Media Morsels 3.26.10
- American Idiot on Broadway Update
Well, dear readers, the day finally arrived: American Idiot is now playing in New York. While it won’t officially open until April 20 (tickets are still not on sale to the public – but I’m trying!) it is currently in previews. The first preview was Wednesday night and I was there, rocking along with all the other Idiots. I’m waiting until after the official opening to post a review of the Broadway iteration, so for the time being check out what I had to say about the Berkeley production.
Before previews began, the Idiots had their final sound check and tons of press people were there to capture the awesomeness. Check out videos, photos and a report from Rolling Stone. Also, take a look at this video from Broadway.com and this one from Broadwayworld.com, both featuring clips of the show and interviews with Green Day, director Michael Mayer and stars John Gallagher, Jr. and Rebecca Naomi Jones. (...all of whom wonderfully articulate the brilliance and importance of the show.)
- From Your Stereo to the Stage to the Screen
In other American Idiot news, I think I mentioned this in previous weeks, but more rumors swirled this week about a possible film adaptation of this stage adaptation of American Idiot. A couple of weeks ago, Tom Hanks stopped by to watch the Idiots rehearse. This week, various online outlets reported that Hanks, through his production company Playtone, is looking to bring American Idiot to the screen. I’m all for this – after it’s had a healthy run on stage and with the current cast. (I’d love to have Johnny’s performance immortalized on film – somewhere other than the theatre archives at Lincoln Center.)
- Memphis Lives in FLOTUS!
The First Lady, her mother, the first children and some friends took in the Sunday matinee of the hit new musical, Memphis! This isn’t the first time members of the first family made a surprise visit to Broadway. Shortly before last year’s Tony awards, President and Mrs. Obama had a date night, going to dinner and then catching a performance of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Their appearance at the show resulted in a box office spike, and the same is bound to happen with Memphis, too. Personally, I’d love for the first couple to come and see American Idiot, as a final repudiation of W. What do you think should be the next first family show? Also, the very next day Mrs. Obama, her daughters and mother saw the soon-to-open The Addams Family! They’re just making the rounds this week! (I’ll be back in May with my review of The Addams Family.)
- Toby Comes to Broadway
All this talk of the actual First Family visiting Broadway but did you know that this week also brought us the announcement that a fake West Winger is coming to the boards? That’s right, Richard Schiff, who played Toby for seven seasons on The West Wing, will make his Broadway debut next spring, opposite The Princess Bride’s Robin Wright in a revival of Lanford Willson’s Talley’s Folly. No exact dates or location have been announced – keep checking back for updates!
- Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Film?
Neil Patrick Harris is a busy man and he shows no signs of stopping. Harris recently told MTV News that the possibility of a big screen sequel to the web sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is on the horizon. (The online musical hit was created during the writer’s strike in 2007/2008.) Rumors have swirled for months – basically ever since Dr. Horrible first came out – that there would be more Horrible-ness to come and now, it looks like it might actually happen! I’ll keep you up to date. And in case you haven’t seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, you can download it from iTunes, Amazon or add it to your Netflix queue. Visit the official site for more details.
- Glee Scoop
Last week I mentioned a report that publishing house MTI was in talks to adapt Glee for the stage. This week, Fox representatives denied the rumor, saying they are very careful about “brand extension” and that at this time, there is no plan to bring Glee to the stage. Someone’s got some ‘slpainin’ to do!
Surely by now every Gleek has Glee: The Music, Volumes 1 & 2. But hold on to your jazz shoes because on April 20 a third volume of tunes will be released: Glee: The Music – The Power of Madonna. This release will coincide with the airdate of the Madonna episode, the second of this “back nine” batch. That episode will feature 10 Madonna songs including “Vogue,” “Express Yourself,” “Like a Virgin” and “Like a Prayer” (my personal favorite!) Broadway.com is reporting that the following songs will also be on the album, “Borderline”, “Open Your Heart,” “4 Minutes” and “What It Feels Like For a Girl.” Check out this promo video, which includes Lea Michele (Rachel) singing "Like a Prayer," and an appearance by a badass-looking Jonathan Groff! Plus, here are some promo photos, including one of Idina Menzel! Gleeks, can you “get into the groove?”
- Brush Up Your Shakespeare
While The Public previously announced that this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park will feature The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice, running in rep and headed by Al Pacino, it was announced this week that Tom Kitt (he of Next to Normal and now American Idiot fame) will write the score for The Winter’s Tale. Kitt says that most of the music is underscoring but that there are some “songlets” in the play. The Shakespeare classics will be in the Delacorte June 9-August 1.
- Six Months Out of Every Year…
While we’re still a couple of weeks away from MLB Opening Day, news came about the upcoming new film version of Damn Yankees. The film’s director, Todd Graff, told MTV.com that this iteration will vary a great deal from the source musical. In particular, this version will include talk of steroids and will exclude Fosse’s choreography. I’m not sure how I feel about either of those developments, but Jim Carrey is playing Applegate and Jake Gyllenhaal is playing Joe Hardy so I’m going to wait and see.
- Next Fall
Earlier in the week I brought you my review of the fantastic new play Next Fall. Here are some odds and ends from around the media, all talking about how great Next Fall is.
- Tongue Lashing
I have found that I have a pretty good ear when it comes to identifying non-Americans trying to speak in an American accent. Apparently NY Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood has a similar knack. He recently wrote about his experience across the pond, where talented British actors did their best to “speak American” in American plays. Isherwood seems a little more sensitive to the regional dialects, pointing out that a Brit’s Utah accent sounded more Texas cowboy, but he makes interesting points about the pros and cons of affecting an accent.