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Wouldn’t It Be AbFab?! Madonna, Emma Watson, Billy Porter & More Make the Cut for Our Fantasy Musical Cast

first_img Jessie J as Bubble (played onscreen by Jane Horrocks)  Eddy’s personal assistant Bubble favors flamboyant outfits, is fluent in French… and slightly lacking in common sense. Jessie J undeniably has the musical theater chops to nail the role—she made her West End debut at the age of 11 in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind. Sure, casting directors would pick Annaleigh Ashford, Alli Mauzey and Leslie Kritzer for this (they’d be great!), but we also think Jessie J would be—wait for it—absolutely fabulous! Now that Absolutely Fabulous’ creator Jennifer Saunders is officially working on a movie version of the classic 1990s sitcom about a champagne-guzzling, drug-abusing, chain-smoking publicist and those (un)fortunate enough to be in her orbit, we think the show is ripe to be a musical. Saunders already has some experience writing a tuner with the Spice Girls extravaganza Viva Forever!, so imagine the girl-power fireworks that would be on display if she teamed up with Kinky Boots’ Tony winner Cyndi Lauper! We’re sure the TV show would make an absolutely fabulous Broadway show, especially with our fantasy cast. Take a look. Billy Porter as Patsy Stone (played onscreen by Joanna Lumley) A former model, the always chic Patsy is well-known for her love of a party and the outrageous antic or two. However, she also has a sensitive side. Lumley’s portrayal has become an icon for drag queens the world over and there’s only one person on the planet who could step into Patsy’s Kinky Boots: Tony winner Billy Porter! View Comments Madonna as Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (played onscreen by Jennifer Saunders) Eddy is on a constant quest to remain young and cool despite being middle-aged and twice divorced. For some reason the Grammy-winning Madonna came to mind. She’s got Broadway experience (from her long ago gig in Speed-the Plow), is “familiar” with British accents, has musical know-how from her Golden Globe-winnng performance in the Evita movie and can definitely keep a live audience entertained. Emma Watson as Saffron “Saffy” Monsoon (played onscreen by Julia Sawalha) Watson’s Harry Potter co-stars Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe have already appeared onstage and we think it’s high time Watson tread the boards. The popular star might have to tone down her English rose looks, but she would be perfect as the polar opposite of her wild-child mother Eddy. And since Radcliffe won a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for his turn in musical theater, we only think it’s fair that a girl Gryffindor does as well! Maggie Smith as Mother (played onscreen by June Whitfield) Dame Maggie recently complained that she was looking for theater work but doesn’t get any offers. We’d like to change that. Given the jolt of humor she weekly pumps into Downton Abbey, Smith would be superb at stirring up the tension between Edina and Saffy with Mother’s “helpful” comments. Can she sing? Who cares! She’s Maggie Smith!last_img read more

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Five Groundhog Day Movie Moments We Want to See Musicalized

first_img PHIL’S MISERABLE WEATHER FORECAST Once it’s become clear to Phil that he’s living in a Groundhog Day time warp, he gets a teeny bit jaded, which is the perfect time for a rebellious punk-rock tune (punk-rock for Broadway, anyway) in the style of Spring Awakening’s “Totally F*cked.” Also, it’s a great excuse for Phil to curse and smash things. Sing it with us! “Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah…” PHIL’S SERENADE Once Phil stops trying to convince Rita (Andie MacDowell) he’s a good guy and starts actually being a good guy, everything changes. He’s smooth, he’s friendly, he can play the piano, this dude has everything. It’s the perfect time for a sweeping, romantic showstopper a la West Side Story. “Phil Connors… I just met a guy named Phil Connors…”  EVERY NED RYERSON SCENE No Groundhog Day musical would be complete without a giant dance extravaganza led by our favorite life insurance salesman, Ned “the Head” Ryerson. (Am I right? Or am I right, or am I right?) We propose a little ditty called “Watch Out For That First Step (It’s a Doozy),” sung by Ned and a bunch of perky Punxsutawney townsfolk in tap shoes, splashing around in icy sludge puddles a la Singing in the Rain. Bing! “I’M A GOD (NOT THE GOD)” Shows about God do great on Broadway (The Book of Mormon, anyone?) so when Phil gets the epiphany that he’s a god (not the God, a god), we suggest a big, flashy gospel number. The diner patrons could put on glittering choir robes, jump up on the counter and sing Hallelujah. (Broadway fun fact: scroll to 1:09 for a quick Michael Shannon cameo. Yep, that’s him!)  In honor of the only official holiday named after a rodent, we’d like to remind you that there is, right this very minute, a Groundhog Day musical being created by Matilda composer Tim Minchin. Based on the awesome Bill Murray comedy of the same name, the new musical has the potential to be equally great—as long as it nails a few key moments in the story. Pour yourself a sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist and let’s dissect the top five scenes we can’t wait to see on stage. THE GROUNDHOG HEIST When Phil the Groundhog goes on a joyride, he’s gotta be played by a puppet. Let’s get some of the Avenue Q creators on board (almost-EGOT winner Bobby Lopez, we’re looking at you) to help Minchin write an irreverent Phil-and-Phil duet. And if they want to get really fancy, the actor who plays Phil could man the groundhog puppet and do a duet with himself—hear that, Tony voters? View Commentslast_img read more

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Watch Frozen’s Santino Fontana, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell & Josh Gad Perform Live

first_img Santino Fontana Star Files Idina Menzel View Comments Princes and queens and snowmen, oh my! We don’t know if we’re elated or gassy, but we’re somewhere in that zone because the stars of Frozen are all over the place. We didn’t think today could get any better after finding out that Idina Menzel will be performing “Let It Go” at the Academy Awards, but then we stumbled upon video of Frozen’s other stars joking around and performing at L.A.’s Vibrato Grill Jazz Club. Check out Josh Gad (Olaf), Santino Fontana (Hans) and Kristen Bell (Anna) reprising their animated roles and singing songs, including “In Summer” and “Love is an Open Door.” Josh Gad Disney’s Frozenlast_img read more

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HBO’s The Normal Heart, Starring Mark Ruffalo & Julia Roberts, Confirms Premiere

first_img Mark Ruffalo Star Files The starry HBO version of The Normal Heart now has a release date. The TV movie of Larry Kramer’s play, which takes an unflinching look at the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis, will air on May 25 at 9PM. Adapted by Kramer from his 1985 play and directed by Glee and American Horror Story mastermind Ryan Murphy, the film boasts a roster of A-listers.The Normal Heart stars Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, Jim Parsons (who co-starred in the 2011 Broadway production) as Tommy Boatwright, Alfred Molina as Ned’s brother Ben, Taylor Kitsch as Bruce Niles, Jonathan Groff as Bruce’s HIV-positive lover Craig, Matt Bomer as Ned’s lover Felix Turner, and Joe Mantello (who nabbed a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Ned Weeks in The Normal Heart on Broadway) as activist Mickey Marcus. The film also features Tony winner Denis O’Hare as Mayor Koch’s gay aide, Tony winner Stephen Spinella as Sanford, an early patient of Dr. Brookner, Corey Stoll as presidential advisor Jon Bower, Finn Wittrock as male model Albert and Tony winner BD Wong as Buzzy, a nurse who works with Dr. Brookner .A sequel to the film, written by Kramer and directed by Murphy, is currently under consideration at HBO.center_img View Commentslast_img read more

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Ben Platt & Ben Fankhauser to Star in Workshop of Ryan Scott Oliver’s We Foxes Musical

first_img Star Files Other readings in the series also include the New York premiere of the new musicals Mark Felt, Superstar with book, music and lyrics by Joshua Rosenblum and Paris Through the Window, with book and lyrics by Charles Osborne and music by Leo Hurley. Ben Platt (Book of Mormon) and Ben Fankhauser (Newsies) will appear in a reading of Ryan Scott Oliver’s latest musical We Foxes. Directed by Mike Donahue, the workshop will take place as part of the York Theatre Developmental Reading Series on September 12 at Saint Peter’s on 54th street in New York City. The cast will also include Forrest McClendon, Anne L. Nathan, Aaron Ramey, Katie Thompson and Emily Rogers. We Foxes is a southern Gothic thriller set in small-town Missouri, 1945. It’s the story of Willa, a tough and unmannered orphan girl, and her adoption by the crafty Sheriff’s wife, Vesta Quimby. When Willa discovers the dark secrets beneath the floorboards, a war cuts them apart and Willa must fight to survive. After all, Vesta Quimby is the most beloved and powerful woman in town. Yet she’s less humanitarian socialite than she is Machiavellian sociopath. Can Willa discover her own salvation, deliver herself into courage, and sacrifice everything to escape Vesta?center_img View Comments Ben Fankhauser Ben Plattlast_img read more

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Conor Ryan Will Join Kate Baldwin in John & Jen Off-Broadway

first_imgConor Ryan will play brother (and later son) to the previously announced Kate Baldwin in John & Jen. The Keen Company revival will play off-Broadway’s Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row beginning February 10. Opening night for the tuner is set for February 26. Performances are set to run through March 22. Jonathan Silverstein will direct.Ryan made his Broadway debut in Cinderella. He also appeared in The Fortress of Solitude off-Broadway.Featuring music by Andrew Lippa, lyrics by Tom Greenwald and a book by both, John & Jen explores familial connections and commitments. It tells the story of Jen and her relationship with two Johns in her life: her younger brother and her son. The musical originally premiered off-Broadway in 1995. The Keen Company production will feature a new song titled “Trouble with Men.” John & Jen Show Closed This production ended its run on April 4, 2015 Related Shows Star Files View Comments Kate Baldwinlast_img read more

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Odds & Ends: Matt Bomer & Cheynne Jackson Check In to Hotel & More

first_img Related Shows The King and I to Record Cast Album The revival of The King and I, starring Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara, will record a cast album for release on Decca Records in June, Broadway.com has confirmed. The tuner is currently in preview at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre and we’re whistling a happy tune that it’s back on the Great White Way where it belongs! View Comments Marcia Gay Harden Gets Promoted Marcia Gay Harden has gone from co-star to lead in the previously reported new CBS medical drama Code Black. According to Deadline, the Tony and Oscar winner will now play residency ER director Leanne after Maggie Grace exited the project. Bonnie Somerville takes on Harden’s former role of Christa. The show also includes West End, Homeland and Smash fave Raza Jaffrey, so we’re really looking forward to seeing this one. The King and I Watch Rita Wilson Hang With Sara Bareilles Rita Wilson is a woman of many talents (and perfectly clipped toenails). Not only is she treading the Broadway boards in Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, but her song “Girls Night In” will go on sale on March 17. Check out the tune’s music video below, where Wilson and her real-life girlfriends, including Sara Bareilles, tuck into wine and cupcakes. We wouldn’t mind copious quantities of both, stat. Matt Bomer & Cheynne Jackson Check In to Hotel We’ve got some good and bad news for all you American Horror Story fans. We’ll get the the depressing info over and done with first, via TVLine—Jessica Lange has officially confirmed that after Freak Show: “Yes I’m done.” On the upside, stage and screen faves Matt Bomer and Cheyenne Jackson will be joining the next installment, Hotel. No word yet if either of them will kiss and/or duet with Lady Gaga, who is also set to appear in the series, but we live in hope. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the weekend. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 26, 2016last_img read more

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Joe DiPietro & More Tapped for La Jolla Playhouse’s 2016-17 Season

first_imgThis is one stellar 2016-17 season! Four productions will make their world premieres at La Jolla Playhouse in California, including works by Tony winner Joe DiPietro, Pulitzer winners Quiara Alegría Hudes and Ayad Akhtar, as well as Jeff Augustin. Safe to say we will be keeping a close eye on every single one of these shows—they could well be bound for New York.DiPietro’s noir thriller Hollywood will be directed by Christopher Ashley. In 1922, famed director William Desmond Taylor is found murdered in his home. The celebrity suspects mount as the headlines explode with lurid reports of love triangles, hush money and deception. Enter Will Hays, Hollywood’s newly-appointed moral watchdog, determined to silence the scandal and purify this increasingly corrupt city.Directed by Lear deBessonet, new musical Miss You Like Hell will have book and lyrics by Alegría Hudes, along with music and lyrics by Erin McKeown. When a free-spirited mother convinces her whip-smart teenage daughter to join her on a drive across the country, neither can imagine where it will take them. Chance encounters with a motley crew of characters along the way brings them closer to understanding what sets them apart—and what connects them forever.Helmed by Doug Hughes, Akhtar’s Junk: The Golden Age of Debt takes us back to the hotbed of the ‘80s and offers us an origin story for the world that finance has given us, a thriller about an upstart genius hell-bent on changing all the rules. It’s a world where debt is an asset and assets are excuses for more debt, a world where finance runs the show. How did we get here? How did the world we once knew change?Augustin’s The Last Tiger in Haiti is set to be directed by Joshua Kahan Brody. In an earthquake-torn tent shack in Haiti, the sounds of kanaval fill the air as a group of restaveks—child slaves—spend the night trading fantastic folktales until the line between reality and fiction blurs. At daybreak, the oldest plans to break free for a new life but discovers the story of his future and past are in the hands of someone else. Set in a world that is utterly real and remarkably imaginative, this new play weaves Haitian lore into a contemporary narrative of survival and betrayal. View Commentslast_img read more

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Younger Recap: Fasten Your Fur Bikini, It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Night

first_img You know that feeling when you’re standing in the middle of Times Square wearing a fur bikini and your daughter shows up? It’s weird, right? Naturally, that’s far from the strangest thing to happen to Liza Miller in this week’s Younger. Secrets are exposed, new romances are ignited and lawsuits are probably being made against the City of New York. You may need a hard hat for this one.SEASON 2, EPISODE 11: “Secrets & Lizas”Emoji UpdateLiza aims to tell her daughter Caitlin about her job (which we suppose is a step), but decides to put it off until later that evening. At Empirical, everyone is running around preparing for the arrival of Edward L.L. Moore (Richard Masur), author of Game of Thrones Crown of Kings. The last novel of the epic series will be released the next night, so it’s obviously the perfect time for Edward to cast unassuming Liza as Princess Pam Pam for the Times Square event. At a company dinner, Edward aggressively flirts with Liza, and in doing so, reveals some major spoilers about the book. The next day, Kelsey begs Liza to spill the beans on the Crown of Kings ending, including who dies, because someone big always dies. Thad keeps texting Liza because Liza still has that sex tape of him and his co-worker and is threatening to tell Kelsey if he doesn’t himself. Thad, in an attempt to go head to head with her, goes to Brooklyn, where he meets Liza’s daughter…who indeed introduces herself as Liza’s daughter. Oops. At the book launch, Liza is decked out in her Princess Pam Pam finest: a fur bikini. Caitlin, still in the dark on Liza’s job, tracks her down, and in a surprisingly sweet moment, shows immense gratitude for everything her mom’s doing. We have to hand it to Liza: for someone who loves to avoid the truth, she handles potential conflict very well. Meanwhile, Thad does some investigating and through Dartmouth’s alumni page, discovers Liza’s secret. After the event, Liza and Charles grab a drink, and just as things are starting to head toward a definitive #TeamCharles moment, she gets a text from Thad, who knows her whole deal. The next day, Liza confronts Thad, and just after she tells him off, promises to tell Kelsey about his affair and that she doesn’t care who he tells about her age, he gets hit by a falling construction piece from a crane. Someone big always dies, right?Biggest OMG Moment:We’ll admit we’ve never been #TeamThad, but the final scene of this week’s episode was harsh. Sure, he’s a himbo, but he’s a lovable himbo. And he looks so cute holding kittens! But if you threaten Liza, you summon the wrath of the sky. Er, the wrath of airborne steel beams.Millennial Glossary:Cyber-Tracker(noun) A type of app that allows you to locate mobile devices using GPS. Especially handy if you misplace your phone…or if your mom is wearing a fur bikini in the middle of Times Square and you need to find her.Moment That Made Us Go:Here’s what we wanted to do to Edward L.L. Moore every time he threatened to “eat” Liza, handed his hotel card to Liza or spoke to Liza. Hands to yourself, Edward, lest Princess Pam Pam summons the wrath of the sky. Or something. She controls lightning, OK?Diana’s Statement Jewelry Update!Looks like someone is a little too excited for 10 Cloverfield Lane. Or maybe the rerelease of Bambi? We’re getting major extraterrestrial deer vibes from Diana’s statement necklace this week. Wait…is that Professor Snape’s Patronus around her neck?! View Comments Sutton Foster in ‘Younger'(Photo: TV Land)last_img read more

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Mark Rylance Will Lead Nice Fish in the West End

first_imgMark Rylance and Jim Lichtscheidl in ‘Nice Fish'(Photo: Teddy Wolff) After talk that Mark Rylance would return to Broadway this fall in Farinelli and the King, comes the news that he instead will headline Nice Fish in the West End. The three-time Tony and Oscar winner co-wrote the play with poet Louis Jenkins, and the Daily Mail reports that the production is set to open in London for a three-month run in mid-November. It will be helmed by Rylance’s wife, Claire van Kampen, who also hopes to bring over his co-star, Jim Lichtscheidl.Rylance won the Tony for Twelfth Night, Jerusalem and Boeing-Boeing and was nominated for Richard III (which played in rep with Twelfth Night); he has also appeared on the Great White Way in La Bete. He received the Oscar for Bridge of Spies and an Emmy nod for his recent work in the screen adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall.Rylance conceived and wrote Nice Fish with Jenkins; they originally adapted the play for Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater from Jenkins’ book about ice fishing in Minnesota. A new American Repertory Theater production was staged by van Kampen last year, followed by a recent run at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.Nice Fish takes place on a lake in frozen Minnesota where the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It’s the end of the fishing season, and two men are out on the ice one last time, angling for answers to life’s larger questions.In the meantime, Broadway will continue to angle for Rylance’s return. View Commentslast_img read more

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