PopWatch Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog

Tag: This Week on Stage (51-60 of 176)

This Week on Stage: Tony nomination fallout, plus Bebe Neuwirth and Christina Ricci romp with the Bard

The theater world was fixated this week on Tuesday’s announcement of the Tony nominations, which should prove a box office boon for much-nominated shows like Once, Newsies, and Peter and the Starcatcher. Of course, the noms also prompted the same-day closing notice of two shows completely overlooked for awards consideration: Magic/Bird and the Teresa Rebeck comedy Seminar. (And vultures are circling other shows, like the new musical Leap of Faith, that received only a smattering of Tony love.)

Looking ahead to next season (and who isn’t?), producers announced a Nov. 18 premiere of Rebecca, a new musical based on the Daphne du Maurier novel that had been expected to open this spring. (It’ll be going in the Broadhurst Theatre, where another production all but snubbed by the Tonys — A Streetcar Named Desire — is expect to end its limited run in July.) And former Third Watch star and two-time Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale will return to Broadway next spring in a Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Clifford Odets’ 1949 Hollywood-set drama The Big Knife. Meanwhile, Off Broadway saw the opening of three new productions; here’s our take on them:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Despite the presence of “impossibly lithe” Bebe Neuwirth (pictured above), EW senior writer Adam Markovitz was disappointed by this often gonzo version of the Shakespearean comedy, “a haphazard mix of alternate readings that jumps at any chance to superficially tweak the bard’s tale.” EW grade: C+
Fat Camp: A New Musical
Keith Staskiewicz had a mixed reaction to the “slight” new musical about teens at a summer weight-loss program. “A couple of ’80s-style summer-camp montages are especially enjoyable,” he writes, “but the story gets a little lost in all the hands-waving.” EW grade: B
An Early History of Fire Streamers playwright David Rabe’s first new play in more than a decade is a coming-of-age drama set in the Midwest in 1962. But Stephan Lee reports that it “delivers none of the heat and all of the tedium suggested in the title.” EW grade: C+

Read more:
EW’s Stage Coverage
Director Stuart Gordon talks about ‘Re-Animator: The Musical’
Tony Award noms: Snubs/surprises
Tony Awards: ‘Once’ scores 11 noms

This Week on Stage: Broadway season wraps up with 'Ghost,' 'Leap of Faith,' and Matthew Broderick singing Gershwin

There was a mad crush of premieres this week on Broadway — seven in all, vying to open just under the eligibility wire for this June’s Tony Awards. (Nominations will be announced Tuesday, May 1.) It’s been a surprisingly deep year in each of the four major categories (play, play revival, musical, musical revival).

A Streetcar Named Desire Despite the occasional jarring moments in director Emily Mann’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ drama — which features TV stars Blair Underwood (The Event) as Stanley and Nicole Ari Parker (Soul Food) as Blanche DuBois — EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum found the production “still reaches its destination as a mid-century classic of American theater.” EW grade: B+
Ghost I was disappointed by the musical version of the 1990 Oscar winner, which features a new score by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and veteran hitmaker Glen Ballard (as well as “Unchained Melody”). The chief draws are the high-tech set and magic effects that let the hero walk through walls. “Like Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, the musical version of Ghost haunts the eye, not the ear.” EW grade: C READ FULL STORY

'Bring It On: The Musical': Stream musical number 'It's All Happening' here -- EXCLUSIVE

When Bring It On: The Musical made its debut at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre last November, I reviewed it for EW and wrote about how important the music was to creating the show’s “ADHD vibe.” And up until now, you could only sample that delightful musical flavor if you caught the show on its 13-city tour — there are two stops left through early June — but producers have finally decided to release refined recordings of three of the jazzy show’s songs. EW has an exclusive stream of one of the show’s biggest, most soaring production numbers, “It’s All Happening.”

The recording — which you can stream below — finds hip-hop crew captain Danielle (Adrienne Warren) rallying the troops at Jackson High School to join the cheerleading squad she’s launching, at the urging of blonde cheer princess and new Jackson student Campbell (Taylor Louderman). (Warren and Louderman are pictured here.) Also included in the number are the characters Nautica (Ariana Debose) and drag queen La Cienega (Gregory Haney), with Twig (Nicolas Womack) and Cameron (Dominique Johnson) lending their rapping skills and the rest of the company on backup. This number — as well as “Trip” and “Ain’t No Thing” — will be available for purchase tomorrow, April 24, on iTunes.

All the songs from Bring it On: The Musical are by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), with lyrics by Miranda and Amanda Greene (High Fidelity) and musical supervision by Alex Lacamoire (Wicked).

Enjoy “It’s All Happening” in all its Bring It On glory here, exclusively on EW.com:


This Week on Stage: 'Magic/Bird' in New York, Baryshnikov 'In Paris'

 The Lion King roared into first place among the Main Stem’s biggest earners this week when it surpassed Phantom of the Opera as the highest grossing Broadway show of all time. Otherwise, it was a quiet seven days in the stage world, with the announcement that Jim Parsons and Kristen Chenoweth would name this year’s Tony nominees creating the most buzz.

In L.A., online news editor Laura Hertzfeld saw Mikhail Baryshnikov perform in his native tongue for the first time in the Russian and French In Paris. She calls the play, about a World War I general and his lover, “well-paced and quietly beautiful,” giving it an A.

Also on the West Coast, writer Tanner Stransky watched Jane Kaczmarek live the hardscrabble life of a fortysomething high school dropout in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People. The “shining star” of the A-grade drama, “nails the blue-collar accent, the dramatic (and comedic) timing, and the rode-hard-put-away-wet look of her South Boston character.”

Senior writer Chris Nashawaty was not as impressed with the Broadway debut of Eric Simonson’s Magic/Bird, which he calls “thin” and “primarily concerned with dramatizing the inner lives of these men, which may have been the least exciting thing about them.” He gives the show a C+.

For more stage news and reviews, check EW’s stage hub.

This Week on Stage: the Tonys get a host, Ricky Martin in ‘Evita’

Remember last year when the Tony M.C. wasn’t announced until a month before the ceremony? Well, this time around, the American Theatre Wing and Broadway League aren’t procrastinating: They revealed on Monday that Neil Patrick Harris will host the Tonys for a third time. In other news, Kevin Smith divulged plans for a Clerks III stage playAmy Adams joined the cast of the Public Theater’s Into the WoodsJason Reitman set up a reading of The Apartment in New York City. Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire started previews, and gave us a sneak peek. And Spider-man: Turn off the Dark’s producers got tangled in another legal dispute, this time in relation to the multiple injuries suffered by one of its actors. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: 'Newsies' take New York, Raven-Symone steps into 'Sister Act'

The Newsies took Broadway this week at the show’s Thursday night opening, and if our review is any indication, they’re truly the Kings of New York! EW also got an exclusive video from inside the recording studio with the stellar cast. Over at the Broadway Theatre, Raven-Symone stepped into the bedazzled heels of Deloris van Cartier in Sister Act on Tuesday, and EW caught up with her for a Q&A that’s fabulous, baby. We also offered up a first look at Jamie Lynn-Sigler and Rita Wilson in Off Broadway’s Jewtopia, Deborah Cox joined Jekyll and Hyde, the Susan Boyle musical soared and the Mike Daisey debacle came to an apologetic end.

Thom Geier brought us his enthusiastic review for Newsies, calling it a “winning, high-energy musical” and praising lead Jeremy Jordan’s “explosive” stage presence, as well as “charming” newcomer Kara Lindsay and the standout showstopping ensemble numbers. He awarded the irresistible theatre experience an enthusiastic A–. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: 'Jesus Christ Superstar' returns, Jim Parsons suits up for 'Harvey'

Another day, another Andrew Lloyd Webber show on Broadway. EW got an exclusive look at the flashy revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, which officially opened on Thursday. The Book of Mormon announced a free-ticket lottery for its one year anniversary, which will no doubt make fans cheer “maha naibu eebowai.” Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) showed his business-casual side in EW’s first look at Roundabout Theatre Company’s upcoming Harvey. Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs continued to make headlines, with the latest being Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s supportive stance behind the heavily-criticized show.

In reviews this week, writer Melissa Rose Bernardo gave the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar a hearty B, praising the “glorious group of voices” assembled by director Des McAnuff. Bernardo also took in Cheek by Jowl’s “sexed-up, stripped-down” production of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. She graded it a B and had plenty to say about “the vomiting, the predatory sex acts and the grisly murders” that make the show unique. Writer Stephan Lee gave Off Broadway’s The Big MealB-, calling it “ingenious and often exhausting,” but lauding the show’s handling of humor throughout the melodrama.

For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s Stage hub.

This Week on Stage: Mike Daisey controversy, Andrew Garfield and Phillip Seymour Hoffman take on Arthur Miller

The season is revving up, there’s only 85 days left until the Tonys, and one of the most anticipated plays of the spring, Death of a Salesman, just opened—but the stage news that had everyone talking this week was the revelation that monologist Mike Daisey had fabricated parts of his off-Broadway hit The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Yet, there were also good things going on: David Strathairn joined Jessica Chastain in next season’s The Heiress, Universal hired Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes to adapt another big screen Gypsy, and Val Kilmer announced he will play Mark Twain in his own one-man show, Citizen Twain, in L.A. at the end of the month. I also chatted with Broadway stalwart and cult actor David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors), who’s currently appearing in the stage adaptation of Once.

Meanwhile, EW’s Thom Geier took in the grade A performances of Andrew Garfield and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the Mike Nichols-directed Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman. “Nichols coaxes memorable performances from every actor,” says Geier, adding, “while this Salesman owes much to tradition, it pulses with energy and urgency…Miller’s play has seldom seemed so vital.” And EW.com’s Laura Hertzfeld reviewed the touring production of American Idiot. “Despite a cast of solid singers and musicians, the L.A. version lacks the spontaneity of the original 2009 New York production,” she writes. “But the touring company holds its own and sticks to the script, carrying us through 90 minutes of rock ballads, strobe lights, and worn-through T-shirts.” She gives the musical a B-.

For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s Stage hub.

This Week on Stage: Julie Taymor vs. Bono, a capella in New York

Julie Taymor’s back, she’s saved her emails, and she’s not afraid to use them. News broke this week that the fired Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark director filed new documents—which include private emails and recorded conversations—in her $1 million lawsuit against the show’s producers. Let’s just say the papers don’t portray Spider-Man’s composers Bono and the Edge as Broadway’s best collaborators.

Meanwhile, out in Los Angeles, half the town was holding a court of their own at the star-studded (think George Clooney and Brad Pitt) reading of Dustin Lance Black’s 8, which chronicles the federal trial over same-sex marriage in California. And in non-law-related theater news, Universal Pictures Stage Productions announced that they were adapting the cult film Animal House for the Main Stem. (Doubters, before you say “ugh,” remember that the Greeks did invent drama.)

Our writers also reviewed five new off-Broadway shows. Writer Stephan Lee awarded Nina Raine’s Tribes an A- for the “incisive writing and superb acting” in the family drama about a deaf man’s struggle to discover himself among his hearing relatives. “There isn’t a weak performance in the bunch,” he said about the cast.

The off-Broadway revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady from Dubuque earned an A- from correspondent Keith Staskiewicz, who called it “two hours of intentional discomfort spewed out of some dark and recondite corner of Albee’s mind, adorned in grim irony,” adding that “the production is also absolutely riveting, which is the right word because it indeed feels like someone has affixed your body to your chair.”

I gave the off-Broadway a cappella show Voca People a C- for trying to cram over 70 songs and a thin sci-fi plot into 90 minutes, writing that “someone appears to be laboring under the misapprehension that more songs and more variety will appeal to more people (and more tourists).”

An Iliad “can occasionally be a bit of a slog” admitted stage editor Thom Geier about Denis O’Hare and Stephen Spinella’s one-man readings of Homer’s war epic (the actors alternate performances), but he found it notable “as a showcase for the acting skills of two accomplished stage veterans.” He graded the production a B-.

The revival of Tina Howe’s 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning Painting Churches also scored a B-. Critic Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote that the “esteemed portrait of an artist and her aging parents is as relevant today as it was when the award-winning play premiered,” but felt the drama’s dialogue (who still says “at sixes and sevens”?) showed its age.

For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s Stage hub.

This Week on Stage: Brad Pitt joins Prop 8 reading, Justin Long to make Broadway debut; plus 'Carrie' Off Broadway

Hollywood’s budding love affair with Broadway just continues to grow, doesn’t it? Justin Long is set to join Jeff Goldblum in the comedy Seminar when the Alan Rickman-led cast exits on April 1. Brad Pitt joined the star-studded reading of 8, the Proposition 8 play by Dustin Lance Black which already includes names like Clooney and Sheen (Martin, not Charlie). Beloved book-turned-children’s film Matilda is headed to Broadway following an acclaimed run in London’s West End. Even Hollywood insiders got in on the action with the opening of Assistance (pictured above), an Off Broadway play penned by Harvey Weinstein’s former personal assistant (EW has the Q+A here). EW’s critics took in that and two other Off Broadway shows in this week:

Senior editor Thom Geier flashed back to the 1980s at the MCC Theater’s new revival of Michael Gore’s musical adaptation of Carrie – yes, that Carrie. The original 1998 Broadway production was a famous flop, so how did the new cast of blood-drenched high schoolers fare? “Underwhelming” and “robbed of any sense of fun,” wrote Geier, giving the over-the-top story a lowly C.

Writer Melissa Rose Bernardo got a healthy dose of Hollywood realism from Assistance, Leslye Headland’s “sharp, punchy comedy” about the unfortunate souls who toil for an unseen figure that bears a striking resemblance to Headland’s former boss, movie-studio chief Harvey Weinstein. EW awarded the show a B+, praising Headland’s “snappy, stylish script” and her “enviable gift for making hollow, slightly despicable characters oddly appealing.”

Bernardo also took a visit to the intimate Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre for Hurt Village, a “sprawling, cacophonous elegy on Dubya-era life in a Memphis, Tenn., housing project.” She praised the script by The Mountaintop playwright Katori Hall, as well as standout cast members Tonya Pinkins (“incredible”) and 23-year-old Joaquina Kalukango (“a star-making performance”). The drama scored a B+.

For more stage news and reviews, check out EW.com’s stage hub.

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP