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Live Performance

Anna Wintour Musical Returning to Joe’s Pub

BeeShafferRyanRafteryOne-man show Ryan Raftery is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion is way over the top. Raftery’s drag-version of Anna Wintour gets “chronic constipation” as a result of running that Kimye cover and fearing that she will be fired from Condé Nast by S.I. Newhouse.

After debuting earlier this month at Joe’s Pub, the show is scheduled for a pair of encore Friday late-night shows in early September. As Raftery recently told The Cut‘s Maggie Lange, it all started with a chance encounter:

Raftery has done a solo show a year since 2009 — and the five before this one were all about his personal life. He says that he ran out of material, and instead of “waiting to be kidnapped,” he decided to find some other subject matter.

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Gloria, Emilio Estefan Cast Wide Net for Broadway Musical

Gloria and Emilio Estefan generated some fun recent headlines on the west coast with a charity dinner and performance at the Hollywood Bowl:

When her husband and producer, Emilio Estefan, appeared onstage after the singer mentioned that he’d inspired her recent recording of “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face,” she told the audience proudly that they’d been married for 36 years. “That’s 150 years in Hollywood,” she added.

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This morning, they’re making NYC news with their unusual open call. From the website for forthcoming Broadway musical On Your Feet!:

Gloria and Emilio Estefan are looking for talented hopefuls for the new musical based on their lives to debut on Broadway in 2015. Show us your talent, show us your passion, and show us your rhythm!

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Close Encounters of the Jimmy Carter Kind

Here’s some Off-Broadway genealogy that’s hard not to love.

JimmyPosterInspired by the Wikipedia article “Jimmy Carter UFO Incident,” Isaac Hopkins in the summer of 2013 staged Jimmy! A Musical with Almost No Historical Basis at his theater company in Gainesville, Georgia. Tomorrow, the musical opens in New York for a one-week run.

From Hannah Pap Rocki‘s item in Atlanta magazine:

Hopkins then submitted the play in a contest sponsored by the National Theatre for Student Artists. He submits plays so often that he forgot about the application — until he missed five calls from a New York number a month later. He finally called back and learned that he had won. Jimmy! was going to New York.

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New York Native Set to Bring NC17 Theater to LA

GregCayeaPicFollowing Tuesday’s west coast skywriting display, LA-based producer Greg Cayea (pictured) has further teased his forthcoming “NC17″ theatrical event. The ambitious extravaganza is set for weekends in October, with shows starting at 8 p.m. and running through until 5 a.m. the following morning. Here’s what Cayea is promising:

Theatrical Mischiefs, Body Painters, Escapists & Magicians, Hula Hoopers & Acrobats, Comediennes & Actors, Belly Dancers, Silk Dancers, Burlesque Dancers, Arial Performers, Bohemiéns, Illusionists, Contortionists, Trapeze Artists, Artistes de Cirque & Artistes de Rue, Pantomimes, Ventriloquists, Flame Wielders, Fire Breathers, Showgirls, Danger, Seduction, Escape.

It sounds like a theatrical extension of the speakeasy and lounge-bar vibe currently reshaping Los Angeles nightlife. A wave sparked by the Houston brothers, owners of No Vacancy, Dirty Laundry, Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, La Descarga and more.

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Closer to Home, American Psycho Musical Will Be Closer to the Film

PatrickBatemanStillIn one sense, New York’s Second Stage Theatre is the perfect place for the American-side debut of a musical based on the movie American Psycho. The company was founded in 1979, just ahead of the 1980s era during which Patrick Bateman commits a series of finely tailored “murders and executions.”

In separate emails to the New York Times, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who will write the modified American book for the musical, and Second Stage artistic director Carole Rothman promised this version will be gorier than the production staged last winter in London:

Aguirre-Sacasa: “We’re going to put a bit more ‘psycho’ in the text and production, a little more horror and suspense.”

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Johnny Carson Musical Moving Forward

Cover_JohnnyCarsonIt was during an interview with Mediabistro last fall that Johnny Carson‘s former attorney Henry Bushkin first publicly revealed his plans for a musical based on his book Johnny Carson:

“We are in the midst of some very interesting and confidential discussions about a Broadway play with music centered around a particular year, like 1980, in Carson’s life and my life. Like a snippet. All I can say is that there’s compelling interest in that. The Broadway audience is Carson’s sweet spot. The entertainment value of it is going to be significant.”

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Lisa Lampanelli and the New York Times

Every once in a while, a reviewer or interviewer will note the journalism background of stand-up star Lisa Lampanelli. The latest to do this, ahead of the 52-year-old performer’s Saturday night engagement in Pittsfield, MA, is Berkshire Eagle reporter Dick Lindsay.

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Since the name of Lampanelli’s current tour is “Leaner, Meaner,” we thought it worth revisiting another recent such LL piece. Last year, Las Vegas Review-Journal nightlife columnist Doug Elfman reminded of the role played by the Grey Lady with regards to this lady’s tour and stage tags:

“I know how to manipulate the press a little bit,” says Lampanelli, who studied post-grad journalism at Harvard.

“Back in the day, I wanted a nickname,” she says. “So I remember getting interviewed by the New York Times, and I planted the whole ‘Queen of Mean’ nickname in the Times.”

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Local References Abound at Billy Joel’s Hollywood Bowl Debut

At one point during Saturday’s Hollywood Bowl concert, the first of three debut-dates for Billy Joel, he performed “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.” Per a review by Orange County Register critic Ben Wener, he told the audience he hasn’t performed that one live since the 1980s and joked that it might quickly turn into a “rock ’n’ roll screw-up.”

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Meanwhile, in his write-up, LA Times critic Randall Roberts leads with some information shared Saturday that probably surprised many in the 17,000-plus audience. The origins of one of Joel’s most famous hits:

“Here’s a song I wrote when I was working at Wilshire and Western,” Billy Joel said Saturday during his first-ever performance at the Hollywood Bowl, introducing “Piano Man” from 1973. The detail no doubt came as a surprise to many who consider Joel an archetypal New Yorker and the record a celebration of city life.

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Daniel Radcliffe Points Out Two Subtle Differences Between London and New York

USA Today theater and music critic Elysa Gardner, like many others recently, had the pleasure of catching up with multi-talented 24-year-old Daniel Radcliffe. He’s set to open his third Broadway play, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Sunday at the Cort Theatre.

Radcliffe tells Gardner he now feels very much at home in NYC and appreciates the subtle differences in social culture:

Radcliffe finds the overall vibe “more positive than in London.” The Brits “like to revel in our grumpiness a bit, and you’re not like that here…”

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Texas Christian University Grad Makes Good on Broadway Promise

BenThompsonMatildaNice piece by Samantha Calimbahin, a communications student at Texas Christian University, about another one-time denizen of TCU’s halls. She profiles Class of 2003 grad and current NYC theater star Ben Thompson (pictured).

Thompson debuted on the Great White Way via 2010′s American Idiot. This season, at least until Christopher Sieber‘s broken wrist fully heals, he’s donning the fat suit daily to portray fearsome Miss Trunchbull in Matilda the Musical (Time‘s Top Play/Musical of 2013).  As Calimbahin documents, it is for Thompson a dream fully and impressively realized:

When Thompson performed at his [TCU] senior jury, his jurors asked: “What do you want to do?”

“I’m moving to New York. I’m going to be on Broadway,” said Thompson.

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