MNM Theatre Company to Stream Maltby & Shire’s CLOSER THAN EVER On Demand – November 27 – December 31

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Creating Theatre in the Time of COVID!
MNM Theatre Company’s Innovative Production of
Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever
Will Be Available for Streaming on Demand
November 27 – December 31

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

MNM develops a cutting edge and creative way to move forward with
 Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever.

November 9, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL:  Rehearsals and filming have been completed for MNM Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Closer Than Ever, David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr.’s fascinating song cycle that explores the everyday struggles of love in the modern world.  The production will begin streaming on November 27th and be available through December 31st.

Director Jonathan Van Dyke has developed an innovative theatrical hybrid that marries live performances with video, audio, and projections.  “The result,” says MNM Producing Artistic Director Marcie Gorman, “is an exciting and creative way to make live theatre during this horrendous pandemic.” 

Marcie Gorman

“We rehearsed at our warehouse in Boca Raton, and filmed there as well,” Gorman explains.  We followed extremely strict protocols throughout the process and were constantly mindful of the health and well-being of our cast and our crew.  COVID testing, masks, cleaning, and sanitizing – we did it all constantly.   But what’s so wonderful is that we are created and performed live theatre and we will be able to share it with a worldwide audience.

“And Jonathan’s concept, which involves integrating live performances with projections, is brand new.  It’s what will separate this production from just being a filmed play – it’s a hybrid with three components, not just two, and as far as we know, no one has ever done anything like it before.”

Jonathan Van Dyke

“This concept was developed to allow us to create theatre during the pandemic, but it can and will be implemented for a live production,” Director Jonathan Van Dyke explains.  “The integrated projections allow for intimate onstage moments; the actors were each green-screened separately and the results were edited for projection, so they appear to interact with one another.”

                      Shelley Keelor and Aaron Bower in Closer Than Ever
“They never held hands… they were just edited that way!”  Jonathan Van Dyke
Photo credit:  Jonathan Van Dyke

Closer Than Ever features self-contained songs which deal with such diverse topics as security, aging, mid-life crisis, second marriages, working couples, and unrequited love. Maltby and Shire based many of the songs on real-life experiences of their friends, or stories told to them.

Closer Than Ever stars Aaron Bower, Johnbarry Green, and Carbonell Award-winners Shelley Keelor, and Elijah Word, each of whom have worked with MNM Theatre Company in the past.   The technical crew, almost all of whom are also MNM alumni, includes Eric Alsford as the production’s Musical Director, and Emily Tarallo as the show’s Choreographer.  Lighting Designer is Clifford Michael Spulock, Sound Designer is Mike Kelly, Scenic Artist is Cindi Taylor, and Scenic Designer is Jordon ArmstrongJohnbarry Green serves as Technical Director, Cliff Burgess as Videographer, Michael Joseph as Assistant Videographer and Wig Design is by Justin Lore of Tease & Floof Custom Wig Boutique.  Amber Mandic and Andrea Guardo are the production’s co-Stage Managers and co-Props Mistresses.

Closer Than Ever will begin streaming on November 27th and will be available On Demand through December 31st on Music Theatre International’s (MTI) streaming platform www.ShowTix4U.com via MNM Theatre Company’s website www.mnmtheatre.org or on the company’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/mnmtheatrecompany . Once tickets are purchased, patrons will receive a link to view the production.  The link will be active for 48 hours from the first click.  Tickets are $20.  

MNM Theatre Company is an award-winning not-for-profit 501(c)(3) theatre company whose mission is to produce high quality professional live theatre that inspires audiences and enriches the cultural life of the community while creating Florida based jobs in the Arts. 

For more information about MNM Theatre Company please visit www.mnmtheatre.org/   To speak with Marcie Gorman or Jonathan Van Dyke, please contact Carol Kassie at Carol@CarolKassie.com / 561-445-9244..

Please feel free to forward this article.  Thank you!

~~

Closer Than Ever
Streaming On Demand
November 27 – December 31

Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr.
Conceived by Steven Scott Smith
Directed by Jonathan Van Dyke
Tickets: $20
Tickets available at https://www.mnmtheatre.org/ ,
www.facebook.com/mnmtheatrecompany or
Direct ticketing link:  https://www.showtix4u.com/events/closerthanever 

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MNM Theatre Company to present Maltby & Shire’s CLOSER THAN EVER on Demand!

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MNM Theatre Company will present

Maltby & Shire’s
Closer Than Ever

Correctly Socially Distanced!
Available for Streaming on Demand
November 27 – December 31

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

October 13, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL:  MNM Theatre Company, like almost every theatre company around the world, has been drastically affected by COVID-19. All scheduled productions have either been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, with no re-start date in sight.  However, the company’s Producing Artistic Director and CEO Marcie Gorman and Director Jonathan Van Dyke have come up with an innovative way to provide audiences with theatre, and the company’s first production Maltby and Shire’s Closer Than Ever will debut on November 27th and be available for On Demand streaming through December 31st.

“Since we haven’t been together for a long time, we knew it was time to be Closer Than Ever,” Gorman says. “Just the name of this show seemed to be a perfect fit for these times – so many of us are still so far apart and yet in many ways, Closer Than Ever

“And Jonathan has developed a safe and incredibly creative way to present it to audiences”, she continues.  “I’m excited about this on so many levels, not the least of which is to provide work for our actors and technical people, most of whom haven’t worked for months, and are so looking forward to once again ‘making theatre’”.  

Closer Than Ever will be filmed at MNM’s Boca Raton warehouse/studio, which will be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Maximum safety precautions will be observed from the start of rehearsals through the final performance: Individual show segments will be filmed separately; actors and tech crew have been asked to observe COVID protocols and remain as isolated as possible unless rehearsing or performing. They will be COVID tested frequently; their temperatures will be taken each time they enter the building; and they will be required to hand sanitize multiple times every day.  They will maintain at minimum a 6-foot social distance whether on stage or off; and masks will be worn at all times unless the actor is on stage or being filmed.  A very small invited audience will be present at one taping – but everyone will have his or her temperature taken, audience members will also be properly socially distanced, and each audience member must be part of the show’s participants’ ‘bubble’.

Closer Than Ever is a nonstop exploration of everyday struggles in the “modern world”. Topics ranging from unrequited adoration… to aging… to Muzak are tackled with resounding sincerity and precisely placed hilarity. Each song is a unique story told by a new character, taking audiences into the minds of the individuals facing these completely relatable challenges. Lyricists Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire based many of the songs on real-life experiences of their friends, or stories told to them.  The show won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical.

“Knowing what we are facing in live performance logistically and what would resonate artistically, for me the choice was Maltby & Shire’s Closer Than Ever,” says Jonathan Van Dyke who will direct and stage the production.   “The title alone says so much of where we are. While unable to be close physically, in our hearts and minds we are Closer Than Ever.

“Working with MNM and our integrated video concept, we hope to have found a way to navigate safety measures and still execute some intimate moments in an artistic way,” he continues.  “The humanity and honesty of the songs delivers such a layered theatrical experience. Maltby and Shire have created over a dozen Broadway shows, film and television scores, and are the recipients of Grammy, Tony and Academy Awards.  I’m so looking forward to working on this material with this team.”

Closer Than Ever will star Johnbarry Green, Aaron Bower, and Carbonell Award-winners Shelley Keelor, and Elijah Word, all of whom have worked with MNM Theatre Company in the past.   The technical crew, also all MNM alumni, includes Eric Alsford as the production’s Musical Director, and Emily Tarallo as the Choreographer, as well as Lighting Designer Clifford Michael Spulock, Sound Designer by Mike Kelly, Scenic Artist Cindi Taylor, and Scenic Designer Jordon Armstrong.  Johnbarry Green will serve as Technical Director, Cliff Burgess as Videographer, Michael Joseph as Assistant Videographer, wigs by Tease & Floof Custom Wig Boutique, and Amber Mandic and Andrea Guardo will be the production’s co-Stage Managers and co-Props Mistresses.

The award-winning duo, lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr. (Miss Saigon, Fosse, Ring of Fire) and composer David Shire (film scores include The Conversation, The Taking of Pelham One Two ThreeAll The President’s Men, and parts of Saturday Night Fever), began working together as students at Yale University. Their first Broadway credit as a team was in 1968, when their song “The Girl of the Minute” was used in the revue New Faces of 1968. Their shared credits include Baby (1983), Big (1996) and Take Flight (2007).  Richard Maltby conceived and directed the only two musical revues to win the Tony Award for Best Musical:  Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1978) and Fosse (1999). David Shire won the Oscar for the theme song to Norma Rae “It Goes Like It Goes”; as a pianist Shire played for the original productions of both The Fantasticks and Funny Girl.

Closer Than Ever will begin streaming on November 27th and will be available On Demand through December 31st on Music Theatre International’s (MTI) streaming platform www.ShowTix4U.com via MNM Theatre Company’s website www.mnmtheatre.org or on the company’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/mnmtheatrecompany . Once tickets are purchased, patrons will receive a link to view the production.  The link will be active for 48 hours from the first click.  Tickets are $20.  

MNM Theatre Company is an award-winning not-for-profit 501(c)(3) theatre company whose mission is to produce high quality professional live theatre that inspires audiences and enriches the cultural life of the community while creating Florida based jobs in the Arts. 

For more information about MNM Theatre Company please visit www.mnmtheatre.org.  To speak with Marcie Gorman or Jonathan Van Dyke, please contact Carol Kassie at Carol@CarolKassie.com / 561-445-9244.

~

Closer Than Ever
November 27 – December 31
Music by David Shire
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr.
Conceived by Steven Scott Smith
Directed by Jonathan Van Dyke
Tickets: $20
Tickets available at https://www.mnmtheatre.org/  and/or  www.facebook.com/mnmtheatrecompany or
https://www.showtix4u.com/events/closerthanever  

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MNM Theatre Company’s CABARET Postponed – New Dates to be Announced

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MNM Theatre Company’s
Cabaret
Postponed
New Dates to be Announced
“So – life is disappointing? Forget it!
We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful… The girls are beautiful…
Even the orchestra is beautiful.
”  ~ The Emcee/Cabaret

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com  / 561-445-9244

March 18, 2020
WEST PALM BEACH, FL:  MNM Theatre Company’s production of Cabaret, which was scheduled to open on May 15th and run through May 30th  in the Rinker Playhouse at the Kravis Center, has been officially postponed due to COVID-19.  A new date has not been announced, but the company’s Founder and Artistic Director Marcie Gorman is firmly committed to opening the show at a later date, once an all clear regarding the virus is announced.

Marcie Gorman

“We are watching and listening very carefully to the directives of the CDC, WHO, the Mayor of West Palm Beach, and of course the Kravis Center,” Gorman says. “But our first concern, as always, is the health and safety or our artists and our patrons.  And until such time as we are guaranteed that there will be absolutely no danger to anyone, we will be on hold.”

Refunds are available to those who have already purchased tickets for Cabaret – ticket purchases will be automatically refunded to MNM patrons’ original method of payment. (For more information, visit www.kravis.org or call the Kravis box office at 561-832-7469.)

However, like many other theatre companies, MNM is a 501(c)(3)/not-for-profit organization, and is hopeful that patrons will consider making a tax-deductible donation equaling  the price of their tickets to the company.  Donations can be made at www.mnmtheatre.org.

For more information about MNM Theatre Company, please visit www.mnmtheatre.org or contact Carol Kassie at Carol@CarolKassie.com / 561-554-9244.

March & April at the Miznzer Park Cultural Center

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March & April at
Mizner Park Cultural Center:
Festival of Classics: A Night of Short Performances
& Artist Conversations
– March 16
Tovah is Leona – March 28 & 29
Wiesenthal – April 3-5
Hank Williams and My Honky Tonk Heroes – April 8
Judy Carmichael: Swing Time!  A Celebration of the
Great American Song Book – April 17
Harrison Greenbaum:  What Just Happened?
A Comedy + Magic Show – April 25

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

March 9, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL:     Mizner Park Cultural Center will once again host a wide variety of entertainment and events over the coming weeks.  Comedy, music, magic, and live theatre are all on the popular venue’s schedule during March and April.

On March 16th, the award-winning actor Avi Hoffman will host Festival of Classics: A Night of Short Performances and Artist Conversations.  The show, presented by Joseph Papp Yiddish Theatre, Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida, Grace Arts, New City Players, and Thinking Cap Theatre with Emily Ricca Dance Collective, will showcase local South Florida companies performing the Classics.  Hoffman, who will be joined by special guest Susan Papp, will take on the persona of Joseph Papp, the American theatrical producer and founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Public Theatre.

Tovah Feldshuh

Six-time Tony and Emmy nominated star Tovah Feldshuh returns to the theatre on March 28th and 29th for four encore performances of Tovah is Leona! a musical production featuring highlights from the new Broadway-bound musical Queen of Mean, based on Piers Ransdell’s New York Times best-selling biography of Leona Helmsley.  In the production, which sold out in January, Feldshuh, as the disgraced doyenne, comments and sings about anything and everything – from her meteoric rise from office temp to trophy wife, from wheeler-dealer to hotel magnate, to her relationship with real estate rival Donald Trump.

Tom Dugan as Simon Wiesenthal

Wiesenthal, the story of ‘an ordinary man who did extraordinary things’, will run for four performances only, from April 3rd – 5th.  Written by and starring Tom Dugan, Wiesenthal is the riveting true story of Simon Wiesenthal.  Nicknamed ‘The Jewish James Bond’, he devoted his life to bringing more than 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice. Intelligent, funny, flawed, and noble, Wiesenthal was a universal hero.

Jason Petty will bring his acclaimed musical review, Hank Williams and my Honky Tonk Heroes, to the Cultural Center on April 8th.  Petty a masterful singer, actor, and historian, whose musicianship and songwriting abilities have won him numerous performances at The Grand Ole Opry, will recreate the magic that Williams and his ‘honky tonk heroes’ – the giants of country music – created.

Grammy-nominated pianist, vocalist, and songwriter Judy Carmichael will celebrate the music of swing piano greats with an evening of classics from the Great American Songbook in her show Swing Time!  A Celebration of the Great American Song Book on April 17th.  From the Gershwins to Cole Porter to Fats Waller and Peggy Lee, Carmichael’s mastery of the piano style popularized by Count Basie and James P. Johnson among others, has been lauded all over the world.

Harrison Greenbaum

Harrison Greenbaum will return to the Mizner Park Cultural Center with What Just Happened?  A Comedy + Magic Show on April 25th.   The award-winning magician and comedian, who has been featured on “America’s Got Talent”, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, and National Geographic’s “Brain Games”, has created a unique blend of comedy and magic, jaw-dropping cutting edge illusions, mind reading, and legerdemain, much of it invented specifically for this performance, and never seen before.

Tickets to each of these performances, as well as many other Mizner Park Cultural Center performances are on sale now and can be purchased online at http://miznerparkculturalcenter.com or by phone at 844-672-2849. Ticket details are below.

The Mizner Park Cultural Center is located at 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432.
Website: http://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/Like us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MiznerParkCulturalCenter/

For more information about the Mizner Park Cultural Center, and any of these shows, please contact Carol Kassie at Carol@CarolKassie.com / 561-445-9244.
~
Ticket prices and performance times:

Festival of Classics: A Night of Short Performances and Artist Conversations
Monday, March 16, at 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm
Tickets:  $25-$50Direct link for tickets:  https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/events/festival-of-classics/Tovah is Leona
Saturday, March 28 at 3 pm & 8 pm
Sunday, March 29 at 2 pm & 7 pm
Tickets: $49 – $59
Direct link for tickets:  https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/events/tovah-leona-march/2020-03-28/Wiesenthal
Friday, April 3 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 4 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 5 at 2:00 pm
Tickets:  $45
Direct link for tickets:  https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/events/wiesenthal-2/2020-04-03/Hank Williams and My Honky Tonk Heroes
Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $39 – $45
Direct link for tickets:  https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/events/hank-williams/Judy Carmichael:  Swing Time!  A Celebration of the Great American Song Book
Friday, April 17 at 7:30 pm

Tickets:  $37 – $47
Direct link for tickets:  https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/events/judy-carmichael/Harrison Greenbaum:  What Just Happened?  A Comedy + Magic Show
Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 pm

Tickets: $29 – $39Direct link for tickets:  https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/events/harrison-greenbaum-3/For tickets to all shows at the Mizner Park Cultural Center, and for more information: https://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/   or call 844-672-2849.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southeastern Premiere! The Award-Winning Play CHASING JACK at The Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park March 12 – 22

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Jolt Productions, Inc. In Association with
Midlife Crisis Productions
Presents
The Southeastern Premiere of
Chasing Jack
March 12 – 22, 2020

 “This riveting, insightful and roller coaster of a ride is not done
until the last card is drawn.”
~ Susana Bowling – Times Square Chronicles

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

February 18, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL:   Chasing Jack, the award-winning play by John S. Anastasi, will have its southeastern premiere at the Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park this March.  The production, to be directed by Peter J. Loewy, will begin previews on March 12th and open on March 14th.  The show will run through March 22nd.

Chasing Jack, which won the Best Play Award at the 2019 New York Theatre Festival Summerfest, is the story of Dr. Jack Chase, a surgeon with a serious gambling addiction.  Through the lens of a malpractice lawsuit that could end his career, Chasing Jack explores familial relationships, medical ethics, and the potentially crippling effects of addiction.   The stakes couldn’t be any higher as Jack looks back at pivotal moments in his life, his relationships, and his career.

John Anastasi, M.D.

“I had written several plays, three of which were produced Off Broadway,” playwright John Anastasi said recently, when he was asked how Chasing Jack came about.  “It was after a reading of my play I Forgive You Ronald Reagan, starring Lucie Arnaz and her husband Laurence Luckinbill, and we were all out for dinner.  Lucie asked me about her mother’s aortic dissection (I am a thoracic surgeon in ‘my other life’!) and we started talking about heart surgery.  She listened to all the stories and was mesmerized, and at the end of the evening she said, “You write well but the best stories are when you write and talk about what you do!”  My response was that I spend 14 hours a day doing heart surgery, the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer and write about it.

“So, two plays later I was at the opening night party of my play, Would You Still Love Me if, with Kathleen Turner,” Anastasi continued.  John Patrick Shanley came up to me and said almost the same thing: “Write about what you know…” There are two things I love, medicine and the law.  My daughter is a lawyer.  So, I started to think of how to connect them all and after an especially difficult operation, the germ of the story began.

“I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m Jack, because I’m not,” he says.  “Some of me is in him as I believe some of me is in all the characters I write, even the women.  The monologues Jack speaks regarding what it’s like to be a heart surgeon are very real.   The addiction concept is drawn from having the unfortunate experience of operating on drug addicts over the years, and watching them lie, betray, and systematically destroy every relationship, especially the people who love them the most.”

Anastasi and Director Loewy have cast a combination of local and out of town actors in the production.  Galen Murphy Hoffman will play Dr. Jack Chase, and two-time Tony Award nominee Crista Moore will portray the attorney Ockerman – the first time a woman has played this role.  Other cast members include India H. Jarvis as Taylor, Elana Valastro as Rebecca, David Sadaka as The Judge, Rick Malone as Robert, Ben Prayz as Dr. Fox, and Francis Allen as Dr. Noel.

Chasing Jack will run from March 12th – 22nd at the Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park.  Tickets are $30; group rates (6 or more tickets purchased in one transaction) are $25.  Tickets can be purchased online at sugarsandpark.org/chasing-jack  or by phone at 561-347-3948.  The Willow Theatre is located at 300 South Military Trail, in Boca Raton’s Sugar Sand Park (33486).

For more information about Chasing Jack please visit www.chasingjacktheplay.com/.  To arrange for interviews, or for photos, or to arrange to see the production, please contact Carol Kassie at carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244.

This is a story about a world-class gambling obsession
that starts off at 100 miles-per-hour and builds from there.
It’s not a courtroom drama.
It’s a courtroom bombshell.

~*~

Chasing Jack
March 14 – 22, 2020
Preview performances March 12 & 13.
By John S. Anastasi
Directed by Peter J. Loewy
Tickets: $30 / $25 for groups of 6 or more
For tickets:  561-347-3948 or https://sugarsandpark.org/chasing-jack
Showtimes:
Thursday, March 12 at 7pm
Friday, March 13 at 8pm
Saturday, March 14 at 2pm
Saturday, March 14 at 8pm
Sunday, March 15 at 2pm
Thursday, March 19 at 7pm
Friday, March 20 at 8pm
Saturday, March 21 at 2pm
Saturday, March 21 at 8pm
Sunday, March 22 at 2pm
All performances will take place in
The Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park
300 South Military Trail,
Boca Raton, FL 33486

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Pigs Do Fly Productions presents HELEN ON WHEELS – March 5 – 29, 2020

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Pigs Do Fly Productions
presents
Helen on Wheels
March 5 – 29, 2020

‘Helen on Wheels’ is a lovely play about real people, and its gentle humor provides the structure for a very funny lesson on living your life, and no one else’s, no matter how old you are.” ~ Mary Ann Johnson, MD Theatre Guide

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

February 11, 2020
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL:  A feisty, bingo-playing, gun-toting, ruckus raising, independent woman!  That’s Helen Wheeler, the title character in Pigs Do Fly Productions next outing – Cricket Daniel’s comedy Helen on Wheels.  The show will run from March 6th through March 29th at Empire Stage in Fort Lauderdale.  There will be a preview performance on March 5th.

Ellen Wacher

“We had such a great response to our recent production of Cricket Daniel’s The Lost Virginity Tour that I was pumped to look at this play too,” says Ellen Wacher, Pigs Do Fly’s founder and Executive Producer.   “Helen on Wheels is totally enjoyable, far out, very funny, and perfect for us, and for the times.”

Elizabeth Price, who recently received glowing reviews in Primal Forces Productions’
Villainous Company will direct Helen on Wheels

“Nostalgia for the past, good times. Pushing boundaries, living out loud. Seeing what’s really important, not buying into what people think we should be and do, missed chances, new opportunities… these are things that everyone, no matter what their age, can relate to.”  Price says.

Elizabeth Price

“The play is about a woman who has lost the man she spent her whole happy life with, and now she’s acting out in crazy but hilarious ways as she looks for who she is on her own,” she says. “Another chance for love comes along and she has to decide which way to go. Essentially, we get to see how the sweetness of the past doesn’t end when something new begins.

“This company has a great mission,” Price continues. “I want to see and tell stories that reflect what the whole of life looks like, not just life’s early phases.”

Price has cast Beverly Blanchette as Helen, and Carol Sussman as her best friend and partner in crime Zona. Rounding out the troupe are David Hyland as Seth, Todd Bruno as Nelson, and Dave Corey as Elmer.

“I am thrilled to have Helen on Wheels produced by Pigs Do Fly Productions,” playwright Cricket Daniel says.  “This play is very personal to me because it was inspired by my own mother, who loved two things… my Dad and Bingo!  I had an absolute blast creating these characters.  I think the heart of Helen on Wheels is the friendship between Helen and Zona.  Everyone needs a best friend that will wipe your tears… and help you break out of jail.  Everyone needs a Zona!”

Cricket Daniel

Cricket Daniel holds a theater degree from UC Santa Barbara and studied Shakespeare in Cambridge, England. She has an extensive background in improv, stand-up and theater. Cricket was a member of the national improv troupe Comedy Sportz and has performed stand-up at The Ice House and The Improv and has performed regularly in local community theatre productions. Her short play Break Dreams has been staged in New York City, Miami, Colorado Springs, Eugene, Oregon, and in Austin, TX. Her full-length play Love, Laughter & Lucci took home Best Production, Best Actress and Best Actor awards at the 2012 Golden Gravel Awards. Her full-length play Helen On Wheels was a finalist in the 2015 New Play Development Workshop through Route 66 Theatre in Chicago. Cricket is a 2012 recipient of an Arts, Beautification, and Culture Award for her contribution to local theater and is a member of The Dramatist Guild of America. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and daughter.

There will be a preview performance of Helen on Wheels’ on March 5th; the production will open on March 6th and run through March 29th.  Tickets are $39 and are available online at www.pigsdoflyproductions.com  or by calling 866-811-4111.  Performances are on Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm, and on Sunday at 5 pm. All performances will take place Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Drive, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304.

For more information about Pigs Do Fly Productions, please visit www.pigsdoflyproductions.com.   For more information about Ellen Wacher, please visit www.ellenwacher.com.  To arrange for interviews, or for photos, or to arrange to see the production, please contact Carol Kassie at carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244.

Funding for this project is provided in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council.

~*~

Helen on Wheels
Preview Performance: Thursday, March 5, 2020
Runs from March 6 – March 29, 2020
By Cricket Daniel
Tickets: $39
Tickets:  866-811-4111 / www.pigsdoflyproductions.com
Performances:
Friday, & Saturday: 8 pm
Sunday: 5 pm
All performances will take place at
Empire Stage
1140 N Flagler Drive,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
www.pigsdoflyproductions.com
Like Us on Facebook!

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DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the LPAC – February 20 – March 8

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Lauderhill Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in Collaboration with
Broadway Palm presents
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
February 20 – March 8, 2020

“As Broadway musicals go, Beauty and the Beast belongs right up there with the Empire State Building, F. A. O. Schwarz and the Circle Line boat tours.”
~ David Richards, The New York Times, April 19, 1994

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

February 6, 2020

LAUDERHILL, FL: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center and Broadway Palm’s final production of their inaugural season, will open on February 20th and run through March 8th.

Based on the beloved Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast is filled with magical moments, spectacular costumes, and of course, a classic love story.  The award-winning musical, which played for thirteen years on Broadway, can be described as the perfect family entertainment – and a marvelous introduction to theatre for children of all ages.

This ‘tale as old as time’ tells the story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out, and if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Beauty and the Beast will be directed and choreographed by Amy McCleary.  Her work on Kinky Boots, which is just finishing its successful LPAC run garnered rave reviews and standing ovations. The show’s musical director is Lizzie Webb. 

McCleary’s cast includes James Arthur Douglas as the Beast, Rebecca Kelley as Belle, Jesse Luttrell as Gaston, Travis Brown as Lumiere, Frank Hughes as Cogsworth, and Shannon Connolly as Mrs Potts. South Florida actors Eytan Deray will play LeFou, Peter Librach will play Maurice, and Colleen Pagano will be Wardrobe. Young locals Jaxon James and Samson Poland will share the role of Chip.  Other South Floridians cast are Brandon Santos, Robert Alaya, Tyler Counts, Jennifer Fain, Bailee Cudmore, Lauren Cagnetta, Ashley Rubin, Erica Seelig, Lyla Chaubal, and Lila Drowos.  Sam Lariviere, Joel Libed, “Scoob” Decker, Kiersten Benzing, and Megan Urz are also cast.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will run from February 20th – March 3rd. Ticket prices range from $35 – $55 and are available online at https://lpacfl.com or by calling 954-777-2055.  Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 pm.

The Lauderhill Performing Arts Center (LPAC) has hosted numerous theatrical events and productions since it opened its doors in January 2016 and has grown its audiences to include theatre patrons from not only Broward County, but Miami/Dade and Palm Beach counties as well. The theatre is located at 3800 NW 11th Place (33311), in the Central Broward Regional Park on the Northeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and State Road 7.  For more information about LPAC visit https://lpacfl.com.

For more information about  Disney’s Beauty and the Beast please contact Carol Kassie at carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244.

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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
February 20 – March 3
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
Tickets:  954-777-2055 / https://lpacfl.com/
Performances:  Thursday, Friday, & Saturday at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at 2 pm
Tickets:  $35 – $55
All performances at
The Lauderhill Performing Arts Center (LPAC)
3800 NW 11th Place
Lauderhill, FL 33311
https://lpacfl.com/
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THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN’S Barbara Gehring’s Film ‘The Social Dilemma’ Debuts to Rave Reviews at The Sundance Film Festival

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THE SECRET COMEDY OF WOMEN’S
Barbara Gehring’s Film
‘The Social Dilemma’
Debuts to Rave Reviews at
The Sundance Film Festival

The Secret Comedy of Women runs through February 23rd
at the Mizner Park Cultural Center
.

“Forget Victoria’s Secret; it’s Linda Klein and Barbara Gehring who know the real secrets, at least to making ladies laugh!” ~  Ilana Rothman – Ilana in Theatre Land

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

February 6, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL:  Barbara Gehring one of the co-creators and stars of The Secret Comedy of Women just returned from “…a whirlwind of a weekend at the Sundance Film Festival.   Our movie’s premier got a standing ovation,” she reports, “And a great review in The Hollywood Reporter!!” ‘“The Social Dilemma’, the film she was at Sundance to promote (and which Variety called a ‘lively and entertaining documentary, whose accessibility is heightened by some narrative play acting’) examines the pervasive influence of social media on society.

Gehring, and her partner Linda Klein have been performing in The Secret Comedy of Women at the Mizner Park Cultural Center since January 15th; the show will run through February 23rd.  The Secret Comedy of Women was inspired by the earnest and absurd writings in Gehring and Klein’s girlhood diaries, which were written well before the term social media was even coined – when secrets were shared with a few best friends, rather than the entire world.  It celebrates the joys of the journey from girlhood to womanhood and explores the universal female experience through a rollicking spectacle of sweetly-sharp comedy, songs, dances, stories, improvisation, and spontaneous moments of discovery that all women share.

Barbara Gehring and Linda Klein both began writing and performing comedy at an early age.  While young Barbara directed elaborate puppet shows in her secret fort thousands of miles away in Winnipeg, Canada, little Linda was producing extravagant backyard circuses in a tiny Colorado mountain town.  Neither could have foreseen how well these skills would blend together decades later when they wrote The Secret Comedy of Women.  Had they known each other all those years ago, The Secret Comedy of Women is exactly the type of show they would have created together and now as adults, it is exactly the kind of show in which they’ve always wanted to perform. Gehring and Klein have successful careers in the entertainment industry beyond comedy, and have rich expertise in the areas of training, writing, creative thinking, logistics, administration, marketing, and public relations.

The Secret Comedy of Women will run through February 23 at the Mizner Park Cultural Center.  Tickets range from $45 to $65; group rates are also available.  Tickets can be purchased online at playhouseinfo.com/miznerpark or by phone at 844-672-2849. (For group sales call 888-264-1788).           

For more information about The Secret Comedy of Women please contact Carol Kassie at carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244 or visit www.SecretComedyOfWomen.com

The Secret Comedy of Women®
By Barbara Gehring & Linda Klein
January 15 – February 23, 2020

Tickets:  $45 – $65
For Tickets:  844-672-2849 / playhouseinfo.com/miznerpark / or
miznerparkculturalcenter.com/
Group Sales: 1-888-264-1788
Performances:
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:30 pm
All performances will take place at
Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center
201 Plaza Real (2nd Floor)
Boca Raton, FL 33432
www.girlsonlycomedy.com/
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Reviews for ‘The Social Dilemma can be found online at:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/social-dilemma-review-1273606
https://www.indiewire.com/2020/01/the-social-dilemma-review-sundance-1202207034/
https://variety.com/2020/film/reviews/the-social-dilemma-review-1203487761/

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Faye Sholiton’s THE INTERVIEW at Congregation B’nai Torah – February 26th

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Powerful Memories… Powerful Theatre…

The Interview
by Faye Sholiton

“We awakened a lot of memories,” the interviewer tells her subject.
“They were never asleep,” the survivor replies.

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

February 4, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL: The B’nai Torah Cultural Arts Series 2020 theatrical presentation, The Interview will be presented for one performance only on February 26th at 7:30 pm in the Eleanor and Paul Weiner Cultural Center at B’nai Torah Congregation.

Faye Sholiton’s deeply moving memory play about the legacy of human suffering, courage and humanity, mothers and daughters, and forgiving and being forgiven, The Interview is at once a powerful documentation of a horrific historical event and one artist’s deeply felt response to it. Written with clarity and feeling, it resonates on all levels.  The Interview will be directed by Shari Upbin.

Fifty years after her liberation from the Nazi death camps, Bracha Weissman still suffers the aftermath of her old trauma.  When she allows Ann Meshenberg, the child of other survivors, into her suburban Cleveland home to take testimony for an archival videotaping project, Bracha reviews the legacy she has left her own daughter. The Interview is a story about mothers, daughters and memory. It is about forgiving and being forgiven.

Shari Upbin

“I chose this play for B’nai Torah Cultural Arts Series especially for this commemorative 75th year of the liberation of Auschwitz,” Upbin explains. “This story must be told and seen by all audiences. In keeping with the theme of mothers and daughters and forgiveness – a theme running through most of the plays I have presented for the past four years – this one perhaps is the most poignant,” she continues. It is told with pathos, pain, and humor, which is our Jewish heritage. The theme of The Interview will resonate with all of us who must remember and honor our past, as we look to forward to the future of our next generation.”

Fern Katz will play Bracha Weissman, who has transformed herself into an emotional recluse – her identity defined by the loss of her family in the Nazi death camps she miraculously survived.

Peggy Linker will take on the role of Ann Meshenberg, who arrives one day to record Bracha’s testimony for a video archive.  Ann, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, has her own agenda: the need to ask a stranger what she could not ask her parents.

Nancy Turetsky will play Bracha’s estranged daughter Rifka, and Jason Pierre will take on the role of videographer Chris MacDonald.

Playwright Faye Sholiton developed her work in the Cleveland Play House Playwrights’ Unit from 1996-2011 and is a charter member of Dobama Theatre’s Playwrights’ Gym. Her full-length works have been read or produced in more than four dozen venues worldwide and have won more than 20 national honors. She is a four-time winner of Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. Her work has been published by Applause, ArtAge, Meriwether, Smith & Kraus, Speert Publishing and the International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP). Prior to writing plays, she was an award-winning journalist for local, regional and national publications. She teaches writers of every description, including high school and college students, community groups and cruise ship guests. Professional affiliations include the Dramatists Guild, which she served as Regional Representative for Northern Ohio 2009-2016; the Alliance for Jewish Theatre; and ICWP. She is Founding Artistic Director of Interplay Jewish Theatre, a company that produces staged readings of Jewish themed works. Most recently, she has written a screenplay based on the life of Howard Mechanic, the last prisoner of the Vietnam War.

The Interview will be performed on February 26th at 7:30 pm. Tickets  are on sale now, and can be purchased on line at www.btcboca.org or by phone at 561-392-8566. Tickets $36 ($25 for B’nai Torah congregants).  B’nai Torah Congregation is located at 6261 SW 18th Street, in Boca Raton (33433).

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The Interview
By Faye Sholiton
Directed by Shari Upbin
February 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $36 ($25 for B’nai Torah Congregants)
For tickets:  561-392-8566 / www.btcboca.org
The performance will take place at
B’nai Torah Congregation
6261 SW 18th Street
Boca Raton, FL  33433

Tovah Feldshuh Returns to the Mizner Park Cultural Center in TOVAH IS LEONA March 28th & 29th

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Back by Popular Demand!

Tovah Feldshuh
Returns to the Mizner Park Cultural Center
in
Tovah is LEONA!
Saturday & Sunday,  March 28th & 29th

“Dead 12 years, and I can still nail a middle C!”
Tovah Feldshuh as Leona Helmsley

“This Is A Do-Not-Miss!! Tovah Embodies This New York Name With Every Fiber Of Her Being”
—Times Square Chronicles

 

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carol Kassie
carol@carolkassie.com / 561-445-9244

January 20, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL:  Six-time Tony and Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh will return to the Mizner Park Cultural Center on March 28th and 29th for a limited engagement with her Broadway-bound musical Tovah is LEONA! The show, in which Feldshuh assumes the persona of real estate mogul and hotelier Leona Helmsley, played to sold-out houses in early January.

As Helmsley, the disgraced doyenne comments and sings about anything and everything – from her meteoric rise from office temp to trophy wife, from wheeler-dealer to hotel magnate, to her real estate rival Donald Trump.

Created by Feldshuh with Director Jeff Harnar and Musical Director James Bassi (and based on the New York Times best-seller by Ransdell Pierson) Leona Helmsley is given one hour up from Purgatory to “set the record straight!!” …..and sing a few show tunes. She fulfills her dream to star in her own cabaret show as she sings for her innocence in a long awaited RE-trial with the audience as her jury.

Tovah is LEONA! features original music by Ron Passaro, lyrics by David Lee, and a book by Alex Lippard and David Lee.  The show is directed by Jeff Harner, and Musical Director James Bassi provided the musical arrangements and additional lyrics.

Tovah Feldshuh

Tovah Feldshuh is a six-time Emmy & Tony nominee and has been awarded three honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. Additionally, for her theatre work, she has won four Drama Desks, four Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Dramalogues, the Obie, the Theatre World, and the Helen Hayes and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Actress.

On Broadway: Yentl, Cyrano, Rodgers & Hart, Dreyfus in Rehearsal, Sarava!, Lend Me a Tenor, Golda’s Balcony Irena’s Vow, and the show stopping trapeze-swinging Berthe in Pippin. Off-Broadway and around the country: Dozens of productions playing everything from three queens of Henry VIII and Tallulah Bankhead to Yussel “The Muscle” Jacobs, nine Jews from birth to death in Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! and most recently Holocaust Denier Brenda Goodsen opposite Ed Asner in The Soap Myth. This summer she starred in the world premiere of Wade Dooley’s The Prompter directed by Scott Schwartz, where she played Irene Young, a legendary diva making her Broadway comeback after a 40-year absence. Immediately on the heels of The Prompter, she filmed Clifford for Paramount Pictures, went to the Sing-Sing in New Guinea, and flew from there to Los Angeles to star as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the LA Premiere of Jonathan Shapiro’s Sisters-In-Law. She has just completed filming Edith Hagigi’s BLEECKER with Ben Stiller.

On TV: Deanna Monroe on “The Walking Dead”, Danielle Melnick on “Law & Order”, POTUS Pauline Mackenzie on “Salvation”, and Naomi Bunch, on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” where Feldshuh can be seen singing the dignified showstopper: “Where’s the Bathroom!” Films include: Kissing Jessica Stein, (Golden Satellite Award), A Walk on the Moon, Brewster’s Millions, Just My Luck, Daniel, The Idolmaker, and most recently, Ms. Feldshuh’s award-winning performance as Prime Minister Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony has been made into a film entitled Golda’s Balcony The Film which has won 20 out of 20 Audience Choice Awards. Her one-woman show “Tovah is LEONA!” enjoyed sold-out engagements at 54 Below in New York and at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco.  Feldshuh is thrilled to bring the infamous Leona Helmsley direct from Purgatory to sunny Florida where Leona was once a resident in Palm Beach. Follow Tovah’s travels around the world on Instagram @tovahfeld. www.tovahfeldshuh.com/

Tickets for Tovah is LEONA! are on sale now and range in price from $39 – $59. Tickets can be purchased online at http://miznerparkculturalcenter.com or by phone at 844-672-2849.  Group rates are available.  The Mizner Park Cultural Center is located at 201 Plaza Real in Boca Raton (33432).

For more information about Tovah is LEONA! to arrange for tickets, or to speak with someone involved in the production, please contact Carol Kassie at Carol@CarolKassie.com / 561-445-9244.

“Tovah Is a Life Force!” Theater Pizazz

“Fast, funny and vastly entertaining.” Cabaret Scenes

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Tovah is LEONA!
Saturday, March 28 at 3 pm & 8 pm
Sunday, March 29 at 2 pm & 7 pm
Created by: Tovah Feldshuh, James Bassi, & Jeff Harner
Directed by Jeff Harner
Musical Director:  James Bassi
Music by Ron Passaro
Lyrics by David Lee & Alex Lippard
Tickets: $39 – $59
Group rates:  $10 off for groups of 12 or more.
For tickets:  http://miznerparkculturalcenter.com/  844-672-2849
All performances take place at
The Mizner Park Cultural Center
201 Plaza Real, 2nd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33432
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