The Broadway Graveyard of January

10:15 am EST, January 6, 2014

Broadway shows historically have a tendency to close in January, once the lucrative holiday season is over, and the box office doldrums set in. But this weekend, only one sixth of the shows on Broadway all ended their runs.

Now plenty of theaters are empty and awaiting their blockbuster spring tenants. This is the body count for Broadway this weekend.

Getting a head start on all the closings last weekend was the musical Big Fish, based on the Tim Burton film of the same name, about a father who tells tall tales and his relationship with his son. The show was a big-budget spectacle, and just did not pull in enough audiences to fill up its large theater. The show played to a theater less than 80% full, on average, and after pulling in only $10.8 million from 147,000 audience members, did not even bother staying open through New Year’s. The audiences who mostly stayed away missed quite a good show in my opinion – Norbert Leo Butz gave a tour de force performance and had the entire theater sobbing. The Neil Simon Theater will next host All the Way, a drama about Lyndon B. Johnson.

Closing a day earlier than everyone else, on Saturday, was the infamous Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. The show would have been a gargantuan success if it had the budget of any other Broadway show in history – over $210 million grossed (and quite a few records smashed), and seen by over two million people, over the course of more than a thousand performances. But with its enormous budget, the show still lost about $60 million after all that. It also never received much Tony recognition, with only nominations for costumes and scenery. But the show went out with a bang, as J. Jonah Jameson read aloud the headline “Super-Hero Musical Defies Doubters: Runs Three Years on Broadway.” The original cast showed up to bid farewell. The show is off to Las Vegas next. The Foxwoods Theater has not yet announced its next tenant (since there is much renovation to be done after Spiderman), but there are rumors King Kong could make its home there.

And then came Sunday, January 5, with the closure of four Broadway shows. Many fans (this writer included) braved the swamps of frozen slush in Manhattan and the stealthily iced-over streets in outer boroughs to see their favorite show one last time. Rush lines still formed despite the frigid rain and sub-zero temperature, proving just how dedicated Broadway fans are.

Billy Crystal had returned with a limited nine-week engagement of 700 Sundays. The play is autobiographical in nature, and was filmed to be broadcast on HBO. The show proved very popular (who doesn’t like Billy Crystal?), and in its short time the play has made over $10 million dollars. The Imperial Theater will next host a revival of Les Miserables in March.

If Billy Crystal is popular, he’s nothing compared to Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, whose play Betrayal is another of the day’s casualties. This play is a revival of an old time-bending play about marital infidelity, and played to 100% capacity through the entirety of its fourteen-week limited engagement. Anecdotally, there was always an enormous line stretching the entirety of the street at the stage door. Seen by over 100,000 people paying $149 a ticket on average, the show made over $17 million. Producers, doubtless, can’t wait to get Craig and Weisz back on Broadway, and the Barrymore Theater will welcome another classic play revival in April: Raisin in the Sun.

The 2012 revival of Annie also closes, after becoming surprisingly successful and playing nearly five hundred performances over fourteen months. The show earned a nomination for Best Revival at the Tonys, but no accompanying nominations. With the phenomenally talented Lilla Crawford in the title role for nine months, and a trio of superb Miss Hannigans (Katie Finneran, Jane Lynch from Glee, and Faith Prince), the show proved surprisingly resilient in the face of direct competition like Matilda and Cinderella. I saw it with both Katie Finneran and Jane Lynch, and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. But since it ties in with the holidays, it makes sense to not push its luck past the holiday season. Two-thirds of a million people saw it, and brought in $58 million (far more than the previous revival in 1997). The Palace Theater has not yet announced its next tenant.

And my choice to see on this day of demises was First Date, the musical comedy about (you guessed it!) a first date, starring Krysta Rodriguez (Smash) and Zachary Levi (Chuck, Flynn Rider in Tangled). The show appears to be a modest success, running for half a year (174 performances) and filling the theater about 70% on average. It was seen by 150,000 people, but as one of the most affordable shows on Broadway ($63 average ticket price), it only made about $10 million. The Longacre Theater will next host James Franco’s adaptation of Of Mice and Men.

The energy at First Date at the closing performance was electric – the cast kept making the audience laugh with extra goofiness thrown in and received thunderous applause after every song. But Zachary Levi also cried an awful lot during an emotional musical number, and the entire cast all burst into tears during the curtain call. The standbys, writers, director, and producers were all called to the stage for a bow. Most of the theater was filled with repeat customers like me, including one girl who was seeing it for the thirty-second time. The cast and writers then performed due diligence at the stage door, signing well over a hundred playbills and taking pictures with anyone who asked.

Zachary Levi patiently waited for everyone to get his autograph and a picture, staying outside in freezing temperatures for two hours to do so. He told the fans that he does want to do Broadway shows in the future, but he wants to originate roles instead of being a replacement. But Krysta Rodriguez burst some fans’ bubbles by saying that Hit List (the fictional musical from Smash) will most likely not make it to Broadway.

The Broadway carnage is not yet over, as next Sunday Peter and the Starcatcher will play its final performance. The “play with music” that served as a prequel to Peter Pan had an eight-month Broadway run before transferring off-Broadway to New World Stages, where it has been playing for a year. Many fans will mist likely try to see it again before it closes, myself included, so the rush lines will get pretty long.

Which of these Broadway shows are you most sad to see go? Did you see any of them? Do you regret not seeing some? Post your eulogies for these Broadway shows in the comments.

Source: playbill.com

Here are the 2017 Oscars winners and losers

8:25 pm EST, February 26, 2017

The 2017 Oscars took place Sunday night in Hollywood and found La La Land cleaning up with six wins. Here are the Academy Award winners!

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 2017 Oscars, which took place at the Dolby Theater. The event featured live performances of all five Oscar-nominated songs.

2017 Oscar winners list

Read full article

The 2017 Oscars took place Sunday night in Hollywood and found La La Land cleaning up with six wins. Here are the Academy Award winners!

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 2017 Oscars, which took place at the Dolby Theater. The event featured live performances of all five Oscar-nominated songs.

2017 Oscar winners list

Related: We asked our parents to describe the 2017 Oscar nominees

Below is a complete list of Oscar winner and losers.

2017 Oscar winner list

Note: The final winner of the night was originally announced to be La La Land, but the announcement was actually an error — Moonlight won Best Picture. Awkward.

Best Picture:
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land

Lion
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight

Best Actress:
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Actor:
Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Director:
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Arrival – Eric Heisserer
Fences – August Wilson
Hidden Figures – Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
Lion – Luke Davies
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

Best Original Screenplay:
20th Century Women – Mike Mills
Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Manchester By the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Best Original Song:
“Audition” – La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Trolls
“City of Stars” – La La Land
“The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go” – Moana

Best Score:
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Best Cinematography:
Bradford Young – Arrival
Linus Sandgren – La La Land
Grieg Fraser – Lion
James Laxton – Moonlight
Rodrigo Prieto – Silence

Best Live Action Short Film
Timecode
Sing
Silent Nights
Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV

Best Documentary, Short Subject:
4.1 Miles
Extremis
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Editing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Visual Effects:
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Production Design:
Arrival
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Animated Feature:
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Animated Short:
Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

Best Foreign Language Film:
Land of Mine, Denmark
The Salesman, Iran
A Man Called Ove, Sweden
Tanna, Australia
Toni Erdmann, Germany

Best Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis – Fences
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – Lion
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By the Sea

Best Sound Mixing:
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

Best Sound Editing:
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best Documentary Feature:
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

Best Costume Design:
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad
A Man Called Ove

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel – Lion
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Tags: 2017 Oscars

Lightning McQueen’s biggest enemy is himself in the new Cars 3 trailer.

The second major preview premiered during the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon, where voice actor Owen Wilson served as grand marshal.

The new Cars 3 trailer finds Lightning pushing himself to compete with high tech cars that are engineered to win. The character suffers a serious accident during a race and finds himself back at square one, having to work himself back up to what he once was.

Read full article

Lightning McQueen’s biggest enemy is himself in the new Cars 3 trailer.

The second major preview premiered during the Daytona 500 on Sunday afternoon, where voice actor Owen Wilson served as grand marshal.

The new Cars 3 trailer finds Lightning pushing himself to compete with high tech cars that are engineered to win. The character suffers a serious accident during a race and finds himself back at square one, having to work himself back up to what he once was.

While Cars 3’s main setting is unclear, we do see Lightning at least briefly returning to Radiator Springs (Gotta keep Cars Land at Disneyland relevant)!. This appears to be the I-need-to-rediscover-myself-by-remembering-my-origins scene.

Cars 3 looks dramatic, emotional, and possibly targeting kids and adults? We’ll race into theaters for this installment when Pixar’s latest opens this summer.

A synopsis from Pixar reads: “Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!”

Tags: cars 3

We asked our parents to describe the 2017 Oscar nominees

It's because we love them that we use them for our amusement.

10:30 am EST, February 26, 2017

When your friends and family don’t know about the films of the 2017 Oscars, you just have to take advantage of their ignorance and laugh.

The title of a movie (usually) makes obvious sense when you know what that movie is about. But titles can be so vague, and when you have no prior knowledge of the movie, the plot isn’t typically easy to decipher. How fun would it be then, to ask our friends and family to guess the plots of the nominees for the 2017 Oscars?

The task was simple for us. We gave our friends and family a movie title from the 2017 Oscars, and asked them to guess what the movie is about. It’s not, however, such a simple task for them. They weren’t allowed to look it up. No cheating allowed! As you can imagine, we got some interesting responses.

Read full article

When your friends and family don’t know about the films of the 2017 Oscars, you just have to take advantage of their ignorance and laugh.

The title of a movie (usually) makes obvious sense when you know what that movie is about. But titles can be so vague, and when you have no prior knowledge of the movie, the plot isn’t typically easy to decipher. How fun would it be then, to ask our friends and family to guess the plots of the nominees for the 2017 Oscars?

The task was simple for us. We gave our friends and family a movie title from the 2017 Oscars, and asked them to guess what the movie is about. It’s not, however, such a simple task for them. They weren’t allowed to look it up. No cheating allowed! As you can imagine, we got some interesting responses.

Be sure to check out the ridiculous responses we got for the 2016 Oscars too!

Time to let her rip tater chip.

‘Lion’

Our participants start out on a high note. Well, they at least know who’s in the movie.

‘Arrival’

Success continues with Arrival, as they have the vague idea it’s about space aliens (although it’s possible one of them is confused with Passengers).

‘Fences’

There was a common general premise our friends and family had of Fences.

‘Moonlight’

They did well with Moonlight…until they didn’t.

‘La La Land’

Maybe La La Land will be better! Everyone knows La La Land! Right…?

‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Oh no, we’re starting to lose them!

‘Hidden Figures’

No lie though, I’d watch that.

‘Captain Fantastic’

We’ve officially lost them.

‘Hell or High Water’

Could these plots be any more varied?

‘Nocturnal Animals’

It might have been a good idea for Nocturnal Animals to change its name.

‘Silence’

They’re really losing it now. They’ve had enough!

‘Manchester by the Sea’

Someone needs to turn these ideas into full screenplays, they are gold.

‘The Lobster’

What did they expect people would think when they named it The Lobster?

Thanks to Ariella, Brandi, Donya, Karen, Kendra, Kyle, Matthew, Pamela, Selina, and the friends and family they may or may not have annoyed all week.

Which 2017 Oscars movie do you think has the most misleading title?