Jennifer Chen

About Jennifer Chen

Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jennifer studied Law and moved to New York City at age 24, where she still practices law and writes for abovethelaw.com. Jennifer's profession may be in the land-of-legal, but her passion is for Broadway where she can write about subjects as diverse as Broadway union contracts to show reviews.

Christmas Week on Broadway

Rockefeller Christmas treeThe week of Christmas is always unusually busy on Broadway, but performance schedules often change during this time, so it is important to keep this in mind if you or your family plans to catch a Broadway show during the holidays.

December 24, Christmas Eve Day, which is a Tuesday this year, will see very little activity on Broadway. Most plays and musicals are canceling performances on that day. The only exceptions are Betrayal, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Lion King, Newsies, and Spider-man all have 2pm matinees on the 24th. Macbeth will have a 7pm performance that night.

On Christmas Day, December 25, roughly half the shows on Broadway will have evening performances, but several will be canceling their normal evening shows. Even though it’s a Wednesday, when matinees are usually plentiful, no Broadway shows have matinees scheduled for Christmas Day.

To make up for performances canceled right over the Christmas holiday, many shows will be adding a matinee on Thursday, December 26 and a handful of other shows will add a Friday matinee.

To see the complete Christmas holiday schedule, click here.

James Franco, Leighton Meester To Star in Broadway Of Mice and Men

James FrancoThe classic John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men will come to the Broadway stage early next year in a new production starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, and Leighton Meester. Anna D. Shapiro will direct the production, which will mark the first time that Of Mice and Men has been seen on Broadway in 40 years.

James Franco (Oz the Great and Powerful, 127 Hours) will take on the main role of George, while O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) will play his sweet but simple-minded friend Lennie. Meester (TV’s Gossip Girl) will play Curley’s wife.

Of Mice and Men will start preview performances at the Longacre Theatre on March 19, 2014, with opening night scheduled for April 16. The production will be a limited engagement, playing until July 27. Tickets go onsale on January 11. Find out more information at OfMiceAndMenOnBroadway.com.

The Snow Geese Ends Its Broadway Run Today

The Snow GeeseThe Manhattan Theatre Club production of the new Sharr White play The Snow Geese concludes its limited Broadway engagement at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre today. The production first began previews on October 1 and opened on October 24.

Set in 1917, in a country lodge in New York, The Snow Geese is a poignant and often funny drama that charts how a well-to-do family copes with a change in their fortunes following the death of their patriarch.

The play stars Mary-Louise Parker as the mother of the family, and co-stars Evan Jonigkeit and Brian Cross as her two very different sons. Victoria Clark and Danny Burstein also star, and Daniel Sullivan served as director of the production.

Romeo and Juliet Closes on Broadway

Romeo and Juliet Broadway ShowThe latest Broadway revival of William Shakespeare’s 400-year old romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet ends its Broadway run at the Richard Rodgers Theatre today. The production began previews on August 24, and then opened on September 19.

Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies) and Condola Rashad starred as the doomed lovers in this production, which was directed by David Leveaux. Christian Camargo, Brent Carver, Chuck Cooper, Justin Guarini (the American Idol alum turned Broadway performer), Jayne Houdyshell, and Geoffrey Owens co-starred.

Romeo and Juliet has had no shortage of productions on Broadway over the years. This one was the 36th on the Internet Broadway Database’s list, with the first one having been a production in 1754 at the New Theatre.

Musical Theater Heavyweights To Collaborate on New Broadway Show

Harold Prince

Harold Prince

Multiple Tony Award winning director and living Broadway legendary Harold Prince is working on developing a musical version of the famed F. Scott Fitzgerald short story “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”. The score of the musical will be written by Charles Strouse and the book will be by Thomas Meehan.

Strouse and Meehan are celebrated for their work together on the musical Annie, which is currently being revived on Broadway. Meehan also has written or co-written hilarious scripts for many other Broadway musicals, including Hairspray and The Producers.

Fitzgerald’s story, published in 1922, is about a teenager who goes to boarding school and meets a young man who claims that his family is so wealthy that they own a diamond that is larger than the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Broadway Trip to Bountiful Coming to Lifetime TV

Cicely Tyson

Cicely Tyson

The Broadway revival of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful may have closed back in October, but those who missed it will get the chance to experience a version of that production in a forthcoming television film version to air on the Lifetime network in 2014.

Cicely Tyson, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Carrie Watts on Broadway, will reprise her role in the TV movie. Her Broadway co-star Vanessa Williams will also revive her part, and they will perform under the direction of their Broadway helmer, Michael Wilson. New to the television cast are Blair Underwood and Keke Palmer.

This new TV version of The Trip to Bountiful brings the play full circle, as it originally premiered as a teleplay in 1953 (going on to be performed as a Broadway play later that year).

NYC’s Workshop Theater Hosts Stop Gun Violence Now Theater Festival

Stop Gun Violence NowIn honor of the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, New York City’s own Off-Off-Broaday Workshop Theater (312 West 36th Street) will present the Stop Gun Violence NOW Theater Festival from December 12-15.

The festival will feature a number of works, including a one-person documentary piece based on interviews of people in Littleton, Colorado following the Columbine shooting; a showcase of writings and music created by people from Newtown; a documentary drama from 10 young women reflecting on their experience with gun violence in NYC; a fictional short play about a school shooting, and more.

Panel discussions on preventing gun violence and using theater and political action to make change will also be a part of the festival, as well as a special tribute to the Newtown victims and their families. Proceeds from the festival will go to several local gun control initiatives. Learn more at www.SGVNowFest.com.

Waiting For Godot and No Man’s Land Officially Open on Broadway

No Man's LandThe double bill of Samuel Beckett’s existential classic Waiting for Godot and the lesser-known Harold Pinter play No Man’s Land have now officially opened at Broadway’s Cort Theatre. The limited run productions are scheduled to play in repertory until March 2, 2014.

The plays have already garnered a lot of attention thanks to their leading men, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. The two are not only known to film fans for their work together in the X-Men movies, but each has also starred in their own famous franchises, with McKellen playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, and Stewart having starred as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation on television.

Of course both Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen also happen to be classically trained actors with extensive stage experience. McKellen hasn’t been seen on Broadway since Dance of Death in the 2001-2002 season, but Stewart was most recently on Broadway in 2010 in the comedy A Life in the Theatre.

Broadway Production of Newsies to Launch Tour in 2014

Newsies Broadway MusicalSince opening on Broadway over a year and a half ago, Disney’s Broadway musical version of its cult hit movie Newsies has earned many Tony Award nominations, earned back its initial investment, and become a family favorite on the Great White Way. Now, the celebrated production is making plans to hit the road for its North American tour.

The Newsies Broadway touring production is set to launch in October of 2014 in Schenectady, New York. In 2014 and 2015, the tour is scheduled to hit 25 cities, including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Nashville, Toronto, Tucson, Washington D.C., and many places in between.

“The enthusiasm from North American audiences and theatres for a Newsies tour has been palpable,” stated Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions, “proving that the affection for this title is deeper and more widespread than even we imagined.”

To find out more about the tour stops and forthcoming announcements regarding dates, visit www.NewsiestheMusical.com.

Addams Family Proceeds To Go To Philippine Disaster Relief

The Addams FamilyJust a few days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines, a production of the Broadway musical The Addams Family opened for a two-week run at the Meralco Theater in Manila. To help in the relief efforts, Addams Family writers Rick Elice, Marshall Brickman, and Andrew Lippa, as well as the show’s licensing agent Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), are donating their production royalties to the Red Cross.

“Once in a while in this business we have an opportunity to reach out and help,” stated Sean Cercone, the director of professional and international licensing at TRW, “and this is a time when we can see that borders and oceans may separate us, but this is one world. We’re doing what we can.”

Philippine actor Arnell Ignacio, who plays Gomez in The Addams Family, stated, “We are truly touched by the generosity of the writers of The Addams Family and Theatrical Rights Worldwide. It is heartwarming to see the world extend us a helping hand as we go through this gargantuan test to our nation.

The Addams Family plays through December 1. More information is available at www.TheAddamsFamilyMusical.com.