Friday, June 24, 2016

Week in Review 6.24.16

Broadway Farewells

Three closing notices were posted this week. First, we learned that Fun Home, which won five Tonys last year, will conclude its Broadway run on September 10. Playbill has details. Then came word that the Gershwin musical An American in Paris will conclude its Broadway run on January 1, 2017. The national tour begins this October, and a London production, led by Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope (who originated the roles of Jerry and Lise, respectively, on Broadway) will bow in March 2017. Theater Mania has more. (Scroll down in this post for casting news about the new Jerry.) Finally (and, perhaps, most surprisingly), it was announced that Shuffle Along or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed will conclude its Broadway run on July 24. That was the day that would have marked Audra McDonald's final performance before maternity leave. Producers report, though, that advance ticket sales for the post-Audra months slumped, and it would not be cost-effective to continue the run. Playbill has more, including statements from lead producer, Scott Rudin, and Ms. McDonald. (The silver lining to Shuffle shuttering is that it's possible Shuffle star Joshua Henry could take over as A. Burr in Hamilton, a performance I'd like to see.)

Fashionable Fall Gala

For the fifth year in a row, New York City Ballet is pairing choreographers with high-fashion designers for the Company's fall gala. Guest choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa will work with designer Rossie Assoulin; principal dancer Lauren Lovette (making her choreographic debut with NYCB) will work with Narciso Rodriguez; resident choreographer and Company soloist Justin Peck will work with Dries Van Noten; and corps de ballet member Peter Walker (also making his choreographic debut with NYCB) will work with Jason Wu. The fall gala will be held on Tuesday, September 20, and tickets are now on sale. (Pro tip for those who want to see the ballets and collaborations but can't shell out gala prices: the program will be repeated several times throughout the fall season. See the fall repertory calendar for details.)

Phillipa Soo to Star in Amelie on Broadway

Late-breaking last week: Tony nominee Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) will lead the Broadway company of Amelie, taking on the title role. Soo previously played Amelie in an industry workshop. The musical adaptation of the eponymous movie features a book by Craig Lucas (An American in Paris) and a score by Daniel Messe (music and lyrics) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics). After directing last summer's Berkeley Rep production of the show, Tony winner Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) will reprise her work on Broadway. (No additional casting has been announced, but stage favorite Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal, The Fortress of Solitude) was in the Berkeley production.) Exact dates and a theatre have yet to be announced, but the show is expected to bow in spring 2017. Playbill has more.

TV Tidbits

  • Kristin Chenoweth (On the Twentieth Century) has joined the company of Hairspray Live, the NBC live telecast of the musical. She'll play Velma Von Tussle in the December 7 event. has more.

  • The second season of Mr. Robot, which will premiere this summer, will have 12 episodes instead of 10. USA Network just ordered the two additional episodes, and announced a live after-show for the season premiere. The Wrap has more.

  • Check out the trailer for Looking: The Movie. Starring Jonathan Groff (Hamilton), this serves as a conclusion for the HBO series, and airs on the premium cable channel on Saturday, July 23.

Kennedy Center Honorees Announced

The 2016 Kennedy Center Honors recipients have been announced. Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein says, "The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society." This year's honorees are Al Pacino (Glengarry Glen Ross); pianist Martha Argerich; the Eagles, who, this year, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Mavis Staples; and James Taylor, whose pal, Carole King, was a Kennedy Center Honoree last year. The gala, award presentation, and tribute performance usually takes place in late November, and on December 27, CBS will broadcast an edited version of the ceremony and performances. Playbill has more.

Casting News, Welcomes and Departures

  • Newly-minted Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. took to his Facebook page (see the video post from June 19) to let fans know that he will be taking his final bow in Hamilton on July 9, along with co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo. Ensemble member Ariana DeBose (known as "The Bullet" for her part in the climactic duel scene) is also leaving the show on July 9, and the actress also took to Facebook to share the news.

  • Sierra Boggess (Guys and Dolls) will depart School of Rock on August 8, and then head over to the City of Lights to lead the company of The Phantom of the Opera. Boggess has played Christine Daae in Phantom before, but this will be her first time playing the role in Paris. Playbill has more.

  • An American in Paris will welcome a new Jerry Mulligan on July 19: Dimitri Kleioris. Current Jerry, Garen Scribner, will play his final performance on Broadway on July 17, but he'll soon lead the first national tour. has more.

  • On Your Feet will welcome Ektor Rivera, who'll make his Broadway debut as Emilio Estefan. He'll play his first performance on July 12, and is taking over for Josh Segarra (whose last performance is July 10), who is departing the show in anticipation of appearing on the CW show, Arrow. Playbill has more.

  • Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle will play his final performance in Something Rotten on July 16, according to a post on the show's Facebook page. After that post was made, reported that Will Chase will take over the role beginning July 18. Borle won his second Tony for his performance of rock star writer William Shakespeare in the audience-pleasing tuner (his first was for playing Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher), and Chase previously played The Bard in a workshop of Something Rotten.
The Humans Get a New Home

After winning the Tony Award for Best Play, Stephen Karam's The Humans is moving to a larger theatre. The production, which made Tony winners out of Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell, will conclude its run at the 576-seat Helen Hayes Theatre July 24, and then take up residence at the 1,031-seat Schoenfeld Theatre August 9. In addition to ticket demand, the move is precipitated by upcoming renovations to the Helen Hayes. The Humans, directed by Joe Mantello, began its New York run in October 2015 at Roundabout's off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre, and also stars Sarah Steele, Cassie Beck, Arian Moayed, and Lauren Klein. Variety has more.

Dig This

  • John Gallagher, Jr. talks to Theater Mania about working on Long Day's Journey Into Night, which concludes its limited run on Sunday, June 26.

  • Comedian Lewis Black (you've seen him on The Daily Show doing his "Back in Black" segments) will bring his stand-up act to Broadway's Marquis Theatre for five consecutive Mondays. (The Marquis's theatrical tenant, On Your Feet, is dark on Mondays.) Playbill has more.

  • NYCB principal dancer and Tony nominee Robert Fairchild (An American in Paris) wrote a "Why I Dance" essay for Dance magazine.

  • The 2016-2017 Tony Nominating Committee has been announced. These are the people who see all shows and decide the Tony nominees. New committee members include songwriter Michal John LaChiusa, Ellen Sorrin (director of The George Balanchine Trust), and actress Jessica Stone. Playbill has the full list of committee members.

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) took to Periscope (a Twitter feature) to tell fans about the Hamilton Mixtape and the archive recording. Visit Playbill or for summaries of the pertinent information.

  • The deluxe version of Barbra Streisand's latest Broadway-themed album, Encore, will feature four additional songs. has details.

  • Broadway Barks will be hosted by co-found Bernadette Peters and Broadway newcomer, Gloria Estefan. The pet adoption drive will take place July 30, and several stage favorites will be on hand to introduce the adoptable pets. Playbill has details.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Week in Review 6.17.16

Tony Awards Wrap Up

Broadway's biggest night was a smashing success, with Hamilton winning an impressive (though not record-making, -breaking, or -tie-ing) 11 awards. Herein, some fun Tony extras
Casting News

  • Ben Schwartz (House of Lies, This is Where I Leave You) has joined the cast of Blue Iguana, a dark comedy also starring Sam Rockwell (Fool for Love). Deadline has more.

  • Additional casting has been announced for the Hollywood Bowl presentation of A Chorus Line. Joining the previously announced Robert Fairchild are Krysta Rodriguez (First Date, Spring Awakening) and Mario Lopez, both of whom appeared in the most recent Broadway revival. The show will be presented July 29-31. Theater Mania has more.

  • It's official: Lin-Manuel Miranda will play his final (for now?) performance as A. Ham on July 9. Lucky for us Hamilfans, though, current alternate Javier Munoz will take over the role full time beginning July 11. (Munoz is fantastic; I saw him both off-Broadway and on. Get to know him in this Variety article.) Like Miranda, Munoz will perform the role for seven shows each week. Munoz's alternate is yet to be named. Washington Post theatre critic Peter Marks had breakfast with Miranda and Munoz, and tweeted the news. (Marks also noted that the Hamilton documentary will air on PBS on Monday, October 17. Playbill has more about that, and the Hamilton Mixtape.)

  • Brian d'Arcy James (Something Rotten, Spotlight) has joined the cast of the upcoming Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. The series is written by Brian Yorkey (with whom d'Arcy James worked on Next to Normal) and directed by Tom McCarthy (with whom d'Arcy James worked on Spotlight.) He will also appear in the pilot of the TNT series, CivilDeadline has more.

  • David Hyde Pierce (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) will lead the cast of Adam Bock's A Life at Playwrights Horizons this fall. As previously reported, in spring 2017, he'll join Bette Midler in a revival of Hello Dolly. ABC News has more. 
2016-2017 Season Updates

With the 2015-2016 season in the books, let's look at some additions to the 2016-2017 season.
  • A Bronx Tale, a musical stage adaptation of the film, will bow on Broadway in December. Chazz Palminteri, who wrote the film based on his own life, wrote the musical's book, and Alan Menken and Glenn Slater wrote the score. Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks share directing duties, and Sergio Trujillo (On Your Feet) is choreographing the production. A Bronx Tale will play the Longacre Theatre. Previews begin November 3, and opening night is set for December 1. Playbill has more.

  • The one-man-show, The Encounter, created by and starring Simon McBurney, will play Broadway's Golden Theatre this fall. Previews for the limited engagement begin September 20, with opening night set for September 29. The run is scheduled to conclude on January 8, 2017. has more.
Bus and Truck News

  • Two more stops have been added to the Hamilton national tour: Salt Lake City and Denver. The tour will be part of the 2017-2018 season. has more about Salt Lake City and Denver.

  • The itinerary for the first national tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been announced. The tour will begin in Rochester on September 27, and other stops include Washington, DC, in October; West Palm Beach in November; Chicago in December; Philadelphia in February; and San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles in summer 2017. Visit Playbill for more.
Dig This

  • Additional episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher will air during the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions. Live, 30-minute editions of the show will air on the Wednesdays and Thursdays of convention weeks, with the regular one-hour show airing in its usual Friday night time slot. (The Republican convention is being held in Cleveland the week of July 18; the Democratic convention is being held in Philadelphia the week of July 25.) Vulture has more.

  • E! Online caught up with Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland) to talk about his new CBS show, Brain Dead, which airs Monday nights at 10.

  • Scott Ellis (She Loves Me) will direct the NBC live telecast of A Few Good Men. The broadcast will feature an updated script by Aaron Sorkin, and will air in early 2017. has more.

  • Not so diggable: Bright Star will conclude its Broadway run on June 26. Theater Mania has details.

  • Broadway HD and Roundabout have partnered to bring fans a live stream of She Loves Me on June 30. The revival is on Broadway through July 10, and stars Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi. Playbill has more. (Pro tip: if you have a Roku or other streaming device, buy a monthly subscription for $14.99, and link your account. Buying just the stream, a la carte, is $9.99, and you can only watch on your computer.)

  • Playbill checks in with songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, whose deeply affecting original musical, Dear Evan Hansen, is transferring to Broadway this fall. In the article, Pasek and Paul talk about what changes they're making—or not making—for the transfer. Tickets for the Broadway run go on sale this Sunday. Visit to learn more.

  • Speaking of Pasek and Paul, the original move musical La La Land will open the Venice International Film Festival in August. Pasek and Paul wrote the lyrics for the movie's original songs. La La Land was written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), and stars Emma Stone (Birdman), Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March), John Legend, and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, who worked with Chazelle on Whiplash. Playbill has more.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tony Award Winners

Herein, the full list of Tony Award winners. Winners are notated in bold typeface and with an asterisk.

Best Play

Best Revival of a Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Best Performance by An Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Best Direction of a Play

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Best Costume Design of a Play

Best Ligting Design of a Play

Best Musical

Best Revival of a Musical

Best Book of a Musical

Best Original Score Written for the Theatre
  • Bright Star, music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, lyrics: Edie Brickell
  • Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda*
  • School of Rock, music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics: Glenn Slater
  • Waitress, Sara Bareilles 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Best Direction of a Musical

Best Choreography

Best Orchestrations

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Non Competitive Awards and Honors
  • Sheldon Harnick and Marshall W. Mason, Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Awards
  • National Endowment for the Arts, Special Tony Award
  • Paper Mill Playhouse (Millburn, NJ), Regional Theatre Tony Award
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell, Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
  • Seth Gelblum, Joan Lader, and Sally Ann Parsons, Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

And there you have it. Bravo to everyone who created something!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Week in Review 6.10.16

Tony Season Update

All things Tony Awards—Before the main event, there's the pre-show. Tony red carpet coverage will begin at 5:30pm. Special correspondents will also be on hand throughout the night to bring you behind-the-scenes coverage. You can watch both on Visit Playbill for details. Once the broadcast starts, you can expect to see a starry roster of presenters. Some newly announced presenters include Jake Gyllenhaal, Angela Lansbury, Uzo Aduba, Aaron Tveit, Common, Chita Rivera, and Josh Groban, who'll make his Broadway debut this fall. Playbill and have the full list of presenters. And you can also expect to see many performances, ten to be exact. All of the musicals nominated for Best Musical and Best Musical revival will be represented. In addition, there will be a performance by Gloria Estefan and the cast of On Your Feet, which (rightly) received a nomination for Best Choreography. has details. And in case you need a reminder, take a look at my Tony Nominees post from last month.

In other award season news, Drama Desk Award winners were announced an celebrated over the weekend. Some of the winners include: The Humans, Outstanding Play; Shuffle Along..., Outstanding Musical; Saycon Sengbloh, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, Eclipsed; and Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Outstanding Lyrics, Dear Evan Hansen. Visit the Drama Desk website to see the full list of winners.

Coming to the Boards

Dear Evan Hansen has a home, (some) dates, and a cast! The deeply affecting original musical will take up residency at the Belasco Theatre. Though an exact date for first preview is still TBD, opening night is set for December 4. Most of the Second Stage cast will be making the transfer, including Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones. Joining the Broadway company is Michael Park, who, though not in the Second Stage production, was part of the company during its DC run. Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Steven Levenson and a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and is directed by Michael Greif. Tickets go on sale Sunday, June 19. Visit Playbill for more.

It's confirmed. There's yet another revival of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie coming to Broadway. As speculated, this one will star Sally Field and Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) as Amanda and Tom, respectively. Finn Witrock (Death of a Salesman) as Jim, the gentleman caller, and Madison Ferris, making her Broadway debut as Laura, complete the cast. Previews begin February 14, 2017, and opening night is scheduled for March 23. This revival (the last was in 2013) will be directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home, John) and play the Golden Theatre. Playbill has details.

Don't miss this: the Manhattan Theatre Club will mount a revival of Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes in spring 2017, with Laura Linney (Time Stands Still) and Cynthia Nixon (Wit, The Real Thing) alternating the roles of Regina and Birdie (Linney as Regina and Nixon as Birdie one night, then Linney as Birdie and Nixon as Regina the next). Previews will begin March 29, 2017, with opening night set for April 19. A schedule (letting you know who will be playing whom at each performance) will be released in the spring. has more.

Casting News

  • Tony nominee Megan Hilty (Noises Off) will star in a TV remake of the movie The First Wives Club. She'll appear opposite TV favorite, Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother). has more.

  • The December 7 NBC live telecast of Hairspray (the musical) has found its leading lady. Maddie Baillio will portray Tracy Turnblad. Baillio was found through an open call. Theater Mania has more.

  • Full casting has been announced for the Shakespeare in the Park production of Troilus and Cressida, which begins performances July 19. The cast includes Corey Stoll (House of Cards), David Harbour (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Newsroom), Sanjit De Silva (Dry Powder), Bill Heck (Cabaret), and Ismenia Mendes (Grand Concourse). Playbill has the full cast list.

  • Lea Michele (Spring Awakening, Glee) will star in the upcoming Hulu sci-fi series, Dimension 404. She'll be joined by Robert Buckley and Ryan Lee. Variety has details.

  • Tony nominee Phillipa Soo will appear in Moana, the new Disney film that features songs by her Hamilton co-star, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Playbill has more.

  • Amy Schumer will star in Who Invited Her, a comedy being produced by Reese Witherspoon's banner, Pacific Standard. Schumer will play the titular "her," a woman who insists on attending her best male friend's bachelor party. Variety has more.

  • Additional casting has been announced for the starry revival of The Front Page, which will play the Broadhurst. Stage and screen vets Holland Taylor (Ann), Halley Feiffer (I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, The Substance of Fire), and Dylan Baker (The Good Wife) are among those joining the previously announced Nathan Lane, Sherie Rene Scott, John Goodman, John Slattery, and Jefferson Mays. Previews of the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur play begin September 20. Opening night is set for October 20. has the full cast list.
Hamilton Updates

A new block of Hamilton tickets will go on sale to the general public at 8pm on Sunday, June 12 (right when the Tony broadcast starts). Tickets will range from $179 to $199, and are for January-May 2017. Playbill has more. In addition, the West End debut of Hamilton is now confirmed. The American musical will play the Victoria Palace Theatre beginning in October 2017. has more. Stateside, you'll be able to catch the show in San Diego, CA, and Charlotte, NC. Stops in both cities have been added to the national tour itinerary. Playbill has more.

Dig This

  • The track listing for Barbra Streisand's new album, Movie Partners Sing Broadway, has been revealed. Listeners will hear Babs sing: "Loving You," from Passion, with Patrick Wilson; "Anything You Can Do," from Annie Get Your Gun, with Melissa McCarthy; and "Pure Imagination," from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which has been adapted for the stage; it's coming to Broadway in March 2017), with Seth MacFarlane. The album is available for pre-order, and will be released August 26. USA Today has the full track list.

  • Not diggable: The King and I will conclude its Broadway run on June 26. Theater Mania has more.

  • A Capitol Fourth, the PBS special celebration the 4th of July, will feature performances from Sutton Foster, the cast of On Your Feet, Smokey Robinson, and others. Playbill has details.