Bullets Over Broadway (musical)
|Bullets Over Broadway the Musical|
2014 Broadway Playbill
|Basis||Bullets Over Broadway |
by Woody Allen
2015 US Tour
Bullets Over Broadway the Musical is a jukebox musical written by Woody Allen, based on his and Douglas McGrath's film Bullets over Broadway about a young playwright whose first Broadway play is financed by a gangster. The score consists of jazz and popular standards of the years between World War I and about 1930 by various songwriters. It received its premiere on Broadway, in 2014, at the St. James Theatre, and closed on August 24, 2014 after over a hundred performances.
Bullets Over Broadway the Musical premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on March 11, 2014 in previews, officially opening on April 10, 2014. Directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, the cast features Marin Mazzie (as Helen Sinclair), Zach Braff (as David Shayne), Nick Cordero (as Cheech), Karen Ziemba (as Eden Brent), Vincent Pastore (as Nick Valenti), and Brooks Ashmanskas (as Warner Purcell). Scenic design is by Santo Loquasto, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Donald Holder, sound by Peter Hylenski, musical arrangements and supervision by Glen Kelly and orchestrations by Doug Besterman.
The musical closed on August 24, 2014, after 156 performances and 33 previews.
The first high school production in the United States opened April 28, 2017 and closed May 7, 2017 at Santa Barbara High School in Santa Barbara, Ca. It was directed by Otto Layman, with Musical Direction by Dr. Jon Nathan, Choreography by Christina McCarthy, and Costume Design by Bonnie Thor. The set was designed by Otto Layman and Jonathan Mitchell, with Lights designed by Mike Madden.
The musical is based on the 1994 film Bullets over Broadway, which had a screenplay by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath. Work on a musical version of Bullets started in 2000, with Marvin Hamlisch and Craig Carnelia writing the music and Allen writing the book. In 2003, Hamlisch confirmed that work on the musical was proceeding.
In an interview on the opening night of the musical in April 2014, Allen said that he had resisted turning the film into a musical for years, having no interest in it as a musical. However, his sister Letty Aronson thought that it could be done as a period musical, and Allen then became interested. Marvin Hamlisch had played a few of the new songs for Allen, but Allen did not think they were right for the musical. His sister then proposed the idea of using songs of the 1920s, "and it suddenly came to life." Susan Stroman was brought into the creative team two years before the opening.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2014)
In 1929, playwright David Shayne is finally getting his first play God of Our Fathers produced on Broadway. The producer, Julian Marx, has enlisted the wealthy gangster Nick Valenti to pay for the show. Valenti wants to have his dim-witted and untalented girlfriend, Olive Neal, star as one of the leads. Valenti has assigned his strong-arm gangster Cheech to watch over Olive. Surprisingly, Cheech comes up with great ideas for improving the play. However, aging diva Helen Sinclair, the real star of the show, romances the younger David, who already has a girlfriend, Ellen. Meanwhile, the leading man, Warner Purcell, has his eye on Olive.
Principal roles and original cast
|David Shayne||John Cusack||Zach Braff||Michael Williams|
|Helen Sinclair||Dianne Wiest||Marin Mazzie||Emma Stratton|
|Warner Purcell||Jim Broadbent||Brooks Ashmanskas||Bradley Allan Zarr|
|Nick Valenti||Joe Viterelli||Vincent Pastore||Michael Corvino|
|Julian Marx||Jack Warden||Lenny Wolpe||Rick Grossman|
|Cheech||Chazz Palminteri||Nick Cordero||Jeffrey Brooks|
|Ellen||Mary-Louise Parker||Betsy Wolfe||Hannah Cruz|
|Olive Neal||Jennifer Tilly||Heléne Yorke||Jemma Jane|
|Eden Brent||Tracey Ullman||Karen Ziemba||Rachel Bahler|
According to Stagegrade, the reviews were mixed, with some praising ("fun, beautiful musical") and some panning ("charm-free") the musical. The latter especially criticized the use of existing songs rather than having an original score. They conclude that this "may be among the most polarizing shows of the current season."
Ben Brantley in his review for The New York Times, called the musical "occasionally funny but mostly just loud." Elysa Gardner, in her review for USA Today, commented that the musical has "playful wit and exuberance" and wrote that "'Bullets' offers as much sheer, shameless fun as any show you'll see this season."
Alexis Soloski, reviewing for The Guardian, praised the way Stroman tells the plot through her choreography and especially noted the staging for Ashmanskas ("lumbering jetés"), Yorke ("brassy thrusts') and the tap numbers for the male ensemble. However, she found that the songs were not well integrated into the story.
Awards and nominations
Original Broadway production
- Bullets Over Broadway website
- "Woody Allen Musical Bullets Over Broadway, With Zach Braff and Marin Mazzie, Begins March 11" Archived April 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, March 11, 2014
- Gordon, David. "Reviews. Bullets Over Broadway ", theatermania.com, April 10, 2014
- Gans, Andrew and Hetrick, Adam. "Curtain Comes Down on Woody Allen Musical Bullets Over Broadway " Archived August 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, August 24, 2014
- Bullets Over Broadway Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine broadway.playhousesquare.org
- Gans, Andrew. "Stops Announced for 'Bullets Over Broadway' Tour" playbill.com, April 1, 2015
- "The backstage dramas behind Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway musical". theguardian.com. The Guardian. April 6, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- Simonson, Robert. Work Continues of Musical Version of Bullets Over Broadway " Archived December 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, July 17, 2003
- Haun, Harry. "Playbill On Opening Night: Bullets Over Broadway – Guys and Dorks" Archived May 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, playbill.com, April 11, 2014
- "Bullets Over Broadway Playbill Opening Night at St. James Theatre". playbillvault.com. Playbill Vault. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
- Chaffa, M. "Critical Snapshot" Archived May 2, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, stagegrade.com, accessed May 2, 2014
- Brantley, Ben. "Woody Allen Transforms His 'Bullets Over Broadway'", The New York Times, April 10, 2014
- Gardner, Elysa. " 'Bullets Over Broadway' a sheer, shameless good time", USA Today, April 10, 2014
- "Woody Allen musical opens with a bang". theguardian.com. The Guardian. April 11, 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2014.