All stories by Paul Wontorek on BroadwayStars

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Michael Friedman, Composer of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and More, Dies at 41 by Paul Wontorek

Michael Friedman, the rising young musical theater composer and lyricist, died at age 41 on September 9. According to a press release from the Public Theater, where he often worked, the caus…

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Fall Preview 2017: 33 Top Show Picks for Theater Fans This Fall by Paul Wontorek

Bummed that summer is over? Don’t be! In rehearsal rooms all around Manhattan, some of the most innovative theater artists in the world are prepping a fall season filled with hilarious…

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Rise and Reboot of Broadway's Beloved Once on This Island by Paul Wontorek

The 2017-2018 theater season has officially begun, and a slew of highly anticipated musicals and plays, both brand new and revisited, are set to bow.'s Fall Preview series c…

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lortel Awards Host Taran Killam on Being a Theater Nerd, Plans to Reign Again in Hamilton and Love for Little Shop's Ellen Greene by Paul Wontorek

After turning in delicious performances as King George in Hamilton and Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. in the 2015 Little Shop of Horrors at City Center, Taran Killam has officially made the leap fro…

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Back on the Case! Nick & Nora Stars Barry Bostwick & Joanna Gleason on Bringing Their Flop Pride to 54 Below by Paul Wontorek

It started as the hottest new musical of the 1991-1992 season. An a-list creative team with shows like West Side Story, Gypsy, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie and Miss Saigon under their belts bringin…

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Glass Menagerie Stunner Madison Ferris on Bad Audition Tapes, Nude Paintings and Getting Distracted by Daniel Craig by Paul Wontorek

Only 25, Madison Ferris is making theatergoers sit up and take notice. Most obviously, the Broadway newbie who is playing Laura opposite Sally Field’s Amanda in The Glass Menagerie has…

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Showtune Showdown! Thirteen Musicals Duke It Out for Tony Nominations in Historically Competitive Year by Paul Wontorek

Nobody does musicals like Broadway. Every Broadway season feels chock full of big-hearted, big-singing shows that all compete for that final trophy on Tony Awards night: the one engraved wit…

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

In Her Own Words: Hello, Dolly! Star Bette Midler on the Bliss and Burnout of Her Early Days on Broadway by Paul Wontorek

The world’s been waiting for entertainment icon Bette Midler to return to the Broadway musical stage for close to 50 long years. Now that the opening of Hello, Dolly!, with the incompa…

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

After Record-Breaking Opening Weekend, Beauty and the Beast to Become Most Successful Movie Musical Ever by Paul Wontorek

Disney’s big-screen remake of Beauty and the Beast is on track to become the most successful live-action movie musical of all time, raking in an estimated $170 million in its opening w…

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Broadway Bigwig: Ranking the Top 50 Musical Theater Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber by Paul Wontorek

With The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Cats and now Sunset Boulevard on the boards, Andrew Lloyd Webber has made history, tying with Rodgers and Hammerstein's record of having fo…

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Exclusive: Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford & Sunday in the Park with George Won't Compete in 2017 Tony Awards Race by Paul Wontorek

The stars and producers of this season’s musicals can breathe a sigh of relief: there’s one less horse in the 2017 Tony Awards race. Producers of the revival of Sunday in the Par…

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Finn Wittrock on Tackling Othello, Not Singing in La La Land, His ‘Magical’ Glass Menagerie Cast & More by Paul Wontorek

Since holding his own as a newcomer opposite powerhouses like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Linda Emond and Andrew Garfield in Mike Nichols’ Death of a Salesman on Broadway in 2012, Finn Wit…

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Will Ariana Grande Help Her Hairspray Live! BFF Maddie Baillio Score Her Cast Crush? by Paul Wontorek

There’s nobody more devoted to Tracy Turnblad than her gum-chewing friend Penny Pingleton and now it looks like Hairspray Live! stars Maddie Baillio and Ariana Grande are taking that B…

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Friday, November 25, 2016

Florence Henderson, Who Went from Broadway to The Brady Bunch, Dies at 82 by Paul Wontorek

Florence Henderson, the well-loved stage and TV star, has died, according to the Associated Press. She was 82. Henderson got her start on the stage, making her Broadway debut at the age of …

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

It's a Sign! Shopping for a History Lesson on the Baltimore Streets of Hairspray Live! by Paul Wontorek

When Tracy Turnblad sings and dances down the streets of Baltimore in the NBC broadcast of Hairspray Live! on December 7, viewers can see some touching tributes on the storefronts of pr…

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sarah Jessica Parker on Her ‘Most Exciting’ Annie Team-Up with Andrea McArdle for Hillary Clinton Gala by Paul Wontorek

Stage stars came together to support Hillary Clinton on October 17 at the presidential hopeful's Stronger Together concert at the St. James Theatre, a star-studded event that provided a …

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Coming Up Roses! Hollywood Resuscitating Barbra Streisand's Gypsy Film, With Oscar Winner Barry Levinson at the Helm by Paul Wontorek

A new big screen version of Gypsy starring Barbra Streisand could be back on, this time with Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bugsy) at the helm. According to Variety, STX En…

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Friday, March 11, 2016

From Borat to Bruno to Broadway! Sacha Baron Cohen Reveals Plans for The Lesbian Musical by Paul Wontorek

Sacha Baron Cohen, the Hollywood hit-maker who has shocked audiences with films like Borat, Bruno and the current The Brothers Grimsby and has shown a flair for musicals with appearances in …

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Carnegie Hall's West Side Story, Staged in a Queens Warehouse with Skylar Astin and Newcomer Morgan Hernandez, is a Musical Miracle by Paul Wontorek

There’s nothing like a multi-million dollar slick staging of a classic Broadway musical featuring the best acting talents available and the greatest creative team money can buy. Then a…

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

After Trading Broadway Fame for Family, Original Passion Star Jere Shea is Back in The Secret Garden by Paul Wontorek

Any musical theater fan who knows their Broadway history before, say, Wicked remembers Jere Shea. Ah yes, Jere Shea. That strapping actor who landed a 1994 Tony nomination for creating the r…

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Friday, February 5, 2016

And We Are Telling You! Amber Riley to Star as Effie in West End Dreamgirls by Paul Wontorek

Amber Riley has landed the coveted role of Effie White in the West End premiere of the musical sensation Dreamgirls, according to The Daily Mail. Tony winner director Casey Nicholaw, current…

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Must Watch: This is Hamilton... Mitzi Hamilton! A Chorus Line Icon Gets Her Own Hip-Hop Tribute by Paul Wontorek

Who lives? Who dies? Who tells your story? Founding father Alexander Hamilton has been honored with his own Broadway bio-musical smash thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda and now another Hamilton h…

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Married Duo Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin on Sexy Role-Playing, Getting Together for Obama and Falling in Love Nightly at Daddy Long Legs by Paul Wontorek

Two years into their marriage, Broadway vets Megan McGinnis and Adam Halpin are getting an injection of romance every night in the form of the new off-Broadway musical Daddy Long Legs. They&…

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Friday, November 6, 2015

On Your Feet! Leading Man Josh Segarra on Wearing the Shortest Short-Shorts Broadway’s Ever Seen by Paul Wontorek

No doubt, the amazing Gloria Estefan song catalogue gets the audience going at the just-opened musical On Your Feet!, but so does a certain costume piece in Act One: the super-short white sh…

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Thumbs Up! Darren Criss and His Electrifying Elsie Fest Are Exactly What Broadway Needs by Paul Wontorek

Darren Criss is exactly what today’s Broadway needs. The multimedia wonder kid—who became famous for a YouTube musical spoof of the Harry Potter franchise—is clearly the n…

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Broadway Siblings Adam Jacobs of Aladdin and Arielle Jacobs of Wicked on Topping Each Other and Making Mom Proud by Paul Wontorek

He's the dazzling stage vet whose great looks and even greater pipes served him well leading the Broadway blockbusters Les Miserables, The Lion King and now Aladdin. She's the charmi…

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Exclusive! Grease Live! Star Aaron Tveit on Why Julianne Hough Will Be the Perfect Sandy, Looking Up to John Travolta & His Big Hair Plans by Paul Wontorek

Although he’s been away from the Broadway stage for four years, Aaron Tveit is giving his fans (and trust us, there are many) a steady stream of great roles on the big and small screen…

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Lockdown! Eight Broadway Divas We'd Kill to See Behind Bars on Orange Is the New Black by Paul Wontorek

Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black is back for its third season of girl-on-girl fun featuring a bevy of Broadway stars on lockdown. In fact, the new batch of episodes even includes juic…

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Monday, May 25, 2015

It's All About Popular: Five Kristin Chenoweth Videos We Can't Live Without by Paul Wontorek

If you want to get through a rainy day, search for "Kristin Chenoweth" on YouTube. There are endless videos of Broadway's golden girl: winning awards, yapping it up with the top talk show ho…

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Matt Cavenaugh & Jenny Powers Kickstart Debut CD with $15K in Friend & Fan Funding by Paul Wontorek

Five weeks ago, married Broadway stars Matt Cavenaugh and Jenny Power had a dream of making an album of romantic songs together. Today they have $15,827, raised from 147 friends, family memb…

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What's Up, Kathy Griffin? The Comedy Queen on Dishing Dirt and Going Broadway by Paul Wontorek

Former D-Lister Kathy Griffin has truly hit the big time with her new Broadway stand-up show, Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony. Hot off a very public feud with Sarah Palin and perfect for a world …

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