Archived entries for Ken Werther

Once Again! (

Once - PantagesOnce is playing at the Pantages Theatre and then
at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa


Photo By Joan Marcus

Once, the Broadway musical based on the 2006 film received 11 Tony Award nominations in 2012 and won eight, including Best Musical. In the show, the cast also serves as the orchestra, and the set includes a bar at center stage that is used before performances and at intermission as a working bar for audience members. Sound unique? It is!
Once premiered at the American Repertory Theatre in Boston before transferring to New York Theatre Workshop Off-Broadway in 2011, and then moved to Broadway in March 2012. Met with critical and popular acclaim alike, the show is still running after 784 performances. It is playing in London and is on a U.S. national tour.

Set in Dublin, Once is the story of a Guy who gave up on his music—and his love—and the Girl who inspired him to dream again. Beautiful and uplifting, this show is not to be missed. Several actor friends of mine (the toughest critics I know!) have told me that Once is absolutely one of the best things they’ve ever seen. Fun fact: Cristin Miloti, co-star of the original Broadway production, was discovered while doing the show and tapped to play the Mother in the final season of How I Met Your Mother. How’s that for a success story?

Once is playing at the Pantages in Hollywood through August 10, and begins at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County on August 19.

Lady Day! (

Audra McDonald

Photo Courtesy of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

“Pull up a chair and order up a drink because she’s got a life to sing.” Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill invites audiences to spend an evening filled with personal tales of difficult choices, bad breaks, worse men, and some of the most glorious songs ever written — a visit with music legend Billie Holiday as portrayed by the Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald. It’s an intimate evening up close with a legend — well, two legends, actually.

Nicknamed ‘Lady Day,’ Billie Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Dead at age 44 from a lifetime of alcohol and drug abuse, her hits “God Bless the Child,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Strange Fruit,” and “Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness,” among many others, assured her a place in the history books.

Audra McDonald has made a bit of history herself — her performance as Lady Day won her an unprecedented sixth Tony Award, having won previously for Carousel (at age 23), Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, and Porgy and Bess. McDonald is also a two-time Grammy Award-winner with five solo albums to her credit.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill plays through August 31 at Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway in NYC.


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