January 26, 2015

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Playbill Presents
Mamma Mia! Winter Newbie Celebrates His First Snow Day

No show tonight because of a blizzard? No Problem! Mamma Mia’s Neil Starkenberg is a native of California who only recently moved to New York City and has never experienced a “snow day” before. He met up with Playbill outside the Broadhurst Theatre to celebrate the extreme winter weather by trying his hand at making and tossing snowballs, sharing his newly discovered secrets on keeping warm and planning his evening inside and away from the snow and cold. Read about the cancellation of all Broadway shows due to the potentially historic blizzard.

Playbill Presents
A Look Back at Phantom: How Do You Sing "Music of the Night" in Japanese?

To celebrate The Phantom of the Opera's 27th anniversary, Playbill takes a look back at a very special video feature. The longest-running show in Broadway history is also one of the most successful shows in the entire world. Some 100 million people have seen Phantom since it began in London in 1986. Long-time Broadway company member Marni Raab shares stories from her stint as Christine on the world-wide tour and shares clips of Phantom's international companies. See photos from the 25th anniversary.

The Shows
Highlights From Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at NJ's Paper Mill Playhouse

Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike plays Millburn, New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse through Feb. 15. When movie star Masha returns home to the family farm, she brings out feelings of regret and resentment in brother Vanya and stepsister Sonia who remained to care for their ailing parents. Add a cleaning lady who practices voodoo and Masha's boy toy Spike to the mix and you have a touching and outrageous comedy with characters and themes inspired by the world of Chekhov. Read Playbill's Stage View with star Carolyn McCormick.

The Shows
Highlights From The Who's Tommy at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL

Based on the classic double LP rock opera by one of the most musically adventurous bands of the 1960s and '70s, The Who's Tommy plays the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, IL through Feb. 15. Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti directs the production, which features music and lyrics by Pete Townshend and a book by Townshend and Des McAnuff. Highlights include "Pinball Wizard," "See Me, Feel Me," "I'm Free" and "Christmas." See details from the original Broadway production of the show.

Playbill Presents
Nevermore's Upcycled Props and Costumes Give Poe Musical Unique Gothic Vibe

From the mind of creator Jonathan Christenson (director, book, music and lyrics) comes Nevermore — The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. The musical combines fact and the author's own macabre fiction to tell his life story. Playbill went backstage with production designer Bretta Gerecke to take a look at the unusual upcycled props and costumes that give the Off-Broadway show its striking gothic look. See a musical preview of the show, now playing at New World Stages.

Playbill Presents
Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan Preview Revival of John & Jen

The Keen Company will present a revival of John & Jen by Andrew Lippa (music and book) and Tom Greenwald (lyrics and book) Off-Broadway at The Clurman Theatre on Theatre Row. Here, stars Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan perform "Just Like You" and "Bye Room" during a special open rehearsal of the show which tells the story of a woman dealing with the death of her brother and the fear of losing her son. Keen Company artistic director Jonathan Silverstein directs the production which will include the premiere of a brand-new song, "Trouble With Men." See the schedule for John & Jen and other upcoming Off-Broadway shows.

Playbill Presents
Closing Night at Rock of Ages: Dozens of Show Alumni Sing "Don’t Stop Believin'"

Playbill was on hand for the closing night of Rock of Ages. After capturing moments from the final few numbers and the finale "Don’t Stop Believin'," the fans in attendance were treated to a very special encore. Dozens of show alumni including James Carpinello, Amy Spanger, Lauren Molina, Jeremy Jordan and Nick Cordero came onstage one last time for one final rendition of the Journey hit. See Constantine Maroulis’ curtain call speech.

Playbill Presents
Constantine Maroulis in Rock of Ages Closing Night Curtain Call: "This Show Has Changed My Life"

Playbill was on hand for the closing night of Rock of Ages. In a special curtain call, Constantine Maroulis (he originated the role of Drew in 2009 and returned to the production in 2014 after four years away) addressed the audience and spoke about the impact that the show has had on his life. Read an interview with Maroulis.

Playbill Backstage
A Backstage Farewell to Rock of Ages Starring Chester See, Part 1

After almost five years on Broadway (and before that a year-plus Off-Broadway run), Rock of Ages will rock no more. On Jan. 8, the show will close after 22 previews and 2,328 regular performances, making it the 27th longest-running Broadway show of all time. Here, YouTube sensation Chester See (he plays Stacee Jaxx) takes camera in hand to document the final days of the now iconic show. Watch Part Two.

Playbill Backstage
A Backstage Farewell to Rock of Ages Starring Chester See, Part 2

On Jan. 18, the now iconic Rock of Ages will lower its curtain for the last time. After 22 previews and 2,328 regular performances, the production will come to a close as the 27th longest-running Broadway show. Here, YouTube sensation Chester See (he plays Stacee Jaxx) documented the goings-on during a typical intermission, mostly involving the antics of Frankie James Grande. Watch Part Three.

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