New York City: June 2009 Archives
It's time to see WICKED again!
Usually WICKED isn't on the top of my list of shows to see when I'm in New York. Don't get me wrong, I love the show, but I have seen it twice -- once on Broadway with the original cast, and once in Chicago. As well, we did the backstage tour, bought the t-shirts, sheet music, and the CD! Finally, you have the feeling it will run forever, so what's the rush?
Maria Eberline, a friend and extremely talented musical theatre performer, is making her Broadway debut in WICKED in July! Maria was previously in the first national tour as understudy for Elphaba and Nessa. She took a quick break to get married to Rick Todd Adams and have a baby, and now she is back to work in WICKED (ensemble/Elphaba and Nessa understudy) on Broadway! And she looks as gorgeous and svelte post-baby as she did pre-baby. How is this possible?
Congrats and break a leg Maria!
Be still my heart.
Broadway's upcoming season will hereafter be known as the Season of Hunks! First, Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig will be appearing in A STEADY RAIN.
And now Johnny Lee Miller will be on Broadway this fall.
I have been a huge fan of Mr. Miller since I saw him in the films Mansfield Park and Afterglow. And nobody was as crushed as I was when they cancelled his television series Eli Stone (well, except for the writers...).
Roundabout Theatre Company, in association with Sonia Friedman Productions and Ostar Productions, announced on June 10 that Jonny Lee Miller, of "Trainspotting" and the ABC series "Eli Stone," will be Sienna Miller's co-star in the fall production of Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie.
Sienna Miller will play Miss Julie, and Jonny Lee Miller will play John. Both will make their Broadway debuts in the American premiere of this updated (to the 1940s) version of August Strindberg's classic play Miss Julie, directed by Mark Brokaw.
After Miss Julie will begin preview performances Sept. 18 and open officially Oct. 22 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street). This is a limited engagement through Dec. 6.
Broadway royalty right here in Seattle!
It was a little surreal to be honest. Seriously. I was only a few rows away from Bob Mackie.
The theatre was packed, and there was a palpable electricity. Forget the fact that the event was free (yes, you heard me, free!), it was one of the most enjoyable, exciting nights in theatre I've had!
Spotlight nights are hosted by David Armstrong, the Producing Artistic Director of The 5th Avenue Theatre and are a great way to familiarize yourself with upcoming shows - hearing songs performed, learning the history behind the show, meeting the creative team, as well as gaining new, interesting perspective on shows you already know. The CATCH ME IF YOU CAN spotlight gave insight on the creation of an exciting, new musical!
The evening was divided into three acts:
The Incredible True Story!
David recounted Frank Abagnale's true crime adventures on both sides of the law and discussed this with special guest, Ken Kirkpatrick, President of US BANK, Washington State. Ken had actually hired Frank not so long ago to consult on bank security and fraud so he had lots of interesting anecdotes about this incredibly charismatic man (everyone throughout the evening commented on how charismatic Frank Abagnale is, and how he can walk into a room and suddenly command all attention!) and tips on how to avoid bank fraud - micro shredder and the uni-ball pen (it can't be erased from a cheque with acetone unlike other pens.) When Ken asked Frank whether it would be harder to pull of his fraud nowadays versus in the 60s, he said that today it would be far easier to do everything! Downloading logos, lifting signatures, wiring money...but I digress!
Meet The Dream Team
Songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (HAIRSPRAY), playwright Terrence McNally (THE FULL MONTY), director Jack O'Brien (HAIRSPRAY), choreographer Jerry Mitchell (HAIRSPRAY, LEGALLY BLONDE), musical director John McDaniel , and legendary costume designer Bob Mackie gave an inside look into how a Broadway musical is conceived and created. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman told the story of how they were looking around a bookstore and Scott saw a CATCH ME IF YOU CAN movie book on display and said, Hey how about that? So they bought it, and called Steven Spielberg the next day and they were on their way! I was most intrigued by the description of how they were taking the film and putting it on stage. They weren't going to compete with the movie's ability to show Frank's narrow escapes from the law or just put the movie on stage. Instead, The songs/scenes would be how Frank would view the characters as if they were in a big tv show spectacular. The mid 60s was the time of tv variety shows and specials, with a variety of musical styles from Frank Sinatra to The Rolling Stones. So, Marc and Scott went for a sort of Ed Sullivan Show soundtrack! It sounds very, very cool. We saw Bob Mackie's sketches for the costumes and they look absolutely fabulous. It was so special to be able to listen to this team talk about putting this show together.
The whole team agreed that four weeks of rehearsal might seem like a long time, but they have a lot of work to do so it will fly by!
Meet The Stars
Norbert Leo Butz, who plays the Tom Hanks FBI agent character Hanratty, Aaron Tveit, who plays Frank Jr., and Tom Wopat, who plays Frank Sr. all performed songs from the show (Fifty Cheques, I'm Good At What I Do, Happy Ending, Making Butter Out of Cheese, Seven Wonders). Wow, all three of these guys were amazing. I got chills!l And they also announced that Kerry Butler, and Felicia Finley (who played Linda in THE WEDDING SINGER) will be in the show. dThis is going to be an amazing cast!
Oh, and one more piece of trivia - the song that Neil Patrick Harris sang at the end of the Tony Awards night was actually written that night, over the course of the awards, by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman! They said it was like putting together a puzzle, and they had lots of options to go with depending on who won the awards (the Fonda/Honda rhyme never made it into the song!)
Hurry and get tickets to see CATCH ME IF YOU CAN live and in living color!
I’ve got cabaret fever!
It seems every time I turn around (which is often) someone is thinking about, planning, or doing a cabaret night, or one man/woman show! Krystle Armstrong did a one woman show, Thoroughly New York, Christian Duhamel is doing a Songbook Release party, and I've heard Billie Wildrick is thinking about doing a one woman show in the fall (just to name a few). Wouldn't it be neat to have a regular place for artists to perform, for audiences to have a drink or two, to get to know a congenial host, perhaps something along the lines of Jim Caruso's Cast Party in NYC? Or how about Feinstein's at Loews Regency?
Meanwhile, self-starting Thaddeus Wilson is hosting his own one man evening of song at Amore! Thaddeus is a friend of my daughter Myrna, and also a very talented musical theatre triple threat currently appearing in SHOW BOAT at The Village Theatre (He appeared in HELLO DOLLY with Myrna at The 5th Avenue Theatre). His featured special guest, Cayman Jacobs, is playing Julie in SHOW BOAT. This sounds like an evening not to be missed!
From the facebook page:
"A Night Of Musical Theatre", is a show featuring me with songs by Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, with accompaniment by Kyle Clark.
The music of the "Golden Age" is my favorite music. With that in mind I decided to dedicate every Tuesday in June to my favorite composers and lyricist. The show will range with songs from shows like South Pacific, Babes in Arms, Higher and Higher and many more!
It's at this incredible little Italian restaurant that carries amazing food, drinks, great service and a wonderful atmosphere. Musical Theatre is my passion, so I am very excited to share my talent and knowledge of musical theatre to Seattle. Shows are at 7 and 9 with a little 10 min break in the middle of the show.
Opening Night is June 23rd. There is a cover charge of 8 dollars at the door. (Soon it will be dinner and a show, all for one price) So come join me for some musical theatre fun until the end of July! For reservations visit www.tasteofamore.com.
Featured Guest: Cayman Jacobs
I am so excited for this year’s Tony Awards!
First of all, I’m glad they are done with that whole “we don’t need a host” thing that they did last year. Every awards show needs a host! Thankfully, Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this year! My oldest daughter Myrna is currently watching old Doogie Howser episodes, and Neil Patrick Harris looks about 6 years old on that show! He didn’t look that young when I watched it!
And that electric keyboard musical theme! But I digress..
Most of all I am thrilled that Hunter Bell is nominated for best book for TITLE OF SHOW! I still remember my “first time” at the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), sitting on wooden bench, looking down at Hunter, Jeff, Heidi and Susan perform a show I felt they wrote just for me! I also remember laughing so hard I actually fell off that wooden bench. I’ve been following them (no, not stalking, just following) ever since, reading the TITLE OF SHOW blog, watching THE TITLE OF SHOW SHOW, and even watching Hunter compete in LEGALLY BROWN: THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT PIRAGUA GUY.
So today as I was casually checking out their site, I noticed there is a “TONY VOTERS CLICK HERE” button on the site. I clicked through, only to be met with a login/password request. Foiled again! So it got me wondering – what marvels lie beyond that login page? What treats? Is it a portal into some kind of musical theatre wonderland?
Sadly, I may never know! All I know is that I’ll be tuned in to The 63rd Annual Tony Awards on CBS at 8pm on Sunday June 7, with a glass of champagne in my hand, toasting all the wonderfully talented nominees!