Not that long ago it appeared the Book of Mormon (the Broadway musical, not the religious reference) was set until at least the beginning of 2013. Talks of extended contracts were in the air even after the Tony Awards showered its principle actors and actresses with nominations and wins. Well, the time to see the original Book of Mormon cast is drawing to a close, meaning anyone wanting to see Josh Gad, Andrew Rannells, and Nikki M. Jones share the stage needs to get their Book of Mormon tickets now.
Josh Gad will be departing the biggest stage in live entertainment for the small screen. He will be giving television another shot on 1600 Penn, an NBC sitcom destined for the 2012 fall slate. The comedy focuses on the travails of raising a family in the White House. Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman star as the president and first lady. Gad stars as Skip, the eldest son of the first family and the first screw up, as evident by the television clip provided by NBC.
Andrew Rannells will joining Gad with NBC, though with a different program. Rannells is starring in the New Normal, on half of a gay couple who has hired a woman to be a surrogate mother. The series is the latest from Ryan Murphy, television’s latest series whisperer. The show also stars Justin Bartha as Rannells’ character’s other half, Georgia King as the surrogate, Ellen Barkin as the surrogate’s racist, homophobic grandmother, and NeNe Leajes as the Rannells’ character’s assistant.
Nikki M. Jones will be gone, but just for the summer. She is taking a leave of absence to work on a movie musical. Lucky Stiff is a musical farce being adopted and set to star Jason alexander, Nikki, Dominic Marsh, and Jayne Houdyshell. Christopher Ashley, previously of the musical Memphis, is going to direct.
There are painfully few more chances to see this cast, so hurry and find your tickets to see the Book of Mormon before a new set of stars take over and make the roles their own.
Last week it was reported that the Book of Mormon would be retaining its Tony Award winning cast until 2013. Well, evidently, the casting is not as clear cut. Andrew Rannells, who stars as Elder Kevin Price, might not be part of that returning cast. First, he is going to have to take a few weeks off to head to Los Angeles to work on the new Ryan Murphy sitcom. During those weeks an understudy would have to take his place. Of course, the bigger concern is not that Rannells will be missing for a few weeks, but that he will be gone for an extended period of time, taking up the role for the entire season.
The role is that of one-half of a gay couple interacting with the surrogate who is carrying their child. Well, chances are pretty good that the sitcom, currently known as “that new Ryan Murphy project”, will find a primetime slot for at least half a television season. It has been reported that NBC, ABC, and FOX had been bidding for the pilot. NBC won and they are desperate to put up some kind of comedy programming featuring homosexual characters to challenge Modern Family. For goodness sakes, this is the network that made Will and Grace a huge hit, this pilot will likely get an entire year no matter how good or bad it ends up being.
This is not the first time a television pilot has interfered with the cast of a Broadway play. Sutton Foster took a break from the musical Anything Goes to work on the TV pilot Bunheads. The co-creators of the Book of Mormon would be hard pressed to demonstrate any kind of bitterness if Rannells is given the opportunity to leave for greater exposure. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are, of course, famous for their animated half hour comedy South Park.
So, get Book of Mormon tickets to enjoy the true original cast before Ryan Murphy likely adds another successful program to his IMDB profile.
Josh Gad is a busy fellow these days. He is starring in a hit Broadway musical and is cashing in on his new found popularity by landing a gig as a voice over artist on MTV and playing more prominent film roles. Gad has basically ensured that he will be the biggest star once Book of Mormon tickets are collected for the original cast’s final bow.
The actor has made less than memorable appearances on both the small screen and the big screen. Gad has appeared in episodes of ER and Numb3rs. He has also portrayed minor characters in 21 and Love and Other Drugs. He gained a notoriety he could not imagine once Book of Mormon musical tickets began topping the Broadway box office numbers and Book of Mormon reviews heaped praise upon the entire cast.
Now he is becoming the Jonah Hill from the East Coast. He is going to lend his voice to the new MTV animated series Good Vibes opposite Adam Brody. Not much is known about the series, except that from the clip on Perez Hilton. It appears to be the chronicles of the high school underlings, following the dweebs and dorks. The cast of the show will be appearing at the New York City Comic-Con.
Gad is set to join the cast of the in an indie film as well. According to Variety, he will be part of a sex addiction recovery group with Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow and Joely Richardson. Josh will give the perspective of a sex addict who does not have natural good looks on his side.
Hopefully, he will find a major movie project soon. I could see him in something similar to Get Him to the Greek. In the age of celebrating the underdog and worshipping nerd culture Gad should have plenty of opportunity to see his star power rise.
Developing and staging a successful Broadway musical is a difficult task. There are years of workshops and a few tryout runs to perfect the show that one day may be so lucky as to grace the stage of a major Broadway venue. That it the norm, but there are always exceptions to that arduous and spirit breaking process and the runaway hit The Book of Mormon is that very exception.
The Book of Mormon did take a while to develop. For five years Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone worked creating a plot and songs for the project. Then the script went to workshop for another two years. Where the Book of Mormon proved the exception is when the creators took the musical straight from the workshop to the Broadway stage.
Initially, Book of Mormon tickets were going to be sold for an off-Broadway production at the New York Theater Workshop. However, producer Scott Rudin, who had worked and befriended the South Park creators previously, decided to go directly to the Broadway stage. Rudin felt that aiming small was a mistake “since the guys work best when the stakes are highest”.
It is difficult to argue against reasoning. The Book of Mormon filled the Eugene O’Neill Theatre to 102.4 percent capacity and grossed $1,274,244 from August 15-21, and the show has been putting up similar numbers since it opened on March 24, 2011.
According to TicketNews.com, Wicked once again took the week’s honor as the top overall theater event. With two touring productions and an open-run at the Gershwin on Broadway this is hardly surprising. However, when looking at just the Broadway market, The Book of Mormon dominated the secondary ticket market, selling Book of Mormon tickets at a power score of 31.06 to Wicked’s, which landed at number two, 12.12.
In fact, the Book of Mormon’s dominance has the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, where the musical resides, as the top venue. No, the sudden release of the NFL from its lockout could not carry Dallas Cowboys Stadium to New Meadowland Stadium into first place and the sheer number of shows coming in and out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas could not overcome the overwhelming popularity of the Book.
Broadwayworld.com even reported that the Book of Mormon broke the O’Neill Theatre house record for the 15th time during this run! The 1,068-seat theatre earned $1,289,947.50 for the week ending August 14. This is simply an unstoppable production that is primed to put even more ludicrous numbers once the U.S. touring production begins December 2012 with a first stop scheduled at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and once the West End production starts at some unannounced time in 2012.