Friday, December 11, 2009

"Godspell" to Get Broadway's Blessing

Producer Ken Davenport (Altar Boyz) announced today his plans to revive Godspell on Broadway. He is currently raising funds for the production, and intends to open it on one of the smaller Broadway musical theatre stages for the 2010-11 season.

The 1971 Stephen Schwartz musical was supposed to arrive on Broadway in 2006, with a different producer, but funding fell short. Daniel Goldstein, who was slated to direct that production, has been tapped to direct the upcoming revival.

Source: The Producer's Prospective

Friday, December 4, 2009

Altar Boyz Closes Long Run Off-Broadway

Altar Boyz, the long-running musical comedy hit, will close Sunday, January 10, 2010 at New World Stages. By the end of its run, the show will have played for 2032 performances, making this audience-pleaser Off-Broadway's 9th longest running musical. Producer Ken Davenport made the announcement today on his blog.

Source: The Producer's Perspective

Saturday, January 17, 2009

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Winter of Broadway's Discontent

Thanks to the current economic downturn and the usual winter doldrums, fifteen Broadway shows are expected to close in the next six weeks. High-profile Broadway musicals on the list include Spring Awakening, Spamalot, Grease, Young Frankenstein, Hairspray, and 13.

Those productions that are battling on are generally offering huge discounts on tickets, or even giving them away free.

Disney is offering a "Kids Go Free!" deal for its three family musicals – The Lion King, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid – for three months after January.

Although Billy Elliot is bucking the trend and doing well, big budget productions are particularly vulnerable.

A $4.5 million revival of Godspell has been scrapped while a lavish $16 million musical version of A Tale Of Two Cities closed in November, just two months after it opened.

Source: Telegraph

How to Buy Broadway Tickets

Thursday, August 14, 2008

South Coast Rep Puts on "An Italian Straw Hat"

Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory has commissioned its first musical, An Italian Straw Hat: A Vaudeville, which will have its world premiere at the Costa Mesa, CA theater September 5 through October 5.

SCR has a strong history of developing new plays. Notable premieres include Margaret Edson's Wit, Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss, and Richard Greenberg's The Violet Hour (one of the many productions I've enjoyed at SCR).

An Italian Straw Hat was inspired by Eugene Labiche's 1851 French vaudeviste, Un chapeau de paille d'Italie. John Strand wrote the book and lyrics. Music is by Dennis McCarthy. Stefan Novinski directs. Dennis Castellano is the musical director.

The show stars Daniel Blinkoff as a hapless bridegroom whose horse has eaten a young lady's hat. He must replace the hat in order to save his wedding.

Other cast members are Alan Blumenfeld, Patrick Kerr, Damon Kirsch, Kasey Mahaffy, Richard Doyle, Michelle Duffy, Matthew Koehler, Melissa van der Schyff, and Erika Whalen.

I'm looking forward to seeing this one.

Source: Playbill

How to Buy Broadway Tickets

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sondheim Bounces Back with "Road Show"

Stephen Sondheim's oft-reworked musical about brothers Wilson and Addison Mizner — most recently titled Bounce — is getting yet another incarnation, under the name of Road Show.

The musical chronicles the picaresque lives of the Mizner brothers from the Alaskan Gold Rush of the 1890s to the Florida land boom-and-bust of the 1920s. Frequent Sondheim collaborator John Weidman wrote the book of the musical.

The show was originally developed as Wise Guys. It premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop in October 1999, with Sam Mendes directing. Nathan Lane and Victor Garber starred.

Another version, briefly known as Gold! but later retitled Bounce, was produced at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Harold Prince directed. Richard Kind and Howard McGillin played the Mizner brothers. Jane Powell played their mother. A new character — a dance hall girl played by Michele Pawk — was added to the show.

Bounce also ran at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., but never made it to New York. However, a cast album of Bounce was recorded and released.

The new version, Road Show, no longer includes the title song, "Bounce." Sondheim kept most of the music from that song, but wrote new lyrics. Also, the character of the dance hall girl is no longer in the show. Sondheim says there is no title song for Road Show, and the new version is an amalgam of the Mendes and Prince productions, with new material.

The new production, directed by John Doyle, will be staged at the Public Theater October 28 through December 28. Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani play Wilson and Addison Mizner. Alma Cuervo is Mama, Claybourne Elder is Hollis, and William Parry is Papa.

Personally, I can't wait to see what Sondheim does next with this show. Bounce always seemed a lesser work, one I never warmed up to in the way I did with, say, Passion, which I've come to love. But any new Sondheim music is a major event, even if the show itself has been down that road before.

Source: Playbill and Broadway World

How to Buy Broadway Tickets

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Chance to "See Rock City"

A new pop-rock musical called See Rock City & Other Destinations is being presented at Barrington Stage through August 23. Book and Lyrics are by Adam Mathias. Music is by Brad Alexander. Kevin Del Aguila directs.

The show is a musical travelogue about tourists, venturing across America, who need to get a little lost in order to find themselves.

See Rock City won the 2007 Jerry Brock Award and the 2008 Richard Rodgers Award.

Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist William Finn oversees the Musical Theatre Lab in Pittsfield, MA, where the show is getting its first full staging.

Source: The Boston Globe

How to Buy Broadway Tickets