Week in Review 7.15.16

Tuesday and Wednesday in the Park with Jake and Annaleigh

When (affordable, performance-only) tickets went on sale for City Center's one-night-only gala performance of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Little Shop of Horrors), they sold out in minutes. Due to ticket demand, two additional benefit performances have been added, Tuesday, October 25, and Wednesday, October 26. Tickets to these performances go on sale to the general public at noon on Wednesday, July 20, but City Center members will have pre-sale access beginning at noon on Monday, July 18. (Gala tickets for the original Monday, October 24, performance are still available, and are on sale now.) In addition, it was announced that Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You, Masters of Sex) will join Gyllenhaal as George's muse, Dot. This will mark Ashford's Sondheim debut. Visit the City Center website to learn more and become a member.

Casting News

  • The terrific Annie Parisse (Clybourne Park, Antlia Pneumatica) will lead the cast of Leslye Headland's The Layover, which will have its world premiere at Second Stage next month. Previews begin August 9, with opening night set for August 25. Visit Playbill for the full cast list.

  • Amy Ryan (Detroit, Birdman), Zoe Kazan (A Behanding in Spokane), Richard Armitage, Ben Rosenfield, and Alex Hurt will make up the cast of Love, Love, Love, a new play by Mike Bartlett (King Charles III). The Roundabout, off-Broadway play begins previews September 22, with opening night scheduled for October 19. Playbill has more.

  • The captivating Rebecca Naomi Jones (The Fortress of Solitude) and Kecia Lewis will star in the world premiere of Marie and Rosetta, written by George Brant. The Atlantic Theater production begins previews August 24, with opening night set for September 12. The limited engagement is scheduled to conclude October 2. Playbill has more.

  • George Takei will lead the company of Pacific Overtures. Classic Stage Company is mounting a revival of the Sondheim musical in spring 2017. Playbill has more.

  • Tony nominee Carrie Coon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Placebo) has joined the cast of the upcoming third season of FX's Fargo. Coon, who is shooting the third and final season of The Leftovers, joins the previously announced Ewan McGregor. TV Line has more.

  • Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show], Something Rotten) and Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening) will lead the world premiere of Freaky Friday, the musical adaptation of the Mary Rodgers novel and Disney film. The show features a score by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, and will bow at Virginia's Signature Theatre this fall. Broadway.com has more.

  • Oprah will be joined by Rose Byrne (This is Where I Leave You, You Can't Take It With You) in the HBO film, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The Wrap has details.
Hamilton Casting News

Are you Aaron Burr, sir (part two)? As announced last week, Brandon Victor Dixon will take on the role of Burr in Hamilton beginning in mid-August. But Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. played his final performance on July 9, so who's waiting in the wings? As I suspected, three understudies from Hamilton's deep bench are covering the role. Fans can expect to see Andrew Chappelle, Sydney James Harcourt (whom I saw cover George Washington; he was terrific), and Austin Smith. Broadwayworld.com has more. Chappelle, Smith, and Seth Stewart will also take turns covering the role of Lafayette/Jefferson beginning July 16, as Tony winner Daveed Diggs will take his final bow on July 15. Chappelle, Smith, and Stewart will cover the role while producers look for a full-time replacement. Also leaving the production is Tony winner Renee Elise Goldsberry, who'll play her final performance this fall. (The exact date has not been announced.) Goldsberry has been cast in the upcoming Netflix sci-fi series, Altered Carbon, set in a world in which people's minds have been digitized. The Hollywood Reporter has more. Meanwhile, casting for almost all the principal roles in the Chicago mounting is complete. (Performances begin September 27.) Miguel Cervantes (American Idiot, If/Then) will headline as Hamilton, while Karen Olivo (In the Heights, Murder Ballad) takes on Angelica Schuyler, and Wallace Smith (Godspell) plays the spy on the inside, Hercules Mulligan. Burr has not been cast. Visit Broadway.com for the rest of the principal casting. (PS—Via Twitter, Javier Munoz, now the full-time Hamilton on Broadway, announced that Cervantes will be the Hamilton alternate on Broadway until the previously announced Michael Luwoye takes over in August.)

Ballet Briefing

  • New York City Ballet has been performing in Paris for the three weeks, and The New York Times checked in with the dancers and Peter Martins to find out how it's going.

  • The nominees for this year's Bessies, the New York dance and performance awards, were announced. Among the nominees are Justin Peck's Heatscape (as performed in NY by the Miami City Ballet, the company for which the ballet was created). Visit bessies.org for the full list of nominees.

  • Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon (An American in Paris, American Rhapsody) took part in a Reddit AMA session on Thursday. Check out his answers to fans' questions like, "What got you interested in choreography?"
Dig This

  • Jonathan Groff (Hamilton) and the rest of the cast of Looking recently spoke about Looking, and what we can expect to see in the upcoming movie finale. That finale airs on HBO on July 23. Playbill has a round up of the videos.

  • Second Stage has announced that Chisa Hutchinson's play Somebody's Daughter will kick off its 2017 summer Uptown series. Playbill has more.

  • The legendary Mel Brooks has announced the publication of Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film, which is exactly what it sounds like. The book will be released October 18. Entertainment Weekly has more.

  • The previously announced production of Hamlet, starring Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, We Live Here) and directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home, John), will no longer play Theater for a New Audience. Citing "insurmountable artistic differences," Gold pulled the production, and is in talks with the Public to make Hamlet part of its 2016-2017 season. Broadwayworld.com has more. (In other Oscar Isaac news, the actor might be teaming up with Steven Spielberg. Variety has the rumor.)

  • Aaron Tveit fans take note: Beginning July 24, Brain Dead will air on Sundays, rather than Mondays, on CBS. Variety has the report.

  • Emmy Award nominations were announced this week. HBO led the pack with 94 nominations, 23 of which were for Game of Thrones. Check out my post from earlier in the week for the nominees, then head to Variety for a by-the-numbers breakdown.

  • It's not official, but Playbill reports that Tony winner Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Brooklynite) will direct a revival of Lanford Wilson's Burn This in spring 2017. Additional rumors suggest that Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, Little Shop of Horrors) will star. 

  • The Advocate spoke with Josh Groban about his summer tour and upcoming Broadway debut in The Great Comet. And over on The Great Comet website, you can hear Groban sing "Dust and Ashes," which is also available for purchase. (You can also listen below.) I got chills. Previews at the Imperial Theatre begin October 18, with opening night set for November 14. Tickets are now on sale.

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