Geeking Out with Fairlith Harvey, and chatting about “The Nightmare Before Christmas LIVE”

Geeking Out with Fairlith Harvey, and chatting about “The Nightmare Before Christmas LIVE”

It’s been 25 years since the world of cinema and animation was changed with the premiere of “The Nightmare before Christmas”, conceived and produced by Tim Burton, with songs by Danny Elfman and originally directed in stop motion by Henry Selkirk.

It tells the story of Jack Skellington, a resident as well as The King of "HalloweenTown" who stumbles through a portal to "Christmas Town" and decides to celebrate the holiday, with some dastardly and comical consequences.  I sit down with Fairlith Harvey, director and founder of Geekenders ( a nerdlesque musical troupe based out of Vancouver, Canada)  to chat about the show.

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"The Laramie Project" is Personal for CT Director

"The Laramie Project" is Personal for CT Director

This year, The Laramie Project is sure to be one of the most produced plays across the country. In fact, usually is regardless of what year it is. But for one director in CT, the play is all the more personal. Because while much of the world knows Matthew through this play and his story, Shannon-Courtney Denihan got to know him while they were friends in college.

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The 5 Most Underrated MFA Theatre Design Programs for 2018-19

The 5 Most Underrated MFA Theatre Design Programs for 2018-19

Unlike other industries, getting a master’s degree isn’t necessarily a requirement for theatre professional to succeed. However, for those looking to teach or further their training, there are many strong MFA programs all over the country.

In the past we’ve done a list of who we felt were the best MFA programs out there. This year, we thought we would changing things up by highlighting programs we felt offer excellent educational opportunities that don’t get enough attention.

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Tony Nominee Robert Cuccioli, Broadway Performers Rita Harvey and Lauren Cohn to Star in New York Regional Premiere FUN HOME at WPPAC

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The White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) is proud to announce the cast for the New York Regional Premiere of FUN HOME, playing October 12-28, 2018. Winner of five Tony Awards including Best Musical, FUN HOME’s story centers around graphic novelist Alison. When her father dies unexpectedly, Alison dives into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life.

Leading the cast are three Broadway veterans: Robert Cuccioli as Bruce (Jekyll & Hyde (Tony nominee), Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark), Lauren Cohn as Alison (Mamma Mia) and Rita Harvey as Helen (Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera). They are joined by Catherine Ashmore Bradley & Serena Parrish (Small Alison), Wyatt Cirbus (Christian), Elliot Fishman (John), Jessica Mosher (Joan), Megan O’Callaghan (Medium Alison), and Ian Smith (Roy/Mark/Pete/Bobby).

“Robert [Cuccioli] was a perfect fit for the role of Bruce [Alison’s father]. His breadth of experience with complex characters will allow him to truly embody the role. Add to the cast two other seasoned Broadway actors, Lauren Cohn as Alison and Rita Harvey as Helen [Alison’s mother], along with the rest of this phenomenal company of professionals, and this is sure to be an exciting production” says Stephen Ferri, Executive Producer of WPPAC. “It is also a real pleasure to welcome Robert and Rita back to our stage as part of our 15th Anniversary season. Whether you missed Fun Home when it was on Broadway or loved it when you saw it, be sure to see this amazing cast in our production.”

FUN HOME is Directed by Amy Griffin with Musical Direction by Stephen Ferri and Choreography by Lexie Fennell Frare. Scenic Design by Christopher & Justin Swader, Lighting Design by Jamie Roderick, Costume Design by Molly Seidel, Sound Design by Emma Wilk, Stage Managed by Kellie McMenemon. Music by Jeanine Tesori, Book & Lyrics by Lisa Kron, Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel.

FUN HOME will play the White Plains Performing Arts Center Friday, October 12 8pm; Saturday, October 13 8pm; Sunday, October 14 2pm; Friday, October 19 8pm; Saturday, October 20 8pm; Sunday, October 21 2pm; Wednesday, October 24 2pm; Friday, October 26 8pm; Saturday, October 27 8pm; Sunday, October 28 2pm.

The White Plains Performing Arts Center is located on the third level of City Center off Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains, minutes from the White Plains Metro North Station. For tickets visit the theatre box office Monday-Friday (11am-6pm), purchase the tickets online at wppac.com or call 914-328-1600. For Group Sales, please contact boxoffice@wppac.com.

FUN HOME is a WPPAC Mainstage Production which is a professional production featuring union and non-union actors from Broadway, national tours and regional theatre across the country. These productions are created from scratch, staffed with professional production teams (directors to designers), large LIVE orchestras and boast high-quality sets and costumes.

“BE YOU. Don’t try to imitate anyone else!” : Meet Pretty Woman’s Renée Marino!

“BE YOU. Don’t try to imitate anyone else!” : Meet Pretty Woman’s Renée Marino!

I would like you to meet Renée Marino. Ms. Marino can currently be seen in Pretty Woman on Broadway where she is a member of the Ensemble, the Dance Captain, and Assistant to the Choreographer. Other Broadway credits for Renée include West Side Story (Rosalia), Jersey Boys (Mary Delgado), Chaplin, and Wonderland. She has also appeared as Mary Delgado in Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys film.

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Woodbridge’s Cinoman and Middletown’s Baerman Win Inaugural Guilford Foundation/Guilford Performing Arts Festival Artists’ Awards

 Woodbridge’s Cinoman and Middletown’s Baerman Win Inaugural  Guilford Foundation/Guilford Performing Arts Festival Artists’ Awards

The Guilford Performing Arts Festival (GPAF) has awarded its inaugural Guilford Foundation/Guilford Performing Arts Festival Artists’ Awards to playwright/screenwriter Susan Cinoman of Woodbridge and jazz pianist/composer Noah Baerman of Middletown. The two were chosen by festival programmers and independent judges from a field of applicants from throughout Connecticut. Each will receive a $2,500 grant toward the creation of new work.

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The Top 10 Most Anticipated Broadway Shows for 2018-19

The Top 10 Most Anticipated Broadway Shows for 2018-19

While one could certainly argue that the 2018-19 Broadway season is off to a mixed start, there are certainly shows on the horizon that have our interest piqued.

Some of these shows sound more promising than others and some seem to be Tony contenders before they even open. Here are my picks for the 10 Most Anticipated Shows of 2018-19.

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Lion King Prop Maker Arrested for Trying to Print a 3-D gun

Lion King Prop Maker Arrested for Trying to Print a 3-D gun

Officers from the Midtown South precinct arrested 47-year-old Ilya Vett on Friday afternoon. The Lion King prop maker was taken into custody by police after he is accused of printing a 3-D gun.

Per the NY Post, police made their way into the Minskoff Theatre where the musical was being rehearsed on West 45th Street around 12:30 p.m. in pursuit of Vett.

The Brooklyn resident was said to be in the middle of printing the gun when officers arrived.

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This show is Exciting! Exciting! Exciting! – Chatting with Beetlejuice’s Elliott Mattox

This show is Exciting! Exciting! Exciting! – Chatting with Beetlejuice’s Elliott Mattox

Meet Elliott Mattox! 

Elliott is currently starring in the out of town tryout of Beetlejuice at The National Theatre in Washington DC. He made his Broadway debut in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and is co-host of Equity One: Broadway's Happy Hour! “As you know, sometimes in this business we have to make our own creative opportunities. My best friend, Caleb Dicke, and I have always wanted to work together on something creative. Caleb came to visit me on a contract, and we were Face timing my boyfriend. Our antics had him laughing nonstop, and he put the idea of starting a podcast into our heads. Last summer, we finally decided to just buy a microphone and start! We have a blast doing something together and talking about the industry with people we really respect! Give us a listen on iTunes!” says Mattox.

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The 5 Most Underrated MFA Acting Programs of 2018-19

The 5 Most Underrated MFA Acting Programs of 2018-19

Unlike other industries, getting a master’s degree isn’t necessarily a requirement for theatre professional to succeed. However, for those looking to teach or further their training, there are many strong MFA programs all over the country.

In the past we’ve done a list of who we felt were the best MFA programs out there. This year, we thought we would changing things up by highlighting programs we felt offer excellent educational opportunities that don’t get enough attention.

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Meshelle Opens Up: An Exclusive Chat with the Self-Styled “Indie Mom of Comedy”

Meshelle Opens Up: An Exclusive Chat with the Self-Styled “Indie Mom of Comedy”

For many artists, there comes a time where they are forced to make a painful choice in their lives: continuing to pursue their art or move toward starting a family. Some, however, refuse to ultimately choose, and attempt their best to balance their creative life with their parental life. Such appears to be the case with the woman known simply as “Meshelle,” who returns to the NYC indie theatre scene with her latest performance at Theatre Row as part of the United Solo Theatre Festival, after past successful runs at festivals such as the Midtown International Theatre Festival and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival.

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Two Artists Walk into a Play: Developing a New Work

Two Artists Walk into a Play: Developing a New Work

When it comes to the phrase “write what you know” playwright, Monica Bauer had a lot to work with. A former political science professor as well as a veteran of the National Guard, she sought to write a play that reflected her unique life experiences. Bauer says “The real truth about politics is found, I believe, in the contradictions in human beings. The problem of politics is flawed human beings trying to make sense of movements in history beyond their control. So I wanted to work with the twin national tragedies of the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, both wars of choice, both wars where a lot of young people died or came back wounded.”

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Taking in the Glitz and Glamour of the Emmys Governor's Ball

Taking in the Glitz and Glamour of the Emmys Governor's Ball

After last night’s 70th Emmy Awards, nominees, guests, and presenters strolled along a massive red carpet to the L.A. Live Event Deck for the largest celebratory dinner party in Los Angeles. First guests received a bubbling flute of Ferrari Trento as they walked under 29,000 LED lights hanging from the ceiling illuminating the party and Hollywood's night sky.

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A Trump Skit, A Town Outraged, A Community Theatre in Turmoil

A Trump Skit, A Town Outraged, A Community Theatre in Turmoil

When one thinks of Breckenridge, CO the first thing that usually comes to mind is their popular ski resort. Then perhaps their famous Oktoberfest. But probably no one thought it would be home to a brewing controversy involving its local community theatre. A controversy that has led to threats of boycotts and the resignation of two theatre officials.

All due to a satirical sketch poking fun at Donald Trump. 

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The Top 25 B.A. Theatre Programs for 2018-19

The Top 25 B.A. Theatre Programs for 2018-19

One of the big realities of looking at college theatre programs is understanding that a BFA degree is not for everyone. These degrees require a lot of time and a different type of courseload that other majors. For many students, they might not feel that a BFA degree is for them and that's completely okay. 

Pursuing a BA in college is sometimes the best path. It allows students to take different electives, double major, study abroad, try different performance opportunities and also work on projects outside of school. 

While there might be pressure out there to only go after a BFA degree, remember that a BFA degree is not required to be cast or hired for a show. It comes down to your talent, audition or portfolio. And these BA programs are helping prepare their students better than most BFA programs. 

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"Frozen" Cast Member Rips Trump Sign Away from Protester During Curtain Call

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Last night, a Trump supporting moron tried to disrupt the curtain call at Frozen by waving a Trump campaign flag in front of the actors as they bowed. 

Thankfully, this caught the eye of cast member Tim Hughes who quickly ripped the flag from the man's hands and threw it backstage. The moment was captured on a cellphone video. 

Following the incident Hughes, who played "Pabbie" in the show, posted the following message to his Facebook page:

"What does it say about our country and politics when a man at the show tonight felt the need to protest Disney’s Frozen on Broadway with a pro Trump flag?? How frightening is it that our show’s messages of love, acceptance, and diversity have become the opposition to supporting Trump? The curtain call is a thank you between actors and audience, a final connection to end a shared experience. I will not apologize for how I responded to the disrespectful man trying to interrupt this moment with a pathetic political platform. Not at our show! Not in front of my beautiful, diverse, talented cast at @frozenbroadway. I appreciate everyone’s support. #resist #lovewins #lovetrumpshate"

This is not the first time Trump supporters have tried to disrupt Broadway. A protester, possibly the same person, did the same during a curtain call at A Bronx Tale. This dumb action was likely a response to director Robert DeNiro's colorful comments about Trump at last year's Tony Awards. It would seem that they just can't let it go. 

No other comments from Frozen officials or Disney Theatrical productions have been released. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber Lets the Memory Live Again in "Unmasked"

Andrew Lloyd Webber Lets the Memory Live Again in "Unmasked"

Twenty years ago, I was starting at a new Middle School. Naturally, I gravitated toward some familiar extra-curricular activities to ease the transition, one of which was chorus. We sang a medley of songs from "The Phantom of the Opera," a musical. What was a musical? I was about to find out. I was an alto, but loved the tenor lines (the Phantom's lines) so much that the day of the Fall concert I asked if I could sing them and was allowed. Then I worked behind the scenes on the Spring musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." It took me forever to memorize that whole title, but not long at all to decide that this was what I wanted out of life: musical theatre. And who was responsible for these two pieces of art that had brought about this epiphany?

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