Week in Review 4.15.16

Casting News

  • Tessa Thompson (Smart People, Creed) is joining the cast of the Thor sequel, Thor: Ragnarok. Variety has more.

  • Chris Myers (Whorl Inside a Loop) will lead the cast of War, a new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The LCT3 production begins May 21, and officially opens June 6. Playbill has more.

  • Tony and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night, Bridge of Spies) will star as Pope Pius IX in The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, a film adaptation of the David Kertzer novel. Tony Kushner is writing the screenplay, and Steven Spielberg is directing. Deadline has more.

  • Complete casting has been announced for The Total Bent, the new musical by Stew and Heidi Rodewald (the team behind Passing Strange). The pair will appear on stage with the band, and other actors in The Total Bent include Ato Blankson-Wood (Hair), Jahi Kearse, and Vondie Curtis-Hall, among others. Broadway.com has the full cast list. Previews at the Public begin May 10, with opening night set for May 25.

  • Tony winner Alan Cumming (Cabaret) has joined the cast of Battle of the Sexes, the in-production film about the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). The Wrap has more.

  • Chester Gregory (Sister Act) will lead the encore, limited-run engagement of Motown, set to return to Broadway July 12-November 13. Broadway.com has more.

  • Daniel Radcliffe (The Cripple of Inishmaan), De'Adre Aziza (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Rachel Dratch (SNL, Ripcord), Raggi Barsoumian, Michael Countryman, and Reg Rogers (You Can't Take It With You) will star in the Public's production of Privacy, a ripped-from-the-headlines play by James Graham. Previews will begin July 5; opening night is set for July 18, and the limited engagement is scheduled to conclude on August 7. Broadway.com has more.
Signature and Vineyard Seasons Announced

New York's Signature Theatre has announced its 2016-2017 season. As previously reported, the season will feature several Susan-Lori Parks (Porgy and Bess) plays, including The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World. New plays include Everybody, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria), starting in January 2017, and directed by Lila Neugebauer, and The Antipodes, by Annie Baker (The Flick, John), starting in February, and also directed by Neugebauer. (Noteworthy is that Baker's latest work is being directed by someone other than her frequent collaborator, Sam Gold.) Season subscriptions are now on sale. Visit Playbill for the full season slate.

Meanwhile, downtown's Vineyard Theatre will feature a world premiere by Nicky Silver (The Lyons). This Day Forward will debut in winter 2017, and be directed by Mark Brokaw. The season will also include Becky Shaw author Gina Gionfriddo's Can You Forgive Her?. The Vineyard production, directed by Peter DuBois, will mark the play's New York debut, and will bow in spring 2017. The season will begin this fall with Kid Victory, a new musical written by John Kander (Cabaret, The Visit) and his new collaborator, Gregory Pierce. The two previously worked on The Landing, which also played the Vineyard. Visit Broadway.com for more information, and go to vineyardtheatre.org to become a Vineyard member.

Hamilton News

Leslie Odom, Jr. is on the cover of Backstage, and in the accompanying feature article, he talks about Hamilton and taking risks. Meanwhile, Christopher Jackson spoke to newyork.com about the work-life balance, loving NYC, and where he keeps his Emmy. Elsewhere, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter spoke to CBS This Morning about the "Hamiltome," Hamilton: The Revolution, the complete Hamilton libretto with annotations by Miranda and McCarter. (McCarter is an author and has been chronicling the creation of Hamilton; he co-wrote Hamilton: The Revolution, which is out now.) And the original Broadway cast recording is now available on vinyl. Visit Amazon or your favorite retailer to purchase your copy of the record.

Dig This

  • Justin Peck, Sara Mearns, and Amar Ramasar have been nominated for Benois De La Danse Awards, essentially the Oscars of the dance world. The trio is nominated for their choreography (Peck) and dancing (Mearns and Ramasar) in Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes, which premiered at NYCB in February 2015. Visit the Benois De La Danse website for the full list of nominees.

  • The NBC live telecast of Hairspray (the musical) will air on December 7. Playbill has more.

  • The terrific Tarell Alvin McCraney play, Head of Passes, which stars Phylicia Rashad, has been extended again. The play will now run through May 1. Theater Mania has more.

  • Zachary Levi and Laura Benanti talk to Theater Mania about starring in She Loves Me (which was just extended and will now play through July 10), and what theatre means to them.

  • The recipients of the Tony Honors for Excellence have been announced. Vocal coach Joan Lader, attorney Seth Gelblum, and costume shop owner Sally Ann Parsons will be celebrated on June 6. Tony Awards for competitive categories will be handed out June 12. Playbill has more.

  • Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon (An American in Paris), who is preparing a new ballet for NYCB this spring, will choreograph The Nutcracker for Joffrey Ballet. Playbill has more.

  • Hear a preview of Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland) singing "Sons of Adventure," from the studio recording of An American Victory: A New Musical. The album will be released April 22. Playbill has the sneak listen and full track listing.

  • As reported last week, there will be a Waitress original Broadway cast recording. This week, we learned that it will be released digitally on June 10 (just before the Tonys), and in-stores on July 1. Waitress is in previews and officially opens on April 24. Broadway.com has more.

  • The fantastic revival of A View from the Bridge, directed by Ivo van Hove (Lazarus), will play DC's Kennedy Center November 18-December 3. The NY bow (which played in the fall) featured Mark Strong, Nicola Walker, and Michael Zegen. Theater Mania has more.

  • Matilda will conclude its Broadway run on January 1, 2017. Broadway.com has more.