Here's a look at videos from the week of April 14.
Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis' web series "It Could Be Worse" chronicles the ups and downs (and there are a LOT of downs!) of struggling actor Jacob Gordon (Taylor) as he navigates challenging experiences with a drugged-up agent (Jarvis), a needy ex-boyfriend (Gideon Glick), an unpredictable co-star (Alison Fraser), a new love interest playing hard to get (Adam Chanler-Berat) and many other oddball characters. In this exclusive video, creators and cast take us behind the scenes of the series. For more on the show, and to catch up on past episodes, read the Playbill story.
Broadway stars of today will celebrate three Broadway icons of yesteryear — namely, songwriters Frank Loesser and Jule Styne and actor Danny Kaye — at Carnegie Hall on April 29, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the New York Pops. Under the baton of music director Steve Reineke and hosted by Paula Zahn, the lineup includes Laura Osnes, Anthony Warlow, Nick Adams, Will Chase, Max Von Essen, Betsy Wolfe, Laura Benanti, James Naughton, Kelli O'Hara, Rob McClure, Donna Murphy, Stephanie J. Block, Liz Callaway, Megan Hilty, Marilyn Maye and Leslie Uggams. Playbill caught up with six of the stars rehearsing songs from Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella and Funny Girl, and spoke to them about why they were excited to perform at the gala. For more information on the New York Pops 30th anniversary gala, click here.
Brandon Victor Dixon stars in the real life story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed music forever. Motown: The Musical charts founder Berry Gordy's journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. The production features a book by Berry Gordy and a score comprised of Motown hits. Charles Randolph-Wright directs. See the Playbill Photo Call of the show.
Late 1930's New York and the twilight of the burlesque era come to life in Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance, a new dark comedy starring Tony Award winner Nathan Lane as a gay entertainer with everything to lose, now playing on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien directs a cast that also includes Tony winner Cady Huffman, Tony nominee Lewis J. Stadlen, Jenni Barber, Andrèa Burns, Geoffrey Allen Murphy and Jonny Orsini. For more information on The Nance, including a look inside the opening night Playbill, visit PlaybillVault.com.
In the mid-1960s Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Dino Danelli and Gene Cornish helped popularize "blue-eyed soul" as The Rascals. After 40-plus years, they reunite for The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream, a concert performance featuring hits like "Good Lovin'," "Lonely Too Long," "It's a Beautiful Morning," "How Can I Be Sure" and "Groovin'." Along with the music, the history of the group is told through archival footage, narration and dramatic film segments. Steven Van Zandt (star of "The Sopranos" and guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band) and Marc Brickman direct the production at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. See all of the show's details at Playbillvault.com.
The world premiere of Richard Greenberg's Manhattan-set family drama The Assembled Parties is now playing on Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The play, set in a sprawling Central Park West apartment on Christmas Day 1980 and 2000, stars Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht as former movie star Julie Bascov, Tony Award winner Judith Light as her sister-in-law Faye, and Tony Award nominee Jeremy Shamos as house guest Jeff. For more information on The Assembled Parties, including a look inside the opening night Playbill, visit PlaybillVault.com.
Tony Winner LaChanze and Rita Wilson met the press to talk about their upcoming 54 Below gigs. LaChanze previewed jazz and Broadway show tunes from her show Love Hangover: LaChanze Sings Diana Ross, demonstrating the varied style and range of the iconic diva. Wilson presented music videos featuring tunes from her album "AM/FM," a collection of radio hits made famous by the likes of the Everly Brothers and Juice Newton. LaChanze performs April 17, 18 and 22, Wilson's performances continue April 16-20. Visit 54Below.com for tickets and information.
The first Broadway production of Lyle Kessler's Orphans — starring Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge — is now playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. In the play, two orphaned brothers are living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. One night, elder brother Treat (Foster) kidnaps a rich older man, Harold (Baldwin), who turns out to have his own motives and becomes the father figure the boys have always yearned for. For more information on Orphans, including a look inside the opening night Playbill, visit PlaybillVault.com.
Currently starring alongside Edie Falco in Manhattan Theatre Club's The Madrid, Phobe Strole made her name in Broadway's Spring Awakening. In this second installment of "Hot Off the Ivories," Strole joins composer Joey Contreras in studio to take on one of his recent compositions. With Contreras on keys, she performs "Good Friends," a tune about a relationship in flux. Watch the premiere episode of "Hot Off the Ivories."
Tony and Olivier Award winner Alan Cumming brings "toil and trouble" to Broadway in his one-man adaptation of Macbeth, staged by Tony-winning Once director John Tiffany. Set in a psychiatric unit, Cumming plays a patient who is reliving the story of Macbeth by inhabiting all of the characters in Shakespeare's bloody work, while Jenny Sterlin and Brendan Titley perform as ward attendants. The production plays Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre. See a Playbill Photo Call of the show.
Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox star in Frank Wildhorn (music), Leslie Bricusse (book and lyrics) and Steve Cuden's (lyrics) Jekyll & Hyde. Jeff Calhoun directs and choreographs this musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel about a kind doctor who develops a potion that allows his brutal, animalistic side to emerge. The production plays Broadway's Marquis Theatre. Read the Playbill story.
Josh Young, Jen Cody, "Smash"'s Andy Mientus and Carrie Manolakos took to the rehearsal studio to run through tunes for the April 19 Lincoln Center American Songbook Series concert featuring the songs of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. Audiences can expect to hear tunes from the duo's coming-of-age musicals The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown and Tales from the Bad Years as well as new material from Republic, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Read the Playbill story.
Jeremy Jordan, Sutton Foster, Laura Michelle Kelly and Nikki M. James took to the rehearsal studio to run through tunes for the April 19 Lincoln Center American Songbook Series concert featuring the songs of Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. Audiences can expect to hear tunes from the duo's coming-of-age musicals The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown and Tales from the Bad Years as well as new material from Republic, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. For more information on the concert, read the Playbill story.
A 2006 recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, composer and lyricist Joe Iconis always has several irons in the fire. Currently, he is busy with commissions for the likes of the La Jolla Playhouse, continued work on his musical Bloodsong of Love: The Rock'N'Roll Spaghetti Western and ongoing collaboration with a group of artists simply called the Family. Here. Iconis is joined in studio by Family members Krysta Rodriguez, Jason SweetTooth Williams, Jeremy Morse and Jared Weiss to run through tunes in preparation for their upcoming 54 Below gigs Aprl 20, 26 and May 5. For tickets and infor visit 54Below.com. Read the Playbill story about the newly released album titled "The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree."