Dames at Sea - June 26, 2013
One of my own favorite thrills is opening the show. Since I am playing “Mona Kent”, the tap dancing, movie star diva in Dames at Sea, at the Totem Pole Playhouse, I get to do just that! I adore the opening song and dance number, Wall Street! I learned from the lovely Stefanie Powers, who I stood by for in the national tour of King and I, to be early if you are commencing the show, solo. No one should have to wait on you. Not one day, not one minute. Not every star/non-star I have worked with feels that way, believe me! Stefanie was always dressed, and ready and waiting on the stage, when 15 minutes was called. So, at 15 minutes, here at the Totem Pole, I am already dressed and I grab my top hat and cane, buckle up my well broken in silver tap shoes and make my way to the wings. I actually revere those few minutes of calm solitude, listening to the audience chatter, musing with the stage managers and hearing the orchestra take their places. Thank you, Stefanie! Cherished moments I don’t intend to miss, thanks to you!
“Every show has a star, and the show Dames at Sea, the show-within-the-show of Dames at Sea, stars Mona Kent, played hysterically by Broadway veteran Jane Labanz.” (BroadwayWorld.com)
Photo by Chris Shatzer
Brooke in Noises Off - May 25, 2013
I am playing the role of Brooke in Noises Off at the Totem Pole Theatre, from May 26th thru June 9th. (Photo above in the banner.) Couldn’t be more excited about finally doing this play! What a lovely historic theatre, too. Runs on Broadway are certainly a spectacular thing, but playing in landmark theatres…I feel like an actress living in another era. You just breath in the history when you walk thru the Stage Door (two words I never get tired of seeing or hearing.) The theatre has come to national recognition under the direction of Bill Putch, the husband of actress Jean Stapleton. She also acted in many of the playhouse’s productions. John Ritter, Sandy Dennis and Curtis Armstrong were all resident company members at this theatre.
…especially [self-absorbed, neurotic] Brooke Ashton (Broadway veteran Jane Labanz, who makes spending most of the time on stage in lingerie look easy)…(BroadwayWorld.com)
Jane Labanz (as Brooke) and Tim Falter (as Garry) in Noises Off
Solo Concert News - April 1, 2013
I performed my solo concert, with my petite orchestra I affectionately call the Lovebirds, at the Terrace Park Country Club, in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 15th. The concert was a benefit for Hospice of Cincinnati and was chaired by Jane Lach, with Honorary Chairs by Dr. Jack Gluckman and Victoria Buyniski. Life doesn’t get any better than when I am singing with these great musicians, especially when it is for a great cause. Bruce Barnes (piano), Chris Tedesco (violin), Matthew Kirkendall (viola), Randall Klitz (bass), and Michael Ambroszewski (percussion) are just the berries. If we didn’t laugh so much, rehearsals would be much shorter.
Randall, Bruce, (Jane), Chris and Michael. Labanz and the Lovebirds! This after concert photo says it all!
Barnes and Noble - February 1, 2013
I still get tickled pink when I see my album, Moon Garden, in the bins at Barnes and Noble – ever thankful to the 13 talented musicians who brought these 12 tracks to life with their creative playing. What a delight to record with them all.
Love Story - September 15, 2012
Once again I am blessed to be playing a historical theatre, the Walnut Street Theatre, in Philadelphia. America’s oldest theatre. Talk about history! 200 years of it! Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Sidney Portier…..just a few names that played here. Under the direction of the stellar, Anabelle Bolton, we are bringing the iconic Love Story, to life eight times a week in the American Premiere. I play Alison Barrett, the perfectly polite mother of Oliver. (I guess I have officially transitioned into mother roles.)
“Oliver’s mother, Alison, is quietly and elegantly played by Jane Labanz.” (Delco News)
The dinner scene. Will Reynolds, (me), Alexandra Silber and Paul Nolan.
Photo by Mark Garvin