<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usMon, 25 Jul 2016 08:26:50 -0400Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:26:50 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Disneyland to Get Rid of 'Tower of Terror']]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:10:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/GOTGExt1280.jpg

Disneyland and California Adventure fanatics must soon say their final farewell to a "terrifying" park favorite, "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror."

The ride will be revamped into a "Guardians of the Galaxy" experience next summer, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Saturday at Comic-Con in San Diego. 

The last chance for Disney enthusiasts to plummet 13 stories down the iconic elevator shaft will be early 2017, according to the Disney Parks blog.

Reaction on Facebook wasn't exactly positive; many said the removal of the ride was a bad move, and a sign that Disney was catering to trendy flicks. Audience members reportedly booed at the concept image presented at Comic-Con.

The "Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!" ride will feature Rocket the raccoon, voiced by Bradley Cooper in the film, enlisting the help of the riders to break the fellow Guardians of the Galaxy out of The Collector's display cases. The ride is said to have a "breathtaking free fall sensation" with "visual and audio effects."  

The music featured in the ride will change from 1930s era to popular 70s tunes played by Star-Lord, AKA Chris Pratt's character Peter Quill, in the film.

It slated to open summer 2017 in concert with the sequel's release.

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Staten Island 

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

New Jersey 

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

Long Island, Westchester and the Hudson Valley

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Scenes From the Stage: Panorama NYC]]> Mon, 25 Jul 2016 01:07:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-579696100_master-edited.jpg Panorama NYC kicked off Friday and runs from July 22-24, 2016. Check out the latest photos of artists performing onstage.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Review: 'Motown,' Returning to NY, Seconds That Emotion ]]> Fri, 22 Jul 2016 08:35:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MotownMainSub.jpg

Ed. Note: The Broadway return of “Motown” had been announced as a limited 18-week engagement. Producers posted a surprise closing notice late Thursday, and the final performance is now set for July 31.

Shows change theaters all the time, but it’s rare that one closes during a successful Broadway run, heads out on national tour and then returns to New York, picking up where it left off.

That’s the case with “Motown,” which logged 775 performances at the Lunt Fontanne, wrapping up in January 2015 and spawning both a national tour and London production. So, to borrow a line from Marvin Gaye, what’s going on?

Producer Kevin McCollum has told Playbill that the newest incarnation of “Motown,” now open at the Nederlander Theatre, is “tighter,” with lines cut, sets scaled back and more reliance on projection video. It’s also -- and this is me talking now -- more endearing.

“Motown” is based on the biography of founder Berry Gordy Jr. Gordy, 86, wrote the book for this stage adaptation and is also a producer. The two-act musical is dotted with snippets and medleys of some 60 Motown songs, from “Stop in the Name of Love” to “Super Freak.”

The story tracks Gordy’s life from adolescent inspirations (he watches Joe Louis defeat Max Schmeling on TV) to the 1980s, when he wrestles with whether to attend a Motown homage produced by his former creative assistant. (Taped in March 1983 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, “Motown 25” was broadcast on NBC later that year.)

By the 1980s, Gordy feels abandoned by many of the talents he nurtured, as they leave his flock for bigger contracts. Will he or won’t he attend the reunion concert? Gordy is in a ball of confusion, and “Motown” is presented as a history lesson between the bookends of him contemplating that question.

The new cast -- Broadway’s original Gordy was Brandon Victor Dixon, now Aaron Burr in “Hamilton” -- is noticeably at ease with the material.

Chester Gregory (“The Jackie Wilson Story”), as the central figure, is driven and insistent, but only when there’s an obvious justification for being so. We believe his Berry Gordy holds the interests of his singers at heart over his own. Would we expect less from a production so carefully curated by its own protagonist?

The real Diana Ross seems to believe her own image as a benevolent diva still in touch with the unpretentious simplicity of her origins. Here, Allison Semmes puts that over with ruthless sincerity, introducing a sly and ironic sense of self-awareness to the leading role.

Semmes is at her finest during an audience-participation sequence that has Ross making her solo debut in Las Vegas

Jesse Nager is appealing as Smokey Robinson, the down-to-earth talent charged with keeping Gordy grounded. He conveys willingness to please without coming off as a patsy. Effective, as well, is Jarran Muse as a soulful Marvin Gaye, who lets his growing impatience and anger simmer and boil over in small, intense bursts.

“Motown” has an ensemble of nearly three dozen assorted Tops, Temptations, Commodores, Contours and the like. Let’s single out the marvelous Martina Sykes, who as Mary Wells holds a long note with beguiling steadiness, and the charismatic Leon Outlaw Jr. (alternating with J.J. Batteast) as young Michael Jackson.

With both Jackson and Gaye depicted so robustly on stage, you may pause to wish time had ground to a halt in 1983.

An exchange that has Gordy telling Gaye Motown won’t release the singer’s protest-oriented music includes references to “trigger-happy policing” that lend an unexpected timeliness to the proceedings. Otherwise, what we have here is an improved and infectious excuse to revisit dozens of Motor City chestnuts.

“Motown,” at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St. Tickets, through July 31, $97-$147. Call 877-250-2929.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Wall Around Trump Walk of Fame Star]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:05:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/201*120/07-20-2016-trumjp-wall-hollywood-walk-1.jpg

A Los Angeles-based street artist built a miniature wall, featuring razor wire and "Keep Out" signs, around Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Visitors gathered around the star Tuesday, snapping photos before it was removed. Trump's star is in front of Forever 21 clothing store in the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, a prominent location on the Walk of Fame not far from the Hollywood and Highland Center.

The 6-inch tall wall, which formed a barrier between Trump's star and that of "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey, was built by the British artist known as Plastic Jesus. Known for his guerrilla-style street art, Plastic Jesus also installed "No Trump Anytime" signs outside Trump Tower in Chicago, as well as in other prominent locations around the U.S. and London. He created similar signs that read "No Kardashian Parking Anytime" and other works that take on celebrity culture. 

The installations are usually left in place for a short time, then removed. 

Trump, who became the Republican presidential nominee Tuesday on the second day of the party's convention in Cleveland, has proposed a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico to keep out unauthorized immigrants.

The New York business magnate and reality show personality was inducted into the Walk of Fame in January 2007. 

Photo Credit: PlasticJesus.net
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<![CDATA[New Episodes of 'Making a Murderer']]> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 08:05:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/young-steven-avery-mn-1705_6ed7abe3d2d535b99e853f74c50a543b.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

"Making a Murderer," the Netflix show that captivated binge-watchers across the country earlier this year, is returning with new episodes, the company announced Tuesday.

In a press release, Netflix said the show’s executive producers and directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are working on new episodes of the Emmy-nominated docu-series.

The new episodes are expected to take fans of the series "back inside the story of convicted murderer Steven Avery, and his co-defendant, Brendan Dassey, as their respective investigative and legal team challenge their convictions and the State fights to have the convictions and life sentences upheld," according to Netflix.

"This next chapter will provide an in-depth look at the high-stakes post-conviction process, as well as, the emotional toll the process takes on all involved," the company said.

The 10-part series dominated airwaves and social media after its Dec. 2015 release, centering on the story of Steven Avery’s 2005 conviction for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, as well as the related conviction of Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey.

"We are extremely grateful for the tremendous response to, and support of, the series. The viewers’ interest and attention has ensured that the story is not over, and we are fully committed to continuing to document events as they unfold" Ricciardi and Demos said in a statement.

The two have hinted at the potential for a second installment previously, but the announcement marks the first time Netflix has confirmed the news. 

Featured in the new episodes will be Avery’s new lawyer from suburban Chicago Kathleen Zellner and Dassey’s legal team, led by Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin of Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth.

Avery was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in Halbach's death. He had been wrongfully convicted years earlier in a rape case and served 18 years in prison before being freed. Avery sued Manitowoc County for $36 million shortly before he and Dassey were arrested in Halbach's death.

Avery, who is seeking to be released on bond, filed a wide-ranging appeal earlier this year claiming authorities used an improper warrant and that a juror was out to get him, among other things.

Dassey was arrested at the age of 16 in connection with case, but his attorneys maintain his confession was coerced. His legal team has taken Dassey’s case to federal court in Wisconsin in the hopes that he will be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which will force the government to examine his case and rule whether he has been imprisoned illegally.

Details on when the new episodes might air weren't immediately released. 

Photo Credit: Manitowoc County Sheriff's Dept.]]>
<![CDATA['Fiddler on the Roof' Will Close in December]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:33:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FiddlerClosing.jpg

The Broadway revival of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's "Fiddler on the Roof" will play its final performance at the Broadway Theatre on Dec. 31. At the time of its closing, it will have played 464 performances.

The acclaimed production, starring six-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein, boasts a cast of 40 actors and an orchestra of 23 musicians -- one of the biggest on Broadway.

It's also playing in one of Broadway's biggest houses, with 1,761 seats to fill every night. (That's over 400 more than "Hamilton" has to sell at the Richard Rodgers Theatre by comparison.)

Sales for the musical have dropped in recent weeks, after the three-time Tony nominated production went home empty handed on Broadway's biggest night. Last week, the show grossed less than 50 percent of its potential $1.5 million box office, according to numbers provided by the Broadway League.

"We felt that it was important to provide people with enough time to come see this great musical in a definitive production," producer Jeffrey Richards said in a statement. "Who knows the next time one will be able to experience this award-winning show on Broadway!"

For tickets to "Fiddler on the Roof," directed by Bartlett Sher, visit fiddlermusical.com.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Fully Automated Quinoa Restaurant Coming to Midtown]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 08:26:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_19724380454.jpg

Robots (and some hidden chefs) will serve quinoa to customers at a fast-food restaurant opening in midtown Manhattan later this year, according to reports.

There will be no cashiers at Eatsa’s midtown location, just lines of iPads and rows of cubby holes handing over quinoa.

Eatsa’s first New York City location opens at 285 Madison Avenue in the fall, Grub Street reported. Right now, the fast-food chain has two locations in San Francisco and one in the Los Angeles area.

There are a few stages to the Eatsa system. First, customers swipe their credit cards at an iPad. After that, a list of quinoa-based menu items pops up. Diners can customize their dishes before finishing their orders.

The all-vegetarian menu is inspired by different types of cuisine. There’s a Mexican burrito bowl, a Japanese bento bowl, an Indian spice market bowl and a Mediterranean Greek salad bowl, among others. A breakfast menu includes a southwestern scramble and a yogurt quinoa parfait.

While the system that prepares the food is mostly automated, there are still about five employees who prep, assemble and deliver meals to the cubbies, according to Fast Company. But they may not be around forever. Scott Drummond, a cofounder of Eatsa, said he sees a future where robots do it all.

After the food is assembled, it’s delivered to one of the cubbies. All of the cubbies have a transparent, LCD-screened door that displays each customer’s name. A customer taps the door and it flips open, revealing the packaged food and beverage.

"The food comes out in little cubby holes. It’s so neat to see your cubby go dark and then your food appear with your name on it," one user said of an Eatsa location in San Francisco.

Eatsa is a bit reminiscent of the now-defunct Bamn! on the Lower East Side. That automat-style eatery consisted of rows of vending machines serving up corn dogs and grilled cheese.

Photo Credit: AP/File
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<![CDATA[Jake Gyllenhaal Will Lead 'Burn This' Revival on Broadway]]> Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:23:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-539752478.jpg

Jake Gyllenhaal is returning to Broadway this winter, nearly two years after the Oscar nominee made his debut on the Great White Way.

The "Brokeback Mountain" actor will star in the lead role of a revival of Landford Wilson's acclaimed 1987 play "Burn This, at the Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street.

Tony winner Michael Mayer ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch") will direct the play, which originally premiered on Broadway in 1987. Performances are slated to begin in February ahead of a March 6 opening.

The revival will re-open the Hudson Theatre. The playhouse originally opened in 1903 and is currently going through an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation funded by the Ambassador Theatre Group.

The original staging starring John Malkovich and Joan Allen in a production that ran for 437 performances. The play takes place in the wake of the death of a young gay couple, focusing on four friends left behind, picking up the pieces of their lives. 

Additional information for "Burn This" -- including casting and ticketing availability -- will be announced shortly. 

Gyllenhaal -- who who made his Broadway debut in 2015's "Constellations" -- will also be on stage this fall, leading a benefit concert performance of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's "Sunday in the Park with George" alongside Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford. The musical will take place at New York City Center from Oct. 24 through Oct. 26.

Photo Credit: Theo Wargo]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Daniel Radcliffe Confronts 'Privacy' Issues]]> Mon, 18 Jul 2016 14:08:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PrivacyMain.jpg

“Privacy,” a disquieting comic-thriller inspired in part by the actions of Edward Snowden, arrives at The Public Theater at roughly the same time a national debate brews over whether Pokémon GO, with its ties to Google, can access too much of a player’s personal information.

Tech embracers -- or, say, anyone with an iPhone -- routinely log bits of data that together provide a glimpse into our intimate lives: finances, locations visited, sexual preferences and so on.

Why worry about Pokémon, “Privacy” leaves you wondering, when we’re clearly doing plenty on our own to strip bare before the world?

Reworked since its London debut in 2014, the collaboration between The Public and Donmar Warehouse centers on an introverted British writer (Daniel Radcliffe, in his fourth New York stage appearance). A painful breakup precedes a move to Manhattan, which he hopes will disrupt his routine. Plus, his ex is here.

Along the way, actors portraying real-world tech, academic and government figures, among them OKCupid founder Christian Rudder and FBI director James Comey, spring to life from the writer’s imagination, both encouraging him to use technology to help form bonds, and warning against it.

“Privacy” relies on audience involvement, guaranteeing no two performances are identical. We’re encouraged to watch with our cellphones on, logged into a dedicated WiFi network. It also features NSA whistleblower Snowden, via previously taped video, in a contribution we can consider his New York stage debut.

Radcliffe, raised almost publicly in the “Harry Potter” films -- and, I'd imagine, obligated to draw boundaries from an early age -- offers another in a line of effacing and affecting performances as the scribe beset by information overload. One effective sequence has him speed-dating with audience “matches” and being forced to admit he lied on a dating profile about his height.

Parts of that scene require the actor to improvise; a second nod for quick-thinking is owed to “SNL” vet Rachel Dratch, here as the writer’s mum and others. The script calls for Dratch to break the fourth wall and discuss metadata tracked by the car service Uber. The night I attended, instructions she provided to examine our own data were rendered obsolete by an app update mere hours before.

Dratch learned about the software update from the audience, yet maintained control over proceedings; Radcliffe shared an explanation during curtain call.

Agreeable supporting performances are turned in by a cast in multiple roles, including De’Adre Aziza, Raffi Barsoumian and Michael Countryman.

The play changes tone in the second act, becoming less about whether the writer can learn to relate to people by relaxing control over information and more about the ways we cede control of data by using our mobile devices. Snowden’s brief participation at the climax plays off an earlier observation that Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is around the same length as the iTunes user agreement.

There’s something of a British refinement to the proceedings, crafted by co-creators James Graham and Josie Rourke (U.K’s election-night telecast of “The Vote”). I’m not sure any of the revelations come as a jarring surprise, though they raise substantive issues in myriad original ways.

Among them: What's the best balance between security and liberty? When does social media stop helping us stay benignly connected and enable our baser impulses, like stalking? Also—and I’m asking for a friend—is it such a good idea to have every photo you've snapped since 2009 available for public consumption? 

“Privacy” glances off these ideas, concluding finally with the message that it’s good, every so often, to take your phone off the table and have an eye-to-eye verbal confab with your companion, even if it’s about nothing more substantial than your cat.

“Privacy,” through Aug. 14 at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Tickets: $95 and up. Call 212-967-7555 or publictheater.org.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn 

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Blue Bell Announces New Ice Cream Flavor]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 10:01:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cookie-two-step.jpg

In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, Blue Bell announced a new flavor of ice cream Friday.

The Brenham, Texas-based company announced the release of Cookie Two Step, vanilla ice cream with chunks of chocolate crème filled cookies and chocolate chip cookie dough pieces.

"Cookie Two Step combines ingredients from two of our top-selling flavors," Blue Bell spokesman Ricky Dickson said in a news release.

The new flavor will be available in stores beginning Friday, according to the company.

Dickson said the company will release more flavors within the next few months.

"Most will be returning favorites and we plan to have another new one soon," he said.

Photo Credit: Blue Bell Ice Cream]]>
<![CDATA[Here are the 68th Annual Emmy Nominees]]> Thu, 14 Jul 2016 15:47:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/emmys-3way-thrones-oj.jpg “Game of Thrones” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson” dominated the list of nominations for the 2016 Emmys. But there were plenty of other nods for other shows. Here is a selection of nominees in top categories.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nintendo Plans Retro 'Mario,' 'Zelda' Console]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2016 05:04:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NES_Classic_2.jpg

If you're of a certain age and miss the video games of the 1980s, Nintendo has a Christmas gift for you.

The video game company said Thursday it will release the "NES Classic Edition" on Nov. 11, a $59.99 system that comes loaded with 30 vintage Nintendo games.

Among the highlights are all three "Super Mario" games, two "Zelda" titles, two "Castlevania" entries and two installments from the "Donkey Kong" franchise. 

Nintendo described the new console as a "near-identical mini replica" of the original NES; this one, though, connects to TVs via a more-modern HDMI port.

While classic Nintendo games have been available on other platforms - either legally or via the download of illicit "ROM" files from the Internet - this is the first time Nintendo has stepped into the retro games market with a dedicated piece of hardware. 

The complete list of games:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr. 
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Galaga
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros. 
  • MEGA MAN 2
  • Metroid
  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.  2
  • Super Mario Bros.  3
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Photo Credit: Nintendo of America]]>
<![CDATA[Daveed Diggs to Leave 'Hamilton' July 15 ]]> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:31:44 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-539766392.jpg

Less than a week after original cast members Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo and Leslie Odom, Jr. departed "Hamilton," actor Daveed Diggs announced he will also be exiting the Tony-winning hip-hop musical. 

The 34-year-old — a Tony winner for his take on the roles of Marquis de Lafayette/Jefferson — will play his final performance in the sold-out show on July 15.

While his parts are still being recast, longtime understudies Andrew Chappelle, Austin Smith and Seth Stewart will rotate the roles at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre.

On Monday, Miranda's longtime understudy Javier Munoz took over for the title character the Pulitzer Prize winner had created on the page and stage. Munoz, who had been alternating the role since its off Broadway premiere at the Public Theater in last winter, worked closely with Miranda in workshops to create the role.

Newcomer Lexi Lawson also stepped in for Soo on Monday, playing Eliza Hamilton. Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon will take over for Odom, Jr.'s Aaron Burr in a few weeks, after his current gig in "Shuffle Along" ends upon its July 24 closing.

News of Diggs' exit came tied in the announcement that Miranda's former co-star Karen Olivo will headline the Chicago production of "Hamilton" as Angelica Schuyler. The Tony-winning "In the Heights" veteran will be joined by Miguel Cervantes ("If/Then") as Alexander Hamilton, Wallace Smith ("Godspell") as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, Ari Afsar (TV's "American Idol") as Eliza Hamilton and Alexander Gemignani ("Violet") as King George III, among others.

For tickets and information, visit hamiltonbroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Smart Political Thriller 'Oslo,' at Lincoln Center]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 22:11:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/OsloMain.jpg

I approached “Oslo,” the new political thriller at Lincoln Center Theater, with a single image in mind: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shaking hands in the White House Rose Garden, with then-President Bill Clinton behind them, his arms spread wide in embrace.

What a moment. The signing of the Oslo peace accords may well have been the photo op of the 1990s.

And yet ... a quarter-century later, much of the world recalls the pivotal episode in the Arab-Israeli peace process not as a high watermark, but as an ineffective diplomatic exercise that left more bloodshed in its aftermath. Time suggests that the accord had no teeth.

Is there still drama, then, to be mined from a story about the agreement’s genesis? That’s what I wondered as the 3-hour drama, directed by Bartlett Sher (“Fiddler,” etc.), built to its sad crescendo. The answer, assuredly, is yes.

Playwright J.T. Rogers grasps the cynicism that crept back over the Middle East in the wake of multinational efforts to tamp down the decades-long conflict, and has crafted a play arguing that the storied agreement set events on a better course, even if it didn’t generate the desired outcome.

“Oslo” is told from the perspective of a young Norwegian couple (Jefferson Mays and Jennifer Ehle), who arranged back-channel meetings between Israeli and Palestinian players at the snowy Borregaard Estate, outside the Norwegian capital, with neither the permission of superiors, nor the inclusion of American interlopers.

Mays ("A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder") is Terje Rød-Larsen, director of a think tank, who theorizes that a negotiation will only bear fruit in an environment where enemies can relate on a personal level, learning the names of each other’s children and so forth.

He has a fine complement in Ehle (“The Coast of Utopia”) as his wife, Mona Juul, an effective diplomat who quickly plugs press leaks to preserve the sanctity of the undertakings and is the more grounded force in their union. (The two real-life diplomats, not incidentally, aided Rogers with his script.)

With the idea that it’s better to seek forgiveness than permission, our story begins at a dinner party, during which Terje and Mona tell the incoming Norwegian foreign minister of their plan to bring together Israeli and Palestinian leaders … but only after they’ve set it in motion.

From there, we flash back a year to meetings at Borregaard, with escalating tensions and ever more high-level diplomats on site. Also, there are plenty of waffles: Terje and Mona clearly believe the way to the hearts of angry men is through their stomachs.

Back and forth, the Israelis and Palestinians attempt to hammer out a Declaration of Principles, debating issues familiar to anyone cursorily versed in Middle Eastern affairs: Who will have sovereignty over Jerusalem? Will the Israelis leave Gaza? Can the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “legitimate” state?

Taking seats at Booregaard are Ahmed Qurie (the marvelous Anthony Azizi), as the mildly flirtatious finance minister for the PLO. His delegation partner is Hassan Asfour (Dariush Kashani), a brutish fella who goes off on deadpan non sequiturs filled with vaguely Communist-sounding proverbs.

Across the table are Israeli politicians such as Uri Savir (the excellent Michael Aronov, of “Golden Boy”), a one-time New York consulate official whose youthful pig-headedness seems likely to derail the work going on.

At times, “Oslo” is more playful than its subject matter might suggest: tension in one scene is broken when a drunken Uri dons a makeshift peaked keffiyeh (Arafat’s signature headdress) and segues into a goofy impersonation of the late Palestinian leader.

The writing and staging are literal-minded, so the sound of a jet engine tells us the action has moved from Oslo to London or Stockholm. Mona, in her capacity as narrator-in-chief, describes numerous atrocities even as newsreel footage of the horrors screens on the back wall of the Mitzi E. Newhouse.

I never felt as if “Oslo” had a pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian political stance; that fact alone lends the story heft.

Finally, Mays’ Terje makes the point that, results notwithstanding, at least it was possible for Israelis and Palestinians to come to the same table. With “Oslo,” playwright Rogers is clearly exhibiting a wish that the next generation of players would soon pick up where their predecessors left off.

“Oslo,” on sale through Aug. 28, 2016 at Lincoln Center Theater, 150 W. 65th St. Tickets: $77-$87. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson]]>
<![CDATA[Museum of Ice Cream Coming to Meatpacking District ]]> Tue, 12 Jul 2016 20:19:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ice-cream-stock-79772399.jpg

The inimitable Museum of Ice Cream is coming to the Meatpacking District for one month this summer, pledging to deliver a "lick-able, likeable, shareable ice cream-centric experience" through the end of August. 

The delectably creative establishment will set up shop at 100 Gansevoort Street, a few steps from the High Line entrance. 

Curated by "a collective of ice cream obsessed designer, artists and friends," according to a release, the interactive museum features a swimmable rainbow "sprinkle" pool, edible balloons, an immersive chocolate room and a collaborate massive ice cream sundae. 

Anyone who visits the museum, which will be open every day of the week but Tuesday from July 29 to Aug. 31, can seesaw on an ice cream scooper or swing on an ice cream sandwich built for two. 

The museum will offer a "scoop of the week" that will include "ice cream creations by some of the city's most beloved arbiters of cool treats, including Black Tap, Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co., and more," says the website. 

Admission, which includes ice cream, for one adult is $18. Admission for two adults plus ice cream is $30. Children younger than age 10 and senior citizens get a discount ($12). And anyone who shows up opening day between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. gets free admission and ice cream. 

Tickets are available for online reservation on the museum's website. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[7-Eleven Celebrates 7/11 With Free Slurpees]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 08:42:04 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Slurpee-GettyImages-106159890.jpg

There's no better way to enjoy a hot summer day than with a Slurpee, and on Monday it won't cost you a thing. 

To celebrate July 11 — or 7-Eleven Day — the convenience chain will be giving away their signature slushy drinks. Stop by your neighborhood 7-Eleven on Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to get a free small Slurpee drink.

Monday marks the company's 89th birthday, and the 50th anniversary of the creation of the slurpee. If you're feeling festive, you can check out the chain's new birthday cake flavor. 

But that's not all.

This year, 7-Eleven is also offering customers who download their app a chance to get 11 free slurpees when they purchase 7 slurpees between July 11 and July 18. 

Photo Credit: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Misty Copeland Talks Breaking Barriers]]> Mon, 11 Jul 2016 07:22:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-527358950.jpg

It's been one year since Misty Copeland leaped over barriers to become American Ballet Theatre's first black female principal dancer in the company's 75-year history.

In an interview with "Sunday Today" host Willie Geist, Copeland reflected on her history-making accomplishment and reveals the motivation behind her soon-to-be released dancewear line, Égal.

"I was aware that I was black, but I wasn't aware of the deep rooted history of the lack of diversity, the lack of African Americans in top companies," Copeland said. "It was like, it hasn't happened for 75 years. Why would it happen to me? And then, at the same time, it gave me even more of this fire that was like, 'I am carrying so many people with me and I can do this.'"

Copeland has been able to forge a career outside the dance world with her trailblazing accomplishments, a rare feat for someone from the dance world. In addition to various endorsement deals and TV appearances, the 33-year-old has published two New York Times best-selling books, was the subject of a documentary, appeared on Broadway, named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people and was recently honored with her own Barbie doll.

"I didn't expect it to be like that. It was really wild. I don't think anyone in the company or in the dance world — we were all kind of shocked," Copeland said. "But I am giving people hope that you don't have to fit into this mold of what society has cut out for you to be in order to succeed."

Having broken the ballet mold herself, Copeland is hoping to motivate dancers of all sizes with a new line of dancewear called Égal — French for equal.

"I was going through this time where I had gained a lot of weight," she said. "I went through puberty really late in life and my bust had grown and I was like, 'I'm going to create dancewear that people who aren't stick thin can wear, but also people who are thin can wear."

Copeland says she hopes to eventually expand Égal to include a plus-size collection.

"It's finally coming to fruition," she said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Alaska's Stunning Live Bearcam Returns]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 12:12:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/452656560.jpg

It's summertime and the bears of Alaska are ready to gorge. 

EXPLORE.org has switched on its highly anticipated Bearcam in Alaska's Katmai National Park & Preserve for the summer, the fourth season the organization has graced nature lovers worldwide with the opportunity to see the majestic bruins fish for salmon in the wild. 

Each year, more than 100 brown bears descend on a mile-long stretch of Brooks River to feast on the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world, according to Explore.org. Viewers can watch the bears on the livecam 24/7. 

And for more fun, this year's Bearcam has an add-on that lets viewers take a snapshot from the feed and vie in daily contests for the best shot. 

“We are broadcasting from a truly magical place. I hope people use Bearcam to relax, to reconnect with what’s beautiful and to have fun sharing those moments of nature with other people around the world,” EXPLORE.org founder Charles Annenberg Weingarten said in a statement. “The cams are a digital sanctuary where people can use nature as tool to restore themselves.”

Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Hamilton' Picks Replacements for Leading Roles ]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 11:19:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/LeslieHamiltonLeaving.jpg

They're going to be in the room where it happens.

Brandon Victor Dixon, Lexi Lawson and Michael Luwoye have joined the cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning, history-making musical "Hamilton."

Dixon, Tony-nominated this season for "Shuffle Along," will take over the role of Alexander Hamilton's rival Aaron Burr. Leslie Odom, Jr., who won a Tony for originating the role, will depart the production on July 9. Dixon will join the cast in mid-August, after the closing of "Shuffle Along."

Lawson will step into the role of Eliza Schuyler on July 11, taking over for the Tony-nominated Phillipa Soo, who will also play her final performance on July 9. Lawson previously worked with Miranda, starring in the first national tour of his first musical "In the Heights."

Up next for Soo is the title role in the musical adaptation of the 2001 romantic comedy "Amélie' -- opening on Broadway this spring.

Odom, Jr. and Soo aren't the only ones departing "Hamilton" on July 9. Miranda previously announced he is exiting the production on that date, replaced by his longtime alternate Javier Muñoz.

Muñoz's alternate will be Michael Luwoye, a Lucille Lortel award winner for his role in "Invisible Thread." "Hamilton" will be Luwoye's Broadway debut. As was the case with Miranda and Munoz previously, Luwoye will step into the role once weekly.

"Hamilton," with book, music and lyrics by Miranda, tells the story of America's founding father Alexander Hamilton. The hip-hop musical is directed by Tony winner Thomas Kail, and is currently playing an open run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

For more information, visit hamiltonbroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Mother Rat Fights Off Snake to Save Baby]]> Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:59:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/179*120/rat1109.jpg

A mother rat determined not to let a yellow-bellied snake slither off with her young engaged the reptile in a bitter war, chasing the creepy crawler across a road and nipping at its tail, video posted to Facebook shows. 

The 50-second video, which has been viewed 18 million times since it was posted to Facebook June 26, shows the rat clinging to the snake, wrestling it on the pavement until it drops her baby. 

The snake slithers into the grass by a guardrail, the mother rat hot on its tail. Both disappear from the video frame for a few moments, then the mother rat is seen stalking the edge of the grass, appearing to search for the snake, as her stunned baby starts to scurry around behind her. The mother then trots back to her baby, puts it in her mouth and scampers away. 

It's not clear where the video was captured but more than 2,500 have commented on the mother's rat ferocious fight to save her offspring. 

Facebook poster Rojas Montecinos Evy wrote on his page in Spanish that it was an "amazing act of love of a mother to your little one." He called it a "moment of distress and so much emotion."

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<![CDATA[Hold the Burgers: Meatless July 4 Grilling Ideas]]> Mon, 04 Jul 2016 08:24:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/grilled-veggie-split-thumb.jpg

The Fourth of July barbecue doesn't always have to be about hot dogs and burgers. The holiday is a great excuse to fire up the grill and throw on some tasty veggies that will make you forget about the standard fair. 

Even if you're a meat lover, check out some greener grilling ideas below:

For British celebrity chef and restaurateur, Jamie Oliver, the secret to delicious grilled vegetables is bare-bones simplicity. "Never, ever, ever, in my personal opinion, have I seen a good reason to brush any veg with oil before your grill it," Oliver said. All he recommends is to grill them over wood or charcoal for better flavor, get a good char on them, and to immediately "kiss them with quality extra virgin olive oil" after they're off the heat. Season the vegetables with some salt and pepper and from there they can be used for all types of dishes.

Food blogger and "Today" food contributor, Siri Daly, adds grilled vegetables to whole wheat spaghetti to make a light, summertime main course. Her recipe uses corn and green beans but you can use any vegetable you like. The recipe also works with grilled squash, zucchini, asparagus, or broccoli, she said. The key to bringing it all together though is a ladle of starchy pasta water, which "creates its own sauce" for the dish.

Cara Mangini, author of "The Vegetable Butcher" and the executive chef and owner of Little Eater in Ohio, uses eggplant as the foundation for her grilled eggplant stacks. As much building as it is cooking, the main course is simply stacked layers of grilled eggplant, heirloom tomato, and fresh mozzarella. A walnut basil pesto sauce and balsamic vinegar reduction bring the entire dish together. While on the "Today" show, Mangini offered a tip on how to cut the tomatoes for the dish. She recommends using a serrated knife which helps to keep the vegetable from tearing.

Grilled corn on the cob is a summertime staple but chef Rick Bayless' favorite corn side dish is esquites, a lesser known Mexican street snack. "This is just the epitome of summer," Bayless said. Sweet corn kernels are simmered in a corn cob and corn husk broth along with serrano chiles and a Mexican herb called epazote. When done cooking, the Jame Beard award winner likes to serve the side in a little dessert dish with a dollop of mayo, some crumbled Mexican fresh cheese, and a lime wedge.

Let's not forget about dessert! "Hell's Kitchen" host Gordon Ramsay has a grilled pineapple dish that should satisfy every sweet tooth. The British chef quickly grills some pineapple wedges to bring out the fruit's natural sugars. He then tops it off with a simple spiced vanilla caramel for an elegant finish.   

Photo Credit: Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[You Can't Resist This Puppy Bath Video]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:18:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/maltese+bath.jpg

A trio of exceedingly adorable poodles and Maltese is cute — but a video of that trio taking a bath is a doggone must-see.

Footage from South Korea of the three dogs taking a bath is making the rounds on social media, and more than 17 million haven't resisted the click. 

The video shows the pups standing in a red bucket of water, tongues lolling as only their legs and paws are submerged. It cuts to totally soaked doggies, their legs turned to fluffballs as their fur absorbs water. 

Then, the crescendo: The three pups are out of the bath, getting blown dry in their very own drying contraption. And they couldn't seem happier.

Photo Credit: teddygraham61515/Instagram
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<![CDATA[Annual 'Broadway in Bryant Park' Summer Series Set]]> Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:42:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WaitressJoanMarcus.jpg

The lineup for 106.7 LITE FM's annual "Broadway in Bryant Park" program has been set.

The summer series brings the best of Broadway and off-Broadway to the Bryant Park Stage, for weekly outdoor concerts co-hosted the radio station's popular on-air personalities and musical theater stars, when available.

Currently, 25 shows are scheduled to perform at this year's event, which will run weekly on Thursdays from July 7 through Aug. 11. Lawn seating is first come, first serve.

July 7
: Cady Huffman ("Shear Madness") and LITE FM's Delilah
Participating Shows: "Wicked," "Stomp," "The Color Purple" "Matilda," and the Radio City Rockettes.

July 14
: Catherine Russell ("Perfect Crime") and LITE FM's Christine Nagy
Participating Shows: "Chicago," "The Fantasticks," "Motown" and "Finding Neverland."

July 21
Co-Hosts: Alex Brightman and Sierra Boggess ("School of Rock") with LITE FM's Helen Little
Participating Shows: "Fiddler on the Roof," "Les Misérables," "Fuerza Bruta" and "The Marvelous Wonderettes."

July 28
: LITE FM's Bob Bronson
Participating Shows: "Waitress," "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812," "Kinky Boots," "Fun Home" and "Himself & Nora."

August 4
: Dena Blizzard ("One Funny Mother") and LITE FM's Rich Kaminski
Participating Shows: "Beautiful," "An American in Paris," "Avenue Q," and "Holiday Inn."

August 11
Host: LITE FM's Victor Sosa
Participating Shows: "Phantom of the Opera," "Something Rotten!," "Cagney," and "Ruthless."

In addition to 106.7 LITE FM, this year’s concert is presented by New York-Presbyterian for Kids and the TKTS Discount Ticketing Booth.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus ]]>
<![CDATA[‘It’s Thundering’: Most Unique July 4 Fireworks View]]> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:26:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/weehawken.jpg

As crowds pack the banks of the East River Monday for the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks display, a small group of trained professionals will be just feet from mortars as fireworks launch out of them and explode into the sky.

Pyrotechnicians dressed in life vests and wearing protective ear mufflers will be on each of the East River barges when the fireworks launch, said Gary Souza, the pyrotechnician who designed the show.

Souza, who has been on barges in the past, will be in a midtown command center this year, communicating with the barge-based pyrotechnicians via walkie-talkie as the show takes off.

The view from the barges is unique and stunning, according to Souza, a fifth-generation pyrotechnician who first worked the show from a barge when he was 18 in 1982.

"It’s very shocking; it’s thundering; it shakes your feet and rocks your head. It thumps your chest," Souza said about the barge-view of a show’s finale. "You really can’t feel it quite as well when you’re a thousand feet away."

For Souza, there are three parts of the show that are particularly striking from the barge.

The first is the beginning, when the first fireworks launch out of the strategically placed mortars, making a "thud" as they take off.

"It strikes your chest," Souza said of the first launch. "You reach a moment of euphoria because now we’re going. We’re gone."

The second is when the largest fireworks — up to 10 inches in diameter, weighing 50 pounds — blast off from the mortar.

"The barge sinks," he said.

The third is the finale, when the show reaches its crescendo and hundreds of fireworks launch from all five barges at the same time.

"It just rumbles," he said. "It echoes your ear. And to hear the crowd roar — it’s just what we do it for."

The view from the vantage point also gives a unique perspective of even the simple fireworks that make up the show.

"They wiz by. They fly right in front of you," Souza said. "They make a very crisp, sharp crackle. Even a simple red burst, you can hear each star etching its color in the sky."

And after they explode, he said, it looks like a colorful mushroom or flower in the sky directly above the river, until they "cascade down in an ephemeral waterfall type shape."

This year, Souza said, gazers will see fireworks from nine countries shoot out of the mortars. The show has it’s own soundtrack and one original song written specifically for the display.

Viewers will also see the fireworks change color 17 different times — a record number for a show designed by Souza, he said.

Kenny Chesney, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, the Radio City Rockettes, Pitbull and DNCE are set to perform at this year's "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" on Monday. The show will air on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Kitten Escapes Pet Store Cage to Play With Puppy]]> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 12:38:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Puppy-Kitten-GettyImages-172292342.jpg

A cuddly kitten escaped its enclosure at a pet shop in Taiwan and leaped into the neighboring booth of an equally cute little puppy. 

Adorable video of the rogue kitty's break-out and subsequent break-in at JoLinn Pet House is making the rounds on social media and has already been viewed more than 2 million times since it was posted Sunday. 

The video shows the black and white furball leap to the top of the plastic edge of its enclosure, back paws wildly trying to grip the partition as it hoists itself to the top.

The kitten eventually makes it to the top of the panel and sidles over to the next enclosure, where a very happy puppy eagerly awaits a playmate. The kitten jumps in with the pup and the two friends start playing in truly adorable fashion.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Subway Musical 'In Transit' to Emerge on Broadway This Fall]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 12:02:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/kathleen+marshall.jpg

"In Transit," a long-gestating, a cappella romantic comedy set in the New York City subway, has found the express train to Broadway.

Producer Janet B. Rosen said Monday that the new musical about the intertwining lives of 11 New Yorkers underground will play the Circle in the Square Theatre this fall.

The show has a book, music and lyrics by Academy Award winner Kristen Anderson-Lopez of "Frozen" fame, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth. Vocal arrangements are by Deke Sharon, of the a cappella "Pitch Perfect" movies.

"In Transit" will be directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall, who helmed the recent Broadway revival of "Anything Goes" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It."

Casting, design team and production dates will be announced later.

Photo Credit: Greg Allen/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Little Girl Scares Off Elephant in Viral Video]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:41:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/elephant-generic.jpg

A little girl in a sleeveless yellow top took on a giant elephant, appearing to control the behemoth with one small hand on a Sri Lankan street, according to viral video making the rounds on social media. 

In the 23-second video posted to YouTube the girl is filmed walking barefoot on a street in the direction of an elephant that apparently had just come out of some brush.

The elephant walks toward the girl, who puts her right arm up as if to say, "Stop." 

The elephant stops in its tracks. As the girl walks toward it, her arm still outstretched, the animal slowly backs up. The girl keeps walking in its direction and the elephant continues to back up, then sidesteps and flees back into the brush from whence it came.

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<![CDATA['Shuffle Along' Surprises with Closing Notice]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 22:03:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/194*120/McDonald+0773.jpg

After being shut out of the 2016 Tony Awards, "Shuffle Along or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All that Followed" will play its final performance at the Music Box Theatre on July 24.

At the time of its closing, the acclaimed production will have played 38 previews and 100 regular performances.

The new musical, which explored the backstory for the groundbreaking black revue, marked the first reunion of director George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover, who had previously worked together in the 1996 hit musical "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk."

The closing comes abruptly. "Shuffle Along" has been a strong hit at the box office, largely on the draw of six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. According to numbers provided by the Broadway League, last week the musical grossed almost 87% of its $1.1 million potential gross, nearly filling its entire house.

McDonald was previously scheduled to temporarily depart "Shuffle Along" on June 20 to reprise her Tony-winning role in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" in London. However, the 45-year-old actress announced in May she was pregnant with her second child -- a first with husband Will Swenson ("Les Miserables") -- and decided to stay through July 24.

Producer Scott Rudin attributes a drop in sales after McDonald's departure to the show's closing.

"It has become clear that the need for Audra to take a prolonged and unexpected hiatus from the show has determined the unfortunate inevitability of our running at a loss for significantly longer than the show can responsibly absorb, and we have decided to close the show when she leaves," Rudin said in a statement.

"I am overjoyed to be expecting a new addition to my family," McDonald said in a statement. "Yet completely heartbroken that our tremendously talented cast and company -- my 'Shuffle Family' -- won't be able to continue telling this incredible story." 

McDonald's replacement -- Grammy-winning folk artist Rhiannon Giddens -- had already began rehearsals, but will not go on in the role of Lottie Gee. Savion Glover, who had also announced plans to join the show during its run, will also not join the cast before closing.

In addition to McDonald, the show features Tony winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, and Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon, Adrienne Warren and Joshua Henry.

Theatergoers with tickets after its closing date can visit their point of purchase for refunds.

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes]]>
<![CDATA['An American in Paris' Says Au Revoir]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:49:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AmericanParisClosing.jpg

"An American in Paris" will say au revoir on Jan. 1, 2017, after a playing 719 regular performances and 29 previews at the Palace Theatre.

The new Gershwin stage musical, which transferred to Broadway after a six-week run at the Tâtre du Châtelet in Paris, features direction and choreography by Christopher Wheeldon. The book, by Craig Lucas, is adapted from 1951 Vincente Minnelli film of the same name.

Like many other shows this year, the ballet-dance musical has struggled at the box office this season in the wake of "Hamilton," taking less than 50 percent of its $1.4 million potential gross according to numbers provided by the Broadway League.

"We are announcing our closing six months ahead so that as many people as possible can plan to experience the uniqueness and beauty of the show before it leaves Broadway," producers said. 

The show won four 2015 Tony Awards, but lost the best musical prize to "Fun Home" -- which coincidentally dropped its closing notice on Tuesday.

Producers also added that while the show has yet to recoup its $11.5 million capitalization, it's expect to before the end of the year. A national tour is set to launch in Boston this October.

Original Broadway stars Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope will also open a London production in March 2017.

The Palace Theater, meanwhile, is scheduled to undergo a three-year renovation, adding four floors of retail space on the basement and ground floor and lifting the theater 30 feet higher. No word when that construction project will begin.

Photo Credit: Angela Sterling ]]>
<![CDATA[Kanye West, The Weeknd Headline New Music Fest in Queens]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:54:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-521487658.jpg

Kanye West, The Weeknd, Chance the Rapper and Kygo will be headlining a new music festival in Queens this fall. 

The inaugual Meadows Music and Arts Festival will be held Oct. 1 and 2 at the Citi Field complex in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, festival organizers announced.

The two-day festival comes from the same team behind the Governors Ball Music Festival, Founders Entertainment. It partnered with Metropolitcan Hospital, a subsidiary of the New York Mets, for the event launch. 

The festival will host over 42 artists across four stages, including the headline performances from Kanye West, The Weeknd, Chance the Rapper and Kygo.

Other artists slated to perform include The 1975, Bryson Tiller, Grimes, Empire of the Sun, Chromeo, Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Mac Miller and Cage the Elephant. 

The festival will also feature different food vendors, various cuisines and craft cocktails.

"Launching the Meadows Festival in Queens this fall with an incredible lineup of music, art, food and culture is a dream come true," Founders Entertainment partner Tom Russell said in a press release. "As a native New Yorker I grew up in awe of the innovative spirit surrounding Flushing Meadows-Corona Park."

The Queens park had been eyed by a number of high-profile music festival organizers since at least last year, when the team behind Coachella pitched an East Coast version of the event at Flushing Meadows. 

The parks department ultimately rejected the pitch from AEG, along with proposals for similar multi-day festivals from MSG and Founders, saying the park already hosts so many cultural and athletic events during the warm weather months.

Though the Citi Field complex is inside the park area, The Meadows is being held in the Citi Field parking area, a private and self-contained space, and did not need approval from the parks department. 

Citi Field and Flushing Meadows Corona Park is accessed by the no. 7 subway train or by Long Island Rail Road in a 13-minute train ride from Penn Station. 

For more information about the Meadows Music and Arts Festival, visit their website.

<![CDATA[NYC Pride March and Festival Street Closures]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:23:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cms646.jpg

The 2016 LGBT Heritage of Pride March and Festival is on Sunday. Here are the street closures you can expect from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 


  • 41st Street between Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue
  • 40th Street between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 39th Street between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 38th Street between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 37th Street between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue
  • 36th Street between Sixth Avenue and Park Avenue


  • Fifth Avenue between 41st Street and Eighth Street
  • Eighth Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • Greenwich Avenue between Sixth Avenue and Christopher Street
  • Christopher Street between Greenwich Avenue and Greenwich Street


  • Greenwich Street between West 11th Street and Leroy Street


  • Hudson Street between Bethune Street and West 14th Street
  • West 13th Street between Ninth Avenue and West Fourth Street


  • Fifth Avenue between Eighth Street and Washington Mews
  • Bleecker Street between Christopher Street and West 10th Street

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Fun Home' Leaving Broadway in September]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 20:45:51 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FunHomeClosing.jpg

"Fun Home," the biographical musical based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir of the same name, will play its final performance at the Circle in the Square Theatre on Sept. 10 after 18 months on Broadway.

At the time of its closing, the show will have played 26 preview and 582 regular performances.

Featuring music by Jeanine Tesori ("Violet") and a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron ("Well"), "Fun Home" made history, becoming the first musical with a lesbian protagonist to play Broadway, and the first musical written by women to win the top honor at the Tony Awards.

Sales for "Fun Home" have been on a steady decline over the past few months, earning less than 40 percent of its potential $794,880 gross last week, according to numbers reported by the Broadway League. Still, the show recouped its entire investment at the end of last year -- a rare feat for a Broadway show.

"'Fun Home' has been a small miracle since our first preview at The Public Theater," producers said in a statement. "We're incredibly proud and grateful that this show has had universal acclaim and such an extended life."

Directed by Tony winner Sam Gold ("Seminar"), "Fun Home" tells the story of Alison Bechdel's complicated relationship with her father (Tony winner Michael Cerveris) -- a closeted homosexual who would go on to kill himself months after she came out. With much of the story told in flashback, three actresses play the role of Alison: Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs and Gabriella Pizzolo.

A North American tour will launch in Cleveland, Ohio this October, stopping at more than 40 cities along its first year, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

For tickets and more information, visit funhomebroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Ribs Jeter for Being 'Old' in Retirement Interview]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 17:22:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/obama+jeter+interview.jpg

Former Yankees captain Derek Jeter interviewed President Obama for The Players Tribune, offering him some retirement tips as the president quipped about the star shortstop hanging up his cleats on the wrong side of 30. 

"Derek, you are somebody who now has some experience in hanging up the cleats," Obama told Jeter. "I'm about to retire. I'm not quite as young as you but still relatively young." 

Jeter asked the president to repeat the reference about his age, to which Obama responded, "I mean for a baseball player, you were old, man. Let's face it, c'mon, man. We saw you try to run around those bases." 

Jeter, now 41, retired in 2014 after two decades in pinstripes. He since became a founding publisher of The Players Tribune sports website, which released a short clip of his interview with the president Monday. 

The full interview, which was recorded earlier this month, will be released Wednesday. 

Obama, 54, has said he plans to remain in Washington when the new president assumes office in 2017.

Photo Credit: The Players Tribune]]>
<![CDATA[Top Baby Names of 2016 (So Far)]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:16:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/babies3.jpg

The year of 2016 may be a year of change for the most favored baby names.

According to the "Today" show, for the first time Olivia is leading the charts as the most-wanted name for baby girls born in 2016, according to Nameberry. Nameberry calculated the results by based on the most-visited of the nearly 20 million views of its individual name pages in the first three months of this year.

The official results won’t come out until next year, but in 2015 Emma and Noah came in as clear favorites on the annual list of top baby names released by the Social Security Administration.

Newberry.com's popularity poll showed the 10 most popular baby names for little girls to be: Olivia, Amelia, Charlotte, Ava, Isla, Arabella, Aurora, Adeline, Penelope and Eleanor.

According to "Today," the 10 boys' names that garnered the most votes in the new year were: Erra, Asher, Atticus, Declan, Oliver, Silas, Mila, Leui, Henry, Wyatt.

The year of 2015 was the third year on top for Noah and the second in a row for Emma, which was also No. 1 in 2008. More than 20,300 girls born in 2015 were named Emma, according to the Social Security Administration.

The administration released its annual list of top baby names in May, and the top five names for girls and boys in 2015 remained unchanged from the previous year. Noah was followed by Liam, Mason, Jacob and William. Emma was followed by Olivia, Sophia, Ava and Isabella. Ava and Isabella switched spots from 2014, with Ava climbing to No. 4.

One major change was the girl's name Isis, which had remained steadily in the middle of the pack of the country's top 1,000 names for the last 15 years. In 2015, after the name had emerged as an acronym for the extremist group Islamic State, it dropped completely off the list.

That's a dramatic shift, says Laura Wattenberg, baby name expert and founder of BabynameWizard.com.

"It's actually quite rare for a name to be eliminated by issues in the news," she says, noting that the name Adolph was still at No. 555 in the U.S. at the end of World War II when the Nazis and Adolf Hitler fell.

There's another recent example, though: the name Hillary dropped off the list in 2009, a year after Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic presidential primary to Barack Obama. The name was No. 721 in 2008. Hillary remained off the list this year, as did the name of her current Democratic primary opponent, Bernie, as in Sanders.

Barack has never appeared in the top 1,000 names, and the popularity of the name of Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush, dropped slightly during his eight-year presidency, from No. 130 to No. 163.

The first name of this year's presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, also dropped in 2015, from No. 418 to No. 441.

Wattenberg said that unlike in the past, parents avoid politics in name choices today. But names of past presidents remain popular.

"We want our presidents out of office or preferably dead before we name our babies after them," Wattenberg said.

Emma's popularity soared in 2002, the same year that Rachel, a character played by Jennifer Aniston on the TV show "Friends," named her baby Emma. Also boosting the name, actress Emma Watson played Hermione Granger in the popular Harry Potter movies.

Emma has been ranked among the top three baby names for girls since 2003, first reaching No. 1 in 2008. In 2013, Emma was No. 2 behind Sophia. For several years, trends have favored names that are short and smooth — Mia, Liam and Noah — and that have a lot of vowels.

Two girls' names that skyrocketed in popularity in 2015 were Alaia and Adaline, illustrating that vowel trend. Alaia moved up more than 2,000 spots on the list, from No. 2,676 to No. 664. The reasons for Alaia's rise aren't clear.

"Perhaps this can be attributed to high-fashion designer Azzedine Alaia, or maybe it is because of Alaia Baldwin, the model/daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin," speculated the Social Security Administration in a news release.

The name Adaline moved from No. 1,393 to No. 364. "The Age of Adaline" was a 2015 movie starring Blake Lively. For boys, the top-rising name is Riaan, which moved from No. 2,286 to No. 926. It's the name of the young son of a well-known Bollywood actor, Riteish Deshmukh.

The Social Security Administration's website provides lists of the top 1,000 baby names for each year, dating to 1880. The top baby names that year were John and Mary. John is now No. 26 and Mary has fallen to No. 124.

Top 10 Names for Girls in 2015:

1. Emma

2. Olivia

3. Sophia

4. Ava

5. Isabella

6. Mia

7. Abigail

8. Emily

9. Charlotte

10. Harper

Top 10 Names for Boys in 2016:

1. Noah

2. Liam

3. Mason

4. Jacob

5. William

6. Ethan

7. James

8. Alexander

9. Michael

10. Benjamin

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Blend Images
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<![CDATA[Taco Bell Giving Away Free Tacos Tuesday]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 15:44:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/1779076_10154087090319697_2553296908979305782_n.jpg

Although the Cleveland Cavaliers won the series, you can thank the Golden State Warriors for being able to score a free taco on Tuesday. 

Taco Bell teamed up with the NBA for a promotion called “Steal a Taco,” which gives fans free tacos if a team "steals" a win on the road. 

The Warriors won against Cleveland in Game 4, and now fans across the country can get a free Doritos Locos Taco from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at participating Taco Bell restaurants. 

To find a Taco Bell near you, visit tacobell.com/StealATaco.

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Photo Credit: Facebook/TacoBell
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<![CDATA[Meet Broadway's New Hamilton ]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 11:01:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-483201942.jpg

Javier Muñoz has been understudying the role of Alexander Hamilton since the show premiered off-Broadway at the Public Theater back in February 2015, alternating performances on Broadway at least once a week. 

But on July 11, he'll take over the role full time, after creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda's final performance in the Tony-winning production on July 9.

The 40-year-old actor has long worked with Miranda, understudying his role in 2008's "In the Heights" and eventually taking over the part when Miranda left that show as well.

"I probably wouldn't be in this business still without Lin-Manuel Miranda," Muñoz said. "He created the opportunities for me as a Latino actor to have the career that I have. They didn’t exist without him and before him. It’s a bonding glue to always lift him up and embrace each other and support each other in that process."

In a meeting with press Thursday, as reported by Playbill, Miranda praised Muñoz's performance as Hamilton, saying, "When Javi does the show, you really see the show in all of its colors." 

"I can't overstress it — we created the role together," Miranda continued. "In the rehearsal room, as I was writing, he would tag in, I would tag in. We would do every scene with me in the role and him in the role, and that’s how we kicked the tires on 'Hamilton.' It really took two people to make it work."

Muñoz's first performance in "Hamilton" was a memorable one — performing for President Barack Obama when he came to see the show on Broadway during its sixth preview.

"I’ll never forget [that] moment," Muñoz told Variety. "He came to talk to us at intermission... he turned right to me, shook my hand, looked me square in the eye, and said, 'You are wonderful.' And then kept going. I didn’t really move. When the president of the United States takes a moment to say anything to you? That was extraordinary. Act II was even better than Act I." 

The "Hamilton" promotion for Muñoz comes after the actor's secret battle with cancer, which kept him out of the production for several weeks last fall. He was diagnosed in October 2015 and underwent surgery and radiation treatments in November, taking a two-month absence from the show before returning to the production in January.

"It's a rare thing in my life to find myself face to face with something I'm scared of, and I was scared of this," Muñoz told People. "I had never been more scared in my life. 

Muñoz hasn't publicly said what type of cancer he had. 

He will perform the role of Hamilton seven performances a week, taking off one performance per week, as Miranda had done. Muñoz's alternate will be announced at a later date, along with the alternate's performance schedule.

Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard]]>
<![CDATA[INFOGRAPHIC: Doting on Dad, Father’s Day 2016]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 15:33:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-93909607-edited.jpg

Millions of Americans will take some time out of their day Sunday to celebrate Father's Day, spending a projected $14.3 billion in the process. Here are some more fun facts about the gifts U.S. dads can look forward to this year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[De Niro Makes Broadway Debut With 'A Bronx Tale' This Fall]]> Wed, 15 Jun 2016 17:07:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-538200630.jpg

"A Bronx Tale," the 1993 gangster flick that marked Robert De Niro's directorial debut, will jump from the big screen to the big stage, in a new Broadway musical set to open at the Longacre Theatre on December 1. Previews begin November 3.

Coincidentally, the musical will also mark De Niro's Broadway debut as a director. He'll co-direct the show alongside four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks ("Guys and Dolls") -- who staged a non-musical version of the show on Broadway in 2007.

Chazz Palminteri will pen the book. He first performed the piece as a one-man play in 1989, and continues to tour with it today. He also starred in the film alongside De Niro.

Music and lyrics for the 1960s-set score will come from Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. This will be the duo's fourth musical on Broadway, after collaborating together on the stage adaptations of the popular films "The Little Mermaid," "Sister Act" and "Leap of Faith."

Slater is currently represented with another film-to-stage show, "School of Rock - The Musical." He collaborated on that show's score with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

In addition to its big-named creative team, the show will also have big-named producers. Music mogul Tommy Mottola is helping fund the show, alongside De Niro's Tribeca Productions and theatrical superstars the Dodgers ("Matilda").

The "Bronx Tale" musical comes to New York after a successful tryout in New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse this winter, where it starred Tony nominee Nick Cordero ("Bullets Over Broadway") as reigning gangster Sonny, who takes a young boy named Calogero under his wing. (Jason Gotay, of "Bring It On" fame, narrated the piece as the boy, now grown).

No word on whether Cordero, Gotay or any of the other Paper Mill cast will transfer with the production. Casting is expected to be announced soon.

For more information, visit abronxtalethemusical.com.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter]]>
<![CDATA['Late Night': Look at the Orlando Shooting]]> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 02:51:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e122_382_closerlook_20160610_1200x675_705061443828.jpg Host Seth Meyers processes the Orlando shooting over the weekend. He looks at the tremendous amount of support that came out of the violence. Meyers turns to consider the ease with which the shooting suspect bought the weapons used to kill 49 people in an Orlando night club.]]> <![CDATA[Review: Janet McTeer, Cush Jumbo Lead "Shrew" in Central Park]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 20:05:40 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ShrewMain.jpg

The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park season kicks off with an all-female take on “The Taming of the Shrew,” starring two exceptionally animated actresses and offering generally low-stakes direction from Phyllida Lloyd, of “Mamma Mia!” (stage and screen) and “The Iron Lady.”

Cush Jumbo, of TV’s “The Good Wife,” has the showy role of Katherina, the title “shrew,” a tantrum-throwing conniver who, as tradition has it, must be married off before suitors may vie for the hand of younger sister Bianca. Janet McTeer, a Tony winner for “A Doll’s House,” dons a butch leather jacket to woo her, as Petruchio.

Lining up a cast of women for a play that’s explicitly about men who expect obedience from their wives pretty much guarantees an interpretation dripping in irony, and that’s just what Lloyd delivers—a “Shrew” that throws into relief the silly ways that men behave.

This interpretation offers numerous updates, including a framing device that sets up the main play around “The Miss Lombardy Pageant” (Donald Trump-esque host included) and the thundering appearance on stage of a camper used by Petruchio to steal away with his near-hostage bride, its redneck license plate unsubtly reading: “PISA ASS.”

Some 16 talented actresses swagger around in Speakeasy-era wardrobe and perform with exaggerated behaviors generally associated with the less-fair sex. No one seems to be having more fun than McTeer, who underscores testosterone-fueled dialogue (“What, with my tongue in your tail?”) with many a lewd flick of her own oral appendage.

Her hair disheveled and hands hooked in her belt-loops, McTeer’s Petruchio never worries about making herself attractive to Katherina. One vulgar bit of stagecraft even has her standing and urinating against a post. What a great reminder to men in the audience how easy we have it!

Jumbo, who debuted on Broadway opposite Hugh Jackman in “The River,” is directed to perform with her needle in the red zone, throwing her first fit during the opening pageant scene, which has her pedaling on stage on a bicycle and then throwing it aside, eyes bulging and neck tendons popping.

LaTanya Richardson Jackson (“A Raisin in the Sun”) makes for a commanding Baptista, father to Katherina and Bianca, who isn’t going to make any exception to conventions. As Bianca, Gayle Rankin does a swell job of giving spirit to a character who’s generally written as docile and malleable.

I was equally taken with Judy Gold’s Gremio, frustrated suitor to Bianca, who interrupts the 2-hour proceedings to rail against “the fact that the director of this show is a woman.” In concluding a sexist rant, she grabs her crotch and adds: “Now we’ve got a broad running for president, another one telling chicks to ‘lean in.’ Yeah, lean in and suck this!”

Most “Shrew” riffs end with Katherina capitulating to her husband. Not so here. A postscript has Katherina tossing aside her pageant roses and joining in a defiant, guitar-driven hoedown to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.” It may be a subtle nod to “10 Things I Hate About You,” the 1999 movie that’s one of many pop culture takes on the play.

This interpretation is certainly asserting that women have more choices than they did in the Bard’s day. It’s good, smirking fun, sometimes too-smitten with its own sense of edginess. Lloyd is shooting fish in a barrel: Can there be excitement in taking a stand for empowerment via a story that was so very isolated to its particular era?

On second thought ….

“The Taming of the Shrew,” through June 26 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Visit publictheater.org for ticket information.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Performers of Color Make History at Tony Awards]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 01:02:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-539766304.jpg

Sunday's Tony Awards saw the four major musical acting honors going to people of color, a first in the show’s 70-year history.

The annual celebration of achievement in theater came some 6 months after the Oscar nominations -- which were widely chastised for ignoring the contributions of minority performers.

Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Renée Elise Goldsberry and Daveed Diggs took home the top trophies at the 2016 Tonys. Erivo won for her starring role in "The Color Purple"; Odom Jr., Goldsberry and Diggs for their work in "Hamilton."

"Think of tonight as the Oscars, but with diversity," host James Corden said in his opening monologue.

Broadway has long been an inclusive arena. In 1982, three actors of color from "Dreamgirls" won musical acting awards.

"There are stories to be told and there are people who want to hear them," director Thomas Kail said, accepting the Tony for his work on "Hamilton."

"Growing up, I felt like there was no place for me here," Diggs told reporters after his win. "Having been a part of this season, I look around and see it's so inclusive. There is so much diversity on Broadway right now. I'm very proud to be a part of it."

"It makes me so happy to see so many theater kids nerding out over these shows because they can find themselves in that," he added.

"Hamilton," which went into the night with a record 16 nominations, took home 11 awards. It wasn't able to beat the record 12 awards previously won by 'The Producers" in 2001.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop musical was introduced by a pre-taped message from Barack and Michelle Obama -- the first time a sitting president and first lady have appeared on the top theater awards.

"It’s a musical about the miracle that is America," the first lady said. "A place of inclusiveness where we value our boisterous diversity as a great gift," the president added.

"That’s the story of America," President Obama continued. "An experiment that is not yet finished. A project that belongs to all of us."

Barbra Streisand also made history on the awards, appearing to present an award for the first time since 1970.

The evening also included tribute to "Chicago" -- Broadway's longest running American musical -- which is currently celebrating 20 years on Broadway.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris]]>