The Arts

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Wicked Makes Broadway History

In: Donovan, The Arts
wicked-broadway-box-office

Not only has Wicked defied gravity but defied odds as well. The popular musical has raked in over $1 billion at the Broadway box office. It becomes the fastest musical to pass the benchmark in history.

Only two other productions have sold over $1 billion at the box office. The Lion King was the first to do so in 2013. The Disney adaptation, which bowed in 1997, took 16 years to achieve the feat. The Phantom of the Opera opened in 1988 but took 27 years to cross the mark in 2015.

Wicked only took 12.5 years after its 2003 opening to join the club. With the show still as popular as ever, I don’t expect Emerald City to stop cashing in, anytime soon.

Have you watched all three of the billion-generating musicals? If so, which one is your favorite? Sound off below.

frozen-christmas-special

There’s still no word on when the Frozen sequel is coming, but at least there’s this to tide fans over until it arrives. ABC announced an animated Christmas special featuring Elsa and the gang is in the works. The network plans to air it during the 2017 holiday season.

If you’re worried other actors are voicing the beloved characters, fear not. Idina Menzel will return to voice Elsa, along with Kristen Bell as Anna, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, Josh Gad as Olaf and Frank Welker as Sven.

Original directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee aren’t working on this project. I assume they’re busy developing the feature film sequel instead. Emmy winners Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (Brother Bear) will take on directing duties while Oscar winner Roy Conli (Big Hero 6) will produce it.

find out details about the Broadway

Book Review: After Alice By Gregory Maguire

In: Saturday Submissions, The Arts, Totally GAY!
after-alice-gregory-maguire-book-review

From the guy that brought us Wicked comes a new spin on another classic. Gregory Maguire takes us down the rabbit hole after Alice.

It’s the story of what happened after Alice disappeared. When she first went to Wonderland, she left behind her in Oxford her sister Lydia and her friend Ada. Ada, too, finds herself in Wonderland, meeting many of your favourite characters: the Hatter, the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Chesire Cat, as she looks for Alice. Meanwhile, Lydia looks for both Alice and Ada in 1860s Oxford, where her father is entertaining none other than Charles Darwin.

Maguire perfectly captures the Lewis Carroll feeling. The characters are as quirky and nonsensical as the originals. What’s more, his playful use of language shows an appreciation for English that we see too rarely. Like Carroll did before, Maguire twists common phrases, poems, and puns to shape the whimsy and the madness of Wonderland.

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NeNe Leakes Books Another Broadway Gig

In: Donovan, The Arts
nene-leakes-chicago-broadway

It appears that NeNe Leakes is doing just fine since leaving The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The 47-year-old reality star just booked another Broadway gig.

After making her Broadway debut as the wicked stepmother in Cinderella, Leakes will now torment the murderesses of Cook County Jail. She’ll play Matron ‘Mama’ Morton in the long-running musical, Chicago. Queen Latifah brought the character to life on the big screen in 2002 and earned an Oscar nomination in doing so.

Chicago is currently celebrating its 19th year on Broadway. If you’re interested in checking out NeNe on stage, her four-week run will go from November 23 until December 20. Do you think Leakes is perfect for the role? Why or why not?

jennifer-hudson-color-purple-video

A revival of The Color Purple is set to debut on Broadway later this year. The new production will be a stripped-down one featuring a minimal set thereby putting the focus on the actors and the music. Cynthia Erivo plays Celie while Orange Is The New Black’s Danielle Brooks and Jennifer Hudson tackle Sofia and Shug respectively. The production marks Hudson’s Broadway debut.

“The story holds a special place in my heart because, in part, it’s so honest. All of the characters are true to who they are. Each individual is an integral part of the message and it brings a complex emotion that sticks with the audience.” – Jennifer Hudson

Like her feature film debut, J-Hud is poised to make a splash based on this preview. Hudson along with Erivo belts out the title song in the music video which gives a glimpse at the musical.

Jennifer who already has a Grammy and Oscar stands a good chance of snagging a Tony with this performance. If she does, all that’s missing is that Emmy to reach EGOT status. Check out the video below.

watch after the jump

Hedwig And The Angry Inch Ends Broadway Run

In: Donovan, The Arts
hedwing-and-the-angry-inch-broadway-closing

The Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch was originally only slated to run for a limited 16-week engagement. When it walked away with Tonys, producers extended the musical’s run. The likes of Darren Criss, Michael C. Hall, John Cameron Mitchell, Andrew Rannells and Taye Diggs took on the titular role after Neil Patrick Harris vacated the role.

On September 13, the revival will have its final bow. By the time the Broadway show closes, it will have played 22 previews and 506 regular performances, spanning 76 weeks. Not too shabby for what was supposed to be only 16 weeks.

For those who didn’t get a chance to see the production, fear not. Beyond Broadway, a national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch will start in San Francisco on Oct. 4, 2016, with productions also being planned for London’s West End and Australia, according to Playbill. Read producer David Binder’s statement below.

read the producer’s statement after the jump

Is James Bond Heading To Broadway?

In: Donovan, Movies, The Arts
james-bond-musical

Yes and no. It depends which reports you believe.

According to Playbill.com, the world’s most suave spy is heading to Broadway. Merry Saltzman, daughter of legendary Bond film producer Harry Saltzman, revealed she has secured rights to mount a musical based on Ian Fleming’s iconic character. The original storyline will feature several iconic Bond villains, along with some new ones and their own Bond girl. A late 2017-early 2018 opening in New York or Las Vegas is being considered. Read below to learn the conflicting report.

read what MGM has to say after the jump

misty-copeland-principal-dancer

Earlier this year, Misty Copeland snagged a cover for TIME magazine’s annual Most Influential issue. She follows that up by achieving her lifelong dream. The 32-year-old ballet dancer, who was once told she was the wrong color, made history today.

Copeland becomes the first African-American female principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre in its 75-year history. The honor is the highest rank at the company.

“My fears are that it could be another two decades before another black woman is in the position that I hold with an elite ballet company,” she wrote in her memoir, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina,” published in 2014. “That if I don’t rise to principal, people will feel I have failed them.”

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