BWW Special Coverage: 4th of July Guide for the Patriotic Theatre Junkie - Videos, Event Schedules & More!
A devout theater fan knows no holiday, and thankfully, many of Broadway's most beloved shows and performers nationwide don't either. So what's a theater enthusiast to do on this Independence Day? Check out a sampling of this year's most exciting 4th of July offerings and click below to revisit some of your favorites saluting our nation in song!
A CAPITOL FORTH:
This July 4th, America's national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country's 236th birthday with A CAPITOL FOURTH on PBS hosted by, Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron.
Bergeron will lead an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of unrivaled musical performances, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. The multi award-winning event will feature two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (SMASH); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of THE VOICE); multi-platinum, two-time Grammy nominated country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; world renowned tenor Russell Watson; actress and singer Amber Riley (GLEE); AMERICAN IDOL winner Phillip Phillips; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.
The event is broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and will air live in HD on PBS Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. EST.
BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR FEATURING Jennifer Hudson:
Academy Award and GRAMMY Award-winning superstar Jennifer Hudson will perform on the BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR, an entertainment special to be broadcast live from the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Wednesday, July 4 (10:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Hudson, who wowed critics and audiences alike in the Dreamgirls film adaptation, is also the newest cast member of SMASH. Hudson will portray Veronica Moore in the "road to Broadway" musical TV drama.
Though quite a few productions will be dark in honor of the fourth, many of this season's biggest stunners are planning on drawing up the curtains and welcoming in audiences. Shows perfoming on Independence Day include ANYTHING GOES, END OF THE RAINBOW, GHOST, Gore Vidal's THE BEST MAN, HARVEY, JERSEY BOYS, MARY POPPINS, ONCE, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, THE BOOK OF MORMON, PORGY AND BESS, War Horse, and WICKED.
All aboard for this saucy and splendid new production of Cole Porter’s musical romp across the Atlantic. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Peppering this hilariously bumpy ride are some of musical theater’s most memorable standards, including “You're the Top,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “I Get A Kick Out of You,” and “Anything Goes.”
The production currently stars Stephanie J. Block as Reno Sweeney and Tony and Academy Award-winner Joel Grey as Moonface Martin. The cast also features John McMartin as Elisha Whitney, Julie Halston as Evangeline Harcourt, Bill English as Billy Crocker, Erin Mackey as Hope Harcourt, Robert Petkoff as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Jessica Stone as Erma, Ed Dixon as Captain, Robert Creighton as Purser, Andrew Cao as Luke, and Raymond J. Lee as John.
END OF THE RAINBOW
2:00 PM Matinee
The setting of End of the Rainbow is December 1968, and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback . . . again. In a London hotel room preparing for a series of concerts, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get “beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. This savagely funny drama offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. “End of the Rainbow” features some of Garland’s most memorable songs, performed with the show-stopping gusto for which she will always be remembered.
2:00 PM Matinee
GHOST is a timeless fantasy about the power of love adapted from the hit film by its Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Tony Award®-winner Matthew Warchus. The story follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose divine bond takes a shocking turn after Sam's untimely death. Trapped between two worlds as a ghost, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic, Oda Mae, who helps Sam protect Molly and find justice for his death. The original score is by multiple Grammy®Award winners Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard, and includes the emblematic "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers.
A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the presidency, Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN is set at the national convention where two candidates are vying for their party’s nomination during the primary season. It’s an inside look at the dirt-digging, double-dealing, triple-crossing chicanery of presidential electioneering and what could be more fun in a presidential campaign season than these theatrical fireworks.
8:00 PM Evening
Jim Parsons stars as one of modern theatre’s most lovable characters, Elwood P. Dowd. Charming and kind, Elwood has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a 6-foot-tall, invisible white rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family’s social reputation, Elwood’s sister Veta (Jessica Hecht) takes Elwood to the local sanatorium. But when the doctors mistakenly commit his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood — and Harvey—slip out of the hospital unbothered, setting off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit.
JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, about a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks who became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
The cast of JERSEY BOYS is led by Matt Bogart (Nick Massi), Quinn VanAntwerp (Bob Gaudio), Andy Karl (Tommy DeVito) and Jarrod Spector (Frankie Valli) as The Four Seasons; with Peter Gregus and Mark Lotito. The cast also includes Miles Aubrey, Erik Bates, Jared Bradshaw, Cara Cooper, Ken Dow, John Edwards, Russell Fischer, Katie O’Toole, Joe Payne, Jessica Rush, Dominic Scaglione Jr., Nathan Scherich, Sara Schmidt and Taylor Sternberg.
ONCE is the celebrated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. It tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together.ONCE, the big winner of the 2011-2012 awards season, currently stars Tony-winner Steve Kazee and Tony-nominee Cristina Milioti.
In this innovative and imaginative new play, based on The New York Times best selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, a company of twelve actors plays more than a hundred unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? This epic origin story of one of popular culture’s most enduring and beloved characters proves that an audience’s imagination can be the most captivating place in the world.
The cast of PETER AND THE STARCATCHER includes Matthew Saldivar as ‘Black Stache’ ; Celia Keenan-Bolger, Tony nominated for her role as ‘Molly,’ the titular Starcatcher; and Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal) as ‘Boy’, along with Teddy Bergman, Arnie Burton, Matt D’Amico, Kevin Del Aguila, Carson Elrod, Greg Hildreth, Rick Holmes, Isaiah Johnson, David Rossmer, Betsy Hogg, Orville Mendoza, Jason Ralph and John Sanders.
2:00 PM Matinee
SISTER ACT tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe disco diva whose life takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look—a convent! Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly redis covers her own. A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, SISTER ACT features an original Alan Menken/Glenn Slater score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems and Barry White inspired musical comedy.
The Broadway company of SISTER ACT stars Raven Symone, Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello as Mother Superior, Fred Applegate as Monsignor, Sarah Bolt as Sister Mary Patrick, John Treacy Egan as Joey, Demond Green as TJ, Chester Gregory as Eddie, Kingsley Leggs as Curtis, Marla Mindelle as Sister Mary Robert, Audrie Neenan as Sister Mary Lazarus and Caesar Samayoa as Pablo.
The current Blockbuster of Broadway, THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez. The Book of Mormon tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in northern Uganda, where a brutal warlord is threatening the local population. Naive and optimistic, the two missionaries try to share the Book of Mormon, one of their scriptures—which only one of them knows well—but have trouble communicating with the locals, who are more worried about war, famine, poverty, and AIDS. Chaos unfolds and unexpected friendships form in the pair's creative attempts to win over the Ugandans and save their posts.
The classic story by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward is set in Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row, where the beautiful Bess struggles to break free from her scandalous past, and the only one who can rescue her is the crippled but courageous Porgy. Threatened by her formidable former lover Crown, and the seductive enticements of the colorful troublemaker Sporting Life, Porgy and Bess’ relationship evolves into a deep romance that triumphs as one of theater’s most exhilarating love stories.
The Gershwins’ PORGY AND BESS, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, has a cast led by five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Ragtime, “Private Practice”) as Bess, Tony nominee Norm Lewis (Les Misérables, Sondheim on Sondheim) as Porgy and three-time Tony nominee David Alan Grier (Race, “In Living Color”) as Sporting Life. The cast also includes Tony nominee Phillip Boykin as Crown, Nikki Renée Daniels as Clara, Joshua Henry as Jake, Christopher Innvar as Detective, Bryonha Marie Parham as Serena and NaTasha Yvette Williams as Mariah, as well as Sumayya Ali, Allison Blackwell, Roosevelt André Credit, Trevon Davis, Joseph Dellger, Wilkie Ferguson III, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Gavin Gregory, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Alicia Hall Moran, Cedric Neal, Phumzile Sojola, Nathaniel Stampley, Julius Thomas III, J.D. Webster and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.
War Horse is the powerful story of young Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, who has been enlisted to fight for the English in World War I. Joey is caught in enemy crossfire and ends up serving both sides of the war before landing in no man’s land. Albert, not old enough to enlist, embarks on a treacherous mission to find his horse and bring him home. What follows is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship, filled with stirring music and songs and told with the some of the most innovative stagecraft of our time.
Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, WICKED, winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards, is the untold story of the witches of Oz. It is produced by Marc Platt, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt and David Stone.
Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One – born with emerald-green skin – is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. WICKED tells the story of their remarkable odyssey, and how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.
There are currently seven productions of WICKED worldwide, playing New York; London; Japan; Holland; Australian/Asian Tour; and two concurrent North American National Tours.
For those craving the downtown or outdoors experience, be sure to check out:
Reinventing the traditions of circus, cabaret, variety and burlesque for the 21st century audience, Spiegelworld brings its all new show, Empire, to the heart of Broadway, pitching its infamous tent at 265 West 45th Street.Empire will be headlined by some of the finest artists ever to trod the Big Top boards, featuring such international legends as Moondog, Carrot Man, Polka Dot Woman, Rubbish Bag Lady, Lime Green Lady, and more. At its core is a unique venue; a heritage 440-seat Belgian spiegeltent. Popular across Europe during the early 20th century, the luxurious traveling spiegeltents were used as dance halls and music/cabaret venues, featuring intimate in-the-round seating, ornate wooden panelling, mirrors, stained-glass windows, and velvet-upholstered seating booths. Spiegelworld also features a carnival-style bar facility and a speakeasy VIP lounge.
SLEEP NO MORE
A legendary hotel. Shakespeare's fallen hero. A film noir shadow of suspense. Punchdrunk's Sleep No More is an award-winning theatrical experience that tells Shakespeare's classic tragedy Macbeth through a darkly cinematic lens. Audiences move freely through the epic world of the story at their own pace, choosing where to go and what to see, ensuring that everyone's journey is different and unique.
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BY THE BEACH:
July 4th and 5th, the legendary Patti LuPone will make her Provincetown debut at The Art House, with Sirius/Radio star Seth Rudetsky at the piano, for 3 shows only. Patti LuPone won her second Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, as well Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, for her performance as Rose in the most recent Broadway production of Gypsy, and created the title role in Evita on Broadway with her now legendary performance, for which she won her first Tony and Drama Desk Awards. The concert opens the Broadway at the Art House series which will feature 10 different artists including Betty Buckley, Charles Busch, Ana Gasteyer, and Marilyn Maye among others, from July 4 - September 23. For tickets and more information, visit www.ptownarthouse.com.
From all of us at BroadwayWorld, HAPPY 4TH!