Sunday, June 28, 2009

Epicness on 46th Street

Everyone's favorite dance Jon Rua graced the Richard Rogers stage this past week twice as the lead Usnavi in IN THE HEIGHTS. I was devastated when I found out he went on Tuesday and did not know about it until Wednesday. Luckily, and I really have no idea how this happened but I was able to do the lotto on Thursday with my friend Meredith and we won! And to my utmost delight, Jon was on again as Usnavi.

It was such a fresh performance of this character in the show. I really have no other way to explain it but the youthfulness of his Usnavi and the small mannerisms between him and Robin de Jesus who plays Sonny, was so great and funny. And all Heights fans know he can dance, so to see him dance in the, how should I put this, Usnavi way, was hilarious. My favorite part of the show was during the "Finale" when he started the line, "Yeah, I'm a street light...". He attacked it like I had never heard anyone do before.

Marcus was on as Benny, and I am delighted to say that I've seen his Collins in RENT multiple times, so I'm a huge fan of his and can say his "Benny's Dispatch" was so fun, so fun. The talent of the ensemble is always so steller and I think that's why I enjoy this show so much. Every time I see it, I see something different that I hadn't caught before. It's definitely a show thats climbing higher and higher on my favorite list. And I'll keep attending.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fourth Arts Block - FAB

Since beginning my internship at NYTW, I've discovered a nook in NYC's cultural landscape. 4th street between 2nd avenue and Bowery boosts some of the most innovative and fascinating art. The Fourth Arts Blocks, aka FAB, is a non-profit organization that was established to advance the East 4th street cultural district.

Walking down this street you will notice a plethora of arts organizations who make up this vibrant street.

"FAB is working with our members to create a permanent home for the arts and to preserve the unique cultural nature of East 4th Street, which has fostered creative diversity and experimentation for more than 30 years. FAB advocates for the cultural district, its members and our neighborhood; leads centralized projects that benefit our members and provides a model for sustainable development; creates opportunities for cultural expansion; directs marketing and promotion efforts; and supports the development and capacity of our members."

and look how cute their bag is!

The site is keep up to date correlating with events being taken place on 4th street. Check it out!

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 20 matinee - Mary Stuart

it's even raining in the theatre...

New York City has been struck with a recent downpour of rain as of late. I think I heard on the news this morning it's been something like 18 out of 22 days we've had rain. Well 8 times a week it rains inside the Broadhurst Theatre where Mary Stuart is performing.

The play centers around two queens, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, and Queen Elizabeth of England. Now I'm not the biggest history buff so I was exuberantly thankful for the small historical background in the Playbill and even more in-depth on the play's website.

Deciding to take up a discount offer, the play lasted almost three hours of non stop drama. Both queens Harriet Walter and Janet McTeer were the two driving forces of the storyline pushing and twisting until the very end. Oh yeah and there's lots of rain, which makes for events look even more dramatic. I adored the fact that Janet was in one of my favorite movies Sense & Sensibility, so to see her on stage, was a thrill. Harriet was also, let's say, amazingly fierce.

So, let me tell you about the guy who decided to snore in the second to last row in the mezzanine. It was so loud I thought for sure someone from the house management would approach but thankfully after awhile it stopped. I know the play was rather straightforwarded and lack for better word, dry but all out snoring? Crazy talk!

Also, I loved the direction of the play. The actual spacing of the characters and how it looked from up above was pretty fantastic.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Very Cool Idea

Nina Rosario, a character of In The Heights, is the first in her family to go to college, across the country no less. With her move to California and the financial strain on her and her parents, she is forced to drop out of Stanford. Even with her scholarship, she still has to take two jobs to pay for the endless things college students need.

With the Graduate To New Heights scholarship, the Broadway musical In The Heights and Clear Channel NY are offering this thrilling scholarship to a deserving student. Not only is the Heights family donating $2500 to the scholarship but they are also offering some very exciting packages, where the money from the highest bid will be included in the scholarship.

Some prizes include dinner with creator and Tony-Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, dance lessons with Luis Salgado and even a walk-on role.

I'm hoping people will open their hearts and wallets and bid on these prizes, so that a deserving individual who is in need of the money can further their educational career.

So cheers to Heights, Lin (and I can't believe I'm saying this but) Clear Channel.

If you have someone in mind to nominate a student, starting August 27, visit any Clear Channel NY website and write in 100 words or less, why this person deserves the award. Cheers!

A Be-In!

After the Tuesday 7pm performance HAIR will have a "be-in" of sorts to celebrate the release of the new cast recording. The cast will sign the CDs on stage, where audience members from that night's performance will have priority in the line. Others may begin to line up at 7pm.

This sounds like a great idea; totally in keeping with the feeling of HAIR. How odd would it be to have it at something like a Barnes & Noble (who recently hosted the WEST SIDE STORY cast). This is a perfect fit for the adamant fans of the show, many of whom have danced on stage at the end of the show (ahem, me included). Don't think I'll be able to make it though, but have fun to those who are!

August: Osage County to End Broadway Run June 28

somebody's peeved...

After reading this wonderful play last summer, I made a note of seeing the production as soon as possible. Well as soon as possible came last Friday, where I finally had the opportunity to see the show at the Music Box with Phylicia Rashad and Tony-Winner for her role in August, Amy Morton.

Grabbing a discounted seat in the second to the last row in the Mezz, I made my journey into this odd, twisted world of August. I remembered most of the plot but couldn't help but being suprised by (one of) the twists at the end. I thought Phylicia did an amazing job in her role as Violet - completely in her own world, which is necessary for that character. And Amy Morton, had her voice flying through the air, which her role requires.

Finally making the visit to August was an extremely pleasing (if a play of that subject can be) experience, so I'm saddened (but not suprised) of the news of its closure. If you're in the area and need 3 hours of good family drama, catch August.

Hey Utopia!

So, if you've read any earlier blogs of mine, you'll note a story I wrote about a junior year English class project, of creating what you feel is your utopia. Short story: I created a wooden board and drew a (accurate for 2003) map of the Broadway theatre district. I was wondering if there were any up to date pictures of this online and I found one!

Behold the Utopia:

Click on the link below to see the number with what theatre it is and what show is playing.

Courtesy of

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tony Award Post

So it already seems like a million years ago but I have to document it on here.

Yes I am in NYC for the summer, so that means I should be doing ultra cool stuff like going to museums, seeing a ton of shows, going to the Tonys....and not falling asleep at 9:30pm on a Wednesday night? Ok, wrong....but things are looking up!

Sunday night, I desperately did not want to watch the awards (aka Christmas) here in my (lovely) apartment. I wanted some sort of excitement around me, after all I was in the city that it was happenning. And because I am not a billionaire (or dating one) and do not have those connections I could not attend the event. But I did leisurely stroll by Radio City (which is always a mistake because Anthropologie is right by). The crowd was building across the street and the excitement was in the air to see NYC's Broadway stars - and I was excited because I was able to be a part of an audience to view the awards.

Not quite my time yet to see the awards handed out live, I did get to become a community with others right in the middle of Times Square for the first ever live broadcast of the creative and prime time awards! I was surprised that this was the first year they had ever been broadcast this way since, midtown is the heart of Broadway. I was surprised to find actual organization in this event, where they had set up nice (one step up from the lawn chairs now strewn across Broadway street) folding chairs. They had several speakers set up, which broadcast loud and clear, on the big CNN screen facing east, for all of Times Square to view.

It was such a beautiful night out, I really couldn't have asked for a better situation.

Well, I guess I would have changed some of the winners around but I can't be a chooser (not a Tony voter yet -- lucky Colleen Jennings-Roggensack , executive director of ASU's Gammage is Arizona's only Tony voter -- but that will change in time). I am happy with the production as a whole for this broadcast. I think Neil Patrick Harris did a great job as host and was estatic by the crackhouse that was the opening number.

Christmas '09 has come and gone but that only means a new season is starting on Broadway. I'm trying to see as many shows as possible (and re-seeing some favorites along the way), and I'm also trying to vary the types of art I see. So cheers to a great summer.

see the rest of the pictures at:

confession time:

My last two posting have dealt with New York Theatre Workshop's current production of THINGS OF DRY HOURS. While I've never done promoting of a show, mainly reviews and current obsessions, I'm happy to say for this summer, I am an intern for NYTW.

That being said, I've had the chance to see the production twice, and I have to be honest and say that I really do enjoy it. And I'll be the first person to tell you that I can't (usually) sit down and just watch a straight play (straight play meaning, no music, etc). It's hard for me -- but taking Modern Drama classes and trying to expose myself to more of this type of theatre has been a great experience. So with TODH, it's a unique experience because it really is the best of both world. The dialogue in this show presents itself in a lyrical/poetic fashion that has a great force, especially when spoken by such actors as Roslyn Ruff and Delroy Lindo.

In the other post about the show, I copied a description of the show, so I won't go there again but what I do have to say is that this show opens up a new part of American history I had never known about and it makes me curious about more not well known events.

So am I biased in saying you (whoever you may be) should see THINGS OF DRY HOURS just because of my association with NYTW? Sure, but as a theatre go-er and lover, this should be seen to be appreciated.

Promotional Video for THINGS OF DRY HOURS

THINGS OF DRY HOURS - New York Theatre Workshop

Text - Naomi Wallace
Direction - Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Scenic Design - Richard Hoover
Costume Design - Karen Perry
Lighting Design - Marcus Doshi
Sound Design and Original Music - David Van Tieghem
Fight Direction and Effects Design - David Leong
Composer - Bill Sims, Jr.
Additional Music - Derek Wieland

Description: Naomi Wallace's Things of Dry Hours marks the return tothe New York stage of famed stage and screen star Delroy Lindo, who received Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for his last Broadway appearance in the original Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Lindo is joined on stage by OBIE Award-winner Roslyn Ruff, who just earned rave reviews for her performance in Athol Fugard's Coming Home at Long Wharf and Garret Dillahunt (No Country for Old Men). Set in Depression-era Alabama, Things of Dry Hours tells the story of Tice Hogan (Lindo), an African American out-of-work Sunday school teacher and member of the Communist Party, and his daughter Cali (Ruff) whose lives get turned upside down when they take in a mysterious white factory worker (Dillahunt) on the run. Tony Award-winning actor/writer/producer Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Lackawanna Blues, Seven Guitars) directs.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

shows seen recently


with sherie rene scott

yes, 4 times now