Week in Review 10.3.15

Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels Return to Broadway

Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Cabaret, Blue Valentine) and Emmy winner and Tony nominee Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom, God of Carnage) will star in the Broadway debut of Blackbird, which was previously seen in New York off-Broadway. (Daniels starred in that production alongside his Newsroom costar Alison Pill.) Previews will begin February 5, 2016, with opening night set for March 10. Playing at the Belasco, the limited engagement is scheduled to conclude on June 12. Joe Mantello (The Last Ship, Casa Valentina) directs David Harrower's play. Broadway.com has more.

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Genius

The term gets bandied about a lot, often in a cavalier manner. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Miranda quipped, "You know a great way to trick people into thinking you're a genius? Write a show about geniuses." (The show he's talking about, of course, is Hamilton.) But now the MacArthur Foundation has bestowed the title upon the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner. Miranda is one of 24 people in the 2015 MacArthur Fellows class, a distinction that comes with an unrestricted $625,000 grant. Visit the MacArthur Foundation website to learn about Miranda's classmates, like journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates and scenic designer Mimi Lien (John), and watch below to hear directly from Miranda. (In other Hamilton news, Questlove writes an essay, exclusively for Rolling Stone, about the hit show, including the revelation that he is producing two Hamilton companion albums, "a remix record and a mixtape." Miranda clarified on Twitter that the mixtape will feature "remixes and covers and inspired bys," and will be released early next year.)

Casting News

TVUtkarsh Ambudkar (Modern Terrorism) is set to star in a new Fox series called Eat Pray Thug. As Deadline reports, the network has given a script commitment to the show, which is based on the life of rapper Heems. The series focuses on Ambudkar's character, who chooses to live at home in Queens with his parents.

BroadwayTony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) will star in the Broadway bow of Waitress, the new musical based on the 2007 movie. Mueller originated the lead role of Jenna in the recent A.R.T. run. Directed by Tony winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin), Waitress will play the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with previews beginning March 25, 2016. Opening night is set for April 24. Waitress features a score by pop star Sara Bareilles. Broadway.com has more.

Off-BroadwayJohn Krasinski, best known for The Office and so good in the under-appreciated Away We Go, will make his New York stage debut in the Public's world premiere of Dry Power, a Sarah Burgess play to be directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton). Previews will begin March 1, 2106, with opening night set for April 10. Broadway.com has more.

TVTony nominee Cynthia Nixon (Wit, The Real Thing) will appear in a recurring role on the upcoming season of The Affair. The second season of the Showtime show is set to premiere this Sunday, October 4. Nixon will play a couples therapist. Deadline has more.

Off-Broadway—Casting has been announced for Important Hats of the Twentieth Century, the Nick Jones play having its world premiere at MTC. Carson Elrod (Peter and the Starcatcher) and Matthew Saldivar (Peter..., Act One) will lead a company that also includes Maria Elena Ramirez (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Remy Auberjonois (Asuncion) and others. Broadway.com has the full cast list. Preview begin November 10, with opening night set for November 23.

Oscar Buzz Movies

Buzz Feed has a round up of the 42 movies that have movie award season prognosticators buzzing, including:
  • Ex Machina, which opened earlier this year and stars Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  • Straight Outta Compton, which opened earlier this year and tells the "origin story" of the rap group NWA
  • Steve Jobs, which was written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and stars Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) as the Apple icon (opening October 9)
  • Bridge of Spies, which stars Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night) and Tom Hanks (opening October 16)
  • Spotlight, which tells the story of the Boston Globe reporters who broke the news of the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal and features Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right), Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Brian d'Arcy James (Something Rotten) (opening November 6)
  • Macbeth, which stars Fassbender and Marion Cotillard (Inception) (opening December 4)
  • The Danish Girl, about the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery, starring Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) (opening November 27) 
  • The Revenant, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) (opening December 25)
  • The Hateful Eight, the latest from Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) (opening December 25)
Dig This

  • It's official: The Tony Awards will be held on Sunday, June 5, 2016. A location has yet to be determined (see last week's news). The televised portion of the ceremony will air on CBS beginning at 8pm. Playbill has more.

  • Variety named its Gotham 60: Influential New Yorkers in Entertainment and Media. The list includes Oskar Eustis; Sutton Foster; Jake Gyllenhaal; Lin-Manuel Miranda; Julianne Moore; and, of course, Jay-Z and Beyonce

  • Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You) will release a recording of her cabaret show, Lost in the Stars. The Broadway Records album will be released November 13, and you can pre-order now.

  • American Psycho found its Broadway home: The musical will play the Schoenfeld Theatre. Previews will begin March 26 (about a month later than originally scheduled) and opening night has not been set. Broadway.com has more.