The Russian romance of Doctor Zhivago is officially coming to Broadway with performances beginning in spring 2015. The Des McAnuff-directed production of the musical, which is based on Boris Pasternak’s novel, will occupy the Broadway Theatre with previews beginning March 27, 2015. It will open April 21, 2015. READ FULL STORY
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Broadway’s circus-inspired musical Pippin has found its new prince… all the way in Los Angeles.
Josh Kaufman, the angel-voiced soul singer who dominated and won the sixth season of NBC’s The Voice, has been tapped to make his Broadway debut in the title role of the smash Broadway revival of Pippin. He’ll play the young eighth-century prince, who grows tired of life in the kingdom and leaves the comforts of home to find purpose.
Starting Nov. 4, Kaufman will take over the reins from Kyle Dean Massey, who exits the show Nov. 2. Kaufman will stick with the production through Jan. 4, 2015.
The Tony-winning revival opened at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre on April 25, 2013, and went on to win four Tony Awards including Best Revival. The show launched its U.S. national tour earlier in September.
Broadway’s most exhilarating rock concert burst onto the boards earlier this year when Neil Patrick Harris stepped into the silky fishnets of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, earning a Tony for the role and ushering the East German rocker into the hands of a new generation of fans. After Harris departed the show in August, The Book of Mormon veteran Andrew Rannells was tapped to fill Hedwig’s high heels. To say his turn is electric, heartbreaking, and wholly different from Harris’ would still be underselling the performance.
With TV turns on Girls (as gay frenemy Elijah) and How I Met Your Mother and movie appearances in Bachelorette and The Intern, Rannells’ return to his theater roots is a thrill for fans and for the actor himself. EW paid a visit to Rannells’ dressing room backstage at the Belasco Theatre to quiz the Tony nominee about his Broadway return.
EW: I went running five days ago and my legs hurt, and I just had pad thai for lunch, and now I feel gross. Do my pitiful body woes make you laugh?
ANDREW RANNELLS: Oh, please. No! This is certainly unlike any show I’ve ever done before and has very unique challenges, but this is sort of what I was used to for so long, this schedule and this physicality. There’s something about it that feels really normal for me, to snap back into this eight-show-a-week thing.
Is the snap reminiscent of Mormon, or eight shows a week dancing in the chorus of Hairspray?
In terms of the pain… there are moments in The Book of Mormon. I remember doing “All American Prophet,” which is that song in the middle of the first act where I was just running all over the stage and there were a million words and nothing ever repeated. It was hard as hell to learn, and doing that and thinking please, Jesus, let me survive through this. If I don’t die in the middle of this number, it’ll be a good one. But the crazy thing about this show is that, really, the anticipation of it starting is the worst part. Because once you’re doing it and you’re in it, it’s fine, and it moves really quickly once it starts, but it’s that gearing up to do it—that’s stressful.
Do the nerves kick in when you get here for make-up?
Until the second I set foot on stage. READ FULL STORY
Vanessa Hudgens has graduated from high school musicals to real musicals: Hudgens will play the title role in the upcoming Broadway revival of Gigi, the classic Lerner and Loewe musical which bowed on Broadway in 1973. The actress had been playing the role in recent readings in New York. READ FULL STORY
UPDATE #3: The Broadway League has reversed its decision and will now honor Rivers after all. In a statement, St. Martin said, “Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her. Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, at exactly 6:45 pm for one minute.”
A decision by the Broadway League not to honor Joan Rivers with the traditional posthumous tribute afforded to deceased stage celebrities has the theater community up in arms on Twitter.
In an interview with The New York Times, executive director Charlotte St. Martin explained the League’s decision not to honor Rivers with the tradition of dimming the lights on Broadway theater marquees. It’s an honor bestowed on Broadway icons typically within the week following their death, yet Rivers—a Tony Award nominee, playwright, frequent opening night guest, and vehement vocal supporter of Broadway—apparently doesn’t qualify.
“Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway — people who made their careers here, or kept it up,” St. Martin told the Times. “We love Joan – she was very supportive of Broadway and came to a lot of show openings – but she hasn’t acted on Broadway in 20 years… When you say Joan Rivers, you don’t think comedy, television and Broadway. You think comedy and television. It’s certainly nothing against her.” READ FULL STORY
Is there such thing as an octuple-threat? Because NeNe Leakes can add another role to her stacked resume – Broadway star.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Glee actress has signed on to play the wicked stepmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway, from Nov. 25 to Jan. 3, 2015. Leakes will be taking over the role from the show’s current stepmother, Sherri Shepherd, and acting alongside Keke Palmer, who plays the titular character. Leakes recently came off a stint as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, which could come in handy in case the stepmother ends up doing some wicked jazz hands.
The play also announced that it will also close its two-year run on Jan. 3, 2015.
The sold-out London production of David Hare’s critically acclaimed Skylight will try its luck on Broadway with the same two stars who packed the house in the West End this summer.
Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy will reprise their roles in Tony-winning director Stephen Daldry’s production of Skylight, opening April 2 at the John Golden Theatre. Previews for the 13-week limited engagement will begin on March 16, with a slated end date of June 14.
Mulligan plays Kyra Hollis, a schoolteacher who receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, recently widowed restaurateur Tom Sergeant (Nighy). On a cold London night, the two try to rekindle their romance, “only to find themselves locked in a dangerous battle of opposing ideologies and mutual desires.” Skylight also features Matthew Beard as Edward Sergeant.
The play boasts design by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Paul Arditti, and original music by Paul Englishby. Skylight is produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin and Robert Fox.
Hare’s play originally premiered at the National Theatre in London in 1995 before opening on Broadway in September 1996 at the Royale Theatre (now the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre). The original Broadway cast featured Michael Gambon as Tom, Lia Williams as Kyra, and Christian Camargo.
Skylight will not be the first bout on Broadway for either Mulligan or Nighy. She appeared in 2008’s The Seagull, and he starred in 2006’s The Vertical Hour.
Yes, it’s real, and it’s happening—Larry David’s hotly anticipated Broadway debut has officially set its dates.
David will make his acting and Broadway playwriting debut in Fish in the Dark, a new comedy directed by Anna D. Shapiro that starts previews February 2 at Broadway’s Cort Theatre. Opening night is scheduled for March 5.
David will star alongside theater veterans Jayne Houdyshell and Jerry Adler (The Sopranos), as well as Rosie Perez, Jonny Orsini (who made a splash in his Broadway debut in 2013’s The Nance) and Jake Cannavale, son of two-time Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Fish in the Dark—described simply as “a comedy about a death in the family”—will be produced by Scott Rudin and feature scenic design by Todd Rosenthal, costumes by Ann Roth, and lighting by Brian MacDevitt.
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