<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usFri, 28 Oct 2016 08:44:38 -0400Fri, 28 Oct 2016 08:44:38 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![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[Where to Watch the Votes Come in on Election Night]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:26:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/election_party.jpg

On Nov. 8, voters and politicians all over the country will be watching closely to see if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Clinton will be watching from the Jacob Javits Center.  A surrogate said Trump will also be in New York, though it's not clear where.

Where will you be on election night? We have gathered a list of the biggest watch parties you can join in NYC.

Mary O's, 32 Avenue A, is an Irish pub that offers a full bar to calm election night nerves. Admission to the party is free, however there is a $20 minimum for food and drink.

Repair the World, 808 Nostrand Ave., is hosting Kegs with a Conscience: Election Watch Party. The Brooklyn bar will have a keg and an assortment of food to keep you entertained.

Q.E.D. - A Place to Show & Tell, 2716 23rd Ave., has a $12 ticket fee that includes food from Andrew and Frank's and entertainment hosts on site to "provide witty banter, prizes and emotional support." Grab your tickets soon because the Queens event hosted by Rory Scholl and Mike Gregorek, has limited seating. Tickets will be available for $17 after Oct. 31. 

Distilled, 211 West Broadway, is hosting the Election Night Pantsuit Party. Tickets range from $30 to $50. The ticket includes three election night drinks, including a selection of bespoke patriotic cocktails and delectable snacks. Your best formal attire is recommended.

The Bell House, 149 Seventh Street, is throwing The Gist and Trumpcast Election Night Extravaganza hosted by podcasters Mike Pesca and Jacob Weisberg. Viewers have an opportunity to share some laughs with comedians as well as chat with influential thinkers and writers about the election night showdown. Tickets are $30.

Stout NYC, 60 East 41st Street, is throwing a watch party for young professionals to meet up called Our Voices, Our Election: Mix and Chat Election Watch Party hosted by WomenWerk. Stout NYC offers a variety dining options such as salads, burgers, seafood, pizza and a wide array of Irish Whiskeys. 

El Original, 735 10th Ave., will be the ultimate party stop for a stressless election night. The Tex-mex restaurant will be airing the coverage with election night games, live band karaoke, food and drink specials.

The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, is where you can find the Political Party With Keli Goff: Election Night Party. The $20 admission fee includes live coverage, analysis from witty, clever and funny experts, a chance to play politically inspired bingo and answer trivia questions to win public radio prizes and one complementary drink.

Revolution Mill Holdings Inc., 25 Broadway, will be throwing a free watch party filled with snacks, drinks and real-time election coverage. Tickets can be reserved in advance.

Photo Credit: Clipart.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fab 'Falsettos' Cast Forms a Tight-Knit Family ]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:56:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FalsettosMain.jpg

“Falsettos” -- that very New York tear-jerker of a musical masterpiece by James Lapine and William Finn -- gets an extraordinarily satisfying and modern-seeming revival from Lincoln Center and Jujamcyn Theaters.

A 1992 Broadway debut, “Falsettos” was an amalgam of two off-Broadway tuners: “March of the Falsettos” (1981) and “Falsettoland” (1990). Think for a moment about our city and what it was like to be gay during that interval for a sense of the disparate tone of the two acts.

The production now at the Walter Kerr Theatre has the good fortune to be directed by Lapine, who with Finn won Tony Awards for both the “Falsettos” score and book. There isn’t a throwaway song among the 35-plus in this grand affair.

The cast -- we first meet the men dressed as figures from the Old Testament in a rousing curtain-raiser -- is, in fact, led by two gentiles: Christian Borle (“Something Rotten”), as fumbling dad Marvin, and Andrew Rannells (“Hamilton,” “Hedwig”) as his boyfriend, the stylish pretty boy Whizzer.

As “Falsettos” gets going, it’s 1979 and Marvin has left wife Trina (Stephanie J. Block, the talented “Edwin Drood” Tony nominee) for Whizzer, but he still wants a tight-knit family and sees no reason why wife, son and lover shouldn’t eat meals together.

Trina, unable to cope with the abandonment, begins to see, then date, Marvin’s therapist … surely a violation of at least two American Psychiatric Association mandates, but I’m looking the other way. Meanwhile, Marvin and Trina’s son, Jason, is preparing for his bar mitzvah, listening to prayers on his “Walkerman,” as mom calls it.

All characters in “Falsettos” are going through a trajectory of finding themselves, even as their family and work lives are unfolding in ways they couldn’t have predicted.

“I hold to the ground as the ground keeps shifting, keeping my balance square,” Trina sings.

Borle is bluff and straightforward. He has an easy intimacy with Rannells, who is doing the best work of his career as the stereotypical gay guy obsessed with clothes and sex, who realizes his own fullness and maturity as a makeshift stepfather.

Block, as Trina, tries to be sophisticated, accommodating Whizzer because he’s nice to her and good to her son. I’ve seen quite a few productions of “Falsettos,” and she is giving my favorite-ever performance of “I’m Breaking Down,” her props a knife, two bananas and a couple of limp carrots -- just use your imagination.

Brandon Uranowitz (“An American in Paris”) brings a playful interpretation to Mendel, the therapist who spars verbally with everyone and is neurotic in a central casting, identifiably Jewish sort of way.

Talented newcomer Anthony Rosenthal -- is there a more New York name than Anthony Rosenthal? -- has the plum role of pre-bar mitzvah Jason, the pre-teen with no road map for figuring out how all these adults fit into his life.

A crucial component of “Falsettos” is how it depicts the friendship between Jason and Whizzer, which develops during a time when there was no pop culture effluvia -- I’m talking to you, “Daddy’s Roommate” -- to help navigate matters. On those lines, Rannells and Rosenthal play off one another magnificently in the beloved number “The Baseball Game.”

The “lesbians from next door,” a doctor and caterer, are played warmly by Tracie Thoms and Betsy Wolfe. Wolfe is exceptionally lovable as the cook too aware that her partner saves lives while she “saves chicken fat.” Both women have an equal commitment to their responsibilities.

David Rockwell’s adventuresome set features a skyline backdrop, but the key element is a foam cube that’s something like a life-sized 3D Tangram. It pulls apart to become furniture or the doorway of an apartment.

A family oriented musical about one kid and a half-dozen adults becoming fully realized humans, “Falsettos” is grounded in ideas that came before gay liberation or AIDS. Is there a theme more universal than the mystery of why some people fall in love? This eloquent take bridges age and cultural boundaries and is as timeless as they come.

“Falsettos,” on sale through Jan. 8, at the Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St. Tickets: Starting at $42. Call 800-982-2787.

Follow RobertKahn on Twitter@RobertKahn 

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Zagat 2017: Top NYC Restaurants and New Dining Trends]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:43:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/zagat+lead.jpg Where there are great eateries and hungry (hangry?) people, there are great Zagat categories.

Photo Credit: lostacos1.com]]>
<![CDATA[And the Most Coveted Dining Reservation in NYC Is ... ]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:36:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/mini+tacos.jpg

Zagat's 2017 New York City restaurants results are in: French food still reigns supreme.

Le Bernardin earned the Top Food award for the eighth year in a row, a rare achievement in the restaurant guide's 38-year history. The elite French eatery also swept Top Service, Most Popular, Top French and Top Seafood. Best décor went to Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. 

French-American restaurant Kingsley in the East Village is this year's top-rated newcomer. Not far behind are Quality Eats, sandwich joint High Street on Hudson, and Cafe Altro Paradiso. 

Good luck securing a reservation at David Chang's Momofuku Nishi — it's the most coveted reservation on this year's list.

A few buzzworthy restaurants that didn't make the cut include Midtown East's Agern, a Scandinavian eatery, and Japanese izayaka Karasu.

New Yorkers love their carbs: 55 percent of New Yorkers surveyed said they approve of the influx of pizza-pasta-focused restaurants popping up throughout the city. Maybe President Obama could suggest a place with a great Chicago deep dish; Zagat diners said they'd trust him with a restaurant recommendation over all others presidents past, present or future. 

Among other winners in the city were Juliana's Pizza (best pizza), Los Tacos No. 1 (best Mexican), Mu Ramen (best ramen), Peter Pan Donuts (best donut), Absolute Bagels (best bagels) and Two Little Red Hens (best dessert).

To celebrate its 2017 restaurants results, the survey guide opened a "Tiny Cafe" pop-up shop serving bite-sized treats on the corner of Astor Place and Cooper Square in the East Village Thursday morning.

Tiny Cafe will be open Thursday Oct. 27 through Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Botanical Garden Glows Orange for Halloween]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:58:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Denvers_Botanical_Garden_Glows_Orange_for_Halloween_1200x675_790853187746.jpg Halloween is on display at Denver's botanical garden.]]> <![CDATA[Get Ready for Girl Scout Cookie Cereals, Starting Next Year]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:46:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/girl+scouts+cookie+cereal.jpg

Attention all Thin Mints fanatics: Two flavors of Girl Scout Cookies are coming to cereal boxes this winter.

General Mills is teaming up with the Girl Scouts to launch limited edition Girl Scout cookie cereals, the company says.

Thin Mints and Caramel Crunch (you know them as Samoas, in cookie form) are the featured cereal flavors. Starting in January 2017, the Girl Scout cookie cereals will be available nationwide, according to General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas. 

It will come out as the Girl Scouts mark 100 years of selling their world famous cookies in 2017. 

From the Girls Scouts website: "It started in 1917 when Girl Scouts in Muskogee, Oklahoma, did what Girl Scouts everywhere always do. They had a great idea. The girls of Mistletoe Troop hit upon the clever idea to fund their projects by selling cookies they made themselves in their kitchens at home."

Over a million girls have sold the signature cookies to help teach empowerment and life skills. 

Photo Credit: General Mills
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<![CDATA[David Hyde Pierce Finds 'A Life' Comes With No Certainties]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 20:40:39 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ALifeMain.jpg

In Adam Bock’s notes for “A Life,” a world premiere now at Playwrights Horizons, the author reports that both his parents died in quick succession -- seven weeks apart -- just a few years ago.

The “heartbreaking and incomprehensible” event has clearly informed the Obie Award winner’s disarming 85-minute drama, which features an unsettling performance by theater mainstay David Hyde Pierce, as an everyman gay New Yorker in his mid-50s.

Single (again) and with a caring social circle, Pierce’s Nate Martin, an ad agency proofreader, might well have been a stand-in for half the audience members at the recent performance I attended. He’s a guy like us. That’s relevant, given the startling direction “A Life” veers off in, halfway through.

“A Life” is staged upstairs at PH’s tiny Peter Jay Sharp Theater, and so when Pierce begins with a funny monologue about Nate’s interest in astrology, speaking from the orange sofa in his cozy apartment, we have the sense this is a one-on-one chat.

Nate turned to the stars decades earlier for help making sense of life after a chart reader promised wealth on the horizon … and then it materialized, in a way. His sense is that astrology may be as useful as any other roadmap for explaining the random events that comprise his life, or ours.

And then, a random event materializes. Stop reading if you want to avoid a big spoiler: In the middle of jotting a note on his to do list -- a ho-hum reminder to request a move at the office, away from a gum-chewing pod mate -- Nate grabs his arm and that’s it. It’s a heart attack.

Pierce pulls off the abrupt scene so effectively that for a moment I thought about calling 911. For the uncomfortable four or five minutes after, little happens: the lighting changes and we hear voices on the street, indicating the passage of time. All the while, Nate’s on the floor, slumped over.

Eventually, Nate’s friend Curtis (the relatable Brad Heberlee) gets help breaking into the apartment and discovers his friend’s body.

The rest of “A Life” depicts the banal mechanics of what happens when, say, you die in your apartment. You’ve thought about it, right? Other people going through your stuff? How everyone else’s life just … goes on?

The medical examiner’s team comes to remove Nate’s body. Curtis is there, trying to process his own shock, but the ME puts him off for a minute to answer her cellphone. It’s a call from her friend, who wants to talk about the new Fiat 500L she just bought: There will be no: “Hey, let me call you back.”

Later, two workers prepare Pierce’s body for burial, clipping his toenails, slathering moisturizer on his scrawny legs and finding the right shade of makeup for his colorless lips (“nude” works best). The women play music and chat about their dreary lives.

Laura Jellinek’s set for Nate’s apartment adjusts dramatically for the final scenes, which have Curtis and Nate’s sister (Lynne McCollough) giving eulogies at the funeral. Lighting and scenic design mesh to end the show with us believing we see Nate walking into his own coffin.

At the same time, we hear Nate speak in voiceover, talking about “the weight of the earth pressing down on the wood” of his casket. “A Life” is a cold, searingly honest and effective reality check. Every life includes a death.

“A Life,” through Nov. 27 at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 416 W. 42nd St. Tickets: $55-$99. Call 212-279-4200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[A Resistance Heroine Tries to Find Purpose in 'Plenty' ]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:55:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PlentyMain.jpg

Rachel Weisz is mesmerizing in the first New York revival of “Plenty,” the 1978 David Hare drama about a female British secret agent whose dissatisfying post-war life drives her slowly mad -- but the award-winning actress would have been better served by a more coherently directed and designed production.

The Public Theater produced the first staging of “Plenty” in 1982, starring Kate Nelligan. A few years later, it was a celebrated Meryl Streep film. “Plenty” is now at The Public again, directed by five-time Tony nominee David Leveaux (“Nine,” “The Real Thing”).

“Plenty” is a story about grand expectations and subsequent disillusionment in the wake of World War II, when there was an unrealized belief that post-war England would be in a period of wealth: “We’re all going to be rich … peace and plenty,” says Alice (Emily Bergl), the Bohemian roommate of Weisz’s unstable Susan Traherne.

We meet Susan at the “end” of her story, in her flat, where she and Alice (Emily Bergl) are considering a lump on the floor: a mildly obese, naked man, bleeding from his thumb. The man is her diplomat husband (Corey Stoll), who isn’t dead, as he first appears, but is, at least, ruined. Susan has been working diligently to destroy his career.

From there, we flash back 20 years to France, where Susan is at her most vibrant, as a teenager aiding the resistance. A soldier has parachuted into a field and their worries about avoiding the Gestapo paint a clear picture of her as an adrenaline junkie.

So what’s an adrenaline junkie to do when world affairs defy her another hit? Have a long, slow meltdown, it turns out.

Part of my difficulty with “Plenty” is that it can be hard to follow the chronology, even though we know it’s a non-linear story. Scenes are set between 1943 and 1962, and though they progress almost sequentially, there is little connective tissue from one to another.

In Leveaux’s interpretation, I was particularly unsure what time or place it was. Perhaps it was the dim lighting and relatively spare visual cues. Or maybe it was the fact Weisz is costumed as a fashion model with seemingly no regard for a given era.

Weisz, at least, offers a consistent portrayal of a woman who is manic, manipulative and hollow. The character’s arc is devastating, but -- and I mean this in the best possible way -- her performance is like a slow-motion car crash from which you can’t avert your eyes.

Stoll, seen this summer in The Public’s “Troilus and Cressida,” does good work as her listless and co-dependent spouse, Raymond Brock, whose eyes seem willingly shut to his wife’s deterioration. Bergl is excellent as the fun-loving and enabling roommate.

I also enjoyed Byron Jennings (Roundabout’s “She Loves Me”) as Leonard Darwin, a foreign serviceman, and Brock’s superior, whose crisis of conscience over English involvement in the Suez Canal fiasco is a metaphor for the crumbling British empire.

The turntable set features enormous moving walls, topped off by bars of electric light. A climactic scene that has Susan reliving her great, long ago period of perceived relevance sees one wall gradually leaning back on hydraulics to simulate a cliff, but its slow descent was a distraction from the already difficult-to-track proceedings.

“Plenty,” through Dec. 1 at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. Tickets: $95 and up. Call 212-967-7555.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA['Bandstand' Swings to Broadway]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:44:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BandstandMusical.jpg

After a critically acclaimed world premiere engagement at Paper Mill Playhouse last fall, the new musical "Bandstand" will transfer to Broadway this spring --with an opening night set for April 26, 2017.

Starring Laura Osnes ("Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella") and Corey Cott ("Newsies"), "Bandstand" brings the smoke-filled, swing-fueled night clubs of 1945 to life with a brand new score from first-time Broadway composing and writing team of Richard Oberacker (music) and Robert Taylor (lyrics).

Oberacker and Taylor collaborate on the book for the piece, too. Its story is focused on a group of WWII veterans led by a singer/songwriter (Cott) who team with a young war widow (Osnes) to create a swing band of a national radio competition.

The show wants to illustrate how art can help people heal from tragedy and loss during tough times.

An official theater, full company, and first performance date are expected to be announced shortly. 

Choreography will come from Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler, of "Hamilton" fame. He told The New York Times his hip-hop choreography is actually rooted in swing -- music he himself used to learn to dance. 

"In so many random ways, those styles of the '40s and'’50s are so similar to hip-hop -- a group of people trying to give voice to unrest," he revealed. "Even though this is a period piece, it feels like a contemporary piece of theater."

For more information and tickets, visit bandstandbroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Nathan Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[Jake Gyllenhaal's Broadway Return Postponed ]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:39:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-539752478.jpg

Fans of Jake Gyllenhaal are going to have to wait a little bit longer for the 35-year-old actor to return to Broadway.

A scheduling conflict for Gyllenhaal has caused the revival of Lanford Wilson's acclaimed 1987 play "Burn This" to back out of its planned run this spring. It is now aiming for a premiere sometime during the 2017-18 season, the show's producers said in an email to NBC 4 New York.

Tony winner Michael Mayer ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch") was set to direct the play. Performances were slated to begin in February ahead of a March 6 opening.

The revival was also to re-open the Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street. The playhouse originally opened in 1903 and is currently going through an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation funded by the Ambassador Theatre Group.

Producers told NBC 4 New York they'll be looking for a new home outside of the Hudson Theatre for the show when it returns.

"Burn This" originally premiered on Broadway in 1987 in a production starring John Malkovich and Joan Allen. 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.

Gyllenhaal -- who who made his Broadway debut in 2015's "Constellations" -- isn't running away from the New York stage entirely, though.

Why, from Oct. 24 - Oct. 26, he'll lead 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.

Photo Credit: Theo Wargo]]>
<![CDATA[New Horror Film Fest Kicks Off in NYC, 65-Plus Screenings]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:54:46 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/208*120/Bates+Motel.JPG

We all go a little mad sometimes. And now horror film fanatics really have something to go crazy about.

A new movie festival, FEARnyc, kicks off Friday and runs through Oct. 27, bringing more than 65 screenings of new and classic horror films to scary movie lovers at Cinema Village on East 12th Street in Greenwich Village. 

From classics like "Psycho," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Nightmare on Elm Street" to new movies including "Dead Awake," the new film from "Final Destination" creator Jeffrey Reddick and Gedeon Burkhard's "The Key," the fear-inspiring festival will have a flick for every horror aficionado. 

There are some fun events, too: a screening of "The Exorcist" will begin with a seance led by a renowned psychic, and a screening of the original "Halloween" will kick off with a party featuring candy bags and games for the audience. 

FEARnyc will also hold an award ceremony honoring the year's best horror films with a special tribute to icon Wes Craven to be attended by members of his family and cast members who starred in his myriad films. 

Tickets ($12 general admission, $8 seniors) are available on FEARnyc.com. A limited number of Festival Passes, which include admission to every screening in the festival as well as the award ceremony, are available for $125.

For the complete lineup of screenings and events, click here

<![CDATA[Big Names Headline Revival of B'way Classic 'The Front Page']]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 03:32:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TheFrontPageMain.jpg

Stop the presses! Nathan Lane, John Slattery and John Goodman are just three of the big names on stage in a swell revival of the frenetic comedy “The Front Page,” now on the boards at The Broadhurst Theatre.

Written nearly a century ago by former newspapermen Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, “The Front Page” was the basis for “His Girl Friday,” the classic screwball film starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

Broadway’s grand-looking new production, helmed by Jack O’Brien (“It’s Only a Play”), is split into three acts: Each begins and ends with a bang, in this case the popping of a camera flash illuminating in relief whomever happens to be on stage.

With so many characters to introduce, it takes a while for “The Front Page” to hit its stride. Lane, the top-billed star as foul-mouthed editor Walter Burns, doesn’t make his entrance until the end of the second act, more than 90 minutes in, when things really pick up.

Before then, we meet the motley reporters in the press room of the Chicago Criminal Courts Building, who are panting with anticipation over the impending execution of a cop killer. When the convict escapes, scurrilous Chicago Examiner journos Hildy Johnson (Slattery) and Burns find themselves with the proverbial scoop of a lifetime.

Lane is in classic form as a single-minded editor with a heart of ice—a guy who knows a local exclusive will sell more papers than a story about a million people killed in an earthquake on the other side of the Pacific. He earns serious guffaws for a bit where he tries, and fails, to move a roll-top desk across the press room.

We need only wait a beat for the laughter when Slattery, of AMC’s “Mad Men,” tells his colleagues that he’s giving up newspapers for an advertising job in Manhattan. Like Lane, he’s adept with the physical comedy, and seems to be having a great time.

Goodman doesn’t fare quite as well in a one-note role as the sheriff whose ineptitude allows killer Earl Williams (John Magaro) to flee. The big gold star he wears on his chest underscores his character’s cartoonishness.

Jefferson Mays (“Oslo”) is hysterical as the germ-a-phobe reporter and aspiring poet in the press room. It’s good to see fine actor Dann Florek as the mayor who is more concerned with his reputation than justice.

Micah Stock, as an oafish cop named Woodenshoes, mimes his Tony-nominated coat check attendant from “It’s Only a Play,” with similar success. There is enormous love for Robert Morse (“How to Succeed…” on stage and screen, and “Mad Men”), who appears in a couple of brief scenes as an easily befuddled courier.

Like the industry it satirizes, “The Front Page” shows its age: The cast is jarringly lily white. Women are an afterthought—Halley Feiffer, as Hildy’s fiancée, Peggy, lives to serve her betrothed. Both Holland Taylor (as Peggy’s interfering mother) and Sherie Rene Scott (as an absolute loon in love with the murderer) meet ignominious, if somehow not fatal ends.

But, the pros in “The Front Page” know how to manage the material and deliver an ink-stained good time. This is a period piece that hearkens back to a time when reporters carried flasks and an HR rep would be tossed out a window if she introduced a dialogue about harassment or proper workplace behavior.

“The Front Page,” through Jan. 29, 2017 at The Broadhurst Theatre. Tickets: Starting at $104.72. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes]]>
<![CDATA[Happy Howl-oween: Pet Costumes Rule!]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 10:54:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PetCostumes-147696710644900001.jpg Halloween is just around the corner, and this year Americans are getting the whole family involved...including their pets.]]> <![CDATA[Have a Drink with Amy Ryan in Acidic 'Love, Love, Love']]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:38:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/LoveLoveLoveMain.jpg

Let’s begin with a simple observation about the new Roundabout dark comedy “Love, Love, Love”: Not since George and Martha drained gin by the bottle in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” has quite so much liquor been consumed on a stage.

Most of the boozing in this acidic and absorbing New York premiere from quick-witted Brit playwright Mike Bartlett (“King Charles III”) is done by Amy Ryan, the Oscar and two-time Tony Award nominee, as a carefree student and, later, parent, named Sandra.

In Bartlett’s three-act, two-intermission play—directed by Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening,” etc.)—Sandra ages 40 years, but the drinking never stops. She makes Martha look like a teetotaler.

“Love, Love, Love” is a surprising piece with an unusual structure, anchored by a reliance on popular music of the generations it depicts. Beatlemania is a subtext in the first act, which ends without any real clue about where Bartlett is going (comedy? drama?) or which characters are coming back.

At first it seems our focus will be on Henry (Alex Hurt, of Lincoln Center’s “Dada Woof…”), a stern laborer anticipating a date with Sandra. Henry is letting kid brother Kenneth (Richard Armitage) crash at his flat, and Kenneth doesn’t want to leave just because Henry’s having a girl over.

Older brother’s worst fears materialize when he steps out for a few minutes and returns to find Kenneth and Sandra in an embrace.

The next act flashes forward 20 years. Kenneth and Sandra are married, with two teens, Jamie and Rose (Ben Rosenfield and Zoe Kazan), and a bad case of middle-age malaise. The third and final act brings mom and dad, now divorced, together again with the kids, another generation later. 

So … is it better to be born smart, or lucky? That’s the question I found myself coming back to in the days after “Love, Love, Love,” which finally proves to be making a point—and asking hard questions—about entitlement, fortune and circumstance.

Neither Kenneth nor Amy are going to make it into Mensa, but their lives turned out OK. How much of that is simply a function of their times, when people could rely on pensions and golden handcuffs? Are their children, whose lives are far more stalled than the selfish parents, doomed to a more meager existence, simply by virtue of their birthdate?

And is it reasonable for the kids to be angry or aimless because of that?

Ryan is marvelous as a free-loving, free-wheeling adult who grows old, but doesn’t grow up. We should dislike Sandra. The woman feels no guilt about putting her own needs first in every relationship. But Ryan’s too good: She makes irresponsibility look interesting.

Armitage is charming as a slacker just a shade more self-aware than his wife. Kazan bubbles and boils as the only member of the family who worries about anything, and it’s her actions in the third act that tie things together and help distinguish “Love, Love, Love” from messier fare.

Scene designer Derek McLane nails the difficult task of making three static rooms exude the details of their respective decades. “Love, Love, Love” left me both amused, and consumed by thoughts about fortune and fate. This marks two seasons in a row with an engaging and fast-paced play by Mike Bartlett on our shores.

“Love, Love, Love,” through Dec. 18 at The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, 111 W 46th St. Tickets: $88-$99. Call 212-719-1300.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[M&M's Are Getting a New Filling]]> Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:09:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-452614600mandm.jpg

Your sweet tooth is in for a treat. Mars Chocolate has announced that M&M’s are getting a new filling — caramel.

A video on the M&M's Twitter account said caramel M&M's, with a deep blue package, will be available in May. 

CNN Money reported that it’s the first time the company is using caramel as a permanent filling. M&M has a history of trying out different flavors, and occasionally a new filling, such as peanuts, or pretzels. But a caramel center is very different.

"Caramel is extremely trendy," Vice-President of Research and Development of Mars Chocolate Hank Izzo told CNN. "It's a $2.2 billion flavor segment and the fastest growing segment in food right now. We want to be part of this category."

Izzo also told the news agency it's still getting the manufacturing process ready — hence the monthslong wait.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Janney, Hickey Lead 'Six Degrees of Separation' Revival]]> Tue, 18 Oct 2016 13:40:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SixDegreesCast.png

John Guare's acclaimed play "Six Degrees of Separation" will return to Broadway this spring in its first revival -- with seven-time Emmy winner Allison Janney (NBC's "The West Wing") and Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey ("The Normal Heart") leading the ensemble cast. 

Trip Cullman will direct the 15-week limited production -- which is set to open at the Barrymore Theater in April 2017.

Cullman is making his Broadway directing debut this season with Joshua Harmon's off-Broadway transfer "Significant Other," which opens March 2 at the Booth Theatre. 

"Six Degrees of Separation" was first on Broadway in 1992, in a production led by Hickey's "Good Wife" costar Stockard Channing. 

The play follows the story of a young black con man who poses as the son of actor Sidney Poitier to a wealthy New York couple (Janney and Hickey). Helping the boy -- who claims he was just mugged --Janney and Hickey invite him into their home and lives. But soon, they begin to piece together the truth about his identity. 

Typically boasting a cast of 17, the original production also starred John Cunningham ("Company"), Courtney B. Vance ("The People vs. O.J. Simpson"), Kelly Bishop ("Gilmore Girls"), Anthony Rapp ("Rent") and "Hedwig" creator and star John Cameron Mitchell, among others.

It was a finalist for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play.

Channing reprised her role in the 1993 film adaptation, which also starred Donald Sutherland and a then-newcomer Will Smith.

Full casting and production dates for the Broadway revival will be announced at a later date.

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez]]>
<![CDATA[Garage Door's Toothy Halloween Get-Up Goes Viral]]> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 20:46:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5612846171.jpg

This year, people and pets aren't the only ones getting dressed up for Halloween.

An Ohio woman's video showing her "monster house" decoration has gone mega-viral, with at least 23 million people in under a week watching a garage door adorned with teeth open and close. Complete with eyes on top, the effect is of a massive, fanged, car-eating monster — surely the most fearsome garage on the block.

The video was posted by Facebook user Amanda Destro Pierson, who says in the video's description she's a face painter. In a different video, also posted in Cleveland, she says she works as a product designer at a craft company and that she's hard at work getting a "monster house" kit ready for sales for next Halloween.

The idea appears to be a hit already, at least judging by some of the thousands of comments on Pierson's video that say "let's do this" or "I need this!"

In the meantime, the sudden popularity seems to have caught Pierson by surprise.

"Thank you guys so much for the overwhelming response," Pierson says in one of the videos. "Who would have known that my garage would be so popular?"

Photo Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[20 Haunted Houses to Visit in the Tri-State This October]]> Fri, 28 Oct 2016 07:00:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP_519258516434.jpg

With creepy clowns on the prowl across the nation these days, real life is beginning to feel like a horror movie. But for those who prefer to get their dose of the unearthly and macabre the old fashioned way, there are plenty of opportunities in the tri-state this Halloween season.

From the frightening forests of Connecticut to the wicked warehouses of New York City, there are dozens of attractions to check out. Most of them are in the $20 to $50 range and are open rain or shine through early November. Tickets tend to be cheaper online and some places give deals on weekdays.

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New York City

Blood Manor bills itself as "New York City's premiere haunted attraction." It's in a West Village warehouse filled with freaks, creeps, and yes, plenty of blood. In early November, the Manor will have Lights Out Nights, where visitors have just a glow stick to show them the way. General admission: $35. 

New York Haunted Hayride is a Randall's Island haunt right in the shadow of Manhattan's towering skyline. In addition to the hayride, which features ghostly apparitions and backwoods hillbillies, there's also a dark maze and a haunted village with a Theatre Macabre, supernatural psychics, and more. General admission: $37.

The Uninvited: Awakening is an immersive horror production that lets visitors choose their own adventure in the historic Graham Court building in Harlem. Theatrical storytelling, twisting halls, grisly scenes, and state-of-the-art special effects combine to induce a "heart pounding experience." General admission: $45. 

This Is Real is an "all new horror experience" in Red Hook from the creators of Nightmare: New York. As part of a "theatrical immersion," guests have been abducted and must figure out a way to escape their captors in an hour-long "survival game and extreme hide and seek." General admission: $100.

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North of NYC

Headless Horseman is a bit of a trek from the city, but the haunt includes 10 attractions, among them, a haunted manor, motel, diner and greenhouse. Naturally, there's plenty of Headless Horseman to go around at this Ulster Park attraction, including the Horseman's Spawn hayride and the Horseman's Tomb haunted house. General admission: $39.95 plus tax.

Pure Terror Scream Park features six haunted houses at one location in Monroe. There's a crypt of evil dead, a post-zombie apocalypse medical building, a dwelling of evil witches, a circus of creepy clowns, a house full of horror movie legends and another house that's completely in the dark. General admission: $45.

The Forest of Fear was voted the scariest haunt in New York state by users of HauntWorld.com. The Tuxedo Park haunt has seven attractions, including a slaughterhouse, hillbilly house, chainsaw repair shop, spa of the macabre, and a cemetery of the dead. General admission: $30.

Haunt at Rocky Ledge says it has the only haunted cornfield in Westchester County. The White Plains attraction also has two "mind-blowing" haunted houses and "frightening, winding wooded trails" on eight ghoulish acres. General admission: $24. 

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Long Island

Bayville Scream Park is an attraction-packed haunt in Bayville. Billed as "Long Island's Halloween theme park," there is an evil woods, terrifying temple, frightening funhouse and a haunted mansion. There's also a house of zombie pirates and a new event, The Cage, for 2016. General admission: $49.75.

Darkside Haunted Houses has been around for nearly two decades. There's two attractions at this Wading River haunt in the middle of a deserted field: The Village and The House. Visitors traverse 30 detailed scenes, including a graveyard, crypt, insane asylum and slaughterhouse. General admission: $25. 

Gateway's Haunted Playhouse is just what it sounds like: a haunted house in a theater. The Bellport haunt has plenty of dark corridors hiding madmen and bloody clowns. Guests can take a ride in a coffin, shoot zombies at the new Zombie Shooting Gallery or grab a beer at the Fear Garden. General admission: $25. 

Chamber of Horrors is bringing back its "Trilogy of Fear." This year there are three new houses: Maniac Manor, Murderer's Row and Ward 9. The Hauppauge haunt also has Kill the Light on Sunday nights, when the lights are turned off and guests have only a glowstick to see with. General admission: $25.

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New Jersey

Brighton Asylum is a Passaic haunt in an industrial warehouse that The Today Show called "the scariest place on earth." Guests must descened into The Tunnel before reaching the Asylum, where they'll encounter plenty of monsters, maniacs and escaped patients. Special events include Brighton Asylum Escape and Zombie Attack. General admission: $33.

Bane has one big haunted house instead of several smaller ones. The Livingston haunt was called the "scariest haunted house in New Jersey" by The Star-Ledger. Guests will encounter 70 live actors as they climb, push and spin their way through the morbid interactive house. General admission: $27. 

Pantophobia is an entirely outdoor haunted attraction. The Scotch Plains haunt pits guests against flesh-eating zombies as they navigate an abandoned amusement park. There's also a family-friendly Pumpkin Express train ride that travels to a pumpkin patch. General admission: $30.  

Haunted Scarehouse is an attraction in Wharton inspired by Disney's "awe-inspiring levels of craftsmanship, detail, and live performance." Visitors navigate two large houses filled with maze-like corridors and elaborate, ghastly scenes. There are also 60-minute escape room experiences that can be purchased separately. General admission: $25. 

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Fright Haven is centered around the legend of a Gothic Victorian mansion where a Halloween party was held hundreds of years ago. No one returned from the party and now it's infested with cannibalistic vampires. There's also a pitch-black Fear Institute and a Carnival of Evil in 3D at this Stratford attraction. General admission: $20.

Creeperum is an "emporium of the bizarre" where a lab-created creature stalks the rooms. The creature was created by a mad scientist who mysteriously went missing. Guests who enter this Hamden haunt are left to "wander in almost total darkness searching for a way out." General admission: $20. 

Trail of Terror is an outdoor haunted attraction that has guests confronting creepy clowns, chainsaw-wielding psychos and indescribable creatures. The haunt is set in the woods of Wallingford and you never know when a ghoul will emerge from deep in the trees. General admission: $20.

The Haunted Graveyard bills itself as New England's largest Halloween attraction. Those who visit go on a one-mile journey through dark catacombs, an eerie cemetery, torture chamber, creepy cornfield, misty lake, and more. Tickets for various carnival rides at this Bristol haunt are sold separately. General admission: $25.99. 

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Photo Credit: AP/File]]>
<![CDATA[Diane Lane leads Roundabout's Stylized 'Cherry Orchard']]> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 08:17:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CherryMain.jpg

Diane Lane made her debut on Broadway four decades ago in Anton Chekov’s “The Cherry Orchard.” Now, she’s back for the first time since, starring in an updated version, with a text by rising playwright Stephen Karam, of “The Humans.”

Roundabout’s alternately despairing and giddy production, on the boards at the American Airlines Theatre, preserves Chekov’s setting and uses period-ish costuming, while adding modern phrasing that doesn’t always sound natural coming from the fine actors who’ve signed on.

“She’s easygoing, you know,” says businessman Lopakhin (the dynamic Harold Perrineau), when he hears about the impending return of Lane’s declining aristocrat Lyubov Ranevskaya to her ancestral estate.

As “The Cherry Orchard” unfolds, Lyubov has returned to Russia from France for the first time in the 5 years since her son’s death. She’s been burning through her family’s remaining cash, and on her homecoming learns the estate is poised for auction, to boot.

Lane, wonderful last year in Lincoln Center’s Off-Broadway “The Mysteries of Love & Sex,” is dressed in furs and gowns as the obliviously magnanimous aristocrat who wants to make everyone happy, throwing coins she can't spare at beggars if it will help avoid an ugly scene. Within the casual constraints of the play, Lane portrays a coherent character, and a sad one, at that.

Lyubov and her brother, Leonid (the boundlessly charismatic John Glover), cherish their orchard most. Lopakhin, who has worked hard and saved money, encourages the brother and sister with great sincerity to chop it down and build cottages on the land—the income would allow them to save their property. But Lyubov and Leonid will have nothing of it.

I’ll argue that Perrineau gives the most interesting performance. A common approach has Lopakhin as rather a villain, but here he comes across as a man trying to help the family maintain ownership of their assets, not to mention their dignity. When he buys the property, they feel betrayed, but we can't blame the fella.

Of relevance is the casting of an African-American actor as Lopakhin, a descendant of slaves whose actions power the plot. Perrineau is allowed a freedom of movement beyond that of the other characters, and it lets him, at times, come off as a charismatic cross between Usher and Savion Glover.

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Tavi Gevinson are excellent as Varya and Anya, Lyubov’s daughters. Keenan-Bolger’s Varya has first-child syndrome, fretting about responsibility. Gevinson, last seen in “The Crucible,” is the softer one whose way of showing she’s worried is to plead with everyone to be optimistic.

Theater legend Joel Grey is here as Firs, the old butler who possesses an unswerving loyalty to the old order. Though Firs is doddering and weak, he retains his personality and worldview.

There are engaging performances from Tony winner Chuck Cooper (Cy Coleman’s “The Life”), as an irresponsible landowner; Tina Benko (another “Crucible” vet) as Charlotta, the trickster governess with an uncertain future; and Quinn Mattfeld as luckless Yepikhodov, the bookkeeper—“Mr. Misfortune”—who shows up at the fanciful second act costume party dressed as a chicken.

Director Simon Godwin, of the U.K.’s National Theatre, pulls together the stylized affair in a digestible 2 hours and 15 minutes. Designer Scott Pask’s nursery has a “Through the Looking Glass” vibe, with an oversized window and a tiny bed and tea table. When we do see the orchard, the trees are mobiles of round petals.

Roundabout’s “Cherry Orchard” is visually in the past, but aurally in the present. The result is a mixed bag lacking symbolic resonance: The audience gets neither the tragic grandeur nor the comedy of the aristocracy seeing its dominance end. Rather, this is a portrait of one clueless family losing their fortune because they don’t know how to save a buck.

“The Cherry Orchard,” through Dec. 4 at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 W. 42nd St. Tickets: $57-$142. Call 212-719-1300.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole Face Off in 'War Paint']]> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 13:48:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WarPaintLead.jpg

Two of the stage's best leading ladies are coming together for a new Broadway musical.

Tony winners Patti LuPone ("Gypsy") and Christine Ebersole ("Grey Gardens") will lead "War Paint" -- a new musical based on the lives of cosmetics entrepreneurs and rivals Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.

Previews begin March 7, 2017 at the Nederlander Theatre, with an opening night set for April 6.

LuPone will play Rubinstein, Polish-American immigrant and founder of Helena Rubinstein Incorporated. Ebersole will play Canadian-born Arden, founder of Elizabeth Arden, Inc.

Both women were fiercely competitive as they built their empires in the early days of the 20th century. Each use similar tactics -- celebrity endorsements, luxurious packaging, uniformed beauticians, etc -- to push their products.

The ladies were so tied together, they died within 18 months of one another in the 1960s.

Tony nominees John Dossett and Douglas Sills also star in the show. Dossett plays Tommy Lewis, Arden’s husband and chief marketing officer, while Sills plays Rubinstein’s faithful ally Harry Fleming, Madame.

All starred in the show together during its sold-out run in Chicago — where it became the best-selling show in Goodman Theatre's history.

The musical is inspired by the book of the same name by Lindy Woodhead — and by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman's documentary film, "The Powder & the Glory."

It comes from the team behind "Grey Gardens" — book writer Doug Wright, composer Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie, and director Michael Greif.

For more information, visit warpaintmusical.com.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Mary-Louise Parker Searches for Joy in 'Heisenberg' ]]> Thu, 13 Oct 2016 16:02:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/HbergMain.jpg

Werner Heisenberg isn’t once mentioned in the drama that carries his name, now on the boards at the MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre … but it isn’t tough to see why playwright Simon Stephens has invoked him.

Like the physicist, whose “uncertainty principle” is a fundamental scientific theory, Stephens is enthralled by the ways events might play out after a random encounter. He begins “Heisenberg” with one such interaction—a woman has come up behind a man at a London tube station and kissed him on the neck, but he’s not who she thinks he is.

What will happen next?

Stage veterans Mary-Louise Parker and Denis Arndt are the skilled interpreters for Stephens’s rich two-hander, a spot-on rumination about joy and sadness, and how either can seep into proceedings where neither may have been anticipated.

Parker is Georgie, an American in her early 40s who confesses to the man she has kissed him thinking he was her dead husband. We find out a scene or so later that there really wasn’t a husband, but there is a teen son, whom Georgie hasn’t heard from in years.

Arndt’s Irish-born Alex is more than 30 years Georgie’s senior. He’s a bachelor whose butcher shop is failing. We learn about the sister Alex lost as a boy, the fiancé who almost was, and his dead parents, all the while more aware that this man’s emotional life seems to have begun and ended a half-century ago.

If ever there were two electrons in need of shaking up, they're Georgie and Alex. “Heisenberg” isn’t a play with dramatic twists and turns—rather, it’s a small, linear story made kaleidoscopic because of two actors with remarkable chemistry.

Parker, the Tony and Emmy Award winner (“Proof,” “Weeds”), is eccentric in speech and elastic on her feet, twirling her hair and twisting her body as she abruptly and awkwardly pursues Alex. With information gleaned from their first encounter, she tracks him down at his empty store: “Do you find me exhausting, but captivating?”

Captivating, certainly. It’s hard to take your eyes off Parker, who allows us to see Georgie as a multidimensional human being, full of quirks, contradictory emotions and not-always-wholesome motives.

As Alex, Arndt is spare and understated—a man aware he’s in the sunset of his life and comfortable with emotions, only so long as he’s entering them in one of the diaries he’s kept for 60 some odd years. His relationship with Georgie spurs a series of decisions about his own future, each made with military efficiency.

Both actors work as their own stagehands. There are rafters for additional seating on stage, leaving only a sliver of real estate for the duo to work. Two simple metal desks on gliders comprise the only scenery.

Stephens wrote the adaptation for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.” “Heisenberg” has much of the same lucidity and economy of prose of that story. As has been remarked by others, it also calls to mind Nick Payne’s “Constellations,” which took a different tack in presenting the fundamental unpredictability of human interactions.

The 80-minute play, precisely directed by Mark Brokaw (“The Lyons”), arrives on Broadway after a lauded run last year at one of MTC’s smaller stages.

Surely one hallmark of maturity is being wise enough to recognize contentment when it arrives, regardless of appearance. In the play, Georgie and Alex ultimately influence one another’s paths, for the better. Like their relationship, “Heisenberg” is more than the sum of its parts.

“Heisenberg,” through Dec. 11 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 W. 47th St. Tickets: $70-$150. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Nick Kroll and John Mulaney Say 'Oh, Hello']]> Mon, 10 Oct 2016 18:38:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/OhHelloOpening.jpg

Even if you've never met them before, you've seen Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland out and about town.

The late-in-life bachelors created by comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney and seen in Broadway's knee-slapping, hilarious new play "Oh, Hello!" — which opened Sunday – are Upper West Side legends.

They're the two guys squatting on the stationary bikes at the YMCA all afternoon, watching "Judge Judy" and rarely pedaling. Or the duo sitting on the crosstown bus, lecturing a standing pregnant woman holding a bag of groceries about the joys of Ed Koch-era New York.

Faizon (Kroll, of NBC's "Parks and Recreation") is a "Tony Award-viewing" actor who somehow has found his way onto your co-op board even though he probably doesn't live in your building. The bottom of his flowered shirt sticking out of the zipped fly of his pleated corduroy pants, Faizon calls himself "the kind of guy who brings beverages to the bathroom."

Also wearing pleated corduroy pants — though dressed up with a turtleneck, a cardigan and a blazer — is St. Geeland (Mulaney, of NBC's "Saturday Night Live"). He describes himself as "the type of guy you would catch at a party going through the coats." Neither Jewish nor a woman, he says that "like many old men over 70, I have reached the age where I am somehow both."

If the characters feel all too real, it's because they practically are. Kroll and Mulaney first spotted the two real-life inspirations for the fictional characters in 2008 while shopping at The Strand bookstore. Both men piqued Kroll and Mulaney's curiosity when they purchased separate copies of Alan Alda's autobiography "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I've Learned."

The comedians followed the two down the block and across the street to a coffee shop, where each read their copies of the book separately. After eavesdropping on their conversation, Kroll and Mulaney brought Faizon and St. Geeland to the stage in a weekly show at the now-closed Rififi comedy club.

They've been performing the characters ever since — appearing regularly on the popular Comedy Bang Bang! podcast and in three seasons worth of segments on Kroll's 2013 Comedy Central series, "Kroll Show."

And now, they're on Broadway at the "deeply haunted" Lyceum Theatre — where discarded set pieces from 2003's "I Am My Own Wife," 2005's "Steel Magnolias" revival and some unnamed August Wilson play have been cobbled together as the setting for the 95-minute laugh-fest.

The show's plot is thin. Both are performing in a play written by St. Geeland, about two men who find fame on their NY1 celebrity prank show "Too Much Tuna" after being kicked out of their Upper West Side rent-controlled apartment, where they've lived as roommates for over 40 years.

But you're not there for the plot. You're there to see Kroll and Mulaney's masterful take on the Faizon and St. Geegland — two incredibly nuanced and well-rounded characters who manage to be wildly offensive and incredibly loveable at the same time. Both are equally excellent in the roles.

The laughs rarely slow down in the pitch-perfect show either. Built for an audience of "comedy nerd and theater dorks," its laughs will resonate strongly with New Yorkers and Steely Dan fans alike.

The limited engagement production also promises a celebrity cameo each night, brought onstage for the aforementioned "Too Much Tuna" prank in which the unsuspecting star diner receives an overstuffed Tuna sandwich. Sunday's matinee saw Grammy winner Josh Groban at the table. Other guests have included Rebel Wilson, Seth Meyers, Bobby Cannavale, Aziz Ansari and Fred Savage.

Alt-comedy fans will surely love "Oh, Hello." But rarely do theatergoers get to see such a refreshing, relatable character study. You'll be glad you said "Oh, Hello" to these two.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Man on Quest to Spend an Hour With 10,000 Strangers]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 12:41:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/10K+Friends+Collage.jpg

In a tech-savvy world where it's easy to avoid face-to-face interaction, one man has undertaken the ambitious task of meeting 10,000 people and spending one hour with each of them.

His name is Rob Lawless, and he’s a 25-year-old Northern Liberties resident who clearly wants to get to know people.

“The concept of meeting up with someone for absolutely no reason other than just to get to know them is so foreign to people that they think there must be some agenda. In reality, I’m just here to sit with you and talk about anything,” he said.

Lawless initiated this project to get to know Philadelphia better and its people. He also wants to recapture the feeling of being in a familiar social environment— something he experienced while in college.

“I was very involved in college; I was tour guide, in a fraternity, and in [several] committees. I could walk around campus and say hi to people because in one way or another, we knew each other,” the Penn State graduate said. “Going from college to the professional world, I completely lost that. So when I moved to Philly, I told myself, ‘This is my campus now. This is my city to make it what I want.’ I want to create a space where I recognize people as I walk down the street.”

Dedicating 10,000 hours of your life to making friends is no small feat. To reach that amount, Lawless would have to meet with one person every hour for about 416 days straight. In lieu of that , he developed a 10-year plan where he meets with three to five people per day.

At first, Lawless would reach out to people on his own and schedule a time to meet with them. As time went by, people began noticing the project through social media and word-of-mouth.

“I think it’s much cooler when people find out about the project from others. That just means that it’s cool enough that others want to pass it on,” he said.

So how many people has he connected with so far through his experiment?

Since November 2015, Lawless has met with over 370 people in Philly, New York City, and Los Angeles. He’s chatted with students, entrepreneurs, musicians, muralists, and artists, including Philly Magic Gardens creator Isaiah Zagar and former Philly Mayor Michael Nutter. Recently, Lawless turned the campaign into his full-time endeavor and aims to meet with five people per day.

As the project’s first anniversary nears, Lawless feels that his campaign has reached the point where Philadelphia reflects the campus vibe he experienced at college.

“A successful meeting to me is when we can run into each other in the street afterwards and be able to say hi as friends; and from time to time, that’s happened. It’s also a cool feeling when people stop me in the street and recognize me from Instagram’” Lawless recalled.

The one hour Lawless spends with each person is not only used to get to know the individual, but also break down the barrier of unfamiliarity.

“The people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard have given me perspective. When you meet people one-on-one, you start to understand what [different lives] are really like, and what things you take for granted,” Lawless said.

Of the hundreds of people Lawless has met, he feels particularly moved by those whose lives are completely different from his.

Of the hundreds of people Lawless has met, he feels particularly moved by those whose lives are completely different from his. One of his most memorable interactions is with Jacob Conteh, a Sierra Leone native who didn’t have a pair of shoes until he was 8 years old. Conteh’s father had 65 children between 12 marriages, making Conteh the 63rd sibling. Conteh built a school in his hometown village, which he hopes to turn into a city one day, Lawless said. Conteh’s story inspired Lawless to expand his mission worldwide.

“Conteh’s had such a different lifestyle than mine. Listening to his story made me realize how privileged I am, and encouraged me to slowly take this project abroad,” he said. “I think it’d be cool to go to other countries like Iraq and meet a 25-year-old and see what kind of life they want to live compared to mine.”

While he hopes to get sponsored and pursue his project in other countries, Lawless feels there’s a lot of exploration left to be done in the city, particularly North and West Philly.

The former sales rep doesn’t have a particular end-goal. Once he reaches 10,000 people— whether he does so in 10, 20, or 50 years— Lawless is excited to share his experience and the different stories with family and friends.

“This might be cliché, but it’s more about the journey than the destination. When I’m 90 years old, I want to be able to sit back and tell my kids about all the interesting people I met and where it took me,” he said.

Mo Manklang, a community manager at generocity.org, was Lawless’s 362nd connection. As someone who enjoys meeting new people, Manklang felt motivated to reach out to Lawless after learning about his project from several of her co-workers who participated in it.

During their meeting, the two learned that they’ll both be part of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia’s Connectors and Keepers Program. Lawless’s interest combined with Manklang’s bubbly personality resulted in a comfortable interaction. She feels honored to take part in Rob’s mission.

“Some people make it their job to not look at people in the eye while in the street. So It’s encouraging to come across nice people who want to get to know others,” Manklang said. “It would heal a lot of hurts in the world if more people did that.”

If you would like to take part in Rob Lawless’s “10k Friends” campaign, you can schedule your hour with Lawless via email at robs10kfriends@gmail.com, send a message to his Facebook page, or direct message him on Instagram at @robs10kfriends.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper Lead 'A Doll's House' Sequel]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 13:49:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/DollsHouse2.png

In the final scene of Henrik Isben's revolutionary 1879 play "A Doll's House," Nora Helmer walks out on her husband and children in an effort to discover who she is as a woman outside of the 19th-century's traditional marriage norms.

Now, 138 years after Nora closed that door, a new play is revealing what happened next in her story. 

The tale will be told in Luca Hnath's "A Doll's House, Part 2" -- which will have a 16-week limited engagement at Broadway's Golden Theatre beginning April 1, 2017. Opening night is set for April 27.

Leading the production is Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf ("Mystery," TV's "Roseanne"). She'll star as Nora, alongside Oscar winner Chris Cooper ("American Beauty"), Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell ("The Humans") and two-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad ("Romeo and Juliet").

It'll be Cooper's first Broadway role in nearly 40 years. He last appeared on New York's biggest stage in 1980's "Of the Fields, Lately."

Directed by Sam Gold ("Fun Home"), the play has Nora returning home, years after leaving it behind. "But why," the show's description reads. "And what will it mean for those she left behind?"

Ticketing information has not yet been announced.

Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez | Tommaso Boddi]]>
<![CDATA[Complete Coverage of Hamptons International Film Festival]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:49:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/complete+coverage.jpg
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Hamptons International Film Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Find Hamptons Film Festival Screenings, Events]]> Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:52:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/screenings+map.jpg
View Full Story]]>
<![CDATA[Find the NBC 4 Treat Truck!]]> Fri, 28 Oct 2016 07:04:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/treat-truck-talent-crop.jpg

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

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

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

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

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Broadway Goes Dark for Election Day ]]> Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:02:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AvenueQClintonTrumpPuppets.jpg

Broadway is stepping aside for the 2016 presidential election.

A large bulk of Broadway and off-Broadway plays and musicals will go dark on Election Day, Nov. 8 — allowing audiences to focus on the final showdown between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

It's also an effort to allow cast and crew working in the industry to get out and vote.

To compensate for the missed performances, many shows are adding performances that week on Monday -- a day most productions are typically dark. Audiences are encouraged to check showtimes online for confirmation.

Here are some of the shows scheduled to be dark Election Day:

"Avenue Q"
"Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"
"Blue Man Group"
"The Color Purple"
"The Encounter"
"The Front Page"
"The Humans"
"Kinky Boots"
"Les Liaisons Dangereuses"
"Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812"
"Master Harold… And the Boys"
"Oh Hello on Broadway"
"On Your Feet!"
"The Phantom of the Opera"
"School of Rock"
"Something Rotten!"
"Sweet Charity"

Photo Credit: Avenue Q]]>
<![CDATA[Romance, All Year Round, in Welcoming 'Holiday Inn' ]]> Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:02:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/HolidayInnMain.jpg

Book yourself into “Holiday Inn” just to see the pyrotechnics when tap whiz Corbin Bleu dances around, dodging faux explosives that are snapping at his feet. It's a routine made famous by Fred Astaire in the movies, but the “High School Musical” star breathes into it new life.

Bleu’s performance -- and fresh choreography by Denis Jones -- are the big draws to “Holiday Inn,” which arrives at Studio 54 with a feel-good book inspired by the 1942 film. The musical fits 20-plus songs from the Irving Berlin catalogue into a story about a farm that will be lost to foreclosure if the new owner can’t figure out a way to pay his bills.

“White Christmas,” “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “Blue Skies” are some of the classics presented in elaborate, turquoise-hued production numbers.

Bryce Pinkham, the “Gentleman’s Guide” Tony nominee, stars as Jim, a song-and-dance city slicker who shuns show biz to grow vegetables in Connecticut. The previous owners may have lost the farm to the bank, but daughter Linda (Lora Lee Gayer, of “Doctor Zhivago”), a schoolteacher, still has her old house key.

As Jim and Linda build the farm into a music hall that will only be open on public holidays, their romance is interrupted by the drunken arrival of Jim’s best friend, Ted (Bleu), who thinks Linda would be better off as his new dancing partner in Hollywood.

The new text is by Chad Hodge and Gordon Greenberg, who also directs.

Pinkham is wonderful with the technical challenges of his role; sometimes, the aloofness he's creating for the performance hinders our ability to plug into Jim's needs and heartbreak.

Though Bleu has had other Broadway leading roles (both “In the Heights” and “Godspell”), this ought to cement his place as a Rialto bigwig. Beyond the crowd-pleasing “Let’s Say It With Firecrackers,” he makes hay with the second-act opener, “You’re Easy to Dance With,” which has him searching for the girl -- that is, Linda -- who had swept him off his wobbly feet the night before.

Gayer is sweet and effective in the musical’s stock leading lady role. I would’ve enjoyed more of Megan Sikora, as Lila, the fame-hungry starlet who is Jim’s girlfriend as the musical begins. Lila is gone for most of the second act, though it’s obvious the plot is structured so she’ll end up with Ted as the end draws near.

Megan Lawrence (“The Pajama Game”) rises above some mawkish dialogue as Louise, the handyman-turned-matchmaker who connives to stay on when Jim takes over the farm.

A sequence that has cast members jumping “rope” with a string of garland is phenomenal.

The book modernizes the love triangle between Jim, Ted and Linda so that Ted is merely competing for Linda’s business talents. Make note: Though “White Christmas” gets a nice, understated treatment in the first act, this isn’t the “Christmas” musical that had seasonal runs on Broadway in 2008 and 2009.

“Holiday Inn” is a lovely excuse to get lost in the Berlin chestnuts, particularly as they’ve been reimagined by choreographer Jones (“Honeymoon in Vegas”). The new story sometimes tries too hard to be charming and old-fashioned, but overall “Holiday Inn” is a satisfying autumn offering.

“Holiday Inn,” through Jan. 15, 2017 at Studio 54, 254 W. 54th St. Tickets: $47-$152. Call 212-719-1300.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Cast Shines, But Shtick Sags in Paper Mill's 'The Producers']]> Tue, 04 Oct 2016 09:48:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ProducersMain.jpg

The Paper Mill Playhouse opens its fall season with springtime … for Hitler, presenting a faithful staging of the Mel Brooks musical "The Producers," which won 12 Tony Awards back before anyone ever heard of "Hamilton."

Based on Brooks’ own 1968 satirical movie, the story tracks two theatrical producers who scheme to get rich by launching a Broadway flop. Their plan goes askew when the show unexpectedly becomes a hit.

Musical highlights include "I Wanna Be a Producer," set in the Chambers Street offices of a claustrophobic accounting firm; and the over-the-top production number "Springtime for Hitler," with its kickline of audacious Aryans on the stage of the Shubert Theatre.

The Paper Mill’s glitzy recreation features the original choreography by Susan Stroman.

Two of the biggest punchline moments have a gaggle of old ladies dancing with their walkers, and armband-wearing pigeons swearing their allegiance to the führer on the roof of a Greenwich Village apartment building.

Leading the company are Michael Kostroff as Max Bialystock and David Josefsberg as Leo Bloom.

Kostroff, of HBO’s "The Wire," is on his seventh outing as Bialystock, a role he understudied on the first national tour of "The Producers." The jailhouse lament "Betrayed" is a showcase for his eye-bulging ease with the role.

Josefsberg, who previously starred at Paper Mill in the world premiere of "Honeymoon in Vegas," is endearing as nebbishy accountant Bloom, who chucks his job to pursue a new career—finding love and losing his security blanket along the way.

Ashley Spencer is a riot as Ulla, the Swedish sexpot who goes to work at the offices of Bialystock & Bloom.

Kevin Pariseau and Mark Price camp it up as flamboyant director Roger DeBris and his sibilant assistant Carmen Ghia. John Tracy Egan is sinister and maniacal as Franz Liebkind, the "Springtime" playwright who keeps the army of Swastika-bedecked birds on his roof.

"The Producers" was the first Broadway mega-musical to offer premium seating -- the then $200-plus tickets were something of a scandal, which seems quaint in the context of "Hamilton."

Brooks' shticky, sometimes-sagging musical doesn’t stand the test of time quite the way we suspect "Hamilton" will, but the Paper Mill cast milks the gags for all they’re worth.

"The Producers," through Oct. 23 at Paper Mill Playhouse, 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, N.J. Tickets: Starting at $32. Call 973-376-4343.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia]]>
<![CDATA[Luke's Diner to Pop Up in NYC Before 'Gilmore Girls' Reboot]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2016 22:51:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gilmore+girls+a+year+in+the+life.jpg

Sixteen years to the day after the pilot of the cult favorite TV series "Gilmore Girls" aired on TV, fans will be able to get a real-life feel of Luke's Diner in over 200 cafes across the U.S., including in New York City. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, a dozen coffee shops in the city will be transforming into the beloved greasy spoon ahead of the "Gilmore Girls" reboot on Netflix, to be released on Nov. 25. 

Netflix is sponsoring the one-day conversion of the shops, according to Eater NY, and it will be providing the cafes with "all the Luke's Diner essentials," including branded aprons and T-shirts. 

The pop-ups will run from 7 a.m. to noon, but those hoping for a free cup of coffee and other "Gilmore Girls" swag and surprises should arrive early, as supplies are limited. Snapcodes on custom coffee cups will also unlock a special "Gilmore Girls" filter for 24 hours. 

The following coffee shops in New York City are participating, according to a townofstarshollow.org

  • The Bean 101 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
  • Sir D's Lounge 837 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • Brooklyn Roasting Company 200 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
  • Mon Amour Coffee and Wine 234 W 238th St, Bronx, NY 10463
  • Ground Central Coffee Co. 155 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022
  • Ground Central Coffee Co 800 Second Ave, New York, NY 10017
  • Ground Central Coffee Co. 2 Coenties Slip, New York, NY 10004
  • The Bean 147 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
  • The Bean 824 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 
  • The Bean 54 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
  • Local 144 Sullivan Street New York, NY 10012
  • Everything Goes Book Cafe 208 Bay St Staten Island, NY 10301

The Short Grain in Jersey City, New Jersey and the Metro Cafe and Peter B's Espresso in Hartford, Connecticut, are also on the list. 

The new show, which will debut in four 90-minute installments, will be called "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life."

The revival was officially announced in January (after months of speculation), when Netflix and creator Amy Sherman-Palladino revealed that Graham, TV daughter Alexis Bledel, TV mom Kelly Bishop and TV true love Scott Patterson had all signed on for the then-untitled project.

Since then, it's been confirmed that Melissa McCarthy is returning along with all the other old Stars Hollow residents, along with newbies Sutton Foster and Mae Whitman (who played Graham's other TV daughter on "Parenthood"). 

Gilmore Girls Revival Photos: Return to Stars Hollow

Photo Credit: Zeno Group]]>
<![CDATA[TSA PreCheck Members Can Skip Line at The Meadows Music Fest]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2016 17:57:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TSA+PreCheck+Fast+Pass_EDIT.jpg

Long waits, winding lines and cumbersome security requirements have long been a staple of airport travel. TSA’s answer was PreCheck, an expedited screening program which allows participants who volunteer personal information in advance to breeze through security with a 5-year $85 membership.

Now music festivals, which have also been plagued by irksome entrance lines, are taking a hint.

The upcoming Meadows Music and Arts Festival taking place Oct. 1-2 in Queens is the latest music festival to partner with IdentoGO, the enrollment provider behind TSA PreCheck.

TSA PreCheck members attending the concert will be provided exclusive use of a “Fast Pass” entry lane, allowing them to skip the general admission line, said a spokeswoman for IdentoGO. They'll still be required to pass through venue security, which is not associated with the TSA. 

Non-members daunted by the long lines will have the opportunity to register for TSA PreCheck on site, so long as they bring proper ID and complete a 10-minute fingerprinting process. The spokeswoman for IdentoGo says the company enrolled over 400 music fans at the CMA Music Festival alone.

Following its success at CMA Music Festival in Nashville and Ozzfest in California, IdentoGO says it will track how many fans use their Fast Pass lane during the weekend’s music festival for the first time.

TSA PreCheck has enrolled over 3 million customers since launching in 2011, giving IdentoGo a large pool of potential Fast Pass lane participants at concerts. 

Photo Credit: Kaleidoscope Media]]>
<![CDATA[2016 Hamptons International Film Festival Guide ]]> Fri, 30 Sep 2016 13:54:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/hamptons+film+fest.png

Mark your calendars for this year's Hamptons International Film Festival, featuring five independent films.

The Hamptons International Film Festival begins Oct. 6 with the U.S. premiere of "Loving" and ends Oct. 10 with the U.S. premiere of "American Pastoral." Below is the schedule.  

Oct. 6: "Loving" at Guild Hall at 6:30 p.m. and UA East Hampton Cinema 6 - UA1 at 7 p.m.

Oct. 7: "Strange Weather" at 7 p.m. at UA Southampton 4 Theatres - SH1 

Oct. 8: "Strange Weather" at 2:30 p.m. at Guild Hall and "Manchester By the Sea" at 5 p.m. at Guild Hall 

Oct. 9: "Manchester By the Sea" at 12 p.m. at Bay Street Theatre and "20th Century Women" at 8:15 p.m. at Guild Hall

Oct. 10: "20th Century Women" at 4 p.m. at Bay Street Theatre, "American Pastoral" at 7 p.m. at Guild Hall and 7:30 p.m. at UA East Hampton Cinema 6 -UA1

For more details and ticket information, click here

<![CDATA[Grumpy Cat Joins the Cast of 'Cats' ]]> Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:56:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-459467912.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For tickets and information, visit sextipsplay.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit comefromawaythemusical.com.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg]]>