Playbill Press Release: Lesli Margherita and Josh Lamon Will Star in Emojiland Musical Off-Broadway
October 31 2019
The new musical Emojiland, a Grand Jury Selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival, will play a limited Off-Broadway engagement January 9–March 8, 2020, at The Duke on 42nd Street. Returning to preside over the kingdom of emojis will be Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Princess and Josh Lamon (The Prom, Groundhog Day) as Prince, with additional casting to be announced at a later date. Thomas Caruso will direct.
The production will also have choreography by Kenny Ingram (The Lion King), musical direction by Lena Gabrielle (Endangered!), scenic design by David Goldstein, costume and make-up design by Vanessa Leuck, lighting design by Jamie Roderick, sound design by Ken Goodwin, and projection design by Lisa Renkel and Possible Productions with casting by Chad Eric Murnane of Binder Casting.
Indecent at the Cape Rep is Anything but
September 24 2019
I have to begin this review with a caveat: nothing I can write will do justice to Indecent or to Cape Rep’s production of this “true story of a little Jewish play.” It may well be the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen on stage. There’s dancing. There’s music. There’s joy and pain and transcendence—and everything in between.
It’s not just the cast that’s exceptional. I’ve already touched on Maura Hanlon’s direction; her touch is deft and generous. Ryan McGettigan’s scenic design is spare and elegant. Lisa Renkel’s projection design—I don’t want to give anything away here—is inspired. Herrick Goldman’s lighting design, Robin McLaughlin’s costume design, Ashlea Potts Beilis’ choreography, David Kornfeld’s musical direction are all absolutely top-notch.
Cape Rep Theatre Presents Indecent
August 19 2019
Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel's deeply moving new play with music is inspired by the true events surrounding the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance-a play seen by some as a seminal work of Jewish culture and by others as an act of traitorous libel. Indecent charts the history of an incendiary drama and the path of the artists who risked their careers and their lives to perform it.
Indecent will be directed by Cape Rep's Associate Artistic Director Maura Hanlon with musical direction by David Kornfeld, scenic design by Ryan McGettigan, costumes by Robin McLaughlin, lighting by Herrick Goldman, projection design by Lisa Renkel and Holly Hansen will stage manage.
ILLUMINATI LIZARDS FROM OUTER SPACE Comes to NYMF
June 14 2019
Sci-Fi fans and conspiracy theorists are getting their very own musical comedy this Summer, as ILLUMINATI LIZARDS FROM OUTER SPACE descends upon Manhattan - as part of the New York Musical Festival, July 8 - 13th at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre. The production features Music & Lyrics by Yuri Worontschak and Book & Lyrics by Paul Western-Pittard. Joey Murray directs. Casting is soon to be announced.
When beauty-pageant contestant Tina Lyons is cheated out of her rightful first place in the finale of a Ms. Beautiful World competition, she admits herself into the Savra Wellness Centre for Spiritual and Mental Wellbeing to rebalance her life. Little does she know, she's accidentally checked-in to a top-secret operation run by Illuminati-lizard Overlords using the hospital as a cover. They're on a mission to colonize the planet. The problem is - they're awful at their job and they're running out of time before the mission is canceled and planet earth is annihilated.
Broadway Bares Reveals 2019 Theme
May 1 2019
Broadway Bares will head to the skies—in a sense—for its 2019 incarnation at Hammerstein Ballroom. This year's annual benefit, set for June 16 at 9:30 PM and midnight, is titled Broadway Bares: Take Off. The evening of burlesque and dancing will make airfare sexy, with jet-setting numbers taking audiences to international locales as over 150 dancers take on the roles of (likely scantily clad) pilots, flight attendants, tour guides, and more. Laya Barak, who co-directed last year’s Broadway Bares: Game Night with Nick Kenkel, will return to helm this year's festivities, joining Tony winner Jerry Mitchell as an executive producer as well. Special guests will be announced later.
Broadway Bares was created in 1992 by Jerry Mitchell, then a Broadway dancer, as a way to raise awareness and money for those living with HIV/AIDS. The 28 editions of Broadway Bares have raised more than $19.1 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Tickets start at $65, with VIP packages featuring premium reversed table seating, cocktail party access, and more. For more information, visit BroadwayBares.com.
Variety Concert Review: Lady Gaga Kicks Off a Very Good Romance With Vegas
December 29 2018
Some Oscar campaigns are way better than others. Mind you, it’s probably just the luck of the clock that “Lady Gaga Enigma,” the highly spectacular, long-in-the-works show that opened Friday night in Las Vegas, happens to be kicking off in the heart of awards season. Gaga did blurt out toward the close of opening night that she hopes to extend her residency at the Park Theater from the currently scheduled 11 months to two to three years, at which point the words “for your consideration” will be a very distant memory. Still, if there’s an exact opposite to what happened when “Norbit” came out in the midst of Eddie Murphy’s “Dreamgirls” hopes, it has to be the sight of Lady Gaga singing and dancing her well-toned heart out, reminding 5,200 people a night that pretending to be a mousy brunette is, while a considerable skill, just one of about a thousand…
Live Design Press Release: HG Lighting Design Launches Evoke Collaborative
November 27 2018
“At Evoke, we tell stories and exist to help others tell theirs,” comments Goldman, founder and principal designer. “Evoke Collaborative provides our clients and fellow artists with the technical knowledge, creativity, and industry resources necessary to fashion world class experiences. Be they in a theaters, arenas, museums, galleries, architectural installations, TV or film studios; Evoke offers a talented coterie of artists to support any project that requires lighting, media, or a vision that will move people and create memories that persist in the mind of the audience. At the core, Evoke Collaborative is a team of experienced professionals delivering premium design services expanding the boundaries of what we’ve already achieved. Consistently creating more artistic and complex projects.”…
PLSN Press Release: Herrick Goldman of the Award-Winning Firm HG Lighting Design Joins Forces with a team of Designers to create Evoke Collaborative.
November 26 2018
NYC – Building on years of successful collaborations within the lighting and production industry, HGLD has launched Evoke Collaborative to better serve clients on larger and more diverse projects in the U.S. and afar. Teaming up with Lisa Renkel, and Brad Peterson (projection design), Kara O’Grady (lighting design and project management), and Jonathan Talley, and Lois Catanzaro-Gordon (lighting design), the Evoke team represents a broad array of talented artists with experience in diverse disciplines.
More details from Evoke (evokecollaborative.com)
Playbill Release Article: Lynda Gravátt, Kara Young, More to Star in The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd Off-Broadway
August 14 2018
Kara Young will lead the cast of the world premiere of Jonathan Payne’s The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd, directed by Awoye Timpo at the Playwrights Realm. Part social satire, part detective story, the new play follows Karma (Young), a teenage girl searching for her foster brother in the Oblong—a fictional inner city isolated by poverty...
New York Times Review: ‘Emojiland’ and a Graceful Elegy at the New York Musical Festival
July 22 2018
“Emojiland” takes place inside a smartphone, in a digital mini-world peopled with emojis, and its hero looks about the way you’d think: like an undiluted dweeb — though, since this is a pop musical, the chartreuse frames on his glasses are kind of fabulous.
“My name’s Nerd Face,” he says, and with a jolt of laughter from the audience, our hero has arrived. A newcomer to Emojiland, Nerd Face was installed with the latest update. And the moment he spies Smize — that’s short for Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes, and she’s not as happy as she seems — the show fizzes with rom-com effervescence. With book, music and lyrics by the married team of Keith Harrison, who makes a darling Nerd Face, and Laura Nicole Harrison, who is a winning Smize, it’s about a society that builds a wall to keep newcomers out, only to discover that the menace to its survival already lurks within.
The wall is a firewall, actually, its construction ordered by the bossy, baby-voiced Princess (the Olivier Award-winning Lesli Margherita, a daffy blast to watch), who’s been feeling threatened ever since the update abruptly added a Prince (Josh Lamon, ditto) to the realm. They fear that future updates could further dilute their power.
Directed by Thomas Caruso against a backdrop of clever projections (by Lisa Renkel)...
Stage Directions: The New York Innovation Theatre Foundation Announces 2018 Nominations
July 24 2018
On Monday, July 23, 2018, The New York Innovative Theatre Foundation (NYIT), the organization who for the past 14 years has been dedicated to celebrating Off-Off-Broadway, announced the 2018 nominees at its annual event, The IT Party. The 2018 recipients will be awarded from a pool of 157 individual artists, 53 different productions, and 52 different theatre companies.
Nominated productions were seen on stages in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. In the past 14 years, the IT Awards have honored over 2,500 artists, over 700 productions and over 650 companies...
Outstanding Innovative Design Nominations
Sangmin Chae & Bo sul Kim for Video Design Panorama, LaMaMa Experimental Theater Club
Waldemart Klyuzko for Projection Design 1917-2017:Tychyna, Zhadan & the Dogs , Yara Arts Group in association with La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
Joe Moro for Projection Design Only You Can Prevent Wildfires, Ricochet Collective
Matt Reeves for Projection Design Pericles: Born in a Tempest, Hunger & Thirst Theatre in association with The Guerilla Shakespeare Project
Lisa Renkel for Projection Design Outside Paducah: The Wars at Home, Poetic Theater Productions
Eric Wright for Puppet Design A Real Boy, Ivy Theatre Company