Real Housewives Star To Perform Off-Broadway

Kandi BurrussKandi Burruss, one of the stars of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, will soon join the cast of the Off-Broadway show NEWSical The Musical. Her two-week stint in NEWSical will be from January 13-26, 2014.

“I am thrilled to join the cast of NEWSical The Musical,” said Kandi Burruss in a statement. “Having just come off of my own musical production, NEWSical The Musical furthers my journey in entertainment to, simultaneously, do more of what I love: act and sing.” As well as her role on the Atlanta edition of the popular Real Housewives franchise, Burruss is known as a songwriter and record producer.

NEWSical the Musical, which currently features Christine Pedi and Michael West, among others, is playing on Theatre Row at 410 W. 42nd Street. Tickets are $90 to $110. Go to www.NEWSicalthemusical.com for tickets and information.

Broadway Sings For Toys on December 16

The Broadway BoysThe 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.

Twelfth Night Goes Off-Broadway

Twelfth NightWhile audiences are enjoying the very Elizabethan-style version of Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance on Broadway, the Off-Broadway scene is getting its own take on the beloved Shakespearean romantic comedy of mixed identities this month, courtesy of the Essential Theatre Group.

Unlike the Broadway production, which has an all-male cast (as productions did in William Shakespeare’s own time), ETG’s production has a mixed-gender cast — no doubt a relief to those who already find the gender-bending Twelfth Night a little confusing at times. ETG’s Twelfth Night, which is directed by Tony Lance, also features original music by Conly Basham and Gillian Bell (a sample can be viewed here).

Twelfth Night plays December 13-21 at The Tank Theatre, located in Times Square at 151 West 46th Street on the 8th floor. Tickets are a budget-friendly $15 and can be purchased at twelfthnighttank.brownpapertickets.com.

Julie Taymor Appears at the 92nd Street Y November 17

Julie TaymorIn “From Stage to Screen and Back Again,” an event at the 92nd Street Y, theatrical visionary and Broadway director/designer Julie Taymor will discuss her work with actor Harry Lennix (who was in Taymor’s 1999 movie Titus).

Tony Award winner Julie Taymor is of course best known for her extraordinary work in Disney’s stage adaptation of The Lion King, which has remained one of Broadway’s biggest hits for 15 years. However, she became very controversial during the development and preview period of the multi-million dollar Broadway production of Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. Currently, she is directing a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn.

Julie Taymor will be at the 92nd Street Y on November 17 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by calling 212-415-5500 or by visiting www.92y.org.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/10/2013

Billy Crystal 700 SundaysBIG JUMP IN BROADWAY TICKET SALES
After a few weeks of falling sales, Broadway ticket sales made a big leap this week. Overall revenue swelled by more than $3 million, increasing from last week’s $22,476,709 to $25,659,018. This change is a strong sign that Broadway is officially entering its lucrative holiday season.

BILLY CRYSTAL PLAYS 700 SUNDAYS
Actor Billy Crystal has arrived on Broadway with a bang, starting preview performance of 700 Sundays at the Imperial Theatre this week. This return engagement of Crystal’s one-man Broadway show filled its theater to 87.20% capacity, selling tickets at an impressive average ticket price of $149.29, which already earned 700 Sundays entry into the Millionaire’s Club (at a weekly total of $1,147,436).

THE BOOK OF MORMON BEATS LION KING
Like last week, Wicked made the top of the Broadway grosses chart, taking in $1,864,819. However, perhaps the more notable fact was that The Book of Mormon came in second (at $1,767,155) ahead of third place finisher The Lion King ($1,705,540), which is an uncommon occurrence given the much smaller size of The Book of Mormon‘s theater and the enduring popularity of The Lion King.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending November 10, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
700 SUNDAYS $1,147,436 7,686 87.20% $149.29
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $354,837 5,865 86.35% $60.50
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $438,961 5,107 83.89% $85.95
A TIME TO KILL $230,794 3,991 62.20% $57.83
AFTER MIDNIGHT $585,515 7,076 85.38% $82.75
ANNIE $838,833 10,569 92.97% $79.37
BETRAYAL $1,245,258 8,424 100.00% $147.82
BIG FISH $600,339 7,595 67.28% $79.04
CHICAGO $575,717 7,122 82.43% $80.84
CINDERELLA $858,663 10,177 72.65% $84.37
FIRST DATE $399,240 6,002 70.18% $66.52
JERSEY BOYS $843,189 7,933 80.75% $106.29
KINKY BOOTS $1,671,806 11,433 100.36% $146.23
MACBETH $387,834 6,099 72.82% $63.59
MAMMA MIA! $645,791 7,715 82.71% $83.71
MATILDA $1,157,911 10,956 95.64% $105.69
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,333,883 11,085 91.95% $120.33
NEWSIES $749,821 8,110 85.55% $92.46
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $635,850 7,118 82.92% $89.33
ONCE $725,833 7,225 85.28% $100.46
PIPPIN $846,955 7,270 91.79% $116.50
ROCK OF AGES $406,067 4,372 93.74% $92.88
ROMEO AND JULIET $343,802 4,480 42.46% $76.74
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $810,162 10,036 79.25% $80.73
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,767,155 8,752 102.63% $201.91
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $674,956 5,575 89.57% $121.07
THE LION KING $1,705,540 13,398 98.51% $127.30
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $790,698 9,869 76.86% $80.12
THE SNOW GEESE $264,903 4,058 78.04% $65.28
THE WINSLOW BOY $264,605 3,922 66.25% $67.47
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $491,847 8,263 98.28% $59.52
WICKED $1,864,819 15,175 99.94% $122.89
Totals: $25,659,018 252,458 83.93% $96.71

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2013 nytix.com

Broadway and TV Actor Len Cariou To Perform at 54 Below

Len CariouTelevision audiences will recognize Len Cariou for his role on the hit TV show Blue Bloods, but Broadway fans have long appreciated the veteran actor for his Broadway work. Soon Cariou will be seen on the stage at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) performing beloved Gershwin songs.

Len Cariou will sing numbers by George and Ira Gershwin on December 11 at 7pm, December 13 at 8pm, and December 14 at 8pm. Tickets are $35 to $45, plus a $25 food/beverage minimum. More information can be found at www.54Below.com.

A Tony Award winner for his turn in the original Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney Todd, Len Cariou has also appeared on Broadway in the musicals Applause and A Little Night Music, as well as plays such as Proof and The Dinner Party.

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.

Gypsy of the Year Competition to Play Minskoff Theatre December 9-10

Gypsy of the YearBroadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) hosts a number of popular Broadway-related benefit events throughout the year, and the Annual Gypsy of the Year competition is one of the most loved. This year’s Gypsy of the Year will be held at the Minskoff Theatre, home to the long-running Disney musical The Lion King, on December 9 at 4:30pm and at December 10 at 2:00pm.

Now in its 25th year, Gypsy of the Year puts a spotlight on Broadway’s many ensemble dancers and singers, dedicated and talented performers — sometimes called “gypsies” — who don’t always get the glory but whose hard work is crucial to the vitality of Broadway. Over 200 of these Broadway gypsies will do original sketches, along with song and dance numbers, during the event.

The Gypsy of the Year performances in December will cap off a six-week fundraising push by the companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring shows as they try to raise money for BC/EFA. Since its inception, Gypsy of the Year has raised more than $50 million for charity. The company that raises the most funds will be recognized, as will the best performance.

You can purchase tickets to be in the audience for Gypsy of the Year by calling 212-840-0770 (ext. 268) or by visiting www.broadwaycares.org. Tickets range from $20-$110, with VIP tickets in the $200-$350 range.

Broadway Stars Join For Anti-Defamation League Concert

Side By Side Against HateOn November 25, a concert event titled “The Anti-Defamation League & Broadway: Side By Side Against Hate for 100 Years” will bring together several Broadway performers at the Hudson Theatre in the New York City theater district. The event will be held at 8pm.

Written by playwright Jonathan Tolins (Buyer & Cellar, Twilight of the Golds) and directed by Ted Sperling, the event commemorates the League’s 100 year history of fighting hate and bigotry through a selection of Broadway songs.

Eden Espinosa, Robert Cuccioli, Lillias White, Carolee Carmello, André De Shields, Randy Graff, Michael McElroy, Stephen DeRosa, Jesse Manocherian, Jason Robert Brown, and The Mark Stuart Dance Company are among those scheduled to participate in The Anti-Defamation League & Broadway concert.

Broadway writer Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello!, and She Loves Me) will be specially honored during the evening with a Lifetime Achievement Award (celebrating his 90th birthday, Harnick will even perform a duet with Randy Graff). Producer Harriet Newman Leve will be honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award and Adam Blanshay will be given a Future of Broadway Award.

Tickets for this benefit concert start at $75 and go as high as $1,000. Purchase online at adl.org/broadway100.

Broadway Performers Joel Grey and Brooke Shields Named Living Landmarks

Joel Grey

Joel Grey

Every year the New York Landmarks Conservancy honors people who they dub as “living landmarks,” and this year two stage performers of different generations, Joel Grey and Brooke Shields, will be recognized in their annual event taking place at The Plaza in Manhattan on November 14.

One of the most respected elder statesman of the Broadway theater, Joel Grey has starred in Broadway musicals such as Cabaret, Chicago, Wicked, and most recently Anything Goes. Brooke Shields initially gained fame in film and television, but she has also appeared on Broadway a number of times in productions like Grease, Wonderful Town, and The Addams Family.

A Living Landmark herself, Liz Smith, will host the event, and music will be provided by Peter Duchin and his Orchestra. Tickets for the Living Landmarks gala are a pricey $1,000 (or $10,000 for a table). Call 212-995-5260 or email JennaSmith@nylandmarks.org for tickets and information.