Media Morsels 3.11.11

  • American Idiot
    I am deeply saddened to tell you, dear readers, that American Idiot is closing. (I'm thinking of starting a support group.) The beautiful, heart wrenching, important show that started as a Green Day rock opera and evolved into a full-fledged musical, enjoying an extended world premiere run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre before previewing (March 24th) and opening (April 20th) on Broadway will shutter its doors on April 24, 2011. Slumping sales, particularly when Green Day frontman and American Idiot writer Billie Joe Armstrong is not playing St Jimmy, have finally caused the Broadway run to come to end. American Idiot will be greatly missed but it will be launching a national tour this fall so this phenomenal show will still be around for folks to thrill over. (To inject a final boost into the box office, Billie Joe is returning for the final three weeks of performances.) When American Idiot closes on April 24, it will have played 27 previews and 421 regular performances on Broadway. Visit for details and to purchase tickets, and stay up to date with the tour via the show's Facebook page.

  • Things to Ruin
    Dear readers, Joe Iconis's brilliant, rocking, impassioned song cycle, Things to Ruin, is still in the midst of a four-show run at le Poisson Rouge. I had the pleasure of seeing it on Monday night and Joe and his family blew the roof off the place. You want to see passion personified? Go see these sexy, ridiculously talented and fierce performers as they make their way through Iconis's blood- and pheromone-filled masterpieces. (Check out these terrific production stills from Monday night, taken by photographer Monica Simoes. I pulled out my favorites here on my tumblr.)

    Earlier this week, Joe sat down with the Pataphysical Science blog to chat about his approach to writing and bringing Things to Ruin to le Poisson Rouge...and about what's next for this extremely gifted composer. (After reading the interview, head on over to to buy your tickets to the two remaining shows, March 20 and March 28!)

  • Supreme Court Ruling
    The Supreme Court of Assholedom, that is. Matt Taibbi's high court handed down some decisions recently. The Justices took on cases such as The People vs. Daniel Snyder and Disappointed Music Fans vs. Elton John. My favorite was Considerate Urban Commuters vs. People Wearing Gigantic Backpacks on the New York City Subway. Unfortunately, the Court ruled against Taibbi's bid to label backpack wearers assholes, by 8-1, but as a Considerate Urban Commuter myself, I feel it my duty to share Taibbi's argument:
"I was in the subway last week and was continually whacked by a guy wearing a huge backpack who kept moving from side to side without bothering to look behind him. I fucking hate it when people in New York wear backpacks on the subway, for two reasons. One, they can't see behind them and they're always whacking old ladies and kids and balding magazine journalists with their bags while they stand there yapping obliviously with their asshole yuppie friends. And two, in a crowded subway car, you should be trying to minimize the space you take up, and wearing a backpack instead of taking it off and putting it at your feet takes up the space for two people instead of one."
  • The Philadelphia Story
    One of my favorite classic romantic comedies, The Philadelphia Story, may be retold. A report in Variety says that the Roundabout Theatre Company (which is producing the currently-in-previews revival of Cole Porter's Anything Goes) commissioned a reading of the play in LA; the reading starred recent Tony winner Scarlett Johansson, Jon Hamm and John Krasinski, and was directed by Alex Timbers, who is definitely having a moment (check out Ben Brantley's praise for Timbers's latest, Peter and the Starcatchers). As the Variety report points out, a reading doesn't guarantee anything - that a full-fledged production will take place or that it would take place with that cast. But, Roundabout has a penchant for producing revivals with starry casts so keep an eye out for future confirmation.

  • Jon Stewart Loves The Book of Mormon
    Seriously, he said so on his show this week: (I loved it, too!)

  • Catch Aaron Tveit
    As you know, dear readers, the very talented Aaron Tveit will return to Broadway this spring in Catch Me if You Can. Last week, I mentioned that he is featured in the April issue of Vanity Fair. (Sutton Foster and Joel Grey are also featured.) This week, the handsome triple threat is featured in BlackBook, taking folks around SoHo and showing off his favorite haunts. Check it out and learn where he likes to go for milk and cookies and what his pick is for a great post-wedding reception bash!

  • Zach Braff at Second Stage
    This week, it was announced that Zach Braff, who recently appeared in Second Stage's production of Trust, will premiere his new play, All New People, at Second Stage this summer. For a play titled All New People, the description, particularly of the main character, sounds like the same old person. According to Second Stage, via Playbill, the leading man, "Charlie is 35, heartbroken and just wants some time away from the rest of the world." Doesn't this sound all too familiar to Braff's character in Garden State, which he also wrote? In any case, as a Second Stage subscriber I'll be seeing it sometime during its summer run (previews will begin June 28) and will bring you my review then.

  • Spider-Man Transforms
    It was confirmed this week that there are big changes coming to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Julie Taymor is out, as are some songs and several confusing or superfluous plot points. The New York Times has more details about the changes to both personnel (they're bringing in a new creative team) and the show. In order to rework the show and make the necessary changes, the production will go on a brief hiatus from April 19 through May 11. The new official opening date is June 14 (two days after the Tony awards, for which it won't be eligible because it didn't officially open within the 201-2011 theatre season).

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