BroadwayCon 2017 – Day 3

The third, and final, day of BroadwayCon was a busy one. We began our day at Tyler Mount’s Broadway Besties with Keala Setlle, Andrew Chappelle, Ariana DeBose, and Christopher Jackson. It was a very fun event and included games and giveaways. 

Tyler Mount with Christopher Jackson

On the mainstage next was Waving Through A Window: The Dear Evan Hansen Panel. The entire cast and most of the creative team were there to discuss the creation and execution of the musical. They discussed their favorite parts of the show, enjoying being able to watch each other perform when they’re not in a scene and really digging into the lives and feelings of the characters. 

Dear Evan Hansen panel

We had a photo-op with Jeremy Jordan and then later we attended the BroadwayCon First Look featuring a preview of some of he musicals of the upcoming series including Bandstand, Come From Away, Significant Other, and more. Company members of the upcoming shows previewed songs from and details of the shows. We particularly enjoyed the song from Bandstand

First Look: Bandstand

We took one last stroll around the Marketplace and saw Ann Harada being interviewed by Broadway Masters. Once her interview was over they then interviewed Lesli Margherita before she had to run to her photo-op sessions. 

Ann Harada being interviewed for Broadway Masters

The last big thing of the con was the closing ceremony which was a fitting end to the weekend.

They’ve already  announced that there will be a BroadwayCon 2018. We’re looking forward to seeing what awesome guests and events will take place next year! 


BroadwayCon 2017 – Day 2 

Day 2 was eventful. There were a lot of awesome guests, panels and events. Andrew Keenan-Bolger signed copies of Jack and Louisa: Act 3 at the Drama Book Shop booth, the cast of the upcoming film Speech and Debate signed at the Lights of Broadway booth, Telly Leung and Sierra Boggess signed and took pictures at the Broadway Records booth, and those are only a few examples of the guests on hand for Day 2. 

We attended the Kinky Boots panel celebrating the show’s 3 years on Broadway. They talked about the effect the message of the show has on society, what it’s like stepping into the shoes of the performers that were in the show before you, and much more. 

Kinky Boots Panel

We also sat in on the Speech and Debate panel discussing what it was like to adapt the stage show to the screen, and the Madam Secretary panel which discussed the difference in acting and working on stage versus on screen. 

Madam Secretary Panel
We attended a Q&A with Arielle Jacobs on the Marketplace stage in which she discussed looking ethnically ambiguous and what that means for the parts she is able to play. 

Arielle Jacobs Q&A

But some of the highlights of the day were BroadwayCon Feud which pitted Team Hamilton against Team Burr and Lesli Margherita’s Variety Hour. 

It was a full and fun day of programming for Day 2. We’re looking forward to another great day for the third, and final day of the con. 

BroadwayCon 2017 – Day 1

This is our first year at BroadwayCon and we didn’t know exactly what to expect, but it is just like any other convention. There are awesome vendors, organizations, and some serious Cosplays.

The crowd was a manageable size making it fairly easy to get from booth to booth,  as you check out the artists and products you want to see. I have been to cons where you could barely move around the convention floor and trying to get to some booths felt futile, so this was a breeze of fresh air. However, it is only day 1. 

The vendors and exhibitors are everything Broadway fans want! Some of our favorites have been, BroadwayBox, The Lights of Broadway, The Drama Book Shop, and Broadway Records. 

There are opportunities to enter to win tickets to Broadway shows, panels, lectures, performances, autograph signings, and photo ops. There was a lottery system to get autograph and photo op passes for select Broadway stars, but there are also plenty of signing opportunities at some of the booths. Today we met Alice Riley at the Broadway Records booth and Carolee Carmello at The Lights of Broadway table. Both of them, along with The Drama Book Shop, will have guests at their booths every day during BroadwayCon. 

We didn’t go to very many panels or events today, but we did catch most of the events on the Marketplace Stage including Anthony Rosenthal’s and Alice Ripley’s Q&As and Lauren Pritchard and Kathryn Gallagher’s  performance. 

It’s been a fun day meeting a lot of new people and some of our favorite Broadway performers! We’re excited to come back tomorrow for day two! 

Drama Desk Awards 2015

Live from Town Hall, the 60th annual Drama Desk Awards were hosted for the second year in a row by Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Laura Benanti.  The Drama desk awards are presented annually to honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, off-Broadway, and off-off-Broadway.  Winners are decided by theater critics, journalists, editors, and publishers covering theater.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton and An American in Paris led nominations with 13 and 12 respectively.  The night’s big winners were Hamilton, An American in Paris, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. 

Some of the night’s performance highlights included “Hold Down the Fort” by Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan from John & Jen, “Beautiful” by Luba Mason from Pretty Filthy, Judy Kuhn’s rendition of “Come the Wild, Wild Weather” during the in memoriam, Lisa Howard singing “Jenny’s Blues” from It Shoulda Been You. 

A partial list of winners can be found below, and a full list of winners can be found here

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Unique Theatrical Experience
Queen of the Night

Outstanding Solo Performance
Benjamin Scheuer, The Lion

Outstanding Costume Design
Catherine Zuber, Gigi

Outstanding Set Design
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris

Outstanding Lighting Design
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Outstanding Sound Design of a Play
Ian Dickinson, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical
Nevin Steinberg, Hamilton

Outstanding Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, An American in Paris

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You

Outstanding Choreography
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Outstanding Director of a Play
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Thomas Kail, Hamilton

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Alexander Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Helen Mirren, The Audience

Outstanding Revival of a Play
The Elephant Man

Outstanding Play
Simon Stephens, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime 

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Outstanding Music
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Outstanding Lyrics
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kristin Chenoweth, On the 20th Century

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
The King and I

Outstanding Musical

2015 Tony Awards Nominations

This morning, Tuesday, April 28, Mary- Louise Parker and Bruce Willis announced the 2015 Tony Award Nominations live from the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe in New York City. Parker, who is a Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner, will star in Heisenberg by Simon Stephens Off-Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club beginning in May. Willis is set to make this Broadway debut this fall in Misery, a new stage adaptation by William Goldman of the acclaimed Stephen King novel.

Productions that opened during the 2014 – 2015 Broadway Season on or before the April 23 cut-off date are eligible for Tony Awards this year. The 69th Annual Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing,  will take place on June 7 at Radio City Music Hall.  The ceremony will be broadcast on CBS at 8/7c.  

This year’s Tony nominees are: 

Best Musical
An American In Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten!
The Visit

Best Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Hand to God 
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Best Revival of a Musical
The King and I 
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century

Best Revival of a Play
The Elephant Man
This is Our Youth
You Can’t Take it With You

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home 
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American In Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I 
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulilgan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper,The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alan Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American In Paris
Max von Essen, An American In Paris

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Julie White, Airline Highway

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

Best Direction of a Musical
Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
John Rando, On The Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Direction of a Play
Steven Daldry, Skylight
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take it With You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Moritz von Suelpnagel, Hand to God

Best Book of a Musical
Craig Lucas, An American In Paris
Lisa Kron, Fun Home
Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, Something Rotten!
Terrence McNally, The Visit

Best Original Score
Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home
Sting, The Last Ship
Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!
John Kander and Fred Ebb, The Visit

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Tommy Tune

Regional Theatre Award
Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, OH

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Stephen Schwartz

Special Tony Award
John Cameron Mitchell

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Arnold Abramson
Adrian Bryan-Brown
Gene O’Donovan

A full list of this year’s nominees can be found here

A Wickedly Good Evening with Alli Mauzey and Julia Murney

Broadway Voices series has brought some of the biggest names in Broadway to Garner since it began in 2011, including Stephanie J. Block, Christiane Noll, and Norm Lewis.  This year’s season was a spectacular one with guests Elizabeth Southard and Gary Mauer, Capathia Jenkins and last night’s final show with Alli Mauzey. We can’t wait to see what is in store for next season! 

Alli Mauzey graced the stage at the Garner Performing Arts Center with her extraordinary voice and brought her good friend and fellow Broadway star Julia Murney with her to join in on the fun!  Julia was Alli’s first Elphaba when she went on as a standby for Glinda.  The two have palpable chemistry and are incredibly nice and genuine people! 

The night consisted of some old classics, some out of the box songs, and more modern stage hits.  Alli took us on a trip through her childhood in Anaheim, California and led us all the way to present day Garner where her husband, Collin Batten, is from and where his family still lives.  

The night started with “Should I Be Sweet” and included “I’m Home” from Phantom by Maury Yeston, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,”“The Sound of Music,” “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long,” “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera, “How About a Hand for the Hog,” “Popuar,” and “Disneyland” in the first half.  After intermission she came back out with “Love is Where You Find It” and the second half included “Somewhere That’s Green,” an orignial song that Alli wrote with her brother when they had their band 2 AM, “Screw Loose,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.”  

Alli’s Husband, Collin, came out to sing a beautiful rendition of “Suddenly Seymour” with her.  Julia sang “Ring Them Bells” and Julia and Alli together sang wonderful renditions of “For Good” and “I Will Never Leave You”. 

This concert was a joy to be in attendance for and we hope we have to good fortune to see them in concert again sometime! 

Don’t miss the announcement of next seson’s Broadway Voices guests! Follow GPAC on twitter.

Stay up to date with Alli on twitter and Julia on her website and twitter

Review: NC Theatre’s ‘A Chorus Line’

A Chorus Line is kicking off North Carolina Theatre’s 2014-15 season in a big way.  North Carolina Theatre is the region’s premiere nonprofit professional regional theatre and has been producing professional Broadway revivals for 30 years.  The current season includes some amazing titles beginning with the singular sensation that is A Chorus Line.

A Chorus Linetells the story of 17 dancers who are auditioning to be on the chorus line of an unnamed Broadway show.  The show centers on the dancers’ struggles and determination to get the job.   It is based on interviews of real chorus dancers by director and choreographer Michael Bennett.  Bennett transformed the stories he heard from dancers into a groundbreaking musical hit. Each character in the show is based off of the story Bennett heard from a dancer.

The woman who was the inspiration for the character of “Val”, Mitiz Hamilton, is the director and choreographer for NC Theatre’s production of the Broadway show.  Hamilton also played “Val” on Broadway and in the original London cast, and has directed more than 40 regional productions of A Chorus Line

NC Theatre is known for producing quality shows with casts of Broadway caliber talent, and A Chorus Line is no exception.  Every dancer in the show illuminates the struggles and hard work that it takes to be a dancer in the chorus line, while demonstrating the joy that comes from giving everything for your passion. 

Especially captivating is Jessica Lee Goldyn in the role of “Cassie”.  Her dancing was fantastic and even when she is in the line your focus easily falls to her.  The dance during “The Music and the Mirror” is long, but Goldyn’s movements kept it compelling throughout the entire number. 

Other standouts include Rachel Schur in the role of “Val” which can’t be an easy role to undertake when your director is the real-life inspiration for the character.  Schur hits her lines spot on and had the audience rolling during “Dance 10; Look 3”.  Hilary Michael Thompson played “Sheila” brilliantly and Alexandra Fassler in the role of “Diana” nailed the 11 o’clock number “What I Did For Love”.

The show culminates in a quintessential musical theatre number instead of the usual curtain call.  The final number is one of the best parts of the show and the set lends itself perfectly to making it a superb closing number.

Long story short, Mitzi’s still got it! This production is well worth seeing!
The show opened Tuesday night October 14 and runs through the 19th at Duke Energy Center for the Performing arts. Buy tickets HERE.