Jekyll & Hyde Prematurely Ends Broadway Run Today

Jekyll & Hyde Broadway ShowToday the revival of the musical Jekyll & Hyde, originally scheduled to run until June 30, concludes its Broadway run early. The production closes at the Marquis Theatre having played just 15 preview performances and 30 regular performances.

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, the musical starred Constantine Maroulis as the split personality title character. Deborah Cox co-starred and direction and choreography was provided by Jeff Calhoun (Newsies).

Jekyll & Hyde originally opened on Broadway in 1997 and enjoyed a run that went through 2001. The score by Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse features many well-known songs, including “This Is the Moment,” “Bring On the Men,” “In His Eyes,” “Take Me As I Am,” and “Someone Like You”.

Frank Wildhorn has created six original Broadway musicals in about 15 years, which have all met with poor critical review. This re-incarnation of Jekyll & Hyde at the Marquis Theater was directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun met the same critical fate, but unlike its predessor (that opened in 1997 and closed in 2001 and had over 1500 performances) it received poor critical review and poor box office ticket sales.The “Jekkies” that the previous run had spawned had either grown up or moved on as they were noticeably absent this time around. The 1997 version failed to recoup even after 1500 performances, sadly, this revival will not have the chance to build that kind of following and become a successful Broadway financial failure.

Rocky the Musical Coming to Broadway

Rocky the MusicalOne of Hollywood’s best-known boxers is coming to the Broadway stage in February 2014, when Rocky the Musical opens at the Winter Garden Theatre. (The Winter Garden is currently occupied by Mamma Mia!, which recently announced its impending transfer to the Broadhurst Theatre.)

Rocky the Musical features a distinguished creative team. The score was written by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, the pair responsible for beloved scores to musicals such as Ragtime and Once On This Island. The show’s book has been penned by Thomas Meehan, who wrote the books to such musicals as Hairspray and Annie.

Sylvester Stallone himself, who wrote and starred in the Oscar-winning movie Rocky, serves as a producer on the musical. “I couldn’t be more proud or more excited about this production and how my original story of Rocky Balboa has been brought to spectacular life onstage,” stated Stallone, recognizing that the musical’s team has made the story “as exciting, heart-breaking, and inspiring as it was when Rocky first went the distance on screen.”

Forbidden Broadway To Close Off-Broadway in April

Forbidden BroadwayThe long-running Off-Broadway staple Forbidden Broadway has announced that it will be concluding its Off-Broadway run at the 47th Street Theatre on April 28. Ironically named Forbidden Broadway: Alive and Kicking!, this edition of the show has to end due to the theater’s commitment to The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, which will be presenting its new season there.

This current incarnation of Forbidden Broadway, which can be heard on a cast recording produced by DRG Records, spoofs current Broadway hits like The Book of Mormon and Spiderman, as well as recent successes such as Evita, Anything Goes, and Porgy and Bess. Naturally the Les Miserables film musical also gets skewered, along with famed Broadway personalities like Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin.

Created by Gerard Alessandrini, Forbidden Broadway originally opened in 1982, but has played on and off in different theaters and updated editions since then. The show has often featured some of the musical theater world’s most gifted impressionists and comedians as they lovingly make fun of all-things-Broadway.

Roundabout To Bring Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” and Donald Margulies “Dinner with Friends” To Broadway

Roundabout Theatre CompanyThe Roundabout Theatre Company, which is currently represented on Broadway by The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the soon-to-open The Big Knife, has announced that its 2013-2014 Broadway season will include revivals of the plays Dinner With Friends and The Real Thing.

A favorite of Tom Stoppard fans, The Real Thing is about a playwright whose marriage is collapsing — both on stage and in real life. The 1984 play was most recently seen on Broadway in 2000 in an acclaimed production starring Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle.

Dinner with Friends, written by Donald Margulies, is a Pulitzer Prize winning play that previously enjoyed a run Off-Broadway, but will be making its Broadway premiere with the Roundabout production. Tracking the journey of two couples, it is also a play that deals with the subject of marriage.

Glee’s Jane Lynch To Join Annie on Broadway

Jane LynchAlready a respected comic actress and improv performer due to her extensive work in films like Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, and now a well-known TV star thanks to her role on Glee, Jane Lynch is soon to add Broadway to her resume. Later this spring, Lynch will make her Broadway debut in the well-received Broadway revival of the musical Annie, now playing at the Palace Theatre.

Jane Lynch will be replacing Tony winner Katie Finneran in the role of Miss Hannigan, the tyrannical orphanage matron who serves as little orphan Annie’s nemesis in the show. “Some may say I know a thing or two about playing intimidating authority figures,” stated Lynch. “So I am excited and honored to be making my Broadway debut with the wonderful Annie
company.”

Jane Lynch is scheduled to be in Annie for just eight weeks, from May 16 through July 24.

Picnic Wraps Up on Broadway

Picnic Broadway ShowThe Picnic ends today. Roundabout Theatre Company’s well-received production of the William Inge classic concludes its limited run at the American Airlines Theatre.

The play — which is about the dreams, regrets, and romantic entanglements of small town residents during a sweltering Labor Day — stars Sebastian Stan (TV’s Once Upon a Time) as a handsome drifter who stirs up a lot of trouble during his brief visit. His co-stars include Maggie Grace, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Ben Rappaport, Reed Birney, and Ellen Burstyn.

Picnic is best known by many people for its 1955 Oscar-nominated film adaptation starring William Holden and Kim Novak.

Hands on a Hardbody Begins Broadway Performances

Hands on a Hardbody Broadway ShowOne of this Broadway season’s few original new musicals, Hands on a Hardbody starts preview performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre today. Inspired by a real-life competition, Hands on a Hardbody is about 10 Texans who spend days in the heat keeping at least one hand on a beautiful new truck in an effort to win it.

Continuing with an intriguing trend of pop and rock music artists lending their talents to Broadway shows, Phish’s Trey Anastasio has co-written the music for Hands on a Hardbody. Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical) supplies both music and lyrics, and Doug Wright has written the show’s book.

The cast of Hands on a Hardbody is led by Keith Carradine, and his co-stars include Hunter Foster, Jim Newman, William Youmans, Allison Case, and Jay Armstrong Johnson, among others. The musical is set for an open run, with its opening night scheduled for March 21.

Ben Foster Replaces Shia LaBeouf in Orphans

Ben Foster

Ben Foster

Following the announcement that Shia LaBeouf would be bowing out of the new Broadway production of Lyle Kessler’s drama Orphans, currently in rehearsal, it has been announced that actor Ben Foster will be replacing him. Foster will be playing the part of Treat, the elder of two brothers – the younger is played by Tom Sturridge. Shia LaBeouf was said to have exited the production due to creative differences, presumably with co-star Alec Baldwin.

Ben Foster is well-known in the independent film scene, with movies such as The Messenger, Rampart, and the forthcoming Kill Your Darlings. This production of Orphans will mark his Broadway debut.

Despite the slight disruption in the rehearsal process, Orphans is still scheduled to begin preview performances at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on March 19, with the official opening night set for April 7.

Les Miserables Returning To Broadway in 2014

Les MiseŽrables Broadway ShowIt turns out that you just can’t keep a good show closed. Though the original 15-year Broadway run of the global hit Les Miserables ended in 2003, and a Broadway revival in 2006 was relatively short-lived, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced today that he’ll be bringing the beloved musical back to Broadway next year.

The production of Les Miserables that will be coming to Broadway in March 2014 is a re-imagining of the musical which has been successfully touring across the U.S. and internationally. The New York Times has referred to this version of Les Miz as “a splendidly reworked, unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish”.

The combination of the attention that Les Miserables has recently received due to its successful, award-winning film adaptation starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, and the positive buzz that the touring production has received, is most likely what has prompted the show’s return to Broadway.

Cameron Mackintosh stated, “I am delighted that Broadway audiences will now join the millions of Americans who have already flocked to see this glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.”

Ann Starring Holland Taylor Starts on Broadway

Ann Broadway ShowHolland Taylor (TV’s Two and a Half Men) brings her one-woman play Ann to Broadway. Both starring and written by Taylor, Ann is starting preview performances at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater.

In Ann, Holland Taylor embodies one of Texas’ brightest stars, Governor Ann Richards, a colorful, larger-than-life woman who dedicated herself to her constituents and her friends and family. The show was previously presented at venues in Austin, San Antonio, and Galveston, as well as Chicago and Washington, D.C.

“I am so passionate about this new American play which also happens to be written by one of this generation’s greatest actors,” stated Bob Boyett, one of the Broadway production’s producers. Ann is scheduled to have its official opening on March 7.