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