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Theatre News: Closings, Into the Woods, Jennifer Simard, Broadway’s Sofitel Hotel, NuWorks 2022, League of Professional Theatre Women and Sesame Street: The Musical

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Normally the blood bath of closing of shows happens the day after the Tony Awards. This years long playing shows are setting closing dates Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical Come From Away will play its final Broadway performance on Sunday, October 2, 2022. The smash hit Tina – The Tina Turner Musical will play its final performance at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street) on Sunday, August 14, 2022 prior to launching a 30-city national tour on September 14, 2022 in Providence, RI, which will mark the sixth global production of the musical. Dear Evan Hansen has posted a Sept. 18 closing date after six years on Broadway.

Jordan Roth, President of Jujamcyn Theaters, announced additional casting today for the hugely acclaimed and completely sold-out New York City Center Encores! production of James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s beloved musical, Into the Woods, for the strictly limited, 8-week engagement on Broadway. Performances begin Tuesday, June 28 at the St. James Theatre, ahead of an official opening night on July 10. Into the Woods is directed by Lear deBessonet, music direction by Rob Berman with The Encores! Orchestra, and choreographed by Lorin Latarro. This production is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Sondheim.

Joining the cast are Nancy Opel as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Aymee Garcia as Jack’s Mother, Alysia Velez as Rapunzel, and Delphi Borich, Felicia Curry, Alexander Joseph Grayson, Paul Kreppel, Diane Phelan, and Lucia Spina as understudies.

As previously announced, the star-studded cast will include Sara Bareilles as the Baker’s Wife, Brian D’Arcy James as the Baker, Tony Award® winner Patina Miller as the Witch, Phillipa Soo as Cinderella, Tony Award winner Gavin Creel as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Joshua Henry as Rapunzel’s Prince, Ta’Nika Gibson as Lucinda, Annie Golden as Cinderella’s Mother/Grandmother/Giant’s Wife, Albert Guerzon as Cinderella’s Father, Brooke Ishibashi as Florinda, Kennedy Kanagawa as Milky White, David Patrick Kelly as the Narrator/Mysterious Man, Julia Lester as Little Red Riding Hood, Cole Thompson as Jack, David Turner as the Steward, Jason Forbach, Mary Kate Moore, and Cameron Johnson.

Jennifer Simard

Jennifer Simard

Two-time Tony, four-time Drama Desk, three-time Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nominee Jennifer Simard will be adding ‘Caricature on Sardi’s Wall of Fame’ to her long list of achievements.

Currently appearing in Company on Broadway, Jennifer has appeared on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, Mean Girls, Disaster! (Tony nomination), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sister Act and Shrek the Musical. She has appeared Off- Broadway in the original companies of Forbidden Broadway: SVU; The Thing About Men; and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

What is a weekend in NYC without a trip to Broadway? With more than 75 on- and off-Broadway shows to choose from, a Broadway-filled weekend in NYC is just the ticket! Better yet, what is a visit to Broadway without a stay at Sofitel New York – the official hotel of the Tony Awards?

The ultimate hotel for theater enthusiasts, Sofitel New York boasts three Broadway-themed suites, including the Broadway Juliette Balcony Suite, Tony Awards Terrace Suite, and the recently unveiled Funny Girl Suite featuring signature décor from Broadway’s newest show starring Beanie Feldstein and Jane Lynch. Each suite is uniquely designed and showcases iconic Broadway memorabilia, such as award-winning scripts, posters, Playbills, invitations, props, and photographs from famous shows and performers.

Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (Tisa Chang, Founding Artistic Producing Director) presents NuWorks 2022, the annual experimental series of self-created work from innovative and diverse artists exploring an eclectic range of genres and techniques using poetry, text, dance and music. Featuring new works by diverse artists Ernest Abuba, Sean-Joseph Choo, Saiya Floyd, Jeffrey Han, Amy Pan, Shigeko Sara Suga, Mandarin Wu, and Da Xu. NuWORKS 2022 is supervised by Chongren Fan (Citizen Wong), and curated by playwright Damon Chua (The Emperors Nightingale), The Production Liaison is Sabrina Morabito with Lighting Design by Josh Martinez-Davis.

Performances begin in repertory Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 7:00PM and will conclude with a special Encore performance on Sunday afternoon July 3, 2022 at 3:00PM at Studio Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street).

Pleased  written by Mandarin Wuand Xa Du, performed by Mandarin Wu. A montage of memories and dreams and nightmares all smeared together featuring an experimental vaudeville song and dance solo.

BAUDELAIRE: Dear Mother , written By Ernest Abuba and Shigeko Sara Sugare directed by Shigeko Sara Suga. Featuring Ernest Abuba as Baudelaire and Voice of Baudelaire, Dinh James Doan as Young Baudelaire, Ricardo Osorio “El Niño” as Baudelaire (Spirit), Shigeko Sara Suga as A Figure, Bird “Ricardito” as Flamenco Guitarist/Singer, Alain Bene as Voice of Baudelaire (French). Based on the poems of 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire, this piece embodies the last of a trilogy (Baudelaire: Spleen; Baudelaire La Mort).

League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), the New York based organization that has championed women in the professional theatre for four decades, in association with Women in Arts & Media Coalition today announced plans for Women Stage The World: A Call to Action, Advocacy, and Engagement, a solidarity march that will take place Saturday, June 11th  at 12:00PM. The March will start on 43rd Street & 8th Avenue, ending at The Shubert Theatre where the group will see Selina Fillinger’s “POTUS” directed by Susan Stroman. A core part of LPTW’s mission is to continue advocating and nurturing all theatre makers and creators, now and for future generations. This initiative brings young women from “Girl Be Heard” and “Girls Write Now” to a matinee of “POTUS”. LPTW is also offering four (4) free tickets to LPTW Members through a lottery. 
The League has also announced that it will present its previously postponed Oral History Project interview with pioneering playwright, screenwriter, and director Emily Mann, conducted by esteemed arts journalist Alexis Greene on June 30th at 6:00PM ESTvia Zoom. The interview will be followed by a 10-minute Q&A. To register for the event, visit: https://lptw.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mcform&view=ngforms&id=2129591#!/
 

Rockefeller Productions, a leader in quality family entertainment, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the iconic Sesame Street, announce the world premiere of the new stage production: Sesame Street: The Musical, in New York. Sesame Street’s beloved furry friends will appear in their original puppet form in an Off-Broadway musical, with previews starting September 8, 2022. Opening night is set for September 22 and will run through November 27, 2022. Performances will take place at Theater Row, 410 West 42nd Street. For all ticketing and further information please go to www.sesamestreetmusical.com.

Sesame Street’s very own Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Rosita, Bert, Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, The Count, Gabrielle,and a host of Honkers, Martians, and other favorites will appear onstage in their very own musical. Special guest stars from Broadway and beyond will join the gang, with the show featuring Sesame Street’s classic songs–plus new numbers created especially for this production by Broadway’s brightest composers and songwriters. The show is directed and produced by Jonathan Rockefeller.

Sesame Street first aired in 1969 and is now in its 53rd season in the U.S. It is seen in 150 countries and continues to expand globally with content production and distribution, consumer products, English learning and formal education, and themed entertainment. Sesame Street has won 11 Grammys and 214 Emmys– more than any other children’s show.

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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