<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usTue, 25 Apr 2017 22:17:27 -0400Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:17:27 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Home in 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians,' 'True Blood' Up for Sale]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 22:16:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/iredell+4+main.jpg See inside the home famously used in the opening credits of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."]]> <![CDATA[Nordstrom Selling 'Fake Mud' Jeans With Hefty Price Tag]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:00:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/211*120/nordstrom+fake+mud+jeans.jpg

Nordstrom is lighting up the internet with some expensive jeans that are caked in fake mud.

On its website, the luxury fashion retailer is selling a pair of working class-inspired jeans coated with what Nordstrom calls "caked-on muddy coating."

The price? $425!

The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans "embody rugged, Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working action" and when worn show "you're not afraid to get down and dirty," according to the description online.

It quickly generated a storm of interest online after TV host Mike Rowe blasted them as "a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic" in a Facebook post."

Even U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., tweeted about it:

Nordstrom didn't immediately reply to request for comment from NBC over the internet's response.



Photo Credit: Nordstrom.com
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<![CDATA[Allison Janney, Corey Hawkins Lead 'Six Degrees' Revival ]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 14:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/SixDegreesMain.jpg

It’s 1990 all over again in “Six Degrees of Separation,” a period-faithful revival of the John Guare play -- based on real events -- about a clever con artist who convinces an erudite Upper East Side couple that he’s the son of Sidney Poitier.

Allison Janney, who is as skilled in drama as she is in comedy, leads the cast as privileged Ouisa Kittredge, whose small dinner party with husband Flan (John Benjamin Hickey) is interrupted by the arrival of a young man with a minor stab wound who claims to be a Harvard classmate of her children.

Corey Hawkins, whose TV run in “24: Legacy” recently ended, is the aspirational Paul, a character based on David Hampton, who in the decade prior did exactly what’s depicted here. One of the couples duped by Hampton was friendly with the playwright, who turned their story into “Six Degrees.”

The title, heard in a famous monologue at the drama’s end, comes from the idea that there are never more than six people connecting even the most far apart and dissimilar acquaintances -- as you know, prolific film actor Kevin Bacon was eventually roped into this phenomenon.

Here, Paul interrupts the Kittredges just as Flan is trying to finance the sale of a Cézanne painting. The interloper charms Ouisa, Flan and their wealthy guest from overseas with a story about how he was mugged while in town awaiting the arrival of his father, who is directing a film version of the musical “Cats.”

Ouisa and Flan want to present themselves as well-bred types who never think or talk about money and status, but in truth they're concerned with nothing but. They take quickly to Paul’s promise that he can make them extras in his dad’s project. In reality, Paul is just a quick study who targeted the Kittredges after seducing a young man who had a tenuous connection to the family … and their contact information.

Janney, currently of TV’s “Mom,” is a well-cast successor to Stockard Channing, who performed the role between 1990 and 1993 in four iterations: off-Broadway, Broadway, the West End -- and on film, opposite Will Smith. (Channing and Janney were both on “The West Wing,” which gives them a Bacon Number of 1 …)

It’s Hawkins who is the revelation as the deluded man so invested in his web of deceit that even he loses track of his identity.

A maternal-ish bond develops between Paul and Ouisa, who wants to aid him, even after his deception is revealed. The first indication -- and it’s a big one -- is when Ouisa finds her houseguest in bed with a hustler (James Cusati-Moyer, in a brief but memorable performance).

I found myself believing Hawkins when he explained to Ouisa that he took advantage of her hospitality only because she and Flan had made him happier than he’d ever been by allowing him into their world.

John Benjamin Hickey is great as the status-obsessed, acquisitive art dealer who can’t believe his wife has become enchanted by a petty criminal.

Trip Cullman’s direction is peppy. The action begins with a loud burst of the opening notes to "Blue Monday" by New Order. The college and prep school students from New England who arrive late in the drama -- and here threaten to steal the show with their loud, immature bursts -- are dressed in "Cosby Show" sweaters.

A replica of a double-sided Kandinsky painting talked about in the play is suspended above the cast, and the backdrop to the minimalist set is, simply, a blood-red wall. Knowing there’s a revival of “Cats” going on five blocks to the north lends an accidental relevancy and humor to the whole experience.

“Six Degrees of Separation,” through July 16 at the Barrymore Theatre, 243 W. 47th St. Tickets: $49 and up. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside: $48M NJ Estate Hailed as 'Versailles' of America]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:42:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/dining+area2.jpg Praised by architecture aficionados as the "American Versailles," Darlington, the 50,000 square-foot mansion in New Jersey, has captivated the world as both a historical masterpiece and a renovated modern splendor. And it's now on the market. See the full listing with Christie's International Real Estate here.

Photo Credit: Special Properties/Christie’s International Real Estate]]>
<![CDATA[These 8 Local Food Trucks Make List of Best in America]]> Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:43:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/food+truck+thumb.jpg New Jersey foodies may want to keep this list in mind this summer.]]> <![CDATA['Anastasia' Turns a Beloved Film into a Serious Broadway Hit]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:16:23 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AnastasiaBroadwayl.jpg

Broadway's got a bright new star, and her name is "Anastasia."

The 1997 beloved animated movie has been transformed into a magical new stage musical, now open at the Broadhurst Theatre, with a much-improved book by Terrence McNally, added songs from the film's composers Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and a star-making performance by actress Christy Altomare. 

Fans of the original 20th Century Fox flick (who call themselves "Fanastasias") will surely be satisfied with the offering, while those who skipped the cartoon should realize this isn't the fairy tale fluff they might have initially assumed it to be.

The legend of Russia’s Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna, the youngest Romanov princess, is still at the center of the piece, of course. In real life, she was slayed in 1917's Bolshevik Revolution along with her parents and four siblings — but "Anastasia" follows in the footsteps of the 1955 Marchelle Maurette play and 1956 Ingrid Bergman film by asking, "What if Anastasia secretly survived?"

We meet, then, Anya (Altomare) — an 18-year-old amnesiac orphan living in St. Petersburg, struggling to survive and desperate for refuge. Working with con artists Dmitry (Derek Klena) and Vlad (John Bolton), she's given an opportunity to pose as the long-lost Anastasia and make her way to Paris, where the her last surviving relative — the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (Mary Beth Peil) — is waiting with a hefty reward.

There are a few obstacles along the way, though they're different here than in the film. The villains, evil sorcerer Rasputin and his albino bat sidekick Bortok, have both been smartly scrapped for the stage. In their place is a new antagonist Gleb (Ramin Karimloo), a revolutionary general who finds himself split between his unexpected love for Anya and his duty to her enemies.

The change is just the first of many made by McNally, who effectively infuses the time period's real-life politics into the show's plot. Here, characters sing about the painful aftermath of revolution, the longing of loss — even the complicated emotions of having to leave behind a homeland that no longer feels like a home. These modifications elevate the stakes at play, but also age the piece's target consumer. (I'd say most of the plot's intricacies would go over a young child's head, while "Anastasia" would now make a fitting date night for adults).

Ahrens and Flaherty have also added 16 new songs, keeping five of the movie's most-popular tracks including the haunting "Once Upon a December" and the Oscar-nominated "Journey to the Past." The "Ragtime" team have chosen the right moments to musicalize, and their score here sounds complete and full — one of the season's strongest. 

But the performances are really where "Anastasia" shines.

Altomare, whose singular previous Broadway credit was as the bride-to-be in "Mamna Mia!," is a revelation here. She gives Anya an instant likeability and spunk, and soars at the book's more emotionally vulnerable moments. Her voice — specifically in the showstopping "Journey to the Past," which closes the first act — is the sort of pure, perfect soprano that pierces the heart and warms the soul. 

Klena ("The Bridges of Madison County") is charming, with a voice as crisp in texture as his dimples. He and Bolton ("Dames at Sea") make a humorous duo, the latter bringing a well-needed lightheartedness to the show's second act, when he is reunited with Lily (the scene-stealing Caroline O'Connor).

It's hard not to love Peil — known for roles in TV's "The Good Wife" and "Dawson's Creek" — in the role voiced by Angela Lansbury in the film. Karimloo, meanwhile, paints Gleb as a complicated man. Though I wished McNally flushed out more of his motivations, the "Les Miserables" alum's silky smooth tenor is always a welcomed gift.

I'd be remiss not to address Aaron Rhyne's projections, used predominantly in Alexander Dodge's scenic design. They'll surely be the thing that divides audiences the most, with traditional theatergoers balking as the show's reliance on them for scene and setting. But while not always necessarily effective, I found the photorealistic images used throughout to be cinematic and transfixing.

Director Darko Tresnjak ("A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder") commissioned the piece for the Hartford Stage, where it premiered last spring. He keeps the action grounded and moving throughout the 2 hour and 30 minute musical, using the stunning 20-piece ensemble wisely. Costume designer Linda Cho's vivid and vibrant clothing here deserves a standing ovation all its own.

It may have taken 20 years for "Anastasia" to make its way from the screen to the stage, but this journey to the past has proven to be well worth the wait.

"Anastasia" at the Broadhurst Theatre (235 West 44th Street). Tickets: $69 - $189, via Telecharge.com or (212) 239-6200.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus ]]>
<![CDATA[Wal-Mart Introduces 'Crotilla': A Tortilla-Croissant Mashup]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:18:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/170424-walmart-crotilla-se-526p.jpg

Four years after the "cronut" emerged on the scene, croissant lovers can rejoice with yet another pastry hybrid.

The "Crotilla," from Wal-Mart's in-house bakery, crosses the croissant and tortilla, "Today" reported.

About the size of a small flour tortilla, the "Crotilla" has the buttery taste and texture of a croissant.

They're intended to be used, among other things, for sandwiches, a Wal-Mart spokesperson told "Today."

"Crotillas" come in packs of eight and sell for $3.98 in participating Wal-Mart bakery departments nationwide.



Photo Credit: Wal-Mart
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<![CDATA[$175M Tri-State Home Among 5 Most Expensive for Sale in U.S.]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:36:58 -0400 the full listing with Christie's International Real Estate here.]]> the full listing with Christie's International Real Estate here.]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/001_GreatIsland.jpg Trulia recently put together a round-up of the most expensive homes for sale in America and this $175 million sprawling waterfront estate in Connecticut cracks the top five. See the full listing with Christie's International Real Estate here.

Photo Credit: Stanley Jesudowich]]>
<![CDATA[In 'Charlie' Musical, You Take the Bitter with the Sweet]]> Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:11:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/CharlieChocolateMain.jpg

The best thing about Broadway’s new “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is the inventively savage and barbarous ways that all the Golden Ticket winners—except, that is, for Charlie Bucket—die.

That’s horrible, you say! How dare I cheer the deaths of children? How can I disparage one of your childhood touchstones? Well, to borrow a line from a famous candy-maker: “Strike that. Reverse it.” Aside from Charlie, all the “kids” in this re-conceived cousin of a production that ran for four years in London are played by adults.

You can do things to grownups on stage that you can’t to children. The switch-up is one of the more effective devices employed by the “Charlie” creative team, which includes the composers of the musical “Hairspray.” But even it doesn't work consistently.

When sausage-hoarding Augustus Gloop falls into a chocolate river, we soon see his disembodied head shoot up a discharge pipe, atop a rising fountain of fudge. The rubbery noggin could be a prop from a Wes Craven horror movie, but it hits the right note of wicked humor.

Not so the death of Veruca Salt, portrayed here as a bratty Russian ballerina and heiress. You'll never forget seeing her torn limb from limb by big, black, nut-sorting squirrels, in a campy ballet sequence, but you'll be left queasy rather than entertained.

Soooo … is “Charlie” appropriate for kids? Well, the only one near me at Friday night’s press performance, a young lady who looked to be about 10, was spellbound and she laughed out loud the entire time.

And why shouldn’t she be happy? All of the Lunt-Fontanne Theater has been set up to mesmerize the modern young adult: “Rotten Behavior Detected” is the sign underneath a flashing emergency light on the theater’s 46th Street facade; confections for sale are “curated” by Dylan’s Candy Shop.

Whimsically, young Charlie initiates one of the more wonderful moments of stage magic seen anywhere this season, crafting a note to chocolatier Will Wonka on the blank page of a notebook, folding it into a paper airplane and sending it soaring toward the mezzanine.

But more often than it should, “Charlie” fails children when trying to speak to adults, and vice versa. Really Grandma Georgina … fart jokes?

An inability to hit the right tone and sustain it is a serious problem, because “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has been reworked as something of a morality play about current times—the kind of thing that can only succeed when executed with a consistent hand. (The director is Broadway veteran Jack O’Brien, who inherited the project from Sam Mendes.)

The setting is, vaguely, the present. Mike Teavee is a hashtag-spouting Idaho teen whose mother (Jackie Hoffman, in her stock, full-on alcoholic mode) observes: “And though he’s quite a malcontent / someday he might be president!” Violet Beauregarde is a tracksuit-wearing YouTube star with an 800 number to contact for endorsement deals. Stereotypes abound.

Three actors play Charlie at alternating performances (as has been previously observed, somehow they all have “Ryan” as either a first or middle name). Jake Ryan Flynn, whom I saw, was convincing, except when forced to utter implausibly precocious dialogue about the Wonka Toffee Surprise, which isn’t really a chocolate bar: “It’s more of a ganache.”

Christian Borle, the two-time Tony Award winner who starred earlier this season in “Falsettos,” is the second best thing about “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” oozing a cynicism that is simultaneously original and an homage to Gene Wilder, star of the 1971 film.

Borle dances, he dutifully sings, he works hard. And you wouldn’t want your kid hanging around this fella, which is how it should be. The show opens with the actor singing “The Candy Man,” evoking one of the most fondly remembered moments from the movie.

After that, the music is a combination of other songs from the film and mostly bland new work by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. The set is minimalist, save for one scene in “a chocolate Eden,” a terrarium where you can eat the dandelions. I suspect adults will find both wanting, though things improve in the second act.

Veteran John Rubinstein works his charms as Grandpa Joe, who wears an upside down saucepan for a hat. Emily Padgett has a Tina Fey-like twinkle as Charlie’s put-upon mom, who shares a misguided ballet sequence with the ghost of Charlie’s dad.

The red-headed Oompa-Loompas, Willy’s factory workers, are “humanettes,” adult actors dressed in black, so only their faces are visible, with puppet bodies.

Given the talent and production values, I’m sure the musical will enjoy a long life on Broadway. But for all its attempts to recreate the delight of Roald Dahl’s story, it left me with something of a toothache.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. Tickets, on sale through April 22, 2018, $79 and up. Call 800-745-3000.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Madden Brings Back the Slinky]]> Sat, 22 Apr 2017 03:13:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Steve+Madden+Slinky.jpg

From high-waisted mom jeans to crop tops and chokers, fashion trends from the '90s are back with a vengeance.   

The only thing that has been missing to complete that back-to-school look every girl in class had was the iconic Steve Madden Slinky — until now.

The New York-based footwear company has revived the popular platform slide. The 2017 version has been slightly altered with a flatter heel and added elastic in the "stretchy upper" for more flexibility, according to the Steve Madden website. 

The Slinky isn't on store shelves just yet, but they are available for pre-order on Steve Madden's website. The $69.99 shoes are expected to ship in July.

News of the retro shoe's return brought back nostalgic memories for the Slinky-wearing girl who head bopped to alternative rock and cited Cher quotes from "Clueless" while eating candy necklaces.

And despite the fact the shoes' insoles continuously slapped the bottom of your heels, announcing your arrival with loud clapping-like noises, Slinky girls can't wait to get their hands on a pair and stomp around town.

 



Photo Credit: Steve Madden]]>
<![CDATA[7 East Coast Music Festivals You Won't Want to Miss]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:53:02 -0400 Broccoli City Festival started in 2013 as an effort bring attention to Earth Day, and to help educate and inspire people about why its important to be "active and engaged participants in their community." This year, the Broccoli City Group is launching Broccoli City Week (April 29-May 6) with a wide range of events, including a 5K run and volunteering opportunities, leading up to the music festival. The festival lineup includes Rae Sremmurd, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty & more.

When: Saturday, May 6
Where: Gateway DC
2730 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Washington, D.C.
Want tix? Find them online here.]]>
Broccoli City Festival started in 2013 as an effort bring attention to Earth Day, and to help educate and inspire people about why its important to be "active and engaged participants in their community." This year, the Broccoli City Group is launching Broccoli City Week (April 29-May 6) with a wide range of events, including a 5K run and volunteering opportunities, leading up to the music festival. The festival lineup includes Rae Sremmurd, 21 Savage, Lil Yachty & more.

When: Saturday, May 6
Where: Gateway DC
2730 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Washington, D.C.
Want tix? Find them online here.]]>
http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BroccoliCity.jpg
Summer is quickly approaching, which means that music festival season is also right around the corner. We've rounded up seven of the East Coast's most popular music festivals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bette on Broadway: You're Lookin' Swell, 'Dolly!' ]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:55:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BetteMidlerHelloDollyFirstLook.jpg

Absolutely no one will be surprised to learn that Bette Midler, the Divine Miss M, brings the house down singing the title song of “Hello, Dolly!” in the lush new revival of Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s classic musical, now on the boards at the Shubert Theatre.

The moment comes halfway through the second act, in an elaborate and precisely choreographed scene set at the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant, where Midler—as matchmaker extraordinaire Dolly Gallagher Levi—has been greeted by the staff as something of a returning goddess.

Dolly has been away from these old stomping grounds, and we can only imagine the chorus of dinner plate-balancing waiters has been numbed to boredomsince. But now she’s returned, and, as they’ll convince you in an enchanting, technicolor production number … it’s nice to have her back where she belongs.

Hearing Midler sing “Hello, Dolly!” is such a tingly experience that you eventually sit back down and wonder: Is this what it was like when Carol Channing debuted “Dolly!” on Broadway half a century ago? And, was Midler put on Earth to carry forth that legacy? It sure feels that way. This “Hello, Dolly!” is as blissful an escape as anyone could want.

Directed by Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, Broadway’s new “Dolly!” is a robust and full-bodied tribute to the original work of director and choreographer Gower Champion. Midler has an ideal sparring partner in David Hyde Pierce, as the well-known Yonkers “half a millionaire” whom the man-hunting Dolly is going to chase ... until he catches her.

One reason this production will be hailed as a triumph for Midler, back on Broadway for the first time since her run as super-agent Sue Mengers in 2013’s “I’ll Eat You Last,” is the vulnerability and subtle quiver she lends Ms. Levi, who underneath an exuberant exterior also has a certain melancholy.

Dolly is widowed and, though she’d never say so out loud, destitute, filling the void in her life as the queen of odd jobs, while simultaneously staving off loneliness: “I’m available for financial consultation, instruction in the guitar and mandolin, long distance hauling ... and varicose veins reduced!”

You can just hear Midler saying that bit out loud, can’t you? Her voice is grainier than it once was, and the extra texture heightens the effect of every punchline. Combine that with her trademark narrowing of the eyes and arch drawl, and you’ve got a “Dolly!” to reckon with.

For all of Dolly’s deceptions, Midler ensures that we believe she has a core of integrity and substance. (Theatergoers will note that multiple Tony winner Donna Murphy will play Dolly once a week starting in June.)

Pierce, as Horace Vandergelder, pulls out everything in his bag of tricks, waggling his whiskers in consternation, glowering in annoyance and popping his eyes in surprise. He needs not even a set behind him to land “Penny in My Pocket,” the second act curtain-raiser about how Horace came into his wealth.

Kate Baldwin brings all her heart to the role of Irene Molloy, a widow and milliner with a New York City shop—the actress played the same role at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse in 2006. Gavin Creel is in his usual super form as the older of Horace’s two clerks; Taylor Trensch invests his role, as Creel’s partner in crime, with distinction and spunk.

The orchestra pit is set slightly inside the stage, leaving a small apron out front. The choreography takes advantage of the gap, sending the actors dancing expertly around the musicians.

Santo Loquasto’s set employs larger-than life elements, such as the staircase on which Dolly enters the restaurant, and vintage painted screen backdrops. Together, they help “Dolly” strike a sumptuous balance between realism and misty nostalgia. 

“Hello, Dolly!” at the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th St. Tickets: $59-$229, on sale through Jan. 14, 2018. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes]]>
<![CDATA['Captain America' Star Chris Evans Sets Broadway Debut]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:10:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ChrisEvansBroadwayDebut.jpg

From Captain America to Captain Broadway, Chris Evans will make his Broadway debut next season alongside Michael Cera in Kenneth Lonergan's "Lobby Hero."

The play, from the Oscar-winning screenwriter ("Manchester by the Sea") and playwright ("This Is Our Youth"), will kick off both the Second Stage Theater's inaugural Broadway season and the opening of the newly renovated Hayes Theater. Performances begin in March 2018. 

Director Trip Cullman, currently represented this season with "Significant Other" and "Six Degrees of Separation," will helm the production — his sixth with Second Stage.

"Lobby Hero" follows a security guard, his strict supervisor, a rookie cop and her overbearing partner — all convening in the foyer of a middle-income Manhattan apartment building where a murder investigation is underway.

The play premiered Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2001, with a cast that included Tate Donovan and Heather Burns — though has never played Broadway. 

This will be the second time Cera has worked with Lonergan. He previously starred in the 2014 revival of "This Is Our Youth."

Elsewhere in Second Stage’s Broadway season is a production of Young Jean Lee's "Straight White Men," which will be directed by Tony-winner Anna D. Shapiro ("August: Osage County") and open in July 2018.

The play is set on Christmas Eve, as a father and his three adult sons gather to celebrate. Instead of holiday cheer, they're forced to confront their own identities in what the release calls "a hilariously ruthless look at the classic American father-son drama."

Lee, who marks her Broadway debut with the play, will be the first female Asian-American playwright ever to be produced on Broadway.



Photo Credit: Theo Wargo ]]>
<![CDATA[Disney Reveals New Details of Star Wars-Themed Lands]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:24:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/199*120/Disney+Star+Wars+Theme+land.jpg

Two years after Disney announced plans to bring Star Wars-themed expansions to its parks in California and Florida, fans of the franchise finally got a behind-the-scenes look at the design and construction of the parks.

Lucasfilm and Walt Disney Imagineering creatives shared exclusive details about the new galactic lands scheduled to open at Walt Disney World and Disneyland in 2019.

During the "Star Wars and Disney Parks: A Galaxy in the Making" celebration in Orlando Saturday, new renderings were revealed in a video giving attendees insight into their collaboration — including the story behind "the mysterious destination somewhere on the Outer Rim."

"We’re creating a place that is an extension of the Star Wars universe, not a recreation of an experience that you might have already seen on screen, but something totally brand new," said Disney Imagineering Executive Creative Director Asa Kalama.

The never-before-seen land is set in a remote village that was once a bustling area along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but over time has become a thriving environment for port smugglers, rogue traders and adventure-seeking travelers bouncing between the frontier and uncharted space, according to Disneyland Resort spokesman George Savvas.

"There will be things in there that will feel very familiar, things in there that they’ve always wanted to see, but yet on top of that we’re also designing and creating new experiences so that it will really enhance what the Stars Wars universe is," said Star Wars’ Creative Director Doug Chiang.



Photo Credit: Disney Parks
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<![CDATA[Injured 'Groundhog Day' Star Schedules Absences to Heal]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 12:08:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GroundhogDayAndyKarl.jpg

On the instructor of doctors, "Groundhog Day" actor Andy Karl is taking a few performances off from the newly-opened musical to recuperate from an injury he sustained at the show on Friday.

The Tony-nominated stage veteran, who stars at Phil Connors in the musical adaptation of the popular 1993 Bill Murray comedy, will perform in the show twice more this week — Friday (April 21) and Saturday evening (April 22).

The rest of his performances will be covered by understudy Andrew Call, who went on for Karl last Saturday evening.

"I will be taking a few shows off on doctors orders," Karl, 43, wrote on Instagram. "This is such a bittersweet moment in my life; getting such love for the show and then having to miss doing it for a few days."

"In the meantime, @theAndrewCall will be playing #Phil," Karl continued. "As you already know, he's hilarious and super-talented. I'll be back to the wonderful @groundhogdaybwy 'if not tomorrow, perhaps the day after.' "

Karl tweaked his knee after a fall on Friday night' preview performance, minutes before the show's second act ending, in what he called a "poorly landed leap frog." He finished the performance despite his injury, with help from a makeshift cane, and was checked by a doctor where he was told he had no broken bones.

He told fans he planned to see a specialist before he returned to the show.

The Saturday matinee performance of "Groundhog Day" was canceled. Call filled in for Karl at the Saturday night show, though Karl returned for Monday's opening night and Tuesday's show.

The decision for Karl's break this week was confirmed to producers this morning, they said in a statement.

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

It's score comes from "Matilda" composer Tim Minchin with a book from Danny Rubin, who also co-wrote the screenplay to the original film. Matthew Warchus directs.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA['Indecent' Resurrects Untold Story of Jewish History]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:14:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/IndecentBroadway.jpg

It doesn't take long into "Indecent" to start hearing the muffled sound of crying coming from those around you. The tears falls fast in the emotionally powerful production, now open at the Cort Theatre, and continue well throughout its 105 minutes — so much so that producers might consider selling branded tissue packets at the merchandise counter.

The play, the latest from Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, charts the history of Polish-Jewish playwright Sholem Asch's revolutionary 1907 drama "God of Vengeance" — a Yiddish-language piece that became a sensation throughout Europe thanks to dozens of translations, but was pulled after six weeks on Broadway in 1923 when its entire cast, producer and owners of the theater were indicted and convicted on charges of obscenity.

It's a real-life controversy not often remembered by modern history. The cause of the outrage? The play's lesbian romance — the love of which was downplayed when key scenes were stripped away by the show's producers in an effort to censor the story for American audiences. Those cuts had the opposite effect, instead leaving behind an couplining that felt over-sexualized. 

That was just one of the many battles "God of Vengeance" had along its long road. As we learn, Asch’s work divided members of his own community for years — some calling him traitorous for exposing religious hypocrisy among his own faith (like when in the play's conclusion, a Jewish pimp hurls a Torah scroll at his daughter and condemns her to a life of prostitution), and others considering his honest look at the flaws in their lives to be groundbreaking.

There was also the toughest chapter in the play's history — the holocaust, which wiped out millions of Jews and, in the case of "God of Vengeance," the artists and art who told their stories.

This is where "Indecent" starts: With a company of seven actors rising from the ashes of history to tell the story of those lost before them, a literal stream of gray ash pouring from their sleeves as they move around the stage. Frankly, I would have been crying too like many of those around me, but I was holding my breath instead — stunned by the sheer beauty and sadness of it all.

Director Rebecca Taichman (who co-conceived the play with Vogel) has many more gems like that throughout her beautiful and arresting staging. While set designer Riccardo Hernandez's basic bare proscenium may look minimal, Taichman has structured the action such that nearly every scene is filled with surprises. (One, towards the play's end, was so effective applause broke out).

There's music too (played by a trio of musicians) whose songs helps paint a more rounded cultural perspective on the story being told. All are composed by Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva with the exception of a period tune titled "Wiegala." Written by Hse Kelin — a nurse at the children's hospital in Theresienstadt — she famously sang the tune in line as she and her patients made their way to the chambers.

It would be hard to find a weak link among the cast, all transferring with the production after it's acclaimed Off-Broadway run at downtown's Vineyard Theatre last year. Playing a handful of roles each, you'll marvel as they lose and gain costume pieces, accents and mannerisms to bring the many voices involved in this play's past to life.

A standout is the graceful Katrina Lenk, who plays (among other parts) one of the more outspoken actors in the "God of Vengeance" company. The "Once" alum will break your heart with her fragility and passion, especially as the show reaches its tragic end. 

If there's a complaint to be had with "Indecent," it's that by so often switching its characters, it can be challenging to get emotionally invested in a central protagonist's journey. The play's trajectory is confusing enough, jumping time periods and locations so quickly (Tal Yarden's projections help a lot here, but not enough). Without someone steering this ship, it's easy to get lost. Even when recurring characters like Sholem Asch appear again, they've often been gone so long that you've forgotten where you last saw them — and their narrative can only be so deep. ("Come from Away" uses a similar technique this season, to a similar result).

But perhaps that's just force of habit. Because the real central character in "Indecent" is "God of Vengeance." And though that made it much harder to sometimes connect to Vogel's play (especially since we don't see enough of "God of Vengeance"), Taichman's staging here is strong enough here to make up for what is lacking.

This is a play about, among other things, the power of theater and the tragedy of art being forgotten in time. You won't want to miss it.

"Indecent" at the Cort Theatre (138 W 48th St.). Tickets: (212) 239-6200 or Telecharge.com



Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg]]>
<![CDATA[New Hampshire Farm Lets You Do Yoga With Baby Goats]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:10:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/200*120/Screen+Shot+2017-04-18+at+1.40.45+PM.png

The latest fitness trend might just convince some people to slap on yoga pants, especially if they love baby animals.

Jenness Farm in Nottingham, New Hampshire, has gotten a lot of attention after introducing yoga with baby goats as a part of their business a few weeks ago. The tiny goats are let loose while yoga students get into various yoga positions. 

The result is a mix of the relaxed mindfulness that yoga offers and some chaotic cuteness. 

Jenness Farm raises dairy goats for a variety of products, such as goat milk, soaps, and other bath and body items, but visitors have been able to get up-close-and-personal with the animals on their yoga mats for the past few weeks. 

Owner Peter Corriveau said many followers of the farm's Facebook page suggested he offer the yoga class after similar ones have been seen trending in other areas. He has run Jenness Farm since 2001 and knew that his goats would be perfect for the job since he bottle raises them himself.

“Goats are very intelligent and curious,” he said. “Within the first hour of their life they are up and walking around. They are very playful.”

The farm recruited local yoga instructor Janine Bibeau, a frequent visitor of Jenness Farm and a fellow goat-lover. The first few classes have been a big hit and presented a new way to bring in yoga newcomers.

“This is unlike any yoga that I’ve ever taught,” said Bibeau, “you can come into this room feeling tired or sad and you are going to leave a lot more joyous and energetic. After the last class that we taught, my face was sore from smiling the whole time.”

Bibeau has goats of her own, but they are a bit calmer than the hyperactive baby goats that like to jump on top of people while they pose. Her older goats will simply come up and cuddle while she practices her yoga. 

The energetic baby goats are a good representation of how chaotic life can get. Her students are challenged to remain mindful, but of course are encouraged to pet and play with the goats during the class.

Interest in the class has exploded since photos and video from the first few classes have gone viral on Facebook. There is already a long waiting list to get into a class, but Corriveau says that they are working on expanding the yoga area to let more people in at once. 

For more information on goat yoga at Jenness Farm you can visit their website here.

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<![CDATA[10 Discounts, Deals and Freebies for Tax Day 2017]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:19:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tax+day+deals+2017.png

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[History Repeats Itself in Gratifying 'Groundhog Day' Musical]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:02:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/GroundhogMain.jpg

The creators of “Matilda” have worked their magic all over again. And again.

“Groundhog Day,” now open at the August Wilson Theatre, is a textured, twisted and ticklish comic musical from composer Tim Minchin and director Matthew Warchus. The book is by Danny Rubin, who also co-wrote the screenplay to the 1993 film starring Bill Murray.

With a cast led by Andy Karl, as the cynical TV weatherman stuck in a time warp, “Groundhog Day” shares with “Matilda” both an intriguing darkness and enough on-stage razzle-dazzle to seize your attention and hold it across two generally gut-busting acts.

Karl, who earned an Olivier Award for his West End performance in the musical, plays Phil Connors, a sexist, self-centered journalist reluctantly forced to set up his live shot in Punxsutawney, Pa.

Will the town’s famous forecasting rodent see his shadow, ensuring six more weeks of winter? Will spring come early? Eh … doesn’t matter. For the people of Punxsutawney, the holiday is a ritual that brings soul-satisfying joy.

I’ve seen enough Hallmark movies to know bad things are in store for any city slicker who dares to demonize the good-natured folk of Smalltown, U.S.A. In “Groundhog Day,” the instrument of Connors’ torture is a digital alarm clock that clues him in to the fact he’s reliving the same day, over and over.

Karl, as charismatic as can be, works hard in a demanding role, with numbers like the outlandish “Hope,” which has him killing himself off in creative ways and then, with the aid of slick stagecraft, popping up again in his bed.

By the musical’s end, the character has made the transition from upwardly mobile jerk to nice fella who appreciates the people in his midst. (Karl was injured Friday during the performance reviewed for this post; understudy Andrew Call covered the role on Saturday night.)

Barrett Doss is appealing as Rita, the associate producer who collaborated with Phil once before on a flood story, though he barely recalls it. Doss is a good foil to her co-star, letting us believe Rita notices the people around her and delights in small moments: a carnival ride, a cup of chili, and so on.

Supporting characters—the too-friendly insurance salesman; a generically sexy woman in tight pants—are painted in broad, clownish strokes, specifically because we see them through Phil’s eyes.

One of the musical’s weaker spots is the second-act curtain-raiser, “Playing Nancy,” which tries a bit too hard to sum up reasons we should appreciate these individuals.

The performer (Rebecca Faulkenberry) is quite talented, but the tone is saccharine in the wider context of the production—this is a musical in which various “healers” perform an on-stage enema on the lead character, in an effort to resolve his issues with chronology.

Director Warchus stages most scenes with vibrancy, particularly a car chase sequence. At first, movement is suggested by cloaked performers holding up miniature houses and running past a truck. As the action steadily builds, the whole thing somehow goes vertical, giving the audience what appears to be an aerial, “Frogger”-like view of the chase.

It’s marvelously good fun. As is, for the most part, all of “Groundhog Day.” The musical is mostly consistent with the devilish humor in its cinematic predecessor, and Karl is a magnetic leading man whose “show-must-go-on” fortitude is now the talk of Broadway.

“Groundhog Day,” at the August Wilson Theatre, 245 W. 52nd St. Tickets, on sale through Jan. 7, 2018: $69.50 and up. Call 877-250-2929.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Injured 'Groundhog Day' Actor Back for Show's Opening]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:18:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GroundhogDayMusicalLondon.jpg

Andy Karl is returning to the new musical "Groundhog Day" just in time for its opening night.

The Tony-nominated stage veteran, who was injured during a preview performance on Friday evening, will perform in the production this evening, producers announced. 

Karl, 43, tweaked his knee after a fall on Friday night, minutes before the show's second act ending, in what he called on Instagram a "poorly landed leap frog." He finished the performance despite his injury, with help from a makeshift cane, and was checked by a doctor where he was told he had no broken bones.

He told fans he planned to see a specialist before he returned to the show.

The Saturday matinee performance of "Groundhog Day" was canceled. Understudy Andrew Call filled in for Karl at the Saturday night performance.

"I love this show and this company and everyone that supports me more than you'll ever know," Karl wrote on Instagram Saturday. "#theshowmustgoon."

His accident came days after he was awarded the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. The London equivalent of the Tony Award, the prize went to Karl last Sunday for his role in "Groundhog Day" — which premiered at the Old Vic in the summer of 2016 to rave reviews.

NBC New York's theater reviewer Robert Kahn, who was at the show on Friday night, said seconds after the accident, actors were quickly asked to clear the stage — over loudspeakers — and the curtain came down.

One audience member in the second or third row responded to the theatre's call for medical assistance. He was back in his seat not soon thereafter.

During the curtain call bow, Karl was in tears. He received a standing ovation. 

Adapted from the 1993 Bill Murray comedy, "Groundhog Day" tells the story of a cranky TV weatherman Phil Connors (Karl) who gets stuck in a time warp while covering the Groundhog Day ceremonies in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — reliving the same day over and over again until he gets it right.

It's score comes from "Matilda" composer Tim Minchin with a book from Danny Rubin, who also co-wrote the screenplay to the original film. Matthew Warchus directs.  



Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside: Bob Simpson Selling Texas Castle-Style Home]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 10:51:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Bella+Terra+Simpsin+House.jpg Bob Simpson, the co-founder of XTO Energy, and co-owner of the Texas Rangers has listed his home with his wife Janice for $7 million.]]> <![CDATA['Carousel' Circles Back to Broadway ]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 09:33:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-535030958.jpeg

June will be busting out all over Broadway next spring, when Rodgers and Hammerstein's celebrated musical "Carousel" returns to the rialto.

A new revival of the 1945 American classic — which features musical theatre standards like “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone" — is set to open March 23, 2018 at a theater to be announced. 

It'll come with a superstar cast and creative team, starting with Tony winner Jessie Mueller ("Beautiful") as millworker Julie Jordan. The 34-year-old actress just finished a year-long run in "Waitress."

Her character begins an ill-fated romance in the piece with carnival barker Billy Bigelow, played by Tony nominee Joshua Henry, 32. He's currently starring as Aaron Burr in the touring production of "Hamilton."

Joining them will be renowned opera star Renée Fleming as Nettie Fowler — who sings the show's rousing number “June is Bustin’ Out All Over.” The Grammy-winning soprano, 58, is said to be making her retirement from traditional operatic repertoire on the Metropolitan Opera stage this season in "Der Rosenkavalier."

She made her Broadway debut in 2015's "Living on Love." 

Amar Ramasar (Jigger) and Brittany Pollack (Louise) – two dancers from the New York City Ballet — will also star. Their characters figure prominently in the show's well-known dream ballet sequence.

Direction will come from three-time Tony winner Jack O'Brien ("Hairspray," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), while New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck will make his Broadway choreography debut.

This will be the fourth Broadway revival of "Carousel," which features music by Rodgers and a book and lyrics by Hammerstein II. The last was a 1994 Lincoln Center production that picked up five Tony Awards — including one for Audra McDonald, her first of what is now six.



Photo Credit: Paul Morigi]]>
<![CDATA[ 'Oslo' Details the Long Road to Peace in the Middle East ]]> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 18:52:37 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/OsloLTCOpening.jpg

The headline "Peace in the Middle East" was plastered all over newspaper and television reports in September 1993 — next to a photo of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat shaking hands in the White House Rose Garden, moments after signing the Oslo peace accords.

It was one of the most iconic moments in the last decade of the 20th century — and to this day, its image is all-but burned into the memories of those who were alive to see it. As the smiling then-Present Bill Clinton standing behind them seemed to be saying to the world, enemies could put their past behind them and agree to a peaceful future. There was hope.

Of course history has proven that handshake to be nothing more than an ineffective diplomatic photo-op, despite Rabin and Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for their efforts. Nearly 25 years later, the Arab-Israeli conflict isn't marked with harmony and kumbayas. Turn on the news and you'll see what was left in it's wake: violence, bloodshed and anger — with seemingly no end in sight.

But as the gripping new play "Oslo" so effectively explores, those who worked to make the Oslo peace accords a reality were hopeful its end result would tell a very different story.

The intense political drama — now open at Lincoln Center Theater's Vivian Beaumont Theater after an acclaimed Off-Broadway engagement at LCT last summer — plays like a live documentary of sorts, revealing the details behind the secret peace negotiations that took place in back-channel meetings between Israeli and Palestinian players for years before Rabin and Arafat ever put pen to paper. (And before American officials were even aware).

Though we know the outcome, playwright J.T. Rogers focuses the action of the play on two unlikely protagonists: a young Norwegian couple (Tony winners Jefferson Mays and Jennifer Ehle) who brought the feuding parties together without the permission of their superiors at the snowy Borregaard Manor — a royal estate built by the Viking king Olav Haraldsson (St. Olav) outside the Norwegian capital.

Mays ("A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder") in a standout performance leads the charge as Terje Rød-Larsen, a determined yet anxious director of a Norwegian think tank whose unconventional ways of communication pierces through the walls put up by his stubborn house guests.

By his side is the superb Ehle ("The Coast of Utopia") as Terje's wife Mona Juul, who single-handedly manages to give "Oslo" the warmth it so desperately needs. An effective diplomat, Mona moves between plugging press leaks in one moment to calming irate personalities in the next.

She also serves as the show's narrator, breaking down the action and inner conflicts for those feeling lost along the way. (Often as Ehle speaks, maps and newsreel footage project on the back wall for context — one of director Bartlett Sher's best touches).

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't one of those people. Embarrassingly, I in no way understood all of the politics in "Oslo" going into the theater. In fact, I'll admit to finding the play's premise entirely intimidating at first — worried I'd be walking into a dry history lecture filled with battles that landed above my head and interest level.

Telling the story from Terje and Mona's unbiased perspective, though, allows "Oslo" to remain clear and relatable. (The real-life diplomats aided Rogers with his script). It's also neither pro-Israeli nor pro-Palestinian in its political stance — something theatergoers with strong political views on either side will surely be relieved by.

That doesn't mean Israel and Palestine's motivations are underplayed. As PLO finance minister Ahmed Qurie and his delegation partner Hassan Asfour respectively, the excellent Anthony Azizi and Dariush Kashani never let their characters escape the weight of what's at stake — often exploding in anger over hot-button topics.

Across the table is former New York consulate official Uri Savir (the charismatic Michael Aronov, of “Golden Boy”), a newly appointed Israeli politician who appears just as driven by ego as he does his nation's agenda.

There's a lot of yelling throughout as the Israelis and Palestinians attempt to hammer out a Declaration of Principles. Who will have sovereignty over Jerusalem? Can the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “legitimate” state? Will the Israelis leave Gaza? Each new question explodes in passionate debate, one more tense than the last.

In the end, "Oslo" may not give many answers — but it instead stresses the importance of communication across the aisle, even if the results don't lead to what one might desire. Living in today's divisive political climate, it hard not to feel inspired by that.

"Oslo" at the Vivian Beaumont Theater (150 W 65th St.). Tickets: $79-$149, at (212) 239-6200 or lct.org.



Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson]]>
<![CDATA[This Is What an $85 Million Manhattan Penthouse Looks Like]]> Fri, 14 Apr 2017 13:29:37 -0400 the full listing with River 2 River Realty here.]]> the full listing with River 2 River Realty here.]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/233324270d6509d43-bdfd-49d7-a08c-379de892a782+%281%29.jpg Trulia recently put together a round-up of the most expensive homes for sale in America, and several are in New York, including this magnificent penthouse at the "one-of-a-kind" Atelier Condo in Midtown West. River 2 River Realty President Daniel Neiditch owns the condo building and is the listing agent for the home, which is on the market for $85 million. See the full listing here.

Photo Credit: River 2 River Realty]]>
<![CDATA[Rock Band Frontman Is Broadway-Bound]]> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 11:02:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BrendonUriePanic.jpeg

Brendon Urie has been entertaining audiences across the world as the frontman for the Grammy-nominated rock band, Panic! At the Disco. But this spring, the 29-year-old singer will try his hand at something new: Broadway. 

Urie will join the cast of the Tony-winning "Kinky Boots" on May 26 for a limited run in the show as the musical's lead protagonist, Charlie, through Aug. 6.

"I’m thrilled to be making my Broadway debut with this fantastic company," Urie said in a statement. "I’m a huge fan of 'Kinky Boots' and musical theatre, and am honored to be joining the cast."

The singer has a theater background of sorts, building sets for musicals and plays in high school. He told the Associated Press he's "terrified" and "anxious" to start performances at the Hirschfeld Theatre — and chose "Kinky Boots" after seeing the show.

"This one just made the most sense to me," he explained to the AP. "I said, 'I want to be a part of this magic that I'm watching.'"

A musical adaptation of the 2005 film of the same name, "Kinky Boots" tells the tale of a struggling shoe factory that begins manufacturing footwear for drag queens in order to save its business.

The show boasts a Tony-winning score by music legend Cyndi Lauper, and a book by Harvey Fierstein. Direction and choreography comes from Jerry Mitchell ("Legally Blonde: The Musical"). 

Panic! At the Disco recently released their fifth studio album "Death of a Bachelor" — which debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard charts. Among the band's many hits is the 2006 song "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." 

For tickets and information about "Kinky Boots," visit kinkybootsthemusical.com.



Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside: Taylor Swift's Rare NYC Carriage House for Sale]]> Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:36:36 -0400 the full listing with Corcoran here. ]]> the full listing with Corcoran here. ]]> http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/23+CORNELIA_10.jpg Taylor Swift rented a charming carriage house in the heart of the West Village for a time last year while her Tribeca apartment was being renovated, according to published reports. Now the "exceptional and unique" home is up for sale -- and it can be yours for $24.5 million. You can see the full listing with Corcoran here.

Photo Credit: The Corcoran Group]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside San Francisco's Most Expensive Home]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 13:58:21 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/L3_Dining_89501.jpg

Photo Credit: Jacob Elliott Photography]]>
<![CDATA[2017 Tribeca Film & Event Schedule]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:32:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tribeca+film+festival+generic.jpg Here's a breakdown of dates and times for screenings by competition.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tribeca Film Festival FAQs]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:27:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/450989657.jpg Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about the film festival.
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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[All in the Family: Celebrity Siblings]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 12:53:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/natsib22.jpg On National Sibling Day, take a look at some celebrities who share the limelight with their siblings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Balmain]]>
<![CDATA[LuPone and Ebersole Deftly Apply 'War Paint']]> Thu, 06 Apr 2017 14:51:43 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/WarPaintMain.jpg

Legendary talents Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole play rival cosmetics titans in a highly anticipated new musical that -- hear this, clearly -- is not a two-act cat fight between dueling so-called divas, but rather a smart portrayal of the obstacles faced by a pair of America's earliest female entrepreneurs.

“War Paint,” directed by Michael Greif (“Dear Evan Hansen”) and now open at the Nederlander Theatre, benefits foremost from the remarkable symmetry between its leads.

LuPone’s Helena Rubinstein is quick with the one-liners, autocratic and extravagant in gesture. Any concern that Ebersole’s Elizabeth Arden could seem pallid in comparison is folly: Ebersole ensures that Arden has a core of iron resolve and vivacity, beneath a carefully cultivated patrician manner. She’s pretty in pink ... and tough as nails.

Doug Wright’s book takes the duo from Park Avenue society to the halls of Congress, where the competitors nearly destroy each other by drawing attention to the unusual components -- gelatinous hoof of horse! -- in their products. Rubinstein's best-selling cream is sumptuous ingredients in indifferent packaging; Arden's is the reverse.

LuPone moves through the musical in swaths of swishing bright fabric, landing her bon mots with machine-gun precision: “It is dangerous to wound the enemy,” she tells Arden’s spurned husband (John Dossett), when he offers to sell-out his former spouse. She waits a beat: “The blow must be fatal.”

Give yourself a few minutes to adapt to the Eastern European accent LuPone employs throughout.

Like Dossett, Douglas Sills is up to his task as Rubinstein's frustrated sales genius, a gay surrogate husband with an eye for sailors. After their careers are shattered, Sills and Dossett share a second act duet, “Dinosaurs,” that’s downright jolly. Bookkeeping! Give these guys 80 cents on the dollar!

The score, by “Grey Gardens” team Scott Frankel and Michael Korie -- Wright and Ebersole were also both part of that memorable 2006 musical -- is tuneful and catchy, winding up to a pair of bittersweet releases for the stars, just before the finale: “Pink,” sung by Ebersole, and “Forever Beautiful,” from LuPone.

Good God, the women’s voices are in astounding condition. It's revelatory to hear these theater veterans, both so associated with particular megahits, simply singing lyrics that for most of us will be brand new.

Angelina Avallone surely had unusual pressures on her in the realm of makeup design. Her lead characters age ever-so-gracefully. Choreographer Christopher Gattelli, who earned a Tony for his work on “Newsies” in this same space, has his chorus girls kicking things up as if it were “42nd Street.”

Ultimately, both Rubinstein and Arden refuse to adapt to post-war shifts in taste that they don't understand, leaving room for outsider Charles Revson (Erik Liberman, in a sharp, smarmy performance) to swoop in. In assessing their careers, the women raise the possibility that their life’s work might, in ways, have been anti-feminist.

By the time Wright’s book arrives at the inevitable face-to-face confrontation between Rubenstein and Arden, so much time has elapsed that their meeting is something of a misty-eyed anticlimax. They've been such evenly matched enemies that there has never been the thrilling possibility one might get the upper hand and force her rival into showing new resourcefulness in fighting back.

That quibble aside, a double star-vehicle like this is a Broadway rarity. “War Paint,” mostly, is bliss and makeup.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

“War Paint,” at the Nederlander Theatre, 208 W. 41st St. Tickets, $79-$189, on sale through Sept. 3. Call 800-745-3000.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Harvey Fierstein Shines in Dull 'Gently Down the Stream']]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:33:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/GabrielEbertHaryFiersteinGentlyJoanMarcus.jpg

The gay experience has been well documented on stage — be it the intimate portraits of community and romance during a time of oppression ("Love! Valour! Compassion!," "The Boys in the Band"), the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic ("The Normal Heart," "Angels in America"), or the celebration of life and love in a modern world ("Mothers and Sons," "Significant Other").

Harvey Fierstein has lived through them all. Heck, in many ways, the 62-year-old playwright and actor helped shaped how our culture viewed members of the gay community in the early 1980s with his groundbreaking play "Torch Song Trilogy" — and has continued to push the movement further with each one of his works since ("La Cage aux Folles," "Kinky Boots," "Casa Valentina").

In Martin Sherman's nice new drama "Gently Down the Stream," now open at The Public Theater, Fierstein plays a bitter man named Beau — who like the actor himself, has seen his fair share of the ugly side of gay American history. But unlike the bold and beloved pioneer playing him, Beau is paralyzed by his past.

The audience, in turn, becomes trapped in Beau's own anxieties about his future. And despite the play's best intentions to have us root for Beau to get out of his own way and embrace the love around him, his inability to do so makes "Gently Down the Stream" a very monotonous journey.

Perhaps it's that the stakes for Beau are not as high as they need to be. It's not that nothing of consequence happens throughout the 100-minute story. But like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" — the song that inspires the play's title and serves as its metaphor for gay advancement — Beau's life feels like a round, and we desperately need Sherman to break the mold here and row this boat into some rapid waters. 

Early on, it appears the character of Rufus might be able to do just that. The energetic and enthusiastic lawyer (played by the delightful Gabriel Ebert) does his best to drag Beau out of his comfort zone. As the two enter into a May/December romance, there are glimpses that Beau might find change. But every step he makes forward is met with fear and insecurity — too appealing and familiar for the aging pianist to leave behind.

By the time Rufus character decides to leave Beau for a man even younger than he (Christopher Sears, as the eccentric performance artist Harry), Beau's stubbornness has become so ingrained into the fabric of the story that it's hard to feel sad for him. You know that it won't break him. After all, this is what he wanted all along.

None of this is to say that watching "Gently Down the Stream" is a particularly bad experience. The performances are strong — especially the one from Fierstein, whose natural charm and rapport with his castmates helps him transcend the distracting New Orleans accent he's chosen. Director Sean Mathias keeps the action moving well, and wisely allows for Sherman's exquisite monologues to take center stage. (The most touching moment being when Beau recalls losing a lover in the UpStairs Lounge arson attack — the 1973 fire at the vibrant gay bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans that took the lives of 32 people). And Derek McLane's beautifully detailed set gives endless treasures to uncover when the action on stage dims.

It was refreshing to see multiple generations of gay people talking to one another — without any being particularly critical about the other's past or ideas for the future. But in the end, "Gently Down the Stream" didn't rock the boat enough. 

"Gently Down the Stream" at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street. Tickets, on sale through May 21, Tickets starting at $60. Call 212.539.8605.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Kevin Kline Returns to Broadway in 'Present Laughter']]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 12:32:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/LaughterMain.jpg

Kevin Kline leads a talented cast in a rather plodding revival of Noël Coward’s “Present Laughter,” an intimate comedy on the boards at the not-so-intimate St. James Theatre. For this, the 1939 comedy’s sixth Broadway outing, Kline, 69, plays a successful light comedy actor of 57, who spends much of the play pretending to be in his mid-40s.

Why the harping on age? I make the point to argue that the ever-dashing Kline—as Garry Essendine, who is preparing for a tour of Africa—perhaps comes across less as a self-obsessed ladies’ man, allowing gals into his studio because they’ve “lost their latch key,” and more as a hermit, on the verge of yelling: “Would you all just get off my lawn?”

With its name derived from a song in Shakepeare’s “Twelfth Night,” “Laughter” follows a brief span in Essendine’s life during which he’s seduced or accosted by many figures, among them several women (including estranged wife, Liz, played by Kate Burton) and a flailing playwright (Bhavesh Patel), whose work Garry has agreed to critique.

The two-act farce opens with pretty Daphne Stillington (Tedra Millan), awakening in a guest room and asking the servants to wait on her. She’s spent the night, though direct implication of an affair is hazy. Kline soon descends from his upstairs bedroom, hair disheveled and nerves jangled by the life forms scuttling about his living space.

The performances are solid, with the best coming from Burton, as the devious but well-intentioned sort-of-spouse; and Kristine Nielsen, as Garry’s twitchy, ever-suffering personal secretary. (Burton, of TV’s “Scandal,” etc., incidentally made her Broadway debut as Daphne in a 1982 revival of “Present Laughter,” starring George C. Scott.)

I suspect audiences may attend “Present Laughter” anticipating a sweeping comedic performance from Kline—let’s call this the “‘Wanda’ and ‘Soapdish’ Rule,” in acknowledgment of earlier roles in which Kline established his reputation as an exaggerating thespian adept at playing bombastic narcissists.

But what we have here is more of a big chill. It’s fantastic to see Kline perform live, a treat Broadway audiences haven’t had since “Cyrano” a decade ago. He is still the master of bumbling and pomposity, adjusting his hair in the mirror each time someone rings his doorbell, but this performance doesn’t radiate pep and vigor.

He just never leaves us with the sense things are spinning dangerously out of control. “Have you ever seen me overact?” goes a line from the satin-robed protagonist to his secretary. If I may interject, the answer is yes … and I was hoping you’d do a bit more of it here, since this is a farce.

Burton is at ease and deceitful, offering a modern take on the “How can I miss you if you won’t go away” not-quite-ex-wife. She’s delightfully giddy, taking joy at every compromising circumstance Garry finds himself in. Nielsen (“Vanya and Sonia…”) derives equal pleasures from embarrassing her boss. Neither comes off as nasty.

Cobie Smulders, the “How I Met Your Mother” star, spices things up in her Broadway debut, with a take-no-prisoners confidence in her sexuality. Patel gives a strange performance as the playwright/stalker eager for Garry’s esteemed feedback. Director Moritz von Stuelpnagel might have asked him to dial it back a notch.

Each act has two sections, interrupted by one-minute scene changes where phrases such as “Talk to your neighbor” are broadcast on the curtain.

Let me not leave you with the impression “Present Laughter” is a failure. Any opportunity to see this kind of cast doing a Coward play with such high production values is worth seeing. I’m just not 100 percent convinced this is the “Present” anybody was expecting.

“Present Laughter,” through July 2 at the St. James Theatre, 246 W. 44th St. Tickets: $59 and up. Call 877-250-2929.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[NYC Restaurant Named World's Best]]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 15:19:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/EMP_DiningRoom_FrancescoTonelli.jpeg

A New York City restaurant has been named the world's best. 

Eleven Madison Park, owned by chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, has scored the top spot on the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list. The ranking is compiled by an academy comprising 1,000 experts on the international restaurant scene. 

"It's the perfect partnership of outstanding hospitality and exquisite food in an iconic setting in New York City that makes Eleven Madison Park the No. 1 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants," the World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy says.

This is the first time since 2004 that a U.S. establishment has won the top spot on the list, which was created in 2002, according to Bloomberg News. Last year, Eleven Madison Park was No. 3. 

Typical dishes include Humm's signature roasted duck, which includes iterations of classic honey and lavender to honey-glazed with turnips and huckleberries. 

Dishes on the seven-course tasting menu include celery root cooked in a pig's bladder, which Humm has said is a career-defining creation.

Diners hoping to eat at the world's best restaurant of 2017 have a limited time to do so, though: it's closing for renovation in June, and will reopen in September with a new kitchen and refurbished dining room.

Until then, the 11-course retrospective tasting menu with classics from the last 11 years will be available. And then during the summer, Humm and Guidara will open a pop-up restaurant in the Hamptons. 

The only other New York City restaurants on the list are Le Bernardin (no. 17) and Cosme (no. 40). Le Bernardin, headed up by Eric Ripert, is touted as one of the world's premier destinations for seafood lovers in a sleek, modern space. Cosme is praised for its "combination of stunningly plated modern Mexican dishes and a stylish interior with a long bar serving a variety of mezcals." 

The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards started informally to promote U.K.-based Restaurant magazine, but quickly exploded in popularity and became a global phenomenon, according to Bloomberg News. When Copenhagen restaurant Noma first won in 2010, 100,000 people tried to book online the following day. 

]]>
<![CDATA[See Inside Tyra Banks' Stunningly Glamorous NYC Duplex]]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 11:37:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/TyraApartment.jpg Model, TV personality, actress and etc. extraordinaire Tyra Banks' expansive Battery Park City duplex is on the market. The combination of four apartments at Riverhouse can be yours for just $17.5 million.

Photo Credit: Evan Joseph and Getty]]>
<![CDATA[April the Giraffe Seen Gazing Out Window, Flirting With Beau]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 10:21:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-26+at+11.33.58+AM.png

Another day has come and gone and still no calf for April the world-famous New York giraffe.

A more normalized routine with the return of warmer temperatures and increased yard time could help speed up labor though, according to Animal Adventure Park, the upstate zoo live-streaming the giraffe's pregnancy for the world.

"Coupled with the thought that a natural light cycle of the dusk and dawn type may help entice up our labor, you will see us change our treat time and lights out routine to earlier in the day," the zoo said in its Monday night Facebook update. 

April has remained off grain, the zoo said, and turns up her nose at lettuce, but still won't turn down a Dr. Tim carrot treat. 

Not much had changed by Tuesday morning; the zoo said April still didn't want grain, but remained healthy with no signs of pain or distress. Keepers said the three-time mom had them on her toes overnight, showing signs she might deliver her fourth. While April remained pregnant Tuesday morning, the zoo said the facilities where she had her past calves indicated the babies came quickly once she went into active labor, so told fans to stay on their toes.

More than 200,000 people were watching feverishly just before 10:15 a.m. as April stood under her sunlit windows, looking around her pen quietly before peering with interest outside. Later, the 15-year-old beauty strutted over to her handsome but much younger beau Oliver (5), and flirted a bit before turning her back to him and walking off in the direction of the camera.

Watch the live stream below.

Even though many predictions about when April will go into labor have been thrown out the window, Dr. Tim, the veterinarian caring for the world-famous giraffe, says he isn't worried her time hasn't come yet.

"No, she isn't late; no, she isn't overdue; no, I'm not concerned she is 'taking so long,' nor should you be," Dr. Tim wrote on Facebook. "Pretty much all of her clinical signs from a couple days ago are still true." 

"She just isn't quite ready to give the world what it wants," he said. 

And thus, we will continue to wait. 

When April goes into active labor, the baby's front hoofs will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.

Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.

"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says.

This is 15-year-old April's fourth calf. It'll be the first for Oliver. He won't take any part in rearing the calf, though. Male giraffes, called bulls, really only care about two things, the zoo says: "fighting and the unmentionable."

"He is a bull -- and a bull is a bull is a bull!" the zoo says.

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.



Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park YouTube
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day Is April 4]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:09:02 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Ben-Jerrys-Free-Cone-Day-FB.jpg

I scream, you scream, we all scream for free Ben & Jerry's ice cream! 

The Vermont-based ice cream chain will celebrate its annual Free Cone Day event on Tuesday, April 4. 

Customers can get a free scoop of their favorite flavor from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at participating locations. And if after enjoying a Cherry Garcia cone your taste buds yearn for some Phish Food, just get back in line for another free cone. "Over and over again. We're not counting. Really, go for it," the company said on its website.

The first Free Cone Day was in 1979 — one year after co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield launched the company in a renovated gas station in Burlington. The tradition has since expanded globally, and Ben & Jerry's says it will hand out more than 1 million free scoops this Tuesday.

Click here to find a participating Ben & Jerry's location near you.



Photo Credit: Courtesy Ben & Jerry's]]>
<![CDATA[Philippa Soo Goes to Paris as Quirky 'Amélie' ]]> Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:33:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AmelieMain.jpg

“Hamilton” Tony nominee Phillipa Soo returns to Broadway this month in a well-intentioned but uninspiring musical adaptation of the quirky 2001 film “Amélie.” The 100-minute long tuner has a somewhat faithful book by Craig Lucas (“Prelude to a Kiss”) and a banal, disappointing score from Daniel Messé and Nathan Tysen.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s mischievous movie seems an unlikely contender for a theatrical update, with its charms born of the twinkle in star Audrey Tautou’s eyes, sweeping Montmarte visuals and offbeat cinematic cutaways. The first scenes depict the formation of the embryo that will become the kooky title character, for goodness’ sake!

A refresher: “Amélie” is the story of a shy waitress who secretly orchestrates moments of joy for the people in her orbit, after she’s, yes, jarred by the sudden death of Princess Diana. Her shock at the event sparks a discovery in her home, a box of childhood treasures belonging to a long-ago tenant.

Amélie tracks him down and soon sets out to do good everywhere—including contriving to have a beloved garden gnome appear to send postcards home from a world tour, in an attempt to prod her widowed father from his depression. However, she’s reluctant to embark on her own personal journey, despite overtures from a handsome stranger who clearly wants to join her.

On the Walter Kerr stage, Soo is joined by a team of pros including Adam Chanler-Berat (“Next to Normal”) as love interest Nino, who collects discarded pictures from photo booths, and Tony Sheldon (“Priscilla”) as the fragile neighbor who redraws the same Renoir painting every year and recognizes that Amelie needs coaxing out of her shell.

Elements of the film that were startling or poignant—the death of Amélie’s mother, who is crushed by a suicidal tourist; the forced release of the young Amélie’s goldfish into a raging river—are awkwardly played for laughs. The tourist hell bent on killing himself here is represented by a blow-up doll resembling the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.

Soo is a game gamine who deserves material to match her fine talents. She excels at the cat-and-mouse game that’s been constructed for her character, and she’s pleasing in every moment on stage.

Chanler-Berat is again cast as a forlorn outsider, who happens to work as a clerk at a pornography shop. (Props used in one scene render this “Amélie” questionable material for young audiences.) Sheldon, as is his custom, breathes life into what would otherwise be a caricature.

“Amélie” never seems to figure out what it wants to be, and its flaws lie in a combination of inconsistent directing by the usually reliable Pam MacKinnon (“…Virginia Woolf”) and charmless, generic compositions.

There’s nothing particularly French about the music or the setting, other than the moment Amélie learns about Diana’s death, when an English news broadcast interrupts the French-dubbed episode of “Friends” she’s watching.

The most memorable song, “Goodbye, Amélie,” features a character modeled on Elton John (Randy Blair, giving it his all), singing what I suppose would have been “Candle in the Wind,” if the rights had been obtained. It’s hysterical, but absurdly campy and plopped in here out of nowhere.

A closing number between the two leads, “Where Do We Go From Here?” is promising, but it arrives too late. By then, I wished I were off somewhere abroad with the more expressive gnome.

“Amélie,” at the Walter Kerr Theatre, 219W. 48th St. Tickets, on sale through Oct. 1, $59.50 and up. Call 877-250-2929.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[J.J. Abrams Helps Bankroll a Broadway Farce ]]> Mon, 03 Apr 2017 08:52:45 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/PlayWrongMain.jpg

The farce -- judging by the reactions of fellow theatergoers -- is with J.J. Abrams, who produced the most recent film in the main “Star Wars” series and has now focused his tractor beam on Broadway audiences, as one of the lead backers of “The Play That Goes Wrong.”

“Wrong” is a “Noises Off”-like screwball comedy on the boards at The Lyceum Theatre, fresh from an award-winning West End run. The show Web site heralds Abrams’ involvement, puckishly declaring: “We can only assume he lost a bet.” The zinger would be funny, if it didn’t feel so true. (See a clip of Abrams promoting the comedy with Jimmy Fallon, here.)

“The Play That Goes Wrong” resembles the final act of “Noises Off,” when players in the Michael Frayn confection attempt to perform their play-within-a-play. “Wrong” stretches the gag out over two hours as the actors of “The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society” work to stage a 1920s mystery, “The Murder at Haversham Manor.”

Prior to curtain, cast members mingle with the audience and meander around stage. Two appear to be repairing a misbehaving door handle on the properly flimsy set. An hour into the show, there’s shtick about a telephone wire that isn’t long enough. This is light and very, very familiar farce, from the Door Slamming School of British Comedy.

Mischief Theatre Company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields co-wrote “Wrong” and appear here, along with the entire original London cast, who earned their show a 2015 Olivier Award for top new comedy. Their stock in trade is broad physical comedy, and they make no pretense of trying to be anything haughty.

Shields, playing both the director and lead character of “Haversham Manor,” is likable, introducing the proceedings and apologizing for “our little box office mix-up,” adding that he hopes the “617 of you affected will enjoy our murder mystery just as much as you would have enjoyed ‘Hamilton.’” And so it goes.

Charlie Russell is good as the neophyte actress who strikes a pose at every scene, though Megan Hilty did the bit more memorably in Roundabout’s 2016 “Noises Off” revival. Nancy Zamit is quite funny as the stage manager, forced to take over her role (on book, of course) after Russell’s character is knocked unconscious.

Rob Falconer is appealing as Trevor Watson, the lighting and sound engineer, whose Duran Duran songs occasionally, accidentally, worm their way into the proceedings. And Lewis faces the toughest physical challenges in the comedy, easily winning our affection with his gutsiness and good nature.

There’s little character development across the two hours. The actors do a swell job rising, or perhaps stooping, to the audience’s level, so that during one scene when Shields’ inspector is searching high and low for a ledger, audience members, who can see it underneath a chaise, screamed its location at him. I suspect, and hope, this was set up during pre-show conversation.

You either go for this sort of thing or you don’t -- I don’t, particularly, but I was in the minority at a recent performance. “The Play That Goes Wrong” works best when you believe the actors are in real danger. There are times you do. I might’ve enjoyed it as a 70-minute romp. As things stand, for me at least, a comedy this tired just can’t be right.

“The Play That Goes Wrong,” at The Lyceum Theatre, 149 W. 45th St. Tickets, on sale through Sept. 3, $30-$139. Call 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel, above; Alastair Muir, below]]>
<![CDATA[Giraffe's Seemingly Shunned Vet Won't Offer Labor Prediction]]> Mon, 03 Apr 2017 11:11:36 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-26+at+11.33.58+AM.png

Dr. Tim, the veterinarian caring for the world-famous giraffe April, seems to have had enough of the hullabaloo surrounding her fourth pregnancy.

After tantalizing April's tens of millions of fans around the world by estimating April, of the Animal Adventure Park in upstate New York, would go into labor Friday -- or Saturday -- or at least Sunday -- and being wrong, Dr. Tim is done making public projections.  

"You all know how much I love to be wrong about my predictions, but such is life. I'll keep all posted and will let you know when the baby is on its way," Dr. Tim wrote in the zoo's latest Facebook update. "It really shouldn't be much longer, I'm just not going to tell you my guesstimate anymore."

But there's no reason to be worried, he said.

"No, she isn't late; no, she isn't overdue; no, I'm not concerned she is 'taking so long,' nor should you be," Dr. Tim wrote. "Pretty much all of her clinical signs from a couple days ago are still true." 

"She just isn't quite ready to give the world what it wants," he said. 

And thus, we will continue to wait. 

More than 130,000 people were doing just that before 8 a.m. Monday, watching as April lifted up her long neck to face the camera, flicking first one ear, then the other before shaking her head as if to say, "Are you people serious?" 

Watch the live stream below.

When April goes into active labor, the baby's front hoofs will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.

Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.

"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says.

This is 15-year-old April's fourth calf. It'll be the first for Oliver. He won't take any part in rearing the calf, though. Male giraffes, called bulls, really only care about two things, the zoo says: "fighting and the unmentionable."

"He is a bull -- and a bull is a bull is a bull!" the zoo says.

 

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.



Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park YouTube
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Joke's on Us: No April Fools' Giraffe Baby]]> Sun, 02 Apr 2017 10:37:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-26+at+11.33.58+AM.png

April the giraffe is no fool and neither is her soon-to-be-born calf. 

As hundreds of thousands of people watched, the mama giraffe waited patiently for April Fools' Day to pass without giving birth. 

For those who are worried about missing their chance to witness the miracle of giraffe birth, the upstate New York zoo where April lives created a text alert system to notify fans of active labor. It costs $4.99, plus messaging fees apply.

On Sunday morning, her keepers reported: "increased discharge, continued lack of interest in food, full udders. April also continues to be a bit out of character. We continue to watch and wait."

More than 175,000 people watched her wildly popular livestream at 9:30 a.m. Sunday as April and her beau Oliver chewed on food and rubbed heads. 

The vet is watching for behavior including lifting each leg, pinning her ears, dazing off and raising her tail, the zoo said. 

April already held out longer than her keepers anticipated. The upstate New York zoo had predicted a calf by Friday.

"We would be shocked to get through the weekend without our newest addition," the Animal Adventure Park wrote. "The staff have been onsite with April all morning, Dr Tim was called and onsite within minutes. This is what we have all been waiting for!"

Watch the live stream below.

[[414784803, C]]

When April goes into active labor, the baby's front hoofs will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.

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Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.

"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says.

[[415567143, C]]

This is 15-year-old April's fourth calf. It'll be the first for Oliver. He won't take any part in rearing the calf, though. Male giraffes, called bulls, really only care about two things, the zoo says: "fighting and the unmentionable."

"He is a bull -- and a bull is a bull is a bull!" the zoo says.

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

[[415366633, C]]

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

[[415325763, C]]

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.

[[211053881, C]]



Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park YouTube
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[April the Giraffe's Calf Will Have an April Birthday]]> Sat, 01 Apr 2017 15:31:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-03-26+at+11.33.58+AM.png

April the giraffe has held out for her namesake month to deliver her world-famous calf.

It would be fitting for the long-necked beauty to give birth on April Fools' Day after all the false alarms she has thrust upon her tens of millions of admirers. Indeed, members of her fan club will have to sit tight just a little bit longer after weeks of waiting for what may be the most globally anticipated giraffe birth in history.

The wildly popular livestream went down intermittently Saturday morning, but the zoo insisted it was "not the hoax many anticipated." Nearly 240,000 people were watching Saturday afternoon, as April paced in her pen ans swished her tail. 

The zoo reported Saturday afternoon that April refused to eat her grain, but was nibbling on carrots. 

The vet is watching for behavior including lifting each leg, pinning her ears, dazing off and raising her tail, the zoo said. 

The zoo also posted a close-up photo of her udders to show how her milk was progressing. 

April already held out longer than her keepers anticipated. The upstate New York zoo livestreaming her pregnancy writing Friday morning that "all observations, behavior and predictions suggest a calf today or tonight."

"We would be shocked to get through the weekend without our newest addition," the Animal Adventure Park wrote. "The staff have been onsite with April all morning, Dr Tim was called and onsite within minutes. This is what we have all been waiting for!"

The zoo said it hoped to launch a text alert system to notify people when April went into active labor, though it wasn't clear if it would be up and running in time.

Watch the live stream below.

[[414784803, C]]

When April goes into active labor, the baby's front hoofs will be the first to come out, followed by the snout, the zoo says.

[[26343834, C]]

Mom will naturally raise the calf on her own, and weaning could take between six to 10 months, maybe even longer -- the zoo says it won't rush the process. Once weaning is over, the baby giraffe will move on to another facility to start a breeding program there.

"We cannot retain offspring, as it would lead to incestuous mating and undermine the genetics of the program and species," the zoo says.

[[415567143, C]]

This is 15-year-old April's fourth calf. It'll be the first for Oliver. He won't take any part in rearing the calf, though. Male giraffes, called bulls, really only care about two things, the zoo says: "fighting and the unmentionable."

"He is a bull -- and a bull is a bull is a bull!" the zoo says.

April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

[[415366633, C]]

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education. This is the zoo's first giraffe calf.

[[415325763, C]]

Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.

[[211053881, C]]



Photo Credit: Animal Adventure Park YouTube
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[How to Get Tickets to Tribeca Film Festival]]> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:33:05 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/movie+theater+generic+RESIZED.jpg Not sure how to get tickets to the Tribeca Film Festival? We've got you covered.
View Full Story]]>