My Favorite Christmas Story

While it pains me to talk Christmas in the middle of November, the timing can’t be avoided on this one. A Christmas Story, The Musical opened today on Broadway. While it’s standard procedure for publicists to tout the latest product of the Hollywood-to-Broadway pipeline as “based on a beloved classic”, in this case, I find myself in agreement.

Yes, I’m going to trot out the “before it was cool” thing. I saw the film at age 8, something the weak box office receipts of the original run suggest can’t be a boast made by many. (Though I’m not sure I’d want to waste my boasts on that.) Mostly panned by critics, it limped through the holiday season before disappearing. But not for good.

As Turner likes to remind you, A Christmas Story is a big thing now. That seems to be the result of that rare phenomenon: “it was shown on TV, a lot.” I still doze off to the marathon most Christmas Eves.

Now, it’s big enough for a new musical adaptation that’s running through the holidays at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. While I’ve only been reading up on it, it appears to cover all the highlights: poles, lamps, bunny suits, hungry dogs, and more.

One does not need to be the beneficiary of a major award to check out the show, no matter how fragile. Check our listings for A Christmas Story, The Musical and see how well Ralphie can sing in that pink nightmare.

The Book of Mormon on Tour and in Chicago in 2012

The Broadway production of The Book of Mormon, winner of 9 Tonys, is one of the hottest tickets in New York City. You’ll have to wait a little while, but more opportunities to see the hit show are on the way. A production will open in Chicago at the Bank of America Theatre in December 2012. This production isn’t touring, it will stay in Chicago for an initial run of 12 weeks. That will probably be extended if sales are strong, and they likely will be.

Announced earlier this month, there will be a touring production. That is slated to open a little sooner, August 2012 in Denver, Colorado at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Buell Theatre.

If you don’t want to wait for the tour or more than a year for the Windy City, you can check out our Book of Mormon Tickets page and see the Broadway show a little sooner.

The Kings Speech to Broadway

King George VI of England

The acutal, non-Colin-Firth version of King George VI of England

In the latest film-to-Broadway news, this year’s Best Picture winner, The King’s Speech, will be heading to the stage in 2012. This isn’t too surprising, as the script for the film was based on an original treatment for the stage. The film was both a popular and critical success, becoming the most successful independent film to date in the UK, netting 12 Oscar nominations, and wins in 4 categories.

The story covers events surrounding George VI’s ascension to the throne and his eventual delivery of an address to the nation after Britain declares war on Germany in 1939, the “speech” of the title. George VI’s road to becoming king is something an interesting tale in and of itself, though the film isn’t quite so concerned with that. George VI suffered from a stammer and worked many years with Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue to overcome it. This relationship is the core of the film.

The stage adaptation is said to be more concerned with the bigger political picture, including the abdication and the run up to World War II. It will follow in the footsteps of many stage adaptations, with a tryout in a regional theatre before moving to the prestigious West End in London, and, eventually, on to Broadway. It may be on Broadway by fall of 2012.

Something tells me this one will have fewer problems meeting its opening date than Spider-man did.

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.