Home Celebrity Broadway: Carole King Breaks Record, “Bronx Bombers” is a Solid Triple

Broadway is buzzing in the middle of winter, believe it or not. The Carole King-Gery Goffin-Barry Mann-Cynthia Weil musical “Beautiful” broke a house record last week at the Stephen Sondheim Theater. The show made just over $900,000 last week, beating previous record holder “Anything Goes” by about twenty-thou. Everyone loves the songs, and Doug McGrath has artfully woven them into a story. Carole still refuses to see the show, but when the royalty checks come in she may sing a different tune. Sales of “Tapestry” have increased, too. It’s number 1 on amazon.com ‘s Adult Contemporary chart. For newcomers to King, I actually prefer her “Music” and “Rhymes and Reasons” albums…

…If you’re a fan of the New York Yankees, a new play called “The Bronx Bombers” is must see right now ASAP. You will laugh and cry. It’s not a perfect play, but it’s a great idea executed well. I’d say it’s a solid triple.

Peter Scolari absolutely shines as Yogi Berra, and leads a terrific cast who portray Carmen Berra, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Billy White, Reggie Jackson, Elston Howard, Joe DiMaggio, and Derek Jeter.

The story travels through time, but it unites all these players at a dinner party every Yankee fan will think he’s seen in a dream. Physically, Dan Lauria might have been a better Yogi. But Scolari nails him in many ways and holds the show together. “Bronx Bombers’ is a spring training treat…

…I paid full price over the weekend, and took friends back to see “Pippin.” Andrea Martin’s acrobatics have been replaced by Annie Potts. (Tovah Feldshuh was there in between.) I’m happy to report that the revived musical is just as good as it was a year ago. Matthew James Thomas and Patina Miller are having a lot of fun as Pippin and the narrator, respectively. The whole cast is nimble, athletic, talented. You can’t beat Stephen Schwartz’s songs. “Time” is so catchy the audience sings along. “Magic to Do” and “Corner of the Sky” are unforgettably hummable. Everyone in the show is sexy, too. This is the must-recommend show for people who ask, What should I see?

The new season begins in earnest this Thursday with the musical version of “The Bridges of Madison County.”

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