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Theater News: Plaza Suite, Hadestown, Stephen Schwartz, Tootsie, Beetlejuice Gets a Cast Recording, A Soldier’s Play Gets a Cast and The Woman in Black

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Tony Award® winner Marc Shaiman will write original music for the recently announced production of Neil Simon’s comedic play about marriage, Plaza Suite, starring two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick and two-time Emmy Award® winner Sarah Jessica Parker, directed by Tony Award winner John Benjamin Hickey. 

Marc Shaiman teased this announcement this morning via his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B4uu9cTpMQp/

Director John Benjamin Hickey said, “In terms of beloved New York icons, Marc is right up there with… well… with Neil Simon, Matthew Broderick, and Sarah Jessica Parker. To have Marc, our dear friend, writing music for this play that celebrates love and marriage in New York City is a dream come true.”

As previously announced, Plaza Suite will play a strictly limited 17-week Broadway engagement at Hudson Theatre (141 West 44th Street), with previews beginning March 13, 2020 and an official opening night set for April 13, 2020. Plaza Suite will mark the first time Broderick and Parker will share a Broadway stage since the 1995 revival of How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. This event will also mark Broderick’s return to the words of Neil Simon, having won his first Tony Award for creating the role of Eugene Jerome in Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, followed by its sequel, Biloxi Blues.

Prior to coming to New York, in a move reminiscent of the golden age of Broadway when stars would take plays out of town, Broderick and Parker will travel with the production to Boston for a strictly limited 22-performance pre-Broadway engagement at the Emerson Colonial Theatre, the same theater where Plaza Suite had its 1968 world premiere and in 1976, Parker made her Boston stage debut as Flora in the pre-Broadway engagement of The Innocents.

Two world-class actors play three hilarious couples in this uproarious and piercing look at love and marriage from legendary playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner Neil Simon. This new production will mark the first revival of a Neil Simon play following his passing August 2018 at the age 91. He is remembered as one of the most celebrated, successful, and beloved writers in Broadway history having written more than 30 plays and musicals.

When Plaza Suite first opened on Broadway in 1968, directed by Mike Nichols and starring George C. Scott and Maureen Stapleton, it ran for nearly three years and played a total of 1,097 performances. Simon and Stapleton were nominated for Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, respectively, while Nichols won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. In 1971, Simon adapted the play for a big screen adaptation starring Walter Matthau, Stapleton, Barbara Harris, and Lee Grant. In 1982, HBO broadcast a taping of a live stage performance of Plaza Suite starring Lee Grant and Jerry Orbach. In 1987, Carol Burnett opposite Hal Holbrook, Dabney Coleman, and Richard Crenna starred in a television movie adaptation of the play co-directed by Roger Beatty and Kenny Solms. 

Reeve Carney, Eva Nobelzada Hadestown

 Hadestown, the Tony Award®-winning Best New Musical has become the first musical of the just concluded 2018-2019 Broadway season to recoup its initial investment of $11.5M.

The musical continues to set box office records at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street). For the week ending Sunday, October 13, the production grossed an all-time best of $1,523,311 and is the highest-grossing musical in the theater’s history and has been playing to standing room only audiences since it started performances on Friday, March 22.

Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz and Kelly Devine will be honored the NYMF 2019 New York Musical Festival Benefit Concert! The gala will be held November 18th. Kelli Barrett (Wicked, Doctor Zhivago, Fosse/Verdon), Charl Brown (Motown), Gregory Diaz IV (Matilda), Lisa Howard (Escape to Margaritaville), Tamika Lawrence (Come From Away), Lesli Margherita (Zorro, Matilda), Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages), Gabrielle McClinton (Pippin), John McGinty (Children of a Lesser God, Hunchback of Notre Dame), Joey McIntyre (New Kids On The Block, Wicked), Julia Murney (Wicked), Jack Noseworthy (Come From Away), Gypsy Snider (Pippin), Jarrod Spector (Jersey Boys, The Cher Show, Beautiful) and Sergio Trujillo (Ain’t Too Proud) will perform.

The evening will also feature Jeanna de Waal (Kinky Boots) performing a selection from the upcoming Broadway musical Diana and a special performance by honoree Stephen Schwartz himself.

Santino Fontana Tootsie

Sadly the Broadway musical Tootsie will play its final performance on Sunday, January 5, 2020. Upon closing, the musical will have played 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the Marquis Theatre (210 W 46th St).

Tootsie will launch a North American Tour at Shea’s Buffalo Theater in Buffalo, New York, in October 2020.  Casting, exact dates and additional cities will be announced at a later date. Sseveral international productions are underway. Exact timing for all will be announced in the coming months.

Tootsie will launch a North American Tour at Shea’s Buffalo Theater in Buffalo, New York, in October 2020.  Casting, exact dates and additional cities will be announced at a later date. 

Additionally, plans for several international productions of Tootsie are underway. Exact timing for all will be announced in the coming months.

Alex Brightman and Sophie Anne Caruso Beetlejuice

Ghostlight and Warner records have announced that the Beetlejuice – Original Broadway Cast Recording will be released on vinyl as a two-LP picture disc seton Friday, November 22. The same day, Urban Outfitters will release an exclusive color vinyl edition. Both versions include full-color packaging with complete lyrics and synopsis, in addition to liner notes by Jerry Portwood, Digital Editorial Director of Rolling Stone. The album is currently available on CD and through all streaming partners. Beetlejuice –the new hit Broadway musical comedy presented by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures (Mark Kaufman) and Langley Park Productions (Kevin McCormick) – is now in performance at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway). The show was nominated for eight 2019 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” “Best Original Score,” and “Best Book of a Musical.” The album is produced by Matt Stine, Alex Timbers, Eddie Perfect, and Kurt Deutsch. To download or stream the album, or order the CD or LP set, please visit ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/beetlejuice

A Soldier’s Play

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) announces complete casting for the first Broadway production of Charles Fuller’s award-winning drama A Soldier’s Play, directed by Kenny Leon.

Joining the previously announced David Alan Grier as “Sergeant Vernon C. Waters” and Blair Underwood as “Captain Richard Davenport” are Nnamdi Asomugha as “Private First Class Melvin Peterson,” Jerry O’Connell as “Captain Charles Taylor,” McKinley Belcher III as “Private Louis Henson,” Rob Demery as “Corporal Bernard Cobb,” Jared Grimes as “Private Tony Smalls,” Billy Eugene Jones as “Private James Wilkie,” Nate Mann as “Lieutenant Byrd,” Warner Miller as “Corporal Ellis,” J. Alphonse Nicholson as “Private C. J. Memphis” and Lee Aaron Rosen as “Captain Wilcox.”

A Soldier’s Play will begin preview performances on December 27, 2019, and open officially on January 21, 2020. This is a limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).

The McKittrick Hotel (530 West 27th Street, NYC), home of Sleep No More, announces the original production of long-running West End play The Woman in Black is coming to New York for the first time. Previews will begin in the hotel’s hidden pub The Club Car on January 8, with an official opening on January 23, 2020.

First presented for a three-week run in the theatre bar at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, The Woman in Black moved to the West End two years later, where it has been enthralling audiences ever since.

Numerous national and international tours have followed, but this site-specific reimagining for The McKittrick marks the first chance audiences have to experience it as originally staged, in a pub, more than 30 years ago.

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

The Heart of Rock and Roll’s Huey Lewis Gets His Portrait On Sardi’s Wall

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Huey Lewis had the honor of being placed on the Sardi’s Walls of Broadway fame with his portrait at an unveiling by Max Klimavicius, owner of Sardi’s.

Huey Lewis Photos by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Max Klimavicius – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Max Klimavicius – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey was represented on Broadway this season with the musical Huey Lewis  but he also made his Broadaway acting debut as Billy Flynn in Chicago in 2005 where the iconic Grammy Award wining rocker fell in love with the Broadway community.

Huey Lewis, Mike Baerga – Photo by Tricia Baron

Jonathan A. Abrams, Brian Usifer, Hunter Arnold, Huey Lewis – Photo by Tricia Baron

Brian Usifer, Huey Lewis – Photo by Tricia Baron

Many of The Heart of Rock and Roll’s creative and cast came out to congratulate him!

Lorin Latarro, Brian Usifer – Photo by Tricia Baron

Mike Baerga, Robin Masella, Huey Lewis, Autumn Guzzardi – Photo by Tricia Baron

Kayla Greenspan, Jonathan A. Abrams, Hunter Arnold – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Tamika Lawrence – Photo by Tricia Baron

Huey Lewis, Ross Lekites – Photo by Tricia Baron

F. Michael Haynie, Huey Lewis – Photo by Tricia Baron

Autumn Guzzardi, Taylor Marie Daniel, Josh Breckenridge, Michael Olaribigbe – Photo by Tricia Baron

The Company of The Heart of Rock and Roll – Photo by Tricia Baron

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Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents John Patrick Shanley

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We are so pleased to announce our guest this week John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film Moonstruck. His play, Doubt: A Parable, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Drama Desk Award and the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play; he wrote and directed the film adaptation and earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Shanley is the author of more than 23 plays, which have been translated and performed around the world, including 80 productions a year in North America. He has often directed his own productions. In 1990, Shanley directed his script of Joe Versus the Volcano. Shanley also wrote two songs for the movie: Marooned Without You and The Cowboy Song. He wrote the screenplay for the film Congo (1995), which was based on the Michael Crichton book.

Shanley’s journey in playwriting began in the early 1980s, with his first play, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, which premiered in 1984. This powerful drama showcased Shanley’s talent for creating deeply flawed, yet sympathetic characters.

In 2012, Shanley wrote the libretto for an opera version of Doubt: A Parable, which premiered at the Minnesota Opera in January 2013, with music by Douglas J. Cuomo. In 2012, his play Storefront Church ran Off-Broadway in a production by the Atlantic Theater Company. His play, Outside Mullingar, opened on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, produced by the Manhattan starring Debra Messing and Brían F. O’Byrne.

Prodigal Son, which he directed, was produced Off-Broadway by the Manhattan Theatre Club. It starred Timothée Chalamet and Robert Sean Leonard. His play The Portuguese Kid opened on October 24, 2017, at the New York City Center Stage I. Directed by Shanley, the cast featured Jason Alexander, Sherie Rene Scott and Mary Testa. His new play Brooklyn Laundry opened on February 6, 2024, at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Shanley directed, with a cast featuring Cecily Strong and David Zayas.

The New York premiere of his new mystical comedy Banshee, starring Elizabeth Bays (Simpatico) and Erick Betancourt (Cost of Living), with David Zayas Jr. (Simpatico) directing for the Chain Theatre’s 2024 Summer One-Act Festival August 8 – September 1.

We are so proud and thrilled that Variety Entertainment News named us one of Summer’s Best Picks in the category of Best Television, Radio, Podcasts.

Host Suzanna Bowling was also just named Most Engaging Hosts on TV, Radio and Podcasts on “The Daily Geek Report.” We are so grateful.

“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents ”, is a show filmed at the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience. To see our past episodes; First episode click here second episode click here,  third episode click here, fourth episode click here, fifth episode click here, sixth episode here, seventh episode here, eighth episode here, ninth episode here, tenth episode here, eleventh episode here, our twelfth episode here, thirteenth episode here, fourteenth here, fifteenth here , 16th here, 17th here, 18th here, 19th here, 20th here, 21st here and 22nd here.

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Theatre News: Cast Albums, Queen of the Mist, Kimberly Akimbo and The Oyster Radio Hour

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The new Broadway cast recordings for The Great Gatsby, The Outsiders and Suffs are out. However Here We Are, the final Original Cast Recording from legendary composer Stephen Sondheim and Jason Robert Brown’s The Connector are out on YouTube and these are the best scores of the year.

Another CD out is My Favorite Things: The Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary Concert: featuring a 40-piece orchestra and stars, including Michael Ball, Maria Friedman, Daniel Dae Kim, Audra McDonald, Aaron Tveit, and Patrick Wilson, the Concert was recorded live at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The celebration showcases original arrangements of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s iconic songs from Oklahoma!, South Pacific, Cinderella, The Sound of Music and more.

Mary Testa return to Queen of the Mist in New Jersey Concert Performances at New Jersey’s Montclair State University. The concert performances of Michael John LaChiusa’s Queen of the Mist featuring the work’s original star, Broadway favorite Mary Testa.

Adam Gwon and Sarah Hammond’s Richard Rodgers Award-winning musical String has joined BroadwayLicensing Global’s catalogue and is now available for professional and non-professional productions. The company also dropped a studio cast recording of the show July 16, which is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all digital platforms.

Carolee Carmello

Carolee Carmello

Three-Time Tony Nominee Carolee Carmello to Star in Kimberly Akimbo National Tour” by Broadway.com’s Darryn King – “Three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello will play Kimberly in the national tour of Kimberly Akimbo.

Little Island is bringing Tony Award® nominees Amber Gray (Hadestown) and Amber Iman (Lempicka) to perform in The Oyster Radio Hour, which begins performances on Wednesday, July 31 and will run through Sunday, August 4 as part of Little Island’s blockbuster summer season.

The Oyster Radio Hour is a live, three-act family-friendly radio show combining science, story and song that celebrates the resilience of oysters and their crucial ecological roles. Beginning at 8PM each evening, the show blends hope and interconnectedness, spotlighting the humble oyster’s journey of revival, including special Broadway guests Amber Gray and Amber Iman.

During The Oyster Radio Hour’s run in the Amph through August 4, the Island’s central plaza, known as the Play Ground, will transform from 6:30-10PM daily into a one-of-a-kind Oyster Market, with food and beverages curated and overseen by New Amsterdam Market founder and world-famous market designer Robert LaValva.

Alongside live oyster shucking, the market will feature 10 local vendors selling their unique culinary creations, which pair perfectly with the live performance. The local vendors include Real Mothershuckers, Oyster Party, Lobster Place, Houseman, Dayboat Blue, Cervo’s, Té Company, La Newyorkina, Chomps Elysées, and Pamina Dolce Gelato. Danny Childs, author of Slow Drinks, will make summer bespoke cocktails during a bar takeover on Friday, August 3.  

The Oyster Radio Hour is a collaboration between RR Sigel, who was the Associate Artistic Director of NY PopsUp in 2021; WNYC podcast producer Ana González, previously of Radiolab: For Kids; composer Angélica Negrón who has performed at Opera Philadelphia, the LA Philharmonic, NY Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and more; and Emmy® and Drama Desk Award®-nominated songwriter Mark Sonnenblick.

Keenan Tyler Oliphant (Hadestown) serves as director with Miller & Harlow as writers; Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Kimberly Akimbo) as lighting/video designer; Beth Lake(Camelot) as sound designer; Dr. Matthew Hare, Elliott Ma, Ayasha Guerin, Moody Harney, and Alan Michelson as audio interviewees; and Beatrice Perez-Arche as stage manager.

Little Island’s first annual, four-month-long summer season of world premieres, which kicked off on June 1, features a total of nine newly commissioned pieces. Little Island’s new arts program moves towards the future with a commitment to a multi-year roster of original work, all commissioned by and developed at Little Island. Bookended by the premiere of choreographer Twyla Tharp’s newest work How Long Blues and a 90-minute remix of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in which outré opera diva Anthony Roth Costanzo sings every leading role, the season offers premieres of varying scales across all areas of performance – including music, dance, theater, opera, comedy, jazz, pop, and funk, all outdoors and directly sited on the Hudson River at 14th Street in New York City. The Amph, the park’s 700-seat amphitheater, will house larger scale performances at a $25 ticket price, while The Glade, the park’s

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Broadway

Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes

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Patti Lupone is on a roll. Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes will be released digitally on July 19, and on CD on August 30, from Center Stage Records. Her first new studio album since 2006, the Grammy Award winner’s new double album can be pre-ordered now at Amazon and www.CenterStageRecords.com, and the digital album can be pre-saved at https://orcd.co/lifeinnotes.

Never say never, LuPone also returns to Broadway in The Roommate  this fall. It’s been more than two years since LuPone tweeted “Quite a week on Broadway, seeing my name being bandied about. Gave up my Equity card; no longer part of that circus. Figure it out.”

The three-time Tony Award winner will star opposite none other than Mia Farrow in Jen Silverman’s new play “The Roommate,” directed by Jack O’Brien (“Shucked”). The Roommate will begin previews at the Booth Theatre on 45th Street in late August and then open in mid-September.

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Broadway

Disney Broadway In Bryant Park Part Two

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106.7 LITE FM’s brought Disney to Broadway in Bryant Park. We brought you the video and now the pictures so you are there.

Tshidi Manye

Jackie Rene

Jackie Rene and Gilbert Domally

Jackie Rene and Gilbert Domally

Jackie Rene and Gilbert Domally

Jackie Rene and Tshidi Manye

Jackie Rene and Tshidi Manye

Tshidi Manye and Gilbert Domally

Tshidi Manye and Gilbert Domally

Jim Ferris, Gilbert Domally and Ben Jeffrey

Jim Ferris, Gilbert Domally and Ben Jeffrey

Jim Ferris, Gilbert Domally and Ben Jeffrey

Ben Jeffrey, Jackie Rene, Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris and Gilbert Domally

Gilbert Domally, Jackie Rene, Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris and Ben Jeffrey

The Lion King’s Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris, Jackie René, Ben Jeffrey and Gilbert Domally

Charissa Hogeland

Charissa Hogeland

Chad Burris

Frozen’s Charissa Hogeland and Chad Burris

Michael James Scott

Adi Roy

Adi Roy

Michael James Scott, Adi Roy

Michael James Scott, Adi Roy

Sonya Balsara

Sonya Balsara

Adi Roy, Sonya Balsara

Sonya Balsara, Adi Roy

Adi Roy, Sonya Balsara

from Aladdin‘s Michael James Scott, Sonya Balsara and Adi Roy

106.7 Lite FM’s Hosts-Paul Cubby Bryant and Christine Nagy

Paul Cubby Bryant and Christine Nagy

The hosts were Paul ‘Cubby’ Bryant and Christine Nagy.

Chad Burris, Charissa Hogeland, Ben Jeffrey, Jackie Rene, Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris and Gilbert Domally

Chad Burris, Gilbert Domally, Jackie Rene. Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris, Charissa Hogeland, Ben Jeffrey, Sonya Balsara, Adi Roy and Michael James Scott

Chad Burris, Gilbert Domally, Jackie Rene. Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris, Charissa Hogeland, Ben Jeffrey, Sonya Balsara, Adi Roy and Michael James Scott

Chad Burris, Gilbert Domally, Jackie Rene. Tshidi Manye, Jim Ferris, Charissa Hogeland, Ben Jeffrey, Sonya Balsara, Adi Roy and Michael James Scott

 

 

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