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Tag: Christian Borle (1-4 of 4)

On the Scene: Emma Thompson cuts it up, literally, as Mrs. Lovett in 'Sweeney Todd'

Is there anything Emma Thompson cannot do? The British actress, snubbed for an Oscar nomination this year for her turn as Mary Poppins writer P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, proves herself a felonious triple threat as the cannibalistic cook Mrs. Lovett in a five-night-only concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, which opened Wednesday night at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC’s Lincoln Center. (If you’re unable to snag a ticket to one of the remaining performances, fret not: PBS is filming the production for broadcast later this year.)

Thompson sings surprisingly well, she quips, she does pratfalls, she swipes props from members of the New York Philharmonic — including, at one point, conductor Alan Gilbert’s baton. In short, she nearly steals the show out from under her very talented (and admittedly stronger-voiced) co-stars. The cast isn’t exactly full of slouches, either: Audra McDonald brings her booming soprano to the mysterious beggar woman’s “City on Fire,” Broadway vet Jay Armstrong Johnson (Hands on a Hardbody) makes a charming, fresh-voiced suitor to Sweeney’s flax-haired daughter (Chaplin‘s Erin Mackey), and the Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel delivers his strong, rich baritone to the title role and proves himself a suitably creepy leading man. I could imagine Tonys all around if this remarkable cast managed to slice a space into their schedules for a Broadway run. READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office report: Without Ricky Martin, do cry for 'Evita'

It seems that the hit Broadway revival of Evita needs more than just a little bit of star quality. In fact, it very much needs a star of the caliber of Ricky Martin — whose vacation last week had a huge impact on the musical’s box office. The show, which has grossed at least $1.1 million per week since its first preview performance in March, managed only $643,663 for the week ending July 8, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a drop of nearly 46 percent. Luckily, Martin’s holiday is a brief one (he’ll also be out Aug. 5 – 11), and he’s signed onto the Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner through January.

Over at Peter and the Starcatcher, which had seen a box office boost since picking up five Tony Awards last month, sales fell 24 percent to $520,608 in the first week since Tony winner Christian Borle left the show to shoot the second season of NBC’s Broadway-set drama Smash. Without the swash of Borle as over-the-top pirate Black Stache, audience interest seems to have buckled.

Overall, box office was down 2.5 percent from the previous week, to $22.4 million. Even without Evita, six shows managed to hold their standing in the Great White Way’s million-dollar club: The Lion King ($1.998 million), Wicked ($1.92 million), Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark ($1.7 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.6 million), Newsies ($1.03 million), and Once ($1 million).

Related:
‘Once,’ ‘Porgy and Bess’ both get big post-Tony box office bumps
‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ gets box office bump even before Tony wins
EW’s Stage Hub

'Peter and the Starcatcher' gets box office bump even before Tony wins

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Even before Christian Borle picked up his Featured Actor Tony for Peter and the Starcatcher Sunday night, the Peter Pan prequel was winning over Broadway audiences. The play had its best week ever, earning $541,177 for the week ending June 10, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a healthy 27-percent jump from the previous week — certainly nothing for Borle’s Black Stache to snigger at. (In addition to Borle’s acting prize, the show earned three other Tonys in technical categories.) Overall, Broadway box office was up nearly $1.9 million last week — an impressive achievement considering that the $1 million-grossing drama Death of a Salesman had closed on June 2.

Given the promotional platform of last night’s all-time-lowest-rated Tony telecast, we should expect a box office windfall in coming weeks for the evening’s big victors, particularly eight-fold musical winner Once. (Last week, the movie-based musical played to nearly full houses and grossed $845,343, 85 percent of its potential gross. Look for both ticket prices and profitability to climb quickly.) Musicals like The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Newsies, and Nice Work If You Can Get It boasted both multiple Tony wins and solid production numbers that translated well to the small screen. Even musicals like Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Ghost that came up empty-handed in the Tony derby may see a modest uptick in advance sales thanks to their televised numbers.

Some of the Tony broadcast’s production numbers may have a more cautionary effect. I suspect that virtually no Tony viewers were swayed to buy tickets to the long-flailing revival of Godspell — or to book a Royal Caribbean cruise to see that shaky non-Equity production of Hairspray. Indeed, Godspell posted its worst box office returns ever last week, down 7 percent to $156,437. Prepare ye the way of a closing notice. And last season’s musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which will have its last performance June 24, was down 6 percent to $487,923 — the second worst full week in the production’s 15-month run.

As for straight plays, Tony winners such as Clybourne Park and One Man, Two Guvnors now have fresh promotional fodder to lure audiences. The acting prizes arrive too late to help two long-running new plays, Other Desert Cities and Venus in Fur, which are due to close this Sunday. And without Tonys to tout, some other new non-musical plays may struggle to hang on through the end of summer. The Blair Underwood-led revival of A Streetcar Named Desire was flat compared to the previous week, grossing $299,235, and The Lyons took in a mere $239,983 — in both cases, that was less than 30 percent of their potential gross.

Read more:
Tonys: 10 moments we loved
Tony Awards 2012: Broadway Style!
Tony Awards: Check out the full list of winners here!
EW’s Stage hub

Inside the Tony Award nominees: Best Play

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As the Tony Awards approach (Sunday, June 10), EW takes a closer look at this season’s nominated selection of new musicals, plays, and revivals, all of which will be competing for Broadway’s highest honor. Today, we dive into this year’s nominees for Best Play. (See also: Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical.)

Peter and the Starcatcher

Opened: April 15, 2012

Starring: Christian Borle, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Adam Chanler-Berat

Written by Rick Elice; music by Wayne Barker; directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers

Synopsis: A clever retelling of Peter Pan, Starcatcher re-imagines Peter as a nameless orphan (Chanler-Berat) held captive on a pirate ship called the Neverland and reinvents Captain Hook as a scenery-chewing pirate named Black Stache (Borle). Their paths collide when their ships crash and they’re both marooned — along with a cast of vibrant characters — on a not-so-deserted island. READ FULL STORY

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