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Features/Fashion

Live Out Loud's 2014 Gala

Tony Winner Billy Porter to Host Live Out Loud's 13th Annual Young Trailblazers Gala April 28: Terrence McNally and Ariel Foxman to be Honored
Billy Porter: Photo: Barry GordinBilly Porter: Photo: Barry Gordin   
      By: Ellis Nassour

Dazzling Lola, who knows a thing or two about entertaining, will host Live Out Loud's 13th Annual Young Trailblazers Gala, in the personage of acclaimed Tony, Drama Desk, and Grammy winner Billy Porter, who puts the kink in Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Firestein's megahit Kinky Boots. The event, which will honor Pulitizer Prize, four-time Tony and three-time Drama Desk winner Terrence McNally and Ariel Foxman, editor at InStyle magazine, takes place at the Times Center/New York Times building, 242 West 41st Street [between Broadway and Eighth Avenue] from 6-9:30 P.M.

Around The Town

Broadway Season Update

 By: David Sheward
Broadway Season Winds Down; New One Takes Shape
As the 2013-14 Broadway season winds down, 2014-15 begins to take shape. Definite pr
Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin in This Is Our YouthMichael Cera and Kieran Culkin in This Is Our Youthoductions include Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Tupac Shakur musical; the revival of This Is Our Youth with Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, (pictured in an Australian production of the play) and fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson, all making their Broadway debuts along with playwright Kenneth Lonergan; Sting's The Last Ship; and Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Cynthia Nixon in The Real Thing. Shows which have announced but don't have a definite date yet include Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man, and the revival of On the Town which is definitely going into the Lyric (formerly the Foxwoods) knocking out the previously-announced King Kong.

Reviews

The Realistic Joneses **

                                  By: David Sheward
"Words don't do it for me anymore," says John, one of four characters with the same last name in Will Eno's absurdToni Collette, Michael C. HallToni Collette, Michael C. Hallist comedy-drama The Realistic Joneses. Unfortunately, he could be describing this audience member as well as himself. Eno has a unique way with dialogue. Non-sequiturs pop out, interspersed with oddball observations and hilarious quips. But here, as with his earlier works such as Middletown and Oh, the Humanity, the people speaking them aren't especially compelling and the action doesn't add up to much.

Features/Fashion

Theatrical Entertainment

Amazing Array of Enticing Theatrical Entertainment Awaits Easter Weekend Audiences
               By: Ellis Nassour

What better Easter treat than a Broadway or Off Broadway show. New plays and musicals have been and are still opening by the dozens in the race to qualify for end-of-the-season nominations for the Tonys, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Lortel Awards.

Looking forward, the Tonys are June 8 at Radio City hosted by Hugh Jackman, with nominations announced on April 29 by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff; the Drama Desk Awards are June 1, with the nominations announced on April 25. Off Broadway's prestigious Obie Awards will be handed out on May 19.

Reviews

A Raisin In the Sun *****

By: David Sheward
When it was first announced that Denzel Washington would be headlining a revival of A Raisin in the Sun, I was skeptical. The classic 1959 Lorraine Hansberry drama of a Chicago family fighting poverty and racism had been revived not too long ago with rap musician-actor Sean Combs in the lead under the same director, Kenny Leon. In addition, Washington, at 59, was 20 years older than the role of Walter Lee Younger as written, and the glamorous Diahann Carroll was set to play Lena, Walter's no-nonsense mother. It appeared the producers were more interested in star casting than in finding the most appropriate actors for the leads. Then Carroll dropped out to be replaced by the lesser-known but more down-to-earth LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
David Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Denzel Washington, Sophie OkonedoDavid Cromer, Bryce Clyde Jenkins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Anika Noni Rose, Denzel Washington, Sophie Okonedo

Reviews

Fishing for Wives ***1/2

                     Fishing for Wives on Theatre Row
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre is presenting the New York premiere of Fishing for Wives, a romantic comedy by Edward Sakamoto set in a magical 1913 Hawaii. The playwright paints a vintage story about Nishi a fisherman in Hawaii, who sends off a photo of his handsome friend in hopes of luring a beautiful Japanese woman into marriage. The tale is based on his director Ron Nakahara's true heritage as the grandson of two "picture brides," Japanese women who came to Hawaii to marry men they only knew from a picture.
Viet Vo, Kiyo Takami, Bobby FoleyViet Vo, Kiyo Takami, Bobby Foley

Features/Fashion

Her Only Broadway Musical

Veteran Actor George S. Irving, Sheldon Harnick Remember Bette Davis in Her Only Broadway Musical
         By: Ellis Nassour

Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning actor George S. Irving, 91, star of numerous TV series and TV guest-starring roles and who's starred in over 32 Broadway and Off Broadway shows since his debut in the original Oklahoma!, has "a still very vivid" memory of working along side Bette Davis on Broadway in Two's Company (1952).

The revue had sketches directed by Jules Dassin and musical staging by Jerome Robbins; music and lyrics by Vernon Duke/Ogden Nash, Sammy Cahn, and among numerous others, Horton Foote and Sheldon Harnick.

Gordin's View

Fishing for Wives Opens

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre now in their 37th season is presenting the New York premiere of FISHING for WIVES, a viRumi Oyama, Tisa Chang, Edward Sakamoto, Wally WongRumi Oyama, Tisa Chang, Edward Sakamoto, Wally Wongntage romantic comedy set in a magical 1913 Hawaii. A battle of the sexes from another era, written by Edward Sakamoto and directed by Ron Nakahara. The production began previews on April 5 and will run until April 27 at the Clurman Theatre, Theatre Row 410 W 42nd Street between 9th and Dyer. PAN ASIAN first began producing Edward Sakamoto's works in 1981. FISHING for WIVES is his fifth play with the company and his nineteenth in a career that spans 5 decades.

Around The Town

BC/EFA Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet Competition April 21 and 22 Ends BC/EFA Fundraising Season with Color and Pizzazz
                                         By: Ellis Nassour
A roster of theater's most fashionable stars performing in novel original skits will highlight Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' very haute couture 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition fundraiser at the Minskoff Theatre, home to the long-running musical hit Dis
ney's The Lion King, on April 21 at 4:30 P.M. and April 22 at 2 P.M.

Reviews

If/Then **

                      By: David Sheward
Idina Menzel, Anthony RappIdina Menzel, Anthony RappHeaven knows Idina Menzel is talented enough to play two different roles in a massive Broadway musical, but even she cannot save the bifurcated and bipolar If/Then. The show is an artistic failure, but it will probably be a financial success; it's selling out thanks to Menzel's Wicked and Frozen fans. (It's also too long by a good 20 minutes.)

Reviews

Scotland Week @ 59E59 ***

                           Scotland Week @ 59E59 Theaters
A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity and Clean, a double bill from Scotland makes US premiere.
Gavin John Wright, Joanna TopeGavin John Wright, Joanna TopeA double bill of two new short plays from Scotland's renowned Traverse Theatre, A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity by Douglas Maxwell and Clean by Sabrina Mahfouz , celebrate brazen women in Orla O'Loughlin's stylized productions of the clever, yet slight little gems at 59E59 Theaters.

 

Around The Town

Charlatan ***1/2

                                    Charlatan @ Ars Nova
Ars Nova production of Charlatan featuring the self confessed master manipulator Vinny DePonto, a professional liar as he likes to call himself, is closing up shop on his mind blowing antics April 12. In his clever audience inter-active show Mr. DePonto has enough shrewd tricks up his sleeve to keep us on our toes as he slyly makes his point that there is a bit of the deceiver in even the best of us. The professional liar explores the many faces of deception - the impostors, the frauds and the fakes - in Charlatan, a smart evening of mind bending fun. Come into Mr. DePonto's charming world of lies and misdirection, but remember he'll only fool you as much as you want to be fooled.

Features/Fashion

Bette Davis Part Four

              Remembering the Film Legacy of Bette Davis       Part Four

     By Ellis Nassour

Film buffs from around the world celebrated the stellar film legacy of two-time Oscar winner and Kennedy Center Honoree Bette on April 5, on what would have been her 106th birthday, with movie network screenings, documentaries, and tributes. Davis would have loved all attention. Her mother once was quoted, "Bette demanded attention from birth, and found ways to get it."

Though she would never admit it, throughout her career Davis was four handfuls - arrogant and with a know-it-all superior attitude. She actually did know more than most, but it was how she broadcast that she did. She wasn't easy to direct. Many tried to tame her hand gestures, her over-the-top style. They failed.

Features/Fashion

Bette Davis Part Three

    Remembering the Film Legacy of Bette Davis         Part Three

           By: Ellis Nassour

Trailblazing actress Bette Davis was often dubbed the "Fifth Warner Brother" for her confrontational, take-charge approach not only with studio head Jack Warner but with the countless directors she worked with - or, as he might prefer to put it: worked for her.

Reviews

I Remember Mama ****

By: David Sheward
Entering the Gym at Judson for Transport Group's revival of I Remember Mama, John Van Druten's nostalgic 1944 play about a Norwegian immigrant family in turn-of-the-cenBarbara Andres, Barbara BarrieBarbara Andres, Barbara Barrietury San Francisco, feels like walking into a church rummage sale. Set designer Dane Laffrey has arranged 10 antique tables, each covered with separate collections of items from a bygone era-such as paperback classics, typewriters, handkerchiefs, silverware, and black-and-white photographs. Then Barbara Barrie, a veteran actor in her 80s, enters, sits down at the table full of typewriters, and, as the narrator Katrin, summons up the figures from the play, enacted by nine other women, each with decades of experience on the stage.