Recent Theatre News
Aaron Carter Joins the Cast of The Fantasticks
10/29/11 Aaron Carter, late-'90s teenage pop star and younger brother of The Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter, will join the cast of The Fantasticks beginning November 7th. The off Broadway staple is the world's longest running musical after playing 51 years in two New York venues. According to lyricist-book writer Tom Jones, they have never cast someone with Carter's level of fame. Will there be screaming girls rushing the stage or will 23-year old Carter (who has performed on Broadway before) pull this off without so much as a faint? The Fantasticks plays at The Snapple Theater Center, 210 West 50th Street and tickets are $76.50.
HorseTrade Saves UNDER St. Marks!
10/7/11 Off Off Broadway company HorseTrade Theater Group is a staple in the East Village and the indie theatre community. So when their lease for UNDER St. Marks looked like it wasn't going to be renewed, swift action was taken. With the help of friends and allies, the grungy basement theatre (where seemingly everyone performs at some point in their career) will be saved! HorseTrade announced today that their lease was negotiated and the show(s) will go on. Congrats!
The Greenwich Village Follies Relocates for the Month
10/6/11 If you check out the off Broadway musical revue The Greenwich Village Follies in October, make sure to go to their new venue. The show moves from Manhattan Theatre Source to The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street, for the month. Performances are Sundays at 6:30PM. The show runs 80 minutes and tickets are $15 plus a 2 drink minimum. Theasy really enjoyed this show -- check out the review here.
It's A Good Day to Be An Amoralist
9/20/11 Good news for off Broadway golden kids, The Amoralists: their current production, Hotel/Motel, has announced a three week extension through October 10th, AND Broadway mainstay (and recent Sweeney Todd) Michael Cerveris will join the show's band on September 30th. Hear Cerveris rock out from 6pm-7pm at the happy hour event before the show begins. Hotel/Motel is a site-specific production that takes place at The Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th Street. For tickets (which are now only $35 each) and more info, visit theamoralists.com.
20 at 20
9/2/11 See off Broadway for cheap! 20 at 20 is back September 6th through 18th. You can check out 35 shows for $20 per ticket -- purchase tickets at the show's box office. For a list of what's playing and more information, check out 20at20.com.
Sondheim vs. Paulus
8/16/11 You've probably already heard the controversy, but here are the links to the official comments. Stephen Sondheim is taking issue with the revamped version of Porgy and Bess, coming to Broadway this season. He's defensive of the opera, which, for this production is altered to have a musical theatre bend and has been renamed The Gershwins's Porgy and Bess. Read Sondheim's letter to the New York Times here. Then read director Diane Paulus's brief rebuttal here. And then choose a side.
AMERINDA at The Public
8/8/11 American Indian Artists, Inc. (AMERINDA) and The Public present Thieves, a new play by William S.Yellowrobe, Jr., which explores the Urban Native American experience, specifically as it pertains to people belonging to the less widely discussed East-of-the-Missisissipi tribes. In Thieves, family, tribal and spiritual limits are tested at one particular Brooklyn powwow. Playing now through August 14th at The Public. For tickets and more info, visit publictheater.org.
8/2/11 Fulfill your circus dreams this weekend at The Flea, where the NY Goofs host their their annual clown training program, NY Goofs Ultimate School. The program runs from August 4th through August 9th. Dubbed the "premiere professional training ground for aspiring clowns in the United States," the NY Goofs are celebrating their 12th year at The Flea. For more information about the program, visit nygoofs.com.
It's About Time Disney Made an Aladdin Musical...Right?
7/18/11 Beauty and the Beast? Check. The Lion King? Check. The Little Mermaid? Check. Tarzan? Yep, even Tarzan. We're all familiar with the Disnification of Broadway that has been occuring over the past decade or two, so I guess it's no surprise that Aladdin finally gets its due. The new stage musical version of the 1992 cartoon musical debuted at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre on July 7th and the show will officially run July 21st through 31st. The pictures (like the one at left, by Chris Bennion) look incredibly cheesy, but that's probably unavoidable with this particular source material. The show is directed and choreographed by the brilliant Casey Nicholaw (Book of Mormon), so at least it's in fine hands. Music from the movie (by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice) is used in the musical, along with unused songs and new ones written for this production. It's unclear what the show's future holds, but whether it's Broadway or children's theatres around the country, there's generally a substantial market for family-friendly theatre like this.
The Urinetown Folks Are Back!
7/5/11 The 2001 hit Broadway musical Urinetown started its journey at the 1999 NY International Fringe Festival, and now the creators are back with a brand new show called Yeast Nation, fresh and ready for this year's fest. Tony Award winner Harriet Harris will star in the new musical, set to play August 12th through 28th at LaMama Etc. For more info check out fringenyc.org.
Brooke Shields Will Be Morticia Adams
6/26/11 Bebe Neuwirth played her final performance as the matriarchal mama in The Addams Family musical today, after originating the role in 2009 in Chicago, before transferring to Broadway shortly after. The next Morticia will be Brooke Shields. These two actresses seem entirely different to me, but I guess both can effectively pull of a super straight, black wig and plunging v-neck dress (see pic at left of Neuwirth and her original Gomez co-star, Nathan Lane -- Roger Rees now plays Gomez). Shields has a Broadway past, including Wonderful Town, Chicago and Grease, so let's give her the benefit of the doubt and hope she can breathe new life into this tourist-trappy show. Read the Theasy review of The Addams Family here.
Bengal Tiger Heads Overseas
6/16/11 Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, the meditative Rajiv Joseph play that looks at the Iraq war, will close its limited Broadway engagement on July 3rd. It will then head overseas, where productions will commence in Germany, Italy, France and most likely London. Robin Williams stars in the Broadway production as the sassy tiger in the title; no word yet on European casts. Check out Bengal Tiger on Broadway while you can for an intimate and engaging theatrical experience.
Million Dollar Quartet to Move Off Broadway
6/11/11 The Broadway musical revue Million Dollar Quartet will close June 12th to prepare for a transfer to off Broadway venue New World Stages. MDQ is the next show to make this move, following The 39 Steps and Avenue Q (which is still playing at New World Stages since it closed its Broadway run in September 2009). A transfer like this to a smaller space with fewer costs is an interesting choice for a big budget musical, but it means that producers still think there are still audiences out there, just maybe not as many as there used to be. Rent is also on the New World Stages revival bandwagon, beginning previews in July, under the guidance of the show's original director Michael Greif.
St. Ann's Seeks New Warehouse
6/5/11 St. Ann's Warehouse, the innovative off Broadway theatre that has been residing in DUMBO, Brooklyn for a decade, might be looking for new habitation soon. Apparently a recently issued court injunction is preventing the theatre company from proceeding with plans to develop their current waterfront home -- something about the site being a historical landmark. St. Ann's performance space is cavernous, malleable, and unlike anything else in the city; it's perfect for the interestingly theatrical productions they often bring to New York from abroad. And that area by Empire Ferry Fulton Park is a little bit gorgeous, too. Kind of a bummer, but we'll keep you updated with St. Ann's future whereabouts.
Earnest Goes to the Movies
5/31/11 If you're going to miss The Importance of Being Earnest on Broadway (it closes July 3rd), there is a cheaper and potentially local option heading your way. Beginning June 2nd, an HD-filmed version of the play will be screened in select theatres around the country. The film is hosted by David Hyde Pierce, and features an intermission special with Alfred Molina and an Oscar Wilde expert discussing the play. For participating movie theatres, dates and ticket prices, visit EarnestHD.com. Read the Theasy review of The Importance of Being Earnest here.