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.

Broadway star Matthew Broderick to add twins to his resume

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker prepare for twin girls (via surrogate)

 

In this April 27, 2009 file photo, actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker attend the premiere of "Wonderful World" during the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, file) Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick will be taking on new roles: parents of twin girls.

The “Sex and the City” star and her actor-husband are expecting twins through a surrogate pregnancy, representatives for the couple said Tuesday.

Parker, 44, and Broderick, 47, “are happily anticipating the birth of their twin daughters later this summer with the generous help of a surrogate. The entire family is overjoyed,” said a statement from the publicists.

The couple has a 6-year-old son, James Wilkie Broderick, and will mark their 12th wedding anniversary next month.

Parker starred in the “Sex and the City” TV series and the hit movie of the same name. Broderick’s credits include the films “Glory” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (filmed in Chicago) and the Broadway musical The Producers. (which held its world premier and pre-Broadway run in Chicago in 2000)

Matthew Broderick’s stage credits include:

2009The Philanthropist
2008Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words 
2005The Odd Couple
2004The Foreigner
2001The Producers
2000Taller Than A Dwarf
1999Night Must Fall
1997The Death Of Papa
1995How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
1992A Suffering Colonel
1990Love Letters
1986The Widow Claire
1985Biloxi Blues
1983Brighton Beach Memoirs
1981Torch Song Trilogy
1979On Valentine’s Day

* stage credit list courtesy of matthewbroderick.net

Hugh Jackman to play Harry Houdini on Broadway??

 

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This is at least the news from “the Queen of all Media“, Perez Hilton:

As we first told you about last year, singing and dancing actor Hugh Jackman has signed up to appear on Broadway playing Harry Houdini in a new musical.

And he’s taking his role very seriously!  He’s even studying how to perform Houdini’s magic acts. He’ll need to be good, considering he’ll have to perform the same tricks on stage eight times a week.

Scott Sanders, a Tony Award-winning producer, is already on board as is Tony-nominated architect/set designer David Rockwell.

Houdini is set to open in the Spring of 2010.

Find the entire story here.

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Okay, I know that this photo has nothing to do with Jackman’s theatre role, but do you blame me???  

Broadway royalty pay their respects to Gerald Schoenfeld, head of Schubert Organization.

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Gereld Schoenfeld

 

helenmirren Theater royalty from Angela Lansbury to Helen Mirren to Andrew Lloyd Webber turned out Monday to remember Gerald Schoenfeld, head of the powerful Shubert Organization, Broadway’s biggest landlord.

“We called him ‘chairman,” simply ‘chairman,'” Hugh Jackman said in welcoming the celebrity-packed crowd that included Henry Kissinger and Barbara Walters to the memorial service at the Majestic Theatre, home of “The Phantom of the Opera,” one of Schoenfeld’s biggest hits.

alwebber Schoenfeld’s mantra was that if you really believed in something, then nothing and nobody should get in the way of you realizing and achieving your dream.  This theme was echoed throughout the nearly two-hour service, which interspersed speeches with musical numbers from shows — both hits and misses — the Shubert Organization helped bring to Broadway.

Performances included Betty Buckley singing “Memory” from “Cats” and Priscilla Lopez warbling “What I Did for Love” from “A Chorus Line

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Speakers honoring Schoenfeld were Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg, Marvin Hamlisch, Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

And Schoenfeld got the last word. The afternoon event ended with a video of the producer singing “Jerry’s Turn,” a spoof of “Rose’s Turn,” the climactic number in “Gypsy” and considered one of musical theater’s great show stoppers. It stopped the show again at the Majestic.

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(excerpts courtesy of Michael Kuchwara of the AP)

Today in History – 60 years ago: Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” opens on Broadway

aruthurmiller On February 10th, 1949, Arthur Miller‘s classic American play Death of a Salesman opened at Broadway’s Morosco Theater.  This world-premier production of Death of a Salesman, directed by Elia Kazan with Lee J. Cobb starring in the leading role, ran for the astounding length of 742 performances.

Often considered the penultimate American play (and making both Arthur Miller and the character Willy Loman household names), Death of a Salesman went on to win the following awards:

  • 1949 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Best Play
  • 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • 1949 Tony Award for Best Play
  • 1984 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival
  • 1984 Tony Award for Best Reproduction
  • 1999 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play
  • 1999 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival of a Play

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Evanston-Native Jeremy Piven ends Broadway run because of ill health

JeremyPivenJeremy Piven, born and raised in Evanston, IL, (and whose mother founded the Piven Theatre) has abruptly ended his run in Broadway’s Speed-the-Plow, (by playwright David Mamet, also originally from Chicago) after missing Tuesday evening’s performance and a Wednesday matinee

Piven, 43, has told producers that he hasn’t been feeling well due to a “high mercury count.”

But playwright David Mamet is skeptical.

“I talked to Jeremy on the phone, and he told me that he discovered that he had a very high level of mercury,” Mamet said. “So my understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer.”  (Aside: no, Mamet did not say that!!  David’s got his claws out!!)

The show will still go on through February, Mamet said.

“The good news is that some really great actors will be helping out and stepping in, which to me is a sign of great heroism and friendship,” he said.

According to the New York Post, about 300 theater patrons requested about 300 theater patrons requested refunds after it was announced that Piven was MIA.  (which I guess tells you how much star-power makes a difference on Broadway).

[hat-tip: Us Magazine)

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Aside: This Chicago ticket broker offers a great selection of tickets in the city – Purchase tickets for Wicked in Chicago and nationwide theater events like Radio City Christmas Spectacular tickets – a favorite during the holiday.

Broadway’s Rough Road Ahead???

View of Broadway Theaters
It’s not if Broadway will suffer in this tough economy, it’s how much the theatre ticket sales will suffer.  The New York Times tackles this issue:
Nearly every show had its audience shrink last week, with 14 productions experiencing more than a 10 percent drop in ticket sales. So musicals and plays are trying to hang on until the holidays bring an influx of cheer-seeking visitors to New York, looking to be entertained. After the new year they will try to hang on again, through January and February, traditionally two of the industry’s slowest months.
Here’s hoping that the actual outcome is not so dire.