Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oh, Kay! The Confessional - Billie and Rosie

How would you feel if you kept getting pushed out of the way.  If the love of your life traipsed around with another woman (or two)!

That's what the ladies of today's confessional have to deal with.  Billie (portrayed Erica Kimble) and Rosie (portrayed by Kathryn Han) are two girls just looking for love.  Who's foiling their efforts? Find out in this installment of "The Confessional."

What's going on Girls?

Want to see if Billie or Rosie get their man... or any man? Enter our Gerswhin infused estate on the Hamptons with Oh, Kay! playing at the Eureka Theatre through Nov. 20, 2011.  Call (415) 255-8207 or purchase online at 42ndstmoon.org

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Oh, Kay! The Confessional - Constance Appelton

Today's confessional comes from none other than the new mistress of the Winter estate, Constance Appleton, portrayed by the lovely Lisa-Marie Newton.

How would you feel if you watched your former, but soon to be again, husband flirt with... the MAID!  Plus, you had to deal with the antics of a wily butler with no manners who hardly knows how to serve a proper Hamptons' lunch.

And all of this in front of her sainted father, the Judge!

Tell us how you really feel Constance.

Want to see the whole story? Come see a world of flappers, bootleggers, jazz, and mistaken polygamy?!? It's George and Ira Gershwin's Oh, Kay! playing at the Eureka Theatre through Nov. 20, 2011.  Call (415) 255-8207 or purchase online at 42ndstmoon.org

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oh, Kay! The Confessional - Shorty McGee

Whenever I watch Reality Television... wait... did I just admit to watching Reality Television?  Oh well, the cat's out of the bag.

Anyway... I find myself waiting for those short "interview - confessionals".  You know the snippets where you get to hear all the snarky comments the contestants, housemates, coworkers, etc. make about each other?

I wondered what would those confessionals sound like in 1927, so I asked some of the members of the cast of Oh, Kay! if they would help me create some of these confessionals.

Here is "Shorty McGee" played magnificently by Brian Yates Sharber... let's see what Shorty has to say:

Check out Shorty McGee and all the wacky characters in the world of George and Ira Gershwin's Oh, Kay! playing at the Eureka Theatre through Nov. 20, 2011.  Call (415) 255-8207 or purchase online at 42ndstmoon.org

Monday, October 31, 2011

Oh, Kay! and the Langauge of a Musical

Hey all you Moon birds.  I was watching a rehearsal of Oh, Kay! and realized I don’t know from nothin’ about some of the swell language used by P. G. Wodehouse, Guy Bolton and Ira Gershwin in the show.  I had to go a searchin’ and came across this swell website which listed all these terms; it was the bees knees and that’s no Banana Oil!

So here you go… here are some of the slang terms used in the 20’s and 30’s.  All of the terms that have been bolded are ones that you’re sure to hear in Oh, Kay!, which is playing at the Eurkea Theatre from Nov 2 to Nov 20, 2011.  For more information click here.  For tickets call (415) 255 -8207 Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5pm, or click here.

Abe's Cabe: five-dollar bill
ace: one-dollar bill
all wet: incorrect
And how!: I strongly agree!
apple sauce: flattery, nonsense, i.e.. "Aw, applesauce!"

baby: sweetheart; also denotes something of high value or respect
baby grand: heavily built man
baby vamp: an attractive or popular female; student
Banana Oil: Insincere flattery; nonsensical exaggeration
Bank's closed.: no kissing or making out ie. "Sorry, mac, bank's closed."
barrelhouse: illegal distillery
beat it: scram, get lost
beat one's gums: idle chatter
bee's knee's: terrific; a fad expression.
beef: a complaint or to complain
beeswax: business; student
belt: a drink of liquor
bent: drunk
big cheese: important person
bird: general term for a man or woman, sometimes meaning "odd," i.e. "What a funny old bird."
blind: drunk
bootleg: illegal liquor
breezer (1925): a convertible car
brown: whiskey
brown plaid: Scotch whiskey
Buddy Poppy: artificial flower warn in support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
bump off: to kill
bum's rush, the: ejection by force from an establishment
bunny (1925): a term of endearment applied to the lost, confused, etc; often coupled with "poor little"
Butt me.: I'll take a cigarette

caper: a criminal act or robbery
cat's meow: great, also "cat's pajamas" and "cat's whiskers"
cash: a kiss
Cash or check?: Do we kiss now or later?
check: kiss me later
chewing gum: double-speak, or ambiguous talk
clam: a dollar
coffin varnish: bootleg liquor, often poisonous
copacetic: excellent, all in order
crasher: a person who attends a party uninvited
cuddler: one who likes to make out

daddy: a young woman's boyfriend or lover, especially if he's rich
daddy-o: a term of address; strictly an African-American term
dapper: a Flapper's dad
deb: a debutant
dewdropper: a young man who sleeps all day and doesn't have a job
dick: a private investigator; coined around 1900, the term finds major recognition in the 20s
dogs: feet
doll: an attractive woman
dolled up: dressed up
don't know from nothing: doesn't have any information
don't take any wooden nickels: don't do anything stupid
dope: drugs, esp. cocaine or opium.
doublecross: to cheat, stab in the back
dough: money
drum: speakeasy
dry up: shut up, get lost
ducky: very good
dump: roadhouse

earful: enough
edge: intoxication, a buzz. i.e. "I've got an edge."
egg: a person who lives the big life
Ethel: an effeminate male.

a Flivver
face stretcher: an old woman trying to look young
fella: fellow. as common in its day as "man," "dude," or "guy" is today, i.e. "That John sure is a swell fella."
fire extinguisher: a chaperone
A fashionable young woman intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behavior.
flivver: a Model T; after 1928, could mean any broken down car
fly boy: a glamorous term for an aviator
four-flusher: a person who feigns wealth while mooching off others

fried: drunk

gams (1930): legs
gasper: cigarette
Get Hot! Get Hot!: encouragement for a hot dancer doing his or her thing
get a wiggle on: get a move on, get going
get in a lather: get worked up, angry
giggle water: booze
gin mill: a seller of hard liquor; a cheap speakeasy
glad rags: "going out on the town" clothes
go chase yourself: get lost, scram.
goods, the: (1) the right material, or a person who has it (2) the facts, the truth, i.e. "Make sure the cops don't get the goods on you."
goof: (1) a stupid or bumbling person, (2) a boyfriend; flapper.
goofy: in love
grummy: depressed
grungy: envious

hair of the dog (1925): a shot of alcohol
handcuff: engagement ring
high hat: a snob
hip to the jive: cool, trendy
hit on all sixes: to perform 100 per cent; as "hitting on all six cylinders;" perhaps a more common variation in these days of four cylinder engines was "hit on all fours;" also see "big six".
hoary-eyed: drunk
hooch: booze
hood (late 20s): hoodlum
hooey: bullshit, nonsense; very popular from 1925 to 1930, used somewhat thereafter
hopped up: under the influence of drugs
horse linament: bootleg liquor

"I have to go see a man about a dog.": "I've got to leave now," often meaning to go buy whiskey
icy mitt: rejection
insured: engaged
iron (1925): a motorcycle, among motorcycle enthusiasts
iron one’s shoelaces: to go to the restroom

jack: money
Jake: great, i.e. "Everything's Jake."
Jalopy: a dumpy old car
Jane: any female
java: coffee
jeepers creepers: "Jesus Christ!"

jitney: a car employed as a private bus; fare was usually five cents, ergo the alternate nickname of "nickel"
joe: coffee
Joe Brooks: a perfectly dressed person; student
joint: establishment
jorum of skee: a drink of hard liquor
juice joint: a speakeasy

keen: appealing
killjoy: a solemn person
know one's onions: to know one's business or what one is talking about

left holding the bag: (1) to be cheated out of one's fair share (2) to be blamed for something
line: a false story, as in "to feed one a line"
live wire: a lively person
lollygagger: (1) a young man who enjoys making out (2) an idle person

a little moonshine, anyone?
manacle: wedding ring
mazuma: money
milquetoast (1924): a very timid person; from the comic book character Casper Milquetoast, a
mind your potatoes: mind your own business
moonshine: homemade whiskey
mop: a handkerchief
Mrs. Grundy: a prude or kill-joy
mulligan: Irish cop
munitions: face powder

neck: to kiss passionately; what would today be called "French kissing"
necker: a girl who wraps her arms around her boyfriend's neck
noodle juice: tea
nookie: sex
"Not so good!": "I personally disapprove."
"Now you're on the trolley!": "Now you've got it!".

old boy: a male term of address, used in conversation with other males as a way to denote acceptance in a social environment; also: "old man" or "old fruit"
Oliver Twist: a skilled dancer
on a toot: a drinking binge
on the lam: fleeing from police
on the level: legitimate, honest
on the up and up: on the level
orchid: an expensive item
ossified: drunk
owl: a person who's out late

palooka: (1) a below-average or average boxer (2) a social outsider; from the comic strip character Joe Palooka, who came from humble ethnic roots
panic: to produce a big reaction from one's audience
petting pantry: movie theater
phonus balonus: nonsense
piffle: baloney
pill: (1) a teacher (2) an unlikable person (3) cigarette
pinch: to arrest
pinko: liberal
pipe down: stop talking
putting on the ritz: after the Ritz Hotel in Paris (and its namesake Caesar Ritz); doing something in high style; also, "ritzy"

rag-a-muffin: a dirty or disheveled individual
razz: to make fun of
Real McCoy: a genuine item
regular: normal, typical, average
Reuben: an unsophisticated country bumpkin; also, "rube"
Rhatz!: "How disappointing!" flapper
rotgut: bootleg liquor
rummy: a drunken bum

sap: a fool, an idiot; very common term in the 20s
sawbuck: ten-dollar bill
says you: a reaction of disbelief
scratch: money
sheba: one's girlfriend
sheik: one's boyfriend
shine box: a bar or club for black patrons
simolean: a dollar
sinker: a doughnut
skee: Scotch whiskey
skirt: an attractive female
smarty: a cute flapper
smudger: a close dancer
snort: a drink of liquor
so's your old man: a reply of irritation
speakeasy: a bar selling illeagal liquor
spill: to talk
splifficated: drunk
spoon: to neck, or at least talk of love
static: (1) empty talk (2) conflicting opinion
stilts: legs
stuck on: in love; student.
swanky: (1) good (2) elegant
swell: (1) good (2) a high class person

take someone for a ride: to take someone to a deserted location and murder them
tasty: appealing
tea: marijuana
tell it to Sweeney: tell it to someone who'll believe it
three-letter man: homosexual
tight: attractive
tomato: a "ripe" female
torpedo: a hired thug or hit-man
trip for biscuits: wild goose chase

unreal: special
upstage: snobby

Pola Negri- Actress and Vamp
vamp: (1) a seducer of men, an aggressive flirt (2) to seduce
voot: money

water-proof: a face that doesn't require make-up
wet blanket: see Killjoy
white lightning: bootleg liquor
wife: dorm roommate; student.
"What's eating you?": "What's wrong?"
whoopee: wild fun

"You slay me!": "That's funny!"

zozzled: drunk

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where in the World is the Nymph Errant The Final Day

As we prepare to say goodbye to Nymph Errant, I thought we could have one more Where in the World is the Nymph Errant.  Enjoy, and remember, the location quiz is only half the fun... Find the Nymph Errant hidden in one of the pictures, have you found all the others hidden Nymphs?

We’ve hit up most of Evangeline’s whereabouts, but not all of them. Can you figure out this one? It’s a little more difficult.

Clue 1. It’s not really a city.

OK, so that wasn’t really much of a clue either…

Clue 2. Its name means “forbidden place” or “sanctum.”

That’s a bit more like it.

Clue 3. This misunderstood place has been depicted incorrectly in Western Culture for centuries, due in part to the writing of Richard Francis Burton.

Cultural relativism was not an issue.

Clue 4. The purpose was for the royal upbringing of future wives of noble and royal.

And as one royal could have many wives… oh wait… that’s almost another clue.

Did you find Evangeline? Come see how Cole Porter and Romney Brent depicted this location during Nymph Errant, playing through October 23. For tickets call (415) 255-8207 or click here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where in the World is the Nymph Errant Day 5

Ruins, Ruins, Ruins… too many ruins in the past few days, let’s see where Evangeline has gone… somewhere that’s green (get the musical reference?) For yesterday’s location check out our Facebook page.

Clue 1. The town is built in a wine region, on three hills.

That’s obscure… If you get it on that, I’m impressed!

Clue 2. It is now home to the Musée de l’Art Brut, a collection of works of art created by psychiatric patients and inmates in psychiatric prisons.

Sadly, it opened a few years after the action of Nymph Errant, so Evangeline wouldn’t have been able to attend any exhibits.

Clue 3. It is the seat of the International Olympic Committee.

That makes it too easy, so it’s the last clue you get!

Oh, find the Nymph Errant? Need a reminder of what she looks like? Come see Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant tonight or this weekend at the Eureka Theatre. For tickets call (415) 255-8207 or click here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where in the World is The Nymph Errant Day 4

Yesterday’s location was a bit more difficult (click here for the answer), this one is about as easy as it will get! Evangeline… are you over here or over there?

Clue 1. Home to more theatrical stages than any other city in the world. 

That’s my kinda place! 

Clue 2. It has been continuously inhabited for over 7000 years. 

To paraphrase Eddie Izzard "where the history comes from…” 

Clue 3. In 1957, Edith Hamilton was pronounced an honorary citizen. 

Why does that name sound familiar…. 

Clue 4. It’s named after a Goddess. 

Oh… right, that one! 

Are you getting dizzy yet? Well not too dizzy, you still have to drive to the Eureka Theatre to see Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant playing now through October 23. For tickets call (415) 255-8207 or click here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Where in the World is the Nymph Errant Day 3

Week 2 of Nymph Errant started last night!  Where has the Nymph gone to today?

Clue 1.  It’s named after one of the gifts the Three Wise Men brought to Jesus.

Ok, so I’m Jewish… I would never have gotten it from that clue.

Clue 2. Alexander the Great reestablished the area from its original ancient beginnings.

Oh, I wish I had paid more attention in world history!

Clue 3. A nine-day fire destroyed much of the area from September 13 to 22, 1922.

I’m glad it was rebuilt in time for Evangeline!

Clue 4. It is in present day Turkey, but was a powerful Greek city for much of recorded history.

Have you found our Evangeline for the day?  You can find her tonight at the Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson Street between Front and Battery.  For tickets call (415) 255-8207 or click here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Pricing Initiatives

For the 2011-12 season, 42nd Street Moon introduces a new pricing initiative:

1) A 10% early bird discount
The good news first! We are offering an Early Bird discount for every show this season (find the code online, on the postcard, and emails we send out). The discount will generally end two weeks before the first preview. This discount will be valid for EVERY performance, including Sunday matinees! Watch for your emails and postcards for the special code you’ll need!
2) A Slight increase in single ticket costs

Single Tickets will be increasing by one or two dollars. 

Those of you who have been with 42nd Street Moon since before 2008 know how much we’ve changed our productions. We have gone from actors holding scripts, no props, limited sets, and minimal costumes, to fully produced intimate productions. We have also increased the number of professional actors in each show, and we are proud to provide these Equity Actors with raises each year!

Tickets sales cover 50% of our costs; the balance comes from patrons like you in the form of donations. And, while we have increased the number of donors in our patronage over the years (for which we are deeply grateful), production costs continue to climb. The resulting shortage requires us to raise single ticket prices.

3) No more discount outlets!

As many of you probably noticed last year, we drastically reduced the number of tickets we sold on discount websites. This season we will no longer be using discount outlets at all.

We want our patrons that follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and read our emails to receive the best offers directly through us, saving both 42nd Street Moon and our patrons additional outside vendor fees. If you haven’t joined us on Facebook or followed us on Twitter, now is the time. Don’t forget to read all your emails from us, many will offer special time-sensitive discounts!

4) Dynamic Pricing

First, dynamic pricing will not affect Subscribers at all! Subscribers are still entitled to buy extra single tickets at the regular subscription rate. So for the best locked in rate and to get the same seats show after show, season after season, call us at (415) 255-8207 [Tue-Fri 12pm-5pm] and purchase a subscription!

For single ticket buyers unfamiliar with dynamic pricing, it is the common sense principle of supply and demand. Don’t worry, unlike super-sized ticket vendors we won’t raise our prices by several hundred percent. In fact, we guarantee not to raise ticket prices more than 15% of the original ticket price. If you make a habit of purchasing your tickets early you’ll reap the rewards of dynamic pricing. While others are paying a lot more for their tickets, you can feel confident that you got the best price available. Save yourself time and money by going directly to our website from now on, and buy early!! To see the range of our single ticket prices please click here (the lowest price is the initial ticket price).

So, how does it work? If a show starts to sell out, and you wait until the last minute, you may see an increase of from $2.00 - $6.00 over last year’s prices. There will be a small increase when our website states that tickets are “limited” and another small increase when the website states tickets are “very limited.” However, the vast majority of you who purchase tickets early – especially those of you who beat the Early Bird deadlines - will see no change at all or even a slight decrease in single ticket costs over last year.

We would like to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts about these new policies in the comments section. If you have specific questions, please leave them below or call us at (415) 255-8207.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where in the World is the Nymph Errant Day 2

I do apologize for taking so long to get this next edition of “Where in the World is the Nymph Errant?” finished.  I wanted to write a special tribute to Bob Grimes (see blog).  Also, we had our opening weekend.  It was a busy time!
So, for those of you who aren’t sure where Evangeline was in the last edition…  I’m not going to tell you – here!  Check on our Facebook page for the answer.   Now, on to today’s clues!

Clue 1.  The city was chartered in 1191.  

General  enough for you?

Clue 2.  It was named after a way of crossing over a river.  

Hmm, I never said it was a popular way…

Clue 3. It lies on the Thames and Cherwell.  

Those would be the rivers which need to be crossed.

Clue 4. It houses the oldest University in the English Speaking World.

Gosh, I can’t make it any easier than that!

By the way, did you find her in the picture?    You can still see Evangeline (aka Sharon Rietkerk) on stage as she does all this traveling.  But the good news is, she’ll take you on this whirlwind adventure while you stay in one location, the Eureka Theatre!  Come see Nymph Errant until Oct 23, for tickets 24/7 click here or call (415) 255-8207 Tue-Fri  noon-5.

Bob Grimes - The Sheet Music Mogul of Post Street

42nd Street Moon lost one of our dearest friends this past weekend. Bob Grimes passed away on Saturday afternoon. It is a great loss, not only for us, his family, and friends, but to the entire music world. The inside joke about Bob was that he was “Almost a Celebrity” but the truth is, he was a celebrity, the rarest of celebrities... he was a celebrity’s celebrity.

Bob Grimes
February 18, 1922 - October 8, 2011

Though you may not have known him, the biggest names in Broadway and Cabaret knew who he was and would seek his insight, knowledge, and miles upon miles of sheet music when constructing a cabaret evening, one of their recordings, and possibly a PBS special or two.

A news report about Bob from 1992

I met Bob relatively recently. But at every Moon show in the past two years I have enjoyed hearing Bob’s distinct bellowing laughter all the way out in the lobby. When Bob was at a show, everyone knew it. And you could always tell the cast seemed a little livelier, a little more “on,” because when Bob was at the theatre, everyone wanted to hear that laughter.

Then there was the apartment, I kept hearing, “You should go to his apartment, it’s amazing.” Finally, when Bob asked if I’d like to take his collection of programs from old Moon shows, I jumped at the chance. Not only to have an archive for Moon, but I also saw this as my chance to enter a Broadway Nirvana.

An ardent collector of cast recordings myself, I was beyond awed.

I had a wonderful time that afternoon talking to Bob, looking at the collection he still had, as most of it now resides at The Michael Feinstein Foundation at the Center for Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana. He had a mind like a steel trap. He could remember songs, the movies they were from, who starred in the movies, and most amazingly… where in his apartment all those movies, music, and cast recordings were! I can’t even find my car keys in the morning.

Bob's Collection at the Michael Feinstein Foundation.

Perusing his recordings (VHS, DVD, CD, and Tape), I was dumbfounded at some of the rarities he had! He would ask me about a movie, when I told him honestly I hadn’t seen it, he didn’t seem shocked so much as sweetly pitying me. I left that day with four DVDs and instructions to watch them so we could talk about them another time. That was Bob, he loved this music… and by gum you were gonna too!

Bob amassed over 32,000 pieces of sheet music, many long out of print and not to be found anywhere else, except possibly the Library of Congress – and possibly not even there! Andrea Marcovicci, Paula West, Michael Feinstein, Wesla Whitfield, Klea Blackhurst, Jonathan Franks, and thousands of other performers from all over the world, would come to his apartment in San Francisco and work with him to find some of the most clever, moving, and virtually unknown songs to add to their repertoire.

Without a doubt, he held a special place in all of our hearts. The only thing more impressive than his collection and knowledge, was how kind and gentle a man he was. Bob, I will miss you terribly as I know we all will. As I write this, our cast for Oh, Kay! has just started rehearsals and all I can think is… wherever Bob is now, we will have someone to watch over them and us all.

Here Bob talks about coming to San Francisco and changing the official song
of San Francisco from "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" to "San Francisco."

Please leave a comment and let us know how Bob touched your life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where in the World is the Nymph Errant Day 1

Just like with businesses, home values, and so many other things… Nymph Errant is all about Location, Location, Location.  Well, ok, maybe not all about… there’s a lot about love, romance, sex, and singing too… but location is up there.

Over the next week or so I want to play a little game, my loyal Moonies. 

Where in the World is the Nymph Errant Each day I’ll have a picture, and somewhere in that picture our intrepid heroine Evangeline Edwards, will be hidden.  The game has two parts, one you must find her, and two, you must discover where she is given a few hints.  This is all on your honor, so have fun with it!

Clue 1.  This location was renamed by Cole Porter (but just by one letter!)

Too easy?  Do you know the location? 

Clue 2 It is fabled to be the inspirational spot for Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.

Almost got it… it’s on the tip of your tongue…

Clue 3.  Coco Chanel opened one of her first shops here…

Have you got it?

Clue 4.  In 2011 it hosted the 37th Annual G8 summit.

You’ll find out the answer in our next installment.

By the way, did you find our Evangeline in the picture?  She’s there.. I swear.

If you can’t find her in the picture, come see her on stage.  Sharon Rietkerk stars in Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant playing through October 23, 2011.  For tickets call (415) 255-8207 or click here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Choosing a Play: the Decision to Produce Silk Stockings.

I am always fascinated by the process Artistic Directors use to choose the plays for their seasons.  In the next few weeks I hope to sit down with our A.D., Greg MacKellan, and ask him about next season's terrific line up.

But for right now, I did get a chance to talk to him about Silk Stockings specifically. Find out why 42nd Street Moon produced Silk Stockings in the interview below.

Come check out Cole Porter's quaint 1955 hit, Silk Stockings at the Eureka Theatre through May 22.  For tickets click here or call (415) 255-8207.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Mystery of George Spelvin

I received a call from a longtime patron of ours the other day, a representative of George Spelvin. She wanted to renew his subscription for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

Now, this probably doesn’t seem odd, but I was in the middle of reading a scene, from Strike Up the Band, between George Spelvin and Horace J. Fletcher.

“What an odd coincidence,” I thought.

George Spelvin
Do you know who George Spelvin is? He is a man of particular mystery in the Kaufman script. And here he has a representative calling on his behalf, somewhat mysterious in and of itself.

I began to do a little digging (not hard with Google and Wikipedia) and discovered what many of you may already know, but just in case you don’t….

George Spelvin is 125 years old. He has been in more plays than any other actor in history. Most importantly… he doesn’t exist.

It is a pseudonym used in the theatre (mostly American) for a number of reasons, but generally always to stand in for the name of an actor.
Spelvin has stood in for actors playing dual roles; union actors wishing to remain anonymous when performing in non-union theaters; and often when there is literally no actor at all. For instance, when the director doesn’t want the audience to know a character will not actually appear on stage, such as in a mystery or melodrama. I’m sure there has been a production or two of Harvey, where Harvey is played by George Spelvin.

He has also appeared as the name of a character in Strike Up the Band, Christopher Durang’s The Actor’s Nightmare, in an episode of Fibber McGee and Molly, and the I Love Lucy episode, “Don Juan is Shelved.”

Benjamin Knoll
Spelvin comes from an illustrious family that also includes, Alan Smithee (cousin according to the IMDB), and his English relatives Walter Plinge and David Agnew. Can you tell me who these gentlemen are?

Do you have any favorite pseudonyms? Do you have a pseudonym that you have ever used?

Oh, and to find out why our George Spelvin, played by the devilishly charming Benjamin Knoll, is so mysterious, come to the Eureka Theatre April 6-24 for George & Ira Gershwin and George S. Kaufman’s Strike Up the Band. For tickets click here or call (415) 255 -8207.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And the Award Goes to: 42nd Street Moon Receives 20 nominations!

In January, The San Francisco Bay Times released its "The Top 10 of 2010" list of Theatrical performances. 42nd Street Moon is on the list - twice!  Then in just the past few weeks Moon has been nominated for 9 BroadwayWorld.com awards and 11 Bay Area Theater Critic Circle (BATCC) Awards.  

While the BATCC Awards are chosen by a closed ballot, the BroadwayWorld.com Awards are chosen through public voting.  Please visit the voting site by clicking here, and help 42nd Street Moon take home the following awards (all for Murder for Two):
Scott Weinstein
Joe Kinosian
Adam Overett
Best Musical: Murder for Two
Best Special Theatre Event: Murder for Two
Best Director of a Musical: Scott Weinstein
Best Featured Actor of a Musical (Local): Adam Overett
Best Lead Actor of a Musical (Local): Joe Kinosian
Best Lighting Design: Cathie Anderson
Best Sound Design: Carole Davis

Our BATCC nominations include:

Klea Blackhurst
Both our casts for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Lady, Be Good! were nominated for Best Ensemble Cast.

Klea Blackhurst picked up a nomination for Best Solo Performance for Everything the Traffic Will Allow.  

Our resident maestro Dave Dobrusky picked up TWO nominations for Best Musical Director for Very Warm for May and Lady, Be Good!

Speaking of directors, Chris Smith was nominated for Best Director for Lady, Be Good!

Our fine Moonie actors picked up three nominations: Maureen McVerry (Very Warm for May) and Rena Wilson (Lady, Be Good!) for Best Supporting Performance - Female, and Anil Margsahayam (Very Warm for May) for Best Principal Performance - Male.
Rena Wilson
Maureen McVerry
Anil Margsahayam
Finally, Lady, Be Good! and Very Warm for May were nominated for Best Production.

We are certainly proud of each of these nominations.  42nd Street Moon strives with each new show to increase our production values and from the positive patron comments we often receive and these nominations, it's a pretty good indication that we are headed in the right direction! 

Again, please help us sweep the BroadwayWorld.com Awards by voting here. Voting ends March 31, 2011.

Thank you all for your support. We look forward to seeing your response to our upcoming 2011-2012 season!

And tell us what do you think?  Did the nominating Boards get it right?  Were there other Moonies that got slighted?  Leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Klea Blackhurst : Secrets of Successful Singing Revealed! A review of MoonSchool’s first Master Class.

Klea Blackhurst (right) with
U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Ann Wagner
On February 5th, New York’s powerhouse singer, Klea Blackhurst, swooped into MoonSchool and taught an amazing Master Class in singing and song interpretation.  Ms. Blackhurst was the perfect choice to launch the Master Class series at 42nd Street Moon.  Klea is an experienced performer of both theatre and cabaret.  Her singing style is athletic, confident, forceful, grounded and joyous [see video below!].  Throughout the three-hour session, Klea let her skills shine without ever eclipsing the performers or forgetting that she was, indeed, there to teach.  The class was accompanied by Mr. Barry Lloyd, an accomplished musician and performer.  Klea and Barry blended beautifully as teachers and mentors.

from top left clockwise: Eliza Leoni, Julia Baron, Klea Blackhurst
Chelsea Nenni, Barry Lloyd, Jonathan Shue, Buzz Halsing,
Moon Education Director Dyan McBride, and Chloe Condon
The format was fairly simple.  Seven Bay Area performers and MoonSchool students-Seth Michael Anderson, Julia Baron, Chloe Condon, Buzz Halsing, Eliza Leoni, Chelsea Nenni and Jonathan Shue were asked to prepare a musical theatre song.  After singing, they would work with Klea on whatever she deemed important.  The audience was made up of friends, singers, teachers and those interested in learning about the process of singing.

Barry fixing rhythms and arrangements!
Each singer had approximately 15 to 20 minutes with Klea and Barry.  The technique that seemed to get the most play during the class was exploring a physicality in singing that had force and confidence.  If a singer thought they were singing with full emotion or breath, Klea helped them see that there was much more power within themselves.   Singers learned that breath is not just a casual act.  It IS singing. In Klea’s words, “Breath is the umbrella and everything else is underneath.”  Barry fixed rhythms and discussed better/different arrangements or markings in the music.

Chelsea and Klea connecting!
Other techniques that were explored were “ping” singing (forward sound), articulation of consonants for energy, using one’s gestures to help sing with confidence and Klea’s theory of mind, body and spirit as the core of singing.  Her basic philosophy being any “problem” which occurs in singing is a result of an issue in either the mind (artistry, thought, objectives/tactics, lyrics), the body (physicalization, acoustics, what you can and can’t accomplish when singing a certain song) and spirit (performance magic, being in “the zone”).  

Chelea Before working with Klea and during!

Each singer had moments of brilliance.  They were all open and playful.  Klea and Barry both remarked that they were grateful to have singers who were willing to try anything they were given.  All singers were prepared, off-book and knew what they wanted to work on.  Some wanted to connect with their body, while others wanted to re-charge a piece they’d sung for a long time.  Whatever the need, Klea and Barry worked on it and then some.  How wonderful it was to have singers and teachers that reveled in the beauty and fun of music.  Our first Master Class was a success all the way around!
Klea with Buzz

MoonSchool’s next Master Class features the return of Darren Criss. The handsome and talented star of Fox TV's hit show, Glee began his career with 42nd Street Moon!

Stay tuned for all the exciting details!