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* Aladdin and His Winter Wish holiday panto, directed by Bonnie Lythgoe, with Ben Vereen, Richard Karn, Bruce Vilanch, Ashley Argota, Jordan Fisher and Josh Adamson, opens at Pasadena Playhouse.
* Jersey Boys tour, starring Brandon Andrus, Nick Cosgrove, Nicolas Dromard and Jason Kappus, opens at Philadelphia’s Forrest Theatre.
* Len Cariou in concert, opens at 54 Below.
* Pasek & Paul’s A Christmas Story, The Musical, with Dan Lauria, John Bolton, Erin Dilly, Caroline O’Connor, Jake Lucas, Eli Tokash and Noah Baird, begins performaces at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
* David Farr’s The Heart of Robin Hood, with Jordan Dean, Christina Bennett Lind, Claire Candela, Andrew Cekala, Jethro Summers, Jeremy Crawford, Zachary Eisenstat, Andy Grotelueschen, Laura Sheehy, Christopher Sieber, Louis Tucci, Damian Young and Katrina Yaukey, begins previews at Boston’s A.R.T.
* Mike Poulton’s Wolf Hall, featuring Ben Miles, Lucy Briers, Paul Jesson and Nathaniel Parker, begins previews at the the RSC’s Stratford-Upon-Avon.
* Martin Charnin honored at ASCAP’s 18th Annual Awards ceremony.
* Chip Zien in concert, at 9:30 PM at 54 Below.
* The Chichester Festival Theatre’s Private Lives, starring Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor, screened across the US at 7 PM local time. Click here to find a theater near you.
LA Times (Charles McNulty): ”In The Steward of Christendom, Barry’s 1995 play now being revived at the Mark Taper Forum as a star vehicle for Brian Dennehy, retrospective prose substitutes for dramatic action. The graceful writing approaches the condition of music, but the play lacks momentum. Unbounded by the exigencies of plot, the talk at times seems as if it could stretch on to eternity… Frankly, the play seems an odd choice for the Mark Taper Forum. When I think of all the bright American playwrights yet to be produced by Center Theatre Group — Annie Baker, Amy Herzog, Christopher Shinn, Will Eno, Young Jean Lee, Tarell Alvin McCraney — I can’t help feeling confounded by the decision to revive an Irish drama that not only is a level below that of Beckett, Synge and O’Casey but doesn’t even carry the excitement of something fresh by Conor McPherson or Enda Walsh.”
Entertainment Weekly (Jake Perlman): ”The Steward of Christendom is a complicated memory play, going in and out of chronological order in a direct reflection of Dunne’s scattered mind. Barry seems to be exploring the nature of memory — not the particulars of who or what or when, but why they are there in the first place. A–”
Grigware Reviews (Don Grigware): ”The Steward of Christendom is not for everyone. As a matter of fact, many left their seats at intermission and did not return, but depressing as it is, it is worth seeing for the irrepressible Brian Dennehy, literally in the raw, wailing against life’s cruelties like King Lear and begging forgiveness. The very last scene is the payoff, as he lies in the bed, cuddling the broken body of the tiny boy, delivering a heartfelt speech about a father’s mercy. It is unrelentingly gnawing, gut-wrenching and unforgettable.”
NY Times (Charles Isherwood): ”The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence probably seemed like a real dazzler when it was in the mind of its author, the playwright Madeleine George. But like many newfangled inventions that seem spectacular in blueprint form — good luck with those creepy-looking drones, Amazon! — the play now chugging across the stage at Playwrights Horizons too often sputters and stalls, falling victim to its own grand ambitions.”
NY Post (Elisabeth Vincentelli): ”As the show plods along, we realize that George’s real subject is actually pretty pedestrian — her characters keep launching into self-involved monologues about how hard it is to make connections.”
Daily News (Joe Dziemianowicz): ”Leigh Silverman’s direction keeps the snack-sized scenes spinning on Louisa Thompson’s versatile set. But the era-jumping story’s strands about the needs, joys and perils of reaching out and connecting never tie together in a satisfying way, so the back-and-forths don’t really compute.”
The Lion King won Best Presentation for the second year in a row, while the new musical Kinky Boots took top fundraising honors ($377,301) at the 25th annual Gypsy of the Year Awards, which took place Dec. 9 & 10 at the Minskoff Theatre.
The BC/EFA fundraising event collected a grand total of $4,343,234, up sharply from last year’s $3.9 million, but not quite up to 2011’s record $4.9 million.
Performance by a cast in a Motion Picture:
“12 Years A Slave”
“August: Osage County”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years A Slave”
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”
Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Daniel Bruhl, “Rush”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years A Slave”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years A Slave”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble:
“All is Lost”
“Fast and Furious 6″
Ensemble Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:
“Game of Thrones”
Ensemble Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
“The Big Bang Theory”
Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Performance by an Female Actor in a Drama Series:
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”
Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Performance by a Male Actor in TV Movie or Miniseries:
Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra”
Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”
Jeremy Irons, “The Hollow Crown”
Rob Lowe, “Killing Kennedy”
Al Pacino, “Phil Spector”
Performance by a Female Actor in TV Movie or Miniseries:
Angela Bassett, “Betty and Corretta”
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”
Holly Hunter, “Top of the Lake”
Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector”
Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake”
Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a TV Series:
“Game of Thrones”
“The Walking Dead”
► The ceremony will take place on Jan. 18, 2014, at 8 PM ET on TNT and TBS.
Celebrate New Years Eve with Marilyn Maye: The Biggest Party Ever at NYC’s Metropolitan Room.
Beverley Knight, who took over from Heather Headley as Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard in September, has extended her run through May 31 at the West End’s Adelphi Theatre.
Nicky Silver’s newest work, Too Much Sun, will begin previews May 1 and open May 20 at Off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre, directed by Mark Brokaw.
Cast: Linda Lavin, and more TBA.
“In Too Much Sun, Audrey Langham – a celebrated actress – unravels completely while preparing for a new production of Medea. With nowhere else to go, she descends upon her married daughter for a summer by the sea. She is not, however, greeted with confetti and champagne. Her arrival sets off a chain of events alternately hilarious and harrowing. This stirring story of an unforgettable summer reunites playwright Nicky Silver, Mark Brokaw, and Linda Lavin, following their acclaimed collaboration on The Lyons.”
Martin Short and Eugene Levy are set to appear in Andrea Martin‘s new Canadian comedy series “Working the Engels.”
Short will portray ‘Chuck Pastry’, the boss of a huge corporation known as ‘Big Pastry.’ Levy will take on the role of Arthur Horowitz, a family-oriented, well-connected and much-loved lawyer who is also a neighbor of the Engels.
The Broadway revival of Godspell will be performed in concert at London’s Lyric Theatre, for one night only, on May 19, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, directed by Kenneth Avery Clark.
I’ll post a link when it’s available.
English Touring Theatre has announced the UK’s favorite plays (musicals, adaptations and translations were not included):
1. The History Boys by Alan Bennett
2. Noises Off by Michael Frayn
3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
4. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
6. Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth
7. An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley
8. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
9. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
10. King Lear by William Shakespeare
Article: GRACE NOTE Exclusive Interview – ”Carol Hall: Going Somewhere — All The Time,” by Adryan Russ.
The tour of Beauty and Beast will play Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center Jan. 14-19.
Cast: Hilary Maiberger, Darick Pead, Jordan Aragon, Paul Crane, James May, Stephanie Moskal, Hassan Nazari-Robati, Tim Rogan, Kristin Stewart, Roxy York, Holden Browne and Jack Mullen, along with Tony D’Alelio, Blair Baker, Chris Brand, Alyssa Brizzi, Tiger Brown, Kieron Cindric, Mark Edwards, Sarah Gawron, Bonnie Kelly, Kevin Robert Kelly, Anthony LaGuardia, Corey Joseph Masklee, Emilie Renier, Brandon Roach, Trevor Sones, Emily Thomas, Becky Whitcomb and Jill-Christine Wiley.
NBC has officially greenlit a four-hour miniseries adaptation of “Rosemary’s Baby.” Scott Abbott and James Wong are writing the screenplay based on the 1967 Ira Levin novel.
A timeline has not yet been announced.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has officially confirmed that Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on the fast-track for a feature film adaptation.
Additional casting has been announced for Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way, to begin previews Feb. 10 and open Mar. 6 at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre (dates TBA), directed by Bill Rauch.
Previously announced: Bryan Cranston (President Lyndon B. Johnson), Michael McKean (J. Edgar Hoover), Brandon J. Dirden (Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Rob Campbell (Governor George Wallace).
Newly announced: John McMartin (Richard Russell).
Rutter, who currently serves as the president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, will begin serving as the president Sept. 1. She will succeed Michael M. Kaiser, who will step down from the position Aug. 31.
Lionel Bart & Frank Norman’s musical Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be will run May 8 – June 8 at London’s Theatre Royal, Stratford East (where it was originally premiered in 1959), adapted by Elliot Davis and directed by Terry Johnson.
Cast: Jessie Wallace, Sarah Middleton, Ruth Alfie Adams, Will Barton, and Suzie Chard, with more TBA.
“Set at the end of the 1950s, preceding the birth of rock and roll and the Beatles, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be is set within an East End underworld of gamblers, spivs, prostitutes and Teddy boys. It tells the tale of Fred, a loveable rogue, who comes out of prison to find he is not quite the king of the manor he once was.”
Women’s Project Theater will present the world premiere of Jessica Dickey’s dark comedy Row After Row, to run Jan. 15 – Feb. 16 (opening Jan. 23) at NY City Center Stage II, directed by Daniella Topol.
Cast: Rosie Benton, Erik Lochtefeld and P.J. Sosko.
“Row After Row is set in a rural Pennsylvania tavern just after a proud reenactment of Pickett’s Charge on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and examines whether union among any people is possible. The play’s title comes from Pickett’s Charge: after Confederate Maj. Gen. George Pickett gave his order to charge the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, men rushed forward and, as the defenders’ guns fired, row after row of Confederate soldiers fell to the ground, dead.”
The year’s overall attendance was 375,702, marking a decline of 50,000 from the 2011-12 fiscal year, which featured a festival of work by British playwright Christopher Hampton as well as productions of A Long Day’s Journey Into Night andThe Primrose Path.
The year also included expense cuts of $1.1 million and an increase of 10 percent in donations. Total contributions were $9.8 million — an increase of almost $1 million from the previous year. But season subscriptions continued to decline.
The music of Michael Finke will be presented Sun. Dec. 15 at 11:30 PM at 54 Below.
Performers: Kate Shindle, Erin Mackey, Aaron Simon Gross, Ryan VanDenBoom, Madeleine Bundy, Danielle Eden, Sarah Naughton, Daniel Patrick Smith, Hannah Whitney, and Matt Wood.
Performers: Lacey Angerosa, Nick Berke, Nathan Brisby, Max Chernin, Russell Fischer, Michael Gioia, Sam Heldt, Michael Hull, Tyler Jones, Kennedy Kanagaway, Janet Krupin, Meg Lanzarone, Tommy Martinez, Dan Pacheco, Bret Shuford, Hernando Umana, Noah Zachary, and more.
Laurence O’Keefe & Kevin Murphy’s Heathers: The Musical, based on the wickedly dark 1988 film comedy about a clique of deadly and domineering high school girls, which was seen earlier this fall in Los Angeles, will run Mar. 17 – Sept. 7 (opening Mar. 31) at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages. Andy Fickman will again direct, with choreography by Marguerite Derricks.
“September, 1989. Westerberg High is terrorized by a shoulder-padded, scrunchie-wearing junta: Heather, Heather and Heather, the hottest and cruelest girls in all of Ohio. But misfit Veronica Sawyer rejects their evil regime for a new boyfriend, the dark sexy stranger J.D., who plans to put the Heathers in their place – six feet under. Deliciously, darkly funny, romantic and moving, Heathers: The Musical is a truthful, uplifting parable for anyone who’s ever been in love, in trouble, or in high school.”
Alexis Gershwin, the niece of George and Ira Gershwin will release a collection of greatest hits titled, “Long Ago and Far Away” on Jan. 14.
The album – a retrospective of Alexis’ recordings of Gershwin music throughout her illustrious career – includes thirteen Gershwin classics such as “S’Wonderful,” “I’ve Got A Crush on You,” “Summertime,” “(Our) Love is Here to Stay,” and more.
The only living Gershwin to be performing from the Gershwin catalog, Alexis will celebrate her album release with a special, one-night-only performance We. Jan 15 at 8:30 PM at LA’s Catalina Bar & Grill.
Casting has been announced for John Van Druten’s London Wall, to run Feb. 1 – Mar. 30 (opening Feb. 24) at Off-Broadway’s Mint Theater, directed by Davis McCallum.
Cast: Julia Coffey, Katie Gibson, Matthew Gumley, Jonathan Hogan, Laurie Kennedy, Elise Kibler, Stephen Plunkett, Christopher Sears, and Alex Trow.
London Wall “explores the tumultuous lives and love affairs of the women employed as shorthand typists in a busy solicitor’s office in 1930’s London. Pat Milligan, a naïve young typist, falls for the charms of a predatory junior lawyer. Watching with concern is the firm’s senior secretary, her too-timid suitor and several others in the office. Presiding over all is Mr. Walker, gamely trying to navigate a new kind of office where men and women must work side by side.”
Samuel Beckett’s I’ll Go On will run Jan. 10 – Feb. 9 (opening Jan. 12) at LA’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, directed by Colm Ó Briain.
Cast: Barry McGovern.
I’ll Go On is based on three of Beckett’s novels – “Molloy,” “Malone Dies” and “The Unnamable.” Texts from the works have been selected by Gerry Dukes and McGovern.
NBC will rebroadcast “The Sound of Music – Live” Sat. Dec. 14 at 8 PM.