Tomorrow, Monday, September 17, the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) starts! Over the course of the next three weeks, dozens of new musicals will be presented in theaters all around midtown as a part of the festival. Go to www.nymf.org to learn about the shows and get your tickets. Any one of these shows might be the next big Broadway hit!
Jerry Orbach, star of such Broadway musicals as the original productions of 42nd Street and Chicago, will be honored by New York City when a portion of 53rd Street at 8th Avenue is dubbed “Jerry Orbach Way” on Monday, September 17. Orbach’s breakout stage role was as El Gallo in the original Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks, and he became a beloved TV star late in his career playing Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order. Orbach died of cancer on December 28, 2004 at the age of 69.
The latest film from Julie Taymor, the Tony-winning director of The Lion King on Broadway, opens in limited release today (wide release is on September 21) — and it’s a musical! Across the Universe is a love story set in the 1960s that uses songs by The Beatles to tell its tale. Taymor’s wildly artistic — and often abstract — style is likely to make for an interesting and divisive movie.
This is your last chance to take advantage of the special “20 at 20” offer that allows you to get $20 tickets for a variety of Off-Broadway shows, including Altar Boyz, The Fantasticks, Forbidden Broadway, and Stomp. At 20 minutes before curtain, these and many other Off-Broadway plays and musicals will sell any remaining tickets to the show for just $20 each. This offer ends this Sunday, September 16. Visit www.offbroadway.com for a complete list of participating shows.
The DVD of the hit film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray is due in stores on November 20. The movie has already grossed $114 million at the box office in the United States alone, and DVD sales are likely to be strong as well.
“Rockers on Broadway” will be raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS with a special concert on October 22 saluting Motown music. The event will take place at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill at 8pm. Comedian Caroline Rhea will serve as host, while such Broadway performers as Billy Porter, Michael McElroy, Darlene Love, Tevin Campbell, Deborah Gibson, and Jersey Boys Daniel Reichard, J. Robert Spencer, and Christian Hoff rock out.
It’s official, MTV will be taping the Broadway production of Legally Blonde to air on television. They will premiere it at 1PM on Saturday, September 29 as a part of a Legally Blonde: The Musical special event that will also include “Pink Carpet” festivities at the Palace Theatre and backstage interviews with the cast. The MTV airing is bound to get many teens and tweens excited about seeing the show live on Broadway, so if you want to catch it at a discount, you better act quickly!
The movie version of the musical Nine, to be directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago), now has its international star-studded cast intact. Javier Bardem will star as Guido, and the various women in his life will be played by Penelope Cruz, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Marion Cotillard, and Sophia Loren. The Maury Yeston/Arthur Kopit musical, based on Federico Fellini’s film 8 1/2, had a glorious Broadway revival in 2003 starring Antonio Banderas and featuring the feminine talents of Jane Krakowski, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Chita Rivera. The original 1982 Broadway production starred Raul Julia in the lead role.
It has been announced that Mel Brooks’ latest film-to-Broadway venture, Young Frankenstein, will offer discount tickets via a daily lottery drawing. In an unusual move, though, the lotteries for the first two weeks of preview performances will all be held on one day, September 10. All during that day, from 10AM to 6PM, lotto entries will be accepted at the Hilton Theatre box office. Then, at 7PM, the actual drawing will be held in front of the McDonald’s across the street from the theater.
Word on the street is that MTV is negotiating to film a performance of the Broadway musical Legally Blonde to be aired on the popular music television network. There are a lot of potential problems with such a proposal (in the past, videotaped versions of Broadway shows haven’t aired on TV until after the production closed), but it would be a great boost for Broadway to have one of its own touted on a youth powerhouse like MTV.