CELEBRATES FIVE “GENIE-US” YEARS ON BROADWAY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019

Flying Into Sixth Broadway Year, Title Emerges as

One of the Biggest Stage Hits of Recent Years,

Grossing Over $1 Billion Worldwide

Aladdin, the hit Broadway musical, continues to reach a whole new world as it celebrates five “genie-us” (USA Today) years on Broadway on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at the New Amsterdam Theatre (previews began February 26, 2014).  Aladdin is the fourth Disney Theatrical Productions show (following Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King,and Mary Poppins) to play five or more years on Broadway.  With six productions on four continents, Aladdin is a worldwide phenomenon that has grossed over $1 billion and welcomed over 10 million guests.

As it approaches its 5th anniversary, Aladdin has broken 14 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and proven itself an enormous and enduring hit, joining a small, exclusive group of blockbusters.  With a gross of over $350 million to date, only two megahits of the last decade (The Book of Mormon and Hamilton) have grossed more in their first five years.  With attendance of over 3 million theatergoers in five years, it has been seen by more people in that period than any Broadway show except Wicked

As of the 5th anniversary of Aladdin on Broadway, the Genie has granted Aladdin 6,294 wishes, there have been 83,920 fireworks set off in the New Amsterdam Theatre, and the magic carpet has flown 63 miles.

The scale and reach of the show’s popularity continues on a parallel track internationally, as the show’s global footprint has expanded to include productions that continue playing in Tokyo, Hamburg, London and Australia and a tour across North America.

Aladdin stars Ainsley Melham (original Australian Aladdin) as Aladdin, Arielle Jacobs (In the Heights, Wicked) as Jasmine, Michael James Scott (The Book of Mormon,Something Rotten!) as the Genie, and Tony Award® nominee Jonathan Freeman (Mary PoppinsThe ProducersShe Loves Me) as Jafar, bringing to the stage the role he indelibly created in the animated film. The show also features Brian GonzalesMike Longo, and Brad Weinstock as Aladdin’s sidekicks Babkak, Kassim, and Omar, JC Montgomery as Sultan and Don Darryl Rivera as Iago.  Juwan CrawleyDennis Stowe and Deonté L. Warren stand by for several principals.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, the show features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the BeastThe Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (EvitaAida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The PromThe Wedding Singer), with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of MormonMean GirlsThe Prom).

In a cast of 36, Aladdin also features Malik Akil, Kathryn Allison, Netanel Bellaishe, Mike CannonDamian Chambers, Alicia Charles, Lauryn CiardulloJacob Dickey,Mark DiConzo, Josh DrakeTiffany EvaristeJacob Gutierrez, April Holloway, Amber OwensJamie Kasey PattersonBobby PestkaAriel ReidTyler RobertsTrent SaundersJaz Sealey, Angelo SorianoKatie TerzaTravis Ward-Osborne and Paige Williams

Aladdin, adapted from the Disney film and centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” is brought to fresh theatrical life in this bold new musical.  Aladdin’s journey sweeps audiences into an exotic world of daring adventure, classic comedy and timeless romance.  This new production features a full score, including the five cherished songs from the Academy Award®-winning soundtrack and more written especially for the stage.

The film won the Oscar for Best Original Score and introduced the hit song “A Whole New World,” which won the second of the film’s two Academy Awards as Best Original Song.  The Peabo Bryson/Regina Belle recording of the tune soared to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, two-time Tony-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

The production team also includes illusion designer Jim Steinmeyer, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly

For more information, visit AladdinTheMusical.com

LEOLA GOES DEEPER INTO LADY LAND AT THE GREEN ROOM 42 ON THURSDAY, APRIL 11

Photo by Ron Glow -TICKETS ON SALE

Photo by Ron Glow -TICKETS ON SALE

Creator Will Nolan and producer Wayward Creatives have announced that Leola’s Lady Land! returns to The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Ave, 4th Floor inside YOTEL) on Thursday, April 11 at 7.00pm for the next show in her 2019 residency at the venue. 

Written and performed by Nolan, each edition of Lady Land! is a healing sermon from Leola, your favorite Kelly Clarkson-worshipping, senior citizen, redneck lesbian who is on a mission to serve up some much-needed national group therapy, one audience at a time.  On April 11, Leola goes Deeper Into Lady Land! to explore the Gospel according to Kelly Clarkson. This edition of the show is a celebration of the second coming – Ms. Clarkson’s birth – from the perspective of a simple gal of 72 who began to discover her sexuality when she tumbled out of the closet and into the arms of Jesus’s little sister, Kelly.

Winner of the Long Island City Flying Solo Festival two years in a row, Leola has appeared across the country in a variety of fringe festivals, regional theaters, and middle-aged birthday parties doing her best to bring you Dame Edna’s hillbilly cousin giving a TED Talk.  The 2018 Atlanta Fringe Festival called Leola a “...touching performance,” and [a] “fantastic character with a great connection to the audience,” as well as “wildly hilarious, deeply intellectual and poignant.”

“Some people are called to slice meat at the Piggly Wiggly deli counter, some people are called to preach the good word of Kelly Clarkson – I’m that rare breed of senior citizen, redneck lesbian who’s called to do both,” said Leola. “Mama Earth and all her babies desperately need some healin’ during these messy times we are livin’ through. And no place is messier than New York City. On April 11, we are going to reconnect with ourselves, reconnect with each other, and find our inner American Idol. Because in the words of Kelly Clarkson, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Except for gators. Gators will kill you.

Tickets are $15-40 and available by visiting bit.ly/LADYLAND.  Leola’s residency continues throughout 2019 on June 13th, September 12th, October 24th and December 5 that 7.00pm. 

BIO

WILL NOLAN (Creator)hails from Atlanta, but has been in the New York City area since 1994. A performer, writer and director, Will spent several years as the male half of the sketch comedy duo Naked Dog Walking, giving birth to Leola. Will continues to perform as part of the highly successful Mortified series in New York. He’s had pieces published and animated for Mortified, and filmed a pilot for Comedy Central.  Check out his animated monologue on YouTube. Besides writing for Naked Dog Walking and Mortified, Will has written numerous plays, including When the Mayonnaise Goes Bad with Stephen Kaplan. His plays have been produced throughout New York City. He is a husband and father living in Northern New Jersey, and is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

WAYWARD CREATIVES (Producer) is a producer and incubator of emerging creatives in live performance and film.  Visit WaywardCreatives.com for more information.

FOLLOW ON:

Photos From "Women's Day on Broadway!"

Read previous Article on “Women’s day on broadway 2019 inspiring changemakers”:

http://www.mynewyorkeye.com/theater-news/womens-day-on-broadway-2019-inspiring-changemakers

New Musical MANDELA to Hold Private Industry Reading

A private, invitation only industry reading of the new musical Mandela will be held on Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15, 2019.  Mandela has music and lyrics by two South African composer/lyricists signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, with a book by Laiona Michelle (Little Girl Blue: The Nina Simone Musical).  This reading is directed by Schele Williams (RentMotown: The Musical), with music direction by Alvin Hough, Jr. (Once On This Island). Fifth Estate Entertainment (Nathan Gehan/Jamison Scott) serves as general manager for the reading.  The reading will be attended by Nandi Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, on behalf of the Mandela family who have officially partnered with the show. The company includes a combination of both South African and American performers. 

Mandela stars Quentin Earl Darrington (Once On This IslandCATS) as Nelson Mandela, Sasha Allen (HairPippin) as Winnie Mandela, and Jeremy Landon Hays (The Phantom of the OperaLes Miserables) as the Warden.  The cast also includes Emmanuel Castis (Jersey Boys), Carrie Compere (The Color Purple, Holler If Ya Hear Me), Alvin Crawford (The Lion King, Miss Saigon), Emerson Davis (Once On This IslandAnnie Warbucks), Ntomb'khona Dlamini (The Lion King, Sarafina), Jason Forbach (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables), Alexa Green (Wicked), Bonita Hamilton (The Lion King), Atandwa Kani (Black PantherDangerous House), Elijah Ahmad Lewis (Motown the Musical),  Micailah Lockhart (My Love Letter to Broadway with Kristen Chenoweth, PBS' American Songbook), JayMcKenzie (Beautiful, Memphis), Phindi Mkhizwe-Wilson (The Lion King), Danny Rothman (Sweeney ToddLoophole), Antoine L.S mith (CarouselThe Color Purple), Vishal Vaidya (Groundhog Day, How To Succeed...), Antonio J. Watson (This Ain't No Disco), and Mia Mei Williams (Once On This Island).

Mandela explores the epic story of Nelson Mandela’s political struggle to lead South Africa out of Apartheid into democracy and freedom, as well as the exceptionally powerful, personal story of what Madiba and his loved ones endured as a family throughout the years of struggle for the liberation of South Africa.

MandelaTheMusical.com

Tenor Byron Singleton and Soprano Eilin O'Dea in "A Night at the Opera" (3/23 & 30)

Tenor Byron Singleton and Spinto Soprano Eilin O'Dea with Maestro Brian Holman at the piano will take the audience on an unforgettable musical and dramatic journey.

Byron Singleton, Eilin O'Dea, Brian Holman. (Left to right) Photo credit-Jonathan Slaff.

On March 23 and 30, Fusion Theatre will present Tenor Byron Singleton and Spinto Soprano Eilin O'Dea in "A Night at the Opera," an evening of extracts (duets and arias) from "Aida," "Tosca" and "Madama Butterfly," at Marc A. Scorca Hall of National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave., 7th floor.  Musical direction is by pianist Maestro Brian Holman. 

Eilin O'Dea founded Fusion Theatre in 2016 to fulfill her concept that synthesizing the worlds of theater and opera can provide the ultimate theatrical experience.  O' Dea describes this as "the culmination and joining of both great art forms."  The company injected operatic arias into Sartre's "No Exit" in 2016 and Anouilh's "Antigone" in 2017.  Now it is giving its first opera performance.  Fusion chose three of the best known and loved operas of all time to launch their Opera Series.  The excerpts presented will be representative of the dramatic and musical journey of each of the chosen operas and the performers, dual-trained as classical actors/opera singers, aim to maintain their absolute commitment to dramatic truth.

The performances will be in Italian without surtitles. 

Byron Singleton (Tenor) made his solo Carnegie Hall debut in "Beyond Boundaries," a concert featuring the music of Bernstein and Sondheim. He has sung in eleven productions with the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera. His career highlights include Cavaradossi in "Tosca" with MORE Opera conducted by Maestro Anton Coppola, the title role in "Les Contes D'Hoffmann" with Vocal Productions NYC, Manrico in Vera Musica Opera's production of "Il Trovatore, Rodolfo in "La Boheme" with the Crotan Symphony, Tenor Soloist in Verdi's Requiem and Foresto in "Attila" with Empire Opera, Riccardo in "Un Ballo in Maschera" at Symphony Space and Der Steuermann in "Der Fliegende Hollander" with the United Nations Orchestra.  Recently he was a guest performer with the NY City Slickers' Bluegrass to Broadway concert at Feinstein's/54 Below. 

Eilin O'Dea (Spinto Soprano) is an award-winning Irish actress and soprano who trained at the prestigious LIR Academy, Trinity College, Dublin and the Conservatory of Music, Dublin. She has performed both in concert and operatic platforms including as guest soprano at St George’s Hall, UK, Mansion House, Dublin, Edgerton Performing Arts, Symphony Space, Broadway, American/Irish Historical Society, New York. She is best known to-date for her groundbreaking interpretations of the works of James Joyce, where she has merged music into Joyce's text.  She received numerous Culture Ireland awards that have allowed her bring her work here to the United States. Among her favorite opera roles to date are Tosca, Aida, Cio Cio San, Suor Angelica and Leonora (La Forza del Destino). O'Dea's performances as a theater actress have consistently received enthusiastic notices.  Theater critic Belinda McKeown described her performance as Madama Cassandra at a sold out Symphony Space Selected Shorts engagement as "staggering." Her performances as Joyce's Molly Bloom have been described as "rich, passionate, compelling" (Irish Theatre Magazine), "O'Dea is every inch the sensualist Joyce imagined" (Irish Times) and "brilliant" (Sunday Business Post).

Brian Holman (Musical Director, Piano) has been described as “dazzlingly talented” (The Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe) and wielding a “magic baton” (Brooklyn Eagle).  This past season, he was named Principal Conductor of New Rochelle Opera, where he led a new production of La Bohème, and returns this season to conduct "La Traviata." His debuts this season include appearances with Red River Lyric Opera ("Suor Angelica," "Gianni Schicchi"), Inland Northwest Opera ("Le nozze di Figaro"), Opera Orlando ("Les contes d’Hoffmann"), and a special Christmas concert with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra and tenor Amine Hachem at Casino du Liban. Recent engagements include Cleveland Opera Theater ("Amelia Lost"), Marble City Opera ("La Traviata"), Harare International Festival of the Arts (opera gala with Baroque 2000 Chamber Orchestra), Film Fest Tucson ("The Mine With the Iron Door"), Mediterranean Opera Festival in Sicily and Merkin Concert Hall ("Tosca"). He has worked with New York City Opera, Opera Africa, Treasure Coast Opera, New York Metro Vocal Arts Ensemble, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Pops Orchestra and Ensemble Mise-En.

Costume design for "A Night at the Opera" is by Dahlia Barakat.

ABOUT FUSION THEATRE

Fusion Theatre launched in January, 2016 with a staged reading of James Joyce's "The Dead" at Theater Row, in which operatic tenor Byron Singleton and soprano Eilin O'Dea sang many of the Irish ballads referred to in Joyce's work.  This was followed September 19-25, 2016 with a short proof-of-concept run of Sartre's "No Exit" at Walkerspace Theatre.  That production opened with operatic arias representative of the transition as between life and death and the instant in between. 

In 2017, Fusion presented the Lewis Galantière translation of Anouilh's "Antigone" at Theatre Row's Studio Theatre, infusing the play with operatic selections from five classic operas based on the Greek myth.  The production was critically applauded for its acting, singing and staging.  (See below.)

The company draws its casts from a tiny pool of classically trained actors who are also accomplished opera singers.  The two performers of "A Night at the Opera," Eilin O'Dea and Byron Singleton, initially met while working in regional opera. 

WHAT'S NEXT?

Fusion Theatre will mount its opera-charged version of Sartre's "No Exit" from April 5 to 25, 2019 as the opening production of a new OOB venue, The Theater at 244, located at 244 West 54th Street, 10th floor.  Over the rest of the year, Fusion will conduct an extended residency there.

REVIEWS OF PAST FUSION THEATRE PRODUCTIONS

"ANTIGONE," 2017

The multi-talented and creative Eilin O’Dea brings the maximum of dramatic tension to the role of Antigone. Byron Singleton combines down-to-earth self-interest with a touching sympathy in his role as First Guard, and with his fine tenor voice he provides a thoroughly enjoyable rendition of Manrico’s aria, 'Deserto Sulla Terra,' from Verdi’s Il Trovatore....The operatic music was  thought-provoking, enriching and a pleasure to hear, and did a good job of advancing the Fusion Theater’s point that there’s value in merging classical theater and opera." -- Yvonne Korshak, Let's Talk Off-Broadway

 "Fusion Theatre brings 'Antigoneto life like never before through their unique blend of dialogue and classic opera....The acting, singing, and staging were all exceptionally well done. All in all, this is an 'Antigone' you won't soon forget." -- Erin Kahn, Stage Buddy

 "The insertion of operatic arias to this rich interweaving of motivations adds yet another element to Anouilh’s play, and the actors, when they sing, display their fine classical training." -- Roberta Pikser, theaterscene.com

 "Eilin O’Dea gives a superb performance as Antigone....In fact, the entire cast is first-rate....this production is excellent, exquisite, a great success – and congratulations to Fusion Theatre!" -- Steve Capra, New York Theatre Critic blog.

 "NO EXIT," 2016

The 2016 production of No Exit was a proof-of-concept showcase and was not reviewed.  The upcoming production April 5 to 25 at The Theater at 244 will be the production's official opening.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS TO "A NIGHT AT THE OPERA"

Fusion Theatre will present "A Night at the Opera" March 23 and 30 at 8:00 PM at Marc A. Scorca Hall of National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Ave., 7 fl.  Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4075758 or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006

Critics are invited to both performances of "A Night at the Opera" (March 23 and 30 at 8:00 PM).

YEHUDA HYMAN’S THE MAR VISTA OPENS on Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Mar Vista: In Search of My Mother’s Love Life opens on, Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W 42nd St).  The Mar Vista is a comical and heartbreaking new play created by award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright and choreographer Yehuda Hyman. At the center of the story is the bond between Hyman and his mother, Sara, a strong-willed, very funny, and deeply romantic Russian-Jewish woman with a colorful and mysterious past.

A cast of 6 actors travels 90 years and several continents in this surprising family saga−the mysteries of Istanbul, a forbidden WWII wartime romance, a gay boy growing up in the 1960s in a family of immigrants in West L.A., Romani dances, Greta Garbo’s face, dancing till dawn in Hollywood, and above all, the enduring power of lost love.  The show stars HymanAmanda SchusselRon KaganRyan Daniel PaterJacob Perkins, and Ezra Bloom

It is conceived by Hyman and brought to life through collaboration with executive producers Barbara NagelRosanne Braun, and creative producers Allison Bressi and Madeleine Goldsmith.The creative team includes Amy Page (costume design), Lewis Folden (scenic consultant), Zach Blane (lighting design), and Ezra Bloom (sound design), with Octopus Theatricals (business manager), Will Jennings (production manager), Kate Ann Wilson (production stage manager), and Katherine Boener (assistant stage manager). 

Tickets are $35, with student tickets priced at $20, and are available on http://bit.ly/TheMarVistaTickets.

  • Valid student ID must be presented at will call for student tickets. 

  • Performances run through March 23, 2019 on Tuesdays-Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 7.30pm, and Sundays at 2.30pm.

Women's Day On Broadway 2019 Inspiring changemakers

IN CELEBRATION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY DISNEY ON BROADWAY ANNOUNCES THE LINEUP FOR THE 2nd ANNUAL WOMEN’S DAY ON BROADWAY INSPIRING CHANGEMAKERS

TUESDAY, MARCH 12th

AT THE ST. JAMES THEATRE

HOME OF DISNEY’S FROZEN

Featured Participants Include:

Anaïs Mitchell, Graciela Daniele, Heidi Schreck, Dominique Morisseau, Theresa Rebeck, Young Jean Lee, Lear deBessonet, Mandy Gonzalez, Ryann Redmond, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Leigh Silverman, Paula Wagner, Maria Manuela Goyanes, Susan Haskins, Julia Jordan, Leslie Barrett, Christine Jones, Eva Price, Kristin Caskey, Tara Rubin, Dessie Moynihan, Anne Quart, Lauren Reid, Rosdely Ciprian, Thursday Williams, Michele Steckler, Jill Furman, and Syndee Winters

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Disney on Broadway announces the lineup for the 2nd annual “Women’s Day on Broadway.” Following its launch in 2018, the event aims to engage attendees of all genders and backgrounds in a day of open and honest dialogue about gender equality in the theatre industry and beyond. This year’s theme, Inspiring Changemakers, focuses the event on people and organizations driving progress within the theatre and entertainment industry, highlighting ways each attendee can become an agent of change.

The event will feature participants including (in alphabetical order): Leslie Barrett, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Kristin Caskey, Rosdely Ciprian, Graciela Daniele, Lear deBessonet, Jill Furman, Mandy Gonzalez, Maria Manuela Goyanes, Susan Haskins, Christine Jones, Julia Jordan, Young Jean Lee, Anaïs Mitchell, Dominique Morisseau, Dessie Moynihan, Eva Price,

Anne Quart, Theresa Rebeck, Ryann Redmond, Lauren Reid, Tara Rubin, Heidi Schreck, Leigh Silverman, Michele Steckler, Paula Wagner, Thursday Williams, and Syndee Winters.

Additionally, this year’s event will highlight some of the organizations that are leading the way for gender equality in the arts. Participating organizations include The Actors Fund, BOLD, Girl Be Heard, The League of Professional Theatre Women, Maestra, Open Stages, PAAL, She NYC Arts, The Kilroys, and The WP Theatre.

Programming outline:

After a welcome from Heidi Schreck and her What the Constitution Means to Me costars Rosdely Ciprian and Thursday Williams, the Executive Director and cofounder of The Lillys, Julia Jordan, will set the stage and present findings from the most recent studies of women in theatre.

Moderated by Maria Manuela Goyanes (Woolly Mammoth), the first panel, “Spotlighting Marquee Women,” will gather the creative forces behind some of this season’s shows to discuss how Broadway can learn from theatre off-Broadway, regionally and beyond. Panelists include Christine Jones (Cher), Young Jean Lee (Straight White Men), Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud), and Leigh Silverman (Lifespan of a Fact).

The next conversation, “Stage, Screens and Studios,” will feature perspectives from women in film, TV, music and theatre, and how we can apply new ideas to our industry. Susan Haskins (“Theatre Talk”) moderates and the panelists include Anaïs Mitchell (Hadestown), Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet), and Paula Wagner (Pretty Woman). Michele Steckler (Fly Loft Group) facilitates an conversation with Leslie Barrett (Serino Coyne), Adrienne Campbell-Holt (Hatef**k) and Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton), designed to reflect the collected community responses to questions about what it takes to be a changemaker.

Attendees are encouraged to join the discussion by completing a short questionnaire at WomenOfBroadway.com/question.

Lauren Reid (The John Gore Organization) will moderate the final panel, “Employing Change,” featuring Kristin Caskey (Ambassador Theatre Group), Lear deBessonet (Hercules), Dessie Moynihan (The Shubert Organization), and Tara Rubin (Tara Rubin Casting). The discussion will invite influential leaders to address how we create greater opportunity and visibility for women in theatre.

To end the day, Anne Quart (Disney Theatrical Productions), will welcome groundbreaking director, choreographer, and industry legend Graciela Daniele to share closing remarks. “Women’s Day on Broadway” will be held on Tuesday, March 12th, at the St. James Theatre, home of Broadway’s new musical Frozen. Disney on Broadway invites professionals of all genders and backgrounds working in entertainment and those interested in the topic to attend the event free of charge while tickets remain.

For more information and to learn about day-of tickets, visit the home for Women’s Day on Broadway, WomenOfBroadway.com, and follow us @WomenOfBroadway.

Specifics for the event are subject to change without notice.

In Theater This week: The Sandstorm by Leonard D. Goodiman at the Hudson Guild Theater

The-sandstorm.jpg

February 26 (9 pm), February 27 (6:15 pm) and March 2 (3:30 pm)

Award-winning playwright, journalist, and actor, Art Shrian steps on stage in Leonard D. Goodisman’s The Sandstorm now playing at the Hudson Guild Theater.

Art Shrian

Art Shrian

myNewYorkeye caught up with Art Shrian between rehearsal. Here is an edited interview.

myNewYorkeye:  Tell us about the play? 

Art Shrian: This powerful, tragic love story takes place in the most cultured society of its time, Islamic Baghdad, 1100 CE. The brilliant, beautiful daughter of a loving, tolerant, family, has three suitors. Two are childhood friends, the third a passionate, rising religious leader. His anti-intellectual movement will help destroy society. Ideas and ideals collide, as today, with dire consequences.

mNYE: Tell me about your role in the play? 

AS:  I play DIYA AL-DIN, the passionate, rising religious leader and suitor of the girl, Fatima. She is in love with Diya, his passion, his persona and invites him to meet her family. Diya has ambitious new ideas to spread knowledge and happiness all over the world. But for him, knowledge and happiness strictly comes from the study of Koran and submitting to Allah. When he finds people that do not share his point of view, a storm ensues leading to unexpected results.

mNYE: What is the most challenging part of the role for you? 

AS:  As an actor, when you play a character, you cannot identify it as an antagonist. That's for the audience to decide. So I had to understand and justify Diya's position and feelings. I had to work hard to empathize with him, even though he shares quite extremist views. Thankfully, our director JB Bruno shared the same view and we worked together to present Diya as a highly motivated and opinionated rather than a crazy person. Although challenging, it was a very interesting process and I'm very excited about the results.

mNYE: Talk a little bit about your passion for theater, what is it about a live audience that motivates us to late see you as a thespian? 

AS:  I strongly believe that theater is the highest form of acting, it's the pinnacle of art for the actors. The process of developing a character and story for the theater is just wonderful. From table-read to multiple rehearsals to live audience feedback, you get an opportunity to deeply understand and tailor the character in its best form. It's the best acting teacher and more.

When you are on the stage, you have nothing to hide behind and no do-overs, just like real life . You lay yourself bare in front of the audience. Which may be scary, but it's also highly inspiring and rewarding. To be able to bring characters and stories to life in front of a live audience, to be able to live the life of these characters on stage, non-stop for 90 minutes, and be able to get immediate feedback, hopefully, praises and admiration is unlike anything else.

mNYE:  Last question what do you want people to take away from this place?

AS:  We live in highly divided times right now, with people sharing extreme views and biases on each side. This play is like a reflection of the world we live in and gives a glimpse into the psyche of people. It's based on the truth of a prosperous time in the past, which got destroyed due to extremism and lack of human understand and connect. I hope people see the play and are able to relate to it in some way, which may lead us to realize the importance of acceptance, tolerance, and love.

More details about the play and tickets at:

The Sandstorm Poster

Cornfield Dance at the Harkness Dance Festival 2019 92nd Street Y - 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY

  • Friday March 29th @8PM

  • Saturday March 30th @4PM and 8PM

  • Tickets: *$15, $35, $40

  • *$15 “XYZ” for 40 & under - must register (free)

More information here

Choreography: Ellen Cornfield

Composer: Andreas Brade

Musicians: Andreas Brade, Robert Boston, Duke Guillame

Costumes: Aaron Booher, Andrew Jordan, Karen Young

Video: Andrew Jordan, Grant Worth

Dancers: Alexandra Berger, Pierre Guilbault, Ruth Howard, Vanessa Knouse Cori Kresge, Logan Pedon, Joshua Tuason, Mac Twining

Cornfield Dance - an exhilarating explosion of emotion in motion!

“Ellen Cornfield is one of our most inventive pure abstract dance makers.”

Joan Finkelstein: Executive Director Harkness Foundation for Dance

Cornfield Dance is honored to be participating in the Harkness Dance Festival, focused this year to be part of the 2019 global celebration of Merce Cunningham’s birth.

The company will be presenting two repertory works, Pas de Detour (2016) and Close-Up (2017) along with the world premier of Portal (2019), performed by the eight formidable dancers gathered for these performances.

Pas de Detour is a richly physical work that combines robust and voracious movements traveling at breakneck speed with an elegant and sensuous dance language. This work physicalizes the idea of obstacles in our lives that detour and derail us, be they our emotions or life events. The dancing is accompanied by live and prerecorded music of ricocheting rhythms and sonorous soundscapes. The brightly colored geometries of the dancers’ costumes are coordinated with the video projected on the black backdrop curtain. These elements all combine to create a magical and theatrical universe. The original version of Pas de Detour, choreographed for four dancers, was shortened and expanded to include eight dancers during a Cornfield Dance residency at Rutgers University in 2016. This is the version being performed.

Luscious and playful, Close-Up moves from the grand to the intimate, from the excitement of an explosive leap to the call of a beckoning finger, bringing the viewers “close up” to the eight dancers and their activity. For the Harkness performances, Cornfield is rearranging the dance material from the original stage work in a number of significant ways. Cornfield’s structuring of this work was inspired by her company’s performance at the Yale Center for British Art in 2018, where the company performed the material in five small gallery rooms all at the same time. For the 92Y’s performances, there are several points where these condensed versions are presented side by side in the main space, at the same time. Additionally, the dancers will perform in the large main space as well as at several times during the piece on the small raised stage.

Cornfield envisions this presentation as an homage to Merce, whose tradition of presenting “Events,” made up of bits of material from different dances put together for a unique performance and adaptable to alternative venues, were an embrace of the unexpected.

In the new work Portal, Cornfield discovers and juxtaposes emotional doorways and openings, using movement as the language, and creating a microscopic mapping of the intangible, our inner life and our emotional patterns. She aims to physicalize iconic emotional rhythms in order to track and describe our behavior and feelings. Performed by seven dancers, the material is organized to wend its way through human character into movement abstraction, from the quotidian to the sacred, through struggles into calm. Portal connotes the passageway from a state of agitation to a state of peace. The music for this piece features the structured improvisation of Andreas Brade, Robert Boston, and jazz saxophonist Duke Guillame.

Each of these dances defines its own world, and the beautiful and expansive Buttenwieser Hall at the 92nd Street Y provides a delightful and unique container in which they will be seen.

About Ellen Cornfield and Cornfield Dance

Ellen Cornfield began working as a choreographer in New York City in the 1980’s, and established her company Cornfield Dance in 1989. She has brought her elegant, robust and at times quirky choreography to new audiences worldwide through performances in theaters, universities, and public spaces. As Artistic Director of Cornfield Dance, she has taught and performed with her company throughout the U.S., and in Japan, England, Holland, Germany, France, Poland, and Russia. In NYC her work has been presented by Danspace Project, The Harkness Dance Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors among many others. Cornfield’s works have also been performed in non-traditional and outdoor venues including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, and in NYC at Elizabeth Street Garden, Battery Park, and Bryant Park.

Cornfield has taught at many of the world’s major dance institutions, including North Carolina School of the Arts and SUNY Purchase, and in Europe (where Cornfield lived for 15 months in the 80’s) at The Laban Centre and The Place in London, the Rotterdam Dansacademie in Holland, and for various European dance companies.

Cornfield has received numerous commissions and funding for her work from both private and government sources, and has set works on professional companies and universities, including two pieces created on the Jose Limón Dance Company during a two-week MANCC residency in 2008. She recently received a four-week Baryshnikov Arts Center Space Residency for late March through early April 2019, divided into a two-week rehearsal period followed by a two week video project of her work Portal that premieres during the Festival.

During her early years in New York, as a young dancer, Cornfield performed with the Merce Cunningham Company 1974 – 1982, earning a reputation as one of the foremost Cunningham dancers of her generation, was in the original casts of his works during that time, and in all of his early video works. She was on the teaching staff at Merce’s studio from 1972 - 2003.

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92Y Harkness Dance Center is named in recognition of the ongoing generosity of the Harkness Foundation for Dance. Major funding is also provided by Jody and John Arnhold; Howard Gilman Foundation; and Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Additional support is provided by Sharon and Jon Corzine; Leo Oppenheimer and Flora Oppenheimer Haas Foundation; Paul and Melinda B. Pressler; and Jerome Robbins Foundation.

Public support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Support for Cornfield Dance from: The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, & Donors to Cornfield Dance.

Coming Soon to the New Victory Theater: A SIMPLE SPACE

Headstands, Backflips and Human Pyramids: Astounding Acrobatics from Australia

From Gravity & Other Myths

★★★★ "Gravity-defying… truly breathtaking and a joy to watch."

- The Stage

The seven audacious acrobats of Gravity & Other Myths like to keep things simple. Who needs circus rigging, sparkly costumes or even shoes when you've got each other? Balancing, climbing and swinging on one another's heads, hands and shoulders, this talented, tight-knit troupe and their dynamic drummer saturate their stripped-down spectacle with high-energy athleticism. A SIMPLE SPACE is a down-to-earth and downright delightful display of human strength, breathtaking skill and cheeky, good-natured one-upmanship. Added performances for Winter Break!

February 9 - 24

Tickets start at $22*

Get Tickets

For everyone 6 and up

60 minutes with no intermission

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Sit Inches Away from the Action!

Elevate your experience with special onstage seating and witness the awesome acrobatics and breathtaking skill up close! 

AHEAD OF FIRST ANNIVERSARY, FROZEN WELCOMES NEW HANS, OLAF AND KRISTOFF

In Rare Broadway Gender Swap,

Ryann Redmond Will be the First Woman to Play Olaf,

The Lovable Snowman

ORIGINAL STARS CAISSIE LEVY AND PATTI MURIN

EXTEND THEIR CONTRACTS 

As it approaches its first anniversary, Frozen is pleased to announce that Joe Carroll (OnceRodgers + Hammerstein’s CinderellaBandstand) and Ryann Redmond (Bring It On The MusicalIf/Then) will join the company as Hans and Olaf, respectively, and current cast member, Noah J. Ricketts will assume the role of Kristoff. The three actors will begin performances Tuesday, February 19, 2019, taking over the roles from original cast members Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf) and John Riddle (Hans), who will play their final performance Sunday, February 17, 2019.

Frozen’s acclaimed original stars Caissie Levy (Elsa) and Patti Murin (Anna) will continue with the production.

Ms. Redmond’s casting marks a milestone: She is the first woman cast as the beloved snowman Olaf in any production of Frozen.

In addition to Levy and Murin, the company of Frozen features Robert Creighton (Weselton), Kevin Del Aguila (Oaken), Timothy Hughes (Pabbie), Andrew Pirozzi (Sven), Zoe Glick (Young Anna), Leila Rose Gross (Young Anna), Mimi Ryder (Young Elsa), Jenna Weir(Young Elsa), Alyssa Fox (Elsa Standby), Aisha Jackson (Anna Standby) and Adam Jepsen (Sven Alternate). Beginning February 19, the role of Sven will be shared equally by Mr. Pirozzi and Mr. Jepsen, with each actor playing four performances a week.

Credits: frozenthemusical.com #disney

Frozen has joined Disney Theatrical hits Aladdin and The Lion King on Broadway, playing at the historic St. James Theatre. The new Broadway musical opened on Thursday, March 22, 2018 and has been in the top 10 best-selling shows every week, establishing itself as the biggest musical hit of its season. A North American tour will open at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles this fall.

“Disney’s struck gold! Sumptuous sets, gorgeous costumes and plenty of special effects to wow the audience!” raves the New York PostThe New Yorker calls Frozen “thrilling” and “genuinely moving” and applauds its “inspired stagecraft.” “With the magic, the dancing and all those iconic tunes, Frozen was born to be a stage musical!” exclaims the Evening Standard, and The Telegraph declares, “Frozen will burn up Broadway for years to come!

Frozen has joined Disney Theatrical hits Aladdin and The Lion King on Broadway, playing at the historic St. James Theatre. The new Broadway musical opened on Thursday, March 22, 2018 and has been in the top 10 best-selling shows every week, establishing itself as the biggest musical hit of its season. A North American tour will open at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles this fall.

“Disney’s struck gold! Sumptuous sets, gorgeous costumes and plenty of special effects to wow the audience!” raves the New York PostThe New Yorker calls Frozen “thrilling” and “genuinely moving” and applauds its “inspired stagecraft.” “With the magic, the dancing and all those iconic tunes, Frozen was born to be a stage musical!” exclaims the Evening Standard, and The Telegraph declares, “Frozen will burn up Broadway for years to come!

Frozen has joined Disney Theatrical hits Aladdin and The Lion King on Broadway, playing at the historic St. James Theatre. The new Broadway musical opened on Thursday, March 22, 2018 and has been in the top 10 best-selling shows every week, establishing itself as the biggest musical hit of its season. A North American tour will open at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles this fall.

“Disney’s struck gold! Sumptuous sets, gorgeous costumes and plenty of special effects to wow the audience!” raves the New York PostThe New Yorker calls Frozen “thrilling” and “genuinely moving” and applauds its “inspired stagecraft.” “With the magic, the dancing and all those iconic tunes, Frozen was born to be a stage musical!” exclaims the Evening Standard, and The Telegraph declares, “Frozen will burn up Broadway for years to come!

JOE CARROLL (Hans). Broadway: Bandstand (Johnny Simpson), Cinderella (Prince Topher), Romeo and JulietOnce. Regional: world premiere of Moulin Rouge at the Colonial Theater in Boston and Bandstand at Paper Mill Playhouse. Film: Bandstand Live on Broadway, Romeo and Juliet. TV: “NCIS: New Orleans;” “Chicago Fire;” “Elementary;” “Deception;” “The Carrie Diaries;” "All My Children.” Training: RADA, BFA University of Michigan. @joe_carrollmich

RYANN REDMOND (Olaf). Broadway: Escape to MargaritavilleIf/ThenBring It On. Television: “Younger” (TV Land). Film: Double Exposure. Off-Broadway: Usual Girls (Roundabout), Gigantic (Vineyard), The Marvelous Wonderettes. National tour: Bring It On. Regional:How to Succeed (TUTS), Hairspray (MUNY). NYU (CAP21).  Twitter/Instagram: @ryannreds. 

NOAH J. RICKETTS (Kristoff). Broadway and first national tour: Beautiful The Carole King Musical. Favorite Regional: Terk, Tarzan® (WWT); C.C., Dreamgirls (North Shore Music Theatre); Jacob, La Cage (Summer Lyric); Hello, Dolly! (St. Louis MUNY); Macbeth (IAA Shakespeare Festival). Proud graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM). @noahjrkts

Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators; in fact, this new stage production features more than twice as much music as the film.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre running over two hours.

Based on the 2013 film written by a trio of Oscar® winners, Frozen features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Up Here, Winnie the Pooh, In Transit) and EGOT-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here) and a book by Jennifer Lee (ZootopiaWreck-It Ralph), the film’s screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck).  Frozen won 2014 Oscars for Best Song (“Let It Go”) and Best Animated Feature. 

Frozen’s director is Michael Grandage, a Tony Award® winner (Red) and director of three Olivier Award-winning Outstanding Musicals (Merrily We Roll Along, Grand Hotel and Guys and Dolls), and Rob Ashford, Tony Award winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and multiple Tony and Olivier Award nominee, is choreographer.

In a cast of over 40, Frozen also features Alicia AlbrightJoe BeauregardTracee BeazerWendi BergaminiAshley BlanchetClaire CampLauren Nicole ChapmanSpencer ClarkJeremy DavisKali GrinderAshley Elizabeth HaleZach HessDonald Jones, Jr.Nina LafargaRoss LekitesAustin LeschSynthia LinkRobin MasellaTravis PattonAdam PerryJeff PewOlivia PhillipNoah J. Ricketts,Julius Anthony RubioAnn SandersJacob Smith and Nicholas Ward.

The design team for Frozen includes scenic and costume design by two-time Tony and Olivier Award winner Christopher Oram (Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2The Cripple of InishmaanEvita), lighting design by six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Aladdin; Hello Dolly!; An American in Paris), sound design by four-time Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (The Scottsboro Boys, Motown, After Midnight), video design by Tony winner Finn Ross (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), puppet design by Michael Curry (The Lion KingSpamalot), hair design by David Brian Brown (War PaintShe Loves Me), makeup design by Anne Ford-Coates (On Your Feet!On the Twentieth Century) and special effects design by Jeremy Chernick (AladdinHarry Potter and the Cursed Child).

Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Oremus (Avenue Q, Wicked, The Book of Mormon) is music supervisor and creates vocal, incidental and dance arrangements. He is joined on the music team by Tony nominee Dave Metzger (orchestrations), Chris Montan (executive music producer), David Chase (additional dance arrangements) and Brian Usifer (music director).

Frozen is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

JOE CARROLL (Hans). Broadway: Bandstand (Johnny Simpson), Cinderella (Prince Topher), Romeo and JulietOnce. Regional: world premiere of Moulin Rouge at the Colonial Theater in Boston and Bandstand at Paper Mill Playhouse. Film: Bandstand Live on Broadway, Romeo and Juliet. TV: “NCIS: New Orleans;” “Chicago Fire;” “Elementary;” “Deception;” “The Carrie Diaries;” "All My Children.” Training: RADA, BFA University of Michigan. @joe_carrollmich

RYANN REDMOND (Olaf). Broadway: Escape to MargaritavilleIf/ThenBring It On. Television: “Younger” (TV Land). Film: Double Exposure. Off-Broadway: Usual Girls (Roundabout), Gigantic (Vineyard), The Marvelous Wonderettes. National tour: Bring It On. Regional:How to Succeed (TUTS), Hairspray (MUNY). NYU (CAP21).  Twitter/Instagram: @ryannreds. 

NOAH J. RICKETTS (Kristoff). Broadway and first national tour: Beautiful The Carole King Musical. Favorite Regional: Terk, Tarzan® (WWT); C.C., Dreamgirls (North Shore Music Theatre); Jacob, La Cage (Summer Lyric); Hello, Dolly! (St. Louis MUNY); Macbeth (IAA Shakespeare Festival). Proud graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM). @noahjrkts

Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators; in fact, this new stage production features more than twice as much music as the film.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre running over two hours.

Based on the 2013 film written by a trio of Oscar® winners, Frozen features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Up Here, Winnie the Pooh, In Transit) and EGOT-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here) and a book by Jennifer Lee (ZootopiaWreck-It Ralph), the film’s screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck).  Frozen won 2014 Oscars for Best Song (“Let It Go”) and Best Animated Feature. 

Frozen’s director is Michael Grandage, a Tony Award® winner (Red) and director of three Olivier Award-winning Outstanding Musicals (Merrily We Roll Along, Grand Hotel and Guys and Dolls), and Rob Ashford, Tony Award winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and multiple Tony and Olivier Award nominee, is choreographer.

In a cast of over 40, Frozen also features Alicia AlbrightJoe BeauregardTracee BeazerWendi BergaminiAshley BlanchetClaire CampLauren Nicole ChapmanSpencer ClarkJeremy DavisKali GrinderAshley Elizabeth HaleZach HessDonald Jones, Jr.Nina LafargaRoss LekitesAustin LeschSynthia LinkRobin MasellaTravis PattonAdam PerryJeff PewOlivia PhillipNoah J. Ricketts,Julius Anthony RubioAnn SandersJacob Smith and Nicholas Ward.

The design team for Frozen includes scenic and costume design by two-time Tony and Olivier Award winner Christopher Oram (Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2The Cripple of InishmaanEvita), lighting design by six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Aladdin; Hello Dolly!; An American in Paris), sound design by four-time Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (The Scottsboro Boys, Motown, After Midnight), video design by Tony winner Finn Ross (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), puppet design by Michael Curry (The Lion KingSpamalot), hair design by David Brian Brown (War PaintShe Loves Me), makeup design by Anne Ford-Coates (On Your Feet!On the Twentieth Century) and special effects design by Jeremy Chernick (AladdinHarry Potter and the Cursed Child).

Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Oremus (Avenue Q, Wicked, The Book of Mormon) is music supervisor and creates vocal, incidental and dance arrangements. He is joined on the music team by Tony nominee Dave Metzger (orchestrations), Chris Montan (executive music producer), David Chase (additional dance arrangements) and Brian Usifer (music director).

Frozen is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

JOE CARROLL (Hans). Broadway: Bandstand (Johnny Simpson), Cinderella (Prince Topher), Romeo and JulietOnce. Regional: world premiere of Moulin Rouge at the Colonial Theater in Boston and Bandstand at Paper Mill Playhouse. Film: Bandstand Live on Broadway, Romeo and Juliet. TV: “NCIS: New Orleans;” “Chicago Fire;” “Elementary;” “Deception;” “The Carrie Diaries;” "All My Children.” Training: RADA, BFA University of Michigan. @joe_carrollmich

RYANN REDMOND (Olaf). Broadway: Escape to MargaritavilleIf/ThenBring It On. Television: “Younger” (TV Land). Film: Double Exposure. Off-Broadway: Usual Girls (Roundabout), Gigantic (Vineyard), The Marvelous Wonderettes. National tour: Bring It On. Regional:How to Succeed (TUTS), Hairspray (MUNY). NYU (CAP21).  Twitter/Instagram: @ryannreds. 

NOAH J. RICKETTS (Kristoff). Broadway and first national tour: Beautiful The Carole King Musical. Favorite Regional: Terk, Tarzan® (WWT); C.C., Dreamgirls (North Shore Music Theatre); Jacob, La Cage (Summer Lyric); Hello, Dolly! (St. Louis MUNY); Macbeth (IAA Shakespeare Festival). Proud graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM). @noahjrkts

Frozen, a full-length stage work told in two acts, is the first and only incarnation of the tale that expands upon and deepens its indelible plot and themes through new songs and story material from the film’s creators; in fact, this new stage production features more than twice as much music as the film.  Like the Disney Theatrical Broadway musicals that have come before it, it is a full evening of theatre running over two hours.

Based on the 2013 film written by a trio of Oscar® winners, Frozen features music and lyrics by the creators of the film score Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Up Here, Winnie the Pooh, In Transit) and EGOT-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon, Up Here) and a book by Jennifer Lee (ZootopiaWreck-It Ralph), the film’s screenwriter and director (with Chris Buck).  Frozen won 2014 Oscars for Best Song (“Let It Go”) and Best Animated Feature. 

Frozen’s director is Michael Grandage, a Tony Award® winner (Red) and director of three Olivier Award-winning Outstanding Musicals (Merrily We Roll Along, Grand Hotel and Guys and Dolls), and Rob Ashford, Tony Award winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and multiple Tony and Olivier Award nominee, is choreographer.

In a cast of over 40, Frozen also features Alicia AlbrightJoe BeauregardTracee BeazerWendi BergaminiAshley BlanchetClaire CampLauren Nicole ChapmanSpencer ClarkJeremy DavisKali GrinderAshley Elizabeth HaleZach HessDonald Jones, Jr.Nina LafargaRoss LekitesAustin LeschSynthia LinkRobin MasellaTravis PattonAdam PerryJeff PewOlivia PhillipNoah J. Ricketts,Julius Anthony RubioAnn SandersJacob Smith and Nicholas Ward.

The design team for Frozen includes scenic and costume design by two-time Tony and Olivier Award winner Christopher Oram (Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2The Cripple of InishmaanEvita), lighting design by six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Aladdin; Hello Dolly!; An American in Paris), sound design by four-time Tony nominee Peter Hylenski (The Scottsboro Boys, Motown, After Midnight), video design by Tony winner Finn Ross (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), puppet design by Michael Curry (The Lion KingSpamalot), hair design by David Brian Brown (War PaintShe Loves Me), makeup design by Anne Ford-Coates (On Your Feet!On the Twentieth Century) and special effects design by Jeremy Chernick (AladdinHarry Potter and the Cursed Child).

Two-time Tony Award winner Stephen Oremus (Avenue Q, Wicked, The Book of Mormon) is music supervisor and creates vocal, incidental and dance arrangements. He is joined on the music team by Tony nominee Dave Metzger (orchestrations), Chris Montan (executive music producer), David Chase (additional dance arrangements) and Brian Usifer (music director).

Frozen is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions under the direction of Thomas Schumacher.

DANIEL J. WATTS Brings THE JAM: ONLY CHILD to SubCulture on Monday, October 15th

DANIEL J. WATTS DEBUTS AT SUBCULTURE WITH

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 15TH

September 18, 2018 (New York) – Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton, TBS’ “The Last O.G.,” Signature Theatre’s The Death of The Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World) and WattsWords Productions present Daniel J. Watts' The Jam: Only Child, an evening of music, dance, spoken word, and storytelling on Monday, October 15th at new NoHo stapleSubCulture (45 Bleecker Street). Doors open at 7pm, the show begins at 8pm.

Only Child marks the reunion between Watts and director Lileana Blain-Cruz (The House That Will Not Stand, Pipeline) who received an Obie Award for her direction of The Death of The Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, in which Watts played the title character. Only Child also features Jam mainstay DJ Duggz, aka Preston Dugger III (Motown the Musical, Memphis), spinning through the evening.

All advance general admission tickets are $30 through October 7th. Tickets are $40 October 8th through October 15th and can be purchased by visiting SubCultureNewYork.com/event/the-jam-only-child. Standing room tickets will be available upon sold out general admission.

“Each time I put together a new edition of The Jam, it is inspired by what is happening in the world, in my world, or in my life,” said artist and activist Watts. “This Jam has a coming of age feel. It follows my journey through the experiences that have shaped my perceptions and influenced my decision-making as I investigate the cost of holding on, and the freedom of letting go.”

A play-on-words, The Jam pays homage to Watts’ great-grandmother who, after making jam from scratch, would share with others what she was unable to consume herself. The Jam is Watts’ continuation of that legacy featuring his original spoken word, often set to music and/or dance. This is Watts’ third instillation of The Jam: Only Child after sold out performances at Joe’s Pub in the famed Public Theater, and as one of the final acts to play the historic Webster Hall.

In 2016, galvanizing cast members from Hamilton, On Your Feet, and Shuffle Along, Watts played to a packed house in Webster Hall’s Marlin Room with The Jam: Love Terrorists - A Benefit for Orlando. The event raised $7500 for the LGBT community in Orlando after the horrific attack at Pulse Night Club.

WattsWords Productions is dedicated to developing original programming including live performances, web content, and demonstrations written by Daniel J. Watts in an effort to urge communities to actively engage in focusing on their social similarities opposed to their differences.

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Daniel J. Watts in The Jam: Only Child, Photo Credit - Simply Greg

BIOS

DANIEL J. WATTS has appeared in eight Broadway shows including Hamilton, In The Heights and Memphis. Off Broadway he has starred in Suzan-Lori Parks' The Death of the Last Black Man in the Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead (Signature Theatre) and the world premiere of Whorl Inside A Loop (2nd Stage). He currently appears as Felony in Tracy Morgan's new comedy series “The Last OG” on TBS. Other TV credits include recurring roles on NBC's “Blindspot” and “Smash”; HBO's “Vinyl,” “The Deuce,” “The Night Of,” and “Boardwalk Empire”; “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods” and “Person of Interest” on CBS; “Odd Mom Out” on Bravo; and “Broad City” on Comedy Central. Film: Breakup at a Wedding, Among Brothers and Freedom.

An accomplished spoken word artist, in 2012 Watts launched WattsWords Productions. Daniel J. Watts' The Jam, an homage to his great grandmother who made homemade jam from scratch and gave away what she couldn't eat herself, is a spoken word/storytelling experience fusing a live band, song, dance and multimedia where Watts encourages audiences to focus on social similarities opposed to differences. Most recently, his work is featured in the young adult anthology How I Resist edited by New York Times Best Seller Maureen Johnson for Wednesday Books/Macmillan.

An educator, Watts has also served as an adjunct professor of NYU's Tisch New Studio. He teaches his own course on how to truly engage in one's self in order to contribute meaningful and personal artistic work.

Watts is a BFA Graduate of Elon University’s Music Theatre Program and a 2011 Young Alumnus Award Recipient. For original work visit www.wattswords.com @dwattswords

LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ is a director from New York City and Miami, and a recent recipient of an Obie Award for directing The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA The Negro Book of the Dead at Signature Theater. Recent projects include Lucas Hnath's Red Speedo at NYTW; Alice Birch's Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again at Soho Rep; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' War at LCT3 and Yale Rep; Henry IV Part 1 and Much Ado About Nothing at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; The Bluest Eye at The Guthrie; Christina Anderson’s Hollow Rootswhich premiered in the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater; Project Realms an electric pop opera performed at La Sala; a new translation of The Bakkhai at the Fisher Center of Performing Arts at Bard College; and A Guide to Kinship and Maybe Magic, a collaboration with choreographer Isabel Lewis and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins at Dance New Amsterdam.

She received her MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama, where she directed the opera Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, The Taming of the Shrew, Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys, Buffalo Maine, Cavity and lastly Fox Play as part of the Carlotta Festival of New Plays. She was one of the co-artistic directors of the 2011-2012 Yale Cabaret, where she directed Funnyhouse of a Negro, Vaska Vaska Glöm, and SALOME. She received both the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize and the Pierre-Andre Salim Prize for her leadership and directing. She was an Artistic Associate of The Exchange and The Orchard Project, a member of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and an Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. She is a graduate of Princeton University, where she is currently working on a new play GURLS as part of the opening of the new Lewis Center for the Arts. Upcoming projects include Actually at MTC, Water by the Spoonful at CTG, and The House That Will Not Stand at NYTW.

PRESTON DUGGER, aka DJ DUGGZ, is a Washington, DC native that began performing in theatre and television at an early age and has appeared in Broadway shows such as Memphis and Motown, as well as on television in “Smash” and “Flesh and Bone.” Preston has had a passionate desire to make sure crowds enjoy themselves when on a stage, on screen or behind turntables. “It is my mission to go above and beyond and make sure my clients receive the best experience visually and sonically.”

Preston has DJ’ed such high-profile events as The Democratic National Committee for Hillary Clinton, and at Radio City Music Hall, Webster Hall, The Watergate Hotel, and Cipriani Wall Street. @DJDUGGZ

SATELLITE COLLECTIVE PRESENTS ECHO & NARCISSUS

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New York, NY (September 10, 2018) – Satellite Collective will present Echo & Narcissus, their seventeenth interdisciplinary work, at BAM Fisher (321 Ashland Pl, Brooklyn, NY) this Friday, September 14th at 8 PM and Saturday, September 15 at 7:30 PM. Written by Satellite Artistic Director Kevin Draper and composed by Aaron Severini, Echo & Narcissus is directed by Philip Stoddard and features choreography by Norbert De La Cruz III. The evening will seamlessly intertwine a myriad of artforms, including live chamber performance, visual art, ballet, digital multimedia, and opera, in order to literally immerse the audience in art. Echo & Narcissus will showcase an incredible ensemble of acclaimed and accomplished dancers, including Matteo Fiorani, Timothy Stickney, Joslin Vezeau, and Tara Youngmen, along with singers Christine Taylor Price and Philip Stoddard. Tickets are now available.

“We work at the intersection of dance, visual art and music - and we use architects and poets as the glue,” said Founding Artistic Director Kevin Draper. “Echo & Narcissus will be our first, focused, evening-length work where group action has to resonate in service to the story. We're crafting a pretty high level of intensity for the audience.”

New York, 1971. Narcissus, a rebellious yet charismatic outsider, hunts alone in the city at night. He's come south from his father's kingdom on the city's outer coast. Echo, a young nymph and socialite, falls for Narcissus and they hook up. Her brother and the other nymphs fail in their attempt to separate her from Narcissus and one night the two commit an irrevocable crime. Echo's brother tries with more urgency to separate the two but is instead drawn into an adventure that ends with tragedy.

Satellite Collective, led by Artistic Director Kevin Draper, was founded in 2010 with members of the New York City Ballet, visual artists, writers, and composers from across the United States. Since then, the Collective has produced five seasons of multi-disciplinary work in New York City, Michigan and the Pacific Northwest. With the belief that artists of all mediums should collaborate as equals, globally and virtually, Satellite has fearlessly fused dance, music, film, and spoken word into their unique vision. An artistic incubator at the highest level, and an “admirably cooperative endeavor” (New York Times), the Collective has served as a launching pad for young choreographers, composers, film makers, poets and visual artists. With an ever-growing and impressive roster of artists from the New York City Ballet, The Juilliard School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Bowery Poetry Club, “Satellite Collective aims to open up the stage to diverse artistic practice, producing alternate channels for performance to envelop their audiences while channeling theatrical and choreographic gesture, film, stagecraft, and storytelling into a total artwork” (New York Observer).

The production team for Echo & Narcissus also includes lighting designer Brandon Stirling Baker, film maker Lora Robertson, production designer Kevin Draper, projection designer Simon Harding, and live music by ShoutHouse.

Tickets for Echo & Narcissus are $25 and are available online at www.SatelliteCollective.org.

The Satellite Collective is proud to receive support from BAM, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Frey Foundation, Nestle, SAP, 92Y, DeVos Institute of Arts Management, Brooklyn Arts Council, and many other government, public and private supporters.

BROADWAY & THEATER MINI-REVIEW ~ TONY2016 NOMINEE MUSINGS!

Lapacazo, What Do You Know? I know about the theater Here is a mini review to help you make good theater decisions.

African-Americans and all people of color and diversity, also attend theater and purchase tickets on Broadway for a myriad of shows. We are, God Bless Our Collective Souls, a curious people and capable of indescribable depths of empathy. The lives of quirky, challenged characters, that are the fabric of the very best theater is something — dare I say — we understand instinctively. Toss in good music and we become the backbone of a loyal following that can make or break a project.

Here is a mini review of recent Broadway shows and I am going to use my “Harlem Rating:” four $ signs = great.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (3 Tony nominations) $$$$

This well reviewed revived musical comedy (1964) is powerful and honors the ebullience of the human spirit, as embodied by the lead character, Tevye, living in a Russian shtetl in the early 20th, and played by Danny Burstein, a Broadway veteran and five-time Tony nominee. He’s so good in the role that it made my knees buckle. Choreographer, Hofesh Shechter, nominated for a Tony this year, demonstrated that dance is an essential part of storytelling.

ECLIPSED (6 Tony nominations) $$$$

Danai Gurira wrote this soul searching and unflinching peek into the lives of women, caught in the brutal violence of Liberian civil war. It’s perfect. Under the careful hands of Tony nominated director, Liesl Tommy, a native of South Africa and the first African/African-American woman to be nominated for a Tony Award, demonstrates that as a storyteller, Tommy is born to her profession.

THE COLOR PURPLE (4 Tony nominations) $$$$

Hallelujah, seems the right word to encompass this stripped down version of the musical, based on the novel written by Alice Walker. In a tweet [quote] Lin-Manuel Miranda said that he “went to church” after watching a matinee performance. The heart-pounding gospel-atomic powered musical is making Tony nominated Cynthia Erivo, a new star and giving theater credibility to Danielle Brooks, nominated for a Tony award, under “featured in a musical category.”

ON YOUR FEET! THE STORY OF EMILO and GLORIA ESTEFAN (1 Tony nomination) $$$

The music of the Estefefan empire and the performances of Ana Villafañe (as Ms. Estefan) and Josh Segarra (Emilo) make this a must see. Under Tony nominated choreographer, Sergio Trujillo, the sizzling dance numbers bring audiences to their feet. The strong ensemble of dancers include Luis Salgado who also acts as dance captain for this vibrant production.

At the meet the Tony nominees event this “birdy heard”: :

Renee Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) : “Hamilton reflects a huge part of our culture, our story, our people and it connects to the truth and they understand.” Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) is nominated for best performance by an actor in a musical for playing two roles—Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson: “Lafayette, has no problem breaking the 4th wall. I come out blowing kisses and waving to the audience. While playing Jefferson that does not happen. He is aware of everything and is just waiting for a moment to connect.“

Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed) highlighted that the original musical, Shuffle Along, which debuted in 1921, was ground breaking: “It was the first musical with a jazz score among other firsts. That includes launching the careers of Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, and Florence Mills who became the biggest entertainment star — white or black — at the time. There are many milestones that Shuffle Along created that no one really knows anything about, yet.”

Eclipsed producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, the only lead African-American producers on Broadway, the six time nominated play is making history again with the nomination for South African born director, Liesl Tommy: “Liesl Tommy is the first woman of color to be nominated in the category of best direction for a play. There has only been three female Broadway directors—ever—and our company has debuted two of them: Debbie Allen with “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” and now, Tony nominee, Liesl Tommy.”

www.tonyawards.com - June 12th on CBS