When Broadway's Macbeth opened on Sunday, guests were asked to do something a little out of the ordinary: refrain from speaking the play’s name while inside the venue.
Signs were posted on all of Ethel Barrymore Theatre's doors, requesting that audience members adhere to the rule. Written in capital letters, each sign read, "Warning! You are about to enter the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. The producers ask that you please refrain from speaking the name of the play you are about to see while inside these walls."
If it sounds weird, that's only because it is, but with good reason. The play is cursed. Or at least it’s believed to be, despite the fact that this version of Macbeth is a one-man show, performed by Alan Cumming, with modern twists that move it away from its traditional Shakespearean roots.
According to the legend, mentioning the title of a Shakespeare while in a theater evokes some type of disaster — but it’s worst for Macbeth, so actors often call it "The Scottish Play" or "The Bard's Play" instead. If an actor accidentally mentions the name of the play (in the theater, prior to a performance), then he or she must leave the building, spin around three times, spit, curse, and then knock in order to be let back in. (There are a few variations, but the gist is always the same.) Other precautions include actors refraining from quoting any of the lines from Macbeth prior to a performance (must make rehearsal a bit challenging?), especially the Witches’ incantations. This is serious stuff, guys!
Due to the ongoing manhunt for the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the city is pretty much shut down. Therefore, several events that were to go on tonight have been cancelled or postponed.
Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals - According to the Red Sox website, the game scheduled for Friday has been postponed until a later date.
Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - According to the Bruins website, the game has been postponed tentatively until Saturday, April 20 at 12:30pm.
The Joy Formidable - According to their Twitter account, the Joy Formidable concert scheduled for Friday at the House of Blues has been postponed until June 20.
The Book of Mormon - According to the Boston Opera House website, the Book of Mormon show scheduled for Friday at the Boston Opera House has been cancelled.
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In just three days, Motown the Musical will open on Broadway. Already tickets have been selling quick, and for the month of April, the musical is just outside of TicketNetwork.com's top 10 best-selling theater acts at number 11. (It beat out shows like Annie and Billy Elliot.) It's no secret why — Berry Gordy, Jr., who founded the record company in 1960, was a bit of a musical genius. He helped launch the careers of artists like The Temptations, The Supremes, and Jackson 5. When the show opens April 14, it'll feature a huge, huge soundtrack. So here are my top picks for the best 10 songs from the classic Motown era — AKA the most difficult list I've ever had to make in my life because there were so many songs that deserved to be there.
The last few weeks have been busy in terms of theater news, with several shows announced for the 2013-2014 Broadway season, as well as some general theater news.
To start: Newsies! The Musical celebrated its one-year anniversary on Broadway, while Once had a cast switch-up, adding four new actors and actresses to its roster. (It also opened in London's West End.)
Meanwhile, Matilda and Motown the Musical had or will have their official debut this week. Here are a few other recent theater-related tidbits to know about:
Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet will hit the Broadway stage September 19, following previews that start August 24. Orlando Bloom — AKA Legolas and That Dude Who Wasn't Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates" franchise — will star opposite Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad. According to NY Theatre Guide, this is the first time in 36 years that Shakespeare's play will be produced on Broadway — and it'll have the new element of an interracial couple. (Yay!)
The wait is over, at last. After announcing the first dates for their 50 and Counting Tour last week, the celebratory tour featuring The Rolling Stones have its first set of ticket onsales today. Cities included in the day's onsale include two shows in Chicago, IL, as well as shows in San Jose and Oakland, CA. In addition, the Stones will have an onsale next Monday, April 15, for a show in Philadelphia. As the North American leg reportedly has 18 dates, more onsales may be possible next week.
Meanwhile, rock acts Paul McCartney, Kid Rock, and The Black Crowes also have onsales this week. McCartney will visit the U.S. in May, June, and July as part of his new Out There! tour. Three of the dates during his time in the States, Tulsa, OK; Austin, TX; and Washington, DC; are onsale this Friday. Kid Rock's tour dates were announced today. Onsales for the 29-date Best Night Ever Tour begin on Friday. And The Black Crowes will have eight shows on sale this Friday.
On the pop side of things, The Jonas Brothers are officially back. The heartthrobs will have 15 shows on sale this Saturday.
In sports, although the NCAA Tournament is ending early this week, another tournament is beginning at the end of this month. The NBA Playoffs begin on April 20. Tickets for the Denver Nuggets go on sale today, while tickets for the Boston Celtics go on sale Tuesday.
Finally, in theater, Cirque du Soleil's Quidam has a number of onsales this Friday for shows in Nashville, TN; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh, NC.