The brand new revival of the 1947 musical Finian’s Rainbow opened on Broadway this evening. The production, which is playing an open run at the St. James Theatre, began as a part of the City Center Encores! series. Because of its success during that limited run, producers decided that they wanted to transfer it to Broadway. The Broadway production, re-imagined and expanded from the Encores! version, stars Tony Award winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer) as the title character and Christopher Fitzgerald (Young Frankenstein) as the leprechaun who chases him from old Ireland to America’s Deep South. Also starring is Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu), Kate Baldwin, Chuck Cooper, Terri White, and William Youmans. A whimsical, satirical, romantic romp, Finian’s Rainbow has a score by Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg that features songs such as “How Are Things In Glocca Morra?” and “Old Devil Moon”.
This is a great choice for a family looking for some good clean fun and who don’t want to see yet another Disney show. The production stars John Stamos (TV’s Full House) and Gina Gershon, and the score features classic songs like “Put On A Happy Face,” “Kids,” and “A Lot of Livin’ To Do”.
The Little Mermaid creates a shiny, magical, underwater world onstage and has cast members on barely detectable roller skate footwear, giving the graceful illusion that they’re gliding through the water. In addition to memorable songs from the animated Disney film, such as “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl,” the Broadway musical version of The Little Mermaid features several new tunes as well.
One book and three successful film incarnations later, Shrek is finally hitting Broadway this Fall in the form of a stage musical. Shrek The Musical will premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in an engagement from August 14 to September 21 before arriving on Broadway in November. Directed by Jason Moore, Shrek has a book by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and a score by Jeanine Tesori.
nytix was at the very first performance of the new Broadway revival of Grease, and fans of Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, the winners of NBC’s reality TV show Grease – You’re the One That I Want, will be happy to know that the young Broadway debutantes acquitted themselves nicely. With a naturally sweet demeanor and a lovely voice, Laura makes an ideal Sandy. Max still strikes one as ever-so-slightly miscast as leather-clad leader-of-the-pack Danny, but the kid is so confident and talented that he’s a joy to watch perform.
As it opens with the guys and gals of Rydell High School crooning the seductively hip “Grease is the Word,” this Kathleen Marshall-directed production of the perennial American favorite looks like it might finally put the “cool” back in Grease. But it doesn’t take long before the show’s inherent bubble gumminess starts to ooze out, and the fact that the storyline isn’t always coherent doesn’t help. However, in addition to Max and Laura, Marshall has assembled a strong cast that — even in their first performance — were full of energy and assurance and had no problem whatsoever revving up the audience. When these kids break into classics like “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightnin’,” and “We Go Together,” you can’t help but get caught up in the fun.
To hear the audience, which undoubtedly was full of fans of the TV show, you would have thought it was a Beatles concert. The hooting, wild applause, and at times even screams (yes, screams!) made the show more than just another performance of a Broadway musical — this show is an event. The official opening of Grease is not until August 19, so what kinks the production has will likely be ironed out. The fact remains that the show itself is far from the strongest in the musical theatre canon, but this production still makes it a silly good time.
Avenue Q celebrates its fourth year on Broadway today. The Sesame Street-inspired musical comedy about twentysomething angst began Off-Broadway, but after rave reviews and lots of buzz, the show moved to the John Golden Theatre on Broadway and subsequently won the Tony Award for Best Musical.
Rent-heads rejoice! Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal, the actors who created Mark and Roger in the original Broadway production of Rent over 10 years ago, are returning to the Nederlander stage tonight to reprise their roles. Rapp and Pascal are expected to remain with the musical for a six-week run.
The Off-Broadway hit In the Heights, which recently closed in preparation for a Broadway transfer, has just announced its opening date and theater. The vibrant musical, set in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights, will start previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on February 14, with an official Broadway opening date of March 9, 2007.
The cast and members of the creative team from the Broadway musical Legally Blonde will be at the Times Square Virgin Megastore (1540 Broadway at 45th Street) on July 17 for the official release of the show’s original cast recording. The cast will perform a couple songs from the musical and will also sign copies of the CD. The event starts at 5pm, and the first 100 people in line will get a gift bag with items from Godiva, Elle Magazine, and more.
Following in a long line of celebrities from the world of popular music (Huey Lewis, Usher, etc.) who have taken on the role of lawyer Billy Flynn in Broadway’s Chicago, R&B singer Brian McKnight will be joining the cast of the show on October 8. The role is currently being played by TV star Harry Hamlin.