Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Excitementworthy - Theatre News, Billy Elliot, Les Mis, Shrek, Hamlet 2, Theatre Awards Season Starts

It's April 22nd! Happy Earth Day!

Glory Days begins previews on Broadway today! I'm excited about this for them! It's the little musical that could!

Neil Haskell starts in Altar Boyz today! I am WAY too excited about this.

I don't know why this excites me since I'll never be able to afford a ticket for the first 4 years of the run, in which by that time, many new Billy's will be found but The New York Times have introduced us to the first 3 Billy Elliot's for the Broadway opening of Billy Elliot The Musical this Oct. 1st. at the Imperial Theatre (where it will be playing until these 3 Billy's can retire at an old-age home).

From left to right: David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish, and Trent Kowalik! Adorable! Interesting colour/ethnic blind casting! Talent really does overule! Plus the fact that it must be extremely difficult to cast 11-13 year old boys whose voice haven't cracked that can sing, act and dance incredibly.

Oh look, and they announce the Billy's just in time for tomorrow's (April 23rd) presale for Amex Card holders (though it may have just been changed). General public sale starts June 15th. Get your hands on them while you can, because as long as they didn't screw it up coming across the Atlantic, this is one show you won't want to miss. I saw the original cast in London and it was FANTASTIC!

UPDATE: Here are pics from the preview performance they did for the press. (Apr. 23 2008)

In other casting news that made me OMG out loud, John Lloyd Young, the Tony winner wonder from Jersey Boys has joined the cast of Les Mis at the Hollywood Bowl this summer that already included Lea Michelle (Spring Awakening), Rosie O'Donnell, Aaron Lazar (The Light in the Piaza), Melora Hardin (Jan on The Office), and Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime and who alone is worth the price of admission).

Apparently my friend might already have tickets from his subsciption and if he does (he needs to verify), invited me to go. OMG, see you in LA this August!

Well, they sure are taking no chances and slowly winning me over, but Shrek The Musical (which opens officially Dec. 15th at the Broadway Theatre in New York after a Seattle tryout) continues its casting coups by rounding out their top notch cast that now includes Christopher Seiber (Spamalot, LeNez on Pushing Daisies) as Lord Farquaar, Brian d'Arcy James (White Christmas) as Shrek, triple threat Sutton Foster (Young Frankenstein, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Princess Fiona, John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Johnny and the Sprites) as Pinocchio, and Kecia Lewis-Evan (The Drowsy Chaperone) as the Dragon.

Then there's Chester Gregory II as Donkey, Jennifer Cody (Urinetown), Haven Burton (Legally Blonde), Chris Hoch (Die Mommie Die) and so on and so on.

And it's David Lindsay-Abaire, Pulitzer Prize winner from last year for Rabbit Hole, writing the book and lyrics and Jason Moore (Avenue Q) directing! Music is by Olivier Award-winner Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie & Caroline, or Change) but that worries me a bit because I didn't love those two for the music but word on the street already that Shrek is pretty catchy and wonderful.

I'm still appalled but now I'm appalled but kinda excited and curious.

UPDATED INSERT: I'm adding this here since I'm sure no one really cares except me, but they've announced the cast for She Loves Me at the Huntington Theater in Boston and it included Brooks Ashmankas (The Ritz), Troy Britton Johnson (The Drowsy Chaperone) and the AMAZING Kate Baldwin who won me over in Toronto in White Christmas. Seriously, Kate should be a bigger Broadway star. I can't wait to see She Loves Me! I'm seeing it in early June and it's one of my favorite musicals I've never seen!

I know a few bloggers have already posted this but I'm curious and excited about Hamlet 2, the new movie with Steve Coogan, Amy Poehler, Catherine Keener and David Arquette, but more importantly, a student role for Spring Awakening's Skylar Astin without his Georg curls for once.

Here's the restricted trailer (NSFW) which is about a loser teacher presenting the sequel to Hamlet for drama class at the high school he teaches. It's like if SNL did Camp!

I'm still trying to figure out when I should/could get tickets to see Equus, the play with a naked Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe (and fellow Potterite Richard Griffith, not naked). Considering I barely know my plans beyond next week, it's hard to plan for the Sept 2008 to Feb. 2009.

The Outer Critics Awards nominations came out yesterday but they were mostly a joke. If Young Frankenstein (which wasn't terrible but wasn't good by any means) got the most nominations, it's gotta give serious doubt to these proceedings.

The Drama League nominations come out in an hour so I'll update this when they do.

UPDATE: So the noms are out in the 5 categories and I forgot that since there' only one performance award, almost everyone gets nominated.

And almost every new musical (except In the Heights because it was eligible last year and Glory Days which will be eligible next year) and play got nominated.

The only big surprise is that last summers Seussical got nominated for Best Revival (since the Drama League looks Off-Broadway too) which is totally great because I really enjoyed the production at the Lucille Lortel Theater.


Esther said...

The three Billys are very cute! I can't wait to see this. You are so lucky to have seen it in London with the original cast. How do you think it'll do before American audiences? Do you think it'll translate well?

It's interesting, most shows, you know who the performer will be. But I guess you won't really know ahead of time which Billy you'll get, unless they have a set schedule once the show opens. And he's like the main character!

I'm not terribly excited about "Equus." I love the Harry Potter books, but I've never been that impressed with Daniel Radcliffe. I know he started to make the movies when he was about 8, so I don't want to be too harsh. But he's not a big draw for me.

And I didn't think I wanted to see "Shrek." But if the music's catchy, I may have to reconsider!

Vance said...

Yeah, the London was the same way. Three Billy's on rotation. You never really knew who you were going to get but apparently I got the "worst" one and he was AMAZING so I can't imagine how the other 2 were. I was stunned and in awe of the talent I saw on stage.

Yeah, I didn't want to see Shrek but then I keep hearing about the cast, and the writers... DAMNIT... I'm slowly getting sucked in!

Teza said...

If you don't mind me saying something, you have the billy boys in the wrong order:
From left: David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik.

Vance said...


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