<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Tue, 04 Aug 2015 03:51:13 -0400 Tue, 04 Aug 2015 03:51:13 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Utah Embraces 'The Book of Mormon']]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:27:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/first-national-tour-cast.jpg

“The Book of Mormon,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s musical satire about the Mormon church, has been breaking box office records on Broadway since opening in 2011. But this week, the Tony-winning musical did something it’s never done before: it opened in Salt Lake City, Utah.

That’s right -- “The Book of Mormon” hit the heart of the Mormon church for the first time since its national tour launched in 2012, for a two-week, sold out run at the The Capitol Theatre. And according to reports, the foul-mouthed comedy’s first performance was met with a rousing reception from a mixed audience of non-Mormons, ex-Mormons and practicing Mormons.

No protesters or mass walkouts occurred on opening night, and audiences laughed loudly, even during some of the show’s more biting moments. Standing ovations were given. The production’s program even included three advertisements from the Mormon church, whose temple was just two blocks away from the theater.

Actor Billy Tighe, who plays Elder Price in the touring production, called the Salt Lake City opening an “epic evening.” “I’ve never experience an audience so eager to share a laugh,” he said. “Truly one of the most memorable nights of my life.”

Creators Parker and Stone weren’t there, but told the Associated Press that having the show there felt like a full-circle moment. “It just feels very much like it’s coming home,” Stone said. "It's like playing 'Fiddler on the Roof' to a bunch of Jews," Parker added.

Neither Parker nor Stone have ever received blowback The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose leaders have stuck with one statement about the show over the years.

It reads: "The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."

For more information about “The Book of Mormon” and its tour, visit bookofmormonbroadway.com.



Photo Credit: bookofmormonbroadway.com]]>
<![CDATA[Lupita Nyong’o and 'Walking Dead' Star Team for New Play]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:12:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/479920655KI00263_Marie_Clai.jpg

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) will make her New York stage debut this fall in a new play from Danai Gurira, best known to audiences as Michonne in AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

A drama about the Liberian Civil War, “Eclipsed” begins previews at The Public Theater on Sept. 29, with a limited engagement running through Nov. 8. The play officially opens Oct. 14.

“Eclipsed” tells the story of a fragile community of captive wives during the war, who band together as a means for survival, until a new girl arrives and threatens to upset their balance.

South African born Liesl Tommy will direct. She previously directed “The Good Negro” and “The Urban Retreat” at The Public.

Tickets are now available for members. Single tickets, starting at $80, will be available to the general public starting Aug. 6. Visit www.publictheater.org for more information.



Photo Credit: Jonathan Leibson| Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Blue Moon to Appear in Sky Friday]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:14:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/blue+moon+over+ny.jpg

Be sure to set your gaze skyward Friday to catch a glimpse of the rare blue moon.

Don't be fooled by the name "blue moon," however. Most likely, the moon will look gray or white as usual, but it will be a full moon. The moon rises in New York Thursday at 7:28 p.m. but sets at 6:05 a.m. Friday, just before it becomes completely full (6:43 a.m). It will appear again in the sky at 8:14 p.m. Friday -- the day of the official "blue moon," though it won't be at its peak. 

Blue moons are not actually defined by their color. Instead, by popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. The phenomenon only happens every few years, making it a relatively rare occurrence. The first full moon of the month happened July 1 for those in New York.

A moon that appears blue is caused by dust in the atmosphere, according to Larry Ciupik, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. If the atmospheric conditions are just right on Friday, then the blue moon may appear slightly blue in color, but Ciupik says that isn't likely to happen.

The popular definition of a blue moon is as incorrect as the assumption that the moon will actually look blue, however, according to Ciupik. The Farmers' Almanac definition of a blue moon is the third full moon in a calendar season, which is just as rare as the second full moon in a month. The two kinds of blue moons do not usually align, however.

The last blue moon — by popular definition — happened in August 2012, and the next one will not appear until January 2018. The phenomenon can happen any month except February, even during  a Leap Year, because the month does not have enough days, according to Ciupik.

Although Friday's moon may not look any different than any other full moon, Ciupik believes the popularity of the blue moon is due to the general mystery of the moon, including the faces some people see in the orb and the myths that proliferate about full moons causing strange events.

"It's also a kind of romantic thing," Ciupik said. "I think it's kind of primal. You look at the moon, and it's kind of primal. You could be seeing this a thousand years ago, the same thing."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Celebrate National Cheesecake Day With Half-Off Deals]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:57:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cheesecake-Generic.jpg

It’s National Cheesecake Day, and eateries around the Big Apple are celebrating by offering deals on the city’s most iconic and decadent treat.

Junior’s Restaurant and Cheesecake is offering slices for half price Thursday for customers who get lunch or dinner at any of its New York City locations or its restaurant at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.

You can also score $5 off any cheesecake order from the Junior's website with the code CHEESECAKEDAY15.

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake, another venerable New York City pastry-maker, is also offering half-off any cheesecake purchase at its store at 17 Cleveland Place in Manhattan.

If you’re not going to be in the city today, you can still celebrate the occasion with a slice of from Cheesecake Factory for half off.

Diners who snap a selfie with their cheesecake, then post the photo to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #SayCheesecake or the restaurant chain’s Facebook page, can win up to $1,000.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Grumpy Dog Earl Challenges Grumpy Cat's Reign]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 00:23:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/My+Name+is+Earl.jpg

The world’s grouchiest feline has some new competition. Meet “Grumpy Dog.”

Earl, a second-generation puggle with a permanent scowl and sulky expression, is challenging Grumpy Cat’s reign over sour-faced pets of the Internet. 

The 5-month-old beagle-pug quickly rose to fame on Reddit, amassing millions of fans across multiple social media platforms and becoming the subject of some hilarious Internet memes.

Earl’s owner Derek Bloomfield tells Yahoo! News that despite the pooches peeved appearance, he is very friendly and the “most relaxed, content puppy.” 

“The vet said he’s as healthy as any other puppy,” Bloomfield said. “He just looks grumpy because of his underbite, wrinkles, and dark complexion.”



Photo Credit: Derek Bloomfield/Christie Bailey
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<![CDATA[Brooklyn Pizzeria Is Best in America, Study Finds]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 09:11:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/juliana+pizzeria+handout.jpg

A Brooklyn pizzeria has been named the top joint for a slice in America, according to a TripAdvisor ranking based on the quality and quantity of reviews and opinions from millions of travelers.

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Juliana's Pizza, on Old Fulton Street in DUMBO, won top honors from TripAdvisor. Opened in 2012 by legendary Brooklyn pizza maker Patsy Grimaldi, this eatery tantalizes taste buds with its thin crust pizza that is charred to perfection under a coal-fired hearth.

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One TripAdvisor reviewer raved, "The main reason why Patsy Grimaldi is an institution is because he does make outstanding pizza! After all these years, the perfect crust, great tomatoes, delicious mozzarella and toppings galore; try them all, you can't go wrong."

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Keste, on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, known for its authentic Neapolitan pizza, came in at No. 4 on the top 10 list. John's Pizzeria, also on Bleecker street, came in at No. 10.

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Overall, New York City was named the second best city in the country for pizza, behind Chicago.

Here is a list of the top 10 pizza restaurants in country, according to TripAdvisor:

1. Juliana's Pizza -- Brooklyn, New York
2. Pizza Time of St. Augustine -- Saint Augustine, Florida
3. Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria -- Anchorage, Alaska
4. Keste -- New York, New York
5. Tony's Pizza Napoletana -- San Francisco, California
6. Pizzeria Regina -- Boston, Massachusetts
7. Antico Pizza Napoletana -- Atlanta, Georgia
8. Bill's Pizza -- Palm Springs, California
9. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana -- New Haven, Connecticut
10. John's Pizzeria – New York, New York

The TripAdvisor ranking of top U.S. pizza restaurants is based on the quantity and quality of reviews for pizza restaurants, giving more weight to reviews written in the past year. Pizza restaurants were identified as those having a majority of reviews mentioning pizza, a minimum of 500 reviews, and at least 10 percent of reviews mentioning "best pizza."

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Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Shannon Joins 'Long Day’s Journey Into Night']]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:20:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/509287471AZ00007_Premieres_.jpg

Michael Shannon (TV’s “Boardwalk Empire”) has joined the cast of the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

Shannon will play James Jr, the eldest son of the Tyrone family which already includes Jessica Lange (Mary), Gabriel Byrne (James) and John Gallagher Jr. (Edmund).

Previews for the limited engagement production will begin March 31, 2016, with an April 19 opening at the American Airlines Theatre.

The show marks Shannon’s return to Broadway after making his debut in 2012’s “Grace” alongside Paul Rudd. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 2008’s “Revolutionary Road.”

Lange’s longtime "American Horror Story" collaborator Ryan Murphy will also co-produce the revival alongside the Roundabout. Jonathan Kent will direct.



Photo Credit: Ian Gavan | Getty images]]>
<![CDATA[Part II: Interview With Broadway's Demonic Sock Puppet]]> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:16:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000008052877_1200x675_493428803627.jpg A demonic sock puppet is one of Broadway's biggest attractions these days in the quirky show "Hand to God" at the Booth Theatre. He drinks, curses, enjoys carnal relations and did not hold back when he spoke with News 4's Gus Rosendale. Rosendale says it was the most enjoyable yet uncomfortable interview of his career. Don't miss Part I of his interview with the sock puppet star. ]]> <![CDATA[Matthew Broderick Joins 'Sylvia' ]]> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:19:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/540275525AP00032_Roundabout.jpg

It’s been almost two months since Matthew Broderick was on Broadway. But the two-time Tony winner, last seen in Terrence McNally’s “It’s Only a Play,” will be back on the boards this fall, in the A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia.”

The production begins previews Oct. 2 at Broadway’s Cort Theatre, prior to an Oct. 27 opening.

Broderick will join Julie White (“Airline Highway”) as married couple Greg and Kate, who form a complicated relationship with their dog, Sylvia (Tony-winner Annaleigh Ashford, last seen in “You Can’t Take it With You”).

This will be the first time “Sylvia” has been on Broadway. The comedy opened in 1995 at the Manhattan Theater Club, starring Broderick’s wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, in the title character.

Direction for its Broadway bow will come from Daniel Sullivan (“The Country House”). Robert Sella (“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”) will also star.

For tickets and information, visit sylviabroadway.com.



Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker | Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Smash' Star Megan Hilty Books Broadway Return]]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:43:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/562011823KR00017_Voices_For.jpg

NBC’s “Smash” star Megan Hilty and a set of Broadway vets will join Tony winner Andrea Martin in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s upcoming revival of Michael Frayn’s farcical comedy “Noises Off.”

The limited engagement production, directed by Jeremy Herrin, will begin previews Dec. 1 at the American Airlines Theatre. Opening night is set for Jan. 14, 2016.

Making up the rest of the cast are Rob McClure (“Honeymoon in Vegas”), Tracee Chimo (“The Heidi Chronicles”), Jeremy Shamos (“The Qualms”), Campbell Scott (“Ah, Wilderness!”), Kate Jennings Grant (“The Country House”), Daniel Davis (“La Cage aux Folles”) and David Furr (“The Importance of Being Earnest”).

It will be Megan Hilty’s first Broadway role since her breakout role in NBC’s “Smash.” She last appeared in the 2009 musical adaptation of “9 to 5.”

For tickets and information, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
 



Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Colin Quinn Tells 'The New York Story']]> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:55:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/207*120/ColinQuinnMain.jpg

New Yorkers have become so wary of offending people that we’re afraid to acknowledge our differences, Colin Quinn argues in “The New York Story,” a sage and snappy stand-up outing now on the boards at the Cherry Lane Theatre.

Jerry Seinfeld directs the hour-long tirade against homogeneity, which is based on Quinn’s race relations-themed memoir “The Coloring Book.” Seinfeld also guided the former “SNL” comic in his 2010 Broadway show “Long Story Short.”

Performing on a stage gussied up to look like the stoop of a brownstone, Quinn -- currently featured alongside Amy Schumer in “Trainwreck” -- satirically riffs his way through the history of the city’s settlers beginning with the Dutch, whom he says brought the “abrupt” language still in our system today.

“You see people from other places walking around asking nicely, ‘Excuse me, where’s the museum?’ … But people from New York just accuse you of information: “Where’d you get the ice cream?”

Jews, Germans, Puerto Ricans and more come up for examination, but “The New York Story” is no stream of takedowns: It’s both an affectionate look at stereotypes that are funny because they’re true, and a lament that we tiptoe around things that make us unique.

Who’s too ho-hum for his own good? Mayor de Blasio, for one.

“Koch, whether you liked him or whether you thought the city was a wreck, you knew he had no speechwriters,” Quinn says, segueing into an imitation of the late politician arguing with “yentas” at the Kew Gardens Senior Center: “You’re being rude … I should’ve gone to Rego Park.”

“De Blasio,” he adds, “there’s just no personality.”

Quinn has got sharp observations about the subway, “the great equalizer,” but complains even that has lost its personality. In the gentrifying neighborhoods of Brooklyn, he says, “if you get on the L train at 2 o’clock in the morning, it looks like a ski lift.”

Meanwhile, anyone who has ever stood on the 7 train will admire Quinn’s analysis of predicting seat availability on the line traveling through the polyglot neighborhoods of Queens.

“You go on the 7 train and you can tell by what they’re reading when they’re going to get off. … If someone is reading The Irish Echo, they’ll probably get off at 40th -- stand next to them! … Asian newspaper? Don’t even bother. You aren’t getting a seat.”

In Quinn’s world, the waves of Italians who came to the city bring “the volume,” the Puerto Ricans “the pace” and the blacks “defiance,” “like the Medici coming in to check on Michelangelo.” The Jews? They came in 1880, and “I think it’s safe to say most have not recovered from the boat trip yet.”

Quinn’s monologue is mostly lean and bracing. A closing jab intended to point out the perils of political correctness was a bit too rambling and cute for my taste, but I’m nitpicking. Overall, he makes a really strong point that -- who knows? -- could just embolden some to let down their guards a bit.

“We tell people, ‘Celebrate diversity!’” Quinn says. “But at the same time, be careful not to point out people’s ethnic differences!” Now, he says, “we’re all just, basically, bland.”

“The New York Story,” through Aug. 16 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St. Tickets: $65. Call 866-811-4111.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Mike Lavoie]]>
<![CDATA[Selfie Sticks Banned at Six Flags Parks Nationwide]]> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:06:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Six+Flags+sign+generic.jpg

Six Flags has joined the growing list of amusement parks across the nation that have banned selfie sticks.

The company implemented the ban Monday at all of its parks across America, according to Katy Enrique, communications manager for Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois.

“We strive to provide the safest possible environment in our parks and these devices pose a safety risk to guests and employees,” Enrique told NBC Chicago in statement.

Enrique did not specify if any incidents involving selfie sticks had taken place, but said the goal is “to prevent such an occurrence.”

“The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority,” she said.

The move comes after news that Disney planned to ban selfie sticks at all four of its theme parks in Orlando along with its water parks and Disney Quest. The company also planned to ban them at Disneyland Resort in California and Disney’s parks in Paris and Hong Kong.

Officials warned that the sticks have become a “growing safety concern.”

The device has already been put on a list of “prohibited items” on Six Flags’ website, alongside monopods and similar devices.

The sticks have been banned at a number of museums, music festivals and sports venues, including Lollapalooza, Comic-Con and the Art Institute of Chicago.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's All-Day Breakfast May Go National: Report ]]> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 12:03:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/4707047541.jpg

McDonald’s could soon dish out all-day breakfast nationwide.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an internal memo sent to U.S. franchisees and employees Tuesday, reports that the fast food giant could begin offering breakfast all day later this year.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based company began testing all-day breakfast in March in its San Diego market. The test was expected to expand to Nashville this summer.

The memo, sent by LeAnn Richards, a franchisee from Arizona who heads a task force studying all-day breakfast, told franchisees to be ready for the potential launch of all-day breakfast as soon as October, WSJ reports.

McDonald’s, however, would only confirm that the company is testing the possibility of all-day breakfast.

“Serving all-day breakfast is likely the number one request we hear from McDonald’s customers,” the company told NBC Chicago in a statement. “We’re testing it out in a few markets to learn more about this possibility. We know your mouth is watering, but there’s no news on this yet.”

McDonald’s breakfast currently ends at 10:30 a.m. in most markets.

McDonald's has long been the fast-food leader in the mornings, with its popular Sausage Biscuits, Hotcakes and other items pulling in roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales. But the chain has faced stiffer competition in recent years, with competitors such as Starbucks and Subway rolling out breakfast sandwiches as well.

McDonald's, which has more than 14,000 U.S. locations, has also said it plans to step up its marketing of breakfast as it faces intensifying competition.

As for extending its breakfast hours, the world's largest hamburger chain is known for treading extremely carefully when discussing any tests or potential changes. Such matters are considered sensitive in large part because they would require the support of the company's network of franchisees.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McDonald's' 'Secret Menu' Not So Secret Anymore]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:02:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/167*120/51122973.jpg

The mythical “secret menu” at McDonald’s may not be a myth at all.

According to a McDonald’s manager who conducted a recent Reddit AMA, customers can in fact order secret menu items, but the items really aren’t that secret.

Reddit user OrchidHibiscus, who claims to be a manager at a McDonald’s in Glasgow, Scotland, said McDonald’s didn’t specifically develop a secret menu, but menu items can be customized into “grill orders.”

Customers can add or take out ingredients from current menu items to make them into what they want—including something off a so-called “secret menu.”

"Order one and the workers might not know it by name ... but if you explain what it is, and are willing to pay for all the ingredients, it's just another 'grill order' that we can make up," OrchidHibiscus wrote.

The user referred to rumored secret menu items like the Land, Sea and Air Burger, which is a combination of a Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and McChicken.

A website called #HackTheMenu claims to have a list of “secret menu items” from McDonald's, including an “All American,” a “Big McChicken,” “Biscuits and Gravy,” and a “Chicken McGriddle.”

McDonald’s addresses the possibility of a secret menu on its website saying, “We have no secret menu – or do we?”

“Actually, our customers are pretty clever when it comes to customizing their orders with our menu items, so you may have seen some of their creations online,” the company wrote. “But we have no official secret menu of our own.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlee Matlin to Make Broadway Debut]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:07:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/531287419DF00033_Arianna_Hu.jpg

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin will make her Broadway debut in the upcoming “Spring Awakening” revival, which is set to opening at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in September.

The revival of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s eight-time Tony-winning musical is a transfer of the critically acclaimed production from the Los Angeles-based Deaf West Theatre and the theater collective Forest of Arden, which retold the 2006 musical using a mix of hearing and deaf performers.

“It’s been 30 years since I had the opportunity to be part of the groundbreaking ‘Children of a Lesser God,’” Matlin said of her award-winning performance in the 1986 film. "I couldn’t be more proud and honored to have been asked to join Deaf West Theatre’s innovative revival of ‘Spring Awakening’ on Broadway."

Marlin will play the two female adult roles in the Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater musical. She’s the first official cast member announced for the Broadway production. Additional casting is expected to be announced shortly.

Michael Arden ("The Hunchback of Notre Dame") will direct. 

Despite being the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award, Marlin’s biggest roles have been on the small screen as of late, with arcs in “Switched at Birth,” “The L Word” and NBC’s “The West Wing.”

She’s also hit the reality circuit, competing on “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice," where she placed second.

For tickets and information, visit springawakeningonbroadway.com.



Photo Credit: Ari Perilstein]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Adorable Pets From Around the U.S. ]]> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:51:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/160*120/MurphyBoxerWVIT.jpg Pet owners coast to coast have one thing in common: they love sharing pictures of their furry friends. Here's a look at some cute pets photos shared by NBC Owned TV Station viewers across the country. Help us "Clear the Shelters" on Aug. 15 by adopting a pet of your own to love (and photograph)! ]]> <![CDATA[$125 Caviar Twinkie Sold at SoCal Fair]]> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:10:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/203*120/friedcaviartwinkieoc.jpg

Picture this: An ice cream cone and a swirl of cotton candy and some roasted corn and a turkey leg and a funnel cake, all huddled around some conference table in some office building, madly discussing how their games can be upped in the face of the most buzzed-about edible headed for the 2015 OC Fair.

Hints: The foodstuff involves caviar, and it involves a Twinkie, and... there you have it. It's the Caviar Twinkie, and it shall be available at that famous purveyor of offbeat fair treats, Chicken Charlie's, throughout the Costa Mesa extravaganza.

The month-long OC Fair opens on Friday, July 17. 

Naming the Caviar Twinkie's price isn't much of a guessing game, though, if you know what anniversary the fair is celebrating. The midway-bright, animal-sweet spectacular is turning 125, and the Caviar Twinkie created in its happy honor is... wait for it... ding ding ding, you're right: $125.

All proceeds will be donated to the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

"The finest caviar" shall top the golden-sponge Hostess Brands icon, and judging by early photos, there should be a solid amount of the luxury item. The Twinkie, of course, shall come complete with its creamy middle, so perhaps diners will discover a new taste-combo sensation.

Will sponge-cream-salty be the next flavor trio to storm the gourmet world? Will everyone need to scoop the fish egg delicacy with a just-out-of-the-box snack cake?

You never know how trends start.

If the $125 Caviar Twinkie isn't your bite-worthy bag, Chicken Charlie's is also serving a Totally Fried Peanut Butter Pickle and Deep-Fried Slim Fast.

Deep. Fried. Slim. Fast. 

Part of the fun of the fair is not simply daring your friends to try something and then devouring and then returning for more. Surely there's a branch of high-brow philosophy devoted to the study of enjoying something before, during, and well after?

Philosophers, start with the deep-fried treats of the OC Fair, which get fans theorizing well in advance of the fair and long after the treat's been eaten. (During, maybe not so much, since mouths tend to be full.)

And for the Caviar Twinkie overshadowing classics like ice cream and cotton candy? We don't think the fair's tried-and-true favorites need worry; there's always room for a little more when it comes to memorable fair food.



Photo Credit: Chicken Charlie's]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Josh Young, Chuck Cooper in 'Amazing Grace']]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:31:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/208*120/AmazingMain.jpg

A one-time Pennsylvania police officer and Broadway newcomer is the composer and lyricist of “Amazing Grace,” an earnest and well-intentioned original musical about the creation of the famous Christian hymn by British poet John Newton.

More to the point, “Amazing Grace” focuses on Newton as a bratty young man in the 1740s, when he was truly the self-proclaimed “wretch” of that hymn’s first stanza. The spiritual -- recently sung by the president at a eulogy for the Charleston shooting victims -- isn’t heard until the musical’s final moments.

Now open at the Nederlander, “Amazing Grace” stars Josh Young (“Jesus Christ Superstar”) as Newton and Chuck Cooper (“The Life”) as his slave, Thomas. Christopher Smith is the ambitious cop-turned-playwright who has shepherded “Amazing Grace” through a 7-year journey, including two out-of-town runs.

Young, a charismatic leading man, made Judas Iscariot likable in “Superstar,” and is a fine choice as Newton, another man with dangerous contradictions. John Newton is an anti-hero, whom we meet when he steps in to help his father sell slaves at an auction that’s soon rushed by Abolitionists.

Writer Smith (sharing book credit with Arthur Giron) piles on a lot to explain why John is a rebellious man: His mother died when he was young … His love interest, Mary (the appealing Erin Mackey, of “Chaplin”), comes from a broken family that wants to marry her off to a pompous British major (Chris Hoch).

There is, as well, John’s relationship with his absentee sea captain father (Tom Hewitt, better used here than in “Doctor Zhivago”). After the auction debacle, Captain Newton banishes John to sea for 5 years, a decision that comes with tragic consequences and sets in motion a familiar tale of father-son redemption.

Because most of the relationships are musical theater tropes, they tend to drag on the pacing.

The tone of scenes in the first act oscillates wildly, from striking and severe -- particularly the difficult images of chained slaves being branded -- to overly smug and smirky (Hoch is fun, though he seems to be channeling King George from “Hamilton”). The songs are confident, if not quite memorable -- the best being “Truly Alive,” early on.

Things get more lively at the halfway point, after Thomas helps John survive a shipwreck off the coast of Africa (it’s a swell bit of staging, adeptly handled by director Gabriel Barre). In a racial role reversal, John finds himself held prisoner by a fiery African princess (Harriett D. Foy, electrifying the stage with her cruelty).

As the two-act musical nears its end, Cooper (below) has satisfying moments confronting the young man who has enslaved him his entire life; mostly, though, the slaves aren’t particularly sketched out. I loved Laiona Michelle’s Nanna, Mary’s “maid,” who has made a bitter peace with the loss of her daughter.

Young accomplishes a neat trick, introducing us to a man who is so wounded by his mother’s death that he refuses to believe in a merciful God. His epiphany comes later, after he both spurs and endures more awfulness -- and realizes he has been spared, though he no longer believes he should be.

The idea is that any God who would save him must be a merciful one.

In an epilogue, Cooper steps out of character to explain that John and Mary lived out the rest of their lives as a married couple, and that in 1772 Newton finally finished “Amazing Grace.” Young begins an a cappella version of the song, and is joined by the rest of the cast.

Within a minute, some audience members were standing with an evangelical hand raised to God. The moment is as lump-in-the-throat as it sounds. It seemed disconnected from the rest of the musical, and was the first time during “Amazing Grace” my emotions were truly stirred.

“Amazing Grace,” with an open-ended run at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St. Tickets: $65-$139. Call Ticketmaster at 866-870-2717.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Headed to NYC, Will Watch 'Hamilton' on Broadway]]> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:09:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/86241777.jpg

Tickets for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new hip-hop musical “Hamilton” are already a tough get, with its $27.6 million advance and crowded ticket lotteries. But there’s one person who didn’t seem to have a problem securing a seat: The President.

President Obama is expected to attend the critically acclaimed new musical Saturday afternoon.

He’ll arrive in Manhattan Friday evening for a DNC fundraiser and a stay at a midtown hotel. The commander-in-chief will then attend the 2 p.m. matinee of the musical, about the life of founding father Alexander Hamilton.

This won’t be Obama’s first interaction with “Hamilton.” Miranda first performed material from what he was then calling “The Hamilton Mixtape” for a newly elected Obama in 2009, during the “White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and Spoken Word.”

As for the First Lady? She  caught the show during its off-Broadway run at the Public Theatre, calling it the "greatest piece of art I've ever seen." And unlike Madonna, who was there the same day, the first lady was not on her phone the whole time.



Photo Credit: Alex Wong | Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rumer Willis Headed to 'Chicago']]> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:32:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/85956301.jpg

She won the last season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” And now, Rumer Willis is dancing her way to the Great White Way.

Willis will make her Broadway debut in the hit revival of Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago” this summer, for an eight-week limited engagement. Willis will replace Grammy-winning singer and actress Brandy Norwood, in the role of murderess Roxie Hart.

Norwood departs the production on Aug. 2. Willis will step in Aug. 18, and continue with the Razzle Dazzle through Oct. 11 -- less than two weeks before her dad, Bruce Willis, makes his Broadway debut in the stage adaptation of Stephen King’s “Misery.”

Rumer Willis made her acting debut as a child, opposite her mother, Demi Moore, in two films: “Striptease” and “Now and Then.” Since then, she’s graced the big and small screen, with roles in “The House Bunny,” and TV’s “Pretty Little Liars.”

“Chicago” is playing at the Ambassador Theatre. For tickets and information, visit chicagothemusical.com.



Photo Credit: Michael Buckner | Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Foster's "The Wild Party" Begins Tonight]]> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:41:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/FosterTheWildParty.jpg

New York City Center concludes its Encores! Off-Center series this weekend with its staging of Andrew Lippa’s “The Wild Party.”

Performances begin tonight, and run through July 18.

Tony winner Sutton Foster (“Violet”) leads the cast, alongside her “Younger” co-star Miriam Shor (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) and Steven Pasquale (“The Bridges of Madison County”), who returns to “The Wild Party” -- and the role of Burrs -- after making his New York stage debut understudying the part in the original Manhattan Theater Club production of the musical.

Brandon Victor Dixon, Joaquina Kalukango, Talene Monahon and Ryan Andes round out the primary cast.

“The Wild Party” tells the story of a group of friends and lovers in one sinful night in a Manhattan apartment. It’s based on the 1928 Joseph Moncure March narrative poem of the same name. Lippa’s production, starring Idina Menzel, Brian d’Arcy James and Taye Diggs, opened in February 2000 at the MTC, where it played for 54 performances.

Coincidentally, a production of “The Wild Party” based on the same source material opened on Broadway that same season -- though it was written by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe.

Leigh Silverman, who directed Foster on Broadway in “Violet,” directs City Center’s “The Wild Party.” “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Sonya Tayeh choreographs.

Tickets, beginning at $25, can be purchased online at www.nycitycenter.org, through CityTix at 212-581-1212 or at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues).



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Jane Krakowski Returning to Broadway in “She Loves Me” Revival ]]> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 12:42:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/562011823KR00007_Voices_For.jpg

NBC’s “30 Rock” star Jane Krakowski will make her return to the Great White Way this season in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of “She Loves Me.”

The actress, who won a Tony for her performance in the Roundabout’s 2003 revival of “Nine,” will join previously announced stars Josh Radnor (“Disgraced,” CBS's “How I Met Your Mother”) and Laura Benanti (“New York Spring Spectacular,” NBC's “Nashville”).

Performances begin Feb. 5, 2016, prior to an official March 3, 2016 opening at Studio 54. The limited engagement plays through May 22, 2016.

Tony nominee Gavin Creel, who is currently treading the boards in “The Book of Mormon,” and Tony winner René Auberjonois ("Coco") will also star.

The classic musical, which features a score by Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics), will be directed by Scott Ellis. He knows a thing or two about directing revivals, having helmed three revivals for Broadway last season: “You Can’t Take It With You,” “The Elephant Man” and the Roundabout's “On the Twentieth Century.”

“She Loves Me” tells the story of Georg (Radnor) and Amalia (Benanti) -- coworkers who clash at the office but accidentally fall in love with one another after anonymously exchanging romantic letters. 

Sound familiar? The story, adapted by Joe Masteroff from a play by Miklos Laszlo, was the basis for the 1940 James Stewart film "The Shop Around the Corner" and the 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

The score features musical theater standards such as "Vanilla Ice Cream," "A Romantic Atmosphere” and "Dear Friend."

This revival of “She Loves Me” will be part of the Roundabout’s 50th anniversary season. Their 1993 production, also directed by Ellis, was the first Broadway musical production in the company’s history. It launched the Musical Theatre Program, which has gone on to produce Tony-winning revivals of “Cabaret,” “Nine,” “Assassins,” The Pajama Game” and “Anything Goes.”

For tickets and more information, visit RoundaboutTheatre.org.



Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris]]>
<![CDATA[First 'Hamilton' Lotto Draws Massive Crowd]]> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 10:14:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/HamiltonLotto.jpg

More than 700 theatergoers showed up to the Richard Rodgers Theatre yesterday afternoon, where Lin-Manuel Miranda’s critically acclaimed musical was having its first Broadway performance.

But these theatergoers didn’t have tickets to see “Hamilton” just yet. They were there to participate in the show’s now-daily “Hamilton for ‘Hamilton’” lottery, which gives winners the chance to buy up to two front row tickets for $10 each.

While only a handful of tickets were available for the lottery, which begins two and a half hours prior to each performance, a total of 704 participants entered, lining up as early as 4 p.m. and flooding 46th Street.

“The line was around the block at one point,” general manager Andy Jones told Playbill. Jones called the lucky winner’s names a few minutes after 6 p.m., when the lotto ended.

Winners were given wristbands and buttons to prevent ticket scalping.

Miranda stopped by the crowd, thanking everyone for coming. “We’re probably going to be here awhile, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t win today,” he said. “I love you very much.”

It’s not surprising that the “Hamilton” lotto brought such a large crowd. The musical has already made history, selling over 200,000 tickets in advance, bringing in $27.6 million. That makes it among the biggest pre-opening totals in history, according to The New York Times.

It also sold out every one of its 119 performances at the Public Theater earlier this year. That’s 34,132 people over 15 weeks.

Still, Jones told Playbill the “Hamilton” team didn’t expect as many people to show up for the lotto last night as eventually did, planning for only 300.

We have a feeling they’ll be planning for a lot more in the weeks to come.



Photo Credit: Instagram]]>
<![CDATA['American Psycho' Musical Sets Broadway Dates]]> Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:19:52 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/1.173928.jpg

Meet Broadway’s newest musical star: Patrick Bateman.

After a canceled off-Broadway engagement, the stage adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel “American Psycho” will open on the Great White Way this season.

Previews will begin Feb. 19, 2016, with an official opening on March 21. No Broadway theater has been set yet.

The musical comes to Broadway after an acclaimed 2013 run in London, where it starred the Eleventh Doctor from “Dr. Who,” Matt Smith, in the Patrick Bateman role made famous by Christian Bale in Mary Harron’s 2000 film.

Benjamin Walker (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”) will star at Bateman on Broadway. He was last seen opposite Scarlett Johannson in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." 

Rupert Goold ("Enron"), who directed the show in London, will once again direct in New York.

The 1980s-set “American Psycho” musical features many of the hit songs used in the film -- “Hip to Be Square” by Huey Lewis & The News, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears, “Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League, etc.

Additional songs come from Tony-winning composer Duncan Sheik (“Spring Awakening”).

The stage show’s book is written by one of the “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” scribes, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Both Sheik and Aguirre-Sacasa will are expected to be making changes to the show before its New York premiere.

For more information, visit americanpsychobroadway.com



Photo Credit: AmericanPsychoBroadway.com]]>
<![CDATA[Review: "Penn & Teller" at The Marquis]]> Sun, 12 Jul 2015 20:15:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/208*120/PennTellerMain.jpg

Cell phone-seizer Patti LuPone would be horrified with the latest Broadway outing from charismatic illusionists Penn and Teller.

Early during the first bit in “Penn & Teller on Broadway”—the show has just opened for a limited engagement at the Marquis Theatre—Penn, the chatty one, asks the 1,700 or so theatergoers to take out their cell phones and turn them on.

An audience member then becomes an amused participant in a trick that culminates with the phone reappearing, as you’d suppose, far from where it was previously seen. Even when the routine was over, I don’t recall Penn ever asking us to shut our phones off.

The cell phone trick turns out to be just the first in a relentlessly beguiling retrospective of the duo’s greatest hits, some previously seen during earlier Broadway runs, others from their current Vegas gig at The Rio. The 90-minute act, comprised of nearly 20 skits, is playful, lean and polished.

A classic bit, “The East Indian Needle Mystery,” showcases Teller alone. We watch as the quiet magician seems to swallow dozens of needles, and then regurgitates them back out. Teller is also the object of mystery in “He’s a Little Teapot,” which has him turning into just that—a human teapot, and one who levitates, to boot.

There’s a freshness and excitement to two classics of the genre, “Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat” and “Sawing a Woman Into Halves,” both of which are self-explanatory. “T.S.A.” is as much a magic routine as a lament by the two libertarians about the loss of personal freedoms that has come along with “security theater.”

“Psychic comedian” has Penn criticizing the frauds who claim to be mind readers, and then proving himself a remarkably skilled one.

One of the bigger head-scratchers was “The Vanishing Elephant,” which is really about a vanishing cow. That bit is enhanced by a video chronicling life at Penn & Teller’s farcical “African Spotted Pygmy Elephant Preserve,” a wink at the pretense of some of the pair’s contemporaries.

The show concludes with a surprisingly sweet monologue by Penn about the importance of allowing some mystery in our lives. It was no doubt scripted and part of every night’s performance, but it comes off as a spontaneous and resonant lesson about thinking less.

I’m a Penn and Teller newbie, but it was obvious even before curtain that the pair’s charm is in their accessibility. Ticket holders were invited on stage to add signatures to an envelope that would later factor into another audience participation bit, or to sit inside a wooden box, the same one from which Teller will make his first entrance.

Their soft sales pitch establishes trust, and once trust is built, it’s that much easier to pull the wool over our eyes—which the illusionists do, often, with relish and gusto. Keep your friends close, and your audiences closer?

It’ll soon be 40 years since the duo started working together. Their act is relaxed and assured, in a way that only time could accomplish. Penn and Teller make you believe the impossible. If you see a heifer masquerading as an elephant around 46th and Broadway, could you drop me a line?

I’m still trying to figure out what happened to it.

“Penn & Tell on Broadway,” through Aug. 16 at the Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway. Tickets: $47-$147. Call 800-745-3000 or visit Ticketmaster.com.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[How to Watch U.S. Women's NYC Parade Live Online]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 14:01:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/other+parade+of+champions.jpg

Click here to watch the full parade on your computer or mobile device starting at 11 a.m. Friday.

Can’t watch New York City's historic ticker-tape parade celebrating the U.S. women's soccer team's World Cup championship in person? We've got you covered.

Now you can enjoy the confetti celebration wherever you are -- and you don't even need a TV.

NBC 4 New York will stream all the action beginning at 11 a.m., as hat-trick hero Carli Lloyd and her teammates make their trek down the Canyon of Heroes, along Broadway from the Battery to City Hall.

If you're on your phone, download the NBC New York app, click “Watch Live TV Now" and follow the instructions to access the stream. The stream is open to everyone, even if you don’t have a satellite or cable TV provider.

You can also look for the red bar at the top of NBCNewYork.com.

NBC 4 New York will offer full TV coverage of the event as well.

The U.S. women's soccer team will be the first female athletes honored with a ticker-tape parade in the city in more than half a century. All are invited to celebrate along the parade route. Here are some of the best options for getting there. 

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<![CDATA[Swearing 'Minion' Toys? McDonald's Says No]]> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 09:23:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/212*120/HappyMeal.png

A minion toy in a McDonald’s Happy Meal has some parents, well, a little unhappy.

The toy, based on the little yellow rascals that first appeared in “Despicable Me,” says three phrases - all of which are a bit hard to decipher. But some parents hear “what the f---" for one of them, and one angry parent posted a video of it to YouTube.

Footage of the allegedly potty-mouthed minion was posted to the video-sharing site Wednesday and some parents think the gibberish sounds a little too similar to a swear word.

“Originally we didn’t think anything of it until my wife was moving it out of the car seat and heard something didn’t quite sound right,” YouTube user Paul Butts said in the video.

“Seriously? Out of a McDonald’s toy?” he asks after tapping the toy and hearing the phrase. 

Butts isn’t the only one whose ears perked up.

Several parents told NBC affiliate WSFA that they could make out a “cuss word” when they heard the toy speak. 

Not every parent heard the word, though, with some saying they could only hear the word after they were told to listen for it. 

Several commenters on YouTube also said they couldn't hear the word. 

McDonald's said in a statement that the sound is a coincidence.

"We’re aware of a very small number of customers who have been in touch regarding this toy, and we regret any confusion or offense to those who may have misinterpreted its sounds. The allegation that this toy is saying anything offensive or profane is not true,” the Oak Brook-based company's spokesperson Lisa McComb told NBC Chicago.

"The Minion Caveman Happy Meal toy includes 3 sounds: ‘para la bukay,’ ‘hahaha,’ and ‘eh eh,'" McComb added. "Our goal at McDonald’s is to serve up food and fun for our valued customers, and we’re glad to have the Minions on board."

"Minions" stars Sandra Bullock and Jon Hamm, and follows the evolution of the small, yellow creatures since the beginning of time and the numerous despicable masters they've served. The film hits theaters July 10.

The parent company of Universal Pictures also owns this site.



Photo Credit: YouTube/PaulB
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<![CDATA[Krispy Kreme Celebrates Birthday With 78-Cent Doughnuts]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:24:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/krispykremedonuts.jpg

Food lovers will be able to take advantage of discount prices this coming weekend. 

On Friday, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will be offering a dozen of its famed glazed doughnuts for $.78 cents when customers buy any other dozen doughnuts at the full price. The promotion is in celebration of the company's 78th birthday. The North Carolina chain was founded in 1937 and now has stores internationally. 

If that doesn't leave sweet tooths satisfied heading into the weekend, 7/11 convenience stores will be holding their annual "Free Slurpee Day" Saturday to mark July 11. 

Chick-fil-A is also joining in on the giveaways, but the chain's offer comes with a catch. Customers can get a free meal on Tuesday, July 14, but only if they dress up as a cow. The 11th annual event will celebrate the company's 20th anniversary of the "Eat Mor Chikin" cow campaign. 



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Iron Chef Zakarian Also Chops Trump]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 09:31:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/20150709+Geoffrey+Zakarian.jpg

Another celebrity chef has decided not to open a restaurant in Donald Trump's planned Trump International Hotel, which the real estate magnate is developing in Washington, D.C.'s Old Post Office Pavilion building. 

Geoffrey Zakarian, a restaurateur known for his Food Network appearances, announced late Thursday that he would not open a restaurant planned for the project following the Republican presidential candidate's anti-immigration comments.

"The recent statements surrounding Mexican immigrants by Donald Trump do not in any way align with my personal core values," Zakarian said in a statement. "In light of this, I am unable to move forward with a restaurant in the Trump International Hotel."

The move comes a day after chef José Andrés announced he would not open a restaurant planned for the forthcoming luxury hotel, citing Trump's remarks demeaning illegal Mexican immigrants.

The Iron Chef, who comes from a family of Armenian immigrants, echoed Andres' concerns, noting that his company, Zakarian Hospitality, "employs many immigrants from nations all over the world, and I look forward to continuing this business culture in my future restaurants."

"We are a nation built from immigrants, my family included," Zakarian said.

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<![CDATA[Patti LuPone Snatches Phone From Audience Member]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 20:43:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/tumblr_ljdvgrIuDG1qzfhxho1_1280.jpg

Patti LuPone plays Irene, the diva of a local community theatre troupe in Douglas Carter Beane’s new dark comedy "Shows for Days," now playing at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. And at Wednesday evening’s performance, LuPone took her character one step further, confiscating a cellphone from an audience member who was texting during the show.

LuPone grabbed the phone at a point in the show where her character goes out into the audience, shakes an audience member’s hand, and then exits the theater, according to reports. But in this case, she snatched the phone out of a woman’s hand, who was sitting in the front row. The phone was returned after the show ended.

"We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones," LuPone said in a statement. "They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else –- the majority of the audience at that performance and the actor on stage.”

“I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore.” LuPone continued. “Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshal the audience as well as perform."

“She had it comin’” tweeted LuPone’s “Shows for Days” co-star Michael Urie. “Glad you saw justice be served,” he later wrote to a fan.

This isn’t the first time bad behavior got a theatergoer in trouble this week. A man at Broadway’s “Hand to God” was scolded for trying to charge his phone on stage, in an outlet built into the show’s set.

It’s also not the first time LuPone has gone to war over theater etiquette. She notably stopped a performance of “Gypsy” back in 2009, during her final number, “Rose’s Turn,” yelling at an audience member who was taking pictures.

LuPone followed suit a few months later during a concert at the Las Vegas’ Orleans Hotel, stopping “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” to confront an audience member using an electronic device and threatening to have him removed if it happened again.

“Do you think I am alone in this?” LuPone told the New York Times following the Vegas concert. “Ask any performer on Broadway right now about their level of frustration with this issue.”

“Shows for Days" runs through Aug. 23 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 W. 65th St. Tickets: $77-$87. Call 212-239-6200.



Photo Credit: Chris Lee]]>
<![CDATA[How to Get to the NYC Parade of Champions]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 09:21:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/how+to+get+there.jpg

Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on lower Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes Friday to celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team's World Cup victory. It will be the first time in more than half a century the ticker-tape honor will be bestowed upon female athletes, and the city is rolling out truckloads of confetti for the occasion.

All are invited to celebrate along the parade route. Here are some of the best ways to get there -- and if you can't make it in person, you can watch live on your computer or mobile device:

SUBWAY

NYC Transit will provide regular weekday service throughout the city, although for crowd safety five stations noted below will be closed, and the NYPD may close some additional subway entrances near the parade.

These eight stations are the best way to get to the parade route:
R to Rector Street
R to Cortlandt Street
2 or 3 to Wall or Fulton streets
1R to South Ferry or Whitehall Street
456 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall
J to Chambers Street

Beginning at 10 a.m., to prevent overcrowding conditions, trains will not stop at the following six stations: Fulton Street 45, Fulton Street AC, Wall Street 45, City Hall R, Chambers Street AC, and World Trade Center E. E trains will terminate at Canal Street. Announcements will be made at stations as far north as 59 Street when these service changes take effect, so customers can adjust their travel plans prior to reaching lower Manhattan.

NYC Buses

Bus service along Broadway will be rerouted to Water Street starting at 9 a.m. Express and local buses traveling downtown on Broadway and uptown on Greenwich Street, Trinity Place and Church Street will be rerouted via Bowery Street, St. James Street, Pearl Street and Water Street. Specific route change information will be posted at affected stops. Plan ahead, and leave extra time for travel if you plan to use buses in lower Manhattan during the parade, the MTA urges.

PATH

The Port Authority says additional PATH service will operate Friday during midday hours on the Newark to World Trade Center line for the parade, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

All other PATH lines will operate on normal schedules.

NJ TRANSIT

New Jersey Transit is providing additional buses during regularly scheduled midday service on 15 routes.

Midday rail service will not change, but NJ Transit plans to add additional cars on some trains.

Passengers are urged to purchase roundtrip tickets at the start of the trip and allow extra time.

LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD

The Long Island Rail Road is providing 16 extra trains -- six westbound between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 10 eastbound between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. LIRR customers are reminded to purchase roundtrip tickets, including MetroCards, for connecting subway and bus service in advance to avoid lines.

Ride the LIRR to either Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn. From Penn Station, catch a downtown subway train: Catch the 1 to South Ferry or the 2 or 3 to Fulton or Wall streets From Atlantic Terminal, catch a Manhattan-bound subway. Ride the 2 or 3 to Fulton or Wall streets, the 4 or 5 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, or the R to Rector or Cortlandt streets.

METRO-NORTH RAILROAD

Metro-North is providing four extra trains – 2 inbound trains in the morning, and 2 outbound trains in the evening on the Hudson and New Haven Lines. Two NYC-bound trains will arrive at Grand Central Terminal between 9:54 a.m. and 10:03 a.m., and two trains will depart Grand Central between 3:29 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

Metro-North customers are also advised to buy roundtrip tickets.

When you get to Grand Central, board the downtown 456 subway to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

MTA BRIDGES AND TUNNELS

Vehicles exiting the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be routed north onto West Street or to the Battery Park underpass to the northbound FDR Drive. If possible, motorists should avoid driving in lower Manhattan and if traveling to the parade, take mass transit.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Q&A: World Cup Ticker-Tape Parade in NYC]]> Thu, 09 Jul 2015 21:05:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TLMD-6-FINAL-CANADA-2015.jpg

New York City will hold a ticker-tape parade to celebrate the U.S. women's soccer team's World Cup victory Friday, marking the first time in more than half a century that the honor will be bestowed upon female athletes.

Here are the answers to a handful of common questions about the parade, according to the mayor's office: 

Q: What is the route?

A: The route will go travel east on Battery Place to Broadway, turn north on Broadway, turn east on Worth Street, then south on Lafayette Street and conclude at Chambers and Centre streets.

Q: What is the time of the parade?

A:
 The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. A special ceremony at City Hall Plaza will follow at 1 p.m.

Q: Will all team members be in attendance? 

A: Yes, all 23.

Q: What is the cost of parade?

A: The cost is $2 million total, with $1.5 million coming from the city and $450,000 in private donations. The city continues to raise private funds and hope to further defray public funds.

Q: What does the money pay for?

A: Security, sanitation, scenic and staging, rigging, lighting, video, expendables, site support, permits, travel, staff & crew expenses, tech consulting and management, labor, truck & transport, GLUE management and fee, additional scenic and staging, additional audio, video production, breakfast, lunch floats, among other costs

Q: How many people does the Plaza hold?

A: It holds more than 3,500 people.

Q: How many people requested tickets for the City Hall Plaza event?

A: More than 12,000 people called or went online to request tickets. A raffle will be conducted to select the winners.

Q: What streets will be closed?

A: The NYPD will be providing details soon.

Q: What kind of floats will be at the parade?

A:
 There are 12 floats. They are red, white and blume-themed. National team players will ride on multiple floats. 

Q: Where will the mayor be?

A: On a float with team members and the World Cup trophy.

Q: Who are the sponsors?

A: Coca-Cola, EA FIFA 2016, Nike, New York City Football Club, New York Red Bulls, Powerade, Sky Blue Football Club, Ritz Crackers, Trident Gum

Q: How much did the Giants’ parade cost?

A: About $1.7 million, of that $330,000 in private donations.

Q: Was any of the Giants’ parade sponsored?

A: Yes.

Q: Will confetti be recycled?

A: That is our goal. But if there are obvious contaminants – bottles, cans, hats, etc,. – we try to separate as much of that out as possible.

Q: Where does the confetti come from?

A: Confetti comes from a number of sources—residential buildings and businesses along on the route purchase it, the Downtown Alliance provides it, residents provide their own. There is no single source of paper.

Q: How much trash has been collected from recent parades?

A: Here are the numbers from the last nine parades:

  • 2/7/12 New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Win 34.06 tons
  • 11/6/09 New York Yankees World Series Win 56.55 tons
  • 2/5/08 New York Giants Super Bowl XLII Win 34.2 tons
  • 10/30/00 NY Yankees Subway Series World Series Win 46.7 tons
  • 10/29/99 New York Yankees World Series Win 57.4 tons
  • 11/16/98 John Glenn & NASA Astronauts 12.9 tons
  • 10/23/98 New York Yankees World Series Win 43.9 tons
  • 10/29/96 New York Yankees World Series Win 50 tons
  • 6/17/94 New York Rangers Stanley Cup Win 20.5 tons

Q: How will the Department of Sanitation handle this parade?

A: DSNY will have more than 400 men and women assigned to the parade cleanup. The department will use 14 collection trucks, 10 front end loaders, 100 backpack blowers, 80 manual brooms, 30 mechanical brooms, five utility haulsters and 66 rakes. 

City Plaza Attendee Questions

Q: How do attendees get in and when should they arrive?

A: Entrance is on Park Row only. There will be no West Side access (no visitors will be admitted from Broadway)

Doors open at 9:00 A.M. and all ticket holders must be inside the gates of City Hall by 10:30 A.M.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Q: Will there be food and drink?

Beverages will be provided by parade sponsor, Coke. Visitors are not permitted to bring in food and beverage.

Other non-permissible items:
- No signs
- No umbrellas

Q: What about bags?

A: Backpacks and other extraneous baggage are discouraged. Upon check-in, bags will be examined by NYPD.

Q: 
Are restrooms available?

A: Yes, we will have restrooms available.

Q: Can attendees bring another guest?

A: Each ticket holder is allowed to bring one guest. The guest must enter at the same time as the ticket holder or admittance won’t be permitted.

Q: How do attendees get there?

A: Public transportation is recommended. Take the #4, #5, #6, J or Z train to
Brooklyn Bridge or the #2, #3, A, C, J or Z train to Fulton Street.

Q: Is the ticket transferable?

A: No, it is not transferable.

Q: Is there an ASL interpreter and ADA accessible?

A: Yes, we will have an ASL interpreter.

City Hall is ADA accessible.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Spelling Bee' Original Broadway Cast Reunites]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:50:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/86105862.jpg

The nine original cast members of Broadway’s "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" reunited Monday evening at Town Hall in a one-night-only production celebrating the 10-year anniversary of William Finn’s Tony-winning musical.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson (TV’s “Modern Family”), Lisa Howard (“It Shoulda Been You”) and Jose Llana (“The King and I”) put on their spelling bee numbers and jumped back into the show, which is about a bundle of socially awkward youngsters as they find joy, heartache and purpose by competing at a regional spelling bee.

“It’s amazing how much you remember,” Ferguson told NBC New York, of returning to the material. “It’s like riding a bike, only what we remember the most is how much fun we had doing it.”

Tony winner Dan Fogler was there too, returning to the shoes of eccentric spelling champ William Barfée whose "magic foot" -- as explained in the song of the same name -- helps him visualize each word on the floor in front of him. The bit played just as well 10 years later, getting howling laughs from the enthusiastic audience.

For Fogler, “Spelling Bee” has always been a surreal experience.

“Imagine you create a character with your friends in an improvisational situation,” he told NBC New York. “And the next thing you know, you’re working with legends. And you go all the way to Broadway. And you win a Tony for it! And 10 years later, you get to do it again. It’s a dream come true.”

Three-time Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (“The Glass Menagerie,” “Peter and the Starcatcher”) was also on hand -- though the new mom, who created the role of Olive in “Spelling Bee,” had to bow out of performing due to the short rehearsal period.

That didn’t make the evening any less special for her.

“There’s a lyric in the show that says, ‘It was a very nice, very nice, very very very nice, very nice beginning,’” Keenan-Bolger told NBC New York. “And I was such a mess as soon as I heard it, because it really was the beginning for all of us. And we have now come back. It feels special.”

Olive was played on Monday night by Jenni Barber (“The Nance”), who, fittingly, had taken over the role when Keenan-Bolger left the original production. Barber had the crowd in tears after her tender performances of “My Friend, the Dictionary” and “The I Love You Song.”

Keenan-Bolger did make an appearance on stage, however -- and to thunderous applause at that. She joined Barber during the show’s final moments, where we learned that Olive grew up to be “a loving and attentive parent.”

How do you spell “Awwwwww”?

The rest of the original cast (pictured above) -- Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jay Reiss and Sarah Saltzberg -- effortlessly jumped back into their respective roles. The evening also featured a number of notable updates to Rachel Sheinkin’s book, including a callout to Caitlyn Jenner, new words and definitions from Reiss and a hysterical rant about gay marriage and Greece by Saltzberg.

“Spelling Bee,” which is based on an original play by The Farm called “C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-E,”
first premiered off Broadway, with sold-out runs at the Barrington Stage Company and the Second Stage Theatre. The show opened on Broadway on May 2, 2005, and closed after 1,136 performances on Jan. 20, 2008. It was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

James Lapine and Darren Katz, the Broadway production’s director and resident director, co-directed Monday’s benefit, which was presented in memory of the late “Spelling Bee” production stage manager Andrea “Spook” Testani Gordon.

“She was so graceful, and attentive and smart in the way she took care of all of us, because it was almost all of our first Broadway shows,” Keenan-Bolger explained to NBC New York. “She just knew how to navigate those waters for us. She was a really special woman. And I feel like she would have been pretty excited about how it all went down tonight.”

At the end of the evening, her husband John joined the original cast and “Spelling Bee” alumni -- including Mo Rocca (“CBS This Morning”) and Tony nominee Sarah Stiles (“Hand to God”) -- for an emotional tribute to his late wife, who died after a battle with cancer in November 2014.

More than $200,000 was raised in Spook’s name to benefit The Actors Fund’s Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative. Newman herself was at the concert, announcing that $20,000 of the proceeds would go into the trust funds of the Gordon children, Robert and Sean.

Leaving behind a legacy for Robert and Sean seems fitting, as “Spelling Bee” has touched so many lives over the past 10 years. “There are always students coming up to me and telling me ‘I did ‘Spelling Bee’ too!” Lisa Howard told NBC New York. “I just love that we ultimately got to pass something like that on to people.”



Photo Credit: Theo Wargo | Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Misty Copeland Will Jeté Into 'On the Town']]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:58:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/558317323MF00172_2015_Tony_.jpg

After making history last week as the first black woman to be named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland is ready to conquer the Great White Way.

Copeland will join the cast of the critically-acclaimed revival of Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s “On the Town," now playing at the Lyric Theater. 

She’ll replace New York City Ballet principal dancer Megan Fairchild in the role of Ivy Smith, for two weeks -- and only 12 performances -- beginning on Aug. 25.

A permanent replacement for Fairchild, who leaves the production next month, has yet to be announced.

As the New York Times first reported, Copeland's jeté into “On the Town” is the latest move in a history-making year for the 32-year-old. In addition to dancing leads in productions of “The Nutcracker,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Swan Lake,” she’s also been featured on TV’s “60 Minutes” and on the cover of Time Magazine as one of their “100 Most Influential People in 2015.”

“It’s such a beautiful time right now...for dance, and especially for ballet and bringing it to a much broader audience,” Copeland told the Times.

"On the Town" stars Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Clyde Alves as three sailors on 24-hour leave in New York City. The musical features such classic songs as "Lucky to Be Me," "Lonely Town," "I Can Cook Too" and the energetic opener "New York, New York"

For tickets and more information, visit onthetownbroadway.com



Photo Credit: Mike Coppola]]>
<![CDATA[Fireworks Light up Sky Above NYC]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:21:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-172818623.jpg Thousands gathered around NYC to catch a glimpse of the country's biggest 4th of July fireworks display.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[10 Things Deadheads Should Know Before Chicago Shows]]> Fri, 03 Jul 2015 22:39:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/0626-2015-GratefulDead.jpg

If you’re planning to say “fare thee well” to the Grateful Dead at Soldier Field this weekend, there are some things you should know.

The band’s 50th anniversary performance, set to be members' “last-ever performance together,” kicks off Friday as thousands of fans make their way to Chicago during the July 4 holiday weekend.

The “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” performance will see Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir reunite at Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the full band’s final performance, which took place at the venue roughly one month before Jerry Garcia’s death in August 1995. The band will also be joined by Phish's Trey Anastasio on guitar, Jeff Chimenti on keyboard and Bruce Hornsby on piano.

The event has made Chicago one of the top destinations for the holiday weekend, so fans will likely need to plan ahead.

Here are some things Deadheads should know before the highly-anticipated event:

1. Tailgating

Tailgating will be allowed in the parking lots of Soldier Field during the weekend, even for fans who don’t have tickets to the fest. The special event parking lots open at 3 p.m. and the North Parking Garage opens at 6 a.m. Tailgating will end once the shows begin at 7 p.m. and there will be no tailgating allowed after the shows.

2. Transportation

The CTA announced Wednesday that it would provide extra buses to routes that serve Soldier field throughout the weekend. The no. 130 and no. 146 Inner Drive/Michigan Express buses will have extra service running until one hour after the concerts end. Fans can also travel to Soldier Field via Red, Orange and Green line trains. The Roosevelt station is located at Roosevelt and State streets, a few blocks west of the stadium.

Metra will also offer extra service on several lines over the weekend.

CTA buses, cabs and Uber rides can pick up riders on Columbus between Roosevelt and Balbo. A drop-off location will be set at the 18th Street turnaround just west off the 18th Street exit from Lake Shore Drive.

For more on how to get around Chicago during the holiday weekend, click here.

3. Tickets

Most tickets are commemorative tickets but a select amount of Ticketmaster tickets are not. Fans are encouraged to be very suspect of counterfeit tickets.

Those getting tickets at Will Call can pick them up across from Gate 10 on the Southeast corner. You will need a valid proof of purchase to enter the enclosed festival grounds.

Tickets are still available on third-party sites like Stubhub. Last month, ticket prices were reportedly dropping.

A three-day pass on StubHub, once priced as high as $116,000, could be purchased for less than $500. Single day passes were as low as $195. The lowest priced tickets won't give fans a full view of the show, and all of the cheaper seats are located behind the stage, however.

Click here for more.  

4. Parking

Special Event Parking lots open at 3 p.m. and parking will be first-come, first-served. The North Parking Garage opens at 6 a.m.
Shuttles will also from the Millennium and Grant Park garages from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Parking rates are $49 for cars and $121 for RVs.

Lots close one hour after the show. No overnight parking will be allowed.

5. General Admission

Those with field-level general-admission tickets can begin lining up at 7 a.m. in the Stadium Green outside the southeast corner of the stadium.

6. Soldier Field Security

All concert-goers will undergo electronic wand screening and have all approved bags checked. Soldier Field will not allow backpacks bigger than 12x12x12, glow sticks, food, selfie sticks, strollers, camelbacks or companion pets. For a complete list of prohibited items click here.

7. The Stadium

The festival area opens at 10 a.m. at Soldier Field. Only ticketed fans will be allowed on the grounds surrounding Soldier Field.

Fans can enter the stadium in three spots -- one on the North side along McFetridge Drive, and two entry points on the South. Sidewalk areas from parking lots are the designated entry points to the festival grounds.

Gates open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.

8. Refunds

Partial refunds are available for those who ordered tickets via the band’s mail-order system.

More than 500,000 tickets were requested via mail order. Due to the overwhelming number of these requests, the promoters changed the seating plans to accommodate more guests. As a result, some fans were moved to seats with a lower ticket value than what they paid.

Fans who wanted a full refund needed to submit the request by June 22. But those who still want to go to the concert can receive partial refunds to make up for the difference in ticket prices. Those fans need to mail in a request by July 20.

Click here for more details. 

9. Streaming

There are several options for streaming the performances at home. A YouTube stream and webcast are available for purchase each night and the shows will also be streamed live on Pay-Per-View and satellite radio. Click here for more detail on ways to stream.

10. Other GD Events, Places to Watch in Chicago

For a complete list of Grateful Dead celebrations in the city offering a live stream of the shows, click here
 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Street Closures for Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:24:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fireworks+getty.jpg

Fireworks will light up the New York City skyline Saturday night for "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular. The two-hour special, starting at 8 p.m., features a 25-minute synchronized fireworks display and live performances from Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida.

If you can't get a front row seat to the big show, you can watch the entire special on your mobile device (click here to find out how), but if you do plan to make your way near the spectacular display, here are some street closures to know about.

By borough, the following streets will be closed from 3:30 p.m. to 11:39 p.m. Saturday for the Macy's show:

MANHATTAN

  • FDR Drive between Brooklyn Battery Underpass and East 63rd Street
  • South Street between Whitehall Street and Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place
  • FDR Driver Service Roads between Cherry Street and 63rd Street
  • Water Street between Whitehall Street and Fulton Street
  • Pearl Street between Fulton Street and Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place
  • Whitehall Street between Water Street and South Street
  • Broad Street between Water Street and South Street
  • Old Slip between Water Street and South Street
  • Robert F. Wagner Sr. Place between Pearl Street and South Street
  • Cherry Street between Jackson Street and FDR Drive
  • Delancey Street between Lewis Street and FDR Drive
  • East Houston Street between Baruch Place and FDR Drive
  • East Sixth Street between Avenue D and FDR Drive
  • East 10th Street between Avenue D and FDR Drive
  • Avenue C between East 16th Street and East 20th Street
  • East 20th Street between First Avenue and Avenue C
  • East 23rd Street between First Avenue and Avenue C
  • East 26th Street between First Avenue and Avenue C
  • East 30th Street between First Avenue and Avenue C
  • East 33rd Street between First Avenue and Third Avenue
  • East 34th Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 37th Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 38th Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 41st Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 42nd Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 48th Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 49th Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive
  • East 53rd Street between First Avenue and FDR Drive

BROOKLYN

  • Area bounded by Atlantic Avenue on the South; Old Fulton Street on the North;
  • Hicks Street on the East; East River on the West (All Inclusive)
  • Old Fulton Street between Hicks Street and Prospect Street
  • Cadman Plaza West between Prospect Street and Tillary Street
  • Front Street between Old Fulton Street and Jay Street
  • Water Street between Old Fulton Street and Jay Street


QUEENS

  • Area bounded by 44th Drive on the North; Borden Avenue on the South;
  • Vernon Boulevard on the East; East River on the West (All Inclusive)
  • Center Boulevard between Borden Avenue and 54th Avenue
  • Second Street between Borden Avenue and Newtown Creek / Dead End
  • Vernon Boulevard between 54th Avenue and Newtown Creek / Dead End
  • 54th Avenue between Center Boulevard and Vernon Boulevard



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Watch the Fourth of July Fireworks Live ]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:15:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/macys-fireworks.jpg

Now you can enjoy the majesty of the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" from the beach, your backyard BBQ or even at your favorite East River viewing spot.  

NBC will stream the 8 p.m. ET/PT fireworks display and the sizzling performances from music's biggest names live online. The stream is open to everyone, even if you don’t have a satellite or cable TV provider.

The special features a 25-minute synchronized fireworks display and live performances from Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida and more will stream from 8 to 10 p.m. live on your mobile device or computer.  If you miss it, you can catch a special one-hour highlight show that airs immediately after at 10 p.m.

Have a happy and safe July 4th and be sure to watch the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" wherever you go to celebrate.

To access the live stream, click here or download our mobile app and click "Watch Live TV Now." 



Photo Credit: NBCUniversal]]>
<![CDATA[Peas in Guacamole? Obama Weighs in on Twitter Debate ]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:15:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/guacamole-GettyImages-456804252.gif

President Barack Obama has a message for The New York Times: please don't pass the peas.

Into the guacamole, at least. 

The president joined the online masses piling on the newspaper on Wednesday afternoon following a much-retweeted story suggesting "adding fresh English peas" to the popular avocado dip.

The tweet sparked cries of culinary foul from users, gaining hundreds of retweets in the process. The Times' public editor even suggested that the backlash could rival the "Minnesota Grape Salad outcry" that hit after the paper listed the obscure recipe as a state favorite. 

When asked about the suggestion during an #ASKPotus Twitter chat Wednesday, the president suggested he'll stick to a more traditional recipe. 

First lady Michelle Obama, a vocal advocate of incorporating more green veggies into daily diets, has yet to weigh in. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA["Spring Awakening" Revival Heading to Broadway]]> Tue, 21 Jul 2015 14:31:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/spring_awakening_production_still.jpg

Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s eight-time Tony-winning musical “Spring Awakening” is heading back to Broadway this fall, for an 18-week limited engagement at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. 

Previews begin Sept. 9, with an opening night set for Sept. 27 and a closing performance set for January 9, 2016. 

The revival is a transfer of the critically acclaimed production from the Los Angeles-based Deaf West Theatre and the theater collective Forest of Arden, who retold the 2006 musical using a mix of hearing and deaf performers.

Deaf West used a similar approach in 2009 with “Pippin” and on Broadway in 2003, for their Tony-nominated revival of “Big River,” which starred Forest Of Arden founder Michael Arden.

Arden will direct the Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening,” as he did for the two Los Angeles productions the musical has had before the transfer. The most recent one, which ran at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, starred Arden’s fiance Andy Mientus and Krista Rodriguez -- both alums of NBC’s “Smash.”

There is no word if Mientus and Rodriguez will transfer with the production. 

Spencer Liff (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” TV’s “So You Think You Can Dance”) will return as choreographer.

“Spring Awakening” musicalizes and reimagines Frank Wedekin’s 1891 play, about young people navigating the excitement of discovering their own sexual desires and the confusion of living in a society that oppresses said desires.

The original production, which starred Lea Michele ( TV’s “Glee”), Jonathan Groff (TV’s “Looking”), Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect”) and Tony winner John Gallagher Jr., ran for 859 performances before closing in January 2009.

For tickets and information, visit springawakeningonbroadway.com.



Photo Credit: Kevin Perry]]>
<![CDATA[“It Shoulda Been You” Splits From Broadway]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:17:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ItShouldaBeenYouClosing.jpg

The wedding comedy “It Shoulda Been You” will take its last walk down the aisle at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Aug. 9, closing after 31 previews and 135 regular performances.

The David Hyde Pierce-directed musical, which features a score from Barbara Anselm and a book and lyrics from Brian Hargrove, takes place on the wedding day of a young couple -- where everything that could go wrong, does go wrong.

It’s the only show on Broadway to feature a gay wedding, a lesbian wedding and a straight wedding.

It’s also one of the new musicals that was snubbed from the 2015 Tony nominations. Though “It Shoulda Been You” did have some airtime on the June 8 ceremony, with a performance from star Lisa Howard, box office sales haven’t been through the roof. According to numbers reported by the Broadway League, the show took in 42% of its potential $991,008 gross last week. 

Tony winners Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris star as dueling mothers of the bride and groom in the show. Chip Zien, David Burtka, Sierra Boggess and Montego Glover are also among the cast.

A cast recording will be released on Aug. 14.

“It Shoulda Been You,” at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St. Tickets: $59-$132. Call Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Local Teen Takes Top Prize at National High School Musical Theatre Awards]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:53:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Performance_0436.JPG

Marla Louissaint has a lot of reasons to celebrate this summer.

Earlier this month, the 17-year-old graduated from the Upper East Side’s prestigious Beacon School. In August, she’ll head to Fordham University where she’ll study engineering.

And on Monday evening, Louissaint took home the top female acting prize at the seventh annual National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

The awards -- also known as “The Jimmys,” after legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer James M. Nederlander -- celebrate outstanding student achievements in high school musical theater. Finalists are chosen after winning top spots in local competitions across the county, presented by a variety of professional theater organizations.

Louissant, who represented New York after winning the Gershwin Awards, was named best actress for her portrayal of the complex Caroline in “Caroline, or Change.”

For her solo performance Monday night, the young actress took on another challenging role, singing “I’m Here” as Celie from “The Color Purple.”

Louissant and California resident Anthony Skillman, who was named best actor, each received a check for $10,000 to further their education. They’re also both eligible for a scholarship to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a part in an upcoming national advertising campaign for Wyndham Rewards.

Monday’s ceremony, hosted by two-time Tony winner Michael Cerveris (“Fun Home”), featured performances from 52 young actors and actresses from around the country. The group spent 5 days rehearsing for the event, while being coached by Broadway stars like Eden Espinosa (“Wicked”) and Telly Leung (“Allegiance”).

For more information about the National High School Theatre Awards, visit nhsmta.com.



Photo Credit: Henry McGee]]>
<![CDATA[Review: LuPone, Urie in "Shows for Days"]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:27:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ShowsForDaysMain.jpg

Michael Urie’s TV and stage bosses have been a histrionic bunch -- most recently, he toiled for an unseen Barbra Streisand in the hit off-Broadway comedy “Buyer & Cellar.” Who could the spirited actor possibly punch a timecard for as an encore?

How does Patti LuPone sound?

In “Shows for Days,” a disorderly dark comedy by Douglas Carter Beane (“The Nance”), Urie stars as a young member of a community theater troupe run by director, fund-raiser and star Irene (LuPone, as a Jewish version of Patti LuPone -- her speech is sprinkled with Yiddishisms).

Beane based his new play, now at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, on his own first exposure to theater with a band of amateurs in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Genesius Theater of the playwright’s youth is here rechristened The Prometheus, and various characters are composite sketches of people the author knew in the 1970s.

Urie, as Cal, is Beane’s alter-ego, a wide-eyed gay kid from the rich side of the tracks who gets swept up with the loopy personalities in theater-land. We meet Cal first as a successful writer, then via flashback as a gawky suburban 14-year-old inconceivably charged with writing the Prometheus performers a new play.

Director Jerry Zaks (his recent works include Beane’s “Sister Act”) has “adult Cal” set each scene, explaining the taped blocking marks on the floor and so on. It’s surprisingly easy to buy Urie as a teenager, and a treat to see him reunited with LuPone, who appeared as his mother on “Ugly Betty.”

Magnetic as always, LuPone has the hardest job here, as the soul of the company, a group of also-rans in an also-ran city. Her performance is nifty, but Beane’s script finally betrays her.

First, Irene is a seductress, enjoying the disreputable side of being a showgirl; then, she’s a marketing maven, cynically courting a mass audience. Later, she’s an implausibly righteous guardian of “pure” theater, whose righteousness manifests itself in an act so cynical that it doesn’t fit the character as we’ve come to know her. Irene just isn't a coherent creation.

The supporting characters in Cal’s orbit, stereotypes all, include a gravelly voiced lesbian stage manager (Dale Soules, of “Hands on a Hard Body”); a brash, gay African-American actor who is carrying on with a member of local government (Lance Coadie Williams, “BootyCandy”); and a ditzy starlet who blurts out the truth at inopportune moments (Zoe Winters).

There’s a nice turn from Jordan Dean (LCT’s “The New Century”) as a bisexual waiter who inevitably draws Cal’s attention. (LuPone and Williams are pictured, below.)

I went in expecting a comedy, but by the second act the story swerves into dark drama more on a par with “The Nance.” Beane’s plot is missing a necessary coherence, though there are some funny jokes and monologues that certainly make “Shows for Days” a worthwhile undertaking.

“Shows for Days” introduces itself by showing how Car met a passel of theater eccentrics and ends with his adult self rhapsodizing nostalgically over their real-life counterparts' role in making him the pro he is today. Ultimately, it doesn't do enough in between to help us understand how he got from there to here.

“Shows for Days,” through Aug. 23 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 W. 65th St. Tickets: $77-$87. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[8 Shows Featuring Prominent LGBT Characters ]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:16:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/LGBTQBroadway.png

Just because pride weekend is past doesn’t mean the celebrations of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people on and off Broadway are over. Here are eight shows you can see right now:

Fun Home
Circle in the Square Theatre

2015’s Tony-winning Best Musical is also Broadway’s first to have a lesbian protagonist. The heartbreaking drama tells the biographical story of celebrated graphic artist Alison Bechdel as she discovers her sexual orientation while trying to understand how she relates to her father -- himself a closeted gay man who commits suicide four months after she comes out. From the Tony-winning team of director Sam Gold, composer Jeanine Tesori and book writer and lyricist Lisa Kron, “Fun Home” is an intimate and emotionally honest tale that will bring tears to your eyes. [Tickets: $75 - $150]

Significant Other
Laura Pels Theatre, through Aug. 16

“Spring Awakening” alum Gideon Glick stars as Jordan Berman, the young gay hero at the center of Joshua Harmon’s relatable comedy “Significant Other.” Jordan is desperate for a long-term relationship, but much to his chagrin, he seems to find himself pining after the unavailable while all his close single girlfriends are marrying off. As Jordan learns to deal with his issues of abandonment, he learns a lot about love. This poignant comedy is “a sweet and painfully honest coming-of-age story that’ll probably seem familiar to many 20-somethings, gay or straight.” [Tickets: $79]

The Qualms
Playwrights Horizons, through July 12

A newly married couple attend an alcohol-rich party for swingers in the suburbs, which leaves them questioning their ideas about sexual desire and its ties to romantic and emotional commitment in Bruce Norris’ new one-act drama. Taking a similar approach to the idea of free love as he did with race relations in his Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play “Clybourne Park,” Norris’ play is more talk than action, but still presents intense debates about bisexual relationships and isn't afraid to ask the tough questions about love and lust. [Tickets: $75 - $90]

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Belasco Theatre

John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s landmark rock musical is enjoying a hit run on Broadway, currently starring Darren Criss (“Glee”) and Rebecca Naomi Jones (“American Idiot”). The show, which follows “a transgender East German cold war bride who finds herself living in a Kansas trailer park fronting a band called The Angry inch and pining for her lost soul mate Tommy,” is a 95-minute stretch of ear-splitting rock and over-the-top entertainment. And if Criss doesn’t get you there, then maybe Taye Diggs will! The “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” star steps into Hedwig’s heels on July 22. [Tickets: $49 - $152]

Shows for Days
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, through Aug. 23

Tony winner Patti LuPone (“Gypsy”) and Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”) star in a new semi-autobiographical memory play from Douglas Carter Beane (“The Little Dog Laughed”). The comedy takes place in Pennsylvania in 1973, where a young gay teen (Urie, in narration) is introduced to theater through his local community troupe, lead by the vivacious Irene (LuPone). With laugh-out-loud performances, this heartwarming tale will remind you why you fell in love with the theater in the first place. [Tickets: $77 - $87]

Gloria
Vineyard Theatre, through July 18

Speaking of Michael Urie, his long-term boyfriend Ryan Spahn is currently making his off-Broadway debut in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ dark comedy “Gloria.” Spahn plays two characters in the show, one of them being Dean -- a gay editorial assistant working at a notorious Manhattan magazine. The play follows a group of ambitious editorial assistants at said magazine, and the shocking things they do to achieve their dreams. [Tickets: $79]

It Shoulda Been You
Brooks Atkinson Theatre, through Aug 9

A modern spin on the traditional wedding comedy, “It Shoulda Been You” is the only musical on Broadway to feature a gay wedding, a lesbian wedding and a straight wedding. The action takes place at a fancy hotel, where two families gather for the interfaith union of their children. With dueling mothers (Tony winners Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris), an uninvited ex-boyfriend (Josh Grisetti) and a whole lot of secrets mixing up the action, the David Hyde Pierce-directed comedy will leave you laughing in the aisles. [Tickets: $59 - $132]

Kinky Boots
Al Hirschfeld Theatre

If there’s one message you’ll want to take away from the experience of the LGBT community, it’s that we all must have the courage to carve out our own identity. That’s the idea at the center of “Kinky Boots,” the 2013 Tony-winning Best Musical from rock icon Cyndi Lauper and four-time Tony-winning scribe Harvey Fierstein. Based on a true story of a British men’s footwear factory that starts producing footwear for drag queens, the show is a heart-warming tale of fathers and sons learning how to manage expectations, disappointment and self-acceptance. See it also for Billy Porter, whose Tony-winning turn as the fabulous drag performer named Lola is a performance not to be missed. [Tickets: $77 - $147]



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>