Theater 2K A theatrical timeline from year 2000 to now 2016-03-08T19:22:28Z WordPress Dominic <![CDATA[2014 Awards]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z Buy Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended 64 bit software
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2014 was a vintage year for theatre both on the West End and Broadway. There were several Olivier nominated productions which started life on Broadway but have flourished in their West End transfers, such as the unstoppable Book of Mormon and Once. Many brand new productions excelled in New York and we should expect them to make their way to London in the next few years, including A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Top performances this year came from Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston in Broadway’s All The Way and Rory Kinnear in Othello on the West End.

Category Tony Awards 2014 results 2014 Oliver Awards results
Best Play All The Way Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood
Best Play Revival A Raisin in the Sun Ghosts
Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder The Book of Mormon
Best Musical Revival Hedwig and the Angry Inch Merrily We Rock Along
Best Actor Bryan Cranston in All the Way Rory Kinnear in Othello
Best Actress Audra McDonald in Lady Day Lesley Manville in Ghosts
Best Actor (musical) James Monroe Iglehart in Aladdin Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon
Best Actress (musical) Sophie Okonedo in A Raisin in the Sun Zrinka Cvitešić in Once
Best Director Kenny Leon for A Raisin in the Sun Lyndsey Turner for Chimerica
Best Choreographer Warren Carlyle for After Midnight Casey Nicholaw for The Book of Mormon



Dominic <![CDATA[2015 Broadway]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z Where can i buy Sony Movie Studio Platinum 12 software
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After some strong openers in 2014, 2015 is shaping up to have a very British influence with 4 West End transfers arriving on Broadway, as well as Brit, Gary Barlow, bring his new musical to the Great White Way.

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Wolf hall and bring up the bodiesOne of the first British Transfers set to open, Constellations, is already in previews. Proving a great success in London in 2012, Constellations finally makes its Broadway debut, this time starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The show runs at the Samuel J. Freidman Theatre and officially opens on the 13th January.

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Other British transfers set to open in Manhattan are Peter Morgan’s Olivier Award winning The Audience starring Dame Helen Mirren, David Hare’s Skylight starring Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan and Mike Poulton and Jeremy Herrin’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. The Audience will open at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in March, Skylight will open at the John Golden Theater in April and the Wolf Hall Double Bill will also open at the Winter Garden Theater in April.

Whilst the above may sound like a very play text heavy offering, rest assured there will be some fantastic musical action in New York too.

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Film to stage adaptations of Honeymoon in Vegas and An American in Paris will take place at the Neaderlander Theater and the Palace Theater respectively. Honeymoon in Vegas opens on the 15th Jan with a book by Andrew Bregman and Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. An American in Paris will open on the 12th April directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, retaining the films score by George and Ira Gershwin.

The King and I will be revived on Broadway at the Vivan Beaumont Theater in March directed by Bartlett Sher.School of Rock

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Playwright David Farr puts a new spin on the classic fable of Robin Hood in a new Broadway production The Heart of Robin Hood. The show opens in March at the Marquis Theatre.

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Finding Neverland will open at the Graham Lunt-Fontanne Theater in April with Brit pop star Gary Barlow penning the music and lyrics and James Barrie penning the book. The show is a stage adaptation of the 2004 Miramax film about Peter Pan. If the show is a hit on Broadway, there is a great deal of speculation that it will open in London.

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Recently announced after a flurry of gossip, Andrew Lloyd Webber will open a stage adaptation of The School of Rock on Broadway in December 2015! The show is set to feature tunes from the popular 2003 movie starring Jack Black as well as new music by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater.

Dominic <![CDATA[2015 West End]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2007 cheap price
Beautiful small image2014 was a bumper year for the West End as it saw the arrival of I Can’t Sing, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Memphis, Made in Dagenham and the return of Cats! 2015 looks set to follow suit, with plenty in the pipeline to excite theatregoers.

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Beginning previews in December 2014, but officially opening on the 12th of January 2015, David Yazbeck and Jeffrey Lane bring the Tony Award nominated production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to the Playhouse Theatre. The Spanish set musical will star Tamsin Grieg and West End favourite, Willemijn Verkaik.

Also opening early in 2015 is Broadway transfer, Beautiful, a musical based on the life of Carole King. Beautiful proved a smash hit success in New York, scooping 2 Tony Awards in 2014. Beautiful will run at the Aldwych Theatre with its press night on 25th of February.

Chichester Festival Theatre transfer, Gypsy, will open at the Savoy Theatre starring original Chichester cast member and acting sensation, Imelda Staunton. The show received rave reviews for its run in the South of England and will Gypsy Imelda Official Theatreopen for previews in the West End from 28th March.

The Apollo Theatre is set for some serious theatrical action in 2015 with Donmar Warehouse transfer of My Night With Reg, followed by a West End revival of The Audience, starring Kristin Scott Thomas as The Queen.

2015 is a strong year for transfers and revivals, with the Royal Court’s The Nether arriving at the Duke of York’s Theatre and the Donmar Warehouse’s A View From The Bridge making a West End transfer to the Wyndham’s Theatre in February. Lord of The Dance: Dangerous Games will find a new home at the Dominion and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s To Kill a Mockingbird arrives at the Barbican.

The hotly anticipated musical Bend It Like Beckham arrives at the Phoenix following the departure of Once, opening for previews on the 11th June 2015. The show, based on the film of the same name, has been in the pipeline for years and will finally arrive with the same creative team behind the film involved with the show.

3  HAMLET2015 has two big, celebrity led, plays in its pipeline so far with Benedict Cumberbatch set to star as Hamlet at the Barbican in a production directed by Lyndsey Turner. The show will run from August – late October 2015.

Damien Lewis will star in David Mamet production, American Buffalo, at the Wyndham’s, opening in June.

The West End still waits in anticipation for news of Back To The Future, which was originally scheduled for a 2015 opening but has been delayed following Jamie Lloyd’s departure from the creative team.

Dominic <![CDATA[2014 West End]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-12-19T15:25:34Z I Can't Sing new 200x3002014 has been yet another exciting year for theatre in London’s West End, one of the best places for theatre in the world. A whole host of productions arrived on the scene, including brand new musicals, revivals of classic shows and show stopping plays. Here’s our pick of the most notable productions to hit the West End this year.

One of the first new productions of 2014 was I Can’t Sing, the X Factor musical written by comedian Harry Hill. It simultaneously celebrated and poked fun at the TV show which has dominated our living rooms for ten years. It was a controversial choice for the West End and it split the critics, with many saying it should have started out on the fringe circuit instead of jumping straight into the cavernous London Palladium. The production cost an alleged £6 million – one of the most expensive shows in recent history. It opened on 26th March but was a huge flop, only running for a total of 10 weeks.

Boublil and Schonberg’s musical Miss Saigon was the most hotly anticipated show of the year, arriving at the Prince Edward Theatre in May. It retuned to the West End 15 years after its renowned original run under the watchful eye of MS_Encore_141x175producer Cameron Mackintosh. This legendary musical is based on the opera Madame Butterfly, but has been relocated to Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It tells the story of G.I soldier Chris and local Vietnamese girl Kim, who fall in love during the last days of the war. 18 year old Eva Noblezada, who made her West End debut as Kim, has been praised for her performance in the show and has been hailed as the next big thing on the West End. The show includes famous songs including “The Heat is on in Saigon”, “Sun and Moon” and “Last Night of the World”.

The Tony award winning musical Urinetown transferred from the St James Theatre to the Apollo Theatre in September this year. It’s been dubbed the most hilarious musical since The Book of Mormon, which is quite a claim! It’s set in a dystopian city which has been suffering from a serious drought for 20 years. To save water the Government puts a stop to peeing for free. They charge ludicrous amounts of money for people to use the public toilets owned by Urine Good Company. But Bobby Strong, apprentice at the city’s worst public toilet Amenity #9, soon suspects Government corruption and plans to overthrow them. Comedian Phill Jupitus recently joined the cast as the show’s bad guy and has so far been a hit.

Andrew Lloyd Webber brought the ‘80s back to town with Cats the musical, which arrived at the London Palladium on December 6th. Webber himself returned to work on the production along with original director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Gillian Lynn. The original production was known for it’s ‘in the round’ staging but this new version was updated to be end on. The show’s original designer reworked the stage and added contemporary rubbish to the set, including car tyres, mobile phones and modern food packaging. Ex Pussy Cat Doll Nicole Scherzinger stars in the show as Grizabella the Glamour Cat and impressed the critics with her rendition of the show’s biggest song, “Memory”.

CTT Gypsy SmallThe Chichester Festival Theatre is known for its West End transfers, and 2014 has been no exception! The Sondheim musical Gypsy had an extremely successful run in October starring actress Imelda Staunton, and is now transferring to the Savoy Theatre from March 2015. The show is widely thought to be the best production in Broadway history and hasn’t been seen on the West End for over 40 years. It follows Momma Rose, a terrifying mother who wants her two daughters to be musical stars. It’s been a terrific production at the Chichester Festival Theatre and is destined for great things in 2015.

Dominic <![CDATA[2014 on Broadway]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-12-19T12:15:34Z Beautiful Carole King MusicalBroadway has seen a whole host of brilliant adaptations, revivals, new musicals and original plays arrive in New York’s theater district.

Beautiful the musical opened at the Stephen Sondheim Theater in January 2014 and has been a gigantic Broadway success. It’s a jukebox musical based on the life and career of Carole King, songwriter behind numerous hits including “Its Too Late”, “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Tapestry”. King began writing songs for other artists in the 1960s but had a breakthrough with her own album “Tapestry” in 1971, which stayed in the US charts for a whopping six years. The production starred Jessie Mueller as Carole King, who won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The show is transferring to London’s West End in February next year and we predict similar success!
shipIt was announced in 2011 that Sting was working on a new musical and this year it finally arrived! The Last Ship started with a run in Chicago and then transferred to the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway in September. It’s inspired by Sting’s childhood in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, and his experiences of the ship building industry. The musical features music and lyrics by Sting and has a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch was revived on Broadway this year starring actor Michael C Hall, best known for his leading role in TV show Dexter. The musical is about Hedwig, a transgender singer from East Berlin, whose band is supporting Tommy Gnosis on a tour around the country. Her band stay on stage for nearly the Hedwig and the Angry Itchwhole show and perform songs written by Stephen Trask. The show had its first Broadway production this year and won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Neil Patrick Harris also played Hedwig at the start of the show’s run.

If/Then began at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in March this year starring Tony award winning actress and singer Idina Menzel. It tells the story of Elizabeth, a recently divorced 38 year old who has moved back to New York to start her life afresh. She meets up with her friends Kate and Lucas to chat about her new start; Kate says she should use the name ‘Liz’ and start having exciting adventures, but Lucas says she should call herself ‘Beth’ and begin a new career. The rest of the musical examines the two paths that Elizabeth’s life could take and the consequences of both of them.

Jez Butterworth’s play The River has also taken Broadway by storm after starting out on London’s West End. Ian Rickson directs acting sensation Hugh Jackman in the lead role. The story is intimate and gripping, and focuses on a man who has brought his new girlfriend out to a cabin for a quiet night of fishing. But, as to be expected, nothing is as it seems. This has been the must see drama of 2014 and will continue to shock audiences into the new year.

Dominic <![CDATA[2013 Awards]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-12-18T17:03:19Z  

The 2013 award season saw a number of high profile shows battle for the top crown. On Broadway the race was firmly set between Kinky Boots and Matilda, turning into a war between the UK and USA. When your show has Broadway Dahhhrling Harvey Fierstein attached, there really is no competition, and sadly Kinky Boots took home most of the prizes, despite having the worst British accents heard since Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Over in London it was a poor year for new musicals, but revivals scored well and Olivier Award hosts Imelda Staunton and Michael Ball took home the top gongs for ‘Sweeney Todd’.



Category  Tony Awards 2013 results 2013 Olivier Awards results
Best Play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang The Curious Incident…
Best Musical Kinky Boots  Top Hat
Best Musical Revival Pippin  Sweeney Todd
Best Actor Tracy Letts in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf   Luke Treadaway – The Curious Incident…
Best Actress Cicely Tyson in The Trip to Bountiful Helen Mirren – The Audience
Best Actor (Musical) Billy Porter in Kinky Boots  Michael Ball – Sweeney Todd
Best Actress (Musical) Patina Miller in Pippin  Imelda Staunton – Sweeney Todd
Best Director Diane Paulus for Pippin
Best Choreographer Jerry Mitchell for Kinky Boots   Bill Deamer – Top Hat

Dominic <![CDATA[2013 West End]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-01-15T13:01:32Z ACL_ENC 600 pxw x 900 pxhAfter the excitement in London throughout 2012 thanks to the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games, normal service was resumed and the focus was once again on West End theatre. After quite a sorry season for new musicals last year, 2013 offered an influx of shows transferring to London riding on the back of their Broadway success. The first show to arrive was the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line which marks the first ever London revival of the show. Opening at the London Palladium in February, the show reunited director Bob Avian with Baayork Lee, and the pair battled to keep the spirit of both Michael Bennett and Marvin Hamlisch alive in the West End. Featuring a talented cast, including John Partridge and Scarlett Strallen, the show received solid notices, but only managed to draw in the crowds for a six month period. With the X Factor musical I Can’t Sing not scheduled in until 2014, Barry Humphries Farewell Tour: Eat Pray Laugh played a limited season, along with a number of smaller productions to fill the gap.

The battle of the Tony Award winners began as 2011 show The Book of Mormon went head to head with 2012 winner Once, and it was clear from the marketing efforts which was going to come out on top. Both received stellar reviews on Broadway, as well as the Tony Award for Best Musical. Whereas one was highly commercial and thrived off its own success, the other is simple and follows a simple love story in an intimate setting. The Book of Mormon was highly anticipated after it premiered on Broadway and its careful marketing plan resulted in a sell out first few months. Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner headlined the cast, drafted in from the US National Tour. The show opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre officially on March 21. Once is based on the Irish independent film of the same name that became successful due to its soundtrack. The show features two musicians who come together to tell a love story in an intimate, actor-musician environment. It opened at the Phoenix Theatre from 16 March, starring Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitesic.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 200x300The big summer musical of the year was Sam Mendes’ brand new production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the Musical which had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Featuring a brand new score from the composers of Hairspray, Roald Dahl’s classic story is brought to life onstage, with a cast that features Nigel Planner as Grandpa Joe and Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka. Tim Rice provided the lyrics for a new musical at the Shaftesbury based on the famous film From Here to Eternity. The show featured a score by newcomer Stuart Brayson and was hoping to become as iconic as the original source material. Rice’s one time partner Andrew Lloyd Webber opened his latest musical offering Stephen Ward at the Aldwych Theatre in December. Starring Alexander Hanson in the lead role, the show explored the life of osteopath Stephen Ward and his role in the Profumo Affair – the sex scandal that threatened to close down the government. The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre produced a new version of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, reverting back to their more traditional roots after last year’s experimental production of Ragtime. 

Cameron Mackintosh had a busy year once again as he finally announced that Miss Saigon would return to the West End in a new production at the Prince Edward Theatre. He was also busily working on Barnum at the Chichester Festival Theatre, but Tim Sheader’s production failed to entertain critics, and plans for a West End transfer were shelved.

Dance shows also featured heavily thanks to the success of TV shows such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Midnight Tango opened at the Phoenix Theatre whilst Burn the Floor filled the gap at the Shaftesbury Theatre, giving audiences a choice of commercial dance shows in the West End, alongside the traditional venues of Sadler’s Wells and the Peacock Theatre, which brought back productions of West Side Story and The Snowman. 

The Cripple of Inishmaan 200x300Plays are continuing to grow on both the commercial front and in fringe venues. Celebrity appearances onstage are already causing quite a stir, as the newly formed Michael Grandage Company and the Jamie Lloyd Company brought classic plays to the forefront starring familiar faces. The Michael Grandage Season saw  Judi Dench, Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Wishaw, David Walliams and Jude Law treading the boards at the Duke of York’s Theatre in production such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry V. Jamie Lloyd gave us a new production of Hamlet at the Trafalgar Studios, starring Scotsman James McAvoy in the lead role as well as The Hothouse and an excellent production of The Pride. 

Helen Mirren returned to her Oscar winning role of Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s new play The Audience which opened at the Gielgud Theatre on 15 February, just as Rowan Atkinson returned to the West End in Quatermaine’s Terms at the Wyndham’s. Revivals once again featured prominently, with Harold Pinter’s Old Times at the Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth, Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy both at the Old Vic Theatre. Blithe Spirit enjoyed a summer run, along with Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking finishing the year at the Wyndham’s.

2013 was an incredibly exciting year!

Dominic <![CDATA[2013 on Broadway]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-01-15T11:41:55Z Matilda BroadwayAfter a somewhat difficult year for new musicals on Broadway in 2012, the 2013 season brought with it a handful of new shows hoping to light the lights and soar to success at the Tony Awards. From the tried and tested to the risky gambles, this season was another interesting one on the Great White Way, and it was hard to tell which shows would sink or swim. The first musical to stake a claim was a reinvention of a classic, seen for the first time on the Broadway stage. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella was the duo’s first made-for-screen musical and starred a young Julie Andrews in the title role. This brand new stage production raised some eyebrows after the Thanksgiving Day Parade showcased some of their rather garish costumes, but Producers were hoping the sense of familiarity and classic fairy tale will result in theatrical magic. Laura Osnes starred as the shoe losing Princess to be, after shooting to fame in Grease and Bonnie and Clyde – she finally got the hit (and nomination!) she deserved. Cinderella opened at the Broadway Theatre on March 3. The first new musical to open was Hands on a Hardbody at the Brooks Aitkins from March 21. This reality inspired musical was set at a car dealership, where an endurance test pushes contestants’ minds and bodies to the extreme, featuring  a score by Trey Anastasio (music), Amanda Green (music and lyrics), and book by Doug Wright. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated musical of the season came direct from London’s West End, as Roald Dahl’s Matilda opened at the Schubert Theatre on April 11. The show premiered at the RSC’s Stratford home, before opening in London in 2011. The show was an instant success and remains as one of the hottest tickets in town after taking home a record number of Olivier Awards. Matthew Warchus directed a talented company which included his wife Laura Ward and Olivier Award winner Bertie Carvel as the androgynous Trunchbull.

Kinky BootsHarvey Fierstein returned to Broadway with another screen-to-stage adaptation. Kinky Boots includes a score by Cyndi Lauper and direction by Jerry Mitchell, and is based on the film of the same name. The show has enjoyed various out of town tryouts and opened at the Al Hirschfeld from April 4, describing itself as an “uplifting” musical that proves that the best way to fit in is to stand out. Hot on its (stiletto) heels was Motown the musical at the Lunt-Fontanne, based on the life of Berry Gordy which promised “a gripping story about the protégés and stars of a uniquely talented musical family who, under Berry Gordy’s guidance, began as ‘the Sound of Young America’ and went on to become some of the greatest superstars of all time.” A jukebox musical for a new generation.

Two revivals that have caught attention are Pippin and Jekyll and Hyde which both opened in the latter half of the year. The first was Bob Fosse’s iconic show, brought to life by Dianne Paulus originally opening at the American Repertory Theatre. Stephen Schwartz’s score is full of standards such as ‘Corner of the Sky’ and the production featured Terrence Mann and Patina Miller. Frank Wildhorn turned up again like the proverbial bad penny, finally bringing his most successful show to Broadway after two seasons worth of expensive flops (Bonnie and Clyde & Wonderland). The revival made a token Broadway appearance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre from April.

Cat on a Hot Tin RoofA host of new plays as well as revivals lined up to open during the year, bringing the usual amount of star quality back to the Great White Way. From Nathan Lane to Bette Midler, to Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson – it was a contest to see whose name is big enough to pull in the punters. Director Rob Ashford brought a new production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof back to Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre from January 17 with a cast that featured Debra Monk, Ciaran Hinds and Scarlett Johansson as Maggie the cat. Despite being just five years since the last highly successful revival, the draw of Tennessee Williams should prove hard to resist. Truman Capote’s new adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s opens at the Court Theatre from March 20th, once again trying to bring the famous film to the stage, as Emilia Clarke took on the role of Holly Golightly.

Lucky GuysTom Hanks made a return to the stage in Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy at the Broadhurst Theatre from April 1. George C Wolfe directed this new play set in 1980s New York surrounding controversial tabloid columnist Mike McAlary. Broadway veteran Nathan Lane made yet another welcome appearance in Douglas Carter Beane’s play The Nance, which focused on a male homosexual burlesque performer living in 1930s New York. We were given an insight into the humour and pathos of his  life both offstage and on in the dangerous Gay scene of the time. 

Four times Olivier Award winner Fiona Shaw opened in the premiere of The Testament of Mary, the stage adaptation of Colm Toiblin’s novella of the same name that tells the story of Mary following the crucifixion of Jesus. Directed by Deborah Warner, the play opened at the Walter Kerr on April 22. Bette Midler also starred in a one-woman show, directed by Joe Mantello in John Logan’s I’ll Eat You Last which is based on the life of Hollywood agent Sue Mengers, who rose from poverty in Hitler’s Germany to be the most successful agent in Hollywood.

Dominic <![CDATA[2012 Awards]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-01-01T14:11:23Z  

The 2012 award season was dominated by new musicals on both sides of the Atlantic. Matilda the Musical took home the most awards at the Olivier Awards, including a three way tie between the leading ladies, whilst Once the Musical swept the board at the Tony’s. Despite the best efforts of the Society of London Theatre, the Olivier Awards ceremony lacked a certain sparkle, and the outdoor entertainment left a lot to be desired. In New York Neil Patrick Harris once again hosted a star studded ceremony including an opening number that imagined having Patti LuPone as your next door neighbour. Imagine.



Category  Tony Awards 2012 results 2012 Olivier Awards results
Best Play Clybourne Park (Bruce Norris) Collaborators (John Hodge, National)
Best Musical Once the Musical Matilda (Cambridge)
Best Musical Revival The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Crazy For You (Open Air)
Best Actor James Cordon (One Man Two Guvnors) Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (Frankenstein, National)
Best Actress Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur) Ruth Wilson (Donmar)
Best Actor (Musical) Steve Kazee (Once)  Bertie Carvel (Matilda, Cambridge)
Best Actress (Musical) Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess) The Matilda’s (Matilda, Cambridge)
Best Director Mike Nichols (Death of a Salesman) Matthew Warchus (Matilda, Cambridge)
Best Choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Newsies) Peter Darling (Matilda, Cambridge)

Dominic <![CDATA[2012 on Broadway]]> 2016-03-08T19:22:27Z 2013-01-01T13:11:14Z The 2012 Broadway season brought with it the usual mixed bag of new talent, new shows and offstage drama. Despite a reliance on well known brands, actors and shows, those that dared to dream big were rewarded with huge grosses and Tony accolades. On the other side of the coin, 2012 saw a number of flops, short runs and early closures. As one law suit was finally settled (Taymor Vs Spider Man), another was publicly beginning as Mandalay set alight much earlier than expected.

2012 will be remembered as the year that producers continued to play it safe. Revivals, both musicals and plays, gave the audiences what they wanted: reliable, safe fun. Although a number of risks were taken in casting, stars continued to light up the Great White Way, giving producers hope that their celebrity would draw in the crowds. On the musical front, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were projected to the forefront as their early collaborations both found homes on Broadway once again. First off the mark was the Stratford Festival’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar which transferred to the Neil Simon Theatre where it ran for 116 performances. Josh Young as Judas and Paul Nolan as Jesus were both praised, and despite high accolade by the Lord himself, audiences failed to buy into the radical re-working. Their second offering fared slightly better, relying once again on star potential to send in the crowds. Michael Grandage’s 2006 production of Evita transferred to the Marquis Theatre, marking the first revival of the show on Broadway. Elena Rodgers reprised her London role as the pint-sized diva, but audiences were unwilling to forget the ghost of LuPone and she quickly became theatrical marmite. It was left to the Latino heart-throb Ricky Martin to sell tickets as he took on the role of Che, and as audiences dipped during his holiday period, it became clear that he was the glue holding the production together, commercially at least.

 After some early controversy and a public slighting from Stephen Sondheim, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in a new ‘musical’ version by DuBose Heyward. Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald starred as the ill-fated lovers, and McDonald went on to win her first Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. One of the best revivals of the season was The Roundabout Theatre’s production of Rupert Holmes’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood which starred Stephanie J Block and Chita Rivera. This musical ‘who-dunnit’ once again allowed audiences to decide on the fate of the central characters in an awfully charming, very British way. To round off the year, everyone’s favourite orphan Annie opened at the Palace Theatre, in a new production directed by James Lapine. Despite mixed to positive reviews, the show hasn’t taken off commercially and the prospect looks bleak considering the arrival of next season’s Matilda the Musical which will see these pre-pubescent stars go head to head.

 Revivals of famous plays by American writers was certainly an extended motif on commercial Broadway, beginning with a new production of A Streetcar Named Desire which opened at the Broadhurst Theatre for a limited run. Emily Mann directed this all black revival, but it failed to have the spirit of its forerunner Cat On a Hot Tin Roof of a few seasons ago. Incidentally, Tennessee Williams closed the year as Cat began previews once again at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, this time directed by Rob Ashford, little over 3 years since it was last seen in New York. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? waited slightly longer for a revival, as Steppenwolf brought Albe’s classic play to the Booth Theatre where it remained in the shadows of Kathleen Turner, despite the excellent work by Tracy Letts and Amy Morton as George and Martha. Another safe bet from the popular American catalogue came as Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross opened at the Gerald Schoenfeld, starring Al Pacino after a preview period to rival that of Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark‘s. Despite initial scepticism from critics Pacino was praised but the production criticized – once again the case of a previous production haunting the minds of audiences and critics. Douglas Hodge excited audiences in Cyrano de Bergerac acting as a precursor to his upcoming wacky character which will see him bring Willy Wonka to the London stage in 2013. ‘Downton Abbey’ heartthrob Dan Stevens provided a slightly new lense through which to enjoy a revival of The Heiress at the Walter Kerr Theatre, joined by Jessica Chastain as the dowdy Catherine Sloper.

After a very safe season of revivals, 2012 also brought with it a number of ‘flops’ that failed to grab the attention of either critics or audiences, showing how harsh Broadway can be to those who try to bring something new to the table. Alan Menken’s Leap of Faith was the first musical to fall, despite the composer’s success round the corner with Newsies, for which he went on to win the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Even Raul Esparza couldn’t save the day, and no one had any faith in the production which closed after a mere 20 performances. Faith remained the unsuccessful theme of 2012 as Scandalous the Musical also fared badly, scraping by only 29 performances. Despite Kathie Lee Gifford’s heavy contribution to the show and the vocal power of Carolee Carmello, the show failed to excite audiences or critics, although Hurricane Sandy will always be the ‘official’ reason as to the show’s failure. Plays fared just as badly, with Mamet’s newest offering to the stage The Anarchist scraping less than 20 performances despite the pulling power of Deborah Winger and Patti LuPone. One of the biggest disasters of the year was a new play at the Longacre Theatre The Performers about life in the adult entertainment industry which closed after only 7 shows and a unanimous critical panning. Katie Holmes’s first Broadway appearance after publicly outing, sorry, ousting, husband Tom Cruise enjoyed similar bad luck, closing little more than a month after opening at the Music Box Theatre, leading to a lot of Dead Accounts for the producers. The award for biggest flop of the year however is reserved for the ill-fated Rebecca the Musical which closed before the first preview, prompting much scandal in the national and international press after a key producer fiddled the books by creating a fake investor in the show.

Whilst those new musicals struggled, others rose to the top of the theatrical crop, becoming surprise hits with new audiences. The biggest hit of the season came from an independent Irish film, and went on to win the Tony for Best New Musical among many others. Once was a triumph for minimalism, developing the show’s soundtrack through an ensemble of actor musicians on a stage that featured a working bar. Harvey Fierstein provided the book for another screen-to-stage adaptation as Disney’s flop film Newsies became the surprise hit of the season, transferring from the Papermill Playhouse to the Nederlander Theatre, extending to an open ended run and recouping its full investment within the year. Bring it On: The Musical continued the trend for musicals based on films, transferring in from a regional tour with a ready developed audience in town. The same success couldn’t be said for the Broadway transfer of Ghost the Musical, as the London producers prematurely dragged the show across the pond where it received a critical bashing, and its expensive running costs couldn’t keep the show alive, resulting in both the London and New York productions entering an early grave. Nice Work if You Can Get It brought Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara back to the stage in a Gershwin Juke-Box musical that fell slightly flat, but pleased the blue rinse brigade and become a ‘safe’ option for out-of-towners. Rob McClure brought the Little Tramp to life in the musical biopic Chaplin which transferred after much regional success. Many thought the visually stunning show didn’t go far enough with the story of the silent movie star, and the book has been cited for its premature closing.

The year was rounded off nicely by the arrival of two seasonal delights which played to packed houses over the holiday period. Elf The Musical returned to Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre for a limited run and was later joined by A Christmas Story the Musical at the Lunt-Fontanne featuring a score by Benji Pasek and Joseph Robinette.

The fact that the ever biting, ever critical, (yet highly amusing) Off-Broadway revue Forbidden Broadway returned to town shows that once again Broadway is ready to be mocked. With such a jam packed year there was enough fodder for a reincarnation of this tongue in cheek success, proving that 2012 was another memorable one for the Broadway community.