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Jeremy Jordan sings 'Let It Go' from 'Frozen' at Miscast gala honoring Allison Janney -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

On March 31, New York’s MCC Theater held its raucous Miscast gala, an annual fundraiser honoring one veteran theater artist — this year, the fearless Allison Janney — with a concert program line-up that features Broadway stars performing songs typically sung by the opposite gender. Last year, you might remember Jeremy Jordan and Jonathan Groff stopping the show with Smash’s “Let Me Be Your Star.” This year was no different, but we’ll get to that. First, Janney. READ FULL STORY

First Look: Neil Patrick Harris rocks fishnets and heels on Broadway in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s rock musical (and film) about the journey of a transsexual East German rock star, is the very definition of Off Broadway. But now the production is gracing the actual Great White Way with Neil Patrick Harris playing the lead and busting out songs like “The Origin of Love” and “Wig in a Box.” The actor has undergone a radical transformation for the role, as you can see in the above photo. “I’ve lost 20 pounds,” he says, “I’m in the craziest couture outfits, and I’ve got all this makeup on. But they made me custom heels, so at least those fit well.”

Previews for Hedwig and the Angry Inch start tonight at the Belasco Theatre and the show opens on April 22.

This Week on Stage: The return of 'Les Miserables'

As you can tell from above, Prisoner 24601 still has the physical prowess to make us swoon (much like Hugh Jackman’s Oscar-nominated turn as Jean Valjean in the 2012 film), but Iranian/Canadian star Ramin Karimloo’s long-awaited Broadway debut as Valjean proved to be worth the wait. Coming off stellar reviews (and proving a threat to claim the Best Actor in a Musical Tony), with the revival already a smash hit, it seems that everything old is new again, as audiences cannot get enough barricades and French resistance (this time sans turntable, and all the better for it). Tyne Daly also made a welcome Main Stem return since the 2011 revival of Master Class where she was a Master Callas (Maria, that is), and EW teased new some new, starry Broadway premieres with the likes of Audra McDonald, and the much-decorated cast of The Realistic Joneses, as well as a early listen of the CD for the musical Beautiful, the Carole King opus with the uncanny and impressive Jessie Mueller. EW reviewed the aforementioned shows and a few others as we head into the nitty-gritty of the theater season, with no less than 12 Broadway openings to come in the next series of weeks (click on the links below for full reviews): READ FULL STORY

'Beautiful': Listen to five tracks from the cast album of Broadway’s new Carole King musical

Broadway’s been buzzing about Beautiful, the new musical that chronicles the life of famed singer-songwriter Carole King and the songs she wrote that launched the careers of a generation.

While the show is bolstered by a star-making performance from Jessie Mueller, everyone who has seen it is raving about the music. Well, good news — like any good Broadway musical, the show plans to release an original cast album featuring the songs written by King and re-interpreted by the cast of theater veterans.

EW has a truly beautiful (sorry) first listen to five of the tracks from the upcoming album, which will be released digitally on April 1 and in stores on May 13 (you can pre-order on iTunes here).

Below, check out “Some Kind of Wonderful” (sung by Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein and the Drifters); “Walking in the Rain” (Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector); “You’ve Got a Friend” (Mueller, Larsen and Spector); “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Mueller); and of course, the titular ballad “Beautiful” (Mueller). READ FULL STORY

'Aladdin': The original Jafar talks musicals, hanging with Ursula, and the 'brutal' scene you didn’t see

Last month, an incredible story hit the web about a young autistic child who was able to connect with his father because of a shared bond over Disney movies. The story went viral, but there was someone behind the scenes who is perhaps the reason it was ever written in the first place—Jonathan Freeman, a celebrated member of the Disney family who met the father and son after a performance in Broadway’s Mary Poppins.

While chatting with EW about his role in Disney’s latest Broadway outing Aladdin (in which he’ll reprise his original voice part as the villainous vizier Jafar), the story of Owen and Ron Suskind was just one delightful anecdote that Freeman offered when it comes to his Disney roots. And in fact, the veteran stage actor has kept his Mouse House relationship close to his heart.

Since voicing Jafar in 1992, Freeman has frequently returned to reprise the role whenever the villain pops up in the Disney realm (which is, surprisingly, fairly often). On stage, Freeman has appeared in three of Disney’s Broadway musical endeavors, but his fourth outing is particularly special as he takes up Jafar’s iconic turban once again in the big-budget live-action musical Aladdin, which opened on March 20 at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You said when you first were presented with the idea of reprising Jafar on stage, you were apprehensive. What was your initial hesitation?
JONATHAN FREEMAN: Except for Alan Menken, there wasn’t going to be anybody on the project from 23 years ago, and although that seemed like a great thing for the show and a challenge even for me, I wasn’t sure that I had anything new to bring to the table. And I think that was all it was. And then the first time we had a read-through with the company in Seattle three years ago, I heard all these new voices with all these new ideas. I heard things differently.

READ FULL STORY

Audra McDonald in 'Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill': Watch a sneak peek -- EXCLUSIVE

Apparently, the redoubtable Audra McDonald needs to break that Tony-winning record. With five wins under her belt (the last was for her shattering take on the drug-snorting, tortured female lead of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), she could net a sixth for the Broadway premiere of longtime regional staple Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, in which she will embody none other than “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child” songstress Billie Holiday, in what would become a Tony milestone as she currently ties Angela Lansbury and the late Julie Harris for the most competitive wins by an actress. (Additionally, if the production is considered a play versus a musical — à la the recent Broadway production of the Judy Garland-flavored End of the Rainbow — McDonald would be the first actor to win all four possible female acting categories at the Tonys.)

Directed by Lonny Price (who directed McDonald to a Tony nom in 2007’s 110 in the Shade) and written by Lanie Robertson, the setting of Lady Day is a seedy bar in 1959 Philadelphia, where Ms. Holiday gives a legendary performance just four months before her tragic death of cirrhosis at age 44. In the teaser below, listen as McDonald and company expound on the exciting prospect of inhabiting one of the most indelible female jazz artists of the 20th century.

READ FULL STORY

Garry Marshall hopes 'Pretty Woman' musical will seduce Broadway

We’ve all taken a bubble bath while singing along to Prince, right?

Pretty Woman, the 1990 romantic comedy that made a superstar of Julia Roberts, is the latest in a string of movies looking to make a musical leap to the Broadway stage.

First reported by the New York Post, EW has confirmed that film and theater producer Paula Wagner and Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall have been meeting with Broadway creatives to compose and direct a musical adaptation of the classic rom-com.

The film — which celebrates its 24th anniversary later this month — follows a successful but lonely businessman (Richard Gere) who falls for a luckless prostitute (Roberts) after hiring her to spend a week with him.

READ FULL STORY

Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway return in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Hedwig’s gonna put on some makeup, turn on the tape deck, and put the wig back on his head this season in the person of multi-Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris, a.k.a. Greatest Tony Host Ever. Mr. Harris will be returning to Broadway in the first-ever Main Stem production of the already-classic rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The show centers on Hedwig, self-described “internationally ignored song stylist” who struggles with identity after a botched sex-change operation and rages against a former lover who’s used Hedwig’s music to craft a hugely successful career. (The production will shrewdly use Times Square — only a block away from Hedwig‘s current Broadway locale — as a backdrop for said lover’s rocketing success before large crowds.)

Since the show’s Off Broadway debut in 1998, which cemented the arrivals of star John Cameron Mitchell (Girls) and composer Stephen Trask (who later collaborated on the acclaimed 2001 film version), Hedwig has been the ultimate emo go-to, filling the void left by such benchmark 1970s alt-classics as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The show even inspired a documentary and a (rather excellent) tribute album, which included such artists as Cyndi Lauper, Ben Folds, and Rufus Wainwright providing unique takes on the show’s score.

In the exclusive video below, watch the How I Met Your Mother star expound on the rigors of the role, adding that “you can’t phone this one in.” READ FULL STORY

Daniel Radcliffe in Broadway's 'The Cripple of Inishmaan': First look -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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After making a bold Broadway debut in the powerful equine drama Equus and following up with a singing, dancing stint in the glossy 1960s musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the always astonishing Daniel Radcliffe is back for round three on the Broadway stage — in something completely, totally different.

Radcliffe willreprise his role as Billy in playwright Martin McDonagh’s 1996 black comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan, which follows a disabled Irish boy (Radcliffe) who dreams of appearing in a documentary being filmed by a Hollywood crew on a nearby island (the real-life 1934 film Man of Aran). The can’t-miss production reunites the critically acclaimed cast who performed the show last year on London’s West End, as directed by Tony winner Michael Grandage.

“We were fortunate enough that we got a great reaction from London crowds, but I remember at the time really thinking, ‘God, this play, I really think it would go down so well in New York, and I really hope we get the chance to do it there,’” Radcliffe tells EW from the set of Frankenstein, which he’s shooting in England with James McAvoy. “And then it just didn’t look like it was going to happen, so when the opportunity came around again earlier this year, I just leapt at it. We had a great time doing it in London, and I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone involved when I say that.”

READ FULL STORY

James Franco reflects on Broadway debut: 'I have a good life'

James Franco seems to have hit a rare stride in life — that is, he’s found happiness. That’s right: The laid-back thespian who epitomizes an off-beat brand of Hollywood cool has settled into a stage where life is “good.”

It’s not exactly what one might have expected from the characteristically aloof Northern California native, but Franco shared plenty of surprises at a TimesTalks event on March 7 in New York City, offering insight on everything from life, film, and even academia. Taking the stage to discuss Of Mice and Men — Franco’s Broadway debut — with co-star Chris O’Dowd, the 35-year-old actor dropped a few interesting and laugh-out-loud gems worth sharing. READ FULL STORY

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