This year’s Broadway-musical-to-movie transfers didn’t fare too well with the Academy Awards nominating committee, which announced its picks this morning. Sweeney Todd, Tim Burton’s cinematic take on the 1979 Broadway musical, didn’t get a Best Picture nomination, but star Johnny Depp did receive a nod for Best Actor. Sweeney was also recognized for its Art Direction and Costume Design. Surprisingly, the Hairspray film — which was a critical and box office smash this summer — didn’t take away any Oscar nominations at all.
Idina Menzel, who was catapulted to Broadway fame in Wicked, will be celebrating the release of her new solo album I Stand at the Virgin Megastore (1540 Broadway) in Times Square. On January 29 at 6:30pm, Menzel will perform for fans and will also do a CD signing in the store. Wristbands to attend the event will be given to anyone who buys the CD there, beginning at 9am that morning. Besides Wicked, Menzel also appeared in the original Broadway company of Rent, and her other New York theater credits include Off-Broadway shows The Wild Party and See What I Wanna See.
The sweet, quirky Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ends its run at the Circle in the Square Theatre today. Spelling Bee was an Off-Broadway hit at the Second Stage Theatre before transferring to Broadway, where it has played over 1,100 performances. The show is about — what else? — a spelling bee, and in addition to the six cast members playing student spellers, four people from the audience also got to join the competition onstage each night. Spelling Bee lives on through its original Broadway cast recording, and no doubt many regional theaters will now be angling to produce it.
One book and three successful film incarnations later, Shrek is finally hitting Broadway this Fall in the form of a stage musical. Shrek The Musical will premiere at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in an engagement from August 14 to September 21 before arriving on Broadway in November. Directed by Jason Moore, Shrek has a book by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and a score by Jeanine Tesori.
American Idol finalist and popular singer Clay Aiken makes his Broadway debut tonight in Monty Python’s Spamalot. Aiken is playing the role of Sir Robin, originated on Broadway by David Hyde Pierce. Get discount tickets to Spamalot and see if Clay is a worthy “Broadway idol”.
David Mamet’s new play November has its official Broadway opening this evening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Starring Nathan Lane, November is a farcical comedy about an unpopular U.S. president in the midst of a disastrous re-election campaign.
It’s been rumored for years, but Rent has finally posted its Broadway closing notice. The seventh longest running Broadway musical of all time has announced that its final performance at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City will be on June 1st. News of the impending closing will undoubtedly drive up ticket sales, making it very possible that the show will actually extend through the summer — but that remains to be seen.
The closing of Rent will be the end of an era. A contemporary take on Puccini’s La Boheme, Rent opened in 1996 to rave reviews and brought a whole new generation to Broadway. The youth-oriented musical introduced the practice of selling discounted front row orchestra tickets for $20 on the day of performance, prompting many devoted fans to spend the night on line in front of the theater (until they began distributing tickets via lottery).
If you haven’t yet seen this groundbreaking musical on Broadway, or if you’re a “Rent-head” wanting to catch it again before the end, find out how to get your discount tickets here.
Mel Brooks, co-writer and composer of Broadway’s Young Frankenstein, will make an appearance at Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City today, from 5:00-7:00pm. Brooks will be signing copies of the musical’s original Broadway cast recording. Barnes & Noble is located at 1972 Broadway (at 66th Street).
Following a lot of positive buzz and ecstatic reviews, the new play August: Osage County is extending its run on Broadway an additional five weeks. The darkly funny dysfunctional family drama will now play the Imperial Theatre through April 13th. To get discount tickets to this Broadway smash, click here.
Sweeney Todd just won the Golden Globe award for Best Film (Musical or Comedy), and Sweeney himself, Johnny Depp, won the award for Best Actor! Unfortunately Broadway fans didn’t get to see Sweeney‘s triumph unfold with fanfare, since this year’s Globes were handed out in a press conference rather than the usual lavish ceremony. But, all the same, it’s a good day for Broadway!