Broadway Spring 2012. Is Broadway Weak? Oh No, says Apolo Ohno

“Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tweets89BroadwaySpring2012What’s on Broadway? Long-running shows, shows about to close, and shows about to open.

It’s most exciting to talk about the 17 shows scheduled to open in Spring 2012, especially to producers, who hope Spring will be less dismal than the offerings in the autumn.
To encourage theatergoers to buck the trend and spend January and February on the Great White Way, we are entering Broadway Week (which is really almost three weeks), January 17 to February 4, where you can buy two tickets for the price of one at 21 Broadway shows. (Off-Broadway Week, offering the same deal, runs form January 30 through February 12.)
But while there are three shows opening on Broadway this month, and several theater festivals, now is a relatively fallow period in New York theater, and much “stage news” this week had to do with the screen in one way or another – TV stars Darren Criss’s debut and William Shatner’s return; the announcements of film adaptations of several quintessential stage musicals, including one by Sondheim, and the theater backgrounds of some of the Golden Globe winners. And I had a Twitter chat with Olympic champion Apolo Ohno about performing on Broadway. (Scroll to Thursday)
Welcome to the 89th edition of The Week in New York Theater Tweets.

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Monday, January 9, 2012
He must like Broadway. Hugh Jackman is already planning return in “Houdini” by Aaron Sorkin Stephen Schwartz in the 2013-14 season.

What happens when you mix Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess? A wedding. Will Swenson and Audra McDonald announced their engagement.

The Public Theater is reportedly negotiating to bring to Central Park the recent British production of Sondheim/Lapine “Into the Woods”

Darren Criss is a bigger draw than Daniel Radcliffe: “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” made $1.4 mil in his 1st week, more than all but one previous week.
Ryan McPhee (@mchadoaboutryan) But what if Daniel Radcliffe’s run in How to Succeed was also a limited three-week engagement?

Follies co-stars Elaine Paige and Ron Raines interview each other on The Wing’s Downstage Center.

Could there be an all-white Porgy & Bess? Only if the Gershwin estate said yes. A look at musical estates: Heirs/estates of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Gershwins, Lerner/Lowe etc. have mixed motives – keeping in the public eye,new copyright, more money.

What says cool on stage these days: videos, smoke, a loud rock band, men in mascara, a smidgen of nudity. My review of a show in the Under the Radar Festival: In The Solitude of Cotton Fields

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Rob Marshall is re-teaming with Disney for film adaptation of Sondheim/Lapine’s Into the Woods.
Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater): What do people think of Into The Woods as a film? Doesn’t it seem like the quintessential stage musical?
Arianna Armon (@OperaKitty) Prefer it as animated film.
Trey Graham (@treygraham): “Chicago” seemed like quintessential stage show too, until it wasn’t
Mary-Tyler Upshaw (@Blogfilledlife): There is NO way it would “read” properly.
Daniel Bourque (@Danfrmbourque): Be REALLY tough to get right. It’s so theatrical will require a major rethink
Jonas-Olof Rosin (@JonasRosin): I have been waiting for a film version of this for years. I think it absolutely screams movie, think it can be great.
Devon (@amysticwisdom): I could see it as an adorable cartoon. Otherwise… I don’t know how well it’ll transfer to screen
Rob Weinert-Kendt (@RobKendt): In “Finishing the Hat,” Sondheim talks about the long-dead plans for a Jim Henson movie.

Once, the musical based on the movie, closes Off-Broadway on January 15, then records a cast album January 17,which will be available when the show opens on Broadway on March 18.

Estelle Parsons will join Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara in the cast of the new Gershwin musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” opening April 24.
Parsons, 84, is still best known for her role in the film Bonnie and Clyde, but this will be her 29th Broadway show.

Dolly Parton says she is writing a musical about her life story for Broadway.

Step aside, American Idol: Andrew Lloyd Webber is producing a new TV show to find Jesus for UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. (This is NOT for the Broadway production, which the Stratford Shakespeare Festival originated in Toronto)

After a 25-year delay, Les Miserables is set to begin filming in March, with Hugh Jackman as Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert.
Michael Padgett (@MichaelWPadgett); Makes you wonder what the casting would have been back then!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Returning to Broadway after 50 years, William Shatner (Star Trek, Boston Legal) in one-man show Feb 14-Mar 4 entitled Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It.
“My plan has always been to return to Broadway every 50 years. I can’t ask my fans to wait longer for me than Halley’s Comet, so I’m coming back.”

Victoria Clark will replace Bernadette Peters as Sally when Follies performs in L.A. May 3 to June 9
Brian DeVito (@bdevit):Great choice
Kevin Metzger (@kevmetz): Yes! A must-see performance
Eric Sciotto (@E_DaddySciotto): FAB

Denis O’Hare has co-written and will co-star with Stephen Spinella (they will alternate performances) in adaptation of Homer’s epic. “An Iliad” Feb 15-Mar 25 at the New York Theater Workshop.

This season the New York Theater Workshopis doubling the number of its shows that have gone to Broadway: Rent, Dirty Blonde, now Peter and the Starcatcher and Once

John Logan, playwright of Red, screenwriter of Hugo, has been hired to write film adaptation of Broadway hit Jersey Boys.
Is there any show that cannot/should not be made into a film?
Scott McQuiston (@satyr69): Sleep No More
Rebecca Codas (@broadwaylover95): An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin
David (@DavidsUniverse): Well, if they made that [epithet] Rock of Ages into a film, then no
Robert Carreon (@ahrmi): It’s all about the vision. You never know til you take the risk and give it a shot
Lara Morton (@Laraemorton): All of the Broadways shows that STARTED as films. You know, 80% of the contemporary fare….
Sara Calvey (@SaraMCalvey): I really don’t think Phantom should have been. But that’s a tough question when most shows already have been or are movies.

Sontag Reborn 03
My review of
Sontag: Reborn
At around 16 years of age, Susan Sontag 1. offered Thomas Mann a reinterpretation of his “Magic Mountain” 2. had her first affair with a woman, 3. met the professor she would marry shortly afterwards.
“I know what I want to do with my life,” Sontag wrote in one of the journals that is the text of “Sontag: Reborn,” part of the Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater. “I want to sleep with many people….I don’t intend to have my intellect dominate me.”
….”The writer must be four people: 1. The nut. 2. The moron. 3. The stylist. 4. The critic”
Full review

Thursday, January 12, 2012
It’s official: Jeremy Jordan will star in Newsies, opening on Broadway March 15. He just starred in Bonnie & Clyde.

On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever will close on Sunday, January 29, having played 57 regular performances

Leap of Faith with Raul Esparza is taking over the St. James April 3rd thanks to Clear Day’s exit.

Public Sings! March 5 only. Laura Benanti, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Raul Esparza etc sing from shows that original at the Public Theater, such as Hair, Chorus Line

Chicago critic Jonathan Abarbanel says to producers: Give Sondheim a rest. Make room for Frank Loesser, Kurt Weill, Cy Coleman
Ryan Mooney (@RyanInVancouver): Interesting argument

Apolo_OhnoApolo Anton Ohno (@ApoloOhno): Saw Broadway show last night – Spiderman. Had an amazing time! Went backstage and met the cast, crew. Very cool! Flying, singing, fun!
Jonathan Mandell: Could you do the flying and singing you saw in Spiderman? Ever consider performing on stage?
Apolo Anton Ohno: I wish! I have so much respect for those performers, musicians, actors/tress’s. The entire crew is incredible!

Friday, January 13, 2012
Sondheim’s 1994 musical Passion will be produced at Classic Stage Company in February 2013, the first musical in the company’s 45-year history

Closing on Broadway tonight: An Evening With Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. Over the next nine months they will tour to Kansas City, Sarasota, Wisconsin, Ca.,Texas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012
Pipe Dream, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s1955 musical, getting New York City Center Encores! treatment, with Laura Osnes (Bonnie & Clyde) March 28-April 1. Pipe Dream is based on John Steinbeck’s 1954 novel, Sweet Thursday, about “outcasts yearning for a better life” in California bordellos and flophouses

Bobby Steggert (Ragtime, Yank) one of five cast members in Assistance, about assistants humiliated by their bosses, February 3-March 11 at Playwrights Horizons.

A rite of passage for many theater artists is taking a job with “assistant” in the title. American Theatre Magazine looks at the pluses and minuses

Julie Andrews will direct The Great American Mousical based on kids book she co-wrote with her daughter, at Goodspeed in November

Teddy Lamb (@TheodoreBass):This has made my life

Married couple Matthew Cavenaugh (West Side Story) znc Jenny Powers (Grease, The Good Wife last week) perform at Birdland February 13

Terri White @TheTerriWhite): Lord Lord Lord, only a few more performances of Follies.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Vanity Fair “theater geek” interviews
Anything Goes director Kathleen Marshall about Sutton Foster as the new Ethel Merman/Barbra Streisand

The Broadway League (@TheBwayLeague): Bravo
Golden Globes winners,especially Broadway veterans Woody Allen , Claire Danes, Morgan Freeman, Kelsey Grammer, Jessica Lange, Madonna, Christopher Plummer, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep
Indira Satyendra (@hudsonette) Streep must come back to Broadway!!

The week in New York Theater Tweets is a selection and enhancement of Jonathan Mandell’s Twitter feed, and is posted every week, usually on Monday.

For up-to-the-minute theater news, views and reviews, follow Jonathan Mandell on his Twitter feed at @NewYorkTheater
Broadway World has designated @NewYorkTheater as one of the top theater Twitter feeds: “Talk about a tweeter who knows his Broadway stuff! From news to conversation-starters to commentary, he’s got it all.”
New York Theater Facebook page

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Jonathan Mandell, who tweets as New York Theater, is a native New Yorker and third-generation journalist with diverse experience on newspapers, magazines and websites.He has written for a wide varie more


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