Tag Archives: Kevin Spacey

Monday, April 23, 2018

‘Beaches’ author heats things up with two Broadway-aimed musicals

APP ‘Beaches’ author heats things up with two Broadway-aimed musicals Ilana Keller, @ilanakeller Published 5:29 a.m. ET April 13, 2018 They say what’s old is new again, but in this case, it’s also retooled, reimagined and racing with eyes toward Broadway — times two. Iris Rainer Dart, author of “Beaches,” is hoping to bring a theatrical version of the novel to Broadway. She also has a Tony Award-nominated production, 2011’s “The People in the Picture,” now making its West Coast premiere in hopes of returning to the Great White Way. “The People in the Picture,” which starred Donna Murphy and netted her a Tony nomination, is a musical that tells the story of life in pre-war Poland and the way the people of Warsaw used arts and humor to combat growing anti-Semitism and the rise of the Nazis. It features music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler. The story, told by a grandmother who had been one of those artists, to her daughter and granddaughter, also touches on the importance of keeping Yiddish culture alive and learning from the past. It was that theme that sparked Rainer Dart, who spent two summers working at Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven, to write the musical, when she saw in her own life the potential for the spirit and strength of the Yiddish culture to slip away with her own grandchildren, and these stories of strength disappearing. “(The theater and art were) made at a time when the anti-Semitism and Nazi threat was all around (the people of Warsaw), and they were basically thumbing their nose at that and saying, ‘this is how we’re reacting to that. We’re bringing our humor and our music and our joyous sensibility to it.’ And that made me cry because the spirit of these people was so strong and I thought this is the group of people that I want to write about, the Warsaw gang.” It also doesn’t hurt when Bette Midler, who starred in the movie version of “Beaches,” calls and urges you to “write me a musical.” “I had to find something that did what she does, which is turn your emotions on a dime,” Rainer Dart said. Why bring it back now? Rainer Dart says the immediacy of having grandchildren to pass the Yiddish legacy to brought it up fresh in her mind. “Just going back to what was important in the story was the reason I wanted to go back and re-tell it,” she said. She also regrets that the show did not have any out-of-town runs pre-Broadway to feel things out, and now is getting that chance, running at 3Below Theater in San Jose, California. The show begins previews this week, with performances running through May 31. Visit 3belowtheaters.com/events/the-people-in-the-picture for more information. She also took inspiration from John Weidman, the book writer of “Assassins,” on timing. “I had been very lucky. I had a wonderful moment as I was leaving New York. I had a conversation with John Weidman, who had seen the show, and I met him when we were on a panel together. He told me that when ‘Assassins’ opened, the critics had really savaged them and that 15 years later, he was on the stage of Radio City accepting a Tony for the best revival of a musical. Sondheim hadn’t changed one note and he hadn’t changed one word from the original and that was the point he was making to me.” If the themes of “The People in the Picture” sound similar to last season’s drama “Indecent,” there’s even more of a connection between the two than you may think. Cosplayers at BroadwayCon 2018, held from Jan. 26 to 28, 2018, at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Ilana Keller/Staff photo Rainer Dart’s daughter, director Rachel Dart, was Rebecca Taichman’s assistant when “Indecent” was off-Broadway, and she brought on board Moishe Rosenfeld as a Yiddish consultant at the behest of her mother, who had met him working on “The People in the Picture.” Rainer Dart, a longtime television writer in addition to author and playwright, says she also has learned to enjoy the flexibility of revision that theater offers. “What I’ve learned is the theater is alive. Unlike a novel, when you put it out there, that’s it. Or a movie. Unless Kevin Spacey is in it, you don’t get to re-make it. I looked at it and I tried to figure out what all of the problems were and I thought, ‘why not do this again?’ ” Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Donna Murphy take part in a panel called “Auditions: The Good, The Bad, The Hilarious” during BroadwayCon 2018, held from Jan. 26 to 28, 2018, at the Javits Center in Manhattan. (Photo: Ilana Keller/Staff photo) The lessons she has learned from “The People in the Picture” also are manifesting in her work on “Beaches” the musical, which is planning a 2019 West End run, with eyes on Broadway. It previously ran at the Signature Theatre in Virginia and at Drury Lane in Chicago and features a book by Rainer Dart and the late Thom Thomas, with lyrics by Dart and music from David Austin. “We have a new director and I’m in New York now working on doing a closed reading, so we can hear what’s too long or doesn’t sing, what works and what doesn’t. We have a group of actors who have been coming in and singing it to us and reading it to us,” she said. More: Broadway’s original Annie takes turn as Miss Hannigan “Beaches” will be more a reflection of her novel rather than the movie version starring Midler and Barbara Hershey or the recent television remake featuring Idina Menzel and Nia Long. “As our producer always says, same characters, different days. People love those characters and love the relationship, so this just expands on that.” Rainer Dart was happy with the spirit of her characters portrayed in the movie, but says “the truth is, it wasn’t my version of the story … But it was true to the spirit of the story, it was true to the characters and it told the story quite well. I can’t complain.” In fact, when Midler asked for her thoughts on set on the day a “catfight” scene was shot (Rainer Dart says as a feminist, she would never write a catfight), Rainer Dart says she said to Midler, her favorite movie star, “‘Honey, you’re starring in the movie of my book, how bad can it be?’ And that was really how I felt about it.” For now, Rainer Dart stays busy readying both shows for primetime. “I feel like a kid with homework. That’s the problem with being a writer, you always have homework,” she said. But she’s loving it.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

17 COMEDIES THAT MAKE ABDUCTION FUN

VIP Portal 17 COMEDIES THAT MAKE ABDUCTION FUN Admin 4/11/2018 A hostage situation is among the most traumatic experiences anyone can suffer through: your life in the hands of a stranger, who threatens to snuff it out for their own nefarious purposes or financial gain. But sometimes, Hollywood asks, isn’t abduction… kind of funny? Hey, maybe a kidnapping is just the sort of wild, unexpected detour you needed to really shake things up, help you learn important life lessons, and even fall in love—or so the movies have suggested over the years. The “hostage comedy” has fallen slightly out of favor since its apparent peak in 1994 (when no less than five films from this list were released) and somewhere after 1996’s bleakly funny, yet sobering Fargo finally reminded everyone that, don’tcha know, we’re talking about real people here. Still, the sub-genre is making something of a comeback in 2018, what with the Anna Faris-starring remake of Overboard hitting theaters in April, and FX’s Trust adding a dryly kooky flourish to the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. Here are some of their predecessors that similarly found the hijinks in hijacking. 1. Cadillac Man (1990) Combining the basic premise of Dog Day Afternoon with the sexual charisma of the late Robin Williams, Cadillac Man finds Williams playing Joey O’Brien, a slick car salesman who’s just as adept at talking marks into the driver’s seat as he is women into bed. Juggling three separate mistresses, an ex-wife he owes alimony to, a teenage daughter who’s recently gone missing, some mobsters he owes even more money to, and the looming threat of losing his job if he doesn’t make his monthly sales quota, everything comes to a boiling point for Joey when Tim Robbins’ angry, AK-47-toting lunkhead Larry takes his dealership hostage, looking to ferret out who’s been sleeping with his wife. Like Dog Day Afternoon, all of the film’s action is mostly confined to one pressure cooker location. But here it’s all played with a screwy, saccharine jocularity as Williams schmoozes his way into Larry’s good graces, punctuated by Robbins sporadically shooting up the place whenever he feels threatened—that goofball! [Sean O’Neal] articles 2. Overboard (1987) Garry Marshall’s Overboard tends to get a pass because of its charming performances and the palpable chemistry between its leads—and real-life couple—Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. (Hawn, it must be said, also serves up some incredible ’80s loungewear.) Still, not only is the film dated and overly long, its entire, romantic premise is textbook gaslighting: After Hawn’s spoiled heiress falls off her yacht and develops a plot-advancing case of amnesia, Russell’s working-class carpenter kidnaps her, manipulating her not only into serving as a stay-at-home mom to his four, half-feral sons, but also into falling in love with him. Hawn learns a few lessons on humility and true happiness along the way, so this story of sexual slavery has a happy ending, at least. Still, it’s a cute, lighthearted spin on what is, unquestionably, abuse—something 2018’s gender-swapped remake tries to solve by having Anna Faris be the one to take Eugenio Derbez hostage. We’ll see if that earns it another pass. [Katie Rife] 3. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989) Stockholm syndrome goes to Spain for Pedro Almodovar’s gonzo romantic comedy Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! The plot is another example of a narrative that, in today’s parlance, would be labeled “problematic”: Ricky (Antonio Banderas) is a young man recently released from a psychiatric hospital who kidnaps former porn star Marina Osorio (Victoria Abril), then holds her hostage while he tries to convince her to fall in love with him. Somehow, his ploy works. After Ricky breaks into Marina’s apartment, head-butts, gags, and handcuffs her to the bed, Marina goes from saying she’ll never, ever love him to having passionate sex with him in a matter of days; the whole standoff ends with them happily starting a new life together. It’s a deeply uncomfortable premise that only works thanks to Almodovar’s antic sense of absurdity, an anything-goes tone that serves the outrageous material well—even a story that’s this incredibly dark on paper. [Alex McLevy] 4. The Ref (1994) Denis Leary spent the early ’90s foisting his (or Bill Hicks’) opinions on a captive audience of MTV teens. So naturally, his first movie roles played off that persona, often forcing other actors, like Demolition Man’s Sylvester Stallone or Judgment Night’s Jeremy Piven, to stand there and listen to him rant. The acrid Christmas comedy The Ref, from director Ted Demme—who helmed those MTV bumpers, as well as Leary’s No Cure For Cancer stand-up special—actually ties Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis down so they can’t escape the comic’s acerbic thoughts on their soulless yuppiedom. After Leary’s desperate burglar trusses up the unhappy couple, he soon becomes their de facto marriage counselor, interceding in their constant bickering while also helping Spacey find the confidence to finally lash out against the sterility of his upper-class suburban life, years before American Beauty. As a metaphor, breaking the ties that bind while you’re literally bound and gagged is about as blunt as they come, although The Ref is still nasty, if occasionally overbearing fun—kind of like Leary’s comedy. [Sean O’Neal] 5. Swimming With Sharks (1994) Released in a year when America simply couldn’t get enough of tying Kevin Spacey to chairs, Swimming With Sharks shares The Ref’s approach to hostage situations as therapy—this time allowing Frank Whaley’s put-upon personal assistant and aspiring screenwriter to confront some harsh truths about the movie business, all while he tortures Spacey’s tyrannical studio mogul. George Huang’s showbiz satire is essentially a stage play (it’s since been adapted to the theater), and it uses Spacey’s immobility largely as an excuse to unspool long, sour dialogues about the dark side of Hollywood while also exploring the roots of what makes Spacey such a horrible boss—years before Horrible Bosses, or before Spacey became part of that dark side for real. [Sean O’Neal] 6. Airheads (1994) A spoof of heavy metal/grunge culture and how it’s, like, dumb and stuff, 1994’s Airheads doesn’t really have a lot to say about the crass commercialization of rock music or the overall venality of showbiz, but it sure does say it loudly. Michael Lehmann’s 1994 comedy finds Brendan Fraser, Steve Buscemi, and a just-bubbling-under Adam Sandler as the members of struggling “power slop, with an edge” band, The Lone Rangers. Frustrated by their go-nowhere career, they take over an L.A. radio station using some particularly convincing water pistols, holding everyone hostage until they agree to play their demo tape. Unfortunately, the tape is quickly destroyed, the hostage crisis drags on, and inevitably, secrets come out—like how Michael McKean’s slimy station manager just cut a deal to switch to an easy-listening format, or that Fraser’s rock god is really a recovering D&D-playing, booger-eating geek. Meanwhile, their dire circumstances help Joe Mantegna’s DJ character rediscover his rock ’n’ roll soul, and prompts an exploitative A&R guy (Judd Nelson) to come calling, leading to various epiphanies about the importance of not selling out… or something. [Sean O’Neal] 7. The Chase (1994) Trapping audiences inside a car with Charlie Sheen back when that still sounded like rollicking good fun, 1994’s The Chase offers a more screwball spin on Steven Spielberg’s The Sugarland Express, with a dash of Gen-X media criticism thrown in. After Sheen’s wrongfully accused bank robber takes Kristy Swanson’s spoiled debutante hostage, he commandeers her car and leads a phalanx of police, news copters, and assorted rubberneckers down a long interstate trip to Mexico, all while Sheen and Swanson bicker and bond. As in the other kidnapping comedies of its day, Swanson’s predicament provides an opportunity for self-actualization; she slowly learns to stand up to her domineering billionaire dad and take control of her own life along the way to falling in love with Sheen, that role model of personal responsibility. The Chase gets most of its laughs out of assorted slapstick pile-ups, but it’s also a chance for writer-director Adam Rifkin to satirize Cops-like reality shows and other tabloid news vultures. After all, is it not our own addiction to sensationalism that we are all “chasing,” with a reckless Charlie Sheen at the wheel? [Sean O’Neal] 8. Hostage For A Day (1994) Remember the last time we were worried about the Russians? If you do, it’s probably not from the obscure 1994 made-for-TV movie Hostage For A Day—and for the sake of John Candy’s legacy, that may be for the best. In Candy’s sole outing as a director, George Wendt plays Warren Kooey, a stereotypically henpecked husband whose wife, Elizabeth (Robin Duke), has just blown through their life savings, prompting him to fake his own kidnapping at the hands of Russian terrorists. Warren’s half-baked plan is to abscond to Alaska with his own ransom money and track down an old girlfriend, but it gets even more complicated when actual Russians—one of them played by Candy himself—show up to take him hostage for real. Hostage For A Day was released just a month after Candy’s death, which adds an unexpectedly melancholy layer to this otherwise-standard zany kidnapping farce (though at least he didn’t have to read the reviews). [Katie Rife] 9. A Life Less Ordinary (1997) Danny Boyle followed up the smash success of Trainspotting with 1997’s A Life Less Ordinary, a rom-com caper that was seemingly convinced it could do anything: musical interludes, claymation, Tarantino-style violence, propulsive late-’90s electronica interludes, and so on. Boyle’s frequent muse Ewan McGregor plays a down-on-his-luck janitor and aspiring writer who gets dumped, then has his job replaced by a robot. Cameron Diaz—here in her post-Mask, pre-Something About Mary heyday—co-stars as the spoiled, possibly sociopathic daughter of McGregor’s former boss. What happens next is a tale as old as time, as McGregor decides to kidnap Diaz, only for her to escape, then return so that the two of them can pretend to hold her hostage. At one point, the budding couple even write a letter in her blood, demanding more money. Oh, and there’s also a supernatural framework, in which a pair of angels act as God’s cops, tasked with making sure certain people fall in love. There’s a lot going on here, in other words, but at heart it’s just your simple, everyday, boy-kidnaps-girl romance. [Clayton Purdom] 10. Excess Baggage (1997) Poor little rich girl Emily Hope: All she wants is her father’s attention. When actual arson doesn’t work, the self-centered debutante—played by Alicia Silverstone, in the first film released by her own production company, and the second abduction-based romantic comedy of 1997—escalates to fake kidnapping, handcuffing and stashing herself in the trunk of her own BMW. Unfortunately, her scam becomes all too real when car thief Vincent (Benicio Del Toro) unintentionally nabs her as well, saddling him with a hostage he doesn’t want and who also won’t leave. Vincent is the rare principled car thief with a strict code of honor, which is supposed to make their budding romance more palatable. Meanwhile, it’s made clear that he’s really her hostage, forced into going along with her criminal schemes because that’s just the kind of guy he is. Director Marco Brambilla isn’t able to wring much screwball comedy out of this boilerplate premise, even with Christopher Walken showing up as Silverstone’s uncle. But the box-office failure of Excess Baggage could also be attributed to the fact that ’90s audiences were pretty surfeited on comedies about spoiled socialites falling for their captors by that point. [Danette Chavez] 11. Serious Moonlight (2009) Actress Adrienne Shelly wrote the screenplay for Serious Moonlight, and after she was murdered in 2006, Shelly’s Waitress costar Cheryl Hines picked up the baton and made it her feature directing debut. It’s difficult to say whether Hines’ version reflected Shelly’s intentions; maybe, in Shelly’s hands, it would have been slightly more nuanced. But the Serious Moonlight that exists is a bitter, shrilly zany farce, starring Meg Ryan as a woman who refuses to accept that her husband (Timothy Hutton) is leaving her for another woman, so she knocks him unconscious, duct tapes him to a toilet, then refuses to let him go until he falls back in love with her—explicitly saying she’s relying on Stockholm syndrome to make him come back around. It’s a surefire strategy for rekindling the flames of your romance, then suffocating on the smoke and ash. And it’s a scenario that the film plays for laughs that are mostly just uncomfortable, even beyond the whole “abduction” thing. [Sean O’Neal] 12. Ruthless People (1986) What turns a hostage situation into a collaboration? A common enemy. In the Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker comedy Ruthless People, that enemy is Danny DeVito, who plays a debased businessman and cheating husband who’s plotting to kill his long-suffering wife (Bette Midler) and take her inheritance. So he’s thrilled when a suburban couple he swindled (Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater, peak ’80s) seemingly take care of it for him, kidnapping his wife and threatening to kill her if he doesn’t pay up. Over time, hostage and unusually gracious hostage-takers bond, realizing they’re more powerful as allies. They soon team up to bilk DeVito out of everything he’s worth, and deliver the comeuppance he so richly deserves. [Kyle Ryan] 13. House Arrest (1996) When it comes to antisocial behavior from kids with negligent parents, the 1996 comedy House Arrest falls somewhere between the well-meaning pranks of The Parent Trap and the homicidal intent of Home Alone. Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Pollak star as self-absorbed baby boomers whose separation spurs their kids Grover (Kyle Howard) and Stacy (Amy Sakasitz) to lure them into the family basement, then nail the door shut and refuse to release them until they work it out. Grover and Stacy then invite all the neighborhood kids to lock their own troublesome parents in the basement as well, trapping the imprisoned adults in a never-ending group therapy session while the kids run wild upstairs. In the end, everyone works out their issues and embarks on second honeymoons and the like. Meanwhile, every kid watching from their own broken home learns that all they needed to do to keep Mom and Dad together was commit a little felony. [Katie Rife] 14. Celtic Pride (1996) The year 1996 saw the release of not one, but two major motion pictures in which professional athletes are harassed and abused by deranged fans, their tones distinguished by their respective talent. In The Fan, Robert De Niro stalks a baseball slugger played by Wesley Snipes—that’s the serious one. Meanwhile, Celtic Pride casts Damon Wayans as Utah Jazz star Lewis Scott, who’s kidnapped by Boston Celtics fans Jimmy Flaherty (Dan Aykroyd) and Mike O’Hara (Daniel Stern) before Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Celtic Pride is also marked as a comedy by the names on its script—a mid-Larry Sanders Show Judd Apatow and then-Saturday Night Live cast member Colin Quinn—who pose thematic questions about what athletes truly owe the people who root for them, while also gingerly skirting the dicey prospect of two white Massholes abducting a wealthy black man. (To its credit, the film lampshades that subtext early on: “Is this racism? A backlash from the O.J. Simpson verdict?” Wayans asks.) Amid all the comedic gunplay, duct-taped wrists, and matching of wits that ensues, Lewis finally persuades Jimmy and Mike to re-prioritize their lives, while Jimmy and Mike convince Lewis to pass the ball every now and then, just in time for the big game. The coda then shows Jimmy and Mike breaking in to kidnap Deion Sanders, those incorrigible scamps. [Erik Adams] 15. Treehouse Hostage (1999) In one of his final on-screen roles, Jim Varney reprised his Ernest character in slapstick spirit—if not in name—for this rather dismal Disney Channel movie, which finds him playing a counterfeiter named Carl who’s on the lam after a prison break. After Carl holes up in the backyard treehouse of Timmy (Joey Zimmerman), the preteen troublemaker and his friends, all with horrible bowl haircuts, decide to hold him hostage so he can be the surprise guest for their “current events” project. Naturally, holding a grown man against his will proves to be more complicated than they ever expected. Painful hijinks ensue, which are complicated even further when it turns out their school principal is also involved in Carl’s racket. In the end, Carl’s name is cleared, the real bad guys are put in jail, Timmy becomes a school hero, and everyone just kind of overlooks the various levels of criminal endangerment involved—much like we’ll just overlook this one in Varney’s filmography. [Gwen Ihnat] 16. Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003) In the surefire comic mishmash of abduction and minstrel-show-level racial caricatures, Malibu’s Most Wanted stars Jamie Kennedy as “B-Rad,” the son of a California gubernatorial candidate (Ryan O’Neal) who’s locked in a tight race, which isn’t helped by B-Rad’s psychiatrist-diagnosed case of severe “gangstaphrenia.” Fed up, his father’s campaign manager hires two black actors to pose as hardcore thugs and kidnap B-Rad, taking him on a tour of a “true” gangsta’s lifestyle—robbing a convenience store, participating in a rap battle, uh, seeing a horror movie—in order to scare B-Rad into embracing his whiteness. But after their whole crew is taken hostage by a real gangster, leading to an ever-escalating war of gunfire and posturing, the film ends with everyone finally embracing B-Rad for the regressive stereotype that he is. Meanwhile, Malibu’s Most Wanted simultaneously holds its audience hostage, forcing them to sit through Kennedy’s endless mining of “hip-hop” catchphrases like “Don’t be hatin’!” [Alex McLevy] It counts as priceless irony that Alan Partridge, the vain alter ego of comedian Steve Coogan, will never know how successful he is. Introduced on the 1991 BBC news-radio spoof On The Hour, the clueless media personality has spent nearly every project he’s headlined yearning for a better career, tragically unaware that the man playing him has meanwhile built a small multimedia empire of TV series, DVD specials, fundraisers, and fake autobiographies around the character. In 2013, Partridge finally made his fledgling leap to the big screen with Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (released in the States as just Alan Partridge), which inserts him into a tense standoff at the small Norwich radio station where he works. Like most hostage comedies, this dry British cousin to the aforementioned Airheads hinges on a dark gag: that the cravenly fame-obsessed Partridge sees the responsibility of negotiating with the gunman, an aggrieved former colleague played by Colm Meaney, primarily as an opportunity to finally claim the spotlight. As always, the joke is on Alan, in more ways than one, but being “the face of the siege” does allow him to be the hero he’s always wanted to be. (Now imagine how excited he’d be to see his face on a movie poster.) [A.A. Dowd]
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Bette Midler just tossed so much shade at Kevin Spacey it almost caused an eclipse

LGBT Nation Bette Midler just tossed so much shade at Kevin Spacey it almost caused an eclipse By Bil Browning · Tuesday, November 14, 2017 ...  Read More

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Joy Behar Offered Chance To Star In Touring Version Of “Hello, Dolly!”

New Now Next Joy Behar Offered Chance To Star In Touring Version Of “Hello, Dolly!” by Brandon Voss August 5, 2017 But don’t Bette on it. Hello, Joy? While there’s still no official word on who will replace Tony winner Bette Midler when she departs Broadway’s hit revival of Hello, Dolly! in January, we can probably rule out one daytime diva. The View co-host Joy Behar revealed at the top of Friday’s show that she had recently been approached to headline the upcoming tour of Hello, Dolly! as iconic matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi. “Just because I happen to look like Bette Midler,” Behar said. She went on to tell her co-hosts that she politely declined the offer. “Even if I had the desire to go on the road, I don’t sing and I don’t dance,” added the comedian and vocal LGBT rights advocate, who appeared off-Broadway in the solo show Me, My Mouth, and I. “Problems!” Since when has a celebrity needed singing or dancing skills to star in a musical?

  • Bette Midler now has her own official day (bootlegbetty.com)
  • Bette Midler On Why She Really Turned To Television: (bootlegbetty.com)
  • Bette Midler Takes on an Iconic Role as Hello, Dolly! Opens on Broadway (Official Opening Tonight) (bootlegbetty.com)
  • Bette Midler [her reaction of Broadway audiences] I (bootlegbetty.com)
  • Bette Midler On Hello Dolly: (bootlegbetty.com)
  •  ...  Read More

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    Tony Winners Reap in Profits as Summer Peaks

    New York Show Tickets Tony Winners Reap in Profits as Summer Peaks POSTED ON AUGUST 2, 2017 BY JENNIFER R JONES 2016-08-27_3-17-35 In the week ending July 30, 2017, the top earning show in terms of percentage reached of its gross potential was Kinky Boots, which was the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical.  Spurred on by the recent addition of pop star Brendon Urie to the cast, Kinky Boots is experiencing a renaissance of its top box office days, which peaked in the holiday season at the end of 2013, as well as late summer 2013 following the show’s Tony success.  This past week, the weekly gross for Kinky Boots was $1,584,103, which is the highest weekly gross since Urie entered the cast.  This is an increase of $131,512 from the week before, and the grosses have been steadily increasing for the past 10 weeks.  Prior to that, the week ending May 28, 2017 had a weekly gross of just $796,424, after which a steep jump of $318,869 led the show on its current upward trend.  In terms of gross potential, Kinky Boots had the highest gross this past week at 125.99% of its gross potential. Following Kinky Boots, the next highest gross in terms of potential was Dear Evan Dear Evan Hansen blue and black logoHansen, which was this year’s 2017 Tony Award winning Best Musical.  The show brought in a weekly gross of $1,709,347, which represents 124.1% of its potential.  This is the second highest weekly gross Dear Evan Hansen has brought in to date, beat out only by the week ending July 9, 2017, which had a weekly gross of $1,725,297, or 125.24% of its gross potential.  Third in line in terms of gross potential was this year’s Tony Award winning Best Revival of a Musical, Hello, hello dollyDolly!.  This past week, Dollybrought in a weekly gross of $2,250,414, which represents 123.0% of its gross potential.  After a two-week vacation in which Better Midler was temporarily replaced by Donna Murphy, fans are eager to snatch those Midler tickets while she remains in the show for a limited time.  This past week was the third highest weekly gross of the show to date, beat out in the week ending June 25, 2017, which had a weekly gross of $2,305,481, and the week ending June 18, 2017, which had a weekly gross of $2,297,057.
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    Saturday, August 5, 2017

    BetteBack February 18, 1975: Paul Simon Backs Out Of Duet With Bette Midler

    Gastonia Gazette February 18, 1975 ...  Read More

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    Thursday, August 3, 2017

    Fame and money was partly what drove me to leave Hawaii for New York to become a singer when I was 19.

    Fame and money was partly what drove me to leave Hawaii for New York to become a singer when I was 19. When you are poor – and we were really poor – it’s human nature to want to better yourself. – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
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    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    Why You Can’t Find Any Hello Dolly Footage Online

    Why You Can’t Find Any Hello Dolly Footage Online Billy Masters by Billy Masters 2017-08-02 ...  Read More

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    Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    Broadway Box Office Tips Up For Blockbusters As Star-Based Shows Slip

    Deadline Hollywood Broadway Box Office Tips Up For Blockbusters As Star-Based Shows Slip by Jeremy Gerard July 31, 2017 1:55pm 2017-07-27_3-00-36 Broadway receipts were up slightly last week even as an old lesson held true: A hit that doesn’t hitch its wagon to a star is a better long-term bet than a star-driven vehicle. That was certainly the case for a couple of newsworthy shows, notably Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which continued to slip following the departure of the musical’s Pierre, Josh Groban. The show whiplashed last week from one announcement – that Mandy Patinkin had agreed to a 3-week late summer run as Pierre in an effort to boost sales going into the fall – with another announcing that Patinkin had pulled out in the wake of  protests that the move was disrespectful of Okierete “Oak” Onaodowan, the actor who had replaced Groban. The $12-million production, at the Shubert Organization’s Imperial Theatre, slipped $18K to $905.5K, a 25 per cent drop since Groban’s run, which averaged $1.2 million per week. A steeper plunge was felt at Tony contender A Doll’s House, Part 2, at the Shuberts’ Golden. Although the show has struggled at the box office despite great reviews and a lauded cast led by Laurie Metcalf, the show rang up $647K in sales during the original cast’s final week. Last week, sales dropped to $284.7K, just shy of 40 per cent of its gross potential. Although the Lucas Hnath dramedy has officially extended through the end of the year, it will depend on re-reviews (coming next week) and great word of mouth to sustain the run. Looking at the situation from the other end of the telescope, when Hello, Dolly! star Bette Midler missed one of her seven scheduled performances the week before last (the show’s eighth performance is played each week by Donna Murphy), sales fell $80K as customers lined up for refunds. Last week, with things back to normal, the show made up that amount and more, jumping $97K at the Shubert Theatre to $2.25M, with an average ticket price of $191.98. And four of the top-six grossing shows – Hamilton, The Lion King,Wicked and Aladdin – showed no signs of wavering as the titles themselves are the brand customers trust. Michael Moore began his limited-run show The Terms Of My Surrender, ringing up a good-looking $199K in sales for two performances at the Shuberts’ 1,008-seat Belasco. The 5 top-grossing shows were:

    • Hamilton ($3.01 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $280.78 average ticket) • The Lion King ($2.6 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $169.81) • Hello, Dolly! ($2 million at the Shubert; $191.98) • Wicked ($1.95 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $129.67) • Dear Evan Hansen ($1.7 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; $214.04) ...  Read More

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    Robert DeNiro Takes In Hello Dolly! Starring Bette Midler

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