Thursday, October 23, 2008


Ok, kids! Grab a cup of coffee or a cocktail (depending on the time of day...) and settle in! This post has "all the news that's fit to print...and then some!"

First off, a fabulous time was had by all with the incomparable AMANDA McBROOM and MICHELE BROURMAN. You missed a p-a-r-t-y if you missed that show.
I just can't thank these delightful and TALENTED ladies enough. What a TERRIFIC show...

I was in the big, bad Apple for the annual Broadway Cabaret Festival, which is an excellent opportunity for me to view potential Artists to bring to ACT. Being the superstitious fella that I am, I won't put in print who is being considered for the 09/10 Season, but if ya call me I might tell ya!
At the convention...
I got to see some of my pals, like esteemed writer and critic Roy Sander:

And my fellow Cancerian and longtime show-biz buddy Doug Ladnier, who was performing at the convention:
Also got to visit with Liz Callaway, and Alex Rybeck, both Austin Cabaret Alumni.
Producer Scott Siegel always puts together a grand convention, with diverse artists.
Thanks, Scott!

The best part of being in New York was my best big city pal JODY JACKSON came with me. The moment we stepped out of the hotel and I offered her my arm, she cried out "At last, my arm is whole again!!!" I guess that makes me Mrs. Lovett.

Beyond the convention, I was able to take in some other entertainment, as well...starting with the revival of EQUUS on Broadway. Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe lead the strong cast in this classic by Peter Shaffer. I will forego the temptation to make a joke about seeing Harry Potter's magic wand (oops, guess I did it anyway...). The production values were stunning, the acting superb.

Also on tap was the new musical Billy Elliot direct from a successful London premiere. The show at the Imperial Theatre was quite good...I liked it but didn't love it.
On Thursday I went to DON'T TELL MAMA's to see Seth Rudetsky's Chatterbox. This is a weekly "must-do" as each week Seth brings in a different B'way star in an informal "talk-show" format. His guest was Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and Tony winner for IN THE HEIGHTS...

...which I saw last season and loved. Look for Lin-Manuel's work in the revival of WEST SIDE STORY coming soon to Broadway. He is doing the lyric translation for the songs that are sung by the "Sharks," which will all be in Spanish. Great concept...

I took in the play TO BE OR NOT TO BE, based on the movie(s) of the same title. Mother always told me that if I couldn't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Hmmm...the sets were pretty.

I also attended the opening night party of ALL MY SONS. Very swanky, very exclusive. Very ME! (ha-ha-ha...)
I went as the "date" of dear bud Armando Licon, who does the wigs for GREASE on Broadway, and cuts the men's hair for ALL MY SONS...

...and he was able to get me into AMERICAN IDOL star ACE YOUNG's dressing room for a visit. Ace just stepped into the role of Kenicke in Grease. He is so gracious, charming, kind, and sweet. Thank you, Ace, for taking time to chat. And I'm serious about coming to Austin...your voice would be wonderful on the Great American Songbook...(write to him thru his website and tell him so, everyone!!!!!)
That's right, alone with Ace...but don't worry, he totally plays for your team, girls.
And he really is gorgeous. I kinda hate him.
My friends Sara and Craig (Sara is with Sterling Affairs, the folks responsible for the amazing food at ACT, The Mansion, and The Long Center) were in town and we managed to squeeze in some time together, including dinner at my favorite Chez Josephine and it's brilliant "host-with-the-most" Jean-Claude Baker. We brunched at 44x10, and hit some of the sights...

Saturday brought me the matinee of A TALE OF TWO CITIES, The Musical. Picture a Lifetime Television mini-series based on the Dicken's novel as a musical. Yep.
Then, truly from the ridiculous to the sublime, I caught my friend Patrick Page (brilliantly portraying King Henry opposite Frank Langella's Sir Thomas Moore) in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. What an honor to take in that performance. Thanks for the fabulous seats, Patrick!!!

Monday night was an especially hysterical diversion, with CELEBRITY AUTOBIOGRAPHY at the Triad.
This wacky, wonderful show features a rotating cast of stars...our night included Kristen Johnston (worth the price of admission to hear her read from Mr. T's autobiography...), Matthew Broderick, Sherri Shepherd (hysterical as Elizabeth Taylor...), Seth Rudetsky, Susie Essman, and Eugene Pack. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Especially at the litany of food likes and dietary avoidances of Mr. Neil Sedaka. Crazy.

As if that wasn't enough, we followed it up with the tail end of the concert by Asian internet anomole Wing (my ears are still bleeding) and JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY! (don't forget, he's coming to Austin Cabaret Theatre in January!!!)

Tuesday night I caught ACT and Trading Spaces diva PAIGE DAVIS in the Broadway revival of BOEING BOEING (Paige, you ROCK with those tickets! THANKS!). My sides still hurt from laughing. Not only was Paige terrific (SO much fun to see her play a "brassier, more brazen" role than I'm used to!), but the entire ensemble knocks it out of the park. I also was able to visit with Broadway, TV, Film, and BOEING star CHRISTINE BARANSKI backstage after the show, in a meeting that Paige was kind enough to set up...we were discussing the possibility of an ACT appearance. Be still, my beating heart. Yes, kids, she's interested!

We went with fellow TS Designer Hildi and her gorgeous Mom, and followed up the show with dinner and drinks at Bar Central, where Katie Holmes was dining at the next booth. Only in New York.
If you're still with me at this point, congrats--you have more stamina than Lance Armstrong! I finished out the trip by seeing the Mamet play SPEED THE PLOW (for which a little stamina was also needed...). A huge thank you to the fabulous Irene Candy for arranging the seats. Jeremy Pivens was wonderful, Raul Esparza very strong, didn't like Elizabeth Moss. The best part was taking it in with my "separated-at-birth-fellow-Broadway-queen" Tommy O'Malley, who came down from Boston so we could catch up and laugh. Tommy used to be the arts features writer and critic at the Austin American-Statesman, who often would get us some great press. God, I miss him!!!
So that's it...EXCEPT that I am reminding you to get your tickets to KEVIN SPIRTAS at Austin Cabaret me at 453-2287. More about that next time...
PLEASE POST A COMMENT AT THE LINK BELOW if you aren't completely comatose by now.


Linda Ball said...

You know I hang on your every word, diva boy.

texas toast said...

Your blog just showed up in my google alerts. But, Ace Young, Austin (TX?), and American Songbook? All of those sound fantastic to me!!

brandon said...

That is insane.

While you were doing that, we watched 24 straight episodes of Dora the Explorer.

Scott said...

Stuart, I nearly died when I crossed that photo of Christine B. The trip sounds fantastic and I know we will benefit as continuing audience members at ACT.

Tommy Jordan said...

a happy reunion indeed. i can't wait to see brian in december!