Week in Review 4.8.16

Casting News

  • It's official: Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Ex Machina) will return to the NY stage in a 2017 production of Hamlet. Isaac will, as was previously speculated, play the titular, indecisive Dane. The Theatre for a New Audience production will be directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home, John), and run June 4-July 30, 2017. Opening night will be celebrated on June 22. Tickets are now on sale to subscribers; single tickets will go on sale in early 2017. Playbill has more.

  • Broadway.com reports that Tony nominee Marc Kudisch (Hand to God) will join the company of Finding Neverland, beginning April 12. He'll step into the role of Charles Frohman/Captain Hook.

  • Tony winner Heather Headley (Aida) will succeed Jennifer Hudson in the acclaimed revival of The Color Purple. Hudson's final performance will be May 8, and Headley's first performance will be May 10. Broadway.com has more.

  • Casting for the Encores! production of Do I Hear a Waltz? has been announced. Featured players include Tony nominee Melissa Errico (Amour), Claybourne Elder (Bonnie and Clyde) and Tony nominee Sarah Stiles (Hand to God). The Encores! production runs May 11-15. Broadway.com has more.

  • Tony winner Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) has joined the cast of the in-production movie, To The Bone. Deadline has more.

  • Mykelti Williamson and Russell Hornsby will be featured in the film adaptation of Fences. This iteration is being directed by Denzel Washington; he, Viola Davis, and Williamson and Hornsby are reprising their roles from the recent Broadway revival of the August Wilson play. Deadline has more.

  • Diane Lane (The Mystery of Love and Sex) will lead the company of Stephen Karam's adaptation of The Cherry Orchard, which is coming to Broadway as part of Roundabout's 2016-2017 season. It is a personal revival, of sorts, for Lane, who made her Broadway debut in 1977 in a Lincoln Center production of The Cherry Orchard. Previews begin September 15, with opening night set for October 16. Theater Mania has more.

  • Full casting for the all-female Shakespeare in the Park production of Taming of the Shrew has been announced. Joining the previously announced Cush Jumbo (as Katherina) and Janet McTeer (as Petruchio) are, among others, Donna Lynne Champlin (The Qualms), Anne L. Nathan (Once), LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Gayle Rankin (Cabaret). The production will run May 24 through June 26. Playbill has details.
Aaron Tveit: Miscast

Speaking of casting, how about some great performances from MCC Theater's annual gala, Miscast, in which actors get to perform songs they'd never get a chance to sing professionally. Among the performers were Tituss Burgess, Cynthia Erivo, recent The Wiz Live breakout, Shanice Williams, She Loves Me's Gavin Creel, and Aaron Tveit (Next to Normal, Graceland). Tveit, who returns to TV this summer in Brain Dead, spoke to Billboard about the experience. That interview also includes Tveit's performance of "As Long As He Needs Me," from Oliver. Below, watch Tveit and Creel duet on the Rent tune, "Take Me or Leave Me." Warning: You might blush!


Movers and Shakers: Strong Women Edition

A couple of items about strong, creative women:
  • Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, Wild) is profiled in the Wall Street Journal, along with her producing partner, Bruna Papandrea. The profile focuses on their production company, Pacific Standard, and the way they are barnstorming the literary world in search of strong, complex female characters. 

  • Visit The Interval for a lengthy interview with the talented, open, and thoughtful Betsy Wolfe (The Last Five Years).
Ballet Bits

Get to know Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, who was the subject of a recent 60 Minutes feature. Wheeldon talks about creating An American in Paris, getting started in the ballet world, and some of his creative challenges. Wheeldon will be back at NYCB this spring, creating a new ballet, American Rhapsody, set to a Gershwin score. Visit nycballet.com for more information and to purchase tickets. In other ballet news, Vanity Fair profiles NYCB corps de ballet dancer and resident choreographer, Justin Peck, and asks, "Is Justin Peck Making Ballet Cool Again?" Peck will debut a new work with NYCB this spring.

Tony Awards Update

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the third time this season to determine Tony eligibility of several shows that have opened this winter and early spring. Unless noted below, eligibility is consistent with opening night credits. This means that actors billed above the title are eligible in the Lead Actor categories, while actors billed below the title are eligible in the Featured Actor categories. Tony nominations will be announced May 3, and the Tonys will be handed out on Sunday, June 12. Tony winner James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors) will host the ceremony. Read the official Tony Award press release for more.
  • Alex Brightman will be eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for School of Rock

  • Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Hecht will be eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in The Color Purple and Fiddler on the Roof

  • Andrea Martin, Campbell Scott, Tracee Chimo, Daniel Davis, David Furr, Kate Jennings Grant, Megan Hilty, Rob McClure, and Jeremy Shamos (that is, the entire cast) will be eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Featured Role in a Play categories for Noises Off

  • Linda Lavin will be eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Play category for Our Mother's Brief Affair

  • Blackbird will be eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category

  • Gavin Creel, Michael McGrath, Byron Jennings, and Jane Krakowski will be eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical categories for She Loves Me
Dig This

  • Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano (Next to Normal, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) "Puts it in Writing" in Playbill's questionnaire.

  • Go behind the scenes on a two-show day at She Loves Me with ensemble member Alison Cimmet, via her Playbill photo essay. Speaking of She Loves Me, stars Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi sat down on Broadway.com's couch to answer fans' questions in a new installment of "Ask a Star."

  • The Hollywood Reporter, 52 Insights and The Wrap spoke to Jake Gyllenhaal (Constellations, Little Shop of Horrors) about politics, Hollywood, and his upcoming projects. Gyllenhaal's latest, Demolition, is now in theaters.

  • Playbill spends the day with three Broadway dressers: Jennifer Hohn, who dresses Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jonathan Groff in Hamilton; Julien Havard, who dressed Wayne Brady in Kinky Boots; and Fran Curry, who dresses Kelli O'Hara in The King and I.

  • There will be an original Broadway cast recording of Waitress, according to the show's songwriter, Sara Bareilles. The musical, now in previews, stars Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful). Playbill has more.

  • Comedian Michelle Wolf is joining The Daily Show with Trevor Noah as a writer and on-air contributor. (You might have seen her on Thursday night's episode.) Read the Comedy Central press release for more.

  • Ben Schwartz (This Is Where I Leave You) stopped by New York Live to talk about the new season of his Showtime show, House of Lies. The fifth season premieres this Sunday, April 10.

  • The second season of Difficult People will premiere (exclusively) on Hulu on July 12. Deadline has more.

  • The live, in-person Ham4Ham lottery will return for Wednesday matinees this spring. Lotteries for all other performances of Hamilton will remain digital. Broadwayworld.com has a roundup of the Hamilton Twitter channel's tweets about the update.

  • Megan Hilty (Noises Off!) and Zachary Levi (She Loves Me) will host the Drama League Awards on Friday, May 20. Theater Mania has more.

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