September 19, 2019 at 8:49 am #1203086558
^Nah, I’ll just be skipping the show if/when it comes to my area.September 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm #1203087585
The Hip Hop Nutcracker (which is exactly what it sounds like) will embark on a 30-city tour this holiday season, beginning on November 7 at San Diego’s Civic Theatre. http://www.playbill.com/article/the-hip-hop-nutcracker-will-return-to-the-road-this-holiday-seasonSeptember 19, 2019 at 4:50 pm #1203087599
Complete casting has been announced for the 2019-2020 national tour of A Bronx Tale, which will kick off on October 22 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut. http://www.playbill.com/article/cast-complete-for-national-tour-of-a-bronx-taleSeptember 20, 2019 at 8:51 pm #1203090030
The previously announced national tour of Xanadu has been postponed indefinitely.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/National-Tour-Of-XANADU-Featuring-RuPauls-Drag-Race-Stars-Put-On-Hold-20190919?fbclid=IwAR13HiWX4tTg__2XaO7iqFhmf7iZYABVoL8ZfMDd8CNCyxsJ5osu81MdAw4September 23, 2019 at 2:45 pm #1203098576
The recent Theatre Royal Bath production of Blithe Spirit will embark on a U.K. tour next year. http://www.playbill.com/article/blithe-spirit-starring-jennifer-saunders-will-play-west-end-run-following-uk-tourOctober 2, 2019 at 5:19 am #1203117244
Lorna Luft and Conrad John Schuck will star in a national tour of White Christmas this holiday season. http://www.playbill.com/article/lorna-luft-and-conrad-john-schuck-to-star-in-white-christmas-us-holiday-tourOctober 3, 2019 at 8:28 pm #1203120356
Heathers: The Musical will embark on a U.K. tour next year. http://www.playbill.com/article/revamped-london-staging-of-heathers-the-musical-to-launch-uk-tourOctober 4, 2019 at 6:37 am #1203120843
I got to catch the national tour of Aladdin in my area last night, and here’s my review:
For the adaptation itself, to quote a lyric from the finale, “it’s the plot that you knew with a small twist or two, though the changes they made were slight”. Book writer Chad Beguelin not only stays true to the heart and soul of the animated film, but is also able to quite successfully augment it into a big, Broadway musical. In fact, some of the additional material that is introduced in the show are actually ideas that original lyricist Howard Ashman had in mind when he and composer Alan Menken originally conceived the movie. Which includes the tone of a big, broad musical comedy, the Genie as this Cab Callaway/Fats Waller type of person, and Aladdin’s three human friends, Babkak, Omar, and Kassim.
Under the direction (and choreography) of Casey Nicholaw, a terrific cast of triple threats are able to bring themselves to these iconic characters. Jonah Hoʻokano makes for a very charismatic Aladdin. Not only is he the same lovable street urchin you know from the cartoon, but there is also a little more to him that’s established in the Broadway show. He has his own ‘I Want’ song called ‘Proud of Your Boy’ (which was originally written for the movie, but didn’t make it), where he sings about his guilt in thievery, even making a vow to never steal again after the recent death of his mother. Kaenaooālani Kekoa proves to be quite a strong Jasmine, the princess who feels more like a slave than royalty as the Sultan demands her to marry a noble prince who she finds to be a total stranger. In one of the brand new songs written by Menken and Beguelin just for the show, ‘These Palace Walls’ is able to provide Jasmine her very own number as she sings about how much she feels there’s more out in the world than just the royal life.
Though the standout of the whole show is Korie Lee Blossey as the Genie. Working with Ashman’s aforementioned original vision of the character, Blossey never once tries to do what the late Robin Williams did in the cartoon. Instead, he is really able to make the role his own. Blossey’s Genie should be what I consider the definition of a real scene stealer. It’s especially evident in ‘Friend Like Me’ (which has been augmented for the stage as a big, showstopping production number) where he really brings the house down. Not only that, but you also feel invested in his friendship with Aladdin.
Other highlights of the cast include Patrick R. Brown as a very sinister Jafar, Reggie De Leon as his comedic right-hand man, Iago (who in the Broadway show is no longer a parrot, instead a human character), as well as memorable turns from Aladdin’s three friends, Zach Bencal as Babkak, Ben Chavez as Omar, and Colt Pratts as Kassim. With some terrific choreography and a colorfully designed world thanks to Natasha Katz’s lighting, Bob Crowley’s sets, and Gregg Barnes’ costumes (which I still have no idea how they weren’t even Tony nominated a few years ago), this stage adaptation proves to be a worthy companion to the animated classic. The show not only makes for a great night out for families, but also a great date night for romantic couples who grew up on the cartoon. Great musical comedy, outstanding production numbers, and some impressive stage craft (which includes a stunning flying carpet sequence in ‘A Whole New World’), I think audiences of all ages should definitely find enjoyment in Aladdin.October 9, 2019 at 7:42 pm #1203130186
Come From Away will launch a tour in China beginning next May. http://www.playbill.com/article/come-from-away-will-tour-china-in-2020October 10, 2019 at 9:28 am #1203130810
Casting has been announced for a new nonunion national tour of Waitress.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Bailey-McCall-to-Lead-WAITRESS-on-Tour-Full-New-Cast-20191010October 13, 2019 at 10:49 am #1203134514
Casting has been announced for the second leg of the national tour of The Play That Goes Wrong. http://www.playbill.com/article/the-play-that-goes-wrong-extends-tour-and-finds-new-castOctober 16, 2019 at 7:55 pm #1203140480
Tony nominee Maria Dizzia will star in the Los Angeles and Chicago tour stops of What The Constitution Means To Me alongside original Broadway cast members Mike Iveson and Rosdely Ciprian. http://www.playbill.com/article/tony-nominee-maria-dizzia-to-star-in-what-the-constitution-means-to-me-in-la-and-chicagoOctober 20, 2019 at 6:44 pm #1203145263
Casting has been announced for this year’s national tour of A Christmas Story, which kicks off in Sacramento on November 8. http://www.playbill.com/article/cast-set-for-national-tour-of-benj-pasek-and-justin-pauls-a-christmas-story-musicalOctober 21, 2019 at 8:27 am #1203145703
Disney Theatrical Productions will be launching a newly-configured national tour of Aladdin in the fall of 2021, which will allow the show to play in cities and venues which couldn’t previously accommodate the production.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/ALADDIN-Will-Launch-Newly-Configured-National-Tour-in-2021-20191021October 23, 2019 at 10:25 am #1203149177
Complete casting has been announced for the upcoming national tour of My Fair Lady. Which includes Adam Grupper as Alfred P. Doolittle, Leslie Alexander as Mrs. Higgins, Kevin Pariseau as Colonel Pickering, Sam Simahk as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Gayton Scott as Mrs. Pearce, and Wade McCollum as Zoltan Karpathy.
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