Week in Review 12.19.14

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2015

I love rock and roll, and so do these people. The 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class has been announced. Lou Reed; Green Day; Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble; Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; Bill Withers; and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band will be inducted in an April 18, 2015, ceremony. In addition, Ringo Starr will receive the Award for Musical Excellence, and "5" Royales will receive the Early Influence Award. As you may know, artists are eligible for nomination into the Hall 25 years after their first release. Green Day make it in on their first year of eligibility. Reed was previously inducted with the Velvet Underground but will be posthumously inducted as a solo artist. And, as Rolling Stone notes, Starr is the last of the Beatles (inducted as a band in 1988) to be inducted as a solo artist. An edited version of the induction ceremony and concert will likely air on HBO in May, as has been the case in the last couple of years.

The Last Ship

Can't get enough of The Last Ship? Neither can I. Fortunately for all, the cast album was released this week. (Head to Amazon or your favorite retailer to purchase your copy; or pick it up at the merch booth when you see the show!) In addition to the OBCR, head to Playbill for Collin Kelly-Sordelet's photo essay of a two-show day at the Neil Simon Theatre. Then wander over to The New York Times for the latest in performance video: Rachel Tucker and Sting performing a stripped down, acoustic version of "August Winds." Sting continues with the show through January 24, 2015. The show also stars Michael Esper and Aaron Lazar.

Encores! Off-Center Series Announced

The Encores! Off-Center series, which offers pop-up revivals of off-Broadway musicals, has announced its 2015 slate. First up will be A New Brain, written by William Finn and James Lapine. Running June 24-27, 2015, A New Brain will star Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening, The Submission). Lapine will direct. Next is a one-night-only concert of Little Shop of Horrors, starring the original Audrey, Ellen Greene! That concert will take place July 1, and Dick Scanlan will direct. The season will conclude with The Wild Party, written by Andrew Lippa. The team from Violet, which, before coming to Broadway last season was at Off-Center, will reunite: Leigh Silverman will direct and Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry will star. The Wild Party runs July 15-18. Tickets for all the productions go on sale January 19. Theater Mania has more.

Farewell to The Newsroom

What kind of day has it been? A complete one. The series finale of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom aired on Sunday, and I found it to be a satisfying wrap up of the series. Sorkin employed one of his favorite devices—flashbacks—to show us how the gang got together (a very "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen" feel). Those scenes were interspersed into the "present day," which found everyone at Charlie's funeral. We learned that some of our beloved characters have exciting lifecycle events in their future; others are looking forward to new responsibilities and relationships; and, for most, life simply goes on. Just like in the real world. A lovely way to say farewell to The Newsroom. Watch below as Sorkin takes you inside the last episode, and then head to Downtown magazine for an interview with John Gallagher, Jr., in which he talks about his debut album.


Critics' Choice Award Nominations

Nominees for the Critics' Choice Movie Awards were announced this week. Many of the same contenders that are vying for glory from the SAG Awards and Golden Globe Awards are part of the CCMA slate. The CCMA will be handed out on January 15, 2015; the ceremony will be broadcast on A+E at 9pm EST. Herein, some of the nominees; visit Variety for the full list:
  • Best Picture: Birdman; Boyhood; Gone Girl; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Nightcrawler; Selma; The Theory of Everything; Unbroken; Whiplash
  • Best Director: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel; David Fincher, Gone Girl; Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman; Angelina Jolie, Unbroken; Richard Linklater, Boyhood
  • Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game; Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler; Michael Keaton, Birdman; David Oyelowo, Selma; Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
  • Best Actress: Jennifer Aniston, Cake; Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night; Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything; Julianne Moore, Still Alice; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl; Reese Witherspoon, Wild
  • Best Acting Ensemble: Birdman; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Into the Woods; Selma
  • Best Original Screenplay: Alejandro G. Innarritu, Nicolas Giabobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo, Birdman; Richard Linklater, Boyhood; Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel; Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler; Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl; Graham Moore, The Imitation Game; Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice; Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything; Joel + Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson, Unbroken; Nick Hornby, Wild
Something Rotten Coming to Broadway

Another show has been added to the 2014-2015 season. As the stunning revival of Side Show moves out of the St James Theatre (go before January 4, 2015, or head to the Lincoln Center Library for the performing arts, because the show's being filmed for the archives), the new original musical Something Rotten is moving in. An industry workshop was held earlier this year, and a spring Seattle stint at the 5th Avenue Theatre was planned, but with the St James available, Something Rotten is nixing the out of town tryout and coming straight to Broadway (5th Avenue patrons will receive free tickets to the Broadway bow). Written by Wayne Kirkpatrick (music and lyrics), Karey Kirkpatrick (music, lyrics and book) and John O'Farrell (book), Something Rotten is set in the late 1500s, and focuses on two brothers who set out to write the first musical. Casting is not confirmed, but Tony winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James (Time Stands Still) starred in the workshop. (D'Arcy James will soon be seen at the Public in Hamilton.) Something Rotten, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin), will begin previews March 23; opening night is set for April 22. Broadway.com has additional details.

New Year's Eve Tune in Alert

Tune into PBS on New Year's Eve for two special concerts. First, Live from Lincoln Center will air the New York Philharmonic's "New Year's Eve: Gershwin Celebration," featuring Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess) and Dianne Reeves. (See Playbill for more.) That airs at 8pm, and will be followed at 10pm by "Michael Feinstein's New Year's Eve at the Rainbow Room." Why should you definitely tune into that? Because Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland), Kelli O'Hara (The Bridges of Madison County); Leslie Odom, Jr. (tick, tick...BOOM!); and more will appear alongside Feinstein in the filmed concert. (See Playbill for more.)

New Additions to Library of Congress Film Registry

25 films have been added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry, bringing the total of films on the registry up to 650. (To date, films in the registry include films from as early as 1913 and as late as 2004.) New additions include The Big Lebowski; Ferris Bueller's Day Off; Saving Private Ryan; and Mel Stuart's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, "The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America's film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant." Visit loc.gov to view the full list of new entries.

School of Rock on Broadway

The 2015-2016 Broadway season is taking shape. Joining the slate of shows is the adapted musical, School of Rock, based on the 2003 movie that starred Jack Black. The stage adaptation features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey). School of Rock will debut at the Winter Garden Theatre, with previews beginning November 2, 2015. Opening night is scheduled for December 6. Laurence Connor (Les Miserables) will direct the musical, and casting will begin early next year. As Broadway.com notes, this is the first time an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical has opened on Broadway before opening in London since his 1971 effort, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Casting Updates

  • Complete casting has been announced for the Broadway bow of Doctor Zhivago, which begins previews at the Broadway Theatre March 27, 2015. Opening night is April 21. Broadway.com has the announcement.

  • While Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham is appearing in The Heidi Chronicles, Jeff Kready will assume the role of Monty Navarro in the Tony-winning A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Kready begins performances January 20, 2015. Broadway.com has details.

  • Complete casting has been announced for the Broadway bow of The Audience, the Peter Morgan play about Queen Elizabeth II. Visit Broadway.com to find out who is joining Helen Mirren (as the queen) on stage.
Dig This

  • The Public released the first (official) rehearsal photos from Hamilton, the hip-hop musical about our founding treasurer, written by Lin Manuel-Miranda (In the Heights, tick, tick...BOOM!). Visit the Public's Facebook page to see the cast in action.

  • The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore will debut on January 19, 2015, at 11:30pm EST on Comedy Central. 

  • The Tony-winning revival of Cabaret, now playing at Studio 54, will go on a national tour beginning in January 2016. Broadway.com has more.

  • Mark your calendar! Mel Brooks is back with a one-man show, set to air on HBO on January 31, 2015. Check the legend's website, melbrooks.com, for more.

  • Think you're a "natural woman"? This could be your chance to prove it. Knowing that Tony winner Jessie Mueller is departing Beautiful on March 6, 2015, producers are holding nationwide casting calls to find someone to play Carole King in the musical. Broadway.com has details.

  • Audra McDonald will once again portray Billie Holiday. A live performance of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill will be filmed in New Orleans for later broadcast on HBO. McDonald (Porgy and Bess) won her sixth Tony for Lady Day. Broadway.com has more.

  • Second Stage Theatre is still eying the Helen Hayes Theatre. The off-Broadway company (which brought us Next to Normal and this summer's Sex with Strangers) is looking to buy and maintain the Broadway venue, with the mission of producing contemporary American theatre. Playbill has more.

  • Tune in alert: Watch PBS's Great Performances on January 9, 2015, at 9pm to see Renee Fleming's American Voices documentary, which features Josh Groban, Sutton Foster, Ben Folds, Norm Lewis and more. Classicalite.com has more.

  • Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart will reprise their roles in No Man's Land in the West End. Playbill has details. 

  • The soundtrack for the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years will be released by Sh-K-Boom on February 10, 2015. The movie stars Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan, and hits theaters and video on demand outlets on February 13. You can head to Sh-K-Boom now to order cast recordings from the original New York production, featuring Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz, and the recent revival, featuring Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor.

  • Buzz Feed has an exclusive first look at the new musical comedy coming to Broadway, It Shoula Been You. The tuner, which stars David Burtka, Sierra Boggess (Guys and Dolls) and Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), is set for the Brooks Atkinson Theatre; previews begin March 17, 2015, with opening night set for April 14.

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