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Broadway News/Blog Round Up #21

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since last week, so make sure you keep up to date!

  • Besides the American Idiot drama, there has been some cast announcements.  Most exciting is that Laura Benanti joins the cast of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Check out the Lincoln Center website here. Can’t believe it starts previews in two months! I’ll be there! (See above, the Broadway cast poster.) Here’s the wiki page.
  • BroadwayWorld TV’s Los Angeles correspondent Michael Sterling, got up close and personal today with the cast of RENT at rehearsals for the Hollywood Bowl presentation of the groundbreaking musical August 6 through 8, 2010. Watch the video here. I would love to drive down and see this if I wasn’t performing in RENT this weekend at City Lights Theatre Company.
  • Frank Wildhorn’s new musical, Wonderland is headed to Broadway in the Spring. Directed by Gregory Boyd — the artistic director of the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX — the new musical will officially open on Broadway April 17, 2011. You can hear a bunch of the songs here.

Broadway Blog Round Up:

  • Steve on Broadway – A great review of Harry Connick Jr.’s concert on Broadway. If you missed, don’t fear, “While this concert gig closed on Saturday, my performance was filmed, presumably for television. So you’ll likely have a chance to see exactly what I saw sometime in the near future.”
  • Stage Notes – Check out this picturesque post about Idina Menzel in concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. They said it was the “perfect evening under the stars.” Wish I was there!
  • Musicals in LA – Have you heard about Robin and the 7 Hoods? If not, check out this review. We are hearing reports that it might be headed to Broadway.
  • JK Theatre Scene – A very interesting point of view on how theatre has changed with the invention of the internet… very interesting post. Read it and comment!
  • Gratuitous Violins - Have you been to Joe’s Pub? Esther hadn’t and she loved it. I love Joe’s Pub! It’s such a fantastic intimate venue. She mentions that you should check out the Broadway Impact concert in August at Joe’s Pub. I tend to definitely agree with her! (Plus, her blog’s new look is quite awesome! Congrats on the update!)
  • Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals – Caggiano is back, snarky as ever – this time about Catherine Zeta Jones and her Tony Award. But the best part of this post, is that he loved the new cast in A Little Night Music which just makes me ecstatic that I’m going to be able to see this in October with such an epic cast!
  • Chicago Theatre Blog – A very interesting 2-star review of the pop musical, Bare.

What was your favorite Broadway news story this week? Any great Broadway blogs that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!

 
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Posted by on 08/04/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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Broadway News/Blog Round Up #20

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since last week, so make sure you keep up to date!

Broadway News:

  • Come Fly Away – the new Twyla Thorp musical – is closing on September 5th, 2010, only after 187 performances. I didn’t get a chance to see this one, but frankly I’m not that sad that I missed it. More info, here. Here’s a great speculation: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert has the theatre. Catch Me If You Can is going into the Simon, and Sister Act is between the Broadway and the St. James, with American Idiot looking to transfer to the Walter Kerr or Nederlander.” I said that American Idiot should transfer to the Nederlander this morning! We’ll see if it actually happens.
  • Sondheim on Sondheim has been given a cast recording that is out on August 10th. You can hear a few samples here. I’m interested in hearing this CD since I missed this show!
  • Diana DeGarmo will be heading out on tour with the cast of 9 to 5. I’ve actually never seen DeGarmo live. Is she all that she’s hyped up to be? Curious.


Broadway Blog Round Up:

  • Adventures in the Endless Pursuit of Entertainment: She announces The York Theatre’s season which includes the Broadway musical, Coco. A dear friend of mine, Dottie Lester-White was a chorus girl in the original production and has a great story about running into Ms. Hepburn back stage. I hope I can catch this one!
  • Chicago Theatre Blog: Shrek, the musical opened in Chicago to great reviews. Chicago Theatre Blog called it “immensely entertaining”.  I call it, “Why the hell did this become a musical??”
  • Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals: Caggiano talks about his theatre obsessions. And I thought I was the only one that was obsessive at the theatre. I always take at least three playbills. One goes into the Playbill binder (with the ticket), the second gets it’s cover taken off and laminated and hung in my classroom and the third goes into a box for safety. Yes, there are others out there that are OCD!
  • Gratuitous Violins: A great review of La Cage Aux Folles. Yet another person who loved this revival! I’m planning on seeing this at the beginning of October! I can’t wait.
  • JK’s Theatre Scene: Best of the Decade: The Best Musicals, #4: Movin’ Out. Seriously, Movin’ Out is #4? Really? I liked it and all, but it definitely would not be even close to hitting in my top 10 best musicals of the decade.
  • Pataphysical Science: Check out this post to be introduced to the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Thanks for the great info! I had never heard about this particular festival.
  • Steve on Broadway: SOB says a fond farewell to Our Town.David Cromer‘s stunning revival has been nothing short of transcendent stage entertainment since it first arrived in New York City from Chicago in February 2009.” I wish I could have seen this!
  • The Producer’s Perspective: He poses the question, “Perhaps our two industries (theatre & restaurants) could join together to help fill more of each other’s empty stomachs and empty seats.” I agreed and commented. Check it out.

Until next week…

 
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Posted by on 07/28/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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Broadway Blog Round Up #19

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! Okay, okay, okay… it’s been a LONG time since I did this! First, I was choreographing/directing The Wedding Singer at my high school I teach at (which was a sold-out smash success) and then I went to London to see a bunch of shows in June and then I’m currently playing Mark in City Light Theatre Company’s production of RENT and that opens up this Saturday. To say, I’ve been busy is an understatement… but I haven’t forgotten! I’ll try to get you the news/blog round-up each week now!

Broadway Blogs:

  • The Mile High Critics: They give us the low-down on everything that’s happening in the Denver theatre scene. Make sure you check out this post to see who won The Henry Awards.
  • Stage Notes: This theatre geek just saw the Chicago production of Billy Elliot and I was really excited to hear about Emily Skinner, but apparently she was out when Stage Notes went and saw it. Overall impression: “…there was some sparkle that I’ve seen from the London and Broadway production that I didn’t see it here.” No sparkle? Uh oh!
  • Steve on Broadway: SOB is reporting about the new production of Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster that’s opening on Broadway on April 7th, 2010. I personally can’t wait for this production! He also comments on John Simon’s ridiculous quote, “The bloggers are the vermin of this society.”
  • The Andy Gram: The Andy Gram reviews the Off-Broadway of “The 39 Steps.” Theatreworks in Mountain View, CA will be producing this in the Spring. I don’t think anything will compare to the Broadway version.
  • Broadway Musical Blog: Everyone is talking about Barack Obama’s support of musical theatre and Broadway. Obama is quoted as saying “Now there’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music….It’s one of the few genres of music that can inspire the same passion in an eight-year-old that it can an 80-year-old.” Is this news? I’ve known this for AGES!
  • The Idiolect: There’s a great review of FDR that played at SJ Rep last week featuring Ed Asner. Though, I’m afraid, I’m not too sad about missing this one.
  • The Producer’s Perspective: Check out last week’s Broadway Grosses. Come Fly Away is at 47%. Eek! I fear that it’s gonna close before the end of the summer. Unfortunately, I didn’t think this one would last. Another low-performing play, Race has set it’s closing date for August 21st.
  • Chad Jones’ Theatre Dogs: If you haven’t seen Young Frankenstein in San Francisco, it closes on Sunday, July 25th 2010. Check out the review to see if you should secure your tickets! In summary: “But it is a generally pleasing, vintage-feeling show that makes audiences happy.”
  • West End Whingers: They reviewed Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory. “2 hours 40 minutes seems far too long and for once the blame can not be laid at the feet of Sir Trev. Either the piece is at fault or one must simply conclude that love only has enough aspects to it to fill one act.” It definitely sounds better than Paradise Found.
  • Adventures in the Endless Pursuit of Entertainment: Win a trip to Love, Loss and What I Wore in New York City. Very cool!
  • Another Music Blog: Do you love Hair? If you do… then you better pipe in and try to convince Tony that it’s a great musical, because he thinks otherwise! I’ve already weighed in, in the comments section.
  • Everything I Know I’ve Learned From Musicals: Even better, win two tickets to A Little Night Music but you better know some Broadway trivia!
  • Gratuitous Violins: “What do you do when the actor you came to see is out of the show? And are the producers obligated to tell you about the absence of a “name above the title” performer before you buy a ticket?” — Be sure to read the comments!
  • Pataphysical Science: Check this out for some great pictures of American Idiot performing in Central Park.

Until next week…

 

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Broadway News/Blog Round Up #18

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since we posted about Brian D’Arcy James starring in Next to Normal and American Idiot opening on Broadway.

  • Everyday Rapture released the new cast recording on Tuesday, digitally and in stores. You can check out some great photos on Broadwayworld.com. It opens on Broadway today, Thursday April, 29th. I’m super happy that Sherie Rene Scott gets this chance to shine on Broadway again! (Thank you, Megan for making that possible.)
  • Memphis is possibly becoming a movie musical. Really? I’m not happy about this one. There are so many other shows that I would rather see as a movie musical. But, I’m thinking – if done correctly – the movie could be much better than the Broadway version and maybe they’ll have time to fix that ridiculous ending. Or, it could just end up like the dismal, Nine. Thoughts?
  • Playbill.com interviewed Rebecca Naomi Jones (star of American Idiot) and found out that she wants Ben Fold’s music to be in a musical. Read some other great answers here.
  • Hunter Foster weighs in on this year’s Broadway season and talks about the lack of new Broadway scores. Interesting read.
  • Rumor Alert: Sutton Foster might be returning to Broadway next season in a new revival of Anything Goes. I’m really a fan of anything that Foster does, but I will say that “Sutton Foster/Cole Porter” combined seems like absolute bliss to me.
  • Last but not least, it’s Broadway Week with Regis & Kelly. More info on who’s performing, here.

Broadway Blog Round-Up:

  • Read all about Sarah B.’s adventures seeing a ton of Broadway shows, going to Sondheim’s birthday party and running to other fellow theatre bloggers in her “Catching up on some adventures…” post.
  • “Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals” finally weighed in on Next to Normal winning the Pulitzer Prize this year. “Is it possible for a show to be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize yet still espouse a viewpoint that I find questionable at best, dangerous at worst? Well, that’s free speech for ya. At the very least, Next to Normal provides the opportunity to create some dialog about the topic of mental illness.” Read and comment here.
  • Broadway Across America announced their next season in Boston and Gratuitous V covers the pros and cons about their decision. Read here.
  • Musicals in L.A. interviewed Erin Quill (Avenue Q) and talks about her new show, The Mikado Project.
  • Read Pataphysical Science’s view on American Idiot. She thought “Good Riddance” was cheesy. Do you agree? I don’t.
  • Stage Notes reviewed the new revival, Promises, Promises that’s starring Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth. She seems to agree with all of the critics: “Katie Finneran is the surprising break out star who comes out of nowhere in this story as Marge McDougal. She is hilarious! She’s a genius with physical comedy and we were in stitches with her every line. What a natural!”
  • “But one thing stands out above all else, that is that Stephen Sondheim is a prolific genius, the likes of whom we may never see again.” – The Andy Gram reviews Sondheim on Sondheim.
  • Steve on Broadway celebrated four different milestones: 1. 4th year SOB blog anniversary, 2. Saw 200 shows on Broadway, 3. Seeing all of this season’s Broadway shows and 4. Interviewed Alicia Silverstone – his first formal thespian interview. Read here.
  • The Producer’s Perspective writes a great post about the how Broadway houses sell their house tickets. I think there needs to be a change as well. I’ve stopped buying my tickets ahead of of time because I hate all of the extra fees. They are ridiculous.
  • Stage Rush interviews the understudy, Charlotte Maier, of God of Carnage. Funny thing: my costume designer for The Wedding Singer – the show I’m directing and choreographing at my school - is Maier’s sister-in-law. Don’t forget to watch Stage Rush’s  video of Green Day showing up to the performance and playing an encore number on the night Stage Rush went to review American Idiot.

New shows that are starting previews, opening  and/or closing on Broadway in the next couple weeks:

  • 4/28/10: Collected Stories (opening)
  • 4/29/10: Everyday Rapture (opening)
  • 5/04/10: TONY AWARD NOMINATIONS
  • 6/13/10: The 64th Tony Awards
  • 8/28/10: South Pacific (closing)

Until next week…

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 04/29/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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Broadway News Round Up #17

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since we posted about Catch Me if You Can and Addams Family.

Broadway Cast Poster

  • Playbill.com is reporting, “Brian d’Arcy James, who created the role of Dan Goodman in the original Off-Broadway production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal at Second Stage, will return to that musical on Broadway in May.” This just gives me another reason to revisit this show the next time I’m in New York. I think I can say for everyone, “Welcome Back!”
  • Rumor Alert: “Gwyneth Paltrow and her real-life mother, Blythe Danner, are being looked at as possible replacements for Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music, once the pair complete their run in the Sondheim revival after the Tony Awards in June.” (Via Broadwayworld.com) This would be an amazing replacement, if in fact, Paltrow can sing. I’d definitely buy a ticket for it!
  • Theatrefan555 posted a very interesting question on Broadwayworld.com: “If you see theatre with industry comps then…” Read more about this here.
  • The reviews have come in about Girlfriend – Berkeley Rep’s new two-person musical. You can read The Broadway Critic’s review here. There is also some more chatter about this on All That Chat.
  • American Idiot opened on Broadway on 4/20 (coincidental, I doubt it) and La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway on 4/18. Both opened to stellar reviews! Read American Idiot reviews here and La Cage aux Folles reviews here. I have a feeling, that both of these shows are front-runners at the Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Revival even though I want Finian’s Rainbow to win.
  • Photo Call: First look at Fences on Broadway.
  • Finally, “Sondheim on Sondheim, a unique musical that is part video documentary and part starry Broadway revue, opens at Studio 54 on April 22, offering the life story of Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim.” (via Playbill.com) Sondheim has had quite the year this year!
  • Last but not least, did anyone see a preview of Everyday Rapture yet? I’ve heard some mixed reviews on this one. Please comment and tell us what you think – inquiring minds want to know!

New shows that are starting previews and/or opening on Broadway in the next couple weeks:

  • 4/22/10: Sondheim on Sondheim (opening)
  • 4/25/10: Promises, Promises (opening)
  • 4/27/10: Enron (opening)
  • 4/28/10: Collected Stories (opening)
  • 4/29/10: Everyday Rapture (opening)
  • 5/04/10: TONY AWARD NOMINATIONS

Until next week…

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 04/22/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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Broadway News Round Up #16

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since we posted about Yank!, Hedwig & the Angry Inch, Dreamgirls and Little House on the Prairie.

  • Playbill.com is reporting that Catch Me If You Can is aiming for Broadway in Spring 2011. Already, it seems there’s going to be problems. Team members, Jerry Mitchell (choreographer) and Jack O’Brien (director) are double-booked. Love Never Dies, which they are both working on, has pushed back their opening date to Spring 2011 as well. So, how are they going to be doing two shows at once? Someone has got to give. I wonder where they are gonna end up. Both shows had mixed reviews so I don’t think there’s a clear answer there. (I heard a recording of CMIYC and had to turn it off, because it was so bad.) Maybe they should scratch both projects and work on something else. Both seem to be a bit of a disaster.
  • Addams Family is opening tonight, April 8th 2010. Did you see their performance on Letterman? It was cute and fun but I’m not totally sold that I could sit through 2 hours of that. Looking forward to seeing the reviews that come out tonight.
  • Apparently, Andrew Lloyd Weber fears bloggers (like me)! And, frankly he should. I’m tired of people complaining that they need previews to make the show “work”. If you are truly working on the piece and don’t want people to review it as the “final” production, then don’t charge up the butt for tickets. Yes, I know it’s pricey to produce a musical, and yes somethings just need tweaking, but it’s 2010 – the internet isn’t a new invention. Welcome to 2010, Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber. “I dread to think what anybody would have said about the first preview of Cats or, frankly, Les Misérables, which was a huge undertaking and wasn’t right at the beginning,” he said. I dread just thinking about what it was like to sit through a first preview of Cats – what a disaster.
  • A Little Night Music cast recording was released this past Tuesday. I posted a little preview of Catherine Zeta-Jones singing “Send in the Clowns”. I asked whether or not anyone liked the dialogue on the cast recording. I honestly hate it. It bothers me that I have to wait through two minutes of dialogue before I actually get to hear Zeta-Jones sing. Why couldn’t they have made them separate tracks? That way, if you want to listen to the entire script you can, and the days you just want music you could just listen to music tracks. There’s all sorts of opinions on Broadwayworld.com. Make sure you enter to win a copy!
  • Everyone is excited about the new production of Anyone Can Whistle at City Encores this weekend. I can’t wait to hear the buzz!
  • Last night, Duncan Sheik (composer of Spring Awakening and Whisper House) started a three-night engagement with the San Francisco Symphony. I’ll be there on Saturday night.
  • It seems that Million Dollar Quartet has a million different lawsuits. What a mess! The Missus saw this show and after was approached by one of the producers who asked her what she thought about it. She honestly replied, “Meh! It was okay, I guess.” Twenty minutes later, the producer got an ear full about the lack of plot, character inconsistencies and general boredom. I hope he does something with that information.

New shows that are starting previews and/or opening on Broadway in the next couple weeks:

  • 4/08/10: Addams Family (opening)
  • 4/08/10: Enron (opening)
  • 4/11/10: Million Dollar Quartet (opening)
  • 4/18/10: La Cage aux Folles (opening)
  • 4/20/10: American Idiot (opening)
  • 4/22/10: Sondheim on Sondheim (opening)
  • 4/25/10: Promises, Promises (opening)

Until next week…

 
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Posted by on 04/08/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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Broadway News Round Up #14

Each week, The Broadway Critic will be featuring the news that you don’t want to miss! A lot has happened since we posted about Addams Family starting previews and Fela! transferring to London.

  • The idiots have started previews on Broadway!! The soundcheck sounded phenomenal and looked like everyone was rocking out. (Check it out, here!) Of course, you can read my review of American Idiot at Berkeley Rep, here. There is so much buzz around this show, that Tom Hanks is in talks to direct a movie version of the musical – pretty amazing if you ask me. MTV.com wants to cast Penn Badgley as the Will, Liam Hensworth as Tunny and Shia LeBouf as Johnny. Seriously, who’s writing that crap? Have they even seen the show? I’m all for making a movie, but they better use some real singers, or they are gonna end up with another Nine or Mamma Mia.
  • Come Fly Away opens tonight, Friday, March 25th at the Marquis Theatre. I’ve heard very mixed things about this show so far. One friend loved it and others have hated it. Blogger, Chris Caggiano absolutely hated it. He tweeted, “… [it's] tedious. 4 interchangeable couples. No real story. Generic dance. Producers know but fear Twyla.” If I can get cheap tickets, I’ll keep an open mind on this one, but I don’t plan on spending a lot.
  • This video doesn’t make me want to see All About Me at all. I think their intentions are to “sell” the show, but I don’t think it’s that funny. Am I missing something?
  • More London transfers: Arthur Laurents is in talks to direct Gypsy with Patti LuPone. Apparently, LuPone is Laurents’ favorite Mama Rose. (Poor Bette!) You can read the full interview on Out.com. In other LuPone news: she’s hosting the Drama Desk Awards.
  • People are already talking about this year’s Tony Awards. The consensus is that Angela Lansbury will be winning her 6th Tony for her role in A Little Night Music. Everything else seems up in the air. I’m gonna say that either Fela! or American Idiot will win (depending on what critics say about American Idiot). Do you have any favorites or shoe-ins?
  • Happy Birthday to Andrew Lloyd Weber and Stephen Sondheim. Sondheim got the best birthday present ever: the Henry Miller Theatre is now the new Stephen Sondheim theatre. Pretty awesome 80th birthday present if you ask me.
  • Oh, and just so you know… my rumor about Alice Ripley wanting to go on tour with Next to Normal and transferring to London is true. There hasn’t been any contracts signed, but the negotiations are in process.

A bunch of new shows are starting previews & opening on Broadway in the next couple weeks:

  • 3/24/10: American Idiot (previews)
  • 3/25/10: Come Fly Away (opening)
  • 3/28/10: Promises, Promises (previews)
  • 4/01/10: Red (opening)
  • 4/04/10: Lead me a Tenor (opening)
  • 4/06/10: La Cage aux Folles (previews)
  • 4/11/10: Million Dollar Quartet (opening)

Until next week…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 03/25/2010 in Broadway, News

 

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