Author Archive: Mark Dundas Wood

Mark Dundas Wood is an arts/entertainment journalist and dramaturg. His features and reviews have appeared in such publications as American Theatre and Back Stage and on BistroAwards.com. As a dramaturg he has worked with New Professional Theatre and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. His stage adaptation of Henry James's novel The Tragic Muse was part of the Gilded Stage Festival at the Metropolitan Playhouse in January 2014.

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Bazazz! A Sequined Variety

Bazazz! A Sequined Variety

November 7, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I’m glad to have lived through the 1960s and 1970s, when prime time TV variety shows—inspired by British music hall and American vaudeville entertainments—were most in vogue. And I’m sorry kids today miss out on such programs. (Fortunately, they can catch segments from many of the vintage ones on YouTube). The case can be made […]

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Amy Wolk

Amy Wolk

October 25, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The first music we hear in Amy Wolk’s new Duplex show is a snippet of the “Love Is All Around” theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The singer arrives on the stage, kicking out one leg so that we can get a good look at one of her bright new Wonder Woman shoes. Then […]

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Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

Leslie Carrara-Rudolph

October 8, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I’ll never forget the day my brother and I were spurned by Wunda Wunda. The TV story lady of the Pacific Northwest was a tall, stately yet somehow dainty clown character. I was 8 and Brian was 6 when we had our encounter with Wunda at the Seattle World’s Fair. While she fawned over the […]

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Gabrielle Stravelli

Gabrielle Stravelli

October 1, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In her recent one-off at Birdland, City Girl, Country Boy: Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson, the singer put a guitar-free jazz spin on some of the country legend’s biggest hits—his self-penned songs, as well as other writers’ titles that he’s performed and/or recorded over the decades. Some performers might fret about just how smoothly this […]

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Norbert Leo Butz

Norbert Leo Butz

September 10, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

As a leading man in musicals, two-time Tony Award recipient Norbert Leo Butz has been very much a creature of his own era. He has appeared in six Broadway musicals since 1997, as well as in Off-Broadway’s very successful The Last Five Years (2002). None of these shows was a revival, and all of them […]

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Ruby Manger Live! The Farewell Engagement

Ruby Manger Live! The Farewell Engagement

September 2, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The vanity, self-indulgence and capacity for delusion among show-business divas—male and female alike—have been satirized regularly over the decades. So there is nothing especially boundary-breaking about Julia Mattison’s Ruby Manger Live! The Farewell Engagement, currently at Feinstein’s/54 Below—yet the talents of Mattison (both as writer and performer) make the show something special. Particularly welcome is […]

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Villain: DeBlanks

Villain: DeBlanks

August 21, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

In the 1950s, Leonard B. Stern and Roger Price—a pair of TV comedy writers—invented Mad Libs, the comedic word game in which certain nouns, verbs and adjectives in a story are left blank, to be filled in with random suggestions. The duo clearly had a keen appreciation of absurd, Jabberwocky-ish wordplay. And Mad Libs was […]

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Analisa Bell

Analisa Bell

July 30, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Australian-born performer Analisa Bell was originally set to perform Off the Rails—her Duplex show about the blessings (few) and banes (innumerable) of the New York City subway system—back in June. A seemingly unfortunate postponement moved the show to late July, but, in fact, that turned out to be a lucky break for the singer. Here’s […]

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Byron St. Cyr

Byron St. Cyr

July 16, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Byron St. Cyr stepped onstage for his recent Don’t Tell Mama show (directed by Jim Brigman) looking spiffy in jacket and tie. Well, sort of. The tie he wore was actually an untied bowtie, draped scarf-like from the back of his neck. Though it was an unusual choice, there seemed to be method in it: on […]

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Matt Wolfe and Lainie Munro

Matt Wolfe and Lainie Munro

July 9, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The jazz world has long looked to Broadway for melodic fodder. Jazz singers have forever riffed on musical lines from the likes of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart. And that makes particularly tidy sense if you accept the often-stated proposition that the two major cultural contributions that America has made to the world are jazz […]

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