EPISODE 126- A BENEFIT PERFORMANCE FOR THE "TREE OF LIFE" SYNAGOGUE

Ilana was the host of a benefit concert for Stronger Than Hate - A benefit concert for the  Tree Of Life Synagogue.

The Jewish community and Broadway friends perform for a night of unification benefitting the Pittsburgh congregation and victims' families of the tragic October shooting. The evening features cast members from the National Yiddish Theatre's Fiddler on the Roof, a speaker from the Anti-Defamation League, and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Julie Gold. Proceeds  go to Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Hosted by Ilana the evening  cast members donating their talents include: Jodi Bluestein (Disney On Classic), Julie Gold ("From A Distance"), Jillian Gottlieb (The Golden Bride), Nathan Klau(Jersey Boys), Danny Harris Kornfeld (Renascence), Samantha G. Harris (Tree of Life congregant), Rebecca Kuznick (Company), Gary John LaRosa (Fiddler on the Roof), Stephanie Lynne Mason (Fiddler on the Roof), Jesse Manocherian (Marry Harry), Rosie Jo Neddy (Fiddler on the Roof), Bill Nolte (Waitress), Collin O'Connor (A Christmas Carol), Samantha Joy Pearlman (Chasing Rainbows), Scruffy Pearls featuring RJ Gatsby, Renee Hikari, Carly Pearlstein, and Billy Pearson, Hannah Richter (Far From Canterbury), Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld(Pokémon), Gavriel Savit (Amazing Grace), Jason Sirois (Anti-Defamation League), Eileen Tepper (LES MISERABLES), Marc Winski(Grease), and Rachel Zatcoff (The Phantom Of The Opera).

The evening is Directed and Produced by Mara Jill Herman with Music Direction by Danny Lepek.



EPISODE 125- JEREMY JORDAN


Jeremy Jordan is a Tony and Grammy-nominated actor and singer. He starred for the past three years on the CBS and CW hit, Supergirl. He can be heard as the voice of ‘Varian' in Disney Channel’s animated series, Tangled, based on the 2010 hit movie. Earlier, he was a series regular on NBC’s musical drama, Smash, and he starred opposite Anna Kendrick in the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s beloved musical, The Last 5 Years. He was honored with the Rising Star award at the Napa Film Festival for his work on that film. Jeremy also starred opposite Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton in Todd Graff's Warner Bros. picture, Joyful Noise. On Broadway, he originated the role of 'Jack Kelly' in Disney's hit musical, Newsies, earning Tony, Grammy and Drama Desk nominations. He reprised the role in 2016 in Disney’s nationwide release of Newsies, taped live onstage at LA’s Pantages Theatre. Jeremy originated the role of 'Clyde Barrow' in Broadway's Bonnie & Clyde, for which he won the Theatre World Award. He got his Broadway start in Rock of Ages, and he then starred as 'Tony' in the most recent Broadway revival of West Side Story. 

EPISODE 124- MIKE BIRBIGLIA

Mike Birbiglia is a writer, comedian, actor, and director. A contributor to “This American Life” and “The Moth,” he is the author of the New York Times best-selling book “Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories,” which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize For American Humor. He has appeared on the television shows “Orange Is the New Black,” “Broad City” and “Inside Amy Schumer.” He wrote, directed, and starred in the films “Sleepwalk with Me” and “Don’t Think Twice.” His recent solo plays include “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” “Thank God for Jokes,” and “The New One,” which is currently in a 12 week run on Broadway at the Cort Theatre.

EPISODE 123- LAURA DREYFUSS

Laura Dreyfuss, an American stage, television and film actress and musician, is quickly on the rise.
 

Dreyfuss just wrapped season one of the highly anticipated Netflix series THE POLITICIAN, created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.  In it, she stars opposite Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange.  


Before that, Dreyfuss starred in and originated the lead female role of “Zoe” in the Broadway musical, “Dear Evan Hansen.”  Dreyfuss played the role since the musical made its world premiere in 2015 at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. She was nominated for a 2016 Helen Hayes Award for Best Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical on behalf of that performance. Dreyfuss then performed in the role off-Broadway at Second Stage Theater before its highly anticipated transfer to Broadway’s Music Box Theatre in December 2016.  Since its Broadway debut, “Dear Evan Hansen” and the individual performances have been acclaimed by fans and critics alike. Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called Dreyfuss’ performance “sensitive” and “altogether lovely.” The musical won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  Dreyfuss received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, and a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program. 
 
Previous stage credits for Dreyfuss include the 2010 U.S. National Tour and 2011 Broadway revival of “Hair” understudying the roles of Sheila Franklin and Crissy. She also appeared in the original Broadway production of “Once”, eventually playing the lead female role, Girl, opposite Steve Kazee. “Once” was awarded the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2012.
 
On the small screen, Dreyfuss is best known for portraying Madison McCarthy in the sixth season of the FOX television series, “Glee.” She appeared in 11 episodes and can be heard on the series’ covers of “Chandelier” by Sia, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and “Come Sail Away” by Styx. She can currently be seen in a recurring role on the second season of the Emmy winning Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Dreyfuss holds a BFA in Musical Theater from the Boston Conservatory.


EPISODE 122- TED DANSON & MARY STEENBURGEN

MARY STEENBURGEN  Academy Award winner Mary Steenburgen has appeared in over 60 films. She is known for her work in the films Melvin And HowardWhat’s Eating Gilbert GrapeStep Brothers, and television shows “Justified,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Mary most recently starred alongside Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda and Candice Bergen in Paramount Pictures’ Book Club. For 4 years, Mary starred alongside Will Forte in FOX’s critically-acclaimed comedy series, “The Last Man on Earth”. Additional television credits include “30 Rock”, “Bored to Death”, and “Blunt Talk”. Additional film credits include Goin’ SouthTime After TimeRagtimePhiladelphiaBack To The Future 3Cross CreekMidsummer Night’s Sex ComedyMiss FirecrackerThe ProposalElfDirty GirlFour ChristmasesThe Help, and Last Vegas. Partial theater credits include HolidayCandidaMarvin’s RoomThe Beginning of AugustThe Exonerated. Mary is also a songwriter and wrote the end credit song for the upcoming feature film Wild Rose.

TED DANSON is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor known for an array of exceptional performances, most memorably for his portrayal of Boston bartender Sam Malone on NBC’s multi-award-winning and iconic comedy “Cheers,” which ran for 11 seasons and won three Emmys as Best Comedy Series. Danson currently plays Michael on the hit comedy “The Good Place” opposite Kristen Bell. The show premiered as a critic favorite and ratings hit for NBC. In addition to acting and producing, Danson is an environmental activist, co-founding the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 to alert Americans to the life-threatening hazards created by oil spills, off-shore development, toxic wastes, sewage pollution and other ocean abuses. The AOC merged with Oceana in 2001. Oceana works to show citizens how they can participate in protecting and restoring marine resources, and to show Congress that Americans are concerned with these issues.

EPISODE 121- LILLI COOPER

Broadway: Tootsie (Julie Nichols), SpongeBob SquarePants (Sandy Cheeks),Wicked (Elphaba), Spring Awakening (Original Broadway Cast). Theater favorites: Sundown, Yellow Moon (WP Theater), Tick, Tick...Boom! (Keen Company), Natasha...Great Comet of 1812 (A.R.T.), The Wildness (Ars Nova), Noir (NYSF & NAMT), The Threepenny Opera (Atlantic Theater). TV: Instinct, The Good Fight, Bull, & Elementary(CBS). Film: Spielberg's “The Post”, Creator and star of the web-series: “It’s Not Okay, Cupid” (Glamour.com). Cooper is a native New Yorker, LaGuardia Arts and Vassar alum.


EPISODE 120- Joe Iconis with special guest performer- Lauren Marcus

Joe Iconis is a writer and performer.


As a composer - lyricist - book writer, he has authored the musicals Be More Chill, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, ReWrite, Theaterworks USA’s The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks and We The People, and the currently in development Hunter S. Thompson Musical and Love In Hate Nation.


Albums: Be More Chill (Original Cast Recording), Two Player Game, Things To Ruin (Original Cast Recording) and The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree all available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. Joe’s songs appeared on Season 2 of NBC’s “Smash” and his writing has been featured in The New York Times and The Dramatist.

His concert act, Joe Iconis and Family, frequently plays The Beechman Theater, 54 Below, and Joe’s Pub. The original cast recording of Joe’s theatrical rock concert Things To Ruin, is out on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight records.

He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the recipient of an Ed Kleban Award, a Jonathan Larson Award, an ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, a Doris Duke Grant, and a MAC John Wallowitch Songwriting Award.


Lauren Marcus stars in the Broadway musical Be More Chill. She is a singer-songwriter and actress living and performing in New York City. She likes to call her music throwback-indie-folk-pop-rock-with-a-touch-of-the-country, but doesn't mind if you call it whatever you want.

Lauren started performing her original music live in Glasgow, Scotland while studying abroad. Over the past several years she has been playing some of the most acclaimed venues in NYC, including Joe’s Pub, Rockwood Music Hall, Arlene's Grocery, The Path Cafe, Caffe Vivaldi, Le Poisson Rouge, and 54 Below. Lauren released her debut EP, Never Really Done With You, in July 2016.

As an actor, Lauren has performed in many Off-Broadway and regional shows and holds a Bachelor of Music from New York University and Master of Arts from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT- Joe Iconis and Lauren Marcus are married.

EPISODE 119- STEVEN LEVENSON

STEVEN LEVENSON  is the Tony Award-winning book writer of Dear Evan Hansen. His plays include If I ForgetThe Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, Days of Rage, and The Language of Trees. Honors include the Obie Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, and the Helen Hayes Award. He worked for three seasons as a writer and producer on Showtime’s Masters of Sex and is a founding member of Colt Coeur and an alumnus of MCC’s Playwrights Coalition and Ars Nova’s Play Group. His work has been published by Dramatists Play Service and Playscripts. A graduate of Brown University, he is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and the WGA. Upcoming projects include the limited series Fosse/Verdon (FX) and the film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick…boom! 

EPISODE 118- JILL KARGMAN

A born and bred New Yorker, Jill Kargman is the creator, writer, producer and star of the scripted comedy “Odd Mom Out” in which Ms. Kargman played a satirical version of herself navigating the hilarity of raising children on the upper east side in NYC.  

After graduating, and working for magazines, television and movies, Ms. Kargman began writing novels to give her more flexibility to be home with her three children: Sadie, Ivy, and Fletch. She is a New York Times best-selling author of multiple books, and her most recent book, a comedic essay collection, “Sprinkle Glitter on my Grave”, was published in September 2016 by Random House.

She made her Café Carlyle debut in January 2017 with her sold out show Stairway to Cabaret ~ singing heavy metal songs ~ cabaret style.

Jill hosts the Jill Kargman show on SiriusXM Stars Channel 109.

Jill is also a performer with the Upright Citizens Brigade improvisational and sketch comedy group.

Jill recently made an appearance in her first Hollywood studio movie, A Bad Moms Christmas.

EPISODE 108- JENN COLELLA

Jenn Colella  stars on  Broadway in Come From Away ( Tony nomination.) Previous Broadway credits include If/ThenChaplinHigh Fidelity and Urban Cowboy(Outer Critics Circle Award nomination) and off-Broadway in Beebo Brinker, Lucky Guy, Slut and Closer Than Ever. Her regional work includes Annie Get Your Gun (PCLO); Peter Pan (Sacramento Music Circus); Side Show (Kennedy Center). She's been seen on screen in Feed The Beast, Elementary, All My Children, The Good Wife and Rescue Me.

She will star this fall on the television series The Code.

 

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