Legally Blonde, the Tony nominated musical that played on Broadway from 2007-2008, is about to be seen out on the open waters when it becomes the resident show of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ brand new ocean liner “Getaway”.
Readying to set sail in January of 2014, the 4,000-passenger ship boasts a 787-seat theater where Legally Blonde will play as it cruises the Eastern Caribbean. Passengers will also get to enjoy another former Broadway show, the dance musical Burn the Floor.
This is not the first time that a Broadway musical has become entertainment for cruise ship passengers. The Royal Caribbean line has offered condensed versions of both Chicago and Hairspray (the latter even had a feature spot on a previous Tony Awards telecast, with a musical performance being broadcast live from the ship).
The Drama Desk Award winners were announced yesterday, and a wide variety of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and performers were honored. While the Tonys, which exclusively honor excellence in Broadway theater, are the best known theater awards, the Drama Desk Awards recognize a broader range of shows, considering excellence in all New York City theater, from Broadway to small Off-Off-Broadway productions.
The well-reviewed British musical Matilda did well, taking Drama Desks for Outstanding Musical, Featured Actor (Bertie Carvel), Set Design (Rob Howell), Book (Dennis Kelly), and Lyrics (Tim Minchin). The Broadway revival of Pippin also scored big, earning Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Director (Diane Paulus), Featured Actress (Andrea Martin), and Choreography (Chet Walker and Gypsy Snider). Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won Outstanding Play, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which won Outstanding Revival of a Play, also enjoyed plenty of recognition.
Here Lies Love was the biggest winner among the Off-Broadway shows, earning Outstanding Music, Lighting, and Projection Design awards. Michael Urie in Buyer & Cellar won for Outstanding Solo Performance, and Old Hats (starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner) received the Outstanding Revue award.
Two of Broadway’s best will be honored with 2013 Made in NY Awards in a presentation at Gracie Mansion on June 10. Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess, Ragtime) and Alan Cumming (Macbeth, Cabaret), both Tony Award winners, are receiving these special awards, which recognize both people and organizations who have made notable contributions to NYC’s entertainment and media industries.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine L. Oliver will host the Made in NY Awards ceremony, which will include a performance from Broadway’s Kinky Boots (to be introduced by the show’s bookwriter, Harvey Fierstein).
“The honorees of the 2013 ‘Made in NY Awards’ have made New York City proud by establishing their remarkable careers here,” stated NYC Mayor Bloomberg. “They are a part of a community of thousands of New Yorkers who together have brought the City to the forefront of the entertainment and digital media industries, helping to make New York City an exciting and thriving place to be.”
Smash, the NBC television drama that has been a frequent topic of discussion (and sometimes derision) among Broadway fans, will not return to the small screen next season. The final episode of the series will air on May 26.
Starring American Idol alum Katharine McPhee as a young performer pursuing her Broadway dream, Smash spent two seasons charting the creation and development of a Broadway-bound musical about Marilyn Monroe called Bombshell. The sometimes soapy, sometimes comic drama offered a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Broadway, spotlighting songwriters, directors, producers, and more.
Created and produced by playwright Theresa Rebeck (Dead Accounts), Rebeck was replaced with showrunner Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl) in the show’s second season, but ratings continued to fall. During its run, the cast of Smash boasted many Broadway regulars, including Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies), and Megan Hilty (Wicked). Other series regulars included Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, and Debra Messing.
Today the revival of the musical Jekyll & Hyde, originally scheduled to run until June 30, concludes its Broadway run early. The production closes at the Marquis Theatre having played just 15 preview performances and 30 regular performances.
Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the musical starred Constantine Maroulis as the split personality title character. Deborah Cox co-starred and direction and choreography was provided by Jeff Calhoun (Newsies).
Jekyll & Hyde originally opened on Broadway in 1997 and enjoyed a run that went through 2001. The score by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse features many well-known songs, including “This Is the Moment,” “Bring On the Men,” “In His Eyes,” “Take Me As I Am,” and “Someone Like You”.
Frank Wildhorn has created six original Broadway musicals in about 15 years, which have all met with poor critical review. This re-incarnation of Jekyll & Hyde at the Marquis Theater was directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun met the same critical fate, but unlike its predessor (that opened in 1997 and closed in 2001 and had over 1500 performances) it received poor critical review and poor box office ticket sales.The “Jekkies” that the previous run had spawned had either grown up or moved on as they were noticeably absent this time around. The 1997 version failed to recoup even after 1500 performances, sadly, this revival will not have the chance to build that kind of following and become a successful Broadway financial failure.
Broadway audiences have been loving the new Broadway production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Cinderella, and soon people across America will have a chance to see the show in their own hometowns. Cinderella‘s producers have announced that they will be launching a national tour during the 2014-2015 season.
“We are thrilled to be taking Cinderella on the road,” stated producer Robyn Goodman. “We look forward to sharing the magic of Cinderella with audiences throughout the country.”
Recognized with nine Tony Award nominations, Cinderella stars Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana. The show’s book is by Douglas Carter Beane. The tuneful Rodgers & Hammerstein score includes “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” A cast recording for the production was recently released by Ghostlight Records.
William Shakespeare’s famed tragedy Macbeth, which is currently represented on Broadway in Alan Cumming’s solo version of the bloody play, will soon get a new film treatment.
Directed by Justin Kurzel, the new movie Macbeth will star Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, Shame, X-Men) as Macbeth himself, the soldier who resorts to murder to become King of Scotland. Natalie Portman (Black Swan, Garden State, Star Wars) will take on the iconic role of Lady Macbeth, his scheming and ambitious wife.
The playscript of Macbeth has been adapted for the screen by Todd Luiso and Jacob Koskoff for this film.
After just eight weeks on Broadway, the Nora Ephron play Lucky Guy has recouped its investment. Its very unusual for a Broadway show to earn back its capitalization so quickly, but then again there is no other Broadway show out there featuring international film star Tom Hanks, who is making his Broadway debut in Lucky Guy.
In addition to its excellent financial performance, the producers have another reason to be happy: Lucky Guy recently earned a total of six Tony Award nominations. The play was recognized with nods for Best Play, Best Direction, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Featured Actor (Courtney B. Vance), and Best Actor for Tom Hanks.
The story of colorful real-life New York City tabloid columnist Mike McAlary, Lucky Guy started preview performances on March 1st. The production continues its limited run at the Broadhurst Theatre through July 3.
One of Hollywood’s best-known boxers is coming to the Broadway stage in February 2014, when Rocky the Musical opens at the Winter Garden Theatre. (The Winter Garden is currently occupied by Mamma Mia!, which recently announced its impending transfer to the Broadhurst Theatre.)
Rocky the Musical features a distinguished creative team. The score was written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the pair responsible for beloved scores to musicals such as Ragtime and Once On This Island. The show’s book has been penned by Thomas Meehan, who wrote the books to such musicals as Hairspray and Annie.
Sylvester Stallone himself, who wrote and starred in the Oscar-winning movie Rocky, serves as a producer on the musical. “I couldn’t be more proud or more excited about this production and how my original story of Rocky Balboa has been brought to spectacular life onstage,” stated Stallone, recognizing that the musical’s team has made the story “as exciting, heart-breaking, and inspiring as it was when Rocky first went the distance on screen.”
Broadway producers Jerry Frankel and Jeffrey Richards will be honored by the Ensemble Studio Theatre at its 45th Anniversary Gala, being held at SIR Stage 37 (508 W. 37th Street) on May 20. The evening will begin with a 6:30pm cocktail reception, followed by a live show at 8.
Numerous Broadway performers and creatives are scheduled to appear in the gala event, which will be hosted by director Jerry Zaks. Candice Bergen, Chris Noth, Norm Lewis, Laura Osnes (currently enchanting Broadway audiences in Cinderella), Jekyll & Hyde composer Frank Wildhorn, playwright David Mamet, songwriter Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening), Elizabeth Ashley, and director/choregrapher Kathleen Marshall will be among the participants. Cast members from the 2009 production of the musical Hair will also perform.
“All of us at EST are proud to be honoring two of Broadway’s most illustrious producers, who have a record of producing many new plays and musicals that originated in not-for-profit theatres like ours,” stated Ensemble Studio Theatre artistic director William Carden. “Proceeds support EST’s own productions of new plays, which have increased markedly in the past five years with tremendous growth in box office revenue, greater recognition for EST artists, and a higher profile for our theatre.”