<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usFri, 30 Sep 2016 04:48:31 -0400Fri, 30 Sep 2016 04:48:31 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Grumpy Cat Joins the Cast of 'Cats' ]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:56:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-459467912.jpg

She's taken the web by storm with over 12 million followers, made countless appearances on TV and even found herself on the New York Times bestseller list. Now, meme sensation Grumpy Cat will make her Broadway debut in the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Cats.'

Appearing on stage at the Neil Simon Theatre at the Sept. 30 performance, she'll be the first genuine feline ever to appear in the hit musical.

"Being selected as the first real cat to perform in 'Cats' on Broadway is an honor," Grumpy Cat said in a statement. "I hate it. If I’m really being honest, I’d prefer to play the Phantom in 'The Phantom of the Opera.' "

Grumpy Cat debuted on the World Wide Web on Sept. 22, 2012. When not appearing in the media, she enjoys a normal life at home as a kitty, playing with her brother Pokey and eating all the treats she can.

"Cats" is based on T.S. Eliot's poem "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Featuring a score by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, the musical tells the story of a pack of "Jellicle cats."

It first opened on Broadway in 1982, and holds the title as the second longest running Broadway show of all time (Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" holds the top spot).

Since its 1981 premiere in London, “Cats” has been presented in over 30 countries, translated into 15 languages and been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide.



Photo Credit: Steve Jennings]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Catch the Fireworks Across the Tri-State]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 04:50:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fireworks+watch.jpg

If you're looking for the best place to watch fireworks this year, you won't run out of options. And if you can't watch the show in person, you can catch it live on your phone.  

For the third year in a row, the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" will be on the East River, making for great spots across three of New York City's five boroughs (and on TVs everywhere on NBC). But there will also be some pretty great displays in other parts of the city and throughout the tri-state. 

Despite all the options, revelers will face crowds as tens of thousands look to the skies. Here are some of the area's best places to see the displays:

Brooklyn

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO: This is considered the “golden spot” for seeing the display, offering breathtaking looks of the fireworks and the lit-up Manhattan skyline. It’ll get crowded quickly, so be sure to get there early.
  • Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade: Another couple of spots that offer sweeping views of the Macy’s display, but you’ll have to stand.
  • Berry Park, Greenpoint: The venerable watering hole off McCarren Park features a roof deck that should offer great views of all the barges. You’ll need to buy a drink to stay for the display, but the bar has a wide selection of German and Belgian brews and a fully stocked bar.
  • Fornino Pizza, Brooklyn Bridge Park: This pizza shop offers sweeping views of lower Manhattan that should make for a great fireworks display. Tickets for the roof deck are already sold out.
  • Brooklyn Grange, Greenpoint: The sprawling rooftop farm offers spectacular views of both Manhattan and the fireworks display. Tickets have already sold out.
  • The Ides Rooftop Bar at the Wythe Hotel, Williamsburg: There’s a $25 cover charge, and doors will open at 7:30 pm.
  • Grand Ferry Park, Williamsburg: The waterfront park in tony Williamsburg is sure to be crowded, but you should get a great look at the fireworks coming off of barges near midtown.
  • MCU Park, Coney Island: You won’t be able to see the Macy’s spectacular from the Cyclones’ park, but the stadium will be shooting off fireworks after the team’s game against the Williamsport Crosscutters. You should also be able to see that display from other parts of Coney Island.

Manhattan

  • South Street Seaport: The Manhattan attraction has been voted the best viewing spot in the city. Like the popular spots in Brooklyn, get there early to assure a spot.
  • The Battery: You should be able to catch the Macy’s spectacular and the Freedom and Fireworks Festival in Jersey City
  • FDR Drive: How often can you say you got to walk on the FDR? There will be several entry points along the highway, which should offer some unique views.
  • East River Park, Lower East Side: The large park should be another great place to see the display.
  • Circle Line: Another fireworks cruise option. Tickets start at $149 a person and boats board at Pier 83 starting at 5:15 p.m.
  • NY Water Taxi: This sightseeing cruise service is offering a couple of cruise options. Tickets start at $199.

Queens

  • Gantry Plaza State Park, Long Island City: One of the few places in Queens to catch the fireworks, so get there early.
  • Flagship Farm, Long Island City: This rooftop party will include music from DJ Mickey Perez and food from Butcher Bar. Tickets are $75 and still being sold.
  • Z Rooftop Bar, Long Island City: The bar near the Queensboro Bridge should offer some great views of the northernmost fireworks barges.

Staten Island 

  • Richmond County Bank Ballpark: Catch the Staten Island Yankees and a show for $9-$18.

New Jersey 

  • Liberty State Park, Jersey City: A huge carnival with some concert acts will precede a fireworks show with the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.
  • Hoboken, Weehawken and other towns: Get away from the New York City crowds, and still catch some great displays.
  • Atlantic City: Fireworks will be shown on the Boardwalk and Marina District starting at 9:30 p.m.
  • Long Branch: A huge, all day family friendly festival with music, food, and fireworks at 9 p.m. 
  • Wildwood: Fireworks will be shown on the beach starting at 10 p.m.
  • Point Pleasant Beach: Fireworks will be shown at Jenkinson's Boardwalk.
  • East Rutherford: Bring the family to State Fair Meadowlands for a carnival, live entertainment and evening of spectacular fireworks. The fair will begin at 2 p.m., and tickets cost $11 for adults and $9 for children.  
  • Camden: Fireworks will be shown at Camden Waterfront Freedom Festival at 6 p.m.
  • Seaside Heights: Head to Seaside Heights for an evening of fireworks on the oceanfront at 9:30 p.m.
  • Margate City: Celebrate Independence Day with a beach fireworks display at 9 p.m. 

Long Island, Westchester and the Hudson Valley

  • Jones Beach: Finish off a day at the beach with a fireworks display. 
  • Several towns will be offering their own fireworks displays, so check your town’s Facebook and Twitter pages.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Headphones Required for Broadway 'Encounter' ]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:53:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TheEncounterMain.jpg

Headphones are strapped to every seat at the Golden Theatre, where “The Encounter,” fresh off a London run, has just opened. Theatergoers wear them for all of actor Simon McBurney’s performance, which tracks a photographer’s disorienting trip into the Amazon rainforest.

Sitting for “The Encounter” is an experience very much about sound, and only a little about sight.

McBurney is founder of the U.K. theater troupe Complicite, and an actor who has had roles in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation.” The gimmick in “The Encounter,” which McBurney conceived, directed and performs, has him using binaural technology ("3D audio”) to create a world of sound.

On stage, there’s just McBurney in a foam-walled broadcast studio, with dozens of bottles of water (some destined to become projectiles) and a Sennheiser dummy head microphone. When McBurney breathes slowly into the dummy’s ears, we hear his breath in ours. Ditto for his imitation of a jaguar in the jungle, or the drone of a Cessna.

Technologically, it’s pretty fun stuff. Alas, the story becomes so disorienting and meandering that it doesn’t make for a great night at the theater.

McBurney’s work is inspired by author Petru Popescu’s 1991 “Amazon Beaming.” That book was, itself, derived from the journals of Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer who in 1971 set out to discover the source of the Amazon River.

McIntyre found himself lost among the Mayoruma tribe in Brazil’s Javari Valley, and in his journals wrote that he communicated with the tribe’s chief telepathically before reaching the river’s source.

There are readily apparent and relatable themes in “The Encounter.” Among them: we’re natural creatures, but our material possessions hold us hostage. As well, there’s a well-intentioned message about how it’s wrong to interfere with the lives of any indigenous people, particularly these, who—in the telegraphed words of a campaigner for Survival International—view “the oil underneath the ground as the blood of the earth.”

Finally, there’s a strong narrative thread about how time is a relative concept. McBurney’s own interior monologues are frequently interrupted by the aural “appearance” of his daughter, wanting a late-night snack or a bedtime story.

As the second hour evolves, “The Encounter” becomes more like performance art, with McBurney losing himself in McIntyre’s cacophonous dehydrated delusions. The story moves in fits and starts, becoming that much more difficult to follow.

I’ll argue that “The Encounter” would be more at home Off-Broadway, some place like The Public, than in the vast openness of the Golden. As things stand, any sense of intimacy it’s striving for dissipates in the space. As an aural experience, “The Encounter” is an accomplishment, but the story takes too long to arrive at an unsatisfying destination.

“The Encounter,” through Jan. 8, 2017 at the Golden Theatre, 252 W. 45th St. Tickets: $59-$155. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton]]>
<![CDATA[Judith Light Goes Solo in Somber LaBute Drama ]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:10:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AlltheWaysMain.jpg

Neil LaBute’s new drama for MCC is a short monologue for “Transparent” star Judith Light that takes an all-too-familiar phenomenon and adds a dimension: What happens to teachers who fall into improper relationships with students—and don’t get caught?

“All the Ways to Say I Love You” casts Light as a middle-aged English teacher and guidance counselor delivering a confessional. She begins by talking about “the weight” of a lie, and from there sifts through the many she has perpetrated, assessing both their moral “heft” and the burdens she still carries because of them.

Consider yourself on notice: It’s a testament to Light’s likability and the effectiveness of LaBute’s prose that you may handily forget her “Mrs. Johnson” is duplicitous, irresponsible ... and to some degree disconnected from reality.

Early on, we learn about the circumstances that led to an affair with a young man named Tommy, more than a decade past. There was the cooled sexual relationship with her husband, after their efforts to have children failed; her student's chaotic home life and need for a nurturing presence. She’s got excuses and justifications by the boatload.

She’s also still got a job, which dawns on us as we absorb the setting: her tidy office, with its Scholastic-branded mug full of pens and pencils.

Light must track a range of emotions for an hour, with barely a break for a sip of water. She does so magnetically, animating LaBute’s material with her husky voice and wide, dark eyes. There is no shame in her retelling; indeed, there’s lingering delight in recalling her own power to affect pleasure on a young man.

At the performance I attended, one graphic line of dialogue left the audience in a hush, and I ached with embarrassment for the theatergoer who had foolishly left on her iPhone: There are some things Siri finds too loaded to deal with.

LaBute’s 10th piece for MCC is somewhat threadbare, but don't let that dissuade you from seeing it: he's reaching for exquisitely interesting material. Director Leigh Silverman (“Violet”) teases out a layered performance from stage veteran Light.

It’s implied early on that Mrs. Johnson’s marriage remains intact. She proclaims that she feels no remorse for her deeds, but she clearly isn’t immune to guilt, either. In Labute’s world, one of the ways to say I love you is to keep your mouth shut about your failings and swallow every bitter pill they’ve earned you.

“All the Ways to Say I Love You,” through Oct. 18 at MCC’s Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St. Tickets: $85-$99. Call 212-352-3101.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn 



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Cecily Strong Previews SNL Season Premiere]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:52:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000013284187_1200x675_775112771736.jpg SNL cast member Cecily Strong looks ahead to the season premiere, hosted by Margot Robbie with musical guest The Weeknd.]]> <![CDATA[Kate McKinnon on Emmy Win, "SNL" & New Film]]> Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:17:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/197*120/kate+web.JPG Emmy winner Kate McKinnon stops by to chat about the new season of Saturday Night Live, her hilarious new movie "Masterminds," & more!]]> <![CDATA[Tom Hanks Photobombs Couple's Wedding Shoot in Central Park]]> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:51:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tom+hanks+wedding+photobomb.jpg A delighted couple was more than happy to have their Central Park wedding shoot crashed by the star of "Sully." Photos provided to NBC 4 New York by Meg Miller.

Photo Credit: Meg Miller of Meg Miller Photography - NYC based Photographer]]>
<![CDATA[Broadway Flea Takes Over Times Square Sunday]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 11:12:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-529434680.jpg

The 30th annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction will take over Times Square on Sunday, Sept. 25 — giving Broadway fans the chance to purchase one-of-a-kind items, experiences and theater memorabilia.

Held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, the event will take place in the fame Shubert Alley, and West 44th and 45th Streets.

The event is free and open to the public. All sales will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Last year, the event raised $756,655, bringing the its 29-year total to more than $11.5 million.

More than 70 stars from Broadway's biggest shows will be on hand at the donation-based Autograph Table and Photo Booth. Alex Brightman ("School of Rock"), Brandon Victor Dixon ("Hamilton"), Kelli O'Hara ("The King and I"), Javier Munoz ("Hamilton"), Bebe Neuwirth ("Chicago"), Jenna Ushkowitz ("Waitress") and more will rotate through, every hour beginning at 11 a.m..

Stars from NBC's "Hairspray Live" and FOX's "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" will also make appearances.

The Grand Auction, which will begin at 5 p.m., will feature more than 200 unique items including walk-on roles in nine different shows, opening night tickets to 18 upcoming fall shows, and backstage meet-and-greets with the stars of 17 stars.

There's even VIP experiences with Kristin Chenoweth and the legendary Frankie Valli.

Silent auction items become available every hour beginning at 10 a.m. and include personal photos, notes, signed musical phrases from stars like Barbra Streisand, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, and Stephen Sondheim, as well as Playbills, posters and a variety of rare historical theater treasures.

Adding on all of that, 50 tables will be set up in Times Square for fans to purchases items from current, closed, and upcoming Broadway shows like "Wicked," "Shuffle Along," "Hamilton," "Fun Home," "Dear Evan Hansen," and "Matilda."

For a full listing of participating talent and auction items, visit broadwaycares.org/flea.



Photo Credit: Noam Galai]]>
<![CDATA['RHONY' Star Sonja Morgan to Make Stage Debut in Sex Comedy]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 16:31:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/117959.jpg

For five seasons on Bravo's "Real Housewives of New York City," Sonja Morgan has let the cameras roll on the comings and goings of her sex life. Now the 52-year-old entrepreneur and socialite is turning to one long-running Off-Broadway play for some advice.

Morgan will join the comedy "Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man" for a limited four-week engagement beginning Oct. 1 and ending Oct. 22. It will be her New York stage debut.

The show -- now open at the The 777 Theatre and offering two performances every Saturday night -- currently stars Grant MacDermott and Michael Milton as two men doling out some very intimate and useful advice.

"I am really excited to put my acting skills to the test in this hilarious romantic comedy," Morgan said in a statement. "I've always said the only thing better than making people laugh is making them feel sexy. With this play, I get to do both."

"I have no doubt my New York stage debut promises to be a climactic affair!"

Written by Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman, "Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man" promises a "wild ride" for audiences where "no topic is taboo." Directed by Tim Drucker, the show is now in its third year on Broadway.

For tickets and information, visit sextipsplay.com.



Photo Credit: Allison Stock]]>
<![CDATA['Come From Away' Leaves 'The Humans' Searching for New Home]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 22:56:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ComeFromAway.jpg

After critically-acclaimed runs in San Diego, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Toronto, "Come From Away" will finally land on Broadway this spring -- with performances beginning at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Feb. 18, 2017 ahead of a March 12-opening.

The news puts Stephen Karam's "The Humans" in an odd place. The 2016 Tony winning Best Musical will play its final performance at the Schoenfeld on Jan. 15 -- but a source close to the production hints to NBC New York that an end of its run is not necessarily in sight.

It wouldn't be the first time the family ensemble drama switched things up. "The Humans" was originally commissioned by the nonprofit Roundabout Theatre Company, opening at its off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre in the fall of 2015.

The rights of the show were then sold to producer Scott Rudin, who opened the play at the 597-seat Helen Hayes Theatre.

After winning four Tony Awards, Rudin moved "The Humans" to the bigger Schoenfeld in August -- adding 450 more seats to a night to its weekly grosses. The question now will be whether Rudin waits for another Broadway house to become available or decides to transfer the production off-Broadway.

"Come From Away," meanwhile, will be the first Broadway musical set against the backdrop of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

It tells the story of the small town of Gander, Newfoundland -- where 38 planes were forced to make emergency landings following the 2001 attacks. The 6,579 passengers doubled the population of the small town for a week.

The show ultimately explores how those people found humanity and hope during our nation’s dark crisis.

Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein wrote the book and score, while Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (“Memphis”) directs.

For more information, visit comefromawaythemusical.com.



Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg]]>
<![CDATA[The Best of NYC Fashion Week 2016]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:33:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-603544622_master.jpg New York City's fall fashion week brings together models, celebrities and fans of fashion as top designers unveil their latest creations.

Photo Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pregnant Olivia Wilde Blasts NYC Subway Riders]]> Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:46:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/olivia+wilde+pregnant.jpg

Olivia Wilde Twitter shamed New York City subway riders after no one got up to give the 32-year-old pregnant actress a seat Wednesday. 

“NBD, able-bodied riders who won’t give your seat to a GIANT preggo. I’ll just stand riiiiight next to your head and pray I go into labor,” she tweeted. 

Wilde announced in April that she is expecting her second child with fiance and former "Saturday Night Live" star Jason Sudeikis. The couple lives in Brooklyn with their son Otis, who turned 2 earlier this year. 

The "Vinyl" actress, best known for her five-year stint as "Thirteen" on "House," most recently showed off her growing baby bump at the premiere of “Colossal,” starring Sudeikis, at the Toronto International Film Festival last week. 

The MTA has been encouraging courtesy with an etiquette campaign replete with tips for improving the transit experience for everyone. The campaign includes suggestions to give up seats for pregnant riders, but either no one saw Wilde and her bump or didn't care to get up. It wasn't clear what train she was riding.



Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
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<![CDATA[Leona Lewis Departing Broadway's 'Cats' ]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 17:13:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CatsMain.jpg

For Leona Lewis, "Cats" will soon be a memory.

The 31-year-old "Bleeding Love" singer told fans Tuesday that she would be departing the Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical, which opened July 31.

"Wow. Can't believe [it's] less than a month 'til I leave NY," she wrote. "Time has flown by. I'll miss my ‪"Cats" family like crazy!"

Lewis -- a 2006 winner of the U.K.'s "X-Factor" series -- plays Grisabella in the musical. Her character sings the show's most popular tune, "Memory." The role was originated on Broadway by Betty Buckley, who would later win a Tony for her performance.

Her final performance will be Oct. 9, a production spokesperson confirmed to NBC New York. Her replacement has not yet been announced.

This was Lewis' Broadway debut.

"Cats" is based on T.S. Eliot's poem "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Featuring a score by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, the musical tells the story of a pack of "Jellicle cats"

It first opened on Broadway in 1982, and holds the title as the second longest running Broadway show of all time (Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" holds the top spot).

Since its 1981 premiere in London, “Cats” has been presented in over 30 countries, translated into 15 languages and been seen by more than 73 million people worldwide.



Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA[Gospel, Guitar Collide in Swaggering 'Marie and Rosetta' ]]> Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:42:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MarieandRosettaMain.jpg

Is that a corpse being made up for burial? Or a fiery diva getting set to perform? That’s our question at the onset of “Marie and Rosetta,” a brash and swaggering new play with music from the Atlantic.

The confusion can be forgiven: the setting is a casket-lined funeral parlor, where a young woman is applying blush to a more senior, and perfectly still, counterpart, bathed in a pale light. Soon, though, the older woman stirs to life.

Gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe and her new discovery, Marie Knight, have merely borrowed a friend’s funeral business to use as a rehearsal studio and makeshift “hotel.” The surroundings give Marie the creeps, but as Sister Tharpe pipes up … sleeping in a coffin is safer than sleeping on a tour bus for two black women in 1946 Mississippi.

A world premiere by George Brant, "Marie and Rosetta" imagines Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s first rehearsal with a protégée, as they prepare for a tour that will establish them as a successful team. Tharpe was the so-called queen of “race records” in the 1930s and ’40s, a woman at ease performing in churches or the Cotton Club, often the same day.

She both helped push gospel music into the mainstream and won admirers as eclectic as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix.

Playwright Brant, whose recent works include “Grounded,” with Anne Hathaway at the Public, has crafted a 90-minute historical drama chronicling the grand tragedies and triumphs of the lives of both women. The story is punctuated by a dozen or so of Tharpe’s better-known recordings, including “Strange Things Happening Every Day.”

Stage vet Kecia Lewis, who earlier this year was excellent as a last-minute addition to the Classic Stage Co.’s “Mother Courage …,” is wised-up, earthy and soulful as the flamboyant performer who has both a matronly concern for her new charge and something of a sensual draw to her, as well.

Rebecca Naomi Jones (“Hedwig,” “American Idiot”), as Marie, is initially timid, but Sister Rosetta draws her out, helping her walk a line between faith and seductiveness. Sister Rosetta doesn’t just persuade Marie to adopt her way of thinking; she helps the woman, 23, find her own voice.

Clever stagecraft makes it appear the two women are in full command of the piano and guitars at the tips of their fingers, though it becomes apparent they've got support behind the scenes.

Riccardo Hernández’s setting serves as an imposing backdrop for the head-spinning details of the duo’s lives: Sister Rosetta was once such a popular figure she drew 25,000 paying customers to her third wedding, held in Washington, D.C. Yet for years after her 1973 death, she was buried in an unmarked Philadelphia grave.

This funeral parlor, it turns out, suggests the paradoxes of the duo’s lives: The fine wood, and satin and brass fittings of the coffins speak to the wealth their star power earns -- but the back-room location could just as well be a metaphor for the way they were still expected to be invisible, like servants.

“Marie and Rosetta,” through Oct. 2 at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater, 336 W. 20th St. Tickets: $65-$75. Call 866-811-4111.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Ahron R. Foster]]>
<![CDATA['Groundhog Day' Will See Early Spring on Broadway ]]> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 22:10:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GroundhogDayMusicalLondon.jpg

The 1993 Bill Murray comedy "Groundhog Day" is coming to the Broadway stage, in a new musical adaptation from the creative team behind "Matilda the Musical."

"Groundhog Day" will begin performances at the August Wilson Theatre in March, with an opening night officially set for April 17, 2017.

The show tells the story of a cranky TV weatherman who gets stuck in a time warp while covering the Groundhog Day ceremonies in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — reliving the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

Proving that life does have a funny way of repeating itself, composer Tim Minchin will reunite with "Matilda" scene and costume designer Rob Howell, choreographer Peter Darling and director Matthew Warchus for the project.

New to the team is book writer Danny Robin, who also co-wrote the screenplay of the 1993 film.

"Groundhog Day" premiered at the Old Vic in London this summer to rave reviews. While casting for the Broadway run has not been announced yet, star Andy Karl — who plays the role of Phil Connors immortalized by Murray on film — is expected to transfer with the production.

Tickets go on sale on Oct. 26, with a pre-sale through Ticketmaster beginning Oct. 12.



Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan]]>
<![CDATA[These Are the 44 Best Pizza Places in the Tri-State Area]]> Tue, 13 Sep 2016 07:33:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_0803130537891.jpg

The 101 best pizzas in the U.S. have been ranked and 44 of them are in the tri-state area, including nine of the top 10, according to reports.

In its fourth annual list of the best pizzas across the country, The Daily Meal said that for the first three years it did the ranking, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut, came out on top. 

Frank Pepe is still ranked best in Connecticut and No. 3 overall in the U.S. But this year it was topped by Di Fara in Midwood, Brooklyn, and John’s of Bleecker Street, which earned the top two spots. Both establishments have earned a lot praise over the years. 


Pizza qualities considered during the ranking process included a sauce that balanced salty and sweet, an even-distribution of cheese, toppings in harmony and a flavorful crust. The most important factor was all the ingredients synchronizing as one in a pizza that held together in its cornicione, or outer crust.

The top states for pizzas were New York (30), California (10), Connecticut (9), Illinois (9), and New Jersey (5). 

In all, there were 44 pizza places in the tri-state area that made the list of America’s 101 best. The majority, 26 of them, were in New York City. Of those 26, 14 were in Brooklyn, eight were in Manhattan, two were in Queens and one was in the Bronx and Staten Island, respectively. There were 18 outside of the city, with nine in Connecticut, five in New Jersey and four on Long Island.


Lo and behold the best pizza in our area, according to The Daily Meal. Below, New York is broken down into New York City and Long Island; no pizzas in the rest of the state made the list. There’s also the best pizza in New Jersey and Connecticut. The number in parenthesis is where each pizza place ranks on the national list.

New York City

1. Classic round pie at Di Fara in Midwood (1)

2. The Boom Pie at John’s of Bleecker Street in the West Village (2)

3. Margherita at Roberta’s in Bushwick (4)

4. Margherita at Totonno’s in Coney Island (5)

5. Brussels sprout at Motorino in Williamsburg (6)

6. Pepperoni at Lucali in Carroll Gardens (9)

7. Vodka at Rubirosa Ristorante in Nolita (10)

8. Sausage pie at Louie and Ernie’s in Schuylerville, Bronx (11)

9. Cheese at Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village (14)

10. Pepperoni at Grimaldi’s in DUMBO (17)

11. Kesté at Kesté Pizza & Vino in the West Village (18)

12. Regina at Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint (21)

13. Cheese at Patsy’s in the East Village (22)

14. Prince Perfection at Prince Street Pizza in Nolita (23)

15. Cheese at New Park Pizza in Howard Beach (26)

16. The Saint Louie at Speedy Romeo in Bedford-Stuyvesant (29)

17. Sausage at Denino’s in Elm Park, Staten Island (30)

18. Pepperoni at Lombardi’s in Nolita (32)

19. The Classic at Emily in Clinton Hill (40)

20. Mushroom and sausage at Nick’s Pizza in Forest Hills (41)

21. Plain cheese pie at Amore Pizzeria in Flushing (51)

22. Grandma at Williamsburg Pizza in Williamsburg (63)

23. Cheese at J&V Pizzeria in Bensonhurst (81)

24. Roni Supreme at Emmy Squared in Williamsburg (85)

25. Grandma slice at L&B Spumoni Gardens in Gravesend (98)

26. Artichoke slice at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza in the East Village (101)

 

Long Island

1. Grandma pie at Umberto’s Pizzeria & Restaurant in New Hyde Park (64)

2. Special at Gino’s of Long Beach in Long Beach (82)

3. Vodka at King Umberto Ristorante & Pizzeria in Elmont (83)

4. Vongole Bianca at Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton Beach (87)

 

Connecticut:

1. White clam at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven (3)

2. Tomato pie at Sally’s Apizza in New Haven (7)

3. Italian Bomb at Modern Apizza in New Haven (15)

4. Sausage pie at Colony Pizza in Stamford (39)

5. Plain pie at Ernie’s Pizzeria in New Haven (47)

6. Plain pie at Mike’s Apizza & Restaurant in West Haven (48)

7. Plain pie at Roseland Apizza in Derby (54)

8. Mashed potato and bacon at Bru Room at Bar in New Haven (60)

9. Special at Zuppardi’s in West Haven (61)

New Jersey:

1. Pepperoni Sicilian at Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza in Elizabeth (50)

2. Thin crust at Star Tavern Pizzeria in Orange (52)

3. Tomato pie at Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville (41)

4. Sausage at Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville (23)

5. Gatto di potato at Reservoir Tavern in Boonton (99)



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[In 'Aubergine,' a Meal Often Says What Words Can't ]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 19:11:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AubergineMain.jpg

Like memorable popular culture narratives before it—“The Joy Luck Club” and “Like Water for Chocolate” come to mind—“Aubergine” contemplates the ways food communicates for us when words fail.

Julia Cho’s latest drama, having its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons, introduces us to Ray (Tim Kang), a chef grappling with the realities of his father’s approaching death from liver disease. Ray’s dining room has become a makeshift hospice, where his widower parent lies breathing laboriously in a hospital bed.

Ray has gone to extremes to earn the respect of the older man, once preparing for him an elaborate multi-course tasting menu. But the father, whose name is only mentioned in Korean in passing, has a joyless attitude toward eating, and bridging their divide will not be as simple a matter as Ray's replicating a memorable beef and radish broth from his dad’s youth.

Kang is effective as the tightly wound son struggling with what’s been left unsaid between child and parent. Playwright Cho depicts both Ray’s anxiety and sense of duty in ways that feel remarkably honest: Ray won’t even go for a walk outside, lest he not be present for the moment his father dies.

Michael Potts is on hand as a caretaker who knows the patterns of mortality and gives Ray permission, in this heady moment, to feed his own emotional needs. A gift from Lucien to Ray provides the play’s title: “Eggplant,” Lucien says, “sounds like an awkward, milky white, sickly thing. But ‘aubergine’ … That starts to approach the beauty of the thing itself.”

Joseph Steven Yang has both good humor and gravitas as the father’s brother—Ray’s uncle—who doesn’t know English, and so communicates mostly through gestures. Sue Jean Kim is a strong and witty female presence, as Ray’s justifiably frustrated ex-girlfriend, who eventually thaws when she sees Ray’s father is dying.

Cho’s notion of centering the play around food as a way of expressing love is potent, though she switches up ingredients in the second act and a monologue that tries to explain a key element of the father’s personality threatens to unmoor the drama.

At its climax, Ray concludes his father's message was: “You are always already dead. So why not live?" It’s a meaningful sentiment, but one that pulls us away from the themes of food and communication into more abstract philosophical theory. It doesn't seem quite in keeping with what we know about the father's approach to life.

“Aubergine” begins and ends with an appearance by an outsider (Jessica Love) who talks about her own father’s fondness for grilled pastrami, layered onto crusty bread so perfectly toasted it would “shatter” in her mouth. The woman’s ultimate intersection with Ray is just glancing, yet lends a sweet element of almost magical realism to the proceedings.

“Aubergine,” through Oct. 2 at Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. Tickets: Starting at $75. Call 212-279-4200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[This Year, Vote 'Fiorello!' Into Office ]]> Sat, 10 Sep 2016 17:16:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FiorelloMain.jpg

It seems an ideal time for New York’s first fully staged revival of “Fiorello,” a musical by the creators of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “She Loves Me” that celebrates a politician who walked the walk and talked the talk--even if it meant enlisting in the armed services to do battle with German bombers.

“Fiorello,” which ran on Broadway from 1959 to 1961, tracks the early days of Fiorello H. LaGuardia, from his efforts to expel the corrupt leaders of Tammany Hall until just before taking office as mayor. It won the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony for new musical, an honor it shared with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music.”

The production now at the East 13th Street Theater first opened in June at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s home in Stockbridge, Mass. The company has taken the unusual step of renting the Classic Stage Company’s base, seizing an arguably opportune moment for a story that seems quaint: a musical about an honest politician?

Highlights include the full-of-swagger “Little Tin Box,” in which pocket-lining hacks sing about how they’ll explain their ill-gotten gains to a court, and “I Love a Cop,” in which an empowered waif finds herself inexplicably drawn to the lawman who keeps trying to arrest her.

A confident Austin Scott Lombardi leads the cast of 20-something actors, wearing the suspenders of the “Little Flower,” a half-Italian, half-Jewish, 5-foot-2 politico.

Rebecca Brudner is lovely as Thea, LaGuardia’s first wife, who dies in her mid-20s from tuberculosis. Katie Birenboim has equal parts fire and winsomeness as Marie, the politician’s secretary, who for some 15 years carries an unrequited torch for her boss.

Also turning in strong performances are Matt McLean, as one of LaGuardia’s dedicated staffers, and Rylan Morsbach, as a Republican rainmaker whose fortunes align with LaGuardia’s time and again.

“Fiorello!” was last seen in the city in scaled-down form during the 2013 season of “Encores!” at City Center, a venue that owes its existence in part to Mayor LaGuardia. This Off-Broadway production is directed by Robert Moss, founder of Playwrights Horizons.

Both “Fiddler” and “She Loves Me” saw acclaimed Broadway revivals last season, and “Fiorello!” audiences will note similarities in particular to the latter, with its primary and secondary love stories, and a front-and-center element of the bittersweet. The BTG’s transfer is sweet, lively and timely.

“Fiorello!” through Oct. 7 at the East 13th Street Theater, 136 E. 13th St. Tickets: $59-$99. Call 800-838-3006.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Alexander Hill]]>
<![CDATA[Smithsonian Celebrates 'Star Trek's' 50th Anniversary]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 07:09:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Star+Trek+Model+at+Smithsonian.jpg

Fifty years ago, millions of Americans were glued to their TV sets for what would be a transformative glimpse into the future: The original “Star Trek” series debuted on NBC Sept. 8, 1966. In honor of the show, which led to six more series and 13 movies, the Smithsonian is celebrating science fiction becoming science fact.

"Space, the final frontier," and “the Enterprise” are two of the best known elements of our television history. Now they're attracting crowds at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

In 1966, if you wanted to have a spaceship in your TV show or movie, you had to physically build one and film it. The 11-foot long studio model of the USS Enterprise is the centerpiece of the Smithsonian's three-day celebration of the original series. The museum got the model in 1974, five years after NBC canceled the show. For a new permanent exhibit, it's been refurbished and rewired.

"I think it's an important part of connecting the popular culture enthusiasm around space flight to the actual artifacts of space flight," Smithsonian space history custodian Margaret Weitekamp said.

The museum is screening the first episode, "The Man Trap," Thursday for a capacity crowd with a discussion to follow.

Friday night will feature a Smithsonian documentary called "Building Star Trek" and another film by the son the late Leonard Nimoy called "For the Love of Spock."

Despite the jokes non-Trekkies make about the TV franchise, “Star Trek” made an undeniable mark on many parts of our history.

"’Star Trek’ is an optimistic view of the future," local attorney Charles Hildebrandt said.

He is part of a group working to build the Museum of Science Fiction in the D.C. area. 

Scenes, like an interracial kiss in 1968, were “Star Trek's” bold and covert way of helping Americans face their demons, Hildebrandt said.

"Allowed them to talk about and discuss and confront the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, all these issues that most other entertainment can't even discuss," he said.

"Nichelle Nichols, who is the African-American actress who played Lt. Uhura in the original series, was actually recruited by NASA to recruit astronaut candidates when they wanted more women, more African-Americans, more Asian-Americans," Weitekamp said.

“Star Trek” also inspired things we now see in the real world. What Capt. Kirk called a communicator then, Motorola called the first flip phone in 1996 and revolutionized how we communicate.

"There are really a lot of things from automatic doors that you walk through at the grocery store to the iPad that you can look up your information on that really have some connections to ‘Star Trek,’" Weitekamp said.

Get more details on the Smithsonian’s celebration here

Syfy, an NBC Universal channel, is airing three “Star Trek” movies Thursday evening.



Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA['On Your Feet' Stays On Its Feet Despite Broken Set ]]> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 17:14:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/OnYourFeetMain.jpg

The show must go on.

That was the mantra for the cast of "On Your Feet!" Tuesday night, when technical difficulties with the musical's set almost stopped their performance from continuing at the Marriott Marquis Theatre.

The cast powered through the rest of show, which tells the story of Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan's life, love, and music.

"Major shoutout to our @OnYourFeetBway audience!" star Ana Villafañe — who plays Gloria — tweeted afterwards. "Tonight was eventful and that is the magic of live theatre! We love you and thank you for the love."

"No set, no problem — we kill it anyway!" company member Genny Lis Padilla wrote. "I had a blast tonight."

Show spokesperson Whitney Holden Gore explained the details of the evening to Playbill.com.

"The company rallied together when the deck automation console crashed before the show began," Gore said. "After a brief meeting to go over staging adjustments and quick changes, [the cast] went on to perform the show without sets!"

The console was repaired during intermission, Gore added — and was fully operational for Wednesday's matinee.

The lack of scenery didn't seem to offset the performance for theatergoers either. "The audience was incredibly supportive of the cast and crew throughout the performance," Gore confessed, "and was quick to give them the standing ovation they earned at the end of it all!"

For tickets and show information, visit onyourfeetmusical.com.



Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA[Mouthwatering Eats at U.S. Open]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:29:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/184*120/1_Tennis+Match1.jpg

Photo Credit: Lauren Scala]]>
<![CDATA[Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess, Darren Criss Lead Elsie Fest]]> Sat, 03 Sep 2016 16:13:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479003114.jpg

Broadway’s biggest and brightest will join together Monday at the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk for the second annual "Elsie Fest," a one-day outdoor music festival celebrating showtunes from stage and screen.

NBC's "Smash" star Megan Hilty will headline the event, joined by "The UnBreakable Kimmy Schmidt" star Tituss Burgess and Golden Globe-nominated actress Evan Rachel Wood with musician Zach Villa, performing as their band Rebel and a Basket Case.

Tony winner Lena Hall and Criss, both heading out on tour in "Hedwig and the Angry," will perform as well, with SiriusXM Radio host Julie James and "Newsies" star Corey Cott.

YouTube superstar Todrick Hall will take the stage. The 31-year-old stage vet will return to Broadway this December as Lola in "Kinky Boots."

Tony-winning composers Jason Robert Brown ("The Bridges of Madison County") and the Tony-nominated team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul ("Dear Evan Hansen") are on the roster as well.

Cynthia Erivo, a 2016 Tony winner for her role in "The Color Purple," will perform as a special guest.

The day kicks off at 1 p.m. and goes throughout the evening. In addition to the live sets, attendees will be offered exclusive meet and greet packages with their favorite stars, concert merchandise and a beer garden from the famed West Village piano bar Marie's Crisis.

The festival, which premiered last year at the JBL Live at Pier 97, is the brainchild of "Glee" alum Darren Criss, Broadway producer Jordan Roth and talent manager Ricky Rollins.

Criss had said he came out with the idea of the festival while at Coachella, thinking "let's do this for showtunes."

"Musical theater has been going through a wonderful shift in the past few years. Why not shake up people’s ideas of where to watch the performers they love?" the 29-year-old actor said.

A portion of the proceeeds will go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. 

For tickets and further information, visit ElsieFest.com.



Photo Credit: Jenny Anderson]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Bell Announces New Camo n' Cream Flavor]]> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:28:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/blue-bell-camo.jpg

Blue Bell combined ice cream and camouflage with their latest concoction.

The Texas-based ice cream company announced their newest flavor, Camo 'n Cream, Thursday. Camo 'n Cream features a medley of cream cheese, pistachio almond and milk chocolate ice creams in a camouflage.

"We are having a little fun with this flavor," Blue Bell marketing director Carl Breed said. "We tried a few different combinations, but chose these flavors because they complement each other so well.

The camouflage-designed cartons, designed from the Blue Bell cow and girl logo, arrives in stores Thursday.

"You see the camo design on everything these days, so we thought why not create an ice cream flavor that looks camouflage?



Photo Credit: Blue Bell Ice Cream
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Going to a Movie in Manhattan? Don't Forget to Reserve Seat]]> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:06:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/movie+theater+NYPD.jpg

Heading to a movie in Manhattan? Don't forget to reserve your seat. 

Starting Friday, moviegoers at eight AMC Theatres in Manhattan will choose their seats at the time of purchase, whether online or at the box office, just as they would if going to a concert or sporting event, the company said. 

AMC already offers reserved seating in 125 locations nationwide; the expansion to Manhattan marks the first major market where AMC offers reserved seating at all locations. The company says guest feedback about reserved seating at its locations elsewhere across the country has been positive. 

The reserved seating program applies to the following locations: 

  • AMC 84th St. 6
  • AMC Village 7
  • AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13
  • AMC Empire 25
  • AMC Loews 34th Street 14
  • AMC Loews 19th St. East 6
  • AMC Loews Orpheum 7
  • AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 

AMC Kips Bay 15, which is currently undergoing a full renovation, will add reserved seating once the renovation is complete later this fall. 

Moviegoers know that showing up late can relegate them to undesirable seats, and the reserved seating program only makes that more likely. The best option? Buy your tickets in advance online or get to the box office early.



Photo Credit: Sydney Narvaez]]>
<![CDATA[Angelina Buys Giant Teddy Bear From Kids on Side of Road]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 14:48:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/angelina-jolie-estreno-kung-fu-panda-3-portrada.jpg

Angelina Jolie took an 8 1/2 foot tall teddy bear over the hands of a pair of kids trying to sell the behemoth stuffed animal on the side of the road in California over the weekend, according to TMZ. 

Tim Alexander and his 8-year-old twins were standing on the side of a road in Toluca Lake Sunday, holding "For Sale" signs for a monster teddy bear sitting on a blue couch, when a Cadillac pulled up, TMZ said. 

Jolie and Shiloh were in the car. The boys were asking for $50 for the bear, but Jolie handed them each $50. She stopped for a photo with the kids, though they didn't know who she was until their father told them later.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Hamilton' Ending Live 'Ham4Ham' Lotto ]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:29:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-539759102.jpg

The popular $10 ticket lottery for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash musical "Hamilton" -- which has been known to attract thousands of theater-going hopefuls to the Richard Rodgers Theatre each Wednesday -- is coming to an end.

The show announced via Twitter that it was ending the in-person lottery and its accompanying live performance -- known to fans as 'Ham4Ham.'

Wednesday's lotto, which begins at 12 p.m., will be its last.

"On July 15, 2015 we had our first official 'Ham4Ham' show, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonathan 'Heights Cool Musical Too,' " they explained. "Since then, we've created over 100 live and digital 'Ham4Ham' shows, showcasing members of this wonderful community we live and work in."

They continued: "After tomorrow, we'll be retiring Live 'Ham4Ham' shows for now. We love seeing your faces every Wednesday, but we have to say goodbye."

This isn't the first time "Hamilton" has put the kibosh on 'Ham4Ham.' Last winter, they paused the outdoor extravaganza to upgrade its sound system and find out ways to safely accommodate fans without blocking traffic on West 46th Street.

As always, the digital lottery for "Hamilton"-- powered by Broadway Direct -- will remain in place for every performance. "We may throw in a digital 'Ham4Ham' show from time to time," they hinted. "Stay tuned."

In June, producers said they were making 25 more seats available in the lottery -- bringing the total number up to 46 seats (or 19,000 seats per year).

Typically, 'Ham4Ham' sees more than 10,000 entries on digital days.



Photo Credit: Theo Wargo]]>
<![CDATA[MTV VMA Red Carpet Looks]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 11:55:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/vma-red-carpet-6.jpg Take a peek at stars strutting their stuff on the red carpet at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2016.]]> <![CDATA[MTV Video Music Awards 2016: Best Moments]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:25:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-597574376_master.jpg The best pictures and moments from the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for MTV]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 4 Treat Truck Beats the Heat]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:21:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/treat+truck+gallery.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Review: Turbulent Thriller 'The Layover' at Second Stage ]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 20:02:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/LayoverMain.jpg

Make you a bet: You’ll think twice before ever cozying up to a stranger on a plane after 90 minutes with “The Layover,” a taut and twisty psychological thriller from Leslye Headland having its world premiere at Second Stage.

Shellie (Annie Parisse) and Dex (Adam Rothenberg) are seated beside one another on a delayed, eventually canceled Thanksgiving-week flight from Chicago to New York. Their dialogue in the first minutes of Headland’s mostly enthralling drama is flirty, fresh and provocative.

Shellie rebuffs his initial advances, but eventually warms to Dex, telling him she’s a professor of American Crime Fiction. Sexy! Dex, an engineer returning from Yemen, where he has been building an island for a sheik—also sexy!—answers honestly when Shellie asks his relationship status: He’s got a fiancee, he “wants to want” to marry.

The chemistry between these two is so genuine, we hope they’ll end up in a hotel room when snow shuts the airport, and so they do. Everything that comes after, though, is more Patricia Highsmith—the writer known for “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” invoked here in both dialogue and narrative—than the rom-com that initially seems on tap.

Credit for pulling that off goes to two strong leads, and of course the writer, known for the play and 2012 film “Bachelorette” (“The Layover” reunites her with director Trip Cullman).

Headland understands a basic fact about relationships: there can be a false electricity when we meet someone, because that person is a blank slate we get to shade in. Actual love, she seems to be reminding us with “The Layover,” comes well after illusions are shattered, and messy truths are exposed.

All this? It's why one-night stands exist, right?

Parisse, the one-time “Law & Order” DA who was so memorable in “Clybourne Park,” is just swell here, charming her way into Dex’s world with a confidence and humor that calls to mind Tina Fey. Later, she offers a stunning display of emotional simplism.

As Dex, Rothenberg (the BBC’s “Ripper Street”) possesses a just-barely detectable element of aggressiveness, but is for the most part increasingly endearing: self-aware, self-supporting and hella goofy ... this fella sets a romantic mood by breaking out his Jambox and cranking up the Hall & Oates. You can go for that, right?

Supporting players include Quincy Dunn-Baker, in multiple parts as a drug-dealing louse and a hilarious private investigator; and John Procaccino, as the father of one protagonist, a man whose past behavior helps partly explain the present behavior of his offspring.

“The Layover” takes a bit long getting to its payoff, a problem that might be resolved by trimming back some detail on the secondary characters. By and large, it’s a sophisticated, sad story about how well we can intimately know someone. One wonders if Headland, whose own wedding is at hand, was exorcising demons.

Without spoiling the outcome, I left 2ST grappling with questions about whether I was a terrible misogynist—I’m convinced that’s just one of the admirably executed elements Headland was going for here.

“The Layover,” through Sept. 22 at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 W. 43rd St. Tickets: $79-$125. Visit 2st.com or call 212-246-4422.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Jennifer Holliday's Going to 'The Color Purple' ]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:47:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-476583853.jpg

In the original 1981 production of "Dreamgirls," Jennifer Holliday sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" -- the ultimate anathema for stamina and survival.

Yet since her career-making turn in the series, Holliday has been mostly absent from Broadway. She's appeared only in featured roles and limited runs, as the Teen Angel in 1994's "Grease" and Matron "Mama" Morton (in 2001) in the long-running revival of "Chicago." 

It's been over 15 years since Holliday last held a role in a Broadway production. But all of that will change on Oct. 4, when the Tony winner will take on the role of Shug Avery in the acclaimed revival of "The Color Purple."

Holliday will take over the role from Heather Headley, who will depart the production Oct. 2. Headley had replaced Jennifer Hudson who originated Shug Avery in the revival. Hudson -- in a bit of irony -- won an Oscar for taking on Holliday's role of Effie White in the film version of "Dreamgirls."

"I was deeply moved by this truly uplifting production of 'The Color Purple' and I am highly honored and absolutely thrilled to be joining this extraordinary cast," said Holliday. "Nothing compares to performing before a Broadway audience and I can't wait to return to the Broadway stage, where I started my career over 35 years ago."

"The Color Purple" -- now playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre -- stars Tony winner Cynthia Erivo at Celie, a woman who overcomes unimaginable tragedies on her journey to self-worth. The musical, direct by John Doyle, is an adaptation of Alice Walker's 1982 novel and subsequent 1985 film.

For tickets and more information, visit colorpurple.com.



Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin]]>
<![CDATA[Broken Water Main Cancels 'Cats']]> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 20:42:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CatsMain.jpg

Cats are known to be afraid of the water. So it's somewhat ironic that the Wednesday night performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-musical "Cats" was canceled due to a water main break in the area.

Performances for the new revival are expected to resume on Thursday, the show's Twitter handle said. Crews are said to be "working to solve the issue."

Customers affected can contact their point of purchase for refunds or exchanges.

Led by "Bleeding Love" singer Leona Lewis, "Cats" tells the story of a pack of "jellicle" felines as each waits to ascend to a heaven-like place called "the Heaviside Layer."

The musical is based on T.S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats," and features a score by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe.

Original director Trevor Nunn and scenic and costume designer John Napier returned to the new production. New to the creative team is choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (“Hamilton”), who based his design on Gillian Lynne's original choreography and associate direction.

The revival is the show's first. It came to Broadway 15 years after wrapping up its record-breaking original run.

For tickets and information, visit www.catsthemusical.com.



Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy]]>
<![CDATA['Sweeney Todd' Revival in a Working Pie Shop ]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 08:00:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/4557.jpg

In 2014, English theater company Tooling Arts Club staged an immersive revival of Stephen Sondheim's Tony-winning "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" in Harrington's Pie and Mash Shop -- the oldest continuously operating pie show in Britain.

With just eight actors, three musicians and an audience of just 32, the intimate production received rave reviews, and was restaged the spring of the following year with the help of billionaire theater producer Cameron Mackintosh.

Now, off Broadway's Barrow Street Theatre is bringing the Tooling Arts Club vision to New York City -- transforming its theatre into a working pie-shop environment in the process. 

Performances for the thriller begin Feb. 14 with an opening set for March 1.

Directed by Bill Buckhurst, it's unknown whether the revival of the 1979 tale will expand its cast, musicians and audience space. Traditional pie and mash will be served prior to the performance, though.

The musical -- which features a score by Sondheim with a book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond -- was last seen in the Big Apple on Broadway in 2005. That production featured a stripped down staging of the tale, by director John Doyle. Tony winners Patti LuPone and Michael Cerveris starred.

"Sweeney Todd" was also adapted into a 2007 film starring Johnny Depp and directed by his frequent collaborator Tim Burton.

For more information on the Barrow Street Theatre's upcoming revival, visit www.SweeneyToddNYC.com.



Photo Credit: Barrow Street Theatre ]]>
<![CDATA[Puzzle-Solvers Control World Trade Center Spire]]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 23:10:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_16197727951726.jpg

A team of puzzle-solvers controlled the color of the One World Trade Center spire from a Brooklyn park on Monday night in a first-of-its kind event. 

The National Park Service continued its centennial celebration, in conjunction with the National Park Service and with the help of Bill Nye, Questlove and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, with an event at Brooklyn Bridge Park to honor the innovative spirit of Thomas Edison National Historical Park. 

The event was the third in the summer long Park Exchange series for the NPS Centennial and allowed participants to control the color of the One World Trade Center spire by working together to solve interactive, collaborative puzzles on a giant digital circuit board. 

For those who wanted to follow the excitement remotely, the Statue of Liberty's webcam of New York Harbor offered views of the city courtesy of Earthcam.

The festive day featured music by Ramblin' Dan and Questlove, appearances by Nye, Jewell and park rangers, and family-friendly activities that explored science and innovation. Interactive stations encouraged visitors to discover national parks. 

Across the country, National Park Service sites joined the celebration using Facebook Live as they completed a "virtual park circuit." The circuit started and ended at the Brooklyn Bridge Park event site in New York, with park rangers throughout the country exploring different concepts of innovation, one park at a time. Each park in turn tagged the next one in the series and the circuit was completed with a return to Brooklyn for the last live post. 

"National parks reflect the innovative spirit of America, because after all, they embody one of our nation's most revolutionary ideas – that some of the most beautiful landscapes, iconic historic sites and culturally significant places should belong to every American," Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service said. "As we celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service this month illuminating the Manhattan skyline reflects this innovative, progressive American spirit and lights the way for the National Park Service as we enter our second century of service."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Find the NBC 4 Treat Truck!]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2016 07:05:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/treat-truck-talent-crop.jpg

NBC 4 New York is going on the road - and we're bringing ice cream!

Friday afternoons this summer and fall, we'll be in prime locations all over the tri-state area serving up tasty treats and a chance to meet our 4 p.m. news team - Stefan Holt, Natalie Pasquarella and Dave Price. 

Check out the map above for a list of where and when the truck will appear next. 

Visiting the truck? Make sure to take photos and post them on social media with the hashtag #NBC4NY. We may use some of your best pictures on air, online and in the map!


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<![CDATA[Investors Lose $165K in Fake Lupita Broadway Play Scam: DA]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 14:44:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/broadway+generic.jpg

A 41-year-old theater producer has been indicted for allegedly stealing $165,000 from seven people prosecutors say he convinced to invest in a fake Broadway play.

Roland Scahill allegedly orchestrated a scheme in which he purported to be the lead producer of a new Broadway play, "The KB Project," based on the life of famed opera singer Kathleen Battle.

Scahill, who owns a production company called RMS2 Productions, claimed that he had purchased the rights to Battle’s life story, that he had contracted with Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o to star in the play, and that he had reserved the Booth Theatre on Broadway to run the production, prosecutors allege in the indictment. Representatives for those parties say Scahill never approached them and that they never had any deal with him.  

In the initial stages of the alleged scam, Scahill told the would-be investors that he was raising capital at a price of $15,000 per share in order to fund the early stages of the production, the indictment charges. He allegedly told the victims that only investors who participated in the early stages of the investment process would receive subsidiary rights in the production, allowing each investor the potential to garner multiple income streams in any subsequent book or film deals based on the play. 

According to court documents, in January 2015, Scahill informed all of the investors that Netflix had agreed to film a performance of "The KB Project" and make the play available to its subscribers. Citing his fictitious contract with Netflix, Scahill offered the existing investors the opportunity to participate in a second round of funding before he would open the opportunity to a larger group of outside investors, the indictment alleges. Based on the strength of Scahill's representations about the success of the planned production, two of the victims invested additional money, prosecutors said. 

In the fall of 2015, after several investors demanded the return of their money, Scahill sent them checks. Each of the checks bounced due to insufficient funds, and Scahill ceased all communications with the investors, prosecutors said. 

Scahill allegedly spent the stolen funds on personal expenses, including more than $129,000 on stocks and stock option contracts; about $23,000 in personal credit card payments; $18,000 to pay rent for his apartment; and nearly $10,000 on various food, alcohol, and entertainment purchases.

He pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and scheme to defraud, all felonies, at his arraignment Friday. His attorney says he "stands on that not guilty plea."

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<![CDATA[7-Eleven's Slurpee BYO Cup Day ]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 07:05:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/DSC00217_EDITEDbyocup.jpg

While we know that some special events only happen but once a week, month, or year, we can't help but wishing, from time to time, that after-Christmas sales popped up more often and eclipses had a way of appearing with far more frequency.

But sometimes, if you wish extra hard, something that happens annually can make a seemingly sudden return way before you thought it possible.

Look to Slurpee's Bring Your Own Cup Day, a springtime to-do which invites fans of the frosty 7-Eleven beverage to show up with, you guessed it, whatever kind of cup they fancy, all with the aim of filling it with copious amounts of Slurpee goodness.

This year's Slurpee day occurred in late March, and fans turned up in drink-craving droves, all prepared to fill giant vessels for the price of $1.50.

Get ready, though, Slurpeens: Like an unlikely eclipse, or out-of-the-blue sale, BYO Cup Day is back on Friday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

In honor of its 50th anniversary, Slurpee is bringing back Bring Your Own Cup Day, again. Show up at an 7-Eleven with an iced tea pitcher, a mondo margarita glass, coffee pot, or a jar that formerly held pickles, and fill'er up for $1.50.

There are some rules to the deal, like the fact that your cup "must fit upright through a 10-inch hole," so best leave your picnic cooler or inflatable swimming pool at home.

It should also be squeaky clean pre-Slurpee, so read all.

You're right: The snow-cold, brain-freezable sip did turn 50 this year, so the birthday celebrations continue.

And, yes, the flavors have gone well beyond the cherries and colas of long ago (though those make regular appearances, and thank goodness, because classics are classics for a reason).

Got a clean coffee pot handy? Best clear some time on your end-of-the-week calendar. After all, BYO Cup Day only happens once, or, um, twice a year.



Photo Credit: Slurpee]]>
<![CDATA[Todrick Hall Returning to Broadway in 'Kinky Boots']]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 18:29:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-520520396.jpg

He has over 2.2 million YouTube subscribers, his own MTV series and just finished a sold-out national tour of his original stage show.

And now, Todrick Hall is coming back to Broadway.

The 31-year-old triple threat will step into the boots of Lola in the long-running hit musical "Kinky Boots" this fall, for a limited run that begins Nov. 1 and ends March 5.

Hal made his debut over 10 years ago as a replacement in the original Broadway production of "The Color Purple." Stifled as a semifinalist on season 9 of "American Idol" and an ensemble track in "Memphis," the young actor relocated to Los Angeles where his career took off.

His videos -- some parodies of Disney animated films, some original compositions, and some pop star mashups -- are known for Hall's creativity, high-energy and superstar vocals.

If you've flown Virgin American in the past three years, you've probably seen his safety video before takeoff.

True to his form, he even created an original video to announce his "Kinky Boots" turn. 

"Kinky Boots" is currently playing at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, and features music by Cyndi Lauper, a book by Harvey Fierstein and direction and choreography from Jerry Mitchell.

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical, it tells the tale of Charlie and Lola -- two unlikely friends who team up to help Charlie's struggling family shoe factory comes up with a fresh new business plan.

Lola's shoes have been previously worn on Broadway by Wayne Brady and Tony winner Billy Porter, who originated the role and played it for more than 800 performances.

For tickets and information, visit kinkybootsthemusical.com



Photo Credit: Robin Marchant
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<![CDATA['SNL' Alum Jason Sudeikis to Lead Stage 'Dead Poets Society']]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 15:59:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-179762535.jpg

After 10 seasons on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," Jason Sudeikis is used to working in front of a live studio audience. And now, the 40-year-old actor will get the chance to do it again, eight shows a week.

Sudeikis will lead the Classic Stage Company's stage adaptation of "Dead Poets Society." He'll play John Keating, a role made famous in the 1989 film by Robin Williams.

Performances begin Oct. 27, with an official press opening scheduled for Nov. 17. Additional casting is expected in the coming weeks.

"Dead Poets Society" has been adapted by playwright Tom Schulman. The premiere production will be directed by Tony winner John Doyle ("The Color Purple"), who said in a statement that he was "thrilled Jason Sudeikis is taking on this iconic role."

"I felt it important that we find an actor like Jason who brings a fresh perspective," he continued. "All at CSC are delighted that he will be joining us for this unique venture."

For tickets and information, visit classicstage.org.



Photo Credit: Jonathan Leibson]]>