The Buzz Stream
- Rogers and Hammerstein’s Classic “Carousel” Revival Comes to Broadway
June 27, 2017
A revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel is headed to Broadway next spring! Not only will audiences get to hear the memorable music from the show, but it will be performed by some of Broadway’s finest performers…including a MET opera star transitioning to musical theatre.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
It was announced in April of this year that Jack O’Brien (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) would be directing the revival. Stars include Tony nominee Joshua Henry (Aaron Burr, Hamilton Tour) as Billy Bigelow, Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Carole King, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Julie Jordan, and the Metroplitan Opera’s Renee Fleming as Nettie Fowler. This role is set to mark Fleming’s retirement from her opera career and the start of a new part of her performing life.
The Plot is Bustin’ Out All Over
Carousel is the story of Julie Jordan, a young woman who goes to the fair with her friend for an escape from everyday life. She meets an older man named Billy Bigelow who works at the fair and immediately falls in love with him. This show is the story of their unhealthy relationship and the way love ties people together under any circumstance.
The show has yet to book a definite Broadway house though it is set to open on March 23rd of 2018. The show has received a lot of criticism overtime for Julie Jordan’s weak disposition as the female heroine. It will be interesting to see Jack O’Brien’s take on this musical classic and the ways in which he will make the issues of the musical more appropriate. Besides bringing new issues to light and evening the score between Julie and Billy, we will be able to hear Renee Fleming sing all of the most memorable songs in the production.
Is this a show you’re excited to see next year? Let us know on Twitter @AllTicketsInc!
- The 2017 Tony Awards Recap
June 21, 2017
Whether you were watching the awards in the mezzanine or sitting at home with a bunch of theatre fans, the 2017 Tony Award live broadcast was a magical experience. One of my favorite moments of the night was seeing Kevin Spacey tap dance. If you missed those musical numbers or didn’t get a chance to see who won which category, let All Tickets’ Buzz Stream fill you in!
Of all of the productions nominated this year, Dear Evan Hansen took home 6 awards. It won Best Book, Best Orchestrations, Best Original Score, Best Performance of a Featured Actress, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, AND it won for Best Musical. Besides all of its wins, Ben Platt’s (Best Leading Actor in a Musical) performance of Waving Through a Window was one of the most incredible elements. Platt, who had been on vocal rest the weekend prior, performed marvelously. View the video below to see his Tony performance if you didn’t get to see it on June 11th!
In the world of the play, I really enjoyed the way that the creatives behind the Tony Awards chose to have the playwrights give their own explanations of their works. Between musical theatre performances, celebrity presenters, and Kevin Spacey silliness, the audience got a little bit of storytelling throughout the program. August Wilson’s Jitney won for best revival, J.T. Rogers’ Oslo won Best Play, and Indecent won for Best Direction as well as lighting design. Kevin Klein, Michael Aronov, Cynthia Nixon, and Laurie Metcalf were the performers who took home awards for Best Leading and Featuring actors and actresses for the season.
Hello Dolly! was a much anticipated element of this year’s awards for me. People were either rolling their eyes at Bette Midler’s long acceptance speech or yelling Yaass Kween! at their screens. However, a revival such as this requires a real leading lady with overwhelming presence…which the public clearly received. The win for Best Revival as well as Best Leading Actress in a Musical show that Bette and her team overshadowed the other shows in their category (Though the Miss Saigon performance was also very incredible). One thing we didn’t get to see was Bette Midler performing on the night of her win. Although David Hyde Pierce’s performance was wonderful and we got to see a song originally deleted from the history of Hello Dolly!, I would have liked to see Bette Midler sing.
What was your favorite part of this year’s award ceremony? Let us know on Twitter @AllTicketsInc!
- Fox Announces Rent Live!
May 31, 2017
I believe that many would argue the productions of The Wiz and Hairspray by NBC were more successful than that of Grease Live! or The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the Fox network. I threw my fair amount of shade at the production of Rocky I watched last October! But whether we watch NBC or Fox, we still get the popular celeb names who aren’t necessarily the right casting choice for live musical theatre… Fox just announced its plan to broadcast Rent Live! Though we don’t know of the release timeline yet, it sounds like a great choice for generating nationwide theatre nerd watchers!
NBC has worked hard to brand itself toward family friendly musicals. We know NBC as the number one source for family traditions like The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It only makes sense for them to continue on the path of wholesome family musicals to cuddle up around the television to. However, Fox’s choice to show less “family-friendly” material proves that they have a different audience with which to communicate. They want to reach slightly older musical theatre fans and are hoping to achieve a high volume of watchers. Though shade-throwers like myself would say NBC’s production value is better, Fox’s Grease Live! beat most of NBC’s productions in volume of viewers.
“…And I’m Just a Little Weak on My Feet”
NBC announced that its next live musical will be Jesus Christ Superstar and it won’t premiere until Easter of 2018! In the meantime, Fox has plans laid out for live productions of A Christmas Story and Rent. Perhaps Fox is headed in the right direction and audiences will be thrilled with the outcome! I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that we get a great depiction that the musical theatre classic deserves.
What do you think of Fox putting on a production of Rent? Let us know on Twitter @AllticketsInc
- 2017 Tony Awards!
May 24, 2017
The Tony Awards are set for June 11th at 8pm on CBS and audiences will be watching to see all of the performances! Some highlights will be songs from Great Comet, Dear Evan Hansen waving through a window, and Bette Midler will be gracing the stage in Hello Dolly! hoping for a Best Revival win.
Another Opening, Another Show
After last year’s incredible and inevitable sweep by Hamilton, this year’s awards may not be as crazy. However, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Great Comet, and Groundhog Day have caused a stir in audiences. Come From Away and Dear Evan Hansen are the two shows to really tackle from social and historical controversies this year…so my money’s on one of those shows to bring home the award for Best Musical this year.
The Competition Is On
When it comes to Broadway plays, there have been some incredible performers in New York City this year. There are some big names nominated for awards including Cate Blanchett, Danny DeVito, Jennifer Ehle, Sally Field, Laura Linney, Laurie Metcalf, Nathan Lane, Richard Thomas, and Cynthia Nixon. Whomever wins the awards for Best Actor or Best Actress in a play will be in the company of many other talented nominees.
All Tickets wants to know your picks for the 2017 Tony Awards. Who will take home the award for Best Revival? Will Pasek and Paul win Best Musical for Dear Evan Hansen? Which musical performance are you most excited for? Let us know @AllTicketsInc on Twitter!
Use the tonyawards.com to see all the nominees in every category.
- Big Names with New England Summer Stock
May 9, 2017
It’s almost time for summer stock theatre and some Broadway favorites are going to be featured at New England regional theatres this season. Mark your calendars, book your hotels, and don’t forget to print your tickets! Read today’s All Tickets article for a listing of Broadway’s best on regional stages on the east coast!
Set on Cape Cod in Dennis, MA, this regional theatre will be bringing in some fantastic names this season. Notably, they will be producing The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as well as Gypsy. Spelling Bee, which is playing from July 11th-22nd, will feature Michael McGrath (She Loves Me) as Panch, Kay Trinidad (The Little Mermaid) as Marcy, and Farah Alvin (It Shoulda Been You) as Rona. From August 8th-19th, former Elphabas Julia Murney and Caroline Bowman will star in Gypsy. Murney will play Rose and Bowman will play Louise. This is seriously a season not to be missed!
This theatre in Ogunquit, ME likes to take its sweet time releasing cast lists but it has already been announced that Patrick Cassidy (Annie Get Your Gun) will star as Sam in their production of Mamma Mia!. The production will open on May 17th and run for seven weeks until July 1st. After that, Sally Struthers (All in the Family) will star in Bullets Over Broadway from July 5th to July 29th. Based on the film by Woody Allen, this musical is about the making of a Broadway show with some unlawful gangsters meddling in the production costs…
If you’re looking to take a seaside vacation on the east coast this summer, consider these two locations for your musical theatre amusement! Make sure to call their box offices for recommendations on food and lodging.
- New Broadway Show Wins Pulitzer
May 3, 2017
Since previews opened on March 4th, Studio 54 has been home to Sweat. Previously staged at the Oregon Shakespeare Theatre as well as the off-Broadway Public Theatre, this show was recently granted the Pulitzer Prize for theatre. Lynn Nottage, the show’s conceiver, is the first woman to receive the award twice in a lifetime. The show focuses on the working class in the United States “whose anxiety helped put Donald J. Trump in the White house” (New York Times, March 26th).
The show features a diverse cast of nine ensemble members. They play steel mill workers in Reading, Pennsylvania during the George W. Bush presidency. These workers have been friends all their lives and have continued to spend their time together working in the steel factory. However, changed in the workplace cause them to pit against each other. Differences in race, creed, and gender start to pull them apart as there looms a secret, violent end that is sure to shock audiences.
New York Times critic, Ben Brantley, was hard on the piece in his opening night review saying that the play is overly expository, but he still seemed to really enjoy the show saying that it “warrants serious applause” as well as the “belated Broadway debut of Ms. Nottage, a justly acclaimed dramatist of ambitious scope and fierce focus” (New York Times, March 26th). He also commented on the reality in the characters that Nottage achieves in her writing:
“Sweat is best at its muddiest, when love and hate, and the urges to strike out and to comfort, teeter in precipitous balance. That’s when Ms. Nottage’s characters, and the cast members who embody them, emerge in their full tragic humanity.Sweat is one of the many productions to which we offer great group prices. If you’re taking a large group of adults to the city and want to see this sincerely moving Pulitzer prize winning show, we urge you to head to AllTickets for your purchase. Once you’ve seen it, tweet us @AllTicketsinc and tell us what you thought of the show!
- Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion Musical
April 19, 2017
A favorite movie of mine growing up was Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. The film overwhelmingly exaggerated stereotypes of high school kids and hilariously chronicled the journey Romy and Michele took to impress their former classmates as adults. From June 8th to July 2nd, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre will host a new musical version of the film in hopes that they can turn the cult classic into a musical hype.
The film title pretty much encompasses the plot. Romy and Michele were best friends in high school and went on to live in LA together. They are both unmarried, don’t have boyfriends to speak of, and their jobs aren’t glamorous. When the news of their impending high school reunion reaches them, they come up with fake life stories to shock the people who belittled them.
The creative team behind this production includes director, Kristin Hanggi (Rock of Ages), book writer Robin Schiff (Original screenwriter for Romy and Michele…), choreographer Peggy Hickey (Anastasia), and songwriters Gwendolyn Sanford and Brandon Jay (Orange is the New Black). The team has already chosen the stars to play Romy and Michele, originally played by Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino in the film. Playing Romy is Courtney Wolfson, star of Broadway’s Kinky Boots and playing Michele is Rene Wall from Disney’s Frozen Live.
Will you be in Seattle this summer to see the production? Let us know on Twitter!
- Amelie: Opening Night Bound
March 29, 2017
Amelie, the film to stage musical starring Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo, will be opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre on April 3rd. Though it’s opening is a few weeks away, the musical has already received some criticism from the LA Times. Read some review highlights of this 2017 season sensation and get a peek of what is to come!
The film Amelie was released in 2001 and received 5 Oscar Award nominations. Audrey Tautou(The DaVinci Code) played the title character of this whimsical telling. In the movie, Amelie has a very sad childhood living in Paris. Her mother commits suicide and her father shows no affection for his daughter. As a result, Amelie grows up a lonely woman working in a corner bistro in the city. A series of events prompts the discovery of a tin box left in her apartment by a previous tenant. The box contains photos and memorabilia and Amelie sets out to find its owner. When she finds the man who had lost the tin as a boy, she sees the way her act of kindness affects him. From then on, she works to do good deeds in the world for others. Ultimately, she learns to do good things for herself as well.
Overall, reviews for the musical are good! However, these reviews are from previews and might not reflect what will be said once the show officially opens. The LA Times article is specifically important because the musical originally opened at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre last year. They have a kind of regional claim over the show’s origins. While Phillipa Soo was performing in Hamilton, the Berkeley Rep had chosen Samantha Barks (Eponine, Les Mis film) to play the title role. The LA Times cited Soo as a better choice for the role in type and vocal timbre, though Barks had done a better acting job, objectively. Charles McNulty, the LA Times reporter who reviewed the show, had more to say:
“Soo’s Amélie is shy, beautiful, genial — and a little bland. The character’s individual contours aren’t fully drawn yet. The window Amélie keeps staring out of is meant to frame a woman who is in the process of forming herself, but we need to know a little more about this germinating entity. (…) But these quibbles likely won’t keep you from getting swept up in the fun of this larky show. The music, which is nearly continuous, provides a magic carpet of orchestral strings upon which the production floats at will. Musical director, conductor and keyboardist Kimberly Grigsby draws out a sumptuous sound from her orchestra. And every time Soo opens her mouth to sing, the stars in Paris’ night sky shine brighter.” Have you had a chance to see this musical in previews? Do you agree or disagree with McNulty’s criticisms? Tell us on Twitter!