Will Chase on Bringing Bombshell to Broadway and the Whereabouts of Debra Messing’s Smash Scarves

Gersh New York Upfronts Party

Any Smash fan who spent two seasons following the progress of a fictional musical about Marilyn Monroe has to wonder: What the hell happened to Debra Messing‘s scarves? Famously reviled by TV fans, the show cut down on the cozy accessory in season two, but sadly never made it to a third. In hopes of cracking a Hollywood mystery for the ages, VH1 spoke to Will Chase, who played Michael Swift, the on-screen fling to Messing’s Julia Houston. Read more…


Darren Criss Describes “Poetic” Meeting With Daniel Radcliffe

By Rae Votta

Since the moment it was announced that Darren Criss would be taking over Daniel Radcliffe’s role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway, fans have been eagerly waiting for the two stars to cross paths. Well, it finally happened, and while Radcliffe told MTV’s Hollywood Crush his version of the encounter last week, we can definitely say that Criss’ take on the event was a bit more awestruck.

“It was actually a very poetic moment,” Criss told us when he stopped by the VH1 office this week. “I was on stage by myself at a break. There’s nothing as majestic as an empty theater, and I was kind of onstage going through some steps, and emerging from the shadows comes Dan. We had a nice exchange, and it was good to finally meet each other.”

The Glee star is on his second round of filling Radcliffe’s shoes: Long before he was one half of McKinley High supercouple Klaine, he broke into Internet fame as part of Team StarKid, playing Harry Potter in University of Michigan musicals that went viral on YouTube.
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by (@hallekiefer)

Is Katy Perry The Next Bombshell To Play Marilyn Monroe?

So many Marilyns! Infinite Marilyns! No sooner has Michelle Williams shimmied off the subway grate to positive reviews for My Week With Marilyn, then the next Monroe has started wiggling up to the plate, this time in a proposed stage version of Williams’ film. “If the movie works, I would try to make it a musical and I would go to Katy [Perry] first,” Harvey Weinstein, who’s studio released Marilyn today, told E! Online. “I think she can play Marilyn on the Broadway stage…I think she would be amazing.” Well, let’s see…Katy Perry has already played the world’s other blond bombshell (Smurfette, anyone?) and she probably already has the necessary wig collection assembled…yeah, we’re not going to pretend for one second longer that we wouldn’t buy discount tickets to a matinee showing of this. Count us in!

by (@katespencer)

Darren Criss To Replace Daniel Radcliffe On Broadway?

Is Glee star Darren Criss destined for Broadway? Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the actor is set to replace Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying for a three week stint in 2012. Radcliffe finishes up in January and is planning on getting back into movies (Oh, how we can’t wait for his first post-Potter film), and Criss apparently has permission from Glee creator Ryan Murphy to dabble in other projects. He also be in line to join Kristen Wiig and Annette Benning in the new movie Imogene. How we love seeing talented (and cute) people make it big!

Hilariously, Criss first gained notoriety playing Harry Potter in the viral video “A Very Potter Musical,” which he created with his University of Michican theater company StarKid. Watch below. And because we couldn’t resist, check out a gallery of ol’ DRad dancing it up on Broadway.


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[Photos: GettyImages]


Julie Taymor Blames Audience For Spider-Man Musical Drama

Gee, we figured the problem was two egomaniacs teaming up to work on material neither knew nor cared a thing about, but maybe we’re wrong. According to Julie Taymor, former director of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, it was the audience—not its indifferent makers and their faulty cables—that are responsible for the musical fiasco. “Twitter and Facebook and blogging just trump you,” she said at a Theater Communications Group event this weekend. “It’s very hard to create. It’s incredibly difficult to be under a shot glass and a microscope like that.” You’d think a 2010 show that gave its first readings in 2007 and ran a record number of previews had plenty of time to gestate, but you wouldn’t be Ms. Taymor.

“It’s very scary if people are going more towards that, to have audiences tell you how to make a show,” she said, referring to the focus groups producers used when fixing their multi-million dollar musical about a superhero with songs by the guys from U2. “Shakespeare would have been appalled. Forget about it. It would be impossible to have these works come out because there’s always something that people don’t like.” She even referenced Norman Lear‘s All In The Family, whose racist lead Archie might not have survived in today’s climate. And to be fair, Archie and Arachne—whose number about spider goddesses buying shoes was cut from Turn Off The Dark—have a lot of the same letters in their name. But would Lear or Shakespeare have been making a Spider-Man musical in the first place? Maybe her decision to take on a high-profile gig based on a comic book is the blogosphere’s fault, too.

[Photo: Getty Images]


Bono Brings Big Names To Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark Opening Night

Bono and The Edge may tell the media that Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is only “90% done,” but that didn’t stop them from rolling the red carpet out for the powerful pals at Tuesday’s opening night performance. Among the celebs on hand for the musical’s first “official” performance (following months of notorious “previews”) were former President Bill Clinton, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, Jay-Z, Cindy Crawford, Spike Lee and Helena Christiansen. Even original director Julie Taymor, fired after refusing to make changes to the critically maligned, accident-prone show was on hand despite her lawsuit against the producers. It’s been a long decade to this moment for the musical’s makers—will staying on Broadway be even harder?

See photos of the red carpet and curtain call in the gallery below.

[Photos: Getty Images/WireImage]

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Bono Promises Spider-Man Musical Will Be Ready By June 14th

Read Bono‘s lips: no new delays! The U2 singer, who performed with Spider-Man: Turn Of The Dark star Reeve Carney and guitarist The Edge on American Idol Wednesday, swears that the revamped musical will be ready for its June 14th premiere date. “We’re opening Spider-Man on the 14th,” he said. “I promise it’s not been canceled, and we’re very excited about it. It’s almost there—it will be there by opening night.” Considering the decade-in-the-making superhero spectacle has been in previews since November 2010, with original script and director Julie Taymor tossed aside after horrible reviews, cast injuries and frequent equipment malfunctions, it would take a promise from the show’s songwriter to make us believe it.

Ironically, considering he was rumored the deciding factor in Taymor’s departure, Bono was playing the innocent when discussing new director Philip McKinley. “He came in to fill impossible shoes—Julie Taymor—she’s a genius and I miss her so much.”  Really, dude? Only Bono could get away with saying that after just admitting to Nightline that the press was right about the Taymor-run show sucking.

[Photo: Getty Images]


Another Late Night For Suri! Katie Takes Her To See Wicked

Despite the hubbub over Suri’s midnight snack (and Penis Gummies photo-0p) less than 24 hours before, Katie Holmes trucked her 4-year-old off to see Wicked last night, keeping the pair out until near witching hour yet again. Suri looked happy romping around the Chelsea Piers earlier in the day, but she was (understandably) scowling at the paparazzi as they reached the theater, and looked totally pooped when leaving the show. Is Katie dragging Suri to these late night events or humoring her small child to a fault (this isn’t the first time they’ve seen Wicked)? Here’s hoping we don’t see her trudging the kid and her blanket to the pubs for St. Patty’s day!

[Photo: Splash News Online]

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Spider-Man Premiere Pushed To June As Julie Taymor Steps Aside

While Julie Taymor isn’t leaving Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark as previously rumored, she’s definitely not running the show anymore. The producers finally announced last night that Boy From Oz director Phillip William McKinley would be “joining the creative team.” “Julie Taymor is not leaving the creative team,” they swore. “Her vision has been at the heart of this production since its inception and will continue to be so. Julie’s previous commitments mean that past March 15th, she cannot work the 24/7 necessary to make the changes in the production in order to be ready for our opening.”

Despite the PR phrasing, friends of Taymor claim she’s being pushed aside after she declined suggests from the show’s songwriters Bono & The Edge, which could explain why she had no comment while Bono says “All of us on the creative team are committed to taking Spider-Man to the next level…we are confident it will reach its full potential.” The show is now scheduled to open early Summer 2011, and it’s hard to imagine they’ll take any longer—not when the new Spider-Man movie is due July 2012. Considering how many millions have already been spent getting the show to its current level (not to mention nine years of planning), how much will Bono and McKinley have to get it towards the “next level” in three months?

[Photo: Getty Images]


Turn Off The Dark Bumping Premiere Date, Adding New Ending, Making Big Money


You can’t really say it’s getting ridiculous over at Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark—this thing basically started ridiculous. But the absurdity’s only increasing: the producers are bumping Spider-Man‘s official “opening” date to March 15—four months after it was originally scheduled to debut. And since they’re not giving refunds or rebates to the folks now forced to watch unfinished “preview” performances, Spider-Man beat Wicked as the biggest moneymaker on Broadway last week. That feels doubly crazy if you didn’t realize Wicked was still reigning supreme more than seven years into its run.

And when we say Spider-Man is unfinished, we mean unfinished: despite the years of pre-production and months of preview performances, they still haven’t performed the ending! “The actual ending that we have planned is still not in the show,” said producer Michael Cohl. “Nobody’s seen it—including us, by the way.” So why are customers seeing full prices, buddy? Oh, right, because this is the most expensive musical in history. Maybe they’d be better off never “opening” at all.

[Photo: Getty Images]