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Best of 2014: How Hugh Jackman bounced his way through Tonys opening

After the all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza of Neil Patrick Harris’ 2013 Tonys opening, Hugh Jackman went for something much more understated for his latest turn hosting the ceremony: Jackman, displaying impressive strength, bounced his way through the opening in an nod to Bobby Van’s “Take Me To Broadway” from  1953’s Small Town Girl. Here’s how it came together. 

Click here for more stories behind the year’s top TV moments.

As told by: Choreographer Warren Carlyle 

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'The Voice' winner Josh Kaufman on his acrobatic Broadway debut in 'Pippin'

One of the easiest victories to predict on The Voice was season six winner Josh Kaufman, who pulled out a full season’s worth of impressive performances on the show that ushered him into the winner’s circle with few bumps on the road. After winning the competition in May 2014, Kaufman has taken a decidedly different path in his latest gig: playing the title role in Broadway’s Tony-winning revival of Pippin.

Reality talents have never shied from the Broadway stage, but Kaufman’s casting in the circus-inspired revival is particularly of note thanks to the acrobatic demands of the Diane Paulus-directed production. Before Pippin packs up the tent on January 4, 2015, EW chatted witih Kaufman to find out what went into his decision to head under the big top and onto the big stage. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Hugh Jackman, Glenn Close and 'Side Show' storm Broadway's busiest fall week

This was a theater week of major losses for the stage community (RIP Mike Nichols) and some a bit smaller (the soon to be RIP Rock of Ages on Broadway, which announced a Jan. 18 closing), and the last onslaught of opening nights before the holiday season takes shape. And folks are already casting an eye toward the spring with rumors that the long-delayed Broadway arrival of The Visit starring Chita Rivera might succeed Rock of Ages, which leaves behind a highly desired theater (the Helen Hayes is Broadway’s smallest with only 597 seats). Meanwhile, there’s plenty of fish out there right now for theatergoers; literally, in the case of the week’s leader Hugh Jackman (pictured above) taking pride in gutting an actual fish onstage mere feet in front of you in his new Broadway play The River, which EW has checked out in addition to, among other dignified openings, the star-laden revival of one of Edward Albee’s best works, the glitzy revisal of the beloved 90s musical Side Show, and a super-bloody three-hour-plus Christopher Marlowe revenger (click on the links below for full reviews).

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Heidi Thomas talks Vanessa Hudgens and reworking 'Gigi'

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How do you solve a problem like Gigi? That was the task given to Heidi Thomas, the writer behind British hit Call the Midwife, who is adapting the book of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s musical for its upcoming Broadway production (starring High School Musical‘s Vanessa Hudgens).

The musical Gigi, based on the Colette novella, began as a film—specifically, Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 classic. An adaptation hit Broadway in 1973, but the production was considered somewhat of a flop. And while the beloved film won Best Picture, some of its elements haven’t aged particularly well—for instance, its opening number, in which Maurice Chevalier croons about how wonderful “little girls” are… because “they grow up in the most delightful way.” READ FULL STORY

John Cameron Mitchell to play Hedwig on Broadway

John Cameron Mitchell, who co-created Hedwig and the Angry Inch, will play the “internationally ignored song stylist” once again on Broadway.  READ FULL STORY

Idina Menzel premieres music video for 'If/Then' showstopper

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Idina Menzel has at least one more surprise for you before the year ends.

The Tony-winning singer—whose year can boast a brand new Broadway musical, a holiday album, an Oscars introduction for the ages, and the vocals behind the biggest Disney hit since, well, ever—is front and center in a new music video that ought to delight fans of her currently running Broadway show, If/Then.

Written specifically for Menzel, the contemporary new musical (about a woman contemplating dual directions in life) culminates in the eleven o’clock power ballad “Always Starting Over,” which Menzel also performed at this year’s Tony Awards. Now that the plot-heavy song is out of the bag, Entertainment Weekly has the exclusive premiere video of Menzel’s full-length showstopper, filmed both on stage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and in the recording studio.

Watch below: READ FULL STORY

Kristin Chenoweth sings multilingual 'Popular,' previews her new special

Think you know Wicked‘s “Popular?” Well, you may not totally recognize it on Kristin Chenoweth’s new live album, Coming Home. Chenoweth’s latest version of the song turns Galinda into something of a jet-setter, segueing from English to Japanese, German, and more languages. She calls it “Around the World with Galinda.”  READ FULL STORY

10 iconic movie-musical dances, according to a Broadway choreographer

If your favorite part of NBC’s dearly departed Smash was the dynamite dancing in the Broadway-style musical numbers, you can thank Joshua Bergasse, the award-winning choreographer behind them.

Bergasse, who’s also choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance, is now the dancemaster behind the new Broadway revival of On the Town, the ballet-tinged musical that opened to rave reviews in New York this October. While choreography for live theater has its differences than the dances you see on film, Bergasse grew up watching the same movie-musicals that are beloved among fans of the genre—films which have even helped inspire him in his stage work.

EW invited Bergasse into the office for a good old-fashioned YouTube spiral, wherein the Emmy winner shared ten of his all-time favorite onscreen movie-musical dance sequences. Some picks are iconic and familiar—who doesn’t love Singin’ in the Rain?—while others could very well send you scrambling to find a copy of your new favorite musical film.

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'Beautiful' Tony winner Jessie Mueller relives her theater obsessions

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Rising Broadway star Jessie Mueller will have a lot to be thankful for as the year ends, considering that she scooped up a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (which, considering Mueller’s trajectory, will almost certainly not be her last).

Mueller delighted crowds all year as Carole King, the singer-songwriter at the center of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but the difficult, demanding role is far from her first experience in the spotlight. Coming from a family known for their part in the performing community in Chicago, Mueller talked about her theatrical childhood when she dropped by EW’s studio.

Watch the Tony winner relay her first musical obsession, her worst case of the giggles, and more Firsts & Worsts below. READ FULL STORY

10 big Broadway disasters, according to Seth Rudetsky

It’s a not-so-hidden secret that there are hundreds of surprising stories lurking beneath every board on Broadway. Luckily, there’s at least one guy out there who’s willing to spill.

Seth Rudetsky—Sirius XM host, comedian, playwright, music director, and more—is known inside the theater community for sharing the secrets of the stage and deconstructing every high C ever belted. In his book Seth’s Broadway Diary, Rudetsky chronicles just about every scandalous secret he’s seen, so EW decided to tap into Rudetsky’s well of knowledge and pose this question: What are the 10 biggest Broadway disasters he’s been around for?

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