As I wrap up another season full of moving, sassy, romantic, and knee-slappingly funny music moments at TV Jukebox, I’ve been excited to single out some amazing tunes by new-to-me acts: Brooklyn’s sultry-spooky duo MS MR, soulful piano balladeer Sara Jackson-Holman, L.A. poppers Milo Greene, and singer-songwriter Adam Agin, to name a few. That said, I realized after taking stock of the nearly 300 songs I name-checked this past season that there were a few surprising omissions.
Tag: Once (1-10 of 13)
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! It’s a day of national Irish pride that also somehow gives people an excuse to vomit up their green beer by 10 a.m. If you’re looking to celebrate the Emerald Isle but don’t want to get stomach bile on your Adidas, here’s the alternative: Your four-leaf-clover wielding friends at EW have programmed a 24-hour movie marathon that will not only give you a full range of St. Paddy’s Day-related tie-ins, but also an excellent reason not to leave the house.
So stock up on snacks, grab some like-minded friends, and dive right in! The marathon begins at 10 p.m. on Saturday night and wraps up at 10 p.m. on Sunday night (just in time for a brand new episode of The Client List). Feel free to sneak in some e-mail checks and bathroom breaks in between titles, but no showering — though you’ll still smell better than the dude in the green Dr. Seuss hat double-fisting fifths of Jameson.
All of the films below are available via Netflix or iTunes, for your convenience. Away we go! READ FULL STORY
In the first full week since the June 10 Tony Awards, Once (pictured at left) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess both posted big gains in ticket sales. Once, which claimed eight prizes, including Best Musical, earned $955,362 for the week ending June 17, an increase of 13 percent from the previous week and about 81 percent of its potential gross. According to the Broadway League, two other new shows saw gains of roughly 12 percent last week: the Tony-winning revival Porgy and Bess ($655,364, roughly half its potential gross) and the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, starring the Best Actor in a Play winner James Corden ($648,405, nearly 70 percent its potential gross). READ FULL STORY
Once was the big winner at last night’s Tony Awards, but the buzz on Broadway this morning is all about Steve Kazee, the talented strummer behind the movie-turned-musical — and the newly minted Tony winner for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Kazee’s long been a presence on Broadway, but his success with Once should propel him higher into the ranks of New York theater, which is right where this leading man belongs.
EW chatted with Kazee before Once opened in February, on the day he got his Tony nomination, and again on last night’s red carpet. Each time, we learned a little something new about Broadway’s newest headliner.
6. He is one with his guitar.
“I’ve got a guitar on my back for two hours, and there are times when I’ve got it on when maybe I wouldn’t necessarily have it on in real life,” said Kazee of his instrument-toting character, a guitar player who dreams of becoming a professional musician (Kazee himself has been strumming strings since he was 13). “It becomes a part of you. It’s scary as hell, but I know I’m okay because that’s my partner. It’s my acting partner.”
5. He’s a Tony good luck charm.
Not only was Kazee fortunate enough to earn his own trophy, but the dashing thesp has an astounding connection to almost all of the night’s other major winners. He went to NYU with Nina Arianda (Best Leading Actress in a Play); he costarred in Spamalot with Featured Actor winners Michael McGrath and Christian Borle; Audra McDonald (Best Leading Actress in a Musical) played his love interest in 110 in the Shade; he bonded with Judith Light (Best Featured Actress in a Play) over the recent loss of their parents; and he used to get drunk at a Times Square bar with James Corden (Best Leading Actor in a Play).
4. He knows the key to Saturday Intermission Pictures.
Under the hashtag #SIP, the Twitter-happy casts of a handful of Broadway shows best each other by tweeting creative photos during intermission at Saturday matinee performances. One of Kazee’s recent endeavors is far and away the current one to beat. What’s his secret? “I never plan them. When we get to intermission, I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve got five minutes to come up with something,’ and I look around and try to find something cool and, boom, we go,” said Kazee. “Hence me with my pants down in the bathroom.”
3. He didn’t need to plan a speech.
“I don’t do speeches,” said Kazee on the day he received his Tony nomination. “I’m confident in my ability to flow, if I’m lucky enough to have anything happen! I think I’ll be okay and know what to say.” Although he eschewed any preparation (he calls speeches “presumptuous”), Kazee managed to craft one of the most moving speeches of the night honoring his late mother, who passed away from breast cancer last Easter.
2. He’s well aware of the stigma of movie musicals.
“It’s a hard thing to get right, but I joke all the time that we’re going to end up giving movie musicals a good name,” said Kazee before Once‘s February opening. According to its star, the show derives much of its screen-to-stage success from renouncing typical tropes, like forcing songs into awkward, non-musical moments. “Only about 1 percent of them get it right and turn out to be something good,” he said, and he doesn’t shy from giving his opinion on the 99 percent of movie musicals that flop. “After all these interviews, the producers are gonna be like, ‘Oh, you don’t like movie musicals, huh?’ I’ll never get cast in a movie musical after this.”
1. He knows exactly what he’s doing today, the Monday after the Tonys.
Kazee didn’t hesitate for a second to reveal his plans for Monday morning. “I’m gonna get a milkshake and a hamburger and fries and I’m gonna go see Prometheus and just chill out,” he said. “In IMAX 3-D, of course.”
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.
Will Porgy and Bess star Audra McDonald win her fifth Tony Award and Death of a Salesman director Mike Nichols accept his ninth? Will Smash star Christian Borle upset Amazing Spider-Man‘s Andrew Garfield in the featured actor in a play category? And which movie-based stage musical — Once or Newsies — will take Broadway’s top prize? More importantly, will host Neil Patrick Harris persuade special Tony winner Hugh Jackman to join him for another song-and-dance duel as spectacular as the one they performed last year? Join Laura Hertzfeld and me this Sunday for EW.com’s annual live blog of the Tonys, beginning at 8 p.m. EST. We’ll have reports from EW’s stage gurus Marc Snetiker and Melissa Rose Bernardo on the red carpet, in the press room, and around the auditorium of the Beacon Theatre. READ FULL STORY
As we look ahead to the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 10, EW is taking 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 Musical:
Opened: March 29, 2012
Starring: Jeremy Jordan, Ben Fankhauser, Kara Lindsay, Andrew Keenan-Bolger
Music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Jack Feldman; book by Harvey Fierstein; choreographed by Christopher Gattelli; directed by Jeff Calhoun
Synopsis: Disney’s latest outing is an adaptation of the 1992 film, which brings to full singing and dancing life the Newsboy Strike of 1899. The story follows a gang of paper-hawking ‘newsies’ — led by restless street vet Jack Kelly (Jordan) — as they launch a workers’ strike against newspaper bigwig Joseph Pulitzer. READ FULL STORY
Now is the time for Newsies fans and theater geeks everywhere to seize the day! It’s Tony time! This Sunday, Neil Patrick Harris will be donning his tux once again to host the annual celebration of Broadway’s finest moments (and we’ll be live-blogging the Tony Award ceremony, so please watch with us!). In a repeat from last year’s NPH-led event, expect another rash of jokes at the expense of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Fellow EW critic Melissa Rose Bernardo and I here offer our predictions in all the Tony categories (you’ll see our names after each of our picks). Disagree? Please let us know who you think will win — or should win — in the comments section. (For more Stage coverage, go to EW.com’s Stage hub.)
Clybourne Park (Thom)
Other Desert Cities (Melissa)
Peter and the Starcatcher
Venus in Fur
It’s one of the strongest years in recent memory for new American plays. While Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities won wide acclaim when it opened last year, I give the edge to Pulitzer winner Clybourne Park.
Leap of Faith
Newsies (Melissa, Thom)
Nice Work If You Can Get It
This is a two-way race between movie-based hits that each have an underdog story: Once and Newsies. The former is charming but relatively small-scale. And since a sizable number of Tony voters handle Broadway tours throughout the country, a more traditional, broader-based hit like Newsies is likely to win out. READ FULL STORY
For a show that’s all about “Falling Slowly,” Once sure is rising quickly. With 11 Tony Award nominations (the most of any show this season) under its belt, the movie-turned-musical is taking the next logical step by hitting the road with its first U.S. tour, slated to kick off in summer 2013, according to a producers’ announcement Monday.
Based on the 2006 Oscar-winning film (and featuring the same music by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova), Once tells the romantic story of an Irish musician and a Czech flower seller who fall in love in Dublin. The Broadway production opened on March 18, 2012, and received Tony nominations in almost every major category (including Best Musical).
No dates or tour stops have been announced yet, but it’s worth noting that Once is the first of this year’s crop of new musicals to announce a national tour.
This Week on Stage: Mike Daisey controversy, Andrew Garfield and Phillip Seymour Hoffman take on Arthur Miller
The season is revving up, there’s only 85 days left until the Tonys, and one of the most anticipated plays of the spring, Death of a Salesman, just opened—but the stage news that had everyone talking this week was the revelation that monologist Mike Daisey had fabricated parts of his off-Broadway hit The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Yet, there were also good things going on: David Strathairn joined Jessica Chastain in next season’s The Heiress, Universal hired Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes to adapt another big screen Gypsy, and Val Kilmer announced he will play Mark Twain in his own one-man show, Citizen Twain, in L.A. at the end of the month. I also chatted with Broadway stalwart and cult actor David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors), who’s currently appearing in the stage adaptation of Once.
Meanwhile, EW’s Thom Geier took in the grade A performances of Andrew Garfield and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Mike Nichols-directed Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. “Nichols coaxes memorable performances from every actor,” says Geier, adding, “while this Salesman owes much to tradition, it pulses with energy and urgency…Miller’s play has seldom seemed so vital.” And EW.com’s Laura Hertzfeld reviewed the touring production of American Idiot. “Despite a cast of solid singers and musicians, the L.A. version lacks the spontaneity of the original 2009 New York production,” she writes. “But the touring company holds its own and sticks to the script, carrying us through 90 minutes of rock ballads, strobe lights, and worn-through T-shirts.” She gives the musical a B-.
For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s Stage hub.
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