amBroadway | ‘Chicago’ now the longest-running Broadway show, Ariana DeBose to host the Tony’s and more

Photo by Jeffery Daniel

‘Chicago’ becomes longest-running show currently on Broadway

Less than 24 hours after “The Phantom of the Opera” played its final performance on Broadway on Sunday night, the folks over at “Chicago” sent out a press release noting that “Chicago” is now officially the longest-running show currently on Broadway. In order for “Chicago” to take the place of “Phantom” as the longest-running Broadway show of all time (which may very well happen thanks to its low weekly running costs), it will need to run for about nine more years. In any event, “The Lion King” (which opened one year after “Chicago”) will not be far behind it.

The press release also noted that the show’s 96-year-old composer John Kander, has had a show running on Broadway every season for the last 50 years. Kander’s newest musical, “New York, New York,” is currently in previews at the St. James Theatre and will officially open next week.

Ariana DeBose is back as Tony Awards host

Ariana DeBose will return as the host of this year’s Tony Awards, which will be held Sunday, June 11 from the United Place in Washington Heights and telecast on CBS. (It is currently unknown whether DeBose will reprise her notorious BAFTA rap.) Before she played Anita in the film remake of “West Side Story,” DeBose appeared in six Broadway musicals including “Pippin,” “Hamilton,” and “Summer” (the Donna Summer jukebox musical).

‘The Ride’ bringing bus back to Midtown

“The Ride,” the long-running traveling theatrical attraction set on a bus which drives around Midtown, will return on Friday after having shut down in the fall. “We have updated the script and the tech, we were able to hire back most of the hosts, performers, and technicians – which was fantastic – and we’re currently in rehearsals,” new owner Mark Fayer said in a statement. What I remember most distinctively from “The Ride” is a bit with a young woman on Sixth Avenue who sang about how she needed directions to Broadway.

‘Paw Patrol Live!’ returns to MSG with new edition

Many parents have mixed feelings about “PAW Patrol,” as perhaps best demonstrated by a “Saturday Night Live” sketch from last year which imagined the real-life implications of having a town’s municipal services handled by a group of puppies with high-tech gadgets. Nevertheless, their children are likely to get a kick out of “PAW Patrol Live! Heroes Unite,” which will play the Theater at Madison Square Garden this weekend.

I previously took my two children (who have been binging on “Paw Patrol” and its various spinoffs quite a lot lately) to see “Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure.” While it is not exactly legitimate theater, the show’s special effects (including massive, vehicle-style puppets of the pups operated by performers who simultaneously sing and dance) are quite impressive.

According to Luke Collins, who plays the pup Rubble (and who considers the role “the most challenging yet rewarding job I’ve ever had”), “Heroes Unite” is the most interactive “PAW Patrol Live!” show to date, with children receiving “pup tags” and being encouraged to participate in the show. The new edition also incorporates Robo Dog and Liberty (whose entrance on an electric scooter apparently evokes gasps from the audience).