Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guess Who's Returning to Broadway...?!

Y'all, today I got the best news. Actually probably some of the best news in almost 10 years. Tony Award-Winner, Idina Menzel will return to Broadway in almost exactly a year!! If you recall, she has not been on Broadway since her outstanding performance in Wicked as Elphaba (for which she won her Tony), and every theatre fan has been impatiently checking the Broadway news every day since then to see when she would come back.

According to BroadwayWorld.com, she will star in Next to Normal team Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's musical If/Then. The fact that Kitt and Yorkey are collaborating again would be good news enough, but adding Idina is the icing on the cake. Read the BroadwayWorld.com article for more information on this exciting bit of news.

Ever since Idina left Wicked in 2005, she has not just been sitting around. Between then and now, she has had a baby, guest-starred on Glee, released solo albums, founded A Broader Way, toured with her solo concert internationally, and even more! So you could say she's been a little busy.

So in honor of this, let's take a stroll down memory lane and watch her acceptance speech from the Tony Awards! She's such a mess, it's adorable.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Favorites from the Day: Sutton Foster, Chris O'Donnell, and More!

It's Tuesday! Another day for this ginger to work with BroadwayWorld.com! Today was a little slow, but there were some good times, including posting an interview with Chris O'Donnell of NCIS (whom I kind of love). I spent most of last Tuesday working on a Valentine's day feature, so check out that one, plus the other videos I posted about Atlanta and Sutton Foster!

STAGE TUBE: Atlanta's Laura Floyd on Juggling Teaching and Acting
First, I got to write about a wonderfully talented actress in Atlanta who was featured on 11Alive news! She is simultaneously a theatre teacher and an actor, and just directed the school's 5th grade production of "Pirates of Penzance." Watch this interview with her, some of the kids, and watch some rehearsal footage!



STAGE TUBE: Sutton Foster Sings 'Perfect Relationship' on BUNHEADS
And another favorite from the day was a musical number from last night's episode of Bunheads, which stars the amazing Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster! In this clip, somehow helping one of the girls with her audition turns into a duet with Sutton, then it gets real and the Broadway star shows her how it's done.


BWW's 2013 Valentine's Day Spectacular! 750+ Stars Tell Us 'What is the Most Romantic Broadway Love Song Ever?'
BroadwayWorld.com does an exhaustive compilation every year of Broadway actors' favorite Bway love songs. I have no idea why we need to know the favorite songs of everyone in professional theatre though, like the entire cast of the Flashdance tour... They're insanely talented! But unfortunately, I really don't care if I don't know their names. Nevertheless, all of the BWW team was working on the list, including this ginger intern, so I! I  got to copy/paste responses from about fifty actors, including like the Newsies stars, the Cinderella stars, and- you guessed it- most of the Flashdance cast.

If you have a child's attention span like me and don't want to go through even 100 responses, here are the high points: everyone and their understudy said "Somewhere" from West Side Story, then the "cool kids" said random things including- but not limited to- "The Worst Pies in London" (yes, from Sweeney Todd).

STAGE TUBE: Chris O'Donnell Talks NCIS, Family, and More on CBS This Morning!
"NCIS: Los Angeles star Chris O'Donnell visited CBS This Morning to discuss the show and particularly, his "great new experience" of directing an episode this season. Watch this interview below to see the star talk about his acting career, family, and even the mystery of his character's name"(BroadwayWorld.com).  I actually wrote this whole article, including his bio. (Note: they had to remove my version because someone else did it too. But I've included the text I wrote in this just to show off) Y'all, he's from a family of 7 kids and he has 5 of his own! How sweet is that?! As if I couldn't love him any more than I already do.

Click below to watch the interview!

"Chris O'Donnell is a screen actor whose first major role was in the 1992 Al Pacino film Scent of a Woman, after which he most famously appeared as Robin in two of the original Batman films, Batman and Robin and Batman Forever. He also made an appearance on Broadway. He starred in the short-lived revival of Arthur Miller's The Man Who Had all the Luck in 2001-2002. Since then, he landed the role of G. Callen in NCIS, a role which he has reprised in both NCIS: Los Angeles as a regular character and even in one episode of Hawaii Five-O"(BWW.com).


                              ~Favorites From the Day are articles that I have either edited or written on the day I post~

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, J. Robert Spencer!!

JRobertSpencer.com
I feel like it's an awesome person's birthday every day! By "awesome," of course I mean an extremely talented Broadway actor whom I love. (Check out all of them from Hugh Jackman to Norbert Leo Butz under the "Spotlights" category here)

Today's birthday is one of my favorites. He is a Broadway star who became a Tony nominee after only being in three Broadway shows! Of course, this guy is J. Robert "Bobby" Spencer (but I guess if you read the title you already knew that). So check out his amazing Broadway journey from being a swing to a Tony Award nominee!

I'll begin with a video many Broadway fans might not have seen. This is a clip from a Broadway.com vlog done by Kyle Dean Massey (who played Gabe) for Next to Normal. Click on the picture below and watch a clip of my favorite moment from the "Normal Life" vlog in which Bobby talks about an on-stage mishap and is just hilarious in general!


Bobby started his Broadway career as a swing in Side Show in 1997 which starred Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner. And that is where he met his future wife Jenny Lyn Suckling. He took a break from Broadway for almost ten years, returning to be in Jersey Boys in 2006 as Nick Massi. Up to then, he had never really gotten to show his full potential on stage, even with a main role in Jersey Boys (I love Jersey Boys, but let's face it: bless his heart, Nick Massi really just sings the really deep "ba dum" bass lines and other such words).

So while he was in Jersey Boys, Bobby participated in a reading of a new show called Next to Normal, starring Alice Ripley with whom he of course had not worked in about a decade. As he told Kathy Henderson of Broadway.com, he read as the psychiatrist in that version. He couldn't be in the Off-Broadway installment because he was still in a contract with Jersey Boys. But even during the reading, he knew he just wanted to play Dan, the husband in Next to Normal, currently being portrayed by Brian d'Arcy James. Bobby really loved the role because, as he told Ms. Henderson, he loved, "[Dan's] sense of purpose and his devotion and commitment to Diana [played by Ripley]. I’m a hopeless romantic myself and I love my wife tremendously, so I understand his desire to make his wife better."

Fortunately for Bobby, BDJ took the title role in Shrek the Musical, slated to run at the same time as Next to Normal, which Bobby was sure would go to Broadway. So in 2009, he got his wish and finally starred on Broadway in this role he was very passionate about. And he did such a phenomenal job that of course he got a Tony nomination. (Side note: It was quite unfortunate that he was up against "the Billys" in Billy Elliot for the Tony, because honestly, who in their right mind wouldn't give a Tony to three little boys who danced their hearts out every night? Not even Audra McDonald could beat that)

Watch this video of J. Robert Spencer singing "I've Been" from Next to Normal at Broadway in Bryant Park.

Now, he is touring the country singing oldies with a group of guys from the original Broadway cast of Jersey Boys called The Midtown Men (who I talk about on this blog all the time) They're brilliant.

Sally Henry www.BroadwayWorld.com/author/Sally-Henry // Twitter: www.twitter.com/bwayginger // Facebook: www.facebook.com/singularsensationbway

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Favorites From the Day: MEMPHIS and Young Hoofers!

I cranked out a lot of articles today, so it felt really long. I can barely remember what I've written the last 4 hours, except for these exceptional standouts! Click on the titles to read the full articles.

STAGE TUBE: MEMPHIS Comes to Walton Arts Center
"Starring Bryan Fenkart and Felicia Boswell, the Memphis the Musical tour makes its way across the country and opens at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville tonight, February 5. In honor of this, the Memphis team put together a promo for their performance, with an introduction by cast member Bree Branker"(directly from my BWW.com article).

I love Memphis! I've posted other things about the show, or at least about the star, Bryan Fenkart (I really love him). I have seen it twice: once on Broadway when Fenkart was in for Chad Kimball as Huey, and the second time was when the tour came to my town. It's just a solid show. You should really go see it! And if you can make it to the stage door, Felicia and Bryan are worth meeting. They're very sweet. Click below to watch the promo!!

'Rockin' in Rhythm' Youth Tap Showcase Comes to Symphony Space, 2/16
"The American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF) presents "Rockin' in Rhythm" on Saturday, February 16th, at 7:30 pm at the Peter Norton Symphony Space. Tony Waag, Artistic/Executive Director, announced that the Jazz at Lincoln Center's Middle School Jazz Academy will be joining the Concert"(BWW.com). I'm particularly partial to this one, because I LOVE tap dancing! I especially love to see people trying to get rhythm tapping out there, because it is extremely underrated. Although, I'd be happier if they were bringing it further South or West.

The Alliance Theatre Presents American Premiere of ZORRO THE MUSICAL

Just yesterday, the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta announced that they will be premiering The Gipsy King's new musical Zorro in April. Based on the concepts from the original book from 1919, the character of Zorro  has been the hero for almost every kind of media possible, which makes it fitting that in 2008, it premiered in London. Zorro has plans to premiere (or has already done so) many international productions in places including Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and South Korea, to name a few.

I'm interested to see what the plot is like, because it seems like every version of it is different. There was the Disney live-action show, then a cartoon TV series, as well as one of my favorite movies, The Mask of Zorro starring Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins, followed by the sequel I'd like to forget, The Legend of Zorro. Additionally, USA Network recently announced that they are working on a modern-day Zorro show entitled "Z." Well let's all do a new Zorro adaptation, shall we?

I have no doubt that they want this show to make its way to Broadway, and the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre is a good place to start. It has premiered many shows that went on to Broadway, like their most recent one, Sister Act (see the full list of shows here).

Check out this video from an international production. I haven't seen this much swashbuckling sword fighting since The Scarlet Pimpernel musical in 1998!


"Zorro, the fox so cunning and free," as they sang in the Disney theme song, is kind of like the Western equivalent of Robin Hood. Except this one dresses in black and wears a mask. (Also, whereas the Disney Robin Hood actually was a fox, Zorro only calls himself that)

Visit www.AllianceTheatre.org/zorro or www.Zorro.com for more information.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Jessica Chastain's Puppy Finally Gets His Big Break on Broadway

Jessica Chastain (IMDB.com)
I think this might be the craziest Broadway story I've ever heard. I saw Twitter updates about this the other day, but apparently Saturday's matinee of the Broadway drama The Heiress, Jessica Chastain's three-legged rescue dog wandered on stage! He has impeccable timing, too. The dog managed to pick one of the most dramatic moments to spoil. That's how it's done.

Apparently the patrons were confused at first as to whether or not this was part of the show. But of course, the actors had obvious looks of surprise on their faces which they couldn't hide. So an off-stage crew member finally managed to get the dog to leave the stage, by which time of course the audience had dissolved into laughter. Bless that dog. Of course a Broadway debut wouldn't be complete without a curtain call, and he got one too! Check out the BroadwayWorld.com article about it here.

Not only is Jessica Chastain starring in a Broadway play, but she is currently nominated for an Oscar for her role in Zero Dark Thirty. She has already won a Golden Globe for that award, so it seems like she is the front-runner for the Oscar.