Wednesday, February 22, 2012

 

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:

* All New People, written by and starring Zach Braff, opens at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre.

* February House opens at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre.

* You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown opens at Maryland’s Olney Theatre.

* Early Plays opens at NYC’s St. Ann’s Warehouse.

* The King’s Speech begins previews at the West End’s Wyndham Theatre.

* Behind the Music-al: Teenage Dreams panel discussion with Nick Blaemire, Kyle Ewalt, Michael I. Walker, Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, at 8 PM at 92YTribeca.

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Broadway Grosses for the week ending Feb. 19:

Fronrunners (by Gross)
1. Wicked ($1,903,024)
2. Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark ($1,709,139)
3. The Lion King ($1,665,141)
4. The Book of Mormon ($1,473,606)
5. Jersey Boys ($1,037,786)

Underdogs (by Gross)
5. Godspell ($394,072)
4. Stick Fly ($365,277)
3. Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It ($305,705)*
2. Wit ($243,188)
1. The Road to Mecca ($181,446)

Frontrunners (by Capacity)
1. The Book of Mormon (102.63%)
2. The Lion King (100.04%)
3. Wicked (99.83%)
4. Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark (96.65%)
5. Rock of Ages (95.67%)

Underdogs (by Capacity)
5. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (75.04%)
4. Priscilla Queen of the Desert (70.43%)
3. Stick Fly (68.22%)
2. Sister Act (64.37%)
1. The Road to Mecca (59.39%)

*  Number based on two preview and four regular performances
*  Data Provided by the Broadway League.

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Additional casting has been announced for Manhattan Theatre Club‘s world-premiere production of David Auburn’s The Columnist, which will begin previews April 4 prior to an official opening April 25 at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Joining John Lithgow will be Margaret Colin and  Boyd Gaines. Daniel Sullivan directs.

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Casting has been announced for Flaherty and Ahrens’ The Glorious Ones, to run March 6 – April 7 at London’s Landor Theatre, directed by  Robert McWhir.

Set in 17th-century Italy, the musical centers on a theater group in the world of commedia dell’arte and theater of the Italian Renaissance.

The company will feature Christopher Berry, Kate Brennan, Mike Christie, Anouska Eaton, Peter Gerald, Jodie Beth Meyer and Peter Straker.

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Rex Reed’s The Man That Got Away: Ira Without George is set to play at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco’s Kanbar Hall, April 13-15.

The performance will star Reed, along with Gregory Harrison, Sally Mayes, Linda Purl, and Kurt Reichenbach. The cast will be backed by a three-piece jazz combo led by Mike Renzi.

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Article:  James Lapine on Merrily, Into the Woods, Little Miss Sunshine, Annie and Idina Menzel.

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GN Quote of the Week: “I’m not an actor, and I enclose my press cuttings to prove it.”    ~ Victor Mature

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A new Broadway cast album EP of How to Succeed…,feautring Nick Jonas, will be released by Broadway Records this spring.  I’ll post the release date when it’s published.

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Broadway Remembers Whitney is scheduled for Feb. 27 at 9:30 PM at Joe’s Pub.

Proceeds will go to the The Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, a school that aims to teach its students to become contributing members of society now and in the next century.

Performers include Kacie Sheik, Chester Gregory, Mykal Kilgore, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Carrie Manolakos, Ato Blankson-Wood, Caissie Levy, Uzo Aduba, Morgan James and Julia Mattison.

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A staged reading of Merton Of The Movies will be presented Mon. Feb. 27 at 7 PM at the York Theatre, 619 Lexington Avenue (Corner of 54th St.). Music and lyrics by Doug Katsaros and book and direction by Donald Brenner.

The piece is tunefully set in the era of the silent films. In short, a naive store clerk from Simsbury Illinois arrives in Hollywood, determined to be a serious motion picture actor. But an exhuberant starlet, together with a conniving director, hoodwink the innocent lad into unwittingly becoming Hollywood’s newest comedy sensation!

Merton stars Michael Lowney and Jenn Colella, along with eight more Broadway veterans and a small band.

Check out the show’s website here.

For more information, contact Doug Katsaros at DKats4195@aol.com or Donald Brenner at brennerdonald@yahoo.com.

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Casting has been announced for the new rock musical Brother Russia, which makes its world premiere at VA’s Signature Theatre March 6 – April 15 (opening March 20) at Signature’s MAX Theatre.   The new musical features music by Dana Rowe and book and lyrics byJohn Dempsey.

The story of the controversial “Mad Monk,” Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, will be directed by artistic director Eric Schaeffer.

The cast will feature John Lescault, Natascia Diaz, Doug Kreeger, Amy McWilliams and Tracy Lynn Olivera, with Erin Driscoll, Stephen Gregory Smith, Rachel Zampelli, Russell Sunday, Kevin McAllister and Christopher Mueller.

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Linda Lavin will reprise her performance as matriarch Rita Lyons in the Broadway transfer of Nicky Silver’s family drama The Lyons, which will officially open by April 26, the Tony Awards cut-off date for eligibility, at the Cort Theatre.  Mark Brokaw again directs.

Lavin will reunite with her Off-Broadway co-star Dick Latessa and much of the original Off-Broadway cast, including Michael Esper, Kate Jennings Grant, Brenda Pressley and Gregory Wooddell. Complete casting will be announced shortly.

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Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Seger, Don Schlitz, Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones and Jim Steinman will become the newest members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 43rd Annual Induction and Awards Dinner.

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The Roundabout Theatre Company will honor Rob Marshall with the Jason Robard Award for Theatrical Excellence during the From Stage to Screen gala March 12 at 9 PM at the Hammerstein Ballroom.  Martin Short will host the event that has been created by Marshall’s sister,  Kathleen Marshall.

Currently scheduled to perform are Christine Baranski, Raul Esparza, Boyd Gaines, Victor Garber, Donna Murphy and Kelli O’Hara. David Krane will arrange and musical direct.

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Marcia Milgrom Dodge will direct and choreograph FL’s Maltz Jupiter Theatre‘s upcoming production of Hello, Dolly! March 13 – April 1.

The cast will be led by Vicki Lewis and Gary Beach, with Matt Loehr and Aaron Bower.

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Room 16, a new musical featuring music by Stephen Sislen, lyrics by Sislen and Ben H. Winters, and a book by Andrea Lepcio, will be presented in a staged reading March 8 at 2 PM at NYC’s Chelsea Studios. Information and reservationsRoom16res@gmail.com.

Directed by Kim Weild, the cast includes Eric Anderson, Stephen Bogardus,  Philip Hoffman, Lorna Luft and Patti Murin.

Room 16 is “a wry, dark, comedic look inside the unlikely friendship between G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt and the events surrounding the Watergate break-in in 1972. With a score spanning American popular musical styles from swing and big band to folk and early ’70s rock, Room 16 is a fast-paced and darkly comedic look inside American political history.”

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Casting has been announced for the world premiere of Futurity: A Musical by The Lisps, a sci-fi musical set during the Civil War, which will play Boston’s A.R.T. beginning March 16, opening March 21 and closing April 15..

Sarah Benson will stage the musical by the Brooklyn-based band The Lisps. It has music and lyrics by César Alvarez, who co-authored the book with Molly Rice.

The cast features Alvarez, Sammy Tunis, Edwin Lee Gibson, Anne Gottlieb, Aaron Schroeder and Chelsey Donn, along with Eric Farber, Ben Simon, Lorenzo Wolff, and A.R.T. Institute actors Milia Ayache, Matthew Christian, Liza Dickinson, Teri Gamble, Rose Hogan, Carl James, Michael Kane and Lindsey Liberatore.

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Redwood City, CA’s Broadway by the Bay has announced full casting for Hairspray, to play April 5-22 at Fox Theatre. Artistic Director Amanda Folena will direct.

The cast will star Victoria Morgan as Tracy Turnblad and Cole Grissom as Edna Turnblad, along with Danny Cunningham (Wilbur Turnblad), Tony DiCorti (Link Larkin), Michael Scott Wells (Corny Collins), Courtney Hatcher (Amber Von Tussle), Lisa-Marie Newton (Verna Von Tussle), Erica Richardson (Motormouth), and Lamont Jones (Seaweed).

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Actress Susan Angelo will play Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra at Pasadena’s A Noise Within, replacing Jeanie Hackett, who has departed the production due to a family member’s illness.  The show opens Saturday, March 3 and plays through May 13.  Previews now begin Feb. 29 rather than Feb. 25.

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Cabrillo Music Theatre will present Once Upon a Mattress April 20-29 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Richard Israel will direct, with choreography by Cheryl Baxter and musical direction by Daniel Thomas

The cast will feature Bets Malone as Princess Winnifred as well as Scott Reardon (Prince Dauntless), Tracy Lore (Queen Aggravain), and Danny Gurwin (Minstrel).

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The Stratford Shakespeare Festival has announced its 2012 season:

* Christopher Plummer‘s new autobiographical show, A Word or Two, directed by Des McAnuff

* The new musical Wanderlust, written and directed by Morris Panych and composed by Marek Norman

* Gary Griffin’s production of 42nd Street.

* Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and  Cymbeline, The Matchmaker; The Pirates of Penzance, You’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownElektra, Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson’s Hirsch, Rick Miller’s McHomer; Michael Hollingsworth’s The War of 1812 and Daniel MacIvor’s The Best Brothers.

Members of this year’s acting company include Ben Carlson, Cynthia Dale, Geraint Wyn Davies, Deborah Hay, Aaron Krohn, Yanna McIntosh, Seana McKenna, Tom Rooney, and John Vickery.

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Nominations for the 2012 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards have been announced.  Click here for a complete list of nominees.

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NYMF has announced the selections for the 2012 Next Link Project, NYMF’s primary writer service program. The works will be presented as part of the ninth annual festival, which will run July 9 – 29.

Next Link selections include A Letter to Harvey Milk by Jerry James (book), Laura l. Kramer (music) and Ellen M. Schwartz (lyrics), based on the short story “A Letter To Harvey Milk” by Lesléa Newman; Arnie the Doughnut, by Frances Limoncelli (book) and George Howe (music/lyrics); Flambe Dreams, by Matthew Hardy (book & lyrics) and Randy Klein (music); and Foreverman by Brett Boles (book, music & lyrics).

Also included are He’s Not Himself by Marc Silverberg (book, music & lyrics); Living with Henry, by Christopher Wilson (book, music & lyrics); My Ohio: A Swing State Duet by Dana Yeaton (book & lyrics) and Andy Mitton (music); Prison Dancer: The Musical by Romeo Candido (book, music & lyrics) and Carmen DeJesus (book); Rio by Mitch Magonet and Joey Miller (book, music & lyrics); and Stuck by Riley Thomas (book, music & lyrics).

This year’s Next Link jury includes Susan Birkenhead (lyricist), Jean Doumanian (producer), Christopher Gattelli (director/choreographer), Ann Harada (actor), Stephen Oremus (musical director/orchestrator), John Rando (director), and David Thompson (book writer).

Memberships are still available.  Click here to join.

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Aurora, Illinois’ Paramount Theatre has announced casting for Hair, to run March 14 – April 1. Rachel Rockwell will direct the production, with musical direction by Doug Peck.

The company will feature Skyler Adams, Adrian Aguilar, Jonathan Butler-Duplessis, Molly Callinan, Josh Dawson, Sean Effinger-Dean, John Finley, Emjoy Gavino, Immanuel Guest, Monique Haley, Jake Klinkhammer, Donica Lynn, Emilie Lynn, Adam Michaels, Brandon Moorhead, Maggie Portman, Alexis J. Rogers, Emily Rohm, Jaquez Sims, Katie Spelman, Bethany Thomas, Brett Travis, Dana Tretta and Adrienne Walker.

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Article:  NY Magazine’s Scott Brown reviews “Smash’s” show-within-a-show, Marilyn.

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The Old Globe has announced the cast for its upcoming production of Anna Christie, March 10 – April 15 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. Daniel Goldstein will direct.

The cast features Kristine Nielsen, Brent Langdon, Jessica Love, Austin Durant, Bill Buell, Chance Dean, John Garcia, Raymond Lynch and Jason Maddy.

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Musicals Tonight! has announced performances for Spring 2012 at Off-Broadway’s Lion Theatre:

L’il Abner (March 20 – April 1), Sitting Pretty (April 17 – 29) and Something for the Boys (May 1-13).

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The Prince And The Showboy: An Evening with Faith Prince and Jason Graae will be presented next at San Francisco’s The RRazz Room March 25 at 3 PM and March 26-27 at 8 PM. Alex Rybeck is the musical director.

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Soul Sister, a new musical (by Pete Brooks and John Miller) inspired by the life and times of Ike and Tina Turner, is to receive its world premiere at London’s Hackney Empire, beginning performances April 14, prior to an official opening April 19, for a run through May 5.  Directed by Bob Eaton, with choreography and musical staging by Jason Pennycooke.

The cast features Emi Wokoma as Tina Turner and Chris Tummings as Ike Turner, with Sharon Benson, Nadine Higgin, Ngo Ngofa and Joanna Sandi as The Four Ikes.

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Unsubstantiated: According to the NY PostGiant, which played last month at the Dallas Theater Center, will be heading to the Public Theater in Fall and has potential to transfer to Broadway….. and Into to the Woods, playing Central Park’s Delecacorte this summer, may also be Broadway-bound.

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Chita Rivera will be a special guest performer at DO40 Cares: It’s Not Where You Start, a song-and-dance performance benefit presented by Dancers Over 40. Carol Lawrence will host the event, to be held at NYC’s Ailey Citigroup Theater/The Joan Weill Center for Dance on Mon. March 12, at 8 PM. Proceeds will go to BC/EFA and Project Achieve/Columbia University & the NYC HIV Vaccine Trials Unit.

The performance will reunite many of the merry murderesses from the “Cell Block Tango” sequence of the original 1975 Broadway production of Chicago, in which Rivera starred as Velma Kelly. Among them are Pam Sousa, Michon Peacock, Cheryl Clark and Candy Brown. Another featured guest will be Rachelle Rak, who will also perform a Fosse number, “I Gotcha.”

Additional DO40 performing members will include George Marcy, Mary Lou Barber, and Claire Porter, as well as Joy Serio Dunbar, Patti Mariano, Nancy Dalton and Nicole Barth, Lori Tan Chinn, Ron Young, Jonathan Cerullo, James Dybas, Steve Petrillo, James Horvath, Lawrence Merritt and Ken Urmston who will be featured in the opening and closing numbers of the show.

The evening will include choreography by Larry Fuller, JT Horenstein, Claire Porter, Amy Seiwert, Joy Serio Dunbar, Mark Stuart Dance Theatre, Sasha Spielvogel, Thomas/ Ortiz Dance and Bob Fosse.

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Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of “War Horse” will arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On-Demand April 3. Pre-order the 4-disc combo (Blu-ray, DVD and digital) here.  Pre-order the 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo here.

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