Saturday, September 1, 2012

2-for-1 Shows During Broadway & Off-Broadway Weeks

David Coomber and Nick Wyman in “Bullet for Adolf.” Photo by Carol Rosegg.


1952, Argentina was enthralled with its charismatic first lady, Eva Peron, when she died tragically at the age of 33. “Evita” is about political intrigue, ambition and sex appeal.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice based their masterwork, in an imperfect and interesting revival at the resplendent Marquis Theatre, on the accounts of worshipful crowds mourning her loss. (; see video below).

From Tuesday (4 Sept.) through 16 Sept., tickets to “Evita” – starring Ricky Martin, Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris – and nearly a score of Broadway shows are two for the price of one. That’s right, a twofer.

As if sponsors NYC & Company&partners, need to sweeten the Broadway Week 2012 deal, there’s even a list of 25 Broadway-area restaurants that are offering free dessert after dinner to all who show ticket stubs from a Broadway show.

This goes for the high-flying “SPIDER-MAN: Turn off the Dark,” too. The original tale in this Broadway musical based on an iconic comic book figure may be a bit muddled but the stunts are big-top spectacular. (; see video above.)

Meanwhile, politics and puppets definitely make strange bedfellows in “Avenue Q,” which tells savvy and adorable life-stories and love-stories about post-college life in New York City, acted out by humans and their fuzzy mouthpieces.

In 2004, that combo garnered a Tony Best for the creative team of Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx (concept as well as music and lyrics) and Jeff Whitty (book). "Avenue Q" is a hip, funny show that particularly targets 20-somethings. In its Broadway run, it did not resonate with this reviewer, but at its new smaller digs, it was a thrill to watch.

NYC & Company and a different lineup of partners are also offering twofers during off-Broadway Week 2012. “Avenue Q” is joined by 29 others in the 17-30 Sept. deal.

For those who prefer being closer to the action, off-Broadway offers a more intimate theatrical experience. It’s the size of the house (100-499 seats), not its proximity to the Great White Way that defines off-Broadway, by the way.

While off the Way find out why the world’s longest-running musical, “The Fantasticks,” is still kickin’ it after 42 years. Maybe it’s the beautiful songs in this "Romeo and Juliet" tale that has given it such lasting appeal. “Try to Remember” is just one classic from the show. (See video below).

For newer off-Broadway fare, “Bullet for Adolf” could be just the entertainment. Woody Harrelson and Frankie Hyman have written an offensive and lovable slapstick. (

The 2-for-1 deals are pretty straightforward propositions. Get your tickets now for the participating Broadway Week shows and from Tuesday onward for off-Broadway Week. No standing in line on the day of; during the promotion see as many of the participating shows as you want.

That means, let’s face it, all of September can be your own little theater festival.

Visit to learn more about Broadway Week 2012 and to learn more about Off-Broadway Week 2012.

On Celebratory Watch: Donald, Blair, Željko and Others

Carlos Gomez, Priscilla Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda in "In the Heights." Photo courtesy of "In the Heights."


New York City it seems there's likelihood for close encounters of the celebrity kind almost any given day.

Hubby Burt and this celeb-sighter try to make the most of all of our encounters. In fact, BB's heartfelt mantra is to always talk up the famous he meets.

For instance, he ran into traffic to shake hands with Donald Sutherland who was hailing a cab. On occasion, it seems better not to intrude. Diahann Carroll appeared to be entertaining her grandchildren at the Omni Berkshire Hotel on a recent afternoon. DC could be heard asking their mom if she could bring them up to her room for a visit. DC was lovely, petite and brimming with a wonderfully expansive theatricality.

He was easily recognizable, despite the peaked cap, so when he came in to tell the hostess at 5 Napkin Burger that he and his party would be dining outside, it was hard to remain silent. “You’re braving the cold.”

“Oh, no, it’s really very nice out there,” Blair Underwood said along with a handshake

BU could not have been friendlier or more gorgeous during a dinner break between his Saturday performances as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire,” which reportedly may play London in the fall. "Come see us over there. We're having so much fun!" said BU who is still as trim and youthfully handsome as he was when he appeared on "LA Law." (See the opening night video at right).

Mention of a chat with "LA Law" costars Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry at a performance of "I Married Wyatt Earp" (, elicited general agreement about the couple’s loveliness, though BU admitted he had not seen them in some time.

Željko Ivanek in Slowgirl. Photo by Erin Baiano.

It’s always a treat to run into “celebrity” actors, but how to approach? A case in point is Željko Ivanek. He is a quiet and self-effacing man whose characters in great TV such as “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “Oz” and “Damages,” among others, are often far more flamboyant than the man himself. Compliments are always welcome, and in this case extremely easy to give. “I loved “Slowgirl,” just loved it.” The lame but true comment was met by an almost inaudible, “Thank you.” The much more effervescent Garrett Morris, currently starring in “2 Broke Girls,” accepted a similar accolade with a much heartier thanks.

Priscilla Lopez, performing as Camilla in “In The Heights,” was cornered at a Duane Reade. She was chatty and gracious, even when asked good-naturedly, “How do you remember all those lines?,” by someone who admires the mad chops that actors exhibit on every stage.

“You remember your phone number, don’t you?,” she replied without missing a beat.

That’s easy for you to say, Priscilla.

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