Photo Flash: Beth Leavel, Judith Light and Chad Kimball Join Frank DiLella at Birdland
by BWW News Desk Aug. 22, 2017
The Broadway at Birdland concert series presented the 14th episode of “Show Biz After Hours with Frank DiLella” on Monday, August 21. Frank’s Very Special Guests were Beth Leavel (currently starring in Bandstand), Chad Kimball (currently starring in Come From Away) and Judith Light (currently starring on television in “Transparent.”) Scroll down for photos!
“Show Biz After Hours With Frank DiLella” is a regular theater-based live talk show featuring Broadway movers-and-shakers, impromptu musical performances, audience interaction, and a cocktail or two! As always, musical director for the show was performer and composer Randy Redd, with background vocals by Kalli Siringas.
Frank DiLella’s celebrity interviews, along with his in-depth reporting of the theatrical scene for NY1, have helped make him a universally trusted friend and confidant, as well as one of the most popular personalities in entertainment journalism.
The Broadway at Birdland concert series has taken place on the stage of the iconic music room every week for the past fifteen years. Birdland is located at 315 West 44 Street, in the heart of Manhattan’s theater district. Visit www.BirdlandJazz.com for more information.
Photos by Kevin Alvey
Beth Leavel, Frank DiLella, Chad Kimball and Judith Light Read more
Judith Light: The Content And The Context Of A Varied Career
ByLINDA HOLMES•AUG 17, 2017
Long before Transparent, for which she’s now Emmy-nominated for her work as Shelly Pfefferman, Judith Light was a soap star when soaps were a much bigger deal than they are now. Playing Karen Wolek on One Life To Live, she won two Daytime Emmys and became known for a devastating performance in a courtroom scene in which Karen was forced to acknowledge publicly that although she was married to a doctor, she was secretly also a sex worker. She later moved on to Who’s The Boss, where she had a totally different role as Angela Bower, a working single mom who hired Tony Micelli (Tony Danza) as her housekeeper and nanny.
She also had significant roles on Ugly Betty and Law & Order: SVU, and she managed to win two Tony Awards along the way, for her performances in Other Desert Cities in 2012 and The Assembled Parties in 2013.
We sat down to talk about how Shelly’s doing at the end of Transparent‘s third season, how Light herself is doing following some changes in her own life, and why she swore she’d never do soaps or sitcoms and ended up learning a tremendous amount from both.
“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway is a constant at Outfest Los Angeles. This year, she brought two new episodes of the Emmy-winning show to the festival to give fans an early preview of Season 4. The post-screening panel included Soloway, writers Our Lady J and Ali Liebegott, director Marta Cunningham, and cast members Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, Trace Lysette, Judith Light, Alexandra Billings, and Jeffrey Tambor.
A running theme of the discussion was how Soloway helped transform all the artist’s careers and lives. Light recalled her pivotal phone call with Soloway, “I was happily living in New York. Jill and I talked about advocacy for the LGBT community. I prayed this show would bring me back to California. This show changed my career and life: it combined my advocacy and my work.”
Duplass recounted how resistant he was to accepting the role of Josh Pfefferman, which was his first acting job, “I didn’t want to do it and Jill said I had to read with the family. I said, ‘No.’ Then I read with the family. Jill made an actor out of me. I came home one day and my wife said, ‘You’re so much happier now.’”
‘Transparent’ Emmy interviews: Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light and their on-screen family discuss Amazon series
By Daniel Montgomery
TV Jun 23, 2017 5:30 pm
In its first two seasons “Transparent” won eight Emmys out of 21 nominations, including Best Comedy Actor (Jeffrey Tambor) and Best Comedy Directing (Jill Soloway) twice in a row. It has also earned two consecutive bids for Best Comedy Series, which makes it the first and so far only Amazon streaming series to earn bids in a top category. Will it continue to rack up multiple nominations and wins after its equally acclaimed third season last fall?
The third season of the show was one of continued transitions for many characters. Maura (Tambor) planned to undergo gender confirmation surgery, though her advanced age and imperfect health made that difficult. Her ex-wife Shelly (Judith Light) turned her experiences into a one-woman show. And her adult children (Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Gaby Hoffmann) continued to struggle through their own family and relationship woes. The struggles earned the show continued acclaim from critics. Now they’re hoping for continued acclaim from the TV academy. Read more
Transparent producer Faith Soloway teases musical: ‘I have to go for it’
Series stars Judith Light and Alexandra Billings tell EW they’re game for a stage show
By ERIC KING
Should Transparent become a musical? According to series producer and writer Faith Soloway, the answer is yes.
After Faith Soloway & Friends: Should Transparent Become A Musical? at New York City’s Joe’s Pub on Monday, Soloway told EW she is going to pursue the project. “I think people felt it,” shared Soloway, whose sister Jill created the series and serves as showrunner. “So, yeah. I have no choice now. I’ve decided. I feel like I have to go for it.”
Her musical-comedy cabaret previewed what “you’ll hear on the big stage if/when award-winning series Transparent becomes a musical.” Following its debut on Amazon in 2014, the series garnered critical praise for its portrayal of a family whose patriarch, Mort Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), comes out as transgender and transitions into Maura. Like the series itself, Soloway’s stage production test trial is unconventional. “It’s kind of audacious of a first time out to have a gig where you’re just trying musical numbers out,” she admitted. “Usually, there’s workshops and invited audiences. But that’s the way I like to do it. I like shows. I like relating to an audience.”
Transparent‘s cast is packed with theater vets, like Tambor and Judith Light, so one can’t help but wonder if those actors would reprise their roles in the stage adaptation. “Whoever wants to sing,” said Soloway, leaving the door open to the original cast of the Amazon series. “I would love that.”
Light — who plays helicopter mom Shelly, Maura’s ex-wife — was in the audience and didn’t oppose the idea of reprising her role on stage. “I don’t know whether they would ask me, whether they would want me,” said Light, whose character ended season 3 on a high note with a riveting, emotional performance of “Hand in My Pocket” by Alanis Morissette. “But as far as I’m concerned, I would follow Faith Soloway and Jill Soloway to the ends of the Earth.”
Faith Soloway Previews Songs from ‘TRANSPARENT’ Musical at Joe’s Pu
by BWW News Desk Jun. 21, 2017
As BWW previously reported, Faith Soloway, a writer and producer of the hit Amazon series TRANSPARENT, appeared at Joe’s Pub on June 19th to present her cabaret show, “Should ‘Transparent’ Become a Musical?” During the performance, Ms. Soloway, sister of the show’s creator Jill Soloway, previewed songs that you would hear on the big stage, if and when the award winning series becomes a musical.
According to Variety, series star and Tony Award winner Judith Light and HAMILTON producer Jeffrey Seller were among those in attendance at the 75-minute cabaret show. Among those participating were co-host Alexandra Billings, who portrays ‘Davina’ on the series, Seth Bodi, Brandon Cordeiro, Amy Graves and Megan Amram. Read more
The Departed’s James Badge Dale Proves His Theatre Credentials
BY JOE GAMBINO
MAY 15, 2017
The son of actors Anita Morris and Grover Dale reveals the Judith Light performance that made him want to act.
Iron Man 3 actor James Badge Dale might be best recognized for his role as reclusive Simon in the 1990 film adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. But Dale, who has appeared in over 30 films and television shows, actually grew up in the wings of theatres. The son of actor Anita Morris, who originated the role of Carla in Nine, and dancer-turned-director Grover Dale fondly remembers running around orchestra pits and watching his parents from behind the curtains. After a four-year hiatus from performing onstage, Dale is back, starring in Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall at New World Stages about the previously unfathomable happening in Trump’s America. Before starting previews, he spoke to Playbill to prove his theatre bonafides.
What was your first professional job?
James Badge Dale: As an adult, it was Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, but as a child it was this little movie called Lord of the Flies. It was just something I fell into and then I fell out of. My first Equity play was in 2003 at the Flea Theater.
What was the stage show that has most influenced you?
JBD: I saw Judith Light do W;t in 1999 at the Union Square Theater and that changed me. That was the moment…I sat in that theatre and I grieved my mother’s death properly for the first time. The house emptied out and I couldn’t leave the house. I was sitting there wracked with sobs and it was cathartic for me. That was the moment that I understand that when an actor is standing onstage and you’re telling the story, you’re not telling it for yourself. You are telling it for the audience. It’s an honorable job. It’s a job of service. You’re doing it for other people. If you can touch one other person, it makes it worth it. That was the moment I wanted to be an actor. Judith actually knew my mother and when I went backstage she gave me a big hug. I’m still friends with her today.
First Look at Al Pacino and Judith Light in Play About Tennessee Williams
BY HANNAH VINE FEB 08, 2017
Dotson Rader’s play God Looked Away is being groomed for a future Broadway life.
The Pasadena Playhouse is hosting the developmental, world-premiere engagement of Dotson Rader’s play God Looked Away, which stars Al Pacino as the late Cat on a Hot Tin Roof playwright Tennessee Williams. The play is being developed for Broadway, adapted from Rader’s 1985 Williams biography.
Robert Allan Ackerman directs the six-week engagement that begins February 8 for a run through March 19. God Looked Away is the first play in the Playhouse’s new works program, Playworks.
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FIRST LOOK AT AL PACINO AND JUDITH LIGHT IN PLAY ABOUT TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
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