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Tag: This Week on Stage (51-60 of 179)

This Week on Stage: We've got Tony on our minds!

Are you ready for the Tonys?! With Broadway’s most important night only a day away, we’ve got Tony on the brain. The competition at the Neil Patrick Harris-hosted ceremony is fierce, but EW has a mighty useful guide to help you get up to speed on this year’s nominees for Best Play, Best Musical, Best Revival of a Play and Best Revival of a Musical. Our stage critics Thom Geier and Melissa Rose Bernardo offered their predictions for the winners, but as we know, anything can happen at the Tonys. Be sure to join Thom and editor Laura Hertzfeld as they live-blog the event on EW.com starting at 8 p.m. EST, while Melissa and I bring you coverage from the red carpet and inside the Beacon Theatre!

Earlier this week, EW lounged with Liza Minnelli, chatted up last year’s Tony winner Nikki M. James, and went backstage at The Book of Mormon‘s second annual Fan Day (which also marked star Josh Gad’s last show). We also brought you the news about Broadway’s billion-dollar boom, Julie Taymor’s courtroom drama, and Hugh Jackman’s prodigal return to the Tonys. And we triple-dog-dare you not to get excited that a musical version of A Christmas Story is headed to Broadway later this year. As for this week’s new openings, they all happened Off Broadway: READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: An actor breaks a leg, old Jews tell jokes, and a 'Cock' fight wows Off Broadway

That old actor’s adage “Break a leg” is not supposed to be taken literally. But that message apparently didn’t make it to Michael McKean, the Laverne & Shirley and This is Spinal Tap alum now starring in the hit Broadway revival Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. The actor was hospitalized Tuesday with a broken leg after being struck by a car in New York City; James Lecesne will be playing his role as a presidential campaign manager for the foreseeable future.

Otherwise, it was relatively quiet on the theater scene, though L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse announced that Brooke Shields and Richard Chamberlain would be starring in its world premiere (non-musical) stage adaptation of The Exorcist, which opens July 11. The week’s big openings all happened Off Broadway. Here’s what EW’s critics thought:

Cock Adam Markovitz found this London transfer (pictured above), about a man in a charged love triangle with a longtime boyfriend and a woman he just met, to be “a lean and sharp piece of theater.” EW grade: B+ READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Topher Grace and Jonathan Pryce open in Off Broadway shows

More casualties on Broadway this week as the musicals Leap of Faith and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying both posted closing notices; the former is a reported $14 million flop, while the latter is a giant hit that simply ran out of steam after the departure of its original star, Daniel Radcliffe. (While Radcliffe’s replacement Nick Jonas initially drew smaller but steady crowds after arriving in January, the show has struggled at the box office in recent weeks.)

Looking forward, Tony-nominated musical hits Once and Nice Work If You Can Get It both set national tours — and producers announced plans for three shows bound for the Great White Way: a biomusical of Charlie Chaplin due in September, a stage version of Coal Miner’s Daughter starring Zooey Deschanel, and a new Nora Ephron play, Lucky Guy, starring Oscar winner Tom Hanks (in his Broadway debut!) as the late New York Post columnist Mike McAlary. Plus, there was a fresh batch of new openings Off Broadway (and way, way Off Broadway, in Los Angeles):

Lonely, I’m Not Stephan Lee found that filmmaker Paul Weitz’s new play, starring stage newbies Topher Grace and Olivia Thirlby (pictured above) as yuppie bankers with issues, “has all the makings of a charming but middling indie flick…and succeeds primarily because it lives up to its modest ambitions.” EW grade: B+

The Caretaker According to critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, veteran British actor Jonathan Pryce is “loose-limbed and rubber-faced” as a straggly-bearded old man at the center of Harold Pinter’s enigmatic play, running through June 17 at BAM Harvey Theatre. EW grade: B+

Man and Superman Despite a “particularly fine” performance by Max Gordon Moore as the foppish hero, I found that the Off Broadway revival of George Bernard Shaw’s 1903 play “occasionally lapses into a period comedy of mannerisms.” EW grade: B

Follies After an acclaimed run on Broadway last fall, director Eric Schaeffer’s revival of Steven Sondheim’s flawed 1971 musical about aging showgirls lands in Los Angeles with most of its Tony-nominated cast intact (though Victoria Clark steps in for Bernadette Peters in one of the two female leads). According to Laura Hertzfeld, it’s “a pitch-perfect production of an imperfect show.” EW grade: B+

Read more:
EW’s Stage Coverage
‘Big Bang Theory’ star Jim Parsons talks hitting the stage for ‘Harvey’
‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark’ to offer free tickets to people named Tony on Tony Awards Sunday
Topher Grace talks Off Broadway debut in new Paul Weitz play ‘Lonely, I’m Not’

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.

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