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Mary Badham: From Scout... to Mrs. Dubose

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  In 1962 Mary Badham was a child star, charming audiences across America with her portrayal of Scout in the film version of To Kill A Mockingbird (TKAM). She was only 10 years old and was nominated for an Oscar for this role. In fact, she still holds the record for the youngest person to be nominated for this award. I recently rewatched the movie and I was enthralled with Mary’s performance. She was so natural, believable, and plucky as Scout. For me personally, when child actors are trying too hard to act it comes across as disingenuous. I’d much prefer the raw talent of a child, like Mary, in the hands of a skilled director (Robert Mulligan) and a supportive scene partner (Gregory Peck). And Mary had no acting experience prior to being discovered at an open call for the movie in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She just had that “special something” at the audition so the talent scout greenlit her for a screentest and the rest is history. After the huge success of TKAM , M

Feel-Good Friday – Groundhog Day 2024 Edition

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  Happy Feel-Good Friday & Groundhog Day y’all! So, let’s get right to it… Here’s my top five things that had me smiling this week: Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow this morning, which indicates an early Spring is on the way! So, let’s all celebrate by watching that hilarious 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. I’m just going to rent it on Amazon Prime for $3.89 (or you can buy it for $7.99).  “I have been stabbed, shot, poisoned, frozen, hung, electrocuted, and burned. And every morning I wake up without a scratch on me… Well, it’s Groundhog Day… again…” Groundhog Day the Musical  is now available for licensing as of today, Groundhog Day! So, we will most likely be seeing this musical being presented again, and again, and again… I have a soft place in my heart for this show because my buddy Andy Karl (we performed together in  Cats ) originated the role of Phil Connors in both the London and Broadway productions (picking up an Olivier Award

What’s the Broadway Buzz? Les Misérables (Kip’s perspective)

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  Yes, I recognize that Les Misérables has been presented by BTL a few times over the decades so it technically doesn’t fit into my “What’s the Broadway Buzz” category. BUT it’s my absolute favorite and because I was in the 2004 production that played here at the VBC Concert Hall, please give me some creative license to discuss this glorious show from my perspective.    From the Les Misérables US Tour Official Website:   “Set against the backdrop of 19 th  century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history… Seen by over 130 million people worldwide in 53 countries, 438 cities and 22 languages.”   Les Misérables was first a novel written by Victor Hugo and published in 1862. Since then, there have been numerous film and tv adaptations, a musical-sta

Feel-Good Friday, in spite of #ICEMAGEDDON

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Whoah, what a week! But congrats y'all because we made it to Feel-Good Friday: The Icemageddon Edition! So many exclamation points! Ok, I'll stop now. For starters, I'm so ready to get back to "normal life things" after being stuck home all week. Don't you want to meet up with friends, go to dinner, catch a show and just basically FROLIC? Well remember that one week from today STOMP will be playing the VBC Concert Hall. You know that's where I'll be, so go on and get those tickets, and make those plans: STOMP January 26 - 27, 2024 Friday at 8pm Saturday at 2pm & 8pm Please click here for tickets! The rest of my Feel-Good Friday musings are brought to you by a glimpse into our little BTL Family's past week. Thanks Kaitlyn for making it look so pretty! Take a look:

What's the Broadway Buzz? Hadestown

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  “What’s the Broadway Buzz” is the name of my new series of blog posts where I focus on shows that are currently on Broadway (or on Broadway Tours) and haven’t been presented by Broadway Theatre League… YET! Today let’s talk about Hadestown . As succinctly stated in Playbill:   “Welcome to Hadestown , where a song can change your fate. This acclaimed musical by singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin is winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. It intertwines two mythic tales – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone – as it takes you on an unforgettable journey to the underworld and back. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, singers and dancers, Hadestown invites you to imagine how the world could be.” Hadestown has garnered the special reputation of being able to impart a distinct and different message to each theatergoer, based on their clear and

It's Feel-Good Friday with Sondheim, Prince & Dog Days at the Garden

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  Happy Feel-Good Friday y’all! And there’s a storm a-comin’ so we could all use a little distraction. Here’s my top five things that had me smiling this week: Stephen Sondheim’s final score, Here We Are, has been greenlit for an original cast album. Arguably the greatest musical theater composer of all time (that would be a YES from me), this is a big deal. Here We Are is currently playing off-Broadway, scheduled to close on January 21. Simply put Sondheim himself said the show is about “trying to find a place to have dinner.” Sadly, Stephen Sondheim passed away on November 26, 2021. The recording of Here We Are will be released this spring. I was a freshman in high school when Prince’s lifechanging (for me anyway) movie, Purple Rain , took us all by storm. If you were also a child of the 1980’s, chances are you knew every word of this legendary soundtrack. Well Purple Rain is now being adapted into a Broadway musical! “I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain…” A few

What's the Broadway Buzz? SIX: The Musical

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  “What’s the Broadway Buzz, tell me what’s a-happening? What’s the Broadway Buzz, tell me what’s a-happening? What’s the Broadway Buzz, tell me what’s a-happening? What’s the Broadway Buzz, tell me what’s a-happening?” No, this blog post is not about Jesus Christ Superstar. Although we will be presenting the 50 th Anniversary Tour of JCS here at the VBC Concert Hall on March 15-17! “What’s the Broadway Buzz” is the name of my new series of blog posts where I focus on shows that are currently on Broadway (or on Broadway Tours) and haven’t been presented by Broadway Theatre League… YET! But we hope to bring them to you at some point in the future. Today let’s talk about SIX: The Musical : Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived . SIX tells the story of the six wives of Henry VIII, who grace the stage to remix five hundred years of historical heartache into an exuberant celebration of 21 st -century girl power. Including pop icons and Tudor queens alike! Everyone is