Week in Review 6.27.14

Coming Soon

The 2014-2015 has already begun (Holler If Ya Hear Me opened last week), and several shows are getting ready to bow on Broadway. Herein, news about upcoming shows:
  • The Last Ship, the original musical written by Sting, Brian Yorkey (If/Then, Next to Normal) and John Logan (Red), directed by Joe Mantello (Casa Valentina), choreographed by Steven Hoggett (American Idiot, Rocky) and starring Michael Esper (American Idiot, Tales from Red Vienna) and Aaron Lazar (A Little Night Music, concert soloist) is running in Chicago (it opened this week), and is due in New York's Neil Simon Theatre September 30. (Opening night is October 26.) Broadway.com has a sneak peek at and Broadwayworld.com has production stills of the show, which focuses on a small, seaside "company town" in Northern England.

  • A revival of On the Town is coming to the Lyric (nee Foxwoods) Theatre, and this week, the three sailors traipsed around New York City to get ready for the show, which begins previews on September 20. Broadwayworld.com has photos.

  • Rose Byrne (Adam, Bridesmaids) and Tony nominee Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots) are joining James Earl Jones (The Best Man) in the Broadway revival of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's You Can't Take it With You. Previews begin August 26, with opening night scheduled for September 28. You Can't Take it With You will play the Longacre Theatre. Playbill has more.

  • Previews for the It's Only a Play, the Terrence McNally play with a starry cast (including Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally and more) will begin earlier than planned. Previews will now begin on August 28, with opening night still scheduled for October 9. Broadway.com has more.
Broadway Barks

The lineup for this year's Broadway Barks has been announced. (Broadway Barks is hosted by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, and is a dog and cat adoption event at which Broadway's stars lend a hand to help pets find a home.) Beginning around 5pm on July 12 in Shubert Alley, folks can expect to see Tony winner Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess, Lady Day) and Will Swenson (Les Miserables), Rachel Bay Jones (Pippin), Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), Danny Burstein (Cabaret), Tony winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Betsy Wolfe (The Last Five Years), Sierra Boggess (Guys and Dolls), Linda Emond (Cabaret), Victoria Clark (The Snow Geese, Cinderella), Jenn Colella (If/Then), Colin Donnell (Violet), Beautiful's Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector, Kyle Dean Massey (Next to Normal, Pippin), Sarah Greene (The Cripple of Inishmaan) and Bebe Neuwrith (The Addams Family), among others. The cats and dogs will be out around 3pm. Broadway.com has more.

American Songbooks Concerts Coming to New Jersey—and Your TV

A series of American songbook concerts will be performed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and they'll be filmed for later broadcast in the metro area. Artists set to perform include Cinderella costars Laura Osnes (Bonnie and Clyde) and Santino Fontana (Act One), Tommy Tune and songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Catch Me If You Can), among others. The concerts will take place over two days in September; at this time, there is no information regarding the dates and times of the broadcast, though we do know the concerts will air on NJTV, WLIW and THIRTEEN. Playbill has more.

Passe-Partout: Choreograph on Your iPad

Rising choreographer and New York City Ballet soloist Justin Peck (Everywhere We Go, In Creases) and NYCB principal Daniel Ulbricht have teamed with 2wice Arts Foundation for an iPad app, Passe-Partout (French for passes through all), that "lets your fingers do the choreography." With this app, you'll be able to layer Peck and Ulbricht on top of each other, each doing a different combination. (As Mr. B said, "There are no new dances, only new combinations.") There are a total of 13,440 unique ballets that you can create, and you can share your creations on Facebook and through email. The Passe-Partout app is available in the iTunes store for just $0.99. Visit The New York Times to see the trailer, and read this official press release to learn more.

Academy Awards Changes

This week brought a couple of Academy Awards changes. First, the Academy added a rule aimed at staving off even the sense of impropriety, which should help them avoid the kind of disqualification mishap of this year's Oscars. (You might recall that a Best Original Song nomination was rescinded.) Gold Derby has details. Later in the week, the Academy invited 271 artists and industry folks to join their ranks. Among those invited are 12 Years a Slave stars Lupita Nyong'o and Michael Fassbender; Ben Foster (Orphans); Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine); Chris Rock; Cillian Murphy (Inception); cinematographer Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave); directors Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass (Cyrus); documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki (The House I Live In); songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez; musician Eddie Vedder; writers Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street); and many others in the various branches. Visit The Hollywood Reporter for the full list of invitees. (In other Oscars news, The Wrap presents 10 first-half [of the year] movies that might have a shot at a nomination.)

Casting Updates

Off-Broadway—Full casting for Second Stage's revival of Lips Together Teeth Apart has been announced. Tracee Chimo (Bad Jews, Circle Mirror Transformation), Michael Chernus (The Aliens), Austin Lysy and America Ferrera will star in the Terrence McNally (Mothers and Sons) play. The limited engagement will begin previews on October 7, with opening night scheduled for November 5. Broadway.com has more.

Hollywood Bowl—Additional casting has been announced for this summer's production of Hair. Joining the previously announced Hunter Parrish, Kristen Bell, Amber Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz and Beverly D'Angelo are Benjamin Walker (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Berger (!!!) and Modern Family's Sarah Hyland as Chrissy. (Hyland appeared in the Broadway production of Grey Gardens.) The concert will play August 1-3, and is directed by Adam Shankman. Broadway.com has details.

Dig This

  • Holler If Ya Hear Me star Saul Williams talks to Broadway.com about the connection between theatre and hip hop.

  • Stephen Sondheim has released a statement to clarify a The New Yorker report regarding changes made to the Disney film adaptation of the Sondheim-James Lapine musical, Into the Woods. Playbill has the full statement.

  • Benjamin Scheuer, who's solo show The Lion opened this week (you must see it!), spoke to The New York Times about discovering himself as he and director Sean Daniels developed the show.

  • The seventh episode of Hey Kid, James Snyder's vlog taking you backstage at If/Then, is here!

  • Heads up! Keep your eyes peeled for another installment of Show People, this one with Aaron Tveit! (It should be released within days; I'll have the link for you next week.)