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Tag: This Week on Stage (31-40 of 178)

This Week on Stage: Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, The Rascals and a slew of new openings

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 on Stage: 'Matilda' casts her spell on Broadway


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

This Week on Stage: 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' and 'Hands on a Hardbody' hit Broadway

The Broadway theater season is heading for the home stretch, with more than a dozen shows slated to open before the late-April deadline for this year’s Tony Awards. This week, the curtain officially rose on two adaptations of big-screen dramas (click on the links below to read our full reviews):

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Emilia Clarke, the Khaleesi from HBO’s Game of Thrones, could have used some dragons in Richard Greenberg’s stage adaptation of the familiar tale, which I dub “a meandering misfire lacking the charm and oomph of either Capote’s 1958 novella or the 1961 movie.” While it’s hard to live up to the legacy of Audrey Hepburn’s signature role, “it’s telling that the supporting player who makes the strongest impression is Vito Vincent, who plays Holly’s adoptive feline companion, Cat.” EW grade: C–

Hands on a Hardbody This new musical, featuring a score by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio with Amanda Green, is based on an unlikely source: a 1997 documentary about people in Texas trying to win a Nissan truck by being the last person to keep their hand on it. But, as Clark Collis writes, “the pair’s excursions into country, blues, and a clutch of other genres rarely rise above the generic.” EW grade: B–

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read more:
Phish frontman Trey Anastasio on his new Broadway show ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Broadway box office: ‘Motown’ musical joins Million Dollar Club in its first week
Listen to a song from new ‘Big Fish’ musical — EXCLUSIVE

EW Stage Hub

This Week on Stage: 'Cinderella' and Holland Taylor seek a perfect fit on Broadway

It was a busy week on and off Broadway. Disney’s Mary Poppins played its final (2,619th!) performance on Sunday. Elizabeth Olsen announced she’ll play Juliet in the Classic Stage Company’s Off Broadway revival of Romeo and Juliet this fall. And Shia LaBeouf, who abruptly exited an upcoming Broadway production of Orphans, resumed his bizarro Twitter feud with former costar Alec Baldwin after the 30 Rock star told Vulture that LaBeouf is in no “position to be giving interpretations of what the theater is and what the theater isn’t.” Meow. Here’s a roundup of some of the biggest openings of the past week, both on the Great White Way and beyond (click links for our full reviews).

CinderellaThe Rodgers & Hammerstein musical features a mostly “so-so” score and a heroine played by Laura Osnes (pictured above with Santino Fontana) as “likable but devoid of edge,” writes Jessica Shaw. The show’s biggest plus: “how-the-heck-do-they-do-that visual tricks that transform Cinderella from rags into red-carpet-ready riches before our eyes.” EW grade: B

Ann: Two and a Half Men star Holland Taylor undergoes a remarkable head-to-toe transformation in her one-woman show about the late Texas pol Ann Richards. “She may be a workmanlike playwright,” I conclude, “but as a performer she commands the stage with authority as big as Texas itself.” EW grade: B+ READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Jesse Eisenberg and Edie Falco open Off Broadway

In a rare treat for Off Broadway audiences, the incomparable Vanessa Redgrave is playing a Polish septuagenarian opposite Jesse Eisenberg in Eisenberg’s own play The Revisionist. I can’t imagine the last time the Oscar- and Tony-award-winning actress has played in a venue as small as the 179-seat Cherry Lane Theatre. But The Revisionist isn’t the only starry premiere on the boards this week; here’s a roundup of notable openings (click links for the full review).

The Revisionist Vanessa Redgrave displays “a well-wrought accent and hard-earned professional brio” in Jesse Eisenberg’s new drama about a young American writer visiting a distant Polish cousin, I write. But Eisenberg, who also stars, “ends his play far too abruptly, with a surprise decision that feels forced and implausible.” EW grade: B

The Madrid Edie Falco, as a kindergarten teacher who abandons her job as well as her family without so much as a note of explanation, “instantly elevates what could be just another wayward-character drama into something that feels moored in a great performance,” writes Tanner Stransky. EW grade: B– READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Scarlett Johansson opens on Broadway in 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

Stars continue to reign on the Great White Way. The latest returnee is Tony-winner Scarlett Johansson in a new revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that’s generated a lot of ink for the liberties that the production almost took with Tennessee Williams’ classic. Meanwhile, producers announced an October opening for a musical based on the 2003 Tim Burton movie Big Fish. And the final curtain will fall this weekend on three (more) Broadway productions: Glengarry Glen RossGolden Boy, and Peter and the Starcatcherthough Peter will move to Off Broadway’s New World Stages this spring. Here’s a roundup of four big new arrivals from the last week (click the links to read our full reviews).

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  Scarlett Johansson brings a “fierce fighting spirit” to Maggie the Cat in director Rob Ashford’s “languorous” revival of the Tennessee Williams classic, I write. “Like Brick, who gulps liquor until he hears ‘that little click in my head that makes me peaceful,’ this production tosses back many an intoxicating individual moment without ever quite clicking.” EW grade: B

Picnic  William Inge’s 1953 drama about a handsome drifter (Captain America‘s Sebastian Stan) who woos a small-town gal (Taken‘s Maggie Grace) gets a “swell” revival, writes Adam Markovitz. “It’s simply trying — and occasionally managing — to recapture the thrill of molten hormones, the heat of an endless summer day, and the dizzying rush of a first love that could happen anywhere, anytime.” EW grade: B+

Water by the Spoonful  Keith Staskiewicz had high praise for Quiara Alegría Hudes’ “humane and lively” new play, which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and follows three members of a Puerto Rican family seeking to make connections (both online and in person). EW grade: A–

The Other Place  Laurie Metcalf, the Steppenwolf veteran best known for her Emmy-winning run on Roseanne, gives a “mesmerizing” performance as a medical researcher who becomes convinced she has a brain tumor. In Sharr White’s new drama, I write, the actress “radiates a brusque intelligence and mordant wit with occasional flashes of raw and childlike vulnerability.” EW grade: A–

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read more:
Broadway star Brandon Victor Dixon talks portraying Motown founder Barry Gordy
‘Big Fish’ musical swimming to Broadway this fall
EW’s Stage hub

Another Great Performance of 2012: Ari Graynor in Broadway's 'The Performers'

The issue of Entertainment Weekly currently on stands features 2012 Best and Worst of the yeareverything from our favorite movies and TV shows to best albums and books. Also featured within those pages are our Great Performances of the year, lauding stunning outings from the likes of Jessica Lange in American Horror Story: Asylum to Sally Field in Lincoln. But there’s one Great Performance from 2012 that we weren’t able to fit in the pages of the magazine — that of Ari Graynor in this year’s beguilingly funny Broadway play, The Performers, which sadly only lasted about a month on the Great White Way.

Regardless of the show’s short life, Graynor — an EW favorite from way back in 2008’s Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist — brought the laughs to the short, funny send-up of the porn industry. Her mile-a-minute porn star character Peeps — who, we’ll add, was pregnant — kept the laughs flowing amid a cast of other stars that included Henry Winkler, Cheyenne Jackson, and Alicia Silverstone. To honor her great performance in The Performers, EW recently caught up with Graynor to discuss how she nabbed the role, how she made it her own, and how — just how! — the show could have been pulled from Broadway so soon. Read on for a taste of Graynor’s charm.

So how did it come about that you got cast in The Performers on Broadway?
My involvement started a year ago. I did a reading of it while I was doing Relatively Speaking on Broadway last season, which was the Woody Allen play. I just immediately fell in love with [my character] Peeps. She is — of all of the fantastic, lovable people and characters I have played — my favorite. She was so special on the page and, through the work of the play, became even more. She just became an avenue for my soul. She was so fun and she was so vulnerable and openhearted and present and without a filter, and I just thought the comedy in the play was so hilarious, and especially with Peeps and [Cheyenne Jackson's character] Mandrew. It’s the best kind of comedy, where it comes from the highest emotional states possible. You’re saying really ridiculous things, but their emotional truths are deep and dark and as intense as any drama. That’s what allows it to be so fun and funny. The timing of it ended up working out really great.


This Week on Stage: Porn stars, Dickens, and Kathie Lee Gifford invade Broadway

It was one busy week on the New York stage, with three Broadway openings and one rare day-after-premiere closing: No sooner did the producers of the starry porn-world comedy The Performers study the show’s mixed reviews than they decided to call it quits. (Guess they thought they’d lost their money shot.) Over at the Encores! series at New York City Center, Glee star Amber Riley jazzed up the Broadway-ready revue Cotton Club Parade. And Off Broadway saw at least a half dozen major new productions featuring stars like Ethan Hawke, Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, and Boardwalk Empire‘s Gretchen Mol. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: 'Annie' returns to Broadway

Two Sandys dominated the New York theater scene this week. One was the canine star of the beloved musical Annie, which opened Thursday night to generally mixed reviews (despite a near rave from EW’s Jessica Shaw). The other was the hurricane that disrupted numerous productions last week. The storm even became the unlikely scapegoat for the producers of the Al Pacino-led revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, which pushed back its opening date from Nov. 11 to Dec. 8 despite being in previews since Oct. 9 and canceling only a handful of performances due to Sandy. Here’s our take on recent openings:

Annie The rags-to-riches 1977 musical makes a welcome return to Broadway in a new production starring 11-year-old Lilla Crawford (pictured above, with rescue dog Sunny as Sandy). According to EW’s Jessica Shaw, “This Annie is a love letter to both the city and a musical that’s endured for 35 years.” EW grade: A–

Sorry Like his last two plays, Richard Nelson’s deliberately timely new Off Broadway drama opened on the day on which it’s set: In this case, Election Day 2012. As Melissa Rose Bernardo writes, “The lightning-in-a-bottle nature of the works — particularly Sorry, with its references to Hurricane Sandy and even the approaching nor’easter — imbues them with a thrilling immediacy.” EW grade: A–

Bad Jews Off Broadway regular Tracee Chimoo is “terrific,” Lisa Schwarzbaum writes, in up-and-coming playwright Joshua Harmon’s “lively little comedy of hostility and intrafamily kvetching.” EW grade: B

The Heiress I had nothing but praise for “s crisp, first-rate production,” starring about a wealthy 19th-century physician (David Strathairn) whose plain-Jane daughter (Jessica Chastain) is suddenly wooed by a penniless charmer played by Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens. EW grade: A

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read more:
Diane Warren’s melodies head to Broadway
Poor Lady Edith: Outburst interrupts ‘Downton’ star’s play
EW’s Stage Hub

This Week on Stage: A new 'Cyrano,' Tom Hanks, and a 'Game of Thrones' Khaleesi

Winter is coming to Broadway. And so is Emilia Clarke, the Khaleesi from HBO’s Game of Thrones, who will play Holly Golightly in a new adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out), opening this spring.

In addition, Tom Hanks confirmed that he’ll make his long-overdue Broadway debut this season as the late tabloid columnist Mike McAlary in Lucky Guy, a new play by Nora Ephron (who died of leukemia in June).

Also booked for the Great White Way this spring: Eric Coble’s new comedy The Velocity of Autumn, starring Estelle Parsons as an 80-year-old who locks herself into her Brooklyn brownstone with a pile of Molotov cocktails to resist her family’s attempt to move her into a nursing home. (The 84-year-old actress, now appearing in the musical Nice Work If You Can Get Is, has been a firecracker on stage for years — I can’t wait to see her armed with the real thing.)

Of course, the biggest star heading to the stage may be a certain classic primate with sights on Melbourne’s Regent Theatre in June: This week, producers announced plans for a very large-scale King Kong musical, with a book by Craig Lucas (Light in the Piazza) and a rock score featuring tunes from Sarah McLachlan, Justice, Massive Attack’s Robert del Naja, and the Avalanches’ Guy Garvey. After the jump, check out EW’s take on the week’s biggest new openings in New York and Los Angeles. READ FULL STORY

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