October 2007 Archives

Stoppard on Syd

Nuggets

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Here's the theatre news that turned me on today. Sexually.
  1. Reidel says Roger Bart is returning to Young Frankenstein tomorrow and should be around till the opening on the 8th. Which means he should be in it when I see it on the 3rd, and then when I write the abridge I won't have to lie and pretend I saw him in it.
  2. The same article says that "Eddie Izzard might jump in, but he's shooting a TV show until February." If that happens at any point at all, and I couldn't get any of the $60 rear mezz seats, I'd actually buy a $120 ticket to see him in it.
    (Hey, do other people know who this comic genius is?!?!?!?)
  3. The amazing masterpiece known as In My Life is having a run in Chicago. If you live in the Windy you must, must must attend this. You must not pay any money for this, but you must attend this.
  4. Harvey Keitel in Jerry Springer The Opera?


Rock n' Roll: Abridged

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Did you do what I did last night? Did you go to another Tom Stoppard Show? Just so you can remind yourself that you're not a member of Mensa?

Good, I'm glad you didn't, because I did it for you:




On another note: I have ads on BroadwayAbridged.com because I had room to put them on the side. Nobody really clicks them, because they're relatively unobtrusive (by design). But I'm curious if I'd actually make money if people clicked on them.

So if you've ever enjoyed an abridge on this site, whether it's Rock n' Roll Abridged or [probably] something else, do me a favor and click on any ad on the right, just this once, and then by all means please close the window and do not buy the scalped tickets that it links to. Help me pay for my domain name this year!

(And if you're reading via RSS, just head to the main page or any abridge to find the ads on the right. Only takes a second. )

Legally Blonde

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I just watched random pieces of Legally Blonde fast-forwarding through it on my brandless Tivo. Orfeh got a lot better since previews.

I kinda watched it mostly to see Leslie Kritzer again, not realizing that she had already moved onto "A Catered Affair" before the taping.

But it might have all been worth it to watch the "back-from-the-commercials" recaps being lifelessly delivered by three coked-up Legally Blonde pre-hag fans.

[P.S. If you've now watched it on TV, this is your reminder that you might now understand the abridged script.]


1. Christianne Noll is in it.
2. I think Hunter Foster is actually singing a cut Jekyll-and-Hyde song.
3. Nobody's ever seen Frank Wildhorn without facial hair. Maybe he shaved... meaning he could be any one of them!

Rich People

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Michael Riedel's Post post hits a few nails this morning:
The producers of "Billy Elliot" ... are "only" charging $300 for premium seats. But they have increased the price of mediocre seats... $135, as opposed to $121 at most other shows.

...Broadway has turned its back on the working and middle classes. If you're not rich, if you don't have a loft in SoHo or a three-bedroom on the Upper West Side or a house in Westport, get lost, we don't need you, you can't afford us. If you really want to take the family to a show, check out the Ice Capades.

So here's the question Reidel, no sarcasm intended: what do you suggest be done? The Producers brought top ticket prices to $100; Young Frankenstein pushed Premium to $450. We can blame Brooks, but:

  • He's practically the only one actually making money.
  • Most shows run for years without profit; producers always seem at a financial loss.
  • The actors/stagehand/musicians/etc unions complain that they're not being given their fair share.
  • And all that said, theatregoers like myself lament the absurdly-high ticket costs.
I've had the financials of Broadway explained to me so many times, and as a business theatre just doesn't work. It relies on handouts, and without them it's a broken and unsustainable business model. How in the world can we finally get the price of my ticket back down when everything else in the business seems to be planning to raise the prices higher?

Oh, I see I can e-mail him. I wonder if he'll respond.

Just Laughter: Episode 1

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Inspired by a friend's medieval blog's regular Monday feature, I thought it might be a good idea to create an new irregular feature here at Broadway Abridged called "Just Laughter".
The premise is simple: I find a new piece of theatre-related news, and then I type out the phonetic soundings of me laughing at it. Here we go!


  • Clay Aiken, who became a music superstar following his success on the "American Idol" television series, will join Monty Python's Spamalot, making his Broadway debut in the role of Sir Robin.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

AH HA HA HA HA HAAAA HAAAAA HAAAAAAA.

Cough.
Hey, other Bloggers? Did anybody else get this? I've never been a recipient of Press Releases before...
Dear Blogger,
My name is Melanie Klein and I am doing the blogger outreach for The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein. I came across your blog while searching Technorati.com, and I thought I would share the Press Announcement, and cast list

We are pleased to present The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, a new musical comedy from the creative team of

The production stars Roger Bart (Dr. Frederick Frankenstein), Megan Mullally (Elizabeth),

Official URL
http://www.youngfrankensteinthemusical.com

Photos URL
http://OH-LOOK.IT'S-A-BROKEN.link

Video URL
https://BEING-AN-ADVERTISING.EXECUTIVE-MUST-BE.REALLY. TOUGH

MAMMOTH ADVERTISING

Brooklyn, NY 11201
Wait, I have more sarcastics for you:
  • Mel Brooks can't afford any better than this for publicity?
  • Young Frankenstein is doing outreach?
  • ...to bloggers?
  • ...when the show isn't even open yet?
  • ...without giving me a free ticket?
  • And don't they know that Sunday, November 4th, I'm going to essentially be writing a scathing review of it?
  • Regardless of whether or not I liked it?
Ms. Klein: if you want to have the Bloggers pay attention, don't send a press release letting us know that the loudest musical of the fall is coming... give us some content to post about.

If not, then I have to make up content. At your expense.
Here's a real life conversation that actually happened in real life for real:
         Warner Bros. Executive #1
When should we release the Sweeney Todd Movie?

Warner Bros. Executive #2
Hmm.

Warner Bros. Executive #3
Let's do it on Halloween!

Warner Bros. Executive #1
(fires a pistol into skull of Executive #3)

Warner Bros. Executive #2
That'll teach you to make use of common sense.

Warner Bros. Executive #1
Right. December 21st it is.

Christopher Lloyd in a Musical!

Finally!

Really, does anybody know if he can sing? Or does it just sound sorta like a Doc Brown version of what happens when Harvey Fierstein sings?

Anyhow, he was an excellent Malvolio.

Hakuna Something Something

I thought this was a funny little tidbit:

If you were to ask Danny Rutigliano [Timon in The Lion King] which performance was the most memorable, I'm betting that he would probably talk about one that he and the rest of the company presented back in September of 1998. Back when President Clinton came to the New Amsterdam to see the show.

"Do you know that part in 'Hakuna Matata' where Timon interrupts Pumbaa as he sings 'And I got downhearted every time that I farted' ?," he explained. "And my character says 'Not in front of the kids.' Well, that night, I said 'Not in front of the President.' And that line just brought the house down."

Spamalot Swap

In January 2008, Marin Mazzie [current Broadway Lady of the Lake in Spamalot] and Hannah Waddingham [same but for London] are switching places.

Last month, it was announced that Drew Sarich and John Owens Jones will be doing the same exact thing as the Valjeans in Les Miserables.

A British actor and an American actor making a deal so they can circumvent Equity and get to live in another country for a few months. Is this becoming a trend?

And more importantly, is there a British guy who does a Broadway Abridged like thing who wants to trade their job, "flat", and life with me for 6 months?

Londong

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It seems like the big stuff is happening in London right now. I just listened to the entire first performance of Rent.Remixed. It's not as bad as everyone's making it out to be. Those who haven't heard it but have seen it are complaining because they re-arranged the songs from what the old cast album makes us comfortable with. So what if there's shoo-wops in the background?

Meanwhile, Jason Robert Brown's Parade just got better reviews for its revised version in London. Who's with me on starting a petition for Roundabout to import it back into the states?

And Roundabout specifically, because I like paying $20 a ticket.

The Sweeney Todd Movie Trailer is up

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This may be the first time in the world I'm actually looking forward to seeing a movie musical.

Rent.Remixed.Previewed.Reviewed

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An American Look at London has the first preview of rent.remixed sorta-reviewed. Now listen, Rent is a particularly flawed piece of theatre, so I'm not saying it's sacred because it sure could use a good rewrite. But of particular note:
  • "Angel is no longer a drag queen"
    • Really? Why?

  • "Act One ends with Christmas Bells. Act Two has Over The Moon/La Vie Boheme/I Should Tell You."
    • Interesting. I'd love to see this onstage to see how it works. On one hand, doesn't it ruin the perfection of Act 1 taking place all in one day? On the other hand, maybe that fixes act 2...

  • "Because they focused the adverts on a celebrity as Maureen, Over The Moon is 10 minutes long including a dance segment."
    • Hahahahahaha...

  • Mark, Mimi, Angel, and a couple of the ensemble had UK accents. Everyone else went American.
OK, this is a question for any Brits out there: When you're seeing an American-set show like this where some characters speak in Brit accents while some go American, is it weird for you? Or is it normal because the Brit accents are neutral to you and go away?

(I can't really relate because British accents are weighted here regardless of where a show is set. If a character here uses a higher class British accent, it denotes intelligence/wealth/stuffiness. If a character here uses cockney, it denotes that they're simple/poor/uneducated.)

IRON CHEF JEKYLL!

Here's some interesting tidbits I recently learned:
  • Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll and Hyde is finishing a 7+ year run in Japan (see the third question)
  • In Japan, the dual role of Jekyll/Hyde is played by Takeshi Kaga [wikipedia entry].
  • He is also known as "Chairman" Kaga, AKA this guy:
  • In Japan, our beloved Chairman played the role of Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar", Tony in "West Side Story", the first to play the roles in both Japanese productions.
  • He also was Jean Valjean in the Japanese "Les Miserables":

  • If you watch the end of the Les Mis 10th Anniversary video, he's the Jean Valjean representing Japan.
    Skip to 2:14, and watch for the end of his line where he sheepishly looks up:
  • And to all of you who said I'd never be able to combine my love for Iron Chef with my love for Theatre: HA HA!

Pre-Hags will not take over Broadway

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The New York Times says so, so it's gotta be true!

In other news, Bob Saget is joining Drowsy.
And no I won't call him "Danny Tanner", because he curses enough to make up for it. Good Saget.
Males who were adolescents in 1989 rejoice, for your day has finally come!



Thanks to Midnight Radio on the Broadway World forums for this one, as well as a supposedly "retooled" Ursula:



and lots of others.






And fair's fair; if we're going to ruin Mermaid, we have to hit the other one of the "big two" while we're at it, non?










I have no idea what "Here on Sunset Boulevard" is, except for that if I'm supposed to find the blog of whatever pre-hag took these pictures during a show, it didn't work.

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