In “The Clearing” — Jake Jeppson’s play about siblings and secrets, now in a stunning premiere at Pleasantville’s Axial Theatre — the Ellis brothers couldn’t be less similar. Les Ellis is reserved, private; his brother, Chris, is physical, loud, emotional. Chris gobbles marshmallows; Les nibbles them. Les doesn’t care about… Read More →
Apparently, Alan Menken has a thing for 1992. Three films that came out that year — “Sister Act,” “Newsies,” and “Leap of Faith” — have all made the leap to Broadway, each with a score by the New Rochelle native. The eight-time Oscar-winner is accustomed to being busy, juggling movie… Read More →
I happen to love John Cariani’s charming play, “Almost, Maine.” In the right hands, it’s sweet but not cloying, genuine and not caricature — and real, real, real.
My colleague, Heather Salerno, chatted with Jill Brooke, a former CNN correspondent who lives in Bedford and has c0-written a play that opens next week for a three-week run at the Winery at St. George in Yorktown. The play — “What’s Eating You?” co-written with Katonah’s D.D. Rice and directed… Read More →
The nominees for the 66th annual Tony Awards will be announced by Kristin Chenoweth and Jim Parson at 8:30 a.m. on May 1 from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center. The annoucement will be broadcast live at www.tonyawards.com…. Read More →
Tonight, checking out “The Clearing” at Axial Theatre in Pleasantville, a laboratory for theater artists. Looking forward to seeing what inventive way they configure the St. John’s Episcopal hall this time, as they are open to all kinds of nifty configurations. My last visit there, the audience changed seats at… Read More →
Well, as of this morning, it’s official: Alan Menken, who has three shows running on Broadway — “Sister Act,” “Newsies” and “Leap of Faith” (which opens tonight) — will be at Stepinac High School on May 15 at an event to aid the school’s musical programs. To welcome Menken, a… Read More →
My final high-school visit of the season, yesterday, was to Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, where Jim Filippelli holds forth — and has for decades. This year, the Panas Players present an old favorite of Filippelli’s, and one that means something for the Panas community: Lerner and Loewe’s… Read More →
I don’t know that I fully understand choreographers. They see things differently, I think, and are so far ahead of the rest of us that they start counting at the number 5. Lexie Frare is one of those people.
Full disclosure: Four lifetimes ago — before my wife, Carla, and I had our four children — we were in a community-theater production of “Oliver!” at the Irvington Town Hall Theater. It was directed by Michael Penta and the musical director was George Trautwein. The following year, I was in… Read More →
Actress Margot White says she’s a good forgetter. “I’m one of those people, after a show closes, I’m lucky if I can remember my character’s name, let alone any of the lines,” White says. “Getting back into this play, it’s surprising to me how many of the lines I do… Read More →
Most schools would be proud to produce one musical each spring. Rye is not most high schools, and this week presents “Little Shop of Horrors,” a month after “Pippin” took to the stage on Parsons Street. “Little Shop,” directed by Peter Green, is the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman doo-wop musical about… Read More →
Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” — about a mawkish carnival game featuring people who tried to kill American presidents — is engaging, historical, hysterical and profound at times. And you can catch it this weekend and next at the College of New Rochelle. Directed by Laurie Peterson Castaldo, with musical direction by… Read More →
Wow! What a weekend awaits theatergoers across the Lower Hudson Valley this weekend. There’s a full slate of high-school musicals — from Lakeland’s “Oklahoma!” to “Beauty and the Beast” in Eastchester and “Into the Woods” at Clarkstown South. (See the full list, with links,… Read More →
Seniors at Horace Greeley and Mamaroneck high schools are looking forward to graduation by rolling back the calendar this weekend. Both schools present seniors-only musicals each spring: shows with casts of soon-to-be-graduates. Both schools present their musicals this weekend. Both schools have chosen “Xanadu,” the campy stage adaptation of the… Read More →
Erik Schneider, who stands an imposing 6-foot-3-inches tall, says he had an ace in the hole when it came to playing the menacing Jud Fry in Lakeland High School’s production of “Oklahoma!”: Director Darrin Grimm has played the role before and could help the senior get inside Jud’s mind. “When… Read More →
Joe Mignone had it all planned. Having taken culinary classes at BOCES while at Putnam Valley High School, he was planning to study culinary arts in college. But a funny thing happened on the way to cooking school: Joe Mignone got bit by the theater bug.
If there were a “typical” Rockland Country Day School theater kid, she might look a lot like Pearl River’s Jamie Pohs. When “Urinetown” hits the stage at the private school in Congers this week, the 17-year-old junior will be pulling double-duty: backstage as stage manager and onstage as the hardcore… Read More →
Joe Blute, 18, knows who matters most to Gaston, the over-the-top heavy he plays in “Beauty and the Beast” this weekend: “Himself,” he says. “It’s definitely fun to look at yourself in the mirror,” says Blute, joking that he has caught himself lingering a bit longer while brushing his teeth… Read More →
When the curtain opens on Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” at Clarkstown South High School this week, it will reveal a cast of triple threats: singers, dancers and actors trained by director-choreographer Justin Boccitto to tackle a tricky musical. In that crowd going “into the woods” will be senior Samantha… Read More →
Peekskill’s drama program started a few years back and is making strides under the direction of Katie Schmidt Feder. This year’s production is “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” which finds the “Peanuts” gang exactly where we left them. They’re all here, in a show that sings, unabashedly, of “Happiness.”… Read More →
It had been too long since I’d been to a rehearsal at New Rochelle High School, where Scott Zimmerman and David Jutt guide students through interesting musical after interesting musical — and make what have become regular visits to the American High School Theater Festival in Edinburgh. They don’t do… Read More →
With “Jekyll & Hyde,” the story of good and evil playing out on the stage, things are decidedly dark this year at Mahopac High School. Director Jen Vara was working the kids through the number “Facade” when I dropped by the other day and they were taking to it well,… Read More →
Suzanne Schneider, one of the driving forces behind the drama program at Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose, wants you to know about “Disney Ditties,” a cabaret evening with students performing tunes from Disney movies, at 7 p.m. April 27 in the Hen Hud cafeteria. There will also be “Disney-inspired… Read More →
I’m not sure if chocolates will be served, but the flyer for Westchester Collaborative Theater’s Spring 2012 fund-raiser, “One-Act Sampler & More,” shows an open box of chocolates ready for sampling. To hijack the immortal words of Forrest Gump’s mama, Theater is like a box of chocolates: You never know… Read More →
Stopped by Stepinac High School yesterday on a blindingly sunny day that made the environs of the Major Bowes Theater seem even cooler and darker than usual. Everything was a work in progress as the stage crew continued to build and the students milled about chatting. High above it all… Read More →
John Gwardyak and the kids at Eastchester sure know a thing or two about promotion. If the show is half as entertaining as the promo, Eastchester’s in for a big weekend next weekend. Show is April 20, 21, 22. Fun stuff.
Westchester Sandbox Theatre’s teen show choir, The Drama Llamas, present a revue-style show on Sunday at 3 p.m. to help defray costs of their Disney trip next spring. At Disneyworld, they’ll perform and take part in a Disney Theatricals Workshop. You know Disney Theatricals, right? They’re the folks who brought… Read More →
“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” is a bawdy, big musical, getting the royal treatment from a crew of community-theater pros at Yorktown Stage this weekend and next. “Something familiar, Something peculiar, Something for everybody: Comedy tonight!” Just look at the lovably goofy mug of Putnam… Read More →
The stage at Clarkstown South was already taking on a woodsy look when I dropped by for a rehearsal of “Into the Woods,” with the forest canopy in place and a couple of the cottages ready for action. The Sondheim story of what happens after “they lived happily ever after”… Read More →