• Influential Filmmaker and Tony Nominee Melvin Van Peebles Dies at 89
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 22, 2021 at 9:32 PM

    Trailblazing filmmaker and three-time Tony nominee Melvin Van Peebles has died at the age of 89. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Peebles, who was sometimes called the "godfather of modern Black cinema" passed away on September 21 at his home in Manhattan. Born on August 21, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois as Melvin Peebles (he later added the Van to his name), he went on to graduate from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1953 before joining the Air Force. He is known for creating and starring in 1971's Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, for which he also served as the film’s composer and editor. He made his Hollywood directorial debut with Watermelon Man in 1970. Van Peebles wrote six plays, created 11 albums and has over 20 film credits to his name. His first Broadway musical was Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, for which he wrote the music, book and lyrics. As previously reported, Tony winner Kenny Leon is set to direct the first Broadway revival of the show. Filmmaker Mario Van Peebles, Melvin’s eldest son and longtime collaborator, will serve as the creative producer for the production, which will play at a Broadway theater to be announced in 2022. Set on …

  • Tony Awards FAQ! Everything You Need to Know About the 74th Annual Tony Awards
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 22, 2021 at 8:36 PM

    The 74th annual Tony Awards are almost here! We've pulled together some frequently asked questions about Broadway's starriest ceremony so you can find all of the answers in one place. Happy Tonys, everybody!When are the 74th Annual Tony Awards? Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 7PM ET. Where can I watch the Tony Awards ceremony? The awards ceremony will begin at 7PM ET on the streaming service Paramount+. At 9PM ET, viewers must switch over to watching CBS live to find out who won in three Tony categories: Best Play, Best Revival of a Play, and Best Musical. The presentation of those awards will be presented at the end of what's being called The Tony Awards Present Broadway’s Back!, a live concert event featuring Broadway entertainers and Tony Award winners reuniting on stage to perform beloved classics and celebrate the joy and magic of live theater.  How do I watch on Paramount+? Sign into your Paramount+ account or start a trial (the first week is free). Subscriptions start at $4.99 a month and members can cancel anytime. Students receive a 25% discount. Be sure to follow Broadway.com on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and more. How do I watch on CBS? …

  • Julie Halston on Receiving the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award: 'I'm Gobsmacked!'
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 22, 2021 at 8:00 PM

    Julie Halston is the recipient of the 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, which is presented annually to a member of the theater community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Halston, a Broadway alum and four-time Drama Desk nominee, is being recognized for her dedication and advocacy in raising funding and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. On the latest episode of The Broadway Show, Broadway.com Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek sat down with the actress at Gallow Green in New York City to talk about the honor, her upcoming off-Broadway show and more. "I cannot even begin to tell you how gobsmacked I am and was when they called and told me," Halston said. "It's not why I do the advocacy that I do. I'm just so happy that we're going to be able to put a spotlight on an organization that is helping so many people. So I'm getting the Tony and I'm just like, 'Wait a minute. That means I'm actually going to have a Tony in my home.'" Known early on in her career as the "Downtown Diva" thanks to her start working …

  • Odds & Ends: Go Inside the Tina Rehearsal Room with Adrienne Warren & More
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 22, 2021 at 6:58 PM

    Here's a quick roundup of stories you might have missed recently. Take a Look at Adrienne Warren & the Cast of Tina in RehearsalTina's Broadway company is rollin'! As previously announced, the Tina Turner musical will resume performances on October 8 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. A new video includes a welcome back to Broadway from the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll herself as well as exciting footage of Tony-nominated star Adrienne Warren and the rest of the cast in rehearsal. Check it out below! Sleep No More to Resume Performances in FebruarySleep No More will resume performances on February 14, 2022 at the McKittrick Hotel. This award-winning theatrical experience tells Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Macbeth through a darkly cinematic lens. Audiences move freely through the world of the story at their own pace, choosing where to go and what to see, ensuring that everyone’s journey is completely unique. The story unfolds through a blend of acrobatic choreography, film noir soundtrack and 100 rooms of densely detailed atmosphere sprawling over 100,000 square feet of space. Guests of Sleep No More and the hotel are required to show proof of vaccination upon arriving. Colin Quinn (Photo by Emilio Madrid …

  • The Lion King's Adrienne Walker on Returning to the Role of Nala: 'She Teaches Me a Lot of Lessons'
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 22, 2021 at 4:30 PM

    Adrienne Walker is back on Pride Rock! The Lion King resumed performances at the Minskoff Theatre on September 14 and returning to the role of Nala feels like a homecoming for Walker in a big way. On the latest episode of The Broadway Show, she told Broadway.com Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek that one of her first public performances was "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." "I was a choir girl. I got to sing the Nala part. I was in seventh grade at the time," she said. "I loved that character as a child." Walker spoke about her ongoing journey with Nala. "I'm thrilled [to revisit the character] because I feel like Nala teaches me a lot of lessons. So for me, Adrienne, living in my natural life, I'm not always Nala," she said. "I've learned a lot from being that character. I've learned to be bold, to speak my mind, to have grace and compassion for others and to be more of a self-starter." Walker is most definitely a self-starter. Despite Broadway being on pause, Walker and her husband Austin Cook created the site 32 Bar Cut, a platform that includes three different shows: Broadway Banter, The Curtain …

  • Become a Newfoundlander & Celebrate Come From Away's Broadway Return
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 22, 2021 at 3:32 PM

    Broadway audiences can officially become Newfoundlanders once again as Come From Away resumed Broadway performances on September 21. The cast, featuring Joel Hatch, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley, Rachel Tucker, De’Lon Grant, Emily Walton, Jim Walton, Paul Whitty, Pearl Sun and James Seol, took to the stage at the Schoenfeld Theatre for the first time since performances halted in March 2020. Go inside the exhilarating night by checking out the photos below of the cast at curtain call! Plus, watch the moment the stars walked on stage, the standing ovation that occurred during the final number, and the emotional post-show speech by original cast member Hatch. Joel Hatch addresses the audience. (Photo: Daniel Rader)Pearl Sun and Paul Whitty blow kisses to the crowd. (Photo: Daniel Rader)The cast of Come From Away bow on reopening night. (Photo: Daniel Rader)

  • Billy Crystal to Star in Presentation of New Musical Mr. Saturday Night at Barrington Stage Company
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 22, 2021 at 2:52 PM

    Here he comes! Billy Crystal is set to star in a presentation of the previously announced musical comedy Mr. Saturday Night at Barrington Stage Company this October. Crystal returns to the role of Buddy Young Jr. that he played in the original 1992 Columbia Pictures film of the same. With a book by Crystal, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, who wrote the movie's screenplay, Mr. Saturday Night features music by Jason Robert Brown and lyrics by Amanda Green. John Rando will direct the production that will presented with minimal set and costume pieces. Fans can catch the presentation for nine performances only as it plays at the Boyd-Quinson Stage from October 22-24 and October 26-30. “Billy Crystal starring in a presentation of a new musical – who could resist?” said Barrington Stage Company Founder/Artistic Director Julianne Boyd in a statement.“We are thrilled to present a first look into this exciting new musical in development and welcome the sensational Billy Crystal to our stage. I know our audiences will be delighted to be the first in the country to experience Mr. Saturday Night.” Crystal is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor, producer, writer and director. He is known for …

  • Esau Pritchett Replaces Keith David in Thoughts of a Colored Man on Broadway
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 22, 2021 at 2:40 PM

    Esau Pritchett has joined the cast of Keenan Scott II's Thoughts of a Colored Man, which is scheduled to begin performances on October 1 and officially open on October 31 at Broadway’s Golden Theatre. Pritchett replaces the originally announced Keith David, a Tony nominee who departed the production due to a private family matter. Pritchett previously played Orphee in A Free Man of Color on Broadway. He recently recurred as Mr. David for two seasons on Fox’s primetime drama Prodigal Son and currently has a recurring role on the STARZ drama Power: Book II Raising Kanaan. The cast of the play includes Dyllón Burnside, Bryan Terrell Clark, Da’Vinchi, Grammy nominee Luke James, Tony nominee Forrest McClendon and Grammy nominee Tristan “Mack” Wilds. Thoughts of a Colored Man  takes place over the course of a single day in the pulsing heart of Brooklyn, where the hopes, sorrows, fears, and joys of seven men reverberate far beyond the barbershops and basketball courts of their community. The play weaves spoken word, slam poetry and rhythm into a mosaic of the inner lives of Black men. It had its world premiere at Syracuse Stage in fall of 2019 and went on to play at …

  • Hairspray's Marisha Wallace on Making Motormouth Maybelle Her Own: 'I Was Born to Do This'
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 21, 2021 at 9:24 PM

    Marisha Wallace has joined the ranks of powerhouse women, including Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, who have taken on the role of Hairspray's Motormouth Maybelle. On the latest episode of The Broadway Show, Broadway.com Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek spoke with Wallace about playing the character in the West End's vibrant revival, which is playing through September 29 at the London Coliseum. "It's good to be considered a part of this group of amazing women," Wallace said. "But when you are doing that, there's so much pressure. 'What are you going to bring to it?' 'How are you going to make this special?' I feel like I've done that. I feel like I've made it my own." The role includes singing the soul-stirrer "I Know Where I've Been," in which Wallace has found new meaning. "It has whole new layers to it. Not only [because of] Black Lives Matter, but also a pandemic," she said. "People have lost lives in so many different ways. [The number] is getting such an amazing response here—standing ovations most every night. I feel like I was born to do this at this time." Watch the full interview below, and head here to check your local listings for The …

  • Visit Skid Row to See Jeremy Jordan, Tammy Blanchard and Christian Borle in Little Shop of Horrors
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 21, 2021 at 7:49 PM

    Go somewhere that's green with these new photos of off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors, which resumes performances at the Westside Theatre Upstairs on September 21. Starring the previously announced Jeremy Jordan, who had been scheduled to begin performances in off-Broadway's Little Shop of Horrors on March 17, 2020, as Seymour with the production's stars Tammy Blanchard returning as Audrey and two-time Tony winner Christian Borle, who won Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards for his performance, returning as Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. The musical also features Tom Alan Robbins as Mushnik, Aaron Arnell Harrington as The Voice of Audrey II, Salome Smith as Ronnette, Joy Woods as Chiffon, Aveena Sawyer as Crystal, Eric Wright, Teddy Yudain, Stephen Berger and Chelsea Turbin. After a stellar performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the cast is ready for audiences again. Check out the photos below! Jeremy Jordan as Seymour. (Photo: Emilio Madrid)Tammy Blanchard as Audrey and Jeremy Jordan as Seymour. (Photo: Emilio Madrid)View the Full Gallery Here

  • Arturo Perez Jr. & Samantha Jayne to Direct the Mean Girls Movie Musical
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 21, 2021 at 7:19 PM

    News regarding the previously announced Mean Girls movie musical has arrived! The husband-and-wife team of Arturo Perez Jr. and Samantha Jayne have signed on to direct the film adaptation, according to Deadline. The film will be produced by Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels with a script by Fey, music by her husband Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, all of whom created the Broadway production. Mean Girls will mark Perz Jr. and Jayne's feature directorial debut at a studio. Their creative partnership spans film, music videos and television. They previously co-created Quarter Life Poetry, which premiered at Sundance and was then released on FX on Hulu.  The Mean Girls stage musical was directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw. The production received 12 Tony nominations and won the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite New Musical. It was announced in January 2020 that the show would not be returning to Broadway. Casting and a production timeline for the new movie will be announced later.

  • Cast Set for Pre-Broadway Run of Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-Winning A Strange Loop
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 21, 2021 at 7:10 PM

    Casting is set for the pre-Broadway run of Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Strange Loop. Originally announced to play at at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C in September 2020 and then delayed due to COVID-19, A Strange Loop will now begin performances on November 22 for a six-week limited run. Newcomer Jaquel Spivey will star as Usher, the role played by Larry Owens when the musical had its world premiere at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons in 2019. Joining Spivey are original cast members Antwayn Hopper, L Morgan Lee, John-Michael Lyles, James Jackson, Jr., John-Andrew Morrison and Jason Veasey. Christopher Michael Richardson joins the cast as the understudy for Usher. “When I think about all the unexpected work Woolly could do, what’s more unexpected than a Broadway-bound musical?” said Maria Manuela Goyanes, artistic director of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. “This show is very special to me. When I was 25 and Michael R. Jackson was 24 and still in graduate school, I directed the first early readings of A Strange Loop. With this project, my past is becoming my present, and, in a way, my very own strange loop! This musical centers a Black queer man whose experience stands …

  • Meet the Stars of Broadway's New Comedy Chicken & Biscuits
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 21, 2021 at 6:45 PM

    It's time for a family reunion! Douglas Lyons' comedy Chicken & Biscuits is getting ready to begin Broadway performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre on September 23 ahead of an October 10 opening night. The cast includes Norm Lewis as Reginald, Michael Urie as Logan, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Brianna Jenkins, Cleo King as Baneatta Mabry and Devere Rogers as Kenny Mabry. Reprising their roles from the play’s world premiere at the Queens Theatre and making their Broadway debuts are Ebony Marshall-Oliver as Beverly Jenkins, Aigner Mizzelle as La'trice Franklin and Alana Raquel Bowers as Simone Mabry. The show is directed by Zhailon Levingston, who, at the age of 27, will be the youngest Black director in Broadway history. In Chicken & Biscuits, the Jenkins family is coming together to celebrate the life of their father—hopefully without killing each other. But any hopes for a peaceful reunion unravel when a family secret shows up at the funeral. See the cast and creative team have a reunion of their own in the photos below! Director Zhailon Levingston and playwright Douglas Lyons point out some talent. (Photo: Jenny Anderson) Norm Lewis leads the production as Reginald. (Photo: Jenny Anderson) …

  • Go Back to the Rock with Stars of Broadway's Come From Away
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 21, 2021 at 4:49 PM

    It's time to go back to the rock as Come From Away prepares to resume Broadway performances on September 21. As previously announced, the ensemble cast features original cast members Joel Hatch, Caesar Samayoa, Q. Smith, Astrid Van Wieren and Sharon Wheatley with Olivier nominee Rachel Tucker returning along with De’Lon Grant, Emily Walton, Jim Walton, Paul Whitty, Pearl Sun, Josh Breckenridge, John Jellison, Tony LePage, Monette McKay, Happy McPartlin and Julie Reiber. James Seol is new to the company and takes on the roles of Kevin T., Garth & Others. In honor of the musical returning to the stage, check out these fresh photos! Rachel Tucker as Captain Beverly Bass in Come From Away (Photo: Matthew Murphy)James Seol, Caesar Samayoa and Paul Whitty in Come From Away (Photo: Matthew Murphy)View the Full Gallery Here

  • How Playing Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet! Prepared Ana Villafañe to Star in Chicago on Broadway
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 21, 2021 at 4:35 PM

    Ana Villafañe stepped into the role of Roxie Hart when Broadway's long-running Chicago resumed performances at the Ambassador Theatre on September 14. Broadway.com correspondent Charlie Cooper caught up with the star to chat about how playing Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet! prepared her for this role and more. "It feels like a massive responsibility," Villafañe said. "Ann Reinking just passed away in December, so to play this role after her passing and also post-pandemic is just monumental to me. I keep that very sacred. It's also fun. It's such a female-empowerment show. It's such a sexy show—it has so much depth. I'm discovering something every day, it's been thrilling." Chicago marks the Broadway return for Villafañe who made her debut starring as Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet! in 2015. "[On Your Feet! prepared me because it's stepping into something that everybody knows and loves," Villafañe said. "For Gloria, people were coming into the theater [with] a point of reference, so there was no getting it wrong. I was very hard on myself, but in the best way, to be professional, to show up every day, to have the integrity, to ask the questions. In this …

  • Here's a Look at Denzel Washington & Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of Macbeth
    by Lindsey Sullivan on September 21, 2021 at 2:46 PM

    Something wicked this way comes! A teaser trailer for the starry screen adaptation of Macbeth, which will have its world premiere on September 24 when it opens the 59th New York Film Festival, has arrived. The Tragedy of Mabeth is Joel Coen's new film based on the Shakespeare tragedy. As previously reported, the movie stars Denzel Washington as the title character and Frances McDormand as his scheming wife—both Tony winners can be seen in the video below. The teaser also reveals that The Tragedy of Mabeth will hit theaters on December 25 and arrive on Apple TV+ on January 14, 2022. Check it out below!

  • Nik Walker Never Thought He Would Do Musicals, Now He's Dancing and Singing in Ain't Too Proud
    by Michael Appler on September 21, 2021 at 2:30 PM

    Age: 32 Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts  Current Role: Nik Walker joined the cast of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations as Otis Williams on February 28, 2020, replacing original star Derrick Baskin. Williams is a founding member of The Temptations, who narrates the jukebox musical about the group whose hits include "My Girl," "Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)" and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone." Credits: Walker, who had no intentions of pursuing a career in musicals, started out doing Shakespeare in regional theaters. He then made his Broadway debut as an ensemble replacement in Motown the Musical  in 2013. When the show returned for an encore staging in 2016, he understudied the role of Berry Gordy and Marvin Gaye. Later, he joined the Broadway cast of Hamilton as an ensemble member and understudy. In 2018, Walker originated the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton’s national tour. “My interest in theater came about because of Mark Twain. In the second grade, I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and, for some reason, I wrote a little play about Tom Sawyer. It was completely ridiculous, but we performed it at school."  “At New York University, I had a teacher who …

  • Celebrate Broadway! See Pics of the Stars at the Times Square Curtain Up! Event
    by Broadway.com Staff on September 20, 2021 at 7:47 PM

    To celebrate the return of Broadway, stars of the stage came together for Curtain Up!, a three-day outdoor experience in Times Square presented by The Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance. The events took place September 17 through September 19 and stretched between 45th and 48th Streets. Dozens of Broadway favorites, including Jessica Vosk, Michael Urie, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell and more, took to the stage to perform, participate in Q&As and more. Senator Chuck Schumer, a strong supporter of the Save Our Stages Act, was also in attendance. Check out these fun snaps of members of The Broadway League and Broadway favorites. John Gore Organization President and The Broadway League Chair of the Board Lauren Reid, Senator Chuch Schumer and The Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin. (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)The Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin hugs Tony winner and The Actors Fund Chairman of the Board Brian Stokes Mitchell. (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessica Vosk, Senator Chuck Schumer and The Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin. (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)The Actors Fund Chairman of the Board Brian Stokes Mitchell and Phil Birsh greet Norm Lewis. (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)

  • Watch Wicked Stars Lindsay Pearce and Ginna Claire Mason Sing 'Popular' and 'The Wizard and I'
    by Broadway.com Staff on September 20, 2021 at 7:44 PM

    In the week Broadway rejoicified with the return of Wicked to the Gershwin Theatre, stars Lindsay Pearce and Ginna Claire Mason sang two songs from the hit musical on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on September 17. Watch Mason’s Glinda offer lessons in how to flirt and flounce with “Popular” while Pearce commands the stage as Elphaba with “The Wizard and I.” The two stars are joined in the show by Sam Gravitte as Fiyero, Michael McCormick as The Wizard, Riley Costello as Boq, Mili Diaz as Nessarose, Michael X. Martin as Doctor Dillamond and Kathy Fitzgerald, who plays Madame Morrible through September 26. After that Alexandra Billings, who played the role at the time of the Broadway shutdown, returns. Watch the video below and you’ll be so happy, you could melt!

  • Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jake Gyllenhaal & More Set to Appear on 74th Annual Tony Awards
    by Caitlin Moynihan on September 20, 2021 at 5:00 PM

    The stars are coming out for this year's long-awaited 74th Annual Tony Awards, which will take place in two separate television events on September 26. A slew of stage faves have been announced to appear at the event, hosted by Tony winners Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. Annaleigh Ashford, Kerry Butler, Kristin Chenoweth, André De Shields, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christopher Jackson, Idina Menzel, Ruthie Ann Miles, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bebe Neuwrith, Kelli O'Hara, Ben Platt, Jeremy Pope, Chita Rivera, Daphne Rubin-Vega, BD Wong and more will celebrate Broadway's biggest night. Addtional performers and presenters will be announced later. As previously announced, the majority of the Tony Award presentation will happen at 7PM ET/4PM PT on a two-hour streaming presentation on the CBS app and Paramount+, which will be hosted by McDonald, a six-time Tony winner, two-time Grammy Award winner and Emmy Award winner.  Odom, a Tony winner for Hamilton, will then take over hosting duties for The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back! on CBS at 9PM ET/6PM PT. According to producers, this live concert event will feature "superstar Broadway entertainers and Tony Award winners reuniting onstage to perform beloved classics and celebrate …