THIS WEEKEND’S HIGHLIGHTS:
Friday, May 4
* Are You Now or Have You Ever Been…. opens at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre.
* The Last Five Years benefit, with hosts Jane Lynch, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Corey Reynolds, Allen Hidalgo and Daniel Tatar, and a cast that includes Tracie Thoms, Shoshana Bean, Lindsay Pearce, Chase Williamson, Janelle Lynn Randall, opens for 3 performances through May 6 at LA’s Third Street Theatre.
* Copy opens at LA’s Theatre of NOTE.
* Hairspray opens at Elmsford’s Westchester Broadway Theatre.
* The Mystery of Irma Vep, starring Mark Chambers and Brad DePlanche, opens at Ft. Myers’ Florida Rep.
* The Real Thing begins performances at the UK’s West Yorkshire Playhouse.
* Man of La Mancha, featuring William Michals, Maria Eberline and Daniel Marcus, begins performances at Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Playhouse.
* Roundabout‘s The Common Pursuit begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Laura Pels Theatre.
* What the Butler Saw, featuring Omid Djalili and Samantha Bond, begins previews at the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre.
* Are You There, McPhee, starring Paul Gross, begins previews at NJ’s McCarter Theatre.
* Andre DeShields’ Black by Popular Demand cabaret, at 11 PM at NYC’s Laurie Beechman Theatre (also May 11 and 18).
* Ebony, Ivory and Ink concert, featuring Felicia Curry, George Dvorsky, JJ Kaczynski, Tracy Lynn Olivera, and Chris Youstra, at 8 PM at Maryland’s Olney Theatre (also May 5).
Saturday, May 5
* The Scottsboro Boys opens at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre.
* Woody Sez – The Life and Music of Woody Guthrie opens at Boston’s A.R.T.
* Zorba opens at San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon.
* The Amen Corner, starring Greta Oglesby, begins previews at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre.
* POP!, starring Anthony Rapp, begins previews at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre.
* Mad Dogs & Educated Fleas: Noël & Cole, A Battle of Wits concert, featuring La Tanya Hall, Jeff Harnar, Edward Hibbert, Colleen McHugh and T. Oliver Reid, with special guest Harriet Harris, at 8 PM at NYC’s 92nd Street Y (through May 7).
* Bebe Neuwirth headlines NJ’s McCarter Theatre Center Annual Benefit Gala at 8 PM.
* The Mystery of Edwin Drood closes at London’s Landor Theatre.
* Soul Sister, new musical about Tina Turner starring Emi Wokoma, closes at London’s Hackney Empire.
Sunday, May 6
* Rent, directed by David Cromer, opens at Chicago’s American Theatre Company.
* Xanadu begins previews at VA’s Signature Theatre.
* Kritzerland at Sterling’s Broadway Bound – Unsung Songwriters concert, featuring Melody Hollis, Damon Kirsche, Jane Noseworthy, Beth Malone, John Massey, and special guest Daisy Eagan, at 7 PM at North Hollywood’s Sterling’s at the Federal, 5303 Lankershim Blvd. Reservations: (818) 754-8700.
* 2nd Annual Spring Cabaret, A Night of Celebration event, honoring Leslie Jordan, featuring Sally Struthers, Barrett Foa, Daniel Tatar and The Company Men, LaToya London, Alet Taylor, Christine Horn, Charlene Modeste, Jeffrey Landman, Christopher Maikish, Nell Teare, Cesili Williams, Constance Lopez, Terrance Spencer, and special guests, at 7 PM at Hollywood’s Celebration Theatre.
* Linda Lavin in concert at 9:30 PM at NYC’s Metropolitan Room (also May 7).
* Rhythm of the Night concert, starring Lesli Margherita, David Hernandez, Lexi Lawson and Rogelio Douglas, Jr. at 7:30 PM at LA’s Catalina Jazz Club.
* Broadway Bares: Solo Strips BC/EFA benefit, at 9 PM at NYC’s XL Nightclub.
* Seminar closes on Broadway after 26 previews and 191 performances at the Golden Theatre.
* Fish Men closes at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.
* The Luck of the Irish closes at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company.
* Long Day’s Journey into Night, featuring Helen Carey and Peter Michael Goetz, closes at DC’s Arena Stage.
* Next Fall, featuring Lynn Blackburn, Candy Buckley, Terry Martin, Lee Trull and Steven Michael Waters, closes at Dallas Theater Center.
* The Production Company’s Working closes at Hollywood’s Lex Theatre.
* Million Dollar Quartet closes at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center.
* Miss Saigon closes at La Mirada Theatre.
* Labrynth Theatre Company‘s Ninth and Joanie closes at NYC’s Bank Street Theatre .
No casting for the leads has been announced, but the company will feature Karen Mason as Mrs. Danvers, Howard McGillin as Frank Crawley, James Barbour as Jack Favell, Donna English as Beatrice de Winter, Nick Wyman as Giles and Henry Stram as Ben.
Rebecca features original book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, music by Sylvester Levay, English book adaptation by Christopher Hampton, English lyrics by Hampton and Kunze, and direction by Michael Blakemore and Francesca Zambello. Graciela Daniele will create the musical staging for the show.
Triassic Parq The Musical, which was seen during the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, will play a limited Off-Broadway engagement this June at Off-Broadway’s Soho Playhouse, with choreography by Kyle Mullins and musical direction by Zak Sandler.
Written by Marshall Pailet (who also directs), Bryce Norbitz and Steve Wargo, performances are scheduled for June 12 – Aug. 5, with an opening set for June 27.
The cast includes Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Brandon Espinoza, Wade McCollum, Claire Neumann, Lee Seymour, Shelley Thomas and Alex Wyse.
Musicals Tonight! will present the next edition of At This Performance…, a salute to Broadway and Off-Broadway understudies and standbys, on Mon. May 7 at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s Lion Theatre.
Hosted by Stephen DeAngelis, the concert will feature Abby Church (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), Erica Dorfler (Memphis), Michelle Duffy (Leap of Faith), Lavon Fisher-Wilson (Lysistrata Jones), Asmeret Ghebremichael (The Book of Mormon), David Hughey (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), Corey Mach (Godspell), Stephanie Martignetti (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Nic Rouleau (The Book of Mormon), Libby Servais (Lysistrata Jones), Nathaniel Stampley (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), and Erikka Walsh (Once). Eugene Gwozdz will serve as musical director.
Mack and Mabel will play London’s Southwark Playhouse July 5 – Aug. 25. Thom Southerland will direct. Musical direction will be by Michael Bradley. The production is revised by Francine Pascal and based on an idea by Leonard Spigelgass.
The cast stars Norman Bowman and Laura Pitt-Pulford.
Halley Feiffer and Daphne Rubin-Vega have joined the cast of The New Group‘s reading of Tom Eyen’s play Women Behind Bars to take place on Mon. May 7 at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s Acorn Theater. They replace Rosie Perez and Chloë Sevigny who are unable to appear due to scheduling conflicts.
Scott Elliot will direct the reading, which will star Charles Busch, Janeane Garofalo, Nancy Giles, Josh Hamilton, Natasha Lyonne, Cynthia Nixon, Rosie O’Donnell, Rhea Perlman, and Jennifer Tilly.
L.A. Theatre Works has recorded 8 for release on audiobook and for broadcast on LATW’s nationally syndicated radio theater series.
Directed by Rob Reiner and featuring an all-star cast that includes Kevin Bacon, George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, Jane Lynch, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen and John C. Reilly, 8 will air on public radio stations across the U.S. during the week of June 9 (check local listings for times). The broadcast, which also includes conversations with Black, Reiner, George Clooney and other members of the cast, as well as interviews with lawyers David Boiesand Ted Olson who led the charge against Prop 8, will be heard locally in Southern California on Sun. June 10 from 8-10 PM on 90.7 FM KPFK, and will also be available for streaming on demand at latw.org.
The audiobook will be available on CD and for digital download on June 1. Pre-order the CD here.
The new musical Black Diamond will be presented in a reading on Mon. May 7 at 7 PM at Burbank’s Screenland Studios. The reading is free, but reservations are required: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on an original concept and story by Stevens, Black Diamond has a book by Stephen Calmson, with a score by Mitch Bottler (music) and Norma Helms (lyrics). Jeffrey Polk directs the presentation, with musical direction by Gerald Sternbach.
The musical, set in New York between 1964 and 1984, deals with an industrious black woman and her three children – as they rise financially, socially and politically- over the ever-changing landscape of American life.
The cast stars Carol Dennis, along with Paul Ainsley, Michael Coleman, Lawrence Cummings, Pamela Hamill, Connie Jackson, Sylvia MacCalla, Anthony Manough, Kamilah Marshall, Perry Ojeda, Christropher Rogue, and Michael E. Shepperd.
VA’s Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree from PA’s Kutztown University on May 12.
Burbank’s Falcon Theatre has announced that Melanie Griffith has joined the cast of the world premiere play No Way Around But Through written by Scott Caan and directed by Val Lauren. The production begins previews June 1, opens June 3 and continues to July 8.
The cast also includes Scott Caan, Val Lauren, Robyn Cohen and Bre Blair.
Full casting has been announced for Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, which will launch a national tour with an engagement at DC’s Arena Stage June 8 – July 29. The production is a restaging of the the 2011 Tony Award-winning production, directed by George C. Wolfe.
As previously announced, the cast will feature Patrick Breen, Luke MacFarlane, and Christopher J. Hanke.
Also featured are Patricia Wettig, Tom Berklund, Michael Berresse, Christopher Dinolfo, Jon Levenson, Nick Mennell and John Procaccino.
The national tour of La Cage aux Folles, starring George Hamilton and Christopher Sieber, will play Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center July 24 – Aug. 5.
The cast also includes Dale Hensley, Jeigh Madjus, Gay Marshall, Allison Blair McDowell, Michael McCormick, Cathy Newman, Billy Harrigan Tighe, Ashley Kate Adams, Matt Anctil, Wilson Bridges, Christophe Caballero, Trevor Downey, SueEllen Esty, Rylyn Juliano, Logan Keslar, Todd Lattimore, Terry Lavell, Mark Roland, Donald C. Shorter, Jr., Todd Thurston and Danny Vaccaro.
Downtown NYC Tales of The City will present Lost in Staten Island: More Tales of Modern Living, June 15 – July 1 at NYC’s La MaMa. Jason Jacobs will direct.
Lost in Staten Island is playwright/performer Richard Sheinmel and composer Clay Zambo’s latest installment in a series of creative nonfiction musicals center on Mitch, a gay New York performance artist. In the play, Mitch must return home to Staten Island to accompany his mother on a day of difficult but necessary tasks after the deal of his brother.
The cast will include Chris Orbach, Catherine Porter, Mick Hilgers, Sarah Corey, and Wendy Merritt.
Annie Golden, Amber Gray, Alexandra Henrikson, Irene Sofia Lucio and Erika Rolfsud will star in the world premiere of We Play For the Gods, to be presented by the Women’s Project at Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre, June 1-23, with an opening on June 11.
The 14 artists who conceived and created the piece are Alexandra Collier, Elizabeth R. English, Charity Ballard, Jessi D. Hill, Andrea Kuchlewska, Manda Martin, Dominique Morisseau, Kristen Palmer, Sarah Rasmussen, Mia Rovegno, Melisa Tien, Nicole A. Watson, Stephanie Ybarra and Stefanie Zadravec. The animating forces behind the Lab are Ms. Crosby and Associate Artistic Director Megan E. Carter.
NYC’s Ensemble Studio Theatre‘s production of Patrick Link’s Headstrong will extend through May 27.
The cast includes Ron Canada, Tim Cain, Alexander Gemignani, and Nedra McClyde.
NYC’s 92nd Street Y has announced the 2013 line-up for its Lyrics & Lyricists concert series:
* Jan. 12-14: Sheldon Harnick will host the Rob Fisher-curated The Very Model of a Modern Major Lyricist: W.S. Gilbert and the Broadway He Inspired, an examination of intricate rhyme and skewering wit from The Mikado to My Fair Lady.
* Feb. 23-25: Billy Stritch will serve as artistic director of Give Me Fever: The Many Voices of Peggy Lee, a tour of Lee’s music and lyrics.
* April 6-8: David Loud will salute Vernon Duke in Taking a Chance on Love: The Music of Vernon Duke.
* May 4-6:The music of Jerome Kern will be explored by Artistic Director Deborah Grace Winer in The Song is You: Jerome Kern Coast to Coast.
* June 1-3: Mark Lamos and Wayne Barker will explore Broadway musical adaptations of Shakepeare’s plays with Brush Up Your Shakespeare: The Bard and the Broadway Musical.
West Coast Jewish Theatre is set to present The Immigrant, May 24 – July 15 at LA’s Pico Playhouse. Howard Teichman will direct.
With a book by Mark Harelik, lyrics by Sarah Knapp, and music by Steven M. Alper, The Immigrant tells of the flight of Harelik’s grandparents from the pogroms of Russia to Hamilton, Texas, where they were befriended by a Gentile couple.
The cast will feature Cheryl David, Anthony Gruppuso, Gary Patent, and Dana Shaw.
Upcoming at NYC’s New Haarlem Arts Theatre:
Directed by Eugene Nesmith, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will star Johnnie Mae as Ma, and will run June 14 – July 8, with an opening on June 16. The cast also includes Reginald L. Wilson, Joresa Blount, Rollessia Hurd-Rosa, Branden Baskin, Michael Anthony, Luther Wells, Peter Jay Fernandez, Steve Macari, Dennis Jordan, Mikell Pinckney and Mike Metzel.
Julio Augustin will direct a re-conceived revival of Sweet Charity, to run July 26 -Aug. 19, with an opening on July 28. The cast will be led by Edlyn Gonzalez as Charity, Cedric Leiba, Jr. as Vittorio Vidal, and Dennis Wit as Herman. Lainie Munro will provide choreography.
Casting has been announced for the world premiere of David Adjmi’s 3C, a co-production from piece by piece productions, Rising Phoenix Repertory, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Jackson Gay will direct the play, which performs at Off-Broadway’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, June 6 – July 14, with an opening on June 21.
The cast will include Kate Buddeke, Bill Buell, Hannah Cabell, Eddie Cahill, Anna Chlumsky, and Jake Silbermann.
Voting is now open for BroadwayWorld.com’s 2012 Theater Awards.