April 15, 2015
SO THERE was Andrea McArdle on the stage of the Media Theatre on a recent gray and chilly morning, rehearsing the title song from "Hello, Dolly!" the evergreen musical she's starring in April 22 through May 24. Dressed head-to-toe in formfitting black, her dark-red hair glistening under the lights, McArdle effortlessly sang and danced with the ensemble in the musical's most famous scene. Then she sang a lyric that was, frankly, a little disconcerting: "Look at the old girl now, fellas!"
October 31, 2011
BROADWAY'S ORIGINAL "Annie" belts a 48 not tomorrow, but Saturday. Oxford Circle native Andrea McArdle once wore a curly wig, palled around with a dog named Sandy and, at age 13, became the youngest Tony Award nominee ever. Back in the day, McArdle also graced the halls of Melrose Academy and laid out on the beaches of Ocean City. These days, she's based in New York. Her recent causes have included stumping for an African-American headliner for the Great White Way's 2012 revival of "Annie," and playing her one-time nemesis Miss Hannigan in repertory theater productions.
December 1, 2009 |
Childhood memories came rushing back last weekend with the news that Al Alberts had died at his Florida home at age 87. For three decades from the late 1960s, "Uncle Al" - a singing star in his own right in the 1950s with the Four Aces - indulged young local entertainers on Al Alberts' Showcase, a Saturday TV variety show that frequently took its act on the road. Alberts helped discover such entertainers as Andrea McArdle, Broadway's first Annie; singing group Sister Sledge; soul legend Teddy Pendergrass; and Jarrod Spector, who plays Frankie Valli on Broadway in Jersey Boys.
November 28, 2009 |
Al Alberts, 87, the former singing star who championed thousands of youngsters on his TV show Al Alberts' Showcase, died yesterday morning at his home in Arcadia, Fla. As she had been since their marriage in 1953, his wife, Stella, was at his side. Stella Alberts said her husband had been ill for several weeks with circulatory problems in his legs but previously had been in good health. "All of a sudden, God took him," she said. His son Chris, a director for the New Candlelight Theatre in Ardentown, Del., said the apparent cause of death was complications from kidney failure.
October 23, 2008 |
The guy speed-walking out of the subway, tugging on his tongue with a paper towel as he crosses Seventh Avenue, is running late for work. It's Jarrod Spector, sneaking in vocal exercises. Three weeks ago, the singer-actor from Huntingdon Valley, Pa., took over the Frankie Valli role in the Broadway smash musical Jersey Boys after starring on the road in San Francisco and Chicago. "Anywhere else, people would look at me kind of strange," Spector, 27, says, settling into his dressing room at the August Wilson Theatre.
May 2, 2008 |
The magic of YouTube brings Debbie Gibson back. With her pug nose, toothy smile and pageboy outfits, she was nothing less than the Britney Spears of the late 1980s. Her hits, including two No. 1s - "Foolish Beat" and "Lost in Your Eyes" - were not-a-girl, not-yet-a-woman love songs, slightly overdubbed, but clearly honed and melodic. Gibson, though, skipped the rehab, the over-paparazzied life, the lingering downside of teen stardom. By her mid-20s, she had acquired the grown-up name "Deborah" and was doing Broadway and national touring musicals.
December 12, 2006 |
Continuing the Prince Music Theater's "American Legacy Series," Annie Get Your Gun provides old-fashioned pleasures - the pace is leisurely, the costumes modest, the sets unpretentious. Irving Berlin's great musical comedy has one wonderful song after another, with two full-voiced and charming singers in the leads. Andrea McArdle and Jeffrey Coon are in top form as Annie Oakley and Frank Butler in this old-timey love story about sharpshooters in the showbiz of the Wild West. The plot begins with Annie Oakley just arrived with her four little brothers and sisters from the backwoods; she meets Frank Butler, the sharpest shooter in the world.
June 1, 2003 |
It's been 21 years since she played Annie in the film version of that Broadway musical hit. But Aileen Quinn is still a child at heart. As a matter of fact, Quinn, whose family is from Yardley, Bucks County, has been waiting "with bated breath" for a call from a certain "very classic children's program" on which she hopes to land a regular part. After spending the last five years on Broadway and on the road doing Peter Pan, Fiddler on the Roof and Saturday Night Fever, Quinn, who just moved into her first home of her own, would like to settle down a bit. Not retire.
July 8, 2001 |
This time, the musicals saved the season. Who would have thought it? A season ago, not a single musical made the list of Top 10 productions accompanying this annual retrospective - also known as the Philly Awards - of area theater in the previous 12 months. Not only did that Top 10 consist entirely of plays, but all but one of them had been first produced in the prior half-decade. Three were world premieres. As the 2000-2001 season set sail, it was reasonable to anticipate more of the same.
February 23, 2001 |
It's too hectic," Andrea McArdle cried as she was pulled toward the door of the Reading Terminal Market, having gulped down barely half a hoagie for lunch, already late for her next appointment. "The only peace you get is on stage!" If that's really true, then maybe home-town star McArdle has a chance of getting some R&R here in the next few weeks. She's earned raves for her performance as gritty showgirl Sally Bowles in the latest revival of "Cabaret," which continues at Center City's Merriam Theater through Sunday.