Theater news

As Tupac Shakur Musical Ends on Broadway, Blame Game Begins

If the music of Tupac Shakur couldn’t make it on Broadway, then the blame game over why Holler If Ya Hear Me flopped may yet give the rap and hip-hop pioneer a second act on the Great White Way. The musical, based on the late rapper’s songs premiered on June 19, and will go dark at the Palace Theatre this Sunday (July 20). It’s the first certified flop of the new season, which may be contributing to the finger-pointing during what is shaping up to be a banner season for New York City theater. ... Read More...

James Franco Makes Directing Debut Off-Broadway

James Franco is adding some marquee glitter to Rattlestick Theater’s 20th Anniversary season. He’ll make his Off-Broadway directorial debut this summer helming the premiere of new play. Franco will direct playwright Robert Boswell’s world premiere of his work The Long Shrift. Hollywood screenwriter, director and actress Jennifer DeLia will be directing Scott Organ’s play Phoenix. ... Read More...

Bryan Cranson Breaks Bad as 2014 Tony Nominees Announced (video)

Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff unveiled the 2014 Tony Award nominations today. As expected, the list includes lots of well-known Hollywood names, but a darkhorse, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, led the field with ten nominations. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris followed with eight nominations. “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston was one of the big Hollywood names in the running for best performance by an actor in a play. But conspicuously absent from any list was “Harry Potter’s” Daniel Radcliffe.... Read More...

James Franco, Leighton Meester Take Bows at Mice, Men Opening

James Franco, Chris O’Dowd and “Gossip Girl’s” Leighton Meester all made their Broadway debut last night (Apr. 16) in an adaption of John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men and put together a nuanced performance that drew mostly critical raves. The story has oft been told on stage and the big screen since Steinbeck published the short novel in 1937, providing plenty of material for comparison.... Read More...

Donnie Kehr Gets Up Close, Personal on His Music, Theater Careers

One look at Donnie Kehr’s Broadway resume and you’ll see he’s been in some of the Great White Way’s most significant productions over the years, including Pete Townsend’s Tommy, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. In 2004, he created the role of Gyp De Carlo in the groundbreaking La Jolla Playhouse production of Jersey Boys and was the first to play Norm Waxman in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production. He'll also appear in Clint Eastwood's big-screen adaptation of Jersey Boys. ... Read More...

Les Miserables Opens on Broadway to a Celebrity Crowd (photos!)

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka added some glitz last night (Mar. 23) to the opening of Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Boublil and Schonberg’s Les Miserables on Broadway. The revival at the Imperial Theatre is a re-imagined telling of the classic tale, with Ramin Karimloo in his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean. He’s best known for his work on London’s West End. Tony Award nominee Will Swenson plays his determined pursuer Inspector Javert.... Read More...

Nicholas Lampiasi Burns Up Boards in Newsies, Now Hollywood Calls

Nicholas Lampiasi, currently on Broadway in the hit musical Newsies is a certified stage veteran, and he’s only 10. The show follows his turn in the national tour of Billy Elliot, which he joined at age seven. Now Hollywood is calling. His first movie, “Molly’s Theory Of Relativity,” from acclaimed director Jeff Lipsky, comes out March 1. How did he get to be this big, this fast?... Read More...

Broadway Lights Still Bright, Despite Pounding by Nemo

The Great White Way really is white, for the moment, but the lights are still bright on Broadway, despite the arrival of a classic “nor’easter” that dumped almost a foot of snow on New York City. Most Broadway and Off-Broadway shows are keeping regular schedules, even though transportation is still difficult around the city and surrounding suburbs, which were hit even harder.... Read More...

Scarlett Johansson Feels the Heat in Broadway’s ‘Cat on Hot Tin Roof’

Scarlett Johansson puts her sizzling sexuality to the test against some of the titans of stage and film in her debut as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Would you believe Elizabeth Taylor, Jessica Lange, Kathleen Turner, Ashley Judd and Anika Noni Rose? Johansson seemed to have all of the requisite moves as she stripped to her negligee in front of an audience for the first time Thursday night in her official debut. The show also stars Benjamin Walker, Ciarán Hinds and Debra Monk.... Read More...

Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Williams Add ‘Trip to Bountiful’ Starpower

Cuba Gooding Jr. and former Miss America Vanessa Williams will add more starpower to the 14-week run of Horton Foote classic The Trip to Bountiful. Grand Dame Cicley Tyson is already on board for the play. Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad rounds out the new additions. She’s appeared in Lifetime’s “Steel Magnolias” and Broadway’s Stick Fly. The play revolves around Carrie Watts (Tyson), an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown... Read More...

Cicley Tyson, a Film, Stage Icon, Back on Broadway in Foote Classic

After a 30-year absence, Cicley Tyson is returning to Broadway for a limited engagement in a new production of Horton Foote’s classic, The Trip to Bountiful, directed by Michael Wilson and produced by Nelle Nugent. Foote, who died in 2009, was a playwright and screenwriter. He’s best known for writing the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird” with Gregory Peck and the 1983 film “Tender Mercies,” with Robert Duvall. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta.... Read More...

Broadway Makes Post-Sandy Bounce Over Thanksgiving Holidays

Broadway is back again after taking a beating from Hurricane Sandy. The Great White Way’s 31 shows, including standards like Wicked, The Lion King and Spider-Man, grossed $27 million over the Thanksgiving holidays, according to the Broadway League. Usually one of the theater district’s biggest weekends, this year’s holiday topped the previous week’s gross of $20.88 million from 33 shows by more than 30 percent. But it didn’t take home the turkey. But it came close.... Read More...

R. Kelly Ready to Take His Hip-Hop Opera to Broadway

Rapper and R&B singer R. Kelly is getting hot again at 45 with “Trapped in the Closet,” which he calls a hip-hop opera. The show has been appearing on cable television an Kelly says he’s geared up to do a Broadway production in the near future. The International Film Channel (IFC) has been airing the opera, which Kelly has written in chapters. It’s been described as bizarre and a guilty pleasure with distinctive characters like Twan, Sylvester, Pimp Lucius and “the package.” In other words, it may be just the right formula for a rollicking Broadway musical. Kelly hinted he might star in the production himself.... Read More...