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Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' Starring Tom Hardy to Be Made Into a Broadway Musical

Hardy

The upcoming biopic Rocketman starring Tom Hardy as Elton John will eventually be turned into a musical for Broadway and London's West End, Broadway.com reports:

The project, currently titled Rocketman the Musical, will feature the classic rock legend’s canon and has Tony-winning Billy Elliot book writer Lee Hall on board.

Initial casting and a detailed timeline for the project have not yet been revealed. Old Vic Theatre Chief Executive Sally Greene said to The Sun that the forthcoming biopic of the same name is the priority, and the stage project will follow.

The Daily Mail adds:

A spokesman for the star this morning said the project was 'way, way off' but said 'lots of exciting things' were to in the works. 

It comes after Hollywood heartthrob Tom Hardy told of his nerves at undertaking the central role in a film about the singer's life.

The 36-year-old actor admitted he finds singing difficult, telling the newspaper: 'I'm not really a singer. I have no idea really.' 


'Rent' Star Taye Diggs to Replace Darren Criss as Hedwig on Broadway

Diggs

Taye Diggs, best known for his role as Rent's Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III, is next in line to fill Hedwig's heels on Broadway.    

Diggs will take over the role from Darren Criss, who ends his run July 19. 

Broadway.com adds:

Hedwig will mark Diggs’ return to Broadway after nearly 12 years, when he briefly played the role of Fiyero in Wicked opposite his wife at the time Idina Menzel (the two separated in 2013). He has appeared in Rent and Chicago (he also appeared in the screen adaptations of both), as well as Carousel and off-Broadway’s The Wild Party. His screen credits include Private PracticeHow Stella Got Her Groove BackThe Best Man and Brown Sugar. He is currently in production for the second season of Steven Bochco’s crime dramaMurder in the First.


Theatre News: ‘The King and I,’ ‘Curious Incident,’ Second Stage on Broadway, Ed Harris at The New Group and More

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> Lincoln Center Theatre’s acclaimed revival of The King and I will play an open-ended run at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, the company announced last week. In addition, a national tour is slated to kick off in November 2016 from Providence, R.I. The production was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, as well as nods for performances from Kelli O’Hara, Ken Wantanabe, and Ruthie Ann Miles.

Curious2> Simon Stephen’s hit play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the novel by Mark Haddon, will launch a national tour in October 2016, producers Stuart Thompson and Tim Levy announced last week. Originally produced at London’s National Theatre, the Broadway run has been nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Play and a nod for its young star Alex Sharp.

> Second Stage Theatre has completed its purchase of Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre, where the company plans to exclusively present new works by living American playwrights. The deal, which has been in the works for several years, makes Second Stage the fourth not-for-profit theatre company with its own Broadway venue. Renovations are set to begin in 2016, with the first productions expected for the 2017-18 season. Meanwhile, the company announced two productions for its Off-Broadway season in 2016: Invisible Thread, a new musical by Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews that explores the challenges faced by American aid workers in Africa, directed by Diane Paulus (Finding Neverland), and Smart People, a new play by Lydia R. Diamond to be directed by Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun).

Ed-Harris> Oscar nominees Ed Harris and Amy Madigan will star in Sam Shepard’s Buried Child Off Broadway as part of The New Group’s 2015-16 season, the company announced this week. The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the dissolving of the American dream will return for its first major New York production in 20 years under the direction of artistic director Scott Elliott. The company’s season will also include a production helmed by Cynthia Nixon of playwright Mark Gerrard’s Steve, and Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley, also directed by Elliott.

> The Broadway engagement of Doctor Zhivago became the quickest flop of the season this week, closing at the Broadway Theatre on Sunday, May 10 after just over three weeks of regular performances. Based on the novel by Boris Pasternak (also the basis for the 1965 film), with book by Michael Weller, music by Lucy Simon (The Secret Garden), and lyrics by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and Amy Powers, the musical was largely dismissed by critics and struggled at the box office, particularly as it was passed over by the Tony nominations announced just a week after it opened.


Anne Hathaway Stars in Military Drama ‘Grounded’ Off Broadway: REVIEW

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BY NAVEEN KUMAR

The propelling force that drives Grounded, a solo play by George Brant that opened Off Broadway Sunday night at the Public Theatre, feels like strapping into the cockpit with its fighter pilot protagonist. Fueling every minute of its momentum, Anne Hathaway delivers a fearless and wholly captivating performance as a military aviator who both destroys lives and creates a new one over the course of the play’s 70 minutes. Under the direction of Julie Taymor, the thrilling yet intimate production navigates psychological twists and turns in the pilot’s mind with the audience sitting shotgun. 

Grounded0127rRThe story begins “up in the blue,” a vast, whizzing-by sky, where we learn the pilot feels most alive and herself. Her course veers quickly, though, when she unexpectedly gets pregnant after meeting a guy at a bar while on leave. The condition is enough to get her grounded for medical reasons, and her relationship to her beloved bird’s-eye-view is forever changed — both because she winds up starting a family with the father, and because when she does return to service, her new driver’s seat is on the ground, controlling a drone from behind a desk (in the “chair force,” as she calls it).

Grounded511rRThe transition isn’t easy. Instead of barreling through the sky solo, she works her shift in an around-the-clock war from a Nevada base, and lives nearby with her husband and daughter. While it may seem like a welcome solution to the typical scenario of going off to battle (and away from family and into harm’s way), returning home each night feels like coming home from the war over and over; this is not the sort of work that’s easily left behind at the office. Motherhood doesn’t affect her devotion to military service, but the intertwining of her civilian life with remote combat creates a whirlwind in her psyche — ultimately racking her own understanding of life and death.

If this sounds like a lot of story for one person to tell, it is — and Hathaway does it with tireless gusto and remarkable richness of feeling, maneuvering sharp turns of emotion with ease and baffling precision. Though she plays only one character, she’s also responsible for conjuring up the others who impact the pilot’s life, including her family and fellow servicemen (she is the sole female officer in the story). She does all of this while maintaining the pilot’s point of view, so her exchanges with others are always an opportunity to shed further light on her own character.

Grounded578rRTaymor’s stunning visual work is refreshingly pared down from her typical scale (blink away your memories of the scandal-plagued behemoth Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark). The director’s distinctive imagination creates a vivid world of the mind with striking moments of subtle stage magic, while her physical staging nimbly steers Hathaway through the story’s many psychological ringers. Her hand is also evident in the engrossing design elements, including a floor of desert sand and haunting projections. This immersive quality helps drive the play’s disarming point closer to home, that violence out of sight should not and cannot be out of mind — as this production won’t soon be out of many.

Recent theatre features... 
‘Fun Home’ and ‘An American in Paris’ Top 2015 Tony Award Nominations: ANALYSIS
Chita Rivera Stars in New Musical ‘The Visit’ on Broadway: REVIEW
New Musical ‘Something Rotten!’ Brings Shakespeare and Sex Puns to Broadway: REVIEW
Alison Bechdel’s Graphic Novel Comes to Broadway in New Musical ‘Fun Home’: REVIEW
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe Open In Lavish Broadway Revival of ‘The King and I’: REVIEW
Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer Open in ‘Finding Neverland’ on Broadway: REVIEW
Ballet Meets Broadway in Dazzling New Musical ‘An American in Paris’: REVIEW
'90s Political Sex Farce 'Clinton the Musical' Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Possessed Puppet Comedy 'Hand to God' Opens on Broadway: REVIEW
Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy Open in ‘Skylight’ on Broadway: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: joan marcus) 


‘Fun Home’ and ‘An American in Paris’ Top 2015 Tony Award Nominations: ANALYSIS

American in paris 1

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Nominations for the 69th annual Tony Awards were announced this morning, with new musicals Fun Home and An American in Paris racking up top honors at 12 nominations each. Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth were also revealed as the hosts of this year’s ceremony, which will broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Musical Hall on Sunday, June 7.

Read the full list of nominations HERE.

Click on the links below for reviews of the shows on Towleroad.

Fun_Home_0088_-_Sydney_Lucas__Beth_Malone__Emily_Skeggs_Photo_Credit_Joan_MarcusFun Home, the intimate family drama a lesbian coming of age, based on Alison Bechdel’s acclaimed graphic novel, racked up nominations for five of its leading players as well as for its original score, script, direction and design. The comparatively sprawling An American in Paris, a ballet-driven musical from Christopher Wheeldon based on the Cary Grant film, earned nominations for four of its leads as well as its script, design, and more. Something Rotten! was close on their heels with 10 nominations, and Chita Rivera vehicle The Visit, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s final musical, rounds out the race for best musical.

SKYLIGHT_1_4433-V1-RGBWhile American scribes dominated the musical categories, including Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, which racked up nine nominations including Best Revival of a Musical, British imports rose to the top of the pack in play categories, including Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, the two-part Tudor drama based on Hillary Mantel’s hit novels, which lead with eight nominations, the most for any play. The revival of Skylight received seven nods for its all-British creative team, including playwright David Hare, director Stephen Daldry, and stars Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy. Another West End import, Simon Stephens’ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was close behind with six nominations, including Best New Play and a leading actor nom for newcomer Alex Sharp. British stars Ruth Wilson (Constellations) and Helen Mirren (The Audience) were tapped for the leading actress category from otherwise little-recognized productions, as was Elisabeth Moss for The Heidi Chronicles, which is closing Sunday due to middling sales.

HAND_TO_GOD_on_Broadway3Robert Askin’s Hand to God was the most praised American play, receiving nominations for Best New Play and a leading actor nom for a virtuosic Steven Boyer, as well as Geneva Carr and Sarah Stiles. Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced rounded out the best play category, earning just a single nomination. Revivals of The Elephant Man, which received nods for its stars Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola, and You Can’t Take It With You, which received five nominations (including for Scott Ellis, who directed both), will compete with Skylight and This Is Our Youth for Best Revival of a Play.

FindingNeverlandcCarolRoseggThe season’s biggest grossing hits were the most conspicuous snubs, including Larry David’s Fish in the Dark and Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play (which received a sole supporting actor nom and none for its marquee stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick). The River, whose playwright Jez Butterworth and star Hugh Jackman have been Tony favorites in previous seasons, was completely shut out, as was a high-profile revival of Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance, starring Glenn Close and John Lithgow, which steadily declined in sales over the course of its limited run.

New musical Finding Neverland, which grossed over $1 million last week and has already announced a national tour despite opening to poor reviews, was likewise completely passed over. On the other hand, The Last Ship, which struggled to find an audience and closed after just a few months, pulled through a nomination for best score, by theatrical newbie Sting.

Recent theatre REVIEWS... 
Chita Rivera Stars in New Musical ‘The Visit’ on Broadway: REVIEW
New Musical ‘Something Rotten!’ Brings Shakespeare and Sex Puns to Broadway: REVIEW
Alison Bechdel’s Graphic Novel Comes to Broadway in New Musical ‘Fun Home’: REVIEW
Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe Open In Lavish Broadway Revival of ‘The King and I’: REVIEW
Matthew Morrison and Kelsey Grammer Open in ‘Finding Neverland’ on Broadway: REVIEW
Ballet Meets Broadway in Dazzling New Musical ‘An American in Paris’: REVIEW
'90s Political Sex Farce 'Clinton the Musical' Opens Off Broadway: REVIEW
Possessed Puppet Comedy 'Hand to God' Opens on Broadway: REVIEW
Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy Open in ‘Skylight’ on Broadway: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: angela sterling, joan marcus, john hayned, carol rosegg)


2015 Tony Award Nominations Announced: FULL LIST

Funhome

Nominations for the 69th annual Tony Awards were announced this morning.

The gay-themed musical Fun Home and An American in Paris led the pack with 12 nominations each.

Our theater critic Naveen Kumar will have a post up later with analysis of the nominations.

Read the full list, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "2015 Tony Award Nominations Announced: FULL LIST" »


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