Kenny Ortega To Direct In the Heights Movie Musical

In the Heights Broadway ShowIt has recently been announced in Variety that director/choreographer Kenny Ortega will be helming the forthcoming film version of the multiple Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical In the Heights. This development could bode very well for the movie of In the Heights, as Ortega has already led the High School Musical franchise on to multi-millionaire dollar success and worldwide fame. Kenny Ortega also directed the Disney cult favorite musical Newsies (starring Christian Bale) and the recent Michael Jackson concert film This Is It. Other details are still sketchy about the upcoming In the Heights musical film, but it is known that the current plan is for co-creator and original star Lin-Manual Miranda to reprise his lead role as Usnavi. And the show’s Tony-nominated bookwriter, Quiara Alegria Hudes, will be writing the adapted screenplay.

Have a New York Kind of Day During the Holidays

Columbus Circle Holiday MarketDuring the Christmas season, everyone should have a New York holiday kind of day. The one we’re detailing is particularly good if you happen to have kids in tow, but everyone will appreciate it.
Have plenty of stamina, and start off at the Ziegfeld Theater (141 West 54th Street). Though the original was razed, this gigantic theater is like nothing else around, bursting with more than 1100 seats. See “The Princess and the Frog,” the newest Disney offering, featuring the first African-American princess (she wants to run a restaurant–let’s hear it for girl power) and a return to hand-drawn animation. Before you go, check out Disney classics like “Snow White,” “Cinderella” and Sleeping Beauty” to remind yourself how fabulous these animated movies are.
When you’re done, surely you’ve forgotten to buy a gift for Aunt Frieda. Trek over to the Columbus Circle Holiday Fair, near the Time Warner Center. The same folks who bring us the Union Square Market have organized it, and the market features more than 100 vendors with a nice array of crafts and goodies. (Daily; 10 am-8 pm; Enter near the southwest entrance to Central Park at Central Park West and Central Park South; call 212 529-9262 for more info).
Finally, finish off your evening with Paul Winter’s 30th annual winter solstice celebration at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue; 212 316-7750). The concerts run tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, and feature Winter’s orchestra as well as a dance performance and special guests.
Tired yet? You will be—there’s always more to do tomorrow in New York at the holidays.

The Upper East Side May be Posh, But It’s Also Polluted

Upper East SideThe Upper East Side of Manhattan may have wealthy residents, posh stores, elegant restaurants, and a kind of “Gossip Girl” elitism and glamour–but it also has among the highest levels of air pollution in the city.
The first comprehensive study of street-level air quality was released yesterday by the City’s Department of Health. It showed, surprisingly, that New York’s Upper East Side and the Bronx have the highest levels of air pollution in the city.
The highest levels of pollution are found in areas that have heavy car and truck traffic and a high concentration of buildings with oil heat.
Washington Heights and midtown Manhattan also fared poorly in the survey, while the South Shore of Staten Island and Little Neck and Bayside n Queens were found to have the cleanest air. One hundred and fifty mounted sensors tracked pollutants like sulfur dioxide and elemental carbon as well as the airborne pollutants given off by oil heat. No. 4 and No. 6 oil are particularly bad.
The pollutants contribute to asthma, irritate lungs, and can even lead to heart attacks.
Ironically, New York’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg lives on the Upper East Side—and he’s a staunch advocate of clean air policies. (When the survey was released, he was—wait for it–in Copenhagen at the Clean Air/Global Warming Conference.)
No word yet on whether Blair and Serena are moving.

Memphis

As low as $51.50 on Tickets CODE IS: METIX0825
Memphis Discount Ticket Code on Broadway in New York City

$51.50 – $86.50 on select performances of Memphis on Broadway
These prices apply to performances through March 14th 2010
and are available on select orchestra and front mezzanine seats.

CODE IS: METIX0825
Prices are
$51.50 Front Balcony seats for all performances
$71.50 Orch/Mezz to all perfs thru 1/3/10 and for Mon-Fri and Sunday eve thru 3/14
$86.50 Orch/Mezz for Saturday perfs and Sunday matinees 1/5 – 3/14/10

Tickets available at the box office, BROADWAYOFFERS.COM or call 212-947-8844 and use code METIX0825

Offer is subject to availability and prior sale and valid on selected locations. Regular Orch/Mezz prices $121.50 (Tue – Fri), $126.50 (Sat – Sun). Regular Front Balcony price $66.50. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer and may be revoked or modified at any time. Not valid on prior purchases. Limit 8 tickets per order. No refunds or exchanges. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees. All prices include a $1.50 facilities fee. Valid for performances through 3/14/10.

Discount Broadway Ticket Code supplied by http://www.nytix.com/

Nine Soundtrack Now Available Online

The original motion picture soundtrack to Rob Marshall’s film adaptation of the musical Nine is now available to be purchased and downloaded online. The actual CD will be released in stores on December 22. The 16-track recording features several songs from the original Broadway score, including “Guido’s Song” (sung by Daniel Day-Lewis), “A Call From the Vatican” (Penelope Cruz), “Be Italian” (Fergie), “My Husband Makes Movies” (Marion Cotillard), “Cinema Italiano” (Kate Hudson), and “Unusual Way” (Nicole Kidman). There are also a couple new songs that composer/lyricist Maury Yeston wrote specifically for the movie, as well as four bonus tracks. The film Nine, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a troubled Italian movie director, opens nationwide on December 25.

Soundtrack To Film Musical Nine Now Available For Digital Download

Daniel Day-LewisThe original motion picture soundtrack to Rob Marshall’s film adaptation of the musical Nine is now available to be purchased and downloaded online. The actual CD will be released in stores on December 22. The 16-track recording features several songs from the original Broadway score, including “Guido’s Song” (sung by Daniel Day-Lewis), “A Call From the Vatican” (Penelope Cruz), “Be Italian” (Fergie), “My Husband Makes Movies” (Marion Cotillard), “Cinema Italiano” (Kate Hudson), and “Unusual Way” (Nicole Kidman). There are also a couple new songs that composer/lyricist Maury Yeston wrote specifically for the movie, as well as four bonus tracks. The film Nine, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a troubled Italian movie director, opens nationwide on December 25.

Take Your Bike to Work Days Kick in Across the City

Bike near a NYC freight elevatorLots of bike-related news in New York lately: First came the study about bike lanes being blocked frequently (you read about it here…) and now comes a new law that mandates bike access to office buildings.
The law went into effect last Friday; it states that building managers must make bike access plans and allow bicycles in freight elevators. (The law, as makes sense, only applies to buildings with freight elevators.)
But like most New York City laws, there’s a catch: Employers don’t have to actually make a space for the bikes to be stored. So you can ride your bike to work, get it upstairs to your office–and then you’re on your own. (Perhaps it can share your cubicle?)
Another drawback: Access only has to be granted during the hours the freight elevators run, which can sometimes end as early as 6 pm. Plus, of course, there’s paperwork—bikers may need to fill out forms asking landlords to create a bike access plan, and some buildings may be exempt (for instance, a freight area may not be safe.)
Still, the law at least makes a start in allowing New Yorkers a greener (and often faster) way to get to work. In addition, it eliminates the worry of having to park a bike on the street.
And should you decide to join the cycling hordes, when all around you are gnashing their teeth waiting for the next bus or subway car, you can smile smugly and pedal on.

Jennifer Morrison Joins Cast of Broadway’s The Miracle Worker

Jennifer MorrisonJennifer Morrison, who recently left the popular Fox television show House, is now heading for Broadway. Morrison will be joining the cast of the Broadway revival of William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker in the role of Helen Keller’s mother, Kate Keller. Also joining the cast is actor Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, Married To the Mob), who will play Captain Keller. This production, which opens on Broadway this Spring, will mark the Broadway debuts for both Jennifer Morrison and Matthew Modine.

We Wish You an Edgy Christmas, New York Style

Cartier's Holiday DecorationsThe holiday windows in the major department stores in New York are always fabulous (see blog a few weeks ago…) but this is New York, after all, and sometimes you want edgy or offbeat, not small-town charm. With that in mind, check out some of the smaller designer stores along Madison and Fifth Avenues to see what they’ve come up with this Christmas season.
Cartier, with its gigantic red ribbon wrapping the store, always has its display up bright and early (November this year) but it’s always worth a look at the building festooned like a gift. (Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street).
Not edgy enough for you? Wander on over to Calvin Klein (654 Madison Avenue) to gaze at the 850 pounds of glitter resembling dripping paint. The nod to the holidays comes in the form of an open picture book featuring Christmas trees.
Over at Louis Vuitton on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the theme is “Departures,” but it’s the kind of traveling that is clearly only done by bored skinny world travelers who prefer cream and gold tones and whose endless itinerary make us faint at merely the thought of packing. Still, the windows are worth a look.
At Oscar de la Renta (772 Madison Avenue) the Christmas tree is actually a ball gown; and at Donna Karan (819 Madison Avenue) ponder the Halloween-like display featuring a plucked fir tree painted white against a black backdrop inside the store.
Too edgy? Have a fortifying cup of cocoa, and march on over to Macy’s, where it’s always an old-fashioned Christmas.

Finian’s Rainbow Broadway Show Review

Finian's Rainbow Broadway MusicalShow Summary
An Irish man and his daughter are hounded by an irate leprechaun when they take his crock of gold and bring it to the mythical state of Missitucky in this revival of the 1940s musical.

Broadway Review
Finian’s Rainbow is a very unusual musical, with its mix of magic, wit, and socio-political commentary, much of which is still relevant today. It also happens to have one of the most memorable musical scores in Broadway history, featuring Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg songs such as “Old Devil Moon,” “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”, “If This Isn’t Love,” “Something Sort of Grandish,” “Look To the Rainbow,” “When I’m Not Near the Girl I Love,” “When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich,” “That Great Come-and-Get-It Day,” and “Necessity”. The songs are beautifully sung by a top-rate cast (including the radiant Kate Baldwin, handsome Cheyenne Jackson, and hilarious Christopher Fitzgerald) in this charming production.