South Park Scribes On Broadway

Another injury story out of the Spider-Man production arrived this morning. I’d post about it if I hadn’t just posted about Turn Off the Dark yesterday, and another one would be like bullying a sad little kid on the playground. Instead let’s focus on a musical that I’d probably catch if I found myself in NY in Spring: The Book of Mormon.

The new musical is the product of South Park scribes Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and yes, I’m a South Park fan. Heck, I liked BASEketball, too. The story focuses on two Mormon missionaries in Uganda, simultaneously telling their tale while recounting the tale of founder Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith as “back-story” is similar to the episode “All About Mormons” from South Park‘s seventh season. The use of Mormon missionaries calls back to an even earlier and more adult Parker/Stone comedy collaboration from 1997.

The musical will be co-directed by Trey Parker and Jason Moore, who also directed the musical/comedy Avenue Q, which is still playing off-Broadway, and the less successful Shrek: The Musical. Another Avenue Q alum, Robert Lopez, is composing the music.

Safe to assume that your millage may vary depending on your opinion of the humor in South Park. Previews start in February, and opening night is March 24 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. You can find tickets here: The Book of Mormon Tickets.

Spider-Man Delayed Again, Rewrites Cited

Another delay in the 65 million dollar Spider-Man Musical saga. This time to retool something a bit more fundamental than the rigging: the script. As reports from the early previews suggested, many were willing to live with some mishaps with the complex staging of the ambitious musical, but said the story needed work. Work it will be given, with retooling focused on the second act.

U2 vets Bono and The Edge may be called in to provide more music for the finale. U2 is currently playing dates in Australia and they may return once those dates are over. Nothing is certain at the moment, only that the new opening date is now February 7th. Maybe. At this point it seems clear you may not want to be making formal plans around a Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark opening date. No word on what will happen to the dates in January during the “re-tooling” period.

Spider-Man Musical Off to a Shaky Start

Tangled RopeSo, after multiple delays, the first preview of the mega-musical based on Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man got off the ground November 28th, and, reports indicated, hung suspended there for a few minutes while stage hands fixed the rigging. The preview show stopped 4 times to fix issues with the complex set and effects during the first act, which eventually ended early. After a rather long intermission, the show resumed and stopped once more in the second act, prompting some “constructive criticism” from an adventurous audience member.

Producers were in damage control mode before the show began, and didn’t let up afterwards. The cost and the talent behind the show does a lot for raising expectations. Reviews of the elements that weren’t effected by issues with the rigging weren’t necessarily charitable either, as elements of the story and the songs by U2 vets Bono and The Edge were both questioned.

The show opens officially on January 11, to what now will have to be a long, extremely successful run if the roughly 65 million dollar price tag is even somewhat accurate. Tickets for the preview shows throughout December are available. Producers feel all the technical issues will be ironed out by the December 4th dates. It remains to be seen if the script and the music will see any changes, though that is certainly possible as well.

Grab tickets to the previews on our Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Tickets page. Look at it this way, if this does turn out to be the biggest flop in Broadway history, you can say you were a part of it.

Musical Sister Act Heads to Broadway

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Whoopi Goldberg Played the Mother Superior
Role briefly during the West End production.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Successful box office vehicle is adapted to musical and is heading to Broadway. Though you should have stopped me by now, I’ll go ahead and reveal that Sister Act will be opening at the Broadway Theatre in spring 2011. In the defense of both parties, the film was actually a musical, and the musical isn’t new, it’s been around since 2006, opening first in Pasadena and more recently playing in London’s prestigious West End.

Both the film and the musical tell the the story of lounge act Deloris Van Cartier and her time spent hiding out from her mobster ex-boyfriend in a convent. Deloris helps tune up the choir while she’s there, ends up leading them to success, and eventually performing for the Pope. The bit about her ruthless killer ex- is also, at some point, resolved happily.

The musical version of Sister Act is written by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, with lyrics by Glenn Slater and music by Alan Menken, man very familiar with scoring film adaptions as well as films. No word yet on who will be staring in this new production yet. Likewise, tickets are not yet avaialble, but will, eventually, on our Sister Act Tickets page.

More Bang For Your American Idiot Buck

If you happen to want to catch the Broadway show based on the music of Green Day this week, you’ll have the special bonus of Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong playing one of the characters. Armstrong is filling in for Tony Vincent in the role of “Jimmy,” the self-destructive alter ego of the musical’s protagonist Johnny. While Jimmy isn’t the main character, he’s got a few songs over the course of the musical, and most reports from Armstrong’s first night are highly favorable.

American Idiot is based on the Green Day album of the same name, includes songs from both that album, 21st Century Breakdown, and originals to tell the story of Johnny and two friends growing up with war, drugs, love, loss… you know, the usual stuff. Currently playing at the St. James Theatre, you can pick up tickets on the American Idiot Tickets page. Armstrong will be doing only 8 shows, so time is running out to catch the performance.