Friday, April 27, 2007

The Drama Desk Award nominations have been announced

And personal favorite Spring Awakening has 10 noms.

Check out the whoe list here.

Its noms include Best Musical, 2 Best Actors in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Director, Best Choreography, Best Music, Best Lyrics, Best Book of a Musical, Best Orchestrations.

The nominations it didn't get were in all the technical areas, lighting,sound, costumes, sets.

Sounds like I should catch LoveMusik the next time I'm in NYC, and given my grandmother knew Lotte Lenya (and that's a whole other story) I'm sure it will be that much more entertaining to see it.

Anyone seen LoveMusik yet?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Local star James Iglehart headed to Broadway

Having just seen James Iglehart in Smoky Joe's Cafe at AMT (yes, I plan to write a review, but no, haven't done so yet) I was pleased to see this little item on Ray Renati's blog.

Apparently James is off to New York to turn his role in the tour of The 25th Avenue Putnam County Spelling Bee into a Broadway debut!

Congratulations to James!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Reader Review: BusBarn's Enchanted April

Regular reader Ray Renati also reviews theatre productions, and he's got a glowing one for BusBarn's current production of Enchanted April.

Check it out here.

Key excerpt:
"Director Stowe has orchestrated something truly magical in Los Altos - this production is one of the best I’ve seen this year. Get over to the Bus Barn before May 5th for a little taste of heaven."

It plays through May 5th, so check it out while you still can.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A little birdie told me: Bus Barn's new season

I'll never tell how I got it, and I understand it's meant to be publicly announced on May 1st, but since I got the scoop I'm going to go all investigative journalist on you and report their alleged 2007/2008 season:
A Chorus Line: September 6 - October 6, 2007 (Wow, that's surprising, huh?)

The Last Night of Ballyhoo: November 29 - December 22, 2007

The Real Thing: January 31 - February 23, 2006 (I'm kind of excited by this, having read, but never seen, this wonderful Stoppard play.)

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged: April 10 - May 3, 2006

The Importance of Being Earnest: May 22 - June 21, 2008

So, anyone else out there care to confirm or deny they've heard the same thing?

Friday, April 20, 2007

42nd St. moon's 2007/2008 season

42nd St. Moon has announced their 2007/2008 season, although you won't find the info on their web site just yet.

This will be their 15th season, so they're reviving two shows they did in their very first season to kick things off. here's the run-down:
October 25-November 11: One Touch of Venus (1943) by Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash

November 23-December 16: Oh, Lady! Lady! (1918) by Jerome Kern and PG Wodehouse, starring Lesley Hamilton

March 27, 2008-April 13: The Student Gypsy (1963) by Rick Besoyan (Little Mary Sunshine)

April 24-May 11: Coco (1969) by Andre Previn and Alan Jay Lerner, starring Andrea Marcovicci

May 15-May 25: Peddling Rainbows: the songs and poetry of E.Y. Yip Harburg (World Premiere Revue)

June 5-June 29: Out of This World (1950) by Cole Porter, starring Darlene Popvic, Steve Rhyne and Stephanie Rhoads

Monday, April 16, 2007

A "Nine" musical

I know that Maury Yeston's Nine was a particular favorite at Foothill Music Theatre...many years ago. In fact I think they did it twice in the late 80's or early 90's.

I have only seen the show once, the Broadway revival starring Antonio Banderas. Now, according to the SJ Merc, Rob Marshall may be directing a film version of the musical.

I gotta say: my prediction is that it will be a great big flop.

Now, if we were going to do it all indie-like with a low budget it might have a chance, but I cannot see an extravagant film version of Nine packing them in. It's based on a niche film to begin with (Fellini's 8 1/2); it was never a huge hit musical, despite its Tony Awards; it doesn't get done a lot in regional or community or school theatre seasons, so it has never built up a huge recognition factor; Maury Yeston isn't exactly a household name. And most of all: it's an odd musical to begin's not some undiscovered gem that everyone who sees it wonders why it's not some huge hit. It's an acquired taste. It's a love-ot-or-hate-it type of musical.

Of all the musicals in the world, this would not be next on my list to take to a mass audience.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Foothill Alums out in the world: Bill Erenata

Bill Ereñeta is one busy actor...check out this schedule, from the horse's mouth:
After Annie Get Your Gun at Foothill last summer, I went into Savoyards The Sorcerer. Then as that was ending, the Tin Man bowed out of the Addison-Penzak JCC production of The Wizard of Oz, and as it was an inter-generational production, I got the role, and was the oldest member of the cast. Boy, working with 40 youngsters under the age of 10 really took some getting used to!

As soon as that was over, I found myself in Northside Theatre Company's Prelude to a Kiss, which was being directed by Michael Pease. From there I was into rehearsals for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Tabard Theatre Company, which will open next Thursday to school kids from San Jose, and then to the public on Friday.

Plus, I was just cast in Foothill's Carousel.

So, as you can see, I am not letting any moss grow underfoot.

Bill's upcoming Tabard Theatre Company production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, performing at the Historic Hoover Theatre in San Jose from April 20th through May 5th. And Carousel performs at the Smithwick Theatre on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos, from July 27th through August 19th.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fantasia in The Color Purple

My blogging worlds collide as reality TV star, and my favorite American Idol ever, Fantasia Barrino, opened in Broadway's The Color Purple last night.

Broadway World has a ton of photos from the show. They're all from the curtain call unfortunately!! But you can see Fantasia aged up to be Celie as a middle-aged woman, and you can see her emotional response to the cheers and applause :)

I actually love La Chanze a well (the woman who originated as Celie) but never quite got myself to see it. Fantasia being in it is definitely motivation for me, as I think she is an amazing singer and interpreter. Can she act? Well, wile one would think that someone who can act through a song must be able to act, it's not always true. But I'm hoping.

If anyone sees it please let me know how it is!

Monday, April 09, 2007

My review of Broadway by the Bay's Showboat online at my personal blog here.

Bottom line: Stellar voices, but not my very favorite show in the world.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Foothill Alums out in the world: Diane Milo and Robyn Winslow

Robyn Winslow and Diane Milo (who has been both an actor and assistant director for Foothill Music Theatre) are appearing in City Lights' current production, Voluntary Amnesia.

Description: This World Premiere drama by Melissa Dylan tells the story of three women who, when diagnosed with clinical depression, refuse traditional treatment in favor of an “objective” look at the decisions, mistakes and accomplishments that have helped to sculpt their personalities. Winner of Hawaii's Aloha Performing Arts Center's Original Play Festival Opie Award for Best Play.

More details:

Cast includes Allison Asher, Rachel Davidman, Michael Farnia, Lia Fischer, Diane Milo, George Psarras and Robyn Winslow

March 22 - April 15 , 2007
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8 pm
Sunday Evening at 7 pm (April 1)
Sunday Matinees at 2 pm (April 15)

Friday Preview: $20
Gala Opening: $35
All Other Shows: $25 GN, $20 SR, $15 ST/ED
Group discounts are available; please call the Box Office for details or go straight to buying tickets online.

42nd St. Moon Alum out in the world: Robin Steeves

Robin Steeves is tackling the leading role of Amalia in She Loves Me for the next few weeks, at Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond. The show is double-cast, so the production has opened with alternate Amalia, Jacqueline Anderson, in the role. And Robin gets to open her rendition of Amalia this weekend.

{Side note: Barbara Cook opened as Amalia in this little bon bon of a musical back in 1963.]

Robin Steeves will play the role of Amalia on the following dates:

April 5 to 7,
April 13 to 15,
April 19 to 22,
and closing weekend May 10 to 12.

Jacqueline Anderson will be in the role the weekends of April 26 to 29, and May 3 to 6.

More info is at the website,, and you can make your reservations at 510.232.4031.

The rest of the cast includes:
Coley Grundman as Georg,
Alex Schaffer as Sipos,
Alison Peltz as Ilona,
DC Scarpelli as Kodaly,
Peter Budinger as Arpad,
Larry Schrupp as Mr. Maraczek,
Robert Love as the waiter,
Mary Kidwell, Nancy Benson, Stuart Rosenthal, Hattie
Mulluly and Tom Accelotta are the ensemble.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Hair needs a Hud

Got an email today from a local theatre director looking for one good man:

Jon Rosen is directing a production of Hair at the Theatre on San Pedro Square

And although he's had a good turn-out for auditions, he still is looking for a Hud.

The description of the character from their web site:
Hud – male, black, baritone
The "in-your-face" African-American tribe member, more into play than politics, but definitely aware.

You can read more about their castingprocess on Jon's blog...he's definitely taking his blogging seriously, check it out here.

More audition and production info is here.

You can contact Jon at if you're interested or have a suggestion.

Meanwhile check out this info:

Apparently Broadway By The Bay's Showboat has only ONE black man in the cast (the Joe.) Even more amazing: Chabot College is doing Ragtime with only TWO black men in their show. One is Coalhouse, and I can only guess that the second must be Booker T. Washington. Meanwhile I seem to recall Foothill having a full complement of black actors for their productions of the same shows, and Broadway by the Bay did Ragtime itself recently too. So where'd you go guys? Why couldn't these theatres find you?

I'm actually seeing Showboat on Saturday because one of my friends is playing Magnolia (Ms. Susan Powers.) I will see it with my own eyes, I guess.

Bottom line: If you or someone you know wants to play a hot and hunky member of the Hair tribe, sing some awesome music and get nekkid (OK, I think that part is optional and up to each actor's feelings "in the moment") then email Jon and go for it!

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