Sunday Night Sondheim – Desperate Housewives

Hilarious!!!!

Filmed segment featuring the main cast of Desperate Housewives naming their “favorite” Stephen Sondheim song, complete with Mary Alice voice-over and even a visit from the deceased Martha Hueber. Bree Van De Kamp’s choice gets an especially good reaction from the already excited crowd.

Creator Marc Cherry is a big fan of musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim, and Desperate Housewives episode titles all come from Sondheim song titles or lyrics.

Shown at Stephen Sondheim’s 75th Birthday Concert on July 8, 2005 at the Hollywood Bowl in LA.

Jeff Nominations – Best Production of a Musical or Review

Large Theatre Company

Carousel, Court Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre

La Cage aux Folles, Theatre at the Center

Les Misérables, Marriott Theatre

Passion, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The Producers, Marriott Theatre

Sweet Charity, Drury Lane Oakbrook

 

Mid-Size Theatre Company

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Bailiwick Repertory Theatre

Nine, Porchlight Music Theatre Chicago

 

Best Production – Revue

Ain’t Misbehavin’, Goodman Theatre

Campaign Supernova! or How Many Democrats Does It Take to Lose an Election?, The Second City e.t.c.

Ella, Northlight Theatre

The Mistress Cycle, Apple Tree Theatre

Jeff Award Nominations – Best Production of a Play

Large Theatre Company

Around the World in 80 Days, Lookingglass Theatre Company

As You Like It, Writers’ Theatre

The Comedy of Errors, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The Crucible, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Passion Play: a cycle in three parts, Goodman Theatre

Superior Donuts, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

The Trip to Bountiful, Goodman Theatre

 

Mid-Size Theatre Company

Cadillac, Chicago Dramatists

Defiance, Next Theatre Company

Juno and the Paycock, The Artistic Home

The Philadelphia Story, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company

Requiem for a Heavyweight, Shattered Globe Theatre

A Steady Rain, Chicago Dramatists

W;t, The Gift Theatre

New Artistic Director for Barrel of Monkeys

New Artistic Director for BOM

Barrel of Monkeys announces their new, permanent Artistic Director will be long- time company member Luke Hatton, as of the beginning of the eleventh anniversary, 2008-2009 season on September 1st. He started with the ensemble in fall 2000, right after graduating with a BS in Theatre from Northwestern University, and began performing and teaching for many of BOM’s in-school residencies. Hatton then served as a member of the Teacher Corps, a select group of lead teachers within the company, and as a Program Officer. In 2003, he began directing in-school and public performances for BOM, and in 2007, he served as Artistic Associate for the company. Hatton has also worked extensively as a performer in Chicago with Steppenwolf Theatre, The Neo-Futurists, The Hypocrites, The Gift, Lifeline, and with Geva Theatre Center in New York. He has directed acclaimed theatrical productions with Steep Theatre and Phalanx Theaters. As an arts educator, Luke has developed and taught curriculum with After School Matters and Adventure Stage Chicago.

weirdgrandma Interim Artistic Director Laura Grey will leave the position to continue to perform with Second City etc’s “Campaign Supernova” (and will also continue to perform in the BOM ensemble), and founding Artistic Director Halena Kays will begin a University of Texas, Austin, MFA, after recently returning to Chicago to direct The Neo-Futurists’ “Fake Lake.”

After three years as Production Stage Manager for BOM’s Monday night show “That’s Weird, Grandma,” Maggie Fullilove-Nugent joins the staff as part-time Company Manager. She is also the Production Manager for The Hypocrites and North Park University Theatre. As a freelance lighting designer and technician, she has worked on over 50 productions with companies including 500 Clown, House, Building Stage, Lifeline and Artistic Home.

Best of luck to Luke!!

Luke Hatton, as seen in "Big Riders"

"Mamma Mia!!" – What were they thinking??

‘Mamma Mia!’ – Singing! Dancing! Adapting! Stumbling!”

"Mamma Mia" - the movie!! 

I went to see the movie “Mamma Mia” this weekend at Evanston, and went away a bit disappointed.  I understand the reason for casting actors whose celebrity status is greater than their vocal chops – it’s all about the money.  Bigger star power, assumedly, means larger box-office receipts.  But why not at least cast celebs that can carry a tune, and look comfortable while doing it???!!!

Meryl Streep certainly holds her own, plowing through her numbers with such sweaty enthusiasm that I was often cheering her on without really knowing why.  But for the love of God, who allowed Pierce Brosnan to be anywhere near the movie set???  God help the baby who might be unlucky enough to hear a lullaby “sung” by this guy.  He’s that bad.  And making it worse, Brosnan appears so uncomfortable during his belabored crooning, that he literally seems to be parodying the musical genre itself, reminding me of some of those musical skits Second City creates after asking for audience suggestions.

Thus I was treated to Charles Isherwood’s insightful (and scornfully funny) article in the New York Times that covered these very misgivings, entitled “The Lessons of ‘Mamma Mia!’ – Singing! Dancing! Adapting! Stumbling!”  A few excerpts:

Every few years, with depressing regularity, a hit Broadway musical makes the leap to the big screen and goes splat! Or thud. Or zzzzz. “Mamma Mia!” does a little of all three, to a frantic disco beat, becoming yet another milestone in Hollywood’s repertory of enjoyable stage musicals transformed into lumbering messes on screen.

Isherwood deduces that the director, Phyllida Lloyd, did not cinematically embrace and showcase the show’s joyous inanity:

The real problem is that the director of “Mamma Mia!,” Phyllida Lloyd, seems to have taken the unapologetic silliness of the project (which she directed onstage) as permission to be sloppy. Abba made some of the most highly polished, tightly engineered pop junk ever. There is a kind of perfection in some of those hits that is undeniable even if — or maybe especially if — you can’t stand to hear them. But in matters of craft and technique “Mamma Mia!” proves to be remarkably shoddy, a tangle of clumsy cuts, mismatched shots, bad lighting, egregious overdubbing and scenes in which characters appear to have been haphazardly Photoshopped into the scenery.

Read the entire NY Times article here.

Times movie review here.

Here is a short clip from the movie that shows, during the last few seconds, the breadth of Brosnan’s singing skill.  I’ll tell you up front that this is actually the best he does during the entire movie.

 

Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan sing “SOS” in the movie “Mamma Mia”

Are you a singing Angel?? MistahQue wants to know!

The cabaret show God on Broadway, presented by MistahQue Artistry (MySpace page here), in conjunction with their cabaret’s encore performance August 21st – 24th at Theatre Building Chicago, is currently holding a contest for the best (and most angelic?) musical theatre performer in Chicago-land.  For information about the contest, read below, or simply watch the posted main YouTube video from MistahQue Artistry:

 
Instructions: Contestants should make a video of themselves singing a section of one of these three songs:  All Good Gifts (Godspell), I Don’t Know How To Love Him (Jesus Christ Superstar), or Miracle of Miracles (Fiddler On The Roof).

Please post your video on a video sharing website (youtube, etc.) and send the link to your video (url) to godonbroadway@gmail.com.  You will receive a confirmation email that your video submission has been made. All entries will be narrowed down to finalists by the producers and then voted on by the cast and crew of GOD ON BROADWAY.  A quarter of the vote will be based on the highest number of video views wherever your video is posted.

More info after the break.

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Chicago Theater News – think fast…

 

  • As of August 1st, Chicago Dramatists is officially 30-years old!  Happy Anniversary!  That’s 30 years of helping playwrights, holding staged readings, and developing plays to shape and contribute to the world of American repertory.  Check out their website (www.chicagodramatists.org) to see what’s happening during the upcoming momentous year.

 

"Mark of Zorro" at Lifeline Theatre, which will be remounted at the Theatre Building on September 27th

Picture courtesy of Lifeline Theatre’s website.  Entries from PerformInk Online.