Week in Review 10.31.14

Neil Patrick Harris to Host Variety Show

He's hosted the Tonys, the Emmys and magic shows, and he's set to host the Oscars in February. Now, it's been announced, the versatile Tony and Emmy Award winner Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) will host a weekly variety show for NBC. Based on the British sensation, Saturday Night Takeaway, the variety show will likely feature comedy sketches, musical numbers and magic segments, playing into Harris's talents. In a statement, Harris said, "Nothing like this has been done before, and its unique structure fits into my random skill set. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and have some fun!" [Variety shows have been tried in recent years; in May, in fact, the insanely talented Maya Rudolph hosted a one-night-only variety show...on NBC.] The peacock network has ordered ten episodes of the untitled series. Broadway.com has more.

The Last Ship Opens

After about a month of previews, the terrific The Last Ship officially opened on Broadway on Sunday night. The Last Ship features a score written by Sting and a book by Brian Yorkey and John Logan. The original musical stars Michael Esper, Rachel Tucker, Jimmy Nail and Aaron Lazar, and is directed by Joe Mantello and choreographed by Steven Hoggett. Herein, some highlights from the celebration.
It Shoulda Been You on Broadway

The new musical It Shoulda Been You will play Broadway this spring. Written by Barbra Anselmi (music) and Brian Hargrove (book and lyrics) and directed by David Hyde Pierce (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), It Shoulda Been You will begin previews on March 17, 2015, with opening night set for April 14, and will run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess (Guys and Dolls), David Burtka, Lisa Howard, Edward Hibbert and Steve Rosen star. Visit Broadway.com for more, including the full list of lyricists.

Lincoln Center American Songbook Concert Series Announced

Always a fantastic slate of performances, the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center will return in 2015, will great acts from January through March. Kicking things off on January 28, perhaps with some fierce shoes, will be Tony winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots). The next night will see Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess) on stage. According to Broadway.com, those two concerts will be filmed for later broadcast as part of the Live from Lincoln Center spring season. Other acts of note include Megan Hilty (9 to 5, Smash), Talib Kweli, Barbara Cook, In Need of Music: The Songs of Ben Toth (featuring Cheyenne Jackson (The Performers), Alexandra Silber (Arlington) and Lindsey Mendez (Godspell, Dogfight)); Shaina Taub (a songwriter musical theatre actors adore); and Allison Williams, who's set to star in Peter Pan: Live on December 4. Oh, and there's also going to be a moderated discussion with Stephen Sondheim! Tickets go on sale to the general public on November 17. Visit americansongbook.org for the full list of shows and for more information.

Let the Right One In to Bow in New York

I haven't read the John Ajvide Lindqvist novel or seen the film adaptation, but I'm keeping this Brooklyn-bound UK transfer on my radar because industry folks whose judgement I trust are excited for it. The adaptation is written by Jack Throne, and premiered at the National Theater of Scotland in 2013. It later transferred to London's Royal Court Theatre and then to the West End. Directed by John Tiffany (Once) and Steven Hoggett (The Last Ship, American Idiot), Let the Right One In will run at St. Ann's Warehouse from January 20, 2015, through February 15. Broadway.com has more.

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