posted by • August 18th, 2014 • (0) Comments

L.A. Theatreworks recently announced their upcoming season which includes Jonathan Groff in The Whipping Man. Performances start July 16-19! Details below:

The Whipping Man
by Matthew Lopez

at The James Bridges Theater, UCLA, Melnitz Hall
235 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Located in Melnitz Hall on the UCLA Campus
ENTER UCLA OFF OF SUNSET AND HILGARD; PARK IN LOT THREE – VISITOR’S SECTION.

Directed by Judyann Elder, starring Jonathan Groff (Frozen, Looking)
Tensions run high as Caleb (Jonathan Groff), a young Jewish Confederate soldier, celebrates Passover with his family’s newly freed slaves in their crumbling antebellum mansion. This gripping drama explores a little known aspect of the Civil War, unearthing dark family secrets on the way to a shocking climax. Described as “haunting, striking and powerful” by the New York Times, the play won the 2011 New York Outer Critics Circle Award.

“…wonderfully satisfying…the action spools out elegantly as new revelations arise and characterizations deepen.” — Alexis Soloski, The Village Voice

Buy tickets

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posted by • July 17th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Check out this latest Side by Side with Susan Blackwell where Sutton Foster prank calls Jonathan.

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posted by • July 16th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Season 2 of the HBO series Looking hasn’t even started filming yet but that didn’t stop the enthusiasm for the show, its cast (Jonathan Groff, Murray Bartlett, Frankie J Alvarez, new full-time cast member Lauren Weedman) and creator Michael Lannan at Saturday’s Outfest panel, Inside Looking.

The warm and chummy group took to the stage at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles to talk about how the first season was received and what we can expect with the second season, which will premiere in early 2015 on HBO.

Before the panel, however, TheBacklot was on the red carpet and, among other topics, we talked to Groff about just how he stayed in shape during his hiatus. We also asked Alvarez whether fans will be less polarized about his character Agustin in Season 2 and got Lannan to explain his process for creating new characters to inhabit the world of Looking for its new episodes.

Watch interviews here

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posted by • July 16th, 2014 • (0) Comments

At L.A.’s Outfest on Saturday afternoon, the cast and creators of HBO’s “Looking” gathered for a Q&A panel discussion about the show, which, although didn’t show any footage from the new season since they don’t start shooting for another month, did reveal a few nuggets of information to savor while we wait in anticipation for season two.

1. Those three characters announced may not be a big deal.
“It’s funny when you see those things,” said director and exec producer Andrew Haigh, “because sometimes they’re people with two lines in one episode.” So, maybe for those three diverse characters already announced, we shouldn’t get our hopes up.

2. But more characters are on the way.
“You’ll see more great additional characters,” creator and exec producer Michael Lannan assured the audience.

3. Agustin has a new love interest.
One character that hasn’t been announced already is a new love interest for Agustin named Eddie, which arrived as news even to Frankie J. Alvarez on stage. Maybe a new love interest will help set Agustin straight after he became such an insufferably divisive character in season one.

4. A “cuddlier” character will be introduced.
After an audience member raised a question about the under-representation of overweight gay men on the show, Haigh teased there would be the addition of a “cuddlier guy.” Sounds like the show will be getting its first bear.

5. Doris will get a love life.
“I’d like more sex scenes for me,” Lauren Weedman joked, mentioning her singular makeout scene with Hugo, her barely-there love interest from season one. “There is a love interest,” Haigh told her about season two, to which she responded: “I can’t wait to see how you picture a Doris love interest.” “He’s a very attractive, smart man,” Haigh said. “There is some sex,” he added. “Oh, I’m sure everyone wants to see that,” Weedman immediately retorted.

6. Scott Bakula will return.
After Raul Castillo and Weedman both got upped to series regulars, the fate of Scott Bakula’s Lynn was left in a bit of limbo. Would we get to see how the relationship between him and Dom either progressed or resolved? The answer is that we will. “There will be more of Patrick with Kevin and Richie, and we’ll also see what happens with Dom and Lynn and how they navigate that,” Haigh said.

7. More family time could be coming.
Haigh noted they will continue to explore the complex dynamic between Patrick and his mother, which so profoundly came to a head in season one’s seventh episode. He then added the desire for over the course of the show to explore all of the characters’ relationships with their families.

8. The Golden Girls will be together more.
While a large portion of season one had the trio of Patrick, Agustin and Dom apart and dealing with their own situations, Haigh noted, “in season two, there’s a lot more of the three of them together, which I think is good.”

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posted by • July 8th, 2014 • (0) Comments

The highly acclaimed HBO film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s acclaimed Tony Award-winning play THE NORMAL HEART, directed by Ryan Murphy, is now available for pre-order on DVD and Blu-ray.

The official description of The Normal Heart on HBO is as follows: “Directed by Emmy winner Ryan Murphy (“Eat Pray Love,” “Glee”) and written by Academy Award nominee Larry Kramer (“Women in Love”), adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS Crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. The film also stars Alfred Molina (“An Education”), Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (“Law & Order”), Jonathan Groff(HBO’s “Looking”), Denis O’Hare (HBO’s “True Blood”), Stephen Spinella (“Milk”), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”),Finn Wittrock (“Unbroken”) and BD Wong (HBO’s “Oz”). An HBO Films presentation of a Plan B and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions, The Normal Heart is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto (“Glee”), Jason Blum (the “Paranormal Activity” series), Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”), Dede Gardner (“12 Years a Slave”). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces; Scott Ferguson (HBO’s “Temple Grandin”) produces.”

THE NORMAL HEART aired May 25 at 9 PM on HBO.

Order The Normal Heart on DVD and Blu-ray on Amazon here.

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posted by • July 1st, 2014 • (0) Comments

“I hate karaoke,” Jonathan Groff tells me while shrugging on a leather jacket. “I love going to see other people do karaoke, but performing karaoke stresses me out. I get nervous that it’s like not in the right key. Or will I be able to hear the band? Is the mix right? Too many things out of my control.” This might come as a surprise, considering Groff, 29, was nominated for a Tony for his first role in a Broadway production, Spring Awakening, at the tender age of 22, before going on to star as Lea Michele’s vocally gifted boyfriend, Jesse St. James, on Glee.

But the baby-faced Groff, currently gearing up to film the second season of HBO’s comedy-drama Looking (oft-called the gay Girls), is more low-key than you’d expect from a guy who can claim Lea Michele as a BFF. (The two were co-stars in Spring Awakening, and Groff has to apologize for cutting our interview short, but he has to go meet Michele at Barnes & Noble to be on hand for a Q&A about her new memoir, Brunette Ambition.)

Groff is everywhere lately—announcing the nominees for the Tonys, making a cameo in Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s epic AIDS drama The Normal Heart, and of course, being part of the whole Frozen juggernaut as Kristoff (a love interest who doesn’t turn out to be a total d-bag)—but he still approaches his fame with a sense of wary wonder.

“I haven’t googled myself in five years,” he brags, smiling. “I stay completely unhooked when it comes to social media.” That’s right … he doesn’t even have a Twitter account.

All these attributes in such a young star might be enough to make Groff emblematic of “New Hollywood”—his laid-back attitude towards stardom, his loyalty to a few choice contacts like Murphy, Michele and Looking’s co-creator Andrew Haigh. But add the fact that Groff began his career in Tinseltown already out of the closet, and the actor becomes much more than a symbol. He’s a sign of the changing times.

“I feel really lucky to be acting in 2014,” says Groff, who didn’t officially come out until after Spring Awakening. “Even 10 years ago, it was a totally different scene.”

Unlike hunks of yesteryear, Groff has spent no time in the closet. “I wasn’t denying it or anything, I knew I would talk about it someday, but I didn’t know how or why or when. But then I fell in love for the first time after the show, and I thought ‘Well, I’d rather be out and be in love with this person than try to hide it for any job I had when I came out,’ so I just said fuck it.”

“Being in love was more powerful than any job I’d had before,” adds Groff, who came out publicly at the National Equality March in D.C. in 2009. “That was the impetus.”

Read more over at SceneMag.com

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posted by • June 5th, 2014 • (0) Comments

Orlando Bloom, Barrett Foa, Jonathan Groff, T.I., LL COOL J, Samuel L. Jackson, Judith Light, Rosie O’Donnell and Patrick Wilson have been added to the star-studded lineup on THE 68TH ANNUAL TONY AWARDS®, live from Radio City Music Hall, Sunday, June 8 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/ delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Jennifer Hudson will also take the stage to perform a number from the upcoming new musical “Finding Neverland.”

Hosted by Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Hugh Jackman, Broadway’s biggest night will feature performances by 2014 Tony nominee Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” 2014 Tony nominee Sutton Foster with the cast of “Violet,” Alan Cumming reprising his Tony Award-winning role in a performance from the revival of “Cabaret,” and 2014 Tony nominee Idina Menzel performing a song from the new musical “If/Then.” The evening will also feature not-to-be missed performances by the casts of this year’s Best Musical and Best Musical Revival Nominees, as well as from the new musicals “Aladdin,” “LES MISERABLES,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” “Bullets Over Broadway” and “Rocky.”

The cast of “Wicked” will return to Radio City Music Hall for the first time since 2004, when they won three Tony Awards. They will take the stage once again for a very special performance to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary.

Music legends Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight will join Fantasia for an unforgettable performance with the cast of “After Midnight.” Sting will perform a song from his upcoming musical, “The Last Ship.”

As previously announced, Kevin Bacon, Matt Bomer, Wayne Brady, Zach Braff, Kenneth Branagh, Patricia Clarkson, Bradley Cooper, Fran Drescher, Clint Eastwood, Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Vera Farmiga, Will Ferrell, Tony Goldwyn, Anna Gunn, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Carole King, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Kate Mara, Tony nominee Audra McDonald, Leighton Meester, Alessandro Nivola, Zachary Quinto, Emmy Rossum and Liev Schreiber will make appearances on the awards show, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway.

This year marks the 68th anniversary of the TONY Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions (a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys).

The June 2012 broadcast of THE 66th ANNUAL Tony Awards was honored with four Primetime Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Special Class Programs, Outstanding Music Direction, Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics (“If I Had Time”) and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special. This marked the fourth consecutive year the telecast was awarded for Outstanding Special Class Programs.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will serve as director for the 15th consecutive year.

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