Friday, March 30, 2007

See TheatreWorks' Merrily We Roll Along at a Discount

Miss Molly Bell is playing Mary in TheatreWorks' impending production of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, and she has a pretty sweet discount offer she's distributing.

You can purchase 1/2 price tickets if purchased before April 3rd. That's right: 1/2 off.

You must purchase the tickets before April 3rd and you can only purchase them by calling 650.463.1960.

Use the discount code "NEW YORK".

Click here for more info about Merrily We Roll Along.

Click here to review the cast list, which includes plenty of local stalwarts and Foothill alums, including Robert Brewer (Urinetown) and Diana Torres Koss (Sweeney Todd).

I think it's a must-see for me, especially at these prices :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another musical to watch...

Instead of Duncan Sheik it's Patty Griffin, another favorite of mine, tacking the musical form. Some of the same folks behind Spring Awakening are working on Ten Million Miles, according to Playbill Online.

So if I'm in NYC between May and June I will surely check it out!

johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd: the first pictures I've seen

There are a few pictures at this site. None of them are too clear or too close, but damn, we're going to get the sexy Sweeney we deserve.

Yes, in case you don't realize it, Sweeney is supposed to be kind of scary hot, not just scary!

I believe Depp will fill that part of the bill no problemo. can he sing? No ideo!

Foothill summer casting update

Just heard that the two leads for this summer's production of Carousel are:

Julie Jordan will be played by Mary Melnick.

Billy Bigelow will be played by CJ Blankenship.

I actually first met Cj because he played opposite Mary in a production of Once Upon a Mattress (she was Larken, he was Harry.)

This was many, many years ago. maybe even a decade ago...yikes!!

I can tell you right now that those wonderful R&H songs are going to be in the hands (or vocal cords) of two very fine singers!!

Congrats Mary and CJ.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Foothill Alum out in the world: Carly Ozard (and she gives us a discount!)

Carly Ozard who has done several roles at Foothill is currently getting ready to open a concert production of R&H's Carousel...a touring production produced by the Lamplighters. Carly is playing Nettie Fowler, the women who gets to power out such classics as "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "June is Bustin' Out All Over."

There are only 7 shows, so check out the touring schedule right here:

Friday, March 30, 2007 and Saturday, March 31, 2007; both at 8 PM
Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Box Office: 925-943-7469 or

Friday April 13, 2007; 8 PM
El Campanil Theatre, Antioch
Box Office: 925-757-9500 or

Saturday, April 21, 2007; 8 PM and Sunday, April 22, 2007; 2 PM
Napa Valley Opera House
Box Office: 707-226-7372 or

Saturday, April 28, 2007; 8 PM and Sunday, April 29, 2007; 2 PM
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Box Office: 415-978-2787


For more information, please visit

Local cabaret artist nominated for New York cabaret award!

Russ Lorenson, who I know from our mutual association with 42nd St. Moon, is also a cabaret artist, who has put together a variety of shows and performed them around town and around the country.

And apparently he made a big enough splash to get nominated for a MAC Award. (MAC as in Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.) Russ was nominated in the category of "New York Debut - Male" for his shows A Little Travelin' Music and Benedetto/Blessed: A Tribute to the Life and Music of Tony Bennett. He performed both shows in NYC in 2006.

These annual Awards will be held May 1 at B.B. King Blues Club in Manhattan.

You can check out the complete list of 21st Annual MAC Awards nominees at and get more information about MAC at their website.

Congratulations Russ!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The first American Idols?

Got one of regular updates from local actor Russ Lorenson, and here's a marketing pitch that warms my American Idol-loving heart!

Before Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini...
before Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard...
and long before Taylor Hicks and Carrie Underwood were even born -
there were Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett.

Join Jenna Esposito and Russ Lorenson as they pay tribute to these icons of American music in their new show, The First American Idols: The Music of Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett.

Before the world had Simon, Paula and Randy, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, one of the first and most popular TV talent competitions, ran on CBS radio & television from 1946 until 1958. The concept for the show was that Arthur Godfrey had several "talent scouts" who brought their discoveries onto the program to showcase their talents. In February 1948, two new "discoveries" - Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett - competed against one another, with Rosie beating Tony, in what she described as "the only time I ever won anything against Tony Bennett."

That competition sparked a lifelong friendship between the two singers, who were both quickly signed to Columbia Records, starred together on two different television shows in the 1950's, and went on to brilliant solo recording careers. As Tony has said, "At the time Columbia signed us, Rosemary Clooney and I were really the first 'American Idols.'"

I've always been a Bennett fan, having quite a few of his albums, and seeing him live in Colorado a while back (like over a decade back, truth be told.) But I did not know this part of his story. Cool :)

So, here are the details:

WHAT: The First American Idols: The Music of Rosemary Clooney and Tony Bennett, starring Jenna Esposito and Russ Lorenson
WHEN: Saturday, March 31, 7:30pm and Sunday, April 1, 7:30pm
WHERE: Kelly's of Alameda, 1313 Park Street in Alameda
HOW MUCH: $20 cover, plus $15 food/drink minimum.
HOW TO GET TICKETS: For reservations, please call (510) 769-1011.
SPECIAL DEAL: But wait! You can get $10 off the cover! A very limited number of discount tickets are available via Goldstar Events by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Secret Garden at The Willows

Several theatre friends are in the Willows Theatre Company production of The Secret Garden (a show I've always liked.)

The cast list includes several folks from my old blogging haunt, 42nd St Moon, including Russ Lorenson as Archibald, Mark Farrell as Neville,Rick Williams as Ben and Jeff Bryant as Dickon. Several TheatreWorks stalwarts are also featured, including Lucinda Hitchcock Cone as Mrs. Medlock, Kristin Stokes as Martha and Ron Pickett Lt. Wright/Samuel.

Looks like the show has gotten pretty good reviews already.

The Deets:

WHERE: The Willows Theatre Company
EXACTLY WHERE: 1975 Diamond Blvd, Concord, CA
WHEN: now through March 25th, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., with matinees Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $33-$38 with discounts for students (6-18), seniors (65+), and groups (10+).
TO PURCHASE: Call (925) 798-1300 or visit The Willows Theatre Company Web Site

Monday, March 05, 2007

Male triple threat needed: sings, dances, looks good :)

I've got a friend, Mike Cymanski, directing a musical premiere at the Theatre on San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose this spring, and he's in need of one good man.

The show is Thunderbabe!. Yes, it does sound campy, and no, I don't know too much more about it.

Apparently it's a premiere; they've got a terrific cast; it's a paying gig, and it runs in May.

The ensemble has only two men, but they've got to be singing, dancing, attractive men. He's got one, and he needs another.

If you're interested why don't you post in the comments, and I'll connect you to Mike.

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