Friday, August 24, 2007

Young Frankenstein and The Little Mermaid open in Seattle

Well two of the most anticipated new musicals of the upcoming Broadway season have opened to critics in their out of town tryouts.

First up is” Young Frankenstein” and to no ones surprise the critics have all fallen under Mel Brooks’ comedic spell. Advance word has proven correct and they predict with some fine tuning this is sure to become a major hit! Mel’s humor is certainly not for everyone but to quote the Seattle Times; "Young Frankenstein" has a cast of expert merry-makers, shtick galore, winning dance numbers, elaborate sets by Robin Wagner that are marvels of seamless stage technology, and all the explosions, fog, with wowie lighting effects” and that to me spells HIT !!
Here is the complete review from the Seattle Times;
Video Interview with the stars in Seattle

Second up is Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”. It looks like we have another wonderful Disney show with all the glitz and spectacle that we’ve come to expect. Here is a video of a local Denver CBS news reporter just raving over the show!

Do Not delay in ordering your tickets now for the holiday season! I can assure you that they will not last!
Also a quick mention for any hockey fans out there, the New York Ranger season is about to get underway and tickets are now available on our website or just by calling us directly.

More tidbits coming after Labor Day.
Have a great holiday everyone!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

2007-2008 Season: Will it be a success?

On June 11th the 2007-08 Broadway Season officially began. For those of you not keeping track let me get you up to speed.

Old Acquaintance (June 28) We can always count on the Roundabout Theatre Company to provide theatregoers with a "classic" revival to get us through the hot summer months.

Xanadu (July 10) The show that everybody was expecting to be the "Big Bomb" of the season has turned out to be the unexpected "hit" of the season. This new "cult" hit has been breaking Box Office records at the Helen Hayes Theatre ever since. Which let's be honest isn't too hard considering it only has 500 seats and hasn't had a hit since Romance/Romance in 1988.

Grease (August 19) So is Grease still the word? Well according to every critic from here to the West Coast that would be a big fat NO!!!! But they have a $15 million dollar advance and they ain't going anywhere. Just remember Wicked didn't get very good reviews and it is one of the most successful shows in Broadway history.

Mauritius October 4) To be honest the first time someone called and wanted to buy tickets for this show I thought they were making it up. Evidently it is a new play Theresa Rebeck and directed by Tony Winner Doug Hughes. It stars Bobby Cannavale (Will & Grace) and Tony Nominee Allison Pill.

Pygmalion (October 18) Starring Tony winner's Jefferson Hayes and Boyd Gaines. And making her Broadway debut, Claire Danes. Classic.

A Bronx Tale (October 18) Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri brings his masterpiece to the stage. Be sure to get your tickets fast as it is a limited engagement.

Cyrano De Bergerac (November 1) Once again a star studded revival with a limited run. Starring Kevin Kline, Jennifer Garner, and Daniel Sunjata this is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season.

Rock n Roll (November 4) The latest work from one of London's greatest playwrights. This new drama from Tom Stoppard (Last seasons Tony Winner for The Coast of Utopia) just finished a sold out run in London.

Young Frankenstein (November 8) I'll be honest I've never seen the movie. I didn't even see The Producers when it was on Broadway. My feeling was that anything built up that much was not going to be worth all the hype. How could it be? But I think I might give this one a shot. Why you ask? Well I have four words for you. Megan Mullally and Sutton Foster. I first discovered Ms. Mullally back in 1994 in another horrible production of Grease. She was the best thing about it. But I fell in love with her when she played Rosemary opposite John Stamos in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Yes I said John Stamos not Matthew Broderick. People forget that John began his Broadway career with this show. He did not disappoint. Now on to Sutton Foster. How can you not love this girl. I first met Ms. Foster back in 1998 when I was an assistant at a New York Casting office. She always greeted me with a smile and was always the nicest girl in the room. Now while I did not like Thoroughly Modern Millie I adored her. Same thing with The Drowsy Chaperone. Hated the show. Loved her. Who knows I might even buy a ticket for this one.

Dr. Seuss A.K.A The Grinch ( November 9) This was the unexpected hit of last season. I for one didn't expect to like it. But I have to admit that big green freak warmed my heart and even made a big lug like me cry a few tears. I said a few. Looks to be a holiday staple for many many years.

The Farnsworth Invention (November 14) Now this is the one that I am really looking forward to this season. It is a new drama written by Aaron Sorkin. For those few that don't know his work he was the writer and creator of The West Wing and the creator and writer of one of my favorite show of the last 10 years. I am of course talking about the now cancelled and underrated show "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip" It comes out on DVD October 27th. Well enough of my shameless plugs this new drama is about the advent of television. It stars Tony nominee Hank Azaria and directed by Two-time Tony Winner Des McAnuff. I can't wait.

The Seafarer (November 15) Once again a show I know very little about. According to their press release, The Seafarer is a new show by Conor McPherson about the sea. Ireland, and the power of myth. It stars David Morse. Know idea but I am always up for a new play.

Well that's Part 1 of the Broadway Season. Which will succeed and which will fail? We are about to find out. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Eriks Intro/Xanadu/Young Frankenstein report

Hi there. This is my first ever blog and it will be a quick one just to introduce myself. I’ve been selling tickets for 20 years now and have been with Applause for about 8 of those 20 years. I absolutely love the theatre and the industry I’m in.

What I’ll basically be doing is passing along my thoughts on the upcoming Broadway season on a daily basis and any inside information and or video/music clips that come my way.

The last show that I recently went to was the zany musical spoof of the Olivia Newton John movie “Xanadu”. It stars Kerry Butler and Cheyenne Jackson. It was a wonderful little show that was only 90 minutes long with no intermission. Just the way I like it, short and sweet!! It has a hysterical supporting cast, most notably Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman who literally stole the show!! It also has a wonderful turn by the Broadway and movie veteran Tony Roberts who plays the Gene Kelly role. If you’re looking for a harmless evening of pure fluff and big belly laughs, this will certainly do the trick and leave you with a smile on your face.

The other show that I’d like to mention is the upcoming new musical from the insane genius of Mel Brooks, “Young Frankenstein”. You may recall that Mel had a hit with a little show called “The Producers” that did pretty well and made mega stars of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. This current production has an amazing cast including: Roger Bart as Dr Frankenstein, Sutton Foster as Inga, Shuler Hensley as the Monster, Megan Mullally(From Will and Grace) as Elizabeth-The Madeline Khan Role and Andrea Martin as Frau Blucher-originally played by Cloris Leachman in the movie version.

I won’t say too much, but I have my fingers crossed that this show will be the Big Monster hit of the season!! I’m hearing mostly positive raves from the Seattle performances where it is currently playing out of town before beginning previews here in NY on October 11th at the Hilton Theatre.

Now for the Tip Of The Day: We Have Tickets on sale here at Applause!! And I personally would not wait until it is too late. The show is already selling extremely well and is sure to be the hot ticket this year. One of the Seattle television stations has an exclusive sneak peek of the show which I will now pass on to you through the magic of YouTube!! Click here:

Next blog should have something about Disney’s newest “Splash” hit “The Little Mermaid”! Until next time theater lovers!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mamma Mia is Now Longest Running Show at Prince of Wales

The global hit Mamma Mia! is now officially (as of August 18), the longest ever running show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, overtaking the record previously held by Aspects of Love.

Mamma Mia! London Theatre Show Tickets

Through the story telling magic of the songs of ABBA, we meet Donna, a feisty forty-something single mum, who recalls the distant memories of carefree days and careless nights whilst her daughter Sophie dreams of tradition, romance and a big white wedding.

Show Info | Find Tickets

Friday, August 17, 2007

When was the last original idea on Broadway?

April 19, 1976, June 4, 1990, and June 6, 2004. What do these three dates have in common? Well these are the only times in 28 years where the Tony Award for Best Musical was given to a show that wasn't based on a book, movie, or cartoon. Don't believe me?

1976 A Chorus Line The answer to the first date. It's back now and still just as powerful.
1977 Annie- A cartoon about a rambunctious little red head and her dog Sandy.
1978 Ain't Misbehavin' A revue featuring the music of Jazz legend Fats Weller. This will not be the last time a revue wins Best Musical.
1979 Sweeney Todd- Who would have thought a musical about a homicidal barber would win the hearts of the Tony voters?
1980 Evita- What's next? A musical about Golda Meir? I can hear it now. Goldy: The Musical.
1981 42nd Street- Movie
1982 Nine Movie
1983 Cats- Enough said.
1984 La Cage Aux Folles- From the French. First the Statue of Liberty and now this hilarious farce. What's next?
1985 Big River- Based on the classic tale of Huck Finn. One of my favorites. But once again a book.
1986 Drood-Book.
1987 Les Miserables- Book
1988 The Phantom of the Opera-Book and Movie
1989 Jerome Robbins' Broadway-Why not take all the best numbers from each show and turn it into one big Broadway revue. I mean does anyone really need to sit through High Button Shoes?
1990 City of Angels- Ding Ding Ding We have a winner. Yes I know it's based on the old detective movies of the 1940's. But can anybody reacall a detective named Stone?
1991 The Will Rogers Follies- This beat The Secret Garden?
1992 Crazy For You- Yes the story is new but the music we've heard a million times before.
1993 Kiss of the Spider Woman- A play and a movie.
1994 Passion- Based on the film Passione D' Amore. The shortest run of any Best Musical winner in history. Yes I hate Disney but the only reason this won was because the Tony Awards weren't ready to give the big prize to the Mouse.
1995 Sunset Boulevard-A Movie. The only new musical of the 1994-95 season. Smokey Joe's doesn't count. Maybe if had some competition who knows what might have happened.
1996 Rent- My favorite show. But it was based on La Boheme.
1997 Titanic- What? No Hindenburg the Musical?
1998 Lion King-The Mouse scores it's first victory.
1999 Fosse- See 1989.
2000 Contact- No live singing and recorder music. Aida wasn't that bad.
2001 The Producers-From what I have heard it was based on a Mel Brooks movie. I think it even won a few awards along the way as well.
2002 Thoroughly Modern Millie-The worst Best Musical winner. I wish I could take credit for that but it was Forbidden Broadway. New York has smelled like urine for years and it hasn't killed us yet. So why no love for a show called Urinetown?
2003 Hairspray-Great show. Great Movie.
2004 Avenue Q-Another winner. Puppets having sex. You can't make up stuff like that.
2005 Spamalot-Movie.
2006 Jersey Boys- The fisrt successful Jukebox musical. But still about Frankie Valli.
2007 Spring Awakening-My new fave. But still a book.

Well there you are. The facts don't lie and neither do I.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Carole Shelley to Return to Broadway's Wicked

Carole Shelley, who created the role of Madame Morrible in the Broadway production of Wicked, will return to the New York cast Aug. 28.

Tony winner Shelley will join a cast that currently includes Julia Murney as Elphaba, Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, Lenny Wolpe as The Wizard, Sebastian Arcelus as Fiyero, Cristy Candler as Nessarose, Logan Lipton as Boq, and Steven Skybell as Dr. Dillamond.

Shelley will succeed Jayne Houdyshell, who plays her final performance at the Gershwin Theatre Aug. 26.

Show Description:
Wicked takes a revisionist look at an American icon of evil and discovers how the young Elphaba, a passionate, committed young woman from Oz, becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. Her character is contrasted with that of her school roommate Glinda, who grows up to be the Good Witch.

More Info | Find Tickets

London's The Sound of Music will have a new Captain

London's The Sound of Music will have a new Captain Von Trapp in the form of Australian-born actor Simon Burke.

Burke will begin performances at the London Palladium Sept. 24 when he replaces Alexander Hanson in the end-of-contract cast change.

Show Description:
The Sound of Music - A timeless family classic which touches the hearts of all ages, the score brims over with some of the most memorable songs ever performed on the musical stage including My Favourite Things, Do Re Mi, Edelweiss, Climb Every Mountain, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, The Lonely Goatherd and of course the glorious title song The Sound of Music.

To buy tickets to The Sound of Music call us now 212-307-7050 or 1-800-451-9930.

More Info

London's Little Shop of Horrors to Close in September

The Menier Chocolate Factory production of Little Shop of Horrors , which has been playing in the West End's Duke of York's and the Ambassadors theatres for 26 weeks, will close on Sept. 8 prior to a U.K. tour in 2008.

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a household name, thanks to a highly successful film version and a score by the songwriting team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Little Shop of Horrors never fails to entertain.

To order tickets call: 212-307-7050 or 1-800-451-9930.

Broadway for the Next Generation

April 29, 1968. Anybody know what happened on that date? Well like most people I know, myself included, I was not alive in 1968. Heck I didn't even discover musicals until 1984. I mean let's be realistic the last thing a wild 11 year old wants to do is sit in a stuffy old theatre when instead he could be outside playing baseball with his buddies. Then one Easter Sunday that all changed. I remember my 5th Grade music teacher Mrs. Dawson told us about her favorite movie. The Sound of Music. Now at first the idea of watching a story about a nun who takes care of a bunch of kids in Pre-Nazi Germany didn't really interest me. But I figured I might as well give it a shot. Besides since I wasn't doing that hot in music class maybe watching the movie might secure some brownie points with my teacher. As soon as I got home I asked my Mom if we could watch the movie. To this day I still remember her exact words." Do you know how long The Sound of Music is? Three hours. There is now way you are going to be able to sit still for that long." I always like a challenge. Well not only did I watch the whole movie but I was glued to my seat the entire time. I didn't even get up during the commercials. From then on I was hooked. Over the years my love for the theatre has grown even more. Of course after living in New York for the past 15 years my tastes have changed. When I first moved here I would have run to see shows like Crazy For You or 42nd Street. Heck back then I might even have liked Mary Poppins. Not that there is anything wrong with those type of shows. Their just not my cup of tea. My favorite show is Rent. It has been since the first time I saw it back in April 1996. Over the years I have seen it over 20 times. And it never gets old. I still love it for the same reasons. Even after all these years I still cry in the same places. Who says a real man can't show emotion? I remember when Rent first opened people were calling it the "Hair of the 90's". Maybe that's true. Maybe it's not. What it did was give the kids of my generation something to believe in and do something that today in my opinion doesn't happen enough in the theatre. Rent makes you think and above all it makes you care. Not to mention the fact that it showcases music that speaks to me and to so many others. People in the 60's had Hair. In the 90's it was Rent. in 2007 it is Spring Awakening. What will be Broadways next "Rock" musical. Will we have to wait another 10 years to see the next one. I hope not. And by the way the answer to my little Trivia question was "Hair" That's where it all started. By remembering the past it will help make the future even that much brighter.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Casting Complete for Broadway's Lone Star Love

Complete casting has been announced for the upcoming Broadway production of Lone Star Love, the well-reviewed 2004-05 Off-Broadway musical that also spawned a cast album.

The revised version of the musical will arrive on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre following a limited engagement at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. The Seattle engagement is scheduled for Sept. 8-30. The Broadway run will begin Nov. 1 at the Belasco with an official opening Dec. 3.

Joining Randy Quaid (as Colonel John Falstaff), Robert Cuccioli (as Frank Ford) and Dee Hoty (as Margaret Anne Page) will be Lauren Kennedy as Agnes Ford, Clarke Thorell as Fenton, Ramona Keller as Miss Quickly, Drew McVety as Doctor Caius, Dan Sharkey as George Page, Kara Lindsay as MissAnne Page, Nick Sullivan as Sheriff Bob Shallow and Brandon Williams as Abraham Slender.

Show Information »

To order tickets call 212-307-7050 or 1-800-451-9930.

Wopat and DeJean to Return to Broadway's Chicago Aug. 7

Tom Wopat and Michelle DeJean will return to the Broadway cast of the Tony-winning Chicago revival Aug. 7 at the Ambassador Theatre.

Chicago NY Broadway Show

This revival of the 1975 Kander and Ebb musical is about love, murder and fame. It follows Roxie Hart who gains notoriety when she kills her boyfriend. A fun adventure through bribes, lies, fame and fun as she defends herself...“AND ALL THAT JAZZ”, through this romping sexy musical. Some of the best dancing seen on Broadway in years.

More Information | Find Tickets

Casting Announced for Newly Reworked Version of Rent in London

London will welcome a reworked version of Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer-Prize winning musical Rent this fall. More info »

London's Drowsy Chaperone Closes Aug. 4

The London production of the hit Broadway musical The Drowsy Chaperone — starring Elaine Paige in the title role — plays its final performance at the Novello Theatre Aug. 4.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

West End 'Les Miserables' to Mark 9,000th Performance

The world's longest running musical, the legendary Les Miserables will celebrate its 9,000th performance in London on Friday 10 August at the Queen's Theatre.

Les Miserables - London Theatre Show Tickets

Set amidst the social and political struggles of nineteenth century France, Les Miserables sweeps its audience through a tale of passion and destruction against a backdrop of a nation in the grip of revolution.

More Information | Find Tickets