Tupac Shakur was an exceptional rapper, writer, actor, and incendiary public figure who was cut down in his prime in 1996. But his work lives on, and his legacy will be getting its boldest treatment yet when Holler If Ya Hear Me opens on Broadway. READ FULL STORY
Tag: An EW Exclusive! (11-20 of 412)
Much like the pugilist champ at its center, Rocky is proving a power player on Broadway. Its numbers keep going up, and more and more people are becoming ringside fans of the Philly palooka Rocky Balboa (Andy Karl) and his shy, pet-store employee girlfriend-in-waiting Adrian (Margo Seibert) all over again, after the great successes of Sylvester Stallone and company in the Oscar-winning 1976 movie. (Stallone is a book writer on this show, and could very likely be a Tony nominee this coming Tuesday, along with several others involved.)
But the ringside mention earlier is nothing short of completely literal, as director Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and scenic designer Christopher Barreca devised a regulation-size boxing ring for the 15-minute, climactic bout between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed (Terence Archie), in which a sizable portion of the orchestra patrons are (quite ingeniously) repurposed so that the ring may become a four-sided, true-to-life event for the audience. What results is one of the most eye-popping bits of stagecraft ever created, with no shortage of fun details (check out all that blood!).
In the exclusive three-minute feature below, watch as director Timbers and his fearless cast and crew explain how they went about making what seemed impossible in concept to a fully-realized reality for 1,500 attendees per evening. (And they managed to do it with far less event than another recent mega-musical, as well.) READ FULL STORY
Daniel Radcliffe is currently prepping for his third stint on Broadway, this time in a quirky play called The Cripple of Inishmaan, a dark 1996 comedy from Martin McDonagh. Radcliffe stars as Billy, a disabled Irish boy who has big dreams of making it in Hollywood when a documentary crew shows up to film on a nearby Irish island.
Six months into its run and still knockin’ the crowd out, the dance-packed jazz revue After Midnight has proven an enduring threat come awards time. One of the reasons behind this is the uniquely chosen guest artists who have added new luster to the already bright show, most recently Toni Braxton, k.d. lang and original guest star Fantasia (who is coming back May 13-June 8).
But if you’re seeing the show between now and May 11, you are in for a treat, as stage-and-screen star Vanessa Williams (a multiple Tony, Grammy and Emmy nominee) essays the guest spot, and in the EW exclusive clip below, get ready to swoon for the seemingly ageless beauty’s take on the Arlen/Koehler classic “Stormy Weather”. Her silky performance style here (in one of Isabel and Ruben Toledo’s drop-dead costumes, no less) will make you momentarily forget the classic takes by Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, and Billie Holiday, and remind you Ms. Williams is always perfectly at home on a Broadway stage. READ FULL STORY
Apparently, the redoubtable Audra McDonald needs to break that Tony-winning record. With five wins under her belt (the last was for her shattering take on the drug-snorting, tortured female lead of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), she could net a sixth for the Broadway premiere of longtime regional staple Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, in which she will embody none other than “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child” songstress Billie Holiday, in what would become a Tony milestone as she currently ties Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress. (Additionally, if the production is considered a play versus a musical — à la the recent Broadway production of the Judy Garland-flavored End of the Rainbow — McDonald would be the first actor to win all four possible female acting categories at the Tonys.)
Directed by Lonny Price (who directed McDonald to a Tony nom in 2007’s 110 in the Shade) and written by Lanie Robertson, the setting of Lady Day is a seedy bar in 1959 Philadelphia, where Ms. Holiday gives a legendary performance just four months before her tragic death of cirrhosis at age 44. In the teaser below, listen as McDonald and company expound on the exciting prospect of inhabiting one of the most indelible female jazz artists of the 20th century.
Hedwig’s gonna put on some makeup, turn on the tape deck, and put the wig back on his head this season in the person of multi-Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris, a.k.a. Greatest Tony Host Ever. Mr. Harris will be returning to Broadway in the first-ever Main Stem production of the already-classic rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The show centers on Hedwig, self-described “internationally ignored song stylist” who struggles with identity after a botched sex-change operation and rages against a former lover who’s used Hedwig’s music to craft a hugely successful career. (The production will shrewdly use Times Square — only a block away from Hedwig‘s current Broadway locale — as a backdrop for said lover’s rocketing success before large crowds.)
Since the show’s Off Broadway debut in 1998, which cemented the arrivals of star John Cameron Mitchell (Girls) and composer Stephen Trask (who later collaborated on the acclaimed 2001 film version), Hedwig has been the ultimate emo go-to, filling the void left by such benchmark 1970s alt-classics as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The show even inspired a documentary and a (rather excellent) tribute album, which included such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Ben Folds, and Rufus Wainwright providing unique takes on the show’s score.
In the exclusive video below, watch the How I Met Your Mother star expound on the rigors of the role, adding that “you can’t phone this one in.” READ FULL STORY
Josh Cam, like Scandal, is back!
After a winter break that left us all having to cope without Pope, ABC’s crowned king of OMG TV is back. And to celebrate, we present you an all-new edition of EW’s ongoing behind-the-scenes video series in which cast member Josh Malina gives us a sneak peek at the action on set.
In this week’s edition, Malina introduces us to Mitchell Haddad, the man behind Scandal‘s signature “jazzy snaps.” (You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about when you click below.) READ FULL STORY
Michael C. Hall. Toni Collette. Marisa Tomei. Tracy Letts. All in the same Broadway play. Say it with me now, loud and proud: MUST-SEE. Right?
In what’s sure to be the ensemble of the season, with enough entertainment awards between its cast members to fill Radio City Music Hall, the quartet tackle a new relationship comedy about two pairs of neighbors who have more in common than initially thought, in the long-awaited Main Stem debut for much-admired playwright Will Eno.
EW has an exclusive look at the press event for the cast and creators, all of whom are excited to be tackling Broadway again after considerable hiatuses. (The sole exception is Letts, who rightfully claimed last year’s Best Actor in a Play Tony for his unforgettable take on George in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). The play arrives off of excellent reviews from the 2012 Yale Repertory Theatre production (only Letts is a holdover from that cast, which also starred Parker Posey), and director Sam Gold (Seminar) is fast becoming one of the envied go-to directors of stellar ensemble plays, with The Real Thing starring Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal next up on his docket this fall.
Click on the video below to hear more from the company of The Realistic Joneses, which will begin previews at the Lyceum Theatre on March 13 with an opening night of April 6. You can find the show’s official website here. READ FULL STORY
Stop! Wait! What?! Yup, that’s right: EW has a listening preview of the entire cast album of the rollicking new musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (prominently listed on EW’s Best of Stage this past year). The current musical — sure to be a top contender for several categories at the Hugh Jackman-hosted Tonys on June 8 — has been playing on Broadway to pleased-as-Punch audiences since October, and now you can see just what the howling is about. In Guide, the tireless Jefferson Mays plays no less than eight roles, encompassing the various members of the D’Ysquith (think “dies quick” as said by Elmer Fudd) family, a dynasty threatened by a genial serial killer (Bryce Pinkham) who attempts to bump off as many as he can to inherit a sizable fortune. Listen to 23 tracks on the full album below, which features the witty, inventive work of composers Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman, two Broadway newbies we’re certain to hear more from in the future.
The album will be available digitally on February 25, with a physical CD (including a 40-page booklet and an essay by Time Out New York’s David Cote) to drop on April 1 (for information on pre-ordering, please visit the Sh-K-Boom official web page).
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is now playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre in an open-ended run. For tickets and additional information, please visit the show’s official website. READ FULL STORY
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