Tag: Hip-hop musical

Timbaland to Develop TV Musical Based on His Album “Opera Noir”

Timbaland TV Musical Opera Noir
Timbaland (EMPICS ENTERTAINMENT/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Debra Birnbaum via Variety.com

For the past two seasons on “Empire,” Timbaland has been the man behind the music — now, he’s going to be making his own musical.  The producer has struck a deal with Leftfield Pictures to develop his upcoming album “Opera Noir” (w/t) into a musical.

“Opera Noir” will be a scripted hip-hop musical based on and scored by his upcoming autobiographical and final album of the same title. The plan is to shop it to networks as an event special in a variety of potential formats, from a standalone special (given the recent success of Fox’s “Grease Live!”) to a limited series.

“I couldn’t have found a better partner than Leftfield Pictures and David George for ‘Opera Noir,’” said Timbaland (aka Tim Mosley). “They understand my vision for this project, which I’ve had for years, and I’m confident they will help bring this to life for everyone to see.”

“Opera Noir” will follow a young musician’s rise to the top and hardships along the way, including struggles with poverty, substance abuse and crime.

“Tim’s unbelievable candor about his experiences and difficult past help illustrate one of the most epic success stories in the industry,” said David George, CEO of Leftfield Entertainment. “We’re fortunate to be part of the ‘grand finale’ of an artist whose innovative and inspiring musical contributions have helped shape the business and will influence artists for years to come.”

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/tv/news/timbaland-opera-noir-tv-musical-1201764869/

“Hamilton” Breaks Tonys Record with 16 Nominations

Shortly after the news broke that “Hamilton” had landed 16 Tony Award nominations, the musical’s director, Thomas Kail, sent a text to choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and others on the show’s creative team. “I just woke up. What happened?” Kail asked facetiously.

What happened, as it turned out, was one for the Broadway record books.

“Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical about America’s founding fathers, wrote its own piece of history Tuesday morning. After selling out theaters and becoming a cultural sensation since it opened on Broadway last summer, the show has now broken the record of 15 Tony nominations previously held by “The Producers” (2001) and “Billy Elliot” (2009).

In the top category of best musical, “Hamilton” will compete, nominally, against Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock,” the small-town charmer “Waitress,” the Appalachian bluegrass piece “Bright Star” and the race-themed meta-tale “Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.”

But those other shows may consider it an honor just to be nominated. “Hamilton” is considered by nearly all experts to be a shoo-in to win for best musical, and it will aim for the record of 12 Tony wins (set by “The Producers”) when theater’s biggest night kicks off June 12 on CBS from New York’s Beacon Theatre.

“Hamilton” was boosted by multiple nominations in acting categories, including lead actor (Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr., the latter a front-runner) and featured actor (Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson and Jonathan Groff). “Hamilton” also will compete for score, choreography and direction of a musical, among others.

The nominations continue a magic-carpet ride that began with a Miranda performance of a “Hamilton Mixtape” at the White House in 2009, continued with an august run at downtown’s Public Theater in early 2015 and then a building juggernaut after opening at the Richard Rodgers in the summer.

The record set Tuesday is an industry capper of sorts on what had become the most unlikely of phenomena: a Broadway musical, often regarded as the narrowest of cultural niches, becoming a crossover hit and a gateway to a larger discussion about history and race.

“Someone asked me today if this is all old hat,” the newly minted Tony nominee Blankenbuehler recalled from the North Carolina set of “Dirty Dancing,” where, in part thanks to the success of “Hamilton” he is choreographing the new ABC reboot. “And I said, ‘Are you kidding? I’m still like a kid in a candy store.’ We all are.”

Miranda, at 36 already one of the theater world’s most influential creators, offered his own valedictory, noting in a statement that “for ‘Hamilton’ to receive a record-breaking number of nominations is an honor so humbling it’s so far been beyond my comprehension.”

To read more, go to: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-tony-nominations-20160502-snap-story.html

Russell Simmons Bringing Hip-Hop Musical “The Scenario” to Broadway in 2016

Russell Simmons hip hop musical
Russell Simmons (LARRY BUSACCA/GETTY IMAGES)

Russell Simmons is developing a hip-hop musical that will draw songs from hip-hop’s “golden age” from between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, in the same way that “Rock of Ages” pulled tunes from the hard-rock classics of the ’80s.

Simmons has teamed with “Rock of Ages” producer Big Block/Scott Prisand for the show, which aims to conjure the same fun, concert-like vibe that helped sustain the nearly six-year run of “Rock of Ages” on Broadway. The original story of “The Scenario” will be written by Dan Charnas, who wrote the book “The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop.”

The attachment of Simmons, who’ll produce through Def Pictures, lends “The Scenario” some notable cred. As the founder of Def Jam Recordings in 1984, he’s credited with playing a major role in hip-hop’s rise to the mainstream. He also founded the Def Comedy franchise in 1989, and he produced and conceived 2002 Broadway outing “Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam.”

Simmons and Big Block hope to get “The Scenario” into New York in late 2016, although they aren’t necessarily targeting Broadway. “Rock of Ages,” for instance, played an Off Broadway run before it shifted to Broadway; the producers could also consider putting the production in a nontraditional space outside the typical Broadway box.

“The Scenario” is being developed by a team of producers that includes Simmons, Def Pictures/Jake Stein, Big Block/Prisand, Scott Benson, Tom Pellegrini and Jamie Bendell, Brian Sher and Stella Bulichnikov.

article by Gordon Cox via Variety.com