Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
What do you do with a cult-classic movie from the 90s? Turn it into a hit Broadway musical, of course! This season, The Nederlander Theatre in New York City will transform into the Las Vegas strip in Honeymoon in Vegas.
Honeymoon in Vegas tells the story of Jack Singer, an average guy with a huge fear of commitment. One day, Jack finally finds the courage to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Betsy. Soon, the couple is headed to Las Vegas for a quick, painless, family-free wedding ceremony. Of course nothing is ever smooth-sailing in Las Vegas. Upon their arrival, Tommy Korman, a smooth-talking gambler, spies Betsy and falls head-over-heels in love with her. In order to win her affection, Tommy arranges for Jack to lose a huge game of poker so that he can claim Betsy as his own girlfriend. What happens next is a crazy, hilarious, and heartfelt journey to keep the woman you love.
Based on the 1990s cult-classic starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicolas Cage, and James Caan, Honeymoon in Vegas is the perfect fit for a hilarious musical comedy. The movie was mostly known for its incredible soundtrack that accompanied the film. The soundtrack was filled with covers of classic songs from Elvis Presley, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, and many more. With the movie rooted in the soundtrack it seems like a logical fit for a new Broadway musical.
Honeymoon in Vegas recently debuted at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey last October to rave reviews. The cast from the debut production will transfer over to Broadway come November. In recent years, Broadway has capitalized off of creating musicals based on older movies. One of the most popular musicals that was based on a cult-classic movie was the Off-Broadway hit Dogfight. With music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dogfight became an instant classic and introduced a newer audience to the 1991 movie. Honeymoon in Vegas has the opportunity to do the same.
The musical will also see the return of some familiar faces in terms of casting. Playing the lead role of Jack Singer is Rob McClure, who is most notable for his Tony Award-nominated role as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin. Also no stranger to the Broadway stage is Brynn O’Malley who will take on the role of Betsy. O’Malley is known for her roles in Sunday in the Park with George, Wicked and most recently the 2012 revival of Annie. Although McClure and O’Malley both have a strong Broadway background, it’s the actor who plays Tommy that draws in the biggest audience. Television and stage legend Tony Danza will make his return to the Great White Way as Tommy. Danza is known for his work on television in Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, as well as his roles in The Producers and A View from the Bridge on Broadway. His expansive fan base has already begun to draw interested viewers to this production.
Also rounding out the cast is David Josefsberg, who was recently seen on Broadway in Motown: The Musical and The Wedding Singer, will play the role of Buddy Rocky/Roy Bacon. Broadway vet Nancy Opel will play the role of Bea Singer. Opel was recently seen on Broadway as the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. Lastly, the role of Johnny Sandwich will be played by Matthew Saldivar, who is known for his work in Act One, Peter and the Starcatchers, and Grease.
The cast isn’t the only thing sending people into a frenzy. It’s also the out of this world creative team. Bringing the book/story to life for this production is none other than Andrew Bergman, who penned the original screenplay. The incredible music and lyrics come to life through the amazing talent of Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown. Coming off of a triumphant season for his work in The Bridges of Madison County, Brown has created another beautiful and perfect score for Honeymoon in Vegas. Some of Brown’s other work includes 13: The Musical and The Last Five Years. Taking the directors seat is Gary Griffin, who was last seen on Broadway directing The Apple Tree, starring Kristin Chenoweth. The marvelous creative team brings not only the Broadway production, but the story as a whole to new heights.
With the new Broadway season beginning to fill up with some incredible pieces of theatre like An American in Paris, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The River, Fun Home, The Last Ship and many more, will Honeymoon in Vegas fade into the background? Or will it stand out and show New York audiences what it’s made of? Only time will tell. In the meantime, Las Vegas is ready to take up residence in the Nederlander Theatre this fall.
Honeymoon in Vegas begins preview performances at The Nederlander Theatre in New York City on November 18, 2014 with opening night scheduled for January 15, 2015.
For future ticketing and additional information visit: http://www.honeymoonbroadway.com/.