Thursday, October 15, 2009

Broadway's Longoria, Ashford Join 'Banana Shpeel' Cast

Michael Longoria and Annaleigh Ashford

Stars from Broadway’s Jersey Boys and Wicked will join the cast of Banana Shpeel, presented by Cirque du Soleil and MSG Entertainment this winter in Ne York City.

Michael Longoria, who starred as Frankie Valli will portray Emmett, an innocent and romantic young actor, while Annaleigh Ashford, who starred as Glinda in Wicked, on Broadway and in Chicago, portrays his love interest Katie. They're joined by in international collection of comedic talent in a roller-coaster mix of styles that blends comedy with tap, hip hop, eccentric dance and slapstick, all linked by a narrative that ignites a succession of wacky adventures.

Propelled by crazy humor and intense choreography, Banana Shpeel plunges us into the world of Schmelky, who dangles fame and fortune in front of Emmett, who has come to audition for him. Emmett soon finds himself trapped in a flamboyant, anarchic world where Schmelky sows terror and reigns supreme. Emmett falls in love with the beautiful Katie and meets a bunch of absurd characters, including the strange Banana Man. But who is this mysterious Banana Man and how can Emmett escape the clutches of Schmelky and his henchmen? The show is written and directed by
David Shiner.

Banana Shpeel will perform at The Beacon Theatre, Broadway and 74th Street, NYC, for a limited engagement from Feb. 4 through April 30, 2010. Tickets are available now for all performances at http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/ or http://www.beacontheatre.com/. The schedule is Tuesdays, Wednesdays; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7 pm with matinees on Wednesdays at 2 pm, Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays at 3pm.

1 comment:

distantstreet said...

Cool! Thanks for the great info! Looks fantastic!! My wife and I saw O in Vegas. That was cool. This looks completely different. I will certainly get tickets.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

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All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

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