<![CDATA[NBC New York - The Scene]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:09:27 -0400 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:09:27 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Beauty Buzz: No-Makeup Makeup]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:44:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/082114-NYL-LILLIANA+NO+MAKEUP+MAKEUP+WEB.png Do you dare to go bare with this season's "No-Makeup Makeup" trend? Lilliana met up with Teen Vogue's Elaine Welteroth at Rouge in NYC for some easy tips & tricks to pull of this natural look.]]> <![CDATA[Bon Appétit's Hot 10]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:38:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Bon+Appetit%27s+Hot+10.png Joelle Garguilo sits down with Bon Appétit's restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton to talk about his lineup of best new restaurants in America.]]> <![CDATA[Zabar's Celebrates 80 Years on Broadway]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:36:59 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/187*120/Screen+Shot+2014-08-20+at+2.59.47+PM.png The Upper West Side market Zabar's is turning 80, so we had to stop by this institution to see what makes it the longest running Broadway show.]]> <![CDATA["Cabaret" Welcomes Emma Stone]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 08:45:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/501230491ZD062_Magic_In_The.jpg

Emma Stone will make her Broadway debut this fall when she steps into the Roundabout Theatre Company’s acclaimed revival of “Cabaret.” Stone will play nightclub singer Sally Bowles, a role originated in this production by Oscar nominee Michelle Williams.

Williams will continue as Sally until Nov. 9. Stone’s limited run in the show begins Nov. 11 and goes through Feb. 1, 2015.

“Cabaret” opened at the Kit Kat Klub at Studio 54 in April. The revival is a restaging of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s 1998 Tony Award-winning production, which starred the late Natasha Richardson as Sally and Alan Cumming as Emcee.

Cumming returned as emcee for the current restaging, and will remain in his Tony-winning role through March 29, 2015. Linda Emond and Danny Burstein, who were both Tony-nominated for their work in “Cabaret”, will also continue with the production through the end of March. That means there’s room for Stone to extend her run, or for another actress to step into the role.

This isn’t the first time Stone’s name has been attached to the Roundabout’s “Cabaret.” The 25-year-old actress was linked to the show back in 2013, during initial announcements for the production, but had to back out due to scheduling conflicts.

This also isn’t the first time Stone will be singing professionally. Long before “Easy A” and “The Help,” Stone competed (as “Emily Stone”) on a VH1 reality singing show called “In Search of the New Partridge Family.” Stone won the 2004 competition, though sadly “The New Partridge Family” series never made it to air.

For tickets and information about “Cabaret,” visit roundabouttheatre.org.



Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris]]>
<![CDATA[Schilling, Dinklage Team Up for Play]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:30:01 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/207*120/DinklageSchilling.jpg

If you’re looking for A-list talent on stage this season, the Classic Stage Company has you covered.

Not only does the off-Broadway theatre have Peter Sarsgaard leading a production of “Hamlet,” and “Sex in the City” star Chris Noth in “Doctor Faustus,” but the company has recently announced a limited run production of Ivan Turgenev’s “A Month in the Country,” starring 2014 Emmy nominees Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black”) and Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”).

The play begins performances Jan. 9 and will run through Feb. 15.

Schilling will portray Natalya Petrovna, the matriarch of a country estate who has fallen for her son’s handsome young tutor. The only problem? She’s married. And her friend Rakitin (Dinklage) is also pining for her. Comedy, as you can imagine, ensues.

“A Month in the Country” will be directed by Dinklage's wife Erica Schmidt (“Humor Abuse”), who previously directed her husband on stage in a production of “Uncle Vanya” at Bard Summerscape. It will be Schilling’s New York City stage debut.

For tickets and more information about the Classic Stage Company’s season, visit www.classicstage.org.



Photo Credit: Jason Merritt | Graham Denholm]]>
<![CDATA[Birchbox Gets a New York Store]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:13:56 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BirchBox1.jpg For years, beauty lovers have been using Birchbox Online to get all their essentials. Now New Yorkers are getting a chance to shop in its first ever storefront. Joelle Garguilo headed down to SoHo to check out the new shop.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Trend Spotting: Rainbow Brights]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:12:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BrightColors1.jpg If you're looking for a way to brighten up your wardrobe this season, you're in luck. Lilliana Vazquez met up with Lucky Magazine's Laurel Pantin to find out how adding some bright colors to your closet can elevate any look.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Shaved Ice Around Town]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:24:12 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/shaved+ice.jpg Lilliana Vazquez checks out three original shaved ice treats to celebrate summer with in the city.]]> <![CDATA[Liliiana Loves ...Trends for the Season on a Budget]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:02:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/283*120/LLSummer.JPG Even though summer is starting to wind down, many are still in the market for staples like sunglasses and sandals. Lilliana Vazquez, author of "The Cheap Chica's Guide to Style," shares some budget buys.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Review: "Poor Behavior," by Theresa Rebeck]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:23:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Behavior1.jpg

The stakes start out deceptively slight in “Poor Behavior,” the new Theresa Rebeck comedy that’s just opened at The Duke on 42nd Street. As the play gets underway, two couples are enjoying a wine-fueled discussion about “goodness,” and whether it exists in some pure form.

“Trees are good,” argues one.

“If a tree falls on your house, that’s not a good tree,” counters another, with the kind of breezy, we’re-so-evolved flair reminiscent of Yasmina Reza’s 2006 “God of Carnage,” a similarly dark comedy about two couples who meet to discuss an issue in a “civilized” fashion.

Alas, there’s carnage in store for Rebeck’s four weekenders, as it turns out—though mercifully, the only thing being upchucked here is the occasional prissy tomato confit muffin. The “goodness” set-up is a precursor to the real topics at hand: fidelity and morality. We’re here to examine when one should stop to consider the impact of his actions on another, and to wonder: What happens if we behave with no one else’s feelings in mind?

If you follow Rebeck, creator of NBC’s “Smash” and one of the most prolific playwrights around (“Seminar,” “Dead Accounts”), then you know what’s in store: existential debate, the occasional chase around the kitchen with a cast-iron pan and dialogue that’s exciting, but that also—despite four excellent performances—can sometimes come off as unrealistic.

The setting for “Poor Behavior” is an idyllic country house somewhere north of the city, along the Taconic. It’s the kind of faux-rustic place a certain upper middle-class New Yorker would buy for getaways, though here it becomes a prison for Peter and Ella, the owners, and Ian and Maureen, their weekend guests.

Ian (the fine New York stage actor Brian Avers) is an Irishman out of central casting whose views on America have soured since his arrival years earlier. A subsequent marriage to uptight Maureen (Heidi Armbruster), rapidly deteriorating, likely occurred somewhere at the intersection of “I love her” and “I need a green card.”

The connection between this foursome is tenuous: Maureen long ago dated Peter’s brother. Muted and proud of having conquered his temper (or so he tells himself), Peter (Jeff Biehl, below) thinks himself securely married to Ella (Katie Kreisler), a high-strung urbanite who on more than one occasion evokes a live-action Tina Fey. Otherwise, we know little about the foursome. What do they do for a living? Where does everyone aside from Ian hail from?

Ian is the troublemaker in this gaggle, and his nefarious design for the weekend is evident early on. With every speech—a Yeats quote here, a paean to his dead pa there—Ian’s words become more of a splinter under the skin of his wife and his hosts.

“Poor Behavior” marks Rebeck’s 15th production on a New York stage. As in “Dead Accounts,” there are exchanges in “Poor Behavior” that are questionable. The whole first act here seems to hinge on a matter that could be resolved if Peter would just ask Ian and Ella one direct question. (It’s of note that Rebeck has said the play was inspired by “a really disastrous week” she and her husband spent away with friends.)

The four actors are excellent, notably the devilish Avers (“The Lieutenant of Inishmore”), as a louse I wish were just a bit more likable. As it is, he’s so clearly a man with absolutely no moral compass that you have to wonder how he existed in a marriage for so long, and how anyone else would even contemplate anything other than a one-night tryst with him. Blindfolded … and with earplugs.

Still, Ian gets you thinking. When Ella, examining her marriage, insists to Ian that Peter is her “best friend,” Ian replies: “God, that sounds like death. Why do Americans persist in thinking that it is ‘moral’ and ‘good’ to remain addicted to an institution which has driven them mad?”

It makes Ella stop for a minute, and it gives us pause, too. If there’s ever been theater that invites a discussion afterward over a glass or seven of wine, then “Poor Behavior” is it. Rebeck may be posing certain issues (the merits of commitment, for one) as questions, but it seems clear from the outcome that she already has her own answers.

The Primary Stages production of “Poor Behavior,” through Sept. 7 at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 W. 42nd St. Tickets: $70. Visit PrimaryStages.org, or call 646-223-3010.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn
 



Photo Credit: James Leynse]]>
<![CDATA[Catching Up With Susan Lucci]]> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 08:33:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SusanLucci.JPG Susan Lucci stops by the studio to talk about the third season of "Deadly Affairs," working on "Devious Maids" and spending time with her grandchildren.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Woodstock 45 Years Later: A Look Back Then & Now]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:52:08 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000004628597_1200x675_317635139778.jpg In the summer of 1969, hundreds of thousands of young people gathered in a cow pasture in Bethel for a rock festival known as Woodstock. Our senior correspondent Gabe Pressman was there. And this year, on the festival's 45th anniversary, we take a look back at the legendary event.]]> <![CDATA["Fun Home" Finds Broadway Home]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:30:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FunHomeUseITW.jpg

While you were drooling over Chris Pratt in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” here’s what happened last week In the Wings.

“Fun Home” finds a home on Broadway. The critically acclaimed musical, which has a sold-out run at The Public Theater last year, will transfer to Broadway this spring. Based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel, “Fun Home” features music by Jeanine Tesori (“Violet”) and a book/lyrics by Lisa Kron musical, with direction from Sam Gold. The show will begin performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre on April 4, 2015, with an opening night set for April 22. [More info

Will Melanie Griffith swing into “Pippin”? That’s the story according to Melanie Griffith, at least. The actress, last on Broadway in “Chicago,” tells Indiewire that she’ll be appearing in the Tony-winning revival this January. No official confirmation from “Pippin” on what part she’d play, but all eyes are on Berthe, Pippin’s grandmother. [More info]

“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” will return to Broadway in 2015. Tony winner Rob Ashford (“How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Promises, Promises”) will direct and choreograph the revival, which first played Broadway in 1978. No official dates or theater has been announced yet. [More info]

“You Can’t Take It With You” wants you to take some kittens with you. The upcoming revival has teamed up with The Humane Society of New York to support the adoption of kittens that will be used in their show. Audience members interested will be able to fill out applications for adoption before performances and at intermission. [More info]

Constantine Maroulis returned to “Rock of Ages.” If you never got a chance to see the “American Idol” finalist in his Tony nominated role, well now’s your chance! Maroulis is back as Drew in “Rock of Ages” through Oct. 26. That rocks! [More info]

Kathie Lee Gifford is writing a musical about “The Today Show.” This one’s not a joke, though it’s sure to be funny! Gifford announced recently that she’s working on an original musical about the popular morning show. The 18-minute musical, titled “Not ‘Today’... and Tomorrow’s Not Looking Good Either,” will air on NBC prior to “Peter Pan Live!” Gifford, who wrote the libretto to the short-lived Broadway musical “Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson,” will collaborate again with composer David Friedman on the piece. Watch Gifford discuss the piece here:

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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<![CDATA[In The Wings: Meet Jonathan Freeman, "Aladdin's" Jafar in Movie and on Broadway]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:44:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/in+the+wings+jafar+actor.jpg The story of the genie and his magic lamp has been packing the house of "Aladdin" on Broadway since the show opened a few months ago. Lurking in the corner of it all is the exquisite evilness of Jafar. Actor Jonathan Freeman, who also voiced him in the animated movie, says he's been fascinated by Disney villains since childhood. Roseanne Colletti reports]]> <![CDATA[Back to School Tech Gear: 10 Hot Gadgets for Students]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:27:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/thumb-tech.jpg From tablet convertibles to smart watches and battery charging phone cases, here's a list of top back to school electronics for the season. ]]> <![CDATA[Back to School Tech: Hot Electronic Gear for Students]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:27:19 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/thumb-tech.jpg

From smart watches to tablet convertibles and a Kindle to download your textbooks, here's what you should know about back to school gear now on the market.

For students going off to college, a laptop computer is a necessity, according to Jordan Crook, a reporter at TechCrunch.

"The best possible computer for a student would be a MacBook Air," Crook said. "It's just the most portable, light-weight thing you can carry around and it's powerful."

However, the latest gear hitting stores this season is an alternative to the everyday laptop — a tablet convertible.

"They call them convertible because they can either be a laptop or a tablet," said Sy Paulson, the general manager of a Manhattan Best Buy.

Tablet convertibles flip to let you "type as comfortably as you would on a traditional laptop."

Paulson recommends the Microsoft Surface, "because it is one of the most powerful and lightweight, and the battery lasts for a very long time."

When it comes to reading for either long-term or nightly assignments, Crook says you can't go wrong with a Kindle Paperwhite.

"It's a great thing for a student to get if you're going be doing a lot of reading. A lot of textbooks can download onto that,"she said. "It'll keep [them] all in one place."

The Kindle Paperwhite is the newest of the Kindle devices and is designed just for reading. The Kindle Fire also allows for using apps and watching TV shows.

For the tech-savvy student who might want to receive social media notifications without pulling out a smartphone in class, Crook recommends the Pebble Steel Smart Watch. The originator of the smart watch trend, Pebble's newest model, the Pebble Steel, beats out competitors with its iOs and Android compatibility, according to Crook.

Another tech-accessory-turned-fashion-statement is a good pair of noise-canceling headphones.

"If you want a home run back to school purchase idea for any student, you're going to go a long way if you pick up a pair of Beats or Bose noise canceling headphones," Paulson said.

But if a student wants their music to fill the room, Paulson recommends portable audio speakers that are battery powered and play through any device with a bluetooth interface.

Good speakers for a student on a study break could include GV Pulse speakers. "As you play it, it lights up, and if you turn the lights off in your dorm room you can make it look like a night club," Paulson explained.

Bluetooth has also allowed printers to go wireless. "You can stick the printer under the bed or in the closet on top of the mini fridge and print from your tablet or your phone or your computer," he said.


 

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<![CDATA[More S'mores, Please]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:06:58 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/215*120/Screen+Shot+2014-08-08+at+11.36.05+AM.png With three simple ingredients, the s'more is a campfire favorite. But in this town, we take things to the next level with these desserts that are anything but simple.]]> <![CDATA[Explore Brooklyn Bridge Park]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:58:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/brooklyn+bridge+park.png Lauren Scala explores all there is to do in Brooklyn Bridge Park.]]> <![CDATA[Larry David Penning Own Broadway Debut ]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:10:33 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/503426119DK023_Deepsea_Chal.jpg

Larry David, the Emmy-winning “Seinfeld” co-creator and star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” will make his Broadway debut this spring in a self-written play titled “Fish in the Dark.”

David broke the news to “The New York Times,” and says his character in the play -- a 15-character ensemble comedy centering on a death in a family -- will share a lot of his own personal traits. “It might even be Larry David with a different name,” he says.

Direction will come from Anna D. Shapiro, whose Broadway credits include last season’s revival of “Of Mice and Men,” the hit ensemble drama “August: Osage County” and the Michael Cera-lead “This Is Our Youth,” which begins performances Aug. 18 with a Sept. 11 opening.

“Fish in the Dark” will open at a Shubert theater to be announced sometime in March 2015.

Those hoping for a “Seinfeld” reunion in “Fish in the Dark” will have to wait. David tells “The Times” that despite rumors, Jerry Seinfeld is no way involved in the show. He also tells the paper that he’s still undecided on another season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Fans of “Curb” know that David has dabbled in Broadway before, albeit fictionally. On the acclaimed HBO show’s fourth season, his character landed the lead role in the Mel Brooks’ musical “The Producers” -- and went up on his lines during the opening night performance. David’s character saved the performance by slipping into his stand-up act, so if a similar thing happens in “Fish in the Dark,” at least we know David has a plan. 



Photo Credit: Dave Kotinsky]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Julia Stiles in "Phoenix"]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 20:34:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/PhoenixMain.jpg

Hook up first, ask questions later. That’s modern love, right? We’ve got the freedom to get naked on a first meeting, without knowing much about our partners or feeling guilt about the intimacy. Recreational sex. Hooray!

In “Phoenix,” a dark one-act comedy that’s just opened at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Bruce (James Wirt) and Sue (Julia Stiles) reconnect at a New York coffee shop four weeks after a one-night-stand. Sue arrives with three news items to share: She enjoyed the sex. She doesn’t ever want to see him again. And she’s pregnant.

That last bit’s a shocker to Bruce, who’s gone through adulthood under the impression he’s sterile. When Sue, a traveling nurse, reveals that she’s made an appointment to terminate the pregnancy the next week, at her next job in the city of the play’s title, Bruce admits to an undefined compulsion to join her … and she reluctantly agrees. What could possibly go wrong?

At heart a story about emotional intimacy—our simultaneous need for, and repulsion from it—“Phoenix,” by Brooklyn playwright Scott Organ, features dialogue that regularly brims with wit. When Sue suggests the pregnancy was easily preventable, Bruce replies: “If you’re implying that my condoms were somehow old as a result of a lack of sexual activity on my part in recent, what, years, then, you know, you’re dead on.”

Still, it’s ultimately bogged down in a cookie-cutter message about risk-taking. Not the sexual kind, mind you, but the kind that comes with doing something brave, such as having a kid, or sharing your life. “No one is safe,” Bruce says, after Sue confesses her reasons for not wanting children. “And yet we have our lives to lead, don’t we?”

Stiles and Wirt are dynamic together, and their rapport is natural and easygoing—she even does yoga in the middle of their speakerphone chats. At least, I think they were speakerphone chats … director Jennifer DeLia could have managed matters with a firmer hand, particularly the awkward and lengthy scene changes (props to a pal, who coined them “pregnant pauses”).

Stiles, star of the “Bourne” trilogy and a vet of NYC stage work in Shakespeare (The Public’s “Twelfth Night,” in 2002) and Mamet (“Oleanna,” on Broadway), has the harder job, because Sue, with her desperately cynical world view, just isn’t likable. (“Oh my god, she needs to work out her s-it,” a frustrated female audience member told me, unsolicited, on our way out of the theater.)

You may fall head over heels for the lesser-known, delightfully deadpan Wirt when he confesses his seduction technique—he’s really a time-traveler from the future on a “sex vacation,” because “women from this era have a reputation for being kind of easy.”

You never feel his character is trying to manipulate Sue into keeping their baby, even though the play’s engaging and truthful-feeling climax transpires in the waiting room of the Phoenix abortion clinic.

“Phoenix” works best as an examination of modern mating rituals, where it’s entirely and realistically conceivable that you could have the intimacy of sex before knowing your partner’s last name. Or phone number. Or that you both prefer tea to coffee, but you keep making “coffee” dates because it’s what strangers do.

The play gets into trouble when it focuses, heavy-handedly, on a message we know all too well: simply getting out of bed in the morning involves a certain degree of risk, but sometimes, to paraphrase Bruce, you’re still living better if you drive instead of taking the train.

“Phoenix,” through Aug. 23 at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St. Tickets: $56-$66. Call 212-989-2020.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn



Photo Credit: Harry Fellows]]>
<![CDATA[First Broadway Revival of "Side Show" Set]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:25:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/SideShowKCJM.jpg

“Side Show,” the biographical musical about Depression-era vaudeville conjoined twins Violet and Daisy Hilton that first premiered on Broadway in 1997, will see its first revival on the Great White Way this fall.

The production, which transfers after successful runs at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., will begin performances Oct. 28 at the St. James Theatre.

Opening night is scheduled for Nov. 17.

“Side Show” features a score by “Dreamgirls” scribe Henry Krieger, with book and lyrics by Bill Russell (“The Last Smoker in America”). Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Bill Condon, who directed the film version of “Chicago” and “Dreamgirls,” will make his Broadway directorial debut in this new staging. He’s also credited with additional book material.

Starring as our conjoined heroines will be Erin Davie and Emily Padgett, reprising their leading roles from the Kennedy Center production. The 1997 production was lead by Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, who were both Tony-nominated in the Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category -- the only time in history there’s ever been a co-nomination.

Additional casting will be announced soon. Tickets information can be found at SideShowBroadway.com.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Best New Ways to Brighten Your Smile]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 07:42:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/242*120/BrightenSmile.JPG A bright smile is an important beauty concern these days, and with so many new products hitting the market it's important to keep up. Self Magazine's Beauty Director Elaine D'Farley stops by the studio to give us the scoop on the best whitening products.]]> <![CDATA[Catching Up With Tony Danza]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 10:12:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/198*120/TonyDanza1.JPG Tony Danza stops by the studio to talk about bringing "Honeymoon in Vegas" to Broadway, gracing the stage on "Celebrity Autobiography," and his work with Voices Against Brain Cancer.

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>
<![CDATA[Review: John Lithgow as "King Lear"]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 15:08:49 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Lear1.jpg

The wholly committed John Lithgow and a talented, risk-taking ensemble propel themselves through three hours of family strife and bloody betrayal in the disquieting “King Lear” that has just opened at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater.

John Lee Beatty’s dark set sets the tone for the tragedy, which hasn’t been seen at Shakespeare in the Park since 1973. (Is the three-hour-plus “King Lear” the gentlest summertime fare? Can I ask you again at 11:30 p.m. when you’re waiting for a C train home?) The familiar characters come and go through a half-dozen doors evenly spaced underneath a daunting wall of mesh, with dozens of short spears tucked into it at random intervals. 

It’s a severe and unusual backdrop. Unlike past SITP productions, which have capitalized on The Delacorte’s natural setting, this one—unfolding under the as-swiftly-paced-as-“Lear”-can-be direction of SITP vet Daniel Sullivan (last season’s “The Comedy of Errors,” etc.)—removes any sense that you’re even in Central Park. You might wonder what it would be like if the play’s famous storm on a heath could transpire among trees.

It’s difficult not to have a soft spot for Lithgow’s tragic monarch, here a reasonable fellow blinded, just momentarily, by the insincere flattery of his two oldest daughters, Goneril and Regan (movie star Annette Bening, in her SITP debut, and lauded stage and TV actress Jessica Hecht).

Lithgow uses his lanky body to convey anguish, making his ruler profoundly physical: when Lear is confronted with the reality of his own foolishness, the actor slaps his resonant noggin with a smack that can be heard to the back of the theater (“O Lear, Lear, Lear!”).

Indeed, we are treated to Lithgow on the floor, offering toasted cheese to an invisible mouse when Lear has gone mad—and we see Lithgow’s king lumbering forward at play’s end, bearing the full weight of his dead youngest daughter, Cordelia (the endearing Jessica Collins, of “Zero Dark Thirty”), and wailing like a wounded animal.

It’s magnificent work, aided by virtue of the fact that the two-time Tony winner has been growing a beard for months, to regal effect.

I doubt anyone is heading to the Delacorte expecting to see Bening disappear into the role of deceitful Goneril. The Oscar-nominee, last seen on Broadway in 1988’s “Coastal Disturbances,” is icy and elegant as the disloyal and power-hungry daughter who becomes appalling even to her closest ally, husband Albany (the excellent Christopher Innvar). 

If I have any issue with Bening’s performance, it’s that she may be too sophisticated to fake flattery. When Goneril says: “Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter; dearer than eye-sight, space and liberty,” you want to believe the character. Bening’s Goneril is already such an … adult, that you have to wonder—how can her dad really fall for this?

As Regan, Hecht (with Bening, below) is batty from the outset, raising her voice in rage and quick to slit a throat. It’s a polarizing performance. Hecht is one of my favorite actresses—she was wonderful earlier this year in “Stage Kiss,” and is recognizable to many as Walter White’s one-time lover on “Breaking Bad”—but the vocal swings here are sometimes distracting.

Days later, I’m still preoccupied by the (surprise!) laugh-inducing performance from Jay O. Sanders, as Lear’s loyal aide Kent, who somehow manages to transcend the misery brought upon everyone else, up to and including the poor Fool (the fine Steven Boyer, behaving like a demonic Harry Potter). 

Kent, after being banished by the king, spends much of “King Lear” in disguise. Props to Sanders, who pulls off the trick with no special costuming, but merely the hint of a Southern Accent. (“True Detective” fans will appreciate the proximity of two of that show’s actors on the same stage—Sanders was the series’s oily Rev. Tuttle, while Cornwall, Regan’s bloated husband, is played by Glenn Fleshler, the swollen “mowing man” of the HBO series.)

A trio of excellent performers tackle the parallel story line, which has the ultimately blinded Gloucester (Clarke Peters, of “The Wire”) at the mercy of sons Edmund (Eric Sheffer Stevens) and Edgar (Chukwudi Iwuji). Stevens and Iwuji are a dynamic pair, the former as yet another ruthless manipulator, the latter a heroic counterpoint. 

A choreographed battle between the two is by far the climax of the production in terms of action, though it may come too late to jar some out of Bard-induced complacency. If you’re worn out by the end of “Lear,” well … you’re supposed to be. There’s only one fellow to take that up with—and it’s not anyone involved with this production.

“King Lear,” through Aug. 17. Tickets are free, and distributed two per person at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, beginning at 12 p.m. on the day of each performance. More information is available at publictheater.org.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn
 



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Go Boho Chic This Summer]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 09:13:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/boho+chic.jpg The bohemian look is a perfect way to stay fashionably cool this summer. Check out these looks for a way to pull it off flawlessly.]]> <![CDATA[Keke Palmer Stepping Into “Cinderella”]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:13:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/455713731AK00045_ELLE_s_Ann.jpg

Keke Palmer has had a varied career for a 20-year-old.

On the big screen, the actress has lead films such as “Akeelah and the Bee” and “Joyful Noise.” On TV, she’s known for roles on “True Jackson, VP,” “Masters of Sex” and “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.” She’s also a recording artist (2007’s “So Uncool”). And a daytime talk show host (BET’s “Just Keke”).

This September, she’ll add something else to her resume: Broadway star.

Palmer will be making her Broadway debut, stepping into Cinderella’s glass slippers in “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” The role was originated on stage by Tony nominee Laura Osnes, and has also been played by “Call Me Maybe”-singer Carly Rae Jepsen.

She'll be joined in the production by Sherri Shepherd, the actress and comedian who is leaving "The View" after seven-years as a co-host. Shepherd will play Cinederella's evil stepmother. It will also be her Broadway debut. 

Palmer will be the youngest Cinderella on Broadway yet -- an honor she should be familiar with, as she’s also the youngest talk show host ever.

“Dreams do come true!,” an enthusiastic Palmer tweeted of the news.

Palmer will also make history as the first black woman to play the role on the Great White Way -- though she won’t be the first black Cinderella ever. A 1997 ABC TV movie version of the musical featured recording artist Brandy in the role (with Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother).

Palmer’s run as the classic princess begins Sept. 9.



Photo Credit: Michael Buckner]]>
<![CDATA[Rotating Stars Make Up Revival of “Love Letters”]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:44:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/LoveLetter.jpg

A rotating cast of high-profile, award-winning stars will make up the first Broadway revival of A.R. Gurney’s classic epistolary play “Love Letters” this fall.

Alan Alda, Candice Bergen, Carol Burnett, Brian Dennehy, Mia Farrow, Anjelica Huston, Stacy Keach, Diana Rigg and Martin Sheen will each have their own limited engagements in the revival, which begins performances Sept. 13 at the Nederlander Theatre. Opening night is set for Sept. 18.

“Love Letters” depicts the 50-year relationship between two friends -- Melissa Gardner and Ander Makepeace Ladd III -- through a reading of the cards, notes and yes, love letters, they exchanged. The play examines love, regret and choice amidst life’s greatest successes and disappointments.

Stars of the two-person romance will appear on the following schedule:

  • Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow (September 13 — October 10)
  • Carol Burnett and Brian Dennehy (October 11 — November 7)
  • Alan Alda and Candice Bergen (November 8 — December 5)
  • Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg (December 6 — January 9)
  • Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen (January 10 — February 1)

The original Broadway production of “Love Letters” opened in 1989. In the last 26 years, it’s proven to be one of the theater’s most enduring romances, with productions of the play appearing in over 40 countries around the world.

Direction of the revival will come from two-time Tony winner Gregory Mosher. Tickets are currently on sale.



Photo Credit: Cindy Ord / Gareth Cattermole]]>
<![CDATA[Zoo Gets Fruit From Flipped Truck]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:16:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/180*120/elephant8.jpg

Talk about not letting roadkill go to waste.

The elephants, giraffes and bears at the Oakland Zoo got to nosh on African jackfruit and bananas Wednesday thanks to a overturned big rig that dumped 60,000 pounds of fruit in Livermore near the Altamont Pass earlier in the week.

"The elephants loved it," Brian Deering, president of the nonprofit F.A.I.R. Foundation, told NBC Bay Area. He masterminded the transfer – taking the lightly squished fruit from the side of Interstate Highway 580 and getting about 15,000 pounds of it to the animals at the zoo.

About 35,000 pounds fed humans at the Alameda County Food Bank, and the rest was too badly bruised to be eaten.

The truck is owned by All Seasons Produce in Oakland, which grows fruit in Mexico. Deering knows the owners, who contacted him after the truck tipped early Monday morning to say they didn't want the food to go to waste. He also knows the owners of Save Tow, who schlepped the tropical fruit to the zoo.

Deering's agency, which has roots in Sunnyvale but now is headquarted in Elk Grove, is a nonprofit that connects families in custody battles with material goods, such as cars, dishwashers, computers and food.

Zoo spokeswoman Nicky Mora said there is enough donated fruit for the elephants and bears to dine on all week.



Photo Credit: Erin Harrison/Oakland Zoo]]>
<![CDATA[Review: An NYC Real Estate Story, with a Twist]]> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:04:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/BRAC1.jpg

Any of us can catch a bad break. How long it’s reasonable to fester in anger about it—and how we figure out when the time has come to let go—are issues at the heart of “Between Riverside and Crazy,” an attention-grabbing drama from the, indeed, still-blasphemous author of “The Motherf***er With the Hat.”

The two-act play, a world premiere, has just opened at the Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater.

With “Riverside,” playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis again employs trademarks such as a place-specific title (he also wrote “Our Lady of 121st Street” and “The Little Flower of East Orange”), and rich, whip-snap dialogue that reliably strays into the profane.

The “address” alluded to in the play’s name is a pre-war that would fetch 10 times what the landlord is now getting, if only disabled ex-cop Walter “Pops” Washington would move out. But Pops (Stephen McKinley Henderson, “Fences”) just ignores the eviction notices that keep arriving at his door: “I’m a war veteran senior citizen with a legal rent-control lease from 1978, and I never pay late. I wish they would try to f--- with me,” he tells son Junior (Ray Anthony Thomas).

As “Riverside” begins to unfold, Pops is drowning his sorrows in pie and whiskey. And such sorrows Pops has! There’s that no-good son, an ex-con. The elderly man profoundly misses his late wife, and is nearly paralyzed with regret over their final years together. And, he’s embroiled in a long-standing suit with City Hall—nearly a decade ago, Pops was shot by a white cop in what may have been a racially motivated incident.

This suit has become the focus of Pops’s life, and the action in “Riverside”—there are a few too many distractions before we finally get to it—is largely driven by the arrival of his loyal ex-partner (Elizabeth Canavan), and her fiance, a ladder-climbing lieutenant (the wonderful Michael Rispoli), who show up one night with what are probably good intentions: they want Pops to accept the settlement offer that’s on the table from the city… a move that, they suggest, also will allow someone powerful, somewhere to put to bed all that eviction nonsense. Hmm.

An ultimately unnerving story about human nature, “Riverside” has so much going for it that it insists on your attention, even though it’s depressing as all get-out.

First, consider Guirgis’s robust dialogue. When Rispoli’s Lt. Caro gets serious and asks Pops about dropping the suit, he tells the old fella: “The truth is nobody cares about your case anymore, except you—and maybe the Village Voice.” A riff about being a cop in the years when “the Bronx was burning” segues, surprisingly, into a touching commentary by Pops on his late wife’s culinary acumen, or lack thereof.

Guirgis’s risks with language don’t always land their mark. I’m not sure how Pops can make, in various frames of mind, allusions to Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber, but claim to have never heard of Ben Affleck (“Who’s that?”), when we learn that Lt. Caro bested the actor in a poker tournament. And, Guirgis’s writing for Canavan’s detective, the ex-partner, sometimes lands with a thud.

The lapses are forgivable. That’s largely thanks to Henderson, the formidable stage vet known for his interpretations of August Wilson characters, and just seen last season in “A Raisin in the Sun.” Henderson’s Pops is a man so steady in his convictions, and so relatable in his pain, that it wasn’t until several hours after I’d left the theater that I realized what a bitter and pitiful guy Pops really was.

Henderson paints a damn fine portrait of a man who has so convinced himself of his own life’s exaggerated narrative that even he’s surprised when parts of it begin to splinter.

The strong supporting cast includes a variety of multifaceted, if scurrilous, characters Pops has opened his home to, among them actor Thomas, as son Junior; Victor Almanzar, as Oswaldo, another ne’er-do-well in need of a father figure; and Rosal Colon as Lulu, Junior’s girlfriend, who’s looking to sink her claws into Junior any way she can.

Of particular note is Liza Colon-Zayas (above, with Henderson), a veteran of seven Guirgis plays, as an unexpected caretaker from a local church. This “church lady” is literally unexpected—Pops had anticipated a different, more grating one in her place, and is caught off-guard by the newcomer’s charisma, even though she, like everyone else here, is operating off a set of complex motives.

The production is helmed by Austin Pendleton, the always-working actor-director who was Tony-nominated three decades ago for guiding Elizabeth Taylor’s performance in “The Little Foxes.” Walt Spangler’s efficient turntable set displays to lovely effect the dated rooms of Pops’s railroad apartment.

Pops is a man dealt an unfortunate blow by fate. Guirgis and Henderson’s grand accomplishment is in convincing us of Pops’s resilience, when he is, in fact, a man irreparably damaged. You can’t help but care about the old man, even as he leaves you wondering how many wrongs it will take to make everything all right.

“Between Riverside and Crazy,” through Aug. 16 at the Atlantic’s Linda Gross Theater, 336 W. 20th St. Tickets: $20-$65. Call 866-811-4111, or visit atlantictheater.org.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn
 



Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia]]>
<![CDATA[Review: “Sex with Strangers” Satisfies ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:28:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Anna+Gunn+and+Billy+Magnussen+in+Sex+with+Strangers+photo+by+Joan+Marcus+0648r+2.jpg

While the snow falls outside on a cold March night, a single woman sits alone inside a bed and breakfast in rural Michigan. The storm has taken out the Internet and phone lines, so our heroine has nothing but the couch and her book. Curled up under a blanket, she turns back pages between sips of a glass of wine. Suddenly, car lights flicker in the driveway. And next thing she knows, a strange man is at the door, asking to be let in.

It sounds like the plot of some horror movie, but it’s really the setup of “Sex with Strangers,” the delightful new play by Laura Eason now open at the Second Stage Theatre. Directed by David Schwimmer (“Detroit,” NBC’s “Friends”), this two-act, two-character comedy stars Anna Gunn (“Breaking Bad”) and Tony nominee Billy Magnussen (“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”) as two opposites you’ll have a hard time not finding yourself attracted to.

Gunn plays Olivia, a 39-year-old gifted writer and humble teacher who walked away from her dream of being a full-time novelist when commercial failure and negative reviews got to her. Magnussen plays Ethan, a successful 28-year-old writer who longs to make a more substantial impact on the literary community aside from the blog and the series of books chronicling his sex life that gave him his fame. (Think a fictional version of “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” author Tucker Max).

They couldn’t be more opposite. And “Sex with Strangers” spends most of its time dissecting the differences between their generational worldviews. The way they approach their writing. The way they approach their careers. Technology. Ambition. Honesty. Family. In every turn, there’s this tug of war between Ethan and Olivia’s very different perspectives.

Yet the one area they don’t seem to have any conflict is in their inevitable trip to the bedroom (or in this case, the living room), which makes the sex in “Sex with Strangers” so intriguing. It’s the one chance we get to see both of these characters let their guards down and truly connect. And it allows “Strangers” to tell a story of a very sweet romance, of two people who need one another to see through their own nonsense and go after the things in life they really want.

Much of the joy of "Strangers" comes in the performances. While Anna Gunn gives Olivia some of the steadfastness of her "Breaking Bad" matriarch Skyler White, fans will see a different side of Gunn here: reserved, nervous and plagued by fear -- but hopeful. On the page, we might have a hard time seeing how Olivia can easily go for someone so out of her comfort zone like Ethan. On the stage, Gunn makes us believe her courage.

Magnussen, meanwhile, has seemingly perfected the ability to make us care about characters that in real life we would normally write off. Ethan is a self-described "a-hole" -- a frat boy, playboy egomaniac. But Magnussen brings a level of sincerity, intelligence and charm to the role. You can’t avoid liking and rooting for Ethan even in his darkest moments. (It also doesn’t hurt that Magnussen is shirtless a few times during the show).

As for Schwimmer, his years as Ross Geller on “Friends” have clearly taught him how to pull the most out of a comedic scene. But what’s surprising is how Schwimmer isn’t afraid of the quieter moments. The first sexual encounter between Olivia and Ethan, for example, is so perfectly staged, you’ll feel the air evaporate from the room.

The real treat in “Sex with Strangers” is Laura Eason’s sharp writing. The dialogue is smart, funny and insightful without ever becoming smug. Sure, there’s a bit of ease to the way all the scenarios unfold. But the discussion on personal connections and public discourse in the Internet age will hook you.

You’ll relate to much of the conversation throughout “Sex with Strangers,” especially when Olivia explores how anyone with any sense of insecurity can navigate the social media world of negative commenters, online bullies, and self-important millennials. What’s real and what’s fake? And, in this case, how can you look beyond someone’s dating past when that past is sprawled all over the Internet?

If there is one place “Sex with Strangers” falters, it's in its last two scenes, where Eason feels the need to tie the story up in too nice a bow. “Strangers” would be a far more interesting play if it left the fates of its characters up in the air a bit (see: last season’s spectacular ending of “Casa Valentina”) and might have prevented a few moments where both actors read a little melodramatic in their delivery.

But overall, the writing, direction and performances in “Sex with Strangers” will hold you so strongly that the unsatisfying ending in no way ruins the experience that comes before it, or the ideas presented throughout. This is one romp you’ll want to take.

"Sex with Strangers" through Aug. 24 at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street. Tickets: $75. 212-246-4422 or www.2ST.com.



Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[“Girls” Star Is Your New Peter Pan]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:26:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/464678657AW024_Apple_Store_.jpg

Allison Williams, who plays Marnie on HBO’s hit series “Girls,” has been cast in the title role of NBC’s upcoming live telecast of the classic musical “Peter Pan.”

Williams joins Christopher Walken, who, as previously announced, will play Captain Hook.

“I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true,” Williams said. "It’s such an honor to be a part of this adventure and I’m very excited to get to work with this extraordinarily talented team. And besides what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?"

Williams has a background in singing. Her character on “Girls” is an aspiring singer and has performed a range of songs on the show, from Edie Brickell’s “What I Am” to “Take Me Or Leave Me” from “Rent.”

Williams should also feel at home in the NBC family. Her father is “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams.

"We couldn’t be happier that Allison Williams is our Peter Pan," said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Gleenblatt. “She’s a lovely rising star on the award-winning show ‘Girls’ — where she occasionally shows off her incredible vocal talent — and we think she will bring the perfect blend of ‘boyish’ vulnerability and bravado to save the day against Christopher Walken’s powerful Captain Hook.”

“Peter Pan Live!” is NBC’s highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s “The Sound of Music Live!” which brought upwards of 18.62 million live viewers — NBC’s highest Thursday night viewership for an entertainment program since the series finale of Frasier in 2004. The classic musical, featuring songs such as “I’m Flying” and “I Won’t Grow Up,” comes with a book by J.M. Barrie and a score by Mark “Moose” Charlap and Carolyn Lee, with additional songs by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

“Peter Pan Live!” will air Dec. 4 on NBC.



Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker]]>
<![CDATA[13 New Burgers That Demand Your Attention]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:10:07 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/bizarre+burger.jpg Sierra Tishgart, associate editor for Grub Street, talks with Roseanne Colletti about 13 of the best hamburgers in New York City.]]> <![CDATA[Heather Graham Lands "Money Shot" ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:25:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/485364961JW00011_Conrad_Hot.jpg

While you were geeking out at Comic-Con, here’s what was happening last week In the Wings:

Heather Graham heading to the MCC Theater. Graham, known for her roles in “Boogie Nights” and “The Hangover,” will play a washed-up actress desperate for a hit in Neil LaBute’s new comedy “The Money Shot.” Fred Weller (“Mothers and Sons”), Gia Crovatin (TV’s “Californication”) and Callie Thorne (TV’s “Necessary Roughness”) will also star. Performances begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on Sept. 4, with an official opening set for Sept. 22. [More info]

Miss “Of Mice and Men” during its Broadway run? Well good news! You’ll be able to see it in movie theaters soon enough. The revival of John Steinbeck’s play starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd was recently chosen as the first Broadway show to be filmed by National Theatre Live. Filming will take place in front of an invited audience on July 29. Screening dates will be announced shortly. [More info]

Andrea Martin will return to “Pippin.” The actress and comedian will reprise the role of Berthe for a limited run of 24 performances. It’s the same role that won Martin the 2013 Tony for Featured Actress in a Musical. Martin’s run begins Sept. 2 at the Music Box Theatre. [More info]

“Bullets Over Broadway” sets closing date. The new musical, written by Woody Allen and based on his 1994 film, will play its final performance on Sunday, Aug. 24. At that time, “Bullets” will have played 156 regular performances and 33 preview performances. [More info]

“You Can’t Take It With You” wants you! Well, they want your pictures, that is. The team behind the Broadway revival of the Kaufman and Hart Pulitzer Prize winning comedy, starring James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne, has set up a special “You Kept It With You” Tumblr page, filled with memorabilia from past productions of the classic play. You can submit photos or video of programs, ticket stubs, or in-character performances for a chance to win tickets and a cast meet-and-greet! For details and submissions, visit canttakeitbway.tumblr.com.



Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder]]>
<![CDATA[Broadway Bites Hits Big Apple]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:18:47 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/food+market.jpg Joelle Garguilo takes a bit out of Broadway Bites - the latest outdoor food market to hit The Big Apple.]]> <![CDATA[Hudson Eats]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:16:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/UMAMI.png There is a new foodie spot to grab lunch downtown, and with 14 different places to chose from, you can be sure everyone will find something delicious.]]> <![CDATA[Michelle Obama Style Guide]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:39:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MObamaBike.jpg The first lady proves she's first in fashion.

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

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

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

The musical comes off-Broadway after an acclaimed 2013 run in London, where it starred the Eleventh Doctor from “Dr. Who,” Matt Smith, in the Patrick Bateman role made famous by Christian Bale in the film. No casting has been announced yet for the Second Stage production, but Rupert Goold ("Enron"), who directed the show in London, will once again direct here.

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

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

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

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

]]>
<![CDATA[Christopher Walken is NBC’s Captain Hook]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:47:32 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/a7eb7d0311b98738_800x800ar.jpg

Christopher Walken is getting the hook. Sort of.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Who doesn't like free food?

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

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

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

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

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

2. Cow Appreciation Day

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

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

Don't know where to find a cow costume?

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

Download and print off a cow costume here.

3. Happy Birthday Krispy Kreme

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

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



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

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

Photo Credit: New York Live]]>