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John McGivern visited Rock 102's Bax and O'Brien to chat about his role in AMERICAN FIESTA playing at CityStage October 26

The China Syndrome

October 25, 2012
(As originally seen in the Valley Advocate by Chris Rohmann)

A middle-aged man, dealing badly with his Oklahoma parents' refusal to attend his recent same-sex marriage, sets off on a cross-country journey in search of vintage Fiestaware. The colorful ceramic dishes, all the rage in the '30s and '40s, have now become kitsch collectibles, and our man is obsessed by them. Stephen Tomlinson's one-man comedy American Fiesta, an off-Broadway hit in 2007, is also a quest for hope and acceptance. Along the way, he muses on the meaning of family and community, the fracturing of American politics and civic life, and the significance of eBay in today's consumer culture.

The production playing at CityStage this weekend stars Emmy winner and storyteller John McGivern, who portrays some 20 characters on the Fiestaware odyssey. Critics have called the show "thoughtful, timely and entertaining" and dubbed McGivern's performance "endlessly charming."

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Click Here to listen to 'American Fiesta at CityStage with John McGivern'
on WHMP Morning News

Keb Mo Band performing at Springfield Symphony Hall

October 21, 2012
(As originally seen on MassLive by Keith O'Connor)

Contemporary bluesman Keb Mo who will bring his blend of jazz, R&B and soul to Symphony Hall in Springfield on Saturday night, isn't comfortable with the bluesman moniker that many have given him.

"I'm not sure some people realize how difficult it is to understand how to play the blues in its legitimate form. It's not something you can just walk into….there's a lifestyle, an attitude and dynamic to the blues that has to be digested into the soul," said the artist born Kevin Moore in 1951 in Compton, Calif. (He now makes his home in Nashville with his wife an son).

"It's a high calling to be called a true bluesman, it's something you earn, and I really don't think I've earned it

While he may not be a household name, Keb Mo has garnered critical acclaim for his work with three of his records winning the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. He co-wrote "I Hope" with the Dixie Chicks which received a Grammy nomination for Country Song of the Year. His songs are in demand from artists like BB King, Natalie Cole and others, and he has appeared on recordings by Willie Nelson, Ray Charles and Jackson Brown, to name just a few. Additionally, his music has been featured in film and television, most notably in the acclaimed PBS series "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues" in 2003. Hs also composed and recorded music for the acclaimed TNT hit series "Memphis Beat" and performed the show's theme song.

Keb Mo has also merged his music and acting on the big and small screen portraying Robert Johnson in the documentary film, "Can't You Hear the Wind Howl?" and as Isaac, the Angel of Music in the television series "Touched by an Angel." He also appeared on the final episode of the NBC television hit drama, "The West Wing," to perform "America the Beautiful" and he played the role of the spirit Possum in the 2007 John Sayles movie "Honeydripper."

His foray into the blues really came after, much after, that is, the release of his first album, the R&B-influenced "Rainmaker," which found few fans.

"In the early '80s after 'Rainmaker' flopped, I was left holding the bag with no gigs, no prospects," said Keb Mo.

Things began to turn around for the musician around 1983, when he got a call for a gig with a blues band led by Monk Higgins, a popular blues musician and producer who Keb Mo called his "mentor" and credited with "starting my career over again."

He continued to develop his understanding of the blues over the years by studying the genre and learning from Higgins and his band mates. Then, Keb Mo got his next break around 1990 when he got a call from a theater company in Los Angeles looking for someone to play a "smokey blues guitarist" in their product of "Rabbit Foot."

"That's when I first started playing the acoustic blues, until then it had been all electric. It really just spoke to me and I really began to discover the essence of the blues the best I could," said Keb Mo'.

Folks began to take notice, and in 1994, he signed with the newly-revived blues label, OKeh, distributed by Epic Records. The result was his first blues album called "Keb Mo" – the first to also abandon his real name, Kevin Moore, in favor of Keb Mo.

His latest album "The Reflection," released in August last year, is not, in essence, a blues album – having been described as closer to the work of African-American "folk soul" singer/songwriters like Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, and Terry Callier.

As for Keb Mo's performance on Saturday night, audiences will probably hear a little bit of everything he's got to offer.

"I don't know exactly what I'll be playing. I hate to say what I'm going to do ... I'm more an 'in the moment' kind of guy," he said.

Currently working on material for a new album, Keb Mo said fans can, once again, expect something "completely" different.

"It will be more acoustic guitars and solo pieces, a really stripped down acoustic kind of thing," he said.

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'American Fiesta' coming to CityStage

Whoever thought a popular line of collectible dinnerware could serve as an important backdrop for a play?

Well, it's happened with "American Fiesta" on Friday at CityStage in Springfield where playwright Steven Tomlinson has crafted a funny, yet poignant story about an obsessive collector on a quest for the perfect piece of vintage Fiestaware as he deals with his parents' opposition to his same-sex marriage.

A highly collectible commodity today commanding as much as hundreds of dollars, Fiestaware is a popular line of ceramic dinnerware launched in 1936 and discontinued in 1973 that were glazed originally in five colors including red, blue, green, yellow and old ivory. In fact, in a recent episode of ABC television's "Modern Family," Cameron declares to his partner after leaving a thrift story with a piece of Fiestaware, "Look, two bucks, a creamer, they didn't know what they had."

Tomlinson's plays about business, ethics, and modern life have won numerous theater awards and have been performed in Colorado Springs and Philadelphia. In his most recent piece, "American Fiesta" – which was named Best Play by an Emerging Playwright by the American Theatre Critics Association in 2006 – he uses his collection of Fiestaware to reflect on family dynamics, cultural politics, and the doomed search for perfection in America. Tomlinson, who was recently awarded the Osborn New Play Award for "American Fiesta" from The American Theatre Critics Association. has also written and performed monologues for IBM, Guaranty Bank, and the Austin 360 Summit.

"American Fiesta" stars Milwaukee native John McGivern, best-known for his Emmy-award winning work on PBS. McGivern's one-man shows, "The Early Stories of John McGivern," "Midsummer Night McGivern," and "John McGivern's Home for the Holidays" tell the stories of being the third born of six kids in a working-class Irish Catholic Family in the Midwest. His stories are personal and funny and touching and familiar. His themes are based in family and remind audiences that as specific as one might believe his or her experiences are, we all share a universal human experience.

"I do a little pre-show for 'American Fiesta' where I announce that this is not my story. I've spent a lot of my lifetime telling groups my story, but now I'm telling someone else's story," said McGivern, referring to the semi-autobiographic work by Tomlinson.

"At the same time, it completely connects with me and my life, as well, that while a universal experience, I can relate and tell someone else's journey as if it were my own….although Steven's journey is certainly not the same as mine," he added.

McGivern said he relished taking on another one-man show, even though it wasn't his own.

"I was originally called about the play over three years ago. I told them to send over the script, and when I looked at it I told them it would be great to do and asked them if they had the rights. They told me they didn't, but they would get back to me," said McGivern about Renaissance Theaterworks, a Milwaukee, Wis.-based theater company.

"I heard back from them two years later and they asked me to come in for a reading for a play that I thought I already had based on our earlier conversations. They told me they would be auditioning all day long, but the only other person I saw there was someone sweeping the floor. And by the time I got home there was already a message waiting for me about getting the role," he added.

McGivern has also appeared in HBO's "We're Funny That Way" and "Out There II" on Comedy Central, and was seen sitting next to Sally Field on "Politically Incorrect" and knighted by Julie Andrews in the hit film "The Princess Diaries."

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Keb' Mo' and His Band

October 18, 2012
(Written by Eric Sutter)

Singer-songwriter, guitarist and 3 time Grammy winner Keb' Mo' flashed a Mississippi "Big Grin" in the "Muddy Water" at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Here's the lowdown... even though the performance spotlighted this gifted musician's guitar playing, much praise should be given to his tight rhythm section's playing and keyboardist Michael Hick's loose soulful groove. Keb' Mo's ease of style guitar playing made for a warm and comfortable downhome experience with stories of love and heartache. Although rooted in the Delta, his music transcends those boundaries to update that sound to modern times with R+B influences. His depth of emotion and living grace typified his persona of the link to the Delta blues.

Beginning solo on "Love Blues" and "The Action" he showcased acoustic rhythm guitar playing and slide. Love songs to females "Loola Loo" and "Rita" were up against electric numbers with full band on "Let Your Light Shine" and "France." He performed one of his best known works from 2009's "Live + Mo" in "More Than One Way Home" with a terrific bass solo by Vail Johnson. Drummer Lester Falconer kept a steady beat through "Everything I Need" as the keyboards took it to church with Keb' Mo' bringing it home with his mellow resonator slide guitar solo. Slower blues numbers "Don't Try To Explain" captured the wounded heart of pain and misery. The show featured guitar changes galore including banjo. His melodic slide glissaded true in "Perpetual Blues Machine." He performed acoustic with harmonica on "City Boy" which showed his neo-traditionalist blues style. "America The Beautiful' moved the audience to singing.

"Whole Nutha Thing" expanded on the theme of the importance of woman in his blues with a laid back groove and strong rhythm section. Good use of lighting made for an authentic duplication of the traditional blues "Come On Into My Kitchen" with Keb' Mo' solo center stage on sweet slide guitar. Incidentally, Keb' Mo' broadened his fan base with the docudrama "Can't You Hear The Wind Howl" in which he played Robert Johnson. He brought the house down with the encore of an early funky blues "She Just Wants To Dance." He performs in Springfield, MA on Oct. 27th

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PUMPS AND PUNCHLINES: SHOWCASE OF AMERICA'S TOP FEMALE COMICS AT SYMPHONY HALL NOVEMBER 16

Pump Up the Pink Event to benefit Rays of Hope

October 16, 2012
(As originally seen on DidYouWeekend.com by Rich)

Springfield, MA— CityStage & Symphony Hall presents Pumps and Punchlines, an all-new, all-female stand-up comedy showcase featuring four of the funniest female comics in the country at Symphony Hallon Friday, November 16 at 8pm. The show is part of CityStage & Symphony Hall'sPump Up the Pink Event to benefit Rays of Hope - A Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer. The Media Sponsor is the Valley Advocate.

Tickets are $29 & $26 and are available at the CityStage & Symphony Hall Box Office located at One Columbus Center in downtown Springfield, via telephone at 413.788.7033 or online. Symphony Hall is located at 34 Court Street in downtown Springfield. Special Group pricing is available for groups of 15 or more. Call for more details.

Whether it's gossip, men, sex, family, friends – these ladies will cover it all and no topic is off limits. Grab your girlfriends and get "pumped" up for this fabulous evening of non-stop energy and laughs.

The lineup will feature cutting-edge comediennes Erin Foley, Renee Gauthier, Rachel Feinstein and Erin Jackson. Between them, these sassy ladies have rocked the mic on Comedy Central, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Chelsea Lately and Last Comic Standing. They have been stand-up hits at top comedy venues such as Second City, Gotham Comedy Club, Caroline's on Broadway, The Laugh Factory and The Improv; and have written for The Onion and Time Out Magazine.

PUMP UP THE PINK is an exciting night of great food, fabulous cocktails, andPumps and Punchlines to help raise awareness and funds to benefit Rays of Hope – A Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer. Participating restaurants include: Adolfo's Restaurant, Nadim's Downtown Mediterranean, Theodore's and The Student Prince/The Fort Restaurant.

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American Fiesta: A Witty, Hopeful Tale of Imperfection & Acceptance debuts at City Stage

October 4-November 1, 2012
(As originally seen in The Rainbow Times by Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter)

Fiestaware does not only represent solidbright colored vintage dinnerware loved many depression-era women. It can also serve as the centerpiece to exploit cultural, political and familial challenges as in Steven Tomlinson production, American Fiesta. Tomlinson's play, a semi-autobiographical rendition performed by John McGivern, portrays the many difficulties surfacing around his Irish- Catholic childhood, being gay and his parent's opposition to his same-sex marriage. Now, that gives a whole new meaning to pottery.

As Steven travels around the country in an obsessive quest to find the perfect piece of vintage Fiestaware to help him cope with his tribulations, he learns that perfection lies in the eye of the beholder. The audience is an active part of the show to help create the synergy needed for McGivern's transformation into nearly 20 different characters throughout. The one-man show is set to take place on October 25 - 27 at City Stage in Springfield Mass.

The Rainbow Times caught up with McGivern to discuss his upcoming performance and its relevance to the gay community.

TRT: You have several highly acclaimed oneman shows. Is that your preferred style of performance? Why?
JM: I love the one-on-one relationship between the performer and the audience. My one-manshows are a direct address to the audience. There is no fourth wall .It takes place in real time. I talk to and depend on the relationship between me and them. It's a great thing when it's working.

Q. In American Fiesta, you morph into about 20 different characters throughout the show. How do you perfect that kind of art?
A. Carefully and with the help of a really clear minded, focused director. Jenny Wanasek was instrumental in helping me find the voice and the mannerisms of the 17 people featured in this play.

Q. Do you have an affinity for Fiesta Ware like Steven, your character in American Fiesta?
A. When I started rehearsals, I knew of Fiestaware but didn't have an interest in collecting. That has changed. Now, every piece used in the show is mine. I've been collecting and have enjoyed the quest, the search for the pieces that make up my collection.

Q. Much of your work is grounded in family issues. Why do you think those types of issues are important to exploit?
A. I used to think that my experience was so specific ... to my life ... to the time I grew up ... to the place I grew up ... to the Irish Catholic family I grew up in. I tell my stories and have had the fortune to hear from people all over the country who've told me that my stories are their stories, my family was so much like their family, our struggles and concerns and joys and traditions were theirs as well — Universal themes, things that make us more alike than different. This is why family is the base for my work.

Q. Speaking of family issues, that also happens to be a topic discussed on the campaign trail this year, regardless of which side of the fence you are on. Grant it, "family issues" for one side can be termed differently for the other. How do you think this election will shape the future of "family issues"?
A. There will always be a divide. I am a 57 yearold gay man who has been with the same partner for 10 years. Steve and I are a family. My vote may change law but opinion is changed through knowledge. Those who know Steve and I can't deny that we are a family.

Q. What has been the highlight of your career to date?
A. I did a PBS Special, The Early Stories of John McGivern, that played in 18 markets across the country. I was nominated and subsequently won an Emmy Award for this work. [Currently], I am in the middle of shooting a 14 episode, 2nd season of a PBS Series called Around the Corner with John McGivern, which plays on every PBS Station in the state of Wisconsin. It is a show that celebrates community. I am very proud of this show.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you've received? What is the worst?
A. My mom told me early in my career that I should write and perform my own work. Thanks Mom. The Worst [was while] living and struggling in Los Angeles, my agents told me that moving back to Milwaukee would be the worst move for my career. God they were so wrong. Join McGivern on October 26 at City Stage located at One Columbus Center, Springfield, Mass.

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'Ask Mrs. Honey B.' is a change of habit for show's star

October 7, 2012
(As originally seen on MassLive by Keith O'Connor)

"Ask Mrs. Honey B.," the newest interactive comedy coming to CityStage on Thursday from Maripat Donovan about married life and all its foibles - and the problems of leading a single life, too - is a real change of habit for the character actress, literally.

For years, Donovan, the creator and star of "Late Nite Catechism" has brought to life "the everything you expected about a nun and some things you never imagined" unnamed "Sister" who has a class of 59 kids to teach.

Now, the every-bit-delightful Donovan has transformed herself into the charming and quick-witted Mrs. Honey Buczkowski – a self-proclaimed expert on living the good life and all that it encompasses, but this time she's not talking Catechism – she's talking love, boomerang children, marriage, retirement, and plenty more, even S-E-X. After a lifelong career as a home economics and health teacher, Mrs. Honey B. has decided to direct her energy into a new career as a "Full Life Level" certified life coach.

"You know, it's a lot of fun. Now I can be a person who has grandchildren and a husband, and talk about Viagra and other things you would never hear coming out of Sister's mouth," said Donovan.

"It's been a really interesting journey trading in my nun's habit for a wig, false eyelashes and pearls," she added.

Making its East Coast premiere after opening in June at The Laguna Playhouse in California, "Ask Mrs. Honey B." has some true authenticity to it, not that "Late Nite Catechism" wasn't based in reality. While unconditionally believable as the irascible and true-to-life nun she created, Donovan was never in the ministry. But she is an honest-to-goodness true certified life coach. "I was working on creating 'Ask Mrs. Honey B.' between performances of 'Late Nite Catechism,' learning more about life coaches. I studied, went to class, and actually got certified, and have used my new skills for real a couple of times. And I use it every day myself to break stuff down into smaller, more manageable tasks," said Donovan.

"The new show begins as if I'm holding a seminar, just as popular motivational speaker Tony Robbins might be holding at a Holiday Inn somewhere. I welcome everyone to the seminar, show them a PowerPoint presentation about myself and talk about the top 10 common road blocks that prevent people from reaching their life goals," she added.

Then, the real yucks begin when Mrs. Honey B. brings out two of her regular clients to help her demonstrate her patent-pending couples coaching – Angie and Frank Travertino – played by the comic duo Denise Fennell and Scott Bielecky of "Tony 'n Tina's Wedding" fame. Think of their wedding play with a little Jersey Shore thrown in for some extra special fun.

During intermission audience members are invited to fill out question cards with life issues they would like Mrs. Honey B. to answer. And, she does, often garnering laughs while dishing out her stinging answers – funny to some while for others practical advice from not just a comedian, but an honest-to-goodness life coach who hasn't hung her sign on the door.

"I get all kinds of questions. One woman recently wrote on her card that her husband wanted to put nude art in the bathroom, and that she was worried her grandkids would see it and start asking questions," said Donovan.

"I sometimes get questions about sex, too, but as Sister, I could never answer them. As Sister, I would just give them a look and say something like, "What's wrong with you? I can't talk about that....I'm putting your name on the board," she added.

But, when Mrs. Honey B. did get a question from an audience member asking her how she could get her husband to engage in more foreplay, her life coach persona was only too ready to answer. "I told her that sometimes with men you just have to use sports analogies. So I told her to approach him by asking her husband if he was the coach of a baseball team in the World Series, would he ever send in his best pitcher without warming him up first. Then, I told her to tell him, 'This is the World Series, you're the coach and I'm the pitcher, and you better warm me up.' We talk about things like that, but it's never vulgar," said Donovan.

And, while interactive, those on the shy side need to worry about coming to the play, said Donovan.

"My goal is to not make you uncomfortable unless you want to be uncomfortable, not to play with you unless you want to play," she said.

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MULTI-GRAMMY AWARD WINNER KEB' MO' WITH BAND TO PLAY SYMPHONY HALL OCTOBER 27

October 2, 2012
(As originally seen on DidYouWeekend.com by Rich)

Springfield, MA— Singer-songwriter, guitarist and three-time Grammy winner Keb' Mo' will perform with his band at Symphony Hall on Saturday, October 27 at 8 PM. This concert is Co-Sponsored by MassLive.com.

Tickets are $44 & $39 and are available at the CityStage & Symphony Hall Box Office located at One Columbus Center in downtown Springfield, via telephone at 413.788.7033 or online atwww.citystage.symphonyhall.com. Symphony Hall is located at 34 Court Street in downtown Springfield.

Born Kevin Moore in South Los Angelesto parents originally from the deep South, Mo's music is an expression of the artistic and cultural journey that has transformed the blues, and his own point of view, over time. His distinctive sound embraces multiple eras and genres, including pop, soul, folk and jazz as well as the singer-songwriter movement. For Keb' Mo', the common bond between these influences is the underlying storytelling ethic, the power of song to convey human experience and emotional weight.

Earlier this year, Keb' Mo' was honored to be invited byPresident Obama to participate in a special Blues performance in the East Room of the White House. The show was taped for a PBS special 'Red, White & Blues'. His moving acoustic version of 'America the Beautiful' was the soundtrack for the President's Independence Day celebration video hosted on the White House blog and seen throughout the world. Other highlights include performing with Daryl Hall on his landmark 50th webisode of 'Live From Daryl's House', and earning his sixth Grammy nomination for 'The Reflection', the debut recording on his own Yolabelle International label.

He co-wrote "I Hope" with the Dixie Chicks which received a Grammy nomination for Country Song of the Year and featured in the benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief. A gifted songwriter, Keb's songs have been covered by legendary artists including BB King, Natalie Cole and more and he has appeared on recordings by artists of all genres including, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, BB King, Natalie Cole, The Dixie Chicks, Solomon Burke, Joe Cocker, India.Aire, Jackson Browne, Wynonna, Herbie Hancock, Vince Gill and Bonnie Raitt. Additionally, his music has made numerous appearances in film and television, most notably in Martin Scorsese: Feel Like Going Home, concert documentary "Lightning in a Bottle," and you can hear Keb' Mo' performing his original composition 'I See Love' as the theme song for the hit CBS comedy 'Mike & Molly'.

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EMMY AWARD WINNER JOHN MCGIVERN STARS IN AMERICAN FIESTA AT CITYSTAGE OCTOBER 25-27

October 2, 2012
(As originally seen on DidYouWeekend.com by Rich)

Springfield, MA—Emmy Award Winner and talented storyteller John McGivern proves that a play about pottery can be entertaining, funny, and thought-provoking. Voted "Best Play by an Emerging Playwright" by the American Theatre Critics Association, American Fiesta is a witty, hopeful tale of imperfection and acceptance playing at CityStage in downtown Springfield October 25-27.

The one-man show American Fiesta, written by Steven Tomlinson, centers on a middle-aged man who after his parents announce their refusal to attend his same-sex wedding, metaphorically begins obsessing over finding the perfect set of Fiestaware, a line of multicolored, ceramic dinnerware designed to be bought piecemeal. His antic journey sheds light on our cultural/political divide and the prospect of finding common ground.

John McGivern is a veteran to the stage, but may be best known for his Emmy-Award winning work on PBS (Milwaukee MPTV) with his showAround the Corner with John McGivern. His one-man-shows, The Early Stories of John McGivern,Midsummer Night McGivern, and John McGivern's Home for the Holidays, tell the stories of being the third born of six kids in a working class Irish Catholic Family in the Midwest. John is proud to have been part ofWe're Funny That Way on HBO and Out There II on Comedy Central. He was seen sitting next to Sally Field onPolitically Incorrect and knighted by Julie Andrews in the hit film The Princess Diaries.

Performances of American Fiesta are October 25 at 7:30pm; October 26 at 8pm; and, October 27 at 8pm. Tickets are $39.50 & $30 and are available at the CityStage & Symphony Hall Box Office located at One Columbus Center in downtown Springfield, via telephone at 413.788.7033 or online.

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'SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody' to premiere at CityStage

September 30, 2012
(As originally seen on MassLive by Keith O'Connor)

Readers who just couldn't get enough of the erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E. L. James can get their fill of the popular and sexy phenomenon at CityStage.

"SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody" makes it world premiere in Springfield on Wednesday for a four-day run.

The new show – written and directed by Jim Millan – is a musical parody of the risqué novel which recently surpassed "Harry Potter" to become the fastest-selling paperback of all time.

"We selected CityStage to premier our play because it's a "first-class, well equipped venue and its intimacy provides a perfect setting for this type of interactive fun," said Millan. The show's writer offered his thoughts on the overwhelming response to the book.

"I think we are looking at the joy of fantasy and role playing and also the almost classic fairy tale of young beauty falling for a beast who happens to be a billionaire with predilections," said Millan.

Producer Michael Mills said audience members can expect "a laugh-filled evening that captures all the escapist fun and absurdity of the novel. The 'Fifty Shades' characters are brought to life with sexy and fun musical numbers."

Millan said the idea for the parody of the popular book came about while he was talking about another project with Mills. "He mentioned the book and a question was born. I was aware of thephenomenon before I knew much about the book at all. And I asked the questions: Was there a parody like 'Potted Potter' possible? Could it be a celebration for those who enjoyed it and also lots of fun as a night out?" said Millan, whose other credits include "The Kids in the Hall," "Larry King Standing Up," "Marijuannalogues with Tommy Chong," and "Mythbusters Live."

Millan said the book was ripe for a parody.

"SPANK starts from the point of a married woman writing a fantasy novel and it comes to life. The virginal young woman meets a dashing and dark prince and escapist fun ensues. Readers of the book will see our points of departure and enjoy them, but it succeeds as comedy and parody equally. It has numerous musical sequences and departures into other fantasy romances as our author ruminates on love and fantasy," said Millan.

Described as part Chippendales, part Second City, Millan explained the reference being used to promote the play.

"We use the book as a launching pad to talk about lots of things in a witty, naughty and clever way, then allow ourselves and the audience to get silly and have a ton of fun with the subject. I think we are provocative in a safe and inviting way and people will be exhausted from laughing after the show. There is also at least one male burlesque scene. Lots of the rest is sexy, but in a humorous surprising way, not to mention every female will be wanting to have their picture taken with our dark knight afterwards," said the show's writer and director.

Just how sexy is the show?

"I think women will find there are a few heart-stopping moments and I expect some gasps," said Millan.

When putting together the show, the play's writer said he started with the funniest people he could think of, then "there was some wine and chatting like a book club about it. "

"We all went in diverse tangents and came back with comedy scenes. It's a process that Second City and SNL uses and we had the added fun of a musical and a shared story. The characters were composed out of the composite created by the writing styles. A lot of fun stuff ended up cut as we had so much good material. So, like the author, we look forward to a trilogy," said Millan.

Ticket buyers are encouraged to arrive early for the show – doors open one hour prior to the performance – to enjoy the company of friends and partake in a signature SPANK! cocktail being concocted especially for the occasion. Theater-goers can also have their photograph taken with the handsome and seductive star of the show, and meet and greet the entire cast following each performance.

Following the play's premiere in Springfield, a nationwide tour will be launched in 2013.

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Ask Mrs. Honey B. Comes to Springfield

September 20, 2012
(As originally seen on Macaroni Kid Springfield)

The 2012-13 CityStage & Symphony Hall Season will kick off October 11 with the East Coast premier of the hilarious new interactive comedy Ask Mrs. Honey B. starring Maripat Donovan (creator and star of Late Nite Catechism). Audiences will crack up as they participate in Mrs. Honey B.'s "class" at the local night college, where they will be joined by Angie and Frank Travertino, a bickering "Jersey Shore-esque" couple who have agreed to have their regular coaching session in front of Mrs. Honey B.'s "students."

Honey will share her wealth of homespun wisdom on love, life, and marriage, and enlist help from the audience, as she wrangles the Travertinos and their zany modern-day family problems and issues. Nothing is off limits. Married? Single? If you're in a relationship or would like to be someday, you'll laugh out loud as Mrs. Honey B. takes you on a hilarious journey towards a more fulfilling love life. Couples counseling has never been more fun!

Maripat Donovan's return to the stage is anxiously anticipated by theatre fans and critics alike. In 1993, Maripat created the international hit Late Nite Catechism, along with playing the role of "Sister" in the well-received show. The New York Times called Late Nite "uproarious interactive theater." The Los Angeles Times called Maripat "a formidable comic force!" "Donovan is a delight from beginning to end" said the Chicago Sun-Times. Nineteen years after the debut of Late Nite Catechism, comes Ask Mrs. Honey B. Maripat Donovan fans…the wait is almost over.

Don't miss Ask Mrs. Honey B. at CityStage October 11‐14. Tickets are $39.50 & $35 and are available at the CityStage & Symphony Hall Box Office located at One Columbus Center in downtown Springfield, via telephone at 413.788.7033 or online here.

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World Premiere of "Spank" at CityStage

September 6, 2012
(As originally seen on WGGB)

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News Directory John McGivern visited Rock 102's Bax and O'Brien to chat about his role in AMERICAN FIESTA playing at CityStage October 26

The China Syndrome

Listen to 'American Fiesta at CityStage with John McGivern'

Keb Mo Band performing at Springfield Symphony Hall

'American Fiesta' coming to CityStage

Keb' Mo' and His Band

PUMPS AND PUNCHLINES: SHOWCASE OF AMERICA'S TOP FEMALE COMICS AT SYMPHONY HALL NOVEMBER 16

American Fiesta: A Witty, Hopeful Tale of Imperfection & Acceptance debuts at City Stage

'Ask Mrs. Honey B.' is a change of habit for show's star

MULTI-GRAMMY AWARD WINNER KEB' MO' WITH BAND TO PLAY SYMPHONY HALL OCTOBER 27

EMMY AWARD WINNER JOHN MCGIVERN STARS IN AMERICAN FIESTA AT CITYSTAGE OCTOBER 25-27

'SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody' to premiere at CityStage

Ask Mrs. Honey B. Comes to Springfield

World Premiere of "Spank" at CityStage

CityStage Tickets
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