June 2009 Archives

Piepenburg is an asshole for running his mouth about how Lupone should grin and bear it when theatergoers are being assholes.

Itzkoff is an asshole for avoiding the fact that 3 out of 4 NYTimes.com commenters agreed with Lupone about Piebenburg being an asshole.

Assholes.

[By the way, it was a concert. This wasn't stopping a musical during a pivotal scene. She stopped her own concert! Who cares?]

Wow

Oscar-winning songwriter Joseph Brooks indicted on sex assault charges

Yeah, that Joseph Brooks. The one who wrote In My Life.
  • "accused of luring the aspiring models and actresses to Brooks' E. 63rd St. apartment with promises of parts in his next movie. "
  • "82 counts of sex-related charges, including rape"
  • "The women, ages 18 to 30, were "incapacitated" by the drinks, prosecutors said. Toxicology tests have been inconclusive."
Wow.

Blithe Spirit: Tweeted

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Recently, a number of shows have joined twitter as a marketing tool. They occasionally tweet from backstage, or answer fan questions, or they even let the audience tweet at the show! Because they know that you'll look at it and say, "OMG I Twitter! So I should see this play!"

Now that I'm using @BwayAbridged to let people know of script updates on twitter, I felt bad that Blithe Spirit hasn't jumped on the tweetwagon. So I did for them...

Blithe Spirit Abridged Tweeted.

My e-mail address was down

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I'd like to apologize to anybody who sent me e-mail via my BroadwayAbridged address since late March. Apparently when my webhost accidentally deleted my settings, I FAILed on setting up my BroadwayAbridged forwarding. Surry! I'll be going through these to try to get back to everybody...

Next To Normal: Abridged

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This year, one family is about to face the music.

Because, see, it's a musical. So they're about to face the music.

What? Oh... no, the musical isn't about music at all. But it has music in it, got that?

OK, good. Cause that should be enough reason that THIS is the musical that has musical notes on the logo. So you can tell it apart from the musicals that...

Oh I see what you're saying. Hmm.

In that case... NEXT TO NORMAL: ABRIDGED
I have no desire to write an abridged version of this play, but what I do want to talk about today is what I consider to be a promotional failure.

In the giant shuffle of plays this season, I've avoided Blithe Spirit for months now. Basically because the entire time it's run, what I had in mind was the drawing attached they've been using:

What do you see when you look at this? This is what I had assumed based on the photo:

1. Angela Lansbury is in this play.
2. She probably looks just like that in the play, without, say, any crazy-old-lady eye makeup that helps makes her character even more hilarious.
3. Christine Ebersole is not a ghost or anything, because the her-hands-are-seethrough effect is so subtle that I hadn't noticed it..
4. This is a nicely-painted picture, which probably means this play is quaint and sweet.
5. This play probably feels old, and is probably not a dark comedy or anything.

It would turn out that I would only be right on the first count, and that's it. Aside from an often-too-relaxed performance by Rupert Everett, and an ending that's contrived, this is an enjoyable dark comedy. And although it's set in the time period it was written, there's is very, very little that keeps the play from being contemporary in nature. It's a play about a dead bimbo blonde who comes back from the dead and causes bitchy-style havoc because she's jealous that her husband has a new wife. It's a great premise--could you tell that from the picture?

I really enjoyed Blithe Spirit. The little lady--who usually insists on musicals--said it was possibly the most she'd enjoyed a Broadway play. And yeah, Lansbury is pretty fricking funny, but the point is that I was wrong in my assumptions that there's nothing to the play when she's offstage.

So, if you're looking for a dark comedy, go see Blithe Spirit.

And then, draw a big frowny-face on the Playbill.

I was playing today.


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The 2009 Tony Awards: Abridged

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The 2009 Tony Awards: Abridged

Special thanks to contributors Susanne K, Joel P, Jen H, Rachel P, Jac H, Jake B, and Eva B.

Next year, I'll actually have it done in time for the morning right after the Tonys.

Last night...

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I hosted the first unofficial Broadway Abridged: Tonys party.

Which means that tomorrow, I'll be putting up an actual abridgment of the 2009 Tony Awards.

Thank goodness for Tivo. Not just because it'll make this easier to do, but because Tivo makes it fun to slow-motion parts of the Tonys. Like whatever Kristen Chenoweth did with her head before announcing "Hair", and the castmember on the right of the screen during Hair's acceptance speech, who was making faces like he was having an orgasm onstage.

Wish I had the video tools to cut, slow-mo, and youtube some of this stuff...

Rock of Ages: Abridged

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Remember The Who's Tommy? With amazing powerhouse performances, yet a story that gripped you alongside the dramatic rock music?

Well, Rock of Ages is no Tommy.
At the Tony Awards this Sunday, he'll be opening with this:

With Neil Patrick Harris.

Hope this link works:

http://www.cbs.com/late_show/the_ten_spot/video.php?cid=518893744&pid=HLZl7zTY_KhqF08oOiSKDwDSYNx4VhhM&show=all&offset=0&play=true

Has anybody ever seen this?

It's old, and a bit long, but: a guy tries to get a Broadway Star to ride the Toys R' Us Ferris Wheel with him, and ends up actually getting Mark Lin Baker to do it.


So I realized that in the next 6 weeks or so, I am going to have to finally write an Abridged Script of Phantom of the Opera. I already hit the other 2 biggies (Rent and Les Mis) so it just seems right to complete the "trifecta".

Which means I'll have to watch it again. It's still on Broadway; I have no excuse.

So here's where I turn to you, viewers. Why not make a donation towards my ticket so I can write Phantom Abridged? I'm doing it for you. Yes, you. Paypal here:
I would like to donate towards your ticket purchase,
because I feel bad that you have to watch Phantom of the Opera again.

And if you're still not convinced: helping me will be Jennifer Lynn Jordan, who wrote the Les Mis Abridged with me, and who co-authors the webcomic Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell.

Come on. Frankly, sitting through this dreck again is like giving a kidney. You'd pay $6 for a kidney right? Thought so. So donate!

(Anybody who donates $25 gets an autographed copy of Phantom Abridged mailed to them, Samsung-printed on the finest printer paper Costco can buy, with a poor attempt at a hand-scrawled Phantom logo on the title page.)

Most confusing headline ever

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Jerry Springer Makes West End Stage Debut in Chicago June 1

Wait is Jerry Springer the Opera making it's West End debut?

No that already happened.

Is Jerry Springer the Opera making its Chicago, Illinois debut from the West End production?

No that happened already too.

Is Jerry Springer the Man, who is Chicago, Illinois-based, going to be making his Stage Debut in Chicago, Illinois?

No he will not.

Is Jerry Springer the Man, who is Chicago, Illinois-based, going to be making his West End stage debut in Chicago, the Musical?

Yes that's it.

Neil Patrick Harris on his Tony Hosting

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman...

are writing a movie musical based on a Mattel toy line that you've not only never heard of, but hasn't even been named yet.

You win, Variety. I don't think anybody else could create a news article more vague. I'm also mildly disappointed that this Variety article isn't missing a single use of the word "the". It's sad.

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Piepenburg is an asshole for running his mouth about how Lupone should grin and bear it when theatergoers are being…
Wow
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Blithe Spirit: Tweeted
BLITHE SPIRIT: TWEETED A @BwayAbridged Script. Sorta. By Gil Varod .twittertd1{border-top: 1px dashed silver; margin-left: 50px } .twittertd2{border-top: 1px…

ITBA

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