As Simon Stride in staged reading of "Jekyll and Hyde," featuring Robert Petkoff in the leading role

Wildhorn and Bricusse's "JEKYLL AND HYDE IN CONCERT"
by Walter McBride

On Monday, June 15th Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde returned to New York City for the first time in 8 years since its four year, 1500 + performance Broadway run and was presented in its entirety as a benefit concert for the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC). Presented by SAW Theatricals/Sarah Melissa Rotker in association with Deborah Blumenthal, Stephanie Leaf, and Phillip Pallitto, the evening took place at NYSEC's 800-seat concert hall, most recently home to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and featured "Bring on the Men", a song which was not heard in the Broadway production. BroadwayWorld was there as the show made a thrilling return to the New York stage.

Robert Petkoff (Happiness, Fiddler on the Roof) starred in the title roles, with Brooke Sunny Moriber (Parade, The Threepenny Opera, The Wild Party) as Emma. The concert also introduced Jennifer Hallie Rosen (If This Hat Could Talk with Melba Moore and Stephanie Mills, Man of La Mancha, CATS, Evita, and Camelot), who made her New York City debut as Lucy. Timothy Jerome and Brandon Ruckdashel were also featured in the cast.

Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.






Joyce Carol Oates Short Plays Reading

Joyce Carol Oates Attends Playreading At NY Society Library

Razors Edge Productions and the New York Society Library presented an evening of plays by Joyce Carol Oates on Tuesday, October 13. Ms. Oates participated in an audience discussion afterwards. Bill Connington's collaboration with Joyce Carol Oates started with ZOMBIE, an award winning solo play he adapted from Oates' novella. Connington performed the show for a successful extended run on Theatre Row earlier this year. Another evening of Oates' short plays will be performed Tuesday, October 20 at 6:30 pm at the New York Society Library, 53 East 79th Street (just east of Madison Avenue, 6 train to 77th Street). Audience discussions will take place after performances.

Though most famous for her fiction, Oates is also a prolific and widely produced writer of drama, with past productions by The Actors Studio in Stockholm, ACT Theatre, in Seattle, the Edinburgh Festival, L.A. Theatre Works, Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, the Long Wharf in New Haven, and the McCarter Theater in Princeton, among others. She was co-winner of the Heideman Award for a work produced at The Actors Theatre of Louisville, and nominated for an American Theatre Critics Award.

The cast includes Bill Connington (ZOMBIE), Robert DuSolt (The Producers) Michael Laurence (Krapp, 39), Sherry Anderson (Beauty and the Beast), Jennifer McCabe (Sex & The City), Emily Tremaine (Summer Shorts) AnneMarie Benedict (Robeson), Jeff Pagliano (Richard III), Colin Sutherland (Birdbath), and Tony Wolf (

Joyce Carol Oates has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls (winner of the 2005 Prix Femina) and The Gravedigger's Daughter. She has received a PEN/Malamud Award for Achievement in the Short Story, the National Book Award, and The Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature. A nominee for the Pulitzer Prize, she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Pictured above: Bill Connington, performer, Joyce Carol Oates, playwright.


Staged reading of A.R. Gurney's 'The Dining Room' with Bill Connington and Tony Award Nominees Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Barbara Walsh

Broadway stars Barbara Walsh (Company) and Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q) performed in a sold-out benefit reading of A. R. Gurney's classic play, The Dining Room. Also in the cast were Bill Connington (Zombie), David M. Lutken, (Inherit the Wind), AnnMarie Benedict (Robeson) and Tony Wolf (The Action Room).

The director was Dan Cordle. The reading took place at the New York Society of Colonial Dames Museum , at 215 East 71st Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Barbara Walsh won the Drama Desk Award, and was nominated for a Tony Award for her work in Falsettos on Broadway. She appeared in the John Doyle production of Company, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination. Stephanie D'Abruzzo was nominated for a Tony Award for Avenue Q, and won a Theater World Award. She also has appeared in the musical Carnival. Bill Connington adapted the Joyce Carol Oates novella Zombie into an award-winning solo play he performed Off-Broadway. He reprised his role in an award-winning short film. Zombie will be shot next year as a feature film. David M. Lutken has performed on Broadway in Ring of Fire, and The Civil War. AnnMarie Benedict has appeared in Robeson, and the Joyce Carol Oates play I Stand Before You Naked. Tony Wolf has appeared in Forever Plaid and is the co-host/producer of The Action Room. Dan Cordle just directed his first feature film, Possession.

A.R. Gurneyis a respected and prolific playwright who often writes about what has been called "WASP culture" and its eventual decline in power. The Dining Room is one of Gurney's most popular plays, and has been called, "A comedy of manners about what it means to be a WASP." One of Gurney's most recent plays is The Grand Manner, which was produced last year at Lincoln Center. He is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Van Cortlandt House Museum is located in Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx. The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America is a national membership society that is dedicated to educating children about life in Colonial America, and helping to preserve historically significant properties around the country. Van Cortlandt House was built in 1748, and was the headquarters of General George Washington in the Battle of White Plains.




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