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Posts tagged ‘original cast’

Dreamy, Hypnotic, Superlative!Original Cast CD of “Bright Star” Is All That and More!

Bright Star 1Carmen Cusack2Four Stars!+++ This year’s Outer Critics Circle winner of Best Musical “Bright Star” now has its’ Original Cast CD available and it’s a beauty!Dreamy, hypnotic, superlative, this gem of a recording captures everything that is great and swoon-worthy about this stupendous, original show. Music and lyrics by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, who are now my favorite Bway duo. And their great leading lady, Carmen Cusack’s magnificent voice wails, swoops and soars into Bway history as she makes her astounding Bway  debut.

Country and Western, too, since “Bright Star” is first and last a bluegrass musical. I have to admit to not being a fan of this well-worn genre, but now I am! That’s how transportative the music of “Bright Star” is! And if you’re already a country and western afficionado, well, “Bright Star” will be right up your Nashville alley!

The story of a young woman in the earlier part of the last century living in the rural South and trying to find herself, and love, in a society that can only be called repressive, I am so glad to report that “Bright Star”s trills and thrills have all been carefully and lovingly recorded for posterity, and you’ll be able to listen to its’ musical joys over and over again. As I’m doing right now.

It’s the soundtrack of a life and starts with the killer “If You Knew My Story” which introduces the full throated Ms. Cusack right at the top of the show, wailing in her husky, mesmeric contralto and leaning against the porch post of her A-frame shack that’s about to spin her and us into Musical Comedy history.Bright Star 3

The level of achievement of all involved is so high, it’s breath-taking. I cried my way through the first act the last time I saw it, and I can’t help listening to Carmen Cusack’s  rueful, country wail without thinking of the tragedy that awaits her stalwart, brave character.

And did I mention that Steve Martin and Edie Brickell Bright Star 2wrote this wonderful, catchy, plaintive music that never veres far from the banjo Martin is so proud of playing at the drop of a hat. “Bright Star” justifies this mystifying transition of his. From stand up comic to great Bway composer. I want to go out and buy all their CDs  now. I’m a fan. And “Bright Star” Original Cast will make you a fan, too.

Carmen Cusack is not alone in her musical whirl. Paul Alexander Logan and A.J.Shively also shine as the young men in her life, and all sing like there’s no tomorrow.

“Way Back in the Day”, “Bright Star”, “The Sun Is Gonna Shine Again”, “I Am Blinded” and “At Last” all soar and are so darn catchy, you’ll be humming all of them in your head til the cows come home. And this is from a critic who was born and raised in the Bronx!

# Bright Star CD

Elizabeth Williamson, new Associate Artistic Director, Hartford Stage

It is my great pleasure, dear readers, dear cineastes, dear lovers of theatre to introduce you to the very exciting and dynamic Elizabeth Williamson, the newly appointed associate artistic director of the Hartford Stage. Elizabeth has studied in London under Mark Wing-Davey, who is now the Head of NYU’s great Grad Acting program, and also at L’Ecole Jacques le Coq theatre in Paris, as well as being the Dramaturg at the Hartford Stage under the direction of Darko Tresnjak.

Elizabeth was the dramaturg and very involved with the development of Matthew Lopez’ new play “Reverberation” which I liked so much when I saw it in Hartford earlier this year. Her parents were both poets and she has a very bright future in the American Theater in front of her.

Catherine Walker to Take Over as Phoebe D’Ysquith In GGLAM!


CATHERINE WALKER

TO TAKE OVER THE ROLE OF

PHOEBE D’YSQUITH

IN THE 2014 TONY AWARD®-WINNING BEST MUSICAL

“ A   G E N T L E M A N ’ S   G U I D E   T O   L O V E    A N D    M U R D E R ”
BEGINNING OCTOBER 28, 2014

 

LAUREN WORSHAM

TO PLAY HER FINAL PERFORMANCE ON

OCTOBER 26

 

New York, NY (September 29, 2014) – It was announced today that Catherine Walker will take over the role of ‘Phoebe D’Ysquith’ in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which won the 2014 Tony Award® for Best Musical, beginning Tuesday, October 28.  Ms. Walker is part of the original cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder as ‘Miss Barley’, as well as understudy for the role she is about to assume.  Sandra DeNise will be joining the company to take over Ms. Walker’s current role. Lauren Worsham will play her final performance as ‘Phoebe’ on Sunday, October 26.

 

Ms. Walker is an original cast member of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.  She made her Broadway debut with the original cast of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s hit musical Mary Poppins, understudying the title role, and became Broadway’s second ‘Mary,’ flying over the heads of Broadway audiences for over 100 performances. She left that production to join the original cast of the highly acclaimed Broadway revival of Ragtime. She returned to her hometown in Lancaster County as ‘Maria’ in The Sound of Music at The Fulton Theatre during the 2011 holiday season. She has appeared on the stage of The Maltz-Jupiter Theater in Florida as ‘Hope’ inAnything Goes as well as reprising her turn as ‘Maria’ in The Sound of Music , for which she received the prestigious Carbonell Award for Best Actress in a musical in 2011. She also played the title role in the musical, Gypsy, the premiere production of the new North Shore Music Theatre. Ms. Walker has appeared in leading roles in productions of Maury Yeston’s Phantom (‘Christine’), Carousel (‘Julie Jordan’), Show Boat (‘Magnolia’) and Brigadoon (‘Fiona’). She appeared with major symphony orchestras in tributes to Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz and has performed on the 2007 “Tony Awards,” “The Today Show,” “The View,” “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” and “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon. Catherine received her BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Ms. DeNise comes to A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder directly from the Original Broadway cast of another Tony Award® winning Best Musical, Kinky Boots.  She was also an original member of the 1st National Equity tours of Jersey Boys, Hairspray (‘Penny’), Shrek, Parade, and Saturday Night Fever.

 

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way (each played by Tony winner Jefferson Mays in what The New York Times calls “the year’s greatest musical theater performance”). All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea. The Hollywood Reporter raves, “Gentleman’s Guide restores our faith in musical comedy” and The New York Times cheers, “It will lift the hearts of all those who’ve been pining for what sometimes seems a lost art form.”

 

Tickets, priced from $42-$152, are on sale via telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200 / (800) 447-7400. Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the Walter Kerr Box Office (219 W. 48th Street).

 

The performance schedule for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is as follows: Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM, with 2:00 PM matinees on Wednesday and Saturda

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