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Entries in Broadway and Stage (185)

Monday
May232016

Stage Door: American Psycho The Musical

In the Stage Door column we review theatrical productions, often with one eye on their movie origins or connections.

We first alerted you to the glorius full bodied talent of Benjamin Walker way back in 2011 writing:

You're in for such a treat when you see him on the big screen. Major charisma he has. Big stardom awaits.

The movie career didn't happen quickly in the way we imagined despite a couple of lead roles (The Choice, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter) but that major charisma is still blinding on stage. It's impossible to miss even when the strobe lights are flashing. And flash they do in his latest show. He's recently returned to Broadway as soulless Patrick Bateman in American Psycho the Musical. Yes, that American Psycho. The best selling 1991 novel turned initally troubled 2000 arthouse horror flick turned cultural mainstay and now a Broadway musical. We recite all the history to remind ourselves that American Psycho has never been a property to elicit universal praise in any iteration. Instead, it's always greeted with a mix of  "worst ever" / "how amazing!" And so it's gone with the Broadway musical...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May162016

Stage Door: The Father

Frank Langella is an imposing figure. Standing 6'4" tall, with a countenance absolutely befitting a man who has played both Dracula and Richard Nixon, the man simply looks like a force to be reckoned with. His sense of gravitas demands attention and respect. All of which makes what he does in Manhattan Theater Club's Tony-nominated production of Florian Zeller's play The Father even more impressive.

Langella plays André, an elderly man living in Paris with his daughter, Anne (Kathryn Erbe). At the start of the play, Anne is explaining why she has to get him a new helper: The last one apparently quit after André called her "a little bitch" and threatened her with a curtain rod. For his part, André at first denies the incident, then laughs it off, saying that he is perfectly competent to care for himself.

And here is where talking about the play gets difficult...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May032016

Tony Nominations: Hamilton, The Color Purple, Etcetera

In what we're choosing to interpret as a "changing of the guard" moment, two Book of Mormon stars (Andrew Rannells and Nikki M. James) announced the Hamilton Awards this morning. Or, rather, the Tony Award Nominations though the bulk of them went to the hot show of the now, Hamilton. In fact it busted the previous record of most nominations which was 15 (held jointly by The Producers and Billy Elliott) by 1 nomination.  Shouldn't Rory O'Malley have been present, too, in this announcement since he's the only Tony-nominated Book of Mormon alum in Hamilton (having just replaced Jonathan Groff)?

The Tony Awards will be held on June 12th and broadcast on CBS at 8 pm EST.

Most Nominations Musicals:
Hamilton - 16
Shuffle Along - 10
She Loves Me - 8 

Can Jessica Lange add a Tony to her trophy shelf for "Long Day's Journey Into Night"? She already has 1 SAG, 2 Oscars, 3 Emmys, and 5 Golden Globes

Most Nominations Plays:
Long Day's Journey Into Night - 7  
The Humans - 6

All the nominees (including several Oscar players) and some errant thoughts come after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May022016

Stage Door: She Loves Me (and Tony Preview)

Overheard whilst exiting Broadway's She Loves Me this weekend:

[surprised] That was just like 'You've Got Mail'!

Bingo, tourist ladies, bingo. She Loves Me, the 1963 musical, currently in the middle of its second Broadway revival, is adapted from the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László. It's inspired so many riffs so often you'd think it was a Shakespeare comedy. The play has already resulted in three well-known movies in the form of the touching Jimmy Stewart clasic (The Shop Around the Corner, 1940), an undervalued Judy Garland romance (In the Good Old Summertime, 1949), and the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks rom-com You've Got Mail (1998). The shop changes as does the mode by which the anonymous lovers correspond without realizing they know and hate each other in real life. Expect an internet catfishing riff on the story in 3...2...1... Anyway, in 1963 the play was adapted into She Loves Me for the musical stage...

Click to read more ...

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.