Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Entertainer Nick Lachey will be the keynote speaker for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati’s 2011 achievement luncheon in April, organizers have announced.
“Nick was very gracious. He responded back immediately and said he would be honored. He’s very pro-Cincinati and does a lot of work with kids,” says Diane Weber, director of marketing and development for Boys & Girls Clubs.
Lachey, a Cincinnati native, rose to fame with his band 98 Degrees. His current music and television projects include hosting the second season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” a reality singing competition.
The event is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers of the year. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati provides a free meal and afterschool and summer programs for 12,000 children ages 6 to 18 throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
The annual event, which will honor the “Youth of the Year,” will be held on April 29 at the Schiff Conference Center at Cintas Center, Xavier University. To help sponsor or to purchase tickets ($100) or tables ($1,000; $3,000 patron level) call 513-421-8909, ext. 15.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
By Alice T. Carter, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
July 21--"Hairspray" is a musical about big hair, big hips and big hearts.
The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera production that runs through Aug. 1 adds a fourth H: hit.
An animated, energized cast, swiftly paced directing and lively dance numbers create a show that sparkles with good vibes and abundant humor.
A musical adaptation of John Waters' 1988 cult film, "Hairspray" returns to Baltimore in 1962, when televised teenage dance party shows were the equivalent of reality TV, bouffant hair was both literally and figuratively big and racial segregation was legally enforced.
The story follows the journey of Tracy Turnblad, a chubby teen whose ambitions are to dance on the Corny Collins show and win the heart of its teen idol star, Link Larkin. But Tracy's sense of justice is even bigger than her ambitions. She willingly risks losing Link and her spot on the show as she fights to win the rights of blacks to dance alongside their white peers.
Director and choreographer Barry Ivan has wisely packed his 29 with at least 10 performers who have previously performed the musical on Broadway or elsewhere.
That prior experience lends depth and polish to many of the lead roles, most notably those of Katrina Rose Dideriksen as the perky, principled and fearless Tracy Turnblad, Paul Vogt as Tracy's outspoken, doublewide-sized mother Edna, Jim J. Bullock as Tracy's dad Wilbur, Niki Scalera as Tracy's nerdy but loyal friend Penny and Ashley Spencer as Tracy's vapid rival, Amber Von Tussle.
There's a particularly nice rapport between Vogt and Bullock as Tracy's affectionate parents that made their duet "(You're) Timeless to Me" a big hit with the opening night audience.
Also notable is Luba Mason who brings a Cruella de Ville zest for evil to her role as Velma Von Tussle, the producer of the Corny Collins show and Amber's mother and Kecia Lewis-Evans as the big voiced Motormouth Maybelle who cuts loose with two spirited, inspirational songs "Big, Blonde & Beautiful" and "I Know Where I've Been"
Nor should we ignore two versatile performers: Stuart Marland creates a trio of distinct individuals as show sponsor Harriman F. Spritzer, plus-size dress shop owner Mr. Pinky and a high school principal and Madeleine Doherty who delightfully mines the comedy in her roles as Penny's intolerant mother, Prudy Singleton, a no-nonsense gym teacher and an authoritative matron at the local lockup.
Michael Kadin Craig plays a properly bland and decent Link Larkin, Tracy's love interest.
Former 98 Degrees singer and "Dancing With the Stars" champion and host Drew Lachey appears as Corny Collins.
The show does possess two obvious disappointments, however.
The show's ensemble of talented, well-rehearsed dancers may indeed be, as their song proclaims, "The Nicest Kids in Town," but they look a tad mature to be representing The Corny Collins Show's high schoolers.
More confusing is Tracy's petite presence.
What makes Tracy the sympathetic outsider we root for is her plus-size figure.
Attempts to plump up Katrina Rose Dideriksen with some lumpy below the waist padding do not disguise or fill out her obviously svelte body. The result is that the numerous nasty references about her girth that Amber and her mother hurl at her puzzle more than they sting.
Lending sparkle, color and interest to the show are sets by David Rockwell and costumes by William Ivey Long whose designs were used in the 2002 original Broadway production.
Providing a snippet or two of American history, an abundance of good-willed humor and lively, upbeat music, "Hairspray" delights.
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010
By Irina Khodorkovsky
20 Jul 2010
Drew Lachey, Paul Vogt and Ashley Spencer star in Hairspray, which opened as part of the summer season at the Pittsburgh CLO.\ The cast of Hairspray, which opened July 20 and will run through Aug. 1, features Lachey ("Dancing with the Stars") as Corny Collins, Vogt (Broadway's Hairspray) reprising his performance as Edna Turnblad, E. Clayton Cornelius (A Chorus Line) as Seaweed, Kecia Lewis-Evans (Shrek) as Motormouth Maybelle and Ashley Spencer ("Grease: You’re the One That I Want") as Amber von Tussle.
Here is a look at the production:
Monday, July 19, 2010
Drew Lachey sang his way to stardom in the boy band 98 Degrees in the late 1990s. In 2006, he waltzed through the second season of "Dancing With the Stars." For the next two weeks, he will be singing and dancing in Pittsburgh CLO's "Hairspray" at the Benedum Center as the eccentric and animated dance show host Corny Collins.
The musical was adapted from the 1988 John Waters film "Hairspray" in 2002. Set in the 1960s during a time of racial tension and social injustice, teen Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big dreams, longs to dance on The Corny Collins Show.
Corny, who fears losing his job, rejects Tracy from the audition because of her size and a black girl, Little Inez, because of her race.
"Corny wants to be a trendsetter, but he needs a little kick in the pants from Tracy," Mr. Lachey says. "He needs to be shown the way because he feels like he has a lot to lose, but if Tracy can put herself out there and take a risk then he can, too."
This isn't the first Broadway show for the good-humored and down-to-earth Mr. Lachey. A few years back, he played narrator Mark in "Rent" and King Arthur's assistant Patsy in Monty Python's "Spamalot."
Mr. Lachey, 33, always hoped to pursue Broadway and was thrilled when he got to audition for "Rent" in 2005.
"I was very intimidated and scared," he said. "I worked harder than I ever worked in my life doing Broadway. I have the utmost respect for people who do musicals -- eight shows a week, no break [and] you get one shot to do it right. ... It's the pinnacle of performing in my opinion."
Learning the choreography and music in a limited amount of time can be difficult, "but all of those challenges are outweighed by the reward," he says.
His role in "Rent" gave him the confidence he needed to compete in "Dancing With the Stars" and ultimately helped him win the dance competition.
"Coming from a boy band and the pop world, there are certain things you do, and you don't do anything that won't make you look cool," he said. "Broadway was really responsible for me doing well on that show because it helped me let my guard down and open myself up to different roles and different personas. 'Rent' helped me put my personal ego and embarrassment aside."
Mr. Lachey grew up in Cincinnati and joined the Army straight out of high school. After the service, he moved to New York and drove an ambulance for a year. After receiving one fateful page from his brother Nick Lachey in 1995, he became the fourth member of 98 Degrees.
"I was driving an ambulance and my brother paged me. ...He said that one of the guys quit, and they were really close to getting signed. So I quit my job, moved to L.A. [and then] we got signed to Motown Records."
The band toured nationally and internationally and sold more than 10 million records worldwide. Mr. Lachey played a few shows in Pittsburgh while touring, but this is his first extended time here.
"Pittsburgh is a sports-oriented town. ... They love their football, they love their baseball, and I love the fact that the Pirates are in last place and the Reds are in first," joked the proud baseball fan.
"I'm from Cincinnati, and there are a lot of characteristics about Pittsburgh that remind me a lot of home. ... I feel comfortable here. There's a really strong arts and cultural community you don't get in a lot of non-major cities. You can tell just by walking around. There are so many theaters in just this two-block area."
After "Hairspray," Mr. Lachey plans to spend some time with his wife and two children. He will host a live show in Las Vegas for a few weeks and then head to L.A. for meetings.
"It's a never-ending cycle. Whether I'm on stage or on TV, I'm always working. I want to continue to do [Broadway]. There are shows I haven't done that I would love to do. I'm not tired of theater yet, and I hope it's not tired of me."
Friday, July 16, 2010
Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees Live in Manila! - CANCELED/POSTPONED! (July 16, 2010, 8:30PM, Aliw Theater)
July 15, 2010
More or less 10 days ago, I kinda said that the tickets to Jeff Timmons' concert on July 16, which is tomorrow, at the Aliw Theater were sold out.
But, I guess I was wrong. I kinda had a hint that something was wrong already during that time. But I was just somewhat thinking positively...that the concert would still push through.
But, no, it won't anymore.
I called up Ticketworld this morning and they told me that, yes, indeed, Jeff Timmon's concert was canceled/postponed and that there were no any other information or updates about it.
I just couldn't believe that none of the organizers announced anything about this ahead of time. I was really disappointed.
For those of you who have bought their tickets already, you may call Ticketworld to claim your refund. Just proceed to their main office (7F Vicente Madrigal Bldg., Ayala Ave., Makati City) and present your ticket to get your refund. You may also contact them at 891-9999.
I'll be going there tomorrow.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Looks like an older video but enjoy it anyway
Singer stops by to 'check in' and take batting practice with the Tacoma Rainiers, a team he co-owns.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010; Posted: 04:07 PM - by BWW News Desk
Audiences will be whisked away to 1960s Baltimore when Pittsburgh CLO presents Hairspray July 20 - August 1 at the Benedum Center. Adapted for the stage from John Water's 1988 film, Hairspray ran on Broadway for over six years and has since become a toe-tapping hit all over the world.
Set in Baltimore in 1962, the energetic Hairspray tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a larger-than-life personality with a big ‘do and big dreams of dancing on the local "Corny Collins Show." However, when she wins a spot on the program, Tracy must take on the show's dancing queen and the challenge of integrating a television show, all while trying to win the heart of teen celebrity Link Larkin. Hairspray's enthusiasm is contagious as it follows Tracy's passionate push for fairness and acceptance in a time of change. Featuring songs such as "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now," "You Can't Stop the Beat" and "Good Morning, Baltimore," this Tony® Award-winning musical will have audiences singing and dancing all the way home.
ABOUT THE CAST
Drew Lachey (Corny Collins) comes to Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Best known for winning ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" in 2006, he was also a member of the pop group 98 Degrees, along with his brother Nick. His film credits include "The Wisher" and "The Comebacks." He has also appeared on television's "As the World Turns," "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." Mr. Lachey has appeared on Broadway in Rent (Mark Cohen) and Spamalot (Patsy).
Jim J. Bullock (Wilbur) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut as Wilbur after playing the role on the first National Tour of Hairspray. His theater work includes End of the World Party (off-Broadway) and the west coast premiere of When Pigs Fly, in a performance acclaimed by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. His television credits include "The Hollywood Squares," NBC's "Alf," "The Jim J. and Tammy Faye Show," Nickelodeon's "Ned Declassified" and six seasons as Monroe on ABC's "Too Close for Comfort." He has also worked in film with such noted directors as Blake Edwards in "Switch" and Mel Brooks in the cult classic "Space Balls."
Michael Kadin Craig (Link Larkin) makes his Pittsburgh CLO debut after performing in the closing cast of the off-Broadway show Altar Boyz. Other NYC credits include High School Musical 2 and HSM Yearbook with Disney Theatricals, Broadway's Leading Men IV at Birdland, Lincoln Center's Only Children and Joe Iconis's Things to Ruin at Joe's Pub and Ars Nova. Regionally, he has portrayed Troy in HSM 1 & 2, Jonathan in tick...tick...BOOM!, and Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. He was also seen on the second season of "American Idol" as a Hollywood Finalist.
Katrina Rose Dideriksen (Tracy) makes her Pittsburgh CLO debut. She reprises the role of Tracy from the Toronto production, the National Tour, and the Luxor production in Las Vegas opposite Harvey Fierstein. Other credits include the Carnegie Hall performance of Jerry Springer: The Opera, the GLSEN benefit performance of Zanna, Don't and Bernice Bobs Her Mullet in the New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Kecia Lewis-Evans (Motomouth Maybelle) joins Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. Her Broadway credits include Big River, Ain't Misbehavin', Once on This Island, Chicago and The Drowsy Chaperone. She also played the role of The Dragon in Shrek: The Musical during its tryout run in Seattle, and appeared in the National Tour of Dreamgirls. Her television credits include "Crossing Jordan," "The Hughleys" and "Law & Order."
Stuart Marland (Male Authority Figure) returns to Pittsburgh CLO after performing as Christopher Belling in Curtains and as Roger DeBris in The Producers. He also appeared as Father Michael in 2004's Lunch. He has appeared on Broadway in Xanadu (understudy for Tony Roberts), Beauty and the Beast, Jekyll & Hyde and Cyrano - The Musical. National Tours include The Producers, Seussical with Cathy Rigby, Evita, Ragtime, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Sarah Brightman, The Who's Tommy, A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies and The King and I. Recent regional and stock roles include Les Miserables, Run For Your Wife, Dames at Sea and Man of La Mancha.
Luba Mason (Velma von Tussle) makes her Pittsburgh CLO debut. On Broadway, she has appeared in Chicago, Jekyll & Hyde, Paul Simon's The Capeman, the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business..., The Will Rogers Follies and Sid Caesar & Company. Regional credits include The Ten Commandments, Pippin and A Class Act. She has also made television guest appearances on "Raines," "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order," "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." Ms. Mason has released two solo albums ("Krazy Love" and "Collage") and can be heard as a guest vocalist on Ruben Blades' 2003 Grammy® Award-winning album "Mundo."
Rashad Naylor (Seaweed J. Stubbs) joins Pittsburgh CLO for the first time. His Broadway credits include understudying the role of "Seaweed" and originating the role of "Thad" in the original Tony® Award-winning company of Hairspray. Mr. Naylor recently concluded his run in the Chicago production of Jersey Boys. Other credits include Des McAnuff's reimagining of The Wiz and The Rat Pack: Live from Vegas.
Niki Scalera (Penny Pingleton) makes her Pittsburgh CLO debut as Penny after playing the role on Broadway. Her other Broadway credits include Tarzan and Jake's Women. She has also performed off-Broadway in The American Dream with James Naughton and Richard Greenberg's Vanishing Act. Regional theater credits include We Will Rock You, Putting It Together, and Our Town with Hal Holbrook, and television appearances include "Loving," "All My Children," "Another World," and the Emmy-nominated ABC Afterschool Special "Don't Touch." Ms. Scalera is an NYU Tisch graduate.
Ashley Spencer (Amber von Tussle) debuted with Pittsburgh CLO as Eponine in last summer's Les Misérables. She joins Pittsburgh CLO this season as Niki Harris in Curtains and Ulla in The Producers in addition to her role as Amber. She was a finalist on the NBC television series "Grease: You're the One that I Want!" and appeared in the National Tour of Barbie Live in Fairytopia. Her Broadway credits include Hairspray (Amber von Tussle) and Grease (Sandy Dumbrowski).
Paul Vogt (Edna Turnblad) reprises the role of Edna in his Pittsburgh CLO debut after playing the character on Broadway in 2007. He first gained recognition as a regular cast member on NBC's summer series "The Rerun Show" and is best known for his work on the hit television sketch series "MADtv." Mr. Vogt's film credits include "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement," "Raising Helen" and "Valentine's Day." He has also appeared on television as a guest star on "Chicago Hope," "Arrested Development," "Hannah Montana," "Grey's Anatomy" and a recent episode of "Glee." Mr. Vogt has received critical acclaim for his work onstage, including productions of Assassins, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Happy Days: The Musical.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION STAFF
Barry Ivan (Director and Choreographer) most recently directed this summer's Pittsburgh CLO production of Miss Saigon, which is currently playing at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Mr. Ivan served as the director and choreographer for the first-ever regional production of Hairspray at North Shore Music Theatre in 2006 and as director for Pittsburgh CLO's previous production of Miss Saigon in 2003. He has directed and choreographed numerous other Pittsburgh CLO shows, including Les Misérables, Smokey Joe's Café, The Full Monty, A Little Night Music, Company, Anything Goes, and West Side Story. Mr. Ivan's productions of Hairspray and The Full Monty have received Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards for Best Musical. He has also been IRNE nominated as Best Director for his productions of Les Misérables and Nine.
Tom Helm (Music Director) returns for his 15th season with Pittsburgh CLO, where he has been the musical director for more than 40 productions, including this summer's Miss Saigon, Curtains and The Producers, and 2009's Les Misérables, Barry Manilow's Copacabana and Into the Woods. On Broadway, he was the musical director of Les Misérables, Me and My Girl and the revival of Brigadoon. Mr. Helm was also the musical director for the First National Tour of Cats and conducted Cats on Broadway early in its historic run. Mr. Helm is the resident music director at Paper Mill Playhouse, where he has been the conductor for more than 30 productions. He is also the musical supervisor for live theater productions of Diego Live, Blue's Clues and Dora the Explorer.
John McLain (Lighting Designer) has spent more than 20 years designing nearly 75 productions for Pittsburgh CLO. Other credits include National and International productions of musicals, ballet and opera. Mr. McClain has also designed for Ice Capades, Radio City Music Hall, The Lido in Paris and Jubilee for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Reno. He has represented every major regional theater and opera company in the United States. In the summers, Mr. McClain divides time between Pittsburgh CLO, Theater of the Stars in Atlanta and the Dallas Summer Musicals. He has designed productions of Porgy and Bess across the globe and his national and regional credits include Rugrats, Camelot, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The King and I, The Sound of Music and Bombay Dreams.
HISTORY OF THE SHOW
In 1988, John Waters, an American independent filmmaker, wrote and directed "Hairspray." Distributed by New Line Cinemas, the film featured Ricki Lake as Tracy Turnblad, Sonny Bono as Franklin von Tussle, Jerry Stiller as Wilbur Turnblad, and drag queen personality Divine as Edna Turnblad. While the film did not see large success at the box office, it gained a cult following after its release on home video in the mid-1990s. After watching Waters' film, theater producer Margo Lion envisioned a stage version of the musical comedy. She invited Marc Shaiman and his partner, Scott Wittman, to write the score and lyrics, and asked Jack O'Brien, noted director of The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California to direct.
Following a short tryout run at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle in July 2002, Hairspray opened in previews at the Neil Simon Theater in New York on August 15, 2002. The show netted advance sales of $12 million by opening day. The original cast featured Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Marissa Jaret Winokur as Tracy Turnblad, Laura Bell Bundy as Amber Von Tussle, Kerry Butler as Penny Pingleton, and Matthew Morrison as Link Larkin. During the 2003 awards season, the show was nominated for 13 Tony® Awards and won eight, including the honors for Best Musical, Original Score, Book, Direction, Costume Design, both Leading Actor and Actress, and Featured Actor. It also took home 10 Drama Desk Awards and two Theatre World Awards. In 2007, the success of the show inspired a remake of the original movie, which starred John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Zac Efron, and Nikki Blonsky as Tracy.
After running for more than six years, Hairspray closed on Broadway on
January 4, 2009 after 2,642 performances. Both Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur returned to reprise their iconic roles in the final cast. Successful productions of Hairspray have since opened all over the world, including London, Toronto, Johannesburg, Stockholm, and Shanghai, as well as various touring versions of the show in the United States.
ABOUT THE ORIGINAL CREATIVE TEAM
Marc Shaiman (Music and Lyrics) began his career as a vocal arranger for Bette Midler before becoming her musical director and co-producer. He is a prolific arranger and television/film composer whose work can be heard in "When Harry Met Sally," "Sister Act," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "Saturday Night Live." His career includes five Academy Award nominations, an Emmy Award, and 2003 Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk Awards for his work on Hairspray.
Scott Wittman (Lyrics) has worked with Marc Shaiman for over thirty years, and the pair served as executive producers of the 2007 movie remake of Hairspray. He conceived, wrote lyrics for, and directed Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me on Broadway, and has directed concerts featuring stars such as Kristin Chenoweth, Christine Ebersole, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone and Martin Short. He is currently collaborating with Shaiman and Terrance McNally on a musical version of Catch Me If You Can.
Mark O'Donnell (Book) is a writer and cartoonist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, as well as several novels and comic collections. He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the George S. Kaufman Award. Together with co-writer Thomas Meehan, he won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for his work on Hairspray. The pair was also nominated in 2008 for the book of Cry-Baby.
Thomas Meehan (Book) was a frequent contributor of humor pieces to The New Yorker before winning a Tony Award in 1977 for Annie, which was his Broadway debut. Since then, he has authored shows including I Remember Mama, Bombay Dreams, and Young Frankenstein, taking home two more Tony's for both The Producers and Hairspray. He is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild, and has collaborated on several screenplays, the most recent of which was Elf.
Jerry Mitchell (Choreographer) began his career nearly thirty years ago as a dancer in the revival of Brigadoon. He has since staged numerous shows, including Hairspray, for which he was nominated for both Tony and Drama Desk Awards. In 2005 he won the Tony Award for La Cage aux Folles, while simultaneously nominated for his work on Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Most recently, he served as both choreographer and director of Legally Blonde: The Musical. He has also worked on Love Never Dies, Andrew Lloyd Weber's sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, as well as the new musical Catch Me If You Can.
TICKETS FOR THE 2010 SUMMER SEASON
Tickets for Hairspray start at $26.50 and are available online at pittsburghCLO.org, by calling 412-456-6666 or at the Box Office at Theater Square. Groups of 10 or more may call 412-325-1582.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy
POSTED: Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2010Stephanie A. Clark; The News Tribune
The celebrity co-owner of the Rainiers, Nick Lachey, will be visiting the team today at Cheney Stadium. He will be participating in batting practice at 2:45 p.m.
Lachey, Rainiers co-owner Kirby Schlegel, and Lachey's girlfriend, Vanessa Minnillo, will be attending the Mariners game against the Chicago Cubs tonight at 7:10 p.m.
The group are also scheduled to make an appearance for the second game of the Rainiers doubleheader against the Salt Lake Bees tonight at Cheney Stadium. The teams will play two 7-inning games. The second game is scheduled to begin 25 minutes after the end of the first. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with the first game starting at 6 p.m.