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SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Classic Roles Ready For Gender-BendingSOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Classic Roles Ready For Gender-Bending
by Pat Cerasaro - July 29, 2015

Lines are blurring. Gender-bending is seemingly everywhere these days, from high fashion ads to news coverage to I AM CAIT, Queen Latifah as The Wiz and beyond. Furthermore, one of the most provocative and popular stories of last week was the news of a Canadian regional production of A CHORUS LINE casting a male actor in the leading role of Cassie, renamed Casey. With the additional angle of Broadway currently being abuzz with the appearance of stage and screen star Taye Diggs stepping into the iconic high heels of the titular character in the recently multi-Tony Award-winning musical HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH - itself centered on a transsexual character - it seems as though now would be the ideal time to consider some other musical theatre mainstays and how they could be re-purposed and refreshed with a gender-bended twist. Although certain roles seems tailor-made to such treatment, it is illuminating to consider the rich possibilities that could potentially be afforded in the experience of witnessing the right performer of perhaps the perceivably wrong sex tackling a role normally associated with the opposite gender. Who knows, maybe a female Phantom or a make Elphaba are not that wildly spurious or far-fetched to consider given the compelling performances that have been given by unlikely actors in roles traditionally portrayed in a certain way. Theatre is nothing without reinvention and these are my top 10 picks for musicals I would like to see taken on with fresh eyes and a new outlook. (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere: Jessica Hendy & More In 'Ravenous' Music Video From STARMITES At 54 BelowSOUND OFF World Premiere: Jessica Hendy & More In 'Ravenous' Music Video From STARMITES At 54 Below
by Pat Cerasaro - July 26, 2015

A sexy showstopper from STARMITES at 54 Below! (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: Top 10 Favorite Things About THE SOUND OF MUSICSOUND OFF Special Edition: Top 10 Favorite Things About THE SOUND OF MUSIC
by Pat Cerasaro - July 22, 2015

Rodgers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC is one of the most oft-produced and popular musicals of all time and this week has welcomed both spectacular news and saddening news regarding the past, present and future of the beloved family-friendly musical. Iconic original leading man Theodore Bikel passed away at the age of 91 earlier this week, forever closing the book on the first man to ever sing 'Edelweiss', one of the score's most beloved gems, not to mention portray Captain Von Trapp in the original Broadway production. Yet, on the horizon looms a brand new national tour of the tuner set to star a brand new discovery named Kerstin Anderson in the role of Maria Von Trapp alongside a fresh-faced cast including Ben Davis, Ashley Brown, Merwin Foard, Dan Tracy and more, all under the direction of Jack O'Brien. Considering the legendary legacy of the beloved title, now is an ideal time to list ten of my personal favorite things pertaining to the rich history of the musical on stages and screens both large and small. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 More Norma Desmonds Ready For Their SUNSET BOULEVARD Close-UpSOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 More Norma Desmonds Ready For Their SUNSET BOULEVARD Close-Up
by Pat Cerasaro - July 20, 2015

Last week, I selected ten top picks for a major headliner to star as Norma Desmond in a potential future stage and/or screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Christopher Hampton's Tony Award-winning Best Musical SUNSET BOULEVARD in honor of both the show's anniversary of its West End opening and recent news that Glenn Close is considering a return to her Tony-winning role in an upcoming revival. As a result of that column, BroadwayWorld readers took the title of this column to heart and sounded off on some of their ideal choices for a leading lady with major star quality to tackle the unforgettable role in a future production - and, what fabulous choices they are! Among the reader submissions, Ilene Argento posited, 'If not Patti Lupone, maybe Meryl Streep (with some more singing lessons!), but it should be Patti (although Patti plus ALW will probably never happen again).' while Brian Lipensky wrote, 'Glenn Close can still play her. That said, Meryl Streep can pull it off. We know she can sing and play characters with psychological problems. Susan Sarandon also. Maybe even Emma Thompson.' Furthermore, Jonathan Caplan offered, 'ANNIE LENNOX. Period. Well, if it can't be Elaine Paige, then absolutely, Annie Lennox. I said this before the musical ever opened, and I stand by it....ANNIE LENNOX!!!!!!' whereas David Macaluso relayed, 'Seriously. With a good director, in a film. LIZA! she could be AMAZING.' Other suggestions sure to inspire discussion included Cher, Lady Gaga, Ruthie Henshall, Donna Murphy and even Caitlyn Jenner. So, without further ado, here are ten more delectable choices for a new Norma Desmond for 2015. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Elegant Solutions For A New Norma Desmond In SUNSET BOULEVARDSOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Elegant Solutions For A New Norma Desmond In SUNSET BOULEVARD
by Pat Cerasaro - July 15, 2015

With breaking news arising late last week of Glenn Close being considered for a return to her Tony Award-winning role in Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Christopher Hampton's Tony Award-winning Best Musical SUNSET BOULEVARD as well as the show's anniversary of its original West End world premiere opening on July 12, now is an absolutely opportune time to turn back the clock to 1993 and see what precisely makes SUNSET BOULEVARD so spectacular - and muse on some of the major talent that could bring the type of big-time attention that would warrant a major revival of the musical, whether on Broadway, the West End or even the silver screen. Given that the original Billy Wilder film was penned with Gloria Swanson in mind and ultimately became a roman a clef of sorts for the unique star as well as considering the sordid history of original lead Patti LuPone and her odyssey in starring in the show, not to mention the victorious and memorable highs achieved by the leading ladies who have headlined the show - which, post-Close, included Betty Buckley, Rita Moreno, Diahann Carroll, Elaine Paige and more - the role is ripe for a star of epic proportions to introduce one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's most acclaimed musicals to a new generation. And, the time is now. The possibilities are virtually endless, but here are some particularly delectable ideas as we begin to consider who would be absolutely ideal for a new Norma Desmond fit for 2015. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10+ Most Important Gay Musicals, Part 2SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10+ Most Important Gay Musicals, Part 2
by Pat Cerasaro - July 2, 2015

The BroadwayWorld community is nothing if not vocal and yesterday's critical column revealing my top picks for the most important gay musicals of all time inspired many reactions in the feedback, on Facebook and on social media, ranging from 'I LOVE LOVE LOVE COCO' to 'No FUN HOME?' to 'Where's THE FAGGOT?' and far beyond. As with any list such as this, historical perspective is an essential element and a musical such as FUN HOME that has only been on Broadway mere months is obviously too new to truly assess insofar as its historical influence and impact on the overall legacy of gay musicals on Broadway in toto - going as far back as 1969's COCO and covering all the way up to 2013's KINKY BOOTS, as yesterday's list did. So, as a result, we are giving you more of what you asked for and sharing 10 more musicals that have been important to the gay movement, all of which cited in yesterday's column but not included on the actual top ten. What follows are my personal choices, so what are yours? Let us know and perhaps we will even need to do another list to shine a light on even more LGBT touchstones. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: Top 10+ Most Important Gay MusicalsSOUND OFF Special Edition: Top 10+ Most Important Gay Musicals
by Pat Cerasaro - July 1, 2015

The landmark Supreme Court ruling handed down late last week instating national legalization of marriage rights for all individuals is a cause celebre for the country at large, particularly the Broadway community who has vocally and vociferously fought for equal acceptance for all for decades. Given the preponderance of LGBT people in the theatre community itself, this victory is a particular joy for many to celebrate. As a result of this momentous event, now is the ideal time to take a look back at the most important and notable musicals that have appeared on Broadway in the last several decades to shine a light on the gay community, ranging from portrayals of closeted individuals trapped and unable to find acceptance in a conservative society all the way to the out and proud representations available to see in some currently running smash hits. Additionally, who could forget all of musicals that have touched upon LGBT issues over the years - from the campy to the controversial to the highly acclaimed. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: I'm Your #1 Fan! Laurie Metcalf & 10 Terrifying MISERY Casting SuggestionsSOUND OFF Special Edition: I'm Your #1 Fan! Laurie Metcalf & 10 Terrifying MISERY Casting Suggestions
by Pat Cerasaro - June 24, 2015

The hottest news of the week as far as plays for the new season are concerned is the surprise announcement that the mainstage adaptation of Stephen King's iconic best-selling novel and its subsequent Academy Award-winning feature film adaptation, MISERY, would be coming to Broadway with Hollywood headliner Bruce Willis and a new leading lady in place of the previously announced Elizabeth Marvel - no less than three-time Emmy Award-winning stage and screen notable Laurie Metcalf. Of course, Metcalf will be essaying the operatically dramatic role of the ultimate all-time uber fan Annie Wilkes in the tale of a writer rescued from a horrific car accident by his number one fan only to be trapped and tortured at her secluded cabin in the deep backwoods of Maine. Kathy Bates memorably took home a Best Actress Oscar for her turn in the 1990 film and acclaimed screenwriter William Goldman told me himself in our InDepth InterView about the new stage version of the story that he originally wrote the role in the film explicitly for Bates, as revealed in our exclusive 2012 conversation here. Surely, now is the ideal time to consider some spectacular dramatic actresses who just might be the right replacements should the run of the play extend beyond Metcalf's involvement in the production - and Willis's, too, for that matter. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 2015 Tony Awards In Review - A Spectacular Show Packed With Shocks & SurprisesSOUND OFF Special Edition: 2015 Tony Awards In Review - A Spectacular Show Packed With Shocks & Surprises
by Pat Cerasaro - June 8, 2015

Tonight we recount the highs, lows and most memorable moments of the 2015 Tony Awards, which was once again presented at NYC landmark Radio City Music Hall and was hosted by fellow Tony Award winners Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth. Besides the fabulous festivities we have come to expect from Broadway's biggest night - the fashion, the showstoppers, the stars, the excitement and unmistakable electricity - there were quite a few surprises for fans viewing at home and live in person, insofar as category upsets and also unexpected performances. Let's take a look at the top ten most noteworthy examples of what made this telecast stand out from the pack. (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Marvelous Moments To Remember From The 2015 Theatre World AwardsSOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Marvelous Moments To Remember From The 2015 Theatre World Awards
by Pat Cerasaro - June 3, 2015

The 2014-2015 season has been jam-packed with exciting entertainment, fabulous stars and unforgettable nights that only live theatre can provide and this week one of the oldest awards institutions held their annual star-studded celebration honoring the best, brightest and, in many cases, newest top talent to appear on the scene this year, the 2015 Theatre World Awards. Standing out out from the pack of similar events around this time of year, the Theatre World Awards is voted on by a committee of top theatre professionals and this year's show was again directed by Barry Keating and hosted by Peter Filicia. The 71st presentation of the awards - and, yes, it is older than the Tony Awards and the Drama Desk Awards - was marked by a sensational ceremony at the Lyric Theatre on Broadway, home of the rapturously received revival of ON THE TOWN, and I was lucky enough to get a fly-on-the-wall view of not only the big awards show itself, but the rehearsal, as well - and chat with some of the starry attendees and winners, as well. Here are some of the standout moments in an unforgettable evening. (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Karla DeVito Closes TOTAL ECLIPSE With Acapella StunnerSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Karla DeVito Closes TOTAL ECLIPSE With Acapella Stunner
by Pat Cerasaro - June 1, 2015

A Meat Loaf classic done acapella! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Adam Pascal Talks & Sings Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir'SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Adam Pascal Talks & Sings Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir'
by Pat Cerasaro - June 1, 2015

Adam Pascal tackles a classic rock staple! (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: Thrills, Chills & Ties - The Most Unique & Unusual Tony Awards WinsSOUND OFF Special Edition: Thrills, Chills & Ties - The Most Unique & Unusual Tony Awards Wins
by Pat Cerasaro - May 27, 2015

Awards shows are catnip for entertainment enthusiasts around the world not only because they are a celebration of the best of the breed in whatever medium or genre the presentation recognizes but also because a live telecast with so many stars and so many categories allows for ample room for entertainment - and error. In Tony Awards history, there have been a few unmistakably unmissable moments that live on thanks to the magic of YouTube for a variety of reasons - thrilling battles to the finish in tight categories, chilling reactions from non-winners when the top prize is announced, and, of course, some very unusual albeit unforgettable ties and inconsistent category tweaks. Nevertheless, the Tony Awards is always the biggest night of the year for Broadway babies and this year should prove to be no exception with the hot competition and spectacular stars scheduled to appear on June 7 at Radio City Music Hall and presented to the world, once again, via CBS at 8 PM. (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Justin Sargent & Ellen Foley Rock 'I'd Do Anything For Love' & More LiveSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Justin Sargent & Ellen Foley Rock 'I'd Do Anything For Love' & More Live
by Pat Cerasaro - May 25, 2015

Rock royalty and a Broadway superstar team up! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Justin Sargent, Dan Tracy & Constantine Maroulis Live At TOTAL ECLIPSESOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Justin Sargent, Dan Tracy & Constantine Maroulis Live At TOTAL ECLIPSE
by Pat Cerasaro - May 24, 2015

A Meat Loaf classic done by three theatre rockers! (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Biggest & Bloodiest Tony Awards Best Musical BattlesSOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Biggest & Bloodiest Tony Awards Best Musical Battles
by Pat Cerasaro - May 20, 2015

Bloodshed is par for the course during Tony Awards season, especially as it reaches its peak in the last handful of weeks leading up the big annual ceremony feting theatre's best, so today we take a look back at some of the absolute most brutal and tight Tony Award races for Best Musical in history. Although comparing a group of musicals - alike as dissimilar as they may be - may be an unfair proposition in practice, there is only one way a winner is decided when the Tony Awards rolls around and it unfortunately always finds fan favorites, critical darlings and a few commercial hits vying for top honors. There can only be one Best Musical - well, except for 1960 when there were actually two mainstage entertainments given the prize; THE SOUND OF MUSIC and FIORELLO, with no less than GYPSY ending up an also-ran. Who will claim the trophy on June 7? Tune in then to see! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Constantine Maroulis Performs 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad' LiveSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Constantine Maroulis Performs 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad' Live
by Pat Cerasaro - May 19, 2015

Earlier this month, ROCK OF AGES Tony nominee and AMERICAN IDOL finalist Constantine Maroulis joined with several other Broadway headliners at 54 Below for TOTAL ECLIPSE: THE MUSIC OF JIM STEINMAN and a brand new video of Maroulis's performance of BAT OUT OF HELL hit 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad' is now available to view, only on BroadwayWorld. (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Adam Pascal Talks & Sings 'Maria' From WEST SIDE STORYSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Adam Pascal Talks & Sings 'Maria' From WEST SIDE STORY
by Pat Cerasaro - May 18, 2015

A world premiere recording by Adam Pascal! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Kate Rockwell & Ariana DeBose Shine In TOTAL ECLIPSE At 54 BelowSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Kate Rockwell & Ariana DeBose Shine In TOTAL ECLIPSE At 54 Below
by Pat Cerasaro - May 15, 2015

Leading ladies rock Steinman showstoppers! (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Oz-Tastic Casting Suggestions For THE WIZ LIVE!SOUND OFF Special Edition: 10 Oz-Tastic Casting Suggestions For THE WIZ LIVE!
by Pat Cerasaro - May 13, 2015

In honor of this week's big casting coup coming in the form of original Dorothy Stephanie Mills joining the cast of NBC's live musical presentation of THE WIZ later this year, titled THE WIZ LIVE!, today we are posing some possible casting suggestions that line up with the thoughtful and affectionate choice of Mills as Auntie Em by taking a look at some of the other original leads and stars associated with the property who could be perfect fits for the live telecast as well as some familiar faces who would be ideally cast in the Oz-centric musical spectacular. Tony Award-winning Broadway divas to Hollywood superstars and beyond, this list has more potential than munchkins in Oz! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Josh Young's 'Making Love Out Of Nothing At All' Live At 54 BelowSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Josh Young's 'Making Love Out Of Nothing At All' Live At 54 Below
by Pat Cerasaro - May 13, 2015

A #1 hit gets resurrected! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Tyce Green's 'Bat Out Of Hell' Live At 54 BelowSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Tyce Green's 'Bat Out Of Hell' Live At 54 Below
by Pat Cerasaro - May 11, 2015

Broadway gets bitten by BAT! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Jeremy Jordan's 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' Live At 54 BelowSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Jeremy Jordan's 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' Live At 54 Below
by Pat Cerasaro - May 8, 2015

Jeremy Jordan electrically performs an iconic smash hit for the songwriter himself - and takes a selfie with him mid-performance! (more...)
SOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Jessica Hendy's 'Holding Out For A Hero' From TOTAL ECLIPSE At 54 BelowSOUND OFF World Premiere Exclusive: Jessica Hendy's 'Holding Out For A Hero' From TOTAL ECLIPSE At 54 Below
by Pat Cerasaro - May 7, 2015

A FOOTLOOSE smash gets remixed for 2015! (more...)
SOUND OFF Special Edition: The 10 Toughest Categories At The 2015 Tony AwardsSOUND OFF Special Edition: The 10 Toughest Categories At The 2015 Tony Awards
by Pat Cerasaro - May 6, 2015

Today we are analyzing the absolute biggest battles at this year's hotly anticipated Tony Awards, shedding a light on the most epic battle royales of the night with legendary leading ladies squaring off, British blockbusters battling it out with homegrown American fare, one of the fiercest Best Musical match-ups in history and some of the toughest revival competition in recent memory, as well. Of course, the Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS on June 7, but for the next month we all wait with tongues wagging to see who will come out on top on Broadway's biggest and brightest night - before the eyes of all of America, no less. (more...)

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