Theatre and Music News: Almost Famous, Kimberly Akimbo,MJ , Leopoldstadt ,The Phantom of the Opera, The Violet Hour, Sondheim Unplugged, StudioWorks and A Sign of the Times – Times Square Chronicles
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Theatre and Music News: Almost Famous, Kimberly Akimbo,MJ , Leopoldstadt ,The Phantom of the Opera, The Violet Hour, Sondheim Unplugged, StudioWorks and A Sign of the Times – Times Square Chronicles

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In previews Almost Famous and Kimberly Akimbo filled more than 90% of their seats, while MJ and Leopoldstadt set house records and The Phantom of the Opera is at standing room only.

The award-winning songwriting team of Will Reynolds and Eric Price  will release a complete 28-track studio cast recording of their new musical, The Violet Hour on Friday, November 4, 2022. The Violet Hour is based on the 2003 Broadway play by Tony Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out). The musical’s title song, “The Violet Hour” performed by Jeremy Jordan, is now streaming along with an exclusive music video. Reynolds and Price won the 2018 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Writing. They have written the musicals Radioactive, Around the World, and The Sixth Borough. The duo has also written for the AppleTV+ animated series “Central Park” alongside other writers such as Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles, Fiona Apple, Alan Menken, and Ingrid Michaelson. In 2020, they were the recipients of a Lotte Lenya Award from the Kurt Weill Foundation. With orchestrations by Grammy and Tony Award-winner Charlie Rosen and music supervision by Andy Einhorn, The Violet Hour album features performances by some of Broadway’s brightest stars, including Tony Award-winner Santino Fontana as John, Tony Award nominees Jeremy Jordan as Denny and Brandon Uranowitz as Gidger, Mean Girls star Erika Henningsen as Rosamund, and Solea Pfeiffer, star of the highly-anticipated Almost Famous, as Jessie.The dazzle, wit, and romance of the Jazz Age comes vibrantly to life in The Violet Hour, a tuneful and emotionally stirring new musical. The story is set on April 1, 1919, when John Pace Seavering, a young publisher, comes to possess a machine that inexplicably begins printing pages from books. Books from the future. Page by page, John pieces together a vision of what the next century has in store for himself, his friends, and the world at large. And once he decides he wants to change the future, the clock is ticking.For more information on The Violet Hour, please visit theviolethourmusical.com.
YELLOW SOUND LABEL has announced the release of Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions – Volume Three, the final installment of the monumental three-volume set dedicated to the oeuvre of iconic musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The third edition will be available on Friday, November 18 in streaming and digital formats, in addition to a 2-disc CD. The album is produced by the series creator Phil Geoffrey Bond and features Music Director Joseph Goodrich on piano. Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions, which encompasses 70 singers and 120 songs, is a landmark collection destined to be a major contribution to the canon of Sondheim recordings. Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions – Volume Three is now available to pre-order at YellowSoundLabel.com and SondheimUnplugged.com.
Several of this edition’s key performers originated roles in Sondheim musicals, including George Lee Andrews (A Little Night Music), Danielle Ferland (Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George), Joy Franz (Into the Woods), Annie Golden (Assassins), Teri Ralston (Company, A Little Night Music), Ken Jennings (Sweeney Todd), Pamela Winslow Kashani (Into the Woods), Pamela Myers (Company), Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd), Melanie Vaughan (Sunday in the Park with George), and Jim Walton (Merrily We Roll Along). The album also includes performances by vocalists seen more recently on Broadway in the Sondheim revivals of A Little Night Music (Ramona Mallory), Company (Claybourne Elder, Nicholas Rodriguez, Bruce Sabath), The Frogs (Eric Michael Gillett), Pacific Overtures (Telly Leung), and Lucia Spina, currently featured in Into the Woods.
THE STUDIOS OF KEY WEST – one of the leading multidisciplinary arts & culture organizations in South Florida and the Florida Keys – is pleased to announce the launch of StudioWorks, a streaming theater series that brings innovative productions to at-home audiences. Beginning this November, an original digital theater production will be released and available to stream each month. Created by theater artists all over the country, StudioWorks productions can be purchased individually or as a subscription at vimeo.com/ondemand/studioworks
The four-production series offers dynamic performances by noted theater, television and film actors including Michael Urie, Ann Harada, Colby Lewis, Constance Shulman, and Leon Addison Brown, among others. Unstuck as F@#k, the second play of the series, sees Tony Award-nominated Broadway star Anika Larsen of Almost Famous making her directorial debut.
Featuring great stories and showcasing remarkable contemporary talent, the series includes an exclusive mix of virtual world premiere productions. The season will finish in March with an encore presentation of nationally-acclaimed Smithtown, the inaugural streaming play produced by The Studios in 2020 in an effort to keep theater alive during the pandemic.
NOVEMBER 11, 2022
The Mon Valley Medium
This darkly comedic tale takes place when a murder sends a working-class community into chaos. Written, directed and performed by Pittsburgh native Alec Silberblatt, the story centers on Mack, a local man, who relays the story as he struggles with the guilt he feels about his role in it all.

DECEMBER 3, 2022
Unstuck as F@#k
The piece is written and performed by Orlando Bishop and directed by Anika Larsen. Over the course of 70 minutes, LA-based entertainer and comedian Bishop commands the stage as he tells the hilarious and at times heartbreaking story of his life—from growing up in the concrete jungle of Flatbush, Brooklyn to his years in the ivory tower of Yale—and all the ups and downs that came after.

JANUARY 13, 2023
Repair
This cinematic and theatrical hybrid filmed on location in a working garage in Queens. Two worlds collide over a tragic incident when a car pulls into a closed body shop one night in the middle of a downpour. When the mechanic goes outside to let the driver know the shop isn’t open, he quickly discovers that nothing about the encounter is random. The play was written by Michael Marrero and Julio Trinidad, directed by Michael Marrero, and stars Leon Addison Brown (Drama League Award nominee) and Julio Trinidad. Tony Award-winning sound designer Sun Hee Kil composed the score.

FEBRUARY 10, 2023
Smithtown
The Studios will re-release Smithtown, a play acknowledged around the country by The New Yorker, TheaterMania, and The New York Times. Smithtown was written by Drew Larimore and directed by Stephen Kitsakos, Artistic Associate of The Studios of Key West. The story consists of a series of four interconnected but distinct monologues featuring an ensemble of top Broadway and television actors: Michael Urie (Broadway revival of Torch Song, “Ugly Betty”), Ann Harada(Avenue Q and Cinderella on Broadway), Colby Lewis (Chicago’s Hamilton, “Chicago Med”), and Constance Shulman (“Orange is the New Black” on Netflix, The Rose Tattoo on Broadway). Incisively dark and funny, Smithtown shines a spotlight on the ways we communicate, and miscommunicate, in a rapidly evolving digital era, when the rules of conduct change by the minute, and loneliness and isolation seem to be the order of the day.
StudioWorks productions can be purchased as a package for $35 for the full season all four shows. Individual plays can be purchased on the day of their release for $10 each. The productions are available to stream for six months starting on November 11, or six months from date or purchase.

A Sign of the Times, a new musical featuring the songs of Petula Clark and multiple hit-makers of the 1960s, is set to have a developmental reading October 24-28, 2022. The new musical has made several script revisions and now features a book by Lindsey Hope Perlman (Cassandra Complex), based on an original story by Richard Robin. The show is directed by Gabriel Barre(Amazing Grace) with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter (Cinderella West End, School of Rock), and Music Supervision and Orchestrations by Joseph Church (The Lion King).
Featuring the songs of a generation, A Sign of the Times tells the story of Cindy (Kennedy), a young woman pursuing her passion and finding her voice in New York City in 1965.  Set against the backdrop of women’s liberation, the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War – events as relevant today as they were then – A Sign of the Times will transport audiences to the big city in the 60s with heart and soul, featuring such classic songs as “Downtown,”
“You Don’t Own Me,” “Don’t Sleep in the Subway,” “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss),” and “The Boy From New York City.”
A Sign of the Times made its world premiere at Goodspeed Musicals in 2016 and played a sold-out regional engagement at Delaware Theatre Company in 2018. Delaware News Journal called the show, “Infectious & Rocking! The funny, candy-colored musical struts across the stage with catchy songs and 1960s issues that resonate today.” The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “the electricity reverberates across the stage.” Broad Street Review raved the show is full of, “sheer exuberance! The music never stops.”
The reading will feature Chilina Kennedy (Paradise Square, Beautiful), Ryan Silverman (Side Show), CJ Pawlikowski (Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon), Caitlin Kinnunen (The Prom, Spring Awakening), Ryah Nixon (Kinky Boots, 9 to 5: The Musical), Lauren Boyd (Hamilton, West Side Story Nat’l Tour), Brad Bradley (The People in the Picture, Billy Elliot), Melessie Clark (After Midnight – Norwegian Escape), Jeremy Gaston (Aladdin), Aaron Kaburick (Doubtfire, Hello, Dolly!; Something Rotten!), Chani Maisonet (Ain’t Too Proud, West Side Story), and Alexandra Matteo (Doubtfire, A Bronx Tale), and Ralph Meitzler (Frozen, Rock of Ages).


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com
T2C is the go to place for the best-kept secrets and latest up-dates for the tourist but for Hell’s Kitchen, Clinton and Times Square this is their neighborhood. Times Square may be the tourist hotspot of North America, but New York residents are the community members who live and breathe city life and make dedicated readers.
Copyright © 2014 Times Square Chronicles

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