Week in Review - 4.4.14
(Scroll down to find out which New York City Ballet dancer is taking her final bow with the Company.)
If/Then Opens on Broadway
Sunday marked the official Broadway opening of the fantastic, original, challenging musical, If/Then. The show, written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey and directed by their Next to Normal collaborator Michael Greif, follows Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) as different "what if"s play out. Some opening buzz: Menzel talks about coming back to Broadway; photo coverage, from Broadway.com; and opening night arrivals, curtain call, after party part one and after party part two, all from Broadwayworld.com. And post-opening buzz: Menzel talks to People magazine about the road not taken and also performs on Today, including "Here I Go," with costar James Snyder. In addition, the cast album is now available for pre-order via Amazon. And below, watch as Kitt and Yorkey give you an in-depth look at the score. To learn more about If/Then and to purchase tickets, visit ifthenthemusical.com.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Performers
The 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in Brooklyn on Thursday, April 10, and performers have been announced. Rolling Stone reports: "Michael Stipe is inducting Nirvana, though there's no word on whether or not the surviving members will perform together. ...Tom Morello will induct Kiss...Bruce Springsteen will induct the E Street Band, and they will perform together...Chris Martin will pay tribute to Peter Gabriel... Glenn Frey of the Eagles will induct...Linda Ronstadt, a unique tribute [to the singer] will be staged...featuring Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt. Questlove of the Roots will pay tribute to Hall and Oates...Peter Asher is going to induct Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham. There's no word on who will induct Cat Stevens." An edited version of the ceremony will be broadcast on HBO on May 31.
Off-Broadway—The talented writer-director-Tony nominated actress Jennifer Westfeldt will join Linda Lavin on stage at the Vineyard Theatre in Too Much Sun. The new play re-teams Lavin with The Lyons playwright Nicky Silver, and is to be directed by Mark Brokaw. Too Much Sun begins previews on May 1, with opening night set for May 18. Tickets are on sale now. Broadway.com has more.
TV—Cory Michael Smith (Cock, Breakfast at Tiffany's) has joined the cast of the upcoming Fox series Gotham, a Batman prequel, of sorts. Smith takes on the role of Edward Nygma, a.k.a., the Riddler. Hit Fix has more.
Off-Broadway—Emmy winner Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) and Tony nominee Billy Magnussen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) will star in Second Stage's production of Laura Eason's Sex with Strangers, which will be part of the company's Summer Series. Directed by David Schwimmer (Friends, Detroit), Sex with Strangers begins performances previews July 8, with opening night set for July 30. Broadway.com has more.
Library of Congress National Recording Registry
25 recordings are being added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. Among the 25 being add this year are: Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son"; the Sweeney Todd original cast album; U2's The Joshua Tree album; and Jeff Buckley's recording of "Hallelujah." (If you haven't heard Buckley's "Hallelujah," grab a box of tissues and listen.) Visit loc.gov to see the full list of additions, along with brief remarks explaining the importance of each recording.
Awards Round Up
Is it ever not award season? Here are some items from the week:
- The Peabody Awards were announced, and House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Key and Peele, Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy and Six by Sondheim were among the winners.
- Theatre veteran and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson will host the Drama League Awards. Broadway.com has details.
- Rosie O'Donnell will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her work with Rosie's Theater Kids. Broadway.com has more.
- Nominations for the Lucille Lortel Awards have been announced. Here Lies Love (which is returning to the Public) received a record 11 nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director, Alex Timbers, and acting nominations, and the return engagement of Bad Jews garnered four nods, including Outstanding Play and acting nominations. Other notable nominees include Jeremy Shamos, for Dinner with Friends; Uzo Aduba for Venice; and Carson Elrod for The Explorers Club. Visit Playbill for the full list of nominees. Winners will be announced and feted on May 4.
The 30-year New York City Ballet veteran has announced her retirement from the Company. Having been sidelined for most of this year while recovering from surgery, Whelan is set to dance in the upcoming spring season, and announced that her final performance with NYCB will be October 18. (I hope that she performs After the Rain at that performance.) Whelan will be moving into the modern dance world and returning to her Restless Creatures project, so she's not retiring (completely) from dancing. And while NYCB has spectacular talents in Tiler Peck, Sara Mearns, Sterling Hyltin and others, prima ballerina Whelan will be missed. Time Out New York has more about Whelan's career and future plans.
Rebecca Naomi Jones: American Songbook Concert
The beautiful actress with a beautiful voice is performing tonight in a her American Songbook concert at Lincoln Center. If you can't join me to cheer her on in person, never fear—the concert will be live streamed via the Lincoln Center website! To get ready for what's sure to be a fantastic concert, watch below as Jones (American Idiot, Murder Ballad) answers Lincoln Center's "rapid fire" questions and also talks about her musical upbringing and musical influences.
- Nina Arianda talks about returning to the stage in Tales from Red Vienna, and what she's been doing since her Tony-winning performance in Venus in Fur.
- Director Richard LaGravenese talks to Broadwayworld.com about his film adaptation of the Jason Robert Brown musical, The Last Five Years.
- The New York State Legislature approved a tax-credit to provide an incentive for touring productions to "tech" in New York. Playbill has details.
- Hey y'all, it's another episode of "Fresh Prince," Kyle Dean Massey's backstage vlog about stepping into the title role in Pippin.
- The new HBO series The Leftovers, based on the eponymous Tom Perrotta novel, will debut on June 15 at 10pm.
- The Bridges of Madison County leading lady Kelli O'Hara sits down with Broadway.com's Paul Wontorek for an installment of Show People.
- Broadway.com checks in with Marisa Tomei (The Ides of March), who returns to Broadway in Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses.
- The Here Lies Love cast album will be released on April 22! The immersive show begins its return engagement on April 14. Find details, pre-order the cast album and purchase show tickets at herelieslove.com.
- The Beautiful original Broadway cast recording is now available for digital download (physical copies will be available in May), and to celebrate, the show released this lovely video (below) showing Jessie Mueller, Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector recording "You've Got a Friend."(Late-breaking bonus: Carole King visited Beautiful on Thursday night, surprising the cast, and sang with them to raise money for BC/EFA. Visit Broadway.com to watch video of the emotional encounter)