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Spring Awakening Writers Working On New Alice In Wonderland Musical!

Filed under: Music MinuteBroadway Babies

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Another re-interpretation of this story?

Granted, if anyone can make it work, it's them!

Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, who are the authors behind the Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening, are currently workshopping a brand new show at London's National Theatre called Alice By Heart, which is inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland!

Sater explains of the piece, which was commisioned by the group's Connections program:

"It's about how to leave childhood behind and the challenge and struggle in that."

He goes on to say that the show will add a heightened sense of urgency and danger to the material, and will employ ensemble storytelling to explore "themes of grief and loss."

With the script and score expected to be completed in July, there will be a workshop presentation in the UK in November. Through the Connections program, 30 youth theatres will then get the chance to stage the show in February of 2012, and representatives from the National will attend them, and the best one will get to perform their version at the National Theatre the following summer!

What a wonderful opportunity for so many! We have a feeling that with this much talent going into it all, the show will have no problem getting picked up for a professional run in London or on Broadway!

Best of luck to everyone involved!

We can't wait to see how it turns out!

[Image via WENN.]

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New Details On American Psycho: The Musical

american psycho musical on its way

Back in February, we learned that a Broadway musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' novel American Psycho was in the works, with music and lyrics by Spring Awakening's Duncan Sheik, and a script by Big Love's Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

Now that progress is underway on the musical, Sheik and Aguirre-Sacasa have decided to let the world in on new details about the project.

Here's Duncan Sheik on American Psycho's music:

"Think about Malcolm McDowell singing songs during A Clockwork Orange. He sang Singing in the Rain."

And here's Sheik on the play's target audience:

"Obviously, it's not for the people who want to see Elf."

LOLs. Here's what playwright Aguirre-Sacasa had to say about the project:

"There are murders, and they are on stage in full view of the audience. An ax and a chef's knife will be used. I think there's going to be a lot of blood."

And for those of you Ellis fans out there who loved the book, here are some scenes from the novel that the playwright hopes to include:

- Bateman lures business associate Paul Owen back to his Manhattan apartment. Bateman puts on a raincoat so his designer suit doesn't get bloody and hacks up Owen with an ax.

- He bumps into "Tom Cruise" in the elevator of the Upper West Side building where they both live. Bateman refers to Cruise's film Cocktail as Bartender. Cruise corrects him and points out that his nose is bleeding.

- Bateman and his yuppie friends compare business cards at a swanky Upper East Side restaurant. Noting his peers' classier cards, Bateman becomes so jealous he finds it hard to breathe.

We're liking what we're hearing, but we'd STILL like to see Jared Leto come back and sing while his character from the film version gets axed to death!

Are U excited for American Psycho: The Musical?

[Image via WENN.]

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This Is Why We Love Cheno!

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After Newsweek's appalling article written by Ramin Setoodeh, that stated that gay actors can't pull off playing heterosexual, gay ally and all-around talented amazingness Kristin Chenoweth has commented on how "horrendously homophobic" the article was, saying:

As a longtime fan of Newsweek and as the actress currently starring opposite the incredibly talented (and sexy!) Sean Hayes in the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises, I was shocked on many levels to see Newsweek publishing Ramin Setoodeh’s horrendously homophobic 'Straight Jacket,' which argues that gay actors are simply unfit to play straight. From where I stand, on stage, with Hayes, every night — I’ve observed nothing 'wooden' or 'weird' in his performance, nor have I noticed the seemingly unwieldy presence of a 'pink elephant' in the Broadway Theater. (The Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Tony members must have also missed that large animal when nominating Hayes’ performance for its highest honors this year.)

I’d normally keep silent on such matters and write such small-minded viewpoints off as perhaps a blip in common sense. But the offense I take to this article, and your decision to publish it, is not really even related to my profession or my work with Hayes or Jonathan Groff (also singled out in the article as too 'queeny' to play 'straight.')

This article offends me because I am a human being, a woman and a Christian. For example, there was a time when Jewish actors had to change their names because anti-Semites thought no Jew could convincingly play Gentile. Setoodeh even goes so far as to justify his knee-jerk homophobic reaction to gay actors by accepting and endorsing that 'as viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker room torture in junior high school.' Really? We want to maintain and proliferate the same kind of bullying that makes children cry and in some recent cases have even taken their own lives? That’s so sad, Newsweek! The examples he provides (what scientists call 'selection bias') to prove his 'gays can’t play straight' hypothesis are sloppy in my opinion. Come on now!

Openly gay Groff is too 'queeny' to play Lea Michelle’s boyfriend in GLEE, but is a 'heartthrob' when he does it in Spring Awakening? Cynthia Nixon only 'got away with it' ’cause she peaked before coming out? I don’t know if you’ve missed the giant Sex and the City movie posters, but it seems most of America is 'buying it.' I could go on, but I assume these will be taken care of in your 'Corrections' this week.

Similarly, thousands of people have traveled from all over the world to enjoy Hayes’ performance and don’t seem to have one single issue with his sexuality! They have no problem buying him as a love-torn heterosexual man. Audiences aren’t giving a darn about who a person is sleeping with or his personal life. Give me a break! We’re actors first, whether we’re playing prostitutes, baseball players, or the Lion King. Audiences come to theater to go on a journey. It’s a character and it’s called acting, and I’d put Hayes and his brilliance up there with some of the greatest actors period.

Lastly, as someone who’s been proudly advocating for equal rights and supporting GLBT causes for as long as I can remember, I know how much it means to young people struggling with their sexuality to see out & proud actors like Sean Hayes, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris and Cynthia Nixon succeeding in their work without having to keep their sexuality a secret. No one needs to see a bigoted, factually inaccurate article that tells people who deviate from heterosexual norms that they can’t be open about who they are and still achieve their dreams. I am told on good authority that Mr. Setoodeh is a gay man himself and I would hope, as the author of this article, he would at least understand that. I encourage Newsweek to embrace stories which promote acceptance, love, unity and singing and dancing for all!

We couldn't have said it better ourselves!! We love, love, LOVE Cheno!

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Dear Newsweek Magazine, THIS SUCKS!

Absolutely disgusting.

Ramin Setoodeh wrote possibly one of the most ignorant articles of all time for Newsweek Magazine, asserting that although straight men can play homosexual parts flawlessly, it doesn't work when gay people play heterosexual.

WTF kind of logic is that?!

Oh, we're sorry, are straight people just innately better performers than gays?? Or are straight people just so emotionally complex and superior that they can easily inhabit the role of a simple, caricature-like homosexual?

Here are some of infuriating gems published:

It's weird seeing Sean Hayes play straight. He comes off as wooden and insincere, like he's trying to hide something, which of course he is. Even the play's most hilarious scene, when Chuck tries to pick up a drunk woman at a bar, devolves into unintentional camp. Is it funny because of all the '60s-era one-liners, or because the woman is so drunk (and clueless) that she agrees to go home with a guy we all know is gay?

But the truth is, openly gay actors still have reason to be scared. While it's OK for straight actors to play gay (as Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger did in Brokeback Mountain), it's rare for someone to pull off the trick in reverse. De Rossi and Harris do that on TV, but they also inhabit broad caricatures, not realistic characters likes the ones in Up in the Air or even The Proposal.

As viewers, we are molded by a society obsessed with dissecting sexuality, starting with the locker-room torture in junior high school. Which is why it's a little hard to know what to make of the latest fabulous player to join Glee: Jonathan Groff, the openly gay Broadway star. In Spring Awakening, he showed us that he was a knockout singer and a heartthrob. But on TV, as the shifty glee captain from another school who steals Rachel's heart, there's something about his performance that feels off. In half his scenes, he scowls—is that a substitute for being straight? When he smiles or giggles, he seems more like your average theater queen, a better romantic match for Kurt than Rachel. It doesn't help that he tried to bed his girlfriend while singing (and writhing to) Madonna's Like a Virgin. He is so distracting, I'm starting to wonder if Groff's character on the show is supposed to be secretly gay.

Lesbian actresses might have it easier—since straight men think it's OK for them to kiss a girl and like it—but how many of them can you name? Cynthia Nixon was married to a man when she originated Miranda on Sex and the City. Kelly McGillis was straight when she steamed up Top Gun's sheets, and Anne Heche went back to dating men (including her Men in Trees costar). If an actor of the stature of George Clooney came out of the closet tomorrow, would we still accept him as a heterosexual leading man? It's hard to say. Or maybe not. Doesn't it mean something that no openly gay actor like that exists?

Or maybe, and call us a little crazy here, MAYBE it's because ignorant articles such as this are still being published, that perpetuate this kind of bigotry and ignorance that keep closeted gay leading men in the closet!

Unbelievable.

Shame on you, Newsweek!

Thoughts??

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