The Elephant Man Mark your calendars! Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, starring Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Bradley Cooper, has finally set Great White Way dates. The Tony-winning drama, directed by Scott Ellis, will begin performances at the Booth Theatre on October 18 and officially open on November 13. Joining the previously announced Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola in the cast are Anthony Heald as Ross/Bishop Walsham How, Scott Lowell as Snork/Pinhead Manager/Lord John, Kathryn Meisle as Miss Sandwich/Princess and Henry Stram as Carr Gomm/Conductor. The Elephant Man will play a limited engagement through January 18, 2015. The Elephant Man revolves around the real-life John Merrick, a severely disfigured 19th-century Englishman who struggles to live with dignity. The play premiered on Broadway in 1979 and won three Tony Awards, including Best Play. It was revived in 2002 with Billy Crudup in the lead role. View Comments Cooper, Clarkson, Nivola, Lowell and Stram appeared together in the 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of the play, also under the direction of Ellis. A Cooper-led revival was originally on the table for a fall 2013 run. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 21, 2015
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What does that mean in practice? It means that my performance depends on my mood and on how I’m feeling. Sometimes he’s a more aggressive Phantom and sometimes more melancholic—and sometimes I cry like a baby! I have to ask about your fabulous name: it sounds like something out of an adventure movie. [Laughs] It’s real, I can tell you that, and not made up! When I was a kid I hated it because it was so strange and unique and I didn’t want to be unique. No kid does. But now I love it. It’s very theatrical. Would you like to play Broadway? Absolutely, though I am the first to realize that I am a bit limited there and in London because of my accent, so I cannot dream high. I would need to find someone who could ignore the fact that I’m not fully British or American but I hope that happens because I would really love to create a role or do a revival that I start. What about Hal Prince’s time with you was especially helpful? He really helped me understand the Phantom’s movements, which themselves are so iconic. Before I met him, I found myself not being sure why I was doing this or that movement, but of course [Prince] has a reason for everything that’s on that stage—which in turn frees you up as a performer so that you’re not just copying someone or doing something you’ve been asked to do. You now seem pretty settled in London. I am! My wife had a business in Spain, where she is from and where we met doing Jesus Christ Superstar, but now we have fully moved to the U.K. and our son, Gael, was born here. He’s now two. What else did you see on that trip? Oh, all my favorite musicals: Les Miserables and Jekyll and Hyde, which I would love to do, and Miss Saigon, Rent, Contact, the original Aida with Heather Headley—that was incredible. They have certain themes in common. They share one topic, which is love. The Phantom of the Opera is, of course, a love story about a person who’s rejected and how Christine makes him who he is, and Les Miserables is all about love and redemption. Love is what makes Jean Valjean change his life. You’ve only been resident in London a few years and already you have played two of the defining roles in musical theater. It still amazes me when I look at the journey I have been through. I came here to do Les Miz and ideally they wanted me to stay another year as Jean Valjean, but I was interested in auditioning for the Phantom. Thank God they gave me the chance. I’ve got the best job in the world! Jean Valjean is a far larger role, though, in terms of actual stage time. Valjean is just incredible and you need to be completely trained and prepared; the role challenges you in every way. But with the Phantom, I feel as though I never stop even though I may not be on stage. Waiting for my appearance or getting ready to go on is a lot of work and you need to be in the zone, so it’s not like you can be backstage hiding or reading the newspaper [laughs]. The last half hour of the Phantom is like doing three of Jean Valjean’s “Soliloquy.” It’s exhausting and demands all your attention. Do the two r make similar demands on you as a performer, or do they feel quite different? They’re completely different. I can speak mainly about my characters but the challenges are completely opposite: Valjean reflects more of my own personality, even as far as the vocal range and how it’s written, whereas the Phantom is a total challenge because I’m playing a murderer, so I’ve got to go to that place every night. There seem to be quite a few prime musical opportunities for Latino performers from whatever their background—one thinks of Nine and Kiss of the Spider Woman, just for starters. Yes, I could do those. And the funny thing is that I visited New York before I ever came to London. My first and only trip to New York was in 2000 when I was 21 or 22 and it was there that I first saw the legendary Phantom of the Opera, though I couldn’t imagine myself playing the Phantom at that point—just maybe Raoul. View Comments Geronimo Rauch not only has one of the best names on the West End, but the Argentinian actor has also had two of the best jobs. He first played Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theatre before shifting British mega-musicals to take on the equally iconic part of the lovesick anti-hero of the title in The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, where he is signed through August 2015. Broadway.com caught up with the charming recruit to the ranks of London leading men to talk musical mainstays, wearing a mask and his dream of originating a major role one day. When you exit the stage door at Phantom, do people sometimes not recognize you without your mask? Yes, that happens many times! I say to them, “Hello, I was the Phantom; did you enjoy the show?” In fact, it feels like a complete freedom for me to play a part where you don’t see yourself reflected back at you because it means you can do anything you want. Is it frustrating coming into long-running shows and perhaps not encountering the original creative team? Except that I have! I had the privilege on Les Miz to work with [co-director] John Caird, and we had [Phantom director] Hal Prince over for the tech run, which was just amazing.
Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 7, 2013 The world premiere of Sharyn Rothstein’s By the Water begins performances at New York City Center—Stage II on November 4. The play, which is part of the Manhattan Theatre Club and Ars Nova’s commissioning partnership, The Writer’s Room, is directed by Hal Brooks. The limited engagement will open officially on November 18 and run through December 7. View Comments The cast includes Cassie Beck, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Charlotte Maier, Deirdre O’Connell, Tom Pelphrey, Ethan Phillips and Vyto Ruginis. Related Shows By the Water takes place after Hurricane Sandy has ravaged the lifelong home of Marty and Mary Murphy. The storm has ripped apart more than just the walls: with their neighbors too devastated to stay, the couple’s beloved Staten Island community is in danger of disappearing forever. Determined to rebuild, Marty wages a campaign to save his neighborhood and his home, but when the Murphys’ sons arrive to help their parents dig out, past betrayals come rushing to the surface. By the Water
Melissa Rivers Sues Clinic Over Joan Rivers’ Death Switching gears to an update on one of last year’s saddest stories. Melissa Rivers is suing the Manhattan clinic where her mom Joan Rivers stopped breathing during an operation on her vocal cords. The comedy icon, Tony nominee and Broadway cheerleader died aged 81 a week later. Rolling Stone reports that the lawsuit claims that the clinic ignored advice from an anesthesiologist, performed unauthorized medical procedures and even took selfies. “Not only did my mother deserve better, every patient deserves better,” said Melissa Rivers in a statement. The Legend’s Back! See Chita Rivera’s The Visit Poster We previously brought you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Tony-winning legend Chita Rivera, Roger Rees and the stars of The Visit shooting photos for the new production, and now you can check out the finished poster below! Directed by John Doyle, John Kander and Fred Ebb’s tuner will begin performances at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre on March 26 and officially open on April 23. Good to see you back home on the Great White Way, Ms. Rivera! Critics’ Circle Awards Opens Up Oliviers Race Well this means the race for the Oliviers (the U.K.’s version of the Tonys) is now wide-open. The Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2014 were hosted in London on January 27 and completely different winners emerged compared to the Evening Standard Awards late last year. Honorees included the Broadway-aimed Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III for Best New Play and Gypsy for Best Musical. The buzzed-about A View from the Bridge garnered Best Actor for Mark Strong and Best Director for Ivo van Hove. Meanwhile, Helen McCrory and Antony Sher won for Best Actress for Medea and Best Shakespearean Performance for Henry IV Parts I & II, respectively. Congratulations to the winners! Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Nick Jonas Set for Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens After years of boy band fame, he’s already used to screaming girls, so maybe this gig will prove an easy one to master!? Former How to Succeed headliner Nick Jonas will join previously announced fellow Broadway alums Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and Keke Palmer in Scream Queens. According to E! Online, there’s no word yet on who Jonas is playing, but the first season will be set in a sorority house at a college where a number of murders have taken place. Ryan Murphy’s upcoming horror comedy anthology will also star Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. View Comments
Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 6, 2015 View Comments A new Miss Turnstiles has crowds turning to On the Town. American Ballet Theatre prima ballerina Misty Copeland began performances as Ivy Smith in the Broadway revival on August 25, and in her first week at the Lyric Theatre, the show rose to 79.7% capacity in the colossal Lyric Theatre and grossed $914,434—more than $500,000 more than the previous week. These numbers will allow the dance tuner to end on a high note; the production is set to close on September 6. Elsewhere, most shows took a light dip in revenue, with usual suspects The Lion King, Aladdin, Hamilton, Wicked and The Book of Mormon securing the top five spots by gross. Meanwhile, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is approaching its third fall season at the Walter Kerr Theatre, and its numbers may need to climb to stay put. The musical celebrated its 2014 Tony win with a sizable box office boost, but has taken in around 50% of its potential in recent weeks.Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending August 30:FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)1. The Lion King ($1,835,217)2. Aladdin ($1,582,804)3. Hamilton ($1,548,928)4. Wicked ($1,492,152)5. The Book of Mormon ($1,420,003)UNDERDOGS (By Gross)5. Chicago ($508,839)4. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder ($475,706)3. Hedwig and the Angry Inch ($394,709)*2. Amazing Grace ($286,912)1. Hand to God ($245,469)FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity)1. The Book of Mormon (101.72%)2. Hamilton (101.34%)3. Mamma Mia! (99.50%)4. Fun Home (98.97%)5. Aladdin (97.62%)UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)5. The Phantom of the Opera (72.24%)4. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (72.17%)*3. Jersey Boys (61.09%)2. Hand to God (58.65%)1. Amazing Grace (51.99%)* Number based on seven regular performancesSource: The Broadway League On the Town
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Cheno to Voice a Dog & Sing With A PigAfter voicing a gecko and a dart frog, she’s ready to channel her inner canine. Kristin Chenoweth will provide the voice of Fifi, Snoopy’s love interest, in the upcoming The Peanuts Movie. “I’ll always remember my history with the family and Peanuts,” Chenoweth told USA Today, referring to her Tony-winning turn in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. “It seemed like the right and most natural thing to do.” But before then, you can see her on the small screen in the November 3 episode of The Muppets, in which she duets on a familiar show tune with Miss Piggy herself. Catch a sneak peek below! Star Files Kristin Chenoweth Clinton the Musical Gets a RecordingClinton’s not going away anytime soon. And yes, we’re obviously talking about Clinton The Musical. The off-Broadway tuner, which concluded its run at New World Stages earlier this summer, will release a cast recording. The Ghostlight Records album, featuring Kerry Butler, Tom Galantich, Duke Lafoon, Judy Gold and more, will be available digitally on October 30 and in stores on November 20. We can’t make any promises, but if you mute the Democratic debates while playing the record, they’ll probably sync up perfectly.Dick Van Dyke Sounds Off on New Mary PoppinsDon’t expect Dick Van Dyke to tap with penguins or (attempt to) speak with a cockney accent again. During his visit on The Talk, the stage and screen icon revealed that he’s “pleased” with the prospect of a new Mary Poppins film with Rob Marshall at the helm, but of course, it won’t be the same. “Walt was the guiding spirit over the whole thing,” he noted of the original, before affirming he’s not expecting to reprise his performance any time soon: “Tell them Bert’s dead!” No word yet on casting for the new movie, which will feature songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. View Comments
View Comments Hamilton Related Shows from $149.00 And you call yourself a Hamilfan? Step aside for Rosie O’Donnell and James Corden. When O’Donnell, who’s hosted the Tony Awards thrice previously, visited Corden on The Late Late Show, she had some advice for this year’s emcee: practice saying “And the Tony goes to Hamilton.” This led to her admitting she’s seen the Lin-Manuel Miranda masterpiece literally a dozen times, likening it to a religious experience, and rapping a good bit of the opening number with Corden. Color us impressed! We now have two people to add to our “King George dream casting” list. Take a look at the clip below, and someone please send poor Nikki Glaser the Hamilton cast recording pronto. James Corden & Rosie O’Donnell
Jere Shea (Photo by Caitlin McNaney/Broadway.com) View Comments Any musical theater fan who knows their Broadway history before, say, Wicked remembers Jere Shea. Ah yes, Jere Shea. That strapping actor who landed a 1994 Tony nomination for creating the role of Giorgio in the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Passion, the hunk of a hero who got Marin Mazzie’s Clara naked in bed……and Donna Murphy’s Fosca to actually look up from her damn books.Sure, the memories (and the gifs) live on. Even better, the original cast recording, the PBS airing and the Tony Awards performance, live on. But after Passion’s too brief run of nine months, Shea hasn’t been seen on Broadway. At all. In fact, on February 21 and 22, Shea will step on his first New York stage in 18 years. And three cheers, musical fans, because he’ll be singing!Now 50, Shea has signed on for Stafford Arima’s staging of the hit 1991 musical The Secret Garden for Manhattan Concert Productions, which features an embarrassment of riches in its cast list alone, including Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables) as Archibald Craven, Sierra Boggess (School of Rock) as Lily, Sydney Lucas (Fun Home) as Mary Lennox, Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu) as Neville, Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hanson) as Dickon and grown-up original child star Daisy Eagan as Martha. Shea is playing groundskeeper Ben Weatherstaff, a joyful casting surprise that led us to wonder, where the heck have you been, Jere?“They wanted to bring back either Abe Vigoda or me, but unfortunately he passed away so…,” Shea cracked to Broadway.com. “Actually, it’s been a long time coming for me. Over the years, I’ve kept in touch with some industry folks who were very supportive with the idea of me coming back and now here I am.”Turns out Shea, who also appeared on Broadway as a Sky Masterson understudy in 1992’s Guys and Dolls, traded fame for family in 1998, when he left his role in the Broadway-bound musical High Society and packed up his wife Elaine and two children and settled near relatives in the suburbs of Boston, MA.“The more work and success I got in the business, the less I saw my family,” he remembered. “I wanted to be around my kids. But now they’re 21 years old and I get to go off and focus on what I love to do again.” After various jobs over the past two decades including a run as Deputy Chief of Staff for Massachusetts Governor Paul Bellucci, a fundraising gig for the Worcester Art Museum and freelance coaching for actors and public speakers, Shea is dusting off his headshot and resume and dipping his toes back into performing.The Secret Garden is proving to be a magical re-entry into the Broadway world that he knows and loves. “I’m starstruck,” he said. “I’m working with some of the best actors and singers in New York or anywhere I’ve seen and they’re all in one room. Every 15 minutes, there’s another gooseflesh moment for me! I mean, am I dreaming?”See Shea live at The Secret Garden, performing at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center on Sunday, February 21 and Monday, February 22 at 8PM. For tickets and more information, click here. Now let’s enjoy that Tony number again, shall we?
Related Shows View Comments Aladdin’s James Monroe Iglehart took home the 2014 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, and he’s still heating up Agrabah! Iglehart, title star Adam Jacobs and the cast of the shining, shimmering, splendid tuner performed a never-before-seen version of “Friend Like Me” on Good Morning America on December 13, and we’re ready to hop on a magic carpet and head to the New Amsterdam Theatre. Of course, the powerhouse Iglehart threw a medley of beloved Disney songs into his performance, covering ground from The Lion King to Beauty and the Beast. Watch the fantastic cast take the stage below! Aladdin James Monroe Iglehart(Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann) from $57.50
In backyards all over Georgia, people can tell which way the wind isblowing just by identifying “that smell.”Landowners are building more homes near farm land. And more farmersare raising hogs and chickens to meet an ever-rising demand.Farm manure and chemical odors can travel long distances in the wind.We know that. What we don’t know is how to control how many odor particlesget into the wind.Monique LeClerc,a University of Georgia environmentalphysicist at the Georgia ExperimentStation in Griffin, Ga., said knowing how the wind affects particlesin the air can help reduce the problems caused by wind-borne smells.She raises a tethered, blimp-shaped balloon to a specific altitude.There it records wind speed, direction and other factors on how the airmoves. Recordings taken at various heights and times during the day showremarkable differences.”(The balloon) provides information on wind patterns that goes intoa mathematical model,” LeClerc said. “That model tells us how fast materialsand gases are transported across the Earth’s surface away from the source.”The research is helping LeClerc and her colleagues at the UGA Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences learn how to help farmers,and others who use farm chemicals, protect the environment and keep neighborshappier.For instance, LeClerc said chemicals travel much farther downwind atnight, when the air has less vertical movement to mix up any suspendedchemical particles.Farmers can make more informed, practical decisions on when to spraypesticides and even fertilizers, she said. This information can also helpthem decide when to clean out chicken houses or manure pits.LeClerc said farmers can time these operations to minimize the odormolecules carried downwind.But not just row-crop and livestock farmers can use this information.Groundskeepers in parks can use it, too. They can learn when to apply pesticidesand fertilizers to their lawns and gardens to get the job done and thenallow the products to disperse before visitors enter the area.If chemicals aren’t being blown away from where they’re applied, they’restaying put to do their job. That’s a more cost-efficient and environmentallyfriendly way to use them.LeClerc’s research can also help people who are considering buildingnear a farm. By studying and recording predominant wind patterns, landownersnear farms can learn whether their home is in the path of odor drift. Thatcan help them plan better.”Chicken-manure odor is an increasing problem,” LeClerc said. Poultryis the largest income source for Georgia farmers, and demand for poultryproducts rises every year. As more farmers build poultry houses, more nearbyhomeowners smell the natural by-product.But farmers can’t control all the smells or the wind. Sometimes, residentsjust have to accept farm smells as part of country life.