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Friday, April 1, 2016

10 Groovy Things to Do in April starring Glenn Close and Armistead Maupin

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) The Unauthorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada
Now through May 8 at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles
In this all-new, live parody production of the 2006 film, actors Drew Droege and John Flynn alternately play the maniacal role of Miranda Priestly, the devilishly demanding and narcissistic editor-in-chief of fashion bible Runway Magazine. The cast also includes Kelley Jakle and Lana McKissack (alternating as Miranda's assistant Andy), Marla Mindelle, Tom DeTrinis, Spencer Strong Smith, Corbin Reid and Sebastian La Cause.

2) Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard
April 1 - May 7 at the London Coliseum (home of the English National Opera)
Glenn Close makes her West End debut as Norma Desmond, the role that won her a 1995 Tony Award. This semi-staged production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will also star Michael Xavier as Joe Gillis, Siobhan Dillon as Betty Shaefer, and Fred Johanson as Max Von Mayerling.

3) Coco Peru, Chad Michaels and Peaches Christ in The Witches of East Village
April 2 at NYC's Gramercy Theatre
The three drag icons star in the New York Premiere of this theatrical parody based on the 1987 film, The Witches of Eastwick. Written and directed by Joshua Grannell, this original stage show co-stars Ben Rimalower (in the Jack Nicholson role) and Peggy L'eggs.

4) Beckie Menzie and Tom Michael in The Piano Men
Every Saturday in April (2, 9, 16, 23 and 30) at Davenport's Cabaret in Chicago
In their brand new annual April show, the award-winning duo celebrate and pay tribute to three iconic piano men - Barry Manilow, Michael Feinstein and Billy Joel.

5) Long Day's Journey Into Night
Broadway previews begin April 3. Opens April 27 at the American Airlines Theatre.
Roundabout Theatre Company revives Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical drama with a cast that includes Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jessica Lange, Tony nominee Gabriel Byrne, Oscar nominee Michael Shannon and Tony winner John Gallagher, Jr.

6) Ebertfest 2016: 18th Annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival
April 13 - 17 at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Illinois
This year's slate of films include Crimson Peak (2015) with director Guillermo del Toro, Grandma (2015) with director Paul Weitz, Eve's Bayou (1997) with director Kasi Lemmons, Love & Mercy (2015), and Blow Out (1981) with actress Nancy Allen. Also, a free pre-release screening of Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some!! will be presented on April 12 at the University of Illinois' Foellinger Auditorium.

7) Armistead Maupin and San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in Tales Of Our City: Our Lives, Our Heroes
April 14 & 15 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco
It was 40 years ago when Maupin penned the very first article that became Tales of the City, bringing the colorful life and times of San Francisco to the entire world. He joins SFGMC for an evening full of stories and music about the city and its heroes, while revisiting this magical work of literature, including “Michael’s Letter to Mama.” (Maupin photo credit: Christopher Turner)

8) 30th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition
April 25 & 26 at NYC's Minskoff Theatre
This highly anticipated annual event features the companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions offering skits, songs and dances as well as elaborately designed bonnets created specially for the event. Since 1987, the Easter Bonnet Competition has raised more than $63 million for Broadway Cares.

9) TCM Classic Film Festival
April 28 - May 1 in Hollywood
Turner Classic Movies will open the 7th annual film festival on April 28th with a 40th Anniversary screening of the 1976 Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman political thriller, All The President’s Men. Other special events include tributes to actress Gina Lollobrigida (with screenings of 1968's Bueno Sera, Mrs. Campbell and 1956's Trapeze), director-writer Carl Reiner (with a screening of 1982's Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid), and actor Elliott Gould (with screenings of 1970's M*A*S*H and 1973's The Long Goodbye).

The festival will also include appearances by actress Eva Marie Saint (who will introduce a screening of 1966's The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming), director John Singleton (who will present a 25th anniversary screening of his 1991 coming-of-age classic, Boyz n the Hood), actress Marlee Matlin (who will introduce a 30th anniversary screening of 1986's Children of a Lesser God), and actor Burt Reynolds (who will introduce a screening of 1974's The Longest Yard and participate in an interview about his life and career).

10) Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I
April 29 - May 22 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago
This new production stars the Tony-nominated Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow, Big Fish) and Paolo Montalbán (who starred opposite Brandy in the 1997 ABC movie of Cinderella).

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