Pawdesh Salawi

About Pawdesh Salawi

Pawdesh has been writing about Broadway ever since seeing her first show on the great white way in 2001. Now she sees over one hundred Broadway (and off-Broadway) shows a year. She is also a member of the Drama Desk and would love to vote on the Tony's one day. The Office Voted Her Most Likely To: Marry rich and divorce young

Broadway Stars Join For Anti-Defamation League Concert

Side By Side Against HateOn November 25, a concert event titled “The Anti-Defamation League & Broadway: Side By Side Against Hate for 100 Years” will bring together several Broadway performers at the Hudson Theatre in the New York City theater district. The event will be held at 8pm.

Written by playwright Jonathan Tolins (Buyer & Cellar, Twilight of the Golds) and directed by Ted Sperling, the event commemorates the League’s 100 year history of fighting hate and bigotry through a selection of Broadway songs.

Eden Espinosa, Robert Cuccioli, Lillias White, Carolee Carmello, André De Shields, Randy Graff, Michael McElroy, Stephen DeRosa, Jesse Manocherian, Jason Robert Brown, and The Mark Stuart Dance Company are among those scheduled to participate in The Anti-Defamation League & Broadway concert.

Broadway writer Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello!, and She Loves Me) will be specially honored during the evening with a Lifetime Achievement Award (celebrating his 90th birthday, Harnick will even perform a duet with Randy Graff). Producer Harriet Newman Leve will be honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award and Adam Blanshay will be given a Future of Broadway Award.

Tickets for this benefit concert start at $75 and go as high as $1,000. Purchase online at adl.org/broadway100.

Broadway Salutes Armed Forces With Veterans Day Event

Arts in the Armed ForcesBroadway will host the United States Armed Forces on November 11 at 7pm with a special Veterans Day performance at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre (currently home to Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Winslow Boy). Presented by Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), the 5th Annual Veterans Day Performance will include a mix of scenes, monologues, and live music.

Broadway performers such as David Schwimmer, Amy Ryan, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, Tracie Thoms, Francois Battiste, and Marylouise Burke are among those scheduled to perform, as well as Girls‘ star Lena Dunham.

Current and former members of the armed services and their families are invited to attend the event for free, and civilians are welcome to attend for a $25 donation (donate at www.aitaf.org). Send an email to contact@aitaf.org for ticketing information.

AITAF aims to to provide recognition, education, inspiration, and entertainment for active military members and veterans alike through the power of the performing arts.

Billy Porter, Laura Osnes To Appear on Carols for a Cure CD

Broadway's Carols for a CureThe “Broadway’s Carols for a Cure” recording has become a beloved holiday tradition for Broadway fans who like to support a good cause (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS) while enjoying holiday-themed tunes from theater’s best. After several years of providing show tune lovers with the perfect CD to play during Christmas time, this year will be no exception, offering tunes recorded by stars from Broadway shows, both old and new.

“Broadway’s Caroles for a Cure, Volume 15″ will feature the original singing Spider-man himself, Reeve Carney, performing “A Savior is Born; Broadway stalwart Faith Prince singing “Children Go Where I Send Thee” with the cast of Annie; Cinderella‘s Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Rebecca Luker, and Ann Harada singing “Happy Christmas, Little Friend”; and Billy Porter and Harvey Fierstein of Kinky Boots crooning “Carol of the Boots”.

Cast members from most Broadway shows, including Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Motown, Matilda, Newsies, Wicked, Once, First Date, Soul Doctor, and Rock of Ages, are also expected to record songs for the album. The all-stars of Northport, New York’s John W. Engeman Theater and The Broadway Boys will participate as well.

There will also be a special selection from web gossip guru and sometime actor Perez Hilton, who performed Off-Broadway in the revue NEWSical recently. Hilton will perform a number titled “Perez’s 2013 Holiday Dishlist,” which has original lyrics by George Howe and Lynn Pinto (who created Broadway’s Caroles for a Cure), with music composed by Jason Michael Webb.

“Carols for a Cure” will be available to order through Broadway Cares by calling 212-840-0770 (ext. 238) at broadwaycares.org. CDs are priced at $23 each.

Broadway’s First Date Auctions Items for Operation Smile

First Date Broadway ShowFans of the new Broadway musical comedy First Date can get some interesting items from the show online right now as it is in the midst of holding an auction on eBay. The auction is raising money for the charity Operation Smile, while helps children all over the world who suffer from cleft lip and cleft palate, along with other facial deformities, by providing surgeries to correct these problems.

There are a number of items up for sale in the First Date auction, including a wig, scarf, silver boots, leg warmers, sweater, Diane Von Furstenber​g dress, pink jacket, go-go boots, and a men’s troubadour hat, all directly from the First Date wardrobe department. A First Date script that has been signed by the show’s writers, as well as a CD of the musical that has been signed by its cast are also on the auction block. Two tickets to the show, plus a dinner, meet & greet, and backstage tour are also be auctioned off. One of the most unique items being offered is a personalized song written by Bryce Ryness.

A recurring gag in First Date features actor Kristoffer Cusick as “Reggie” leaving voicemail messages for his friend – a personalized message from Cusick as Reggie is also one of the items available for auction.

First Date stars Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family) and Zachary Levi (TV’s Chuck) as two very different types of New Yorkers who are set up on a blind date that becomes a bit of a circus as their friends, families, and dating pasts come to terrorize them as they try to get to know one another over dinner. Zachary Levi has been an ambassador for Operation Smile for some time, so this cause is near to the actor’s heart.

Go to FirstDateAuction.com to see the auction listings and to bid on an item. The First Date items that are currently up for auction are scheduled to conclude taking bids on Friday, October 25.

Actor Jeff Daniels To Play 54 Below

Jeff DanielsThough he is better known as a television and film actor, Jeff Daniels (currently starring in HBO’s series The Newsroom) will soon be taking the stage at 54 Below, the favored venue for New York City theater performers who want to perform solo shows. Daniels will perform six shows there, from January 2-4, 2014.

During his concert engagement, Daniels will present several of his own original songs. Highlighting the actor’s humorous side, the tunes feature such titles as “You Can Drink An Ugly Girl Pretty” and “If William Shatner Can, I Can Too”.

Jeff Daniels’ breakout roles came in the early 1980s in movies such as Terms of Endearment and The Purple Rose of Cairo, going on to gain greater recognition in Hearburn and Something Wild. Other film credits include Gettysburg, Speed, Pleasantville, The Squid and the Whale, State of Play, and Looper. He is also scheduled to star in a sequel to the silly comedy favorite Dumb & Dumber in 2014.

More recently, Jeff Daniels has gained acclaim for his starring role as veteran newsman Will McAvoy in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama The Newsroom. He recently took home an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work in The Newsroom.

While Daniels has distinguished himself in movies and TV over the years, he has always kept one foot in the theater. He studied drama in college and began his career on the New York stage in the late ’70s. Daniels founded the Purple Rose Theatre Company in 1991 in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan, and he has authored numerous plays for the company.

Jeff Daniels’ stage work has included five Broadway productions, including Fifth of July, The Golden Age, and Redwood Curtain. His most recent appearance on Broadway was in the popular 2009 play God of Carnage.

Tickets for the Jeff Daniels concert at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) are priced in the $40-$50 range, plus there is a $25 minimum for food and drinks. For further ticketing and show information, visit 54Below.com.

Little Shop of Horrors Sing-along at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) October 25

Little Shop of HorrorsPeople who love show tunes usually love nothing more than singing along to their favorite cast recordings. Even if — or maybe especially if — they aren’t good enough at singing to perform onstage themselves. The Sing-along Sound of Music was one of the first events to capitalize on this by hosting special screenings of The Sound of Music in which attendees were encouraged to dress up as characters and to sing along during the movie’s musical numbers. Of course, even before that, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was well-known for its midnight screenings in which participants would even bring props.

Like Rocky Horror, the Little Shop of Horrors holds a certain cult status. The 1986 movie musical is based on the dark 1982 Off-Broadway musical written by writer/lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken (and the musical was in turn based on the 1960 Roger Corman film). On October 25 at 8pm, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will offer a sing-along screening of Little Shop of Horrors, which will even include an appearance by the movie’s star, Rick Moranis.

Little Shop of Horrors is about a meek florist by the name of Seymour Krelborn and his discovery of a strange plant species that eats people. The show, which features a mix of ’60s style rock/doo-wop and more traditional show tunes, is best remembered for songs like the ballad “Somewhere That’s Green” and the catchy title song.

The original Off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors starred Lee Wilkof and Ellen Greene, who reprised the role of Audrey for the movie. Little Shop didn’t make its Broadway debut until 2003, when a revival starring Hunter Foster, Kerry Butler, and Douglas Sills played the Virginia Theatre (now the August Wilson Theatre).

To find out more about the sing-along Little Shop of Horrors event being hosted by BAM, go to www.bam.org.

New NYC Production of The Drowsy Chaperone Benefits Autism Support

The Drowsy ChaperonePreviously a hit on Broadway, The Drowsy Chaperone returns to New York City in a new Off-Broadway production presented by the Blue Hill Troupe. The production is partnering with Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC) to raise funds and awareness for the organization.

Stephen Agosto will direct and choreograph The Drowsy Chaperone, which will play the Theatre at St. Clement’s (located at 423 West 46th Street in the heart of the theater district) from November 1-9. The Blue Hill Troupe picks an NYC-based charity each year to raise money for.

The lively musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone has a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, and music/lyrics by Greg Morrison and Lisa Lambert — all of whom won Tony Awards for their efforts. Learn more about this production of The Drowsy Chaperone at bht.org.

A Night with Janis Joplin Rocks Broadway

A Night with Janis JoplinThe new Broadway production A Night with Janis Joplin, which began previews last month, officially opens at the Lyceum Theatre today. Originally known as One Night with Janis Joplin, the music revue played at several venues across the country prior to arriving on the Great White Way.

Mary Bridget Davies makes her Broadway debut in the iconic role of Janis Joplin, singing many of the songs that the rock legend made famous, including “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” and “Me and Bobby McGee”. She is joined by an onstage band. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, A Night with Janis Joplin is set for an open run on Broadway.

The show has had a pretty strong start in ticket sales. Last week, the Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street was at 84.50% capacity with 4,555 attending, which is impressive for a newer show. However, it had a lower than average $61.88 ticket resulting in total sales of $281,871. So will A Night with Janis Joplin turn into many nights on Broadway? We will have to see. If the Off-Broadway hit Love, Janis from several years ago and the positive response to the current production is any indication, then A Night may burn brightly for many months to come, if Mary Bridget Davies impressive voice can hold up to the harrowing schedule of eight shows a week.

Jazz Musicians Announced for Broadway’s After Midnight

After Midnight Broadway MusicalThe forthcoming Broadway music revue After Midnight, which has already announced cast members Adriane Lenox and Dule Hill along with featured singer Fantasia Barrino, now has its line-up of musicians set to serve as the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars.

Selected by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, the All-Stars will include Gregory Gisbert, Bruce Harris, James Zollar, and Alfonso Horne on trumpets; Arthur Baron, James Burton III, and Wayne Goodman on trombones; Godwin Louis, Mark Gross, Andrew Farber, Daniel Block, and Kurt Bacher on woodwinds; James Chirillo on guitar; Adam Birnbaum on piano; Jennifer Vincent on bass; and Alvester Garnett on drums.

After Midnight starts preview performances at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 18, with an opening night scheduled for November 3.

Direct From Broadway Series Coming Soon To Movie Theaters

Direct from BroadwayBroadway fans will get several opportunities to see Broadway musicals on the big screen this fall when the “Direct from Broadway” series by Specticast presents special screenings of Broadway shows.

The series will feature five musicals, including Tony Award winning Memphis, the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller rock ‘n’ roll revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe, the Stephen Sondheim musical revue Putting It Together, Jekyll & Hyde starring David Hasselhoff, and Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.

Tapings of these shows will be screened at select movie theater across the country in October, November, and December. To find out where “Direct from Broadway” screenings will take place, visit directfrombroadway.net.