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Monday, April 22, 2013

OPENING NIGHT COOKIES: The Assembled Parties

Wednesday night we celebrated the opening of The Assembled Parties at Manhattan Theatre Club to rave reviews! I am so proud to be a part of this production, and was so excited to give everyone a sweet opening night treat. I created two designs significant to the show. 

In both acts, Julie Bascov (Jessica Hecht) is hosting Christmas dinner for her family. 
Once a film actress herself, she is also the daughter of a famous clothing designer, 
and she enjoys wearing her mother's designs on special occasions. 

She unveils a beautiful gold dress in Act 2, stating, 
"This was my favorite of her dresses because I watched her make it," 
before delivering a beautiful speech about her mother and her talents. 

I knew I had to recreate this gorgeous gown in cookie form! 

You can see Jessica in her dress, and other fancy opening night pics here.

The story also revolves around a ruby necklace that Julie's mother-in-law presented to her on her wedding day, and which Faye (Judith Light), Julie's sister-in-law has long desired for herself. 

We never actually see this coveted necklace, 
so I was left to my own devices to create the edible version. 

The cookies, like the show, were a hit!
Here are some lovely members of this incredible cast about to enjoy their cookies!

Jeremy Shamos, Judith Light, Jessica Hecht, and me! :)

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

RUN AND SEE: 3 Rockin' Off-Broadway Musicals

Off-Broadway is nailing it this season! There have been a lot of great shows Off-Broadway lately, but two new musicals and a revival new to me have really stood out from the pack.

The Last Five Years

I would consider this Jason Robert Brown musical a contemporary classic. First produced in 2002 (which is more than ten years ago, people!! What?!), I feel like every musical theater kid knows it backwards and forwards (literally). Except for me! When I found out that Second Stage was reviving it this spring, I knew I had to go see it. Lucky to snag a ticket to the nearly sold out run, I now know what all the fuss is about.

The show follows a couple through the five years in which they meet, date, get married, and divorce, but while we see this all unfold chronologically from Jamie's point of view, his counterpart, Cathy, tells her story interspersed with his, but in reverse. Betsy Wolfe (Cathy) and Adam Kantor (Jamie) are both perfect in their roles. That's all I can say. The music is so beautiful, I've been singing it for weeks, and the story develops in such a compelling way that I can only describe it as beautifully devastating. It has just extended for it's third and final time, through May 18, so RUN AND SEE THIS!

Murder Ballad
If you missed this daring, new rock opera at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II last fall, fret not. This everywoman's story gone awry will come back for nine weeks this summer at the Union Square Theater. A rather commonplace story of an Upper West Side mom who gets tempted away from her mundane life by an old fling, the show is told through rousing rock ballads that make it anything but ordinary.

Set in a bar (fully functional!), you may choose to watch the story unfold from the sidelines, but the place to be is at the bar tables in the center of the set, with the action taking place all around you, and maybe even on top of your table! I'm really looking forward to seeing this again, and with such an incredible cast (Will Swenson, Rebecca Naomi Jones, John Ellison Conlee, and Caissie Levy replacing the divine Karen Olivo as the woman), you can't miss it! It starts up again on May 7th, so RUN AND SEE THIS!

Here Lies Love

If merely sitting in the center of the action isn't enough of a broken 4th wall for you, head on down to the Public Theater where you will be transported to a 1940's Philippines that is also a rave... Yes, you read right. It's like Fuerza Bruta with a storyline. AND IT'S AWESOME! For those who don't enjoy actor interactions and the occasional dance- and/or sing-a-long, there are box seats available on the upper level, but to fully experience this theatrical journey, you want to be down on the floor, partying to the DJ's beats, while the life and times of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos are performed and projected all around you. 

Originally developed as a concept album by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, this staged version is nothing short of a party, and I learned a lot, too! Unfamiliar with Marcos' story, I was equally engaged in her personal and political journey, as I was with the club atmosphere. Not seemly compatible, the two were melded seamlessly, providing an awesome time, as well as an important history lesson. With great music, beautiful choreography, and beyond-clever staging, this show is not to be missed, and it has just extended through May 19, so seriously RUN AND SEE THIS! I will be going back again for sure!

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