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.
This weekend is your final opportunity to see three shows that will be having their final bow on Sunday, July 29. One of them, 110 in the Shade, was a limited run, so the closing was scheduled. Grey Gardens opened on Broadway this past season, after transferring from Off-Broadway, but was unfortunately not able to sell enough tickets to keep going. Beauty and the Beast, on the other hand, has had a smash run of 13 years – it was the first of the Disney-on-Broadway musicals, and will be closing to make way for Disney’s latest, The Little Mermaid.
Tonight, the new Broadway production of Grease will have its first official performance. Stars Max Crumm and Laura Osnes won the lead roles of Danny and Sandy on the reality TV series Grease – You’re the One That I Want, which aired earlier this year on NBC.
Hairspray made over $11 million at the box office on its opening day, beating out behemoth Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (though, just barely, losing the top spot to I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry). The reviews for the Hairspray movie have been outstanding, registering an impressive 94% positive review rate at RottenTomatoes.com. And thanks to all the publicity for the film, the Broadway show has been getting a big boost in attendance as well.
It’s always exciting when a Broadway musical is made into a film, especially since the age of the movie musical has long since passed. The Broadway community always holds its collective breath, waiting to find out whether or not the film will be well-received. Unfortunately the track record has been a little hit-or-miss lately. When Chicago won the Academy Award a few years ago, everybody was proclaiming that Hollywood musicals had made a comeback. However, The Producers and Rent movies didn’t do very well, and even Dreamgirls was considered a little disappointing. So will the new film version of the musical Hairspray be the next Broadway-to-Hollywood smash? For that matter, will it be a creative success? Head to the movie theater this weekend and find out!
The 1967 Oscar-winning film Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? will be coming to Broadway in 2008 in a production directed by Kenny Leon and adapted for the stage by Todd Kreidler (from William Rose’s screenplay). The movie starred Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as a married couple who are surprised to find that their daughter is marrying a black man, famously played by Sidney Poitier.
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.