Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: April 24, 2016
By: Laura Deni


Rehearsing impressive sword play are Drilling Company members and fight stunt specialists McKey Carpenter and Andrew Gombas. Photo by Laura Deni.
Shakespeare's 452nd birthday and the 400th anniversary of his death are being celebrated around the world. After awhile most of the events smack of the repetitive.

Then there was a unique and delightfully entertaining event which took place last Friday in New York's Bryant Park.

There were death scenes, sword flights, audience participation readings and a nifty jazz funeral - all the brainchild of Hamilton Clancy, Artistic Director of The Drilling Company, home of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.

Clancy took his idea to the Bryant Park Corporation who signed on to co-produce the family pleasing fun event.

The weather agreed to cooperate. Spectators and participants of all ages got their Shakespeare on in a distinctive folic.

In the afternoon the company presented Shakespeare Birthday Bash with individual performances by company members all around the Park. The Natalie Smith Band followed with a performance of original songs written to some of the great songs of the canon.

The public was invited to participate in the third annual Speak the Speech, in which spectators showed courage or guile by reading aloud into a microphone a Shakespeare monologue of their choice. For their efforts they were rewarded with a T-shirt for their bravery. In addition audience members had the opportunity, for the third year in a row, to inscribe their favorite Shakespeare quote - or any such message as the heart may prompt - on the Word Wall.

Jambalaya Brass Band leading the jazz funeral for Shakespeare. Photo by: Laura Deni
In the evening The Drilling Company presented Deaths of Shakespeare, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

Drilling company members performed great death scenes from Shakespeare's works including excerpts from Hamlet, Othello, MacBeth, Julius Ceasar, Romeo and Juliet, Cymbeline and Richard III.

A particular highlight was the Jambalaya Brass Brand leading the audience in a mock jazz funeral for Shakespeare.

The Bard's jazz send-off included emotional mourners, a bigger than life size photo, his body, with or without his head, colorful umbrellas and wailing jazz. Photo by: Laura Deni
At the jazzy death send-off the band’s foundation was provided by Sam Merrick and Joe Exley on bass drum and cymbal. This rhythm section cooked, providing the "funeral mourners" with a beat to give Shakespeare a high octane send off. Filling out this tasty gumbo and adding the spice on top was be the trombone of Curtis Fowlkes, the trumpets of Saturo Ohashi and Dan Blankenship, and the tenor sax of leader and founder Ric Frank, an alumnus of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and member of the New York Blues Hall of Fame.

The Jambalaya Brass Band is a group of seasoned musical pros from a variety of impressive previous musical settings as diverse as the Duke Ellington Orchestra to the Lounge Lizards.

The band wore the traditional New Orleans funeral black attire and gave The Bard a jazz sent-off playing St. James Infirmary, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, D-Boy, The Old Rugged Cross, Snowball, Big Chief, Just a Little While to Stay Here, When the Saints Go Marching, In the Sweet Bye and Bye and Buddy Bolden's Blues.

For his time, Shakespeare was a funky writer. Broadway To Vegas wondered if there had been jazz in Shakespeare's time did the Jambalaya Brass Band think the wordsmith would have been a fan?

Their answer? "We definitely think that Shakespeare would have been a jazz fan!"

Danny Burstein as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. Photo: Joan Marcus
Broadway To Vegas revisited Fiddler on the Roof, with music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, and a book by Joseph Stein. This is a landmark, iconic musical. Fiddler is a musical for all ages and - the ages.

If you relate to the original production or have extremely fond memories of a particular revival - then cherish that production. People who have bonded with a particular production of anything have as a benchmark an unattainable standard.

The original mounting of Fiddler and the movie version were awesome. All of the revivals have, in their own way, been glorious. The revivals have had their own revisions - be they in scenery, musical arrangements or choreography.

Remaining steadfast: the storyline and the music which is married to the plot. Fiddler is a musical about long held beliefs and the difficulty in accepting change. The subject matter is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. People are still persecuted for their religious beliefs. Social and religious morals are also ingrained.

Fiddler on the Roof is set in Anatevka, a village in Tsarist Russia during the eve of the revolution. Tevye is an impecunious milkman who has fathered five daughters. While he and the rest of the elders in the village are deeply rooted in tradition, his daughters’ forward thinking clashes with Tevye’s principles and causes a rift in the family. One of Tevye's daughters marries outside the family's faith. Another falls in love with a man not chosen for her by her father. It's an autocratic existence where what 'the father says' is obeyed. Love, compassion, understanding and an eventual willingness to - if not change - at least bend - shows that to survive you must adapt with the times.

Political unrest also necessitates Tevys's family moving to 'a far and distant land.'

A few weeks ago Pope Francis issued a plea for members of his faith to show more compassion and understanding for people who have transgressed from some rules which have always been considered hard and fast for church members. He wrote that church’s moral laws should not be used "as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives," especially those families "living in irregular situations."

Political unrest, immigration issues and moral values make daily headlines.

For anyone trying to financially survive, If I Were a Rich Man is a widespread personal anthem.

Fiddler could have be written about today.

This revival at the Broadway Theatre in New York City stars five-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein, who may have been born to play the part. He's cast in the role of Tevye the milkman, who can never seem to catch a break.

Like Tevye's daughters, director Bartlett Sher’s version is forward thinking. He's a master at helming musical spectaculars infusing them with both power and grace. This production is not a spectacular in the sense of special effects and scenery overpowering the storyline, music and actors.

Alexandra Silber who plays Tzeitel, the eldest of Tevye’s daughters has an elegant and powerful soprano. She's the first daughter who falls in love with the man of her own choosing - Motel who is played with nervous perfection by Adam Kantor. He's a struggling tailor who is overwhelmed at the thought of confronting Tevye about wanting to marry his daughter. When Tevye flies into a rage at the prospect of having him as a son-in-law the quivering Motel throws himself under the milk cart. Later his fear turns to elation as expressed in his exuberant performance of Miracle of Miracles - almost stopping the show.

Another musical highlight is Hodel played by Samantha Massell singing Far From the Home I Love. She's the daughter who has fallen in love with the radical teacher Perchik. A performance which tugs at your heart is Chava portrayed by Melanie Moore - the daughter who causes Tevye's to declare her dead to him, because she has fallen in love with "a stranger" a Russian gentile, Fyedka, played by Nick Rehberger.

Tevye's body language says as much as the spoken word. His hunched over body speaks of agony, disbelief, anger and heartache.

Alix Koyey is cast as the gossip loving matchmaker Yente, who delivers comic relief in attempting to find husbands for five daughters only to discover that her choices have been replaced.

The five daughters singing Matchmaker, Matchmaker assumes a slightly more assertative tone.

Adam Kantor as Motel and Alexandra Silber as Tzeitel. Photo: Joan Marcus
Tevye's relationship with God is a highly personal one. He not only talks to Him - he argues. Berstein puts his own stamp on the part. He doesn't try to adopt a fake accent. Berstein is a skilled master at timing and inflections - entertaining, rather than repetitious or grating.

The scenic design by Michael Yeargan is an important part of the production. Buildings levitate and show the impact of both emotional and physical distance can be something as simple as making objects smaller.

Not until the last scene is their confinement with wooden slates which can generate a chill. When the gates close the middle wooden beams form a cross and what could be broken fencing on the right side gives the hint of a Jewish star.

Catherine Zuber's outstanding and amusing vision for costumes and masks for Tevye's Dream, is significant. That's the number in which Tevye attempt to convince his wife that he's had a dream warning that his hastily promised arranged union shouldn't occur between their daughter and the butcher Lazar Wolf, perfect cast in Adam Dannheisser.

Zuber's from the other-side costumes and masks are a cross being a carnival sideshow and a vision inspired from too much cough syrup.

Her period costumes in seasonal harvest colors speak both to an end and a beginning.

Choreography by Hofesh Shechter is effective, from hand clapping and stomping during the famed Bottle Dance to the subtle impact of stooped shoulders and a weary gait speaking volumes to the resignation and sadness that engulf downtrodden refugees. Coupled with Donald Holder's statement making mood lighting and ear pleasing sound by Scott Lehrer this is a production which is a pleasure to see and hear.

The iconic musical numbers along with new orchestration were created by and are in the capable hands of music director Ted Sperling.

It was a traditional, arranged marriage between Tevye and his world weary wife, Golde. Her job was, as the song Tradition states: to run 'a proper home'. In turn, she has a man who has promised to provide for her. Love or happiness wasn't even a marriage consideration. When, in song, Tevye dares to ask Do You Love Me? it's an unusual question. Her answer is touching.

Emotion is not something expected from Golde. Practicality, observing religious traditions within the home, and raising proper daughters do not lend themselves to feelings, which can get in the way of daily survival. That makes her rare demonstration of emotional grief nothing short of chillingly cataclysmic.

The show opens and closed in the present, with Burstein as Tevye entering and leaving in a red vest. In between is an entertaining and pointed emotional presence. The music and message linger.

The cast includes: Ben Rappaport as Perchik, Danny Burstein as Tevye, Jessica Hecht as Golde, Adam Kantor as Motel, Adam Dannheisser as Lazar Wolf, Karl Kenzler as Constable, Melanie Moore as Chava, Nick Rehberger as Fyedka, Alix Korey as Yente, Samantha Massell as Hodel, Alexandra Silber as Tzeitel, Jessica Vosk as Fruma Sarah and Aaron Young as Sasha.

Go. See. Enjoy.

This theatre is trying to stay current while maintaining electronic silence during performances. There is free Wi-Fi until the show begins. Signs are even posted in the rest rooms. Get all of your charging and texting done before the show begins.

Broadway To Vegas also attended a performance of In The Secret Sea, a new American play by Cate Ryan which is having its world premiere off-Broadway at the Beckett in New York City.

New plays are almost everyday occurrences. To get elevated from the pedestrian isn't an easy accomplishment.

It's teasingly intriguing when not one, but three Tony award winners sign on to a limited run, world premiere off-Broadway mounting.

Annie writer and director Martin Charnin helms the production. He's been involved from the get-go. Officials told Broadway To Vegas that "the development of the play began in late 2014 with a reading. Cate Ryan and Martin Charnin worked on the play after the reading and had another reading in 2015 in the early spring from which they were able to secure this upcoming production at Theatre Row."

Charnin is joined by Tony award winners Beowulf Boritt in charge of scenic design and Ken Billington handling lighting.

In The Secret Sea takes place in the home of Joyce and Gil Osbourne, in a long-established upscale suburb of Connecticut. It is Easter Sunday of the year 2016.

Author Cate Ryan, who has a background in medicine, has constructed a well crafted, interesting play which centers on a discussion which needs to be more openly addressed - should a fetus be aborted if physicians have determined that the baby will have serious, life altering birth defects?

While there are some humorous lines in the play, with appropriate audience responses, for the vast majority of the play, the audience was in mesmerizing, enthralled silence.

Instantly it becomes clear why three top professionals would be involved in this production and their contributions are substantial.

The first thing that is noticed is the exquisite set designed by Beowulf Boritt and Alexis Distler. A soothing look of gentle perfection, which is intended to cover up hidden emotions Peaceful tones of blues, grey and browns, which are also used in the costumes by Suzy Benzinger. Every item in the room is in its perfect place. There is a decorative liquor cart, for this is an adult situation and liquor can either mask or encourage feelings to emanate. A pendulum clock on the wall precisely swings, as if to count the hidden tensions.

Gil (Paul Carlin) and Joyce (Glynnis O'Connor) met in college and are long term married, now sleeping in different rooms. Jesuit schooled Gil would like them to be closer and wishes they had had a second child. Their grown son is making them grandparents. His wife was pregnant when they married and Joyce blames the girl, (who is never seen in the play) for anything and everything. She doesn't like her parents, either.

The in-laws are coming over for Easter dinner. Uptight Joyce isn't looking forward to entertaining her son's in-laws.

Then their adored son Kenny (Adam Petherbridge) arrives. Distraught, he confides that their expected grandchild, if permitted to be born, will have serious birth defects.

The plot twists shouldn't be disclosed but left to be discovered during a performance. There are people this play will offend. There are even parts of the country where it might not even be welcome. That's the norm when important polarizing issues are discussed.

Flawlessly directed by Martin Charnin. At one point in a heated exchange between Gil and Kenny, two stop lights confront father and son, in the form of Joyce offering them coffee in two bright red mugs.

Throughout the play Joyce pulls back different window curtains, as if light coming into the room would offer answers.

Confronting their son's problems, Gil and Joyce throw their own in each other's face. Holding his own against the talented Glynnis O'Connor is Paul Carlin. In agony over what to do, Adam Petherbridge is excellent.

In-laws Jack (Malachy Cleary) who has had a drinking problem, arrives wearing bunny ears. His and his wife Audrey (Shelly Burch) have their own history and point of view.

This is not a slanted script. All points of view are intelligently and interestingly covered in a who-can-we-blame format.

While the character of Joyce has dominated the beginning, it soon becomes obvious that this is an ensemble production.

The 90-minute show with no intermission flies by. It's not a play you will forget. It's a production that should open up an important topic of conversation. If it does no more than that, it's a hit.

One quibbling point. There is a mention that Audrey could eat anything while pregnant and never got sick. Husband Jack comments that she still eats donuts and shoots a rueful look at her hips. Audrey is played by Shelly Burch who is Hollywood reed thin. For all I know the woman has never eaten a donut in her life. This is a line that needs to reflect the size of the actress playing the part. If it's a thin actress, use a different food. Or, at least throw in a qualifying line that it's amazing she can eat donuts and not gain weight. Otherwise, the audience momentarily shifts attention to Burch's donut defying thin figure, rather than listening to important, fast moving dialogue.

The dramatic ending has Kenny talking to a baby.

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Exhibits at the National Brewery Museum
in Potosi, Wisconsin is a joint venture between the Potosi Foundation and the American Breweriana Association. These two organizations have teamed up to create a world class national brewery museum showcasing a collection of beer bottles and cans, glasses, trays, coasters, advertising materials and other items relating to breweriana collectibles.

Founded in 1852 by Gabriel Hail and John Albrecht, the Potosi Brewery began as a small brewery quenching the thirsts of area farmers, fishermen and miners. In 1886 Adam Schumacher bought the brewery and started brewing beer. In 1906, the Potosi Brewing Company was founded by Adam and his brothers Nicholas and Henry.

At its peak, the Potosi Brewery had grown to be the fifth largest in Wisconsin, shipping a variety of labels including Good Old Potosi, Holiday, Garten Brau, Augsburger and others to destinations throughout the United States.

In 1972 the brewery ceased operations and closed its doors. The restoration of the Potosi Brewery began in 1995 when Gary David bought the ruined Potosi Brewery Bottling buildings. In 2004, with restoration underway, the Potosi Foundation was selected by the American Breweriana Association to be the home to its national museum.

According to Len Chylack, president of the American Breweriana Association, Potosi was selected over cities such as Milwaukee and St. Louis because of their passion for beer, brewery history and beer-making culture.


Little Prince George rides a rocking horse that President and Mrs. Obama gave him at the time of his birth. Watching the boy have fun are his parents Duchess Kate and Prince William as President Obama looks on. Later the lad shook President Obama's hand to thank him for the gift. Photo: Keningston Palace.
President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle had two unforgettable meals in the same day. Last Friday, April 22, America's first family had lunch with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle. That evening Prince Harry, Prince William and William's wife the Duchess of Cambridge, fondly called Kate, hosted a private dinner for them at Kensington Palace.

The Obamas were introduced to young Prince George, clad in pajamas, a monogrammed bathrobe and house slippers, who thanked them for the rocking horse they sent him as his birth present.

The White House statement explained the trip as: "The visit will allow the president to offer his gratitude to the British government and people for their stalwart partnership with his administration and the American people throughout his presidency."

Obama also held a joint conference with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

DIDO AND AENEAS by Henry Purcell and Nahum Tate.

Starring Kelli O'Hara, Victoria Clark, Elliot Madore, and Anna Christy, with a World Premiere companion work by Michael John LaChiusa.

Doug Varone, Director and Choreographer. Conducted by Ted Sperling.

MasterVoices (formerly The Collegiate Chorale) continues the 2015-2016 season with this semi-staged production with sets by David Korins.

The cast, hailing from both the Broadway and opera worlds, is comprised of Tony award winner Kelli O'Hara as Dido, Tony Award winner Victoria Clark as the Sorceress, Elliot Madore, winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as Aeneas, and opera star Anna Christy as Belinda.

"We are thrilled to reunite Tony Award-winning actresses Kelli O'Hara and Victoria Clark for the first time since their history-making performances in The Light in the Piazza ten years ago in Dido and Aeneas," said Ted Sperling, Artistic Director of MasterVoices.

"Further," he continued, "the evening will open with the World Premiere of a new prologue written and composed by Michael John LaChiusa, in which the three leading ladies play the three Fates, sisters who control our destinies. As the original prologue was lost, I called on my long-time collaborator to bring a contemporary voice into counterpoint with the Baroque, utilizing the same orchestration, including an expanded continuo section of harpsichord, organ, guitar and harp. Orchestrations for the new prologue are by Bruce Coughlin."

April 28 and 29, 2016 at New York City Center.

On April 28, MasterVoices will have its annual Spring Benefit in support of its artistic programming and education initiatives. Benefit tickets include pre-concert cocktails, preferred seating at Dido and Aeneas, dinner, and live auction.



Prince William challenged his brother Prince Harry to a duel. Photo: Getty/Kensington Palace.
Princes William and Harry had their own playday lastTuesday, when they visited Starwars film set at Pinewood Studios last Tuesday to recognize "the wealth of fantastic British talent involved in the production of the Starwars' films."

They battled each other with lightsabers after Prince William admitted he was a "total geek" over the franchise, and challenged his brother to a duel with those lightsabers.

He also got a hug from Chewbacca as the brothers were shown around the set.

They visited production workshops, including the costume department where they got to fondle Daisy Ridley's head cast. Ridley plays heroine Rey.

They also met with specialist teams working on the movies. On hand to answer any questions were Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, John Boyega, who plays Finn, and director Rian Johnson.

Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton. Photo by Joan Marcus.
and it's creator Lin-Manuel Miranda for winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The Broadway mega hit, a hip-hop stage biography of Alexander Hamilton, will open a production on September 27 in Chicago.

In its citation, the Pulitzer board described Hamilton, "a landmark American musical about the gifted and self-destructive founding father whose story becomes both contemporary and irresistible."

Miranda wrote the book, music and lyrics for the show, in addition to starring in the title role. The show was inspired by Ron Chernow's biography Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton becomes the first musical to capture the Pulitzer Prize for Drama since Next to Normal was honored in 2010, and only the ninth in the prize's hundred year history.

WE WILL ROCK YOU the worldwide smash hit musical based on the songbook of Queen, with a book by Ben Elton.

Featuring 24 of Queen's biggest hits; We are the Champions, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Don't Stop Me Now, Under Pressure, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust and of course We Will Rock You.

Begins preview performances April 28 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in Sydney, Australia.

LAWRENCE AFTER ARABIA by Howard Brenton, a new play, commissioned to mark the centenary of the start of the Arab revolt, finds Lawrence trapped in his love/hate relationship with the limelight, tormented by ghosts and haunted by broken promises. .

Directed by John Dove.

Featuring Sam Alexander, William Chubb, Geraldine James, Khalid Laith, Jack Laskey, Rosalind March and Jeff Rawle.

'In God’s name man, you’re Lawrence of Arabia! The public won’t let you be anything else, no one will let you be anything else’

August, 1922. The most famous man in England has vanished without a trace: T.E. Lawrence has completely disappeared. But in the idyllic calm of the village of Ayot St Lawrence, on the top floor of the home of Mr and Mrs Bernard Shaw, the ‘uncrowned King of Arabia’ is hiding – with slabs of homemade carrot cake for comfort.

Wearied by his romanticized persona and worldwide fame, disgusted with his country and himself, Lawrence is craving normality. But when you’re a brilliant archaeologist, scholar, linguist, writer and diplomat – as well as a legendary desert warrior – how can you ever be normal? And beyond the Shaws’ garden wall, nobody cares how he feels: England just wants its hero back. Can he ever return?

April 28 - June 4, 2016 at the Hampstead Theatre in London.

BEAU JEST a romantic comedy by James Sherman.

Starring Cindy William and Eddie Mekka of Laverne & Shirley fame.

Directed by Dennis D. Hennessy.

Sarah is a nice Jewish girl with a problem: her mother wants her married to a nice Jewish boy. Her mom has never met her boyfriend, a WASP executive named Chris Kringle. She tells her she is dating a Jewish doctor and Mom insists on meeting him. Sarah plans a dinner party and, over the heated protests of Chris, employs an escort service to send her a Jewish date to be Dr. Steinberg. Instead, they send Bob Schroeder, an aspiring actor who agrees to perform the impersonation. Happily, he is extremely convincing in the role - so much so Sarah falls head over heels in love with him.

Opens April 27 with performances through July 3, 2016 at New Theater in Overland Park, Kansas.

BELLES SOEURS THE MUSICAL based on the play Les Belles Soeurs by Michel Tremblay. Book, Lyrics and Direction by René Richard Cyr. Music by Daniel Bélanger. English Book adapted by Brian Hill. English Lyrics adapted by Neil Bartram. Music Adaptation and Additional Music by Neil Bartram.

Orchestrations and Musical Direction by Chris Barillaro.

Working-class housewife Germaine Lauzon wins one million trading stamps and invites family and friends over to celebrate. But pride + greed = envy! The women complain aggressively, over share shamelessly, fantasize freely while secretly covet Germaine’s precious stamps.

Since its premier in 1968, Les Belles-sœurs it has been translated into more than 30 languages and is the most produced Québecois play of all time.

April 27–May 14, 2016 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada.


STRAIGHTEN UP & FLY RIGHT: THE NAT KING COLE TRIBUTE three-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Ramsey Lewis and singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli join forces in this tribute to the titan of fifties vocal pop, performing favorites including Route 66, Mona Lisa, Unforgettable, and more. Sunday, May 1 at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts in Brooklyn, NY.

JOSH GROBAN entertains Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. Thursday's show is at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane, Australia. On Saturday he can be enjoyed at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

THE WHO performs Friday, April 29, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. Next Sunday, May 1, the show is at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN.

RIHANNA appears at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 27. On Friday she opens a two night stand at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

JUSTIN BIEBER performs Monday, April 25, at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, MI. On Tuesday he's at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Thursday finds him at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH. On Friday his tour stops at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.

ADELE in the spotlight Friday, April 29, at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Next Sunday, May 1, she entertains at the Telenor Arena in Fomebu. Norway.

IL DIVO opens a three night stand Monday, April 25 at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

MARIAH CAREY performs Tuesday, April 26, at the Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. Friday's stop is at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa. Next Sunday, May 1, she opens a two night stand at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.

TRACY MORGAN telling funny stories Friday, April 29, at Bluesville at Horseshoe Tunica in Robinsonville, MS. On Saturday he'll be getting laughs at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA.


The Hard Rock in New York City's Times Square turned their marquee purple and dedicated a message to Prince. Photo: Laura Deni
died April 21, 2016 two days after her performed in Atlanta. He was 57.

Prince Rogers Nelso was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home and studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to a press release sent from the Carver County Sheriff's Department, deputies arrived at Paisley Park at 9:43 a.m. and found Prince unresponsive in the elevator. After CPR attempts were unsuccessful, he was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. The cause of death has not yet been determined, and Carver County with assistance from Hennepin County Sheriffs and the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office are investigating.

An autopsy was performed last Friday. The Results could take several weeks.

Prince was hospitalized last week after his plane for was forced to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill. Released a few hours later, a rep told TMZ that he had been battling a bad case of the flu.

Neil Portnow President/CEO of The Recording Academy issued the following statement: "Our Grammy family is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of seven-time Grammy Award winner Prince. Today, we remember and celebrate him as one of the most uniquely gifted artists of all time. Never one to conform, he redefined and forever changed our musical landscape. Prince was an original who influenced so many, and his legacy will live on forever. We have lost a true innovator and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends, collaborators, and all who have been impacted by his incredible work."

DORIS ROBERTS five time Emmy Award winner who gained fame for her role as Raymond Barone's mother in Everybody Loves Raymond died Monday, April 17, 2016. She was 90.

Noted for hr film and television roles, her stage career began in the 1950s on Broadway. She appeared in numerous Broadway shows including The Desk Set with Shirley Booth, Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers with James Coco and Linda Lavin and Terrence McNally's Bad Habits. She starred in McNally's Unusual Acts of Devotion at the LaJolla Playhouse in June 2009.

An animal rights advocate, Roberts worked with the group Puppies Behind Bars, which works with inmates in training guide dogs and assistance dogs for the physically disabled and elderly, as well as dogs trained in explosives detection to be used by law enforcement agencies.

On September 4, 2002, Roberts testified before a U.S. Congressional panel that age discrimination is prevalent in Hollywood, advocating that such discrimination be treated on par with biases against race and gender.

She was married twice. Her first marriage to Michael Cannata produced one son and ended in divorce. Her second husband was writer William Goyen. They were married from 1963 until his death from leukemia.

She is survived by her son Michael Cannata, Jr., three grandchildren: Kelsey, Andrew, and Devon.

Next Column: May 1, 2016
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Laura Deni

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