Tickets for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) go on sale tomorrow, September 1st. To learn about the musicals playing at the festival this year, and to purchase tickets, visit www.nymf.org. Now in its fourth year, NYMF has become a major event for the Broadway community, where New York theater fans get to see fresh new musicals and producers get to scout for shows. The festival has had numerous success stories, the two most significant so far being Off-Broadway hits Altar Boyz and [title of show].
With the excitement of the Hairspray movie come and gone (though not completely — the film is still selling tickets), Broadway fans can now look to the future. There is Sweeney Todd coming to theaters in December, but for those looking for something a bit lighter, get ready for Summer 2008. That’s when the movie version of the ABBA musical Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Streep (!) and Pierce Brosnan (among many others), opens. USA Today has a “First Look” at the movie musical here. If you still want to catch the show on Broadway before seeing it on the big screen, get your tickets now.
Current star of Hairspray on Broadway, and former member of boy band phenomenon ‘Nsync, Lance Bass will host the “Broadway on Broadway” outdoor concert in Times Square this year. The annual free event, which features performances by cast members from current and upcoming Broadway shows, will take place on September 16 at 11:30am.
After 10 years on the road, the Broadway national tour of Chicago will end in San Diego on September 9. Meanwhile in New York, the Broadway production is still going strong. But even if you aren’t in NYC, you still may have a chance to see Chicago in your own town because there are already plans to launch a new national tour of the musical in 2008.
First it was a classic novel, then a classic film starring Gregory Peck, and now Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is becoming a play. The stage adaptation by Christopher Sergel will open at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle on September 19 and play through October 28. Patti Cohenour, who recently understudied the lead role in The Light in the Piazza on Broadway, headlines the cast.
The annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraising flea market will be held on Sunday, September 23rd this year. Several Broadway luminaries will be taking part in the event, including Bernadette Peters, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. The yearly event — in which Broadway memorabilia is sold and Broadway stars sign autographs for fans — takes place in Shubert Alley on West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.
The Year of Magical Thinking, starring Vanessa Redgrave, is having its final Broadway performance this Sunday, August 25. The one-woman play is based on Joan Didion’s recent memoir recounting the death of her husband and her daughter’s illness.
ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway, the recent documentary that covers the 2003-2004 Broadway season, will be released on DVD on October 16. The Dori Berinstein doc charts the progress of four Tony Award-nominated Broadway musicals — Avenue Q, Caroline or Change, Taboo, and Wicked — from pre-production all the way to Tony night.
Two of the season’s biggest Broadway shows are opening tonight — just not on Broadway. The new Mel Brooks musical, Young Frankenstein, is opening in Seattle, where it is having its pre-Broadway tryout. Meanwhile in Denver, Disney’s The Little Mermaid opens this evening as well. Out-of-town tryouts are common for Broadway-bound musicals as a way to fine tune the production before getting within earshot of merciless New York theatergoers. Frankenstein and Mermaid will have their official Broadway openings in November and December, respectively.
Kenneth Branagh, the actor/director behind accomplished film adaptations of Shakespeare classics like Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, now brings his take on another of the Bard’s romantic comedies to the small screen. As You Like It premieres tonight, August 21, on HBO. The movie stars such Broadway (and Hollywood) regulars as Kevin Kline, Alfred Molina, and Bryce Dallas Howard.