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Broadway's March Openings


Frankly Rich
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It's going to be a great spring theater season, I can just feel it. In March, the following shows open, although you can see them in previews before then:

 

All The Way, with Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) opens March 6th

Rocky (huh!) opens March 13th

Alladin, (a hunk!) opens March 20th

 

The new Les Miz opens March 23d

Mothers & Sons, widely praised here, opens March 24th

If/Then opens on March 30th

 

And, if you are still hungry after that, there will be a raisin early in April, if those mice don't eat it first!

Raisin in the Sun opens April 3d with Denzel Washington, but 78-year old Diahann Carroll backed out.

 

James Franco is in practice to play a mouse or a man, I don't know which!

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It's going to be a great spring theater season, I can just feel it. In March, the following shows open, although you can see them in previews before then:

And, if you are still hungry after that, there will be a raisin early in April, if those mice don't eat it first!

Raisin in the Sun opens April 3d with Denzel Washington, but 78-year old Diahann Carroll backed out.

 

So, who's going to replace Diahann Carroll in Raisin in the Sun?

 

It was to mark her return to Broadway after a 30-year absence, but Diahann Carroll has withdrawn from the upcoming revival of A Raisin in the Sun, with LaTanya Richardson Jackson stepping in to replace her in the role of family matriarch Lena Younger.

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There are lots of good things coming to Broadway. I think it's especially fun to see things in preview. Tickets are usually easier to get but I think it's good to form your own opinion and a good escape from winter.

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So, who's going to replace Diahann Carroll in Raisin in the Sun?

 

It was to mark her return to Broadway after a 30-year absence, but Diahann Carroll has withdrawn from the upcoming revival of A Raisin in the Sun, with LaTanya Richardson Jackson stepping in to replace her in the role of family matriarch Lena Younger.

 

I got somewhat blasted for saying this on a post regarding B'way a few months ago but I just don't understand why "Raisin" is being revived again. The last one won a slew of Tonys, including for Audra MacDonald and Phylisha Rashad, and it seems redundant to do it all over again. I loved Denzel Washington in "Julius Caesar" a few seasons ago, and I wish he'd find another vehicle to appear in. And my opinion has nothing to do with race - it has to do with seeing another revival of a play that was recently splendidly revived. I felt the same way about the Lupone "Gypsy". We'd already had Lansbury, Daly, Peters in good, bad and indifferent revivals. I think it's great that classic shows are done so that new generations can see them but that's what regional theatre, summer theatre, and repertories are for. Just because a diva wants to sing Mama's Turn doesn't mean it merits another revival. Guess that makes me a bitchy theatre queen. Oh well.

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Rocky (huh!) opens March 13th

The new Les Miz opens March 23d!

 

From reports I've heard so far on the web, these may be tough going. Consensus seems to be that though Rocky has some great visuals, the score/lyrics are bottom-drawer Aherns and Flaherty, which is a real shame because I have always loved their work. Initial reports of the Les Miz previews seem to say that the Valjean, Ramin Karimloo, is great, but the rest of the cast is vocally underpowered.

 

I also hear someone intimated on Datalounge that The Bridges of Madison County may be closing very soon. I hope this is not the case, even though that show has opened to mixed reviews. I don't do Datalounge.

 

All The Way got its start in Boston earlier this season - I didn't see it, but I know it was very successful. I hope it does equally well in NYC.

 

On March 28, previews begin for the Broadway production of Violet with Sutton Foster. I'll be looking forward to that...:)

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I had never heard of datalounge, so went to it, thinking it might be a show biz site. Instead, it's a mess of gay gossip in apparently random order of posts. With no search function, I couldn't find the rumor on Bridges, but given what I saw at the site, I wouldn't believe anything posted there until confirmed elsewhere. I don't plan to see Bridges, but I hate to see shows close early.

 

All The Way is selling only 2/3 of its seats, but I paid a fortune buying early when I thought Bryan Cranston would be a bigger draw. Rocky is at 88%. Bridges at 84%, but with a low average ticket price. (data as of 2-23) All the Way has the highest avg. price of the three.

 

Mothers & Sons is not doing well, at only 60% of seats sold.

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I am in the consensus about seeing things in previews...and sometimes I get to go back and see them again when they've opened. It's fun to compare song lists, etc.

 

As folks here know, I tend to find most things pretty enjoyable...for me an evening of live theater is usually better than anything I'd find on TV. So here's some more of my conditional Pollyanna-isms.

 

I saw an early preview of Bridges of Madison County. I think this is Jason Robert Brown's best score since First Five Years. And Kelli O'Hara is worth the ticket price...almost full-ticket price, I would even say. I suspect she'll finally win herself a Tony if the show lasts until June. She acting is terrific, her accent is solid and she gets to use all aspects of her magnificent voice. The main parts of the score which center on the romance between she and Stephen Pasquale are lush and lovely. There's a duet in the second act which is beautiful, and some of the refrain snuck into my head for a couple days. I did find that some of the sub-plots got in the way...her family at the fair, her neighbor, and the flashback with her sister in Italy, (the song in the latter I understand has been cut), but overall I enjoyed this piece.

 

It's an intimate show, and a worthy addition to the Broadway season. (And why Brantley didn't mention Pasquale's voice is beyond me. In his mixed review, Brantley talked about his eye-candy and hunk status, but didn't mention how wonderful his singing is. BB and I RARELY see eye to eye. LOL)

 

I also saw an early preview of Rocky last week. I find it interesting to hear the talk of lesser Ahrens and Flaherty work. It's pretty hard to categorize their work since they write so much for the material. The music in Rocky is basically ballad's and anthems in that mid-70s style, which fit pretty wonderfully into the context of the story...and Rocky's numbers are pretty simplistic. Fitting for the character. Adrien has a gorgeous ballad in the first act. And Apollo's number in the first act is also reminiscent of silly club music of the time. Of course the second act has the Rocky Theme (Gonna Fly Now, I think is title), and also Eye of the Tiger, which truly eclipse the earlier part of the show...I don't know how they can fix that.

 

At heart this, like Bridges, is a very small show, Rocky and Adrien, his trainer, her brother, and Apollo, the opponent. Making this work is so tricky, but I have to say, that the last thirty minutes of the show is spectacular, and I mean that in the true sense of the word. The fight, and the build up to it is pretty astounding, including moving audience members and creating a lot of hubbub which just adds to the event. And it's clear that the fighting is pretty real. Andy Karl, who plays Rocky, is quite amazing.

 

Two more things about Rocky...my program listed four songs in the first act which were not performed. Again, attending in previews. AND, it was very nice being in the Winter Garden again. I have lived in NYC for almost thirty years and it's only my fourth time in that theater. Cats was there forever, followed by Mamma Mia, which I saw twice, and once for the Tenth Anniversary concert for Once on This Island, (Ahrens and Flaherty again.) The theater is a gem...it's clear why producers love it.

 

I will write about Mothers and Sons and Kung Fu later.

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Just got tickets for Bridges this Wednesday. It's up on tdf for $45 (plus some fees) for anyone who belongs. Looking forward to seeing it. Thanks skynyc for your input. Rocky is also on tdf. Anyone who can should join. The more I save on tickets the more theater I can afford to see.

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I enjoyed the performances of Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale in Bridges of Madison County. They sing beautifully together. I just wish it had been a two character 90 minute show. There was just too much clutter going on with all the other characters.

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