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Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryTheater
FoundedMay 2003; 17 years ago (2003-05)
Headquarters
US
Key people
Mark Kaufman (EVP)
ProductsMusicals, plays
ServicesLicensing
ParentWarner Bros.
(WarnerMedia)
Websitewarnerbrostheaterventures.com

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures is the live show, stageplay and musical production arm of WarnerMedia. The company forms a part of Warner Bros., one of three major business segments of WarnerMedia. Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures is led by Mark Kaufman.[1]

Founded in 2003, to develop and produce plays and musicals based on the Warner Bros. library. The first production by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures was a musical adaptation of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles entitled Lestat which entered development in 2003 and opened in 2006.[2]

History

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures was founded in May 2003 by Gregg Maday, to focus on making stage adaptations of the Warner Bros. film library. Warner Bros. had considered creating a division to produce live stage shows after witnessing Disney's success with bringing Beauty and the Beast to Broadway.[3] Maday brought in Broadway producer Emanuel Azenberg as a consultant, and the first production they started working on was one about Batman.[3] The music was written by Jim Steinman, with a book by David Ives, originally Tim Burton expressed interest in directing the Broadway show. But after Dance of the Vampires by Steinman and Ives flopped on Broadway, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on the Batman musical.

Warner Bros. received an offer from Linda Woolverton and Robert Jess Roth, the writer and director of Beauty and the Beast musical. The two of them wanted to work with songwriters Elton John, and Bernie Taupin on a new musical based Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles. “When you are starting something, and you get offered the two people who had worked on Beauty and the Beast, Elton John and Bernie Taupin on their first Broadway partnership, and Anne Rice, who has extraordinary success as a novelist, as package, it was really difficult to say ‘no’ to that, even if I wanted to,” Maday explained.

Production on Lestat started in November of 2003.[2] Lestat premiered at the Curran Theatre, San Francisco, California on December 17, 2005 and closed on January 29, 2006.[4] The musical opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on March 25, 2006 and closed on May 28, 2006, after 33 previews and 39 performances.[4][5]

The next venture into Broadway was not until 2009, with Elf.[6] After a 2009 workshop, the musical officially opened for a limited holiday engagement at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway on November 14, 2010, following previews from November 2, 2010. Maday went on to leave Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures in 2011, and was replaced by Mark Kaufman.

Book adaptations

Lestat

The show began previews in New York City on March 25, 2006 and officially opened at the Palace Theatre on April 25, 2006. The musical was the first Broadway adaptation by Warner Bros., based on The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and featured a book by Linda Woolverton, music by Elton John, and lyrics by Bernie Taupin. The musical closed on May 28, 2006 after 33 previews and 39 performances, and overall bad reviews.[4]

The Bridges of Madison County

The musical began Broadway previews on January 17, 2014 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre and opened on February 20, 2014.[7] Although critically the musical was received fairly well, it failed to sell enough tickets to stay open and the musical closed on May 18, 2014, after 137 performances.[8][9][10] Despite closing early, the musical went on to win the 2014 Tony Awards for "Best Original Score" and "Best Orchestrations" on June 8, 2014.

A US national tour began November 2015 and ran until July 2016.[11][12]

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott,[13] the show premièred at the Royal National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre on 2 August 2012.[14] The show went on to win eight Laurence Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play, Best Actor, and Best Director.[15] Following the success in London, it play went on a UK tour in December 2014.[16] The play transferred to Broadway making its American debut at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, starting previews on October 5, 2014, with the official opening September 10, 2014.[17] The show was a massive critical success, going on to win six Tony Awards,[18] six Drama Desk Awards,[19] and six Outer Critics Circle Awards.[20] The show ended its Broadway run on September 4, 2016 after 800 performances.[21][22] A US national tour began September 27, 2016,[23] followed by an international tour and another UK tour in 2017,[24][25] and an Australian tour in 2018.[26][27]

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago had its world premiere as Zhivago at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California in 2006.[28] An Australian touring production of the musical directed by Des McAnuff premiered as Doctor Zhivago – A New Musical at the Lyric Theatre, Sydney. The show received glowing reviews.[29][30] The production ran from February 19 through April 3, 2011,[31]

A Seoul original production directed by Des McAnuff,[32] premiered at the Charlotte Theatre, Seoul, January 25, 2012, following previews the show opened officially January 27, and ran until June 3, 2012.

In 2014, McAnuff directed a Swedish translation of the play for the Scandinavian premier, at Malmö Opera.[33]

A 2015 Broadway production, again directed by Des McAnuff,[34] It began previews at the Broadway Theatre on March 27, 2015, opened on April 21, 2015, and closed on May 10, 2015, due to low ticket sales and a lack of Tony Award nominations. It had played a total of 26 previews and 23 performances.[35][36]

Misery

Written by William Goldman, the writer of the 1990 film, Misery was produced in association with Castle Rock Entertainment[37] premiering at the Bucks County Playhouse, Pennsylvania the play opened for a limited time engagement on November 24, 2012, ran for 11 performances, and closed December 8, 2012.[38][39][40] In March 2015 it was announced that Misery would premiere on Broadway for a limited time engagement starring Bruce Willis as writer Paul Sheldon and Laurie Metcalf as Annie Wilkes[41] at the Broadhurst Theatre beginning previews on October 22, 2015, formally opening on November 15, 2015. The show closed on February 14, 2016. For her performance as Annie, Metcalf was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.[42]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory bill boards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2014.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory bill boards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2014.

The musical began previews May 22, 2013, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, officially opening June 25, 2013.[43][44][45][46] The show currently holds the record for the highest weekly gross in the West End, with an income of £1,080,260 during the week commencing December 30, 2013.[47]

A reworked version of the show opened on Broadway in early 2017 with changes including new direction by Jack O'Brien, choreography by Josh Bergasse and a new set design by original designer Mark Thompson.[48] O'Brien stated the score would pay homage to the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley songs written for the 1971 film and would also feature the songs written by Shaiman and Wittman.[49] In August 2016, O'Brien confirmed that "The Candy Man" and "Pure Imagination" would be included in the musical.[50] The show opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre starring Christian Borle as Willy Wonka. Emma Pfaeffle as Veruca Salt, and F. Michael Haynie as Augustus Gloop.[51][52] previews began March 28, 2017, with opening night officially being April 23, 2017.[53] On 15 November 2017, producers announced that production would close on 14 January 2018 after 27 previews and 305 performances.[54]

A US National Tour began September 2018, starting in Buffalo, New York. An Australian production premiered at the Capitol Theatre on January 5, 2019 and opened on the 11th.[55]

Live-action adaptations

Elf

The show debuted for a limited time holiday engagement on November 2, 2010 in New York City at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in previews, with the official opening being November 14, 2010. A Broadway cast recording was released to November 1, 2011.[56] The popularity of the show spawned repeated national tours in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016. The show was revived for Broadway November 9, 2012 for another limited time holiday engagement before closing January 6, 2013.[57] In 2014 NBC premiered a stop-motion animation adaptation of Elf: The Musical starring Jim Parsons[58]

Elf made its international debut in London for another limited time holiday engagement at the Dominion Theatre October 24, 2015. The show officially became the fastest selling show since the Dominion Theatre opened in 1929.[59]

A Christmas Story: The Musical

Premiering at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Missouri for a limited holiday engagement in December 2009.[60][61] The musical began previews for another limited holiday engagement on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 7, 2012, with the official opening on November 19, 2012.[62][63] The musical features original songs from Pasek and Paul and is an adaptation of the 1983 film of the same name. Due to the show's popularity, it spawned national tours annually and received its international debut in London at the Waterloo Easter Theatre on November 28, 2018.[64]

In 2017, FOX broadcast a live Television special of the musical entitled A Christmas Story Live!.[65]

Beetlejuice

The musical opened October 14, 2018 at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., after a successful limited-time run the show closed on November 18, 2018. On September 6, 2018 it was announced following its Washington, D.C. performance the show would transfer to Broadway, opening for the 2018-2019 musical season at the Winter Garden Theatre with previews beginning on March 28, 2019, and an official opening night on April 25, 2019. The show was set to close on June 6, 2020 but due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, closed on March 10, 2020[66]

Upcoming productions

Dave

The show was first announced by Variety in November 2014 after an industry reading held on October 31. In summer 2016 it was announced a second private reading was held featuring Broadway star Brian d’Arcy James[67] The musical debuted at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. on July 18, 2018 for a limited engagement until August 19, 2018.[68][69] There has yet to be any word on whether the show will move to Broadway.

Other adaptations

Baby It's You!

The show is a jukebox musical that premiered at the Coast Playhouse in Los Angeles on July 18, 2009, that ran until August 30, 2009.[70] The show went on to open with the same cast at the Pasadena Playhouse on November 13, 2009, and ran until December 13, 2009.

The show opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre, starting previews on March 26, 2011, officially opening on April 27, 2011.[71][72][73] The production closed on September 4, 2011, after horrible reviews, even going so far to be called "dismal" by The New York Times.[74][75]

Non-stage productions

Others

See also

References

  1. ^ "Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures Announces Reorganization; Charlie Musical Will Open in 2013". Playbill.com. September 13, 2011. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth; Hernandez, Ernio (March 31, 2005). "Elton John Musical 'Lestat' Will Take a Bite Out of San Francisco in Late 2005"". playbill.com.
  3. ^ a b "As 'Beetlejuice' Begins to Haunt Broadway, Warner Bros. Faces Intense Scrutiny". Forbes. March 18, 2019. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Simonson, Robert (May 23, 2006). "Elton John and Bernie Taipan's 'Lestat' To Close on Broadway May 28". playbill.com.
  5. ^ " 'Lestat' Listing" Internet Broadway Database
  6. ^ Healy, Patrick (June 11, 2010). "Musical Version of 'Elf' Heading to Broadway". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Brantley, Ben. "‘Bridges of Madison County’ Brings Iowa to Broadway" The New York Times, February 20, 2014
  8. ^ "The Verdict: Critics Review 'The Bridges of Madison County'" Playbill, February 21, 2014
  9. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale End Bridges Broadway Affair" Archived 2014-05-18 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, May 18, 2014
  10. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "New Musical The 'Bridges of Madison County', Starring Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale, to Close on Broadway" Playbill, May 1, 2014
  11. ^ Kennedy, Mark. "Broadway musical 'The Bridges of Madison County' hits the road with redemption in mind" usnews.com, November 27, 2015
  12. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " 'Bridges of Madison County' Tour Will End" Playbill, July 7, 2016
  13. ^ Gardner, Lyn (13 March 2013). "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – review". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  14. ^ "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time". NationalTheatre.org.uk. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012.
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  17. ^ "The Verdict: Critics Review The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time on Broadway". Playbill. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  18. ^ Viagas, Robert (7 June 2015). "Fun Home, Curious Incident, Kelli O'Hara, Helen Mirren, Michael Cerveris, Alex Sharp Top 69th Annual Tony Awards". Playbill. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
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  28. ^ "La Jolla Playhouse premieres stirring, haunting Zhivago" by Charlene Baldridge, San Diego Community Newspaper
  29. ^ "Dr Zhivago" by Jason Blake, The Sydney Morning Herald (21 February 2011)
  30. ^ "Review of Dr Zhivago – a new musical at Sydney's Lric Theatre" by Alex Lalak, The Daily Telegraph (22 February 2011)
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  32. ^ "Doctor Zhivago - Michael Korie".
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2015-05-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  35. ^ Paulson, Michael. " 'Dr. Zhivago' Will Close on Sunday" The New York Times, May 4, 2015(subscription required)
  36. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Gioia, Michael. "With No Tony Nominations, 'Doctor Zhivago' Is Next To Post Closing Notice" playbill.com, May 4, 2015
  37. ^ "Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Castle Rock Entertainment & Playhouse Productions to Present World Premiere of "Misery" this Holiday Season". Warner Bros. September 20, 2012. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  38. ^ "Exclusive InDepth InterView: William Goldman & Will Frears Discuss MISERY Onstage – Is Broadway Next?" Broadway World 26 November 2012 accessed 2 June 2013
  39. ^ "William Goldman Adapts Stephen King's Misery for the Stage; Bucks County Playhouse Will Premiere Thriller" By Kenneth Jones Playbill20 Sep 2012 Archived 2013-01-05 at the Wayback Machine accessed 2 June 2013
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External links

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