David Yazbek, the alternative rock songwriter who made his foray into Broadway with his quirky pop-infused score for The Full Monty, is performing in downtown New York City at Joe’s Pub tonight. Yazbek is playing with his band His Warmest Regards, in celebration of their new album “Evil Monkey Man”. But Yazbek hasn’t stopped his Broadway work – his recent Broadway musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was well-liked, and he now working on the Broadway-bound Bruce Lee musical. Find out more about David Yazbek and his work here.
Generally the annual Tony Awards telecast only features musical numbers from currently nominated Broadway musicals, but this year’s Tony broadcast is also going to feature appearances by the casts of two formerly nominated Broadway shows, The Lion King and Rent. The Lion King‘s return performance is in honor of the long-running Broadway musical’s 10-year anniversary (the “Disney on Broadway” hit is still going strong and selling out regularly). For Rent, the return will be more bittersweet, since that 1996 Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon is finally calling it quits and closing its Broadway production in September. However, Rent has enjoyed a long and good life on Broadway, having played for over 12 years.
Move over High School Musical, there is a new teen musical on the scene, and it’s coming to Broadway! Jason Robert Brown, Dan Elish, and Robert Horn’s 13, which is currently in the midst of an engagement at the Goodspeed in Connecticut, is now planning to begin performances on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (current home of the Broadway revival of The Country Girl) on September 16. Teenagers are the stars of the junior high school-based fish-out-of-water story in 13, which also has a band made up of teens. The Broadway-bound musical is directed by Jeremy Sams, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli and music direction by Tom Kitt. Jason Robert Brown, who has penned the score, made his Broadway songwriting debut with Parade in 1998, and more recently appeared on the Broadway stage as the bandleader in Urban Cowboy.
The Public Theater’s “Shakespeare in the Park” season begins at Central Park’s Delacorte Theatre tonight with the first performance of Hamlet. Michael Stuhlbarg, who has appeared on Broadway in plays such as The Invention of Love and The Pillowman, is starring as the troubled title character. Stuhlbarg is ably supported by a talented cast, including Lauren Ambrose (Broadway’s Awake and Sing!) as Ophelia, Sam Waterston (Law & Order) as Polonius, Andre Braugher as Claudius, and Margaret Colin (seen on Broadway last season in Old Acquaintance) as Gertrude.
Passing Strange, the new Broadway musical that is already racking up awards right and left, will celebrate the release of its original Broadway cast album on iTunes tomorrow at a listening party being held at Saju Bistro. Saju Bistro is located at 120 W. 44th Street, right across from the Belasco Theatre where Passing Strange plays. Fans and the general public are welcome to join Passing Strange‘s cast, crew, and creative team at the (free) party, which will commence at 9:30pm on Tuesday, May 27, immediately following the 7pm performance of the show. Passing Strange‘s Broadway cast recording is being released on iTunes tomorrow as a “Digital Exclusive Release,” and will be available on CD in July.
Long-running Off-Broadway tourist trap I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will finally close this July. The four-person musical revue about dating and relationships has played at Off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre since the summer of 1996. With a total of more than 5,000 performances, I Love You … will be the second longest-running Off-Broadway musical in history when it closes on July 27.
The new Broadway production of Macbeth, which originated at the Chichester Festival Theatre in England last year, concludes its Broadway run tonight. The production transferred to Broadway earlier this Spring due to the critical acclaim received during its brief engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. This Macbeth starred Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the ambitious title character, under the direction of Rupert Goold. And even though Stewart and company are leaving Broadway already, they may want to drop in again on June 15, when their show will be competing for Tony Awards in six categories, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Leading Actor in a Play, and Best Leading Actress (for Lady Macbeth, Kate Fleetwood).
On July 10, “Broadway in Bryant Park” kicks off with performances by the casts of Broadway shows Chicago, Spamalot, Cry-Baby, and the forthcoming [title of show], plus Off-Broadway’s Stomp. The annual series takes place on Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:30pm on the lawn in New York City’s Bryant Park (6th Avenue, between 40th and 42nd street). The concerts will feature performances from several other Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals through August 14.
If you can’t see the final performance of the long-running Broadway musical Rent on Broadway, then don’t worry – you can just catch it at the cineplex. Rent will be a part of “The Hot Ticket,” a new venture that will put filmed versions of live performance and sporting events into movie houses. Rent, which will have its final Broadway performance on September 7, will be coming to movie theaters at a later date to be announced.
The idea of a Broadway musical about martial arts legend Bruce Lee might seem a bit crazy, but the just-announced Broadway-bound Bruce Lee: Journey to the West actually sounds pretty intriguing. The musical-in-the-marking has a crack creative team headed by writer David Henry Hwang (M Butterfly), songwriter David Yazbek (The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), and director Barlett Sher (the current Broadway revival of South Pacific) – a group of such diverse and exceptional talents is likely to create something quite interesting. The show is going to fuse “sources as diverse as martial arts, Chinese Opera, modern dance, and pop music,” in an effort to tell the story of how Bruce Lee “struggles to master his skills, purify his spirit and forge a link to unite East and West”. Bruce Lee: Journey to the West is planning to arrive on Broadway in the 2010-2011 season.