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Photo // Matthew Murphy
Cyndi, had you ever had ambitions to write for Broadway? How did this all come about?
Cyndi Lauper: Never. I got a phone call from my buddy over here [indicates to Harvey Fierstein]. I had wanted to do this story. You know how one thing leads to another – I did an album and I chose all these old songs from when I was growing up. Where I grew up was very influential for the rest of my life because of the people, and it was one of those places with the backyards with the gates where you could just look down there and see everybody else in the backyard. There was a lot of people who were characters. I had gone to see Harvey to help me write it, and have him actually write it and he was doing Hairspray. I remember because he said:
“I gotta eat pasta, I »
- Paul Heath
Pop icon Cyndi Lauper teamed up with author and actor Harvey Fierstein (who you may recognise from Mrs. Doubtfire) to bring the story of Kinky Boots to the West End stage. Lauper was on songwriting duty, and Fierstein wrote the book of musical, and we had the immense pleasure of sitting down with the charismatic
- Stefan Pape
Kinky Boots is the latest in a long list of movies to be adapted for the stage. In the past couple of years alone we’ve seen stage versions of The Bodyguard, Ghost, Dirty Dancing, Billy Elliot, The Full Monty and many more appear in the West End. Now, courtesy of Broadway legend Harvey Fierstein, and the equally legendary Cyndi Lauper, who provides the music and lyrics, Kinky Boots, a production based on the break-out 2005 British movie of the same name, has hit the capital.
Rather than favouring a simplistic approach by using previously recorded material, Lauper goes the same route as Elton John with the aforementioned Billy Elliot, by creating an original soundtrack that goes along perfectly with Fierstein’s superbly written book.
Kinky Boots theatre review // Photo »
- Paul Heath
Kinky Boots London
Starting its preview run at the Adelphi Theatre in London from this Friday, 21st August is the new musical Kinky Boots, and to tie in with that, we have an exclusive look behind-the-scenes at rehearsals for the show in a brand new featurette.
Watch the Kinky Boots London rehearsal footage below.
Kinky Boots: The Musical which music and lyrics by Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winner Cyndi Lauper and a book by legendary Tony-winner Harvey Fierstein, has already had a hugely successful run on Broadway, where it opened in 2013. Transferring to the West End this year, the UK production stars Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry in the two leads as Charlie and Lola respectively, with other cast members including Amy Lennox as Lauren, Amy Ross as Nicola, Jamie Baughan as Don, and Michael Hobbs as George.
- Paul Heath
Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have been added to the cast of NBC’s upcoming holiday musical production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3. Kenny Leon will direct, with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material. Queen Latifah stars as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm. Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have been added to the cast of NBC’s upcoming holiday musical production of “The Wiz Live!,” set for Thursday, Dec. 3. Kenny Leon will direct, with Harvey Fierstein providing new written material. Queen Latifah stars as the Wiz, the mysterious and powerful wizard who holds the keys to the Emerald City, but whose metamorphosis from ordinary to extraordinary is itself a hoax. She rose to her lofty position after being transported by accident to Oz in a hot air balloon during a snowstorm. Mary J. Blige will play Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West, who holds sway over the Winkies and the Winged Monkeys that do her bidding. She captures Dorothy and her friends to avenge the unintentional murder of her evil sister, Evvamean, and to get back the powerful silver slippers given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North. This »
- Tambay A. Obenson
NBC's live The Wiz has enlisted some musical heavy-hitters. Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige have joined the cast of the live musical, producers announced Tuesday. NBC's The Wiz, set for Thursday, Dec. 3, will again be executive produced by Sound of Music and Peter Pan duo Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, with Tony-winning director Kenny Leon attached to direct both the live event as well as the Broadway revival in 2016-17. Tony winner and Broadway icon Harvey Fierstein will contribute new material to the original book by William F. Brown and work alongside Zadan, Meron and Leon. Latifah will portray the Wiz, while Blige is on board as Evillene, the
- Lesley Goldberg
Activist David Mixner stood alone on a theater stage in Los Angeles at the start of this year’s Gay Pride Month, sharing his memories with an audience of friends, political figures and a smattering of celebrities, about the time Ronald Reagan saw the light.
It was 1978, and aides to Reagan, who was on the cusp of launching his presidential campaign, believed he was ready to endorse a California initiative to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in the state’s classrooms, a ballot proposition inspired by the anti-gay crusades of singer Anita Bryant.
Mixner remembered when he and fellow activist Peter Scott landed a secret meeting with Reagan, who was exceedingly charming and willing to listen. Mixner warned the soon-to-be candidate that the initiative would create anarchy: Students could retaliate for a bad grade by accusing their teachers of being gay.
Reagan didn’t immediately reveal what he was going to do, »
- Ted Johnson and Brent Lang
Laverne Cox gave thousands of spectators an eyeful during Sunday’s Broadway Bares fundraiser in New York City, wearing nothing more than nipple pasties and a black corset. The “Orange Is the New Black” star wowed the audience with a sexy routine designed to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS as part of its annual striptease fundraising gala. Cox joined “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bianca Del Rio, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, two-time Tony winner Judith Light, Olivier Award winner Lesli Margherita and two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber and more than 100 of »
- Itay Hod
Three performers -- Alex Sharp, Richard McCabe and Ruthie Ann Miles -- won Tony Awards for their Broadway debut. These victories put them in a freshman club that now has 90 members. -Break- Sharp, who won for his portrayal of socially awkward genius Christopher Boone in "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," is the fifteenth Best Actor (Play) champ to take home the trophy for his first time on Broadway. He joins: Paul Scofield for "A Man for All Seasons" (1962); Cliff Gorman for "Lenny" (1972); John Kani and Winston Ntshona (joint nomination) for "Sizwe Banzi is Dead/The Island" (1975); Tom Conti for "Whose Life is it Anyway?" (1979); Harvey Fierstein for "Torch Song Trilogy" (1983); Jeremy Irons for "The Real Thing" (1984); Ralph Fiennes for "Hamlet" (1995); Stephen Dillane for "The Real Thing" (2000); Jefferson Mays for "I Am My Own W..." »
Manuel is working his way through all the Lgbt-themed films & miniseries produced and distributed by HBO.
Last week we looked at the quietly touching film Tidy Endings (1988), written and starring Harvey Fierstein and a must-see for Stockard Channing completists. We’re not going far this week, since much of HBO’s early Lgbt output tried to grapple with the AIDS epidemic that had dominated the cultural conversation about gay men in the 1980s.
Did you know that films produced by HBO have won over 20 Oscars? This past year alone, HBO dominated both documentary categories with Citizenfour and Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 emerging victorious. It has been a stealth awards run which Sheila Nevins (currently the president of HBO Documentary Films but her involvement stretches back to 1979) has all but nurtured herself.
- Manuel Betancourt
As it closes in on its second consecutive season-long victory in the key adult 18-49 demographic, NBC unveils a new 2015-16 primetime schedule that combines popular returning series, edge-of-your-seat new dramas, inventive new comedies and season nine of the Emmy Award-winning musical competition series The Voice. NBC is on track to win the traditional September-to-May primetime season in adults 18-49 for the second year in a row after having gone the prior 10 years without an 18-49 win. Through 32 completed weeks of the season, NBC also ranks #1 or tied for #1 among the Big 4 networks in adults and men 18-34 and men and women 18-49.
In total viewers, NBC is running #2 for the season and within 7% of its year-ago Olympics-boosted average (8.8 million vs. 9.5 million), making this season and last NBC's two top-scoring seasons in total viewers since 2006-07. NBC has won the last three November sweeps in adults 18-49, as well as »
Get ready to travel back to Oz, everybody! NBC announced yesterday that the next musical project that executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who were behind the network’s live versions of The Sound of Music and Peter Pan, will tackle will be The Wiz. Like both Sound of Music and Peter Pan, The Wiz will air this December (Dec. 3, to be exact); however, this time, Zadan and Meron won’t be putting on the show alone. Instead, the duo will work together with Cirque du Soleil on NBC’s version of The Wiz, and following the Dec. 3 debut of the musical, Cirque’s new stage theatrical division will then present The Wiz as a major Broadway revival for the 2016-17 season. Tony-winning director Kenny Leon will stage both the TV production and Broadway revival of The Wiz, collaborating with another Tony winner, Harvey Fierstein, who will compose new »
- Chris King
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