Week in Review 7.31.15

Lupita Nyong'o to Star in Eclipsed Off-Broadway

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) will star in the New York premiere of Eclipsed, written by Zimbabwean-American playwright and actress, Danai Guirra. The production was just added to the Public's season, and is set to run September 29 through November 8. Directed by Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed takes place during the Liberian Civil War, and focuses on the wives of rebel officers and the community they form. This will mark Nyong'o's New York stage debut.

Spotlight on Spotlight

Check out the trail for the new movie, Spotlight. The film follows Boston Globe reporters as they break the story of the Catholic church child abuse/sex scandal. The trailer makes it look like the film is paced like a thriller (reminiscent of Aaron Sorkin's approach to The Social Network, but without his trademark snappy dialogue), and boasts an impressive cast: Michael Keaton (Birdman); Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right, The Normal Heart); Rachel McAdams; Brian d'Arcy James (Something Rotten); Stanley Tucci; Billy Crudup (Arcadia, Waiting for Godot); Liev Schreiber; and more. Spotlight is co-written by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, and directed by McCarthy (Win Win). The film is slated for a November release. 

Casting News

  • Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Grace) has joined the company of Roundabout's Long Day's Journey Into Night revival. Shannon will tread the boards alongside the previously announced Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne and Tony winner John Gallagher, Jr. Previews begin March 31, 2016, with opening night scheduled for April 19. Theater Mania has more.

  • Kyle Scatliffe (Les Miserables), Isaiah Johnson (Far from Heaven) and Joaquina Kalukango have joined the cast of the upcoming The Color Purple revival, set for the Jacobs Theatre. Previews begin November 9, with opening night scheduled for December 10. Broadway.com has more.

  • Tony winner Michael McGrath (On the Twentieth Century) has joined the She Loves Me company. The cast is led by the previously announced Laura Benanti and Josh Radnor. Previews at Studio 54 begin February 5, with opening night set for March 3. Broadway.com has more.

  • Krysta Rodriguez (First Date) and Andy Mientus (Les Miserables), who appeared in the Los Angeles run of Deaf West's Spring Awakening, are set for the Broadway bow of the production. Rodriguez, who was in the original Broadway company of the show, will play Ilse, and Mientus will play Hanschen. Previews begin September 8 and opening night is September 27. The limited engagement will conclude January 9, 2016. Playbill has the full cast list.

  • Matthew Broderick has joined the company of the upcoming revival of Sylvia. He joins the previously announced Annaleigh Ashford and Julie White. Previews begin October 2, with opening night scheduled for October 27. Broadway.com has more.

  • Tony winner Alex Sharp will play his final performance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time September 13, and newcomer Tyler Lea will be waiting in the wings. Broadway.com has more.
  • The Mindy Project is welcoming several special guest stars for its upcoming fourth season, which will air exclusively on Hulu. Entertainment Weekly reports that Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) will play Danny's girlfriend in a dream sequence. Deadline has news that Garret Dillahunt will appear as the doctor who replaces Mindy while Mindy's on maternity leave. E! Online reports that Sakina Jaffrey (House of Cards) and Ajay Mehta will play Mindy's parents. And those parents, according to TV Insider, will try to arrange a marriage between Mindy and a new character to be played by Kunal Nayyar.

  • Queen Latifah (Chicago) and Mary J. Blige have joined the cast of the live NBC broadcast of The Wiz. Latifah will play the titular Wiz, while Blige will play the Wicked Witch of the West, Evillene. The Wiz will be presented on December 3. Theater Mania has more.

  • Frank Langella has joined the ever-expanding cast of the HBO adaptation of All the Way. Langella will played famed senator Richard Russell opposite Bryan Cranston's LBJ. Deadline has more.

  • Archie Panjabi, the Emmy winner best known for her role as Khalinda Sharma on The Good Wife, will guest star in the upcoming season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. TV Line has the scoop.
Vineyard Theatre Adds Gigantic Musical to Season

The Vineyard Theatre's 2015-2016 season will now include the musical, Gigantic. The tuner was previously titled Fat Camp, and played the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Gigantic is written by Matthew Roi Berger (music), Randy Blair (lyrics and book) and Tim Drucker (book). Scott Schwartz is directing the off-Broadway production, for which casting has not yet been announced. Previews will begin November 11, with opening night set for December 3. The Vineyard's season also includes Dot, by Colman Domingo; and Indecent, by Paula Vogel. Broadway.com has more.

Fall for Dance

The lineup for the 12th annual Fall for Dance Festival has been announced. The New York City Center celebration of dance brings together dancers and choreographers from around the world for a melange of dances sure to delight dance fans. The festival runs September 30-October 11, and, to make this accessible for everyone, all tickets are just $15. This year's lineup includes the Miami City Ballet performing Balanchine's classic, Allegro Brillante; several premieres (of the world, US and NY variety); and a new work featuring NYCB principal Tiler Peck and theatre veteran Bill Irwin. Tickets go on sale September 13 at 11am. Visit nycitycenter.org for the full list of performances and performers.

Hamilton News

Hamilton is in previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and officially opens August 6.
  • There will be a companion book for Hamilton, complete with a full, annotated libretto, pictures and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, letting us into the creative process. The book is due out in April 2016. The New York Times has more.

  • American Theatre magazine caught up with Lin-Manuel Miranda to talk about Hamilton.

  • Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, attended a preview this week.

  • In the new issue of Billboard, Chris Hayes caught up with his old friend Miranda (the two went to school together), as well as Questlove and Black Thought, the Roots members who are executive producing the cast album, to talk about Hamilton.

  • Daveed Diggs (Lafayette/Jefferson) talked to Broadway.com about Hebrew school and rapping on Broadway.

  • Vulture caught up with Miranda, who shared the 20 people/shows/things that influenced him while writing Hamilton.

  • Leslie Odom, Jr. (Burr) spoke with the Associated Press about his journey with the show, and what it means to him.

  • Miranda announced that the Playbills now feature an itemized list of hip-hop and musical theatre references, as well as the song list. (These items were previously excluded from the Playbills because the show has been in previews and was being tinkered with. As we approach opening night, the show is nearly frozen.)
Dig This

  • As Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Annie Baker's The Flick is running downtown and her latest, John, is in early previews in midtown, The Week caught up with her to find out about her six favorite books.

  • Time Out New York asked several actors, including Tony winners John Gallagher, Jr., Laura Benanti, Anika Noni Rose and more, to list their favorite films, all in an effort to create a list of the 100 Best Movies of All Time. (And here's Gallagher's annotated list of his picks.)

  • New York City Ballet principal dancer Jennie Somogyi (Mirage) will retire this fall. Her farewell performance is scheduled for October 11. Somogyi joined the corps de ballet in 1994 and rose through the ranks to become a principal in 2000. The New York Times has more about her career.

  • Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook) is set to co-direct (with Jerry Zaks) the musical stage adaptation of A Bronx Tale, the film that marked his film directorial debut. Entertainment Weekly has more.

  • Red Carpet Crash caught up with Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Les Miserables) to talk about Graceland, his new movie, Big Sky, and his upcoming appearance as Danny Zuko in Grease Live.

  • Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Little Miss Sunshine) teased, via Twitter, that she'll be back on Broadway this season. I'll keep you posted!

  • Gideon Glick and Lindsay Mendez, stars of the terrific Joshua Harmon play, Significant Other, talked to Broadway.com about meeting each other and deleting texts from crushes.

  • Dates, eligibility requirements and more have been announced for the 82nd annual Drama League Awards. Nominations will be announced April 19, 2016, and the awards, which honor both Broadway and off-Broadway in the same categories, will be handed out May 20. Playbill has more.

  • Dave Grohl spoke to Rolling Stone about recovering from his leg injury and sitting on a throne while touring. (I've seen the throne in action—it's pretty rad.)

  • The Looking movie, which will serve as a coda to the HBO series, canceled after its second season, will begin production this fall in anticipation of an early 2016 premiere. TV Line has more.

  • In Broadwayworld.com's On Record series, Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot, Murder Ballad) list her top-five favorite cast albums. Jones can currently be seen as Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

  • HBO programming president Michael Lombardo announced that there will be at least eight seasons of Game of Thrones, and also confirmed Jon Snow's fate. Rolling Stone has the report.