Celebrating what is beautiful at Little Amp – Times Square Chronicles
Tina Landau is one of the artists in residence at Little Amp at Little Park on the Hudson. Tina’s credits include designer, writer, and director of Sponge Bob SquarePants on Broadway, Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, and the renewal of Bells are ringing. His Off-Broadway productions include Bill Irwin and David Shiner Old hats, Chuck Mee Great love and Iphigenia 2.0, all at Signature Theater, Tarell McCraney’s Responsible for Passes, In the red and brown water (both at The Public) and Wig! (Vineyard), Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas (NYTW), and its original musical Floyd collins (with Adam Guettel, Playwrights Horizons), which was one of my all-time favorite shows.
Tina is a member of the Chicago Steppenwolf Theater ensemble, with over 20 productions. Tina’s work has been recognized by the Tonys, Drama Desks, Drama League, Outer Critics, Lucille Lortel, Obies and many more. and the Pew grants. She is the author, with Anne Bogart, of The Viewpoints Book.
The opening of the evening was a pre-show with Allen K. Washington, Kelvin Moon Loh telling us no camera or video in song. Tina then welcomed us, stating that after 15 months we are back tonight to celebrate the opening of Little Island, a new park full of art, pride rather than shame. It has been 52 years since Stonewall. We are strong after the trials and fights we have won. Freedom and equality is us. Tonight we celebrate what is beautiful. Everyone who plays tonight is his friend.
First Tina’s oldest friend, Jessica Molaskey, her daughter Maddie and her husband John Pizzarelli, singing “Sunday” from Sunday at the park with George combined with âGone At Lastâ by Paul Simon in perfect harmony. Maddie and John did the accompaniment on the guitar. Fabulous scatting and country, the New Orleans vibe started the evening off perfectly as the backdrop of the sun setting over the Hudson was amazing.
Kelvin Moon Loh from Sponge Bob SquarePants sang Masha P Johnson’s version of “The Impossible Dream”. He chose Mrs. Johnsons song a brave act. Beautifully and emotionally sung Loh, received a standing ovation.
Stephanie Hsu, Nate Luckenbaugh and Allen K. Washington performed Nate’s original song “Fear This Falling” with Nate on the banjo and a fabulous trumpet solo by Tony Kathrick.
From the 2015 production of Great love Original cast members Libby Winters, Stacey Sargeant and Rebecca Naomi Jones recreated Leslie Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”.
27 years ago, Jason Danieley met Tina in the original production of Floyd collins. Jason who lost his wife Marin Mazzie, has found love again. In “All The Tings You Are”, he danced with his new love as others joined him.
Jon Michael Hill worked with Tina as Ariel in Storm, Franco in Superior Donuts and at Steppenwolf. He will soon play in Transmit on Broadway. He performed his original rap “Chosen”.
With a harp played by Kirsten Koplay, Jo Lampert has recreated a haunting and fabulous version of Chris Isaak – Wicked Game.
Tina’s nephew, Jodie Landau, arrived from LA with his friends. This talented and lively 28 year old young man sang Reggie Watts “A Song About Apples”.
One of the top performers of the night was Bill Irwin’s Rhythm of the Body and Rhymes of the Soul, which showed how agile and flexible this multi-talented artist was and is.
Throughout the night, American Sign Language gave everyone an experience of inclusion.
Amber Iman sang a powerful and heartfelt “Imagine”, but the most exciting part of the evening was Tony Yazbeck and Jared Grimes, banging, singing and FABULOUS “Me and My Shadow” BRAVO !!!!!!!!!!
Shakina Nayfack, actress and transgender activist is best known for her regular role in the series Lola, a “trans-truth” in the second and third seasons of the Hulu television show. Difficult people, on which she was also an editorial consultant. In 2020, she became the first trans person to have a starring role on a major network comedy show, Link. I was there for the dress rehearsal and that’s what you see. Shakina sang “The Rainbow Connection”, with Rebecca Naomi Jones reading a Maya Angelou poem about rainbows.
The musical director was Kimberly Grisby from Broadway with Ann Klein on guitar. Denna Torello on drums, George Farmer on bass, Tony Kathrick on trumpet and a name I didn’t catch on the violin. (Note to anyone in this article if I misspelled your name, I’m sorry there was no program.)
For the final number, the actors of the company Broadway and National Touring of Sponge Bob SquarePants with Stephanie Hsu at the head of the company.
It was an exciting and powerful evening that gave so much to the community.
Can’t wait to see more of Mrs. Landau and Little Amp.