Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on the Great White Way this week:
Beginning Preview Performances this Week:
SpongeBob SquarePants – Begins November 6th
A new musical based on the hit Nickelodeon cartoon series, SpongeBob SquarePants and the denizens of Bikini Bottom must rally to save their undersea world from total annihilation.
The Parisian Woman – Begins November 9th
Oscar nominee Uma Thurman stars as a socialite navigating the dangerous waters of Washington, D.C. politics in a new play by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon.
Once on This Island – Begins November 9th
A revival of the hit musical that follows a peasant girl and her star-crossed romance with a young man from the wealthy side of her island, which is ruled by four island gods.
Opening this Week:
The Band’s Visit – Opens November 9th
An Egyptian police band arrives in Israel to play a concert when a mix-up at the border leaves them stranded and must seek the help of the locals in this new musical.
The Lincoln Center Theater production of Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar’s new play, Junk, opened on Broadway last week at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Reviews were decidedly mixed, with some critics praising Akhtar’s fast paced script and fascinating look at the U.S. financial market:
Variety – “Akhtar returns with poisoned pen and sharpened knives to that era of wretched excess…slickly directed by Hughes.”
Time Out New York – “Junk melds a breadth of genres – crime story, tragedy, issue play, cautionary tale – into a fast-moving, broad-ranging social thriller.”
However, some reviewers found the play’s story somewhat predictable and pessimistic, with few interesting characters:
New York Times – “The sprawling cast of characters in this populous drama, blandly directed by Doug Hughes, registers as so many integers, waiting to be clicked into prearranged places in a socio-economic equation.”
New York Magazine – “…the taste is more bitter than sweet. The play’s effect on the heart is a pretty desolate one…”
News and Notes:
Broadway Performances Announced for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Several Broadway musicals, including 2017 Best Musical Tony winner Dear Evan Hansen, will perform during The 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will be broadcast on NBC November 23 beginning at 9 AM ET. On 34th Street, Broadway shows will perform in front of Macy’s flagship store. In addition to Dear Evan Hansen, shows scheduled to entertain include Anastasia, Once On This Island, and SpongeBob SquarePants as well as the Radio City Rockettes. More details here.
Hamilton Ponzi Scheme Defendant Pleads Guilty
- Joseph Meli, the man accused of executing a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that lured investors in with promises of substantial profits from the resale of Broadway tickets to the hit Hamilton and other big shows pleaded guilty last Tuesday to security fraud, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York announced. “As he admitted in court today, Joseph Meli created his own theatrical production – a fictitious business that purported to have access to blocks of tickets to Broadway shows and other events,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in a statement. “In fact, Meli was deceiving investors into giving him money that he pocketed to fund his own extravagant lifestyle. Now he awaits sentencing for running a Ponzi scheme.” Meli was first charged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January with violations of securities laws. Criminal charges were brought against him and a co-defendant by the Department of Justice February, charging them with two counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit both. More details here.
The Boys in the Band Plans 2018 Broadway Bow
- Producers Ryan Murphy and David Stone have teamed up for a starry Broadway production of Mart Crowley’s 1968 Off-Broadway hit, The Boys in the Band. Headed by a cast that includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells, the 15-week booking will run April 30 through August 12 at Broadway’s Booth Theatre. Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Assassins, Take Me Out) will direct. In The Boys in the Band, a group of gay men gather in a New York City apartment for a friend’s birthday party. As the evening continues, the cracks beneath their friendships begin to show, exposing the self-inflicted heartache that threatens their solidarity. Originally scheduled to run for five performances at a small Off-Broadway venue, the play became an overnight sensation, and – after transferring to a bigger theatre – ran for over 1,000 performances. The show went on to have an acclaimed run in London and was adapted into a film by William Friedkin in 1970. More details here.
Broadway Bound Moulin Rouge! to Open in Boston
- The world premiere pre-Broadway engagement of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, the new stage show based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 motion picture, will reopen Boston’s newly restored Emerson Colonial Theatre in the summer of 2018. Set in Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France, Moulin Rouge! The Musical tells the fictional story of the young poet/writer Christian who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress Satine, during the Belle Epoque at the turn of the 20th century. As was the case in the film, the stage musical’s score will weave together popular music of the last 50 years. The show will also include additional songs that have been written in the 15 years since the film’s release. The film Moulin Rouge starred Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman in an Oscar-nominated turn. More details here.