Step Up To The Plate: It’s The Great American Dine Out

Great American Dine OutOK, people, listen up: More than 12 million kids in this country are at risk of hunger, and this week, you can do something about it.
Share Our Strength’s Great American Dine Out returns this week (Sept. 20-26) in cities across the country, including New York. So what’s the deal? This week-long program raises money to help feed these at-risk kids by calling on restaurants-and the public–to step up, as it were, to the plate. How? Restaurants are implementing a number of programs, from donating portions of their proceeds to the cause to creating special menu items to selling promotional coupons or items like t-shirts.
What can you do? Paradoxically, you can help children get a meal by eating one yourself, so get thee to a restaurant. Participating restaurants in New York City range from the casual to the high-end, and include Blue Smoke (Barbecue); Eleven Madison Park (American); Capsouto Freres (French); Caffe Grazie (Italian); and Shula’s Steak House (Um, steak). (For a complete list, you can check GreatAmericanDineOut.org). The restaurants can be found all over the city, and last year, more than 4000 restaurants nationwide participated. Money raised will go to food banks and pantries (already feeling the economic pinch); increased community gardens; and stepped-up advocacy of children’s nutrition-related programs, among other things.
The eventual goal of Share Our Strength is nothing less than ending childhood hunger in this country–and if that’s not worth pulling out the piggy bank for a meal out, what is?

Broadway Folks Clean Up At The Emmy Awards

Michael EmersonOnce again, some of Broadway’s best talent proves that it can bring the goods to the screen as well as the stage. Wicked‘s Kristin Chenoweth was the first of the Broadway babies to nab an Emmy, winning the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award for her role in Pushing Daisies – an impressive win, considering the show was canceled last year. Not long after, Toni Collette (Broadway’s The Wild Party) took Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for United States of Tara. A particularly unexpected win came for Ken Howard, whose best-remembered musical role is probably as Thomas Jefferson in the film version of 1776 – he took an Emmy for Supporting Actor in the TV movie Grey Gardens (not to be confused with the Broadway musical version). Later in the evening, Michael Emerson (Off-Broadway’s Gross Indecency) won Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on ABC’s Lost, followed by Cherry Jones (Broadway’s Doubt, Faith Healer, and much more) winning Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in 24. And kudos have to go to the excellent Emmy emcee himself, Neil Patrick Harris, who Broadway fans have seen in such shows as Proof and Assassins.

Regina Spektor To Write Broadway Musical

Regina Spektor, the alternative folk-rock songwriter that has been a darling of the music scene of late, is going to be writing the music for a new Broadway musical called Beauty. Based on the Grimm’s fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty (also well-known from the Disney animated film version), Beauty will have lyrics by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and book/direction by Tina Landau, whose 2002 one-act play is the basis for the new musical. The production team is hoping to bring Beauty to Broadway in the 2011-2012 season.

Regina Spektor To Write Music For Grimm Broadway Show

Regina SpektorRegina Spektor, the alternative folk-rock songwriter that has been a darling of the music scene of late, is going to be writing the music for a new Broadway musical called Beauty. Based on the Grimm’s fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty (also well-known from the Disney animated film version), Beauty will have lyrics by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and book/direction by Tina Landau, whose 2002 one-act play is the basis for the new musical. The production team is hoping to bring Beauty to Broadway in the 2011-2012 season.

Read it and Smile: New York Libraries Are Expanding Their Hours

Mid-Manhattan LibraryStores and restaurants are closing in New York City, unemployment is up…and the New York Public Library is expanding its hours. In an era when “closed” is the most common sign you see; “open later” is certainly not expected. And yet a huge demand for its services has the library system expanding hours at 10 of its city locations. They include the 96th Street Library (112 East 96th Street (212) 759-0908); the Grand Central Library (135 East 46th Street; (212) 621-0670) and the Mid-Manhattan Library (455 Fifth Avenue; (917) 275-6975.) The latter, for example, will now be open from 8:00 am-11:00 pm Mondays-Thursdays. The New York Public Library will now be open an average of 52.5 hours a week. The last time libraries offered so much browsing time? The economic crisis of the 1970s.
Why the huge demand? People are always looking for refuges in times of economic downturn, not to mention a bargain–even better when it’s free. And many libraries offer services like employment counseling and the use of computers, plus free DVD rentals–especially important when people are cutting back on entertainment like going out to dinner and a movie.
The 10 branches can be found in all five boroughs (the library’s website, nypl.org, has the full listing and complete hours.)
So grab a novel and settle down for a while; at the moment, it’s the best deal in New York.

Chicago Discount Offer Code – Limited Time

Save 50% on Tickets CODE IS: CHTIX0901
Chicago Discount Ticket Code on Broadway in New York City

$47.75 – $85.50 on select performances of Chicago on Broadway
These prices apply to performances through November 1st 2009
and are available on select orchestra and front mezzanine seats.

CODE IS: CHTIX0901
Prices are
$47.75 – $61.50 Saturday & Sunday matinees thru October 8th
$57.00 – $73.50 Weeknights and Sunday evenings thru October 8th
$57.00 – $73.50 Saturday & Sunday matinees October 10th thru November 1st
$66.25 – $85.50 Weeknights and Sunday evenings October 10th thru November 1st

Tickets available at the box office, BROADWAYOFFERS.COM or call 212-947-8844 and use code CHTIX0901

Offer valid 9/16-11/1/09, excluding Friday and Saturday evenings. Price includes $1.50 facilities fee. Limit 9 tickets per order. Not applicable on previously purchased tickets. Certain blackout and holiday periods may apply. Standard Telecharge.com service fees apply to all phone and Internet orders. Cast and performance schedule subject to change. Offer may be revoked at anytime without notice.

Discount Broadway Ticket Code supplied by http://www.nytix.com/

Live From New York, It’s Oprah

Oprah WinfreyDozens of New Yorkers may suddenly “decide” to walk through Central Park Friday morning in the hopes of glimpsing America’s reigning talk-show host, but sadly, chances are slim and tickets are reserved when Oprah Winfrey comes to town tomorrow.
Winfrey is heading to the SummerStage at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park to broadcast; the show will air live on Friday at 10 am Eastern time. (Again, spots in the audience are by reservation only; don’t expect just to show up.)
Winfrey’s guests will include Mariah Carey, the top-selling female recording artist in history, who will most likely perform a song from her new album, “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel.” She will also give Oprah an exclusive interview (topics are expected to include, no surprise, her career and marriage to Nick Cannon.)
Ever-perky Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa are also expected to pop in after doing their own show that morning.
Other (famous) unannounced guests will undoubtedly show up, and Winfrey will also announce her 63rd book club selection. The enormously influential book club has helped a number of books achieve bestseller status, and has also uncovered some controversial selections, like James Frey’s largely made-up “A Million Little Pieces.” Selections from 2008 included “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” by David Wrobleski, and Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.”

Phantom Hits 9,000 Performance Milestone

The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway’s longest running musical, hits a major milestone tomorrow when it has its 9,000th performance at the Thursday night performance. This makes The Phantom of the Opera the first Broadway show ever to play 9,000 performances, a pretty stunning achievement. The history-making performance was actually celebrated today following the matinee in a special curtain call presentation. Phantom opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre in 1988 and was an immediate smash hit, but nobody could have imagined that the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical would still be running over 20 years later. Now in its 22nd year, the show continues drawing both Broadway newcomers and fans who enjoy seeing the musical again and again.

Phantom of the Opera Hits Major Broadway Milestone

Phantom of the Opera Broadway ShowThe Phantom of the Opera, Broadway’s longest running musical, hits a major milestone tomorrow when it has its 9,000th performance at the Thursday night performance. This makes The Phantom of the Opera the first Broadway show ever to play 9,000 performances, a pretty stunning achievement. The history-making performance was actually celebrated today following the matinee in a special curtain call presentation. Phantom opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre in 1988 and was an immediate smash hit, but nobody could have imagined that the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical would still be running over 20 years later. Now in its 22nd year, the show continues drawing both Broadway newcomers and fans who enjoy seeing the musical again and again.