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 9 to 5

Closing, opening, cast albums, casting and more in a huge Broadway news round-up

A lot has been happening on Broadway these last few weeks. Here are the biggest of the announcements:

Closing soon

Bye Bye Birdie has offically announced that it will play its final performance on Jan 24. Though technically an extension of its limited run, many had expected this expensive production to run much longer, and producers are definitely walking away with losses.

RUMOR: Michael Riedel of the New York Post is saying things aren’t looking good for Broadway’s Ragtime: “Officially, the producers say, ‘there are no plans to close at this time.’ Unofficially, it’s likely to close Jan. 3 at a total loss, several production sources say.”

Though not Broadway, this one is a big blow for NYC theatre. Altar Boyz, the longest running Off-Broadway musical to open in more than a decade (the 9th longest of all time), will play its final performance at New World Stages on Sunday, January 10th at 7:30 PM.

Opening soon

Million Dollar Quartet will officially begin previews at the Nederlander Theatre on March 13, 2010 and open on April 11, 2010. The Broadway production will be independent of the Chicago company, which will continue there. Broadway casting has not yet been announced.

All About Me, which had announced an opening in a few months at the John Golden Theatre, will instead take over Henry Miller’s Theatre now that Bye Bye Birdie is vacating.

Producer Ken Davenport has announced that Stephen Schwartz’s Godspell, which had been scheduled to begin previews at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in September 2008, is now aiming for a Broadway bow during the 2010-11 season. The revival will be directed by Daniel Goldstein. No casting has yet been announced.

Cast albums

PS Classics and Nonesuch will team to release the new Broadway cast album of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. The cast of the Trevor Nunn-directed revival will record the album Jan. 4, 2010. No release date has yet been announced.

The cast album for the Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow will be available on Feb. 2, 2010 (though the disc will be at the St. James Theatre three weeks before that). The new Broadway cast album will be produced by PS Classics.

Broadway’s Memphis has recorded a cast album with Delray Records. The national release will be announced shortly, but in the meantime fans may purchase it at the Shubert Theatre where the musical opened in October.

Broadway casting announcements

Corbin Bleu of High School Musical fame is going to play the role of Usnavi in In the Heights starting January 25th. Regarding the casting (which has met with a lot of nay-saying online), Lin-Manuel Miranda had this to say:

Javi is amazing. Jon Rua is too.
Michael Balderrama makes the drama ring true.
They’re big footsteps; I wrote a really big shoe.
This one is Lin-approved: Mr. Corbin Bleu.

Producers have announced that the Broadway production of Sondheim on Sondheim, opening April 22, will star Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams, Tom Wopat, Leslie Kritzer, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton and Matthew Scott.

Kelsey Grammer has signed on to star in the Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles, as Georges. He will star alongside Douglas Hodge, who will continue in the role of Albin, the drag queen star, which he played to critical acclaim in London. The revival opens on April 18, 2010 at the Longacre Theatre.

Matt Cavenaugh will play his last performance as Tony in West Side Story on Dec. 13. His understudy Matthew Hydzik will resume the role on Dec. 15.

Broadway’s Mary Poppins welcomes Valerie Boyle to the role of household cook Mrs. Brill Dec. 4 and Tony nominee Jonathan Freeman to the company on Dec. 12 at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams will join the musical Chicago on Broadway starting Feb. 8. Williams is slated to star as Roxie Hart in the production until mid-April.

Grammy-nominated cast albums

The Grammy Award nominations were announced, and the Best Musical Show Album contained nominations for Ain’t Misbehavin’, Hair, 9 to 5, Shrek and West Side Story.

Wicked sets a new record

Wicked hit a major milestone Thanksgiving weekend, becoming the first Broadway production to report sales of more than $2 million for a single week.

Musicals on the Silver Screen

Variety is reporting that “Shakespeare in Love” director John Madden is in talks to direct the film version of My Fair Lady with a screenplay by Emma Thompson. Keira Knightly and Daniel Craig have been rumored to star in the Cameron Mackintosh and Duncan Kenworthy produced movie musical.

Tony Award-winning actress Donna Murphy (Passion, The King and I) has joined the cast of the new Disney animated musical Rapunzel. Murphy will voice the role of the witch, alongside Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken will compose and Byron Howard and Nathan Greno will direct.

Amateur rights available

Rights for the 2008 Tony Award winner for best musical, In the Heights, are now available through R&H Theatricals. For more information or to license the show, click here.

Musicals on Time’s Top Ten of Everything list

Time Magazine unveiled its “The Top 10 Everything of 2009,” rating news, entertainment, pop culture and more. Ragtime, Finian’s Rainbow and Fela! all appeared on the “Top 10 Plays and Musicals” list and Marion Cotillard on the “Top 10 Movie Performances” list for her turn in the film version of Nine.

New equity leadership

Actors’ Equity Association announced Dec. 11 that Mark S. Zimmerman has resigned as president, effective immediately. Equity’s vice president Paige Price will now carry out the duties of the president until a new president is elected.

Touring soon

Dreamgirls concludes its Harlem run Dec. 12 prior to embarking on a national tour. The production, starring Moya Angela, Syesha Mercado, Adrienne Warren, Margaret Hoffman, Chaz Lamar Shepherd, Chester Gregory, Trevon Davis and Milton Craig Nealy was directed by Robert Longbottom (Side Show, Flower Drum Song, Bye Bye Birdie), who co-choreographed with Emmy-nominated hip-hop artist Shane Sparks.


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A fun farewell video for Broadway’s 9 to 5

9 to 5 closed on Broadway yesterday after playing 148 performances. Didn’t see it – luckily for you – the national tour is starting up in Nashville next year!

The company put together a fun video farewell that is well worth watching:

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will open at the Marquis in its place this November.


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Broadway’s 9 to 5 to Close September 6

Official word has been given: 9 to 5 will end its Broadway run September 6.

What do you think? Is it an unfair or merited short run?

Get your tickets before it’s too late.

Or catch the national tour – launching the week of Sept. 20, 2010, at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.


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CD Giveaway: 9 to 5 Star Stephanie J. Block’s New Solo Album

Win a copy of the new solo album from Stephanie J. Block (9 to 5, The Pirate Queen, Boy from Oz), featuring performances of “I am a Wife,” “I Will Always Love You,” “15 Pounds Away from My Love,” “Invention,” “Never Neverland Fly Away” and many others, sung with the songwriters and lyricists themselves. It’s a phenomenal album by one of Broadway’s biggest stars.

Click here to enter to win it!


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Catch Some Broadway Musical Stars Off-Stage

Can’t make it to a Broadway show? Luckily for you, you can still catch the stars performing some of their stuff off-stage.


On Tuesday, July 14 at 4:30 PM, the stars of 9-5 are scheduled to perform at the Barnes & Noble on Broadway and 66th Street. Rumor has it that you may even be able to score a copy of the new CD before they’re released to the general public on the 28th…


And if you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, flip on the TV. Ann Harada and Anika Larsen, co-stars in Avenue Q, will perform on the July 9 broadcast of CW11 Morning News, airing in the New York metropolitan area on Channel 11 from 7-9 AM ET. They’ll be singing “The More You Ruv Someone” and “There’s a Fine, Fine Line.”

Not in New York? Tough luck. Start saving your pennies or pray for another movie like Rent Filmed Live on Broadway.

Headed to Broadway, eyeing Broadway and cast albums

A couple new shows are officially headed to Broadway…

Fela!, based on the life of African composer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, played Off Broadway last fall for a limited engagement to great success. Spring Awakening’s Bill T. Jones directs, with a lot of the same cast lined up for the fall 2008 Broadway run at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Previews start Oct 19, Opening night is Nov. 23.

Also announced yesterday was Trevor Nunn’s London revival of A Little Night Music, which is on its way to the Jujamcyn Theatre. According to a casting notice, all roles are open for the Broadway run and dates are still “tentative.” Carolyn Humphris, Tom Murray, Lynne Page, who all worked on the West End production will be joining Nunn in NYC. The London cast stars Hannah Waddingham as Desiree, Maureen Lipman as Madame Armfeldt, Alexander Hanson as Fredrik, Kelly Price as Countess Charlotte Malcolm and Jessie Buckley as Anne Egerman.

Eyeing Broadway…

It appears that the Kennedy Center’s Ragtime is eyeing a Broadway run, under the supervision of Marcia Milgrom Dodge, who directed and choreographed the D.C. production and music director James Moore. It will be produced on Broadway by The Kennedy Center, Kevin McCollum, Emanuel Azenberg, Max Cooper, Maberry Theatricals, Jeffrey Sine, Scott Delman, Roy Furman and Roger Berlind. No dates have been announced and the audition notice claims that all roles are currently available.

In cast album land…

The cast album for 9 to 5 will be released on July 14 by Dolly’s own record label.


And according to USA Today, the cast recording for Rock of Ages is doing very well in digital land – entering the digital albums chart at #34 charting at #193 on the Top 200. The non-digital version will be released in stores on July 7, pre-order it now!


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