- We welcome our first correspondent for the New York Fringe Festival—Nicole Gluckstern
- Catch Me If You Can announces closing date. No more “Fly Fly Away” from Kerry Butler
- Stephen Sondheim blasts The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess in letter to The New York Times
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? What is your favorite aspect of the Fringe Festival? How many shows do you plan on seeing? Will you miss Catch Me? What did you think about Sondheim’s criticism of the Porgy and Bess revival? What do you think makes a good revival? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
After a ho-hum kickoff, the Broadway in Bryant Park concert series returned Thursday to its second week with a roar. Big Broadway players like Chicago and Catch Me If You Can showed up with their lead actors and off-Broadway fare like Million Dollar Quartet (new to the “off” title) and NEWSical proved strong.
First up were the guys (and gal) from Million Dollar Quartet, which is readying for its off-Broadway bow at the end of the month at New World Stages (it’s transferring from Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre). Much like Baby It’s You!, this weak show plays the Bryant Park venue fierce as a concert-style performance. Leave the story at home—bring in the hits. Their set list was similar to last year’s, but Robert Britton Lyons bring focus as Carl Perkins and Eddie Clendening is still right on as Elvis Presley. At six songs, their set list could have been cut by two, and they sadly did not perform their signature Britton-Lyons-stands-on-the-bass closing pose this year. Lazy musicians.
The old stalwart Chicago took the stage next, and felt anything but old this year. This was large in part due to Christopher Sieber, one of Broadway’s most reliable leads, bringing his charisma and rubbery face to the stage as Billy Flynn. He led the cast in “We Both Reached For The Gun,” which played great, visually, due to the marionette-like choreography. Melissa Rae Mahon, who was featured in Stage Rush’s Chicago episode of Ensemble Watch, played the part of Roxie alongside Sieber, and delivered her character’s title number with delicious sass.
VIDEO: Christopher Sieber sings “We Both Reached For The Gun” from Chicago
- Scottsboro Boys producer Catherine Schreiber discusses the show’s 12 Tony Award nominations and what she thinks the show can win on the big night
- The Broadway softball league kicks off with tons of stars; Aaron Tveit sings “The Star-Spangled Banner”
- Free ticket giveaway to new off-Broadway musical Lucky Guy
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Do you think Catherine Schreiber is on to something, or is she being too optimistic about Scottsboro‘s chances at the Tonys? Who had to wipe the drool from their mouth when they saw Aaron Tveit in a baseball uniform? For your viewing pleasure, watch Aaron’s full performance of the National Anthem below. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
- Priscilla: Queen of the Desert‘s Nick Adams on being taken seriously as an actor
- Tony Award nominee predictions! What categories can Born Yesterday, Baby It’s You!, The Normal Heart, and The People In The Picture hope for?
- Watch the Tony Award nominations announcement LIVE on Stage Rush: Tuesday, May 3 at 8:30 a.m.
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Do you think Nick Adams’ good looks can act as a double-edged sword regarding how he is perceived as an actor? What do you think of Aaron Tveit’s statement on the subject? Do you agree with my Tony Award nominee predictions? Who do you think will get nominated? Feel free to go Tony-Award crazy in the comments below!
A conman has arrived at the Neil Simon Theatre, and his story blows up on stage in spectacular Broadway musical fashion. Catch Me If You Can, based on the Steven Spielberg film of how a teenager—Frank Abagnale Jr.—forged millions of dollars in checks and created false identities that included an airplane pilot, doctor, and lawyer. While the musical (from the composing team of Hairspray) falters in storytelling and tunes, it makes up for it with its stellar cast and production value.
Front and center of Catch Me If You Can is Aaron Tveit in a star-making turn as Frank Jr. Last seen on Broadway as Gabe in Next to Normal, Tveit’s performance solidifies him as a bona fide star, worthy of stage and screen. With killer good looks, endless charm, and one of the strongest voices on Broadway, the role of Frank Jr. allows Tveit to hijack the production, and he takes advantage of every moment. Not only does Tveit execute every dance step and note with tenacity, but his performance exhibits impressive endurance, as he is in nearly every scene. Tveit makes Frank Jr. crafty, but conveys much needed heart with the characters closest to him, making him sympathetic to the audience. His is a not-to-be-missed performance of an actor exploding into stardom.
Tveit’s performance has potential to show darker sides of Frank Jr., but the show’s book by Terrence McNally doesn’t allow for it. Catch Me gets too caught up in the sparkle of “Hey, aren’t all these fake identities fun!”, while forgetting that Frank Jr. suffers from deep-routed pain and is committing serious crimes. Read more
- Emotions run high at The Merchant of Venice opening
- Catch Me If You Can announces cast
- Next to Normal to close January 16
- 2011 Tony Awards will be held at the Beacon Theatre
- Broadway grosses
Have you seen Merchant of Venice yet, Rushers? Are you excited to see Aaron Tveit in Catch Me If You Can? What do you think of Next to Normal’s closing notice? Is sad, or a triumph? Do you like the Beacon Theatre as the new home of the Tony Awards (at least for 2011)? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
The rush for Next to Normal is about as organized as a rush can get. Let this one stand as the example for all rushes. Theater employees distribute wristband numbers to the people in line (no, you don’t have to wear the wristband). This eliminates line cutting and allows people to run briefly to the bathroom or get a snack. I can’t express how many times the pals of people in front of me have joined them in line while I’ve been in place for hours. This isn’t a problem on the Next to Normal rush (just watch that it doesn’t happen before the wristbands are distributed).
Not only is this rush organized, but it’s generous. This is a general rush, meaning you don’t have to be a student to take part. The tickets are $25 a piece (each person can buy two, and the box office doesn’t tack on the usual $1.50 facilities charge). Furthermore, the seats are in the front row, which is a special experience for this show (more on this later). I’ve heard that once the front row is filled, rushers are put in the mezzanine and sometimes a box. Read more