With the Drama Desk nominations newly-minted, and Tony nominations being announced on Tuesday, we are in full-swing for year-end theater awards mania. And EW’s writers have been busy as bees getting out the last gasp of reviews from the 2013-2014 season, with no less than nine shows opening in the past week. Some themes are definitely emerging. We got men in ladies’ attire (Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, above, and Casa Valentina), men’s exposed buttocks (Alan Cumming in Cabaret, Nick Offerman in Annapurna), and sassy leading women who won’t take no for an answer (Estelle Parsons in The Velocity of Autumn, Sutton Foster in Violet). A little something for everyone! (Click on the links below for full reviews) READ FULL STORY
Tag: Neil Patrick Harris (21-30 of 125)
Neil Patrick Harris had the perfect response to an enamored fan who interrupted a recent performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
“I love you, Neil!” a female admirer yelled out during the Broadway show, according to Page Six. In character, as the titular transgender East German punk, Harris responded: “I’m doing something up here, motherf–ker!”
There are no dreams deferred for the producers of the Denzel Washington-led revival of A Raisin in the Sun. In its first full week since its April 3 opening, director Kenny Leon’s well-reviewed revival earned a remarkable $1.18 million, according to figures from the Broadway League covering ticket sales for the week ending April 13. That makes it the fifth highest-grossing show of the week and the only non-musical to cross the seven-figure threshold. And thanks to premium ticket prices as high as $348, Raisin actually exceeded the estimated gross potential of the Ethel Barrymore Theatre by 16 percent. READ FULL STORY
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s rock musical (and film) about the journey of a transsexual East German rock star, is the very definition of Off Broadway. But now the production is gracing the actual Great White Way with Neil Patrick Harris playing the lead and busting out songs like “The Origin of Love” and “Wig in a Box.” The actor has undergone a radical transformation for the role, as you can see in the above photo. “I’ve lost 20 pounds,” he says, “I’m in the craziest couture outfits, and I’ve got all this makeup on. But they made me custom heels, so at least those fit well.”
Previews for Hedwig and the Angry Inch start tonight at the Belasco Theatre and the show opens on April 22.
Hedwig’s gonna put on some makeup, turn on the tape deck, and put the wig back on his head this season in the person of multi-Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris, a.k.a. Greatest Tony Host Ever. Mr. Harris will be returning to Broadway in the first-ever Main Stem production of the already-classic rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The show centers on Hedwig, self-described “internationally ignored song stylist” who struggles with identity after a botched sex-change operation and rages against a former lover who’s used Hedwig’s music to craft a hugely successful career. (The production will shrewdly use Times Square — only a block away from Hedwig‘s current Broadway locale — as a backdrop for said lover’s rocketing success before large crowds.)
Since the show’s Off Broadway debut in 1998, which cemented the arrivals of star John Cameron Mitchell (Girls) and composer Stephen Trask (who later collaborated on the acclaimed 2001 film version), Hedwig has been the ultimate emo go-to, filling the void left by such benchmark 1970s alt-classics as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The show even inspired a documentary and a (rather excellent) tribute album, which included such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Ben Folds, and Rufus Wainwright providing unique takes on the show’s score.
In the exclusive video below, watch the How I Met Your Mother star expound on the rigors of the role, adding that “you can’t phone this one in.” READ FULL STORY
The Oscars ceremony has been over for, um, approximately 12 hours — so of course it’s time to discuss whom you’d like to see host the annual event next year.
Will Ellen return for a third stint? Will Neil Patrick Harris finally take on the biggest awards show of them all? Below, see some of our potential picks — both fantasy and more realistic — and then vote for whom you’d like to see joking around with Meryl Streep at the 2015 ceremony. READ FULL STORY
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:
It was a star-studded night at Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel as over 150 artists — including stars Tim Gunn, Stephen Colbert, and Audra McDonald (and yes, even some Muppets) — came out to celebrate stage and screen star Neil Patrick Harris at the Drama League’s 30th annual all-star gala.
It’s no secret that Harris — who will soon be back on stage starring in a new version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which opens April 14 — has garnered quite an admiration from the communities he’s been involved in. But there was no question Monday night that Harris is admired for more than just his talent. Every tribute was genuine and heartfelt; every performance was completed with gusto and pride. There wasn’t anyone in attendance who wasn’t giving their all, and it showed.
“Who wouldn’t turn out for Neil?” Tim Gunn asked, clearly happy and excited to be able to honor his friend. “Anyone would, and anyone should. I love the man, I’m a huge fan, I’ve had the incredible honor of working with him…so of course I’m here!”
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As if Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t legendary enough, The Hasty Pudding Theatricals declared him 2014’s Man of the Year. Their Woman of the Year, announced last week, is actress Helen Mirren.
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals is the oldest theatrical organization in the U.S., and they’ve been awarding notable performers with the Man of the Year title since 1963. Harris is joining the ranks of past honorees such as Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Justin Timberlake.
Festivities, including a roast and premiere of production Victorian Secrets, will take place on February 7, 2014 in Harvard Square. “I assume this is for that pudding wrestling competition I won last April, right?” Harris joked in a statement. “It was dark and seemed quite seedy at the time, I’m stoked that it’s connected with Harvard. Fancy! Can’t wait!”
November is shaping up to be the busiest in recent memory, but the hustle and bustle is costing Broadway a few shows. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill became A Time to Close with an end date of Nov. 17, and the Zachary Levi-Krysta Rodriguez musical rom-com First Date will have its last date on Jan. 5. With as-yet-unannounced premiere dates for shows like Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe (making a spring Broadway bow), Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses (starring Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and…Letts — busy guy!) and Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly, it seems there are more productions than theaters to hold them. Stay tuned for which ones make the cut. Meanwhile, there have been a bevy of new openings, including Fantasia’s return to Broadway, Ed Harris and real-life spouse Amy Madigan in a new Beth Henley drama, a new play by Pulitzer winner Bruce Norris, Neil Patrick Harris directing a new magic show, and Julie Taymor’s major comeback (click on the links below for full reviews):
After Midnight The Cotton Club era gets a jazzy jolt with this new Broadway revue already being called the sleeper hit of the season. Did senior editor Thom Geier share the enthusiasm? Ab-scat-lutely! “There are showstoppers aplenty in the ebullient new musical revue..After Midnight is a show that’s as light on its feet as its very talented ensemble.” EW grade: A-
The Black Suits Call it School of Rock with an age upgrade; Joe Iconis’ take on a high school rock band opened in L.A., but EW.com’s Laura Hertzfeld felt they could use a little more practice: “The Black Suits never gets deep enough into the roots of suburban angst to make you feel like these guys really have something to rage about — nor does it come up with light, frothy pop numbers that urge you to bop along.” EW grade: C+
Disaster! Off Broadway gets invaded by killer bees, tidal waves, and disco-era hits in Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick’s wacky take on disaster movies. The show doesn’t hit any icebergs on the way to hilarity. As I write in my review, “It’s the perfect antidote to those lamenting the lack of Forbidden Broadway in their urban lives…scrappy but irresistible.” EW grade: B+
Domesticated Jeff Goldblum and Laurie Metcalf star in Bruce Norris’ dark comedy about a disgraced politico and his put-upon wife weathering a Spitzer/Wiener/Good Wife-like scandal. Thom Geier had mixed feelings on this follow-up to the author’s Clybourne Park: “[Norris] strives to make a larger point about modern gender relations and the utility (and possibility) of male monogamy. But despite Anna D. Shapiro’s crisp, well-paced direction, Domesticated is better on caustic humor and verbal one-upmanship than real insight or character development.” EW grade: B
How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them Actress Halley Feiffer takes a hand at playwriting in a new work at Off Broadway’s Rattlestick Theatre, but Stephan Lee firmly believed she may want to hone her craft a little more. “How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them opens with three girls shrieking at the top of their lungs, and over the next 90 minutes, they never really stop.” EW grade: C
The Jacksonian Staff writer Keith Staskiewicz took a look at the NYC premiere of Beth Henley’s eerie Southern drama about a motel barkeep (Bill Pullman) corralling his oddball patrons (including multiple Oscar nominee Ed Harris). “Robert Falls’ eerie direction has more than a hint of David Lynch…here’s a healthy vein of black humor running throughout which turns Henley’s Southern Gothic soap opera into an even more surreal experience.” EW grade: B+
La Soiree The naughty burlesque revue — already a hit in Europe — settles in downtown NYC to make the city blush. Marc Snetiker was among those wooed by the circus-like, raunchy fun. “There is an abundance of charm oozing from the cast, who each exude a gleeful passion for their talent (be it sexy, silly, or downright strange). If traditional circus isn’t your thing, you’re in luck.” EW grade: A-
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Visual stylist Julie Taymor trades Spidey for fairies with an opulent new version of the Shakespeare comedy, the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience’s new Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. Thom Geier found himself much enchanted by Taymor’s reborn ingenuity: “There’s a magnificent muchness of her approach to the Bard’s most durable of comedies, as she tosses in everything from pillow fights to a grass-upholstered reclining chair to achieve her vision. But remarkably, this Midsummer never tips over into a too-muchness.” EW grade: A-
Nothing to Hide It’s no secret that beloved star Neil Patrick Harris likes magic, but he’s fan of his peers too, and decided to helm a new 70-minute variety show featuring upstart showmen Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães. Did Hillary Busis surrender to the sleight of hands? “[The performers are] clever, surprising, and altogether incredible, in both the literal and figurative senses.” EW grade: A-
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