Theatre

Golabek’s ‘Pianist of Willesden Lane’ is deeply personal journey, concert

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“)

Just before every performance of “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” the one-woman play based on the book she wrote with Lee Cohen (“The Children of Willesden Lane”),  Mona Golabek holds onto a Magen David that hangs from her necklace. As she grasps...
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Get to know the new 16-year-old star of ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ who founded a theater company for his bar mitzvah project

NEW YORK (JTA) — Andrew Barth Feldman isn’t your average 16-year-old Jewish teenager from Long Island: He’s starring on Broadway in the smash hit “Dear Evan Hansen.” He landed the titular role after winning the Jimmy Awards, the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

“It was just kind of a...
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Carol Channing, the original star of ‘Hello Dolly!,’ dies at 97

(JTA) — Actress Carol Channing, who originated the starring role in “Hello Dolly!” on Broadway and won a Tony Award for her portrayal of the boisterous widow, has died. She was 97. Channing was the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Christian father and identified as “part Jewish.” At 16,...
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How Moises Kaufman went from a yeshiva in Venezuela to directing a Harvey Fierstein classic

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — It has been more than 35 years since Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song Trilogy” opened on Broadway. At the time it was a theatrical revelation: Who could have imagined that the story of a young gay Jewish man’s quest for love and validation in a world...
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Shelbie Mac soars into the stratos with ‘Peter Pan’

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“)

If anyone questioned if Shelbie Mac is the greatest young talent to come down the pike since the late Cynthia Owen, all doubts have been erased with her starring role in Peter Pan, currently playing the boards at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center...
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Award-winning playwright Neil Simon dies at 91

(JTA) — Playwright Neil Simon, known for such Broadway hits as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park,” and “Lost in Yonkers” has died.

Simon, who earned a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, died overnight Saturday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City from complications with pneumonia at...
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Rodgers and Hamerstein’s ‘Carousel’ filled with joy, pathos

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out”)

Few Broadway composers had a bigger impact than Richard Rodgers, who began his career with Jewish lyricist Lorenz Hart, but whose greatest success was with librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. Hammerstein, whose grandfather was a famous Jewish impresario on Broadway, was raised under...
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Small story looms large in ‘The Band’s Visit’

By ALAN SMASON, WYES-TV Theatre Critic (“Steppin’ Out“)

For the past seven weeks, Broadway history has been made through a spectacular bit of casting that only rarely occurs when the world of celluloid intersects with that of the Great White Way.

Hollywood has frequently contributed to the Broadway scene. Interestingly,...
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2 children killed, Broadway actress among 3 injured in Brooklyn accident

(JTA) — Two children were killed by a car that hit them on a pedestrian crossing in Brooklyn, seriously injuring their mothers, including the Tony Award-winning actress Ruthie Ann Miles, and another man.

Miles, whose real name is Ruthie Ann Blumenstein, is in the hospital and her 4-year-old daughter...
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Menken-Schwartz’s ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ is finest JPAS work ever

By ALAN SMASON, Theatre Critic, WYES-TV (“Steppin’ Out”)

There is a bittersweet irony with the musical score of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” animated film. It is the first and only coupling of two of the greatest Jewish Broadway composers of recent times in Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Yet,...
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