Steven Spielberg is doing an adaptation of West Side Story. Pulitzer prize winner and Oscar nominee Tony Kushner ( Angels in America) is onboard to pen the new adaptation of the 1957 musical. Justin Peck (Carousel) will reinvent the Jerome Robbins choreography. The show was originally written by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein. Spielberg, Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce the movie for Fox.
Larry Kert played Tony in the original 1957 Broadway musical, which earned six Tony nods. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and centers on the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs. Richard Beymer portrayed Tony, the founder of the Jets, in the 1961 film. That adaptation was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including best picture and best director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
Ansel Elgort has been cast as the lead Tony. Elgort recently starred in “Baby Driver,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, as well as 2014’s romantic drama “The Fault in Our Stars”. Elgort will star in the science-fiction drama “Jonathan” set for release in November and “The Goldfinch,” set to be released in October of 2019.
The cast, although yet to be announced, will be made up of Latino and Latina actors. Spielberg has also explicitly asked for actors aged between 15 and 25, who can sing and preferably speak Spanish.
Singers Camila Cabello and Liam Payne have already been tipped to land roles in the remake, along with Glee actress Naya Rivera, who recently posted an ‘audition’ clip on Instagram.
The soundtrack, iconic score includes “Maria”, “Tonight”, “America”, “Somewhere”, “A Boy Like That”, “I Feel Pretty” and “Gee Officer Krupke”. The remake is expected to include all the original Bernstein songs, as well as some of the iconic dance numbers from the film.
Filming for “West Side Story” is set to begin in the summer of 2019.
A release date for the film is yet to be confirmed, but anyone interested in auditioning should email a video of themselves singing along with a headshot, resume and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elgort is repped by manager Emily Gerson Saines and CAA.
The Glorious Corner
TINA TURNER — Talk about a voice of a generation … my generation for sure. I think one of the first records I ever listened too was one from Ike & Tina Turner and Tina immediately caught my ear and eye. 1973’s “Nutbush City Limits” and later “Proud Mary.” Tina was simply dazzling. She passed Wednesday in Switzerland after a lengthy illness and surviving a stroke.
12 Grammys; 3 Grammy Hall of Fame awards; a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; the first Black artist and the first female to be on the cover of Rolling Stone; and, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. And she had her biggest hit when she was in her 40’s. Tina was a ground-breaker in every sense of the word.
From “Nutbush City Limits” to her stunning album, Private Dancer, she was a fierce innovator.
Author Mark Bego who did two tomes on Tina said: “The passing of rock legend Tina Turner is truly tragic. She was an amazing force of nature as a singer, performer, actress, and international inspiration. Having started out with ex-husband Ike Turner, as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue in the 1960’s, Tina broke free from an abusive marriage with Ike, and became a solo legend on her own. I was privileged to tell her story in the books Tina Turner: Break Every Rule in 2003, and a German language update in 2009 called Tina Turner: Die Biografie. Her story, her legend, and her timeless music will live on.”
For those in the know: British-singer John Miles (“Slow Down”) toured with Tina in 1987. I knew Miles … great, great talent. Here she is with WOR’s Tom Cuddy, back when he was running WPLJ.
SIMON OF THE TIMES — (Via Deadline) Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, who at 81 has just released his 15th studio album, titled Seven Psalms, has revealed a recent hearing loss in his left ear and says the condition has left him doubting he’ll tour again.
In an interview with UK’s The Times, Simon said the hearing loss struck while he was writing the new album. “Quite suddenly, I lost most of the hearing in my left ear, and nobody has an explanation for it,” he told the publication. “So everything became more difficult.”
The Graceland singer said he was more frustrated and annoyed than angered by the hearing loss “because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself.” The condition, however, has not improved, and he now has doubts that he’ll perform live again, a decision reinforced by both a 2020 bout with Covid and his lack of enthusiasm for singing some of his old songs.
“The songs of mine that I don’t want to sing live, I don’t sing them,” he told The Times. “Sometimes there are songs that I like and then at a certain point in a tour, I’ll say, ‘What the f*ck are you doing, Paul?’ Quite often that would come during ‘You Can Call Me Al.’ I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You’re like a Paul Simon cover band. You should get off the road, go home.’”
Simon, who lives on a large Texas ranch with wife Edie Brickell, reflected on the recent losses of Gordon Lightfoot and Jeff Beck, noting, “It’s just the age we’re at…My generation’s time is up.”
SHORT TAKES — Brutal review of HBO’s The Idol in Roger Friedman’s always prescient Showbiz 411. Friedman goes to great length to say that the machinations of the music business are not accurately portrayed in the show at all. Truth be told: They’ve never been accurately portrayed. To me, the closest they even came was in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant Vinyl. Euphoria’s Sam Levinson is the force behind this one and I didn’t have any desire to watch it. After reading Roger’s take on it, I probably never will. Check it out here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/05/22/cannes-hbo-unveils-the-idol-starring-the-weeknd-abel-tesfaye-and-lily-rose-depp-in-vulgar-gross-outsiders-take-on-pop-life…
Q1043 in NYC giving away DVDs of the recent Neil Bogart-inspired movie Spinning Gold. Sadly, when Justin Timberlake stepped away from portraying Bogart, this movie was DOA. It came out with nary a whisper, terrible reviews and was literally over in three days. I knew Bogart and this could have been a great, great movie. Sad for sure
We wondered about Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam (seen here with Eppy from My Father’s Place and PR-pasha David Salidor) and emailed him? No response so far. We’ll keep you posted … NBC just announced that The Blacklist finale will air -two hours- on Thursday, July 13. Suffice to say, it was a sensational show …
Happy BDay to Bob Dylan; Mike Myers; Cillian Murphy; and Frank Oz.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tony King; Mark Bego; Michael Leon; Adriana Kaegi; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Mark Knopfler; Daryl Easlea; Russ Titleman; Donnie Kehr; Cori Gardner; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Jeff Smith; Vinnie Zuffante; Marion Curtis; Angela Tarantino; Michael Fuchs; Sasha Prendes; and ZIGGY!
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: The World Says Good-Bye To Tina Turner
Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll has died, after a long illness at 83. Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
Her life story was told in the 1993 smash film What’s Love Got to Do with It and in the 2019 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, starring Adrienne Warren in a career-making performance.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, TN, Turner became famous in the late 1960s as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Their major hits included: “River Deep – Mountain High” and “Proud Mary.”After leaving husband Ike Turner following years of physical and emotional abuse, she staged what remains one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history, scoring massive hits in the 1980s such as “What’s Love Got To Do With it”, “Private Dancer” and “The Best,” with an estimated 180 million albums sold worldwide, 12 Grammy Awards won and sold-out stadium tours around the world.
Turner scored another smash single in 1985 with “We Don’t Need Another Hero, from the Mel Gibson-George Miller threequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She played the ruthless leader of Bartertown in the movie and delivered the memorable line, “Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome!”
She returned to the Top 20 later that year with “It’s Only Love,” a duet with Bryan Adams from his Reckless album, and also was part of the global smash “We Are the World.” That 1985 famine-relief single — written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones and credited to USA for Africa.
Turner also appeared at the intercontinental charity concert Live Aid that summer, performing a raucous, sexually charged duet with Mick Jagger in Philadelphia on a medley of his solo single “State of Shock” and the Rolling Stones’ “It’ Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).”
Turner’s status as a musical pioneer extended to 1980s television when she became a staple of MTV.
A private funeral ceremony is expected for family and close friends and family.
Movie LIne-Up at Bryant Park
Paramount+ Movie Nights at Bryant Park returns June 2023, every Monday night throughout the summer. The movies are free and the gravel opens at 4:00pm. The Lawn opens at 5:00pm for blankets and picnicking. Films begin at sunset (typically between 8pm and 9pm). Hester Street Fair hosts food vendors on the Fountain Terrace with drink and delicious snack and meal options. All packages, bags, briefcases, backpacks, etc. subject to inspection.
Here is the line-up:
- June 13 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- June 20 – Creed II
- June 27 – Hairspray (2007)
- July 4 – Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
- July 11 – Wayne’s World 2
- July 18 – Scream 2
- July 25 – Beverly Hills Cop II
- Aug 1 – Star Trek VIII: First Contact
- Aug 8 – Grease 2
- Aug 15 – The Godfather Part II
The 2023 Chita Rivera Awards: The Interviews
The winners for the 2023 Chita Rivera Awards were announced this evening. In keeping with the mission of the Chita Rivera Awards, nominators considered outstanding choreography, featured dancers, and ensembles in shows on Broadway and Off Broadway, as well as outstanding choreography in film that opened during the 2022-2023 season.
Presented at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park), the Chita Rivera Awards are produced by Joe Lanteri, Founder and Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation Inc., in conjunction with Patricia Watt. The Awards were fabulously hosted by Funny Girl’s Jared Grimes.
The mission of the Chita Rivera Awards is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence, preserve notable dance history, recognize past, present, and future talents, while promoting high standards in dance education and investing in the next generation.
At this year’s Chita Rivera Awards, John Kander received the Lifetime Achievement Award, BroadwayHD, founded by Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane, received the Ambassadors For The Arts Award, and Jeffrey L. Page received the Douglas and Ethel Watt Critics’ Choice Award.
For the first time, the Outstanding Dancer in a Broadway Show category is gender-free. This category has twice as many nominees as the former gendered categories.
The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation College Scholarship Program was the beneficiary of the event. Since the inception of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, 4 million dollars have been awarded to over 400 dancers represented in 42 of the most prestigious college dance programs in the country.
And the winners are:
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY IN A BROADWAY SHOW: Steven Hoggett, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical
This was completely odd considering this was not nominated for the Tony’s, OCC’s or the Drama Desk. Maybe Hoggett was nominated and won for his combined choreography for Sweeney Todd.
OUTSTANDING DANCER IN A BROADWAY SHOW: Robyn Hurder, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, Jess LeProtto, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical and Mattie Love, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’
One seriously wonders what went wrong in this category when Kolton Krouse, of Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ gave one of the best dance performances of the season.
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN A BROADWAY SHOW: Bob Fosse’s Dancin’ and New York, New York
OFF BROADWAY SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS
The Awarding Committee of the 2023 Chita Rivera Awards will celebrate excellence in Off-Broadway musical theater by presenting these special awards.
Outstanding Dancers in an Off-Broadway Show: Gaby Diaz, Only Gold and Ryan Steele, Only Gold
Outstanding Choreography in an Off-Broadway Show: Andy Blankenbuehler, Only Gold
CHOREOGRAPHY IN FILM: 13: The Musical, Choreographer: Jamal Sims
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION OF A DOCUMENTARY RELEASE: Everybody Dance, Director: Dan Watt
Moonage Daydream, Director: Brett Morgen
2023 CHITA RIVERA AWARDS NOMINATING COMMITTEES
Awarding Committee: Chair: Sylviane Gold, Gary Chryst, Robert LaFosse, Donna McKechnie, Wendy Perron, and Lee Roy Reams
Broadway Nominating Committee: Chair: Wendy Federman, Melinda Atwood, Caitlin Carter, Gary Chryst, Don Correia, Jamie deRoy, Sandy Duncan, Peter Filichia, Dr. Louis Galli, Sylviane Gold, Jonathan Herzog, Jim Kierstead, Robert La Fosse, Joe Lanteri, Donna McKechnie, Michael Milton, Mary Beth O’Connor, Wendy Perron, Lee Roy Reams, Andy Sandberg, and Randy Skinner
Film Nominating Committee: Chair: Jonathan C. Herzog, Steven Caras, Wilhelmina Frankfurt, Mary Beth O’Connor, and Andy Sandberg
A theatrical icon and one of Broadway’s greatest triple-threat talents, Chita Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. A versatile actress/singer/dancer, her most recent starring roles include The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway; the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood; the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age nine) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 19) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye, Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In 2019, Chita performed her solo concert at London’s Cadogan Hall; in 2018 she was honored as a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy; in 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled “And Now I Swing.” Her long-awaited book CHITA: A MEMOIR was published by HarperOne in April, 2023. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.
The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. (NYCDAF), founded in 2010 by Executive Director Joe Lanteri, is committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance. The Foundation invests in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education. To date, over 400 talented teenagers have shared in nearly $4 million awarded directly through NYCDAF. Those recipients are represented in 42 of the most prestigious university arts programs in the country. Many have since graduated and are now represented on Broadway, as well as concert dance companies based in NYC and around the world. www.NYCDAFoundation.net
The Glorious Corner
GABRIEL’S GOLD — I first met Peter Gabriel eons ago at a Prince’s Trust event in London. He was sitting with the actress Rosanna Arquette, and I just formed an immediate connection with him. I was with another client, but we just clicked and ended up talking for several hours. I’ve followed his music before and certainly after and he latest album, I believe his first in 21 years, i/owill be out shortly and he’s been releasing tracks one by one – believe it not, whenever there’s been a full moon.
CHURCH AND STATE — Sunday’s penultimate episode of Succession was as brutal and emotional as ever. The three siblings, joined by their mother at Logan’s funeral, were awash in emotion, but not enough to dissuade them from further business angling. Roman ultimately broke down while he was delivering an eulogy and ended the show wandering aimlessly in a protest taking place. Logan’s brother Ewan, essayed by James Crowell, delivered a blistering indictment of Logan … on point for sure. And, Cromwell knocked it out of the park for sure.
Kendall and Shiv pursued their own affairs and it was clear by the episode’s end, that both brothers knew, she was siding with Lukas Matsson. Tom was barely in the episode at all and even missed Roy’s funeral; although he claimed to be the last one with Logan when he died.
The episode was written be creator Jesse Armstrong and was as powerful as ever, Truly a great show and one that I will miss. Get ready for next week 90-minute finale. It should be nothing short of stunning.
GUESS WHO DON’T SUE — What major 80’s blue-eyed soul singer was about to pact with a English-based label for his new album, when at the last minute he (and his manager) changed their mind and released it themselves on their own label?
The album is 3 weeks old with nary a review nor any major airplay.
Anyone can release their own album these days; but, the key is the support staff and street team … much needed these days with social media. I remember back in the day when a major ad agency took a two-page ad out themselves: the first page said, this is what happens when you don’t advertise. The second page: totally blank.
It does take a village indeed!
SHORT TAKES — The long-talked about Dave Mason autobiography, Only You And I Know, will now be out on November 14. It was originally supposed to be out this week. I wonder what caused the delay? Maybe he remembered more stories about The Moke or Teddy Slatus? …
David Zaslav (Zaz The Butcher) was met with boos and angry chants from students after taking the stage at Boston University on Sunday to accept his honorary degree and give the 2023 commencement speech. Those cries began as early as the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO’s introduction by BU President Robert A. Brown during the 150th commencement exercises at Nickerson Field. As Brown spoke to Zaslav’s “passion for documenting and sharing the human story on a global scale,” the chants and booing immediately picked up, followed by what would become a constant ebb and flow of calls throughout his 20-minute speech. A plane even flew by with a banner proclaiming Pay Your Writers. Face it, this guy’s a joke for sure …
Micky Dolenz’s solo show in Davenport, Iowa this weekend, apparently was off the charts. Our spy reports that SRO-crowd was terrifically energetic; especially on a terrific version of The Beatles’ “Get Back.” Thanks to Jane Blunkell for the attached shot. Dolenz is at Abbey Road On The River this week and Louisville Public Media did a nice interview with him. Check it out here: https://www.lpm.org/music/2023-05-22/shines-catchup-with-micky-dolenz-of-the-monkees … I caught the Bob Clearmountain interview on Inside Power Station on NYC Life Channel this weekend and it was pretty good. Stephen Webber, Director of BerkleeNYC was not the best interviewer I’ve ever seen, but he held up. To tell you the truth, I’d never heard of this channel or show, but frankly, it was pretty well done.
The Power Station, for those that don’t know, was one of the premiere studios in NYC before going through a series of management changes and now Berklee School of Music owns it. As the interview with Clearmountain abruptly ended, they showed a video and interview from a current student there; so it’s as much a promo move from Berklee as anything else. I wonder what actual artists were interviewed for the show. I’d love to see Springsteen interviewed or even Duran Duran. These behind-the-scenes docs are gaining prominence for sure. Latino-artist Thalia announced one last week and there’s a slew coming. Stay tuned …
And, the new Indiana Jones movie debuted at Cannes last week and received not the best reviews and much chatter was about its director James Mangold and whether he was a good choice. I’ll see it for sure as I’m a fan of the series, but Sunday I caught the tail-end of Ford vs. Ferrari, which I loved the first time I saw it and loved it again. I had forgotten that Mangold directed that one too and to me, did just a brilliant job. Bravo! … Happy Bday Bernie Taupin!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Race Taylor; Tony King; Rob Dickins; Daryl Easlea; Glenn Gretlund; Ian Lee; Mikael Wood; Robert Evans; Roger Friedman; Angela Tarantino; Robert Funarto; Michael Fuchs; Brian Cox; Kit Lambert; Chris Stamp; Decca Records; Lifehouse; Benny Harrison; and CHIP!
Cabaret4 days ago
My View: It’s Richard Jay-Alexander’s Birthday!
Broadway4 days ago
Roundabout Theatre Company, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Create The Theatrical Workforce Development Program
Broadway4 days ago
The 2023 Chita Rivera Awards: The Red Carpet
Events3 days ago
Outstanding Performers announced at the 13th Annual Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance
Out of Town4 days ago
The Sound Of Music Celebrates Opening Night at The John W. Engeman Theater
Uncategorized5 days ago
Broadway Producer Pat Addiss Honored With The Woman of Purpose Award
Events4 days ago
Movie LIne-Up at Bryant Park
Events4 days ago
GMA Summer Concert Series