Annie gets a 21st century makeover thanks to co-stars Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx and an A-list supporting cast that includes Cameron Diaz, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne. Will audiences gravitate toward this new adaptation of a beloved classic, or will this Annie remix end up on the street? We’ll have to wait until its Christmas 2014 release to find out, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek…
It’s Tony time and many of this season’s major productions are raising the curtain (although most shows don’t even utilize a curtain anymore) on what producers hope will be the big hit of the season. We’ve already seen some critically acclaimed shows head to the junkyard. (Hold on to that Playbill from Hands on a Hardbody — it might be worth something someday.) What will be the breakout hit this spring? Here are the contenders and their official openings…
Matilda — opening April 11
Broadway is relying on girl power for ticket sales this season. The Annie revival currently playing at The Palace has been solid but by no means a breakaway hit. This British import is based on Ronald Dahl’s novel about a girl with special powers. Here’s a sneak peek at the production’s journey to Broadway.
Motown — opening April 14
Charting the journey of Motown founder Barry Gordy beginning in 1959, this musical celebration features familiar classics from Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and many more.
There’s plenty more… take the jump!
Sure, the Tony nominations were the big theater news this week, but there were a lot of other stories to get hot about as Broadway dropped some shows — and some clothes:
- If the weather is getting warmer than you know it’s time for Broadway to bare it all. The run up to the big burlesque night of all nights, Broadway Bares, begins this Sunday at 9pm with a curtain raiser, so to speak, of Solo Strips. This one-night-only fundraiser will feature ten of the hottest men of Broadway (including Theater Buffs Nick Kenkel and Sam Cahn) shaking their money makers to make some money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
- As sure as some producers are popping champagne on Tony nomination morning, others are dropping the axe. Without Tony love to build audience awareness both Seminar and Magic/Bird posted closing notices. While Bird never found its box office magic, Seminar completes a fairly healthy run, suffering only from a drop in sales after the loss of its original marquee star, Alan Rickman.
- That fiery gal Rebecca is actually making it to Manderlay via Broadway as the on-again, off-again musical announced an October 20 start date for previews. Unfortunately, the presumed leading lady Sierra Boggess has moved on to another Broadway production slated for the same period, Prince of Broadway.
- Two “hotties” making theater related news this week: two-time Tony nominee (and Sutton Foster main squeeze) Bobby Cannavale will return to Broadway in a revival of Clifford Odets’s The Big Knife and indie-film pin-up Joseph Gordon-Levitt is developing a movie remake of the classic Menken & Ashman musical Little Shop of Horrors. If you’ve seen this little number from 500 Days of Summer, you know that Gordon-Levitt has some dance moves in him…so this might not be a bad thing.
- The anniversary of an important milestone in the history of musicals passed this week, but no one seemed to notice. Well, no one but my good friend and amazing writer at large (yes, Jason, amazing as in awe-inspiring) Jason Cochran in this insightful article about the film version of Chicago and its “justified” musical numbers. I couldn’t agree more with his analysis and have to say that the box this has created is constraining the musical imagination, even on stage. Will the film version of Les Miserables swing the pendulum back?
Extra! Extra! We’ve got your quick and tasty theater news headlines for the week that was:
- The First Lady of high kicks Chita Rivera will return to Broadway next season in the first-ever revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the choose-your-own ending Tony winner for Best Musical 1986.
- Hollywood heat-seekers Justin Long (Going the Distance, Mac commercials) and Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) will be taking over the lead roles in the hit comedy Seminar beginning April 3.
- The King of creepy/awesome children’s literature Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is making it to Broadway as the critically-acclaimed West End adaptation of Matilda The Musical jumps across the pond for a 2013 debut.
- Finally, the cast for this Monday night’s edition of Celebrity Autobiography looks crazy good. Emphasis on crazy. The line-up includes Bobby Cannavale (Mother**cker with the Hat), Mario Cantone (Sex and the City), Tony Danza (Who’s the Boss), Gina Gershon (Showgirls!!) and Jennifer Tilly (Bullets Over Broadway!!!!). If you haven’t seen this ridiculously funny evening yet, this edition looks seriously unmissable.