Production Photos: André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillias White, Haven Burton and More in World Premiere of HALF TIME at Paper Mill Playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical.

The cast features five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin‘) and Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.

Garrett Turner, Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie), Alexander Aguilar and Lori Tan Chinn (Mae); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Garrett Turner, Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie), Alexander Aguilar and Lori Tan Chinn (Mae); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Half Time features a book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean. Half Time is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. Half Time is based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

Mary Claire King (Jenny) , Donna McKechnie (Joanne) and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Mary Claire King (Jenny) , Donna McKechnie (Joanne) and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Matthew Murphy

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing-instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers-and the young coaches who inspire them along the way-as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game-it’s Half Time.

The cast of Half Time. Photo by Jerry Dahlia
The cast of Half Time. Photo by Jerry Dahlia

The principal cast features André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who are joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire King as Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel.

Rounding out the cast are Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.

Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie) and Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie) and Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman(Orchestrations), and Telsey + Company(Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.

Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office, or online at www.PaperMill.org.

Lillias White (Bea) and in background, Kay Walbye (Muriel); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Lillias White (Bea) and in background, Kay Walbye (Muriel); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Nancy Ticotin (Camilla); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Nancy Ticotin (Camilla); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Donna McKechnie (Joanne); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Donna McKechnie (Joanne); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Haven Burton (Tara); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Haven Burton (Tara); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Sydni Beaudoin, Lori Tan Chinn (Mae) and Garrett Turner; Photo by Jerry Dalia
Sydni Beaudoin, Lori Tan Chinn (Mae) and Garrett Turner; Photo by Jerry Dalia

 

 

 

 

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André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillias White, Haven Burton and More in World Premiere of HALF TIME at Paper Mill Playhouse

André De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical, with book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean. Half Time began previews on May 31, 2018 and will play a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ. Opening night is set for June 12th.

André De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang

Half Time is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. The cast features five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’) and Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams. Half Time is based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing-instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers-and the young coaches who inspire them along the way-as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game-it’s Half Time.

The principal cast features André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who are joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire Kingas Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel.

Rounding out the cast are Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.

Half Time Video

“I am thrilled our new musical Half Time will be a part of the very exciting 2017-2018 Paper Mill season,” stated Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “Half Time celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together. We can’t wait to share it with the amazing audiences at Paper Mill.”

“We are excited to welcome legends André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie and Lillias White to Paper Mill Playhouse,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “This new musical, inspired by the documentary Gotta Dance, is a true New Jersey story that will be thrilling for audiences of any age.”

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations), and Telsey + Company(Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.Half Time will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $23 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2017/2018 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Donna McKechnie Joins André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Lillias White, Lori Tan Chinn and More in HALF TIME at Paper Mill SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

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André De Shields to Receive 2018 Legend of Off Broadway Award; “KPOP,” “Dutch Masters,” “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” Score Off-Broadway Alliance Nods

André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields
Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Jo Bonney, David Rabe and Mary Testa will receive 2018 Legend of Off Broadway Awards for their extraordinary contributions to Off Broadway from the Off Broadway Alliance.

Donna McKechnie Joins André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Lillias White, Lori Tan Chinn and More in HALF TIME at Paper Mill 

The Off Broadway Alliance, an organization of Off-Broadway producers, theaters, general managers, press agents, and marketing professionals, announced the nominees for the 8th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Awards, honoring commercial and not-for-profit productions that opened Off-Broadway during the 2017-2018 season.

André De Shields- In a career spanning forty-eight years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is the recipient of three Jeff Awards, one as Director for Victory Gardens’ 1987 production of The Colored Museum, and two as Featured Performer in a Musical for the Goodman Theatre productions of Play On! (1998) and Mary Zimmerman’s The Jungle Book (2013). In fact Mr. De Shields’ professional career began at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre, now the Bank of America Theatre, in the 1969 production of Hair. From there he moved on to The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House, and ultimately became a member of The Organic Theatre Company, where he created the role of Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension in the cult sensation Warp. A multiple Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’Play On! and The Full Monty. He recently appeared Off-Broadway in Classic Stage Company’s As You Like It and Playwrights Horizon’s Mankind by Robert O’Hara. He is currently in rehearsal for the Papermill Playhouse’s production of Half Time.

His numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special based on Ain’t Misbehavin’, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, a 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship in Distinguished Achievement, Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Making Waves Award, the Theatre School at DePaul University 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Riant Theatre’s 2016 Pioneer of the Arts Award, the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, a 2016 Beinecke Fellowship at Yale School of Drama, a 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award and nine AUDELCO Awards. and two Doctor of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa one each from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo.

Awards will be presented in six competitive categories: Best New Musical, Best New Play, Best Revival, Best Unique Theatrical Experience, Best Solo Performance, and Best Family Show. Winners in all categories will be announced on Wednesday, May 16, and the awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 19 at Sardis at 5:30pm.

Donald Farber, the theater attorney who quite literally “wrote the book” for Off Broadway, and Sam Shepard, the great playwright and actor, will be posthumously honored with induction into the Off Broadway Hall of Fame. Carol Rosegg, who has photographed hundreds of Broadway and Off Broadway productions, will be honored with the 2018 Friend of Off Broadway Award.

Congrats to all the nominees!!

Best New Musical
Bastard Jones
Desperate Measures
Goldstein
Pharma Bro: An American Douchical
Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie

André Holland, Ian Duff, Greg Keller and Jake Horowitz. Photo by Lia Chang
DUTCH MASTERS director André Holland, Ian Duff, playwright Greg Keller and Jake Horowitz. Photo by Lia Chang

Best New Play
Dutch Masters
Mary Jane
School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play
The Amateurs
Transfers

Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Zainab Jah, Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Laura Wilson, Paige Gilbert, Nike Kadri. Photo by Lia Chang
School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play cast Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Zainab Jah, Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, stage manager Laura Wilson, Paige Gilbert, Nike Kadri. Photo by Lia Chang

Best Revival
Artificial Jungle
At Home at the Zoo
Hindle Wakes
The Government Inspector
Torch Song

Best Solo Performance
Bright Colors and Bold Patterns
Harry Clarke
In & Of Itself
Squeamish
Who’s Holiday!

Best Unique Theatrical Experience
Babette’s Feast
Ghost Light
KPOP
Pride and Prejudice
Randy Writes a Novel

Best Family Show
Addy & Uno (Tom and Michael D’Angora)
Pete the Cat (Theatreworks USA)
Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical (Atlantic for Kids)
The Snowy Day and Other Stories (Julia Beardsley O’Brien)
The Stowaway (Classic Stage Company and Trusty Sidekick Theater Company)

Past Off Broadway Alliance honorees include INDECENT, HAMILTON, FUN HOME, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, BUYER & CELLAR, SPAMILTON, Anne Meara, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Durang, Eli Wallach, Estelle Parsons, Wallace Shawn, and Terrence McNally..

The Off-Broadway Alliance is a non-profit corporation organized by theater professionals dedicated to supporting, promoting and encouraging the production of Off Broadway theater and to making live theater increasingly accessible to new and diverse audiences. The Alliance holds monthly meetings and membership is open to everyone in the Off-Broadway theater community.

Among its initiatives, The Off-Broadway Alliance sponsors 20at20, the event that runs twice a year for 20 days and lets theatergoers purchase $20 tickets to dozens of Off Broadway shows 20 minutes before curtain. It also produces a free Seminar Series focusing on the culture, business and history of Off Broadway featuring major players from the Off-Broadway scene. The Alliance operates the OBA Mentorship Program, which provides new producers with guidance and direction from Off Broadway veterans. And the Alliance created the Off Broadway Economic Impact Report, which outlines Off Broadway’s over $500 million annual impact on the economy of the City of New York.

For more information and tickets to the award ceremony, visit www.OffBroadwayAlliance.com.

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Donna McKechnie Joins André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Lillias White, Lori Tan Chinn and More in HALF TIME at Paper Mill 

The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical, with book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean.

Cast and Creative Team of Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Cast and Creative Team of Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

The newest addition to this stellar cast is Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.

Creative Team at Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Creative Team at Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Half Time begins performances Thursday, May 31, 2018, for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse. Half Time is produced in association with Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke.

The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Half Time will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. The cast features previously announced five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’). Half Time is based on the motion picture “Gotta Dance”, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing-instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers-and the young coaches who inspire them along the way-as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game-it’s Half Time.

The principal cast features André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who will be joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire King as Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel.

Rounding out the cast are Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations),and Telsey + Company (Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office or online at www.PaperMill.org. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $23 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance.

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André De Shields, Leslie Uggams, Betty Gilpin, Denis O’Hare, Charles Randolph-Wright, Andre Royo, Arian Moayed, Reed Birney, Sarah Steele, Lea DeLaria and More at The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway

Jiréh Breon Holder, André De Shields, Leslie Uggams, Charles Randolph-Wright and Denis O'Hare. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Jiréh Breon Holder and Director Charles Randolph-Wright. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Jiréh Breon Holder and Director Charles Randolph-Wright. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday, April 9, Roundabout Theatre Company’s Roundabout Underground playwriting alumni gathered to present The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. Joshua Harmon, Jiréh Breon Holder, Meghan Kennedy, Alex Lubischer, Ming Peiffer and Jenny Rachel Weiner were among the six playwrights who presented six brand new short plays written & rehearsed over the course of a single day.

Jiréh Breon Holder, André De Shields, Leslie Uggams, Charles Randolph-Wright and Denis O'Hare. Photo by Lia Chang
Jiréh Breon Holder, André De Shields, Leslie Uggams, Charles Randolph-Wright and Denis O’Hare. Photo by Lia Chang

Jiréh Breon Holder’s Beautiful Music,featured André De Shields as Blue, Betty Gilpin as Madam, Denis O’Hare as Yellow and Leslie Uggams as Red, with Charles Randolph-Wright at the helm, Assistant Director Kevin Kantor and Assistant Stage Manager Rachel Winfield.

Check out the full lineup below.

Lea DeLaria or Tiffany Trump by Joshua Harmon, Directed by Mark Brokaw
Cast
Lea DeLaria/Tiffany Trump………..Lea DeLaria
Gideon……………………………………………Gideon Glick
Sas…………………………………………………Sas Goldberg
Josh………………………………………………Josh Hamilton

Assistant Director……………………….Ivey Lowe
Assistant Stage Manager…………. Bria Robinson

Lea DeLaria and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea DeLaria and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Uncanny Valley by Ming Peiffer, directed by Whitney White
Cast
Amos Reardon……………………………..Mike Carlsen
Mariana Perez………………………………Jackie Cruz
Osato Jones…………………………………..Andre Royo
Osato’s Assistant………………………….Max Reinhardsen
Shudu……………………………………………..Shaunette Renee Wilson

André Royo and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André Royo and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Age Old by Meghan Kennedy, directed by Marc Bruni
Cast
Dick………………………………………………….Reed Birney
Jane………………………………………………….Krysta Rodriguez
Harry and Sex Spanish Teacher…Jeremy Shamos
Sally………………………………………………….Sarah Steele

Assistant Director………………………….Miranda Hayman
Assistant Stage Manager……………..Geoff Boronoda

THE HUMANS's reunion -Reed Birney, Sara Steele and Arian Moayed. Photo by Lia Chang
THE HUMANS’s reunion -Reed Birney, Sara Steele and Arian Moayed. Photo by Lia Chang

The Unicorn by Alex Lubischer, directed by Theresa Rebeck
Cast
Tilda…………………………………………………Nina Hellman
Jeff……………………………………………………Danny Hoch
The Unicorn……………………………………Richard Kind
Miss Anniston’s Assistant…………..Cristin Milioti
Wayne……………………………………………..Ben Rappaport

Assistant Director………………………… Victor Cervantes
Assistant Stage Manager……………..Michelle Tuite

Richard Kind and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Kind and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

I ❤ My Coven by Jenny Rachel Weiner, directed by Giovanna Sardelli
Cast
Amanda……………………………………………Genevieve Angelson
Grace…………………………………………………Anna Baryshnikov
Rona…………………………………………………..Beanie Feldstein
Bobby…………………………………………………Franchesca Ramsey
Greg……………………………………………………Arian Moayed

Assistant Director………………………….. Kyle Michael Yoder
Assistant Stage Manager……………….Hollis Duggans

Leslie Uggams, Charles Randolph-Wright, André De Shields, Andre Royo. Photo by Lia Chang
Leslie Uggams, Charles Randolph-Wright, André De Shields, Andre Royo. Photo by Lia Chang
Arian Moayed, André De Shields, Reed Birney and a guest. Photo by Lia Chang
Arian Moayed, André De Shields, Reed Birney and a guest. Photo by Lia Chang

Musical guests included Adam Gwon and Friends, Doug Lyons & Ethan Pakchar,  and Addi & Jacq (a musical duo made up of Addi McDaniel and Jacqueline Kerrod).

Coleman Ray Clark, André De Shields and Adam Gwon. Photo by Lia Chang
Coleman Ray Clark, André De Shields and Adam Gwon. Photo by Lia Chang

All proceeds from the evening benefit Roundabout Underground and the New Play Initiative, programs focused on discovering and cultivating emerging playwrights and artists.

The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space.

Through the New Play Initiative, Roundabout proves its devotion to the development and production of new works by significant writers and artists. The Roundabout Underground program in particular provides substantial artistic and financial resources to emerging playwrights to stage their debut productions in New York and on Roundabout’s stages. In addition to producing their first play, writers receive a commission for a future play, showing a level of commitment to writers’ careers and the future of theatre in New York that is unparalleled. The New Play Initiative has discovered and brought audiences some of the most important new voices in theatre and is dedicated to creating a diverse canon for the future of theatre. To learn more about Roundabout’s commitment to the development of new work, visit New Play Initiative.

Roundabout Underground showcases new plays that will either give a debut production to an emerging writer or director, or allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots. Jill Rafson (Director of New Play Development) serves as Artistic Producer for this initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.

Prior Underground productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate (2007), Steven Levenson’s The Language of Trees (2008), Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days (2009), Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still (2010), David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011), Andrew Hinderaker’s Suicide, Incorporated (2011), Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews (2012), Meghan Kennedy’s Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (2013), Jeff Augustin’s Little Children Dream of God (2015), Lindsey Ferrentino’s Ugly Lies the Bone (2015), Jenny Rachel Weiner’s Kingdom Come (2016), Martín Zimmerman’s On the Exhale (2017), Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket (2017), and Alex Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly (2018). Ming Peiffer’s Usual Girls will debut in Fall 2018.

www.roundabouttheatre.org

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS bring together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater around the world. In addition to The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and The 24 Hour Musicals, regular events take place in London, Los Angeles, Dublin, Germany, Minneapolis, Athens, Helsinki, Mexico City and Florence. Through collaborations with organizations including The Old Vic Theatre, Dublin Youth Theatre, Urban Arts Partnership, Cornerstone Theater Company, The Orchard Project, Bennington College, Hennepin Theatre Trust, The University of Minnesota-Duluth and The Del Sole Foundation, The 24 Hour Plays have raised millions of dollars for charities. Each summer, The 24 Hour Plays partner with the New School for Drama to bring together the best actors, directors, playwrights and producers 25 and under for an intensive professional experience. Licensed affiliates have produced their own versions of The 24 Hour Plays in regional and professional theaters, colleges and universities, and just about everywhere you can find a curtain and a stage. 24hourplays.com/off-broadway/

Multimedia: André De Shields Receives 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards; Full List of Winners

André De Shields, Charles Busch, Len Cariou and More Celebrate Vinie Burrows at Theater for the New City’s Annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala 

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

André De Shields, Arian Moayed, Reed Birney, Leslie Uggams, Richard Kind, Aasif Mandvi and More set for Roundabout Underground’s The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway on April 9

On Monday, April 9, Roundabout Theatre Company’s Roundabout Underground playwriting alumni will gather to present The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway. Six playwrights, six directors, 24 actors and a musical guest will perform six brand new short plays written & rehearsed over the course of a single day. The performance will begin at 8:00pm at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street).

All proceeds from the evening will benefit Roundabout Underground and the New Play Initiative, programs focused on discovering and cultivating emerging playwrights and artists

“Roundabout Underground and The 24 Hour Plays share a commitment to discovering and nurturing new voices in the American theater,” Roundabout’s Director of New Play Development Jill Rafson and The 24 Hour Plays Executive Director Mark Armstrong said in a joint statement, “as well as to creating dynamic, unforgettable theater experiences. The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway promises to be a joyous, singular evening celebrating both of those endeavors.”

Stage and screen stars scheduled to appear in The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway include André De Shields, Aasif Mandvi, Anna Baryshnikov, Arian Moayed, Beanie Feldstein, Beth Behrs, Betty Gilpin, Cristin Milioti, Denis O’Hare, Franchesca Ramsey, Gideon Glick, Jackie Cruz, Jeremy Shamos, Leslie Ugams, Mike Carlsen, Nina Hellman, Reed Birney, Richard Kind, Sarah Steele, Sas Goldberg and more!

Playwrights include artists who debuted, or will debut, at Roundabout Underground: musical guest Adam Gwon and Friends and new work by Joshua Harmon, Jiréh Breon Holder, Meghan Kennedy, Alex Lubischer, Ming Peiffer and Jenny Rachel Weiner.

They will be directed by Roundabout favorites Mark Brokaw, Marc Bruni, Theresa Rebeck, Giovanna Sardelli, Whitney White and Charles Randolph-Wright.

Tickets range from $99-$2,500 and can be purchased at www.roundabouttheatre.org/the24hourplays or by calling Audience Services at 212-719-1300. Underwriter Packages are also available! Please call 212.719.9393, ext. 369 to learn more.

The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space.

Through the New Play Initiative, Roundabout proves its devotion to the development and production of new works by significant writers and artists. The Roundabout Underground program in particular provides substantial artistic and financial resources to emerging playwrights to stage their debut productions in New York and on Roundabout’s stages. In addition to producing their first play, writers receive a commission for a future play, showing a level of commitment to writers’ careers and the future of theatre in New York that is unparalleled. The New Play Initiative has discovered and brought audiences some of the most important new voices in theatre and is dedicated to creating a diverse canon for the future of theatre. To learn more about Roundabout’s commitment to the development of new work, visit New Play Initiative.

Roundabout Underground showcases new plays that will either give a debut production to an emerging writer or director, or allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots. Jill Rafson (Director of New Play Development) serves as Artistic Producer for this initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.

Prior Underground productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate (2007), Steven Levenson’s The Language of Trees (2008), Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days (2009), Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still (2010), David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011), Andrew Hinderaker’s Suicide, Incorporated (2011), Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews (2012), Meghan Kennedy’s Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (2013), Jeff Augustin’s Little Children Dream of God (2015), Lindsey Ferrentino’s Ugly Lies the Bone (2015), Jenny Rachel Weiner’s Kingdom Come (2016), Martín Zimmerman’s On the Exhale (2017), Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket (2017), and Alex Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly (2018). Ming Peiffer’s Usual Girls will debut in Fall 2018.

www.roundabouttheatre.org

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS bring together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater around the world. In addition to The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and The 24 Hour Musicals, regular events take place in London, Los Angeles, Dublin, Germany, Minneapolis, Athens, Helsinki, Mexico City and Florence. Through collaborations with organizations including The Old Vic Theatre, Dublin Youth Theatre, Urban Arts Partnership, Cornerstone Theater Company, The Orchard Project, Bennington College, Hennepin Theatre Trust, The University of Minnesota-Duluth and The Del Sole Foundation, The 24 Hour Plays have raised millions of dollars for charities. Each summer, The 24 Hour Plays partner with the New School for Drama to bring together the best actors, directors, playwrights and producers 25 and under for an intensive professional experience. Licensed affiliates have produced their own versions of The 24 Hour Plays in regional and professional theaters, colleges and universities, and just about everywhere you can find a curtain and a stage.

Multimedia: André De Shields Receives 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards; Full List of Winners

André De Shields, Charles Busch, Len Cariou and More Celebrate Vinie Burrows at Theater for the New City’s Annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala 

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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André De Shields, Arian Moayed, Reed Birney, Leslie Uggams, Mamie Gummer, Richard Kind, Aasif Mandvi and More set for Roundabout Underground’s The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway on April 9

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday, April 9, Roundabout Theatre Company’s Roundabout Underground playwriting alumni will gather to present The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway. Six playwrights, six directors, 24 actors and a musical guest will perform six brand new short plays written & rehearsed over the course of a single day. The performance will begin at 8:00pm at the Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street).

All proceeds from the evening will benefit Roundabout Underground and the New Play Initiative, programs focused on discovering and cultivating emerging playwrights and artists

“Roundabout Underground and The 24 Hour Plays share a commitment to discovering and nurturing new voices in the American theater,” Roundabout’s Director of New Play Development Jill Rafson and The 24 Hour Plays Executive Director Mark Armstrong said in a joint statement, “as well as to creating dynamic, unforgettable theater experiences. The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway promises to be a joyous, singular evening celebrating both of those endeavors.”

Stage and screen stars scheduled to appear in The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway include Anna Baryshnikov, Beth Behrs, Reed Birney, Mike Carlsen, Jackie Cruz, André De Shields, Beanie Feldstein, Brett Gelman, Betty Gilpin, Gideon Glick, Sas Goldberg, Mamie Gummer, Nina Hellman, Richard Kind, Aasif Mandvi, Arian Moayed, Jeremy Shamos, Sarah Steele, and Leslie Uggams, plus additional artists to be announced soon. All artists subject to change.

Playwrights include artists who debuted, or will debut, at Roundabout Underground: musical guest Adam Gwon and Friends and new work by Joshua Harmon, Jiréh Breon Holder, Meghan Kennedy, Alex Lubischer, Ming Peiffer and Jenny Rachel Weiner.

They will be directed by Roundabout favorites Mark Brokaw, Marc Bruni, Theresa Rebeck, Giovanna Sardelli, Whitney White and Charles Randolph-Wright.

Tickets range from $99-$2,500 and can be purchased at www.roundabouttheatre.org/the24hourplays or by calling Audience Services at 212-719-1300. Underwriter Packages are also available! Please call 212.719.9393, ext. 369 to learn more.

The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space.

Through the New Play Initiative, Roundabout proves its devotion to the development and production of new works by significant writers and artists. The Roundabout Underground program in particular provides substantial artistic and financial resources to emerging playwrights to stage their debut productions in New York and on Roundabout’s stages. In addition to producing their first play, writers receive a commission for a future play, showing a level of commitment to writers’ careers and the future of theatre in New York that is unparalleled. The New Play Initiative has discovered and brought audiences some of the most important new voices in theatre and is dedicated to creating a diverse canon for the future of theatre. To learn more about Roundabout’s commitment to the development of new work, visit New Play Initiative.

Roundabout Underground showcases new plays that will either give a debut production to an emerging writer or director, or allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots. Jill Rafson (Director of New Play Development) serves as Artistic Producer for this initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.

Prior Underground productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate (2007), Steven Levenson’s The Language of Trees (2008), Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days (2009), Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still (2010), David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011), Andrew Hinderaker’s Suicide, Incorporated (2011), Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews (2012), Meghan Kennedy’s Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (2013), Jeff Augustin’s Little Children Dream of God (2015), Lindsey Ferrentino’s Ugly Lies the Bone (2015), Jenny Rachel Weiner’s Kingdom Come (2016), Martín Zimmerman’s On the Exhale (2017), Jiréh Breon Holder’s Too Heavy for Your Pocket (2017), and Alex Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly (2018). Ming Peiffer’s Usual Girls will debut in Fall 2018.

www.roundabouttheatre.org

THE 24 HOUR PLAYS bring together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater around the world. In addition to The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and The 24 Hour Musicals, regular events take place in London, Los Angeles, Dublin, Germany, Minneapolis, Athens, Helsinki, Mexico City and Florence. Through collaborations with organizations including The Old Vic Theatre, Dublin Youth Theatre, Urban Arts Partnership, Cornerstone Theater Company, The Orchard Project, Bennington College, Hennepin Theatre Trust, The University of Minnesota-Duluth and The Del Sole Foundation, The 24 Hour Plays have raised millions of dollars for charities. Each summer, The 24 Hour Plays partner with the New School for Drama to bring together the best actors, directors, playwrights and producers 25 and under for an intensive professional experience. Licensed affiliates have produced their own versions of The 24 Hour Plays in regional and professional theaters, colleges and universities, and just about everywhere you can find a curtain and a stage.

Multimedia: André De Shields Receives 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards; Full List of Winners

André De Shields, Charles Busch, Len Cariou and More Celebrate Vinie Burrows at Theater for the New City’s Annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala 

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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Multimedia: André De Shields Receives 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards; Full List of Winners

Peter Anderson, Sherry Eaker, André De Shields, Amanda Rosenburg and Will Anderson. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday night, Sherry Eaker, the former longtime Editor-in Chief of Back Stage, presented the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards Gala at Gotham Comedy Club in New York.

Producer Sherry Eaker. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Sherry Eaker. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award winning choreographer and director George Faison (The Wiz) presented André De Shields, a two-time Tony nominee, Drama Desk nominee, Emmy winner and multi-Audelco Award and Outer Critics Circle Award winner, with the 2018 Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, the Bistro Awards’ highest honor, for his five decades of stage and nightclub accomplishments.

The actor-singer-dancer-choreographer made his mark on Broadway in the title role of The Wiz, which was followed by the long-running Ain’t Misbehavin’Stardust: The Mitchell Parish MusicalPlay On!, and The Full Monty. Mr. De Shields embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the ’70s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy’s, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue Andre De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne. More recent appearances have included Joe’s Pub and the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Director Shellen Lubin, Honorees Shemekia Copeland and André De Shields, and producer Sherry Eaker. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Shellen Lubin, Honorees Shemekia Copeland and André De Shields, and producer Sherry Eaker. Photo by Lia Chang

Shellen Lubin was at the helm of the Bistro Awards’ festivities for the sixth year in a row, which featured performances by all of the 2018 Bistro Award winners. The Bistros Band included Daryl Kojak (musical director and piano), Rex Benicasa (drums and percussion) and Ritt Henn (bass).

Rex Benincasa, Marlene Daniels, Ritt Henn, André De Shields, Daryl Kojak, Freida Williams and Larry Spivack. Photo by Lia Chang
Rex Benincasa, Marlene Daniels, Ritt Henn, André De Shields, Daryl Kojak, Freida Williams and Larry Spivack. Photo by Lia Chang

The grand finale of the evening featured, Mr. De Shields, his back up singers –  Marlene Daniels and Freida Williams, Larry Spivak, Daryl Kojak (piano), Rex Benincasa (drums and percussion) and  Ritt Henn (bass).

Larry Spivack, Daryl Kojak, André De Shields, Frieda Williams, Marlene Daniels, Ritt Henn. Photo by Lia Chang
Larry Spivack, Daryl Kojak, André De Shields, Frieda Williams, Marlene Daniels, Ritt Henn. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out the video below which features Mr. Faison presenting the award to Mr. De Shields and excerpts of his performance. (video produced by Bev’s Girl Films’ Garth Kravits and Lia Chang.

Ms. Eaker, the producer of the event since its inception, heads up the Awards Committee that includes BistroAwards.com critics Gerry Geddes, Roy Sander, Robert Windeler, and Mark Dundas Wood. Sander is also the award show’s associate producer; Wendy Lane Bailey is the assistant producer.

Congrats to all of the winners. Check out the full list below and the run of show. 

Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Jazz
Sheila Jordan
“Better Than Anything”/”Dat Dere”

Outstanding Vocalist
Lisa Yaeger
“America”

Outstanding Director
Jeff Harnar
“Let’s Get Away From It All”/”How About You” (Dawn Derow)

Outstanding Creative Artistry
Salty Brine
“Gotta Get Up”

Outstanding Theme Show – Carried Away
Amy Beth Williams
“Story of Isaac”

ASCAP Award for Outstanding Revue – It Helps to Sing About It: The Songs of Ben Schaechter & Dan Kael
Ben Schaechter, Dan Kael, Sara Louise Lazarus

Outstanding Singer/Instrumentalist
Rachelle Garniez
“Grasshopper”

Bistro associate producer Wendy Lane Bailey, Bistro recipient harpist Maria Banks who is part of the "Thank You for Your Love" team and producer Sherry Eaker. Photo by Lia Chang
Bistro associate producer Wendy Lane Bailey, Bistro recipient harpist Maria Banks who is part of the “Thank You for Your Love” team and producer Sherry Eaker. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Tribute Show – Thank You for Your Love: Our Celebration of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt  
Starring Carole Demas and Sarah Rice (both of whom played Luisa in the original production of The Fantasticks), directed by Charles Repole, and with accompaniment by musical director Joe Goodrich on piano and Maria Banks on harp and illuminating projections by producer Stuart J. Allyn, it is rich with marvelous singing, trenchant song interpretations, and a great deal of heart.
“A Man and a Woman”

Outstanding Solo Play – A Life Behind Bars
Dan Ruth

Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award
Mary Sue Daniels
“When I Was a Boy”

Outstanding New York Debut
Katie McGrath
“Up On the Roof”

Outstanding Instrumentalists Award
Peter and Will Anderson
“Cheek to Cheek”

Peter Anderson and Will Anderson. Photo by Lia Chang
Peter Anderson and Will Anderson. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Producer’s Award
Shemekia Copeland
“Beat Up Old Guitar”

Shemekia Copeland. Photo by Lia Chang
Shemekia Copeland. Photo by Lia Chang

Consummate Cabaret Artistry
Marta Sanders
“I’m Still Here”

Marta Sanders. Photo by Lia Chang
Marta Sanders. Photo by Lia Chang

Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
André De Shields
“Let the Good Times Roll”
Accompanied by Marlene Daniels, Freida Williams, Larry Spivack, Daryl Kojak (musical director and piano), Rex Benicasa (drums and percussion) and Ritt Henn (bass).

André De Shields and Marlene Daniels. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Marlene Daniels. Photo by Lia Chang

www.BistroAwards.com.

Producer Sherry Eaker and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Sherry Eaker and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The BISTRO AWARDS has been recognizing, encouraging, nurturing, and educating cabaret, jazz and comedy artists for 33 years through its insightful reviews and annual awards. It is the oldest award of its kind in the industry. It was established by Bob Harrington in 1985 in his “Bistro Bits” column in the trade weekly Back Stage, then under the editorship of Sherry Eaker. For the first few years, the awards were merely listed in Harrington’s column as notable performances he had seen during the calendar year. The first formal presentation of the awards was held in 1990 at Eighty Eight’s, a popular cabaret venue in the West Village. From there, the show moved on to The Ballroom in Chelsea, and then relocated to the Supper Club in the Broadway District, where it remained for many years. This year marks the 12th year at Gotham Comedy Club.

The guidelines that Harrington set up for himself to determine the first winners have become the basic philosophy behind the Bistro Awards, which recognize achievement in a wide variety of categories — from outstanding performances to outstanding contributions by members of the cabaret community. The object is not to choose the “best” of anything of the year, but to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of those who have done something special. Accordingly, categories can easily be created from year to year as they best fit the year’s distinguished work.

Yvonne Curry, Vinie Burrows, André De Shields and Joan Jeffri. Photo by Lia Chang
Yvonne Curry, Vinie Burrows, André De Shields and Joan Jeffri. Photo by Lia Chang
Joan Jeffri, André De Shields, Vincent Phram, Yvonne Curry and Michael Dinwiddie. Photo by Lia Chang
Joan Jeffri, André De Shields, Vincent Phram, Yvonne Curry and Michael Dinwiddie. Photo by Lia Chang
Howard Schein, Burton Schein, Petra Schein, André De Shields, Ritt Henn and Beth Falcone. Photo by Lia Chang
Howard Schein, Burton Schein, Petra Schein, André De Shields, Ritt Henn and Beth Falcone. Photo by Lia Chang

Some of the Bistro’s special honorees have included Darlene Love (2017), Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross (2016), Ben Vereen (2014); Lainie Kazan and Maurice Hines (2013); Kaye Ballard, Melissa Manchester, and Dee Dee Bridgewater (2012); Dionne Warwick and Carol Channing (2011); Mitzi Gaynor and Elaine Stritch (2010); Charles Aznavour and Liza Minnelli (2009); Marilyn Maye (2008); Betty Buckley (2007); Steve Ross (2006); as well as Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt, Barbara Cook, and many others.

Rex Benincasa, Marlene Daniels, Ritt Henn, Sherry Eaker, André De Shields, Daryl Kojak, Freida Williams and Larry Spivack. Photo by Lia Chang
Rex Benincasa, Marlene Daniels, Ritt Henn, Sherry Eaker, André De Shields, Daryl Kojak, Freida Williams and Larry Spivack. Photo by Lia Chang

BroadwayWorld Photo Flash: André Robin De Shields, Marta Sanders, Peter and Will Anderson, Shemekia Copeland And More Among 2018 #BistroAward Recipients

André De Shields, Charles Busch, Len Cariou and More Celebrate Vinie Burrows at Theater for the New City’s Annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala 

André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits.
André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Winner André De Shields and Renowned Jazz Artist Sheila Jordan Among the Honorees at the 33rd ANNUAL BISTRO AWARDS GALA on March 12

Tad Schnugg, André and George Faison backstage at Yale's Rep's production of SEVEN GUITARS on December 1, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, a two-time Tony nominee, Drama Desk nominee, Emmy winner and multi-Audelco Award and Outer Critics Circle Award winner and internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan are among the artists who will be honored at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards Gala on Monday, March 12 at 6:30 pm at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St.  As is the Bistro Award tradition, the evening will feature performances by all of the winners.

Mr. De Shields is receiving the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, the Bistro Awards’ highest honor, for his five decades of stage and nightclub accomplishments. The actor-singer-dancer-choreographer made his mark on Broadway in the title role of The Wiz, which was followed by the long-running Ain’t Misbehavin’Stardust: The Mitchell Parish MusicalPlay On!, and The Full Monty.

He embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the ’70s, he created a string of original shows that performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy’s, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue Andre De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne. More recent appearances have included Joe’s Pub and the Laurie Beechman Theatre.

Tony award-winning choreographer George Faison (The Wiz) will be on hand to present the award to Mr. De Shields.

Tad Schnugg, André De Shields and George Faison backstage at Yale's Rep's production of SEVEN GUITARS on December 1, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Tad Schnugg, André De Shields and George Faison backstage at Yale’s Rep’s production of SEVEN GUITARS on December 1, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Because of her lifelong dedication to music as a unique and influential jazz vocalist, interpreter, songwriter, teacher, and mentor, Ms. Jordan is being honored for Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Jazz. Legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker, a great influence on her, would introduce her as “the singer with the million dollar ears.” Her trademarks are her uncompromising style, her ability to improvise lyrics, and unexpected sweeping changes of pitch. Her preference for bass and voice led to her collaboration with bassist Cameron Brown, with whom she has been touring internationally for over 20 years. She is a recipient of a 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, and is the subject of Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan by Ellen Johnson, which was described by the Huffington Post as a “truly American success story.”

A New York cabaret artist since the ’70s, Marta Sanders is being recognized for her Consummate Cabaret Artistry. Acclaimed early in her career, her artistry has grown thrillingly since then, and now her performances can be viewed as master classes in the art of song interpretation.

Blues singer Shemekia Copeland is the recipient of the Bistro’s first Producer’s Award. Daughter of blues guitarist-singer Johnny Copeland, she displays a powerful, gutsy voice that can also be soft and sultry, and has an uncanny ability to connect to her audience with both songs and stories.

This year’s Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award—given to an outstanding performer on the rise and named after Back Stage’s co-founder, co-publisher, and first nightclub critic—goes to Mary Sue Daniels, who made her New York cabaret debut with a show that charmingly captures her growing-up years in Montana through her straightforward, persuasive delivery of personal anecdotes and an impeccable selection of songs.

The multi-Bistro Award-winning singer Jeff Harnar this year gets the nod as Outstanding Director for his ability to shape shows that score solidly as entertainments while at the same time doing justice to the performers’ expression of emotion and exploration of character.

Lisa Yaeger is being acknowledged as Outstanding Vocalist not only for her impressive vocal ability, but also for the subtlety of her interpretations and for being able to handle a diversity of musical genres with natural ease.

Recipient of our Outstanding Singer-Instrumentalist Award, Rachelle Garniez plays accordion, guitar, bells, and piano, sometimes making them sound like extensions of her own similarly versatile voice, and her original songs are as fresh and delightful as are her performances.

The Bistro’s Outstanding Instrumentalists Award is being presented to twin brothers who will surely knock your socks off when you hear them playing either jazz saxophone or clarinet. Peter and Will Anderson bring a fresh perspective to classic jazz and have performed extensively with some of the top jazz musicians at some of the top jazz venues in the country.

Salty Brine is one of the most unique artists the Committee has ever seen. The show he wrote and performed in 2017 was in part a discussion of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, in part a performance of the songs on a Harry Nilsson album, and in part a recollection of Salty’s youthful experiences at a boys’ camp–all woven together to create an unforgettable cabaret/theatrical experience. The Bistros are recognizing his talent with an Award for Creative Artistry.

The theme of Amy Beth Williams’s show Carried Away is war, and while the enterprise contains a number of songs related to armed combat, she takes a far broader view of the conflicts between people; the result is a vibrant tapestry of human experience, which is being honored as Outstanding Theme show.

Songwriters were the focus of two shows that caught the Bistro Committee’s attention. Thank You for Your Love: Our Celebration of Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt is being honored as Outstanding Tribute Show. Starring Carole Demas and Sarah Rice (both of whom played Luisa in the original production of The Fantasticks), directed by Charles Repole, and with accompaniment by musical director Joe Goodrich on piano and Maria Banks on harp and illuminating projections by producer Stuart J. Allyn, it is rich with marvelous singing, trenchant song interpretations, and a great deal of heart. And the songwriting team of Ben Schaechter and Dan Kael wrote It Helps to Sing About It, the Bistro Awards’ pick for Outstanding Revue. Under the savvy guidance of director Sara Louise Lazarus, this smart, joyous entertainment puts one in mind of the golden time when sparkling revues of original material were a staple of the theatre and club scene.

In his A Life Behind Bars, being honored as Outstanding Solo Play, writer-actor Dan Ruthdelivers a compelling story in a funny, heartfelt, and at times touching account of his struggles to make it as an actor in New York by tending bar. To top it off, he brilliantly plays all the crazy and mad characters he meets along the way.

Finally, making an Outstanding New York Debut with her show Significant Others, Katie McGrath relates her personal story through words and songs that flow seamlessly and winningly together.

For the sixth year in a row, Shellen Lubin is directing the Bistro Awards evening. A theatre director, playwright, songwriter, and vocal and acting coach, Shellen is also in the forefront of attaining parity for women in the arts.

The gala event will be held on Monday, March 12 at 6:30 pm at Gotham Comedy Club. 208 W. 23rd Street. Sherry Eaker, the former longtime Editor-in Chief of Back Stage and the producer of the event since its inception, heads up the Awards Committee that includes BistroAwards.com critics Gerry GeddesRoy SanderRobert Windeler, and Mark Dundas Wood. Sander is also the award show’s associate producer; Wendy Lane Bailey is the assistant producer.

Premium Tickets are $150.00; General Admission tickets are $80.00. Ticket-buyers in both categories are invited to the “After-Bistros” party as guests of the Bistros. For details about the various ticket categories and early purchase prices, visit www.BistroAwards.com.

For additional information, call Sherry Eaker at 917-239-5467.

Following is a complete list of the winners who are being recognized for their outstanding work:

André De Shields / Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award
Sheila Jordan / Outstanding Contributions to the Art of Jazz
Marta Sanders / Consummate Cabaret Artistry
Shemekia Copeland / Producer’s Award
Mary Sue Daniels/ Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award
Jeff Harnar / Director
Lisa Yaeger / Vocalist
Rachelle Garniez / Singer – Instrumentalist
Peter and Will Anderson / Instrumentalists
Salty Brine / Creative Artistry
Amy Beth Williams / Theme Show – Carried Away
Thank You for Your Love: Our Celebration of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt / Tribute Show – Carole Demas, Sarah Rice, Charles Repole, Joe Goodrich, Maria Banks, Stuart J. Allyn
It Helps to Sing About It: The Songs of Ben Schaechter & Dan Kael / Revue – Ben Schaechter, Dan Kael, Sara Louise Lazarus
Dan Ruth / Solo Play – A Life Behind Bars
Katie McGrath / New York Debut

The BISTRO AWARDS has been recognizing, encouraging, nurturing, and educating cabaret, jazz and comedy artists for 33 years through its insightful reviews and annual awards. It is the oldest award of its kind in the industry. It was established by Bob Harrington in 1985 in his “Bistro Bits” column in the trade weekly Back Stage, then under the editorship of Sherry Eaker. For the first few years, the awards were merely listed in Harrington’s column as notable performances he had seen during the calendar year. The first formal presentation of the awards was held in 1990 at Eighty Eight’s, a popular cabaret venue in the West Village. From there, the show moved on to The Ballroom in Chelsea, and then relocated to the Supper Club in the Broadway District, where it remained for many years. This year marks the 12th year at Gotham Comedy Club.

The guidelines that Harrington set up for himself to determine the first winners have become the basic philosophy behind the Bistro Awards, which recognize achievement in a wide variety of categories — from outstanding performances to outstanding contributions by members of the cabaret community. The object is not to choose the “best” of anything of the year, but to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of those who have done something special. Accordingly, categories can easily be created from year to year as they best fit the year’s distinguished work.

Some of the Bistro’s special honorees have included Darlene Love (2017), Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross (2016), Ben Vereen (2014); Lainie Kazan and Maurice Hines (2013); Kaye Ballard, Melissa Manchester, and Dee Dee Bridgewater (2012); Dionne Warwick and Carol Channing (2011); Mitzi Gaynor and Elaine Stritch (2010); Charles Aznavour and Liza Minnelli (2009); Marilyn Maye (2008); Betty Buckley (2007); Steve Ross (2006); as well as Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt, Barbara Cook, and many others.

André De Shields, Charles Busch, Len Cariou and More Celebrate Vinie Burrows at Theater for the New City’s Annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala 

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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André De Shields, Charles Busch, Len Cariou and More Celebrate Vinie Burrows at Theater for the New City’s Annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala

Len Cariou, Honoree Vinie Burrows and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night, actress and activist Vinie Burrows was honored at Theater for the New City’s annual LOVE N’ COURAGE Gala, held at The Players Club in New York City.

Len Cariou, Vinie Burrows and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Len Cariou, Vinie Burrows and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Burrows, now 89-years-strong,  was saluted and celebrated for her contributions to the life and culture of New York City, with a special emphasis on the Lower East Side, where Theater for the New City has withstood the test of time and gentrification, having recently paid off its mortgage on its theater complex at 155 First Ave. (10th St.)

André De Shields and Charles Busch. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Charles Busch. Photo by Lia Chang

Hosted by Phoebe Legere (who also performed), the program featured performances by André De Shields, Charles Busch, Glitter Kitty Dance, Luba Mason, KT Sullivan, Malik Work, TNC After School, Yip Harburg Foundation Rainbow Troupe, Human Kinetics Movement Arts, Chinese Theatre Works and selected readings from new plays by TNC emerging writers: NORTHBOUND by Marvalee Peart and FAT ASSES, THE MUSICAL by Peter Zachari.

Larry Spivack and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Larry Spivack and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Vinie Burrows. Photo by Lia Chang
Vinie Burrows. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Burrows appeared on Broadway in the 1950’s and 60’s in MANDINGO, THE PONDER HEART, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, MRS. PATTERSON, THE GREEN PASTURES and THE WISTERIA TREES. Her other numerous stage productions during her long career, include SISTER! SISTER!, BEL CANTO and BLACK ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY: THE STORY OF ROSE McCLENDON. She has been active at the United Nations Economic and Social Council on the issues of the status of women and Southern Africa, and as an associate of the Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press. She received the Paul Robson Award in 1986.

About the decision to honor Ms. Burrows, TNC’s leader Crystal Field remarks, “Vinie Burrows ‘is a magnificent performer.’ So said the New York Times. She is ‘one of the reigning divas of the Black Theater.’ So said Clive Barnes. But Vinie Burrows is more than a performer. She is a true activist, capable of changing the world. At the United Nations she serves as permanent representative for the Women’s National Democratic Federation. And to add to this glorious life, she finds time to be a deep and dear friend to Theater for the New City. TNC is proud to be a like mind to a Mover and Shaker who writes, ‘The future of the planet rests on people coming together to save the earth and all living things. It is 5 minutes to midnight. Come together, brothers and sisters.’”

Ngo Gia Thuan, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations, Theater for the New City's Executive Director Crystal Fields, honoree Vinie Burrows and Ambassador Pham Thi Kim Anh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations. Photo by Lia Chang
Ngo Gia Thuan, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations, Theater for the New City’s Executive Director Crystal Fields, honoree Vinie Burrows and Ambassador Pham Thi Kim Anh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations. Photo by Lia Chang

Proceeds from the evening benefit the company’s ever-important program that supports emerging playwrights.

THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY – Now in its 45th year, is a unique Cultural Institution that has earned a nationwide reputation for its dedication to nurturing established and emerging playwrights who experiment with new forms and to presenting other experimental and developmental theaters with a very active program of Community Art Services and Festivals which continue to expand theater accessibility. www.theaterforthenewcity.net

Honoree Vinie Burrows, André De Shields, Grace Jones and Rome Neal. Photo by Lia Chang
Honoree Vinie Burrows, André De Shields, Grace Jones and Rome Neal. Photo by Lia Chang
Rhonda Ross, Rome Neal, Honoree Vinie Burrows, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Rhonda Ross, Rome Neal, Honoree Vinie Burrows, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Barry Gordon
André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Barry Gordon

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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