Friday, December 31, 2010
Lin-Manuel Miranda has had one hell of a 2010, between his return to In the Heights to that show's film adaptation coming up, and his hit translation of West Side Story maintaining its smash hit status. Follow the link below and watch him dish about his successes for 2010.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
A previously announced revival of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia has gained some big talent, a recent press release has announced. The revival, which will play at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, will be directed by David Leveaux and will star Tony-winner Billy Crudup and four time Tony-nominee Raul Esparza, as well as Lia Willams. The production will start previews on February 25th, 2011, in preparation of a March 17th opening. This will be Crudup's second outing with the play, after starring in the original 1995 production.
What do you do once your show closes? How do you move on, particularly if you've been with that production for a long time? Five actors who have had just that experience have shared their stories with The New York Times in a fascinating set of interviews. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We knew that this show was not long for the world, but who knew it was this bad? The starry musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will close early on January 2nd. The show was originally scheduled to run through January 23rd. When the show, a Lincoln Center production, did not extend beyond this initial run, we saw this as a signal that the show was in trouble and the poor reviews the critics gave it certainly didn't help anything. The show stars Sherie Rene Scott (three time Tony-nominee), Patti LuPone (two-time Tony-winner), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony-winner), Laura Benanti (Tony-winner), and Justin Guarini.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Natalie Mendoza, who notably suffered a concussion while performing in the Broadway mega-musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark after the show's first preview, has left the production, according to the New York Times. The NY Times announcement sourced two representatives from the show who spoke to them on condition of anonymity "because the producers have forbid public comments given that the lawyers and others are still fine-tuning the language to explain Ms. Mendoza's departure, an artistic loss and embarrassing blow to the production."
Monday, December 27, 2010
Dana Ivey is a unique actress with a unique distinction. The five-time Tony nominee is one of only four actresses to receive two Tony nominations in the same year (the list also includes 2010's addition to the list, Jan Maxwell). Broadway.com recently interviewed Ms. Ivey in relation to her current stint in Broadway's The Importance of Being Earnest (her fourth production of the show), which is directed by Brian Bedford and stars Bedford as Lady Bracknell.
Friday, December 24, 2010
With awards season months away and the critics have created their best-of-the-year lists, so now it's time to showcase the more unique side of New York theater. The New York Times has created a list of its favorite odd moments in theater this year. Let me know what things the Times missed, and which of their choices were spot on.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Star power has once again proven that it can sell tickets. In under three months on Broadway, the hit revival of Driving Miss Daisy has recouped its entire $2.6 million investment, making it one of the of the most successful non-musicals of the season.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Marcia Lewis, known for her big smile and bigger singing voice, has died at the age of 72. She was twice nominated for supporting actress Tony Awards -- the first for the 1994 revival of Grease! (in which she played Ms. Lynch) and for the 1996 revival of Chicago (in which she played Matron Mama Morton). Ms. Lewis also appeared on Broadway in Rags, Hello Dolly!, the 1990 revival of Fiddler on the Roof, The Time of Your Life, and Orpheus Descending.
Continuing in its series of filming Broadway hits, HBO will be filming a performance of The Pee-Wee Herman Show. The show will be filmed live at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre after its January 2nd closing and will air at some point in 2011. HBO recently also filmed Carrie Fisher's solo show, Wishful Drinking.
Mark Rylance is having one hell of a season this year on Broadway. After the close of his well recieved (and likely to be Tony-nominated) star turn in La Bete in January, he will be moving on to the Broadway transfer of Jerusalem. This production, directed by Ian Rickson, originated in London and won him an Olivier Award (London's equivalent of the Tony) earlier this year. The limited engagement will play for 16 weeks with previews beginning on April 2nd and opening officially on April 21st. In a unique turn of events, the show will play at the Music Box Theatre where La Bete is currently playing. Maybe he'll get to keep his dressing room!
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Al Pacino-led production of The Merchant of Venice in which he stars as Shylock opposite Lily Rabe's Portia has announced an extension. The show was originally scheduled to close for good on January 9th. Now, the show will begin a three week hiatus after that Sunday matinee in order to allow Pacino to fulfill a prior commitment to a movie he has signed onto and will return to Broadway performances February 1st. At that point, the show will perform for three more weeks, ending its run on February 20th.
In an unusual move, the producers of The Scottsboro Boys are asking for a form of Christmas present, even though the show closed last week. They are asking fans (and anyone willing to help out) to commit to buying tickets if the show comes back for a limited run in the spring. The show has already announced that they would like to come back for a limited run in the spring in order to help the show's chances of winning Tony Awards and has begun the process of looking for a space, but they want to make sure that there will be sufficient audience to do so. If you'd like to commit to buying tickets at the "special price" of $99, you can go to the show's website listed below.
Nominations for the Tony's will be announced on May 2nd.
Nominations for the Tony's will be announced on May 2nd.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Hey everybody. It's that time of year again -- time for predictions, that is. I am posting my first predictions for who I will think will be nominated for Tony Awards in 2011, including some outside shots. Let me know what you guys think!
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
The Scottsboro Boys
Catch Me if You Can
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
The Scottsboro Boys
Catch Me if You Can
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Iconic director Blake Edwards, known for helming Breakfast at Tiffany's, 10, Victor/Victoria, and the Pink Panther series, has died at the age of 88. He died at his home from complications from pneumonia at home with his family, including wife Julie Andrews, around him. Edwards also directed and produced the stage musical version of Victor/Victoria starring Ms. Andrews.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Manhattan Theatre Club has confirmed dates for its revival of Terrence McNally's play Master Class, as well as the fact that Tyne Daly will star as Maria Callas. The play will be the first new production of the 2011-2012 season, beginning previews on May 24th and opening officially on June 21st. The production will be directed by Stephen Wadsworth.
The Broadway production of Driving Miss Daisy is officially a hit. In a Broadway season that has seen a large number of productions close, including Best Musical frontrunners Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Scottsboro Boys, Driving Miss Daisy has announced that it will extend its run. The production opened on October 25th and was scheduled to close on January 29th, but will now close on April 9th. The show played to almost 95% capacity for the week ending December 12th.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Lee Daniels is in talks to bring Nilo Cruz's play Anna in the Tropics to the big screen. Cruz was nominated for a 2004 Tony for Best Play and won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play, making him the first Latino to receive that honor. Daniels is best known for his Oscar nominated direction of the film Precious and, in addition to the longstanding rumors that he would direct the film version of the musical Miss Saigon, Daniels' interest in directing the film of The Scottsboro Boys have recently come to light.
Rumors have begun to surface that Broadway's own Patti LuPone may star in a revival of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly! LuPone would take on the role originated (and made famous by) Carol Channing in the original Broadway production in the 1960s and Barbara Streisand in the 1969 film adaptation. Neither Ms. LuPone nor the Nederlander Organization, which is developing the production, has confirmed or denied anything.
A number of Broadway stars are up for Golden Globes in 2011, with the nominations having been announced this morning. Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison are nominated for their leading performances in Glee (as are Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer for their supporting roles in the show). Al Pacino is also up for best actor in a made-for-TV movie for his performance as Jack Kevorkian in You Don't Know Jack. Laura Linney is also up in the same category as Lea Michele for her performance in The Big C.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
History lessons are either hit or miss when it comes to the stage. Unlike television, where HBO or Ken Burns can turn out a well loved film about almost any time and place, Broadway audiences seem less into learning their history lessons. A few seasons ago, we had a smash hit in Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia but, this year, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Scottsboro Boys, and A Free Man of Color -- all about various points in American history -- have been playing to less than stellar audiences despite strong reviews. Read the NY Times article below discussing this phenomenon. Let me know what you think may really be going on here by leaving comments.
The New York Times has an article on its website about set designs and how effective they are (or aren't, as the case may be). They have opened a forum for discussion about the subject at the link below. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
In preparation for the Tony Awards in the spring, The Scottsboro Boys may return for a limited run in the spring, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is despite the fact that the show has announced a December 12th closing date and is probably a strategy to make sure the voters don't forget the show come voting time.
According to an article from Broadway.com, reports have begun to surface that Bea Arthur, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Vera Charles in Mame and who was known nationally for her roles on The Golden Girls and Maude, served in the Marine Corps for two and a half years. Among the recently surfaced documents includes a letter in which Bea described her previous employment as she prepared to enlist. She began basic training in 1943 and was initially given duties as a typist in Washington, D.C. Performance reviews reflected her famously brassy personality, calling her "vocabulary 'excellent', her conversation 'argumentative', and her general behavior 'overly aggressive.' Her overall personality was rated as 'officious -- but probably a good worker -- if she has her own way!'" She climbed from the rank of private to corporal to sergeant to staff sergeant before receiving an honorable discharge in September 1945.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Here's an article from Tonyawards.com about eligibility for Tony Awards in the 2010-2011 Broadway season.
The Tony Awards Administration Committee met on December 9 for the first time this season to decide the eligibility of Broadway productions for the American Theatre Wing's 2011 Tony Awards®, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
The Committee considered 12 shows at this meeting from among the Broadway productions that opened between September 28 and November 9 (they will discuss other shows at subsequent meetings). The shows considered are, in opening-night order: Brief Encounter, The Pitmen Painters, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Time Stands Still, A Life in the Theatre, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, La Bête, Lombardi, Driving Miss Daisy, The Scottsboro Boys, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Colin Quinn: Long Story Short.
The Committee announced the following:
- Brief Encounter will be considered eligible in the Best Play category. Author credit will be: Noël Coward and adapted by Emma Rice.
- Tristan Sturrock and Hannah Yelland will be considered eligible in the categories of Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Play respectively for their performances in Brief Encounter.
- Christina Ricci will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category for her performance in Time Stands Still.
- Benjamin Walker will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
- Joanna Lumley will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category for her performance in La Bête.
- Judith Light will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category for her performance in Lombardi.
- Boyd Gaines will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for his performance in Driving Miss Daisy.
- Joshua Henry will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in The Scottsboro Boys.
- Sherie Rene Scott will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
All other decisions were consistent with the opening night credits.
What that means: In general, unless the committee has determined otherwise, performers listed ABOVE the title may be eligible in the Leading Actor/Actress categories; if a performers is listed BELOW the title, he or she is considered a "Featured" performer.
The 2011 Tony Nominations will be announced in the spring. The 65th annual Tony Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, June 12, 2011, broadcast live on CBS live from NYC.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The remounting of Time Stands Still has set a closing date of January 30th. The play, in a second production close on the heels of its original limited run at Manhattan Theatre Club, was written by Donald Margulies and stars Laura Linney, Brian d'Arcy James, Eric Bogosian, and Christina Ricci.
The New York Times has published a review of a collection of Noel Coward pieces put together by Barry Day. This looks like a fascinating coffee table book, and a great holiday gift for any theater lover in your circle of friends.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Oprah Winfrey is returning to acting in the near future. She is set to act in and produce the film version of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize winning play, Ruined. Nottage has signed on to write the screenplay and Winfrey's production company, Harpo, will produce the film. No director or other casting has been announced.
The upcoming Broadway revival of Anything Goes coming to the Roundabout this spring has announced some additional casting. In addition to Broadway vets Joel Grey and Sutton Foster, the production will also star Jessica Walter, John McMartin, and Laura Osnes. The production, to be directed and choreographed by Tony-winner Kathleen Marshall, will move into the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in preparation for an April 7th opening night.
Catch Me If You Can hasn't even landed on Broadway yet and it's already changing the landscape. The show is supposed to move into the Neil Simon Theatre, where the Beatles-themed concert Rain is currently playing, in early March. Rain was supposed to end its run in plenty of time to move out before Catch Me If You Can could move in but, given the success it's having, its producers would like to move it to another theater to extend that run. You may be wondering at this point, "And where, exactly, are they intending to move the show?" Well, the answer is the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, of course. The only thing is that that theater is currently occupied by Rock of Ages. So, the producers of that show are moving it to the Helen Hayes Theatre, where Colin Quinn's one man show is currently running. Fortunately, as it sits now, that show will be ending its run in time for the moves to take place without any further hitch but, in this industry, who knows what will really happen.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Jennifer Jason Leigh has signed on to star in the upcoming Broadway revival of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves. She will star as Bunny Flingus, the mistress of Ben Stiller's character, Ronnie Shaughnessy. Edie Falco is also attached to the production as Ronnie's wife Bananas.
Lee Daniels, the director probably best known these days for his Oscar-nominated film Precious, has expressed interested in directing and adapting The Scottsboro Boys for the big screen. Susan Stroman, director and choreographer of the stage musical, would be an executive producer, with stage producer Barry Weissler also on board. This may extend the life of the stage play, which has announced a December 12th closing date.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
A previously announced Broadway revival of Jason Miller's That Championship Season is officially joining the 2010-2011 Broadway season. It has booked the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, where current hit Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will end its run in January, for a March opening. The production will star Kiefer Sutherland and Chris Noth. The play focuses on a group of high school basketball stars on the occasion of their 20th reunion after having won the state championship. The original run in 1972 won both the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
In a continuation of the movie-star-to-Broadway-star transition that seems to be occurring in droves these days, Halle Berry has confirmed that she will be coming to Broadway some time soon. She has confirmed that she will make her debut in a production of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop, which will costar Samuel L. Jackson. No dates or theater have been set.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The 2010-2011 Broadway season gets more interesting day by day. Seemingly right on the heels of the closing announcement for The Scottsboro Boys, the producers of the hit musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson have announced that the show will close on January 2nd, at which point the show will have played 120 performances at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. Producers Jeffrey Frankel and Jeffrey Richards said in a statement, "We are so proud to have been part of this extraordinary production. The good news is that we believe that Bloody will be done throughout the country in the years ahead."
Glee kids, get excited. There may be more Shelby in our future! There are rumors floating around that Tony winner Idina Menzel may be returning to the show to continue her stint as Rachel Berry's mom, Shelby, on Glee. To further the excitement, ABC is developing a TV show around Menzel, according to Deadline.com. According to that website, the show will have Menzel portray "a single mother of a teenager who waits tables and performs at weddings and bar mitzvahs to make ends meet." In a true-to-life turn of events, before making her big break (and earning her first Tony nomination) as Maureen in the original cast of Rent, Menzel also sang in a band that performed at weddings and bar mitzvahs. The TV show is being created by Bob Kushell, the creator of Samantha Who? -- the show based around another Broadway alum, Christina Applegate. The show is hoping to hit the airwaves next fall.
Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige is reportedly in talks to star as club owner Justice in the film adaptation of the Tony-nominated musical Rock of Ages. Adam Shankman, who directed the film adaptation of the Broadway musical adaptation of Hairspray, is set to direct the film of Rock of Ages with a script by Chris d'Arienzo, the musical's librettist.
Stop the presses, boys -- a new star is coming to town. Well, maybe, at least. James Franco, who has been garnering lots of praise for his performance in the film 127 Hours (a film for which he is likely to get an Oscar nomination) and who will be co-hosting the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, is in talks to join Nicole Kidman in the upcoming Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. The show centers around Alexandra del Lago (Kidman) and the young gigolo, Chance Wayny (potentially Franco),who becomes her companion. The production is being helmed by David Cromer (Our Town, Brighton Beach Memoirs). The original production opened on Broadway in 1959 and starred Geraldine Page as Alexandra and Paul Newman as Chance. A 1975 revival starred Christopher Walken and Irene Worth.