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Myra Chanin
Myra Chanin, longtime producer-booker of The Joey Reynolds Show on WOR-AM, is an author and cheesecake entrepreneur also known as "Mother Wonderful."

Entries by Myra Chanin

The Return of the Wonderfully Weird Dirty Little Singers

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 2:03 PM

Sound the trumpets! Strike the cymbals! Shake the camphor out of your glad rags! Celebrate the return of sly, lascivious wit to our fair city -- to wit, 90 minutes of nifty, clever, devious ditties delivered in great style by Cabaret's Crème de la Crème: Eric Michael Gillett, Sidney Myer,...

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Maude Maggart Answers Stephen Sondheim's Eternal Questions About Life in Her Cafe Carlyle Debut

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 3:16 PM

Steven Sondheim's Mme. Armfeldt (Mere), the aged courtesan who retired with a tiny Titian amongst other loot, asked many intriguing questions in her Little Night Music's solo, Liaisons, which contains musing on sexual relations that actually apply even more to life and art.

To wit:

Where is style?

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The Brooklyn Candide -- a Weird and Wonderful Triumph of Imagination Over Funding

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 9:28 AM

One might well ask, why was a non-believer like me leaping onto four different subway trains to get to St. Charles Borromeo's Church in Brooklyn Heights at the peak of the polar vortex? I was determined to attend Theater2020's latest main stage event - the restaging of Harold Prince's 1974...

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Mikel Dusi's Weird and Wonderful Big Fat Albanian Wedding. Not Exactly

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 12:55 PM

Mikel Dusi was born and raised in Queens, New York, the youngest son of a very close-knit Albanian family. He worked for many years in the Queens family owned Galleria Pizzeria.

The details of Mike life, metamorphosed in his somewhat biographical film, Mikey Boy, which he co-wrote, co-produced and...

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The Weird and Wonderful Billy Harvey: Turning the World Into His Taiwan Oyster

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 5:38 PM

When Billy Harvey was 19, living in Texas, playing a mostly self-taught guitar for five years, he formally set off on his first artistic life journey because, "My body was telling me to move to California." Billy found a vehicle he thought could handle the trip and made the owner...

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Stepin Fetchit: The Weird and Wonderful Conduit Between Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 1:32 PM

Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali -- two extraordinary 20th century they-were-called-Negroes-then World Heavyweight Boxing Champions, were both KO-ed by the powers that be, who prevented them from practicing the craft they'd perfected at the peak of their prowess.


Because they both refused to "Do like we tole...

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Jonathan Tolins, the Weird and Wonderful Playwright Who Transformed Barbra's Passion

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 4:44 PM

I'm a funny lady, which means I arrive at all touted-as-sidesplitting events with a chip on the shoulder of my funny bone. The only test for admission into my personal comedy pantheon is to make me LMAO the nth time around, like The Producers, The Importance of Being Earnest, Some...

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Beck Lee: The Weird and Wonderful St. Jude of Entertainment Publicists

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 3:02 PM

Beck Lee is a New York-based writer, producer and promoter who in 1996 founded Media Blitz, a public relations and marketing firm for film, theatre and music. He's been described as "something of a marketing genius" by NPR's "On the Media" which means that if you're involved in presenting some...

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Eric Michael Gillett: From Barnum & Bailey to Lorenz Hart and Stephen Sondheim

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 2:48 PM

If life were fair, Eric Michael Gillett would be a Broadway or Metropolitan Opera superstar choosing between the kinds of roles formerly offered to Alfred Drake, Robert Preston, John Raitt, or, more recently, Michael Crawford, before he turned into a 350-pound canary. But life is not just, which just may...

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Playright David Ives: The Degrees of Separation Between Stephen Sondheim, Roman Polanski and Me

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 2:28 PM

Before I reveal all 10,003 degrees of separation between Sondheim and me, let me assure you that it's all in the timing, which also happens to be the title of David Ives' first hit show, originally staged 20 years ago by Primary Stages for Off-to-On-Broadway 603 performances. It's now enjoying...

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Len Cariou, Broadway's Original Sweeney Todd, Reveals His Canadian Roots

(1) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 10:02 AM

Len Cariou may well be the most persistently employed performer on the planet. Just printing his credits takes up a half ream of multipurpose paper. Len leaps fleetly from role to role, format to format and venue to venue -- theater, film, television, recordings, narration, voiceovers, documentaries and audio books....

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The Golden Land: The Weird and Wonderful Hanukkah Gift That's Returning for Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 7:33 AM

When I was growing up in-what-seems-like-2004-but-was-actually-the-1930s, calling America THE GOLDEN LAND!!!! was an understatement. To us, America was the mother of all paradises: the Garden of Eden before the appearance of the snake.

My mother's family arrived in Philadelphia together, and -- with the exception of...

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Martin Scorsese and Chuck Prentiss's Weird and Wonderful Attempts to Resuscicate the Past

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 1:48 PM

What artistic endeavors do Martin Scorsese and Chuck Prentiss seem to share?

Transforming the spirit of Eddie Cantor, a star of vaudeville, Broadway, film, radio and records from 1916 to 1960 into living, breathing, singing, hand-clapping, toe-tapping, eye-rolling 2012 flesh.

Scorsese features Stephen DeRosa as Eddie Cantor in...

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Lenny Leibowitz: The Weird and Wonderful Musical Virtuoso Who Became a Theatrical Visionary

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 9:37 PM

Lenny Leibowitz, Marvell Rep's Marvellous [sic] Artistic Director/Co-Founder is a born-and-bred-around Philadelphian whose bold, City of Brotherly Love beginnings are attracting attention in the location stolen by sharp traders from the original natives with bright colored beads. So what else is new?

A nice suburban lad, Lenny spent his...

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The Weird and Wonderful Not So Forbidden Off-Broadway

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2012 | 12:47 PM

Comedy is always weird but can be wonderful when a) the funny person highlights the same flaws you also noticed but never actually revealed.

Musical theater is also weird but also can be wonderful, especially when b) you leave a performance humming a memorable tune.

Reconciling a and b...

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Scott Siegel's Wonderful Broadway Ballyhoo

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 6:27 PM

Hip, Hip, Hurrah for Scott Siegel's Broadway Ballyhoo, the hour-long Musical Revue that's brand new every Thursday night at 11 p.m. at Feinstein's at Loew's Regency. Scott's the taller half of the husband/wife writing/producing/hosting team known as Siegal Entertainment, who have presented many events that give Broadway stars the time...

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Meet the Weird, Wonderful and Sexiest Duo Since Brangelina: Joe Alterman and Houston Person

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 12:41 PM

If you ever want to put your significant other in the mood for love, try playing any tune on Joe Alterman's new CD, particularly one where Joe and his mentor Houston Person jam and groove. Everybody knows or should know who Houston Person is. He's the legendary Soul Jazzman known...

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Simon Lovell: The Weird and Wonderful Guru de Con to USA Network's White Collar Con Men

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2012 | 10:31 PM

Almost every sentence written about Simon Lovell should have the word "allegedly" liberally sprinkled around it. In real life, Simon is an allegedly former, allegedly reformed, alleged con man, who allegedly saw the error of his ways, allegedly stopped performing actions that hurt other people and has now stumbled into...

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The Weird, Wonderful and Miraculous Trio Keeping Yiddish Alive

(2) Comments | Posted August 11, 2012 | 12:36 AM

I used to think that only two people were crazy enough to work full time at keeping Yiddish alive. Who were they? The first is Zalman Mlotek, the Artistic Director and Guiding Light of the National Yiddish Theater - Folksbiene, who continues producing/directing/finding funding, etc. for Yiddish plays like The...

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Playwright Michael Ogborn Transforms the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Into a Weird and Wonderful Musical Masterpiece

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 6:50 PM

Almost every time I encounter a really talented New Yorker, I find that he/she/it/they are Philadelphia natives. A prime example? Michael Ogborn, the composer/lyricist/playwright of Baby Case, the exciting musical drama about the 1932 tragic kidnapping of the 20-month-old firstborn son of Charles A. Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle who made...

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