Friday, January 21, 2011

Speaking of

Last year’s lackluster season of American Idol pretty much put me off the show and, given that the only consistently coherent and honest judge left the panel, I wasn’t planning on watching much of this season. But, as you might have noticed, minutes after the premiere aired on Wednesday Facebook was alight with news about Richmond native Zak Resnick’s appearance. While it wasn’t clear during his 2 seconds of screen time on Wednesday, the former SPARC student and Artsie awards winning star of Barksdale’s 2009 production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” made it through to the Hollywood round. So hopefully he’ll get some more screen time in future shows. In the meantime, you can see an interview with him on the American Idol site. Congrats, Zak!

Speaking of Richmond natives making a splash on the national scene, the opening of SCKBSTD (with book by Clay McLeod Chapman) got some love from today, announcing the opening of the show at Virginia Stage. And speaking of Richmonders currently involved in something national in scope, Hannah Zold has been on the road with the national tour of the Elvis-centric “All Shook Up” tour. I haven’t found any website for the tour except for this Facebook page so I’m not sure about all of the tour dates. But if you happen to be in Macon, GA, around Feb 9th or 10th, be sure and check it out.

Speaking of national tours, several weeks ago I mentioned playing poker over Thanksgiving with the “back-up Santa” who was traveling on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular national tour. Well, in case you think only some hack would be playing that role, the actor in question – the very talented and extremely nice Robert J. Townsend – recently picked up a “Best Actor in a Musical” award at the Los Angeles-area Ovation Awards for his work in “The Story of My Life.” Congrats, Robert!

And speaking of awards, the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle recently went live with a website. It doesn’t have much on it yet but it does provide a list of nominees and award winners for the past 3 years. It’ll also be the go-to place for details of the 2011 awards event as specifics are nailed down. So stay tuned for more news, coming soon!

In the meantime, the number of running shows increases by one this weekend, with the opening of "The Fiddler's House" at Chamberlayne Actors Theatre. You can check it out or you might consider heading over to RTP to see "This Beautiful City," which by the way was just reviewed by John Porter. Have a great weekend!

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