Welcome to GRACE NOTES – the industry standard for daily theatre news since 1999.

Published every Monday-Friday morning, GRACE NOTES is the only global theatre newsletter targeted specifically to successful, savvy theatre professionals, providing the most comprehensive, concise and up-to-date theatre information around. It’s the one-stop resource for all your theatre news. 

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SAMPLE ISSUE:  Thursday, February 20, 2020

Today’s Highlights:

* West Side Story, directed by Ivo van Hove, featuring Shereen Pimentel (Maria), Isaac Powell (Tony), Yesenia Ayala (Anita), Amar Ramasar (Bernardo), Dharon E. Jones (Riff), Ahmad Simmons (Diesel), Danny Wolohan (Officer Krupke), Jacob Guzman (Chino), Kevin Csolak (A-Rab), Matthew Johnson (Baby John), Daniel Oreskes (Doc), Pippa Pearthree (Glad Hand), and Thomas Jay Ryan (Lt. Schrank), with Alexa De Barr, Daniel Ching, Gabi Campo, Gino Cosculluela, Marc Crousillat, Stephanie Crousillat, Roman Cruz, Tyler Eisenreich, Armando Eleazar, Marlon Feliz, Satori Folkes-Stone, Constance Francois, Carlos Gonzalez, Jennifer Gruener, Jarred Manista, Michaela Marfori, Michelle Mercedes, Michael Seltzer, Corey John Snide, Sheldon True, Ricky Ubeda, Madison Vomastek, Tony Ward, Bridget Whitman, and Kevin Zambrano, opens at Broadway’s Broadway Theatre.

* IAMA Theatre Company‘s Found, by Hunter Bell, Lee Overtree & Eli Bolin, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, featuring Jonah Platt (Davy), Jordan Kai Burnett (Denise), and Michael Millan (Mikey D.), with Sheila Carrasco, Parvesh Cheena, Desi Dennis-Dylan, Tom DeTrinis, Zehra Fazal, Ryan W. Garcia, and Karla Mosley, opens at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

* Sideways the Experience, by Rex Picket, directed by Dan Wackerman, featuring Gil Brady (Jack), Kimberly Doreen Burns (Maya), Allison Briner Dardenne (Phyllis), Stephen Elrod (Brad), Jenny Latimer (Victoria), Brian Ray Norris (Miles), Jenny Strassburg (Terra), and Oliver Wadsworth (Tasting Room Manager), begins previews at Off-Broadway’s Theatre at St. Clements.

* Cyrano de Bergerac, currently running through Feb. 20 at London’s National Theatre, starring James McAvoy, broadcast at theaters nationwide. Click here to find a theater near you.

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   Reviews for Anatomy of a Suicide at Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater:

NY Times (Alexis Soloski): …Cleareyed, comfortless, often dazzling, like sun on ice, Anatomy of a Suicide follows three generations of women tethered to life by the thinnest possible filament… also, somehow, a bleak love letter to mothers trying the best they can… Time and the script move both horizontally and vertically… director  Lileana Blain-Cruz allows female characters to exist in all their complex humanity, without sanding down or slicing off any of the unlikable or unreconcilable bits… The tone throughout is cool…which privileges language and rhythm over emotion… The production…does aestheticize women’s suffering, though it rarely romanticizes it.

Hollywood Reporter (Frank Scheck): Everyone toils away during Alice Birch’s new play, Anatomy of a Suicide: The audience, which attempts to decipher three separate but interconnected storylines being depicted simultaneously; the actors, who display perfect, split-second timing as they deliver dialogue constructed with the complexity of a musical fugue; and most of all the British playwright herself, who has created this jigsaw puzzle of a theatrical event that seems less designed to convey its provocative themes than to illustrate her formalistic cleverness… It’s all elegantly constructed and formally impressive…

Theatermania (Haley Levitt): Family legacy is a difficult thing to trace, and an even more difficult thing to dramatize. With that in mind, Alice Birch deserves points for both bravery and invention… Three scenes, three timelines, and three emotional crises unfold simultaneously… But can minds and adrenal glands handle such a cacophony of input? That is the main question your agitated brain will be sorting through on your way home… The answer may very well be different for every person… All three of these women are giving beautiful, complex performances with nuanced depictions of depression and the inner turmoil that eventually compels someone to suicide…

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  LA’s Ahmanson Theatre has announced its 2020-21 season:

* The Lehman Trilogy (Oct. 20 – Nov. 28), adapted by Ben Power, directed by Sam Mendes.  A transfer from London’s National Theatre.

* Dear Evan Hansen (Dec. 1 – Jan. 23, 2021)

* Les Misérables (Jan. 26 – Feb. 28), directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell.

* Hadestown (Mar. 3 – Apr. 4)

* To Kill a Mockingbird (Apr. 29 – June 6)

* Come From Away (June 9 – July 24)

* The Prom (July 6 – Aug. 8)

* Ain’t Too Proud (Aug. 11 – Sept. 5)

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  An Actors Fund benefit performance of Diane: A True Musical Story will take place Mon. Mar. 16 at 8 PM at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre.

The cast stars Jeanna de Waal (Diana), Roe Hartrampf (Prince Charles), Eric Davie (Camilla Parker Bowles), and Judy Kaye (Queen Elizabeth).

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  Video: Sneak peek at Broadway’s Mrs. Doubtfire in rehearsal, starring Rob McClure.

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  Celebration Theatre presents a reading of Terry Guest’s At The Wake of a Dead Drag Queen on Tues. Feb. 25 at 7:30 PM at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers, directed by Michael A. Shepperd.  Although the reading is free, donations will be gratefully accepted.

Devere Rogers, David Tran, and Tyler Ronca.

Courtney Berringers would like to welcome you to her wake! But — make no mistake — this ain’t your grandma’s funeral

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  A concert presentation of Aron Accurso, Jill Abramovitz & Leah Napolin’s The Dogs of Pripyat will take place Mon. Mar. 2 at 7 PM at NYC’s Green Room 42, directed by Erin Ortman.

  Zachary Noah Piser, Kerry Butler, Alexander Gemignani, Lisa HOward, Taylor Iman Jones, Don Darryl Rivera, and Dana Steingold, with Iris Beaumier, L.R. Davidson, Kennedy Kanagawa, William Ryall, Christianne Tisdale, and Jacob Keith Watson.

The musical is inspired by the true story of the abandoned dogs of Chernobyl, who learned to survive and even thrive under unimaginable circumstances.

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   Annaleigh Ashford will star as Gina in Chuck Lorre’s CBS pilot “Plan B.”

The sitcom follows single dad Drew, who is in need of a kidney when he runs into Gina, who offers to donate the organ.

Timeline and additional information TBA.

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  Cassie Ahiers, Anthony Lombard, John Lombard & Brad Kemp’s The Mountain Digby, to run Mar. 13-22 at Hollywood’s Hudson Theatre Mainstage, directed by Ahiers.

Charlie Barnett, Anthony Lombard, Brock Harris, Rashwan Scott, E.R. Fightmaster, Lauran September, Golden Garnick, Tyler Davis, Ian Bratschie, Susan Glynn, and Erin Rein.

Two outcast worm farmers fight to turn their hill into a mountain and save their family’s land, no matter the cost (or body count).

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  Video: Highlights from Encores! Mack & Mabel, starring Douglas Sills and Alexandra Socha.

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  The Lehman Trilogy will run Sept. 11 – Oct. 11 at San Francisco’s A.C.T., directed by Sam Mendes.

Casting TBA.

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  Ahrens & Flaherty’s Dessa Rose in concert will take place Fri. Mar. 6 at 8 PM at MD’s Olney Theatre Center, directed by Monique Midgette, with music direction by Christopher Youstra.

  Awa Sal Secka (Dessa Rose), Gracie Jones (Ruth), and more TBA.

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  Kristen & Bobby Lopez have announced their new film project.  They’re developing a musical version of Jen Wang’s novel “The Prince and the Dressmaker.”

They will be working with Amy Herzog and Marc Platt to adapt the novel.

Set in Paris, the story follows Prince Sebastian, whose parents are scouring the country for a bride for their son. But Sebastian leads a secret life. By night, he dons spectacular dresses and goes out as Lady Crystallia, a Parisian fashion icon. His best friend, dressmaker Frances, is the only one who knows the truth, and she doesn’t want the credit for her creations to be secret anymore.

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  Barrett Foa Has Friends will take place Mon. Feb. 24 at 8 PM at Hollywood’s Catalina Jazz Club, with music direction by Doug Peck.  Proceeds will go to PAWS LA.

  Laura Bell Bundy, Alex Ellis, Carly Hughes, Chris Mann, Adam Pascal, and The Levenbirds.

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  Goodspeed Musicals has announced creative teams for it 2020 season:

* South Pacific (Apr. 17 – June 28), directed by Rob Ruggiero, with choreography by Ralph Perkins, and music direction by Adam Souza.

* Anne of Green Gables (July 10 – Sept. 13), by Matte O’Brien & Matt Vinson, with choreography by Jennifer Jancuska, and music direction by Adam Souza.

* Candide (Sept. 25 – Nov. 29), directed by Darko Tresnjak, with choreography by Bill Burns, and music direction by Adam Souza.

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  The world premiere of James Lapine, Tom Kitt & Michael Korie’s Flying Over Sunset will begin previews Mar. 12 and open Apr. 16 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, directed by Lapine, with choreography by Michelle Dorrance.

Carmen Cusack (Clare Boothe Luce), Harry Hadden-Paton (Aldous Huxley), Tony Yazbeck (Cary Grant), Erika Henningsen, Jeremy Kushnier, Emily Pynenburg, Michele Ragusa, Robert Sella, Laura Shoop, and Atticus Ware.

In Act I, Grant, Huxley, and Luce each take LSD for the first time — and Lapine sticks to history. But in Act 2., he imagines what it would be like if the trio dropped acid together. But don’t just think of this musical as “the LSD music.”  Rather, Lapine and company explore the lives of these 3 stars as they use LSD to introspect and discover deep psychological truths.

 Video: First look (5:36)
Video: The cast divulges discoveries about their characters (5:49)
Video: The cast discusses what the show really is (2:49)

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  “The Shrink Next Door,” adapted from the Bloomberg Media podcast, is currently in development (no network or streaming service is attached at this time).

Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell, with more TBA.

Inspired by true events, the series is a dark comedy, following the bizarre relationship between Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Rudd), psychiatrist to stars, and Martin “Marty” Markowitz (Ferrell). Over the course of their relationship, Ike slowly takes over Marty’s life, even moving into Marty’s home and taking over his family.

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  jackbenny: And on the 366th Day will take place Sat. Feb. 29 at 8 PM at LA’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex Intimate Theatre.

  Valerie Perri, Billa Hicks, Nina Herzog, and Jonnie Reinhart. with guitarist John Schroeder.

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  Derrick Baskin (Otis Williams) and Ephraim Sykes (David Ruffin) will depart Ain’t Too Proud on Feb. 26 at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre.

They will be replaced by Nik Walker (Otis Williams) and Matt Manuel (David Ruffin) on Feb. 28.