Friday, January 11, 2013


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This Weekend’s Highlights:

Friday, January 11

* Ed, Downloaded world premiere, featuring JD Taylor, Annie Purcell and Grace Rex, opens at Denver Center Theatre Company.

* John Lloyd Young begins his run in Jersey Boys at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre.

* Freud’s Last Session, starring Judd Hirsch and Tom Cavanagh, begins performances at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage.

* Other Desert Cities, featuring Nancy E. Carroll, Anne Gottlieb, Munson Hicks, Karen MacDonald, and Christopher M. Smith, begins performances at Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage.

* The Philadelphia Story, featuring Richie Call, Joyce Cohen, Roger Dunbar, Todd Gearhart, Bailee Johnson, Todd Lawson, Anderson Mathews, Allison McLemore, Bill Nabel, Margaret Nichols, Andy Rindlisbach, Matthew Jay Romriell, Jay Stratton, Eva TerraNova and Rosie Ward, begins performances at Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Playhouse.

Women’s Project Theater‘s Bethany, featuring America Ferrera, Emily Ackerman, Kristin Griffith, Ken Marks, Tobias Segal and Myra Lucretia Taylor, begins previews at NY City Center Stage II.

* The Mountaintop, starring Joaquina Kalukango and Bowman Wright, begins previews at Houston’s Alley Theatre.

* Hairspray: In Concert, featuring Micky Dolenz, Beth Leavel, Paul Vogt, Nick Adams, Marissa Perry, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Alix Korey, Julie Kavanagh, Rhiannon Hansen, Bret Shuford, Marcus Terell, John Phillips and Natalie Renee, Nikki Stephenson and Melissa Van Pelt, at 8 PM with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (through Jan. 13).

Saturday, January 12

* The Very Model of a Modern Major Lyricist: WS Gilbert and the Broadway He Inspired, hosted by Sheldon Harnick and featuring Jason Danieley, Jenn Gambatese, David Garrison and Mary Testa, opens at 92nd Street Y.

* Chapter Two, starring Geoffrey Lower, Kevin Ashworth, Leslie Stevens and Caroline Kinsolving, opens at Laguna Playhouse.

* Other Desert Cities, featuring Deanna Dunagan, Tracy Michelle Arnold, John Hoogenaker, Linda Kimbrough, and Chelcie Ross, begins performances at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

* Old Times, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Rufus Sewell and Lia Williams, begins previews at the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre.

* Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring Peter Michael Goetz and Helen Carey, begins previews at the Guthrie Theater.

* Pygmalion, starring Robert Sean Leonard, Kandis Chappell, Charlotte Parry and Paxton Whitehead, begins previews at San Diego’s Old Globe.

Steve RossPuttin’ on the Ritz cabaret, at 8 PM at Studio City’s Vitello’s Jazz & Supper Club (also Jan. 13 at 7 PM).

* The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, featuring Pip Carter, Shaun Dooley, Pandora Colin, Ifan Huw Dafydd, Hattie Morahan  and Dan Poole, closes at London’s Almeida Theatre.

* Quartermaine’s Terms, starring Rowan Atkinson, Conleth Hill, Will Keen, Felicity Montagu and Malcolm Sinclair, closes at the UK’s Theatre Royal Brighton.

Emily Skinner‘s There is Nothing Like a Dame cabaret closes at VA’s Signature Theatre.

* One November Yankee, starring Harry Hamlin and Loretta Swit, closes at North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts Center.

* ”Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen” exhibition closes at the NY Public Library of the Performing Arts‘ Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery.

Sunday, January 13

Roundabout‘s Picnic, starring Reed Birney, Maggie Grace, Elizabeth Marvel, Sebastian Stan, Mare Winningham and Ellen Burstyn, opens on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre.

London’s The Wizard of Oz, starring Danielle Wade, opens at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre.

Unsung Musical‘s The Fig Leaves Are Falling, featuring Natalie Venetia Belcon, Jonathan Rayson, Matt Walton, Morgan Weed, Karen Hyland, Nathan Keen, Antuan Raimone and Morgan Rose, opens at NYC’s Connelly Theatre.

* Airswimming, starring Aedin Moloney and Rachel Pickup, opens at Off-Broadway’s Irish Rep.

* Broadway Playhouse: Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart concert, at 11 AM at NYC’s Merkin Concert Hall.

* The Midtown Men (Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer) in concert at 7:30 PM at NYC’s Gramercy Theatre.

Idina Menzel in concert at 8 PM at Carnegie Hall.

*  Justin Vivian Bond, Jackie Hoffman, Lea DeLaria and Natalie Joy Johnson offer selections from their solo shows, at 7 PM at Joe’s Pub.

* The Golden Globes Awards airs at 8 ET/5 PT on NBC.

* MTC‘s Golden Age, featuring Lee Pace, F. Murray Abraham, Dierdre Friel, Coco Monroe, Bebe Neuwirth, Ethan Phillips, Lorenzo Pisoni, Will Rogers and Eddie Kaye Thomas, closes at NY City Center Stage 1.

* The Great God Pan, featuring Becky Ann Baker, Peter Friedman,Sarah Goldberg, Keith Nobbs, Joyce Van Patten, Jeremy Strong and Erin Wilhelmi, closes at Off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons.

* Dreamgirls, featuring Nova Y. Payton, Shayla Simmons and Crystal Joy, David Bazemore, Sydney James Harcourt, Cedric Neal, Kara-Tameika Watkins, Bus Howard and Sean-Maurice Lynch, closes at VA’s Signature Theatre.

Eve Ensler’s Emotional Creature closes at Off-Broadway’s Signature Center.

* The Lion King closes at San Francisco’s SHN Orpheum Theatre.

* Cinderella closes at MD’s Olney Theatre.

Cheri Oteri concludes her run in NEWSical the Musical at Off-Broadway’s Theatre Row.

* 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche closes at NYC’s SoHo Playhouse.

* Singin’ In The Rain, featuring Tony Yazbeck, Jenny Guse, Matthew Crowle, and Melissa Van Der Schyff, closes at IL’s Drury Lane Theatre.

* The Morini Strad, starring Mariette Hartley, closes at Burbank’s Colony Theatre.

Troubadour Theater Company’s Rudolph the Red-Nose ReinDOORS closes at Burbank’s Falcon Theatre.

* Forget Turkey! (We’re going to Phuket this Christmas) closes at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.


  Reviews for THE OTHER PLACE on Broadway:

NY Times (Charles Isherwood):  ”…a slick, potently acted drama by Sharr White…  and thanks to the superb performance of Laurie Metcalf as Juliana, the less we are sure of, the more we are engaged….The Other Place is a cunningly constructed entertainment that discloses its nifty twists at intervals that keep us intrigued. In what is shaping up to be a lousy season for new plays on Broadway, perhaps this alone is worth a cheer or two.”

Daily News (Joe Dziemianowicz):  ”In Sharr White’s curvy and compelling drama, “The Other Place,” Laurie Metcalf plays an addled neuroresearcher — and never leaves the stage… This is also a textbook example of how a glowing star turn can elevate a good play into one that’s even better than that — it’s a show that’s hard to get out of your head.”

Associated Press (Mark Kennedy):  ”The play — so buffed and polished it now seems to squeak — is matched by a searing, brilliant performance by Laurie Metcalf, who is simply astonishing as she goes from snippy, bossy scientist to a broken, confused intruder wolfing down Chinese food on the floor.  Director Joe Mantello keeps up a blistering pace — snippets of scenes dissolve into another, past and present collide. Speed is important to keep the audience guessing, but it leaves no room for a moment’s error. Mantello proves as sharp as the narrator is unreliable.”

NY Magazine (Scott Brown):  ” Metcalf supplies the gravitation that holds it all together, even as her immense centrifugal energy is, simultaneously, working to fling it all apart. Her physical and spiritual transformation over the course of this brief, intense story is total. I greatly enjoyed The Other Place in its original Off Broadway incarnation, but I wondered if Joe Mantello’s exquisite, bounded-in-a-nutshell production would scale up to Broadway. It does, I’m thrilled to report, and a great deal of the credit is due Metcalf herself, who’s found several clever ways—near-subliminal physicalization, megaphonic emotional projection—to turn a delicate chamber performance into a great ringing cry from the darkness, suitable for an amphitheater.”

  Video: Highlights from The Other Place.


Rory O’Malley has announced that he will depart the Broadway production of The Book of Mormon on Jan. 27.  His replacement has not yet been announced.


A new version of Chess will receive its world stage premiere at London’s Union Theatre Feb. 13 – Mar. 16.

Tim Rice, who adapted the musical with Hugh Wooldridge for a concert version staged at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008, has given the Union’s production team exclusive access to mount the first fully-staged production based on it. Rice has called this the definitive version of a much altered and often re-worked show.

Co-directed and staged by Chris Howell and Steven Harris, the cast will feature Sarah Gilbraith (Florence), Nadim Naaman (Anatoly), Tim Oxbrow (Freddie), Natasha J Barnes (Svetlana), Gillian Kirkpatrick (Molokov), Craig Rhys Barlow (Arbiter) and Neil Stewart (Walter).

Musical arrangements are by Christopher Peake, with musical direction by Simon Lambert.


Complete casting  has been announced for the world premiere of John Logan’s Peter and Alice, which runs Mar. 9 – June 1 (opening Mar. 25) at London’s Noel Coward Theatre.

Directed by Michael Grandage, the cast stars Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw, along with Olly Alexander, Ruby Bentall, Stefano Braschi, Nicholas Farrell and Derek Riddell.

The play “revolves around the meeting of Alice Liddell Hargreaves (Dench) and Peter Llewelyn Davies (Whishaw) at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932, when the original Alice in Wonderland came face to face with the original Peter Pan.”


Christopher Fitzgerald has been cast as ‘P. T. Barnum’ in Cameron Mackintosh’s Barnum at Chichester Festival Theatre.  The revival will open this summer — dates TBA.

Expect to see a major overhaul of the book.


The eighth annual Broadway Backwards concert — featuring male singers performing songs traditionally sung by women, and women singing tunes written for men — will be presented Mar. 18 at 8 PM at the Palace Theatre.  Directed and choreographed by creator Robert Bartley.

Casting TBA.

The event is produced by BC/EFA and benefiting Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will run May 18 – Nov. 30 (opening June 25) at the West End’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, directed by Sam Mendes.

Joining the previously announced Douglas Hodge will be Nigel Planer and Myra Sands (Grandpa Joe and Grandma Georgina), Jack Shalloo and Alex Clatworthy (Charlie’s parents),  Paul J. Medford (Mr. Beauregarde, Violet’s father), and Jasna Ivir (Mrs. Gloop, Augustus’ mother).


Complete casting has been announced for a new production of Rodney Ackland’s Before the Party that will run Mar. 21 – May 11 (opening Mar. 28) at London’s Almeida Theatre.

Matthew Dunster will direct a cast that features Stella Gonet, Katherine Parkinson, Alex Price, Michelle Terry, Michael Thomas and June Watson, along with Polly Dartford, Anna Devlin and Emily Lane (who will  alternate in the role of Susan Skinner).

“The war is over and the Skinner family are trying to return to normal. If only the blasted Government weren’t such a nuisance about the rations and Cook could get some more of those delicious delicacies. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering.  Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals a shocking secret that threatens to ruin more than one party on the climb to social success.”


Des McAnuff’s new Stratford Festival staging of Tommy, which he helped create for its Broadway life, will star Robert Markus (Tommy), Paul Nolan (Cousin Kevin) and Jeremy Kushnier (Capt. Walker).

The Ontario production will play Stratford’s Avon Theatre May 4 – Oct. 19 (opening May 30).

The cast also features Jewelle Blackman, Kira Guloien, Steve Ross, Matthew G. Brown, Sean Alexander, Jennifer Rider-Shaw, Lee Siegel, along with Matt Alfano, Gabriel Antonacci, Matthew Armet, Stephen Cota, Larry Herbert, Keely Hutton, Robin Hutton, Julia Juhas, Monique Lund, Nicholas Nesbitt, Laurin Padolina, Katrina Reynolds, Julius Sermonia, Galen Johnson, Krista Leis, Jennifer Stewart and Conor Bergauer & Joshuan Buchwald sharing the role of 10-year-old Tommy.


Sutton Foster will headline It’s De-Lovely, a special Valentine’s Day-themed evening of music to benefit San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon, which takes place Feb. 7 at 6 PM.

Also performing are Klea Blackhurst and Michael Maguire.

Tickets are not available online.  Call (415) 255-8207.


The York Theatre Company has announced a new addition to their educational arm:  Bespoke Musicals, a program that pairs teams of emerging writers, chosen by The York Theatre Company, with companies of students from musical theatre college training programs.

For its maiden voyage, The York is proud to be collaborating with Marymount Manhattan College (Patricia Hoag Simon, Music Theatre Coordinator).

Click here for more information.


  Video:  Highlights from Toronto’s The Wizard of Oz.


The Public Theater will present the Soho Rep production of the American premiere of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s LIFE AND TIMES: Episodes 1-4, to run Jan. 16 – Feb.2.

LIFE AND TIMES is conceived and directed by Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper.

The cast features Ilan Bachrach, Elisabeth Conner, Gabel Eiben, Anne Gridley, Matthew Korahais, Julie LaMendola, Alison Weisgall, and Kristin Worrall.


The Off Broadway Alliance will again sponsor 20at20, the bi-annual celebration of Off Broadway, Jan. 22 – Feb. 10, making $20 tickets for 40 Off-Broadway plays and musicals available twenty minutes prior to curtain.

Click here to see a list of participating shows.


The New York premiere of Ike Holter’s Hit the Wall, a theatrical exploration of the first night of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, will be presented by Off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theatre.

Directed by Eric Hoff, with original music & music supervision by Dan Lipton, previews begin Feb. 19 with an opening set for Mar. 10.

The cast features Nick Bailey, Jessica Dickey, Ben Diskant, Nathan Lee Graham, Matthew Greer, Gregory Haney, Sean Allan Krill, Rania Salem Manganaro, Ray Rizzo, Carolyn Michelle Smith, Arturo Soria and Indigo Street.


NJ’s McCarter Theatre Center presents A Delicate Balance Jan. 18 – Feb. 17 (opening Jan. 25), directed by Emily Mann.

The cast features Kathleen Chalfant, John Glover, Roberta Maxwell, James A. Stephens, Francesca Faridany and Penny Fuller (who replaces Mary Beth Hurt).


Overcash and Change, a concert featuring the work of songwriter Drew Overcash, will be offered Feb. 11 at 7:30 PM at Joe’s Pub.

Performers include Taylor Louderman, Richard H. Blake, Derek Klena, Ward Billeisen, Caroline Bowman, Kelsey Burd, Meggie Cansler,  Ariana DeBose, Josh Franklin, Jason Gotay, Raymond J. Lee, Jake Loewenthal, Corey Mach, Blake Pfeil and Katherine Wright.


  Rumor:  Will Lea Salonga star in the Phillipines 2014 production of Mary Poppins?


Leslie Jordan, who previously brought his one-man show Leslie Jordan – My Trip Down the Pink Carpet to the West End’s Apollo Theatre, is returning to London with his follow-up show Fruit Fly, which will run at London’s Leicester Square Theatre Mar. 12-16.

He will also take the show to Salford’s Lowry Theatre for one night on Mar. 18.

“‘Do gay men really become their mothers?’ What follows is the story of Leslie’s own experience growing up a cissy boy in the red Deep South and how his mother, Miss Peggy Sue, an indomitable steel magnolia, continues to inspire him today.”


  Spider-Man Producers vs. Julie Taymor:

A final settlement has still not been reached in the copyright infringement case between the producers of Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and former director Julie Taymor.

Both sides have now resumed litigation, and Taymor’s lawyer Charles Spada wrote in a letter on Jan. 9 that both parties are “hopeful that a final settlement can be reached within the next few days.” A trial is scheduled for May 27.



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