- “St. Jimmy’s Coming Down Across the (Shubert) Alley Way…”
The box office at the St. James theatre, home to American Idiot is now open. This means that you can go to the box office to purchase your ticket and save $7-10 on service fees. Tickets for opening night are still unavailable to the public, but I’m going to keep trying! In the meantime, make your way over to the St. James on 44th Street, right in between Sardi’s & The Helen Hayes Theatre and John’s Pizzeria, and get ready to rock out on Broadway! Visit Americanidiotonbroadway.com for all the details.
In other American Idiot news, Green Day will receive the Character Approved Award. What is that, you ask? It’s a made up award with a really good mission statement. USA Network, which airs habit-forming fun fluff such as Royal Pains and White Collar, trades on the brand “characters welcome,” indicative of the many characters populating the network’s shows. The Character Approved Award “is a celebration of the real characters making an impact on our culture today,” according to USA executive vice president Chris McCumber. All honorees are featured in clips that premiered at a ceremony on Thursday and are set to be shown on USA and online at characterapproved.usanetwork.com. As part of the celebration, the American Idiot cast performed during the ceremony, which was hosted by Royal Pains star (and The West Wing alum) Mark Feuerstein. Visit the Green Day character approved channel for some musings from Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong.
- Great Review for a Great Play
Clybourne Park officially opened at Playwrights Horizons this week and New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley gave it a glowing review. (Click here for my review.) Congratulations to the cast, playwright Bruce Norris and director Pam MacKinnon.
In related news, Playwrights Horizons announced this week that Clybourne Park would, due no doubt to the stellar reviews, extend its run by two weeks. Originally scheduled to close on March 7, the terrific new play will now run through March 21. Take advantage of the extension and book your tickets now!
- Glee Scoop
Lea Back on Stage
Broadwayworld.com reported on an item in the Post this week saying Lea Michele may be heading back to Broadway in a role specifically created for her. The show centers around the trials and tribulations of a Texas high school drama group trying to produce Rent. I’d rather see Lea in something not so Glee-esque, just to see her stretch a little more but any chance to watch the petite powerhouse on stage again is welcomed. (In case you part of the uninitiated, Lea plays lead glee club diva Rachel Berry on Glee and was incredibly moving and compelling as Wendla in Spring Awakening.) Whether she'll be able to come back to stage anytime soon isn't clear, as her Glee schedule keeps her pretty busy, between filming the end of this season, season two and the planned summer tour this lady is booked.
Mr. Shuester Goes to Washington
Actually, more like the Glee kids. EW is reporting that FLOTUS and the kids are big fans of Glee, and have invited the McKinley High misfits to perform at the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 5. This is a delicious development and a wonderful “so there” to NBC and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which rescinded their invitation for the kids to perform. Man, it’s good to be the First Lady!
Neil Patrick Harris Confirmed for Glee
Up until now, NPH’s rumored guest appearance on Glee has been just that - a rumor. But E! is confirming that Harris is definitely filming an episode. Sources say that his character will be somewhat diabolical, along the lines of Harris’s Dr. Horrible character, making him the perfect whippersnapper to deliver Glee’s trademark one-line zingers. Glee-suit up!
- How We Gonna [Direct] Rent?
In other Neil Patrick Harris news, this week rumors swirled that the one time Mark Cohen will direct the upcoming Hollywood Bowl summer production of Rent. That production is set to take place from August 6-8. There’s no official word confirming this, but I’ll let you now as soon as there is!
UPDATE: It was just announced that Harris is confirmed to direct Rent. Casting is still to be announced. Stay tuned for more updates.
- U2 + Lenny Kravitz = Musical Bliss
U2 announced that Lenny Kravitz, along with Interpol and The Fray, will alternate as opening acts for U2 on their upcoming summer tour. This is going to be a massive tour by a legendary band (they are Hall of Fame inductees) and reasonably priced tickets are still available for lots of dates. Visit u2.com for more tour details.
- Eyes, Look Your Last
Reports surfaced this week that the late and great musician Jeff Buckley’s catalog would be used to score The Last Goodbye, a new musical that’s being touted as a rock and roll Romeo + Juliet. (“The Last Goodbye” is also the name of one of Buckley’s songs.) According to Variety (as reported on Playbill.com) a New York industry reading is in the works, and the show is looking to make its stage debut next season. Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, is collaborating on the project. In his too brief career, Buckley was heralded as one of the greatest of his generation. His full-length debut record, Grace, features “The Last Goodbye” as well as a heart wrenching version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which was used to tear-jerking perfection in "Posse Comitatus", the season three finale episode of The West Wing.
- A Nightmare Before Nightmare
Sean William Scott recently said he’d like to see Tim Burton’s fantastic claymation movie A Nightmare Before Christmas be adapted into a stage musical and, wait for it, that he would like to star in it as Jack Skellington. I don’t have anything witty to say about this, I’m just presenting this information as a public service announcement. You’ve been warned.
- The Revival’s Got Potential
The successful West End revival of Evita may be heading to the great white way. Argentina’s own Elena Roger would repeat her appearance as Evita and producers are hoping to snag a star to play Che. Apparently they’ve reached out to Ricky Martin (who was upstaged by an adorable Lea Michele while presenting at the Grammy awards) but Martin hasn’t responded. The really good news here is that the uber talented choreographer Rob Ashford will once again set the cast's boogie shoes in motion, as he did in London.