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 Sherie Rene Scott

WEEKLY DEAL ALERT: $10 Off Sherie Rene Scott Show

Every week we scour the web to find the best musical theatre deals on cast albums, videos, sheetmusic, tickets, merchandise and more, but many items are available at these great prices for a limited time only, so grab them while you can…

$10 Off Piece of Meat at 54 Below

This week’s deal is for an intimate Off-Broadway show featuring Broadway superstar Sherie Rene Scott. Just use code SHERIE10 to get $10 off the cover price.

Get the deal using coupon code SHERIE10 at 54below.com

The reviews for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown are in …

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown opened on Broadway last night … and ouch. It seems the more known entities a production has, the more willing the press is to slaughter it in reviews. Like The Addams Family, which was similarly panned after opening, critics found the material simply didn’t live up to its potential and universally bemoaned that a cast and creative team so good could have failed so entirely. Scott gets lost in the lead role, LuPone has poor material to work with, Mitchell gets the worst songs … only Laura Benanti seems to have been worthy of anyone’s praise – finding oodles of comedy in the role Pepa. Jeffrey Lane seemed fearful to change anything from the screenplay and the result is a weak copy with “latin Muzak” songs plugged in, accompanied by ADHD-inducing stage effects and projections. But as Promises, Promises and The Addams Family have proved, bad reviews don’t necessarily mean bad box office results…and with names like these, the show just might survive beyond such a massive press slaughter.

Here are the critical reviews:

The New York Times

Yes, attention-deficit disorder, the plague of American schoolchildren, has now claimed one of Broadway’s own. Packed with talent and creativity, and a cast and crew bristling with Tony Awards, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” is nonetheless a sad casualty of its own wandering mind. Directed by Bartlett Sher (who did so beautifully by “South Pacific”), with a book by Jeffrey Lane and songs by David Yazbek, this tale of mad love in swinging 1980s Madrid feels hopelessly distracted from beginning to end. It keeps changing directions the way a teenage girl changes clothes before a first date. Read the full review

New York Post

Admittedly, the film hasn’t aged well, and Lane should have followed its stylish, oddball spirit rather than its letter. As it is, the biggest change is Ivan’s increased presence, which is a terrible decision. This thing is called “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” for good reason. Luckily, the show also has serious assets. Chief among them is Benanti, who brings the slightly dim, skimpily dressed Candela to outrageous, hilarious life. Benanti milks the lamest lines to the max, whips up laughs out of thin air and slays with a song, “Model Behavior,” that consists of a series of frantic phone messages delivered at lightning speed. Read the full review

Backstage

It took me a while to understand my disappointment in Lincoln Center Theater’s musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” now at the spectacularly restored Belasco Theatre. There had been much to enjoy: Jeffrey Lane’s frequently funny book, David Yazbek’s perfectly professional Latin-infused songs, a stellar cast at the top of its game, and Bartlett Sher’s fluid staging that combines with a highly imaginative physical production to capture Almodóvar’s idiosyncratic visual style and editing rhythms. Yet the show hadn’t jelled. Eventually, a light dawned. “Women” is what composer Mary Rodgers calls a “Why?” musical. It has no compelling reason to sing; it’s just the original property with songs dropped in. Read the full review

Associated Press

Almodovar’s movie — a Spanish-language masterpiece that was in part a homage to the screwball American comedies of the 1930s and 1940s — has now been adapted for the American stage with non-Spanish actors using Spanish accents. That’s a lot of filtering — even with the filmmaker’s blessing and advice. It seems as though the cast is working from a faded copy of Almodovar’s singular vision, like a photocopy of a photocopy that has lost its crispness. That’s not to say there aren’t some pretty songs by David Yazbek (“The Full Monty,” ”Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”), among them Scott’s salty-sweet “Lovesick,” LuPone’s mournful ode “Invisible” and Mitchell’s velvety-smooth “Microphone.” Read the full review

USA Today

As the show’s central neurotic, Sherie Rene Scott inspires neither laughter nor empathy. Scott plays Ivan’s mistress, Pepa, whose search for him after he ends their affair propels the plot; her dry manner only emphasizes the hollowness of the character as defined here. No one is helped by Yazbek’s songs, which sound like Latin-flavored Muzak. LuPone’s Invisible follows a monologue that becomes, in her hands, the show’s dramatic high point. You half-expect her to launch into one of her showstopping arias, but all she gets is a loungey trifle. Read the full review

Variety

The recipe for gazpacho is scrawled large across the curtain at Lincoln Center Theater’s “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” Like the dish in question, the new Almodovarsical is refreshing, peppery and palate-cleansing, but it is still, in the end, cold tomato soup — invigorating and highly spiced, but not satisfying enough for a full meal or a full evening’s entertainment. Tuner is blessed with some delicious performances and any number of items of interest, but the result can be summed up as women (and men) on the verge of a coherent musical. Read the full review

Talkin’ Broadway

The only performer allowed to have legitimate fun, and thus the only one who’s any fun to watch, is Laura Benanti… Whether trying to get Pepa on the phone (in an epic, pointless number called “Model Behavior”), vamping a couple of prying detectives, or even just absorbing the effects of that drugged soup, Benanti alone balances the joy of living with the aggravations of daily life. In doing so, she embodies Almodóvar far better than anyone else involved. The delight Benanti takes in being oblivious to the crumbling world around her is precisely the quality every character needs to have, but that Lane and Yazbek’s writing essentially prevent. In the goopy gazpacho of this musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Benanti is both the sugar and the spice. Read the full review

Washington Post

In the rapid-fire patter of the song “Model Behavior,” Benanti scampers across the stage like a scandalized squirrel, dashing from phone to phone and contemplating the magnitude of her carnal folly. It’s the one interlude in which the musical, featuring such other solid Broadway citizens as Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Sherie Rene Scott, fully lives up to its namesake, the breakout 1988 film extolling womanhood in extremis that put Almodóvar’s cinematic flair on display. Much of the rest of the time, the show — directed by Broadway whiz Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”) — resorts to flashy projections and blatantly stagy gimmicks to shore up the weaknesses in character development and musical numbers. Read the full review

Wall Street Journal

To turn so fully realized a work of cinematic art into an equally successful musical demands that it be subjected to a complete and thoroughgoing imaginative transformation. Otherwise, the new version will seem superfluous—which is what’s wrong with the stage version of “Women on the Verge.” Instead of breaking new creative ground, Mr. Lane’s book tracks Mr. Almodóvar’s setting and plot slavishly, salting his script with unfunny one- and two-liners that serve only to dilute the crisp, elliptical dialogue of the screenplay. As for Mr. Yazbek’s songs, they’re as forgettable as Muzak in a noisy restaurant, with dull music and even duller lyrics (“Tell me when did the wires get crossed / Tell me where the connection was lost”). Read the full review

Did you see the show? What did you think?

The reviews for Everyday Rapture are in …

Nearly every critic for Everyday Rapture walked away from the show last night with a large smile plastered across his or her face. In this one-woman showcase, which was a last minute replacement for Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Sherie Rene Scott explodes with energy, charisma, humor and spectacular vocals. The last show to open in the 2009-2010 Broadway season, many are predicting that Scott and her cohorts will steal away more than one award from the competition.

New York Times

Just as the Broadway theater season is drawing to its close, a smashing little show has arrived to remind us of why so many of us keep going back to Broadway, even though it’s broken our heart so many times…. Of course there appears to be a significant overlap between the character and the actress…But in telling the story of Sherie, Ms. Scott embellishes, overstates, understates, bends and weaves the complexities and inconsistencies of one life into the whole-making harmonies of a musical fable. In so doing, she has created a beautiful, funny fiction that is both utterly removed from and utterly true to real life. Which is what I, at least, always hope a musical will do. Read the full review.

Associated Press

Scott and “Everyday Rapture,” her deliciously entertaining mini-musical, have arrived on Broadway, an emergency, end-of-season replacement for the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of “Lips Together, Teeth Apart” which imploded during rehearsals…. the bubbly, blond, multitalented Scott has one of those quirky, expansive theater personalities that can really fill a stage…And her story, concocted by Scott and Dick Scanlan, is funny, touching and more than a little melodic. Read the full review.

Backstage

Well, we can use one more theatrical autobiography if it’s as funny, quirky, and offbeat as Sherie Rene Scott’s “Everyday Rapture”…. There’s more than one actor in the cast, the witty script by Scott and Dick Scanlan doesn’t follow a clear chronological line, and Scott…employ[s] a dry, ironic tone [and t]he strong, clear voice and off-center sense of humor that informed her standout performances in “Aida,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and “The Little Mermaid”…. Thanks to Scott’s insightful self-examination, razzle-dazzle showmanship, and dynamite vocals, this is a satisfying and enjoyable way to end the 2009-10 Broadway season. Read the full review.

Hollywood Reporter

There’s no denying that the beautiful blonde Scott possesses considerable talent and charm, both of which are on ample display. She delivers her frequently amusing tale with sly, understated humor in a breathy, sexy voice that recalls Marilyn Monroe’s in its disingenuousness…. Scott, accompanied by backup singers Lindsay Menez and Betsy Wolfe, handles the musical and narrative demands of the show in fine fashion. But “Rapture” comes across as overly precious and lacking the thematic heft that would justify its unexpected Broadway berth. Read the full review.

Variety

In the opening scene of the charmingly frenetic philosophical/autobiographical rumination-with-songs, Everyday Rapture, Sherie Rene Scott classifies herself as “one of Broadway’s biggest, brightest semi-stars.” Not anymore, lady. Here is Scott. She is not merely carrying this enchanting carnival — coauthored by herself — on her more than capable shoulders; she is the show. Scott is a force to be reckoned with. Everyday Rapture has provided an entertaining jolt to the season’s less-than-stellar lineup of new musicals. Read the full review.

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.

A casting, gossip and news round-up for October

Finian’s Rainbow opens tonight on Broadway

The Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow opens on Broadway tonight, October 29, 2009. Starring Jim Norton (The Seafarer) as Finian, Kate Baldwin (Wonderful Town) as Sharon, Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu) as Woody,  and Christopher Fitzgerald (Young Frankenstein) as Og, we’re looking to see how the public responds to the show.

For years it was thought to be an unrevivable show due to its racist content, but with a reworking of the book and songs like “Old Devil Moon,” “If This isn’t Love” and “How are Things in Glocca Morra?,” we think it more than deserves a another run on the Great White Way.

Going to see it? Interested in writing a review for the blog here? Contact me!

Promises, Promises to star Chenoweth and Hayes; opens March 25

Producers have announced that Promises, Promises will officially star Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth. This will be the first ever revival of the musical, will open at the Broadway Theater on March 25.

With a book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharah and lyrics by Hal David, the show will mark Hayes first appearance on Broadway and Chenoweth’s happy return. The original 1968 production played 1,268 performances on Broadway, was nominated for 8 Tony awards and awarded a Grammy.

Run DMC musical eyeing Broadway

Hollywood producer Paula Wagner is working with the rappers Joseph Simmons (Run) and Darryl McDaniels (DMC) and the estate of Jason Mizell (Jam Master Jay) about creating a stage musical about Run DMC’s road to fame.

No dates, casting or other collaborators have yet been announced.

Mary Murphy to make guest appearance in Burn the Floor

Mary Murphy from Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” will make a one-night-only guest star appearance in Broadway’s Burn the Floor on December 22, partnering with ballroom champion Vaidas Skimelis.

Katie Holmes may star in the stage musical version of Cocktail

Rumors are flying that Katie Holmes may be under consideration for a starring role in the Broadway musical version of the 80s movie, Cocktail, that is being penned for the stage by Heywood Gould – the original author and screenwriter. Producer Marty Richards is on board and though Gould said “it’s far too early to talk about casting,” he did mention he “like[s] Katie Holmes.”

Little Miss Sunshine musical workshop stars Bierko, Latessa and Rene Scott

The stage musical version of Little Miss Sunshine is workshopping with stars Craig Bierko (Guys and Dolls, The Music Man), Dick Latessa (Hairspray, Damn Yankees), and Sherie Rene Scott (The Little Mermaid, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida) in Florida right now.

The adaptation of the 2006 film features a score by William Finn with book and direction by James Lapine.

We can only hope it’s good-enough to take to Broadway with those names on board.

Judy and Sayle to star in the Broadway-aimed A Christmas Story, The Musical!

Later this month, another production eyeing Broadway, A Christmas Story, The Musical!, will open out-of-town. The cast features talent with many Broadway shows under their belts, including James Judy (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Zachary Carter Sayle (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), John Bolton (Curtains, Spamalot) and Anne L. Nathan (Assassins, Sunday in the Park with George).

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