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'Honeymoon in Vegas,' starring Tony Danza, is finally headed to Broadway

It’s the worst-kept secret of the season: Honeymoon in Vegas, the new musical adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker, will finally open on Broadway this fall. Tony Danza will star as Tommy Korman, a Vegas gambler who meets and falls in love with a woman (Brynn O’Malley) who has landed in Sin City to tie the knot with her marriage-phobic boyfriend Jack (Rob McClure).

The long-rumored Broadway production will play the Brooks Atkinson Theatre beginning November 18, with opening night slated for January 15, 2015 (one of the longest preview periods in recent memory). With a score by Jason Robert Brown—this year’s Tony Award winner for The Bridges of Madison County—and a book by Andrew Bergman (Blazing Saddles), the show is directed by Gary Griffin with choreography by Denis Jones.

The production played a try-out at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse last year, which EW praised as a “guffaw-out-loud production. Jason Robert Brown’s zippy score is a perfect complement to the daffiness of Andrew Bergman’s book with some of the wittiest lyrics in recent memory.”

A colt named after Tony Danza? Kentucky Derby horses with pop culture ties

UPDATE: Danza finished in the money in third place behind 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome and second-place finisher Commanding Curve.

ORIGINAL POST: There’s more pop-watching at this year’s Kentucky Derby than just spying celebrities wearing fancy, oversized hats and sipping Mint Juleps.

For instance, Danza (pictured), described as a “tough colt,” is named for Who’s the Boss actor Tony Danza. The horse’s father is named Street Boss, and a round of brainstorming led owners to the names Who’s the Boss, then Tony Micelli, Danza’s character on the show. Neither name was approved; they settled on simply Danza.

“It’s thrilling,” the human Danza told ABC News. “Wish my father was around to see this — he was a horse player and this would have been big.”

Another horse also received its name from a TV star: Uncle Sigh is a riff on Si Robertson, the wily uncle on the reality series Duck Dynasty. The colt’s owner is reportedly a fan of the A&E show. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: 'Big Fish' makes a splash, the return of Janis Joplin

A nice small cornucopia of new shows this week, including the long-awaited musical arrival of Susan Stroman’s take on Tim Burton, Tony Danza takes on New Joi-sey, Julius Caesar gets an estrogen makeover, and Janis Joplin takes another little piece of our hearts now baby! (Click on the links below to read the full reviews):

Big Fish  Daniel Wallace’s acclaimed book (which turned into Burton’s 2003 weepie) becomes an all singin’, all dancin’ mega-musical starring two-time Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz. Did senior editor Thom Geier think it swam? “Big Fish finds theatrically inventive ways to reel audiences into its central love story”, he says, adding much praise for its energetic leading man, “with his stocky build, short stature, and thinning hair, Butz is an unlikely leading man, but he has the loose-limbed energy and charisma of a young Dick Van Dyke”. EW grade: B+

Honeymoon in Vegas  Tony Danza returns to the stage in this musical comedy as a shady gambler who has fallen head over heels with a woman, and Chaplin‘s Rob McClure as the young man determined not to let him take said gal from him. Did it live up to the well-liked 1992 film version with Nicolas Cage and Sarah Jessica Parker? Thom Geier certainly thought so: “director Gary Griffin’s guffaw-out-loud production, playing through Oct. 27 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J., boasts an old-school showmanship and shtick-happy comic sensibility that recall the Sin City of the Brat Pack era.” EW grade: B+

Julius Caesar  Actress Harriet Walter and director Phyllida Lloyd (Mary Stuart) reunite for a female-centric take on the murderous Bard creation set in a women’s prison (that, sadly, has no traces of Pornstache or Officer Bennett). “As with many high-concept Shakespeare productions, Lloyd can stretch her gimmick to the breaking point”, says Thom Geier, but praises the audacity of the production overall, adding that  “this is a bracing approach to a familiar story”. EW grade: B+

A Night With Janis Joplin  After the long-running Off-Broadway hit Love, Janis several years ago, the unstoppable Janis Joplin returns in theatrical form, this time on Broadway with a full-length tale in her honor, belted out by the very game Mary Bridget Davies. Senior writer Melissa Maerz praised Ms Davies saying she’s “a genuine powerhouse” but takes issue with the the lack of detail in the production. “The raw ache in Davies’ phenomenal voice suggests that Joplin didn’t go out happily…but with such a shocking lack of context about Joplin’s life, [the show] feels like Davies is fronting an amazing tribute band, not a musical.” EW grade: C

Tony Danza on celebrity Internet death hoaxes: The second time, people buy it

Tony Danza is alive and well and starring in both the Broadway-bound musical adaptation of Honeymoon in Vegas, opening Sept. 26 in Millburn, NJ, and in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon, which hits theaters (and the cover of EW) Sept. 27. But you might recall he’s been the victim of not one, but two celebrity death hoaxes. Stopping by The Editor’s Hour with Jess Cagle on Entertainment Weekly Radio this week, Danza explained that the second time the Internet proclaims you’re dead, more people actually buy it. “Like, I got messages on my phone, ‘Oh, Tony!'” he says, laughing. “It’s kinda weird — after you’re gone, still being able to know what would happen.” Listen to an excerpt below and hear the full interview on SiriusXM channel 105 tomorrow (Sept. 26). READ FULL STORY

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