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Tag: This Week on Stage (61-70 of 176)

The Royal Shakespeare Company bringing Roald Dahl’s 'Matilda' to Broadway in early 2013

Roald Dahl’s little English girl with a very big brain, Matilda Wormwood, is coming to Broadway next year in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s new  Matilda The Musical. The show — which opened at the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2010 — has been playing to sold out houses in London’s West End since October. And it’s not just your usual children’s tuner — the colorful production is directed by Matthew Warchus (The Norman Conquests), written by Dennis Kelly (who is known mostly in the U.K. for the raunchy television comedy Pulling), and features songs by wild-haired, usually barefooted Australian-British comedian Tim Minchin — making it already very different from the Broadway revival of kids’ musical Annie that also opens next season. It’s too early to say, but I might be Team Matilda.

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EW Special Coverage: Stage 

This Week on Stage: Woody Allen's musical and Rufus Wainwright's opera

Very few Broadway news stories excited me as much this week as Woody Allen’s announcement that he was turning one of his best films, Bullets Over Broadway, into a Main Stem musical. Yet, I did celebrate with the rest of Linda Lavin’s fans when the producers of The Lyons — in which she gave an award-worthy performance off-Broadway last fall — announced that the show was also coming to the Great White Way. Plus, as a huge devotee of the movie Once, I was thrilled for EW to get another sneak peak at the making of next month’s Broadway adaptation.

Senior writer Melissa Maerz also gave us the rundown on Rufus Wainwright’s new opera, Prima Donna. (Should you see it? In her words, “Hell yes!”) And correspondent Keith Staskiewicz reviewed an “airless” off-Broadway revival of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo, which is “so dry it threatens to catch fire.” He had praise, however, for star F. Murray Abraham’s “exuberance” and “conviviality,” and ultimately gave the production a B.

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

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EW Special Coverage: Stage 

This Week on Stage: William Shatner returns to Broadway, 'August: Osage County' film moves ahead

The boards had a busy week. The Book of Mormon won a Grammy. Broadway’s upcoming Once musical gave us a video sneak peak. Jeff Goldblum announced that he is replacing Alan Rickman in Seminar. Chris Colfer, Kevin Bacon, and John C. Reilly joined the star-studded cast reading of Dustin Lance Black’s Prop 8 play. Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark’s producers reached a settlement with the union that represents Julie Taymor. The film adaptation of August: Osage County finally secured leads Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. The stage version of The King’s Speech found a spot on the West End. The Bodyguard musical got closer to actually happening, while the Sleepless in Seattle musical was delayed. The Newsies cast asked Christian Bale to come see their show. And our critics reviewed five plays in New York and Los Angeles.

How I Learned to Drive: Film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum gives a B- to this off-Broadway revival of Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning two-hander about a girl who is molested by her wayward uncle. READ FULL STORY

William Shatner returns to Broadway, talks one-man show -- VIDEO

Tonight, the one-man show Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It opens on Broadway after touring Australia and Canada. The limited engagement, through March 4, marks William Shatner’s return to the Great White Way for the first time since 1962. In the video interview below, he shares one of the many stories you’ll hear him tell on stage and reminds us that back in the ’60s, you didn’t get instant Twitter reviews as you left the theater.  READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Keys is out, Danza is in, and Sondheim goes backwards

Unless you consider the high number of theater stars on NBC’s Smash (Christian Borle, Brian d’Arcy James, and more) to be a win for Broadway, it’s been a quiet week on stage. The Main Stem’s sole opening was actually a reopening—of Venus in Fur, which moved from the Samuel J. Friedman Theater to the Lyceum. Just one production announced an extension: Porgy & Bess will now run through September. And only two shows, thankfully, divulged that they were closing: Broadway’s Alicia Keys-produced Stick Fly and off-Broadway’s long-running Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Oh, and we learned that Tony Danza will return to Broadway to co-star in his first Main Stem musical, an adaptation of Honeymoon in Vegas, next year. READ FULL STORY

Alicia Keys-produced 'Stick Fly' to close, 'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess' to live on

Singer-songwriter-actress Alicia Keys’ first gig as a Broadway producer is ending early. Lydia R. Diamond’s Stick Fly will play its final show on Feb. 26, following 24 previews and 92 regular performances. The dramatic comedy—which stars Psych’s Dulé Hill and Torchwood: Miracle Day’s Mekhi Pfeffer as brothers returning to their family’s ritzy Cape Cod vacation home for a weekend of big fights and bigger secrets—opened to mix reviews on Dec. 8. Its producers had only recently announced that the show was adding special Wednesday matinees througout March (to accommodate spring-breakers) and would be selling tickets through Apr. 8.  On the flip side, the controversial Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess, starring Audra McDonald and David Alan Grier, announced today that it was extending through Sept. 30.

Now, the only question left is: What show will take Stick Fly‘s place at the Cort Theatre? Share your suggestions below.

This Week on Stage: Nick Jonas versus Darren Criss; Janeane Garofalo off-Broadway

The theater world had a relatively busy news week. Broadway’s battle of the heartthrobs was finally settled: Nick Jonas’ first week in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying grossed less cash than Darren Criss’ and Daniel Radcliffe’s. London’s Hampstead Theatre confirmed that the stage adaptation of Chariots of Fire will open this May, in time for the Olympics. Rumors spread about a Back to the Future musical coming to Broadway. Megan Hilty and Raven-Symoné joined Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Sister Act, respectively. Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park continued its on again, off again relationship with Broadway. And EW critics saw two major off-Broadway openings.

EW correspondent Keith Staskiewicz reviewed Janeane Garofalo in Erika Sheffer’s new comedy-drama Russian Transport. “She puts forth a genuine effort…and the result isn’t bad at all,” writes Staskiewicz about the comedienne’s performance as a Russian-Jewish immigrant raising her two assimilated teenagers in New York City when their mysterious uncle visits from the homeland.  “Unfortunately, the play lacks any sort of narrative discharge,” he sadly adds, rating the show a B, “and ends abruptly before reaching the climax to which it had been building.”

I called Matthew Rhys’ New York stage debut as infamous British malcontent Jimmy Porter in Sam Gold’s reimagining of the Angry Young Man drama Look Back in Anger, “one of the better Jimmys since Richard Burton’s in Tony Richardson’s 52-year-old movie adaptation.” But I gave the play itself a B+, faulting Gold’s pared-down script for excising most of the 1956 play’s period detail and losing what makes it seminal.

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

This Week on Stage: Darren Criss exits ‘How to Succeed’; Cynthia Nixon brings ‘Wit’ to Broadway

If there is a truth now universally acknowledged on Broadway, it is that producers in need of a fortune should cast Darren Criss. The Glee star’s 24-show tenure in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which ended on Sunday, took in a total of just over $4 million dollars—besting all but one of his predecessor Daniel Radcliffe’s per week grosses and putting some extra pressure on his replacement Nick Jonas, whose stint runs until July 1. READ FULL STORY

Watch Nick Jonas tackle Broadway in 'How to Succeed' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Nick Jonas begins his run tonight as window-washer-turned-business-sensation J. Pierrepont Finch in the Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, relieving Glee star Darren Criss (whose three-week stint ended on Sunday to very favorable financial results).

Jonas is the third to inherit the primo part, following Criss and original star Daniel Radcliffe (all three of whom performed the role at some point during the month of January). Also joining the cast tonight is Ugly Betty star Michael Urie as the lazy, nepotistic Bud Frump. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: ‘Porgy and Bess’ gets a makeunder; Kathleen Turner is a ‘Red Hot Patriot’

Gleeks, Geeks, and dedicated fans of all sorts ruled the stage world this week. Glee star Darren Criss, the current lead of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, outsold his predecessor Daniel Radcliffe—and caused quite a stir in Manhattan’s midtown. Star Trek icon William Shatner confirmed the dates and venue for his one-man Main Stem show, Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It. Newsies lovers finally got their Broadway lead, Jeremy Jordan. And our critics got back to being theater nerds after a short winter break. (The Harry Connick Jr.-led On a Clear Day You Can See Forever also announced that it wouldn’t last forever and is closing on Jan. 29, but let’s not dwell, as Raúl Esparza’s Leap of Faith will be moving in to its theater in April.)

Senior writer Clark Collis traveled to Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse for Brit comedian and monologist Daniel Kitson’s latest solo show, It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later. He gave the production a B, writing that it “showcases Kitson’s beguiling skills as a miniaturist tale-teller.” “Kitson’s message is that everything contributes to life’s rich pageant,” he adds. “Certainly it has been enriched in some small way by this show.”

Stage editor Thom Geier saw Broadway’s The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, a pared down B+ revival, which, while not perfect, is bolstered by four-time Tony-winner Audra McDonald’s performance as its heroine. “Is there anything Audra McDonald can’t do?” he asks. “As played by McDonald with the full force of her vocal and acting abilities, Bess becomes an unforgettable and iconic American character.”

Out in Los Angeles, staff writer Tanner Stransky watched Kathleen Turner channel famed Texas journalist, political commentator, and wisecracker Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. He calls Turner “a treat,” giving the show an A- and warning, “A word to the wise: Do not miss Kathleen Turner when she’s on the stage.”

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