Joe DiPietro Is Creating New Dr. Seuss Musical If I Ran the Circus with Pop Star Nate Ruess
by Andy Lefkowitz on January 28, 2020 at 10:08 PM
Joe DiPietro, the two-time Tony-winning Memphis co-creator readying for a Broadway return with Diana, has another stage project on the horizon. DiPietro is working with Nate Ruess, front man of the indie pop band Fun., on If I Ran the Circus, a new musical based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. Nate Ruess (Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images) "I'd gotten a call about this project a couple of years ago," DiPietro told Broadway.com. "They told me they wanted to turn If I Ran the Circus into a musical, and I'm a big Seuss fan. But then they said, 'And Nate Ruess is writing the score.' I was a huge admirer of his Some Nights album. I remember thinking whoever wrote this should write a musical because the music is so melodic and theatrical." Based from the story in the 1956 children's book, the show centers on a little boy named Morris McGurk who tries to re-create his father's favorite circus in an attempt to bring his fragmented family back together. In DiPietro's adaptation, Morris' story is placed even more front and center. "The book is really for preschoolers, so I made Morris the lead character," ...
The Six Wives Club: Meet the Cast of the New Broadway Musical
by Diep Tran on January 28, 2020 at 9:43 PM
The Six queens greeted their subjects on January 28 at the Queensyard restaurant. The cast and creators of Six answered questions for the press and posed for photos. The new musical is a look at the six ex-wives of King Henry VIII, reinterpreted as contemporary pop divas. As actor Samantha Pauly told Broadway.com in an interview: "It’s like a big pop-rock concert, but we’re also teaching you a history lesson. Which is fun." The queens are Pauly, Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Brittney Mack, Anna Uzele and Abby Mueller. They also talked about the surprising popularity of the musical, which has inspired a legion of fans (who call themselves the queendom) even before it's touched down on Broadway. "It’s just blown up so rapidly," remarked Mueller, who is also Broadway.com’s newest vlogger. "The gospel has just spread because it’s so infectious and positive and inspiring. It’s really, really cool to be a part of something like that.” Also present were show creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, as well as co-director Jamie Armitage. See photos of the queens together and watch them dish about the new show below. Six co-creator Toby Marlow, co-creator and co-director ...
The Phantom of the Opera's Maree Johnson on Why Madame Giry Is the Strong Female Role We Need
by Michael Appler on January 28, 2020 at 9:40 PM
Maree Johnson plays Madame Giry, the inscrutable and mystifying ballet mistress curiously familiar with the opera's more rowdy downstairs tenant, in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Take it from a seasoned Phantom professional: Giry is no benchwarmer, says Johnson. Kelsey Connolly and Maree Johnson in The Phantom of the Opera“She reminds me of many strong women that you come across in life, especially in the arts,” Johnson told Broadway.com’s Paul Wontorek in a recent #LiveAtFive interview. “There’s a dedication. There’s a commitment to her artistry. She’s very passionate and disciplined, and it just makes sense, especially for this era. Being the ballet mistress and the choreographer, she has an air of authority and carries herself with some emotional background and compassion, too.” Giry is also the person who delivers notes between the opera house's management and the Phantom, making her motives mysterious. "There’s something mysterious about her that we’re not quite sure,” Johnson continued. “She’s involved in every character, shadowing them or delivering a note. She’s kind of steering the ship, really.” Johnson has had some time to dive deep into Giry’s authoritative persona. While she’s played the ballet mistress on Broadway ...
Backstage at The Phantom of the Opera with Ben Crawford, Episode 5: Great Ideas
by Broadway.com Staff on January 28, 2020 at 8:48 PM
Star Ben Crawford gets a lot of good ideas from The Phantom of the Opera company backstage at the Majestic Theatre.
Joshua Henry, Judith Light & Bradley Whitford Join Cast of Tick, Tick...BOOM! Film
by Andy Lefkowitz on January 28, 2020 at 7:28 PM
Three more stars have signed on to appear in the upcoming Tick, Tick...BOOM! movie. Three-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry, two-time Tony winner Judith Light and three-time Emmy winner Bradley Whitford have joined the cast of the previously announced movie musical. Henry, who will play the role of Roger, is known for his Tony-nominated turns in Carousel, Violet and The Scottsboro Boys. Light, who will play Rosa Stevens, won Tonys for The Assembled Parties and Other Desert Cities and recently concluded an Emmy-nommed turn in Transparent. Whitford, an Emmy winner for The West Wing, The Handmaid's Tale and Transparent, will portray legendary songwriter Stephen Sondheim. They join the previously announced Andrew Garfield as Jon, Vanessa Hudgens as Karessa, Robin De Jesús as Michael and Alexandra Shipp as Susan. Based on Jonathan Larson's stage musical, Tick, Tick...BOOM! tells the story of aspiring theater composer Jon who is waiting tables in New York City while writing Superbia—which he hopes will be the next great American musical, finally giving him his big break. Jon is also feeling pressure from his girlfriend, Susan, who is tired of continuing to put her life on hold for Jon's career aspirations. Meanwhile, his best friend and ...
Anna Uzele, Abby Mueller and More on Bringing the Reign of New Musical Six to Broadway
by Broadway.com Staff on January 28, 2020 at 5:48 PM
Six star Anna Uzele, Abby Mueller, co-creators Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow talk about the new musical's world domination and arriving on Broadway.
Watch Les Miz Tour Javert Preston Truman Boyd's Luminous Performance of 'Stars'
by Lindsey Sullivan on January 28, 2020 at 5:00 PM
Preston Truman Boyd is currently on the road playing Inspector Javert on the national tour of Les Misérables, but this isn't his first time taking on Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon. "I played Valjean in my high school production," he explained. But he found himself attracted to Jean Valjean's archenemy Javert. "I recall thinking 'Stars' was such a great anthem for this man of justice Javert," Boyd recalled when he came by Broadway.com HQ to perform Javert's anthem to his righteousness and goal of bringing Valjean to justice. "I remember wondering if I would ever play 'the bad guy.'" In taking on this new role, Boyd has learned that Les Miz's "bad guy" contains multitudes—not unlike the stars he sings about: "Javert is a man of the law and is truly setting out to do his duty. In his own eyes, he is doing what is right." Watch Boyd's take on this musical theater classic, and visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com to find out when the Les Misérables tour is headed to your city!
Broadway.com #LiveatFive with Maree Johnson of The Phantom of the Opera
by Broadway.com Staff on January 28, 2020 at 4:54 PM
Maree Johnson stops by Broadway.com HQ to chat about The Phantom of the Opera, its 32nd annniversary and more with Paul Wontorek.
New York Pops Announces Broadway Stars Set to Perform During 2020-2021 Season at Carnegie Hall
by Andy Lefkowitz on January 28, 2020 at 4:38 PM
Six Broadway favorites have been selected to lend their voices to the 2020-2021 season of The New York Pops. Steven Reineke will music-direct and conduct the 8:00pm concerts, each set to appear in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall over the next year. The season will open on October 16, 2020 with Tony nominee Norm Lewis (most recently seen on Broadway in Once on This Island) singing selections from his career on stage, including lead turns in Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Porgy and Bess and Sweeney Todd. Next up, Tony nominee Denée Benton (Hamilton, The Great Comet) will join Corey Cott (Bandstand, Newsies) and Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA for This Land Was Made for You and Me. Scheduled for November 13, 2020, the concert will salute the songs that have defined America throughout the past and present, while honoring the artistry that will shape the nation's future. Two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Cinderella) will ring in the holiday season with the concert Merry and Bright on December 18 and 19, 2020. Together with Essential Voices USA, Osnes will perform traditional carols and contemporary classics. The Pops will collaborate with the ballet company NYTB/Chamber Works on February ...
Meryl & Me: Beth Leavel on Swapping Roles with Streep in The Prom & Devil Wears Prada
by Andy Lefkowitz on January 28, 2020 at 3:25 PM
"If you're going to give your child to someone, I think Meryl's probably the best person," Tony winner Beth Leavel jokes about swapping roles with three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep. Leavel is referring to the fact that Streep will be playing Leavel's Tony-nominated role of stage diva Dee Dee Allen in the Netflix adaptation of Broadway's The Prom. Meanwhile, Leavel will take on Streep's Oscar-nommed role of fashion editor Miranda Priestly in the upcoming Devil Wears Prada musical. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada (Fox 2000 Pictures) Leavel, who recently triumphed in a sold-out concert engagement at Feinstein's/54 Below, is clearly taking the swap in stride, expressing excitement about her upcoming project. "I can't wait to play this phenomenal role, this strong woman with so many complexities. And she's going to look gorgeous," Leavel says of Miranda. "The Devil Wears Prada is one of my favorite films ever, and I don't know many people who don't feel that way. I'm so excited to see how this creative team [Elton John, Shaina Taub, Paul Rudnick and Anna D. Shapiro] are going to make it sing. Not all movies lend themselves to song. I think ...
Got It All Figured Out: Watch Jagged Little Pill's Celia Rose Gooding, Lauren Patten & More Perform 'Hand in My Pocket'
by Michael Appler on January 28, 2020 at 3:09 PM
The cast of Alanis Morissette's jukebox musical Jagged Little Pill performed on Late Night with Seth Meyers on January 27. Led by Celia Rose Gooding and Lauren Patten, the ensemble sang "Hand in My Pocket," Morissette's 1995 number-one hit that easily transfers to the stage as a song of teenage uncertainty and indifference. Shelly would be proud. (And maybe Judith Light, too.) Watch the cast's performance below.
Jordan Fisher Takes Over Title Role in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway
by Andy Lefkowitz on January 28, 2020 at 5:00 AM
The Tony-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen welcomes Jordan Fisher to the cast on January 28. Fisher takes over the musical's title role from Andrew Barth Feldman, who took his final bow at the Music Box Theatre on January 26. Fisher made his Broadway debut in November 2016 as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in Hamilton. Ahead of that turn, in January 2016 he flirted with musical theater as Doody in Fox's Grease Live! Fisher first worked with Dear Evan Hansen director Michael Greif in January 2019 when he played Mark Cohen in Fox's Rent: Live, which Greif also helmed. Fisher's other screen credits include the Teen Beach Movie franchise, Liv and Maddie and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. He was crowned winner of the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars. Fisher joins a current cast that includes Tony nominee Christiane Noll as Cynthia Murphy, Jessica Phillips as Heidi Hansen, Ivan Hernandez as Larry Murphy, Jared Goldsmith as Jared Kleinman, Gabrielle Carrubba as Zoe Murphy, Phoebe Koyabe as Alana Beck and Dan Macke as Connor Murphy. As previously announced, David Jeffery will take over the role of Connor Murphy on February 11.
A Story to Tell: Go Behind the Scenes with These Exclusive Backstage Photos at The Inheritance
by Michael Appler on January 27, 2020 at 9:46 PM
The Inheritance has a cast of 13 men, each engaged in telling Matthew Lopez's cross-generational study of gay life, community and the legacy of AIDS in America. For the actors who take on Lopez's two-part play, totaling nearly seven hours of acting, life backstage is a mix of fun and liveliness, solemnity and silence when needed. Take a look at these powerful exclusive photos of Andrew Burnap, Kyle Soller, Samuel H. Levine, Paul Hilton and the cast of The Inheritance as they go through a typical show day. The cast shares a quiet moment before the top of the second play.Samuel H. Levine and Andrew Burnap get dressed while Kyle Soller does a handstand.Lois Smith checks her hair before she goes on stage.Backstage at the Barrymore Theatre, there is a wall that contains faces of various artists (actors, painters, dancers) that have died of AIDS. Among them is a photo of composer Michael Friedman.View the Full Gallery Here
Beginning of the Road: See the Cast of Roundabout Theater's 72 Miles to Go... in Rehearsal
by Michael Appler on January 27, 2020 at 9:30 PM
Roundabout Theater Company's world premiere play 72 Miles to Go..., set to being performances at the Laura Pels Theatre on February 13, is now in rehearsals. Featuring Elena Ramirez, Tyler Alvarez, Jacqueline Guillena, Bobby Moreno and Triney Sandoval, 72 Miles to Go... tells the story of a recently deported mother in Nogales, Mexico and the painstaking distance between her and her family in Arizona. Written by Hilary Bettis and directed by Obie winner Jo Bonney, 72 Miles to Go... marks only the second offering by a playwright of color to be produced at Roundabout's off-Broadway theater in 10 years. See the cast and creatives in rehearsal below. 72 Miles to Go... will play until May 3. Playwright Hilary Bettis and director Jo Bonney.Actors Tyler Alvarez and Jacqueline Guillen.Actors Jacqueline Guillen, Bobby Moreno and Tyler Alvarez.
Broadway Grosses: Innovative West Side Story Revival Draws Full Houses in Previews
by Broadway.com Staff on January 27, 2020 at 9:30 PM
The fresh Broadway revival of West Side Story is nearing hit status, and it hasn't even reached opening night. The exciting new take on the classic musical from director Ivo van Hove has performed well with audiences since previews began, and this past week it posted a strong gross of $1,590,210.50, packing the Broadway Theatre to 100% capacity. While the production has experienced some unanticipated speed bumps since the start of its run, this new staging remains a must-see for audiences. West Side Story doesn't officially open on February 20, but with strong buzz and well-sold houses, the time to book tickets for this unique production is now. Here's a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending January 26. FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross) 1. Hamilton ($2,674,005.00) 2. Moulin Rouge! The Musical ($1,652,702.00) 3. The Lion King ($1,615,226.00) 4. West Side Story ($1,590,210.50) 5. Tina—The Tina Turner Musical ($1,536,310.00)UNDERDOGS (By Gross) 5. Chicago ($628,048.15) 4. My Name Is Lucy Barton ($537,802.20)* 3. The Inheritance ($424,249.50) 2. A Soldier's Play ...
The Point of No Return: See the Cast of The Phantom of the Opera Celebrate the Show's 32-Year Anniversary
by Broadway.com Staff on January 27, 2020 at 8:21 PM
The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running show in Broadway history, and on January 26, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony-winning musical marked 32 years at the Majestic Theatre. After the anniversary performance, cast members John Riddle, Eryn LeCroy, Meghan Picerno and Broadway.com vlogger Ben Crawford gathered under the chandelier (maybe not the best place to stand?) to celebrate Phantom's birthday. See the cast toast the milestone below (and if you need party supplies for your own Phantom-versary party, click here). John Riddle, Meghan Picerno and Ben Crawford in costume.Co-stars Meghan Picerno and Ben Crawford.
Odds & Ends: Inheritance & Slave Play Scribes to Be Honored by Human Rights Campaign & More
by Broadway.com Staff on January 27, 2020 at 8:16 PM
Here's a quick roundup of stories you might have missed today. Inheritance & Slave Play Scribes to Be Honored by Human Rights Campaign The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, has announced Matthew Lopez and Jeremy O. Harris as recipients of this year's HRC Equality Award. The playwrights will be honored at the 19th Annual HRC Greater New York Gala on February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Lopez is the author of the two-part epic The Inheritance, a retelling of E.M. Forster's Howards End that examines the responsibilities of gay men from one generation to the next. Harris penned Slave Play, which takes a look at interracial relationships in America; the play concluded its extended Broadway-debut run earlier this month. As previously announced, Tony-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth will receive HRC's Ally for Equality Award at the event. Brian Cox to Direct U.K. Debut of Joshua Sobol's Sinners Brian Cox, the recent Golden Globe-winning star of Succession who appeared on Broadway earlier this season in The Great Society, will put on his director's cap next month. Cox, who helmed the American premiere of Joshua Sobol's Sinners—The English Professor in 2016, will again direct the play ...
Dear Evan Hansen Alum Alex Boniello Doesn't Want to Play Sad Characters Anymore
by Michael Appler on January 27, 2020 at 8:02 PM
Alex Boniello is tired. The two-time Broadway alum took his final bow as Dear Evan Hansen’s Connor Murphy—the troubled, outsider teen whose suicide places Evan in an impossible moral dilemma—on January 26. Before Dear Evan Hansen, Boniello made his Broadway debut in the 2015 revival of Spring Awakening as Moritz Stiefel, a character similarly marred by maladies of depression and self-loathing. And Boniello, grateful for his two-year turn in Dear Evan Hansen, is ready for a change. “It’ll be nice to not be the Prince of Darkness for a little while,” Boniello said with a laugh in a recent #LiveAtFive interview with Broadway.com's Ryan Lee Gilbert. Alex Boniello and Andrew Barth Feldman in Dear Evan Hansen. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)For all its Tony-winning success, Dear Evan Hansen is perhaps infamous for exhausting and emotionally draining its actors. Andrew Barth Feldman, who also departed Dear Evan Hansen as its title character on January 26, recently talked all about the show’s drain in his Broadway.com exit interview. In 2016, Ben Platt’s nightly tears were nearly an obsession of the theater press. Boniello joined the Dear Evan Hansen cast in 2018 and he developed a self-care ritual to keep ...
'We Started Salivating From Minute One': The Original 1981 Cast of A Soldier's Play Remember Its Beginnings
by Michael Appler on January 27, 2020 at 7:45 PM
In the late fall of 1981, a handful of little-known actors gathered on the stage of a 300-seat off-Broadway theater on West 55th St. in Manhattan. The actors—among them were Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Peter Friedman—sat down to read a new play. It was called A Soldier’s Play by a young playwright named Charles Fuller; it was a psychological drama about the roots of self-hatred and internalized racism. Within a year, A Soldier’s Play would win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. “There was a silence that passed across that table and that room when the stage manager said ‘End of play,’” recalled actor Eugene Lee of that very first read. “We started salivating from minute one, from the very first read,” he remembered. Or to put it more bluntly, “We looked at each other and went ‘Holy Sh—t. We’re taking this to the Super Bowl,” exclaimed original cast member Steve Zettler. A Solder’s Play recently opened on Broadway for the first time, in a new production starring Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier (who joined the cast of A Soldier’s Play in 1983 as a replacement). At the opening night were ...
Watch Les Miz Tour Star Preston Truman Boyd's Powerful Rendition of 'Stars'
by Broadway.com Staff on January 27, 2020 at 7:14 PM
Preston Truman Boyd is playing Inspector Javert on the national tour of Les Misérables. Hear his incredible rendition of "Stars."