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Entries in Broadway and Stage (181)

Thursday
Apr282016

I Cannot Tell a Link

Guardian Glenn on 10 best Australian documentaries ever including Canes Toads (in 3D) a film I saw at Sundance years ago that freaked me right out
The Tracking Board Martin Scorsese might make a George Washington biopic. Hmmm, how does Leonardo DiCaprio look in a white powder wig?
Oscars.org Los Angelenos readers take note. Alan Menken and Angela Lansbury will be taking part in a 25th anniversary screening of Beauty & The Beast on May 9th. You can buy tickets at the link. 
MNPP Jason attends a special Aliens screening and Q&A with Sigourney Weaver (who is still looking incredible) 
Awards Daily thinks Passengers (the sci-fi film starring Chris Pratt & Jennifer Lawrence) could be one of our Best Picture nominees

The Playlist new images from The Neon Demon. Can't wait to see this 
New Yorker Richard Brody provocatively argues that film critics and publications need to move beyond "theatrical release" or "festival" when considering what makes a movie worth writing about
Variety more Cannes news. While we've already discussed the main jury, they've announced the sidebars. All three will be presided over by women (!): Actress Marthe Keller for Un Certain Regard; Director Naomi Kawase for Short Films; Director Catherine Corsini for Camera D'Or
Coming Soon has a new Kubo and the Two Strings trailer if you're interested (my general personal rule of thumb now is to stop after the first teaser or trailer so nothing is spoiled). Laika makes such great movies I don't even need a trailer. I'm always in.
/Film The Jungle Book has a how-they-did-it visual fx reel going around
i09 the X-Men finally get to wear costumes that are a smidgeon like their comic book origins at some point in X-Men Apocalypse (hopefully not just at the end)
Interview talks to programmer Thomas Beard about the current Film Society program 'Queer Cinema Before Stonewall '
FSLC ...and there's a few more days of that program left if you're in NYC

Provocative Thought O' The Day
Uproxx "Are more famous people really dying in 2016 or does it just seem that way?" which delves quite a lot into the 1980s as relevant cultural force

Off Cinema
Drama Desk Awards The nominations are in. Hamilton was eligible last year (since Off Broadway productions factor into these awards) which is why it's not up for anything. The revival of She Loves Me (with two of musical comedy's greatest stars: Laura Benanti & Jane Krakowski) leads all productions with 9 nominations. American Psycho wracked up the most nods for a new musical (well, it's tied with Steve Martin & Edie Brickelle's Bright Star) EXCEPT the big one: Best Musical. Weird, right. That's gotta sting even if the high nomination count isn't any sort of axe to the head for the show. Famous TV & Film actors nominated this year for their stage work include: Jessica Lange, Michael Shannon, Michael C Hall, and Frank Langella. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who has been much-buzzed for her performance in Eclipsed, was not nominated this morning. Hmmm.

Today's Watch
Chase Whale interviews Key & Peele about their kitten heist movie Keanu. Fun bit.

Monday
Apr252016

Stage Door: The Crucible w/ Ben Whishaw & Saoirse Ronan

On Monday's (the "dark" night for many shows) Stage Door, we talk theater ...and often its film connections.

Arthur Miller's classic allegory about the Salem witch trials The Crucible is back on Broadway for a limited engagement currently scheduled to run through July. Expect Tony nominations as it's a gripping night of theater with high profile actors like Saoirse Ronan as the vengeful aggressive Abigail, fresh off her Oscar nomination, and acclaimed Brits Ben Whishaw and Sophie Okonedo as the doomed Proctors.

The Crucible has only been adapted to cinema twice, once in French in 1957 and most famously in English in 1996 with Winona Ryder, Daniel Day Lewis and Joan Allen (Oscar-Nominated) in the principle roles. That film was no classic so it's easy for the current production to obliterate it in the mind's eye. But for Joan Allen's utterly brilliant rendering of Goody Proctor. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr202016

Lukewarm off the Presses: Hamilton, Banks, Anastasia, Cloak & Dagger. Plus Tony Buzz!

Nathaniel, back from the Nashville Film Festival where I juried on the "New Directors" competition. More on that once our awards are announced. Until then, I'm under hush order. But let's catch up on all sorts of movie & entertainment news that happened over the past handful of days that we didn't cover here.

• Lin-Manuel Miranda won the Pulitzer for his Broadway smash Hamilton and, giddy squeal, The New Yorker's television goddess Emily Nussbaum won the Pulitzer for criticism. If you haven't read her, you must. She's just wonderful.
The Golden Globes have clarified their rules for what drama and comedy mean in a probably futile attempt to get campaigns to stop trying to game the system.
• I forgot to mention that teen superhero duo Cloak and Dagger are getting their own TV show (yay! always loved them in the comic books) but Kate Beaton has two words for you "tit windows"
• Elizabeth Banks plans to direct a revival of the Charlie's Angels franchise and she's also playing the villain in the new Power Rangers movie resulting in a horrifying photo.
• Beloved bossy TV mom Doris Roberts has died. The supporting actress won 4 Emmys for her role on Everybody Loves Raymond and also had memorable roles on St. Elsewhere (another Emmy win), Remington Steele, and Angie. She was not only well loved by audiences but co-stars too.
• Carrie Fisher has officially blamed George Lucas for inspiring her writing career because his Star Wars dialogue was so terrible
• Johnny Depp and Amber Heard made some sort of weird apology video for that dog business in Australia
• Adapting animated features into Broadway musicals isn't just for Disney anymore. Anastasia (1997) becomes a stage musical this summer in London and is eyeing the 2016/2017 Broadway season
• There are some who are suspicious that this news is not really official but Nicole Kidman is supposedly returning to Broadway this fall with Photograph 51, after its London run
• Industry people got really excited about 3D high frame rate footage from Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk at a Future of Cinema Conference
• The Academy is STILL trying to explain their new voting rules. So do we get it now?

RANDOM CASTING & DATE SHIFTS
No links just news ICYMI: Daisy Ridley will headline a new film from Marielle Heller, director of Diary of a Teenage Girl called Kolma, a 'mystical' romance; Willem Dafoe joined Justice League (role unknown); Walton Goggins has replaced Joe Manganiello (they're so alike. um...) in History Channel's forthcoming Navy SEALs series Six; Naomi Watts will headline the Netflix psychological thriller series Gypsy (not the musical!) in which she plays a therapist who gets mixed up in her client's lives; Kurt Russell & Kate Hudson will star in the TV series Barbary Coast, a period drama about the gold rush in the 19th century; Kate McKinnon may star in the new back-to-school comedy Senior Year; Nicole Beharie, who was so amazing in Shame (2011) and then starred in TV's Sleepy Hollow, will play the lead female role in the remake of 90s thriller Jacob's Ladder; The Golden Globes will take place on January 8th, 2017 this coming awards season. 

THIS JUST IN
Slightly fresher news before we go

Two of Broadway's Funniest Ladies: Laura Benanti & Jane Krakowski, in "She Loves Me"

• Doug Kraner, a production designer on TV's "Gotham" and several movie hits including Uncle Buck, Sleeping with the Enemy and Enough, has passed away.
• A24 is on board a new James Ponsoldt (Spectacular Now) project a true story drama based on the book "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution"
• The Tonys are coming. The Tonys are coming. That means precursor madness. Yes, as with the Oscars there are many precursors to the Tony Awards. The Outer Critic Circle Nominees and Drama League have already announced their nominees (with Drama Desk to come next week). Since all the groups have slightly different rules for eligibility Hamilton is out of the way for some of the precursors (though obviously not for Tony) since it was eligible while it was Off Broadway last season. With the 800 lb gorilla caged (for the moment) that means good news for other musicals: She Loves Me, American Psycho, Bright Star and The Color Purple all appear strong going into the Tony nominations. The schedule is as follows:

April 28th. Drama Desk Nominations
May 3rd. Tony Award Nominations
May 20th. Drama League Awards (Hosted by Megan Hilty & Zachary Levi)
May 26th. Outer Critics Circle Awards 
June 5th. Drama Desk Awards (Hosted by Michael Urie)
June 12th. Tony Awards (Hosted by James Corden)

P.S.
Meryl Streep also recently spoke at the "Women in the World" summit and at the end of her speech she sings a snippet from Hamilton making this an even better week for Lin-Manuel Miranda and the upcoming Tony Awards.

 

Sunday
Apr032016

Olivier Awards Live Stream. And Other Miscellania

Keyframe an interview with Oscar winner Dorothy Malone (OMG) who is now 92. Mambo!
Pajiba adorable family Force Awakens cosplay from Utah
ENO Glenn Close is starring in the revival of Sunset Blvd through May 7th. If you're in London, please go and tell us how it is! 
The Movie Scene Criterion's blindspot for female filmmakers. (I know it's uncool to be critical of Criterion excpet in these rare cases of agreed upon issues -- but they have other blindspots too, like the musical genre)
DListed Ginger Feud: Susan Sarandon and Debra Messing having words over Sanders/Clinton. (Everyone is fired up of late.)


Comics Alliance argues that the bland costumes in X-Men: Apocalypse are a key problem with that franchise -- it's true you could mistake it for a Hunger Games poster.
BuzzFeed "The Unbearable Sadness of Ben Affleck" a good long read by Anne Helen Petersen who also did that recent history of Jennifer Garner

Everything is Gay
Vulture Why Richard Linklater's Everybody Wants Some is inadvertently gay
New York Post Smithers finally comes out tonight on The Simpsons in its 28th season (yeesh. it's already the longest running sitcom and scripted prime time series of all time on US television)
MNPP [nsfw] Jason remembers Exit to Eden (1994) -- Dana Delany wasn't the only one obsessed with Paul Mercurio's butt

Signs of the Apocalypse
Vulture an engineer built a life-size replica of Scarlett Johansson. Don't look directly into its dead eyes!
Tom & Lorenzo Jessica Chastain posing with a terrifying baby kangaroo. RIP Jess 
i-d interviews the gender neutral artist illma gore who broke the internet with a painting of nude Donald Trump. Unfortunately this means they extended the conversation about his junk. (sigh. this world)

TODAY'S WATCH
The Olivier Awards (essentially the Tony Awards of the UK) stream at 12 PM EST. Familiar Oscar nominated darlings who are up for West End acting awards this year include Nicole Kidman (in Photograph 51, which she hopes to bring to the screen), Mark Rylance, Benedict Cumberbatch, Imelda Staunton (she'll perform and Gypsy, which we reviewed, has a ton of nominations), Judi Dench and Janet McTeer. Cyndi Lauper will also perform since Kinky Boots is up for New Musical. Because the timetables are different with UK and US theater, Kinky Boots (Tony Winner 2013) is up against Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights (Tony Winner Best Musical 2008) at the Olivier Awards 2016. Strange that Kinky Boots hit the US first since it's adapted from a British film.

TODAY'S WATCH #2
Speaking of Theater. Benjamin Walker -- who is great on stage but has yet to successfully make his mark on the big screen despite a few tries -- is doing Patrick Bateman on stage. Who knows if he'll be Tony Nominated but here he is performing "Selling Out" on the Colbert Show

We really need to see some current Broadway shows before the Tony nominations hit!

Friday
Apr012016

Never felt so LIVE!

Filmed stage productions are becoming more and more common with The National Theatre in London finding great success streaming their high production shows across cinemas all over the world. Cinephiles and theatre goers are big overlap on the venn diagram. A live TV production seems like the next logical step. As recently reported, Aaron Sorkin’s play-turned-film A Few Good Men is getting the live TV treatment in 2017 on NBC. This follows in the successful footsteps of live musicals The Sound Of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz and Grease but is certainly an ambitious task without the razzle dazzle of musicals or the tomfoolery of live comedy to smooth over the awkward edges live TV can contain.

Whilst these filmed non-musical stage productions have found success, particularly when big names are headlining, there is always something missing that makes in an incomparable experience to being in the theatre with them. By tailor making the work for at home audiences, this could be overcome. An Aaron Sorkin script seems the perfect vehicle. The pace of his scripts in the hands of a strong cast is edge of your seat viewing, and anyone familiar with his work on stage on screen will be excited by the prospect of seeing those character sparks fly live. There’s no word on cast yet, but so far NBC have (mostly) done a good job of casting their live productions, and have a particular knack for picking up and coming stars.

Should this prove fruitful, there’s an array of plays and films that could be all the more tantalising with the electricity of live performance. Let’s speculate after the jump on some other plays and even films that could make the transition after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar282016

Stage Door: The Color Purple

The Color Purple (1985), Steven Spielberg's hit adaptation of the 1982 bestseller by Alice Walker lives in Oscar infamy as one of its two greatest losers with 11 nominations that produced zero wins. Here's a lesser known piece of trivia: The Color Purple, the stage musical adaptation of the same novel, narrowly avoided repeating that exact same trick at the Tony Awards in 2006. It was nominated for  11 Tony Awards but LaChanze won the Best Actress prize that eluded Whoopi Goldberg in the 80s for interpreting the mousy but resilient Celie.

Despite the original production closing only 8 years ago, The Color Purple is back on Broadway in a revival that's been winning raves; it's aiming for a bigger trophy haul this time. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar212016

Stage Door: Revive This! (a musical lover's list)

This week I caught the Off Broadway hit Red Speedo about a swimmer who thinks he needs performance enhancement drugs. It was a totally solid thought-provoking play and if that sounds like faint praise it's only that because the raves have been so breathless. I had front row seats (not intentional) which is a weird angle with which to see this show because the pool part of the stage looms large in front of you (you do get splashed). I don't mind getting wet so I wished they'd used the pool part of the well designed stage a little more. The actors were uniformly terrific so if you're interested in the topic, by all means go. 

But back to Broadway itself. After finally seeing The King and I, one of last year's Tony winners, and the news that Hello Dolly will finally return (with Bette Midler!) after decades of invisibility, thoughts turned to shows that rarely get revived. Some shows like Les Miz & Gypsy & Fiddler on the Roof and a handful of others seem to return to the big stage every 4 or 5 years.  It begs the question of why others are never revived. So herewith a list!

10 Longest Running Shows That Have Not Been Revived in Over 20 Years 
Not a qualitative list but factual based on how long the show ran.

01 Oh! Calcutta! - the nude musical revue closed in 1989 after two very successful multiple-year runs. Why no third?

02 Life With Father -Broadway's longest running straight play ever closed way back in 1947 the same year the film version came out. Among its 1939 opening night cast was future Oscar winner Teresa Wright. 

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...