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by Michael Portantiere

    The Best of Times is Now -- So Rock On!

    Theater photographers were kept hopping last night (Tuesday, April 6) as two major photo ops took place a few blocks from each other in midtown: The first preview performance of the new revival of La Cage aux Folles at the Longacre was celebrated with a reception at Hurley's, just down the block from the theater; and the first anniversary of the Broadway opening of Rock of Ages was marked with a party at Tony's DiNapoli, during which one of the show's stars, Constantine Maroulis, was presented with a painting of him that will now join the restaurant's Wall of Fame. Here are my pix of these events.


    At Hurley's: Kelsey Grammer, beloved as TV's Frasier and now treading the boards as Georges in La Cage.


    Douglas Hodge, who plays Albin, with producer Fran Weissler.


    Veanne Cox, fresh from playing Jocasta in Blind at the Rattlestick, now assuming the very different role of Mme. Dindon in La Cage.

    De Jesus-Adams.jpg

    Robin De Jesús (Jacob) and Nick Adams (one of the fabulous Cagelles).


    A.J. Shively and Elena Shaddow, who play the lovers Jean-Michel and Anne.


    The ever-beautiful Christine Andreas (Jacqueline) with her fella, Martin Silvestri.


    At Tony's Di Napoli: The man of the hour, Constantine Maroulis.


    James Carpinello, who plays Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages, with the show's first anniversary cake.


    Mitchell Jarvis, a.k.a. Lonny in ROA.


    Two of the show's lovely ladies: Lauren Molina (Regina, Candi)...


    ...and Angel Reed (Young Groupie, Ensemble).


    Jeremy Woodard (right), who plays multiple roles in ROA, with actor Brandon Ruckdashel, his former schoolmate at East Carolina University.


    Among the folks who stopped by to congratulate Maroulis was High School Musical alumnus Corbin Bleu, now starring on Broadway as Usnavi in In the Heights.


    And here is the Maroulis portrait, by artist Dan May.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2010 at 1:26 AM | Item Link

    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at [email protected]

    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.