From a single-minded Jersey Boy to a sticky-fingered Jesus follower, we’ve learned a lot about Broadway and its residents over the past seven days. Read on below to see what we’re taking away from this eventful week on the Great White Way.
Hugh Jackman Still Has to Hustle
He’ll be playing the hunted Jean Valjean in the upcoming screen adaptation of Les Miserables, but Hugh Jackman had to go on the hunt himself to land the role, despite his status as a stage and screen A-lister. “I’m beyond excited,” he told Broadway.com, “The part of Jean Valjean is extraordinary. I chased it hard and I’m thrilled to have gotten it, so I’m going to give it my best shot.” So Hugh, what you’re saying is…you dreamed a dream?
Andy Karl’s Got Rocky on the Brain
He’s singing the hits of Garden State favorites The Four Seasons in Jersey Boys, but Andy Karl’s heart is still in Philadelphia, home of Rocky Balboa. Karl, who recently played the title boxer in a reading of a musicalized version of Rocky, took Broadway.com on a tour of his backstage digs. When he showed off his beloved dressing room speakers, they just happened to be blaring "Eye of the Tiger," the Rocky theme song. Just remember Andy, it’s all fun and games until Frankie Valli gets a black eye.
Anna Maria Perez de Tagle Has Sticky (and Sugary) Fingers
She’s all sweetness and light as a follower of Jesus (as played by Hunter Parrish) in the current revival of Godspell, but Anna Maria Perez de Tagle has something to confess: “[My castmates] call me the ‘Junk Food Thief’” she admitted, “because I’m all about candy, caffeine and getting super hyped and excited before each show.” Luckily, we’re sure her castmates turn the other cheek on her sugar stealing. Do you think they ask themselves, WWHPD: What would Hunter Parrish do?
Aaron Tveit Is Cleaning Up His Act
As charming con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. in Catch Me if You Can, Aaron Tveit spent eight shows a week eluding capture by FBI agent Carl Hanratty, played by Norbert Leo Butz. The badge is on the other lapel now, as Tveit prepares to play an FBI agent himself! In an as-yet-unnamed USA series, Tveit will play Mike Warren, an inexperienced FBI agent who moves into an undercover house in Southern California. He was beyond charming as a law-breaker, but it's about time the talented Tveit used his powers for good.
Mark Consuelos Has a Career in the Wedding Business
Though he told Broadway.com he has no plans to join his wife Kelly Ripa on Live with Regis and Kelly after co-host Regis Philbin’s departure, Mark Consuelos has another fall-back job skill on his resume: wedding officiant. The Standing on Ceremony star got ordained for pal Howard Stern’s 2008 nuptials and, though he hasn’t performed any more ceremonies, he still gets plenty of requests. “It could be a nice little side job,” he said, “A back-up plan!” Sure, Mark, if this whole hunky-actor-thing doesn’t pan out.
Newsies Will Occupy Broadway
The protesting title newsboys of Newsies will soon be taking the Broadway stage by storm. The stage musical, adapted from the 1992 cult favorite film, will be "Carrying the Banner" at the Nederlander Theatre this spring, but who will lead them there? Jeremy Jordan played Jack Kelly at Papermill Playhouse, but he’s busy starring in Bonnie & Clyde at the moment, and sadly, film star Christian Bale is a little long in the tooth. Seeking: One triple threat, revolutionary tendencies a plus.
Ruth Gottschall Wants Broadway Audiences to Hate Her
Who wants to play the practically perfect title star of Mary Poppins when you could play the meaty, merciless part of a Disney villain? Ruth Gotschall has played nasty nanny Miss Andrew in the show since it began five years ago and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “If the audience falls in love with you, that’s terrific, but if they hate you that’s even better,” she said, “It helps me think, ‘OK, I earned my paycheck this week!’” Sounds good! Just keep it on stage, Ruth.
You Don’t Have to Be a Movie Star to Make a Broadway Smash
In honor of Chicago’s 15 years on Broadway, we asked Broadway.com readers to look back at the list of insanely talented women who have played Roxie and pick their favorite. The winner, in a landslide, was Bianca Marroquin! The Broadway vet had some stiff competition from famous faces like Christie Brinkley and Gretchen Mol, not to mention original star Ann Reinking, but the talented actress walked away with 40% of the votes thanks to a dedicated fan base. Score one for Broadway babies!
Playwright Jon Robin Baitz Does Broadway For the Free Booze
Acclaimed off-Broadway playwright Jon Robin Baitz is finally making his Broadway debut with Other Desert Cities, and he’s discovered some unexpected benefits to hitting the big time. “The people at the bar in the lobby, sometimes they’ll give you a whiskey just because you wrote the play!” he admitted. “It’s fantastic. It’s like that first moment when someone upgraded you to first class.” You better get used to it, Robbie, because you're first class all the way now.
Rent's Anthem Is a Perfect Send-Off for Regis
Since Rent debuted almost two decades ago, the heartfelt showstopper “Seasons of Love” has rarely left a dry eye in the house. When the cast of the off-Broadway revival stopped by Live with Regis and Kelly to perform a personalized version of the song for Regis Philbin, it didn't disappoint. Philbin, who is departing the show after 28 seasons, got misty-eyed as they celebrated the 995,600 amazing minutes he’s spent on the air, proving that “Seasons of Love” is still the most heartwarming song ever.