Broadway in Bryant Park Concert Series to Launch July 10

106.7 LITE FM Partners with New York Theatre

For fourteen consecutive years, the radio station 106.7 LITE FM has held an annual lunchtime summer concert series in Manhattan’s Bryant Park featuring the casts of Broadway shows.  The series will begin on Thursday, July 10, 2014, and will continue for six consecutive Thursday until its final event on August 14, 2014.  The Bryant Park stage is located at 6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets in midtown Manhattan.  The performances will begin at 12:30pm, arranged to be convenient for lunchtime entertainment, as many full-time workers in the area take their lunch break in the park on the many green tables and chairs set up around the field.  In addition, the shows are broadcast live on the radio, 106.7 LITE FM.

Bryant Park people on grass big stage with 106.7 lite fm Broadway in Bryant Park

Rocky, Wicked, If/Then, Pippin, Chicago, Les Misérables

The first three events are co-hosted by an Off-Broadway show, and all are hosted by a LITE FM personality.  On July 10, the host will be Delilah, and the show will be co-hosted by Off-Broadway’s Buyer and Cellar, running in the West Village at the Barrow Street Theatre.  The four musicals featured on that first show will be Rocky, Wicked, If/Then, and Stomp.  The last of these is an Off-Broadway show, but still a long running musical hit.  Interestingly, this show features both Wicked, which launched Idina Menzel to undeniable fame, and If/Then, in which she currently stars.  On July 17, the 106.7 LITE FM host will be Helen Little, and the show will be co-hosted by the show Perfect Crime.  This show will feature the Broadway shows Pippin, Chicago, and Les Misérables, as well as the Off-Broadway shows Atomic and iLuminate.

Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, Bullets over Broadway, Rock of Ages, Once, Holler if Ya Hear Me, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

106.7 lite fm new york skylineaFor the third week in the series, on July 24, the 106.7 LITE FM host will be Christine Nagy, and the show will be co-hosted by the Off-Broadway show Sistas the Musical.  The event will feature the Broadway shows Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, and Bullets over Broadway as well as the Off-Broadway shows Avenue Q (once a Broadway hit, now running at New World Stages), and Piece of my Heart (not to be confused with the recent Broadway show A Night With Janis Joplin, this is a musical about the life of Bert Berns).  On July 31, the event continues led by 106.7 LITE FM host Bob Bronson, and featuring the four Broadway shows Rock of Ages, Once, Holler if Ya Hear Me (the new Tupac Shakur musical), and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which just won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Jersey Boys, After Midnight, Matilda, Mamma Mia!, Motown the Musical, On the Town

The penultimate event in the series will take place on August 7, hosted by Rich Kaminski.  The event will feature two Broadway shows – Jersey Boys and After Midnight – as well as the Off-Broadway shows Heathers and 50 Shades! The Musical.  Finally, on August 14, the series will come to a close hosted by Delilah, and featuring four Broadway shows: Matilda, Mamma Mia!, Motown the Musical, and On the Town, which will soon be running at the newly named Lyric Theatre (the former Foxwoods Theatre, where Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark was most recently running).  In general, this series is a marketing event aiming to lure more radio listeners to become theatregoers, while also offering a treat to New Yorkers in the bliss of summertime.

Grammys Nominate Motown, Matilda, and Kinky Boots

Motown the Musical Broadway ShowThe 56th Annual Grammy Awards recently announced this year’s nominees, and as usual Best Musical Theater Album is the category that gets the attention of the Broadway community. This year the category has just three entries, all Broadway shows. The trio of nominees are three of the biggest hits on Broadway to open last season: Motown the Musical, Matilda: The Musical, and the Best Musical Tony Award winner Kinky Boots.

The recent film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables was also represented among the Grammy nominees, with the deluxe edition of the movie soundtrack getting a nod in the Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media category.

The Grammy Award winners will be announced on January 26, 2014, when the ceremony is broadcast live on the CBS network from Los Angeles.

Cast of Broadway’s Matilda To Perform at Barnes & Noble

Matilda Broadway MusicalThe hit British import Matilda is celebrating the release of its original Broadway cast recording with a special CD release event at the Upper East Side location of Barnes & Noble (86th Street and Lexington Avenue) on October 24 at 3pm.

Members of the current Broadway cast of Matilda the Musical will both perform and sign copies of the CD at the event. The recording is already available digitally, with the CD scheduled to be released to stores on October 22.

Available on the Broadway Records/Yellow Sound label, the Matilda Broadway cast recording comes in both standard and deluxe versions. In addition to the 24 tracks on the standard edition, the deluxe two additional numbers, the cut song “Perhaps a Child” and a recording of “Naughty” sung by all four of the young girls who play the role of Matilda on Broadway.

Pippin and Matilda Take Top Drama Desk Awards

Pippin Broadway MusicalThe Drama Desk Award winners were announced yesterday, and a wide variety of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and performers were honored. While the Tonys, which exclusively honor excellence in Broadway theater, are the best known theater awards, the Drama Desk Awards recognize a broader range of shows, considering excellence in all New York City theater, from Broadway to small Off-Off-Broadway productions.

The well-reviewed British musical Matilda did well, taking Drama Desks for Outstanding Musical, Featured Actor (Bertie Carvel), Set Design (Rob Howell), Book (Dennis Kelly), and Lyrics (Tim Minchin). The Broadway revival of Pippin also scored big, earning Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Director (Diane Paulus), Featured Actress (Andrea Martin), and Choreography (Chet Walker and Gypsy Snider). Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which won Outstanding Play, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which won Outstanding Revival of a Play, also enjoyed plenty of recognition.

Here Lies Love was the biggest winner among the Off-Broadway shows, earning Outstanding Music, Lighting, and Projection Design awards. Michael Urie in Buyer & Cellar won for Outstanding Solo Performance, and Old Hats (starring Bill Irwin and David Shiner) received the Outstanding Revue award.

2013 Tony Award Nominations Announced

Kinky Boots Broadway ShowThe Tony nominations were announced this morning, and the new musical Kinky Boots came out ahead of the pack with 13 nods, including Best Musical, Direction, Choreography, Original Score, Book, and, of course, Best Costumes. Close behind was the rave-reviewed British musical Matilda, with 12 nominations.

The Broadway revival with the most Tony Award nominations was the Stephen Schwartz musical Pippin, which earned 10 noms. With 8 nominations, Golden Boy was the play revival that fared the best. Lucky Guy had the most nominations (6) of any new play, and star Tom Hanks earned a nod for Actor in a Leading Role.

The Tony nominees will battle it out on June 9 when the Tony Award ceremony takes place. The awards will take place at Radio City Music Hall and will be aired in a three-hour broadcast on CBS.

Stars of Broadway’s Matilda To Be Given Tony Honors for Excellence

Matilda Broadway MusicalThis past week the Tony Awards Administration Committee came together to determine various eligibility issues concerning shows from this Broadway season. One of the most anxiously awaited rulings was whether or not the four young performers who alternate in the title role of the musical Matilda will be eligible to share a Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical nomination. But though Billy Elliot had set a similar precedent when its three stars were nominated (and won), the committee decided not to allow Matilda‘s Milly Shapiro, Oona Laurence, Sophia Gennusa, and Bailey Ryon eligibility in the Best Actress category. Instead, the quartet will be given Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre because the committee felt that the young ladies deserved recognition for their “outstanding performances”. This makes the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) – Who developed the show – and Dodger Properties (The Producer of the show on Broadway) very happy as they can take this four-way Tony accolade all the way to the bank by squeezing the marketing juice out of this guaranteed honor pre and post Tony’s, making it unlike any other Tony award given this year.

Other decisions made by the committee included declaring Orphans eligible for Best Revival of a Play (even though it didn’t previously appear on Broadway), disallowing the Motown score award eligibility, and deciding that neither Manilow on Broadway nor The Rascals will be eligible for nomination. Most of the other decisions involved whether certain performers would be eligible in Leading or Featured acting nominations.

Upcoming Broadway Musical Matilda Has Found Its Stars

The forthcoming Matilda the Musical has finally found the young ladies who will play the role of the title character — all four of them.  Sophia Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, and Milly Shapiro are the talented performers who will alternate in the part of the musical’s bright young heroine.  Each of the actresses is making her Broadway debut.

Already a big, award-winning hit in London, Matilda the Musical comes to Broadway’s Shubert Theatre this spring.  The show will begin its preview performance period on March 4, 2013, with its official Broadway opening set for April 11.  The pint-sized performers will be joined onstage by Bertie Carvel, the Olivier Award-winning actor who is going to reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, which won him so much acclaim in London.

Matilda the Musical has a score by Tim Minchin and a book by Dennis Kelly.  Tony winner Matthew Warchus directs the production.