Week in Review 10.21.16

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2017 have been announced. Artists are eligible (though not always nominated and, certainly, not always chosen for induction) 25 years after their first release. First time nominees include Pearl Jam (first year eligible), Tupac (first year eligible), and Bad Brains, while Janet Jackson, Chic, Chaka Khan, Journey, and Yes are among repeat nominees. Fans can see all the nominees and vote for their choice on Rolling Stone. Those artists selected for induction into the Rock Hall will be announced in December. The ceremony will be held in Brooklyn in April 2017, and HBO will air an edited version of the ceremony in May.

Coming to Broadway and the West End

  • Emmy winner and Tony nominee Allison Janney (The West Wing, 9 to 5) and Tony winner John Benjamin Hickey (The Normal Heart) are heading back to Broadway in a revival of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation. Directed by Trip Cullman (The Layover), the revival will play the Barrymore Theatre beginning in April 2017. Broadway.com has more.

  • The previously announced Broadway bow of the original musical Bandstand has set its opening night for April 26, 2017. A theatre and preview dates have yet to be announced. It's also been confirmed that Tony nominee Laura Osnes (Cinderella) and Corey Cott (Gigi) will lead the company, reprising their performances from the Paper Mill Playhouse production. Broadway.com has more.

  • It is now confirmed that Tony nominee Andy Karl (Rocky, On the Twentieth Century) will star in the Broadway iteration of Groundhog Day (he led the London company). Previews will begin March 6, 2017, and, as previously announced, opening night is set for April 17. Groundhog Day will run at the August Wilson Theatre. Broadway.com has more.

  • The most recent Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie, the one with the reflecting pool surrounding the playing area, is heading to the West End. John Tiffany will once again direct, and Broadway stars Cherry Jones (Amanda Wingfield) and Brian J. Smith (Gentleman Caller) will reprise their roles. (The Broadway creative team is also on board.) Joining the UK company are Michael Esper (American Idiot, The Last Ship) as Tom and Kate O'Flynn as Laura. Performances at the Duke of York's Theatre begin January 26, 2017, and opening night is set for February 2. The limited engagement is scheduled to conclude April 29. Esper, who is in London reprising his role in Lazarus, told fans via a tweet, and Broadway.com later provided more information.
Broadway for Hillary

On October 17, the Broadway community gathered for a fundraiser in support of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. Tony winning songwriter Marc Shaiman took to Facebook (see below) to share the "Comedy Tonight" parody lyrics to "Hillary Tonight," host Billy Crystal's opening number. Elsewhere, Tony nominee Leanne Cope (An American in Paris), who danced during a rendition of the Hedwig song, "The Origin of Love," helpfully posted pictures of the set list—act one, act two—and NBC News producer Monica Alba posted the lyrics to Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda and Renee Elise Goldsberry's performance. The pair performed a rendition of Hamilton's "Ten Duel Commandments," which Miranda rewrote to tell us the ten things we need to know about Clinton and the election. Other stars who appeared or performed at the event include Jake Gyllenhaal (who's performing in a Sunday in the Park with George concert October 24-26, and is returning to Broadway this spring), Ayodele Casel (an incredible tap dancers and artist), Alan Cumming, Sarah Paulson, and Rebecca Naomi Jones.

Casting News

  • Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal, The Fortress of Solitude) will star alongside Phillipa Soo in the Los Angeles production of Amelie, which is slated to come to Broadway in spring 2017. Theater Mania has more.

  • Keala Settle, who earned a Tony nomination for Hands on a Hardbody, has played her final performance in Waitress. Her understudy, Charity Angel Dawson, is assuming the role. Waitress continues at the Brooks Atkinson theatre, with Jessie Mueller leading the company. Playbill has more.

  • Grease Live standout Jordan Fisher (he played Doody, and sang "Those Magic Changes," melting hearts everywhere) will make his Broadway debut in Hamilton. He'll take on the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton beginning November 22. Current Laurens/Hamilton Anthony Ramos will play his final performance November 20. Broadway.com has more.

  • West End actor Alistair Brammer will play Chris in the upcoming Miss Saigon revival. Previews begin March 1, 2017, with opening night set for March 23. Miss Saigon will, once again, play the Broadway Theatre. Broadway.com has more.

  • Beginning with the June 13, 2017, performance, two-time Tony Award winner Donna Murphy will play the title role in Hello Dolly on Tuesdays. Previews begin March 15, and Bette Midler is scheduled to appear in all performances until June 13. Thereafter, Midler will switch to a seven-show week. In the Huffington Post report, Murphy said that doing one show a week is the ideal set up, as her priority is raising and being available for her 11-year-old daughter. In other Hello Dolly new, Beanie Feldstein is joining the company, playing Minnie Fay. This will mark Feldstein's Broadway debut. Opening night is set for April 20. Broadway.com has more.
Dig This

  • Carol Burnett is coming back to TV! The comedy legend is set to star in a new ABC series that is executive produced by Amy Poehler. The Hollywood Reporter has details.

  • Difficult People has been renewed for a third season. Led by Julie Klausner (who also created and writes the show) and Billy Eichner, the 10-episode season will premiere in 2017. Deadline has more.

  • Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful, Waitress) spoke to The Interval about her career, including her lack of social media presence, the projects she chooses, and how being a woman affects each decision.

  • Not so diggable: Brain Dead, the CBS show about alien bugs taking over our government, has been cancelled. The single-season series starred Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Tveit, and featured stage vets Tony Shalhoub and Nikki M. James. TV Line has more.

  • Josh Groban is making his Broadway debut in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (now in previews), and Elle Decor spoke to Mike Harrison, who designed the star's retreat-like dressing room.

  • Gotham Award nominations have been announced, with the Kenneth Lonergan movie, Manchester by the Sea, leading the pack. Lonergan was recently on the boards with Hold On To Me Darling. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (Head of Passes) is also nominated; he has a "story by" credit for the film, Moonlight. Gold Derby has the full list of nominees.

  • The West End production of Hamilton will begin earlier than announced; performances will begin in November 2017, with opening night scheduled for December. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda intends to perform in some shows beginning in 2018. Broadway.com has more, reporting on a tweet from UK journalist Baz Bamigboye.

  • Playwrights Horizons has a new look this season: The off-Broadway company's logo features eight versions of the word "playwrights," each written by one of this season's playwrights. The New York Times had handwriting expert Ruth Brayer analyze the playwrights' handwriting, providing possible insight into what their handwriting reveals about the authors.

  • Congratulations are in order for Audra McDonald and Will Swenson. The couple welcomed their daughter, Sally James McDonald-Swenson on October 19. See McDonald's Facebook post below.