Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Broadway’s Great White Way this week:
Beginning Preview Performances this Week:
Home for the Holidays – Begins November 17th
Winners of American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent, unite to form a new Holiday concert tradition, performing more than 25 beloved Christmas classics.
Opening this Week:
Latin History for Morons – Opens November 15th
John Leguizamo schools his son – and the rest of us – on the buried and forgotten history of Latinos in the Americas in this one-man show about uncovering the truth, and recovering from the past.
The critically acclaimed Off Broadway hit The Band’s Visit, that follows an Egyptian police band, who, after a mix-up at the border, find themselves in a remote village in the middle of the Israeli desert, opened on Broadway last week at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Critics were unanimous in their praise for the new musical, with many transfixed by the subdued and effective David Yazbek-penned score:
Entertainment Weekly – “Yazbek’s haunting music and deadpan lyrics perfectly capture the Israeli humor that made the original movie such a favorite”
Hollywood Reporter – “…this gorgeous, minor-key show…transfers to Broadway with its delicate alchemy intact, borne aloft by the intoxicating Middle-Eastern rhythms of Yazbek’s original score and by the soulful performances of an exemplary ensemble.”
Reviewers found little to quibble and a lot to praise about the production, including the finely-tuned performances and quietly thoughtful atmosphere:
New York Times – “All the cast members forge precisely individualized characters. This miraculous show [is] as precise as it is elusive, and all the more poignant for being both.”
Newsday – “A beautifully told, more human story…performances and staging are finely crafted throughout.”
New York Daily News – “This hushed, heart-melting musical is real – and truly magical. The show is a quiet musical meditation that casts a spell through its songs, alluring ambience and excellent actors.”
News and Notes:
Kiss Me, Kate Will Return to Broadway in 2019
- Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara (South Pacific, The Bridges of Madison County) will return to Broadway in February 2019 in a Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Kiss Me, Kate. O’Hara will take on the leading role of Lilli Vanessi in the musical from Cole Porter and Sam and Bella Spewack, reprising her performance from a 2016 Roundabout benefit concert. Scott Ellis, who helmed last year’s concert presentation, will direct. In the 1948 musical comedy, two divorced and egocentric performers find themselves starring opposite each other in a musical version of Taming of the Shrew. The revival will premiere 20 years after the last Broadway production, which starred Marin Mazzie and Brian Stokes Mitchell. O’Hara was nominated for five Tony Awards between 2005 and 2014 before winning in 2015 for her performance as Anna Leonowens in the Lincoln Center revival of The King and I. More details here.
King Kong Musical Sets Broadway Dates
- King Kong, the highly anticipated new musical that blends robotics, puppetry and stagecraft, has announced an opening-night date of November 8, 2018. Preview performances will begin October 5. The musical, featuring a book by Jack Thorne and music by Marius de Vries and Eddie Perfect, will make its home at the Broadway Theatre. Based on the 1932 novel, King Kong follows a young actress and a maverick filmmaker as they voyage from the bustling streets of 1930s New York to an uncharted island to capture the greatest wonder the world has ever seen. At the center of the stage show is a 20-foot high, 2,000-pound gorilla brought to life by a team of seamlessly integrated artists and technicians. More details here.
Bee Gees Stage Musical in Development for Broadway
- A biographical stage musical based on pop music group The Bee Gees is in the works by Universal Pictures’ live theater division, Universal Theatrical Group. Grammy-winning hitmakers The Bee Gees, which consisted of brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, drew acclaim and a massive fan base throughout the 1960s and ’70s. The group is among the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. With their iconic sound and quintessential performances, the talented group of brothers saw global success with iconic hits such as “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” “Too Much Heaven,” “Nights On Broadway” and “Stayin’ Alive.” More details here.
Lin-Manuel Miranda to Receive Special Award at 2017 Latin Grammys
- Pulitzer Prize winner, MacArthur Genius, and Tony Award winner for Hamilton and In the Heights Lin-Manuel Miranda will be honored with the Latin Recording Academy President’s Merit Award at this year’s Latin Grammys. The Award recognizes Miranda’s “outstanding and numerous contributions to the Latin community,” and will be presented to Miranda during the November 16 broadcast on Univision. The President’s Merit Award is not an annual honor and has only been presented to a choice few. Vocal about his Puerto Rican roots, Miranda produced the recording “Almost Like Praying” to raise funds to help the survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. More details here.