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Tag: Musicals (21-30 of 95)

'Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812' eyes movie plans through Kickstarter -- EXCLUSIVE

How do you preserve a comet mid-blaze? By capturing it on screen before it burns out.

Producers of the acclaimed electro-pop opera Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 are planning a feature film adaptation of the Off Broadway spectacle to the big screen, enlisting the help of fans by way of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a cinematic adaptation of the long-running show.

Independent film director Abe Sylvia (Dirty Girl, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) is attached to capture the immersive experience of The Great Comet, which tells a scandalous portion of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace in an interactive format wherein the actors perform in front of/next to/all around the audience inside a Russian supper club. It’s a wholly theatrical environment, and Sylvia and co. are hoping to bring that experience into a film context that’s part HD live recording, part concert film, part feature film, and part music video. READ FULL STORY

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

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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:

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'Back to the Future' musical in development for London run in 2015

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It’s going against every instinct of mine not to begin this post with “Great Scott!”

Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale announced the development of a stage musical version of their 1985 classic Back to the Future, which will eye an opening bow on London’s West End in 2015—coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the film.

30 years is also how far back in time Marty McFly travels in a souped-up DeLorean in the original film (the first in the franchise which has since banked over $1.8 billion, adjusted for inflation).

Most of the players from the original film are involved—screenwriters Zemeckis (who directed all three films) and Gale will pen the book with Jamie Lloyd, who will direct the production. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment will produce with Universal Stage Productions (Wicked, Billy Elliot).

The show will include new music and lyrics by film composer Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard, and additional music by Huey Lewis & The News, Chuck Berry, Pat Ballard and Curtis Williams (so you can rest easy, “The Power of Love” and “Johnny B. Goode” fans). And perhaps the greatest news of all: the show will include ‘skateboard consultant’ Andrew Willis.

Zemeckis had previously told EW in February 2012 that he, Gale, and Silvestri were in preliminary creative discussions to develop the project.

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

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

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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:
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Disney confirms 'Frozen' stage musical in development

With Aladdin set for a Broadway premiere this February and The Hunchback of Notre Dame long in the works, Disney is looking further ahead to another candidate to bring from the screen to the stage: Frozen.

Disney Theatrical Productions has confirmed to EW that Frozen is in early development for the stage. Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger dropped the hint to Fortune that discussions have begun to develop the wintry 2013 musical—which is breaking box office records and inspiring all kinds of ebullient fan reactionsinto a full-fledged theater production, though he did not specify whether the show would be built for Broadway or as one of the many theatrical attractions at Disney’s parks (where things like Aladdin: A Musical Spectaular and Finding Nemo – The Musical have wound up). READ FULL STORY

Tupac Shakur musical 'Holler If Ya Hear Me' set for Broadway

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After the January closure of Annie, Broadway’s Palace Theatre has found its next tenant.

Holler If Ya Hear Me, a new musical featuring the music of rapper Tupac Shakur, will open on Broadway at the Palace on June 19. Preview performances for the brand-new show begin May 26. Casting for the show has not yet been announced.

Written by Todd Kreidler and directed by Tony nominee Kenny Leon (who will also direct Denzel Washington in this season’s forthcoming A Raisin in the Sun revival), Holler If Ya Hear Me is an original, non-biographical story about two friends in the inner-city in the Midwest.

For what it’s worth, the musical takes its title from an autobiographical song by the late rapper off his second solo album, released in 1993. In the music video, a girl witnesses her father’s death, finds money to buy a gun, and subsequently rallies her young friends to ostensibly avenge his death. The show does not purport to tell the story of Tupac Shakur, but will use his poetic music and lyrics to offer “a window into the realities of the streets still relevant today.”

The packed design team includes choreographer Wayne Cilento, set designer David Gallo, costumer Reggie Ray, and lighting designer Mike Baldassari. Shakur’s mother, Afeni, will serve as one of the show’s producers.

First look at Zach Braff (and company) in Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway' musical -- EXCLUSIVE

Woody Allen’s beloved 1994 crime-comedy caper Bullets Over Broadway is making the big leap to the real Broadway stage in a world premiere musical, helmed by five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (The Producers).

Here’s why you ought to be excited: Stroman has enlisted a truly dazzling cast of stage veterans to join Scrubs alum Zach Braff in his Broadway debut. Braff plays David Shayne, a naïve playwright who finds himself embroiled with the mob when a gangster’s talentless girlfriend (Masters of Sex’s Heléne Yorke) tramples into the cast of his Broadway show. Joining the onstage fun are Marin Mazzie as the alcoholic Helen Sinclair, Brooks Ashmanskas as gluttonous leading man Warner Purcell, Nick Cordero as interfering gangster Cheech, Vincent Pastore as deep-pocketed mafioso Nick Valenti, Lenny Wolpe as producer Julian Marx, and Betsy Wolfe as David’s neglected girlfriend Ellen.

EW’s got the first exclusive photo of the cast all spiffed up in full costume (designed by Tony-winner William Ivey Long, no less) plus your sneak peek at video from behind the scenes of the glitzy photo shoot, introduced by Braff. One thing is quickly apparent: Bullets Over Broadway will have no shortage of the old school glamour that made Allen’s much-loved movie such a visual treat.
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Carly Rae Jepsen to play Cinderella on Broadway

The “Call Me Maybe” queen is officially royalty.

Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen will make her Broadway debut beginning February 4 playing the title role in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, replacing original star Laura Osnes (who earned a much-deserved Tony nomination for the role).

The 28-year-old singer has signed on for a 12-week run, two weeks longer than fellow Broadway debut Fran Drescher, who joins the show (also on Feb. 4) as Cinderella’s stepmother Madame.

“Broadway has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I look forward to working with this incredibly talented cast to tell this classic tale,” Jepsen said in a press statement. “These last few years have been a real fairy tale come to life for me, so I feel especially blessed to play this part and be reminded that you must never stop dreaming!”

Jepsen’s theater credits include high school productions of Annie, Grease and The Wiz in British Columbia. The star posted her own excited announcement of her casting on Instagram.

The new Broadway staging of Cinderella re-tells the iconic princess tale with the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes and a new book by Douglas Carter Beane. The show opened on March 3, 2013 at the Broadway Theatre and earned nine Tony Award nominations, winning one for costume design.

Hear Idina Menzel's 'Here I Go' from the new Broadway musical 'If/Then' -- EXCLUSIVE

If you still haven’t gotten Idina Menzel’s soaring Frozen showstopper “Let It Go” out of your head (and rightly so), then we have bad news: we’ve got another Menzel track that you might not be able to stop humming.

One of spring’s most anticipated Broadway musicals is the newest entry from Next to Normal team Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who have reunited with director Michael Greif for their original musical If/Then. The show will mark the Broadway return of Menzel, who hasn’t graced the main stem stage since her Tony-winning turn as Elphaba in Wicked.

If/Then stars Menzel as Elizabeth, a woman on the verge of turning 40 who moves to Manhattan in the hopes of starting over in every aspect of her life. Below, EW’s got an exclusive sneak peek at Menzel and her onstage romantic interest James Snyder singing “Here I Go” during the show’s sitzprobe (the first time the singers perform with the orchestra in rehearsal). Check it out: READ FULL STORY

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