Friday, August 19, 2016

Week in Review 8.19.16

Casting News

  • Tony nominees Tony Shalhoub (Act One, Golden Boy) and Jessica Hecht (A View from the BridgeFiddler on the Roof), as well as stage and screen veteran John Turturro (The Cherry Orchard, Zorba) will lead Roundabout's revival of Arthur Miller's The Price. Previews begin February 16, 2017, with opening night scheduled for March 16. The limited engagement will run through May 7. Playbill has more. (For news about Turturro and The Big Lebowski, scroll down.)

  • SNL alumnus Jason Sudeikis will lead the world premiere of the Dead Poets Society stage adaptation. The Classic Stage Company production begins previews October 27. Broadway.com has more.

  • Nia Long (House of Lies) will star opposite Idina Menzel in the Lifetime remake of Beaches. Long, who you might remember from her Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days, will play Hillary, who was played in the movie by Barbara Hershey. Deadline has more.

  • Oscar winner Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, My So-Called Life) has joined the starry cast of the Blade Runner sequel. In addition to Blade Runner's original star, Harrison Ford, Leto will appear alongside Ryan Gosling and Robin Wright, among others. The Wrap has more.

  • Tony winner Billy Crudup (The Coast of Utopia, Waiting for Godot) has joined the cast of the Netflix series, Gypsy (no connection to the Sondheim musical). Crudup, who was recently seen in Spotlight, joins the previously announced Naomi Watts. The Wrap has more.

  • Two-time Tony Award winner Andrea Martin (Pippin) has joined the company of NBC's Hairspray Live. Martin, who most recently appeared on Broadway in Noises Off, will play Prudy Pingleton. Theater Mania has more.
The Robber Bridegroom Album on its Way

The cast album for the 2016 revival of The Robbert Bridegroom, featuring Steven Pasquale, Ahna O'Reilly, and MVP Leslie Kritzer, will be released on September 9. The celebrated off-Broadway production was directed by the visionary Alex Timbers, who wrote a special note for the album's booklet. You can visit sh-k-boom.com/robber-bridegroom to pre-order your CD, or head to iTunes to pre-order a digital copy. Watch a tease from the recording studio below.


Broadway Bound Updates

  • Dates have been set for the Broadway bow of Joshua Harmon's fantastic play, Significant Other. Previews will begin at the Booth Theatre on February 14, 2017 (fitting, as it's a play about relationships), and opening night is scheduled for March 2. Theater Mania has more.

  • Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon's start date as Aaron Burr in Hamilton has been set. The actor, who recently starred in Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All that Followed, will perform in the room where it happens beginning August 23. Theater Mania has more.

  • The Broadway Briefing reports that dates have been set for the new musical, Come From Away. The show will begin previews on February 18, 2017, and opening night is set for March 12. A theatre has yet to be announced.
Dig This

  • The "Alexander Hamilton" episode of Drunk History, narrated by Hamilton scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda, will air on Comedy Central on November 29. Playbill has more. In other LMM news, Miranda will team with composer Alan Menken to write and adapt songs for the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Deadline has more.

  • The itinerary and cast for the 20th anniversary tour of Rent has been announced. Playbill has full details.

  • NYCB soloist Georgina Pazcoguin talks to Digital Journal about appearing on Broadway in the recently-opened revival of Cats.

  • Did you know that Party of Five is available on Hulu? It is! And the sixth and final season of Community was recently added, along with the series Rescue Me and the Woody Allen film, Midnight in Paris. Variety has details.

  • Mr. Robot has been renewed for a third season. The second season is airing on USA Network. Deadline has more.

  • A new George Carlin album will be released on September 16. The album features material that the late comedian kept out of his specials, as well as a home recording and interviews with some of Carlin's collaborators. Rolling Stone has more, including a snippet of a routine.

  • Chicago: Robert O'Hara's fantastic Bootycandy is coming your way! The funny and provocative play will be part of the Windy City Playhouse's 2016-2017 season, bowing in January 2017. Playbill has more.

  • A remake of A Star is Born is on its way. After much speculation, Warner Bros. has closed a deal that will see Lady Gaga star alongside Bradley Cooper, who will also direct. (This will mark his directorial debut.) Production begins in California next year. Deadline has more.

  • "Don't mess with the Jesus." John Turturro is shooting a spinoff from The Big Lebowski, the cult film in which Turturro appeared as Lebowski's bowling nemesis, Jesus. Indie Wire has more.

  • Aaron Tveit is back on Show People! In his fourth appearance on the Broadway.com series, Tveit (Next to Normal, Brain Dead) talks about Grease Live, which is up for ten Emmys next month, and how he's unwinding this summer. (Hint: it's golf.)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Week in Review 8.12.16

Erivo and Henry Set for The Last Five Years Benefit

Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and two-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet, Shuffle Along...) will star in a one-night-only benefit concert of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years, which was last seen in New York in 2013. Proceeds from the September 12 Town Hall concert will go to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. (Brown has been a vocal support of gun safety measures.) Though Erivo and Henry are African-American performers, nothing about the show—dramaturgically speaking—will change. (The Last Five Years is specifically about a Jewish man, Jamie, and his shiksa goddess, Cathy.) Tickets go on sale Wednesday. Visit The New York Times for more.

Television Critics Association Awards Nominations

The TCA Awards nominees have been announced. The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of nominees. Herein, some notable nominations:
  • Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) and Sarah Paulson (The People v. OJ Simpson), Individual Achievement in Drama
  • Mr. Robot, Game of Thrones, and The Leftovers, Outstanding Achievement in Drama

  • Aya Cash (You're the Worst) and Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Individual Achievement in Comedy

  • Silicon Valley, Veep, and Master of None, Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Outstanding Achievement in News and Information

  • Mr. Robot and Master of None, Outstanding New Program

  • Show Me a Hero, Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials

  • Game of Thrones and Mr. Robot, Program of the Year
Casting News

  • Additional casting has been announced for the upcoming off-Broadway revival of Sweet Charity. Among those joining the previously announced Sutton Foster are Tony winner Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma, Waiting for Godot), Emily Padgett (Bright Star, Side Show), Asmeret Ghebremichael, Joel Perez (Fun Home), Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and more. Visit Broadway.com for details. Previews begin November 2, with opening night scheduled for November 20.

  • O'Shea Jackson, Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) and Tony nominee Billy Magnussen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Into the Woods) have joined the cast of Ingrid Goes West, an independent dark comedy filming in L.A. The Hollywood Reporter has more.

  • Additional casting has been announced for the HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Among those joining Tony winner Renee Elise Goldsberry (who is taking on the title role) are Tony winners Courtney B. Vance (Lucky Guy), Leslie Uggams (Hallelujah, Baby!), Reed Birney (The Humans), Adriane Lenox (Doubt, The Path), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars), and Roger Robinson (Joe Turner's Come and Gone), as well as stage and screen veterans Reg E. Cathey (House of Cards) and John Douglas Thompson (A Time to Kill). Deadline has more.

  • Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah will not return to Saturday Night Live. There is no clear (public) explanation for the two versatile players' departures. Rolling Stone has more. Both actors, however, have been cast in Showtime pilots. Killam will lead Mating, which boasts Parenthood's Jason Katims as an executive producer, and Pharoah will be part of Jamie Foxx's White Famous. Deadline has more.

  • Josh Charles (Sports Night, The Good Wife) has been cast in the in-production flick, Amateur. Charles will play a basketball coach trying to recruit a player (played by Michael Rainey, Jr.). The Tracking Board has more.
Dig This

  • Theatre Mania checks in with Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur, Fool for Love) to talk about the new movie, Florence Foster Jenkins, in which Arianda appears alongside Meryl Streep.

  • Tony winner Thomas Kail (Hamilton) has entered into a partnership with Fox, creating the production company Old 320 Sycamore. Kail, who is an Emmy nominee for his direction of Fox's Grease Live, will develop projects for Fox's broadcast and cable stations. Broadwayworld.com has more.

  • Dates are set for the Broadway bow of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the musical adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel. Previews will begin March 28, 2017, with opening night set for April 23. Playbill has more. (Bonus: head to Theater Mania to watch the two teaser trailers.)

  • The sixth season of Homeland will premiere on Sunday, January 15, 2017. It was just officially announced that the series has been renewed for a seventh and eighth season. Variety has more.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Week in Review 8.5.16

Hamilton Casting News

Two-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Shuffle Along...) will originate the role of Aaron Burr in the Chicago company of Hamilton. He'll be joined by Jonathan Kirkland, who'll take on the role of George Washington. The Chicago company began rehearsals this week, and their first performance is scheduled for September 27. Meanwhile, on Broadway, Mandy Gonzales (In the Heights) will take over as Angelica this October. A date for her first performance, as well as the date for departing Tony winner Renee Elise Goldsberry's final performance, will be announced later. Broadway.com has more.

Casting News

  • Tony winner Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) will appear in a recurring role on the fourth season of Masters of Sex. Season four premieres Sunday, September 11. TV Line has more.

  • Casting change at The Cherry Orchard: the memorable Kyle Beltran (Fortress of Solitude, Head of Passes) will take on the role of Trofimov. It was previously announced that Aaron Clifton Moten (The Flick, Mozart in the Jungle) would play the role. Diane Lane leads the company. Previews begin September 15, with opening night set for October 16. Playbill has more.

  • Complete casting for Roundabout Underground's production of Jenny Rachel Weiner's Kingdom Come has been announced. Brooke Bloom, Carmen M. Herlihy, Alex Hernandez, Socorro Santiago, and Stephanie Styles will tackle the play about online dating. Playbill has more.

  • Tony nominee Tony Shalhoub (Act One, Brain Dead) will lead the company of The Band's Visit, a new musical written by songwriter David Yazbek and playwright Itamar Moses. The musical will debut at the Atlantic this fall. Theater Mania has more.

  • Rosie O'Donnell and Sean Hayes have joined the cast of Hairspray Live. O'Donnell will play the gym teacher, and Hayes will appear as dress shop owner Mr. Pinky. Hairspray Live airs on NBC December 7. Playbill has more.
Dig This

  • The Hollywood Reporter has a round up of all things HBO (from the recent Television Critics Association meeting), including news about Game of Thrones and Jon Stewart's return to television. (In a separate THR article, it was announced that Real Time with Bill Maher has been renewed through 2018.)

  • Jimmy Fallon will host the Golden Globes, which are set to air on NBC January 8, 2017. Playbill has more.

  • Playbill checked in with Emmy and Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network) as he adapts Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird for the stage. Sorkin busted onto the scene with the Broadway debut of A Few Good Men, and the Steve Jobs scribe was most recently on the boards in 2007 with The Farnsworth Invention.

  • The Bette Midler-led revival of Hello Dolly will begin previews March 15, 2017, rather than March 13, as originally scheduled. Playbill has more.

  • Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton) will join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for a piece about Martin Luther King, Jr. Playbill has details.

  • The first-ever Broadway revival of Miss Saigon will play at its original Broadway home, the Broadway Theatre. Previews will begin March 1, 2017, with opening night scheduled for March 23. Theater Mania has details.

  • Lily Tomlin will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the SAG Awards, which will be presented January 29, 2017. BroadwayWorld.com has more.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Engagements


According to the definition posted in the lobby, "engagements" has three meanings:
  1. Formal agreements to get married
  2. Arrangements to go somewhere or do something at a fixed time
  3. Battles between armed forces
In her play, Engagements, playwright Lucy Teitler explores all three meanings, showing the ever-blurring line between them.

Set mostly at a series of engagement parties, Engagements begins with Lauren (Ana Nogueira) speaking into a microphone, telling us her inner monologue. She is admiring her best friend, Allison (Jennifer Kim), and remarking that Allison's beau, Mark (Michael Stahl-David) is unremarkable. He's just average, she bemoans.

But sometimes, as the sage Paula Abdul notes, opposites attract, and all's fair in love and war, so, wouldn't you know it, Lauren and Mark end up sneaking off to a gazebo for a (maybe dangerous) liaison. The rest of the play (which includes a visit from Lauren's cousin, Catherine (Brooke Weisman), and Catherine's boyfriend, Ryan (Omar Maskati)) finds Lauren wondering what to do, figuring out her next move, pondering the rules of engagement.

It is a tidy and engaging play, well-written and well-executed (direction is by Kimberly Senior). Though literary allusions abound (Lauren is pursuing a PhD in Victorian literature), the dialogue sounds natural, and the detours into inner-monolgue-land offer fun and funny diversions. (Also fun diversions: the on-stage dance parties during scene transitions.) I like that Teitler is unafraid to show women behaving badly, reminding us that it's OK to be complicated; to not have it all figured out; to be a little messy.

Not that the characters' actions are particularly noble or commendable. As I was walking out of the theatre, the two women behind me commented that "non of them were sympathetic." That's true, and that's also life. People make mistakes—big mistakes. (Lauren invokes Freud, who said that there are no accidents. She concedes that point but notes that even if there are no accidents, there definitely are mistakes.) I wanted to make that point to the women, that just because you didn't feel sympathy for these characters doesn't mean they aren't real and worthy of attention. But I didn't want to start a conversation; I had another engagement.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Week in Review 7.29.16

Lazarus in London

A London production of Lazarus will be mounted this fall. Featuring music from the late, great David Bowie's catalog (and a few new tunes) and a book by Enda Walsh, Lazarus is inspired by and is a continuation of The Man Who Fell to Earth. Michael C. Hall, Michael Esper, and Sophia Anne Caruso, who starred in the off-Broadway run last year, will reprise their roles across the pond. Lazarus will begin previews at the Kings Cross Theatre on October 25. Opening night is set for November 8, and the limited engagement is scheduled to conclude January 22, 2017. Broadway.com has more.

Casting News

What's On Stage? Coming, Going, and Staying Longer

  • Engagements, the new Lucy Teitler play at Second Stage, has extended its run. Officially opening August 4, the limited engagement will conclude August 20. Theater Mania has more.

  • MTC has announced that Fulfillment Center, by playwright Abe Koogler, will close out its 2016-2017 season, bowing in June 2017. The play will star Deirdre O'Connell (Circle Mirror Transformation, The Affair). Playbill has more.

  • An American in Paris will conclude its Broadway run earlier than expected. The musical will play its final Broadway performance on October 9. A national tour and London production are on their way this fall and winter. Broadway.com has more.

  • Oslo, the J.T. Rogers play running, to great acclaim, at Lincoln Center Theater's off-Broadway venue, the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, will transfer to LCT's Broadway venue, the Vivian Beaumont, in the spring. The full cast and creative team will make the transfer. Previews begin March 23, 2017, with opening night scheduled for April 12, and tickets are on sale. Theater Mania has more.
Dig This

  • Significant Other will play the Booth Theatre, with previews beginning February 16, says Playbill via a tweet from star Gideon Glick. The Joshua Harmon play is transferring to Broadway after a celebrated run off-Broadway last summer.

  • There will be a Beaches remake (for the small screen), and Tony winner Idina Menzel (Rent, If/Then) will star, taking on the role made famous by Bette Midler. Deadline has more.

  • Rolling Stone gets to know Javier Munoz, our full-time A. Ham in Hamilton.

  • While preparing for the Hollywood Bowl production of A Chorus Line, NYCB principal and Tony nominee Robert Fairchild (An American in Paris) spoke to the Los Angeles Times about getting into theatre, and going between ballet and Broadway.

  • PBS's Masterpiece and the BBC are teaming up to bring Mike Bartlett's fantastic play, King Charles III, to television. (This would be an adaptation, not a taped version of the stage play.) Deadline has details.