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Posts tagged ‘Sister Act’


Stage Rush TV: Episode 72

Talking points:

What do you think, Rushers? Did this week’s Bryant Park concert rock your world with the sexy people that performed? What is your favorite role of Chester Gregory’s to date? Have you ever attended the 24-hour musicals event? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to enter our Follies ticket giveaway for a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to the show!

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With ‘Sister Act,’ Chester Gregory finally lets loose at the Broadway Theatre

chester gregory broadway headshot sister act dreamgirls shrek musical tarzan cry baby jackie wilson storyChester Gregory has remained a steady Broadway fixture since making his debut in 2003 in Hairspray. A replacement in the role of Seaweed, the Gary, Indiana native began a streak of supporting principal roles that included Terk in Tarzan, Dupree in Cry-Baby, Donkey in the Seattle tryout of Shrek The Musical, and James “Thunder” Early in the Dreamgirls national tour. Now Gregory is back on Broadway playing (Sweaty) Eddie Souther in Sister Act—the noble police officer who sends lounge singer Dolores (Patina Miller) to hide in a convent from her thug pursuers.

Gregory earned raves in 2000 when he starred in Chicago’s Black Ensemble Theater’s production of The Jackie Wilson Story. When the show toured in New York at the Apollo Theater, Hairspray creators Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman were taken by Gregory’s energetic performance and immediately cast him as Seaweed in their hit musical. Since making his Broadway debut, Gregory has earned an adoring fanbase, but his stage journey has had notable low points. Tarzan opened to terrible reviews, Cry-Baby only lasted 68 performances, and the industry buzzed when Gregory was not cast as Donkey in Shrek’s Broadway transfer, after creating the role in Seattle.

Despite these potential setbacks, Gregory plunged forward, giving a well-reviewed performance in the national tour of Dreamgirls and creating a slick R&B/soul solo career. Gregory sat down with Stage Rush in his dressing room at the Broadway Theatre (coincidentally, where the musical about the ogre played) to discuss Sister Act, his history with the Apollo, and what happened with Shrek.

How did Sister Act come into your life?
Sister Act
came into my life by way of my son’s mother, Kimberly Herbert Gregory, who is an actress as well [last seen in By The Way, Meet Vera Stark]. She saw the production in London and recommended I audition for it. Read more »


Stage Rush TV: Episode 70

Talking points:

What do you think, Rushers? Was Broadway in Bryant Park this week one of the best sets you’ve seen? Have you watched Kerry Butler sing “Fly Fly Away” 57 times, like I have? What did you think of Victoria Clark’s performance in Sister Act? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thank you for helping us to reach 70 episodes of Stage Rush TV!

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Stage Rush TV: Episode 69

Talking points:

What do you think, Rushers? What new show are you most excited to see in the fall? Did you think the first Broadway in Bryant Park concert of the summer was a dud? Did you catch the re-revived Hair yet? Leave all your Craptacular thoughts in the comments below!

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Broadway in Bryant Park recap: ‘Baby It’s You!’ and ‘Sister Act’

Manhattan’s summer lunch breaks just got extended. There’s only one event that could justify an hour-and-a-half reprieve from the office, and that is the Broadway in Bryant Park concert series that kicked off Thursday afternoon. (Yes, my math is correct. The concert lasts an hour, but attendees should expect to get there at least a half hour early for a good seat.) Despite the gorgeous (if not intense) summer weather that beat down on the Bryant Park audience for the kick off installment, the concert series got off to an underwhelming start.

Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana was set to perform first. You might be wondering what act could be performed from the super-elaborate spectacle. The answer: not much. A couple minutes of clowns waddling through the sweaty crowd and a quick run across the stage comprised Zarkana’s bizarre performance—if you can call it that.

The women of Baby It’s You! took the stage to show what a performance is really about. The four actresses that play the Shirelles pounded out a medley of the girl group’s hits, with Christina Sajous spunky vocals mixing well with her Rihanna-style cropped hairdo. The cheesy costumes of the 60s were not missed, and the performance demonstrated that the musical works so much better as a tribute concert than a narrative show.

VIDEO: Baby It’s You! performs a Shirelles medley

Read more »


2011 Tony Awards: Nominees and Reactions

For those that were dismayed by The Scottsboro Boys’ short run on Broadway and feared it would be forgotten this awards season, all bad feelings were washed away when the Tony Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning. The musical by John Kander and Fred Ebb (the famous duo’s final collaboration together) received 12 nominations, only coming in second to The Book of Mormon, which received 14. The nominations this year were anything but predictable, serving up some serious snubs and surprises, especially in the acting categories. Let’s take a look at the 2011 Tony nominees.

2011 tony award nominees best play
Best Play

Good People
The Motherf**ker With The Hat
War Horse

My wrong guess: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Although Motherf**ker was always buzzed to be a lock for this category, I’m surprised it took the spot of Bengal Tiger, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In my predictions, I edged out Good People, but am not surprised to see it here, as I’ve heard nothing but raves from critics and audiences. Read more »