Where better to go, on Leap Day, than a musical about two loopy musicians—on the run from gangsters—who take the leap into an all-girl band? Nowhere better than Briarcliff, one of the happiest musical homes in the Lower Hudson Valley. Director Ian Driver sets the bar high for his students,... Read More →
When I got to Byram Hills High School, I found director Adam Shatraw directing a commercial in the hallway, with members of the cast and Principal Chris Borsari, who took direction really well, considering he’s likely more used to giving orders than taking them. The kids took a while to… Read More →
You never know what you’re going to find when you set foot in a school to visit a rehearsal for a musical. Yesterday at Clarkstown North, I dropped in and saw a busy Tim Reid heading off to meet with the stage crew, having handed directing duties off to Claudia… Read More →
Five shows on local stages this week. Here are profiles from four of them. Decisions, decisions. *** Rob Keller, an 18-year-old senior at Rye High School, sees Pippin — his character in the musical of the same name, on stage this weekend — as a man who wants to be… Read More →
Here’s the Running Lines video from Nanuet High School’s production of “Anything Goes,” which runs March 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. Featured are Niki Miller, Andrew Weiss, Rebecca Mosner, Michael Curry, Sarah Small, Joey Somma and Ana Gremli. (Thanks to Dr. Jack Gremli for being so accommodating, and to… Read More →
Speaking of “Beauty and the Beast,” here’s my chat with Alan Menken, the show’s composer, about his top Oscar moment. Enjoy. Asking Alan Menken which Oscar moment is his favorite is like asking him which of his children he loves most — if he had 19 children.
Dropped by a rehearsal of “Beauty and the Beast” at Pleasantville High School yesterday. Actually, it was a tech rehearsal for the large running crew that will shift the scenery from village square to enchanted castle and environs. Director Kathleen Donovan-Warren assembled a cluster of crew to explain that the… Read More →
Here’s the Running Lines video from my visit to “Beauty and the Beast” at Pleasantville High School, with some very focused actors and some outrageous but appropriate accents: Ben Winters, Tom Gilroy, Rory Ostrow, Emily Ultan and Jessica Gill.
Westchester Sandbox Theatre presents regional premiere of ‘Next to Normal’ “Next to Normal,” the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards, has strong ties to the Lower Hudson Valley, ties that are about to get stronger. Its Tony-winning composer and orchestrator, Tom Kitt, graduated from Armonk’s Byram Hills… Read More →
Tomorrow, “Next to Normal” comes home in a way, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Tom Kitt — who grew up in Armonk — couldn’t be happier. Kitt says he sees the New York regional premiere — at Mamaroneck’s intimate Westchester Sandbox Theatre — as another milestone for the work that started… Read More →
For nearly 60 years, from the Roaring Twenties forward, when generations of even casual music listeners heard the phrase “Hi-De-Ho,” an image sprang instantly to their mind: a sharp-dressed man in front of a band, dancing like there was no tomorrow, with a Cheshire cat grin, his hair flopping around… Read More →
Rockland Theatre Company is readying “Rock ‘n’ Romance,” with songs from “Shout,” “Footloose,” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” “Good Vibrations,” “Memphis” and “Ghost the Musical,” which hasn’t even hit Broadway yet. The show, at Central Presbyterian Church (64 New Main St., corner of Hudson Ave.) previews at 7:30 p.m. on… Read More →
High-school actors, musicians and backstage technicians are learning lines, cadenzas and set changes across the Lower Hudson Valley, preparing to whisk theatergoers to far-flung locales — in a musical season of 60 productions stretching into May. Four schools — Dobbs Ferry’s The Masters School, Eastchester, Pleasantville and Rye Neck —... Read More →
Made my way up to Somers yesterday to drop in on a rehearsal of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” at Kennedy Catholic High School. They’ve double-cast the production and, with eight kids playing leading roles and only having room for five on the video, there was a problem. Who was going… Read More →
The kids at Hen Hud’s rehearsal for “The Pajama Game” were a lot of fun yesterday. Their leads — Babe and Sid — weren’t at rehearsal, so I chatted with other “named” characters: Aliyah Hakim (“Gladys”), Marcos Jimenez (“Prez”), Noah Ruff (“Hines”), Kyra Smith (“Mae”) and Jennifer Morris (“Mabel”). Jimenez… Read More →
The old Mazda is racking up some serious miles these days and you can follow me on Twitter as I follow the high-school theater season with videos and photos. My Twitter account is www.twitter.com/peterkramer. And I’ve started using the hashtag #lohudhsm (hsm=high-school musical). If you’re on Twitter and have a… Read More →
Dropped in at Rye High School yesterday to find the students really getting into character in “Pippin,” the Stephen Schwartz musical about Charlemagne’s son who is out to find his way in the world, his “corner of the sky.” Here’s the video I shot of a few of the kids,... Read More →
I’m having a lot of fun visiting schools across the area and shooting these videos of students talking about and then delivering their favorite lines. Here’s one from North Rockland High School, which presents “Thoroughly Modern Millie” March 2, 3, 9 and 10. Enjoy!
Jean Moss, of Montrose’s Hand-to-Mouth Players (always loved that name), reached out with news about the group’s annual general meeting. Happy to share it. Hand-to-Mouth Players Annual General Meeting March 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm Reformed Church of Cortlandtown, 2124 Albany Post Rd., Montrose The meeting is open to the… Read More →
Just chatted briefly with Tom Kitt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning product of Byram Hills High School in Armonk, fresh from his cameo role in last night’s episode of the NBC drama, “Smash.” I called him because his Tony-winner, “Next to Normal,” is coming home in a way, making its Westchester premiere… Read More →
Pound Ridge playwright Mark St. Germain’s play, “Freud’s Last Session,” — about a meeting between C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud — has been charming and challenging audiences Off-Broadway for nearly two years now, first in a community-center auditorium on Central Park West, now in session at New World Stages. But… Read More →
Here are Austin Cutler, Caitlin Franze and Natalie Tiffany, talking about their favorite lines from “Barnum,” running this weekend at North Salem Middle/High School. To read the “Barnum” story, click here.
To hear Dori Berinstein tell it, all she had to do was mention that she was making a film about Broadway legend Carol Channing and people came running. There are interviews with Jerry Herman, Tyne Daly, Barbara Walters, Marge Champion, Bob Mackie, (Channing understudy) Jo Anne Worley, and Betty Garrett,... Read More →
Tommy Tune will be at Pleasantville’s Jacob Burns Film Center on Thursday for a screening of Dori Berinstein’s charming documentary “Carol Channing: Larger Than Life,” in which Tune appears briefly. After the film, he and Berinstein will share more stories about Channing. (Tickets are just $15, $10 for Jacob Burns… Read More →
There was a time when a kid seeking adventure would run away and join the circus. This weekend, 51 kids in North Salem join up without leaving home, as the middle-high school presents the musical “Barnum,” about the life and loves of Phineas Taylor Barnum, the self-described “Prince of Humbug.”
World’s End Theater, the group formed last year in Philipstown, announces auditions for William Congreve’s “The Way of the World.” Here’s the note, from director John Christian Plummer, of Cold Spring.
Three-and-a-half years ago, “The Fall to Earth” made its New York regional premiere at Stony Point’s Penguin Rep. It ended with a cliff-hanger, one so far out of left field that it had people questioning what they had just seen. That production, like the one running for just one more… Read More →
I don’t often share Facebook-borne items in this space — this might be a first — but this performance report from a Seattle Rep production of “Harold and the Purple Crayon” caught my eye. A performance report is a note from the stage manager (in this case, Michael A. Ball)... Read More →
When it comes to theater, Joe Brancato takes the long view. For more than 34 years, the plenipotentiary of the charming Penguin Rep Theater in Stony Point has used the barn theater as a theatrical incubator, presenting works first for Rocklanders and then, eventually, showing New Yorkers a thing or… Read More →