Archive for February, 2010
Perhaps because real Broadway news has been slow this week, the rumor mill has been active circulating rumors about new shows.
First – the New York Post reported that the New York Theatre Barn is wooing Lea Michele for a new musical based on the real-life attempts of a high school in Texas to produce Rent. The show, called Speargrove Presents, has a role written for her, but with her Glee filming schedule, taking time out to star in a non-profit’s musical just may not be in the cards. That said, she has been a fan of the Theatre Barn for years. I’m waiting to see whether any other names come on board for the project. Until they do – they can pine for her all they want – were I her agent, I’d tell her to politely decline.
Also rumored, this time by Variety, is that the Jeff Buckley jukebox musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet called The Last Goodbye is eyeing a Broadway premiere during the 2010-11 season. A concert version of the show was presented this past May at Joe’s Pub with a cast that included Kelli Barrett (The Royal Family, Rock of Ages) and Theo Stockman (Hair, American Idiot). After doing a workshop at Gotham and an out-of-town tryout somewhere yet-to-be announced, they’re hoping to hit the Great White Way. Anyone catch the Joe’s Pub performance? I think this show could either be really good, or do a big old flop.
In other news….
The Matt Stone and Trey Parker Morman Musical, starring Cheyenne Jackson, will officially make an appearance Off-Broadway in the 2009-10 season. I am so on board with this show.
The Lion King officially became the 8th longest show in Broadway history, surpassing Rent, which previously held that position. Julie Taymor’s brilliant puppetry combined with a large Disney budget made this wonderful movie into a truly unique stage experience – and one that just keeps rolling along…
Speaking of Julie Taymor – the now $45 million dollar production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark that was supposed to start previews earlier this month under her direction – “will open before the end of the year” according to U2’s the Edge. They’ve already run into hurdle after hurdle, found an entirely new set of producers, and returned money to those excited fans who bought their tickets months in advance. I really want to think the best of this production, but have to admit, I’ve grown wary. So, the Edge: Thank you for trying to inspire confidence, and I hope for the sake of those who gave you all the $45 million you’ve already spent, that you do, in fact, go up before the end of the year, but I have to tell you – I’ll not be holding my breath.
In West End news – Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Trevor Nunn will direct Aspects of Love, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical for the Menier Chocolate Factory this summer. This wonderful theatre has contributed a lot to Broadway in recent years (Sunday in the Park with George, La Cage aux Folles, A Little Night Music), so if its a successful revival over there – it’s likely to make its way across the Pacific.
And finally in other redo moves – Variety is reporting that Karen McCulluh and Kirsten Smith, the writers of the film Legally Blonde, are set to create a big screen remake of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The film will be produced by Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, of the “Twilight” franchise. First of all – why redo it? Secondly – what a weird assortment of people. I can only hope this new version will feature vampire prostitutes with chihuahuas!
New tribe members for Broadway’s Hair include Spring Awakening’s Kyle Riabko and American Idol favorites Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo!
With the majority of the original Broadway cast headed to London’s Gielgud Theatre, producers held a huge casting call for new Broadway tribe members.
Today, they’ve announced that Kyle Riabko (Spring Awakening) and American Idol favorites Ace Young (Grease) and Diana DeGarmo (The Toxic Avenger, Hairspray) will play Claude, Berger and Sheila when the new cast takes over on March 9.
They will be joined by Annaleigh Ashford, Jeannette Bayardelle, Vanessa Ray, Wallace Smith and Jason Wooten and an ensemble that includes Justin Badger, Nicholas Belton, Larkin Bogan, Natalie Bradshaw, Catherine Brookman, Brianna Carlson-Goodman, Antwayn Hopper, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Rachel Bay Jones, Mykal Kilgore, Josh Lamon, Nicole Lewis, Anastacia McClesky, Paris Remillard, Armender Robinson, Kate Rockwell, Cailan Rose, Rashidra Scott and Jen Sese.
What do you think of the new cast?
The West End’s Olivier Awards nominations are out and lots of trans-Pacific transfers are on the list, including the Broadway transfer of Spring Awakening, now on the West End, and the West-End transfers of A Little Night Music and Billy Elliot, now on Broadway.
The official awards ceremony took place on March 21. Here are the categories that include musicals (winners are marked with a ):
BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL
BEST NEW MUSICAL
DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL OR ENTERTAINMENT
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL OR ENTERTAINMENT
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL OR ENTERTAINMENT
BEST THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
BURNT BY THE SUN, Mark Henderson
ENRON, Mark Henderson
SPRING AWAKENING, Kevin Adams
THREE DAYS OF RAIN, Jon Clark
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT- THE MUSICAL, Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner
HELLO DOLLY!, Peter McKintosh
MADAME DE SADE, Christopher Oram
THE MISANTHROPE, Amy Roberts
BEST SOUND DESIGN
SPRING AWAKENING, Brian Ronan
EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR, Christopher Shutt
JERUSALEM, Ian Dickinson
MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, Andrew Bruce and Nick Lidster
THE AUDIENCE AWARD FOR MOST POPULAR SHOW
The West End transfer of La Cage Aux Folles, which opens April 18 at the Longacre Theater, previously announced its headliners Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge.
Today, producers have added some additional names to the cast list, including: Tony Award nominees Veanne Cox (Company) and Robin de Jesus (In the Heights), Christine Andreas (Oklahoma!), A.J. Shively, Elena Shaddow (Nine), Chris Hoch (Shrek), Heather Lindell (Hairspray), Bill Nolte (The Secret Garden, Joseph, 1776), David Nathan Perlow, and Nick Adams (Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line).
You’ve seen the artwork. How do you think the show is going to be received by theater-goers?
A new Fiyero and returning Emile, N2N officially touring, Sister Act transferring, Finian’s and Vanities albums released
Broadway Casting Changes:
David Pittsinger returns to the role of Emile de Becque in the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific today.
Next to Normal will officially tour the United States next year. The only venue that has been announced to date is San Diego’s Balboa Theatre; stay tuned to the blog for further announcements.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act, which has been setting records on the West End, is officially heading to Broadway in 2011. No details have yet been released, but it looks like Goldberg will transfer with the production when it makes the move to the states.
Cast Albums Released Today:
According to Variety, Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) has been tapped to write 80s-style music and lyrics for an adaptation of the book and film, American Psycho, alongside librettist Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
No cast or creatives have yet been announced, as the project is still in its infancy and Sheik is still busy preparing Whisper House for Broadway, but the project is already generating a lot of excitement…
What do you think? Is there an audience for something like this?