Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Your Golden Ticket to Wonka Mania
Interesting kid, Charlie Bucket, the young hero of Broadway’s latest family-friendly sensation, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He lives in a single parent home. Sort of. While his mom (Emily Padgett) works numerous jobs, the two share their home with all four of Charlie’s grandparents—who have retired (literally) to one seriously gridlocked bed. Not that they mind. In fact, aside from their diet of deceased vegetables and a lack of heat, they seem to enjoy their tucked-in lives.
Summer Theatre in NYC: Fests and More
While Broadway shakes off its residual Tony Night stardust, I suggest adding to your wish list of Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, and Miss Saigon some of Off-Broadway’s summer plays, musicals, and festivals—performed indoors and out. Imagine: shows poised to take on Broadway in a year or two...stars keeping it real in the classics…parodies with wild ride guarantees…thought-provoking…unorthodox…and sometimes free!
Tony Awards: The Aftermath Commences (The Latest Closings and Extended Runs)
Once the Tonys pass, Broadway tongues will get to wagging on closings, extended runs, and all the other fallout from the awards show. An annual inevitability? State of the Arts tradition? Or maybe, a simply worded cliché: let's get this show on the road. Any way you tweet it, it happens as a direct result of the Tony Awards.
Take It Sleazy: Jon Jon Briones in Miss Saigon’s First Broadway Revival
The acclaimed Broadway revival of Miss Saigon brings back the tragic love story of Chris (Alistair Brammer), an American soldier, and Kim (Eva Noblezada), a 17-year-old Vietnamese bargirl, shortly before United States troops evacuate Saigon in 1975. As for the third key player in this compelling musical, look to “The Engineer”—the sleazy opportunist who runs the bar-and-brothel where Kim and other young women work. Dressed in shades of purple and red, his long hair looking sweaty, Jon Jon Briones captures The Engineer’s shadiness from his first seconds onstage.
Notes From the Tony Trenches: 2017 Award Wrap Up
As far as the 2017 Tony Awards go, color me saturated. From the schvitzy red carpet prequel to the protracted opening number to mega musical performances to playwright synopses to backstage commercial lead-ins to assorted comedic tidbits to thank-you speeches laced with pokes at the current administration’s disdain for the arts…it was a wild ride.
Church & State: Catch It Pronto, Before It Goes!
The Off-Broadway play Church & State grew from Jason Odell Williams’s visceral reaction to three gun-related tragedies. Catch it before it closes, June 4th.
"The Band's Visit" Plans a Stay on Broadway
If, like me (#mortified), you missed The Band’s Visit -- aka a “Best of the Year” pick by multiple media sources, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post -- during its initial mini-run (12/8 /16 to 1/8/17) at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater, get ready for a second chance: it will be punching Broadway’s fall clock starting October 7th with an official opening date of November 9th.
Ali Ewoldt, Phantom’s First Asian-American Leading Lady
The half-mask, the chandelier, the powerful organ refrain—“Phans” of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stirring classic, The Phantom of the Opera, know these iconic elements well. And as the musical approaches its 30th anniversary next January, it remains as vibrant as ever for Broadway cognoscenti…and those who want to be. (Just listen to the murmurs from the audience at the first strains of “Think of Me” and “Angel of Music.”)
Broadway's Latest Buzz, From Glenda Jackson to King Kong
It’s reassuring to know a couple of this season’s VIP players have signed on for Three Tall Women, slated to hit Broadway next spring. Joe Mantello, whose run as alongside Sally Field’s Amanda in The Glass Menagerie ends its run this coming Sunday, will be directing Laurie Metcalf, a Tony nominee for her current five-star run as Nora Helmer in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Oh yes, also appearing with Metcalf will be two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson who returns to Broadway after a 30 year absence. [The youngest tall woman – and non-speaking Boy character – remain floating about the murky casting realm of TBA..]
Tony Nominations 2017: Picks & Pronouncements
Red carpet madness is just around the corner of Manhattan’s 5lst Street and Sixth Avenue, where Radio City Music Hall is buffing up its Deco sizzle and glam in preparation for Broadway’s biggest (televised) event: The 71st Annual Tony Awards.
Broadway Exits and Entrances: Farinelli and the King, Time and the Conways, and More
Broadway bids farewell to Amélie and The Glass Menagerie, gets ready to welcome Farinelli and the King and Time and the Conways.
Broadway's 'Amelie, A New Musical' to Close This Month
The musical version of the French film Amélie starring Hamilton alumna Phillipa Soo has achieved the annual – and dubious -- honor of being the first up-and-running-open-ended show of the 2016-2017 season to suffer the slings and arrows of zero Tony nominations. Well-intentioned and sweet, the musical was a hard-sell to tourists who comprise a big and important chunk of ticket buyers. Closing date is set for May 21st.
Michael Moore Surrenders to Broadway
He’s an Oscar-winning filmmaker, Emmy-winning television creator, best-selling author and a boon to every talk show with the chutzpah to book him. And now, with his quiver heavy with disgruntled pragmatism, controversy and hard-core humor, Michael Moore is priming his rhetoric for an unrelenting game of political Whack-A-Mole in his theatrical debut in his latest work, The Terms of My Surrender. I, for one, cannot wait.
Broadway's Summer Kicks Off with Red-Hot Star Clout
June 11ths’s red carpet leading into the 71st Tony Awards may be a month and change away from being unfurled, but New York’s 2017-2018 theatre season has already begun stacking its theatrical Jenga blocks, starting with Scott McPhereson’s Marvin’s Room, making its Broadway debut on June 8th at the American Airlines Theatre.
Theatre NYC: Shaken and Stirring on Broadway
Basketball fans eyeing the finals have nothing on theatre aficionados—and the stakes are just as high now that Tony season is upon us. And while you might think landing a shiny statuette is the carrot that entices big name players to Broadway each season, this just isn’t the case.
Beautiful Music: Abby Mueller Channels Carole King on Broadway
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has become something of a sister act. First Jessie Mueller portrayed the singer-songwriter—and won the Tony Award for best actress in a leading role in a musical. (When Mueller left to star in Waitress, Chilina Kennedy stepped in.) But this past March, the stage of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre was back in the Mueller family when Jessie’s older sister, Abby—fresh from playing King in Beautiful’s national tour—took over the lead on Broadway.
Kevin Spacey to Host 2017 Tony Awards
Radio City Music Hall will be welcoming Kevin Spacey back into Broadway’s inner circle on June 11th when he steps onto the iconic stage as host of the 71st Annual Tony Awards.
Broadway's Gideon Glick and the Search for a Significant Other
It’s been more than a few weeks since I saw Gideon Glick in playwright Joshua Harmon’s funny, poignant, strikingly human Significant Other which—as it spiraled beyond its heartfelt conclusion into curtain call—left a young woman sitting behind me in tears. The kind of heavy-duty tears that speak to an emotional connection with the characters that inhabited our hearts for the previous two hours and fifteen minutes.
Broadway Goes Full Throttle for Spring
It happens every spring: Broadway’s rip-roaring, all-star running of the new show bulls. And April, my theatre-craving friends, is mondo month for taking in previews and openings as the shows stampede towards June 11th’s Tony Awards.
Circus 1903: A Golden Age Returns at Madison Square Garden
Think back for a minute to the golden age of the circus, when traveling acts went from town to city hoisting up their tents and bringing a memorable spectacle to ticket-holders time and time again. It might be 2017, but Madison Square Garden is about to recreate some of that early twentieth century magic with Circus 1903: The Golden Age of the Circus. Serving as an ode to unforgettable decades when circuses ruled the entertainment world, Circus 1903 brings back to life the circus in all its glory in the heart of New York City.
Bit Parts: Breaking Theatre News & Reviews in a New York Nutshell
The latest gossip on this spring's newest Broadway shows-with Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Laura Linney, Cynthia Nixon, Allison Janney, and more.
March Magic: What's New on Broadway
Just when you thought selecting the perfect Broadway show would be a slam-dunk, a hefty March preview count turned the New York theatre decision-making process into a supersized challenge. From the month’s first heady days, when the long-awaited revival of Miss Saigon helicopters in (3/1), and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s Sweat transfers from Off-Broadway to Studio 54 (3/4), it’s a pedal-to-metal landscape.
Broadway’s On Your Feet! | The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan
If you plan to be backstage at the Marquis Theatre between shows on any given Saturday, it’s a good idea to brush up on your Spanish. The bilingual cast of On Your Feet!—the high-octane musical bio about Emilio and Gloria Estefan—has reserved the day to converse exclusively “en Español,” or, as leading lady Ana Villafañe explains, “It’s a game we play every week to honor our cultures and the two people [who] brought these cultures together through their music.”
Preview Season for New York Theatre: 1984 & More!
Football season? Over. Theatre season? Just revving up. In the now, previews: the new offerings of On-, Off-, and Off-Off-Broadway are entering the theatrical arena at an exhilarating rate.
The Big BroadwayCon 2017 Wrap Up!
BroadwayCon—the theatre-addict’s pipeline to merchandise, networking, cavorting, hobnobbing—with each other and the celebs who make the Great White Way great—may be over but, like reliving a favorite show in your mind’s eye, the takeaway is indelible.