Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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Today’s Highlights:

Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn, starring Amy Brenneman, Beth Dixon, Virginia Kull, Kellie Overbey and Lee Tergesen, opens at LA’s Geffen Playhouse.

Val Kilmer’s Citizen Twain opens at the Pasadena Playhouse.

* 9 to 5, featuring Kelli Cramer, Susan Moniz, Alexandra Palkovic, James Moye, Marya Grandy, Ben Jacoby and Roger Anderson, opens at ILL’s Marriott Theatre.

* The National Asian American Theatre Company‘s Awake & Sing, featuring Sanjit De Silva, Mel Duane Gionson, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Mia Katigbak, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, Alok Tewari and Henry Yuk, opens at NYC’s Walker Space.

* Cats, featuring Katy Blake, Erica Cenci, Lynn Craig, Mark Donaldson, Jordan Dunlap, Molly Emerson, Jesse Factor, Blayne Gregg-Miller, Laura Elizabeth Henning , Trent Armand Kendall, Ryan Koss, Kevin Loreque, Joe Moeller, Bronson Norris Murphy, Ian Parmenter, Amanda Pulcini, Lauren Sprague, Jonathan Stahl, Erica Sweany, Lucas Thompson and Brad Trump, opens at MA’s North Shore Music Theatre.

* Cats, featuring Taylor Dayne, Cameron Bartell, Sarah Bumgarner, Andrew DiConcetto, Jessica Dillan, Aubrey Elson, KC Fredericks, Abigail Gatlin, Erica Leigh Hansen, Justin Henry, Lucy Horton, Amanda LaMotte, Patrick Mellen, Emily Palmquist, Will Porter, Ethan Saviet, Christopher E. Sidoli, Adam Ryan Tackett, Jonathan Tylicki, Josh Walden and Chaz Wolcott, opens at Auburn, NY’s Merry-Go-Round Playhouse.

* Red, featuring Tony Abatemarco and Patrick Stafford, begins previews at Long Beach’s International City Theatre.

* Kiss Me Kate free concert, featuring Marc Kudisch, Kerry O’Malley, Jake Berger,  McCaela Donovan, Jake Novak, Sara Schoch, Joe Aaron Reid, Andrew Burnap, Brian Robinson, Bryan Miner, Andrew Frank, Aubin Wise, Lenni Kmiec, Ceit Zweil and Yael Rizowy, at 7 PM at Boston’s DCR’s Hatch Shell on the Esplanade.

* Broadway Sings for PKD benefit concert, featuring songs by Gaby Alter, Landon Braverman, Derek P. Hassler, Timothy Huang, Bob Kelly, Itamar Moses, Kelly Pomeroy, and performed by Ali Ewoldt, F. Michael Haynie, Amber Iman, Janet Krupin, Bryce Pinkham, Kate Rockwell, Robb Sapp, Tally Sessions and Melanie Burg, at 11:30 PM at 54 Below.


Jason Robert Brown & Marsha Norman’s The Bridges of Madison County has finally set an opening dateFeb. 27 at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Starring Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale, the musical will begin previews on Jan. 13.


George Haimsohn, Robin Miller & Jim Wise’s Dames at Sea will set sail on Broadway in 2014, directed and choreographed by Randy Skinner.

Theatre, dates and casting TBA.

Star - Green  Dames at Sea website.


Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments, adapted by the author, will run Sept. 21 – Jan. 26 at the West End’s Palace Theatre, directed by Jamie Lloyd.

The cast features Denis Grindel, Killian Donnelly, Sean Kearns, Ben Fox, Sarah O’Connor, Stephanie McKeon and Jessica Cervi.

“Placing a classified advert in a music paper, Jimmy auditions a number of wannabes before finalising the new line up who he names The Commitments. The humour kicks in as the band get to know each other and their instruments, and proceed through early rehearsals for their first gig. Just as they improve and begin to get a name for themselves they combust. The backing singers are all getting off with the middle aged horn legend, the singer has entered Eurovision and the saxophone player has dangerous leaning towards a jazz career.”


Quotation Mark  GN Quote of the Week:  “What is that unforgettable line?”  ~ Samuel Beckett


Congratulations  53 Broadway artists spent Aug. 19 sleeping on the streets outside NYC’s Covenant House crisis shelter in solidarity with the 300 homeless youth living inside.

Broadway participants: Sebastian Arcelus, Stephanie J. Block, Rachel Brosnahan, Jeff Calhoun, Elizabeth A. Davis, Denis O’Hare, Rory O’Malley, Adriane Lenox, Michael McElroy, Alice Ripley and Frank Wildhorn.

The first-ever Covenant House Broadway Sleep Out raised over $136,000 to provide food, clothing, shelter and hope for homeless youth.


The Actors Fund’s Auction of 1000 Stars, is now open for bidding through Sept. 10.

One-of-a-kind packages include:
*  Two tickets to The Trip to Bountiful and a meet-and-greet with Vanessa Williams.
*  Two tickets to Cinderella, plus a weekend stay at the Palace Hotel.
*  House seats to Betrayal, starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz
*  Two tickets to Big Fish, including a backstage tour with Brad Oscar.
*  A special guest spot on Seth Rudetsky’s XM Radio Show, “Seth’s Big Fat Broadway.”

Bid  Check out the amazing array of available items and bid here.  New items will be announced soon.


Christopher Plummer will star in A Word or Two, written and arranged by Plummer, to run Jan. 19 – Feb. 9 at LA’s Ahmanson Theatre, directed by Des McAnuff.

“Plummer, who confesses to being ‘hooked on the intoxication of words,’ spent much of his time growing up in Montreal reading Ben Jonson, George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, Rudyard Kipling, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, Lord Byron, Dylan Thomas, W.H. Auden and Stephen Leacock, and others.”


Will Van Dyke and Friends, featuring guests Billy Porter, Annaleigh Ashford, Tamika Lawrence, Mike Wartella, Alex Brightman, Jason Gotay, Randy Blair, Matt Doyle, Katie Gassert, Preston Sadleir, Ben Crawford, David Josefsberg and Sally Wilfert, will take place Oct. 14 at 9:30 PM at 54 Below.

The concert promises songs written by Van Dyke in collaboration with Rick Elice and Matt Doyle, selections from the his 2010 recording “Chasing the Day: The Music of Will Van Dyke” and tunes from his newest recording “Writing Kevin Taylor.”


Christina Bianco‘s Diva Moments concert will take place Sept. 6-7 at London’s Hippodrome.

Guests:  Kerry Ellis (Sept 6 at 8 PM) and Anna-Jane Casey (Sept. 7 at 8 PM and 11:30 PM).


Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories will play the West End’s Arts Theatre, to run Feb. 13 – May 24 (opening Feb. 27).   

Casting TBA.

“Please be advised that Ghost Stories contains moments of severe shock and tension. The show is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 15.  We strongly advise that those of a nervous disposition to think very seriously before attending.”


Charles Fuller’s One Night… will run Oct. 17 – Nov. 24 (opening Oct. 30) at Off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre, directed by Clinton Turner Davis.

The cast stars Grantham Coleman.

One Night…. takes an unflinching look at what has happened to women in the U.S. Armed Forces when their decision to serve their country exposes them to an unforeseen battle against their fellow soldiers.  Home from war, One Night… explores the lingering effects of trauma and injustice and one woman’s recompense.”


Additional casting has been announced for the national tour of Anything Goes, to play Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center Sept. 24-29.

The cast features Rachel York (Reno Sweeney), Fred Applegate (Moonface Martin), Josh Franklin (Billy Crocker), Jeff Brooks (Purser), Joyce Chittick (Erma), Alex Finke  (Hope Harcourt), Dennis Kelly (Elisha Whitney), Vincent Rodriguez III (Luke), Marcus Shane (John), Sandra Shipley (Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt), Edward Staudenmayer (Lord Evelyn Oakleigh) and Chuck Wagner (Captain).


David Burnham: Mostly Broadway will take place Aug. 27 at 8:30 PM at LA’s Rockwell Table & Stage.


Update  NAMT‘s Festival of New Musicals Oct. 17-18:

* Paul Gordon’s Analog and Vinyl, a quirky romantic comedy set in a vintage record shop, with musical direction by Jodie Moore.

* Kevin Del Aguila & Michael Shaieb’s The Astonishing Return of…The Protagonists!, an action-packed superhero comedy, directed by Christopher Gattelli, with musical direction by Lynne Shankel.

* David Hein & Irene Sankoff’s Come From Away, about the thousands of people diverted to Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11, directed by Brian Hill, with musical direction by Dan Pardo.

* Andrew White, Andre Pluess & Ben Sussman’s Eastland, about the 1915 S.S. Eastland boating disaster in Chicago, directed by Amanda Dehnert.

* Jennie Redling, Phillip Plamer & Stacey Luftig’s My Heart is the Drum, a coming-of-age musical of a young girl fleeing her African village, directed by Schele Williams.

* Richard Oberacker & Robert Taylor’s The Sandman, directed by Valerie Gebert.  What if Clara’s nutcracker had been built by a clockmaker whose children were held hostage by the Sandman?

* Tommy Newman & Gordon Greenberg’s The Single Girl’s Guide sets Jane Austen’s Emma in 1964 Manhattan, directed by Kevin Moriarty.

* George Stiles & Anthony Drewe’s The Three Little Pigs, directed by Victoria Bussert, with musical direction by Ryan Fielding Garrett.

* Charlie Sohne’s The Boy Who Danced on Air, about an Afghanistan dancing ritual involving young boys and tradition, with musical direction by Tim Rosser.

Casting TBA.


Hollywood’s Theatre of NOTE presents the world premiere of Stacia Saint Owens’ Sheet Cake Sliding, to run Sept. 13 – Oct. 19 (opening Sept. 20), directed by Nicholas Newell.

The cast features Alysha Brady, Doug Burch, Cat Chengery, Tony DeCarlo, Alexis DeLaRosa, Jennifer Flack, Jenny Gillett, Tricia Munford, Trevor H. Olsen, Gwenmarie White and Travis York.

A self-made business executive tries to mold his family to conform to his big plans, only to find that the family is a creation as complex and dangerous as Frankenstein’s monster.  A black comedy narrated by two pet Dalmations and acted by characters who don’t want to be in the play, Sheet Cake Sliding is a post-modern Willie Loman story for the latter half of the 20th century.”


Sally Struthers will star in a 50th anniversary tour of Hello, Dolly!, which will launch Oct. 5 at NJ’s Edward Nash Theatre, directed by Jeffrey B. Moss, with choreography by Bob Richard.

The cast also features John O’Creagh (Horace Vandergelder), Matt Wolfe (Cornelius Hackl), Lauren Blackman (Irene Molloy), Garrett Hawe (Barnaby Tucker), Halle Morse (Minnie Fay), Brad Frenette (Ambrose Kemper) and Hilary Fingerman (Ermengarde).

Click here for the complete tour schedule.


Charlotte Parry completes the cast of Roundabout‘s upcoming revival of Terrence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy, to run Sept. 20 – Dec. 1 (opening Oct. 17) at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre.

The cast also features Roger Rees, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Cumpsty, Alessandro Nivola, Zachary Booth, Spencer Davis Milford, Chandler Williams, Meredith Forlenza, Stephen Pilkington and Henny Russell.

“A moving exploration of family devotion,The Winslow Boy beautifully illustrates the costs of unconditional love and the rewards that make the effort priceless.” The Winslow Boy premiered in London in 1946 and on Broadway in 1947.


Upcoming at NYC’s Birdland in September:

Sept. 2: Christopher Sieber‘s Minnesota Boy Does Well: Tales From Back & Center Stage.

Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Jim Caruso’s Cast Party

Sept. 9: Steven Brinberg as Simply Barbra, celebrating Marvin Hamlisch with Mostly Marvin, with special guest Erik Altemus.

Sept. 16: The Pop Show Presents…Michael Jackson!

Sept. 23: The Return of Motgomery, Mayes & Stritch.

Sept. 29Amanda Green & Hardbody Friends, with special guests Keith Carradine, Alison Case, Jenn Colella, Kathleen Monteleone, Bill Newman, Jacob Ming Trent, Jon Ruaand William Youmans

Sept. 30: Jeff Harnar Sings – Alex Rybeck Plays: The 30th Anniversary Show.


Donna Murphy has joined the cast of the upcoming Lifetime movie “House of Versace,” premiering Oct. 5.

Murphy plays “Maria,” the loved and trusted head seamstress who has been with Versace from the start.


Sick  London’s Donmar Warehouse has cancelled a number of performances of The Same Deep Water as Me, up to and including the evening performance tonight.  This is due to Daniel Mays being incapacitated by an injury.

“We are confident that Daniel will make a speedy recovery and we are monitoring his progress on a day to day basis. In the meantime we are rehearsing in another actor to cover the role and performances are due to recommence at 2:30 PM on Aug. 22.”


La Toya Jackson joins the cast of NEWSical the Musical on Sept. 3 at Off-Broadway’s Kirk Theatre.


Vincent Piazza has joined the cast of the “Jersey Boys” film in the role of Tommy DeVito.


Old Jews Telling Jokes, featuring Dara Cameron, Chuck Rea, Marilyn Sokol, Todd Susman, and Steve Vinovich, will close on Sept. 15, after 22 previews and 552 regular performances at Off-Broadway’s Westside Theatre.


Marion Cotillard has signed on to play the role of Lady Macbeth in Justin Kurzel’s “Macbeth” film.  Michael Fassbender is reportedly taking on the title role.

Production is scheduled to begin in January.


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