Week in Review 11.20.15

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients Announced

17 people will receive the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. The recipients will be presented with the honor by President Obama at a November 24 ceremony. Among those who will be honored are Barbra Streisand; baseball greats Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra; Senator Barbara Mikulski; Steven Spielberg; Itzhak Perlman; the late congresswoman Shirley Chisholm; and James Taylor. Legendary songwriter Stephen Sondheim was selected for the honor last year, but was unable to attend the ceremony; he will celebrate the honor next week with Babs and the rest of the 2015 honorees. Broadway.com has more.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson Returns to Broadway

The Modern Family star and five-time Emmy nominee will return to Broadway in spring 2016. Though Ferguson has regularly appeared on stage in Shakespeare in the Park productions since hitting it big on Modern Family, this will mark the first time he's been on the Great White Way since opening The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on Broadway in 2005. Ferguson will return in Fully Committed, a one-man show written by Becky Mode. The show follows a restaurant receptionist at a trendy New York eatery. Directed by Jason Moore, Fully Committed will play the Lyceum Theatre, with previews beginning April 2. Opening night is scheduled for April 25, and the limited engagement will run through July 24. Theater Mania has more.

Casting News

  • Dave Grohl and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will make cameos in the December 1 episode of The Muppets. Entertainment Weekly reports that Grohl will challenge Animal to a drum off (naturally), and Gordon-Levitt will be playing poker with Scooter.


  • Silicon Valley will add Erin Breen to its cast. She'll appear in a recurring role throughout the hilarious show's third season. The Wrap has details.

  • Full casting was announced for Our Mother's Brief Affair. Joining the previously announced Linda Lavin are Kate Arrington (Grace, The Qualms), Greg Keller (Of Good Stock), and John Procaccino (The Qualms). Previews of the Richard Greenberg play begin December 28, with opening night set for January 20, 2016. Broadwayworld.com has more.
Coming Up on SNL

You might want to tune into SNL in December. The SNL Twitter account posted this photo, announcing the hosts and musical guests of the late night sketch comedy show's December episodes. On December 5, Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March, Drive) will host, with Leon Bridges as the musical guest. The December 12 episode will be hosted by Chris Hemsworth, with musical guest Chance the Rapper. And get ready for the December 19 episode. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will serve as hosts, and Bruce Springsteen will be the musical guest, The Boss announced on Twitter. Tune in!

Roundabout Announces Fall Shows

The Roundabout Theatre Company has announced three shows that will bow in fall 2016, kicking of the company's 2016-2017 season. On Broadway, we'll see an adaptation of Checkhov's The Cherry Orchard. This adaptation was written by Stephen Karam, whose relationship with Roundabout runs deep. (His play, The Humans, is playing in RTC's off-Broadway space now, and will move to Broadway in the spring.) Previews will begin September 8, 2016, with opening night set for October 6. The limited engagement, which will be at the American Airlines Theatre, is scheduled to conclude on November 27. Meanwhile, Roundabout's off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre will welcome Love, Love, Love, a new play by Mike Bartlett (Cock, King Charles). The play will be directed by Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Brooklynite), and will begin previews on September 22. An opening date has not been set, but the limited engagement is scheduled to run through January 1, 2017. Broadway.com has more about both of those shows. By way of seasonal fare, Roundabout will also present Holiday Inn, a stage adaptation of the classic film. Featuring an Irving Berlin score, the musical will begin previews at Studio 54 on September 1. Opening night is scheduled for October 13.  Broadway.com has more.

Dig This

  • Jonathan Groff is on leave from Hamilton while shooting the Looking conclusion in San Francisco. While on the West Coast, Groff performed at the Curran Theatre, and spoke to the theatre's editor-at-large about Looking, Hamilton, the Spring Awakening revival, and coming out. Broadwayworld.com has highlights.

  • A 2017 Broadway revival of Miss Saigon has been confirmed. This will be a transfer of the current West End production. Broadway.com has more.

  • Tony and Oscar winner Denzel Washington (Fences) will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award (a lifetime achievement honor) at the Golden Globes; the ceremony is set for January 10, 2016. Playbill has more.

  • MTC's 2016-2017 season will include Sell/Buy/Date, written by and starring Sarah Jones, and Vietgone, a new play by Qui Nguyen. The shows will play at MTC's off-Broadway spaces. Broadway.com has details.

  • After the theatre community demanded action, The New York Times has agreed to resume the practice of including production credits (scenic, costume, lighting, sound designers) in reviews. Playbill has details.

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