Theatre News: Hugh Jackman Cuts His Nose, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations and John Legend, Chasing Jack, Mornings At Seven
Hugh Jackman accidentally sliced his nose with a hat while rehearsing for his upcoming role in The Music Man on Broadway. Jackman, 53, was flipping a boater hat around while practicing choreography for the show on Wednesday.
Grammy Award®-winning superstar John Legend and producing partner Mike Jackson visited with the cast and creative team of the Broadway company of the Tony Award-winning Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations.
Under their Get Lifted Film Co., Legend and Jackson along with Ty Stiklorious, recently joined the producing team of the smash Broadway musical sensation.
Leading the cast of Ain’t Too Proud as The Temptations are Nik Walker as ‘Otis Williams,’ James Harkness as ‘Paul Williams,’ Jawan M. Jackson as ‘Melvin Franklin,’ Matt Manuel as ‘David Ruffin,’ and Jelani Remy as ‘Eddie Kendricks.’
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, is the electrifying extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history – how they met, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.
The first national touring production of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations will launch this December and visit more than 50 cities coast-to-coast, including a homecoming to The Temptations’ roots in Detroit.
When John S. Anastasi’s Chasing Jack was invited to join the 131 productions participating in the 2019 New York Summerfest it was honored with both The Best of Festival Award and The Best Play Award. The play was then added to the 2020 schedule of Florida’s Willow Theatre when it was abruptly shut down, along with every other theatrical production in Boca Raton, on the afternoon of its Opening Night (Thursday, March 12) due to COVID-19.
After making its anticipated Off-Broadway Premiere on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at the Jerry Orbach Theater in Times Square, Chasing Jack has now moved to the Actors Temple Theatre (339 West 47th Street – between 8th and 9th Avenues.) The first performance at the Actors Temple Theatre is Saturday, November 6th at 5:00pm.
The play is not so much a courtroom drama as it is a courtroom bombshell.
Chasing Jack is a high-stakes, tightrope-walking, rollercoaster of a play. It’s the story of the suave Dr. Jack Chase. A world-famous-Harvard-educated heart surgeon whose very serious gambling addiction has landed him in a very serious Manhattan courtroom where the blue-collar family of Michael James claims that he is directly responsible for the death of their Michael. This is Jack Chase’s last-chance malpractice lawsuit. He needs to win this case. Every segment of his life depends on the win. The audience watches his nail-biting trial in real time. Addiction is ruthless.
Broadway’s Nancy Ringham (Follies, The Will Rogers Follies) will assume the role of Arry in the new production of Paul Osborn’s Morning’s At Seven, currently playing through January 9 at Theatre at St. Clement’s (423 W. 46th Street, NYC). Producers have announced that Ringham stepped into the role when Judith Ivey had to exit the production due to a torn tendon diagnosis. Opening night is rescheduled to Monday, November 15 at 7PM, to accommodate the sudden change in cast.
Nancy Ringham has appeared on Broadway and national tours in Follies, Three Penny Opera with Sting, The Will Rogers Follies, as Eliza Doolitle in My Fair Lady opposite Rex Harrison, as Sally Bowles in Cabaret with Joel Grey, and Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. Off-Broadway, Ringham has appeared in Fuddy Meers, Secrets of a Soccer Mom, Trouble in Tahiti and more.
Judith Ivey, sadly and suddenly, had to exit the production. “We are sorry to see Judith leave us and wish her a speedy recovery.”
The critically-acclaimed, three-time Best Musical Revival Award-winning Off-Broadway production of Little Shop Of Horrors which re-opened its doors on September 21, 2021 – kicked off Halloween weekend with a cast performance on the Special Halloween Episode of ABC-TV’s national morning show “The View” at 11:00AM ET.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Relevantly Tuneless Fairytale Bad Cinderella Isn’t Bad, It’s Forgettable
You are seriously asking for it, when you make the title for your musical Bad Cinderella, however the show is not bad, it’s just seriously lacking. For an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which is normally rich in melody, the only song that has any kind of hold is “Only You, Lonely You” sung by Prince Sebastian (Jordan Dobson or in my performance the wonderful Julio Ray). The lyrics by David Zippel and book by Emerald Fennell, adapted by Alexis Scheer are inane. It doesn’t help that the cast for the most part speaks and sings with mouths full of cotton. The orchestrations sound tinny and computerized, The lead Linedy Genao has no charisma or vocals that soar musically, instead she is rather nasal, like Bernadette Peters with a cold. Why this show is two and a half hours long is beyond me.
The show is based in a town called Belleville (beautiful town en Francais), that is based solely on looks and prides itself on its superficiality. The opening number starts with “Beauty Is Our Duty,” the Queen (a fabulous Grace McLean) is into her hunks including her missing son Charming (Cameron Loyal).
And the fairy godmother (Christina Acosta Robinson) is a plastic surgeon who sings “Beauty Has a Price”. In a day and age, where we are suppose to see past all that, this show is politically incorrect.
Cinderella a Gothic, and a graffiti artist, naturally does not fit into the town’s mold of beauty, which is how she earns her nickname. Her rebel move happens when she defaces a memorial statue of Sebastian’s older brother, Prince Charming. Sebastian is more of a geek, and he and Cinderella are in the “friend zone,” since both lack communication skills in admitting their love.
Sebastian is being forced by his mother, the Queen to find a wife at a ball and invites Cinderella. Cinderella’s stepmother (the always remarkable Carolee Carmello) blackmails the Queen to get one of her daughters Adele (Sami Gayle) or Marie (Morgan Higgins) the gig.
McLean and Carmello are the bright spots in the show and if the show had been about these two, maybe we would actually have a show that could work. These two steal the show.
Cinderella has not one, but two what should have been show stopping numbers “I Know I Have A Heart (Because You Broke It)” and “Far Too Late,” but she does not have the vocals, the character development or the star power to carry them off.
The set and the revenge porn costumes by Gabriela Tylesova, are just over the top, with the storybook set faring much better than the over complicated flowered pastels that waltzed across the stage.
The direction by Laurence Connor is just dull and lacks oomph.
If you like buff men and Chippendale type choreography this is the show for you.
Bad Cinderella, Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.
Did You Know There Is A Kander & Ebb Way?
On Friday, March 24th, the 96-year-old John Kander was given a Mayoral Proclamation from Mayor Eric Adams in celebration of the first performance of his new Broadway musical New York, New York. Following the proclamation, Lin-Manuel Miranda unveiled the sign renaming 44th Steet ‘Kander & Ebb Way. On hand was the Manhattan School of Music to performed the iconic Kander & Ebb song “New York, New York.”
New York, New York opens Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).
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