The Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots is currently one of Broadway’s top-grossing shows, bringing in big audiences night after night. And later this year, people outside of New York City will finally get a chance to see the crowd-pleasing tuner. The first national tour of Kinky Boots will start off in Las Vegas at the Smith Center on September 4, 2014.
Based on the British film of the same name, Kinky Boots is about a young shoe manufacturer who saves his family business by focusing on making footwear for an untapped market — drag queens. The musical, directed and choregraphed by Jerry Mitchell, has a book by Harvey Fierstein and score by pop star Cyndi Lauper.
Kinky Boots can currently be seen on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 W. 45th Street), where it opened on April 4, 2013. Tickets are available at www.telecharge.com.
A pioneer in interactive theater, the former long-running Off-Broadway hit Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding is coming back to New York City’s Off-Broadway scene this year. Starting March 5, the two-part theater piece will play at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School (120 W. 46th Street) in midtown Manhattan where Tony and Tina’s comedic wedding ceremony will take place. The audience will then be led by the show’s performers (playing the bridal party and Tony and Tina’s friends and family) through Times Square to Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar (220 W. 44th Street), where they will eat an Italian buffet, enjoy cocktails, and dance to a DJ.
Brought to life by Hofstra University undergrads Nancy Cassaro and Mark Nasser in 1985, Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding went on to have a long commercial run in Greenwich Village, followed by a 10-year run in Times Square.
Tickets for this new production of the interactive performance piece are $125-175. Performances will be held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7pm, along with 2pm Saturday matinees and 3pm Sunday matinees. Visit www.TonyLovesTina.com or call 866-811-4111 for tickets and information.
The Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! that has played London’s West End may not have yet made it to Broadway, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of Broadway performers who love the famed British pop group. In fact, many of them will be gathering at 54 Below on January 13 at 11:30pm for a special concert dubbed “Broadway Loves the Spice Girls”.
Well over a dozen New York City actors will perform new vocal arrangements (written by Benjamin Rauhala) of the Spice Girls’ many hits, including “Wannabe” and “2 Become 1″. The list of performers slated for the concert include Ashley Kate Adams, Stephanie Umoh, Kate Loprest, Jason Gotay, Gabrielle McClinton, Emily McNamara, and Darren Bluestone.
The cover charge for the concert is $10, and there is also a $20 food/drink minimum. To purchase tickets or learn more, go to www.54Below.com.
Billy Crystal’s return production of 700 Sundays, which is playing for a limited time at the Imperial Theatre through January 5, has proved to be a major Broadway hit this season. But if you haven’t been able to score tickets to Crystal’s one-man show, you will be able to see it on HBO next year. On January 3 and 4, 700 Sundays will be taped to broadcast in 2014 on the premium cable network.
“Billy Crystal has been a beloved member of the HBO family for more than three decades,” stated president of HBO Programming, Michael Lombardo. “It’s thrilling to us that he decided to let us film this legendary theatrical event.”
700 Sundays, which originally played on Broadway several years ago (and won a 2005 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event), is Billy Crystal’s dramatic memoir in which he talks about growing up in New York City and in particular the cherished Sundays that he spent with his dad.
The long-running hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys, playing at the August Wilson Theatre in New York City, has announced that it will be offering a “Winter Weather Guarantee” to people who buy tickets for performances taking place from January 2 to March 30, 2014.
Given that winter storms can wreak havoc on the roads and shut down airports, this guarantee is particularly helpful for tourists or people who have to commute significant distances to get into the city.
The guarantee allows Jersey Boys ticket holders to exchange tickets for those performances for tickets to any other performance that is currently on sale. Learn more about the details of the “Winter Weather Guarantee” policy at www.JerseyBoysBroadway.com/Winter.
The classic John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men will come to the Broadway stage early next year in a new production starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, and Leighton Meester. Anna D. Shapiro will direct the production, which will mark the first time that Of Mice and Men has been seen on Broadway in 40 years.
James Franco (Oz the Great and Powerful, 127 Hours) will take on the main role of George, while O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) will play his sweet but simple-minded friend Lennie. Meester (TV’s Gossip Girl) will play Curley’s wife.
Of Mice and Men will start preview performances at the Longacre Theatre on March 19, 2014, with opening night scheduled for April 16. The production will be a limited engagement, playing until July 27. Tickets go onsale on January 11. Find out more information at OfMiceAndMenOnBroadway.com.
Kandi 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.
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.
While 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.
In “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.