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Fresh Broadway news and Buzz

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The Reviews for BRIGHT STAR Are In…

The reviews for Bright Star are in, and this new Broadway musical feels remarkably un-Broadway. Featuring bluegrass music, relatively relaxed choreography, and storytelling that feels distinctly Southern (and old fashioned, some say), the new musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell is unlike other Great White Way options.  The standout is Carmen Cusack, making a stunning Broadway debut, who plays both 1920s youthful and 1940s mature versions of the same character, protagonist Alice Murphy.  Joining her in the spotlight are a pair of males, one with aspirations to share his stories (A.J. Shively) and one the object of young lust (Paul Alexander Nolan) – they both also shine. It may not be traditional Broadway fare, but it offers a sentimental night for those looking to have one. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF BRIGHT STAR Bluegrass on Broadway? Yes sirree. The warming sounds of banjos, fiddles and even an accordion are filling the Cort Theater, where the musical “Bright Star” opened on Thursday, bringing a fresh breeze from the South to the spring theater season. Perhaps more surprising is the source of the songs that give a heady… READ THE REVIEW TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF BRIGHT STAR “If you knew my [...]

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The Reviews for SHE LOVES ME Are In…

She Loves Me opened and the critics couldn’t love it more. This unassuming 1963 musical comedy about the most epic of pursuits for ordinary folks – the search for true love – is musical theatre at its finest. First of all, the Roundabout production has a masterpiece to work from, with a book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick…their perfectly intertwined contributions create seamless, effortless storytelling. And secondly, director Scott Ellis is deft in his third go at the show, and stars Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, and Jane Krakowski all nail it as the centerpieces of this terrific acting ensemble. You might not know it by name, but She Loves Me is waiting for you all the same, ready for you to fall in love with it. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF SHE LOVES ME Sometimes vanilla ice cream can taste like sweet deliverance. Such is the discovery made by one Amalia Balash in the 1963 musical “She Loves Me” — which has been rapturously revived in a new production by the Roundabout Theater Company — when she receives a gift of this frozen confection from an unlikely suitor… READ THE FULL REVIEW TIME [...]

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The Reviews for DISASTER are In…

The reviews for Disaster! are in, and while this jukebox-style goofy spoof musical likely isn’t for everyone, it’s certainly a more promising bet than the title implies. The musical, written by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick, features a ridiculous storyline overflowing with the cleverest, campiest humor they could think of – and it can be a hoot…at times. Often outshining the script, though, is a grab bag of 1970s pop hits and a cast of Broadway winners, including a true standout in Jennifer Simard and bona fide stars like Roger Bart, Kerry Butler, Kevin Chamberlin, Adam Pascal, Faith Prince, Rachel York, Rudetsky himself, Max Crumm, and Lacretta Nicole. If a silly who’s who of Broadway musicals gets you going, Disaster! should be on your shortlist. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF DISASTER! Alert the authorities! There’s a wayward nun on the loose in New York City, committing grand larceny eight times a week. I joke, of course — though that story would be a fun diversion from the onslaught of election coverage, no? The crimes are fictional, and are taking place at the Nederlander Theater on Broadway… READ THE FULL REVIEW   TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF DISASTER! Put “The [...]

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The First Annual BroadwayCon

Phew! What an incredible few days! The first BroadwayCon just wrapped, and if you followed any of our coverage, you’ll know, it was an absolutely incredible weekend! Attendees met artists like Anthony Rapp, Lisa Kron, Brian D’Arcy James, Christian Borle, Faith Prince, Andrew and Celia Keenan-Bolger, Lesli Margherita, Alice Ripley, Lea Salonga, Laura Osnes, Christopher Durang, A.R. Gurney, Susan Blackwell, Rob McClure and Annaleigh Ashford (to name just a few), got an impromptu rap from Lin-Manuel Miranda, a private concert from Sara Bareilles, an Obsessed live with Seth Rudetsky and a SmashTrax featuring never before seen footage from Smash, heard incredible performances from Krysta Rodriguez, Lena Hall and newcomer Denée Benton, got advice from Kathleen Marshall and Christopher Gattelli about choreography and Bernie Telsey about casting, and when the city shut down, BroadwayCon organizers pulled some couches onstage and started speed-dialing stars like Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel and Patti LuPone. The event started and ended with incredible performances staged by David Alpert, featured unbelievable cosplay and a level of fandom that floored stars and organizers alike. So, you know. Just another weekend. And lucky us — Anthony Rapp and the ladies behind Mischief Management, Melissa Anelli and Stephanie Dornhelm, announced that a BroadwayCon 2017 will happen and many big stars who couldn’t [...]

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A Buzzworthy on Broadway News Roundup

It’s been an exciting couple of months on Broadway with more excitement on the way — A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder closed after a hugely successful run and Dames at Sea closed after a very paltry run, plus lots of fantastic shows opened on broadway to rave reviews! There have also been lots of announcements about shows that are headed to the Great White Way soon, including Cats and Hello Dolly, starring Bette Midler. Here’s what’s on the Broadway docket:            Musicals on the little screen keep getting better and better NBC’s live televised musicals have continued going strong, with The Wiz garnering much more praise than their previous televised shows. Next up: Grease on Sunday, January 31, starring a lot of Broadway folks (finally!), followed by Hairspray later this year. A new Broadway theatre? Rumors are flying that there may be an 18th Broadway theatre in the works. Michael Riedel reported that the “Shuberts plan to build a state-of-the-art, 1,500-seat Broadway theater between West 45th and 46th streets – sandwiched between Frankie & Johnnie’s steakhouse and the Shuberts’ Imperial Theatre.” However, Deadline’s Jeremy Gerard said: “A new Broadway theater, at a cost of $150 million? Ehhhh, I don’t think so.” If he’s right, it may just be a dream for the time being…but [...]

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The Reviews for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF are In…

The reviews for Fiddler on the Roof are in, and this revival may not have audience members dancing with joy – on purpose.  Director Bartlett Sher walks a fine (and somewhat dangerous) line, attempting to honor the beloved 1964 musical while connecting it to modern themes and events.  In fact, he faces a daunting task not unlike the one central to the musical.  The production is built around lead actor Danny Burstein who capably discovers both humor and depth but ultimately offers a Tevye that may not universally satisfy.  In fact, the same could be said of this Fiddler as a whole…it aims to engage your noggin, and thus just misses on capturing your heart. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF FIDDLER ON THE ROOF The sorry state of the world gives us new reason to appreciate the depth of feeling so powerfully, so ingeniously embedded in “Fiddler on the Roof,” the much-loved and much-revived 1964 musical comedy that has returned to Broadway at a time when its story of the gradual disintegration of a family, and a…  READ THE FULL REVIEW DEADLINE REVIEW OF FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Bartlett Sher’s shows tend to announce themselves with a visual bang, an [...]

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The Reviews for THE COLOR PURPLE are In…

The reviews for The Color Purple are in and the critics universally admire this new production based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel.  This powerful musical, unlike its 2005 predecessor, feels stripped bare, leaving the raw heart of the story in clear focus.  The design, the direction, and the performances – most notably from the soon-to-be-star Cynthia Erivo and the bona fide star Jennifer Hudson – all work in support of the emotional story and songs.  Whether you’ve read the book, seen the movie, or even seen the original Broadway production, this new take brings rich, extraordinary depth to a story worth experiencing again. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF THE COLOR PURPLE Give thanks this morning, children of Broadway, and throw in a hearty hallelujah. “The Color Purple” has been born again, and its conversion is a glory to behold. The heart-clutching, gospel-flavored musical that opened at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater on Thursday night — in a production led by an incandescent…  READ THE REVIEW TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF THE COLOR PURPLE Seeing “The Color Purple” on Broadway, a decade after its premiere, is like meeting an old friend who has gotten her life together since the last [...]

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The Reviews for SCHOOL OF ROCK are In…

The reviews for School of Rock are in, and this new musical pumps out infectious fun like a Fender amp pumps out high-flying guitar solos.  Based on the 2003 movie starring Jack Black, the musical features Alex Brightman in the leading role of Dewey – and he nails every note.  The school kids with whom Dewey starts his new band also impress, playing both their instruments and their roles with skill.  The creative team may include some unlikely names (Andrew Lloyd Webber and Julian Fellowes, to be specific) but the feel of the show is spot on, making it easy to love.  Lace up your sneakers, un-tuck your shirt, and head to the Winter Garden Theater for a rock ‘n roll show with a dash of Broadway heart. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF SCHOOL OF ROCK Andrew Lloyd Webber has entered his second childhood, and it turns out to be a good career move. For his latest offering, “School of Rock the Musical,” which opened with a deafening electric twang at the Winter Garden Theater on Sunday night, this lordly British composer has been hanging out with fifth graders... READ THE REVIEW TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCHOOL OF [...]

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The Reviews for ALLEGIANCE are In…

The reviews for Allegiance are in, and though the ambitious mission of the new musical is universally admired, the execution is, unfortunately, not.  The sweeping tale is inspired by the memories of George Takei (the ever-loved Star Trek idol) and lends personal perspective to the shameful period of Japanese-American internment in World War II.  On paper, it’s intriguing, especially with Takei himself and Tony-winner Lea Salonga topping the cast list.  In reality, though, the musical suffers from poor conception, unimaginative direction and design, and an overwhelming earnestness.  The musical is certainly unique and full of heart, but when it comes to storytelling on Broadway, that’s just sometimes not enough. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF ALLEGIANCE “Allegiance,” a new musical about the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps during World War II, could be said to suffer from a problem of divided loyalties, and I’m not referring to its characters. The show wants to illuminate a dark passage in American history with complexity and honesty, but the first… READ THE REVIEW DEADLINE REVIEW OF ALLEGIANCE George Takei, who would grow up to play Lt. Hikaru Sulu on “Star Trek,” was five years old in 1942 when his family and some 120,000 other [...]

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The Reviews for ON YOUR FEET are In…

The reviews for On Your Feet are in, and what the new musical about Gloria and Emilio Estefan lacks in refined storytelling, it makes up in infectious verve.  The jukebox musical features hits from the 1980s, energizing dance, and strong performances – especially from vibrant leading lady Ana Villafañe playing Gloria – all contributing to creating an undeniably exciting feel in the theatre.  When the songs end, though, and the script takes over, the show often struggles to keep the fun going.  To some the formulaic plot seems weak and to some the writing sounds uninspired, both traits that keep the show from earning high marks.  If you feel like moving, book a night with the Estefans.  If you feel like being moved, keep looking. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF ON YOUR FEET! The recipe may be familiar, but the flavor is fresh in “On Your Feet!,” the half-formulaic, half-original and undeniably crowd-pleasing musical about the lives of Emilio and Gloria Estefan that opened on Thursday at the Marquis Theater. To cite the most unusual element: Many a musical could be described as a…  READ THE REVIEW TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF ON YOUR FEET! There’s not much to [...]

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The Reviews for DAMES AT SEA are In…

Dames at Sea opened at the Helen Hayes Theater on Thursday, and critics agree that this once-golden musical has lost a bit of its charm through the years.  The problem isn’t necessarily with the production itself: the small cast, led by Eloise Kropp as the budding starlet Ruby, performs admirably, and the tap numbers, choreographed by director-choreographer Randy Skinner, are fast and dazzling.  The big missing element is something unexpected.  Since this campy musical first opened to great success, many have followed in its footsteps and thoroughly mined the genre for all its got.  Now, Dames feels less like a tribute to or spoof on anything – it feels more like a relic.  Unless you’re seeking a night of unbridled camp, it might be wiser to stay on land for this sea cruise. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF DAMES AT SEA  What’s that old expression? Oh, yes, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. That phrase floated through my head more than once during the Broadway revival of “Dames at Sea,” which opened at the Helen Hayes Theater on Thursday. This pert spoof of 1930s movie musicals was a surprise smash when it opened almost a… READ THE FULL REVIEW [...]

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The Reviews for SPRING AWAKENING are In…

The reviews for the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening are in and the critics all have goosebumps. Both deaf and hearing actors deliver stunning performances under the expert direction of Michael Arden. The 4-piece band, simple sets, stark lighting and beautiful period-ish costumes come together to make this a lovely, wonderful exploration of both the exciting and darker sides of life. The production is slated to play a limited run and must close January 9th, so do yourself a favor and rush over to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre to catch this one before this beautiful revival fades away. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF SPRING AWAKENING One of the great musicals of the last decade was born anew on Sunday, when the thrillingly inventive Deaf West Theater production of “Spring Awakening” opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Any qualms theater-lovers might have about this being a premature, whiplash-inducing revival — the original… READ THE FULL REVIEW ASSOCIATED PRESS REVIEW OF SPRING AWAKENING Little can contain the new, electrifying version of “Spring Awakening” now on Broadway. Actors use their faces, mouths and hands to communicate. Projections offer song lyrics and dialogue. Performers run through the theater aisles, even occupying a box seat. Musicians roam the stage with [...]

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WAITRESS to Open; ON THE TOWN to Close; HAMILTON May Run Forever

Rather than fill your feeds and inboxes with news just because it’s that time of the week, we’ve decided to make our Buzzworthy on Broadway coverage a when-there’s-news-to-share sort of affair. We’ll round up the biggest news items and gossip into one big post so you can be sure you’re fully in the know. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more to-the-minute updates or subscribe to the blog to ensure you get the buzz! Waitress is Headed to Broadway Specific dates have yet to be announced, but Waitress, the new musical penned by Sara Bareilles is officially headed to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The new musical, based on the film of the same name, will be directed by Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). It starts previews this March and will open in April. On the Town Sets Closing Dates On the Town will wrap up a helluva run on Broadway on September 6 after playing a total of 28 previews and 368 performances. Congratulations to the cast and crew and Bon Voyage! Hamilton Slays the Critics Lin Manuel Miranda‘s Hamilton opened on Broadway to the best reviews we’ve seen in a long long time. Read the roundup here. Eyeing Broadway According to the Post, [...]

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The Reviews for Hamilton are In…

Hamilton, the off-Broadway sensation that made a quick leap to Broadway, opened last night to the rave-est of reviews. No, but really, the critics can’t seem to say enough wonderful things about this production. Yes, the show has an exciting score, excellent casting, great costumes, etc., but what has gotten everyone so riled up is that the story is told in such a fresh way. In Hamilton, contemporary language, multi-racial casting and a blend musical-genres all act to tell the rich history of this country’s founders — and not to fill some quota, but rather in an attempt to get at the essence of the wonderful, rebellious men that changed the history of the world. History is being made now on Broadway with this production — the critics are naming this as a one to reckon any of the greats in the musical theatre canon, and advance sales for the production are already through the roof (to the tune of $32-million and counting). Hamilton, ladies and gentlemen, looks to be a palpable hit. NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW  Yes, it really is that good. At this point, it would be almost a relief to report that “Hamilton” — the musical that opened at the Richard Rodgers Theater [...]

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Buzzworthy on Broadway This Week

Every week we round up the biggest news items and gossip into one big post so you can be sure you’re fully in the know. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more to-the-minute updates or subscribe to the blog to ensure you get the weekly buzz! American Psycho Officially Headed to Broadway Duncan Sheik’s musical version of American Psycho is officially headed to Broadway. Directed by Rupert Goold, the production, which will star Benjamin Walker (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson), will begin performances on February 19 at a Shubert theater to be announced. Opening night is scheduled for March 21. R.I.P. Theodore Bikel Broadway will dim its lights tomorrow in honor of Theodore Bikel, who passed away on July 21, 2015 at age 91. The accomplished actor originated the role of Captain Georg von Trapp in the 1959 production of The Sound of Music which earned him the second of his two Tony Award nominations (the first was for The Rope Dancers in 1958). Bikel appeared on stages around the world and is known best for the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, which he performed more than 2,000 times. Marlee Matlin will Lead Spring Awakening Oscar and Golden Globe winner [...]

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