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Theater and Music News: Assassins, The Karate Kid – The Musical, A Chorus Line in Spanish and Hadestown

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Broadway Records is releasing a cast album from Classic Stage Company’s recent star-studded Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins. The music is available digitally, with a physical CD release planned for April 15.

The recording features Adam Chanler-Berat as John Hinckley, Jr., Eddie Cooper as The Proprietor, Tavi Gevinson as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Andy Grotelueschen as Samuel Byck, Judy Kuhn as Sara Jane Moore, Steven Pasquale as John Wilkes Booth, Ethan Slater as Lee Harvey Oswald/The Balladeer, Will Swenson as Charles Guiteau, Wesley Taylor as Giuseppe Zangara, and Brandon Uranowitz as Leon Czolgosz. The ensemble is rounded out by performers and musicians Brad Giovanine, Bianca Horn, Whit K. Lee, Rob Morrison, and Katrina Yaukey.

The production was directed by CSC Artistic Director John Doyle and featured music direction and orchestrations by Greg Jarrett and sound design by Matt Stine and Sam Kusnetz.

The complete cast and creative team has been announced for the world premiere, pre-Broadway engagement of The Karate Kid – The Musical, which will take the stage at Stages St. Louis, starting May 25.

Jovanni Sy

The complete cast includes Jovanni Sy as Chojun Miyagi, John Cardoza as Daniel LaRusso, two-time Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin as Lucille LaRusso, Alan H. Green as John Kreese, Jake Bentley Young as Johnny Lawrence, Jetta Juriansz as Ali Mills, and Luis Pablo Garcia as Freddie Fernandez.

John Cardoza

The ensemble cast will also feature Manik Anand, Trevor James Berger, Leah Berry, Gabi Campo, Caitlyn Caughell, Kristina Garvida Doucette, Zachary Downer, Francis Florendo, Kayla Jenerson, Sydney Jones, Josh Hoon Lee, Noah Lentini, Garrick Macatangay, Abby Mastusaka, Justice D. Moore, Omar Nieves, Jackson Kanawha Perry, Isidro Rafael, Sangeetha Santhebennur, and Victor Carrillo Tracey.

The book is written by Robert Mark Kamen, with music and lyrics by Drew Gasparini, choreography by Keone and Mari Madrid, and under the direction of Amon Miyamoto. Joining the Creative team is Tony Award Winning scenic designer Derek McLane, costume designer Ayako Maeda, lighting designer Bradley King, sound designer Kai Harada, projection designer Peter Nigrini, orchestrator John Clancy, music director & arrangements Andrew Resnick.


Craft Recordings / Concord Theatricals released the cast album of Antonio Banderas, Teatro del Soho CaixaBank and John Breglio’s acclaimed Spanish production of A Chorus Line, the first-ever Spanish language recording of the iconic musical, on CD in Spain and on streaming and digital platforms worldwide.

The album includes a special bonus track featuring Tony Award® winner Laura Benanti, who starred opposite Banderas in the Tony Award-winning 2003 Broadway revival of Nine, singing “What I Did For Love” in Spanish. A new music video featuring their performance was released today and can be viewed HERE.

Banderas produced, co-directed with Baayork Lee, and starred as Zach in A Chorus Line, which first played at Teatro del Soho CaixaBank in Malaga, Spain in 2019 and is now touring Madrid at Teatro Calderón through April 17, followed by a run in Barcelona at Teatro Tívoli from April 23-May 29. The production was a finalist in the category of Best Musical Show at the 2020 MAX Awards.

Banderas said, “The past two years have given all of us a deeper appreciation for the performing arts. A Chorus Line celebrates the perseverance of artists and the singular joys of this cherished artform. I’m thrilled we now get to share the music of this production with the world. Being able to release the first ever Spanish-language recording of A Chorus Line is momentous and I hope everyone will cherish this recording.”

“We are very excited to release this wonderful album of Antonio’s production,” said Sean Patrick Flahaven, Chief Theatricals Executive for Concord. “Hearing this iconic score in Spanish with these terrific performers and a substantial orchestra reminds us of the power of musical theatre to transcend barriers.”

A Chorus Line (Original Spanish Cast Recording) features Malaga artist Antonio Banderas and cast members (in alphabetical order) Angie Alcázar, Kristina Alonso, Albert Bolea, Anna Coll, Daniel Délyon, Alberto Escobar, Roberto Facchin, Diana Girbau, Cassandra Hlong, Aaron Cobos, Fran Moreno, Beatriz Mur, Ivo Pareja-Obregón, Pablo Puyol, Estibalitz Ruiz, Fran Del Pino, Lorena Santiago, Sarah Schielke, Miguel Ángel Belotto, Juan José Marco, Fernando Mariano, Graciela Monterde, Lucrecia Petraglia, Zuhaitz San Buenaventura, Aida Sánchez, Lucía Castro, Marcela Nava, Pol Galcerá, Luis Ochoa and Elena Rueda.

 The Spanish production of A Chorus Line has music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. Music direction is by Arturo Díez-Boscovich, Spanish lyric translation by Roser Batalia, and Spanish libretto translation by Ignacio García May. Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, Bill Byers and Hershy Kay. A Chorus Line was conceived, originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett.

Jewelle Blackman Photo by Matthew Murphy

The producers of Hadestown, winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, are thrilled to announce that beginning Tuesday, April 5, Jewelle Blackman, will summon spring eight times a week at Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street) when she takes over the role of Persephone, goddess of springtime and queen of the underworld.   

Jewelle Blackman Photo by Matthew Murphy

Blackman, a native of Toronto, first joined Hadestown in 2017 with the musical’s developmental run at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. She went on to captivate audiences with her soul-stirring alto as one of the original trio of Fates on Broadway and as a Persephone understudy. Blackman also appeared in Canadian productions of The Lion King; We Will Rock You; Caroline, or Change; and Dreamgirls and has written the new musicals Boy Boy and The Magic Drum and The Trials and Triumphs of a Tar Baby. In addition to appearing on the Grammy Award®-winning Broadway cast recording, she stars on Hadestown’s acclaimed 2020 holiday album If The Fates Allow.

Lana Gordon, who currently plays Persephone on Broadway, will play her final performance in the show on Sunday, April 3.

Additionally, also starting Tuesday, April 5, Soara-Joye Ross will join the cast of Hadestown, taking over for Blackman as one of the Fates. Ross most recently was seen in CSC’s acclaimed revival of Carmen Jones which garnered her a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She also received Drama Desk and Audelco Award nominations for her portrayal of Frankie in that production.

In addition to Blackman and Ross, the Broadway cast of Hadestown also features Grammy Award winner Reeve Carney, Tony Award® winner André De Shields, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page. They are joined by Jessie Shelton and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Emily Afton, Malcolm Armwood, Timothy Hughes, Trent Saunders, Grace Yoo. The cast includes swings Sojourner Brown, Tara Jackson, Tomás  Matos, Sayo Oni, Yael “YaYa” Reich, and T. Oliver Reid.

Tickets for Hadestown on Broadway are available at www.seatgeek.com/hadestown-tickets or by visiting the Walter Kerr Theatre box office (219 West 48th Street).

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Broadway

Broadway in Bryant Park And You Are There With Hell’s Kitchen, Water For Elephants, The Wiz and More

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July 11, 106.7 LITE FM’s Broadway in Bryant Park kicked off its 2024 program, bringing the best of Broadway back together for free performances, every Thursday in July.

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker

From AMDA College of the Performing Arts-Kyle Taylor Parker, Charity Arianna , Destiny David, Ailadis Hernandez De Leon, Nyjair Wilkerson and Jackson Bateman

This week’s performances included: a preshow featuring students from AMDA

Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte and Ali Louis Bourzgui

Bobby Conte, Ali Louis Bourzgui and Adam Jacobs

Ali Louis Bourzgui, Bobby Conte,

Lily Kren, Alexandra Matteo, Daniel Quadrino, Jenna Nicole Schoen, Nathan Lucrezio, Reagan Pender, Bobby Conte, Tyler James Eisenreich, Mark Mitrano, Haley Gustafson, Afra Hines, Dee Tomasetta, Adam Jacobs, Ali Louis Bourzgui, David Paul Kidder, Jeremiah Alsop, Andrew Tufano and Ronnie Bowman, Jr.

The Who’s Tommy (Ali Louis Bourzgui, Adam Jacobs, Bobby Conte, Haley Gustafson and more)

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Isabelle McCalla and Ken Wulf Clark

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Sara Gettelfinger

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul and Asa Somers

Ken Wulf Clark, Joe De Paul, Asa Somers and Isabella McCalla

Water for Elephants (Isabelle McCalla, Ken Wulf Clark, Asa Somers, Sara Gettelfinger, Joe De Paul)

Avery Wilson

Kyle Ramar Freeman and Nichelle Lewis

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Melody A. Betts

Kyle Ramar Freeman

Nichelle Lewis

Nichelle Lewis, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Avery Wilson and Polanco Jones Jr.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Polanco Jones Jr., Nichelle Lewis, Melody A. Betts and Avery Wilson

The Wiz (Avery Wilson, Kyle Ramar Freeman, Melody A. Betts, Nichelle Lewis, Polanco Jones Jr.)

Jelani Remy

JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Jelani Remy and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, Katie Laduca, JJ Niemann and Aaron Alcaraz

Hannah Kevitt and JJ Niemann

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy and The Cast of Back To The Future that includes Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Evan Alexander Smith, JJ Niemann, Jelani Remy, Hannah Kevitt, Cixtoria Byrd, Kimberly Immanuel, Jessie Peltier, Gregory Carl Banks Jr., Katie Laduca, Joshua Kenneth Allen Johnson and Aaron Alcaraz

Back to the Future (Jelani Remy, JJ Niemann, Evan Alexander Smith)

Gianna Harris and Lamont Walker II

Lamont Walker II

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Jade Milan, Jackie Leon and Gianna Harris

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino

Donna Vivino, Gianna Harris, Lamont Walker II, Jade Milan and Jackie Leon and Jackie Leon

and Hell’s Kitchen (Gianna Harris, Vanessa Ferguson, Jackie Leon, Donna Vivino, Lamont Walker II)

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little

106.7 Lite FM’s Helen Little is joined by Co Host Kyle Ramar Freeman

with host Helen Little and co-host Kyle Ramar Freeman.

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Broadway

Get Ready For Broadway in Bryant Park

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The most popular shows on and off Broadway will perform their biggest hits in the park starting this Thursday the 11th! Head to the the lawn at Bryant Park and enjoy Broadway for lunch. The performances will happen on four summer Thursdays, hosted and presented by LiteFM.

This week from 12:30pm-1:30pm 106.7 LITE FM Host: Helen Little will host. For the pre-show: A special performance by the students of AMDA College of the Performing Arts. Then get ready for performances by Back to the Future, Hell’s Kitchen, The Who’s TOMMY, The Wiz and
Water For Elephants.

In coming weeks look from The Outsiders, SIX: The Musical, Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Wicked, Chicago and & Juliet.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway:​ Happy Birthday Audra McDonald

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On July 3rd, Audra McDonald celebrated her 54th birthday. The 1970 American Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning theatrical and operatic singer, and stage and screen actress (Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Sweeney Todd; Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny; TV Private Practice, The Good Wife), was born in West Berlin, West Germany (now Berlin, Germany)

As been announced six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall, as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Performances begin Thursday, November 21st, at Broadway’s newly renovated Majestic Theatre. Happy Thanksgiving! The show will open on Thursday, December 19th. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.

The last show to play the Majestic Theatre was The Phantom of the Opera, which concluded its 35 year-run on April 16, 2023.

This upcoming revival will be directed by the legendary five-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. The choreography will be by four-time Tony Award nominated Camille A. Brown.  Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date.

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Coming In August Broadway Barks Returns to Shubert Alley

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The 26th anniversary of the star-studded dog and cat adoption event, Broadway Barks returns to Shubert Alley on Saturday, August 3, 2024 to benefit New York City animal rescue groups. The event, co-founded by Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore, features Broadway celebrities who use their star power to help find loving homes for animals in need from 24 NYC area adoption and rescue groups.

Bernadette Peters and Sutton Foster. Photo courtesy of Broadway Barks.

Bernadette Peters and Sutton Foster will co-host this year’s festivities! Other celebrity participants to be announced soon.

Photo by Daniel Roberts, © Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Barks begins at 3pm with a ‘meet and greet’ of all the adoptable pets; from 5–6:30pm, adoptees make their Broadway debut on stage alongside some of Broadway’s favorite stars for the celebrity presentations.Produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the adoption event takes place in Shubert Alley (located between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues).

Photo by Daniel Roberts, © Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

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Shows to Keep Your Eyes On: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Death Becomes Her and The Queen of Versailles

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The new musical Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is based on John Berendt’s 1994 non-fiction book and makes its world premiere this summer at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. The book is by  Taylor Mac and music and lyrics by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown, performances are scheduled for June 25–August 4 in the Albert Theatre. Tony winner Rob Ashford will direct the production with choreography by Tanya Birl.

Tony winner J. Harrison Ghee, is The Lady Chablis; Tony nominee Tom Hewitt as Jim Williams; and Olivier nominee Sierra Boggess as Emma Dawes.

The company also includes Lance Roberts (The Best Man) as Bobby Lewis, Austin Colby (The Great Gatsby) as Danny Hansford, Bailee Endebrock (Parade) as Corrine Strong, Shanel Bailey (The Book of Mormon) as Lavella Cole, Jessica Molaskey (Sunday in the Park with George) as Alma Knox Carter, Brianna Buckley (the ripple, the wave that carried me home) as Minerva, Mary Ernster (War Paint) as Serena Barnes/Dawn Avery, McKinley Carter (Turn of the Century) as Vera Strong, Maya Bowles (The Wiz) as Stacey Brown, DeMarius Copes (Some Like It Hot) as Jeremiah Jones, Sean Donovan as Luther Driggers, Jason Michael Evans (Anastasia tour) as Colonel Atwood/Burt, Christopher Kelley as Bubbles/Gregory, Andre Terrell Malcolm (Hamilton tour) as Josiah Domingo, Aaron James McKenzie (A Beautiful Noise) as Jethro Myles, Wes Olivier as Jack the One-Eyed Jill, Kayla Marie Shipman as Millicent/Mary, and Rory Shirley as Stefanie Davis.

The show tracks an antiques dealer through four trials for murdering a male prostitute in Savannah, Georgia. The story is modeled on the real-life shooting of Daniel Lewis  Hansford. The work won the 1995 Boeke Prize and was a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. A film adaptation was released in 1997 starring John Cusack and Kevin Spacey.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was a seminal book for me as a young queer person, coming out in the late 1980s and early ’90s,” added Mac. “The eccentricities of Savannah, and how they were celebrated by such a large readership, seemed to say, the things that made me odd and an outcast in the world were actually things I should cherish. Likewise, musical theatre has always had a similar effect on me. Singing our thoughts is such an eccentric way of expressing ourselves—yet so perfectly aligned with my personal liberation and joy. So turning Midnight into a musical, and with such master craftspeople as Jason, Rob, and Tanya is essentially an extension of celebrating the joy and liberation from exposing what’s hidden.”

“When I am deciding to start a new show, the two most important questions I ask myself are: 1) Does it sing? and 2) Do I get to work with fun people? With Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I knew the answers to both questions immediately,” stated Brown. “The book’s milieu, so rich with mystery and romance and history, sings with every sentence, deeply passionate, slyly comic, emotions threatening to boil over on every page. And to work with Rob Ashford, whose transformative production of Parade at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007 reinvigorated not only the show’s reputation but my creative process, was a no-brainer. But then add to that the brilliant, joyful, radically inclusive mind of Taylor Mac, and there was no way I could resist. Creating this world with these mad geniuses is, in true Savannah tradition, a grand and great party. I can’t wait for the world to join in.”

Madeline Ashton (Tony Award® nominees Megan Hilty (Wicked, “Smash”)) is the most beautiful actress (just ask her) ever to grace the stage and screen. Helen Sharp (Jennifer Simard (Company, Disaster!)) is the long-suffering author (just ask her) who lives in her shadow. They have always been the best of frenemies…until Madeline steals Helen’s fiancé (Christopher Sieber (Spamalot, Company)) away. As Helen plots revenge and Madeline clings to her rapidly fading star, their world is suddenly turned upside down by Viola Van Horn, a mysterious woman with a secret that’s to die for.

After one sip of Viola’s (Grammy® Award winner Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child, Chicago)) magical potion, Madeline and Helen begin a new era of life (and death) with their youth and beauty restored…and a grudge to last eternity.

Death Becomes Her, based on the classic 1992 film, is a drop-dead hilarious new musical comedy about friendship, love, and burying the hatchet…again, and again, and again.

Life’s a bitch and then you die. Or not!

Death Becomes Her is coming to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on October 23, 2024, ahead of an opening night on November 21, 2024.

The Queen of Versailles, the new Stephen Schwartz musical starring Kristin Chenoweth and F. Murray Abraham as billionarie-couple Jackie and David Siegel, begins performances at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre on July 16 and will now run through August 25.

The cast will feature Stephen DeRosa (Boardwalk Empire) as John, Greg Hildreth (Company) as Gary, Tatum Grace Hopkins as Jonquil, Tony Award nominee Isabel Keating (The Boy from Oz) as Debbie, Melody Butiu as Sofia Flores and Nina White as Victoria Siegel.

The company will also include Anna Bakun, Stacie Bono, Yeman Brown, Amanda Jane Cooper, David Aron Damane, Drew Elhamalawy, Sara Esty, K.J. Hippensteel, Diana Huey, Cassondra James, Andrew Kober, Jesse Kovarsky, Pablo David Laucerica, Travis Murad Leland, Michael Mulheren, Michael McCorry Rose and Grace Slear.

The Queen of Versailles is an adaptation of the 2012 documentary of the same name about socialite Jacqueline “Jackie” Siegel, the book is by Lindsey Ferrentino (Ugly Lies the Bone) and direction by Tony winner Michael Arden (Parade).

From computer engineer to Mrs. Florida to billionairess, Jackie Siegel sees herself as the embodiment of the American Dream. Now, as the wife of David “The Timeshare King” Siegel and mother of their eight children, they invite us to behold their most grandiose venture yet: They’re building the largest private home in America in Orlando, Florida—a $100 million house big enough for her dreams and inspired by the Palace of Versailles. But with the Great Recession of 2008 looming, Jackie and David’s dreams begin to crumble, along with their lavish lifestyle. The Queen of Versailles explores the true cost of fame, fortune and family.

The production will feature choreography by Lauren Yalango-Grant and Christopher Cree Grant, music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, scenic design by Dane Laffrey, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Peter Hylenski, as well as costume design by fashion designer Christian Cowan.

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