Mozart Set

This is a picture of the set that we are rehearsing on for the production of Mozart.   The stage crew built a mock up of the real set in the rehearsal hall.  It’s really quite amazing.  The entire platform rotates 360 degrees by using only three stage hands.  Twelve actors can stand on the platform while it rotates.   It’s a great piece of scenery .  The actual set is being constructed by PRG here in Tokyo.

Last Dance A Lab Workshop of the New Disco Musical

Those who missed the days of Studio 54, didn’t miss their Last Dance!! This exciting new show is a tale from the 70s when enough was never enough. A joyful celebration of disco dreams, glitter balls and dangerous delights. It’s a story about a time, not so long ago, when a man wrote songs for the woman he thought he’d never lose… “Disco Forever!”
Under the direction of Philip Wm. McKinley (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, The Boy from Oz), music by Paul Jabara (Enough is Enough, Last Dance, It’s Raining Men…), with book by Shaun McKenna (The Lord of the Rings, The Musical), choreography by Carol Schuberg
(Meet Me in St. Louis) and musical direction by Wendy Cavett (Mamma Mia!). The cast will includes Katrina Lenk (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Anastacia McClesky (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Emmy Award nominee Rob Morrow (“Northern Exposure,” “Numb3rs”), Jack Noseworthy (A Chorus Line), and Jill Shackner (Les Miserables).

Tickets Only $15!  ($10 for members)
5 Performances Only:
Thursday, September 20, Friday, September 21
Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23



Ousted ‘Spider-Man’ director Julie Taymor reaches deal in suit with musical’s producers

Taymor and the men behind “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” have reached an “agreement in principle”


Read more:

Ousted Spidey director Julie Taymor has reached a tentative deal in her legal battle with the producers of the Broadway musical.

Taymor and the men behind “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” have reached an “agreement in principle,” the judge presiding over the bitter court fight said Thursday.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Katherine Forrest’s order gives the two sides 60 days to reach a final agreement. If they don’t, the case could be revived.

Dale Cendali, a lawyer for producers Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris confirmed the deal but declined further comment.

Taymor’s attorney Charles Spada did not return a call for comment.

Taymor was booted from the musical in March 2011 after a series of accidents and cost overruns pushed the production to more than $100 million.

Critics also savaged the show, which included music by Bono and The Edge of U2.

Last November Taymor filed a $1 million lawsuit claiming Cohl and Harris cheated her out of royalties and stole portions of her work.

In January, the producers counter sued, portraying Taymor as a money-grubbing diva whose “hallucinogenic” vision of the show near nearly sabotaged it.

She was replaced by Philip McKinley and the revamped show became a bona-fide hit under his direction, bringing in more than $1 million a week.

Last Dance Workshop, Featuring Music of Paul Jabara begins rehearsals

02 Aug 2012

Emmy Award nominee Rob Morrow will take part in the York Theatre Company and Robert D. Wachs’ lab workshop of the new disco musical Last Dance, featuring the music of singer-songwriter Paul Jabara.

As previously announced, workshop performances of the musical, which features a book by Shaun McKenna (Lord of the Rings The Musical), will be offered Sept. 20-23 in NYC.

Helmed by Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark director and creative consultant Philip Wm. McKinleyLast Dance, according to producers, “is a tale from the ’70s when enough was never enough. A joyful celebration of disco dreams, glitter balls and dangerous delights. It’s a story about a time, not so long ago, when a man wrote songs for the woman he thought he’d never lose… ‘Disco Forever!'”

Morrow, a founding member of the theatrical troupe Naked Angels, is best known for his work on the television series “Northern Exposure,” for which he received three Golden Globes and two Emmy Award nominations. His television credits include “Numb3rs,” “The Whole Truth,” “Entourage,” “CSI: NY” and “The Day Lincoln Was Shot,” among others. He has appeared on stage in The Boys of Winter and the West End production of Birdy.

Other members of the creative team include choreographer Carol Schuberg (Meet Me in St. Louis) and musical director Wendy Cavett (Mamma Mia!).

Last Dance will be offered Sept. 20-21 at 8 PM, Sept. 22 at 6 PM and 10 PM and Sept. 23 at 3 PM at The York Theatre at Saint Peter’s (East 54th Street). For more information and tickets, call (212) 935-5820 or visit

Article from Spectacle Magazine

Broadway’s Spider-Man and the Circus

Have a Common Link, Director Phil Wm. McKinley

The road to Broadway for the musical Spider-Man Turn off the Dark, has been one fraught with disasters, delays and creative disagreements.  And they all made headlines.  The show got so much publicity detailing its many woes and the mounting number of preview performances that people bought tickets hoping to be there when another crash landing of the title character occurred.   Eventually even the critics would not stay away.  They came and published reviews based on a still evolving creative process.

But the technical problems were, in fact, the least of the show’s problems.  The producers and composers (Bono and The Edge) teamed up against the show’s director and principal writer Julie Taymor, who had guided Disney’s The Lion King into the Broadway history books.  So her reputation and therefore her judgment were thought by some (not the producers and composers apparently) to be unassailable.

Eventually Taymor was fired.  The lawsuits engendered by that move will be working their way through the courts for some time to come.  In the meantime the producers needed to replace Taymor with a new director.  One of the names being bandied about for the job was that of Phil Wm. McKinley, whom circus fans will recognize as the creative forced behind numerous versions of the Greatest Show on Earth. Whoever the new director was to be he would have just three week to install any changes during which time the show took a hiatus from its public performances.

Did his circus experience influence his eventually being hired?  Absolutely, McKinley believes.  “I looked up and knew what the equipment was and the complications it involved.”  But there would be more to the overhaul than merely dealing with the technical aspects of the show.  (Check out the review in the Passing Spectacle and count the number of people involved merely in the flying which is so central to the show.)  The script needed to be completely revamped.  McKinley began rehearsing the cast a week before the hiatus, but what with the performance schedule and union rules he could only get in about twelve hours during that first week.

When the show shut down he spent a full week with the cast in a studio and then a week and a half in technical rehearsals, the latter being especially stressful given all the technical things, like the flying, the mechanics of the scenery and the lights that had to be coordinated.

McKinley came into that first week of rehearsals with a completely re-written script.  The writers, Glen Berger and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, he says were terrific about the amount of work they accomplished in so short a time.

In the original script the character Arachne, a spider-goddess of sorts, was the central character and Peter Palmer, the spider-man, was only a supporting figure.  It didn’t take the producers and writers and McKinley long to figure out that the audiences wanted the show to be Peter’s story, which Taymor had resisted.  In the end, the show McKinley directed was, he estimates, about 85-90 percent different from what it had originally been under Taymor.

To give audiences the show they wanted was a challenge for the crew, whom McKinley regards with awe.  “They were phenomenal,” he says.  “They put in a lot of over time.  The unions knew the producers were working to save the show and honored that.  I was denied eligibility for the Tony, but for me the real reward was saving 148 jobs.”

The script changes included an entirely new second act and three new musical numbers.  Ninety-percent of the staging there is the work of McKinley.  The Green Goblin who becomes one of the most amusing characters in the show had formerly been killed off in the first act.  Now he was tearing the place apart.

McKinley also added an additional five flights to those already in place when he took over.  Some of those early flights were done by nothing more than wooden cutouts.  “I wanted them all to be done by humans.”  To make that happen in so short a time McKinley gives special credit to Jason Shupe who programmed the flying.  He accomplished in a couple of hours what others thought it would take days.

The happy ending is that the show is now a commercial and perhaps grudging critical success.  It has brought to Broadway an audience that is younger than the typical demographic by about thirty years.  There are young, hip twenties and thirties-somethings and kids at every performance.

As was his habit with Ringling McKinley continues to visit the show periodically to make adjustments and oversee the casting.   What once seemed like a colossal flop in the making now has the looks of turning into a long-term commitment.

The best way to start the New Year!!! WE’RE #1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Broadway’s ‘Spider-Man’ Musical Earns a New Record


NEW YORK (AP) — Look who’s got a big smile behind his mask on Broadway — none other than the once-mocked Spider-Man.

The Broadway League reported Tuesday that “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” took in a whopping $2,941,794 last week, making it the weekly all-time top Broadway earning show.

That shatters the old record held by “Wicked,” which last January recorded the then-highest one-week take on Broadway with a $2.2 million haul, though over eight-shows. The numbers are not adjusted for inflation. Last week, “Wicked” took in $2,712,535 over nine shows.

The stunt-heavy Spider-Man show, which at $75 million makes it the costliest ever on Broadway, muscled to the top despite a turbulent history, including injuries to actors, delays in opening night, poor reviews and a record-breaking preview period.

Here’s the link to the entire article:

Starting the year the right way!!!

Here are a few articles about Spiderman.  The year begins with a bang…great box office and knowing the show is here to stay….