The first major casualty of the new Spring shows, Hands on a Hardbody closes at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre today. The new Broadway musical concludes after having played 28 preview performances and just 28 regular performances.
Inspired by a 1997 documentary that captured a real-life competition in which small town Texans competed for a brand new pickup truck by seeing who could keep their hands on it the longest, Hands on a Hardbody had music by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio, lyrics by Amanda Green, and a book by Doug Wright.
The cast of the Broadway production of Hands on a Hardbody featured Keith Carradine (previously seen on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies), Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown), and Keala Settle.
The 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant will take place at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (60 Washington Square South) on May 20 at 8pm, and Tony Award nominated performer Tovah Feldshuh will host the event. Proceeds from the pageant will go to benefit the Ali Forney Center, which provides safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City.
Unlike most beauty pageants, the Broadway Beauty Pageant is a male-only event, featuring cast members of Broadway shows. The men will compete in talent, interview, and swimsuit competitions. Their judges for this year’s event include Broadway and Off-Broadway stars Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Andrea Martin, and Michael Urie. However, it is the audience who will ultimately vote to crown the winner. The most recent winner of the Broadway Beauty Pageant was Andrew Chapelle, Mr. Mamma Mia 2012.
Directed by Seth Sikes and including choreography from Paul McGill, the Broadway Beauty Pageant has tickets ranging from $25 -$150 available. With VIP tickets, you can to attend pre- and post-show cocktail receptions, and also receive premium seating and a gift bag. Get tickets here.
Following a national tour, Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff returns to Off-Broadway this summer to play a 13-week engagement at the Little Shubert Theatre. The production had a successful limited run at that same venue last summer.
Potted Potter is written and performed by Jefferson Turner and Daniel Clarkson, who give audiences a whirlwind re-enactment of all seven Harry Potter books in just 70 minutes. The show features songs, props, theatrical magic, and numerous costume changes, not to mention its signature event, a Quidditch game that the audience participates in.
Starvox Entertainment president Corey Ross said in a statement, “Potted Potter is a wonderfully entertaining time for all ages, both fans and neophytes of the Harry Potter phenomenon alike.” Performances will begin on May 30, and the production will run through September 1. Perfect for teenagers during the summer vacation.
Certified public accountants (CPAs) looking to celebrate the long-awaited end of the tax season should head over to the Foxwoods Theatre on the morning of April 16. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark will be offering free tickets to the first 50 CPAs lined up at the box office when it opens at 10am.
“Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark celebrates unsung heroes,” stated production rep Rick Miramontez, “so who better to honor this time of year than those working so tirelessly to make sure we can all can take as many deductions as possible?”
To take advantage of this post-tax season Broadway ticket offer, interested certified public accountants will need to present their certification. If they are among the first 50 to line up on April 16, they will be rewarded with two free tickets for the 7:30pm performance that night.
BROADWAY TICKET SALES DECLINE
After a few impressive jumps in the total Broadway ticket revenue, this week saw a decrease in sales, bringing in a total of $25,899,686 (down from $28,531,066). This dip was perhaps to be expected given that last week’s big leap was due to holiday ticket buying. The week prior, Broadway took in less than $22 million, so if we compare with that figure instead, this week’s receipts still indicate a healthy upward trend in ticket sales as Broadway benefits from Spring tourism.
FOUR NEW BROADWAY SHOWS DEBUT
The new shows keep on coming. Bette Midler is putting most of them to shame with I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, a one-woman show that nearly sold out at 99.96% capacity, with tickets going for an average paid admission of $133.78. The Broadway revival of Jekyll & Hyde, starring Constantine Maroulis, also began preview performances this week, but at a far less impressive theater capacity of 56.77%. Alan Cumming’s one-man Macbeth is showing healthy signs during its first week on the boards, filling over 85% of the theater at an average paid admission of $105.35. The play The Big Knife did modest business, filling 73.11% with an average paid admission of $51.61.
WICKED AND THE LION KING BREAK TWO MILLION
Forget the Millionaires Club, this week saw two Broadway musicals in the Two Millionaires Club. Long-standing favorites Wicked and The Lion King both managed to earn two mil, with Wicked grabbing the top spot at $2,257,034.
The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending April 7, 2013:
|BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
|HANDS ON A HARDBODY
|I’LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS
|JEKYLL & HYDE
|MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL
|NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
|ROCK OF AGES
|SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK
|THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES
|THE BIG KNIFE
|THE BOOK OF MORMON
|THE LION KING
|THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
|THE TESTAMENT OF MARY
|THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL
|VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE
Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League. All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2013 nytix.com.
A few of Broadway’s best will share their talents in London on April 28 at the annual Olivier Awards, which honor distinguished achievement in West End professional theater. Idina Menzel (Wicked), Matthew Morrison (South Pacific, Hairspray, TV’s Glee), and Heather Headley (Aida) will be among the Broadway stars performing at the Olivier Awards ceremony.
Pop and theater star Petula Clark is also scheduled to perform, as well as the full casts of productions of Top Hat and A Chorus Line. Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and Sheridan Smith will serve as the evening’s hosts.
The Olivier Awards will be held at the Royal Opera House and are set to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2. The line-up of theater luminaries set to present awards during the ceremony include Daniel Radcliffe (recently seen on Broadway in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), Kim Cattrall, and Damian Lewis (TV’s Homeland).
Starting April 8, Adam Pascal will take on the often-replaced role of slick lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago. Pascal is taking over for actor Christopher Sieber.
Adam Pascal was most recently seen on Broadway playing Huey in the Tony Award winning musical Memphis. His other Broadway credits include Aida, Cabaret, and, most famously, Rent, in which he played the role of Roger.
The Tony Award-winning Chicago revival came to Broadway in 1996. Playing at the Ambassador Theatre, the production currently stars Amra-Faye Wright as Velma, Amy Spanger as Roxie, and Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart. On the same day that Adam Pascal joins the cast, so will Christine Pedi in the role of Mama Morton.
The rumors that have been swirling for the last few weeks that real-life husband and wife Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz will star on Broadway together have finally been confirmed. Craig and Weisz will play married couple Robert and Emma in a new revival of Harold Pinter’s drama Betrayal. They will be joined onstage by Rafe Spall, playing Robert’s best friend, Jerry.
The three-person Betrayal, perhaps playwright Pinter’s best known work, tells the story of a love affair in reverse order. The play had its original Broadway production in 1979, with its most recent Broadway revival taking place in 2000.
This new production of Betrayal, produced by Scott Rudin, will be under the direction of Mike Nichols, whose recent Broadway directing credits are as varied as Spamalot and the acclaimed Death of a Salesman revival. Betrayal will have a limited engagement at the Barrymore Theatre from October 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014.
The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that it will be honoring stage, film, and recording legend Barbra Streisand at the 40th Annual Chaplin Award Gala on April 22, and some of Broadway’s brightest will be on hand to pay their respects through performance. Liza Minnelli and Kristin Chenoweth will be among the Broadway favorites offering up their musical talents during the ceremony.
The tribute to Barbra Streisand, which will culminate in the famed artist being presented with the Chaplin Award by President Bill Clinton, will also include performances from luminaries like Tony Bennett and Wynton Marsalis. Many film stars will be in attendance at the gala, such as Kris Kristofferson, Pierce Brosnan, Richard Dreyfuss, Amy Irving, and Blythe Danner.
“The Board is very excited to have Barbra Streisand as the next recipient of The Chaplin Award,” stated The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s board chairman Ann Tenenbaum. “She is an artist whose long career of incomparable achievements is most powerfully expressed by the fact that her acclaimed Yentl was such a milestone film.”
Just as he prepares to take on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Macbeth (all by himself!) on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre, Alan Cumming releases a new recording on which he tackles several of the Bard’s works. The Head That Wears a Crown, available from GPR Records, features Cumming reciting numerous speeches from Shakespeare plays.
On the 22-track album are many of Shakespeare’s most revered speeches, including “Now is the winter of our discontent” from Richard III, “Once more unto the breach” from Henry V, and “If music be the food of love, play on” from Twelfth Night, along with lesser-known passages.
The Head That Wears a Crown is already available for digital download, and it will be released in stores on April 23. Alan Cumming’s one-man Macbeth begins previews on April 7, with its official Broadway opening set for April 21.