Broadway Backwards, the annual gala that bans gender constraints in its performances, will make its virtual premiere on March 30 as a benefit for both Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. The show will feature Jay Armstrong Johnson as an isolated New Yorker who dreams a fantastical journey guided by a late-night television host, portrayed by Jenn Colella. New performances will be merged with numbers from previous editions of Broadway Backwards. The evening will also include performances and appearances from Darren Criss, Lea Salonga, Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox, Matt Bomer, Ariana DeBose, Robin De Jesús, Cynthia Erivo, Joshua Henry, Cherry Jones, Kelli O’Hara and Jim Parsons. Additional guests will be announced later. The online event can be viewed here and will remain available through April 3.
Celebrating 10 years on the air, singing competition The Voice will begin it’s 20th season on March 1. The show, known for it’s trademark rotating judging chairs, has inspired spin-offs all over Europe, Asia, and Australia. In the American version’s 20th season, there are some changes in the judges’ seats and new faces as the mentors. It should be another season that fans can’t get enough of, from the blind auditions to the final live performances.
Nick Jonas picked Darren Criss as his team’s mentor. Both Jonas and Criss are singers and actors. Jonas took over Criss’ role in Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying after Criss’s engagement was up. They also co-starred in the historical film Midway. Criss’ breakout role was on the musical series Glee and has since done everything from TV to movies to Broadway to voice acting. Criss took to Twitter to thank Jonas for picking him, joking about calling himself the “bonus Jonas.”
I know I joke a lot about being a bonus Jonas. But I guess if you joke enough about something, dreams…come…true? That’s the saying, right?
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) February 1, 2021
iHeartRadio, FlynnPictureCo., Psychopia Pictures and UpperRoom Productions have defied the pandemic to complete production on There Be Monsters, a 10-part narrative sci-fi thriller podcast. Starring are Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s John Boyega and American Crime: The Assassination of Gianni Versace‘s Darren Criss. There Be Monsters is produced by Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo., Dan Bush of Psychopia Pictures and Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions, and it will be available later this year on the iHeartPodcast Network.
Boyega plays Jack Locke, a mysterious hero with a vendetta who infiltrates a Silicon Valley body hacking startup run by an enigmatic CEO Max Fuller (Criss), whose highly secretive creations promise to enhance human biology in incredible ways. Of course, every drug has a side effect.
iHeartRadio began developing this with the producers in late 2019 as part of its expanding slate of immersive PodFiction audio dramas. As the creative team was getting ready to fly to London, Atlanta and L.A. to record the actors in early 2020, the pandemic hit and shut them down. Despite the challenges of executing a scripted fictional podcast thriller remotely with a full cast of actors, they harnessed a completely remote technological process. Each cast member was sent a “Studio in a Box,” which included important materials from a professional studio microphone to tutorial videos – which allowed the cast to record studio-quality “scripted” audio from the safety of their own homes, while still performing together. They connected virtually via teleconference across multiple continents and time zones. The director, producers and actors connected virtually daily for six hours to record – and over the course of two weeks the production captured over 400 pages of material with 20 different actors.
“The process to develop this scripted show and the ability to capture the connection, emotions and overall dynamic between the cast members while recording remotely, from across the globe, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Conal Byrne, president of the iHeartPodcast Network.
The PodFi also stars Marley Shelton (Rampage), Clark Gregg (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Tony nominee Sahr Ngaujah (Fela!, Patti Cake$). The series was created and directed by Dan Bush (The Vault, The Signal), who co-wrote along with Nicholas Tecosky. Boyega was the first to attach as star and producer.
“Getting to explore this format of storytelling whilst also adjusting to new methods of recording with the cast members made it an exciting process,” said Boyega. “I’m thrilled it all came together and hope audiences are just as drawn in as I was to this sci-fi thriller series.”
Of his creation, Bush said “There Be Monsters is a psychological thriller that chronicles the rise of humankind 2.0, and the disruptions to society that come with it. We chose to format this story as a scripted podcast because it is an immersive, storytelling playground.”
The official trailer for Darren’s upcoming Quibi show ‘Royalties‘ dropped today. Darren plays songwriter ‘Pierce‘, and he also served as producer and co-writer for the series – as well as composing 10 new songs for the show. Check out the new trailer below, along with screencaptures and episode stills in the gallery!
New music will follow each episode from June 1 through 10. The full official soundtrack, the first for a Quibi series, arrives on June 12.
See the track list below:
“This is a Theme Song (From Royalties)” – Darren Criss, Kether Donohue, Royalties Cast “Just That Good (From Royalties)” – Rufus Wainwright, Royalties Cast “Break It In (From Royalties)” – Lil Rel Howery, KingJet, Royalties Cast “Let Your Hair Down (From Royalties)” – Bonnie McKee, Royalties Cast “Kick Your Shoes Off (From Royalties)” – Bonnie McKee, Royalties Cast “Mighty As Kong (From Royalties)” – Mark Hamill, Royalties Cast “I Am So Much Better Than You At Everything (From Royalties)” – Darren Criss, Royalties Cast “Make You Come True (From Royalties)” – Jordan Fisher, Royalties Cast “Prizefighter (From Royalties)” – Julianne Hough, Royalties Cast “Also You (From Royalties)” – Jackie Tohn, Darren Criss, Royalties Cast “I Hate That I Need You (From Royalties)” – Jennifer Coolidge, NIve, Darren Criss, Royalties Cast “Perfect Song (From Royalties)” – Sabrina Carpenter, Royalties Cast
A new featurette was recently released on the Justice League Dark: Apokolips War DVD & Blu-ray, giving fans a sneak peek of the upcoming movie Superman: Man of Tomorrow, where Darren voices the character of Clark Kent/Superman. Check out the sneak peek video below, as well as HQ screencaptures in the gallery.
Superman: Man of Tomorrow becomes available on digital video, 4K Ultra combo pack, and Blu-ray combo pack this summer.