Week in Review - 12.12.14

The Newsroom: Inside the Episode

The series finale of The Newsroom will air this Sunday, 12.14, and if you're anything like me, you're probably still gutted from the way the penultimate episode ended. Aaron Sorkin has a habit of creating dramatic and tragic season enders (consider just The West Wing: season one - the shooting at Rosslyn; season two - Mrs. Landingham; season three - Posse Comitatus; season four - Zoe is taken), so I suppose we should have seen this coming. The series finale is titled, as many of his season finales are, "What Kind of Day Has it Been," and it promises to be riveting, so tune in! For more about episode five, let Sorkin take you inside the episode: (and head to HBO Connect for an interview with Sam Waterston and to Alternative Nation for an interview with John Gallagher, Jr.)

Kennedy Center Honors

The 2014 "class" of Kennedy Center honorees have been feted in a gala reception and tribute ceremony. This year's honorees are Tom Hanks; Patricia McBride; Al Green; Lily Tomlin; and Sting. Friends and admirers of the honorees were on hand to salute the talented individuals. In particular, NYCB principal dancers Tiler Peck and Jared Angle helped pay tribute to McBride; Laura Benanti, Jessie Mueller and Kelli O'Hara were among those honoring Hanks; and in addition to Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep and other musicians, the cast of The Last Ship made a quick trip to DC to honor the show's composer, who joined the ensemble this week, stepping into the role of Jackie White. (Sting will continue in the role through January 24, 2015. Below, watch him perform "What Say You Meg?" on Letterman (note he doesn't sing this in The Last Ship; Aaron Lazar does).) An edited version of the tribute ceremony will air on CBS on December 30 at 9pm, and it's always an entertaining show. The Washington Post and Broadwayworld.com have additional coverage. (also: photo coverage)

First Trailer for The Last Five Years

Musical theatre fans are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Richard LaGravanese's film adaptation of the beloved Jason Robert Brown musical, The Last Five Years. The film hit the festival circuit earlier this year, and will be officially released in the US around Valentine's Day 2015. Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air, 50/50) and Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan (Bonnie and Clyde, Newsies) star in the adaptation, which charts the five-year relationship of Cathy and Jamie. The unique structural device is that Cathy's story is told from end to beginning while Jamie's is told from beginning to end. (I promise it's easy to follow.) Check out the first full trailer below.

The Lion Comes Roaring Back

Benjamin Scheuer's personal one-man show, The Lion, is headed back to New York. It had a celebrated run at MTC this summer, and subsequently was presented at London's St. James Theatre. This winter, New Yorkers will once again be able to listen in as Scheuer tells his story, which includes great love and great loss, sickness and health. Beginning February 3, 2015, The Lion will play the Lynn Redgrave Theater in downtown Manhattan. Opening night is scheduled for February 8, and the limited engagement will run through March 29. Sean Daniels, who directed the MTC and London productions, will repeat his work. Visit thelionmusical.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

Broadway Casting Updates

Complete casting for the Broadway bow of Fun Home has been announced, and many of the off-Broadway stars are making the transfer. The musical begins previews March 27, 2015, with opening night scheduled for April 19. Playbill has more.

Additional casting for Fish in the Dark, the Larry David-penned play, has been announced. Molly Ranson (Bad Jews), Rita Wilson and Ben Shenkman are among those joining the cast. Fish in the Dark begins previews on February 2, 2015. Opening night is set for March 5. Broadway.com has more.

Additional casting has been announced for the Broadway bow of It Shoulda Been You. Tony nominee Montego Glover (Memphis), Chip Zien, Anne L. Nathan (Once), Michael X. Martin (The Bridges of Madison County) and more join the previously announced Tyne Daly, Sierra Boggess and David Burtka. Directed by David Hyde Pierce, It Shoulda Been You begins previews on March 17, 2015. Opening night is set for April 14, and the new musical will run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Broadway.com has more.

End of Year Top Ten Lists

In anticipation of the end of the year, "Best Of" lists are popping up all over. I'll post my Year in Review on December 26 (in lieu of a Week in Review), but to hold you over until then, enjoy this round up of End of Year lists:
Clive Barnes Honorees

The nominees for the fifth annual Clive Barnes Foundation Award, honoring young dancers and actors, were announced. Jay Armstrong Johnson (On the Town), Will Pullen, Alexander Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and Colin Kelly-Sordelet (The Last Ship) are the theatre nominees. In the dance category, NYCB corps de ballet member Harrison Ball; NYCB soloist (he was recently promoted) Russell Janzen; Ballet Hispanico's Christopher Bloom; and ABT's Devon Teuscher are nominated. As The New York Times notes, one winner in each category will be awarded a $5,000 prize and will be honored at a January 26, 2015, ceremony.

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