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Tag: This Week on Stage (91-100 of 178)

'8': On the scene at the new, star-studded Broadway play by Dustin Lance Black

For one night only, the stars turned out on Broadway last night to stage a reading of 8, the new dramatization — directed by Joe Mantello and penned by Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk — of Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, the landmark 2010 trial that led the Federal Court to rule Proposition 8 unconstitutional. To say that the night’s cast was star-studded is an understatement; performers included Morgan Freeman, Rob Reiner, John Lithgow, Bradley Whitford, Ellen Barkin, Cheyenne Jackson, Matt Bomer, and Christine Lahti, among many other big names.

A crowd of celebrities, theater lovers, and LGBT rights supporters packed into the small but historic Eugene O’Neill Theater. On the way to find my seat, I spotted Barbara Walters, Jeffrey Toobin, and Fran Drescher, with gay ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson in tow. Amid set pieces for The Book of Mormon, which is currently in engagement at the Eugene O’Neill, the stage was set simply with director’s chairs arranged Inherit the Wind-style to represent a courtroom. The performers walked onstage to thunderous applause READ FULL STORY

Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Piven, and Stephen Baldwin among celebs to tell '110 Stories'

In the days leading up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, many are already using this as a time to reflect on the tragic events of that terrible September morning. In addition to a bevy of TV specials that are airing throughout the week, a celebrity benefit reading of Sarah Tuft’s heartbreaking play 110 Stories will take place over two evenings on the stage of NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, beginning tomorrow, Sept. 8.

Tuft’s play, which tells harrowing, true stories from those who were down at Ground Zero in the wake of the horror that unfolded (“I wrote 110 Stories to preserve, not just history, but also a window into who we really are as revealed by our behavior under extreme circumstances,” the playwright said in a statement,”) will be performed by an impressive assembly of actors, including…  READ FULL STORY

Teen Beat, Broadway edition: Nick Jonas to star in 'How to Succeed...'

The squealing should continue at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre for the foreseeable future. On Jan. 24, Nick Jonas will take over the lead role in the hit musical revival How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He’ll be filling the dancing shoes of Daniel Radcliffe, who’s playing ambitious corporate-ladder climber J. Pierrepont Finch through the end of the year after winning mostly rave reviews (and the attention of legions of teenage fans) when the show opened last March. Glee star Darren Criss, a teen heartthrob in his own right, will portray Finch from Jan. 3-22, 2012, and then the youngest of the Jonas Brothers trio is expected to step in from Jan. 24 through July 1.

The 18-year-old New Jersey native is no stranger to musical theater. READ FULL STORY

Broadway’s George Lee Andrews on his 9,382 performances of 'Phantom of the Opera'

George Lee Andrews is about to leave a job after 23 years. That’s not a big deal for the average person, but for an actor in a Broadway play, where limited runs and short contracts are the norm, it’s a biggie. So big, Phantom of the Opera’s Andrews holds a record for being the actor to spend the longest time performing in a single Broadway show — 23 years to be exact. That’s 9,382 performances, 40 contract renewals, four parts, and — minus a few vacations, some sick days, and two breaks to work on other projects — nearly half of his 50-year acting career. With only three shows left (his last performance is tomorrow night), Andrews talked to EW about keeping the gig for so long.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you know you were in Phantom for the long haul?
GEORGE LEE ANDREWS: At first I said, “I’ll stay in it for two years.” And then after two years, I was bumped up to a principal role. And I said, “Well, I’ll stay for two more years.” After those two years, I was enjoying myself. I didn’t feel any boredom. I didn’t feel tired. I was having a great time. So I looked around and I said to myself, “Where else would I want to be? I’ll stay as long as it feels good.” And it has never not felt good. READ FULL STORY

Rachel Griffiths to make her Broadway debut in 'Other Desert Cities'

Rachel Griffiths, most recently of ABC’s just-canceled Brothers and Sisters, will make her Broadway debut this fall in the Jon Robin Baitz drama Other Desert Cities. The Australian actress will be stepping into a role first created by stage vet Elizabeth Marvel in an Off Broadway production of the show at Lincoln Center Theatre earlier this year. Griffiths will play Brooke Wyeth, the daughter of a once-prominent Republican bigwig who returns to her parents’ home in Palm Springs for the holidays with news of a planned tell-all memoir about the family. Awkward silences, loud outbursts, and shocking revelations naturally ensue.

Judith Light, the Who’s the Boss? star who appeared on Broadway last season in Lombardi, will also be joining the cast as Brooke’s acerbic aunt. Linda Lavin, who originated the role, has committed to another Off Broadway production this fall, Nicky Silver’s new comedy The Lyons. The rest of director Joe Mantello’s original cast remains intact: Stockard Channing and Stacy Keach as Brooke’s parents and Thomas Sadowski as her TV-producer brother. Previews are slated to begin at the Booth Theatre on Oct. 12, with opening night set for Nov. 3.

This Week on Stage: Hannibal Lecter sings!

No, there isn’t a song that rhymes fava beans. Or Chianti. But an unauthorized musical parody of the 1991 thriller Silence of the Lambs did open Off Broadway this week following a successful Fringe Festival run (and multiple YouTube clicks for some of its numbers). And as I wrote in my grade-B review, Silence! The Musical “is a little longer than it needs to be and the percentage of jokes hitting their target would earn only passing marks on the Quantico firing range.” But Jenn Harris nails Jodie Foster’s speaking style as Clarice, and Brent Barrett is deliciously deadpan as Hannibal. Just be prepared for some seriously raunchy NSFW humor.

Silence! wasn’t the only show opening this week. (Who says the summer is a slow time for theater?) At the 19th-century Park Avenue Armory on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the Royal Shakespeare Company has taken up residence for six weeks of performances of five different classics by the Bard. But the real star of this summer repertory program is the venue itself: a 220-ton replica of the original Globe Theatre, installed in the cavernous space of the Armory. The plays themselves have been pretty impressive too. I gave the first-rate As You Like It an A–, noting the “real spark” between Katy Stephens and Jonjo O’Neill as the romantic leads, Rosalind and Orlando. Director Rupert Goold, who brought his Stalinesque Macbeth to Broadway in 2008, brings similar anachronistic touches to Romeo and Juliet — the hero wears a hoodie, while the heroine dons Converse sneakers. For the most part, it all works. (I gave the show a B+.)

The recent hit revival Hair returns to Broadway for a two-month run before the cast resumes its national tour. Critic Melissa Rose Bernardo gave the ’60s-era musical love-in a B+, declaring the show “still as fresh a just-picked daisy.” Is there any better time to let the sun shine in?

For more theater news and reviews, as well as listings of shows both on Broadway and off, check out EW’s Stage Hub.

This Week on Stage: 'Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark' officially opens, officially disappoints

The Tonys, and Book of Mormon’s nine-award haul, may have been the theater talk of Sunday night and Monday morning, but Tuesday was all about Spider-Man. The newly revamped (and very troubled) show opened the evening before to a star-studded crowd (click here for a gallery of the attendees) and, as expected, less than starry reviews.

EW stage editor Thom Geier rates the musical a C+, writing that the retooling “may be an admirable work of revision, but it’s an unsatisfying meal, like one of mom’s end-of-the-week casseroles made of leftovers she couldn’t bear to toss.” READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Carey Mulligan and Tony Kushner off-Broadway

Off-Broadway’s been a busy bee. While the Great White Way readies itself for Sunday’s Tony Awards, New York’s smaller venues hosted a series of openings this week, including the four reviewed by our critics. Check out the highlights below, and comeback Sunday for our live blog of the 2011 Tonys, which air at 8 p.m. on CBS.  READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2011: We predict the winners

Here’s the easiest prediction we can make about this year’s Tony Awards, which will be presented June 12 at NYC’s Beacon Theatre: Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark will be a recurring punchline for returning host Neil Patrick Harris. The CBS broadcast will also manage to include a number from this still-to-officially-open show, featuring composers Bono and the Edge as well as on-stage Spidey Reeve Carney. Predicting the actual awards isn’t nearly as easy. But in a lot of the major categories, there seem to be some very strong front-runners. Expect The Book of Mormon (pictured left, top) to sweep most of the musical categories, and the British import War Horse (pictured left, bottom) to pick up a fair share of the dramatic awards. 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.)

Best Musical
The Book of Mormon (Melissa, Thom)
Catch Me if You Can
The Scottsboro Boys
Sister Act

The irreverent hit from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker is a sure thing.

Best Play
Good People (Melissa)
The Motherf—er With the Hat
War Horse (Thom)

There’s a bit of a horse race in this category, with the equine drama War Horse considered the front-runner for its impressive physical production (if not its rather conventional plotting and dialogue). But some voters seem to be rallying around the smart American scripts of David Lindsay Abaire’s Good People and Stephen Adly Guigis’ The Motherf—er With the Hat. If there’s an upset, look for Good People to win by a nose. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Daniel Radcliffe, Larry Kramer vs. Barbra Streisand, the Tonys get a host, and Spidey returns!

It was supposed to be a quiet week post-Tony nominations. Nope! Tony producers confirmed Neil Patrick Harris would be hosting the awards on June 12. Daniel Radcliffe told an audience at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y that he was shocked by the public hoopla surrounding his Tony snub. Meryl Streep confirmed she will play the title role in a reading of Alan Alda’s Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie at Lincoln Center on June 1st (the cast also includes Amy Adams, Allison Janney, and Liev Schreiber). Larry Kramer and Barbra Streisand traded barbs over who really held up the film version of The Normal Heart. And Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark returned to Broadway, rebooted and retooled, for more previews (the official opening date is now June 14). In other news, War Horse and The Book of Mormon announced their national tours, which launch next year. Wonderland announced its early closing (final curtain: Sunday, May 14). And the Tony-nominated Motherf—er With The Hat extended its run by three weeks, with a new close date set for July 17.

In the meantime, our critics saw three productions: the Shaw adaptation A Minister’s Wife, the L.A. anthology about marriage equality Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera StarkREAD FULL STORY

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