Broadway Shutdown Extended Through May 2021

(photo: Ludovic Bertron/FlickrCC license)

The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, announced on Friday that all 41 Broadway theaters will remain closed through May 30, 2021. Devastating news, not only for the theatre community but the economy of New York City.

Earlier this year, on March 12, the League shut down all shows in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. According to a statement from the League, 31 productions were running at that time, including 8 new shows in previews. Additionally, 8 productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.

The initial shutdown was to last just a month through April 12. But the reopening date has been rescheduled multiple times. The most recent announcement led hopeful theatre artists and audiences to believe the marquee lights would light up again in a staggered fashion beginning January 3, 2021.

Theatre producers who had planned to begin performances, like the highly-anticipated revival of The Music Manstarring 2 two-time Tony Award winners Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster as well as revivals of plays including Take Me Out and American Buffalo, will all need to reshuffle their schedules.

Playbill reports The Music Man has already moved its first preview performance to December 20, 2021.

The New York Times reports that a bio-musical about the life and career of Michael Jackson, titled MJ The Musical, which was set to premiere this summer, then moved to Spring 2021, has now been rescheduled to next fall.

Some productions, like Disney’s Frozen, have announced they will not reopen at all when the coast is finally clear. A new play by Martin McDonagh called Hangmen, and a revival of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which were both in previews at the time of the shutdown, have suffered a similar fate.

The shutdown doesn’t just affect the actors, stage crew, musicians, box office, and production staffers. The ripple effect of closing down Broadway has an enormous impact on local restaurants and hotels that welcome guests from out of town eager to see a Broadway show.

According to the Times, in 2019, the industry’s theaters drew 14.6 million theatergoers and sold $1.8 billion worth of tickets. With theaters open less than 3 months this year, the annual grosses will be just a fraction of that.

Television and film production has begun to ramp back up with safety protocols in place. But Broadway theaters can be small, cramped spaces to work in even when there’s no virus to worry about. And the high cost of overhead for shows makes operating with reduced audience capacity a nonstarter.

Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, released a statement which read, in part:

“Today the Broadway League made the difficult but responsible decision to put the safety and health of their workers and audience first,” said Mary McColl, executive director for Actors’ Equity Association. “This is a deeply painful time for everyone who depends on the arts for their livelihood.”

“We are at this moment because, seven months into the pandemic, our nation still lacks a coherent national strategy for masks and testing which could help bring the virus under control,” she added. “Too many in the industry need help now as we face another six months without work. The ongoing lack of work in the arts means we face a critical need for federal COBRA health insurance subsidies, renewed federal unemployment benefits, and arts funding. Washington must act.”

New Trailer For Hugh Jackman’s “The Greatest Showman”

Inspired by the creative genius of P.T. Barnum, Hugh Jackman’s upcoming The Greatest Showman looks to be the next great movie musical.

The film tells the tale of Barnum who rose to worldwide fame with nothing but drive and a vision of entertainment never before imagined.

Directed by Michael Gracey, the film’s A-list cast includes Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson. The score of original songs was penned by La La Land Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

The Greatest Showman arrives in theaters December 20. Watch the new trailer below.

News Round-Up: June 28, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news stories you may have missed:

• I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the “dude and dog” days of summer. See what I did there…?

• Britney Spears is pissed off people don’t think she sings live in her concerts. Honey, shush…

Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson was ejected from a Department of Justice LGBT Pride event saying the event was closed to the media. Similar events were open to press throughout the Obama administration.

• Netflix is currently developing a 10-episode sequel of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City with original 1993 series stars Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis set to star.

• A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows 63% of Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill, while only 16% approve.

• Check out this thrilling new trailer for the upcoming Hugh Jackman musical flick, The Greatest Showman, due in theaters this December 25. Also starring in the original musical are Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. The original score features songs by the Academy Award winning lyricists of La La Land.  I expect the featured song, “This Is Me,” to take off as a new anthem for everyone who finds pride in who they are.

TBT: Hugh Jackman Got Footage Of His Penis At “Wolverine” Wrap Party

Hugh Jackman’s latest movie, Logan, is still raking in the cash at the box office having grossed $525 million worldwide thus far.

The film has the trilogy’s first R rating, but according to a 2009 Jackman interview with Howard Stern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine might have gotten there first if not for some digital blurring.

In the interview, Stern asks Jackman if he has any issues appearing nude on film. Jackman indicated “no” saying he was offered coverage, but the movie set was “just like college.”

Jackman went through shooting scenes fully naked which were eventually addressed by digital magic. Obviously, none of the full frontal footage made it into the film.

But, at the wrap party, Jackman got a surprise gift from the crew.

“When we finished the film, my wrap gift from the director [Gavin Hood] was a bag which had all the film cut off with my dick in it, ” Jackman said. “So, I got frames of film, and I am looking, going, ‘OK, hello!'”

Of course, Stern being Stern, he had to ask about hunky Hugh’s endowment. Said Jackman, “It’s pretty good, I think. I’m fine.”


Hugh Jackman Gives Good Sound In Post-Production

Ah, the sexy magic of movie making.

Here’s an inside look at how seemingly simple scenes – super-heroic running through the forest – have to be pieced and parsed together. Sound sessions like this are a regular part of the process, especially in action films.

Along the way, we get to hear ever handsome Hugh Jackman, grunt, growl and snarl and howl as he drops in sound for the newly released “Wolverine” flick, Logan.

Now, with all that ferocity, imagine what he sounds like on a hot Saturday night 😉

(h/t Boy Culture)

Hugh Jackman’s LOGAN Is A Beast At Box Office – $85.3 Million

Logan, touted as the final Hugh Jackman/”Wolervine” movie was a beast at the box office this weekend raking in an estimated $85.3 million, according to Exhibitor Relations, setting the record for the biggest-ever R-rated opening weekend at the box office in March.

The previous record-holder, 300, opened at $70.8 million back in 2007.

Scoring a super-heroic 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences and critics gushed over the seriousness and long-awaited violence that suited the comic character.

Synopsis: Set in the future of 2024, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation lead by Nathaniel Essex is destroying the world leaving it to destruction, with Logan’s healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier’s Alzheimer’s forcing him to forget. Logan must defeat Nathaniel Essex with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney, a female clone of Wolverine.

Broadway: Gypsy Of The Year 2014 Raises Over $5.2 Million

Via Broadway Cares: The 26th annual edition of Gypsy of the Year raised a record-breaking $5,229,611 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS thanks to six weeks of fundraising by 64 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies.

The grand total was announced Tuesday, December 9, 2014, by special guests Hugh Jackman, Nathan Lane and Judith Light after two stellar performances of original dances, songs and skits by more than 200 “gypsies” from Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

Since 1989, the 26 editions of Gypsy of the Year (#gypsyoftheyear) have raised $62.4 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The previous record high for Gypsy of the Year fundraising was $4,895,253 set in 2011.

This year’s top overall fundraiser was The River, which stars Jackman and raised $549,725. During the fund-raising period, Jackman literally sold the sweat-stained shirt off his back for charity.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Gypsy of the Year 2014 Highlights from Broadway Cares on Vimeo.

Hugh Jackman Sells The Shirt Off His Back For Charity

Hugh Jackman counts the pushups to raise funds on Broadway for BC/EFA

It looks like the fund-raising after-show at Broadway’s The River starring Hugh Jackman is as entertaining as the performance itself.

From my friend Tom Viola’s Facebook page:

Last night at THE RIVER, in addition to Hugh Jackman auctioning his shirt (for $6,000 twice), posing for photos backstage (5 x $2,000) and leading his delightful company in raising a few more thousand in $100 poster sales and red bucket donations – as if that is wonderful in itself, something else occurred.

Inviting two of his gym buddies – aka “the Dog Pound” up-onstage, he challenged them to doing push-ups on his count, pledging to donate $50 to BC/EFA for each one. 50 push-ups later, Hugh is making a personal $2,500 donation to Broadway Cares and about 700 folks at Circle in the Square had the time of their lives. Thank you, Hugh! Thanks to all at THE RIVER!! (And I’m thinking the gentleman who quickly removed his shirt is a shoe-in for BROADWAY BARES.

All of this is for the annual Gypsy of the Year fund raising campaign happening on Broadway right now. Tom Viola and the entire team at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS do amazing work. If you make charitable donations during the holidays, please consider BC/EFA. I’ve spent decades helping them raise funds for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Hugh Jackman shaves his head

Hugh Jackman shaves his head in anticipation of his next role as Blackbeard in the upcoming film PAN.

Some folks wondered about Hugh Jackman’s fully grown beard he was sporting during the Tony Awards Sunday night.

Well, now, transformation continues.

Posted to his Instagram account: “Blackbeard is born. #PAN”

In the pic, Jackman shows off his newly shaved head in anticipation for the upcoming Pan – a remake of Peter Pan, which is set for a July 17, 2015 release.

Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana and Anthony LaPaglia guest in new Chantoozies music video

The Chantoozies

The ladies of the 80s/90s Australian pop group The Chantoozies recently went back into the studio to record their first single in years – “Baby It’s You” now available on iTunes.

and called some famous friends to help out with the music video.

Fellow Aussies Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana and Anthony LaPaglia guest in the music video to provide some hunky Oz support, and they make a pretty formidable “dream band” for the ladies.

Catch the new music video below:

Hugh Jackman “air guitars” it

Eric Bana rocks the drums

Anthony LaPaglia plays the keys