Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening composer Duncan Sheik and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa have announced that they are going to create a new musical based on the notorious 1991 novel American Psycho (which also has a film version starring Christian Bale) about a yuppie Wall Street banker who turns murderous. American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has given his blessing to the endeavor, but there is not yet any production schedule planned, nor is there word on whether or not the musical will be headed for Broadway.
New York’s Jujamcyn Company, which owns and operates five Broadway theaters, has a new president. Broadway producer Jordan Roth is taking over as president of the theaters following the resignation of Rocco Landesman, who, after nearly 22 years in the job, will become chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts.
The 33-year-old Roth was formerly vice-president of the theater company, which, incidentally, was named for the three children of founder James Binger: Judith, James and Cynthia.
Roth helped bring the recent productions of “Spring Awakening” and “Hair” to the Broadway stage, as well as the not-so-successful Harvey Fierstein vehicle “A Catered Affair.” The Princeton-educated Roth clearly has great hopes for the company: he also purchased a share in it.
The theaters owned by the Jujamcyn Company currently house such shows as “Hair” (the Al Hirschfeld Theatre) and “Jersey Boys,” currently residing in the August Wilson Theatre.
In the upcoming season, revivals of “Finian’s Rainbow” and Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” will be housed in Jujamcyn Theaters as well, as will the new musical “Fela,” a look at Nigerian Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
Roth has said in interviews that he’s an admirer of the business strategy behind premium-priced tickets (read: higher-priced tickets) that are available to segments of the population willing to pay over-the-top prices; but he also claims that the company will continue to help theatergoers have easier access to tickets and information, as well as to have a top-of-the-line theater experience.
Theater is clearly in Roth’s DNA: His mother, Daryl Roth, produced six Pultizer-Prize winning plays.
Principal casting for the upcoming musical version of Green Day’s hit album American Idiot has been announced. Talented Tony-winning actor John Gallagher Jr. (Spring Awakening, Rabbit Hole) will star as Johnny, and he will be joined by Tony Vincent (Jesus Christ Superstar) as St. Jimmy, Michael Esper (A Man For All Seasons) as Will, Matt Caplan (Rent) as Tunny, Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange) as Whatsername, and Mary Faber (Avenue Q) as Heather, as well as a large ensemble of youthful performers. The production, which will open at the Berkeley Rep in September, will re-unite John Gallagher Jr. with his Spring Awakening director, Michael Mayer.
Spamalot won’t be the only Broadway musical to close on January 18. It has just been announced that Spring Awakening will also take its final Broadway bow that day. Hairspray, too, will shut its doors at the beginning of the year, closing on January 4. Seeing such significant Broadway shows – all Tony-winning musicals, all having enjoyed a lot of box office success – go down all at once is dispiriting. It’s not a very good sign for the health of Broadway. That said, the truth is that all of these shows have had less than impressive ticket sales for awhile now, so it isn’t a huge surprise. To get discount tickets to these shows while they’re still on Broadway, click here.
Tony-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening, which has been lauded for its rock score by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, now has a second recording that fans can enjoy along with the original Broadway cast recording. “Spring Awakening: Live from SoHo” features six tracks that composer Sheik re-arranged for a seven-piece acoustic band. Sheik himself, along with a couple original cast members and a couple from the current Broadway cast, sing on the recording. “Spring Awakening: Live from SoHo” is now available as a digital EP on iTunes.
Believe it or not, Broadway producers have found yet another way to fleece Broadway theatergoers. First they decided to start charging the same price for the entire orchestra section, then they started selling the very best seats for insanely high “premium seat” prices, and now some of them have decided to mark up the aisle seats as well. Many people prefer the aisle because of the added leg room, and now those people are going to have to pay extra for that comfort. Only a few Broadway shows – Gypsy, Spring Awakening, and the upcoming Broadway revival of The Seagull – have adopted the higher aisle seat pricing so far, but history has shown that once one Broadway show introduces a higher pricing model, the others soon follow. The upcharge amounts to about $15-$25, depending on the show. Furthermore, these higher-priced Broadway aisle seats are only sold in pairs, meaning that one person is paying the aisle price without even getting the benefit. What will they think of next?
Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele, who have played the leads in both the Off-Broadway production and the Broadway transfer of Spring Awakening, have their final performance at the Tony Award-winning musical today. Michele has been with the show since its early stages, and Groff earned a Tony nomination for his turn as Melchior in the Broadway hit. They will be succeeded by Kyle Riabko and Alexandra Socha. To get discount tickets to see Spring Awakening on Broadway, click here.
It has been announced that a national tour of the 2007 Tony-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening will launch this summer on the West Coast. San Francisco, Washington D.C., Portland, Tampa, East Lansing, Louisville, and Seattle are among the cities scheduled to host the tour in its first year. Spring Awakening continues to go strong on Broadway — you can get discount tickets to see the Broadway production here.
The original Broadway cast recording of the smash Broadway musical Spring Awakening just won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Lyricist Steven Sater and composer Duncan Sheik accepted the award. The category’s other nominees were the Broadway cast recordings for Grey Gardens, the revivals of A Chorus Line and Company, and West Side Story.
The Drama Book Shop (250 W. 40th Street) will host a Spring Awakening event on Tuesday, November 13 at 5pm. Authors Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik will be there to sign copies of the libretto to their groundbreaking Broadway musical, and cast members John Gallagher Jr. and Jennifer Damiano will perform a song.