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Tag: Annie (1-10 of 14)

Broadway revival of 'Annie' to close in January

It’s a hard-knock life on Broadway — the revival of Annie is set to close in January.

Producers said Thursday that the show will have its final performance on Jan. 5 at the Palace Theater. It will have played 487 performances and 38 previews. But a national tour is planned for the 2014-15 season.

Based on the beloved comic strip that debuted in 1924, Annie first opened on Broadway in 1977 and ran for almost six years, fueled by songs including “Hard-Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.”

The revival’s box office numbers were usually decent, without being fantastic. Last week, the show only pulled in half of its potential revenue — $720,823 from a possible $1,398,648. The show got only one Tony Award nomination, for Best Musical Revival. Jane Lynch played Miss Hannigan in the production for eight weeks, from May to July.

In defense of Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan

Miss Hannigan is not a sacred role.

Hundreds have played the negligent, booze-soaked ward of that Depression-era orphanage. That’s one of the great things about musicals. The parts are interchangeable by design. We may have our favorites, but on a certain level, we accept that the part is expected to live on separately from any individual performance, transcending generations and even the beloved soundtrack. Committing that performance to film, however, does tend to get people riled up in a way that, say, Nick Jonas playing Marius in Les Misérables on stage does not.

After months of wondering whether Sandra Bullock would take on the part in Will Gluck’s adaptation of Annie, news broke Wednesday that the coveted part would in fact go to Cameron Diaz. Unless they’d announced that some Broadway crossover (à la Sutton Foster) had snatched up the role, the knee-jerk reaction was never going to be great. Diaz is pure Hollywood. Is she too beautiful? Too young? Too old? Can she sing? Is this a case of disaster stunt casting that is just indicative of our worst fears that Jay-Z, Will Smith, and Gluck aren’t interested in making a good film?

But let’s step back for a moment. Diaz’s casting is not only not a bad thing, she may actually make the movie. Bear with us.
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Broadway box office: 'Cinderella' and 'Vanya and Sonia' see biggest post-Tony sales bump

The tongue-twisterly titled comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike also saw another spike — in ticket sales — in the week since it won the Tony Award for Best Play on June 9. According to figures from the Broadway League, Christopher Durang’s sendup of Chekhov grossed $654,304 for the week ending June 16, up a whopping 18 percent from the week before. That’s an impressive 85 percent of the potential earnings for the Golden Theatre. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella — a Tony winner for Best Costumes, which were impressively on display during a production number early in CBS’ Tony broadcast — also saw a 19 percent boost in revenues last week, to $1.06 million. (That’s nearly two-thirds the show’s potential gross.)

Sales for the season’s most highly touted new musicals, Matilda and Best Musical winner Kinky Boots, both rose 4 percent last week, to $1.18 million and $1.47 million, respectively. Both productions have been top grossers, so dramatic sales jumps were unlikely even after their Tony victories — and both gave well-received mini-performances during the Neil Patrick Harris-hosted telecast. Tellingly, though, the average ticket price for each show climbed nearly $5 in the last week — signaling that producers will use premium pricing to eke out more profits from already popular shows. The new revivals of Annie ($962,027) and Pippin ($1.01 million) benefited even more from the primetime exposure, boosting their weekly takings by nearly 8 percent.
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This Week On Stage: It's Tony weekend!

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It’s finally here — Broadway’s version of the Super Bowl — and EW’s own Melissa Rose Bernardo and Thom Geier have already firmed up who they think are going to win the big trophies at the Tonys on Sunday evening. It’s one of the most unpredictable years on record, so that, plus fourth time host Neil Patrick Harris (click here for our recent interview with Harris) and the promise of a boatload of show performances should make for one good time. (See below on how you can join us for the Tonys live).

In the land of Off Broadway, however, there are still quite a few new openings this week, including a quite-pregnant and lovely-as-ever Kelli O’Hara returning to the stage for the first time since her Tony-nommed performance in Nice Work If You Can Get It and Glee’s Jane Lynch takes on the Great White Way  for the very first time (click on the links below for the full reviews): READ FULL STORY

'Annie' star Jane Lynch takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test -- VIDEO

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Jane Lynch will return to Glee this fall (“My character has been fired, but I don’t think Jane Lynch has been fired,” she says), but in the meantime, she’s keeping busy. She’s doing eight shows a week on Broadway as Annie‘s Miss Hannigan through July 14. (Her pre-show ritual? Besides nervous burping, she heads to the conductor’s dressing room and they sing “Little Girls” on his Casio, “just for fun.”) She’s serving as the face of belVita Breakfast Biscuits. (Her favorite flavor? Blueberry). And she’s hosting NBC’s Hollywood Game Night, premiering July 14, which has stars playing variations of games like Charades and Name That Tune. The most competitive celebrity? “Matthew Perry was the most angry, I think,” she reports, laughing. “He did not do well, and he was funny and self-deprecating. Martin Short was hilarious and off-the-wall. We have a live house band, and they were right behind him. Every time they would play, he would fall on to the floor. Rose Byrne was very aggressive. It’s the cute young girls with the pretty faces, and they become little monsters. Ellie Kemper, she was awful and very sweet, all at the same time.”

Now that she’s ratted them out, it’s only fair that Lynch reveals a few of her own secrets in our EW Pop Culture Personality Test. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2013: Who will win?

Despite a Broadway season that saw a 6-percent dip in attendance, theater fans still have cause for celebration at this Sunday’s Tony Awards. There’s a  contest heating up for Best Musical, pitting the “revolting” children of Matilda against the fabulous drag queens of Kinky Boots.

And there’s some real suspense in other major categories: Will two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (above) add a Tony to his mantel for his Broadway debut in Lucky Guy? Will former Who’s the Boss star Judith Light win back-to-back Tonys in Best Featured Actress in a Play? EW critics Melissa Rose Bernardo and Thom Geier offer their predictions of who will be step-step-kicking to the podium at Radio City Music Hall this Sunday. (By the way, we’ll also be live-blogging the ceremony, hosted for the fourth time by the Energizer bunny of awards-show hosts, Neil Patrick Harris.) Disagree with our picks? Please let us know who you think will win — or should win — in the comments section.
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'Annie' Broadway cast album with Jane Lynch bonus tracks -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LISTEN

No more “Hard Knock Life” for us! The 2012 revival of everyone’s favorite copper-topped orphan Annie has a new cast album featuring all of the tunes “Little Girls” (and okay, perhaps some boys too) sang and danced around their living rooms growing up, including “Maybe,” “Tomorrow,” “N.Y.C.,” and “Easy Street.” And EW has every track, streamable below with added bonus tracks featuring the musical’s new addition to the cast, Glee’s favorite baddie Jane Lynch, who began an eight-week stint as the crusty alkie Miss Hannigan just last week. (Though we did already get an aural hint of her take on one of the tunes some time ago.). Click below for access to the entire cast album, available as a digital download on May 28 and for purchase on June 18. READ FULL STORY

'Glee' star Jane Lynch to make Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in 'Annie'

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Cheerios, rejoice! Jane Lynch, who won an Emmy as sharp-tongued cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on Fox’s Glee, will make her Broadway debut this spring in the hit musical revival of Annie. The role seems like a perfect fit for the star: Miss Hannigan, the drunken and scheming head of young Annie’s orphanage who melodically complains about being surrounded by “little girls.” Lynch, an Illinois native who got her start in theater at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Second City, will appear in the musical for eight weeks only, from May 16 through July 14. READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: Scarlett Johansson sells tickets -- but Jessica Chastain has star power, too, post-Globes

January is typically a slow period on Broadway, given the seasonal dip in post-holiday tourism, but shows headlined by Hollywood starlets are bucking the trend this year. In its first full week since its Jan. 17 opening, the Scarlett Johansson-led revival Cat on a Hot Tin Roof clawed in $886,531 for the week ending Jan. 27, according to the Broadway League. That’s a modest 5 percent dip from the show’s premiere week and represents a strong 67 percent of the potential gross for the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Since reviews for Rob Ashford’s production were generally mixed, the popularity of the 28-year-old Avengers star (and improbable doppelganger for a young Christopher Walken) will be a big factor in the revival’s fortunes during its limited run through March 30.

Meanwhile, the recent Golden Globe win for Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain has proven to be a sudden box office bonanza for the actress’ Broadway debut, The HeiressThe drama revival, which opened last November and will end its limited run Feb. 9, grossed $604,765 last week, a nearly 36 percent jump from its total two weeks ago and two-thirds of the potential haul for the venue. (Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that her costar Dan Stevens is back in the public eye with the return of Downton Abbey on PBS.) READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: Christmas comes early as 12 shows top $1 million

For Broadway producers, Thanksgiving brought some extra trimmings this year. According to figures from the Broadway League, a dozen Broadway shows topped $1 million at the box office for the week ending Nov. 25 — the first time that’s happened all year. Perennial musical hits led the list: Wicked ($2.3 million), The Lion King ($2.1 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.8 million), and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.78 million). The fifth slot went to the just-opened revival Annie (pictured above), which took a stroll down Easy Street by selling $1.5 million in tickets, 105 percent of the show’s potential gross and a house record for the Palace Theatre. (Premium ticket charges spiked the average ticket price to $116, from $89 the week before.) READ FULL STORY

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