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 Eyeing Broadway

Debuting Broadway Hopefuls

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There are a number of fantastic new musicals opening around the world that we can only hope soon make their way to the Great White Way. None of these shows have officially announced Broadway runs…yet, but boy are folks buzzing about them!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (West End)

A Sam Mendes production starring Douglas Hodge (La Cage Aux Folles, Cyrano) with music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Hairspray, Smash), with a book by David Greig (The Bacchae, Tintin In Tibet).

Disney’s The Jungle Book (Chicago)

Mary Zimmerman (Metamorphasis) has re-imagined the animated film and original book by Kipling, with new songs by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, arrangements by Doug Peck and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (Newsies, Godspell, South Pacific).

King Kong (Australia)

The most exciting element of this production is the giant puppet that plays King Kong – the largest ever created for the stage! Directed by Daniel Kramer with a book and lyrics by Craig Lucas (Marry Me A Little, The Light in the Piazza) and music/arrangements by Marius de Vries (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet), with additional contributions by Stephen Pavlovic from Modular People.

Secondhand Lions (Seattle)

A new musical based on the movie of the same name, directed by Scott Schwartz (Jane Eyre), with a book by Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains) and a score by songwriters Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary (First Date).

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (Los Angeles)

Inspired by the album from Grammy-winning band The Flaming Lips, this Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar) directed production features glowing LED costumes, projections and a 14-foot robot puppet.

Awards Roundup and New Shows on the Horizon

Kerry Ingram in Matilda the Musical

All of the nominations are out for the various awards, with most expecting Matilda and Kinky Boots to take home the big prizes this year. It’s always surprising to see flops, like Hands on a Hardbody (which closed after only 28 performances) and Scandalous (which closed after 29) make the lists at all, but there will be a lot of close categories this year. (For a full list of all nominees for all of the various awards, click here.)

Here’s when all of the award ceremonies will take place:

Tony Awards: June 9, 8pm EST
Drama Desk Awards: May 19, 8pm EST
Drama League Awards: May 17, 12pm EST
Outer Critics Circle: Announced May 13
(NOTE: The Theatre World Awards have yet to announce dates…)

And all of the nominated shows…

ChaplinHands on a HardbodyMatildaPippinKinky BootsA Christmas StoryCinderellaAnnieMystery of Edwin DroodMotownBring It OnScandalous

But enough awards talk, on to exciting NEW things!

first

First up is one that is confirmed (and already marquee’d) for Broadway: First Date – a new musical about a horrible blind date. It’s slated to begin previews July 9 and open August 4. The show played well to the Seattle crowd and is still undergoing more changes before hitting, the Great White Way – seems a bit better suited for Off-Broadway, but who knows, maybe it’ll be next season’s runaway hit…

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The other confirmed musical is Big Fish, an adaptation of the film that’ll star the oh-so-talented Norbert Leo Butz and Kate Baldwin. With Susan Stroman at the helm, there are a lot of big names attached to the project, which is now doing it’s out of town try out in Chicago, so it’s likely going to be a difficult investment to recoup.

patsy-cline-poster

Next up is Always… Patsy Cline, a jukebox musical telling the story of Patsy’s life through the eyes of her most devoted fan. Motown is still doing well box-office-wise, so the jukebox musical isn’t likely to die anytime soon. We’ll see if Patsy’s songs can fare better than some of the more recent attempts in this genre.

PrinceJM200

Prince of Broadway is another jukebox musical looking to open in the fall – celebrating the shows Hal Prince helped make into the big hits they were, this musical will have a bit more self-awareness than other jukebox musicals and a fantastic cast, including: Linda Lavin, Sebastian Arcelus, Sierra Boggess, Daniel Breaker, Josh Grisetti, Shuler Hensley, Richard Kind, Amanda Kloots-Larsen, LaChanze, Caroline O’Connor, David Pittu and Emily Skinner. But apparently that cast is part of the reason the show didn’t open when it was originally slated to do so. Will this one end never making it to opening night? We’ll just have to wait and see…

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Then we’ve got Diner, with Sheryl Crow penning the score and lyrics and Barry Levinson, the film’s director and writer on the book. Bosting an Academy Award, Emmy Award and Grammy Award between them, this pair is hoping to add some Tony’s to their shelf too.

Beyond that are a number of shows that have tentative and out-of-town announcements, including:

Rocky: The Musical (a German transfer based on the film and directed by Alex Timbers)
Houdini (with music by Stephen Schwartz and starring Hugh Jackman)
Ever After (based on the film and directed by Kathleen Marshall)
Bullets Over Broadway (based on the film and directed by  Susan Stroman)
Les Miserables (with fresh scenic and narrative elements and new orchestrations)
Aladdin (based on the Disney film and directed by Casey Nicholaw)

Some exciting stuff in there…hopefully they all make it to Broadway!

What are you most looking forward to seeing?

We’ll have more news on the way soon (plus some giveaways!), so if you haven’t already – be sure to bookmark, subscribe via rss or sign up for email updates of the blog!

A look at the musicals eyeing 2012-13 Broadway runs…

Now that this season is officially over, we thought it worth taking a look at the shows who have announced Broadway runs for the 2012-13 season.

First up is an adaptation of Bring It On with music by Tom Kit of Next to Normal and Lin-Manuel Miranda of In the Heights. This show has been touring the country after opening to so-so reviews in Los Angeles, making changes in preparation for its Broadway run. Likened to Lysistrata Jones, which only enjoyed a limited run on Broadway and Legally Blonde, a film adaptation that lived a much longer Broadway life, the show is hoping to avoid the pitfalls other recent film adaptations, like Leap of Faith, have seen. Can the stage version find more depth than the silly film it was based on? We’ll just have to wait and see…

And then we have Ever After, another film adaptation with book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich, who you might know because of the songs “Taylor the Latte Boy,” made famous by Kristin Chenoweth, and “Alto’s Lament,” a song about an alto who longs to sing the melody. The musical was first set to open in San Francisco in 2009, but was indefinitely postponed for undisclosed reasons. It’s now set to hit Broadway in the 2012-13 season, directed by Kathleen Marshall, who’s got three Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards in her den and nominations for direction and choreography for this season’s Nice Work if You Can Get It. Think the talent be enough to turn the movie into a solid musical? And will it be too similar to another show eyeing a Broadway run…

Cinderella, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which was originally telecast in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, but never enjoyed a Broadway run, is getting a rewrite by Douglas Carter Beane of Xanadu and headed to Broadway next spring. Starring Laura Osnes, nominated for her portrayal of Bonnie in this season’s Bonnie & Clyde, the show has blockbuster promise. Will it play as well on stage as it did on television? We can only hope.

And then there’s a brand new musical – Chaplin – based on the silent film star adored and emulated by so many. Directed by Warren Carlyle, who was nominated for Drama Desk Awards for his direction of Finian’s Rainbow in 2009 and written by Christopher Curtis, a pianist who wrote the theme song to the film “The Break,” and Thomas Meehan, the Tony Award-winner who penned The Producers, Annie and Hairspray, many are excited to see something new on the menu of offerings.

One of Meehan’s best known hits, Annie, is also headed back to the Great White Way. The show’s original run in 1997 enjoyed an incredible 2,377 performances, will the new revival, directed by James Lapine of Into the Woods, Passion and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, do even better?

Another revival of a big hit is headed to Broadway. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, whose original run won five Tony Awards and had a cast starring Betty Buckley and featuring George Rose, Cleo Laine, John Herrera, Howard McGillin, Patti Cohenour, Jana Schneider, who were all nominated for 1986 Tony Awards for their performances, as well as Donna Murphy, Judy Kuhn and Rob Marshall who would all go on to celebrated careers in the theatre. This will be the show’s first Broadway revival and fans couldn’t be more thrilled to see if return. Chita Rivera is set to star and Scott Ellis to direct.

The final musical on the docket as of this writing is an international transfer of Rebecca, which premiered in Vienna, Austria in 2006 and ran for three years and has since been mounted in Finland, Japan and elsewhere. Set to hit Broadway in the fall of 2012 starring Karen Mason, Howard McGillin, James Barbour, Donna English, Nick Wyman, Henry Stram and co-directed by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello, the story made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s film has played very well to audiences elsewhere. What will Americans make of it?

An exciting mix of revivals, new works and adaptations await us in 2012-13 and more shows will be announced soon. What are you most excited about seeing next season?

April News Roundup

An awful lot has happened this month on the Great White Way – numerous shows have opened, squeezing in just in time for award consideration, and there’s been lots of exciting announcements and good old controversy. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s what you’ve missed:

The Addams Family opened to dismal reviews, while the critics ate up the La Cage Aux Folles revival and had mixed things to say about American Idiot, Million Dollar Quartet, Sondheim on Sondheim and Promises, Promises.

Everyday Rapture, the last minute Sherie Rene Scott showcase, opens tomorrow night and released a very fun cast recording pre-opening. The buzz so far is that those who love the woman will adore the production, while others may be left scratching their heads. We’ll see what the critics have to say tomorrow.

There’s quite a break before the next round of shows look to make their way to Broadway. The big official announcements are that Catch Me If You Can, which had an out-of-town-tryout last year in Seattle, is looking at a spring 2011 Broadway opening. However, Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell, who were involved in the Seattle mounting are already tied up in Phantom: Love Never Dies, which was pushed back to the spring in response to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s health problems, so everyone’s wondering which production they’ll stick with.

The other exciting spring openings are How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which will feature Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, The Book of Mormon, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q composer and co-creator Robert Lopez and the Australian/West End transfer of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, whose producers are reportedly talking to Matthew Cavanaugh (West Side Story) and Will Swenson (Hair) about joining Tony Sheldon in the production.

The doomed Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ran into another hiccup, when it’s only remaining headliner, Alan Cumming, bailed on the production. Originally slotted to open in the fall of last year, then in February of this year, the show now has no official start date or stars, save for the newcomer, Reeve Carney, who Taymor selected to play Spidey…

Plenty of rumors have popped up this month too. Rumor is that Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother Blythe Danner may be taking over for Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music, when they depart the production in June. And Disney acquired the domain names DumboOnBroadway.com and NewsiesOnBroadway.com. The Post already told us about a potential Dumbo mounting on Broadway, but the Newsies purchase has sparked some positive buzz among our Twitter and Facebook followers.

Another adaptation of film to the stage is officially in the works – as producer Matt Murphy has acquired the stage rights for a musical adaptation of Dances With Wolves. Murphy, who is pulling together a creative team now, is looking to team the composer “with a Native American musical expert to lend authenticity to the score.” And the NFL has invested in their first Broadway show, Lombardi, which will star Dan Lauria (“The Wonder Years”) and is slated to open at Circle in the Square on Oct. 21, 2010.

The biggest controversy this month was that Next to Normal took home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, even though it was not among the nominees. The board members are reputed to have attended the show the night before making their decision and Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times cried foul while others sat wondering “what’s with all the N2N hate?” The show did just recoup its investment – a very exciting achievement that many hope will help producers see they don’t have to rely on Hollywood stars and spectacle to make a success – a good show will get “butts in seats.”

In other award news, nominees for the Outer Critics Circle Awards and Drama League Awards have been announced. The Drama Desk nominees will be out on May 3rd and the Tony Award nominees on May 4th. Here’s when all of the award ceremonies will take place:

Drama League Awards: May 21, 2010
Drama Desk Awards: May 23, 2010
Outer Critics Circle Awards: May 27, 2010
Theatre World Awards: June 8, 2010
Tony Awards: June 13, 2010

Cast albums are out for Everyday Rapture, American Idiot and A Little Night Music and The Addams Family, Fela! and Memphis all recently went into the studio to record their own. The Off-Broadway (and suspected soon-to-transfer-to-Broadway) production of The Scottsboro Boys also ducked into the studio to record an album.

In casting news, Brian d’Arcy James, who originated the role of Dan in Next to Normal‘s original Off-Broadway run, will be rejoining the cast, this time on Broadway.  J. Robert Spencer leaves the show on May 16 and James will start his run in the show the following day.

And the final bit of excitement I’ll leave with you is official confirmation that shooting for the In the Heights movie, directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda,  begins this August.

Delays, transfers, replacements, closings and even some happy news!

That’s right, it’s time for another massive news roundup. There’s a lot to catch up on, so without any further ado, here we go…

The Broadway premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies will open at the Neil Simon Theater in the spring of 2011 due to some health complications of ALW’s part. The show, which was to open on Broadway in November of 2011, has been playing to somewhat mixed reviews on the West End. The big buzz about the delay is in regards to Jack O’Brien (director) and Jerry Mitchell (choreographer) because…

Catch Me If You Can is officially opening on Broadway in the spring of 2011! Producers Hal Luftig and Margo Lion have confirmed that rehearsals for the show that premiered at Seattle’s 5th Avenue will begin in January. A theatre and the exact dates of production have not yet been announced, but O’Brien and Mitchell are on board, and it is assumed that the big names associated with the production (Aaron Tveit, Tom Wopat, Norbert Leo Butz) will be headliners.

Another exciting transfer is that of Yank!, the Off-Broadway hit that just closed at the York Theater Company. Producers Pamela Koslow and Karl Held have announced plans to bring the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ G.I. musical to the Great White Way during the 2010-11 season. No news as to whether Bobby Steggert and Ivan Hernandez will repeat the roles they originated on Broadway.

Another Off-Broadway hit, Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture is headed to Broadway thanks to Megan Mullally’s sudden and late departure from Lips Together, Teeth Apart. Everyday Rapture will open on April 29, 2010, so it will be in the running for this year’s Tony Awards.

The other sudden departure was that of the show All About Me, which, after being panned harshly by critics, ended its Broadway run after only 20 performances. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a flop.

But enough depressing news…here’s some happy news:

  • Next to Normal officially recouped its investment!
  • Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed in Stephen Sondheim’s honor!
  • John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch may be headed to Broadway in the fall!

And yes, it’s not technically Broadway, but since so many Off-Broadway shows are transferring these days, I thought it worth mentioning that Bloody Bloddy Andrew Jackson, a new musical about the guy you talked about in history class is generating nothing but great buzz. If you want to see it while the price is right, get over to the Public Theatre ASAP.

New Musicals, News, Casting, Cast Albums, TV Appearances and More

New Musicals and Transfers

The Michael Grandage-directed production of Evita, which opened at London’s Adelphi Theatre in June 2006 is officially heading to Broadway next year. Elena Roger, who starred in the West End production, will repeat her performance in the Broadway remount. Rumor has it that Ricky Martin is in talks to play Che, though this has not been confirmed.

Disney was apparently in talks with Billy Elliot‘s Stephen Daldry to direct a stage adaptation of Dumbo. Though he turned down the job, they’re still on the hunt for a new director for the musical. We can only hope Dumbo will fare better than some of Disney’s recent attempts to adapt their animated films for the stage (ie. The Little Mermaid, Tarzan). No names have yet been attached to this project.

A new jukebox musical called Unchain My Heart will be heading to Broadway on Nov. 7 this year. Featuring the music of Ray Charles and a book by Suzan-Lori Parks, casting for the production has not yet been announced.

The Canadian Press is reporting that Mel Brooks is working on a musical adaptation of his  film, Blazing Saddles. Brooks has apparently already written two songs for the show though he’ll be taking his time bringing it to Broadway due to the “lukewarm” reception Young Frankenstein received.

Producer David Shor announced the creative team for the Broadway aimed Sleepless in Seattle – The Musical. Michelle Citrin, Michael Garin and Josh Nelson will serve as composers/lyricists, Jeff Arch (who co-wrote the movie’s screenplay) will be the show’s librettist and Joel Zwick will direct. The musical adaptation is hoping to make a Broadway bow on Valentine’s Day 2011.

News About Shows Opening Soon

Kristin Chenoweth will be singing the song “I Say a Little Prayer” in the revival of Promises, Promises. Though by the show’s composer, Burt Bacharach, the song was not included in the original production. Not exactly sure where they’re gonna put it, but I’m guessing it’s gonna be one of those where the guy behind you starts singing along…

Kelsey Grammer who is returning to Broadway in the role of Georges in La Cage Aux Folles, shared that he will take on the role of Albin six months into the musical’s run. In other casting news, the musical’s producers announced that Fred Applegate (The Producers, Young Frankenstein) will take on the roles of Edouard Dindon and M. Renaud in La Cage Aux Folles.

It may not even fit under this category anymore (though Julie Taymor is adamant that it will open this fall), but the big news is that Evan Rachel Wood, who was to play Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has left the production due to “scheduling conflicts.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, opened to mixed reviews in London. The show is likely to undergo changes before heading to the Great White Way, so who knows what it will look like when it comes our way. Anyone here seen it on the West End?

Casting Announcements

Rumor is that Alice Ripley will be touring with the Next to Normal cast, which is exciting news for those who haven’t been able to make the trip to NYC! As to the Broadway replacement, producers are holding open Equity auditions. Wonder who they’ll find to replace her…

The new tribe for Broadway’s Hair has taken over and the OBC headed to the West End. Led by Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, and Kyle Riabko, this American-Idol heavy group seems to be just as energetic and excited as their predecessors.

Mandy Gonzalez, who originated the role of Nina in In the Heights, will assume that of Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre on March 23.

Emily Padgett (Grease, Legally Blonde) has succeeded Tony nominee Kerry Butler as Sherrie in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages. Derek St. Pierre and Katie Webber (Memphis) will join the cast on March 22.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are leaving A Little Night Music on June 20 but the show will run through through Aug 29. It will be interesting to see who ends up stepping in for the last couple of months and if the show will last after its stars’ departure.

Karl Kenzler and Megan Osterhaus joined the Broadway company of Mary Poppins on March 1 in the roles of George Banks and Winifred Banks, succeeding Jeff Binder and Rebecca Luker.

Cast Album and DVD Releases

The album for the current revival of A Little Night Music, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, will be available on April 6. It is now available for pre-order.

The cast album for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies is now out in stores.

And the cast recording for The Addams Family, which opens on Broadway on April 8, will be available in June 2010.

The DVD and Blue-Ray version of Nine will be available in stores on May 4. It is now available for pre-order.

Television Appearances

“Glee” – Air dates TBA – Neil Patrick Harris, Idina Menzel

“Ugly Betty” – Wed, Mar 17 – Aaron Tveit and Carol Kane

“The View” – Thur, March 25 – Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna

“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” – Tues, March 16 – Hugh Jackman

“The Today Show” – Wed, March 17 – Riverdance performance


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Rumors are flying about Lea Michele and a Jeff Buckley jukebox musical

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 Phantom Love Never Dies soundtrack is being released on March 9. We hooked you up with a sample of some music from the show. Be sure to pre-order your copy of the full cast album now!

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!


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