More shows a-comin’ in what looks to be a busy fall, but it’s a summer Tony winner that’s still packing ‘em in. Kinky Boots, which scored Best Musical, Best Score (for Cyndi Lauper), and Best Actor in a Musical (Billy Porter), among other trophies, recouped its running costs in what’s been a staggering seven months for Broadway (even The Book of Mormon took longer, though Kinky has a few hundred more seats per show to sell, in all fairness). The Glass Menagerie, boasting ecstatic reviews (including ours) has extended seven extra weeks to play through February 2014, Taxi stars Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch take on Neil Simon in L.A., and the season’s love affair with Tennessee Williams continues in New Haven this time, with resident True Blood hottie Joe Manganiello (Alcide, to HBO fans) taking on brutish, bruised Stanley Kowalski: (click on the links below to read the full reviews):
Tag: This Week on Stage (21-30 of 176)
If you had anything to do with John Tiffany’s new revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic memory play The Glass Menagerie, chances are you had an extremely good week, as the production received raves by NY critics, signaling a must-see to the theaterati. (And make sure you get tickets soon, as it closes Jan. 5.) Actually, Tennessee Williams seemed to inform much of this past week; joining Menagerie is an unearthed work by William Inge that explicitly references another Williams play (they were famously pals), and look sharp for an upcoming review of True Blood star Joe Manganiello in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, playing up in New Haven, CT. And yes, he does appear shirtless, but don’t even think of snapping a photo of him during the show! And a little-known TV star named Bryan Cranston (you know, from that small show Breaking Bad) takes on Lyndon Johnson in a new play with designs on Broadway (click on the links below for the full reviews): READ FULL STORY
Summer has officially taken hold, but all eyes seem to be on fall and spring, with nearly all of the 40 Broadway houses having scooped up shows to call their own if they don’t already have a tenant. This fall, we will see the arrival of a new Janis Joplin musical, A Night With Janis Joplin, which has been making the rounds nationally and finally setting up camp for a long run. Ethan Hawke is returning to Lincoln Center for his take on Macbeth, John Grisham gets his first Broadway salute with a Main Stem mounting of his legal thriller A Time to Kill, and look for the starry likes of Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Mark Rylance, Orlando Bloom, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto in already-announced shows, which will make for a busy season. And this spring will feature the musical debuts of both Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway (which is to star Zach Braff) and The Bridges of Madison County (reuniting Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale after their recent coupling in the musical adaptation of Far From Heaven). READ FULL STORY
The 2012-2013 theater season came to a close this past week with this year’s Tony Awards — up 20 percent in the TV ratings over last year — as Neil Patrick Harris proved an unstoppable host. (Seriously, you need to watch that opening number again.). In other news, the much-utilized TKTS discount booths, present in Manhattan and Brooklyn and a great assist for all those on a budget, turns 40 this month! (Click here to see the various incarnations of the booth over the past four decades.) Neil LaBute’s latest premiered (and the drama wasn’t all on stage, it seems), with The Office’s Jenna Fischer making her stage debut opposite Josh Hamilton in the author’s follow-up to his Tony-nominated 2009 play Reasons to Be Pretty. (Click on the links below for the full reviews):
3 Kinds of Exile At age 75, playwright John Guare shows no signs of slowing down, and he even acts in his newest, a triptych centering on Eastern European émigrés in the 20th century. Is Guare still in his prime? EW’s Thom Geier says “despite some verbal stumbles, Guare proves a natural onstage performer, delivering the ultimate cocktail-party show-stopper” but that the final segment “is a kind of manic tedium that undercuts the touching portraits that come before it.” EW grade: B
Reasons to Be Happy Neil LaBute revisits the foursome made famous in his 2009 Reasons to be Pretty, this time with a fully new cast and a new set of events. Did it make reviewer Melissa Rose Bernardo happy? She states, “Happy stands on its own, of course; so if you didn’t see Pretty, don’t worry — LaBute gives us all the necessary background. I just wish he’d given us a credible female character or two as well.” EW grade: B
Venice Othello meets In the Heights meets dystopic terror in this new musical at the Public, starring The Visitor’s Haaz Sleiman and Next to Normal’s Jennifer Damiano. Should you rise up and buy a ticket? “What should be a taut, efficiently told story gets undone by some head-scratching stylistic and structural choices”, says Kyle Anderson, “there are a lot of inspired ideas and killer traditional music theater numbers…but you have to dig pretty deep beneath Venice‘s stylistic overkill to truly savor them. EW grade: B-
It’s finally here — Broadway’s version of the Super Bowl — and EW’s own Melissa Rose Bernardo and Thom Geier have already firmed up who they think are going to win the big trophies at the Tonys on Sunday evening. It’s one of the most unpredictable years on record, so that, plus fourth time host Neil Patrick Harris (click here for our recent interview with Harris) and the promise of a boatload of show performances should make for one good time. (See below on how you can join us for the Tonys live).
In the land of Off Broadway, however, there are still quite a few new openings this week, including a quite-pregnant and lovely-as-ever Kelli O’Hara returning to the stage for the first time since her Tony-nommed performance in Nice Work If You Can Get It and Glee’s Jane Lynch takes on the Great White Way for the very first time (click on the links below for the full reviews): READ FULL STORY
Three weeks until the Tony Awards, and the Broadway extensions (i.e. bids for prospective votes) are in full swing. The Trip to Bountiful has announced an extension to Sept. 1, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has announced it will extend several more weeks to July 28 (as star Sigourney Weaver amusingly pointed out: “the audience’s response is so enthusiastic—and, also, we need the money.”). Billy Crystal warmed the hearts of many by announcing that he will be reviving his Tony-winning solo effort 700 Sundays for a holiday run later this year. And though it’s May, there’s no slowdown for new Off-Broadway offerings, among them a comic take on the Constitution by a former SNL-er and the long-awaited return of one of last season’s most acclaimed new musicals. Click on the links below to read the full reviews: READ FULL STORY
The Tony noms are out, and the closing casualties are beginning. The Constantine Maroulis/Deborah Cox-starring Jekyll & Hyde seized its final moment on Sunday, and the nommed, Alec Baldwin-led play Orphans will close on May 19 after mere weeks on the boards. (A displeased Mr. Baldwin had something to say about that this week).
But there’s still plenty of product vying for your bucks, including a slew of new Off-Broadway productions this week, from topics ranging from classical ballet to avant-garde romance to Walt Disney. Plus, The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski and a group of spirited hoofers revive On Your Toes (where you can get a rare chance to see the dance benchmark “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” in its full glory). Click on the links below to read the full reviews: READ FULL STORY
Here they are, the last gasp of shows for the 2012-2013 theater season as we approach T-Day (Tony Nomination Day on April 30). And on that note, some notable rulings have been announced: the four young tykes taking on the title role in Matilda will not be competing jointly for Best Actress in a Musical (they will instead receive a special “Tony Honor For Excellence”). And poor Kristine Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) and all the men in Orphans have been added to the crowded slate of competitors for Leading Actor/Actress, which means about eight Tony-worthy performers will be vying for five spaces in each, already dubbing this year as Sophie’s Choices. Read the full eligibility details here.
This edition features return Broadway favorites like Pippin and The Trip to Bountiful and a particularly solo-show heavy week, with Bette Midler, Fiona Shaw and Brief Encounter’s Tristan Sturrock all holding court (and even Alan Cumming’s take on the Scottish Play falls into the pseudo category). And David Byrne and Fatboy Slim are getting their groove on downtown too. (Click on the links below to read the full reviews):
Here Lies Love On your feet, disco lovers! No, really. This new David Byrne-Fatboy Slim musical is a literal stand-up experience — wear comfortable shoes! — using the space inside the Public Theater as a full-on dance floor to tell a mirrorballed tale of controversial Philippines strongman Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda. Kyle Anderson declares the odd hybrid a smashing success: The show’s narrative center is so strong and its infectious melodic spirit so complete that it could easily work in a traditional theater setting (or in the round, on a street corner, or in your living room). The fact that you can sweat right along with the incredible cast is a happy-footed bonus.” EW grade: A READ FULL STORY
The theater season is in full-swing glory right now, and EW has covered no less than nine (!) shows since last week. Broadway is saying one permanent good night (RIP Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and hellos to stage stalwarts as varied as Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, Bobby Cannavale and Constantine Maroulis. And Motown legend Berry Gordy throws his hat into the ring too. So, who’s most worth your hard-earned bucks? (Click on the links below to read the full reviews):
The Assembled Parties Richard Greenberg (already on the boards this season with Tiffany’s) unveils a new play about two Christmases in a tense Upper West Side family’s history. Tanner Stransky called the play “as close to bullet-proof as they come on the Great White Way these days”, highlighting “a first-rate cast [including Judith Light and Jessica Hecht] that feels as familiar and complicated as any real-life clan”. EW grade: A– READ FULL STORY
This week marks the arrival of the biggest Brit hit musical since a little boy named Billy Elliot pirouetted his way across the pond, but the Off Broadway offerings in this round-up are also not to be ignored. As we prep for a tidal wave of openings in the next three weeks (with 12 Broadway titles alone to come!), check out what our staff has to say about these: (click on the links below to read the full reviews):
Matilda: Four very lucky little girls share the title role in this bold reimagining of the classic Roald Dahl novel which broke records sweeping Britain’s Olivier Awards last year. Did it survive the ride across the ocean with kudos intact? Thom Geier says yes and dubs it as enticing as a bedtime story, “you want to shout, ”Again!” and demand that the cast start over from the very beginning so you might catch everything that you missed”. He adds, “ [the show] captures the wonder and innocence of childhood, but also the frustrations that face kids confronting the bitter unfairness of the adult world”. EW grade: A– READ FULL STORY
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