<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:29:07 -0400 Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:29:07 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Hudson Eats]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:16:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/UMAMI.png There is a new foodie spot to grab lunch downtown, and with 14 different places to chose from, you can be sure everyone will find something delicious.]]> <![CDATA[Michelle Obama Style Guide]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:41:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/michelle-obama-AP19328115164.jpg The first lady proves she's first in fashion.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Must-Try Summer Trends]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:41:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/226*120/SummerTrends3.JPG Now that we're in the middle of summer, we've had plenty of time to see which trends are worth trying. Kate Dimmock, Fashion Director at People StyleWatch, is here to show us some of her favorite styles that are here to stay.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[New York Is Getting an “American Psycho” Musical ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:43:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/matt_smith_patrick_bateman_jonathan_bailey_tim_price_in_american_psycho_at_the_almeida_theatre._photographer_manuel_harlan.jpg

Patrick Bateman has killer looks and killer tendencies. And this spring, the investment banker turned serial killer we came to love in Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel and Mary Harron’s 2000 film, “American Psycho,” will make his way back to New York in a new musical adaptation opening in March 2015 at the Second Stage Theater.

The musical comes off-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 the film. No casting has been announced yet for the Second Stage production, but Rupert Goold ("Enron"), who directed the show in London, will once again direct here.

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 reportedly be making changes to the show before its New York premiere.

Previews for “American Psycho” are set to begin in February 2015.

<![CDATA[Walken is NBC’s Captain Hook]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:44:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/a7eb7d0311b98738_800x800ar.jpg

Christopher Walken is getting the hook. Sort of.

The Oscar-winning actor will play Captain Hook in NBC’s upcoming live musical presentation of the classic musical “Peter Pan.” The announcement was made by NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt during the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

“I started my career in musicals,” said Walken. “It’s wonderful after all this time, at this point in my career, to be in this classic musical I watched as a child. It’s a chance to put on my tap shoes again.”

Walken has tap-danced on screen before: from the film versions of “Hairspray” and “Jersey Boys” to “Pennies From Heaven” and even Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” video, the actor has had a long history of singing and dancing on film.

“He might really be a song and dance man at heart,” Greenblatt added. “He’s fearless as a comedic actor and always comes to play. Get ready to be charmed, amused, frightened and dazzled by Captain Hook in an entirely original way."

The title character of Peter Pan has yet to be cast, though Greenblatt told critics they’re looking for a female actress for the part. Producers had pursued Kristen Bell (“Frozen”) for the role, but she was unavailable due to scheduling.

“Peter Pan Live!” is NBC’s highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s “The Sound of Music Live!” That event brought upwards of 18.62 million live viewers — NBC’s highest Thursday night viewership for an entertainment program since the series finale of Frasier in 2004. “Peter Pan Live!” will air Dec. 4.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Helen Mirren Bringing Her Majesty Across the Pond]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 09:37:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/THE+AUDIENCE+by+Peter+Morgan.jpg

Helen Mirren can’t get enough of Queen Elizabeth II.

The actress won her first Oscar for portraying Her Majesty in 2006’s Stephen Frears-film “The Queen.” She then reprised the role in the acclaimed 2013 West End production of “The Audience.” And now, it looks like she’ll be bringing Queen Elizabeth II to Broadway.

Mirren tells The Daily Mail that “The Audience” will play a limited run on Broadway this spring. She’ll begin rehearsals in mid-January, with previews starting in February for a March opening. No theater or dates have been officially announced.

“The Audience” centers around the Queen’s weekly meetings with the 12 Prime Ministers over 50 years of her reign. Pulling the curtain back on these legendary and secretive Buckingham Palace meetings, we get to see Elizabeth’s political and personal views on the world -- and her role in it.

Both “The Queen” and “The Audience” have more in common than just Mirren: They were both written by Peter Morgan. Morgan reportedly will be expanding his play for Broadway, adding another character from “The Queen” not seen in the London production of “The Audience”: Tony Blair.

This isn’t Helen Mirren’s first time on Broadway. She’s been here twice before -- 2001’s “Dance of Death” and 1995’s “A Month in the County” -- both of which earned her Tony nominations. Considering Mirren received an Olivier Award (England’s equivalent of a Tony) for “The Audience,” there’s a good chance she’ll be Tony-nominated for a third time.

One thing's for sure: Fans of Mirren shouldn’t worry about not seeing enough of her in “The Audience.” She’s in every scene of the two-hour play.

Photo Credit: Johan Persson]]>
<![CDATA[Watch “On the Town” Take on NYC]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 15:57:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/OnTheTown.png

While you were nursing your 4th of July hangover, here’s what was happening this week In the Wings.

Watch the cast of “On the Town” take on the streets of NYC! Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Clyde Alves, the three sailors from the upcoming revival of the beloved Bernstein, Comden and Green musical “On the Town,” went on their own NYC adventure. And “On the Town” was able to catch it all on video! Watch the three sailors visiting the city’s most iconic locations while singing the musical's most iconic song, “New York, New York.” “On the Town” begins previews Sept. 20, with an Oct. 16 opening.

Speaking of “On the Town,” the winner of FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” will be offered a role in the upcoming revival. The role, part of the series’ prize package, will be available to the winner in the spring (assuming the show is still running). The musical’s choreographer, Josh Bergasse, choreographed a performance of the opening number for the Top 20 finalists on the show this week. [More info]

“Black Orpheus” will now be a Broadway musical. Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage (“Ruined) will write the book, while Tony-winner George C. Wolfe will direct. The score will be filled with many of the themes from the motion picture, including music by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bofa and Vinicius de Moraes. “Black Orpheus,” the Brazilian love story based on the Moraes play “Orfeu de Conceição,” won the 1959 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. [More info]

Tony winner Priscilla Lopez flies into “Pippin.” The actress, who appeared in the original cast of “A Chorus Line,” will join the hit revival in the role of “Berthe” for a limited role this summer, from July 22 through Aug. 27. “Designing Women” star Annie Potts, currently in the role, will play her final performance July 20. Lopez has appeared in “Pippin” before – in the 1973 original production, as a replacement for the role of “Fastrada.” [More info]

“Heathers: The Musical” will close Off-Broadway on Aug. 4. The musical adaptation of the 1988 Black comedy will have played 17 previews and 145 regular performances upon its time of closing. “Heathers: The Musical” is currently playing at New World Stages. [More info]

The magic show, “The Illusionists - Witness the Impossible,” will open on Broadway this fall for a six week engagement at the Marriott Marquis Theatre. The show, which features seven illusionists performing “hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder,” begins previews on Nov. 26, with a Dec. 4 opening. Its Broadway stop is part of a 30-city US tour. [More info]

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Stores Offer Free Slurpees, Sandwiches and Discounted Doughnuts]]> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:25:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/slurpeeEDIT.jpg

Who doesn't like free food?

7-11, Chick-fil-A and Krispy Kreme are offering deals on free snacks, drinks, sandwiches and more. Here are the three you should know about for Friday.

1.Oh Thank Heaven...For Free Slurpees!

Friday is July 11 (or 7-11), and 7-Eleven is giving out free small Slurpees to celebrate. Swing by any 7-Eleven from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to grab a free drink while supplies last.

But that's not all. If you download the 7-Eleven app you can enjoy new freebies every day until July 19. Some highlights include Twinkies, Big Gulps and M&M's.

(Psst... If you miss 7-Eleven day on Friday you can use your app to get a free Slurpee on the 19th!)

2. Cow Appreciation Day

Love Chick-fil-A's "Eat Mor Chikin" campaign? Now you can be a part of it! Dress like a cow and show up to any Chick-fil-A restaurant on July 11 to receive a free meal.

If you are feeling shy about your love of cows, you can dress in partial cow attire and still receive a free entree.

Don't know where to find a cow costume?

Fear not, Chick-fil-A has you covered.

Download and print off a cow costume here.

3. Happy Birthday Krispy Kreme

Most people celebrate their birthday with cake and ice cream, but Krispy Kreme obviously prefers doughnuts!

The chain turns 77 on July 11, and to celebrate they'll give you a dozen glazed doughnuts for .77 cents with your purchase of any dozen doughnuts.

Photo Credit: 7-Eleven]]>
<![CDATA[Back and Better Than Ever]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:49:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/218*120/outdoor.png Two NYC institutions are back in business after some time on the sidelines - Lauren Scala takes a tour, and a bite, out of these old favorites with a new twist.]]> <![CDATA[Trend Spotting: Orange Is the New Black]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 08:30:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/215*120/OrangeFashionPic.JPG When it comes to this summer's hottest fashion trend, the title of our favorite Netflix series says it best. Style Expert Liliana Vazquez shows us why orange really is the new black.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Momoa on "Road to Paloma" and More]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:18:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/204*120/JasonMomoaWeb.JPG Jason Momoa stops by the studio to talk directing his new film "Road to Paloma," working with his wife Lisa Bonet and his past role in "Game of Thrones."]]> <![CDATA[New York Magazine's Cheap Eats 2014]]> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:50:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cheap+eats1.jpg Lauren Scala checks out three of New York Magazine's 101 picks for Cheap Eats.]]> <![CDATA[ Catching Up with Wendy Williams]]> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:15:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/194*120/WendyWilliamsWeb.JPG Wendy Williams stops by the studio to talk about feeling wonderful at 50, hosting the world's largest bachelorette party and doing standup for the first time at the "Lipshtick" comedy show.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: Pizza Hut's Cookie]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:40:47 -0400 Click here for more. ]]> Click here for more. ]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PizzaHutCookie.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world.

Photo Credit: Pizza Hut]]>
<![CDATA[National Fried Chicken Day]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:03:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/fried+chicken6.jpg National Fried Chicken Day falls on July 6th. Joelle heads to Harlem to check out two of New York City's best.]]> <![CDATA[6 Celebrity Burger Recipes for July 4th]]> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 08:59:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/burger-466024983.jpg

The Fourth of July is an excuse to barbecue as many burgers as you can. Check out these six recipes from celebrity chefs.

Burger: A Simple Tradition
Chef: Daniel Boulud
Secret Weapon: Fresh Ingredients

French chef and international restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, may hold the key to a “perfect” burger. The all-star chef’s technique is simple: keep it simple. “The most important, of course, is meat. Have a good percentage of fat in your burger but not too much, I would say an ideal is 15-20 percent,” Boulud said.

With no tricks up his sleeves, Boulud buys all fresh ingredients for his burger and only uses salt, pepper and oil to season his meat. While his one-inch thick burgers cook on the grill, the chef preps his lettuce, tomato, onions and bun before assembling the perfect hamburger.

Burger: The Piggy Special
Chef: Gordon Ramsay
Secret Weapon: Bacon

When the "Hell’s Kitchen" host isn’t starting kitchen drama with his contestants, the British chef likes to make some good American sliders — calmly. "I travel all over the world, and I spend a lot of time in the States,” he said. “They know how to make a great slider." 

His trick for making his barbecue pork sliders stand out: mixing cooked and chopped pieces of back bacon into the ground pork before grilling. Every bite is guaranteed to be packed with savory pork flavor.

Burger: Classic with a New Crunch
Chef: Bobby Flay
Secret Weapon: Potato Chips

It may be a privilege to “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” but it’s certainly a challenge to beat his burgers.

Flay suggests making a small indentation in the center of the patties so they don't swell up as they cook, "I just make a little well with my thumb in the middle of the burger and then when the burger cooks it actually comes back to shape, otherwise you're going to have this big sort of hump on the burger," Flay said. He cautions at-home chefs to never press down the burgers on the grill. "That’s when you lose all the juiciness," he said.

Flay likes to add a little crunch to his burger by adding potato chips. He even had the word "Crunchified" copyrighted for his restaurant chain, Bobby's Burger Palace.

Burger: Gourmet Salmon
Chef: Martha Stewart
Secret Weapon: Toasted Brioche Bun


It’s no shock Martha Stewart can cook about anything, even gourmet-style salmon burgers. These salmon burgers are an ideal substitute for meat or for people without a grill on the holiday. Stewart is generous with her seasoning, telling her audience, “Fish is bland, the salmon has a lovely taste, but it is a mild fish, so dressing it up with a little horseradish and lemon zest helps.”

A toasted brioche roll complements the high-scale restaurant tasting salmon patty.

Burger: Turkey with a spicy kick
Chef: Guy Fieri
Secret Weapon: Garlic butter

The "Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives" star is a professional when it comes to burgers. After tasting a countless number of beef burgers across the country, Fieri knows a good substitute when he sees it.

"Little turkey burger, some pablano pepper, now some caramelized onions and peppers right on top that's what I'm talking about, and talk about healthy-- it's a burger!" Fieri said about his spicy turkey burger.

While this turkey burger has a long list of all-star ingredients, a little garlic butter on the buns subtly ties all the flavors together.

Burger: Welsch Wildcard
Chef: Richard Blais
Secret Weapon: Homemade Rarebit

After taking a trip to London, "Top Chef: All-Star" Richard Blais, makes a crazy and complicated burger remix: the Cheese Fondue Welsch Rarebit Burger. Blais makes his patties square because they are served on toast, like traditional rarebit, instead of buns.

 The namesake ingredient, rarebit, is made with a flour base, Dijon mustard, English dried mustard and Guinness beer. “Guinness beer is going to have a lot of malty flavor to it, going to give it a lot of sweetness, a little bit of bitter on the back pallet—that’s the thing about British food it’s really adult, it puts hair on your chest.”

What better way to celebrate America’s Independence from Britain than eating English food?

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Watch the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:07:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/macys+fireworks.jpg

After 5 years on the Hudson River, the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular returns to the East River, so it's time to reexamine and improve some dusty old viewing strategies. 

For those who want to watch from the comfort of home, the fireworks spectacular will be broadcast on NBC 4 New York at 8 p.m.

To the delight of Brooklyn and Queens residents, Macy's will have three barges by the Brooklyn Bridge and South Street Seaport. Check out the best places to watch:


You'll find excellent views at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the South Street Seaport and Brooklyn Heights Promenade. 

Montgomery and South Streets: From the north (viewing along the FDR between Manhattan Bridge and Montgomery Street)
Brooklyn Bridge entry from St. James Place (Pearl Street) and Wagner Place (viewing both North and South of the Brooklyn Bridge)
Broad Street and/or Old Slip at Water Street (viewing between Heliport and South side of Brooklyn Bridge)
ADA Viewing: Murray Bergtraum High School track and field facility, at the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Entrances at Market and Cherry
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory - DUMBO
 For $150 per person, customers will be seated at a table with a buffet and soft drinks from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. A tent will be set up on the pier by the shop giving the audience a front-row seat to the firework display.
Beekman Beer Garden - South Street Seaport
Tickets are still on sale for Beekman Beer Garden's Independence Day party.  $95 
Zona Rosa - Williamsburg
The restaurant in Williamsburg has a greenhouse-like rooftop that has a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. For the 4th of July, the restaurant will seat customers on a first come, first serve basis. 
Hotel Z - Long Island City
Tickets are still on sale for the Z Hotel Roof Top Red White and View. Prices are $166.03 for adults and $66.56 for kids. The swank hotel will have a picnic starting at 3:00 p.m. and rooftop access for the show. 

Sonny’s Soda Shoppe - SoHo
The Mondrian Hotel still has tickets on sale for its 4th of July party at Sonny’s Soda Shoppe. For $175 per person, guests can view the East River show from a private rooftop. Guest arrive between 4 and 6 p.m. will enjoy complimentary Peroni, pizzas and gelato.
Berry Park- Williamsburg
Because it’s first come, first serve with no cover, lines can get long to get into this rooftop bar, but $5 drink specials from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. are well worth it.

New York Water Taxi- South Street Seaport

The New York Water Taxi has two special packages for Independence Day. The first package for $225 departs from Pier 45, Hudson River Park and includes hors d’oeuvres, buffet, desserts, soft drinks and a cash bar. The second package on the Zephyr costs $325, departs from Pier 25 with a buffet and cash bar. Both packages last three and a half hours and board at 7:15 p.m..

Spirit Cruises - Chelsea

For $399.90 per person, customers can enjoy an up-close view of the firework spectacular from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy a dinner buffet, DJ’s for the dance floor and probably most importantly -- a premium open bar.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Watanabe, O’Hara Lead "The King and I" Revival]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:23:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/487816443AP00070_Premiere_O.jpg

Lincoln Center Theater will bring Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical “The King and I” back to Broadway in a new revival set to open April 16, 2015 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The production, directed by Bartlett Sher, will star Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara. Previews begin March 12.

Watanabe, who has appeared on stage in numerous Japanese productions, will be making his Broadway debut here. The actor can currently be seen in the big-screen reboot of “Godzilla,” and received an Oscar nomination in 2004 for his work in “The Last Samurai.”

O’Hara was last seen on the New York stage in “The Bridges of Madison County,” for which she received her fifth Tony nomination.

“The King and I” tells the biographical story of British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens (O’Hara), who falls for the King of Siam (Watanabe) while working in Bangkok to tutor his many wives and children. The musical, which includes classic songs such as “Shall We Dance?” and “Getting To Know You,” won the Tony for Best Musical when it originally premiered in 1951. It was also the basis for an award-winning 1956 film. This will be its third Broadway revival.

This is the also the third time Sher, O’Hara and Lincoln Center have collaborated together. Sher directed O’Hara in the 2005 production of “The Light in the Piazza” and the 2008 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.” “Piazza” took home five Tony awards, while “South Pacific” won eight, including the top prize for a revival and a statue for Sher’s direction.  

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison]]>
<![CDATA[Brazilian Beauty Secrets]]> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 06:25:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/272*120/BrazilianBeauty1.JPG All eyes are on Brazil this summer thanks to World Cup fever. Lifestyle Expert Anna De Souza stops by the studio to show us some Brazilian beauty secrets, to D-I-Y or buy.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Buy Heidi Klum's Gorgeous $25M Home]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:31:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/klum1.jpg Heidi Klum is selling her luxurious Brentwood, California estate for $25 million. See photos.

Photo Credit: Nick Springett]]>
<![CDATA[Lindsay Lohan's Stage Debut Official]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 18:17:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/476226075TW00009_Lindsay_Lo.jpg

While you were getting kicked out of “Cabaret,” Shia LaBeouf, here’s what was happening this week In the Wings.


Lindsay Lohan makes “Speed-the-Plow" official. We told you last week that the “Mean Girls” actress said she’d make her stage debut in a London revival of “Speed-the-Plow.” Well, it’s official. Directed by Lindsay Posner, the revival of David Mamet’s play will begin performances at London’s Playhouse Theatre on Sept. 24, and run through Nov. 30. Just stay away from the sushi, OK Lindsay! [More info]

America Ferrera will star in “Lips Together, Teeth Apart.” The Emmy-winning actress, known to many for her leading role on ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” has joined the cast of the Second Stage revival of Terrence McNally’s comedy, which will play Off-Broadway’s Tony Kiser Theatre beginning Oct. 7, with a Nov. 5 opening. Joining Ferrera in the Peter DuBois-directed production are Michael Chernus (“In the Wake”), Tracee Chimo (“Bad Jews”) and Austin Lysy (“The American Plan”). This will be a reunion of sorts for Chernus and Chimo, who play a couple on the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” [More info]

If you wanted to see Carey Mulligan and Billy Nighy in “Skylight” but couldn't make it to London, well then good news! The critically acclaimed production of David Hare’s play will be broadcast to movie theaters worldwide on Oct. 23, courtesy of National Theatre Life. The London production’s limited engagement ends on Aug. 23. [More info]

Holly Hunter, Bill Pullman, Dianne Wiest, Cynthia Nixon and Jesse Eisenberg among names attached to the New Group’s 20th anniversary season. The 2014-15 season starts with Hunter and Pullman in David Rabe’s “Sticks and Bones.” Wiest and Tony winner Tonya Pinkins will then star in ‘Rasheeda Speaking,” directed by Nixon. The third play of the season is a new work called “The Spoils,” written by Eisenberg. All three shows will be presented at the Pershing Square Signature Center. [More info]

Planning on seeing a show over July 4th week/weekend? Broadway has some special holiday showtimes. Alternate curtain times include more Thursday and Friday matinees and additional Monday and weekend performances. To see what time your favorite show is playing, visit Broadway.org.

Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Fourth of July Dining]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:54:27 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/food+and+fireworks.jpg Where can you get a front row seat to the fireworks, and a great meal? Joelle Garguilo investigates.]]> <![CDATA[Summer Skin Emergencies]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:51:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/187*120/SummerSkinEmergencies.JPG New Beauty's Contributing Editor Sarah Eggenberger stops by the studio with some great products to help us fix all of our summer skin emergencies.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Q&A: Christopher Jackson Talks 2Pac and "Holler If Ya Hear Me"]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 10:17:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/2826.jpg

Christopher Jackson first stepped on a Broadway stage while understudying the role of Simba in the original 1997 Broadway production of “The Lion King.” Since then, he’s appeared in five other Broadway shows, including his breakout role in 2008’s “In the Heights.” But for Jackson, working in the theater and building a family with his castmates has never gotten old.

“That’s Christmas morning every morning,” says Jackson. “You’ll always remember the first time and your first show, but every time you go into the theater, it’s a new experience. You’re going to discover something new about yourself or someone else. It’s the kind of thing that makes you get up in the morning and be happy to go to work.”

Work these days is in the Tupac Shakur musical “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the first musical of the season, which opened last week to critical acclaim. NBC New York sat down with Jackson, a husband and father of two who’s also an Emmy-winning composer for “Sesame Street” and “The Electric Company,” to discuss his experiences in “Holler” and what he’s learned about hip-hop through jazz.

NBC4NY: Did you have a relationship with Tupac’s music before the show?
JACKSON: Tupac was the first artist that I really related to. Growing up where I grew up, in southern Illinois, it was very rural, very isolated from the world. It took awhile for us to get a lot of music. Once I got ahold of Tupac, that was really all I needed for a very long time. He’s an incredible artist, incredibly eloquent. Hearing his art made me feel different about the world. He was speaking to a greater purpose.

NBC4NY: Have you learned new things about his music having to perform his songs now?
JACKSON: Once you strip away what his songs were as records and look at them on a page, you can reflect and connect with what he was saying. The essence of hip-hop is in a beat, so sometimes he goes so fast you miss certain words and iterations. And the same type of injustices, struggles and hardships that Tupac was talking about in the early 90s are exactly the same things that are going on today. It’s equally as relevant then as it is now.

NBC4NY: This is the first time we’ve seen a musical built around a catalog of hip-hop songs play Broadway. What took so long?
JACKSON: If you look back throughout the history of Broadway, there’s always been periods where writers and producers have delivered the kind of things that people want to see, while at the same time pushing the form along. So it makes sense that there’s hip-hop on Broadway now because that’s the popular style of music. Our writers are growing up around it. It’s projects like “Holler” that move the needle along and attract an entirely new audience. Broadway is at its best when it represents as many people as possible.

NBC4NY: What I found so fascinating about the piece is that it didn’t feel like the typical jukebox musical.
JACKSON: In a lot of respects, it feels like a play with music. The storyline works seamlessly with Tupac’s music. [Book writer] Todd Kriedler was inspired to write the piece from the music itself. The way that he discovered it, it’s almost as if these characters were speaking to him through the lyrics of what Tupac was saying already, in the context of what he was speaking in. You know, Pac was a multi-faceted artist. And I think it takes the seven or eight principal characters and the ensemble to really bring to life all the different facets of what Tupac wanted.

NBC4NY: Do you think we’d have “Holler” if “In the Heights” hadn’t been such a success?
JACKSON: “In the Heights” paved the way for “Holler” in that it helped show that hip-hop is an incredible tool to use in storytelling. With hip-hop on Broadway, there isn’t a huge sample size. But jazz paved the way before that.

NBC4NY: You have some experience with jazz on stage, having made stops in “Cotton Club Parade” at New York City Center and “After Midnight” on Broadway before this.
JACKSON: Yes! Jazz is all about being in the moment. Whatever the music is making you feel, jazz gives you the freedom. That’s the same genesis as hip-hop. In “Holler” I’m expressing the things that my character is feeling at that moment. There’s always nuance in the execution of a particular lyric, especially lyrics that are as poignant as Tupac’s are.

NBC4NY: As an actor, there are so many ups and downs in this business. Do you ever get past that fear of “What if this show closes - what will I do next?”
JACKSON: There’s a certain sense of inevitability to each project, because you know nothing can last forever. But until there’s something else, there’s nothing else. And the greatest advice I ever received was from a mentor who said “There’s no reason you should ever wait for a job. You’re creative, so create.” So I have a studio in my house and I’m always at my laptop or keyboard or guitar. There’s always possibilities for something new to happen.

“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” with an open-ended run at The Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway. Tickets: $59-$139. Call 800-745-3000.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus ]]>
<![CDATA[New Website Could Change the Way You Shop]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:37:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/digital+mall.jpg Why a new website may change the way you shop.]]> <![CDATA[Summer Beauty Refresh]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:21:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/216*120/summerbeauty.png If you need to refresh your look for summer, check out these tips for looking your best after a long and hard winter.]]> <![CDATA[Broadway’s Next for “Bridesmaids” Star]]> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:14:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/496272159TM00108_Women_In_F.jpg

Rose Byrne, who played Kristen Wiig’s nemesis in the 2011 big-screen hit “Bridesmaids,” will make her Broadway debut in Moss Hart’s and George S. Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning ensemble comedy “You Can’t Take It With You.” The revival, directed by Scott Ellis (“The Mystery of Edwin Drood”), kicks off previews Aug. 26 ahead of a Sept. 28 opening at the Longacre Theater.

The actress will play Alice, the youngest daughter of the eccentric Sycamore clan, lead by James Earl Jones as the family’s patriarch. Tensions rise when Alice invites her fiancé and his uptight family to meet the Sycamores, a wild bunch made up of snake collectors, artists, dancers, and rocket makers.

In addition to Byrne and Jones, “You Can’t Take It With You” also includes two 2013 Tony nominees: Kristine Neilsen (“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike") and Annaleigh Ashford (“Kinky Boots,” TV’s “Masters of Sex”). Mark Linn-Baker (TV’s “Perfect Strangers”), Crystal A. Dickinson (“Clybourne Park”), Reg Rogers (“The Royal Family”), Marc Damon Johnson ("Lucky Guy"), Patrick Kerr (“Frasier”) and Julie Halston (Bitsy von Muffling from “Sex and the City”) make up the rest of the cast.

Byrne received two Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her role on TV’s “Damages." She's currently appearing alongside Seth Rogan and Zac Efron in the box-office hit summer comedy “Neighbors.". This year, Byrne will also be seen in “This Is Where I Leave You,” with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, and the reboot of the smash stage musical “Annie,” costarring Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx.

Photo Credit: Charley Gallay]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks Gets Into Soda Business ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:27:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/edtFizzio_Handcrafted_Sodas_-_Trio%282%29.jpg

Starbucks is adding what it calls handcrafted sodas to its menu to kick off the summer season.

The company will sell three flavors of soda—Spiced Root Beer, Golden Ginger Ale and Lemon Ale— in 16 states, mostly in the South and Southwest, starting on Tuesday, the company announced.

Starbucks will debut the new beverages at stores in Hawaii, parts of California including Los Angeles and San Diego, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Utah.

The sodas are made using the company's "Fizzio" carbonation machine. Customers can adjust the amount of “fizz” in each beverage depending on their preferences.

The drinks are made to order and take about a minute and a half to complete, the standard length of time for a Starbucks drink, Fortune Magazine reported.

Starbucks claims the sodas contain no artificial flavors, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup.

The price of the sodas wil reportedly vary depending on location. A medium-sized Fizzio soda will cost $2.95 in Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times reported. They expect to sell the sodas nationwide by next summer, according to the Times.

Starbucks is also raising prices on Tuesday, with the cost of certain drinks set to go up between 5 and 20 cents. A 20-oz "venti" cup of brewed coffee will jump between 10 and 15 cents, depending on the market, CNBC reported.

Photo Credit: Starbucks Corp]]>
<![CDATA[“Newsies” To Close on Broadway]]> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 18:10:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/newsiesbroadway.jpg

Extra, Extra! “Newsies,” the Tony-winning musical based on the cult 1992 film of the same name, will play its final performance at the Nederlander Theater on Aug. 24. A North American tour launches in October, stopping in 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season.

“Newsies” had a rather unconventional road to the Broadway stage. Disney Theatrical Productions originally developed the show for licensing in response to requests from professional and amateur theatre groups. A four-week pilot production was put on at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse in the summer of 2011, in hopes that the show would then embark on a touring production. An overall positive response from critics and audiences then lead to a limited run Broadway transfer. Which then turned into an open-ended run after box office (and Tony) success.

When it closes, “Newsies” will have played 1,005 performances on Broadway — a far cry from the 101 performances originally intended. The show has seated over 1 million patrons, earned over $100 million and is the second longest-running show ever to grace the stage at the Nederlander Theatre (behind “Rent”). It also recouped its investment in just 41 weeks -- the fastest a Disney production has ever turned a profit.

“Newsies” was nominated for eight 2012 Tonys, including nominations for Best Direction of a Musical (Jeff Calhoun), Best Book of a Musical (Harvey Fierstein) and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Jeremy Jordan). The show eventually took home two awards: one for choreographer Christopher Gattelli and one for Alan Menken and Jack Feldman’s original score. Watch their performance on the 2012 Tonys here: 

Photo Credit: Dean van Meer]]>
<![CDATA[A Broadway Debut For “Harry Potter” Star Rupert Grint ]]> Sun, 22 Jun 2014 12:33:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/79848090.jpg

While you were watching the World Cup, here's what was happening this week In the Wings.

Ron Weasley is coming to Broadway! “Harry Potter” star Rupert Grint will make his Broadway debut in the star-studded production of “It’s Only a Play.” Grint said in a statement, “I’m thrilled to be making my Broadway debut alongside this amazing cast and creative team.” Terrence McNally’s comedy will play a limited 17-week engagement at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre this fall. [More info]

“Honeymoon in Vegas” made Broadway engagement official. As we reported last week, the musical adaptation of the 1992 film will step into the Brooks Atkinson Theatre when “After Midnight” closes. Tony Danza (TV’s “Who’s The Boss”), Rob McClure (“Chaplin”), and Brynn O’Malley (“Annie”) will star. Music comes from Jason Robert Brown, who picked up two Tony awards for last season’s “Bridges of Madison County,” with a book by the film’s screenwriter Andrew Bergman. “Honeymoon in Vegas” will begin previews Nov. 18, with a Jan. 15, 2015 opening night. [More Info]

Lindsay Lohan is in talks to star in a London production of David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow.” The news comes from Lohan herself, who told The New York Times at a Jeremy Scott fashion show in London that she’ll go into a production this November. “It’s the first time I’ve done a stage play or anything like that,” Lohan told the Times. “I’m nervous but I’m excited.” No official word on the production or casting has been announced. [More info]

Gerald “Gerry” Goffin, legendary lyricist and songwriting partner of Carole King, died of natural causes at his home on Thursday. Goffin’s early life and work is portrayed on stage currently in “Beautiful - The Carole King Musical.” King said in a statement: “Gerry Goffin was my first love. He had a profound impact on my life and the rest of the world.” Goffin is survived by his wife, Michele, his five children and six grandchildren. [More info]

New York City Center is launching a series of free pre-show events before their Encores! Off-Center shows called The Lobby Project. The project provide insightful explorations behind each Off-Center musical, helping put each show “in the context of its legacy.” The Lobby Project kicks off June 25, with a conversation with the late Jonathan Larson’s Family before the premiere performance of Larson’s “tick, tick… BOOM!”. All events are free for ticket holders, and take place roughly 45 minutes before curtain. [More info]

Photo Credit: Ian Gavan]]>
<![CDATA[Beauty Buzz: NYC's New NARS Boutique]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 06:48:35 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NarsPic.JPG Summer is the time to have fun with your beauty routine, so Style Expert Lilliana Vazquez headed to the brand new NARS store on the Upper East Side for some great new looks you'll want to try right now.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 07:01:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ice+cream+morgensterns.jpg Lauren Scala checks out new ice cream hot spot Morgenstern's on the Lower East Side.]]> <![CDATA[My New York: Saul Williams]]> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:53:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Saul+final-thumb.jpg If you ask Saul Williams, New York is a poet's city. Check out his favorite places from Manhattan to Brooklyn. See more of Saul Williams on stage in "Holler if Ya Hear Me" the new Broadway musical inspired by the lyrics of Tupac Shakur.]]> <![CDATA[Review: "Holler" Brings Tupac to Broadway]]> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:17:03 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/HollerITW.jpg

It’s a safe bet that a swath of theatergoers has steered clear of hip-hop—at least, the kind not scripted by “In the Heights” composer Lin-Manuel Miranda—because it’s gritty, racy and has a perception problem in some quarters.

If that’s you, then “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the Broadway musical “inspired by” the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, is a chance to correct a grave omission. If, however, you’ve been on the Tupac train all along, then “Holler,” which has just opened at The Palace Theatre, is a banner opportunity to stand in awe of a rich canon that, it’s difficult to grasp, originated with a man who died at only 25.

But the two-dozen songs lushly presented in the $8 million production directed by Kenny Leon (who just nabbed a Tony for “A Raisin in the Sun”) are threaded together by a fictional story so tired, and so often told, that you can’t help but walk away feeling that an opportunity has been missed.

Todd Kreidler, a one-time assistant to August Wilson, has crafted a turf war-tale that revolves around the “one last escapade” storyline. John, a self-taught cartoonist fresh out of jail (slam-poet Saul Williams) and Vertus, the king of the block (Christopher Jackson), share a complicated history, i.e., a girl. They’ll band together to avenge the murder of Vertus’ brother, and then—only then—change their ways.

It’s a setup that narrows the possible outcomes, and corners “Holler” into a melodramatic conclusion.

“Holler,” named for a song on Tupac’s second solo album, is set in an unnamed “Midwestern industrial city." Leon and Kreidler have punctuated the musical with a potent cross-section of Tupac’s street poetry (plus two arranged version of his poems), from the uplifting to the despondent and violent. They include the universal “Dear Mama” and “Unconditional Love,” as well as “If I Die 2Nite” and “Whatz Next.”

“Life Goes On”—with its questioning refrain, “How many brothers fell victim to the streets?”—unfolds poignantly during a funeral set early in the first act. You’ll probably feel that it’s a shame Tupac’s not around to hear the murmurs in the audience early in the second act, during “Changes,” when John sings: “We ain’t ready/To see a black president.”

Choreographer Wayne Cilento (“Wicked”) does work that's most notable at the top of the show’s title track, which ends the first act and boasts gravity-defying ensemble members popping out of trap doors. In other places, the choreography feels undercooked ... these guys aren't at the level of the Jets and the Sharks.

Problems aside, there are ideas presented in “Holler” that, too, burst from the stage, such as when Nunn (Jahi Kearse, in a fine performance), who runs with John and Vertus, describes what happens after you actually kill someone, comparing its effects to the PTSD suffered by soldiers returning from war: “I never wanted to shoot nobody, ’cause then you got to live with his name stuck to yours,” Nunn says.

Nunn, it turns out, came to this realization in the heat of a confrontation, and remains clearly grateful his bullet missed its mark. That’s a fresh take on a ghetto cliche, and it makes you wish there was more such dialogue.

No one here “plays” Tupac; rather, actors take their turns singing his songs. Williams, with his haggard and world-weary features (he’s got 15 years on John), looks little like the doe-eyed rapper, but leads the production with an intense performance that requires respect, from the moment he opens the show by descending from a suspended “prison cell.”

Jackson, an “In the Heights” vet, is excellent as a man wanting vengeance, if aware it will perpetuate a cycle. Joshua Boone and Dyllon Burnside bring multiple dimensions to their roles as the youthful friends of the main characters. I wished for much more of Tonya Pinkins (below, with Jackson), who is underutilized as Mrs. Weston, the mother who has lost one son and is afraid to lose another.

“Holler” counts among its producers Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mother, though the production doesn’t have the rights to his life story. (When’s that coming, please?) The gargantuan Palace has been awkwardly slimmed down by 600 seats, allowing for stadium seating and an exhibit by the National Museum of Hip Hop—a tactic that reduces “pressure” on the sales staff, one producer has said.

We won’t spoil the climax of Kreidler’s story, but a friend and I gathered at the stage door after and said we both wished the musical had ended on a particular note not chosen. “Holler,” which never had an opportunity to percolate elsewhere before its Broadway opening, deserves a more intimate space and more time to work out its kinks.

“Holler If Ya Hear Me,” with an open-ended run at The Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway. Tickets: $59-$139. Call 800-745-3000.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Review: "When We Were Young ...," with Cherry Jones]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:04:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/YoungITW.jpg

The lives of a sheltered teen and an abused wife intersect at a pivotal moment for each in “When We Were Young and Unafraid,” an affecting drama from thirty-something playwright Sarah Treem. Directed by Pam McKinnon (“Clybourne Park”), the MTC production has just opened at New York City Center’s Stage I.

Cherry Jones leads the 1970s-set ensemble piece as Agnes, owner of a Pacific Northwest B&B that does double-duty as an underground shelter for domestic violence victims. Only a sliding door to Agnes’s kitchen separates paying vacationers from these battered women, whom the proprietress instructs to remain upstairs and out-of-sight until their wounds heal.

As the two-act story begins, Agnes’s bookish daughter, Penny (Morgan Saylor, of “Homeland”), is arguing that she doesn’t need to attend her prom, a ritual she associates with the “systematic oppression” of women. The moment is there to establish Penny as a free-thinking independent, but it’s apparent early in this exploration of gender politics that she is oppressed, in her own way—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Enter Mary Anne (actress and playwright Zoe Kazan, of “Ruby Sparks”), an abuse victim in her mid-20s, on the run from a husband whom we never see but who remains a perceived threat throughout the play. Penny at first has little interest in this interloper, who only seems to achieve validation through the exercise of her own sexual prowess. But as barriers fall between the duo, Penny discovers that Mary Anne is a woman who can help her realize her own feminine allure.

Mary Anne’s growing influence over Penny begins to test Agnes’s patience—and two-time Tony winner Jones, up to her perfectionist standards, is an apposite vehicle for Treem’s exploration of the conflicts between young and old. As Agnes struggles to adapt to changing times, we learn slowly and deliberately what motivates her to run this particular stop on the feminist underground railroad. (Hint: It’s more than the explanation she gives Mary Anne: “I just think everyone deserves a chance.”)

It’s a credit to Treem’s dialogue and Kazan’s depiction of an abuse victim that we never see troubled Mary Anne as a woman blind to her narrowing options. Trying to explain to Agnes her bond with husband John, Mary Anne says, simply, that their powerful physical connection leaves her almost incapacitated: “I can’t breathe it hurts so badly.” Mary Anne is relatable, even for a woman you may not necessarily like, or trust … or want hanging around your own kid.

Saylor shines as an impressionable teen learning that sexual and emotional freedom sometimes bring with them, unexpectedly, a desire to just go back home and roost.

I had difficulty with a storyline between Agnes and Hannah (Cherise Booth, with Jones, above), a radical feminist espousing the ideas of Ti-Grace Atkinson who forces her way into the household, though Agnes wants nothing to do with her. Booth, an Obie Award-winner for the teen-pregnancy drama “Milk Like Sugar,” does a fine job evoking the particular time and place, but Hannah feels primarily like a caricature among Treem’s more well-developed personalities.

Patch Darragh (“Weeds,” “Boardwalk Empire”) is nice as a gentle San Francisco vacationer whose shades of effeminacy leave a lukewarm impression on Mary Anne when he tries to pursue her.

Treem is a rising playwright whose credits include episodes of the Netflix series “House of Cards” and the HBO therapy drama “In Treatment.” Though her thought-provoking narrative gets stuck in the occasional rut, “When We Were Young and Unafraid” is a stark reminder of how rare it is to see such urgent subject matter tackled in mainstream theater.

“When We Were Young and Unafraid,” through Aug. 10 at New York City Center, 130 W. 56th St. Tickets: $89. Call 212-589-1212.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Celebs Come Out for "Much Ado" Opening & More]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:43:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CranstonITW.jpg

Bard buffs Bryan Cranston, John Lithgow and Jonathan Groff were among the celebs on hand for Monday night’s gala opening of “Much Ado About Nothing” at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, the first offering of The Public’s free Shakespeare in the Park season.

Lithgow, barely recognizable in a shaggy beard, will play “King Lear” in the second outing of the annual summer series. Other sightings in the star-packed audience last night included Matthew Morrison, Dana Delany, America Ferrera, Rachel Dratch, Hailey Feiffer, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Sarah Paulson, Judy Kuhn, Amber Tamblyn, Andrew Rannells, Julie White and Aaron Tveit.

Shakespeare’s sometimes-serious romantic comedy, directed here by Jack O’Brien—the three-time Tony winner’s first outing at the Delacorte—features real-life paramours Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe (pictured, bottom, at right, with Kathryn Meisle and Ismenia Mendes) as wise-cracking lovers Benedick and Beatrice. Central Park becomes sun-drenched Sicily in a production critics called “pleasure-filled” and “masterfully silly.” Here’s a closer look at what the reviewers had to say.

Ben Brantley, The New York Times: “Mr. Linklater’s Benedick presents himself as an aggressively buffoonish type, a big-boy clown of the no-girls-allowed club who nonetheless broods over perceived insults from women. Ms. Rabe’s Beatrice is more of a tough-talking, wisecracking dame, not unlike the screwball movie heroines played by Katharine Hepburn and Barbara Stanwyck. But every so often, like a turtle’s head poking out of its shell, a scared and vulnerable soul protrudes from the brittle carapace.”

Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly: “For whiz-bang one-liners, crackerjack banter, and giddy laughs (and a couple of weddings to boot), it's tough to beat the Bard’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ … The comic stylings of Rabe and Linklater are so fine that you might overlook the play's less-interesting love story between Leonato's daughter, Hero, and Don Pedro's soldier Claudio. Then again, that tends to happen with just about every production of ‘Much Ado.’”

Elysa Gardner, USA Today: Rabe uses her tartly husky voice, one of the most distinctive in contemporary theater, to great effect throughout, to convey sarcasm and yearning, frustration and relish. Linklater, in one of his funniest and most robust performances to date, provides an ideal foil and, eventually, partner. Rabe's womanly fortitude highlights the boyishness behind his braggadocio; their wars of words manage to make Shakespeare's language as accessible as any contemporary rom-com film while sacrificing none of its beauty or bite. But after others scheme to bring their feud to its inevitable conclusion, a tenderness emerges that's just as disarming.”

Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News: “O’Brien, who knows his way around the Bard, wisely plays things light, albeit by the numbers. Goofy animal masks help tip the balance toward laughter. The well-oiled supporting players include John Glover as Hero’s father; John Pankow as the bumbling detective Dogberry; Pedro Pascal, recently of ‘Game of Thrones,’ as the devious Don John.”

Matt Windman, AMNY: “Rabe, who has already portrayed Portia (‘The Merchant of Venice’) and Rosalind (‘As You Like It’) to great acclaim, brings considerable comedic timing and bite to Beatrice. Linklater, who played opposite Rabe in ‘The Merchant of Venice,’ is a clownish, scruffy and whiny Benedict. It’s hard to believe his Benedict is also, as the text suggests, a war hero, but that’s not a big deal.They are joined by a fine supporting cast including the rich-voiced Brian Stokes Mitchell (‘Ragtime,’ ‘Kiss Me Kate’) as Don Pedro. O’Brien even finds a spot where Mitchell can sing a bit.”

“Much Ado About Nothing,” through July 6. Tickets are free, and distributed two per person at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, beginning at 12 p.m. on the day of each performance. More information is available at publictheater.org.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Craig Barritt (Cranston); Joan Marcus (Rabe)]]>
<![CDATA[Style Spotlight: Go Global]]> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 06:34:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cn+traveler.JPG Joelle meets up with Conde Nast Traveler's Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzman for a look at how to add some global inspiration into your wardrobe this summer without even leaving the city.]]> <![CDATA[A Floating Lobster Shack]]> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:42:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/floating+lobster.jpg There's nothing better than seafood during the Summer. We found the coolest place to grab a lobster roll - and the best part - it's FREE!]]> <![CDATA["After Midnight" Will Close June 29]]> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:00:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/493263885TK00011_2014_Tony_.jpg

“After Midnight” will play its final performance on June 29 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The musical, celebrating the best in song and dance from the 1920s Cotton Club era, will have played 272 regular performances by the time of its closing. “After Midnight” was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards, including best musical, and won one award, Best Choreography (Warren Carlyle).

A closing notice comes as somewhat of a surprise. The well-reviewed show had already booked a summer of Grammy-winning A-listers in the “special guest star” role, including Gladys Knight, who was supposed to perform from July 8 through Aug. 3 and Natalie Cole, who was supposed to make her Broadway debut in the show from Aug. 5 through Aug. 31. The duo even appeared at an after-party celebrating Patti LaBelle, who joined the show last week after original special guest star Fantasia departed. LaBelle will continue performances in the role through the show’s closing.

Lead producer Scott Sanders told The New York Times that he hoped the show would remain open until August, but in order to do that, contract concessions would have had to be made by more than a dozen theatrical unions to allow the show to temporarily shut down over the July 4 week. Such a temporary closure would have helped producers avoid poor ticket sales between LaBelle's and Knight’s scheduled appearances. Unable to do that, they decided to do close instead. A national tour is in discussions.

The Times also reports that “Honeymoon in Vegas,” Jason Robert Brown’s musical adaptation of the 1992 film which had a critically acclaimed run at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse last year, will begin performances at the Atkinson this fall. No official announcements have been made. 

Photo Credit: Theo Wargo]]>
<![CDATA[Andrew Rannells is Your New Hedwig]]> Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:08:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/496295351AP00013_Jersey_Boy.jpg

While you were still crying your face off at Audra McDonald's Tony speech, here's what was happening this week In the Wings. 

Andrew Rannells will replace Neil Patrick Harris in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” The “Girls” and “New Normal” star, last seen on Broadway in his Tony-nominated role in “The Book of Mormon,” will begin performances for a limited eight-week engagement beginning Aug. 20. “Hedwig," which was originally slated to end its limited run upon Harris’ Aug. 17 exit, took home four Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical and a lead actor in a musical trophy for Harris. An original cast recording is out now. [More info]

New York City Center has set their 2015 Encores! season. The series is dedicated to performing full scores of musicals that are rarely heard in New York City. The 2015 season will kick off on Feb. 4, 2015 with George and Ira Gershwin’s “Lady, Be Good.” The season will continue with Lerner and Loewe’s “Paint Your Wagon” (March 18-22, 2015) followed by John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “Zorba!” (May 6-10, 2015). [More info]

“Buyer & Cellar” will play its final performance at the Barrow Street Theatre on July 27. The long-running, critically-acclaimed one-man show, currently starring Barrett Foa, will have played 458 performances during its Barrow Street engagement. The national tour, starring Michael Urie, who originated the role here in New York, will continue. A London production will open in Spring 2015. [More info]

“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” has extended its limited engagement through Aug. 31. The play stars Audra McDonald as jazz legend Billie Holiday, giving a concert performance a few months before her death. McDonald won a record-breaking sixth Tony Award for the role. [More info]

“Mothers and Sons” will play its final performance at the John Golden Theatre on June 22. Terrence McNally’s play, a 2014 Tony nominee for Best Play, will have had 104 regular performances by the time of its closing. The drama stars Tyne Daly, a 2014 Tony nominee for leading actress in a play, as a mother struggling to move on from the death of her son 20 years ago. A national tour is in the works. [More info]

The Tony Awards Administration Committee has decided to eliminate future awards for best sound design of a play and of a musical. No word on the official reasons, but The New York Times has reported that the decision was largely driven by Tony voters who didn’t know how to assess sound design and didn’t vote. There are also some who feel that sound design is more of a technical craft than a theatrical art form. An online petition with over 25,000 signatures so far had been created to bring the awards back. 

This isn’t the only controversy The Tony Awards found themselves in this year. Backlash has ensued because the show did not broadcast its In Memoriam segment this year. Organizers have, however, put the segment online, which you can watch below:

Photo Credit: Ben Gabbe]]>
<![CDATA[Jake Gyllenhaal Ready For Broadway Debut]]> Sat, 14 Jun 2014 13:17:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/485619737MW00084_Floyd_Mayw.jpg

Jake Gyllenhaal is coming to Broadway.

The Oscar-nominated actor will star in the American premiere of “Constellations,” an acclaimed new romantic drama by Nick Payne. The limited engagement production will begin previews Dec. 16, for a Jan. 13, 2015, opening night at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Michael Longhurst, who directed a 2012 production for London’s Royal Court Theatre, will direct.

“Constellations” examines the early stages of love through quantum physics, exploring fate, the depths of desires and the infinite possibilities around a first encounter. Gyllenhall will play Roland, a beekeeper who falls madly in love with Marianne, a physicist. (The role of Marianne has yet to be cast.)

The show is a reunion for Gyllenhaal, Longhurst and Payne, who previously collaborated in a 2012 Off-Broadway production of “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet” for the Roundabout Theatre Company. “Constellations” will be the Broadway debut for all three.

Other shows in the MTC’s 2014-15 season include Donald Margulies’ “The Country House,” starring Blythe Danner, David Auburn’s “Lost Lake,” starring John Hawkes and Tracie Thoms, and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhing’s “The World of Extreme Happiness.” More information about subscriptions and single ticket purchases can be found at www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Photo Credit: Harry How]]>
<![CDATA[NBC4NY Dads Share Family Photos, What They Like Best About Being Fathers]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:31:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/cimino+dad+photo.jpg Some of our NBC 4 New York dads -- those on camera and those behind the scenes -- talk about the best parts of being fathers and share photos of them and their children.]]> <![CDATA[Dishing with Amar'e Stoudemire and Chef Max]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 06:20:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/235*120/ChefMaxWeb.JPG New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire and famous Chef Max Hardy team up to talk about their favorite recipes, Amar'e's fashion sense and their new book "Cooking with Amar'e."

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Summer Rain Gear]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 06:19:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/summer+rain+gear.png Lilliana Vazquez meets up with Jessica Romm from Pure Wow to check out some fashion forward summer rain gear.]]> <![CDATA[Breaking Bad Beauty Habits]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:36:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/237*120/NailBite1.JPG We're all guilty of a bad habit or two...but to look and feel your best you need to learn how to break them! Bahar Takhtehchian, Editor-at-Large at Shape Magazine, show us some great products that can help break those bad beauty habits.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Style Spotlight: Ballet Fashion]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:33:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/187*120/BalletFashionPic.jpg.jpg Style Expert Lilliana Vazquez meets up with Teen Vogue's Editor in Chief Amy Astley to get the scoop on the ballet fashion trend.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Review: "Fly By Night," at Playwrights Horizons]]> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 07:10:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FBNMainITW.jpg

The great Northeast blackout of 1965 is the backdrop for “Fly By Night,” an often magical, occasionally meandering “rock fable” kept aloft by a winning group of stage vets. The dark musical, composed by a trio of multi-tasking Yale grads, is having its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons.

Youthful pros Adam Chanler-Berat, Patti Murin and Allison Case form the charming love triangle at the center of “Fly By Night,” which at heart is a tale about the deeply personal ways we all power through life’s darkness. Chanler-Berat is Harold, a frustrated sandwich maker whose mother has just died. Murin and Case are Daphne and Miriam, sisters from South Dakota, who venture to New York so extrovert Daphne can pursue an acting career.

Other players include Harold’s dad, Mr. McClam (Peter Friedman); Crabble (Michael McCormick, hysterical), the aptly-named owner of the sandwich shop where Harold robotically assembles lunch for the masses; and a narrator (Obie honoree Henry Stram), who here serves a purpose much like that of the narrator of “The Fantasticks,” a musical “Fly By Night” frequently calls to mind.

“Fly By Night” eschews a linear structure, and that’s one of its major strengths. Though set over the course of a year, it jumps around in time, revisiting the same moments, but with new context. An early scene has Harold awkwardly playing guitar at a local watering hole’s amateur’s night, singing about sea turtles. It’s not until later we learn why he’s there and what his song is truly about.

A sadness pervades “Fly By Night,” though it doesn’t overwhelm until the second act. For the first part of the story, we seem to be watching a relatable, albeit assembled-from-archetypes, piece about chance meetings and the decisions we make, and the ways both accidents and choices—even as small as picking up your mother’s old guitar—ripple out over the years.

Matters take a painful, and to my taste jarring, turn in the second act, which drives home a message about stopping to smell the roses … or in this case, stare at the constellations. The twists at the end don’t feel as if they’re in keeping with the first two hours. That’s the musical’s major weakness, though the scenic design and lighting (by David Korins and Jeff Croiter) gorgeously transform the Mainstage into a powerless Gotham.

As a nebbishy heartthrob, Chanler-Berat, a gifted comic soul, evokes past performances in “Next to Normal” and “Peter and the Starcatcher” (he’s literally, again, dealing here with “star stuff”). A crackler of a song, “Eternity,” has the young man and his beaten-down boss expressing their frustration at having to spend their days methodically slathering bread with mayonnaise.


Ever since The Public’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” I’ve been tuned into Murin (above left, with Case), who enlivened all her proceedings with spot-on comic timing, hopefulness and a delightful sprinkling of actress-like narcissism. That applies here, as well.

Case (“Hands on a Hardbody”), meanwhile, is just swell as Miriam, whose outlook on life is so sunny that she eagerly picks up a graveyard shift at a greasy spoon on her arrival from the sticks, but asks her boss: “Um, can we call it the Twilight Shift?” A solo, “Stars, I trust,” lingers in the mind after you’ve left the theater.

Friedman’s turn as a spouse clinging to the memory of a night once shared with his beloved was one of the most piercing and truthful things about “Fly By Night.”

At two-and-a-half hours, “Fly By Night” could use some judicious trimming. A subplot involving a neurotic playwright (Bryce Ryness, of “Hair”) enchanted with Daphne may be necessary for certain parallels to work, but it bogs things down.

One-time classmates Michael Mitnick, Kim Rosenstock and Will Connolly share credit for the music and story, which has been percolating in various incarnations since 2009. Rosenstock is a staff writer for the sitcom “New Girl.” Connolly is a singer-songwriter who has performed in Broadway’s “Once,” while Mitnick contributed lyrics to the “King Kong” musical that opened last year in Australia.

The final scenes of “Fly By Night” had me reliving our own blackout of 11 years ago, though I couldn’t help wondering whether a play that purports to hinge on such an event shouldn’t introduce it more robustly earlier in the proceedings. Still, the take-away fits in rather perfectly with the setting. To paraphrase Stram’s narrator: You can’t have the lights without sometimes having a blackout.

“Fly By Night,” through June 29 at Playwrights Horizons, 416 W. 42nd St. Tickets: Starting at $75. Call 212-279-4200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[“HIMYM” Lead Is “Disgraced”]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:34:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/478468839FH00068_The_Paley_.jpg

A successful Muslim-American lawyer and his artist wife live a comfortable life on the Upper East Side, until a co-worker and her husband come to dinner and the conversation rips apart everyone’s views on race, identity and relationships.

That’s the plot of Ayad Akhtarwill’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “Disgraced,” which will begin previews on Sept. 27 before an Oct. 23 opening at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre.

A 2012-production of “Disgraced” was previously produced Off-Broadway by LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater. Kimberly Senior, who directed that production as well as an early production at Chicago’s American Theater Company, will direct the 90-minute one-act play again for Broadway.

The four-person cast will include “How I Met Your Mother” star Josh Radnor and actress Gretchen Mol (“The Notorious Bettie Page,” TV’s “Boardwalk Empire”). Hari Dhillon (TV’s “Holby City”), will reprise his performance in the drama from its 2013 London engagement, as will Karen Pittman, previously of the LCT3 production.

This isn't Radnor's Broadway debut. Before finding fame in his CBS sitcom, he appeared on Broadway in 2002 alongside Kathleen Turner and Alicia Silverstone in “The Graduate.” This will be his first role since “How I Met Your Mother” ended it’s nine-season run this past spring.

An on-sale date for tickets for the general public and to Lincoln Center Theater members is expected soon. For more information, visit www.disgracedonbroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison]]>
<![CDATA["Gentleman's Guide" Named Best Musical; Cranston, NPH Win Tonys]]> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 08:29:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/450309374.jpg

“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” the dark comic musical in which vicious slayings are played for laughs in Edwardian England, won four honors at Sunday’s 68th Annual Tony Awards, including the night’s top prize, best musical.

The evening, hosted for the fourth time by stage and screen star Hugh Jackman, also saw Audra McDonald take home a historic sixth Tony Award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.”

“I want to thank all the shoulders of the strong and brave and courageous women that I am standing on,” McDonald said, fighting back tears. “And, most of all, Billie Holiday. You deserve so much more than you got when you were on this earth. This is for you, Billie.”

With Sunday's award, McDonald became the first Broadway performer to win awards in all four acting categories at the Tonys. She previously won as best featured actress in a play ("A Raisin in the Sun" and "Master Class"), best lead actress in a musical ("The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess") and best featured actress in a musical ("Ragtime" and "Carousel").

“All the Way,” a three-hour political drama about the first year of Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency, went two for two, winning best play and the top acting prize for Bryan Cranston, in his Broadway debut.

“When you can feel an audience and set emotional change, it’s like a drug,” the “Breaking Bad” star said backstage. “It’s as strong as blue crystal meth.”

Neil Patrick Harris, who has hosted the Tonys four times, found himself accepting his first award for his thrilling turn as a transgendered East German rock star in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” The musical, written by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, also took home four statues, including honors for best revival of a musical and best featured actress for Lena Hall.

As the clock slipped past midnight, Harris worked his way to the press room, where he said the last year of his life has been “spectacular.”

“It’s been a remarkably awesome year for me. To have hosted last year’s Tony, and have that opening number be bigger than I thought it was going to be, and then through Season 9 of ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ …. Then ‘Hedwig’ starts, and we move to New York, and then it ends with people voting for me for this," he said. "It’s been a blast.”

Jackman opened the show bouncing around the Radio City Music Hall stage, interacting with nominees and Tony guests, including Clint Eastwood. In the number, choreographed by “After Midnight” Tony winner Warren Carlyle, the Aussie superstar channeled Bobby Van, the musical actor who famously bounced throughout “Street Dance” in the 1953 musical film “Small Town Girl.”

Jackman, below, also hopped through the closing number, with all the Tony winners joining in.

The show was packed with superstar performances from A-list talent. Fantasia Barrino, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight led off the night with a rousing rendition of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” from “After Midnight.” Later, Sting sang and performed a new song from his upcoming musical, “The Last Ship.”

Carole King united with Jessie Mueller and the cast of “Beautiful,” for a rocking duet on “I Feel The Earth Move.”

“I never thought I’d get to sing with you once in my life, let alone twice,” Mueller said, addressing King as she accepted her Tony as Lead Actress in a Musical for “Beautiful.” King just saw “Beautiful” last month, and the duo sang together during the curtain call.

Most of the Tony-nominated shows performed, as did some of the shows not nominated in the top categories this season, including Idina Menzel’s “If/Then” and “Bullets Over Broadway.” The current Galinda and Elphaba in “Wicked” also sang “For Good,” in a tribute to the musical’s 10th year on Broadway.

But it was James Monroe Iglehart, the “Aladdin” genie who won best featured actor in a musical, who brought down the house with a performance of “Friend Like Me.”

When asked backstage how he kept his energy up, he joked,“If I don’t, they’ll find someone else to do it ... and we don’t want them to do that.”

The Tonys weren’t without surprises. “A Raisin in the Sun” took home awards for best revival of a play, best director (Kenny Leon) and best featured actress (Sophie Okonedo).

Those awards were expected to go to the team behind the acclaimed revival of “The Glass Menagerie.” The Tennessee Williams classic did take home its first-ever Tony, however, with Natasha Katz’s win for best lighting design.

“The Bridges of Madison County,” which opened early in the season but shuttered due to slow box office, took home two awards, best score and best orchestrations, for Jason Robert Brown. The wins came even though the tuner wasn't nominated for best musical.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions]]>