Saturday, April 20, 2024

NYC Week Ends: “Shuffle Along” Has a Lot of Baggage, Geraldo’s Dead Foot, A Manual for Philanthropy


This is all the other stuff that’s been going on around town in the last week…

Broadway producer SCOTT RUDIN donated all of Friday night’s proceeds from “Shuffle Along” to the Actors Fund, a fact that was announced at the performance’s three-hour conclusion. Ticket prices were reduced from $375 (the very top premium) to $40 throughout the tiny Music Box Theater. “Shuffle Along” (revival? original?) stars Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, three Tony Award winners who are worth the price of admission (not the $40, the $185). “Shuffle Along” also may be known as the musical with the most baggage, as many old fashioned suitcases are used for percussion in a couple of very clever tap dance numbers (there are many clever tap dance numbers). “Shuffle Along” doesn’t open until April 28th, which will give its creators a chance to add on an ending…

We sent GERALDO RIVERA— we being New York– to Hollywood, to compete in “Dancing with the Stars.” Geraldo is in pretty good shape for his age (72), so it seemed like a good bet. Unfortunately, it turned out he had a “dead foot” (nerve injury), which is not good for dancing. Geraldo was dropped from the show after the second week, but at least he was game for it. His entry into the show was a bit of serendipity in the first place. His publicist, NORAH LAWLOR, whose Lawlor Media Group reps celebs, hotels, restaurants, and charities, had a chance encounter with a “Dancing with the Stars” producer back in February during Oscar week in Los Angeles. She suggested Geraldo, and the rest is history. Lawlor, meantime, is speaking on Monday at Bowling Green State University in Ohio on the subject of public relations.

Another of Lawlor’s clients is JEAN SHAFIROFF, who’s become an inveterate fundraiser and charity cheerleader all over New York. Now Shafiroff has published a book called “Successful Philanthropy – How to Make a Life by What You Give.” The forward is written by GEORGINA BLOOMBERG, daughter of our ex mayor, the one who paved over Times Square.

At her book party at her Park Avenue apartment last week, there were plenty of media and society types including Mort Zuckerman, Rita Cosby, and George Gurley. Jean–who’s next associated with A Taste of Hope on May 25th — gathered the attendees and made a short speech talking about her inspiration for writing the book. She said, “when you give, you get, and what you get is the reward of knowing that what you are doing is making the world a better place.”

Jean also thanked representatives from many of the foundations she works with including: Robert Chaloner, President of the Southampton Hospital, Elise McCabe-Thompson, President of the NYC Mission Society, Valerie Steel, Head of The Couture Council, Steve Bernstein, President of Southampton Hospital Board, Anna Oliveira, President of NY Women’s Foundation, Yaz Hernandez, President of Couture Council, Elizabeth Stribling, Chairman at French Heritage Society, and also the Southampton Animal Shelter.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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