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Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Gallagher to star on Broadway in 'On the Twentieth Century'

Kristin Chenoweth’s long-rumored return to the Broadway stage has been confirmed: The Tony and Emmy winner will star opposite Peter Gallagher in a new revival of the classic Coleman-Comden-Green musical On the Twentieth Century.

Set aboard the Twentieth Century, a luxury train en route from Chicago to New York, the musical follows a bankrupt theater producer (Gallagher) who tries to persuade his former lover — glamorous Hollywood star Lily Garland (Chenoweth) — to appear in a new show of his that doesn’t actually exist.

The classic musical boasts a score by Cy Coleman and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Scott Ellis will direct, with Warren Carlyle choreographing.

The Roundabout Theatre Company production will open on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre on March 12, 2015, following previews which begin on February 12. The 20-week engagement replaces the previously announced production of Noises Off, which has been postponed to the fall of 2015.

This Week on Stage: Hugh Jackman's back!

It seems Hugh Jackman can’t get Broadway out of his system. After the May 23 opening of the supersized Marvel opus X-Men: Days of Future Past, he will preside over the 2014 Tony Awards on CBS June 8 (where we can possibly see a taste of the song-and-dance man of The Boy From Oz and Oklahoma!), and it was just announced that he will return to the NYC stage this fall in a brand-new play by acclaimed playwright Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem) called The River, set in a remote rural cabin and featuring only three actors. And despite the fact that Jackman could likely sell out Radio City Music Hall (the site of the current Tonys), the play will take shape on the 776-seat thrust stage of Circle in the Square, where the back row is still only mere feet away from the performers. And even better news: there will be $35 seats reserved for each performance so that the premium-seat gobblers do not claim all the glory (much like what was done with the smash-hit Shakespeare revivals with Mark Rylance this past season to ensure a broader audience). The River begins previews on Oct. 31, and will open on Nov. 16.

And on the complete opposite size spectrum, the mammoth Lyric Theatre (formerly the Foxwoods, where Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark swung through controversy for several seasons), will host a revival of the beloved musical On the Town (come to think of it, wouldn’t Jackman make an amazing Gabey in this?), which begins previews Sept. 20 for a scheduled opening on Oct. 16. And if you’re not in the New York City area but need some theater fixes this fall, you’re in luck: PBS will broadcast the live NY Philharmonic concert version of Sweeney Todd starring Oscar-winner Emma Thompson on Sept. 26, and the network will also present the filmed production of The Nance from last year. Nathan Lane (delighting us on The Good Wife this season), who earned a Tony nomination and starred in the period comedy about the vaudeville era, gave one of his greatest performances to date. One will not want to miss his tour-de-force work in it; The Nance is slated to air sometime in the fall. And EW continues covering the new weekly openings, including Off Broadway favorite Forbidden Broadway, back to skewer all the past year’s new Great White Way contenders (click on the links below for full reviews): READ FULL STORY

Tupac musical 'Holler If Ya Hear Me': Watch the cast record Shakur classics -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Tupac Shakur was an exceptional rapper, writer, actor, and incendiary public figure who was cut down in his prime in 1996. But his work lives on, and his legacy will be getting its boldest treatment yet when Holler If Ya Hear Me opens on Broadway.  READ FULL STORY

Hugh Jackman sets dates for Broadway return in 'The River'

Hugh Jackman on Broadway is a hot enough ticket. Hugh Jackman on Broadway in one of Broadway’s smallest theaters? Go form a line outside now, why don’t you?

The Tony-winning actor will return to the stage this fall in The River, a new play (in the States, at least) by Jez Butterworth and directed by Ian Rickson. Also starring Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, the intimate production will begin previews on October 31 at the Circle in the Square Theatre (current home to Audra McDonald’s Tony-nominated turn in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill). Opening night is slated for November 16; the engagement will play a strictly limited 13-week engagement through January 25, 2015.

READ FULL STORY

Chris O'Dowd, Audra McDonald and more Tony nominees share weird warm-ups, campaign slogans -- VIDEO

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The month of campaigning for the 2014 Tony Awards is well underway, and that’s why you’ll see this year’s crop of nominees—from Bryan Cranston and Chris O’Dowd, to Audra McDonald and Idina Menzel—popping up all over the place as they remind you just why they all deserve to take home Broadway’s top honor this year at the Hugh Jackman-hosted ceremony on June 8.

The day after the nominations were announced, EW sat down with a slew of this year’s nominated performers (some first-timers, some veterans, all excited) to chat about their quirky backstage rituals necessary for warming up for the show. And since this is awards season after all, we also asked them to come up with a campaign tagline that sums up their Tony race.

Check back at EW.com all month long for a deeper dive into this year’s nominees, as well as interviews and analysis from our stage team. Let the Tony race commence! READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Tony nominations aftermath and fun facts!

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The 2014 Tony nominations were announced on Tuesday, and left many elated and just as many puzzled. No Denzel? Or Daniel Radcliffe? And nothing for everyone’s favorite traveling NYC duo? But there were some wonderful surprises (four acting nods for Twelfth Night!) and the lack of frontrunners (minus Neil Patrick Harris, Bryan Cranston, and perhaps this divine gal) will make the Hugh Jackman-hosted ceremony on CBS June 8 full of nail-biters. But here are some fun trivia bits about this year you can chew over until then (many of them compiled by our own Jake Perlman): READ FULL STORY

'The Bridges of Madison County' to close May 18

Broadway’s love affair with The Bridges of Madison County is ending quickly.

Producers said Thursday that the show based on Robert James Waller’s novel, which was made into a 1995 movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, will close May 18 after just 137 performances. READ FULL STORY

Tonys 2014: Let's talk about those snubs and surprises...

With the nominations for the 2014 Tony Awards finally upon us, the race has been blown wide open in one of the most nail-biting stage seasons in recent memory. Although Tuesday’s nominations announcement narrows down the pack to a manageable four or five candidates for Broadway’s highest honors, there’s an overwhelming feeling of absence when it comes to some of the bigger names who didn’t make the cut this year.

Snub: England’s the New Hollywood
All The Way’s Bryan Cranston and Of Mice and Men’s Chris O’Dowd are the marquee names in the race for Best Actor in a Play, but somebody’s got to be left out, and this year the Tony nominators eschewed the rest of the A-list—Zachary Quinto in The Glass Menagerie, Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun, and Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan, to name a few—for British actors like Samuel Barnett and Mark Rylance. In fact, the love bestowed on classical productions like Twelfth Night (tied for most-nominated play with Glass Menagerie) demonstrates the powerful momentum of gorgeous Shakespearean revivals in a season dominated by mega Hollywood names.

Surprise: Sally’s Out, Janis is In
Last week’s final meeting of the Tony administration committee decided that the revival of Cabaret—a carbon copy of the Tony-winning 1998 production—was eligible. But did it even matter? The show was passed over for Best Musical Revival and on most other  fronts, except for Linda Emond and Danny Burstein’s much-deserved featured acting noms. Three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams got no love for her Sally Bowles. In the Best Actress in a Musical category already stacked with intimidating names like Sutton Foster and Idina Menzel, recognition instead went to newcomer Mary Bridget Davies of the long-since-shuttered A Night With Janis Joplin. READ FULL STORY

'Gentleman's Guide', Neil Patrick Harris' 'Hedwig' lead nominations for the 2014 Tony Awards

Fully realizing its underdog appeal, the cheeky musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder slayed the competition this morning with a whopping 10 Tony nominations, including nods for both of its tireless leading men, Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham. Neil Patrick Harris’ return to Broadway after a decade yielded him his first-ever Tony nomination for the celebrated revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which netted an impressive eight nods. (Had it been eligible as a new musical, Hedwig probably would have easily tied Guide, as score and book would have been slam dunks). Trailing these shows with seven nominations each were the spicy jazz revue After Midnight, the Carole King biomusical Beautiful, John Tiffany’s critic-adored revival of The Glass Menagerie (in which all cast members except for Zachary Quinto got nods), and the Mark Rylance-led, period specific staging of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (EW’s pick for best production of 2013).

It was, however, not a great morning to be a movie star trying out Broadway for the first time or returning to it. Snub-ees this year in addition to the aforementioned Quinto included the ranks of James Franco, Denzel Washington, Michelle Williams, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Marisa Tomei, Rebecca Hall and Zach Braff. The Tony Awards will be broadcast live on CBS on June 8 at 8pm.

Nominations for the 2014 Tony Awards follow:

READ FULL STORY

Broadway's 'Rocky': Go behind the scenes of the climactic fight scene -- EXCLUSIVE

Much like the pugilist champ at its center, Rocky is proving a power player on Broadway. Its numbers keep going up, and more and more people are becoming ringside fans of the Philly palooka Rocky Balboa (Andy Karl) and his shy, pet-store employee girlfriend-in-waiting Adrian (Margo Seibert) all over again, after the great successes of Sylvester Stallone and company in the Oscar-winning 1976 movie. (Stallone is a book writer on this show, and could very likely be a Tony nominee this coming Tuesday, along with several others involved.)

But the ringside mention earlier is nothing short of completely literal, as director Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and scenic designer Christopher Barreca devised a regulation-size boxing ring for the 15-minute, climactic bout between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed (Terence Archie), in which a sizable portion of the orchestra patrons are (quite ingeniously) repurposed so that the ring may become a four-sided, true-to-life event for the audience. What results is one of the most eye-popping bits of stagecraft ever created, with no shortage of fun details (check out all that blood!).

In the exclusive three-minute feature below, watch as director Timbers and his fearless cast and crew explain how they went about making what seemed impossible in concept to a fully-realized reality for 1,500 attendees per evening. (And they managed to do it with far less event than another recent mega-musical, as well.) READ FULL STORY

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