SECRETS OF A LIFE ON STAGE... AND OFF. My book about being on Broadway for 42 years is now available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. It has stories about Leonard Bernstein, Busby Berkeley, Ruby Keeler, Ann-Margret, Kevin Spacey, Tony Danza, Kathie Lee Gifford, Stephen Sondheim and a host of others. There is a fabulous caricature on the cover by Wall Street Journal artist, Ken Fallin. The good news... it is selling like hot cakes!
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY- Spending the entire spring at the Denver Theater Center doing the premiere of a brand new musical directed by Marcia Milgrom-Dodge. I play Sir John and will be costarring with many old pals including Ruth Gottschall (MARY POPPINS), Joanna Glushak (YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN), Jeremiah James (THE FANTASTICKS), Liz Pearce (BILLIE ELLIOT) and Robert Petkoff (ANYTHING GOES). We'll be there from the end of February till June. Springtime in the Rockies! There are already producers in place to move it into New York at the end of the run.
CLOAK AND DAGGER- My new four person musical which I wrote while I was in MARY POPPINS on Broadway is about to be launched by a major American Theater. They will officially announce their season in February at which time i'll be telling you ALL about it. Hold on!
SOMETHING'S AFOOT- I played Colonel Gillweather in the old whodunit at the Goodspeed Opera House all fall and winter. Was opposite the divine Lynne Wintersteller and the show also featured Audrie Neenan, Liz Pearce, Benjamin Eakeley and Hunter Ryan Hurdlicka. My old pal, Vince Pesce directed.
MY CLUB ACT- Did an act of my own material to celebrate the launch of my book. Started at the fabulous Metropolitan Room in Manhattan (with Glen Roven on piano and Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf on cello) and then took it to the Signature Theatre in DC and the Goodspeed Opera House in CT. You can watch the whole act on youtube.com under ED DIXON AT THE METROPOLITAN ROOM.
PIRATES!- Just completed my fourth stint as the Modern Major General in this marvelous new adaptation of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, entitled PIRATES! Played opposite Hunter Foster and Kathy Fitzgerald who were absolutely marvelous. This time we were in the 15, 000 seat outdoor arena called St. Louis MUNY.
SECRETS OF A LIFE ON STAGE... AND OFF- Had a fabulous sold out night in this wonderful New York NIghtspot to launch my book. Glen Roven on piano and Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf on cello. An evening of stories from the book and songs from various shows I've written plus special material written for the occasion. One of my favorite nights ever. You can see highlights of this evening on youtube.
ANYTHING GOES- Played the Captain or of the S. S. American at the Stephen Sondheim Theater with Stephanie J. Bloch, John McMartin and Joel Gray. Stayed with it until the fabulous gala closing night.
MARY POPPINS- Joined the cast of the Broadway smash for the summer with its original stars, Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee. I played Admiral Boom and the Bank Chairman and had a blast sharing a dressing room with my old pal Jim Hindman. The fabulously restored New Amsterdam Theater, originally a Ziegfeld Follies Theater is, well... fabulous.
HELEN HAYES AWARD- On May 25th I won the Helen Hayes Award in Washington DC for my performance of Max Von Meyerling in the Signature Theater's production of SUNSET BOULEVARD. I was on stage at the Papermill Theater at the time, teching CURTAINS. The award was announced by my long time friend, Harry Winter. I had many good friends in the DC audience who texted me immediatly and I returned to my dressing room to find a phone full of well wishes. Very grateful.
WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL- My six character spoof played the Clague Theater in Cleveland and the Cider Mill Playhouse upstate New York. This is something like the twelfth production this year of my "little musical that could." So happy about this.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE- Played evil old Potter in the Kathie Lee Gifford, John McDaniel musical adaptation of the famous film. Just made the recording at Lambchop Studios, Kathie Lee's fabulous recording venue. This was an "industry only" reading to move the show forward... which seems like a done deal.
CURTAINS- Played Belling, the egomaniacal director in the whodunit musical by Rupert Holmes and Kander and Ebb. This time at the famous Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. (Just closed it at TUTS in Houston.) The show starred Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman who are "soap opera royalty." Also starring were the fabulous Kevin Kern, David Elder, Rye Mullis, Helen Anker and Amanda Rose, a delightful bunch. April 27 thru May 22.
WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL- Just picked up three new venues, The Oregon Cabaret Theatre, the Clague Theater in Cleveland and Change of Pace Productions in Duluth, MN. These are in addition to Circa 21 in Illinois and The Beloit Civic Theater in Wisconsin. As of right now there are TWO other theaters that appear ready to come on board as well. 2010 is going to be a very good year for WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL.
CURTAINS- Played Belling, the hilarious director in a joint production by Houston's TUTS Theater and the Paper Mill Playhouse. It starred the fabulous Kim Zimmer with Robert Newman, Rye Mullis, Kevin Kern, Helen Anker and Amanda Rose. Had a blast and got to have my photo taken with the one and only John Kander.
SUNSET BOULEVARD- A marvelous rethinking of the Broadway classic in which I created the role of Max in the first National Tour. This time was at the gorgeous Signature Theater in DC (Arlington, actually) with wonderful Flo Lacey as Norma and D. B. Bonds as Joe. My great pal, Eric Schaeffer directed and Karma Camp choreographed. A great time was had by all. (Check out the notices in the "reviews" section.
BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS- Went back to Casa Manana where i got my Equity Card 42 years ago to play Ed Earl Dodd opposite the divine Ruta Lee. And guess who was in that show with me 42 years ago? Miss Ruta Lee. What a blast!!! Played the Governor for a year and a half on the road with Ms. Ann-Margret so it was a particular delight to graduate to the Sheriff.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC- A mini tour of the Bway classic starring Mandy Bruno as Maria, Burke Moses as the Captain and the delightful Teri Hansen as the Baroness to my Max. Theatrical legend, Chris Manos, produced the tour via Atlanta's Theater Of The Stars. Very enjoyable. Oh, yes, and Jeanne Lehman reprised her marvelous Mother Abbess.
THE STUDENT PRINCE- At Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera with the absolutely remarkable Chad Johnson as the Prince. Truly one of the great voices in the world. The last time I did THE STUDENT PRINCE I played Detlef, the young student leader and this time (forty years later) I was kindly old Doctor Engel singing Golden Days and remembering my youth. No kidding!!! Ps. Also on that national tour, forty years ago, was my mentor and idol, the amazing George Rose as Lutz... ah, "the sunshine of our happy youth."
SWEENEY TODD- Played Judge Turpin in Stephen Sondheim's thriller at Barrington Stage directed by artistic director, Julianne Boyd and starring Harriet Harris and Jeff McCarthy. It was a smash and Mr. Sondheim showed up, had a champagne toast with us and was BEYOND effusive.
WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL- A fantastic premiere production at Circa 21 Theater in Rock Island, Illinois directed by artistic director, Dennis Hitchcock. It was a critical and audience success. There are now some fantastic videos of this production on youtube.com.
WHEATLEY'S FOLLIES- A workshop of a new musical about the creation of THE BLACK CROOK, the very first musical comedy ever. This piece is destined for The Signature Theater in DC where it will make its debut next year. Eric Schaeffer directed May 3-7 at the 42nd Street Studios.
THE GREAT GAME- Randall Wreghitt presented a reading of this wonderful new play starring the absolutely magnificent Zoe Caldwell. What a thrill to sit at a table and read this terrific play with her. I played the role of Rawlinson, a rather duplicitous Brit and was reunited with the gorgeous, Angali Bhimani, with whom I had done Mary Zimmerman's ODYSSEY at the Goodman.
JOHN BULL'S OTHER ISLAND- I played Corny Doyle in this very rare Shaw play for The Shaw Project at the Player's Club directed by David Staller and featuring Daniel Jenkins and Reg Rogers, both of whom were superb.
TO LIFE- A reading of a new musical at New World Stages directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Randi Graff who i hadn't worked with since LES MISERABLES. I played Manny and "old Jew." Many laughs were had.
DIAL M FOR MURDER- Played Inspector Hubbard at Northport, Long Island in a gorgeous production directed by Peter Flynn of the Hangar Theater. Bottari and Case did the costumes and sets, which were wonderful, and the cast included Tom Hammond and Cat Walleck.
Demo of WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL- Recorded at Sound Associates on West 45th Street, the cast includes Linda Balgord, Lynne Wintersteller, Paul Schoeffler, Jeremiah James, Kelley Dorney and yours truly. Musical direction was by the atomic pianist, Ian Schugel.
LEND ME A TENOR- A workshop of a new musical version of the classic comedy, directed by Ian Talbot and musical directed by Paul Gemigniani. Starring Cady Huffman, Jill Paice and yours truly. Completed on January 24th at St. Luke's Theatre. This was A LOT of fun! It's due to open on the West End this fall.
THE ILLIAD- in Vancouver Canada for the Olympics, did a dramatic reading of selections from Homer's great work, the parts that have to do with the games. Produced by the Onassis Foundation and directed by David Muse of The Shakespeare Theatre in DC. It was narrated by the remarkable Sam Tsoutsouvas, the only real Greek in the production. I played old Nestor and King Priam. It was a wonderful experience and if you haven't seen Vancouver... go.
RICHARD CORY- Which debuted at Lyric Stage in Dallas in 2000 was just voted by the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, "One of the best shows of the decade." Wow!
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST- Spent the holidays at the Ordway in St. Paul (brrr) playing Cogsworth in a new version of the old standard, directed by my old pal, Robert Johanson. The cast was delightful and we had a delightful time, though wearing a giant clock costume may not be my favorite way to celebrate Xmas.
INHERIT THE WIND- I played Brady, the Bible thumping crusader, who is clearly based on William Jennings Bryan at the Cleveland Playhouse for all of October and November. Always wanted to play that fabulous part and it was a terrific production with a wonderful cast. Seth Gordon directed and I played opposite Scott Jaeck who had done the part before and was superb.
THE FINAL TABLE- A reading of a new play at Shetler Studios about a poker game in the afterlife between five dead presidents. I'll play William Howard Taft. Joel Froomkin will direct, Monday, September 14th.
WHEATLEY'S FOLLY- A reading of a musical about the making of THE BLACK CROOK, America's first musical. I played Jeremiah Burnett, a "grand old man of the theater" in a Signature Signature Theatre production at Chelsea Studios, Tuesday, August 25th. The cast included Donna Lynne Champlin, Danny Burstein, Colin Hanlon, Nancy Opal, Michele Pawk and Brian Sutherland.
TALE OF TWO CITIES- Just completed taping the role of Barsad in England for PBS which will air in December and also be available as a DVD. We recorded a CD in London and then came to the Theatre Royal in Brighton where we taped two live performances. There was a massive cast and crew of Americans and British combining forces for a really dynamic event. The entire process was completed in only ten days, an amazing feat of logistics.
PIRATES!- At the Huntington Theater in Boston. I was, once again, the Modern Major General in the revamping of the old G & S classic by Nell Benjamin, Gordon Greenberg and John McDaniel. This was the third leg of a journey which has included Goodspeed Musicals and Paper Mill Playhouse, and will hopefully end on the Great White Way. There were certainly a lot of interested producers in the Huntington audience. I won Boston's Hubbie award for this performance.
LES MISERABLES- Just completed a run at TUTS of the role I played 1700 times on Broadway, Thenardier. I was Master of the House with Bob Billig, the original conductor, director Fred Hanson, who was part of the original team as well, plus long time Jean Valjean and Javerts, Rob Evan and Robert Hunt.
THE ROAD TO QATAR- This outlandish spoof by David Krane and Stephen Cole (based on real life) recently debuted at The York Theatre. Was delighted to share the stage with the fabulous Jason Graae and David Hibbert, directed by David Glenn Armstrong.
BUOYANT BILLIONS- one performance only of the rare G. B. Shaw play produced by Project Shaw at the Players Club on February 16th, directed by David Staller. Other cast members include George S. Irving, Loni Ackerman, Bryan Batt and Veanne Cox.
BIG RIVER- at Goodspeed Musicals. I played King in the Roger Miller musical directed by Rob Rugierro. His gorgeous direction wonderful cast and beautiful design team made it the hit of the season. We also did a reading of WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL during the course of the run using actors from the cast of BIG RIVER.
WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL- a reading of my brand new musical treatment of Mary Roberts Rinehart's 1908 short story, THE CIRCULAR STAIRCASE. There was one performance at the York Theatre on July 14th (Monday) at 7:30 PM. The cast included Lynne Wintersteller, Anne L. Nathan, Paul Schoeffler, Matt Scott, Maria Couch, Warren Kelley and Dale Radunz. Directed by Robert Johanson and musical supervision by James McQuillen. Stage managed by Jess Speaker. Commissioned by www.Miracleor2.com ... expect a full fledged production in the very near future.
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE- at Studio 54, produced by the Roundabout Theater Company. This was the highly touted production imported from London's West End. I played Mister (the pastry eating South Carolina dude) in the first act, and Redmond (the Texan museum fundraiser) in the second. Sam Buntrock, the young director from England was spectacular, as were the cast and concept. A very joyful experience.
GIANT- at the New Forty-Second Street Studios. I played Uncle Bawley in Michael John LaChiusa's version of the Edna Ferber Novel (and Liz Taylor/Rock Hudson movie) directed by Eric Schaeffer. We did two workshop performances, May 29 and 30.
THE NIGHTENGALE- at the New York Theatre Workshop. Directed by James Lapine with book and music is by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik of SPRING AWAKENING. Based on a short story by Hans Christian Anderson. I played the Minister of State in this tale of ancient China. The cast included Mark Kudisch, Tonya Pinkins, and Barrett Foa.
IN GOOD KING CHARLES' GOLDEN DAYS- for Project Shaw on Monday, March 17th at 7:00 pm. I played the delighfully daffy role of Sir Isaac Newton in one of George Bernard Shaw's last plays, at The Player's Club. It's a wonderfully interesting work that one rarely, if ever, gets a chance to see, much less perform.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS- at the St. James Theater over the holidays. I played Old Max (Not Mature Max, mind you, OLD Max) the narrator (who's a dog, by the way) and the one who gets to sing, "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch!" They wrote me a new song, "This Time of Year" and I loved introducing it at the Saint James, the theater where I first saw Ethel Merman in HELLO DOLLY. Whoo hoo!
THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS- Just got back from the Signature Theater in Washington, DC where I did a reading of WHOREHOUSE, reprising the role of The Governor. (I did the national tour with Ann-Margret a few years ago.) Eric Schaeffer, artistic director and founder of the Signature Theater is looking at doing a revamped version of the old tuner and I'm very pleased to be participating. It's always a joy to work with Eric and the new Signature Theater is GORGEOUS.
TWO MASTER CLASSES- for Gordon Greenberg at the Hilton Theater. There were hundreds of teachers from all across the US and Canada and several well known actors talked about audition techniques. I was very moved by the proceedings as the topic brought up so many memories of four decades of autitioning. I shared the bill with Alex Gemaniani, Leslie Kritzer (who made me cry with a GORGEOUS song from YENTYL) and Laura Bell Bundy. Both classes were very, very enjoyable.