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Archive for December, 2011

Is Broadway Overtaking Hollywood?

Broadway has always been a respectable and hugely popular venue for those looking for great performances and a taste of art. But for some time, Hollywood was clearly the frontrunner between the two as people continued to turn towards the screen and away from the stage. Now though, big names are coming back to Broadway, whether they’re returning or making their debut. This among other things has people asking: is Broadway overtaking Hollywood?

A simple look at the facts might point to “yes.” While box office sales for any given movie, no matter how big the stars in it, continue to plummet, Broadway and theater tickets continue to climb. And, while Broadway adaptations used to be turned into movies in order to attract a larger audience, the opposite is now true and a number of movies are currently being transformed into a stage production. A few of those are “Rocky,” “The Notebook,” “Ghost,” and “The Goonies,” suggesting that getting shows to the stage is now the way to open it up to the public.

But it’s not just the movies that are making the move to Broadway, a lot of big-name actors are too. Hugh Jackman and Harry Connick Jr. were just two to recently go back to Broadway, and now William Shatner’s on his way too. Christina Ricci will be playing alongside Bebe Neuwirth for “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” while Cate Blanchett will take up a role in “Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.” Those are some pretty big names, and with so much more coming, who knows what other names we’ll see coming back to the stage?

Of course, Broadway and the big screen are two important art forms that will always have an audience all their own. But for the time being, it might just be Broadway’s time in the shinier spotlight. Do you think that Broadway is currently overshadowing Hollywood? What movie star would you like to see come to Broadway?


Scotty McCreery is America’s Favorite Crooner and Now On Tour!

For better or worse (depending on your opinion) American Idol is changing the face of the music industry. The television show has made a few singers famous, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jordin Sparks and Taylor Hicks, just to name a few.

The newest young talent to be introduced to the world is the deep voiced country crooner from North Carolina, Scotty McCreery. Scotty won season 10 of American Idol by a landslide in 2011. Clear as Day was his first album (released in October 2011) and has already won him acclaim from fans and respect from critics. It reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and has already been certified gold.

The debut single from “Clear as Day” was “I Love You This Big”, which the country cutie sang as his coronation song on the winning episode of American Idol. This is a major hit for all of the singer’s fans who love Scotty “This Big”! The next single from his album is titled “The Trouble with Girls”, and you can imagine how that will leave his female fans swooning!

Life hasn’t slowed down for this Idol winner since the end of the show. Scotty has been keeping busy by making a music video for his first single, and signing a contract with Mercury Nashville. He has already put in appearances at the CMT Music Awards and the Grand Ole Opry and has done a little touring with the American Idols LIVE! Tour. Scotty also got to belt out the National Anthem in October at Game One of the World Series. From there, he joined other music talent in taping the CMA Country Christmas Special, and sang at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Yes, the boy certainly is keeping himself busy these days, but not so busy that he isn’t making time to perform live in concert for fans!

Scotty McCreery is set to tour the states with Country superstar Brad Paisley starting in January 2012. They will be making their way across the states and may be coming to a town near you. Don’t miss your chance to see this American Idol star live, in person, and singing his newest hits!


Willow Smith’s on Fire in New Video “Fireball”

With homage paid to a movie that was made before she was even born, Willow Smith shows why she just might be a superhero on the music scene with her new video “Fireball.” In her third video, Willow begins rapping about how she’s “the fireball of the party” while decked out as a futuristic robot of some sort. That’s short-lived, as she’s soon joined by Nicki Minaj, who does just as good a job tearing up the scene as Willow does.

In the video Willow does a great job letting her inner gangsta shine through as she’s got all the dance moves, street poses, and slick rhymes you’d expect from a 17-year old who’s grown up in the streets — never mind this 11 year old that’s most likely grown up in a Beverly Hills mansion. Still, it might not be how Willow moves to her own beat or even how she manages to look so cute and edgy all at the same time in those outfits. What might be most refreshing about Willow is that she’s dressed head to toe in every shot with very little skin showing and there’s not one lyric of hers that even brushes against negativity. Still, a Disney character this girl is not and she’s definitely got the attitude that comes from living with the witty Smith clan. She just manages to present that in an appropriate way – as a little girl that just loves her music.

Willow Smith has come a long way from the girl we saw whipping her hair last year. She’s now much more comfortable in front of the camera and is ready to show us just how much just a little more experience brings. To check out Willow’s third – and by far, best – video, you can check it out here.


Annie Returns to Broadway in 2012

Annie is known as a grand and emotional musical nowadays, though it was once little more than a comic strip by Harold Gray known as Little Orphan Annie. Ever since its original Broadway production in 1977, the same year it won a Tony for Best Musical, it has inspired many knock-offs, film versions, amateur plays and even a stage sequel.

It’s hard to deny that Annie is a true iconic musical, just as engrained into American pop culture as The Phantom of the Opera and The Wizard of Oz. It could be argued that Annie is an uncompromising part of 1970s culture, whereas other musicals are timeless. After all, the 1982 John Huston film doesn’t age well, as it is an odd mix of irony and naiveté, that characterized the decade well, and was perfectly embodied by hammy, villainous stars Carol Burnett and Tim Curry.

Nevertheless, the music of Annie(with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin) is timeless, and continues to give heart to the musical. As an idealized vision of orphan-turned-adopted-child destiny, Annie does tug at the heartstrings, and particularly so when she or Oliver Warbucks sings “Maybe” or “Tomorrow”.

The good news is that you don’t have to rely on the trippy 1980s musical to enjoy Annie again. The show is coming back to Broadway in the fall of 2012 in honor of the 35th anniversary of the musical. Thomas Meehan is presiding over the show and that is good news for Broadway fans, considering that he directed the original musical as well as the beloved Mel Brooks’ farce, The Producers in 2001. James Lapine is expected to direct the production, and his past hits have included Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Passion. This is looking to be a great musical, as the best of Broadway is involved in the making of it.

Perhaps a successful theatre run will reignite Hollywood’s interest in the musical and we will see a re-launch in 2013? Or is that too much Annie-like optimism for you? Come see the precocious redhead in person and hear some of the best theatre songs in the history of Broadway! Get your Annie musical tickets today!


‘Ghost’ Comes to Broadway, and Brings London Cast with It!

An adaptation of the movie ‘Ghost‘ is coming to Broadway in the spring of 2012 and it brings some familiar faces, fresh songs, and that same romantic theme of true love that outlasts all.

Coming to perform for the Broadway show are Richard Fleeshman and Caissie Levy, who have just wrapped up playing the roles of Sam and Molly on the London stage. Richard Fleeshman received rave reviews as he stepped into Patrick Swayze’s shoes of a man who’s been murdered by his best friend, and is now trying to help his girlfriend solve his murder. Caissie on the other hand, plays Molly flawlessly, and is able to bring both the voice and the acting skills required for the role of the heroine.

Of course, the voice is needed because along with the original dramatic storyline, there’s also singing — lots and lots of singing! And anyone who sees the show knows that’s just about the only way you could improve on this classic tale.

Along with the roles of Sam and Molly, it’s also been announced that Bryce Pinkham will be stepping into the role of Carl Bruner, Sam’s best friend; and Da’Vine Joy Randolph will be playing the role of Oda Mae Brown, the psychic that works as a go-between for Sam and Molly.

Preview performances begin at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre begin on March 15, 2012 with the show officially opening on April 23. Ghost tickets are already on sale and this show is already expected to sell out most nights!


Relive the Magic of the Four Seasons with the “Jersey Boys” On-Stage!

The story of the Four Seasons is one of four boys who grew up as underdogs, but followed their passion for music through clubs, different record labels, and songs that didn’t chart until they became one of the biggest pop music acts of all time. Those boys of course, are Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi. And now, you can see how they came together to be the Four Seasons in the hit musical Jersey Boys.

The show opens early December at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia, and it will run through January 14, 2012. The brilliant cast brings Brandon Andrus back home, as the Philadelphia-native plays the role of Nick Massi; and sees Brad Weinstock playing the lead role of Frankie Valli. Jason Kappus and Colby Foytik play the parts of Bob Gaudio and Tommy DeVito, respectively.

The show not only follows the story of the four young men who did more in just a few years than most artists do in a lifetime, it also includes some of the hugest music hits of all time including “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What a Night,” and “Sherry.”

Once the show leaves Philly, it will be touring around all of the United States and Canada through until October 13, 2012. For a complete listing of the tour schedule, venues and Jersey Boys Tickets, look no further than TicketSeating.com!


Coldplay’s Back in North America after Three Long Years!

Coldplay and their fans were teased recently when the band was nominated for three different Grammy awards — Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, for those that are keeping track. Everyone will have to wait until February to see if they actually win any of those but in the meantime, Coldplay has given fans a long list of tour dates that they can expect in the New Year.

Coldplay will be coming to North America beginning on April 17, 2012 and they’ll be playing in Edmonton, Alberta. After roaming around Canada for a few days they’ll head to the U.S. on April 24 and will play in Portland, Oregon before touring extensively throughout the entire United States. A couple of more stops in Canada come July, and the band will come back for a few more shows in the States and to wrap things up in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 11. Coldplay isn’t going to make their fans wait until next spring though, for a chance to catch the performance. They’ll also be appearing on Austin City Limits, on New Year’s Eve. The show is the longest-running live music television series in history and the special starts at 11:00 p.m. with pbs.org also streaming the episode.

Presales for Coldplay’s North American tour began on December 12 and will continue through until Friday, December 16 and are available to anyone who uses an American Express card to purchase them. After 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 17, Coldplay tickets will be available to the general public.


“Seminar” on Broadway Has Something To Teach Us All

Theresa Rebeck has delivered us a Seminar,” and it’s one in which all audiences, artists or not, can sit back and learn a thing or two. The Broadway play, which has been onstage since Sunday, November 20, focuses on the lives of four aspiring writers (Lily Rabe, Hamish Linklater, Jerry O’Connell, and Hettienne Park) and their mentor, Leonard (Alan Rickman). As the young writers continue to turn things into their professor, none of it ever passes muster and as the writers’ frustration grows, their patience for each other dwindles.

Among writers who were once friends and have now turned competitors, and a teacher that seems insatiable, Rebeck has also thrown in enough comedy and sexual tension to really keep things interesting. And just when the audience has thought that they’ve heard all the one-liners and seen all the criticism they can stand, the performance wraps with one last look at a lone Leonard in his apartment. It’s here when the final lesson is taught, and crowds are given a look at the real Leonard, which is not the one they’ve seen during the play.

The play is a fantastically funny and intelligent look at the life of an artist, and the different insecurities everyone has about themselves and their own work in life. It’s brilliantly directed by Sam Gold, who also directed “Circle Mirror” and who has been named an associate artist of the Roundabout Theater Company. In addition to great writing and ingenious directing, “Seminar” is also backed by a solid cast. Jerry O’Connell is extremely well-known for his work on-stage as well as in television and films; while Alan Rickman played the role of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies for the past decade.

Get your Seminar tickets today and enjoy this great show!


From Sex and the City to the Stage

The days of Carrie Bradshaw and her three fun-loving New Yorker girlfriends gracing our TV sets every week may be long behind us; but for the real-life ladies behind those characters, there are still many performances to be had. And two in particular have recently taken to the Broadway stage!

Casting has just finished for the show Wit, which will start its Broadway run on January 26 and which stars Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes in the Sex and the City series. In the play, Nixon portrays a professor of poetry that is suffering from cancer and undergoing an experimental treatment for it. Throughout the play, there’s no doubt that Nixon will be able to bring a depth to the character unlike any other. Not only because of her prior Broadway performances, which included “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” but also due to her own personal battle with breast cancer, which has been in remission since 2008.

Tickets for Wit are now on sale and after the opening, the show will run until March 11, 2012 at the Samual J. Friedman Theatre.

But Nixon isn’t the only one to find a different venue after the Sex and the City show and movies — Kim Cattrall, the actress that played Samantha on the hit show — has also taken to the stage in a show called Private Lives, which first played in Toronto, Ontario before making its way to Broadway. In the play, Cattrall still gets in touch with her Samantha side, portraying a woman that runs off with her ex-husband while honeymooning with her new one. On-stage Cattrall is also joined by Paul Gross, a fellow Canadian actor most well-known for his appearances in Due South and Slings and Arrows.

Private Lives is currently playing at the Music Box Theatre until December with dates thereafter to be announced. To get Private Lives tickets just visit the TicketSeating.com website.