BWW Special Spotlight Feature: BroadwayWorld.com's '10 to Watch in 2010'
The new theatre season is full of exciting works by some very well known artists. With the New Year almost upon us, we've turned our focus on the ten personalities we'll be keeping an extra special eye on here at BroadwayWorld.com. So please join us and take a look at our "10" to watch in 2010 and then jump into the conversation and list your own favorites for 2010 in the comments section below, we can't wait to read yours!
BROADWAYWORLD.COM's "10" to Watch in 2010:
These two Oscar winning dynamos return to their "roots" with the upcoming revival of PROMISES, PROMISES opening this spring on Broadway. Zadan and Meron are masters of creative casting and having snagged Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth and Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes as their leads only continues that successful formula. The revival, which will be under the sure hand of Rob Ashford, is already named as one of the must see events of the 2010 Broadway season.
2009 Highlight: Their hit Lifetime TV series "Drop Dead Diva."
2010 Lineup: Footloose and Damn Yankees on the big screen, a special TV project with Steven Spielberg and PROMISES, PROMISES on Broadway.
Lin-Manuel Miranda Tony Award winning composer and lyricist and Tony nominated actor
Lin-Manuel burst on the theatre scene in 2007 with his musical valentine to upper Manhattan, IN THE HEIGHTS, his emotional mix of salsa, rap and old fashioned show tunes struck a chord with industry titans and local audiences alike. Miranda accepted numerous awards for his inspired tale of faith and family establishing himself a true force to be reckoned with on Broadway, Hollywood and beyond. In 2010 Miranda shows no signs of stopping, seemingly creating projects in every entertainment arena from a big screen version of 'HEIGHTS' to a guest starring stint on the 40th anniversary season of SESAME STREET!
2009 Highlight: Accompanied by fellow Tony Winner Alex Lacamoire, Miranda performed "The Hamilton Mixtape" for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word on May 12, 2009.
2010 Lineup: The National Tour of IN THE HEIGHTS continues to spread its charm all over the US. Miranda is currently working on The Hamilton Mixtape, a hip-hop album based on the life of Alexander Hamilton. The young talent is also teaming with Tom Kitt, Jeff Whitty and Andy Blankenbuehler on a stage bound production of the hit teen film BRING IT ON.
CARRIE, The Musical Beloved Broadway flop currently being "resurrected" for a stage revival
CARRIE, The Musical had a notoriously short 3 night, 5 performance run on Broadway in 1988, those that were lucky enough to catch it will tell you it had some of the best and worst that the stage can offer (Editors Note: Oh did it ever, but Betty Buckley and Linzi Hateley dueting on "And Eve Was Weak" is still one of the most thrilling things I've EVER seen on a stage. EV.). For years Broadway aficionados have yearned for its powerful score to make a return in the right hands. Well, dreams do come true, as Tony winning producers Jeffrey Seller and Kevin McCollum brought the good old gal "back from the dead" for an all-star Equity reading of the musical last month led by Marin Mazzie and directed by Stafford Arima. The big question is, will it soar in a new production? If the creative team embraces the dark and tragic elements of the story and focus on keeping it "real" this musical gem might just shock us all once again, but this time, in a GOOD WAY!
2009 Highlight: The Friday, November 20th, which by all accounts proved that CARRIE still has some sort of life left in her musical bones.
2010 Lineup: There are lots of rumors out there post reading, the real hope is that CARRIE can return to a stage somewhere, but not necessarily on Broadway in the coming months.
Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical Composing Legend
On Thursday, October 8th, 2009, Andrew Lloyd Webber unveiled his brand new production "LOVE NEVER DIES" at a global launch in London. "LOVE NEVER DIES" continues the story of 'The Phantom of the Opera', who has moved from his lair in the Paris Opera House to haunt the fairgrounds of Coney Island, far across the Atlantic. Set 10 years after the mysterious disappearance of 'The Phantom' from Paris, "LOVE NEVER DIES" seeks to capture the hearts of minds of audiences the world over, will it be successful at that daunting feat? "The Phantom of the Opera" won a staggering 50 awards worldwide, with global album sales currently at over 40 million copies, the musical is the most successful 'entertainment' ever. Will audiences warm to a sequel to a story that doesn't "need" one, as the original "Phantom" ends in a nearly perfect fashion. This new chapter also doesn't have the creative alchemy of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in the leading roles, a casting gift that fueled "The Phantom of the Opera" during its early days of performance. All this lends itself for a truly "must watch" scenario as the "Phantom" and "Christine" continue their "strange duet."
2009 Highlight: Lloyd Webber reveals "LOVE NEVER DIES" to the world with a much discussed global press launch.
2010 Lineup: Andrew Lloyd Webber's long awaited new show will have its World Premiere in London at the Adelphi Theatre on Tuesday March, 9th, 2010 followed by New York on Thursday, November 11th, 2010. The "LOVE NEVER DIES" album was completed in September 2009 will be released on Wednesday, 10 March 2010, the day after the World Premiere in London. Also rumored is a Broadway revival of his award winning musical EVITA.
Julie Taymor Tony winning writer and director
2009 was not an easy road for Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor, her seemingly boundless creativity got caught in the "web" of her mega musical SPIDER-MAN, Turn Off The Dark. SPIDER-MAN spent countless days on the front pages that heralded its financial woes and not one second in a rehearsal studio, which is where it had planned to be. But Taymor never wavered in the face of the constant hurdles, always keeping positive as the troubles were dealt with on what became at one point a daily basis. Word is the production is "back on track" and will "swing" to a stage in 2010. SPIDER-MAN features music and lyrics by 22-time Grammy Award-winners Bono and The Edge of U2 with direction by Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor (The Tempest, Across The Universe, The Lion King). SPIDER-MAN is written by Julie Taymor and Glen Berger (Underneath The Lintel).
2009 Highlight: The November 6th news that Michael Cohl had joined 'SPIDER-MAN' as lead producer.
2010 Lineup: Taymor looks to finally bring to life her dynamic take on the mythic tale of a young man propelled from a modest rowhouse in Queens to the heroic heights of Manhattan in his new role as Spider-Man.
STAR CASTING The past, present and future of putting a show up on Broadway
Well its really no surprise, stars sell tickets. Thats the reality, no fighting it, just take a look at a number of recent "early closings", not a star in any of those cast listings. This season we've had Hugh Jackman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Daniel Craig, Jude Law just to name a starry few. And its not stopping in 2010, the current phenomenon of Hollywood stars joining the ranks of 'Broadway Babes' is just heating up with Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Alicia Silverstone and more heading into stage doors in the coming months cements the fact that booking a star name above the title is a safety measure that modern day producers must take in the current economic climate.
2009 Highlight: Hugh Jackman's searing performance in A STEADY RAIN.
Stephen Sondheim American Master of the Musical Stage
Stephen Sondheim turns 80 on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 and theatre stages across the land will "sing out" in celebration. There will be no better place to witness this than on Broadway, where he'll have his current revival of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and the upcoming new musical project, Roundabout's SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM to help blow out his birthday candles. 'SONDHEIM' is described as an "intimate portrait of the famed composer in his own words... and music. Through the use of exclusive interview footage, you'll get an inside look at Sondheim's personal life and artistic process. An ensemble cast of Broadway's best will perform brand-new arrangements of over two dozen Sondheim tunes, ranging from the beloved to the obscure." Directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine it will be exciting to watch how this bold concept plays out.
2010 Lineup: The Roundabout celebrates Sondheim's birthday with a star-studded 2010 SPRING GALA: SONDHEIM 80 on March 22nd. SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM opens on April 22nd, 2010.
Twyla Tharp Tony winning dancer, director and choreographer
Deriving inspiration from the timeless big band sounds of Frank Sinatra, Tony Award Winner Twyla Tharp recently premiered her new musical ‘Come Fly With Me' to the ALLIANCE THEATRE stage in Atlanta. Always a bold visionary, her Sinatra shaped dance-musical may be her most exciting and creative yet. And the voice of Frank Sinatra coupled with the soaring Tharp dancers seems like a perfect fit for a Rialto mounting, the real scoop is, when will it "swing" on Broadway, informed sources point to the Spring of 2010.
2009 Highlight: Well it was given in late 2008, but we had to mention her Kennedy Center Honor somewhere!
2010 Lineup: Sending 'Come Fly With Me' out on a National Tour and finding it a ring-a-ding-ding home on Broadway.
Tarell Alvin McCraney Award-winning playwright and actor
Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays officially launched at The Public Theater and the New York Theatre scene is richer for it. His work is at once heartbreaking and inspiring, and his voice is one of rich promise. The Brother/Sister Plays is a series of modern-day stories of kinship, love, heartache and coming-of-age centered around an extended family and community in the Bayou. Winner of the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, McCraney's stories traverse the gritty and lyrical, urban and mythic. The real hope for this gifted young talent is that his tales of real human emotion find a place on the Broadway stage and soon.
2009 Highlight: Winning the inaugural New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award
2010 Lineup: McCraney will continue his stint as international playwright in residence for the Royal Shakespeare Company. New productions of The Brother/Sister Plays are also planned in various cities.
Michael Riedel Theatrical columnist for The New York Post
In this age of everyone saying "print is dead", there is still one reason theatre industry pros will get their fingers dirty flipping through the pages of a daily newspaper, and that reason is The New York Post's Michael Riedel. Ok, so most read him online, but c'mon there is something fun about slurping that morning coffee as you turn the pages to see who he's got in his Broadway bullseye. And lets face it - everybody reads him, because more often than not, he's spot on about his subject. Did The Green Goblin cause Spider-Man agita? Nope that was Riedel. Was it Variety who broke the news of Oscar winner Zeta-Jones joining the cast of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC? Nah, again it was Michael in The Post. He's a must read and a must-hate for most, but in the "real world" where Broadway news really doesn't matter a bit, he crafts a helluva story and makes what happens in these 36 odd theatres seem, important, romantic, and sometimes really nasty, which is what good drama is all about.
2009 Hightlight: Scoring the constant dish on SPIDER-MAN, Turn Off The Dark.
2010 Lineup: Its EARLY give him time!