Week in Review 12.4.15

Due to Thanksgiving festivities and travel, there was no Week in Review last week. Please enjoy this expanded edition, which includes information from the last two weeks.

Johnny Gallagher to Release Solo Album

At long last, Tony Award winner John Gallagher, Jr. (American Idiot, The Newsroom) has announced that he has recorded and will release his debut solo album at the beginning of next year. Entertainment Weekly reports that the album, Six Day Hurricane, will be released January 15, 2016, through Rockwood Music Hall Recordings. Gallagher recorded the album of original material a couple of years ago, with the help of Thad DeBrock, who was in the band Spring Awakening band. Visit EW for more details, an interview with Gallagher, and to listen to the lead song, "Two Fists Full."

Tony Awards Update

The Tony Awards have a home—and a new date. With Radio City Music Hall unavailable (as it was a few years ago), the annual theatre gala will be held on the Upper West Side at the Beacon Theatre (as it was the last time Radio City was unavailable). In addition, the Tonys will now be June 12, 2016, rather than the previously announced June 5. Because of the new Tony Awards date, the Tony eligibility cutoff date is now April 28, and Tony nominations will now be announced May 3. Theater Mania has details.

Movie Award Season

Hollywood's award season is kicking into high gear. Several awards contenders (or predicted contenders) are now playing or are about to be released, and next week, both the SAG Award and Golden Globe Award nominations will be announced. This week:

  • Gotham Independent Film Award winners were announced, with the top prize going to Spotlight. (The cast—Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, and Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James—also received the Gotham Jury Award.) The Wrap has the full list of winners.

  • We also learned the nominees for the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Here, Carol and Beasts of No Nation led the pack. The Wrap has the full list of nominees.

  • The New York Film Critics circle Award winners were announced, with Carol taking home the top prize. Three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance won Best Support Actor for his work in Bridge of Spies. Indie Wire has the full list of winners.

  • Winners of the National Board of Review Awards were announced. Mad Max: Fury Road won the top honor, and the terrific Ex Machina was named one of the ten best independent films of the year. Visit nationalboardofreview.org for the full list of winners.

  • Slightly off-topic: The Writers Guild of America announced nominees for excellence in TV, new media, news, radio, and promotional writing. Writers for Game of Thrones; Silicon Valley; Veep; Show Me a Hero; The Leftovers; The Good Wife; The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; and Inside Amy Schumer are among the nominees. The Wrap has the full list of nominees.

Casting News

Broadway—Complete casting for the Broadway bow of Eclipsed has been announced. The entire original off-Broadway cast, including Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) and Saycon Sengbloh (Holler If Ya Hear Me), will reprise their roles. Nyong'o and Sengbloh will be joined by Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, and Zainab Jah. Previews of the Danai Gurira play begin February 23, 2016, with opening night set for March 6. Broadway.com has more.

BroadwayByron Jennings (You Can't Take It With You) has joined the company of the upcoming She Loves Me revival, replacing Rene Auberjonois, who has withdrawn for personal reasons. Auberjonois joins a company led by Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi, and Gavin Creel. Previews begin February 19, 2016, with opening night set for March 17. The limited engagement is scheduled to conclude June 5. Broadway.com has more.

Women on Broadway

Playbill notes that the upcoming Broadway productions of Eclipsed and Waitress boast female creative teams. For Eclipsed, this marks the first Broadway play for which the playwright (Danai Gurira), director (Liesl Tommy), and entire cast (see above) are female. For Waitress, it marks the first time the book writer (Jessie Nelson), composer/lyricist (Sara Bareilles), choreographer (Lorin Latarro), and director (Diane Paulus) are all female. As Babs said when presenting the Academy Award for Best Direction to Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win the award, "It's about time."

Grease Live is the Word

People has your first look at Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland) in character as Danny Zuko. Grease Live will air on Fox on January 31, 2016. (Playbill debuted the official logo, at right.) And the first promotional trailer was released. Watch below to see Tveit do the hand jive. Also of note: the creative team continues to grow. In addition to Thomas Kail (Hamilton), who is serving as the director, Tony, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, If/Then) will serve as the musical supervisor, and Kail's Hamilton collaborator, David Korins is the production designer. (Of course, if you follow Korins on Instagram, which I highly recommend, you already knew about his involvement.) Playbill has more about the creative team.


Broadway Comings and Goings

  • With Dames at Sea moving out of the Helen Hayes Theatre (see below), The Humans has found a home. Stephen Karam's hit play, which you can still see off-Broadway, will take up residency at the Helen Hayes, with previews beginning January 23, 2016. Opening night is scheduled for February 18, and the entire cast, including Reed Birney and Arian Moayed, and the creative team, led by director Joe Mantello, will make the transfer. Broadway.com has more.

  • Dames at Sea will conclude its run on January 3, 2016. The show began this fall. Broadway.com has more.

  • The upcoming revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night will open later than originally scheduled. While previews will still begin on March 31, 2016, opening night is now set for April 27. (This will make it the final production to open before the Tony eligibility cut off.) The revival of the Eugene O'Neill classic stars Jessica Lange, Gabriel Byrne, John Gallagher, Jr., and Michael Shannon. Playbill has more.

  • Sylvia, which was scheduled to be a limited engagement, has set its closing date. The final performance will be January 3, 2016. Theater Mania has more.

  • The current Les Miserables revival will conclude its Broadway run on September 4, 2016; it opened in March 2014. Broadway.com has more.

  • Dates have been announced for the return of Motown, which went on hiatus earlier this year. Performances will begin in July 2016 at the Nederlander Theatre. Broadway.com has more.
Dig This

  • Get excited: Leslye Headland (Bachelorette, Assistance) will see her new play, Layover, have its world premiere at Second Stage in August 2016. (Bachelorette debuted at Second Stage before being adapted for the silver screen.) Previews for Layover are scheduled to begin August 2. Broadway.com has more.

  • Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are going on The River Tour in 2016. The Boss announced dates for winter shows this week. Tickets go on sale December 11. Visit brucespringsteen.net for more.

  • Brian d'Arcy James (Something Rotten) spoke with Broadway.com about his new movie, Spotlight, and being part of the original off-Broadway company of Hamilton.

  • Full Frontal, the new news parody show with Samantha Bee, will premiere on February 8, 2016. Follow the show's Twitter feed for more.

  • Stephen Colbert will host the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, set to take place December 6. An edited version of the ceremony will air on CBS (Colbert's new network) on December 29. The honorees this year are Carol King, Cicely Tyson, Rita Moreno, the Eagles, Selji Ozawa, and George LucasPlaybill has details.

  • Variety profiles its International Star of the Year, Jake Gyllenhaal (Little Shop of Horrors, Nightcrawler). The actor talks about his career choices, and what's next.

  • Backstage features a round-up of some of the best ensembles we've seen on stage this year, including the tireless Hamilton ensemble.

  • You're the Worst, one of the best shows you're not watching, has been renewed for a third season. Entertainment Weekly has more.

  • Visit Broadway.com to listen to three tracks from the (hopefully upcoming) Brooklynite cast album.  
  • Hamilton featured player Anthony Ramos (John Laurens/Philip Hamilton) is Broadway.com's latest Fresh Face. Read about him on the site, and watch the video, below, for more about Ramos.

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