This Weekend’s Highlights:
Friday, December 19
* Jonah and the Whale: A New Musical, by Tyler Mills, David Darrow & Blake Thomas, directed by Emily King & Tyler Michaels, featuring Gracie Kay Anderson, Cat Brindisi, Serena Brook, David Darrow, Mary Fox, Robert Frost, Derek Prestly, Matt Riehle, Grant Sorenson, Blake Thomas and Kendall Anne Thompson, opens at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre.
* Barrington Stage’s Presto Change-O industry reading, by Joel Waggoner & Eric Price, directed by Marc Bruni, featuring Fred Applegate, Kerry Butler, Jeremy Jordan, Judy McLane, Brad Oscar and Douglas Sills, at 11 AM at Manhattan Theatre Club.
* The 7th Annual Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular concert, directed by John Simpkins, featuring James Monroe Iglehart (11 PM only), Rebecca Naomi Jones (11 PM only), Suzanne Vega (8 PM only), Nick Blaemire, Ally Bonino, Jimmy Brewer, Liz Lark Brown, Sarah Cetrulo, Harrison Chad, Donald Coggin, Bill Coyne, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Seth Eliser, Badia Farha, Alexandra Ferrara, Danielle Gimbal, Annie Golden, Josh Greenblatt, Molly Hager, Ian Kagey, Dennis Michael Keefe, Jessica Kent, Jane Kivnick, Emily Kratter, Rachel Lee, Lorinda Lisitza, Lauren Marcus, Julia Mattison, Eric William Morris, Jeremy Morse, Ray Munoz, James Penca, AnnMarie Powers, Rob Rokicki, Ashley Rodbro, Will Roland, Charlie Rosen, Mike Rosengarten, Lance Rubin, Katie Schorr (8 PM only), Jordan Stanley, Rachel Sussman, Taylor Trensch (11 PM only), Cait Weisensee, Jared Weiss and Jason SweetTooth Williams, at 8 & 11 PM at 54 Below (also Dec. 20).
* Kelli and Matthew: Home for the Holidays concert, starring Kelli O’Hara & Matthew Morrison, at 8 PM at Carnegie Hall (also Dec. 20).
* New York City Gay Men’s Chorus‘ Home for the Holidays concert, written & directed by Michael Scheman, with special guest star Carolee Carmello, at 8 PM at NYC’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (also Dec. 20 & 21).
* City Ballet of Los Angeles‘ The Nutcracker Swings presentation, at 8 PM at LA’s Wilshire Ebell Theatre (also Dec. 20).
* “Life of An Actress The Musical,” featuring Orfeh, Taylor Louderman, Allison Case, Bart Shatto, Xavier Cano, Richard H. Blake, Ethan Angelica, Ben Prayz, Jace McLean, Joshua Landay, Wyatt Kuether and Kelly Brown, premieres at NYC’s Quad Cinema and LA’s Laemmle NoHo 7.
* “Into the Woods” movie vocal selections released. Order here.
Saturday, December 20
* The 7th Annual Joe Iconis Christmas Spectacular concert, directed by John Simpkins, featuring Amy Spanger (11 PM only), Chip Zien (8 PM only), Nick Blaemire, Ally Bonino, Jimmy Brewer, Liz Lark Brown, Sarah Cetrulo, Harrison Chad, Donald Coggin, Bill Coyne, Katrina Rose Dideriksen, Seth Eliser, Badia Farha, Alexandra Ferrara, Danielle Gimbal, Annie Golden, Josh Greenblatt, Molly Hager, Ian Kagey, Dennis Michael Keefe, Jessica Kent, Jane Kivnick, Emily Kratter, Rachel Lee, Lorinda Lisitza, Lauren Marcus, Julia Mattison, Eric William Morris, Jeremy Morse, Ray Munoz, James Penca, AnnMarie Powers, Rob Rokicki, Ashley Rodbro, Will Roland, Charlie Rosen, Mike Rosengarten, Lance Rubin, Katie Schorr (8 PM only), Jordan Stanley, Rachel Sussman, Taylor Trensch (11 PM only), Cait Weisensee, Jared Weiss and Jason SweetTooth Williams, at 8 & 11 PM at 54 Below.
* Kelli and Matthew: Home for the Holidays concert, starring Kelli O’Hara & Matthew Morrison, at 8 PM at Carnegie Hall.
* New York City Gay Men’s Chorus‘ Home for the Holidays concert, written & directed by Michael Scheman, with special guest star Carolee Carmello, at 8 PM at NYC’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (also Dec. 21).
* City Ballet of Los Angeles‘ The Nutcracker Swings presentation, at 8 PM at LA’s Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
Sunday, December 21
* Diner world premiere, by Barry Levinson & Sheryl Crow, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, featuring Whitney Bashor (Barbara), Bryan Fenkart (Modell), Aaron Finley (Billy), Josh Grisetti (Shrevie), Erika Henningsend (Beth), Derek Klena (Boogie), Adam Kantor (Eddie), Matthew James Thomas (Fenwick) and John Schiappa (Older Boogie), with Nova Y. Payton, John Leslie Wolfe, MaryLee Adams, Mitch Marois, Maria Egler, Colleen Hayes, David Little, Ben Lurye, Lou Steele and Russell Sunday, opens at VA’s Signature Theatre.
* The Broadway Theater Workshops – Lower Hudson Valley Youth Chorus‘ No One Is Alone benefit concert, produced & directed by Jared Rosenblum & Walter Willison, with special guest stars Carole Demas, Lewis Grosso, Lee Horwin, Nancy Ringham, Steve Ross, Luis Villabon, Gay Willis, Walter Willison, Peter Winograd, Blarney Stew Band, and the St. Joseph Regional High School cast of Miss Saigon, at 6:30 PM at Montvale, NJ’s Inserra Theater, St. Joseph Regional High School.
* The Stephen Schwartz-athon concert, directed by Phil Geoffrey Bond, featuring Jim Brochu, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Hunter Ryan Herklicka, Lorinda Lisitza, Karen Mack, Michael McAssey, Liz McCartney, Kelli Rabke, Julie Reiber, Julie Reyburn, Brian Charles Rooney, Ereni Sevasti, Timothy John Smith and KT Sullivan, at 7 PM at 54 Below.
* New York City Gay Men’s Chorus‘ Home for the Holidays concert, written & directed by Michael Scheman, with special guest star Carolee Carmello, at 3 PM at NYC’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
* Brandon O’Neill concludes his run as Kassim in Aladdin at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre.
* Gayle Rankin concludes her run as Fraulein Kost in Cabaret at Broadway’s Studio 54.
* Here’s Hoover! The Historic Herbert Hoover 2014 Comeback Special, by Michael Friedman & Sean Cunningham, directed by Alex Timbers, featuring Damien Baldet (Herbert Hoover), James Barry (Scotty), Alex Boniello (DJ), Erica Dorfler (Lucille), James Nathan Hopkins (Wallace), Talene Monahon (Sheila) and Larry Tobias (Harry S. Truman), closes at Off-Broadway’s Abrons Arts Center.
* Joy Behar‘s Me, My Mouth and I closes at Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre.
* The Asphalt Christmas, by Todd Michael, directed by Lawrence Lesher, featuring Todd Michael, Chris Kateff, David L. Zwiers, Meg Mark, Timothy J. Cox, Matt Harris, Courtney Cook and Alex Pappas, closes at Off-Broadway’s Lion Theatre.
* Picasso at the Lapin Agile, by Steve Martin, directed by Gordon Edelstein, featuring Penny Balfour, Grayson DeJesus, Tom Riis Farrell, Ronald Guttman, David Margulies, Dina Shihabi, Jake Silbermann, Jonathan Spivey and Robbie Tann, closes at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre.
* What the Butler Saw, by Joe Orton, directed by John Tillinger, featuring Paxton Whitehead, Frances Barber, Sarah Manton, Angus McEwan, Rod McLachlan and Charles Shaughnessy, closes at LA’s Mark Taper Forum.
* Luna Gale, by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Robert Falls, featuring Jordan Baker, Reyna de Courcy, Melissa Duprey, Mary Beth Fisher, Erik Hellman, Colin Sphar and Richard Thieriot, closes at LA’s Kirk Douglas Theatre.
* Into the Woods, Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival production, directed by Amanda Dehnert, featuring Jeff Skowron (Baker), Rachael Warren (Baker’s Wife), Miriam A. Laube (Witch), Miles Fletcher (Jack), Robin Goodrin Nordli (Jack’s Mother), Jeremy Peter Johnson (Cinderella’s Prince/Voice of the Wolf), Howie Seago (Wolf), Kjerstine Rose Anderson (Little Red Riding Hood), Jennie Greenberry (Cinderella), Robert Vincent Frank (Cinderella’s Father), Catherine E. Coulson (Cinderella’s Stepmother / Milky White), Royer Bockus (Rapunzel), John Tufts (Rapunzel’s Prince), Mauro Hantman (Steward), Katie Bradley (Florina/Sleeping Beauty) and Christiana Clark (Lucinda/Snow White), closes at Beverly Hills’ The Wallis.
* The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord, by Scott Carter, directed by Matt August, featuring Larry Cedar, Greg Bryan and Armin Shimerman, closes at LA’s Geffen Playhouse.
* Smart Blonde world premiere, by Willy Holtzman, directed by Peter Flynn, featuring Andréa Burns, Adam Heller and Jonathan Brody, closes at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre.
* San Diego Musical Theatre‘s Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, directed by Todd Nielsen, featuring Todd DuBail (Bob Wallace), Jeffrey Scott Parsons (Phil Davis), Allison Spratt Pearce (Betty Haynes) and Tro Shaw (Judy Haynes), with Joy Allen, Jeni Baker, Amy Beth Batchelor, Philip Cobb, William Cobb, Crystal Davidson, Janie D’Avignon, Karla Franko, John Gamboa, Max Gidaley, Siri Hafso, Danny Hansen, Kyle Hawk, April Henry, Ed Hollingsworth, Allison Knight, Andrew Koslow, Danielle Levas, Paul Morgavo, Joy Newbegin, Jeremy Shull, Claire Scheper, Doug Schmitt, Debra Wanger and John Wescott, closes at the North Park Theatre.
* Leslie Jordan: Fruit Fly closes at LA’s Renberg Theatre.
* Almost, Maine, by John Cariani, directed by Martin Papazian, featuring Allison Tolman, Mark Valley, Peteer Breitmayer, Alex Desert, Marina Benedict, Martin Papazian, Presciliana Esparolini, Samantha Sloyan, Dan Warner, Lester Purry, Nell Teare, Laura Marie Steigers, Alexandra N. Hulme, Tyne Stecklein, Misa Moosekian, Devin Crittenden, Travis Myers, John Lacy and Steve Fite, closes at Hollywood’s Hudson Mainstage Theatre.
* A Tuna Christmas, by Ed Howard, Joe Sears, Jaston Williams, directed by Brian McDonald, featuring Clifford Morts and Jamie Torcellini, closes at Ventura, CA’s Rubicon Theatre.
* The Best Brothers, by Daniel MacIvor, directed by Brian Shnipper, featuring Kasey Mahaffy and Michael Polak, closes at Santa Barbara’s Ensemble Theatre Company.
* Dirty, by Andrew Hinderaker, directed by Shannon Cochran, featuring Robert Belushi, Sumiko Braun, Lea Coco, Anna Konkle and Max Lesser, closes at West Hollywood’s Zephyr Theatre.
* The Santaland Diaries, by David Sedaris, directed by Deidra Edwards, featuring Matt Crabtree, closes at LA’s Working Stage Theatre.
Complete casting has been announced for Peter Morgan’s The Audience, to run Feb. 17 – June 28 (opening Mar. 8) at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, directed by Stephen Daldry
A one-night-only Actors Fund benefit concert of Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman’s Bombshell (the fictional Broadway musical from “Smash”), will take place June 15 at a Broadway theatre TBA.
It is expected that the concert, which will include all 22 songs from Bombshell, will include cast members from “Smash” — Megan Hilty, Christian Borle, Will Chase, Ann Harada, Jeremy Jordan, Brian d’Arcy James, Andy Mientus, Krysta Rodriguez and more.
Series Regulars: Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Hannah Dunne, Lola Kirke and Peter Vack.
Series Guest Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters, Debra Monk, Wallace Shawn, Mackenzie Leigh, Nora Arnezeder, Jerry Adler, John Hodgman and Santino Fontana.
“Based on the critically acclaimed memoir ‘Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs & Classical Music by Blair Tindall,’ the series is seen through the eyes of a young oboist, Hailey (Kirke), who tries to navigate through the egos and eccentricities of a world renowned orchestra, and new conductor Rodrigo (Bernal), an enfant terrible whose passion for music threatens the plans of the orchestra’s old guard. That old guard is represented by Thomas (McDowell), the reluctantly outgoing conductor, and Gloria (Peters), the chairwoman of the board, who wonder what they have wrought by bringing Rodrigo into the fold. The musicians themselves, a colorful family of disparate personalities, are struggling to deal with this new regime. Along with her friends Alex (played by Vack), a dancer on the brink of success, Cynthia (Burrows), a worldly cellist, and Lizzie (played by Dunne), a world class partier, Hailey searches for what it means to dedicate your life to music.”
The West End run of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will close Mar. 7 at the Savoy Theatre.
I’ll post a link when it’s available.
Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Carousel Apr. 11 – May 3, directed & choreographed by Rob Ashford and conducted by David Chase.
: Steven Pasquale (Billy Bigelow), Laura Osnes (Julie Jordan) and Denyce Graves (Nettie Fowler), with more TBA.
Roundabout has announced the re-mounting of Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall’s Cabaret, which will launch a 20-city North American tour in January 2016.
Tour dates and casting TBA.
Rachel Wagstaff & Duncan Abel’s Sherlock Holmes will return to Broadway in 2017.
Casting, creative team, dates and theatre TBA.
“Staged as a mystery within a mystery, the case presented to Holmes forces him to confront his murky past. But is the unravelling of his childhood just a dangerous diversion? Sherlock Holmes is an original tale which will offer a new and deeply theatrical exploration of the mind of the famous detective, while remaining faithful to the mysterious world created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
The original motion picture soundtrack of “The Last Five Years,” starring Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick, will be released Feb. 10 (ahead of the film’s Feb. 13 release). Pre-order here.
1. “Still Hurting,” Anna Kendrick
2. “Shiksa Goddess,” Jeremy Jordan
3. “See I’m Smiling,” Anna Kendrick
4. “Moving Too Fast,” Jeremy Jordan
5. “A Part Of That,” Anna Kendrick
6. “The Schmuel Song,” Jeremy Jordan
7. “A Summer In Ohio,” Anna Kendrick
8. “The Next Ten Minutes,” Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan
9. “A Miracle Would Happen / When You Come Home To Me,” Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan
10. “Climbing Uphill,” Anna Kendrick
11. “If I Didn’t Believe In You, Jeremy Jordan
12. I Can Do Better Than That,” by Anna Kendrick
13. “Nobody Needs To Know,” Jeremy Jordan
14. “Goodbye Until Tomorrow / I Could Never Rescue You,” Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan
Romantic Duets, starring Alysha Umphress & Joshua Henry, will take place Mon. Feb. 9 at 7 PM at 54 Below, featuring arrangements by Jeff Blumenkrantz and musical direction by Jason Michael Webb.
Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land will run in the West End, starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.
Theatre, dates and creative team TBA.
A new family musical, Camp Kappawanna, by Lisa Loeb, Michelle Lewis, Dan Petty, Cusi Cram & Peter Hirsch, will run Mar. 21 – Apr. 12 at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company, directed by Alison Beatty, with choreography by MK Lawson and musical direction by Nate Weida.
“Following the misadventures of 12-year old Jennifer Jenkins, an awkward and adorable 12-year-old kid, Camp Kappawanna portrays the fear and excitement of leaving home for the first time. This lighthearted musical, inspired by Lisa Loeb’s own nostalgic summer camp memories, has an acoustic sound that will take you back to nights spent around the camp fire.”
Will Eno’s Middletown will run Jan. 22 – Feb. 22 at Providence’s Trinity Rep, directed by Curt Columbus.
“’Welcome to the little town of Middletown. Ordinary place, ordinary time. But aren’t they all? No. They are not, all,’ opens Will Eno’s acclaimed 2010 play. Wry, bittersweet and achingly beautiful, Middletown takes a microscope to small-town American living, revealing universal themes of love, birth, death, loneliness, elation, forgiveness, disappointment and redemption.”
Cabrillo Music Theatre presents Stephen Sondheim & George Firth’s Company, to run Jan. 23 – Feb. 8 at CA’s Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, directed by Nick DeGruccio, with musical direction by Cassie Nickols.
: Tracy Lore (Joanne), Michael Andrew Baker (Harry), Nick Tubbs (Paul), Shelley Regner (Amy), Elissa Wagner (Sarah), Paul Babb (Larry), Alexander Jon (Robert), with Heather Dudenbostel, Chelsea Emma Franko, Aly French, James Padilla, Jane Papageorge, Elizabeth Smith, and Kevin Story.
Goodspeed Musicals presents the 10th Annual Festival of New Musicals:
Friday, January 16:
* Outlaws staged reading (7:30 PM), by Alexander Sage Oyen & James Presson. “Frustrated with Washington and hard-up for cash, Jesse James and his brother Frank take matters into their own hands – robbing banks, courting the press, and killing anyone who gets in their way. Alternating between sprawling epic and intimate family drama, Outlaws examines the blurred lines between hero and villain, bravery and recklessness, and man and god.”
* Festival Cabaret (10 PM), showcasing new songs by the festival writers.
Saturday, January 17:
* Untold Stories of Broadway – Seminar (10 AM). Author Jennifer Ashley Tepper will share stories from her new book “The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume Two,” the follow-up to her hugely successful first book. Meet the author and book signing will follow the session.
* How Do They Do That? – Seminar (10 AM). Set Designer Paul Tate dePoo will debut his designs for Goodspeed’s upcoming production of Guys and Dolls and share his secrets for just how to make a night club, a mission, steamy Havana, and Times Square fit in our jewel-box theatre.
* Vocal Arranging 101 – Seminar (10 AM). Learn the process of vocal arranging from Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director Michael O’Flaherty with demonstrations performed by festival participants from The Hartt School.
* New Musical Preview (2:30 – 3:30 PM). A preview of a new musical set for Goodspeed in 2015.
* The New Musical Challenge – Symposium (4 PM). Ever wonder what it takes to write a musical? WNPR’s Colin McEnroe will host a conversation with the writing teams represented in this year’s Festival, along with a team currently writing-in-residence at Goodspeed and Festival favorites Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich (upcoming production of Ever After at Papermill and Goodspeed’s The Great American Mousical). Learn first-hand about the challenges of writing a new musical and be the first to hear a brand new song written on-the-spot by one of the teams willing to take our New Musical Challenge. FREE and open to the public.
* Festival Dinner (5:30 PM). Enjoy a three course meal with fellow festival goers.
* The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes staged reading (7:30 PM), by Christophr Dimond and Michael Kooman. “Howard Barnes is a perfectly average man until he discovers that his life has become a musical. Equal parts satire, romantic comedy, and love letter to the American musical, The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes is a musical for people who love musical theater and their spouses who hate it.”
Sunday, January 18:
* Tour of Goodspeed’s Costume Collection (11 AM)
* For Tonight staged reading (1 PM), by Shenelle Williams, Spencer Williams & Whitney Rhodes. “When their parents die of a mysterious illness in their small Welsh village, surviving siblings Thomas, Haydon, and Nettie are forced to fend for themselves. Inspired by the gypsies who once shared their home, Haydon heads off to Liverpool, guitar in hand, to find what he’s been missing. There he meets Mirela who speaks to his wandering soul. Through a riveting indie-rock/folk score, For Tonight explores the indelible power of home.”
* Meet the Writers Reception (3:30 PM) Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar.
Elton John & Lee Hall’s Billy Elliot The Musical will run Jan. 16 – Feb. 8 (opening Jan. 17) at CA’s La Mirada Theatre, directed by Brian Kite, with choreography by Dana Solimando, and musical direction by John Glaudini.
: Noah Parets (Billy), Vicki Lewis (Mrs. Wilkinson), Jake Kitchin (Michael), Jamie Torcellini (George), Marsha Waterbury (Grandma), Kim Huber (Billy’s Mum), Brandon Forrest (Adult Billy), Neil Dale (Mr. Braithwaite) and Sammy Gayer (Debbie), with Andrew Blake Ames, Brooke Besikoff, Emma Bradley, Michael Dotson, Jeremy Duvall, Zachary Hess, Olivia Knox, Emilie Lafontaine, Tyler Ledon, Julia Nicole Massey, Jenna McConnell, Bruce Merkle, McKenna Perez, Gary Lee Reed, Benni Ruby, Brian Steven Shaw, Hannah Jean Simmons, Ashley Kiele Thomas, Brooklyn Vizcarra, and Justin Wilcox.
A completely re-imagined stage version of John Pielmeier’s The Exorcist, with an entirely new script, has found its director – Sean Mathias. Production dates, theatre, creative team and casting TBA.
Said producer Ben Sprecher, “This is a play about ‘faith’ and one priest’s journey to finding his faith again in order to save a little girl. We are committed to giving the audience an evening in the theatre they will never forget when they were given the opportunity to see this iconic work live on stage.”
: Ryan Silverman will star (in the Christopher Reeve role) in the Feb. 5-6 NYC workshop presentations of Doug Katsaros, Amanda Yesnowitz & Ken Davenport’s Somewhere in Time, joining the previously announced Marc Kudisch and Laura Osnes.
Complete casting TBA.
The fringe production of Moses Raine’s Donkey Heart will transfer to the West End’s Trafalgar Studio Jan. 7-31, directed by Nina Raine.
“Donkey Heart examines the life of an ordinary family in modern Moscow, cleverly charting how their secrets echo the scheming and betrayals of Russia’s Communist past.”