Week in Review 12.18.15

Josh Groban Set for Broadway Debut

The Grammy-nominated crooner, theatre lover, and funny guy will make his Broadway debut in a Broadway mounting of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Written by Dave Malloy and directed by Rachel Chavkin (who collaborated on Preludes), Natasha... had a celebrated run off-Broadway in 2012, and featured site-specific staging. The musical is now at American Repertory Theatre, this time with a more traditional proscenium staging. Natasha... is inspired by a passage in War and Peace, and the original off-Broadway cast included Hamilton's Phillipa Soo. At this time, Groban is the only confirmed cast member (and he is said to have made a sizable time commitment to the show); a theatre and specific dates have yet to be announced, though performances are expected to begin in September 2016. Broadway.com has more.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2016

The inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2016, have been announced. At the April 8, 2016, ceremony in Brooklyn, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple, N.W.A., and Steve Miller will be honored. (Some notable nominees that were not selected for the 2016 class: Janet Jackson and Nine Inch Nails.) Tickets for the extravaganza will go on sale in February, and, as has become the usual, an edited version of the festivities will be broadcast on HBO in May. Artists are eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after their first release; all five artists to be inducted in 2016 have been eligible in previous years. Rolling Stone has more.

Casting News

  • Marlee Matlin and Camryn Manheim will depart the Spring Awakening revival on January 10, 2016. The pair have previous commitments, and cannot remain with the production through its extension, January 24. Alexandria Wailes and Elizabeth Greene will take over their respective roles. Broadway.com has more.

  • Marjorie Johnson will take on the title role in the Vineyard Theatre's production of Dot, a new play by Colman Domingo. Johnson, who played the role in a previous production, takes over for the previously announced Leslie Uggams, who has been cast in a recurring role on Empire. Broadway.com has more.

  • Bette Midler, Diane Keaton, and Goldie Hawn will reunite for the Netflix feature film, Divanation. The trio will play a girl group that reunites after 30 years of estrangement. Deadline has details.
Year in Review

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  • NYCB resident choreographer and company soloist Justin Peck (Everywhere We Go, New Blood) spoke to The Thick about his "first time" (i.e., the inception, creation, and debut of Year of the Rabbit). Peck's latest work, his first narrative ballet, will debut at NYCB this February.

  • Nominees for the Critics Choice Awards, honoring excellence in both movies and TV, were announced. Variety has the full list of nominees.

  • Larry Wilmore will host the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 30, 2016. The Huffington Post has more.

  • The 2016-2017 theatre season will feature a new Broadway theatre. The Hudson Theatre, built in 1903, will be refurbished and restored to a legitimate Broadway theatre, bringing the total of Broadway houses up to 41. It is located on 44th Street, between Broadway and 6th Avenue. Playbill has more.

  • Variety and Wired feature extended interviews with Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), whose latest, The Revenant, opens in select cities on December 25. Directed by Birdman's Alejandro Inarritu, the film opens in wide release on January 8, 2016.

  • Roundabout has announced three additions to its 2016-2017 season. Jenny Rachel Weiner's Kingdom Come will be part of the Underground season in fall 2016. Upstairs, the Laura Pels Theatre will be home to Steven Levenson's If I Forget, and Meghan Kennedy's Napoli, Brooklyn. Broadway.com has more.

  • The January 31, 2016, Grease live broadcast will feature a studio audience. The cast is led by Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland), and it directed by Thomas Kail (Hamilton). Broadway.com has more.

  • The terrific Jordan Harrison play, Marjorie Prime, has been extended. It will now run at Playwrights Horizons through January 24, 2016. Theater Mania has more.

  • Check out this New York Times "Anatomy of a Scene" clip in which director and co-writer Tom McCarthy narrates a scene in his outstanding film, Spotlight

  • Becoming Mike Nichols, a documentary filmed just months before the legendary director's death, will air February 22, 2016, on HBO. Playbill has more.

  • Broadway and other live theatrical productions will now receive the same tax benefits that TV and film do. Playbill has more about the bill that President Obama is expected to sign.

  • Frank Underwood has released a new campaign ad, letting lucky Netflix viewers know that House of Cards' fourth season will premiere on March 4, 2016. Watch below.