For my Chicago readers: Buyer & Cellar, one of most enlightening, entertaining and funny shows you'll ever see is in its final weeks at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. This is the first stop on its national tour with the original star, Michael Urie ("Ugly Betty"). A struggling actor takes a job working in the mall in Barbra Streisand's Malibu basement. One day the lady herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like a real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? It's an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things and the oddest of odd jobs. Plays thru June 15th. Tickets at 800-775-2000, at all Ticketmaster locations and on line at www.BroadwayinChicago.com.
They've canceled the planned national tour to more than 50 North American cities of "Jesus Christ Superstar". The cast was to feature an eclectic mix of rock and pop performers including the Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd as Judas; Michael Williams of the R&B group Destiny's Child as Mary Magdalene; JC Chasez of *NSYNC as Pontius Pilate and John Lydon, a.k.a Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols as King Herod.
The show had been scheduled for the United Center on June 29th, just one of many large venues around the country which are now in the process of refunding money to those who had purchased tickets. The itinerary included Madison Square Garden in New York and the Staples Center in Los Angeles with top ticket prices of about $125.00. But ticket sales were soft and there was no way the production would be able to recover costs. Many cast members were in rehearsal, and costumes were being fitted. In London some 70 members of the British ensemble were preparing to travel to the New Orleans rehearsal when they got the bad news. Producers said it just didn't make business sense to continue.
Hugh Jackman is coming back to Broadway for a limited run of The River, a play which had an acclaimed run at London's Royal Court Theatre in 2012. It takes place in a wooden cabin on the cliffs overlooking a river where the owner is playing host to a women. The play also stars Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo. The engagement is scheduled from October 31 through January 25 at the Circle in the Square Theatre.
Jackman is well known for his long-running role Wolverine in the "X-Men film series. His work in Les Miserables earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his first Golden Globe award. As a singer, dancer and actor he can pretty do whatever he wants, but it's obvious his first love is theatre.
Back in 2003 my wife and I were in New York and wound up with tickets to a musical called The Boy From Oz. The reviews were so-so but the star was this young kid from Australia named Hugh Jackman getting raves from everybody for his portrayal of Peter Allen, Liza Minnelli's first husband who came out as gay after they'd been married for 7 years and died later of Aids. Jackman won a well-deserved Tony Award and was on his way to stardom.
The night we were there, about two minutes into the show, four young men wearing blue jeans and t-shirts were ushered to 4th row seats and Jackman without breaking character came down to the footlights and said, "Welcome gentlemen. I'm glad you dressed for the theatre". The audience roared and applauded for about two minutes and the show went on.
Jackman will host the Tony Awards this Sunday night (6/8) for the 4th time and they've announced that Sting will be among the live performances doing a number from his Broadway bound musical "The Last Ship" which will have its world premiere here in Chicago at The Bank of America Theatre starting June 10th and running through July 13th. The show is set in the English seafaring town of Wallsend, where life has always revolved around the local shipyard but its future is now in grave danger. Tickets are available at 800-775-2000 and all Ticketmaster locations.
Filed under: Theatre Reviews