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Podcast Vol. 214 – August 14, 2008

WE'RE BACK AGAIN KIDS for another great podcast of Broadway Bullet.  We've got a lot of amazing shows on the show today ranging from Broadway to the Fringe Festival.  So why wait, let's get going...

We sit down with the boys of Bash'd! (the gay hip-hop opera), Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow.  We also get to hear the opening number from the show.  We also have the two lovely ladies of [title of show], Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff.  They bring along a couple of songs from the hit musical.  Patrick Huguenin, playwright of Paper Dolls, drops in to give up the dirt on his new production.  Mark Brown drops in to talk about his new musical comedy, China - the Whole Enchilada, and let us hear a couple of songs from the show as well.  And finally the back stage antics of Greek theatre come to life in Carter Anne McGowan's new show, The Grecian Way.

Also there are all your favorite news and notes form the callboard and the top of the trades.  Sadly we are sans Marty this week as well, but Ken Davenport does come by to help fill the space.

So, we have a lot to get covered, there's no time to waste, hop on board the Broadway Bullet for all destinations on and off Broadway!

ON THE BOARDS

Bash’d!

BASH’d! chronicles the tale of Jack and Dillon; two star-crossed lovers who must cope with the reality of hatred when one is brutally beaten. It is told entirely through rap, spoken word and poetry, turning the often-homophobic musical genre on its ear. Even though the topic is serious, the musical is high energy, irreverent, and provocative.

Lucky there is comfort in the arms of a new found friend.  Bash’d! is the celebration of what it is to be gay and triumph, it’s also the first gay hip-hop opera, so there you go.  We sit down and talk with the writers and performers of the show, Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow to find out where they got the idea and the journey they had to go on to get to where they are.  We also hear the opening number from the show in studio.

For more information please visit:  www.homohiphop.blogspot.com

UP CLOSE

[title of show]

IT IS THE LITTLE production that could and it’s still chugging it’s way through the great white way, we’re of course talking about [title of show].  We sit down and chat it up with the show’s two female leads, Sarah Blackwell and Heidi Blickstaff.  We discuss how one of them almost gave up the theatre biz to go corporate, and how one just happened to land into this gig.  Which is which, well you’ll just have to listen to find out.  We also hear tow songs from the production: “Secondary Characters” and “Way Back to Then”.

For more information please visit:  www.titleofshow.com

PRODUCER’S PERSPECTIVE

KEN DAVENPORT IS BACK with another installment of the Producer’s Perspective.  This week he talks about the merit or the lack thereof of placing a big name star into a new musical.

Find out more insights, visit www.theproducersperspective.com

ON THE BOARDS

Paper Dolls

CLAIRE CUNNINGHAM LOVES TO dish the dirt – until she gets dirty.  With her movie star brother, coniving assistant, and a mysterious stranger she is about to rock the New York tabloids.  In his NYC theatre debut, the man behind the Celebrity Scandal pages of Rush and Molly of the Daily News, Patrick Huguenin, brings the scndal to life.  What happens when the mighty gossip columnist falls under her own bus of scandal? We talk to Patrick about the prat falls of creating this play and about all the good dirt there is out there about all the people worth talking about.

For more information please visit:  www.paperdollstheplay.com 

THE CALLBOARD

CLAY AIKEN WILL RETURN to the scene of his triumphant Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT this Fall.  Clay’s debut on Broadway earlier this year was met with wild enthusiasm from both his legion of fans and the New York press.  He will reprise the role of  ‘Sir Robin ‘ at the Shubert Theatre from September 19 2008 – January 4 2009.  When he made his Broadway debut in SPAMALOT at the beginning of this year, Newsday said “Aiken is a charmer” and the Associated Press said that “Clay Aiken deftly handles supremely silly.”  Clay Aiken became a music superstar following his success on the “American Idol” television series, and has sold more than six million albums; co-authored a best-selling book; and, played six sold-out concert tours, said “Since leaving SPAMALOT in May, jokes have just not been funny. Food has lost its taste. The grass is no longer green — the sky no longer blue. And, babies WON’T stop crying!! I’m so excited about coming back to the funniest show in the world!”  This spring, Aiken released his fourth album, On My Way Here, his first album of original songs since his 2003 chart topping, double platinum debut Measure of a Man. On My Way Here’s debut in Billboard Magazine’s Top 5 continued his streak of all four of his albums having debuted in the Top 5.

SHREK THE MUSICAL IS currently preparing to begin previews at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre.  Brian d’Arcy James, recently seen on the New York stage in Next to Normal and The Apple Tree, plays the lovable green ogre in the new musical based on the William Steig book and the DreamWorks Animation film.  DreamWorks Theatricals co-produces with Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions Ltd. Jason Moore (Avenue Q) directs with choreography by Josh Prince.  Shrek bows at The 5th Avenue Theatre (Aug. 14-Sept. 21) before landing at the Broadway Theatre Nov. 8. David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) penned the lyrics and libretto; Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change) composed the music.  James is joined in the cast by Chester Gregory II (as Donkey), John Tartaglia (Pinocchio), Sutton Foster (Princess Fiona), Christopher Sieber (Lord Farquaad) and Kecia Lewis-Evans (Dragon).  The costume design is by Tony Award winner Tim Hatley; make-up design is by Naomi Donne; and prosthetic make-up design is by Michael Marino.

THE ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY will present a Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler — starring Tony Award winner Mary-Louise Parker — in January 2009 at the American Airlines Theatre.  Directed by Ian Rickson — who will also helm the upcoming Broadway revival of The Seagull — the limited engagement will feature an adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen classic penned by Christopher Shinn. Previews are scheduled to begin Jan. 6, 2009, with an official opening Jan. 25.  Additional cast members and the design team will be announced at a later date.  In Hedda Gabler, press notes state,”the newly-wed Hedda Tesman finds herself bored with married life to her scholar husband, George Tesman. As the daughter of General Gabler, she had grown accustomed to the freedom and exciting social world of her father’s home. When her rival, Mrs. Elvsted, reenters her life with Hedda’s former lover, Eilert Lovberg in tow, Hedda sets out on a shocking path of destruction that affects the lives of everyone around her.”  Mary-Louise Parker, last seen on the Broadway stage in the revival of Reckless, earned a Tony Award for her role in David Auburn’s Proof. She was most recently seen on the New York stage Off-Broadway in Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Playwrights Horizons. Other credits include Bus Stop, Communicating Doors, How I Learned to Drive, Four Dogs and a Bone, The Art of Success and The Age of Pie. Parker earned an Emmy Award for her role in the HBO adaptation of Angels in America and also appeared on “The West Wing.” Her award-winning series, “Weeds,” continues on the Showtime cable network. Parker’s film work includes “Saved!,” “Boys on the Side,” “Red Dragon,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and more.  Hedda Gabler has been presented on Broadway over a dozen times. The most recent revival — September 2001-January 2002 — at the Ambassador Theatre cast Kate Burton in the title role. Burton was Tony-nominated for her performance.
Complete casting has been announced for the national tour of the Tony-winning musical Spring Awakening, which begins a pre-tour engagement in San Diego Aug. 15.  As previously announced, Kyle Riabko and Blake Bashoff will head the cast in the roles of, respectively, Melchior and Moritz. The duo will be joined onstage by Christy Altomare as Wendla and Steffi D as Ilse.  The cast will also feature Krystina Alabado (Swing), Julie Benko (Ensemble), Todd Cerveris (Understudy Adult Men), Chase Davidson (Swing), Kate Fuglei (Understudy Adult Women), Gabrielle Garza (Anna), Kimiko Glenn (Thea), Sarah Hunt (Martha), Anthony Lee Medina (Otto), Andy Mientus (Hanschen), Ben Moss (Ernst), Angela Reed (Adult Women), Perry Sherman (Ensemble), Matt Shingledecker (Georg), Claire Sparks (Ensemble), Henry Stram (Adult Men) and Lucas A. Wells (Ensemble).  In a statement, the musical’s producers said, “As we embark on our first tour across the United States and Canada, we are thrilled to announce a cast of exceptionally gifted young actors. We are continually amazed and delighted at the breadth of their talent and are excited for audiences coast to coast to have the opportunity to experience such exhilarating performances.”  Spring Awakening will play a pre-tour engagement at San Diego’s Balboa Theatre Aug. 15-31 prior to moving to San Francisco’s Curran Theatre Sept. 4-Oct. 12, for the official tour launch.

ON THE BOARDS

China – The Whole Enchilada

IMAGINE THE LAST 5000 years of chinese history compacted into one single musical comedy.  What you have is one hell of a history lesson and the brain child of Mark Brown.  The idea for China The Whole Enchilada came to Brown as a tribute to his daughter, whom he had adopted form China, what happened is it spun off into a menagerie that is now playing at the 11th annual Fringe Festival.  We sit down with Mark to talk about parenthood, and about the hilarity of his new show.  We also hear two songs from the production:  “China The Whole Enchilada” and “The Gate of Heavenly Peace”.

For more information visit: www.chinathewholeenchilada.com 

ON THE BOARDS

The Grecian Formula

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED to know what goes on behind the scenes of Greek Theatre?  Well, if so, then The Grecian Formula is the show for you.  It’s like Plautus meets Noises Off and it’s sure to give you a pair of wet pants when you leave.  We sit down with the show’s playwright, Carter Anne McGowan, to talk about the research and preparation that went into the production as well as where the idea came from.

For more information please visit:  www.thegrecianformula.com

TOP OF THE TRADES

MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB WILL rename its Broadway house — currently the Biltmore Theatre — the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre Sept. 4.  The ceremony will begin with a 6 PM reception at the theatre, located at 261 West 47th Street, followed by a dedication at 7 PM.  Guests will be invited onto the street at 7:30 PM for the lighting of the theatre’s new marquee.  As previously announced, the theatre is being renamed to honor pioneering Broadway publicist Friedman. Among those in attendance will be publicists Shirley Herz and Bob Ullman, two of Friedman’s associates, who will also be honored with a lobby named for them.  The first production to grace the newly named Samuel J. Friedman Theatre will be MTC’s production of To Be or Not To Be, which begins previews Sept. 11 and opens Oct. 2.

MATT CAVENAUGH, MOST RECENTLY seen on Broadway in the Harvey Fierstein-John Bucchino musical A Catered Affair, will likely be headed back to The Great White Way in 2009.  Variety reports that the singing actor has been offered the lead role of Tony in the forthcoming revival of West Side Story that will be directed by its librettist, Arthur Laurents. Producers of the musical would not confirm the casting to the industry paper.  Cavenaugh made his Broadway debut in 2003, starring in Urban Cowboy, and was subsequently seen Off-Broadway and on in the acclaimed musical Grey Gardens.  As previously announced, the new Broadway production of the landmark musical West Side Story will begin previews Feb. 23, 2009, at a Nederlander theatre to be announced. The revival — produced by Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander and Jeffrey Seller — will officially open on Broadway March 19, 2009.

THE PUBLIC THEATRE (ARTISTIC Director Oskar Eustis; Executive Director Mara Manus) announced complete casting for the New York premiere of ROAD SHOW, a new musical featuring music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, and direction and scenic design by John Doyle.  Road Show was originally titled Bounce. The cast of 15 will feature Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani as the two Mizner brothers. ROAD SHOW will begin previews on Tuesday, October 28 and run through Sunday, December 28 with an official press opening on Tuesday, November 18.  Tickets go on-sale to the general public on Sunday, October 12 but Public Theater memberships are available now.  “Over the last three years, John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim have done transformative work on the project we have now re-titled Road Show,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis.  “John Doyle has assembled an extraordinary team of actor/singers, and I am confident that the result will be a revelation.”  Spanning 40 years from the Alaskan Gold Rush to the Florida real estate boom in the ‘30s, ROAD SHOW is the story of two brothers whose quest for the American dream turns into a test of morality and judgment that changes their lives in unexpected ways.  The cast of ROAD SHOW features Michael Cerveris (John Doyle’s Sweeney Todd on Broadway) as Wilson Mizner; Alma Cuervo (Wicked National Tour) as Mama; Aisha de Haas (Caroline, or Change on Broadway) in the Ensemble; Claybourne Elder (White Widow at Times Square Art Center) as Hollis; Colleen Fitzpatrick (Mother Courage and Her Children at Shakespeare in the Park) in the Ensemble; Alexander Gemignani (John Doyle’s Sweeney Todd on Broadway) as Addison Mizner; Mylinda Hull (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Broadway) in the Ensemble; Mel Johnson, Jr. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) in the Ensemble; Orville Mendoza (Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare in the Park) in the Ensemble; Anne L. Nathan (Sunday in the Park With George on Broadway) in the Ensemble; Tom Nelis (Iphigenia 2.0 at Signature) in the Ensemble; William Parry (Passion on Broadway) as Papa; Matt Stocke (The Wedding Singer on Broadway) in the Ensemble; William Youmans (The Farnsworth Invention on Broadway) in the Ensemble; and Kristine Zbornik (A Catered Affair on Broadway) in the Ensemble.

 

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