Media Morsels 3.12.10
- New American Idiot Video
Visit the official website for American Idiot on Broadway to check out this brand new video chronicling the story behind American Idiot’s journey to the Great White Way. The video features interviews with Billie Joe Armstrong, director Michael Mayer, composer Tom Kitt and actors Johnny Gallagher and Rebecca Naomi Jones. (It also features clips of Mayer’s, Kitt’s and Gallagher’s Tony wins!) And, as if I needed more reasons to adore Tom Kitt, in this video he echoes everything I’ve said with regard to how important this piece of art is and what it means that it is becoming part of the American musical theatre canon. I’m so in love with this show and everyone involved in it – can’t wait for March 24!
- More Award Shows
Speaking of American Idiot being awesome (and when am I not?), the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (SFBATCC) nominations were announced this week. American Idiot leads the field with 12 nominations. (View the entire list of SFBATCC nominations here.) The Idiots are nominated in the following categories: Best Musical; Principal Performance (Male), John Gallagher, Jr.; Director, Michael Mayer; Musical Director, Carmel Dean; Set Design, Christine Jones; Sound Design, Brian Ronan; Lighting Design, Kevin Adams (who is the Tony award winning lighting designer of Spring Awakening, Hair and Next to Normal, among others); Costume Design, Andrea Lauer; Specialties (a category including choreography, fight sequences and projections): Projections, Chad Bonaker, and Choreography, Steve Hoggett; Original Script, Michael Mayer and Billie Joe Armstrong; and Ensemble, all the Idiots. The SFBATCC awards will be presented on May 3 (one day shy of the Tony nominations announcement) so check back then to see how many of the 12 the Idiots will win!
- Manchester, England, England…
Well, the (mostly) original Tribe of the hit revival of Hair took their final bow on Sunday, March 7th. They are now on their way across the pond to open up the London company. Both Broadway.com and Broadwayworld.com were on hand to capture their final dance party at the Hirschfeld. (Love that James Rado is still shaking a tail-feather up on stage!) The new Tribe played their first performance on Tuesday, March 9th (see photos here) and I’ll get to see them this Saturday. Check back next week for my reaction to the new Tribe.
- More Foo, Please!
Dave Grohl recently told Rolling Stone that a new Foo Fighters record is in the works. The rocking frontman says fans can expect this, their seventh album, to be the Foos’ heaviest yet and that it will be recorded in his garage! Grohl said they’re going to run some tests to make sure they won’t receive noise complaints from his neighbors. Dave (and T and Chris and Nate), you can come next door to me to make your record. My neighbor’s obnoxious rugrats make tons of noise so some awesome Foo Fighters music would be a much welcomed change!
- The Magic of Live Performance
Clybourne Park star Jeremy Shamos recently wrote on Broadway.com about his experience with the hit play. In his account, he talks about the beautiful way in which theatre is a truly unique medium. He says, “I’ve always been fascinated with audiences and their collective ‘character.’ In whatever way they are responding (or not responding), this group of strangers who sit in half-darkness, watching a play unfold, is an integral part of the evening. Without them, we are simply rehearsing—and it is in the navigation of their laughs, their gasps and the particular silence that indicates information being digested that we find the magic of live performance. It is in the give and take between audience and actors that the theater becomes the event that film and television can never be.” Amen, Jeremy!
- Sorry, Spidey
Looks like Spiderman can’t seem to catch a gal in that web of his. Evan Rachel Wood, who was supposed to play Peter Parker’s gal pal Mary Jane Watson, has pulled out of the perpetually postponed production due to “scheduling conflicts”. (Read: “This thing ain’t never gonna happen and I need to find other work.”) I can’t say I’m disappointed by this news. I dig U2 so I was looking forward to the score; and I really like Alan Cumming (he’s devilishly good on The Good Wife) so I was looking forward to his villainous turn as the Green Goblin. But, while I don’t know what kind of vocal chops Wood has, I’ve seen her try to act in films and have been thoroughly unimpressed.(Except for when she appeared, as CJ's niece, on the "The Black Vera Wang" episode of The West Wing in season three.) I’m sure that the producers will have plenty of time to find a new Mary Jane, seeing as Spiderman’s journey to Broadway is a neverending one, though producers say a revised timeline is forthcoming.
- Must Read
Please, please, please read the current issue of Rolling Stone’s National Affairs section. (The current issue is the one with Shaun White on the cover.) In it, National Affairs reporter Tim Dickinson discredits the entire Republican strategy, which is nothing more than institutionalized hypocrisy and gross obstructionism, while pointing out all the factual errors in their fear mongering. Plus, this issue also features a short essay (well, two actually, but only one about politics) by the love of my life, Matt Taibbi, who challenges Democrats to grow a pair and do their job, rather than pussyfooting around and making disgusting pork-filled deals. (Bill Maher has also been advocating the proposal on Real Time last season and now in this one.) So, dear readers, please read this issue and remember to make informed choices when you go to the polls later this year. (You are planning on going to the polls this year, right?!? Primaries are already underway in some states and the general Election Day is November 2.)
- Glee Scoop
The April 13th premiere of Glee is being pushed back by half an hour because American Idol, for some reason, needs to be 90 minutes that night instead of the regular 60. So the back nine episodes of the first season of Glee will begin airing on April 13th at 9:30pm EST; Glee will return to its normal 9pm timeslot the following week, April 20 (which, in case you’ve forgotten, is American Idiot’s opening night!) Get those DVRs ready!
A “Dream” Come True
More details of the Neil Patrick Harris-Matthew Morrison Glee-off were revealed this week. According to EW, the two multitalented men will see their characters vying for the same role in a community theatre production and are rumored to face-off by singing the Aerosmith classic “Dream On”. That is going to be legen – wait for it – dary!
- From the Stage to the Screen
Steven Sater, the Tony award winning lyricist-librettist of Spring Awakening, recently told Playbill.com that the film adaptation of his Tony award winning musical is set to start production this fall. They will be filming on location in Germany or somewhere near there. Sater also said that he and Tony award winning composer Duncan Sheik have written a new song for the film. Also along for the ride is Tom Hanks, in the form of his production company, Playtone. (Playtone was the record label in my fave, That Thing You Do!, which was written and directed by Hanks.) The two-time Oscar winning Hanks also recently took in a rehearsal of American Idiot, spurring rumors that his production company may eventually adapt the soon-to-start-previews musical for film. All of this is a combination of a lot of good, passionate and talented people supporting and furthering good, passionate and talent-filled shows. I’ll keep you posted on any updates.
- From the Stereo to the Stage
In was announced this week that Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles Musical (yes, that’s the full title) will play on Broadway this fall. The musical will play at a theatre to be announced (i.e., after they see what closes post-Tonys) beginning on October 8, with an official opening date of November 7. (As it happens, October 8 and November 7 are the days after two very good days!)
- From the Little Screen to the Big Screen
This week’s whacky-but-thoroughly-fun item is this: Alan Cumming claims that Quentin Tarantino may join the cast of next year’s animated-live action combo Smurfs movie. I’ll wait while that sinks in. … Tarantino would join Cumming, who’s voicing Gutsy Smurf, and Neil Patrick Harris, who is playing a live-action person trying to help the Smurfs. Tarantino’s camp denies involvement in the movie. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the August 3, 2011 release date to find out what’s really going on.