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.

Ben Stiller Returns to Broadway

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Ben Stiller/p>

While Jerry Seinfeld is headed to Broadway to direct, Ben Stiller is returning to a play that afforded him his stage debut. In 1986, Stiller played the son of the main character in a Broadway revival of the play The House of Blue Leaves. He will now play the father in the latest revival, opposite another Hollywood star, Edie Falco, recently of Sopranos and Nurse Betty.

The play is set in Queens, New York in 1965 while the Pope is visiting New York City. Artie Shaughnessy (Stiller) is a zookeeper with dreams of becoming a songwriter in Hollywood. Artie’s middle class existence conspires to derail these dreams, with a schizophrenic wife named Bananas (Falco) whom he plans to dump in a mental institution called The House of Blue Leaves as he runs off to Hollywood with his downstairs neighbor, Bunny. Apparently there are some nuns involved as well.

The 86 revival won 4 Tony Awards, including direction and one each for the two leads, John Mahoney and Swoosie Kurtz. It was also nominated for the best play award.

The 2011 revival will be directed by David Cromer and produced by Scott Rudin, and will play the Walter Kerr Theatre next spring. Little soon for ticket listings, but they’ll show up on our House of Blue Leaves Tickets page soon enough.

Jerry Seinfeld Directs Colin Quinn To Broadway

Everyone wants to direct, and Jerry Seinfeld gets his chance (well, second one, according to the IMDb) at it. This time it’s not a video package for The Concert for New York, though it’s in the same city, on Broadway, with Colin Quinn’s one man show Long Story Short.

While Seinfeld is fairly well known for the sitcom of the same name, Quinn is remembered for his run on Saturday Night Live, where he eventually became the “Weekend Update” anchor. He was okay, Miller is still the best. I say that only so you can all think “hey, now I know when you first started watching SNL.”

Quinn is also notable for having hosted the roundtable talk show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, which was an earlier attempt by Comedy Central to find a good programming match to air after The Daily Show. Having been one of the the apparently small number of people too lazy to change the channel after TDS was over, I do remember Quinn quipping one night about the show being up for renewal and how they should be nice to him or he’d leave…

Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, continues in the tradition of shows with Colin Quinn’s name in it, and will appear at the Helen Hayes Theater previewing October 22nd with an official opening date of Nov 9th. The “long story” in question is no less than a history of the world as seen through the eyes of various declining empires. Presumably jokes will be involved.

Lombardi Opens October 21st

Since football season is in full swing, why not recall that Broadway has a little football fever this season as well. The play Lombardi will open on October 21st at The Circle in the Square Theatre after previews starting September 23rd. Wonder Years and college football vet Dan Lauria stars in the title role. The play is based on the book When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by David Maraniss, and is written by Eric Simonson. Judith Light of Who’s the Boss fame co-stars as Vince Lombardi’s wife, Marie.

The play is family friendly, though geared to audiences 12 and up.

The play is a portrait of a man who was more comfortable with the teams he coached than his family. Lombardi was still not a heartless man, and eventually expressed regret over the saying he popularized: “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” Lombardi said later: “I wished I’d never said the thing. I meant the effort. I meant having a goal. I sure didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality.”

We will eventually get some tickets up on our Lombardi Tickets page. For the moment feel free to sign up for updates. After you’ve seen the show, you can share your thoughts with our new reviews system