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Theatre News: Harmony, Jesus Christ Superstar, Some Like It Hot, Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

Theatre News: Harmony, Jesus Christ Superstar, Some Like It Hot, Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

Our favorite musical so far of the season Harmony has extended until May 15th. I am expecting this show to move to Broadway.

The final release of tracks from Morgan James’ “She is Risen” project, which saw Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar recorded by an all-female cast, orchestra, and engineers, will drop April 29 on all digital music services. To pre-save the album, click here.


Soul singer and Broadway alum Morgan James (Godspell) leads the cast as Jesus Christ, with Wicked and Waitress star Shoshana Bean as Judas Iscariot and The Color Purple Tony winner Cynthia Erivo as Mary Magdalene. They’re joined by Grammy winner Ledisi as Simon, comedian Bridget Everett as King Herod, Legally Blonde star Orfeh as Pilate, and Tony winner Debbie Gravitte.


The recording, titled Jesus Christ Superstar: Highlights From the All-Female Studio Cast Recording, follows two earlier EP releases. The culminating release newly adds “The Temple,” “Damned for All Time,” “The Last Supper,” “Pilate and Christ,” and “Trial Before Pilate” to the 10 tracks previously released as She Is Risen: Volume I and She Is Risen: Volume II.

The project began as a 2017 concert at New York City’s Highline Ballroom, the brainchild of James. The album was originally crowdfunded using a Kickstarter-like platform that went bankrupt shortly after the project funded, leading to the unusual release strategy.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Highlights From the All-Female Studio Cast Recording is helmed by executive producers Dawn Kamerling and Richard Amelius, producers Meg Toohey and James, and engineers Hannah Tobias and Vira Byramji, with mixing and mastering by Rachel Alina.

Some Like It Hot will begin performances on Broadway this fall on Tuesday, November 1 and officially open Sunday, December 11 at the Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street).

This brand-new Broadway musical comedy features a book by Matthew López (The Inheritance) & Amber Ruffin (“The Amber Ruffin Show”), music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Hairspray) and direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).  The musical is based on the classic MGM Oscar-winning film Some Like It Hot which has been named the “Funniest American Movie of All Time” by the American Film Institute.

The company will be led by Tony Award winner Christian Borle as “Joe/Josephine”(the Tony Curtis role),  J. Harrison Ghee as “Jerry/Daphne”(the Jack Lemon role), Adrianna Hicks as “Sugar” (as the Marilyn Monroe role) Kevin Del Aguila as “Osgood,” NaTasha Yvette Williams as “Sweet Sue,” Adam Heller as “Mulligan,”Mark Lotito as “Spats.” The full company will be announced soon.

Set in Chicago when Prohibition has everyone thirsty for a little excitement,  Some Like It Hot  is the rollicking story of two musicians forced to flee the Windy City after witnessing a mob hit. With gangsters hot on their heels, they’re on the run as the newest members of the swingingest big band ever to cross the country. Can they hide in plain sight without completely losing themselves? Or will the mob, the truth, and maybe even love itself finally catch up to them?

The creative team includes Scott Pask (Sets), Gregg Barnes (Costumes), Natasha Katz (Lights), Brian Ronan (Sound), Josh Marquette (Hair & Wigs), Milagros Medina-Cerdiera (Make-up), Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Music Supervisor), Darryl Archibald (Music Director), Charlie Rosen and Bryan Carter (Orchestrations), Glen Kelly (Dance and Incidental Music Arrangements) and Telsey & Co. (Casting).

The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing announced the premiere of the final songs from the 2021 winners of the Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. On Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. ET iHeartRadio Broadway will share these songs in a special broadcast. They will also be available as part of the album #IWriteMusicals Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge 2021 Edition on the iHeartRadio app and wherever music can be streamed. The 12 winning songs will also be available April 25, 2022, on arts.gov/songwriting.

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Theatre Wing that seeks to cultivate the next generation of musical theater songwriters from among the country’s high school students.

Since the announcement of the winners, the student songwriters have worked virtually with a coaching team-a mentor and a music director-to hone their original songs into Broadway-ready compositions. Each song was recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City. In addition to the recordings, the songs will be compiled into a songbook by Concord Theatricals and released at a future date. For more details on the winners and the songs-including student bios; song summaries; mentor, musical director, and musician credits; and photos from the recordings-visit arts.gov/songwriting.

Jeremy Jordan, Harriet Harris, and André De Shields to star in When Playwrights Kill, a new comedy by Matthew Lombardo. The show is set to make its world premiere at the Bushnell’s Belding Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut July 26 – August 7.

Jordan stars as Jack Hawkins, an aspiring playwright on the verge of making his Broadway debut when the notoriously difficult actor Brooke Remington (Tony winner Harriet Harris) makes the Boston tryout of his new play a disaster. Jack wants a new actor in Brooke’s part, but the producers won’t fire her…so Jack resorts to desperate measures. Tony winner André De Shields, plays seasoned director Maurice Khalan Walker, who frantically attempts to keep his playwright and lead actor from committing murder. Noah Himmelstein directs (in real life).

Lombardo is the author of High (Kathleen Turner), Looped (Valerie Harper) and more.

Music

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

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