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 Steven Spielberg

The Reviews for Catch Me If You Can are In…

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

“As befits a lad of the 1960s with a talent for smooth come-ons, Frank Abagnale Jr. prefaces the story of his life with the promise that it will have “more curves than a Playboy bunny.” But as presented in the new musical “Catch Me if You Can,” which opened Sunday night at the Neil Simon Theater, this portrait of the con artist as a young man (portrayed by Aaron Tveit) seems to consist mostly of straight lines, like the kind you use to connect the dots in picture puzzles. “

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW

“New Broadway shows this spring are lousy with cads. There’s J. Pierrepont Finch in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Harry Brock in “Born Yesterday” and pretty much all the dudes in “That Championship Season.” With the hero of “Catch Me If You Can,” add one more scoundrel.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

VARIETY REVIEW

“In “Catch Me If You Can” — the new musical based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks — teenaged conman Frank Abagnale Jr. recounts his daring escapades in the format of a 1960s TV spectacular; each step in crime is shown as a perky-but-flat variety-show production number. That’s the conceit of the new tuner, and the problem as well. Impressive star performances from Norbert Leo Butz and Aaron Tveit, a lively production, the best sounding new music currently on Broadway — all built around a succession of glossily frenetic, non-compelling production numbers.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW

“The Bottom Line: This musical adaptation of the Steven Spielberg film scores on showmanship but shortchanges its lead character. “

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

NEWSDAY REVIEW

“News that the guys from “Hairspray” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” were making a musical based on the movie “Catch Me If You Can” raised a couple of intriguing — also daunting — questions. How? And why?”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

AM NEW YORK REVIEW

“”Catch Me If You Can,” the eagerly anticipated Broadway musical based on the breezy 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio film, is a product of essentially the same creative team behind the mega-hit “Hairspray.” It’s even playing in the same theater as “Hairspray” and shares an early 1960s setting.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW

“The key to turning “Catch Me If You Can” into a Broadway musical was within the very title of the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie that served as the source. It encapsulates the thrill of the chase, a quality sadly lacking in the show that opened Sunday night at the Neil Simon Theatre. And it conveys the slippery charm of the lovable trickster rogue — in this case, Frank Abagnale Jr., the youthful master forger of those predigital swinging ’60s, a guy who fooled banks and airlines but was eventually brought down by his own need for love.”

Click here to read the full “Catch Me If You Can” review.

The reviews for A Little Night Music are in …

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:

Variety

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

USA Today

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

Backstage.com

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

Associated Press

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

Hollywood Reporter

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

The New York Times

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

NewJerseyNewsroom.com

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

New York Magazine

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

Spielberg to create a TV to stage production: Showtime series to trace the development of a new Shaiman/Wittman composed show

According to Variety, director Steven Spielberg is developing a Showtime series that will trace the creation of an original musical by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can) with the aim of taking it to Broadway.

The producers for the project are Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who adapted Hairspray and Chicago for film and Gypsy, Annie and The Music Man for television. No other collaborators have yet been announced.

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