Media Morsels 7.23.10
- American Idiot in the Media
This week, Playbill.com featured the first in a series of backstage videos from the St James. In this installment, John Gallagher, Jr., Michael Esper, Stark Sands and Rebecca Naomi Jones are interviewed in John’s dressing room.
In related news, while I was crying my eyes out at the Booth, watching Alice Ripley, Jennifer Damiano and (the amazing) Brian d’Arcy James play their final performance of Next to Normal on Broadway (it was even more emotional than usual, plus Brian Yorkey and (the genius) Tom Kitt came out at the end to give a curtain speech), Johnny was playing a benefit show at Ars Nova. Playbill.com was on hand to capture some of the fun.
Welcome the New Idiots
As mentioned in Media Morsels a couple of weeks ago, Favorite Sun Joshua Henry will star in the upcoming Broadway run of Kander and Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys. As such, Henry played his final performance in American Idiot on Saturday, July 17 and this week Hair alum (the replacement cast) Wallace Smith succeeded Henry in the role. Corbin Reid and Sydney Harcourt also joined the ensemble this week. Read their bios online at americanidiotonbroadway.com and say hello to the new Idiots the next time you’re at the St James!
- In This White House
The President and First Lady hosted a bevy of Broadway belters (and other great, non-belting singers) at the White House on Monday as part of an on-going In Performance series. (Visit Broadway.com for photos.) As mentioned last week, the recording of this performance will air on PBS in October. For now, the President’s remarks:
“There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. At its heart, it’s the power of a story – of love and of heartbreak; of joy and sorrow; singing witches, dancing ogres. Musicals carry us to a different time and place, but in the end, they also teach us a little bit of something about ourselves. It’s one of the few genres of music that can inspire the same passion in an eight-year-old that it can an 80-year-old – and make them both want to get up and dance. It transcends musical tastes, from opera and classical to rock and hip-hop. And whether we want to admit it or not, we all have the lyrics to a few Broadway songs stuck in our heads.
Over the years, musicals have also been at the forefront of our social consciousness, challenging stereotypes, shaping our opinions about race and religion, death and disease, power and politics.
But perhaps the most American part of this truly American art form is its optimism. Broadway music calls us to see the best in ourselves and in the world around us – to believe that no matter how hopeless things may seem, the nice guy can still get the girl, the hero can still triumph over evil, and a brighter day can be waiting just around the bend.” Amen.
- "On the Cover of a Rolling Stone..."
The new issue of Rolling Stone features the talented and handsome Leonardo DiCaprio (in full-on brooding mode) on the cover, making it the best Rolling Stone cover of the year. (I’d dare say ever, but Jimi Hendrix has also been on the cover, so…) Inside, associate editor Brian Hiatt talks to the accomplished actor about – surprise, surprise – dreams, as well as just what makes Leo tick. Pick up your copy today.
- Tony Awards
I know, I know: The Tony awards were handed out a month ago. What news could there possibly be? Well, the 2011 Tony nominating committee was just announced. This group is responsible for seeing everything to open on Broadway during the season and then choosing, by vote, the nominees. They are not the sole group of voters so you can’t blame them entirely for Gregory Jbara winning Best Supporting Actor in a Musical in 2009 but you can blame them for the gross omission of Aaron Tveit as a nominee in the same category that year. Some new members of the committee include playwright Moises Kaufman (The Laramie Project) and director Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal). I suggest keeping this list handy come next May so you’ll know with whom you can file a grievance (or amicus brief) when the nominations come out!
- Glee Scoop
This week, Glee creator Ryan Murphy confirmed that Kristin Chenoweth would return for another episode of
The Kristin Chenoweth ShowGlee; Jonathan Groff is likely to return; and Javier Bardem will make an appearance. Murphy also said that the number of musical numbers per show would revert to the usual five of the first 13 episodes (there were about eight in the back nine) and that the storylines would focus more on the series regulars. That last bit’s quite a novel idea!
- The Social Network
On the heels of the release of the second teaser trailer for the new Aaron Sorkin-penned, David Fincher-directed movie, The Social Network, a new full-on theatrical trailer was released this week. The dialogue heard in the second trailer is repeated here but this time we get to see the clips of the movie – featuring Jesse Eisenberg and JTims – the dialogue accompanies. Perhaps the best thing about the trailer, though, is the perfect and eerie use of Radiohead’s “Creep” as the theme music, particularly the lyric, “I want you to notice/when I’m not around”. If that doesn’t sum up the obsession of Facebook, I don’t know what does. The Social Network hits theatres this October.
- It’s [Officially] De-Lovely
All aboard: The upcoming revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes has a “dock” and an official “set sail” date. (That’s the last of the bad nautical wordplay.) Anything Goes, which will star Tony winner Sutton Foster, will make its home at the (newly renamed) Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Previews will begin on March 10 and the revival will open on April 7. More casting will be announced soon.
- New Foo for You
Ready for some great news? The Foo Fighters are back in the studio and have just finished the demos for their seventh studio album. The fellas have been buzzing about it on some different social networking outlets, teasing fans with great photos of guitars, soundboards and song lists. No official word on anything yet but when Dave, Taylor, Chris and Nate (and friends, like Krist Novoselic) get together to make music it’s always a good thing. Stay tuned for more details as they’re announced.
- Bonus Foo News 1: Remember I mentioned several weeks ago that Sir Paul McCartney was honored with a songwriting prize at the White House? Well, Foo front man Dave Grohl was on hand for a rendition of “Band on the Run”. While a recording of the ceremony will air on PBS next week, FooFighters.com has an exclusive sneak peek at Dave’s performance.
- Bonus Foo News 2: While the Foos have been on hiatus, individual members have been keeping mighty busy. Dave’s been living his childhood dream by playing in a band with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones (Them Crooked Vultures). Taylor has been living it up with Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. And guitarist Chris Shiflett just released a country-inspired, folk-rocking record with his band, Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants. (This is a great summertime record!) Visit FooFighters.com to stay up to date on all the Foos.
- Some Enchanted Evening
Last night I saw the soon-to-close Tony winning Broadway revival of South Pacific. I liked the show, but I didn't really care for the production. It could be that it's so late in the run (it’s been up for over two years now) but the performance felt very flat - it lacked energy. In addition, it was quiet - almost to the point of inaudible. The Vivian Beaumont is not a huge theatre (despite my memory from ten years ago) so I should have been able to hear in the loge. However, the sound levels were so low that I missed a lot of the dialogue. It didn't matter so much with the songs because, though also quiet, I knew the entire score (what a score! Beautiful, lush, romantic, happy – and a 30 piece orchestra to boot! No wonder it's a classic!) so even if I couldn’t hear what they were singing, I knew what they were singing. I also felt that the pacing was too slow, which made a long show even longer. Even with all my gripes, I still enjoyed watching this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, and particularly the beautiful Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot as Emile de Becque in his Tony winning role.