“Giant” Sings, “The Performers” Swings & More Theater News
The circle of life isn’t just a lyric sung while Julie Taymor puppets circle The Lion King; it’s the natural progression on Broadway. In this theater news round-up, we celebrate the eternal constants of birth, death and taxing reviews…
- Like a maternity ward nine months after Valentines Day, the Fall mini-rush of new shows is in full swing with three much-anticipated new musicals opening last night on Broadway and Off-Broadway. The gist of the reviews: the Kathie Lee Gifford-penned Scandalous is a not the embarrassment the gossips were hoping for but not necessarily good either; the Off-Broadway chamber/rock piece Murder Ballad is a well-crafted, little trashy tale (and knows it); and the epic Giant lives up to its name, though amidst a few raves are a few that find it a bit too much or not enough.
You can’t have a sunrise without a sunset (don’t believe me, go see Fiddler on the Roof). And we can’t have openings without closings. The Broadway porn/romantic comedy The Performers opened this week to less than vociferous reviews and already announced it will close Sunday. Those wishing to see Cheyenne Jackson in a loin cloth had best hurry.
- And some shows are just a twinkle in their parents’ eyes. Producers announced this week that they are in early stages of developing a juke box musical based on the songs of pop hit-maker Diane Warren (“How Do I Live” “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”) and an adaptation of the Savannah-set bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with book by Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) and music from the catalog of Johnny Mercer. Celine Dion ballads vs. murderous society gays…not as antithetical as one would think.
- Finally, Broadway’s hottest married duo Audra McDonald and Will Swenson are kicking off a kickstarter campaign for Facing East, an independent film to be directed by Swenson based on an off-Broadway play by author Carol Lynn Pearson. The story sounds moving and topical (a mormon couple deals with the suicide of their gay son) and the incentives to donate are amazing (McDonald singing to you on your birthday!). Watch the teaser video after the jump…