'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for September 25th, 2013
THE LATEST IN UNAUTHORIZED GOSSIP AND BUZZ
FROM THE HEART OF CHICAGO'S SHOWTUNE VIDEO BARS,
AND MUSICAL THEATER NEWS FROM CHICAGO TO BROADWAY
Overheard last weekend under the showtune
video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:
In the afterglow of "Kinky Boots" winning the Tony Award for Best Musical this past June, and with "Big Fish" in previews on the Main Stem as we speak (looking toward its opening night of October 6, 2013), Broadway producers announced last week that the next big Broadway musical to have a pre-Broadway tryout in Chicago will be "The Last Ship," the musical with a score by Sting and based on his childhood on the English coast. The 16-time Grammy winner has teamed with the bookwriters John Logan and Brian Yorkey, director Joe Mantello and choreographer Steven Hoggett to create the show, which will launch at our very own BOAT (the Bank Of America Theatre) from June 10 through July 13, 2014. Songs from the show are on Sting's new album, which was released yesterday. Will there be similarities to "Billy Elliot?" Who knows. But we will once again be the center of the musical theater world--at least, after next year's Tony Awards hoopla dies down.
Broadway In Chicago followed up that announcement with news of its entire spring "season," including add-ons, and so (well, I was going to do it anyway) this is a good time for the Mosh Pit to take stock of the tours that will be coming our way in the next nine months. Well, at least the ones that are new on the list. I mean, there are currently 26 shows on their website (http://www.broadwayinchicago.com/), including the three that are currently running ("Evita" among them). And almost all of these are musicals. Surely this is some sort of record! How many cities outside of New York have had 26 "Broadway" shows open in a nine-month period? It's a pretty extensive, and somewhat overwhelming, list. Shows we've not talked about here include "Once Upon A Dream Starring The Rascals," a theatrical concert with the original members of the eponymous blue-eyed soul band appearing together to help tell us their tale (the show runs November 5-10 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre). I think that's the only 2013 offering that's new to the Mosh Pit. However, we've just learned of yet another engagement of the musical we've lent our name to ("Chicago," natch, playing February 25-March 2, 2014, at the Bank Of America Theatre), and another visit of a show we've had a lot of time to catch ("Rock Of Ages," back at its first Chicago home, the BOAT, from March 11-16). A hot second after ROA leaves, a tour of "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will pull into the Cadillac Palace (March 18-30), starring Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young. A tour we've not seen, featuring songs by "Joseph" tunesmiths Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice as well as the ones from a certain legendary MGM film, will be the highly anticipated "The Wizard Of Oz," playing April 30-May 11 at the Cadillac Palace, to be followed at the same venue by another visit of the perennially popular "Mamma Mia!," playing May 13-18. All this, plus the shows we've already announced herein, like "Once," "We Will Rock You," "Wicked" (the post-modern "Wizard Of Oz," of course), "Elf," "Ghost," that new staging of "The Phantom Of The Opera," the North American premiere of "Heartbeat Of Home," the touring premiere of "Motown," and so much more. It's a cornucopia of showtunes! (And don't forget about BIC's $25 ticket specials on the 25th of every month! Hint: that's today....)