August 20, 2014

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August's Playbill Presents
August's "On Stage Across America" Visits the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
For 50 years, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT has given theatre artists the resources to hone their skills.Avenue Q, The House of Blue Leaves, Nine and August Wilson's Fences (Wilson developed 6 of his 10 plays there) are just a small sampling of the titles that have come from the program. "On Stage Across America" took a trip to the bucolic campus to take a peek at works in progress including musical thriller The White City and the new additions that will house a musical theatre program. Alum and current teaching artist Susan Blackwell was on hand to give some background on how her time at the O'Neill shaped her career. For more information on "On Stage Across America" (co-presented by Playbill) check local listings.
A Home Away From Home: Behind the Scenes at Rosie's Theater Kids Playbill Backstage
A Home Away From Home: Behind the Scenes at Rosie's Theater Kids
Rosie O'Donnell received the 2014 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award to honor her work tireless work with Rosie's Theater Kids, a Manhattan organization dedicated to enriching the lives of children through drama, dance, etiquette and academics. Playbill popped in at the Maravel Arts Center to see what all the fuss was about and two young students were helpful enough to lead a tour of the facilities that include classrooms, rehearsal rooms, private vocal rooms — and a pretty sweet roof deck designed by the one and only Rachael Ray. Read the Playbill story.
Dirty Dancing's Hot Preview Promises an Even Hotter Time on Tour Playbill and the Players
Dirty Dancing's Hot Preview Promises an Even Hotter Time on Tour
The North American tour of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage will begin performances Aug. 26, prior to an official opening Sept. 2, at The National Theatre in Washington D.C. Playbill was on hand for a rehearsal room preview as the cast ran through the high-energy classic "Do You Love Me." James Powell directs the production which features choreography by Michele Lynch based on the show's original choreography by Kate Champion. Samuel Pergande (Johnny Castle) and Jillian Mueller (Frances "Baby" Houseman) lead the company. See a Photo Call of the media event.
Alison Fraser Channels Blanche Du Bois for Playbill Presents
Alison Fraser Channels Blanche Du Bois for "Tennessee Williams: Words and Music"
Alison Fraser's latest CD release "Tennessee Williams: Words and Music" is now available on Ghostlight Records. The album merges songs featured in the works of the iconic playwright with select readings of his flavorful prose and serves as a document of Fraser's one woman show of the same title. In this exclusive video, Playbill popped in for a visit to Fraser's home where she and musical director Allison Leyton-Brown just so happened to be running though some tunes from the album including "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles," "If I Didn't Care" and "St. Louis Blues."
EXCLUSIVE: Two-Time Grammy Nominee Takes on Jazzy Ballad Playbill Presents
EXCLUSIVE: Two-Time Grammy Nominee Takes on Jazzy Ballad "One Would Be Enough" for Mentor Mondays
Once a month, Jim Caruso's Cast Party features a special performance known as Mentor Mondays where musical theatre performer Trevor McQueen pairs up-and-coming songwriters with veteran Broadway performers (or vice versa). Here, McQueen pairs two-time Grammy nominee Jane Monheit with songwriter Angelo Di Loreto to take on "One Would Be Enough," his thoughtful take on romance in the always-too-busy digital age. See Episode Two featuring 2014 Tony nominee Anika Larsen.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Previews Mind-Bending New Play Playbill and the Players
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Previews Mind-Bending New Play
Based on Mark Haddon's 2003 best-selling novel, the National Theatre production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will begin performances Sept. 10 at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens, the new play tells the tale of a fifteen-year-old math whiz who, despite his problems in social interactions, sets about investigating the murder of a friendly neighborhood dog. Here, Playbill got a peek at the West End production of the show and chatted with cast and creatives about the critically acclaimed play. See a Photo Call from the press event.
OBSESSED!: Anne Runolfsson's Victor/Victoria High Note and Understudy Mayhem Playbill Presents
OBSESSED!: Anne Runolfsson's Victor/Victoria High Note and Understudy Mayhem
Broadway veteran Anne Runolfsson (Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera) joined Seth Rudetsky in the studio for the latest installment of the biweekly OBSESSED! series. After giving a sample of some Phantom, Runolfsson relived the whirlwind ride that she experienced filling in for Julie Andrews right in the middle of a performance of Victor/Victoria. Then, she gave a taste of her extra high notes in the the show's "Le Jazz Hot." Check out Seth's weekly column. Visit SethTV.com, Seth's online home.
EXCLUSIVE: Watch Lena Hall's Unbelievable (and Tony-Winning!) Transformation Playbill and the Players
EXCLUSIVE: Watch Lena Hall's Unbelievable (and Tony-Winning!) Transformation
Lena Hall recently took home a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (she keeps it on her fireplace mantle) for her turn as the gender-bending Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Playbill got an exclusive dressing room look as Hall readied for a performance and transformed from real life rocker chick (she fronts the loud and grungy band The Deafening) to a very convincing rocker dude. See Hedwig's sexy new artwork previewing Andrew Rannells in the title role.
The Lady with The Torch Kicks Off Patti LuPone’s 54 Below Multi-Year Deal Playbill Presents
The Lady with The Torch Kicks Off Patti LuPone’s 54 Below Multi-Year Deal
Olivier and two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone stepped onto the 54 Below stage to preview The Lady with The Torch, the cabaret show that will kick off her multi-year deal with the speakeasy-styled nightspot — twice yearly through 2016, LuPone will play two-week engagements at the venue. Here, she performs "I'm Through With Love" and "Find Me A Primitive Man." Performances kicked off July 21 and run through Aug. 2. For more on The Lady with the Torch, read the Playbill.com story.
Michelle Obama Brings The King to the White House Playbill Presents
Michelle Obama Brings The King to the White House
The cast of the North American tour of Disney’s The Lion King made a special pit stop on their rounds. On July 18, a special "Kids' State Dinner" found them performing for First Lady Michelle Obama and guests at the White House. Cast members including Tshidi Manye, L. Steven Taylor and Jelani Remy performed "Circle of Life" and "He Lives in You" to celebrate the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a national challenge to promote healthy eating as part of the First Lady's "Let's Move!" Initiative. See highlights from the Broadway production.
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