Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Good morning! A few more Broadway flashback moments coming to Disaster! this week, per Seth Rudetsky's Instagram: "sethrudetsky: Coming post @disastermusical concerts for @bcefa Tues: Adam&Daphne, Wed: Max&Laura, Thurs: RosieAsRizzo!"

Broadway Bomb Scare.

The NYPD on Saturday night asked managers at several Broadway theaters to delay their openings while a bomb squad investigated a suspicious vehicle parked on Broadway in front of the Marriott Marquis hotel. Police quickly determined that the vehicle posed no threat, and shows in the vicinity including Hamilton, On Your Feet! and Finding Neverland started about 20 minutes late.

A spokesman for Finding Neverland said the curtain at that show, running at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on West 46th Street, went up at 8:24 PM after being given an all-clear by police. (Evening performances on Broadway typically begin around seven minutes past the hour.) A spokesman for Hamilton, at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th, and for On Your Feet! at the Marquis Theatre, which is in the hotel, confirmed that there were no evacuations nor were any audience members taken to the basements, as erroneously reported. (Deadline)

Soul Train to Broadway.

BET Networks has acquired the “Soul Train” franchise from InterMedia Partners and Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies. The deal includes more than 1,000 vintage episodes from the music and dance show that aired from 1971 through 2006. BET has aired the Soul Train Awards since 2009 and has aired older episodes of the show on BET and Centric in the past.

“BET Networks is honored to have acquired a brand with such a rich history and unique content that is forever relevant to all segments of our audience,” commented Richard Gay, exec VP of strategy and operations for BET Networks. “With a Broadway play and a concert tour as examples of opportunities in the works, we look forward to finding engaging and smart ways to grow the brand while preserving its heritage and legacy in music, dance and fashion.” (Variety)

Everybody say yeah!

Kinky Boots celebrated its three-year anniversary on Broadway yesterday, April 4, and is now the longest running show to ever play the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, a record previously held by the original production of The Man of La Mancha.


Coming on the heels of spring break, Week 45 saw a predictable dip even as two shows joined the fray. Among the newcomers, several are off to strong starts including Sarah Bareilles’ Waitress toted up $834.3K for seven performances — 93.5 percent of its potential and full houses at an average ticket price of $114.05. That’s more evidence of strong word of mouth on the show. Duncan Sheik’s American Psycho played seven previews taking in $506.2K or 55 percent of its gross potential, with an average ticket price of $72.35; not shabby for the Benjamin Walker vehicle, which also played to full houses. …

Dramas continued to have a tough go of it: Eclipsed, with Lupita Nyong’o took in $333.3K, just shy of 41 percent of potential. Blackbird, with Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels, took in $443.3K  or half its potential. Also in trouble: Disaster!, the musical spoof at the Nederlander, took in $380K, off $94K from the week before and at just 34.2 percent of potential. …

Total revenue for 36 shows was $30 million, a 5 percent drop from last week despite the addition of two new titles, according to the trade group Broadway League but dead even with the same week a year ago. (Deadline)

LEE SEYMOUR: The Tonys Are Just As White As The Oscars - Here Are The #TonysSoWhite Statistics - #TonysSoWhite might become the new social justice hashtag. In the midst of a notably diverse Broadway season, we delved into the Tony Awards database to see how they compared to Hollywood’s highest honor. The result? The Tonys and the Oscars are almost the same institution when it comes to racial diversity.

Since the awards began – 1929 for the Oscars, 1947 for the Tonys - over 95% of all nominees have been white, with the Tonys recognizing more people of color by less than 1%. The big difference is in the ratios: The Tonys recognize twice as many black artists, but the Oscars recognize three times as many Asians and Latinos.

The current Broadway season seems to fly in the face of the statistics, with a slew of likely nominations for the teams of Hamilton, The Color Purple, Eclipsed, and more. But it’s an anomaly – even Lin-Manuel Miranda calls it “an accident of timing.” The 2016 ceremony will hopefully be a watershed moment in recognizing diversity, but it’s inaccurate – and obstructive - to claim there is not a deep statistical bias against minorities on Broadway. (Forbes)

BROADWAY CIRQUE: Cirque du Soleil generated more than half its $850 million in revenue last year from eight acrobatically inclined shows, all of them in Las Vegas. The other half came from markets that did not include New York. Now the Montreal-based company is returning to New York not only to launch its first Broadway production but to try to transform the way it does business.

Unlike its Vegas productions, Paramour will use character-driven storytelling with a beginning, middle and end, in addition to its signature acrobatics.  The show, which begins preview performances April 16, will also mark Cirque's first scalable and replicable show in the company's 32-year history, meaning that a hit in New York could be taken on the road and exported around the world. (Crain's)

Tony nominee Marc Kudisch will join the cast of Finding Neverland on April 12. He’ll live by the hook as Charles Frohman, stepping in for understudy Paul Slade Smith, who temporarily claimed the role following Kelsey Grammer’s departure. (Broadway.com)

Casting has been announced for the upcoming Encores! production of Do I Hear a Waltz? … The cast will feature Drama Desk nominee Claybourne Elder as Eddie Yaeger, Tony nominee Melissa Errico as Leona Samish, Tony nominee Sarah Stiles as Giovanna, and Richard Troxell as Renato Di Rossi, along with Sarah Hunt, Zachary Infante, Cass Morgan, Richard Poe, and Michael Rosen. The ensemble also includes Kristine Bendul, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Jenny Laroche, Jennifer Locke, Nathan Madden, Skye Mattox, Devin Roberts, Manny Stark, and Alex Wong. (TheaterMania)

Tim Daly and more have been tapped for Penelope Skinner’s The Ruins of Civilization. … Joining Daly as Silver will be Orlagh Cassidy as Joy, Rachael Holmes as Dolores and Roxanna Hope as Maria. (Broadway.com)

THE WEISSLERS: Broadway Producers Try a New Recipe - For more than three decades, the husband-and-wife team of Barry and Fran Weissler has been producing shows on Broadway. They have racked up seven Tony Awards, all for revivals, and built a reputation for highly marketable star casting.

This spring, the couple is in rare territory with “Waitress,” a new musical they have been cooking up for years—without their winning recipe. ... Getting it right took time. They cycled through three creative teams, and today the show has about 75% new material since its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. last fall, said Mr. Weissler. And that was after standing ovations. (Wall Street Journal)

RESIDENCY: Signature Theatre has named Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks as Residency One Playwright for the off-Broadway company's 2016-17 season. The one-year, playwright-in-residence program produces a series of plays by one accomplished writer. (TheaterMania)

OFF-BROADWAY-BOUND: Katdashians: Break the Musical!, the unauthorized parody of the Kardashians as told through Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats, will run at Theatre 80 from May 31-June 3. (TheaterMania)

OUT OF TOWN: Sarah Ruhl's THE OLDEST BOY Set for Benefit Readings Across the U.S.; Celia Keenan-Bolger to Appear in NYC - After a critically acclaimed run at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater in 2014, Sarah Ruhl's play The Oldest Boy is set to be read at leading regional theaters around the country for the one-year anniversary of the Nepal earthquake, as part of a national effort to raise relief funds for the victims of the disaster. (BroadwayWorld)

CHEAP SEATS: The hit Disney musical Aladdin announced that it is moving its daily discount ticket lottery online starting April 4. A limited number of $30 tickets will be made available to every performance via AladdinTheMusical.com/lottery. (Playbill)

IN DEVELOPMENT: Jeffrey Hatcher Brings Sherlock Holmes Back to the Stage - To celebrate its 50th anniversary season, Arizona Theatre Company has commissioned a new Sherlock Holmes mystery, titled Holmes and Watson. … The play is being written by Jeffrey Hatcher, who is familiar with the characters: He wrote the screenplay to the 2015 film Mr. Holmes. (Playbill)

FESTIVAL: Andrew Lippa and Jeffrey Seller Team Up as Part of Bay Street Theatre's 3rd Annual New Works Theatre Festival - Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts have announced the lineup 3rd Annual New Works Festival, April 29 - May 1. … The plays included in the festival are The Roommate by Jen Silverman, Community by Stephen Kaplan, From Ship to Shape by Walker Vreeland, and the new musical The Man in the Ceiling by Jules Feiffer and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. (BroadwayWorld)

‘Antlia Pneumatica,’ With Voices in the Dark - There’s a supernatural dimension to “Antlia Pneumatica,” which has been directed with a mix of bright whimsy and dark portentousness by Ken Rus Schmoll and features a likable cast led with grace by Annie Parisse. But it is definitely a downer to report that the play’s ghost story feels as leaden and ultimately unsurprising as its collective portrait of midlife doubts in the face of mortality. (The New York Times)

Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘King and Country’ at BAM - NYT Critics’ Pick - All four productions, generally in traditional dress and featuring handsome minimalist sets, are directed by Gregory Doran. And while there are, among these mighty 12 hours of theater, inevitably some sluggish patches, the overall achievement here — which includes one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen, Antony Sher’s Falstaff — is nothing short of magnificent. (The New York Times)


7:00 PM:  PREVIEWS  The Dingdong @ Pearl Theatre Company

THIS DAY IN BROADWAY HISTORY: In 1994, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women opened at the Promenade Theatre following a run at the Vineyard Theatre. Myra Carter, Marian Seldes and Jordan Baker played the trifecta that embody the same woman at different ages.

BROADWAY BIRTHDAYS: Todrick Hall, Daniel S. Wise


Rebecca Luker performs “Days & Days” to commemorate the beginning of her limited run as Helen Bechdel in Fun Home. Welcome to her house on Maple Avenue: http://bit.ly/1qriuuQ
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