'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for October 24th, 2012
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
by Paul W. Thompson
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
It’s that season of the year again….the season for the BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards! Our very own version of the Broadies was the very first to kick off in the U.S. outside of New York, in 2010, and I found out last week that we have had more nominees submitted for the 2012 awards than any other region--over 4,600 and counting! But you don’t have long to get your submissions turned in. Nominations for the 30 categories officially close this Friday, October 26, 2012. Be sure to stay tuned (or I guess you can log in, read smoke signals, adjust the rabbit ears, or whatever else you do to read BroadwayWorld!) on Monday, November 5, when the second most important election this November gets underway. Voting will run until December 15, 2012, and then it will be full steam ahead to the BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards Celebration at The Call nightclub on Wednesday night, January 9, 2013. It’ll be a blast!
Click HERE to access The Call's new website, www.callbarchicago.com!
And click HERE to nominate your favorites!
And what say ye about “Kinky Boots?” The pre-Broadway tryout that people really are talking about has gotten pretty good reviews and positive word of mouth, given that most people realize that it can and should get even better before it is frozen in its final form next spring. The word is that it’s second act trouble--hardly a surprise and even understandable when you think about how complicated an animal a modern musical is. But folks are having a good, enjoyable, meaningful time (through November 4 at the Bank Of America Theatre), and we all hope that the show becomes everything it has the potential to be. Cyndi Lauper, Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Mitchell, Stark Sands, Billy Porter and company have much to be proud of. Remember where you got your start when you’re big and famous elsewhere, you guys!
Speaking of Broadway In Chicago, the presenting entity is bringing to us the national tour of the recent Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” exactly six months from now (opening April 23, 2013 for two weeks at the Cadillac Palace Theatre). And guess who is currently co-starring as Billy Crocker in the tour cast? Erich Bergen, who played the titular lead in the new musical “Hero” at the Marriott Theatre in the second part of the summer, and who left the production rather quickly, it seemed. Well, this may explain why he had to leave! Rachel York (you may remember her from Tommy Tune’s “Turn Of The Century” at the Goodman Theatre) stars as Reno Sweeney, and Chicago veteran actor Dennis Kelly is Elisha Whitney. Let’s hope they are all still with the production when it arrives here on our friendly Lake Michigan shores!
Speaking of the Marriott Theatre, the next production that will open at the Lake County four-sided legit venue is “My One And Only,” originally written and choreographed by that same Tommy Tune and not seen as often as it once was. This time around, Jeff Award winner Tammy Mader directs and choreographs the 1983 Gershwin musical, which will begin performances on November 7 and run through December 31. Andrew Lupp and Summer Naomi Smart will take on the roles originated by Tune and by Twiggy, with Tony Award nominees Ted Louis Levy as Mr. Magix and Felicia P. Fields (surprisingly enough) as Reverend Montgomery. Other leads will include Roger Mueller and Paula Scrofano, and such familiar names as Jameson Cooper, Dina DiCostanzo, Zachary L. Gray, Matt Raftery, Stephen Schellhardt and Tiffany Topol will help comprise the ensemble. Michael Mahler will music direct. It’s “Strike Up The Band,” only much cooler. And this show paved the way for the Tony-winning “Crazy For You” and the current “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” in that Broadway has now seen three different Gershwin musicals with new (or mostly new) plots, characters and what-nots, more re-workings than for any other long-dead composer. Good going, George!
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Past Articles by This Author:
Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to BroadwayWorld.com since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.|
Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”
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