Posted by: Showbiz Chicago (February 7, 2015)
Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award Winner ANIKA LARSEN discusses her new album ‘SING ME TO SLEEP’. For more information visitwww.AnikaLarsen.biz
YELLOW SOUND LABEL releases Sing you to Sleep, the debut solo CD of dreamy ballads and standards from ANIKALARSEN,currently starring on Broadway in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. For her role as legendary songwriter Cynthia Weil,Anika was nominated for a 2014 Tony Award and won the Drama Desk Award. She has also appeared inRent, All Shook Up, Xanadu and Avenue Q. Sing you to Sleep – produced by Emmy Award-winner and Grammy Award-nominee Michael Croiter (Matilda, Big Fish,Heathers), with Dan Watt serving as executive producer – will be available online and in stores December 9. Pre-order the album at Amazon.com orwww.yellowsoundlabel.com.
Sing you to Sleep is a tuneful and personal album for adults and children alike, whichLarsen recorded with her nine siblings and fourteen nieces and nephews in mind. The twelve soulful songs are drawn from contemporary pop (“Count on Me” by Bruno Mars, “Fields of Gold” by Sting), legendary singer/songwriters (“Annie’s Song” by John Denver, “Make You Feel My Love” from Bob Dylan), musical theater (“Summertime” from Porgy & Bess, “Sleepy Man” from The Robber Bridegroom) and animated classics (the poignant “Baby Mine” from Dumbo) and An American Tail (a gently swinging version of “Somewhere Out There,” with lyrics by herBeautiful character Cynthia Weil). Jessie Mueller, who won the 2014 Tony Award winner for playing Carole King in Beautiful, is featured on the album in a duet with her co-star for James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes.”
“I’ve cared for a lot of little ones in my time, and I have sung all of them to sleep with some of my all-time favorite songs,” says Anika. “I am so thrilled to share this collection with you. Every song has a particular history with me, or is just so pretty that I haven’t been able to stop singing it over the years. I hope you and yours enjoy them as much as I have—so much so that they put you to sleep.”
“When I first heard Anika sing, I was captivated and needed to hear more,” says executive producer Dan Watt. “Besides her ability to belt out a song, I heard an amazing quality in her voice, and I wanted others to hear it too. Working with Anika has been an absolute dream and theses songs are pure perfection.”
When Anika opened on Broadway in Beautiful earlier this year, she was praised for her “megawatt scene-stealing abandon” (Entertainment Weekly), “enormous warmth” (The Hollywood Reporter) and “breezy elegance” (New York Daily News). She was hailed as “sharp and spunky” (New York Observer), “bubbly and brainy” (NBC New York) and “vibrant, quick-witted and firmly independent” (San Francisco Chronicle). Beautiful is currently playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The Beautiful original Broadway cast recording, which features Larsen, was released in April.
ANIKA LARSEN grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts with nine brothers and sisters from different races and countries. She made her performance debut singing with her siblings at her parents’ annual Christmas parties. Her mother thought they were the multi-cultural Von Trapps.
After majoring in theater at Yale, Anika moved to New York City where her first professional job was Rent, during which she was given the nickname Shafrika. In addition to her Broadway credits, she also appeared in Disaster!; Unbroken Circle; Closer Than Ever; Miracle Brothers; Zanna, Don’t!, and more. Anika is the only person on the planet who can say she was in the original casts of both Xanadu and Zanna, Don’t!
Anika co-founded Jaradoa Theater with director April Nickell in 2007. Their mission was to promote mercy, beauty and truth through performance and service. For four years they produced theater that strove to resonate, inspire and reach audiences that didn’t usually have access to theater. The company presented shows in public middle schools, at-risk youth centers, teen alternative-to-incarceration programs, nursing homes, and homeless senior centers.
In 2009, Jaradoa Theater produced Shafrika, The White Girl, a musical Anika wrote about her childhood. She and Orlando Bishop co-wrote “The Joneses,” one-hour dramedy TV pilot loosely based on her personal story. Anika is currently writing a new play with her longtime writing partner April Nickell.
For more information, please visit www.AnikaLarsen.biz.
Yellow Sound Label is a Grammy Award-nominated, cutting-edge record company that produces both established performers and up-and-coming artists. The boutique label takes a hands-on approach in nurturing and producing passionate, focused performers and composers who create quality, noteworthy recordings. The label has featured the best of Broadway (Matilda, Big Fish, First Date), Off Broadway (Heathers – The Musical, The Burnt Part Boys, Murder Ballad, The Shaggs), theater luminaries (Chita Rivera, Alan Cumming, Telly Leung, Christopher Jackson), and rising songwriter/composers (Marcy & Zina, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, Lance Horne, Michael Patrick Walker). www.YellowSoundLabel.com.
“SING YOU TO SLEEP” TRACK LIST
Four-Leaf Clover (Music by Abra J. Moore / Lyrics by David Lewis and Wayne I. Lewis)
Al Otro Lado del Rio (Music and lyrics by Jorge Drexler)
Fields of Gold (Music by Sting / Lyrics by Gordon Sumner and Dusan Bogdanovic)
Baby Mine (Music by Frank Churchill / Lyrics by Ned Washington)
Annie’s Song (Music and lyrics by John Denver)
Posted by: Pierre's Costumes (February 5, 2015)
We have just received a few more photographs of our Mary Poppins rental costume set from our first production.
Our customer Titusville Playhouse just completed a 4 week run and are giving us rave reviews on the costumes.
We have so many pictures of the show, that I will only post a couple here.
You can find many more pictures on our blog
We still have several slots open for this spring to rent the costume set.
Here are a few pictures to tease you:
Posted by: Showbiz Chicago (January 30, 2015)
Tony Award Nominee J. ROBERT SPENCER discusses The Midtown Men, Jersey Boys, Next To Normal and his film production company is this in-depth interview. www.MidtownMen.com
J. ROBERT SPENCER is excited to return to making music with The Midtown Men, which reunites four stars from the original cast of “Jersey Boys.” He is a Tony Award Nominated Actor, Independent Film Director, Producer, and Writer. In 2004, he was cast and originated the role of Nick Massi in the Tony and Grammy Award winning musical “Jersey Boys”. In 2008 J. Robert was cast and originated the role of Dan Goodman in the critically acclaimed Broadway production of “Next To Normal,” for which he was nominated for the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, and nominated for a 2008 – 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. As a voiceover artist, he has performed the lead voices for two Japanese animated features: “Nightmare Campus” and the critically acclaimed, award winning “Grave of the Fireflies.”
In 2004, J. Robert appeared as a psychopathic killer named Bob in the independent feature film “Night of the Dog”. The role earned him a Best Supporting Actor Nomination at the Smmash Film Festival, and the film won Audience Awards for best feature film at Palm Beach, Santa Barbara, SMMASH and PBIFF. In 2005, J. Robert began his Independent Film Company, 7 Spencer Productions, for which he produced, wrote, starred and directed his first independent feature comedy titled “Farm Girl In New York”. The film was featured on The Today Show with Ann Currey and Al Roker, and was the official selection of the Sacramento International Film Festival (Nominated for Best Comedy and Best Actress,) Big Apple Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Buffalo Niagara Film Festival, and the Seattle True Independent Film Festival, and is being distributed by Maverick Entertainment. He just completed his second independent feature film titled “Heterosexuals”, for which he is listed as executive producer/producer/actor. He is also executive producer with Wood Media Films on an environmental documentary titled “On Coal River”, which has been the official selection of Silverdocs, Camden, Hamptons, Chesapeake and New Orleans Film Festivals. J. Robert can be seen and heard in CD/DVD through Sony Masterworks with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in the PBS performances of “Handel’s Messiah Rocks”, in which he was Nominated for a 2010 Midwest Emmy Award for Best On Camera Performance by a Leading Actor. J. Robert is the 2009 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Shenandoah University.
Posted by: Pierre's Costumes (January 27, 2015)
We spent a good part of December and early January finishing up our build of our Mary Poppins costume set. Our staff loved building the costumes, since it really allowed them to be creative. In addition we brought in a few of our “regular” over hire costume builders to help with the rush. We were finishing up a complete set of Mummers costumes for Duffy String Band just in time for the New Years parade in November and December.
Titusville is still running, but they were nice enough to send us a few preliminary pictures to share. We don’t have pictures of all the costumes yet, since we were constructing costumes right up the wire and had no time for a photo shoot.
You can learn more about Titusville Playhouse in Titusville Florida by going to their website http:/
We anticipate putting more Mary Poppins costume pictures up in the next month as we get them and also as we have time to take them (show season is off to a big rush!).
If you are interested in renting this complete costume set, just give us a call at 215-925-7121 and ask for the theater department. This is obviously the “hot” show this year, and is booking fast. We only have so many spots left, so don’t get left out.
Here are a few pictures to get you thinking:
To see more pictures go to our blog on Costumers.com
Posted by: Costume Holiday House (January 27, 2015)
Tags: Beauty and the Beast, Shrek The Musical, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid Jr., The Wizard of Oz, Les Miserables, The Music Man, Beauty and the Beast Jr., Guys and Dolls, Pirates of Penzance, Show Season, Musical
If we were to ask you what you think our busiest time of year is at Costume Holiday House you would probably think Halloween, right? Well, it isn’t! Our biggest business is Theatrical Costume Rentals. While we get a decent amount of show rentals in the fall, we are busiest, by far, in the Spring months. Why? Because every high school in America is doing their Spring Musicals! Last year we costume almost 200 shows and the majority of those took place between February and May.
We have compiled a list of the 10 shows we costumed the most last year and they all happened to be musicals!
While many people wouldn’t think of Pirates of Penzance as a popular musical, it is very popular to rent costumes for the production. Why? Because there is a whole squadron of British policemen, known as bobbies. They wear a very specific uniform and we have them in all sizes at Costume Holiday House.
Guys and Dolls has always been popular among high schools, for multiple reasons. Likewise, Guys and Dolls has made our top 10 list every year for as long as we can remember! This is because Guys and Dolls requires a lot of characters wearing identical costumes, like the Mission Band uniforms and the chorus costumes for numbers like “A Bushel and a Peck” and “Take Off Your Mink”.
This show was new to our stock last year and it is gaining popularity! Beauty and the Beast (which you will see later in the countdown) is always a hit among young performers. So Music Theatre International made a Junior version, which is a 70-minute version for middle school aged students. As you can imagine, it was just as popular. And because the costumes are so specific, it is also popular to rent them.
The Music Man is a classic high school musical. Almost anyone you ask, who participated in musicals in high school, has done this show! Because the show takes place in the early 1900s, it requires period costumes. And we have them all, including the Pick-A-Little Ladies!
Last year was the first year that the license for Les Miserables was available so, naturally, it was very popular. Also, Les Miserables came out as a movie in 2013, which always boosts a shows popularity. While many of the costumes for this show can be put together easily (like the poor and the whores) there are a lot of military uniforms and formal costumes that are usually rented.
The Wizard of Oz has always been one of our most popular shows to rent. It takes place in a fantasy world and the costumes are equally fantastic. There’s a land where everything is candy colored and another where everything is green. Our Lion and Tinman costumes are also very popular, as they are some of the best in the business.
The Little Mermaid, Jr. is a newly released show, and it is very popular. In fact, at one point we had 4 orders for the show on the same weekend! Like The Wizard of Oz, the costumes are all fantasy-based, which makes it easier for theatres to rent them than to try to create them themselves. Also, like any musical based on a film, the costumes are iconic and, therefore, very specific.
Cinderella was big last year because it had just finished its National Tour. We get a lot of rentals for this show because it is a combination of fantasy (horses, mice, etc.) and period clothing. Something that we offer that many other costume rental companies don’t, is a choice of time period. We can costume Cinderella to be Medieval, Victorian or even Modern!
Shrek The Musical was available for the first time last year and it took off! And, not only are the costumes in this show very specific, some of them are used to create physical illusions for certain characters. For example, Lord Farquaad has to look very short, the 3 Pigs have to look fat and round, and Fiona has to go from human-sized to Ogre-sized in an instant! We have the costumes to do that.
Since Beauty and the Beast‘s release it has been one of our most popular show rentals. The main reason for this is that our costumes for this show are, in our humble opinion, AWESOME! Another big reason is that the castle objects in the show, especially Cogsworth and Madame de la Grande Bouche, would be very difficult and expensive to make, so most theatres find that it is easier and cheaper to rent them.
Posted by: Pierre's Costumes (January 16, 2015)
A belated Happy New Year to everyone! The new year started out with a flurry of activity in our workroom finishing up our build of a complete set of Mary Poppins. Our complete set of Mary Poppins is 188 costumes filled with magic and a spoonful of sugar. Here is a little sneak peek of some of the costumes while they were in progress.
Posted by: Showbiz Chicago (December 18, 2014)
Sh-K-Boom Records has announced the release of THE LAST FIVE YEARS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK), the musical companion to the eagerly anticipated RADiUS-TWC film. THE LAST FIVE YEARS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) will be available beginning Tuesday, February 10; The Last Five Years arrives in theatres and VOD onFriday, February 13.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) stars Academy Award® nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, Into The Woods) and Tony Award® nominee Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) in the eagerly anticipated film adaptation of 3x Tony Award® winner Jason Robert Brown’s acclaimed musical written for the screen and directed by Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, Behind The Candelabra). The 14 track collection features nine songs sung by Kendrick, who scored a 3x RIAA platinum certified, top 10 hit with 2013’s “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s When I’m Gone).” The “Cups” companion video also proved an undeniable online phenom with more than 168 million page views and counting. The album was produced by Kurt Deutsch, Lawrence Manchester and Richard LaGravenese, executive produced by Steve Norman, Lauren Versel and Janet Brenner, with new orchestrations by Jason Robert Brown.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK) follows Sh-K-Boom Records’ best-selling THE LAST FIVE YEARS (PREMIERE CAST RECORDING), the Grammy and Drama Desk Award-winning label’s first-ever cast album released in 2002.
“Releasing this record is like coming full circle for our label,” says Grammy Award winning producer and president of Sh-K-Boom Records Kurt Deutsch. “The first cast album we ever released was the original off-Broadway recording of The Last Five Years, so this material has been very close to our hearts and souls, and it makes perfect sense that it would be the first film we ever produced. We are incredibly fortunate to have these amazing artists be a part of this project. It’s a dream come true.”
Funny, passionate, and exuberantly romantic, The Last Five Years takes an intimate look at one young New York City couple’s half-decade relationship, telling their story almost entirely through song. Brown’s Drama Desk Award-winning book and score – first produced Off Broadway in 2002 – is a wonder of invention and originality, blending complex character and creative chronology to illuminate the couple’s multifaceted emotions and constantly shifting feelings towards each other.
The Last Five Years had its world premiere earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, earning critical applause from all corners. “The best stage-to-film musical adaptation of the entire post-Chicago boomlet,” decreed the Boston Globe, hailing Kendrick to be “the first bona fide movie-musical star of her generation.” “A return to the sort of musical that was popular in Hollywood during the genre’s Golden Age,” declaredThe Hollywood Reporter, while Variety simply raved, “(The Last Five Years) sounds fantastic.” The film’s trailer is streaming now at www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FKjLJZdycI.
THE LAST FIVE YEARS (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)
Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Sh-K-Boom with its imprint Ghostlight Records has become the leading independent force in Original Broadway Cast Recordings – building a library of over 150 records in the last 15 years, featuring some of the most successful Broadway musicals and solo albums by Broadway’s brightest stars. Founded by Grammy Award winner Kurt Deutsch and three time Tony Award nominee Sherie Rene Scott, Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight has won two Grammy Awards (for The Book of Mormon and In the Heights) and is a frequent nominee, most recently for the OBCRs of the 2014 “Best Musical” Tony Award winner A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.
Other notable recent releases include the 2014 “Best Score” Tony Award winner The Bridges of Madison County, Disney’s Newsies, Pippin and Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, plus the OBCR’s of Next to Normal, Hair, Legally Blonde, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Everyday Rapture, Passing Strange, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and The Drowsy Chaperone and many more Broadway and off-Broadway shows. The label has also released solo albums from some of Broadway’s biggest names: Patti LuPone, Sherie Rene Scott, Adam Pascal, Sutton Foster, Kelli O’Hara, Alice Ripley, Christine Ebersole, Melissa Errico and Ben Vereen. The label has also contiues to support the new generation of musical theatre composers with their extensive relationship with Michael John LaChiusa (Giant, See What I Wanna See,Little Fish), Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Fortress of Solitude), as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Pasek & Paul, Joe Iconis, Ryan Scott Oliver, Shaina Taub, Dave Malloy, Kerrigan & Lowdermilk and Adam Gwon. The label recently created a new joint publishing venture with Razor & Tie to represent songwriters that fuse theatrical and pop music. Sh-K-Boom Entertainment is a producer of the upcoming film version of The Last Five Years, written and directed by Richard LaGravenese and starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. www.sh-k-boom.com
Posted by: Alison Shan Price (December 17, 2014)
Thank you for accepting me on your marvellous website. In Kuwait we are just winding down after our last major production 'Evita' with international opera singer Oana Severin from Romania as Eva and Kuwaiti actor Hamad al Jenaie as Che. Our actors are into rehearsal for 'Antigone' to be presented in both English and Arabic and The One World Shakespeare Festival. We are now looking to the magnificent musicals of MTI for our future musical theatre shows.
Posted by: Showbiz Chicago (December 6, 2014)
Disney invites you to show off your singing skills and your love for the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods” with the online musical contest “Sing Your Way Into the Woods”.
The winning video will be selected by legendary eight-time Tony®, Grammy® and Oscar®-winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Tony® winner James Lapine, who also wrote the screenplay. All videos will be judged based on their musicality, creativity and execution. The winner(s) will receive a private advance screening of Disney’s “Into the Woods” and the winning video and the videos from the three runner-up’s will be featured on the film’s official Tumblr site.