Since Chuck ended a couple years ago, Zachary Levi has kept himself busy running The Nerd Machine, a company devoted to all-things-nerdly. Nerd Machine is currently planning the fourth year of Nerd HQ, the annual event held across the street from the San Diego Comic-Con which hosts sitdowns with geek luminaries. (A couple years ago, I saw the Nerd HQ talk with Damon Lindelof and Seth Grahame-Smith, and learned more than I ever wanted to about the travails of blockbuster screenwriters in Hollywood.) READ FULL STORY
Tag: Zachary Levi (1-10 of 11)
As Zachary Levi is currently starring in the Broadway musical First Date (through Jan. 5), it’s no surprise that he had a very thorough answer when we asked him to name his go-to karaoke song during our EW Pop Culture Personality Test (watch the video below) — or that he and his Thor: The Dark World costar Tom Hiddleston were known to rock the hair and makeup trailer. “The two of us were probably singin’ more than anybody else. Elton John, Stevie Wonder, you name it,” he says.
Levi claims memories, such as how the pain of accidentally slamming his finger in his trailer door hurt more than possibly dislocating a rib during a fight scene, are the only thing he took home from the Thor shoot. “Ray Stevenson and I were on set one day, and there was an armory of swords and daggers and shields, and I was like, ‘Dude, I want one of those,'” he says. “And then I didn’t take any of them, partly because I don’t think Marvel would have been super cool about it, and partly because honestly, I don’t know how the hell I’d bring it back through customs anyway. ‘Do you have anything to declare?’ ‘Yeah, I have an Asgardian blade.’ You get arrested for that kind of stuff.”
November is shaping up to be the busiest in recent memory, but the hustle and bustle is costing Broadway a few shows. John Grisham’s A Time to Kill became A Time to Close with an end date of Nov. 17, and the Zachary Levi-Krysta Rodriguez musical rom-com First Date will have its last date on Jan. 5. With as-yet-unannounced premiere dates for shows like Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe (making a spring Broadway bow), Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses (starring Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei and…Letts — busy guy!) and Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly, it seems there are more productions than theaters to hold them. Stay tuned for which ones make the cut. Meanwhile, there have been a bevy of new openings, including Fantasia’s return to Broadway, Ed Harris and real-life spouse Amy Madigan in a new Beth Henley drama, a new play by Pulitzer winner Bruce Norris, Neil Patrick Harris directing a new magic show, and Julie Taymor’s major comeback (click on the links below for full reviews):
After Midnight The Cotton Club era gets a jazzy jolt with this new Broadway revue already being called the sleeper hit of the season. Did senior editor Thom Geier share the enthusiasm? Ab-scat-lutely! “There are showstoppers aplenty in the ebullient new musical revue..After Midnight is a show that’s as light on its feet as its very talented ensemble.” EW grade: A-
The Black Suits Call it School of Rock with an age upgrade; Joe Iconis’ take on a high school rock band opened in L.A., but EW.com’s Laura Hertzfeld felt they could use a little more practice: “The Black Suits never gets deep enough into the roots of suburban angst to make you feel like these guys really have something to rage about — nor does it come up with light, frothy pop numbers that urge you to bop along.” EW grade: C+
Disaster! Off Broadway gets invaded by killer bees, tidal waves, and disco-era hits in Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick’s wacky take on disaster movies. The show doesn’t hit any icebergs on the way to hilarity. As I write in my review, “It’s the perfect antidote to those lamenting the lack of Forbidden Broadway in their urban lives…scrappy but irresistible.” EW grade: B+
Domesticated Jeff Goldblum and Laurie Metcalf star in Bruce Norris’ dark comedy about a disgraced politico and his put-upon wife weathering a Spitzer/Wiener/Good Wife-like scandal. Thom Geier had mixed feelings on this follow-up to the author’s Clybourne Park: “[Norris] strives to make a larger point about modern gender relations and the utility (and possibility) of male monogamy. But despite Anna D. Shapiro’s crisp, well-paced direction, Domesticated is better on caustic humor and verbal one-upmanship than real insight or character development.” EW grade: B
How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them Actress Halley Feiffer takes a hand at playwriting in a new work at Off Broadway’s Rattlestick Theatre, but Stephan Lee firmly believed she may want to hone her craft a little more. “How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them opens with three girls shrieking at the top of their lungs, and over the next 90 minutes, they never really stop.” EW grade: C
The Jacksonian Staff writer Keith Staskiewicz took a look at the NYC premiere of Beth Henley’s eerie Southern drama about a motel barkeep (Bill Pullman) corralling his oddball patrons (including multiple Oscar nominee Ed Harris). “Robert Falls’ eerie direction has more than a hint of David Lynch…here’s a healthy vein of black humor running throughout which turns Henley’s Southern Gothic soap opera into an even more surreal experience.” EW grade: B+
La Soiree The naughty burlesque revue — already a hit in Europe — settles in downtown NYC to make the city blush. Marc Snetiker was among those wooed by the circus-like, raunchy fun. “There is an abundance of charm oozing from the cast, who each exude a gleeful passion for their talent (be it sexy, silly, or downright strange). If traditional circus isn’t your thing, you’re in luck.” EW grade: A-
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Visual stylist Julie Taymor trades Spidey for fairies with an opulent new version of the Shakespeare comedy, the inaugural production at Theatre for a New Audience’s new Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. Thom Geier found himself much enchanted by Taymor’s reborn ingenuity: “There’s a magnificent muchness of her approach to the Bard’s most durable of comedies, as she tosses in everything from pillow fights to a grass-upholstered reclining chair to achieve her vision. But remarkably, this Midsummer never tips over into a too-muchness.” EW grade: A-
Nothing to Hide It’s no secret that beloved star Neil Patrick Harris likes magic, but he’s fan of his peers too, and decided to helm a new 70-minute variety show featuring upstart showmen Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães. Did Hillary Busis surrender to the sleight of hands? “[The performers are] clever, surprising, and altogether incredible, in both the literal and figurative senses.” EW grade: A-
Two new Broadway productions announced plans to end their runs. The short-lived stage adaptation of the John Grisham novel A Time to Kill announced that it will close Nov. 17; your last chance to make a date with the Zachary Levi musical comedy First Date will be Jan. 5.
Courtroom drama A Time to Kill opened Oct. 20, but unlike the popular 1996 movie adaptation starring Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey, the play failed to connect with audiences. EW’s Thom Geier gave the play a C+, noting: “There isn’t much subtlety in A Time to Kill — Lindsay Jones’ overly intrusive underscore cues up at every dramatic moment — but it manages to convey a mostly satisfying sense of justice being served.” Before it plays its final night, author Grisham will host a performance of the show on Nov. 14, producers also announced Wednesday.
First Date, starring Zachary Levi (Chuck) in his Broadway debut and Krysta Rodriguez (Smash), opened to lukewarm reviews back in July (EW’s Geier also gave it a C+) and by the end of its run will have played 34 previews and 174 regular performances at the Longacre Theatre. Levi is currently starring on the big screen in Thor: The Dark World.
He’s the mastermind behind Nerd HQ, a budding Broadway star in First Date, and now making his mark on the big screen as Fandral in Thor: The Dark World — what will Zachary Levi do next? Join us for a Google+ hangout, of course! The actor formerly known as Chuck will sit down with EW and a few lucky fans for a chat this Friday, Nov. 8, at 2:30 p.m. ET. If you’d like to apply to be in the hangout with Zach, fill out this form.
Click through to watch live: READ FULL STORY
Eight times a week, former Chuck star Zachary Levi and Smash alum Krysta Rodriguez meet-cute in the new Broadway musical First Date. You can guess what happens next for the pair of seemingly mismatched urbanites.
The show, which opened on Aug. 8 to mostly mixed reviews despite high praise for the two leads, has been doing middling box office numbers. (For the week ending Aug. 25, it took in $411,514—just under half of the potential gross for the Longacre Theatre.) Levi, Rodriguez, and the rest of the seven-person cast recently recorded the original cast album of the musical, which will be released digitally on Sept. 24. In an exclusive video (after the jump), Levi and Rodriguez cut it up in the studio before breaking into a few bars of their first duet in the show, the appropriately titled “First Impressions.” READ FULL STORY
Zach Levi has a pretty nice little set-up over at his Nerd HQ at Petco Park in San Diego. Fully stocked bars, rows of classic 1980s arcade games, and happy, smiley nerds kicking back on couches with the Padres’ home ball park as a backdrop — it’s a spacious, laid-back respite from the shoulder-to-shoulder insanity of the convention center. EW’s Laura Hertzfeld sat down with our beloved Chuck at the EW Comic-Con suite to talk about his beautiful nerdvana. READ FULL STORY
Okay, so we know Zachary Levi can sing Oscar-nominated tunes from hit Disney flicks, but are you ready for the Chuck star to lay it down in a brand-new Broadway musical? First Date, a new musical comedy, follows the real-time date of Aaron (Levi) and the vivacious, sarcastic beauty Casey (Smash‘s Krysta Rodriguez), but this being a comedy, we’re going to guess that it amounts to way more than awkward giggles and slight overshares. Early word on Mr. Levi’s performance is quite encouraging, so it seems that Broadway will fit as nicely as a CV bragging right as Charles “Chuck” Bartowski did with CIA mainframes.
First Date, with a score by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner and a book by Austin Winsberg, is currently in previews at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre. It’s scheduled to open officially on Aug. 8. Tickets and additional information are available on the show’s official website.
Who says there are no new Broadway shows in the summertime? Bucking that trend is the team behind the anticipated new musical First Date, which begins previews next month on Broadway and marks the long hoped-for Broadway debut of Zachary Levi (TV’s Chuck, the upcoming film Thor: The Dark World…oh, and this duet).
Zachary Levi is heading to the Great White Way. The actor — next seen in Thor: The Dark World and always late of NBC’s spy series Chuck — will make his Broadway debut this August in First Date, a “romantic musical comedy.” (Don’t worry, he sings.)
Levi will star opposite TV and theater actress Krysta Rodriguez (Smash, The Addams Family). The show has a book by Gossip Girl writer/producer Austin Winsberg and music/lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. Performances begin on July 9 with the opening scheduled for August 8 at the LongacreTheatre. First Date had its first production last year in Seattle where it was awarded four Seattle Times Footlight Awards, including best musical.
The full plot summary is:
When tightly wound Aaron (Levi) is set up with serial-dater Casey (Rodriguez) a quick drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious, high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds they are not alone on this date as Casey and Aaron’s inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons and the wait staff get into the act. Dinner is served with sides of Google background checks, fake emergency phone calls, supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. First Date is Broadway’s new hysterical and hopeful new musical about the chances we take to find love.
Tickets are on sale now.
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