- Playwright Jez Butterworth quotes Stage Rush’s Jerusalem review on Theater Talk. [Full TV clip here]
- The Book of Mormon Tony nominee Rory O’Malley gives his best impression of co-star, and college roommate, Josh Gad impersonating him
- The [title of show] / Now. Here. This. gang announces the winners of the 2011 Patrick Lee ITBA Awards
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Did you catch the Jerusalem episode of Theater Talk? Can you believe former college roommates Rory O’Malley and Josh Gad are now both starring in (and Tony-nominated for) The Book of Mormon? How much does seeing the [title of show] gang together again make you want to explode with happiness? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
The Independent Theater Bloggers Association has announced the winners of the 2011 Patrick Lee ITBA Awards! Watch the [title of show] gang—Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Jeff Bowen—currently working on their next project, Now. Here. This., announce the winners.
Do you think the ITBA chose wisely, Rushers? How do you think the ITBA winners will differ from the victors on Tony night? How adorable is the [title of show] team? Are you on the edge of your seat for Now. Here. This.? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
- Heidi Blickenstaff’s surprising Broadway season
- “You Know You’re On Broadway When…” with Heidi Blickenstaff
- Spring Awakening national tour at The State Theatre, New Brunswick, New Jersey
- Poster designers Fraver and James McMullen speak at Lincoln Center Library
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Would you have loved to have seen Heidi Blickenstaff in The Book of Mormon? Where have you caught the Spring Awakening national tour? What now-closed Broadway show do you miss? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Heidi Blickenstaff had planned to be a Mormon this Broadway season. For the past two and a half years, she had been playing Mother Price—Andrew Rannells’ character’s mother—in production workshops of The Book of Mormon. Yet the role that had started out with two songs gradually diminished as the show evolved. A torn calf muscle that sidelined Blickenstaff during the final workshop didn’t help. Soon after, Blickenstaff received a phone call from one of the show’s producers saying that the role was being made even smaller—Blickenstaff amicably decided to bow out. However, another maternal role was unexpectedly around the corner.
“I’m sure that had I been in my early twenties, I would have been devastated,” Blickenstaff said. “It worked out the way it was supposed to. I’ve learned to let go of that stuff. There’s a plan, there’s a road; just walk on it.” That road led to a last minute audition for the replacement cast in The Addams Family for the role of Alice Beineke—the mother of Wednesday’s love interest.
“Oddly, it was not on my radar at all,” Blickenstaff said. “I hadn’t seen the show. My agent said [the casting directors] had seen a lot of people for Alice Beineke and they couldn’t seem to find what they wanted. I knew Carolee Carmello had done the role, and we’re very different vocal types. I thought, ‘This probably isn’t going to go my way, but I’ll go in, say hi, and do my best.’” Fifteen seconds into the audition, Blickenstaff knew it was going well. Director Jerry Zaks walked her out and 20 minutes later, she received a phone call with the offer. “I had no plans to do this, but I was so thrilled for the job,” Blickenstaff said. “You know, times is tough right now [sic]. I couldn’t be more grateful to be here. It was the most wonderful surprise. I’m having a really good time. It’s a really fun role.”
In the show, Alice Beineke, a tightly wound conservative, visits the Addams mansion with her husband from Ohio to meet the family of the daughter with whom their son has fallen in love. Although appalled at what she sees upon her arrival, over the course of her stay, Alice loosens up—although the Addams’ make that decision for her. At the end of Act I, Alice sings a showcasing, belty number called “Waiting.” “It’s all over the place—it’s got everything from opera, to smoky jazz, to really standard musical theater. It’s super schizophrenic.” Read more
Jurassic Parq: The Broadway Musical takes the creative license allotted by the New York Fringe Festival and rolls around in it like a pig in the mud on ecstasy. What begins as a lovingly bizarre homage to the blockbuster novel and film quickly morphs into an incoherent barrage of random humor.
Told from the perspective of Jurassic Park’s genetically engineered dinosaurs (kind of like a Wicked for prehistoric creatures), the formerly extinct grapple with their new sexual organs and urges (kind of like a Spring Awakening for gigantic reptiles) as they transition from female to male. Using notable lines from the movie (“Shooooot haaarrr!”), the production is charming and nostalgic, if not healthily quirky. But soon, writers Emma Barash, Bryce Norbitz, Marshall Pailet, and Stephen Wargo employ a Family Guy mentality that random humor can solely sustain a show. Jurassic Parq feels random for the sake of being random.
The “q” in “Parq” apparently stands for “truth.” The narrator (Lee Seymour) is Morgan Freeman, who can’t decide if he is in fact Freeman or Samuel L. Jackson. Expletives are shouted from out of nowhere (a desperate reach for laughs). And the three major songs of the piece are anything but subtle, such as “Dick Fix.” A smart and successful moment for the music, however, is the final number, “We Are Dinosaurs,” which is set to the film’s famous John Williams score.
With a loose story that is basically a bunch of individual scenes that follow another and characters constantly doing over-the-top things (screaming, raping, roaring), Jurassic Parq becomes so bizarre that it did have its sold-out theater laughing most of the time. Yet the laughter seemed born out of confusion and surprise, rather than genuine delight. Read more