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Live Performance

From A&E Snip to the Vegas Strip

DuckCommanderCoverThe New York Times article headline, “Bayou Meets Broadway: Staging ‘Duck Dynasty’,” is unintentionally misleading.

Yes, Michael David, the producer shepherding a Duck Dynasty musical, is a Broadway vet (Jersey Boys, Good Vibrations) . But no, there are no plans at this point to bring the show to the Great White Way:

Undertaking one of the more audacious theater projects in recent years, the Robertsons — known for their long beards, duck-hunting merchandise and occasional inflammatory remark — are moving to expand their Louisiana-based multimedia franchise with The Duck Commander Family Musical. The 90-minute show, with actors playing the family members from A&E’s Duck Dynasty as they celebrate the family’s long history from rags to riches, hopes to open in February at the Rio hotel and casino, where the Chippendales show and Penn & Teller are now running.

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Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101

Freelancing 101Learn how to manage a top-notch freelancing career! Starting December 1, you'll hear from our expert speakers on the best practices for launching a freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. Register now!

Colorado High School Stages ‘Balloon Boy’ Musical

On January 1, 2014, folks in Colorado started legally enjoying recreational weed. This weekend, thanks to an enterprising New York state high school student, the community of Monarch High School in Louisville will get a chance to revisit some fall 2009 cable news vapors.

Per CBS Denver reporter Suzanne McCarroll, Balloon Boy: The Musical opened last night and runs through tomorrow. All thanks to high school senior and playwright Billy Recce:

Recce began working on the story when he was in seventh grade — and it had a “seventh-grade kind of feel” to it, he said. But it matured with more adult themes over the past several years…

Recce entered his opening number, “Follow Your Dreams,” into Thespian Musicalworks, a competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. Representatives from Monarch met Recce at the festival and asked to stage his creation.

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Alan, Arlene Alda Continue to Thrive

LoveLettersWhen Marlo Thomas recently read to Alan Alda the viewer question, ‘How have you been able to lead a long and successful marriage?,’ he answered only half-jokingly: “The trick is to move out of Hollywood.”

This Sunday, Alda and Candice Bergen will take over the Broadway production of Love Letters at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, accepting the baton from Brian Dennehy and Carol Burnett. They are scheduled to perform through December 5. It’s the first time the two actors have worked together.

Meanwhile, next spring, Alda’s wife Arlene will release her latest book Just Kids from the Bronx, an oral history gathering the recollections of dozens of celebrities and leaders who grew up there. The advance reviews are solid and include this funny quote from Boston native Barbara Walters:

“Made me wish I had been born in the Bronx.”

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The Long Lineage of Garry Marshall and The Medill School

When Garry Marshall recently guested on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he joked with the fellow Northwestern alum that his comedy writing days began when he was sports editor for the school’s newspaper. The football team was so bad, Marshall recalled, that it became a matter of article ledes like, ‘By the time “The Star Spangled Banner” was over, the team was 14 points behind.’

BillyRayPoster

Marshall has been busy talking up Billy & Ray, a play about the collaboration of Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler for the filmmaker’s 1946 classic Double Indemnity. Directed by Marshall and written by WABC-TV editor-producer Mike Bencivenga, it’s in previews through October 20 at the Vineyard Theatre in Union Square.

The Medill School also came up during Marshall’s conversation with American Theatre magazine editor Suzy Evans. This time, a little more formally:

“I went to the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, which is a great school — I learned a lot, but mostly I learned how to meet a deadline. So I’m never late. My three kids went to Northwestern, and it was the highlight of my life just a month ago when my first grandchild, Charlotte, started at Northwestern. She’s in media studies. She’s a whiz on the Internet. I don’t even have a computer.”

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Larry David Navigates Birthday, Relationship Wishes

AceHotelLALogoHa ha. Among those in attendance last night at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles for a special Citi cardholders event featuring David Steinberg interviewing Larry David was LA Weekly EIC Sarah Fenske. She notes that although David overall seemed to greatly enjoy the fan adulation, there was no shortage of embarrassing audience-member behavior:

David, a lovable curmudgeon playing a grudging good sport for the evening, gives three hugs. He accepts a letter from someone’s dad. He even says happy birthday to someone called Henry at the request of a young woman wielding the video function on her phone.

“What am I saying?” he asks. “Who’s Henry?” Told it’s the woman’s father, he yells, “Happy birthday Henry! Your daughter’s obnoxious!” The audience roars.

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Rob Ford Musical Features a ‘Weaselly Journalist’

This Sunday, Rob Ford: The Musical - one of two tuneful Toronto September odes to the outgoing mayor – will wrap up a brief run at the Factory Theatre. Taking with it such ditties as the Rob-and-brother-Doug duet “F*ck You.”

Despite mixed reviews, the off-off-Broadway-eh show has been SRO. And given what the Fords have put Toronto through, the biggest shocker here may well be that the production is sympathetic to North America’s most inept recent civic leader. From Now magazine critic Susan G. Cole‘s write-up:

This is a love letter to the mayor and an attack on just about everyone else. Using a Wizard Of Oz/Christmas Carol-type premise, the musical sends Ford (Sheldon Bergstrom) on an extended dream after getting knocked out when he runs into a television camera. He’s visited by the black transvestite ghost Transgression (Andrew Broderick), who’s supposed to help him change his ways.

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An Artist Bangs the Drum for Paperless Concert Tickets

PeaceTrainLateAgainTourOn the /YusufCatStevens Facebook page, New England fan Valerie Emer-Scott shares today a paperless vision that the artist wishes could be the case everywhere:

It was a little difficult to initially get through on the Ticketmaster site, but kept trying, and got orchestra seating. Tickets cannot be printed – will have to slide credit card at the concert venue. We (my sister and I) were fortunate to see him inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame ceremony in person – last saw him at the Capital Centre in Landover, MD in 1975 or ’76.

In New York, a 2010 state law delineates that concert tickets cannot be paperless, fueling the reselling and scalping of seats. For that reason, Yusuf, formerly known as Yusuf Islam and Cat Stevens, has canceled a planned December 7 performance at New York’s Beacon Theater. From his Facebook post:

I’m sorry about not being able to now play in NYC but hope to find an opportunity that aligns with my support of this issue in the near future, God willing. Looks like the Peace Train is going to arrive at New York a little bit later than expected.

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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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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.

GloriaEmilioEstefanOpenCall

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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