PLAYBILL VIDEO WEEK IN REVIEW: Matilda, Zorro, Seth Rudetsky, Gypsy Robe and More

By Playbill Staff
April 14, 2013

In the new series Playbill Video Week in Review, Playbill.com recaps its weekly coverage of Broadway performances, celebrity interviews, web series and opening nights – in case they were missed the first time around.



Laurie Veldheer, Brenda Braxton, Jeff Kready, Burke Moses and Lenora Nemetz star in Paper Mill Playhouse's new production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Here, the cast gave an early in-studio preview of tunes including "Not for the Life of Me," "What Do I Need With Love?" and "Forget About the Boy." Paper Mill Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee directs the production; Denis Jones choreographs. Read Playbill's Diva Talk with star (and Tony nominee) Brenda Braxton.

 

Based on the Roald Dahl children's book, Matilda the Musical is the story of a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers who, with the support of her teacher, tries to rid her school of its evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull. The hit London production won seven Olivier Awards. Matthew Warchus directs; lyrics and music are by Tim Minchin with a book by Dennis Kelly. The production plays the Sam S. Shubert Theatre. Read a Brief Encounter with Minchin.

 

The passing of the Gypsy Robe is a Broadway tradition dating back to the 1950s which celebrates the dedication of long-time but often under-appreciated performers — for each new musical, the ensemble member with the most Broadway credits is awarded the Robe in an opening night ceremony. Here, Playbill gets an exclusive tour of Actors' Equity with staff member David Westphal who displays some of the most interesting, elaborate and inventive Gypsy Robes in their extensive collection. Read more about the history of the Gypsy Robe.

 

Wesley Taylor and Mitchell Jarvis' web series "It Could Be Worse" chronicles the ups and downs (and there are a LOT of downs!) of struggling actor Jacob Gordon (Taylor) as he navigates challenging experiences with a drugged-up agent (Jarvis), a needy ex-boyfriend (Gideon Glick), an unpredictable co-star (Alison Fraser), a new love interest playing hard to get (Adam Chanler-Berat) and many other oddball characters. In this exclusive video, creators and cast take us behind the scenes of the series. For more on the show, and to catch up on past episodes, read the Playbill story.

 

Adam Jacobs stars as the masked legend Zorro in the Alliance Theatre production of the Gipsy Kings-scored Zorro: A New Musical. The Atlanta production, which began performances April 10, reunites director Christopher Renshaw (The King and I, We Will Rock You) and Olivier Award-nominated choreographer Rafael Amargo, who teamed for the show's West End run. For more on the production, read the Playbill story.

 

Broadway stars of today will celebrate three Broadway icons of yesteryear — namely, songwriters Frank Loesser and Jule Styne and actor Danny Kaye — at Carnegie Hall on April 29, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the New York Pops. Under the baton of music director Steve Reineke and hosted by Paula Zahn, the lineup includes Laura Osnes, Anthony Warlow, Nick Adams, Will Chase, Max Von Essen, Betsy Wolfe, Laura Benanti, James Naughton, Kelli O'Hara, Rob McClure, Donna Murphy, Stephanie J. Block, Liz Callaway, Megan Hilty, Marilyn Maye and Leslie Uggams. Playbill caught up with six of the stars rehearsing songs from Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella and Funny Girl, and spoke to them about why they were excited to perform at the gala. For more information on the New York Pops 30th anniversary gala, click here.

 

In this latest episode of OBSESSED!, Seth Rudetsky is joined by old friend Kristine Zbornik to relive horrible moments from their long-ago gig at Rose's Turn, a famed piano bar. Zbornik also performs one of her signature tunes, an ode to the sometimes not-so-pleasant New York City subway system. Read Seth's weekly Playbill column and check out his online home at SethTV.com.