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Great time today at the 30th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Fantastic t...
04/27/2016

Great time today at the 30th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Fantastic to see the brilliant, beautiful and ageless, Tony award-winning Cady Huffman open the show with a bevy of beauties, celebrating the 25th anniversary (what?!) of THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, not looking a day older than she did on that long ago opening night.

Most Broadway shows were represented with original material. Highlights were Max von Essen and Brandon Uranowitz from AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, busting audiences using their phones during shows, and the company of HAMILTON, who turned their opening number into an homage to Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD, with Lin-Manuel Miranda playing the “demon barber of Fleet Street.”

But as great as everyone was, the entire afternoon was stolen by SCHOOL OF ROCK's surprise guest star. Who would've guessed in a Broadway theater they would have pulled off the ultimate coup that no one would EVER have expected: Rock & Roll living legend Stevie Nicks! She brought the house down singing her own composition, the huge Fleetwood Mac hit Rhiannon, backed by THE SCHOOL OF ROCK kid's band (!), to a stunned, rapturous, wildly enthusiastic audience.

SCROLL DOWN THE COMMENTS FOR DIRECT VIDEO LINKS TO LIN-MANUEL AND STEVIE NICKS PERFORMANCES!

The 30th annual Easter Bonnet Competition, celebrating six weeks of fundraising by 58 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies, raised a record-shattering $5,528,568 this year. The staggering grand total was announced by Christian Borle, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jennifer Hudson.

Since the Easter Bonnet Competition began in 1987, the event has raised more than $68.8 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Wow. Bravo to Tom Viola and his incredible team at BCEFA. And thank you to my great pal Jamie DeRoy for bringing me today!

Great time today at the 30th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition benefitting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Fantastic to see the brilliant, beautiful and ageless, Tony award-winning Cady Huffman open the show with a bevy of beauties, celebrating the 25th anniversary (what?!) of THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, not looking a day older than she did on that long ago opening night.

Most Broadway shows were represented with original material. Highlights were Max von Essen and Brandon Uranowitz from AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, busting audiences using their phones during shows, and the company of HAMILTON, who turned their opening number into an homage to Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD, with Lin-Manuel Miranda playing the “demon barber of Fleet Street.”

But as great as everyone was, the entire afternoon was stolen by SCHOOL OF ROCK's surprise guest star. Who would've guessed in a Broadway theater they would have pulled off the ultimate coup that no one would EVER have expected: Rock & Roll living legend Stevie Nicks! She brought the house down singing her own composition, the huge Fleetwood Mac hit Rhiannon, backed by THE SCHOOL OF ROCK kid's band (!), to a stunned, rapturous, wildly enthusiastic audience.

SCROLL DOWN THE COMMENTS FOR DIRECT VIDEO LINKS TO LIN-MANUEL AND STEVIE NICKS PERFORMANCES!

The 30th annual Easter Bonnet Competition, celebrating six weeks of fundraising by 58 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies, raised a record-shattering $5,528,568 this year. The staggering grand total was announced by Christian Borle, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jennifer Hudson.

Since the Easter Bonnet Competition began in 1987, the event has raised more than $68.8 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Wow. Bravo to Tom Viola and his incredible team at BCEFA. And thank you to my great pal Jamie DeRoy for bringing me today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHIRLEY MACLAINE!One of the greatest of the stars in our "Rick McKay's Broadway: The Golden Age Film Tril...
04/24/2016
Best Broadway Documentary I've Ever Seen

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHIRLEY MACLAINE!

One of the greatest of the stars in our "Rick McKay's Broadway: The Golden Age Film Trilogy," Shirley has the ultimate "Overnight Success - Gypsy to Star" story ever, and it has never been told better than in the first film of our trilogy, Broadway: the Golden Age! The clip below was NOT uploaded (or named or titled!) by me, but rather by a fan some years ago, illegally, but it has Shirley at 6:25 telling a shorter version of her rags-to-riches Broadway story from our film. And if you haven't seen BGA, and even if you have, it's a nice mini 10-minute version of our film. I should have had YouTube take it down years ago but I guess I am a sucker for a fan who named it so magnanimously – LOL;-) Happy Birthday Shirley!

http://youtu.be/NtL1A06d_sQ

From Producer/Director Rick McKay and "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" mega-producers Anne Bernstein, Jamie DeRoy, Richard Eric Weigle, Jane Klain, Corey Brunish, Fran Bator, Michael Anastasio, Jack Coco and Celia Castevens.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR BROADWAY FILM TRILOGY BY MAKING A 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION AT: http://thefield.org/form/make-donation?sa=549356

See the trailer for our the upcoming second installment, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age", of our trilogy at: http://www.broadwaythemovie.com/trailer/bbga

Or get the award-winning first film of the trilogy, BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE on DVD at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000649YA2/ref=nosim/broadwthegold-20

Buy the DVD "Broadway - The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (2004)" here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000649YA2?ie=UTF8&tag=simplystreisa-20&...

Happy 90th Birthday CHARLOTTE RAE! One of the greatest ladies I know and one of the most fun people on the planet, Charl...
04/23/2016

Happy 90th Birthday CHARLOTTE RAE! One of the greatest ladies I know and one of the most fun people on the planet, Charlotte is also one of the great stars of our upcoming film, "Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age," and is also in our award-winning short film "Greenwich Village: A World Apart."

She started life in Milwaukee, and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago where her classmates included Cloris Leachman, Charlton Heston, and Paul Lynde, and where she met her lifetime friend Sheldon Harnick. Charlotte moved to New York City in 1948, writing Sheldon and encouraging him to come as well. She hired him to write special material for her when she got jobs at The Blue Angel and the Village Vanguard. An excellent comic and a fine serious actress, with a brilliant legit soprano, there was seemingly nothing that Charlotte could not do. She was soon busy working in revues as well as supper clubs. Ben Bagley put her to work in the legendary "The Littlest R***e" with a young Tammy Grimes and Joel Grey - where she opened to rave reviews, and was soon cast in the historic opening company of "Threepenny Opera," with Lotte Lenya.

It was only a matter of time before Broadway came calling with "Three Wishes for Jamie," "Li'l' Abner", "Pickwick," and "Morning, Noon and Night" - the last two both netting her Tony award nominations. All during this time she was one of the busiest commercial actresses working on television - while also one of the busiest guest stars on New York television – both on live television dramas and on many popular comedy series. She was also one of Joseph Papp's favorite actresses and one of the first to work with him at his Public Theatre downtown and his Shakespeare in the Park in New York City's Central Park. She did show after show for him while simultaneously working on television and Broadway, being one of the busiest actresses in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s.

She was finally convinced to move to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s by constant offers to do more television. She became one of Norman Lear's favorite actresses as well and did an episode of "All in the Family," which led to a role on "Diff'rent Strokes" as the housekeeper. She was such an enormous success that Norman Lear spun off her character into her own series called "The Facts of Life," which became a tremendous success running from 1979 to 1986 and was a huge hit which won Charlotte her first Emmy award.

Charlotte has never stopped working – from "The Va**na Monologues" Off Broadway to "Pippin" at the Papermill Playhouse to "Don't Mess with the Zohan" where she had a fling with Adam Sandler's character, to the 2015 film "Ricki and the Flash" where she appeared with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline.

A few years ago Sheldon Harnick was honored at an event for his 90th birthday where many stars performed. I knew the musical director and recommended Charlotte, who had known him longer than anyone who was performing that night. Charlotte was willing to fly in from Los Angeles on her own dime. The musical director was delighted. The head of the organization called me and said, "But she's too old! She can't possibly do it, can she? We don't want someone that old in our show!" I made it clear to this gentleman that she was in great shape and would be wonderful, but he was very doubtful. He finally relented and allowed Charlotte to perform, but slotted her as second on the bill – and as any of you in show business know, that is not a very good slot. Well, come time for the evening, Charlotte went on and sang the sang the song that Sheldon had written for her almost 70 years before, "The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come" and blew the roof off the joint and had the audience rolling in the aisles. It screwed up the whole show though, because everything after – with some VERY big names – was anti-climactic. And I thought it served them right. Ha. Ha. Ha.

You Go Girl - Happy 90th Birthday Charlotte - We All Love You!

From Producer/Director Rick McKay and "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" mega-producers Anne Bernstein, Jamie DeRoy, Richard Eric Weigle, Jane Klain, Corey Brunish, Fran Bator, Michael Anastasio, Jack Coco and Celia Castevens.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR BROADWAY FILM TRILOGY BY MAKING A 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION AT: http://thefield.org/form/make-donation?sa=549356

See the trailer for our the upcoming second installment, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age", of our trilogy at: http://www.broadwaythemovie.com/trailer/bbga

Or get the award-winning first film of the trilogy, BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE on DVD at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000649YA2/ref=nosim/broadwthegold-20

Happy 90th Birthday CHARLOTTE RAE! One of the greatest ladies I know and one of the most fun people on the planet, Charlotte is also one of the great stars of our upcoming film, "Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age," and is also in our award-winning short film "Greenwich Village: A World Apart."

She started life in Milwaukee, and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago where her classmates included Cloris Leachman, Charlton Heston, and Paul Lynde, and where she met her lifetime friend Sheldon Harnick. Charlotte moved to New York City in 1948, writing Sheldon and encouraging him to come as well. She hired him to write special material for her when she got jobs at The Blue Angel and the Village Vanguard. An excellent comic and a fine serious actress, with a brilliant legit soprano, there was seemingly nothing that Charlotte could not do. She was soon busy working in revues as well as supper clubs. Ben Bagley put her to work in the legendary "The Littlest R***e" with a young Tammy Grimes and Joel Grey - where she opened to rave reviews, and was soon cast in the historic opening company of "Threepenny Opera," with Lotte Lenya.

It was only a matter of time before Broadway came calling with "Three Wishes for Jamie," "Li'l' Abner", "Pickwick," and "Morning, Noon and Night" - the last two both netting her Tony award nominations. All during this time she was one of the busiest commercial actresses working on television - while also one of the busiest guest stars on New York television – both on live television dramas and on many popular comedy series. She was also one of Joseph Papp's favorite actresses and one of the first to work with him at his Public Theatre downtown and his Shakespeare in the Park in New York City's Central Park. She did show after show for him while simultaneously working on television and Broadway, being one of the busiest actresses in New York in the 1960s and early 1970s.

She was finally convinced to move to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s by constant offers to do more television. She became one of Norman Lear's favorite actresses as well and did an episode of "All in the Family," which led to a role on "Diff'rent Strokes" as the housekeeper. She was such an enormous success that Norman Lear spun off her character into her own series called "The Facts of Life," which became a tremendous success running from 1979 to 1986 and was a huge hit which won Charlotte her first Emmy award.

Charlotte has never stopped working – from "The Va**na Monologues" Off Broadway to "Pippin" at the Papermill Playhouse to "Don't Mess with the Zohan" where she had a fling with Adam Sandler's character, to the 2015 film "Ricki and the Flash" where she appeared with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline.

A few years ago Sheldon Harnick was honored at an event for his 90th birthday where many stars performed. I knew the musical director and recommended Charlotte, who had known him longer than anyone who was performing that night. Charlotte was willing to fly in from Los Angeles on her own dime. The musical director was delighted. The head of the organization called me and said, "But she's too old! She can't possibly do it, can she? We don't want someone that old in our show!" I made it clear to this gentleman that she was in great shape and would be wonderful, but he was very doubtful. He finally relented and allowed Charlotte to perform, but slotted her as second on the bill – and as any of you in show business know, that is not a very good slot. Well, come time for the evening, Charlotte went on and sang the sang the song that Sheldon had written for her almost 70 years before, "The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come" and blew the roof off the joint and had the audience rolling in the aisles. It screwed up the whole show though, because everything after – with some VERY big names – was anti-climactic. And I thought it served them right. Ha. Ha. Ha.

You Go Girl - Happy 90th Birthday Charlotte - We All Love You!

From Producer/Director Rick McKay and "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" mega-producers Anne Bernstein, Jamie DeRoy, Richard Eric Weigle, Jane Klain, Corey Brunish, Fran Bator, Michael Anastasio, Jack Coco and Celia Castevens.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR BROADWAY FILM TRILOGY BY MAKING A 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION AT: http://thefield.org/form/make-donation?sa=549356

See the trailer for our the upcoming second installment, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age", of our trilogy at: http://www.broadwaythemovie.com/trailer/bbga

Or get the award-winning first film of the trilogy, BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE on DVD at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000649YA2/ref=nosim/broadwthegold-20

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