Week in Review 2.10.17

Jake Gyllenhaal Welcomes You to the Hudson Theatre

Academy Award nominee (and emerging musical theatre sensation) Jake Gyllenhaal invited viewers into Sunday in the Park with George rehearsals backstage at the Hudson Theatre. The Hudson, which began operation in 1903 but has been out of use as a legit theatre since 1968, is set to reopen with this production, becoming the 41st active Broadway theatre. (See photos from this week's ribbon-cutting ceremony.) In the video below, directed by Emmy winner Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective), Gyllenhaal walks through the Hudson while singing the show's signature song, "Finishing the Hat." The City Center production of the Stephen SondheimJames Lapine musical, also starring Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford, begins previews February 11; opening night is set for February 23, and the strictly limited engagement will conclude April 23. Visit the Hudson Theatre website to purchase tickets. (A rush policy for previews was announced late in the week. Playbill has details.)

Great Recording

There will be a Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Broadway cast recording. A two-disc recording of the off-Broadway production is already available through Sh-K-Boom, and that features Phillipa Soo, who originated the role of Natasha off-Broadway. The OBCR will, of course, reflect any changes to the score since the off-Broadway production, and feature the Broadway cast, including stars Denee Benton and Josh Groban. The album will be recorded on February 13; a release date has not been announced. Playbill has more.

Shakespeare in the Park

As we slog through the winter doldrums, we can look forward to the summer tradition that is Shakespeare in the Park. This year, Public Theatre artistic director Oskar Eustis will direct Julius Caesar, running May23-June 18, and the Public's resident director, Lear deBessonet will direct A Midsummer Night's Dream, running July 11-August 12. In a statement, Eustis said, "There is no difficulty in the world that Shakespeare can't address. In our troubled times, the majesty of Julius Caesar and the joy of A Midsummer Night's Dream are as necessary as beauty." Playbill has more, and you can visit the Public's website for ticket information.

Casting News

  • Tony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) will star in Harriet, a biopic about American icon, Harriet Tubman. The film features a screenplay by Gregory Allen Howard and will be directed by Seith Mann. Deadline has more.

  • Tony nominee Mare Winningham (Casa Valentina, The Affair) has joined the cast of Joan of Arc: Into the Fire. The David Byrne-Alex Timbers collaboration begins previews at the Public February 14. Opening night is set for March 15, and the limited engagement is scheduled to conclude April 16. Broadway.com has more.

  • Complete casting for Present Laughter has been announced. Joining the previously announced Kevin Kline are Reg Rogers (You Can't Take It With You), Bhavesh Patel, and others. Previews begin March 10, with opening night set for April 5. The limited engagement is scheduled to conclude July 2. Broadway.com has more.

  • Sam Rockwell (Fool for Love) is joining Lily Rabe and Chris Messina in the upcoming film, We're Just Married. Variety has more.

  • Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James (Something Rotten, Spotlight) and Elizabeth Reaser (How I Learned to Drive) will star in the Discovery Channel scripted series, Manhunt: The Unabomer, an anthology series about Ted Kaczynski. Broadway World has more.

  • The entire off-Broadway company of Indecent will transfer with the play to Broadway this spring. Indecent, which will mark Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel's Broadway debut, begins previews April 4, with opening night set for April 18. Broadway.com has more about the casting.

  • Casting for the world premiere of The Profane has been announced. The Playwrights Horizons production of Zayd Dohrn's play will feature Tala Ashe, Francis Benhamou, Ramsey Faragallah, Ali Reza Farahnakian, Lanna Joffrey, Heather Raffo, and Babak Tafti. Previews begin March 17. Opening night is set for April 9, and the limited engagement is scheduled to conclude April 30. Theater Mania has more.
It's an Honor

PEN Literary Award—National treasure and P-EGOT winner Stephen Sondheim will receive the PEN Literary Award, becoming the first songwriter to win the award. The PEN Award, which will be presented on April 25, is bestowed upon a "critically acclaimed writer whose body of work helps us understand and interpret the human condition," making Sondheim a natural choice. Sondheim won a Pulitzer for Sunday in the Park with George, which is coming back to Broadway beginning February 11; the production stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford. The New York Times has more about the PEN Award.

Dramatists Guild—The Dramatists Guild of America will honor Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph (Guards at the Taj) with the 2017 Horton Foote Playwriting Award, which comes with a $25,000 prize. The award recognizes playwrights whose work "plumbs the ineffable nature of being human." Broadway World has more.

Director's Guild Awards—The DGA Awards were handed out, with Damien Chazelle taking home the top honor for La La Land. Honoring achievements in both film and television, other winners include Miguel Sapochnik, for the Game of Thrones episode, "The Battle of the Bastards"; Becky Martin for the Veep episode, "Inauguration"; Steven Zaillian for an installment of The Night Of; and Glenn Weiss for the 2016 Tony Awards. Visit Deadline for the full list of winners.

Academy Awards—All five songs nominated for Best Original Song will be performed. The two songs from La La Land, "City of Stars" and "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," will be performed by John Legend. While Legend appears in the movie, he does not sing the songs, which feature lyrics by Dear Evan Hansen songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. (Oscar nominees Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone sing the nominated songs, respectively.) Lin-Manuel Miranda and Auli'i Cravalho will perform "How Far I'll Go," from Moana; Justin Timberlake will perform "Can't Stop the Feeling," from Trolls; and Sting will perform "The Empty Chair," from Jim: The James Foley Story." The Wrap has more. In other Oscars news, last year's winners, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brie Larson, will present at this year's ceremony. The Wrap has more about that, as well. And People has photos from the nominee luncheon, held earlier this week.

BAFTA—Living legend Mel Brooks will receive the BAFTA Fellowship Award, a lifetime achievement award presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Brooks joins previous honorees like Judi Dench, Sidney Poitier, Charlie Chaplin, and Martin Scorsese. Of the honor, Brooks said, "I am not overwhelmed, but I am definitely whelmed by this singular honor. To be included among such iconic talents is absolutely humbling. In choosing me for the 2017 Fellowship I think that BAFTA has made a strangely surprising yet ultimately wise decision." Broadway World has more.

Grammy AwardsTony winner Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Academy Award and Grammy winner John Legend will perform together on the Grammys this Sunday, February 12. The duo will perform during the in memoriam segment. Playbill has more.

In Other News

  • Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, The Ides of March) talks to Entertainment Tonight about returning to off-Broadway in Stage Kiss scribe Sarah Ruhl's How to Transcend a Happy Marriage. Directed Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), the LCT production begins previews February 23, and opens March 20.

  • Billboard spoke to Grammy and Tony winner Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton) about collaborating with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul on Dear Evan Hansen, and recording that show's cast album, which is now available digitally.

  • The Los Angeles Times talks to Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), who is in London filming the Mary Poppins sequel. Miranda talks about rehearsing Mary Poppins, and looking forward to the Oscars. (Miranda is nominated for Best Original Song, "How Far I'll Go," from Moana.)

  • Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) will return to Broadway this fall with his new play, Junk. The play will run at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre beginning September 14. Opening night is set for October 12. Playbill has more.

  • A national tour of On Your Feet, which tells Gloria and Emilio Estefan's story, will launch this fall in October. Naturally, the tour will begin in Miami, the Estefans' home. Playbill has more.

  • Julie's Greenroom, in which Julie Andrews teaches (puppet) children about theatre and creativity, will debut on Netflix March 17. Andrews is joined by some talented friends, including Josh Groban and the unparalleled Carol Burnett. Watch the trailer below.