It’s a new year and a supposedly “slow” month for Broadway sales but there sure is a lot of news floating around and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite stories from this month in our Fast 5!
1. New Lola with Wisconsin roots will strut his stuff in Kinky Boots
If you’re from Wisconsin, you’re used to rooting for the home team so get ready to cheer as Wisconsin-raised Kyle Taylor Parker takes over as Lola in Kinky Boots on Broadway. Original Lola Billy Porter will take 3 months away from the role to complete other creative projects before returning to the boots in New York. At that time, Parker is scheduled to return to his previous position as the touring Lola, astounding audiences around the United States. His Broadway debut was as an Angel and Lola understudy in the Cindy Lauper/Harvey Fierstein/Jerry Mitchell fan favorite.
2. Mrs. Doubtfire project confirmed
And in other Harvey Fierstein news, Broadway.com confirmed that Mr. Fierstein will write the book of a new Mrs. Doubtfire musical (based on the classic Robin Williams film) and Alan Menken, composer of Aladdin, has signed on to the project as well. There is no word on the timing of the project moving forward.
3. Comings and goings
While Sting’s The Last Ship and Idina Menzel-led If/Then announced closing dates Gigi, featuring Vanessa Hudgens began performances at the Kennedy Center with a planned opening on The Great White Way in March. This month Andrew Lloyd Weber also alluded to the fact that Cats may return to Manhattan, possibly featuring former Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger who played the role of Grizabella in the recent revival of the musical in the West End. Sounds like exciting developments are on their way to the city that never sleeps!
4. The Elephant Man will move to the West End
After the limited Broadway engagement of The Elephant Man is over, the show will live on, making its transfer to the West End. It has earned rave reviews for performance and also warm reception over the background story of Bradley Cooper’s emotional attachment to the role.
5. The next live TV musical
While NBC reportedly ponders between The Music Man and The Wiz as it’s next TV live musical, it looks like the Fox network is getting in on the game by announcing casting for its 2016 live TV production of Grease featuring Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens. Either way, the biggest news this month seemed to be the announcement that Disney is working on a live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, announcing Emma Watson as Belle.
Did you miss last month’s Broadway Fast 5? Check out December, and November.
The Broadway League’s Family First Nights® is a nationwide program that is specifically designed to encourage underprivileged families to attend theater on a regular basis. For those who participate in the program through the Fox Cities P.A.C., it is also a dynamic, interactive experience that changes the way they look at each show.
This season marks the Center’s seventh year participating in the Family First Nights program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley. The goal of the program is not only to introduce families to the magic of Broadway but also create lasting memories with Center created resource guides and special activities to give them deeper perspective on what they will be seeing.
Recently, a group from the Boys and Girls Club in Appleton continued their Family First Nights experience with a visit to Rock Garden Studios in preparation for the musical Once. The group explored and learned about the recording industry in Appleton including the history of the studio whose recording console has recorded greats such as the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Frankie Valli and Olivia Newton-John.
This group of Family First Night participants will close out their experience by attending Jersey Boys.
The Broadway League’s Family First Nights is supported by John and Sally Mielke.
Here at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center we are asking local youth to raise their voices in a unique program designed to tie-in with the musical themes in Once.
Twenty-five students from Youth Go, a drop-in center located in Neenah, will have the opportunity to sign-up for the Raise Your Voice project, part of the Frank C. Shattuck Performing Arts Touch the Hearts of Students (PATHS) program, where they will learn to recognize the act of sacrificing for others and begin to weave their own story.
Through 7 interactive, hands-on workshops, students will learn how to express themselves through music and lyrics with community partners and local singer-songwriters Nicole Rae and Rob Anthony. Students will participate in hour long workshops to discuss the importance of music in their lives.
They will also meet with Once cast members after seeing a performance of the show at the Center. The students will continue their journey through a variety of workshops where Nicole Rae and Rob Anthony will work with the students on songwriting and music styles that reflect moments in students lives where someone gave selflessly to them and encouraged them to follow their dreams.
Students will also be taken to Rock Garden Studio in Appleton where owner and operator Marc Golde will lead a tour of the studio and answer questions about the recording industry and music scene in the Fox Cities.
The students will continue their exploration of music by attending Danu in March and the experience will culminate with the students creating original lyrics to a piece and seeing it performed in the community.
This unique program is just one of many throughout the year that allow the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center to serve as a gathering place for the community and to engage in education opportunities. By reaching out to students who may have limited access to experience the arts outside of this program, we are excited to bring the arts directly to them and learn together.
The “Raise Your Voice” project is supported in part by a National Education grant from the Broadway League, a grant from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Want to see how the whole project ended up? Check out this awesome recap video!
Be honest, things got a little rough last night, didn’t they? While watching Idina Menzel kill it on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, you ate a few too many canapés and you drank more whiskey than one person should down in a month. It’s OK, it happens to the best of us. But don’t worry—Broadway.com is here to make you buff and beautiful! It’s time to hit the gym with our 2015 Workout Playlist, now streaming on Spotify. Just load the songs on your phone (or stream them on the Spotify iPhone app), take ‘em to the gym and get that heart pumping. You’ll look like this, or this, or this in no time.
This blog was originally posted by Broadway.com’s Lindsay Champion. You can read the original post here.
It’s officially the start of a new year and like millions of others we here at the Center have been discussing New Year’s Resolutions.
Many of you may have a variety of resolutions ranging from travel to bucket list items or book lists. We thought that we’d help you out by providing a few resolutions you can complete when you come to see the musical Once Jan. 27-Feb. 1.
ONCE Tour Company © Joan Marcus
1. Be a part of a Broadway show
The musical invites you to become a part of its world by creating the world of an Irish pub within the theater. It’s a Once-in-a-lifetime experience.
2. Hear new instruments
There are 30 different instruments used throughout the musical Once. From mandolin to melodica and concertina, see the instruments played by characters on stage and hear how their sounds work together.
ONCE Tour Company © Joan Marcus
3. Explore a new culture
Live simultaneously in the worlds of a Dublin basker, patrons of an Irish pub, a Czech woman and a girlfriend in New York, as you follow the stories of the major characters in Once.
4. Find love
It may not be your traditional love story, but its a love story never-the-less and the wonderfully woven lyrics and touching melodies mixed with the fun atmosphere of the pub and impressive talent of the live musician/actors may just have you falling in love with the musical.
5. Listen to great music
The music from Once is Academy Award®-winning, Tony-Award® winning (including Best Musical) and Grammy-Award® winning. Written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, it doesn’t get much more impressive than that when your resolution was to find new great music.
What are your resolutions for 2015? Can we help you complete them?