The massively successful original Broadway production of The Lion King continues to run after over 10 years, and other incarnations have popped up in cities across the United States. Now the Julie Taymor-directed Disney musical based on the animated film will have a sit-down production in Las Vegas. Although many Broadway transfers have crashed and burned in Vegas, The Lion King seems like a good candidate for a successful desert city production since it is big on theatrics and recognizable songs, but short on plot. The Lion King will open at the Mandalay Bay Theatre, where Mamma Mia! is concluding its lengthy run, on May 2, 2009.
The Broadway musical Xanadu has its final performance on Broadway this afternoon. Based on the flop film musical starring Olivia Newton-John, Broadway’s Xanadu featured Kerry Butler as a Greek muse and Cheyenne Jackson as the artist who she inspired. The Tony-nominated show, featuring a slew of memorable pop songs, played over 500 performances at the Helen Hayes Theatre before having its final performance on Broadway today. Xanadu is expected to have a production in London soon.
Just when we thought we’d seen it all as far as Broadway musical adaptations go, here comes the announcement that the brutally satiric Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho (also a film starring Christian Bale) is aiming to hit the Broadway stage. Producers are working to make it happen, along with the blessing of the book’s author, but a creative team has yet to be announced. So far the plan is for the Broadway version of American Psycho to include a mix of original music and hit songs from the ’80s.
The Broadway revival of Equus opens tonight at the Broadhurst Theatre. The production, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths (both best known from the Harry Potter franchise), comes to Broadway following a successful run in London. This limited Broadway run of Equus, scheduled to play through February 8, marks Radcliffe’s Broadway debut and Griffiths return to the Great White Way – he first appeared on Broadway in The History Boys (playing a role won him a Tony Award).
The bad economy appears to be taking a heavy toll on Broadway. In just a week’s time we’ve had closing announcements from Xanadu and [title of show], and now comes the word that Legally Blonde will have its final Broadway performance on October 19. Although the musical (based on the popular film of the same name) has managed okay during its year and a half run, Legally Blonde has had to resort to some high profile stunts in order to maintain ticket sales, such as participating in the MTV reality TV series “The Search for Elle Woods”. Legally Blonde will close at Broadway’s Palace Theater on October 19 having played 595 performances.
It was only a few days ago that Xanadu announced it would be ending its Broadway run on October 12, but today came the news that the campy musical will be wrapping up even earlier. Xanadu is now scheduled to have its final Broadway performance on September 28. Get discount tickets to see the show while you still can!
The 60th Annual Emmy Awards that aired last night could have just as easily been a Tony Awards ceremony, considering all the Broadway regulars who accepted awards. Winners Jeremy Piven (Entourage) and Dianne Wiest (In Treatment) are both appearing on Broadway this season, in Speed-the-Plow and All My Sons, respectively. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, who won for playing John and Abigail Adams, both have extensive theater credits, though Linney is more frequently seen on Broadway than Giamatti these days. Zeljko Ivanek, Eileen Atkins, and Alec Baldwin, as well as Jean Smart and Glenn Close, all honored for their TV work this year with Emmys, have traversed the Broadway stage as well.
On the heels of Xanadu‘s announcement of its impending closing comes the news that another small musical, [title of show], is calling it quits on the same day. [title of show] was the first show of this Broadway season, opening mid-summer, and it will close having played only 102 official performances on Broadway. Because of the “insider” nature of this ‘musical about writing a Broadway musical’, bringing [title of show] to Broadway was always a big financial risk, but stars and creators Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell are no doubt pleased to have been able to realize their dream of making it to Broadway, even if only for a few months.
Broadway’s Xanadu, the new musical based on the infamous film musical flop, will be closing on October 12. With a new book by Douglas Carter Beane, and featuring the disco-pop songs from the movie, Xanadu is a campy, colorful laughfest that caters more to the sensibilities of Broadway fanatics. For that reason, most people didn’t think it would last long, but the show snagged great reviews when it opened last summer and managed a healthy run. When it closes, Xanadu will have played 49 previews and 528 regular Broadway performances.
Lively post-show talkbacks with cast, crew, and creative team members are a staple at regional theaters and Off-Broadway theaters, but they’re less common at Broadway shows. And they’re pretty much unheard of for long-running Broadway musicals. But the Tony-winning Chicago is bucking the trend by introducing “Talkback Tuesdays,” a Q&A session to be held once a month following a designated performance. The first talkback at the Ambassador Theatre will be with Chicago‘s director, Walter Bobbie, following the September 23 performance of the show.