Week in Review 7.11.14

An American in Paris—First Photos!

'Swonderful! The first promotional photos for the stage adaptation of An American in Paris have been released, and they look incredible! (The photo on the right is one of them. Gorgeous, isn't it?) The photos feature stars Robbie Fairchild (NYCB principal dancer, A Place for Us) and Leanne Cope dancing around Paris. An American in Paris is inspired by the Gene Kelly film and boasts a score of Gershwin favorites. The stage adaptation is directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon (Cinderella, A Place for Us), making his stage directorial debut, and features a book by Craig Lucas. An American in Paris will debut in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet, running November 11, 2014, through January 4, 2015, and a spring 2015 Broadway bow is expected. Visit the Theatre du Chatelet blog to view more photos.

"Cookie-tin Banjo" Music Video

Last week, Benjamin Scheuer sang "Cookie-tin Banjo" for a New York Times In Performance segment, and this week, he and his band, Escapist Papers, released a video for the tune. ("Cookie-tin Banjo" is the opening song from Scheuer's one-man show, The Lion.) Watch below, and then head to Playbill, where Scheuer talks about the genesis of The Lion:


Justin Peck Named NYCB's Resident Choreographer

In an exciting development, New York City Ballet has named Justin Peck (Everywhere We Go) its resident choreographer, making him only the second person to hold that position. (Christopher Wheeldon was the first.) According to the announcement in The New York Times, this appointment requires that Peck "create two ballets a year for the next three years." So NYCB patrons can rejoice! Peck is already scheduled to create two ballets for the upcoming 2014-2015 season, and while he does hold commissions from other companies, after he fulfills those obligations his focus will be squarely on NYCB. Of the honor, Peck says, "It has been a dream...of mine to have a more permanent place as a dance maker...," and he feels at home at NYCB. "A position like this gives you room for experiment," he continues. "...I can focus on creative growth and have a chance to develop long-term relationships with my collaborators, most importantly the dancers." Merde to Justin Peck, and hooray for dance fans! 

Extensions, Delays and Other Updates

ExtensionLady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, the play with music that earned Audra McDonald her record-making sixth Tony, has extended again. The show will now run through September 21, with a week-long hiatus from September 1 through September 7. Theater Mania has more.

Delay—The Broadway revival of The Elephant Man, which is set to star Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) and Patricia Clarkson (Shutter Island), will begin a few weeks later than originally planned. Broadway.com reports a scheduling conflict as the reason for the delays. The Elephant Man, which will play the Booth Theatre, will now begin previews on November 7. Opening night is scheduled for December 7, and the limited engagement will conclude on February 15, 2015.

PreviewThe Chicago Tribune has video of Aaron Lazar (A Little Night Music, concert soloist) singing "What Say You, Meg?" from The Last Ship, which is playing in Chicago; it arrives at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre this fall. With an original score by Sting, a book by John Logan (Red) and Brian Yorkey (If/Then, Next to Normal), direction by Joe Mantello (Casa Valentina) and choreography by Stephen Hoggett (American Idiot, Rocky), The Last Ship begins Broadway previews September 30, and opening night is scheduled for October 26. Michael Esper (American Idiot, Tales from Red Vienna) also stars in the production.

Casting News

TelevisionTaye Diggs (Rent) has landed a recurring role on The Good Wife. He'll play a lawyer at Lockhart/Gardner who follows Diane (Christine Baranski) to Florrick/Agos. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

BroadwayPippin will welcome a new granny as Tony winner Priscilla Lopez takes on the role of Bertha. Lopez will take over for Annie Potts, who'll play her final performance on July 20. Lopez will appear in the Tony Award-winning production July 22-August 27. Broadway.com has more.

Theatre ConcertCinderella stars Santino Fontana (Act One) and Laura Osnes (Bonnie and Clyde) will reunite for the Transport Group's August 11 benefit concert of The Music Man. The leading pair will be joined by Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies), Alexandra Silber (Arlington), Stanley Bahorek (See Rock City...) and others. Broadway.com has more.

Broadway—The cast of You Can't Take it With You is adding Elizabeth Ashley (Me, Myself and I) and Byron Jennings to its ranks. They join the previously announced James Earl Jone, Rose Byrne, Annaleigh Ashford and Kristine Nielsen. The revival begins previews at the Longacre Theatre on August 26, with opening night set for September 28. Broadway.com has more.

Broadway—It is confirmed that Oscar winner Helen Mirren will reprise her role of Queen Elizabeth II in the Broadway bow of Peter Morgan's play, The Audience. No dates or theatre are confirmed, but reports say The Audience will begin previews in February 2015 and will celebrate its official opening in March. Broadway.com has more.

BroadwayAdam Rapp is taking a temporary leave from If/Then to recuperate from knee surgery. Curtis Holbrook is covering the role of Lucas while Rapp recovers. Broadway.com has details.

Emmy Awards

Nominees for the 66th annual Emmy Awards were announced on Thursday. Game of Thrones picked up the most nominations, and several theatre veterans also received nods. (As did screen adaptations of theatre works, like The Trip to Bountiful and The Normal Heart). I, of course, brought you the nominees, along with my thoughts on the slates. Broadway.com has a full breakdown of all the Broadway and other theatre veterans who received nominations, including seven nods for the 2013 Tony broadcast. (One of those seven is a nomination for Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda!) Here are some other Emmy nomination reactions and analysis:
Dig This

  • Jeff Daniels tweeted this photo and said: "Recorded some Season 3 music with The Newsroom's John Gallagher, Jr., and Mr. Buddy Miller." (Johnny's in the recording booth.) The troupe filmed the last episode of the Aaron Sorkin series this week; the season will air in the fall.

  • At long last, Alan Cumming (Cabaret) received a Sardi's caricature. Broadwayworld.com has photos.

  • The latest installment of Hey Kid, If/Then star James Snyder's backstage vlog, is here. Visit Broadway.com to watch.

  • Totally diggable: the New York Philharmonic wants young people (ages 13-26) to see/hear them for free! Check the press release for details.

  • Campaigns are underway for various leadership positions within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences board of governors. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • Check out the trailer for Reese Witherspoon's latest film, Wild, which also stars Thomas Sadoski:

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