Shebooks has just put out my collection of short stories as an audio book narrated so beautifully by Stephanie Tucker. I promise you that even if you’ve read the stories already, it’s a whole new, thrilling experience to hear them on your audio device.
In her Broadway debut Renée Fleming, as the diva Raquel De Angelis, brings this light comedy, LIVING ON LOVE, to life. Who knew that besides her exquisite, world-famous operatic voice for which she won four Grammies, she is a terrific comic as well? As soon as she enters the drawing room in her gorgeous Michael Krass designs, awed, you suck in your breath. And when she sings, even a comic riff, you sigh with pleasure.
When her husband, Vito, a temperamental, dramatic maestro played by Douglas Sills (The Scarlet Pimpernel) falls in love with a young woman hired to ghostwrite his totally fictionalized autobiography, Raquel retaliates by hiring a dashing young male ghostwriter to chronicle her life as a famous diva. Vito’s heartthrob, Iris Peabody, who he keeps referring to as “Irish,” is played by Anna Chlumsky (You Can’t Take It With You). Robert Samson, Raquel’s new love, is played by Jerry O’Connell (Stand by Me, Jerry Macguire). In the screwball chaos, snow globes and silverware fly. Between the couples, there’s plenty of insider jokes about the publishing world and what it means to be displaced by Leonard Bernstein or aging out of a soprano voice to a deeper alto. And the madcap butlers played by Blake Hammond (First Date, Sister Act) and Scott Robertson (Cabaret, Damn Yankees) have their own secrets to reveal. Whenever Trixie, Raquel’s Pomeranian, comes onstage, she steals the show.
Two-time Tony Award-winning playwright, Joe DiPietro (Memphis), based this play on Garson Kanin’s Peccadillo, originally written in 1968. It feels like a summer stock production come to Broadway. And why not? Summer will soon be here. The production will play an 18-week engagement through Sunday, August 2, 2015.
The creative team includes Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Michael Krass (Costume Design), Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design), Scott Lehrer (Sound Design) and Rob Fisher (Music Consultant). Living on Love is produced on Broadway by Scott Landis, Philip Morgaman, Ryan Chang, Just For Laughs Theatricals, Glass Half Full Productions, Stephanie P. McClelland, Judith M. Box, No Saucy Productions, Alix Ritchie/John Yonover.
Living on Love is playing at the Longacre Theatre-220 West 48th Street, in New York City. For tickets, call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200, or (800) 447-7400, or purchase them https://www.telecharge.com/
For more information, visit www.LivingonLoveBroadway.com
Tuesday through Thursday at 7pm; Saturday at 8pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm; and, Sunday at 3pm
No Performances: Sunday, April 26 at 3pm; Sunday, May 10 at 3pm; Friday, June 26 at 8pm; Saturday, July 4 at 8pm
Performance Time Changes: Sunday, June 7 at 2pm; Sunday, June 28 at 2pm; Sunday, July 5 at 2pm
Added Performances: Monday, May 4 at 7pm; Sunday, June 28 at 7pm; Sunday, July 5 at 7pm
The producers are pleased to announce that at every performance, over 100 seats will be set aside to be sold for $25. Over 10,000 $25 tickets will be made available, bookable in advance, throughout the run giving more people an opportunity to experience this new play.
FUN HOME at CIRCLE IN THE SQUARE, (235 West 50th Street)
Fun Home gets you where your emotions live. Although it’s based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, Fun Home, and not your own life, we all know what it feels like to live in a family that has to keep up a façade. Here the façade is literal–a historical house in rural Pennsylvania that the father, Bruce (Michael Cerveris of Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Evita), has painstakingly restored. You see him pressuring his wife, Helen (Judy Kuhn of She Loves Me, Les Miserables), and their three kids to gussy up the house before public viewings just as he has to gussy up his own public image. Bruce is a man divided—a local high school English teacher, a mortician who took over his family’s business, a home restorer, a man with a wife and kids, and a guy who picks up young men for sex, each of his pick-ups played by Joel Perez (of Roy/Mark/Pete/Bobby Jeremy).
The story spotlights the Alison’s wrenching relationship to her erudite and volatile father. We meet her forty-three-year-old self played by Beth Malone (Molly Brown, Ring of Fire) all alone at her drawing desk, trying to come up with the words, the images, that will help her understand what she’s lived through. And then her past comes alive, with all the struggles of her own divided self. We see the mature Allison peering over the shoulder of her youngest self, played brilliantly by Sydney Lucas (youngest recipient of the Obie). We meet her college self (Emily Skeggs of I and Silence) at Oberlin, looking back at her high-jinx with her brothers, John (8 year-old Zell Steele Morrow) and Christian (11-year-old Oscar Williams). We see Alison’s college self embracing her own lesbianism and her first lover, Joan (Roberta Colindrez of Mala Hierba, Girls, Boardwalk Empire). And then, we see how the declaration of her new-found sexual identity to her parents sends a wrecking ball to whatever is left of their façade.
Obie-award winning and Drama Desk nominee Director Sam Gold enhances the theme of elusive memory when a piano slides into view or a coffin rises up from the floor and sinks again, interred. Ben Stanton’s lighting makes things seem to appear and disappear as memories in the subconscious.
The music by four-time Tony Award nominee Jeanine Tesori and book lyrics by Tony Award nominee Lisa Kron is intimate. Who can stay dry-eyed with the youngest Allison, (Sydney Lucas) singing about being dazzled by a lesbian with cropped hair, laced-up boots, jeans, and a ring of keys? “Ring of Keys” is still wringing my heart. Allison’s love song to Joan, with lyrics about wanting to major in her body, is both comic and deeply affecting.
With all the rehash on Broadway, #FunHome is worth tweeting about. Fun Home opened to rave reviews at The Public Theater in October 2013, and was extended four times due to popular demand. It was named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, and received the OBIE, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Off Broadway Alliance Awards in the 2013-2014 season.
The creative team of Fun Home also includes Danny Mefford (Choreography), David Zinn (Set and Costume Design), Ben Stanton (Lighting Design), Kai Harada (Sound Design), Chris Fenwick (Music Direction), and John Clancy (Orchestrations).
The schedule is: Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday – Saturday at 8:00 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM, and Sunday at 3:00 PM..reviews March 27,), with an official opening night set for Sunday, April 19, 2015.
Ticket prices for Fun Home range from $75 – $150 and are available for purchase via Telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200, or in person at the Circle in the Square Theatre box office.
Fun Home has partnered with TodayTix to allow its members to enter a mobile lottery via the TodayTix app, available in the App Store or Google Play Store. The entry period will begin each day at midnight, and continue until winners are notified via push notification 3-4 hours before the selected performance begins. Winners will be offered the opportunity to purchase either one or two $32 tickets, and can pick up them up from the box office of the Circle in the Square Theatre. Lottery tickets and seat locations are subject to availability.
Fun Home is produced on Broadway by Fox Theatricals (Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson) and Barbara Whitman, along with Carole Shorenstein Hays, Tom Casserly, Paula Marie Black, Latitude Link, Terry Schnuck/Jack Lane, The Forstalls, Nathan Vernon, Mint Theatricals, Elizabeth Armstrong, JAM Theatricals and Delman Whitney.
The Original Cast Recording of Fun Home is available on PS Classics.
The Clurman Theater
412 W. 42nd St., NY, 10036
April 11-May 10
On a cold and foggy night in the South of Wales, Richard Warwick, a wealthy, cruel man, sits in his wheelchair facing the windowed door of his darkened study, shot through the head. His wife, Laura (Pamela Sabaugh) leans against the wall. The foghorn on the channel sounds mournfully. Headlights sweep across the room, illuminating Laura, and then the French door opens. Enter the stranger, Michael Starkwedder (Nicholas Viselli), who came to make a phone call because his car broke down and discovers that he’s stumbled into a murder. And so begins Agatha Christie’s 1958 thriller, The Unexpected Guest, with its dazzling turns and twists. There was whip crack tension in the air and when the guy behind me sneezed loudly, I jumped in my seat and sucked in my breath. (Hope I didn’t catch anything).
The cast features core members of TBTB (Theater Breaking Through Barriers) which gives actors with disabilities a chance to take parts that have nothing to do with their disability and perform with the able bodied. Newcomers include Scott Barton as Julian Farrar, Melanie Boland, Christopher Abrosiano (The Good Wife), Anthony Lopez, Lawrence Merrit, Anne Marie Morelli, and Pamela Sabaugh (The Goldman Project).
Pamela Sabaugh will remind you of the glam of a Joan Crawford. How beautifully she wears the clothes designed by Amanda Jenks. And her every gesture has power, especially her posture at the end. No spoilers here!
The set for the play, Warwick’s studio, juts forward and recesses, which gives the feeling of so much more space and mystery. Kudos to the set and lighting designer, Bert Scott.
Director and Yale School of Drama graduate Vivian Rauch Lichterman was an actress on soap operas, a writer who has published in Redbook and written for the sitcom Kate and Allie, among a long list of other credits, including being a scholar of genocide. At sixty-seven, she is the oldest person in the CUNY system to be awarded tenure. How is that for breaking through barriers? She was a close friend of TBTB’s founding Artistic Director, of the late Ike Schambelan who died before this production opened.
Notice how my table spans the whole living room. And check out Moses surrounded by frogs and a wind-up matzoh ball.
Listen to Dave Isay’s talk and consider getting an app for your phone to make interviews that you can send to the library of congress. Get tissues for when you listen to a mother’s interview of her young son with Asperger’s Syndrome or a man who writes love letters each day to his wife of many years or the woman who befriended the man that murdered her son.
I’m no dentist, but I’m at the dentist all the time. Although I can learn dance steps in a blink, I would walk away from the dentist’s instructions on gum care with a huh? is this right? Am I injuring myself? Why didn’t I ever think of watching You Tube to get personal dental care instructions? They have videos for the use of water pics, even for massaging your gums with olive oil. If you need follow up, follow up with you-tube between dental visits.