Monday, July 28, 2008

Broadway Preview: Popcorn

Broadway Preview: Popcorn

Eleven years after taking the West End by storm, and winning an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in the process, Ben Elton’s Popcorn will reportedly make its Great White Way debut sometime this fall.

According to Playbill, the shoot ‘em up play -- which seeks to answer the rhetorical question of whether art imitates life -- has issued a casting notice. Its Broadway berth has yet to be announced.

A self-deprecating Elton once described himself as “a smug earnest git.” Quite the renaissance man, thanks to a wide-ranging career spanning stand-up comedy, film direction and best-selling books (“Popcorn” initially appeared as an acclaimed 1996 novel), Ben Elton is very well known in the United Kingdom. However, he is far from a household name stateside. Elton is perhaps most familiar to American audiences for his work on the British television program “Blackadder” or for his collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the musical The Beautiful Game.

Whether or not Popcorn will "pop" with American audiences remains to be seen. I’ll be curious to hear from readers who are familiar with this work.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
Broadway Preview: West Side Story (July 24, 2008)
Broadway Preview: 9 To 5 (July 16, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Mary Stuart (July 15, 2008)
Broadway Preview: The American Plan (July 14, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Shrek The Musical (July 13, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Waiting For Godot (July 12, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Pal Joey (July 11, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Dividing The Estate (July 10, 2008)
Broadway Preview: 13 (July 9, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Speed-The-Plow (July 8, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Billy Elliot - The Musical (July 7, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Godspell (July 6, 2008)
Broadway Preview: All My Sons (July 5, 2008)
Broadway Preview: A Man For All Seasons (July 3, 2008)
Broadway Preview: To Be Or Not To Be (July 2, 2008)
Broadway Preview: The Seagull (July 1, 2008)
Broadway Preview: Equus (June 30, 2008)
Broadway Preview: A Tale Of Two Cities (June 28, 2008)
Broadway Preview: for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (June 25, 2008)
Broadway Preview: [title of show] (June 24, 2008)
Broadway: What's Next (June 20, 2008)

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At 28 July, 2008, Blogger Vance said...

Elton also wrote the book for We Will Rock You. Which is not a good thing.

Sadly, I don't remember Popcorn having any of the wit of Blackadder and thought it was amusingly funny making fun of the lowbrow by being lowbrow.

I think I was entertained for my money (I'm pretty sure I got 5 pound rush seats) but I remembered thinking... THIS won the Olivier award? Seriously?

I'm quite shocked it's even being considered for Broadway or is even being talked about it at all, but maybe I just didn't get it back then.

At 28 July, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks Vance. I forgot about We Will Rock You, primarily because I believe it's only U.S. production was mounted in Vegas.

At 28 July, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I have the polar opposite view to Vance - having enjoyed what he did with We Will Rock You and thinking Popcorn is a wonderful satire. Is it equal to Blackadder? Difficult to say - that's a tough work to be up against. But of Ben Elton's novels, Popcorn is probably my favourite - though the line-up is impressive.

I haven't seen the stage show, though. I did, strangely enough, just come into possession of a programme from its Melbourne stage debut, though.

Interesting that after all these years it will make it to Broadway, though. I wondered if it would remain forgotten.

At 28 July, 2008, Blogger the artist formerly known as jess. said...

I'm not too familiar with Popcorn, but I have heard of the Blackadder series, being a Hugh Laurie fan.

I'll be keeping my curious eye on this...

At 28 July, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the book and was not impressed. I believe Popcorn has had regional US stagings - one that I can recall in LA which was panned. I see this as being DOA- dead on arrival.


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