Two buzzy new plays opened on Broadway this week. It’s Only a Play, a Terrence McNally comedy reuniting Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, is proving to be anything but an only at the box office. It’s averaging 1.2 million bucks per week and 101 percent attendance. The madcap sendup of Broadway roasts a lot of boldface names; one of its biggest targets — New York Times critic Ben Brantley — had a surprisingly good sense of humor about the depiction of himself. Also opening this week is the stateside premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling 2003 novel. (Note: If you see the show, don’t head too quickly for the exit post-curtain call, trust me.) In other news, after falling slowly (ba-dum-bum) for some months now in ticket sales, the Tony-winning musical Once is throwing in the towel on Jan. 4 after a nearly two-year run. Andrew Rannells winds down his run in Hedwig and the Angry Inch this weekend to make way for Dexter star Michael C. Hall in his first musical role on Broadway in over 10 years. Here are EW’s reviews of this week’s new Broadway plays (click on the links below for full reviews): READ FULL STORY
Tag: Matthew Broderick (1-6 of 6)
Imagine if Jennifer Lawrence were Rupert Grint.
Okay, now take that one step further and replace Ellen DeGeneres with Matthew Broderick, Bradley Cooper with Nathan Lane, Angelina Jolie with Megan Mullally, Meryl Streep with Stockard Channing, and so on and so forth. See what we’re getting at?
Ellen’s epic Oscar selfie gets sent up, Broadway style, in the first look at the upcoming comedy It’s Only a Play. The production examines the frantic behind-the-scenes antics of a new Broadway show and the eccentric creative and business types behind it. The link to Ellen’s selfie is directly inspired by a moment in the revised script by Terrence McNally, who has refreshed the play for the 2014 audience.
Given the starry cast (not to mention the reunion of The Producers pair Lane and Broderick), expect It’s Only a Play to be one of this fall’s hottest tickets. F. Murray Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock round out the cast of the Jack O’Brien-directed Broadway play, which will open on October 9 for a limited 18-week engagement at the Schoenfeld Theatre. Previews begin August 28.
Nice work, Nice Work! (I’ve been holding on to that gem for a while.) Following an announcement yesterday that Once will hit the road, producers of fellow Best Musical nominee Nice Work If You Can Get It have announced their own plans to launch a national tour in the fall of 2013.
The Kelli O’Hara/Matthew Broderick-led homage to musicals past received a whopping 10 Tony Award nominations this year, which no doubt contributed to its sizable box office bump in the week succeeding the nomination announcement.
For those keeping score of this year’s crop of Best Musical nominees, that’s two national tours, one closing notice (the Bible thumpin’ Leap of Faith) and one wild card: Disney’s Newsies, which has long been expected to announce tour plans. Given the uptick of nominee news, don’t be surprised if that headline happens sooner rather than later.
Tour dates and destinations for Nice Work have not yet been announced.
In its first full week since its April 24 opening, Nice Work If You Can Get It joined Broadway’s million-dollar club with a gross of $1,022,115, up a whopping 23 percent from the previous week. For the week ending May 6, the “new” Gershwin brothers’ musical starring Matthew Broderick (pictured above) and Kelli O’Hara also had the largest gain of any production on the Great White Way and was the biggest beneficiary of its 10 Tony nominations. It joined five other shows that earned at least $1 million last week: The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Evita, and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark.
The Tony season’s most-nominated new show, the movie-based musical Once, also had a significant 16 percent sales boost, to $707,302 for the week. Other new productions that saw a notable increase in box office include the John Lithgow-starring historical drama The Columnist (up 31 percent, to $298,094); the Pulitzer-winning drama Clybourne Park (up 10 percent, to $373,230); and the star-studded revival Death of a Salesman (up 5 percent, to $943,884). And for the third time, the Ricky Martin-led revival of Evita broke a record at the Marquis Theatre with a weekly haul of $1,533,055 (91 percent of the venue’s potential gross).
Disney’s musical Newsies, with eight nominations, continues to perform well ($907,388), and there were modest upticks for The Lyons, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and End of the Rainbow. But for the second straight week, overall Broadway grosses declined. Most productions saw a box office dip, including several that might have been expecting a burst of post-Tony bookings. Despite its 10 Tony nods, for instance, the Audra McDonald-led revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess grossed $492,622 last week, down nearly 12 percent from the previous week. Meanwhile, the most-nominated straight play, the inventive Peter Pan prequel Peter and the Starcatcher, took in $286,477, a 5 percent decline. More alarmingly, earnings for Gore Vidal’s The Best Man fell nearly 24 percent, to $683,019. And Leap of Faith, with a single nomination for Best Musical, also fell nearly 24 percent, to an anemic $171,381 (just 13 percent of its potential gross). That show about a conman preacher may need a miracle (or deeper-pocketed producers) to survive through the June 10 Tony ceremony.
EW’s Stage Coverage
This Week on Stage: Tony nomination fallout, plus Bebe Neuwirth romps with the Bard
Director Stuart Gordon talks about ‘Re-Animator: The Musical’
Tony Award noms: Snubs/surprises
Tony Awards: ‘Once’ scores 11 noms
This Week on Stage: Broadway season wraps up with 'Ghost,' 'Leap of Faith,' and Matthew Broderick singing Gershwin
There was a mad crush of premieres this week on Broadway — seven in all, vying to open just under the eligibility wire for this June’s Tony Awards. (Nominations will be announced Tuesday, May 1.) It’s been a surprisingly deep year in each of the four major categories (play, play revival, musical, musical revival).
• A Streetcar Named Desire Despite the occasional jarring moments in director Emily Mann’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ drama — which features TV stars Blair Underwood (The Event) as Stanley and Nicole Ari Parker (Soul Food) as Blanche DuBois — EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum found the production “still reaches its destination as a mid-century classic of American theater.” EW grade: B+
• Ghost I was disappointed by the musical version of the 1990 Oscar winner, which features a new score by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and veteran hitmaker Glen Ballard (as well as “Unchained Melody”). The chief draws are the high-tech set and magic effects that let the hero walk through walls. “Like Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, the musical version of Ghost haunts the eye, not the ear.” EW grade: C READ FULL STORY
Every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars.The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Persona, Breathless, Hoop Dreams, King Kong, Caddyshack — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.
The Film: Margaret, Kenneth Lonergan’s long-delayed opus about an Upper West Side high-schooler named Lisa (Anna Paquin, never better) who inadvertently causes a terrible accident that takes the life of an innocent pedestrian (Allison Janney), after she flirts with a bus driver. The next two hours show the complex evolution of her guilt as she launches legal proceedings against the driver, while not fully acknowledging her own role in the tragedy. Lonergan, who immediately established himself as a master of quiet relationship studies in his debut, 2000’s You Can Count on Me, crafts a coming-of-age tale with novelistic richness, showing Lisa’s clashes with her shallow actress mother and her mom’s new boyfriend (Jean Reno, doing his best “Most Interesting Man in the World” impression); her heated foreign policy discussions in debate class; her first sexual encounter (with Kieran Culkin!); and a budding romance with a self-righteous teacher (Matt Damon). How Lisa’s life and daily routine slowly unravel as a result of her complicity in that horrific traffic accident is a beautiful and terrifying thing to watch. READ FULL STORY
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