Posts Tagged ‘mystery of edwin drood’

Pick Your Pleasure with The Actors Fund

January 4th, 2013 Comments off

The holidays are over and you’re back in the swing of things. If you are a New Yorker, the  winter doldrums are about to set in and those resolutions of working out and a three-day juice fast are looming over you. Perhaps you’re a tourist converging on the Big Apple to capitalize on discount airfares and hotel rooms. In either case, this is one of the best times of year to snag seats to a Broadway show. While you’re at it, consider attending one of The Actors Fund‘s “Producer’s Picks”.

The Actors Fund “Producer’s Picks” is an 84-year-old tradition where producers add a special performance or hold a special block of seats and donate proceeds to this worthy organization. The Actors Fund is a national organization that helps performing arts and entertainment professionals by providing a safety net through programs and services for those who are in need, crisis, or transition.

Here’s what you can see this month (be sure to use links below to ensure that your ticket purchase benefits The Actors Fund):

Chaplin — special final performance!
Sunday, January 6, 8 p.m.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Wednesday, January 9, 8 p.m.

Dead Accounts
Thursday, January 10, 7 p.m.


Brian Stokes Mitchell performs for Harry Belafonte at the 2012 Actors Fund Gala. (photo: Lyn Hughes Photography)

Holiday Shows, Broadway “Blows” and More Theater News

November 30th, 2012 Comments off

The cast of "Elf". Photo by Joan Marcus.

The holiday season is in full swing so let’s unwrap some shiny theater news — just be sure to save the ribbon:

  • Thanksgiving week is traditionally a boffo box office week on Broadway and this year was no exception. Twelve shows topped the million dollar mark in receipts. Of particular interest, the holiday themed musicals Elf and A Christmas Story had very healthy totals ($997,145 and $1,104,312) aided by an additional performance per week.  With The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas running elsewhere in town, it would seem that the surest way to success on stage is a torrent of fake snow.
  • Broadway Bares. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

    Speaking of stocking stuffers…wait for it…Broadway Bares, the annual burlesque extravaganza benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, officially announced it is set for Sunday, June 23, 2013. Tickets are on sale now. No word on a theme yet but something tells me it will involve a saucy pun.  Yeah, I’m psychic like that.

  • The holidays are a time for giving…and Broadway is no exception. On December 10, a big name roster of stage talent (including David Hyde Pierce, Patrick Wilson, Julia Murney, Eden Esipinosa and many more) will be singing to support the folks affected by Hurricane Sandy at Broadway Blows Back. (Maybe that was the saucy pun I was seeing in my crystal ball?)
  • Two shows that opened this season got some early presents this week.  Our fine fettle friends at The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be recording an album for the acclaimed revival and the little show that could (about the little tramp that did) Chaplin is getting a national tour launching in the fall of 2014.
  • Fans of Beth Henley’s southern fried comedy/dramas (Crimes of the Heart) or devotees of early aught teen dramas can pop the champagne for an early New Year’s celebration. Producers announced that Amber Tamblyn (star of Joan of Arcadia as well as a genius prank pulled on Tyrese…go look it up) will be making her Broadway debut in Henley’s The Miss Firecracker Contest in the spring of 2013. I’ve got my sash and crown already…


TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

November 14th, 2012 Comments off

The Cast of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood". Photo by Joan Marcus.


Rupert Holmes’s tongue-in-cheek, tongue-twisting, Tony-winning musical with an audience-voted ending (based on Charles Dicken’s unfinished novel of vengeful passions) gets a Broadway revival starring Chita Rivera, Stephanie J. Block and Will Chase.

“The machinations of the mystery plot dance in dizzying rhythmic counterpoint to the story framing the musical…even as [the cast of characters] bicker and mug and tell hoary jokes to cajole the audience into a state of happy delirium.”  New York Times

…for a show doing triple duty as musical, choose-your-own-ending mystery and time-travel device, Drood is jolly good fun.”  New York Post

“…all the affectionately antiquated whimsy never quite adds up to robust entertainment.”  The Hollywood Reporter

Drood, ultimately, is not a complete show so much as an expandable playspace, and with performers of this caliber, an evening of yeasty, nudge-nudge-wink-wink British good humor is more or less guaranteed.”  New York Magazine

Read more…

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: Fall Preview 2012, The Musicals

September 5th, 2012 Comments off

The Cast of "Chaplin". Photo by Joan Marcus.

Buckle up, boys and girls! The theater season is about to get up and rolling so we’ve got a two part preview of the tunes and tears the Great White Way has to offer through the end of the year. Since the first show out of the gate post-Labor Day is a musical, let’s start with a closer look at the originals and revivals singing and dancing onto Broadway during the rest of 2012.

On a quick glance, the slate is…well…a bit like the island of misfit toys; a curiosity chest of pieces with unusual histories from less than name brand writers. But one never knows until the curtain goes up what we truly have in store; the oddest ducks (or Cats) can sometimes turn out to be blockbusters.

Chaplin (September 10): One of Hollywood’s first mega-stars gets the first slot of the season in what promises to be a splashy theatrical biography. The biggest news is that the lead is being played by a relative unknown (almost unheard of in these marquee driven times), Rob McClure. Also in the plus column, a book co-written by musical vet Thomas Meehan (Hairspray) and supporting turns from the recent Closer than Ever dynamic duo Jenn Colella and Christiane Noll…as well as our very own Theater Buff, Wayne Wilcox.

Read more…

SHOW FOLK: Howard McGillin on “Phantom” and those “Damn Yankees”

March 15th, 2012 Comments off

Yesterday, I said that Show Folk this month was “getting epic;” you thought it was just a lame Homer joke. Truth is, we’re doubling up on great interviews with another leading man of the stage pulling up a chair to our cyber table and joining us for a little conversation. As usual, I’ve edited the transcripts (removing the truly libelous parts) and posted the results. If yesterday was all about Gods, today we’re going straight to the devil…

Howard McGillin in "Damn Yankees". Photo by Ken Jaques.

Tony-nominated actor Howard McGillin has exchanged a mask for a set of horns…and we ain’t talking a brass band. Having famously played The Phantom of the Opera for more than 2500 record breaking performances, he’s descending to new devious depths (and crossing the river to Jersey) to take on the devilish Applegate in Paper Mill Playhouse’s new production of the classic musical comedy Damn YankeesBusy with last Sunday’s opening night, the dashing star still found the time to chat with us about some favorite co-stars, making up lyrics to “Music of the Night” and his run-in with a bionic wardrobe malfunction.

The devil comes in so many different guises; what inspired your take on Applegate in Damn Yankees?

Well, he’s the classic comic villain. He’s vain, revels in all the mischief he causes, and is ultimately brought down in a satisfying tumble of self-inflicted grandiosity. It’s delicious. Of course I remember Ray Walston’s performance, and my friend Victor Garber’s wonderful take on the guy. But I just try to find a way to make it mine, and I think the key is his ridiculous vanity. It makes it so much fun to see him fall.

You famously hold the record for playing the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera  more times than anyone else. What are the benefits and challenges of doing a short run like the month of Damn Yankees at Paper Mill?

It’s a joy to tackle any part, no matter how long or short the run. Of course, when you sign on for something like Phantom you never imagine you could be doing it over 2500 times! It just happened that I loved performing it and the creative team seemed to like what I was doing and decided to keep me on. The process of performing a role remains the same. You always set foot on stage with the goal of making it a fresh performance. The only difference is that after many years of doing long runs in Broadway shows, four weeks seems unfairly short. I know I will miss doing this show. It’s just so much fun.

Read more…

Sondheim Reveals New Show, Chita Rivera Returns & More Theater News

March 2nd, 2012 Comments off

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.