January 10, 2017
New John Denver Musical Tunes Up for San Francisco Run
Back Home Again is aimed for New York, but is in no hurry.
Back Home Again, Stuart F. Lane’s musical that uses the John Denver songbook to tell the story of an Afghan war veteran trying to find his place in life after his return to America, will get its first full production January 11-21 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA, near San Francisco.
The musical, which uses 16 Denver hits like "Rocky Mountain High,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” and “Take Me Home, Country Road" to tell the original story by Lane, has been in development for six years, Lane told Playbill.com.
Lane described himself as an admirer of Denver’s, and not just for his music. “His songs promoted humanity, the environment, home, and family.” Lane envisioned a stage show that would not be a revue or a concert, but “a completely new, original, dramatic story where the songs move along the plot and engage the audience. I wanted to give context to the songs so the audience can see them in a new light.”
Back Home Again, which draws its title from another of Denver's pop hits, is about “a soldier searching for himself and finding it through his family and his girlfriend,” Lane said.
The California production features Maddie Shea Baldwin, Shawn Bowers, Brian Russell Carey, Brad Greer, Michael James, Jessica Jaunich, Sarah Killough, Jeff McCarthy, Ethan Steiner, Billy Harrigan Tighe, Kalyn West, and Whitney Winfield.
The Walnut Creek production is directed by Sheldon Epps, choreographed by Patricia Wilcox, with scenic design by John Iacovelli, costume design by Nicole Wee, lighting design by Jared A. Sayeg, sound design by Rafe Carlotto, with music direction, arrangements, and orchestrations by David O. Casting is by Stewart/Whitley.
Here are some examples of how the songs are used. “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” which was written by Denver but better known as a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary, was Denver’s ballad about how he hated to leave home and go on concert tours. It has been repurposed as the soldier’s song of farewell to his fiance as he goes off to war. “Rocky Mountain High” becomes a story about how the soldier’s grandfather finds salvation through nature in the mountains.
An early draft of the show was done at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center on Long Island, followed by workshops in Manhattan after Epps came aboard as director. “John Denver [1943-1977] was an amazing troubadour,” Lane said. “The arranger, David O, has done an amazing job with John’s songs, turning solos into duets, trios and choral interpretations.”
Early in the show’s development, Lane was given the John Denver Spirit Award for his work in keeping the songs alive, and introducing a new generation to the spirit of Denver’s work.
But while he said he’d eventually like to see it done in New York, he is in no hurry, and is planning a series of productions elsewhere in the U.S. “This kind of show has a huge audience everywhere but New York. With the exception of Waitress, country-Western songs have had a checkered history on Broadway. San Francisco will be a great place to start. It’s outsdoorsy, but there are plenty of theatre people. After that we can go almost anywhere; Texas, Oklahoma, you name it.”
Lane has lofty expectations for the project. “I think we have a great American musical here that will unify the country, and help bring us together,” he said. “It’s a very positive show.”
The show is being produced by Lane‘s wife and business partner Bonnie Comley, and Harold Thaw; co-produced by Alex Washer, Leah Lane, and Alyssa Renzi; and associate-produced by Jay Hershkowitz.
Tickets can be ordered at lesherartscenter.org, by phone at (925) 943-7469, or at the Lesher Center box office at 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA.
December 20, 2016
Holiday Inn Will Stream Live on
Following the success of the She Loves Me live
stream, Roundabout has teamed up with the
online streaming service a second time.
BroadwayHD is set to live stream Roundabout Theatre Company’s Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical on January 14, 2017, at 8 PM ET. The performance will be captured live on 14 high-definition cameras at Studio 54 and available to watch on BroadwayHD.com.
BroadwayHD monthly and annual subscribers worldwide will also be able to watch the Holiday Inn live stream on Chromecast and BroadwayHD’s Roku, Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone apps.
The live streaming service, which launched in 2015, made history this summer with the first ever live stream of a Broadway show—She Loves Me, another Roundabout production. Following the success of the capture, the theatre and BroadwayHD are partnering together once again.
“Roundabout Theatre Company has been a great partner since the live stream of She Loves Me and we are thrilled for the opportunity to work with them again,” said BroadwayHD co-founders Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley in a press statement. “Holiday Inn is an incredibly special show that deserves to live on, particularly because of the iconic Irving Berlin score and captivating choreography performed by a stellar cast. Roundabout Theatre Company has once again put on a visually stunning production and we are honored to be able to share the magic with a larger audience.”
Holiday Inn, which began previews on Broadway September 1 and officially opened October 6, currently stars Bryce Pinkham, Danny Rutigliano, Megan Lawrence, Megan Sikora, Corbin Bleu, and Lora Lee Gayer. The new musical features music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge, inspired by the 1942 film.
The Broadway production is directed by Greenberg, with choreography by Denis Jones, and is scheduled to close January 15, 2017—just two days after the live stream.
“In the few months since we began, over 3,000 students and teachers have been given the opportunity to see and hear the magic of Irving Berlin performed by a cast of the most talented actors on Broadway at free or reduced rates,” added Todd Haimes, Roundabout Theatre Company’s artistic director/CEO. “It’s imperative to Roundabout that our shows remain accessible to everyone. So we are overjoyed now to bring the best of Broadway to audiences who otherwise wouldn’t be in NYC to see us live.”
In addition to exclusive live-streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 160 theatre productions. Following the live stream on January 14, the captured footage of Holiday Inn will be edited and made available to subscribers. This performance of Holiday Inn will be produced in association with Thirteen Productions LLC and Universal Stage Productions, and directed for the screen by David Horn.
Holiday Inn features over 20 classic songs from the Berlin catalogue, including “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “Shaking the Blues Away,” “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek” and “Heatwave.” It tells the story of Jim, who leaves the bright lights of show business for the peace and quiet of a Connecticut farmhouse.
The complete cast also includes Malik Akil, Will Burton, Barry Busby, Darien Crago, Caley Crawford, Jenifer Foote, Morgan Gao, Matt Meigs, Shina Ann Morris, Catherine Ricafort, Drew Redington, Amanda Rose, Jonalyn Saxer, Parker Slaybaugh, Samantha Sturm, Amy Van Norstrand, Travis Ward-Osborne, Paige Williams, Victor Wisehart, Kevin Worley, and Borris York.
November 15, 2016
Founders of BroadwayHD and More Set for TRU's November 'Live Streaming' Panel Tonight!
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) and The Playroom Theatre present the November panel Live Streaming and Digital Capture: Bringing Theater into the 21st Century, tonight, November 15, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at The Playroom Theater, 151 W. 46th Street, 8th floor, NYC 10036. Doors open at 7 p.m. for networking and refreshments; roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30 p.m.. For more details visit truonline.org/events/an-introduction-to-tru.
Panelists will include Broadway producers Stewart F. Lane (Tony Award-winning producer for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Will Rogers Folliesand La Cage Aux Folles) and Bonnie Comley (Tony Award-winning producer for Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, War Horse and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), co-founders of BroadwayHD; Benjamin Birney, Vice President of Technology and Business Affairs for BroadwayHD; Kathryn Jones, CEO of VirtualArtsTV.
Learn the distinctions between live streaming and digital capture, and how to incorporate them into your development plans, as well as use them for marketing and exposure and to extend the life and value of your creative property. We'll look at a broad spectrum of possibilities, from the relatively small budget opportunities from VirtualArtsTV and others, to the major productions archived by BroadwayHD and made accessible to an entire market of potential audience members. With expert guidance on the complicated licensing hurdles that sometimes need to be dealt with.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30 p.m. - come prepared with your best one-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; usually $12 for non-members, but free for everyone for this season opener. Please call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212-714-7628; or e-mail TRUStaff1@gmail.com.
The Playroom Theater, a small theater with a purpose on West Forty Sixth Street. Created by longtime theatrical producer Eric Krebs, The Playroom Theater features a 62-seat boutique theater, appropriate for rehearsals, readings, auditions, producers' presentations and workshop productions. Conceived of as an artists' workspace for writers, directors, composers, actors, producers and others committed to the professional theater arts and its industry. "The idea of The Playroom has grown out of my desire to create a small and financially manageable space in the heart of the theater district," commented Krebs. "I want this to be a place where industry professionals can pop over for a reading, a backer's audition or a small production of a work in progress." For more information on The Playroom Theater, call Frankie Dailey, General Manager, at 212-967-8278.
Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-four year old 501c3 nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-Producing Artists as well as career producers and theater companies.
TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents the TRU VOICES Annual New Play Reading Series and Annual New Musicals Reading Series, two new works series in which TRU underwrites developmental readings to nurture new shows as well as new producers for theater; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program whose mentors are among the most prominent producers and general managers in New York Theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop the business skills they need. TRU serves writers through a Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab; programs for actors include the Annual Combined Audition, Resource Nights and "Speed Dating" as well as actor workshops.
Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by public funds awarded through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, 9th district Council Member Inez Dickens; and with support from the Montage Foundation and the Friars National Association Foundation.
Since its launch in 2015, BroadwayHD aims to extend the reach of Broadway to fans old and new, anytime and anywhere. BroadwayHD is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering viewers an unprecedented Broadway experience and access to exclusive live streams. In June of 2016, BroadwayHD made history with the live stream of "She Loves Me," marking the first-ever Broadway live stream. In addition to exclusive live streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 150 Theater Productions from the comfort and convenience of their own homes-or wherever streaming is possible. It's the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.
For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit www.truonline.org or call 212 714-7628.
October 25, 2016
Broadway Revival of SHE LOVES ME Coming to Theaters Nationwide This December!
Fathom Events will team with theatre streaming service, BroadwayHD, to bring select live and captured-Live Theatre performances to U.S. movie theaters. The critically acclaimed Roundabout Theatre Company production of SHE LOVES ME will be the first title offered in cinemas nationwide on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. local time. In addition to the performance, this one-night cinema event will include exclusive interviews with the cast (Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Jane Krakowski) and creative team.
Fathom Events and BroadwayHD will partner to bring select domestic (Broadway/Off-Broadway) and international (London's West End) theatre performances to U.S. cinemas. The partnership is expected to bring a diverse lineup of productions to cinemas each year, giving moviegoers an up-close and personal front-row experience.
Tickets for "She Loves Me" can be purchased beginning Friday, October 28, online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 500 select movie theaters. For a complete list of theater locations visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
Watch the promo for the event below:
"She Loves Me" was the first Broadway musical to stream live during a performance at Roundabout Theatre Company's Studio 54, as part of Roundabout's 50th Anniversary Season. In the musical, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti and Tony Award-nominee Zachary Levi star as Amalia and Georg, two parfumerie clerks who aren't quite the best of friends. Constantly bumping heads while on the job, the sparring coworkers can't seem to find common ground. But little do they know, the anonymous romantic pen pals they have both been falling for happen to be each other. Will love continue to blossom once their identities are finally revealed?
This performance of "She Loves Me" was produced and captured by BroadwayHD in June, in association with Ellen M. Krass Productions, Inc. and Thirteen Productions LLC. It was directed for the screen by David Horn. The acclaimed Broadway production was directed by Tony Award-nominee Scott Ellis. In addition to Benanti and Levi, "She Loves Me" also starred Tony Award-winner Jane Krakowski and Tony Award-nominee Gavin Creel, alongside Byron Jennings, Tom McGowan, Peter Bartlett and Nicholas Barasch.
"We are proud to share this production with audiences nationwide, after making Broadway history with the live stream of 'She Loves Me,' the show that launched Roundabout's Musical Theatre Program in 1993. As a nonprofit institution, this is an incredible opportunity for us to share Scott Ellis's new Broadway production beyond our subscribers, donors and students from our limited run at Studio 54," said Todd Haimes, Roundabout Theatre Company's Artistic Director / CEO.
"The best part about seeing theatre performances in cinemas is the ability to watch with an audience of fans and experience the energy of the community in the auditorium. The 2016 multi-Tony Award-nominated 'She Loves Me' is the perfect title to debut this big screen experience for Broadway lovers nationwide," said Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh. "Now anyone can see amazing Broadway talent in their local movie theater."
"We are thrilled to partner with Fathom Events to bring 'She Loves Me' to audiences nationwide," said BroadwayHD co-founders Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley. "Once again, we are working to preserve and extend the reach of Live Theatre. Many fans couldn't make it to NYC before this exhilarating Broadway production shut its doors. We captured 'She Loves Me' in June so we could share it with theatre lovers everywhere. This partnership allows us to take it one step further and bring the Broadway stage to cinemas in hometowns across the country."
About Fathom Events Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema, and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Owned by AMC Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: AMC), Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) (known collectively as AC JV, LLC), Fathom Events offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events that include live, high-definition performances of the Metropolitan Opera, dance and theatre productions such as the Bolshoi Ballet and National Theatre Live's Hamlet, sporting events like FS1 Presents USA v Mexico, concerts with Roger Waters and One Direction, the TCM Presents classic film series and faith-based events such as The Drop Box and Four Blood Moons. Fathom Events takes audiences behind the scenes and offers unique extras including audience Q&As, backstage footage and interviews with cast and crew, creating the ultimate VIP experience. Fathom Events' live digital broadcast network ("DBN") is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 887 locations and 1,354 screens in 181 Designated Market Areas (including all of the top 50). For more information, visit www.fathomevents.com.
About BroadwayHD Since its launch in 2015, BroadwayHD aims to extend the reach of Broadway to fans old and new, anytime and anywhere. BroadwayHD is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering viewers an unprecedented Broadway experience and access to exclusive live streams. In June of 2016, BroadwayHD made history with the live stream of "She Loves Me," marking the first-ever Broadway live stream. In addition to exclusive live streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 150 Theater Productions from the comfort and convenience of their own homes-or wherever streaming is possible. It's the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.
Roundabout Theatre Company is committed to producing the highest-quality theatre with the finest artists, sharing stories that endure, and providing accessibility to all audiences. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the production of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate and engage all audiences.
Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals, and new works on its five stages. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and BLACK BOX Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design, is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. The Stephen Sondheim Theatre offers a state of the art, LEED-certified Broadway theatre in which to stage major large-scale musical revivals. Together these distinctive homes serve to enhance Roundabout's work on each of its stages.