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.
Kara Lindsay made her Broadway debut in Disney’s Newsies in 2011. While the show is based on the 1992 film, Kara played Katherine Plummer, a character original to the stage version of the show. Luckily, Kara’s performance was preserved on film, and you can buy it digitally on iTunes or Amazon. Kara’s portrayal of Katherine in Newsies is full of pluck, charm, and energy. Her performance of “Watch What Happens” is the highlight of the show.
The musical follows Princess Anne (Stephanie Styles) of an unnamed European country who decides she needs a taste of how non-royals live as she ends her European tour in Rome. Anne runs away from her country’s embassy and happens upon a reporter for American News Service, Joe Bradley (Drew Gehling). Sensing a story, Joe takes Princess Anne on a tour of Rome. Joe also invites along his friend Irving (Jarrod Spector), a photographer, to take photos to accompany his news story. Continue reading
I’ve been a huge fan of Sara Bareilles’ music since the first time I heard “Love Song” on the radio. When I heard that she was writing a musical, I knew that I had to see it. The music Sara writes has a beautiful storytelling quality that I knew would lend itself well to musical theater.
When I saw Waitress at the ART in Cambridge, the show’s score entranced me. It sounded just like the Sara Bareilles music that I loved so much. The music that Sara wrote for Waitress ranges from upbeat and funny to heartbreaking and poignant. She has a unique ability to write music that can move anyone who hears it.