There's No Business Like Show Business- Broadway, West End, and Other Theater

Theatregirl1122

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Figured we needed a new theater thread after 7 years! I also wanted to make it inclusive of Broadway, Off Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, West End, Off-West End, other professional theater as well as plays, musicals, etc. There's so much to talk about. Why limit it!

I figured we could start off with the full list of Tony Nominees for 2024:

Personally, I'm surprised about how well Hell's Kitchen has been received by Tony voters and reviewers combined to people I know who have seen the show. For musicals, it looks like Hell's Kitchen and Outsiders are out front based on number of nominations.

The biggest winner in the nominations appears to be Stereophonic!

And it looks like Lempicka was hoping for a best musical nomination to increase sales. They didn't get one, and they have announced closing on May 19th.
 

manhn

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Go Suffs and Stereophonic!

Is Hell’s Kitchen really that good? Did not expect that, assumed it was another jukebox musical.
 

Theatregirl1122

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I haven't seen Hell's Kitchen, but everything I've heard is that it's great orchestrations with an unremarkable book?

We are going to New York on June 1st to see Suffs. I think our second show will be Stereophonic, although I'm also considering Outsiders.
 

Sylvia

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Nov. 14, 2023 in the previous "Broadway Musicals" thread:
Notebook the Musical will be heading to Broadway. It will be mostly the cast from the Chicago run, including former national team member Alex Benoit

USFS' Skater Spotlight article (June 11, 2024) on Alex Benoit's May 17th Broadway debut by @Jayar:
Excerpts:
Benoit knew that he had put everything that he had into the Chicago run but was pragmatic about earning his first Broadway contract. When he finally did receive the call, Benoit was offered the role of swing, which means that he understudies multiple roles in order to fill in when specific cast members are unable to perform.
“I am an understudy for middle Noah as well as Finn/Johnny, which are principal tracks in the show, and I also cover the role of Lon,” he explained. “I was also offered the opportunity to be the show’s dance captain, which is an incredible opportunity that I didn’t know if I would ever get to do. I get to use all of the skills that I learned in ice dance, such as different dance styles and working in coaching environments.”
As in all swing roles, the name of the game is patience. Though Benoit will forever be part of the original cast who performed their opening performance in April, he had to wait until May 17 to make his actual stage debut in the role of Lon.
Benoit was invited to be part of the Original Broadway Cast recording that released on April 19, and later that month, the production was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical.
“It’s the first time I have gotten to sing on an album,” he said. “It’s been crazy flipping through my Apple music or Sportify and hear me singing. Seeing people respond to the recording for their love of the show on social media has been unbelievable – it reminds me of that first preview and then opening night, which were just electric. To be able to share that excitement with people has been incredible.”
(will cross-post in the U.S. Dance news thread in GSD)
 
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VGThuy

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Illinoise is the best new Broadway production I’ve seen in a long time. I highly recommend it. It helped that I’ve been a die-hard fan of Sufjan Stevens for like over 15 years, but the dancers and band were next level. Obviously, the score was not originally written for the stage, so it seems like a jukebox musical, but it’s not. This is more akin to a Twyla Tharp production and Stevens’ music has been the sort of music I’ve been wanting Broadway composers to move towards. Less Mean Girls a type of score and something more insightful and hitting deep inside. Hearing those songs with these new orchestrations was something one must experience. There were multiple people crying around me. I choked up a few times myself.

I also saw the revival of Cabaret with Eddie Redmayne. Gayle Raskin was out last night, so we saw her understudy Gabi Campos, and I don’t know how Rankin was but Campos was absolutely a revelation during the title song. She deserves to be a star. I really enjoyed this production too and I appreciated the new perspective this offers, especially avoiding the color black. I think this production is worth seeing because Cabaret is legendary material for a reason. Also, seeing Bebe Neuwirth live is something I can now check off my bucket list and it was worth the wait. Her Fraulein Schneider broke my heart and she and Henry Gottfried‘s Herr Schultz were the highlight of this production. Eddie Redmayne was a great Emcee and the direction utilized him well. He’s committed, that’s for sure. In this production, the members of the Kit Kat Club, including the Emcee, are now less appeasing entertainers evolving into victims of the rising Nazi regime are are now more enabling commentators evolving into co-conspirators… and that choice made it much more relevant to today’s time with what’s going on politically. As for the pre-show nightclub environment with dancers and musicians trying to recreate the 1930s seedy Berlin club feel, it was more hit or miss for me because although the performers were really talented, I’m not sure if it actually captured what it was going for, but I liked how it all transitioned in helping the audience tell us it was time to take our seats and how those performers led to the start of the production. I also love circle stages and there was a sense of intimacy that staging provided where some of the actors, including Redmayne and Campos, got to interact with the members of the audience. It was like Here Lies Love to a lesser degree where the entire theatre was the stage, including the Mezzanine.
 
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peibeck

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I saw You Tube videos of Gayle Raskin doing the title number in "Cabaret " and I realize Sally Bowles is not supposed to be a major talent, but her slightly out of tune, screeching, one level performance made me feel I wouldn't want to shell out $200-300+ for a ticket. :scream: Maybe it's one of those performances where you've got to see the whole thing to appreciate it? 🤷‍♂️

@Theatregirl1122 "Sterophonic" has been extended to run through Jan 5, 2025, if you can't catch it on this trip.
 

peibeck

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Winners announced before tv broadcast:

Choreography: Justin Peck "Illinoise"
Lighting design musical: "The Outsiders"
Scenic design musical: "Cabaret"
Orchestrations: "Merrily We Roll Along"
Book of a Musical: "Suffs"
Costume Design musical: "The Great Gatsby"
Sound Design Musical: "The Outsiders"
Lighting Design Play: "Appropriate"
Costume Design Play: "Jaja's African Hair Braiding"
Scenic Design Play: "Stereophonic"
Sound Design Play: "Stereophonic"
 

peibeck

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Alicia Keys and Jay-Z make special appearances in the "Hell's Kitchen" musical presentation. Hoping ticket buyers aren't expecting them in the actual production. :shuffle:

Featured Actor Play: Will Brill "Stereophonic"
 

peibeck

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Pete Townsend makes another surprise guest appearance playing guitar and introducing the "Tommy" revival musical number. (Which came off a little chaotic to me. :slinkaway )
 

manhn

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Wild that I saw four of the five featured actor nominees, granted three of them are in the same show. Jim Parson was the best thing about Mother Play (thought Jessic Lange was only okay, the reason I bought tickets). Will Brill was my least favourite of the three men nominated (the one who plays Grover was my favourite) but thrilled nonetheless.
 

peibeck

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"Water for Elephants" musical number presents the most dynamic production number so far. Should push up their ticket sales for the summer at least (as it doesn't look likely to win any awards tonight).
 

manhn

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Yes, Suffs! Book and score!!! I want someone to skate to Great American Bitch!

ETA: Stereophonic had the best score but I guess voters wouldn’t go that far.
 

peibeck

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Tribute to the late, great Broadway icon Chita Rivera.

I actually think last year's show when the writer's strike nearly canceled the tv proceedings was tighter than tonight's production. :shuffle:
 

manhn

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Stereophonic is a play with music (maybe one full length song played, the rest of tidbits), so they were not originally supposed to be on the telecast. The producers changed their mind last minute. Their song was shortened.
 

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