‘Trainspotting’ director Danny Boyle getting closer to movie musical

Danny Boyle directing the 2004 movie "Millions." (PHOTO: Encyclopedia Britannica)
Danny Boyle directing the 2004 movie “Millions.” (PHOTO: Encyclopedia Britannica)

The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye and BroadwayWorld.com are  reporting director Danny Boyle has signed on to direct an upcoming contemporary movie musical.

That’s right. A movie musical. Of course, if any good, it will be turned into a stage musical like  “An American in Paris,” “Newsies,” “Kinky Boots,” and click here for more.

Continue reading ‘Trainspotting’ director Danny Boyle getting closer to movie musical

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‘Wild Horses’ takes you on a journey to the crazy summer of 1972

Estelle Bajou in the National New Play Network world premiere roll out of "Wild Horses" by Allison Gregory. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)
Estelle Bajou in the National New Play Network world premiere roll out of “Wild Horses” by Allison Gregory. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

The Women with no name walks into a karaoke bar (a former Tastee-Freeze) in Anywhere, U.S.A. in 1996 packed with people who’ve been there for awhile.

She orders a drink, listens to the singers while observing  the crowd, and as it slowly thins out sits at a table and starts talking about the summer of 1972 when “A Horse with No Name” was rockin’ the charts and a local radio station was running a contest to name it.

Continue reading ‘Wild Horses’ takes you on a journey to the crazy summer of 1972

Michael S. Rosenberg leaves La Jolla Playhouse for McCarter Theatre

McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of nationally respected arts leader Michael S. Rosenberg as its managing director.
McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of nationally respected arts leader Michael S. Rosenberg as its managing director.

McCarter Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees have announced the appointment of Michael S. Rosenberg as managing director. A nationally respected arts leader, Rosenberg will work together with McCarter’s artistic director/resident playwright Emily Mann and special programming director William W. Lockwood in leading Princeton’s Tony Award- winning arts institution.

Currently, Rosenberg is the managing director at La Jolla Playhouse in California, will join McCarter Theatre Center this spring. Continue reading Michael S. Rosenberg leaves La Jolla Playhouse for McCarter Theatre

Paper Mill’s next season leads with new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical

Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJI’m wondering if the project Andrew Lloyd Webber alluded to but wouldn’t name on NBC’s Today show this morning is the world-premiere musical “Unmasked” that leads off the all-musicals 2018-2019 season of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.

Andrew Lloyd Webbers new book, "Unmasked" is being released March 7, 2018. (Harper)
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s memoir “Unmasked” to be released March 7, 2018. (Harper)

Based on his new autobiographical book of the same title being released tomorrow, it’s expected to be an intimate and sometimes unexpected interpretations of his best-loved songs, rediscovered gems and some new material specially written for this production. John Doyle directs. It runs Sept. 27-Oct. 28.

Continue reading Paper Mill’s next season leads with new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical

Harry Connick Jr signs to perform, co-write ‘Sting’ musical at Paper Mill

Harry Connick Jr. (PHOTO: Music Theatre International)
Harry Connick Jr. (PHOTO: Music Theatre International)

Harry Connick Jr. will play Paul Newman in the world-premiere musical production of “The Sting” at the Paper Mill Playhouse (March 29-April 29). Once again, this Tony Award-winning theater is  serving as an out-of-town launch pad for Broadway.

Since the 2004-’05 season, Paper Mill has staged the world premiere of nine productions. Four moved to the Great White Way: NewsiesHoneymoon in VegasThe Bandstand and A Bronx Tale.  These two , “Harold and Maude” and “A Wonderful Life”   did not.

The Bodyguard (2016) made its U.S. premiere here and is on a list of Upcoming and Announced Broadway Shows compiled by Playbill.com and last updated Feb. 12,

Besides “The Sting” (March 29-April 29, 2018), the current season began with the world premiere of “The Honeymooners”  (Sept. 28–Oct. 29). Currently running through Sunday is the East Coast premieres of both the hysterical comedy “The Outsider” (Jan. 24-Feb. 18) and the musical “Half Time,” formerly called “Gotta Dance,” (May 31-July 1, 2018).  Continue reading Harry Connick Jr signs to perform, co-write ‘Sting’ musical at Paper Mill

God’s mercy, a priest’s responsibility at center of new NJ Rep play

Ames Adamson (left) and Jared Michael Delaney in "The Calling," a world premiere by Joel Stone playing at New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Brand, NJ, through February 4, 2018. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)
Ames Adamson (left) and Jared Michael Delaney in “The Calling,” a world premiere by Joel Stone playing at New Jersey Repertory Company in Long Brand, NJ, through February 4, 2018. (PHOTO: SuzAnne Barabas)

Two men. One, an aging priest whose belief that God is merciful and Jesus is his savior, has never wavered. The other, a middle-aged lapsed Catholic who’s an ICU nurse ministering to very sick people, who agonizes over what kind of God let’s good souls suffer.

Both men are passionate about helping people. Both are deeply concerned about human life and death. Both come to drastically different conclusions about God’s purpose in all of this. And both believe he is right.

That’s the premise of Joel Stone’s interesting two-hander “The Calling,” receiving its world premiere through Feb. 4 at the New Jersey Repertory Company, 179 Broadway, Long Branch. Continue reading God’s mercy, a priest’s responsibility at center of new NJ Rep play

Comic book hero El Coqui stars in new Latino play at NJ’S Two River Theater

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El Coqui, a small nocturnal arboreal frog native to Puerto Rico with a  high-pitched call that was introduced into Hawaii and southern Florida, now has invaded New Jersey.

But in this case El Coquí is a human-sized Puerto Rican superhero who gets his power from a vejigante carnival mask in the world premiere play “El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom” at the Two River Theater in Red Bank now through Feb. 4.

Written by Matt Barbot and directed by Jose  Zayas, the play questions individual and national identity and explores what it means to be Latino or not Latino enough in contemporary America via the superhero/comic book genre. Continue reading Comic book hero El Coqui stars in new Latino play at NJ’S Two River Theater

Paper Mill Playhouse gets 8 NJ governors to agree

NJ Governors, past, present and future tell it like it is in new campaign ad: Chris Christie, Phil Murphy, Christie Todd Whitman, Jim McGreevey, Tom Kean, Jon Corzine, Don Difrancesco and Richard Codey

“The Outsider” is a timely comedy and send-up of modern American politics. In the midst of a political scandal, Ned Newley, the ultimate policy wonk, is unexpectedly thrust into the position of Governor.

A complete unknown, with no political instincts and a paralyzing fear of public speaking, Ned seems destined to fail. But his political consultants see things a little differently: Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office. Unless the public is looking for… the worst candidate to ever run for office! Continue reading Paper Mill Playhouse gets 8 NJ governors to agree

Two River Theater’s staging of ‘Earnest’ is absolutely delightful

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It’s always amazed me how insults delivered with an upper-class English accent don’t sound so harsh.

For instance, “I never saw anybody take so long to dress, and with such little result,” which appears in Act II of the laugh-a-minute  comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde.

Yes, Wilde was Irish, not English, and not upper class. As one of the best-known personalities of his day and one of the greatest wits of all time, his words held up a mirror to the rigid and, at times , severe class system of late Victorian England while writing one of the funniest plays ever. Continue reading Two River Theater’s staging of ‘Earnest’ is absolutely delightful

National Theatre Live features ‘Follies’ beginning tonight

From 2007–2010, Imelda Staunton struck terror into the hearts of the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter movie series in which she played Dolores Jane Umbridge.

Tonight you can catch her in select theaters around the country making people happy in Stephen Sondheim‘s “Follies”  as Sally Durant Plummer, a former dancer who meets up with a former friend and an old flame.  Nostalgia vs. aging.

From left, Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton and Zizi Strallen in "Follies" at the Olivier Awards.
From left, Janie Dee, Imelda Staunton and Zizi Strallen in “Follies” at the Olivier Awards.

The smash-hit National Theatre production is being broadcast live to international movie theaters  with repeat screenings during the coming weeks. To find a theater near you and more about the production, click here. 

Staunton, a theater icon in England and West End regular in plays and musicals, winning four Olivier Awards, three of which were for Best Actress in a Musical as the Baker’s Wife in “Into the Woods” (1991), Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd” (2013) and Mama Rose in “Gypsy” (2016). She also won Best Supporting Performance for both “A Chorus of Disapproval” (1985) and “The Corn is Green” (1985).

Read the Playbill review here.

Read Variety’s review here.

Read the Associated Press review here.

News and views of New Jersey's regional theaters, and bits about Broadway.

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