Marc Platt, the producer behind Broadway shows and films (e.g. Legally Blonde on screen, the new Nine movie, the upcoming Broadway revival of Pal Joey), has made it known that he is looking forward to making his Broadway smash Wicked into a feature film. The Wicked movie is still in the very early planning stages, but the Broadway show’s bookwriter, Winnie Holzman, is expected to write the screenplay. Platt is also interested in doing a new film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
Whoopi Goldberg will soon join the Broadway cast of Xanadu. Movie star and co-host of The View Goldberg will be taking on the role of the wise-cracking muse Calliope, currently being played by Jackie Hoffman. Goldberg will be in the silly Broadway musical from July 29 to September 7, while The View is on hiatus and Hoffman is on leave from the show. To get discount tickets to see Whoopi in Xanadu, click here.
The David Mamet comedy November, starring Nathan Lane, ended its Broadway run today. The play about a fictional U.S. president up for re-election opened at Broadway’s Barrymore Theatre in January and was greeted with lukewarm reviews. Lane’s presence helped November to continue running on Broadway throughout the spring, but after it was announced that Lane would depart the production in July, the producers decided to go ahead and close the show.
The tenth edition of the “Broadway Barks” pet adopt-a-thon comes to Shubert Alley on the afternoon of July 12. The event, which starts at 3:30pm, will be hosted by “Broadway Barks” co-founders Mary Tyler Moore and Broadway baby Bernadette Peters and will feature numerous celebrity guests, including Nathan Lane (Broadway’s November), Christine Baranski (the new Mamma Mia film), Mario Lopez (Broadway’s A Chorus Line), Glenn Close, Peter Gallagher (Broadway revival of The Country Girl), and Bebe Neuwirth (TV’s Frasier, Broadway’s Chicago). The celebs will take part in the “pet presentation” part of the event at 5:30, and there will also be autographed material on sale to benefit animal shelters. “Broadway Barks 10” will take place in Shubert Alley, located in Times Square between Broadway and 8th Avenue, and between 44th Street and 45th Street.
The forthcoming Broadway revival of David Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow has just added a new cast member – Raul Esparza. Esparza, whose most recent Broadway gig was in the Broadway revival of Pinter’s The Homecoming, will play Hollywood producer Charlie Fox. As previously announced, Jeremy Piven (TV’s Entourage) will be starring in the play in the role of Bobby Gould.
Lots of Passing Strange in the news these days, and unfortunately the latest isn’t good. The new musical, which transferred to Broadway earlier this year following a successful Public Theater run, has been struggling ever since it hit Broadway. Although it did well during awards season, Passing Strange failed to nab the big prize, the Tony Award, which was probably its last shot at getting a significant surge in ticket sales. As a result, the exciting rock musical by Stew and Heidi Rodewald will be ending its Broadway run at the Belasco Theatre on July 20 (the day after Spike Lee does his live filming of the show). To get discount tickets for Passing Strange on Broadway before it closes, click here.
It has been confirmed that Spike Lee will indeed be filming the Broadway production of Passing Strange, and he will be doing it quite soon – on July 19. Lee will capture both the matinee and evening shows that day, and then record two more performances without the audience later on. How the filmed version of Passing Strange will eventually be distributed has not yet been decided. When Broadway shows are taped for release, they usually turn up on cable or on PBS, but the Passing Strange producers have not ruled out the possibility of a releasing it in movie theaters.
Yet another movie is on the verge of becoming a Broadway show. Broadway and Off-Broadway producer Daryl Roth has purchased the stage rights for the recent British independent film Kinky Boots and plans to make it into a Broadway musical. A creative team has not yet been announced, but reportedly Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde) is in talks to direct.
Maury Yeston, the composer/lyricist of the Broadway musical Nine, is writing additional songs to be included in the new Rob Marshall-helmed movie version of the musical. Although Antonio Banderas created a sensation on Broadway a few years ago when he starred as Guido Contini in the first Broadway revival of Nine, it was Javier Bardem that initially nabbed the role for the movie version. However, Bardem recently dropped out and it is now Daniel Day-Lewis who will be taking on the part of the Italian filmmaker. Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz are also on board to co-star.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses, produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, closes on Broadway today. Starring Laura Linney and Ben Daniels, the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival has played out its limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre. That theater will now be empty until September, when Roundabout’s A Man For All Seasons begins performances.