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Tag: Stage/Theater (1-10 of 15)

Remembering Mike Nichols, an ever-dexterous director

Mike Nichols, a man known for his crackling wit as well as an Oscar-winning director who showed enormous versatility on stage and screen, died on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at age 83.

Nichols was born Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky in Berlin, Germany. His family fled to the United States piecemeal—his father first, followed by Nichols and his brother, then finally their mother. He spent his adolescence in New York and fell into theater while attending the University of Chicago, where he first met Elaine May after she criticized his acting in a play.

Together they formed the comedy duo Nichols and May, appearing on Broadway in 1960 in the indelible An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May. That would be the start of a storied career on the Great White Way, one that would result in eight Tony Awards. The latest came just two years ago, in 2012—more than five decades after his debut—for Nichols’ gut-punch mounting of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. READ FULL STORY

Steven Spielberg to develop 'West Side Story' for Fox? Who knows? Could be...

Fox is dusting off West Side Story, the 1961 musical that won 10 Academy Awards, based on hints that Steven Spielberg is interested in developing the property for a big-screen remake. Deadline initially reported the news, which focuses equally on the role DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snyder might play if she jumps studios, and sources familiar with the project confirm to EW that wheels are in motion to make West Side Story available for the legendary director as a possible “passion project.”

Spielberg has never made a musical, and West Side Story is one of the most acclaimed movie musicals of all time. It would be fascinating to see what the director of Saving Private Ryan and E.T. would do with the tale of a Romeo & Juliet-style forbidden love affair between a boy and a girl from rival, ethnically divided New York City street gangs. The 1961 movie, starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the star-crossed lovers, won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Director (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), Best Music, and five other categories. READ FULL STORY

'August: Osage County' trailer: Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, and more! -- VIDEO

August: Osage County (out Nov. 8) may well become the year’s fanciest movie about a trashy family. It’s based on Tracy Letts’ hours-long, Pulitizer prize-winning play (which we said was “horrifyingly, deliciously mesmerizing”) and is directed by John Wells from Letts’ adaptation. The cast is stuffed from every angle with talent: Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Julia Roberts (as the favorite daughter), and Meryl Streep (as the hated mother).

As the film’s first trailer makes clear, Osage County is a Jenga-like drama of family dysfunction, with funerals and divorces piling atop dinner-table conflicts. Roberts is weary. Streep, with a frizz of black hair, has the juiciest role in the play. Edward Sharpe plays in the background.

Is it foolish to admit I’m most excited for Juliette Lewis?


'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths dies at 65

Richard Griffiths, the versatile British actor who played the boy wizard’s unsympathetic Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter movies, has died. He was 65.

Agent Simon Beresford announced Friday that Griffiths died a day earlier of complications following heart surgery at University Hospital in Coventry, central England.

He paid tribute to Griffiths as “a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors.” READ FULL STORY

Producers prep big-screen 'Jekyll & Hyde': 'It's long overdue'

If things go according to plan, Dr. Jekyll will be undergoing one more transformation: to the silver screen.

EW has confirmed that the producers behind Jekyll & Hyde (the musical) are planning a big-screen adaptation, with a hopeful eye toward a 2014 release.

“I think it’s long overdue, a musical version if it,” said Rick Nicita, one of the show’s producers, alongside Phoenix Pictures CEO Mike Medavoy.


Barbra Streisand on 'Gypsy': What's age gotta do with it?

Barbra Streisand’s got one thing to say to anyone who thinks she might be too old to play Mamma Rose in the anticipated film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ legendary musical Gypsy: “What’s [age] got to do with anything?”

Ever since Universal announced plans last March for a Gypsy update — written by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes and co-produced and starring Streisand — some critics have drawn attention to the difference between Streisand’s age, 70, and that of the real-life woman portrayed in the musical. The Academy Award-winning actress would not only have to depict a woman who, in parts of the production, is between 30 and 40 years younger than she is, she’d have to play the mother of children who are as many as 60 years younger than she is.

Oscar-winning 'Chicago' producer Martin Richards dies

Martin Richards — or “Marty,” as those in the theater community called him — died of cancer Monday in New York City. Richards won an Academy Award in 2003 for producing that year’s Best Picture, Chicago. The Oscar was the culmination of Richards’s decades-long battle to bring that Kander and Ebb musical to movie theaters; it began in 1975, when Richards produced the show’s original Broadway production.

Of course, Chicago wasn’t Richards’s only project. The prolific stage producer — born Morton Richard Klein in the Bronx — was nominated for 10 Tony Awards throughout his career, winning for La Cage aux Folles (2004 revival), The Will Rogers Follies (1991), La Cage aux Folles (original 1983 production), and Sweeney Todd (1979). Richards also produced Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and the Gregory Peck Nazi thriller, The Boys from Brazil, as well.

Here’s a clip of Richards accepting his Oscar in 2002. Note the moment when someone from the audience reminds him to thank his wife, the late Johnson & Johnson heiress Mary Lea Johnson Richards — the voice in the crowd is Hilary Swank, who famously forgot to thank her own husband when she won her first Oscar in 2000.


'Little Shop of Horrors' as you've never seen it -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

When Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors was released in 1986, fans of the cult 1960 Roger Corman B-flick (starring a very young Jack Nicholson) and those who’d seen the off-Broadway musical were shocked to see a major change in plot at the end of the movie: the hero and heroine live! It’s that version — the Oz version — that’s endured, with Ellen Greene as flower shop girl-slash-blonde bombshell Audrey and Rick Moranis as nerdy orphan-slash-amateur botanist Seymour. The two fall in love and Seymour saves Audrey (and the world) from being eaten by the sadistic flesh-eating Audrey II…. Or does he?

The Blu-ray edition of Little Shop of Horrors, out Tuesday from Warner Bros., includes a 20-minute long director’s cut ending alongside the theatrical release. The new footage features a dark, tragic ending to the classic man buys plant, plant eats people, man gets famous tale. In this new/old version (26-year-old spoiler alert!) Audrey and Seymour are both devoured by a hungry Audrey II, who lives out his dream of taking over the world, destroying New York City with Avengers-like strength. Check out a clip of the carnage — as well as EW’s interview with Greene and Little Shop composer Alan Menken about the original ending — below:


Catching Up With... Aileen Quinn, 30 years after 'Annie'


Aileen Quinn was at a commercial audition in Los Angeles recently when the casting director approached her and said, “Okay, so Annie, you’re in the room next.” Quinn playfully called him out on it with a chiding “You did not just say that.” The man didn’t immediately realize his error, but then made a face, like, “Oops, I slipped.” It’s an honest mistake that Quinn has become accustomed to, since for a generation of moviegoers, Quinn is Annie, the adorable red-headed orphan from the 1982 movie that co-starred Albert Finney and Carol Burnett. With the film receiving a 30th anniversary Blu-ray today and a Broadway revival in the works this month, another generation of fans is due to fall in love with the show’s feisty heroine and classic music.

Quinn was only nine years old when she landed the coveted role, beating approximately 8,000 other young girls to star in director John Huston’s screen adaptation. She had been the “swing orphan” in the Broadway hit, responsible for knowing all the orphans’ roles and substituting when necessary, but when Huston introduced her on the Today show in 1981, she became the star. The film went on to become the year’s 10th biggest hit, and Quinn was contracted to make several sequels — which never came to fruition. READ FULL STORY

Channing Tatum talks 'Magic Mike' musical: 'I'm a huge fan of stage'

Save up those $1 bills: Magic Mike star (and inspiration) Channing Tatum, director Steven Soderbergh, and writer Reid Carolin are turning their stripper movie into a live stage show. The trio discussed the idea while working on Magic Mike’s script, but Tatum says he began taking it seriously thanks to his costar. “Matt Bomer started singing some of the songs while he was onstage, and he was like, ‘This would kill as a musical,’” recalls Tatum. “That cemented it for me.” READ FULL STORY

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