- American Idiot in the Media
Lots of Idiot goodness to get to this week – the Idiots were all over!
- American Idiot Makes an Impact
In this video, made to promote the Idiots’ appearance at Joe’s Pub for a Broadway Impact benefit (more later), Alysha Umphress, an ensemble Idiot and featured in the number “Too Much, Too Soon” brings us backstage at the St James. Watch as the cast does vocal warm ups; the cast does physical warm ups; and John Gallagher, Jr. does tongue warm ups. Fantastic.
- At said benefit, (held Sunday, July 25) most of the talented cast performed a rousing concert; some of the actors/musicians (like Joshua Kobak, Brian Charles Johnson & Chase Peacock (a.k.a. Fran Sancisco) and Declan Bennett) played original songs and others played (funny, sexy and thrilling) covers. Throughout the night, recent birthday boy Gerard Canonico served as the house drummer while associate music director Jared Stein tickled the ivories. Playbill.com and Broadwayworld.com were on hand to photograph the festivities. I was on hand to capture it live. It was great! Nearly a week later, my friend and I can’t stop talking about how much fun we had. Here are (totally unauthorized) YouTube clips (not shot by me – I like to unplug and just listen) of some of the great performances:
- Michael Esper, covering Glass Sun’s “Stick Up for Me”
- Miguel Cervantes, covering Bend Folds Five’s “Kate” (which he dedicated to his wife, Kelly), one of my favorite BF5 songs
- Christina Sajous, doing an hilarious cover of Celine Dion’s Titanic theme, “My Heart Will Go On”, complete with props and costumes
- Omar Lopez-Cepero, covering Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine”, and looking ever so sexy while doing it (it’s the acoustic guitar – it just always ups the hot factor!)
- Last week, Playbill.com brought us part one of their backstage interview with John, Michael, Stark and Rebecca. This week, we get to watch part two.
- About a month ago, John taped a round table discussion with fellow young actors for the American Theatre Wing. That discussion is now available for steaming and downloading. Watch as John, fellow Spring Awakening alums Krysta Rodriguez (currently in The Addams Family) and Jennifer Damiano (most recently of Next to Normal and possibly soon to be seen in Spider Man), La Cage’s Robin de Jesus and Steppenwolf member and Tony nominee Jon Michael Hill discuss discovering theatre, discovering it as a career, training and more!
- The Responsible Michael Esper
Liberty Mutual (yep, the insurance company) has a short-film series “exploring what it means to do the right thing”. In three films posted this week, young theatre actors take on the question and talk about their responsibility as an artist. My favorite of these films features American Idiot stud, Michael Esper. He talks about his character, Will, and how Will relates to young Michael. (Can I just say: I love his voice – both singing and speaking – because it’s really smooth and a little understated, but at the same time I think it’s hilarious that a kid who grew up in New Jersey and New York talks with a California cadence.) Other actors featured are Jennifer Damiano (who just left Next to Normal) and Kyle Riabko (who closed the Hair revival as Claude).
- If you heard buzzing at the St James this week, you weren’t going crazy: Sting was in the house! Broadway.com was on hand to capture the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist greeting the cast.
- Merchant of Broadway
As Shakespeare in the Park concludes its 2010 summer run, it was announced that the critically acclaimed production of Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino as Shylock, will transfer to Broadway this fall/winter for a limited run. The play will play the Broadhurst theatre (currently dark after Enron closed in short order) from October 19-January 9. Tickets are sure to sell out since Al Pacino will reprise his role. No other casting has been announced.
- Greetings and Salutations
Heathers, the quirky cult 80s movie starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, has been getting the musical treatment through various workshops and readings. This September, Heathers: The Musical will play two shows (in one night) at Joe’s Pub. Yours truly already has her ticket and dinner reservation. No casting has been announced but I’m pumped. Lick it up, Heather. Lick it up!
- Glee Scoop
The annual fanboy extravaganza, Comic Con, just ended in San Diego. Glee had a significant presence there this year, much like last. Over the duration of the convention, Ryan Murphy let slip several tidbits about next season, including: Cheyenne Jackson will join the cast in a recurring, not regular, role as Vocal Adrenaline’s coach; there will be a Britney Spears-themed episode (ugh!); they might cover REM’s Losing My Religion (which, incidentally, Anthony Rapp sang for his Rent audition); and they may do a Rocky Horror show. Get ready to time warp… again!