Sunday, June 16, 2024

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 ‘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 Andrea Martin’s acrobatics have been replaced by Annie Potts.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.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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