Leap of Faith The talented cast of the upcoming Leap of Faith, led by Raul Esparza and Jessica Phillips, gave select members of the press a preview of what to expect when the show begins previews at the St James Theatre on April 3. Watch a full preview of "Into the Light" (I can't stop singing it!) and Broadwayworld.com's video medley, both below. Broadway.com also has video of the sneak peek, including interviews with Esparza, Phillips and others. (From the looks of Esparza's movements, he's going to have some major knee problems by the end of the run if he's not wearing knee pads. Be careful, Raul!) Check out featured cast members at right (photo from Broadwayworld.com), and visit Playbill.com and Theatermania.com for more photos from the event. I'm so excited for this, and I hope you are too! Visit leapoffaithbroadway.com for more information and to purchase tickets. (If the Broadwayworld.com video doesn't load properly, click here to watch it on its site.)
8: A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality You may remember that in 2008, voters in California passed the anti-equality measure Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. The proposition was subsequently successfully appealed. Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black has since taken the transcript of the appellate court proceedings and turned it into 8: A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality. The play had a starry benefit reading in New York last year, and this past Saturday it made its West Coast debut. George Clooney, Matt Bomer, Jane Lynch, Brad Pitt, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, President Bartlet Martin Sheen and others were directed by Rob Reiner in the staged reading. But the best part about the reading is that it was live streamed over YouTube and has since been posted for repeated viewing. Go to youtube.com/AmericanEqualRights to watch the moving presentation of what happened behind closed court doors. (And make your voice heard: get involved with or donate to AFER, BroadwayImpact or some other organization of your choosing that works to make Marriage Equality a national reality.) Check out photos of the stars' arrivals on Broadwayworld.com.
Godspell Commentary If you're like me, then you think part of the fun of watching your favorite movie on DVD is listening to the director and/or other creatives on the commentary track. Well, now you have the chance to do that with a Broadway show. "Part of the Godspell experience," said lead producer Ken Davenport, "is [inviting] our fans and supporters behind the curtain." Every Monday, you can visit godspell.com/commentary and listen to a new installment. (The commentary was recorded by composer Stephen Schwartz and director Daniel Goldstein during a live performance.)
Actors on the Rise Before Martha Marcy May Marlene was buzzed about, did you even know that there were Olsens other than Mary Kate and Ashley? Surely, by the end of 2011, we all (mostly) knew the name Elizabeth Olsen. And so the good folks at IFC.com decided to take a crack at which actors we'd come to know by the end of this year. Among those on the list are Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson star Benjamin Walker, who will be seen in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; The Wire star Idris Elba, who will be seen in Prometheus; 50/50's Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who will be seen in The Dark Knight Rises, Looper, Premium Rush and Lincoln (and who will also make his feature film directorial debut this year); The Social Network's Andrew Garfield, who can currently be seen on stage in Death of a Salesman and will be seen on screen in The Amazing Spider-Man; and The Kids Are All Right's Josh Hutcherson, who will star in the highly anticipated (though not by me) Hunger Games. Visit IFC.com to view the full list - and watch for these rising (or rising-even-higher) stars throughout the year.
Shakespeare in the Park We have some more details on this summer's Delacorte offerings. The coolest news? Steve Martin - yes, Steve Martin - will compose original folk music for As You Like It! Pretty awesome, right? According to the announcement on Playbill.com, director Daniel Sullivan is setting the "play's famous Forest of Arden in the rural American South, circa 1840," making twangy folk music a perfect fit. As You Like It will run June 5-30, and Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods will run July 23-August 25. Visit shakespeareinthepark.org for more information.
Theatre Award Season So last week we learned some Tony details. This week, we learned about the Lortel Awards, which honor off-Broadway excellence. The 27th Annual Lortel Awards will be held May 6, and public tickets to the celebration will be available for purchase beginning March 30. While nominations won't be announced until March 29, the Off-Broadway League, which administers the awards, did announce that producer Richard Frankel, playwright Richard Foreman and the Fire Department of New York City will all receive special honors. Playbill.com has details.
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