The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway, Colman Domingo, Pocono Playhouse...and more!

The Scottsboro Boys: cast announced

The cast and creative team for the world premiere of The Scottsboro Boys - the new musical by the legendary composer/lyricist team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, with book by David Thompson and direction and choreography by Susan Stroman - have been announced by the Vineyard Theatre, where the musical will begin previews on 12 Feb 2010 prior to its official opening night on 10 Mar 2010.

The 13-member cast of The Scottsboro Boys will feature two-time Tony winner John Cullum, Colman Domingo, Brandon Victor Dixon, Sean Bradford, Josh Breckenridge, Derrick Cobey, Rodney Hicks, Kendrick Jones, Forrest McClendon, Julius Thomas III, Sharon Washington, Cody Ryan Wise and Christian White.

Also announced is the creative team for the musical, which will have set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Kevin Adams and sound design by Peter Hylenski.
David Loud is music director; orchestrations are by Larry Hochman.
The Scottsboro Boys explores the infamous "Scottsboro" case of the 1930's, in which a group of African American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two white women -- and the boys' attempts to prove their innocence.
The Scottsboro Boys reunites Vineyard Theatre with John Kander, David Thompson and Susan Stroman -- who along with the late Fred Ebb -- previously collaborated on The Vineyard's revival of 'Flora, The Red Menace' in 1987.
John Cullum has received Tony Awards for his performances in the musicals 'On The Twentieth Century' and 'Shenandoah', and Tony nominations for the musicals 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,' 'Urinetown' and '110 in the Shade.'

He most recently appeared on Broadway in 'Augist: Osage County.'

Colman Domingo has appeared on Broadway in 'Well' and 'Passing Strange,' and earlier this season debuted his acclaimed solo play 'A Boy and his Soul,' at the Vineyard Theatre.
Brandon Victor Dixon received a Tony nomination for his role as 'Harpo' in 'The Color Purple,' and is currently appearing as the title character in 'Ray Chales Live!' at Pasadena Playhouse.

Sean Bradford has appeared on Broadway in 'The Lion King.' John Breckenridge was featured in the cast of 'The Ritz' on Broadway; Rodney Hicks' credits include 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' and 'Rent' on Broadway; Derrick Cobey appeared in this season's new musical 'Tin Pan Alley Rag' Off-Broadway; and Kendrick Jones is an actor and dancer who has performed nationally with the dance troupe 'Tap City.'

Forrest McClendon appeared at the Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia in 'Dreamgirls'; Julius Thomas III appeared in '25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' in Chicago; Sharon Washington has performed in numerous productions at the Public Theater, including 'Richard III', 'Cymbeline' and 'Coriolanus'; Christian White appeared at City Center Encores! in 'The Wiz'; and Cody Ryan Wise appeared at City Center Encores! in 'Damn Yankees' and in the national tour of 'The Lion King.'

The legendary collaboration of John Kander and Fred Ebb over four decades resulted in some of the most beloved and enduring musicals in theatre history: from 'Flora, The Red Menace' to 'Cabaret' (Tony Award); 'Zorba,' 'Chicago' and 'Woman of the Year' (Tony Award); to 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' (Tony Award), 'Curtains,' 'The Visit' and 'All About Us..' David Thompson is a Tony Award nominee for Best Book of a Musical for 'Steel Pier.'. His other credits include the script adaptation for 'Chicago' and the musical 'The World Goes 'Round,' a musical revue of the songs of Kander and Ebb.
In addition, he has written new librettos for the revival of 'Flora, The Red Menace' and Jerry Herman's 'Dear World.'
Susan Stroman won two Tony Awards as director and choreographer of 'The Producers.'. She co-created, directed and choreographed 'Contact' for Lincoln Center Theater (Tony Award, Best Choreography). Other Broadway credits include 'Young Frankenstein,', 'Happiness,''Oklahoma!' 'The Music Man,' Steel Pier,' 'Show Boat' (Tony Award) and 'Crazy For You' (Tony Award).

Act Now: Protest Buju Banton's Grammy Nomination

Reggae singer Buju Banton has advocated violence against gay people throughout his career.

In a popular song released in 1988 entitled "Boom Bye Bye," Banton repeats the anti-gay 'f-word' and says that "f-----s have to die" and he will "shoot them in the head" or "burn them."

The Associated Press has reported that the song "Batty Rider" from Banton's 1993 record "Mr. Mention" glorifies the shooting of gay men.
In October 2009 Banton was quoted in news reports as saying "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs 'there is no end to the war between me and f----t' and it's clear."

By nominating Banton for a prestigious Grammy Award the Recording Academy is turning a blind eye to Banton's support of deadly violence against gay people.
Signing this letter tells the Recording Academy that honoring Banton with this nomination is not OK.

Read the full press release at

I am protesting Buju Banton's Grammy Nomination
Dear Recording Academy,

I am joining GLAAD's protest against Buju Banton's Grammy nomination and urging Recording Academy members NOT to support him. Honoring a man who continues to advocate killing gay people is absolutely unacceptable.

Reggae singer Buju Banton has advocated violence against gay people throughout his career.

In a popular song released in 1988 entitled "Boom Bye Bye," Banton repeats the anti-gay 'f-word' and says that "f-----s have to die" and he will "shoot them in the head" or "burn them." He continues to sing this song at his concerts today.

The Associated Press has reported that the song "Batty Rider" from Banton's 1993 record "Mr. Mention" glorifies the shooting of gay men.

In October 2009 Banton was quoted in news reports as saying "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs 'there is no end to the war between me and f----t' and it's clear."

By nominating Banton for a prestigious Grammy Award the Recording Academy is turning a blind eye to Banton's support of deadly violence against gay people.
[Your name here]

As Ralph Miller headed to bankruptcy court Monday to try to keep the only one of his four theaters that hasn't been destroyed by fire, a federal agency is leading the investigation of the most recent blaze at the Pocono Playhouse in Mountainhome.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with state and local Pennsylvania police, is investigating the October fire.

The ATF is also investigating two previous fires at the Woodstock, N.Y., Playhouse in 1988 and the Falmouth, Mass., Playhouse in 1994.
The ATF would not discuss details "since it is an open investigation," said spokesman Tony Tropea.
"We are aware of those other fires and other incidents," Tropea said. "There's a great deal of work that needs to be done."
Pennsylvania State Police investigators are preparing their report about the Pocono Playhouse blaze to send to the ATF.
Miller, who has collected more than $1 million in insurance for the fires, has consistently denied any involvement.

Miller has said he was told that a 1984 fire at one of his properties, at a storage building used by what is now his last theater, the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, was set by a local firefighter.

But an official with the police in Doylestown Township, where the fire occurred, refuted that.

He referred to police reports, obtained by the Times Herald-Record through a public records request, that said the case had never been solved.
Witnesses reported hearing explosions before the fire erupted, and one witness said she thought she saw three people running from the building before it was afire, according to police records.

But Doylestown police closed the case with no finding of arson.

"If there was an indication or information there was arson, we would have looked into it. But there was absolutely nothing," said Lt. Dean Logan.
Miller on Friday maintained a fire marshal told him a firefighter had set the blaze.

"I was cleared," he said.

Along with those fires, Miller has been haunted by a trail of debt, including two previous bankruptcies.

Miller had used the playhouse as collateral on a $2 million July 2008 loan from Stonebridge Bank, for which he allegedly made only one payment.

He was due in court Monday.
Ironically, Stonebridge fears the Bucks County Playhouse may meet the same fate as Miller's other theaters.
"Stonebridge is concerned and worried that Mr. Miller's string of bad luck and loss by fire will continue and will adversely impact its collateral if relief from the stay is not immediately granted," say court papers.

The filing adds: "Three previous fires which destroyed theaters owned by the debtor, including a fire in October 2009, casts very real doubt on the debtor's ability to protect and safeguard the collateral of Stonebridge."
The hearing on the bank's motion is set for tomorrow Dec. 21.

In papers filed Friday, Miller's lawyer said insurance money from the Pocono fire could basically save his assets, including the Bucks County Playhouse.

Meanwhile, American Home Mortgage Servicing, which holds the mortgage on Miller's home in New Hope, filed papers in Bankruptcy Court on Thursday seeking permission to foreclose on his home.
Miller declined comment on the bankruptcy.

Alec Baldwin Donates $1 Million To Alma Mater
Establishes the Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund

New York - Tisch School of the Arts, the premiere institution of the performing, cinematic and recording arts, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund, made possible by a generous $1 million gift from Baldwin, Class of '94.

"The support I got from Tisch made it possible for me to become an actor and to have a career in this business," said Baldwin. "It's important to give back to those institutions that give us such opportunities, and I encourage anyone to look into supporting their alma mater."

Recipients of awards from the Fund will be named "Alec Baldwin Drama Scholars." It is Baldwin's belief that in addition to excellent training, achievement of one's goals in the performing arts requires an unwavering work ethic, development of leadership skills, willingness to collaborate, the ability to tolerate risk, and the capacity to work with constructive criticism.

Beginning in September 2010, the endowed fund will provide tuition assistance to students who best exhibit the characteristics noted above, are in good academic standing, and demonstrate financial need. Special consideration will be given to students from economically disadvantaged families or who are the first in their families to attend a college or university.

"We are blessed to have great alumni such as Alec Baldwin. His life and career are a model of the work ethic, leadership skills and commitment we value at Tisch.
In order to have great alumni you need to start with great students," said Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell. "Great students come from all over the world, and scholarships such as Alec's enable us to attract and retain the best of the best to attend the Tisch School of the Arts regardless of their ability to pay. We are truly thrilled with Alec's generosity and this transformative gift for the school."
As one of the nation's leading centers of undergraduate and graduate study in the performing and cinematic arts, Tisch offers programs that incorporate state-of-the-art facilities; a collaboratively oriented community of award-winning faculty members; internship opportunities with established professionals; and the incomparable artistic and cultural resources of New York City. The Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund will support those students who would not otherwise be able to afford an NYU Tisch education.

About Tisch School Of The Arts

For more than 40 years, Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for the individual artist and scholar of the arts. Students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a major research university.

'Madame with an E' a hit at Algonquin

By Karen Meister

The Algonquin Arts Theatre celebrated its debut of the Celebrity Benefit Series on Nov. 14 with the infamous puppet, “Madame with an E,” in what turned out to be an entertaining and successful night.

Claiming to be “the oldest living showgirl in Las Vegas,” Madame was in rare form with racy comments, raunchy songs and double entendres, capturing very hearty laughs from the Manasquan audience.

Rick Skye, joining Madame, has performed on Broadway and the West End, along with touring cities throughout the U.S. and abroad. He received the MAC Award for Best Impersonation in 2006 and Best Performance Award in 2007 at the Dublin Theatre Festival.
Mr. Skye is honored as the second puppeteer to work with Madame during her years of stardom.
The first was Wayland Flowers, who actually discovered the puppet’s potential to become famous — or infamous.

They coupled in the mid-1960s, and Flowers’ intuition paid off; they were a huge success during the 1970s and 1980s. The team became two-time Emmy Award winners and was a sensational hit wherever they performed, from Nevada to London.

The two were regulars on the popular game show Hollywood Squares and made frequent guest appearances on several prime time TV programs. They continued to perform until 1988, when the popular puppeteer passed away.

The devastated Madame was at a loss until two decades later, when Mr. Skye took the act back to the stage and brought Madame back to life.

Mr. Skye took the best of Mr. Wayland, refreshed the act with his own adept ability and ingenuity, and updated the material for a new generation while still entertaining those seasoned, devoted fans.

Along with Madame and Mr. Skye came a very talented musician and sort of stand-up comic, Michael Ferreri, who bantered back and forth with Madame while playing a fabulous collection of songs on the piano. He is a delightful addition to this talented trio.

If you don’t mind some expletives and some pretty “raw material,” then you would really enjoy this unique act. Madame almost seems human, sitting on the piano, singing and retelling stories that all end in a roar of laughter. She’s just one sassy diva who can entertain to the fullest.
"I always tell people all it takes is your own valet, a wardrobe staff and a masseuse. There is nothing like healing with the help of a new handler, a dry martini and a packed house.”
This production was supported by the generosity of several local eateries, including the Old Mill at Spring Lake Heights, and Brewed Addiction and Sweet Tease, both in Manasquan.

After the performance, there was a reception with delicious samples from the three venues.
Champagne, coffee and desserts were served on the stage. Madame and her entourage mingled among the guests, creating the perfect ending to a perfectly entertaining evening.

As they say on Broadway, break a leg Madame and friends, and may you continue to bring laughter to all you encounter. Madame has been known to promise “something new, something borrowed and something oh-so-very blue."

DAVID BOWIE'S Ziggy Stardust album is a staple entry in countdowns of greatest ever records.

And now the 1972 collection has scooped a new honour - after topping a list of the "gayest albums ever made".
The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars - featuring such classics as Starman and Suffragette City - was crowned the campest disc in gay magazine Out.

It beat out competition from THE SMITHS' The Queen Is Dead, ELTON JOHN's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and MADONNA's Immaculate Collection.

How the judges ignored KYLIE, LIZA MINNELLI, VILLAGE PEOPLE and the Beaches soundtrack is beyond us.

Carol begins next years efforts to raise awareness for the need to have arts in education with an appearance in Dallas in January with Bernadette Peters before 1,700 students and teachers. Something else that I can be passionate about!

Liza Minnelli sex lawsuit settled out of court Published in: Legalbrief Today
Date: Mon 14 December 2009
Category: Litigation

Singer Liza Minnelli has settled a long-running battle with M'Hammed Soumayah, who was her chauffeur for over a decade before being fired in 2004, agreeing to drop a lawsuit in which he sought a total of $100m for assault and battery, breach of contract, personal injury, and multiple counts of sexual harassment.

A report in The Independent notes presiding Judge Paul Feinman said the terms of the deal were confidential, adding that 'the entire action has been settled and discontinued'. The deal was reached on 13 November, four days before Minnelli would have been required to give evidence under oath, according to the report.
Full report in The Independent

After a performance of "White Christmas," a member of the audience stopped by to see one of the stars in her dressing room.

"My father adored your mother," the visitor said.

Because the star was Lorna Luft, daughter of Judy Garland, and the visitor was Mary Ellin Barrett, daughter of Irving Berlin, all they could do was hug each other.
"I know that he did," Luft told her guest.

Could the great American songwriter have felt any other way about the great American vocalist? She starred in one of his most popular movies, "Easter Parade."
The show "White Christmas" stems from another one of Berlin's genre-defining hits. Bing Crosby sang "White Christmas" in three movie musicals. In 2000, the Muny's executive producer, Paul Blake, premiered his stage version of one of those movies — the 1954 picture actually called "White Christmas" — on the big outdoor stage in Forest Park.
"Paul is wonderful," Luft said. "He saw the possibilities."

Since then, the show has undergone a number of changes and become a holiday hit around the country. Last winter, it even outgrossed "Wicked" for a couple of weeks in New York.

The tour, which opens Tuesday at the Fox, stars Luft, along with Kerry O'Malley, Megan Sikora, Stages St. Louis favorite David Elder and Stephen Bogardus, who first took the Bing Crosby role when "White Christmas" played the Muny in 2006.

The show is mainly a vehicle for a parade of great Berlin songs: "Blue Skies", the hilarious "Sisters," the torchy "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me," and many more.

The story centers on World War II veterans Bob and Phil (Bogardus and Elder), postwar partners in a hugely successful song-and-dance act who stage a big show at a charming Vermont inn.

As Martha, the inn's housekeeper, Luft delivers one of Berlin's brightest numbers, "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy."
It's basically a comedy role, which thrills her.

"I built Martha on all those great satiric, wise-cracking dames that I grew up with," she said. "Eve Arden and Martha Raye and Lucille Ball and Ethel Merman, of course, because Martha (the housekeeper) is a belter. They were smart and generous and always funny.
I loved them."

Those are exactly the same words that she uses to describe her mother. Born in 1952, Luft and her brother Joseph are the children of Garland's marriage to her manager, Sid Luft. (Liza Minnelli, their half sister, is the daughter of Garland's marriage to movie director Vincente Minnelli.)

"My mother had her problems, it's no secret," Luft said. "But I have made my peace with that. She was the best mother she knew how to be. And her children always came first."

Luft said she has always tried to emulate that: children first, show-business second. Now that her children Jesse and Vanessa are grown, she feels more comfortable working, especially on the road.
"It's a lot easier than it used to be," she said.

Luft and her husband, British musician Colin R. Freeman, divide their time between homes in California and England.

Their Los Angeles house "is beautiful," she said, a smile in her voice. "I am sure my son loves to have it to himself!"

Making peace with her legacy, musical and personal, has been a long process, one she worked out partly in public. In London — where, she said, audiences have "made me feel so welcome, like one of their own" — she recently played the Wicked Witch in a stage version of "The Wizard of Oz," the show that made her mother famous.

"I wouldn't want to do anything like 'Wicked' or 'The Wiz,'" she said. "But I have no problem with the second-generation situation, as long as it's a true celebration of the original."

In 1998, Luft wrote a best-selling memoir, "Me and My Shadows," then went on to co-produce an Emmy-winning miniseries based on it.
In her multimedia concert "Songs My Mother Taught Me," Luft uses the miracle of technology to sing duets with Garland, who died in 1969.

"My mother's voice is always with me, nothing subliminal about it," Luft said.

She considers that a joy, one that only few people who have lost a parent are lucky enough to experience.

"When I'm listening to the radio and my mother comes on, I love it," Luft said. "She's always with me, so it's good to hear her sometimes."

Whose Christmas Is It?

Published: December 17, 2009

ABOUT 10 years ago, I was doing a weekend of Christmas concerts, accompanied by a fine regional symphony in California. The first night went well, I thought, with a program of holiday classics that seemed beyond reproach. The song choices were about as controversial as a Creamsicle.

But I was wrong. Minutes before I walked onstage the second night, a nervous representative of the orchestra board appeared in my dressing room to tell me that my program was “too Jewish.” Wow, I thought, who knew that orchestra management played practical jokes on artists moments before their shows? My laughter turned to disbelief when the stuttering gentleman said that there had, in fact, been complaints.

Between numbers the night before, I had mentioned that almost all the most popular Christmas songs were written by Jews and then riffed on the idea that the Gentiles must have written mostly Hanukkah songs. The audience was enthusiastic, so I assumed it was somebody on the board who had been offended.

Just as I was informing the unlucky messenger that the second night’s show would be “even more Jewish,” places were called. I bounded onstage in time to belt out the opening lines of “We Need a Little Christmas,” wearing a fake grin that barely concealed my rage. After a while, the music calmed me down, and I was able to merge with the holiday spirit encoded in the Jerry Herman classic. The Jewish Jerry Herman Christmas classic.

The evolution of Christmas is reflected to a degree in its music. As the holiday has become more secular, so have its songs, with religious and spiritual compositions largely supplanted by the banalities of Rudolph, sleigh bells and Santa. Many Christians feel that the true essence of Christmas has been lost, and I respect that opinion. It must be difficult to see religious tradition eroded in the name of commerce and further dissipated by others’ embrace of a holiday without a sense of what it truly means to the faithful.

Yet I also hope that those who feel this encroachment will on some level understand that the spirit of the holiday is universal. We live in a multicultural time and the mixing, and mixing up, of traditions is an inevitable result. Hence we have the almost century-old custom of American Jews creating a lot more Christmas music than Hanukkah music.
If you look at a list of the most popular Christmas songs, you’ll find that the writers are disproportionately Jewish: Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” (yes, Mel Tormé was Jewish), “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” “Santa Baby,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Winter Wonderland” — perennial, beloved and, mostly, written for the sheet music publishers of Tin Pan Alley, not for a show or film. (Two notable exceptions: “White Christmas,” introduced in “Holiday Inn,” and “Silver Bells,” written for “The Lemon Drop Kid.”)

You’ll notice that certain famous Jewish songwriters are conspicuously absent from this list. Why? Unlike the Tin Pan Alley songwriters, who churned out songs to order on every conceivable subject for their publishers, writers like Jerome Kern, the Gershwins, Richard Rodgers and Harold Arlen mainly created songs for musical plays and films, and unless a story line required a holiday song they had no need to write one. When they did try one outside the framework of a show, it rarely had the same spark. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Happy Christmas, Little Friend,” recorded by Rosemary Clooney in the ’50s, is sadly lethargic. Even Clooney couldn’t recall it when asked to sing it 30 years later. Or so she claimed.

In my holiday shows, I’m always looking for novel expressions of the season, and when I introduce a new song I don’t usually think about the religion of its creator. That said, I’m always pleased to discover a surprising juxtaposition. It doesn’t take Freud to figure out that the sugarplums, holly and mistletoe all tap into a sense of comfort, longing, security and peace that so many fervently desire; that we all wish the clichés were true. As Jews, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists and everything in between, we are all more alike than we are different. That’s something to celebrate.

Michael Feinstein is a musician and the author of “My Life in Song.”

1928 - 2009

Thor Arngrim
Born Wilfred James Bannin (aka Thor Arngrim) on November 25, 1928 in Regina, Saskatchewan
Died at 9:15pm on December 16, 2009 in Vancouver, BC of complications due to Parkinson's Disease

Thor Arngrim was a retired and respected personal manager (Seymour, Heller & Associates - later Arngrim & Petersen Mngmt), who handled the careers of noted personalities such as Liberace, Susan Anton, Peter Jurasik, Michael Ontkean, Debbie Reynolds as well as that of his son Stefan Arngrim (Barry Lockridge in Land of the Giants) and daughter Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson in Little House on the Prairie).
He was married to famed voice over legend Norma Macmillian (voice of Casper and Gumby, among many others) until her death in 2001. He founded the famous Totem Theatre of Vancouver, Canada in 1951. As a performer, Thorn Arngrim was best known for roles in the original Broadway production of “Tamburlaine the Great” (1956) directed by Tyronne Guthrie and in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of “Luther” (1963 - 1964), staring Albert Finney produced by David Merrick.

He is survived by his daughter Alison Arngrim and his son Stefan Arngrim and a multitude of beloved friends … A “Celebration of his life” is being be planned for January 2010. Donations in Thor's memory can be made to AIDS Project Los Angeles (, where he volunteered for many years, or PAL Vancouver (Performing Arts Lodge) where he lived, ( or the Parkinson Society of British Columbia (

On January 19th, the touring show of "Ballroom with a Twist" will open at at the DuPont Theatre featuring talent from the hit series "Dancing With The Stars" Dmitry Chaplin, Chelsie Hightower, as well as the husband and wife team of Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya.

Barbara Eden will be the host, with choreography by Dancing With the Stars pro, Louis van Amstel (who partnered with celebrities Lisa Rinna, Priscilla Presley, Monique Coleman and Kelly Osborne on the show) and American Idol alumni David Hernandez and Trenyce will provide exciting vocal accompaniment and interludes.

Attached below are the release for this production. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the show or the talent.

Deepest regards,

Harlan (Boll)

Barbara Eden
Choreographed by Louis van Amstel
& featuring Dmitry, Chelsie, Jonathan and Anna
of the hit series
“Dancing With The Stars”

Who better to offer audiences a magical evening of entertainment than Barbara Eden, who will host the highly anticipated production of Ballroom with a Twist. A brilliant new dance production that rings in the New Year at the DuPont Theatre January 19-24, 2010.
The DuPont Theatre proudly announces the signing of 2009 Dancing With the Stars first runner-up Dmitry Chaplin, the blonde & beautiful Chelsie Hightower, and the strikingly magnetic husband and wife team of Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya to headline this extraordinary lineup of talent. Louis van Amstel, a four-time Dancing With the Stars pro, brings ballroom to the stage as he directs and choreographs an entire ensemble of fabulous young dancers from shows such as Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and High School Musical. American Idol alumni David Hernandez and Trenyce provide stylish and exciting vocal accompaniment and interludes.

This groundbreaking show pushes the boundaries of ballroom dance, infusing it with the energy and intensity of the latest "hip-hop" styles. It is slated to be the only national tour in the 2009 post-DWTS season in which to see these wildly popular dancers triumphantly taking the stage to showcase their sultry moves.
Ballroom with a Twist is an extravagant evening of entertainment for the entire family, highlighted by stunning costumes, magnificent music and breathtaking performances. Come out and dance with the stars at the DuPont Theatre!

Barbara Eden, is one of America's most endearing and enduring stars. She has starred in a score of feature films, five television series, 15 top-rated movies and as a singer, has headlined at many of America's top hotel resorts and casinos in Tahoe, Atlantic City and Vegas, as well as on concert stages and in theaters across America. Her long-running series “I Dream of Jeannie“ has been on television screens globally for 44 uninterrupted years since beginning its first year network run on NBC in 1965. Today, it continues to be one of the world's most popular family shows, and is seen every day on cable and in international syndication on TV screens around the globe. The busy star's recent activities include her starring role as “Florence Unger“ in the national company female version of Neil Simon's “The Odd Couple“ and her recurring starring role as the matriarchal Aunt Irma in “Sabrina: The Teenage Witch.”

Louis van Amstel, born in 1972 in Holland, is a professional dancer, choreographer, and a dancesport coach. He is a world championship ballroom dancer, and also known in American pop culture for partnering with celebrities Lisa Rinna, Priscilla Presley, Monique Coleman and Kelly Osborne in Dancing with the Stars. After retiring from professional ballroom competition, he moved on to choreography and production. He founded the company VanDance, LLC, and directed, produced, choreographed and performed in the Broadway show Latin Fusion. Louis has appeared on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and had a cameo role as himself on ABC's All My Children, where he taught two characters to ballroom dance.

Dmitry Chaplin - This young pro transitioned from So You Think You Can Dance to DWTS last season, when he was paired up with Holly Madison. Dmitry's ballroom dancing career began at the age of 12 in his hometown of Rostov-on-Don in Russia. His perfect combination of technique and performance soon got him noticed by judges and teachers in his home country. After moving to the United States, his commitment to dance brought him to work with some of the best coaches in the ballroom world, including Louis Van Amstel and Shirley Ballas. Dmitry studied in both America and the United Kingdom, and began representing the U.S. at famous ballroom competitions around the world as one of the best dancers in the Under 21 division. In 2006, Dmitry's dance career took a different course when he joined the cast of the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance. He became one of the Top 10 dancers, representing the ballroom world and establishing himself as an audience favorite.

Chelsie Hightower - Only 19 years old, she has been a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance, and in professional competitions has ranked as one of the top three couples in the country. Chelsie has been helping others learn to dance in America and abroad since she was 15.

The glamorous husband and wife team of Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya have been a part of DWTS since its debut in 2005. They are both professional ballroom dancers that teach celebrities how to dance. Although only having danced together for a relatively short time, Jonathan and Anna achieved many high placements in competitions around the world. Jonathan and Anna currently rank 6th in the US and 24th in the world. Together with Anna's mother, they own the You Can Dance Studio in LA.

Jonathan started dancing at the age of 20. Coming from a big sports background in high school (namely basketball), it was as much of a shock to Jonathan as it was to his family and friends when he discovered a passion for ballroom dancing. Jonathan went to see the Al Pacino movie Scent of a Woman and there was something about the famous tango scene that struck a chord. He took advantage of the free ballroom lessons offered on his movie ticket stub, and the rest is history.
Anna began dancing at the age of seven in her native Russia. Her parents owned a dance studio, so it was only natural that Anna took to dancing from an early age. At the age of seven she entered her first competition, which she won, and she has been winning titles (first amateur and now professional) ever since. Trebunskaya moved to the United States with her parents when she was 17 years old. Both her mother and father were professional ballroom dancers, and her mother still makes her costumes today.

Performances of BALLROOM WITH A TWIST at the DuPont Theatre are Tuesday through Sunday, January 19-24, 2010. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening performances start at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday evening performances start at 8 p.m., and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Ticket prices begin at $45. To purchase tickets or for more information about group rates, call the DuPont Theatre Box Office at 302-656-4401 or 800-338-0881 or on the internet at

For press information visit the DuPont Theatre website Press Room at

For information or to view video clips, go to

BHBPR * 2635 Page Dr, Altadena, CA 91001 * 626-296-3757 *

Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Tuesday! Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

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Richard! What a wonderful evening at the Iguana. Thank you for a lovely night of song! Michael Miller, NYC

Thank you for your spirit and for asking me to perform last night at THE IGUANA!!!! It was, as always, a wonderful evening and your support and love means more to me than you know! Hope to see you SOON and do more!!! Love through the holidays,
Susan Eichhorn Young,

Another lovely evening of entertainment at the Iguana! Thanks so much for everything!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge ( in the heart of
NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).
This week, Christine Talbott Sutin on keyboard.
Time: 8 - 11:00 p.m.

Cover: $10 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.
For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_

212-765-5454. No one admitted before

Dec 23

IGUANA VIP LOUNGE, 240 West 54th Street, NYC
OUR CHRISTMAS SHOW - Barry Levitt on keyboard & Saadi Zain on bass.
Tonight's guests include: Frank Basile, Esther Beckman(joined by Marcus Simione), Eileen Fulton (AS THE WORLD TURNS), Sunny Leigh, George Stella, Jill Melanie Wirth ...
...and a few other surprises as well! Remember $10.00 Cover/No food or drink minimum!
Reservations a must (212) 765-5454

December 30th: Ritt Henn, Annie Hughes, Yvette Malavet-Blum, Cindy Marchionda, David Nathan Scott

January 13th: Barbara Gurskey returns!

January 20th: Douglas Davidian, Cait Doyle, D'yan Forrest, Greta Heron, Catt John, Alegra Themmen

Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schecter, George Stella, Jane Stuart

February 17th : James Alexander

March 24th, Julie Reyburn returns!

April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking http://www.richa


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