Bette Midler and Jimmy Fallon switched lips on The Tonight show for some bawdy gags (obviously), some vocal warm-ups, and a duet. Midler’s facial expressions really sell it. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Bette Midler (1-9 of 9)
Following the always-emotional “In Memoriam” segment, Bette Midler performed the always-emotional “Wind Beneath My Wings.” What a choice: It fit both the night’s hero theme and sentimentally saluted the late stars. Midler kept her composure during the song but appeared to break out in tears as the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
Watch the performance below: READ FULL STORY
Tony, Schmony. Bette Midler may have been snubbed by Tony nominators for her one-woman comedy I’ll Eat You Last, but she’s having the last laugh at the box office. According to figures from the Broadway League, ticket sales for the Divine Miss M’s first Broadway show in 30 years jumped 17 percent for the week ending May 5, to $753,217. That’s a record for the relatively tiny Booth Theatre and comes despite the fact that Midler performed only seven shows (most Broadway productions schedule eight performances per week). Her producers took advantage of premium pricing and stellar reviews, but the Tony snub also allowed them to deny Tony voters free tickets before the June 9 ceremony and re-sell those prime seats at full price.
So what’s a Tony nomination worth these days? For the musical revival Pippin and the star-studded comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the first week since the Tony noms boosted ticket sales by a healthy 10 percent. Pippin, which earned 10 nods (including Best Musical Revival), took in $785,386 for the week ending May 5 — an impressive 85 percent of the potential gross for the Music Box Theatre. Vanya, which earned 6 Tony noms, including Best Play, generated $449,073 at the Golden Theatre — roughly 60 percent of that 804-seat house’s maximum earnings. READ FULL STORY
There were plenty of surprises in the Tony nominations this morning, starting with the fact that the most-recognized show was Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots (with 13 total nominations, including Best Musical) — and not presumed front-runner Matilda (with 12). Of course, the Roald Dahl-inspired Matilda might have picked up a tying 13th nomination had the four young actresses rotating in the title role not been ruled ineligible for Best Actress in a Musical (the quartet will share special Tony honors instead).
Plenty of familiar Hollywood names made the cut for nominations, including three in the Best Actor in a Play category: Tom Hanks (inching closer to EGOT status with his leading role in the late Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy), Nathan Lane for The Nance, and David Hyde Pierce for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
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The Drama Desk Awards — commonly known as the theater world’s Golden Globes, though nominees are represented across all NYC productions in a season — are the last precursor to the Tony Awards (check EW.com tomorrow morning for a full list of those). And judging by the list below, it’s going to be quite a competitive year, with some pretty heavy-hitters mixed in with longshots, not to mention some major snubs (Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, Fiona Shaw, Chaplin‘s Rob McClure to name a few). The winners will be announced at NYC’s Town Hall on May 19. Below is the full list of nominees and special awards recipients: READ FULL STORY
Here they are, the last gasp of shows for the 2012-2013 theater season as we approach T-Day (Tony Nomination Day on April 30). And on that note, some notable rulings have been announced: the four young tykes taking on the title role in Matilda will not be competing jointly for Best Actress in a Musical (they will instead receive a special “Tony Honor For Excellence”). And poor Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and all the men in Orphans have been added to the crowded slate of competitors for Leading Actor/Actress, which means about eight Tony-worthy performers will be vying for five spaces in each, already dubbing this year as Sophie’s Choices. Read the full eligibility details here.
This edition features return Broadway favorites like Pippin and The Trip to Bountiful and a particularly solo-show heavy week, with Bette Midler, Fiona Shaw and Brief Encounter’s Tristan Sturrock all holding court (and even Alan Cumming’s take on the Scottish Play falls into the pseudo category). And David Byrne and Fatboy Slim are getting their groove on downtown too. (Click on the links below to read the full reviews):
Here Lies Love On your feet, disco lovers! No, really. This new David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical is a literal stand-up experience — wear comfortable shoes! — using the space inside the Public Theater as a full-on dance floor to tell a mirrorballed tale of controversial Philippines strongman Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda. Kyle Anderson declares the odd hybrid a smashing success: The show’s narrative center is so strong and its infectious melodic spirit so complete that it could easily work in a traditional theater setting (or in the round, on a street corner, or in your living room). The fact that you can sweat right along with the incredible cast is a happy-footed bonus.” EW grade: A READ FULL STORY
Matilda has emerged as a Dahled-up hit of the new Broadway season. In its first full week since its April 11 opening, the rapturously reviewed musical earned $1.13 million for the week ending April 21, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a 51 percent increase in ticket sales from the previous week, and represents nearly 89 percent of the potential gross from the Shubert Theatre.
Matilda is one of four brand-new shows that joined this week’s Million Dollar Club of high earners on the Great White Way. The Tom Hanks-topped drama Lucky Guy raked in $1.41 million, fully 124 percent of its potential earnings due to premium-priced ticket sales; Motown the Musical pulled down $1.15 million, 81 percent of its maximum; and the Cyndi Lauper musical Kinky Boots kicked up $1.06 million, about 73 percent of its potential high.
Rounding out this week’s Million Dollar Club are four long-running mainstays: The Lion King ($1.84 million); Wicked ($1.81 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.67 million); and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.06 million).
Five more shows are slated to open this week, including a high-profile (and high-flying) revival of the musical Pippin, which last week earned $683,911 (a strong 74 percent of its potential gross). And there are early indications of box office staying power for Bette Midler’s one-woman play I’ll Eat You Last, which broke a new record last week for the relatively small Booth Theatre with $686,031 in sales. What’s even more impressive is that the Divine Miss M is playing just seven performances a week (most Broadway shows do eight).
Some other star-driven nonmusical newbies — including The Nance with Nathan Lane, Orphans with Alec Baldwin, Macbeth with Alan Cumming, and The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr. — have yet to spark much box office heat. Each show may have to hope for a strong critical embrace (several have only just opened or will be debuting in coming days) and the even stronger embrace of the Tony nominating committee (which announces its picks on April 30).
Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier
Read More on EW.com:
This Week on Stage: Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, The Rascals, and a slew of new openings
See Opening Night Video for The Nance
Listen to three tracks from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
EW Stage hub
Bette Midler is coming to Broadway…by herself.
The Grammy and Tony-winning legend is returning to the Great White Way to play superagent Sue Mengers in a new one-character show, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers. Mengers, who passed away last year, was famous in Hollywood as the first “superagent” — she represented almost every star in Hollywood in the 1970s, including Barbra Streisand, Michael Caine, and Steve McQueen.
READ FULL STORY
Wayne LaPierre, the president of the National Rifle Association, did not take questions after his press conference today, the first public response from the powerful gun lobby after the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn. one week ago. But the public reaction during and immediately after his speech was loud, especially from celebrities, who couldn’t help but weigh in on Twitter about the National Rifle Association’s response.
Check out some thoughts below from everyone from Bette Midler: “NRA says we need armed guards at every school. Well, since NRA IS SHILLING FOR THE FIREARMS INDUSTRY, this makes good sense for them,” to Seth Meyers and more. READ FULL STORY
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