Elton John and Partner are Broadway producers again

Elton John and partner David Furnish are the newest producers of the play Next Fall, with the Off-Broadway production making its opening on Broadway in the Helen Hayes Theatre on March 11th.  Next Fall deals with gay relationships, and all of the ups and downs occurring along the way.

COUPLES DAVID FURNISH ELTON JOHN X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Receiving good reviews during an engagement off-Broadway in 2009, the play has a distinct disadvantage in that it has no star actor, director or playwright to help draw audience members.  The industry is hoping that the star power of Elton John will make up for this.

This is the couple’s first foray into non-musical production – they have previously collaborated on Broadway for Billy Elliot: The Musical. John was Tony-nominated for best original score and Furnish served as executive producer.

Sunday Night Sondheim: Passion: Act 1, Scene 1

Tony Award Winning Musical PASSION by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine filmed at Broadway’s Plymouth Theatre, starring Jere Shea and Marin Mazzie (orchestrations by Jonathon Tunick).

 

Listen to more tracks from Sondheim’s Passion here.

Spider-Man the Musical – a sticky web of financial woes

A web of financial woes

He can shoot webs, swing between buildings, and punch through brick walls, but Spider-Man’s fundraising powers are another story. Six years, tens of millions of dollars, and music by U2 have yet to bring the superhero to Broadway, where a planned musical is still short as much as $24 million of its projected $52 million budget. According to the Los Angeles Times, the production would easily be the most expensive in history and would feature pyrotechnics, giant sets, and a Spider-Man who swings directly over the audience. "The visuals and the music are amazing, and that’s what will matter," Bono told the Times.

See “A Steady Rain” on Broadway with Chicago Dramatists


More than 100 generous donors and friends will be joining Chicago Dramatists on Broadway for Resident Playwright Keith Huff’s A STEADY RAIN, starring Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman – and you can be one of them.

Although tickets for the show are virtually sold out (except for premium tickets at $375 per ticket) you’ll be able to attend the play AND a pre-show party for just $250.

The production exports a playwright (Keith Huff), whom Chicago Dramatists has nurtured for many years, to Broadway and shines a spotlight on Chicago and the other talented playwrights and plays developed here.  This upcoming benefit will go towards helping other upcoming playwrights being honed through the Dramatists’ programs.

Here’s the info:

Saturday, November 14, 2009
The Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, 236 W. 45th Street
8:00 pm Curtain
Pre show Cocktail Party, PS 450, 5:15 – 7:15 pm

Limited Tickets Available at $250.  A  very limited number of prime seats are available at $500 each

For more information, contact Cynthia Frahm at cfrahm@chicagodramatists.org or 312.633.0630 ext: 3#

 

Cynthia and Daniel

Development Director Cynthia Frahm with A Steady Rain star Daniel Craig


Read the rave reviews of A STEADY RAIN in Time Magazine, Variety, and USA Today

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1927540,00.html
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117941264.html?categoryid=33&cs=1
http://www.usatoday.com/life/theater/reviews/2009-09-29-steady-rain-jackman-craig_N.htm

Finding Billy Elliot – what an exciting and beautiful video.

 

Can’t wait to see it!!

Updates: Steppenwolf’s “Superior Donuts” on Broadway

Tracy Letts’ most recent play, Superior Donuts, just opened on Broadway with the same Steppenwolf cast.  After receiving moderate to warm reviews here in Chicago, the NYC reviews so far appear mixed.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

 

The NY Post gives Superior Donuts a very positive review – 3.5 stars:

After Superior Donuts, Tracy Letts‘ follow-up to August: Osage County, premiered in Chicago last year, the play was deemed entertaining but minor.

Either this Steppenwolf production has been drastically reworked on its way to New York, or we live in a cynical world where a show as tender and honest, as beautifully written, acted and directed as this one can be blithely dismissed.

 

 

While the New York Times produces a review that is so-so:

Mr. Letts has mothballed his angst and tossed the deadly weapons in the back drawer. Superior Donuts, a gentle comedy that unfolds like an extended episode of a 1970s sitcom, is a warm bath of a play that will leave Broadway audiences with satisfied smiles rather than rattled nerves.

Superior Donuts may be familiar and unchallenging, but it’s also comfortable — and no, there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Below, Chicago Tribune theater critic Chris Jones interviews playwright Tracy Letts (“August: Osage County“) and lead actor Michael McKean (“Laverne and Shirley“, “Saturday Night Live“, “This is Spinal Tap“) about Superior Donuts, Letts’ new play premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. Letts’ 2007 play August: Osage County won the Pultizer Prize and Tony Award in 2008.

Continue reading

Think Fast: Cheyenne Jackson, Red Orchid Theatre, Barbara Gaines, and Superior Donuts

logo Good news for Old Town’s A Red Orchid Theatre: tickets for their current production Mistakes Were Made (our review here), by Craig Wright, have been selling like hot cakes – so much so that they’ve added an extra Wednesday night performance for all of October.  Be sure to check it out before it closes on October 31st.  Mistakes Were Made stars Michael Shannon, and is directed by Dexter Bullard.   (h/t Chris Jones)


shakespeare

 

Check out the interview with Chicago Shakes artistic director (and founder) Barbara Gaines regarding her direction of the company’s current production, Richard III. Well worth the read.

 


superiordonuts The Daily Beast has posted a rave review of Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts, which played last year to positive reviews at Steppenwolf. An excerpt:

Letts and his cast can breathe deeply today. While a far less ambitious play than August, with its three-story set and sprawling cast, Superior Donuts is no less successful for what it aims to be: a tender, funny, and often tragic valentine to Letts’ Chicago in a time of intense cultural change. Fans of August won’t find that play’s heavy, gut-wrenching revelations here, but Donuts was always intended to be a smaller, lighter effort, as delightful and sweet as a doughnut itself. The play, which Letts began writing even before August, earned positive reviews when it first opened in Chicago with the same cast in July 2008, and after a year of Letts’ tweaks and rewrites, it may be even better….

Read the entire review here.


Per Perez Hilton:

cheyenn Tina Fey’s brilliant comedy, 30 Rock, may be getting the one thing it’s severely lacking – a hot piece of eye candy!

Rumors are circulating that Broadway hottie, openly gay and successful actor Cheyenne Jackson, will allegedly be joining the cast in a semi or possibly a completely permanent capacity.

For those of you who don’t live and die by the goings on of the Great White Way, Cheyenne has been in productions like Xanadu and All Shook Up!

More here.