Weekend update: New releases of songs and stories

This weekend’s top online offerings include a new album release of a cabaret concert from a favorite downtown nightclub, a virtual variety show featuring a roster of luminaries from the New York stage, and a festival of original short works presented by an acclaimed Off-Broadway company.

Illustration by Clifford Faust.

Kim David Smith: Live at Joe’s Pub – The debut concert album from the provocative Australian-born New York-based award-winning singer and performer Kim David Smith, highlighting his “musical devotion to the glitter, doom, and decadence of Weimar-era Berlin,” was just released today on digital and streaming platforms and on physical CD. Featuring music direction, piano, and back-up vocals by Tracy Stark, with Skip Ward on bass, the set list from the live show, recorded at Joe’s Pub in The Public Theater, represents a greatest hits survey from ten years of his intimate small-stage cabaret performances. Smith’s expressive selections intertwine the iconic music of Kurt Weill and Friedrich Hollaender and the sultry stylings of Marlene Dietrich with pop hits by Kylie Minogue, Madonna, The Supremes, 1980s British new-wave group Toto Coelo, and more, for a uniquely theatrical, camp, and heartfelt take on the songs of his greatest inspirations.

Playhouse Live! – Presented by Pennsylvania’s historic Bucks County Playhouse –founded in 1939, housed in a converted 1790 gristmill, and known for attracting major Broadway and Hollywood artists for its famed summer stock productions – the 30-minute virtual variety show Playhouse Live! streams again this Sunday night, July 19, at 7 pm, with an all-new program featuring a star-studded lineup. BCP’s Tony Award-winning trio of Alexander Fraser (Producing Director), Robyn Goodman (Executive Producer), and Josh Fiedler (Producer) will serve as hosts, along with stage and screen actress Elaine Hendrix. Among this week’s guests, performing and discussing their most memorable stage experiences, are Broadway’s Rob McClure and Lorin Latarro, the star and choreographer of the new musical Mrs. Doubtfire (postponed as a result of the coronavirus), and BCP favorite Max Sangerman (whose recent appearances were in the award-winning cast of the Off-Broadway revival of Smokey Joe’s Café, and in the ensemble of Footloose at the Kennedy Center).

2020 Short New Play Festival: Private Lives – This year, Red Bull Theater’s 10th annual festival of new short plays presents a selection of eight ten-minute world-premiere works inspired by Noël Coward’s 1930 comedy of manners Private Lives. The benefit event, streaming live on Monday, July 20, at 7:30 pm, will feature commissioned pieces by master playwrights Jeremy O. Harris and Theresa Rebeck, along with winning entries by six impressive emerging writers from across the country (Ben Beckley, Avery Deutsch, Leah Maddrie, Jessica Moss, Matthew Park, and Mallory Jane Weiss), chosen from an open submission process that received a record number of more than 500 applications. Directed by Mêlisa Annis, Vivienne Benesch, and Em Weinstein, the cast includes Ali Ahn, Frankie J. Alvarez, Kathleen Chalfant, Lilli Cooper, Edmund Donovan, William Jackson Harper, Louisa Jacobson, Peter Francis James, and Charlayne Woodard, performing “a wonderful smorgasbord of romance, drama, tragedy, satire, and farce.” Viewing is free, but voluntary donations will support the continuing work of Red Bull Theater.


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