Sweeney Todd, the Broadway musical turned Tim Burton film, comes out on DVD tomorrow, April 1. There is a two-disc deluxe edition available with lots of extra features, including a special on composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s involvement with the movie and footage of the original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd.
The Seafarer, Conor McPherson’s dark comedy about the devil coming for his due, closes on Broadway today. Starring David Morse and Ciaran Hinds, the production had an acclaimed run in London before coming to Broadway for a limited engagement. At its close, The Seafarer will have played 19 preview and 133 regular Broadway performances at the Booth Theatre.
It’s one of those Big Event productions that the die-hard Broadway lovers live for: Patti Lupone in Gypsy. Ever since her turn as Eva Peron in Evita on Broadway, big-voiced Patti Lupone has been a favored diva, a modern Ethel Merman. And Gypsy, with its powerhouse creative team (Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins), is a classic musical of Broadway’s Golden Age. To bring Lupone and Gypsy together … well, what could be better? The audience response has been tremendous, with people giving Ms. Lupone standing ovations at the end of her solo “Rose’s Turn” (it’s very rare to see a standing O during a show). With the show now open, the reviews are pouring in, and already the New York Times has given it a rave. Better get your tickets now!
The Broadway musical Rent, which previously announced that its closing date would be June 1, has extended its Broadway run until September 7. Many people predicted this extension would happen as soon as the June 1 date was announced, because ticket demand tends to shoot way up anytime a long-running Broadway show posts its closing notice. Rent, in particular, has a devoted fan base that no doubt bought up numerous tickets when they found out their favorite Broadway musical would be closing soon. In fact, the show’s producers have endeavored to do right by the fans who specifically bought tickets for what was to be the final week of Rent‘s run by allowing them to exchange those tickets for performances during the extension period.
Harvey Fierstein and John Bucchino’s musical adaptation of the film A Catered Affair started performances on Broadway this evening. The show about a couple who are planning their daughter’s wedding stars Faith Prince and Tom Wopat as the parents of the bride, and Fierstein himself plays a funny uncle in the family. The official Broadway opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre will be on April 17. For info on getting discount tickets to A Catered Affair, see this page.
The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced that one of its musical revivals for the 2008-2009 Broadway season will be Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. Originally produced on Broadway in 1978, the show — which features a wide variety of music including pop, jazz, and classical — is a study of and tribute to the art of dance. Graciela Daniele, whose Broadway credits as director and choreographer include Ragtime and Once On This Island, will direct this new production of Dancin’, which will play at the Roundabout’s Studio 54.
At last, after a long casting process, Broadway has its Shrek. Broadway and New York theater regular Brian d’Arcy James (Titanic, Sweet Smell of Success) will play the big green ogre — presumably with some sort of fat suit and make-up, as James is neither large, nor green. Chester Gregory II (Cry-Baby, Tarzan, Hairspray) will play Donkey, the character voiced memorably by Eddie Murphy in the Shrek films. And John Tartaglia, best known for playing puppets Princeton and Rod in the original Off-Broadway and Broadway companies of Avenue Q, will be Pinocchio. As previously announced, Sutton Foster (currently on Broadway in Young Frankenstein) will play Princess Fiona.
It has been announced that a national tour of the 2007 Tony-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening will launch this summer on the West Coast. San Francisco, Washington D.C., Portland, Tampa, East Lansing, Louisville, and Seattle are among the cities scheduled to host the tour in its first year. Spring Awakening continues to go strong on Broadway — you can get discount tickets to see the Broadway production here.
On last night’s broadcast of American Idol, it was announced that West End/Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (along with Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond, and Mariah Carey) will serve as a “celebrity mentor” on the hit Fox TV show this season. It’s a bit of a surprise, considering judge Simon Cowell frequently uses the phrase “Too Broadway!” as a slam to contestants whose singing sounds more legit than pop. And Lloyd Webber of course has had multiple hits on Broadway, including Evita, Cats, and the still-running Broadway phenomenon The Phantom of the Opera. But maybe Cowell decided to make an exception for a fellow Brit? In any case, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s appearance on the show is bound to be a “Broadway week”, giving the nation exposure to some (hopefully) terrific Broadway tunes.
Curtains, the murder-mystery musical that opened on Broadway in March 2007, has announced that it will have its final Broadway performance at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on June 29. That still leaves you plenty of time to catch David Hyde Piece (who won a Tony for his performance as a Broadway-obsessed detective) and company in this Kander & Ebb tuner. Get your discount tickets here.