The Arts

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Leona Lewis Joins Cats Broadway Revival

In: Donovan, The Arts
leona-lewis-cats-revival

Cats returns to the Great White Way on July 31 at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre. It marks the first revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-breaking musical since its original run closed in 2000.

Nicole Scherzinger, who appeared in the London West End production in 2014, was scheduled to lead the Broadway show but pulled out last second. She opted to do another stint as judge on The X Factor instead. A bit baffling to say the least. Fittingly, a winner from the UK talent show has now been tapped to replace her.

Leona Lewis steps in to play the glamorous cat of them all, Grizabella. If you’ve seen the show, you know the character is famous for the showstopping number, “Memory.”

“It is an incredible honor to be asked by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to join the Cats family. I will never forget seeing the show as a little girl and how blown away I was by the magical experience of it. I am beyond thrilled for my Broadway debut to be in such an iconic show. To work with a team as legendary as those on Cats is an experience I will cherish every moment of. I cannot wait to see the audiences out in NYC!” – Leona Lewis

Have you watched Cats? Do you think Lewis is a good replacement? Weigh in below.

kristin-chenoweth-idina-menzel-reunion

Reunited and it feels, and sounds, sooooo good. The original Elphaba and Glinda are back for the newest installment of WICKED’s Out of Oz series. They perform the farewell song of the beloved musical, “For Good.”

The duet marks the first time Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel have performed together since the 2004 Tony Awards. It’s been far too long. If you’re a fan of the Tony award-winning musical, it’s a definite must-watch. Check it out below.

watch after the jump

Cats Feature Film Adaptation In The Works

In: Donovan, Movies, The Arts
cats-feature-film

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s feline musical really does have nine lives.

Cats is heading to the big screen with Tom Hooper sitting in the director’s chair. He previously delivered the Oscar-nominated stage-to-screen adaptation of Les Miserables.

Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Webber’s score for Cats features the iconic number, “Memory.” The musical centers on a tribe of cats who come together for an annual event where one furry friend ascends to heaven.

Cats is the fourth longest-running musical in Broadway history, with over 7,400 shows. The original production ran from 1981 until September 2000. A new production of Cats is set to open this August at the Neil Simon Theatre.

I love musicals, but was underwhelmed when I saw Cats. And that’s putting it nicely. With that being said, I have the utmost respect for Hooper and will most likely check out his adaptation. I wonder who’ll score the coveted role of Grizabella. Any suggestions? Weigh in below.

2016-tony-nominations

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton made history once again. The musical about his life snagged a record-breaking 16 Tony nominations including Best Musical and several nods for its creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The previous benchmark was set by The Producers back in 2001 when it picked up 15 nominations. Billy Elliot, did the same, in 2009. We’ll have to wait until June 12 to see if Hamilton can top The Producers for most Tony wins with 12.

Jennifer Hudson was widely expected to score a Tony nomination for her work in The Color Purple revival, however she was surprisingly snubbed. Her dreams of joining the elusive EGOT club will have to wait. The Dreamgirls actress already has a Grammy and Oscar on her mantle.

Even though J-Hud didn’t hear her name Tuesday morning, plenty of Hollywood names were recognized. Lupito Nyong’o, Michelle Williams, Laurie Metcalf, Zachary Levi, Jessica Lange and many more received nominations.

The 70th annual Tony Awards will be held at the Beacon Theatre in New York on June 12. James Corden will host the ceremony. Check out all the nominations below.

check out all the nominations after the jump

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?

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