Honestly, up until today we thought all the things we love were already on Broadway: Mormons, phantoms, cats, Raven-Symone. Then we remembered how much we love the Spice Girls, Cher and (we’re assuming, even though we haven’t seen it yet) Magic Mike, and the universe quickly made those things into musicals too. Cher tweeted this week that a musical based on her life is already in the works. If that didn’t elicit an audible gasp from your lips, you should also know that the show stars three different Chers…and “[A]ll three Chers will talk and sing to each other.” Three times the Cher!
Meanwhile we’d already heard about a possible Spice Girls reunion at this summer’s London Olympics and today our favorite band from the sixth grade announced that Viva Forever!, the jukebox musical featuring their music, will hit the West End on December 11. The musical is being shaped by Mamma Mia! creator Judy Craymore and written by Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders, and will star….wait for it…”Viva, a young woman with a chaotic home life who looks to resolve feelings about her adoption through belief in herself, female friendship and, well, ‘girl power.’” Of course it does.
The legacy of Country Strong lives on: Glee‘s Ryan Murphy is planning a Gwneth Paltrow musical movie, costarring Bridesmaids star and SNL alum Maya Rudolph. “We want to do a musical together — an original,” Murphy told E! at the Emmys, “For Gwyneth and Maya Rudolph, both of whom I’m great friends with.” Um, we all saw Maya doing the damn thing at the Emmys on Sunday, right? Give Paltrow a prop mic, stick her in the back and you’re half-way to the first curtain call as we type this.
We’ve long known that the Gwyneth Paltrow is Ryan Murphy’s muse for the work he does with those lovable kids at fictional McKinley High, but Murphy first worked with Paltrow on the 2006 film Running With Scissors. “That’s all I will say,” Murphy said, before clamming up about his new film, though he did admit, “I loved Country Strong. I love it when she’s drunk and on the floor spitting up pills.” Okay, we can see that. It’ll be like Rent with a splash of GOOP. We can get on board that.
You know your sequel’s a flop when it closes before the original. Though Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Phantom Of The Opera is still running in London’s West End after almost 25 years, Webber’s long-heralded follow-up Love Never Dies has announced plans to close this August, less than 2 years after its March 2010 debut. Like a certain Spider-musical that just opened on Broadway, Dies was in the works for over a decade (Webber first announced it in 1990!), opened to horrible reviews and closed for a period to allow for major re-tooling.
Love Never Dies was announced to open on Broadway in 2010 before Webber was diagnosed with cancer, pushing the date to Spring 2011. When the UK show turned out to be less than a smash, Dies‘ US run was delayed indefinitely. An Australian version with big changes just opened to decent reviews, and if that one has legs, Dies may well join Phantom—the longest running musical in Broadway history—on the great white way. But with the industry still enduring its superhero headache, you can bet everyone’s willing to wait a while before risking another big fiasco.
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.
It’s been about twelve years in the making, but a musical co-written by John Mellencamp and Stephen King will finally debut next year. Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is based on a news story from 1957 about the deaths of two brothers who, as ghosts, tell their family’s story. Mellencamp and King staged several readings of the musical with actors and musicians like Meg Ryan (ahhh-HA!), Elvis Costello and Neko Case, but it will finally be produced for the stage in April, 2012, at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. Mellencamp has said of the project “It won’t be ‘Jack and Diane’ meets Cujo,” which is unfortunate because that sounds hilarious, but instead it will be “an American story about an American family,” told from each family member’s perspective.
The musical was reportedly supposed to have been finished in 2002, but it has taken much longer than expected to edit the project, but it is finally ready to go. T-Bone Burnett, who has previously worked on films like Crazy Heart and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, will be the musical director of the production.
Though Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark is still scheduled to premiere on Broadway on March 15th (as of 2:30pm EST), it doesn’t look like anyone should put money down on their rental tux. The New York Times says producers are telling investors that embattled director Julie Taymor may be leaving Spider-Man, once they hash out the legal details (and considering she’s the play’s creator, there are few). Though the musical has been maligned by critics and safety inspectors alike for months, The Daily says the final straw was when the musical’s songwriter Bono lost his “trust” in Taymor’s vision after she wouldn’t let him make it “more of a Broadway musical.” We’ll let you decide whether Bono knows Broadway way better than Taymor.
Dark‘s PR man maintained to the NYT that the premiere would be next week, and told Reuters “The production is not confirming any reports of a shutdown.” With only a handful of days to go, one would assume the issue would be resolved, like, yesterday. But remember, this is a show nine years in the making with 99 preview performances to its name—it’s not like they’ve fixed problems quickly before.
Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark‘s long road to Broadway just hit its scariest snag. Already infamous for the technical delays and cast injuries that have plagued its preview performances, lat’s night’s show was brought to a premature end when aeralist Christopher Tierney fell off a stage platform high above the audience. A stagehand told Broadway World that Tierney was to appear to jump as the lights went black, but the cable keeping him from actually going over snapped. “An actor sustained an injury at tonight’s performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark,” confirmed a rep for the show. “He fell several feet from a platform approximately seven minutes before the end of the performance, and the show was stopped. All signs were good as he was taken to the hospital for observation.”
According to multiple witnesses in the audience, an actress dangling below the platform, Natalie Mendoza, could be heard screaming as Tierney fell past her. The actor was removed with a stretcher and back brace, but paramedics did not speed from the scene, suggesting his condition is stable. See video of the fall after the jump.
Spider-Man, Spider-Man: he’ll float back down to the stage when he damn well can. Last night’s Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark preview was apparently fraught with technical issues, keeping audience members in their seats for about three and a half hours thanks to five long delays and an extended piano number from the Green Goblin. Here’s a timetable based on the rather kind accounts of Spider-Man‘s preview (a six-year-old liked “parts” of it!).
6:30pm – Show is scheduled to begin.
6:54pm – Show begins.
7:2opm – The evil Arachne is left above the crowd for seven minutes. “Give it up for Natalie Mendoza, who’s hanging in the air!” the stage manager tells the audience.
7:30-8:15pm – With wires dangling over the audience and scenery missing from the stage, three more pauses are called, the last leaving Spidey stuck in the air a few yards from the stage and the stage manager forced to call a halt over the speaker.
8:19pm – The crew gets on stage to pull Spidey back by his feet, Act I is abandoned and intermission is called early.
What’s more embarrassing than a sex tape? An elaborately staged lip sync featuring you, your husband, and you husband’s mistress! In an unprecedented twist, this unbelievable video has surfaced featuring Eva Longoria,Tony Parkerand Erin Barry acting out a musical number from the classic film Grease.
Apparently the video was made last year to encourage other fans of the San Antonio Spurs to make film parodies of their own to submit in a competition. Tony said he chose Grease because he counted it among his favorite films.
Eva dons a blonde wig to play the wholesome Sandy, while Tony busts a move in the bleachers with his leather attired pals, and together they dance through a high school. But the weirdest part occurs one minute and forty seconds in, when Tony’s alleged mistress Erin Barry appears as the ill-tempered Pink Lady Rizzo, who shoves Eva off a bench with her high heel. Who knew Grease had these kind of prophetic powers!
If the creators of Glee can deliver us a more likable Gwyneth Paltrow and a totally coherent Britney Spears, we can only image what an Anne HathawayGleeepisode would do for the actress’ success. While on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Thursday to promote her new film with Jake Gyllenhaal, Love & Other Drugs, Hathaway completely gleeked out, sharing her incredibly elaborate plans for a turn on the hit Fox show. Admitted a bashful Anne, “Can I make a confession? In my head I’ve written myself a part on Glee. That [sounds] so arrogant and obnoxious … in my head, I cast myself on Glee and I know what song I would sing.” Aw, only Anne Hathaway would think having a spazz attack over a high school musical show as being “arrogant,” rather than “painfully nerdy.”
Explains Hathaway, “I would want to play Kurt’s long lost aunt, his mother’s sister, who is also gay, who comes back to help him deal with his sexuality, and I would sing “You Are Not Alone” from Stephen Sondheim’s epic show Into The Woods. A slightly shocked Jimmy Fallon praised Hathaway’s creativity, exclaiming, “Wow, you really have though this out…you thought of the whole episode,” to which Hathaway laughed, “By the way, this is my nerdiest interview ever!” So from what we gather, the writers on Glee can basically stop working now and just let mega-celebrities write, cast and direct all the episodes going forward. Don’t worry, you guys; Anne Hathaway’s got this one.