Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Broadway’s Great White Way this week:
Now on Sale:
Straight White Men – Begins June 29th
Ed and his three adult sons ring in Christmas by contemplating the value of straight white men in a society driven by conversations of identity and privilege in this new drama.
Opening this Week:
Children of a Lesser God – Opens April 11th
Joshua Jackson stars in a revival of the Tony-winning play that explores the relationship between an unorthodox speech therapist and one of his students, a young deaf woman hesitant to integrate herself into the hearing world.
Carousel – Opens April 12th
A revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical that tells the story of millworker Julie Jordan, carousel barker Billy Bigelow, and their ultimately destructive relationship.
Mean Girls, the musical adaptation of Tina Fey’s 2004 film comedy of the same name, celebrated its official opening night at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre on Sunday. Reviews were mixed to positive, with some critics bemoaning the sluggish pacing and uninspired score:
Newsday – “Despite vibrant performances from a uniformly talented cast, the show drags, especially in the first act. And the music is repetitive and not particularly memorable.”
Hollywood Reporter – “If the songs more often fall into workmanlike pastiche than inspired musical storytelling, too seldom developing robust melodic hooks, the score at least wins points for democratization.”
But the majority of reviewers were enthusiastic for the production as a whole, praising the still-witty dialogue and deepening of the characters, as well as the energetic directon and talented ensemble:
New York Magazine – “Mean Girls isn’t just a fun, and very funny, show: It’s continuously, mischievously self-aware. The musical has its share of beloved moments to live up to. And it delivers.”
Entertainment Weekly – “Lively, frequently hilarious…propelled by dazzling set design and several stand-out performances, the musical gives fans everything they want while bringing the saga of Regina George and the Plastics into the social media age.”
NY1 – “[Director] Nicholaw paces the two-and-a-half hour production with high energy, maneuvering between the silly and serious moments with tremendous finesse.”
Broadway News and Notes:
Frozen on Broadway Breaks Box Office Record
- The Broadway production of Frozen smashed the house record for weekly ticket sales at the St. James Theatre in New York, Disney Theatrical Productions announced last week, beating the mark formerly held by The Producers. The new stage adaptation of the hit Disney film, which officially opened March 22, grossed more than $2.2 million in its first eight shows. That broke a record held for 14 years by The Producers, which at its peak grossed $1.6 million in eight performances. The all-time Broadway record for the most money made on Broadway in a single week is held by Hamilton. That production grossed $3.3 million at Richard Rodgers Theatre across eight performances in November 2016. Prior to that, Wicked held the record with $3.2 million. More details here.
New York Concert Promoter Receives Prison Sentence for Ticket Scam
- Joseph Meli, a promoter and ticket-broker who masterminded a Ponzi scheme that swindled investors out of $100 million and used some of the proceeds to buy a $3 million Hamptons mansion, was sentenced to 78 months in prison in Manhattan federal court last week. Meli allegedly convinced more than 100 investors that he had access to blocks of hard-to-get tickets for events ranging from shows like Hamilton to concerts of Adele and the Grateful Dead. But the deals were fake and he spent the proceeds on himself or to pay back other investors, officials said. He pleaded guilty last year. In addition to 6 1/2 years in prison, Manhattan U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood ordered forfeiture of $104 million, and is expected to require restitution to victims of around $58 million, the government said. More details here.
Broadway-Bound Moulin Rouge! The Musical Sets Cast
- Tony nominee Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Catch Me If You Can) and Tony winner Karen Olivo (West Side Story, In the Heights) are stepping into the shoes of Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman for the pre-Broadway run of Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Tveit will play Christian and Olivo will portray Satine in the highly anticipated stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 motion picture. The show’s out-of-town engagement will reopen Boston’s newly restored Emerson Colonial Theatre beginning on June 27 for a run through August 5. Tveit and Olivo, who led a 2017 workshop of the show, will be joined by a starry company that includes six-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein (Fiddler on the Roof, The Drowsy Chaperone) in the role of Harold Zidler. More details here.
Cast Set for Broadway’s Straight White Men
- Josh Charles, Kate Bornstein, and Ty Defoe will make their Broadway debuts in the Broadway premiere of Straight White Men, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. They join previously announced Armie Hammer and Tom Skerritt in the cast. The Second Stage Theater production will begin previews at the Helen Hayes Theater on June 29, with opening night set for July 23. The production will also mark Hammer’s Broadway debut. Skerritt made his Broadway debut in the 2013 production of A Time to Kill. With Straight White Men, playwright Young Jean Lee will become the first Asian-American female playwright to be produced on Broadway. The play is the sophomore production of Second Stage’s inaugural Broadway season in its new permanent home, the Hayes Theater, following Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero. More details here.