Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Scene One: a wood somewhere in America. Enter Three Witches
1st Witch: When shall be the next meeting of we three?
On blogs, airwaves or on TV?
2nd Witch: When the hurlyburly's done
When the ratings are lost and won.
3rd Witch: There to meet upon the hump
And greet the coming of MacTrump.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
|The Spongebob Musical|
Credit: Joan Marcus
|Spongebob: "I'm going to Broadway!"|
Escape from Margaritaville is derived from the music of Jimmy Buffett (you know, he had that big hit with the tune about the outlawed shaker of salt), and is set for previews at the Marquis on Feb. 16 before a March 15 opening. Currently playing at the La Jolla Theatre and ready to tour New Orleans, Huston, and Chicago before its Broadway bow, the show's plot concerns a laid-back bartender at a beachside resort falling in love with a urban-oriented tourist. Christopher Ashley (Come from Away) directs. Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) is music supervisor. Kitt will also serve in the same capacity for Jagged Little Pill, a musical based on Alanis Morrisette's Grammy-winning output, which will have a reading starring Idina Menzel. The Wicked Tony winner is scheduled to star in Joshua Harmon's Skintight Off-Broadway, so she is not set to appear in Pill's planned April 2018 run at the American Repertory Theatre.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
|Dear Evan Hansen with Ben Platt will clean up at the Tonys, |
but is ineligible for Drama Desks. Credit: Matthew Murphy
This year the two theater accolades may vary somewhat because many Tony-eligible shows have won or been nominated for Drama Desk Awards for previous seasons when they played Off-Broadway. These include Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Plus the Drama Desk nominating Committee (seven DD members) didn't seem to like Groundhog Day very much--they gave it one major nomination for lead actor Andy Karl--while the Tonys have nominated the show for seven awards. Here are my predictions for both awards, indicating where I think they will vary. The Drama Desks will be held on June 4 and the Tonys are handed out the following week on June 11:
Thursday, April 13, 2017
An airport in Florida. PRESIDENT TRUMP is standing amid a crowd of reporters and staff. Repetitive dissonant music in the style of Philip Glass or John Adams plays. Trump sings.
Fake news. Fake news.
You are all fake news.
I am the one real news.
You are all fake.
I am real. You are fake.
News. Fake or real.
Who knows? Who knows?
Do you? Do you? (he points to members of the audience)
There is no true. There is no lie.
It's what I say it is.
Fake news. Fake news.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
|Will Hidden Figures upset LaLa Land at the Oscars?|
Prediction: Hidden Figures
LaLa Land has racked up a massive 14 nominations, sharing the record for the most ever with the magnificent All About Eve and the bloated Titanic. Normally, that would mean a lock for Best Picture, but there has been serious backlash against the nostalgic musical. While the film is basically a lighthearted tribute to the Golden Age of cinematic tuners such as Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris and The Bandwagon, many have seen it as a celebration of white culture at the expense of African-Americans. I just read a bizarre LA Weekly column comparing director Damien Chazelle to Leni Riefenstahl for creating a propaganda film by casting white Ryan Gosling as the savior of pure jazz while black characters are shunted to the sidelines. This is a more than a bit extreme but the anti-Trump sentiment might be enough for the majority of voters to pass over the feel-good musical and hand the top prize to Hidden Figures, an Oscar-bait candidate if ever there was one. There is the traditional underdog fighting the power (three real-life African-American female mathematicians battling sexism and racism in 1960s NASA) and an uplifting final triumph, plus it's a great way to say "Screw You, Racist Prez!" Of course Hollywood may want to fete LaLa as a narcissistic hurrah for itself, but I think politics will be stronger than self-love this time.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
|Headlong and Almeida Theater's stage version of 1984 |
is coming to Broadway
Donald Trump has only been President two weeks, but theater is already responding to his controversial (to put it mildly) regime. Many have compared Donald and his spokespeople Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer's offering "Alternative facts" as truth to the doublespeak of the tyrannical dictator Big Brother in George Orwell's classic dystopian novel 1984 which is enjoying a resurgence lately (I wonder why.) A stage version of Orwell's classic will be presented on Broadway in a limited production, opening on June 22 at the Hudson Theatre, now home to the also limited engagement of Sunday in the Park with George (more on that production and its decision to stay out of the Tony race in a future blog.) This British production of 1984, originally presented by the Headlong and Almeida will arrive with an American cast under the auspices of producers Sonia Freedman and Scott Rudin. A previous stage version played the Joyce Theater Off-Broadway in the 1990s as part of a regional American theater festival.
|John Hurt in the film version of 1984|
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
|Clive Owen will star in M. Butterfly |
on Broadway this fall
Also in the works, but in a much earlier stage of development, is a musical version of The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisenberger's autobiographical novel about an assistant to a high-powered fashion magazine editor not unlike Vogue's Anna Wintour. Sir Elton John, whose previous theatrical musical ventures include Aida, The Lion King and Billy Elliot, will write the music. Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey, I Hate Hamlet, Addams Family Values) will make his debut as a musical book-writer and lyricist. Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt starred in the 2000 film version.
|Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt |
in the film version of The Devil Wears Prada