Week in Review 6.24.16

Broadway Farewells

Three closing notices were posted this week. First, we learned that Fun Home, which won five Tonys last year, will conclude its Broadway run on September 10. Playbill has details. Then came word that the Gershwin musical An American in Paris will conclude its Broadway run on January 1, 2017. The national tour begins this October, and a London production, led by Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope (who originated the roles of Jerry and Lise, respectively, on Broadway) will bow in March 2017. Theater Mania has more. (Scroll down in this post for casting news about the new Jerry.) Finally (and, perhaps, most surprisingly), it was announced that Shuffle Along or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed will conclude its Broadway run on July 24. That was the day that would have marked Audra McDonald's final performance before maternity leave. Producers report, though, that advance ticket sales for the post-Audra months slumped, and it would not be cost-effective to continue the run. Playbill has more, including statements from lead producer, Scott Rudin, and Ms. McDonald. (The silver lining to Shuffle shuttering is that it's possible Shuffle star Joshua Henry could take over as A. Burr in Hamilton, a performance I'd like to see.)

Fashionable Fall Gala

For the fifth year in a row, New York City Ballet is pairing choreographers with high-fashion designers for the Company's fall gala. Guest choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa will work with designer Rossie Assoulin; principal dancer Lauren Lovette (making her choreographic debut with NYCB) will work with Narciso Rodriguez; resident choreographer and Company soloist Justin Peck will work with Dries Van Noten; and corps de ballet member Peter Walker (also making his choreographic debut with NYCB) will work with Jason Wu. The fall gala will be held on Tuesday, September 20, and tickets are now on sale. (Pro tip for those who want to see the ballets and collaborations but can't shell out gala prices: the program will be repeated several times throughout the fall season. See the fall repertory calendar for details.)

Phillipa Soo to Star in Amelie on Broadway

Late-breaking last week: Tony nominee Phillipa Soo (Hamilton) will lead the Broadway company of Amelie, taking on the title role. Soo previously played Amelie in an industry workshop. The musical adaptation of the eponymous movie features a book by Craig Lucas (An American in Paris) and a score by Daniel Messe (music and lyrics) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics). After directing last summer's Berkeley Rep production of the show, Tony winner Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) will reprise her work on Broadway. (No additional casting has been announced, but stage favorite Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal, The Fortress of Solitude) was in the Berkeley production.) Exact dates and a theatre have yet to be announced, but the show is expected to bow in spring 2017. Playbill has more.

TV Tidbits

  • Kristin Chenoweth (On the Twentieth Century) has joined the company of Hairspray Live, the NBC live telecast of the musical. She'll play Velma Von Tussle in the December 7 event. Broadway.com has more.

  • The second season of Mr. Robot, which will premiere this summer, will have 12 episodes instead of 10. USA Network just ordered the two additional episodes, and announced a live after-show for the season premiere. The Wrap has more.

  • Check out the trailer for Looking: The Movie. Starring Jonathan Groff (Hamilton), this serves as a conclusion for the HBO series, and airs on the premium cable channel on Saturday, July 23.

Kennedy Center Honorees Announced

The 2016 Kennedy Center Honors recipients have been announced. Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein says, "The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society." This year's honorees are Al Pacino (Glengarry Glen Ross); pianist Martha Argerich; the Eagles, who, this year, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Mavis Staples; and James Taylor, whose pal, Carole King, was a Kennedy Center Honoree last year. The gala, award presentation, and tribute performance usually takes place in late November, and on December 27, CBS will broadcast an edited version of the ceremony and performances. Playbill has more.

Casting News, Welcomes and Departures

  • Newly-minted Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. took to his Facebook page (see the video post from June 19) to let fans know that he will be taking his final bow in Hamilton on July 9, along with co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo. Ensemble member Ariana DeBose (known as "The Bullet" for her part in the climactic duel scene) is also leaving the show on July 9, and the actress also took to Facebook to share the news.

  • Sierra Boggess (Guys and Dolls) will depart School of Rock on August 8, and then head over to the City of Lights to lead the company of The Phantom of the Opera. Boggess has played Christine Daae in Phantom before, but this will be her first time playing the role in Paris. Playbill has more.

  • An American in Paris will welcome a new Jerry Mulligan on July 19: Dimitri Kleioris. Current Jerry, Garen Scribner, will play his final performance on Broadway on July 17, but he'll soon lead the first national tour. Broadway.com has more.

  • On Your Feet will welcome Ektor Rivera, who'll make his Broadway debut as Emilio Estefan. He'll play his first performance on July 12, and is taking over for Josh Segarra (whose last performance is July 10), who is departing the show in anticipation of appearing on the CW show, Arrow. Playbill has more.

  • Two-time Tony winner Christian Borle will play his final performance in Something Rotten on July 16, according to a post on the show's Facebook page. After that post was made, Broadway.com reported that Will Chase will take over the role beginning July 18. Borle won his second Tony for his performance of rock star writer William Shakespeare in the audience-pleasing tuner (his first was for playing Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher), and Chase previously played The Bard in a workshop of Something Rotten.
The Humans Get a New Home

After winning the Tony Award for Best Play, Stephen Karam's The Humans is moving to a larger theatre. The production, which made Tony winners out of Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell, will conclude its run at the 576-seat Helen Hayes Theatre July 24, and then take up residence at the 1,031-seat Schoenfeld Theatre August 9. In addition to ticket demand, the move is precipitated by upcoming renovations to the Helen Hayes. The Humans, directed by Joe Mantello, began its New York run in October 2015 at Roundabout's off-Broadway Laura Pels Theatre, and also stars Sarah Steele, Cassie Beck, Arian Moayed, and Lauren Klein. Variety has more.

Dig This

  • John Gallagher, Jr. talks to Theater Mania about working on Long Day's Journey Into Night, which concludes its limited run on Sunday, June 26.

  • Comedian Lewis Black (you've seen him on The Daily Show doing his "Back in Black" segments) will bring his stand-up act to Broadway's Marquis Theatre for five consecutive Mondays. (The Marquis's theatrical tenant, On Your Feet, is dark on Mondays.) Playbill has more.

  • NYCB principal dancer and Tony nominee Robert Fairchild (An American in Paris) wrote a "Why I Dance" essay for Dance magazine.

  • The 2016-2017 Tony Nominating Committee has been announced. These are the people who see all shows and decide the Tony nominees. New committee members include songwriter Michal John LaChiusa, Ellen Sorrin (director of The George Balanchine Trust), and actress Jessica Stone. Playbill has the full list of committee members.

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) took to Periscope (a Twitter feature) to tell fans about the Hamilton Mixtape and the archive recording. Visit Playbill or Broadway.com for summaries of the pertinent information.

  • The deluxe version of Barbra Streisand's latest Broadway-themed album, Encore, will feature four additional songs. Broadwayworld.com has details.

  • Broadway Barks will be hosted by co-found Bernadette Peters and Broadway newcomer, Gloria Estefan. The pet adoption drive will take place July 30, and several stage favorites will be on hand to introduce the adoptable pets. Playbill has details.


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