On Monday, June 26th Kevin Clay from The Book of Mormon touring cast represented the Hollywood Pantages by singing the National Anthem at the Dodger game. See it here!
On Monday, June 26th Kevin Clay from The Book of Mormon touring cast represented the Hollywood Pantages by singing the National Anthem at the Dodger game. See it here!
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of announcements about live musical television events. These events have become quite popular over the last few years. Millions of people tune in at the same moment to experience these live events together. We decided to compile a list of all the newly announced productions.
FOX has announced a live musical production of the groundbreaking, Tony Award-, Grammy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT. Acclaimed film, television and theater producer Marc Platt (GREASE: LIVE, “La La Land,” “Wicked”), along with the estate of writer/composer Jonathan Larson, will executive-produce the event. Additional details and auspices to be announced.
A Christmas Story
The production, which will air this December, will be based on the Broadway musical version of the beloved film of the same name. Marc Platt, who previously collaborated with Fox on “Grease: Live,” will executive produce along with Adam Siegel, with Jonathan Tolins and Robert Cary co-executive producing and writing. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, recent Tony Award nominees for the musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” and lyricists of “La La Land’s” Academy Award-winning song, “City of Stars,” also scored “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” and will compose several new songs for the live television event. It will be produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.
Bye Bye Birdie
NBC has set its next live musical with Jennifer Lopez on board to star. Lopez will executive produce with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, and her company Nuyorican Productions will produce with Universal Television. Harvey Fierstein will write the television adaptation, with the special slated to air in December, 2017.
Jesus Christ Superstar
NBC is adding to its live production repertoire with Jesus Christ Superstar, scheduled for Easter Sunday 2018.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who created the rock opera that premiered on Broadway in 1971, will be executive producers, joining Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have produced a number of live productions for NBC in recent years including The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, The Wiz and Hairspray. Bye Bye Birdie, with Jennifer Lopez, is due in December.
The Little Mermaid
The Wonderful World of Disney: The Little Mermaid Live! will premiere this fall on ABC, in what the network describes as a “hybrid television experience” that will include both live-action and animated performances. The Little Mermaid Live! event will run for two hours total and feature the original score from the animated film, with songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.
The cast of the upcoming special has yet to be announced, but a release from ABC promises a roster of celebrity artists “whose performances will weave seamlessly throughout the original animated film.” It remains to be seen whether every role will be recast for the event (what would a live-action version of Sebastian the Crab look like? DISCUSS!) and how the producers intend to combine those performances with original material from the 1989 movie.
Which live event has been your favorite so far? Which musicals would you like to see live on Television in the future?
For six years, Cleo has been a Hollywood staple. Located within The Redbury Hotel at 1717 Vine Street, in Hollywood, CA, Cleo features a distinctly light and fresh menu that evokes a contemporary mezze bar. Drawn from a variety of influences, Cleo’s cuisine provides a modern twist on the foods and cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, with a collection of unforgettable dishes prepared in a wood burning oven.
In the six years since their beginning, Cleo has been a part of dineL.A. Presented by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, dineL.A. is a 15-day dining event that takes place twice a year and showcases Los Angeles as a premier dining destination while highlighting the diversity of culinary experiences L.A. has to offer.
dineL.A. Restaurant Week is back from January 13th – 27th! Join Cleo for a special prix-fixe menu from award-winning Chef Danny Elmaleh, priced at only $39 for dinner at both the Hollywood and Downtown LA locations.
“It’s a really awesome way for us to connect with people who have never been to Cleo,” says Zulfia Manely, Marketing Manager for The Redbury Hotel and Cleo.
“We love being a part of any neighborhood efforts or anything that gives back to the community,” Manely explains.
Want to be a part of dineL.A. at Cleo? Make a reservation! CLICK HERE
While most of us are happy to leave 2016 behind, we are sad to say goodbye to some of our favorite shows that have closed and will be closing in the coming weeks on Broadway. We’ve already bid adieu to Fiddler on the Roof, Matilda, and Something Rotten. Soon we will see the closures of The Color Purple, Jersey Boys and Holiday Inn. So what’s next? We compiled a list of shows scheduled to make their debut in 2017.
• Theatre: Broadway
• Previews: March 1, 2017
• Opens: March 23, 2017
• Written by Claude-Michel Schönberg (music), Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (lyrics), Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (book)
• Director: Laurence Connor
• Cast: Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada
• An American soldier named Chris marries Kim in Vietnam before departing for the US. Three years later, he returns to find Kimstill alive and raising Tam, a boy he fathered. With the Viet Cong closing in on the city and two women wanting the only place in his heart, Chris has big decisions to make.
• Prior to its West End opening, Cameron Mackintosh said the London revival of Miss Saigon might transfer to Broadway in 2015 if it was well received. The revival went on to break box office records.
• Limited run through January 15, 2018.
• Theatre: Nederlander
• Previews: March 7, 2017
• Opening: April 6, 2017
• Writers: Book by Doug Wrights; music and lyrics by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie
• Director: Michael Grief; choreographer: Christopher Gattelli
• Cast: Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole
• Musical based on the rivalry of cosmetics titans Helena Rubenstein (LuPone) and Elizabeth Arden (Ebersole)
• Premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in summer 2016.
• Theatre: August Wilson
• Previews: March 16, 2017
• Opening: April 17, 2017
• Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, book by Danny Rubin
• Director: Matthew Warchus
• Cast: Andy Karl
• A musical adaptation of the 1993 Bill Murray film about a cynical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who is sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, PA, when he finds himself caught in a time loop, forced to repeat the same day again and again…and again. Will he ever unlock the secret and break the cycle?
• Produced in London in summer 2016.
• Theatre: Shubert
• Previews: March 15, 2017
• Opens: April 20, 2017
• Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman; book by Michael Stewart
• Director: Jerry Zaks; choreographer: Warren Carlyle
• Cast: Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce
• Revival of the blockbuster 1964 musical about a matchmaker who sets out to find a match for herself at the turn of the 20th century.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
• Theatre: Lunt-Fontanne
• First Preview: March 28, 2017
• Opening: April 23, 2017
• Written by David Greig (book), Marc Shaiman (music & lyrics), Scott Wittman (lyrics), Roald Dahl (novel)
• Director: Jack O’Brien
• Cast: Christian Borle as Willy Wonka
• When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.
• A West End production opened in June 2013.
• Theatre: Broadhurst
• First Preview: March 23, 2017
• Opening: April 24, 2017
• Music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, book by Terrence McNally
• Director: Darko Tresnjak
• Cast: Christy Altomare, Derek Klana, Ramin Karimloo, Mary Beth Peil, John Bolton, and Caroline O’Connor
• Inspired by the 1997 film about a young woman who may be the last surviving member of the Russian royal family. The score features songs from the movie, including the Oscar-nominated “Journey to the Past,” plus additional new songs from the same Tony Award-winning team.
• The musical had its world premiere at Hartford Stage May 12 through June 26, 2016.
• Theatre: Jacobs
• First Preview: March 31, 2017
• Opening: April 26, 2017
• Music by Richard Oberacker and book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker
• Director/Choreographer: Andy Blankenbuhler
• Cast: Laura Osnes and Corey Cott
• This self-described “big-band musical” chronicles a mismatched band of WWII veterans who join forces to compete in a radio contest with dreams of stardom.
• The show had a hit first production in summer/fall 2015 at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.
PRINCE OF BROADWAY
• Theatre: Thomas J. Friedman
• First Preview: August 3, 2017
• Opening: August 24, 2017
• Libretto by David Thompson; songs by Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Strouse & Adams, Bock & Harnick, Andrew Lloyd Webber and many others.
• Co-directors: Hal Prince and Susan Stroman
• Musical revue featuring highlights from the career of master showman Harold Prince.
• Had a tryout production in Japan in fall 2015.
• Theatre: TBA
• Target Opening: TBA
• Written by Stephen A. Weiner (music), Peter Mills (lyrics), Dusty Kay and Bill Nuss (book)
• Director: John Rando
• Cast: Michael McGrath, Hank Azaria, Laura Bell Bundy and Leslie Kritzer.
• Ralph Kramden and his buddy Ed Norton are back and still shooting for the moon in this world-premiere musical. After shocking their wives by winning a high profile jingle contest, they are catapulted out of Brooklyn and into the cutthroat world of Madison Avenue.
• An industry presentation was held November 2014, produced by Jeffrey Finn and Goodspeed Musicals and starring Michael McGrath, Hank Azaria, Leslie Kritzer and Megan Hilty. A full fall production at Goodspeed was subsequently cancelled. McGrath, Azaria, Bundy and Kritzer took part in an April 2016 lab presentation in New York.
• Theatre: TBA
• Target Opening: TBA
• Written by Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin (music & lyrics), Tina Fey (book)
• Director: Casey Nicholaw
• Cast: TBA
• A musical adaptation of the hit 2004 film.
• Produced by Lorne Michaels and Stuart Thompson.
• Tina Fey first confirmed in January 2013 that a musical adaptation was in the works. In May 2014 Fey and her husband Jeff Richmond, who is scoring the show with Nell Benjamin, confirmed that it was progressing. Richmond told Yahoo in March 2015 that 60 percent of the show was completed. A reading was presented in fall 2015. A world premiere production was announced for fall 2017 at the National Theatre in Washington DC.
SPONGEBOB: THE MUSICAL
• Theatre: TBA
• Target Opening: 2017
• Book by Kyle Jarrow, music by Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, T.I. and David Bowie.
• Director: Tina Landau
• Cast: Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper, Danny Skinner, Gavin Lee, Carlos Lopez and Nick Blaemire.
• Stage adaptation of the hit Nickelodeon cartoon series about the undersea residents of Bikini Bottom.
• The show had a Chicago tryout in summer 2016.
There are so many great shows in the making. For a full list of upcoming shows visit: www.Playbill.com Which shows are you most excited about?
One of the most exciting things about Broadway theatre is the anticipation of that next big smash hit. We have seen it come from the plains of Africa with the Lion King. One time it came in the form of a green girl from Oz and most recently in the form of the ten-dollar Founding Father. But what about the musicals that came before?
We live in a world of movie reboots, re-do’s and sequels. Most get upset upon hearing the news that their favorite childhood film is being rebooted for today’s kids but what about Broadway revivals? If the recent box office record setting sales of the Broadway revival of Hello Dolly staring Bette Midler tells us anything, it’s that the Broadway community welcomes revivals with open arms.
This Broadway season was full of big revivals. What is it that keeps us coming back to these classic pieces again and again? Is it nostalgia or is it seeing a new version of an old favorite? There are too many spectacular revivals to mention so we took a look at the four that were nominated for the Best Revival category for the 2016 Tony Awards.
The Color Purple walked away with two Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. Not only is this show still running on Broadway but it has pulled in some of the best reviews from the country’s top papers. Below the cast of The Color Purple performs at the 2016 Tony Awards
“My spirit was profoundly moved” Los Angeles Times
“This is a show that pierces and shakes the soul!” Arts Desk
“A mircale on Broadway. A glory to behold!” New York Times
The most recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof did quite well for itself earning three Tony Award Nominations for Best Revival, Best Performance by a Lead Actor, and Best Choreography. The show also walked away with two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Actor and Outstanding Director. Below is the cast of Fiddler on the Roof at the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In 1964 She Loves Me made it’s New York debut. In 2016 the revival ended up with 8 Tony Nominations and walked away with Best Scenic Design. Television stars Jane Krakowski and Zachary Levi lent their talent along side Lara Benanti to pump new life into this classic. Below the cast of She Loves me performs on the Today Show.
If any one revival was unique in its own way it was Deaf West’s Spring Awakening that combined the beauty and music of the 2006 production and added the element of American Sign Language to the coming of age tale. The show ended up with three Tony Nominations for Best Revival, Best Direction, and Best Lighting Design. Below see a collection of clips from the show.
What classic Broadway shows would you like to see revived and who would you cast in the lead roles?
If you have been to the Hollywood Pantages lately to see a show there are a few things you may have noticed about the neighborhood. The first thing that probably comes to mind is what the heck is the deal with all of this construction??? Well the neighborhood is changing my friends and we think it’s gonna be great! Check out some of the projects happening around the theatre.
The Argyle Hotel
Construction is well underway on the Argyle Hotel, a 16-story, 220-room hotel at 1800 N Argyle Ave in Hollywood, not far from the Hollywood Pantages. This is one of three high-rise projects underway or planned at the intersection of Argyle Avenue and Yucca Street.
Designed by San Diego’s ACRM Architects, the 184-foot tower will have a swimming pool on the fifth level and parking for 93 cars on four levels, three above grade and one below. The hotel also will have a restaurant, meeting space and banquet facilities.
Just across the street from the Argyle Hotel construction, work begins on an 18-story tower with 114 “luxury” apartments immediately next to the iconic Capitol Records building and just north of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. In addition to the apartments, its project will include a fifth-floor terrace with a dog run, “oversized” TV, and catering kitchen. It will also include underground parking, according to a building permit filed with the city.
Dream Hotel Hollywood
Hollywood is booming, and the new Dream Hotel, nearing completion on Selma Ave near Cahuenga, hopes to cash in on its popularity. The 179-room hotel features a two-story lobby and a rooftop complete with a swimming pool and a late-night venue that will have a retractable roof. The property will also have a public alley that pedestrians can use to travel to nightclubs in the area as well as local restaurants near the hotel.
Eastown Phase II
The first phase of Eastown, completed on the opposite side of Hollywood Boulevard in 2014, includes four low-rise buildings containing 535 apartments and over 70,000 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants.
The project, which is rising from a 3.18-acre site at 6200 Hollywood Boulevard, will consist of a series of seven-story buildings featuring 507 apartments and approximately 60,000 square feet of ground-level retail and restaurant space.
Shake Shack has confirmed that it’s opening a location in the veritable heart of Hollywood at the new Eastown mixed-use complex. To see where this Shake Shack is going to get situated, head over to the Eastown complex’s own website. Right there in the retailer section (which already includes a Dunkin’ Donuts) you’ll see some 5,000 square feet marked off for a Shake Shack, which goes further to say an arrival could come as soon as this fall.
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. To see these blinking, shining, glowing, neon lights go dim for just a moment you can feel it. Call it a flag half staff, a send off or a heartfelt goodbye for a member of the theatre community. Last night the Hollywood Pantages Theatre dimmed its neon lights for the first time in honor of the late James M. Nederlander.
It is a tradition that dates back to the 1950’s beginning with Gertrude Lawrence. Lawrence died after the matinee performance while starring in the Broadway musical The King and I. Under this tradition all 40 Broadway theatres dim their outdoor lights for a minute just before the curtain on show night. Dimming the Broadway lights is typically reserved for those who have been very active in the theater or synonymous with Broadway.
The grief of the theatre community is felt for that one dark minute and when the warm lights start shining again, the feeling of hope and joy fills the street. They say there’s magic in the air.
Theatres from London to New York, and from Chicago to Los Angeles dimmed their lights for James M. Nederlander. Below, watch as the Hollywood Pantages dims our lights for the first time ever in honor Jimmy
Every year, each participating Jerry Herman Award school sends their qualifying leading actor and actress to audition before our panel of judges for a chance to win and go on to the Jimmy Awards in NYC. These same participants spend all day Saturday and several hours on the day of the show rehearsing the opening number. Check out the photos from this year’s rehearsals.
By Alyssa Appleton
There is no doubt that technology and social media have allowed us as audience members and theatre-goers easier access to shows, stars, and more. But, as with all things, with the positives come negatives, like we’ve seen with the growing fad of picture-taking, recording, even answering the phone during productions of Broadway shows and tours over the last few years. During one infamous incident, an audience member attempted to plug their phone into an electric outlet…onstage. Cast members of shows have been known to stop scenes or musical numbers when audience members’ phones go off. Lin-Manuel Miranda recently called out several audience members during a production of Hamilton for taking pictures. It’s safe to say that cast and crew of many shows are growing frustrated with this phone-epidemic.
Benedict Cumberbatch once stopped and restarted the famed “To be or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet because of cell phone use, and still saw people in the audience filming, even after they’d restarted the scene. His heartfelt, classy plea at the stage door that night went viral,
“It’s mortifying, and there’s nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor being onstage than experiencing that. And I can’t give you what I want to give you, which is a live performance that you will remember hopefully in your minds and brains — whether it’s good, bad or indifferent — rather than on your phones.”
And while photos and recording are distracting and a form of piracy, the distraction stretches further than that – into the realm of answering phone calls or texting relentlessly during performances. Patti LuPone has stopped performances to acknowledge audience members taking photos or recording, and once she took a phone from an audience member who was continually texting (it was returned after the show). Hugh Jackman has spoken to audience members that were talking during performances, and his shows, too, have sometimes stopped scenes if phones ring…and ring…and ring…and ring.
What you may be asking yourself is…in terms of photos and videos, why are these theatre professionals so frustrated? Why is it, when audience members spend significant amounts of money to obtain theatre tickets, that they can’t take a photo or video to commemorate their experience? I can empathize with that frustration. It’s your favorite new show, you’re thrilled to be there with your mom, dad, brother, sister, best friend, significant other, etc. and you want something to remember the experience by. As someone who’s worked onstage, backstage, in the front of house, and upstairs in a marketing office, I will try and break this down the only way I can: from my perspective.
Firstly, each production has its own rules in regards to photo and video before the production begins, during intermission, and after the production ends. Sometimes productions are happy to let audience members take photos before a show starts, or during intermission, or after it’s over. Some don’t want photos or video at all once the audience has started to file into the seating area, including before the show begins, during intermission, or after the show. If you want to take a photo but aren’t sure about a show’s specific policy, ask an usher. They have been briefed on that information and will be happy to tell you whether or not you can take a photo or video.
These photo and video policies exist due to copyright laws. Everything onstage is copywritten: the sets, the costumes, the words, the music…all of it. And when audience members take photos or video during a production, they are violating that copyright whether they know it or not. If I were to record a film in a movie theatre, it would be considered piracy, and a violation of that film’s copyright. It’s the same with taking photos and videos of a theatrical experience. This includes the use of the popular app Snapchat, where photos and videos disappear within 24 hours. A photo or video using Snapchat is still in violation of a production’s copyright laws. But again, if you’re unsure about the rules of a production here at the Pantages (or anywhere!), ask an usher. They will have the answer for you. They may even be willing to take the photo or video if photos and videos are allowed!
It’s a rare thing to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but to receive one along side a dear friend and colleague happens once in a life time. On Monday, April 11th Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein received their stars for their collaboration on the Tony Award winning Broadway show Kinky Boots right in front of the Hollywood Pantages.
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