On a recent Friday night, the Transom arrived on the early side at Marie’s Crisis, the piano bar in the West Village known for its propensity for show tunes. What can we say, sometimes it’s been a rough week and the only cure is singing Sondheim while surrounded by fabulous men, Broadway wannabes and the occasional semi-pro.
The place is practically an institution, with Dexter Watson on the ivories and the occasional solo performance of a number from Jekyll and Hyde as interpreted by one of Marie’s roving bartenders. So color us surprised, then, when we got to the block and saw a chorus line of people waiting outside the venue. Was Kristin Chenoweth making a guest appearance at the literally underground musical hangout? Alan Cumming?
The Scene: A bunch of high schoolers, in a room full of their parents, teachers, and friends, performing a musical. In the musical, they play a bunch of teenagers not too unlike themselves.
And they are simulating masturbation, unprotected sex, abortion, teenage homosexuality, teenage lesbianism, group masturbation, masochism, child abuse, insubordination, and out-and-out total adolescent rebellion, all to the rapturous tune of musical numbers with titles like “The Bitch of Living” and “Totally Fucked.”
Oh, if Tipper Gore could see them now.
Since we first saw Christian Bale prancing across dusty Manhattan streets belting “Santa Fe,” we’ve held a torch in our heart for the 1992 Disney live-action flop Newsies. We don’t even care the Roger Ebert once likened the film to “warmed-over Horatio Alger,” since deep down we knew that one day, we’d have the chance to audition for a stage production of the show. (In our fantasy, we weren’t Christian Bale/Jack Kelly’s love interest, Sarah, because she was a goody-goody. We were always Ann-Margret‘s brassy saloon singer, Medda Larkson.)
Now our dreams are that much closer to coming true, as the New Jersey production of Newsies at the Paper Mill Theater has just announced the full line-up for its Broadway debut on March 15th.
In the grand tradition of adaptation films reviled by Roger Ebert into musical productions (see also: Flashdance, The Wedding Singer, Xanadu) 1992′s musical extravaganza Newsies will be making its stage debut at the Paper Mill Theater in New Jersey September 25th.
Newsies–a (financial) bomb of a film the dealt with Read More
Guitars swelled during an early preview of the new revival of Rent, and the delighted crowd squealed. Across the orchestra section, fans accustomed to using the play’s soundtrack as karaoke fodder fought the urge to sing along. Many failed. The excitement was understandable. After three torturous Rent-free years, the city is once again graced by Read More
It’s not easy to dramatize the almost sexual excitement of intellectual discovery. Aaron Sorkin has failed at it twice: in Broadway’s The Farnsworth Invention, which chronicled the birth of television and played as a well-produced book report, and in his Oscar-winning screenplay for The Social Network, which required HTML coding to masquerade as legal procedural. Read More
Turn Off The Dark
Will Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark ever actually open? Will it ever emerge from preview purgatory and unleash its acrobatic feats of web-slinging and derring-do upon devoted lovers of theater and spectacle? Will the endless delays ever beget a premiere?
Perhaps not! Today the producers of the most expensive show in Broadway Read More
Stage and Street
If they can make a musical about Atlantic Yards, why not one about Robert Caro’s mammoth book The Power Broker? The Times brought none other than Caro himself to a rehearsal for the new musical about Robert Moses, a show that sounds like a real hit:
Roads blast through;
Turn Off The Dark
When the lead stunt man fell from his harness, decked fully in the hero’s web-wrapped garb, at Monday night’s performance of the Julie Taymor’s disatrous and accident-plagued Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, it marked the fourth time a crew member had suffered an accident on stage. Producers have dumped $65 million into the musical, Read More
Turn Off The Dark
After a twisted, obstacle-fraught path to actually getting on the stage, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark took a step toward an actual premiere when it began previews last weekend. But perhaps it was only a matter of time before things started to go awry again.
Now, the ambitious musical — directed by Julie Taymor Read More