Thursday, June 27, 2013

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Today’s Highlights:

Roundabout‘s The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin, by Steven Levinson, featuring Christopher Denham, Lisa Emery, Sarah Goldberg, David Morse and Rich Sommer, opens at Off-Broadway’s Laura Pels Theatre.

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years opens at Paris’ Auguste Théâtre.

* The World Goes ‘Round, featuring Michelle Aravena, Janine DiVita, Tom Hewitt, David Josefsberg and Emily Skinner, opens at PA’s Bucks County Playhouse.

* 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, featuring Caitlin Chuckta, Rachel Farmer, Megan Johns, Thea Lux, and Maari Suorsa, opens at Off-Broadway’s Snapple Theatre Center.

Services for James Gandolfini at 10 AM at NYC’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Open to the public.

Scott Alan and Christy Hall’s Home industry-only readings, featuring Diane Ladd, Kendra Kassebaum, Allie Trimm and Lilla Crawford, at Noon and 3 PM in NYC.


Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale will star in the Broadway engagement of the new Jason Robert Brown/Marsha Norman musical The Bridges of Madison County, directed by Bartlett Sher.  Previews begin Jan. 13, with an opening in February (date TBA).

 The Bridges of Madison County website.


  Cameron Diaz has signed on to play Miss Hannigan in the film version of “Annie.”


A Night With Janis Joplin, which has played numerous regional venues around the country, will begin previews Sept. 20 and open Oct. 10 at Broadway‘s Lyceum Theatre.

Written and directed by Randy Johnson, the production stars Mary Bridget Davies,  Additional casting TBA.

A Night With Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating the inspirations of one of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest legends.”

  A Night with Janis Joplin website.


Initial casting has been announced for a reading of Ben Andron’s The Legend of Bobby Stone and the Good Feeling Hat, to take place July 1 at 2 PM in NYC, directed by Peter Scolari.  Reservations are required:

The cast features Harris Doran, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Julia Mattison, Christy Carlson Romano, Sam Seder, Keala Settle, and Max Von Essen.

In The Legend of Bobby Stone, “a young television gossip reporter gets more than he bargained for when he interviews the notoriously crazy Bobby Stone, forcing him to interview the man and not the legend.”


Despite mixed reviews, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has extended its run through May 31, 2014 at the West End’s Theatre Royale Drury Lane.

  Video:  Highlights from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


Elizabeth Fuller’s Me and Jezebel will play at Off-Broadway’s Snapple Theater Center, with previews beginning July 17 and opening July 24, directed by Mark S. Graham.

The cast includes Ms. Fuller and Mr. Kelly Moore.

“On May 28, 1985, star-struck Elizabeth Fuller’s dream came true when the legendary Bette Davis came to dinner at her dilapidated New England cottage.  Four weeks later, as the hotel strike in New York raged on, she was still there. In one short month she conquered suburbia, took over the Fullers’ home and changed their life forever.  Me and Jezebel is a candidly funny day-to-day account of trying to please the irascible queen of Hollywood in so adverse a condition as ordinary life – it’s a look at the explosive, intimidating and demanding Bette Davis that no fan would expect: participating in a séance, berry picking, signing autographs at McDonald’s, and remaining every inch the superstar while riding shotgun in a beat up Toyota!”


 Audio:  Kinky Boots dance remix.


Casting has been announced for San Diego’s Old Globe production of The Rainmaker, to run July 13 – Aug. 11 (opening July 18), directed by Maria Mileaf.

The cast stars Danielle Skraastad and Gbenga Akinnagbe, along with Tug Coker, Peter Douglas, Kyle Harris, John Judd and Herbert Siguenza.


Peter Filichia‘s new book, “Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks: A Very Opinionated History of the Broadway Musicals That Did not Win the Tony Award” is now available on Kindle and hardcover.

  Download/Order here.


Prae Se Ferre/The Producing School, a newly established resource designed to teach the “ins and outs” of producing live theater in Los Angeles, offers its first workshop, LA Theater Producing Intensive, on July 6 from 10 AM – 4:30 PM at Hollywood’s MET Theatre.

Sponsored by LA Stage Alliance, Footlights Publishing, Inc. and Plays411, the all-day LA Theater Producing Intensive will utilize the expertise of top Los Angeles theater professionals to cover topics including budgeting, press and publicity, advertising and marketing, Actors’ Equity, fundraising, physical production, creative development, production management, company management, social media, ticketing, staffing and casting.

Click here for more information and to sign up.


Additional casting has been announced for Shakespeard’s Globe’s all-male repertory productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III at Broadway‘s Belasco Theatre, with previews beginning Oct. 15 and an opening set for Nov. 10, directed by Tim Carroll. This will mark the Broadway debut of Shakespeare’s Globe.

Previously announced: Mark Rylance (Olivia in Twelfth Night and Richard III), Stephen Fry (Malvolio in Twelfth Night) and Samuel Barnett (Viola in Twelfth Night and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III).

Newly announced: Liam Brennan (Orsino inTwelfth Night and Clarence and Lord Mayor inRichard III), Paul Chahidi (Maria in Twelfth Night and Hastings and Tyrell in Richard III), John Paul Connolly (Antonio in Twelfth Night and 1st Murderer, Cardinal, Ratcliff and Halberdier in Richard III), Peter Hamilton Dyer (Feste in Twelfth Night and Brakenbury and Catesby in Richard III), Colin Hurley (Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and King Edward IV and Stanley inRichard III), Jethro Skinner (Fabian in Twelfth Night and 2nd Murderer, Messenger and Halberdier in Richard III), Angus Wright (Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night and Duke of Buckingham in Richard III), Terry McGinty (Sea Captain and Priest in Twelfth Night and Scrivener, Rivers and Blunt in Richard III).

Additional casting TBA.

 Twelfth Night/Richard III website.


  According to the LA Times, Reprise Theatre has officially closed its doors after a long hiatus since 2012.

Founded in 1997, it has failed to raise the necessary funds to keep it running. Reprise sent an email to subscribers this week notifying them that the company is ceasing operations. “We spent the past sixteen months on hiatus to explore different sources of funding, possible new venues, and the potential of expanding our programming,” the email said.


  Rumor:  Will King Kong open on Broadway in 2014?


Lindsay Mendez and Ryan Scott Oliver will host Actor Therapy July 8 at 11:30 PM at 54 Below.

Featured performers (from Mendez and Oliver’s weekly Actor Therapy masterclass): Risa Dorken, Bo Clark, Stefanie Miller, Noah Zachary, Melissa Castillo, Matthew Silva, Michael Gioia, Alaina Fragoso and Nick Cox.


The film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years (starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan) will also include actors from the original and Off-Broadway revival productions:

Sherie Rene Scott, Jason Robert Brown, Jessica Molaskey, Betsy Wolfe, Brad Simmons and possibly Norbert Leo Butz.


New TKTS program –  TKTS 7-Day Fast Pass:

The TKTS 7-Day Fast Pass permits TKTS patrons to return to the discount ticket booth within seven days of their TKTS purchase and walk up to Window #1 with their TKTS ticket stub, avoiding the longer lines at peak hours.


Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty‘s Nice Fighting You: A 30th Anniversary Celebration will take place Sept. 26-28 at 54 Below.

“Drawing from their vast body of work, a changeable feast of Broadway stars perform the team’s best-known songs, as well as lesser-known gems, cut songs and sneak peaks at new shows. And who knows, Lynn and Stephen may even be cajoled into getting onstage.”


Initial casting has been announced for Disney’s live-action film version of “Cinderella,” directed by Kenneth Branagh:

Helena Bonham Carter (Fairy Godmother) and Cate Blanchett (Wicked Stepmother).

“Cinderella” has a screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna and Chris Weitz, and will open in March 2015.


  Video:  Highlights from Thoroughly Modern Millie at ME’s Ogunquit Playhouse.


Casting has been announced for Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre production of The Pirates of Penzance (reset in British Columbia), to run July 11 – Aug. 4 (opening July 18), directed and choreographed by James Rocco, with musical direction by Joel Fram.

The cast features Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (Frederic), Brandon O’Neill (Pirate King), David Pichette (Major General), Anne Eisendrath (Mabel) and Anne Allgood (Ruth), along with Billie Wildrick, Cayman Ilika, Jenny Shotwell, Katherine Strohmaier, Ryah Nixon, Corinna Munter, Kirsten Helland, Michelle Ankrim, Sarah Rose Davis, Lindsey Hedberg, Greg Stone, Matt Owen, Blaine Boyd, CJ Eldred, Henry Nettleton, Tobias McCurry, Riley Neldam, Jared Michael Brown, Matt Posner, Dane Stokinger, Aaron Shanks, Andrew Davison, Nick DeSantis, Heather Saunders, Eric Hagreen and Matt Wolfe.


Anthony Wayne will direct and star in You Make Me Feel, Mighty Real: A Sylvester Concert, which returns to NYC’s (le) Poisson Rouge June 30 at 7 PM and 10 PM.

The cast also features Anastacia McCleskey, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Antoine L. Smith and Rashidra Scott.


Clarke Peters‘ Songs I Love to Sing will play London’s The Pheasantry July 8-11.


Will Young will reprise his Olivier-nominated performance as the Emcee in Cabaret for a new U.K. tour, which runs Aug. 28 – Dec. 8.  Rufus Norris directs.

Additional casting TBA.


Joe Traina will shoot his second independent film, “Lucky Stiff,” in August.

The cast features Michael McGrath, Lee Wilkof, Simon Jones, Emily Tyra, Charlotte Booker, Rob Breckenridge, Quinn Lemley and Fyvush Finkel.


Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1955 Pipe Dream, based on John Steinbeck’s novels “Cannery Row” and “Sweet Thursday,” will receive its London stage premiere July 31 – Aug. 31 at Southwark’s Union Theatre.

Directed by Sasha Regan, with choreography by Lizzie Gee and musical direction by Christopher Peake.

Casting TBA.


Brian D’Arcy JamesUnder The Influence returns to 54 Below Sept. 5-7, directed by Carl Forsman with musical direction and arrangements by Dan Lipton

“Get up close and personal with Brian as he plays out his rock ‘n roll fantasies with tunes from Billy Joel, Phil Collins and more.”


Burbank’s Falcon Theatre has announced its 2013-14 season:

* Twilight Zone Unscripted (Aug. 28 – Sept. 20), an Impro Theatre production, directed by Joe McGinley and Stephen Kearin.

* Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful (Oct. 16 – Nov. 17), by Charles Ludlam, directed by Jenny Sullivan.

* Walkin’ in a One-Hit Winter Warlock Wonderland (Dec. 4 – Jan. 19), a Troubadour Theater Company production, directed by Matt Walker.

* Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner, A Sort of Romantic Comedy (Jan. 29 – Mar. 2), by Alan Zweibel.

* The Last Act of Lilka Kadison (Mar. 19 – Apr. 19), by Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips, Heidi Stillman and Andy White, directed by Dan Bonnell.


Remy Auberjonois will join the cast of MTC‘s The Assembled Parties beginning July 9 at Broadway’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Auberjonois replaces Jeremy Shamos, who departs July 7.


The cast recording of the current West End production of A Chorus Line (which closes Aug. 31 at the Palladium), will be released Sept. 16 on Dress Circle.


It was announced yesterday that Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars needed to raise $500,000 by July 12, and an additional $500,000 by Aug. 30 if the theater is to remain in business.

A statement from Atlanta’s Fox Theatre President and CEO, Allan Vella:  “We are disappointed that Theater of the Stars has cancelled the upcoming engagement of BUDDY -The Buddy Holly Story and we are concerned about their need to conduct an emergency fundraising campaign or cease to operate if their financial goals are not met. The Fox Theatre has played host to Theater of the Stars productions since 1984 and Theater of the Stars has been a part of our history and success. The Fox Theatre has been empathetic of the economic challenges Theater of the Stars has faced in the past and has supported Theater of the Stars in numerous ways since they first began presenting shows at the Fox Theatre. We sincerely hope that they are able to recover from this fiscal challenge.”


Dee Dee Bridgewater will portray the late, legendary jazz artist Billie Holiday in the celebrated play-with-music Lady Day, written and directed by Steven Stahl, which will now begin previews Sept. 19 at Off-Broadway’s Little Shubert Theatre prior to an official opening Oct. 3.

The cast also features David Ayers (Robert, Billie Holiday’s manager) and Rafael Poueriet (Assistant Stage Manager), with bass player Jim Cammack, saxophone player Ken Hitchcock, drummer Jerome Jennings and pianist Bill Jolly in the speaking roles of the onstage musicians.

 Lady Day website.


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