Showing posts with label Broadway. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Broadway. Show all posts


Buy a Cookie from Your Favorite Broadway Star

Disclosure: I LOVE Schmakary's. I've tried at least half of their cookie flavors and merely walking into their shop and inhaling the aromas of fresh-baked cookies makes me smile. I also love their strong ties to the local Broadway community.

Schmackary's Logo

So it only makes sense that if they were going to do a fundraiser, it would be for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS--a wonderful organization that practically all of the Broadway productions get behind twice a year to raise money for people afflicted with the terrible disease.

Join them for the third annual BROADWAY BAKES 2015, and come watch your favorite Broadway stars play cookie peddlers just for you! From May 25-29, 2015, from 3-7pm, over 20 of the biggest names on Broadway (Audra McDonald came last year!) will join together to work behind the counter at Schmackary’s selling delicious cookies.

Half the proceeds from cookies sales and 100-percent of the tips generated while the Broadway stars are working at Schmackary’s will go directly to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Over the last 2 years, this event has helped raise more than $25,000 for the organization.

Here are some photos from last year:

Schmakary's Broadway Bakes 2014

Schmakary's Broadway Bakes 2014

Schmackary's on Urbanspoon


AWESOME RECAP: Broadway Sings P!nk

After seeing Broadway Sings Justin Timberlake back in July (oh how I miss you summer!),  I knew that I couldn't miss Broadway Sings P!nk. So I grabbed a friend and went back down to (Le) Poisson Rouge for a night we knew would be memorable.

I've been a fan of P!nk's music for many years now, but I admit, some of her songs are hit or miss for me. They often come across angry and I think that turns a lot of people off. One thing I really liked about this concert was how the arrangements were often drastically changed in order to suit the singer's voice. In doing that, the lyrics were able to shine and some of them are pretty spectacular.

It was also a fabulous concert in that I dined over 3 fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk ($5) while listening. I'd highly recommend this treat!

Here are some photos from the event:

Lena Hall sings "Sober"
Chelsea Packard and Colin Hanlon sing "Try"
Kate Rockwell
Mike Schwitter
Ciara Renée

And thanks to Broadway sings, here are some videos:

Broadway Sings is hosting a "Best of" concert in March that will include 14 songs from all 7 previous concerts. It's sure to be a fun one! Who even needs pop stars when you've got Broadway?


Real Broadway Magic

I saw a magical show the other night. No, literally there was magic in it. Lots and lots of mind-defying magic! The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible opened it's six-week engagement at the Marriott Marquis Theatre (1535 Broadway) last week as part of a 30-city U.S. tour.

Photo courtesy of The Illusionists
This show is way more than simple pick-a-card-any-card tricks (though you will be shocked at just what these illusionists can do with a simple--or not so simple--deck of cards). The show’s seven stars, each a master in their own field, are Yu Ho-Jin (The Manipulator), Dan Sperry (The Anti-Conjuror), Jeff Hobson (The Trickster), Andrew Basso (The Escapologist), Kevin James (The Inventor), Aaron Crow (The Warrior), and Adam Trent (The Futurist).

Each has his own unique personality, whether flamboyant and sparkly, creepy and "alternative," mad scientist, or boy-next-door, but all are unequivocally skilled. There was tons of audience participation, so if going on stage is something that scares you, I wouldn't advocate sitting on the aisles. When the woman behind us got picked for a particularly freaky trick, I couldn't help but laugh along with her friends and feel like I knew her. She was a really good sport.

My favorite was probably Basso who recreated Houdini's water-torture chamber trick, making my heart pound incredibly hard as he was lowered into a locked vault filled with water with his hands in cuffs. Talk about something that your mother wouldn't want you doing!

Tickets start at $67 for performances through January 4 and are available here. Although some pyrotechnics are used, this show would be great for older kids!


Phantom of the Opera: Always a Classic

Phantom of the Opera is one of those shows that only gets better with age--and it should know, having been an esteemed presence on Broadway for 26 years! I was recently invited back to see the show (my 4th time!) to check out Norm Lewis, of Scandal fame, as the production's first African American Phantom.

What can I say other than he was fabulous? Seriously. Lewis brought swagger and strength to a role I usually associated with more of a wimpy figure. This was highly noticeable in the most vulnerable moments of the show. Leading lady Sierra Boggess (Christine Daaé) was breathtaking as well, and I highly recommend a trip to the theater to see both of them, even if you've already seen it before. That "Masquerade" scene gets me singing every time!

To celebrate 26 years on Broadway, the show is hosting a contest! To enter to win one of 5 pairs of tickets to the show, you can decorate and submit your own Phantom mask--make it creative because the top 26 masks will be featured in a miniature exhibit hosted at a pop-up shop at the Paramount Hotel and auctioned off to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Enter here through Sunday 8/24 and get your friends to vote through 8/31. Good luck!


Celebrating Justin Timberlake Broadway Style

If you know what music is you likely know Justin Timberlake. The former Mickey Mouse Club member turned N*Sync frontman and ultimately a music icon has practically reinvented the Pop genre to a point where everyone wants a bit of the action. This past Monday, the stars of Broadway took their swing at a few of JT's hits at the "Broadway Sings Justin Timberlake" concert at Le Poisson Rouge.

LPR is one of my favorite venues for its intimate setting, wide variety of food options, and killer cocktails. They feature acts that you won't see anywhere else and the club does it all with a trendy vibe. When you go to a show here, you can't help but feel like you're in a place everyone wants to be.

For seated performances, they have a 2 food or drink item minimum per person. My Dad and I ordered the Margherita Flatbread ($11) and Roasted Beet Salad with Chicken ($14), respectively, and split the Chicken Satay ($11). I also sipped on the Cool Hand Cuke cocktail ($14) -- very refreshing in this humidity!

Margherita Flatbread ($11)
Roasted Beet Salad with Chicken ($14)
Chicken Satay ($11)
Cool Hand Cuke cocktail ($14)

It's been a few years since I've been a diehard JT fan (oh, to relive 7th grade!), but his songs are so ingrained in daily life that they are hard to escape and I can't help but tap my feet to all of them. The great thing about his music is its versatility. Stars from Cinderella's and Sister Act's sassy Marla Mindelle to the brilliant Tony Winner Lena Hall (currently on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch) to the soulful yet playful Marcus Paul James (of Rent fame) belted out everything from "Mirrors" to "Cry Me a River" to, yes, even "Dick in a Box." Here are a few clips:

Producer Corey Mach did the most spot-in rendition of JT with his version of "It's Gonna Be Me," and was also part of the N*Sync medley along with Max Chernin, Ben Fankhauser, Jason Gotay, and Mykal Kilgore. Wow can these boys sing! Part of me felt like we had all been transported back to 2001 and I couldn't have been happier about it. The only part that sucked was that my memory card had filled already and I couldn't get it on camera.

The best part of Lena Hall's performance was that she was in full Yitzhak character (SEE HEDWIG NOW!!!). She sang "Senorita" and received the most audience interaction. I couldn't help but wonder about all of the training she had to go through to act and sing like a man. It's truly impressive!

Another excellent performance was the "My Love" duet by Jason Gotay and Ari Groover. Gotay delivered a smooth introduction and then Groover took it away with an amazing rap section. I almost thought Mary J Blige had walked in the club.

Darren Bluestone sings "Dick in a Box"
Corey Mach sings "It's Gonna Be Me"
Ari Groover and Jason Gotay sing "My Love"
Shaleah Adkisson, Amber Iman, Crystal Joy sing "God Must Have Spent"
Andy Mientus sings "Not a Bad Thing"
Max Chernin, Ben Fankhauser, Jason Gotay, Mykal Kilgore and Corey Mach sing an N*Sync Medley
Natalie Weiss sings "Gone"
Lena Hall as Yitzhak singes "Senorita"
The whole cast as Mykal Kilgore finishes "Pusher Love Girl"
Mach announced the next installment of Broadway Sings will be Broadway Sings Pink, due sometime this December. I'll be sure to announce it when I get the details. This will not be a show to miss!

I was invited by LPR to see the show but we paid for our food and drinks. All opinions are my own!


It All Went On Like You Like It

Last week we wrote about a special, star-studded, one-night-only concert event of Like You Like It at 54 Below. The evening was the epitome of a perfect night out in New York. There was great food (try the risotto!), wine, and lively entertainment by some of Broadway's top talent.

Here are some photos from the event:

Rebecca Faulkenberry sings "Be a Little Wild"
Sam Underwood and Jenna Leigh Green sing "Easy Way Out"
Dana Steingold and A.J. Shively sing "Creating a Monster"
Lyricist Sammy Buck talks about the show
Real life husband and wife duo Laura Osnes and Nathan Johnson sing "All of the Above"
Laura Osnes and Nathan Johnson
We weren't kidding about the chocolate dessert! Try the Dark Chocolate Tart!

54 Below on Urbanspoon


Watch the 2014 Tony Noms at 8:30 am!

Good news for theater lovers...Tony nominations will be announced this morning at 8:30 am EST by Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu!

Starting this morning at 8:15 am you will be able to load the live video feed right from Awesome in New York (click the link above)! Tune in and see if your favorite shows and performers will be nominated for the biggest award in all of theater.

The Tony Awards will air live on Sunday June 8 at 8/7c on CBS.


Celebrate The Bard's 450th Birthday 80's Style

Shakespeare may have once said all the world's a stage, but in Like You Like It, a brilliant musical adaptation of As You Like It that takes place in the 1985, all the world's a mall!

A HUGE Broadway cast is coming together for one night only to perform a concert presentation of Like You Like It this Wednesday 4/23 at 9:30 pm at 54 Below (254 W. 54th St, Cellar), Broadway's Supper Club. The ensemble includes Laura Osnes (Cinderella), Sam Underwood (Homeland), Jenna Leigh Green (Wicked), Max Crumm (Grease), Kate Rockwell (Rock of Ages), Amy Spanger (Elf), and Nic Rouleau (Book of Mormon).

I must admit that I have a personal tie to the show and practically grew up listening to the soundtrack thanks to lyricist Sammy Buck, a close family friend. With that said, you know I'm giving you a genuinely wholehearted recommendation when I tell you that you are in for a real treat on Wednesday. Check out the latest coverage on Playbill here!

Tickets are currently $25-$35 ($5 off the main dining room with code LYL5) with a $25 food/beverage minimum. The show begins at 9:30 pm, but you can make reservations as early as 8:45 pm. If that is too late for dinner, I hear they have a fabulous chocolate dessert...


Broadway Recap: Realistic Joneses and Bullets Over Broadway

April is one of my most favorite months because it means I get to see many of the new Broadway shows. This Spring is shaping up to be a celebrity-filled, comparatively scandal-less season.

One new show I saw, The Realistic Joneses, starred Toni Collette and Tracy Letts as a middle aged married couple dealing with life and their new "friends" played by Michael C. Hall and Marissa Tomei who enter their lives and stir things up. The play is an interesting take on the saying 'keeping up with the Joneses' because each of these couples has more traits to be repulsed by than jealous of. But maybe that's a statement on life? The grass is always greener, right? The acting was superb, but unfortunately the story was a bit hard to follow at the end. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see Hall out of the serial killer role or observe a particularly chipper Tomei.

(The Realistic Joneses is now open at the Lyceum Theater; 149 W. 45th Street and tickets can be purchased here).

The second show I saw was Bullets Over Broadway, starring Zac Braff in his usual goofball but surprisingly charming and intelligent role. Originally written for the screen by Woody Allen, Bullets is a revival that's all glitter. Dance number after dance number, this show shines with pure entertainment and pizzazz. The plot revolves around a playwright (Braff) who needs someone to back his next show and a mobster who needs a way to please his showgirl girlfriend. Love triangles abound and lines are crossed. The two leading ladies, Marin Mazzie and Betsy Wolfe, are shining lights who perspire talent and really steal the show away from Braff, who is fantastic to watch but owns vocal chops nowhere near as amazing. There's a lot of Tony talk buzzing around this show so get tickets before they become a hot commodity.

(Bullets Over Broadway is now open at the St. James Theater; 246 W. 44th Street and tickets can be purchased here)

Before I saw Bullets, I was invited to the Lantern's Keep, a hideaway of a cocktail bar tucked into the lobby of the Iroquois Hotel, for a pre-show blogger reception. I tried their signature cocktail, The Glass Door, with gin, lemon juice, cucumber, apple and sugar. Yum! We also sampled some of their bar bites, including candied nuts, olives, pancetta wrapped white asparagus, risotto balls (seriously one of my favorite foods!), lamb carpaccio on a potato chip, peanut chicken satay, and ceviche on a cucumber. All was delicious! I'm definitely going to have to remember this place as a pre-theater time filler :)

Stay tuned for more Broadway recaps and be sure to give us your full reviews of any of these shows in the comments below!

Lantern's Keep on Urbanspoon


AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to The Bridges of Madison County

Every so often a new musical comes around and completely blows me away. The Bridges of Madison County, a palpable love story based on the book and 1995 movie, is one of those. I was invited to see it last week and became wrapped up in the love triangle of Francesca, her All-American husband Richard, and the "hippie" National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid who whirlwinds into Francesca's life and changes it forever. What would you do if you got a second chance at love?

Songs like "One Second and a Million Miles" and "It All Fades Away" were stuck in my head all weekend; catchy an emotional, but milder and not as sing-song-y as showtunes can often be. Kelli O'Hara (Francesca) is a vision on stage and, especially if you saw her in Nice Work if You Can Get It, is an extremely versatile performer. Steven Pasquale, making is Broadway musical debut, melted my heart a little bit with his rich singing voice, and, oh that hair! The set was simple, yet elegant, and call me weird, made me want to visit rural Iowa.

Good news! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to a Tues-Thurs performance of The Bridges of Madison County now playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 W. 45th St., between Broadway and 8th). The winner will need to redeem his/her tickets for a show before April 3. To enter to win, please use the form below and follow the instructions carefully. If you don't leave the comment requested and subscribe to my blog you cannot be the winner. A winner will be chosen and notified on Friday March 21.

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AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to The Cripple of Inishmaan

Danielle Radcliffe isn't just Harry Potter anymore. The Londoner is set to star in the West End transfer of The Cripple of Inishmaan, a black comedy set in Ireland about a young "cripple" who vies for a part in a Hollywood documentary being shot in the region. Who knows? He just might get his chance!

The show is written by Martin McDonagh of In Bruges fame. Here is the official Broadway trailer:

Previews begin April 12 for an opening on April 20. Good news! I'm giving away 2 tickets to a lucky reader for a Tuesday-Thursday performance. Enter using the widget below by Friday March 14. Make sure to follow all the rules to avoid being disqualified (I check if you actually commented!). Best of luck!

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