Theatrical director, writer, actor, and playwright Ben Rimalower understands the importance of hard work. As the author and star of Off-Off-Broadway’s long-running, critically acclaimed, smash hit solo plays Bad with Money and homage to all things Patti LuPone Patti Issues, Rimalower’s talent know no bounds. As writer and director of Real Housewives of New York star Luann De Lesseps’ cabaret show Countess and Friends, Rimalower has helped propel the reality star’s act into a record-breaking cabaret act throughout the country. The ever-creative Rimalower has also began writing a weekly column on BroadwayWorld.com entitled “Throwing Out My CDs” in which the he revisits former musical cast albums and critiques them. Rimalower recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud on his work with Countess Luann and catching up with his good friend Patti LuPone.
“My column is about six weeks in now on BroadwayWorld.com,” began Rimalower. “It’s a weekly column where I am decluttering Marie Kondo-style, and before I throw out my cast albums I’m going through them musical by musical.” The writer’s columns have already covered classic recordings such as Evita, The Wiz, Into the Woods, The Rink, and most recently Falsettos.
His reminiscent walk down Broadway’s memory lane is an interesting read filled with nostalgia which with many can identify. “I’m reviewing these albums, but not in the sense of a critical review. I’m reminiscing what I liked about them and what made them favorites of mine.” Rimalower has been overwhelmed by the responses his articles have garnered from readers. “I’m honored people are taking to it so much.”
As the writer and director of Countess and Friends, Rimalower’s creative drive has helped propel the Bravo powerhouse Luann De Lesseps’s cabaret show into a blossoming multi-city success. “Directing [Countess and Friends] is a somewhat evolving continuing job. We’re on tour, so we have to re-stage it for different venues. Everything from playing cabaret rooms to the Chicago Theatre with 3,000 seats! It’s fun putting in new songs and numbers and stuff for Luann and different guest stars. All of that involves some writing tweaks and writing as the show evolves. Luann is doing a lot of stuff that also becomes memes for the Housewives fans. So, we’re always updating the show.”
Rimalower still finds time to perform his two solo plays, Bad with Money and Patti Issues. “I have a double bill coming up in Los Angeles at the end of the month at Casita Del Campo’s Cavern Club Theatre.” Though the writer is currently working on his memoir, he enjoys performing his two current plays. “I love doing the two solo plays that I have and will continue to perform them because I love them so much. I think definitely, in the not too distant future, I will write a new one. Also, my shows are very introspective – funny, but introspective and dramatic. I think I want to write something like a comedy show and do something more in an entertainment style and less serious.”
In terms of his favorite Patti, Patti LuPone, Rimalower stays in contact with his Broadway legend friend. “Patti is great! I was just in London and saw her in Company and she was incredible. Patti and I are text buddies, so I always send her stuff online. Whether it’s fabulous funny things about her, or amazing old pictures of her, or a bitchy meme. I live for the Instagram account @dublin_zoetrope. I have sent her several of those posts. They’re hilarious!”
Read Ben Rimalower’s “Throwing Out My CDs,” at Broadwayworld.com
- Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.