“SoundSo far he hasn’t been much interested in the current Broadway sounds. That will change drastically with this Monday’s episode, which will feature a show-stopping issue of “.Shucked”—the moment a song from a currently-running Broadway show is featured for the first time in a long-running singing competition series.
The song is “In Independently Owned,” a major nighttime show for the Tony nominee. Alex Newell. The fact that the first, and possibly the biggest, number of standing ovations came in the middle of the first act has been cited as a rare example of an original Broadway musical… and a testament to “Shucked” the production as a whole. It’s going downhill from that old barn burner.
“We envisioned ‘The Voice’ as a platform to develop talent while always being relevant and up to date,” says Melissa Watkins Trueblood, head of talent for “The Voice.” Variation. “Having such an extraordinary talent as Alex Newell and being a part of this journey of ‘Shucked’ is such a joy.”
Newell’s performance was booked during a time of uncertainty when the Tonys didn’t seem likely to air on network television in June of this year; kudocast is especially important for productions like “Shucked” that didn’t have a lot of IP name value beforehand. It looks like the Tony’s show will continue, and the producers have struck a deal with the Writers Guild to continue the broadcast next month. “Shucked” would certainly benefit from a double boost in prime time if a number were booked for the Tonys as well, but with Newell’s higher ratings and moving beyond ordinary theater audiences, his appearance on “The Voice” provides a first. opportunity that other Broadway shows starved.
“Alex Newell is the ‘voice’ of Broadway,” said Jason Owen of Sandbox Entertainment, one of the producers of “Shucked.” Alex’s Tony-nominated performance, along with the incredible cast and creators of ‘Shucked’ continues to win the hearts of everyone who watches this series. Thank you to ‘The Voice’ and my friends at NBC for giving ‘Shucked’ – and the Broadway community – the opportunity to reach millions of viewers from coast to coast with an incredible, memorable performance.” ‘Keep winning the hearts of everyone who sees this show. ‘The Voice’ and NBC We are grateful to my friends at ‘Shucked’ – and the Broadway community – for giving an incredible, memorable performance the opportunity to reach millions of viewers from coast to coast.”
Lately Variation Newell profile highlighted the actor’s unusual position prior to his Tony nominations: vying for best supporting actor or supporting actress. The character Lulu in the scene is a cis woman and there is no gender fluidity in the script or is seen by most viewers. But Newell is not gender-appropriate, accepting the pronouns he, she and they. Ultimately, Newell (formerly known to TV viewers for “Glee” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”) wanted to be considered a supporting actor.
The cast of “Shucked” is an ensemble where the other actors also receive a standing ovation every night; If the Tonys want to pick a different number than “Independently Owner” to put on that broadcast, there are plenty of selections to choose from. But with Tony’s nod, there’s little doubt that Newell stands out among the highlights. Newell is also nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League Awards.
“I’m so excited to be bringing Broadway to ‘The Voice’,” Newell said in a statement. “As a fan of the show, I love that it’s about embracing and celebrating big, fascinating voices. And being the first to sing my big trick on TV is the cherry on top.”
The episode featuring Newell’s performance will air Monday from 8pm to 10pm ET/PT on NBC.
In the Tony nominations announcement, “Shucked” came in second with nine nominations, trailing only “Some Like It Hot”. Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, co-authors of “Independently Owned” and the rest of the music, are vying for top score. Other nominees for the show include Jack O’Brien for directing and Robert Horn for best book for a musical. Contesting for an acting award, Newell is joined by Kevin Cahoon, a comedy knockout that arguably generates the most laughs every night, although in a less prominent singing role on the show. The show is also ready for the big, best musical as well as landscape design, sound design and orchestrations.
Read more about “Shucked” Variation‘s story “How Broadway ‘Hardened’: A 12-Year Journey into a Chaos Production That Could Be the Musical-Comedy Sleeper of the Season.”