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.

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.

A Time To Kill Closes on Broadway Today

A Time to Kill Broadway ShowOne of the early casualties of the 2013-14 Broadway season, A Time To Kill concludes its run at the John Golden Theatre today. Having begun preview performances on September 28, the production only survived about a month and a half on Broadway before succumbing to poor ticket sales.

A Time To Kill was the first of best-selling author John Grisham’s novels to be adapted for the stage. The Broadway production starred Sebastian Arcelus, Patrick Page, Tom Skerritt, Tonya Pinkins, Ashley Williams, John Douglas Thompson, and Fred Dalton Thompson.

“We are enormously proud to have brought John Grisham’s A Time to Kill to Broadway with an incredible creative team and an extraordinary ensemble of actors,” stated producers Eva Price and Daryl Roth. “We would like to thank Rupert Holmes, Ethan McSweeny, and the entire company of our production for—as we all witnessed night after night—thrilling our audiences with a compelling, essential story about justice and morality.”

Disney To Bring The Princess Bride To The Stage

The Princess BrideThe beloved William Goldman novel The Princess Bride, even more widely known and loved as a 1987 movie by Rob Reiner, is soon to become a stage production. Disney is working on developing a theatrical version of the property, though it is yet uncertain as to whether or not it will be a musical.

A romantic adventure tale about a headstrong young woman named Buttercup and the farmboy-turned-pirate who she loves, The Princess Bride film featured a talented cast including Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, and several people who are no strangers to Broadway and the New York stage: Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal (who just began his one-man show 700 Sundays on Broadway), and Wallace Shawn (starring in his own play Off-Broadway currently).

The author of The Princess Bride and the film’s screenwriter, William Goldman, also has a Broadway connection, having written the theater classic The Season, which offered a comprehensive examination of the 1967-68 season on Broadway. Goldman previously worked with Broadway composer/lyricist Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza) on an adaptation of The Princess Bride, but the project was scrapped. There is no word yet on a new creative team.

Concert Version of Broadway Musical Titanic Scheduled for 2014

TitanicManhattan Concert Productions will present an elaborate concert staging of the 1997 Tony Award winning Broadway musical Titanic on February 17, 2014 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The concert will be directed by actor Don Stephenson (currently on Broadway in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), who appeared as Charles Clarke and later as Harold Bride in the original Broadway cast of the show.

Liza Gennaro will provide choreography for the concert staging, while Titanic‘s original Broadway musical director and conductor Kevin Stites will repeat his role as music director. The concert will also feature Shawn Sagady’s projection designs, lighting from Stephen Terry, and a set design by Narelle Sissons.

Casting has yet to be announced, but Manhattan Concert Productions has already stated that, like their previous concert version of Ragtime, this staging will also have a star-filled cast and a huge ensemble featuring more than 100 singers.

Titanic tells the story of the famously “unsinkable” ship’s first and final tragic voyage from the points of view of the ship’s crew and passengers from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class. The musical has a score by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone, both of whom won Tony Awards for their work.

Tickets to the Titanic concert start at $50. To order, call 212-721-6500 or go to www.lincolncenter.org.

Broadway Solo Show Ghetto Klown Will Be Filmed for TV

Ghetto KlownActor and comedian John Leguizamo’s most recent Broadway solo show, Ghetto Klown, concluded its run at the Lyceum Theatre in 2011, but those who missed it (or simply want a chance to see it again) will have the opportunity soon thanks to HBO.

When John Leguizamo performs Ghetto Klown at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on November 16, the show will be filmed by HBO to air on the cable network sometime in the Spring of 2014. Fisher Stevens, who directed the Broadway production of the one-man comedy, will also direct the taping.

In Ghetto Klown, Leguizamo relives his youthful memories growing up in New York City, focusing on the early days of his career as a performer, including his solo theater shows and his foray into movies playing opposite some of the film world’s biggest personalities.

Tony nominated for his previous shows Freak and Sexaholix, John Leguizamo is well known to both stage and film audiences. He has appeared in movies such as Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and Ice Age, and on TV in ER.

3rd Annual TEDxBroadway Scheduled for February 24, 2014

TEDxBroadwayBroadway meets the popular TED talks format with TEDxBroadway, a one-day event that will be held at the multi-stage Off-Broadway venue New World Stages in midtown New York City on Monday, February 24, 2014. This third annual TEDxBroadway will tackle the question: What’s the best Broadway can be?

TEDxBroadway takes a broad view of the Broadway community, inviting anyone affected by the Broadway business, from fans to neighborhood organizations, to take part in this day-long discussion of Broadway’s potential future.

Tony Award winning Pippin director Diane Paulus (who also serves as the American Repertory Theater’s artistic director) and actress/comic/musician Lea DeLaria (TV’s Orange is the New Black) are among the scheduled speakers who have a Broadway pedigree.

The event will also feature speakers from other sectors, such as Sree Sreenivasan, who serves as chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; David Drake of the private equity advisory firm LDJ Capital; and Dan Gurney, who founded Concert Window and also has the distinction of being 6-time U.S. champion of the button accordion.

Past participants in TEDxBroadway have included the likes of producer Daryl Roth, actor George Takei, critic Terry Teachout, and playwright Kristoffer Diaz.

“TEDxBroadway invites everyone who has an interest in Broadway to participate in shaping its future,” stated event co-organizer Jim McCarthy. “Certainly, Broadway is most often associated with theatre but, it’s also a place where many industries and people intersect. Our goal is to present positive ideas that will benefit the entire Broadway ecosystem.”

Tickets to the TEDxBroadway conference are $100. Learn more at http://www.tedxbroadway.com.

Real Life Broadway Character Profiled in New Book

Mama Rose's TurnMama Rose, the brash and calculating stage mom depicted in the classic Broadway musical Gypsy, is the subject of a new book titled “Mama Rose’s Turn: The True Story of America’s Most Notorious Stage Mother” by first-time author Carolyn Quinn. The 368-page book charting the life of Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of famed performers Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc, is published by the University Press of Mississippi and due to be available on November 1.

“Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of June Havoc and Gypsy Rose Lee, went down in theatrical history as ‘The Stage Mother from Hell’ after her immortalization on Broadway in Gypsy: A Musical Fable,” says author Carolyn Quinn. “Yet the musical was 75 percent fictionalized by playwright Arthur Laurents and condensed for the stage. Rose’s full story is even more striking.”

The creative team behind the multiple Tony Award nominated 1959 musical Gypsy — bookwriter Arthur Laurents, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, composer Jule Styne, and director Jerome Robbins — used another book, “Gypsy: Memoirs of America’s Most Celebrated Stripper,” for inspiration, but Quinn’s new tome is sure to have fresh insights about the real-life people that inspired the characters immortalized in Gypsy.

Gypsy is widely regarded as one of the all-time great Broadway musicals, with an excellent book and a tuneful, clever score. Since the original Broadway production starring Ethel Merman, many stage actresses have coveted the role of Mama Rose. The show has been revived on Broadway four times in productions starring Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters, and Patti Lupone.

Carolyn Quinn will be discussing her book “Mama Rose’s Turn” on November 1 at 7pm at the Upper East Side location (150 East 86th Street, at Lexington Avenue) of Barnes & Noble in New York City.

Annie Offers Tickets to People Who Adopt Shelter Dogs

Annie Broadway MusicalThe beloved Broadway musical Annie, which is currently enjoying a revival on Broadway, is well known for being about the plucky orphan Annie who optimistically sings about “Tomorrow”. But almost as well known is Annie’s adorable dog Sandy, who is her loyal companion during her adventures in New York City. Fittingly, Annie is now offering a free ticket giveaway throughout October in honor of Adopt-a-Dog month.

Anyone who decides to adopt a canine from one of the New York City animal shelters that is participating in the program will get a voucher that is good for two tickets to go see the current production of Annie on Broadway sometime during the month of November.

New York Animal Care & Control, The Humane Society of New York, Animal Haven, Sean Casey Animal Rescue and Louie’s Legacy are among the shelters taking part in Annie‘s free ticket offer for people who adopt dogs.

Annie, which is scheduled to end its Broadway run on January 5, 2014, is a big supporter of adopting pets, as evidenced by the fact that the show cast an actual shelter dog, Sunny, to play the part of the dog Sandy. Animal trainer Bill Berloni trained Sunny, who was chosen from a Houston shelter during a nationwide search, to become a Broadway “actor”.

Annie features young actress Taylor Richardson in the title role and currently co-stars Broadway regular Faith Prince as Miss Hannigan and Anthony Warlow as Daddy Warbucks. Clarke Thorell, J. Elaine Marcos, and Jenni Barber also star in the production. Written by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan, Annie won several Tony Awards in 1977 during its original Broadway run.

The Adopt-a-Dog free ticket giveaway goes through October 31 while supplies last. Visit AnnietheMusical.com for more information about Annie the musical.

Cast of Broadway’s Matilda To Perform at Barnes & Noble

Matilda Broadway MusicalThe hit British import Matilda is celebrating the release of its original Broadway cast recording with a special CD release event at the Upper East Side location of Barnes & Noble (86th Street and Lexington Avenue) on October 24 at 3pm.

Members of the current Broadway cast of Matilda the Musical will both perform and sign copies of the CD at the event. The recording is already available digitally, with the CD scheduled to be released to stores on October 22.

Available on the Broadway Records/Yellow Sound label, the Matilda Broadway cast recording comes in both standard and deluxe versions. In addition to the 24 tracks on the standard edition, the deluxe two additional numbers, the cut song “Perhaps a Child” and a recording of “Naughty” sung by all four of the young girls who play the role of Matilda on Broadway.

Broadway Smash Kinky Boots Recoups Investment

Kinky Boots Broadway ShowIn its first year on Broadway, Kinky Boots has already made back its original investment of $13.5 million, an impressive accomplishment for any Broadway musical. By comparison, current top show competitors of Kinky Boots, Wicked and The Book of Mormon recouped in 14 and 8 months respectively. And with little to no discounting, Kinky Boots profitability has no end in sight.

“We’re so happy that audiences have embraced Kinky Boots in such an overwhelming way,” stated the show’s lead producers, Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig. “We’re proud that this show offers people such great joy, Tony Award-winning talent, and financial success, and it’s exciting to be able to make this announcement in such a remarkably short time.”

Kinky Boots, which is based on the independent British movie of the same name, began performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on March 4. The musical went on to win several Tony Awards this past June, including Best Musical and Best Score for Cyndi Lauper.