Nice, big, fat shout-out to Paper Mill Playhouse Saturday night during the Channel 13 screening of the 1951 version of “Show Boat” as part of its weekly Reel 13 classic movie feature.
At the end of “Show Boat” Prof. Richard Peña, currently the director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, talked about all the changes made to musical over the years including downplaying the African-American characters, changing offensive lyrics, eliminating songs.
He noted that a live performance by the Paper Mill Playhouse was videotaped for television and shown on Great Performances on PBS contains more of the songs (and fewer cuts) than any of the film versions. It also restored not only the original book of the 1927 Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein but other songs and dance numbers thrown away over the years, he said.
“Let’s just cut to the chase. Nat Zegree practically steals the show at Paper Mill Playhouse playing the brash — let’s make that audacious — Jerry Lee Lewis in “Million Dollar Quartet.” He ought to know what he’s doing by now as it’s the fifth time he’s played that part in the many productions of this jukebox musical about an unplanned event some say is a seminal moment in rock ‘n’ roll history.
The 2 1/2 musical features more than 20 classic hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Memories Are Made of This,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog,” “(Ghost Riders in the Sky” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”
Give a playhouse the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2016 and watch it turn its 2017-2018 season into one featuring two world premieres — which have all the earmarks of potential Broadway transfers — and two East Coast premieres.
Paper Mill Playhouse has launched its 2016-17 season with “The Producers” and will follow it with the U.S. premiere of “The Bodyguard.”
First, a hit Broadway musical winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and ran for six years. (“Hamilton” had the most Tony Award nominations-16.)
Second, a musical based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 movie that first was staged in London (2012-14), launches its national tour in Millburn (Nov. 25 to Jan. 1) starring Grammy Award-nominated R&B singer Deborah Cox and, one assumes, eventually will make its way to Broadway.
Paper Mill Playhouse starts its season next week with “The Producers” (Sept. 28, opening night Oct. 2). If you missed the original that ran for 2,502 Broadway performances, got a record 12 Tony Awards nominations, and became a 2005 film … don’t let that stop you seeing it again at this theater that keeps sending shows to Broadway. (Look for “A Bronx Tale” at the Longacre Theatre in November.)
“It’s a thrill to revisit this hilarious show as a director, having played the part of Leo on tour and on Broadway,” commented director Don Stephenson. “To build ‘The Producers’ at Paper Mill Playhouse is ideal. The facilities and the support that artists receive make for an enjoyable and seamless creative process.”
From left, Ilda Mason (Estella), Lauren Csete (Consuelo), Natalie Cortez (Anita), Lisa Finegold (Francisca) and Alexia Sky (Teresita) in “West Side Story” at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
A scene from the dance in the gym in “West Side Story” at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
The Jets and the Sharks in “West Side Story at “West Side Story” at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Matt Doyle (Tony) and Belinda Allyn (Maria) in the bridal shop of “West Side Story.” Photo by Jerry Dalia
From left, Danny Bevins (Pepe), German Alexander (Bernardo) and Dean Andre de Luna (Chino) in “West Side Story” at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Jerry Dalia.
Matt Doyle (Tony) and Belinda Allyn (Maria). Photo by Jerry Dalia
Mikey Winslow (Riff), center, and the Jets in “West Side Story” at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Jerry Dalia
Matt Doyle as Tony (center) and the company of “West Side Story” West Side Story at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The only thing wrong with “West Side Story” at Paper Mill Playhouse is that it ends on June 26. It’s the first time its been done here in 25 years so grab it while you can.
Helmed by Producing Artistic Director Mark Hoebee, the timing couldn’t be better for the theater (just finishing its 78 season) that recently was awarded the Regional Theatre Tony award. It also sent both “Newsies” and “Honeymoon in Vegas” to Broadway and will host the American premiere of “Bodyguard” next season. It’s firing on all cylinders with no end in sight.
“West Side Story,” now in previews at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ, opens on Sunday and even before the reviews are in, it is almost sold out, according to its website.
And why not? It’s a professional production at a theater that not only will receive the 2016 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre on June 12, it has produced five world premieres in the past five years — two this season alone.
Paper Mill Playhouse, which in the past few years has sent several shows to Broadway including “A Bronx Tale” and “The Bandstand”planned for next season, has won the 2016 Best Regional Theatre Tony Award , it was announced today.
Paper Mill Playhouse today announced its 2016-2017 season which will include four musicals, one play and will host the American premiere of “The Bodyguard” (based on the 1992 movie) starring Grammy Award nominee and R&B singer Deborah Cox.
The production launches the national tour of the musical that had its world premiere in London’s West End where it was nominated for four Olivier Awards including best new musical. It won best new musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.
“Paper Mill Playhouse continues its legacy of bringing the finest musical theater to the audiences of New Jersey and beyond,” said the Millburn theater’s Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebeke. “We are excited to launch the US premiere musical and national tour of “The Bodyguard”… Each time Paper Mill Playhouse has produced a show that has a life beyond our theater, it brings great pride to the people of our state. Paper Mill Playhouse is a leading exporter of art in New Jersey, and we are ecstatic to continue that tradition.” Continue reading Paper Mill Playhouse 2016-17 season includes U.S. premiere of ‘Bodyguard’→
NOTICE: EXTRA PERFORMANCE ADDED MARCH 1 BY POPULAR DEMAND. TO RESERVE TKTS CLICK HERE.
Team directed by Robert DeNiro and Jerry Zaks (4 Tony Awards for Best Director, just for starters), book by Chazz Palminteri (the show is based on his one-man show turned into a 1993 crime drama film), music by Alan Menken (listing his credits would take the rest of this blog, but let’s just say 8 Oscars, 11 Grammys, lots of your kids’ favorite Disney movies and my current TV favorite “Galavant” as well as “Newsies” at Paper Mill), and lyrics by Glenn Slater (“Tangled,” “School of Rock,” “Sister Act,” “Little Mermaid”).