Jennifer Tepper is the Creative and Programming Director at Feinstein’s/54 Below. This means that she coordinates all of the shows that go on at Broadway’s supper club. She is also a renowned theater historian. She has written three books (so far) in The Untold Stories of Broadway series. In each of these books, Jennifer collects stories from current and former Broadway theaters.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the current revival of Hello, Dolly!, especially around its star, Bette Midler. Starting on June 13, Donna Murphy began playing Dolly Gallagher Levi on Tuesday evenings. It is absolutely worth seeing Hello, Dolly! twice because Donna Murphy is giving a sensational performance as the meddling matchmaker.
Hello, Dolly! chronicles the exploits of Dolly Levi (Donna Murphy) as she tries to convince a Yonkers businessman, Horace Vandergelder, to marry her. While their boss heads to NYC to march in a parade, Horace’s employees, Cornelius (Gavin Creel) and Barnaby (Taylor Trensch) head to NYC as well on a mission to find love. Also wrapped up in Dolly’s shenanigans are a widowed hat saleswoman, Irene Malloy (Kate Baldwin), and Horace’s niece, Ermengarde (Melanie Moore).
When visiting NYC from California in 2009, I begged my mom go see 9 to 5 on Broadway for my 17th birthday. I had heard Stephanie J. Block sing “Get Out and Stay Out” on the recording, and I knew that I had to see and hear her perform that song live. I knew that Stephanie had played Elphaba in Wicked on tour and on Broadway, and I was in awe of her talent. Of course, I was blown away by her performance as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5. 8 years after seeing the show, I listen to that cast album all the time. Continue reading
I grew up listening to Laura Michelle Kelly on cast recordings. I loved the recording of her as Hodel on the 2004 cast recording of Fiddler on the Roof. Of course, I also loved her on the London cast recording of Mary Poppins as the title character.
When I first saw her in Finding Neverland at the American Repertory Theater (ART), I was thrilled at the opportunity to see her perform live. Her performance as Sylvia Llewlyn Davies mesmerized me. She brought such warmth and strength to the role. I ended up seeing the show *many* more times both at the ART and on Broadway.