The arts education organization Broadway Bound Kids, which facilitates performing arts programs in community centers and schools throughout the New York area, has begun a crowdfunding campaign. A number of celebrities, including Broadway performers like Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher), Will Chase (Rent), and John Stamos (Bye Bye Birdie), are lending their support to the campaign and can be seen on a video at www.BroadwayBoundKids.org.
“Theatre helped me find my identity and who I was going to be,” Stamos stated. “Whether you’re acting or doing make-up or just part of the community, it gives you a place and it gives you purpose. If you get an opportunity to be a part of something like Broadway Bound Kids, do it!”
The Broadway Bound Kids campaign is raising money so that underprivileged students can have the chance to take part in The Broadway Bound Players, the program’s youth ensemble, without charge. The organization’s Indiegogo campaign will conclude in early January.
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards recently announced this year’s nominees, and as usual Best Musical Theater Album is the category that gets the attention of the Broadway community. This year the category has just three entries, all Broadway shows. The trio of nominees are three of the biggest hits on Broadway to open last season: Motown the Musical, Matilda: The Musical, and the Best Musical Tony Award winner Kinky Boots.
The recent film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables was also represented among the Grammy nominees, with the deluxe edition of the movie soundtrack getting a nod in the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media category.
The Grammy Award winners will be announced on January 26, 2014, when the ceremony is broadcast live on the CBS network from Los Angeles.
The 8th Annual Broadway Sings for Toys: A Benefit for Toys for Tots comes to The Cutting Room on December 16 at 7pm. The event is hosted by The Broadway Boys, who include Daniel Torres, Travis Morin, Jesse Nager, Brad Greer, John Michael Dias, Gabe Violett, and Zal Owen.
In addition to The Broadway Boys, other artists scheduled to perform at the benefit concert include a slew of Tony winners, such as Lillias White, Chuck Cooper, and Adriane Lenox (dueting with her daughter). Nick Adams, Charl Brown, Morgan James, Crystal Monee Hall, Ryan Shaw, Jessica Philips, and Marva Hicks will also appear.
Tickets are $20, and attendees are also asked to bring and unwrapped toy. Call 212-691-1900 or go to www.thecuttingroom.com to get tickets and find more information. The Cutting Room is located at 44 East 32nd Street.
The next best thing to seeing a Broadway show live onstage happens tonight on NBC at 8pm Eastern Standard time when the network broadcasts a live TV performance of the beloved Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.
Carrie Underwood stars in the role of Maria, the young governess of a group of rowdy children. Stephen Moyer (True Blood) plays the children’s father, Captain von Trapp. The cast also features experienced Broadway performers such as Audra McDonald, Christian Borle, and Laura Benanti.
Fans of the famed film adaptation of The Sound of Music will discover that this original Broadway stage version includes a few songs that were not included in the movie. But they will also be happy to hear the musical’s many classics, such as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and “Edelweiss”.
The Roundabout Theatre Company’s well-received revival of The Winslow Boy concludes its limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre today. The Terence Rattigan play began performances on September 20 and had its official Broadway opening on October 17.
The production starred Roger Rees and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as the loyal parents of a schoolboy who is — they believe — wrongly accused of a minor theft at his school and hire a celebrated attorney (played by Alessandro Nivola) to defend him. The play was inspired by a similar real-life case.
According to the Internet Broadway Database, The Winslow Boy only appeared on Broadway once before, at the Empire Theatre (demolished in the ’50s) in 1947.
As usual, the hugely popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take time to spotlight one of New York City’s greatest assets: Broadway. Kristin Chenoweth and Megan Hilty are among the Broadway performers scheduled to participate in the festivities, as are theatrical troupes Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil.
The Broadway cast of the hit musical revival Pippin will perform both “Magic To Do” and “Corner of the Sky” during the parade. Matilda, Motown the Musical, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular’s Rockettes are also scheduled to perform. There will also be an appearance by Carrie Underwood, who is starring as Maria in the upcoming live NBC broadcast of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music.
The 87th Annaul Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs live on NBC from 9:00am until 12:00pm on Thanksgiving Day.
The saga of Spider-man on Broadway is coming to an end, as producers have announced that the multi-millionaire dollar musical will be concluding its Broadway run on January 4, 2014. Though the controversial show will likely get a financial boost during the holidays (as do many Broadway musicals), it won’t come close to making back its enormous investment by closing.
With direction by Julie Taymor (The Lion King) and a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was initially expected to be a big hit. But Spider-Man experienced numerous troubles and delays during its development, going on to have a record-length preview period on Broadway, resulting in a significant overhaul of the show that included replacing both director Taymor and the original bookwriter.
In addition to creative troubles and an outrageous price tag, Spider-Man also made headlines for a series of injuries to its actors. Featuring incredible aerial stunts that include the actors flying over the audience in fast-paced fight sequences, Spider-Man took its cast to the limits of what had previously been seen in Broadway musicals in terms of acrobatics.
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which plays at the large Foxwoods Theatre, made money for much of its three-year run, offering families the rare Broadway show that actively appealed to young male audiences. But ticket sales dipped in recent months. Some projected that the show would need to run at a profit for as many as 10 years before it could earn back its $75 million investment, meaning that the musical simply couldn’t afford to run at a loss.
Producers already have the next step for Spider-Man planned, though. They will be taking a shorter version of the show to Las Vegas, where its comic book reputation, striking visuals, and big stunts are likely to draw audiences looking for a big-budget alternative to the Vegas Strip’s many Cirque du Soleil shows.
A respected actor long known for his film work, Ewan McGregor will finally appear on the Broadway stage next year in a Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Tom Stoppard’s drama The Real Thing. Sam Gold will direct, but the rest of the cast and creative team has yet to be announced.
The Real Thing is scheduled to begin preview performances at the American Airlines Theatre on October 2, 2014, with an opening scheduled for October 30. The limited-run production will play through January 4, 2015.
Though this will mark Ewan McGregor’s Broadway debut, he has been seen onstage in London. McGregor was Iago in a 2008 Donmar Warehouse production of Shakespeare’s Othello, and he has even starred in the musical Guys and Dolls. The actor’s extensive film credits include Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, Star Wars, and the upcoming movie adaptation of the Broadway play August: Osage County.
The performing arts publication Musical America has named multiple Tony Award winning actress and singer Audra McDonald as their Musician of the Year. McDonald will formally receive the honor in an awards ceremony being held at Lincoln Center on December 17.
Audra McDonald has starred on Broadway in numerous productions, including Porgy and Bess, Ragtime, 110 in the Shade, Marie Christine, and Carousel. Although she is particularly well-known as a musical theater performer, she has also appeared in plays such as A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class.
Through the television show Private Practice, Audra McDonald is also known to a broader audience. She has recorded a number of solo albums and his currently promoting her latest, Go Back Home, with a national tour. She will next be seen on TV playing the Mother Abbess in NBC’s upcoming live broadcast of The Sound of Music.
The Drama League will honor Emmy Award winning performer Neil Patrick Harris at the 30th Annual Musical Celebration of Broadway, a black tie event being held at the Pierre Hotel on February 3, 2014. Harris joins a distinguished group of former honorees, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kristin Chenoweth, Liza Minnelli, Angela Lansbury, Patti Lupone, Audra McDonald, Rosie O’Donnell, and others.
“We are overjoyed to add Neil Patrick Harris to the legendary roster of artists who have been honored at the Musical Celebration of Broadway during the last thirty years,” stated Gabriel Shanks, executive director of the Drama League.
Selections from Neil Patrick Harris’s career on Broadway, film, and TV will be featured during the celebration’s entertainment, which will be directed by Michael Mayer and Johanna McKeon. Several stars from both Broadway and Hollywood will perform.
Neil Patrick Harris has been seen on Broadway in the revivals of the musicals Cabaret and Assassins, and in the play Proof. His next appearance on Broadway will be in the upcoming production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, set to open in April 2014.