in The Secret Garden. But even earlier I think I saw her in a really fun Off-Broadway show, Beehive.

Anyway back to Kristopher. I had one final question for him:

Question: You've done cabaret, fully-staged theatre and now this concert version. Do you see these as different disciplines, or all really cut from the same cloth? Do you approach each kind of performing any differently?

Here's Kristopher's very thorough answer:

"My Bachelor of Arts degree is focused in performance. This would include disciplines for cabaret, Albee, Mamet, Shakespeare, classical opera, British operetta, American musical theatre, theatre of the absurd, circus, mime and most styles of dance. While each of them have thie own set of rules and techniques I have to say they are cut from a similar but not the exact same cloth.

Staged concert style work is fairly new to me, but I enjoy the respect it pays to the work being presented. This is I why I understand and appreciate what 42nd Street Moon is doing for many outstanding lost musicals. I certainly think each experience makes you a better performer. Much like a cloth, each artistic discipline has it's own texture, pattern and style while it may all somehow be considered art.

Nicely done!

Moonie out in the world: Anil Margsahayam

In some very big news, Moonie Anil Margsahayam (Chico in Minnie's Boys for one) has landed a part in the national tour of BOMBAY DREAMS!! Word is he starts rehearsals in January.

I hope the tour comes here. I loves me some Bollywood. Have you seen Bride & Prejudice? Full of exactly the colorful, fun musical numbers Bollywood movies are known for.

Anyway, congratulations to Anil! Thats is very big news indeed.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Moonie out in the world: And not actually acting

Yes, it's true. Some Moonies pursue other endeavors besides theatre. And some of those endeavors are just as creative as their work at 42nd St. Moon. Case in point: Nancy Dobbs Owen...actress, dancer and jewelry designer.

If you'd like to see her work, she's holding a pre-holiday trunk show. Here are the deets:

Cocktail and jewelry party/trunk show where Nancy Dobbs Owen will be showing and selling her magnificent jewels.
Sunday Dec. 4 from 3-7 pm
372 West Portal Ave #12
SF CA 94127

Plus 10% of proceeds will go to Red Cross disaster relief.

If you are not already familiar with her jewelry, this link will give you a great idea of how fabulous it is.

Go ahead:

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moonies out in the World: Saluting Sondheim

Check out the "flyer" and spot the multitude of Moonies:

Broadway radio show returns to San Francisco air waves

After a "hiatus", the Broadway's Biggest Hits radio show is back in the Bay Area, and in a prime time slot. It can be heard on the Quake, 960 AM (home of Air America during the day) on Sunday evenings from 7-9PM.

Check out more info on the show at their web site

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A couple more shots from Miss Lib's closing weekend

There was another theatre luminary in the audience on Saturday night, George Gaynes (née Jongeyans.)

According to Greg:

"He starred in the original cast of "Out of This World" as Jupiter (opposite the legendary Charlotte Greenwood), but by the time, two years later, when he became Rosalind Russell's leading man in "Wonderful Town," he had changed his name from Jongeyans to Gaynes. (Dutch father, Russian mother). He had a noteworthy movie-TV career in the late 70s-80s, especially including his role as the TV soap star besotted with Dustin Hoffman's 'Dorothy' in "Tootsie," and on the TV series "Punky Brewster.""

I remember him very well from Tootsie which is, of course, one of the great movies about acting and actors.

What I didn't first realize is that George is married to original Miss Liberty, Allyn Ann McLerie. Imagine the "good old days" conversations the two of them get to have! Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Comden & Green. Wow.

So, here are two more wonderful post-show photos:

Here's Allyn Ann McLerie, Stephanie, George Gaynes and Greg:

And here's the entire cast and staff with their two special guests:

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Miss Liberty meets Miss Liberty

Allyn Ann McLerie, the original Miss Liberty herself, came to see 42nd St. Moon's production of Miss Liberty last Saturday night. Check out this great shot of her with our Miss LIberty, Nina Josephs.

It's really hard to believe that Ms. McLerie originated the role in 1949! She looks amazing.

Some closing thoughts on Miss Liberty

From cast member Paul Ziller:

"Seeing as Top-Five and Top-Ten Lists are all the rage on this blog, Letterman and elsewhere, I felt inspired to chime in with my own. Our closing weekend of Miss Liberty is upon us, so the sentiment has begun flowing freely. I hope you enjoy this performer's perspective.

My Top-Ten Musings on my experience of 42nd St. Moon's Miss Liberty:

1) Prior to each performance, ten minutes before the house lights go down, Greg Lucas and I (fellow "Newsies") feel a bit like time-travelers... we exit the side stage door in our period costumes (with newspapered binders in hand), pass by a couple of Jackson St. businesses, and discreetly re-enter via the lobby. I'm fond of our rear aisle entrance for the opening duet, as we get to help "warm-up" the audience. I get a kick out of the variety of audience reactions during our first cries of "Extra, Extra"... some a bit
startled, while others appear delighted and engaged. Ah, the joys of live theatre!

2) How refreshing to hear the score come to life at the fingertips of our virtuosic pianist, Brandon Adams, (and violinist Chris Macomber, in the overture). As a singer, it's delightful to not have to work to overpower an orchestra. And, without mics, our voices are delivered straight to your ears, allowing for a natural balance and none of the typical mic faux pas we all know too well. We were amused when, in the opening weekend Q&A someone asked if this show had been the first at 42nd St. Moon to be amplified. The simple truth of that lies in the vocal strengths of our cast.

3) Less is more. With just a few suggestive set pieces, and minimal costume changes (for most of us), it really IS all about the essential elements of musical theatre: the score, the story, and the characterizations. What a delight.

4) Thinking back to the eve of my first encounter with a full house at 42nd St. Moon (our opening preview), I can recall a tangible feeling of graciousness that emanated from our audience. I could feel that we were performing for people who largely knew the value of such "lost" gems as "Miss Liberty" and who shared in our sentiment for this piece, from another time they knew very well. There is one particular audience member who is rather effusive... we were thankfully even further energized by his and others' reactions throughout.

5) As anyone who attends 42nd St. Moon performances knows, most of the performers sit on chairs upstage when they are not in a scene. What may not be obvious is that this provides us with a great opportunity. That is, we get to watch and learn from the finest in our midst while they work their magic. However, this also means that the catchy tunes they perform dig even deeper into the psyche. So, when I'm at my day job or enjoying a weekend morning off, I can often be found humming "Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun". Careful... that one's addictive!

6) This (#5) also means that some minimal costume changes (ie: put on beret, take off hat, put on sash, and so on) happen on stage, without an exit. I remember when I attended "Red, Hot and Blue", this sort of onstage character swap can give the feeling of performer as magician — stepping seamlessly in and out of one's characters before the audience's eyes.

7) What an honor to be able to perform the "Paris Wakes Up" trio, which Brandon Adams wrote expressly for our production to augment the original solo. It's nice to be able to use my countertenor range (that's "falsetto" to most) as well, which is a rare opportunity in musical theatre repertoire.

8)Since there was no formal dance audition for "Miss Liberty", I figured this would be a dance-free show, or at least I wouldn't be in them... happily I was oh so wrong. I had heard so many favorable things about Jayne Zaban from performer friends, so I was eager to work with her. We have a lot of fun with her lively and diverse period-inspired choreography.

9) As opera divas and divos often say of Mozart, I say of Irving Berlin. His writing is like honey for the vocal chords. I have really enjoyed the, at times, light classical style of this composition, which I suppose is true of most Broadway scores of the time (clearly unlike our contemporary "Rent", "Aida", "Miss Saigon"). Kudos to our inspired and inspiring Co-Founder and Director Greg Mackellan and his team for providing audiences in our city with the opportunity to revel in these unjustly neglected works and for giving us performers a setting to help lovingly craft them.

10) When witnessing a 42nd St. Moon show in the Eureka Theatre, one can for a moment feel transported to a NY cabaret-type setting: intimate, of another time, with the promise of always offering up something exciting just around the corner. Wait a minute, am I in the Algonquin... or the Carlyle?

Signing off... or, should that be singing off...

Thanks Paul! One can be a 42nd St. Moon fan from inside the shows too, obviously!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Everybody wants to be a star

Out to dinner here in DC the other night we happened do pick a place that is like Max's Opera Cafe and features singing waiters.

Our waiter happened to approach our table as I was explaining the background of one of the songs being performed and commented that it was unusual that I was familiar with the tune. My mom pipes up out of nowehere to share with the waiter that I was Equity. Thanks, Mom...still know how to embarrass your daughter much?

Anyway, conversation ensues and waiter shares that he's starting a theatre company with three friends. He's very fascinated to hear about 42nd St. Moon and the kind of marketing I do for them, including this blog.

Just about everywhere I go I run into people intrigued by blogging. It's a little more rare for me to run into people intrigued by theatre-specific blogging. And I wasn't expecting it in DC.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Off for a vaca

Hey everyone, I'm off for the next few days on what is supposed to be an honest-to-God vacation.

In the meantime, don't forget:

Miss Liberty closes this weekend. Last chance, baby! INfo on how to get your tix is here.

Roar of the Greasepaint opens in 2 weeks. Don't forget the Family Matinee on Saturday December 3rd. Info on how to get your tix is here.

Now that I have taken care of your social life for the next couple of weeks I can go on vacation with a clear conscience.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Moonie out in the World: Russ Lorenson

Russ Lorenson may be one of the busiest Moonies out there. He always seems to have something going on. This time it's the debut of his new cabaret act, A Little Travelin' Music.

It's playing at Kelly's of Alameda beginning Monday, November 14th!

A Little Travelin' Music tells the story of a 15 year Russ went from being a full-time performer to a high-tech executive with a million-mile travel schedule, and back again to the stage. Featuring songs by composers such as Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Johnny Mercer and Cy Coleman, Russ takes audiences on a musical journey around the world through the Great American Songbook.

[Side note: Sounds like something I can relate to, since I've gone from starving artist in NYC to a variety of careers, making a stop in high tech and now as a mini-preneur (a term I heard last night that I love.)]

In conjunction with the show's premier, Kelly's of Alameda will be celebrating the Grand Re-Opening of their kitchen, under the direction of Chef Stuart Wright of Creative Custom Cuisine, with two very special Dinner/Show packages on November 14th and November 21st. Cocktails are available from 6:00-7:00pm, with a Buffet Dinner from 7:00-8:00pm. The show begins at 8:00pm. Seating at each show is limited to only 40 people, and is selling very quickly, so don't wait to get your tickets!

Tickets or advanced reservations are required. The package includes a buffet dinner and show for $35 in advance, or $40 (cash only) at the door. Cocktails are NOT included in the package price.

To purchase tickets online please visit the Box Office. To make advance reservations and pay at the door (cash only), please click here, or call (415) 674-3863.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Klea's Off-Broadway and review

So Klea swooped in at the end of rehearsals and took on a role in the new Off-Broadway show, Bingo.

It opened last night and even the NY Times gave it a somewhat grudging good review. (Let's face it, it's a show with audience participation and bingo-playing...not exactly the hoity-toity Times' cup o' tea.)

Broadway world has a whole series of photographs from Opening night. And like a 42nd St. Moon show, they even have pictures of the opening night party! Klea looks lovely in all:

Check them out!

Monday, November 07, 2005

My review of Miss Liberty

As per usual I have published my review of Miss Liberty on my personal blog.

Check out my Top 5 Things to Like about Miss Liberty.

And don't forget, there's only one weekend left for the show, so get your tix now!

Greg and David on KPIX

Wow, the KPIX segment was quite long and featured both a lot of commentary from Greg and a lot of singing from David Curley (as Horace in Miss Liberty.)

David has been so kind as to capture the video and post it on his web site here.

Check it out.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Moonie in the World: Kalon Thibodeaux

Relative Moonie newbie Kalon Thibodeaux has quickly become a Moonie stalwart, but he is venturingout. Outside 42nd St. Moon. Outside musical theatre. Outside (gasp!) San Francisco!

Kalon is performing the role of Andrew Rally in the California Conservatory Theatre production of "I HATE HAMLET" running: November 17th to December 18th at the CCT theatre (999 East 14th Street in San Leandro)!

Tickets: (510) 632-8850

PS-Andrew Rally is the lead role of the young man playing Hamlet who gets haunted by the ghost of John Barrymore.

PPS-The theatre only seats about 75 people, so needless to say, sell-outs are common.

Job Opening: SFSU Technical Director

Thanks to intrepid Annette for the info:

Position: Technical Director - Theatre Arts

Rank: Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)

Start Date: Fall Semester 2006

Deadline: Until position is filled

Qualifications: Strong professional and academic background, with MFA degree or equivalent in Technical Theatre. Candidate must have thorough understanding of tools and materials, stagecraft, and rigging in all technical areas, including scenery, properties, lighting, sound, projections and special effects. Computer literacy, familiarity with Vectorworks, Autocad, and other CAD programs. As a teacher, must be a well-organized leader of and nurturing mentor to both undergraduate and MFA design and technical students. As a colleague must be a collaborator and adaptable to the requirements of the academic environment.

Check out the SFSU HR site for more info.

More from Mark the Music Geek (self-proclaimed)

Mark Messersmith, besides being an active performer in the Bay Area, is also a huge aficianado of classic movies and music, as evidenced by another message I got from him:

"Readers may be interested to know that [Miss Liberty musical director] Brandon Adams wrote and arranged a vocal trio that bridges the dance/dream ballet and vocal chorus of 'Paris Wakes Up and Smiles' - it's quite beautiful and I feel honored to be singing it with Chris Macomber and Paul Ziller.

I'm a big opening gift person, especially during musicals and created a special cd for cast and crew of a rare 1949 Fred Waring set of 8 sides from MISS LIBERTY. Originally released as a short EP(and available NOwhere nowadays), these are arranged by Waring with a choral/soloist approach and are much more interesting to listen to than the original cast LP/CD. There's a great swing track of the 'Policeman's Ball' and 'Homework' is done by four female soloists as a group a la Chordettes. You can also find cuts of 'You Can Have Him' by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Doris Day with Dinah Shore and my favorite, Nancy Wilson; Perry Como had a hit with 'I Love You' and 'Old Fashioned Walk', as did Doris Day with Frank Sinatra. Buddy Clark seems to have cornered the market with the only outside recording of 'Me & My Bundle' and an audience member at the talkback reminded me that Fran Warren had a hit with '...Have Him/Homework' on MGM - a few minutes after she said this, my jukebox brain remembered seeing the 45 at a radio station I once worked at. All of this exemplifies how geeky I am about music:>

See, he said it, not me. Im' probably equally geeky about 80's msuic :)

Mark's gift brings up an excellent point to me, if I may swerve into the semi-political for a moment. What Mark did by copying this music should fall under fair-use rules for music one owns. But if the record companies (and movie studios) get their way...such fair use will be absolutely tossed out the window.

As Mark points out, the actual recordings he copied are no longer available. But receiving their copies of them may inspire the recipients to go out and purchase other music by those artists or songwriters. Music like this will die out unless "music geeks" like Mark keep people interested in it.

I write this because I think it's pathetic that my very first thought upon reading Mark's story was to wonder if what he did was illegal! And my second thought was: how ridiculous if it is!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A glimpse behind-the-scenes of Miss Liberty

From Mark D. Messersmith, who plays multiple roles, including the Sattue of Liberty sculptor himself, Monsieur Bartholdi:

"I would love to let blog readers know that David [Curley-playing Horace] and I are a couple and this is such a joy for us, being the first show we've done together since SHE LOVES ME and FIDDLER. We met on SHE LOVES ME at Foothill and have each done several shows with Theatreworks and other Companies, but have not done a show together

Wish I could talk smack but it's a very happy cast. Some groups of people don't get along or bond well in shows but this cast is very good natured, extremely talented, and we like each other's company. Of course there are a few noteworthy goofs...

- Cast member X left a cell phone on backstage opening night and it rang during an early scene(oopsie, no names). Luckily, Nina and I were backstage to stop it:>

- During the final dress without audience, Lisa Peers came onstage looking for Monique but called out her own name instead, slapping her forehead in protest (that's what rehearsal is for.)

- Greg Lucas stumbled on the stairs as a newsboy opening night, but all of this is minor.

I would like to thank Greg for bringing me into this production and the Moon family, where I am so comfortable. The Bay Area is blessed with the Moon producing forgotten or half remembered shows, as evidenced by nearly sold out houses. Their seasons are always a surprise, and perhaps they could produce something from Britain like 'Lock Up Your Daughters' or step ever so gingerly into the future with vocal reviews by Maltby/Shire or John Bucchino. (hint.)

Greg has been revealing next season's shows bit by bit (so far we've got Do I Hear a Waltz? and Pardon My English. We'll have to see what other tricks the Moon has up its sleeve for next year.

Moonie out in the World: Lisa-Marie Newton

Lisa-Marie played Vivian Schuyler in our last show, Red Hot and Blue! has done a quick turn-around into her next show.

She will be performing in Here on the Flight Path by Norm Foster at Playhouse West in Walnut Creek. According to Lisa-Marie, it is "funny, romantic and touching play about a man in his
apartment and three female neighbors who move in one after the other next door.

Sounds like fodder for a sitcom, no? Four's Company or Norm's Angels?

It runs November 10 through December 3 at the Dean Lesher Regional Center in Walnut Creek. For tickets, call the Regional Center at 925-943-7469. You can see Playhouse West's web site for more details.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Look for Greg and David on KPIX on Sunday morning

OK, no cracks about getting up early to watch TV on Sunday morning, please...set your TiVo people!

Here's the info:

If all goes as planned, David Curley and Greg should be appearing on Channel 5 (KPIX) this Sunday around 7:45AM. They should have an interview with Greg and snippets of David is singing "Let's Take an Old-Fashioned Walk".

Say it with me: TiVo. Everyone needs TiVo!

The new "Sweeney" sounds amazing

I read Ben Brantlee's review of the new Sweeney Todd in the Times this morning and was blown away, not only by the description of the show, but by the quality of the writing in his review. Truly a great piece of theatre criticism.

Sweeney was in previews while I was in NYC a couple of weeks ago. Everyone suggested The Light in the Piazza, and I did enjoy it tremendously. But now I'm feeling a little buyer's remorse. The original 1979 production of Sweeney Todd remains my top theatrical experience (as an audience member) ever. It is my favorite Sondheim, and Sondheim my favorite composer.

So what am I doing writing for 42nd St. Moon, who may never do a Sondheim show...other than Do I Hear a Waltz, of course? I have varied taste, what can I say. I also love Jerome Kern and Cole Porter and the Gershwins and Rodgers & Hart. They all write great American music.

Anyway. I have seen many incarnations of Sweeney, the original Broadway production, the subsequent national tour, the "Teeny Sweeney" of the 1980's, the NY City Opera version, the NY Opera Ensemble version, and locally at TheatreWorks, Foothill, Cabrillo College.

I wanna see this one too!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Intrepid Annette gets sneak peek at "Rent"

Here's the report from the field:

"Just a note to say that I had the privilege of seeing a screening of RENT last night at Skywalker Ranch! Unfortunately, it was pitch black when I got there so didn't see much of the ranch, but the screening room/theatre is fabulous! ... and so was the movie.

A Q&A with director/producer Chris Columbus and soundtrack producer Rob Cavallo followed the
screening. (Robert DeNiro is also one of the film's producers, but he wasn't there last night.)

Columbus, who has been "obsessed with the music since he saw the show on Broadway nine years ago," passed on the idea to cast some of today's top pop stars such as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera (another studio's idea, who had rights to the film prior to Revolution/Sony Pictures). Along his journey to making this film, he was also told by some that the film wouldn't really be viable in this day and age because "AIDS is no longer an issue." (What were those people thinking?!)

Columbus - in trying to maintain "RENT" creator Jonathan Larson's original vision - had six of the original RENT cast (Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Heredia, and Taye Diggs) reprise their original Broadway roles. Rosario Dawson portrays "Mimi" and Tracie Thoms is "Joanne." All of them turn in great performances. (for you 42nd Street Moonies - past gala guest star Debbie DeCoudreaux has a cameo role - but ya gotta look fast!)

Columbus thanked recent films like "Moulin Rouge" and "Chicago" for paving the way for "RENT" - this movie is a ROCK musical! Cavallo, known for his work with the Bay Area band Green Day (among other things), makes the music jump off the screen, giving it an edge that wasn't on the original cast recording. I also thought the costume designer (didn't catch his/her name though) did an awesome job. The film opens nationwide end of this month - don't miss it. Here's
the movie's official website.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Shots from the Opening Night after-party

Looks ike a good time was had by all. Here's a shot of just about everyone:

And here are David Curley, Nina Josephs, Mark Messersmith and Christine Macomber:

Aren't women lucky that they can leave their make-up on? They can start the partying ahead of their male counter parts :)

Moonie in the World: Will Giammona

Will Giammona, last seen as one of the Antipholi in The Boys from Syracuse, is once again playing a stalwart lad. This time he's Lancelot in camelot at the Morrisson Theatre in Hayward. (That used to be the Little Theatre, for those of you who were wondering.)

Will provides the following run-down on what you will get to see him do in the show:

- wear armor
- sing
- wear tights
- talk with a french accent
- bring dead people back to life
- not wear pants
- sing some more (in french this time)
- seduce a married woman

"Just another Saturday night", according to Will!

The show runs Nov. 4th to Dec. 4th (Th/F/Sat at 8, Sun at 2) and you'll need to get tickets ahead of time as it's starting to sell out. Go here for more details.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More on Greg's (lack of) accent...and another "reveal" on the season

Because I hate to be wrong I was bugging Greg about his parents and their accents...hoping perhaps one of them had a drawl he has picked up on. He has shot me down :(

"Father from Seattle, Mother from Texas, but not an accent between them (She says it's because she trained as a teacher and had it drummed into her -- by my father -- that she needed not to have any kind of accent in California or she'd be regarded as a "hick." This would have been well before I was on the scene.)"


But on the bright side, Greg did give me another "reveal" on next season. While not 100% confirmed, it is highly likely that the Gershwin piece to which Greg alluded will be Pardon My English, which Encores revived to great acclaim in 2004. Songs include "Isn't It a Pity?," "The Lorelei," "My Cousin in Milwaukee," and it's about a nightclub entertainer who gets hit on the head with a bottle and becomes a thief. Nearly a documentary, then, huh?

With ML open, we're already thinking about Roar

Yes, we're set to go with the blog reader's discount for our final show of the Fall season, The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd. This is a rarely-performed piece by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.

I'm kind of fascinated to see it because I remember Anthony Newley from his many TV appearances when I was younger.

And of coures, as with any 42d St Moon show, there is the golden opportunity to hear songs you've known all your life in context. In this case I have heard "Who Can I Turn To" and "On a Wonderful Day Like Today" many many times, but have no idea what they're about!

The discount is a familiar deal: 20% off all tix for all performances, excluding Sunday matinees. Again, there is limited avalability of discounted tix per performance. And again, the discount is only available by phone orders or by walking up to the box office window at the Yerba Buena Center.

Oh, and if you have kids, the Moon is adding a special family matinee on Saturday December 3rd at 1PM. There will be activities for the kids, so it might be a great way to get your kids interested in the theatre at a young age. (Look, we need all the future audience members and future performers we can get!)

All details are here.

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