Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review - "Eddie" at Midtown International Theatre Festival

Despite having a very intriguing concept--a bullied teen who finds himself falling in love with his bully--playwright Matthew Ethan Davis's "Eddie," as presented at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, is more of a work-in-progress, than a fully realized piece.

What we see are glimpses of an exciting story.  A disabled teen in a tough, inner-city school, mercilessly bullied by one of the jocks.  A bully hiding more than one secret of his own.  A school psychologist who is trying to break through to the withdrawn teens.  A prostitute mother wracked with guilt, when she is not addled by drugs and alcohol, with an abusive boyfriend/pimp.  A lonely girl, dying for attention.

But these elements never convincingly come together to create a compelling production.  What we are left with is a handful of interesting scenes, a couple of decent performances, and a show that could grow into something interesting, with a little bit of work.

Given that this is a festival, technical aspects of the show are necessarily sparse.  That suits Davis's quick cut scenes, though even with the simple technical aspects, some scene changes are a bit longer than they should be.  I think some of that may be due to the short rehearsal time that most festival shows have, and the lack of time using the actual performance space.  Given a longer run and more permanent home, I think this would work itself out.

The individual performances are a little uneven. Jacob Banser, as the bully Greg, is the surprising highlight of the show.  Banser shows equal adeptness at playing Greg's joy in tormenting Eddie, and his growing realization that his bullying is hiding something deeper.  In addition, one of the plot points hinges on the fact that Greg is losing his hearing.  Banser does a subtle job from his first appearance at playing with this. It's never overt, but when the fact is finally revealed, one can look back and see all the hints.

Yair Ben-Dor is fine as the titular bullied teen, though would like to see a little more range from him.  The character is a bit over-written--for a poor, inner-city boy raised by a drug-addicted prostitute, he is exceptionally well-spoken and witty--so I would like to see more visceral reactions from him, the kind you expect from a teen boy, especially one dealing with his first same-sex feelings.

And while Banser does a good job playing his character's loss of hearing, Ben-Dor is less successful.  Some of this has to be placed with director Brian Catton's blocking.  There are times when people are talking to Eddie's deaf ear (assumed to be his right ear, since he holds the cell phone to his left).  There is a particular scene with Linda, his school friend, where she quietly says something while they're hugging, her face buried in his right shoulder, which Eddie could not have possibly heard.

Steve Carrieri's Kyle, the school psychologist, is not well-fleshed out, and if the play is ever expanded into a longer version, I expect this character will play a much bigger role.  Carrieri does what he can with the part, though his interactions with Eddie's mother never quite click.

Nina Salza and Jay Rivera as Eddie's mother April and her boyfriend James generally perform well.  Salza's attempts at playing drunk fall a little flat, but her scenes where April vows to turn her life around are spot on.  Rivera is at his best when showing James's feral cunning, though I would like to see more danger from James.

Madison McGhee does a good job with a character that really has no place in the play yet.  Linda, one of Eddie's friends, seems like a lonely girl, desperate for someone to listen to her, but who walks an uneven line between fantasy and reality.  She is not yet integral to the play, and needs to be more incorporated into it if the show is expanded.

While "Eddie" is not quite there yet, I look forward to seeing how the show evolves in the future.

Written by Matthew Ethan Davis
Directed and Produced by Brian Catton
Co-Produced by Adyana de la Torre
Ticket 2 Eternity Productions/7 Guild Productions
Featuring: Jacob Banser, Steve Carrieri, Yair Ben-Dor, Madison McGhee, Jay Rivera and Nina Salza

Final performance Sunday, August 3rd at 2:30 PM
The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre
312 W. 36th Street

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Powerstrip Boylesque

Fancy Feast and Lucky Charming
It's hard to believe that in a city the size of New York, there was only one monthly burlesque show featuring primarily male performers.  Now Matt Knife's monthly boylesque revue, Homo Erectus, has been joined by Powerstrip, a monthly revue at The C.O.W. on the Lower East Side, produced by Homo Erectus regular Lucky Charming, and featuring many of the same performers (Matt Knife himself performed at April's Powerstrip).

The April Fool's Day Powerstrip started with Matt Knife in a honey badger inspired strip (the costume was fantastic), Lewd Alfred Douglas in a strip that reminded me of some German expressionistic films, the amazing Fem Appeal from Kitty Nights Burlesque, Lucky Charming as a sad Cupid in a medley of love songs, Hard Corey's ode to beer set to the tune of "Ain't No Sunshine," magician Nelson Lugo's string tricks (I could watch Lugo's magic act for hours… excellent magic and a great sense of humor), and Alfie Bunz's sideshow-inspired strip, which involved him inserting spoons into his nostrils.  Norse Horsely was the show's gogo dancer and stage kitten (the man who collects the flotsam and jetsam after each act).

Powerstrip is still in its awkward formative stages - the stage patter could use a little tightening and the transitions between acts could be smoother, but that will come in time.  What it has in spades is talented performers and enthusiasm.

What Powerstrip really needs at this point is an audience.  Burlesque can be good with a small audience, but burlesque performers will put in more when they are getting good feedback from a large, vocal and appreciative house.  The audience at April's show was vocal and appreciative, but small.  Pack the house, and this will be an amazing show.

The next Powerstrip will be Wednesday, May 7th at 8 PM (doors open at 7:30) at The Celebration of Whimsy (The C.O.W.) located at 21-A Clinton Street on the Lower East Side.  The theme is "I Love the '90s" and performers include hosts Lucky Charming and Fancy Feast, Teddy Turnaround, Iris Explosion, Brooklyn Irons and Johnny Panic.  Tickets are $15.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

3rd Annual New York Boylesque Festival

April is turning out to be an amazing month for boylesque.  In addition to the two monthly boylesque shows - Homo Erectus at the Stonewall and Power Strip at The C.O.W. - this is the weekend for the 3rd Annual New York Boylesque Festival.

The first night featured a veritable smorgasbord of local and international boylesque dancers.  Hosted by The World Famous *BOB* - a talented performer in her own right, and someone who really knows how to fire up a crowd - the evening featured some of New York's most talented boylesque stars, including Matt Knife (of Homo Erectus), Lucky Charming (of Power Strip), Hard Corey, Johnny Panic, Gogo Gadget, Jack Nasty, Brooklyn Irons, Jason Mejias, and the oh so aptly named Mr. Gorgeous.

Also shaking their stuff were Ron Dez Vous (Hollywood), Pussy Noir (DC), Damien Wunderluv (CO), Mr. Valdez (CO), Mustang Monroe (CO), Paco Fish (Baltimore), Sir Willy Waterlily (Finland), drag king Lou Henry Hoover (formerly of Seattle, now a New Yorker), Jacques Patriaque (Austria), and the Mansfield Brothers (Canada).

A good audience really helps make a good burlesque show, and last night's raucous audience was there to party.  Naturally, the performers gave them more than their money's worth.

Among the highlights were Jack Nasty's Elvis inspired strip, Jason Mejias and Mr. Gorgeous's magic act (watch the clothing magically disappear), Damien Wunderluv's sultry strip (with live singing… the boy is talented), Lucky Charming's quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Matt Knife's steampunk strip, and Mustang Monroe's hip hop strip.

As amazed as I was by the first day's performers, I can only imagine what tonight's "main event" at B.B. King's will be like.

Tickets are still available.  The doors open at 6 PM; the show starts at 8 PM.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gotta love a catchy title

I love it when a show's title catches my eye and makes me want to find out more.  In the case of "Pussy" by Maura Halloran, the title drew me in and the description makes me want to see it.

If you are free tomorrow night, check out "Pussy" as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival.

written and performed by Maura Halloran
NOVEMBER 20 at 7:30 PM

Announcing the New York return of PUSSY, a one-woman show about a lesbian couple, their overly curious landlady and one highly opinionated cat.  After a sold-out show on October 9, PUSSY was invited back to UNITED SOLO to encore November 20 at 7:30 PM.

"laugh-out-loud romantic farce” - SF Bay Guardian

“audience cackles merrily” - Time Out New York

About the show...
PUSSY follows the tangled heartaches and misadventures of Leslie and Jo, a lesbian couple teetering on the brink of a breakup.  Jo is lolling about in Spain, Leslie is crying about it in Vancouver, their vaguely homophobic but strongly “curious” landlady, Ana is listening with crossed arms from the apartment below - but no one has stronger opinions on the matter than Leslie’s pet cat, “Pussy.”

Very loosely based on true events, this piece is a tribute to the tribulations of trying to find your own groove when you don't like the music.  It’s a tale of love, sex, love-sex, hate-sex, online dating, postal mail, vampires, unicorns, how to forgive The Church, how softball can save your life, and three outsiders whose fates triangulate around one spectacular cat. 

“gracefully takes command of the stage" - SF Examiner

About the writer / performer...
Maura Halloran is a Canadian actor and writer currently residing in San Francisco, California.  She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of British Columbia and currently works and resides in San Francisco. This is her third visit to New York.

“astonishingly talented actress… profoundly truthful, deeply affecting”

 “polished and professional … a refreshing hour of theatrical fun” -

“slipping seamlessly from one character to the next…great skill as a performer" -

“dry, caustic but empathetic wit. The comedy is crisp. The acting is delightfully precise.” - SF Chronicle

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interview - Jinkx Monsoon

By Andrea Alton

I’ll admit it. I have a crush on Jinkx Monsoon (created by the brilliant Jerick Hoffer). She’s from my hometown (Portland Oregon), looks great in a wig and she can rock blue eye shadow in a way I always dreamed of in the 1980’s. She’s also an extremely talented performer who won season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race and is currently performing in THE VAUDEVILLIANS which also stars Major Scales (aka Richard Andriessen, who is also brilliant), the co-creator of the show. THE VAUDEVILLIANS had its first show at The Laurie Beechman Theater in July and has had numerous extensions. If you can get a ticket (they sell out fast!), I would highly recommend you make your way to The Laurie Beechman to see this show which runs through November 19th.

Jinkx is a busy gal but she found time to talk about theatre, how to maintain great hair and her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Andrea: I’ve heard you’re a theater nerd. Do you remember your first introduction to theater?

Jinkx: As early as kindergarten! We did a class play for friends and family at my school in kindergarten and I got to play the most dramatic role, the villain: Anasi the spider. A role I took very seriously. Ever since then I've LEPT at any chance to play roles in school plays, and nowadays, big boy plays.

AA: How did you come up with the idea of THE VAUDEVILLIANS?

JM: My music partner and I came home after a loooong tech rehearsal for the play "Our Town" we were performing at our college. We would joke about being the oldest people in the world, talking about "the way things used to be," and that was the grassroots for became our characters in the show; two Vaudeville stars frozen alive at their prime in a freak avalanche, now thawed out and returning to the stage to reclaim their original music.

AA: What kind of theatre/cabaret excites you?

JM: I think I get most turned on by shows with completely outlandish concepts. If it’s something that looks stupid on paper, it generally has potential to be amazing. My rule is the stupider the premise the better, cuz when you start at outlandish set up, you can do so much. You can go anywhere. I love stuff that plays with gender, sexuality and pushing the envelope on what our society considers "normal." Some of my favorite cabaret shows have been Varla Jean Merman in "The Book of Merman," any of Dina Martina's shows. I saw Joey Arias sing the Billie Holiday sing book, and Lady Rizo's solo show. I have loved all of these shows and they have fueled my own desire to break in to the cabaret world.

AA: How did your collaboration with Major Scales begin?

JM: We have lived together for about 5 years. We met at Cornish college where we were both studying theater. He and I relate through our eclectic taste in music and movies and plays and at this point I consider him family. We started working together for various variety shows and we developed a real chemistry. Even though we both have solo careers we really work well as a unit.

AA: I grew up in a little town outside of Portland and the rain always ruined my hair. How do you keep your hair and makeup looking so good while living in the Pacific Northwest?

JM: Planning ahead. Match umbrellas to your outfits and themes and when in doubt, count on the Uber car service.

AA: I know you do a lot of theater, what’s your dream role?

JM: My all time dream role is Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. Close seconds are The Witch in Into the Woods and a new one is elder Cunningham in Book of Mormon.

AA: What’s your fondest, funniest or most disgusting memory of RuPaul’s Drag Race?

JM: Fondest was (and it got cut from the show) when Ru quoted Death Becomes Her in conversation with me. I explained that I didn't know lots of drag slang but I'm starting to get hip to it. She replied: "NOW a warning!?" And I freaked.

AA: If they were going to turn your life story into a Broadway show or ABC miniseries, who would you want to play you? They can be dead or alive.

JM: Patrick Wolf

For more info on Jinkx check out

And to buy tickets to THE VAUDEVILLIANS go to

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Interview with Colin Earyes and David Cronin of "Bare"

This weekend the White Plains Performing Arts Center is producing the Westchester regional premiere of the rock opera "Bare."  This musical about a relationship between two boys at a Catholic high school generated a lot of buzz in its previous productions.

I met with Colin Earyes and David Cronin, the two actors playing Jason and Peter, the couple at the heart of Bare to talk about the show and their lives.

What is your theatrical background?

Colin: I went to West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with a BA in Musical Theater Performance. Since graduating I have performed with various regional theaters, tours, and a world premier musical.

David: I am currently a B.M. student at the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College double majoring in Music Education and Voice Performance. I have been fortunate enough to have performed with Nevada Opera, City-Wide Youth Opera, LaGuardia Arts Opera Workshop, Brooklyn College Opera Workshop, the Fresh Fruit Festival, the Fringe Festival, TADA! Youth Theater Co., as well as the Britney Spears Camp for the Performing Arts. I am currently studying voice with Richard Barrett.

What made you both want to be part of this production of "Bare?"

David: I absolutely love this show, and this show is never done.  Fourteen year old me is dying inside that I get to sing this role.

Colin: Before auditioning I didn't know anything about the musical. I had just finished a show in Rhode Island and was looking for auditions. I heard about the show through a friend and since the theater had a great reputation I auditioned.

What have been some of the challenges for you in preparing for your roles?

Colin: The hardest challenge has been finding and expressing the emotional weight of this show. In two hours these characters go through more emotional struggles and turmoil than most people see in a lifetime. The story and message of this show is so incredibly important and beautiful that I wanted to make sure that I became the emotions and not just acted them.

David: Peter is a vocally demanding role and he goes on an emotional roller coaster. Balancing these two factors has been interesting during the rehearsal process.

David, tell me a little about Peter.

David: Peter is a seventeen year old senior at a Catholic boarding school who is in a secret relationship with the school's "golden boy." Peter is a bit of a loner and extremely introverted. Peter is friendly with everyone and no one dislikes him, but Jason is probably the most genuine relationship Peter has ever shared. When we meet Peter he is at a turning point in his life, he is about to graduate and leave this world he's created behind which provokes many questions.

Do you identify with him?

David: I feel extremely connected with Peter. Growing up a homosexual in a Catholic upbringing made me ask a lot of the same questions Peter asks. (I was even an altar boy.) I have to admit though, Peter is far braver than I ever was. He doesn't know how to be anything but himself. It's an honor to play such a brave and young hero who happens to be a homosexual. 

Colin, as David mentioned your character Jason is described as a "golden boy" and a “popular jock.”  In what ways are you like him?

Colin: Surprisingly I had a very similar high school life as Jason. I was the captain of our hockey team and also was the lead in the school plays. Unfortunately my senior year was also surrounded by a relationship debacle that left me emotionally distraught because of various lies, so I also have that to draw back on for character development.

So Jason is the golden boy, but Peter in many ways is the stronger of the two.  David, where do you think his strength comes from?

David: Peter is more of a fully realized person than Jason is. I think this probably comes from their upbringing. Although Peter's mother struggles with her son being a homosexual, she is an extremely nurturing and loving mother. However Jason and his sister Nadia grew up in an environment that was extremely superficial and probably not very affectionate. It explains how Peter could be so brave while Jason who has everything going for him could be so scared.

Jason's story has a rather tragic, and sadly avoidable outcome.  Colin, what would you say someone like him who is struggling with his identity?

Colin: Just to accept themselves and that although they feel alone they truly are not. There are always friends to reach out too and understand. There is no need to ever feel alone. 

Bare has a fairly large cast, which can sometimes be a challenge for creating a unified ensemble.  What has it been like for you?  Any cast mates that you've bonded with in particular?

David: Honestly, this cast has been wonderful to work with. I have met some incredible new people of whom I can now call friends. It has been such an honor to work with and get to know Colin Earyes, Triona O'Callaghan, Kerri George, Richie Barella, Adam Welsh, Sarah Teresa Brown and Paulette Oliva.

Colin: Thankfully this cast all arrived with our baggage at the door. We all knew from day one the weight of this show and all came together to deliver that. Most importantly the five leads REALLY clicked. We all take the train back to Manhattan and the chemistry has been there from the start. Besides the fact that they are all extraordinarily talented they are also very genuine friends which helped the chemistry of this show shine through and reach a new level. 

What has been your best experience so far in this production?

David: Some of the cast met up to celebrate Pride in New York City and then later that day attended a choreography rehearsal. Needless to say it was unforgettable.

Colin: Sunday. This past Sunday we had our first day of tech and full show run through. Suddenly everything fell into place, the messages and content became real, and by the end of the show the entire cast was so emotionally involved and focused that we were all crying. We saw our show truly come to life for the first time.

What is your favorite song from the show and why?

Colin: The title song, "Bare", is incredible and very powerful, but, my favorite is "Cross." It is the song between Jason and the Priest after Jason's world crashes down around him. The raw ping-ponging of emotions is unlike anything I have ever had to experience before. I go from desperation to hope to sadness, anger, and finally an all around emotional break down all in the span of about 3 1/2 minutes. It takes a lot of honesty and listening to the other performer but the challenge and new emotional experience makes it extremely powerful to perform.  

David: "Quiet Night at Home" is a piece that everyone can relate to. You don't have to be the heavy girl to understand or to have had experienced that moment. Triona O'Callaghan slays this song.

What kind of reaction do you hope to get from the audience?

Colin: I would love to bring them to tears, however, if they are just moved because of what they watched and not what they learned and lived through in those two hours then I will not be satisfied. I want the audience to see that these struggles are actually happening throughout the world today and hopefully leave with a new perspective on the severity of these struggles. 

David: I hope to inspire. The content of this show is very real. I hope to take them on this emotional trip with me.

Colin, for you what is the takeaway message of the play?

Colin: That being yourself is never not ok. Believe in your own true identity and stay true to yourself.

What else is coming up for you two this year?

Colin: After the show closes it will be back to auditioning. Two of my great friends are getting married in October and I will be singing their wedding so I haven't been auditioning much as so not to conflict with their special day.

David: On August 24th I will be giving a concert at Pier 57 in New York City as a featured up and coming artist with the NYCFiveHundred. I will be performing a small BARE vignette featuring some of the cast in my set.

If you had the chance to play any role, in this play or some other, what would you choose?

David: In "Bare," Ivy, with out a doubt. She is such a multi-layered character and sings some of the best music in the show.

Colin: "Jersey Boys" has always been a favorite show of mine but as of right now Gabe in "Next To Normal" is the role I am hoping to play the most. 

For tickets visit the WPPAC website.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Roundup - Engagements, Weddings, Breakups and Lots of Shows

Billy Magnussen in talks to play Rapunzel's prince in the film version of "Into the Woods."

Harvey Fierstein OpEd about Russia's crackdown on gays.

Rory O'Malley
Rory O'Malley engaged.

LGBT '80s prom fundraiser for Asheville, NC theatre.

Review of "Entertaining Mr. Sloane."

More on the play "Up 4 a Meet."

I love the name of this one - "Molly Wobbly's Tit Factory."

A new gay anthem?  Oscar Thomas' "We Will Know."

Little Orphan trAshley
Campy gay version of "Annie."

"Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine" explores sex work.

20th anniversary production of Jonathan Harvey's "Beautiful Thing" to be available online.

Actors talk about freeFall Theatre's production of "Spring Awakening."

Fringe theatre in Detroit.

Alvin Ailey dancers wed after fall of DOMA.

Clint Eastwood looking to Broadway for film version of "Jersey Boys."

Interview with Chicago's Bill Brown.

Are Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming Broadway bound?  Michael Musto says yes.

Creative team for Broadway version of "Magic Mike" announced.

"SMASH"-inspired benefit concert coming soon?

This may be my favorite picture of John Barrowman.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita wed.

But not all the relationship news is good.  Zachary Quinto and Jonathan Groff break up.

Kristin Chenoweth shares her passion for  the movie "Grease."

Broadway stars react to Emmy nominations.

Jane Lynch talks about Cory Monteith.

Can small theatres survive in New York without politician's help?

Applications due soon for Off Broadway Alliance mentorship.

Addiction: The Disease That Kills.

Review - "Shocks and C*cks 5" at the Horse Trade Burlesque Blitz

I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see more of Horse Trade's Burlesque Blitz this year, but if I only had time to see one show, I'm happy it was the self-described "sausage fest" of "Shocks and Cocks 5."  As usual, impresario of all things ecdysiastical Jonny Porkpie has gathered a unique and talented group of boylesque artists to ply their trade (and lose their clothes), in this annual event.

Although sparsely attended (the show was at 1 AM), the enthusiastic audience loudly enjoyed the show.

After treating the audience to a clever rap about his lack of endowment, Porkpie introduced the acts.  Shocks and Cocks regular Hard Cory kicked things off with a strip to "Ain't No Sunshine."  It ended with a trick involving a bottle of beer.  I'll leave it at that.

Brooklyn Irons, the man with the dance moves and the tree trunk legs, did his own fascinatingly anatomical bottle trick in his act, this one involving a bottle of vodka and a shot glass.  I will most certainly leave it at that.

Creamed Stu was next as a sexy crossing guard (watch out, Molly Equality Dykeman, there's another performer out there who looks good in a reflective vest).  With an infectious grin and some fun dance moves, Stu seemed to be having the time of his life.

Coney Island performer Ray Valenz followed after a short break (more on that later) with his juggling act.  It's pretty exciting watching someone juggle knives.  It's more exciting when he's naked.  Those under the leg throws?  Excruciating to watch knowing that there is cold hard steel getting that close to... well, you know.  Valenz was a great addition to the show, with both a winning personality and great audience patter (not to mention a lithe figure that was easy on the eyes).

Boylesque stalwart Tigger! was next with the most elaborate performance of the evening.  Decked out as a French Beat poetess, Tigger! pouted, lip-synced and danced his way through an amazing strip, all to the thunderous snapping of the audience (it was meant to be a '60s Beat performance, you wouldn't want anything as vulgar as clapping, after all).

Jonny Porkpie rounded out the evening with a plumber-inspired strip (with a cringe-inducing use of pasties tape and a pipe) to Elvis' version of "Danny Boy."

The short break in the middle of the show that I mentioned was a contest.  A handsome audience member was called up on stage (he had been a little boisterous during the show... always dangerous at a Porkpie production).   He, in turn, got to choose two more people in the audience to join him (one of them was my plus one at the show, which amused me no end).  The contest was Shocks Or Cocks.  The contestants either had to shock the cast and audience (with a confession, trick or something similar) or, well, show their cock.

Given that one of the contestants was a woman, it was hardly a fair contest.

The boisterous boy, after some initial hemming and hawing, dropped his pants and showed the audience the goods.  Not to be outdone, the young lady followed suit with a somewhat more modest strip (perhaps she'll be in future Porkpie shows).  My friend chose the Shock option, grabbing the shorts of the boisterous boy and stripping him naked again.

Naturally, the boisterous boy won the contest (two cock shots beating a pair of boobs and a shock).  He walked away with a copy of Jonny Porkpie's burlesque mystery novel "The Corpse Wore Pasties."  If you're going to trade your dignity for something, a Porkpie book is not a bad choice.

Shocks and Cocks 5 was a fun show, delivering exactly what it promised.  I was especially happy to some of the burlesque artists from Matt Knife's monthly Homo Erectus show involved in this production (both Brooklyn Irons and Lewd Alfred Douglas, who was the evening's "stage kitten" and costume wrangler, are Homo Erectus regulars).

I can't believe I have to wait a full year to see the next one.


Want your own copy of "The Corpse Wore Pasties," but don't want to pull out your goodies in front of a theatre full of people?  You're in luck.  Click the links below.



Broadway Meows Benefit Concert Monday Night.



Featuring the songs of SETH BISEN-HERSH

JUSTIN BARNETTE (Encores! Fiorello!)
BRIAN CHILDERS (Danny and Sylvia)
DANA COSTELLO (Jekyll & Hyde)
KIMBERLY FAYE GREENBERG (One Night with Fanny Brice)
AMY GRIFFIN (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
LARA JANINE (Rock of Ages)
RORI NOGEE (Showgirls! the Musical)
CASSIE OKENKA (Bonnie and Clyde)
ADAM SHAPIRO (2013 MAC Award Winner)
STACY SHIRK (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog)
HALEY SWINDAL (Jekyll & Hyde)
ELISA WINTER (Sweeney Todd)


$15 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum (cash only)
Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4: 212-757-0788 or online at

Produced by Dennis Fowler
Directed by Melissa Eli
Stage Manager: Heather Ber

The 5th Annual Broadway Meows Concert for the Humane Society of New York will be presented at Don't Tell Mama, one night only, Monday, July 22nd at 7pm. The evening will be comprised of songs by composer/ lyricist Seth Bisen-Hersh. Bisen-Hersh will be joined on stage by a phenomenal cast including Karmine Alers (Rent), Justin Barnette (Encores! Fiorello!), Jaime Cepero (Smash), Brian Childers (Danny and Sylvia), Dana Costello (Jekyll & Hyde), Brandon J. Ellis (Once), Kimberly Faye Greenberg (One Night with Fanny Brice), Amy Griffin (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), Teresa Hui, Lara Janine (Rock of Ages), Aaron Keller, Kaitlin Kiyan (Hair), Miriam Kushel, Melissa Mitchell (Giant), Rori Nogee (Showgirls! the Musical), Cassie Okenka (Bonnie and Clyde), David Perlman (Baby, It's You), Adam Shapiro (2013 MAC Award Winner), Stacy Shirk (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), Haley Swindal (Jekyll & Hyde) and Elisa Winter (Sweeney Todd). The concert will be produced by Dennis Fowler, directed by Melissa Meli, stage managed by Heather Ber.

The audience can expect to hear 20 songs from Bisen-Hersh's catalog featuring songs from Love Quirks, More to Love, Stanley's Party, Malka, If Adele Can Do It, So Can I, The Final Frontier and more. Songs will include "Um, Yeah...", "Dear Facebook", "It's Not You, It's Me", "Can You Believe I Was Ever Sad We Broke Up?" and the popular youtube hit, "Hey!".

All the proceeds for the evening will go to the Humane Society of New York, which has "cared for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes" for over 100 years. The Humane Society saved Bisen-Hersh's cat, Smee's, life in 2009, and this annual benefit is his way of saying thanks.

For more information, please click:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Roundup - More Gay Plays at Capital Frings, Jim Brochu's New Show, Taylor Lautner

One Night in New York at the Capital Fringe.

Interview with Alex Timbers of Love's Labours Lost.

Pilobolus review.

Review of Jim Brochu's latest one-man show, coming to NYC this September.

Taylor Lautner hangs out backstage with the Blue Man Group.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shocks & C*cks All-Nude, All-Dude Revue This Weekend

They're back.  Porkpie International and Horse Trade will be presenting their 5th all-nude, all-dude burlesque revue this Friday night (well, Saturday morning, technically at 1 AM).

Shocks & Cocks 5: Hot Meat will feature the burlesque talents of Jonny Porkpie, Tigger!, Hard Cory, and making their S&C debut Brooklyn Irons, Creamed Stu, Matt Knife, and more.  A sizzling platter of hot male striptease, this after-hours all-you-can-eat summer BBQ sausage fest brings the biggest names in boylesque and the hottest up-and-comers to the stage to bare it all… especially their talent.

"The guys are very excited to finally have a show in the summer months," said producer and host Jonny Porkpie. "There has been some concern in the past that — because of the cold weather — they weren't putting their, well, best foot forward. But in the heat of July, they'll be able to reach their full, um, potential."

SHOW:  SHOCKS & COCKS 5: Hot Meat part of the 2013 Summer Burlesque Blitz
DATE & TIME:  Friday Night / Saturday Morning at 1:00am July 20
VENUE:  The Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street
TICKETS:  $20, available at
STARRING:  Jonny Porkpie, Tigger!, Hard Cory, and making their S&C debut Brooklyn Irons, Creamed Stu, Matt Knife, and more!

Roundup - Westboro, Your Dream Role, Youth Theatre Workshop

Jimmy Grzelak
Always disappointing when someone trashes a show without bothering to see it, but at least it led me to find out more about a young playwright, Jimmy Grzelak (and now I to want to learn more about his show Betty White: The Musical).

Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Cory Monteith's funeral.  Anything to get a little press, I guess.

Which role in a Broadway revival would you most like to play?  Some of Broadway's favorite actors give their answers.

35 things most New Yorkers do.

A theatre and circus workshop for LGBT youth in England.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Roundup - Boys Will Be Boys, Cover Boy and Three Lizas

The Language of Love
Photo by Australian Theatre
for Young People
Boys Will Be Boys extends at NYMF.

The Language of Love, a short film about a school boy coming to grips with his love for his best friend, gets over 135,000 views on YouTube.  Film was produced by the Australian Theatre for Young People.

Review of Mirrorball, a play set in the '80s at the onset of the AIDS crisis, at the Latitude Festival in London.

Jacob's Pillow presents Cover Boy, a dance piece based on the closeted gay experience, as part of their LGBT Weekend OUT.

Forever Tango returns to Broadway with dancers from "Dancing With the Stars" Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

Chicago's About Face Theatre bring We Three Lizas to Joe's Pub.

"Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown" To Have One-Night-Only Performance at Fresh Fruit Festival

Tonight as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival, there will be a one-night-only performance of Joe Hutcheson's award-winning solo show, "Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown."

In this fresh and hilarious show, a Civil War era debutante, after choking on a pork rib, finds herself sharing the body of a gay Manhattanite on his way to a birthday vacation in Provincetown.

Hutcheson is a marvelous performer (plus, he's not hard to look at), so consider this a must-see show in a festival full of high-quality productions.

"Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown" will be performed Monday, July 15th at 7 PM at The Wild Project (195 E. 3rd Street).

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Roundup - Southern Baptist Sissies, Jonathan Groff and "Pack Up the Moon"

Full houses at Nashville production of Del Shores' Southern Baptist Sissies.

Jonathan Groff talks about The Normal Heart and his new HBO series.

Play about gay fatherhood, Pack Up the Moon, to premiere at Brimmer Street Theatre Company in LA.