Friday, April 20, 2018

Stephanie Courtney aka Sayonne is a Wonderful New Discovery To Me

I am so fortunate that I live, work, and cover theater in a town like New York.  It never fails to surprise me at how much talent is brimming over in New York.  When I meet young actresses like Stephanie Courtney aka Sayonne, I am very excited to talk to them, because they are really embarking on a wonderful journey that has some great highs and great lows.  Many times, I feel like the proud and fun fairy godfather to so many of these performers. 

It turns out that Ms. Sayonne and I are both First Generation Americans, and even with our age difference, there are a many similarities in our upbringing.  I loved that her father and brother travel with her and protect her as best they can, and because of that foundation, she has managed to work as an actress and maintain a relatively unscathed path towards achieving her dreams and goals.  She also has a great manager that is truly helping to groom this talented young lady. 

She is also using her passion and energy as a musical artist to explore her more popular sensibilities.  As much as I LOVE talking to the many famous and established artists, it does my heart good to know that this young woman working in theater has a grasp of who these great artists like, Chita Rivera, Lillias White, Betty Buckley, Heather Headley, Montego Glover, and Rema Webb are, and holds their legendary work in high regards.  How could you not be a proud, theater loving, fairy godfather?  Please click HERE enjoy my conversation with this wonderful young woman.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Playwright Phillip Dawkins' THE GENTLEMAN CALLER makes NYC Debut AFTER and During the Run of Its World Premiere in Chicago.



Philip Dawkins
Any actor worth their salt will tell you that every great play begins with the words on the page.  Because of the worlds that playwrights (and Librettists) create, many people, even more than actors,  have jobs inside and outside of the theater.  So any chance to talk to a young playwright as delightful and talented as Chicago-based playwright, Philip Dawkins, I will take.  His current opus, The Gentleman Caller is currently in rehearsals to make its New York debut at Cherry Lane Theater, as it coincides with its simultaneous World Premiere production, still running at Chicago's The Raven Theater, through May 27, 2018.

I had never met a playwright who has a single property that will be running simultaneously in 2 major theater cities.  It might be a first.  I will have to check, but on the great white way, only Neil Simon in 1966 is the only living playwright that had four shows playing in Broadway theaters at the same time: Sweet Charity, The Star-Spangled Girl, The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park.

The Gentleman Caller also takes a non traditional casting route to tell the story of 2 famous playwrights, Tennessee Williams and William Inge, at a very different time in their careers.  In the Chicago production:  Rudy Galvan as Tennessee Williams
and Curtis Edward Jackson as William Inge, and for the NY production, Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa in the same roles respectively.  This is a great time to be Philip Dawkins.  Please click HERE and enjoy my conversation with him.  

For tickets and more information about The Gentleman Caller:

CHICAGO: https://www.raventheatre.com/stage/the-gentleman-caller/
NYC: http://abingdontheatre.org/gentleman-caller/

Chicago: Rudy Galvan and Curtis Edward Jackson



Daniel K. Isaacs and Juan Francisco Villa
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Monday, April 2, 2018

EXTREME THEATER, BABY!!!!

If you happen to follow my Instagram page, you will notice that from time to time, I get the privilege of getting to see shows and the opportunity to share my thoughts and recommendations.  I have considered myself primarily an Ambassador to Theater.  I want people to see as much live performance as they can, and quite frankly in as many disciplines of performance as they can.

I know that as an Ambassador to Theater, and with such a wide gap between content, presentation, and tone, I would never dare tell anyone what they "should" see.  In any case, when I am asked about a recommendation of what to see, I think about how much it costs to see a show.  I ask about what someone's interests are: comedy vs. drama, or musical vs. play.   I love to give everything a fair shot, mostly because I get to see more than the average theater goer.  I recognize that most people are not that fortunate, therefore they must make more informed choices with their theater dollars. 

Last week, I had the chance to see 2 wildly different shows.  The impact of one show left me exhilarated and exhausted as it took me on the epic and emotional, theatrical roller coaster ride that is the The National Theatre's revival of Tony Kushner's masterpiece, Angels in America, starring Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield, Lee Pace,  Susan Brown, Denise Gough, James McArdle, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, and Amanda Lawrence. 


Although the show has gone on to become a multiple Emmy Award Winning HBO miniseries, there is still something special that being in the theater when all of that art, intensity of story,  and stage magic combine and create something so unique.  Now this is not the type of presentation that is for everyone, but for the patient, brilliant acting, serious subject matter fans, you better hurry to the Neil Simon Theater for what is probably one of the most epic things that I have witnessed in a few seasons.  You have 2 ways to witness both parts (Millennium Approaches and Perestroika), either on 2 different nights, or in an epic Matinee + Evening Show Combination.  That was the combination that I chose.  It is the height of audience and artist sharing and being there for each other.  I know this will sound ridiculous, but it was like I clocked in at 1pm with those actors and literally spent the day at work with them until we ALL clocked at almost 11pm.  It was like "take your theater geek to work" Day, and for the record,  those folks WERKED!!!!  So if this speaks to you on any level, then go to https://angelsbroadway.com/ for more information about the cast and how to get tickets for this limited run event. 

The impact of the other show left me in the mood not only for a fruity cocktail and a beach vacation, but a strong sense of needing to relax and just get over myself.  Escape to Margaritaville is that show.

It features some of Broadway's phenomenal talent: Paul Anthony Nolan (BRIGHT STAR, ONCE)  , Lisa Howard (25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, IT SHOULD'VE BEEN YOU) , Rema Webb (THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, BOOK OF MORMON, A NEW BRAIN),  Alison Luff (LES MISERABLES, SCANDALOUS, MAMA MIA) Eric Petersen ( SCHOOL OF ROCK, PETER AND THE STAR CATCHER).  This cast takes the music and lyrics of Jimmy Buffet, the book written by Mike O'Malley and Greg Garcia, Kelly Devine's choreography and Tony Award Winning Christopher Ashley's direction ( COME FROM AWAY), and just have fun.  That's it.

I have to admit that when I heard that this show was coming to Broadway, I said the thing that EVERY person who has a little theater snobbery within them said, "Jimmy Buffet on Broadway? Really?" But as I sat in the Marriott Marquis Theater,  I learned something.  This show is the perfect antidote to what has been an insane real world.  Yes, the story may not be the most daring ever told.  The music may cause your neighbor to sing along before the cast says it's okay to sing along with them.  To be honest, any musical that gives me a tap number, no matter how odd the placement, still gives me a little tingle, if not insane bursts of joy, because when I think of Jimmy Buffet music, tap dancing does not quickly come to mind.   However, I had the realization that this show serves an audience that does not need to have their core beliefs challenged.  They just want to be entertained.    Anyone who says otherwise without seeing the show first, is working too hard to be a contrarian.  Go out and see a show.

Go to http://escapetomargaritavillemusical.com/ for more information and tickets.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Happy Birthday Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber

Happy Birthday Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber

It seems that this week the current cast of the Webber's latest addition to his Broadway legacy, SCHOOL OF ROCK, as well as the audience took a proper moment after to pay tribute to the legendary, multi-award winning, composer.  Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber joined Rodgers and Hammerstein as someone who had 4 shows simultaneously running on Broadway.  
 a special curtain call serenade led by leading man Justin Collette


The current Broadway cast of School of Rock also includes Jonathan Gould as “Ned,” Lori Eve Marinacci as “Patty,” Conner John Gillooly as “Dewey Alternate,” Zachary Zwelling as “Zach,” Levi Buksbazen as “Freddy,” Montgomery Lamb as “Katie,” Jim Kaplan as “Lawrence,” Olivia Chun as “Summer,” John Allyn as “Billy,” and Gabrielle Greene as “Tomika.” The adult ensemble includes Natalie Charle Ellis, Badia Farha, Alan H. Green, John Arthur Greene, Nehal Joshi, Andrew Kober, Lulu Lloyd, Cassie Okenka, Patrick O’Neill, Diane Phelan, Jesse Swimm, Joel Waggoner, Jonathan Wagner, and J. Michael Zygo. The kids’ ensemble includes Michael Cascetta, Katie Greendorfer , Sophia Kekllas, Ellie Kim, Madison Elizabeth Lagares, Colin Lauri, Cory Logan, Madalen Yarbrough Mills, Iggy Rosado, and Sarah Walsh.



School of Rock features choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, scenic and costume design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, and sound design by Mick Potter and music supervision by Ethan Popp.



School of Rock — The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as Executive Producers.

Video Courtesy of O&M and Co.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Top 10 Most Listened Podcasts in 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Everybody!!!!!!! I hope that this new year brings you and your family everything that you need to be healthy, successful, and FABULOUS!!!!

If you are lucky enough to have something like a podcast that people are actually listening to and supporting, then the new year is always a time to find out the most listened to podcast of the year.  Last year, I thought 20 was a great number to countdown without realizing how much time it would be to crunch the numbers.  SO, this year I am gonna keep it very simple. thankfully that after almost 100 episodes this past year, that these are the most listened to podcasts of 2017. Click on a pic and relive the fun.

10.  SHELDON & MARGERY HARNICK

The Tony Award, and Pulitzer Prize winning lyricist, Sheldon Harnick and his lovely wife, accomplished actress and photographer, Margery, had me up at their fabulous apartment to chat about their collaboration with their son, Matthew.



9.  ALICE RIPLEY, DAISY EAGAN, SHARON McNIGHT

Tony Award Winners Daisy Eagan, Alice Ripley, and Tony Nominee, Sharon McNight, join forces to tell the scandalous tales in Phil Geoffrey Bonds new play, SMALL TOWN CONFESSIONS, during the Broadway Bound Festival. These ladies allowed me to stop by during their rehearsal to chat about the piece and their lives.



8.  BETTY BUCKLEY

Tony Award winning, Grammy Award nominee, Betty Buckley,  had an amazing 2017.  She was featured in one of the big movies of of the year, SPLIT, she released another CD, STORY SONGS, and continues to tour the country as a solo artist in both cabaret and big theaters around the country.



7. MAX CRUMM & LUCY DEVITO

Broadway Veteran, Max Crumm (GREASE, DISASTER)  and Lucy Devito (IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA, CURMUDGEONS) make the countdown, most recently seen together in the short lived, Off Broadway play, HOT MESS. It was great to meet both of these young talents.  Lucy is the daughter of Award winning actors/producers, Rhea Pearlman and Danny Devito.



6. JAMES SAMPLINER

One of the hippest, grooviest musical conductor, arrangers working, James Sampliner, stopped by during 2017 to talk about his work on the first Broadway musical to open in the 2017-2018 season, PRINCE OF BROADWAY.  he also talks about some of the great collaborative experiences with artists like Harold Prince, Jason Robert Brown, Billy Porter, and Stephen Sondheim.



5. ANDREW KEENAN BOLGER

The adorable and super talented, actor, director, singer, dancer, videographer, editor, and producer, Andrew Keenan-Bolger is starred in a modern and new holiday show, Kris Kringle The Musical. Along with Kim Crosby, Cathy Rigby, Pamela Myers, and a wonderful assortment of Broadway talent, this cast is performed this show for the charity, The Singing Angels.  The Singing Angels Mission is "To encourage, foster and cultivate positive youth development by engaging youth from all communities in quality music and performing arts education that teaches discipline, builds confidence, and provides a foundation for life — Making Music, Making Friends, Making a Difference."
The super talented and adorable, Andrew Keenan-Bolger

4. RODNEY HICKS

From the multi Tony Award nominated musical, COME FROM AWAY, Rodney Hicks joined me to talk about his role(s) in the show. We both made note of a particular realization that we both shared while actually visiting Canada. We also talked about gratitude, kindness of man, and generosity. This past year, Rodney had to retire from performing due to vocal problems, but  I know that I have made a new friend. Listen to our chat, and you will feel the exact same way.



3. DIONNE WARWICK

 Legendary Diva, 5x Grammy Award winning, Multi Platinum and Gold recording artist and actress, Dionne Warwick, takes time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about her AIDS activism, her career, and so much more. She is everything.  The organization that she is representing, ACRIA, envisions a world where all people with HIV receive the treatment, care, and support they need to lead healthy, productive lives and where new transmissions of the virus have been eliminated.


2. CAESAR SAMAYOA

The super talented actor, singer, dancer, Caesar Samayoa, is currently making people laugh, cry, and find their inner goodness, 8 shows a week, in the slow boiling hit new musical, Come From Away. Mr. Samayoa caught my attention in the musical Sister Act. I have been a bit of a fan, but clearly one who cannot read or speak, because I have been mispronouncing his name until this interview. I get schooled. I also get to laugh with someone who I hope will become one of my brunching Broadway Baby Daddies. Please laugh along and enjoy my conversation with Caesar Samayoa.




1. TIM ROSSER and CHARLIE SOHNE

So our #1 Most Listened To Episode is with new Composer/Lyricists, Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne, the award-winning creators of the musical The Boy Who Danced on Air.  They stopped by for a conversation about their new piece. It is an intense story that grapples with many questions about poverty, abuse, sexuality, and religion in the Afghanistan culture. However, these guys are far from being Afghans. Statistically, I could not believe how many people actually listened.  Check out our conversation.




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Monday, November 20, 2017

Michael John LaChiusa talks about his career, his life, and HELLO AGAIN the Movie

It is always a shock when a fan meets the object of their fandom.  However, when you are the object of the fan to whom you are also a fan, the mutual fandom is off the chain.  I recently met the amazing Tony Award nominated composer/lyricist, Michael John LaChiusa , at the after party for the premiere of the film adaptation of his musical, HELLO AGAIN.  He promised to come to the studio and do a proper interview with me.  So please click HERE and enjoy my conversation with the amazing, Michael John LaChiusa.

Meeting the fabulous Michael John LaChiusa 

If you are already a subscriber AND a podcast supporter through Patreon, then you have probably heard some if not all of the interview by now.  If you are a subscriber to the podcast, then the interview will be available on Itunes later this week.  If you are neither a subscriber nor a patron to the podcast, then SUBSCRIBE FREE to KEITH PRICE'S CURTAIN CALL on Itunes and Google Play Music,  YOU TUBE and leave a review.  Click the image below to Support Keith Price's Curtain Call Podcast.  Also visit me on Broadway World's Featured Podcast Page. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Who's a HOT MESS?

Max Crum & Lucy DeVito from the new Off Broadway Comedy, Hot Mess.

Just recently, I was able to sit and chat with the stars of an upcoming Off Broadway play, entitled HOT MESS.  The absolutely adorable and talented, Max Crumm and the equally fabulous and talented, Lucy DeVito, star in this funny piece, along with Paul Molnar.   Written by comedians, Dan Rothenberg and Colleen Crabtree, HOT MESS takes a look at another side of new relationships with a wrinkle.  Both actors bring not only their talent, but they also are both from a nice lineages of performers.  The play officially opens on 11/16 and certainly can be added to your Holiday Theater trips.  Click on the picture to hear the interview with these wonderful talents. For more information about HOT MESS, click HERE.


If you are already a subscriber AND a podcast supporter through Patreon, then you have probably heard some if not all of the interview by now.  If you are a subscriber to the podcast, then the interview will be available on Itunes later this week.  If you are neither a subscriber nor a patron to the podcast, then SUBSCRIBE FREE to KEITH PRICE'S CURTAIN CALL on Itunes and Google Play Music,  YOU TUBE and leave a review.  Click the image below to Support Keith Price's Curtain Call Podcast.  Also visit me on Broadway World's Featured Podcast Page.