Media Morsels 6.28.13

Broadway Bites: Casting and New Shows Announced

Lots of news this week about shows that are coming to Broadway in the 2013-2014 season.
  • Casting: Additional casting has been announced for the upcoming repertory productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III. Joining the all-male cast led by the incomparable Mark Rylance are several members of the Shakespeare's Globe company. Visit Playbill for the full cast list.

  • New show: After Midnight, a re-conception of Cotton Club Parade and filled with the music Duke Ellington, will play the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Previews begin October 18 and opening night is set for November 3. Playbill has details.
  • Casting: Lead casting has been announced for the previously announced Broadway run of Jason Robert Brown's stage adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County. The busy Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale will star in the production that begins previews in January 2014. The talented pair can currently be seen in Far From Heaven, playing at Playwrights Horizons. has details about The Bridges of Madison County.
  • New show: The legendary Janis Joplin is coming to Broadway - sort of. A Night with Janis Joplin is slated for a run this fall at the Lyceum Theatre. Previews begin September 20 in advance of an October 10 opening. The show, which celebrates the gone-too-soon unique talent, heads to Broadway after acclaimed runs throughout the US. Mary Bridget Davies will reprise her role as Joplin. Visit for details.
  • New show: A stage adaptation of John Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, is coming to Broadway this fall. Adapted by Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), this marks the first time one of Grisham's novels has been adapted for the stage. Previews at the Golden Theatre begin September 28 and opening night is October 20. has details.
  • Casting: Additional casting has been announced for the upcoming revival of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Joining the previously announced Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad (as the star cross'd lovers) are, among others, Justin Guarini (Women on the Verge...) as Paris; Christian Camargo as Mercutio; Roslyn Ruff as Lady Capulet; and Corey Hawkins as Tybalt. has the full list of newly announced players.
  • Casting: When Bullets Over Broadway bows on the Great White Way, it won't just mark the Broadway musical debut for its writer, Woody Allen, but also its lead actor, Zach Braff. Braff, who has appeared off-Broadway as both an actor (Trust) and a playwright (All New People), will lead the cast of Bullets to make his Broadway debut. He will be joined by the terrific Betsy Wolfe (The Last Five Years), Brooks Ashmanskas (Promises, Promises, the Songs for a New World cast recording), Sopranos star Vincent Pastore and more. This marks a reunion for Braff and Allen: Braff made his film debut in Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery. Bullets will run at the St. James Theatre; previews begin March 11, 2014, in advance of an April 10 opening. Visit for details.
Film and TV Casting News

  • Paul Giamatti (The Ides of March) will appear in the upcoming fourth season of Downton Abbey. In the season finale, he will play Cora (Elizabeth McGovern)'s brother. TV Line has details.
  • More rumors abound regarding the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods. This week, Anna Kendrick (50/50) was floated as a possible Cinderella, while Daniel Huttlestone, who played Gavroche in the recent Les Miserables, is in talks to play Jack. Kendrick and Huttlestone would join the previously reported possible cast members Meryl Streep; Johnny Depp; Jake Gyllenhaal (If There is I Haven't Found it Yet); Emily Blunt (Looper); Tracy Ullman; and James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors), among others.
  • Speaking of Kendrick, you may know that she is in New York filming the screen adaptation of The Last Five Years. Playbill has confirmed that several L5Y alumni will make cameos in the film. Among those making cameos are writer Jason Robert BrownSherie Rene Scott, who originated the role of Cathy in its New York premiere; and Betsy Wolfe, who tackled the role of Cathy in the recent acclaimed Second Stage revival. Playbill also reports that producers are trying to arrange schedules so that Norbert Leo Butz, the original Jamie, can make a cameo, as well.
  • Leapin' lizards! In other stage-to-screen musical adaptations, apparently Cameron Diaz (Gangs of New York, Bad Teacher) is set to play Miss Hannigan. Will Gluck (Easy A) is at the helm of the new Annie adaptation, which stars recent Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) as Annie and Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as the Daddy Warbucks stand-in, Benjamin Stacks. has details. (A revival of Annie is now on Broadway.)
Joe Iconis Musical Set for LA Theatre

Attention Los Angeles-area readers: The Black Suits, an original musical written by the incomparable Joe Iconis (Rewrite) and Robert Maddock has been announced as part of the 2013-2014 season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The show, about four Long Islanders and the rock band they form, is set to play October 27-November 24. The Los Angeles Times has details. (If you're not in LA or you can't wait to hear Iconis's tunes, head over to Sh-K-Boom records and pick copies of Things to Ruin and The Joe Iconis Rock and Roll Jamboree, the latter of which features a song, "Lisa," from The Black Suits.)
Welcome to the Academy

Several artists have been invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Invitees are invited into specific branches. This is significant because nominees in the various categories are decided upon by their respective branches; the full Academy gets to vote for the winners in all categories. Hit Fix has the full list of invitees; here, some highlights:
  • Writers: Lena Dunham (while best known for her TV show Girls, Dunham has written the feature films Nobody Walks and Tiny Furniture); John Hamburg (Safe Men, Meet the Parents); Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper); and this year's winner for Argo, Chris Terrio
  • Music: Prince
  • Directors: Paul Feig (Bridesmaids); Steve McQueen (Shame, Hunger); and a nominee this year, Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Actors: Jason Bateman (Up in the Air); Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50, Lincoln); Emily Mortimer (TV's The Newsroom; Hugo); and the resurgent Chris Tucker (Silver Linings Playbook)
Murder Ballad Closes the Bar

Bad news: Murder Ballad will conclude its commercial off-Broadway run earlier than expected. Though originally scheduled to play through September, the sexy rock musical about messy adults will now play its final performance on July 21. This iteration of Murder Ballad features Caissie Levy, John Ellison Conlee, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Will Swenson. Head over to the Union Square Theatre now for your chance to watch this brave musical for adults before the bar closes, and then order your copy of the original cast recording from Yellow Sound Label.

Dig This

  • Here Lies Love, the incredible, 360-degree, immersive theatre experience from Alex Timbers and David Byrne about the former first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, might transfer and continue its run after performances at the Public conclude on July 28. Playbill has details.
  • On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, TKTS has announced a fast pass that will allow repeat customer to skip the line. If you buy a ticket at TKTS, you will receive a pass that allows you to skip the TKTS line once in the next seven days. Pretty neat, right? Playbill has details.
  • Forbes announced its list of the most powerful actors and actresses in Hollywood. Angelina Jolie and Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) top their respective lists, with recent Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) coming in second for the ladies and Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained) ranking third among the men. The Wrap has details.
  • Emmy winner Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and House of Cards star Kate Mara will announce this year's Emmy nominations on July 18. (I'll be on "hiatus" at the time and won't be able to cover it, but head over to The Hollywood Reporter for full coverage.) 
  • Check out's exclusive photos of the company and creative team of the upcoming original musical First Date in rehearsal. Previews begin July 9 and opening night is August 4. The show, starring Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez, will play at the Longacre Theatre.
  • There might be a Captain Planet movie. That could be incredible.
  • As we wait for the second season of The Newsroom to premiere on HBO on July 14, visit the specially created site for seven "headlines" from the first season! (And fire up HBOGo to watch the entire first season, as well!) In addition, Vanity Fair has exclusive photos that star Olivia Munn (who plays Sloan Sabbith) took behind the scenes.
  • Are you enjoying the new USA Network show Graceland, created by Jeff Eastin and starring Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata? Then check out this clip from Today in which a correspondent visits the set (and also take a look at this Backstage interview with Tveit):