Friday, December 17, 2010

Emerging Artists Theatre To Present Joe Godrey's A Queer Carol

Two versions, Two casts: all-male and all-female. What's your preference?

Two winters ago, Emerging Artists Theater presented a staged reading of Joe Godfrey's A QUEER CAROL, a twist on the Dickens holiday classic. This one-night-only holiday benefit for EAT was such a hit, it deserves to become a tradition! So we're bringing it back,and it's more twisted than ever. Choose your performance carefully, because it's the girls against the boys:

Emerging Artists Theatre presents
A Queer Carol

But there will be only one chance to see each version
See one, the other, or both, but don't miss it!

Sun Dec 19th at 2:00 pm - All Female Cast
Sun Dec 19th at 5:00 pm - All Male Cast

TADA! Theatre
15 West 28th Street (btn Broadway & Fifth Avenue)
(N/R to 28th Street)
Tickets are $20

Directed by Melissa Attebery
Peter Saxe on the piano


BENITA SCROOGE - Vivian Meisner
ROBERTA CRATCHIT - Danielle Quisenberry
JACOBINA MARLEY - Rebecca Nyahay
SCROOGE'S FATHER, ET AL. - Christine Bruno
FEZZIWIG, ET AL. - Amy Bizjak

JACOB MARLEY - Kaolin Bass
FEZZIWIG, ET AL. - Christopher Borg

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

Kevin Sessums does an excellent interview with Judith Light, who is currently starring in Lombardi on Broadway, over at Towleroad today.

Well worth a read.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review - MilkMilkLemonade (Astoria Performing Arts Center APAC)

By Byrne Harrison
Photos by Rhys Harper
Cross-posted from

Walking into the theatre at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, it would be easy to believe that MilkMilkLemonade is a children's show; one of the old school types with vibrant primary-colored sets, built by young students under the watchful eye of a couple of young theatre teachers. In fact, the opening scenes of the play featuring Nikole Beckwith's amusing Lady in a Leotard certainly reinforce that feeling. The Lady, who serves as the rather awkward narrator of the play, begins the show with an uncomfortable chorus of Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. It is a very Vacation Bible School moment.

Playwright Joshua Conkel takes this format and turns it upside down by presenting the story of an effeminate young boy, Emory (Andy Phelan), his no-nonsense Nanna (Michael Cyril Creighton), the bully next door, Elliot (Jess Barbagallo), who is both repulsed by and attracted to Emory, and Linda (Jennifer Harder), a huge talking chicken with dreams of stardom and a knack for avoiding the processing machine. Facing head on the sort of topics that children's theatre would normally avoid, or worse, preach about - brutal death, sexual experimentation, bullying, homosexuality, and the comic stylings of Andrew Dice Clay - MilkMilkLemonade creates a world that lets adults remember the pain of childhood is a way that is so clearly artificial that it never allows pathos to slip in. The audience is removed enough to enjoy the humor, and it is a wildly amusing play, without feeling too badly for Emory, who is a remarkably well-adjusted and resilient boy.

The acting is outstanding across the board. In fact, this is one of the tightest ensembles I have seen in a while. It's helped no doubt by the fact that this is the same cast from the original production. They never strike a false note, and have a good sense of comic timing, letting the audience enjoy the laugh lines without moving on to quickly or waiting too long. Phelan and Barbagallo have excellent chemistry, in particular Barbagallo is outstanding dealing with Elliot's struggle between attraction and hatred. Harder and Beckwith shine in their roles. Their scenes in which the Lady in a Leotard translates Linda the chicken's speech are brilliant. Creighton is wonderful as the tough, doll-burning, chicken-killing matriarch.

Director Jose Zayas does an excellent job with this production, keeping his touch light and letting the script and actors shine. Other technical aspects are strong, especially Nicole Beerman's choreography and Sydney Maresca's costuming.

It's rare to see a production brought back to the stage as quickly as this one was (the original production was only last fall), but MilkMilkLemonade certainly earned another run. If you missed these two productions, keep your eyes open. I have no doubt we'll see more of this play, and certainly more of Joshua Conkel.

By Joshua Conkel
Director: Jose Zayas
Choreographer: Nicole Beerman
Set Design: Jason Simms
Costume Design: Sydney Maresca
Lighting Design: Bruce Steinberg
Sound Design: David Margolin Lawson
Press Representative: Katie Rosin/Kampfire Films PR
Associate Set Design: Caite Hevner
Production Manager: Annie Jacobs
Technical Director: Andrew T. Chandler
Production Stage Manager: Alex Mark
1st Assistant Stage Manager: Katy Moore
2nd Assistant Stage Manager: George Spencer
Master Electrician: Michael "PJ" Collins & Keith Schneider
Graphic Designer/Production Photographer: Kate Northern
Box Office Manager: Dave Charest
Lead Carpenters: Ashanti Coombs-Ziths & Matt Groeneveld
Build Crew: Mabel Bermejo, Patrick Cecala, Tom Cogan, Michael "PJ" Collins, Jonathan Gregg, Stephanie Halbedel, Sean Romano, Ashlee Springer

Featuring: Andy Phelan (Emory), Jess Barbagallo (Elliot), Michael Cyril Creighton (Nanna), Jennifer Harder (Linda), Nikole Beckwith (Lady in a Leotard)

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-44 Crescent St, Astoria, NY

Closed Saturday, November 13

Visit APAC's website for details.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Daniel Radcliffe Sings Tom Lehrer

A little something fun for those of you who like Tom Lehrer (or have seen Tom Foolery, the musical revue of his songs). Daniel Radcliffe sings Tom Lehrer's The Elements on The Graham Norton Show.

Angels in America Benefit to Support Empire State Pride Agenda Foundation

By Byrne Harrison

On Thursday, January 6, 2011, Empire State Pride Agenda will be the recipient of a benefit performance of the sold-out first revival of Tony Kushner's Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, directed by Michael Greif at Signature Theatre Company. The benefit will consist of a performance of Millenium Approaches and will be followed by an exclusive VIP reception with Kushner and the cast.

Tickets are $1000 and can be purchased here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Canned Ham to Return to Dixon Place for a One-Night Benefit Performance

One year after premiering his one-man musical theatrical memoir Canned Ham at Dixon Place, Tom Judson returns to that same stage for a one-night-only "re-premiere" of the new, expanded version of the show Sunday, November 14th at 7:00pm. And that one night happens to coincide with Tom's 50th birthday, making for a truly celebratory evening.

Canned Ham details Tom's life in all areas of show business: acting in Broadway musicals (Cabaret, 42nd Street) composing music for film and television (Whit Stillman's Metropolitan, Sesame Street) and the work for which he is probably most widely known, appearing in gay adult films as Gus Mattox. Stories and songs are interwoven with visuals and musical numbers to describe a life that is extraordinary yet-because the story is bookended by the tale of his partner's death from AIDS-all too familiar to many. Tom accompanies himself on the piano, the accordion, the trumpet and nine other instruments - sometimes simultaneously.

For reservations visit or call 212-219-0736.

To see the review of Canned Ham's Provincetown run, click here.

Sondheim! The Birthday Concert to Air on PBS on November 24th

The star-studded event, Sondheim! The Birthday Concert, celebrating the 80th birthday of the Broadway and film legend Stephen Sondheim with performances of his music and songs by some of the world’s biggest talents, will make its debut on PBS stations across the country on November 24th, thanks to the Emmy Award-winning producer Ellen M. Krass and Tony Award-winning co-producers Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley in association with Thirteen/WNET and Image Entertainment. The production, which is hosted by David Hyde Pierce, will air at 9PM ET (check local listings).

Originally presented by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on March 15th and March 16th, 2010, Sondheim! The Birthday Concert includes show-stopping numbers by Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Donna Murphy, Michael Cerveris, Elaine Stritch, Nathan Gunn, and many more. Led by world-renowned conductor Paul Gemignani and Emmy-nominated director Lonny Price, the evening includes songs and orchestral pieces from Sondheim musical theater favorites such as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Anyone Can Whistle, along with a suite from music he wrote for the film Reds, which has never before been performed live.

Sondheim! The Birthday Concert is the third television co-production of Ellen M. Krass Productions, Stewart F. Lane, and Bonnie Comley in association with Thirteen/WNET and Image Entertainment. The first two were Cyrano de Bergerac (2009) and Company (2008), both for PBS’s “Great Performances.” The only continuing primetime performance showcase on American television, “Great Performances” presents a diverse programming portfolio of the performing arts. With its programs garnering 64 Emmy Awards and four George Foster Peabody Awards, the series has received every major television honor. Lonny Price directed Sondheim! The Birthday Concert for television, with Gary Bradley as editor.

Second Annual Broadway Can! Benefit To Be Held Sunday, November 14th

BROADWAY CAN! A Concert for the Citymeals-on-Wheels & City Harvest

A night of Seth Bisen-Hersh's music performed by Broadway performers!


BRIAN CHILDERS (Danny and Sylvia)
RORI NOGEE (Pinkalicious)
JESSICA LEA PATTY (The Addams Family)
BRIAN CHARLES ROONEY (The Threepenny Opera)
ALENA WATTERS (The Addams Family)
CORREY WEST (South Pacific)
KRISTEN BETH WILLIAMS (Promises, Promises)


$22 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum (cash only - $2 off with the donation of a canned good)

Don't Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4: 212-757-0788 or reserve online at

The 2nd Annual Broadway Can! A Concert for Citymeals-on-Wheels & City Harvest will be presented at Don't Tell Mama, one night only, Sunday, November 14th at 8pm. 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), Jessica Leigh Brown (Nine), Lanene Charters (Mamma Mia), Brian Childers (Danny and Sylvia), Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Kimberly Faye Greenberg (Danny and Sylvia), Madison James, Rori Nogee (Pinkalicious), Jessica Lea Patty (The Addams Family), Arbender Robinson (Hair), Brian Charles Rooney (The Threepenny Opera), Brandon Ruckdashel (Co-Ed Confidential), Brian Shaw, Betsy Struxness (Memphis), Shelley Thomas (Brooklyn), Alena Watters (The Addams Family), Correy West (South Pacific) and Kristen Beth Williams (Promises, Promises). The concert will be directed by Laura Pestronk, choreographed by Erin Porvaznika, stage managed by Livia Hill with Emma Peele coordinating production.

The audience can expect to hear 18 songs from Bisen-Hersh's catalog featuring songs from Love Quirks: a song cycle of unconventional devotion, More to Love, The Spickner Spin and a world premiere from his new musical, What If...? Songs will include "Thanksgiving Day", "The Fag Hag Lament", "This is Awkward", "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 Citymeals-on-Wheels, which "raises private funds to ensure no homebound elderly New Yorker will ever go a day without food or human company." The canned goods will be donated to City Harvest, which has "served New York City for more than 25 years" as a "food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women, and children."

For more information or to donate to the charities, please visit:

UPDATE: Congratulations to the participants for raising $450 for Citymeals-on-Wheels and 70 lbs of canned food for City Harvest. Well done!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview With Elizabeth Taylor of Finding Elizabeth Taylor

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Elizabeth Claire Taylor is an actress and model whose one-woman show, Finding Elizabeth Taylor, opens tomorrow in New York. I had a chance to talk with her about making a name for herself when she shares one with "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World."

When did you first realize there was another fairly well-known Elizabeth Taylor out there?

From a very early age - probably 5 or 6 I started to register of the name jokes that I was getting. As a little girl, I distinctly remember thinking, "Who is this Richard Burton guy they keep mentioning?" And I did quickly learn that whenever anyone said my name - first and last - a magical ripple of laughter went through the room! This was the 1980's so Elizabeth Taylor was HOT - her perfume, her incredible AIDS activism - a real phoenix rising from the ashes.

What was the genesis of Finding Elizabeth Taylor?

At a dinner party about 5 years ago, one of the guests said to me (after a few glasses of wine), "You have a great story - and you're funny - you should make a movie where you drive to Hollywood and try to find Elizabeth Taylor - and call it, 'Finding Elizabeth Taylor'. A true 'A-ha!' moment. Being a die-hard NYC theatre actress the idea of a one-woman show came naturally. I started recording and transcribing stories from my life as well as researching the other Elizabeth Taylor - which is always fun! The production going up tomorrow will be my 5th run and I truly feel my best one to date.

You say being a die-hard New York actress made you want to do a one-woman show. Tell me a little more about that.

I got into UCLA, Berkley and Northwestern - but getting that purple folder telling me I was accepted into NYU's Tisch School of the Arts was the dream really coming true. I have always had an admiration for the theatre and there was no looking back after I left my home (ironically, Los Angeles!) to come to New York. Even those days when it's freezing, have lost my MetroCard, and feel absolutely exhausted of this city - seeing a wonderful play sends me to euphoric heights and reminds me that I am on my right path. Seeing the greats like Meryl Streep and Patrick Stewart continue to do wonderful NYC theatre affirms it - however hard it may be! And let me tell you, I don't know WHAT is harder that a one-woman show! But at the same time, there is simply nothing more satisfying as it is simply you and your design team - mine has been incredible - molding the show into something special. And I specifically didn't want the show to look like a traditional 'solo show'. Finding Elizabeth Taylor feels like a solo play - there are scene changes - sets - incredible music (We are thinking of releasing a soundtrack! Ha ha!) - I want it to be just as compelling and transformative for the audience as any other piece of theatre. Why a one woman show? As my mentor Camryn Manheim once said, "I wrote a one-woman show because it's the only part I wouldn't be rejected for" and I think that about sums it up!

How did you get involved in modeling?

My first job out of college was an usher on Broadway - I know, the glamor - but really, pretty fabulous as far as actor jobs go - and my dear friend Vinnie turned to me on the stairway one matinee and said, "Honey, you look good - you should be a plus-size model!" I have lived off of the industry for almost 6 years now. And yes, fondly said goodbye to ushering. The next time I work at a Broadway house, I want it to be as an actor!

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in modeling or acting?

Open calls! They are painful but essential. You really need to hear feedback then decide to go from there. Believe me, I thought acting was hard self-esteem-wise until I started modeling! A good personality helps keep the client, but you do need to have the "look" whatever it maybe for them at the time - to get in the door. A great resource is And like everything in life, when you believe in what you are doing it does make it easier! The journey I took from plump kid to skinny anorexic NYU student to curvy plus-size model affirmed to me that my destiny in life is to spread this message of size acceptance and self-love. The modeling was an incredible manifestation of that and I am grateful for it each and every day. Come to my show for the whole story!

What other projects do you have coming up?

More productions of Finding Elizabeth Taylor!

Finding Elizabeth Taylor opens Nov. 11, 8:30pm at Theatre Row ( 212-239-6200), and continues on Nov. 15-16, 8pm at Manhattan Theatre Source ( 866-811-4111).

Eryc Taylor Dance To Perform Four-Night Engagement at Joyce SoHo, November 10-13

Eryc Taylor Dance Four-Night Engagement at the Joyce SoHo November 10-13, 2010

For more information or to order tickets, visit their website.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lifebeat Benefit Concert Celebrates Carole King

On November 29th, artists and musicians will unite for BROTHER, BROTHER: KING FOR A DAY, a special evening to benefit Lifebeat at Comix. Performers including Lala Brooks, Ann Hampton Callaway, Grayce Coviello, Colton Ford, Sherri Lewis, Stewart Lewis, Gregory Nalbone, John Pagano, Katy Pfaffl, Barbara Porteus, MarTina Vidmar, Julie Waldman-Stiel and Liz Callaway will offer their interpretations of the songs of CAROLE KING. The inspiration for this event, which will be hosted by Matt Walton (All My Children, One Life to Live) and feature musical direction by Jimmy Horan, comes from Ms. King’s song “Brother, Brother” from her 1971 album Music. The song was her heartfelt response to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” and is still relevant today.

BROTHER, BROTHER: KING FOR A DAY aims to raise awareness of World AIDS Day. First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day (WAD) occurs each December 1st and has served to raise awareness about the epidemic, honor those who have died, focus attention on issues that are key to a successful response, and inspire positive action. “We are grateful to all the artists and individuals who are donating their time and talents to this incredible event. Music has the power to heal and inspire and you’ll see that at BROTHER, BROTHER: KING FOR A DAY,” said Ben Wymer, Interim Executive Director at Lifebeat.

Tickets for BROTHER, BROTHER: KING FOR A DAY are available at:
$40 General Admission
$60 Reserved Prime Seating
$100 VIP (Premium seating + VIP Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Reception + $25 Gift Certificate to Platinum Salon)
Sponsors for the evening include: Comix, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Platinum Salon

For a complete listing of artists and bios at:

Lifebeat is a nonprofit that uses the power of music and the music industry to help educate young people about HIV/AIDS prevention. For more than seventeen years, Lifebeat has helped to mobilize the talents and resources of the music industry to raise awareness and funds, and to provide support to the HIV-positive community.

Lifebeat relies on a small but dedicated staff and an active Board of Directors to carry out our mission, as well as a wonderful group of volunteers and a network of national AIDS service organizations (ASO’s) to educate young people through our outreach efforts.

Opened in September 2006 in Manhattan's booming Meatpacking District, Comix has quickly defined itself as the premier comedy club in New York City. Comix is Zagat’s highest rated comedy venue, was dubbed “one of the top six clubs in the country” by the Hollywood Reporter and has also been named the top headliner club in New York City by both GrandLife and Digital City. In addition to outstanding comedy shows, Comix is also the ideal venue to enjoy great drinks, food and private events with options for every taste and budget. Our distinctive menu and VIP dinner packages will delight even the most discriminating diner, so come on an empty stomach and enjoy a meal with your laughs.

Spend the Holidays with "Comfort & Joy" at the Richmond Triangle Players

Nov. 17 - Dec. 11, 2010

Jack Heifner's Mapcap Holiday Comedy
Comfort and Joy
Directed by Amy Berlin

Featuring T. Ross Aitken, Hilary Beard, Keith Fitzgerald, Ford Flanagan, Trevor Kimball, and Starlet Knight

It's the Christmas season in the Hollywood Hills. Scott and Tony, a happily married couple, find themselves in the middle of a holiday disaster.

Scott's recently widowed, demanding mother arrives from Texas convinced that her son is really straight. Tony's brother, recently thrown out by his wife, is camped out on the sofa threatening suicide. Tony's sister arrives unexpectedly from South America in a very pregnant condition.

And into this holiday whirlwind descends an unusual fairy - yes, a real one -- who teaches the family about love, hope and forgiveness.

Written by the author of the modern classic Vanities and RTP's smash hit Key West, Comfort and Joy is inventive and hilarious, fast-moving, and ultimately, a touching way to spend the holidays.

Opens Wednesday November 17; Plays Thursday - Saturday Evenings at 8:00 pm, through December 11. Sunday matinees on November 28 and December 5 at 4:00 pm. Tickets $20 (Thurs Eve and Sun Mat) and $25 (Fri and Sat Evenings).

The Thursday, November 18 performance of Comfort and Joy will benefit the Central Virginia Food Bank. All you need to do is bring at least one non-perishable food item that night, and you will receive one ticket to that evening's performance! Need more tickets? Bring more food! How simple is that?

The Central Virginia Food Bank asks that you contribute the items that are most urgently needed: peanut butter; canned tuna, salmon, chicken and ham; canned fruits and vegetables; hot and cold cereals; pasta and rice.

The fine print: you must bring at least one non-perishable food item in order to receive a complimentary ticket to the November 18 performance of Comfort and Joy. We cannot accept cash donations to the Central Food Bank.

For more information, visit their website.

Monday, November 8, 2010

MTWorks Presents Underworld IV Benefit Featuring Broadway Understudies

MTWorks is pleased to announce UNDERWORLD IV: Broadway Understudies & MTWorkers will be held Monday, November 8th at 9:00pm at The Triad NYC (158 West 72nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam).

The annual benefit event headlines Broadway understudies performing their favorite songs and sharing their most intimate career changing stories. This year under the musical direction of Sonny Paladino (Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia, Dirty Rotten Scoundrel's, Grease), the skillful Broadway performers will take the stage with MTWorks' very own troop of seasoned actors from previous main stage shows.

"What a show. All of them, the young and the not-so, all with stars in their eyes. But then, their audience was equally afflicted. It was worth it. Had a couple of stars in my own eyes"
- Gene Paul, Theater Scene

UNDERWORLD IV will include Broadway understudies Alicia Albright (Wicked), Brad Bass (Memphis), Kristin Bracken (Wicked), Kathy Calahan (Mary Poppins), Anthony Galde (Wicked), Michael Hunsaker (Ragtime), and Kristen Beth Williams (Promises, Promises). With MTWorkers Alex Bond (A Home Across The Ocean, Barrier Island), Sarah Chaney (The Oath), Mark Emerson (A Home Across The Ocean, Barrier Island), Adi Kurtchik (Look After You), and Susan Wallack (Good Lonely People). This year will include performances by special guest Dathan B. Williams both a Broadway performer (Show Boat) and MTWorker (A Home Across The Ocean), and Tym Moss from QNation & TalkRadio's Artists Exposed.

All proceeds from Underworld IV go to MTWorks current 2010-11 Season, which includes the upcoming world premiere of award-winning playwright David Stallings' new play The Family Shakespeare, directed by Nicole A. Watson in April 2011 at The June Havoc Theatre.

All tickets are $30 (+2 drink minimum, cash bar) and are available online at Tickets may also be purchased in-person at The Triad NYC half hour prior to Showtime, cash only.

Fore more information visit You can also visit for driving/subway information.

Win Two Tickets To "The Divine Sister"

Want to win tickets to The Divine Sister, Charles Busch's latest play? Click here to find out how you can win two tickets to the show in their Hidden Habits Contest. Hurry, because the contest closes tomorrow.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NY Neo-Futurists 2nd Annual Benefit on Monday, November 8th

By Byrne Harrison

Here's where I'm going to be tomorrow. If you're smart, like to have a good time, and want to support Off-Off Broadway theatre, you'll be there, too.

The New York Neo-Futurists'
2nd Annual Benefit

Monday, November 8th at 7:00PM

Fatty Crab Uptown
2170 Broadway
New York, NY 10024
(The 79th St. stop on the 1 train is the nearest station)


Click here to purchase tickets

A Benefit for the New York Neo-Futurists

Honoring Original New York Neo-Futurists and Chicago Neo-Futurist Alums Greg Kotis (Tony Award Winner and Creator of Urinetown - The Musical) & Ayun Halliday (Author of The Big Rumpus and No Touch Monkey!)

Join us for drinks, East Asian fare, a scintillating auction and of course the New York Neo-Futurists doing what we do best: performing live theater for you!

The Benefit Host committee is:
Brooke Joslyn, Carl Riehl, Casey Larose, Elan Barish, Jamie Heinlein, Jori Jayne Emde, Kendra Souder, Leanne Diamond, Michael Reynolds, Rhiannon Sharpe, Richard Garvey, Robbyn Footlick, Robert Phillips

The NYNF Board is:
Brad Rolston, Kyle Spencer, Gary Belsky, Cory Greenberg, Severn Taylor, Alan Blum, Jill Beckman, Eevin Hartsough

For questions, to make a donation, or if you'd like to join the host committee, please contact Eevin Hartsough (eevin(at)nynf(dot)org)

*New York Neo-Futurists is a 501(c)3 organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. A copy of the latest annual report filed by the New York Neo-Futurists may be obtained upon request from the New York State Department of Law, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271, or from the New York Neo-Futurists, c/o Rob Neill, Managing Director, 475 W. 57th St #6A-3, New York, NY 10019.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Be A Broadway Star!

By Byrne Harrison

Do you have what it takes to be the next big Broadway star?

Find out with Be A Broadway Star!, a new board game from

You'll start out in acting school and work you way up to the top, buying pictures and resumes, earning your "Equity" card, getting an agent, going to auditions, going to more auditions, and maybe even winning a Tony Award®!

But this isn't your typical board game. This is a Broadway board game! And that means you'll have lots of chances to show off your stuff along the way, with interactive "make or break" cards that just might have you singing and dancing on your turn!

A great Christmas idea for the Broadway fan in your life.


Meet Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge of La Cage Aux Folles, Thursday, November 4th at Lord & Taylor



Meet Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, stars from the Tony-Award® Winning Best Musical Revival, La Cage Aux Folles.

Receive a complimentary signed copy of the soundtrack CD, with your $50 cosmetic or fragrance purchase*. Plus, receive two free tickets to the show, with any $300 cosmetic or fragrance purchase*.

*One gift per customer, please; while supplies last . Quantities are limited. Event subject to change or cancellation.

Brooke Shields and John McDaniel To Support Songbook's "Name That Tune" Costume Party

By Byrne Harrison

Brooke Shields and John McDaniel are teaming up for a live auction prize that will have them performing a private concert in an apartment overlooking Lincoln Center for up to 30 friends of the highest bidder. “An Evening with Brooke Shields and John McDaniel” will be a brand new show created by the pair expressly for the occasion. The event supports The American Songbook Project and will be available for bidding at the “Name That Tune” Costume party gala at the Edison Ballroom next Saturday November 6.

Songbook’s “Name That Tune” costume party, which honors singing legend Margaret Whiting and the prolific director Michael Mayer, will feature a juried costume fashion show and live auction hosted by Birdland’s Jim Caruso. Costumes are optional.

The “Name That Tune” costume gala benefits The American Songbook Project, which brings performances by well-known actors and singers to city schools to expose young people to American popular songwriting, one of our country’s most pervasive cultural exports. The evening will feature performances by Jane Kaczmarek, Tony Award-winning librettist and lyricist Dick Scanlan, and the Tony-nominated actress Kate Baldwin. Introducing a special tribute to Ms. Whiting will be the actress Maureen Moore and the young singing sensation Nellie McKay.

The song-title fashion show’s Celebrity Judges Panel includes the five-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long, NY 1 News’s Frank DiLella, Jujamcyn president Jordan Roth, casting director Tara Rubin, jazz vocalist Hilary Kole, Time Out NY’s theater and cabaret critic Adam Feldman, and arts patron Frank Skillern. The grand-prize winner for Best Song Title Costume wins a one-week vacation to Paris and the French Riviera courtesy of Radisson Blu Hotels, including roundtrip airfare.

“The evening’s honorees Margaret Whiting and Michael Mayer emblemize the scope of our organization’s cultural mission,” states Michael Putman Estwanik, who is the president of the board of directors of The American Songbook Project. “It is our belief that American popular songs are our country’s unique contribution to world culture.” Since its founding in 1999, The American Songbook Project has been bringing Broadway and top cabaret talent into New York City schools so that young people can hear great songs, both classic and contemporary, by American songwriters. “With so many music programs in our schools being drastically cut,” Estwanik continues, “our role is becoming essential if we want to foster an appreciation of American popular songs among the young.”

To purchase tickets, or for more information, call 212-362-2115, or visit

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Country Too Fundraiser Tonight

Join playwright Tony Asaro tonight at a fundraiser supporting his critically acclaimed musical, OUR COUNTRY. He and the cast are raising money for their upcoming production in the NY Musical Theatre Festival. (October 11, 12, 13 at 8:00 at the Hudson Guild Theatre. Tickets available at

This fundraising event will feature live performances by JUSTIN UTLEY and GREG NALBONE.

There will be a $10 cover. Prizes, including tickets to the show, will be raffled.

Friday, September 24 · 8:00pm - 10:00pm
The Eagle
554 W 28th St

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Documentary to Chronicle the Production of David Parr's Slap&Tickle

Production is underway on a documentary film about the mounting of Slap&Tickle's summer 2010 run at the Provincetown Theater. Filming and editing the feature documentary is Nathan Butera, who followed the progress of David Parr's play from the castmembers' arrival at the wharf in P'town, through their first full cast read-through in the presence of playwright David Parr, the conception and execution of the set design and build, blocking and tech rehearsals by the director, David Drake, his stage manager, set designer, and lighting designer, the events of the full six weeks of performances and events in P'town intended to build the audience, and finally the sold-out closing night performance and striking the set within minutes of the final toasts and farewells at the closing night party.

Throughout the production, the filmmaker interviewed audience members after they had witnessed the play. Interviewees included leading literary and theatrical persons from Provincetown, New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, a nationally prominent blogger, the former head of a leading gay rights advocacy group, an award winning flm director who had himself directed Slap&Tickle's director David Drake, and others. The documentary looks closely at David Drake and David Parr in particular, their collaboration, and the alchemy of Drake's accomplishments as actor and director on stage and screen and David Parr's relatively new voice in the American Theater world.

The perspectives of the actors themselves, the director and playwright and the eminent commenters also interviewed shed light on Slap&Tickle as a piece of art, literature, and sharply observed commentary on modern gay sensibilities. "What Are You Doing Here?|Slap&Tickle in Provincetown" will illuminate just what it takes artistically to mount a critically acclaimed, provocatve summer stock production in Provincetown, the birthplace of Modern American Theater, and the documentary promises to be in itself a landmark work upon its expected completion for planned screenings at film festivals in 2011.

Nathan Butera is a New York-based filmmaker. He received his MFA in Film from NYU and has written and directed numerous short films. His short "Paws" was purchased by Canal+ for broadcast on French television and has screened at film festivals around the world. His film "Brother" was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards and was screened at numerous festivals, premiering at the Provincetown International Film Festival. Butera has written a feature-length script based on his short film "Brother" and is currently writing his second feature. His script "Topaz-55" was a finalist for the Sloan Foundation Grant. Butera has worked for New York-based filmmakers John Sayles for the film "Sunshine State" and Spike Lee for the film "The 25th Hour."

Filmmaker Nathan Butera.

Review - The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve (Wings Theatre and Zephyer Rep)

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Blake Bradford's latest play, The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve, currently in production at Wings Theatre has its share of comic moments. The play follows Tony (Matt Klane) and Steve (K.B. Thomas) on what would have been their honeymoon. Due to Tony's substance abuse issues, Steve called off the wedding and had Tony sent to rehab. Since the honeymoon was already set, Steve and his best friend Rachel (Madeline Reed) have come to Lindy Loo's Hideaway in the Bahamas for some rest away from all the drama. Unfortunately, Tony, fresh out of rehab, has had the same idea, and has brought his nephew Bobby (Jake Zachry) along. As often happens in comedies, the two former lovers find themselves next door to each other. This works out well for Rachel and Bobby, who embark on a steamy affair. It doesn't quite work out so well for Tony and Steve.

Bradford's play feels a lot like a sitcom, albeit a long one, which has both good and bad aspects. On the good side, it tends to move at a quick pace, and thanks to some good comic work by several of the actors (Madeline Reed and Carol Neiman in particular) and director Kymm Zuckert it maintains a light, breezy feel. On the negative side, it feels long and a bit rehashed. In fact, one scene between Steve and his mother (Susan Kirby), in which his mother confesses to Steve about one of her youthful dalliances, is straight out of an episode of "The Golden Girls." Other portions of the play seem to beg for a laugh track, and indeed in some places the actors seem to be holding for laughs, just in case.

Bradford is a good dialogue writer, and the weaknesses in the script primarily come from allowing it to become a bit bloated and trying to stick too close to a sitcom format. When he allows moments of pure theatricality, the play shines. One of the best examples of this is early in the play when Lindy Loo (Linda Hill) and her Cowgirlettes (Katharine McKenzie, Zade O'Blenes, Drina Seay) provide a running musical commentary about the shenanigans going on between Tony, Steve, Rachel and Bobby. Unrealistic and hilarious, it is one of the funniest moments of the play because it is so surprisingly fresh. By ditching the safe sitcom style and bringing in more scenes like this, Tony and Steve could be a much stronger show.

Acting in Tony and Steve is a mixed bag. Leads K.B. Thomas and Matt Klane are both strong in the quieter moments between their characters. Thomas has a tendency to play his comedy very broadly, which often puts him at odds with the rest of the actors in the scene. Madeline Reed is terrific as the supportive and put-upon Rachel, and her scenes where she cuts loose with the much younger Bobby are outstanding. Reed and Zachry play well off one another, and they often steal the scene even if they are doing nothing more than frantically making out.

The characters of the Cowgirlettes, Lindy Loo's trio of wayward girls, are sadly underutilized. Doing little more than glaring and lipsynching, the Cowgirlettes' comic potential remains largely untapped. Zade O'Blenes' choreography for the girls is strong, however, and shows that they can move. I would have liked to have seen more done with them and Lindy Loo.

Overall, The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve has its moments, but isn't quite up to the task of keeping an audience entertained for the full running time. Judicious editing, keeping a firm hand on the mugging, and playing up the theatrical and farcical aspects of the script while downplaying the sitcom feel would help pull the show together nicely.

The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve
By Blake Bradford
Special material by Linda Hill, Matt Klane and Kymm Zuckert
Directed by Kymm Zuckert
Scenic Design: Matt Klane
Stage Manager: Emily Rolston
Costume Design: Linda Hill
Choregrapher: Madeline Reed
Cowgirlettes Choreographer: Zade O'Blenes
Associate Producer: Eli Walker Palzkill
Zephyer Rep Producer: Karen Brelsford
Casting Director: Gretchen Ferris
Resident Director: Dana Dobreva
Directing Intern: Nicole Gehring
Production Management Intern: Chie Morita
Acting Intern: Allie Rightmeyer
Design Intern: Anastacia Spada
Directing Intern: Abigail Strange

Featuring: Linda Hill (Lindy Loo), K.B. Thomas (Steve), Madeline Reed (Rachel), Jake Zachry (Bobby), Matt Klane (Tony), Carol Neiman (Grammy Jean), Susan Kirby (Donna Ann), Katharine McKenzie (Cowgirlette), Zade O'Blenes (Cowgirlette), Drina Seay (Cowgirlette)

Wings Theatre
154 Christopher Street

August 5th-29th

Friday, August 27, 2010

Review - The Twentieth-Century Way (The Theatre @ Boston Court and New York International Fringe Festival)

By Byrne Harrison
Photos by Ed Krieger
Cross-posted from

The story that inspired Tom Jacobson to write The Twentieth Century Way is intriguing in and of itself. In 1914, in order to cut down on the vice of oral sodomy, the Long Beach Police Department hired two actors, Warren and Brown, to entrap and arrest men in public bathrooms, changing rooms of bathhouses, and private clubs - wherever men "given to that sort of thing" congregate. The story of the men they target and how they arrest them is interesting enough to put on stage as is.

Jacobson, however, has created an intriguing play within a play within a play that incorporates Warren and Brown's story, then transcends it. The Twentieth-Century Way begins with two actors Warren (Robert Mammana) and Brown (Will Bradley) vying for a role as a confidence man in a movie. While they wait for their auditions, the two probe and challenge each other, trying to psyche the other out in a display of alpha male one-upmanship. This leads into a challenge: using their improv skills, Warren and Brown will act out a story about two actors hired to entrap homosexuals in 1914. The first person to fail has to drop out of the audition. The two men jump from role to role - actors, police, newspaper editors, victims - telling Warren and Brown's story, and constantly daring each other to go further. As the story careens forward, taking on a life of it's own, the two actors begin to lose themselves, forcing them to finally strip off the characters, the pretense of their acting and storytelling, and fianlly be themselves.

Bradley and Mammana are spectacular in their numerous roles. Although much of the play is humorous, director Michael Michetti keeps the production charged with a certain amount of menace and eroticism. The Twentieth-Century Way is also a technically well-produced play. Garry Lennon's costumes and Nick Santiago's props are excellent - set backstage at a theatre, the actors are constantly pulling costume pieces and props from various trunks and wardrobes and incorporating them into their "improv." Lighting designer Elizabeth Harper also does a terrific job helping set the mood of the scenes.

A fascinating play, excellent cast and superior production values make The Twentieth-Century one of the best shows in Fringe NYC 2010. The Theatre @ Boston Court is to be commended for bringing this challenging and entertaining play to life.

The Twentieth-Century Way
The Theatre @ Boston Court
Writer: Tom Jacobson
Director: Michael Michetti
Properties Design: Nick Santiago
Lighting Design: Elizabeth Harper
Costume Design: Garry Lennon
Dialect Coach: Tracy Winters
Assistant Director: Sabina Ptasznik
Production Stage Manager: Meg Friedman
Casting Director: Michael Donovan, CSA
Key Art: Christopher Komuro
General Press Representative: O+M Co./Rick Maramontez, Jaron Caldwell

Featuring: Will Bradley and Robert Mammana

VENUE #10: Players Theatre

Sat 14 @ 7:30
Mon 16 @ 5:15
Wed 18 @ 8:45
Sat 21 @ 12:15
Tue 24 @ 4:15

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review - Missionary Position (Geveryman Productions and the New York International Fringe Festival)

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Dorothy Shi
Cross-posted from

As part of Fringe NYC, Steven Fales brings the latest chapter in his Mormon Boy Trilogy to the stage. Despite his best intentions, Mission Position, does not deliver.

I have to confess that it's a little hard to write a review of this play, since I was unable to see the entire performance. The evening I saw him perform, Fales was cut off before completing the play because he had gone over his allotted time. But this is indicative of the main problem with this production.

Fales is a pleasant, though somewhat conventional actor with good looks and a lovely singing voice. His story, dealing with his two years spent as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and his struggles with homosexuality while on that trip, is not one that is by any means common fare on stage. He is personable and friendly. He is not, however, a director, and Missionary Position needs someone with an iron grip to make it work.

With a director in place to work with the pacing and to cut some of the stage business and more overwrought scenes (particularly a big pirate fantasy sequence), Fales would be allowed more time to concentrate on his performance. Several times in the play, Fales bobbles his lines and seems to lose his way. More importantly for a solo show, he lacks the sense of spontaneity that forges the bond between an actor and his audience. We all want to succumb to the illusion that we are the first people to hear this particular story, that Fales is letting us all in on a little secret. Here he doesn't act so much as perform, and this performance creates a distance that keeps us from truly empathizing with his struggles.

There is a lot in Fales' play that is unique and interesting, but this production is not the best opportunity to experience Missionary Position.

Missionary Position
Written, Performed and Produced by Steven Fales
Stage Managers: Sean Lambert, Alex Mark

VENUE #16: The SoHo Playhouse

Sat 14 @ 7:45
Fri 20 @ 2
Sun 22 @ NOON
Tue 24 @ 10
Fri 27 @ 6

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review - Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown (New York International Fringe Festival)

By Byrne Harrison
Photos by Brandon Kaiser
Cross-posted from

Miss Magnolia Beatrice Deveraux Beaumont is nothing if not proper. She is, after all, a debutante. Imagine her surprise at finding herself, after her untimely death on the cusp of the Civil War, not in heaven as she expected, but an unwilling passenger in the body of a gay man living in Manhattan in the 21st century. It's enough to make a lady clutch her pearls and reach for the smelling salts.

In Joe Hutchenson's charming one-man play, the audience follows Miss Beaumont and her host, Joe, on his birthday vacation to Provincetown. He sees this vacation as a chance to connect with someone, perhaps even to find some happiness that has been missing in his life.

Miss Magnolia doesn't know why she's been placed in this body, but she voraciously consumes every morsel of Joe's completely alien lifestyle. As she starts to experience Joe's senses and is eventually able to communicate with him, she discovers that it's never too late to live a useful life.

Hutchenson is an excellent actor. His Miss Magnolia is sweet as honey and as proper as a lady can be (she's even working on an etiquette book). That she never strays into camp says a lot about his ability as an actor and his empathy for this character. Miss Magnolia is not to be ridiculed, nor is she merely a comic means to an end. Joe, also, is a fully fleshed out character - a gay man, alone on his birthday and recognizing the writing on the wall as his youth starts to fade. He's a man in need of support, even if it is of the supernatural kind.

In addition to being an effective actor, Hutchenson is a marvelous storyteller. Miss Magnolia's description of her first few moments in Provincetown transported me to the place. I could picture the streets and the crowds, smell the food and the sea air. With few props and set pieces, Hutchenson himself becomes the ultimate set designer, inviting the audience to see through his (and Miss Magnolia's eyes).

Under the able direction of Cheryl King, and with support from Ellen Rosenberg's strong lighting and sound, Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown is an outstanding production.

Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown
Cheryl King Productions
Writer: Joe Hutcheson
Director: Cheryl King

VENUE #15: The Studio @ Cherry Lane Theatre

Sat 14 @ 3:45
Tue 17 @ 9
Fri 20 @ 9:15
Tue 24 @ 5:45
Thu 26 @ 2:45

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck Gets A Big Gay Ice Cream Song

By Byrne Harrison

No, this isn't a theatre-related post. But if you live in New York City and don't know about the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, you are missing out.

Doug Quint, who along with his partner Bryan Petroff created the BGICT, is a buddy of mine from my rugby-playing days, and I'm thrilled at the following good news.

BIG GAY ICE CREAM SONG sees digital release on August 22, 2010

Music and ice cream trucks go hand-in-hand. When New York City’s Big Gay Ice Cream Truck needed theme music, they skipped over the obvious choices- no show tunes or disco for them. Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s) stepped in and authored this gem. Her recording is three minutes of pop pleasure… sort of like ice cream for your ears.

While in design college in the mid 1970s, Jane Wiedlin stumbled upon the burgeoning Los Angeles punk rock scene. She and Belinda Carlisle were inspired to form The Go-Go’s. The band quickly became local favorites and were signed by the indie label IRS Records. With most of their songs written or co-written by Jane (including the classic Our Lips are Sealed) The Go-Go’s went on to enormous success, selling out Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl, and appearing twice on the cover of Rolling Stone. In addition to her work as a Go-Go, Jane has released solo albums of her own, which have included the hits Rush Hour, Blue Kiss, and Tangled (a song featured in the movie Pretty Woman). Rolling Stone called her most recent solo album Kissproof World a “solo tour-de-force by an entrepreneur, an actress, and a rock goddess.”

The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck began rolling the streets of New York City in June 2009. Described by The Village Voice as “a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali” their menu combines traditional soft-serve ice cream with imaginative toppings such as wasabi pea dust, Nilla Wafers, Dulce de Leche, olive oil and sea salt, and other rotating offerings. These are dispensed the way ice cream should be — with humor and good cheer.

Availability: August 22, 2010 via iTunes and most other digital download services

Producer: Travis Kasperbauer

Label: Painful Discs

Publisher: Wiedwacker Music/ASCAP

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review - Slap&Tickle (Robert Driemeyer in association with Jim A. Lande)

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

I'll admit that I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from David Parr's new play, Slap&Tickle, currently at The Provincetown Theater. It's set in a gay bathhouse, is sponsored by Manhunt, and has a funny sounding title. I guess I was expecting an updated version of Terrence McNally's The Ritz. While Parr's Slap&Tickle certainly has it's comic moments, this nuanced play about a group of men whose lives intersect at a bathhouse is certainly no broad farce. Well written and extremely well acted, Slap&Tickle is a surprise and not to be missed.

Parr's play is non-linear, allowing the stories of the various characters to be told in short pieces, each character's story revealing a little bit about themselves and often another character. The play continuously loops back upon itself to give a different point of view on a scene or to create connections between characters that are not readily apparent. It's an exciting and fascinating form of storytelling that hooks the audience and keeps them interested.

Director David Drake has assembled a terrific ensemble featuring J. Stephen Brantley, Todd Flaherty, Joe MacDougall, Christopher MacDow, Joseph Mahan, and Aaron Tone. These six actors play multiple characters (there are twenty or so characters presented during the play). While most of the characters can be distinguished by slight costume changes - one wears his towel like a sarong, another a baseball cap, one a string of pearls - even without these visual aids, the actors do such a remarkable job creating these characters that it would be easy to follow as they change from person to person. As an audience member, it's exciting to see an actor create a number of characters during one play and excel at making them unique and memorable. This cast does a terric job at that, with particular praise going to J. Stephen Brantley and Joe MacDougall, both of whom so thoroughly transformed from character to character that it was easy imagine that one was watching a much larger cast of actors.

Only two actors play sigle characters. Joseph Mahan as Billy, an older, flamboyant gay man whose story about stealing his mother's pearls and finding an "Uncle," an older gay man who taught him about life, were both funny and touching, and Aaron Tone as Frank, an employee at the bathhouse who had a childhood crush on Han Solo and was the victim of a vicious attack. They provide an anchor for the play, a couple of fixed presences at the bathhouse.

Drake once again excels as a director, creating a fast-paced, yet easy to follow production. His set design is simple but visually interesting, creating numerous levels in the playing area for the actors to use. Chris Page's lighting design is also effective, and Susan Morabito's music is a very nice addition to the show.

Quite easily the best performance I saw while in Provincetown, Slap&Tickle is eyeing a New York run. If you are visiting the Cape, I highly recommend

Written by David Parr
Directed by David Drake
Original Music: Susan Morabito
Set Design: David Drake
Lighting Design: Chris Page
Costume Design: Beto Guedes
Stage Manager: Charlie Owens
Technical Director: Dean Denmon
Marketing: Ron Johnson

Featuring: J. Stephen Brantley (Brett, Josh, David, Tim), Tod Flaherty (Sam, Jesse, Dale), Joe MacDougall (Ray, Danny, Marcus), Christopher MacDow (Mel, Vic, Aldo), Joseph Mahan (Billy Sunday), Aaron Tone (Frank Stark)

The Provincetown Theater
238 Bradford Street

Call 508-487-9793 for tickets.

July 6th - August 14th

Monday, August 9, 2010

Broadway Impact Celebration Tonight

Prop 8 has been ruled unconstitutional in the landmark case Perry v. Schwarzenegger. Broadway Impact, a community of actors, directors, stage managers, fans, and producers united by the simple belief that anyone who wants to should be able to get married, is hosting a celebration party on Monday August 9th from 7-9pm at Therapy, 348 West 52nd Street in Midtown.

This is a historic decision for our country and for the future of full equality under the law.

Broadway Impact will be joined by a growing list of television and Broadway performers including, Tony nominee Hunter Bell, Heidi Blickenstaff and Susan Blackwell from [title of show], Sirius Radio host Seth Rudetsky, cast members from the Tony award winning musical La Cage aux Folles, actors Nick Adams, Will Taylor, Jason Tam, Jose Llana, Shayna Steele, also Richard Socarides (Former Advisor to President Clinton), Miss New York Claire Buffie, and many more members of the Broadway and television community (TBA).

Broadway Impact is proud to be partnering with the American Foundation for Equal Rights (, lead by Chad Griffin, Dustin Lance Black and Rob Reiner. This case was their brainchild where they brought together the incredible legal pairing of David Boies and Ted Olson to challenge Prop 8 and came out victorious!

Come celebrate this landmark decision with Broadway Impact.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review - Songs From An Unmade Bed (Counter Productions)

Review by Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Songs From An Unmade Bed, the song cycle featuring lyrics by Mark Campbell and music by a number of composers, celebrates the small, quiet moments in urban gay life - no coming out stories, no politics, no wringing of hands over the state of things today. It's just the sly smiles after a tryst, a boyfriend's charming but somewhat inept attempts to play the cello, and seeing a lover naked for the first time. Nothing profound and earth-shattering. Just normal, everyday events.

Brian Dunham takes on the songs with appropriate enthusiasm. He cuts a pleasant figure, and has a good voice, though he tends to become overly breathy on his high notes. He shows a particular gift for the show's quiet and touching numbers, and is able to create an almost palpable wistfulness during some of the songs. Some numbers which are a little more cynical in nature, or those that have a hint of anger, are not as effective, as he has a tendency to miss the wry, self-deprecating humor that should accompany them. Overall, however, he performs well and keeps the audience engaged.

The show is perfectly suited for Counter Productions' intimate studio space on Whaler's Wharf, and director Susan Grilli uses the space to maximum effect. There are a few times when she allows Dunham to wander into shadow, but this is a minor distraction. Music Director Jim Rice and Cellist Elizabeth Schultze perform well, though there are times when Dunham and Rice seem slightly out of sync. These lapses never last particularly long, but they are enough to pull one out of the moment.

Despite a few rough patches, Songs From An Unmade Bed provides a pleasant diversion for those seeking theatrical pleasures in Provincetown.

Songs From An Unmade Bed
Lyricist: Mark Campbell
Composers: Debra Barsha, Mark Bennett, Peter Foley, Jenny Giering, Peter Golub, Jake Heggie, Stephen Hoffman, Lance Horne, Gihieh Lee, Steven Lutvak, Steve Marzullo, Brendan Milburn, Chris Miller, Greg Pliska, Duncan Sheik, Kim D. Sherman, Jeffrey Stock, Joseph Thalken
Diretor: Susan Grilli
Music Director: Jim Rice
Cellist: Elizabeth Schultze

Featuring: Brian Dunham

Counter Productions Studio
Whaler's Wharf
237 Commercial Street

Closed July 27th

Review - Canned Ham (TWEED TheaterWorks, Kearns Artist Services, and David Drake Productions)

Review by Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Shows featuring former porn stars seem to have become de rigueur in Provincetown during the summer season. They draw in the crowds, not because the actor is talented or the show is compelling, but because the actor is (or was) sexy, and there is a high likelihood that he will get naked at some point in the show.

In that sense, it comes as no surprise that Tom Judson makes his first appearance in Canned Ham posing on a platform, a jockstrapped Olympian made flesh. What does come as a surprise is when he picks up an accordion a few minutes later and starts belting out "Lullaby of Broadway." This is clearly not your typical porn star memoir. This one has a sense of humor... and a talented performer.

Judson tells of the long and winding road that led from musical theatre (he was in the touring companies of Cabaret and 42nd Street) to his chance meeting with director Chi Chi LaRue. It was Chi Chi's perseverance which led to the creation of "Gus Mattox," Judson's porn alter ego, and his eventual winning of the GayVN Performer of the Year Award, sort of a Best Actor Oscar for gay porn, at the inconceivable for the industry age of 45.

Unlike many of the one-man porn star shows, Canned Ham never becomes a morality tale. No descent into drug use and degradation for Judson, porn is merely another in the amazingly long and diverse line of jobs that he has had in his life. For him, porn was a lark. That seems to be how Judson approaches much of his life, with a kind of joy and wonder.

That's not to say that Canned Ham is all light and humor. Part of what led Judson on this particular path was the death of his lover from AIDS. Though it was the roughest period of his life, it led to one of his most sublime experiences on the island of Capri, one that he describes in magical detail.

As a performer, Judson is open and amusing, with an infectious, likeable grin. At times his performance lacks a certain spontaneity - that spark that makes the audience feel that they are the only ones that Judson has told these stories to - but in the long run, his personality and the stories themselves more than make up for this. He is approachable, and happy to meet his fans after the show (and, of course, to sell them merchandise - an adorable Canned Ham t-shirt). He is just as winning offstage as on.

Canned Ham is worth seeing just for the charming and multi-talented Judson. His life stories, good natured backstage bitchery (Judson's porn co-star Pierre Fitch takes a bit of a pounding, so to speak, as does Teri Hatcher), and musical talents combine for a fun evening of theatre.

Canned Ham
Written and Performed by Tom Judson
Directed by Kevin Malony
Costumes by William Ivey Long

The Art House
June 6-September 6, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review - John Thomas & Company featuring Adam Berry and Ben Griessmeyer (The Waterford Tavern)

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

It's vacation time at, and what could be more relaxing than exploring the theatre scene in Provincetown? As expected in the East Coast's most vibrant arts community, there are a myriad of plays, musicals and cabaret to experience. Reviews, of course, will follow.

In the meantime, I highly recommend that people visiting P'town on Fridays and Saturdays during the summer head to the Waterford Tavern to see Adam Berry and Ben Griessmeyer perform with pianist John Thomas during his afternoon cabaret show on Captain Lavender's Deck. This talented trio performs a nice mix of songs, concentrating on the standards. Their song list is flexible, changing depending on their mood and on which of their talented friends drop by. A recent Saturday featured some of their co-stars from Candide, in which Adam and Ben are performing under John's musical direction, and showcased a few songs from the show. Friday's performance was more traditional, featuring such standards as "Blue Skies," "Get Happy," "Summertime," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," while working in some William Finn ("I'd Rather Be Sailing"), Alicia Keys ("If I Ain't Got You"), Jonathan Larson ("I'll Cover You"), and other current pop and Broadway artists.

Although the music is always the most important thing in a cabaret act (and frankly, Berry, Griessmeyer and Thomas have that well in hand), I'll admit that what brings me back to see Berry and Griessmeyer perform isn't just the duo's vocal abilities. The two, who are partners both personally and professionally, have such wonderful chemistry that they are a constant source of fascination. As they perform, they share glances, smiles and the occasional good natured eye-roll if something goes south. Berry's face lights up when Griessmeyer nails a particularly challenging song. Griessmeyer can be seen silently singing along with Berry at times with a big smile on his face. It's charming to see two people so happy to be performing together.

Captain Lavender's Deck is a fairly small space and the shows are well attended, so if you want to be seated during the performance, it pays to get there a little early. The Waterford Tavern features good food, strong drinks, and a charming and attractive wait-staff, so being early is never a burden.

The Waterford Inn, Cafe & Tavern
386 Commercial Street

Fridays and Saturdays, 4:30-6:30 PM.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review - Man Boobs (Three Monos Ensemble and the Fresh Fruit Festival)

Review by Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

Playwright J. Julian Christopher doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the issue of body image in his play Man Boobs, currently being produced as part of the 8th Annual Fresh Fruit Festival. Spence (Jeffrey Marx) has a lot going for him. He's a curator at a library, well-read and well-spoken. He has a handsome man, Marty (Robert Valin), actively pursuing him, not just for sex, but possibly for something a little deeper. But no matter what he has or is being offered, he can't see himself in a positive light. Spence is very overweight and is suffering from crippling self-esteem issues.

Where Marty sees a handsome and sensitive man, Spence sees only man boobs. He views himself as a punchline in some sort of cosmic joke and sabotages his relationships by waiting for the other shoe (imaginary though it may be) to drop.

Thrown by Marty's request that they spend the night at Spence's apartment (they've mostly had a series of semi-public trysts to this point), Spence's unease about getting physical with Marty seems to be based more on this invasion of his space, but as Marty cajoles and Spence demurs, the real issue comes to light. Spence's refusal to take off his shirt, and what happens when he finally does, brings everything to light - his self-loathing, inherent suspicion of anyone who finds him attractive, and various humiliations from his childhood.

Can he overcome this for a truly open and non-judgmental man? Well, let's not give away too much.

Christopher's play is mostly well written, though I don't think there is enough of an attempt to give each character his own voice. Considering the differences in their backgrounds, truck driving, working class Marty often sounds quite a bit like white-collar bibliophile Spence. More distinctive voices would highlight those times when their roles reverse, Marty showing his surprising depth and empathy while Spence becomes almost monosyllabic in his shame and self-hatred.

Robert Valin is terrific as the horny and jovial Marty. He is especially effective during his heartbreaking attempts to break through Spence's reserve and suspicion, and during a great scene where he catches a glimpse of himself through Spence's eyes. As Spence, Jeffrey Marx is good, though he seems to have issues with his timing, often pausing before speaking in a way that slows down the scenes (and undercuts the emotion of the particularly fraught moments) and seeming at times to bobble his lines. In fairness, this is not uncommon in festivals due to the short rehearsal times involved. All this said, Marx does an amazing job during Spence's breakdown after removing his shirt. His performance at that moment is raw and moving.

Though this production is in need of a stronger touch by director Web Bogole, there is a lot to recommend it and Christopher's script.

Man Boobs
Written by J. Julian Christopher
Directed by Web Begole
Producer: Kristen Luciani
Lighting Design: Sheila Donovan
Set Design: Web Begole, J. Julian Christopher
Sound Design: J. Julian Christopher
Stage/Light Crew: J. Julian Christopher, Sheila Donovan, Richard Ponce
Postcard Design: J. Julian Christopher

Featuring: Jeffrey Marx (Spence) and Robert Valin (Marty)

Cherry Lane Studio Theater
38 Commerce Street

Closed July 24th

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just Because

French and Saunders' take on "I Know Him So Well" from Chess.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


8coupons has teamed up with Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party Off-Broadway to offer 188 lucky people tickets for $8 (reg. $51.25). Tickets are first come, first serve and available for performances July 27 through August 10.

Who: &

What: 8coupons OCHO LOCO! First 188 people can see Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party for $8!

When: $8 tickets available for performances from July 27 through August 10.

Where: Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party is located at The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd St.)

Why: In this politically charged mash-up comedy, a fourth-grade Christmas pageant in Lincoln’s rural Illinois hometown questions Honest Abe’s sexuality and sets off a firestorm of controversy. A thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud funny, and uniquely American story unfolds from three different character’s viewpoints - the audience decides the order - creating a truly democratic theatre-going experience. Finally, a Party you can get behind! What could be more American than that?

How: OCHO LOCO! Tickets now on sale. Be the first 188 - 2 Ways To Order:

1. Text yourself the special OCHO LOCO! coupon from and show your phone to the box office to redeem. Use promo code: OCHOABE.
2. Visit or call 212-947-8844 and use promo code: OCHOABE.


The Conditions: $1.25 facility fee will be added to each ticket (Total $9.25). Limit 8 tickets per order! Additional service fees may apply to phone/online orders. This offer is subject to availability and can be revoked at anytime.

Broadway Stands Up For Freedom On July 26th

Join the New York Civil Liberties Union for Broadway Stands Up for Freedom!, their annual star-studded concert to support the youth programs of the NYCLU.

Broadway Stands Up for Freedom will take place Monday, July 26 at 7:30 PM at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Pl. at Washington Square South.

Check out a video clip of last year's showand buy tickets on their website.

This year's show includes performances by Tony Award winners and nominees Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow), Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins), Nellie McKay (The Threepenny Opera), Anthony Rapp (Rent), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), J. Robert Spencer (Next to Normal), and many more!

Host and Musical Director: Seth Rudetsky
Honorary Chair: Tony Kushner

Monday, July 12, 2010

Uncut: The Finale at The Triad Theater on July 14th

By Byrne Harrison
Cross-posted from

After a year of performing her relationship-inspired cabaret show, Melissa E. Driscol is bringing Uncut to a close. Uncut: The Finale will be Wednesday, July 14th at the Upper West Side's Triad Theater.

The show will feature what we have come to expect from Driscol's productions: songs; scenes from Driscol's adventures and misadventures in dating; sexy, gay dancing boys (The Dancing Bottoms); Miss Stonewall 2009, Chocolatina; Miss Fire Island, Ariel Sinclair; After Party's Brandon Cutrell; Bobby Stamper's musical direction; Maria Gentile's direction; and Jamie Delgrosso's choreography.

Come see this young woman’s journey through love, life, and the pursuit of happiness! All this and new songs, new scenes, and lots of fun new dances.

Also appearing in Uncut: The Finale are Adam Chandler, Charles Rockhill, Gabrielle Taryn, Lawrence Baca, Matthew Dean Fletcher, TJ Fix, Matthew Shofner, Joshua Brooks and Josh Smith.

Wednesday, July 14, 8pm

The Triad Theater
158 West 72nd Street at Broadway

Tickets can be purchased for $10 at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

$8 Tickets to Puppetry of the Penis

8coupons has teamed up with Puppetry of the Penis Off-Broadway to offer tickets for $8 (reg. $49.50) for performances July 13 at 8pm, July 14 at 8pm and July 15 at 8pm. Tickets are $18 (reg. $49.50) for performances July 16 through July 24.

Who: and

What: 8coupons OCHO LOCO! See Puppetry of the Penis for as little as $8!

When: $8 tickets available for performances on July 13 at 8pm, July 14 at 8pm, July 15 at 8pm. $18 tickets available for performances from July 16 - July 24; all shows start at 8pm.

Where: Puppetry of the Penis is located at the Bleecker Street Theatre (45 Bleecker Street just east of Lafayette Street)

Why: Because New York is all about shock, astonishment, and delight!

How: OCHO LOCO! Tickets now on sale. 2 Ways To Order:

1. Text yourself the special OCHO LOCO! coupon from and show your phone to the box office to redeem. Use promo code: 8PUPPET.
2. Visit or call 212-947-8844 and use promo code: 8PUPPET.


The Conditions: $1.50 facility fee will be added to each ticket. Limit 8 tickets per order! Additional service fees may apply to phone/online orders. This offer is subject to availability and can be revoked at anytime.

Friday, July 2, 2010

FRIGID New York Presents Mini Fridge

By Byrne Harrison

It's winter in July as Horse Trade Theater Group and FRIGID New York bring back a few of their best shows from this season's FRIGID New York Festival. If you missed these shows in February and March, you have two days to catch them again.

The Mini Fridge features tenderpits, the latest for Art's Heart creator Anthony Johnston. Check out a sample of both plays below. It also features transgender butch Kestryl Lowrey's play about masculinity, XY(T), from the 2008 FRIGID New York Festival.

Here's the full line up.

Friday, July 2

6:30pm tenderpits
The part-autobiographical, part-fictionalized story of a young man’s immigration from Canada to New York City- and of his realization that he is, in fact, a wizard. From the creators of Art’s Heart (Winner, Outstanding Solo Show FringeNYC 2009) comes a sick new show about identity, magic and armpits. Do you believe?

8:30pm No Traveller
In a narcissistic attempt to win her family’s attention, Abigail decides to perform the greatest stunt of all- attempted suicide. When her childish venture turns into unexpected reality, Abigail finds herself trapped in purgatory – a warped version of her apartment with two exits. Heaven or Hell. As a result of her foolish mistake, there is atonement and penance to be paid. . . and time is running out.

10:30pm Vodka Shoes
Rather than abuse her, Leslie’s alcoholic father would buy her shoes, drag race the lawnmower, and burn the neighbor’s bills, while her mother managed a doomed Christian bookstore and prayed in tongues over Leslie’s ailing sister. Leslie’s storytelling navigates a humorously tragic journey through childhood with frighteningly endearing characters.

12am Canuck Cabaret

Saturday, July 3

6:30pm XY(T)
Do you have the balls to become a man? XY(T) brings to life a series of questions, contradictions, and characters around the theme of testosterone. Veering between playful, poignant, hilarious, and disconcerting, transgender butch Kestryl Lowrey strips away layers of gender and self in pursuit of sex and sanity within embodied masculinity.

8:30pm Ramblings of a Gentleman Scumbag
Lucky Chengs Balloon man, delusional comic, and man of no God tries to justify 34 years of poor life choices and degeneracy. Profiled in Playgirl, FHM Magazine, Time-Out NY Magazine, Murdock is not your Father’s balloon man. A straight man in a gay world, a feminist in the sex industry, a ridiculous man in a ridiculous world.

10:30pm Kill the Band
KILL THE BAND IS THE ORIGINAL, COMEDY ROCK AND ROLL, ANTI-CABARET! Coinciding with the release of their first concept album, KILL THE BAND takes you on a cleverly comedic, musically theatrical trip through the band’s breakdowns and breakthrough.

12am Canuck Cabaret featuring Kill The Band

And if this wasn't enough, there will be a 4th of July BBQ on Sunday at 1 PM.

The mini-festival will play at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($15, $25 Two Show Pass, $30 Three Show Pass) are available by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or online at