Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Broadway: “Frasier” Reunion with Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce Back to Back


There’s a big “Frasier” reunion going on this month on Broadway. Kelsey Grammer, who played Frasier Crane in both the hit bar comedy “Cheers” and his own show for a total of 20 years, is having a blast in the new musical “Finding Neverland” with “Glee” star Matthew Morrison at the Lunt-Fontanne on West 46th St.

Down the alley a half a block, just about literally back to back, Frasier’s brother Niles Crane made his directorial debut last night with “It Shoulda Been You” at the Brooks Atkinson on West 47th St. Two of the actors in that musical, Edward Hibbert and Harriet Harris, played recurring roles on “Frasier.”

Not only that: there’s a big “Cheers” moment in “Finding Neverland” that makes the audience explode with laughter. I don’t want to give it away. Frasier Crane, as we all know, came from “Cheers” originally.

The good news is that all the “Frasier’ players are well suited for Broadway. Their show was often staged like a great stage comedy, often a French farce. And they’ve all been on Broadway a lot, only Hyde-Pierce is usually acting. “It Shoulda Been You” offers him great material for his debut as it showcases a family and their friends stuck in a fancy hotel as a wedding approaches.

Last night, Hyde-Pierce proved a draw for a lot of celebs including Rosie O’Donnell, Judith Light, Patricia Clarkson, Julianna Margulies, Neil Patrick Harris, and “Kimmy Schmidt” star Titus Burgess in the audience. An even bigger crowd is set for the “Finding Neverland” premiere tonight.

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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