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, May 22, 2011

TheatreScene: May 16 - 22

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS WEEK:

TOPS AND BOTTOMS: MAY 9 - 15
  • Top Gross: Wicked ($1.6M)
  • Top Attendance: The Book of Mormon (102.4%)
  • Bottom Gross: Lombardi ($210K)
  • Bottom Attendance: Million Dollar Quartet (46.2%)
  • $1M Club: Jersey Boys, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, The Lion King
  • SRO Club: War Horse, The Book of Mormon

PREVIEWING THIS WEEK ON BROADWAY
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark - Previews from May 12; Opens June 14

BIRTHDAYS ON BROADWAY THIS WEEK!
  • May 16: Late Actor Henry Fonda (Mr. Roberts, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial)
  • May 17: Actor Jerry Lanning (Mame - original cast, 1776 - 1997 revival)
  • May 18: Actor Robert Morse (How to Succeed... - original cast, Tru)
  • May 19: Composer/Lyricist Pete Townsend (The Who's Tommy)
  • May 20: Actor Tony Goldwyn (Promises, Promises - revival)

Mark Jacoby (left) with Sebastian Arcelus
in Elf: The Musical
  • May 21: Actor Mark Jacoby (The Phantom of the Opera, Show Boat 1994, Elf: The Musical)
  • May 22: Late Actor Laurence Olivier (The Entertainer, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)

BROADWAY BLIND ITEMS:
  • Which Broadway show has outgrown its current home and is eyeing the Marquis Theatre for a new house of worship?
  • What Broadway actor drew the ire of fans for missing performances of his show and instead attending an awards ceremony?
  • Is Harry Potter being replaced by Frodo?
  • Why is Million Dollar Quartet still running?
COMINGS AND GOINGS ON BROADWAY:
Casting

Aww...

  • Color me embarrassed and completely duped.  Everything I have ever read about Janet Dacal and Darren Ritchie and Wonderland had them already married.  And I mean everything - articles and even chatrooms.  So I was as surprised as Ms. Dacal apparently was when Mr. Ritchie proposed to her during the closing night curtain call!  May they have a long and happy life together!  Congratulations!
  • Hugh Jackman, one of my favorite actors, took part in a reading of Andrew Lippa's new musical, Big Fish, one of my favorite composers writing a stage version one of my favorite movies!  Keeping my fingers crossed here!
  • Here's hoping that Telsley + Company finds actresses of the caliber of ALL of the child actors this past season, when they cast the Broadway-bound revival of Annie.  I hold my breath every time a kid is in a show, because I HATE that cloying, overacting Annie-style kid.  And you all know exactly what I mean...  Orphan wannabes need to go to http://www.anniethemusical.com/ for info on the June 12 open call and/or the video submissions being accepted via the Internet.
  • Speaking of online casting... if you think you can do Elvis, Carl, Johnny or Jerry Lee, and want to be in the National Tour of Million Dollar Quartet, click HERE.
Shows
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert can't seem to catch a break these days.  A virtual snub by the Tony committee, first, and now heat from the Broadway Musicians Union.  Seems the union is ticked because the show utilizes only nine of the eighteen musicians required by the Palace Theatre.  This despite the producers following the rules by petitioning for the exemption and an arbiter's decision that nine was all they need.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for full orchestras whenever they can have them.  I was pissed when the Palace's last tenant, West Side Story, dropped musicians to "save money."  I mean they followed the rules, a decision was made, now it is done.  At least synthersizers and disco music go together.  It isn't like they are doing a musical version of Amadeus and are trying to get away with something.
  • Mark your Broadway Social Calendars: Broadway Bares: June 19; Broadway Barks: July 9; and Broadway Flea Market: September 25.
LOGO 2.0

  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark offered a behind-the-scenes peek at version 2.0 on ABC's Nightline.  It was cool to see Christopher Tierney flying again, odd to see his scars in HD, and infuriating to hear Bono and The Edge talk about how they knew things weren't working and blah blah blah, and then took NONE of the responsibility.  This despite the fact that, considering millions of their own money is at stake, they were virtually no-shows all fall and winter (tour dates can be rescheduled), and now have offered exactly 1 completely new song to the score, which got as much criticism as the book did the first time around.  A wholesale dismissal of questions about whether the score was partially to blame - except for saying that finally you can hear it through a decent sound system - tells me the show is still in trouble.  Just because people stood at the first preview means nothing,  Bono.  They stood every night at The Story of My Life - a show with a vastly better book and score - that lasted a week.  I have been Spider-Man's biggest champion, but the score has always been one of the biggest problems with the show.  Julie isn't the only one "too close to really see," you idiots.
Milestones
May 16:
  • Anything Goes, War Horse  and The Book of Mormon each won four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best New Broadway Play and Best New Broadway Musical, respectively.  The Normal Heart won Best Revival of a Play.  A complete list of nominees and winners is HERE.
  • The 2011 Astaire Awards went to Susan Stroman for The Scottsboro Boys, Sutton Foster for Anything Goes, and Norbert Leo Butz for Catch Me If You Can.
May 20:
  • Anything Goes, War Horse, The Normal Heart  and The Book of Mormon were named the Best Revival of a Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Play and Best New Broadway Musical, respectively, by The Drama League.  The Outstanding Performer of the Year went to Mark Rylance for La Bete and Jerusalem.   A complete list of nominees and winners is HERE.


The Broadway Company of Lombardi


May 22:
  • Lombardi closed at the Circle in the Square Theatre after 244 performances.

HISTORIC BROADWAY OPENINGS (May 16 - 22)


Gypsy's original cast: Sandra Church,
Ethel Merman and Jack Klugman


May 16:
  • Annie Get Your Gun opened on this date in 1945, starring Ethel Merman.  The show ran 1,147 performances at the Imperial Theatre.
May 21:
  • Gypsy opened on this date in 1959, starring Ethel Merman.  The show ran 702 performances (after only 2 previews) and LOST the Tony for Best Musical to BOTH The Sound of Music and Fiorello!
May 22:
  • Interesting fact: Not in 50 years!  No show has opened on Broadway on this date since Mandingo opened at the Lyceum Theatre in 1961!  It featured a new young actor named Dennis Hopper, and lasted a mere 8 performances.

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