Carly White

About Carly White

Carly graduated University Of Toronto, Theatre and Performance program. She has written for various publications including art-speaks, Pembroke Daily Observer, Toronto Star - Performing Arts Section, The Canadian Post and more recently the Village Voice and the New York Daily News. As a member As a member of the Barrow Group, her specialties include performance stage production and talent casting.

Tony n’ Tina Coming Back to Off-Broadway

Tony n' Tina's WeddingA pioneer in interactive theater, the former long-running Off-Broadway hit Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding is coming back to New York City’s Off-Broadway scene this year. Starting March 5, the two-part theater piece will play at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School (120 W. 46th Street) in midtown Manhattan where Tony and Tina’s comedic wedding ceremony will take place. The audience will then be led by the show’s performers (playing the bridal party and Tony and Tina’s friends and family) through Times Square to Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar (220 W. 44th Street), where they will eat an Italian buffet, enjoy cocktails, and dance to a DJ.

Brought to life by Hofstra University undergrads Nancy Cassaro and Mark Nasser in 1985, Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding went on to have a long commercial run in Greenwich Village, followed by a 10-year run in Times Square.

Tickets for this new production of the interactive performance piece are $125-175. Performances will be held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7pm, along with 2pm Saturday matinees and 3pm Sunday matinees. Visit www.TonyLovesTina.com or call 866-811-4111 for tickets and information.

Real Housewives Star To Perform Off-Broadway

Kandi BurrussKandi Burruss, one of the stars of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, will soon join the cast of the Off-Broadway show NEWSical The Musical. Her two-week stint in NEWSical will be from January 13-26, 2014.

“I am thrilled to join the cast of NEWSical The Musical,” said Kandi Burruss in a statement. “Having just come off of my own musical production, NEWSical The Musical furthers my journey in entertainment to, simultaneously, do more of what I love: act and sing.” As well as her role on the Atlanta edition of the popular Real Housewives franchise, Burruss is known as a songwriter and record producer.

NEWSical the Musical, which currently features Christine Pedi and Michael West, among others, is playing on Theatre Row at 410 W. 42nd Street. Tickets are $90 to $110. Go to www.NEWSicalthemusical.com for tickets and information.

Twelfth Night Goes Off-Broadway

Twelfth NightWhile audiences are enjoying the very Elizabethan-style version of Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance on Broadway, the Off-Broadway scene is getting its own take on the beloved Shakespearean romantic comedy of mixed identities this month, courtesy of the Essential Theatre Group.

Unlike the Broadway production, which has an all-male cast (as productions did in William Shakespeare’s own time), ETG’s production has a mixed-gender cast — no doubt a relief to those who already find the gender-bending Twelfth Night a little confusing at times. ETG’s Twelfth Night, which is directed by Tony Lance, also features original music by Conly Basham and Gillian Bell (a sample can be viewed here).

Twelfth Night plays December 13-21 at The Tank Theatre, located in Times Square at 151 West 46th Street on the 8th floor. Tickets are a budget-friendly $15 and can be purchased at twelfthnighttank.brownpapertickets.com.

Broadway Schedule Changes for Thanksgiving Week

The Phantom of the OperaMajor holidays usually mean significant changes to the Broadway schedule, and that includes Thanksgiving. With families in town and visitors coming to NYC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it is good to know what changes to expect in the event that you want to catch a Broadway show during this holiday time.

The main change is that almost all Broadway shows have canceled their performances on Thanksgiving Thursday. The five shows that will be open that evening (all for 8pm performances) are Beautiful, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, and The Winslow Boy.

To make up for the Thanksgiving closures, most Broadway musicals and plays are adding a matinee performance for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. 700 Sundays, Mamma Mia, Phantom, Pippin, Richard III, The Snow Geese, Twelfth Night, Waiting for Godot, and The Winslow Boy are the only exceptions.

To see the complete Thanksgiving Week Broadway performance schedule, click here.

Julie Taymor Appears at the 92nd Street Y November 17

Julie TaymorIn “From Stage to Screen and Back Again,” an event at the 92nd Street Y, theatrical visionary and Broadway director/designer Julie Taymor will discuss her work with actor Harry Lennix (who was in Taymor’s 1999 movie Titus).

Tony Award winner Julie Taymor is of course best known for her extraordinary work in Disney’s stage adaptation of The Lion King, which has remained one of Broadway’s biggest hits for 15 years. However, she became very controversial during the development and preview period of the multi-million dollar Broadway production of Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. Currently, she is directing a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn.

Julie Taymor will be at the 92nd Street Y on November 17 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by calling 212-415-5500 or by visiting www.92y.org.

Broadway and TV Actor Len Cariou To Perform at 54 Below

Len CariouTelevision audiences will recognize Len Cariou for his role on the hit TV show Blue Bloods, but Broadway fans have long appreciated the veteran actor for his Broadway work. Soon Cariou will be seen on the stage at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) performing beloved Gershwin songs.

Len Cariou will sing numbers by George and Ira Gershwin on December 11 at 7pm, December 13 at 8pm, and December 14 at 8pm. Tickets are $35 to $45, plus a $25 food/beverage minimum. More information can be found at www.54Below.com.

A Tony Award winner for his turn in the original Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney Todd, Len Cariou has also appeared on Broadway in the musicals Applause and A Little Night Music, as well as plays such as Proof and The Dinner Party.

Gypsy of the Year Competition to Play Minskoff Theatre December 9-10

Gypsy of the YearBroadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) hosts a number of popular Broadway-related benefit events throughout the year, and the Annual Gypsy of the Year competition is one of the most loved. This year’s Gypsy of the Year will be held at the Minskoff Theatre, home to the long-running Disney musical The Lion King, on December 9 at 4:30pm and at December 10 at 2:00pm.

Now in its 25th year, Gypsy of the Year puts a spotlight on Broadway’s many ensemble dancers and singers, dedicated and talented performers — sometimes called “gypsies” — who don’t always get the glory but whose hard work is crucial to the vitality of Broadway. Over 200 of these Broadway gypsies will do original sketches, along with song and dance numbers, during the event.

The Gypsy of the Year performances in December will cap off a six-week fundraising push by the companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring shows as they try to raise money for BC/EFA. Since its inception, Gypsy of the Year has raised more than $50 million for charity. The company that raises the most funds will be recognized, as will the best performance.

You can purchase tickets to be in the audience for Gypsy of the Year by calling 212-840-0770 (ext. 268) or by visiting www.broadwaycares.org. Tickets range from $20-$110, with VIP tickets in the $200-$350 range.

Broadway Performers Joel Grey and Brooke Shields Named Living Landmarks

Joel Grey

Joel Grey

Every year the New York Landmarks Conservancy honors people who they dub as “living landmarks,” and this year two stage performers of different generations, Joel Grey and Brooke Shields, will be recognized in their annual event taking place at The Plaza in Manhattan on November 14.

One of the most respected elder statesman of the Broadway theater, Joel Grey has starred in Broadway musicals such as Cabaret, Chicago, Wicked, and most recently Anything Goes. Brooke Shields initially gained fame in film and television, but she has also appeared on Broadway a number of times in productions like Grease, Wonderful Town, and The Addams Family.

A Living Landmark herself, Liz Smith, will host the event, and music will be provided by Peter Duchin and his Orchestra. Tickets for the Living Landmarks gala are a pricey $1,000 (or $10,000 for a table). Call 212-995-5260 or email JennaSmith@nylandmarks.org for tickets and information.

Cast and Writers of Broadway’s Big Fish Will Appear at 92nd St Y

Big Fish Broadway ShowMembers of the cast and creative team of the new Broadway musical Big Fish will gather at the 92nd Street Y for a discussion of the show on November 24 at 7:30pm. Directed by Susan Stroman (The Producers) and starring Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Big Fish recently had its official opening at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Andrew Lippa, Big Fish‘s composer, will appear alongside stars Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert. Also joining them will be Daniel Wallace, who wrote the original novel that the musical of Big Fish is based on. Furthermore, they will be joined by Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who served as producers on both Tim Burton’s 2003 film adaptation and the Broadway musical, and screenwriter John August.

Together this panel will discuss Big Fish‘s journey from book to film to stage. The evening will also include musical performances by Baldwin and Steggert, who play Sandra Bloom and Will Bloom in the Broadway show.

Big Fish is about traveling salesman Edward Bloom, a man who lives a wildly colorful life, which he recounts in thrilling stories that he shares with everyone around him. But as he is readying to be a father himself, Edward’s son Will decides to discover the truth behind his dad’s tall tales.

To get tickets (which are as low as $29) to see the Big Fish discussion at the 92nd Street Y, go to www.92y.org.

Ice Skater Elvis Stojko Coming to Broadway

Elvis StojkoThe Tony Award winning, long-running Broadway musical revival Chicago has been known (and sometimes mocked) for many years for its enthusiastic use of stunt-casting. Bringing in a wide array of performers — from pop stars to TV personalities to has-been celebrities — to play some of the musical’s key roles has become a hallmark of the production.

Now Chicago looks to the world of competitive figure skating to bring in its latest unexpected star, Elvis Stojko. Stojko will take on the part of “razzle dazzle” lawyer Billy Flynn starting March 17, 2014. However, he is only scheduled to do a total of eight shows, performing until March 23.

Elvis Stojko came to prominence as an ice skater in the 1990s, when he earned three world championships and two silver medals in the winter Olympics. Besides skating, Stojko has also taken guest roles in television and film and has even released a CD.

“People think of me as only a skater,” stated Stojko. “But what they don’t know is that I love musicals. Now I finally have the chance to play a great role in one of the greatest musicals of all times.”

Past instances of stunt-casting in Chicago have been many and varied. Usher, Jerry Springer, Brooke Shields, Huey Lewis, Patrick Swayze, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alan Thicke, Melanie Griffith, Ashlee Simpson, Wendy Williams, Marilu Henner, George Hamilton, Christie Brinkley, Kara DioGuardi, and Sofía Vergara are just a few of the people who have been tapped to feature in Chicago over the years, with many of them making their Broadway or stage debuts in the production.

Billy Flynn, the part that Elvis Stojko will be playing, is the role most often filled by male stars, though on some occasions it’s Amos Hart. For female performers with limited stage experience (but who can still belt a song), Matron Mama Morton is a common option. But even the key dancing roles of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly are sometimes filled by stunt-casted performers.

Chicago the musical, which has been playing on Broadway for more than 15 years, performs at the Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street) in New York City. For tickets and other information about the show, go to chicagothemusical.com.