GRACE NOTES: Thursday, March 5, 2015

Today’s Highlights:

* Fish in the Dark, written by & starring Larry David, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, featuring Rita Wilson, Rosie Perez, Ben Shenkman, Lewis J. Stadlen, Jayne Houdyshell, Jake Cannavale, Marylouise Burke, Jerry Adler, Jenn Lyon, Jonny Orsini, Molly Ranson, Maria Elena Ramirez, Rachel Resheff, Joel Rooks, Jeff Still, Kenneth Tigar, and Richard Topol, opens at Broadway’s Cort Theatre.

* For the Record: Dear John Hughes, directed by Anderson Davis, featuring Patrick Mulvey, Jackie Seiden, Ruby Lewis, Joanna Jones, James Byous, Payson Lewis, Ciaran McCarthy, Rumer Willis (Mar. 5-8 only) and Evan Rachel Wood (Mar. 12-15 only), opens at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at the Water Tower Place.

* The English Bride, by Lucile Lichtblau, directed by Marya Mazor, featuring Elizabeth Knowelden, Allan Wasserman and Steven Schub, opens at North Hollywood’s Road on Magnolia.

* Circle X Theatre Company’s Trevor, by Nick Jones, directed by Stella Powell-Jones, featuring Laurie Metcalf and Jimmi Simpson, with Malcolm Barrett, Bob Clendenin, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Jim Ortlieb and Brenda Strong, begins previews at LA’s Atwater Village Theatre.

* Very Very Rock Show in Concert, by Zac Lasher & Jay Leibowitz, featuring Rebecca Naomi Jones, Alysha Umphress, Joe Carroll, Eric LaJuan Summers, Genson Blimline, Kacie Sheik, Theo Stockman, Matthew Hydzik, Ben Roseberry, Larry Owens, Sara Kapner, Kasie Gasparini, Zac Lasher, Jay Leibowitz, Anna Ty Bergman, Dani Marcus, Blake Pfeil, and Roger Weisman, at 9:30 PM at 54 Below.


Benefit: Off-Broadway’s York Theatre presents a one-night-only benefit, The 100 Musicals in Mufti Concert Celebration, Mon. Mar. 30 at 7:30 PM in the Saint Peter’s Church sanctuary, directed by Michael Unger, with musical direction by Eric Svejcar and hosted by John Tartaglia.

Performers: Nancy Anderson, Klea Blackhurst, Jenn Colella, Robert Creighton, Gretchen Cryer, Erin Davie, Stephen DeRosa, Ben Fankhauser, Debbie Gravitte, Jessica Grové, Judy Kaye, Richard Kind, Aaron Lazar, Michael McCormick, Patrick Page, Jim Stanek, Mary Testa, Nick Wyman, Karen Ziemba, Nancy Ford,  Sheldon Harnick, Tom Jones, Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire.


Rumor Rumor:  Cirque du Soleil is looking to take over Broadway’s Lyric Theatre after the current tenant, On the Town, completes its run there.


Closing: Jonathan Christenson’s The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe will close Mar. 29 at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages.


World Premiere:  The Manhattan Shakespeare Project will present the world premiere of Macbeth: The Unsex Me Here Project, in which audiences will be able to decide which actors portray which iconic character from the play, will run Apr. 1-19 at Off-Broadway’s Access Theater Gallery, directed by Amanda Boekelheide. Audiences will be encouraged to defy traditional gender roles when casting.

Cast: Sarah Eismann, Claire Kennedy, Amanda Boekelheide, Jordan Laroya, Rob McFadyen and Brandon Petty.


ScheduleLondon Festival of Cabaret (Aprl 28 – May 11) has announced its schedule of events:

* Anne Reid & Stefan Bednarczyk: Just In Time (Apr. 28 – May 2),at Crazy Coqs

* Jack Jones: Coming Home (Apr. 28 – May 3), at the Pheasantry

* Caroline Sheen: Sondheim & So Forth (May 3), at the Jermyn Street Theatre

* Scott Alan: Everything Worth Holding On To (May 3), at the St. James Theatre

* Barb Jungr: No Regrets (May 3), at Crazy Coqs

* Scott Alan: Home Again (May 4-6), with Cynthia Erivo, at the St. James Studio

* Gary Williams & Harry The Piano: Sinatra Jukebox (May 5-9), at Crazy Coqs

* Kerry Ellis (May 7), at the Delfont Room

* Janie Dee and Friends (May 10), at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre

* Anita Harris (May 10), at the Pheasantry

* Liz Robertson in a master class (May 11), at the St. James Theatre


Tour: Initial casting has been announced for a new U.K. national tour of Hairspray, to launch Sept. 9 at Leicester’s Curve, directed by Paul Kerryson, with choreography by Drew McOnie and musical direction by Ben Atkinson.

Cast 1: Freya Sutton (Tracy Turnblad), Tony Maudsley (Edna Turnblad), Claire Sweeney (Velma Von Tussle), Peter Duncan (Wilbur Turnblad), Brenda Edwards (Motormouth Maybelle), Jon Tsouras (Corny Collins), Dex Lee (Seaweed), Ashley Gilmour (Link Larkin), Lauren Stroud (Amber), Monique Young (Penny), Karis Jack (Little Inez), Adam Price (Male Authority Figure), Tracey Penn (Female Authority Figure) and Layton Williams (Duane).


James Monroe Iglehart: How the Heck Did I Get Here? will take place Mon. May 4 at 7 PM at 54 Below.

“Iglehart relives his obsession with being cool, getting girls, and a becoming a star all while performing tunes that range from R&B and hip-hop to gospel and Broadway (and mabe a country tune).”


Change - green: Avery Fisher Hall, which was named for the Fisher electronics company founder in 1973, will be renamed David Geffen Hall this September, coinciding with the start of the New York Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season.

Geffen has made a $100 million gift to the arts organization. Executives at the arts center were already making plans to pay the Fisher family $15 million for permission to remove Fisher’s name from the building in order to seek a new benefactor to provide for the venue’s future.


TV Anika Noni Rose has landed the leading role in the CBS pilot “For Justice,” a civil rights crime drama, which also feature Phylicia Rashad.

Rose is cast as Special Agent Natalia “Nat” Chappel, “a cool, laser-focused, tough as nails FBI agent who works in the Criminal Section of the Department of Civil Rights Division and finds herself caught between the radical family she was born into and the professional family she has chosen.”


The Skivvies (Lauren Molina & Nick Cearley) next performance, Splashdance, will take place Mon. Mar. 16 at 9 PM at NYC’s 42West.

Performers 1: Adam Kantor, Phillipa Soo, Jessica Vosk, James Carpinello, Zak Resnick, Nikka Lanzarone, Robyn Adele Anderson, Ephraim Sykes and Natalie Tenenbaum.


Workshop: Glen Slater & Wendy Leigh Wilf’s Beatsville will be workshopped by NYU’s Vocal Performance program Mar. 26-29, directed by John Simpkins and choreographed by Richard Stafford.

“A ‘square’ named Walter accidentally kills a cat and hides the body in a lump of clay—only to find ‘Dead Cat’ embraced by the beatniks as a genius work of art. As things escalate, Walter has to work ever harder to keep his secret.”


William Goldman’s Misery, based on the film of the same name, will arrive on Broadway this Fall, directed by Will Frears.  Theatre and dates TBA.

Cast 1: Bruce Willis and Elizabeth Marvel.

The play made its world premiere at Bucks County Playhouse in the fall of 2012.


Video Video: Trailer for the new Netflix 13-episode series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” will debut Mar. 6, created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

Cast 1: Ellie Kemper (Kimmy), Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess and Carol Kane.

“Kimmy escapes a doomsday cult and decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, Kimmy’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore. Wide-eyed but resilient, nothing is going to stand in her way.”


New:  A new theatre company, Honest Accomplice Theatre, has announced its new Advisory Board: Gavin Creel, William Ivey Long, Audra McDonald, Greg Nobile, Jordan Roth and Jeanine Tesori.

Today: The new honorary board members will host a Kickstarter Launch Party from 7-10 PM at NYC’s Antler Beer & Wine Dispensary (123 Allen Street). There is a $10 suggested donation for the event, which features drink specials, raffles and prizes. RSVP here.


Reading - RedThe Lilly Awards Foundation has announced its Inaugural (3)Plays from The Kilroys’ List: A Reading Series, to run Mondays Mar. 9, 16 & 23 at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s Duke on 42nd Street.

FreeAdmission is free, although reservations are strongly suggested. RSVP here.

* The Comparables (Mar. 9), by Laura Schellhardt, directed by Lear deBessonet, featuring America Ferrerra and Kate Mulgrew. “Three women vie for power in the cut-throat world of high-end realty.”

* What Would Crazy Horse Do? (Mar. 16), by Larissa FastHorse, directed by Liesl Tommy, featuring Emily Bergl, Jesse Perez and Madeline Sayet. “Two Native Americans who are facing the extinction of their tribe while the first female leader of the KKK is poised to bring a gentler version of the Klan into the limelight.”

* The Tall Girls (Mar. 23), by Meg Miroshnik, directed by Leigh Silverman, featuring Kally Duling, Alexandra Henriksen, Cobie Minifie and Erin Wilhelmi. “Poor Prairie – a grim, dangerous place to eke out an existence as a teenage girl—until a handsome man with a past arrives, a brand-new basketball in tow.”


The Dramatists Guild Fund will award ten writers with scholarships to attend the Dramatists Guild National Conference July 16-19 La Jolla’s Hiton Torrey Pines.

The four-day conference hosts educational programming and networking opportunities with hundreds of writers from across the country.

Apply: Click here for application guidelines and to apply. The deadline is Apr. 1.


Atlanta’s Actors Express Theatre presents a “re-imagined immersive new production” of Jonathan Larson’s Rent July 10 – Aug. 9, directed by Freddy Ashley, with musical direction by Alli Lingenfelter and choreography by Sarah Turner.

Casting TBA.


The I Have a Dream Foundation – LA presents it Annual Dreamer Dinner Sun. Mar. 8 at 5 PM at LA’s Skirball Center, with presenters Kevin Beggs and Rosie O’Donnell.

Honoring: Chris Selak, Bradley Bredeweg & Peter Paige, Jerry Fink & David Kim, and Jason Collins. 

The Foundation “helps at-risk youth and their families become empowered members of society by providing a long-term program of academic enhancement, mentoring, tutoring and cultural enrichment with an assured opportunity for a scholarship for higher education.”


BenefitThe Actors Fund‘s benefit presentation of Seth Rudetsky & Jack Plotnick’s Disaster! will take place Tues. Mar. 10 at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages, directed by Plotnick.

Cast: Kerry Butler, Kristy Cavanaugh, Kevin Chamberlin, Max Crumm, Charity Dawson, Christine Ebersole, Saum Eskandani, Baylee Littrell, Maggie McDowell, Adam Pascal, Seth Rudetsky, Jennifer Simard, Will Swenson and Rachel York.


Steven Somkin’s Melissa’s Choice will run May 5-22  at Off-Broadway’s Lion Theatre, directed by Mel Cobb.

Cast: Jessica DiGiovanni, Ari Butler, Jed Orlemann, Stephen Bradbury, Kim Sykes and Gilbert L. Bailey II.

“Set in a remote campsite of a national forest in Oregon, Somkin’s protagonist, 28-year-old Melissa Golden, a lawyer, women’s rights advocate and staunch environmentalist who believes in population control, must face the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy and her own surprising reaction to it.”


Video Video: Sneak peek at Clinton the Musical, which begins performances Mar. 25 at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages.


Melissa Ross’ Of Good Stock will run Mar. 27 – Apr. 26 (opening Apr. 4) at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Rep, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

Cast: Corey Brill, Kat Foster, Melanie Lora, Todd Lowe, Rob Nagle and Andrea Syglowski.

“Legendary novelist Mick Stockton left his three daughters a house in Cape Cod, control over his books and a whole lot of issues. Years later, the men in their lives struggle to be part of this elusive family’s legacy. It’s not always easy keeping up with the whip-smart and very funny Stockton sisters, especially during a weekend filled with dramatic confrontations and surprising confessions. But good scotch helps. And, in the end, what matters most is family.”


Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre has announced its 2015-16 season:

* East of Eden (Sept. 17 – Nov. 15) world premiere, by John Steinbeck, adapted by Frank Galati, directed by Terry Kinney. “Set in California’s Salinas Valley, East of Eden follows Adam on a journey to escape his turbulent past, asking if it is ever truly possible to avoid the consequences of previous generations.”

* Domesticated (Dec. 3 – Feb. 7), written & directed by Bruce Norris. “This wickedly funny and entertaining comedy explores gender politics, sex and modern marriage.”

* The Flick (Feb. 4 – May 8), by Annie Baker, directed by Dexter Bullard. “The story centers on three underpaid employees working at a run-down movie house. Their impassioned debates about cinema lead to a friendship that will ultimately reveal the human desire for authentic connection.”

* Mary Page Marlowe (Mar. 31 – May 29) world premiere by Tracy Letts. “The play shows us how circumstance, impulse and time can combine to make us mysteries…even to ourselves.”

* Between Riverside and Crazy (June 23 – Aug. 21), by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Yasen Peyankov. “The story of ex-cop ‘Pops’ holding on to one of the last great rent stabilized apartments in Manhattan.”


Update - Yellow: Peter Gallagher, who returned to the Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century Mar. 3 after a week-long absence due to illness, will miss an additional three performances Mar. 4-5 of the musical as he continues to recover. Gallagher is expected to return to the show on Mar. 6.

Despite Gallagher’s Mar. 3 appearance, it was determined that additional time was needed for the actor to recover from a severe sinus infection that sidelined him from the show beginning Feb. 21.


BC/EFA presents Broadway Bets, a first-of-its-kind Broadway poker tournament, will take place Mon. May 18 at 7:30 PM (doors open at 6:30) at NYC’s Sardi’s.

Texas Hold’em-style tournaments begin with each player receiving an equal amount of chips. Two blinds are posted per hand to force the action. As play progresses, the amount of the blind bets increase. As players drop out, tables are combined until there is one final table of players competing for the championship title.

For those not quite ready to go “all in,” Broadway Bets guest passes will be available to observe the poker table action. Guests also will be able to play other casino games with an opportunity to win prizes. All prizes will be announced this spring.


Tour: A new national tour of Cabaret will launch Feb. 2, 2016 at Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center.

Casting TBA.


Posted in Newsletter | Comments Off