Prominent Broadway NYNW Theatre Festival Falls Victim to Fake News Campaign

Prominent Broadway NYNW Theatre Festival Falls Victim to Fake News Campaign

When I, a staunch feminist journalist, learned of the blog championed by Stephanie Iscovitz, Alexandria Balsamo, Devyn White, and Abby Judd, I was ready to jump to my computer and write an article standing for women’s rights in the entertainment community. The article that you’re about to read stands up for those same women, but with a different message after reviewing the facts.

The scattered social media testimonies of these women alleged various financial improprieties that when matched with receipts and supporting emails indicate that many of their assertions are deceptive. The facts unraveled the site disseminated throughout social media by Stephanie Iscovitz as a labyrinth of misleading comments geared towards creating unrest and damaging a project that by numerous accounts adds much-needed industry guidance within the arts community, The New York New Works Theatre Festival.

Read More

“I’m Soooo High, Rev. Mary’s Reefer Revue” at Pangea

  • Max Berry, Contributing Critic - New York City

Bringing us back to a time when it was legal, Rev. Mary and her All-Man Band take us through a song collection spanning from the 1910s-1950s all about that ever-talked about plant, marijuana.  With a delightful speakeasy feel and a performance full of jazz, blues, and swing, “I’m Soooo High” is a perfect show for anyone who just wants to kick back, enjoy some good music, and maybe celebrate their favorite plant.

Featured: Rev. Mary Photo by Andrew Liebowitz

Featured: Rev. Mary Photo by Andrew Liebowitz

Rev. Mary herself, is such an entertaining personality on stage. Taking control of the space and qiuping to the audience and to her band, she keeps the party going as they transition from song to song. Each singer was given a chance to show off and each delivered with great results. Rev. Mary’s voice lends itself to the style of “I’m Soooo High” and every song had me moving in my seat. Dan Furman on piano was also extremely impressive, playing the fast paced “jive” tunes with an almost balletic quality. Many times I was momentarily pulled away from the performers to marvel at his skillful impossibly fast piano playing.

Writer/director, Jay Michaels, did a good job of linking the songs together in such a way that it gave a natural progression as well as providing a little historical information about marijuana at that time as well as giving some insight on some of its many nicknames. If you didn’t think you could learn something at a show called “I’m Soooo High” you would be mistaken. It allowed us to participate with the songs in the same way that one would have engaged with them at the time. This made the back-in-time speakeasy feel even stronger.

Rev. Mary and her All-Man Band gave us a fun night of good food and great music. “I’m Soooo High” was well put together and wonderfully performed. If you’re looking for a fun casual night of theatre with good music, enthusiastic performers, and great atmosphere, then maybe you should get “soooo high” with Rev. Mary and her All-Man Band.

“I’m Soooo High,  Rev. Mary’s Reefer Revue” was written and directed by Jay Michaels

It featured: Rev. Mary, Mario Claudio, George Dixon, Nori Naroaka on bass and John Dinello on drums and Dan Furman on piano

It was performed on April 6th at Pangea (178 Second Ave New York, NY 10003)

 

“Sequel the Musical” at the PIT and the Magnet Theater

“Sequel the Musical” at the PIT and the Magnet Theater

Ever wonder what happened to the characters of your favorite musicals after the curtain closes? Well, so have the creative team behind ‘Sequel the Musical”, and improv show that improvises a sequel to a Broadway musical of the audiences choosing. When asked about how the idea came to be, creator, Rachel Zeolla said “I got into musical improv because of my love for musical theater, so I tried to create a show that encompassed both of those things. There are so many amazing stories in musical theater, and I felt like it would be fun, and hysterical, to explore where else those stories could go in their sequels.” The team has improvised anything from “Phantom of the Opera” to “Footloose” and has even improvised four different versions of “The Sound of Music.”

Read More

From Front of House to Center Stage - Chatting with HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD’s Sarita Amani Nash!

From Front of House to Center Stage - Chatting with HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD’s Sarita Amani Nash!

Let me tell you, I have had the privilege of doing interviews for OnStage Blog for well over a year now, and some stories are just so amazing, surreal, and inspiring. Some of these interviews and hearing these artist stories strongly remind me that if you work hard for your dreams, your dreams will work hard for you.

With that said it is my honor to introduce you to the wonderful Sarita Amani Nash.

Sarita is making her Broadway debut in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 & 2) at the Lyric Theatre. What makes her debut so special is that for four years before making her Broadway debut on the Lyric Theatre Stage, Sarita’s ‘survival’ job was ushering at the Lyric Theatre. The very people that she was showing to their seats at the Lyric are now sitting in those very seats watching her perform on the Lyric stage in Harry Potter 8 times a week. How cool is that? Some stories truly write themselves, and I feel this is only the first chapter for this amazing young actress.

Read More

"Leave the attitude at the door and show up excited!" - Chatting with BEETLEJUICE’s Jill Abramovitz!

"Leave the attitude at the door and show up excited!" - Chatting with BEETLEJUICE’s Jill Abramovitz!

I would you like to meet the talented Jill Abramovitz. Jill is currently on Broadway in Beetlejuice, which recently began previews at the Winter Garden Theatre, playing the role(s) of Maxine Dean, June, and Ensemble. Jill has also been previously seen on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella, 9 ot 5 and Martin Short’s: Fame Becomes Me. I am a huge fan of her and this show, so to have the chance to interview Jill is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

Read More

The One and Only Christina Bianco

The One and Only Christina Bianco

One thing that has always struck me about her is the quality of her natural voice. Strip away the humor and the character work, and Ms. Bianco truly possesses an instrument to be admired. Anyone who can sing "Glitter and Be Gay" eight times a week as part of a GAG... well, that is a national treasure in my book, friends.

This weekend, the New York native brings it all home with a much-anticipated solo concert at The Green Room 42.

Read More

“Be yourself and love whatever and whoever that is at the moment.” – Chatting with BE MORE CHILL's Morgan Siobhan Green!

“Be yourself and love whatever and whoever that is at the moment.” – Chatting with BE MORE CHILL's Morgan Siobhan Green!

I would like you to meet Morgan Siobhan Green. Morgan is making her Broadway debut in Be More Chill where she understudies for Christine, Brooke, Chloe, Jenna, and ‘as cast.’ Before that, she was seen Off-Broadway in Folk Wandering (ARTNY), and Sweetee (Signature). She has also performed regionally in Between the Lines (Pre Broadway). I always admire understudies and swings who perform on Broadway because as many will tell you they have a lot on their plate, so it was quite an honor to have the opportunity to interview Morgan! 

Read More

“Ingest all kinds of art and culture.” – Chatting with BE MORE CHILL's Katlyn Carlson!

“Ingest all kinds of art and culture.” – Chatting with BE MORE CHILL's Katlyn Carlson!

I would like you to meet Katlyn Carlson. Katlyn is currently making her Broadway debut in the Joe Iconis hit Be More Chill where she is playing the role of Chloe Valentine, a role she played both in the recent Off-Broadway run and with The Two River Theater. She has also performed Off-Broadway in The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, and in the First National Tour of Dirty Dancing. It was such a privilege to have the chance to interview this very talented University of Chicago alum!

Read More

“Write your own story and don’t be phased by rejection.” – Chatting with OKLAHOMA’s Chelsea Williams

“Write your own story and don’t be phased by rejection.” – Chatting with OKLAHOMA’s Chelsea Williams

What advice would you give young performers who want a career in this business?

Work on your craft! There are many things that may attract you to a career in Acting, but I will say you must love the craft above all. Get in a class. Get a mentor. Go see shows (Not just the ones you could be in but also the ones that you may not see yourself in). Meet people! First, believe in yourself. Then, surround yourself with people who believe in you! Become financially literate. Write your own story. Don’t be phased by rejection. You will most likely receive some form of it. Instead of asking “why me?” Ask “what is this teaching me?”. Carve out time to be somewhat normal. Learn to cook. Read a book. But most importantly get spiritual (whatever that means to you) and take care of yourself.

Read More

"Talent without hard work won't get you anywhere" – Chatting with HADESTOWN performer Afra Hines!

"Talent without hard work won't get you anywhere" – Chatting with HADESTOWN performer Afra Hines!

I would like you to meet the wonderful Afra Hines. She will be performing in Hadestown on Broadway at The Walter Kerr Theatre with previews beginning March 22nd with the official opening on April 17th. Afra has performed on Broadway in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (in which she was honored with the Legacy Robe), Shuffle Along, Motown the Musical, Soul Doctor, Ghost, In The Heights and Wicked. Ms. Hines has also toured with Hamilton. I have had the chance to see this amazing actress perform several times on stage and it was quite the honor and privilege to have the opportunity to interview her.

Read More

Help Bring the Untold Stories of Women in History to the Present

Help Bring the Untold Stories of Women in History to the Present

If you think too as far back as your grade school classroom, you might recall being asked to research and profile an impactful person in history. How many remember being frustrated by the apparent lack of information on influential women? There are women in our past that have done extraordinary things. They were inventors, scholars, artists, leaders, pioneers, and warriors, but their stories seemed to have been nearly omitted from history and are instead overshadowed by their male counterparts. Unless a woman played the role of royalty or heretic, humanity has failed to write down her story.

Read More

HAMILTON's Isaiah Johnson discusses Puerto Rico and not beating yourself up between performing jobs!

HAMILTON's Isaiah Johnson discusses Puerto Rico and not beating yourself up between performing jobs!

I would like you to meet the amazing Isaiah Johnson. Isaiah just finished up playing the role for George Washington (a role he originated in the 1st National Tour) in Hamilton in Puerto Rico which has Lin Manuel-Miranda reprising his role of Alexander Hamilton. Isaiah has performed on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice (w/ Al Pacino), Peter and the Starcatcher, Side Show (2014 Revival), The Color Purple (2015 Revival). Isaiah will be starring in the upcoming original series for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) titled David Makes Man, which is from Academy Award Winner Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) and Warner Horizon Scripted Television.

The first time I saw him perform was in D.C. and he has been someone I have admired ever since. So to have the chance to interview this amazing artist is an honor and a privilege.        

Read More

“Always stay open as to where the path may lead you.” – Q & A with RENT Live on Fox’s Alton Fitzgerald White!

“Always stay open as to where the path may lead you.” –  Q & A with RENT Live on Fox’s Alton Fitzgerald White!

I would like you to meet the amazing Alton Fitzgerald White! A veteran in the theatre business Alton will be performing in RENT Live on Fox on January 27th! On Broadway Alton has appeared in The Color Purple, Ragtime, The Lion King, The Who’s Tommy and Miss Saigon. I first remember seeing Mr. White perform as Mufasa and it was honestly a complete honor to have the chance to interview this amazing artist!

Read More

Nick Blaemire on Writing "Glory Days", the National Tour of "Falsettos" and How to Search for Balance

Nick Blaemire on Writing "Glory Days", the National Tour of "Falsettos" and How to Search for Balance

I would like you to meet Nick Blaemire! Nick will be playing the role of Mendel in the National Tour of Falsettos which begins this February. Nick has been seen on Broadway in Godspell (his performance of ‘We Beseech Thee’ is still one of my favorites) and Cry-Baby, Off-Broadway in Tick Tick Boom! (Which earned him a Drama Desk Nomination), Found, Dogfight, and The Black Suits. Nick also wrote the music and lyrics to Glory Days (Book by James Gardiner), A Little More Alive, and Soon. At the age of 22, Nick was the youngest person ever to have written a Broadway musical (Glory Days) while also performing in another Broadway musical (Cry-Baby) at the same time. After following and admiring Mr. Blaemire’s career for many years, it was a thrill for me to have the chance to interview him.

Read More

“It takes courage but if you do the work, magic can happen.” Chatting with The Cher Show’s Ashley Blair Fitzgerald!

“It takes courage but if you do the work, magic can happen.” Chatting with The Cher Show’s Ashley Blair Fitzgerald!

I would like you to meet Ashley Blair Fitzgerald. Ashley can currently be seen performing in the ensemble and as The Dark Lady in The Cher Show(which she is earning rave reviews). She has also been seen on Broadway in On the Town and Gigi (which was her Broadway debut!) and Off-Broadway in Trip of Love. Her message of training and stepping out of your comfort zone is something I find truly inspiring and admirable. I was very excited to interview this very talented dancer!

Read More

“Keep on keeping on!” – Meet Alice By Heart’s Ari Groover!

“Keep on keeping on!” – Meet Alice By Heart’s Ari Groover!

I would like you to meet the wonderful and talented Ari Groover. Ari has been seen on Broadway in Holler If Ya Hear Me, and most recently in Head Over Heels and in Bare Off-Broadway. Up next she’ll be performing in Tony & Grammy Award Award Winners Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s newest musical Alice By Heart, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and directed and co-written by Jessie Nelson (Waitress) at MCC Theater. Performances begin on January 30th. I was very excited to have the chance to interview this very talented artist.

Read More

“Find happiness in the everyday…” Meet The Prom’s Becca Lee!

“Find happiness in the everyday…” Meet The Prom’s Becca Lee!

"I would like you to meet the talented Becca Lee. She is currently performing in the ensemble of “The Prom” on Broadway at The Longacre Theatre. This season has been fantastic when it comes to love and acceptance, and this musical comedy I feel fits that message well when it comes to accepting one another, owning up to who you are and caring for others who aren’t like you. I was delighted to have the chance to interview her.

Read More