June 2007 Archives
I'm so excited cuz I'm going to be in Seattle in August so I can see the pre-Broadway tryout for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN! Lots of my fav actors are in it - Roger Bart, Megan Mullally, Andrea Martin, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster - I can't wait!
From this article in Playbill:
"Casting is complete for Mel Brooks' new Broadway-bound musical,Young Frankenstein, which will come alive in Seattle in August prior to a fall Broadway bow.
The production stars Roger Bart (Dr. Frederick Frankenstein), Megan Mullally (Elizabeth), Sutton Foster (Inga), Shuler Hensley (The Monster), Andrea Martin (Frau Blucher), Fred Applegate (Kemp) and Christopher Fitzgerald (Igor), with an ensemble to include Heather Ayers, Jim Borstelmann, Paul Castree, Jen Lee Crowl, Jack Doyle, James Gray, Amy Heggins, Eric Jackson, Kristin Marie Johnson, Renee Feder, Matthew LaBanca, Kevin Ligon, Barrett Martin, Linda Mugleston, Christina Marie Norrup, Justin Patterson, Brian Shepard, Sarrah Strimel, Craig Waletzko and Courtney Young.
The musical based on Brooks' Academy Award-nominated film comedy has book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Brooks, direction and choreography by Susan Stroman.
Musical supervision is by Glen Kelly, who helped make Brooks' words and music in The Producers soar to Tony-winning effect.
Opening at Broadway's Hilton Theatre will be Nov. 8 following previews that start Oct. 11.
The world premiere engagement runs Aug. 7-Sept. 1 at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.
Robert F.X. Sillerman and Mel Brooks present new musical from the creative team of the 12-time Tony Award winning smash The Producers. They are obviously hoping lightning strikes twice.
According to the producers, "Based on the Oscar-nominated smash hit 1974 film, Young Frankenstein is the wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Mary Shelley classic from the comic genius of Mel Brooks. When Frederick Frankenstein, an esteemed New York brain surgeon and professor, inherits a castle and laboratory in Transylvania from his grandfather, deranged genius Victor Von Frankenstein, he faces a dilemma. Does he continue to run from his family's tortured past or does he stay in Transylvania to carry on his grandfather's mad experiments reanimating the dead and, in the process, fall in love with his sexy lab assistant Inga?"
The show is set "in the forbidding Castle Frankenstein and the foggy moors of Transylvania Heights." The song titles include "The Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and the unforgettable treatment of Irving Berlin's "Puttin' On the Ritz."
Tickets for Broadway will go on sale July 15. For information, visit http://www.YoungFrankensteinTheMusical.com.
Now that's talkin' trash!
"The fourth Atrain play had a book by Erica Silberman, music and lyrics by Brian J. Nash, direction by Michael Duling, and choreography by Stas' Kmiec'. Ryan Duncan plays a stoner with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who is suddenly confronted with two pieces of talking, singing trash: a Pellegrino bottle and a New York Post. Darcie Siciliano and Cristin Hubbard were a hoot as Pellegrina and Gazette, and actually made us care (with the help of Mr. Nash's gorgeous music and clever lyrics) about their potential rebirth through recycling- if only the stoner with OCD would overcome his problems and help them. The three performers worked together brilliantly. Hilarious and ultimately moving, this was my personal favorite of the pieces."
Reality tv comes to the theatre!
Six teams create six 10-minute theater pieces while traveling the entire route of the A train and then present the work (fully costumed, body-miked and with orchestra) in just over 24 hours! This sounds nuts - I love it! And I certainly hope they are filming the process.
Here is the press release:
theAtrainplays, vol. XXII
A CELEBRATION BENEFITING THE OFF-BROADWAY COMMUNITY
ONE NIGHT ONLY - WEDNESDAY JUNE 20TH
New York, NY – June 15, 2007 – theAtrain plays, a celebration of New York, created by six teams while traveling the entire route of the A train (from 207th Street & Broadway to Far Rockaway and back) returns to Off-Broadway on Wednesday, June 20 at 8:00 pm at The New World Stages.
In what sounds like the next "reality TV show," writers, composers, lyricists, directors, choreographers, and performers will team up to produce six separate 10-minute theater pieces, and present the work - fully costumed, body-miked and with orchestra in just over 24 hours!
Produced by Lawrence Feeney, Valley Theatre League, and The Off-Broadway Brainstormers, theAtrainplays began in 2002 at the Neighborhood Playhouse.
Performers scheduled to appear will include Emy Baysic (Miss Saigon), Todd Buonopane (Spelling Bee), Stephanie D’Abruzzo, (Tony Award nominee, Avenue Q), Kevin Daniels (Ladder 49), Darius de Haas (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Natalie Douglas (6-time MAC Award winner), Ryan Duncan (Altar Boyz), Lawrence Feeney (My Super Ex-Girlfriend), Adam Fleming (Hairspray), Eric Michael Gillett (Kiss Me, Kate), Blythe Gruda (Of Thee I Sing, Encores!), Cristin Hubbard (Pirate Queen), Cady Huffman (Tony Award winner, The Producers), Timothy Johnson (A Chorus Line), Donovan Patton (“Blue’s Clues”), Thom Sesma (The Times They Are A Changin’), Darcie Siciliano, Robin Skye (Parade), Tracie Thoms (Rent film, “Cold Case”), and Melanie Vaughan (Ring of Fire), among others to be announced.
The creative team includes writers P. Seth Bauer, Barbara Hammond, Michael Lazan, Shawn Nacol, Stephen O’Rourke, and Erica Silberman; lyricist-composers Gaby Alter, Joe Iconis, Brian J. Nash, and Brandon Patton; directors David Brind, Edie Cowan, Michael Duling, David Hilder, Mark Lonergan, and Tony Stevens; and choreographers Wendy Seyb and Staś Kmieć.
On Tuesday evening, June 19th, four librettists will hop on the A train at 207th Street and begin writing the books for four 15-minute musicals, all set on the A train. Before each of the teams begins their journey, they pick a number between 3 and 5 to set the number of characters, then they choose headshots from a blind draw to determine who is in each piece. When the librettists reach the Far Rockaway stop, they randomly select, through another blind draw, their collaborative lyricists, composers, directors and choreographers, who have been awaiting their arrival at a nearby McDonald’s with two playwrights joining them and just beginning their journey.
Two directors will meet the creators of the now finished plays at 207th Street and they all proceed to Columbus Circle where they meet the pre-selected pool of actors, decipher their scribbles, copy the scripts and begin rehearsals. They have until show time THE NEXT DAY, Wednesday night, June 20th at 8:00PM to develop these works into six exciting new musical experiences to be shared with the audience at New World Stages on the set of the hit musical Altar Boyz.
Also involved are Alec Berlin (Musical Director), Andrea ‘Spook’ Testani (Production Supervisor), Andrew Donovan (Original Scenic Designer), and Carol A. Sullivan (Production Stage Manager).
Tickets for this ONE NIGHT ONLY event benefiting the Off-Broadway community are $50 for the performance, $100 for premium seats, and $20 for the post-show benefit party with the cast and creative team. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.telecharge.com, by calling 212-239-6200, or in person at New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.
I'm so glad Jay Johnson's Tony-nominated show, JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO AND ONLY! is on tour (perhaps a Canadian date might be in the cards?) I still think about that show (see my previous posts here and here), and now at least I have a chance to take my kids to see it. What's also really cool is that the original "Bob" from Soap is now in the Smithsonian Institute along with Charlie McCarthy, Jerry Mahoney, and Kermit the Frog!
According to this article from Playbill:
Jay Johnson, whose solo show Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! was nominated for a 2007 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event, hopes to eventually bring his acclaimed production back to New York.
The show, which celebrates the art of ventriloquism, will kick off a national tour in Ithaca, NY, in October. "We're going to start in the fall, start small, work up," Johnson told Playbill.com at the annual Tony nominees press reception. "I hope someday to come back and play New York again for some time."
Johnson, who is perhaps best known for his several-year stint on the award-winning ABC series "Soap," says his Broadway run was something he never really expected. "It seemed to be out of my reach, just as a Tony nomination might have been at the time," he says. "I just wanted to perform in theatres rather than clubs. I wanted that theatrical experience rather than the supper-club experience. So that was my goal, [but] to get to perform at the apex of that venue was great.
"Just to walk on [to a Broadway] stage and to know how many people have walked on that stage [before you]," he adds, "there's nothing like that feeling, and you are absolutely a part of it."
The Two and Only!, which opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre in September 2006 after an acclaimed Off-Broadway run, featured several "co-stars": Amigo, Darwin, Long John La Feat, Nethernore -- the Bird of Death, Spaulding, Arthur Drew, Jackie and Ga Ga, Squeaky and Bob. The latter, the infamous sidekick of the famed ventriloquist, was recently acquired by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
"There was an original Bob that we used on 'Soap,'" Johnson explains, "and later we had a duplicate made that was a little bit better, so that particular Bob was used for a couple of years on the show. You wouldn't recognize the difference because it's mainly mechanics that we changed, but that original Bob went into the Smithsonian Institute [May 15]. He will sit with Charlie McCarthy and Jerry Mahoney and Kermit the Frog. . . . That is -- as incredible as this [Tony] experience has been -- a whole other incredible experience."