Showing posts from 2011

Christmas in New York Photos.


Christmastime With Shack

At church yesterday this morning, I was set to sing “He’s Coming Back” but there was something in the air. Father Jeff seemed a little downcast, and I said to him, “Look, there’s this song that I wrote for a children’s musical. It’s a little simplistic, but I could make it into a little sing-along -- and it’s a happy “up” song!
I felt like I knew the lyric. All I had to do was remember that the “poles to the equator” bridge is first. Then, “forests of Westphalia,” second.

I performed it after the "Peace." That was Father Jeff’s idea, to do it right after the Peace instead of after the Gospel. And it was a perfect placement because the Peace is where everyone greets everyone else in the congregation and wishes them “peace.” So, it’s a more informal moment.

I have always been a bit uncomfortable when the congregation applauds after the song when it's placed before the sermon.

Another moment that was strange was when we were singing “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” The c…

Merry Christmas-ukkah

Last week, I was invited to a holiday brunch with the parents, teachers and school children at Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn. They performed Christmas carols, and then the younger kids all performed "A Charlie Brown Holiday," which included the story of Hannukah, since so many of the children are Jewish. It was just wonderful to see all those tiny faces dressed up like Snoopy, Linus, Christmas trees and all the rest. In deference to the privacy of the kids, I won't post their faces without permission, but I did take one snap of Santa that I totally love. And notice the blue menorah in the foreground.

I have a feeling a lot of parents are gonna need that booth after two weeks of holiday.

STAGE PORTRAIT: Jim Brochu in The Man Who Came to Dinner -


AIDS drugs are safe.

Study shows longterm use of AIDS drugs is safe.

Michael CarterPublished: 08 December 2011A large international study has provided persuasive evidence of the long-term safety of antiretroviral therapy. Writing in the online edition of AIDS, investigators from the EuroSIDA study report that prolonged use of antiretroviral therapy did not increase the risk of death from non-AIDS-related illnesses. “The main finding of our study was that there was no evidence of an increase in the risk of any non-AIDS-related death with prolonged exposure to cART [combination antiretroviral therapy],” comment the authors. “The results are reassuring that so far prolonged use of cART does not appear to be leading to increased risk of death due to some previously identified cumulative effect, or a drug effect whereby there is a long induction period before disease appears.”

Gavin Creel singing "NOISE" for equality.

What a terrific song and video this is:

The Craving - Coleman & Shack

I've been posting songs from our cabaret on 11/11/11 at Don't Tell Mama. This one is called "The Craving," a song about addiction.

Two New Songs.

Opening Night Portrait of Cast of "The Man Who Came To Dinner."

Photo by Rick Stockwell.

Opening Night of The Man Who Came To Dinner.

It's been an amazing learning experience for me, watching this cast find all the beats of this complex farce, and especially Jim, putting some blood into the role of Sheridan Whiteside. I've seen every preview and, now, opening night. What most people don't know is that this production is on an Equity Showcase contract. There was a maddeningly brief rehearsal time, three previews to get it on its feet, then the critics in the audience, and then the opening night -- which was a fantastic show, their best performance.

But those early shows were previews. It's the place you figure out what's not working. A large budgeted show would have a much longer time to work out all the kinks -- which is, of course, what this run will do. Jim got some great notices, but also got punched a little, mostly for not being mean enough or something.

Well, just stand back. I don't mean that Jim is going to let others direct him, but I know that the show they saw is not the show that…

Music For World AIDS Day.

My most recent song about AIDS -- a true story about singing in an AIDS hospice.

Stephen Bienskie live on stage in 1997 in the Original Off-Broadway performance of "Going It Alone."

Here is "The Group" in our TLS reunion concert a couple of years ago.

Kevin Wood rehearsing "Save Me A Seat".

The LA cast of The Last Session singing "When You Care".

Julie Reyburn singing "Going It Alone" for The Spirit of Broadway Awards, in Norwich, CT.

"Connected" is the first song I wrote about living with AIDS.

Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical -- Artwork

Theatrical Gems presents Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical by Meredith Willson with Jim Brochu as Kris Kringle, plus Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Tony Yazbek & Rachel Resheff
(and yours truly, Steve Schalchlin, as the Judge).

A Few Pics from the Weekend Previews.

The show has now played to full houses at three previews. Doing a classic 40s comedy like this takes precision and style, which can only really be discovered in front of audiences. So, a few little hiccups here and there aside, the cast is terrific, but now the real adjusting begins. It's just part of the process and it's arduous, but necessary.

Today is a day off, so I'm gonna keep Jim warm and pampered today. Next week, the critics begin to arrive.

TheaterMania Interviews Jim Brochu

Jim is interviewed by TheaterMania.

TM: Do you have specific memories of this play?  JB: Well, I have another connection with The Man Who Came to Dinner. My mentor was David Burns, who played Banjo in the original production.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Friends.

Rick and Ira made a gorgeous turkey, stuffing, and lots of extras. So, I ate until I popped.

My Thanksgiving Prayer -- Free Download from SFGMC

My Thanksgiving Prayer
In gratitude to all.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Yesterday, I took "unofficial" snapshots during the dress rehearsal of "The Man Who Came To Dinner" and it just feel holiday-ish. It's an absolutely gorgeous production. And the fact that it's in a tiny theater inside a church, you are right onstage in the middle of the action. Some of the best character actors in town are in this. Official opening is December 4. Tickets at The Peccadillo website.

Casting Complete for Meredith Willson's Miracle on 34th Street Benefit -

Olympia Concert Jan 27-28

I will be appearing with The Righteous Mothers, a hilarious and wonderful band of singers and songwriters in Olympia, Washington on Jan. 27-28, 2012 at Traditions. (Here's the graphic I designed for our concert).

Actors Temple Benefit was a Triumph

Jim and I had a blast singing for the event last night. We did a medley from The Big Voice: God or Merman? and the response was overwhelming. All the other performers were begging me for sheet music.
I love when that happens.

Press release for Actors Temple Benefit.


The Best of Broadway & Cabaret will come out in support of the Actors Temple, (est. 1917) on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 7 PM. This theater district historic landmark (339 West 47th Street) has fallen on hard times in recent years & is in dire need of help. According to event producer, Randie Levine-Miller, "Part of the sanctuary ceiling fell down just after Yom Kippur. Thank God, no one was hurt. I said to our wonderful Rabbi, Jill Hausman that we should once again get the theatrical community to come out & do what they did for the temple last year -- so this has just become our second annual benefit!"

Performers generously donating their time & talent include: Brent Barrett, Anna Bergman, Jim Brochu, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, John DeMarco, Jackie Hoffman, Lisa Lampanelli, Sue Mathys, Sidney Myer, Jill O'Hara, Brad Oscar, Lee Roy Ream…

Broadway & Cabaret salute... The Actors Temple

As you may know, Jim and I "opened" the Actors Temple, a historic temple in the Times Square area, as an Off-Broadway house with "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" We will be performing a medley of songs from Big Voice in tribute. And look at the other stars on the bill! If you know anything about the Broadway and Cabaret scenes, you will know these names. And if you don't, then just find a way in and be prepared.


Digital Executives Excited, Optimistic About Google Music |

At an event in Los Angeles on Wednesday the company unveiled a new MP3 store that is integrated with its existing cloud storage service. The company showed off social features that allow purchased songs to be shared with friends, and it debuted a new platform for independent artists that allows them to sell music without a middleman.  But most notable aspect of Wednesday's announcement was the very fact that such a major company is now intimately involved in digital music and working with rights holders. "It's positive to see that level of investment coming into the music industry," Merlin CEO Charles Caldas tells  "The launch of Google's music service is a good thing, a very good thing," TuneCore CEO Jeff Price says via email. Price believes Google is helping shift the focus from the label to the artist. "The goal here is to allow artists to get heard, shared, discovered and paid. I am thrilled to have TuneCore be in a deal with Go…

I love his prescription at the end. Paul Zak: Trust, morality -- and oxytocin

The augmented reality of techno-magic: Marco Tempest on

REMINDER: Coleman & Shack, Fri. Nov. 11, Don't Tell Mama 9:15PM

COLEMAN & SHACK will debut at Don't Tell Mama (343 West 46th Street) Friday, November 11th at 9:15 pm. COLEMAN & SHACK are two-time Back Stage Vocalist of the Year Amy Coleman and GLAAD/Ovation Award-winning Steve Schalchlin (SHACK-lin), composer/lyricist of Off-Broadway's The Last Session and The Big Voice: God or Merman? as well as the song cycle New World Waking, a musical insurrection for peace.

The duo will perform songs from all three of Schalchlin's scores plus a few new songs written by both Coleman and Shack. Steve Schalchlin and Amy Coleman have joined forces to become COLEMAN & SHACK, a new show which not only revisits the music they're know for, but compares and contrasts their personal stories.
A "country preacher's kid," Steve Schalchlin is a longtime AIDS survivor who has extensively documented his odyssey of survival. His pioneering blog Living in the Bonus Round was established in 1996. Intended to be a memoir of a dying man, …

I've Lost My Husband to Meredith Vieira.

My friend Bud wrote:

Meredith loved Jimmy and hung onto to him every chance she got and what a big kiss !!!
It's true. She was a giddy school girl in love!

And the Raisin dance!

And he felt totally mortified that a question about a playwright stopped him.

He said on the way home, "I feel so stupid. Neil Simon wrote a play about Chekhov called 'The Good Doctor.' I knew this! And now I'm sitting here thinking about what they're going to say about me on All That Chat. I'll get crucified." I told him no he wouldn't. That people might poke at him and laugh a bit, but everyone knows that the tension of the moment -- in the spotlight -- drains the brain of all its blood.

He said, "It's truly like an out of body experience. The board with the questions is really big, and your brain doesn't quite take in what it's seeing. Not like a home."

Ah, but this question! Like Einstein forgetting how to do simple math. And it's a secret we&…

Photos: Coleman & Shack at Incognito Bistro


Reminder: Friday Nov. 11th at Don't Tell Mama


Rochester Diary.

NOV. 4, 2011 FRIDAY
On the train back from Rochester

Amy and I are sitting in the coach class cabin and I can’t find my video camera, which I know I brought on board because I took some pictures using it. Dammit. Even went back to our seats -- we changed because there was no wifi on our car. Too bad, cuz there’s none here, either. Will post when I get home.

 We’ve just done three shows in Rochester and have met a guy named Eddie Urish, who was on staff at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, who directed the show. Eddie is from Peoria and had come to Rochester to work with Chris. We got him to help us with the show and he really brought it to life.

Amy and I began our journey last Monday at 1pm from Penn Station. I took the “magic” bus, the one that goes down 9th ave. and takes an eastbound turn on 34th st. I kept waiting for Amy and waiting for Amy, finally giving up when they called the train, only to find her already ahead of me in line. The 6-hour trip up was nice and relaxing -- a…

Our New Graphic.

On the way in from Rochester, I put this together with photos taken during our performances by Van Meter Photography.

More Coleman & Shack photos from Rochester.


PHOTOS: Coleman & Shack in Rochester