Related Shows Role That Was a Dream Come True “I used to pinch myself every day that I walked into the St. James Theatre to play Leo Bloom in The Producers [four stints, 2004-2007]. I did it with John Treacy Egan, Brad Oscar and Tony Danza [as Max Bialystock], and it was a thrill to play the final performance of an iconic musical. I had seen the show a couple of times before going in, so I had Matthew Broderick in mind, but they allowed me to find my own version. Leo is a guy who has been closed off from the world. Max opens his eyes and helps him to really live for the first time, even though it’s by becoming a cheat. There’s something great about being a play in which you don’t have to work hard to get laughs—it’s like surfing. I felt so fortunate to be part of a Mel Brooks experience. I will always be able to say, ‘I was a Leo Bloom.’” Role I Wish I Could Have Done Longer “I loved every minute of Hands on a Hardbody [2013, as Benny Perkins], and I’ll always regret not being able to play that role longer. Benny was an Iraq war vet damaged by the loss of his son; he won the truck [in a previous competition] and he wants to win again to overcome his pain. By the end, he learns to reconnect with people, especially the character played by Keith Carradine. It was a very complicated character, and I loved the fact that he has redemption at the end. We tallied up that we probably spent five days around that truck during rehearsals. It was one of my favorite experiences ever, even though it ended so quickly. Musicals are all about timing, so who knows what might have happened in a different season. We’ll never know—unless it gets revived in 20 years!” Role I Would Love to Do Again “Kiss of the Spider Woman [2008, as Molina; Signature Theatre of Virginia] is a show that I would kill to do again. The role is such a roller coaster; by the end of the night I would be completely exhausted. Again, a complicated character: He’s got an incredible imagination and is full of heart and love, but doesn’t know where to place that love. And he’s heroic—in the end, he basically gives up his life for Valentin. [Composer] John Kander came to rehearsal, and I got to sing ‘She’s a Woman’ with him at the piano. He said, “I want you to interpret this and do whatever you want, and I’m just going to follow you.’ I thought, ‘My god!’ It was an amazing thrill and the most rewarding show I’ve ever done.” Role That Was the Most Challenging “Definitely, the most challenging thing I’ve ever done was a play by Thomas Bradshaw called Burning [2011, as Older Chris] at the New Group. It was three hours long with a lot of sexual scenes, and I had to be completely naked. My character was the older version of a young drug addict who was adopted by two gay men, and the play followed his journey through life. It was a complicated, broken character, and I had to let go of my inhibitions and expose myself on stage literally and emotionally. Then, friends and family came and sat on the front row! Even though the play was extremely challenging, I’m glad I did it. I felt like if I do that—just go for it—I could do just about anything.” Role That Was My Favorite to Prepare “I’ve never had a better time putting a show together than Happiness [2009, as Stanley; Best Featured Actor Drama Desk nomination]. [Director/choreographer] Susan Stroman created a wonderful environment, and Lincoln Center Theater is a terrific place to work. Great cast, too, including Joanna Gleason and Ken Page. I played a train conductor who helped people go on to the afterlife—when they died, they would get on his subway car. He was a bit of a scoundrel, which I enjoyed! Happiness was also one of the most disappointing experiences, because it deserved more than it got from the critics. It moved audiences as much as any show I’ve been in. Everything about it felt like love.” Hunter Foster can talk about musicals with an extra level of authority. Not only has the Tony-nominated actor starred in a fascinating variety of shows, he has actually written one—the book of the touching musical adaptation of Summer of ’42. Foster is currently taking on the challenge of creating a fleshed-out version of Bud Johnson, the husband of Kelli O’Hara’s character, in the Broadway premiere of The Bridges of Madison County. “I gravitate toward complicated characters,” says the versatile actor, which is obvious from his six Role Call choices. View Comments The Bridges of Madison County Role That Was My Big Break “Urinetown [2001, as doomed hero Bobby Strong] was so special, particularly because we started in a 160-seat off-Broadway theater and became the hottest ticket in town. It was a unique little show that made it all the way to Broadway, and getting to perform on the Tony Awards was a childhood dream come true. When my agent sent me the script, he said, ‘Everyone is going to be scared away by the title.’ Shows that sound bad usually are, but Urinetown was a really well-crafted piece—sort of a love letter to musical theater. [Director] John Rando told everyone that the more serious we were, like Jerry Orbach in Law & Order, the funnier the show would be. I took my lead from Nancy Opel [as urinal matron Penelope Pennywise], who played every moment as if it was life and death. The ridiculousness is what made it so funny.” Show Closed This production ended its run on May 18, 2014
Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan will make her West End stage debut opposite Bill Nighy in a revival of David Hare’s Skylight. Directed by Tony winner and Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry, the play will open at Wyndham’s Theatre on June 6 and play a limited engagement through August 23. Opening night is scheduled for June 18. View Comments Skylight tells the story of a teacher, Kyra Hollis (Mulligan), who receives an unexpected visit from her former lover Tom Sergeant (Nighy) and his son Edward, played by Matthew Beard, who will make his stage debut. Mulligan earned an Oscar nod for An Education and also appeared in Inside Llewyn Davis, The Great Gatsby, Drive, Never Let Me Go, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Brothers, Pride and Prejudice, My Boy Jack, When Did You Last See Your Father? and Public Enemies. She made her Broadway debut in The Seagull in 2008. Nighy has performed in Hare’s Pravda, Map of the World, a previous production of Skylight and a Broadway mounting of the playwright’s The Vertical Hour. His many film credits include Love Actually, Wild Target, Pirate Radio, Valkyrie, AKA, Notes on a Scandal, Underworld, The Constant Gardner, Lawless Heart, Still Crazy, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and About Time.
View Comments Broadway.com has gone to the dogs (and cats!) in honor of Broadway Barks, the 16th annual adoption event that helps pets of all shapes and sizes find homes. The event kicks off on July 12 at 3 PM, but we can’t wait until then to salute our furry friends. So, we want to know, of all the animal characters featured Broadway shows, from the studious Doctor Dillamond in Wicked to the glamorous Grizabella in Cats, which would you like to adopt and bring home with you? Do you want to have “Suppertime” with Snoopy from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown? Go “Under the Sea” with Sebastian from The Little Mermaid? Browse porn on the internet with Trekkie Monster from Avenue Q? Cast your vote below!
Sit back, relax and get ready for the absolute best part of the week. No, not a new episode of Dance Moms. It’s time for the Lessons of the Week! We’re bringing you all of the silliest, strangest and craziest Broadway news from the last seven days. We learned that Lea Michele might be getting freaky, Zachary Quinto might be getting naked, and we can actually live on Aaron Tveit Way. (Yep. This is real.) Check it out!Wicked Was All Ben Platt’s IdeaWe always knew The Book of Mormon star Ben Platt was well-connected—his dad is Wicked producer Marc Platt, after all. But we had no idea Platt’s obsession with The Wizard of Oz is what inspired his dad to take on the project…and that working with Kristin Chenoweth on The Music Man got her cast as Glinda. The Great and Powerful Ben Platt has spoken!Lea Michele Could Be a FreakGlee gal Lea Michele is apparently eyeing another Ryan Murphy project—American Horror Story: Freak Show! We immediately started dreaming up ridiculous freaks (with love) we’d like to see her play, including a half-goat, half-Lea hybrid and a Bollywood monkey. Best of all, these ideas are totally, completely plausible.Nathan Lane Makes a Great GlindaYou can see the real Nathan Lane in It’s Only a Play, but to catch a great impression of the Tony-winning star, check out Wicked. Jenni Barber is serving up l’essence du Nathan Lane eight times a week as oh-so-popular witch Glinda. Wait—a creature with the head of Nathan Lane and the body of Glinda? Lea Michele could totally play that.Patti LuPone Is the Ice Bucket QueenWe’ve seen Broadway stars go shirtless, go shirtless again, and even get help from an elephant to raise money for ALS, but the winner of the best ice bucket challenge of all time unquestionably goes to Broadway legend and beach bum Patti LuPone. Can we get this gal a special Tony for her showstopping performance?James Snyder Might Have HypothermiaSpeaking of ice and buckets, If/Then star James Snyder documented his ice bucket challenge on his Broadway.com video blog. Not content to follow the crowd, Snyder had fans at the stage door pour individual cups of ice on him, one at a time. Slowly. After cup five, he clearly began to regret this decision. The moral of this story? Be more like Patti LuPone.Ethel Merman Lived on Sesame StreetOK, this isn’t exactly news, but this week we revisited an awesome old clip of Ethel Merman cheering up the citizens of Sesame Street with a rousing rendition of “Tomorrow” from Annie on a special holiday episode. She also tells Imogene Coca (another apparent Sesame Street resident) she “looks like an idiot.” Way to get into the Christmas spirit, Ethel.No One Is Alone with the Sondheim AppWhat goes together like peanut butter and jelly? Yes, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana, but what else? Stephen Sondheim and technology, of course! Starting September 1, there’s a new phone app that features a series of short movies with a Sondheim soundtrack. Well, there are worse things than staring at your iPhone on a Sunday.Girls Loves Naked Broadway BoysFirst, Hedwig star Andrew Rannells showed his butt on TV’s Girls. Now, The Glass Menagerie alum Zachary Quinto might be getting in on the naked dude action. This is an awesome trend, HBO. Next we’d like to nominate Aaron Tveit, Jeremy Jordan and Ramin Karimloo for the Girls naked dude challenge.Theater People are the Sexiest PeopleWhen we asked the cast of It’s Only a Play what makes someone a “theater person,” we got a lot of wacky responses. Apparently, theater people can’t do anything else for a living, are usually gay and don’t make a lot of money (unless they’re Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, of course). But as F. Murray Abraham points out, they’re also the sexiest people. Damn straight. Oops, we mean damn “usually gay.”You Can Now Live on Aaron Tveit WayTveitortots, the day has finally, finally arrived: Aaron Tveit has a street named after him. HOORAY! We’re so glad Middletown, NY was eventually convinced by the flyers, flowers and trucks full of peanut butter cups we’ve been sending to the Middletown mayor’s office every day for the last five years. Bye, we’re going house hunting. See you next week! View Comments
The Last Ship Rock legend Sting is officially a Broadway composer and the Grammy winner stopped by The Today Show on November 7 to talk up The Last Ship. The project has been a labor of love for him for over five years, but his roots with the material go much further back—all the way to his childhood. “There’s more of me in the play than I actually meant to,” he says. Then, three of the tuner’s stars, Michael Esper, Rachel Tucker and Aaron Lazar performed the hauntingly romantic “When We Dance.” But that’s not all! Sting himself gave Al Roker a tour of the Neil Simon Theatre, during which they crashed the orchestra pit, watched Lazar get inked up, grabbed a pint from the on-stage tap, and of course, did a little soft-shoe. Check out the clips below! Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2015 View Comments Related Shows
A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters will shutter prematurely at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre on December 14. Pairs of rotating stars, including Anjelica Huston and Martin Sheen, had previously been announced for the production through February 15, 2015. At time of closing the show will have played 6 preview and 95 regular performances. Love Letters originally opened off-Broadway in March 1989, starring Kathleen Turner and John Rubinstein. The play changed its cast every week and other notable names that appeared in that incarnation included Victor Garber, Julie Harris, Christopher Reeve and Christopher Walken. The show transferred to Broadway in October of that year, with Lynn Redgrave, John Clark, Stockard Channing and more appearing in the production. Directed by Gregory Mosher, Love Letters is a funny and emotional portrait about the powerful connection of love. Two friends, rebellious Melissa Gardner and straight-arrow Andrew Makepeace Ladd III have exchanged notes, cards and letters with each other for over 50 years. From second grade, through summer vacations, to college, and well into adulthood, they have spent a lifetime discussing their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, and victories and defeats. But long after the letters are done, the real question remains: Have they made the right choices or is the love of their life only a letter away? Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 14, 2014 The previously announced It Shoulda Been You will begin performances at the Brooks Atkinson on March 17. View Comments Love Letters Related Shows Love Letters opened on September 18 starring Brian Dennehy and Mia Farrow. Carol Burnett joined Dennehy on October 11, with their run followed by the current stars, Alan Alda and Candice Bergen, who stepped into the production on November 9. Along with Huston and Sheen, Stacy Keach and Diana Rigg had also been set to star in the show.
The Broadway.com staff is crazy about Culturalist, the awesome site that lets you create and rank your own top 10 lists! Every week, we challenge you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank—then we announce the most popular choices on the new episode of The Broadway.com Show every Wednesday. Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list. STEP 3—PREVIEW: You will now see your complete top 10 list. If you like it, click the “publish” button. (If you don’t have a Culturalist account yet, you will be asked to create one at this point.) STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites and click the “continue” button. STEP 2—RANK: Reorder your 10 choices by dragging them into the correct spot on the list. Click the “continue” button. Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results on the next episode of The Broadway.com Show! Last week, we were so excited about the big-screen adaptations of Annie and Into the Woods, we asked you to rank the musicals in AFI’s list of top 25 movie musicals of all time. The results are in, and The Sound of Music took the lead! This week, we’ve got a tough year-end challenge: Of all the great shows that opened on Broadway in 2014, which was the absolute best? Broadway.com Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek kicked off the challenge with his list of best shows here. View Comments
JAMES CALLAGHAN Played by Tony Ward Years as Prime Minister: 1976 to 1979 Here’s Wilson’s successor, a man whose name is regularly bandied about as Britain’s worst prime minister. (Some disagree.) Immediately, Callaghan had to deal with Britain’s trade unions and cut government spending. It went the exact opposite of well. His decision to halt union wage increases at five percent led to the Winter of Discontent of 1978-79, which “paralyzed hospital care, refuse collection, and other essential services,” according to The Encyclopedia Britannica. Even worse: in March 1979, Callaghan was issued a vote of no confidence by his own government, paving the way for an election against Margaret Thatcher. Take a wild guess how that went. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 28, 2015 ANTHONY EDEN Played by Michael Elwyn Years as Prime Minister: 1955 to 1957 Before he turned 40, Eden was a World War I veteran, parliament member, and the foreign secretary for Chamberlain. Eden served the latter role again under Churchill on two separate occasions until 1955. Tabbed as the Conservative Party’s new leader, Eden’s political rise crashed in 1956—and it involved foreign policy! Eden, along with France and Israel, used military force against Egypt’s General Abdel Nasser, who had nationalized the Suez Canal. Just one problem: America wasn’t onboard. “Eden was left to face the humiliating fact that Britain was no longer a world power, and he was obliged to withdraw British forces,” according to the BBC. Oops! Predictably, Eden resigned in January 1957. The Audience HAROLD WILSON Played by Richard McCabe Years as Prime Minister: 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976 Wilson’s resignation in 1976 was a shock. Not only was he held in high regard—if you’re to believe Mirren, he was the Queen’s favorite—there was no Watergate or intern scandal hanging over his head. Wilson simply wanted to make room for the next wave. They had much to live up to. Under his watch, Wilson suspended the death penalty and legalized abortion (though under certain conditions). He also kept British troops out of the Vietnam War. “The immense popularity of Harold Wilson had been rooted in his plain style as well as in his flexible politics,” The New York Times observed in his 1995 obituary. Related Shows MARGARET THATCHER Played by Judith Ivey Years as Prime Minister: 1979 to 1990 Thatcher reversed the mess Callaghan left behind. Also, she was Britain’s first prime female minister, and the first elected to three terms. However, her historic reign was not all tea and crumpets. She led the British to victory in the Falklands War, but was nearly killed after the IRA planted a bomb at a Conservative Party conference. Her policies—including reforming trade unions and reducing social expenditures—helped lower inflation, but caused unemployment levels to skyrocket. And Thatcher actually resigned in the middle of her third term because her agenda (featuring the disastrous poll tax) clashed with fellow party members, who challenged her leadership. But when your life is turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep, you’ve done OK. JOHN MAJOR Played by Dylan Baker Years as Prime Minister: 1990 to 1997 Talk about a tough act to follow. Major, the son of an ex-circus performer, actually did an OK job succeeding Thatcher. (He was knighted, an honor not bestowed upon the hopeless—we think.) Under Major’s regime, there was a temporary cease-fire between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Island; plus, in the mid-1990s, unemployment and inflation decreased. Unfortunately, Major was never especially popular. Why? His first years in office occurred during an economic recession. Large tax increases did not endear Major to regular folk and neither did their perception of him as a “colorless and indecisive” leader. Ouch! Plus, the Conservative Party had been in power since 1979. Change was overdue. “It’s not you, it’s me” extends into politics! TONY BLAIR Played by Rufus Wright Years as Prime Minister: 1997 to 2007 This guy had a lot of firsts: At the age of 41, the whippersnapper became the youngest-ever leader of the Labour Party when John Smith suddenly died of a heart attack. Then at 43, he became the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, winning by the largest landslide in Labour Party history. Within months of taking office, Princess Diana died and as seen in Morgan’s movie The Queen (which won Mirren her Oscar), Blair famously helped the Royal Family navigate the stormy waters caused by their initial public reaction to the death of “The People’s Princess.” It wasn’t all smooth sailing for him though—in the first six years in office, Blair sent British troops to battle a whopping five times—the most of any prime minister to date. WINSTON CHURCHILL Played by Dakin Matthews Years as Prime Minister: 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955 Churchill is probably why the United Kingdom isn’t speaking German right now. During World War II, Churchill refused to follow former PM Neville Chamberlain’s accommodating attitude toward the Nazis. He got the political parties to work together and filled important positions with qualified hires. Most importantly, Churchill partnered with the United States and Soviet Union to defeat the Axis Powers, and even helped develop a strategy afterward. Still, the living icon—he was knighted and won a Nobel Prize for Literature—adored the far-younger queen. “I think my grandfather was platonically in love with her,” said Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soames. “As a beautiful young woman she embodied all his romantic ideas of monarchy.” DAVID CAMERON Played by Rufus Wright Years as Prime Minister: 2010 to present Queen Elizabeth’s latest chat buddy initially brought youthful optimism to his leadership role. Cameron became Prime Minister at 43, the youngest to hold the position since 1812. “I want to switch on a whole new generation,” he told the BBC in 2005. During his regime, Cameron has promoted gay marriage and formed a pact with Liberal Democrats, leading to the first coalition government since World War II. Cameron has been confronted with a cold blast of political reality. Currently, he is under fire for not reducing immigration into the UK, a promise he made five years ago that he has not kept. View Comments Her Majesty has arrived! The Audience, Peter Morgan’s fictionalized account of Queen Elizabeth II’s weekly visits with her prime ministers, opens at the Schoenfeld Theater March 8 after a celebrated debut across the pond. Helen Mirren again portrays the monarch, this time holding court over a series of conversations with Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and more. Here’s a cheat sheet to give you a leg up on these royal sitdowns! GORDON BROWN Played by Rod McLachlan Years as Prime Minister: 2007 to 2010 Brown had the misfortune of being on board during the 2008 financial crisis leading to everything being not-so OK in the UK: massive unemployment, foreclosures, and a national budget deficit that would not go away. (Sound familiar, guys?) Brown might be forgiven for that, not so much the financial improprieties in Parliament and in his own cabinet. He certainly didn’t help matters by expensing 12,000 pounds in personal housecleaning and gardening services with parliamentary funds. His approval ratings dwindled. A change in power from the Labour Party to the Conservative Party, led to Brown’s 2010 resignation. QUEEN ELIZABETH II Played by Helen Mirren Prince Harry and William’s grandma was named queen after the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. She was officially crowned on June 2, 1953, a few months after her 27th birthday. Queen Elizabeth’s job is very ceremonial: attending events, reading letters from citizens, meeting with various politicians and dignitaries, and discussing daily and future business. It’s basically like a less klutzy version of The Princess Diaries. Among those duties is meeting with the current prime minister every Wednesday. Do they talk about horses, the Queen’s passion? We don’t know. Records are not kept and neither party discloses details.
Related Shows from $29.00 James Barbour is bringing “The Music of the Night” to Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, and we’ve got a first look at the new masked man in action. The headliner is currently appearing in the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-musical at the Majestic Theatre alongside Julia Udine as Christine and Jeremy Hays as Raoul. You alone can make his song take flight—check out this Hot Shot, then catch Barbour as the Phantom on Broadway! View Comments The Phantom of the Opera
View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016 Related Shows Les Miserables Tony nominee Will Swenson is set to return to Les Miserables on Broadway on November 18 in the role of Javert, stepping in for Earl Carpenter as he recovers from a neck injury. Carpenter will undergo an MRI this week to determine a treatment plan and timetable for recovery. Swenson was the original Javert in the revival, which is playing at the Imperial Theatre.”As long as the results of the MRI aren’t too scary, I’ll be back on the barricade as soon as possible,” Carpenter said in a statement. “I’m grateful to Will Swenson for filling in for me on short notice!” Swenson added: “Super happy to get the chance to come back to Les Miz for a couple of weeks and fill in for Earl while his injury heals up. We’ve all been there before. And for all the times I’ve been hurt, I’m glad to repay the karma cycle of filling-in. Wishing the amazing Earl Carpenter a speedy and healthy recovery!”Swenson received a Tony nomination for Hair. His additional Broadway credits include Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, 110 in the Shade, Lestate and Brooklyn: the Musical.The newly reimagined production of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s tuner is directed by James Powell and School of Rock’s Laurence Connor. The current cast also includes Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Montego Glover as Fantine, Brennyn Lark as Eponine, Chris McCarrell as Marius, Alexandra Finke as Cosette, Wallace Smith as Enjolras and Gavin Lee and Rachel Izen as the Thenardiers. Hayden Tee will assume the role of Javert on January 29.