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Theatre News: Hamilton and American Utopia Movie, Javier Muñoz, Aida and David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. Honored

Theatre News: Hamilton and American Utopia Movie, Javier Muñoz, Aida and David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. Honored

Disney has won the worldwide distribution rights to the filmed version of Hamilton. The film will feature the original Broadway cast led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. and Daveed Diggs and will be released Oct. 15, 2021.

Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison, Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds will also join.

Spike Lee will direct a filmed version of “David Byrne’s American Utopia.” It is planned for a 2020 release. The film will capture the live performance of the Broadway show playing at the Hudson Theatre. The show which ends Feb. 16, 2020 then goes on tour.

Javier Muñoz

Javier Muñoz (Hamilton, In The Heights) will star in the North American Premiere of Stephen Lloyd Helper’s A Sign of the Times at Theater 511 (511 West 54th Street) beginning performances on February 17 in advance of its opening night on February 27 through April 4, 2020.

A Sign of the Times is an epic theatrical exploration of life, loss, hope and time.  At a personal and professional crossroads, a man becomes a Stop/Slow traffic controller outside a construction site in an effort to catch his breath and simplify his life.  With his wit and vivid imagination, he invokes Shakespeare, Einstein and more visionaries on his emotional odyssey.  Though he tries valiantly to distract himself from the pains in his present from his recent past, it’s through the saving grace of time that he reclaims his future.   Join him for his entertaining and soulful investigation of life’s meaning in an uncertain world.  Part joyous comedy, part thoughtful tragedy… it is the entirety of life in 95 minutes.

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts- Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, is proud to announce that a reimagined version of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Tony®-winning Broadway smash Aida will be a part of its 2020-2021 season. This premiere, directed by Schele Williams and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, will run at Paper Mill Playhouse from February 4 through March 7, 2021. The new production, updated and re-imagined, retains the beloved Tony and Grammy®-winning score and features a book revised by David Henry Hwang, who co-authored the acclaimed original production with Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls. Paper Mill Playhouse will announce its full 2020-2021 season lineup this March.

Following the Paper Mill Playhouse premiere the production will launch a national tour playing Charlotte, Chicago, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., among other cities to be announced.

The new Aida is directed by Schele Williams (a member of the original Broadway cast) and choreographed by Tony nominee Camille A. Brown. Sets and costumes are by seven-time Tony winner Bob Crowley, and lighting is by six-time Tony winner Natasha Katz, who both won Tonys for their work on Aida in 2000. The music department includes Tony Award recipient Jason Michael Webb (musical supervision), Tony Honor recipient Michael McElroy (vocal arrangements and co-incidental arranger), Jim Abbott (orchestrations) and Tony winner Zane Mark (dance arrangements).

Casting will be announced later this year.

David Shire (l.) and Richard Maltby (r.) Photo of Mr. Maltby by Joan Marcus

One of the longest-running musical partnerships in Broadway history, lyricist and director Richard Maltby, Jr. and composer David Shire, will be honored, along with a diverse group of 17 other outstanding artists, at the 35th Annual Bistro Awards on Monday, March 9 at Gotham Comedy Club, 208 W. 23rd St. 

As is the Bistro Awards tradition, the evening will feature performances by the winners.

Celebrating more than 50 years of musical accomplishments, the songwriting team is receiving the Bistro Award’s highest honor, the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, being presented by ASCAP, the nonprofit performance-rights organization and the Bistro Award’s longtime sponsor.

Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire are best known for such Broadway shows as Baby (seven Tony nominations including Best Musical and Best Score), Big (Tony nomination for Best Score), and two Off-Broadway revues, Starting Here, Starting Now (Grammy nomination for Best Cast Album) and Closer Than Ever (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical). These last two shows got their start in smaller nightclub venues, the cabaret at Manhattan Theatre Club and Eighty Eight’s, respectively, as did Mr. Maltby’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, which he conceived and directed. 


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:

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