The Broadway Musical Blog – Musical theater news and gossip from the Great White Way

Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (broadwaymusicalhome.com), a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for April, 2011

The Reviews for The People in the Picture are in…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

“When Donna Murphy time travels, she packs light. A pair of glasses, a shawl, maybe some lipstick: that’s all this chameleon actress requires to step over the chasm that divides two chapters of one woman’s life in “The People in the Picture,” a sincere and queasy new musical about mother love, Yiddish theater and the Holocaust that opened on Thursday night at Studio 54. “

Click here to read the full “The People In The Picture” review.

BACKSTAGE REVIEW:

“The enormous gilt frame that greets theatergoers as they enter Studio 54 for Roundabout Theater Company’s new musical “The People in the Picture” should give them an indication of the evening ahead—too big, too ornate, just too much. Another clue would be the name of the book writer and lyricist: Iris Rainer Dart.”

Click here to read the full “The People In The Picture” review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW:

“The Bottom Line: Donna Murphy’s customary poise and humor bring some unifying force to a tonally discordant show heavy on clichés. “

Click here to read the full “The People In The Picture” review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

“Other than the creation of the State of Israel, the greatest and most profound reaction to The Holocaust has been the extraordinary outpouring of art that has attempted to come to terms with this horrible event, from The Diary of Anne Frank to Cabaret to Schindler’s List.”

Click here to read the full “The People In The Picture” review.

ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW:

“Donna Murphy often gets compared to Meryl Streep. Now the two-time Tony Award winner is getting to do her own “Sophie’s Choice.””

Click here to read the full “The People In The Picture” review.

The Reviews for Baby It’s You are In…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

“Mama said there’ll be shows like this. But she didn’t tell me there would be quite so many, or that any one of them could be this dismal.”

Click here to read the full “Baby It’s You” review.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW:

“It is almost eerily fitting that Baby It’s You should be playing at the Broadhurst Theatre. That places it opposite Rock of Ages (which, like Baby It’s You, is a jukebox musical) and next to Memphis (which, like Baby It’s You, is a story set in the early days of the pop business with a mixed-race love story at its center).”

Click here to read the full “Baby It’s You” review.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW:

“Oh, the wretched unfairness of it all. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons get a thrilling jukebox celebration. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis at least had their music treated with respect and artistry. But the Shirelles, one of the greatest girl groups of all time (heck, they were covered by the Beatles), get a show of such total ineptitude and cynical profiteering that your mouth pretty much dangles open in disbelief for the duration of the entire tawdry proceedings. “Baby It’s You” makes “Million Dollar Quartet” look like “Three Sisters.””

Click here to read the full “Baby It’s You” review.

NEWSDAY REVIEW:

“When a short-lived 1985 bio-revue called “Leader of the Pack” used hits from the early ’60s to trace the pop-producing/composing career of a Brooklyn woman named Ellie Greenwich, we didn’t even have a term for jukebox musical.”

Click here to read the full “Baby It’s You” review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

“Baby It’s You, the sporadically entertaining new jukebox musical now at Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre, mines the song catalog of the The Shirelles — as well as other big hits of the late 1950s and the early 1960s — as the musical tells the story of Florence Greenberg (Beth Leavel), the New Jersey housewife who discovered the girl group. “

Click here to read the full “Baby It’s You” review.

The Reviews for Sister Act are In…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

“When the wimples start quivering, the pinched mouths break into sunbeam smiles, and the nuns start rocking to raise the Gothic rafters, all’s right in the kingdom of musical comedy at “Sister Act.” Who could resist the vision of a stage full of saintly sisters flaring their gams in unison like the Rockettes, or swiveling their hips, Supremes style, to the silken beat of an R&B tune? Presumably nobody in the audience at the Broadway Theater, where this latest stage adaptation of a hit movie opened on Wednesday night. “

Click here to read the full “Sister Act” review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW:

“The Bottom Line: Whoopi Goldberg’s absence is felt, but this bouncy musical eventually gets into the habit in a good way. “

Click here to read the full “Sister Act” review.

AM NEW YORK REVIEW:

“This has not been a great season for Broadway musicals based on movies. “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” was a total bust, and “Catch Me If You Can” was a disappointment, too.”

Click here to read the full “Sister Act” review.

VARIETY REVIEW:

“Whoopi Goldberg looms large over the new musical comedy “Sister Act,” and that’s part of the problem. While she co-produced, Goldberg isn’t onstage, and the outsized sense of hilarity mixed with humanity she brought to the 1992 motion picture is sorely missed. Patina Miller makes an altogether impressive Broadway debut as diva-on-the-run Deloris Van Cartier, singing up a veritable storm, but the decision to plaster Goldberg’s name on numerous signs outside the theater raises comparisons that flatter neither Miller nor this garish production.”

Click here to read the full “Sister Act” review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

“There’s a lot of fun to be had at Sister Act, the new musical at the Broadway Theatre, based upon the 1992 movie of the same name, which has arrived in New York having undergone a number of changes since its recent London mounting. “

Click here to read the full “Sister Act” review.

The Reviews for Wonderland are in…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

“If only little Alice, dozing away on the riverbank before sliding down the rabbit hole, had an inkling of the deeper import of the zany adventures that were to come. All those talking animals, querulous playing cards and animated chess pieces were not just peculiar, slightly menacing playmates, according to the new Broadway musical “Wonderland.” “

Click here to read the full “Wonderland” review.

BACKSTAGE REVIEW:

“If you put the script of “The Wiz,” a self-help book, every pop tune of the past 10 years, and some lame jokes about easy targets like the Tea Party and Disney into a blender, the result might resemble the gloppy mess on stage at the Marquis Theatre. “

Click here to read the full “Wonderland” review.

VARIETY REVIEW:

“There is a distinct lack of wonder in “Wonderland,” the new Frank Wildhorn musical at the Marquis. Unless one was to wonder how a big, Broadway musical based on Lewis Carroll’s wildly inventive and delectably fantastical characters can be so utterly devoid of the aforementioned elements. Or to wonder why — after a full-scale 2009 presentation in Tampa Bay and Houston — the producers saw fit to remount this less-than-scintillating, $15 million tuner on Broadway. “

Click here to read the full “Wonderland” review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

“There’s little rhyme or reason to Wonderland, the splashy, high-tech new musical extravaganza now playing at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre. Given that the show is a contemporary variant on Lewis Carroll’s fantastical stories about Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass, this may seem like a compliment. But, unlike these deliberately crafted classics, there’s nothing precise or controlled about this show’s randomness. “

Click here to read the full “Wonderland” review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW:

“The Bottom Line: What’s curious and curiouser is how this tedious mess ever made it to Broadway. “

Click here to read the full “Wonderland” review.

The Reviews for Catch Me If You Can are In…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

“As befits a lad of the 1960s with a talent for smooth come-ons, Frank Abagnale Jr. prefaces the story of his life with the promise that it will have “more curves than a Playboy bunny.” But as presented in the new musical “Catch Me if You Can,” which opened Sunday night at the Neil Simon Theater, this portrait of the con artist as a young man (portrayed by Aaron Tveit) seems to consist mostly of straight lines, like the kind you use to connect the dots in picture puzzles. “

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW

“New Broadway shows this spring are lousy with cads. There’s J. Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Harry Brock in “Born Yesterday” and pretty much all the dudes in “That Championship Season.” With the hero of “Catch Me If You Can,” add one more scoundrel.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

VARIETY REVIEW

“In “Catch Me If You Can” — the new musical based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks — teenaged conman Frank Abagnale Jr. recounts his daring escapades in the format of a 1960s TV spectacular; each step in crime is shown as a perky-but-flat variety-show production number. That’s the conceit of the new tuner, and the problem as well. Impressive star performances from Norbert Leo Butz and Aaron Tveit, a lively production, the best sounding new music currently on Broadway — all built around a succession of glossily frenetic, non-compelling production numbers.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW

“The Bottom Line: This musical adaptation of the Steven Spielberg film scores on showmanship but shortchanges its lead character. “

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

NEWSDAY REVIEW

“News that the guys from “Hairspray” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” were making a musical based on the movie “Catch Me If You Can” raised a couple of intriguing — also daunting — questions. How? And why?”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

AM NEW YORK REVIEW

“”Catch Me If You Can,” the eagerly anticipated Broadway musical based on the breezy 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio film, is a product of essentially the same creative team behind the mega-hit “Hairspray.” It’s even playing in the same theater as “Hairspray” and shares an early 1960s setting.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW

“The key to turning “Catch Me If You Can” into a Broadway musical was within the very title of the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie that served as the source. It encapsulates the thrill of the chase, a quality sadly lacking in the show that opened Sunday night at the Neil Simon Theatre. And it conveys the slippery charm of the lovable trickster rogue — in this case, Frank Abagnale Jr., the youthful master forger of those predigital swinging ’60s, a guy who fooled banks and airlines but was eventually brought down by his own need for love.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

The Reviews for Anything Goes are in…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

“Who needs a brass section when you’ve got Sutton Foster? As the nightclub evangelist Reno Sweeney in the zesty new revival of “Anything Goes,” which opened on Thursday night at the Stephen Sondheim Theater, Ms. Foster has the voice of a trumpet and a big, gleaming presence that floods the house. When she leads the show-stopping “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” you figure that if no horn-tooting archangel appears, it’s only because he’s afraid of the competition. “

Click here to read the full “Anything Goes” review.

VARIETY REVIEW

“Why, one wonders, should Roundabout see fit to trot out “Anything Goes,” the frequently produced 1934 musical chestnut? Turns out it has a compelling reason: Sutton Foster. She doesn’t just deliver those Cole Porter hits, she knocks ‘em out of the park. Joel Grey gives his happiest performance in years as Public Enemy #13, and director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall has a field day, outdoing herself with several rousing dance numbers. This new “Anything Goes” is a daffy, shipshape romp.”

Click here to read the full “Anything Goes” review.

NEWSDAY REVIEW

“Ethel Merman used to say that “Anything Goes” was about “a girl on a boat.” And that’s pretty much the whole deal, except for the other girls, the guys and the fact that the boat is a deco ocean liner stocked with nonstop Cole Porter standards, standard-issue mistaken-identity convolutions and the usual bunch of ’30s musical-comedy mugs.”

Click here to read the full “Anything Goes” review.

AM NEW YORK REVIEW

“Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” widely considered the definitive musical comedy of the 1930s, is a giddy explosion of escapist romance, combining old-fashioned farce, extended dance breaks and light, breezy songs.”

Click here to read the full “Anything Goes” review.

THEATERMANIA REVIEW

“Over the last decade, no leading lady has wowed innumerable audiences with her silvery voice and eager charm more than Sutton Foster. Now, as sassy evangelist-cum-nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, the Tony Award-winning star is simply scintillating in Kathleen Marshall’s highly rousing revival of Anything Goes, now being revived by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. “

Click here to read the full “Anything Goes” review.

WALL STREET JOURNAL REVIEW

“Sutton Foster is a star without a sky. Like Kristin Chenoweth, she is a natural-born performer of good old-fashioned musical comedy who lives in an age when good old-fashioned musical comedies are no longer being written. A wholesome beauty with a voice as warm as summer sunshine, Ms. Foster has to date starred in only one first-rate show, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and until now she’d never appeared in a Broadway revival of a classic musical. The Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, isn’t exactly that, nor is the show quite right for Ms. Foster, but her performance is so full of zowie as to overcome all possible objections. If she weren’t already a star, this “Anything Goes” would make her one.”

Click here to read the full “Anything Goes” review.

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