Week in Review 4.21.17
A revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel will bow on Broadway in spring 2018, officially opening at a theatre to be announced on March 23. The production will be directed by Jack O'Brien (Catch Me If You Can) and choreographed by NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck (Everywhere We Go, The Times Are Racing). Peck's fellow NYCB dancers Amar Ramasar and Brittany Pollack will be among the company, figuring prominently in the act two dream ballet. The production will star Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Beautiful, Waitress) as Julie Jordan and two-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys, Violet, Shuffle Along...) as Billy Bigelow. (Now this photo of Justin and Joshua has been demystified.) Opera diva Renee Fleming will also appear in the production. In the Playbill announcement, Peck promises "an even more dance-and-movement-focused production." Keep an eye on this one!
Second Stage Announces Season
The venerable off-Broadway theatre company, which helped bring us Next to Normal and Dear Evan Hansen, has announced its 2017-2018 season. New this year is the company's Broadway home, the Helen Hayes Theater. The season will feature: Torch Song (nee, Torch Song Trilogy), written by Harvey Fierstein and directed by Moises Kaufman, beginning in September at the off-Broadway theatre; a revival of Lobby Hero, written by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Trip Cullman, and starring Michael Cera and Chris Evans (making his Broadway debut), beginning in March 2018 at the Hayes; Mary Page Marlowe, written by Tracy Letts, beginning in June 2018 at the off-Broadway theatre; Straight White Men, written by Young Jean Lee and directed by Anna D. Shapiro, beginning in July 2018 at the Hayes; and an additional off-Broadway production to be announced. In addition, Second Stage announced a partnership with L.A.'s Center Theatre Group to co-commission plays from Lee, Jon Robin Baitz, Will Eno, Lisa Kron, Lynn Nottage, and Paula Vogel. Broadway.com has more.
- Initial principal casting for the Broadway bow of Frozen has been announced. As previously rumored, Caissie Levy (Hair, Les Miserables) will play Elsa (who sings "Let It Go) and Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones, Fly by Night) will play Elsa's sister, Anna. They'll be joined by Greg Hildreth (Peter and the Starcatcher, Cinderella) as Olaf, John Riddle (The Visit) as Hans, and Jalani Alladin, making his Broadway debut, as Kristoff. Playbill has more.
- Riz Ahmed (The Night Of) is joining Jake Gyllenhaal (Sunday in the Park with George), Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice, Her), and John C. Reilly in a big-screen adaptation of Patrick deWitt's novel, The Sisters Brothers. Visit Variety for more.
- Casting for the Encores! production of The Golden Apple has been announced. Lindsay Mendez (Godspell, Significant Other) leads a cast that also includes Ryan Silverman (Side Show) and Max Chernin (Sunday in the Park with George). The one-weekend run begins May 10 and will conclude May 14. Playbill has more.
Tony Awards—Two-time Academy Award winner and Tony winner Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) will host Broadway's biggest night. (Alas, though many were hopeful, it seems a John Mulaney–Nick Kroll-hosted ceremony was not to be.) This will mark the first time the stage and screen veteran has hosted the ceremony. The Tonys will be held June 11, and the CBS broadcast begins at 8. (House of Cards, by the way, returns on May 30.) Broadway.com has more. In addition, general managers Nina Lannan and Alan Wasser will receive the 2017 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre. Playbill has details.
Drama League Awards—Broadway's royal couple, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, will host the Drama League Awards on May 19. These awards honor excellence in both Broadway and off-Broadway, and include five competitive categories. Playbill has more about the hosting gig, while Broadway.com has the full list of Drama League Award nominees. Here are some of them:
- Outstanding Play: A Doll's House, Part 2; If I Forget; Indecent; A Life; Oslo; The Play That Goes Wrong; and Sweat
- Outstanding Revival of a Play: Present Laughter and Six Degrees of Separation
- Outstanding Musical: Dear Evan Hansen; Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812; and War Paint
- Outstanding Revival of a Musical: Hello Dolly; Sweeney Todd; and Sweet Charity
- Distinguished Performance Award (a performer can only win this honor once in a lifetime): Denee Benton, Great Comet...; Reed Birney, Man from Nebraska; Cate Blanchett, The Present; Ato Blankson-Wood, The Total Bent; Kate Burton, Present Laughter; Johanna Day, Sweat; Jennifer Ehle, Oslo; Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity; Gideon Glick, Significant Other; Josh Groban, Great Comet...; Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees...; Allison Janney, Six Degrees....; Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen; Kevin Kline, Present Laughter; John Leguizamo, Latin History for Morons; Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta; Laurie Metcalf, A Doll's House, Part 2; David Hyde Pierce, A Life; Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen; Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love; and Anna Deveare Smith, Notes from the Field
- Riz Ahmed (The Night Of), tribute by Lin-Manuel Miranda
- Samantha Bee (The Daily Show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), tribute by Jane Curtain
- Viola Davis (Fences), tribute by Meryl Streep
- Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), tribute by Kathryn Bigelow
- Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live), tribute by Russell Crowe
- John Legend, tribute by Harry Belafonte
- Representative John Lewis (D-GA), tribute by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson), tribute by Cate Blanchett
- Jordan Peele (Key and Peele, Get Out), tribute by Barry Jenkins
- Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen), tribute by Zac Efron
- Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), tribute by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Encores!—City Center Encores! will present a production of Lerner and Loewe's Brigadoon this fall. Running November 15-19, the production will be directed and choreographed by Tony winner Christopher Wheeldon (An American in Paris), and will feature Tony winner Kelli O'Hara (The King and I) and Tony nominees Steven Pasquale (The Robber Bridegroom) and Robert Fairchild (An American in Paris). Visit The New York Times for more.
An Enemy of the People—Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Gloria) will pen a new translation of Ibsen's An Enemy of the People that will bow on Broadway in the 2017-2018 season. (This will mark Jacobs-Jenkins's Broadway debut.) This translation will be paired with the 2013 Thomas Ostermeier–Florian Borchmeyer Berlin production. Additional information, including specific dates, a theatre, casting, and a full creative team, will be announced at a later time. Playbill has more.
In Other News
- Great news: There will be a Sunday in the Park with George cast recording so you'll be able to listen to Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford sing Stephen Sondheim's score all. the. time. The album will be recorded next month, and released this summer. Playbill has more.
- Want to know what your favorite Hamilton stars are up to (on screen)? The Hollywood Reporter has you covered.
- Next week, the first-ever all-Peck program will debut at New York City Ballet. (We'll see In Creases, The Dreamers, New Blood, and Everywhere We Go.) Anticipating the momentous occasion, Justin Peck posted a reflection on Instagram. Peck plus: Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon spoke to The New York Times about choreography as an art form, and what it's like to choreograph at New York City Ballet.
- The world premiere production of Steven Levenson's If I Forget will be filmed and later streamed by Broadway HD. The off-Broadway Roundabout production features Jeremy Shamos, Maria Dizzia, and Kate Walsh. Theater Mania has more.
- Sir Mark Rylance. The three-time Tony winner (Twelfth Night) and Academy Award winner (Bridge of Spies) was knighted this week. The Gaurdrian has more.
- Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Nocturnal Animals) and the great Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Creed) will star in an HBO adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. The Hollywood Reporter has more.
- Can't get enough Josh Groban? You're in luck. The talented multi-platinum recording artist who is making an impressive Broadway debut in The Great Comet is this week's Show People guest. Watch below.