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Posts Tagged ‘oscars’

Hanks, Breakfast at Tiffany’s & More Hollywood on the Hudson

October 22nd, 2012 Comments off

It’s no surprise anymore when Broadway attempts to add some extra pizazz to the marquee by sprinkling some Hollywood stardust, whether through film star casting or name brand titles. But four recent news tidbits caught my eye as particularly covered in tinsel (town):

  • Emilia Clarke. Image via O+M.

    It’s official: two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is coming to Broadway April 2013 in Lucky Guy, a play by the late, beloved Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle). A tale of New York journalism during the 1970’s, this play adds additional cache with its director George C. Wolfe (The Normal Heart). I imagine tickets are already sold out before they go on sale but…a boy can dream.

  • If that’s not “old hollywood” enough for you, how about a new adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Truman Capote’s classic is getting a fresh (and supposedly more faithful than the Hepburn film) adaptation by Tony-winner Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out). Those who are more fantasy geek than Tiffany’s chic will also have reason to check it out; the February 2013 bow will star Game of ThronesEmilia Clarke.
  • Multiple Emmy-nominee Sarah Paulson (Game Change, American Horror Story) may not have above the title multiplex stardom, but to me she’s A-list. And now comes news that she is coming back to the stage to star in Roundabout’s revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly. Paulson will be joined in the sweet love story by recent Broadway everyman Danny Burstein (Follies…perhaps he should do La Cage aux Folles next and continue the pattern?).
  • Don’t count out true Broadway glitter, though. The bigger than life new musical Giant, based on the Liz Taylor – Rock Hudson – James Dean classic, is heading to the Public starring Blog favorites Brian d’Arcy James (Smash) and Kate Baldwin (Finian’s Rainbow). Watch the video from their recent promo shoot (after the jump below) and tell me the Great White Way can’t be just as glamorous.

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TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “Grace”

October 15th, 2012 Comments off

Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Paul Rudd & Ed Asner in "Grace". Photo by Joan Marcus.

GRACE

In a suspenseful new play by Craig Wright and starring an award-winning cast, a religious couple is forced to reexamine their beliefs when they encounter their cynical, damaged neighbor.

“But if Grace is remembered in years to come…it will most likely be as the production that brought Mr. Shannon’s electrically anxious acting to Broadway.” New York Times

“Ultimately Grace turns out to have a simple, affecting point: It’s about the stories we tell ourselves to make it through life.” New York Post

“A dream cast (Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington and Ed Asner) brings so much humanity to these oddball characters…that even an atheist would send up a prayer that these lost souls will find their faith.” Variety

“…one of those glibly funny but flawed dramas about faith in 21st-century America in which the evangelical Christians are hypocrites, or worse.” Entertainment Weekly

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Broadway’s Jason Moore Makes “Pitch Perfect” Film Debut

September 25th, 2012 Comments off

Cast of "Pitch Perfect". Image via Google.

Tony-nominated director Jason Moore (Avenue Q, Shrek) makes the leap to the big screen when his college “a cappella” comedy Pitch Perfect hits select theaters this weekend (before wide release on October 5). [Full disclosure: In college, Jason cast me as “The Young Fool” in his production of Big River…but I won’t hold that against him.]

I caught a preview showing of the film last week and I think Moore’s got a hit on his hands (and the early “sneak” release suggests that the studio thinks he does, too). In a way, it’s the perfect combination of his earlier work — mixing the sweet/sour snark of Q with the young adult vibe of his TV days (directing episodes of Dawson’s Creek and more) — not to mention a pulse-quickening sense of music theater (ably supported by arrangements from, among others, Next to Normal‘s Tom Kitt). The film mines huge laughs from its oddball supporting characters while Anna Kendrick brings a low key cool to the lead role. I think casting the Tony and Oscar nominee was Moore’s smartest move; she grounds what may be predictable about the story and never lets it tip over into camp.

And the musical sequence are a blast. Just check out the infectious fun in this clip, as rival singing groups “rumble” in a deserted lot like glee club jets and sharks…

So where does Moore go now? Could he be like two recent Broadway to Hollywood successes, who similarly played to their theatrical strengths in their film debuts? Cue the video…

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

September 12th, 2012 Comments off

Steppenwolf's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Photo by Michael Brosilow.

If the fall season’s crop of musicals is a sparse and eccentrically planted lot, the roster of plays is lush with big ideas, big stars and must-see events (if a few too many “didn’t we just see that” revivals). So let’s dig into the harvest feast…

"Grace". Image via O+M Co.

An Enemy of the People (September 27): Henrik Ibsen’s sturdy study of personal pressure and politics kicks things off just in time for election season. Class acts Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas play brothers, a mayor and a doctor, on opposite sides of an environmental disaster in the making. (Yeah, this was written when?)

Grace (October 4): As I’ve said before…Paul Rudd. I lerve him. Toss in the always magnetic Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) and my interest is more than peaked for this surreal comedy-drama about a couple’s plans for religious-themed motels and their less than faithful neighbor.

Running on Empty (October 9): Comedian and professional ranter Lewis Black brings his stand-up to Broadway for a week of performances.

Cyrano de Bergerac (October 11): The French war horse (no, not that one) gets trotted out for another display of witty banter, actorly showmanship and much-needed rhinoplasty. Tony-winner Douglas Hodge (La Cage aux Folles) takes on the title role in a Roundabout Theatre revival.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (October 13): The revelatory Steppenwolf production starring playwright (and seriously accomplished actor) Tracy Letts and the incomparable Amy Morton finally makes it to Broadway. Check my review from when I saw it at Arena Stage last year and tell me you aren’t a wee bit excited to see the Albee classic again.

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“You Like Me” Skewers Award Speeches

February 21st, 2012 Comments off

Bradford Louryk. Photo by Aaron Epstein.

Are you ready for this Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast? (I’d call it the gay Super Bowl but after Madonna’s halftime show and the Beckham underwear ads, this year’s actual Superbowl felt like a happy hour in Hells Kitchen.) Those with a theatrical bent and a love of camp can warm up for Hollywood’s big night with You Like Me: An Evening of Classic Acceptance Speeches at Ars Nova, February 25.

Created by Rachel Shukert and Michael Shulman, the annual event features a host of New York underground talent (Kenny Mellman of Kiki & Herb, Michael Musto, the bedazzled Varsity Interpretive Dancers) doing readings of famous–and infamous– EGOT speeches. Somehow, the performances are less cruel celebrity impersonations and more alternate universe reinterpretations that reveal the delicious train wreck combo of excitement, ego and terror beneath the best/worst acceptance speeches. (Face it, we all might implode if we had to speak on stage in front of a billion television viewers.) This year, I’m particularly excited about Drama Desk Winner Bradford Louryk‘s promised take on Melissa Leo’s profanity laden Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress.)

For us theater lovers, check out video clips from a past edition of You Like Me featuring a trio of Broadway divas going wonderfully off the rails during their big moments: Read more…