Shia LaBeouf Debuts on Broadway, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Moose Murders and Pump Boys Return, Evita Ends. Phantom, Les Miserables Offer Contests

Shia LaBeouf, Emilia Clarke, Bo Bice, Les Miz poster
Shia LaBeouf, Emilia Clarke, Bo Bice, Les Miz poster

One day remains to enter my contest for free tickets and merchandise to Les Miserables, the movie opening on December 25.

A week left to shop for holiday gifts for theater lovers

I’ve got two weeks left to complete my list of the Top 10 lists of Top 10 theater of 2012. So far, I have seven such lists – by theater critics from the New York Times (2),  The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and the Associated Press.

It may take longer to get over what was a miserable week for reasons having nothing to do with theater.  Below a focus (mostly) on reasons to be happy about New York theater . Or at least attentive: There were announcements this past week of the revival of the two most notorious flops in the history of Broadway.

 December 11, 2012

PumpBoysandDinettesPump Boys and Dinettes, a Broadway hit 30 years ago about a roadside diner and gas station, is officially opening on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theater April 8, starring Bo Bice (from American Idol)

Bo Bice (‪@OfficialBoBice): I’m excited to be a part of ‪@PumpBoysMusical . It’s going to be a blast!!

Making his Broadway debut, Shia LaBeouf will kidnap Alec Baldwin in Lyle Kessler’s 1983 Orphans. Opens April 7 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater.

Mustaches on Broadway: Ricky Martin as Che, Christian Borle as Black Stache, Rob McClure as Chaplin

No, they’re not replacing the cast: The producers of Evita have decided instead to close the musical revival on January 26, 2013 after 26 previews and 337 regular performances

Rebecca Chu @rebeccahxp We’ll have fewer mustaches on Broadway now that both Evita and Peter and the Starcatcher are closing in January.

 Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater): Any left?

Karen Wilson ‏‪@akakarenwilson Chaplin, Drood, Golden Boy, coming up: Hands on a Hardbody.

Jonathan Mandell: Chaplin and Golden Boy are also closing in January. (And I don’t remember any mustaches in Golden Boy)

David Cromer next directs Really, Really, a play about “vicious sexual politics” with hot young cast at MCC Theater. Opens Feb 19

Reason to love NYC from New York Magazine–because the state of playwriting is strong: young,diverse,collaborative,adapting.  

Did David Mamet and Arthur Miller’s estate veto ‪Christopher Shinn out of an anthology because he wasn’t famous enuf?

Doug Jeffery photographed 30,000 shows over 50 years.Pics now at Victoria and Albert museum in UK. e.g. Oh What A Lovely War

1963 production of Oh! What a Lovely War


Emilia Clarke as Holly Golightly in the new Broadway adaptation of Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffanys
Emilia Clarke as Holly Golightly

Trying again:New stage version of Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Richard Greenberg set to open March 20 at Broadway’s Cort

The last Broadway stage version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in 1966, was one of the theater’s most notorious flop; it never even opened.

This new play will star Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Cory Michael Smith (Cock, The Whale)

Tribes, directed by David Cromer at Barrow St. Theater, has been extended yet again, but for the final time, until January 20th.

Back to the past: Christopher Lloyd will star in the Classic State Company’s production of Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle in May

Holly Hunter (The Piano, Broadcast News) has quit The Flea Theater’s “The Vandal by Hamish Linklater; “scheduling conflicts”

PaulaVogelStaronPlaywrightsSidewalkPlaywright Paula Vogel on Bathroom Breaks

Paula Vogel ‏‪(@VogelPaula): Why must we use the bathroom after an hour in the theatre but can watch a three hour movie? Why do we feel theatrical time so differently?

Mike Daisey (‏‪@mdaisey): Because we don’t spend as much time in the theater.

Jonathan Mandell: You can leave mid-film w/out dirty looks

Andy Germuga ‏‪(@andytgerm):  Theatres tend to be less comfortable. Smaller leg room, more packed in seating. Makes you more aware of your need to pee.

Moose Garrett ‏‪(@tweetsforjackie): The wine. I don’t usually down a glass before the movies, but I do before the theatre. Just cuz it’s fun and it’s there.

Ran Xia‏‪ (@rhinoriddler): The break is for the actors and crew too. Imagine THEM without break???

How does Guy Fieri plan to keep his Bway restaurant going despite worst-ever reviews? He had a cameo in Rock of Ages last night

Members of 32BJ union of Bway theater cleaners, porters etc. have voted to authorize a strike if necessary

Working Musical at 59E59

My review of Working:

hen did it become unfashionable for Americans to call ourselves “workers”? Certainly, it goes back way before 1978. That was when “Working” opened on Broadway, a musical co-conceived by the pre-Wicked Stephen Schwartz based on the book of the same name by Studs Terkel. Despite a score including the only songs James Taylor ever wrote for the stage and a 17-member cast including the pre-Evita Patti LuPone and the pre-Glengarry Joe Mantegna, “Working” closed on Broadway after just 12 previews and 24 regular performances.

Now it has returned at 59 East 59,th Street Theater, for a limited run even shorter than its tenure on Broadway. Well-acted, entertaining, funny and touching, it is worth catching, not the least because “Working” has been smartly updated, with wonderful new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“In The Heights”), and new characters, based on new interviews, that reflect how dramatically the world of work has changed just in the past three decades.

Full review of Working


George Wendt (‘Norm’ in “Cheers”) has joined the cast of Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Fans of  Phantom of the Opera on Broadway: January 26th, the 25th anniversary, is bytinvitation only BUT:  the show is holding a sweepstakes for 100 pair of tickets:

Margarette Connor‏‪@mrc0201 I enjoyed your review of Glengarry Glen Ross. Wanted to see it for Cannavale. Track down The Station Agent DVD if not seen.

My pictures of shows coming up, a poster and two marquees:

Water by the Spoonful, Matilda, Lucky Guy
Water by the Spoonful, Matilda, Lucky GuyDFo


Guess what show this is from:

SetofShowOffBway‪Todd @roadwarrior07 A discounted version of Sunset Boulevard?

Kathryn Lurie ‏‪@kathrynlurie Dead Accounts?

Sam Payne Garland (‏‪@SamPayneGarland) Looks like Brighton Beach Memoirs from a few years back…

Reynaldi Lolong ‏‪(@Reynaldi) The Piano Lesson

You are correct, Reynaldi


Michael Riedel calls Foxwoods,Spiderman’s theater up for sale, a white elephant,dud,flop house,barn begun by a crook

Giant ends at The Public Theater in two days but the Michael John LaChiusa musical will live on as an original cast recording

Terrence McNally’s play about opera Golden Age extended at  through Sun, Jan 13

Reviews of ‪Les Miserables on Metacritic range from stirring and striking to ugly and inept. The critics seem to agree: 1. Anne Hathaway will be Oscar-nominated. 2. Russell Crowe’s singing sounds more like barking ‪#LesMiz

A new “multi-week retreat” for composers/writers to create new musicals about to be announced by Goodspeed.

Lizzie Simon (‪@TheLizzieSimon) The budget for the National Endowment for the Arts is $150 million. In France (about 1/5th US pop) the arts budget is $9 billion.


GoldenBoy1My review of Golden Boy:

For all the glories of the Lincoln Center production, there is no disguising that “Golden Boy” is also an old-fashioned melodrama that does not transcend its era the way other works written in (if not necessarily about) the 1930’s have done: Our Town…

This is not to condemn “Golden Boy,” but to provide the key for appreciating it.   It is a work of anthropology, a spoken-word opera,  a vehicle to another era.

For a play whose plot is as obvious as this one, the Lincoln Center production has wonderful moments of subtlety, feeling and allusion.

Full review of Golden Boy


My ‪Backstage review of “Soldier,”

Soldier at Here Arts CenterJonathan Draxton conceived of “Soldier” while he was an undergraduate at Williams College, after his professor assigned the students to write a theater piece on a subject that bothered them….Somehow his assignment led to a solo show at Here focused on a character named Heinrich Weiss, a Nazi officer. In “Soldier,” Draxton, as Obersturmfuhrer Weiss, enters the theater in full S.S. uniform speaking German, later sings “Deutschland Uber Alles” and gives the Nazi salute, and eventually tells us of the “many Jews, Jewesses, Communists, Bolshevists, and their kinder” that he killed when he was alive. He is dead now, you see, and seeking coins from us to secure passage for him and his men across the River Styx.


The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown is back in NYC after 10 years.It opens April 2  at Second Stages with Betsy Wolfe (Drood) Adam Kantor (Rent)

Strike averted: The Broadway League and the 32BJ union of Broadway porters, cleaners, etc. have reached a tentative deal on a three-year contract

MooseMurdersBreakfast at Tiffanys wasn’t enough?! Revival of an even more notorious flop, Moose Murders, is set for Jan 29-Feb 10, Connelly Theatre (220 E 4th St).

From the publicist (as if boasting): “When Moose Murders opened on Broadway in 1983, it played one single official performance and received disastrous reviews. Critic Frank Rich called it “A show so preposterous that it made minor celebrities out of everyone who witnessed it”. John Simon, writing for New York magazine, said it seemed as if the play were staged by “a blind director repeatedly kicked in the groin”.”

Playwright Arthur Bicknell has “significantly rewritten and reworked the play.”


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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