“Actor/singer/dancer John Edwards is not just a triple threat, he’s also an awards-nominated one, and deservedly so. A current member of the Grammy-nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices gospel choir, Edwards was just recognized earlier this month for his exceptional work in the 2018 New York revival of Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Stage 42, with a nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical from The Lucille Lortel Awards, to be presented by the Off-Broadway League on May 5.
I was very fortunate to be able to share fifteen minutes of John’s fame, to congratulate him on the prestigious nomination and to revisit his acclaimed role in Smokey Joe’s Cafe (the production itself just nominated this morning for a Drama League Award for Best Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical), to which he brought his signature heart, humor, and humanity (I saw the show for a personal record of nine times, and only wish I could have been there for every single performance).”
“How do principal dancers handle their intense schedules? For New York City Ballet star Sara Mearns, honing her instrument is key. The company’s Tuesday-through-Sunday workweeks, lengthy performance seasons and extensive repertoire can make for longs days and late nights. ‘During performance weeks, I think about what I’m doing that night and make sure I don’t have a lot during the day—or if I do, I’m smart about it,’ says Mearns. ‘You do one or two things full-out and then take it easy so that you perform your best at night.’ Pointe spent a rehearsal day with Mearns to see how she does it all.”
“Upon discovering a long-lost Bizet score, Balanchine took only two weeks to choreograph the neoclassical masterpiece Symphony in C, which dazzles with dozens of dancers – the ballerinas in sparkling Swarovski gems – and brings down the house at each performance. Set to Bizet’s high-spirited score, last night’s finale showcased Ashley Boulder who radiated her joy in her on-the-money pirouettes. Both Jared and Tyler Angle dazzled. Nonetheless, my eyes kept watching Sara Mearns who dominated center stage as the curtain closed.”
“There were numerous standouts among the cast on opening night, chief among them Sara Mearns and Jared Angle in the ballet’s second movement, an adagio of impossible beauty. Mearns brought to bear the full force of her trademark mystery and elegance on this section and with Angle’s confident partnering she danced with an abandon that was at once steely and delicate. There was an audible sigh of awe among the audience at that movement’s end.”
“Rounding out the season next June will be the world premiere of The Outsiders. The new musical, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola film of the same name, features a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, music and lyrics by Austin-based rock duo Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine, direction by Tommy, and choreography by Waitress’Lorin Latarro.
In The Outsiders, the hardened hearts, aching souls and romantic dreams of Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade and their band of greasers take center stage in a fight for purpose and a quest for survival in 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma. Performances will run June 20–August 2 in the Albert.”
“This week, theatre legend Ben Verseen stopped in at the WBGO studio for a performance of What A Wonderful World. Vereen is set to take the stage April 4 to 7th at the Dizzy’s Club in New York City for An Evening with Ben Vereen.”
“In 1938, George Balanchine choreographed dances for Vera Zorina in the Rodgers and Hart musical I Married an Angel, and married her onstage. So it’s a cute bit of historical rhyming that Joshua Bergasse, the director and choreographer of the City Center Encores! production of the show (March 20-24), recently married its star, Sara Mearns. One of the boldest ballerinas at New York City Ballet, which Balanchine founded at City Center, in 1948, Mearns is making her début in a speaking role. Angelic dancing shouldn’t give her any trouble.”
“Now, Mr. Bergasse, 46, is creating new moves for his Angel, Ms. Mearns, 33, who is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, the company that Balanchine formed, with Lincoln Kirstein, in 1948. In the show, an Angel comes down from heaven, marries a mortal — Count Willy Palaffi (Mark Evans) — and loses her wings.
It’s a part made for Ms. Mearns who, as it happens is not only beautiful, but also funny — smart and daffy in a Carole Lombard kind of way, with a rich, meaty speaking voice. When Mr. Bergasse choreographed the Broadway musical “On the Town,” he created the “Lonely Town” pas de deux on her. (She filled in at the last minute for one performance.) But this is the couple’s biggest project together so far, and Ms. Mearns’s first speaking role.”