Wednesday, February 29, 2012



* Broadway’s Leap of Faith offers Leap Year special! Today only, $29 tickets available for orchestra and mezzanine seats for April 3-7 previews. In person, by phone, or online.

* The Whipping Man opens at Hartford Stage.

* Spamalot opens at LA’s Pantages Theatre.

* Hello, Dolly, starring Sally Struthers, opens at Jacksonville, FL’s Alhambra Theatre.

* Hand to God, about a possessed Christian-ministry puppet, opens at Off-Broadway’s Ensemble Studio Theatre.

* Rated P for Parenthood opens at NYC’s Westside Theatre.

* PTC@PLAY, festival of stage readings, opens at Philadelphia Theatre Company.

* High, starring Kathleen Turner, opens at Ft. Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse.

* George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis, starring Meghan Duffy, Eliza Ventura and Colleen Zenk, previews at NYC’s CAP 21.

* Standard Time with Michael Feinstein — After The Ball: Tin Pan Alley 1891-1911 concert, with Kate Baldwin and Rob Berman, at 7:30 PM Carnegie Hall.

* Roger Reese‘s solo show, What You Will, at 7 PM at Orlando Shakespeare Theater.

* Jim Caruso’s Cast Party concert, at 8 PM at LA’s Coterie (also March 1).

* Their Eyes Were Watching God radio play, starring Roslyn Huff, along with Leslie Uggams, Brandon Dirden, Chuck Cooper and Phylicia Rashad, at 7 PM at NYC’s Greene Space (also March 1).

* Alice Ripley’s new single “Beautiful Eyes” now available on iTunes.


Tony Awards calendar:

April 26: Official cut-off for 2011-12 Tony Eligibility.

May 1: 2012 Tony Nominations Announcement.

May 2: Meet the Nominees Press Reception.

May 31: Tony Nominees Luncheon.

June 9: The 2012 Tony Eve Cocktail Party presents the Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as honoring the Special award recipients will take place at the InterContinental Times Square Hotel.

June 10: The 66th Annual Tony Awards presented at NYC’s Beacon Theatre, broadcast live (ET/PT time delay) on CBS from 8 – 11 PM.


The Royal Shakespeare Company plans to bring its production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical to New York in early 2013.

Auditions for adult casting will begin in March. Further production information will be announced in the near future.


Video:  Highlights from Broadway’s Once.


DC’s Helen Hayes Award nominations:

Outstanding Director, Resident Play
David Muse, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre
David Muse, Venus in Fur, The Studio Theatre
Aaron Posner, Cyrano, Folger Theatre
Charles Randolph-Wright, Ruined, Arena Stage
Serge Seiden, Charlotte’s Web, Adventure Theatre
Paata Tsikurishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater
John Vreeke, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical
Matt August, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre
Keith Alan Baker, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Hunter Styles, Jennifer Harris and Michael Baron, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Toby Orenstein and Lawrence B. Munsey, Chicago, Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Eric Schaeffer, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Janet Stanford, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production
Michael J. Bobbitt and Fabian Barnes, Mirandy and Brother Wind, Adventure Theatre Karma Camp and Brianne Camp, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Dale Anthony Girard, Cyrano, Folger Theatre
Robb Hunter, The Walworth Farce, The Studio Theatre
Susan Shields, Stay, Theater of the First Amendment
Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Kate Arnold Wernick, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production
Jay Crowder, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre
Jon Kalbfleisch, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
James Moore, Follies, The Kennedy Center
Christopher Youstra, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Olney Theatre Center
Christopher Youstra, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play
Miřenka Čechová, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Margaret Daly, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre
Gabriela Fernández-Coffey, After the Fall, Theater J
Catherine Flye, Pride and Prejudice, Round House Theatre
Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Ruined, Arena Stage
Jennifer Mendenhall, Imagining Madoff, Theater J

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Aubrey Deeker , The Walworth Farce, The Studio Theatre
Chris Dinolfo, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Philip Fletcher, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Ted van Griethuysen, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical
Tracy Lynn Olivera, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center
Nova Y. Payton, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Kirstin Riegler, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Lauren Williams, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Rachel Zampelli, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical
Matthew Delorenzo, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Ricardo Frederick Evans, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage
Kevin McAllister, Parade, Ford’s Theatre and Theater J
Jobari Parker-Namdar, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Bobby Smith, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center
Vishal Vaidya, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Dan Van Why, National Pastime, The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production
Maximilien A. Baud, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center
Ben Cook, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center
Hayley McElhinney, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center
Hugo Weaving, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center
Patrick Wetzel, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play
Rena Cherry Brown, Wit, The Bay Theatre Company, Inc.
Jenny Jules, Ruined, Arena Stage
Ira Koval, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Mona Martínez, ¡Ay, Carmela!, GALA Hispanic Theatre
Lizan Mitchell, The Trip To Bountiful, Round House Theatre
Erica Sullivan, Venus in Fur, The Studio Theatre
Irina Tsikurishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
Mitchell Hébert, After the Fall, Theater J
Irakli Kavsadze, King Lear, Synetic Theater
James McMenamin, Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, Arena Stage
Michael Russotto, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Ted van Griethuysen, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre
Paxton Whitehead, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical
Nancy Anderson, Side By Side By Sondheim, Signature Theatre
Jessica Lauren Ball, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center
Carolyn Cole, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Kelly Karbacz, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre
Jan Maxwell, Follies, The Kennedy Center
Bernardine Mitchell, His Eye is On the Sparrow, MetroStage

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical
Rob McQuay, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage
Euan Morton, Parade, Ford’s Theatre and Theater J
Geoff Packard, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre
Tom Story, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Alan Wiggins, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production
Cate Blanchett, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center
Leah Hocking, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center
Rozina Kambos, Return to Haifa, Theater J
Melanie Marshall, Fela!, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Amy Morton, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production
Lex Ishimoto, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center
Tracy Letts, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage
J. Mark McVey, Les Misérables, The Kennedy Center
Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Richard Roxburgh, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play
¡Ay, Carmela!, GALA Hispanic Theatre
Birds of a Feather, The Hub Theatre
Cyrano, Folger Theatre
The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre
King Lear, Synetic Theater
Oedipus El Rey, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
The Walworth Farce, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical
A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre
Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Non-Resident Production
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center
Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage
Equivocation, Arena Stage
Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences
A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Aladdin’s Luck, Imagination Stage
Charlotte’s Web, Adventure Theatre
Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Adventure Theatre

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Beertown, devised by dog & pony dc, dog & pony dc
Birds of a Feather, by Marc Acito, The Hub Theatre
Cyrano, by Edmond Rostand, translated by Michael Hollinger, adapted by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner, Folger Theatre
The Heir Apparent, adapted by David Ives from the comedy by Jean-François Regnard, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Imagining Madoff, by Deb Margolin, Theater J
Lungs, by Duncan Macmillan, The Studio Theatre
Wonderful Life, adapted by Helen Pafumi and Jason Lott, The Hub Theatre

Outstanding Resident Musical
Follies, The Kennedy Center
Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre
Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Side By Side By Sondheim, Signature Theatre
The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Resident Play
A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Cyrano, Folger Theatre
King Lear, Synetic Theater
Ruined, Arena Stage
Venus in Fur, The Studio Theatre

The awards will be presented April 23, 2012 at the Warner Theatre.

Click here for a complete list of nominations.


Complete casting has been announced for the spring revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker andDaphne Rubin-Vega. Previews begin April 3, with an opening on April 22 at the Broadhurst Theatre. Emily Mann directs the  multi-racial production.

Newly added to the cast are Carmen DeLavallade, Amelia Campbell, Aaron Clifton Moten, Jacino Taras Riddick, Matthew Saldívar and Count Stovall.


GN Quote of the Week: “Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.” ~ Katherine Hepburn


Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre presents the world-premiere production of Paul Weitz’s comedy Lonely, I’m Not, starring Topher Grace  and Olivia Thirlby. Previews begin Off-Broadway April 10.

Trip Cullman will direct. The production will officially open May 7 and play to May 27. Additional casting will be announced.


Video:  Nick Jonas sings “The Brotherhood of Man.”


Off-Broadway’s The New Group has announced that Claire van der Boom will replace Lily Rabe in the world premiere of An Early History of Fire, a new work by David Rabe.

Rabe was originally announced to star as Karen in the premiere of her father’s play, which will be staged by Jo Bonney beginning April 5 towards an April 23 opening night. Performances are scheduled through May 26.


The Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced its summer 2012 season:

* A newly conceived The Importance of Being Earnest (June 26-July 14), directed by David Hyde Pierce, described as Guys and Dolls meets “Downton Abbey.”

* The Blue Deep (July 11-22), directed by Bob Balaban, starring Blythe Danner.

* Far From Heaven (July 19-29), a new musical by Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics), directed by Michael Greif and starring Kelli O’Hara.

*  Month in the Country (Aug. 1-19), directed by Richard Nelson.

* The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (July 11-22), directed by Jessica Stone.

* Whaddabloodclot!!! (Aug. 8-19), by Katori Hall.


Seth Rudetsky’s Disaster, A 1970’s disaster movie…musical, written by Rudetsky and Jack Plotnik, has extended its run at NYC’s The Triad. The production, which was originally scheduled to continue through Feb. 26, will now play through March 25.

Beginning March 4, the cast will welcome Annie Golden and Felicia Finley.


UnsubstantiatedJohn Lee Hancock, known for his work on the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” is in talks with Disney to direct the upcoming “Mary Poppins” film “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Written by Kelly Marcel, “Mr. Banks” tells the story of how Walt Disney convinced Australian author P.L. Travers to make a movie version of her classic novel “Mary Poppins.”

Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are rumored to play Disney and Travers, respectively. Disney intends to begin production on “Saving Mr. Banks” this year.


The League of Professional Theatre Women is proud to announce 30 Plays Celebrate 30 Years, honoring the 30th Anniversary of the League.

30 brand-new plays, musicals & theatrical events, curated by League members, will be presented in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens & beyond.

From site specific theatre on the prairie in central Canada, to the unveiling of a new play in London; from downtown at the New York Theatre Workshop, the Cherry Lane & HERE to Memphis & a theatrical walking tour in Central Park, this year-long series of theatrical events celebrates the creativity of women theatre artists worldwide.


Freud’s Last Session is opening yet another major U.S. production, with performances beginning at Pittsburgh Public Theater March 1, opening March 9 and continuing to April 1.

Mary B. Robinson directs a cast that includes  Jonathan Crombie and David Wohl.


Unsubstantiated: Joe Keenan and Scott Ellis‘ comedy about a gay man and his straight brother has been fast-tracked by TV Land as a half-hour sitcom sheduled for a possible June filming of a pilot.  If the sitcom begins filming, Ellis will direct the pilot.


La Mirada Theatre presents March Madness!

* The Music of Aerosmith and Bruce Springsteen, March 2 at 8 PM.

* Leon Russell, March 3 at 8 PM.

* Sha Na Na, March 4 at 3 PM

* The Spirit of Michael – The Music of Michael Jackson, a multi-media event, March 10 at 8 PM.

* In the Mood: A 1940’s Musical Revue, March 11 at 2 PM (sold out) and 7 PM.

* Chubby Checker & The Wildcats, March 17 at 8 PM.

* Eagles’ Hotel California, March 23 at 8 PM.

* Dionne Warwick, March 24 at 8 PM.

* Davy Jones Sings the Monkees and more, March 31 at 8 PM.


LA’s Elephant Theatre Company Artistic Directors David Fofi and Lindsay Allbaugh have announced that the company will be taking one year off (the 2012 season) from mounting productions, with the intention of using the year to strengthen the company, and restructure the management and membership, as well as the Board of Directors. The Elephant also plans to hire a Managing Director, and to focus on the development of sustainable fundraising initiatives.


The national tour of High, starring Kathleen Turner, stops in Minneapolis April 18-22 at the Pantages Theatre.  Evan Jonigkeit and Timothy Altmeyer are also in the cast.


Playwright Jennifer Haley has won 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn prize for her play The Nether. It was nominated by the L.A.’s Center Theater Group.


William Blake, Joshua Dixon, Natalie Douglas, Nicole Johndrow, Erin Lindsey Krom, Vicky Modica, Sierra Rein, Erik Sisco, and Nikki Van Cassele will take part in a concert celebrating the release of Scott Evan Davis’ CD “Cautiously Optimistic,” to be offered on March 14 at 8 PM at NYC’s Don’t Tell Mama.


Upcoming at Joe’s Pub in March and April:

March: Our Hit Parade featuring Bridget Everett, Kenny Mellman and Neal Medlyn (February 29, March 28, April 25, and May 30), Roslyn Hart’s comedy Never Sleep Alone (March 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30), Justin Vivian Bond (March 4, 11, 18, & 25), the latest installments of Benjamin Walker’s Find the Funny (March 6 and April 3), Bridget Everett & The Tender Moments (March 9), Alan Schmuckler (March 12), Lady Rizo (March 17 and April 12), Gavin Creel (March 19), Starsky + Cox with special guest Justin Vivian Bond (March 23), If It Only Even Runs a Minute (March 26 – see below *), Drew Gasparini with Beth Leavel, Emma Hunton, Lindsay Mendez and more (March 27),

April: The Who’s “Tommy” Burlesque Tribute (April 6), Taylor Mac (April 16), The Breithaupt Brothers Songbook featuring special guests Christian Campbell, Kevin Earley, Annie Golden, America Olivo, Tyley Ross, and more (April 17) and Melissa Errico (April 17).

* If It Only Even Runs a Minute (March 26) features two versions/ Cast members for the 7 PM performance include Meg Bussert, Cady Huffman, Richard Maltby, Jr. Anne L. Nathan, Betsy Wolfe, and David Shire. The 9 PM concert will feature Jerry Dixon, Dee Hoty, Julia Murney, Elena Shaddow, Kate Shindle, Sally Wilfert and others.


Broadway fans have the opportunity to go backstage and meet the casts of The Book of MormonRock of Ages and Chicago via upcoming online auctions through Charitybuzz.  Note:  Each auction has a different closing date.


Judy Blazer will play Vera Charles opposite the previously reported Louis Pitre in the title role of the musical Mame, to run April 20 – July 1 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. Ray Roderick will direct the production, which will have choreography by Vince Pesce.


The UK tour of Hair staring Gareth Gates has been canceled. According to the producers, “(We) are sorry to announce that unfortunately the forthcoming UK tour will not be going ahead. Despite the best efforts of all involved to keep the production moving forward, it has become apparent that certain criteria could not be met and regrettably the show will not now open in Liverpool as originally planned.”


Elaine C. Smith, who will play the role of Susan Boyle in the U.K. tour of I Dreamed a Dream, the new musical about Boyle’s life, will be joined by James Paterson and Karen Mann as Pat and Bridie Boyle, her parents; with Ashleigh Gray as Lorraine Campbell, Susan’s childhood friend; Jeffrey Harmer as Andy Stephens, Susan’s manager; and Liz Ewing as Mrs Johnstone, Susan’s school teacher.

The cast also includes Gordon Cooper, Anne Smith, Frances Mayli McCann, David Haydn and Alan McHugh, the latter of whom co-wrote I Dreamed a Dream alongside Elaine C Smith. Susan Boyle will be making special guest appearances during the run of the show.

The production, directed by Ed Curtis, with choreography by Nick Winston, begins performances at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal March 23, opens March 27, and continues to March 31, then tours to Aberdeen, Bradford, Liverpool, Dublin, Bristol, Southend, Cardiff, Birmingham, Inverness and Manchester.


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