PopWatch Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog

Tag: Broadway (91-100 of 357)

Make way for Prince Ali: The cast of Disney's 'Aladdin' previews magic carpet ride of a Broadway musical

With the colorful world of Agrabah, an Academy Award-winning score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, and some of the most memorable lyrics of Disney’s golden age, it seems like Aladdin — the 1992 animated classic about a street rat and his magic lamp — was always destined for stage treatment. And next week, the flying carpet will soar at the New Amsterdam Theatre, when Aladdin begins previews ahead of its March 20 opening.

At a recent “meet the press” event, EW chatted with the show’s director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw, co-lyricist/book writer Chad Beguelin, and principal cast — including Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Courtney Reed (Jasmine), Jonathan Freeman (Jafar), and James Monroe Iglehart (Genie) — about bringing the musical to Broadway.

READ FULL STORY

Broadway Box Office: 'Bronx Bombers' is striking out with audiences, while Shakespeare hits a grand slam

Broadway’s New York Yankees love-fest Bronx Bombers, starring Peter Scolari as Yogi Berra, isn’t exactly pulling major-league numbers at the box office. In the first full week since its Feb. 6 opening, the new drama took in a measly $177,559, according to figures released by The Broadway League. That’s less than a quarter of the potential gross at Circle in the Square (one of Broadway’s smallest theaters) — and does not bode well for its future.

The biggest surprise this winter has been the season’s unlikeliest but very palpable hit(s): the Mark Rylance-led productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III playing in repertory (and breaking house sales records) at the Belasco. For the week ending Feb. 16, the shows grossed a remarkable $944,755 — a tally that exceeds all of the season’s new musicals. The takings have topped the potential gross for the Broadhurst for the third straight week, suggesting that producers have been able to goose their earnings by selling ever more premium tickets at $247 a pop. READ FULL STORY

'Gentleman's Guide' original cast recording -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LISTEN

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

'Hedwig' (and Neil Patrick Harris) on Broadway: 6 things to expect

NPH-Hedwig-poster.jpg

Put on some makeup, turn up the eight-track, and pull the wig down from the shelf, because cult musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch is coming to Broadway for the very first time. But does a swanky new setting mean this version of the show will be kinder, gentler, and altogether less gritty?

In a word: nein. “I don’t want the Broadway version of Hedwig to be all jazz hands,” says star Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the musical’s titular gender-bending rocker. “It needs to be rough around the edges at all times.”

That said, Harris and his cohort — director Michael Mayer, book writer (and original star) John Cameron Mitchell, composer/lyricist Stephen Trask, and costar Lena Hall — have made a few necessary alterations to Hedwig as they prepare to mount the production, which begins previews March 29 and opens April 22. Here’s what fans and Hedwig virgins alike can expect to see from the show:

READ FULL STORY

Estelle Parsons on her Molotov-cocktail-tossing return to Broadway in 'The Velocity of Autumn' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Oscar winner and former Roseanne star Estelle Parsons will soon have another feisty leading role on Broadway. Beginning April 1 at the Booth Theatre (“a magical theater,” says the 86-year-old actress), Parsons will play her first full-fledged starring role on the Great White Way since her celebrated turn as Violet Weston in August: Osage County in 2008-09 (when she took over for Tony winner Deanna Dunagan). In Eric Coble’s dark comedy, The Velocity of Autumn, Parsons portrays a near-octogenerian named Alexandra who arms herself with Molotov cocktails to resist her eviction from her Brooklyn brownstone — only to have her estranged son (Stephen Spinella) climb through her window in an effort to make peace. READ FULL STORY

Report: Giant-size 'King Kong' musical will replace 'Spider-Man' on Broadway

kin-kong-musical.jpg

Out swings Spider-Man, and in swings a giant monkey puppet?

King Kong, a musical spectacle that premiered in June 2013 in Melbourne, Australia, will reportedly go ape on Broadway this December at the Foxwoods Theatre, where the big-budget Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark shuttered earlier this month, according to The New York Times. However, in a statement to EW, producers of King Kong said: “Plans for the Broadway production of King Kong are not confirmed at this time. We hope to have details about the future of the show shortly.”

It’s long been expected that Kong would follow Spidey into the Foxwoods, and the Times reports that producer Gerry Ryan of Global Creatures, the company behind King Kong and other puppet-heavy shows like Walking With DinosaursWar Horse, and How to Train Your Dragon, broke the news of the Broadway transfer himself on a Melbourne radio show last Friday.

After opening last summer, King Kong extended four times during the season at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, where it will finally end its run on Feb. 16. The show boasts music by Marius de Vries, lyrics by Michael Mitnick, and a book by Craig Lucas, as well as additional songs by Sarah McLachlan, Justice, 3D, Guy Garvey, and The Avalanches and period standards like “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” and “Get Happy.” Despite Kong’s many adaptations over the years, the musical is based on the original 1933 film’s story by Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace.

King Kong received relatively mixed reviews, though critics praised the show’s impressive special effects. The big draw here is the 20-foot-tall, 1.1-ton Kong puppet, built by creature designer Sonny Tilders of steel, aluminum, lycra, and latex. The giant creature is operated onstage by 10 circus artists, plus a crew of puppeteers working off stage. The Aussie production also includes a 50-member ensemble. See the puppet in action below:
READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Debra Messing's Broadway debut and Christopher Plummer in L.A.

Two-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper announced this week (in an EW exclusive) that he’ll be returning to Broadway this fall to star in a revival of The Elephant Man opposite Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola. (Yes, it sounds like a stretch for People‘s former Sexiest Man Alive — especially since Bernard Pomerance’s play does not require any prosthetics for the title role.) The David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love, which made EW’s Top 10 list last year, will return to the Public Theater in March for an open-ended run. And there were a handful of notable openings on both coasts, including the Broadway debut of Will & Grace star Debra Messing. For full reviews, click on the links below.

Outside Mullingar The new romantic comedy by John Patrick Shanley (MoonstruckDoubt) stars Brían F. O’Byrne and Debra Messing as middle-aged loners living side by side on Irish farms but struggling to connect with each other. I found it to be a “sweet but peculiar” play that’s “wispier than the smoke from a peat bog.” How does Messing fare? “Though she seems ill at ease through the first half of the show, too aware of the audience and of the effort to keep up her accent, she settles in toward the end when she’s able to deploy her gifts for physical comedy.” EW grade: B

A Word or Two Christopher Plummer’s one-man show in L.A., first performed at the Stratford festival in his native Canada, is less a staged memoir than a reflection on life incorporating influential texts from Lewis Carroll to the Bard. As EW’s Jake Perlman writes, “His commanding stage presence makes you want to watch. But in A Word or Two, he also makes you want to listen.” EW grade: A

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner In a new stage adaptation of Alan Sillitoe’s 1959 short story at the Off Broadway Atlantic Theater Company, Sheldon Best plays a 17-year-old at a youth correctional facility who has a mixed response to his innate athletic skills. “While moving and at times inventive as a showcase for Best’s athletic charisma,” Stephan Lee writes, the play “doesn’t inject enough new energy into the tired tropes.” EW grade: B

Andrew Rannells, Jonathan Groff, Laura Benanti, and more star in Russia's fake Broadway musical -- VIDEO

andrew-rannells.jpg

How does a community band together to protest Russia’s anti-gay legislation? A musical, of course.

Dozens of New York stage stars have produced a fake musical that finds Russia’s fictional Broadway community (“The Great Red Way,” as they say) staging a protest show in response to the Russian government stance on homosexual propaganda via theatrical performance. In the U.S., who better to satirize than a group of musical theater actors?

There’s a little something for everyone here: Jonathan Groff and Jeremy Jordan as two ill-fated Olympians, Laura Benanti and Stephanie J. Block as lesbian astronauts, Michael Cerveris as a soliloquizing Putin, and Michael Urie giving his best Chorus Line. Tons of Broadway performers and creatives lent their support to the hilarious fictional musical, directed by John Walton West and composed by Jason Michael Snow — the same guys who brought us last year’s Downton Abbey: The Musical.

But despite the comedy, there’s a real social message here, and the Broadway community (which has never shied away from using art as activism, à la the Prop 8 musical) is the perfect group to tackle the gravely important anti-gay issues that are at the forefront of the conversation as we enter the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Perhaps narrator Rannells (bringing the ushanka back) sums it up best: “If we can help bring joy, inspire, and call people on bullsh–, that’s a night of theater.”

Watch the clip below:
READ FULL STORY

Bradley Cooper to star in 'The Elephant Man' on Broadway this fall -- EXCLUSIVE

If you’ve ever had the burning desire to see one of the hottest film stars of the moment bray, “I am not an animal!” you’re in luck. Bradley Cooper, who just received his second Oscar nomination in as many years for his fussy, conflicted G-man in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, will be returning to Broadway after an eight-year absence, the actor’s reps tell EW. (His last appearance was opposite Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd in 2006’s Three Days of Rain, for which he got very good notices.)

The red-hot actor will headline a revival of Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, playing John Merrick, the severely deformed, soulful figure memorably embodied on film in David Lynch’s 1980 film version by John Hurt. The play, unlike the film, has the leading actor suggest deformity through physicality without the aid of makeup or prosthetics, so you’ll get to see Cooper in all his golden-boy glory, just like in the large pic right here, which highlights Mr. Cooper’s 2012 performance in the play at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. This marks the second Broadway revival of Pomerance’s Tony-winning play, after a 2002 production starring Billy Crudup and Kate Burton, who were both nominated for Tonys for their work.

No word yet on whether Patricia Clarkson (who played Mrs. Kendal, the actress who befriends Merrick) or Alessandro Nivola (who played Dr. Treves, and also happens to costar in Hustle with Cooper) will rejoin People‘s former Sexiest Man Alive for the Broadway run, but further details are promised at a later date.

Latest Videos

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP