Hathaway, McDonald, Esparza, Pittu and Walker Preserve Twelfth Night on Disc

By Adam Hetrick
August 24, 2009

The starry, music-filled Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night, featuring a score by the Brooklyn-based band Hem, will be released on CD Oct. 27.

Shakespeare's tale of unrequited love, hidden identity and midsummer madness played a critically praised run at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in early June. Under the direction of Daniel Sullivan, the production was the first of the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park offerings of 2009.

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June 26, 2009

I Love You, You’re Perfect. You’re a Girl?


“Most wonderful.” The exclamation of joyous surprise that bursts from the lips of Countess Olivia at the climax of “Twelfth Night,” when she discovers that her new husband appears to have divided himself in two, seems an apt reaction to the scintillating new production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy that opened Thursday night at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

“Twelfth Night” is a perennial favorite, and with its multifaceted plot mixing sweetness, sadness and silliness it is also about as surefire as Shakespeare plays get. If the romances are dreary, the comedy may still crackle. And vice versa. But this polished staging, expertly directed by Daniel Sullivan, is the most consistently pleasurable the city has seen in at least a decade. And it is certainly one of the most accomplished Shakespeare in the Park productions the Public Theater has fielded in some time. Incidentally — or perhaps not — the varied talents of its all-American lead cast help restore faith in the city’s ability to cast Shakespeare in depth.

All together now: most wonderful!

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Play On: Starry Twelfth Night Begins Central Park Run June 10

By Adam Hetrick
June 10, 2009

Academy Award-nominated actress Anne Hathaway heads a cast of stage and screen veterans in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night, which begins performances June 10 at the outdoor Delacorte Theater.

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Oh! I am so excited to hear these new cast announcements. Raul Esparza and Audra McDonald FTW!

McDonald, Esparza, Pittu, Cumpsty and More Join Twelfth Night Cast

By Adam Hetrick
April 15, 2009

Four time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald and Tony nominee Raúl Esparza have joined the cast of the Public Theater's upcoming Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night starring the previously announced Anne Hathaway.

In addition to Academy Award-nominee Hathaway as Viola, the Public has revealed that McDonald (110 in the Shade, Ragtime) will play Olivia with three-time Tony nominee Esparza (Company, Speed-the-Plow) as Orsino.

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Breaker, Butz, Esparza, Leavel, O'Hara, Ripley and More Set for MCC's Miscast Benefit

By Ernio Hernandez
February 12, 2009

Daniel Breaker, Norbert Leo Butz, Raul Esparza, Beth Leavel, Kelli O'Hara, Steven Pasquale, Alice Ripley and Aaron Tveit will appear in MCC Theatre's annual benefit, Miscast 2009, March 9.

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October 24, 2008
Do You Speak Hollywood?

The Barrymore Theater should provide seat belts for as long as Neil Pepe’s revival of David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” is in residence. The production that opened Thursday night — starring the ace team of Jeremy Piven, Raúl Esparza and Elisabeth Moss — pursues its corkscrew course at such velocity that your instinct is to check yourself for whiplash.

When the curtain falls on this short and unsparing study of sharks in the shallows of the movie industry, it’s as if you had stepped off a world-class roller coaster. The ride was over before you knew it, but you’re too dizzy and exhilarated to think you didn’t get your money’s worth.

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Esparza Joins Cast of Speed-the-Plow Revival

By Andrew Gans
July 10, 2008

Raúl Esparza, who is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after Broadway actors, has joined the cast of the upcoming Main Stem revival of David Mamet's Speed-the Plow.

The New York Times reports that Esparza, most recently on Broadway in the revival of The Homecoming, will play the role of Hollywood producer Charlie Fox.

Esparza joins the previously announced Jeremy Piven, the Chicago actor best known for his role as Ari Gold on HBO's "Entourage," who will play Bobby Gould. The role of secretary Karen, which was created in the original production by Madonna, has yet to be cast.

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TONYS 2008 Q&A: Raúl Esparza

by Eddie Varley

The brilliant ensemble work of Daniel Sullivan's production of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming was one of the true rewards of this theater season. The cast brought Pinter’s razor sharp classic to revelatory life, along with instilling it with a delicious dose of black humor that proved both accessible and heart breaking. The company of actors included Ian McShane, Michael McKean, Eve Best, this year’s Tony nominee for Best Actress in a Play, James Frain, Gareth Saxe and Raúl Esparza, himself an honoree this year for Best Featured Actor.

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May. 13th, 2008 01:31 pm
Until there's a better/clearer/less muffled audio to come out of the Chess: In Concert event at the Royal Albert Hall in London, I'm going to console myself by listening to not the two Elphabai (Idina Menzel and Kerry Ellis) but the one Elphaba version (Julia Murney) of Chess. :)

I managed to find (don't ask me how or when) this version of the 20003 Actor's Fund Benefit Concert which must have been ripped off of the DVD boot because the clarity is... so much better :)

Anyhow, I've tossed it back online, and take comfort in my hopes that there will be better audios from either last night or else tonight's performance of Chess.:)

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2007-2008 Tony Nominations Announced; In the Heights Earns 13 Noms.

By Andrew Gans
May 13, 2008

The 2007-2008 Tony Award nominations were announced May 13 by Tony Award winners Sara Ramirez and David Hyde Pierce at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Nominees for Best Musical include Cry-Baby, In the Heights, Passing Strange and Xanadu.

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Esparza, Kassebaum, White, Mann and More Take a Leap of Faith in Musical Workshop

By Andrew Gans
April 30, 2008

A starry company is currently taking part in a workshop of the new Broadway-bound musical Leap of Faith, which will lead to two by-invitation-only performances in Manhattan May 15 and 16.

Playbill.com has learned that the cast of the workshop includes Raul Esparza (Jonas Nightengale), Elizabeth Stanley (Marva McGowan), Ian Brininstool (Boyd McGowan), Kendra Kassebaum (Sam), Lillias White (Ida Mae Sturdevant), Terrence Mann (Sheriff Will Braverman) and Brandon Victor Dixon (Ricky Sturdevant).

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Here's to the Ladies Who Sing Sondheim, Starring Lansbury, Monk, Russell, McKechnie, Walsh and More

By Kenneth Jones
April 7, 2008

The promise of Angela Lansbury reuniting with the songs of Stephen Sondheim would seem to be reason enough to fight your way into the sold-out April 7 Broadway concert, The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim. But the benefit for The Acting Company also has the glitter of Jenna Russell, Donna McKechnie, Debra Monk and more stars who have sung the composer-lyricist's work.

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Broadway's Greatest Showstoppers to Feature Hamlisch, Chenoweth and Esparza

By Andrew Gans
March 20, 2008

Tony Award-winning A Chorus Line composer Marvin Hamlisch will make his debut with the New York Philharmonic May 20.

Hamlisch will be the conductor and host of an evening at Avery Fisher Hall entitled Broadway's Greatest Showstoppers. The 7:30 PM concert will boast the talents of Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth and Raúl Esparza.

Concertgoers can expect to hear songs from Les Misérables, Carousel, My Fair Lady and A Chorus Line, among others.

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Jan. 17th, 2008 10:33 pm
Well. To kill time this afternoon, I re-watched the Company album cast recording session (from 1970)... and this evening, I see the PBS clips for the Company revival... which look very nice. :)
youtube clips underneath )
The NYT review of Pinter's The Homecoming :) :)

You Can Go Home Again, but You’ll Pay the Consequences

December 17, 2007
You Can Go Home Again, but You’ll Pay the Consequences

First of all, it really is that good. You would expect it to have shrunk over the years, the way buildings that loomed large in your childhood seem smaller when you revisit them. But as the first-rate revival that opened Sunday night at the Cort Theater makes electrifyingly clear, “The Homecoming” is every bit as big as its reputation.

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Leap of Faith Slated for Spring Workshop; Ashford, Kosarin Join Creative Team

By Ernio Hernandez
12 Dec 2007

A workshop of the forthcoming Broadway musical Leap of Faith, based on the film of the same name, will be held in New York City this spring, Playbill.com has learned.

The workshop, which will be directed by Taylor Hackford ("Ray"), is scheduled for April 7-May 9, 2008, according to a casting notice. Rob Ashford (Curtains, Thoroughly Modern Millie) has signed on as choreographer. Music direction will be by arranger Michael Kosarin (The Little Mermaid).

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Company — with Esparza — to Make PBS Debut in February 2008

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
11 Dec 2007

The acclaimed actor-musician revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company — directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle — will be broadcast on PBS stations around the country in February 2008.

The broadcast, according to the 2007-2008 "Great Performances" season brochure, is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2008.

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This is a general post of music stuff that I've loaded. There will probably be a few more posts of this nature up until the weekend of the 22nd.

Or else, if people have specific requests coming from the (as yet to be updated) list here, you can make requests... :)

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Will Raúl Esparza Make a Leap of Faith to Broadway?

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Why even mention this... I have vague memories of Ms Kassebaum doing a March reading with Raul Esparza for this production. :)

The question becomes... if I see The Receptionist, and the Pinter play Homecoming, along with a performance of Young Frankenstein, Xanadu, and maybe Legally Blonde... where does the space for another performance of Wicked (with Block/Ashford) appear?

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A partial recap of the journey there and back. :)

There are no photos taken from the June 22, 2007 evening show at Curtains - simply because the camera I had was without flash, and took pictures that looked like I'd dragged everything through a bog and back.

Giant pictures here )

The Wicked and Musical Theatre mumbles )
Oh Raul. :( Seeing the notice on Playbill and BWW was already painful enough, but now the NYT has devoted a bit of e-space...

Despite Honors, Misery for ‘Company’

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So the production of Company itself wins but Raul Esparza did not. :X

I'm a bit mixed on that - I mean, Raul! O+O;

I'm not certain that I liked the staging for Being Alive, but guess that it was what it was, even though, I was hoping that the rest of the cast could be there to cheer Raul on.

I saw all the production pieces for this telecast and was amused that The Apple Tree's Gorgeous was part of the segment closeouts... O+O;

Spring Awakening.

:: sigh ::
Happy Tony Sunday :) I'm running around on errands (and humming Company songs)... that, and Assassins' music. O+O;

Well... there's ever so many renditions of Someone Else's Story (from Chess) based upon the various cast recordings.

I even have a rendition from Gunilla Blackman.

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So the Drama Desk Awards have been handed out...

YaY! to Company for the Lead Actor prize for Raul Esparza, Orchestrations to Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and top prize for the Best Revival of a Musical. :)

It was interesting to note that the original and current orchestrators of Company (Jonathon Tunick and Mary-Mitchell Campbell) shared the prize. :) That, and the two revival Roberts -- Raul Esparza (2006) and Boyd Gaines (1995) -- were taking home awards :)

Utopia and Spring Awakening Win Top Honors at Drama Desk Awards
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Or should I say, from Bobby with love...

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Instead of dealing with two batches of laundry, I've opted to listen to Promises, Promises and re-imagining Michael Bennett's Turkey Lurkey Time choreography in my mind... :)

Or, I could be talking about Company and de-constructing the production(s), the actors, and the lyrics...

Not to mention that rather drive one person around the bend constantly rambling about Company and deconstructing the songs, I might as well write it out and get it out of the rabbit warrens of my mind... ;)

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