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Monday, April 1, 2013

10 Groovy Things to Do in April starring Elaine Stritch and Bette Midler

Since there are so many groovy plays, musicals, concerts and events, this is my monthly list to help promote a few of them (click on a title for more information or to purchase tickets):

1) Elaine Stritch at the Carlyle: Movin’ Over and Out
April 2 – 6 at NYC's CafĂ© Carlyle
The 88-year-old Broadway legend performs her farewell show at the Carlyle (click here to read a recent New York Times article about Ms. Stritch and the show).

April 2 - May 5 at Chicago's Oriental Theater
Based on Daniel Wallace's 1998 novel and the 2003 Tim Burton film, this new musical features direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and a new book by John August, who also penned the screenplay for the film version. Norbert Leo Butz, Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert lead an extraordinary cast in this rollicking fantasy set in the American South, which will begin Broadway previews on September 5.

3) L'imitation of Life
April 4 - May 10 at Mary's Attic in Chicago
Hell in a Handbag Productions presents this wicked parody of Imitation of Life, Douglas Sirk's 1959 classic tearjerker about race, mothers and daughters and looking fabulous! Handbag ensemble member Ed Jones channels post-murder trial Lana Turner in all of her scenery-chewing glory.

4) I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers
Broadway previews begin April 5. Opens April 24 at the Booth Theatre.
Appearing on Broadway for the first time in 30 years, Bette Midler plays the legendary Hollywood superagent in this new one-woman play written by John Logan and directed by Joe Mantello. Below you can watch a 1975 60 Minutes segment on Sue Mengers.

5) Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael: Up Close & Personal
Every Saturday in April (6, 13, 20 & 27) at Davenport's Cabaret in Chicago
In their most personal show yet, the award-winning duo will share stories and songs about their many years of performing together with music from The Great American Songbook as well as current Broadway and pop.

6) General Hospital: Celebrating 50 Years and Looking Forward
April 12 at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills
The Paley Center presents this evening celebrating the longest-running soap opera currently in production and the third longest-running drama in American television history with this interactive conversation featuring a panel of the series's most iconic actors as well as Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati.

7) I've Got a Life in Kalamazoo
April 13 & 14 at Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications
Fubble Entertainment presents a staged reading of this new sitcom filmed in front of a live audience, which will be used to pitch the show to network executives. The award-winning cast includes Vicki Lewis (NewsRadio), Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Lou Grant), Marion Ross (Happy Days), Gregory Jbara and Patrick Ziegler. Described as Everybody Loves Raymond meets Will & Grace, I've Got a Life in Kalamazoo is based on stories from Teresa Thome's one-woman show, Warm Cheese.

8) Conversations With Coco (with special guest Jane Fonda)
April 20 at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's Renberg Theatre
For the seventh installment of Miss Coco Peru's series of live, unscripted interviews with celebrated performing artists, the L.A. drag legend welcomes the legendary actress Jane Fonda. Miss Coco has prepared a multi-media presentation featuring highlights of Ms. Fonda's storied career, as well as ample opportunity for the kind of casual yet in-depth conversation audiences have come to relish at Coco's table.

9) The 27th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition
April 22 & 23 at NYC's Minskoff Theatre
This highly anticipated annual event features the companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions offering skits, songs and dances as well as elaborately designed and themed bonnets created specially for the event. Since 1987, the Easter Bonnet Competition has raised more than $49 million for Broadway Cares.

10) TCM Classic Film Festival: Destination Hollywood
April 25 - 28 in Hollywood
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will open the 2013 edition of its film festival with the world premiere of a brand new restoration of the 1968 musical, Funny Girl, starring Barbra Streisand. Other featured films and special events include:

The Birds (1963) - leading lady Tippi Hedren will attend this special 50th anniversary screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s horrifying tale of avian aggression.

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) – this 50th anniversary screening of the wacky comedy will feature appearances by stars Carl Reiner, Mickey Rooney, Jonathan Winters, Marvin Kaplan and Barrie Chase. It will be presented in 70mm at the Cinerama Dome, where it first premiered in 1963 to mark the theater's grand opening.

Tribute to Ann Blyth - the festival honors the actress, who will attend screenings of Mildred Pierce (1945) and Kismet (1955).

Jane Fonda will have her hand and footprints enshrined at the TCL Chinese Theatre prior to a screening of On Golden Pond (1981).

And Mitzi Gaynor and France Nuyen will attend a special poolside screening of South Pacific (1958) on the opening night of the festival.

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