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Keira Knightley to make Broadway debut in French romance

For its 50th anniversary, Roundabout Theatre Company has tapped a major star to lead the company’s first Broadway production of the 2015-2016 season.

Keira Knightley will make her Broadway debut in a newly commissioned adaptation of Therese Raquin, written by Helen Edmundson and directed by Evan Cabnet (The Performers). The play will begin previews on Oct. 1, 2015, in anticipation of an Oct. 29 opening. READ FULL STORY

'Orphan Black' star Tatiana Maslany to make New York stage debut

She’s probably relieved to just be playing one part this time.

Orphan Black breakout Tatiana Maslany will join The Newsroom’s Thomas Sadoski in the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s new drama The Way We Get By, which will premiere Off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre next spring.

The two-person play—which follows two confident wedding attendees who wake up next to each other on the blurry morning after—will be directed by Leigh Silverman (Broadway’s Violet).

The role marks Maslany’s New York stage debut and a return to LaBute for Sadoski, who earned a Tony Award nomination for originating the role of Greg in the playwright’s reasons to be pretty.

The Way We Get By will begin previews on May 12, 2015 and end its run on June 28.

Broadway box office: Michael C. Hall's 'Hedwig' scores, but Carol Burnett can't boost 'Love Letters'

It’s a tale of two A-list replacements: Dexter star Michael C. Hall put on some makeup for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and kicked up $544,166 for his first six performances, according to figures from the Broadway League for the week ending Oct. 19. That’s down just 4 percent per-show from what Andrew Rannells took in during his final seven shows the previous weekbut it still represents an impressive 85 percent of the potential gross for the Belasco Theatre.

But another high-profile substitution proved less successful: Carol Burnett, returning to Broadway for the first time in a decade, failed to lift ticket sales for the already flagging revival Love Letters that opened last month with Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy. Dennehy is still in the two-hander, but box office for Burnett’s first eight-show week fell nearly 6 percent, to $319,810. That’s only 36 percent of the show’s maximum earningsa bad sign. Maybe Carol should bring on Andy Cohen’s dog and reprise her Tarzan yell? READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: New York, New York – a helluva 'Town'

The randy sailors of On the Town are back in the Big Apple, and taking up permanent residence at the newly-renamed Lyric Theatre (where the beleaguered Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was the previous tenant), with lots of dancing boys and girls courtesy of Smash‘s acclaimed choreographer Joshua Bergasse (keep your eyes peeled to EW.com for a future feature on him, by the way). In other news, “Big” Al Pacino is coming back to Broadway next fall in a brand-new play written expressly for him by master wordsmith David Mamet, about a billionaire taking a fateful phone call before semi-retirement. And Emma Stone is getting ready to take over for Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles in Cabaret (EW jumped on that as well this week). And EW staff is busy as ever covering the fall openings, with six new productions this week, including a new musical based on Davy Rothbart’s famous series of found notes and letters, and new plays with live hot tubs and full meals; no expense-spared entertainment! (Click on the links below for full reviews.)

On the Town  The classic boys-on-a-day-pass from the Navy musical gets a large-scale revival with expert hoofers Tony Yazbeck, Megan Fairchild and Clyde Alves (with the comic stylings of Jackie Hoffman). Did senior editor Thom Geier have a helluva time? He calls it “spirited and surprisingly frank…But the biggest laughs of the evening go to Broadway veteran Hoffman, who serves up a rare culinary treat in her gut-busting recurring role as the heroine’s delusional vocal instructor: She’s a kosher ham.” EW grade: B+

While I Yet Live  Last year, Billy Porter won the musical best actor Tony for Kinky Boots so what was net on the horizon for him? Playwright, of course! He tells a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up black, gay and religious in a troubled family. Melissa Rose Bernardo praises its leading lady, Law & Order star S. Epatha Merkerson, dubbing her physical performance “astonishing”, but indicates the play has some issues: “Porter’s intentions may be beyond reproach; the fault is merely in his execution.” EW grade: C+ READ FULL STORY

First look: Emma Stone as Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret'

Let’s give Emma Stone a warm willkommen to Broadway.

The 25-year-old actress will make her Broadway debut—finally—in just under a month, stepping into the silky stockings of club singer Sally Bowles in the hit Broadway revival of Cabaret. Prior to her first go-round at the Kit Kat Klub, EW has the first look at Stone’s seductive style in the flashy, Tony-winning role. READ FULL STORY

This Week on Stage: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Rupert Grint tear up the town

Two buzzy new plays opened on Broadway this week. It’s Only a Play, a Terrence McNally comedy reuniting Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, is proving to be anything but an only at the box office. It’s averaging 1.2 million bucks per week and 101 percent attendance. The madcap sendup of Broadway roasts a lot of boldface names; one of its biggest targets — New York Times critic Ben Brantley — had a surprisingly good sense of humor about the depiction of himself. Also opening this week is the stateside premiere of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon’s best-selling 2003 novel. (Note: If you see the show, don’t head too quickly for the exit post-curtain call, trust me.) In other news, after falling slowly (ba-dum-bum) for some months now in ticket sales, the Tony-winning musical Once is throwing in the towel on Jan. 4 after a nearly two-year run.  Andrew Rannells winds down his run in Hedwig and the Angry Inch this weekend to make way for Dexter star Michael C. Hall in his first musical role on Broadway in over 10 years. Here are EW’s reviews of this week’s new Broadway plays (click on the links below for full reviews): READ FULL STORY

Firsts & Worsts: Annaleigh Ashford on 'Sex,' superstition, and Cyndi Lauper

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Fresh off a fantastic turn on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, Annaleigh Ashford has settled back into a familiar home on Broadway, where the stage veteran is slaying audiences as horrible dancer (but excellent candymaker) Essie in the hit revival of You Can’t Take It With You.

READ FULL STORY

Lindsay Lohan grasps for lines in first night of stage debut

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Lindsay Lohan’s first night on stage in the West End production of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow was a little rough, to say the least—though some are saying her performance can still be salvaged. READ FULL STORY

Hear three tracks from the all-star 'Here Lies Love' remix album

The Public Theater’s thrilling production of the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim disco musical Here Lies Love—and its remarkable concept album featuring everyone from Florence Welch to Steve Earle to Cyndi Lauperdidn’t seem like they could get any more boogie-down. But the immersive disco musical about the rise and fall of Philippines power couple Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos (which earned an ‘A’ grade in its initial review by senior writer Kyle Anderson last year) is now issuing a remix album featuring these artists and more —including Tori Amos, Sia, and St. Vincent.

All proceeds from the album—which also includes the original cast recording—go directly to Gawad Kalinga, an organization dedicated to typhoon relief and ending poverty in the Philippines for 5 million families by 2024. READ FULL STORY

Andrew Rannells talks 'Hedwig' pressure, 'Girls' Broadway connections

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

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