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SAMPLE ISSUE:  Friday, June 2, 2017

This Weekend’s Highlights:

Friday, June 2

* Deathless, by Zack Zadek, directed by Tina Landau, featuring Jennifer Damiano (Hayley Serling), Sean Allan Krill (Kevin Serling), Johnny Shea (Justin Lartney), Kelli Barrett (Samantha Serling), and  Jessica Phillips (Michelle Serling), opens at Goodspeed‘s Norma Terris Theatre.

* Family Ties, by Daniel Goldstein, directed by Kevin Moore, featuring Jim Stanek (Alex), Eve Plumb (Elyse), Lawrence Redmond (Steven), Thea Brooks (Mallory), Sara Mackie (Jennifer), and Maggie Lou Rader (Ellen), opens at Dayton’s Human Race Theatre.

* Rogue Machine‘s In the Valley of the Shadow, world premiere by Katherine Cortez, directed by Elina de Santos, featuring Dylan Arnold, Larry Poindexter, Ethan Rains, Rachel Sorsa, Tania Verafield, and Karen White, opens at Hollywood’s Met Theatre.

* Rogue Machine’s We Are Not These Hands, by Sheila Callaghan, directed by Larry Biederman, featuring Albert Dayan, Cicily Glouchevitch, and Emily James, opens (late night) at Hollywood’s Met Theatre.

* Dogfight, by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul & Peter Duchan, directed by Jennifer Oundjian & Jennifer Strattan, featuring Payson Lewis, Nicci Claspell, Trent Mills, Spencer Strong Smith, Emily Morris, Peter Allen Vogt, Stephanie Andersen, Austin Powell, Aliya Stuart, Nevada Brandt, Harrison Meloeny, Everjohn Feliciano, Emily Barnett, Erik Hall, and Jilli Marine, opens at Hollywood’s Hudson Mainstage.

* Ira Lee Collings: Life is a Song So Why Not Sing It, opens at NYC’s Don’t Tell Mama.

* Peccadillo Theater Company‘s Zero Hour, written by & starring Jim Brochu, directed by Piper Laurie, begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Theatre at St. Clements.

* Man of La Mancha, directed by Glenn Casale, featuring Davis Gaines (Don Quixote), Nikki Crawford (Aldonza), Roland Rusinek (Sancho), Rich Hebert (Padre), Michaelia Leigh (Antonia), Jenny McGlinchey (Housekeeper), Jeff Skowron (The Barber), and Shannon Stoeke (Dr. Carrasco/Duke), with Greg Butler (Governor/Innkeeper), Timothy Hughes (Pedro), Joe Komara (Tenario), Kailyn Leilani (Fermina), Rachel McLaughlan (Maria), Eric Stretch (Juan/Horse), Michael Stumpfig (Jose), Michael Thomas-Visgar (Captain of the Inquisition), John B. Williford (Paco/The Donkey), and Jenna Wright (Moorish Dancer), previews at La Mirada Theatre.

* 42nd Street Moon‘s Kismet benefit concert, directed by Daren A.C. Carollo, featuring Jason Graae (the Wazir), Chris Vettel (Haaj the Poet), Elise Youssef (Lalume), Jennifer Mitchell (Marsinah), Noel Anthony (Caliph), and Stephanie Rhoads (Narrator), with Mike Birr, John Brown, Peter Budinger, Juan Castro, Ryan Lee Henry, Amanda Johnson, Kyra Kozlenko, Stewart Lyle, Scott Maraj, Maria Mikheyenko, Andrew Mondello, Anne Norland, Daniel Olson, Josselyn O’Neill, Paul Plain, Leandra Ramm, Zac Schuman, Laurie Strawn, and Nanci Zoppi, at 8 PM at San Francisco’s Marine’s Memorial Theatre (also June 3).

* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Broadway cast album released digitally. (CD released June 23).   Download here.

* Holiday Inn Broadway cast album, starring Bryce Pinkham, Lora Lee Gayer, Corbin Bleu, Megan Lawrence, Megan Sikora and Lee Wilkof, released digitally  (CD released July 21).   Download here.

* The Trouble With Doug, by Will Aronson & Daniel Maté, directed by Victoria Clark, closes at Denmark’s Fredericia Theatre.

Saturday, June 3

* From Camelot to California, directed by Chase Brock, featuring Chuck Cooper, Lilli Cooper, Lauren Worsham, Bryce Pinkham and Ryan Silverman, opens at NYC’s 92Y.

* The Man in the Ceiling, by Jules Feiffer & Andrew Lippa, directed by Jeffrey Seller, featuring Andrew Lippa (Uncle Lester), Jonah Broscow (Jimm Jibbett), Erin Kommor (Lisi), Bretty Gray (Charlie Beemer) and Danny Binstock (Father), opens at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theatre.

* Man of La Mancha, directed by Glenn Casale, featuring Davis Gaines (Don Quixote), Nikki Crawford (Aldonza), Roland Rusinek (Sancho), Rich Hebert (Padre), Michaelia Leigh (Antonia), Jenny McGlinchey (Housekeeper), Jeff Skowron (The Barber), and Shannon Stoeke (Dr. Carrasco/Duke), with Greg Butler (Governor/Innkeeper), Timothy Hughes (Pedro), Joe Komara (Tenario), Kailyn Leilani (Fermina), Rachel McLaughlan (Maria), Eric Stretch (Juan/Horse), Michael Stumpfig (Jose), Michael Thomas-Visgar (Captain of the Inquisition), John B. Williford (Paco/The Donkey), and Jenna Wright (Moorish Dancer), opens at La Mirada Theatre.

* The Other Mozart, written by & starring Sylvia Milo, directed by Isaac Byrne, opens at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre.

Washington National Opera’s Trading Voices: The WNO Gala Concert, featuring Aretha Franklin, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Leslie Odom Jr, Jordan Donica, Denyce Graves, and Renée Fleming, at 6:30 PM at the Kennedy Center.

* BC/EFA‘s Broadway Bares Fire Island benefit, at 7 & 9 PM at Fire Island Pines’ Whyte Hall.

42nd Street Moon‘s Kismet benefit concert, directed by Daren AC Carollo, featuring Jason Graae (the Wazir), Chris Vettel (Haaj the Poet), Elise Youssef (Lalume), Jennifer Mitchell (Marsinah), Noel Anthony (Caliph), and Stephanie Rhoads (Narrator), with Mike Birr, John Brown, Peter Budinger, Juan Castro, Ryan Lee Henry, Amanda Johnson, Kyra Kozlenko, Stewart Lyle, Scott Maraj, Maria Mikheyenko, Andrew Mondello, Anne Norland, Daniel Olson, Josselyn O’Neill, Paul Plain, Leandra Ramm, Zac Schuman, Laurie Strawn, and Nanci Zoppi, at 8 PM at San Francisco’s Marine’s Memorial Theatre.

* Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim concert, at 7 PM at 54 Below.

* Pride @ The Wallis concert, with the LA Gay Men’s Chorus, at 8 PM at Beverly Hills’ The Wallis.

* Lady Antebellum in concert, at 7:30 PM at the Hollywood Bowl.

* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time closes at London’s Gielgud Theatre, after 3+ years (1,500+ performances).

* All Our Children, written & directed by Stephen Unwin, featuring Edward Franklin, Rebecca Johnson, Lucy Speed, Colin Tierney, and David Yelland, closes at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre.

* Occupational Hazards, world premiere by Stephen Brown, directed by Simon Godwin, featuring Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Nezar Alderazi, Waj Ali, Silas Carson, Amy Cudden, Vangelis Christodoulou, Vincent Ebrahim, Aishya Hart, John Mackay and Johndeep More, closes at London’s Hampstead Theatre.

* Hamlet, dual-language production (English/Farsi), directed by Tom Ridgely, featuring Arian Moayed (Hamlet), Sherie Rene Scott (Gertrude), and Micah Stock (Horatio), Barzin Akhavan (Ghost, Player King, Priest), Amir Arison (Laertes), Maryam Atei (Player Queen, Lady), Brendan Averett (Captain, Sailor, Ambassador), Cary Donaldson (Fortinbras), Andrew Guilarte (Claudius), Abraham Makany (Marcellus, Guildenstern), Arash Mokhtar (Barnardo, Rosencrantz), Ajay Naidu (Polonius, Gravdigger), Sathya Sridharan (Osric, Voltemand, Player), and Sheila Vand (Ophelia), closes at Off-Broadway’s Sheen Center.

* SpeakEasy Stage‘s The Bridges of Madison County, directed by M. Bevin O’Gara, featuring Jennifer Ellis (Francesca Johnson) and Christiaan Smith (Robert Kincaid), with  Peter S. Adams, Rachel Belleman, Christopher Chew, Kerry A. Dowling, Katie Elinoff, Will McGarrahan, Taylor Okey, Ellen Peterson, Nicolas Siccone, Edward Simon, and Alessandra Valea, closes at Boston’s Calderwood Pavilion.

Sunday, June 4

* The Blank Theatre‘s The Blank Soirée, A Benefit Reunion, honoring April Webster, Austin Winsberg and 260 young playwrights, at 6 PM at Project Club LA (6356 Hollywood Blvd).

* The Fantasticks closes at Off-Broadway’s Snapple Theatre Center, after 4,390 performances (a total of 17,162 performances, including the Sullivan Street Playhouse run).

* Church & State, by Jason Odell Williams, directed by Markus Potter, featuring Rob Nagle, Nadia Bowers, Christa Scott-Reed and Jonathan Louis Dent, closes at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages.

* Venus, by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Lear deBessonet, featuring Hannah Cabell, John Ellison Conlee, Randy Danson, Adam Green, Birgit Huppuch, Zainab Jah, Kevin Mambo, Patrena Murray, Reynaldo Piniella, Julian Rozzell, and Tony Torn, closes at Off-Broadway’s Signature Theatre.

* Seven Spots on the Sun, by Martin Zimmerman, directed by Weyni Mengesha, featuring Flora Diaz, Peter Jay Fernandez, Flor De Liz Perez, Claudia Acosta, Sean Carvajal, Rey Lucas, Cesar J. Rosado, and Socorro Santiago, closes at Off-Broadway’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

* Archduke, world premiere by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, featuring Josiah Bania, Stephanie McVay, Ramiz Monsef, Patrick Page, Stephen Stocking and Todd Weeks, closes at LA’s Mark Taper Forum.

* Objects in the Mirror, world premiere by Charles Smith, directed by Chicl Smith, featuring Daniel Kyri, Breon Arzell, Allen Gilmore, Ryan Kitley, and Lily Mojekwu, closes at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.

* Intimate Apparel, by Lynn Nottage, directed by Jade King Carroll, featuring Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Esther), Jessica Frances Dukes (Mayme), Tasso Feldman (Mr. Marks), Galen Kane (George), Kate MacCluggage (Mrs. Van Buren), and Brenda Pressley (Mrs. Dickson), closes at NJ’s McCarter Theatre.

* Man of La Mancha, directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, featuring Geoff Elliott (Don Quixote), Kasey Mahaffy (Sancho Panza), Cassandra Marie Murphy (Aldonza), Cassie Simone (Antonia/Fermina), Jeremy Rabb (Padre), Gabriel Zenone (Innkeeper/Governor), and Cynthia Marty (Innkeeper’s Wife/Maria), with Tyler Miclean, Jordan Goodsell, Andrew Joseph Perez, Michael Uribes, Mario Arciniega, and Marissa Ruiz, closes at Pasadena’s A Noise Within.


  Reviews for Red Bull Theater’s The Government Inspector at Off-Broadway’s Duke on 42nd Street:

NY Times (Ben Brantley): Oh, the vulgarity, the venality, the small-minded nastiness of those loathsome souls now crowding the stage at the Duke on 42nd Street. But aren’t they delicious, every last rotten one of them?… The pleasures afforded by this breakneck show — directed by Jesse Berger and featuring a virtuosic cast led by a path-clearing cyclone of silliness called Michael Urie… But it’s rare that a full-length narrative play is quite as merciless to every one of its characters as this is.

Huffington Post (Steven Suskin): …The Red Bull Theatre has seen fit to produce the play in resplendent fashion, complete with an exceptionally-contrived two-tier set and a large cast of fourteen… Michael Urie…Michael McGrath, Mary Testa and Arne Burton. They are joined by numerous other hams, some old reliables and some new reliables. All feast on the festivities, and the pleasure is ours… All of which points back to how sharp Mr. Gogol was… and how canny Mr. Hatcher has been in devising this playing version.

Theatermania (Zachary Stewart): If television had been invented a century earlier, Nikolai Gogol would have pioneered the sitcom. His uproarious comedy of small-town corruption, The Government Inspector, is proof enough of that… Urie kills in this role… The cast is full of great comedians: Mary Testa plays the mayor’s wife like a Russian Scarlett O’Hara (after a few vodkas). Ryan Garbayo and Ben Mehl do a fine Tweedledee and Tweedledum routine as two portly local landowners. Arnie Burton is a riot as the nosy postmaster: It’s as if John Waters wandered into a Marx Brothers film.


  Click here to vote for your favorites in the Theater Talk 2017 Tony Awards poll.


 London’s Donmar Warehouse presents a series of workshop performances of Becoming: Part One, written & performed by Rosalie Craig & Michelle Terry, to run June 27 – July 1 at Donmar’s Rehearsal Space.

Craig & Terry share their very personal experiences of giving birth six months ago, remembering now because they are already starting to forget.


 Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents Romeo & Juliet July 19 – Aug. 6 at the Boston Common’s Parkman Bandstand, directed by Allegra Libonati.

: John Zdrojeski (Romeo), Gracyn Mix (Juliet), Kario Marcel (Mercutio), Kai Tshikosi (Tybalt), Fred Sullivan Jr. (Lord Capulet), Celeste Oliva (Lady Capulet), Brandon Green (Benvolio), Ramona Lisa Alexander (Nurse), Equiano Mosieri (Friar) Laurence, Mark Soucy (Lord Montague) and Chris Everett (Lady Montague).


  Video: Theater Talk: A Dolls House, Part 2 and Anastasia.


 As you may remember, Rebecca producers Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza sued Marc Thibodeau after he sent emails under a fabricated name that pointed an anonymous investor to published reports of fraud involving some of the investors behind the show. The jury found Thibodeau not liable on the defamation count, but guilty charges for breach of contract and tortious interference came with a $90,000 pricetag in damages—significantly less than the $10 million initially sought by the show’s producers.

In a motion filed May 31 with the New York State Supreme Court, however, Sprecher and Forlenza requested that the jury’s award on damages be set aside, stating it was “inconsistent with the evidence and has no rational basis.”

Rebecca’s lead producers, who still owe their investors millions, are petitioning for a new trial that will be solely focused on the question of damages for the tortious interference guilty verdict.


  An auction of personal property belonging to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher will begin Sept. 23 through Profiles in History. With over 1,500 lots, the auction is expected to continue for several days.  Click here for more information.

Items include:
* Fisher’s life-size “Princess Leia” with blaster statue in a vintage wooden phone booth. This is the figure that was featured by Fisher in her HBO special “Wishful Drinking”

* Reynolds’ “Kathy Seldon” lavender silk chiffon dress from the “You Were Meant For Me” musical sequence in “Singin’ in the Rain”

* Fisher’s on-set chair with personalized chair back that is embroidered “Star Wars: The Saga Continues” used on “Return of the Jedi”

* Reynold’s “Annie” two-piece stage costume from “Annie Get Your Gun”

* Fisher’s life-size C-3PO with electronic lighting elements

* Reynold’s “Molly Brown” costume from the “Belly Up to the Bar, Boys” music number in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”

* Landmark collection of vintage motion picture cameras and lenses including Francis Ford Coppola’s cameras from “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now”

A portion of the proceeds will go to both Ms. Reynolds’ charity The Thalians and The Jed Foundation, a charity chosen by Billie Lourd, daughter of the late Ms. Fisher.


  A public developmental reading of Charles Leipart’s Chez Rikers: An Urban Fable will take place Tues. June 6 at 7 PM at Off-Broadway’s Theater for the New City, directed by Richard Sterne. Suggested donation of $5.

: Penny Fuller and Tony Roberts, with Sen Enver, Fenton Li, Rafa Nadal and Gloria Sauve.

A social political comedy. A prison cell on Rikers Island. Meg and Sam Massey, a well-to-do couple in their 60s find themselves and their neighbors held in protective custody as Manhattan streets rage with fire bombs and police sirens. Meg and Sam are certain they will be placed in a limousine and returned to their Park Avenue apartment-as soon as the squatters are removed. In the meantime, they experience a decidedly unsentimental education in class distinctions and urban politics. But who gets the fine crystal, china, and the Van Goghs?


 Audio:  Audra McDonald, “Beyond the Moon,” written specifically for her by Michael John LaChiusa in the film version of “Hello Again,” to premiere June 4 in Toronto.


Initial casting has been announced for Pittsburgh CLO‘s summer season:

* The Little Mermaid (June 14-25) features Diana Huey (Ariel), Eric Kunze (Prince Eric), Melvin Abston (Sebastian) and Jennifer Allen (Ursula).

* In the Heights (July 7-16) features Joshua Grosso (Usnavi), Stephanie Klemons (Vanessa) and Patricia Phillips (Abuela Claudia).

* Newsies (July 18-23) features Joey Barreiro (Jack Kelly), Beth Laird (Katherine) and Ed Watts (Joseph Pulitzer).

* Mamma Mia! (July 28 – Aug. 6) features Erika Henningsen (Sophie Sheridan), Matt Bogart (Sam Carmichael), George Merrick (Harry Bright) and Christian Whelan (Bill Austin).

* Million Dollar Quartet (Aug. 8-13) features James Snyder (Elvis Presley), Derek Keeling (Johnny Cash), Martin Kaye (Jerry Lee Lewis) and Billy Flynn (Carl Perkins.


  Complete casting has been announced for Larry Shue’s The Nerd, to run June 23 – July 15 (opening June 24) at Bucks County Playhouse, directed by Marc Vietor.

: Joe Kinosian (Rick Steadman), Grant Shaud (Warnock), Zuzanna Szadkowski (Clelia Walgrave), Kyle Cameron (William Cubbert), Clea Alsip (Tansy McGinnis), Gavin Lee (Axel Hammond) and Avey Noble (Thor Waldgrave).


  The vocal selections for Dear Evan Hansen will be released June 5.
  Pre-order here.


  Video: Trailer for “Murder on the Orient Express,” starring Judi Dench (Princess Dragomiroff), Kenneth Branagh (Hercule Poirot), Johnny Depp (Ratchett), Michelle Pfeiffer (Mrs. Hubbard), Penélope Cruz (Pilar Estravados), Leslie Odom Jr. (Dr. Arbuthnot), Josh Gad (Hector MacQueen), Daisy Ridley (Mary Debenham) and Willem Dafoe (Gerhard Hardman).

The film will be released in theaters on Nov. 10.


 The Public Theater has announced its 2017-18 season:

* Measure for Measure (Sept. 18 – Oct. 29), world premiere of Elevator Repair Service’s unique take on this Shakespeare comedy.

* Tiny Beautiful Things (Sept. 29 – Nov. 12), return engagement written by & starring Nia Vardalos, directed by Thomas Kail.

* Oedipus El Ray (Oct. 3 – Nov. 12), by Luis Alfaro, directed by Chay Yew.

* Office Hour (Oct. 17 – Dec. 3), by Julia Cho, directed by Neel Keller. A taut new drama about a teacher and student desperate to change the narrative of who they are and how their story ends.

* Illyria (Oct. 22 – Nov. 26), by Richard Nelson. The play follows the triumphs and struggles of a young Joe Papp.

* Kings (Jan. 30 – Mar. 25), world premiere by Sarah Burgess, directed by Thomas Kail. A play about money, politics and the state of the American republic.

* Low Road (Feb. 13 – Apr. 1), by Bruce Norris, directed by Michael Greif. Set in the 18th century, the play imagines America’s first laissez-faire capitalist.

* Mlima’s Tale (Mar. 27 – May 20), by Lynn Nottage. The story of Mlima, a magnificent elephant trapped in the international ivory market.

* Fire in Dreamland (July 17 – Sept. 2), by Rinne Groff, directed by Marissa Wolf. The story takes place on Coney Island, in the aftermath of 2013’s Superstorm Sandy, and examines the incredible things we do when faced with devastation. Performances will run July 17–September 2, 2018, with direction by Marissa Wolf.

  Buñuel, the working title of the forthcoming new musical by Stephen Sondheim & David Ives, which is being developed by the Public, is not featured in the new season.


  Actors Equity Association has announced that Nicole S. Smart will be the union’s first-ever Director of Diversity, effective immediately.


  FAME 35th Anniversary Reunion Concert (to benefit the Actors Fund), will take place Thurs. July 13 at 8 PM at West Hollywood’s Troubadour.

: Debbie Allen, Jesse Borrego, Cynthia Gibb, Erica Gimpel, Billy Hufsey, Carlo Imperato, Valerie Landsburg and P.R. Paul.