Jim Jones Says He Hopes More Rappers Go Broadway

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via HipHopDX

Jim Jones [click to read] has taken his act to a stage, but not one we may have come to expect. Instead of a regular stage he normally performs on, he’s taken his act to the theater stage. He recently worked on Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones.

While many believed he went into this to pursue another avenue of expression, Jones admitted that it had nothing to do with artistry.

“I’m not one of the people who say I do things for the craft of it,” Jones said in an interview, according to Associated Press.

“Even though when I get on camera you think that (I’m) a crafty individual, but I’m all about the money and whatever it takes for me to get that money, I’m going to master that,” he said.

He also said he hopes other rappers can follow his lead into Broadway.

“I should hope I’ve created a new lane for rappers who are woody enough to complete a task like this to go into a whole other form of revenue,”he added.

The play was featured at New York’s 37 Arts Theater.

In related news, a free screening of This is Jim Jones, the documentary, will be shown this Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia.

Saturday, April 18th

Sound Shop
816 Oak Street
Atlanta, Ga 30310
2:00 PM

Jim Jones Reprises Play On March 24th

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via Allhiphop

Harlem, New York rapper Jim Jones will launch a five-day run of his critically acclaimed play Hip Hop Monologues.

Jones will perform in five different showings, which will take place March 24-28th at the 37 Arts Theater in New York.

Hip Hop Monologues, which is produced by Damon Dash, Sony Entertainment and J Kyle’s Korner Ent., originally debuted in November 2008.

The play featured Jones performing songs from his latest album Pray IV Reign in the form or a scripted story.

Hip Hop Monologues is an autobiographical telling of Jones’ life, which centers around his family, fame, fortune and jealous rivals.

After advice from an elder, Jones is faced with the decision of pursuing his career or returning to life on the streets.

During the play, Jones will be backed by a live band conducted by Om’Mas Keith of SA-RA, as well as a number of professional actors.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow (March 10). Prices start at $40.

U2 bringing Spider-Man musical to Broadway — Can this superhero conquer the Tonys?

via LA Times

Bono and the Edge of U2 are the latest mainstream musicians to pen songs for a Broadway show. They have teamed up with visionary director Julie Taymor to bring “Spider-Man” to Broadway next year. The show — titled “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” — will tell the story of the superhero’s origins. Beyond that there is no word as to which villains will appear, nor is there any official news of casting, though Evan Rachel Wood (“The Wrestler”) may be starring.spidey

While this will be the first legit musical for these 22-time Grammy Award winners, they are in capable hands with Julie Taymor. Back in 1997, she transformed the Disney animated film “The Lion King” into a dazzling stage musical that is still running on Broadway. The show won six 1998 Tony Awards, including best musical, and Taymor became the first woman to win for directing a musical.

However, Elton John and Tim Rice — who won the 1994 Oscar for the film’s love song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” — lost the score award to Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (“Ragtime”). They won this award two years later for “Aida.” Though that show ran four years, John’s next musical, “Lestat” — which reunited him with long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin — ran only four weeks in 2006. However, this season John is back on Broadway with the smash hit “Billy Elliot,” which could well pull sweep the Tony Awards this June.

When other popular musicmakers have come to Broadway with new or improved works, they have usually landed at least a Tony Award nomination. For 1993’s “Tommy,” Pete Townshend tied with Broadway veterans John Kander and Fred Ebb (“The Kiss of the Spiderwoman”) for the score award. Paul Simon also competed for that 1998 score award with lyricist Derek Walcott for the critically dismissed “The Capeman.” In 2002, Harry Connick, Jr. was nominated for “Thou Shalt Not” but lost to Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan, who came up with additional tunes for best musical champ “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Though “Taboo” was a 2004 flop, Boy George did contend for his score — he lost to Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the songs for best musical winner “Avenue Q.” And last season, singer-songwriter Stew lost the score award to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in best musical winner “In the Heights” but won the best book award for “Passing Strange.”

However, the road to success on Broadway is littered with flops based on hit song catalogs. Just three seasons ago, the success of “Jersey Boys” — a musical biography told through the songs of the Four Seasons that swept the 2006 Tony Awards — spawned a trio of misfires: “All Shook Up” (using the music of Elvis Presley), “Good Vibrations” (Beach Boys) and “Imagine” (John Lennon). Even acclaimed director-choreographer Twyla Tharp, who scored a hit in 2003 with “Movin’ Out” — a dance musical set to the songs of Billy Joel — flopped with her 2006 follow-up “The Times They Are A-Changin,’ ” based on the music of Bob Dylan.

Michael Jackson Taking ‘Thriller’ To Theater

via Billboard

Michael Jackson will help develop his groundbreaking “Thriller” video into a musical theater production, producers said today (Jan. 26).mikejac

The theater production will recreate the tale of the 14-minute horror film spoof based on the title song. In the video, a young couple are on a date when the boy — played by Jackson — becomes a werewolf.

“This musical will be the exclusive Michael Jackson authorized version of ‘Thriller’ and Jackson will participate in every aspect of the creative process,” said the Nederland Organization, which has acquired the rights to the musical.

“Thriller The Musical” will include songs from the 1982 album “Thriller” and its 1979 predecessor, “Off the Wall.”

The “Thriller” video, featuring dancing zombies and horror film star Vincent Price, was first aired in 1983 and became a staple of MTV. It was directed by filmmaker John Landis, who said it cost $500,000 — about 10 times the cost of the standard music video of the time. Continue reading

Jim Jones Brings His Solo Act to Broadway

via SOHH
His cameo in the action thriller, Righteous Kill, was just the beginning of Jim Jones‘ new acting career. In this SOHH exclusive the rapper reveals his plans to star in a one-man play, talk about his upcoming appearance on the TV series, Crash and recall his recent run-ins with Brooke Shields and Dennis Hopper.

With his major label debut dropping on Columbia Records early next year and a documentary on his life in the works, Jim Jones has plans to use one more medium to tell his story. This November, the Harlem rapper will star in a one-man play, entitled Hip-Hop Monologues, in Manhattan’s theater district.

“We say it’s like a glorified listening session but it now has really turned into a musical, to a real live play,” Jones told SOHH. “It’s a one-man theatrical with characters to help me paint the picture, which is my life and things that I’ve been through.”

The performance, which will run on November 12th and 13th, features a live band and a select group of additional actors. Continue reading