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Tupac musical 'Holler If Ya Hear Me' will close July 20

After six weeks on stage, Holler If Ya Hear Me, the Broadway musical inspired by rapper Tupac Shakur’s music, is closing on Sunday, July 20.

“My hope is that a production of this calibre, powerful in its story telling, filled with great performances and exciting contemporary dance and music will eventually receive the recognition it deserves. It saddens me that due to the financial burdens of Broadway, I was unable to sustain this production longer in order to give it time to bloom on Broadway,” producer Eric L. Gold said in a statement. “Tupac’s urgent socially important insights and the audiences’ nightly rousing standing ovations deserve to be experienced by the world.”

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First listen: Audra McDonald channels Billie Holiday in Broadway's 'Lady Day'

It’s the performance everyone’s been talking about: Six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald set a Tony record with her latest star turn, playing troubled blues singer Billie Holiday in the final months of her life in the Broadway play Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.

Set in a seedy bar in the late ’50s, McDonald plays the jazz legend in one of her final performances. It’s a fully transportative experience for the audience, whose reactions help create the illusion carried by McDonald’s performance. To reflect that experience, Lady Day’s new original Broadway cast album was recorded live during performances of the show in late May.

The two-disc set offers an immersive translation of the show, a feat not reflected in several of this season’s recent cast albums. Lady Day’s cast recording (by PS Classics) will be available digitally and in stores on July 15, but Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive first listen to four of the tracks from the show, offering recognizable Holiday songs and a sample of the stories McDonald shares during the performance.

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Magic show 'The Illusionists' will play Broadway

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One of the world’s most successful magic tours will make a pit stop on Broadway this fall.

The Illusionists – Witness the Impossible will begin previews on November 26 at the Marriott Marquis Theatre prior to a December 4 opening. The strictly limited six-week engagement, ending January 4, 2015, is one city on a 30-stop tour that will chug onward to Washington, D.C. following the Broadway run.

Conceived by Simon Painter, The Illusionists is a special effects-filled showcase for seven talented performers, each of whom is a field master of a different element of illusion: The Manipulator (Yu Ho-Jin); The Anti-Conjuror (Dan Sperry), described as “Marilyn Manson meets David Copperfield”; The Trickster (Jeff Hobson); The Escapologist (Andrew Basso), the “only person in the world to perform Houdini’s famous Water Torture Cell with absolutely no covers”; The Inventor (Kevin James); The Futurist (Adam Trent); and The Warrior (Aaron Crow), “a strong and silent type specializing in weapon magic.”

'War of the Roses' adaptation coming to Broadway

There’s a war coming to Broadway—but don’t expect to see dueling Yorks and Lancasters.

Instead, this War of the Roses will see Warren Adler adapting his own 1981 novel, a black comedy that follows an affluent couple (yes, their last name is Rose) as they embark on a contentious divorce. The book was adapted into a movie in 1989, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito, who also directed the film. (It marked the trio’s third time working together, after 1984’s Romancing the Stone and its 1985 sequel The Jewel of the Nile.)

Adler, also the author of Random HeartsThe Sunset GangPrivate Lives, and Funny Boys, has released 33 novels total and is also a playwright with the stage versions of WindmillsLibido, and Dead in the Water under his belt. Tony-winning veterans Jay Gutterman, Cindy Gutterman, Cathy Chernoff, Carl Moellenberg, and Wendy Federman will produce the Broadway version of Roses. Further details about casting, the show’s creative team, its theatrical home, and its opening date have not yet been announced.

'Newsies' to close on Broadway; national tour kicks off in October

The show that was originally intended for a 101-performance run on Broadway is finally drawing the curtain…after reaching a whopping 1,005 performances.

Disney’s Newsies will seize its last day on Broadway on August 24 at the Nederlander Theatre. The show opened on March 29, 2012 after a try-out at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and it went on to earn eight Tony Award nominations at the 2012 ceremony, winning two—Jack Feldman and Alan Menken for Best Original Score, and Christopher Gattelli for Best Choreography.

Since Newsies’ Broadway debut, the show has earned over $100 million, seated over 1 million patrons, and become the second longest-running tenant of the Nederlander Theatre—behind the behemoth musical Rent, of course—in the theatre’s 93-year history.

But there’s good news for pape-slinging fans. Newsies will launch a North American tour in October 2014, aiming to hit 25 cities over 43 weeks.

“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike,” said Disney Theatrical Productions head Thomas Schumacher in a release. “Alan and Jack’s tuneful, rousing score, Harvey’s timely book, Chris’s muscular choreography and Jeff’s cinematic staging merged seamlessly to become a glorious work in the proudly classic Broadway tradition. When our tour launches in October, I’m thrilled that audiences across North America will be able to experience the adrenaline rush that is Newsies.”

Broadway box office: Bryan Cranston's 'All the Way' gets the biggest Tony bump

Broadway producers love the Tony Awards because it gives a rare national platform for their shows, typically boosting ticket sales for musicals that make the most of their televised production number. And what lucky show got the biggest boost from the June 8 broadcast? Surprise! It wasn’t a musical but the LBJ bio-drama All the Way, which won Best Play and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston (above). In the post-Tony week ending June 15, box office climbed 30 percent to a Texas-size $1.23 million, according to figures from the Broadway League.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, a play with music that earned Audra McDonald a record sixth Tony, also basked in the awards afterglow. Box office climbed 19 percent last week to $457,174, an impressive 87 percent of the potential gross in the intimate Circle in the Square Theatre. And Best Revival winner A Raisin in the Sun saw a 5 percent bump to $1.29 million — an impressive haul for a non-musical on Broadway. READ FULL STORY

'After Midnight' closing after eight-month run

Broadway’s Jazz Age revue After Midnight is swinging through its final performances. The Tony-winning show will close its doors June 29.

Nominated for seven Tonys this year, the musical took home the award for best choreography. It also won two Drama Desk Awards, four Astaire Awards, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for best choreography.

Celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the famous Cotton Club, After Midnight features the jazz legend’s music performed by a 17-piece band, as well as poetry by Langston Hughes. Patti LaBelle has joined the show’s roster of special guest star vocalists, which has included Fantasia, k.d. lang, Toni Braxton, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and Vanessa Williams. LaBelle will appear through the musical’s final performance.

By the end of its run, After Midnight will have played for 19 previews and 272 regular performances over eight months.

Josh Radnor sets Broadway return in 'Disgraced'

Out goes one Broadway season, and in comes another, marked by the first new Broadway show announcement following this year’s Tony Awards.

Disgraced, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Ayad Akhtar, will open on Broadway this fall on Oct. 23 at the Lyceum Theatre, with previews slated to begin Sept. 27. How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor (who made his Broadway debut opposite Kathleen Turner in 2002’s The Graduate) will lead the cast, which includes Gretchen Mol, Karen Pittman, and Hari Dhillon. READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards: See every musical performance

There’s plenty of Tony Awards coverage to go around—you can peruse through EW’s list of the best and worst moments, or re-live Sunday’s ceremony through our live blog—but, let’s be real. Everyone just wants to see the performances.

Worry no more. Here are all of this year’s musical performances from the 68th Tony Awards.

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See Hugh Jackman's bouncy Tony Awards opener

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a full opening number. But at least viewers finally found out why Hugh Jackman was bouncing up and down in his Tonys promo.

For Jackman’s opening routine at the Tony Awards last night, the host opted to forgo a full musical opening. (He’s done his fair share in the past — and, honestly, he probably couldn’t compete with Neil Patrick Harris’s showstopper from last year’s ceremony.)

Instead, showing off the endurance of the guy who brought Wolverine to screens, Jackman’s routine involved bouncing — everywhere and by everyone. Even Sting and Clint Eastwood got in on the fun.

Watch below, and stay for Jackman and Harris’ purposefully awkward elevator bit. Come on, Jackman, tell Harris you can host any show better than him. READ FULL STORY

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