Week in Review 11.7.14


(Scroll down to hear the latest tune off of Sonic Highways.)


Cast Album Alerts

Two musicals opened on Broadway in October, and this week, each show's cast recorded their respective cast albums. The incredible company of The Last Ship, led by Michael Esper, took to the recording studio, creating the original Broadway cast recording. Broadway.com was on hand to capture the record session, and, later in the week, reported that the album will be released on December 16. (It is now available for pre-order from Amazon. Scroll down for even more The Last Ship goodies.) The recording will feature a bonus track of Sting "covering" the beautiful ballad, "What Say You, Meg?' In another recording studio, the company of the On the Town revival recorded their cast album, which will likely be released in January 2015. Broadway.com has more about the On the Town recording.

Thanksgiving Day Parade Performances

For me, Thanksgiving just isn't the same without the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Performers for this year's event have been announced. Broadway shows A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder; The Last Ship; On the Town; and Side Show (saw it this week; liked it a lot) will be represented, plus there'll be a sneak at the Broadway-bound Finding Neverland. Other performers set for the parade include Idina Menzel (If/Then); Sting; Renne Fleming; the cast of Sesame Street; the Rockettes; and more. Tune into NBC on November 27. Broadway.com and Playbill have more.

city.ballet Returns and More Ballet News

Lots of great ballet goings on to get to this week. First, the second season of city.ballet premiered on AOL Originals. While the first season was more macro in scope, taking a broad look at the Company, the second season focuses on individuals, allowing us to get to know certain dancers in greater detail. It's a terrific season, and makes me even more excited for NYCB's winter season to begin (in January). Next: The fantastic documentary, Ballet 422, which chronicles the making of New York City Ballet's 422nd ballet, Justin Peck's Paz de La Jolla, will be released in February, the choreographer announced. Third, I'm still reeling from being at the performance, and now New York magazine has a behind the scenes look at Wendy Whelan's final moments at the New York City Ballet. And, finally, the 50th Workshop Performance from the School of American Ballet will air on PBS on December 12. Check out the Live from Lincoln Center tweet for details.

Foo Fighters: "What Did I Do?/God as My Witness"

As the Sonic Highways docu-series continues, Foo Fighters have released the Austin-inspired track, "What Did I Do?/God as My Witness." The Austin episode, featuring Gary Clark, Jr,, airs tonight (11.7), and the full album will be released on Monday, 11.10.


Award Season Check In: British Independent  Film Awards

It's November, which means we're ever closer to the full swing of movie award season. This week, the nominees for the British Independent Film Awards were announced. Nominees include the cast and creatives of Frank, a film that starred Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Real Thing) and Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave); Pride, directed by Matthew Warchus (Matilda, Ghost), and The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, also received multiple nominations. And American-made critical hits Boyhood and last year's Fruitvale Station picked up nods in the Best International Independent Film category. The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of nominees.

The Heidi Chronicles Finds a Home

The previously announced revival of Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles will play the legendary Music Box Theatre. Previews are scheduled to begin on February 23, 2015, with opening night set for March 19. The play, which follows feminist Heidi Holland over 20 years, will star Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing, Mad Men), Bryce Pinkham (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, A Gentleman's Guide...), Jason Biggs (Orange is the New Black) and Tracee Chimo (Bad Jews, Circle Mirror Transformation). Broadway.com has more.

Dig This

  • Tune into PBS on April 5, 2015, for the first installment of Wolf Hall, a miniseries based on the Hilary Mantel books; the books are also the source material for the upcoming Broadway repertory production of the same name. Three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance (Jerusalem, Twelfth Night) and Damian Lewis (Homeland) star. Playbill has more.

  • Bernadette Peters will host Downton Abbey Rediscovered, a special retrospective of the popular series. It airs on PBS on November 30. Playbill has more. Plus, the show's been renewed for a sixth season, Variety reports.

  • Want to swoon? Check out these photos of Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland) and his fellow cast members in rehearsal for the London production of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins

  • Alysha Umphress takes you behind the scenes at On the Town in the latest episode of her Broadway.com vlog, Taxicab Confessions.

  • Rock Bottom is returning to Joe's Pub at the Public! The outrageous cabaret show had a celebrated run this fall, and will return January 6, 2015, through February 20. Visit joespub.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

  • Not so diggable: the magical and Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin will conclude its Broadway run on January 4, 2015. However, the show just launched a national tour, so keep an eye out for the circus! Broadway.com has more.

  • Pick up the latest copy of Backstage (or go online) to read the feature story on cover boy Michael Esper. He talks about his acting roots and the journey he's taken with The Last Ship. (Other The Last Ship bits: Esper, Rachel Tucker and Aaron Lazar performed on the Today show, and Sting took Al Roker backstage.)

  • Broadway.com has confirmed that Michael Cerveris will reprise his role in Fun Home when the musical arrives on Broadway in the spring.

  • Bridges of Madison County stars Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale, The Last Five Years' Betsy Wolfe and more will celebrate the songs of Jason Robert Brown in a concert on December 6. Playbill has more.

  • A production spokesperson has confirmed to Broadway.com that Danny Burstein (Cabaret) will star in the 2015 revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

  • It's possible that Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men could be the next NBC live telecast event. The property started as a play, so it's not difficult to imagine it being performed live. Variety has more.

  • Here's your Friday treat: the full trailer for Into the Woods, opening December 25.

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