May 2007 Archives

Tony Performances Sorta-Announced

| 8 Comments
Not that Playbill always reports news; often a Playbill article is really just a rumor. Still...

New Shows:
  • Grey Gardens: The Revolutionary Costume for Today.
    I can't even imagine what other song would have been a good choice. If you're selling Ebersole, you sell Ebersole.
  • Spring Awakening: Medley
    Bitch of Living is a better choice. Watching Reidel on PBS "can you say Bitch on TV?" is pretty funny when PBS isn't bleeping it.
  • Curtains: Show People
    This "let's use the whole cast" emphasis is stupid; producers should sell the show. The goofy dance number in act 2 with Pierce would be a better choice.
  • Mary Poppins: Step In Time and Anything Can Happen
    Bravo to Disney for disagreeing with everybody on the message boards' assumption that they're going to do Supercali...
Revivals:
  • Chorus Line: One
    While the obvious choice, I'd like to see the producers do something radical like At The Ballet. Unfortunately, neither showcase Charlotte, but Music and the Mirror isn't a good Tonys number.
  • Company: Being Alive
    Normally I'd say that there are much better songs to sell this show, but most of the other didn't execute well. Plus, everybody loves Raul.
  • 110 In The Shade: Raunchy
    I guess this is better than Simple Little Things.
  • Apple Tree
    Is this even performing a number?
P.S. Eddie Izzard is presenting. Cool.

Curtains tonight

I'm finally seeing Curtains tonight. There's no reason you should care

(Unless I end up abridging it, which based on how silly I've heard it is, may very well happen.)

$60 for a ticket for Curtains from TKTS. No decent discounts, no Rush, no back-of-theater-cheap-seats.

Is there no justice?

The Roundabout Formula

Hey kids,

Today I'm going to show you how to create a Roundabout Revival! Ready?

STEP 1: Take an old, aging, dated show. The kind you couldn't revive while still being taken seriously.
Examples: Pajama Game, The Apple Tree, 110 in the Shade
.
STEP 2: Find a big star. It could be a big Theatre star, a big Tony winner, a Television star or a well-known recording artist.
Examples: Harry Connick Jr., Chenoweth, Audra McDonald.

STEP 3: Slap together and bake half-way.
STEP 4:
Put on Broadway for a limited run. Hope it extends indefinitely so that you have something to fill up your third Broadway theater.

110 in the Shade: Abridged

| 2 Comments
Cheap Tickets: Hiptix

I totally forgot.

I wrote this abridge with Megan "my last name's not really" Avery a good week ago. I even did a light edit.
And then it seems I forgot to post it.
Much like the way I forgot the majority of the show 5 minutes after walking out of the theater.
But hey, that's what happens when you do the Hiptix thing and they then give you free alcohol.

This year I'm hosting a tony party with some friends. The theme is mini-foods. It's in celebration of the mini-ratings. What are you doing to celebrate the Tonys?

News + Rants

| 2 Comments

My rant for today:

I remember around 1999, Producers were talking about setting up an Online Same-Day Theatre Sales system. Sorta like TKTS. So that, starting at maybe 10AM or so, people could go onto a website and find same-day discounted tickets to Broadway shows. A few performances of RENT were available on some website and then POOF, the idea never came back again.

Wha happen? Seems like such a good idea and an easy way to reign in more money from New Yorkers. And they never even gave it a full chance! What was the problem, guys?
  • Is 10AM too early? Worried it'll cut into your normal-priced sales? Do it at 5 PM! Do it at 6 PM! There are people [like me] who would use it.
  • Worried about scalpers? Set up a ticket limit per credit card per day. Have
    all "TKTS-Online" tickets be printed out with giant black borders like "MUST SHOW ID AT DOOR". If someone brings this ticket in, they have to have an ID showing they bought it.
  • In addition to a ticket limit, make me sign up to join and have some verification for who I am so I can't buy too many tickets in one day.
It's 2007. Technology has made this sort of thing easier. TKTS attracts the tourists who want to spend 50-75%, are flexible, and don't care what they see.
But what about the New Yorkers who are very flexible, and can go see shows at a moment's notice, and would love to spend $40 to fill up that unused, unsold seat? We're not going to travel to the Theatre to do it. We don't even want to wait at TKTS. But we'll do it online, even to take the TKTS dregs.

What is Morgan Freeman doing right now?

Right now, Morgan Freeman is sitting at home, bored.

"What am I going to do?" he says. "I need a job, despite playing the part of God in a silly silly Steve Carell movie, and making tons of money from it. What ever am I going to do?"

Does Morgan Freeman decide to search for a new film to be in? Or perhaps the billionth documentary to narrate?

No, when Morgan Freeman is looking for a job, he searches Playbill online! To find a casting notice--in fact, eight separate casting notices--that end like this:
  • (Note: The producers prefer a "star" or recognizable name for this role, but add that they are open to considering all possibilities.)
Yes, the producers of the upcoming revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof have figured it out! The best way to get a star... is to post a classified ad for one!

[On a side note, this fucking play was just on Broadway in 2004! What's up with this shit?]

[And let me make this very clear: I am not starting the Rumor that Morgan Freeman is going to be on Broadway. He's just a respected well-known actor that worked for the joke. If I used Damon Wayans, would it be as funny? No, it would not.]

Tony Nominations

| 6 Comments
I'm sure I have the only blog that has the Tony Nominations pasted in. I'm sure I'm also the only blog that will have who I think will win with reasons why.

First note that these are the on-Broadway shows I saw this year:
  1. Radio Golf [well, seeing tonight actually]
  2. Les Mis v.2.0
  3. Legally Blonde, AKA Wicked 2.0
  4. Coast of $330 to see the whole thing
  5. Grey Gardens (A MindFuck in Two Movements)
  6. Mary Poppins: Let's Rape Your Childhood
  7. Company: You Better Learn To Play An Instrument Bitch
  8. Spring Awakening, or, How Germans Became So Fucked Up
  9. LoveMusik: Just Improvise, Donna and Michael!
  10. Chorus Line: Makes You Almost Wish David Leveaux Took A Hand At It. Almost.
  11. Talk Radio: "You'll Love us for Leiv!" [end musical jingle]
  12. Inherit the Wind: Remember McCarthy?
  13. Martin Short: The Man Who Ran Out Of Ideas
  14. 110 in the Shade: Roundabout Still Isn't Trying
  15. Apple Tree: Be Glad They're Going Back To Sondheim Next Year. And that it's a British Import.
My takes on who will win, not who I think should win. I've removed the races I don't

Best Play
The Coast of Utopia
Frost/Nixon
The Little Dog Laughed
Radio Golf
  • Missed Little Dog because I heard it was better Off Broadway. Frost/Nixon I'm still planning on. But I say Coast of Utopia.

Best Musical

Curtains
Grey Gardens
Mary Poppins
Spring Awakening
  • Spring Awakening. Poppins was disappointing, Curtains I haven't seen but didn't seem so critically acclaimed, and Grey Gardens was absurd (maybe I'll abridge it this summer). Spring Awakening was the most ambitious, and at least the first act was successful.

Best Book of a Musical

Curtains
Grey Gardens
Legally Blonde The Musical
Spring Awakening
  • Hmm. Haven't seen Curtains, and the other three are all based on previous material. I think they'll choose Spring Awakening for some reason.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Curtains
Grey Gardens
Legally Blonde The Musical
Spring Awakening
  • Spring Awakening. I don't think they'll choose Grey Gardens over it.

Best Revival of a Musical

The Apple Tree
A Chorus Line
Company
110 in the Shade
  • Company will win against two stale Roundabout revivals and a reproduction.

Best Special Theatrical Event

Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!
Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway
  • The theatre community loves Kiki & Herb too much not to pick them.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

Boyd Gaines, Journey's End
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Brían F. O'Byrne, The Coast of Utopia
Christopher Plummer, Inherit the Wind
Liev Schreiber, Talk Radio
  • Welcome to the Frank Langella show. But if Christopher Plummer wins I wouldn't be too surprised either.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

Eve Best, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Swoosie Kurtz, Heartbreak House
Angela Lansbury, Deuce
Vanessa Redgrave, The Year of Magical Thinking
Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed
  • I didn't see a single one of these. But it's Eve Best.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

Michael Cerveris, LoveMusik
Raul Esparza, Company
Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening
Gavin Lee, Mary Poppins
David Hyde Pierce, Curtains
  • It's between Michael Cerveris and Raul Esparza, but Raul will take home the... metallic... whatever it's made of.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde The Musical
Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens
Audra McDonald, 110 in the Shade
Debra Monk, Curtains
Donna Murphy, LoveMusik
  • I'm surprised that Laura Bell Bundy won over Chenoweth for the spot. But that aside, I still think this is Ebersole's night.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play

Anthony Chisholm, Radio Golf
Billy Crudup, The Coast of Utopia
Ethan Hawke, The Coast of Utopia
John Earl Jelks, Radio Golf
Stark Sands, Journey's End
  • Didn't see Journey's End. Ethan Hawke might take it. But I'll be seeing Radio Golf tonight; I might change my mind on this.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

Jennifer Ehle, The Coast of Utopia
Xanthe Elbrick, Coram Boy
Dana Ivey, Butley
Jan Maxwell, Coram Boy
Martha Plimpton, The Coast of Utopia
  • Haven't seen Coram Boy yet, so no idea.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

Brooks Ashmanskas, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Christian Borle, Legally Blonde The Musical
John Cullum, 110 in the Shade
John Gallagher, Jr., Spring Awakening
David Pittu, LoveMusik
  • Tough one. People liked Pittu but something screwed up with his scene the night I went. I don't know... I want to say Christian Borle. Just cause he's a nice guy. And the rest are all jerks. Why you all up bein' mean to Christian Borle, John Cullum? What he ever done to you?

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

Charlotte d'Amboise, A Chorus Line
Rebecca Luker, Mary Poppins
Orfeh, Legally Blonde The Musical
Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens
Karen Ziemba, Curtains
  • Karen Ziemba. If not, then Mary Louise Wilson.

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Legally Blonde The Musical
Bob Crowley, Mary Poppins
Susan Hilferty, Spring Awakening
William Ivey Long, Grey Gardens
  • William Ivey Long wins this one and always wins. It makes no sense to have other costume designers on Broadway anymore. Just let William Ivey Long costume all of them, forever. Apparently he has the time.

Best Revival of a Play

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Best Costume Design of a Play
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
I'm not even going to attempt these.


Best Direction of a Play

Michael Grandage, Frost/Nixon
David Grindley, Journey's End
Jack O'Brien, The Coast of Utopia
Melly Still, Coram Boy
  • What Jack O'Brien did...

Best Direction of a Musical

John Doyle, Company
Scott Ellis, Curtains
Michael Greif, Grey Gardens
Michael Mayer, Spring Awakening
  • Not Doyle. I'll rule out Ellis because I didn't see it. So I think Michael Mayer.

Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, Curtains
Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear, Mary Poppins
Bill T. Jones, Spring Awakening
Jerry Mitchell, Legally Blonde The Musical
  • I think this one is Poppins.

Best Orchestrations

Bruce Coughlin, Grey Gardens
Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening
Jonathan Tunick, LoveMusik
Jonathan Tunick, 110 in the Shade
  • I'd say this is LoveMusik's, but it may get shot down for the music not being new.

Before Tony night, I'll post the FIRST ANNUAL Broadway Abridged Superlatives! Wheeee!

Lord of the Rings Review

| 2 Comments
I hope this comes to America. So I can abridge it.
Favorite quote:
"Let's face it, if you have the hubris to believe that you can condense three volumes of dense prose into three hours, you have to be pretty deft with your pinking shears."

I have no idea what the hell that means, but it's funny! Fuck, I wish I were British.

(Today's fun fact: I just remembered that I'm actually 1/4th British!)

No more Ghosts in Sweeney?

"at the eleventh hour, the character of the Gentleman Ghost that Lee had been signed to play was axed. Half a dozen other actors who were due to play singing ghosts in the film - including Peter Bowles - are also out."

The "singing ghosts" in Sweeney Todd, however random that sounds, isn't what concerns me. It's this:

"It was a tight production schedule, so, when Johnny had to absent himself when his daughter Lily-Rose was taken ill, some scenes had to be cut"

All sympathy for Burton aside, they're cutting scenes because of time? Burton's a big guy, he can't push production schedules around some?

Theatre Blog Awards


I don't even know if what I run is considered a blog, never mind a "serious and committed stageblog". So because I'm likely not to be invited in, I'd be happy to create my own awards.

In fact, there's an idea. This year, prior to Tony night, I'm going to create the first annual Broadway Abridged Superlatives. Just like the Tonys. But snarkier.

New York Drama Critics Circle Award

The New York Drama Critics' Circle met on May 7, 2007, to reiterate that they still like and dislike what they've written about liking and dislike.
Bravo to Michael Feldman who finally got the Drama Critic's Circle a website of their own this year, and who I once asked over the phone if he was the same Michael Feldman I knew from NYU. [Turns out he's not.]
Well, I'm sure that a Michael Feldman doesn't get that mistake often...
  1. Do you think that Avenue Q School Edition is going to just be kinda like Sesame Street, whereas the original was a spoof on Sesame Street?
  2. Do you think that the Avenue Q Regular Editions are going to offer Rick Lyon's puppets as part of the rental?
  3. Do you think some theatres are going to make their own puppets, or have no puppets at all? As Kevin McCollum pointed out, it's not as funny without the puppets; the puppets are the modern day equivalents to the Greek Masks of yore.

The e-mail:

COMING SOON FROM MTI:

AVENUE Q and AVENUE Q School Edition

Sign up for Fast-Track notification for AVENUE Q or AVENUE Q School Edition and you'll be first to know when these new titles are available for licensing.

Dear Friend of MTI:

We're delighted to announce that MTI has acquired the rights to represent the exciting and edgy hit musical AVENUE Q! While it is not available for general release at this time, we wanted you to know that in conjunction with the authors, the plan is to release two versions of the show: AVENUE Q School Edition (suitable for High Schools to perform, with any material that might be deemed "questionable" for a general audience altered or removed) and the full version of AVENUE Q, with variations for sections/songs/lyrics that will allow a production to retain as much of the original as possible, but be flexible to allow theatres to amend it within author-approved guidelines for various community standards.

We have set up two special FAST TRACK notification pages for these versions of AVENUE Q. We also have included a text field where you can make any comments or give us your thoughts about how you think AVENUE Q will work in your theatre. We look forward to hearing from you!

Your friends at MTI!

HERE ARE THE FAST-TRACK LINKS!

AVENUE Q Full Edition
http://www.mtishows.com/app_fasttracktext.asp?id=000321
AVENUE Q School Edition

http://www.mtishows.com/app_fasttracktext.asp?id=000325

Yaaayyyyy!!!

Yaaaayyyy!
Yaaaaaay!

It occurred to me,

| 4 Comments
There are three kinds of people who like this site:
  1. The kind of person who hated a show, and read an abridge to feel like they're not alone in their anger.
  2. The kind of person who loves a show, and enjoyed these abridges in the same way they might enjoy "fanfic".
  3. The kind who doesn't like this site.
There are two kinds of people who don't like this site:
  1. The kinds who got insulted when their favorite musical was made fun of because that's heresy.
  2. The kinds who just find it cliche, trite, and think the jokes seem to repeat from abridgement to abridgement.
  3. The kinds who like this site.
I am having counting issues.

Legally Blonde Abridged

| 1 Comment
Cheap Tickets: $40 back-of-theater. Easier to mistake Laura Bell Bundy for Reese Witherspoon that way.

I liked Legally Blonde: The Musical better than the movie.

But this is saying very little, because that's like saying I liked Legally Blonde: The Musical better than Mission To Mars.

Althought now that I think about it, Mission to Mars was pretty funny. In a different way.

Me digress.

Also, check out what's happening to Chicago!

RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Tony Performances Sorta-Announced
Not that Playbill always reports news; often a Playbill article is really just a rumor. Still...New Shows:Grey Gardens: The Revolutionary…
Curtains tonight
I'm finally seeing Curtains tonight. There's no reason you should care(Unless I end up abridging it, which based on how…
The Roundabout Formula
Hey kids,Today I'm going to show you how to create a Roundabout Revival! Ready?STEP 1: Take an old, aging, dated…
110 in the Shade: Abridged
Cheap Tickets: HiptixI totally forgot.I wrote this abridge with Megan "my last name's not really" Avery a good week ago.…

ITBA

RECENT COMMENTS

BROADWAY ABRIDGED LIVE! (THE CD)


Volume 1: Even More Musicals comedy album available for sale on iTunes/Amazon.