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ENTERTAINMENT, JAZZ/STANDARDS, MUSIC

Broadway Buzz: Pippin breaks records

December 6, 2013

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Happy holidays, theatre peeps!

The holiday weekend brought lots of record breakin’ and history makin’ to the Great White Way this year – one of the most successful in history. They’re singing Glory over at the Tony-winning revival of Pippin, which broke its house record for the highest-grossing single performance twice at the Music Box Theatre. On top of that, producers announced that the show has recouped its $8.5 million capitalization as of December 1! The Tony-winning Book of Mormon shattered its box office record at the Eugene O’Neill for the 46 time!  Motown had its best week ever, breaking its own record at the Lunt-Fontanne.  And The Lion King became the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing Les Mis on November 30 as it played its 6,681 performance! Way to go, all!

We also got some highly anticipated casting news this week. Three-time Tony nominee Marin Mazzie (Passion, Ragtime, Kiss Me, Kate) lands the highly coveted leading role of stage diva Helen Sinclair in the new Broadway musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway. Though Mazzie played the role in readings and workshops throughout the year, rumors were swirling about the fierce competition between several heavy-hitters also seen for the role. Mazzie joins Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Zach Braff, making his Broadway debut as playwright David Shayne in the show, based on the 1994 film that will incorporate pre-existing songs from the 20s/30s for its score. They begin previews March 11 at the St. James, officially opening April 10.

The love triangle is complete for The Bridges of Madison County with the announcement that Tony nominee Hunter Foster (Hands on a Hardbody, Little Shop) will join 4-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara (Light in the Piazza, South Pacific) and Steven Pasquale (Reasons to Be Pretty, TV’s Rescue Me) in the new musical by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman. Their performances begin January 17 at the Schoenfeld with an official opening night February 20.

With the Golden Theatre up for grabs from the early closing of A Time to Kill, the new play Mothers and Sons, written by four-time Tony winning playwright Terrence McNally, gets a home. This is the same home where his Tony-winning Master Class premiered in 1995. The show will star Tony and Emmy winner Tyne Daly with direction by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall) who both repeat their work from the world-premiere engagement at the Bucks County Playhouse this summer. Previews begin February 23 and opening night will be March 24.

With tours of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Elf, and A Christmas Story on the scene, have you been out to see a holiday-themed show? Tweet me and let me know @julie_james.

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Photo credit: Joan Marcus