THIS WEEK @ JK's TheatreScene

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HERE'S WHAT'S NEW:

Well, my "little vacation" ended up lasting two and a half years... funny how life steers your life in directions you weren't planning on. I'll start off with occasional posts, but I fully plan to resume this blog to full speed by the new year.

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Sunday, February 13, 2011

TheatreScene: February 7 - 13

ATTENTION READERS!!  BE SURE TO CHECK THE BLOG THIS WEEK FOR A VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?  BECOME A FOLLOWER!

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE IN THIS MONTH'S POLL!  AND THE SECOND ONE STARTS TUESDAY!
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK!

LOGOS: The House of Blue Leaves and Arcadia
CASTING: Anything Goes
2011 Chorus Boys and Girls, Part II
Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: A Second Open Letter to Julie Taymor
Back In Time: 2002: Into the Woods (Revival), Part III
Broadway Crossword by Blog #5: Original vs. Revival, Clue Set #3

BROADWAY BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK:
  • February 7:  Matthew Gumley - Actor (Elf: The Musical)
  • February 8:  Sherie Rene Scott - Actor (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown)

  • February 9:  Judith Light - Actor (Lombardi)
  • February 10:  Stella Adler - Late Actor, Acting Teacher (Awake and Sing! 1935)
  • February 11:  Leslie Nielson - Late Actor (Seagulls Over Sorrento)
  • February 12:  Christina Ricci - Actor (Time Stands Still)
  • February 13:  Stockard Channing - Actor (...Joe Egg, Sic Degrees of Separation)

TOPS AND BOTTOMS (January 31 - February 6)
  • Top Attendance: The Merchant of Venice (100.1%)
  • Top Gross: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.297M)
  • Bottom Attendance: Million Dollar Quartet (46.7%)
  • Bottom Gross: Colin Quinn: Long Story Short ($167K)
  • $1M Club: The Merchant of Venice, The Lion King, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Wicked
  • SRO Club: The Merchant of Venice

THIS WEEK IN BROADWAY HISTORY
  • The Longest Time Since a Show Opened: February 8: 1973 was the last time a show opened on this date.  Finishing Touches with Barbara Bel Gedes played the Plymouth Theatre for 164 performances.
  • The Oldest Opening Of the Week: The World's Fair, or Columbia in the Clouds, which opened in 1851 at Braughm's Lyceum Theatre on February 10, and ran 20 performances.
  • Oddest Title of the Week: The Frisky Mrs. Johnson, which opened in 1903 at the Princess Theatre.  It ran 80 performances.
Major Openings This Week:

  • February 9, 1984: The Rink at the Martin Beck Theatre.  The Kander and Ebb musical ran for 204 performances and earned Chita Rivera her very first Tony Award.  We won't really talk about the hot mess Liza Minelli was - just listen to the OBCR...
  • February 10, 1991: La Bete at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.  The original production, produced by none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber, ran a disappointing 25 performances.
  • February 11, 1981: They're Playing Our Song at the Imperial Theatre. It ran for 1,082 performances without winning a Tony, or even nominations for its score by Marvin Hamlisch or its star, Lucie Arnaz!
  • February 12, 1998: Freak at the Cort Theatre.  Just as John Leguizamo prepares for his next Broadway opening, Ghetto Klown, his 1998 effort ran 144 performances, earning Tony nominations for Best Actor and Best Play.

BROADWAY NEWS THIS WEEK
February 7:
  • Despite a "gentleman's agreement" that shows are not to be reviewed prior to the official opening night, it was reported today that several major news outlets worldwide - The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The London Telegraph, Variety, The Washington Post among others - would be publishing reviews tomorrow, the day after what was supposed to be opening night at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
February 8:
  • The storm begins - not only are reviews (mostly nasty) published, but the great debate began: was it the right thing to do?  Damage control also begins, with producers obviously unhappy.  Bringing in the big guns - Oprah has "outed" herself as a fan - the producers have to be thrilled that crowds continue to flock to the Foxwoods.  Ben Brantley may have hit a journalistic low with his "review."  Who gives a shit that he hangs out with nervous men and a woman who hangs out at Sardi's bar during act two? In what was a long article, there was exactly one paragraph - not even the longest one - that was actually theatre criticism.
  • RAIN - A Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway resumes its "limited engagement" at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

  • The contestants for the 2011 Broadway Beauty Pageant were announced today: Matt Anctil, La Cage aux Folles; Mikey Cusamano, Chicago; Ray Lee, Anything Goes; Brandon Rubendall, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark; and James Tabeek, Mary Poppins.  Last year's winner was my boyfriend Mr. Memphis, Charlie Williams.

February 9:
  • My guess is no one told her that the "Special Event" Tony category was no longer around.  Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony will play the Belasco Theatre March 11-19.
February 10:

  • Good for them!  Looks like the folks over at American Idiot are really in it for the long haul!  Major cast replacements were announced today: Van Hughes will replace John Gallagher, Jr. as Johnny (see this BLOG for some thoughts on him), Davey Havok will take over the role of St. Jimmy, Women on the Verge's Justin Guarini will replace Michael Esper as Will, and Libby Winters will move up to the role of Extraordinary Girl, taking over for the departing Cristina Sajous, who is headed across the street to Baby, It's You!
  • BRING BACK THE SPECIAL EVENT TONY AWARD!  Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse on Broadway has been deemed eligible in the Best Play category, and RAIN - a Tribute to the Beatles on Broadway has been deemed eligible in the Best Musical category.  Really?  Tony Committee, here's a hint: if the show's title includes "on Broadway" it is a special version of an event.
February 11:
  • American Idiot is on a roll!  It was announced today that a National Tour is in the works.  Very cool! 
  • OK, I'll admit that I am not a Rock of Ages fan, but even I am disturbed by the news that Tom Cruise has signed to play Stacee Jaxx in the film version.  Have they re-imagined the character as an old guy past his prime or has CGI gotten that good?  I shudder to think.
February 12:
  • I hate to sound like a broken record, but you really should see the play Fat Pig.  Tickets go on sale today.
February 13: 
  • What a week for American Idiot!  Today, it won the Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, beating out Promises, Promises, Sondheim on Sondheim, A Little Night Music and Fela!
  • I always hate to end a week on a sad note.  Betty Garrett, who had a Broadway, film and television career passed away at the age of 91.  I had the treat of seeing her perform in 1989's Meet Me in St. Louis.  She last appeared on Broadway in the 2001 revival of Follies.  TV audiences will most likely remember her for her role as Edna Babbish, landlady to Laverne and Shirley.
  • BE SURE TO CHECK THIS BLOG STARTING TOMORROW FOR A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!  BIG!  HUGE!  OK, it is big to me... and I hope you'll like it, too.

Comments?  Leave one here, email me at jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com or Tweet me!
Jeff
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