Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Be sure to catch fellow Award Winning Singer/Songwriter/Composer and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tim Di Pasqua this Saturday, February 19 at 7pm at The Metropolitan Room in NYC performing an evening of original songs! Come hear some of Tim’s biggest hits such as “You,” “Monster Under These Conditions,” and “One Thing” plus a few songs from his musical revue “Notes On New York, The Musicalized Observations of Tim Di Pasqua.”

Tim’s voice is golden and if you are looking for a wonderful start to your Saturday night then I highly suggest checking out Tim Di Pasqua at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Ave).

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Check out this hilariously brilliant video of Douglas Hodge “Passing The Torch” to Harvey Fierstein who is now playing the role of “Albin” in the Tony Award Winning revival of “La Cage Aux Folles” on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street)

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I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day! While I try to celebrate love everyday, I do want to take an extra moment today to tell all of you how much I love and appreciate your continued support of “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” It means so much to me that I have fans who enjoy reading “Adaumbelle’s Quest.”

I hope you all have a fantastic day and hope you’ll take an extra moment to tell someone you love them, especially yourself!

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On February 7, 2011, I attended Ryan Scott Oliver’s sold-out “Songbook Release Concert” at Joe’s Pub. Ryan Scott Oliver is one of today’s rising songwriters/composers and tonight the performers he had really demonstrated why Ryan is on the rise.

Ryan has his own way of writing music and that is what makes Ryan’s music so great! With songs about love, hope, fear, and loss, Ryan doesn’t try to be the next anybody, he just tries to be himself. He’s fortunate because he achieves it! Ryan also  knows how to choose the right performers to sing his music. He assembled quite a roster of rising theatre performers to help bring his music to life!

Adam & Lindsay Mendez

Starting off the night was Lindsay Mendez, Alex Brightman, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Grace Wall singing “The Ballad of Sara Berry” from Ryan’s musical “35MM.” This song is about a girl who is feeling the pressure from her family to be crowned prom queen, forcing her to resort to many different tactics to win, including murder. Lindsay used her skilled vocals to take the audience through the many emotions and events running through Sara Berry leading to the ultimate win…but to find out what that ultimate win is, you’ll have listen to the song for that!

Continuing on the high that was left by Lindsay, was Grace Wall who sang “A Hypochondriac’s Song” about a girl who is plagued by her fear of death, she struggles through everyday life as she strives to find a man who will put up with her crazy phobias from Ryan’s musical “Out Of My Head.” Grace’s beautiful voice shined as she brought this girls fear and hopes to life. Alex Brightman was the next performer to dazzle the audience. He was on fire belting the crazy out of “Lost Boy” from Ryan’s musical “Darling.” “Lost Boy” is a new take on “Peter Pan” where Peter recounts the hardships in his life that made him feel as if he doesn’t belong. I’m not even sure Alex needed a microphone tonight, but it just added to the vocal power that radiated from Alex and mesmerized the audience.

Next up was “Crayon Girl” from Ryan’s musical “Out Of My Head.” Sung by Jessica Hershberg, “Crayon Girl” is about an artist who struggles to translate her visions onto paper and starts to question whether or not she should continue her career as an artist due to the negativity she receives from her mother. Jessica scored big with this song allowing the audience to really feel everything “Crayon Girl” was going through. (On a personal note: This song reminds me I should ask more often “Was there ever at time a you thought about quitting and if so what career would you choose?)

Andrew Keenan-Bolger & Adam

Taking the stage right after Jessica was Andrew Keenan-Bolger who sang “Stupid Boys,” a song Ryan wrote about a guy who is anxiously waiting for his love interest to call, but while waiting, this man proclaims that boys are stupid; however when he realizes his “Special Someone” isn’t going to call, the guy recognizes that he, in fact, is the stupid one. This song should be released as a single, it’s so identifiable. I know many people, myself included, who have been in this exact situation. Through his voice, Andrew brilliantly displayed the emotions of anticipation, hope, excitement, disappointment, and ultimately realization of what that this guy was feeling.

Katie Thompson

I’m not quite sure the audience was ready for what happened next, but the phenomenal brilliance that is Katie Thompson took the stage. If it were possible to dazzle an audience beyond captivation, then Katie Thompson did just that when she took Ryan’s song “To Do” (about a hopeful romantic who vows to move forward after a series of unrequited loves) and not only reworked the arrangements, but riffed the roof right off of Joe’s Pub. In all my years of seeing people sing, I have never seen the talent and skill that is Katie Thompson’s musical talent and vocal ability.  She is one of a kind and Ryan is genius for having her perform it like only Katie can do!

Following Katie, were Jay Armstron Johnson and Alex Brightman who sang “Halfway,” a song written by Ryan about two lovers who live on opposite coasts meet each other in the middle of the country, their anticipation building as the separate road trips progress. Through their body language and voices, Jay and Alex really took the audience on this road trip allowing us to believe they were really lovers coming to meet.

Ryan definitely delighted me on many levels with tonight’s show, but one of my many favorite moments came when Lindsay Mendez performed “Make Me A Picture Of The Sun” (A setting of Emily Dickinson’s classic poem) because Ryan introduced this song by saying the arrangements and music were influenced by “Sooner or Later” from the motion picture “Dick Tracy,” which happens to be one of my favorite songs sung by Madonna. Lindsay’s voice guided the words perfectly, making this song just as beautiful as Lindsay’s voice.

Grace Wall came back to the stage and sang “On Monday” from Ryan’s musical “35MM.” “On Monday” is about a fast-moving girl who learns that the greatest love takes the greatest while. Once again, another brilliant song by Ryan that should be released as a single because so many people I know, including myself, get so excited when we find someone we really like and want to rush it along, but have to remember to stop and let love take it’s course. Grace did just that…she let the audience stop and enjoy her voice while she led us down this path of inspiration.

Continuing on the path of inspiration was Colin Donnell singing “What It’s Worth” from Ryan’s musical “Out Of My Head.” “What It’s Worth” is about a man who proclaims that when you love someone, you sometimes need to go through the painful process of letting them go. Colin’s vocal skills definitely brought together the emotions of love and loss, allowing his voice to guide him and the audience through this painful process. (I bet if I asked this character, If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be, he would answer the love he let go).

Jeff Hiller

Bringing the evening to a comedic halt was none other than Jeff Hiller (who many of you will remember Jeff’s grand comedic moments as “John Quincy Adams” in Broadway’s “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”). When Jeff enters a room or walks out on stage, there is no doubt that laughter will be close behind and tonight did not disappoint. Jeff sang “The Plane (is Going Down)” a song by Ryan Scott Oliver about a man who is forced to face his fear of flying when he is asked to go on a business trip. A common fear amongst people, Ryan has very smartly taken a serious subject and turned into a song that allows one to share it in a light and fun way. Leave it to Jeff Hiller to bring the light and fun to it. From his vocal inflection to his facial expressions to his body language, Jeff had the sold-out crowd in stitches! When I interviewed Jeff last October he mentioned in his interview that he was taking voice lessons…well let me tell you, those voice lessons have clearly paid off because Jeff’s voice was in FINE SHAPE! I hope Jeff does more concerts so more people can hear just how great of singer he is!

Bringing back the serious, but with much hope was Krysta Rodriguez who sang “The View From Here” from Ryan’s musical “Darling.” “The View From Here” has 16-year-old Ursula Morgan sitting on her windowsill, reflecting on her neglected childhood and hopes for a better future. Krysta’s voice is gorgeous and she knows how to use it bringing the much needed emotion to this sad, but uplifting song.

Ryan totally surprised the audience when he premiered a new song “Agnes” which is about a boy named Jasper who journeys through the Afterlife intent on rescuing his recently deceased best friend Agnes. In this song, he is attempting to persuade the three-headed guard dog Cerberus to allow him passage. To premiere this song, Ryan brought Alex Brightman back to the stage, which was a wise choice because Alex has the stellar vocal talents to communicate Ryan’s musical message.

Closing the night was Eric Michael Krop, Grace Wall, Katie Gassert, Michael Lowney, and Geoff Kidwell singing “Odyssey,” a multi-genre song about a soldier who abandons a defeated, war-torn land, returning home to the comfort of his lover. Eric Michael Krop was the perfect choice for this song as his vocal skills cross many genres (which he demonstrates well on his EP “Run“) and perfectly showed the wariness of soldier’s fight coupled with the excitement of coming home to his lover.

What made tonight so special for me, personally, was the fact that out of the 16 performers singing, I have been fortunate to interview almost half of them for “Adaumbelle’s Quest” (the songwriter/composer himself Ryan Scott Oliver, Jeff Hilller, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Lindsay Mendez, Eric Michael-Krop, and Katie Thompson). It was a huge delight for me to see my fellow participants strut their stuff and belt out their songs, but it was also great to be introduced to many other talented performers including Alex Brightman, Colin Donnell, Jessica Hecksberg, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Krysta Rodriguez, and Grace Wall.

The next time Ryan Scott Oliver has a concert, I highly suggest checking it out because not only will you hear enjoyable music, but you will be treated to a host of talent on the rise who will be entertaining us for years to come!

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Adam & Andrew Goffman

Charles Messina & Adam

On January 20, 2011, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrew Goffman after seeing his show “The Accidental Pervert.” What made this interview even more special, aside from Andrew’s personality and humor, was the fact that the director (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Charles Messina was on hand as well and was kind enough to provide some additional insight and answers.

Andrew Goffman has been performing stand-up comedy on the road for the past 12 years, connecting with live audiences around the country in over 150 theaters and clubs. Now he has made the successful cross over from comedy to theatre. First starring in “Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral” and now Andrew has brought his true-life story of how finding his dad’s pornography collection affected him growing up in the hit Off-Broadway show “The Accidental Pervert,” directed by Charles Messina. Using Andrew’s comedic timing and Charles’ brilliant directing, this smart, hilarious, and fun show takes the audience on Andrew’s journey and how losing his dad and meeting his wife changed him (Click here for my extended review). Both Andrew and “The Accidental Pervert” will make you laugh, will make you cry, and most of all will make you hard, as in a hard-core fan of this dynamic performer! “The Accidental Pervert” plays at The Players Theatre in NYC (115 MacDougal Street, 3rd Floor).

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? The first comic I ever saw was Eddie Murphy in “Delirious” and I thought that was the funniest thing I’d ever seen and I knew I wanted to do comedy. I also was inspired by Steve Martin when he had the arrow through his head and I would watch David Letterman, which was hard because I would have to stay up late, but we had a VCR so I could tape it. Those three really inspired me to do stand-up comedy. I started doing stand-up, but then I got married and had a child and I didn’t want to go on the road for three weeks at a time and I wasn’t big enough to headline here in NY, so I thought how could I stay in NY and still be home at a reasonable hour and that is when “The Accidental Pervert” really came to life.

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Angelina Jolie, Louis C.K., Pablo Francisco, Samantha Fox, or Traci Lords.

3. What was it like writing “The Accidental Pervert” and what did writing it do for you? It got me horny…hahaha. It was a lot of fun because it was my story and I loved it whenever something clicked or when I could express the story the way I wanted to. While the show is a comedy, I did try to have a message as well and make it meaningful. I feel the show has an uplifting message and I feel great when I tell it. I am also very lucky to work with Charles Messina, my director (who’s own show “A Room Of My Own” is coming out).

4. Me: It’s interesting you mention Charles because my next question is…How did you and Charles connect in working on this project together? I knew this girl Andrea Reese and she was doing a one woman show called “Cirque Jacqueline” in 2005 and she told me about this festival called the Double Helix One Festival which is a festival of one-person shows and she suggested I enter since I wanted to have my own one-man show. I applied for the festival and I didn’t even have the script finished and I got accepted. I had never done the show before. I call up Andrea and I tell her I just got accepted to this festival, what should I do? She said, I have this great director, I love him, there is nothing like him, and I’ll give you his name. So I call up Charles and tell him Andrea gave me your name and said great things about you. I’m doing this festival and I’m doing this show. The hardest thing about doing a show with a director is that it’s very similar to dating because you don’t know each other, so it’s almost like a blind date. There’s almost no time to get to feel each other out. I mean, what are you going to do, are you going to go to the movies? You know, you have your script and the director is like okay, let’s get started. Charles and I did have a lot in common…we both are around the same age (though I am a few years younger), we both have a kid almost the same age, we both lost our fathers, and we just had a lot we could relate to and we really just hit it off. Charles: The fact that both of us lost our father was a big part of it and a big part of the story. We didn’t want a show that would just be fallacious and sexual. We wanted that one part of the story that gets serious and it’s a challenge to be able to go from comedy to such a serious moment and then bring it back to comedy again. I think that’s what makes it a play. I think if you take that moment out, it’s episodic and it’s just story, story, story, but that part of it I think is the real emotional center piece of the play. Andrew (to Charles): You really helped making it a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Charles: We worked on a lot of different things that give it it’s structure and an arc, so  you feel like you’re seeing a complete story and not just a stand-up routine because Andrew is a good stand-up comic and he’s done stand-up for so many years, but we wanted to separate it and distinguish it and make it a piece of theatre. I think we succeeded.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing “The Accidental Pervert?” My main goal is entertainment, so I want them to have a good time and hope they have fun. I do try to cover an adult subject in a tasteful way and I feel like if you talk about something tastefully it’s okay. I’d like them to talk about some of the stuff that goes on. I remember one of Charles’ friends came to see the show and the night before they saw “Avatar” and they ended up talking about “The Accidental Pervert” more because it helped open the door to talk about so many other subjects. Charles: We’ve been doing this show for over a year now and if you include what we did in a slightly different version in 2006, we’ve been doing this show for a long time, so a lot of people have seen this show. Andrew has made a good point that women enjoy this show a lot because they feel like they are being let in to the psyche of a man and they leave hoping to understand their husbands or boyfriends a little bit better. Andrew: A lot of guys have come up to me after the show and are like “Yo dude, you were telling my story.” “That was my story up there.” I also think audiences feel that since I’m being honest and truthful, they go with me or they say I can relate to this. Charles: It’s nice how we’ve assembled the piece because I think it’s really accessible for an adult audience. It’s not a show for kids, but for adults it’s a playful show and there’s nothing dirty about it.

6. Favorite place to write? I write the most on the subway because there are no distractions and oh if I get a seat, forget about it.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? The show. When we first started doing the show, I lost 15lbs.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, it keeps everything in place.

9. Favorite website? theaccidentalpervert.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. Did you see that outfit she wears?


11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can wiggle my ears.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I dreamed about this woman, Harriet, who’s on my board of the building I live in.

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Wow, wow, wow is what I have to say after attending the opening night of T. Oliver Reid’s show “This Love I Know” at the Metropolitan Room in NYC. I have never heard T. Oliver Reid sing prior to tonight, but I now see why he was the winner of the 2010 “MetroStar Talent Challenge.” Beating out the other 51 contestants during the 8-week jury and audience-voted elimination-round competition, T. Oliver dazzled throughout.

“This Love I Know” takes the audience on a journey of love. T. Oliver chose songs that have helped him through many loves, both the “falling-in-love” and “on-to-the-next” variety. T. Oliver’s voice is powerful, skilled, and most of all wide-ranged! His voice shined and sparkled throughout the whole set with such classics as “Hooray For Love,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “Autumn In New York,” “This Can’t Be Love,” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”  If you are looking for a show to attend with that special someone or someone you love, then “This Love I Know” at the Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street, between 5th & 6th Ave) is the place to be through February 14 at 7pm! $25 + 2 drink minimum.

T. Oliver Reid has spent the past 12 years entertaining audiences on Broadway in “Chicago,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Follies,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Never Gonna Dance,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Damn Yankees,” and “Mary Poppins.” He has also had the privilege of working onstage with Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jane Krakowski, Karen Ziemba, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, Marin Mazzie, Sutton Foster, and Robert Goulet. He’s worked with some of the best directors, choreographers, and musical directors including Kathleen Marshall, Rob Marshall, Rob Ashford, Jerry Zaks, Ann Reinking, and Jerry Mitchell.

Over the past decade, he has donated his time and resources to The Actor’s Fund, Jeffrey Fashion Cares, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS where he’s served on several fund raising and grant committees as well as committees to help with the distribution of funds to food banks across the country. He is also a charter member of G4G/NYC (Gay for Good, a non-profit service organization). For more on T. Oliver Reid be sure to visit http://toliverreid.com/

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? It would be what. Literally every Saturday morning growing up I watched Turner Classical Movies and the MGM movie musicals. I would sing along to them and get different cast recordings and sing to those. I had the “Annie” cast recording and would sing to it everyday until my mother finally took me to see the road show which was in Charlotte. We went there and that’s where it all started for me.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? That’s a good question. The highest is a Soprano B flat. I used to be able to sing higher, like high E flats, but somewhere along the way, I lost a few notes. The lowest note I can sing is the low F.

3. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I’d love to have David Foster produce something for me. It really goes back and forth between musical theatre and standard pop music composer/lyricists. There are a lot of new composer/lyricist’s I’d like to work with. Me: Which ones? T: I like Scott Alan’s work. I think he’s fantastic.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “You should be singing and not dancing.”

5. What do you get from performing in a solo show that you don’t get from performing in a Broadway show? It’s all about me. Whatever choices I make and songs I choose is about the journey I want to take as opposed to me just being there for someone else’s journey or me filling a part for someone else. It’s a great thing to be able to shape a show myself and to choose all the numbers and sing all the songs and sort of figure out what I want to do. It really becomes more part of you than being part of someone else’s idea.

6. How did you come up with the concept and song selection for your show “This Love I Know?” I had a list of about 40 songs and I would just listen to every song everyday and after a while I was like I don’t want to listen to this one anymore and then take it off the list until I got the list down to a smaller number and then put them in an order that made sense. Me: You did achieve that. I think there was a story that went with the songs and that came through to the audience. T: Thank you, thank you very much.

7. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? When a train is coming into the subway platform that is when I do my loudest singing because I don’t like singing loud around people. When I’m on the train I’m always humming or thinking of songs. I also like to practice in a cafe somewhere because I can’t concentrate well in my apartment, so I’ll go to a cafe and brainstorm my ideas.

8. Favorite way to stay in shape? The gym. Summers I like to ride my bike.

9. Boxers or Briefs? I’ll say briefs, but they are somewhere in between. They are not the usual tighty whities. They are a little bit looser.

10. Favorite website? Facebook.com. I feel like I’m on it all the time.

11. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman definitely!


11. Favorite place to go on a date in NYC? It would be my favorite restaurant which is actually in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn called Buttermilk Channel. They have the best food on the planet. You really feel like you’re in Brooklyn and the food is amazing.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My best friend who I lost in April 2010.

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Here is your first look at the new Broadway musical “Baby It’s You” starring Beth Leavel, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and L.A. Drama Critic Award Winner “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

“Baby It’s You” tells the story of the groundbreaking girl group, the Shirelles, and Florence Greenberg, the New Jersey housewife who discovered them. With the help of African-American songwriter/producer Luther Dixon, who became her lover, Florence took on a male-dominated industry and revolutionized pop music.

Now take your first look with Beth Leavel at “Baby It’s You”…

Baby It’s You” will be playing at the Broadhurst Theatre 235 West 44th Street, between Broadway & 8th Ave. Previews start March 26, 2011.

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On Monday, February 28, 2011 at 8:30pm at The Canal Room in NYC, NewMusicalTheatre.com will be presenting a follow-up concert to their explosive coming out party from last spring, with Kerrigan-Lowdermilk’s “You Made This Tour” opening at 7:30pm. Produced by John Johnson and Katie Riegel and directed by David Ruttura and music director Matt Hinkley, this concert will feature songs from 12 of the newest writers added to the NewMusicalTheatre.com community, performed by a hand-picked crew of Broadway’s most-talented stars (A full list of performers and songwriters will be announced shortly). YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE THE CHANCE TO PERFORM ALONGSIDE SOME OF TODAY’S RISING BROADWAY STARS AND WRITERS! (for those of you who just want to attend the concert, click here for tickets)


Performers should upload a video to YouTube of their performance of any song available for download on NewMusicalTheatre.com (including songs by Bobby Cronin, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Ryan Scott Oliver, Will Van Dyke, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Joe Iconis, Michael Friedman, Pasek & Paul, and Kerrigan-Lowdermilk) then post it to the site’s Facebook fan page (facebook.com/NewMusicalTheatrecom) or tweet it to @nmtsongs. All entries should be received by Sunday, February 20 and one winner will be invited to perform their song at the Canal Room on February 28. Please note that all entrants should be available to be in New York City the day of the show. Travel and accommodation will not be provided.

NewMusicalTheatre.com is dedicated to the distribution and promotion of a new generation of musical theater writers who self-publish their own digital sheet music. Its goal is to create a direct connection between the people who write music and the people who want to perform and listen to it. It provides an affordable and legal one-stop shop to discover and share the work of self-published writers. It aspires to foster a dynamic community where fans and actors can directly connect and impact the writers of
tomorrow’s next big hits. This is an e-commerce website designed by writers for writers. It allows fans to directly support writers when they need it most – before their shows go to Broadway.

Now boasting over 25 of the most exciting new voices writing for the theater today, NewMusicalTheatre.com fosters the idea that fans and actors can directly connect and impact the writers of tomorrow’s next big hits.

NewMusicalTheatre.com Concert at The Canal Room, Monday, February 28, 2011 at 8:30pm (doors open at 7pm, Kerrigan-Lowdermilk open the show at 7:30pm)

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If you are not watching “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best” on WE every Tuesday at 9pm, you are missing one of the best hours of television! Joan Rivers has decided to leave NY and move to CA to live with her daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper as well as Melissa’s boyfriend and a host of others close to Melissa.

Each week is a different scenario about life at the Rivers: Joan moving in and rearranging Melissa’s furniture, Joan pushing Melissa to consider doing “Celebrity Moms Gone Wild,” Joan buying a car, Melissa learning how to cook, the scenario’s go on. Mixing into this “reality” show is the brilliance known as Joan Rivers Comedy! Joan’s comic wisdom adds so much laughter and insight to this show as she pokes fun at herself, Melissa, and the scenarios they play out each week for all of us to see. There is a reason why Joan Rivers is still around today entertaining the masses….and that is because JOAN KNOWS BEST!

After a long work day, it’s nice to know I can come home and watch “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best,” which will provide me lots of laughter and enjoyment. So, turn that TV onto “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best” every Tuesday at 9pm on WE and join in on the laughs, enjoyment, and most of all hanging out with The Rivers!

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Here’s your first look at Christie Brinkley as “Chicago’s” new “Roxie Hart” both before and after! Christie will be starring as “Roxie Hart” in Broadway’s “Chicago” from April 4-June 19 at the Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue)! Get your tickets here!!

Christie Brinkley in the make-up room pre-photo shoot

Christie Brinkley as "Roxie Hart"

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