Field trip! Today anchors Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall have worked a full day before most of us have even eaten lunch—so after bringing news to the nation, the ladies of Today spent the afternoon at the Schoenfeld Theatre, witnessing the sweeping romance of The Bridges of Madison County. After seeing Jason Robert Brown’s new musical unfold, the ladies got a backstage tour from the show’s stars, Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale. The Today show hosts are all smiles in this Hot Shot, but we’re willing to bet they were wiping away tears during the emotional adaptation. Check out a snapshot of their visit, then see Bridges on Broadway! View Comments The Bridges of Madison County Related Shows Kelli O’Hara Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on May 18, 2014 Steven Pasquale
The Elephant Man, starring Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Bradley Cooper, broke another box office record this past week. The Bernard Pomerance drama took in $973,202 at the Booth Theatre, beating the record it had previously set for the week ending November 30. Meanwhile, the five usual suspects secured their spots as the top-grossing shows, with perennial favorite The Lion King bringing in an impressive $2,200,409 over eight performances. Stars are still shining bright over at Cabaret; the Emma Stone and Alan Cumming-led tuner exceeded capacity for the first time since April. We suspect these numbers and more will continue to climb over the holiday week. Meanwhile, the flying Elvii may not be enough to keep Honeymoon in Vegas in the black; the show opens officially on January 15, 2015, and hopefully reviews and word-of-mouth will bring it the jackpot it needs by then. UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. Rock of Ages ($400,950) 4. Disgraced ($332,589) 3. Constellations ($325,875)** 2. This Is Our Youth ($322,733) 1. Honeymoon in Vegas ($321,524)* Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending December 21: UNDERDOGS (By Capacity) 5. Mamma Mia! (65.98%) 4. You Can’t Take It With You (62.74%) 3. If/Then (61.76%) 2. On the Town (57.24%) 1. Disgraced (52.74%) FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity) 1. The Book of Mormon (102.53%) 2. Cabaret (100.22%) 3. Aladdin (99.62%) 4. The River (99.43%) 5. The Elephant Man (98.97%) Source: The Broadway League *Number based on eight preview performances **Number based on seven preview performances FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. The Lion King ($2,200,409) 2. Wicked ($1,986,719) 3. The Book of Mormon ($1,862,009) 4. Aladdin ($1,607,102) 5. It’s Only a Play ($1,408,914) View Comments
Broadway.com has confirmed that five-time Dancing with the Stars winner Derek Hough will not appear in the April 22 performance of the Rockettes’ New York Spring Spectacular. According to E! Online, Hough sustained an injury during rehearsals for DWTS’ 10th Anniversary special. Taylor Frey will step in as Jack.Frey’s Broadway credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Finian’s Rainbow.Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with Diane Paulus and Randy Weiner as co-creative directors, the show is penned by Joshua Harmon. The new production featuring the iconic dance troupe is a whirlwind adventure across the Big Apple that tells an inspiring and hopeful story about three New Yorkers who change each other’s lives in unexpectedly wonderful ways. Spring Spectacular contains 3D special effects, large-scale puppetry and a soundtrack of original songs, classics and pop hits.Spring Spectacular also stars Tony winner Laura Benanti and recently extended through May 7 at Radio City Music Hall. Related Shows View Comments New York Spring Spectacular Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 7, 2016
View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Broadway’s Spelling Bee Cast ReunitesCan you spell R-E-U-N-I-O-N?! A 10-year anniversary concert will reunite the entire original cast of Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Derrick Baskin, Deborah S. Craig, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Dan Fogler, Lisa Howard, new mommy Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jose Llana, Jay Reiss and Sarah Saltzberg will all appear alongside celebrity guest spellers in the one-night-only event on July 6 at Town Hall. The performance will be in memory of Spelling Bee Production Stage Manager Andrea “Spook” Testani Gordon and benefit The Actors Fund. We are E-X-C-I-T-E-D.Wicked’s Carla Stickler Set for Solo DebutWicked ensemble member and Elphaba understudy Carla Stickler will make her solo debut at the Metropolitan Room on June 1. Directed by Joe Ricci, Option Up is a night of music and stories about taking risks and facing challenges while trying to pave your way in the world… with a few high notes thrown in. We look forward to watching Stickler trust her instincts, close her eyes and leap!Peter Dinklage Performs Thrones Musical NumberIn the unlikely event that the plethora of Broadway faves taking part in the previously reported Red Nose Day, including co-host Jane Krakowski, still hadn’t convinced you to tune into NBC on May 21, this should do the trick. Check out below as stage and screen fave Peter Dinklage performs a musical number, penned by Coldplay, that pays tribute to Game of Thrones’ many dead characters—and his Tyrion Lannister’s survival. A stage adaptation led by Dinklage so needs to be in the works, right?!
View Comments It’s the dog days of summer, but the Great White Way is buzzing with opening nights of Penn & Teller on Broadway on July 12 and Amazing Grace on July 16. What else is up this week? We’ve got Aaron Lazar singing solo, Sutton Foster back on stage and Broadway favorites honoring a bubbly pop princess. Get ready for this week’s picks! Take Home Peter Pan & the BardIn stores July 17If you sing along at a Broadway musical, you’ll probably be asked to leave…or if you’re good, sign a contract and join the ensemble. (Hey, it could happen.) But singing along to the tunes coming from your phone or computer? Go full-on Merman and reach for those stars, you lovable dreamer! You have two more opportunities today with the release of the original cast recordings of both Finding Neverland and Something Rotten! Make Time for NPH on TVJuly 14 on NBCWe’re a bit confused about all the talent shows on TV. Is The Voice the one where the losers are covered in honey and wrestle a hungry bear, or is that American Idol? Anyway, for four weeks we’ll know America’s Got Talent because that’s the one Neil Patrick Harris is on! The always-game NPH begins his stint on the show to determine which contestants get a chance to perform at Radio City Music Hall. Find Aaron Lazar…Singing!July 13 at BirdlandIn “Look for Me in the Songs,” Broadway favorite Aaron Lazar lends his pipes to selections ranging from the Great American Songbook to Billy Joel. Good thing we have context, because the title sounds like a murder mystery TV series where the clues are presented in song lyrics. We’d watch that, especially if Patti LuPone played the tough, but big-hearted police chief. Click for tickets! Star Files RSVP for The Wild PartyBegins July 15 at New York City CenterSutton Foster’s success on Younger is awesome, but it’s great to have her back on stage—even for a little while (through July 18). The two-time Tony winner takes the lead in The Wild Party at Encores! Off-Center. Andrew Lippa’s 2000 musical tells the story of jazz baby Queenie (Foster) who throws the party to end all parties with her lover Burrs (Steven Pasquale). Click for tickets! See Broadway Go PopJuly 13 at 54 BelowKaty Perry isn’t on the Great White Way yet, but we can totally see a Perry-inspired musical: Flashy costumes, loads of camp and big emotional lyrics. (Or maybe she can just star in the Clueless musical?) Taylor Louderman and Lesli Margherita are among the big-name voices on hand for two performances of Broadway Loves Katy Perry. Click for tickets! Sutton Foster
View Comments The National Theatre staging of War Horse has become a West End mainstay and continues at the New London Theatre after nabbing five Tony Awards on Broadway in 2011. The lead role of the equine-friendly Albert Narracott, which has been played over the years by Luke Treadaway and Game of Thrones heartthrob Kit Harington, just to name a few, has now fallen to newcomer James Backway. The charming young star chatted with Broadway.com one recent afternoon about following in some very illustrious footsteps and his teenage past as a singing von Trapp.There have been some notable Alberts before you. How does it feel to follow in their footsteps?The track record of the Alberts is very high indeed! I’m a great admirer of people like Luke [Treadaway] and Kit [Harington] and it’s great to be a part of that. But what’s most important is to have the sense of belonging to a really terrific show. This is a great opportunity and just to have got the part is huge!How did the role come your way?I’d been a huge fan of the show. I had seen it two or three times, and kept going to auditions and getting asked back and eventually managed to go all the way. I started rehearsals in January, opened in March and am signed to the production for a year.That’s a nice contract for someone recently out of drama school!Especially in this profession, consistency is something that’s really tough for most actors. I have a feeling that I will look back on this as a rare time when I was able to say that I was working in the same place on a great show in the middle of London for an entire year.When you first saw War Horse, did you have an inkling that you would one day be in it?Not at all; I was a complete punter. I had read the book and was a massive fan, and when War Horse first opened there was so much hype around the puppets and how they made them move, so the word was out that you had to witness the spectacle for yourself. I went with my mum and I remember at the time feeling like I was part of something very special just by being in the audience. It was a landmark show and it’s great still to be a part of it nearly 10 years after. We’re giving Cats a run for its money [laughs].How do you personally connect with a play set a century ago, during World War I?The play is so well-written that it doesn’t feel old, and knowing that there are going to be people in the audience who had relatives who would have fought in those wars gives a sense of connection to the people who lived during that time. That was a simpler time but in many ways also a harder time. It’s important to remember that it’s because of what happened and what those people did then that we can live the way we do now.Do you have an interest in horses?Interestingly, I’d never ridden a horse before doing this job but I’ve always been a huge admirer of them. When I was growing up in Croydon in south London, there was a field next to my nan where there were horses and I remember thinking how great they looked. In the off chance that I ever had the money to buy a horse, I think I would, but there are only a handful of people who can afford to live in London and have a horse in their garden!So you don’t believe in the W.C. Fields dictum that one should never work with children or animals?Children and animals are great, I recommend them! They have a bad reputation and are often misunderstood. I think they need a better PR team.With all respect to the various Alberts, it often seems as if the horse puppeteers in War Horse are the real stars.Totally! I’m in awe of the puppeteers and don’t know how they do it physically or mentally. It’s the ultimate listening exercise for an actor which I don’t think many theater practitioners can teach, which is how you work as a team of three so that if the head makes a slight sniff, than the hind quarters have to register that.It’s a great workout as well.I look at [the actors’] arms and see that they’ve grown about 3 inches wider and have just become so ripped and physically peaked because of working so hard. What’s great, too, is that the way the show wipes away any kind of ego. Everyone is focused on telling that story and supporting the puppeteers.This is your big break since leaving drama school in Liverpool last year but you have, in fact, played the West End before.Yes, when I was 14 I was one of the little von Trapps at the Palladium in The Sound of Music. We got to do the farewell shows for [reality TV star] Connie Fisher and were the last set of kids before Summer [Strallen, Fisher’s successor] came in.What was that experience like?I was lucky because I was 14, so I was the oldest of the kids. I remember our Gretl was absolutely incredible but was only five and seemed completely unaware of just how amazing she was. I don’t think I even have memories from being five!Can we expect you in a major musical again?I don’t think so! That was before my voice dropped, and once that happened it was goodbye to singing. But it’s nice to feel as if I’m part of something big again. I’ve come full circle.
Tony winner Frank Wood will join the previously announced Oscar winner Forest Whitaker in a limited engagement of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie. Directed by Tony winner Michael Grandage, the Broadway revival will begin previews on February 5, 2016 and officially open on February 25 at the Booth Theatre. The venue is currently home to Hand to God, which is set to shutter on January 3.Wood won the Tony Award for Side Man; he has also been seen on Broadway in Clybourne Park, August: Osage County, Born Yesterday and Hollywood Arms. His film resume includes Gold, Changeling, Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Dan in Real Life, Thirteen Days, Pollock, People I Know, In America, Down to You, Royal Tennenbaums, Greetings from Tim Buckley and The Missing Person. Wood’s TV credits include The Newsroom, The Good Wife, Modern Family, Elementary, Blue Bloods, The Knick, Girls, Flight of the Conchords, Grey’s Anatomy, Sopranos and Law & Order: SVU.Hughie is set in the lobby of a small midtown hotel on the West Side of Manhattan. Whitaker plays Erie Smith, a drunken, small time hustler who is mourning the recent death of the hotel’s night clerk, Hughie. Erie regales the new night clerk (Wood) with tall-tales of his glory days and times spent with Hughie.The two-hander premiered on Broadway in 1964 with Jason Robards in the role of “Erie” Smith; it was last seen on the Great White Way in 1996 in a production directed by and starring Al Pacino. View Comments Hughie Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on March 27, 2016
Star Files Stage stars came together to support Hillary Clinton on October 17 at the presidential hopeful’s Stronger Together concert at the St. James Theatre, a star-studded event that provided a special thrill for two spunky one-time orphans, Andrea McArdle and Sarah Jessica Parker. In one of the evening’s many highlights, the duo teamed up to deliver “Tomorrow,” the ever-hopeful hit that they both performed on Broadway while playing the title role in Annie.Promoting her new HBO show Divorce, Parker told Howard Stern during an interview on his SiriusXM radio show on October 18 that it was her idea to ask McArdle, who received a Tony Award nomination for originating the role of Annie, to sing with her during a conversation with event organizer Harvey Weinstein. “We were talking about getting people back together,” she told Stern. “And one of the ideas I had was to have Andrea come back and sing ‘Tomorrow,’ which is just, for anybody, you have memories of hearing her… It’s such a sentimental thing.”Having first played orphan July for a year prior to taking over the leading role of Annie, Parker said the team-up was a particular thrill: “I’ve never done it my entire life [with her]. Maybe there was one Kennedy Center thing when we were young people, but never since the show closed.”“I sang a teeny tiny bit just at the beginning—two phrases—and then I got to say the most exciting thing I’ve said in a long time: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Andrea McArdle,’” adding that the crowd when wild when McArdle started singing.Parker said the Charles Strouse/Martin Charnin classic was the perfect moment for the Clinton event: “It’s heartbreaking, it’s inspiring, it’s sentimental, it’s romantic, it’s hopeful, it’s optimistic… and appropriate for this particular period!”Left: McArdle as Annie / Right: Parker as Annie Sarah Jessica Parker View Comments Sarah Jessica Parker & Andrea McArdle at ‘Stronger Together’ concert (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Get CuriousWe here at Broadway.com are most impressed with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s date night decision on December 14. The world’s buzziest lovebirds headed to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre to catch the Tony and Olivier-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, where they will most definitely have had a super good evening! Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel is playing at the venue through June 3, 2017; those this side of the pond can currently catch the show on tour.Patrick Wilson Tapped for AquamanPatrick Wilson, who needs to come back to Broadway, has been enlisted for the role of Orm Curry, aka Ocean Master, Aquaman’s half-brother. With Jason Momoa in the title role, Aquaman is slated to hit movie theaters on October 5, 2018. Wilson was Tony nominated for Oklahoma! and The Fully Monty; he was last seen on the Main Stem in the 2008 revival of All My Sons. We’re crossing all fingers and toes that he returns to the Great White Way soon!Broadway Burlesque is BackBroadway Bares will take place when it’s warmed up a bit, thankfully. The evening of bodacious Broadway burlesque produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, will make its return on June 18, 2017 at Hammerstein Ballroom. Directed by Nick Kenkel, as usual you can expect seductive stripteases from more than 150 of the sexiest and most talented dancers on the Main Stem. Last year’s event raised $1,482,724.Ed Dixon Heads Off-BroadwayThe New York premiere of the critically acclaimed Signature Theatre production of Ed Dixon’s Georgie: My Adventures with George Rose is heading to New York. Directed by Eric Schaeffer, the new play will begin performances on January 25, 2017 and run through April 15. Opening Night is set for February 1 at The Loft at The Davenport Theatre.Further Cast Set for Nathan Lane’s Angels in AmericaThe Nathan Lane-led revival of Angels in America at the U.K.’s National Theatre is shaping up to be one of 2017’s must-see theatrical events. Joining the additionally previously announced Andrew Garfield, Susan Brown, James McArdle, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Denise Gough and Russell Tovey, will be Stuart Angell, Laura Caldow, Amanda Lawrence, Becky Namgauds, Stan West and Lewis Wilkins. Directed by Marianne Elliott, Tony Kushner’s landmark work about the AIDS crisis is scheduled to begin previews on April 11, 2017 and officially open on May 4.P.S. It’s a hit! The West End transfer of Buried Child, headlined by Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, has extended through March 4; Sam Shepard’s play had initially been slated to run through February 18 at the Trafalgar Studios. Prince Harry & Meghan Markle (Photos: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images & Larry Busacca/Getty Images) View Comments
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaTifton, Ga. – Georgia could create a sustainable alternative fuel industry that could help wean the state and the country off of foreign oil by keeping agriculture strong, commercializing research and creating a retail distribution network, Governor Sonny Perdue said here Aug. 1.”(Georgians) can grow it here, convert it here and use it and export it when we have plenty for ourselves,” Perdue said during the opening session of the Georgia Bio-energy Conference at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.The three-day conference brought together national and international speakers to talk about the current and future state of global energy and biofuel supplies, government energy policies and Georgia crops that can be converted to fuel.Conference vendors displayed trucks and tractors fueled by ethanol and biodiesel made from Georgia-grown commodities like peanuts, soybeans, peaches, wheat and pine trees.Georgia can grow homegrown energy and add value to farmers’ crops, Perdue told close to 500 participants. “I hope this conference can continue the ideas of how we can harvest that,” he said.By promoting alternative fuels, the United States can ensure fuel stability and reduce its dependancy on foreign sources of oil, Perdue said.”If we can grow our own fuel, why would we turn to dictators and countries that pledge support for terrorist regimes,” he said.Georgia is moving forward, he said. The state’s research universities must continue alternative fuel research. But they need “to scale it up” from the lab and move it to practical commercialization.Once this happens, he said, the state can create a retail distribution system to meet consumer demands.More than $1 million in state and private funds have fueled the Biorefining and Carbon Cycling Program in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, he said. He also touted Georgia Tech research that converts pine to ethanol.Last year, a handful of refineries in Georgia produced about 3 million gallons of ethanol and biodiesel, he said. But they exported most of that out of the state.The Georgia Environmental Facilities Agency is working on the state’s first comprehensive state energy plan, to be completed by December, Perdue said. It will create a roadmap to affordable, reliable, environmentally responsible energy sources for Georgia.