Monday, December 29, 2014

Two Record Breakers in A Week

This week became a week of records for the world of Broadway when two theater-related productions set some money-making records.  The first is the record-breaking run of the current revival of The Elephant Man.  The show brought in $1,058,547 for the week ending December 28th -- the first time any show brought in more than $1 million in a single week at the Booth Theatre.  The show has also announced that, six and a half weeks after opening, the show has recouped its entire $3.1 million capitalization -- one of the fastest in memory.

The other record in our orbit that was set this week came with the release of the Hollywood adaptation of Into the Woods.  The movie, released on Christmas day, brought in $46.1 million dollars at the box office in its opening weekend -- the most money of any movie adapted from a Broadway musical.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Spring Preview has posted a preview of the 2015 spring season on Broadway.  Check it out to see all the things that are coming up to the boards.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Opera Diva Coming to Broadway Boards

Renee Fleming, star of the New York Opera world, will be making her Broadway debut this coming spring.  The four-time Grammy winning singer will be starring as fictional opera star Raquel De Angelis in a new comedy by Joe DiPietro entitled Living on Love.  The Broadway production, a world premier being directed by Kathleen Marshall, will begin previews on April 1st and open April 20th at the Longacre Theatre.  The production will run through August 2nd.  Here's how the producers are billing the show:  "World-renouned soprano Renee Fleming takes to the stage as celebrated diva Raquel De Angelis.  When Vito, her larger-than-life maestro husband, becomes enamored with the lovely young lady hired to ghostwrite his largely fictional autobiography, Raquel retaliates by hiring her own handsome, young scribe to chronicle her life as an opera star.  Sparks fly, silverware is thrown, and romance blossoms in the most unexpected ways in this brand new hilarious comedy."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Broadway Real Estate Coming Up

This topic is about a subject that I've been thinking a lot about this week.  There are several shows closing right after the first of the year, as well as one that closed last week.  With each show closing, there are several theaters that will become available real estate, though several of them already have shows coming in soon after they become available.  Here is a list of the shows that have closed recently or will be closing soon:

Love Letters
This is Our Youth
Side Show
Rock of Ages
The Real Thing

That means that the Brooks Atkinson Theatre became available last week, and that the Bernard B. Jacobs, Broadway, Cort, Music Box, St. James, Helen Hayes, Lunt-Fontanne, and American Airlines theaters will all become available by 6pm on Sunday, January 4th, 2015.  That's a lot of real estate available all on one day.  With that in mind, those same theaters, in the same order, will be filled by the following shows for the spring season:

It Shoulda Been You
It's Only a Play (transfer from the Schoenfeld)
Doctor Zhivago
A Fish in the Dark
The Heidi Chronicles
Something Rotten
Finding Neverland
On the Twentieth Century

I find it interesting that the Helen Hayes will go dark after Rock of Ages closes and vacates the space.  The theater is on 44th street right near Shubert Alley and, while 45th Street is the more valuable real estate, the Hayes Theatre is a prime location for a small show.  I can't wait to find out what goes in there.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Two Shows Coming to New York

There are two shows coming to New York that I want my readers to know about.  One will be a one-night-only benefit version of a mythical musical and the other is a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical -- the first new show he's had on Broadway since 2005's The Woman in White.

The mythical musical coming to New York is  a benefit concert version of Bombshell -- the fictional musical whose creation was chronicled in the TV show Smash.  The musical tells the life story of Marilyn Monroe and features a score by Tony-winning composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Whittman. It is expected that the staging will include all 22 songs features during the course of the TV series, and will include cast members from the short-lived show.  It is also presumed that the staging will be held at one of Broadway's 40 theaters.  The staging will be choreographed by Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse, who is currently represented on Broadway with the revival of On the Town.

The new Andrew Lloyd Webber show is going to be an adaptation of the Jack Black movie School of Rock.  The show is scheduled to play the Winter Garden Theatre starting in November, 2015, with an opening scheduled for December 6, 2015.  Julian Fellowes will write the show's book, and the lyrics will be by Glenn Slater.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

St. James Theatre Has New Tenant

With last week's news of Side Show's closing, the theater's owners have shown a quick turnaround.  The theatre has already booked and announced its next tenant.  A new musical, Something Rotten, will have its world premier at the Broadway house.  The show had a developmental lab this past October and was going to have a run in Seattle, but it will now be skipping that step and going straight to Broadway.  The show is being directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw and will begin previews on March 23rd, with opening night set for April 22nd.  Here's how the show is being billed:  "Set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as 'The Bard'.  When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the very first musical.  But amid the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self … and all that jazz."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Side Show Revival to Close

The critically acclaimed revival of Side Show directed by Academy Award winner Bill Condon has posted its closing notice.  The show, which began previews October 28th and opened on November 17th, will close on January 4th, at which point the production will have played 21 previews and 56 regular performances.  Interestingly, the original production played a similar run, lasting 91 performances from October of 1997 to January 1998.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Casting That Should Be

The upcoming Broadway production of It Shoulda Been You has announced some additional casting.  In addition to previously announced cast members Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Eddie Hibbart, Sierra Boggess and David Burtka will be Tony nominee Montego Glover, Josh Grisetti, and Chip Zein.  Ms. Glover is perhaps best known for her Tony-nominated turn in Memphis a few seasons back while Mr. Zein is best known for his turn in the Tony-winning original production of Into the Woods, which is getting the Hollywood treatment this Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Elephant Man Opens

The second revival of Bernard Pomerance's 1979 play (the first revival was in 2002) opened last night at the Booth Theatre.  The reviews are in and are quite solid.  Reviews have highly praised various elements of the production.  These include "an excellent Alessandro Nivola", and a set which includes "discretely poetic use of sliding curtains to echo imagery about illusion and concealment."  The production's star is certainly giving a star performance, which has drawn a variety of responses from critics.  Some people did not explicitly comment on his performance but thought that his celebrity would bring in ticket buyers and, as the elephant in the room, was quite appropriate -- people coming to gawk and all.  Others loved him in the part -- a role Cooper has been wanting to play since graduate school.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's Only A Casting Update, and Other News

Casting updates have been announced for the extension of the Broadway revival of It's Only a Play.  In addition to the announcement that Tony-winner Martin Short will be taking over for Tony-winner Nathan Lane, we now have news about who will replace Rupert Grint and Megan Mullally.  Two time Tony winner Katie Finneran will be assuming the role currently being played by Ms. Mullally while Mr. Grint's role will be assumed by TV star Maulik Pancholy who will be making his Broadway debut with the show.  They will begin performances on January 7th.

In other news, the Broadway transfer of the Pulitzer Prize nominated off-Broadway hit will arrive on Broadway a tad early.  The show had originally been slated to begin previews April 4th and open on April 22nd.  The show will now begin previews on March 27th in anticipation of an April 19th opening.

Last, but certainly not least, is the news that Nina Arianda will be returning to Broadway next season.  Manhattan Theatre Club is putting on a revival of Sam Shepard's Fool For Love.  Arianda's co-star will be Sam Rockwell.  Mr. Rockwell was last seen on Broadway in Martin McDonagh's A Behanding In Spokane.  Ms. Arianda was most recently seen in an off-Broadway production called Tales From Red Vienna.  She has two Broadway credits (and two Tony nominations) to her credit -- Born Yesterday and her Tony-winning turn in Venus in Fur.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Master Class: William Ivey Long and His Influences

William Ivey Long, the iconic costume designer with 70 Broadway credits and 14 Tony nominations (including 6 wins) to his name and who is the Chair of the American Theatre Wing, has spoken with about what influences him from the world of fashion on stage and screen.  I have linked to the article below in what will become the first of a series Playbill hopes to continue with various other artists in the industry.  Let me know what you all think about articles like this and let me know if you would like to see me do more articles like this.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dr. Zhivago Star Announced

The producers of the upcoming Broadway musical production of Dr. Zhivago have announced the name of their star.  Tam Mutu, star of the London productions of Les Miserables and Love Never Dies, as well as the upcoming London production of City of Angels, will make his Broadway debut in Dr. Zhivago.  Mr. Mutu had been slated to make his Broadway debut in Rebecca -- a musical based on the Daphne DuMaurier novel and Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name -- until that production became mired in a phony investor scandal.  Dr. Zhivago, which began life at LaJolla in 2006 before a revised Australian production in 2010, will begin Broadway previews on March 27th in advance of an April 21st opening.