Emma Thompson sealed her place as a star of the New York stage by making her debut in a concert version of Sweeney Todd on Wednesday night (05Mar14). The British actress plays notorious pie-maker Mrs. Lovett in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra's version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, which opened at Avery Fisher Hall in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Thompson appears opposite Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel in the title role, and she has won over the critics with her performance.
The New York Daily News' theatre reviewer Joe Dziemianowicz insists Thompson "stole the show" and praises her "robust singing voice" and "plenty of comic chops".
Roger Friedman of Showbiz411.com also hails Thompson's star turn, writing, "I'd have paid double last night and would pay it again to see Emma Thompson... Thompson lets loose as crazy, happy, lovelorn pie baking Mrs. Lovett. If only Thompson would come to Broadway in this! She wouldn't need to campaign to get a Tony Award."
The show's opening night also featured an uncredited surprise appearance from actress/singer Audra McDonald, and garnered a star-studded audience, with attendees including Meryl Streep, Neil Patrick Harris and Sweeney Todd's composer Stephen Sondheim, who was brought up onto the stage to take a bow during the curtain call.
The production runs until Saturday (08Mar14) and will be broadcast on America's PBS network at a later date.
"Carrie Underwood is the Julie Andrews of country music," said no one ever.
Yet, NBC is building an entire live concert special around that idea. Sound of Music, Live! (yes, the exclamation point is a part of the official title) will air — live — on Dec. 5 at 8PM ET. The bizarre casting choices continue, as Stephen Moyer of True Blood steps into Captain Von Trapp's uniform. The three-hour event is brought to us by the producers of Smash, the network's last big-budget musical disaster. And it's only got to live up to a classic, beloved movie musical that's a part of family traditions all over the world. So, trainwreck conditions are looking pretty good.
Camp levels will be high, so Sound of Music, Live! is prime for a good old fashioned hate-watch. If you're planning on taking one for the team, here are some steps for getting the most out of it.
Step 1: Call Your Snarkiest Friend(s)The more (and the more sarcastic) the merrier. Also, double-check your WiFi connection so you can live-tweet with all your social media buddies.
Step 2: Pick Your PoisonWhiskey, vodka, red wine, eggnog. ("These are a few of my favorite things...") Pick one and define the rules of your drinking game. We'll get you started: drink anytime Underwood belts the crap out of a song that isn't meant to be belted. Christopher Plummer claims to have gotten blisteringly drunk every night of filming the original, so think of this as a tribute.
Step 3: Silently Hope the Captain Takes His Shirt Off in This VersionBecause otherwise, why?
Step 4: Spend Commercial Breaks YouTube-ing the Supporting Cast's Broadway Greatest HitsAsk your showtune nerd friends for tips if you must. But Laura Benanti, Christian Borle, and Audra McDonald are all treasures and deserve better than this.
Step 5: Take Bets on the Next Holiday Classic to Be ButcheredJustin Bieber as Hermey in a live-action remake of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer? We know his hair can do the thing.
The Oscar nominee was joined by her Les Miserables co-star Eddie Redmayne for the fundraising gig, Perfectly Marvelous: The Songs of Cabaret with Anne Hathaway and Friends, at Joe's Pub in New York City.
Broadway veterans Audra McDonald, Harvey Fierstein, Raul Esparza and Linda Lavin were also billed to perform alongside Hathaway for the concert, which was directed by Tony Award winner, Ted Sperling.
The stars gathered to raise money for the revitalisation of The Public Theater, an arts organisation based in the Big Apple.
In a statement, Hathaway said, "I am delighted to reunite with The Public for this special night to celebrate the theater's rededication, and support its mission to spread great theater to all the people of New York (tourists are welcome, too)."
("See What I Wanna See" "Stars & Moon" "Beat My Dog" "Bill" "Someone to Watch Over Me" "So Many People" "A Little Bit in Love" "I Won't Mind" "Come Down From the Tree" "The Man That Got Away" "Some Days")