Chris Rawson's Broadway Journal, Day 1: 'Starcatcher' and Sardi's and 'Newsies' (oh my!)

Thursday, 03 May 2012 03:15 PM Written by 

Wednesday, May 2, NYC, the PG’s 95th Show Plane, Day 1:

Deen van Meer
Aaron J. Albano and Jess LeProtto in "'Newsies."
What a day! Barely to bed, up early, off to the airport to meet the 25-member group, some of them regulars, some new. Off to Newark by United, smooth connection to our charter bus (no bags lost), quick trip into Manhattan, with its pre-tunnel view of the skyline (my second favorite tunnel-related view, after the one where you emerge from Fort Pitt).

Cross-town to the Millennium Broadway, just off Times Square, arrival completed, and even some star-sightings, since the Tony nominees press scrum was just breaking up, right at our hotel (tour guiding had prevented my being there for the bulk of it, as I have been some years). In the lobby we had an intro to Jeremy Jordan, the handsome young-young man we’d see that night in “Newsies,” and James Earl Jones rumbled by.

ChristianBorleIt all went so smoothly that I had time to go score a ticket to the matinee of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” an engagingly funny, intentionally scruffy, wonderfully inventive (I could go on pairing adverbs and adjectives) new play with music, energized by a deliciously hammy (because that’s the character) turn by Christian Borle (Fox Chapel, CMU) as Black Stache, i.e. proto-Capt. Hook (pictured left).

JeffCalhounThen off to Sardi’s with the group for dinner, followed by the sweet, energetic “Newsies.” Sometimes a day of travel makes the group drowsy the first night, but not here! To follow, we had a chance to talk with the show’s director, Jeff Calhoun (Wexford, Pine-Richland, pictured right), plus a few actors, including John Dossett (a one-remove Pittsburgher, married to Butler’s Michelle Pawk), who plays the villain, Joseph Pulitzer.

I'm just up. Time for mid-day breakfast.

You’ll hear more about the shows, of course, when I get back and write reviews, plus interview sidebars.

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