This is a surprise. Hedwig and the Angry Inch will close on Broadway September 13th. Granted, it was only supposed to run for 16 weeks, but after Neil Patrick Harris (and his Tony award) made the musical a box office smash, we thought it had a couple years in it. When NPH left, they did an incredible job replacing him. The role became a revolving door of a celebrities. And we’re not talking insufferable B-listers getting put on Broadway by their agents- I’m talking legitimate talent. There was Andrew Rannels, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell (the original Hedwig), Darren Criss, and Taye Diggs (who’ll stay with the show until it closes). That’s an impressive list. We thought, if they kept up the high profile stars, the show could keep going. To be honest, this news is completely out of left field. But I guess we should’ve seen it coming. Now that summer’s over a brand new set of shows are coming in. Hedwig lasted two seasons, but it probably couldn’t compete with another. But while the show is leaving New York, a US Tour is set to kick off next month. There’s also a West End and Australian production in the works. So, yeah, I definitely wouldn’t call this show a failure. I wish it could’ve stayed on Broadway longer, but at least the show isn’t completely gone. It just means that New Yorkers will need to fly to the nearest tour stop (or to the West End if you’re THAT kind of fan). We’re sad to see it go. No, we’re actually Angry.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind Hamilton, is planning to make a ‘scrappy’ movie of his other beloved musical, In the Heights.
When the show came to Broadway in 2008, there were plans to make a $37 million dollar movie directed by Kenny Ortega (who’s behind Newsies and High School Musical). But because Miranda wasn’t deemed a big enough name to bring in an audience, Universal decided to not move forward. Now, Lin-Manuel Miranda is everywhere. Hamilton is a phenomenon. It’s beating juggernauts like The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, and Wicked at the box office. Critics and fans are finding that it’s living up to the ridiculous hype.
But despite the success, Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t slowing down. A week after opening on Broadway, there are talks of opening Hamilton in London. And then this morning, Miranda announced plans to make an In the Heights movie. It’s getting a $15 million budget, that he says “is more in keeping with the spirit of the show.” We agree. The budget won’t be an issue. I don’t think the movie will be a box office success but I think it will be a good movie. The musical lends itself to the screen. It can definitely work.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is at the top of his game this year. His show on Broadway is one of the biggest successes of the decade. And now he’ll get to move one of his other musicals to the big screen. His career is only getting bigger. His career is only reaching new heights.
If you can, go. Idina Menzel’s world tour is not only engaging, but mesmerizing. Her voice pierces the air and stabs every crisp note. She commands the stage. Every song was made stronger with her power.
Her set was well constructed with “Defying Gravity” and “Let It Go” anchoring the show. She mixed some songs, impressively, as if she was on Glee (which of course she was…for like three episodes). She picked out the best of her own music too, which you’ll want to look up on Spotify immediately after. And, of course, there were some Broadway anthems thrown in there (yes, the ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ duet is in there).
Idina is a powerhouse. There’s a very fine line between belting and screeching and Mendel walks on the edge beautifully.
But we knew she could sing. What was interesting was when she talked. Menzel is likable. She’s funny. What she says in between songs doesn’t seem rehearsed. We got to know her better in more personal speeches, but we also got see her personality. I saw her at Red Rocks in Colorado, a famous but challenging outdoor venue. She was very funny and very sweet about singing at the high altitude. You could tell that it was hard on her voice, but she kept powering through. There was one moment, while on the ground singing a ballad, where Menzel’s dress flew up a little bit from the fans on the stage (like actual fans that circulated air). Of course, we didn’t see anything, but she pushed through the embarrassing moment by re-writing the words to the song.
It was moments like these that made the night memorable and made Menzel endearing. She was friendly and just fun. And of course, she’s incredibly talented. Menzel is a supernova inside and out. If you can, go. She isn’t just one of the best on Broadway, she is one of the best people I’ve seen live. If you like Bette Middler, than you’ll love Menzel. If you can, go.
NBC has become notorious for their celebrity castings of their live musicals but we gotta give it to them for this. Oscar nominated rapper-turned-actress Queen Latifah is set to play the Wiz and nine time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige will play the Wicked Witch of the West in the latest revamp of The Wiz. Other than Stephanie Mills as Aunt Em, no other casting’s been announced for the show but expect Dorothy to be announced pretty soon. I know I said this about Peter Pan and ended up horrified, but NBC could actually get it right this time. After two god awful attempts, the studio might actually be learning from their mistakes. They aren’t casting actors as singers but instead getting legit singing legends. Of course we could take everything back if they cast someone like Raven Symone as Dorothy, but for right now we’re optimistic about The Wiz. It could be good. It could be amazing (somebody quickly knock on wood!!!).
We get that the title of the movie is a little weird, and we also get that our excitement for the movie is a little weird, but Bob the Musical looks absolutely fantastic so we’re going to go on a little rant/explanation.
Bob the Musical is about a guy (named uh, Bob) who gets hit in the head and can hear the inner songs of everyone around him. Despite the fact that Bob hates people breaking out into song, his life has become a musical. So yeah, it’s basically a musical version of What a Girl Wants with Tom Cruise, but that sounds awesome right!?
This musical’s been in development for a REALLY long time (since 2004), but just recently Disney is putting it on the fast track. They’ve picked Michel Hazanavicius (from The Artist) to direct and kicked out the Frozen songwriters for Bret Mckenzie (from the Muppet movie). And while that’s definitely a big deal, Tom Cruise just signed on so nobody cares about the aforementioned sentence!
Before people roll their eyes, we think Cruise can actually pull off a movie musical. Yes, Rock of Ages was god awful but he wasn’t that bad in it. There’s definitely been worse Hollywood A-Listers embarrassing themselves singing off-key. Say what you will about Tom Cruise (like that the guy’s a clinically insane Scientologist…) but he does commit to every role he plays. He may not be a Broadway vet but the celeb can sing. His name attached is going to sell this movie musical (and selling a movie musical is pretty damn tough).
We love the synopsis and trust the team. Tom Cruise being the face of this movie is a BIG sell. This movie seems fun and funny. When this movie actually gets to screens, we’ll be sitting in the front row. Well, actually the front row WRECKS your neck so I’ll probably be sitting in the back but you get the idea!
We knew Idina Menzel was working on an album, but it turns out she’s working on a POP ALBUM. I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal but it really is. When she announced the album a couple months back, we weren’t sure what style she’s be reaching for. We know that she’s expected to be on the billboard charts but would she do it with Broadway like anthems or with the more generic pop single? It turns out the 44 year old singer is gonna do pop. But don’t worry, she’s in good hands. She’s teaming up with Grammy winning producer Walter Afanasieff, who’s worked with Mariah Carey, Celine Deon, and Barbra Streisand (pretty impressive!). What’s even more interesting about their partnership is that they’ve been working on a musical together. Because, yeah, at this point Idina Menzel gets entire shows written for her. We don’t know anything about the show other than it’s aiming for Broadway in the next couple of years. She’s finished writing her album (which is going to be 12 songs), and is going to be recording them over her world tour. Idina’s been busy, and the thought that she could be back on Broadway gives us a reason to live. We’re kidding…kind of.
We saw this coming but now it’s actually coming!!! American Psycho will begin on Broadway in February and open in March. The book by Bret Easton Ellis first became a musical in the West End and after a massively successful run over there, it came across the pond. It was going to go to Off-Broadway, but with some push, it’s coming to Broadway.
Tony winner Rene Auberjonois, Oliver winner Gavin Creel, and Tony/Oliver winner Jane Krakowski just joined next season’s revival of She Loves Me. The show, which already cast Laura Benanti and Josh Radnor, will open in February of 2016. She Loves Me tells the story of two co-workers who constantly fight, but find out their romantic anonymous pen pals are actually each other. So it’s basically She’s Got Mail but on Broadway. Krakowski, Auberjonois, and Creel will play Ilona, Maraczek, and Kodaly respectively. We’re excited for the show but are really more excited for this cast. It’s an impressive lineup of Broadway favorites. She Loves Me just became a serious Tony contender.
We knew that Harry Potter was coming to the West End but we didn’t know how (or frankly why). Now, we have our answers. JK Rowling (whose going to write the book) revealed that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will focus on Lily and James Potter (Harry’s parents) before they were killed by Lord Voldemort. Despite what it sounds like, JK Rowling is adamant that it won’t be a prequel. Because Harry Potter is in the title, we assume that he’ll have to be involved somehow, though. He’s an infant when Lily and James die so we think Harry might be the narrator of this story and we’ll be looking at flashbacks. But that’s just our guess. Harry’s parents were definitely explored in the books but there’s certainly more to uncover with them. This show seems like the perfect way to reveal why they were chosen to raise the chosen one.
Patti LuPone gives a double meaning to the word diva. The Broadway icon was performing in Las Vegas last night until she stopped the show to take a phone that an audience member was texting on. Apparently, she didn’t give it back. Patti LuPone’s been known to be outspoken about her hatred for phones in theaters (watch the video of her stopping in the middle of Gypsy to yell at an audience member). Because it is incredible rude and distracting to text or take photos in the middle of a show, we get where she’s coming from. We applaud Patti LuPone for pointing it out. She’s a real show stopper!