Sunday, December 30, 2012

REVIEW: BRING IT ON!

As today was its closing day, I thought it would be a good time to finally post my review of BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL. I'm gonna start with this: it was much better than one would expect from a musical version of Bring It On.

The true standout of the show was the cast, led by the amazing Taylor Louderman. Most of the cast, having come from the national tour, was making their Broadway debut in the show. And boy, this cast will produce some stars. The true standout: Taylor Louderman, the lead actress, who played Campbell. She is a true triple threat who really made the show. She was front and center for almost the entire show, so if she was bad, the show would be. But she was amazing, belting her face off, and holding her own with the cheer choreography. Another standout, mostly due to his vocals, was Jason Gotay. His song, "Enjoy the Trip," is my favorite in the show. They both will go far.

The show was well written in my opinion, considering what it is based on. It's not going to be the next Next to Normal, but the story was a lot less cheesy than I expected. And the music, as one would expect from Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda was amazing. A lot of fun, with cute lyrics and some great belting.

Technically, I like the concept of a minimalist set, using projection that moved around. Was it groundbreaking, no. But did it fit the show? Yes. Also, the lighting. Literally EVERYWHERE you looked there was a million lights. It was almost distracting because of how many lights there were.

Lastly, the dancing. In a show that featured an ensemble of real cheerleaders, I expected a little more. Going into the experience, I expected the dancing to be the thing that blew me away, and I think, because the music and acting were a lot better than expected, it just didn't. That isn't to say it was bad. It just wasn't awe-inspiring.

I hope this show lives on on tour, and I highly recommend listening to the cast recording!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

REVIEW: Shakespeare Theatre Company's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM


Last night I went to see Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at the Shakespeare Theatre Company here in DC. Having never seen a production of this show before, I was intrigued. (NOTE: Just this morning, an extension to Jan. 6th was announced).

I think the production values of this production (like most STC productions) was extremely high. I loved the set and the lighting design and the way a simple set could become complex and serve as a jungle gym for the fairies and actors.

Another part of this production I loved was the inclusion of music and choreography. I've never seen a straight play with a dance captain before. It really added to the unwritten beats of the play and turned this into an atypical production of such a classic piece of theatre.

Overall, I thought the acting was mixed. I thought Puck and Bottom were standouts, turning every beat into a real, fun, comedic moment. On the other hand, the actors playing the lovers: Helena, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius struggled in my opinion in not only acting realistically, but also creating characters that I, as an audience member, could care about.

Overall it was a good night of theatre and if you want to see some good Shakespeare this is definitely a good option, but I wouldn't say a "must-see" by any means.

The Grammy's! Broadway Style


The Recording Academy announced its nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards last night. While most of the nominations are not too related to the theatre world, one category is: Best Musical Theater Album.

What is interesting now, starting this past year, is that the Grammy not only goes to the producers and writers but also to the primary vocalists. Here are the nominees and (of course) my opinions!

FOLLIES (Jan Maxwell, Danny Burnstein, Bernadette Peters, Ron Raines, & Elaine Paige) - I think this one has a good chance of winning. In my opinion, leaving out opinions on the performers themselves, this is probably the best cast recording I have ever heard in terms of preserving a show and mirroring the true theatrical experience.

THE GERSHWIN'S PORGY AND BESS (Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, & David Alan Grier) - I really like this recording and it has some great performances. That said, I think it deserved a nomination, but won't win the award.

NEWSIES (Jeremy Jordan & Kara Lindsay) - Similar to P&B, it is a great recording that deserved to be nominated, but doesn't stand up to some of the other nominated recordings.

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT (Matthew Broderick & Kelli O'Hara) - I thought this recording was pretty boring with so-so vocals. This is like LEAP OF FAITH getting nominated for the Best Score Tony Award.

ONCE (Steve Kazee & Cristin Milioti) - "Falling Slowly" has already won awards, and even though it lost the Grammy, it has a good chance this time. This is a gorgeous recording of gorgeous music. I also think it has broad enough appeal to be noticed by Grammy voters who won't appreciate some of the other recordings due to their very musical theatre feel.

Also, "Let Me Be Your Star" from SMASH was nominated for Best Song for Visual Media. Do I think it will win? Probably not. Should it? Probably.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Bad Week for Broadway

As you may remember, I wrote a post late this summer about how this season was shaping up to be a pretty boring one. It seems I was right. Just this week alone, three shows have announced closing dates: CHAPLIN (Jan 6th), SCANDALOUS (Dec. 9th), and THE ANARCHIST (Dec. 16th).

This comes right after THE PERFORMERS closed less than a week after it opened and BRING IT ON announced it was closing early after an announced extension.

What is going on? Are people not going to shows? Are the shows just that bad that no one wants to see them?

I think this is a much larger problem than quality of shows. I think people have more or less stopped going to see shows that aren't an adaptation of something they know or starring a huge Hollywood star.  I don't know how to fix this. I doubt anyone does. Which is why Broadway is in this current situation.

Here's to hoping that the spring is more successful (and if MATILDA and CINDERELLA are an indication, it should be)!

Any ideas? Thoughts? Comment below.

REVIEW: CHAPLIN Original Broadway Cast Recording


CHAPLIN has had a very mixed life on Broadway. First it extended, then it announced a national tour, and just this week it announced it is closing on January 6th. In the middle of all this, the cast recorded a cast recording that is, like the show's journey, a bit of a roller coaster.

I actually liked this recording a lot more than I expected to, but it still was nothing special. I could see this doing really well regionally, but totally understand why it isn't taking off on Broadway.

The vocals were good. Not great. Not horrrible.

The songs were good. Not great. Not horrrible.

I think Rob McClure is a standout, but vocally is not all that reviews have cracked him up to be. Christiane Noll is phenomenal on the recording, as is Jenn Colella, especially on her big number, "All Falls Down."

I think the album deserves a listen, but after listening, I definitely understand why this show has not been a sweeping success.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

REVIEW: LEAP OF FAITH Cast Recording


So today the (long awaited?) cast recording of Alan Menken's newest Broadway show LEAP OF FAITH, starring Raul Esparza and Jessica Phillips, was released. Having seen the show (review here), and feeling very mediocre, I think the recording proves there was a show in there.

My biggest problem with the production was that it was rushed and the story wasn't fleshed out. The music was fun and showed off the actors' voices, even if it is not going to change the shape of modern musical theatre.

If you listen to the recording, which is about 5/8 belting, 2/8 dialogue, and 1/8 other, you might wonder why it closed so quickly.

Raul Esparza, as always, shines, and Leslie Odom Jr. (Smash), I think is better on the recording than he was live. Phillips, unfortunately, is boring and lifeless on the recording in my opinion, and doesn't shine in the same way she did live on stage.

Highlights for me are "Step Into the Light," "Are You On the Bus?" and "Jonas' Soliloquy."

I highly recommend this, if only for a single full listen on Spotify then buying some of the tracks individually.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NOW. HERE. THIS. More Info on the Cast Recording


Sh-k-Boom has announced the tracklisting and cover art for the upcoming recording of NOW. HERE. THIS., a new musical by the team behind [title of show]. The album, rumored to be released on December 18th (according to Amazon), was funded by a Kickstarted campaign.

The tracklisting is as follows:
1. What Are the Odds?
2. More Life
3. Dazzle Camouflage
4. Give Me Your Attention
5. Archer
6. I Rarely Schedule Nothing / Cacophony
7. Members Only
8. That'll Never Be Me
9. Kick Me
10. Then Comes You
11. The Amazing Adventures of the "Doc" Wilbert S. Pound
12. That Makes Me Hot
13. Golden Palace
14. Get Into It
15. This Time
16. Now. Here. This.

BONUS TRACK
17. That'll Never Be Me (Composer Demo)

I have it pre-ordered because I backed the album on Kickstarter and CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

CASTING UPDATE! An A.R.T.-sy, Star-Studded Menagerie


The American Repertory Theatre, under Diane Paulus' artistic direction, will present a new production of Tennessee Williams' THE GLASS MENAGERIE directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany (Once).

Cherry Jones, Emmy Award winner, will play Amanda. Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) will play Tom. And Celia Keenan-Bolger (Peter and the Starcatcher) will play Laura.

The production will open in February and run through mid-March.

If I were a betting man, there will be a new revival of the Glass Menagerie on Broadway in the next year...

SHOCKER! CHAPLIN Lives to See More Time on the Rialto?

CHAPLIN, the new musical starring Rob McClure, Jenn Colella, and Christiane Noll, just released a new block of tickets through June 2nd, 2013. I would say this is more shocking to me than REBECCA never making it to Broadway.

CHAPLIN received negative overall reviews, with the exception of McClure who got raves, and was not expected to do very well. Regardless, a new block of tickets for almost 8 months have been released.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a little strange?

While releasing more tickets doesn't guarantee it won't close, it makes its tenure on Broadway a lot more likely.

I wish the show the best, but am thoroughly surprised by this news.

CASTING UPDATE: Readings & Picnics

It's been a quiet few weeks on the Great White Way for all things not REBECCA, but here are some of the recent casting updates of note!!

- PICNIC, opening in January at the American Airlines Theatre, will star Reed Birney as Howard Bevans, Maggie Grace as Madge Owens, Elizabeth Marvel as Rosemary Sydney, Sebastian Stan as Hal Carter, Mare Winningham as Flo Owens, Ellen Burstyn as Helen Potts, Madeleine Martin as Millie Owens, Ben Rappaport as Alan Seymour, Cassie Beck as Christine Schoenwalde, Maddie Corman as Irma Kronkite and Chris Perfetti as Bomber.

- A reading of the new musical SOAP DISH, will star Kristin Chenoweth, Jane Krakowski, Cristin Milioti, John Stamos, Anne L. Nathan, Michael Park, Miriam Shor and Daniel Torres. The musical has no timetable for any future productions.

- The PRINCE OF BROADWAY, based on the career of Hal Prince, held a presentation in NYC starring Sierra Boggess, LaChanze, Josh Girsetti, Emily Skinner, and more. I hope this does well and gets a production in NY soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

LuPone, McArdle, Butz to Recieve 54 Below Live Albums


Broadway Records will release a series of live albums of concerts from the new Broadway nightclub, 54 Below, over the next few months. The releases include:

Patti LuPone - Far Away Places - Live at 54 BELOW (from her summer 2012 shows) - to be released on December 11, 2012
Andrea McArdle - 70s and Sunny - Live at 54 BELOW (from her summer 2012 show) - to be released on December 11, 2012
Norbert Leo Butz - Live at 54 BELOW (from his summer 2012 show) - to be released on January 15, 2012

I am so glad that these albums are being released, and will definitely be giving them a listen.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

REVIEW: BRING IT ON Original Broadway Cast Recording


I was really excited for this recording (and the show, which I hope to see in December). I downloaded it as soon as it was available, and had listened to it in its entirety shortly thereafter. Overall, I agree with reviews of the shows: Its better than expected, good, but not great.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt, two of Broadway's biggest modern composers, teamed up for this fun, new musical. Unfortunately, this show's score doesn't come close to matching either of their prior successes (In the Heights and Next to Normal respectively). Their music is fun, which when push comes to shove is what this show needs, but it lacks the depth that truly fantastic Broadway scores. I see why this succeeded on the road and totally understand why its struggling on Broadway.

The vocals, for a cast that is almost across the board making their Broadway debuts, are outstanding. Even when they are belting some corny lyrics (i.e. "a castrating biotch"), their chops shine through on this extremely well produced recording.

Is it worth a listen? Yes. Is it worth $12? Yes. Did I run (or jump) to buy tickets to the show? Not so much.

LOVE Really NEVER DIES

Andrew Lloyd Webber said in a recent interview that the Australian production of LOVE NEVER DIES will tour the UK starting in Fall 2013.

The Australian production was significantly more successful than the London production, and I am glad to see that is the production that will continue its life.

This is exciting because I have been a fan of this show (I know, I'm one of the few) since its inception and am glad to see it still has a life. I will not give up hope to see a live production here in the U.S. I will be certain to keep updating this blog with all LND news!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another Star-Studded Trek INTO THE WOODS

The Broadway-verse was a flutter today when word hit about an industry reading of INTO THE WOODS that starred some of Broadway's biggest stars. The reading, which took place yesterday (Oct. 1st), was not your typical INTO THE WOODS, but rather a reading of the screenplay of the upcoming Disney movie adaptation by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine).

The cast was as starry as it gets around the Great White Way. But the sad part is that chances are few, if any, of these actors will actually make it to the actual film. Because it is mostly big names for Broadway people, not so much Hollywood, they may choose to bring some bigger names in for the leads. BroadwayWorld is reporting that Meryl Streep is likely to be the Witch (Shocker of the century). But if this were to be the cast, I would be happy as Milky White being saved from being sold.

The cast featured:

Baker’s Wife: Nina Arianda
Stepmother: Christine Baranski
Florinda: Tammy Blanchard
Cinderella’s Mother/Granny/Giant: Victoria Clark
Baker: James Corden
Wolf: Ivan Hernandez
Lucinda: Megan Hilty
Rapunzel’s Prince: Cheyenne Jackson
Jack’s Mother: Allison Janney
Cinderella: Anna Kendrick
Steward/Baker’s Father: Michael McGrath
Witch: Donna Murphy
Rapunzel: Laura Osnes
Jack: Taylor Trensch
Little Red Riding Hood: Casey Whyland
Cinderella’s Prince: Patrick Wilson
Screenplay Narrator: David Garrison

It seems like we are getting closer to a true cast and more info about the film and I can't wait. What I wouldn't have paid to be at this reading with this KILLER cast!!!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

R.I.P. REBECCA


Well, its official. The doomed musical REBECCA, a hit oversees, is postponing its Broadway run indefinitely. After tons of investor drama which seems straight out of SMASH, the money just isn't in place and they are postponing the show.

While it has been in relative-limbo for about a year, I think they made the right choice. Instead of stringing the actors and crew along, the just postponed it, hoping it can still happen in the future.

I was excited for this show and am sad to see it won't happen, but at least it will rest in peace. And if I had money to bet, I'd bet we'll see another attempt sometime soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

FIRST LISTEN: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT Cast Recording


Here is a first listen for the new cast recording of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, starring Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick.

The recording will be released on September 25th through digital retailers and October 30th through phyiscal retailers.

The first listen is courtesy of WNYC

REVIEW: Laura Osnes' DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

Readers of this blog know my obsession with Laura Osnes. That doesn't stop with her onstage roles. I just received her debut solo CD, DREAM A LITTLE DREAM - Live at the Cafe Carlyle, in the mail. And it definitely doesn't disappoint.

The CD features a mix of Broadway and pop standards, as well as some stories and anecdotes from Osnes. Listening to the album in one sitting feels like you are in the Cafe Carlyle listening to her concert live in person.

Vocally, Osnes is top notch, with highlights like "Till There Was You" from THE MUSIC MAN and "Anything You Can Do" featuring her BONNIE & CLYDE co-star Jeremy Jordan. After hearing this album, if there are revivals of MUSIC MAN, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, or SOUND OF MUSIC coming up in the future, Osnes is surely going to be on the top of casting directors' lists.

One other highlight is the bonus track, "In My Own Little Corner," a song from CINDERELLA, in which Osnes will star on Broadway this spring.

Whether you were able to see her live or not, this release from Broadway Records is proving that Osnes will not be leaving our hearts or homes any time soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

REVIEW: Encores! PIPE DREAM Cast Recording with Laura Osnes and Will CHase

Encores! has truly been at it with cast recordings this season. The newest, the first full recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM, is also Encores! first live recording. The album features the talents of Laura Osnes, Will Chase, Leslie Uggams, and Tom Wopat.

I was blown away by this recording. First. It's live. It sounds better than some studio recordings I have heard. Secondly, the talent is top notch. Laura Osnes and Will Chase can do no wrong in my book.

The score is classic Rodgers and Hammerstein, and as a show I had never heard anything from before, I think this album is a great second coming of a great show. Anyone who loves classic musical theatre will love this score.

All of the vocalists are perfection. Specifically Osnes though. Every time she sings it is gorgeous and her songs shine. "Everybody's Got a Home But Me" is going to be a classic because of her. Uggams is also great on her songs, and doesn't let the young stars steal the spotlight. "Sweet Thursday" is obviously a showstopper because of the finess she performs it with.

This is a must-have for any theatre lover. Or a lover of good music.

REVIEW: NEXT THING YOU KNOW Original Cast Recording

Salzman and Cunningham's NEXT THING YOU KNOW cast recording definitely could be the next thing you will know about. The show, which I had never heard about before, had an Off-Broadway run that resulted in this great recording.

The recording features Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones), Lauren Blackman, Jay Armstrong Johnson (35mm), and Colin Hanlon.

Vocally, I thought the album had its highs and lows, with the girls sometimes sounding a little too breath-y for my taste. The boys generally are stronger in my opinion, with J.A.J. truly standing out. That being said, I think the music and story speaks for itself.

I found myself loving the story of these 20-somethings experiencing the lives they don't want in the slightest. Songs like "The Way To Get a Girl" and "Hungover" truly standing out not just because they are well sung and acted, but also because musically they are fun and well written.

I am curious to see how this show lives following this release and I definitely think it deserves a listen!

REVIEW: GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES Encores! Cast Recording

Sony Masterworks just released the brand new recording of Jule Styne's GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. The all star cast includes Megan Hilty (Smash) in the role made famous by Marilyn Monroe, Rachel York (Anything Goes National Tour), Aaron Lazar, and more!

Overall, this recording is a great preservation of a gorgeous score, but nothing ground breaking. The orchestra is heavily featured, and is featured performing well.

While the first question one asks is: "How is Hilty?" After her high profile turn in SMASH, all eyes were on her and her performance. My verdict: meh. She sounds fantastic as one would expect, but her performance is nothing spectacular.

The standout for me is Rachel York, who I was unfamiliar with. She sounds brilliant every time she sings. She makes me want to go see the Anything Goes national tour, just for her.

If you love musical theatre, there is no reason you wouldn't enjoy this album. If you are looking for the best recording you've ever heard, I'd look elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CASTING UPDATE! An Off-Broadway Endeavor

In the past 24 hours, there have been some major casting announcements in the professional theatre world. That being said, many of them were for Off-Broadway productions.

- Brian D'Arcy James (Shrek), Kate Baldwin (Arena Stage's The Music Man), Bobby Steggert (Ragtime), John Dosset (Newsies), and more will star in the Public Theater's upcoming production of Michael John LaChuisa's new musical GIANT, opening November 13th

- Karen Olivo (West Side Story, In the Heights) and Will Swenson (Priscilla, Hair) will star in MTC's new production, MURDER BALLAD

- Lavon Fisher-Wilson will replace Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin in NEWSIES

Saturday, September 8, 2012

REBECCA: The Doomed New Musical?

REBECCA, the upcoming Broadway musical, has pushed back its rehearsal start date two weeks following the death of one of its main investors. The investor, who was going to put in $4.5 million dollars, passed away in late August, leaving the funds in jeopardy.

The other producers are optimistic that the money will come through from the estate, and rehearsals will be able to start on September 24th, two weeks later than originally scheduled.

There is no word on what this means for the dates of the first preview and opening night, scheduled for October 30th and November 18th, respectively. I'd assume they will be pushed back as well though.

This musical, starring Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman, seems doomed. After an original spring 2012 opening scheduled, the show has had many setbacks. While the production team is optomistic the show will open, I am not holding my breath. I would put money on a major delay or it being shelved indefinitely. But I hope I am wrong and only time will tell.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CASTING UPDATE! Butz, Butz, and More Butz


I am trying this new column called CASTING UPDATE, where I will summarize the recent casting news from around the Rialto and beyond. So the major casting news today is:

- Norbert Leo Butz will star in the Chicago, pre-Broadway world premiere of the new musical BIG FISH, based on the film of the same name. The musical will feature music by Andrew Lippa. It will run at the Oriental Theater from April 2nd-May 5th, 2013

- Judy Greer (The Descendants), Josh Hamilton (The Coast of Utopia), and Jayne Houdyshell (Follies) will join Katie Holmes and Norbert Leo Butz in Theresa Rebeck's new play DEAD ACCOUNTS

- Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva may join the cast of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK

- Beth Leavel, Mark Jacoby, Valerie Wright, Adam Heller, and Michael Mandell will reprise their roles in ELF from last year this winter on Broadway.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Poll Results

According to you, the readers of this blog, the cast recording/CD you are most looking forward to is...the 35mm original cast recording!!! Having heard it, I understand this choice!

Here are the full results of the poll:


Check out the new poll on the homepage later today!

NICE WORK If You Can Record It


Shout! Factory has announced that it will release the original Broadway cast recording of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, starring Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick on September 25th through digital retailers and October 30th physically.

What is curious to me is why this recording is being released so late. The album, recorded in May, is being released almost 5 months later, a good six months after opening and any major buzz about the show was around. I am not sure how well a cast recording will sell that is for a show that could, for all we know, close in the near future. Regardless, I am still intruiged to hear a great Gershwin score and some great performances and vocals.

The track listing for the album is as follows:
1. Overture
2. “Sweet and Lowdown”
3. “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
4. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” (Reprise)
5. “Demon Rum”
6. “Someone to Watch Over Me”
7. Ritzy Bathroom – Instrumental
8. “Delishious”
9. “I’ve Got to Be There”
10. Ritzy Bedroom – Instrumental
11. “Treat Me Rough”
12. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”
13. “Do It Again”
14. “’S Wonderful”
15. “Fascinating Rhythm”
16. “Lady Be Good”
17. “But Not for Me”
18. “By Strauss” / “Sweet and Lowdown” (Reprise)
19. “Do, Do, Do”
20. “Hangin’ Around With You”
21. “Looking for a Boy”
22. “Blah, Blah, Blah”
23. “Will You Remember Me?”
24. “I’ve Got to Be There” (Reprise)
25. “I’ve Got a Crush on You”
26. “Someone to Watch Over Me” (Reprise)
27. “They All Laughed”
28. Crate Dance

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Lackluster Fall on the Rialto

As we approach the true start of the 2012-2013 Broadway season, it is interesting to see the lackluster shows that will be opening this fall. This is shaping up to be one of the more boring seasons in my memory. The shows opening are (NOTE: I am not including shows that are returning for a second run):

Chaplin
An Enemy of the People
Grace
Cyrano de Bergerac
If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Annie
The Heiress
Running on Empty
Scandalous
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Performers
Rebecca
Dead Accounts
A Christmas Story! The Musical
Golden Boy
The Anarchist
The Other Boy

While their are a few big name titles (Who's Afraid, Annie, Cyrano, Glengarry, Drood), a few big name authors (Mamet, Albee, Kathie Lee Gifford), and a few big name actors (Gyllenhaal, Holmes, Rivera, Hodge), this fall is truly lacking the "WOW" factor that drives sales and interest. I don't forsee many of these shows lasting longer than many of their limited runs.

In terms of plays, the high points, I think, are VIRGINIA WOOLF, which I saw in DC and was AMAZING, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, which boast Pacino and an amazing cast, and The Anarchist, another combination of Mamet and an amazing cast. All of these though don't in my opinion have much lasting power. Other than these shows, the plays are extremely lackluster.

The musicals will, in a word, fail. DROOD and ANNIE have potential to drive in some major audiences through the holidays just based on name recognition, but they aren't where I am worried. All of the new musicals (REBECCA, SCANDALOUS, and CHAPLIN) are drawing very little attention, have minimal star power, and just don't seem like they will succeed. While I hope they are all great and do well, this just seems highly unlikely.

I think their will be a lot of open real estate this spring to make way for hopefully a more exciting spring. Is there anything you guys are particularly excited for or dreading? Comment and add your opinions!


Friday, August 24, 2012

REVIEW: 35mm Original Cast Recording


Earlier this week, I got my hands on the new Original Cast Recording of Ryan Scott Oliver's new musical 35mm, which premiered Off-Broadway earlier this year. The cast includes Lindsay Mendez (Godspell), Betsy Wolfe (Encore's Merrily We Roll Along), Jay Armstrong Johnson, Ben Crawford, and Alex Brightman. I had liked all the songs I have heard from this show previously, but this recording, with this extremely talented cast, made me fall in love with this show.

This recording shows off Oliver's composer skills and provides a fun, creative musical, based on photographs, an unusual subject for a musical. While the actors each play many different roles, this gives the show an opportunity to mix voices in many different ways, and they all sound great in every combination.

While the whole album is great, the standouts (for me at least) are "The Seraph," which is hauntingly beautiful, Mendez's rendition of "The Party Goes With You," and probably the most famous song from the musical (and rightfully so) "The Ballad of Sara Berry." I recommend to everyone checking this one out, and I hope this show has a future ahead of it!

VIDEO: "Our Time" Superstar Edition

This video has been posted as a preview for the PBS special "From Dust to Dreams" that celebrates the opening of The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. In this video, five Broadway stars are singing Stephen Sondheim's "Our Time" from MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG. And for lack of a better word, it is KILLER. It stars Cheyenne Jackson (The Performers), Laura Osnes (Cinderella, Bonnie & Clyde), Montego Glover (Memphis), Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and Sherie Renee Scott (Everyday Rapture). This is the best version of this song I have ever heard!! Check it out below!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2004 Cast of Roundabout's ASSASSINS to Hold Benefit Reading

The 2004 cast of Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Sondheim's ASSASSINS will reunite on Monday, December 3rd at 7:30pm at Studio 54 for a benefit reading. Tickets start at $150 and are available on Roundabout's website.

The cast includes: BeckyAnn Baker, James Barbour, Mario Cantone, Michael Cerveris, Mary Catherine Garrison, Alexander Gemignani, Neil Patrick Harris, Marc Kudisch, Jeffrey Kuhn, and Denis O’Hare.

This cast seems awesome and I'm sure this would be a great benefit!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

REVIEW: INTO THE WOODS at Shakespeare in the Park


Yesterday, I felt like I was Cinderella getting to go to the ball. I didn't think I would get to see the Public Theater's star-studded production of INTO THE WOODS, but won virtual lottery tickets on a whim, and dropped everything to get to Central Park's Delacorte Theater to see the show. (I live in PA, so this was not so easy). While I was extremely excited to see one of my favorite musicals performed by an amazing cast, after reading some of the reviews, I was not sure what the outcome of this night of theatre would be.

This was the first staged production of ITW I have seen, and for all that has been said about this production, my major problem was with the show itself, as written by Lapine and Sondheim. It feels like two shows and is way too long. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this three hour production.

I feel like this cast was truly outstanding. While individually, I had some problems with some of the actors (I'll get to that later), when the ensemble worked together, this production found magic. I felt like this show worked like a well-oiled machine in the ensemble numbers and fully brought to life the world of Sondheim and Lapine's show. I liked that the ensemble was almost always there and was spot on when they were. I also loved the plot device of the narrator as a young boy. I feel like it added so much to the performance.

While I would love to dissect every performance of every major character, that isn't possible so I'll just give some highlights.

- From the beginning, Ellen Harvey stuck out among the ensemble as truly outstanding. I didn't know she was in the show and every moment she was on stage, she commanded attention, whether she was the focus or not.

- Sarah Stiles and Gideon Glick as Little Red and Jack respectively, stole the show with their comedic timing and amazing performances. Stiles was hilarious every time she was on stage. Glick was endearing as the small-minded Jack, and was amazing in (one of my favorite musical theatre songs of all time) Giants in the Sky.

- Jessie Mueller is a star. Or she will be very soon. Her voice was probably the best in the entire cast, and she soared above everyone else as Cinderella. This show should go to Broadway, just for her and Donna Murphy.

- Denis O'Hare as the Baker was very interesting for me. There were times I loved him and times where I was completely annoyed by him. You could tell they cast him for his acting chops, which were great most of the time, but he held his own with Sondheim's score.

- Amy Adams also was a mixed bag. In her major professional theatre debut, I feel like she definitely did well, but stumbled at times. She missed a few musical cues and couldn't fill the time. She also was not nearly as big and animated emotionally as she should have been to fill the Delacorte. Her performance perked up in the second act significantly, with Moments in the Woods being a true highlight for her. She did honorably, but if you want to see the show for her, it isn't worth it.

- Lastly, Donna Murphy. Her turn as the Witch was truly magical. She hit every comedic and musical note perfectly and brought her professionalism and experience to this cast. She led the cast perfectly and seemed to be the crux holding the whole thing together.

Technically, the show was great and I loved the set design. Being outdoors added so much to this production.

I highly recommend everyone try to see this show before it closes September 1st. I think it was an amazing show and I am interested to see its life following this run. While I know the production is aiming for Broadway, regardless of the amazing performances, I'm not sure it would work in an indoor theater. We will just have to wait and see. So now, I'm off into the woods...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Into the Woods, Out of the Woods, Oh My!


So the biggest discussion right now seems to be whether the Public Theatre's INTO THE WOODS, starring Amy Adams, Donna Murphy, and a plethora of other stars, will be making its way downtown to the Great White Way following its September 1st closing at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.

According to the New York Times, producers are looking to make the money work and bring the show downtown this fall. Michael Reidel, on the other hand, says no way in hell will this production transfer to Broadway, especially following lukewarm to negative reviews from critics.

Seemingly, no consensus has been made and no one will know for certain until there is an official announcement from the Public Theatre. I, for one, hope it transfers because I love this show and was so excited to see this production (which I won't be able to see in Central Park). Feel free to comment with your thoughts!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jeremy Jordan to Leave NEWSIES in September

Jeremy Jordan will leave NEWSIES on September 4th due to his filming schedule for the TV show SMASH, where he will have a role in the upcoming 2nd season.

Unknown Corey Cott, who understudies the role currently and joined the cast last month, will take over as Jordan's replacement.

While its really sad that Jordan is leaving NEWSIES, Cott seems like he will be great. Here is a video I found of him singing ALW's "Til I Hear You Sing" from LOVE NEVER DIES.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kickstarter Started for NOW. HERE. THIS. Cast Recording


A Kickstarter campaign has been started for a cast album for the new show from the creators of [title of show], NOW. HERE. THIS., which played off Broadway in the Vineyard Theatre earlier this year. NOW. HERE. THIS. reunites Jeff Bowen, Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, and Heidi Blickenstaff.

The album, should they become fully funded, would be recorded through Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom Records and be released in December.

Check out this video they made below and click here to donate!! I know I did because I want this to become a reality!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

MEMPHIS Team Reunites for New Musical

The creative team behind the Tony Award-winning musical MEMPHIS, will team up again for a new musical called CHASING THE SONG. Joe DiPietro will write the book and lyrics with David Bryan writing the music.

CHASING THE SONG will focus on NYC's Brill Building and feature 1960's style music. The musical is looking for a fall/winter workshop in 2013.

I'm excited for a new musical from the duo and think this could be really good. I'm sure we won't see anything from it for a while though.

Nintendo to Release ALW Video Game?!?!

Nintendo has announced that it will release a new video game for the Wii called ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER MUSICALS: SING & DANCE on September 14th.

The game will feature Elaine Paige, Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, and others while players sing and dance their way through some of ALW's biggest hits.

Not quite sure how I feel about this one, but it definitely will be something different and I would definitely be interested in trying it out. Anyone planning on buying it??

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Encores! GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES Recording with Hilty Gets Release Date


City Center Encores! production of Jule Styne's GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES starring Megan Hilty (Smash) will recieve a cast recording, to be released on September 4th through Masterworks Broadway. The show also stars Rachel York who will star in the upcoming tour of Anything Goes.

The tracklisting for the album is:
1. Overture
2. It's High Time
3. Bye Bye Baby
4. A Little Girl from Little Rock
5. A Little Girl from Little Rock: Encore
6. I Love What I'm Doing
7. I Love What I'm Doing (Dance)
8. Just a Kiss Apart
9. Scherzo
10. It's Delightful Down In Chile
11. Sunshine
12. Park Scene
13. Pas De Deux
14. Sunshine: Reprise
15. I'm A' Tingle, I'm A' Glow
16. You Say You Care
17. Finale Act 1
18. Mamie is Mimi
19. Coquette
20. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
21. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend: First Encore
22. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend: Second Encore
23. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
24. Homesick Blues
25. Keeping Cool With Coolidge
26. Button Up With Esmond
27. Finale Act 2

I know I'm excited to hear Hilty belt out this score!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

UPDATED!! COMPANY With Neil Patrick Harris to Get DVD Release!


The NY Philharmonic production of Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY, which was filmed and shown live in movie theaters last year, will get a DVD this fall according to director Lonny Price. The concert featured Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby and Patti LuPone.

UPDATE: The DVD will officially be released on November 13th according to a listing on Amazon. The picture above is the official DVD cover. It will be released in both DVD and Blu-Ray.

According to Playbill, the concert also featured "Martha Plimpton (as Sarah), Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (as Marta), Stephen Colbert (Harry), Jim Walton (as Larry), Jon Cryer (as David), Craig Bierko (as Peter), two-time Tony winner Katie Finneran (as Amy), Christina Hendricks (as April), Aaron Lazar (as Paul), Jill Paice (as Susan), Jennifer Laura Thompson (as Jenny) and Chryssie Whitehead (as Kathy)."

I am so upset I missed this in theaters and am so excited for a DVD release!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

REVIEW: EVITA New Broadway Cast Recording

I am going to preface this review with the statement that I have never loved EVITA, but can appreciate its artistic value. That being said, this new recording, like what I've heard of the new production itself, mostly misses the mark.

Listening to the recording, the leads leave much to be desired. Martin's Che is extremely pop-y and when he is paired with pros like Michael Cerveris and Max Von Essen, it is hardly redeeming. That said, he isn't as bad overall as I expected, but his vocals still aren't "good."

Elena Rogers' Eva has gotten a lot of scrutiny from critics and fans alike. While she is no Patti, I think there are a lot of positives in her performances. The Argentinian authenticity she brings to the recording is great and makes it sound much more real. Also, her ballads, like "You Must Love Me," are gorgeous. The true standout of her performance is the Spanish version of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." anyone who has been her critic will have a new appreciation for her after hearing the track. Roger does struggle in the early part of the show, with "Buenos Aires" being the true let down.

The standouts on the recording for me are the two supporting actors: Max Von Essen and Rachel Potter. Anyone who follows my twitter knows I'm a huge Rachel Potter fan and her "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" is beautiful and stirring. Von Essen is someone I've never really known, and now I'm glad I do. His songs as Magaldi are fantastic and his voice is stronger than either of the male leads in my opinion

Overall, this is an album you could skip in its entirety, but there are definitely some standout tracks worth downloading

REVIEW: Scott Alan - Live


Scott Alan's fourth album, LIVE, which was recorded live at Birdland, boasts the most star power of any of Alan's album. Alan has recruited some of Broadway's biggest stars (and some foreigners too) to perform a grouping of new songs and old favorites.

From start to finish, this two disc set will be a favorite for any fans of Alan's music, and will make anyone who listens a newfound fan. Unlike the original performances, these performances are raw and sung by artists who truly feel a connection to the songs. Frequently genders were swapped with the original artists which give the songs a brand new feel.

Some highlights for me were Natalie Weiss's "I'm a Star," which has been a favorite on YouTube for a long time now. I also truly love Laura Osnes' rendition of "Now." She performs the song with such finesse, I couldn't even imagine anyone giving the song any more justice. Ben Fankhouser's "Over the Mountain" is one of the male standouts for me. It fits his voice so well.

While, I could write compliments about every track on the two disc album, I'll leave you with those highlights. This album is a DEFINITE MUST for any musical theatre fan.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase, and More Join DROOD

Stephanie J. Block (Anything Goes, Wicked), Will Chase (Smash), Betsy Wolfe (Merrily We Roll Along), and Jessie Mueller (Into the Woods) join Chita Rivera in Roundabout Theatre Company's THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD.

The show opens November 29th at Studio 54.

This is an awesome cast and I'm really excited for this show!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gertner Joins Creel for BOOK OF MORMON Tour


Jared Gertner, currently playing Elder Cunningham in Book of Mormon on Broadway, will join Gavin Creel in the national tour cast of the show, playing his Broadway role. Creel was previously announced to play Elder Price.

Cale Krise (Fat Camp), will take over the role on Broadway as his Broadway debut starting tonight (6/26).

The rest of the tour cast includes: Samantha Marie Ware as Nabulungi, Grey Henson as Elder McKinley and Kevin Mambo as Mafala Hatimbi. The ensemble will include: Mike McGowan,Derrick Williams, Jon Bass, Jacob ben Widmar, Colin Bradbury, Josh Breckenridge, JR Bruno, Michael Buchanan, JoNathan Cullen, Bobby Daye, Talitha Farrow, Phyre Hawkins, Mykal Kilgore, Daniel LeClaire, Antyon LeMonte, Douglas Lyons, Kimberly Marable, Laiona Michelle, Kevin Michael Murphy, Michael Schwitter, Jeffrey David Sears, Marisha Wallace, Bud Weber, Christian Dante White, and Jamaal Wilson.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

BARE is Returning Off-Broadway!!!


BARE is going to have it's first Off-Broadway revival this winter at the New World Stages!!! The show will open on December 9th. BARE will be directed by Stafford Arima.

No casting has been announced for any of the roles yet, so we will have to see what the cast looks like. This is awesome and I am so excited to see this! I bet this means RENT will probably close sometime early fall (just my bet).

Off-Broadway is shaping up to have a killer season, with this and THE LAST FIVE YEARS.

Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman to Lead REBECCA


Jill Paice (Death Takes a Holiday) and Ryan Silverman (Phantom of the Opera) will star as "I" and Maxim de Winter in REBECCA when it opens on November 18th at the Broadhurst Theatre.

Previously cast in REBECCA are Karen Mason (Sunset Boulevard, Mamma Mia!) as Mrs. Danvers, two-time Tony Award nominee Howard McGillin (The Phantom of the Opera) as Frank Crawley, James Barbour (Beauty and the Beast, A Tale of Two Cities) as Jack Favell, Donna English (Lend Me A Tenor) as Beatrice de Winter, Nick Wyman (Les Miserables) as Giles and Henry Stram as Ben.


Paice is a great choice and I don't know who Silverman is, so we'll definitely have to see


Thursday, June 14, 2012

SUMMER HIATUS

I will be away for the remainder of the summer in an area with little internet access. Therefore, there will probably be very few updates for the rest of the summer. I will try to post as often as possible, and will be most likely to post on my Twitter/Facebook pages. Follow me there!!

http://www.twitter.com/upstage_left

http://www.facebook.com/upstageleft

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jordan, Crumm, Wopat to Join Laura Osnes for Concert/Live CD


Jeremy Jordan (Newsies, Bonnie & Clyde), Max Crumm (Grease), and Tom Wopat (Catch Me If You Can) will join Laura Osnes (Bonnie & Clyde, Grease, Anything Goes) over three days of her concert engagement at the Cafe Carlyle on June 28th, 29th, and 30th respectively.

The concert will be recorded on these three days for a release this September on Broadway Records.

I am excited to hear what she sings and what the duets are and would love a CD of all Laura Osnes!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE BEST MAN Gets Major Cast Changes in July


THE BEST MAN, currently starring an all star cast, will receive major casting changes in mid-July when current cast members' contracts expire.

Cybill Shepherd, John Stamos, Kristin Davis and Elizabeth Ashley will join the cast, replacing Candice Bergen, Eric McCormack, Kerry Butler, and Angela Lansbury respectively.

Shepherd, Stamos and Davis will begin performances on July 10th and Ashley will begin on July 24th.

Original cast members James Earl Jones, John Larroquette, Jefferson Mays, and replacement Mark Blum, will remain with the production until it closes September 9th.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Menzel & Bell Set for Disney's New Movie FROZEN


Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked) and screen actress Kristen Bell will be featured as the voices in Disney's upcoming film FROZEN, based on the story "The Snow Queen." The film, out November 2013, will star Menzel as the Snow Queen and Bell as Anna.

Robert Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez will write original music for the movie.

I know I'm excited for this! Menzel, Lopez and Disney. What more could I want? (The answer: Sutton Foster)

2012 Tony Award Winners - the Full List


Here is the complete list of winners from last night's Tony Awards. I got 20/26 right. How'd you guys do? Any thoughts?


Best Musical - Once
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical- Audra McDonald, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play - Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical - Steve Kazee, Once
Best Revival of a Musical - The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Best Lighting Design of a Play - Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Play - Clybourne Park (Author: Bruce Norris)
Best Lighting Design of a Musical - Natasha Katz, Once
Best Revival of a Play - Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Best Scenic Design of a Musical - Bob Crowley, Once
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre - Newsies (Music: Alan Menken, Lyrics: Jack Feldman)
Best Scenic Design of a Play - Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical - Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best Costume Design of a Musical - Gregg Barnes, Follies
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play - Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Costume Design of a Play - Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Direction of a Play - Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Best Direction of a Musical - John Tiffany, Once
Best Sound Design of a Play - Darron L. West, Peter and the Starcatcher
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical - Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Best Sound Design of a Musical - Clive Goodwin, Once
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Best Book of a Musical - Once, Enda Walsh
Best Choreography - Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Best Orchestrations - Martin Lowe, Once

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hugh Jackman Set for Sorkin & Schwartz's HOUDINI Stumble-Through


Hugh Jackman will be starring in a "stumble-through" of the new musical about Harry Houdini, HOUDINI, on June 25th, libretto-writer Aaron Sorkin told the NYT.

The musical, aiming to debut on Broadway next season, will feature music by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell) and a book by Aaron Sorkin (Social Network, West Wing).

Sorkin, Schwartz, and Jackman?!?! Sounds like a super-combo to me!! Can't wait to hear and see more!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scott Alan's HOME to Receive New Reading This Month


Scott Alan's musical HOME will get another reading this month starring Christiane Noll, Rachel Potter, Marla Mindelle, Mallory Brechtel, and Phyllis Somerville. The musical is aiming to open on Broadway in the 2012-2013 season!

This is an awesome cast and I'm glad to hear the musical is getting closer and closer to Broadway (because I want to see it)!

Debra Winger & Patti LuPone Set for New Mamet Play


Debra Winger will replace Laurie Metcalf and join Patti LuPone in the Broadway premiere of David Mamet's new play THE ANARCHIST. Mamet will direct the play which is slated to open December 2nd at a Shubert Theatre to be announced.

I'm so excited for a new Mamet play, especially one that has female leads and stars Patti LuPone! I will definitely be seeing this one!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My 2012 Tony Award Winner Predictions!

Here are my thoughts on this year's Tony Awards and who will and should win (because we all know these aren't the same thing). So check them out below and comment with your thoughts and whether you agree or not! I am going to skip over the design awards because without seeing ALL of the shows, there is no way to judge.


Best Play
Nominees:
Clybourne Park, Author: Bruce Norris
Other Desert Cities, Author: Jon Robin Baitz
Peter and the Starcatcher, Author: Rick Elice
Venus in Fur, Author: David Ives


Should Win: Peter and the Starcatcher - It's a very different sort of play from everything else and its unique-ness deserves the Tony
Will Win: Clybourne Park - A pulitzer winner with amazing reviews. Sure thing.

Best Musical
Nominees:
Leap of Faith
Newsies
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Once
Should Win: Once - Again, something different that I think in the long run would really benefit from a Tony. It also was such an ensemble show that it truly deserves best musical. While I loved Newsies so much, I think Once deserves it.
Will Win: Once - Everyone loved it. Even if it isn't a classic musical like Newsies (which I'd totally be ok with if it wins)

Best Revival of a Play
Nominees:
Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Master Class
Wit

Should Win: Death of a Salesman - A good revival of Death of a Salesman that has consistently broken records and got AMAZING reviews? No brainer. Even though I still hate Willy Loman.
Will Win: See above.


Best Revival of a Musical
Nominees:
Evita
Follies
The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Jesus Christ Superstar

Should Win: Follies. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of the show in D.C., it is definitely the sort of show geared to win big. Plus the huge names like Bernadette and Danny Burnstein don't hurt.
Will Win: See Above.


Best Book of a Musical
Nominees:
Lysistrata Jones, Douglas Carter Beane
Newsies, Harvey Fierstein
Nice Work If You Can Get It, Joe DiPietro
Once, Enda Walsh

Should Win: Once - I loved the book. It had me cracking up and falling in love and feeling sorry for all the characters all at the same time. Edna Walsh wrote a truly hilarious book to accompany amazing music.
Will Win: Nice Work - People love Joe DiPietro and they say his book was one of the highlights of the show.


Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Nominees:
Bonnie & Clyde Music: Frank Wildhorn, Lyrics: Don Black
Newsies Music: Alan Menken, Lyrics: Jack Feldman
One Man, Two Guvnors Music & Lyrics: Grant Olding
Peter and the Starcatcher Music: Wayne Barker, Lyrics: Rick Elice

Should Win: Bonnie & Clyde - the score is gorgeous and the best Wildhorn has ever written. It doesn't hurt that it was sung by Osnes and Jordan, two of Broadway's biggest powerhouse voices. If this doesn't win, Wildhorn never will.
Will Win: Newsies - A musical will win and people won't give it to Frank Wildhorn (don't ask me why).


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Nominees:
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Frank Langella, Man and Boy
John Lithgow, The Columnist

Should Win: Phillip Seymour Hoffman - he played a Willy Loman that critics loved and everyone was gushing over despite being young for the role.
Will Win: James Cordon - A hilarious actor who was the breakout of the show. If the show doesn't win, he will.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nominees:
Nina Arianda, Venus in Fur
Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Stockard Channing, Other Desert Cities
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Cynthia Nixon, Wit

Should Win: Tracie Bennett - She apparently played an amazing Judy Garland. And everyone loves Judy.
Will Win: See above.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Nominees:
Danny Burstein, Follies
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies
Steve Kazee, Once
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Ron Raines, Follies

Should Win: Jeremy Jordan - While Newsies was great as a show, without him, it would have flopped. He carries the show, and very well I might add.
Will Win: Danny Burnstein - Even though I didn't love his performance, it seems to be the overall favorite to win the award.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Nominees:
Jan Maxwell, Follies
Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti, Once
Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Laura Osnes, Bonnie & Clyde

Should Win: Cristin Milioti - From the moment she walked on stage through her final note, she carried my attention the whole show. From the first line she made me laugh the whole show, her accent was flawless, and her voice was hauntingly beautiful.
Will Win: Audra McDonald - It's about time they give Audra the big award. And she was a mighty fine Bess.


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Nominees:
Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Michael Cumpsty, End of the Rainbow
Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Jeremy Shamos, Clybourne Park


Should Win: Andrew Garfield - He gave a great performance in one of American drama's most difficult shows. And held up opposite Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Linda Edmond.
Will Win: Tom Edden - His performance is supposedly amazing!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Nominees:
Linda Emond, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Spencer Kayden, Don’t Dress for Dinner
Celia Keenan-Bolger, Peter and the Starcatcher
Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Condola Rashad, Stick Fly


Should Win: Judith Light - She gave one of the best comedic performances I have ever seen. No one else has a chance.
Will Win: Judith Light. See Above.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Nominees:
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael Cerveris, Evita
David Alan Grier, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Josh Young, Jesus Christ Superstar

Should Win: Josh Young - I'd love to see this up and coming star get some love and the show deserves a win.
Will Win: One of the PORGY AND BESS actors. No idea which.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Nominees:
Elizabeth A. Davis, Once
Jayne Houdyshell, Follies
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Jessie Mueller, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ghost the Musical

Should Win: Da'Vine Joy Randolph - Her performance is the highlight of GHOST. Plus she's playing Whoopi's role.
Will Win: Judy Kaye - She won the Drama Desk and apparently gave a great performance.


Best Choreography
Nominees:
Rob Ashford, Evita
Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Steven Hoggett, Once
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Should Win: Chris Gattelli - 3 words: HOLY. DANCING. NEWSIES
Will Win: Chris Gattelli - See above.


Best Direction of a Play
Nominees:
Nicholas Hytner, One Man, Two Guvnors
Pam MacKinnon, Clybourne Park
Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher

Should Win: Mike Nichols - An amazing revival of one of America's most prized dramas. No doubt he should win this one.
Will Win: Mike Nichols - See Above.


Best Direction of a Musical
Nominees:
Jeff Calhoun, Newsies
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Diane Paulus, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
John Tiffany, Once

Should Win: John Tiffany - He did amazing things with a very unique show. Definitely deserves this honor.
Will Win: John Tiffany - See above.


Best Orchestrations
Nominees:
William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Martin Lowe, Once
Danny Troob, Newsies

Should Win: Martin Lowe - The orchestrations were so cool. Plus they made it for a cast that was the orchestra!!!
Will Win: Martin Lowe - See above.

Do you agree? Comment below with your thoughts!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Awesome Video! Rachel Potter & Constantine Maroulis Sing

Rachel Potter (Addams Family, Evita), whose debut EP LIVE THE DREAM is available now and is awesome, just posted this video from her release concert featuring Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages). They sing The Civil Wars' "Barton Hollow," and it is, in a word, AMAZING. I highly recommend checking it out below!!!



P.S. Buy her EP, Live the Dream, here because it is equally amazing and a great country/pop record!

2012 Tony Awards Performances & Presenters Announced!

The following performances have been announced for this year's Tony Awards broadcast, which will take place next Sunday, June 10th. They are:

EVITA featuring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger
FOLLIES featuring Danny Burstein
THE GERSHWINS' PORGY AND BESS featuring Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis and David Alan Grier 
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR featuring Josh Young 
LEAP OF FAITH featuring Raúl Esparza
NEWSIES featuring Jeremy Jordan 
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT featuring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara
ONCE featuring Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti and Elizabeth A. Davis
END OF THE RAINBOW with Tracie Bennett
ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS with James Corden 
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER featuring Christian Borle and Celia Keenan-Bolger
GODSPELL featuring Corbin Bleu
GHOST: THE MUSICAL featuring Bryce Pinkham, Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman

Presenters include Ellen Barkin, Candice Bergen, Jessica Chastain, Sheryl Crow, Nick Jonas, Angela Lansbury, James Marsden, Jim Parsons, Mandy Patinkin, Tyler Perry, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Plummer, Paul Rudd, Amanda Seyfried, Trey Parker and Matt Stone among others.

It sounds like it will be a great night and I'm excited for it. Keep an eye out for my Tony predictions later this week and live-tweeting the show!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

2012 Drama Desk Award Winners!!!

Here are the complete winners of the 2012 Drama Desk Awards!!! (Thanks Playbill for the list)


Outstanding Play 
David Henry Hwang, Chinglish
Dan LeFranc, The Big Meal
Members of the Plastic Theatre, Unnatural Acts
Itamar Moses, Completeness
Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
*Nina Raine, Tribes
Nicky Silver, The Lyons
Outstanding Musical 
Bonnie & Clyde
Death Takes a Holiday
Leap of Faith
Newsies The Musical
Nice Work If You Can Get It
*Once
Queen of the Mist
Outstanding Revival of a Play 
A Little Journey
*Death of a Salesman
Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque
Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Lost in Yonkers
Richard III
Outstanding Revival of a MusicalCarrie
Evita
*Follies
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
The Threepenny Opera
Outstanding Actor in a Play 
*James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Hugh Dancy, Venus in Fur
Claybourne Elder, One Arm
Santino Fontana, Sons of the Prophet
Joseph Franchini, The Navigator
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
Kevin Spacey, Richard III
Outstanding Actress in a Play 
*Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Sanaa Lathan, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Linda Lavin, The Lyons
Jennifer Lim, Chinglish
Kim Martin-Cotten, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Carey Mulligan, Through a Glass Darkly
Joely Richardson, Side Effects
Outstanding Actor in a Musical 
*Danny Burstein, Follies
Kevin Earley, Death Takes a Holiday
Raul Esparza, Leap of Faith
Jeremy Jordan, Newsies The Musical
Norm Lewis, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Ricky Martin, Evita
Outstanding Actress in a Musical 
Miche Braden, The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith
Jan Maxwell, Follies
*Audra McDonald, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Kelli O'Hara, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Bernadette Peters, Follies
Molly Ranson, Carrie
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, Death of a Salesman
Jim Dale, The Road to Mecca
*Tom Edden, One Man, Two Guvnors
Bill Irwin, King Lear
Jefferson Mays, Blood and Gifts
Will Rogers, Unnatural Acts
Morgan Spector, Russian Transport
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play 
Stephanie J. Block, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Anna Camp, All New People
Kimberly Hebert Gregory, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Lisa Joyce, The Ugly One
Joaquina Kalukango, Hurt Village
Angela Lansbury, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
*Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical 
Phillip Boykin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Matt Cavenaugh, Death Takes a Holiday
Michael Cerveris, Evita
*Michael McGrath, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Patrick Page, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
Andrew Samonsky, Queen of the Mist
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical 
*Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Marin Mazzie, Carrie
Jessie Mueller, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Elaine Paige, Follies
Sarah Sokolovic, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Melissa van der Schyff, Bonnie & Clyde
Outstanding Director of a Play 
Jo Bonney, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
David Cromer, Tribes
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, These Seven Sicknesses
Sam Mendes, Richard III
*Mike Nichols, Death of a Salesman
Tony Speciale, Unnatural Acts
Outstanding Director of a Musical 
Christopher Ashley, Leap of Faith
Jack Cummings III, Queen of the Mist
Doug Hughes, Death Takes a Holiday
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Eric Schaeffer, Follies
*John Tiffany, Once
Outstanding Choreography
Rob Ashford, Evita
Warren Carlyle, Follies
Breandan de Gallal, Noctu
*Christopher Gattelli, Newsies The Musical
Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Sergio Trujillo, Leap of Faith
Outstanding Music 
Glen Hansard and Marketa lrglova, Once
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Alan Menken, Leap of Faith
*Alan Menken, Newsies The Musical
Frank Wildhorn, Bonnie & Clyde
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Lyrics 
Don Black, Bonnie & Clyde
Jack Feldman, Newsies The Musical
Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
*Glen Hansard and Marketa lrglova, Once
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Maury Yeston, Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Book of a Musical 
Douglas Carter Beane, Lysistrata Jones
Janus Cercone and Warren Leight, Leap of Faith
*Joe DiPietro, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Joy Gregory, The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World
Michael John LaChiusa, Queen of the Mist
Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone, Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Music in a Play 
Mark Bennett, An Iliad
Mark Bennett, Richard III
Tom Kitt, All's Well That Ends Well
Gina Leishman, Septimus and Clarissa
*Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors
Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik, Carson McCullers Talks About Love
Outstanding RevueNewsical the Musical: End of the World Edition
*The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman
Outstanding Set Design 
*Jon Driscoll, Rob Howell and Paul Kieve, Ghost The Musical
David Gallo, The Mountaintop
Roger Hanna, A Little Journey
David Korins, Assistance
David Korins, Chinglish
Derek McLane, Follies
Outstanding Costume Design 
*Gregg Barnes, Follies
ESosa, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
William Ivey Long, Lucky Guy
Jessica Pabst, She Kills Monsters
Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Catherine Zuber, Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Lighting Design
Kevin Adams, Carrie
Neil Austin, Evita
David Lander, One Arm
*Brian MacDevitt, Death of a Salesman
Kenneth Posner, Death Takes a Holiday
Paul Pyant, Richard III
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical 
*Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Jonathan Deans, Carrie
Clive Goodwin, Once
Kai Harada, Follies
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Jesus Christ Superstar
Jon Weston, Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play 
Quentin Chiappetta/mediaNoise, The Navigator
Gregory Clarke, Misterman
Gareth Fry, Richard III
*John Gromada, Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Stowe Nelson, Samuel and Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War
Shane Rettig, She Kills Monsters
Outstanding Solo Performance 
Baba Brinkman, The Rap Guide to Evolution
Suli Holum, Chimera
Jeff Key, The Eyes of Babylon
*Cillian Murphy, Misterman
Denis O'Hare, An Iliad
Stephen Spinella, An Iliad
Outstanding Orchestrations:
Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Larry Hochman, Death Takes a Holiday
*Martin Lowe, Once
John McDaniel, Bonnie & Clyde
Michael Starobin, Queen of the Mist
Danny Troob, Newsies
Unique Theatrical Experience
Give Me Your Hand
*Gob Squad's Kitchen (You've Never Had It So Good)
Noctu
The Complete & Condensed Stage Directions of Eugene O'Neill, Vol. 1: Early Plays/Lost Plays
The Ryan Case 1873
White

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Johansson, Pine, and Renner in Talks for CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Revival


Scarlett Johansson (A View from the Bridge), Chris Pine (Star Trek), and Jeremy Renner are in talks to star in a new revival of Tennessee Williams' CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF in the Spring of 2013.

Johansson would star as Maggie the Cat and either Pine or Renner would play her husband Brick. There is no confirmation on the casting or if the production will definitely hit Broadway, but it is definitely an interesting idea...

Public Theater's INTO THE WOODS Has Its Baker!


The Public Theater has announced that Denis O'Hare will join the star-studded production of INTO THE WOODS, playing the Delacorte Theatre this summer, as the Baker.

O'Hare joins Donna Murphy (Witch), Amy Adams (The Baker's Wife), Jessie Mueller (Cinderella), Jack Broderick (Narrator), Gideon Glick (Jack), Cooper Grodin (Rapunzel’s Prince), Ivan Hernandez (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Tina Johnson (Granny), Josh Lamon (Steward), Laura Shoop (Cinderella’s Mother), and Tess Soltau (Rapunzel).

Even though I'm not too familiar with O'Hare, I am still super excited for this production!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

THE LAST FIVE YEARS to Return to NYC


Second Stage will produce the first production of THE LAST FIVE YEARS in New York City since its first production ten years ago. The production, to be directed by Jason Robert Brown himself, will open in Spring of 2013 with a cast to be announced.

This is awesome news and I'm really curious to see who they cast as the leads. I'm sure they could get two really amazing people!

The LES MISERABLES Trailer is Here!


Check out the first trailer for the upcoming Les Miserables movie, coming out this December! It looks great! The trailer shows off the film and all the major characters really well and also features Anne Hathaway's version of "I Dreamed a Dream," which is different, but very good. It is heartbreaking instead of forced and belted (like is done so frequently with the song on stage). If this is an indication of how all the songs in the movie will be, I will be a very happy person.

This makes me so excited for the movie and wish I only had to wait one day more. Watch it below and comment with your thoughts!