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 Beth Leavel

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 reading of the Broadway musical version of the film Elf got some pretty good buzz

As you may or may not know, Warner Brothers has been looking to back a Broadway musical version of Elf, the Will Ferrell movie, and gave it a staged reading last week that got a lot more decent buzz than had been expected.

The reading was directed by Casey Nicholaw (Spamalot) and featured George Wendt as Santa Claus, Christian Anderson as Buddy, Mark Jacoby as Buddy’s father and Beth Leavel as his mother.

Attendees liked the script by Thomas Meehan (The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone) and the “tuneful” score by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer).

Elf: The Musical is eying a Broadway run next holiday season.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Mamma Mia, Bye Bye Birdie and South Pacific In the News

The Good

Mamma Mia, the 13th longest running show in Broadway history, celebrated 8 years on Broadway yesterday, Oct 18!

The musical currently stars Beth Leavel, John Dossett, Judy McLane, Allison Briner, Halle Morse, Michael Mindlin, Patrick Boll, Alyse Alan Louis, David Andrew Macdonald and Eric William Morris.

The Bad

Bye Bye Birdie, which opened on Oct 15, was panned by reviewers in almost every media publication:

The consensus – the bulk of the cast can’t sing, dance or act. Ouch!

The Ugly

The New York Post reported that the stage manager for Broadway’s South Pacific, Michael Brunner, has been arraigned for recording video of one of the actresses in her dressing room. Lincoln Center Theater has terminated his contract due to the incident.


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New cast members for Broadway’s Mamma Mia

On Tuesday, September 22, Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Civil War, Young Frankenstein), John Dossett (Gypsy, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer), Alyse Alan Louis, Allison Briner, Halle Morse, Michael Mindlin (9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Patrick Boll (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer), David Andrew Macdonald (Coram Boy), Eric William Morris (Coram Boy), Felicity Claire, Rachel Frankenthal and Natalie Gallo all joined the New York cast of Mamma Mia.

Major Cast Replacements for Broadway’s Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia and Wicked

Starting July 14, Sebastian Arcelus (Wicked, Rent, Full Monty) will return to Broadway’s Jersey Boys to play the role of Bob Gaudio, which he originally played from Dec 07-Jan 09.

 

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He’s not the only actor returning to a role he played on Broadway years ago – John Dossett (Gypsy, Ragtime) will be returning to the role of Sam Carmichael in Broadway’s Mamma Mia! on September 22.  He will be joined by Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (Drowsy Chaperone, Young Frankenstein, 42nd Street), who’ll be taking over the role of Donna Sheridan.

 

But it’s not all cast reunions – there’s also a Broadway debut – Dee Roscioli, who starred in the Chicago production of Wicked, will join the cast of the Broadway production as Elphaba starting July 21.

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