The new Broadway production A Night with Janis Joplin, which began previews last month, officially opens at the Lyceum Theatre today. Originally known as One Night with Janis Joplin, the music revue played at several venues across the country prior to arriving on the Great White Way.
Mary Bridget Davies makes her Broadway debut in the iconic role of Janis Joplin, singing many of the songs that the rock legend made famous, including “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” and “Me and Bobby McGee”. She is joined by an onstage band. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, A Night with Janis Joplin is set for an open run on Broadway.
The show has had a pretty strong start in ticket sales. Last week, the Lyceum Theatre on 45th Street was at 84.50% capacity with 4,555 attending, which is impressive for a newer show. However, it had a lower than average $61.88 ticket resulting in total sales of $281,871. So will A Night with Janis Joplin turn into many nights on Broadway? We will have to see. If the Off-Broadway hit Love, Janis from several years ago and the positive response to the current production is any indication, then A Night may burn brightly for many months to come, if Mary Bridget Davies impressive voice can hold up to the harrowing schedule of eight shows a week.
The forthcoming Broadway music revue After Midnight, which has already announced cast members Adriane Lenox and Dule Hill along with featured singer Fantasia Barrino, now has its line-up of musicians set to serve as the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars.
Selected by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, the All-Stars will include Gregory Gisbert, Bruce Harris, James Zollar, and Alfonso Horne on trumpets; Arthur Baron, James Burton III, and Wayne Goodman on trombones; Godwin Louis, Mark Gross, Andrew Farber, Daniel Block, and Kurt Bacher on woodwinds; James Chirillo on guitar; Adam Birnbaum on piano; Jennifer Vincent on bass; and Alvester Garnett on drums.
After Midnight starts preview performances at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 18, with an opening night scheduled for November 3.
Broadway fans will get several opportunities to see Broadway musicals on the big screen this fall when the “Direct from Broadway” series by Specticast presents special screenings of Broadway shows.
The series will feature five musicals, including Tony Award winning Memphis, the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller rock ‘n’ roll revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe, the Stephen Sondheim musical revue Putting It Together, Jekyll & Hyde starring David Hasselhoff, and Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.
Tapings of these shows will be screened at select movie theater across the country in October, November, and December. To find out where “Direct from Broadway” screenings will take place, visit directfrombroadway.net.
Dozens of Broadway and television stars are coming to Shubert Alley this Sunday, September 22 for the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, the free annual event held in Times Square to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
This year’s Autograph Table and Photo Booth will offer fans a chance get up close and personal with stars (in exchange for a donation to BC/EFA) such as Judith Light, Bebe Neuwirth, Bernadette Peters, Laura Benanti, Jeremy Jordan, Laura Osnes, Patrick Wilson, Cherry Jones, Harriet Harris, Donna Murphy, and many more.
The event, which goes from 10am to 7pm, will also feature an elaborate flea market, with tables dedicated to many Broadway shows and theater organizations selling items as varied as cupcakes baked by Broadway performers and authentic props used in Broadway shows.
Broadway will be going downtown on September 27, when the cast members of several hit Broadway shows participate in the “Broadway on the Hudson” concert in lower Manhattan.
Cast members from the Broadway musicals Pippin, Newsies, Cinderella, Annie, Chicago, Rock of Ages, First Date, and The Phantom of the Opera are all slated to sing songs from their respective Broadway shows.
Sponsored by American Airlines, the “Broadway on the Hudson” concert is free. It will take place at the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, located at 220 Vesey Street, from 12:30pm to 2pm. Get more info on the concert at broadway.org.
The acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which just concluded a run in the Meat Packing district on September 2, will be moving to the midtown theater district for a limited 14-week run beginning September 24.
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet‘s home, Kazino, was a supper club style venue that had been built and designed specifically for the show to create an immersive theatrical experience. The venue will be relocated to a lot on West 45th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, right off of Times Square.
“Once the show caught on downtown, we explored a number of options of where it could continue following our summer engagement, and we’re very fortunate to have found a prime spot in the heart of the theater district,” stated the musical’s producers. “We’re ecstatic that audience response has made it possible for us to keep The Great Comet burning brightly in New York.”
The 27th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction is coming up on Sunday, September 22. The beloved yearly event will take place from 10am until 7pm in Shubert Alley, located on West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.
The flea market gives Broadway fans the chance to purchase theater memorabilia, ranging from old Playbills and show posters to more unique items like stage props and costumes. Actual cast members often man the tables, frequently selling homemade baked goods in addition to show-related items.
For fans who have truly been saving up their pennies, the afternoon auction features many impressive offerings. There are walk-on roles and backstage opportunities for Broadway musicals like Kinky Boots and The Lion King, a chance to have lunch with Judith Light and Angela Lansbury, signed and handwritten musical phrases by everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Stephen Schwartz, a t-shirt worn onstage by Tom Hanks, and much more.
The event will also feature a celebrity autograph table and photo booth, giving fans the chance to meet many Broadway and TV celebrities in person. Visit broadwaycares.org to find out more about the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction and a detailed list of auction items.
The operatic vocal quartet Il Divo are coming to Broadway for a very limited engagement this season. The four-man group formed by music impresario Simon Cowell (American Idol) will do six concerts at the Marquis Theatre, from November 7-13.
Joining Il Divo as a special guest at all of the concert performances will be actress and recording artist Heather Headley. Headley earned many ardent supporters in the Broadway community for her turns in The Lion King and Aida, but hasn’t been on the Great White Way since.
Il Divo’s appearance on Broadway comes just as the group is scheduled to release a new recording featuring a collection of show tunes. The album will feature guest performances by Broadway and theater performances like Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Ball, and Barbra Streisand.
In their Broadway concerts, Il Divo will be performing songs from a number of well-known Broadway musicals, including West Side Story, Carousel, and The Phantom of the Opera.
It has been announced that the forthcoming film version of the Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone will star film and stage actor Geoffrey Rush. Rush will play the role of Man in Chair, a part that he played on stage in the Australian premiere of the show in 2010.
Geoffrey Rush has starred in numerous movie, including Shakespeare in Love and The King’s Speech, which both earned him Oscar nominations. He actually won the Oscar for his career-making performance in Shine. Rush has performed once on Broadway in the play Exit the King, and earned a Tony Award for his performance.
The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical comedy, has a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar, and music and lyrics by Gregg Morrison and Lisa Lambert. The film is expected to start shooting in 2014.
The feature length documentary Broadway Idiot, which charts Green Day singer/songwriter Billie Joe Armstrong’s journey to Broadway with his musical American Idiot, is scheduled to arrive in New York City movie theaters on October 11, opening nationwide on October 18.
Broadway Idiot was directed by Doug Hamilton and had its premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas earlier this spring. The documentary film was later screened at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
For people who can’t find Broadway Idiot at their local cinema, the documentary will be available to watch on Video On Demand as of October 18.