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.
Categories: To See or Not To See a christmas story musical, annie revival, carolee carmello, Chaplin Musical, chita rivera, christiane noll, elf musical, george hearn, jenn colella, kathie lee gifford, katie finneran, mystery of edwin drood, new musicals, pasek and paul, rebecca musical, Revivals, rob mcclure, roundabout theatre, scandalous musical, thomas meehan, Tony Awards, wayne wilcox
Every fourth Wednesday of the month, the “VIP Access” column will serve up advice on how to make your theater-going experiences cheaper, easier and more fulfilling with inside scoop from the experts. This month, we’re going to freshen up your audition repertoire and your insider knowledge…
Zac Resnick sings Kerrigan & Lowdermilk. Photo by Monica Simoes.
There’s a new generation of music theater writers (I like to call them young whipper-snappers) storming the Broadway castle, savvily building buzz by harnessing the power of social media. Whether it’s the pioneering grassroots campaign to get [title of show] on the Great White Way or the twitter-ing fan base for Kerrigan & Lowdermilk, it’s hard to break into the big time without youtube videos and a strong digital presence.
One of the best ways to dive into this world is newmusicaltheatre.com, a website featuring downloadable sheet music by new composers. The user-friendly marketplace allows singers (and/or fans) to legitimately own fresh material while giving writers the opportunity to make some money. (As they say, you can make a killing but not a living in music theater.) The search system is intuitive, the song samples are helpful and the range of material is growing to feature most of the next generation talent out there (Iconis, Friedman and Pasek & Paul are all represented among many others.) And even if you don’t want to buy a song, it’s a great place to get a snapshot of what’s happening in music theater today.
Not sure where to start? Here’s video of the lovely “Alaska” by Adam Gwon, as sung by Nick Blaemire:
The cast of "Dogfight". Photo by Joan Marcus.
Just because we’re in the summer slump, it doesn’t mean there’s no news to round-up. Here’s some tasty tidbits from the world of theater…
- Up-and-coming composing team Benj Pasek & Justin Paul got their first big NYC premiere last night — prior to their A Christmas Story on Broadway this winter — with an adaptation of the indie flick Dogfight at Second Stage. I wasn’t given review tickets so I can’t speak for the show but the initial critical response is mixed but promising for the writers.
- Playwright Sam Shepard is an American legend for his plays like True West and Buried Child, so a new work from the Pulitzer-winner is always newsworthy. But how about being able to see the world premiere of his Heartless at Signature Theatre for only $25 a ticket? That’s front page news.
- Two Off-Broadway hits are getting new leases on life. The hit parody Silence! The Musical is moving uptown to a brand new theater on 42nd street, the Elektra Theatre, tomorrow night. Along for the rude and ribald ride is new cast member and cutie Randy Harrison of Queer as Folk fame. Further uptown, the revival of Maltby and Shire’s classic song cycle Closer Than Ever at the York is getting an extension, adding dates from July 23 – August 25. [I’m seeing it soon so I’ll give you the scoop!]
Categories: The Buzz a christmas story musical, closer than ever, dogfight musical, heartless, jeckyl and hyde, maltby and shire, new musicals, new plays, pasek and paul, patrick page, robert cucciouli, sam shepard, silence the musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, york theater