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 National Tour

A new Fiyero and returning Emile, N2N officially touring, Sister Act transferring, Finian’s and Vanities albums released

Broadway Casting Changes:

Andy Karl (9 to 5, Legally Blonde) joins the cast of Broadway’s Wicked in the role of Fiyero today, Feb 2.

David Pittsinger returns to the role of Emile de Becque in the Tony-winning revival of South Pacific today.

Big Announcements:

Next to Normal will officially tour the United States next year. The only venue that has been announced to date is San Diego’s Balboa Theatre; stay tuned to the blog for further announcements.

Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act, which has been setting records on the West End, is officially heading to Broadway in 2011. No details have yet been released, but it looks like Goldberg will transfer with the production when it makes the move to the states.

Cast Albums Released Today:


The New Broadway Cast Recording of Finian’s Rainbow


The Off-Broadway Cast Recording of Vanities

A Big Broadway News Roundup

Next to Normal Looking to Launch a National Tour

Brian Yorkey, the book writer and lyricist for Broadway’s Next to Normal, told Playbill.com, “A tour is in the works. David Stone’s at work putting it together. I think it will launch later this year, in the fall or winter.” In addition to a national tour here in the US, there is also apparently a group working on translating the show for a Scandinavian production.

Chicago Now Broadway’s 6th Longest Running Show

On Jan. 12, the Tony Award-winning revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Chicago played its 5,462nd performance and became the sixth longest-running production in Broadway history, surpassing Beauty and the Beast, which previously held that position.

Finian’s Rainbow Cast Album Available Feb 2

The critically acclaimed revival of Finian’s Rainbow that just closed its doors on Broadway did have the chance to visit a recording studio before the death knells rang – capturing the beautiful voices of Kate Baldwin and Cheyenne Jackson singing some of the best songs in the Broadway musical cannon. Listen to a sample. The album is available for pre-order now.

Hair holding open casting

With nearly all of the original Broadway cast of Hair off to perform in the west-end transfer, producers are looking to cast a new group of Broadway hopefuls. Open auditions will take place from 10 AM-6 PM at the Public Theater on January 21. Actors are asked to prepare 16 bars of an up-tempo pop or rock song (with sheet music), and to bring a headshot and a resume.

Billy Elliot has Recouped its Investment

Producers of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Billy Elliot have announced that it has recouped its $18 million investment. The national tour of the show is set to launch in Chicago on March 18.

La Cage Aux Folles Artwork Revealed

La Cage Aux Folles

Our Twitter and Facebook followers have had mixed opinions about it. What do you think?

An Obama Musical?

Yes. A company in Germany has created a show based on Obama’s rise to the Presidency. The title: HOPE. The video speaks for itself:

Casting changes

In the Heights

Janet Dacal (who originated Carla) and newcomer David Del Rio will be replacing Mandy Gonzalez (the current Nina) and Robin De Jesus (the current Sonny) when they leave Broadway’s In The Heights next month.

Wicked

Andy Karl (9 to 5, Legally Blonde) will join the Broadway cast of Wicked beginning Feb. 2, succeeding Kevin Kern in the role of Fiyero. Katie Rose Clarke and Jenny Fellner stepped into the roles of Glinda and Nessarose, respectively, on Jan. 14.

Chicago

Former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams (Aida) will replace Ashlee Simpson as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s Chicago beginning February 8.

South Pacific

On January 5, Laura Osnes (Grease, Bonnie & Clyde) returned to Broadway’s South Pacific taking over the role of Nellie Forbush from Kelli O’Hara.

Coming soon…

Zorba

The New York Post is reporting that Antonio Banderas (Nine) will be playing the title role in a Broadway production of the John Kander & Fred Ebb musical Zorba, to be directed by Gary Griffin (The Color Purple) and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).

Monsoon Wedding

Mira Nair is working on a stage version of her film Monsoon Wedding hoping to make its Broadway debut a year from now. The show, co-written by Mira Nair and Sabrina Dhawan with music by Vishal Bharadwaj and choreography by Bill T. Jones, will combine circus acrobatics, aerial acting, theatre, music and dance.

Glee – Golden Globe, 2nd Season, Open Casting

The TV show Glee , which has featured show tunes and many Broadway actors, including Matthew Morrison (Hairspray, Light in the Piazza) and Lea Michele (Spring Awakening), took home the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series (Comedy or Musical) and was picked up for a second season on Fox. Fans will be excited to hear that producers have announced casting for both professionals and amateurs ranging from ages 16-26. Are you enough of a gleek to make the show?

Delays…

All About Me

Previews for All About Me, the Michael Feinstein and Dame Edna show, will begin Feb. 22, three days later than originally announced.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Also delayed, not so surprisingly, was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. The show, which producers had vehemently assured patrons would begin previews on Feb 25, will now be open sometime in 2010 – no specific dates have yet been announced.

Broadway on TV!

John Tartaglia (Shrek, Avenue Q) will appear on the February 3rd episode of  Ugly Betty.

Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music) will guest on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Jan. 22.


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101 Dalmatians: A Light-Hearted, Family-Friendly Musical (A guest review by Amanda Blake)

dalmations

If you are looking for a family friendly new show, The 101 Dalmatians Musical may be the show for you.

101 Dalmatians, which had its world premiere at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, MN on October 13th, takes Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel from the page to the stage.

This new adaptation of Dalmatians is from the dog’s point of view. Humans are seen as pets, not owners. The dogs walk on two feet, not four. And the actors playing humans are on well-disguised stilts, which cause problems throughout the show (some of the actors walked around clumsily and there were a few who actually fell).

The Dalmatians, led by Pongo (James Ludwig) and Missus (Catia Ojeda), are the primary heroes of the story. Pongo and Missus suffer the agony of Missus’ pregnancy, then enjoy family life until their pups are stolen by Cruella De Vil (Rachel York).

Usually you wouldn’t root for a villainess who plans to murder and skin dozens of puppies for her fall fashion line, but when you see how much fun Rachel York is having in the role of De Vil, you come close. York steals the show with her loud screeching entrances, very glamorous and outrageous costumes and fun numbers.

The show also features 15 furry cast members who carry two scenes during the show, one at the end of each act. The Dalmatians add a much-needed boost to the show by performing “tricks.”

Beyond that, there really isn’t really much of anything that makes the audience go “wow.”

Former Styx member, Dennis DeYoung, wrote the music for the show and was co-lyricist with B.T. McNicholl. Dalmatians has some fun numbers and a few heartfelt ballads, but the music, though light and nice, leaves you with the feeling that you’ve heard all of it before.

When you see Dalmatians, you can leave the theatre with a light-hearted feeling – knowing that the good guys won and the bad guys got punished.

Amanda Blake is an avid theatre-goer and self-proclaimed “theatre dork” who regularly sees touring productions in Chicago, IL and Minneapolis, MN. Follow her on Twitter @th3heights.

Interested in guest reviewing a Broadway musical for the blog? Shoot me an email. I’m looking to assemble a great group of reviewers.

Roger Bart and Shuler Hensley to reprise their Young Frankenstein roles for the national tour

Roger Bart (You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Producers) and Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!, Tarzan) will reprise their Broadway roles as Young Frankenstein and his Monster, in the national tour of the musical.

The cast will also include Cory English (Igor), Brad Oscar (Inspector Kemp/Blind Hermit), Beth Curry (Elizabeth), Joanna Glushak (Frau Blucher) and Anne Horak (Inga).

Written by three-time Tony Award winner Mel Brooks and three-time Tony Award winner Meehan, and directed by Susan Stroman who has five Tonys under her belt, Young Frankenstein was nominated for 3 Tony awards and ran on Broadway for 485 performances.

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