Thursday, December 29, 2005

Intrepid Annette out on the town

This just in from Intrepid Annette:

"I was out on the town tonight and went to see Lorna Luft's show at the Empire Plush Room! If any 42nd Street Moon fans/blog readers out there are looking for something fun and entertaining in the next two weeks (she's here until Jan. 8th), I highly recommend this show.

Great blend of Broadway and Hollywood -- with songs from folks such as Jerry Herman (hey, there's even a song from MACK and MABEL!), Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin, Frank Loesser, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Peter Allen and so much more... as well as some pretty funny banter about her mother (Judy Garland) and Carol Channing. And if that's not enough to get you there, the fabulous Daniel Fabricant* plays bass for Ms.Luft. Great music and showmanship from her.

*Some of you will remember that Daniel also played bass for Klea Blackhurst's "Autumn In New York" show back in October...

Imagine living in the shadow of not only Judy Garland, but Liza Minelli! But Ms. Luft has been doing her own thing for years, and by now she has become one of cabaret's queens.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Final bit of casting for The Golden Apple

The last puzzle piece has fallen into place as far as casting for the next Moon show, The Golden Apple.

Russ Lorenson, who is swiftly on his way to being a Moonie old-timer, will be playing the role of Doc.

Congrats Russ!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Some Christmas music (and humor) for you

Chewbacca sings!

Let me just apologize in advance for what you are about to hear!

I'm off to wrap a bazillion gifts. Yes, I know I shouldn't have waited until Christmas morning for that.

I'm also realizing I never bought this year's supply of Hanukah candles...which doesn't bode well for my Night #1 celebration.

Hope your holidays are much more organized than mine!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Holidays...and not much else.

So, on behalf of Intrepid Annette, Greg and everyone at 42nd St. Moon I'd like to wish you all a very happy holidays. As the product of a mixed marriage myself I will be celebrating Chrsitmas, Hanukah and New Year's all in one week, so I feel more entitled than most to stick with the "Happy Holidays" greeting!

I may even take a few days away from blogging in honor of the many holidays occurring in the next week.

And I may go see Rocky Horror Picture Show live on stage too. You know, because it's such a festive show.

How are you celebrating the holidays in theatrical style?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Moonie in the World: Kristopher McDowell

This just in from our recent "Cocky"*

*HIs character name in The Roar of the Greasepaint, jeez, you people!

Here's the press release info:
TOM ROLLA'S THE GARDENIA in Los Angeles, CA presents KRISTOPHER McDOWELL with DARREL LINGENFELTER on piano on Wednesday, January 18 2006 at 9 PM. Tom Rolla's The Gardenia is located at 7066 Santa Monica Boulevard. Reservations (323) 467-7444. Cover plus minimum. Casual dress.

KRISTOPHER recently played the Anthony Newley role in THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT – THE SMELL OF THE CROWD in San Francisco for 42nd Street Moon. His three night club acts have also gained acclaim in Chicago, Detroit, NYC and London. In New York some favorite theatrical experiences include Young Sophisticate in Everybody's Gettin’ Into the Act with Mary Testa, and Alan in Torch Song Trilogy opposite Mario Cantone. Tours: SOUTH PACIFIC with Cathy Rigby; HMS PINAFORE and THE MIKADO. Regional: Billy Lawlor in 42nd STREET (CA); Mark in A CHORUS LINE (FL); and Huck Finn in BIG RIVER (OH). He attended The American Musical & Dramatic Academy and Empire State College in New York, the original Broadway Dance Center and eventually a performance major at Fordham University (Lincoln Center). In 2001 Kristopher was a MAC Award nominee (Outstanding Male Debut) for FACES OF LOVE which produced a CD of the same. Kristopher is also the Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of The Central California Cabaret Series based in Merced, CA.

For more information please visit: or

Monday, December 19, 2005

Casting Alert: Who's Mack? Who's Mabel?

This just in: Greg has announced most of the casting for Season closer Mack and Mabel, and here it is from the horse's mouth:

Bill Fahrner"The 'Mack & Mabel' cast (as it stands now -- there are still a few roles yet to be cast) marks another "reunion" of old-time Moonies, just as Golden Apple does. Most significantly, Mack Sennett & Mabel Normand are played by Bill Fahrner and Cindy Goldfield, who got their Moon start together in 'Sweet Adeline', back in our very first season in 1993. Bill, of course, has done many, many roles for us over the years, while Cindy has stopped in now and then to perform, choreograph, and most recently direct 'Roar of the Greasepaint.'Cindy Goldfield

Other old-timers are Amy Louise Cole, who is playing Lottie (a Sennett regular, who has the big tap number in the show), Steve Rhyne who plays Keystone writer Frank, and Michael Patrick Gaffney. Gaff plays competing director William Desmond Taylor (whose murder was the great Hollywood scandal that ruined Mabel Normand's career).

Moonies of more recent vintage are Doug Santana (Fatty Arbuckle, victim of another Hollywood scandal), and Christa Boggs. Christa is playing one of Mack Sennett's Bathing Beauties, and joining her is newcomer Fiona Cheung. Michael Gaffney probably wins the "six degrees" award in this bunch, having appeared in the last year or two with Christa and Amy in 'Minnie's Boys', with Steve Rhyne in 'Red Hot & Blue!', with Doug Santana in 'The Cabaret Girl', and with Bill Fahrner in 'Fifty Million Frenchmen.'

Still to come, two more Bathing Beauties and a handful of character men. Stay tuned!

Will do!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

More holiday gifts with a 42nd St. Moon theme

Continuing our helpful holiday advice from yesterday. I've got more on potential theme gifts, this time specific items that are available and would fit in a theme with Mack & Mabel tickets.

Greg did a little research and found a surprising number of Mabel Normand films (most done for Mack Sennett) are available on DVD:

Here's one example, where they have two Sennett productions starring Normand on one DVD. Here's just a general DVD search on Mabel Normand.

There's also one Keystone Kops collection (the Kops being one of Sennett's most famous creations.):

And, finally, there's a fascinating Fatty Arbuckle collection, "The Forgotten Films of Fatty Arbuckle" (Fatty being a major
supporting player in Mack & Mabel.)

Anyone else out there have some favorite items to add to either our Golden Apple or Mack & Mabel theme gifts?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Give the gift of Moon

This just in from intrepid Annette:

"...OK, for all you last minute shoppers, I just took a call from someone wanting to buy some tickets for New Year's Eve. Now the bad part is we're dark until March 23rd, when we open the spring part of our season with THE GOLDEN APPLE... but IT'S STILL A GREAT GIFT. So if you've been procrastinating and know someone that would love to see a 42nd Street Moon show on your list - call (415) 978-2787 and order those tickets today. :-)"

Actually I've done this sort of thing in the past. Sometimes giving those activity-based presents, theatre, movie, concert, etc. is really the only thing to get for those people who seem to have everything...or buy things for themselves before you can get to it.

It'd be nice to pair it with a gift certificate for dinner. There are a couple of nice restaurants within walking distance of the Eureka, where 42nd St. Moon performs. Frisson is right across the street, and it's oh, so hip. MacArthur Park is around the block and a little more traditional.

I love holiday shopping (and I've revealed my secrets to how I get it done here.) One of the secrets is theme gifts. So, here's an example:

The Golden Apple resets the Homeric epics The Iliad and The Odyssey in turn-of-the-century Washington State. Well, you could build a lovely theme gift around that by giving someone tickets to The Golden Apple, a DVD of O Brother, Where Art Thou, the wonderful Coen Brothers movie also based on The Odyssey, and to top it all off, an actual copy of The Odyssey!

Seriously, how clever would you seem with that gift? And all quality entertainment :)

Mack and Mabel is of course about silent film icons Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand...are you feeling the theme? There are tons of books, CD and DVDs that could fit into a theme gift, topped off by tickets to the show live and on stage!

I hope I've provided a public service today and helped those of you still struggling to complete your seasonal shopping.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Moonie in the World: Lianne Marie Dobbs

Lianne Marie Dobbs goes so far back with the Moon that Greg, in listing her Moon shows (Babes in Arms,Nymph Errant, Funny Face, and Dear World) forgot to mention her first Moon show, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The reason I know? Because it was the final Moon show that I was involved with as a performer.

Lianne went on to perform at TheatreWorks, ACT and other theatres in the area, and now apparently she has moved on to the East Coast, because Greg tells me she is also in White Christmas, just the Boston company, not the SF company.

PS-I love having any opportunity to tease Greg, since he's always catching me on things...but in fact this morning he emailed me about Lianne and "Tree", right as I published this post, so in truth he did remember.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

UPDATED: Moonie in the World: Alex Hsu

Moonie Alex Hsu (Paint Your Wagon) is currently appearing in the ensemble of White Christmas at the Orpheum Theatre.

They brought the show back this year after it sold out its run last year.It's all Irving Berlin music, including that perennial favorite, the title song.

So, if you're looking to get into the holiday mood, theatre-style, sounds like Alex's show is one that could do it!

PS-Greg tells me Moonie Matthew Brandon Hutchens is in it too. Now, if their site had had a cast list anywhere on it I might have seen that for myself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I've got some good news and some bad news

The good news is that Moon fave Klea Blackhurst has gotten so much attention off her current appearance in the off-Broadway musical Bingo (co-authored by a couple of old friends of Greg's, Dave Holcenberg and Michael Heitzman!), that the feelers and offers are starting to pour in.

The bad news is it means she is not going to be able to leave New York next summer to come star in Do I Hear a Waltz? for us.

Big Bummer...esepcially for Greg who confessed that Do I Hear a Waltz? was his favorite Moon show ever.

The fact is that the show probably won't even stay in the still-being-finalized 2006/2007 season now.

Greg promises more new season hints soon, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Moonie gets a rave

I mentioned before that new Moonie veteran (no, that's not an oxymoron) Kalon Thibodeaux is playing Andrew Rally in I Hate Hamlet for the California Conservatiory Theatre.

Apparently he's playing it very very well, according to Talkin' Broadway reviewer Richard Connema.

Of course, hearing about Kalon's comic skill isn't really news to we Moonie fans, right?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Fall Season down, Spring Season to go

42nd St. Moon's Fall Season has closed as of yesterday afternoon.

We have seen some triumphant performances, and heard some beautiful music...some of it undeservedly unknown, some of it known, but not in context.

And the Fall Season showed that 42nd St. Moon's mission to bring rarely-performed musicals to its audience's attention can be achieved featuring works ranging from those classic standard-bearers Cole Porter and Irving Berlin to a decidedly modern Anthony Newley.

And we've been entertained by veteran Moonies and rookie Moonies alike.

Now, you might think that everything goes dark and quiet during these next 3 months until The Golden Apple open. It couldn't be further from the truth. We'll be announcing next season soon enough, and then all the work starts on that!

So stay with us during this brief winter hiatus...we will still find plenty to talk about, including the Moon, the San Francisco Bay Area theatre scene...and beyond!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Fantastic theatre podcasts

Yes, you heard me right, theatre podcasts. Podcasts are audio files that you can download to either your computer ot to your mp3 player if you have one. I tend to listen to them at my desk while doing other stuff, but if you're into listening to books on tape while you drive, for example, spoken word podcasts may be right up your alley. You can find them to download at the iTunes Music Store. But also at various directories.

Or the podcasters often have links right from their own web sites.

All of the above is the case for the American Theatre Wing podcasts. I subscribe via iTunes, but you certainly can just visit their site and find this treasure trove on interviews with theatre legends and legends-in-the making.

I've already listened to Joanna Gleason, and have Bill Irwin, Victoria Clark, Cherry Jones, Barbara Cook and critic John Simon lined up and ready to listen to. And there are literall dozens more of these 30-60 minute interviews in their library.

You must check them out.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Moonie out in the world: Michael Patrick Gaffney

It's a "Happy Holidays" and a "Shameless Plug" from Moonie favorite Michael Patrick Gaffney:

"I love checking the blog and seeing what my fellow Moonies are up to. It's a great way to stay in touch and support each other. I just wanted to let everyone know I will be doing "Driving Miss Daisy" with California Conservatory Theatre. NO, I'm not playing the title role! The Pulitzer Prize winning play has only 3 characters and I will be playing Boolie, Daisy's son. The show opens January 26th and runs through February 19th.

Happy Holidays~Gaff

Congrats Gaff!

Friday, December 09, 2005

My review of "Roar" (only 3 performances left)

I got to see the early curtain show on Wednesday night and pleased to point oyu to my traditional 5 Things I Most About the Show over on my personal blog.

After my review I'm sure you'll feel even more motvated to see it, if you haven't already. There are only 3 performances left, as the show much close this Sunday. So in case you've been dilly-dallying, get on it! And don't foget to use your blog reader's discount code.

More fan mail from the crowds

Here's a little piece of fan mail we got about Kristopher's performance as "Cocky" in Roar of the Greasepaint:

"Just a note to say how much I enjoyed your performance last night in Roar of the Greasepaint. Not just your singing, which brought a freshness to songs that Anthony Newley could make a bit raucous at times, but the way your were acting facially every second you were onstage. Your web site says you've sung some Gilbert and Sullivan; wish I could have been on hand to hear it.

Anyway, you've got the real stuff. All sorts of luck with your career and your CDs.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Casting Alert: The Golden Apple

Wow, just got the cast list for The Golden Apple, and it's like they called up the 42nd St. Moon Varsity team! Check it out:

The old time Moonies on hand are:
Penelope - Caroline Altman
Ulysses -- Joshua Powell
Helen -- Alexandra Kaprielian
Lovey Mars -- Darlene Popovic
Miss Minerva -- Stephanie Rhoads
Ajax -- Mike Figueira

Joining them are such recent additions to the Moon family as Kristopher McDowell (fresh from his Roar triumph as Cocky) as Mayor Hector, Brendan Simon, Greg Lucas, and Carly Ozard from Miss LIberty as Achilles, Nestor, and Mother Hare,respectively and MISS LIBERTY herself, Nina Josephs, as the dangerous seductress, Circe.

Rounding out the cast are Lazzaro as Paris, Ricardo Rust and Terry Dyer as the heroes Patroclus and Diomede,Mark Hernandez as Helen's hubby Menelaus (also doubling as Scylla), Libby Trull as Mrs. Jupiter,and Kathleen Mulready as a singing ship's figurehead.

It's a bit of a reunion, given that we're delighted to have Caroline back for her first show since Fifty Million Frenchmen in 2003 -- and Josh Powell last appeared with the Moon in Paint Your Wagon, also in '03. Caroline's Moon days date back to her first show, Very Warm for May, in the fall of 1995 (which was also the first show for Dyan McBride, who is now directing Mack & Mabel for us!) 1995 was also the first year I worked with the Moon, in I Married an Angel Are we all grasping that that is a decade ago??!! Yikes.

Moonies out in the World: And Into the Woods

Saw TheatreWorks' Into the Woods last weekend, featuring many Moonies, including Tielle Baker (from Boys from Syracuse)as Rapunzel , Jackson Davis as the Baker, Patrick Leveque as Rapunzel's Prince and Kristen Sharpley (just in Miss Liberty) as Cinderella's mother/Sleeping Beauty.

My extended review of the show is here at my Personal Blog.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Comments from the crowd

Intrepid Annette is the lucky recipient of general emails from 42nd St. Moon subscribers, and she has already gathered a little feedback from the crowds at Roar:

"Brandy gets better with each show that she's in, and we love Kristopher's voice."

"I saw the play Sunday. I was surprised--never knew the content. I thought it was great; not exactly musical comedy--more Charles Dickens/Harold Pinter.I like Craig Jessup very much and am glad you use him frequently. Ditto Brandy Collazo. Kristopher McDowell was great. 42nd St Moon is terrific. From one happy subscriber."

Enough praise to spread around!

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Family Matinee was a big hit!

And you have to hear about the contest Moonie (and children's theatre educator) Caroline Altman ran wih the kids:

The game on Saturday was a "Rules Contest!" and we thought you'd like to see the winners' answers:

The Game: Sir has been very particular about rules for life and the game, but he has created an unfair way to play.

If you were going to make rules for how people should get along and follow their dreams in the world, what would they be? Use your heart and creativity in making good rules for us to live by...

Winner #1 - Harry, age 8

1. Don't make up rules as you're going along.
2. Don't argue.
3. Be yourself.
4. Respect other people's dreams.
5. Don't let yourself be pushed around.

Winner #2 - Melissa, age 13

1. Always make rules and stick to them no matter if you're losing.
2. Be fair.
3. Be kind to others even if they are not as wealthy or smarter than you.
4. Be thankful for what you have and don't take advantage of others.
5. Always make the game fun and enjoyable for everyone.

Winner #3 - Remi, age 3 (!)

1. Share toys.
2. Be nice.
3. Clean up your mess.
4. Help each other.
5. Take turns.

What was that book? Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten, right? These kids definitely qualify as supporting evidence to that book's thesis, huh?

Want a theatre-packed Closing Night?

Intrepid Annette has sent me the next offering from the Bay Area Cabaret organization, Karen Mason appearing at the Crystal Ballroom at the Marine Memorial Theatre.

Karen is a true cabaret diva and a Broadway star, and if I am thinking of the right person, then we used to take from the same vocal coach over 15 years ago in New York!

Now, you'll note that Karen's show is this coming Sunday the 11th at 5PM, and that The Roar of the Greasepaint has a closing matinee that same day. I can only imagine that intrepid Annette is planning a packed afternoon of live entertainment. I hope most of you have already seen Roar and don't need to be quite so multi-taking with your Sunday afternoon!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Another excellent "Roar" review on Talkin' Broadway

Richard Connema has written a rave review of Roar of the Greasepaint, including these key excerpts:

"Craig Jessup (Miss Liberty and for 20 years played cabarets throughout the U.S and Canada) is stunningly good as Sir, a role full of haranguing, browbeating and ill will concealed under a coating of refinement and charisma."

"Brian Yates Sharber (Minnie's Boys, Hooray for What!) stands out as The Black Man in the upbeat song "Feeling Good." K.S. Haddock (wrote Thanatics that debuted at the Exit Theatre this summer) is effective as the Bully and looks hilarious in a ballet costume in one scene."

"Cindy Goldfield, who directed and choreographed the dances, shows her skilled hand on this uncommon musical. David Dobrusky once again is first-rate on the piano.

As always Rochard enjoys giving his readers some background on the shows he reviews, so that's another reason to check out the review.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Moonie out in the world: David Curley

This just in...David Curley (Horray for What! and Miss Liberty) has been cast as Officer Lockstock in Foothill Music Theatre's winter production, Urinetown. (Full cast can be seen here.)

This show is dark fun, with plenty of juicy inside references and allusions that anyone who likes musical theatre even a teeny bit will enjoy.

Personally, Officer Lockstock and Little Sally were my favorite characters when I saw the show at ACT, so I'm really looking forward to seeing David tackle the role. And I'm sure David is looking forward to doing a show that's probably about a 10 minute commute from his house for a change.

It doesn't play until February/March 2006, so you've got some time.

Friday, December 02, 2005

1st "Roar" Review (SF Bay Times)

Here it is.

Key excerpts:

"Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley push the genre to new limits with their still innovative book, music, and lyrics."

"[Kristopher] McDowell’s Cocky is an economically-challenged Everyman. His stage presence consistently commands the audience’s attention, and his singing and dancing are excellent."

"Young Annie Donahey appears to be 12 years old going on 40—she sings and dances like a veteran pro, and is blessed with a superb stage presence. Keep an eye on her… she’s going places!"

"Completely forsaking tried-and-true musical cliches, Greasepaint takes audiences to a unique world of meaningful metaphor. Bravo to 42nd Street Moon for undertaking this challenging production."

Theatre Bay Area has a holiday gift for you!

TBA is putting on one of their Town Hall Forums, and the topic is casting. The bane of all actors' existence...because it is by its nature subjective. While we actors may imagine conspiracies, biases, and who knows what all else to explain casting decisions, some prominent area casting directors are going to tell us what really goes down.

The deets:
Casting Directors Town Hall Forum
Monday, December 5, 7-9:30PM

Description: Get the inside scoop on the casting process and what casting directors are looking for in an audition. Bring your questions for our esteemed panel.

Moderated by Chloe Veltman, theatre critic for the SF Weekly

Panel (currently expected):
Cassidy Brown from Willows Theatre Company
Melissa Hillman from Impact Theatre
Sean Lim from Asian American Theatre
Leslie Martinson from TheatreWorks
Annie Stuart from Marin Theatre Company
Stanley Williams from Lorraine Hansberry Theatre.

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre
620 Sutter Street, San Francisco.

Registration has started. To register: Call Theatre Bay Area at (415) 430-1140 x10.

Here's the hoilday "gift" part: this panel is FREE to TBA members.
Cost: $20 nonmembers.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just a reminder: This Saturday's Family Matinee

Don't forget, the Family Matinee of Roar of the Greasepaint is this Saturday at 1PM. For every paid adult admission you can get one free child under 16 admission. Plus there will be activities for families, led by Moonie and children's theatre educator Caroline Altman.

Call the box office to secure your family's attendance: 415-978-2787

Add this to the list of things I need to go to NYC to see

Let's review the list so far:
The new Sweeney Todd Broadway production
Groovelily putting on Striking 12 off-Broadway
The Darwin exhibit at the Museum of Natural History

And now...

A cabaret show built around the songs of one of my music crushes, Rufus Wainwright. Never heard of the singer, but I'm also intrigued that it's a woman. I love hearing songs sung by the opposite gender than originally performed. In fact I love singing songs written for men. At least you know they won't be comparing you to the original :)

Hmmm, but NYC in the winter really isn't my cup o' tea. Nor do I have any non-personal reason to go, so no write-offs allowed. It would be very impulsive and impractical indeed.

(Which is a good reason, in and of itself!)

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