Theater news

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...

Broadway Going Dark During Super Storm Sunday, Monday

Sandy the superstorm and a subway shutdown have delivered a one-two punch to shows on Broadway. Starting Sunday evening (Oct. 28) through at least Monday (Oct. 29) all Broadway performances are being cancelled, the Broadway League announced. “The safety and security of theatregoers and employees is everyone’s primary concern,” said Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin in a statement. “As a result of the suspension of public transportation by government authorities in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, evening performances will be cancelled tonight, Sunday, Oct 28, and Monday evening, Oct 29,” she added.... Read More...

Mia Matthews Nods to Hollywood Bombsells in One Woman Show

Actress Mia Matthews will pay homage to some of film and music’s most celebrated sexy bombshells in a new one-woman show at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Beach, Fla. Titled Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, she’ll sing tributes to Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, among others. Broadway musical director and arranger, Barry Levitt and acclaimed theatrical director Donald Birely lead the team behind the show. Backing up Mia in “Diamonds” are Boy Bombers Jamison Stern and Kevin B. McGlynn.... Read More...

Sarrah Strimel Powers Engeman Theater’s ‘Sweet Charity’

Sarrah Strimel carries the John W. Engeman Theater’s production of Sweet Charity . It’s as sweet as Long Island theater gets. The musical numbers in Neil Simon’s hopeful, unique musical are an enormous treat, and rarely misses its mark. Charity Hope Valentine’s classic 1966 story is relatable even today, yet different from any other in the musical theater canon. A New York dancer-for-hire looking for love, she gets shot down by the men she pursues and rises back up.... Read More...

Julie Taymor, Producers Settle Bitter Spider-Man Lawsuit

Julie Taymor, the director who was ousted from the troubled Broadway production, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has reached an out-of-court settlement with the producers after a protracted legal battle. “The parties in this action have reached an agreement in principle,” U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan declared in a brief order. She was seeking at least $1 million in damages. Details of the settlement were not immediately available, but the order gives each party 60 days to restart the case, if necessary.... Read More...

Behind the Scenes at Tony Awards 2012 (30 Photos!)

The 2012 Tony Awards were electric behind the scenes as Venus in Fur’s Nina Arianda won the Tony End of the Rainbow’s Tracie Bennett, and Christian Borle deservedly took home his first Tony for his role as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher. The Improper was on the red carpet and backstage to hear what the nominees, presenters and award-winners had to say about the night. ... Read More...

Behind the Scenes at 57th Drama Desk Awards (photos!)

The Improper went behind the scenes at the 57th Drama Desk Awards to capture the anticipation and the elation of the nominees as they arrived on the red carpet, and later backstage as the winners among them took home their awards. The awards, presented Sunday, June 3rd at The Town Hall in New York, honor the best of Broadway's and Off-Broadway's musicals, plays and actors. Here are reactions from the stars themselves.... Read More...

Cynthia Nixon in New Group Reading ‘Women Behind Bars’

Cynthia Nixon, Janeane Garofolo and other top New York theater actors will perform a one-night-only benefit reading of the play Women Behind Bars Monday, May 7, at The New Group at Theatre Row. Directed by Scott Elliott, Women Behind Bars will also feature Charles Busch, Halley Feiffer, Nancy Giles, Josh Hamilton, Natasha Lyonne, Rosie O’Donnell, Rhea Perlman, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Jennifer Tilly.... Read More...

Usher Signs for Two Shows Off-Broadway in ‘Fuerza Bruta’

R&B star Usher is making a special visit to off-Broadway show Fuerza Bruta: Look Up for two performances later this month at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Manhattan. The show marks his return to New York theater. His seventh studio album, Looking for Myself, is set for a June 12 release. His seventh studio album, Looking for Myself, is set for a June 12 release. Usher will play the boxing great Suger Ray Leonard, along with Robert De Niro, on the big screen.... Read More...

Latin Sensation Ricky Martin Returns to Broadway in ‘Evita’

Ricky Martin, who debuted on Broadway nearly two decades ago, will be back in the spotlight in a starring role as “Che” in the musical production of “Evita.” Co-star Elena Roger will debut as Eva Peron. Martin said he was drawn to the role of Che, short for Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, because he “can be so many people at the same time. He’s a chameleon.”... Read More...

Chip Zien, Lewis Stadlen Star in Sunshine Boys

Chip Zien and Lewis J. Stadlen are the Sunshine Boys. They star in the John W. Engeman theater production of the play, a never-ending laugh fest, ripe with relatable humor and slapstick comedy that is sorely missing from plays today. This endearing story, coupled with a clever cast of skilled actors, makes for an incredibly fulfilling and fun experience in theater.... Read More...