Thursday, April 18, 2024

Broadway News: Hugh Jackman, Holly Knight’s “Battlefield,” “On the Town”


Some notes from Broadway: Holly Knight wrote Pat Benatar’s big hit “Love is a Battlefield.” She also wrote Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” and “Better Be Good to Me” and at least two dozen more radio staples. So why not try a jukebox musical? “Battlefield,” directed by Dan Knechtges, will get a workshop reading in New York in mid- June. Greg Jackson and Erin Quinn Purcell wrote the book. Could this be a sequel of sorts to “Rock of Ages”? Could very well be…

Hugh Jackman’s coming back to Broadway this fall. The once and always Wolverine will segue from hosting the Tony Awards to rehearsing for a new straight play — no music– called “The River” and written by Jez Butterworth. He’s the author of the acclaimed “Jerusalem” and “Mojo,” which played last year in the West End as a revival and I wish would come to New York also.

“The River” co-stars newcomers (at least to Broadway) Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo. And it’s going to be in the smallish Circle in the Square theater, a theater in the round, so to speak. The crush for tickets will therefore be terrifying.

You’ve got to give Hugh Jackman credit. Like Daniel Radcliffe, he just keeps coming back every other season and trying interesting material. And of course, the fall season has become the time to do that…

…Here comes a revival of “On the Town.” The Comden-Green-Leonard Bernstein musical opens October 16th at the Lyric Theater. No cast yet, but let’s hope whoever’s singing “New York New York”– the Bronx is up and the Battery’s down-– is great. This means that “On the Town” will open week before Sting’s much anticipated “The Last Ship” on October 23rd. And a couple of weeks before Hugh Jackman. The fall season is suddenly getting crazy since we’ll also have James Earl Jones in “You Can’t Take it With You”…

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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