Category Archives: broadway

RIP Jack Klugman

Award winning star of stage, screen, and television, Jack Klugman, passed away Christmas Eve in his home, surrounded by his family, apparently of natural causes. Born in Philadelphia, he was 90.

Jack Klugman was probably most well known in the role of Oscar Madison, the sloppy sports writer from TV’s “The Odd Couple,” in which he played opposite Tony Randall as the fussy photographer, Felix Unger. The sitcom ran for five years on ABC from 1970 to 1975, based on the movie, and the Broadway play by Neil Simon. While never having spectacular ratings, it found fame in summer reruns and syndication. As a kid growing up in the 1970s, “The Odd Couple” was a fixture in my Friday night TV programming.

Later in the decade, Klugman moved to NBC with the serious police/doctor procedural, “Quincy M.E.” With a coroner as the protagonist, Klugman had said once, it was the best of both dramatic prime time worlds. In the sixties, he also appeared in four episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” including “A Game of Pool” and “A Passage for Trumpet,” two considered classics.

Before, and after his television days, Klugman was in more than a few films, most notably he was Juror #5 in 12 Angry Men. He also performed on stage throughout his career, even more than a few times in The Odd Couple. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1974, and in 1989 lost one of his vocal cords to it, yet he continued to act, albeit in a much quieter huskier voice.

Jack Klugman was a terrific actor, and he will be missed.

Actor Ron Palillo Dead at 63

Actor Ron Palillo, best known for his portrayal of Arnold Horshack on “Welcome Back, Kotter,” was found dead early this morning by his longtime partner. He was 63, dead from an apparent heart attack.

While a star of film, television, stage and animation voicework for most of his career, he will forever be remembered as Arnold Horshack, a role he played from 1975-1979. For years he strove to rise above or erase the public’s memory of the role, even going so far as to have plastic surgery. He is the second of the ‘Sweathogs’ to pass away within a year.

He was a prolific stage actor on and off Broadway. Most recently Palillo was teaching acting in Florida where he lived and passed away.

The Pineland Players Present Bye Bye Birdie

The Pineland Players present “Bye Bye Birdie” – Book by Michael Stewart, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Lee Adams, Originally Produced by Edward Padula

It’s the late 1950s and teenagers from across the United States are going crazy for the handsome rock star, Conrad Birdie. Meanwhile, his manager, Albert Peterson, is going into debt and has staked his financial future on Conrad’s success. Albert’s secretary, Rosie, is increasingly frustrated with the time and money Albert is losing on his project. Disaster strikes when Conrad receives a draft notice to join the military. Thus, Albert attempts to stage a farewell party for Conrad in which he is to kiss one lucky fan on the Ed Sullivan Show before he leaves for the army. Kim MacAfee, from Sweet Apple, Ohio, is the lucky girl chosen to be kissed. But conflict arises when her boyfriend, Hugo Peabody, gets jealous, and Rosie becomes fed-up with Albert’s lack of commitment. Eventually, things turn out alright. Kim and Hugo resolve their problems while Albert agrees to leave managing, become an English teacher, and marry Rosie.

The Cast – Albert Peterson: Dave Ferris, Rose Alvarez: Arielle Thomas, Helen: Megan Bandomer, Ursula Merkle: Alanna Campbell, Kim MacAfee: Emily Chant, Mrs. Doris MacAfee: Jennifer Walker, Mr. Harry MacAfee: Michael Post, Randi MacAfee: Abby Chant, Mrs. Mae Peterson: Rachel Ulriksen, Conrad Birdie: Erich Schmal, Hugo Peabody: Dylan Paulson, Reporters: Stephanie Lottes, Tyrone Fuimaono, Mayor: James Hoffman, Mayor’s Wife: Karen Malone, Mrs. Merkle: Cindy Clark, Nancy: Bryce Turkheimer, Gloria Rasputin: Sammi Kristie, Penelope: Julianna Rankel, Mrs. Johnson: Michelle Bartasius, Maude F Charles: Abby Zahn, Alice: Rachel Benassutti, Margie: Mariah Schultz, Harvey Johnson: David Thomas, Sad Girls: Danielle Romanuski, Sarah Stearn

August 10, 11, 17, 18, 2012 at The Neeta School, 44 Neeta Trail, Medford Lakes, NJ

Bye Bye Birdie Tickets Now Available!!!

Show Dates: August 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30pm, August 18 at 2:00pm And don’t forget about our traditional “Meet the Cast” Ice Cream Social immediately following the August 18th matinee.

The Ticket request line is now open. You can request tickets or get more information by calling the Pineland Players information line at 609-286-3485. Leave a message with your name and phone number, your ticket date(s) and how many, and we will return your call to confirm your request.

Or you can use our on-line ticket request form. Click Here to go to the request form. Complete the form and click the “Submit” button at the bottom. We will confirm your request using the method you specified (phone or email) in the form. (you may also put in a ticket request at Saturday rehearsal; see anyone at the front desk)

BY REQUEST, WE NOW HAVE RESERVED SEATING, SO GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY FOR BEST SEATING AVAILABILITY.

Ticket prices – Adults $12, Children under 12 & Seniors, $10. Group rate, 10 or more tickets, $8. Ice Cream Social, $4.

Tickets will be held at the ticket desk on the night of your show, payable in cash or check payable to “Pineland Players.”

Marvin Hamlisch 1944-2012

Celebrated composer Marvin Hamlisch passed away yesterday after a brief but undisclosed illness. He was a star of stage and screen, and won multiple awards, among them – Grammys, Emmys, Oscars, a Tony and a Pulitzer. He was 68.

Hamlisch was perhaps one of the most famous American composers, having created scores for many movies, TV specials and Broadway shows. He was conductor of multiple orchestras across the nation.

His most famous works include A Chorus Line, The Goodbye Girl, The Sting, Take the Money and Run, The Spy Who Loved Me, Ice Castles, Sophie’s Choice, and The Way We Were.

Jeff Conaway 1950-2011

Actor Jeff Conaway passed away today after doctors took him off of life support. The actor was in a medically-induced coma after suffering from an overdose of painkillers. This was after a long battle with drug abuse, much of which occurred in front of the world via reality television, as Dr. Drew tried to help Conaway on several of his rehab TV series. It seems a shame both that he had not only this problem, but also that a whole generation probably only knows him as that wrecked old drug addict on TV.

Jeff Conaway had a long career before crashing and burning, he was on television and film, and was prolific with both. He played Kenickie in Grease, and was a member of the long-running ensemble sitcom “Taxi,” until eventually being fired for drug use, a specter that haunted him even then. I remember also in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon and even though I never watched it, I know he was also a regular on “Babylon 5.”

What I remember Jeff Conaway most for, and while this marks me for not being with the Grease or “Taxi” or even rehab crowds, it cements my nerd cred. I remember him in “Wizards and Warriors.” This high adventure/subtle comedy TV series, mostly directed by Bill Bixby, was CBS’ way of cashing in on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy demographic. It soon became evident that those folks didn’t watch prime time TV, or at least that show, and it was canceled after just a handful of episodes. I still dug Conaway as the square-jawed hero. playing it straight and standing above. Would love to see that on DVD someday.

No matter how you remember Jeff Conaway, he will be missed, and remembered.

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Tom Bosley 1927-2010

TV father, Emmy nominated and Tony winning actor Tom Bosley died today due to complications from lung cancer. For much of the late seventies and early eighties he visited our living rooms every week on “Happy Days” as Howard Cunningham, affectionately known as Mr. C.

Just as the late Barbara Billingsley (who also passed this week) was a mother to an entire previous generation as the mother on “Leave It to Beaver,” Bosley served the role of father for my generation. As father of Richie, Joanie, even Chuck, and for all intents and purposes Potsie, Ralph, Chachi and Fonzie as well, he was also our father figure, giving the best advice available this side of Mike Brady.

Tom Bosley was a character actor on television for years, also notable for his roles on “Wait Til Your Father Gets Home,” “The Father Dowling Mysteries,” “Murder She Wrote,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” multiple roles on “The Love Boat” and “Love American Style” and also starred with Debbie Reynolds and Sandy Duncan on their TV excursions.

Off of the small screen he appeared in films like “Love with the Proper Stranger,” “The World of Henry Orient” and most recently “The Back-up Plan.” Before his TV and movie work, Bosley won a Tony for his work in the Broadway show “Fiorello!” and returned to the stage in the 1990s with “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

Wherever you know Tom Bosley from – television, film, stage, or as a second father – he will be missed. ‘Night, Mr. C.

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RIP Arthur Penn

The man behind not only some of my favorite films, but some of the greatest films ever made, period, has passed away. Director Arthur Penn died last night at the age of 88.

His vision and talent changed the film industry in the late 1960s and changed the way we watch movies in both expectation and complexity. Among his films are the groundbreaking Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker, Little Big Man, Alice’s Restaurant and The Missouri Breaks. These are all films I will watch all the way through every time I see them on. They were not many, one every few years, but what he lacked in quantity he made up for in quality.

Penn began in television, but he also worked on the Broadway stage winning both the Tony and the Pulitzer. This great man will be missed. We have truly lost one of the legends of the field.

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Patricia Neal 1926-2010

Multiple award-winning actress Patricia Neal passed away yesterday at her home on Martha’s Vineyard. She was 84.

One of the finest actresses of her era, Patricia Neal was noted for performances in The Fountainhead, the original The Day the Earth Stood Still, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hud for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, and one of my favorite films, A Face in the Crowd.

She was also a star of Broadway and television as well, winning awards in both arenas. As well as the parts she did play, Neal was also noted for those she did not – she turned down the role of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate and was unable to play the mother in “The Waltons” for health reasons.

Her personal life was plagued by both health problems and drama. Her affair with the much older and married Gary Cooper caused a feeding frenzy in the press of the day, and her turbulent marriage to author Roald Dahl ended in divorce after thirty years. These events however are overhsadowed by all of her good work over the years for various charities.

We have another one of the greats of Hollywood. Patricia Neal will be missed.

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Lena Horne 1917-2010

Award-winning vocalist, actress, and performer of the stage and screen, both small and large, Lena Horne passed away yesterday just short of her 93rd birthday.

I first became aware of Miss Horne in the oddest of places – from the old “Sanford and Son” show as she was a celebrity whom the lead character played by Redd Foxx had the hots for. As Lena was a mainstay of the variety programs of the day I soon learned who she really was. While I knew her from variety television and even “Sesame Street,” her career began decades earlier at the Cotton Club in the 1930s, where she was, and remained throughout her life, one of jazz’s premiere vocalists, her signature song being “Stormy Weather.”

From there she went on to Hollywood appearing in many films, most notably Cabin in the Sky, Panama Hattie and Stormy Weather. Unfortunately her life was made difficult in a less tolerant age because of her interracial marriage and her strong civil rights activism, so she turned to playing in Vegas for some time.

Miss Horne continued to record music throughout her career, moreso in the 1980s and 90s after her successful one-woman Broadway show “Lena Horne: The Lady and her Music.” We have truly lost a legend, she will be missed.

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Frost/Nixon

Frost/Nixon ~ Often memories are powered by significant news events. Everyone remembers where they were when the towers fell. When they heard about Kurt Cobain and about John Lennon, and of course, the granddaddy of such events – where were you when JFK was shot? This movie is like that for me.

Richard M. Nixon, and I’m giving my age away obviously, was the first US President I was aware of. I remember the turmoil of the war protests, and the Vietnam War itself on the news, the Watergate hearings that pre-empted all programming during the day, and the man’s frequent speeches to the nation in prime time. I specifically remember the day Nixon resigned; it was the same day of the first time my parents ever took me to a mall. I remember reading his memoir “R.N.,” and I remember watching the David Frost interviews on which this movie was based.

The film is an interesting duel between two men who each have their admirable qualities and serious flaws as well, but I think the words of Kevin Bacon, in the minor role of Nixon bodyguard Jack Brennan, best sum it up as boxers squaring off verbally. This is a duel, not an interview, with two combatants who have underestimated each other tremendously. The intense performances from Frank Langella and Michael Sheen in the title roles make this a must-see film. Recommended.

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