Category Archives: Theatre Announcements

New York Bound Smokey Joes Cafe Set to Open the Ogunquit Playhouse 2018 Season

New Version Of The Hit Musical Opens May 16

 The Ogunquit Playhouse kicks off its 86th season with the all-new incarnation of the sizzling song and dance celebration Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller on stage May 16 to June 9. This exuberant production of the record breaking Broadway smash hit is directed and choreographed by Emmy Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee Josh Bergasse who will bring new life to more than 30 classic songs including “Stand by Me,” “I’m a Woman,” “Hound Dog,” “Fools Fall In Love,” “On Broadway,” “Yakety Yak,” “Pearl’s a Singer,” “Treat Me Nice,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Love Potion #9,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Spanish Harlem.” The all-new production heads to Stage 42 (422 West 42nd Street, NYC) following its Ogunquit run. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the original producing team to create this fantastic show,” stated Executive Artistic Director, Bradford Kenney. “It has been our honor to work with Jack Viertel who conceived Smokey Joe’s Cafe with Stephen Helper and the New York producers, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, and Marc Routh, who have made this collaboration possible. It has also been our honor to bring this incredible creative team to Ogunquit led by Director/Choreographer Josh Bergasse and Tony Award-winning designers Beowulf Borwitt and Jeff Croiter as well as Costume Designer Alejo Vietti and Sound Designer Peter Fitzgerald.” 

The original production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller made history as Broadway’s longest running musical revue, earned a Grammy Award and multiple Tony Award nominations. The show celebrates the best songs of the legendary songwriting duo, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and their generation-defining songs that climbed the Billboard charts and provided hit after hit for icons like Elvis Presley, Ben E. King, The Coasters, and The Drifters.

The cast of this all-new production features Broadway and Off-Broadway veterans including, Dwayne Cooper, who appeared on Broadway in Motown and Hairspray, and the National Tours of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Showboat, and Seussical The Musical; Emma Degerstedt who was most recently seen in the lead role in the Off-Broadway musical, Desperate Measures; John Edwards, whose credits include the Broadway production and National Tour of Jersey Boys, In the Heights at The Kennedy Center and the National Tour of Hairspray; Dionne D. Figgins, who began her career as a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem, and has been seen on Broadway in Hot Feet, Memphis, Leap of Faith, and Motown. Also joining the cast are Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, who made her theatre debut as the leading lady in the Off-Broadway parody, Spamilton; Kyle Taylor Parker, who was most recently seen on NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” and the original Broadway productions of Kinky Boots and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Jelani Remy, who most recently starred as “Simba” in Broadway’s The Lion King; Max Sangerman, who starred in the first National tour of The Lightning Thief, as well as Blue Man Group Off-Broadway; and Alysha Umphress, who performed on Broadway in On the Town, American Idiot, and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, among others.

Smokey Joe’s Cafe is directed and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse and features scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Peter Fitzgerald, original vocal arrangements by Chapman Roberts, and orchestrations by Steve Margoshes and Sonny Paladino. Music Supervision and new arrangements are also by Mr. Paladino. 

Box Office located at 142 Main Street, Ogunquit, 207-646-5511 or online at www.ogunquitplayhouse.org

Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston

Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston

Announces 50th Annual Summer Season

A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, and The Music Man are on tap for this year’s summer season at the Reagle Music Theatre located at the Robinson Theater, 617 Lexington Street, Waltham. The three classic musicals will be directed by Leslie Woodies, Eileen Grace, and Susan Chebookjian respectively. 

A Chorus Line will run for 8 performances from June 7 through June 17. Anything Goes will have 8 performances running from July 5 through July 15, and The Music Man will close out the season also running for 8 performances from August 2 through August 12. 

For more information contact the box office at 781-891-5600, or go to 

www.reaglemusictheatre.org 

“Allegiance” Opens At SpeakEasy May 4

East Coast Premiere Of A New Version Of The Broadway Musical 

Allegiance 

Begins May 4 At The SpeakEasy Stage

From May 4 through June 2, 2018, SpeakEasy Stage will proudly present the East Coast Premiere of a new version of the acclaimed Broadway musical  Allegiance.  

 Inspired by the true childhood experience of TV/film actor and social media icon George Takei (Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek”), Allegiance tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events at Pearl Harbor.  Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but sister Kei fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people.  An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.  

     This powerful and timely musical features a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione,  and music and lyrics by Jay Kuo.

     SpeakEasy Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault will direct the New England premiere of Allegiance. The artistic team also includes Music Director Matthew Stern and Choreographer Ilyse Robbins.

   The cast for this New England Premiere production is Eymard Cabling, Paige Clark, Ron Domingo, Melissa Geerlof, Michael Hisamoto, Elaine Hom, Ryan Mardesich, Gary Thomas Ng, Ben Oehlkers, Isaac Phaman Reynolds, Tyler Simahk, Sam Tanabe, Rachel Wirtz, Micheline Wu, Kendyl Yokoyama, and Grace Yoo.

 Allegiance had its first reading at the Japanese American National Museum on July, 13, 2009, starring George Takei. That was quickly followed by two more readings in New York City in 2010, followed by a workshop in San Diego in 2011. The musical premiered in September, 2012 at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, where it broke box-office records.  The musical began previews on Broadway on October 6, 2015, and ran through February 14, 2016.  Allegiance was reworked a bit for its West Coast premiere at the East West Players in Los Angeles, where the show concluded a six-week run on April 1, 2018.  SpeakEasy Stage is presenting the East Coast Premiere of this new version of the show.  

Allegiance will run for five weeks, from May 4 through June 2, 2018, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com .                 

“Two Jews Walk Into A War…” Opens At The New Rep

Two Jews Walk Into A War…

By Seth Rozin

Directed By Will LeBow

April 28th Through May 20, 2018

New Repertory Theatre presents Two Jews Walk into a War…, April 28-May 20, 2018 in the MainStage Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA.

“New Repertory Theatre is pleased to conclude our 2017-2018 season with the Vaudeville-inspired comedy Two Jews Walk into A War by Seth Rozin,” says Artistic Director Jim Petosa. “During a season in which we celebrate the remarkable resilience of the human spirit, this play captures that element eloquently with both charm and wit. As we witness the two characters in this play working together to save their religion against all hope, we’re reminded that it is from these small foundations that we are reminded of the power of persistence.” 

“New Rep is excited to welcome back both Joel Colodner and Jeremiah Kissel to our stage,” says Managing Director Harriet Sheets. “We’re pleased to have them reunite in this production after performing together in the critically-acclaimed Imagining Madoff. Separately, they most recently appeared in some of our favorite shows: Jeremiah having last appeared in our smash hit Fiddler on the Roof, and Joel in our production of Freud’s Last Session, among many others. We hope all will join us as our 2017-2018 season comes to a rousing conclusion with this hilarious comedy.” 

About TWO JEWS WALK INTO A WAR… 

What do you do if you’re the last two Jews in Afghanistan? You re-write the Torah, of course! Ishaq and Zeblyan are on a mission to save Judaism in Kabul by rebuilding their synagogue and keeping the faith alive, but only if they don’t kill each other first. Jeremiah Kissel (Fiddler on the Roof, Broken Glass, The King of Second Avenue, Imagining Madoff) and Joel Colodner (Regular Singing, Freud’s Last Session, Imagining Madoff) star in this Vaudeville-inspired play, doing their best in a shtick-y situation. 

Box office: 617-923-8487 or visiting newrep.org.

SpeakEasy Announces 2018-2019 Season

FUN HOME, ONCE, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS, SCHOOL GIRLS, AND THE VIEW UPSTAIRS HIGHLIGHT SPEAKEASY’S 2018-2019 SEASON

The Tony Award-winning musicals FUN HOME and ONCE, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY; the Off-Broadway sensations SCHOOL GIRLS; OR THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY and SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS; and the triumphant new musical THE VIEW UPSTAIRS will make up SpeakEasy Stage Company’s 2018-2019 Season, the company’s Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Daigneault announced today.

In addition, the company’s new works program, THE BOSTON PROJECT, has been renewed for a third season, offering two more Boston playwrights commissions to create new plays about what it means to live in this city at this moment.
The schedule for SpeakEasy Stage Company’s 2018-2019 Season will be:

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY –By Stephen Adly Guirgis / Sept. 7 – Oct. 6, 2018

FUN HOME– Music by Jeanine Tesori, Book and Lyrics by Lisa Kron,
Based on the graphic novel by, Alison Bechdel / Oct. 19-Nov. 17, 2018

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS – by Bess Wohl / Jan. 4- Feb. 2, 2019

ONCE – by Enda Walsh, Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney / Mar. 1 – 30, 2019

SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY – by Jocelyn Bioh / May 3 – 25, 2019

THE VIEW UPSTAIRS – by Max Vernon / May 31-Jun 22, 2019

“Once again I am excited to offer Boston audiences an ambitious and entertaining slate of the very best contemporary plays and musicals,” said Daigneault, in announcing the new line-up. “Each of these shows is uniquely theatrical and celebrates the importance of sharing our stories to better appreciate our common humanity.”

“I am also excited for the many opportunities these shows offer a diverse group of local artists, both young talent and experienced professionals. It’s going to be a very exciting year!”

For more information on SpeakEasy’s 28th Season, the public can call the Boston Theatre Scene Box Office at 617-933-8600 or go online to www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

Cooking With The Calamari Sisters Opens April 12th

COOKING WITH THE CALAMARI SISTERS
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO BACK INTO THE KITCHEN
Limited Six Week Run April 12 to May 20, 2018 at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA

Mangia Italiano! Hilarity, delicious dishes and two over-the- top plus-size Italian sisters from Brooklyn, stars of their very own fictional cable television show, take you on a tour-de-force of show tunes, pop and Italian songs & cuisine. Songs like (Volare, Botcha – Me and much more; you’ll find yourself dancing and laughing through a very special cooking musical comedy in Cooking With The Calamari Sisters.
New York Newsday called Cooking With The Calamari Sisters “delightful and absolutely delicious.”
Straight from sold-out engagements across the country, be prepared to eat your heart out and laugh until your sides hurt as Delphine & Carmela perform outrageous musical numbers while designing their latest culinary offerings.
Don’t be surprised if they get a bit naughty when they update their treasured family recipes with saucy secrets and anecdotes that will leave you rolling in the aisles. And who knows? You may get a chance to sample these two sisters’ kitchen creations.
April12 through May 20. The Regent Theater, 12 Medford Street, Arlington, Ma. 1-855-448-7469 or PlayhouseInfo.com

Ogunquit Playhouse Adds Jersey Boys To Its 2018 Season

Also Receives 17 IRNE Award Nominations
For 2017 Season

By Bobby Franklin

It is an exciting time for theatre goers who will be traveling the short distance to Ogunquit, Maine this summer to attend performances during the 86th season at the legendary Ogunquit Playhouse. In addition to an already fabulous lineup that includes productions of Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Oklahoma!, An American In Paris, and Grumpy Old Men, Executive Artistic Director Brad Kenney has announced that the Northeast regional premiere of Jersey Boys will cap off the season. The hit show featuring the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will run from September 5 to October 28. Tickets will certainly be in demand for this one.

This is as fine a lineup as I have seen from the amazing creative team at the Playhouse and will certainly be an enjoyable way to mix the theatre experience in with all of the other wonderful things the Ogunquit area has to offer for summer fun.

I’ve been covering the Ogunquit Playhouse for a number of years now, and while no theater is able to bat 1000, the creative team under the very able leadership of Brad Kenney hits the ball to the fences much more often then not and has a very strong record of home runs to its credit. This is as close to Broadway quality as you will find outside of New York City, and I have to say some productions I have seen surpass those on the Great White Way.

Vincent Pastore (Nick Valente) and Reed Campbell (Cheech) With Ensemble

The Playhouse has received 17 award nominations from Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) for 2017. Five nominations go to Bullets Over Broadway. It been nominated for Best Musical, In addition, Reed Campbell is up for Best Actor for his role as Cheech, and Sally Struthers for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Eden Bent. Jeff Whiting is up for two awards, Best Choreography and Best Director.

Christopher Ash has been nominated for Best Production Design for his work on From Here To Eternity.

Cast of Ragtime
(Photo: Gary Ng)

Ragtime has been nominated for eleven IRNE Awards including Best Musical, Best Ensemble, and Best Director to Seth Sklar-Heyn. Jeffrey Campos for Best Music Director, Kevin Heard for Sound Design, and Jesse Robb for Best Choreography. Kirsten Scott is nominated as Best Actress for her role as Mother, and Best Supporting Actor nomination goes to Julian Decker for his performance as Little Brother. Josh Young and Darnell Abraham both have been nominated for a Best Actor Award parts, Decker for his role as Tateh, and Abraham for Coalhouse. And finally, my favorite, Tyler Wladis who has been nominated as Most Promising Young Performer for his outstanding performance as The Young Boy.

Brad Kenney

Bradford Kenney, Executive Artistic Director at the Ogunquit Playhouse said, “To be recognized once again by the IRNE nominating committee alongside some of New England’s leading theatres is a great honor. We are extremely proud of our beautiful production of Ragtime, the hilarious Bullets Over Broadway and of our regional premiere of From Here to Eternity. Congratulations to our exceptional creative teams and casts who made our 85th Anniversary season a success. We want to extend our congratulations to all nominees who have been recognized by the IRNE Awards.”

The awards ceremony will take place on April 23 at the 1200 Hotel in Brookline, Ma and will be an exciting time for all involved. Pass the envelope please.

www.Ogunquitplayhouse.org  207.646.5511

The Lyric Stage Presents Anna Christie

Anna Christie

By Eugene O’Neill Adapted By Scott Edmiston

Opens At The Lyric Stage April 6th
Runs Through May 6th

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, O’Neill’s classic is a surprisingly contemporary play that crackles with fierce physicality, humor, and drama. After a 20-year separation, a coal barge captain (Lyric Stage favorite Johnny Lee Davenport) is reunited with the daughter he unknowingly abandoned to a life of hardship. When Anna falls in love with a shipwrecked sailor, her father and her suitor come to recognize their own culpability in her plight, and all three struggle in their own way for salvation. Following his acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Scott Edmiston takes a fresh look at one of America’s greatest playwrights.

A note from Director Scott Edmiston:

“In an era when most American plays were set in posh drawing rooms populated by wealthy white characters, O’Neill depicted a world of sea shanties, slums, and barrooms inhabited by the working class and immigrants, the outcast and oppressed, the lost and misbegotten. O’Neill offered them dignity and respect. He accepted them because he was one of them. He wrote complex female characters who were liberated beyond their time. He explored African American identity in the two groundbreaking works, The Emperor Jones (1920), which examines race-based violence, and All God’s Chillun’s Got Wings (1924), which portrays an interracial marriage. He refused to allow white actors in blackface in his plays and insisted on casting African American actors in the leading roles. Anna Christie, which premiered on Broadway in 1921 and earned him the second of his four Pulitzer Prizes, can be viewed as an early feminist drama. Tales of a

woman with a past were not new to the stage, but O’Neill dispelled the Victorian notion that prostitution was a result of female licentiousness. He tells Anna’s story with compassion and an awareness of gender economics. Consequently the role of Anna has become a favorite of great actresses including Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullman, Natasha Richardson, and most recently Ruth Wilson. Greta Garbo chose the role for her first talking picture in 1930.

In adapting the play for 21st-century audiences, I’ve tried to remain true to O’Neill’s themes and the unique poetry of his hardscrabble dialogue. I’ve removed a few superfluous sailors, a bit of period slang, and the phonetically spelled dialect (Chris was originally Swedish). It’s my hope that this will intensify the conflict between the ill-fated trio of Chris, Mat, and Anna and place them center stage where their fight to find redemption remains as compelling to me as it was nearly 100 years ago.”

Johnny Lee Davenport

FEATURING:
Nancy E. Carroll, Johnny Lee Davenport, Lindsey McWhorter, James R. Milord, Dan Whelton

The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA 02116
Box Office: 617-585-5678 lyricstage.com

Lyric Stage Presents Orlando

Virginia Woolf’s
ORLANDO
Adapted by Sarah Ruhl Directed by A. Nora Long

February 23 – March 25, 2018
At The Lyric Stage, Boston

(Photo: Mark S. Howard)

In this joyful romance of gender roles and expectations, Orlando the man wakes up, after a particularly wild night in 17th-century Constantinople, to find himself a woman! She abandons herself to three centuries of navigating love, desire, and the world from an entirely different perspective.  Oft described as the most charming love letter in literature – written by Woolf to Vita Sackville-West – Sarah Ruhl brings the novel to life on stage in a grand, epic adventure that transcends time, place, and gender.

Featuring: Caroline Lawton as Orlando with Elise Arsenault, Michael Hisamoto, Rory Lambert-Wright, Jeff Marcus, Hayley Spivey.

The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Copley Square, Boston, MA  02116 lyric stage.com

 

Ogunquit Playhouse Announces 2018 Season

Oh, What a Beautiful Season! The Ogunquit Playhouse Announces Lineup for 2018

The legendary Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to produce five spectacular musicals for its upcoming season that includes an all-new production of the sizzling song and dance celebration Smokey Joe’s Café, the U.S. premiere of the hilarious new musical Grumpy Old Men, a beautiful new production of the classic Oklahoma!, and the first regional production of the sumptuous new musical An American in Paris. Closing out the season is a surprise smash musical sensation that will run for an unprecedented 8 weeks, from September 5 through October 28, which will be announced in March.
“We are elated to be heading into our 86th season with an extraordinary lineup of shows, and are very fortunate to be collaborating with show’s original producing team on an all-new production of Smokey Joes Café, which will transfer to New York following its run at the Ogunquit Playhouse,” stated Bradford Kenney, Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director. “We have also been following the development of the brand new musical version of Grumpy Old Men and are delighted and honored to produce the U.S premiere of this hilarious new production for Playhouse audiences this season. Oklahoma! has had a long history at the Playhouse and we are thrilled to create a new production to celebrate its 75th anniversary. We are also excited to create a fresh new look for our regional premiere of the beautiful musical An American in Paris.”
www.ogunquitplayhouse.org. Box Office: 207.646.5511