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Oscar-Winning Frozen Creators Plan Stage Musical

6/4/14

“The Oscar-winning creators of the animation ‘Frozen’ are planning a stage musical entitled ‘Up Here’, the show's producer has said. Husband and wife team Robert Lopez - who co-wrote ‘The Book of Mormon’ - and Kristen Anderson-Lopez are writing a romantic comedy, Scott Sanders told AP. ‘Up Here’ will be part of the 2015-16 season for the Californian theatre company La Jolla Playhouse.”

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Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez write a new show 'Up Here' for California stage

By Mark Kennedy, 6/3/14

“As you can imagine with the Lopezes, it is witty, it is wicked smart, it is irreverent, and it's youthful in its energy. It will appeal to a broad audience but it certainly will be something that even Millennials will relate to,’ said producer Scott Sanders, who has produced the Tony nominated "After Midnight" this season.”

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TV Commercial: Broadway's AFTER MIDNIGHT is "Altogether Glorious!"
11/5/13


‘After Midnight,’ on Broadway, Fetes the Heyday of an Era

By Charles Isherwood, 11/3/13

“Hot, sweet and altogether glorious! This sparkling and jubilant show has a superabundance of talented performers who sing, slide, scat, cartwheel and generally raise a ruckus in front of the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars – sixteen musicians who rollick through the music of Duke Ellington and others with a verve that almost captivates the eye as much as it does the ear. The music gleams, shimmers, dances and sings with an eloquence that enthralls. You’ll be in seventh heaven.”

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Theater Review: ‘After Midnight’ Is Worth Staying Up For

By Jesse Green, 11/3/13

“Pure Joy! After Midnight is an unmitigated pleasure. Opulent yet tasteful, wild but disciplined, kinetic and sexy but smart, smart, smart. The result is one of the best revues in recent memory and a flat-out success on any terms. When the bandstand slides toward the apron of the stage, bringing the sound almost into your lap, After Midnight achieves an apotheosis of pure joy. This is one for the record books!”

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Broadway Review: ‘After Midnight’

By Marilyn Stasio, 11/3/13

“Roof-raising, downright dazzling and packed with traffic-stopping talents! By the time the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars close the show with one last, glorious burst of brass, nobody wants to go home!”

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Review: 'After Midnight' Celebrates Thrilling Jazz

By Mark Kennedy, 11/3/13

“Dazzling! It leaves you feeling lighter than air! The show re-creates the energy and fun of Harlem’s famous Cotton Club nightclub in the 1920s and 30s, when Duke Ellington and his band made everything cool!”

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New York Times Review: 'The Color Purple' in London

By Ben Brantley, 7/16/13

“The cast arrives in formal, slightly stiff groupings. (Ann Yee is the subtle, elegant choreographer.) Then the music melts them, and the story starts to flow, unstoppable. This production makes it clear that what we’re hearing is a story, told with both urgency and lyrical affection, in which what’s remembered acquires mythic status…As the existences of these people collide, intertwine and unravel, the score — performed with an eight-member band under the direction of Tom Deering — never sleeps.”

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Time Out London Review: 'The Color Purple'

7/16/13

"This Tony-nominated musical… emerges as the tale of an everywoman triumphing over adversity, and a testament to the power of hope. John Doyle’s canny direction … leaves room for the story to unfold simply through a formidable 17-strong ensemble, who perform Brenda Russell, Stephen Bray and Allee Willis’s wonderful and satisfyingly varied score of roof-lifting gospel, rhythmical jazz and throaty blues with remarkable clout …Cynthia Erivo gives a deliberately slow-build performance as Celie. It’s a superb turn with a spine-tinglingly great climax that betrays her beguiling and impressive talent…. an ultimately uplifting and heart-capturing evening."

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Sony inks deal with theater vet Scott Sanders

By Dave McNary, 8/23/12
(Subscription Required)

Making a major move into legit, Sony Pictures Entertainment has signed a five-year overall deal with Scott Sanders Theatrical Prods. to develop and produce stage versions of Sony films and has purchased a 20% stake in Sanders' company.

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Sony Pictures the Latest Studio to Make Broadway Push

By Patrick Healy, 8/23/12

Sony Pictures Entertainment has signed a five-year deal with the Broadway producer Scott Sanders (“Evita,” “The Color Purple”) to mount stage versions of the studio’s films, with their first project being a musical adaptation of the 1982 Dustin Hoffman comedy “Tootsie.” The deal, which was announced on Thursday, represents the latest move by several Hollywood film studios to capitalize on theatergoers’ appetite – particularly tourists visiting New York – for musicals based on movies or books; most Broadway musicals these days are adaptations, like the top-grossing shows “Wicked” and “The Lion King” and new hits like the Tony Award winner “Once” and the Disney musical “Newsies.”

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Review: The Odd Life of Timothy Green

By Roger Ebert, 8/14/12

"The Odd Life of Timothy Green," a warm and lovely fantasy, is the kind of full-bodied family film being pushed aside in favor of franchises and slam-bang confusion. On a picture-postcard farm in the middle of endlessly rolling hills where it is always Indian Summer, a lovable boy comes into the life of a childless couple, and brings along great joy and wisdom.

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Disney tale reimagines an ancient fariy-tale trope for modern Middle America

By John DeFore, 8/12/12

A fairy tale about parenting that stays kid-friendly without completely glossing over the darker themes of its premise, Peter Hedges's The Odd Life of Timothy Green unsurprisingly concludes that anyone who really wants a child should have one, but it finds time along the way to warn future parents just how bad at it they might be.

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'Evita', others to hit the road

By Gordon Cox, 5/16/12
(Subscription Required)

The mega-selling Broadway revival of "Evita" has set the stage for a national tour to bow in fall 2013.

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Loretta Lynn taps Zooey Deschanel for 'Coal Miner's' musical

By Jamie Wetherbe, 5/11/12

Today's secret word is delight -- especially for fans of Paul Reubens' iconic man-child, Pee-wee Herman, who has reemerged in an adaptation of the stage show that started it all almost 30 years ago. It's a trip down memory lane for many and an introduction for a new generation to the multilevel style of humor the ersatz kiddie show provided in the CBS series that sprang from the original production of "The Pee-wee Herman Show" at the Groundlings Theater in 1981.

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You must love Che

NY Post, 4/5/12

Last night, “Evita” returned after a 30-year absence from Broadway. The wait was worth it: This is a big, fat, juicy blockbuster of a show. Naturally, everybody’s flipping out over the hot new bombshell in town. Usually we mean the actress in the title role, but this time it’s the guy who plays the narrator: Ricky Martin — you may have heard of him? And does he deliver! Despite being vocally underpowered at times, Martin is a supernova of charisma in the key part of Che, a Zelig-like Everyman always hovering on the side of the action. (A country where every man looks like Ricky Martin must get a lot of tourists.)

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Evita's New Man

Vanity Fair, 3/1/12

Evita debuted in 1976, not as a bona fide musical but as a “concept album”—a series of songs thematically linked. Its theme? The upward spiral of María Eva Duarte de Perón, the radio actress who rose from nothing to become the beloved First Lady of Argentina. Two years later, in London’s West End, Evita premiered as a show, and in 1979 it opened on Broadway. This month, the acclaimed London production of Evita, directed by Michael Grandage and starring the Argentinean actress Elena Roger, hits Broadway with a new Che: the pop phenom Ricky Martin.

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Jackman to Try to Work His Box Office Magic as Houdini

By Patrick Healy, 1/4/12

The Pied Piper was nowhere to be heard, and Santa Claus wouldn’t be coming to town for a few more weeks, but something irresistible had drawn a small crowd to the West Fourth Street basketball courts in Greenwich Village on a recent Thursday morning. Huddled in groups of two and three, a few dozen men and women in their 20s and 30s glanced at one another and at their smartphones, rereading the Twitter and Foursquare messages that directed them here, waiting for something to happen.

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'Evita' announces Broadway dates

By Associate Press, 10/27/11

Producers of Evita announced Thursday the first preview dates and opening night of the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical on Broadway.

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Behind the Scenes at Evita’s Photo Shoot With Ricky Martin and Elena Roger (Video)

By Michael C. Gioia, 10/25/11

Evita will return to the New York City stage when it begins performances at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre this spring. The revival will star Elena Roger and Ricky Martin, who will play Eva Peron and Che Guevara, respectively.

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'The Odd Life of Timothy Green' Trailer Released!

By The Huffington Post, 10/25/11

It's a heartbreaking reality that some loving couples cannot conceive a child, no matter how much medical assistance they receive. In the altered reality of Disney films, however, there's an option when science proves incapable: a wish box and some magic.

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TV Commercial: The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway
12/4/10


Candy-Colored Bow-Tied Redemption

By Dave Itzkoff, 10/28/10

The Pied Piper was nowhere to be heard, and Santa Claus wouldn’t be coming to town for a few more weeks, but something irresistible had drawn a small crowd to the West Fourth Street basketball courts in Greenwich Village on a recent Thursday morning. Huddled in groups of two and three, a few dozen men and women in their 20s and 30s glanced at one another and at their smartphones, rereading the Twitter and Foursquare messages that directed them here, waiting for something to happen.

(more)



Luckiest Boy in the World

By Jesse Green 8/22/10

Performers who make a name for themselves in the guise of an alter ego usually have a short shelf life. They tend to become camp curiosities within minutes of achieving cultural saturation. But Paul Reubens avoided the fate of Carrot Top, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Larry the Cable Guy, and their ilk, who, if they remain familiar, do so in the manner of a mortifying ex. Reubens survived on his own terms because his Pee-wee Herman was a much savvier invention, utterly specific visually (snug glen-plaid suit, red bow tie, white loafers) but otherwise built on a series of childlike ambiguities (hostile or silly? gay or straight? wise or innocent?) that he steadfastly refused to resolve or even acknowledge.

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I Meant to Do That: 'The Pee-wee Herman Show' Coming to Broadway

By Dave Itzkoff, 5/20/10

The next time you hear Pee-wee Herman snidely ask, "I know you are but what am I?," the correct answer is: Broadway-bound. On Thursday, the producers announced that "The Pee-wee Herman Show," the original stage comedy that set that manic man-child character portrayed by Paul Reubens on a path to cult stardom, will transfer to Broadway in the fall for a six-week run.

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The Pee-wee Herman Show opens at Club Nokia

By Terry Flores, 1/21/10
(Subscription Required)

Today's secret word is delight -- especially for fans of Paul Reubens' iconic man-child, Pee-wee Herman, who has reemerged in an adaptation of the stage show that started it all almost 30 years ago. It's a trip down memory lane for many and an introduction for a new generation to the multilevel style of humor the ersatz kiddie show provided in the CBS series that sprang from the original production of "The Pee-wee Herman Show" at the Groundlings Theater in 1981.

(more)


Due to strong advance demand, 'Pee-wee' shifts start

By David Rooney, 10/6/09
(Subscription Required)

Pee-wee's playhouse just got bigger.  Due to strong advance demand, the upcoming return of Paul Reubens' "The Pee-wee Herman Show" has moved venues, switching to Club Nokia @ LA Live for a four-week run, Jan. 12-Feb. 7.  Scott Sanders ("The Color Purple") has joined the show as lead producer, presenting with Goldenvoice and Bud Light, in association with Jared Geller and David J. Foster.

(more)


Peter Hedges to go 'Green' for Disney

By Borys Kit, 6/10/09

Peter Hedges has signed on to write and direct "The Odd Life of Timothy Green," a modern-day fable for Disney. "Green" is based on an idea by Ahmet Zappa, who will produce with Scott Sanders. Disney is keeping plot details under tight wraps, though it is understood to be a high priority for the studio as well as very personal to Zappa.

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'Color Purple' took a long road to the Academy

By Howard Shapiro, 6/15/08

The Broadway know-it-alls told Scott Sanders that a musical of Alice Walker's beloved novel The Color Purple would never see the color green. Forget it, they said. You can't raise the money. Black themes don't pay on Broadway. You won't even get a theater for it. Sanders never listened. He was too busy listening to the book. When he read it, he heard music - the music of the American rural South, of a black experience, of the theater. The sort of music that, taken together, found its way onto the Broadway stage of The Color Purple, whose first national tour arrives Tuesday at the Academy of Music and stays through July 13.

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Disney buys pitch from Mike Rich - 'Rookie' writer sells true 'Parent Trap'-ish story

By Michael Fleming, 6/13/08
(Subscription Required)

Walt Disney Pictures has acquired an untitled pitch by Mike Rich.
Studio and writer were vague on the idea, allowing only that it's based on a true story with elements of "Sleepless in Seattle" and "The Parent Trap."

Deal brings Rich back to Disney, where he scripted "The Rookie" and "Secretariat," about the 1973 Triple Crown-winning race horse. Rich's last credit was "The Nativity Story." The film will be produced by Scott Sanders, with Mara Jacobs aboard as executive producer.

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Scott Sanders Productions to produce new Houdini Musical

Arts, Briefly - By Campbell Robertson, 4/18/08

A musical about Harry Houdini sounds intriguing, but even more intriguing is its team: Scott Sanders, who produced "The Color Purple," and David Rockwell, the architect and set designer, are producing "Houdini: An Original Musical." Danny Elfman, an ex-member of the band Oingo Boingo, who wrote the "Simpsons" and "Desperate Housewives" themes and a lot of music for Tim Burton movies, is doing the score; David Yazbek ("Dirty RottenScoundrels") is writing the lyrics; and Kurt Andersen, the novelist, journalist, radio host and occasional playwright, is writing the book. Jack O¹Brien is slated to direct "Houdini," which may open on Broadway in spring 2010.

Additional coverage:
Variety
New York Magazine

 


Antin to write, direct Disney project - Sanders producing untitled music-driven film

By Michael Fleming, 3/18/08
(Subscription Required)

Walt Disney Pictures has set Steven Antin to write and direct an untitled music-driven project that Scott Sanders will produce under his first-look deal at the studio.

A bigscreen newcomer, Sanders is well known in stage and music circles. He most recently developed and was lead producer on hit musical "The Color Purple" and collaborated with Queen Latifah in a music partnership to record and produce Grammy-nominated disc "The Dana Owens Album." (more)

 


Sanders set for film, theater ‘Purple’ producer inks deal with Disney

By Michael Fleming, 3/20/07 (Subscription Required)

Scott Sanders, producer of stage musical "The Color Purple," has formed a company to hatch legit productions and features.

On the film side, Scott Sanders Prods. will be staked to a first-look deal at Walt Disney Studios. For stage projects, Sanders will be backed by a private equity investment group that includes New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, David Kraft and investment bankers Roy Furman and Jim Fantaci.

Sanders has hired theater veteran Carol Fineman as VP of the theater division, and he will begin staffing the film side shortly. (more)

 


Tastemakers: Performing Arts

By Joshua Lipton, 3/14/07

Over eight years, Sanders, 50, worked on bringing "The Color Purple" to Broadway, searching for the right investors and ultimately raising $11 million to fund the show. It paid off. The play, which opened on Dec. 1, 2005, grossed the second most of any production on Broadway in 2006. More than 650,000 fans came to check out the production, which managed to attract a new demographic. In 2006, African-Americans regularly comprised at least 50% of the audience, many for their first time seeing a Broadway show, says Sanders. (more)

 


‘Color Purple’ Proves Black Themes Can Make Green on Great White Way

By Brooks Barnes, 12/1/06

To the casual observer, "The Color Purple" on Broadway seemed like a cinch. The Alice Walker novel won the Pulitzer Prize. The 1985 Steven Spielberg movie grossed over $100 million domestically and garnered 11 Academy Award nominations. And the musical arrived on Broadway with Oprah Winfrey on its marquee as a producer.

But it was initially greeted with upturned noses by many Broadway powerbrokers. It tells the story of two sisters who have an unbreakable bond despite lives marred by rape, domestic abuse and poverty. Reviews were tepid. With fluffy offerings such as "Hairspray" and "Mamma Mia" dominating the Great White Way, some investors questioned whether audiences would embrace a musical based on such a gritty story.

What's more, some Broadway investors believed that an all-black cast with no name stars would have difficulty drawing the core theater audience any mega-musical needs to be financially sound: white, middle-age women. While Broadway is fairly healthy -- attendance jumped sharply last year -- regular ticket buyers remain a fairly limited bunch.

Today, producers of the $11 million musical version of "The Color Purple" plan to announce that the show has recouped its investment. The show's success demonstrates that Broadway can do a better job at attracting diverse audiences. (more)

 


The Making of The Color Purple - a Masterpiece Becomes a Musical

By Susan Berfield, 11/21/05

When Scott Sanders set out to turn The Color Purple into a Broadway musical, he made two critical decisions. He would approach Alice Walker, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel, himself to ask for her blessing. But he wouldn't ever appear to be seeking the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey, who had played the sassy, tough Sofia in Steven Spielberg's 1985 movie version of the book and had later declared the experience one of the greatest of her life. With Oprah, you wait for her to come to you. (more)




 

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