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Theatre News: Funny Girl. Plaza Suite and Hadestown

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The complete cast and creative team for the highly anticipated new Broadway production of Funny Girl. stars previously announced Beanie Feldstein, Tony and Olivier Award nominee Ramin Karimloo, Jeff Award winner Jared Grimes, and five-time Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch will be joined by Peter Francis James as Florenz Ziegfeld, Ephie Aardema as Emma/Mrs. Nadler, Debra Cardona as Mrs. Meeker, Toni DiBuono as Mrs. Strakosh, Martin Moran as Tom Keeney and Julie Benko as Fanny Brice Standby.

The musical is set to feature an acting company that includes Amber Ardolino, Daniel Beeman, Colin Bradbury, Kurt Thomas Csolak, Leslie Donna Flesner, Afra Hines, Masumi Iwai, Aliah James, Jeremiah James, Danielle Kelsey, Stephen Mark Lukas, Alicia Hadiya Lundgren, John Thomas Manzari, Liz McCartney, Katie Mitchell, Justin Prescott, Mariah Reives, and Leslie Blake Walker.

Tony Award winner Michael Mayer will direct this brand-new Funny Girl, featuring the classic score by Tony, Grammy and Academy Award winner Jule Styne and lyrics by Tony Award nominee and Grammy Award winner Bob Merrill, (comprising additional songs from Styne & Merrill). The original book by Isobel Lennart, from an original story by Miss Lennart, is revised by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein.

Funny Girl, will feature choreography by Ellenore Scott, tap choreography by Ayodele Casel, scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kevin Adams, sound design by Tony Award winner Brian Ronan, hair & wig design by Campbell YoungAssociates, orchestrations by Chris Walker, music direction and supervision by Emmy Award winner Michael Rafter, casting by Jim Carnahan, CSA and Jason Thinger, orchestrations by Chris Walker, dance, vocal and incidental music arrangements by Alan Williams, and additional arrangements by David Dabbon and Carmel Dean.

Performances begin Saturday, March 26, 2022 and officially opens on Sunday, April 24, 2022 at Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). Prices start at $39.00.

Two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick and two-time Emmy Award® winner Sarah Jessica Parker lead a cast which also includes Danny Bolero as The Waiter, Drama Desk Award® nominee Molly Ranson as Jean McCormick/Mimsey Hubley, and Eric Wiegand as The Bellhop/Borden Eisler. The cast is completed by Tony Award winner Michael McGrath and Tony Award nominee Erin Dilly, who will standby for Broderick and Parker, respectively; in addition to understudies Laurie Veldheer and Cesar J. Rosado.

The complete cast for the first-ever New York revival of Neil Simon’s classic comedy about marriage, Plaza Suite, started rehearsals under the direction of Tony Award® winner John Benjamin Hickey.

As previously announced, the production will begin preview performances on Friday, February 25, with the official opening night set for Monday, March 28, at Hudson Theatre (141 West 44th Street).

Tickets are available at www.plazasuitebroadway.com or www.thehudsonbroadway.com.

Amber Gray

Amber Gray

Amber Gray, who originated the role of Persephone in Hadestown, the Tony Award®-winning Best New Musical, will play her final performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street) on Saturday evening, February 19. Casting for the role of Persephone will be announced shortly.

Gray’s involvement in Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell’s beguiling musical began during early developmental readings with Tony Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin. She went on to play the role of the Queen of the Underworld in all three developmental productions prior to Hadestown’s 2019 Broadway premiere: New York Theatre Workshop (2016); the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Canada (2017); and London’s National Theatre (2018). For her performance, she received a Grammy Award®, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and was nominated for Tony® and Lucille Lortel® Awards.

In addition to Gray, the Broadway cast is led by 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 Jewelle Blackman, Jessie Shelton, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates and Lana Gordon as the Persephone alternate. 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

And The Winners of The 2023 Drama Desk Awards Are ………

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The 2023 67th Drama Desk Awards, honoring artistic excellence on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway, will take place on June 6 at Sardi’s Restaurant. Today the winners were announced.

Outstanding Play: “Leopoldstadt,” by Tom Stoppard

Outstanding Musical: “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Revival of a Play: “The Piano Lesson”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: “Parade”

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play: Jessica Chastain, “A Doll’s House” and Sean Hayes, “Good Night, Oscar”

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical: Annaleigh Ashford, “Sweeney Todd”
and J. Harrison Ghee, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play: Miriam Silverman, “The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window,” Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brandon Uranowitz, “Leopoldstadt”

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical: Kevin Del Aguila, “Some Like it Hot” and Alex Newell, “Shucked”

Outstanding Direction of a Play: Max Webster, “Life of Pi”

Outstanding Direction of a Musical: Thomas Kail, “Sweeney Todd”

Outstanding Choreography: Casey Nicholaw, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Music: Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, “Shucked”

Outstanding Lyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Matthew López and Amber Ruffin, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Orchestrations: Charlie Rosen and Bryan Carter, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Music in a Play: Suzan-Lori Parks, “Plays for the Plague Year,” The Public Theater

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Play: Tim Hatley, “Life of Pi”

Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical: Beowulf Boritt, “New York, New York”

Outstanding Costume Design of a Play: Emilio Sosa, “Ain’t No Mo’”

Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical: Gregg Barnes, “Some Like it Hot”

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play: Natasha Chivers and Willie Williams (video), “Prima Facie”

Outstanding Lighting Design of a Musical: Natasha Katz, “Sweeney Todd”

Outstanding Projection and Video Design: Andrzej Goulding, “Life of Pi”

Outstanding Sound Design of a Play: Ben & Max Ringham, “A Doll’s House”

Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical: Scott Lehrer and Alex Neumann, “Into the Woods”

Outstanding Wig and Hair: Mia M. Neal, “Ain’t No Mo’”

Outstanding Solo Performance: Jodie Comer, “Prima Facie”

Unique Theatrical Experience: “Peter Pan Goes Wrong”

Outstanding Fight Choreography: B.H. Barry, “Camelot”

Outstanding Adaptation: “A Doll’s House,” by Amy Herzog

Outstanding Puppetry: Nick Barnes and Finn Caldwell, “Life of Pi”

Shows with multiple wins

Some Like It Hot: 8

Life of Pi: 4

A Doll’s House: 3

Sweeney Todd: 3

Ain’t No Mo’: 2

Leopoldstadt: 2

Prima Facie: 2

Shucked: 2

Special Awards

Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award

Stephen McKinley Henderson has been bringing in-depth, gripping portrayals of memorable characters to the stage for over four decades. With his return to Broadway this season as Pops in “Between Riverside and Crazy,” which the Drama Desk previously nominated in 2015, this year’s Harold Prince Lifetime Achievement Award marks Henderson’s role in this powerful production as a celebration of his brilliant career.

Ensemble Award

The cast of Soho Rep’s “Public Obscenities” – Tashnuva Anan, Abrar Haque, Golam Sarwar Harun, Gargi Mukherjee, NaFis, Jakeem Dante Powell, and Debashis Roy Chowdhury – embodied the transnational world of Shayok Misha Chowdhury’s bilingual play with memorable authenticity, remarkable specificity, and extraordinary warmth.

Sam Norkin Off-Broadway Award

From his standout performance in american (tele)visions, to writing and performing the autobiographical “Dark Disabled Stories,” Ryan J. Haddad’s work this season has expanded on and interrogated what the idea of “accessibility” really means. Whether riding a shopping cart like a throne, or relating his experiences on a “gay, pink bus,” Haddad shared with audiences an unabashed queer fabulosity that was both unforgettable and deeply human.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Remembering Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd

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On Sunday look for a brand new charcuterie of Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford in Sweeney Todd..  I loved the new production, and it’s two leads.

I saw the original with Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou, which was also a favorite. I think it’s Sondheim’s greatest work.
Here is my drawing of Angela as Mrs. Lovett, to salute the original.
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Broadway

League of Professional Theatre Women’s 10th Annual Women Stage The World March

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 The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) will hold its 10th Annual “Women Stage the World March”  — a Suffragette-inspired project to educate the public about the role of women in the theatre industry — on Saturday, June 17.   The march will begin at noon, at Shubert Alley and weave through Times Square and the Broadway Theatre District, wrapping up at about 2 p.m.

“The event is FREE and LPTW invites all theatre women and allies to join us as we increase awareness, lift our voices, and advocate for more opportunities for women in theatre,” said Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Co-President of LPTW.

“The Women Stage the World March is designed to educate the public about the role women play in creating theatre and the barriers they face as men continue to outnumber women by 4 to 1 in key roles such as playwright, director and designers.  Women buy 67% of the tickets and represent 65% of the audience, yet 80% of the storytelling on stage is shaped by men’s voices,” said Katrin Hilbe, Co-President of LPTW.

Handouts during the March will prompt ticket-buyers to ask three questions as they make buying decisions: (1) Who wrote, directed and designed this play? (2) What is this theatre’s track record in giving opportunities to women? (3) How can you spread the word and promote women’s voices?

“All participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite historical theatre woman, or dress all in white.  March participants will gather at Shubert Alley starting at 11:30 AM, in preparation for the start of the march at noon.   Women Stage the World sashes and signs will be provided, as supplies last,” noted Penelope Deen, LPTW member and organizer of the event. Those interested in participating in the event please R.S.V.P. at: https://www.theatrewomen.org/women-stage-the-world or contact Penelope Deen at:  Womenstagetheworld@Theatrewomen.org

LPTW Co-President Ludovica Villar-Hauser added:  “The League of Professional Theatre Women stands alongside the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as they demand fair wages and take action to ensure more protections for artists. We encourage LPTW members to find a time to join the WGA on the picket lines this month as the strike continues.  Women writers are the future of the film and television industry, just as they lead the way in theatre.  LPTW supports the women on the frontlines of this movement as they call for long overdue change. We are stronger together.”

For the past 10 years LPTW members, affiliated union members, theatre artists and their allies have hit the streets in a March reminiscent of the Suffragette parades of the early 20th Century, with some marchers dressed in traditional suffrage garb and colors. ​ Like the Suffragettes before them, participants in the Women Stage the World March empower women and men to become aware, take action and influence others.

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) is a membership organization championing women in theatre and advocating for increased equity and access for all theatre women. Our programs and initiatives create community, cultivate leadership, and increase opportunities and recognition for women working in theatre. The organization provides support, networking and collaboration mechanisms for members, and offers professional development and educational opportunities for all theatre women and the general public.  LPTW celebrates the historic contributions and contemporary achievements of women in theatre, both nationally and around the globe, and advocates for parity in employment, compensation and recognition for women theatre practitioners through industry-wide initiatives and public policy proposals.   LPTW is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023.

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Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Chicago

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John Kander & Fred Ebb / Bob Fosse musical Chicago is now the longest running show playing on Broadway. Having played 10,338 performances, Chicago is the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical playing at the Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St., NYC.

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Ham4Ham: Some Like It Hot, Parade and Shucked With Special Guests

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Lin-Manuel Miranda brought out a. special edition of Ham4Ham outside the Richard Rodgers Theater yesterday and it was a star studded afternoon.

J Harrison Ghee

First up Leopoldstadt stars Josh Molina and Brandon Uranowitz introduced Some Like It Hot‘s J. Harrison Ghee, who performed “You Coulda Knocked Me Over With a Feather” accompanied by the show’s composer, Marc Shaiman. You can watch the beginning of this and the whole performance of that song here.

The crowds

Then Nikki Crawford and playwright James Ijames from Fat Ham, introduced composer Jason Robert Brown and performers Ben Platt and Michaela Diamond who perform the duet “This Is Not Over Yet” from the must see revival of Parade.

The Thanksgiving Play stars D’Arcy Carden and Chris Sullivan introduced book writer Robert Horn and the Tony-nominated cast of Shucked recreated new lyrics for “We Love Jesus” and a parody of Hamilton‘s “The Story of Tonight.”led by Ashley D. Kelley, Grey Henson, Andrew Durand and Kevin Cahoon

This was a spectacular afternoon that can only be had in NYC.

Kevin Cahoon

T2c would love to thank these three ladies who gave us a chair to sit on.

 

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