More (7) Past Productions at St. Lukes Theatre from 2006 to 2011

“ANNULLA” 2006 (Closed June 11, 2006)

The New York Premiere of Emily Mann’s Annulla, at St Lukes Theatre, opened on May 14, 2006 and closed June 11, 2006.

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Emily Mann’s play Annulla is about a Jewish woman who passed for Aryan in Nazi Germay. It received its Off-Broadway debut at The Theatre at St. Luke’s on  May 14, 2006 ( first preview May 4) and closed June 11, 2006 . Pamela Hall directed this West End Artists Company production.

About the play: “The play was born when playwright and director Emily Mann set out to record a relative’s personal remembrance of the Holocaust. Instead, she discovered Annulla Allen, a Jewish woman who passed herself off as Aryan during the Nazi regime in Germany, and decided to dramatize her life.

annulla crop 5-15-05According to press materials, Allen was “a Polish Jew married to an Austrian Jew, [who] managed to elude the authorities, and even get her husband released from Dauchau. Decades ahead of her time, she dreamt of starting the first political Women’s Party as early as 1939, and actually wrote her own six-hour play on the subject of her life. Constantly moving as a child she learned seven languages, finally settling in London as a grown woman, which she adored.”

annulla 2 5-14-05Eileen De Felitta was “Annulla” with Neva Small as “The Voice of Emily,” the Interviewer.

SECRETS (2006)

Previews for SECRETS began Jun 25, 2006 at St Lukes Theatre, opened officially, July 13, 2006 and closed July 30, 2006.

About the Play: In Gerald Zipper’s Secrets hidden relationships threaten friendship and love as this evening of wining and dining degenerated into a session of backbiting, snide comments and a contest to see who can be the cruelest to their respective spouses. When all is said, the participants wondered whether it was worth staying together anymore — but then again, can they adjust to a life alone? Directed by Ted Mornel, the six-person cast included Mark Hamlet, Darren Lougee, Lissa Moira, Alyce Mayors, Tom Sminkey and Elena Zazanis.

25 Questions for a Jewish Mother ” (2006-07) Closed March 27, 2007

Emmy-winning actress/comedienne Judy Gold’s critically acclaimed “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother

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Following a sold-out run at Ars Nova Theater the previous spring, “25 Questions…”ransferred Off-Broadway to St. Lukes Theatre, opening on October 12, 2006  and closed on March 27, 2007.  This is a heartfelt and hilarious one-woman show is written by Kate Moira Ryan, with Judy Gold, and directed by Karen Kohlhaas. The show is Gold’s personal journey about becoming a parent, while learning to be a daughter to a nagging Jewish mother of her own. “Judy Gold captures the audience from the moment she opens her mouth. She seamlessly weaves anecdotes from her own life with snippets from interviews conducted with 50 Jewish mothers across the United States. The result is fiercely funny, honest and moving.” — New York Times “The show is riotously funny and ultimately quite moving.” — Hollywood Reporter “Gold’s show is a genuine mitzvah.” — Time Out New York “Gold charms a restive audience with almost mesmeric ability.” — Village Voice.  (closed at St Lukes Theatre on March 27, 2007)

Judy and Me (2008)

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 Judy and Me opened at St. Luke’s Theatre on October 21, 2008 and closed December 14, 2008 .

Peter Mac’s sweetly earnest play, Judy and Me, in which a young gay man learned how to cope with his often harsh life thanks to imagined conversations he has with film icon Judy Garland,

The cast included Christopher Brick , Jean Ann Kump, Elyse Beyer, Christopher McCabe and Basil Meola. 1

 ‘Black Angels Over Tuskegee’ (2010) transferred to Actors Temple Theater June 5, 2010

The Off-Broadway Premiere of “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” began at St. Luke’s Theater on February 15, 2010. “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” began previews at St. Luke’s Theatre Jan. 29, 2010. Written and directed by Layon Gray, the production officially opened Feb. 15, 2010. The Off-Broadway production of Black Angels Over Tuskegee ended its run at St. Luke’s Theatre on May 31, 2010 before transferring to the Actors Temple Theater June 5, 2010, where it continues its Off-Broadway run three years later ( December of 2013).

Alexandra Marlin

From left, Rich Skidmore, Lamman Rucker, Thom Scott II, David Wendell Boykins, Demetrus Grosse, Derek Shaun and Layon Gray in Mr. Gray’s drama about the Tuskegee Airmen, fighter pilots in World War II, at St. Luke’s Theater. Mr. Gray also directs.

An Elite Squadron, Before It Was Airborne

“Every sympathetic character hits one note over and over, but Mr. Gray has the instincts of an entertainer, and the rapport his actors have established is persuasive enough to distract you from the formulaic aspects of the drama. As manipulative, obvious and sentimental as it is, this show is also tough to resist. By the end, when the pilots overcame their obstacles and finally got up into the air to the swelling of music, tears welled up in my eyes right after I rolled them.”

Richard Skipper as Carol Channing in Concert (2010-2011)

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RICHARD SKIPPER AS CAROL CHANNING IN CONCER
Richard Skipper As “Carol Channing” In Concert celebrates the career and persona of the unique theatrical legend. Accompanied by a 3-piece band, Skipper blends Channning’s standards with original material and other familiar songs sung in a spot-on-Channing-on-Broadway perfection. The Off-Broadway musical surveys Channing’s life with many stops along the way for Skippers unique –and riotous– “ad-lib” interactions with the audience. – See more at: http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/st-lukes-theater/richard-skipper-as-carol-channing-in-concert.php#sthash.Agpe6Npu.dpuf
Richard Skipper As “Carol Channing” In Concert celebrates the career and persona of the unique theatrical legend. Accompanied by a 3-piece band, Skipper blends Channning’s standards with original material and other familiar songs sung in a spot-on-Channing-on-Broadway perfection. The Off-Broadway musical surveys Channing’s life with many stops along the way for Skippers unique –and riotous– “ad-lib” interactions with the audience. – See more at: http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/st-lukes-theater/richard-skipper-as-carol-channing-in-concert.php#sthash.Agpe6Npu.dpuf
Richard Skipper As “Carol Channing” In Concert celebrates the career and persona of the unique theatrical legend. Accompanied by a 3-piece band, Skipper blends Channning’s standards with original material and other familiar songs sung in a spot-on-Channing-on-Broadway perfection. The Off-Broadway musical surveys Channing’s life with many stops along the way for Skippers unique –and riotous– “ad-lib” interactions with the audience. – See more at: http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/st-lukes-theater/richard-skipper-as-carol-channing-in-concert.php#sthash.Agpe6Npu.dpuf

Opened December 10, 2010 at St Lukes Theatre and closed on March 22,  2011   Richard Skipper interspersed stories and jokes from Channing’s life — much of it in her own words — with favorite numbers from her career, from “Before the Parade Passes By” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” to lesser known novelty tunes such as Ervin Drake’s “Widow’s Weeds.” A talented three-man combo led by musical director John Fischer provides spirited support.

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RICHARD SKIPPER AS CAROL CHANNING IN CONCERT

Richard Skipper As ‘Carol Channing’ In Concert celebrates the career and persona of the unique theatrical legend. Accompanied by a 3-piece band, Skipper blends Channning’s standards with original material and other familiar songs sung in a spot-on-Channing-on-Broadway perfection.

– See more at: http://www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/theaters/st-lukes-theater/richard-skipper-as-carol-channing-in-concert.php#sthash.Agpe6Npu.dpuf

Surviving Mommie Dearest: A Conversation with Christina Crawford” (2013)

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This Special Celebrity Event starred actress and best-selling author Christina Crawford (Mommie Dearest, Survivor) in “Surviving Momie Dearest: A Conversation with Christina Crawford”. It played from November 20 through November22, 2013, an exciting and rare glimpse into the real life story behind the movie MOMMIE DEAREST.  ( For information on future booking please contact Gaynes Theatrical Booking )

Christina covers 100 years of showbiz history and detailing the turbulent relationship between her and her movie legend mother, Joan Crawford, in off-Broadway’s Surviving Mommie Dearest. Featuring film clips, footage from 1940s home movies and blow-by-blow personal anecdotes, Crawford, whose memoir was the basis for the 1981 film of the same name, recounts the abuse that she endured in her life, discusses her road to recovery and takes questions from the audience in the 90-minute presentation.

The documentary features long forgotten home movies and historical photos of both Joan and Christina Crawford. Throughout her long career, Ms. Crawford has turned the issue of family violence into public awareness. She also offers hope and the healing process through her personal experiences. The documentary was written by Christina Crawford, and directed by Ms. Crawford, and Jacksonville native, Jerry Rosenberg. Portions were filmed at the The Metro Entertainment Complex, in Jacksonville, FL.
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Pamela Hall: “An Ingenue Who Got Lost in the Stars”

From Playbill.com : an article about the director of “Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical” (Closed April 2012)

Pamela Hall: “An Ingenue Who Got Lost in the Stars”

“She made her Broadway debut as Nina, the winsome waitress who sings “I’ve Never Said I Loved You” in Dear World, then replaced Betty Buckley as Martha Washington in 1776 and was Philia in Broadway’s second A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Then — poof! — she got out of the ingénue business and, for all practical and visible purposes, dropped off the side of the stage while she was still ahead of the game.”

In truth, Pamela Hall only relocated behind the footlights and became a director. Ms Hall’s efforts as director were displayed in the long-running, Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical. It opened at St Lukes Theatre, May 13, 2008, and closed April 27th, 2012

CLOSED April 27, 2012: “Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical”

Danny & Sylvia 132photo by Carol Rosegg
Brian Childers and Kimberly Faye Greenberg

“Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical ” was directed by Pamela Hall, choreographed by Gene Castle and Produced by Edmund Gaynes. Playing to houses at 90% capacity, the press raved about Off-Broadway’s hit musical. The first preview of this long- running hit was on May 6, 2008. It opened officially on May 13, 2008 and closed in  April 27, 2012. (After THREE fabulous years “Danny and Sylvia” has CLOSED)

What the critics said about “DANNY AND SYLVIA: THE DANNY KAYE MUSICAL”

“The popular, versatile comic entertainer Danny Kaye, and his wife, the songwriter Sylvia Fine, are profiled in a delightful off-Broadway musical called “Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical,” now on view at St. Luke’s Theatre.  Childers seems tireless as he sings, dances and leaps about the stage, skillfully recreating Kaye’s clownish personality, complete with flamboyant hand motions, zany physical actions and quick wit. He easily executes the crazy accents and impromptu gibberish, as well as the fast-paced lyrics for which Kaye was famous.

Notable examples are his rendition of the Weill/Gershwin tongue-twister “Tchaikowsky,” in which he rattles off the names of dozens of similar-sounding Russian composers, and his audience-rousing version of “Minnie the Moocher.”

Sylvia is nimbly portrayed by Kimberly Faye Greenberg as loving, yet with a ruthless edge. Greenberg sings beautifully, conveying Fine’s love for the mostly undisciplined Kaye along with her astute, apparently sharklike business aptitude.

Somehow director Pamela Hall keeps it all in check and moving along smoothly.

This musical is an enjoyable look back at Kaye’s unique abilities, and an excellent showcase for the talented Greenberg and Childers.”
–Jennifer Farrar, NEW YORK TIMES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Watch those limbs!!! Brian Childers’ physicality is so like Kaye’s it’s a see-it-to-believe-it experience.  Childers can dive into gibberish and do accents like Sid Caesar; he gambols, pivots, yelps, frolics, leaps, squeaks, and giggles. He acts, too. He’s a charmer. Enjoy Childers, whether leading the audience in singing Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher,” prancing through Fine’s still-fine “Anatole of Paris” or drilling through “Tchaikovsky”.  Kimberly Faye Greenberg not only resembles Fine, she radiates her fearlessness.  Greenberg reveals heart beneath Fine’s heartlessness plus compassion for her comic-savant husband.”

–Leonard Jacobs, BACKSTAGE

“DANNY AND SYLVIA is an entertaining evening.  Fueled by the talents of its two stars, it’s a smoothly paced revue that doesn’t bog itself down with heave does of exposition.  Bob Bain and Robert McElwaine have written a very good score that also includes some of Kaye’s most memorable performances.  Brian Childers portrays Danny Kaye with loving care and exquisite attention to vocal and physical detail.  His impersonation of Kaye is simply uncanny and his spectacular dead-on rendition of “Minnie the Moocher” is a memorable highlight.  Kimberly Faye Greenberg has a strong comedic presence as songwriter Sylvia Fine, Kaye’s creative partner and eventual spouse and is an excellent match for Childers.  Pamela Hall directs the script sweetly and Gene Castle has done a great job bringing Kaye’s choreography to the stage. Fans of Danny Kaye will not be disappointed with this production.  It’s a pleasure to see Brian Childers portray him.”

–Jason S. Grossman, NYTHEATRE.COM

“Childers and Greenberg have good stage chemistry and both belt out the songs with gusto.  Childers is at his best singing Kurt Weill’s and Ira Gershwin’s “Tchaikovsky,” a tongue-twisting litany of 58 Russian composers sung in a breakneck 38 seconds.”

–CURTAIN UP

“The life of Danny Kaye is a whopper of a story.”

–John Simon, BLOOMBERG

“DANNY AND SYLVIA” is a heartfelt tribute to the well-known comedian and the significant contribution of his lesser-known wife.  We get to see some of the brilliance that made Kaye a star of stage, screen and TV. Watching Brian Childers bring Kaye to life, you get the sense his style may have influenced the Monty Python crew and certainly influenced Nathan Lane.”

–Paul Cozby, ABOUT.COM

“Danny Kaye fans will love Brian Childers’ recreation of the ‘Tummler’.”

–Merle Exit, MERLE’S WHIRLS

“Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical is a little jewel. The production is a triumph of casting with Brian Childers as Danny Kaye. Mr. Childers received the 2002 Helen Hayes Award for “Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical” and the Mary Godwater Award for his performance as Danny Kaye in Danny and Sylvia: A Musical Love Story. Understandably there are more awards attached to his name and we at Arts & Leisure News Service add their name to the accolades for his performance in Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical.”

–Joyce Hauser, ARTS & LEISURE NEWS SERVICE

“Brian Childers flawlessly achieves the reincarnation of Danny Kaye in his high-energy fluency and physical commitment to the role. He not only captured the character in song and dance, but also used the play’s sporadic narrative to engage the audience and add depth to what we already know about the famous showman.

Playing Sylvia Fine, Kaye’s steadfast and loving wife, Kimberly Faye Greenberg shone as the playful yet disciplined backbone to Danny Kaye’s funnyman routines. Fine was also the creator of some of his most renowned material.

By the finale it is clear why the world quickly embraced the tongue-twister master and all-around performer that was Danny Kaye. Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical is a great evening off-Broadway and will have you singing those fabulous Danny Kaye songs for weeks to come.”

— Alyssa Lettman, Best of Off-Broadway.com ( Danny and Sylvia has CLOSED)

(CLOSED Dec. 11, 2010) “Dietrich & Chevalier: The Musical”

“Dietrich & Chevalier: The Musical” made its Off-Broadway premiere at St. Lukes Theatre on June 5, 2010 with its official opening on June 20, 2010 . Produced by Edmund Gaynes, written by Jerry Mayer, starring Jodie Stevens and Robert Cuccioli with Donald Corren, was directed by Broadway veteran, Pamela Hall with musical staging by Gene Castle. “Dietrich & Chevalier: The Musical” closed on  December 11, 2010.

(CLOSED Jan. 27, 2008) “The Rise of Dorothy Hale”

the original cast of The Rise of Dorothy Hale with playwright Myra Bairstow

Above: the original cast of The Rise of Dorothy Hale with playwright Myra Bairstow. (from left) Laura Koffman, Sarah Wynter, Myra Bairstow, Mark LaMura, Sarita Choudhury, Patrick Boll, Michael Badalucco.

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The Rise of Dorothy Hale , directed by Pamela Hall, played 137 performances – officially opening on October 4, 2007 and running through January 27, 2008.  Producing partners were Edmund Gaynes and Aridyne Productions. The Rise of Dorothy Hale featured set design by Josh Iacovelli, lighting design by Graham Kindred and costumes by Rebecca Bernstein.

Myra Bairstow’s drama centers on Dorothy Hale, a film actress once married to famed American muralist Gardner Hale. Hale threw herself from her 16th-story apartment on Central Park South in 1938.

About the play: “The Rise of Dorothy Hale explores the life and death of Dorothy Hale through the creative process of Frida Kahlo and enables the contradictions in history to stand face to face. Did the alleged suicide note that Clare Boothe Luce claims to have received even exist? Why did Harry Hopkins involve the White House and two key players of the Roosevelt Administration to handle damage control around Dorothy’s death? What possible secrets did Dorothy know about Harry Hopkins and Clare Luce before she was found dead? Was Dorothy Hale’s death a suicide or a murder made to look like a suicide? Decades later the story of Dorothy Hale became legendary when Mrs. Luce confirmed that she had commissioned Frida Kahlo to paint Dorothy in November 1938 and intended the painting to be a beautiful portrait as a gift for Dorothy’s grieving mother. Clare was so horrified when she received Frida’s rendition of Dorothy’s death that she placed the canvas in a storage area for nearly thirty years before donating it ‘anonymously’ to a museum in the 1960’s.”