Media Morsels 4.9.10

  • Promises, Promises
    Last weekend I saw a preview performance of the current revival Promises, Promises. It was good. Nothing extraordinary, nothing gush-worthy, but good. The story and music is light and poppy – total fun fluff. The cast, with one exception, is terrific. Sean Hayes does a great job finding his everyman character and Kristen Chenoweth is a pint-size powerhouse. She’s always a joy to watch on stage. Director/choreographer Rob Ashford is making his Broadway directorial debut with this musical, though he’s directed overseas and choreographed on both sides of the pond before. His dances are athletic and energetic, and after watching, you’ll have no trouble understanding why he’s a multiple Astaire Award winner. Promises, Promises is a nice romp (if a little long – with intermission it clocks in at just shy of three hours) and a crowd-pleasing alternative to the other tourist draws, like Phantom. If you’re heading to the Great White Way and don’t want to wander too far out of your comfort zone, Promises, Promises is a good choice. The show officially opens on April 25, but here are some just-released promotional photos.
  • Raul Esparza on Raul Esparza ran a great piece this week, bringing readers an interview with the uber talented Raul Esparza. In this interview, he talks about his upcoming stint in the one-weekend stand of Anyone Can Whistle (I’m seeing it tonight!). He also talks about creating characters and gives some vampire slaying (the [title of show] kind of vampire slaying, that is) advice.

  • Bloody, Bloody Review
    Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson opened at the Public Theatre this week and Ben Brantley gave it a rave review! (So did I!) Take a look at the opening night arrivals, this video interview with creators Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman and star Ben Walker and this interview from, with star Ben Walker.

    Good news: This rocking show was just extended! Originally scheduled to conclude its limited engagement on April 25, the Public announced that President Jackson would remain in office until May 9. Get thee to the Public!

  • Glee Scoop
    Great news, Gleeks: The back nine episodes of season one start on Tuesday! In preparation, the McKinley High misfits and teachers have been on a media tour, including:

    • A stop at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll; watch the footage of the performance, including dreamy Matthew Morrison singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” while accompanying himself on the ukulele. And look for the lovely Michelle Obama dancing around with her girls to Mark Salling’s “Sweet Caroline.”

    • A chat with Oprah

    • An appearance, by the female students, in the current issue of Glamour magazine

    Plus, check out this video with Matthew Morrison, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff, all talking about what we can expect in these back nine episodes. (Groff on working on Glee with Lea: “It’s an illegal amount of fun!”)

  • American Idiot Media Coverage
    • American Idiot is taking over MTV! According to a press release from MTV, the station and its on-air and online affiliates will be bringing fans tons of Green Day and American Idiot coverage this month, including a behind-the-scenes look at the Broadway production, set to air on April 16 at 7pm.

    • Green Day recently spoke with NY Magazine about bringing their seminal rock-opera record to the St. James.

    • John Gallagher, Jr. is featured in a brief piece in the current (May 2010) issue of Vanity Fair. (I can’t find this online, but the issue is on newsstands now.) Check it out to see him in a fully mod-punker, high-fashion look.

    • Dance Magazine spoke with choreographer Steven Hoggett about becoming a part of this project and how the choreography and physical language of the show came about.

    • The Idiot Interns are at it again: The hard working interns for American Idiot have posted a behind-the-scenes video on the show’s Facebook fan page. (This link may or may not work.) In this, their second video, they are joined by ensemble member Ben Thompson who gives viewers a tour of the backstage area at the St. James.

    • Artist Ken Fallin released an illustration of Green Day, in honor of the upcoming opening night of American Idiot on Broadway!

  • Lollapalooza 2010
    Summertime is nearing (yes, I know spring only just began) and that means summer concert festivals. Lollapalooza, which began as a roving tour in the early nineties and is organized, in part, by Perry Farrell (sometimes of Porno for Pyros, sometimes of Jane’s Addiction), announced its line up this week. The festival will play for one weekend, August 6-8, in Chicago’s Grant Park and will feature performances by Green Day, Cypress Hill and a reunited Soundgarden, among many others. Read all about it on

  • Award Show Season Update
    This is the time for all the theatre awards. As I’ve mentioned before, the Tony nominations will be announced on May 4, followed by the presentation and telecast on June 13. In the meantime, off-Broadway, regional and critics awards are being handed out. This week, the Helen Hayes awards, which honor excellence in the DC theatrical community, were announced. Winners included Ragtime (the production that, after a successful run in DC, came to Broadway for a short revival) and some of its cast and creatives and Cate Blanchett, for her role in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire. has a full list of winners.

    As for the Tonys, reported that the administration committee met, once again, to discuss Tony eligibility. Generally, Tony eligibility is based on opening night credits; an actor whose name appears above the title is eligible in the leading actor category and everyone else in the supporting actor category. Sometimes there are exceptions and this (and other extenuating circumstances and special theatrical events) is why the committee meets. Their rulings were: Laura Linney (Time Stands Still) is eligible in the leading actress category; Sam Rockwell, Anthony Mackie and Zoe Kazan (A Behanding in Spokane) are eligible in the supporting actor/actress categories; Patrick Breen (Next Fall) is eligible in the leading actor category.

  • “Six Months Out of Every Year…”
    In honor of MLB’s opening week, I’m pleased to bring you this feature from the April issue of Men’s Journal: the unparalleled Matt Taibbi writes “How I’d Save Baseball.” The fervent Red Sox fan (his only flaw) has several suggestions, including a salary floor and ceiling and timed games.

  • Bruce Norris: Time Traveler
    Bruce Norris, the acclaimed playwright behind the recent and excellent Clybourne Park, said that his next play, which will premiere at his usual artistic home, the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, will deal with time travel and is called A Parallelogram. With Norris’s whip-smart writing, this thing just might have the 1.21 jigawatts necessary for time travel.

  • Next to (former) POTUS
    The Clinton Family – Slick Willy, Madame Secretary, Chelsea and her fiancĂ©e – all attended a performance of Next to Normal last weekend. Though the family didn’t stay to meet the cast after the performance (not unusual, given the security logistics) composer Tom Kitt did get a chance to greet the family and have President Clinton tell him how great the show is. Way to go, Next to Normal!

  • Allison Janney Goes Indie
    Variety reports that stage and screen vet (and one of my favorite ladies) Allison Janney is joining Oliver Platt (another The West Wing alum) Alia Shawkat (an Arrested Development alum), Adam Brody and Hugh Laurie in an indie dark comedy called The Oranges. (That’s ore-anges, not are-anges!) The film’s being shot here in New York so I’ll let you know of any CJ sightings!

  • Joel Stein Unplugs
    I often urge people to unplug: Put down the crackberry and step away from the computer. (Yes, I'm aware of the irony of such urgings being made on a blog.) Recently, Time funnyman Joel Stein took on the challenge of unplugging for 24 hours. Read his account of his time without Facebook, email and Twitter.

  • Catch It!
    The stage musical adaptation of the Leonardo DiCaprio film Catch Me If You Can is confirmed to play on Broadway next spring. No exact dates or theatres have been announced, and there is no word yet on casting. When the musical had an out-of-town try out in Seattle this summer, Norbert Leo Butz and Aaron Tveit starred in the roles made famous on film by Tom Hanks and Leo, respectively. With two of my favorite theatre actors plausibly involved in this run, I will be sure to keep you posted!

  • Let’s Do Dinner
    The first trailer for the upcoming Paul Rudd-Steve Carell movie, Dinner for Schmucks, is now online. As you might guess from the leading men and the title (and the fact that it’s directed by Austin Powers and Meet the Parents helmer Jay Roach), this is one tongue-firmly-in-cheek, slapstick, goofy laugh fest. The comedy, due in theatres on July 23, includes appearances by funny people Jemaine Clement (from Flight of the Conchords,) Zach Galifianakis, Ron Livingston and Kristen Schaal. Check out the trailer on

  • How We Gonna [Cast] Rent?
    You may recall from previous weeks that Rent will be staged at LA’s famous Hollywood Bowl this August 6-8. It was announced this week that the Neil Patrick Harris-directed production will star teen queen Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi. (For those of you who need a Rent reminder: Mimi is Roger's love interest.) Hudgens is currently best known for her work in High School Musical. She strikes me as a little young to be taking on the role, but Mimi is 19, as she reminds us in “Light My Candle.” (Roger: “You look like you’re 16”; Mimi: “I’m 19!/But I’m old for my age/I’m just born to be bad!”) If any of you dear readers catch this production this summer, please let me know how it is!

  • Cosmos for Everyone!
    There’s a new trailer out for Sex and the City 2. This installment finds the ladies in Abu Dhabi for a getaway – from their husbands, their children or, as Samantha once coined it in the series, Same York. But trouble is afoot because while on vacation, Carrie runs into the ruggedly handsome Aidan. The movie opens on May 28, Memorial Day weekend, so call your girlfriends, buy your tickets in advance (you know the lines will be crazy!) and get ready for lots of glitz and glamour. Visit the movie’s official website for all the details.