Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on the Great White Way this week:
Now on Sale on Broadway:
Meteor Shower – Begins November 1st
Emmy winner Amy Schumer stars in a new absurdist comedy by Steve Martin about a California couple who invite another couple to dinner during a meteor shower.
The Terms of My Surrender, featuring Academy Award-winning filmmaker, best-selling author, and political icon Michael Moore, opened on Broadway last week at the Belasco Theatre. The critical reception from Broadway critics was mixed. Some found the evening inspiring, with Moore as a funny and engaging host: NY1 – “There’s lots of amusing biographical anecdotes…all of them are delivered by a masterful storyteller who manages to entertain and instruct simultaneously.” Hollywood Reporter – “The evening has a vibrantly theatrical, variety-show atmosphere…[an] inspiring and unexpectedly entertaining show.” However, other critics found the show indulgent, with Moore presenting a disjointed, non-theatrical event – New York Times – “There is a script, but it seems to be more of a reconfigurable scaffold, changing from night to night. The result is as confusing politically as it is theatrically. ” Time Out New York – “The message of Moore’s pep talk is that one person can make a difference. Too often, however, it seems as though the one person he means is Michael Moore.” Read more review excerpts and purchase tickets.
Broadway News and Notes:
Amy Schumer to Make Broadway Debut in Steve Martin Play
- Emmy winner Amy Schumer will appear in Steve Martin’s comedy Meteor Shower on Broadway this fall. She will be joined by Tony winner Laura Benanti (Gypsy, She Loves Me), Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), and Alan Tudyk (Spamalot, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). The production will mark the Broadway debuts of both Schumer and Key. Set in Ojai, California, the comedy follows married couple Corky (Schumer) and Norm (Tudyk), who invite another couple – Laura (Benanti) and Gerald (Key) over for dinner. Soon, the two couples launch into ruthless Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-esque psychological warfare – the fury of which is matched only by the space rocks falling above them. The play received its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego before going on to play New Haven, Connecticut’s Long Wharf Theatre. More details here.
Broadway’s The Great Comet to Close in September
- Producers have announced that the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 will close September 3 at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre. The closing notice went up after several weeks of furious activity on the part of the producers to revive a flagging box office in the wake of the Tony Awards in June and the subsequent departure of Josh Groban. The recording star left the show in early July after playing the title role of Pierre since the show’s first Broadway preview last October. The decision to replace current Pierre Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, who is African-American, with Tony-winner Mandy Patinkin, who is not, sparked a furor in social media over the move. Patinkin quickly withdrew from the plan, stating that he had been misinformed about the circumstances surrounding his casting and that he had no intention of putting a fellow actor out of work. Onaodowan confirmed that his final performance will be August 13. From August 15-20, Pierre will be played by Scott Stangland, and for the final two weeks, Tony-nominated creator Dave Malloy, who also originated the role, will return. More details here.
Bandstand to Close on Broadway Next Month
- Producers announced last week that Bandstand will end its Broadway run at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on September 17. The musical ran at the Paper Mill Playhouse before transferring to Broadway in March 2017. The musical follows a group of soldiers who have just returned home from the front lines of World War II. When this motley assortment of men is given an important opportunity, one that involves music, they find themselves opening up in ways that make them feel whole again. Director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler took home a 2017 Tony Award for his Bandstand choreography. His victory, combined with the cast’s high-energy performance on the Tonys broadcast, provided a momentary bump in ticket sales, but have declined steadily since. More details here.
ABC Postpones Plans for Live Action The Little Mermaid
- ABC has scrapped its plans for a TV musical adaptation of the beloved Disney tale The Little Mermaid planned for this fall. Despite announcing the production, scheduling it to air on October 3, and even building sets, the musical has been postponed. The production’s cost was speculated to be an issue. The decision to delay The Little Mermaid comes months after NBC did the same with Jennifer Lopez’s Bye Bye Birdie Live. More details here.