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 The Book of Mormon

The 2011 Drama Desk Award Winners

Outstanding Musical
winner The Book of Mormon
In Transit
Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
See Rock City & Other Destinations
Sister Act
The Kid

Outstanding Play
winner Nick Stafford, War Horse
Jon Robin Baitz, Other Desert Cities
Adam Bock, A Small Fire
Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Samuel D. Hunter, A Bright New Boise
Rajiv Joseph, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
David Lindsay-Abaire, Good People

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
winner Anything Goes
Hello Again
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Outstanding Revival of a Play
winner The Normal Heart
Born Yesterday
The House of Blue Leaves
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
Three Sisters

Outstanding Actor in a Play
winner Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker With the Hat
Charles Busch, The Divine Sister
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Geoffrey Rush, The Diary of a Madman
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Michael Shannon, Mistakes Were Made
Paul Sparks, Dusk Rings a Bell

Outstanding Actress in a Play
winner Frances McDormand, Good People
Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Michele Pawk, A Small Fire
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
winner Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me if You Can
Colin Donnell, Anything Goes
Daniel Radcliffe, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Christopher Sieber, The Kid

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
winner Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Beth Leavel, Baby It’s You!
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
Sherie Rene Scott, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
winner Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Boyd Gaines, The Grand Manner
Logan Marshall-Green, The Hallway Trilogy
Zachary Quinto, Angels in America
Tom Riley, Arcadia
Yul Vazquez, The Motherf**ker With the Hat

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
winner Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
Lisa Emery, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska
Julie Halston, The Divine Sister
Sarah Nina Hayon, A Bright New Boise
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Linda Lavin, Other Desert Cities
Judith Light, Lombardi

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
winner John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Adam Godley, Anything Goes
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Rory O’Malley, The Book of Mormon
Bob Stillman, Hello Again
Tom Wopat, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
winner Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Kerry Butler, Catch Me if You Can
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Jill Eikenberry, The Kid
Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Laura Osnes, Anything Goes

Outstanding Director of a Play
winner Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
Trip Cullman, A Small Fire
Moises Kaufman, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Davis McCallum, A Bright New Boise
Daniel Sullivan, The Merchant of Venice
Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock, Baby Universe

Outstanding Director of a Musical
winner Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Joe Calarco, In Transit
Jack Cummings III, Hello Again
Jack Cummings III, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon

Outstanding Choreography
winner Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
Rob Ashford, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, Beautiful Burnout
Steven Hoggett, Peter and the Starcatcher
Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
Siudy, Between Worlds

Outstanding Music
winner Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Brad Alexander, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Alan Menken, Sister Act
Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can
Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, The People in the Picture
David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Outstanding Lyrics
winner Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Rick Crom, Newsical The Musical – Full Spin Ahead
Jack Lechner, The Kid
Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Glenn Slater, Sister Act
Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, Catch Me if You Can

Outstanding Book of a Musical
winner Adam Mathias, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth, In Transit
Iris Rainer Dart, The People in the Picture
Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
Michael Zam, The Kid

Outstanding Orchestrations
winner Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Hello Again
Bruce Coughlin, The Burnt Part Boys
Simon Hale, Jim Abbott and David Yazbek, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank, Catch Me if You Can
Lynne Shankel, The Extraordinary Ordinary

Outstanding Music in a Play
winner Wayne Barker, Peter and the Starcatcher
Kathryn Bostic, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Lars Petter Hagen, Baby Universe
Alan John, The Diary of a Madman
Tom Kitt, The Winter’s Tale
Dan Moses Schreier, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Revue
winner Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway
Fyvush Finkel Live!
Newsical The Musical – Full Spin Ahead

Outstanding Set Design
winner Derek McLane, Anything Goes
Rachel Hauck, Orange, Hat & Grace
David Korins and Zachary Borovay (projection design), Lombardi
Derek McLane, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Tony Straiges, Treasure Island
Mark Wendland, The Merchant of Venice

Outstanding Costume Design
winner Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
Desmond Heeley, The Importance of Being Earnest
Ann Hould-Ward, A Free Man of Color
Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher

Outstanding Lighting Design
winner David Lander, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Jean Kalman, John Gabriel Borkman
R. Lee Kennedy, See Rock City & Other Destinations
Laura Mroczkowski, Spy Garbo
Ben Stanton, The Whipping Man
David Weiner, A Small Fire

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
winner Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
Lindsay Jones, The Burnt Part Boys
Michael Rasbury, Hello Again
Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon
Jon Weston, In Transit

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
winner Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Acme Sound Partners, The Merchant of Venice
Ian Dickinson, John Gabriel Borkman
Brett Jarvis, Baby Universe
Bray Poor, Wings
Eric Shimelonis, The Hallway Trilogy

Outstanding Solo Performance
winner John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
Daniel Beaty, Through the Night
Mike Birbiglia, Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
Juliette Jeffers, Batman and Robin in the Boogie Down
Colin Quinn, Colin Quinn Long Story Short
Joanna Tope, The Promise

Unique Theatrical Experience
winner Sleep No More
Being Harold Pinter
Circus Incognitus
Gatz
Play Dead
Room 17B

Drama League Award Winners Announced

The 2011 Drama League Award winners were announced in a ceremony that took place on May 20.

The Book of Mormon won for Distinguished Production of a Musical and Anything Goes for Distinguished Revival of a Musical. The non-musical winners were War Horse and Normal Heart.

Mark Rylance was given the Distinguished Performance Award for his work in both Jerusalem and La Bete. Awards were also handed out to Susan Stroman, who received The Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing; Whoopi Goldberg, who was given the Unique Contribution to the Theatre Award; and Liza Minnelli, who received the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award.

Many others received nominations; the full list of nominees follows. Congratulations to the winners and keep your calendar marked for the Tony Awards on June 12!

Distinguished Production of a Musical
The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez
Catch Me If You Can music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman, book by Terrence McNally
Elf music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, book by Bob Martin
In Transit by Kristen Anderson-Lopez, James-Allen Ford, Russ Kaplan and Sara Wordsworth
The People in the Picture book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert book by Allan Scott
Sister Act music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner | Broadway Theatre

Distinguished Production of a Play
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph
The Diary of a Madman by David Holman from Nikolai Gogol’s short story
The Dream of the Burning Boy by David West Read
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz
Gatz by Elevator Repair Service from F. Scott Fitzgerald
Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire
Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth
Kin by Bathsheba Doran
The Motherf**ker with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz
Sleep No More devised by Punchdrunk
War Horse adapted by Nick Stafford from Michael Morpurgo

Distinguished Revival of a Musical
Anything Goes music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay, Russell Crouse, Timothy Crouse, and John Weidman
Hello Again by Michael John Lachiusa
How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert

Distinguished Revival of a Play
Angels in America by Tony Kushner
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
Born Yesterday by Garson Kanin
The Collection and a Kind of Alaska by Harold Pinter
The House of Blue Leaves by John Guare
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
La Bête by David Hirson
The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer

Distinguished Performance Award
Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
Vanessa Aspillaga, underneathmybed
Daniel Beaty, Through The Night
Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest
Jim Belushi, Born Yesterday
Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Reed Birney, The Dream of the Burning Boy
Desmin Borges, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Christian Borle, Angels in America and Peter and the Starcatcher
André Braugher, The Whipping Man
Charles Busch, The Divine Sister
Bill Camp, Notes From Underground
Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker With The Hat
Victoria Clark, Sister Act
Billy Crudup, Arcadia and The Metal Children
Colin Donnell, Anything Goes
Lisa Emery, The Collection/A Kind of Alaska
Ensemble, Sleep No More
Ensemble, Hello Again
Raúl Esparza, Arcadia
Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves and This Wide Night
Halley Feiffer, Tigers Be Still
Sutton Foster, Anything Goes
Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon
Laura Heisler, Kin
John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
Marin Ireland, In the Wake and Three Sisters
John Larroquette, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Dan Lauria, Lombardi
John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
Judith Light, Lombardi
Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
Elizabeth Marvel, The Little Foxes and Other Desert Cities
Frances McDormand, Good People
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Patina Miller, Sister Act
Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture
Seth Numrich, War Horse
Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
Estelle Parsons, Good People
Alison Pill, This Wide Night
Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice
Daniel Radcliffe, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
Martin Rayner, Freud’s Last Session
Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy
Paul Reubens, The Pee-Wee Herman Show
Chris Rock, The Motherf**ker With The Hat
Mark Rylance, Jerusalem and La Bête
Michael Shannon, Mistakes Were Made
Fiona Shaw, John Gabriel Borkman
Tony Sheldon, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Scott Shepherd, Gatz
Christopher Sieber, The Kid
Alexandra Socha, The Dream of the Burning Boy
Paul Sparks, Dusk Rings a Bell
Ben Stiller, The House of Blue Leaves
Will Swenson, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Kathleen Turner, High
Aaron Tveit, Catch Me If You Can
Robin Williams, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Tom Wopat, Catch Me If You Can

In addition, seven past recipients of The Distinguished Performance Award will be honored on the dais for their work this season. However, because an individual can only receive The Distinguished Performance Award once in his/her lifetime, they are ineligible for award consideration this year. Those past honorees are:

Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Cherry Jones, Mrs. Warren’s Profession
James Earl Jones, Driving Miss Daisy
Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown
Brian Stokes Mitchell, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Geoffrey Rush, The Diary of a Madman

What Do You Think of the 2011 Tony Award Nominees?

The 2011 Tony Award nominees have been announced. So what do you think? You gonna tune in to the ceremony on June 12 to see who wins?

Best Musical
The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can
The Scottsboro Boys
Sister Act

Best Play
Good People
Jerusalem
The Motherf**ker with the Hat
War Horse 

Best Book of a Musical
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Alex Timbers
The Book of Mormon Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys David Thompson
Sister Act Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
The Book of Mormon Music & Lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys Music & Lyrics: John Kander and Fred Ebb
Sister Act Music: Alan Menken, Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Best Revival of a Play
Arcadia
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

Best Revival of a Musical
Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Brian Bedford The Importance of Being Earnest
Bobby Cannavale The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Joe Mantello The Normal Heart
Al Pacino The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance Jerusalem

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand Good People
Lily Rabe The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland Brief Encounter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad The Book of Mormon
Joshua Henry The Scottsboro Boys
Andrew Rannells The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Sutton Foster Anything Goes
Beth Leavel Baby It’s You!
Patina Miller Sister Act
Donna Murphy The People in the Picture

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Mackenzie Crook Jerusalem
Billy Crudup Arcadia
John Benjamin Hickey The Normal Heart
Arian Moayed Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Yul Vázquez The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin The Normal Heart
Edie Falco The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light Lombardi
Joanna Lumley La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Colman Domingo The Scottsboro Boys
Adam Godley Anything Goes
John Larroquette How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Forrest McClendon The Scottsboro Boys
Rory O’Malley The Book of Mormon

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark Sister Act
Nikki M. James The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris War Horse
Joel Grey & George C. Wolfe The Normal Heart
Anna D. Shapiro The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Daniel Sullivan The Merchant of Venice

Best Direction of a Musical
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman The Scottsboro Boys

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman The Scottsboro Boys

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Larry Hochman The Scottsboro Boys
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman & Larry Blank Catch Me If You Can

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Todd Rosenthal The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Rae Smith War Horse
Ultz Jerusalem
Mark Wendland The Merchant of Venice

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Beowulf Boritt The Scottsboro Boys
Derek McLane Anything Goes
Scott Pask The Book of Mormon
Donyale Werle Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jess Goldstein The Merchant of Venice
Desmond Heeley The Importance of Being Earnest
Mark Thompson La Bête
Catherine Zuber Born Yesterday

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Martin Pakledinaz Anything Goes
Ann Roth The Book of Mormon
Catherine Zuber How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable War Horse
David Lander Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Kenneth Posner The Merchant of Venice
Mimi Jordan Sherin Jerusalem

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Ken Billington The Scottsboro Boys
Howell Binkley How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Peter Kaczorowski Anything Goes
Brian MacDevitt The Book of Mormon

Best Sound Design of a Play
Acme Sound Partners & Cricket S. Myers Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Simon Baker Brief Encounter
Ian Dickinson Autograph Jerusalem
Christopher Shutt War Horse

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski The Scottsboro Boys
Steve Canyon Kennedy Catch Me If You Can
Brian Ronan Anything Goes
Brian Ronan The Book of Mormon

Special Tony Award® for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Athol Fugard
Philip J. Smith

Regional Theatre Tony Award®
Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, Ill.)

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Eve Ensler

Special Tony Award
Handspring Puppet Company

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
William Berloni
The Drama Book Shop
Sharon Jensen and Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

The Reviews for The Book of Mormon are in…

And wow do critics love it. I haven’t seen critical praise this unanimous for years! Every element of the show was lauded – the music, the cast, the writing – everything. They all agree – it’s a book musical done right with a perfect amount of childish cheek layered on top. Congratulations to all involved!

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW

“This is to all the doubters and deniers out there, the ones who say that heaven on Broadway does not exist, that it’s only some myth our ancestors dreamed up. I am here to report that a newborn, old-fashioned, pleasure-giving musical has arrived at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, the kind our grandparents told us left them walking on air if not on water. So hie thee hence, nonbelievers (and believers too), to “The Book of Mormon,” and feast upon its sweetness. “

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

VARIETY REVIEW

“Given the key contributors that “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone teamed with for their first Broadway outing, one might expect “The Book of Mormon” to show the influences of “Spamalot” and “Avenue Q.” As it happens, this raucously funny new show surpasses both of those Tony winners, and handily so: Every song enhances the hilarity, expert staging heightens every gag, and the cast of fresh faces is blissfully good. Broadway hasn’t seen anything like it since Mel Brooks came to town with “The Producers,” only “Mormon” has better songs.”

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

LA TIMES REVIEW

“If the sound of doorbells has ever provoked bigger guffaws in the theater, there must be some forgotten comedy gem about Avon ladies. But it’s hard to imagine anyone topping the ding-dong hilarity set off by the missionaries-in-training of “The Book of Mormon,” which had its Broadway opening Thursday at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.”

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

WASHINGTON POST REVIEW

“I know, I know: You’ve been indulging for years in a little scatological side business called “South Park.” But now, you’ve discovered your true calling — as the wit-spewing class clowns of Broadway.”

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW

“The Bottom Line: The first Broadway musical from the “South Park” team will have the comedy faithful flocking. “

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

AM NEW YORK REVIEW

“Don’t expect to find any members of the Mormon faith protesting outside “The Book of Mormon,” a tuneful, unabashedly silly and absolutely uproarious new musical by Matt Stone and Trey Parker.”

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW

“If any show could make the case that you can have fun with absolutely anything in the oft-painful run of human experience — AIDS, genocide, genital mutilation, poverty, religion, “The Lion King” — then that show is “The Book of Mormon,” the shrewd, remarkably well-crafted and wholly hilarious new Broadway musical from the creators of “South Park” and the composer of “Avenue Q.””

Click here to read the full “The Book Of Mormon” review

Have you seen it? Do you agree?

An Exciting New Season Begins!


I hope you all had a wonderful summer. I escaped to Maine and I’m afraid summer-stock ate up all of my free time, so that (and the lack of any real exciting Broadway news) has keep the blog pretty quiet this summer. But never-fear, I’m back again and vow to maintain a more consistent posting schedule this Broadway season.

We’ve got some gems opening in the next year, lots of movie adaptations, Off-Broadway transfers and a couple infamous big-spenders who’ll soon be making splashes. Here’s the line-up:

  • Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson – October 13
  • The Scottsboro Boys – October 31
  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – November 4
  • The Pee-Wee Herman Show – November 11
  • Elf – November 14
  • Zorba – Fall 2011
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – Dec 21
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – March 27
  • The Book of Mormon – March 2011
  • Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – March 2011
  • Anything Goes – April 7
  • Wonderland – April 17
  • Phantom: Love Never Dies – April 2011
  • Sister Act – April 2011
  • Catch Me If You Can – Spring 2011
  • Unchain My Heart – Spring 2011

I’ll be tweeting live from Broadway on Broadway, where a couple new shows will be performing for the first time alongside many of the long-running hits.

There’s a lot of star power behind a lot of these shows, but unlike last season, it appears (for the most part) to be homegrown Broadway talent, rather than Hollywood ringers – exciting news for those who got up-in-arms around Tony Award time last year.

What are you most excited about in this upcoming season?

I’ll be back next week with an update about cast changes and announcements.

A preview of the musicals opening next season on Broadway

As the 2009-2010 Broadway season has officially come to an end, I thought it timely to look forward to the shows on the docket for next season. There are a lot of movie to stage productions, couple of TV to stage productions, some Off-Broadway transfers, some revivals, a new jukebox musical and the messes that are Spider-Man and Love Never Dies. Last year sales went up slightly but audience attendance went down for the 4th year in a row. Will this next season get more “butts in seats”? Here’s hoping!

The Pee-Wee Herman Show – Opening October 26

Paul Reubens brings his iconic character Pee-Wee Herman to the stage in a show featuring the good ol’ Playhouse gang. The show premiered in Los Angeles earlier this year – attracting a die-hard cult fan-base who had nothing but good things to say about the show. It’s now headed to the Great White Way for six-week limited run at the newly christened Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Critics who saw it in LA named it a “phantasmagorical visual treat” and a “trip down memory lane;” hopefully it can retain its whimsical charm on a bigger scale.


The Scottsboro Boys – Opening October 31

After a successful Off-Broadway run, this new Kander and Ebb musical about the Scottsboro case that helped to ignite the civil rights movement is headed to Broadway after a brief fix-up at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, MN. Using a minstrel show treatment, critics found the Off-Broadway show thought-provoking and shattering (in a good way), with just a few kinks to work out. Hopefully they’ll make better fixes than American Idiot (which cut away at the poor book rather than adding more substance to it), before it makes its way to the Lyceum Theatre.


Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – Opening October 2010

A stage musical based on the Spanish film of the same name is headed to Broadway this fall, starring Jessica Biel and possibly Salma Hayek, Matthew Morrison and Paulo Szot (who all participated in a reading). Some are skeptical about the casting, but then again, we’ve been surprised by more than one Hollywood starlet in recent years (just look at this year’s Tony nominees). The production will be directed by Bartlett Sher at the Belasco Theatre.


Unchain My Heart – Opening November 7

With a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, The Book of Grace) and direction by Sheldon Epps, this musical biography of Ray Charles is opening this fall at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and hoping to cash in on the recent success of jukebox musicals like Jersey Boys, Million Dollar Quartet and Mamma Mia. The show will star will star Brandon Victor Dixon, Nikki Renée Daniels, Harrison White and Tasha Taylor.


Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – Opening November 2011

Now having spent nearly 50 million dollars, the Julie Taymor-directed musical with music and lyrics by Bono and the Edge is finally supposed to open at the Hilton Theatre in the fall. Reeve Carney is the only member of the original cast to remain. Patrick Page (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) has been offered the role of the Green Goblin, but they are still looking for a replacement for Evan Rachel Wood’s character. Will it ever actually open? For the sake of their investors, I sure hope so.


The Book of Mormon – Opening March 2011

The creators of Avenue Q have teamed up with those of South Park to bring a musical about Mormonism to the Great White Way. When they made their movie-musical “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut,” many, including Stephen Sondheim, called it one of the best musicals of the past 15 years. The plot may seem a bit odd, but with those names on board, we can safely say we’re in for a fun show…


Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – Opening March 2011

Based on the movie of the same name, this musical, which has had great success on the West End, is now headed to Toronto and then making its way to Broadway. Simon Phillips will direct the show, which has a book by Stephan Elliott (director of the original film) and Allan Scott and will star Will Swenson (Hair) and Tony Sheldon, from the London production. Judging by the success La Cage Aux Folles has found on the Great White Way, campy fun like this may be just what Broadway audiences are looking for.


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying – Opening Spring 2011

Daniel Ratcliff (Harry Potter) is headed back to Broadway, where he successfully played Alan Strang in Equus last year. This time he will be taking on a much lighter (and fully clothed) role – that of Finch in a revival of this fun musical directed by Rob Ashford, (Promises, Promises, Curtains). The original Broadway production starred Robert Morse (whose performance was captured on film in the Hollywood version) and a 1995 revival starred Matthew Broderick. Will Daniel be able to carry a show like this? I can’t be the only one waiting to find out…


Catch Me If You Can – Opening Spring 2011

A new musical based on Steven Spielberg’s film about young con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr. will be directed by Jack O’Brien, with choreography by Jerry Mitchell, a book by Terrence McNally and a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal) and Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Wicked) starred in the Seattle mounting of the show and are expected to appear in the Broadway version, though no official casting has yet been announced. Critics in Seattle were a bit negative, so a lot of work will need to go into sprucing up the production.


Phantom: Love Never Dies – Opening TBA

Originally planned for a November opening, Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s doctor has caused producers to move the opening to the Spring. Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell were originally on board to mount the production, but by spring will be busy with Catch Me If You Can, so the production team is now up in the air. The musical opened on the West End to mixed reviews, so the delay might be a good thing, allowing them more time to make fixes before heading to New York.


Zorba – Opening Fall 2011

The Scottsboro Boys isn’t the only Kander and Ebb musical headed to the Great White Way next season – a revival of Zorba is also hitting Broadway. Starring another big Hollywood name, Antonio Banderas, the production will be directed by David Leveaux (Nine, Fiddler on the Roof). When these two last collaborated in Nine, critics and audiences ate it up. Hopefully they’ll find that same magic in this show.


Yank! – Opening TBA

Yank!, another Off-Broadway hit dealing with the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, will be making a Broadway transfer. The Off-Broadway production, directed by Igor Goldin, starred Bobby Steggert (Ragtime) and Ivan Hernandez (The Fantasticks), but no official director, cast or production team has been announced for the Broadway mounting. The producers were inspired to bring it to Broadway by “the success of other non-traditional musicals” like Next to Normal, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening and thank goodness.


Godspell – Opening TBA

Finally, producer Ken Davenport (Altar Boyz) has announced plans to try to bring the Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin) musical, Godspell to Broadway. The revival will be helmed by Daniel Goldstein, who directed the Paper Mill Playhouse production in 2006. No casting has yet been announced.

April News Roundup

An awful lot has happened this month on the Great White Way – numerous shows have opened, squeezing in just in time for award consideration, and there’s been lots of exciting announcements and good old controversy. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s what you’ve missed:

The Addams Family opened to dismal reviews, while the critics ate up the La Cage Aux Folles revival and had mixed things to say about American Idiot, Million Dollar Quartet, Sondheim on Sondheim and Promises, Promises.

Everyday Rapture, the last minute Sherie Rene Scott showcase, opens tomorrow night and released a very fun cast recording pre-opening. The buzz so far is that those who love the woman will adore the production, while others may be left scratching their heads. We’ll see what the critics have to say tomorrow.

There’s quite a break before the next round of shows look to make their way to Broadway. The big official announcements are that Catch Me If You Can, which had an out-of-town-tryout last year in Seattle, is looking at a spring 2011 Broadway opening. However, Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell, who were involved in the Seattle mounting are already tied up in Phantom: Love Never Dies, which was pushed back to the spring in response to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s health problems, so everyone’s wondering which production they’ll stick with.

The other exciting spring openings are How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which will feature Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, The Book of Mormon, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q composer and co-creator Robert Lopez and the Australian/West End transfer of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, whose producers are reportedly talking to Matthew Cavanaugh (West Side Story) and Will Swenson (Hair) about joining Tony Sheldon in the production.

The doomed Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ran into another hiccup, when it’s only remaining headliner, Alan Cumming, bailed on the production. Originally slotted to open in the fall of last year, then in February of this year, the show now has no official start date or stars, save for the newcomer, Reeve Carney, who Taymor selected to play Spidey…

Plenty of rumors have popped up this month too. Rumor is that Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother Blythe Danner may be taking over for Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music, when they depart the production in June. And Disney acquired the domain names DumboOnBroadway.com and NewsiesOnBroadway.com. The Post already told us about a potential Dumbo mounting on Broadway, but the Newsies purchase has sparked some positive buzz among our Twitter and Facebook followers.

Another adaptation of film to the stage is officially in the works – as producer Matt Murphy has acquired the stage rights for a musical adaptation of Dances With Wolves. Murphy, who is pulling together a creative team now, is looking to team the composer “with a Native American musical expert to lend authenticity to the score.” And the NFL has invested in their first Broadway show, Lombardi, which will star Dan Lauria (“The Wonder Years”) and is slated to open at Circle in the Square on Oct. 21, 2010.

The biggest controversy this month was that Next to Normal took home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, even though it was not among the nominees. The board members are reputed to have attended the show the night before making their decision and Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times cried foul while others sat wondering “what’s with all the N2N hate?” The show did just recoup its investment – a very exciting achievement that many hope will help producers see they don’t have to rely on Hollywood stars and spectacle to make a success – a good show will get “butts in seats.”

In other award news, nominees for the Outer Critics Circle Awards and Drama League Awards have been announced. The Drama Desk nominees will be out on May 3rd and the Tony Award nominees on May 4th. Here’s when all of the award ceremonies will take place:

Drama League Awards: May 21, 2010
Drama Desk Awards: May 23, 2010
Outer Critics Circle Awards: May 27, 2010
Theatre World Awards: June 8, 2010
Tony Awards: June 13, 2010

Cast albums are out for Everyday Rapture, American Idiot and A Little Night Music and The Addams Family, Fela! and Memphis all recently went into the studio to record their own. The Off-Broadway (and suspected soon-to-transfer-to-Broadway) production of The Scottsboro Boys also ducked into the studio to record an album.

In casting news, Brian d’Arcy James, who originated the role of Dan in Next to Normal‘s original Off-Broadway run, will be rejoining the cast, this time on Broadway.  J. Robert Spencer leaves the show on May 16 and James will start his run in the show the following day.

And the final bit of excitement I’ll leave with you is official confirmation that shooting for the In the Heights movie, directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda,  begins this August.

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