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?
- Finally, two very interesting articles this week about Broadway reaching out to specialized audiences: one detailing special “autism friendly” performances and another reaching out to faith-based organizations.