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.

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.

Artists for World Peace Concert Features Broadway Performers

Artists for World Peace on BroadwayThe 3rd annual “Artists for World Peace on Broadway” benefit will give numerous Broadway performers an opportunity to gather to sing and dance in an intimate setting and raise money for a good cause at the same time. The event is scheduled for this Sunday, October 13 at 8:45pm.

The concert will feature Clarke Thorell (Annie, Hairspray), Stephen Carrasco (Kinky Boots, Ghost), Liana Hunt (Newsies), Natalie Gallo (Jersey Boys), Blake Whyte (Wicked), Ian Paget (Soul Doctor), and many others. The evening will close with an original Bollywood dance number choreographed by Monica Kapoor (Mamma Mia!).

“Artists for World Peace on Broadway” will be held at 54 Below (254 W. 54th Street). Tickets are $150, and proceeds from the event will support the non-profit Artists for World Peace, which works to feed and house the poor and to provide various community services. Learn more at ArtistsForWorldPeace.org.

Rockers on Broadway Benefit Coming to Le Poisson Rouge

Rockers on BroadwayBroadway gets rocking on November 11 when Rockers on Broadway takes over (le) Poisson Rouge. The benefit concert will celebrate the collaboration between The Who’s Pete Townshend and Broadway director Des McAnuff, who worked together to bring The Who’s Tommy to Broadway in 1993.

Founded by Donnie Kehr (an original member of the Broadway cast of Tommy), Rockers on Broadway is held periodically to give Broadway performers a chance to rock out in support of charity. This newest concert will raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Broadway Dreams Foundation, and the ASCAP Foundation’s Children Will Listen Program.

“Rockers began because Pete wanted Tommy‘s cast of Broadway performers to get some experience performing in rock clubs to understand what he did,” stated Kehr. “So our first event actually had rock god Pete Townshend playing backup for Alice Ripley, Norm Lewis, Michael Cerveris, myself and others to help give our Broadway performances a rock n’ roll edge. And that spirit has guided 20 years of Rockers On Broadway.”

The performance line-up for Rockers on Broadway has not yet been announced, but further information can be found at rockersonbroadway.com. Tickets start at $30. Call 212-505-3474 to purchase.

10th Annual Broadway Unplugged Concert To Be Held on September 30

Baritones Unbound

Baritones Unbound

Broadway stars will be shaking the rafters at The Town Hall on September 30 at 8pm, and without the aid of amplification, at the latest Broadway Unplugged concert. This will mark the 10th anniversary of the Scott Siegel-produced series, which aims to recreate the early days of Broadway when singers relied on the power of their voice rather than microphones.

The Broadway Unplugged concert will feature the talents of numerous Broadway singers, including Christopher Sieber, Jeff McCarthy, Tonya Pinkins, Liz Callaway, Max von Essen, Noah Racey, Christiane Noll, Bill Daugherty, and Jeffry Denman. They will also be joined by the trio Baritones Unbound, made up of Broadway regular Marc Kudisch, Jeff Mattsey of the Metropolitan Opera, and Tony Award winner Ben Davis (La Boheme on Broadway).

Tickets are available for $27, $52, and $77. The Town Hall is located at 123. W. 43rd Street.

Musical Coming to New York’s Grand Central Terminal

Orphan TrainNew York City’s famed Grand Central Terminal, recognizable even to many non-New Yorkers because of its prominence on film and TV, is known as a place where thousands of commuters travel through each day. But it has not been much known as theatrical venue, at least until now.

Featuring music by Doug Katsaros, lyrics by Michael Barry Greer, and a book by L.E. McCollough, Orphan Train: The Musical will play in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall on October 11 and 12. The musical is based on a real-life initiative in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which had New York City orphans sent out West to adoptive families. Much of the show actually takes place in Grand Central Terminal.

“I am so pleased this show, created and performed by so many talented people, will be seen by New Yorkers in this amazing space,” stated the production’s director and choreographer Patricia Birch. “This is going to be an emotional, immersive experience for the cast and the audience alike.”

Performances of Orphan Train: The Musical are free, but reservations are required. Visit orphantrain.eventbrite.com to reserve tickets.

Broadway & Beyond! Celebrates Dancers on October 8

Liza MinnelliDancers are a critical part of the Broadway landscape, but the physical demands of their professional means that it is often short-lived. Career Transition for Dancers is a non-profit dedicated to helping these artists, and their 28th Anniversary Jubilee, titled “Broadway & Beyond! Celebrating Theatre & Dance,” will be held on October 8.

This special event is going to feature performances from several well-known Broadway and theater actors, including Rosie O’Donnell, Andrea McArdle, Kelly Bishop, Christiane Noll, Orfeh, Jimmy Tate, Randy Skinner, and Noah Racey. Liza Minnelli will also be there to present the Rolex Dance Award to Ann-Margret.

“Broadway & Beyond” will take place at the New York City Center. Tickets to the performance range from $45 to $130. Call 212-581-1212 or visit nycitycenter.org for more information or to get tickets.

Broadway’s Cheyenne Jackson To Perform at Carnegie Hall

Cheyenne JacksonA regular on Broadway, Cheyenne Jackson will soon be bringing Broadway to one of New York City’s finest cultural institutions, Carnegie Hall. On November 29, Jackson will present a program of songs from Broadway shows, with the help of the Manhattan Chorale and the New York City Chamber Orchestra.

The evening will feature famed Broadway overtures played by the orchestra, choral numbers from the Chorale, and Cheyenne Jackson will take on notable Broadway solo songs. Jackson is expected to be joined by other Broadway stars yet to be announced.

Cheyenne Jackson’s numerous Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow, Xanadu, Aida, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. His breakout role was in the shortly-lived All Shook Up, and he was most recently seen on Broadway in the play The Performers.

For tickets to “Broadway Classics at Carnegie Hall,” call 212-247-7800 or go to carnegiehall.org. Tickets start at $20.