The classic 1950s Broadway musical Damn Yankees is going to be filmed for the big screen again. The original movie version of Damn Yankees starred Tab Hunter as all American good guy Joe Boyd and Ray Walston as the devilish Mr. Applegate who gives Joe his wish of being a baseball star. The new Damn Yankees musical film, to be produced by the guys who gave us the Hollywood Chicago and Hairspray, will star Jake Gyllenhaal and Jim Carrey in those roles. Damn Yankees was last seen on Broadway in a revival in 1994 starring Victor Garber and Bebe Neuwirth, as the devil’s favorite minion.
Speed-the-Plow, which has had no fewer than four actors play the lead during its limited run, now closes on Broadway today. The David Mamet play, which opened with Jeremy Piven (Entourage) in the role of Bobby Gould, has its final bow with William H. Macy, alongside Raul Esparza and Elisabeth Moss, who fortunately were spared the mercury attack that supposedly sidelined Piven.
There is also a second, unexpected Broadway closing today. The Story of My Life, a two-man musical starring Will Chase and Malcolm Gets, made a sudden closing announcement yesterday. Lackluster reviews and a lack of ticket sales appear to have doomed the two-hander, an original musical that some felt was far too “small” for Broadway. The Story of My Life will have only played five regular performances on Broadway when it shutters.
It’s been a long road to Broadway for the musical Next To Normal, a family drama written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, but it will finally arrive on the Great White Way this spring. Previously titled Feeling Electric, Next To Normal had workshops in NYC and was given a staged reading at the New York Musical Theatre Festival prior to opening Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre in 2008. The Second Stage production was well-received and led to rumors that the musical would transfer to Broadway, but, curiously, the show took another route. Following rewrites by the creative team, Next To Normal went on to another run, with almost the entire Off-Broadway cast intact, at Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage. Now Next To Normal, with the same cast and director as the Arena production, will at last come to Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, with an official Broadway opening scheduled for April 15.
It has just been announced that Laura Osnes, the star of the recent Broadway revival of Grease, will take over the lead in Broadway’s South Pacific when Kelli O’Hara departs the production in March. Replacing a Broadway veteran and multiple Tony nominee like O’Hara in a prestigious Broadway hit like South Pacific is a major sign of legitimacy for Osnes, who snagged her Broadway debut role as Sandy in Grease by winning a reality TV show, NBC’s Grease – You’re the One That I Want.
The magic is gone now that Harry Potter‘s Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths have taken their final bows in the Broadway run of Equus. This production of Peter Shaffer’s intense psychological play, which enjoyed a successful run in London previously, marked Radcliffe’s Broadway debut and earned the young actor much acclaim.
As it completed its lengthy run on Broadway, the musical Rent was filmed live and later aired at movie theaters across the country. The recording, titled Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway, is now available for purchase on DVD and, as of today, it can also be viewed on television via pay-per-view. Check your local listings.