THIS WEEK @ JK's TheatreScene

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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

Friday, February 28, 2014

Looking Forward to Spring 2014

The Bridges of Madison County
I cannot believe that March starts tomorrow.  March!  What the hell happened to January and February?  Funny how time flies when you are freezing your ass off, right?  And now it is time for the theatre season to kick into super high gear as the rush to open before the end of April hits every producer in town!  And now it is time to take a look at those shows I am looking forward to that opens between the beginning of March and the end of May.

Like I always say, though, I have to look back before I can look forward.  My blog that covered winter (HERE) had me looking forward to two plays, two musicals and one holdover musical from the fall.  Well, I didn't make it to either play, but I did get to all three musicals, plus a re-visit to one of my favorite shows from last season.  How did I fare? Well, Matilda (A+) is as good as ever.  But the new musicals were more decent than superb - A Night with Janis Joplin (B-) and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (C), though I really loved one: The Bridges of Madison County (A).  Janis and Carole reflect my growing displeasure of "Baby-Boomer-Bio-Musicals," though both featured superior, career-making leading performances, which lifted my grades for both.  So for the slow months, I guess a grade of B overall isn't too bad.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

And so on to the spring... I am excited about several new shows, and really hope to get to a few plays, too.  I have tickets to all of the musicals still to open (I am so lucky!), but I'm not terribly excited about all of them, so you won't see them all here.  Don't get me wrong - I am looking forward to seeing Neil Patrick Harris and Ramin Karimloo, and I wouldn't say "no" to seeing the likes of Audra McDonald, Denzel Washington, or Santino Fontana, but their shows don't interest me too much.

You'll probably see a common theme or two as I share my thoughts on these 10 shows that excite me this spring...

THE PLAYS:

The Cripple of Inishmaan (Broadway - Cort Theatre) 
Yes, seeing Daniel Radcliffe has its appeal for sure.  The guy is talented.  But I also love the plays of Martin McDonagh, and I've seen this one before, regionally.  It is warm, funny and intriguing.


Mothers and Sons (Broadway - Golden Theatre)
A new play by another of my favorite playwrights, Terrence McNally is reason enough to want to see this one.  But, really, you can't beat Tyne Daly.  Or Bobby Steggert.  Or Frederick Weller.


Of Mice and Men (Broadway - Longacre Theatre)
A play based on one of my favorite stories is the biggest reason I am looking forward to this one.  I'd be lying if I didn't admit that seeing James Franco is intriguing at the very least.


The Realistic Joneses (Broadway - Lyceum Theatre)
This is all about the cast. I'd love to see both Toni Collette and Michael C. Hall again.  I loved them in The Wild Party and Cabaret, respectively. Plus, who doesn't admire Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei?  And I want to see what all the fuss is about over Will Eno.

THE MUSICALS:



Aladdin (Broadway - New Amsterdam Theatre)
I know it isn't en vogue to admit to liking Disney musicals.  But I love them - all the spectacle, the theatricality, and the music is always good.  I never feel like I didn't get my money's worth.  OK, so maybe not The Little Mermaid... But I have high hopes for the street rat and his blue buddy!


Bullets Over Broadway (Broadway - St. James Theatre)
I'm going into this one blind, so I am looking forward to something totally new to me.  But the biggest things I am looking forward to are three of my favorite actresses: the legendary Karen Ziemba, the always incredible Marin Mazzie, and star-on-the-rise Betsy Wolfe.


Cabaret (Broadway - Studio 54)
The first time this one played Broadway, I saw it seven (or was it 8?) times!  I missed Alan Cumming thanks to the crane incident at the Henry Miller's Theatre, so this time I am hoping to see his legendary, Tony-winning performance.  And it is one of my all-time favorite shows, in one of my all-time favorite stagings.  I can't wait to see the chilling, thought-provoking, detailed work of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall again!


If/Then (Broadway - Richard Rodgers Theatre)
I'll just make a list: Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey, Idina Menzel, LaChanze, Curtis Holbrook, Jenn Colella, ORIGINAL MUSICAL.


Rocky (Broadway - Winter Garden Theatre)
The film was literally the first drama that made an impression on me.  I was 9 years old and completely captivated by a boxer (I hated all sports) and a homely girl.  I am excited to see how it translates to the stage and how the great young director, Alex Timbers, creates a theatrical event.  Plus the Golden Circle thing intrigues me.


Violet (Broadway - American Airlines Theatre)
This is another show I missed the first time around.  And since her triumphant Fun Home, I'm looking forward to hearing another Jeanine Tesori score.  Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry certainly sweeten the deal.  And seeing it at the American Airlines Theatre will mean I have been in every active Broadway house!  Complete set!

What shows are you most looking forward to this spring?  Write or Tweet me!

Jeff
5.118

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Star-Gazing: Who's on Broadway This Spring (L - Z)

Last week, I talked about the incredible star power coming to the Broadway stage in all the spring shows, from A to L.  You can see that HERE.  And it says something about the one show that has no Tony nominees or winners in shows L - Z, but still has an internationally known film and stage actor in the lead (The Cripple of Inishmaan's Daniel Radcliffe).  And you could say the same for Of Mice and Men with a Tony winner in a supporting role, and a famous leading man, film star James Franco.  You can see why I am really looking forward to the rest of this season!

And kdogg36, the first show on today's list is just for you!

Tony winners Tyne Daly and Jim Norton
are back this spring!

PERFORMER
KNOWN FOR
TONY NOMS
TONY AWARDS
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
Audra McDonald
Stage, TV
2 incl. Marie Christine
5 incl. Ragtime, Porgy and Bess
Mothers and Sons
Tyne Daly
Stage, TV
1 Rabbit Hole
1 Gypsy
Bobby Steggert
Stage
1 Ragtime

Of Mice and Men
Jim Norton
Stage

1 The Seafarer
A Raisin in the Sun
Stephen McKinley Henderson
Stage
1 Fences

Anika Noni Rose
Stage, Film

1 Caroline, or Change
Denzel Washington
Film, TV, Stage

1 Fences
The Realistic Joneses
Toni Collette
Stage, Film, TV
1 The Wild Party

Tracy Letts
Stage

2 incl. August: Osage County (Pulitzer Prize)
The Velocity of Autumn
Estelle Parsons
Stage, Film, TV
4 incl., Morning’s at Seven

Stephen Spinella
Stage
1 James Joyce’s The Dead
2 incl. Angels in America
Violet
Ben Davis
Stage, Opera

1 La Boheme (Tony Honors)
Sutton Foster
Stage, TV
3 incl. Little Women
2 incl. Anything Goes
Joshua Henry
Stage
1 The Scottsboro Boys

TOTAL
15 Nominations
16 Awards + 1 Pulitzer
Jeff
5.117

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Box Office Report: 2013 - 2014 Season: Quarter 3

Sunday marked the end of the 39th week of the season, meaning we are fully 3/4 through the entire season so far!  Time sure flies...
  • 39: The number of shows that played during the second quarter of the season (November 25, 2013 - February 23, 2014) (25 musicals, 13 plays, 1 Solo, 0 Specials)
  • 3: the number of plays written by William Shakespeare that played on Broadway this quarter
  • 4: the number of plays being performed in repertory
  • 82.25%: The average attendance of shows this quarter.  3 shows averaged 100% or over.
  • $95.19: The average ticket price of all shows this quarter. 15 shows averaged over $100.00 per ticket.
  • 67.67%: The average gross potential percentage of all shows.  5 shows were over 100% of their gross potential.
#1 -The Book of Mormon
Top 5 Shows: Average Attendance
1. The Book of Mormon (102.60%)
2. Twelfth Night/Richard III (100.66%)
3. Betrayal (100.00%)
4. Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark (99.77%)
5. Wicked (98.08%)

#5 - 700 Sundays
Top 5 Shows: Average Ticket Price
1. The Book of Mormon ($295.82)
2. 700 Sundays ($151.82)
3. Betrayal ($150.66)
4. Kinky Boots ($143.20)
5. The Lion King ($140.57)

#4 - Kinky Boots
Top 5 Shows: Percentage of Gross Potential
1. The Book of Mormon (125.57%)
2. Betrayal (112.97%)
3. Wicked (110.21%)
4. 700 Sundays (108.83%)
5. Kinky Boots (102.99%) 


#21 - After Midnight
#23 - A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
#31 - The Bridges of  Madison County
2013 - 2014 BROADWAY BOX OFFICE: NOVEMBER 25, 2013 - FEBRUARY 23, 2014

1 The Book of Mormon
2 Betrayal
3 Wicked
4 Kinky Boots
5 700 Sundays
6 The Lion King
7 Matilda
8 Twelfth Night/Richard III
9 Motown
10 Pippin
11 Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
12 Annie
13 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
14 Newsies
15 The Glass Menagerie
16 Once
17 No Man's Land/Waiting for Godot
18 Jersey Boys
19 Rock of Ages
20 Rocky: The Musical
21 After Midnight
22 The Phantom of the Opera
23 A Gentleman's Guide...
24 Outside Mullingar
25 Chicago
26 Mamma Mia!
27 All the Way
28 Cinderella
29 Big Fish
30 Bronx Bombers
31 The Bridges of Madison County
32 A Night with Janis Joplin
33 First Date
34 The Winslow Boy
35 Macbeth (Lincoln Center)
36 Mothers and Sons
37 Romeo and Juliet
38 The Snow Geese
39 Machinal
Jeff
5.116

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Broadway Things That Make Me Happy February Edition (Mildly NSFW)

Like everyone else, I am really getting tired of this particular winter with its "polar vortex phenomena" and all.  That's saying a lot coming from a guy born and raised in the Adirondacks, where winter is what we live for.  Still cold and snow THIS much gets old.  So I am dedicating this month's Broadway happiness edition to things that, er, warm me up!

NEAR-NAKED BROADWAY FOLKS I: The Skivvies

File this one under "jealous of those of you who live IN NYC."  I think seeing The Skivvies (Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley) wherever they play would be so cool.  And seeing Nick Adams,Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Wesley Taylor (and, of course, Laura Benanti) in their undies live on stage would really make my night...






For more on The Skivvies click HERE

NEARLY-NAKED BROADWAY FOLKS II: TONY Spring 2014 Chorus Boys (and Girls)

Each spring and fall, Time Out New York posts its picks (and pics) of "The 10 Hottest Chorus Boys and Girls."  This spring's lists are particularly hot.  And I have to say I am looking forward to Aladdin, Bullets Over Broadway, Cabaret and Rocky even more... Here are a few from each list; see them all HERE.

From Aladdin
Mike Cannon
Tia Altinay

From Bullets Over Broadway
 Dan Horn
Beth Johnson Nicely

From Cabaret
 Evan D. Siegel
Jane Pfitsch

From Rocky
 Vince Corazza
Sasha Hutchings

PRE-PRODUCTION PHOTOS: Aladdin  AND The Cripple of Inishmaan

You all know I love show logos... but I also love pre-opening production shots.  Two shows that have really caught my eye recently in that department are Aladdin  and The Cripple of Inishmaan. Maybe it's because I've always had a thing for Aladdin and Daniel Radcliffe...






BITTERSWEET BROADWAY: The Closing of The Glass Menagerie

I think this image sums it all up... a creative triumph gone too soon.  Thanks to everyone involved.


Jeff
5.115

Monday, February 24, 2014

HOT or NOT Round 10: The Aladdin Edition

Arabian nights are coming to Broadway!  The latest Disney extravaganza is getting ready to hit the New Amsterdam Theatre, starting previews this week.  It'll be a whole new world on 42nd Street!  OK, that was my last Aladdin pun, I promise.  As is always the case with these animated-feature-turned-stage-musical productions, the cast is huge (35!) and "Disney beautiful." I have a feeling this week's competition will be very close.  It will all be up to your vote!

For the tenth time this season, it is up to you to decide who moves on to the finals in our quest for THE HOTTEST MUSICAL CAST OF 2013 - 2014!  Objectifying, I guess, but really also just silly fun.  That said, let me remind you that "HOT" is not just based on beauty or matinee idol looks or a killer bod.  Also up for consideration is their performance, their "buzz-worthy-ness," and the trajectory of their career.  Is their role this time around a milestone or a misery?  Are the chat rooms a-buzz with delight or humming with impending doom?  HOT to look at isn't enough to make it into the finals - even the cutest can be a "NOT"!  To see who has already made the finals, click HERE.

NOTE: The categories may change after the Tony Committee decides who is eligible for what award.  Your winners will still make it to the finals, but their designation might change.)

Here are a few production shots to whet your appetite:




The head shots are after the poll.  THIS POLL WILL CLOSE AT 6PM ON SUNDAY, MARCH 2nd! 
(With 35 cast members it is a long poll. Use the scroll bar on the poll box to move down through the whole list, and be sure to click "Done" at the bottom of the poll to make your vote count!) 

ON A SCALE OF 1 (ICE COLD) TO 10 (SMOKIN' HOT) 
WHO IS "HOT" AND WHO IS "NOT"?


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Now, without further ado, here is the cast of Aladdin.  
LEADING ACTOR
Adam Jacobs, Jonathan Freeman, James Monroe Iglehart

LEADING ACTRESS
Courtney Reed

FEATURED ACTOR
Clifton Davis, Brian Gonzales, Brandon O'Neill
Don Darryl Rivera, Jonathan Schwartz

MALE ENSEMBLE
Andrew Cao, Joshua Dela Cruz, Yurel Echezarreta
Donald Jones, Jr., Adam Kaokept, Stanley Martin
Brandt Martinez, Bobby Pestka, Trent Saunders
Jaz Sealey, Dennis Stowe, Bud Weber

FEMALE ENSEMBLE
Tia Altinay, Daisy Hobbs
Nikki Long, Rhea Patterson, Khori Michelle Petinaud
Ariel Reid, Marisha Wallace

MALE SWINGS/STANDBYS
Mike Cannon, Merwin Foard
Michael Mindlin, Aleks Pevec, Michael James Scott

FEMALE SWINGS
Lauryn Ciardullo, Jennifer Rias

Did you click "DONE" to make your vote count?

Jeff
5.114
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