<![CDATA[NBC New York - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcnewyork.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.com en-us Tue, 21 Apr 2015 02:42:22 -0400 Tue, 21 Apr 2015 02:42:22 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[“Between Riverside and Crazy” Wins 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 19:35:31 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/stephen+mckinley+henderson+between+riverside+and+crazy.jpg

Between Riverside and Crazy,” Stephen Adly Guirgis' dark comedy about an ex-cop and recent widower struggling to hold on to his rent stabilized apartment, has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The play, which premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company in 2014, and also ran at the Second Stage Theatre earlier this year, beat out two other finalists for the top prize -- Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime” and Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, 3).”

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is awarded annually to “a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.”

The Pulitzer committee described Guirgis’ play as “a nuanced, beautifully written play about a retired police officer faced with eviction that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death."

Along with the title, Guirgis, who also wrote the 2012 Broadway hit “The Motherf*cker with the Hat,” will receive a $10,000 prize.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Renée Fleming in "Living on Love"]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 14:32:24 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/LivingOnLoveMain.jpg

A little knowledge of opera helps, but it’s not key to admiring the frothy and fizzy “Living on Love,” in which soprano Renée Fleming makes her Broadway debut -- you’re apt to enjoy the celebrated diva in this send-up of celebrated divas, even if the in-jokes about Maria Callas pass you by.

Set in a luxurious Manhattan penthouse, “Living on Live” (it’s by “Memphis” writer Joe DiPietro, from an earlier play by Garson Kanin) first introduces us to temperamental maestro Vito De Angelis (Douglas Sills), who is under pressure to finish his memoirs.

Vito has alienated every ghostwriter the publishing house has sent, and he’s about to give the heave-ho to the latest, an uptight opera fanboy (Jerry O’Connell). Out of the blue, Vito’s opera-singer wife Raquel (cue Ms. Fleming!) returns early from a tour, just as the publisher sends an ambitious editor (Anna Chlumsky) to retrieve its $50,000 advance from Vito.

In short order, Chlumsky, as Iris Peabody, is somehow working on the maestro’s book, while O’Connell, as Robert Samson, has been pressed into service on a competing memoir for Raquel. For the senior duo, married 30 years, it’s not just a race to the top of the best-seller list—it’s a chance to test their rusty powers of seduction.

Fleming, with her silk caftans and gorgeous arias (she has ample opportunity to break into song, and it gave me goosebumps each time) throws herself into all the diva cliches as she tries to outdo her philandering husband. In an absurd seduction, the rather voluptuous Fleming takes on the role of young seamstress Mimi from “La Boheme” and convinces O’Connell to strip and cover his chest with olive oil. It works.

Sills, of Broadway’s “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “Little Shop…,” is a comic marvel as the out-of-tune conductor who thinks he still has a way with the ladies. Swanning around in his silk pajamas, he talks only of wine, women and song, and it’s no wonder O’Connell couldn’t elicit any factual stories from him -- confronting the maestro, the ghostwriter asks: “I mean, did you really sleep with the entire humming chorus of Madame Butterfly?”

Chlumsky, lately of TV’s “Veep,” is focused on her assignment in a ruthless and grim way, as the straitlaced career girl. O’Connell (“Seminar,” etc.) is entertaining as the spurned ghostwriter (or, “spooky helper,” as the maestro calls him in a thick Italian accent). In the same way the maestro and Raquel will ultimately benefit from acknowledging how meaningful their relationship is, O’Connell and Chlumsky (below) learn from the couple to loosen up a bit.


Blake Hammond and Scott Robertson are crowd-pleasers as the family’s longtime butlers, who make sure neither of the young visitors dare touch the snow globes the maestro and the diva have exchanged over the years as gifts from their travels -- there are so many of the tchotchkes, we just know the maestro and the diva really love one another.

Most of the time, Fleming is boozy and Sills is flamboyant. It’s not until the end of the two-act confection (you won’t be blamed for wishing director Kathleen Marshall had made things just a bit tighter), that they have to do anything bittersweet. When Vito and Raquel finally drop their schtick and connect with each other, it makes for an impressive conclusion, especially considering the abrupt change in tone.

“Living on Love,” through Aug. 2 at the Longacre Theatre, 220 W. 48th St. Tickets: $25-$145. Call Telecharge, 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 09:39:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre Purchased by Second Stage]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:59:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/83397537.jpg

After tense negotiations, Off-Broadway theater company Second Stage Theatre has purchased its first Broadway house -- The Helen Hayes Theatre.

Located on West 44th Street, the Helen Hayes is the smallest theater on Broadway, with only 597 seats. It opened in 1912, as the Little Theatre, and during its history has housed television and radio shows for ABC and CBS.

The theater, named after the legendary actress, has been dark since the long-running hit “Rock of Ages” closed early this year.

Second Stage plans to dedicate the Helen Hayes exclusively to producing the work of living American playwrights. It will be the only house on Broadway with that mission.

“We pledge to keep our new theater a bustling center of activity on Broadway,’ said Second Stage Founder and Artistic Director Carole Rothman. “Nurturing not only new plays from established and emerging writers but also feeding a new, diverse generation of theatergoers who will help keep American plays at the heart of the Broadway experience.”

The group plans to hold its first Broadway production at the theater during the 2017-18 season. A renovation by The Rockwell Group will begin in 2016.

Just because Second Stage is entering the Broadway space doesn’t mean they’ll be vacating their Off-Broadway houses. They’ll continue to lease and operate the McGinn/Cazale Theatre on the Upper West Side and the Tony Kiser Theatre in Midtown.

For more information about the Second Stage Theatre, visit www.2stonbroadway.com.

Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard | Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Post First Photo of Baby Silas]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 09:29:42 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP564758031417.jpg

New father, Justin Timberlake, posted the first photo of his infant son, Silas Randall Timberlake, being held by mommy Jessica Biel while sporting a Memphis Grizzlies t-shirt.

"The Timberlakes are ready!!! GO GRIZZ! #GritNGrind #Playoffs #BabyGrizzROAR," Timberlake wrote in the Intagram caption.

The couple became first-time parents at the beginning of April.

Timberlake officially confirmed they were expecting a baby in January, also through an Instagram photo of Biel's baby bump: "Thank you EVERYONE for the Bday wishes! This year, I'm getting the GREATEST GIFT EVER. CAN'T WAIT #BoyOrGirl #YouNeverKnow #WeDontEvenKnow #WeAreTakingBets."

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<![CDATA[Review: "Fun Home" Transfers Uptown]]> Sun, 19 Apr 2015 20:52:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/FunHomeMain.jpg

"Fun Home" is a delicate portrait of family dysfunction that has only gotten richer in the 18 months since it premiered at The Public Theater.

Many members of the Off-Broadway cast return for the Circle in the Square transfer, including Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas, Michael Cerveris and Judy Kuhn. Heralded as the first mainstream musical with a lesbian lead character, “Fun Home” is based on the 2006 graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, creator of the comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For.”

For Alison and her brothers, “Fun Home” was sardonic shorthand for “funeral home.” That was the family business as the kids came of age in Beech Creek, Pa. Bruce Bechdel, Alison’s father, was gay. He committed suicide about four months after Alison came out: “I didn’t know, Dad … I had no way of knowing that my beginning would be your end,” Malone’s adult version of Alison explains as “Fun Home” begins.

“Fun Home” jumps around in time, clocking in at 100 minutes without an intermission. We follow Small Alison, at age 9 (Lucas earned an Obie for this performance); Medium Alison, as a student at Oberlin (Emily Skeggs, succeeding Alexandra Socha); and introspective grown-up Alison (Malone), who tries to neutralize her demons by sketching the events of her childhood.

Jeanine Tesori’s music still resonates (the sharp-as-a-razor book is by Lisa Kron). Crowd-pleasing comic turns have Small Alison and her brothers (Oscar Williams and Zell Steele Morrow, both talented mop-tops) imagining a TV commercial for the “Fun Home.” In a fantasy sequence, Lucas recasts the people in her orbit as members of The Partridge Family.

Cerveris (with Lucas, below) chronicles this loving father’s slow-motion disintegration with poise. Bruce Bechdel supplements the family’s income with a teaching job and is arrested after having affairs with his male students. Wife Helen (Kuhn) knows Bruce is gay, and in the agonizing “Days and Days,” she urges Alison not to “give away” her time, as she has.

In “Changing My Major,” Skeggs is a knot of excitement and terror as she describes her first love affair (the returning Roberta Colindrez is excellent as Joan, the college girlfriend). Lucas, an inch or two taller than we last saw her, is achingly genuine with “Ring of Keys,” in which she experiences the first inklings of attraction after seeing a butch delivery woman.

Malone, as the narrator, frames the action as if she were describing one of her drawings: “Caption: Dad goes out. Dad gets a newspaper. Dad goes ... cruising?“

As the 43-year-old incarnation of the heroine, Malone keeps a cool distance from events, though I sensed that she was more at ease this go around, particularly in the winning scene where she “watches” her younger self being seduced for the first time.

Director Sam Gold (“Seminar”) redesigned the staging for the Circle in the Square. A piano, coffin or chaise floats up through the floor on lifts, then descends when it’s no longer needed. Toward the climax, we get a sense of what the family home looked like; shortly after, the stage is bare, except for adult Alison at her drawing table.

“Fun Home” is a masterful achievement—a tragic musical about learning to see one’s parents as flawed human beings, and a story as raw and real as any on stage.

“Fun Home,” with an open-ended run at Circle in the Square, 235 W. 50th St. Tickets: $75-$150. Call Telecharge, 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[Celebs Going Green ]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:10:18 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP882952624499.jpg In honor of Earth Week, we've rounded up a few celebrities committed to environmental causes. Click through to see who the greenest celebs are.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA["Gigante" Ending After 53 Years]]> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:15:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Sabado+Gigante.jpg

After 53 years, Univision's popular "Sabado Gigante" (Giant Saturday) will be ending on Sept. 19, the network announced on Friday.

The variety show is hosted by Mario Kreutzberger, better known as Don Francisco.

Univision says Francisco will continue to contribute to the network with new projects and specials.

“Mario is one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world and has been an innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career," said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision.

Francisco is expected to discuss the show's departure on April 18. He thanked Univision in a statement.

"There is no doubt that they have been fundamental in my professional development and in my personal and family life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Channel 13 of the Universidad Católica de Chile gave me as I was starting out, to Univision in the United States and also to the Televisa Network, which allowed us to bring our ‘Sábado Gigante’ into the homes of millions of families in the United States and the world every week," the statement said.

The show received a Guinness World Record in 2012 for longest-running variety show on television, broadcasting since 1962.

NBC 6 South Florida's Jackie Nespral began her TV career as a spokesmodel on "Sabado Gigante" in 1987.

Photo Credit: 'Sabado Gigante'/ Univision]]>
<![CDATA[Review: O'Hara, Watanabe in LCT's "The King and I"]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:54:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/KingandIMain.jpg

The astonishing Kelli O’Hara is back on Broadway. This time, she’s leading Lincoln Center’s respectful take on “The King and I,” as schoolteacher Anna Leonowens, who stands up to the ruler of Siam --  here, Oscar-nominee and Broadway newcomer Ken Watanabe.

The revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical, set in 1860s Bangkok, has just opened at the Vivian Beaumont with a cast of more than 50.

Director Bartlett Sher elicits a performance from O’Hara that is equal parts self-confidence and frustration with the polygamist king, who has not kept his promise to give Anna a private home. (LCT’s resident director most recently guided the five-time Tony nominee in “The Bridges of Madison County”; their history together includes “South Pacific” and “The Light in the Piazza.”)

O’Hara's Anna is fiercely determined, if cautious as a newcomer, and it’s thrilling to watch her negotiate the pitfalls involved in establishing herself at court.

She wins admiration from the king’s children for explaining to them Siam’s place in the world, even as she incurs the king’s wrath for filling their minds with notions of a “home life” that might not revolve around the palace. It’s hard not to be moved as O’Hara describes the beauty of a snowflake after the blissful “Getting to Know You” sequence.

O’Hara’s voice is in prime operatic form throughout, rivaled only by her ability to waltz in Catherine Zuber’s lavish, flowing gowns.

I had mixed feelings about Watanabe’s performance. The star of films such as "The Last Samurai" and “Letters from Iwo Jima” is having a blast bossing people around, especially Anna, who is forced to lower her head when the two are together --  it’s good to be king, right?

Watanabe’s got the imperiousness down pat, but he’s falling back on enough of his Japanese accent that it makes some of his line readings difficult to parse. As a result, it’s tough to immerse oneself fully in songs such as “The Puzzlement,” which comes as the king struggles with the complexities of the world.

It’s not a fatal flaw, whatever you’ve read in the chat rooms. And anyway, I could watch these two perform “Shall We Dance?” all night long -- he’s barefoot; she’s in heels.

Ruthie Ann Miles is achingly effective as Lady Thiang, the head wife who calls Anna “Sir” because the newcomer is “scientific.” When Thiang becomes aware of plots against the king, she confides in the foreigner, pressuring her to help him, though “It must not sound like advice.” Miles’ moment with “Something Wonderful” is precious.

Ashley Park and Conrad Ricamora, as Burmese lovers Tuptim and Lun Tha (below), sing magnificently. It’s nifty to see Ricamora, of TV’s “How to Get Away with Murder,” again sharing a stage with his “Here Lies Love” co-star Miles.

The crown prince (Jon Corpuz, striking a balance between fear and arrogance) is paired well with Louis, Anna’s son (Jake Lucas, sibling of “Fun Home” Obie-winner Sydney Lucas). They paint a portrait of two boys raised in different circumstances who find common ground.

“The March of Siamese Children,” in which a dozen of the king’s royal sons and daughters take solo turns greeting him and Anna, is one of this revival’s great pleasures. Another is the kaleidoscopic ballet within “Small House of Uncle Thomas,” the anti-slavery play written by Tuptim after Anna lends her a copy of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

The production is relatively spartan for LCT, but looks swell. The most attention-grabbing moment comes as the ship carrying Anna to Bangkok docks at port, leading into “I Whistle a Happy Tune.” The choreography by Christopher Gattelli (“Newsies,” etc.) is based on the original by Jerome Robbins.

Anna is summoned by the king to help modernize Siam. Her impact ends up being more personal than expected --  that’s a notion the musical presents eloquently with the ascension of the crown prince, who decrees that although he is still to be respected, there will be “no bowing like toad. "The King and I" requires a regal, charismatic leading lady, and in O’Hara, it has one who's just about perfect.

“The King and I,” with an open-ended run at the Vivian Beaumont, 150 W. 65th St. Tickets: $87-$142. Call Telecharge, 212-239-6200.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik]]>
<![CDATA[New Musical About Creation of “Amazing Grace” Will Sing on Broadway]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:07:26 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AmazingGraceMusical.jpg

There’s a new musical coming to Broadway this summer about the true story behind the creation of one of America’s most popular songs.

“Amazing Grace” will begin performance June 25 at the Nederlander Theatre. Opening night is set for July 16.

The new musical features a book by Christopher Smith and Arthur Giron, and music and lyrics by Smith. Gabriel Barre, who directed Andrew Lippa’s “The Wild Party,” will direct. Christopher Gattelli, of “Newsies” fame, will choreograph.

Josh Young, who received a Tony nomination for 2012’s revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” leads the production, playing a British man “torn between following torn between following in the footsteps of his father -- a slave trader -- and embracing the more compassionate views of his childhood sweetheart."

Erin Mackey (“Chaplin”) will play Young’s character’s childhood sweetheart, who undoubtedly inspires the creation of the powerful spiritual song. Tony winner Chuck Cooper (“The Life”) will also star.

For tickets or more information, visit amazinggracemusical.com.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Senator's "Frozen" Ringtone Interrupts Hearing]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:01:28 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/57648215.jpg

U.S. senators are "Frozen" fans, too.

A Senate Finance Committee meeting got an unexpected interruption from a “Let it Go” ringtone on Thursday.

Pat Roberts got a call during a meeting on U.S. Tariff Policy, and the song made popular by Disney’s hit animated feature film began playing on his cellphone.

“Aw, come on,” the senior senator from Kansas said. 

After some laughs from people in the room, the 78-year-old said, “Just let it go."

Roberts' office released a statement about the incident.

"Senator Roberts' 'Let it Go' ringtone is for his grandkids. He balances it with Johnny Cash's ‘I Walk the Line’. He changes depending on the day,” his spokeswoman Sarah Little said in a statement.

Watch the interruption above.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Lady Antebellum's Bus Catches Fire]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 19:55:17 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ladya-bus2.jpg

Country music band Lady Antebellum's tour bus caught fire on Interstate 30 in Garland Thursday morning, en route from Nashville to DFW for the American Country Music Awards at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, officials said.

The bus was transporting bandmember Hillary Scott, her husband and her tour manager when it blew a tire, according to her post on social media.

"Our bus tire caught on fire and we had to evacuate very quickly," she posted. "Everyone is safe and sound."

All four onboard were able to escape the fire without injury.

"It was me, my husband, our tour manager, and driver," Scott posted. "Thanking God for our safety and the safety of all of those who helped put this fire out and keep us safe."

Garland Fire Department Captain Billy Craven said everyone on the bus was fortunate that the driver acted quickly.

"As soon as he realized that he had a fire, he didn't hesitate to get everyone off and then call 911," he said.

Publicist Mary Hilliard said the bus is not Scott's usual bus. She did not say why Scott's usual bus was unavailable.

As of 9:45 a.m., authorities said it would take crews three to four hours to clean the wreckage. Only one or two lanes of westbound I-30 will be open near Bass Pro Drive while the scene is cleared.

NBC 5's Ellen Bryan contributed to this report. As this story is developing, elements may change.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Kenny Loggins: "I'm in Danger Zone"]]> Sat, 18 Apr 2015 15:08:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/Kenny+Loggins+0415.jpg

Kenny Loggins was out for a walk Wednesday at Solana Beach in north San Diego — then fast found himself in the “Danger Zone.”

The musician — whose hit song "Danger Zone" was featured in a classic scene from “Top Gun" — happened to be at the beach near Del Mar when a Marine helicopter made an unexpected landing on the sand.

The pilots landed the heavy-duty Sea Stallion when they noticed it had low oil pressure.

Loggins, known for his popular songs of the 1970s and 1980s, posted a video on his Facebook page, saying: “I walked out there and said, ‘You’re in the ‘Danger Zone!’"

His Facebook post had amassed 300 shares and more than 1,000 likes in the first two hours after he posted it.

The iconic action movie "Top Gun" starring Tom Cruise was partly filmed in San Diego County.

Photo Credit: Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Site Crops Kim Kardashian From Photo]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:10:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Kim-Kardashian-Photo-Ultra-Orthodox-thumbnail.jpg

An Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish news website has cut Kim Kardashian — one of the world's most photographed women — from a photo taken of her in Jerusalem this week.

The original photo of Kardashian, her husband, Kanye West, and Jerusalem's Mayor Nir Barkat was altered to put Kardashian behind a restaurant receipt. Kardashian was blurred in another.

Nissim Ben Haim, an editor at the Kikar HaShabbat website, said Wednesday they removed Kardashian because she's a "pornographic symbol" who contradicts ultra-Orthodox values.

In an article chiding Barkat for dining with them at a non-kosher restaurant, Kardashian was referred to as "West's wife."

Within the insular Ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women often aren't shown out of modesty. In January, an ultra-Orthodox newspaper removed German chancellor Angela Merkel from a photo.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Review: Matthew Morrison in "Finding Neverland"]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:14:41 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NeverlandMain.jpg

I’m sorry “Finding Neverland" has finally opened—you can catch it now at the Lunt-Fontanne—because the behind-the-scenes tinkering has made for such riveting headlines: Harvey replaces creative team! Harvey axes leading man! Harvey splits with publicist!

Harvey, being Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, may be a fledgling lead producer, but he is not messing around here: the man’s helped pump millions into “Neverland,” introducing it in England, redoing it in Boston and finally landing it on Broadway … after a side foray to last year’s Tonys, where it was promoted by Jennifer Hudson.

The end result is both rousing and erratic, with bits of thrilling stage magic that are signature Diane Paulus (she also directed “Pippin” and “Hair”), and dialogue that sometimes feels as if it’s been focus group-sanitized to within an inch of its life. Billed as the backstory to “Peter Pan,” the musical is based on the 2004 film, with Johnny Depp.

“Glee” star Matthew Morrison heads the “Neverland” cast as J.M. Barrie, whom we meet as an unhappily married playwright with writer’s block. Sitting in Kensington Gardens, Barrie encounters the four rambunctious Llewelyn Davies boys and their mom, Sylvia (Laura Michelle Kelly), who will prove to be the inspiration he needs to create “Peter Pan.”

Morrison has a consistent Scottish brogue and a melancholy demeanor in a performance that’s very likable. His benefactor, the producer Charles Frohman, is played by Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer, who will do double duty as Captain Hook.

Our audience was wildly responsive to Grammer, who is saddled with dialogue such as “I don’t have a child inside me. I have an ulcer.” Everyone around Frohman is chaotic and fey, and the producer sees it as his responsibility to be pragmatic. I’d have been happier with less of his character, and more of Kelly, as the platonic love interest who has the wholesome aura of a Disney princess.

The quartet of boys playing the Llewelyn Davies children are exceptional (Aidan Gemme was Peter at the press performance I attended).

Carolee Carmello, the three-time Tony nominee, is assertive in her one-dimensional role as Sylvia’s overprotective mother—it’s suggested she’s the inspiration for Tick-Tock, the crocodile. The talented Teal Wicks, as Peter’s grating wife, Mary, doesn’t feel so essential to the proceedings. Barrie’s dog Porthos, last played by a human at the A.R.T. in Cambridge, is now played by an actual dog.

We’re frequently given clues as to how Barrie translated events in his real life to elements of “Peter Pan,” and it’s not often that a musical manages such subtlety in one scene and overstatement the next (the composers are U.K. pop star Gary Barlow, of Take That, and Eliot Kennedy; the book is by James Graham).

There’s an inventive, quiet moment between Morrison and Grammer that explains the origin of “Captain Hook.” Pity that a while later, we’re beaten over the head with an exchange between Frohman and a member of his troupe, who asks, as if this were 1985: “Do they say ‘Cheers’ where you’re from, Charles?”

Also … that joke about “fairies” working in the theater? I order you both to walk the plank, Mr. Weinstein and Ms. Paulus.

The melodies are pop-song good, if not likely to linger long with you. I most enjoyed “We Own the Night,” in which James and the four boys toy with the pompous participants of a stodgy dinner party, and the first act closer “Stronger,” which soars to a finish indeed so strong it left me trembling.

One of the areas in which “Finding Neverland” succeeds is in its balance between technical and non-technical wizardry. Paulus knows when to use her bag of tricks (note Sylvia’s climactic, cyclonic second act farewell), and when to let our imaginations do the work (such as when Peter bounces candlelight off a spoon, foreshadowing the eventual creation of Tinkerbell).

“Finding Neverland” is best in its scenes with surrogate father Barrie and the four boys. Those talented kids, who prematurely aged when their own father died, help the writer access his imagination. Alongside Morrison, I think they’re the ones who deserve a lot of the credit for getting “Finding Neverland” to fly.

“Finding Neverland,” with an open-ended run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 205 W. 46th St. Tickets: $72-$147. Call 800-745-3000.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg]]>
<![CDATA[Watch Tribeca Film Festival Opening Night Red Carpet Live]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 19:50:14 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/tribeca+generic+photo.jpg

The livestream is now over. Check out all our other Tribeca Film Festival content here

Some 100 feature films make up the 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival that kicks off Wednesday. The documentary "Live From New York," featuring the filmmakers, subjects and pasts hosts and guests of "Saturday Night Live" is among the 67 films making their world premieres at the festival. 

Watch the festival kick off at The Beacon Theatre with a red carpet livestream here starting at 6:30 p.m. 

Photo Credit: Tribeca Film Festival]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Recap: The Top 10]]> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:28:29 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/469727776TheVoiceMiaZ.jpg

Top 10.

There’s a nice sound to the phrase Top 10, especially in a competition all about sound. But that didn’t make Tuesday night’s episode of “The Voice” any less nerve-wracking, as America’s votes were tallied and the top 12 contestants were whittled into the top 10. (As always, spoilers incoming!)

There was plenty of singing first, of course. Pop superstar Nick Jonas — who was also a battle-round advisor for Team Xtina — opened the show with his hit song “Chains.”

After Jonas’ performance, host Carson Daly announced the first three contestants who are moving on to the Top 10: Kimberly Nichole (Team Xtina), Sawyer Fredericks (Team Pharrell) and Meghan Linsey (Team Blake).

Blake Shelton took the stage with his team to perform Wilson Pickett’s Memphis R&B classic “In the Midnight Hour.”

Daly then announced the next trio of Top 10 contestants: Joshua Davis (Team Adam), India Carney (Team Xtina) and Hannah Kirby (Team Blake).

Next up were the singers of Team Xtina, who sang the Eagles’ “Hotel California” alongside coach Christina Aguilera.

And once Team Xtina said goodbye to the Hotel California, Daly announced who made the final cut: Rob Taylor (Team XTina) and Corey Kent White (Team Blake), making it a clean sweep for both teams that performed Tuesday night.

That left Mia Z, Brian Johnson and Deanna Johnson to perform one final song in an effort to earn America’s instant save by popular tweet.

Mia Z: “Stormy Monday” T-Bone Walker

Brian Johnson: “Amazed” by Lonestar

Deanna Johnson: “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars

After a five-minute voting period, the instant results were tallied — and it was close. Each contestant garnered at least 30 percent, with Deanna and Brian nearly tied at 35 each. But after much suspense…

… America chose to instantly save Deanna Johnson to advance to the Top 10.

When “The Voice” returns next week at 8 p.m., four musical icons will join each team as advisers for the Top 10 artists. They are:

Team Adam: Dave Stewart

Team Pharrell: Ryan Tedder

Team Christina: Mark Ronson

Team Blake: Scott Hendricks

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Jake Gyllenhaal Joins “Little Shop of Horrors” ]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:43:16 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/188013710DF00022_Academy_Of.jpg

New York City Center’s production of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s hit musical “Little Shop of Horrors” has found its leading man.

Jake Gyllenhaal, who made his Broadway debut this season in “Constellations,” will step into the suspenders of Seymour, the loveable florist who develops an unhealthy relationship with a killer plant. It will be his New York stage musical debut. 

Gyllenhaal will star alongside original “Little Shop of Horrors” star Ellen Greene, who will reprise the role she made famous: Audrey, Seymour’s love interest.

Rounding out the rest of the cast will be “Saturday Night Live” star Taran Killam, as Orin -- Audrey’s sadistic dentist boyfriend and Tony winner Chuck Cooper (“The Life”) as the voice of Audrey II, the aforementioned R&B-singing killer plant. Tracy Nicole Chapman, Marva Hicks and Ramona Keller as will make up The Urchins, our girl group narrators.

“Little Shop of Horrors” will play two performances at New York City Center: an evening performance on July 1 and a matinee on July 2. The production, directed by Dick Scanlan, will be the second production of the 2015 Encores! Off-Center Season.

Based on a 1960 black comedy by Roger Corman, “Little Shop of Horrors” first premiered in 1982, in an Off-Off-Broadway house. It moved to Off-Broadway’s Orpheum Theatre soon thereafter, but didn’t make it to Broadway until a 2003 revival.

The musical was turned into a 1986 film starring Greene, Rick Moranis and Steve Martin.

For ticket information, visit www.nycitycenter.org.

Photo Credit: Frederick M. Brown | Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Review: David Hyde Pierce Directs "It Shoulda Been You"]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 20:29:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/ShouldaMain.jpg

Broadway’s so-far stuffy spring season needed to loosen up, and relief arrives with the campy ensemble comedy “It Shoulda Been You.” Now open at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, the musical is notable as the Broadway directing debut of David Hyde Pierce, the “Frasier” star.

“Shoulda” has a stock set-up: The Steinberg and Howard families have gathered at a fancy hotel for the interfaith union of their children, Rebecca and Brian (Sierra Boggess and David Burtka). So fresh-faced are these two they could model for the cake-topper.

Such purity can only foreshadow trouble, and indeed, disaster strikes when Jenny, the bride’s sister (Lisa Howard), accidentally dials Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend, Marty (Josh Grisetti), clueing him in to the fact he wasn’t, you know … invited.

Jenny is the emotional heart of the comedy, a hodgepodge of capers and confessions that would probably fall flat in the hands of less experienced performers. As it is, this cast is as close to a dream team for a wedding comedy as you can get.

Howard is appealing and accessible as the daughter who puts up with endless guff from her mom about her weight. A veteran of five Broadway shows (notably “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), she performed this role during a 2011 run in New Jersey.

Grisetti, finally getting his Rialto debut after the demise of “Broadway Bound” some years ago, is equally likable, with a hyper-caffeinated entrance that has us questioning whether he’s gotten over the breakup.

Then there are mom and dad, and the other mom and dad.

Stage vets Tyne Daly and Chip Zien (the original baker of “Into the Woods”) are Rebecca’s parents, a stereotypical pushy Jewish mother and henpecked father, who would have been happier if Rebecca married within the tribe. When Judy discovers Marty at the hotel, she corners the fella: “My daughter breaks your heart, and you don’t have the decency to call me?”

Daly is wonderful as always, but the character is almost unnecessarily obnoxious.

David’s parents are “Frasier” vet Harriet Harris and Michael X. Martin (recently seen in “The Bridges of Madison County”). I enjoyed watching pros Daly and Harris go up against one another, sniping while getting their hair done, and so on.

That said, I thought a running gag Harris has about trying to make her son gay was an eye-roller. I don’t think there is a class or creed of human who isn’t pandered to in some way, shape or form during the intermission-less 100-minute comedy. You can almost hear the writers working down a checklist.

Boggess (“The Little Mermaid”) and Burtka (below) are good, but tend to fade into the background as the bride and groom. She’s got a lovely lament with “A Little Bit Less Than,” a sweet song about living up to familial expectations. 

Montego Glover (“Memphis”) and Nick Spangler (“Book of Mormon”) provide strong support as bridesmaid and best man—their wedding toast duet, “Love You Till The Day,” is a high point. Edward Hibbert, yet one more “Frasier” vet, is in usual highbrow form as the omniscient ace wedding organizer, who sees himself as “Martha Stewart crossed with Dumbledore.”

A big twist at roughly the halfway point sends “Shoulda” off in a more serious direction. It feels dated, and it certainly caught me by surprise.

“Shoulda” has a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove (he’s Pierce’s husband), and pleasant, if run-of-the-mill, music by Barbara Anselmi. Overall, this is fair-to-middling material that’s elevated by a superior cast. It’s a good show, but you can’t help thinking it shoulda been better.

“It Shoulda Been You,” with an open-ended run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 256 W. 47th St. Tickets: $90-$139. Call Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Recap: The Guys Came to Sing]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 07:58:00 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/469632520TheVoice.jpg

Every one of the top 12 competitors on “The Voice” gave top-notch performances on Monday night.

At this point in the competition, knockout performances are a virtual necessity: Two artists are set to go home Tuesday night, whittling down the number of contestants from 12 to 10.

But the audience made one thing abundantly clear: The male contestants hit an entirely new level.

Team Pharrell’s Sawyer Fredericks earned huge cheers for his performance of “Imagine” by John Lennon — even though Fredericks’ voice seemed to stall for a moment.

“You make everything you do seem right,” coach Blake Shelton told the young singer.

Rob Taylor of Team Xtina belted out a hair-raising performance of “I Put a Spell on You,” written by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1956 and popularized in famous covers by artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nina Simone and Annie Lennox.

“That was a masterful performance,” coach Pharrell Williams said. “You made the stage yours. You made the show yours.”

And Corey Kent White — an Oklahoman like special guest advisor and two-time Grammy winner Reba McEntire — sang “Why” by Jason Aldean.

“If you can keep those eyes open a little bit more and look those girls in the eye, then you’ve got ‘em right there,” McEntire told him.

And judging by his performance, he did.

“I can sure tell you got that girl vote going for you,” coach Christina Aguilera told him.

But the ladies turned in a few outstanding performances as well.

Team Blake’s Hannah Kirby opened the show with a flinty performance of the hard-edged Stevie Nicks classic “Edge of Seventeen.”

Singing her own arrangement of “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson, Team Pharrell’s Koryn Hawthorne wowed the crowd — and McEntire, who is Clarkson’s mother-in-law.

And Team Xtina’s Kimberly Nichole brought down the house with her finale performance, growling through the American soul classic “House of the Rising Sun.”

“There are no words to describe what you’ve just done,” coach Pharrell Williams told the dynamic singer.

Brian Johnson: “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” by Sting

India Carney: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier

Mia Z: “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones

Deanna Johnson: “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United

Joshua Davis: “America” by Simon and Garfunkel

Meghan Linsey: “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town

Don’t miss “The Voice” on Tuesday at 8 ET / 9 CT, as America’s votes are tallied and the top 12 becomes the top 10.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Benefit Concert of “Smash” Musical Sells Out]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:38:34 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/NBCSmash.jpg

Bad news, “Smash” fans. Tickets for the one-night-only benefit production of “Bombshell,” the musical at the center of the cult NBC series, are sold out.

The concert, set to take place June 8 at the Minskoff Theatre, was funded by the most successful theater Kickstarter campaign ever. Looking to cover the $50,000 production cost, the campaign reportedly ended up raising over $200,000 in just 18 hours. In the end 1,485 backers pledged $318,120 to help bring “Bombshell” to life.

All proceeds of "Bombshell" will benefit the non-profit organization The Actors Fund, a “national human services organization” that, for 133 years, has provided social services, emergency financial assistance, health care, insurance counseling and more to more than 21,000 theater professionals each year.

Kickstarter donors were given an opportunity to purchase tickets for the event during an April 13 pre-sale. All tickets sold out in just over an hour.

Any Kickstarter donors who were unable to purchase tickets have been given the option to request a full refund from their Kickstarter donation, said Joseph P. Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund.

“Even if you couldn’t get tickets, you’ve helped those in need in performing arts and entertainment,” he explained, as “100% of the ticket proceeds from this benefit concert will help actors, dancers, musicians, playwrights, directors and more.”

Benincasa also mentioned that they had explored opportunities to allow more people to experience the one-night-only “Bombshell” event, both live and virtually. “Unfortunately, none of these options were viable,” he stated.

“Bombshell” features 22 songs penned by Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”), including “The National Pastime,” “History Is Made at Night” and the Emmy and Grammy-nominated hit “Let Me Be Your Star.”

The evening will be a reunion for almost all of the “Smash” cast, including Megan Hilty, Katharine McPhee, Will Chase, Christian Borle, and Debra Messing.

Scott Wittman and Joshua Bergasse will co-direct The Actors Fund benefit, with choreography provided by Bergasse. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who produced the TV series, will produce here as well.

The NBC drama was created by playwright Teresa Rebeck.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Abraham Lincoln on Screen Over the Years]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 13:14:15 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/lincoln-3-split.jpg

For more than 100 years, Hollywood has portrayed Abraham Lincoln as everything from the Great Emancipator who battled slavery to a vampire hunter and a most "excellent" time-traveling adventurer.

Though Lincoln the character's first cinematic appearance dates back to 1911 in the silent short "His First Commission," according to IMDB.com, the first biographical portrayal of his life was D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film "Abraham Lincoln." The movie attempts to tell the entire life story of the 16th president in 90 minutes through brief vignettes, consequently oversimplifying or eliminating many details of Lincoln’s presidential years – notably the Gettysburg Address.

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s "Lincoln" has been acclaimed for its portrayal of events on a broad scale. But Lincoln biographer and content consultant for the movie Harold Holzer said there are intentional "historical bloopers" put in the film for the dramatic effect.

"There is no doubt that Spielberg has traveled toward an understanding of Abraham Lincoln more boldly than any other filmmaker before him," Holzer said. Actor Daniel Day-Lewis won a best actor Oscar in 2013 for playing Lincoln in the film.

Lincoln may have grown up wielding an axe and splitting logs to make rail fences, but the man nicknamed the "Rail Splitter" was definitely not a "Vampire Hunter."

In recent years, there has been a surge of pop culture interpretations and references to Lincoln among the more than 300 depictions in film and television. The short-lived Comedy Central animated series "Clone High" featured a pimply-faced, teenage Abe Lincoln — voiced by "SNL's" Will Forte — who pals around with Mahatma Gandhi and Joan of Arc. Forte also voiced Lincoln as a master builder in a cameo for "The Lego Movie."

Honest Abe also joined forces with Spock and Kirk in "Star Trek" to fight four notorious evil villains, including Genghis Khan, in a battle of good versus evil. His Gettysburg Address-style speech in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," meanwhile, reminded students to "be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!"

From the fictional to the biographical, here are some other memorable depictions of Lincoln, as the nation's attention turns to the 16th president on the 150th anniversary of his assassination:

"Killing Lincoln"

"Drunk History" Vol. 5 (Will Ferrell as Abe Lincoln)

"The Conspirator"

"Batman: The Brave and the Bold"

"Gore Vidal's Lincoln"

"SNL" : Abe Lincoln and His Time Machine

"The Day Lincoln Was Shot"

"Young Mr. Lincoln"

"Family Guy" The Man With Two Brains

"The Twilight Zone": The Passerby

Photo Credit: Illustration
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<![CDATA[Tribeca Film Festival]]> Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:47:25 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/IMG_81331.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[“King Charles III” Will Reign on Broadway]]> Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:42:55 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/56177382.jpg

London’s “King Charles III,” which won Best New Play at the the West End’s equivalent of the Tonys, will transfer to Broadway this fall.

Previews begin Oct. 10 at the Music Box Theatre, with an opening night set for Nov. 1.

Directed again by Rupert Goold, the play, by Mike Bartlett, takes place in a future London, where Queen Elizabeth is dead and Prince Charles has ascended the throne. “King Charles III” sets out to explore the people behind Britain’s most famous family.

Tim Pigott-Smith, who played Charles III in the London production, will once again take on the crown on Broadway. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Tickets for “King Charles III” will go on sale this June. Visit www.KingCharlesIIIBroadway.com for more information.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Celeb Pics: Country Music Awards]]> Mon, 20 Apr 2015 08:01:06 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/AP177602509443_1_TaylorSwift.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]]>