THIS WEEK @ JK's TheatreScene

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Summertime...Took a little vacation! Three reviews coming soon! Amazing Grace, Hand to God and Mamma Mia!

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Broadway Box Office: Week 9: 07.23 - 07.29.12


LAST 4 DAYS!  VOTE NOW FOR THE FINALS OF "HOT/HOTTER"!
WHO WILL BE BROADWAY'S MOST UNIQUELY "HOT" GUY?
NEWSIES' KYLE COFFMAN OR GODSPELL'S HUNTER PARRISH?
CLICK THE ICON TO YOUR LEFT AND VOTE TODAY!


Broadway Box Office
Week #9 of the 2012 - 2013 Season
July 23 - 29; 27 Productions



Despite the fact that more shows than not improved over last week, both in box office and attendance, the change was minimal with the overall totals in terms of money was up less than 1% and attendance was up only 2%.  This is pretty typical of the summer months. 9 shows maintained the same position as last week, while, with one less show, the bottom three are the same.  Only Evita showed any big change, up 5 spots on the chart to number 8, posting the biggest gains in both Box Office (+$214K) and attendance (+14%).  The coming week sees the closing of the season's first hit, Harvey (ending its limited engagement), and the 2010 Tony winner for Best Musical, Memphis, which announced today that it will close in the black. Hockadoo!  The week also sees the arrival of Mike Tyson:Undisputed Truth and the opening of Bring It On: The Musical.  Set to close soon are: Ghost: The Musical, Fela!, Sister Act, Clybourne Park, One Man, Two Guvnors, and Gore Vidal's The Best Man. 

To see how this chart is calculated, click the "Box Office" tab at the top of the page.
RANK
THIS
WEEK
SHOW TITLE SHOW
TYPE
THEATRE RANK
LAST
WEEK
UP/
DOWN
1 The Book of Mormon Musical Eugene O'Neill 1 Same
2 tie Disney's The Lion King Musical Minskoff 2 Same
2 tie Wicked Musical Gershwin 4 +2
4 Once Musical Bernard B. Jacobs 4 Same
5 Disney's Newsies Musical Nederlander 3 -2
6 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Musical Foxwoods 6 Same
7 Rock of Ages Musical Helen Hayes 7 Same
8 Evita Musical Revival Marquis 13 +5
9 Jersey Boys Musical August Wilson 8 -1
10 Harvey Play Revival Studio 54 9 -1
11 Mamma Mia! Musical Winter Garden 11 Same
12 One Man, Two Guvnors Play Music Box 12 Same
13 The Phantom of the Opera  Musical Majestic 10 -3
14 tie Mary Poppins Musical New Amsterdam 14 Same
14 tie Nice Work If You Can Get It Musical Imperial 18 +4
16 Chicago Musical Revival Ambassador 16 Same
17 Bring It On: The Musical Musical St. James 19 +2
18 tie Gore Vidal's The Best Man Play Revival Gerald Schoenfeld 15 -3
18 tie Sister Act Musical Broadway 23 +5
18 tie War Horse Play Vivian Beaumont 21 +3
21 tie Peter and the Starcatcher Play Brooks Atkinson 20 -1
21 tie The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess Musical Revival Richard Rodgers 23 +2
23 Memphis Musical  Shubert 21 -2
24 Clybourne Park Play Walter Kerr 25 +1
25 Ghost: The Musical Musical Lunt-Fontanne 25+1
26 Fela! Musical Revival Al Hirschfeld 27 +1
27 End of the Rainbow Play Belasco 28 +1

Jeff
3.336
Comments? Questions? @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); or leave a comment below and check a box!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Still Another Trend: Biographical Plays

LAST 5 DAYS!  VOTE NOW FOR THE FINALS OF "HOT/HOTTER"!
WHO WILL BE BROADWAY'S MOST UNIQUELY "HOT" GUY?
NEWSIES' KYLE COFFMAN OR GODSPELL'S HUNTER PARRISH?
CLICK THE ICON TO YOUR LEFT AND VOTE TODAY!

In other blogs at the start of this season, I've talked about how a recent trend - religious themed shows - has all but petered out, while several other trends - adorable urchins, high school musicals - have cropped up.  (I consider 3 or more shows with similar themes or traits to be a trend.)  Today, I'm looking a trend that has been building over the past couple of seasons - the biographical show - both plays (today) and musicals (later this week).  SEE UPDATE BELOW.

GETTING STARTED


Historic Figures: Joseph Alsop, Maria Callas, Martin Luther King, Jr., Irving "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird






WHO IN HISTORY: This trend is a pretty much a constant.  History shows that plays about real people are continually produced. But recently, that has really been ramped up.  Two seasons ago, Vince Lombardi was brought to life in Lombardi.  This season that just ended had 5 plays about real people open, and one continues.  Last theatrical year, there were plays about Joseph Alsop, a famed reporter, in The Columnist, famed opera singer Maria Callas in the revival of Master Class, The Mountaintop, a fictionalized account of events the night before he was assassinated were the story of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Magic/Bird detailed events in the sporting life of "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird.




STILL AROUND


Historic Figure: Judy Garland




WHO IN HISTORY: She was a star among stars, and decades after her death, her films, concerts and other appearances continue to be a part of popular culture. The Wizard of Oz alone keeps Judy Garland in our lives pretty much every day (ask the fans of Wicked), and certainly yearly when it is shown on television. Generations have marveled at her astonishing career and mourned her death.  Her untimely demise and the downfall leading up to it are the subject of End of the Rainbow which continues its Broadway run with Tony-nominated star, Tracie Bennett, as Garland.  The show continues through January 6, 2013. August 19, 2013, with a National Tour to follow,

COMING VERY SOON


Historic Figure: Mike Tyson




WHO IN HISTORY: This production, which begins previews tomorrow, is REALLY about a real-life person.  An autobiographical one man show, Undisputed Truth is performed by its subject, Mike Tyson.  One could even say his is part of a trend-within-a-trend - sports-themed plays (Lombardi and Magic/Bird).  Just how much poetic license he takes in telling his story remains to be seen.

Coming soon: The trend of biographical musicals.

Jeff
3.335
Comments? Questions? @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); or leave a comment below and check a box!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

GAME: Six Degrees of Donna Murphy


COMING THIS WEEK: HOT/HOTTER: BRING IT ON EDITION!
TAKE THIS MONTH'S BROADWAY'S POLL TO YOUR LEFT!  
VOTE NOW BY CLICKING ON THE ICON TO YOUR LEFT!


We haven't played this game in some time!  In honor of her turn as The Witch in the new revival of Into the Woods, let's play Six Degrees of Donna Murphy.  What that means is how many relationships does it take to get from Donna to the given end point?  The object is to get there in the fewest steps, and never more than six.  Here's an example: Donna Murphy to Jan Maxwell:

Donna Murphy played Phyllis Stone in Encores! Follies. Jan Maxwell played the same role in the 2011-12 Broadway Revival.  Murphy to Follies to Jan Maxwell. There is 1 degree of separation.

Some of these are easy, some are more difficult, and the last 4 are challenging. REMEMBER: You can get from Donna to the end in six or fewer degrees of separation. HINT: None of the relationships have to do with her films, only her Broadway and Off-Broadway (including Encores!) credits.

Anyone Can Whistle

Easy:

1. Donna Murphy to Lucie Arnaz

2. Donna Murphy to next to normal

3. Donna Murphy to Gore Vidal's The Best Man

Hello, Again

Passion

The King and I

More Challenging:

4. Donna Murphy to Disney's The Little Mermaid

5. Donna Murphy to Andrew Lippa

6. Donna Murphy to Andrew Lloyd Webber

7. Donna Murphy to Smokey Joe's Cafe

8. Donna Murphy to John Doyle

The People in the Picture

Difficult:

9. Donna Murphy to Billy Elliot

10. Donna Murphy to Kelli O'Hara

11. Donna Murphy to Alan Cumming

12. Donna Murphy to Harvey Fierstein

Answers will be posted next Sunday!  Good luck!

(Photos from The New York Times and The Playbill Vault)


Jeff
3.334
Comments? Questions? @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); or leave a comment below and check a box!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Olympics Opening Ceremonies: The World's Best Production 2012


THIS WEEK YOU DECIDE WHO IS
BROADWAY'S MOST UNIQUELY HOT GUY!  
VOTE NOW BY CLICKING ON THE ICON TO YOUR LEFT!


Every 4 years, the worlds of art and athleticism come together to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, celebrating all that is great about humanity - people from all over the globe stand side by side, smiling and full of goodwill.  In short, for a few hours, we are all one - no bigotry, religious and political differences are set aside.  I get teary thinking about it.


This year's festivities were huge on theatricality.  The British, lead by director Danny Boyle, do spectacle no one else.  Combining ingenious filmed sequences with live theatre, the Olympic stadium was transformed from a gigantic pastoral setting to a mammoth industrial  to a fantasy sequence celebrating children's literature and the national healthcare system.  There were many highlights: Kenneth Branaugh as the Shakespeare-quoying narrator, James Bond (Daniel Craig) and the Queen parachuting in, Mary Poppins vanquishing Cruella deVil, The Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook and Voldemorte; the stunning midfield cauldron.  I especially loved the lit panels in front of every seat, which provided amazing backgrounds for each scene and even the occasional filmed sequence.  The silhouette of an Olympic runner, taking "a lap" around the stadium was super cool.

It was a superb production full of giant strokes and subtle details.  It made me proud to be a human being.



FROM PASTORAL BRITAIN...




...TO THE INDUSTRIAL AGE

MARY POPPINS TO THE RESCUE


JAMES BOND AND THE QUEEN DROP IN
TO SAVE THE OLYMPICS

THE OLYMPIC BELL


PEACE - WHAT IT SHOULD ALL BE ABOUT
EVERY DAY

THE OLYMPIC CAULDRON

THE CEREMONIES CLOSE WITH A BANG!

(Photos from Getty Images)

Jeff
3.333
Comments? Questions? @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); or leave a comment below and check a box!


Friday, July 27, 2012

HOT/HOTTER: THE FINALS!

AT LAST!  After nominating 41 of Broadway's most uniquely HOT men and voting in 21 preliminary and semi-final rounds, not to mention thousands of individual votes, you have brought the whole "competition" down to the FINAL TWO!

Newsie's KYLE COFFMAN 
vs Godspell's HUNTER PARRISH!

Here are some photos and two videos for each finalist to help you decide.  The poll is at the bottom of this blog.  This time, like the first 16 rounds, you will rate BOTH finalists on a scale of 1 to 10.  The WINNER will be the gentleman with the highest average score.  You MUST rate BOTH guys for your vote to count when you hit "SUBMIT."  And if you think your vote doesn't count, think again! Every vote from the Elite 8 through the Final 2 has been determined by less than 2% between the winners and losers!

Already know who you want to win?  Scroll down now.  Otherwise, enjoy the videos and photos first, then place your vote!

VIDEOS: Performance (Doing what they do best!)


video
KYLE COFFMAN'S PERFORMANCE REEL


HUNTER PARRISH RECORDS "BEAUTIFUL CITY" 
FOR THE GODSPELL REVIVAL CAST RECORDING

VIDEOS: Interviews (They talk, too!)

KYLE COFFMAN ON PLAYING "HENRY" IN NEWSIES


HUNTER PARRISH ON SINGING AND DANCING AS "JESUS" IN GODSPELL

PHOTOS: Kyle and Hunter









THE FINAL VOTE! (You MUST rate BOTH guys!)


Be sure to check back on Friday, August 3 to see who won!
COMING SOON: HOT/HOTTER: Show By Show!


(Performance Reel from Ganymedia; YouTube videos from DisneyBroadway and GodspellOnBway; photos from Playbill and Getty Images)


Jeff
3.332
Comments? Questions? @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); or leave a comment below and check a box!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Broadway Olympics


TODAY IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO VOTE IN THIS WEEK'S "HOT/HOTTER"!
THIS WEEK YOUR VOTE WILL DETERMINE 
THE 2 FINALISTS IN OUR SEARCH 
FOR BROADWAY'S MOST UNIQUELY HOT GUY!  
VOTE NOW BY CLICKING ON THE ICON TO YOUR LEFT!


Tomorrow marks the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.  The Olympics is a showcase of some of the world's very best athletes, just as Broadway is a showcase for some of the world's best theatrical talents.  I look forward to the Olympics every time they come around, much as I look forward to each new opening of the Broadway season.  It's kinda funny, considering that I'm not really a sports fan, but there is just something about the Games.  It's probably the very human drama that plays out at each event - the stories of how these complete strangers make it to the pinnacle of their chosen sport, often against incredible odds are so compelling.  And the sheer emotion on display with each victory and defeat drives me to watch as much as possible - I scream at the TV, cheer at the winners, and even share a tear with the losers (and winners).  Doesn't everyone?

So, yesterday, as I started to zone out in my cubicle, my twisted little brain got to thinking: what if Broadway WAS the Olympics?  What events would they be in?  Who would be a star "athlete"?


The Olympic Committee/The Judges: The Cast of The Best Man




The Olympic Village: Rock of Ages (entertainment); Spider-Man (security); Clybourne Park (housing)

The Opening Ceremonies Parade of Nations: Greece: Mamma Mia!; The Nations of Africa: The Book of Mormon, The Lion King; Argentina: Evita; France: The Phantom of the Opera; Ireland: Once; Nigeria: Fela!; United Kingdom: Mary Poppins, One Man, Two Guvnors, War Horse; United States of America: Chicago, Jersey Boys, Memphis


The Games:




Equestrian: War Horse
Diving: Peter - Peter and the Starcatcher
Swimming: Peter and the Mermaids - Peter and the Starcatcher; The Boys of Mamma Mia!; Eileen Evergreen and the Bathing Beauties - Nice Work If You Can Get It




Rowing: Matron Mama Morton - Chicago; The Shipwrecked - Peter and the Starcatcher
Gymnastics: Floor Exercises: The Cheerleaders of Bring It On; The Newsboys: Newsies; The Sinister Six: Spider-Man







Gymnastics: The High Bar: Duchess Estonia Dulworth - Nice Work If You Can Get It (She always sticks the landing!); Timon: The Lion King
Gymnastics: The Balance Beam: Anyone who dances on the bar at Once; Rachel Crabbe and Stanley Stubbers - One Man, Two Guvnors; Bert - Mary Poppins
Rhythmic Gymnastics: The Double Dutch girls - Memphis; The Corps de Ballet - The Phantom of the Opera; The Merry Murderesses - Chicago; Eva Peron - Evita





Wrestling: Francis Henshall and the Trunk - One Man, Two Guvnors, Simba and Scar - The Lion King; Sam Wheat and Willie Lopez - Ghost The Musical; Spider-Man and the Green Goblin - Spider-Man
Track and Field: Long Distance Running: Elphaba and Fiyero - Wicked; Little Simba and the Wildebeests - The Lion King; The Subway Ghost - Ghost: The Musical; Crown - Porgy and Bess; The Cast of Peter and the Starcatcher






Track and Field: The Hurdles: The Newsboys - Newsies; The Sisters - Sister Act
Track and Field: The Long Jump: The Newsboys - Newsies; Spider-Man - Spider-Man




Shooting: The Gendarme - The Phantom of the Opera; Roxie and Velma - Chicago; Billie Bendix - Nice Work If You Can Get It; Willie Lopez - Ghost The Musical




The Closing Ceremonies: Judy Garland - End of the Rainbow (Who throws a better party?)


Jeff
3.331
Comments? Questions? @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); or leave a comment below and check a box!
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