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Broadway behind the curtain

03:42 PM September 09, 2012

Meet Alan Cumming, Tom Viola and Rivka S. Katvan on Wednesday, September 12, 6 to 8 p.m., at Soho Photo Gallery (located at 15 White St. in NYC). Join us for a conversation about fine-art photography, Broadway theater, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’s fundraising work for critically needed services for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families nationwide.  The conversation will be moderated by Randy Gener, New York editor/writer.

RSVP is required as space is limited. TO RSVP, for sales, and for all other inquiries about Rivka’s work, please contact Gallery 138:, or 212 633 0324


“Broadway Behind the Curtain” is a photography exhibition by Rivka S. Katvan. Her candid fine art portraits of Broadway luminaries are on display at her residency on two floors of  the SoHo Photo  Gallery in TriBeCa where Katvan is a guest artist.  The exhibit is co-presented by Gallery 138 and Soho Photo Gallery.  Gallery Hours are Wednesdays to Sundays, 1 to 6 PM and by appointment. For directions, contact: or 212.226.8571

Actor, singer and photographer Alan Cumming is a major presence in Katvan’s exhibition “Broadway Behind the Curtain.” He appears in three solo portraits, depicting him backstage in Broadway’s critically acclaimed hits Cabaret and Three Penny Opera.  Cumming won an instamatic camera in a raffle when he was 8. Sadly his inability to frame family members in the centre of any picture led to his camera being confiscated and instead he spent his time wandering around the forest he lived in making up stories and pretending to be other people. This eventually led to him becoming an award-winning actor of international renown, storming the West End with his Hamlet, followed immediately by his Emcee in Cabaret, which transferred to Broadway and made him an overnight US sensation. He has since graced the New York stages with turns in Chekhov, Coward and as Mack the Knife, the Pope and Dionysus. He returned this summer in a one-man Macbeth.


“The best thing I have learned about being an artist is the fact that you are the most interesting thing about yourself. We are all just trying to tell a story after all, and the more honest and personal we are the stronger we connect with an audience,” says Cumming in his artist’s statement. “My photographs are all about how I see the world, the incredible experiences I am exposed to and the parts of those experiences I think are worth recording or strike me as beautiful or provocative or weird.”

RIVKA S. KATVAN has established a strong reputation for her candid portrayals of Broadway and Hollywood stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Kevin Kline, Gregory Hines, Glenn Close, Angela Lansbury and Alan Cummings…to name just a few.  Many of Katvan’s photographs are familiar to Broadway theatergoers, particularly those who regularly go to auctions and special events sponsored and organized by Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS. Since 1997, Katvan has photographed male and female dancers and actors, in various stages of dress and undress, before shows, the Tony Awards, and before, during and after the naughty burlesque spectacular, Broadway Bares, conceived and directed by Jerry Mitchell, Tony Award-winning director/choreographer of the Broadway-bound musical KINKY BOOTS.

Katvan explains, “In 1978, during a visit to my friend Natalie Mosco at the Cort Theatre where she was appearing in The Magic Show, I experienced the contrast between the reality in front of the stage and the reality from backstage. Those first photos opened doors to many other shows. To have been a privileged observer, celebrating and sharing life in the theater, has been an honor.”

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TOM VIOLA was the founding administrative director of Equity Fights AIDS in 1988, saw through its merger with Broadway Cares in 1992 and has been Executive Director of BC/EFA since 1997. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) is the nation’s leading industry-based not-for-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

BC/EFA awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.

From 1996-2000 Viola wrote “Broadway On Broadway,” a live outdoor concert in Times Square for The League of American Theatres and Producers, which was televised by WNBC for the first time in September 2000. He co-wrote “Colleen Dewhurst: Her Autobiography” published by Scribner (1996) and is the co-author of “Broadway: Day & Night,” published by Pocket Books (1992). For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at


RANDY GENER is the Nathan Award-winning editor, writer and artist. He is the US editor of Critical Stages (, an international web journal for cutting-edge critical writing and international discourse on the performing arts. For his editorial work and critical essays in American Theatre magazine, where he is a contributing writer, Gener won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, NLGJA Journalist of the Year Award, the Rube Award for Best Arts Reporting from Deadline Club (New York chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists), among numerous other awards. He is a curator and co-producer of “FROM THE EDGE: Politics and Performance Design from Bush to Obama,” a theatrical installation of 37 politically committed work by U.S. performance makers which emerged during the dramatic transition in the White House from 2007 to 2011. Gener is a 2012 nominee for The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York Award ( His media project,, pursues cultural diplomacy and international reporting in the public interest.

GALLERY 138 is a contemporary art gallery in New York’s Chelsea/Flatiron arts district. The gallery exhibits emerging and mid-career artists in all disciplines, brining eloquent, intriguing and socially relevant exhibitions to the public. Its founder and director, BROOKIE MAXWELL is an internationally known gallery director, curator and artist. Maxwell has curated over forty exhibitions including Brown V. The Board of Education, 1954-2004, featuring Satch Hoyt, William Pope L., Dread Scott, and Danny Simmons; RAPSIDA, featuring Will Barnett, Louise Bourgeois, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Sol Lewitt, Yoko Ono, William Pope L., and Paul Villinski; and Reparations / If It Ain’t Broke, featuring Stephanie Dinkins, Kianga Ford, Satch Hoyt, and Jessica Ingram, co-curated by Charles Guice and Keith Miller. She has partnered with universities and real estate developers and produced benefits for global humanitarian non-governmental organizations including Doctors Without Borders for Haiti, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, and Rwandans and Americans in Partnership for Peace and Progress. Maxwell is also Artistic Director of Photo Miami Art Fair. She founded Gallery 138 to continue her vision of creative excellence without compromise while building a new global art community.

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