Tag Archives: Jon Spurney

Daniel Breaker and special guests played Joe’s Pub

Daniel Breaker and his crew at Joe's Pub. (Photos 2012, Steven P. Marsh)

Broadway star spices up his elegant cabaret set with help from fab up-and-comer Jo Lampert and Broadway vet Morgan James

The inimitable Daniel Breaker at Joe's Pub.

We’re hoping Daniel Breaker is going to be a regular on the Joe’s Pub stage. His performance there Sunday night, April 22 — his second cabaret show there — showcase the winning singer/actor even better than the first. He seemed more comfortable in his role as a front man, and less like an actor putting on a show.

Jo Lampert kills it at Joe's Pub, with drummer Christian Cassan in the background.

With the help of a dozen or so musical compatriots — including drummer Christian Cassan and music director/guitarist Jon Spurney from his time in the hit musical “Passing Strange” — Breaker put on a great show.

He sang original and classic cabaret numbers, and even dipped into rock with Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” charming the crowd all evening.

Breaker’s special guest vocalists once again gave him a run for his money. In Breaker’s last show at Joe’s, guest Condola Rashad  threatened to steal the spotlight altogether with her amazing power and charming stage persona.

Breaker clearly didn’t feel threatened. He chose equally intense guests for this show. Jo Lampert, who not long ago was a production assistant at Joe’s Pub and who was involved in the Public Theater’s incarnation of “Passing Strange,” blew the doors off with her rendition of Beyonce‘s “Halo,” and also filled in superbly on backing vocals.

Morgan James, currently in the cast of "Godspell" on Broadway, at Joe's Pub.

Morgan James, who’s in the ensemble with “Godspell” on Broadway, also did a great job.

Kelvin Dinkins Jr. and William Jackson Harper (a must-see in our book after his amazing work “The Total Bent” at the Public Theater) helped out on backing vocals.

More video of Stew, Heidi and The Negro Problem at Joe’s Pub

It’s time for a better taste of The Negro Problem‘s fantastic show at Joe’s Pub on Jan 7 .

Here’s all the video Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? managed to shoot in the crowded room.

The first clip is just an excerpt, the last minute or so of one of my favorite Stew/TNP songs, “Peter Jennings,” performed with as much joy and excitement as I’ve ever seen.

After that is “Willow Song,” a Stew and Heidi number that many in the audience hadn’t heard before. It was written for last summer’s production of Othello for Shakespeare on the Sound, an outdoor community Shakespeare program in Connecticut. (Stew and Heidi tackle Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for SotS Artistic Director Joanna Settle this summer.) It’s a beautiful, dreamy number that worked well in the play, but also stands alone surprisingly well.

Finally, for all you Passing Strange fans, there’s “Amsterdam.”


Colman’s Big-Ass 40th Birthday!

Colman Domingo does the dance of the flaming pastry with De'Adre Aziza, Soara-Joye Ross and Eisa Davis. (Photos copyright 20009, Steven P. Marsh)

Actor Colman Domingo‘s birthday is Nov. 28. He celebrated at home with some close friends.

Colman channeling Maya Angelou.

Two nights later, on Nov. 30, he turned Joe’s Pub into a reasonable facsimile of his living room two nights later when he threw Colman Domingo’s BIG ASS 40th Birthday Party for his friends, family and fans. It was an evening of irresistible fun.

The stage was filled with singing and stories from Colman’s varied acting career, some from Passing Strange (De’Adre Aziza, Eisa Davis and musical director Jon Spurney) and others, including Ari Gold, Marva Hicks, Soara-Joye Ross and director Charles Randolph Wright, from other acting ventures.

Colman, who is one of the sweetest and most genuinely real actors I know, was touched by the audience’s enthusiasm. And he was thrilled to donate the evening’s proceeds to the Save the Children charity.

If you missed it, nothing I can write here could really recreate the moment, so just sit back and enjoy lots more photos after the jump.

Colman, De'Adre, Eisa, Ari, Marva and Neil Totton join voices.

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Up for a Passing Strange road trip?

So glad he's not on Broadway: Stew and his adoring fans after the final Broadway performance of <i>Passing Strange</i> on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

He’s so glad he’s not on Broadway: Stew and his adoring fans after the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

Just a month after hitting the Tribeca Film Festival, Spike Lee‘s film of Passing Strange will be screened at the Seattle International Film Festival on Saturday, May 23.

Spike Lee at the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange on July 20, 2008. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

Spike Lee at the final Broadway performance of Passing Strange. (Photo by SPM, all rights reserved.)

They’re doing an interview and Q&A session, oddly, before the screening, which no doubt will help avoid the really thorny audience queries, like what co-creator and narrator Stew really meant by “What’s inside is just a lie.”

Spike is also slated to get the SIFF’s 2009 Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Directing.

Think that means they really, really wanted him to show up?