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Showing posts from March, 2015

Week in Review 3.27.15

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Lots of casting news this week; scroll down for more news, including a new play from Annie Baker and a new musical from Billie Joe Armstrong.

Casting News
Film—The cast for Nocturnal Animals, the follow up from fashion designer Tom Ford's excellent directorial debut, A Single Man, is starting to come together. According to various trade papers, Jake Gyllenhaal (Constellations, Nightcrawler), Amy Adams (Big Eyes, Her) and Joaquin Pheonix (Her, Inherent Vice) will appear in the film, with Gyllenhaal and Adams leading the cast. George Clooney is a producer of the movie, which is based on Austin Wrgiht's novel, Tony and Susan. The Film Stage has more.

Television—The talented Krysta Rodriguez (First Date, Smash) will appear in the second season of the ABC Family series, Chasing Life. The series focuses on April (Italia Ricci), a young women battling cancer. Rodriguez, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and is chronicling her recovery on krystacouture.com, will play a fello…

Week in Review 3.20.15

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New York City Ballet 2015-2016 Season Announced
A performance calendar hasn't been released, but details about the Company's 2015-2016 season have been announced, and it's going to be a great one. Throughout the season, we'll see seven world premieres, including two from soloist Justin Peck (Everywhere We Go, Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes), the Company's resident choreographer, and one from Christopher Wheeldon (A Place for Us, After the Rain), the company's former resident choreographer. The season will also feature the return of Wheeldon's Estancia (which will be paired with the premiere of Peck's first full-length narrative ballet); a new work from corps de ballet member Troy Schumacher (Clearing Dawn), as well as new works from Robert Binet and Myles Thatcher; newly commissioned scores by Ellis Ludwig-Leone (of the band San Fermin) and Bryce Dessner (of the band The National); and the debut of new music director, Andrew Litton. A few week-long runs of …

The Heidi Chronicles

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The late, great Wendy Wasserstein's seminal work, The Heidi Chronicles, was something of a revelation when it debuted off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1989, and once it transferred to Broadway, the play won the Tony Award for Best Play. Through the experiences of Heidi Holland (Elisabeth Moss), an art historian coming of age in the 60s, Wasserstein explored one view of the feminist movement, and where its progenitors ended up. (Through a series of vignettes, we see Heidi as an adolescent in 1965, and then check in with her over the years, all the way through 1989.)

Seeing how relevant this is—how little has changed—is somewhat disappointing. Maybe it's not fair to say nothing has changed. Maybe a lot has, and what hasn't is simply amplified because of changes in technology. There are still institutional blockades against women, and women are still stigmatized for their choices (when the old, wrinkly men who write laws let them ha…

Placebo

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You might recall that Laura Eason's Sex with Strangers began and ended with the question, "Who are you?" That question begat other questions, like, do we ever really know our sexual partners? Melissa James Gibson (who, like Eason, is on the House of Cards writing staff) explores a similar question in her terrific new play, Placebo.

Whereas Eason used writers to tell her story, Gibson uses a doctoral candidate, Louise, and sets her story against a backdrop of medical experimentation. Louise (Carrie Coon) is a research assistant for a doctor who is doing a double blind study of a drug that aims to boost women's libidos. Through Louise's interactions with one of the patients, Mary (Florencia Lozano), another researcher, Tom (Alex Hurt), and her boyfriend, Jonathan (William Jackson Harper), we come to see that all relationships are really double blind studies; you never quite know your partner or how s/he will affect you. (As the show art suggests, perhaps all you ca…

On the Twentieth Century

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Sometimes, there's a revival of a show because the moment is absolutely right—the stars (i.e., constellations, not celebs) align, the politics of the day are right and the theatre-going audience is ripe for a particular message (think: the 2009 revival of Hair). Sometimes, there's a revival because anything goes (think: the 2011 revival of Anything Goes). This splendid revival of On the 20th Century, the first-ever Broadway revival of the musical, is the anything goes kind: too much fun to pass up.

Based on plays by Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur and Bruce Millholland, this zany musical comedy comes courtesy of book writers and lyricists Betty Comden + Adolph Green (On the Town) and composer Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity), with additional material by Marco Pannette and Green's daughter, lyricist Amanda (Hands on a Hardbody).

The action is set on a train (the Twentieth Century, to be exact), which is chugging along from Chicago to New York. Aboard is theatre producer Oscar Jaffe…

Week in Review 3.13.15

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Hamilton Hype
Between the announcement of the Broadway mounting and tickets going on sale, Hamilton has been getting extra attention. Watch this CBS Sunday Morning interview in which Hamilton writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda talks about being inspired to write the musical, and why the hip-hop vernacular is the perfect fit for the story. In this bonus clip, Miranda talks about performing a song from Hamilton at the White House. Miranda also spoke to MSNBC's Chris Hayes, with whom he went to high school. (For more, watch the extended, 20-minute conversation between the old friends.) Hamilton tickets are now on sale, including at the pop-up box office at the Marquis Theatre. The musical continues its Public run through the beginning of May. Broadway previews (at the Richard Rodgers Theatre) begin July 13, with opening night set for August 6. Visit hamiltonbroadway.com for more.

Josh Groban Stages
Josh Groban has been working, simultaneously, on two albums. One is a typical Josh Grob…

Week in Review 3.6.15

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Rebecca Naomi Jones Joins Hedwig
The captivating Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot, Fortress of Solitude) will take on the role of Yitzhak in the Tony-winning revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As reported last week, Tony winner Lena Hall is departing the show, playing her final performance April 4. Jones will tread the boards of the Belasco Theatre beginning April 14. (Understudy Shannon Conley will play Yitzhak in the interim.) John Cameron Mitchell, the show's creator and the original Hedwig, continues with the show through April 26. Beginning April 29, Jones will be playing opposite Darren Criss, who will play a 12-week engagement. Broadway.com has more.

Coming Soon
Broadway—The appealing Clive Owen (Closer, The Knick) will make his Broadway debut this fall in Roundabout's revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times. Previews begin September 17, with opening night set for October 15. The play will be directed by Douglas Hodge, who won a Tony as an actor for his performance…