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Tag: This Week on Stage (91-100 of 181)

This Week on Stage: Samuel L. Jackson makes his Broadway debut

This week’s biggest opening — and best EW review — may belong to the Samuel L. Jackson/Angela Bassett two-hander The Mountaintop, but our critics also saw four other productions in New York and California. Read the highlights from all five reviews below (click on the bolded title for the full write-ups).

Man and Boy: Correspondent Keith Staskiewicz was captivated by Frank Langella’s “towering performance” as a ruthless financier whose crumbling empire forces him to reconcile with his son in this Depression-set Broadway revival. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: 'Glee's Jonathan Groff, and Adam Rapp's newest off-Broadway

Broadway’s biggest news this week was sad stuff: Tony-winner Billy Elliot will shut its doors on Jan. 8 after 1,304 performances. Yet there were some things to be happy about. Rumors that Newsies could be headed to Broadway gained some ground when producers confirmed that they had been approached by several NYC theater owners wanting to host the show. Ghost the Musical announced its U.S. debut date: April 23, 2012. Jesus Christ Superstar is returning to Broadway in March. Alicia Keys will be writing original music for December’s Stick Fly. And Alan Rickman gave EW.com readers a little taste of what it’s like to be one of his cast members in Theresa Rebeck’s upcoming Seminar. As for off-the Great White Way, our reviewers saw four shows. Read the highlights below (click on the titles for the full reviews). READ FULL STORY

Stop the presses! 'Newsies' may be heading to Broadway this spring

Disney’s new stage version of the 1992 musical film Newsies, which had its world premiere this week at Millburn, N.J.’s Paper Mill Playhouse to generally rave reviews, may be headed to Broadway this spring. EW has confirmed reports that Disney has been approached by several Broadway theater owners about a possible transfer of the production, which is currently slated to run through Oct. 16 at Paper Mill. There are no firm plans as yet, since Disney had only modest ambitions for the show: namely, licensing it for schools and community theater groups.

Though the original film was a box office flop, Newsies developed a cult following on home video thanks to Beauty and the Beast composer Alan Menken’s songs and the early, enthusiastic (and sometimes charmingly off-key) performance of Christian Bale as a turn-of-the-20th-century newsboy leading a strike against New York City newspaper barons. One potential hitch for mounting Newsies on Broadway is that the lead actor playing Bale’s character from the film is already committed to another production. Jeremy Jordan will play Clyde Barrow in the Frank Wildhorn musical Bonnie & Clyde, which is scheduled to begin previews Nov. 4 before a Dec. 1 opening.

Read more:
‘Newsies’ first look photo
Christian Bale won’t star in stage version of ‘Newsies,’ but here’s what you can expect

'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

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