Week in Review 11.14.14

Matthew Morrison Returns to Broadway

After garnering acclaim for his role on TV's Glee, Tony nominee Matthew Morrison will return to his Broadway roots in Finding Neverland, the new musical based on the eponymous film. Morrison (who earned his Tony nomination for A Light in the Piazza and also appeared in South Pacific, among other shows) participated in a workshop of the show, about Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, and written by James Graham (book) and Gary Barlow + Eliot Kennedy (score), but was not in the A.R.T. production in Cambridge this summer. He will be joined by Laura Michelle Kelly, who was in the A.R.T. production, and Kelsey Grammer (La Cage aux Folles). Diane Paulus (Pippin, Hair) directs the production, which will play Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Previews begin March 15, with opening night scheduled for April 15. Broadway.com has more.

An American in Paris Tickets On Sale

Performances of the Gershwin musical have not even begun in Paris, where it is premiering, but tickets for the Broadway bow are already on sale. A MasterCard pre-sale is underway and runs through November 23; an Audience Rewards pre-sale runs November 24-30; a Ticketmaster pre-sale runs December 1-5; and tickets go on sale to the public on December 7. (The box office opens in early February.) An American in Paris is based on the beloved Gene Kelly MGM movie, and is directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, A Place for Us). With a book written by Craig Lucas, the musical stars NYCB principal dancer Robert Fairchild (A Place for Us, Funerailles) and Royal Ballet dancer Leanne Cope. Visit Playbill for more about the pre-sales, head to Vanity Fair for a slide show of the company in rehearsal and visit Broadway.com for video of Wheeldon and Lucas discussing their approach to the story.

Foo Fighters: "Outside"

Sonic Highways was released this week, and fans couldn't be happier with the record. (I started crying a river listening to the NY-inspired tune, "I Am a River.") The accompanying HBO docu-series continues, with Foo Fighters hitting Los Angeles on this week's episode. Check out the LA-inspired tune, "Outside," and then head to your favorite music retailer to purchase your copy of the album. In addition, the band has announced shows throughout the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and an email sent to fans promises a US tour announcement for Tuesday, November 18. Stay tuned for details!

Cast Set for Parade Concert

Casting for the one-night-only concert of Jason Robert Brown's Tony Award-winning musical Parade has been announced. Tony winner Laura Benanti (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet), Tony nominee Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables), Tony nominee John Ellison Conlee (Murder Ballad, The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence) and more will bring the score to life. Brown (The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County) will conduct the concert, which will be presented at Avery Fisher Hall on February 16, 2015. Broadway.com has more.

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients Announced

19 people will receive the United States' highest civilian honor, including Stephen Sondheim, Meryl Streep, Stevie Wonder and Tom Brokaw. (Posthumous awards will be bestowed upon Alvin Ailey, activist James Chaney and others.) President Obama will celebrate the honorees in a November 24th ceremony, and, when the recipients were announced, said, "I look forward to presenting these 19 bold, inspiring Americans with our nation's highest civilian honor." See the official press release for the full list of honorees.

Graceland Set to Return; Will Aaron Tveit?

USA Networks has renewed Graceland for a third season. However, fans of the show are wondering if star Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Les Miserables) and his character, Mike Warren, will be back undercover. The second season's cliffhanger looked tragic for Mike, and Tveit's fans know the actor will still be in London with Assassins when the bulk of Graceland filming takes place. No official word about Tveit's return to the show (by design, probably), but I'll keep you posted. Graceland also stars stage veteran Daniel Sunjata (The Country House, Macbeth). Variety has more about the renewal.

Tony Awards News

It's only November, but the Tony Awards Administration Committee has already held one of eight meetings that will be held throughout the season in order to determine shows' eligibility. (They will soon meet to consider reinstating the Sound Design category, though if it is, the category won't reappear until the 2016 Tonys at the earliest.) Typical eligibility dictates that actors whose names appear above the title are eligible in their respective Lead Actor/Actress category; actors whose names appear below the title are eligible in their respective Featured Actor/Actress category. The committee discussed Holler If Ya Hear Me; This is Our Youth; Love Letters; You Can't Take it With You; The Country House; It's Only a Play; and On the Town, and determined the following exceptions would be made:
  • Saul Williams (Holler If Ya Hear Me) will be eligible in the Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category

  • This is Our Youth will be considered eligible in the Best Play Revival category; its female star, Tavi Gevinson, will be considered eligible in the Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category

  • All the stars of You Can't Take it With YouAnnaleigh Ashford, Elizabeth Ashley, Rose Byrne, Johanna Day, Julie Halston, James Earl Jones, Byron Jennings, Patrick Kerr, Fran Kranz, Mark Linn-Baker, Kristine Nielsen and Reg Rogers—will be eligible in the Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category

  • Blythe Danner (The Country House) will be eligible in the Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category

  • It's Only a Play will be considered eligible in the Best Play Revival category; F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint, Megan Mullally and Micah Stock will be considered eligible in the Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category

  • Tony Yazbeck (On the Town) will be eligible in the Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category

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