Archive for A Little Night Music
The 2010 Drama League nominees have been announced. Chosen by a group of theater professionals and patrons, these include both On and Off-Broadway New York productions. Winners will be announced on May 21. Without further ado, here are the musical theater nominees:
Distinguished Production of a Musical
Distinguished Revival of a Musical
Distinguished Performance Award
Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim
Brandon Victor Dixon, The Scottsboro Boys
Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises
John Gallagher Jr., American Idiot
Montego Glover, Memphis
Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles
Lance Guest, Million Dollar Quartet
Dean Hayes, Promises, Promises
The Ensemble of Brief Encounter
Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles
Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet
Nathan Lane, The Addams Family
Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
Jim Norton, Finian’s Rainbow
Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime, Yank!
Tony Vincent, American Idiot
Benjamin Walker, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Vanessa Williams, Sondheim on Sondheim
Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music
Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre
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?
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.
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 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.
“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
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
A lot has been happening on Broadway these last few weeks. Here are the biggest of the announcements:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
A Little Night Music, the Sondheim musical starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury, opened to mixed reviews. The verdict – the show is largely heavy-handed, with stand out performances by the two headliners. Here’s what the major publications had to say:
The most atypical of Ingmar Bergman’s celebrated films, “Smiles of a Summer Night” brought ripe carnality and a delicious sense of irony to its fin-de-siecle gathering of romantically muddled Swedes. Those same intoxicating elements were translated to “A Little Night Music,” Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s exquisite waltz-musical inspired by the film. Reviving the 1973 show, director Trevor Nunn brings a blunt, heavy hand where a glissando touch is required, but the wit and sophistication of the material are sufficient to withstand even this phlegmatic staging. A handful of magnetic leads provides further insurance against the uneven production. Read the full review
Lansbury created roles in two Sondheim shows, the short-lived cult classic Anyone Can Whistle (undone by a messy libretto) and the enduring masterpiece Sweeney Todd. Now, at 84, she is gloriously reviving the part of Madame Armfeldt in director Trevor Nunn’s new production of A Little Night Music (*** out of four), which opened Sunday at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Read the full review
I have always felt that director Trevor Nunn approaches musicals and plays with different palettes: broad and bold for the former, detailed and nuanced for the latter. In this chamber version of “A Little Night Music,” however, he seems to have applied his play palette to a musical. While it’s hard not to miss the romantic sweep and orchestral lushness of Harold Prince’s glorious original production, which I saw on national tour multiple times, what Nunn delivers is a persuasive and entertaining account of a great American musical. Read the full review
The first Broadway revival of “A Little Night Music,” the enchanting, moonstruck musical based on the Ingmar Bergman film “Smiles of a Summer Night,” is a curious affair. There are some lovely moments, most of them supplied by Angela Lansbury, but too much of this adult, sophisticated show, which opened Sunday at the Walter Kerr Theatre, seems forced, boisterous and a little crude. Read the full review
Bottom Line: This uneven but welcome revival of Sondheim’s classic musical features a triumphant Broadway debut by Catherine Zeta-Jones. Read the full review
Nunn’s “Little Night Music,” the first full Broadway revival of the show, may well be a hit too, though not because of any artistic finesse. It has what is a producer’s favorite form of insurance these days: stars known to the public from movies, television and tabloids, of whom people can later say things like “She’s even more beautiful in person” (as they surely will of the lustrous Zeta-Jones) or “She’s amazing for her age” (in reference to the 84-year-old Lansbury). Read the full review
Looking as elegant as the musical she graces, Catherine Zeta-Jones makes a smashing Broadway debut in a wistful revival of “A Little Night Music.” Co-starred with the redoubtable Angela Lansbury as her imperious old mama in a romantic comedy set in early 1900s Sweden, Zeta-Jones portrays Desiree, a middle-aged actress who gets a second chance at true love with a former flame. Read the full review
ALNM is among Sondheim’s near-perfect creations, but it’s not without its challenges, over and above the complexity of the music: Maunder overmuch and the show’s a drag; shine up the comedy and it risks coming off as a yuppie you-can-have-it-all manifesto. Maintaining that balance is the job of Desiree and Frederik, and Zeta-Jones-a tremendous presence here, in great voice-mates up with Hanson perfectly: They play Desiree and Frederik as extremely magnetic, fabulously charming, utterly empty people. I say this admiringly: Yes, they have feelings, deep and complex; yes, despite their many sins, they deserve love as much as anyone. But neither Zeta-Jones-whose “Send in the Clowns” is a shattering cry from the void-nor Hanson nor Nunn makes any excuses for the pair’s intrinsic emotional vacuity or their confessed inability to transcend themselves in any sort of human union. They’re cool, at best, to their children, genially indifferent to their peers, and they see, in one another, smoked-mirror reflections of themselves. They cancel each other-and, in the half-light, that’s good enough. Read the full review
Michael Riedel of the New York Post is reporting that Catherine Zeta-Jones, who took home an Oscar for her portrayal of Velma Kelly in the film version of Chicago, has signed on to play Desiree in Trevor Nunn’s A Little Night Music. She will star alongside Broadway musical superstar Angela Lansbury (Mame, Sweeney Todd, Gypsy, Anyone Can Whistle), who will play Madame Armfeldt.
The cast also includes Bradley Dean, Marissa McGowan, Betsy Morgan, Karen Murphy, Jayne Paterson and Kevin David Thomas. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The production, which played very well to London audiences last year, is slated to open on Broadway this December.
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.
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!