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Entries in Broadway and Stage (228)

Wednesday
May172017

Stage Door: The Pulitzer winning "Sweat"

Stage Door bringing you intermittent theater reviews when we manage to get there. Here's Nathaniel R

Awards have a way of hyping certain creations, especially the modest kind, to a point where disappointment is an obvious risk. The gifted playwright Lynn Nottage is only 52 but Sweat is already her second Pulitzer winner for Drama (the first was for Ruined). This places her in the rather astonishing company of prolific geniuses Tennessee Williams and August Wilson, and just one prize away from Edward Albee (!) and marks her as the most awarded living playwright and the most awarded female playwright, living or dead. As a result I spent the first act of Sweat wondering what the fuss was about. The Fuss does not identify itself in the second act but by then you can meet the play halfway with its likeable flawed characters and appreciate Nottage's earnest thematic thrust as the play mourns the loss of intersectional solidarity, without clumsily naming it as such...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May122017

RENT Will Get the Live! Treatment

It's upfront season, which means that for the last two weeks we've had never-ending news on renewals, cancellations, and pickups. But for the musical theater candle burning inside me, one announcement shines the brighest:

FOX revealed earlier today that it has acquired the rights to put on the 1996 groundbreaking musical RENT as a live television musical, following the NBC tradition since 2013.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May122017

Today's 5: Carrie, Snatched, Blowup, and more...

Today's 5 mood boosting assignments from showbiz history...

2017 oh wait that's today! New in movie theaters today: Goldie Hawn returns to the cinema in the Amy Schumer comedy Snatched; Uneven but sometimes really exciting director Doug Liman unveils the sniper drama The Wall (starring Brit Aaron Taylor-Johnson with a twangy accent); Guy Ritchie anachronistically Ritchifies the King Arthur legend with Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law; Demian Bichir stars in Lowriders; and Diane Lane takes a road trip with Arnaud Viard in Paris Can Wait when her husband Alec Baldwin bails on her for business.

In their honor: Go see a movie this weekend. Pick a title any title. If you don't want to see one of those catch up with The Lovers or Lost City of Z. Both are good flicks.

1988 The infamous stage musical version of horror classic Carrie opens. It will close five days later. The off Broadway revival in 2012 did significantly better but still closed at a loss

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May092017

Stage Door: "The Little Foxes" doubles The Lovely Laura Linney

Nathaniel R on one of the season's biggest Tony nominees and the most important for Actressexuals

Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes first debuted on the New York stage in 1939 with instantly classic characters, most notably the spiteful Regina Giddens and mousy drunk Birdie Hubbard, who Regina's brother married for her considerable fortune. The show was a hit and immediately scored a classic film version, released in 1941. In the intervening years the show seemed to disappear from the public consciousness a wee bit, despite being revived several times. It didn't help that the awesome 1941 film version was out of print for a long stretch. It's always a treat for fans of actresses since the roles are tailor made for starpower divas...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May052017

Links: Born Sexy Yesterday, Acting as Self-Actualization, and More...

Pajiba gird your loins - Dan Stevens is in everything
Tracking Board Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, and Candice Bergen to co-star in a comedy about a book club reading 50 Shades of Grey? This could be awesome or terrible...or both. Whichever way it turns out, we're there!
Coming Soon Focus has acquired the new Jason Reitman / Charlize Theron collaboration Tully but we'll have to remove it from the Oscar charts. It's not coming until Spring 2018 now

AV Club NBC greenlights its first two series of the new year, one of them that used to be called Drama High (and sounds like it has potential) is now called Rise. Why does Hollywood love to go from specific to generic titles? Are their studies that show that generic titles do better or is it fear of specificity?
/Film the first cast photo of Marvel's The Inhumans has been released and boy is it underwhelming. I've always loved Medusa but you really shouldn't be able to tell that it's such an obvious and stiff looking wig since the character is so tied up in her hair! I mean, couldn't they have gotten RuPaul's wig designers to do it if they wanted something both outlandish and real looking?

Tony Season
Theater Mania hoping to dominate the original play Tonys next year, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has announced an opening for the tail end of eligibility in 2018
Playbill did you know that Audrey Hepburn won her Tony Award the same WEEK as her Oscar? Isn't that crazy? She won the Oscar for Roman Holiday on March 25th, 1954 and then the Tony for Ondine on March 28th!
Deadline Amélie, a New Musical, based on the Oscar nominated French classic, is the first casualty of the Tony nominations, announcing its Broadway closing date for May 21st after a short run and zero nominations.
Broadway World Despite a disappointing Tony showing (2 nominations) Anastasia, based on the 90s animated movie musical, announces a world tour. It helps to have that known "brand" going in. (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was savaged by critics and received zero Tony nominations, is still doing well and the box office and is already working on the tour)
THR Tony nominee anecdotes including Laurie Metcalf on the proposed Roseanna revival and Sally Field discussing the release she felt when she found her calling as a young girl:

It isn't something that I just decided one day or backed into it one day. I found a stage when I was 12 when I was lucky enough to be in a school that still had a theater arts department. And something inside of me changed, woke up, I could hear my own voice for the first time when I was onstage, and then when I would get offstage I had to be all the things that little girls in the '50s had to be, and all of that went back in the box. But when I got onstage I could be all the things I wasn't allowed to be anywhere else, so I could hear my own self.

Love ya Sally!

Exit Video
Got 18 minutes? That might seem like a lot but this video essay really is compelling. It names a sci-fi fantasy trope that I haven't personally seen named before but which is as familiar as they come. He calls it "Born Sexy Yesterday" and it's all about the way genre fiction infantilizes women so that men are their natural superior.

At the very least it will make you rethink mermaid and sexy android movies, The Fifth Element and Splash a little bit. 

Tuesday
May022017

Hello, Dollies... it's the Tony Nominations for 2017

by Nathaniel R

Oh hello Tony*, well hello Tony. It's so nice to have you back where you belong...

*Short for Antoinette, don'cha know

Christopher Jackson (Hamilton's original "George Washington") and musical comedy genius Jane Krakowski, both nominees last season, announced the 2017 Tony nominations this morning. Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 leads the pack with 12 nominations with Hello Dolly! close behind with 10. It's usually an original musical that leads. That's a result of the built-in advantage of having more categories devoted to them. Musicals have all the same categories as the plays but also choreography, orchestrations, score, and book. Musical revivals don't ever qualify for all four of those extra musical categories but sometimes two of them. A Dolls House Part 2 leads the original play nominees with 8 nominations and August Wilson's Jitney and Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes lead the play revivals with 6 bids each.

The nominees are...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr282017

Cate Blanchett will be Margo Channing

by Murtada

Fasten your seat belts, 2018 is gonna be a glorious year. At least for London theatergoers. Cate Blanchett will star as Margo Channing in a stage adaption of All About Eve (1950). Eve, which originally starred Bette Davis as Margois the ultimate backstage rivalry story. Margo is the big star fighting her huge ego as well as ageism as she tries to survive being upstaged by the young ingenue Eve, who starts as her biggest fan and assistant. Blanchett playing Margo is very meta. Forget that she already played Katharine Hepburn and now gets a chance to play her similarly lauded contemporary's most famous part...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr252017

Isle of Links

So much news to catch up with. Deep breaths...

Vanity Fair Brie Larson is this month's cover girl. Talks awards season madness, Hollywood friendships, and Captain Marvel
Slate a breathless take on early footage from Marvel's Black Panther including kudos for what sounds like Angela Bassett's best movie part in a long time
Coming Soon Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, his second animated feature, got a teaser poster and a release date
EW Faye Dunaway breaks her silence on February's Oscar Best Picture mixup
AV Club release dates for upcoming Disney pictures including Star Wars, The Lion King, and the bound to be terrible Frozen 2 (because didn't that story feel complete as is. sigh) 
Movie City News David Poland is done apologizing for not liking James Gray movies very much. Here's why.
Deadline Monumental Pictures has announced they're making a big screen version of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court drama that determined abortion rights in the US. Curiously the article doesn't mention that this has already been dramatized. Holly Hunter starred in the TV movie Roe vs Wade (1989) and won the first of her two Emmys (both were in the category Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special)
Cinematic Corner Sati looks back at Dolores Claiborne (1995) 


The Stake an interesting piece about Scarlett Johansson's "embodiment quartet" (Ghost in the Shell, Under the Skin, Her and Lucy) doing work that's explicity about bodies and voices
IMDb has a bajillion casting updates for TV including new roles for Donald Sutherland, Ashley Judd, Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey, Kristin Chenoweth, Susan Sarandon's Feud followup, and a series lead for Miles Teller (who normally leads movies)
Kenneth in the (212) Erin Moran of TV sitcoms Happy Days and  Joanie Love Chachi dead at 56
Boy Culture Madonna is NOT pleased about the news about the upcoming biopic on her early years. Calls the filmmakers "charlatans and fools"  
...TFE in case you missed that earlier Madonna news
Awards Daily Ranking Hedda Hopper's Hats in Feud. I wanna kill Joey. I was totally working on an article just like this one when I saw this. argh. Must type faster
MNPP do you like Henry Cavill's new moustache? 
Boy Culture Whoa! the original Bananarama have reunited for a brief 2017 tour. Even I, who lived through the 1980s have never seen all three of them together. I did catch one Bananarama concert in my day but by that point Siobhan had already left the band. 
/Film Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will be Timon and Pumba  in the remake of The Lion King
Variety the Outer Critics Circle nominations are announced. The musical Anastasia and the revival of Hello Dolly! lead. Curiously, though the awards cover Off Broadway as well as Broadway, Sutton Foster wasn't nominated in leading actress for her Sweet Charity. Actors who hop around between Film, TV, and Stage that were nominated this year include Bette Midler, Sally Field, Daniel Craig, Andrew Rannells,  Allison Janney, Patti Lupone, Cynthia Nixon, David Hyde Pierce, David Oyelowo, Kevin Kline, and The Lovely Laura Linney