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'Mad Men' star Vincent Kartheiser to play Billy Wilder on stage

Mad Men‘s Vincent Kartheiser is joining Larry Pine on stage in Mike Bencivenga’s new play, Billy & Ray.

In Billy & Ray—which will get its New York premiere this fall at the Vineyard Theatre—Kartheiser will play Billy Wilder alongside Pine’s Raymond Chandler, as Wilder and Chandler work together to adapt the novel Double Indemnity for the big screen.

The Off-Broadway comedy, directed by Garry Marshall, is set in 1940s Hollywood and tells the story of the birth of the film noir genre. Rounding out the cast is Sophie von Haselberg, who will play Wilder’s secretary, and Drew Gehling as a studio chief.

Previews are scheduled to begin Oct. 1 with an official opening on Oct. 20.

Broadway box office: Andrew Rannells still packs them in for 'Hedwig'

Neil Patrick Harris may have hung up his five-inch pumps, but audiences are still lining up for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. According to figures from the Broadway League, the Tony-winning musical revival took in $648,738 for the week ending Aug. 24—the first with Book of Mormon alum Andrew Rannells in the cross-dressing title role. While that’s a steep drop from NPH’s final week, when the show grossed a whopping $1.14 million, it still represents an enviable 82 percent of the potential earnings for the 1,007-seat Belasco Theatre. (Harris’ star power enabled producers to sell many more “premium” tickets for well above the average price.)

Broadway’s other new production, a revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s ’90s drama This Is Our Youth starring Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin, took home a decent $365,614 from its first seven preview performances. That’s about 58 percent of the maximum potential gross, and represents a good start for a show that will officially open Sept. 11. READ FULL STORY

Listen to three exclusive tracks from Broadway's upcoming 'On the Town'

The Bronx is up, the Battery’s down—and smack-dab in the middle, there’s the latest revival of a classic 1944 Comden/Green/Bernstein musical, coming to the newly-renamed Lyric Theatre this fall. (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark played there previously when it was dubbed the Foxwoods Theatre).

This production of On the Town—a transfer from the acclaimed Barrington Stage Company mounting—has already turned a few heads with its handsome leading trio (Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, and Clyde Alves). John Rando (Urinetown) assumes directing duties here; expect plenty of fancy footwork, thanks to choreography by Smash‘s Joshua Bergasse. And keep an eye on the chorus—one spot will go to the winner of this season of So You Think You Can Dance, starting in spring 2015.

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Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson shine as Broadway's 'Youth'

The kids are taking over the Great White Way. Since its first production in 1996, Kenneth Lonergan’s caustic comedy This Is Our Youth has attracted the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Anna Paquin, and Mark Ruffalo. And on Sept. 11, the three-person play about wealthy teens in early-’80s Manhattan makes its Broadway debut with a new trio of stars. Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson, and Michael Cera, fresh off a trial run at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, tell EW how their lives led them to This. READ FULL STORY

Watch Norm Lewis as Broadway's first African-American 'Phantom'

On May 12 of this year, Norm Lewis became the first-ever African-American actor to take on the lead role of The Phantom of the Opera on (ahem) the Great White Way. (Robert Guillaume became the first-ever actor to do it regionally in 1990.)

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Emma Stone to make Broadway debut in 'Cabaret'

It’s official: Emma Stone will make her Broadway debut in the current Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Cabaret.

The 25-year-old will replace Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, who made her debut in the role of showgirl Sally Bowles when the revival opened at Studio 54 in April. Stone will take over as Sally beginning Nov. 11 (Williams exits Nov. 9) and will play the role until Feb. 1, 2015.

Alan Cumming—who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of the show’s Emcee in the 1998 Broadway production, which serves as the basis of this revival—will extend his run through March 29, 2015, thus confirming that yet another actress may get to tread the Cabaret boards before the show’s run is through.

Stone was linked to the show in 2013 during Roundabout’s initial announcement, but film scheduling conflicts forced her to back out. Last week, word broke that she had entered negotiations to join the show when Williams vacates the iconic role.

Unrelated but completely related, Stone’s beau Andrew Garfield made his Broadway debut in 2012’s Death of a Salesman. Again, unrelated… but completely related.

Exclusive: The cast of Broadway's 'It's Only a Play' reenacts Ellen's Oscar selfie

Imagine if Jennifer Lawrence were Rupert Grint.

Okay, now take that one step further and replace Ellen DeGeneres with Matthew Broderick, Bradley Cooper with Nathan Lane, Angelina Jolie with Megan Mullally, Meryl Streep with Stockard Channing, and so on and so forth. See what we’re getting at?

Ellen’s epic Oscar selfie gets sent up, Broadway style, in the first look at the upcoming comedy It’s Only a Play. The production examines the frantic behind-the-scenes antics of a new Broadway show and the eccentric creative and business types behind it. The link to Ellen’s selfie is directly inspired by a moment in the revised script by Terrence McNally, who has refreshed the play for the 2014 audience.

Given the starry cast (not to mention the reunion of The Producers pair Lane and Broderick), expect It’s Only a Play to be one of this fall’s hottest tickets. F. Murray Abraham and newcomer Micah Stock round out the cast of the Jack O’Brien-directed Broadway play, which will open on October 9 for a limited 18-week engagement at the Schoenfeld Theatre. Previews begin August 28.

Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling to star in Off Broadway play this winter

Ahh, just what we’ve all been waiting for: Tyrion Lannister and Piper Chapman on stage together! It sounds like a TV lover’s dream mash-up to have Emmy darlings/hopefuls Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) matched together, but dream no more: The duo will topline the Classic Stage Company revival of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, beginning previews in January 2015.

The play—part of an already starry CSC 2014/15 season that also includes Peter Sarsgaard in Hamlet and Chris Noth in Doctor Faustus—concerns a young country wife named Natalya (Schilling) who becomes interested in the tutor of her young son, much to the chagrin of her good friend Rakitin (Dinklage), who is already taken with her. The production will mark the NYC stage debut of Schilling and offer up Dinklage’s first theater performance since 2007, when he appeared in the Ethan Hawke-directed play Things We Want. And it appears to be a family effort of sorts, as Month will be helmed by Dinklage’s wife, theater director Erica Schmidt (Humor Abuse).

Given the small environs of Off Broadway’s Classic Stage and its thrust setting, if you want the best chance to see these TV jailbirds in action, sooner is preferable to later. A Month in the Country begins previews at NYC’s Classic Stage Company on Jan. 9, 2015, with a limited engagement through February 15. For tickets and additional information, visit the company’s official website.

New Gloria Estefan musical will conga to Broadway in fall 2015

Be warned: The rhythm is gonna get you.

Well, not to-night but next fall, when the Gloria Estefan bio-musical On Your Feet! hits Broadway. The production colors the life and rise-up of the seven-time Grammy winner/Miami Sound Machine frontwoman, as well as the success of her longtime husband and musician/producer Emilio—who has no less than 19 (!) Grammys to his name—on their road to stardom.

Even better: If you think you got the means to let the music move your feet, the production is holding an open casting search called “Reach Gloria” in Miami and NYC this September, and submissions are now being accepted on the show’s official website. The production is to be helmed by Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), with a book by Alexander Dinelaris (Still Life) and choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys).

In a statement, Gloria says that “finding the right performers to tell our story on the Broadway stage is the most important step in this project. … Our own journey together started in Miami, a city that has been such an inspiration to us both, and it only felt right that the city be a cornerstone of our search for the next generation of bright talent.” Emilio adds, “On Your Feet! is a piece that speaks to people of every culture around the world.  We’ve seen audiences from South America to Asia, and everywhere in between, be moved by our music and we want each and every one of them to have a chance to be a part of this story and show their talent to the world.”

On Your Feet! will have an out-of-town tryout at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre from June 2-July 5, 2015, to be followed by a Broadway run at the Marquis Theatre, with previews beginning Oct. 5, 2015.

'Finding Neverland' is coming to Broadway

Peter Pan is having his moment right now, with the announcement of Peter Pan Live! at NBC, and now, a stage appearance of a different sort.

The New York Times reports that Finding Neverland, a new musical based on the 2004 film starring Johnny Depp, is coming to Broadway in March. The musical will follow the life of struggling playwright J.M. Barrie, who befriends widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her four children on his way to writing Peter Pan.

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