Media Morsels 4.2.10
- American Idiot News
Opening night tickets are now on sale! The Idiot Interns posted on Facebook late Friday morning that tickets for the April 20th opening night of American Idiot on Broadway are now available. I headed right over to Telecharge.com (I couldn’t risk waiting to go to the box office and having it be sold out) and got myself a wonderful aisle seat in the balcony. I’m so excited to be able to celebrate opening night of the most important show on Broadway with all the other Idiots. Tickets are sure to sell out quickly, so if you want to rock out on opening night, buy your ticket now!
Check out this article from the NY Post. The article gives greater insight into the creative process of the adaptation, including an anecdote from Tom Kitt that involves Billie Joe tearing up!
American Idiot director Michael Mayer interviewed his collaborator, Billie Joe Armstrong, for a Playbill.com feature. The two talk about working together to create this amazing piece of art, and about Johnny Gallagher’s electrifying performances in both Spring Awakening and American Idiot. (Bonus: This feature features audio clips, full of Billie Joe’s salty language!)
The Wall Street Journal, though itself not a hallmark of rock and roll or rock and roll sensibility, recently ran an article comparing the rock-ness of American Idiot to other rock musicals. They’ve also profiled Billie Joe and interviewed star Rebecca Naomi Jones.
New Idiot Stark Sands was profiled on Theatermania.com. Sands talked about how it was joining the production after the entire cast (except for one new ensemble member) had already played with the show and each other out in Berkeley.
- Chayim’s a Bitch
An Israeli, all-Hebrew production of Spring Awakening is set to open in Tel Aviv this month and Playbill.com had this rehearsal footage to share!
- Anything But Normal
Next to Normal recouped its initial investment! The little (hit, Tony award winning) musical that could recouped its $4 million investment just after it celebrated its first year on Broadway. This extraordinary musical, led by the fierce Alice Ripley, gestated for almost ten years before it played off-Broadway in 2008; after that, producers, including lead producer David Stone (who produced another little chamber musical called Wicked – maybe you’ve heard of it?) believed in the show enough to allow its creators to retool it and have an out-of-town run in DC before bringing it to Broadway last spring. This news is inspiring because it shows that there is room on Broadway for good material when it is written and directed by passionate people and expertly executed by excellent performers – all without the help of movie stars to boost the box office. To be fair, the show saw spikes in its sales after each part of the trifecta hit: rave reviews, Tony nominations and Tony wins. Still, it garnered those reviews and accolades without smoke and mirrors; instead, it relied on a compelling story, beautiful music and top notch acting. Congratulations, Next to Normal! Here’s to many more years and more passionate producers (like Ira Pittleman and Tom Hulce, the duo behind Spring Awakening and American Idiot) on Broadway!
On the heels of this exciting news, Stone announced (though it was previously rumored) that Next Normal will launch a national tour. The tour kicks off in LA and will play the Center Theatre Group Ahmanson Theatre from November 23-January 2. Not all of the tour stops have been announced (I’ll keep you posted, of course,) but right now we know it will play, among other cities, Seattle, Philadelphia and a return engagement in DC.
- It Would Take a Miracle…
The first ever Broadway revival of The Miracle Worker will close this weekend. Despite generally positive reviews (including mine) and the star cache of the talented Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin, ticket sales just weren’t enough to sustain this drama. When the play closes on April 4, it will have played 21 previews and 38 regular performances.
- The Little Play that Can
Good news: Next Fall is still chugging along and a new block of tickets – for the fall – were just released. This is exciting, since the box office hasn’t exploded in recent weeks, despite excellent reviews and good word of mouth. Cheers to a great new play staying on Broadway!
- Whacky New Item of the Week
This is a public service announcement: Pop diva Mariah Carey is – get ready – in talks to adapt her life into a Broadway musical. Whacky, right?
- Tony Awards
I know the movie award show season just ended, but Tony award season is just heating up. Rumors swirled this week that red-headed funny man Conan O’Brien was asked to host the Tony awards, which will be held on Sunday, June 13, and be broadcast on CBS. Conan had to turn down the alleged offer due to the stipulation in his severance package with NBC that he is “legally prohibited from being funny on TV” (to quote his comedy tour tag line) until September 1. This would have been a boon for CBS: Not only is Conan very funny and well liked (translating into higher ratings) but this would have been a slap in the face to NBC, a network always at war with CBS when it comes to late night. Too bad Conan can’t host this year – maybe Neil Patrick Harris will make an encore hosting appearance?!?
- Lucille Lortel Awards
In other award show news, the nominees for the Lucille Lortel Awards were announced this week. This series of awards honors off-Broadway excellence. Among the nominees in various categories are Everyday Rapture, Clybourne Park and Circle Mirror Transformation. The awards will be handed out on May 2.
- From the Stage to Your Stereo
The music industry is in decline and more and more music retailers are devoting less and less space to musicals’ cast recordings. But, there was a glimmer of hope this week: Sony launched MasterworksBroadway.com, a website devoted to its catalogue of musical theatre recordings, including several versions of South Pacific (one of which features dreamboat Matthew Morrison), the original Hair album and Songs for a New World. The site also features liner notes, brief histories, streaming music and archival photos.
- Glee Scoop
“…On the Cover of the Rolling Stone!”
Gleeks, get ready: The current issue of Rolling Stone features some of our favorite McKinley High misfits and their teachers. Appearing on the March 31 issue of Rolling Stone are Matthew Morrison, Dianna Agron, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith. The revealing issue (seriously, check out the cover) hits newsstands just two weeks before the hit series returns to the airwaves on April 13. (The issue also features another great article by my favorite journalist, Matt Taibbi, exposing the shams of Wall Street.)
Speaking of that April 13th premiere, check out these teaser photos from the episode! And while you’re looking at Glee photos, take a look at the high school yearbook photos of the Glee cast.
In addition, Playbill.com is reporting that Spring Awakening and Hair (in the Park) alum Jonathan Groff will be featured on the forthcoming Madonna Glee album, singing on “Express Yourself,” “Like a Virgin,” “Like a Prayer” (my favorite Madge tune) and “Burning Up.” The album will be released on April 20, to coincide with the episode airdate.
As if Golden Globe and SAG awards weren’t enough, Glee just won a Peabody award. This “best of the best” award is handed out for excellence in electronic media. Joining Glee in the winner’s circle this year are the hilarious Modern Family, the PBS special Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About (a great retrospective of Robbins’s life and art) and Sesame Street. It’s a good thing Sesame Street won its own Peabody, because an over zealous Cookie Monster once ate Stephen Colbert’s!
- In Rehearsal
Next week, the City Centers Encores concert production of Stephen Sondheim’s Anyone Can Whistle will open. This week-long engagement stars theatre greats Donna Murphy, Sutton Foster and (my favorite) Raul Esparza. To whet your appetite, check out the rehearsal footage from Broadway.com.
- Next on 30 Rock…
Late last year Tina Fey mentioned that Matt Damon was at the top of her guest star wish list. EW mentioned this tid-bit to Damon who said he’d love to guest on the show. This week, EW confirmed that Damon will, in fact, make an appearance on the show. Conjectures have him showing up in one of the season’s last episodes. E Online has some spoilers about Damon’s storyline. In addition to Damon, on a special Mother’s Day themed episode, Broadway ladies Elaine Stritch, Patti LuPone, Jan Hooks and Anita Gillette will appear as the respective mothers of Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Frank (Judah Friedlander), Jenna (Jane Krakowski – a Broadway lady herself) and Liz Lemon (Tina Fey.)
- Rapturous Broadway
Roundabout had to move quickly: The venerable not-for-profit theatre company’s final show of the season, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, was cancelled after star Megan Mullally abruptly left the production last week with only a couple weeks until performances were set to start. (Though I don’t love the play, I was looking forward to seeing it because David Wilson Barnes was set to star in the four person ensemble. He was sensational last season in Second Stage’s Becky Shaw.) To fill the slot, Roundabout is bringing the successful Second Stage production of Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture to the American Airlines theatre on April 9. Everyday Rapture is a themed revue-concert, of sorts, loosely based on Scott’s life, and stars the talented Tony nominated beltress as a hyper-actualized avatar of herself. The show features Scott covering songs ranging from “You Made Me Love You” to U2’s “Elevation”. (I still picture Scott as a mole, digging in a hole every time I listen to the song!) The Second Stage incarnation counted many American Idiot creatives among their team, all of whom are going to reprise their roles for this Broadway version. The team will include director Michael Mayer, musical director/arranger Tom Kitt, lighting designer Kevin Adams and scenic designer Christine Jones. If you haven’t experienced the Rapture yet, now’s your chance!
- “Manchester, England, England…”
The groovy original Broadway Tribe has crossed the pond and begun performances in London. One day after Hair celebrated a year of being (officially) open on Broadway, Gavin Creel and company started spreading the love at the Gielgud Theatre on April 1. The London production is in previews until its official opening day, April 14. The current tribe will be traipsing around the West End until October-ish, when their visas expire. If you’re heading over there, say 'ello! (Bonus: Check out these photos of the Tribe making their way overseas.)
- Muppets Cover “Stand By Me”
In the inaugural Media Morsels, I directed you to a fantastic video of Dr Teeth, the Electric Mayhem and the whole Muppet gang covering Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody." Well, those Henson puppets are at it again: There’s now a video making its way across the series of tubes of the Muppets covering “Stand By Me.” I like the song and I love the Muppets but this interpretation is –visually – a little demented. (Although Stadler and Waldorf’s joke at the end make it worthwhile!) Watch for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments section.
The New York Times also ran a story this week about the genesis of American Idiot, both the album and the show. Plus, Billie Joe talks about plans for Green Day’s next record.