Week in Review 8.14.15

Shuffle Along... Adds Leading Men

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald is set to star in Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed in the spring, and it was announced this week that she'll be joined by a quartet of terrific actors. Shuffling along will be Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Women on the Verge...), who will reunite with his Ragtime co-star; Tony winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots, scroll down to learn about Porter's Kinky Boots replacement); Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet); and Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Motown, The Wild Party). Shuffle Along is set to play the Music Box Theatre, with previews beginning March 14, 2016. Opening night is scheduled for April 21. Broadway.com has more.

Spring Awakening Completes Its Cast

The upcoming revival of Spring Awakening is adding Camryn Manheim, Russell Harvard (a deaf actor who was in the acclaimed Tribes) and Patrick Page (Casa Valentina) to its cast. Along with the previously announced Marlee Matlin, they'll play the adults. Spring Awakening begins previews September 8 with opening night set for September 27. The limited engagement, which will play at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, is scheduled to conclude on January 9, 2016. Broadway.com has more.

Hamilton in the News

Opening night might be behind us, but Hamilton still has fans and the media all abuzz. Herein, some articles of interest. 
  • American Theatre checked in (prior to opening night) with the Hamilton cabinet, Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and musical director/orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, as well as Public Theatre artistic director Oskar Eustis, to talk about their collaboration. 

  • Renee Elise Goldsberry shared a photo diary of opening night with Vogue, while ensemble members Betsy Struxness and Ariana DeBose took over Playbill's Instagram feed to take us behind the scenes on opening night.

  • The New Yorker shone a spotlight on the Schuyler Sisters and the women who play them, Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo and Jasmine Cephas Jones

  • Gothamist and Playbill talked with Hamilton alternate Javier Munoz about his role in creating Alexander Hamilton, and what impact that has on the show. (I've seen Munoz in the role twice, Miranda once; if you get the chance to see Munoz, you'll thrill over him.)

  • The New York Times ran a profile of Miranda, this time delving into the roots of his musical passions (i.e., the cross-section of musical theatre and hip-hop). Miranda was is also featured in The Hollywood Reporter. In that article, Miranda leaks details about an In the Heights movie.

  • Broadway Direct is featuring a "Hamilton Tour of New York," taking readers (via a photo essay) on a tour of Hamilton-related NY landmarks. 

  • And, finally, Susan Blackwell reported from the opening night red carpet:

Casting News

Broadway—Tony nominee Montego Glover (Memphis) will take on the role of Fantine in the current Broadway revival of Les Miserables. Glover's first performance is September 1. Broadway.com has more.

Off-Broadway—Casting has been announced for John Patrick Shanley's new play, Prodigal Son, part of MTC's season. Robert Sean Leonard (Dead Poets Society, Born Yesterday) leads the cast that also includes Timothee Chalamet and Chris McGarry. Previews of the off-Broadway play begin January 19, 2016, with opening night set for February 9. Broadway.com has more.

TV—Additional casting has been announced for the live TV broadcast of The Wiz. Oscar and Grammy winner Common, as well as recording artist Ne-Yo and actor Elijah Kelley, are joining the cast as the Gatekeeper, Tinman and Scarecrow, respectively. The December 3 broadcast will air on NBC. Broadway.com has more.

Off-Broadway—Full casting has been announced for Barbecue, the new play by Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy), which is set to play the Public this fall. The cast includes Becky Ann Baker (Good People), John Earl Jelks (Holler If Ya Hear Me) and Kim Wayans (In Living Color). Previews begin September 22, with opening night set for October 8. The limited engagement is scheduled to conclude on November 1. Broadway.com has the full cast list.

BroadwayTony winner Billy Porter will play his final performance in Kinky Boots on November 20. The next night, Wayne Brady will take over the role of Lola. Brady previously appeared on Broadway in Chicago. Broadway.com has more.

Waitress Heading to Broadway

Waitress, the musical adaptation of the eponymous movie, will bow on Broadway this season. Exact dates and casting have not been announced, but the show, directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin) and featuring a score by Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson, is confirmed to play the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with previews beginning in March 2016. An opening night for April will be scheduled. Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) is starring in the ART production, which is running in Cambridge though September 27. Broadway.com has more.

Dig This

  • Thom Yorke, of Radiohead, will compose music for Roundabout's revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times. This is the rock luminary's first foray into theatre. Theater Mania has more. 

  • The upcoming revival of The Gin Game, starring James Earl Jones and Cecily Tyson, will now begin previews September 23, rather than September 18. Opening night will be October 14. Broadway.com has more.

  • Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland) spoke to the Albuquerque Journal about his new film, Big Sky, which opens today (August 14) and was filmed in and around Albuquerque.

  • Dear Evan Hansen, a new musical from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight), will make its New York debut at Second Stage Theatre in spring 2016. It's running at Arena Stage in DC now through August 23. Broadway.com has more.  

  • Sesame Street is moving. Under a new licensing agreement, the beloved series will join the HBO lineup for the next five seasons. Episodes will air on PBS nine months after airing on HBO. In addition, Sesame Street-themed programming will increase. Variety has details.

  • James Snyder, LaChanze and Anthony Rapp, who starred alongside Idina Menzel in the Broadway production of If/Then, will join Menzel for select dates of the show's North American tour. Broadway.com has the details. 

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