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Entertainment, Arts & Music Events Latest News

Mondo NYC Ignites in Hip Williamburg

Mondo NYC Ignites in Hip Williamsburg

Mondo NYC ignites in hip Williamsburg this week from October 15 thru 18. The Brooklyn conference brings emerging music and ‘frontier’ technology to the forefront along with music showcases — scattered around the big Apple.

Music mogul and philanthropist Michael Dorf (Citi Winery) and civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton are among the distinguished inspiring speakers.

Check out the full schedule at mondo.nyc.

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News

MOJO’s BENEFIT CONCERT for KIDS with CANCER

MOJO’s Benefit Concert for Pediatric Oncology Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Mojo's Benefit Concert for Pediatric Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Care

Six World Renowned Acts

 Featuring MOJO & THE BAYOU GYPSIES
with Face Off Unlimited, Clinard Dance, Addi & Jacq, Baritoned  and Face Vocal Band

WHAT:  MOJO’s Benefit Concert for Pediatric Oncology Care & Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)

WHEN:  Saturday, January 13, 2018
7:00PM to 11:30PM

WHERE:  Connolly’s Klub 45 (Times Square)
121 West 45th St • New York, NY 10036
(Cash Bar & Food for Purchase)

DONATIONS = TICKETS*

TICKETS*: $25 (GA) – $100 (VIP)
See below for full Donation Levels for Tickets 

*100% of Donation/Ticket Price Benefits MSKCC

TO DONATE FOR TICKET: MOJO Concert/MSKCC Donor Page

(KEEP YOUR RECEIPT for CONCERT ENTRY)

YOUR DONATION DOUBLES as CONCERT ENTRY)

*Donation Levels for Tickets:
$25 Donation   = SRO
$50 Donation   = GA Seating
$100 Donation = VIP with Table Seating

ONLINE ONLY TICKET PACKAGES!
$225 Online Donation = 10 SRO Admissions
$450 Online Donation = 10 Seated Admissions
$900 Online Donation = 10 VIP Admissions with Table Seating


PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

MOJO & THE BAYOU GYPSIES
9:00PM & 10:15PM
“When MOJO moves in… the place ROCKS!” Chicago Tribune

FACE OFF Unlimited @ 7:30PM
Laugh your face off! “Really funny!” The New York Times

CLINARD DANCE @ 8:00PM
“A contemporary dance company rooted in flamenco” MacArthur Award Grantees

Addi & Jacq @ 8:30PM
Recently crowned the “best emerging band in NYC”!

Baritoned @ 9:45PM
“A farcical concert trio that will dazzle your senses!”

FACE Vocal Band @ 10:45PM
“Blending modern popular tunes with complex harmonies,
brilliant beat-box rhythms and superb singing!”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is the largest privately operated non-profit cancer center in the world. MSKCC is dedicated to caring for patients with cancer, advanced research, and training healthcare professionals in the specialties and sub specialties of cancer care.

Sponsored by:
MOJO & The Bayou Gypsies
Abbe Sparks Media Group
Socially Sparked News
UIA Presents

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News Socially Sparked!

Why Women Roar for Equality

I Am Woman Hear Me Roar

Why do women roar for equality? It is incredulous that in 2017, this question still needs to be answered. But, after a recent personal encounter with a millennial young woman, I realized the importance of reiterating to the masses of men and women why women roar for equality. Our next generations of women fully need to comprehend why they are partaking in events as The Women’s March.

why woman roar for equality
“Joy” – the young millenial woman and the inspiration for this story. Photo credit: Abbe Sparks

“I AM STRONG, I AM INVINCIBLE, I AM WOMAN”

 

A new Off-Broadway Musical called ‘This One’s For The Girls’ is the impetus behind the question. Written by Dorothy Marcic, the show takes the audience through the decades of a woman — from the 1900s to present day — portraying the roles of women through drama and song. Forty of the Top 40 Hit songs about women are thread throughout the production including “Stand By Your Man,” “I Want to be Loved by You,” “Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend,” “I Will Follow Him,” “You Don’t Own Me,” “Respect,” ‘I Am Women” and “This Girl’s on Fire.”

why women roar for equality
Traci Bair, Aneesa Folds, Haley Swindal in ‘This One’s For the Girls’. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

One of the scenes depicts the original American teenage girls from the 60s, waiting anxiously by the old-fashioned phone for a boy to call. We’re talking pre-cell phones, internet, Facebook, Snapchat and the like. It was at that point, that the young millennial women named Joy turned to me asking if that really happened?

Incredulous, right? It was at that point that I realized how uninformed our next generation — especially of women — are on the hows and whys of the women’s movement. I am guestimating that most of the young girls and women who advocated and walked during this year’s Women’s March were clueless on how long the female sex has been striving for equality and the long history of why women are roaring now.

w.

why women roar for equality
Left-Rt: The Stars Jana Robbins, Aneesa Folds, Haley Swindal, Traci Bair. photo credit: Carole Rosegg, Broadway World

Couple that with a backdrop of slides showing photographs of prominent women and men over the century who have helped to frame the woman’s role such as civil rights activist Rosa Parks, heart throbs Bobby Darrin and David Cassidy, women’s advocate Gloria Steinhem, Actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jane Fonda, musician Janice Joplin — the list is endless.

why women roar for equality

Ignorance Is Not Bliss When It Comes To Women’s Equality

“Every mom should be taking their daughter to see this show. And, wouldn’t it be fabulous if their sons would see it, too?” — Abbe Sparks, Socially Sparked News

As a mother to a millennial, I speak the truth when I say, “every mom should be taking their daughter to see this show. And, wouldn’t it be fabulous if their sons would see it, too?” I repeat, “ignorance is not bliss” but an eye opener to the evolution of a women’s role in society and the women’s movement.

I leave you with a quote I heard from Together For Girls‘ Daniela Ligiero cited from an ancient Chinese proverb.

“When Sleeping Women Wake, Mountains Move.”

Abbe is Socially Sparked ! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01

‘This One’s For The Girls’, written by Dorothy Marcic is playing open-ended at St. Luke’s Theatre Off-Broadway in New York City. Visit their website for ticket information. http://thisonesforthegirlsthemusical.com

 

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News

SHE HAS A NAME Opens Off-Broadway 10/26

Ripple Effect Artists Reprise of SHE HAS A NAME Opens Off-Broadway 10/26 at The Sargent Theatre

A Ripple Effect Artists Presentation of the play by Andrew Kooman

 

she has a name opens off-broadway
Featured: Actress Jessica Grant as Number 18/Voice #1 in SHE HAS A NAME

Ripple Effect Artists will reprise its 2017 Off-Broadway production SHE HAS A NAME, the critically-acclaimed play by Andrew Kooman about sex trafficking at the Sargent Theatre from October 26 thru November 5 for nine performances. In conjunction with October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, each performance includes an educational talk-back by experts and/or survivors, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Gems (Girls Educating & Mentoring. Each show begins at 8:00pm, plus four matinees: October 28, 29, November 4 & 5. Tickets are $40 general admission and can be purchased through Ripple Effect Artists website:  https://ripple-effect-artists-inc.ticketleap.com/she-has-a-name-reprise/   The Sargent Theatre is located at 314 West 54th Street, NYC. Ripple Effect Artists is an actor’s equity 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that moves audiences from apathy to action through art, creating a Ripple Effect.

SHE HAS A NAME tells the story of a young lawyer, who poses as a john to build a legal case against a brothel ring that is trafficking young girls internationally. His investigation centers on NUMBER 18, a girl forced to work as a prostitute, and discovers that her testimony is key to proving his case. Can he convince her to risk her life to testify for the sake of justice? The play is haunted by voices who usher Number 18 to her fate.

Playwright Andrew Kooman and Ripple Effect Artists re-worked the script to SHE HAS A NAME to create a United States version. For the Reprise, the brothel takes place in Los Angeles instead of abroad. The original SHE HAS A NAME toured across Canada from May to October 2012. In conjunction with the tour, A Better World raised money to help women and children who had been trafficked in Thailand as part of the country’s prostitution industry. This play received strong endorsement from Canadian activists, including MP Joy Smith, Ratanak International’s Brian McConaghy, and IJM Canada’s Jamie McIntosh. The play’s premiere and initial run were critically acclaimed. In the 2012 tour across Canada, SHE HAS A NAME was performed in several fringe theatre festivals, at which critics representing the Montreal Gazette, the Winnipeg Free Press, and CFEQ-FM said it stood out for its quality and moral content.

Ripple Effect Artists, Inc. is an actor’s equity 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that addresses injustice and causes social impact through art – primarily by producing masterful plays – presenting them along with talkback discussions in partnership with educators and advocacy groups. These events, their education plus their game-changing philanthropy cultivate empathy, shift audiences from APATHY to ACTION, and create a RIPPLE EFFECT in the larger community.  www.rippleeffectartists.com

 

===============================================

she has a name opens off-broadway

WHAT: SHE HAS A NAME, Ripple Effect Artists’ production of the critically-acclaimed play by Andrew Kooman

WHEN: October 26, 27, 28, 29 and November 2, 4 & 5

TIME:  8:00pm – 10:00pm all dates, plus 4 matinees

MATINEES:     October 28,   2:00pm – 4:00pm

October 29,   3:00pm – 5:00pm

November 4, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

November 5, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

 

TALKBACKS: 10:00pm – 10:30pm

WHERE: The Sargent Theatre, 314 West 54th Street, NYC

TICKET PRICE*: $40

TICKET WEBSITE: https://ripple-effect-artists-inc.ticketleap.com/she-has-a-name-reprise/

*A portion of the proceeds benefit Gems (Girls Education & Mentoring Services) and Ripple Effect Artists, Inc.

FACEBOOK: http://facebook.com/rippleeffectartists

 

she has a name opens off-broadwaySYNOPSIS: SHE HAS A NAME tells the story of a young lawyer, who poses as a john to build a legal case against a brothel ring that is trafficking young girls internationally. His investigation centers on NUMBER 18, a girl forced to work as a prostitute, and discovers that her testimony is key to proving his case. Can he convince her to risk her life to testify for the sake of justice? The play is haunted by voices who usher Number 18 to her fate.

 

ABOUT SHE HAS A NAME: Playwright Andrew Kooman and Ripple Effect Artists re-worked the script to SHE HAS A NAME to create a United States version. For the Reprise, the brothel takes place in Los Angeles instead of abroad. The original SHE HAS A NAME toured across Canada from May to October 2012. In conjunction with the tour, A Better World raised money to help women and children who had been trafficked in Thailand as part of the country’s prostitution industry. This play received strong endorsement from Canadian activists, including MP Joy Smith, Ratanak International’s Brian McConaghy, and IJM Canada’s Jamie McIntosh. The play’s premiere and initial run were critically acclaimed. In the 2012 tour across Canada, SHE HAS A NAME was performed in several fringe theatre festivals, at which critics representing the Montreal Gazette, the Winnipeg Free Press, and CFEQ-FM said it stood out for its quality and moral content.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: THE ISSUE

Trafficking of women and children globally is a $32 Billion industry. Many people think this is only a third world issue, but that is not true. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that between 2008 and 2010, 83% of sex trafficking victims found within the U.S. were U.S. citizens, and 40% of those victims were children. In NYC alone, it is a $1 Billion industry. Only a few months ago, The New York Post uncovered a Brooklyn Brothel that was secretly a front for human trafficking. Furthermore, the majority – upwards of 85% in some states – of trafficked children have had contact with the foster care system. Our nation’s foster care systems do not have the appropriate resources to address the epidemic of trafficking minors. The Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act (H.R.469) will change this by providing child welfare agencies with training and guidelines for working with youth who have been or currently are victims of trafficking.

 

ABOUT RIPPLE EFFECT ARTISTS: Ripple Effect Artists, Inc. is an actor’s equity 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that addresses injustice and causes social impact through art – primarily by producing masterful plays – presenting them along with talkback discussions in partnership with educators and advocacy groups. These events, their education plus their game-changing philanthropy cultivate empathy, shift audiences from APATHY to ACTION, and create a RIPPLE EFFECT in the larger community.  www.rippleeffectartists.com

 

 

PRODUCTION TEAM:

Director: Jana Robbins

Stage Manager: Heather Klein

Executive Director, Jessie Fahay

 

CAST:

Ali/Voice 4 ……………………………………………………………………Jessica Jennings

Marta/Voice 3………………………………………………………………..Jessie Fahay

Voice 1/Number 18…………………………………………………………Jessica Grant

Mama/Voice2…………………………………………………………………LeDawna Akins

Jason/Pimp…………………………………………………………………….Tim Dowd

 

 

 

Categories
Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News Socially Sparked!

April Finale Showers Unity for Jazz Day

April finale showers unity today for International Jazz Day. A fitting ending to the month of Jazz Appreciation.

jazz day
April 30th marks the 6th annual International Jazz Day. Featured: Legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes at NYC’s iconic Blue Note. photo by Abbe Sparks

April 30th marks the sixth annual International Jazz Day highlighting the virtues of jazz as an educational tool and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people. The intent of jazz day is to foster greater appreciation not only for the music but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.

International Jazz Day is celebrated in a different global host city each year. In partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, International Jazz Day
highlights the power of jazz as a force for freedom and creativity, promotes intercultural dialogue through respect and understanding, and unites people from all corners of the globe.

Whether you are a jazz promoter, jazz lover or newbie to the world of jazz, there are many ways to celebrate the day. For a complete list of events around the world visit: jazzday.com/events. Here are a few suggestions:

 

Havana, Cuba: The All-Star Global Concert at the historic Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, the Cuban Institute of Music, and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO will be live streamed on JazzDay.com (April 30, 9 pm EDT), and will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the international art form of jazz.

 

New York City: All Sides of Ella with Ulysses Owens, Jr. & Friends with drummer/music director Ulysses Owens, Jr.; pianist Allyn Johnson; trumpeter Alphonso Horne; bassist Alex Claffy; and vocalists Brianna Thomas and Alyson Williams.

In just the past few years, Ulysses Owens, Jr. has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with artists including Christian McBride, child prodigy Joey Alexander, Steve Wilson, Mulgrew Miller, Steve Nelson, the Swing Collective, and the New Century Jazz Quartet. Already one of today’s most high-profile sidemen, this GRAMMY® Award winner and DownBeat Rising Star has recently stepped into a leadership role and assembled some top-shelf groups. Tonight’s band features a monster lineup similar to the one Owens led in 2016’s Celebrating Ellington and Beyond program. This year, they’ll be honoring the many sides of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald as part of their Ella Fitzgerald Festival. This show is highly recommended for any kind of jazz fan.

 

Chicago: The Jazz Institute of Chicago’s International Jazz Day Celebration event at The Chicago Cultural Center.

In celebration of International Jazz Day, the Jazz Institute of Chicago honors the diversity of jazz and its ability to forge new connections by featuring two ensembles that represent the global influences of the music. Mexican drummer Gustavo Cortiñas presents music from his new album “Esse,“ which “gathers fellow musicians from Chicago to contemplate, through composition and improvisation.” Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan performs a blend of American jazz, Gypsy jazz, Flamenco, and folk music

So, however you choose to honor the day — Enjoy!

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Events Latest News

Project NextUp HEROES April 15

HER Original Empowering Stories

 

HEROES is April 15 in NYC
Project NextUp’s second edition of HEROES (HER original empowering stories) is April 15 in NYC

ProjectNextUp, in partnership with the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, will present the second edition of HEROES (HER Original Empowering Stories) on April 15, 2017 in New York City. HEROES brings men and women of all ages into the conversation of reshaping the narrative of leadership and success in the music and entertainment industry. Themed Against All Odds, the day will highlight the stories often untold of groundbreaking women–with the intention to strengthen and create a bolder next generation.

 

ProjectNextUp's photo.
       
       WHEN:     SATURDAY, APRIL 15, 2017, 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT

WHERE:  NYU’s GLOBAL CENTER, 238 THOMPSON ST., NYC

TICKETS:   $35.00 (Last Minute Price) http://bit.ly/tixHEROES17

 

 

HEROES will feature talks, panels and networking as well as one-one-one professional development. Ticket holding attendees will have the opportunity to apply for a morning 1-on-1 Power Session with a speaker (first-come, first-served). Attemdees will be paired with someone who matches their interests and goals providing them an opportunity to spend quality time discussing personal goals and growth. These are specific and targeted conversations for professional development.

 

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News

In Memoriam: Al Jarreau 1941 – 2017

In Memoriam: multi-Grammy award-winner Al Jarreau died today at the age of 76.  Just days after announcing his retirement and on the day of music’s biggest night, comes a blow to his many family, friends, colleagues and fans across the globe.

In his honor, we share one the all-time favorite love songs. Thank you Al Jarreau. RIP.

 

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Causes Entertainment, Arts & Music Events Latest News

An Evening of Broadway Love Songs Benefiting The Actors Temple

A Wing & A Prayer: An Evening of Broadway Love Songs Feb. 13

Benefiting Historic Actors’ Temple & Theatre Space

 

 

NEW YORK –An Evening of Broadway Love Songs benefiting the historic Actors’ Temple, a New York City-based synagogue and Off-Broadway Theatre Space will take place on Monday, February 13th from 8-10 pm at The Actors’ Temple, 339 West 47th Street. As The Actor’s Temple begins to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the special Evening of Broadway Love Songs serves as the kick-off event to help raise funds for the construction of an ADA-accessible restroom facility at the Temple/theatre building as well as to raise awareness of its history and upcoming centennial. A presentation of The Florence Belsky Charitable Foundation  (Flobel), the musical evening’s host will be NYC-based theater director, actor and performance coach Lee Kasper; with multi-talented composer, arranger and pianist Josh Freilich as Musical Director and FloBel Executive Director Daniel Schneider as executive producer. Joining them will be a cast of talented performers; friends from the Broadway community, the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts and beyond. Tickets for the benefit range from student prices to VIP level; $10 to $50, with a post-show VIP after-party. To purchase tickets visit: http://ActorsTemple.flobel.org.

The February 13th kick-off event is designed to connect the next generation of artists with those who helped build Broadway and the American entertainment industry. In addition to raising funds, a primary purpose of the evening is to renew the Actors’ Temple and Theatre Space’ tradition of being a meeting place for young and old performers from throughout the world, who have chosen to make NYC their home.

 

 

 

LISTING:

 

WHAT:  An Evening of Broadway Love Songs Benefit for the Historic Actors’ Temple & Theatre Space, a kick-off event celebrating its centennial to raise funds for construction of an ADA-accessible restroom facility. The evening will connect next generation of artists with those who helped build Broadway and the American entertainment industry — renewing the 100-year-old tradition of serving as a meeting place for performers from around the world.

 

WHERE:     The Actors’ Temple
           339 West 47th Street, NYC

WHEN:      Monday, February 13th
           8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

PRICE:     Student Level: $10. VIP Level: $50
TICKETS:   http://ActorsTemple.flobel.org.

DONATIONS: www.theactorstemple.org

LINKS:     An Evening of Broadway Love Songs
           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sscgip1M3A8

 

 

A WING & A PRAYER: AN EVENING OF BROADWAY LOVE SONGS

Presented by The Florence Belsky Charitable Foundation

CAST/CREDITS:

HOST………………………………………………………………………………………..Lee Kasper

MUSICAL DIRECTOR………………………………………………………………..Josh Freilich

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER……………………………………………………………Dan Schneider

Tor Hyams & Lisa Rothauser

Rebecca Kuznick

Michael Linden

Isabella Kearney

Lauren Schorr

Madeline Rhodes

Michael Kushner

Evan Kremin

 

#SaveTheActorsTemple  #YouGottaHaveShtick      #SaveTheCoolShul

 

About The Actors’ Temple

The Actors’ Temple was founded in 1917 as the West Side Hebrew Relief Association. Its leaders were Orthodox Jews who owned shops in the rough-and-tumble district called Hell’s Kitchen, at the time one of the world’s busiest steamship ports. The founders borrowed a Biblical nickname for God, Ezrath Israel, “the One who assists Israel,” as the name for their benevolent little Jewish community center. They provided a place where actors could be accepted and feel at home. The actors introduced their friends to the synagogue, and the rest, as they say, is history. http://www.theactorstemple.org/about-us

About The Florence Belsky Charitable Foundation. Florence Belsky was an avid and generous supporter of the creative arts and numerous cultural institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera; the New York Public Library; Ellis Island Wall of Honor and the Metropolitan Museum. The Foundation’s mission emphasizes “Connecting People, Sharing Ideas, Empowering Each Generation to Teach the Others.”

 

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Latest News

Ripple Effect Artists Appoints Abbe Sparks to Board of Directors

rea_logo14224687_1099404853469298_6945877852367867058_nI am so honored and delighted to announce that I have accepted a Board of Director’s position with Ripple Effect Artists, Inc., a dynamic off-Broadway theatre company and 501 (c) 3 organization that uses the power of theatre to address social injustices and shifts audiences from Apathy to Action – creating a ripple effect in the larger community.

SHE HAS A NAME will premere January 17th at The Electra Theatre, NYC
SHE HAS A NAME will premere January 17th at The Electra Theatre, NYC

On January 18, 2016, Ripple Effect Artists will premiere the Andrew Kooman play SHE HAS A NAME* at NYC’s The Electra Theatre to show how Human Trafficking occurs as a global epidemic. The production will be followed by an educational, talk-back conversation with audiences including the following organizations: Girls Education and Mentoring Services, Safe Horizon, Polaris Project, as well as two Psychotherapists. A portion of box office proceeds will be donated to these organizations. Additional dates are: January 25th and February 1st. For tickets visit: REArtists:She Has A Name. Watch for details about a Spring 2017 theatrical run.

You can DONATE now to support Ripple Effect Artists and their mission by visiting https://rally.org/REASHAN

Donate to Ripple Effect Artists in support of ending human trafficking
Donate to Ripple Effect Artists and show your support for their mission and work

*SHE HAS A NAME will soon be a major motion picture slated initially for international limited release in December 2017 in five countries (US not included).

Ripple Effect Artists Inc. addresses injustice and causes social impact through art – primarily by producing masterful plays – presenting them along with talk-back discussions in partnership with educators and advocacy groups.   These events, our education, and our game-changing philanthropy cultivate empathy, shift audiences from APATHY to ACTION, and create a RIPPLE EFFECT in the larger community.

Abbe Silverberg Sparks is the Founder/Chief Igniter of Abbe Sparks Media Group, a boutique communications firm that focuses on social media, content, branding and advocacy.

 

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Entertainment, Arts & Music Events Latest News

The Broadway at Birdland Concert Series: the musical fable Merman’s Apprentice is Sold Out!

This just in! Broadway veteran Bill Nolte to replace Richard Kind.
Stephen Cole and David Evans Broadway at Birdland concert version of “Merman’s Apprentice” Monday June 15th at 7:00 p.m.

is sold out!



The Broadway at Birdland Concert Series is proud to announce that Stephen Cole and David Evans musical fable, Merman’s Apprentice, is SOLD OUT.Due to an unexpected change in schedule, Mr. Kind is not able to appear. Mr. Nolte, who has appeared in the world premiere of Stephen Cole’s The Road to Qatar, has agreed to jump in and play the role of David Merrick. We are grateful

to Bill for bring his talents to the production.

In 2003, Bill starred in The Producers, putting his unique spin on the pigeon-keeping playwright Franz Liebkind, a role he performed on Broadway, across the country, and in Japan. Bill’s other Broadway credits are La Cage Aux Folles, Jane Eyre, A Christmas Carol, The Secret Garden, Me and My Girl, Amour and his debut in Cats. Bill’s Off Broadway/Regional career includes, The Most Happy Fella, Damn Yankees, Sweeny Todd, Fanfare and Annie 2 at the Kennedy Center. As a cabaret/concert artist, Bill has appeared at Iridium Jazz Club, Anyone Can Whistle and Sail Away at Carnegie Hall, Lyrics and Lyricists, Cole Porter Songbook at the Kennedy Center and All of Me and On Broadwayon the Seaburn SPIRIT Cruise Lines. 

Merman’s Apprentice is a new musical fable with Book & Lyrics by Stephen Cole (After the Fair, The Road To Qatar, Night of the Hunter) and Music by David Evans (Birds of Paradise, Children’s Letters To God). Bistro Award Winner Klea Blackhurst will appear as Ethel Merman, with a cast lead by Tony nominee Anita Gillette as Ethel’s Mom, with Bill Nolte as David Merrick, J.P. Benjamin (Broadway’s current Wizard in Wicked) as Ethel’s Pop and 13 year-old Elizabeth Teeter, who is currently playing Young Queen Elizabeth in The Audience on Broadway, will play Muriel Plakenstein: Merman’s Apprentice. Additional cast members include Adam Grupper, Eddie Korbich and Brian Charles Rooney.

Synopsis: Time: the 1970’s. The Golden Age of Musical Theatre is drawing to an end, although twelve-year-old Muriel Plakenstein doesn’t know that. So she runs away from home to become a Broadway star, meets the Queen of Broadway Ethel Merman, who takes her to a Hello, Dolly! rehearsal, where they sing together. When legendary producer David Merrick hears the kid, he decides to star Muriel in the first all-child cast of Dolly! Naturally, Merman takes her under wing to teach her the ropes of being a star…making little Muriel Plakenstein Merman’s Apprentice. It’s a tuneful, original smart, funny, warm, new musical comedy about childhood, parents, Broadway and Ethel Merman. Who could ask for anything more?