Peter Filichia, James Marino, and Michael Portantiere talk about Ivo Von Hove’s changes to the upcoming Broadway revival of West Side Story, The New Group’s production of Cyrano, Utah Lyric Opera’s An Enchanted April, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, and MCC Theater’s production of Seared
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Peter Filichia | [email protected] | Facebook
PETER FILICHIA is a playwright, journalist, and historian with a number of books. His columns appear at Masterworks Broadway, Broadway Select and many other places.
Michael Portantiere | [email protected] | Facebook
MICHAEL PORTANTIERE is a theater reviewer and essayist. He is also a theatrical photographer whose photos have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications. You can see his photography work at FollowSpotPhoto.com.
Notes and links for the podcast.
More controversially, the show will be trimmed to run without an intermission by cutting the “Somewhere” ballet and—gasp—“I Feel Pretty.” The changes have not only been approved by the creators’ estates but, in fact, reflect the original desires of Sondheim, still going strong at 89, who candidly confessed in his 2010 book Finishing the Hat that he had long been uncomfortable with some of the lyrics of the latter song. Van Hove isn’t streamlining to be perverse; the show’s action takes place over 48 hours, and he wants the production to capture that race against time. “I want to make a juggernaut,” he says. “You feel that these people are running toward their death and there’s no escape from it.”
“West Side Story” Revival Cuts ‘I Feel Pretty’, All Other Songs, Tony’s Death, Tony, Stage, Lights (Satire)
by Justin Ayer. @justayer (Instagram), @justinayer (Twitter). New York, NY
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PF + MP: The New Group’s production of Cyrano @ Daryl Roth Theatre, 101 East 15th Street, through December 22, 2019
Cyrano, a production from The New Group, in a limited Off-Broadway engagement October 11 – December 22 at The Daryl Roth Theatre (101 East 15th Street). Cyrano, adapted by Erica Schmidt from Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, with Music by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National, Lyrics by Matt Berninger of The National and Carin Besser, and Choreography by Jeff and Rick Kuperman, directed by Erica Schmidt, launches The New Group’s 25th Anniversary Season. Cyrano features Ritchie Coster, Josh A. Dawson, Peter Dinklage, Hillary Fisher, Josh Franklin, Christopher Gurr, Blake Jenner, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Nehal Joshi, Grace McLean, Erika Olson and Scott Stangland.
A raw and transporting new version of the classic tale of unrequited love and ghostwritten letters, Cyrano tells the story of a proud man who, believing himself unlovable, agrees to woo the woman he loves for another. With a charged contemporary immediacy to the language, this adaptation by Erica Schmidt (All the Fine Boys) mines this enduring, human story for its deep vein of heartbroken yearning, with haunting and compelling music by members of the Grammy Award-winning band The National and the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Peter Dinklage in the title role.
Cyrano features Ritchie Coster (De Guiche), Josh A. Dawson (Le Bret), Peter Dinklage (Cyrano), Hillary Fisher (Orange Girl), Josh Franklin (Swing), Christopher Gurr (Jodelet), Blake Jenner (Christian), Jasmine Cephas Jones (Roxanne), Nehal Joshi (Ragueneau), Grace McLean (Chaperone Marie), Erika Olson (Ensemble / Swing) and Scott Stangland (Montgomery).
Adapted by Erica Schmidt from Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, Cyrano features Music by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National, Lyrics by Matt Berninger of The National and Carin Besser, Choreography by Jeff and Rick Kuperman. Directed by Erica Schmidt, this production includes Scenic Design by Christine Jones and Amy Rubin; Costume Design by Tom Broecker; Lighting Design by Jeff Croiter; Sound Design by Dan Moses Schreier; Hair, Wig and Makeup Design by Tommy Kurzman; Orchestrations by Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner; Music Supervision and Arrangements by Mary-Mitchell Campbell; Music Direction by Ted Author and Music Coordination by Kristy Norter. Casting by Patrick Goodwin, CSA / Telsey + Company. Production Stage Manager is Linda Marvel.
Deaf West Cyrano: Gifts of language continue in ‘Cyrano’ By KAREN WADA, SPECIAL TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES MAY 23, 2012 12 AM
Nearly a decade ago, an improbable dream came true for Deaf West Theatre and its founder, Ed Waterstreet. The small, L.A.-based company went to Broadway with its signed and spoken version of the musical “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
MP: Enchanted April A New Musical @ Theatre Two on Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, through November 16, 2019
Utah Lyric Opera, in association with Thunder Media Group, will present the New York Premiere of An Enchanted April, a new musical based on the novel The Enchanted April, by Elizabeth von Arnim, with book and lyrics by Elizabeth Hansen, music & lyrics by C. Michael Perry and directed by Alice Jankell in a limited engagement (November 1-16) at Theatre Two at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).
An Enchanted April begins in London…during a particularly dreary February in 1922. Four world-weary women, desperate to escape their memories of WWI and the repression of London, dare to rent a villa in Italy for a month. Miraculously, in just one short Enchanted April, the lives and hearts of these women are transformed by wisteria, sunshine, a small medieval castle…and each other.
The cast features Broadway’s Leah Hocking (Broadway: Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, The Wild Party, Jekyll and Hyde, Grease, Guys & Dolls), Alma Cuervo (Broadway: On Your Feet, Beauty and the Beast; Cabaret; Titanic; The Heidi Chronicles; Ghetto; Quilters) and Jim Stanek (Broadway: Fun Home, Lestat, Little Women, The Rivals), with Christiana Cole (Off Broadway: Fun Home, The Brady Bunch), Aaron Phillips (Off Broadway: American Morning; Film: Delivery Man, Visiting Hours) and newcomers Gena Sims, Peter Reid Lambert and Melody Meeks Putnam.
The creative team includes Andrew Joy (Executive Producer), Richard Danley (Music Director), Ronnie Bishop (Assistant Music Director), Matthew Solomon (Costume Design), William Armstrong (Scenic & Lighting Design), Erin Dinnell Bjorn (Projections Design) and Liz Burdick (Prop Mistress). Cheyney Coles is Stage Manager.
PF: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical @ Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 West 46th Street
TINA stars Adrienne Warren with Daniel J. Watts, Dawnn Lewis, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Myra Lucretia Taylor and Steven Booth, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Gerald Caesar, Holli’ Conway, Kayla Davion, Leandra Ellis-Gaston, Charlie Franklin, Judith Franklin, Matthew Griffin, Sheldon Henry, David Jennings, Ross Lekites, Robert Lenzi, Gloria Manning, Rob Marnell, Mehret Marsh, Jhardon DiShon Milton, Destinee Rea, Mars Rucker, Jessica Rush, Justin Schuman, Alyssa Shorte, Carla Stewart, Jayden Theophile, Skye Dakota Turner, Antonio Watson and Katie Webber
From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins, TINA features choreography by Anthony van Laast, with set and costume designs by Mark Thompson, musical supervision, additional music and arrangements by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Bruno Poet, sound by Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Jeff Sugg, orchestrations by Ethan Popp and casting by Telsey + Company.
GHOSTLIGHT RECORDS will release Legrand Affair (Deluxe Edition) from Tony Award-nominated singer, actress and writer Melissa Errico on Friday, November 8. The extended and complete version of the album Legrand Affair, originally produced by Phil Ramone and Richard Jay-Alexander, features Errico with the 100-piece Brussels Philharmonic. The highlight of this special release is the last song Legrand wrote before passing away earlier this year, “I Haven’t Thought Of This In Quite A While.” It written with his favorite lyricists Alan & Marilyn Bergman, and never performed or heard by anyone until now. The song is both a tribute to their long marriage, and an instinctive retrospective of Legrand’s song-making styles – a final farewell from one of music’s greatest songwriting teams, a last look back thematically, lyrically, and musically. “This song is a haunted house,” Errico said as she recorded it. This Deluxe Edition will also include 11 other new and previously unreleased tracks, including intimate studio demos with Legrand on piano. Produced by Rob Mathes (Sting, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart), Legrand Affair (Deluxe Edition) is now available for pre-order at www.ghostlightrecords.com/melissa-errico-legrand-affair-deluxe.html
“The Maria Callas of American musical theater” as Opera News recently called her, referencing her crystalline voice and dramatic, expressive intensity, Errico has starred in seven Broadway shows, earning a Best Actress Tony nomination for Legrand’s only Broadway musical Amour. Her last album Sondheim Sublime was called “the best all-Sondheim album ever recorded” by The Wall Street Journal.
When the great Oscar and Grammy Award-winning French composer Michel Legrand died in January of 2019, Melissa Errico was asked by The New York Times to offer the eulogy to her beloved collaborator, and became the sole American to perform at the extraordinary two-day memorial to Legrand in April at Paris’ Le Grand Rex Theatre, causing one reviewer to announce simply that “Errico is, and will continue to be, the premier interpreter of the musical legacy of Michel Legrand.” Then, while searching through her Legrand memorabilia, she discovered a long-overlooked box of beautifully recorded demos she had made of Legrand songs, with Legrand himself on the piano, bassist David Finck and the great pop drummer Steve Gadd – all exquisite sketches for the album that became “Legrand Affair”. These demos include a series of living room recordings made with Michel at the piano at Melissa’s home, revealing his almost mystical gift for passing instantly from genre to genre, from classical to pop to French chanson to free jazz.
“Working with Michel was one of the highlights of my musical life” says Errico. “It’s as though this year, his spirit is at my shoulder and asking me to sing again for him. I love the grandeur of the “Legrand Affair” album beyond words — but hearing the tracks of me and Michel working together reminded me of how much I also love hearing more intimate versions of his music. In Michel’s music, genre doesn’t exist – he was unencumbered by boundaries. His plurality of disciplines became his freedom and made one seamless web of music. I’m happy beyond words to be able to put his energy back into the world.”
‘Lyricist Readies His ‘Brainchild’ By Joan Cook, March 17, 1974
When a new musical comedy called “Brainchild” opens on Broadway next month, it will be Brooklyn‐born Hal David’s first theatrical venture since “Promises, Promises.”
It will also be the successful lyricist’s initial collaboration with Michel Legrand, the talented composer‐musician performer who supplied the music for “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.”
PF: MCC Theater’s production of Seared @ Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, 511 West 52nd Street, through December 15, 2019
Seared by Pulitzer Prize finalist and two-time Emmy Award nominee Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet), with direction by Tony Award® nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (MCC’s Hand to God).
The cast will star W. Tré Davis (“Valor”), four-time Tony Award® nominee Raúl Esparza (Company), David Mason (Trick or Treat), and Krysta Rodriguez (Spring Awakening).
The creative team for Seared includes scenic design by Tim Mackabee, costume design by Tilly Grimes, lighting design by David Weiner, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, and casting by Telsey + Company / Adam Caldwell, CSA, Will Cantler, CSA, Karyn Casl, CSA. The Production Stage Manager is Rachel Gross.
Seared begins performances on Thursday, October 3, 2019 in the Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space (511 West 52nd Street), with an official opening night set for Monday, October 28, 2019. Tickets are now on sale and available at mcctheater.org/seared.
Seared is a new fit-for-foodies comedy by critically-acclaimed playwright Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet) directed by Tony® nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (MCC’s Hand to God). Brilliant, hot-headed chef Harry scores a mention in a food magazine with his signature scallops, and his business partner Mike finally sees profits within reach. The only problem? Harry refuses to recreate his masterpiece for the masses. Mix in a shrewd restaurant consultant and a waiter with dreams of his own and it all goes to hell in this hilarious and insightful new play that asks us to consider where art ends and commerce begins. Audiences will be up close to the action as MCC’s flexible Frankel Theater is transformed into the intimate kitchen of a New York City restaurant.
The world premiere of Seared was produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival in July 2018, Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director.
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